Monday, October 12, 2009

Bombings continue across Iraq today

Rumors spread through Ramadi and other parts of the province about who was behind the attacks. Some suggested government officials were involved, part of the fallout from months of negotiations over creating alliances for Iraq's parliamentary elections in January. Others said that al-Qaeda was exploiting the rift between politicians ahead of the polls and blamed security forces for negligence. At least six senior security officials are running in the upcoming elections.

The above is from Uthman al-Mokhtar and Nada Bakri's "3 Bombings Target Police in Iraq: Car Blasts Kill Dozens in Capital Of Anbar Province" (Washington Post) and Billie notes the article is also here at the Dallas Morning News. They're reporting on Ramadi's bombing yesterday. Nada Bakri moves to NYT in a few months, by the way, with Anthony Shadid (they're married to one another -- moves were noted on Friday). Timothy Williams (New York Times) quotes Anbar Province's Deputy Governor Hekmet Jassim Zeidan stating, "The police commanders are not doing their job the way it should be done. We have pointed out the mistakes and failures among the police, but no one has done anything to correct the problems."

Today, Reuters notes a Baghdad car bombing left "a senior Interior Ministry officer" wounded, a Baghdad roadside bombing left four people injured, two Burhiz roadside bombings claimed 3 lives and left three injured, a third Burhiz roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 day worker and left two more injured, a Mosul home bombing injured a mother and her four children, a Mosul tailor shop bombing wounded one person and 1 person was shot dead in Mosul.

In England, the news cycle is dominated by Army abuse in Iraq. Innes Bowen (The Donal MacIntyre Show, BBC 5 live -- link has text and video) reports:

A damning High Court judgment into claims of Army abuse in Iraq has concluded that one of the Royal Military Police's (RMP) most senior figures is "a most unsatisfactory witness".
Three High Court judges ruled that RMP Deputy Provost Marshal Colonel Dudley Giles "lacked reliability" when he gave evidence to an inquiry into claims UK soldiers mistreated and murdered prisoners.
A whistleblower has told the BBC he was not surprised when he heard the judges' comments.
"I believe that I was serving in something that was party to covering up quite serious allegations of torture and murder," said the former Royal Military Policeman of his time in the corps.

Richard Norton-Taylor (Guardian) quotes the whistleblower as well:

"If you were to look back at all the serious allegations arising out of operations in Iraq, there's a catalogue of blunders, mistakes, ineptitude and the course of investigations being bent to serve the real or perceived interests of the chain of command of the army," the ex-officer said.
He said he had "absolutely no trust and confidence in anyone in the army who is saying that the number of incidents are low".
He continued: "The documentary evidence that I have seen suggests that there were hundreds of incidents over the last six or seven years and that it's of great concern that among those hundreds there will have been undoubtedly some very suspicious deaths and serious injuries that were never properly investigated."

Michael Evans (Times of London) reminds: "The Army is already facing embarrassing revelations during the public inquiry into the death of Baha Musa, the Iraqi hotel receptionist who died in British military custody after 36 hours of mistreatment in September 2003. Last week Dean Liggins, formerly of the 1st Battalion The Queen's Lancashire Regiment, which had arrested and detained Mr Musa, said that it was standard practice for detainees to be hooded, despite this having been banned in 1972. Mr Musa's head was covered in double hessian sacks for his time in custody, when temperatures reached 50C."

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Prizes" went up yesterday. I meant to note it in the other entry but couldn't believe Buffy was making such a fool of herself. It really is appalling that 'Peace Queens' spit on peace. Joan Baez and Buffy have both been called on Barack's counter-insurgency staff -- Samantha Power and Sarah Sewall being only two of the most high profile. No one who supports peace can support counter-insurgency and those old enough to remember US counter-insurgency in Vietnam and in Latin America grasp that. No fool like an old fool as Buffy and Joan demonstrate. And it's disgusting that both women -- neither of whom are Democrats -- felt the need to trash their own reputations and endorse that War Hawk Barack. They have trashed their reputations. They should be ashamed. I'm just not in the mood for their garbage.

Joan Baez needs to fall to her knees and beg for forgiveness from the people of Pakistan whom Barack's killed with remote control drones, as well as the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. And when she's done, Buffy can take a turn. Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan doesn't shy from truth telling and doesn't confuse a War Hawk with a prince of peace. At Information Clearing House, her "Peace of the Action" is posted and here's an excerpt:

I had just walked back into my hotel room yesterday after chaining myself to the White House fence and being arrested, when I saw White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, say that removing troops from Afghanistan was "not an option."
Hundreds of us were out in front of the White House as this nation is heading into the 9th year of what is the longest overt military misadventure, next to Vietnam.
Sixty-one other people were arrested with me. Organizations calling for the end to torture and for single-payer Medicare for all were in attendance, along with Vet groups and other pro-peace organizations and leaders.
When I saw such a quick response to our protest, I was angry, of course, but I was also excited. First of all, when Obama said that we had to "make him do it," I knew Obama was just blowing smoke out of his hind end, like he blows cigarette smoke out of his mouth. Secondly, I know we are being heard and I have complete realistic hope that this is the time for US in the USA to make a difference.
The anti-war, peace movement must step our efforts up and take it to the next level of severe militant resistance.
Not only is this country borrowing or printing billions of dollars each month for the military; almost one out of four of us do not have a job, or are grossly underemployed; millions of us have or will lose our homes due to foreclosure or eviction; and 1/6 of us don’t have health insurance.
The police state is getting out of control and if we don’t intensely exercise our rights immediately, we will lose them.

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timothy williams
the new york times