Saturday, May 16, 2009

The US military announces another death

Today the US military announced: "CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRA, Iraq -- A Multi-National Division- South Soldier was killed in action today in southern Iraq. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. The incident is under investigation." The announcement brings to 4296 the number of US service members killed in the Iraq War since the start of the illegal war. That's four from the 4300 mark.

Five of those died on Monday when Sgt John Russell shot them dead in a Baghdad stress clinic. For tomorrow's Washington Post, Ann Scott Tyson's "Clinic Shootings Highlight Mental Health Challenges for Military" explores the lack of dwell time between deployments:

The unprecedented strain on the all-volunteer Army is not expected to end anytime soon, largely because of the troop increases in Afghanistan, Chiarelli said.
"The next six to eight months is going to be very difficult for us," he said, estimating that the Army will not be able to begin increasing soldiers' time at home until the middle or fall of 2010. Demands on the Army are so high that 87 percent of the active-duty force is either deployed overseas, preparing to deploy, or in basic training or otherwise not available.
A 2007 Army survey of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan showed that soldiers' mental health deteriorates significantly each time they go to war. More than 27 percent of the noncommissioned officers surveyed on their third or forth deployment reported depression, anxiety or acute stress -- compared with 18 percent of those on their second deployment and 11 percent on their first tour, according to Army data.

As the Las Vegas Sun editorialized yesterday, "Because the Pentagon has continually failed to address the problem, Congress should step in and make sure that those who serve in combat are given the help they need."

In today's New York Times, no report filed from Iraq but Randal C. Archibold contributes "Iraq War Claims Its Oldest Combat Fatality." Meanwhile Jack Dolan and Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) gather Iraqi reaction to Barry O's decision not to release the torture photos:

Mohammed Al Darraji, 32, who lives in Sadr City, the sprawling, impoverished Shiite Muslim neighborhood that saw some of the bloodiest clashes between local militias and U.S. forces, was unfazed.
Darraji didn't know there were more pictures of abuse by U.S. soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad and elsewhere until a reporter told him on Friday, and he said he doubted that their release would provoke more attacks.
"Nothing would happen," he said. "This is a very old issue, and we Iraqis have seen much worse than just photos."
Dozens of Sadr City residents were killed by a spate of bombings in public markets last month.
Harith al Obaidi, the head of the largest Sunni Muslim bloc in Iraq's parliament and the deputy chairman of the Committee on Human Rights, also shrugged off the Obama administration's concerns over the photos.
"The people who want to express their opinions through violence are already trying their best to do so," Obaidi said. "Showing them a few pictures wouldn't make them any more able to do it."
Obaidi called on Obama to release the photos and to hold any perpetrators of abuse publicly accountable. Keeping the pictures secret will only bolster suspicions that the American government is trying to suppress evidence of more widespread abuse, he said.

The following community websites have updated since yesterday morning:

Cedric's Big Mix
No spine
14 minutes ago

The Daily Jot
14 minutes ago

The Common Ills
Steven D. Green's defense team: Improved but still floundering
3 hours ago

Mikey Likes It!
No sympathy, sorry
1 day ago

Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude
like daughter, like dork
1 day ago

What's the Whore Melissa Lacewell Harris doing?
1 day ago

Ruth's Report
Another broken promise
1 day ago

Oh Boy It Never Ends
Don't Look Back
1 day ago

Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills)
Laugh or cry, your choice
1 day ago

Thomas Friedman is a Great Man
They should be ashamed of themselves
1 day ago

Trina's Kitchen
Beans and Mac in the Kitchen
1 day ago

Like Maria Said Paz
Coward Zinn, Paul Street, Pancake Naomi
1 day ago

The e-mail address for this site is

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends