Saturday, December 26, 2009

And the killing continues

It is five years since Mohammed Thajeel and his friends were blown up as they played football near a marketplace in Basra, but his face is still scorch-marked and there is a heartbreakingly sad look in his eyes as he describes seeing his friends scattered around him after the blast, some dead, others without legs or arms.
"We had seen the car parked nearby, but none of us suspected anything," he said. "Now I have hardly any friends left, only three."
Today, Mohammed is a patient at a unit run by the charity Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) in Amman, Jordan, dedicated to treating victims of the war in Iraq. It is the first real help he has had since the blast.
MSF's doctors have performed an operation to relieve the crippling effect of contraction on his badly burnt left hand, while its psychologists are gently working through the flashbacks and night terrors that have plagued him ever since his friends were killed.

The above is from Margarette Driscoll and Hala Jaber's "Inside me, the screaming never stops" (Times of London) and the never-ending violence in Iraq continues. Michael Hastings (Washington Post) observes a trend for yesterday and today: "assassination attempts" targeting various leaders. For example, Lin Liyu (Xinhua) reports that "Mahmoud Hussein al-Obiedi, a Sunni chieftain, was killed in a bomb explosion outside his house in Baghdad's western suburb of Abu Ghraib, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity" today. Breaking down the violence . . .


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing which left five people wounded (three were police officers), another Baghdad roadside bombing which claimed the lives of 2 Shi'ite pilgrims (and left eight wounded), a third Baghdad roadside bombing claimed the life of a mini-bus driver and 2 passengers (six more were wounded), a Baghdad grenade attack which injured five people, a fourth Baghdad roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 pilgrim (nine were wounded), a Nineveh Province roadside bombing which targted Mohammed Taqi al-Mawla ("MP for the National Iraqi Alliance") resulting only in damages to the car, a Salahuddin Province roadside bombing wounded one person and an Anbar Province sticky bombing which claimed the life of 1 Facilities Protection Services officer. Michael Hastings (Washington Post) reports a Falluja bombing which wounded Maj Ghazi Dura and claimed the life of the major's son.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Lt Col Khelell Ibraheem was shot dead in Baghdad, and a Baghdad drive-by shooting attack on a police officer's family in which the wife was killed and the police officer was left wounded.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 corpse ("young girl") was discovered yesterday in Nineveh Province.

The pregnancy issue has been resolved, but Neal Conan (NPR's Talk of the Nation -- link has audio and transcript) did cover it on Wednesday with guests including Senator Barbara Boxer. For laughs, listen to the comments (or read them) of military 'expert' Eugene Fidell. What a moron (Fidell).

Community sites that posted yesterday and today:

Ruth posted here and thank you to Ruth for that. In addition, only one of Mike's two Friday posts is listed above, the other is "Merry Christmas, Peace on Earth."

Chelsea J. Carter (AP) reports that the US military is expressing concerns over Nouri's plans for the Sahwa ("Awakenings" or "Sons Of Iraq") and that 212 of them have been killed in the last two years.

Meanwhile in news of Barack's other wars, Bill Van Auken's "US ground attacks reported in Pakistan" (WSWS) notes:

Amid a deepening political crisis in Pakistan and growing popular unrest over US missile strikes and mercenaries, it has been revealed that over the past five years US special operations troops have conducted a number of clandestine cross-border raids into the country’s tribal areas.
These raids involved “helicopter-borne elite soldiers stealing across the border at night, and were never declared to the Pakistani government,” according to a “former NATO officer” cited in an article published Monday by the British daily Guardian.
The only publicly acknowledged incursion by US forces took place on September 3, 2008, when US Navy Seals were flown by helicopter into a village in South Waziristan, where they raided three compounds and slaughtered some 20 people. While Washington claimed those killed were Al Qaeda fighters, the Pakistani government said that the victims were all villagers and included six women and two children.

The e-mail address for this site is