Friday, January 18, 2008


A top official in the Bush administration knew all along about the horrendous conditions wounded veterans were facing at veteran hospitals all across the United States and he chose to do nothing about it.
Once again, the mainstream media in the United States refuses to go near any story that puts the Bush administration in a bad light.
However, there is one blogger, Bill Corcoran, a military veteran, who has devoted his whole blog to telling the truth about what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan and with wounded veterans back in the United States.
Below is a story of more neglect on the part of the Bush administration of wounded veterans---and the shame of it all is not one media source in the United States cares.
Bill Corcoran, host of

Wounded Vets Trade One Hell for Another

By Aaron Glantz, IPS News
Posted on January 18, 2008, Printed on January 18, 2008

Last year, the United States woke up to the reality of hundreds of thousands of soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and began to grapple with what to do about it.

On Feb. 18, 2007, a headline titled "Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration at Army's Top Medical Facility" splashed across the front page of one of the nation's premier newspapers, the Washington Post. The article, which described unsafe conditions and substandard care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, began with the story of Army Specialist Jeremy Duncan, who was airlifted out of Iraq in February 2006 with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, "nearly dead from blood loss."

"Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan's room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold," the article read. "When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses."

The Post reported that patients inside Walter Reed, which lies just five miles from the White House, found it difficult to receive the care they were promised and felt they deserved.

When the story broke, politicians from both parties expressed outrage and promised solutions. Walter Reed's commander, Major General George Weightman, was fired almost immediately. Following him out the door was the Secretary of the Army, Frances Harvey.

On Mar. 6, President George W. Bush announced the formation of a bipartisan independent commission lead by former Republican Senator Bob Dole and Donna Shalala, the secretary of Health and Human Services under the Bill Clinton administration.

"It's unacceptable to me, it's unacceptable to you, it's unacceptable to our country, and it's not going to continue," Bush told the American Legion in a speech announcing the commission's formation. "My decisions have put our kids in harm's way. And I'm concerned about the fact that when they come back they don't get the full treatment they deserve."

Three weeks later, Bush paid a visit to Walter Reed, and apologized again: "I was disturbed by their accounts of what went wrong," Bush told Walter Reed's staff after a tour of the facility. "It is not right to have someone volunteer to wear our uniform and not get the best possible care. I apologize for what they went through, and we're going to fix the problem."

But the allegations raised in the Washington Post were not actually new. In February 2005, the exact same conditions had been raised in a damning series in the on-line magazine Salon. Wounded soldiers at Walter Reed, reporter Mark Benjamin wrote, are "overmedicated, forced to talk about their mothers instead of Iraq, and have to fight for disability pay. Traumatized combat vets say the Army is failing them, and after a year following more than a dozen soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital, I believe them."

Top Bush administration officials knew about Walter Reed's problems, but they had other priorities. Indeed, before the Washington Post put the facility's substandard conditions on its front page, President Bush's appointees at the Pentagon had strenuously lobbied Congress against funding military pensions, health insurance and benefits for widows of retirees. Their argument: that money spent caring for wounded soldiers and their families could be better spent on state-of-the-art military hardware or enticing new recruits to join the force.


While the mainstream media in the United States continue to hoodwink the American public about how well things are going in Iraq, there are signs that the government of Iraq is about to collapse.

The "surge" was intended to open the door to reconciliation in Iraq, but the opposite is happening. There is now a growing block of anti-U.S. politicos in Iraq who are looking for ways to oust the United States out of Iraq.

The mainstream press in the U.S. refuses to tell the American public the truth about conditions in Iraq and so you have a vast majority of the people in America actually believing things are stabilizing in Iraq.

The shame of it all is not one mainstream media source in the United States is willing to go out on a limb and tell the American public the truth about Iraq.

There is one blogger who has devoted his entire blog to the REAL conditions in Iraq and not the phony baloney put out by the Bush White House and news organizations like Fox News.

That blogger is Bill Corcoran, a military veteran, who has devoted his entire blog to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Below is the true story of what is taking place in Iraq and not the smokescreen FOX NEWS and other news organizations are feeding the American public.
Bill Corcoran, Chicago,
host of

Anti-U.S. Politicos Gain Clout in Iraq
By Robert Dreyfuss, The NationPosted on January 17, 2008, Printed on January 18, 2008

On January 13 an emerging Sunni-Shiite nationalist bloc in Iraq signed a groundbreaking agreement aimed at ending Iraq's civil war, blocking the privatization of Iraq's oil industry and checkmating the breakaway Kurdish state. It's a big step forward, and it could change the face of Iraqi politics in 2008.

For the past two years, Iraqi nationalists--opposed to the US occupation, opposed to Al Qaeda and opposed to Iran's heavyhanded influence in Iraqi affairs--have struggled to assert themselves. The nascent coalition contains the seeds of true national reconciliation in Iraq, but it has emerged independently of the United States. Unrelated to the constant American pressure on the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to meet various reconciliation "benchmarks," the new coalition is designed either to sweep Maliki out of office or force him to join it.

Enormous obstacles stand in the way of the Sunni-Shiite coalition, and Iraq is just as likely to descend into a new round of intense civil war as it is to stabilize under a new ruling bloc. Still, it could work, but there's a big if--if the United States steps back and gets out of the way.
Since the rigged Iraqi elections of 2005, the United States has supported a shaky and now utterly discredited four-party coalition in Iraq. Two of those parties are the ultra-religious Shiite parties, the Islamic Dawa Party and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), both strongly supported by Iran. The other two are the Kurdish warlord parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). During that time, Iraq's two prime ministers, Ibrahim Jaafari (2005-06) and Maliki (2006-2008)--both from Dawa--have staunchly refused to open the door to increased Sunni Arab participation in the government. But now that coalition is falling apart, and its partners are increasingly at odds with one another.

The potential collapse of the Shiite-Kurdish pact that has ruled Iraq under the American occupation has created a freewheeling search for competing alliances among the myriad political factions that have emerged since Saddam Hussein's overthrow.

Partners in the new, twelve-party alliance include nearly all of the Sunni Arab parties, including the Sunni religious parties and the secular National Dialogue Front; the secular Iraqi National List of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, a secular Shiite; two big Shiite parties, including Muqtada al-Sadr's bloc and the Fadhila (Virtue) Party; a faction of the Dawa Party; and assorted smaller groups, including independents in Iraq's Parliament. Among its goals, say its leaders, are to ensure that Iraq's "oil, natural gas, and other treasures [remain the] property of all the Iraqi people," opposing both the proposed new oil law that would open the door to privatization of the oil industry and the illegal oil deals signed by the Kurdish regional government. Another goal, they say, is to block the Kurdish takeover of the oil-rich region around Kirkuk in Iraq's north.

And, they say, the new coalition will "overcome the narrow circle of sectarianism" by uniting Sunnis and Shiites.

What's more, there are reports of talks involving the remaining Sunni resistance groups--those that have not joined the American-sponsored Awakening movement and the so-called Concerned Local Citizens groups--in a broad-based national reconciliation effort. According to the Arab press, six Sunni resistance factions have been meeting in England in preparation for a proposed conference in Cairo with representatives of the Iraqi government and political parties.

A parallel effort is under way at meetings in Beirut. And French President Nicolas Sarkozy, currently touring the Middle East, has renewed his country's offer to bring Iraq's warring political factions together. Sarkozy suggested "hosting in France, far from the heat of passions and on neutral ground, inter-Iraqi roundtable talks that are as large as possible." It's unclear whether Sarkozy's proposed conference would include representatives of the armed resistance, but it's possible. (An earlier offer by France to host similar talks got the cold shoulder from Maliki and no encouragement from the United States.)

The fact that Sadr's bloc opted to join the opposition bloc is critical. Not only does Sadr command thirty-two seats in Iraq's Parliament but on the ground in Baghdad and in the south his Mahdi Army militia is a formidable force. The Fadhila Party, too, has great power in and around Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, which controls the bulk of the oil industry and Iraq's exports.

A wild card in any political realignment in Iraq is the attitude of the powerful new Sahwa (Awakening) movement, the 100,000-strong paramilitary force whose backbone is Iraq's tribal leaders. Currently, the Sahwa movement is strong in Anbar, Diyala, Salahuddin and Nineveh provinces to the west and north of the capital, as well as in Baghdad itself and in the suburban belt south of Baghdad. Though Sahwa is not a party (and thus has no seats in Parliament), it is a power to be reckoned with, and it is being courted assiduously both by the new nationalist coalition and by Dawa and ISCI. If forced to choose, the Sahwa movement would be far more likely to align with nationalists than with Shiite sectarian parties, since the tribal leaders regard ISCI, in particular, as an agent of Iran.

So far, the United States has continued to prop up Maliki's shaky regime, despite its growing unpopularity. US officials fear that if Maliki were to fall, the results would be unpredictable--especially in an election year. Besides, the nationalists would be far less likely than Maliki to sign the proposed long-term extension of the American presence in Iraq that Maliki and President Bush intend to ink by July.

A hint of how entrenched the American presence in Iraq might be came this week, when Iraq's defense minister, Abdul Qader Mohammed Jassim, came to the United States for an extended visit, during which he met with long-range planning staff at the Pentagon. During his visit, Jasim declared that a significant number of troops would have to remain in Iraq for another ten years, until 2018.


The ugly American press continues to ignore the deaths of brave young Americans in the Iraq war. Here is the latest deaths totally ignored by the mainstream press in the United States.

Insurgents kill three U.S. soldiers in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Three American soldiers were killed and two others wounded by insurgents' small arms fire in north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Thursday.
The attack occurred when the soldiers were conducting operations in Salahudin province on Wednesday, a military statement said. Both wounded soldiers were transported to a military medical facility for treatment, the statement said.
The names of the deceased soldiers are being withheld pending notification of next of kin, it added. The latest deaths brought the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq to about 3,925 since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, accordingto media count based on Pentagon figures.


The mainstream press in the United States led by the Bush White House propaganda arm, Fox News, has decided not to report on events taking place in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the violence continues in both war torn countries and U.S. forces in both countries are finding themselves more and more caught in the middle of sectarian strife.
Iraq is anything but the peaceful country FOX NEWS is saying it is. The following is a list of events that took place on Thursday in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Does this look like the "surge" is a roaring success?

This blog created and owned by Bill Corcoran, a military veteran, is the ONLY blog in the United States that continues to bring readers the latest from both war zones.

Bill Corcoran

War News for Thursday, January 17, 2008

Here's a very interesting development which we likely won't hear in the western press:The cultivation of opium poppies whose product is turned into heroin is spreading rapidly across Iraq as farmers find they can no longer make a living through growing traditional crops.The shift by Iraqi farmers to producing opium was first revealed by The Independent last May and is a very recent development. The first poppy fields, funded by drug smugglers who previously supplied Saudi Arabia and the Gulf with heroin from Afghanistan, were close to the city of Diwaniyah in southern Iraq. The growing of poppies has now spread to Diyala...Baghdad:#1: In one incident, six suspects of al-Qaeda were killed and 13 were injured during a joint US-Iraqi operation in northern Baghdad, security sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.'Iraqi forces along with elements of the Awakening Council, supported by US helicopters, have raided the Bishkan area, one of the major hideouts of al-Qaeda, killing six and wounding 13 terrorist suspects,' an Iraqi official told dpa, referring to forces recruited by the US military to work against al-Qaeda and other militias. 'Dozens were also arrested,' he added.#2: 3 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad today by Iraqi Police. 2 in Saidiyah and 1 in Kamaliyah.Diyala Prv:Baquba:#1: A suicide bomber wearing a vest packed with explosives killed eight people near a Shi'ite mosque in the volatile Iraqi city of Baquba on Thursday, police said. Another 14 people were wounded in the attack as worshippers gathered to observe Ashura, one of the holiest events on the Shi'ite religious calendar, in the Shifta neighborhood of southwest Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad.Muqdadiyah:#1: In Muqdadiyah city, some 100 kilometres north-east of Iraq's capital, US forces have killed three suspects and arrested another four during anSulaiman Pek:#1: An insurgent was killed on Wednesday while he was trying to rig a car with explosives in the town of Sulaiman Pek, 160 km (100 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.Shurqat:#1: Two policemen and two gunmen were killed during armed clashes that erupted in Salah al-Din's al-Shurqat district, Iraqi police said on Thursday. On Wednesday evening, police forces conducted a raid on gunmen's strongholds in al-Shurqat district's left coast and engaged in fierce clashes with them," a security source from Salah al-Din operations command told Aswat al-Iraq, Voices of Iraq, (VOI). "Police personnel killed two gunmen, while the others fled," the source explained, adding that two policemen were killed and three others wounded during the clashes.Tikrit:#1: An Iraqi policeman and four civilians were injured in the northern city of Tikrit, when an explosive device was detonated targeting the policeman's vehicle.#2: Militants killed a policemen and injured two of his security guards, in another attack in the city's Qadesya district.#3: An explosive device detonated in central Tikrit on Thursday, leaving five, including key police official, wounded, a Salah Al-Din police source said. “An improvised explosive device(IED) went off on Thursday, targeting the convoy of chief deputy of Highways police lieutenant colonel Khalaf Jassim in central Tikrit”.He noted “the blast left the police official seriously wounded as well as four of his escorts injured, and destroyed a police vehicle”.Mosul:#1: U.S. and Iraqi forces killed seven insurgents loading a vehicle with weapons in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.#2: Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a policeman in Mosul's western area of al-Mosul al-Jadida, killing him on the spot," the director of Ninewa police operations room, Brigadier Abdul Kareem al-Juburi, told Aswat al-Iraq, Voices of Iraq#3: An unknown armed man shot down a civilian in Mosul's downtown al-Najafi street and fled the scene," al-Juburi added. The civilian was a resident of Mosul's Makhmour district and had a membership card of a human rights society in his possession, al-Juburi explained, noting that 10 suspects have been arrested pending investigation of the shooting.#4: A policeman and a girl were injured when a car bomb exploded in front of a church in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The front of the church was badly damaged.An abandoned carbomb explodes on the left bank of Mosul (west Mosul), in al-Shifaa neighbourhood near al-Tahira church causing the death of 1 policeman and the injury of 1 woman and damage to the outer wall of the church.#5: Militants bombed an empty primary school in the west of Mosul, police said. No one was hurt in the attack.Afghanistan:#1: Mortars apparently fired by the army in the remote region slammed into several homes, killing at least four civilians, two of them women, and wounding 13 others, residents and an intelligence official said. He requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.#2: insurgents fired small arms and rockets at a military base in Ladha, another town in South Waziristan, late Wednesday, drawing retaliatory fire from troops, the military said in a statement. No casualties were reported in the clash.#3: three rockets hit near an air force base early Thursday in Kamra, a town about 50 kilometres northwest of the capital Islamabad, but no one was hurt, the statement said.#4: Seven Canadian soldiers have suffered minor injuries in two separate explosions believed caused by roadside bombs in Afghanistan. The latest blasts happened in the Panjwaii district west of Kandahar city on Wednesday. The incidents, which affected two vehicles on the same convoy nearly three hours apart.