The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Sunday, August 8, 2010

News of the Day for Sunday, August 8, 2010

A man carries a child's lifeless body from a hospital morgue the day after explosions tore through a market in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010. (AP Photo/ Nabil al-Jurani) No shortage of gruesome photos today. But this one says enough.

Reported Security Incidents


Death toll in a coordinated series of bomb attacks on a market place now stands at 43, according to BBC, with 185 injured. After some initially conflicting reports about the cause of the explosions late Saturday, it has now been confirmed that one bomb was placed under an electrical generator, while two car bombs were also used. The toll appears to be so high because of burning fuel. KUNA now gives the death toll at 45, with many people critically injured.

Babel Province

Defense Department says a U.S. soldiers has died, location unspecified, also unspecified whether the death is combat related.


Two bombs target the convoy of Nineveh province governor Atheel al-Najifi. He survives but 2 people are killed, 9 injured.

Separately, 3 police are killed in gun battles with militants. Also, a bomb in the Al-Wahda neighbourhood kills a man and injures his wife.


Roadside bomb attack on a police car in al-Kadhimiya injures 2 police and a civilian.

Also, according to Aswat al-Iraq, a bomb targeting a police car near al-Bayaa Bus Station, southwestern Baghdad, injures 2 police. And, a man is injured by a sticky bomb in al-Sinaq. A fourth bomb, in Mansoor, causes no casualties.

Saturday night, A driver is killed by a sticky bomb in al-Jihad.

Also Saturday night, two roadside bombs in al-Mahmoudiya injure 3 people, and Katyusha rocket injures 1 person in Karada.


Car bomb near al-Tawfeeq Mosque kills 2, injures 9. The explosion is connected with a robbery.

Second car bomb in a market results in an unknown number of casualties. This may be the incident reported by KUNA as happening in the nearby area of Al-Saqlawiah, in which 2 are reported killed and 10 injured.

Reuters reports a bomb attack on a police patrol that kills 2 and injures 10 or 11. This is probably the above incident.


Car bomb kills 20, injures 44. (KUNA says this happened in "the provincial city of al-Anbar," which would be Ramadi.) Death toll as reported by VoA, however, is 7.

Other News of the Day

U.S. formally hands over all combat duties to Iraqi forces at a ceremony in Abu Ghraib. I'm not sure what this means, however, since "American forces have been patrolling in a support role with their Iraqi counterparts for months and U.S. commanders say the remaining force of 50,000 at the end of this month will be enough to counter any unexpected surge in violence." I guess we just won't call that "combat."

Afghanistan Update

Two Updates: NATO now says 3 foreign fighters, at least two of them American, were killed on Saturday.

Crash of Canadian helicopter on Thursday is now ruled due to hostile fire.

One killed, 10 wounded in bomb attack on a government vehicle in Kandahar. The vehicle was carrying prison employees.

Four police killed, 1 seriously injured in a bomb attack in Herat. One of the dead police officers was a woman.

Four private security guards killed by a roadside bomb in Maidan Wardak.

Two Afghan soldiers killed, 2 injured in attack on a military vehicle in Ghazni. In a separate incident, a bomb attack on regional security headquarters injures 2 people.

Director of International Assistance Mission Dirk Frans provides some details on the slaying of 8 medical missionaries. He says robbery was in fact the likely motive. "Frans said the group had been in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, avoiding a dangerous path through Nuristan by driving through Badakhshan province, where there have been few insurgent attacks. "They were killed on their way back. They had no guns and no security because we come at the communities' invitation and they take care of us," Frans said."

Alexander Zaitchik for Alternet highlights 5 of the leaked action reports to shed some light on the daily grind of combat in Afghanistan.

Quote of the Day

The U.S. cannot keep bases unless parliament decides they will stay ... the PM cannot decide on this. He can make a proposal and parliament will decide on this. I don't want to talk about this. It's too early. We still have a year and four or five months. God willing the situation will change and the next prime minister will not have to make such a proposal.

Nuri al-Maliki


Anonymous said...

Six New Zealanders will be among thousands of volunteers taking part in a convoy organised by charity Viva Palestina to try to break Israel's economic blockade of the Gaza Strip.Israel recently eased restrictions on some consumer items entering the Palestinian territory, which is controlled by the Islamic group, Hamas....Five hundred trucks, 60 boats, and about 4000 volunteers will travel from London, Casablanca, and Doha to the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza.The captain of the New Zealand team, Roger Fowler, says he hopes the size of the convoy will exert enough pressure to get medical, educational and building supplies into Gaza.The New Zealand team will set off from London in trucks next month.

In May(lol), nine Turkish activists were killed when their flotilla - which was trying to run Israel's naval blockade of Gaza - was stormed by Israeli forces.Former New Zealand Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer was named this month as the head of a United Nations inquiry into the fatal attack.

Anonymous said...

U.N. Diplomats Inject Fresh Impetus to Peace Effort as Israel Warns that Failure Will Lead to More Fighting

Prime Minister Fouad Saniora made a tearful plea Monday for an end to the conflict in Lebanon as 69 people were killed in a blitz of air raids in one of the highest death tolls in a single day since the violence began on July 12.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said in a report that Israel's deadly attack on the Lebanese village of Qana, where 28 civilians died in an Israeli air raid, could be part of "a pattern of violations of international law" committed in the Israel-Hizbullah war.

Anonymous said...

The participants are aware of the dangers, having followed the fate of another flotilla carrying aid for Gaza that was attacked by Israel in May.

Israeli forces landed on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish vessel, killing nine activists on board. Al-Haj reminded the women to be prepared for a confrontation.

"Have blood tests in case we come under attack from Israel and you need a blood transfusion," she said. She added that organisers were going out of their way not to provoke Israel.

"We will not even bring cooking knives," she said.

Serena Shim, who is heavily pregnant, decided to join the voyage because of her belief that the blockade is unjust. "These people need aid,'' she said.

Asked how they would react to an Israeli military assault, one activist, Tania al Kayyalisaid: "We are not planning to fight or attack – but we will not leave the St Mariam."

Anonymous said...

Good Luck with the handover Iraq.

Cervantes said...

Gaza and the whole Israel-Palestine thing is only tangentially relevant, but I will not delete these comments. However, please give a link to the source material.

Anonymous said...

It is relavent to many in Iraq. America isn't the only fuck-up in their lives.

Anonymous said...

I may have been put wrong on my second post. I hit headlines and that came up with no date. Maybe it was 2006.

Anonymous said...

Google is stopping freedom of speech so it is hard to get the proper facts outside your own country.