Monday, January 21, 2008


The following story dovetails with the story just below it by Dahr Jamail. It speaks volumes about how the American public has been misled by the mainstream media in the United States about the war in Iraq, the "surge" and casualties.

We will continue to update this blog with the latest information we receive from a wide range of reliable news sources which underscore how Americans are not being told the truth about both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Keep coming back if you are truly interested in what 160,000 young Americans face in Iraq and another 30,000 in Afghanistan.

Bill Corcoran, editor and host of this blog which is the ONLY blog in the United States devoted exclusively to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

By John Tirman, AlterNetPosted on January 21, 2008, Printed on January 21, 2008


Now I know what Hillary Clinton meant, first hand, by that "vast right-wing conspiracy." When the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the Sunday Times in London are going after you -- along with about 100 right-wing bloggers -- rest assured you've hit a nerve.

Or is it just Soros Derangement Syndrome at work?

More than two years ago, I commissioned a household survey of Iraq to learn how many people had died in the war. This topic had been virtually ignored by the news media and the U.S. government. It was important to know for at least three reasons. The first was to try to understand the nature of the violence there, which was steadily growing and creating a humanitarian crisis, possibly a regional conflagration. Second, it might tell us something about how and when to exit. Third, we needed to know for the sake of our national soul. What had we wrought?

So I contacted the people who had done a previous, largely ignored survey-top public health professionals at Johns Hopkins University. They had published a survey in October 2004 that showed 98,000 had died in the first 18 months of the war, which was greeted with disbelief and charges of politicizing science, and quickly dismissed.

I said: 'do a bigger survey to improve the accuracy, and I will make sure it gets the proper attention in the news media.' They did do a bigger survey, and I managed a public education campaign that permitted the results to be considered more broadly, results that estimated total deaths at 600,000 by violence after 40 months of war. The survey was published in The Lancet, the British medical journal. And get attention it did, roundly disbelieved and scorned by war supporters, but spurring a brief but intense debate about the human cost of the war.

Dozens of statisticians and other professionals scoured the study and its data to see if the methods and implementation were proper; a special committee at the World Health Organization was convened to review it, and the Lancet had also subjected it to rigorous peer review. The survey held up to this scrutiny, with quibbles and some lingering "should have done this" and "might have done that." But virtually every competent person agreed that the study provided the best estimate we have.

Go back to the link at the top of this story to read the rest of the story and what happened when the right-wing media pounced on the casualty statistics coming out of Iraq.


Dahr Jamail is a world renowned reporter and author of the best-selling "Beyond the Green Zone."

In this latest dispatch from Iraq, Jamail paints an entirely different picture of "the surge" than what people hear on TV---especially FOX NEWS--and how it is being greeted by the Iraqi people.

Once again, the only place in America where you can find the truth about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is on my blog devoted entirely to the untold stories about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars instead of Bush White House "talking points."

Bill Corcoran,
editor and host of

Police and Army Getting Sidelined in Iraq

Inter Press Service

By Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail*

BAQUBA, Jan 21 (IPS) - New military operations in Diyala province north of Baghdad have exacerbated a growing conflict between U.S.-backed Sunni fighters on the one hand and Iraqi army and police forces on the other.

The U.S. military commenced a large military operation Jan. 8 in the volatile Diyala province. Seven U.S. battalions led an offensive to push out fighters affiliated with 'Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia' from the area.

In the current operation, U.S., Iraqi, and local fighters have faced no serious resistance. U.S. military commanders admitted shortly after operations began that anti-occupation fighters were likely tipped off, and fled the area. But the operation has thrown up conflicts within the ranks.

"The military forces comprise the coalition forces, Iraqi police and army, and the popular forces (commonly called Kataib)," political analyst Akram Sabri told IPS in Baquba, capital of Diyala province. "It was found that the local forces are more truculent fighters who can always be relied on. This has made the coalition forces increasingly reliant upon these fighters to the extent that they will one day likely be joined to Iraqi police and army."
The Kataib Sabri speaks of are what the U.S. military calls "concerned local citizens". Most are former resistance fighters, now being paid 300 dollars a month to stop attacking occupation forces and to back them instead.

The groups, which the U.S. military claims are 82 percent Sunni, are viewed as a threat by the government in Baghdad led by U.S.-backed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The PM has said these groups will never become part of the government security forces. But while seen with suspicion at many places, these forces are also being welcomed in some.
Residents of Baquba, 40 km northeast of Baghdad, say the Kataib have brought a decrease in violence, and now enjoy a respect that the Iraqi army and police never have.

"The new prestige that Kataib enjoy has enraged the Iraqi police and army," an officer in the directorate-general of police, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS. "In one operation in a village near Khalis city 15 km west of Baquba, the directorate-general of police contributed just 20 men, while the Kataib fighters numbered 450. This shows how the Americans now rely more on the Kataib than on us."

Adding to the growing rift between the U.S.-backed fighters and government security forces is the increasing disgust with the mostly Shia-backed government in Baghdad.
"The coalition forces have to correct what they have done in bringing in such a sectarian government," a Baquba resident said. "The existence of militants is the result of the bad performance of the government and the ruling council of Diyala in particular. Enemies are created by injustice and unfairness.

"Everything has been affected by the lack of security, and the only reason behind that is the occupation and its feeble government," the resident said.

Residents remain leery of travelling outside of Baquba. Armed groups, often with unknown allegiance, control the roads.

Hded district, 10 km south of Baquba, is situated on the road to Baghdad. "The violence here has prevented people freely using the highway," 43-year-old bus driver Muhsin Muhamed Kareem told IPS. Government forces have failed to provide security, he said.
Muqdadiya area, about 30 km north of Baquba, has become a danger spot on the road to Sulaimaniya province in the Kurdish north. Many want to go there for business because Kurdish areas have better security, but militiamen from the Shia Mehdi Army often target Sunni travellers around Muqdadiya.

"The military operations which started two months ago cleared out the militants but did not control the militia because they are the police and army," a Muqdadiya resident said.
"A policeman at an official checkpoint in Muqdadiya asked a person, who was sitting beside me in my van, what his sect was," a frequent traveller on the route said. "Passengers know that the police behaviour is sectarian."

A resident of Aswad village, eight kilometres west of Baquba, told IPS that people have reason to support the U.S.-backed Sunni fighters rather than the government forces.
"The Iraqi army is hard-hearted with the people because they think that all the villagers are terrorists. People feel safer with the other forces."


The mainstream media in the United States keeps telling the American public that the "surge" is working so well that Baghdad is now secure and people are out and about and enjoying life on the streets of Baghdad.

Well, not quite all the streets of Baghdad are secure.

It is a pity the MM in the U.S. has soldout their credibility to the Bush Administration and keep hiding from the American public what is REALLY taking place on the streets of Baghdad.

It is our job to be the ONLY blogger in the United States who has devoted himself to telling the public the truth about conditions in both Iraq and Aghanistan.

Daily and sometimes several times a day we bring readers of this blog updates on the latest from Iraq and Afghanistan culled from a wide assortment of international news organizations who feel the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are something worth covering unlike their counterparts in the American press who have abandoned the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. .

We hope you will keep coming back.

Bill Corcoran, editor and host of this blog.

Seven unidentified bodies found in Baghdad

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Monday , 21 /01 /2008 Time 8:37:37

Baghdad, Jan 21, (VOI) - Iraqi police patrols on Monday found seven unknown bodies dumped in different parts of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, a police source said."Police patrols found seven unidentified bodies in different areas of Baghdad, most of them were found in Baghdad's eastern side (Rasafa)," the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI)."Four corpses were found in different neighborhoods of Rasafa: one in each Ziyouna, Baghdad al-Jadida, al-Talibiya, and al-Maamel," he explained."Three bodies were found in al-Kharkh's neighborhoods: two in al-Salam and one in al-Doura," the source added."Most of the bodies found bore signs of gunshot wounds to different parts of the body, mainly to the head," he noted.


FOX NEWS' Bill O'Reilly, host of "The Factor," has been on a rampage claiming the homeless veterans story has been exaggerated. O'Reilly took most of his outrage out on Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards, who said homeless veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were sleeping under bridges.

As usual, Bill O'Reilly has nothing to backup his claims the homeless veterans stories are overblown other than his big mouth.

Below is a story of just one Iraq veteran who O'Reilly says doesn't exist.

The stories of homeless veterans are much too long for this blog and so if you are interested in reading more about homeless veterans click on the tiny URL link provided below and read the whole account.

How does Bill O'Reilly keep getting away with lying?

The answer lies in the management of FOX NEWS who have shown in the past their disdain for the men and women serving in our military by relegating any news on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to a crawl along the bottom of the screen, and many times not even that.

Bill Corcoran, military veteran and former member of the U.S. Army Combat Engineers, and host of the only blog in the United States devoted to telling the truth about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars:

New generation of homeless vets emerge

By ERIN McCLAM, AP National Writer Sun Jan 20, 7:57 AM ET

LEEDS, Mass. - Peter Mohan traces the path from the Iraqi battlefield to this lifeless conference room, where he sits in a kilt and a Camp Kill Yourself T-shirt and calmly describes how he became a sad cliche: a homeless veteran.

There was a happy homecoming, but then an accident — car crash, broken collarbone. And then a move east, close to his wife's new job but away from his best friends.

And then self-destruction: He would gun his motorcycle to 100 mph and try to stand on the seat. He would wait for his wife to leave in the morning, draw the blinds and open up whatever bottle of booze was closest.

He would pull out his gun, a .45-caliber, semiautomatic pistol. He would lovingly clean it, or just look at it and put it away. Sometimes place it in his mouth.

"I don't know what to do anymore," his wife, Anna, told him one day. "You can't be here anymore."

Peter Mohan never did find a steady job after he left Iraq. He lost his wife — a judge granted their divorce this fall — and he lost his friends and he lost his home, and now he is here, in a shelter.

He is 28 years old. "People come back from war different," he offers by way of a summary.
This is not a new story in America: A young veteran back from war whose struggle to rejoin society has failed, at least for the moment, fighting demons and left homeless.

But it is happening to a new generation. As the war in Afghanistan plods on in its seventh year, and the war in Iraq in its fifth, a new cadre of homeless veterans is taking shape.

And with it come the questions: How is it that a nation that became so familiar with the archetypal homeless, combat-addled Vietnam veteran is now watching as more homeless veterans turn up from new wars?

What lessons have we not learned? Who is failing these people? Or is homelessness an unavoidable byproduct of war, of young men and women who devote themselves to serving their country and then see things no man or woman should?

Click on the link above to read the rest of this story and about other homeless vets who Bill O'Reilly of FOX NEWS says is only a pipedream.