Tuesday, September 05, 2006

NYT: 40 Iraqi civilians dead, 6 US troops and 2 British soldiers

The bodies of 40 people, including 25 who had been blindfolded and shot at close range, were found Monday in Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official said. A mass grave containing 18 bodies of people who were apparently executed in the 1980's was also discovered in Kirkuk, in the north.
American military officials announced Monday that four soldiers and two marines had died since Sunday. All but one of the deaths were caused by enemy fire. Two British soldiers were also killed Monday, in a roadside explosion in Basra.

The above is from Paul von Zeilbauer's "40 Bodies, Many Blindfolded, Are Found in Baghdad; 1980’s Execution Site Is Also Uncovered" in this morning's New York Times. We'll come back to part of it in the second entry this morning. If the above doesn't disturb you, further in the article, von Zeilbauer quotes an official statement released by the Iraqi (puppet) government which may catch your attention. The Times identifies the statement as coming from the office of the puppet (Nouri al-Maliki) and it's spin/sop to rally everyone which isn't surprising. What is surprising is the wording: "They were able with God's help to kill 14 terrorists and arrest 22 people."

You have to wonder if the Times cleaned that sentence up for domestic audiences? "God" is of course "Allah." The non-secular puppet government is revealing itself. "God" may make it sound more like a sporting event ("We won because God was on our side!") but the reality is that the statement came from the prime minister. Though a US flack (and even the Bully Boy) might make similar statements (Christian in nature) verbally, Centcom has yet to issue proclamations of divinity.

Considering that some of the hold outs still in favor of Bully Boy's illegal war are 'vangicals, one has to wonder how much attention the statement will get? al-Maliki has credited a higher power with what the statement portrays as a law and order action. The higher being is Allah. Is this really the thinking of a secular government (as the Bully Boy's portrayed it)? (No, it's not a secular government. It hasn't been one from the start. But when al-Maliki's issuing statements praising a god, any god, it deserves to be commented on -- though I doubt many will.)

Martha notes Amit R. Paley and Naseer Nouri's "7 U.S., British Troops Killed In Iraq Attacks:
Gunmen in Sunni Area Of Baghdad Kill 12 In Sectarian Rampage
" (Washington Post):

Seven American and British troops were killed in separate incidents across Iraq over the past 48 hours, military officials said Monday.
Their deaths were announced as gunmen rampaged through a Sunni Arab neighborhood in western Baghdad, killing at least 12 people in the latest spasm of sectarian bloodshed that many fear is shoving Iraq toward civil war.

[. . .]
Fahad Hameed, 25, who owns a car parts shop in Baiaa, said gunmen wearing tracksuits killed about a dozen Sunnis who worked in car maintenance stores. The Interior Ministry confirmed that 12 people were killed and nine wounded during the attack. Hameed said the gunmen drove eight cars that displayed pictures of Sadr in their rear windows.
Witnesses said armed men also killed three people during a funeral procession for men associated with Sadr.

If you were bothered by something other than the divinity proclamation, hopefully, we'll be focusing in on that in the next entry. Closing this out with one more highlight, Cindy notes Aaron Glantz' "An Army Minus One" (IPS via Common Dreams):

On Thursday, 22-year-old Army Specialist Mark Wilkerson turned himself in to Fort Hood in Texas, after being AWOL (Absent Without Leave) for more than 18 months.
Wilkerson, who served in the 720th Military Police Battalion in Iraq from March 2003 to March 2004, made the decision to refuse redeployment on moral grounds, and went AWOL when his request for "conscientious objector" status was denied by the U.S. Army late in 2004.
"When I first got there, I was very supportive of our mission and our president's decision to go in," he told IPS before turning himself in. "But when I got there I started to wonder whether what we were doing was really important enough for people to be dying."
During his time in Iraq, Wilkerson was stationed in Tikrit and Samarra, two strongholds of Saddam Hussein's former regime. One of his jobs was to guard truck convoys that ran up and down the highway and through city streets.
Initially, he said, "Iraqi kids on the road were waving flags for us, but after a year they were now throwing rocks at us and that equates to more IEDs (improvised explosive devices) on the road and now you have the suicide bombers. The death toll is 2,639 American soldiers. That's a lot."

Wilkerson turned himself in last week. Earlier in the month, Ricky Clousing turned himself in. Remember that Clousing's attroney stated last week (on Thursday) that Clousing was being charged with desertion:

On August 11th, Ricky Clousing was the subject of press coverage for his decision to turn himself in after self-checking out of the military following his return from Iraq in 2005. Clousing turned himself in at Fort Lewis and, on August 18th, he was at Fort Bragg. The Associated Press is reporting that Ricky Clousing's attorney states his client "will face a desertion charge".

And from Courage to Resist, we'll note "Augustin Aguaya goes AWOL rather than deploy to Iraq:"

For background and breaking news:http://agustin-aguayo.blogspot.com/
Augustin Aguayo

U.S. Conscientious Objector Stationed in Germany, Forced to Deploy to Iraq, Goes Absent without Leave (AWOL)
First publicly known case of a soldier refusing to deploy from Germany joins a growing group of U.S. soldiers refusing to deploy to Iraq.
Army Specialist Agustín Aguayo, 35, refused orders to deploy to Iraq for a second time after two-and-a-half-year struggle in which he diligently pursued all available legal avenues to obtain conscientious objector status and an honorable discharge from the Army. All of his efforts, both within the Military and in the civil courts in the U.S., have so far failed.
Agustín turned himself in to the Military Police on the base in Schweinfurt saying that he would not deploy to Iraq and would accept a court martial after several Article 15s (non-judicial punishment) for refusing to pick up his weapon. Instead, MPs followed him to his home to get his gear and prepare to deploy. Aguayo escaped and is currently Absent without Leave (AWOL) in Germany. (
Read full press release )
Last Updated ( Saturday, 02 September 2006 )

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