Sunday, August 23, 2009

And the war drags on . . .

When the bomb exploded Wednesday, roofs collapsed and heavy walls tumbled down. Now, three days later, residents are sleeping outside, some on carpets where their families gather as the sun goes down; many simply on the bare streets.
"Next time it will fall on our heads and kill us," said Haider Chasibi, 22, whose home has suffered from three bombings that targeted the Foreign Ministry since 2006, the worst of which was Wednesday's. "It cannot take another explosion."

The above is from Adam Ashton's "Bombing of Iraqi ministry hit nearby residents hard" (McClatchy Newspapers), reporting on the aftermath of Wednesday's bombings. The comments by Haider Chasibi bring to mind what Katheema Hanoon told Ashton last week after her street vending booth was destroyed (and she herself was buried under it) while she sold food outside the Foreign Ministry, "Our house is destroyed. Where are we going to sleep tonight? It would be better if I had died."

Wednesday's bombings were huge and underscored (even for the mind numb) that the Iraq War is not over. It hits the seventh year in March and nothing's really been accomplished. US troops on the ground are not going to accomplish anything. The US government decided to invade. The US military was ordered in. They went through and 'secured' areas. That's what the military does. They're not peace makers. Their job is over. They never should have been sent over to Iraq to begin with but there is no reason for them to remain on the ground in Iraq. Barack Obama is acting no differently than George W. Bush. You either pull the troops out or you continue the illegal war. Barack has chosen the latter and it is now his illegal war.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4331 and tonight? 4334. Today the US military announced: "A Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier died Aug. 23, from combat-related injuries while conducting a patrol in Baghdad. The Soldier’s name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The names of service members killed in action are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense Official Website at The announcements are made on the website no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member’s primary next of kin. MND-B will not release any additional details prior to notification of next of kin and official release by the Department of Defense. The incident is currently under investigation."

In other reported violence . . .


Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 Baghdad roadside bombings which left eleven police officers wounded and a Diyala Province roadside bombing which claimed the life of Sahwa leader Sattar Jabar and the life of his son.


Reuters notes 1 police officer shot dead in an attack on a Mosul police station.


Reuters drops back to Saturday to note 1 corpse discovered in Mosul.

Meanwhile AP reports that the trial of five accused of bank robbery (in Baghdad last month) started today and was adjourned until Thursday due to outcry in the court from the families of the eight security guards who were killed in the robbery. Karen DeYoung (Washington Post) reports the US government wants credit for allegedly supplying information on prisoners they are holding "in secret at detention camps in Afghanistan and Iraq" -- and it's more smoke and mirrors from Barack. For the 'information' to be solid, it needs to be verifiable. It's not. DeYoung informs that the US government "will continue to deny the ICRC," International Committee of the Red Cross, "access to the prisoners". For those who don't recall, the previous administration tried this song and dance of offering similar 'bargains' with human rights groups. It was crap then and it's crap now. Nothing has changed in the White House. Eric Schmitt (New York Times) reminds:

The New York Times reported in 2006 that some soldiers at the temporary detention site in Iraq, then located at Baghdad International Airport and called Camp Nama, beat prisoners with rifle butts, yelled and spit in their faces, and used detainees for target practice in a game of jailer paintball.

From 2006 through 2007, Nouri's Shi'ite thugs conducted genocide that the press has more popularly termed a "civil war" -- as if one group of government backed, government supplied, government trained fighters is the same as a rag-tag band. It was genocide. The Iraqi ambassador to the US, Samir Sumaida'ie is deep in denial and hopes you are too. He writes to the Washington Post to insist there was never even a "civil war" and, sounding like the Spirit Bunny in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, adds that calling the Shi'ite dominated government in Iraq "Shi'ite dominated" is offensive. The truth is offensive to Samir. He proposes that people say "National Unity Government" but it's not national unity and, dumb ass, that's why the non-stop violence continues. Doesn't the Iraqi ambassador to the US have anything better to do than write ignorant letters to the editor?

Samir's as laughable as Rod Nordland in today's New York Times claiming to see omens. Forty years ago, a reporter who claimed to see 'portents' wouldn't have just been laughed out of the business, he (or she) would have gotten their ass kicked by their peers who understood reporting to be based on the facts. (And Nordland will attempt to hide behind Iraqis with that criticism. He's the reporter he decides what makes it into a story. He embarrassed himself. Not the paper, though. The New York Times has made itself a joke in too many ways for any one reporter to embarrass at this late date.)

New content at Third:

Truest statement of the week
Truest statement of the week II
A note to our readers
Editorial: The Non-Working Barack Obama
TV: According to Ava and C.I.
The music and book roundtable
Shame on Dennis Loo
Cindy Sheehan to protest War Mongering President

Isaiah's latest goes up after this and Pru notes this from Great Britian's Socialist Worker:

This article should be read after: » Afghanistan: British army chief admits there will be five more years of hell
Wife of soldier who refuses to fight speaks out
Clare Glenton’s husband, Joe, is a British soldier who has refused to return to fight in Afghanistan and is being charged with desertion. Clare spoke to Socialist Worker:
‘Joe’s stand is relevant to what is happening now—to what things are really like for troops in Afghanistan.
The recent deaths in Afghanistan show that the situation isn’t getting any better. I am not only referring to our soldiers. Many innocent Afghans are being killed too.
I was against this war from the start, but meeting Joe and going through this with him has made me read more into the situation and gain a deeper understanding of what is happening. All the troops should come home—there is no reason to keep them there.
I used to think the army could be helpful. Joe went out to Afghanistan with the intention of helping the people. But the soldiers there aren’t helping people.
When you look at the real situation in the country, the poverty, the appalling conditions people live in, and little access to healthcare,
I don’t believe we’re doing what the government said they set out to do.
There is no reconstruction happening. It is just young lads dying, which is tragic.
And the soldiers coming back now have had a really tough time. I think people need to look at what’s happening in Afghanistan and do what they think is right according to their conscience.
Joe is in barracks now during the week. He will have another preliminary hearing in two weeks, and then his trial will start.
All the support he’s been getting means so much to him. I hope people will keep that going.’
The following should be read alongside this article: »
Afghanistan: British army chief admits there will be five more years of hell» Afghan elections are a sham under occupaton» Stop the war activists prepare for new demo» Solider's mum: 'Gordon Brown has blood on his hands'» Sorrow and anger in Wootton Basset as dead soldiers return
Email messages of support to Joe and Clare Glenton at
© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.
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