Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Today's wave of attacks

Yesterday a suicide bombing in Tikrit resulted in at least 60 deaths with over one hundred-and-fifty more left injured. Today's big bombing in the Iraq War is in Baquba. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports a suicide bombing involving a vehicle attack on Baquba's Force Protection Services resulted in at least 13 deaths with seventy people left injured while, "south of Baquba," a suicide bomber possibly targeting Sadiq al-Husseini ("deputy head of Diyala's provincial council") injured al-Husseini and fourteen other people and claimed the lives of 2 people (in addition to the life of the suicide bomber). Ali al-Tuwaijri (AFP) notes the second attack took place in Ghalbiyah and "Mr al Husseini was visiting with worshippers as they gathered ahead of commemorations for Arbaeen, which marks 40 days since the anniversary of the death of the revered seventh century Shiite Imam Hussein." Of the first attack, BBC News report, "Two attackers were thought to have been involved. One stepped out of the ambulance and opened fire on guards at the entrance of the city's special security police centre before the vehicle was driven into the compound and detonated, reports said." John Leland (New York Times) notes, "The three-month gap since the last major attack, a siege on a Baghdad church that left nearly 60 people dead, demonstrates the progress made by Iraq security forces as American troops prepare to withdraw at the end of this year, said Lt. Gen. Robert W. Cone, deputy commanding general for operations of American forces in Iraq." No, it doesn't. And it's really sad if that's the best thinking the US military can do. First, it's not a three month gap -- don't they teach the brass how to count -- and second it's completely predicatable and you only have to look 2009's major attacks to see that pattern. How stupid is the brass or are they just lying for public consumption? (And if they still can't figure it out, they can start by examining the pattern of the late summer through fall 2009 attacks.)

In England on Friday, former prime minister, forever poodle and eternal War Hawk Tony Blair is set to reappear before the Iraq Inquiry to offer additional testimony after his testimony last year just didn't appear to add up.


Stop the War UK is organizing protests against War Criminal Tony Blair.

Reasons to protest when Tony Blair is recalled to give evidence to the Iraq Inquiry on 21 January:

QEII Conference Centre 8am-2pm
London SW1P 3EE

(Tube Westminster or St James's

Please publicise as widely as you can

Will Tony Blair show up smeared with bronzer as he did last year? Will he lie repeatedly and again get away with it? A lot of people will be watching. Darren Devine (Western Mail) reports on one person who will be following the testimony:

Her 24-year-old son Llywelyn Evans was the first Welsh soldier to be killed during the war with Iraq. And as the official inquiry resumes, Theresea Evans tells of her anger over ex-Attorney General Lord Goldsmith’s revelations that he had reservations when Tony Blair said we could invade Iraq without a second United Nations resolution
IT’S now almost eight years since a crowded Llandudno town centre was brought to a standstill to mourn the passing of Llywelyn Evans – the first Welsh serviceman to die in the war with Iraq.
But for his mother Theresea Evans the grief of his passing remains raw as, since the conflict began in 2003, fresh revelations on an almost weekly basis about the decision to invade have meant new pain for the bereaved.

Meanwhile Mark Hennessy (Irish Times) covers the big development out of the Inquiry's hearing yesterday, "THE HEAD of the Iraq Inquiry has expressed disappointment the inquiry cannot detail the background to the decision by former British prime minister Tony Blair to go to war in Iraq. Britain’s top civil servant has ruled the inquiry cannot publish secret notes exchanged between Mr Blair and then-US president George Bush."

And we'll close with this from Debra Sweet's "March 17-19 Iraq War Protests" (World Can't Wait):

I’m listening to an MLK speech from 1967, where King says that the United States, at that point, had committed “more war crimes than almost any other nation.”

Add 44 years of invasions, CIA-engineered coups, and occupations, from Vietnam through Afghanistan. Add the development of weapons and training for modern counter-insurgency — night vision, drones, depleted uranium, cluster bombs — means that an even higher percentage of civilians are dying and suffering in these aggressive wars the U.S. pursues.

People, it’s time to put political opposition to these wars back on the map, in a mass, visible, and determined way.

Veterans for Peace kicked off something very significant last December 16, with mass civil resistance at the White House, as Barack Obama gave his report on the war in Afghanistan. Leah Bolger, Vice President of Veterans for Peace, captured the mood in Failure to Obey a Lawful Order:

Although it is we who were treated like criminals—handcuffed, arrested and charged, we are not the ones ordering drone strikes or sending in troops. We are not the ones using illegal weapons and poisoning the earth. We are not the ones with blood on our hands. The real criminals continue unabated, shamelessly claiming that they are “making progress,” and unabashedly announcing that they plan to continue their crimes for many years to come.

The next nodal point for our efforts to STOP these wars is the anniversary of the Shock & Awe on Baghdad, March 19, 2003. A war begun on the basis of monstrous lies against a country weakened already by 15 years of sanctions, brought tremendous loss of civilian life.

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