Saturday, March 24, 2018

At least 21 killed in violence across Iraq today

Violence never ends in Iraq.  XINHUA reports:

The Iraqi forces found the bodies of five Hashd Shaabi fighters from the Turkoman minority, who were kidnapped three hours earlier in the day by gunmen outside their base in the town of Hawijah, some 45 km southwest of Kirkuk," Captain Ahmed al-Obeidi from Hawijah police told Xinhua.
The five bodies were found handcuffed and blindfolded with bullet holes in the back of their heads, Obeidi said.
In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, Islamic State (IS) militants opened fire on a civilian car on a road in Himreen area in east of the town of Sa'diyah, some 120 km northeast of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the mayor of the town Ahmed al-Zarkoushi told Xinhua.
The attack left four people killed inside the car, including a woman and a child, and wounded two others, Zarkoushi added.

So much for Hayder al-Abadi's claim to have vanquished ISIS.  He better find something to run on with Iraqi elections just around the corner (May 12th). ALSUMARIA reports that Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr is calling for the United Nations to provide monitors to supervise Iraq's election.

AA notes the Diyala attack above but also notes the province's police captain stating 1 person died and three more were injured in bombing of "a patrol car" in Al Mansouryah and:

In addition Saladin Police Department Officer Numan al-Cuburi told Anadolu Agency that one person was killed in an attack against a military vehicle carrying Hashd al-Shaabi forces in the Iraqi city of Tikrit. Separately Baghdad Police Lieutenant Hatim al-Cabiri said that one civilian was killed after being shot by an unknown attacker in the Bub Al-Sham region located in north Baghdad. 

And SPUTNIK reports, "At least eight police officers were killed in an attack carried out by the Islamic State (IS, outlawed in Russia) terrorist group on a highway in Iraq, media reported. The incident took place on the road between Baghdad and Kirkuk, the Turkish Anadolu news agency reported Saturday citing a local police officer."  ALSUMARIA reports 1 person shot dead outside their home north of Baghdad.  That's 21 reported dead and that's just some of Saturday's violence.

This is 'liberated' Iraq according to many accounts that appeared in the US media this week.  This is a 'rebounding' Iraq.  This is what 'success' looks like.  As long as you don't look too closely or follow daily events in Iraq, you can puff your chest with pride and pretend you scored one for the Gipper.

THE DAYTONA BEACH NEWS JOURNAL remains one of the few US outlets who continues to weekly track US deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We'll note this week's Iraq count:

In operations related to Iraq, a total of 4,542 members of the U.S. military have died. Another 32,310 U.S. service personnel have been wounded in action. There were seven identifications releases by the military. All died March 15 when an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in western Iraq. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

RT explored the ongoing war this week on CROSSTALKING:

And Patrick Martin (WSWS) observed:

The impact of the war on American society has been devastating. To cite, again, the figures published by the Cost of War Project in November 2017, by the end of the current fiscal year, in September 2018, the US federal government will have spent or obligated $5.6 trillion on post-9/11 wars, the bulk of that in Iraq, including medical and disability payments to veterans for the remainder of their lives.
Moreover, since the Bush and Obama administrations financed war spending by borrowing, rather than taxing the wealthy, the federal government has incurred interest costs that will amount eventually to $8 trillion, more than the actual cost of the war. In other words, Wall Street will rake in that much in additional income from the wars it has imposed on the American people and the world.
While 4,800 US soldiers died in Iraq, the human toll goes far beyond that. An estimated one million out of the two million soldiers who had tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan have filed claims and begun receiving disability benefits, including hundreds of thousands suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.
There are other equally pernicious consequences for American society as a whole. Democratic rights have been shredded by the build-up of a national-security state that engages in mass surveillance of the entire US population, including telecommunications, the Internet and social media. The entire society has been saturated in violence, stemming not only from Iraq but from a quarter century of virtually uninterrupted military aggression, in the Middle East, Central Asia, the former Yugoslavia, Africa and—perhaps sooner rather than later—the Far East.
The effort to sustain a position of worldwide dominance out of all proportion to the actual weight of the United States in the world economy—the US spends more on the military than the next dozen countries combined—has been the driving force for drastic cutbacks in social spending, undermining education, infrastructure, healthcare and other social necessities.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated: