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 4412. Tonight? 4412.
Patty Cockburn tells us the war is over. Of course it's not. It did end for approximately 50 Sunnis today. Ernesto Londono (Washington Post) reports, "Two suicide bombings targeting members of local guard forces killed at least 48 people Sunday and heightened concern about the future of the groups as the number of U.S. troops in the country is reduced." Ned Parker and Usama Redha (Los Angeles Times) add, "The two bombers blew themselves up as Awakening movement fighters approached to question the pair, who were standing outside the Iraqi army base in Radwaniya, witnesses and security officials said. At least 42 people were killed in the attack southwest of Baghdad that officials said was carried out by two mentally disabled men. Farther west, Awakening members were assaulted by a gunman who opened fire on their headquarters in the town of Qaim near the Syrian border. After being wounded, the gunman detonated explosives strapped to his body, killing four of the Awakening members, security officials said." Sahwa, "Awakenings" and "Sons Of Iraq" are some of the names. BBC News offers a fact sheet here. Please note, despite what the BBC says, Sahwa were apparently not all Sunnis. According to Gen David Petraeus when he testified before Congress in April 2008, there were some Shi'ites as well. For example, from the April 8, 2008 snapshot:
We can go over that repeatedly. Petraeus appeared several times before Congress that week, we attended the hearings and reported on all of them. Petraeus did not fumble, did not stumble when making the assertion that Shia were also part of the Sahwa. Not only did no member of ever Congress ever question him on it, but over two years later the press never has either. Since he was testifying before Congress and since no one has ever questioned his assertion (made more than once in the April hearings), we'll assume he was telling the truth.
From that day's snapshot we'll note Senator Barbara Boxer as well to provide more information on Sahwa:
Despite repeated announcements by the US government -- which the press dutifuly repeated without verifying -- the US government continued payment of some Sahwa well into 2010. These days, most wait and wait for Nouri to pay them. Most complain that the payments are two or three months behind.
Remember, the Sahwa is the 'answer' Petraeus is currently pushing in Afghanistan.
In other violence today . . .
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad sticky bombing claimed 1 life and injured three people, a Baghdad roadside bombing wounded two people, and, dropping back to yesterday, another claimed Sahwa member Amir Kathim
Reuters notes 1 Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Kirkuk.
Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com) observes, "Today’s attack is just the latest in a string of high profile attacks that have killed hundreds this month, suggesting that the relative calm of June is the exception, rather than the rule, and that the several months prior of rising violence is a trend that is continuing into the sweltering Iraqi summer."
New content at Third:
- Truest statement of the week
- A note to our readers
- Editorial: She broke no law
- Of stupidity and NPR (Ava and C.I.)
- TV: Middle?
- Ty's Corner
- Kids Korner
- Joan Rivers spews more hatred
- Was it all about gender? (Ava and C.I.)
- Hypocrisy, thy name is vanden Heuvel
Isaiah's latest goes up after this and Pru notes Sian Ruddick's "Anti-war soldier Joe Glenton is released from military prison" (Great Britian's Socialist Worker):
Joe Glenton, the British soldier who refused to fight in Afghanistan, was released from military prison on Monday after serving four months for going absent without leave (Awol).
He walked out of the gates of the prison in Colchester to cheers from his supporters. His wife Clare and his mother Sue were with him.
Joe became disillusioned with the war and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after his first tour.
Joe told Socialist Worker, “It feels absolutely fantastic to be out.
“I stand by what I did. I’d do another four months just to show them up. The other prisoners didn’t have a bad word to say to me.”
Joe and his family are calling for British troops to be pulled out of Afghanistan, as the number of deaths intensify in the country.
Sue said, “We’re celebrating Joe coming home today. But there are 314 other families who can’t celebrate and we’re very aware of that.
“They’re not going to see their loved ones again—it’s really sad. And there are going to be more tragic deaths in Afghanistan.”
Clare told Socialist Worker, “It’s really important what Joe did. He got so many letters of support inside, which shows what people really think about the war.”
Sue added, “Joe’s tapped into something. People in this country don’t think we should be in Afghanistan.
“We’re not benefiting the Afghans and it’s not benefiting our country.
“I’m really proud of Joe. Soldiers have a conscience and are still human beings.”
Joe said, “It’s got to the point where people who previously weren’t that interested have come to the conclusion that there’s something fundamentally wrong and excuses aren’t good enough any more.
“The government is completely detached from the working class lads that go to fight in these wars.
“These lads have given me massive support. Soldiers are from low-income families, working class backgrounds.
“They’re given glossy brochures about the army and it doesn’t work out like that.
“It soon becomes clear that they’re lubricating the ambitions of the people in power with their own blood.
“If the politicians are so keen to get out there and drum up jingoism then they should put their own lives on the line.
“Those guys who have died won’t have a homecoming like I have today.
“That loss is personal for me. I’ve had mates who died out there so I take it to heart.”
Joe was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder when he returned from Afghanistan. But the army refused to recognise the condition for months and bullied him instead of providing treatment.
Joe said, “Soldiers come off tour damaged physically and psychologically.
“There are a lot of cases of domestic violence, alcoholism, drugs—people come back and explode because there’s no support.
“The extent of my debrief was to be told, ‘don’t go home and beat up the wife’.
“Former soldiers are on the scrapheap with 20,000 in the justice system and who knows how many more on the streets once their use to the army is expended.
“In the economic crisis it may seem a tempting option to join the army. But I’d say don’t do it because we’re involved in something very sordid in Afghanistan.”
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and the war drags on
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mohammed al dulaimy
the socialist worker
the third estate sunday review
the world today just nuts