Sunday, September 13, 2009

And the war drags on . . .

Now Vicki's phone rang again, and she rushed into the open mall to hear him better. Children's laughter from the play area resounded from the floor below. She could barely make out his words -- something about him being removed from his base, an investigation.
"An investigation on what?" Vicki asked.
He told her it was about the death of an Iraqi. "If they just know what happened out there it will be OK," he said.
Vicki Behenna was a 20-year federal prosecutor. As a mother, she wanted to hear every detail. But the attorney in her knew that he had to stop talking. If he made some terrible admission, there was no legal privilege protecting her from being called to testify.
"Don't tell me anything," she said.
For the next few weeks, in June 2008, Vicki and her husband, Scott, an FBI intelligence analyst, could barely eat or talk. They couldn't ask questions or get facts.

The above is from Joe Mozingo's "An unlikely witness provides one last hope for soldier in murder case" (Los Angeles Times) about how an Iraqi in US custody ended up dead with his body dumped in a gully or culvert. Part one ran yesterday and is "A deadly interrogation in Iraq." This story runs as AP reports KBR contractor Lucas Vinson was shot dead on Camp Speicher (US base in Iraq) and a US soldier stands accused of the shooting. Tim Cocks and Ralph Boulton (Reuters) report the unnamed US soldier has been arrested in the shooting.

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 4338 and tonight? 4343. Violence continued today.


Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing which left four people injured, 4 Kirkuk roadside bombings which claimed the life of 1 police officer and left five others injured, a Mosul roadside bombing targeting a colonel with "VIP protectiong forces" that left two of his bodyguards wounded, a Muqdadiyah car bombing which claimed 2 lives and left twelve people wounded, an Al Sadiyah roadside bombing which left three Iraqi soldiers wounded and an Al Khalis bmbing which claimed 1 life. Reuters notes a Qaiyara sticky bombing which claimed 1 life ("civil servant").


Reuters notes 1 cab driver shot dead in Mosul, an armed clash in Qaiyara ("rival tribes") which resulted in 5 deaths and, dropping back to yesterday, 5 Iraqi soldiers ("off-duty") shot dead in Baiji. Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a home invasion in which four members of a family were killed (assailants used silencers). David Rising (AP) notes the home belonged to a police officer (Sgt Omed Abdul-Hamid) who was not home and his wife and three kids were killed "execution-style" in their sleep.


Reuters notes 1 corpse discovered in Khalis ("12-year-old boy") and 1 corpse discovered in Mosul ("gunshot wounds to the head and chest") and 1 more corpse discovered in Mosul.

Alice Fordham (Telegraph of London) reports on the tensions in northern Iraq including the home invasion of the police officer's house in which the four family member swere killed. She also notes, "Mayors of 17 Kurdish towns in Nineveh have declared that the security forces are incapable of protecting the area and want to join the Kurdish region." In today's New York Times, Sam Dagher focuses on Anbar Province where the January 31st elections resulted in "a mainly tribal coaliton" being put in charge:

But extensive interviews with Anbar residents show that they see very little difference between their new government and the previous provincial council. That council, widely deemed illegitimate by many boycotting Sunnis, was accused so vehemently of corrupt and dysfunctional rule that it created fears of renewed intertribal warfare.
"They are thugs; they became politicians and now they have a lot of money," said another Anbar businessman about the province's current political leaders. He spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

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Kat's "Kat's Korner: Get Under The Covers" went up this morning, Isaiah's latest comic goes up after this. Pru notes Sian Ruddick's "Army backs off from attempt to gag anti-war soldier" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker):

Joe Glenton, a British soldier who has refused to fight in Afghanistan, last week won a major victory in his battle with the British army when it dropped key charges against him.
In addition to the original charge of desertion and intent to avoid active duty, the army wanted to charge Joe with bringing the army into disrepute.
It was this charge—centred on Joe speaking to Socialist Worker and Sky News about why he is refusing to return to Afghanistan—that was dropped on Friday of last week.
Joe and his lawyer John Tipple presented themselves for the hearing, only to be told the charge had been dropped.
Joe will now continue to speak out and expose the horrendous reality of the war in Afghanistan.
He will be speaking at the rally at the Stop the War demonstration in London on 24 October calling for all the troops to be brought home from Afghanistan.
He will now face his trial for desertion on 2 November.
Tipple told Socialist Worker, “The army know we’re going to fight them at the trial—we’ve got Tony Benn as an expert witness, as well a specialist in international law to prove the war is illegal.
“The army is frightened about the exposure the case is receiving, which is why they dropped the other charge.”
The campaign to support Joe, and soldiers like him, must now intensify.
The army and the government know how unpopular the war is and have made subtle changes to try and stop the situation from worsening for them.
One example is that the notice soldiers have to give of leaving the army has been reduced from a year to four months to prevent the number of Awol cases appearing to skyrocket.
The recession has meant a small upturn in young people joining the army. John says, “These people are just treated as cannon fodder and a way to swell the ranks when the angry and disillusioned leave.
“Army top brass talks about the problems of equipment when they should be talking about the limbs and lives that have been lost.”
Email messages of support to Joe at
© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.
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