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Old 03-26-2006, 02:28 PM   #46
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
[B]Three years today, who ever thought it would be three years

Don't hear too much about "Mission accomplished" any more do we ?
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Old 03-26-2006, 02:55 PM   #47
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http://isahaqi.chris-floyd.com/

The Sunday Times

March 26, 2006

Iraqis killed by US troops ‘on rampage’

Hala Jaber and Tony Allen-Mills, New York

Claims of atrocities by soldiers mount

THE villagers of Abu Sifa (Isahaqi) near the Iraqi town of Balad had become used to the sound of explosions at night as American forces searched the area for suspected insurgents. But one night two weeks ago Issa Harat Khalaf heard a different sound that chilled him to the bone.

Khalaf, a 33-year-old security officer guarding oil pipelines, saw a US helicopter land near his home. American soldiers stormed out of the Chinook and advanced on a house owned by Khalaf’s brother Fayez, firing as they went.

Khalaf ran from his own house and hid in a nearby grove of trees. He saw the soldiers enter his brother’s home and then heard the sound of women and children screaming.

“Then there was a lot of machinegun fire,” he said last week. After that there was the most frightening sound of all — silence, followed by explosions as the soldiers left the house.

Once the troops were gone, Khalaf and his fellow villagers began a frantic search through the ruins of his brother’s home. Abu Sifa (Isahaqi) was about to join a lengthening list of Iraqi communities claiming to have suffered from American atrocities.

According to Iraqi police, 11 bodies were pulled from the wreckage of the house, among them four women and five children aged between six months and five years. An official police report obtained by a US reporter for Knight Ridder newspapers said: “The American forces gathered the family members in one room and executed 11 people.”

The Abu Sifa (Isahaqi) deaths on March 15 were first reported last weekend on the day that Time magazine published the results of a 10-week investigation into an incident last November when US marines killed 15 civilians in their homes in the western Iraqi town of Haditha.

____

...In Abu Sifa (Isahaqi) last week, Khalaf’s account was corroborated by a neighbour, Hassan Kurdi Mahassen, who was also woken by the sound of helicopters and saw soldiers entering Fayez’s home after spraying it with such heavy fire that walls crumbled.

Mahassen said that once the soldiers had left — after apparently dropping several grenades that caused part of the house to collapse — villagers searched under the rubble “and found them all buried in one room”.

“Women and even the children were blindfolded and their hands bound. Some of their faces were totally disfigured. A lot of blood was on the floors and the walls.”

Khalaf said he had found the body of his mother Turkiya with her face unrecognisable. “She had been shot with a dumdum bullet,” he claimed.

While many allegations of US atrocities have later turned out to be exaggerated or false, the Abu Sifa (Isahaqi) incident was supported by hospital autopsy reports that said all the victims had died from bullet wounds. A local Iraqi police commander — supposedly co-operating with US forces — confirmed that the bodies had been found with their wrists tied.

____

....Last week Jalal Abdul Rahman told this newspaper about the death in January of his 12- year-old son Abdul. It was a Sunday evening and father and son were driving home after buying a new game for the boy’s PlayStation.

They were a few hundred yards from their home in the Karkh neighbourhood of Baghdad when — according to Rahman — US forces opened fire on the car, killing Abdul.

Soldiers approached the car and told Rahman he had failed to stop when ordered to do so. Rahman said he had never heard an order to stop. The soldiers searched the car and, as they departed, they threw a black body bag on the ground.

“They said, ‘This is for your son,’ and they left me there with my dead son,” he added.

Rahman claimed he had had nothing to do with the insurgency until that moment. “But this is America, the so-called guardian of humanity, and killing people for them is like drinking water. I shall go after them until I avenge the blood of my son.”

Read rest of article here.
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:43 PM   #48
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All of this makes the U.S. look great, I'm telling you.
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Old 03-27-2006, 04:18 PM   #49
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'Unit's' military expert has fighting words for Bush
By David Kronke, TV Critic



Eric Haney, a retired command sergeant major of the U.S. Army, was a founding member of Delta Force, the military's elite covert counter-terrorist unit. He culled his experiences for "Inside Delta Force" (Delta; $14), a memoir rich with harrowing stories, though in an interview, Haney declines with a shrug to estimate the number of times he was almost killed. (Perhaps the most high-profile incident that almost claimed his life was the 1980 failed rescue of the hostages in Iran.) Today, he's doing nothing nearly as dangerous: He serves as an executive producer and technical adviser for "The Unit," CBS' new hit drama based on his book, developed by playwright David Mamet. Even up against "American Idol," "The Unit" shows muscle, drawing 18 million viewers in its first two airings.
Since he has devoted his life to protecting his country in some of the world's most dangerous hot spots, you might assume Haney is sympathetic to the Bush administration's current plight in Iraq (the laudatory cover blurb on his book comes from none other than Fox's News' Bill O'Reilly). But he's also someone with close ties to the Pentagon, so he's privy to information denied the rest of us.

We recently spoke to Haney, an amiable, soft-spoken Southern gentleman, on the set of "The Unit."

Q: What's your assessment of the war in Iraq?

A: Utter debacle. But it had to be from the very first. The reasons were wrong. The reasons of this administration for taking this nation to war were not what they stated. (Army Gen.) Tommy Franks was brow-beaten and ... pursued warfare that he knew strategically was wrong in the long term. That's why he retired immediately afterward. His own staff could tell him what was going to happen afterward.

We have fomented civil war in Iraq. We have probably fomented internecine war in the Muslim world between the Shias and the Sunnis, and I think Bush may well have started the third world war, all for their own personal policies.

Q: What is the cost to our country?

A: For the first thing, our credibility is utterly zero. So we destroyed whatever credibility we had. ... And I say "we," because the American public went along with this. They voted for a second Bush administration out of fear, so fear is what they're going to have from now on.

Our military is completely consumed, so were there a real threat - thankfully, there is no real threat to the U.S. in the world, but were there one, we couldn't confront it. Right now, that may not be a bad thing, because that keeps Bush from trying something with Iran or with Venezuela.

The harm that has been done is irreparable. There are more than 2,000 American kids that have been killed. Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed ñ which no one in the U.S. really cares about those people, do
they? I never hear anybody lament that fact. It has been
a horror, and this administration has worked overtime to divert the American public's attention from it. Their lies are coming home to roost now, and it's gonna fall apart. But somebody's gonna have to clear up the aftermath and the harm that it's done just to what America stands for. It may be two or three generations in repairing.

Q: What do you make of the torture debate? Cheney ...

A: (Interrupting) That's Cheney's pursuit. The only reason anyone tortures is because they like to do it. It's about vengeance, it's about revenge, or it's about cover-up. You don't gain intelligence that way. Everyone in the world knows that. It's worse than small-minded, and look what it does.

I've argued this on Bill O'Reilly and other Fox News shows. I ask, who would you want to pay to be a torturer? Do you want someone that the American public pays to torture? He's an employee of yours. It's worse than ridiculous. It's criminal; it's utterly criminal. This administration has been masters of diverting attention away from real issues and debating the silly. Debating what constitutes torture: Mistreatment of helpless people in your power is torture, period. And (I'm saying this as) a man who has been involved in the most pointed of our activities. I know it, and all of my mates know it. You don't do it. It's an act of cowardice. I hear apologists for torture say, "Well, they do it to us." Which is a ludicrous argument. ... The Saddam Husseins of the world are not our teachers. Christ almighty, we wrote a Constitution saying what's legal and what we believed in. Now we're going to throw it away.

Q: As someone who repeatedly put your life on the line, did some of the most hair-raising things to protect your country, and to see your country behave this way, that must be ...

A: It's pretty galling. But ultimately I believe in the good and the decency of the American people, and they're starting to see what's happening and the lies that have been told. We're seeing this current house of cards start to flutter away. The American people come around. They always do.

THE UNIT

What: Action-adventure about special-ops unit.
Where: CBS (Channel 2).
When: 9 p.m. Tuesdays.
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:25 PM   #50
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I would recommend Eric Haney's book "Inside Delta Force". It offers great inside to the tactical development of the Delta Force unit.

His comments on the proper tactical use of Delta Forces in subsequent conflicts are dead on.

As for broad political statements, I'm sure you can find well experienced military officials on both sides of the isle.
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:37 PM   #51
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Add Eric Haney to the list post-retirement dissenters. They seem to be popping up in all fields of endeavour lately.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:07 PM   #52
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Every day I read about one more former supporter who's denounced the way the Bush Administration has handled this situation.
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Old 03-28-2006, 02:16 AM   #53
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US Casualties in Iraq for March have been 25, dropping consistently since the last peak of 96 in October.
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Old 03-28-2006, 02:29 AM   #54
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Life just gets worse in Iraq.... Iraqi's don't get the memo
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Old 03-28-2006, 03:16 AM   #55
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90 Iraqis Killed on Monday, Including 40 in Army Recruiting Center, Shi'is Denounce US Over Raid on Mosque

AP Headline: Shiites Denounce U.S. Over Raid

By MARIAM FAM

Associated Press Writer

Mar 27, 2006, 11:09 AM EST

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- New violence flared Monday in northern Iraq with 40 dead in a suicide bombing, while Shi'i leaders cut off political talks and denounced the United States over a weekend raid that they said killed worshippers in a mosque.

Although the United States said no mosque was attacked, Shi'is blamed the (US) military for killing 22 people Sunday. Jawad al-Maliki, a lawmaker from the United Iraqi Alliance, said the Shi'i bloc had canceled Monday's session of negotiations to form a new government because of the raid.

"We suspended today's meetings to discuss the formation of the government because of what happened at the al-Moustafa mosque," al-Maliki said, adding that the alliance was expected to decide Tuesday when to resume the talks.

President Jalal Talabani said he called U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and they decided to form an Iraqi-U.S. committee to investigate the attack.

"I will personally supervise, and we will learn who was responsible. Those who are behind this attack must be brought to justice and punished," Talabani said.

Monday's bomber struck an army recruiting center, which is in front of a joint U.S.-Iraqi military base between Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, and the ancient city of Tal Afar.

The attack shortly after noon killed 40 people and wounded 30 others - civilians and military personnel - who had gathered among a crowd of recruits for the Iraqi army, the Defense Ministry said.

The U.S. military said no American troops were hurt in the bombing and reported only 30 dead.

Iraqi army Lt. Akram Eid told The Associated Press that many of the injured were taken to the Sykes U.S. Army base on the outskirts of Tal Afar, about 40 miles west of Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city.

U.S. troops helped secure the area after the attack and treat the wounded, the U.S. military said.

In continuing sectarian violence (Shi'i-Sunni Civil War), at least 21 more bodies were found - many with nooses around their necks - and mortar and bomb attacks killed 11 people in Baghdad and other towns.

Details of a joint U.S.-Iraqi Special Operations attack in northeast Baghdad late Sunday continued to filter out, with Iraqi officials angrily disputing a U.S. account of what happened.

Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr said the Mustafa mosque was attacked with worshippers killed, while a U.S. statement said the operation focused on "a compound of several buildings and that "no mosques were entered or damaged during this operation."

The military said the joint operation "killed 16 insurgents (resistance fighters) and wounded three others during a house-to-house search on an objective with multiple structures."

"They also detained 18 other individuals, discovered a significant weapons cache and secured the release of an Iraqi being held hostage," the statement said.

Jabr angrily denounced the operation and rejected the U.S. account.

"Entering the Mustafa Shi'i mosque and killing worshippers was unjustified and a horrible violation from my point of view," Jabr said on the Al-Arabiya TV news network. "Innocent people inside the mosque offering prayer at sunset were killed."

Police said gunmen fired on the joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol from a position in the neighborhood but not from the mosque. Police and representatives of Shi'i cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who holds great sway among poor Shi'is in eastern Baghdad, said all those killed were in the complex for evening prayers and none was a gunman.

AP reporters who visited the scene Monday morning said the site of the attack was a neighborhood Shi'i mosque complex.

TV video shot Monday showed crumbling walls and disarray in a compound used as a gathering place for prayer. It was filled with religious posters and strung with banners denouncing the attack.

Other video from Sunday night showed dead male bodies with gunshot wounds on the floor of what was said by the cameraman to be the imam's living quarters, attached to mosque itself. The compound, once used by Saddam Hussein's government, consists of a political party office, the mosque and quarters for the imam.

The video showed 5.56 mm shell casings scattered on the floor. U.S. forces use that caliber ammunition. A grieving man in white Arab robes stepped among the bodies strewn across the blood-smeared floor.

Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a U.S. military spokesman, said the operation was only launched after observation of the site convinced the military it was being used as a kidnapping cell.

"In our observation of the place and the activities that were going on, it's difficult for us to consider this a place of prayer," Johnson said. "It was not identified by us as a mosque, though we certainly recognized it as a community gathering center. I think this is frankly a matter of perception."

Hundreds of people turned out for the funerals of those killed in the raid. The mourners, many carrying Iraqi flags, walked alongside coffin-laden trucks.

Baghdad Gov. Hussein Tahan said the local government had cut ties to the U.S. military and diplomatic mission "because of the cowardly attack on the al-Moustafa mosque."

In the capital, a bomb exploded in a bus headed for the Sadr City slum, killing two passengers and wounding four others, police Col. Hassan Jaloob said. The bomb had been left in a bag, he said.

A rocket that hit the headquarters of the Shi'i Fadhila party in southeast Baghdad killed seven people and wounded 13, including children, police Capt. Ali Mahdi said.

The latest violence came a day after 69 people were reported killed in one of the bloodiest 24-hour periods in weeks. Most of the dead appeared to be victims of the shadowy Sunni-Shi'i score-settling (i.e. civil war).

Thirty victims of the continuing sectarian slaughter - most of them beheaded - were found dumped on a village road north of Baghdad.

Among the 21 bodies reported Monday, nine were found in west Baghdad that were handcuffed, blindfolded and with ropes around their necks, police Lt. Akeel Fadhil said. Three bodies, of two men and a woman shot in the head, were found late Sunday in east Baghdad, police said.

At a farm east of Baghdad, the bodies of nine men kidnapped a day earlier were discovered by relatives, police said. All had been shot in the head.

Much of the recent killing is seen as the work of Shi'i militias or death squads that have infiltrated or are tolerated by police under the control of the Shi'i-dominated Interior Ministry.

In an audiotape broadcast Monday, (former Iraqi Vice President, who is still free in hiding), called for Arab leaders to back the Iraqi resistance. The tape, which Al-Jazeera television said was made by Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, appeared to be an address to the Arab League summit in Khartoum, Sudan, this week.

The voice said the Iraqi resistance is "the sole legitimate representative of the Iraqi people."

Al-Douri had been Revolutionary Command Council Vice Chairman and a longtime Saddam confidant.
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Old 03-28-2006, 10:30 PM   #56
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The sheer brutality of events is more than disturbing. "Sectarian slaughter," professional hostage-takers...what a fucking mess. I have no idea how you stay resilient in such an atmosphere. I'm guessing you don't, as some of the soldiers appear to be acting out of sheer frustration.
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Old 03-29-2006, 08:49 AM   #57
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A madness for war

By Derrick Z. Jackson, Boston Globe Columnist | March 29, 2006

President Bush said he invaded Iraq to rid the world of a madman. It is ever more clearer Bush went mad to start it.

This week, the New York Times reported on a confidential memo about a meeting between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Jan. 31, 2003. It was just before Secretary of State Colin Powell would go before the United Nations to convince the world of the planetary threat of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and ask for a second UN resolution to condemn him.

In his Feb. 5 presentation, Powell used excerpts of monitored conversations and satellite photographs to paint a picture of an Iraq where Saddam was feverishly concealing weapons of mass destruction. Powell, whose credibility lay in his image as one of the few members of the Bush team to have actually fought in war, said, ''We have first-hand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails." He said Iraq's ''sophisticated facilities" could produce enough biological agents in a single month ''to kill thousands upon thousands of people."

Powell's punch line was, ''Every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions."

But Bush already realized the sources were not panning out. According to a Times review of the entire Jan. 31 memo, written by Blair's foreign policy adviser, David Manning, it showed that ''the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq."

With no weapons, Bush talked about provoking Saddam. ''The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colors," the Times quotes the memo as saying. ''If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach."


Bush had come up with an official start date of March 10 which, according to the memo, ''was when the bombing would begin." The war actually began on March 19. The memo summarized the president as assuming, ''The air campaign would probably last four days, during which some 1,500 targets would be hit. Great care would be taken to avoid hitting innocent civilians."

Bush thought the impact of the air onslaught would ensure the early collapse of Saddam's regime. Bush thought that the air strikes ''would destroy Saddam's command and control quickly," Iraq's army would ''fold very quickly," and Saddam's Republican Guard would be ''decimated by the bombing." Bush also assumed in the rebuilding of Iraq that it was ''unlikely there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups."

Even though his growing fears about finding no weapons of mass destruction had reached the incredible point of considering fakery to make it look like Saddam started the war, Bush had the gall to go before the press on Jan. 31 after his meeting with Blair and show no doubt. A reporter asked Bush, ''Mr. President, is Secretary Powell going to provide the undeniable proof of Iraq's guilt that so many critics are calling for?"

Bush responded, ''Well, all due in modesty, I thought I did a pretty good job myself of making it clear that he's not disarming and why he should disarm. Secretary Powell will make a strong case about the danger of an armed Saddam Hussein. He will make it clear that Saddam Hussein is fooling the world, or trying to fool the world. He will make it clear that Saddam is a menace to peace in his own neighborhood. He will also talk about Al Qaeda links, links that really do portend a danger for America and for Great Britain, anybody else who loves freedom."

Powell would deliver on Bush's boast five days later, saying, ''There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. . . . With this track record, Iraqi denials of supporting terrorism take their place alongside the other Iraqi denials of weapons of mass destruction. It is all a web of lies."

The web spun by Bush has now cost the lives of 2,300 US soldiers, another 200 British and coalition soldiers, and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Iraq is closer to civil war than stability. Three years later, it is the United States that is not disarming, with Bush admitting last week that our troops will be needed there past his presidency.

We took out a madman with madness. At a minimum, there should be hearings, with Bush under oath. With any more details like this, the next step is impeachment.
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Old 03-29-2006, 11:06 AM   #58
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This special report in the UK was heartbreaking.

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12499.htm
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Old 05-11-2006, 03:24 AM   #59
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10 May 2006
HAVE 200,000 AK47S FALLEN INTO THE HANDS OF IRAQ TERRORISTS?
FEARS OVER SECRET U.S. ARMS SHIPMENT

SOME 200,000 guns the US sent to Iraqi security forces may have been smuggled to terrorists, it was feared yesterday.

The 99-tonne cache of AK47s was to have been secretly flown out from a US base in Bosnia. But the four planeloads of arms have vanished.

Orders for the deal to go ahead were given by the US Department of Defense. But the work was contracted out via a complex web of private arms traders.

And the Moldovan airline used to transport the shipment was blasted by the UN in 2003 for smuggling arms to Liberia, human rights group Amnesty has discovered.

It follows a separate probe claiming that thousands of guns meant for Iraq's police and army instead went to al-Qaeda

Amnesty chief spokesman Mike Blakemore said: "It's unbelievable that no one can account for 200,000 assault rifles. If these weapons have gone missing it's a terrifying prospect." American defence chiefs hired a US firm to take the guns, from the 90s Bosnian war, to Iraq.

But air traffic controllers in Baghdad have no record of the flights, which supposedly took off between July 2004 and July 2005. A coalition forces spokesman confirmed they had not received "any weapons from Bosnia" and added they were "not aware of any purchases for Iraq from Bosnia". Nato and US officials have already voiced fears that Bosnian arms - sold by US, British and Swiss firms - are being passed to insurgents.
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Old 05-11-2006, 12:56 PM   #60
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When did the US start shipping AK-47's?
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