Saturday, May 31, 2008


BAGHDAD -- A suicide bomber blew himself up at a police checkpoint west of Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least 10 people including the local police chief, an official said

The U.S. military also said an American Marine died Friday in a non-combat related incident in Iraq, pushing the number of Americans killed this month to 21 as May draws to a close.

By KIM GAMEL ; Associated Press Writer Published: May 31st, 2008 03:18 PM Updated: May 31st, 2008 03:19 PM
Fearing more attacks, authorities imposed a vehicle ban and closed all entrances to the targeted town of Hit.

The attacker detonated his explosives belt after approaching the checkpoint, which was near a bridge, at about 9 p.m., said the town's administrator, Hikmat Jubeir.

Jubeir said six policemen were among those killed, including the town's police chief Col. Khalil Ibrahim. Four civilians also were killed and 12 other people were wounded, he said.

Hit, 85 miles west of Baghdad, is in Anbar province, which was the center of the Sunni-led insurgency before local tribal leaders joined forces with the U.S. military against al-Qaida in Iraq, a key factor in a steep drop in violence nationwide.

The town itself was among a series of communities along the Euphrates River used by al-Qaida and other insurgent groups to smuggle weapons, ammunition and fighters from Syria southeast toward Baghdad.
The bombing was a grim reminder of the dangers that continue to face Iraqis despite the recent security gains.

It raised the number of Iraqis killed in May to at least 532, the lowest monthly death toll this year, according to an Associated Press tally compiled from Iraqi police and military reports.

In political developments, loyalists of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stepped up their opposition to a long-term security deal being negotiated between the Iraqi government and the United States.

Senior Sadrists, including lawmakers Falah Hassan Shanshal and Maha Adel al-Douri, met in the cleric's Sadr City office in Baghdad and called on the Iraqi government to stop the negotiations and to hold a public referendum on the issue.

Al-Sadr, the hardline Shiite cleric whose Mahdi Army militia battled U.S.-Iraqi troops in Baghdad's Sadr City district until a truce this month, also has called for a referendum along with weekly protests against the deal.

Widespread opposition among the Sadrists and other Shiite and Sunni groups has raised doubts that negotiators can meet a July target to finalize a pact to keep U.S. troops in Iraq after the current U.N. mandate expires at the end of the year.

Although U.S. officials insist they are not seeking permanent bases, suspicion runs deep among many Iraqis that the Americans want to keep at least some troops in the country for many years.

Tensions also rose when Nassar al-Rubaie, the leader of the Sadrist bloc in parliament, was stopped at a police checkpoint outside Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad.

The six-car convoy, en route from Basra to the holy city of Najaf, was held up for nearly two hours without explanation, al-Rubaie told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. He called for the government to stop harassing Sadrists and put those responsible on trial.

Police Col. Asaad Ali, the director of the Diwaniyah operations center, said police stopped the convoy because gunmen are not allowed in the city and al-Rubaie was protected by armed guards. He said a patrol was sent to safely escort the convoy on its way out of the province.
Despite the truce, the U.S. military has continued to target what it calls Iranian-backed Shiite militia factions, warning key leaders have fled to other areas as American and Iraqi forces closed in on them in Sadr City.

American troops acting on tips in eastern Baghdad on Saturday captured a suspect believed to be a key assistant to one of the fugitive militia leaders, according to a military statement. The man captured was accused of kidnapping and managing funds for the so-called special groups.


Iraq Deaths Down, but for How Long?
Iraq deaths down to lowest monthly level in 4 years, but will the trend last?
By ROBERT H. REID Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press

U.S. military deaths plunged in May to the lowest monthly level in more than four years and civilian casualties were down sharply, too, as Iraqi forces assumed the lead in offensives in three cities and a truce with Shiite extremists took hold.

But many Iraqis as well as U.S. officials and private security analysts are uncertain whether the current lull signals a long-term trend or is simply a breathing spell like so many others before.

U.S. commanders also warn the relative peace is fragile because no lasting political agreements have been reached among the Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish communities.

Talks on returning Sunnis to the government broke down this week, and tensions among rival Shiite parties remain high despite a May 11 truce that ended weeks of bloody fighting in Baghdad's Sadr City district.

Iraqis have experienced lulls in the past — notably after the January 2005 elections — only to see violence flare again.

Click here for full story:


BAGHDAD, May 30 (Reuters) - One Iraqi child was killed and two wounded on Friday when a group of children playing soccer picked up a bomb and it exploded, police said.

Reuters North American News Service

The children, aged about 5 or 6, were playing near a rubbish dump in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, when they spotted a strange object, police said.
When they picked it up, the home-made device exploded.
Relatives brought the injured children to a local hospital, where they lay in bed, bandaged and blood-spattered.


Before providing the list of cities and provinces Sen. John McCain better stay away from when he travels to Iraq to prove once again how "wonderful" things are going in Iraq, we will prove you with information of the latest US casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. Remember: Click on the part in "BLUE" and you will get additional information on each topic or death of an American.


War News for Saturday, May 31, 2008
is reporting the death of a Multi-National Force – West Marine in a non-combat related incident in Iraq on Friday, May 30th. No other details were released and the incident is under investigation.

The Washington Post is reporting the death of a coalition soldier from a suicide car bomb in the eastern Afghan Nangarhar province on Saturday, May 31st. Six other people including three civilians and three soldiers were wounded in the attack. The military has not yet confirmed the death.May 29 airpower summary:

Reported Security incidents:Baghdad:#1: U.S. forces said they captured a key "special groups" suspect in eastern Baghdad. The suspect is accused of involvement in kidnappings and managing funds for the special groups.
#2: Gunmen on a motor bike kidnapped a 10 year old girl at Zayuna neighborhood (east Baghdad).
#3: A roadside bomb was defused by the Iraqi army in the Mansour neighborhood (west Baghdad) near a restaurant .No casualties or damage were reported.
Diyala Prv:#1: Gunmen assassinated the head of the Diyala morgue, Ahmed Foad, at Al-Sada, a town northeast of Baquba.
Baquba:#1: Three civilians were killed and seven others wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near a passenger mini-bus in central Baaquba on Saturday, police said.A roadside bomb exploded at the local market in downtown Baquba near a dentists’ clinic. Two people were killed, and eight others were injured
#2: A mortar round killed a woman and wounded three people, including a child, when it landed on a house in a village just east of Baquba, police said.
Nassiriya:#1: Three rockets wounded two U.S. soldiers when they landed on their base in Nassiriya, 300 km (185 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.
Basra:#1: Gunmen killed an off-duty police officer near his home in Dair neighbourhood in north Basra, 420 km (260 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan:#1: Afghan and NATO officials say a bomb attack against a convoy of international troops has wounded four soldiers and four Afghans in eastern Afghanistan. Maj. Martin O'Donnell, a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force, confirmed the soldiers were wounded in Saturday's attack. He says it's not yet clear whether it was an improvised explosive device or a suicide car bomb. Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary says the blast in the eastern city of Jalalabad wounded four Afghans and damaged five civilian vehicles. Bashary said the attack was a suicide car bomb.
#2: An Afghan district governor for Mezan district in southern Zabul and his bodyguard were killed by unknown gunmen in Qalat, the provincial capital on Friday night, police official Abdul Matin said. He said Mohammad Younus, the district governor, was shot dead in front of his house, adding that they had started a search operation to track down the assailants, reported dpa.
#3: Canadian troops have swept through a volatile district west of Kandahar in an operation designed to ferret out nests of insurgents. The four-day swing, code-named Operation Rolling Thunder, was conducted alongside Afghan government forces. The operation saw several firefights in Zhari district, long a hotbed of Taliban activity. No Canadian casualties were reported Friday by military officials who released information about the operation. An unknown number of militants were believed killed in the operation.
#4: Unknown gunmen on Friday shot dead two local tribesmen in Shar-i-Nau area of neighbouring Afghanistan`s Paktia province. Sources said the two men identified as Syed Muhammad Ibrahim and Gulab Hussain were on way to their hometown Parachinar when armed assailants intercepted their vehicle in Shar-i-Nau area of Paktia.
#5: One Afghan soldier was killed and two others wounded when they came under fire from insurgents at a military checkpoint on Friday in Sangin District in the southern province of Helmand, the defence ministry said in a statement on Saturday.


There are few more important stories we have ever posted on this blog than this one. It shows how the Bush administration manipulated the Pentagon into a massive complex with tentacles stretching not only into Iraq and Afghanistan, but around the world.

This is a MUST READ story for all who wonder what is going to happen after the next President takes office.

How the Pentagon shapes the world
By Frida Berrigan

A full-fledged cottage industry is already focused on those who eagerly await the end of the George W Bush administration, offering calendars, magnets and t-shirts for sale as well as counters and graphics to download onto blogs and websites. But when the countdown ends and Bush vacates the Oval Office, he will leave a legacy to contend with.

Certainly, he wills to his successor a world marred by war and battered by deprivation, but perhaps his most enduring legacy is now deeply embedded in Washington-area politics - a Pentagon metastasized almost beyond recognition.

The Pentagon's massive bulk-up these past seven years will not be easily unbuilt, no matter who dons the presidential mantle on January 19, 2009. "The Pentagon" is now so much more than a five-sided building across the Potomac from Washington or even the seat of the Department of Defense. In many ways, it defies description or labeling.

Click on link to read this fascinating story


IED blast leaves 10 casualties in Baaquba

Diala - Voices of Iraq
Saturday , 31 /05 /2008 Time 4:10:24

Diala, May 31, (VOI) – Three civilians were killed and seven others wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near a passenger mini-bus in central Baaquba on Saturday, police said.

"An IED blast targeted a mini-bus near a terminal in central Baaquba, leaving three civilian passengers killed and seven others wounded," a source from Diala police, who asked not to have his name revealed, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).Baaquba, the capital of Diala province, lies 57 km northeast of Baghdad.

Friday, May 30, 2008


The hottest video in the United States is the NEW YouTube video showing Sen. John McCain, the Republican candidate for President, caught in what only can be described as a gaggle of lies if not outright "spinning" about his recent visit to IRAQ.

Watch the NEW video here:


The war in Iraq continues even though you would never know it from watching TV or reading the newspapers. This NEW video with music captures a U.S. Marine combat patrol in action.


According to all the media and to the Bush administration, the war in Iraq is nothing but a cakewalk these days but the truth of the matter there is still plenty of fighting going on and young Americans are caught right in the middle of this civil war that will go on for decades.

This Iraq War music video is graphic and captures the true feeling of war with music by Slayer-Cult.


The music asks; "What's so civil about war anyway?" The answer can be seen in the faces of the women, children and parents of Iraqis caught in the middle of a civil war in Iraq that gets so little coverage by the American media.



This video Marine snipers in Iraq is taken from a series of videos titled "Everyday is Monday."
The video shows a Marine combat patrol and snipers firing at an enemy combatant. Warning:
The language is the language of men in a war zone.


The video show US snipers in action in Iraq. Video accompanied with music by Metallica.


Diplomats from 111 nations formally adopted a landmark treaty banning cluster bombs on Friday after futile calls for participation by the weapons' biggest makers and users, particularly the United States.

By SHAWN POGATCHNIKAssociated Press Writer

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged every nation in the world to sign the painstakingly negotiated pact "without delay."

Twelve days of negotiations ended after diplomats from scores of nations delivered speeches embracing the accord. It requires signatories not to use cluster bombs, to destroy existing stockpiles within eight years, and to fund programs that clear old battlefields of dud bombs.

However, the talks did not involve the biggest makers and users of cluster bombs: the United States, Russia, China, Israel, India and Pakistan. And the pact leaves the door open for new types that could pick targets more precisely and contain self-destruct technology.


Praise for Iraq marred by suicide-bomber attacks

WORLD leaders, including UN chief Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, have hailed Iraq's "remarkable" progress in easing violence.,25197,23785281-2703,00.html

But the declaration by 100 international delegations in Stockholm was clouded yesterday after a suicide bomber smashed a police base in the north and another blew up a patrol, killing 20 people as a pro-government militia killed 15 suspected al-Qa'ida fighters.

A man wearing an explosives-packed jacket blew himself up at police headquarters in Sinjar, a town on the road to Syria from the main northern city of Mosul. A hospital source said 17 people were killed and 30 wounded.

The surge in violence came as the US military announced plans to withdraw 4000 more troops after saying violence was at a four-year low.

The US army also confirmed 115 soldiers on active duty committed suicide last year, the most in one year since records started in 1980. Nearly a thousand soldiers attempted suicide.

The spike came amid the highest US casualties in Iraq and increased violence in Afghanistan, but officials said the trend had continued into this year.


This AP story has major implications for American troops in Iraq. If the split continues between the Shiites and the Iraqi government it could mean more and more US troops are going to be targeted in the weeks and months to come.

It boggles my mind that the mainstream media doesn't consider this a major development.

BAGHDAD (AP) Tens of thousands of Shiites have taken to the streets in Baghdad and other cities to protest plans for a long-term security agreement with the United States.
The rallies after Friday prayer services are the first to follow a call by anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr for weekly protests against the deal, which could lead to a long-term American troop presence.

The Associated Press(Updated Friday, May 30, 2008, 10:58 AM)

The outcry could sharply heighten tensions over the proposal. The deal is supposed to be finished by July and replace the current U.N. mandate overseeing U.S.-led troops in Iraq.
Demonstrators in Baghdad's Sadr City district chanted "No to America! No to the occupation!" A statement from al-Sadr's office has called the negotiations "a project of humiliation for the Iraqi people."


Fox News' Bill O'Reilly has finally let MSNBC's Keith Olberman, host of "Countdown," get to him and in this video O'Reilly blows his top with former CBS newsman Bernard Goldberg and Fox News Watch panelist Jane Hall.

O'Reilly says Tim Russert, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," is nothing more than a left-wing mouthpiece and he even goes so far as to say Russert will be soft on former White House press secretary Scott McClellan when he guests on "Meet the Press" this coming Sunday.

McClellan has written a tell all book that has zoomed to the top of the best selling charts. In the book, McClellan describes how the Bush administration ignored any intelligence which would stop them in their rush to go to war with Iraq.

McClellan also feels he was lied to by Karl Rove and "Scooter" Libby over the CIA Valerie Plame case when they told him they had nothing to do with "leaking" her name to the media.

You can see Bill O'Reilly go ballistic here:


The Fever Breaks at MSNBC

Hardball host Chris Matthews admitted in a speech at Harvard’s Institute of Politics on Monday that MSNBC bosses were "basically pro-war during the war."

His remark came during a discussion of top-down editorial control at the network, which Matthews denied existed.


CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - A Marine who took pictures of Iraqi men, women and children killed by U.S. forces testified Thursday that he deleted the photos under an officer's orders and later lied repeatedly to investigators about what happened to the images.

By CHELSEA J. CARTER, Associated Press Writer Thu May 29, 9:08 PM ET

The testimony by Staff Sgt. Justin Laughner came during the court-martial of 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson, who is accused of helping cover up the Nov. 19, 2005, killings in Haditha, Iraq.

Laughner said he took the photos of the bodies hours after a roadside bomb hit a convoy, killing the driver of a Humvee and wounding two Marines.

After the bombing, investigators say, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich and a squad member shot five men by a car at the scene. Wuterich then allegedly ordered his men into several houses, where they cleared rooms with grenades and gunfire, killing the Iraqis. In all, 24 men, women and children died.

Laughner testified that Grayson told him to delete the photos. He admitted during questioning by a defense attorney that he lied to five different investigators about what happened to the photographs.

"I wasn't truthful with them because I knew I had already deleted them," he said. "I felt that I had done something wrong."

Laughner also said during cross-examination that he did not know he had been violating military law when he stored photos of the dead Iraqis on his personal laptop computer.

Four enlisted Marines were initially charged with murder in the case and four officers were charged with failing to investigate the deaths. Charges were dropped against five of the Marines but remain against Grayson, Wuterich and Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani.

All three say they are innocent. Grayson, of Springboro, Ohio, is the first to go to trial.
Grayson was not present at the scene of the killings, but is accused of obstruction of justice among other charges for allegedly ordering Laughner to delete the photographs.

Click on link above for complete story of Marine testimony.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


CNN reporter talks of pressure to be patriotic
CNN reporter says she felt pressure while at NBC News to do positive war stories

May 29, 2008 17:35 EST

CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin said Thursday she was referring to her time spent at MSNBC when she said she felt pressure not to report stories critical of the Bush administration during the time leading up to the Iraq war.

Yellin's initial comments, made during a discussion with Anderson Cooper on CNN Wednesday, shifted attention to the news media's performance following release of a critical assessment of the Bush administration by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. He wrote that Bush's strategy for selling the war was less than candid and honest.

During her CNN appearance, Yellin said the press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives to make sure the war was presented "in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president's high approval ratings."


As most people know, Vice President Dick Cheney was once the CEO of Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR which now are making huge profits supposedly providing US troops in Iraq food, water and various other services.

This shocking video which everyone should see shows GIs in Iraq talking about the abuses of Halliburton and KBR in Iraq for the troops, but also all the perks the Halliburton and KBR employees enjoy at US taxpayer's expense.

This is a video you will never see on FOX NEWS, but is a video you should not only see but tell all your friends about how Cheney's old company is shafting the American troops in Iraq and taking millions of taxpayer dollars for doing virtually nothing in Iraq.

Incidentally, it has been alleged Vice President Cheney never completely divested himself from all of his Halliburton/KBR stock and he has it in holdings outside of the United States.



Story Highlights
More soldiers killed selves in 2007 than since first Gulf War, Pentagon report says
More than 40 percent of suicides occurred stateside, report indicates
Military is set to announce the findings officially later Thursday

From Barbara StarrCNN Pentagon Correspondent

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- More U.S. soldiers committed suicide in 2007 than at any time since the first Gulf War, according to an Army study to be released later Thursday.

There were 108 suicides last year, up from 102 the year before. The 2006 figure also was itself the highest since 1990
More than two in five of the suicides came after soldiers returned home from deployments.
The military is set to announce the findings officially later Thursday. CNN obtained some statistics from the study before publication.
Watch what CNN's Barbara Starr found out »

Roughly one in four of the soldiers who killed themselves were on their first deployments, according to the study. About the same percentage killed themselves without ever having been deployed. Forty-three percent committed suicide after coming home.

The statistics cover active-duty Army troops, including National Guard and reserve soldiers. The numbers do not account for other branches of service.

There are 1,075,000 troops serving in the Army, according to the Department of Defense, comprising 525,000 on active duty, 194,000 in the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard's 356,000.

The Army recorded 87 suicides in 2005, 67 in 2004 and 79 in 2003, the year the Iraq war began. The war in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

It is difficult to compare the military suicide rate with that of the private sector because of demographic differences and overall human stress factors, officials have said.

According to a Pentagon report released last summer, the overall suicide rate for the United States was 13.4 per 100,000 people in 2006.

For all men ages 17 to 45, it was 21.1 per 100,000 people, compared with 17.8 for men in the Army.

And it was 5.46 per 100,000 for all women, compared with an Army rate of 11.3 women soldiers per 100,000.

The Army concluded in the 2007 report that the "main indicators" for the 2006 suicides were failed relationships, legal and financial problems and "occupational/operational" issues.
The "typical profile" of a soldier who commits suicide is a member of an infantry unit who kills himself with a firearm.


The mainstream media will again ignore this story as they have done every story coming out of Iraq.

Thursday 29th May, 2008
Damaging actions in Iraq and Afghanistan
Big News Thursday 29th May, 2008

At least 20 people have been killed in two suicide bombings targeting police and security forces in northern Iraq.A man in a explosives-packed jacket blew himself up at a recruitment centre in a town west of the provincial capital Mosul on the road to Syria.17 people were killed and and another 42 were wounded.A few hours earlier, a suicide bomber drove into a group of police officers and detonated his explosives in Al-Gabat, just north of Mosul.At least three people, including two policemen, were killed and 12 people were wounded.In other war news: NATO warplanes have pounded a militant compound in south-west Afghanistan, killing 30 Taliban fighters.The fighting came after after clashes that left three Afghan police and troops dead.The rebels, including Pakistani fighters, had moved the area from neighbouring Helmand.Afghan soldiers and police and troops from NATO forces surrounded their compound and started firing.In initial fighting, two Afghan soldiers and a policeman were killed and several were wounded.


Marines pass out Gospel verse to Iraqi Muslims, Iraqis say

Jamal Naji and Leila Fadel McClatchy Newspapers
last updated: May 28, 2008 08:28:57 PM

FALLUJAH, Iraq — At the western entrance to the Iraqi city of Fallujah Tuesday, Muamar Anad handed his residence badge to the U.S. Marines guarding the city.

They checked to be sure that he was a city resident, and when they were done, Anad said, a Marine slipped a coin out of his pocket and put it in his hand.

Out of fear, he accepted it, Anad said. When he was inside the city, the college student said, he looked at one side of the coin. "Where will you spend eternity?" it asked.

He flipped it over, and on the other side it read, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16."

"They are trying to convert us to Christianity," said Anad, a Sunni Muslim like most residents of this city in Anbar province. At home, he told his story, and his relatives echoed their disapproval: They'd been given the coins, too, he said.

Fallujah, the scene of a bloody U.S. offensive against Sunni insurgents in 2004, has calmed and grown less hostile to American troops since residents turned against al Qaida in Iraq, which had tried to force its brand of Islamist extremism on the population.

Now residents of the city are abuzz that some Americans whom they consider occupiers are also acting as Christian missionaries. Residents said some Marines at the western entrance to their city have been passing out the coins for two days in what they call a "humiliating" attempt to convert them to Christianity.

In the markets, people crowded around men with the coins, passing them to each other and asking in surprise, "Have you seen this?"

Click here to read full story


The cost of carrying on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have not only stretched the military personnel to the breaking point, but the Army and Marines are in dire need of more money to keep "fighting" and they want the Pentagon to take money from the Navy and Air Force budget and allocate it to the Marines and Army.

DoD asks to transfer $9.7 billion to Army and Marines

By William H. McMichael - Staff writerPosted : Wednesday May 28, 2008 18:48:29 EDT

The Pentagon, still lacking more than $100 billion it has long requested to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through September, asked Congress Tuesday for permission to transfer $9.7 billion to the Army and other agencies from the Navy and Air Force budgets as a stopgap measure.
If lawmakers do not take action on a new wartime supplemental spending request by June 9, the Pentagon said the Army, bearing the lion’s share of war burdens, will run out of money to pay its soldiers by June 15.
And even if the $9.7 billion reprogramming request is granted, the Pentagon said the money will fund only another few weeks of overall operations. Failure to pass the entire $108.1 billion supplemental request by mid-July, officials said, will exhaust all remaining military personnel and operations funding by late July and leave the department unable to meet both military and civilian payroll.


Five Years After Mission Accomplished, Iraqis "Dream of the End of the Occupation"

By Dahr Jamail and Ahmed Ali, IPS News
Posted on May 28, 2008, Printed on May 28, 2008

BAQUBA -- After more than five years of U.S. occupation, the very dreams of the people of Baquba have changed. For a start, they are no longer about the future.

Today, a shower is a dream. Or that the electricity supply continues just that little bit longer.

"These needs are very trivial for people of other countries," 43-year-old political leader Saad Tahir told IPS. "But in Iraq, people dream more of these things than of some ambition or success."

Abdullah Mahdi, a retired 51-year-old trader, says he dreams only of electricity.

"Like millions here, I hope supply gets better to help us to sleep in this hot summer," Mahdi told IPS. "We have been suffering from this problem since the 1991 Kuwait war, and this current occupation only made things worse."

Others dream of freedom of movement. "I dream of traveling among the Iraqi provinces freely and safely," a local resident said. "For more than two years now, I have not traveled to any province of my country." Lack of security means Iraqis can rarely travel even to a neighboring area.

Children also seem to have begun to dream differently.

"I dream of a playground in which I and my friends can play freely and at any time," 11-year-old Luay Amjad told IPS. Children are not allowed to play just anywhere for fear of unexploded bombs, haphazard firing, and a general fear of the Iraqi military. Many children in Baquba and other districts of Diyala province have been kidnapped.

"All families wish to see their children safe, and then enjoying their time," said a young father. "We know that they currently live in a very closed world. But we put pressure on our children for their own safety. Streets are dangerous, and even gardens may sometimes be dangerous."

Click on link to read full account.


U.S. Confirmed Deaths Reported Deaths:
4084 Confirmed Deaths:
4084 Pending Confirmation:
0 DoD Confirmation List

Latest Coalition Fatalities
Source: (Click on BLUE for more details of each GIs death)

05/28/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Sgt. 1st Class Jason F. Dene, 37, of Castleton, Vt., died May 25 in Baghdad, Iraq, from injuries suffered in a non-combat related incident on May 24. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team...

05/27/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Sgt. Frank J. Gasper, 25, of Merced, Calif., died May 25 in Najaf, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group, Fort Carson, Colo.

05/27/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Sgt. Blake W. Evans, 24, of Rockford, Ill., died May 25 in Al Jazeera Desert, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment...

05/27/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Pfc. Kyle P. Norris, 22, of Zanesville, Ohio, died May 23 in Balad, Iraq, from wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device during a patrol May 22 in Jurf as Sakhr, Iraq. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Iraq's Sadr calls for protest against U.S. forces on Friday

REUTERSReuters North American News Service
May 27, 2008 13:11 EST

BAGHDAD, May 27 (Reuters) - Anti-American Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called for a mass protest on Friday against negotiations between Washington and Baghdad on keeping U.S. troops in the country beyond 2008.

"We invite Iraqis to join us for a mass demonstration after Friday prayers unless the government cancels this agreement," Sadr said in a statement issued by his office in the holy Shi'ite city of Najaf on Tuesday.

He said the protests would continue nationwide until the government agreed to hold a referendum on the continued U.S. presence. Sadr pulled his bloc out of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government last year in protest at his refusal to negotiate a timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal.

Sadr called for a million-strong march against the U.S. presence in April but later called it off for security reasons.

Click on this link


When Vice President Dick Cheney was head of Halliburton one of the companies biggest subsidaries was KBR, Kellogg, Brown and Root, who has million dollar contracts to provide systems and services for American troops in Iraq.

KBR installed a shower at an Iraq Army base and a Green Beret was electrocuted when it was found KBR failed to ground the electricity leading to the shower.

Green Beret electrocuted in shower on Iraq base

Story Highlights
At least 12 U.S. troops have been electrocuted in Iraq from wiring problems
Ryan Maseth, 24, died January 2 while taking a shower on base
"I truly couldn't believe he would be electrocuted," his mom says
Defense Department inspector general, Congress launch investigation

By Abbie Boudreau and Scott BronsteinCNN Special Investigations Unit

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- A highly decorated Green Beret, Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth died a painful death in Iraq this year. He died not on the battlefield. He died in what should have been one of the safest spots in Iraq: on a U.S. base, in his bathroom.

The water pump was not properly grounded, and when he turned on the shower, a jolt of electricity shot through his body and electrocuted him January 2.

The next day, Cheryl Harris was informed of his death. A mother of three sons serving in Iraq, she had feared such news might come one day.

"I did ask exactly, 'How did Ryan die? What happened to him?' And he had told me that Ryan was electrocuted," she said.

Her reaction was disbelief. "I truly couldn't believe he would be electrocuted ... in the shower," she said.

Maseth, 24, was not the first. At least 12 U.S. troops have been electrocuted in
Iraq since the start of the war in 2003, according to military and government officials. Watch mom describe horror, heartbreak over son's electrocution »

In fact, the Army issued a bulletin in 2004 warning that electrocution was "growing at an alarming rate." It said five soldiers died that year by electrocution, with improper grounding the likely culprit in each case.

The Army bulletin detailed one soldier's death in a shower -- eerily similar to Maseth's case -- that said he was found "lying on a shower room floor with burn marks on his body."
Maseth's mother says the Army was not immediately forthcoming with details about her son's death.

At one point, she says, the Army told her he had a small appliance with him in the shower on his base, a former palace complex near the Baghdad airport.

"It just created so much doubt, and I know Ryan, I know Ryan, I know how he was trained, I know that he would not have been in a shower with a small appliance and electrocuted himself," she said. Watch "I can't make sense around Ryan's death" »

The Army refused to answer CNN's questions about the case, citing pending litigation by Maseth's family.

Maseth's mother says she pressed the military for answers, eventually uncovering more details about her son's electrocution. The surging current left burn marks across his body, even singeing his hair. Army reports show that he probably suffered a long, painful death.

Fellow soldiers had to break down the door to help, said Patrick Cavanaugh, an attorney for Maseth's parents.

Click on this link for full story


The mainstream media continues to "spike" any story reflecting on the deteriorating conditions in Iraq. The mainstream media in the United States can no longer be trusted to give Americans information on the spiraling out of control violence in Anbar and now other provinces in Iraq.

It was only a few months ago, President Bush, General Petraeus and FOX NEWS were shouting from the rooftops about how "the surge" had brought peace and quiet to Anbar Province.

That has all gone down the drain now and Anbar is falling apart. The violence is spreading to other provinces as Iraq heads into the blistering summer months with one province after another feeling "the surge," only this time "the surge" is the "the surge" of violence by insurgents, Al Qaeda and the Mehdi Army all who HATE the United States.

Editorial comment by BILL CORCORAN, editor of CORKSPHERE.

Is Diyala Heating Up, or is This Business as Usual?

by: Chris LeJeune
Wed May 28, 2008 at 12:36:22 PM EDT

A number of different stories over the past few days suggest that Anbar might not be the only province starting to heat up.

Security authorities released 160 detainees from Iraqi detention centers through the Diala police department after proving that they were not involved in any criminal acts, the chief of local police said on Wednesday morning.

"The Diala police freed 160 detainees from the Bucca detention center in Basra and Karkoush jail in Baladruz after they had been proven not guilty of involvement in any crime," General Ghanem al-Qureshi told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI). "The total number of detainees released as of January 2008 until now reached 1,435," the general explained.

Detainee release has been happening across Iraq for several years now, and by itself does not seem to point to any increase in violence. However, that story was from today, and was followed by a number of other stories also released in the last 72 hours.

"An explosive charge detonated, this morning, in al-Khwelis village near Ba'aquba, killing a civilian and wounding another,"

Two civilians were killed and a third was wounded on Wednesday as a roadside bomb exploded in Diala province, central Iraq, a local official source said.

Both of those attacks were from today, this was from yesterday:
At least
an Iraqi soldier was killed and another wounded on Tuesday morning as gunmen attacked a checkpoint in Diala, central Iraq, a police source said. "Gunmen, believed to be from Qaeda Organization, launched an attack on a checkpoint manned by Iraqi troops in Hibhib district, killing a soldier and wounding another,"

Even the livestock isn't safe:
Four shepherds disappeared along with their livestock on Monday in the desert areas in southwest Baaquba, an official security source said. "Four herdsmen disappeared today in the desert area in Baladruz, southwest of Baaquba," "Their families informed security authorities of their disappearance along with scores of livestock," Ba'aquba, the capital of Diyala, lies 57 km northeast of Baghdad.

So, is this normal for Diyala province, or a sign of change? Could this be related to the detainee releases, or AQI moving from one area into another?


Over 7,500 police members sacked this year- official

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 28 /05 /2008 Time 6:56:59

Baghdad, May 28, (VOI) – The Iraqi Ministry of Interior dismissed more than 7,500 police members from their positions in 2008, a senior under-secretary of state at the Ministry said on Wednesday, citing absence, negligence, and corruption as the main reasons behind the sacking.


The mainstream media and especially FOX NEWS, the parrot of the Bush White House, continue to say violence is down in Iraq and yet every single day we bring readers of this blog reports from Iraq on how violence continues at an alarming rate and there are more deaths of US troops and coalition forces.

According to former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's new book, the mainstream media was "in the tank" for the Bush administration in the run up to the Iraq war, and judging by how the mainstream media continues to ignore the violence in Iraq and takes Pentagon handouts as the Gospel Truth about Iraq, the mainstream media is still in Bush's hip pocket.

War News for Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Xinhuanet is reporting the death of a ISAF soldier in an explosion in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, May 28th. Four other soldiers were wounded in the attack. Here's NATO statement.The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreleased by CENTCOM. Sgt. Frank J. Gasper died in an IED explosion in Najaf, Iraq on Sunday, May 25th. No other details were released.

The DoD is reporting a second new death previously unreported by CENTCOM. Sgt. Blake W. Evans died in an IED attack in the Al Jazeera Desert, Iraq on Sunday, May 25th. No other details were released.Reported

Security incidents:Baghdad:#1: Fighting between U.S. troops and militant forces in Baghdad's Sadr City killed five people and wounded eight, Iraq's Interior Ministry said Wednesday. The fighting occurred in Sadr City's Fadhailiya district, scene of several clashes between U.S.- and Iraqi-led forces and supporters of rebel Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, CNN reported.#2: Iraq's largest Sunni Arab political bloc has suspended talks on ending its boycott of the Shiite-led government due to a dispute over which positions it would assume, the head of the bloc said Wednesday.#3: In violence Wednesday, sporadic gunbattles broke out in a Shiite stronghold in southeastern Baghdad as detentions and raids against al-Sadr's followers continue to strain a truce that ended nearly two months of fierce clashes in the capital. Iraqi police officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information, said three civilians were killed and five others wounded in the fighting that broke out about 6 a.m.#4: A roadside bomb also struck a car in the Qara Taba district, northeast of Baghdad, killing a farmer and his son, local official Serwan Shukr said.#5: Around 9am, police found 4 dead bodies in Ubaidi neighborhood after being informed by the American troops.#6: Around noon, a roadside bomb targeted a police patrol at Diyala bridge neighborhood.6 people were injured including 2 policemen.#7: Around 12:30 pm, a mortar hit the ministry of planning building. No casualties recorded.Diyala Prv:#1: A father and a son were killed Wednesday in a bomb blast in Iraq's restive Diyala province. bomb went off on a main road linking Qura Tiba and Kafri near Baquba, 185 kilometres north-east of Baghdad, hitting a civilian vehicle, the Voices of Iraq news agency quoted a local official, Sirwan Shukr, as saying. Two passengers in the car - a father and his son - were killed and another son was injured in the blast.#2: At least a civilian was killed and one more wounded on Wednesday in a roadside bomb explosion in Diala province, central Iraq, a police source said. “An explosive charge detonated, this morning, in al-Khwelis village near Ba’aquba, killing a civilian and wounding another,” the source, who asked to be unnamed, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq.Karbala:#1: Two people were killed in clashes between Iraqi police and unidentified gunmen near the Shi'a holy city of Karbala, police said on Wednesday. Heavy fighting erupted on Tuesday evening between police and gunmen in the district of Al-Rafee, 30km from Karbala, local Police Chief General Shakir Jowdat told AFP. He said a search operation had been launched in the area. There were no further details about the identity of the attackers or their motive.Amarra:#1: An Iraqi army soldier was killed on Tuesday by unknown gunmen in central Amara city, a security source said. “Unknown armed men opened fire on an Iraqi army soldier in al-Qadissiya region, killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.Baiji:#1: Police killed seven suspected al-Qaeda militants during clashes in a village just outside the town of Baiji, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, on Tuesday and Wednesday, police said. Three policemen were wounded in the clashes.Kirkuk:#1: Deputy Chief of Kirkuk Emergency Police Forces survived unharmed an attempt on his life in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Wednesday morning, a police source said. “An explosive charge detonated, this morning, near the motorcade of Lieutenant Colonel Fuad Shewani in central Kirkuk, wounding an escort,” the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq. The source added that Shewani survived the attack unharmed.Al Anbar Prv:Fallujah:#1: A policeman was killed on Tuesday in a roadside bomb explosion targeting a police vehicle patrol in eastern Falluja, a police source said. “An explosive charge, planted on a road in al-Senaa neighborhood in eastern Falluja, went off, killing a policeman,” the source, who wished to remain anonymous, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.Garma:#1: A mob stormed the house of a member of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrol and stabbed him to death in the town of Garma, 30 km (20 miles) northwest of Baghdad, police said.Afghanistan:#1: In the eastern province of Khost, meanwhile, two suicide bombers tried to attack a US military outpost but were stopped by Afghan police at a checkpoint. Police opened fire and killed both bombers, said Gen. Mohammad Ayub, the provincial police chief. He said no one else was killed. A US spokesman said he didn't immediately have any information about the incident.Police fired on a suicide bomber who was driving a vehicle filled with explosives toward a military base with US and Afghan troops in Gurbaz district of south-eastern Khost province, said Mohammad Ayoub, provincial police chief. He said three Afghan civilians were injured in the explosion Wednesday morning.#2: In Helmand province, a suicide bomber on a motorbike targeted a police truck but missed, said Doulad Wazir, the governor's spokesman. One civilian was killed, he said.a man riding a motorbike packed with explosives detonated himself near a police vehicle in Lashkargah city, in southern Helmand province, provincial police chief Mohammad Hussain Andewal said. The blast killed the bomber and wounded two policemen and two civilians, he said.


Iraq's main Sunni bloc suspends government talks

Wisam MohammedReuters North American News Service
May 27, 2008 18:56 EST

BAGHDAD, May 28 (Reuters) - Iraq's main Sunni Arab political bloc said on Wednesday it had suspended talks to rejoin the Shi'ite-led government after a disagreement with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki over a cabinet post.

Persuading the bloc to rejoin has been a main aim of U.S. policy in Iraq and is widely seen as a vital step in reconciling the country's factions after years of conflict. Sunni Arabs have little voice in a cabinet dominated by Shi'ites and Kurds.

"We have suspended negotiations with the government and pulled out our candidates," said Salim al-Jibouri, spokesman for the Accordance Front. He said the decision was taken after Maliki objected to a candidate for a cabinet position.


BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi soldiers rounded up six teenagers in northern Iraq who were being trained, against their will, to carry out suicide bombings for al Qaeda in Iraq, the Interior Ministry said.

Troops conducting house-to-house searches in Mosul found six teens, ages 15 to 18, who were being trained to perpetrate attacks against Iraqi security forces, said ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul Karim Khalaf.

Insurgents had threatened to kill the boys or their families if they refused to comply with the training, Deputy Interior Minister Kamal Ali Hussein told reporters.

"The Saudi insurgent threatened to rape our mothers and sisters, destroy our houses and kill our fathers if we did not cooperate with him," one of the youths told The Associated Press in Mosul.

The boys were rounded up as part of the Mother of Two Springs operation targeting al Qaeda in Iraq in Mosul and Nineveh province. The offensive has netted the detentions of more than 1,300 suspects.

The teens had been trained in recent weeks, Khalaf said.

A Saudi national -- a suspected al Qaeda in Iraq operative -- had been one of their trainers, but he was believed to have died in a military operation, Khalaf said. It is not known where or when he was killed.

The group of teens included the son of a female physician, the son of a college professor and four youths who belonged to families of poor vendors.

All six boys were taught how to carry out suicide attacks with explosive belts and a date was fixed for each one of them, Hussein said, adding that Iraqi soldiers had questioned the boys.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


The Associated Press quoted Sen. John McCain claiming in an interview that he would "seize that opportunity to educate Senator [Barack] Obama along the way" if the two were to visit Iraq together, and that McCain also said that Obama "really has no experience or knowledge or judgment about the issue of Iraq." But the AP did not mention a series of claims made by McCain that raised questions about his own "knowledge" and "judgment" about Iraq, including about the safety of Baghdad neighborhoods and that Iran is training Al Qaeda.

In a May 26 article about an interview with Sen. John McCain, the Associated Press reported that McCain said that he and Sen. Barack Obama should visit Iraq together and quoted McCain claiming that he would "seize that opportunity to educate Senator Obama along the way." Reporters Liz Sidoti and Barry Massey further quoted McCain saying that Obama "really has no experience or knowledge or judgment about the issue of Iraq and he has wanted to surrender for a long time." But they did not mention statements McCain has made or actions he has taken in the past two years that raised questions about McCain's own "knowledge" and "judgment about the issue of Iraq," including claims about the safety of Baghdad neighborhoods, and his admittedly false claim -- which he made repeatedly -- that Iranian operatives are "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back."

As Media Matters for America has documented, after visiting Iraq on a fact-finding tour, McCain twice made the Iran-Al Qaeda claim to reporters during a March 18 press conference in Amman, Jordan -- one day after he made a similar claim during an interview with nationally syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt. After Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who was accompanying McCain on the trip, whispered something in his ear, McCain corrected himself, saying: "I'm sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda." As The New York Times reported on March 19, Iran is believed to be financing and training Shiite extremists in Iraq, not Al Qaeda in Iraq.
On March 26, 2007, just before another fact-finding tour to Iraq, McCain told conservative radio host William Bennett that "[t]here are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods today."

When asked about those comments the next day on CNN's The Situation Room, McCain told host Wolf Blitzer: "General [David] Petraeus goes out there almost every day in an unarmed Humvee." When confronted about his comment on the April 8, 2007, edition of CBS' 60 Minutes, McCain, then in Iraq, admitted to correspondent Scott Pelley: "There is no unarmored Humvees. Obviously, that's the case. ... Of course I'm going to misspeak and I've done it on numerous occasions, and I probably will in the future."

On April 1, 2007, as part of a Republican congressional delegation, McCain visited an open-air market in downtown Baghdad. At a press conference later that day, a reporter asked McCain about his previous statement that he "could walk through" neighborhoods in Baghdad, and McCain replied: "Yeah, I just was -- came from one. ... Things are better, and there are encouraging signs. I have been here many ... times over the years; never have I been able to drive from the airport, never have I been able to go out into the city as I was today." However, McCain later admitted during his interview with Pelley on 60 Minutes that he was provided with security during his visit to the market: "I understand why they would provide me with that security, but I can tell you, if it had been two months ago, and I'd have asked to do it, they'd have said, 'under no circumstance whatsoever.' I view that as a sign of progress." As Pelley noted, McCain was accompanied by "10 armored humvees, soldiers with rifles, and two Apache attack helicopters circling overhead." Several other media outlets also noted McCain's heavy security during the visit.

The day after McCain's Baghdad market walk, Reuters reported that "[t]he crack of shots fired by unseen snipers echoed on Monday through Baghdad's wholesale Shorja market, a day after U.S. Senator John McCain held up his visit there as one sign of improving security in Baghdad." Also, in an April 3, 2007, New York Times article headlined "McCain Wrong on Iraq Security, Merchants Say," reporter Kirk Semple wrote that a "day after members of an American Congressional delegation led by Senator John McCain pointed to their brief visit to Baghdad's central market as evidence that the new security plan for the city was working, the merchants there were incredulous about the Americans' conclusions. ... Shorja, the city's oldest and largest market, set in a sprawling labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways, has been bombed at least a half-dozen times since last summer. At least 61 people were killed and many more wounded in a three-pronged attack there on Feb. 12 involving two vehicle bombs and a roadside bomb."
From the May 26 Associated Press article:

Republican John McCain on Monday sharply criticized Democratic rival Barack Obama for not having been to Iraq since 2006, and said they should visit the war zone together.

"Look at what happened in the last two years since Senator Obama visited and declared the war lost," the GOP presidential nominee-in-waiting told The Associated Press in an interview, noting that the Illinois senator's last trip to Iraq came before the military buildup that is credited with curbing violence.

"He really has no experience or knowledge or judgment about the issue of Iraq and he has wanted to surrender for a long time," the Arizona senator added. "If there was any other issue before the American people, and you hadn't had anything to do with it in a couple of years, I think the American people would judge that very harshly."

McCain, a Navy veteran and Vietnam prisoner of war, frequently argues that he's the most qualified candidate to be a wartime commander in chief. In recent weeks, he has sought portray Obama, a first-term senator, as naive on foreign policy and not experienced enough to lead the military.

The Iraq war, which polls have shown that most of the country opposes, is shaping up to be a defining issue in the November presidential election.

Click on this link to read the rest of the story.