Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Welcome to Corksphere by Bill Corcoran

Welcome to Corksphere, a new blog created by Bill Corcoran a former reporter and columnist for a chain of newspapers in the Chicago area for 40 years.The mission of this blog will be to bring to my readers the latest stories from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which the mainstream media are not covering. We invite comments to each post presented on this website.

Bill Corcoran, host of Corksphere


The death and casualty toll from the suicide bomber on New Years Day in Iraq continues to rise. So far, as far as I can tell, there has not even been a mention of the suicide bombing on cable news stations. Figures. The Iraq War is just a distant memory with the mainstream press and the cable news industry.

Eastern Baghdad blast casualties up to 68


Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Tuesday , 01 /01 /2008 Time 9:57:29

Baghdad, Jan 1, (VOI) – Casualties from Tuesday's earlier suicide bombing attack in eastern Baghdad rose to 30 deaths and 38 wounded, an Iraqi police source said.

"Tuesday's afternoon attack by a suicide bomber who detonated his explosive belt amidst a funerary gathering in Zayouna, eastern Baghdad, jumped to 30 fatalities, including two women, and 38 others wounded," the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).Earlier in the day the police said five people were killed and 15 others wounded in an initial count of casualties from a suicide bombing attack. Later, the casualties rose to 15 deaths and 22 wounded.A security source had expected the number of casualties to go up due to "the powerful explosion and the serious condition of a number of the wounded."The suicide bomber entered the funerary gathering held inside a house in Zayouna, eastern Baghdad, off the passports department in the area, and blew himself up amidst the mourners," a security source said.Statements conflicted on the funerary gathering.The police said that the funeral was held over the death of a former Iraqi army officer but later on a security source it was held over the "a person wounded in a blast near a tunnel three days ago and died of his wounds on Monday."

Here is an example of a story you will NEVER hear about in any of the mainstream media in the United States. The U.S. media doesn't cover the Iraq war anymore, and most certainly will never cover the aftermath of the Iraq war.

More than 16,000 Iraqi civilians killed in 2007 – ministry


Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Tuesday , 01 /01 /2008 Time 9:57:29

Baghdad, Jan 1, (VOI) – Some 16,232 Iraqi civilians were killed during 2007 as a result of sectarian violence and bombing and mortar attacks, an official media source in the Iraqi health ministry said on Tuesday.

"The health ministry has accurate statistics confirming the death of 16,232 civilians during 2007. From this number 481 people were killed during December 2007 alone," the source, who refused to have his name mentioned, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI)."In November 2007 the number of deaths were 2,000," the source said, hoping "the Iraqi security forces would manage to reduce Iraqi civilian death tolls during 2008."On the military front, a statement by the U.S. forces noted that U.S. fatalities in 2007 "reached 899 soldiers, of which 21 were killed in December," compared to "December 2006 during which 112 U.S. soldiers were killed."The figure is the highest annual count of U.S. deaths since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.AE


It's always the innocent children who suffer the most in any war, and these Iraqi children are no different. They were caught in the middle of war that quickly escolated into a sectarian struggle bordering on a civil war. The casualties of Iraqi children are listed in the thousands. Here are the faces of Iraqi children.



The mainstream media has all but given up on reporting about casualties of U.S. troops in Iraq and so part of the mission of my blog is to bring my readers information on these brave young warriors who have sacrificed so much in this needless war.

Here is the latest casaulty report from Iraq:

Casualty Reports:Richard Setterstrom. 22, was blown up along a road south of Fallujah last year. His back aches, his joints are arthritic and he wears a hearing aid in his left ear. Setterstrom was first injured Dec. 12, 2005, while he and fellow members of 3rd Battalion 5th Marines were clearing houses of enemy combatants through a section of Fallujah. Setterstrom was pounding a dwelling with .50-caliber rounds when something inside exploded. A piece of shrapnel from the explosion lodged just above his right knee.“It felt like someone hit me in the kneecap with a baseball,” Setterstrom said. The piece of shrapnel remains in his leg.Setterstrom was the victim of another explosion during his second tour in Iraq, just five months after his first injury. His battalion was patrolling a major thoroughfare near the embattled city of Fallujah.Setterstrom drove a Humvee in a convoy that encountered daily IED attacks. Setterstrom said they knew who was making the IEDs: a Jordanian who was hired by the insurgency to kill as many Marines as possible. The explosion shook the ground. Fortunately for Setterstrom and his passenger, the Humvee took the brunt of the blast. But the force of the explosion beat up the two men badly. The blast tore a joint in his shoulder, pulled his spine and gave him a serious concussion.“My brain swelled up a little bit,” he said.Setterstrom still gets headaches and feels pain in his joints throughout his body as a result of the injuries suffered in the attack.

Matthew Zajack lost a leg to a roadside bomb and was sent home early. Zajack has been recovering in Texas, but was flown to Colorado Springs to greet his buddies at the end of their tour.

Marine Bjorn Steinmo, 21, said he is happy to see 2008 after being given a second chance at life this fall when he was shot in the face while on duty in Iraq. A prosthetic jaw, a few replacement teeth and some hearing loss will be the only permanent physical damage caused by a sniper's bullet that entered his right nostril and exited behind the left ear without striking his brain or a major blood vessel. On July 22, Steinmo was sitting on a roof in front of a chin-high wall in Karma, a town of about 75,000 people, nine miles outside Fallujah, when the sniper's bullet hit him. He said he has undergone four surgeries without any infections or complications. The only major surgery remaining is to his shattered jaw. Despite having a special reconstructive bar pinned to his face this fall, the jaw bone did not regenerate properly. In January, doctors will cut out a large piece of the left side, including the joint, and install the prosthetic replacement.


The mainstream media, especially FOX NEWS, has been singing the praises of the "surge" and claiming law and order has returned to most of Iraq. But has it? Not really according to this Iraq Body Count survey of deaths in Iraq.



The mainstream media has turned a deaf ear and blind eye to Iraq but the violence continues in unabated. Earlier today we posted about a suicide bomber at a funeral in Baghdad. The death toll from that attack is mounting and could go even higher.

Suicide bomber kills 30 at Iraq funeral

01 Jan 2008 15:52:55 GMT 01 Jan 2008 15:52:55 GMT ## for search indexer, do not remove
Source: Reuters
(Updates death toll)
BAGHDAD, Jan 1 (Reuters) - A suicide bomber blew himself up at a funeral in Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 30 people and wounding 38 in one of the deadliest attacks in the capital in months, police said.
Police said two women were among the dead. The funeral in Zayouna district in eastern Baghdad was being held for a man killed in a bomb attack three days earlier.
Iraq has seen a steep drop in overall violence since June, but U.S. military statistics show the number of suicide bomb attacks has risen slightly since reaching a low in October.
U.S. commanders say militants are still dispatching suicide bombers in an effort to cause mass-casualty "spectacular" attacks.


Iraq: 5 family members abducted, killed

By BRADLEY BROOKS, Associated Press Writer2 hours, 33 minutes ago


The bodies of a Sunni policeman and four of his family members were found on the outskirts of a village north of Baghdad early Tuesday, just hours after they were abducted from their home by unknown gunmen, authorities said.
The assault occurred in Diyala province, where al-Qaida in Iraq retains a presence and violence has stubbornly remained despite drops elsewhere. Extremists have long targeted Iraqi policemen and al-Qaida in Iraq has repeatedly said it will aggressively target Iraqis who join security forces.
Tuesday's attack happened on the northern outskirts of Jalula, a city with mixture of Shiite and Sunni Muslims 80 miles northeast of Baghdad.
An unknown number of gunmen attacked the policeman's home at dawn. Authorities found his body and that of his father, two brothers and a cousin about two hours later, a local policeman said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Hours later in the same province, a Shiite man and his 16-year-old son where killed in a drive-by shooting, police said. The two were standing outside their home in Tahwelah, about 19 miles east of Baqouba.
Late Monday, Iraq's government released statistics on the number of civilians and security force members it said were killed in 2007.
According to the health, defense and interior ministries, 16,232 civilians, 432 soldiers and about 1,300 Iraqi policeman died in 2007. The year before, the ministries said that 12,371 civilians, 603 soldiers and 1,224 policeman were killed by violence.


Suicide bomber kills five at Iraq funeral


A suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest targeted mourners at a funeral in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least five people and wounding 15, a police source said. The source said the casualty toll from the blast in the Zayouna neighbourhood could rise.


For some reason the link to the YOUTUBE video of the Iraq War didn't work so here it is again:



"Why do we sit around and break each others hearts" when all this is going on in Iraq.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6...h?v=6x47TY4o- Ko

This song and the accompanying images tell the story of an Iraq War that never gets seen on American television.

Bill Corcoran, site owner


Thanks to my good friend Lori Price of http://www.legitgov.org/ for information on this "breaking story."

Record level of violence in Afghanistan

By Jason Straziuso, AP Writer
Published: 01 January 2008

US military deaths, suicide bombings and opium production hit record highs in 2007. Taliban militants killed more than 925 Afghan police. But US officials insist things are looking up.
The Afghan army is assuming a larger combat role, and militants are unlikely to mount a major offensive next spring, as was feared would happen a year ago. Training for the Afghan police force is increasing.
Still, six years after the 2001 US-led invasion, violence is pervasive in wide swathes of southern Afghanistan — in Helmand, Uruzgan and Kandahar provinces — regions where the government has little presence. Militants moved into Wardak, one province south of Kabul.
Civilian deaths caused by US and NATO forces in the first half of the year rattled the government, and more foreign fighters flowed into the country.
Taliban fighters avoided head-on battles with US, NATO and Afghan army forces in 2007, resorting instead to ambushes and suicide bombings. But militants did attack the weakest of Afghan forces to devastating effect.
More than 925 Afghan policemen died in Taliban ambushes in 2007, including 16 police killed Saturday in Helmand province during an assault on a checkpoint.
"The Taliban attack who they perceive to be the most vulnerable, and in this case it's the police," said Lt. Col. Dave Johnson, a spokesman for the US troops who train Afghan police and soldiers. "They don't travel in large formations like the army does. That puts them in an area of vulnerability."
Afghanistan in 2007 saw a record level of violence that killed more than 6,500 people, including 110 US troops — the highest ever in Afghanistan — and almost 4,500 militants, according to an Associated Press count. Britain lost 41 soldiers, while Canada lost 30. Other nations lost a total of 40.
The AP count is based on figures from Western and Afghan officials and is not definitive. Afghan officials are known to exaggerate Taliban deaths, for instance, and NATO's International Security Assistance Force does not release numbers of militants it killed, meaning AP's estimate of 4,478 militants deaths could be low.



Suicide truck bomb attack kills 12 north of Baghdad

The Associated Press
Monday, December 31, 2007

BAGHDAD: A suicide bomber drove a truck rigged with explosives into a checkpoint manned by members of a U.S.-backed security volunteer group in a town north of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 12 people, police and a member of the volunteer group said.
Another three people were missing, believed blown up in the explosion in the town of Mishada, 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of the capital, on part of the main highway linking Baghdad to northern Iraq, according a police officer and Adil al-Mishhadani, a member of the volunteer group.
The groups, known as Awakening Councils and dubbed Concerned Local Citizens by the U.S. military, have been credited with helping reduce overall violence in the country by 60 percent since June. They are made up of mainly Sunni tribal fighters who turned against al-Qaida in Iraq earlier this year and are now paid a salary of US$300 (about €200) a month by the U.S. military to help provide security in their areas.
Members of the councils are increasingly becoming targets in Iraq. Last week, a new audiotape of Osama bin Laden emerged warning Iraq's Sunni Arabs against joining the Awakening Councils or participating in any unity government.

Welcome to Corksphere by Bill Corcoran

Welcome to Corksphere, a new blog created by Bill Corcoran a former reporter and columnist for a chain of newspapers in the Chicago area for 40 years.

The mission of this blog will be to bring to my readers the latest news from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which the mainstream media are not covering.

We will be presenting our first post on my blog in a just a little while and we ask you to comment and participate in a discussion about the post.

Bill Corcoran, host of Corksphere