Sunday, November 22, 2009

And the war drags on . . .

So today saw the Iraqi Parliament meet again to address the issues of the election. And? Waleed Ibrahim, Michael Christie and Janet Lawrence (Reuters) report the Parliament is still at "an impasse" and plans to take up the matter (again) tomorrow. The report includes this interesting assertion, "There are only a couple of days left for parliament to address Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi's veto of an election law, as the law must be passed 60 days before a vote and Jan. 23 is viewed by Iraq's majority Shi'ite Muslims as the last possible date in January for the ballot to take place." The press can repeat, but can they remember? Can they analyze? If you've paid attention, right about now you should be humming along to Carly Simon's "Sleight of Hand." Meanwhile, thug of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki hasn't come out with a color-coded terror chart, but like the Bully Boy who installed him, he schedules 'media events' to increase his electoral prospects. Most recently? Today saw the broadcast of excerpts of more forced confessions. To no surprise, the forced confessions said exactly what Nouri had said about the Baghdad bombings on 'Bloody Sunday'. AP rightly notes that this is Nouri's "latest anti-Ba'athist attack" and that "Al-Maliki's intensified rhetoric worsens one of Iraq's most dangerous sectarian fault lines -- one which the United States has long struggled to calm." And yet US forces remain on the ground and remain there, in part, to keep puppet Nouri installed.

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 4362. Tonight? 4365. That total includes today's announcement: "FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq -- A Multi-National Division South Soldier was killed in action, Nov. 22.
The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. The names of service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense official website at The announcements are made on the Web site no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member’s primary next of kin.The incident is under investigation."

In other reported violence . . .

Jenan Hussein (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad bombing of a music store which wounded eleven people, a Garma car bombing which claimed the lives of 7 people and left five more injured, a Al Qaem suicide car bombing which injured two police officers and a Mosul roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 child and left four people injured.

Jenan Hussein (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Karkh Criminal Dept head Talib Radad was assassinated in Baghad, the Turkmen front's Yawez Amed Hussein was assassinated in Mosul and 1 Mosul municipality employee was assassinated in Mosul.

Meanwhile Andrew Gilligan and the Telegraph of London are making news with their reporting. Gilligan summarizes "hundreds of pages of secret Government reports" regarding the Iraq War:

Tony Blair, the former prime minister, misled MPs and the public throughout 2002 when he claimed that Britain’s objective was “disarmament, not regime change” and that there had been no planning for military action. In fact, British military planning for a full invasion and regime change began in February 2002.
The need to conceal this from Parliament and all but “very small numbers” of officials “constrained” the planning process. The result was a “rushed”operation “lacking in coherence and resources” which caused “significant risk” to troops and “critical failure” in the post-war period.
Operations were so under-resourced that some troops went into action with only five bullets each. Others had to deploy to war on civilian airlines, taking their equipment as hand luggage. Some troops had weapons confiscated by airport security.
Commanders reported that the Army’s main radio system “tended to drop out at around noon each day because of the heat”. One described the supply chain as “absolutely appalling”, saying: “I know for a fact that there was one container full of skis in the desert.”
The Foreign Office unit to plan for postwar Iraq was set up only in late February, 2003, three weeks before the war started.
The plans “contained no detail once Baghdad had fallen”, causing a “notable loss of momentum” which was exploited by insurgents. Field commanders raged at Whitehall’s “appalling” and “horrifying” lack of support for reconstruction, with one top officer saying that the Government “missed a golden opportunity” to win Iraqi support. Another commander said: “It was not unlike 1750s colonialism where the military had to do everything ourselves.”

In another report, Gilligan explains, "In the papers, the British chief of staff in Iraq, Colonel J.K.Tanner, described his US military counterparts as 'a group of Martians' for whom 'dialogue is alien,' saying: 'Despite our so-called "special relationship," I reckon we were treated no differently to the Portuguese'." Richard Norton-Taylor (Guardian) adds:

Fresh evidence has emerged about how Blair misled MPs by claiming in 2002 that the goal was "disarmament, not regime change". Documents show the government wanted to hide its true intentions by informing only "very small numbers" of officials.
The documents, leaked to the Sunday Telegraph, are "post-operational reports" and "lessons learned" papers compiled by the army and its field commanders. They refer to a "rushed" operation that caused "significant risk" to troops and "critical failure" in the postwar period.

Last week, former Prime Minister and Bully Boy Bush Lap Dog Tony Blair learned that he would not be EU president. New content at Third:

Truest statement of the week
Truest statement of the week II
Truest statement of the week III
A note to our readers
Editorial: It's a power grab
TV: The excellent and the nutty
Birth questions are wrong! Sometimes!
Hypocrisy at T-Mobile
The hypocritical Congressional subcommittee
Hypocrite of the Decade: Andrew Sullivan
Hypocrisy here at Third (Dona)
Barack's a bastard (Ava and C.I.)

Isaiah's latest goes up after this. Pru highlights Mark Krantz' "Don’t let them hang Danny Fitzsimons" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker):

Over 100 people attended a meeting in Bury last Saturday to launch the Bring Danny Home Campaign.
Next Sunday, proceedings will start in Iraq that could lead to the ex-soldier from Manchester, Danny Fitzsimons, facing the death penalty. He faces a murder trial after shooting dead two other mercenaries in Iraq.
Sue Glenton, Lance Corporal Joe Glenton’s mother, spoke in support of the campaign.
ArmourGroup, the British Company that took £25 million to guard Baghdad Airport employed Danny without making proper checks on his health.
The first stage of the campaign aims to “put ArmourGroup who made $9.5 billion last year on trial”.
Campaigners have plans to picket an office of ArmourGroup, or the parent company Group Four.
© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.
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