The present-day U.S. military qualifies by any measure as highly professional, much more so than its Cold War predecessor. Yet the purpose of today’s professionals is not to preserve peace but to fight unending wars in distant places. Intoxicated by a post-Cold War belief in its own omnipotence, the United States allowed itself to be drawn into a long series of armed conflicts, almost all of them yielding unintended consequences and imposing greater than anticipated costs. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. forces have destroyed many targets and killed many people. Only rarely, however, have they succeeded in accomplishing their assigned political purposes. . . . [F]rom our present vantage point, it becomes apparent that the “Revolution of ‘89” did not initiate a new era of history. At most, the events of that year fostered various unhelpful illusions that impeded our capacity to recognize and respond to the forces of change that actually matter.

Andrew Bacevich

Saturday, May 8, 2010

War News for Saturday, May 08, 2010

Bomb blast kills 1, wounds 5 in Russia's Northern Caucasus:

Taliban threatens new attacks in Afghanistan:

Poppy harvest ends, attacks restart in Afghanistan:

Pentagon asking Congress to hold back on generous increases in troop pay:

Reported security incidents

#1: A civilian man was killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) attached to his vehicle went off in northern Baghdad on Saturday, a local police source said. “The charge ripped through a civilian vehicle in Aden Square, al-Kadhemiya area, northern Baghdad, leaving the driver killed and causing severe damage to his vehicle,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

A bomb attached to an Iraqi soldier's car killed him in northern Baghdad, police said.

#2: Iraqi security forces killed a militant carrying a bomb in Baghdad's northern district of Adhamiya, the Baghdad security spokesman's office said.

#3: A roadside bomb exploded near a joint patrol of the Iraqi army and a government-backed militia, wounding six soldiers and three militia members, in western Baghdad on Friday, police said.

#4: Gunmen killed a police official who works in the department overseeing Baghdad security checkpoints, in front of his house in Baghdad's eastern district of Sadr City on Friday, police said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A sahwa (awakening) tribal fighter was killed and five others, including three sahwa men, wounded in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack west of Baaquba city on Friday, a local police source in Diala said. “An IED went off near a vehicle driven by a sahwa leader in a-Katoun neighborhood, (3 km) west of Baaquba, leaving him killed and five others wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Four policemen were wounded in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in al-Adhim area, north of Baaquba city, on Saturday, a local security source in Diala said. “Four policemen were injured when an IED went off near their patrol in al-Adhim, al-Khalis district, (55 km) north of Baaquba,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Abu Ghraib:
#1: A bomb attached to a car killed one and wounded two in Abu Ghraib on the western outskirts of Baghdad, police said.

Thi Qar Prv:
#1: Policemen in Thi-Qar province defused two explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) weighing 10 kilograms near the Sabba oilfield on the road between al-Nasseriya and Basra, a local security source said on Saturday. “The police received intelligence tip-offs about weird objects on the road linking Nasseriya to Basra near the Sabba oilfield, (100 km) in southern Nasseriya,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The security agencies rushed to the area and found two EFPs each weighing five kilograms and both linked to detonation wires and ready for exploding,” he said.

Sulaiman Pek:
#1: Two bombs planted in a house killed a landlord and his wife in Sulaiman Pek, 160 km (100 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Al Rashad:
#1: Gunmen opened fire at a government-backed militia checkpoint, killing three people and wounding four others in the town of Rashad, southwest of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Police in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk say gunmen have killed three members of an anti-al-Qaida militia in a drive-by shooting at a village checkpoint. A police official says gunmen opened fire from a speeding car around sunset Friday on the checkpoint in a village 28 miles (45 kilometers) south of oil-rich Kirkuk. Four people were injured.

#2: Bombs planted inside the home of a policeman in northern Iraq exploded Saturday, killing him, his mother and one other resident, a security official said. The early morning attack took place on a home in the town of Amirli, just south of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, and injured five other people.

#3: The early morning attack took place on a home in the town of Amirli, just south of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, and injured five other people.

#4: The kidnapped teenage son of a wealthy Sufi sheik was found dead Saturday, said Brig. Gen. Najimulddin Kadir, the police chief of Sulaimaniyah, a Kurdish city in northern Iraq some 50 miles (80 kilometres) east of Kirkuk. Kidnappers took 16-year-old Mohammed Tahir Said on April 27 and demanded $250,000 ransom. According to the police chief, there were complications in paying the ransom and so the kidnappers killed the boy.

#1: A man from the facility protection service department was shot down by unidentified gunmen north of Mosul city on Friday, an Iraqi police source said. “A guard who was on a leave was killed by gunmen fire while heading home in the district of Wana, (30 km) north of Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Two civilians were wounded by a stun bomb near the provincial administration building in central Mosul city on Saturday, a local police source in Ninewa said. “The bomb apparently targeted a police patrol belonging to Iraq’s Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) company on al-Jumhuriya street, central Mosul, but left two civilians slightly wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The device was planted on the main road leading to the provincial building, about 200 meters away from the main gate,” he added.

#3: Gunmen killed an off-duty policeman returning to his house in the Wana district north of Mosul on Friday, police said.

#1: The Turkish air force has struck the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, hideouts in neighbouring northern Iraq after an attack inside Turkey left two soldiers dead, the military said late Friday. "After detecting that anti-aircraft fire was opened on (Turkish) helicopters from various positions across the border, the air force fired on those positions" for an hour Friday afternoon, the army said in an online statement. "It has been observed that those positions were destroyed," it said. The operation against the PKK, which has rear bases in Iraq, began after a group of about 25 PKK members attacked a military unit near the border village of Daglica Friday morning, killing two soldiers. The statement confirmed that at least five PKK members were killed in the ensuing clashes. "Operations in the region are continuing and it is believed that the losses of the terrorists are higher," it said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A gunman was killed on Friday in a bomb blast in eastern Ramadi, a police source said. “The gunman was trying to plant the bomb in the industrial region, eastern Ramadi, when it exploded suddenly, killing him on the pot,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: At least one person was killed when a bomb exploded at a cockfight in northern Afghanistan early Saturday, police said, blaming Taliban insurgents. Dozens of people were at the fight in Kunduz province when the remote-controlled bomb exploded, provincial police chief Mohammad Razaq Yaqoubi told AFP. One person was wounded in addition to the fatality.

#2: Two women, two children and two men were killed in Charkh district of the central province of Logar after their vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb, a spokesman for Logar’s governor said.

#3: In the neighbouring province of Wardak, a roadside bomb hit the convoy of a private security company in Sayed Abad district, Shahidullah Shahid, spokesman for the provincial governor, said. There were no casualties among the convoy personnel, but a 31-year-old man was killed when the security guards opened fire on Hassan Khail village.

#3: The U.S. soldiers who were attacked were based at another small outpost in Zhari called Strong Point Lako Khel, which has been a favorite target of Taliban militants because it doesn't enjoy the same defensive hilltop position as Ghundy Ghar (in Kandahar province's Zhari district). About an hour later, militants holed up in a mud compound attacked a U.S. platoon that had set up a temporary observation post east of Ghundy Ghar, Lessman said. Over the next 30 minutes, the soldiers responded with a punishing barrage of grenades and gunfire, while Kiowa helicopters pounded the militants with rockets, sending up clouds of dust and smoke. It was unclear if there were any casualties from the two incidents.

#4: That all changed abruptly on Friday. The morning dawned with a roadside bomb attack against Afghan army troops as they traveled along the main highway that runs through Kandahar about a mile north of Ghundy Ghar,(in Kandahar province's Zhari district) said Lt. Jonathan Lessman, the commander of First Platoon. The blast triggered an intense firefight that lasted nearly 10 minutes.

#5: A joint force of Afghan and international troops killed two insurgents and detained several other militants during operations in the last 24 hours in some parts of the country, NATO said.

#6: Afghan and Western forces killed several insurgents and detained four others during a security patrol in the Marjah town of southern Helmand province on Friday, the defence ministry said.

DoD: Spc. Eric M. Finniginam

DoD: Spc. Wade A. Slack

DoD: Lance Cpl. Richard R. Penny


Dancewater said...

Iraq in Pieces

Since 2003, a million people have died in Iraq in the wake of post-invasion violence.1 Sectarian wars have torn the country apart, foreign troops have established huge military bases, and politicians who have sworn to crack down on militias have their own private armies. This once secular nation has been scarred by extremism, with terrible consequences for women, gay people and religious minorities. As Government ministries remain feeding troughs for cronyism and sectarian patronage, national reconciliation remains elusive.

With $53 billion in ‘aid’ seemingly evaporated into bloated projects that only served to line the pockets of foreign contractors and local officials, 70 per cent of Iraqis lack potable water, and unemployment hovers near 50 per cent, officially, and much more, unofficially.2,3 Today Iraq is ranked the fifth most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International. And while security has improved somewhat in the last few years, it has come at a huge cost. Sectarian cleansing has changed the character of individual neighbourhoods – divided by the now ubiquitous concrete barriers known as ‘t-walls’ – and the face of the nation. Over two million Iraqis are refugees, and almost three million internally displaced – roughly a fifth of the population. Many are simply too frightened to return, or too heartbroken by what they have survived to believe the posters that now, from every corner, promise security, electricity, jobs and even national unity.

Dancewater said...

Did You Hear the Joke About the Predator Drone That Bombed?

At the 2004 Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner, President Bush joked about searching for WMDs under Oval Office furniture. The joke backfired when parents who had lost their children fighting in Iraq said they found the joke offensive and tasteless. Senator John Kerry said Bush displayed a "stunningly cavalier" attitude toward the war and those serving in Iraq. (Video at the bottom of the article)

So it's odd that President Obama would make a crude joke about deaths that he is responsible for. But that's just what he did at the May 1 White House Correspondents Dinner. "Jonas Brothers are here, they're out there somewhere," President Obama quipped as he looked out at the packed room. Then he furrowed his brow, pretending to send a stern message to the pop band. "Sasha and Malia are huge fans, but boys, don't get any ideas. Two words for you: predator drones. You'll never see it coming."

For people in Pakistan, where most of the drones are being used, the joke lost something in translation. According to Pakistani journalist Khawar Rizvi, few Pakistanis have ever heard of the Jonas Brothers or understood the reference to the President's daughters. "But one thing we do know: There's nothing funny about predator drones," said Rizvi. "They've killed hundreds of civilians and caused so much suffering in Pakistan. And that's no laughing matter."

Dancewater said...

Talabani Calls Iran "Iraq's Real Friend"

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in a meeting with Iranian Presidential Advisor Mehdi Mostafavi reiterated that his country views Iran as its real friend.

Dancewater said...

How the US Helps al-Qaida

Ever since 9/11, American society has had the self-destructive tendency of primarily seeing jihadist terrorists as monsters intent on devouring our social experiment in human liberty and popular rule. Rather than listen to what motivates the individual terrorists that have attacked the United States here and abroad, Americans only hear a convenient narrative left over from the Bush years: "They hate our freedoms." This belief, however, is nothing more than a collective delusion that continually feeds a foreign policy destructive of our homeland security. Nothing proves this more than examining the motivations of three men who have punctured Americans' sense of security over the past year.


article does not mention the Times Square failed car bomber, who did it because of US drone bombings in Pakistan

Dancewater said...

Christian ‘doctrine’ fueled dehumanization: UNPFII report

“The first thing indigenous peoples share is the experience of having been invaded by those who treated us without compassion because they considered us to be less than human,” said Frichner, a citizen of the Onondaga Nation serving her first term on the 16-member UNPFII.

“Dehumanization leads to the second thing indigenous peoples share in common: Being treated on the basis of the belief that those who invaded our territories have a right of lordship or dominance over our existence and, therefore, have the right to take, grant, and dispose of our lands, territories, and resources without our permission or consent.”


and now those 'Christians' are doing the same to Iraqi and Afghans and Pakistanis and who-knows-where-else.

Dancewater said...

Iraqis Torturing Iraqis

Baghdad - The man looked much older than his 24 years, in part because his front teeth had been smashed, he told us, during one of his interrogation sessions in the secret prison here. His emaciated body and trembling arms were those of a fragile hospital patient rather than the fearsome terrorist the security forces had accused him of being. His psychological wounds matched his physical state: He confided that after repeatedly being sodomized with a stick and a pistol, he frequently wets his bed and has trouble sleeping.

Despite overwhelming evidence that torture was routine and systematic at a secret prison in the old Muthanna airport in West Baghdad where the young man had been held, Iraqi officials at the highest level appear to be in denial, claiming the accounts by the men who were held there are fictitious. Instead of ordering an independent inquiry, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has dismissed the torture accounts as "lies" and "a smear campaign." He told the state-run Iraqiya television that the detainees inflicted the scars on themselves "by rubbing matches on some of their body parts."

But the wounds that my colleague and I witnessed on April 26, when we interviewed 42 of the men who had been held in that place, could not have been self-inflicted. Huge scabs on their legs matched detainees' descriptions of being suspended upside down with their lower legs trapped between bars. Deep welts on their backs were consistent with cable whipping. These scars were just the beginning of the horror the men, and the evidence on their bodies, revealed.

thewiz said...


If one were to read the writings by bin Laden and Zawahiri, one would see that they have a 25 year plan to re-establish a caliphate in the Mid-East. That is to be followed by reclaiming "all lands that were once Muslim" Those lands include most of the countries of Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, all of north Africa and more.

Then the plan continues on toward the goal of establishing a "world wide caliphate." Thus they want Islam to rule the world.

They do hate us for our freedoms. They do not want freedom of religious choice. The do not want the freedoms that accompany democracy. They do not want free women. They do not want freedom for gays, atheists, women, nor even moderate Muslims.

I saw an interview by Amanpour on CNN years ago in which a Saudi said "Islam is a religion of peace." When she asked him what he meant by that he smiled and said "When all the world is Islam, there will be peace."

Try reading Zawahiri's writings like I have and then you just might understand that they hate us for our freedoms.


Dancewater said...

'Sergio' makes clear how much was lost in Iraq

Brazilian diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello died on Aug. 19, 2003, after a truck bomb exploded just outside his office at the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, leaving him to spend his last hours buried headfirst in a pile of rubble and bitter irony. De Mello, a high-ranking U.N. diplomat and internationally known "fixer," had not wanted to be in Baghdad. He took the job as U.N. Secretary General to Iraq at the behest of world leaders including then- President George W. Bush with an eye to overseeing a speedy end to the U.S. occupation. He did not support the war and was planning to issue a statement condemning the coalition for use of excessive force. He had already removed the tank and soldiers from the gate of the logistically vulnerable headquarters at the Canal Hotel because he felt their presence seemed to signal American control of the United Nations, something he most vociferously protested.

..... But the prolonged narrative of the rescue is not just dramatic, it's weighted with meaning. Had Von Zehle and Valentine been given the necessary resources, De Mello might well have been saved and, it is surmised, the course of the war in Iraq altered. Instead, De Mello became a victim of the very problem he was sent to resolve — a lack of communication, cultural understanding and resources. Though the danger to De Mello and the U.N. was clear from the get-go, there had been no preparation, and when the explosion occurred, chaos reigned for hours.

Chaos that still clearly reverberates almost seven years later.

Dancewater said...

This is a theme, a reality, that is emerging more clearly as the years of the never-ending Terror War drag on: by and large, the American people do not care about the innocent people being killed, in their names, all over the world. They don't care about "the children’s limbs hanging in trees," as war's eyewitness John Pilger puts it.

They don't care -- even as the inevitable, predictable blowback from these murderous polices comes home to roost on their own streets, the icy voice of revenge that says: "You come to our countries and kill our people; we will come to your country and kill yours." The former is considered a high and noble calling; the latter an act of unspeakable evil. That violence is not the answer -- that it only perpetuates the endless cycle of murder and vengeance that has marked our humankind since our mutation out of apehood -- is of no moment to those who see their loved ones shredded to death unjustly before their eyes.

thewiz said...

"Though the danger to De Mello and the U.N. was clear from the get-go, there had been no preparation,"

The danger was very clear. And there was preparation. It says in the very same post that De Mello removed the tanks and soldiers from the " logistically vulnerable gate in spite of warnings from all. If he had listened to reason, perhaps he would still be alive and there would be no "reverberation" from that bomb attack.

And that is a great analogy for the war as a whole. His attempt to take the soft path to peace failed. This example shows that the enemy is ruthless and the soft path does not work. The only way to deal with these extremists is through a combination of strength towards the enemy and cooperation to the moderates.

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