Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yesterday's violence and today's

An Iraqi soldier shot and killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded at least six others Wednesday in Mosul, the American military said. As the shootings occurred in northern Iraq, violence continued in Baghdad, with at least 25 people killed in bombings across the capital.
The shootings of the U.S. troops occurred in an Iraqi army compound in western Mosul outside a building where two U.S. Army lieutenants were conferring with an Iraqi captain, the American military said. Just before noon, an Iraqi soldier named Barzan Mohammed walked into the compound with an AK-47 submachine gun and began the shooting spree, according to the U.S. military.
It said he fired a "drum load" of ammunition at American soldiers. A drum load holds a "significantly" higher number of bullets than the magazine that's issued to Iraqi soldiers. U.S. Army spokeswoman Maj. Peggy Kageleiry said Mohammed said something to another Iraqi soldier and began shooting the Americans.

The above is from Leila Fadel's "Iraqi soldier shoots and kills U.S. troops" (McClatchy Newspapers) on yesterday's shooting, what Tim Cocks (Reuters) terms a "rampage." Two appears to be the number of US service members killed. Sam Dagher's "Iraqi Soldier Reportedly Kills 2 G.I.'s" (New York Times) does the best job of presenting the Iraqi version of events:

The head of police operations in Mosul, Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim al-Jubouri, said the episode was set off by a quarrel between an American and an Iraqi soldier. This was confirmed by a senior official in the Ministry of Defense and an officer in the Nineveh Operations Command, which oversees all Iraqi forces operating in Mosul and is advised by the American military.
An Iraqi Army officer and two soldiers who witnessed the attack provided a detailed account on the condition of anonymity, for fear of retribution from their commanders.
They said an American military patrol stopped on Wednesday afternoon to inspect a post staffed by Iraqi soldiers in the predominantly Sunni Arab neighborhood of Zanjili, a notoriously violent part of Mosul.
A heated argument ensued between one of the American soldiers and an Iraqi soldier identified as Barzan Mohammed Abdullah, prompting the American to curse at the Iraqi, spit in his face and slap him, the Iraqis said. The Iraqi soldier then opened fire on the Americans, they said, and other American soldiers responded with a barrage of gunfire at the Iraqi.

Ernesto Londono and Qais Mizher's "2 U.S. Troops Killed by Iraqi Soldier" (Washington Post) notes that US Maj. Gen. Mark P. "Hertling dismissed reports by Iraqi officials who suggested that an altercation between Iraqi and American soldiers preceded the gunfire in Mosul, but he said he had no information on the shooter's motive. He said U.S. and Iraqi officials are jointly investigating the incident." [Note Dagher also presents the US version. That should go without saying being that it's the New York Times but before some drive-by e-mail comes in from a visitor screaming about what NYT has done now, let's make that clear.] Tina Susman provides background on such attacks in "Iraq soldier kills at least two Americans" (Los Angeles Times):

A similar shooting occurred in the area in December. Two U.S. soldiers were killed by an Iraqi soldier in Nineveh, which remains one of the country's most volatile areas because of the presence of Sunni Muslim insurgents loyal to the group Al Qaeda in Iraq and friction between Arabs and Kurds vying for influence. The Iraqi soldier is awaiting trial in Baghdad.

That's yesterday. Already violence is being reported today. Reuters notes Baghdad has seen two bombing with at least thirteen wounded while a Mosul car bombing has left 16 people injured, a Ramadi bomber has taken his own life and the lives of 4 other people "including two policemen" and a bombing outside Laitifya has claimed at least one life.

And we'll again note John Pilger's "Beware the Obama Hype" (Dissident Voice) but focusing on this section:

That is the subtext of Barack Obama's "oratory". He says he wants to build up US military power; and he threatens to ignite a new war in Pakistan, killing yet more brown-skinned people. That will bring tears, too. Unlike those on election night, these other tears will be unseen in Chicago and London. This is not to doubt the sincerity of much of the response to Obama’s election, which happened not because of the unction that has passed for news reporting from America since November 4 (e.g. "liberal Americans smiled and the world smiled with them") but for the same reasons that millions of angry emails were sent to the White House and Congress when the "bailout" of Wall Street was revealed, and because most Americans are fed up with war.
Two years ago, this anti-war vote installed a Democratic majority in Congress, only to watch the Democrats hand over more money to George W Bush to continue his blood fest. For his part, the "anti-war" Obama never said the illegal invasion of Iraq was wrong, merely that it was a "mistake". Thereafter, he voted in to give Bush what he wanted. Yes, Obama's election is historic, a symbol of great change to many. But it is equally true that the American elite have grown adept at using the black middle and management class. The courageous Martin Luther King recognized this when he linked the human rights of black Americans with the human rights of the Vietnamese, then being slaughtered by a liberal Democratic administration. And he was shot. In striking contrast, a young black major serving in Vietnam, Colin Powell, was used to "investigate" and whitewash the infamous My Lai massacre. As Bush's secretary of state, Powell was often described as a "liberal" and was considered ideal to lie to the United Nations about Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Condoleezza Rice, lauded as a successful black woman, has worked assiduously to deny the Palestinians justice.
Obama's first two crucial appointments represent a denial of the wishes of his supporters on the principal issues on which they voted. The vice-president-elect, Joe Biden, is a proud war maker and Zionist. Rahm Emanuel, who is to be the all-important White House chief of staff, is a fervent "neoliberal" devoted to the doctrine that led to the present economic collapse and impoverishment of millions. He is also an "Israel-first" Zionist who served in the Israeli army and opposes meaningful justice for the Palestinians -- an injustice that is at the root of Muslim people's loathing of the United States and the spawning of jihadism.

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leila fadel
mcclatchy newspapers
 the los angeles times
 tina susman
 john pilger