Thursday, January 24, 2008


While the cable news outlets continue to obsess on the primaries or the late Heath Ledger or the latest craziness of Britney Spears, violence and death continue to spread across Iraq.

Everyone knows Fox News gave up reporting on the Iraq war months ago, but now CNN and MSNBC have also "spiked" all news out of Iraq.

The media justifies why they are not covering Iraq anymore because there is "Iraq Fatigue" in the United States and nobody wants to hear or read about Iraq anymore.

So that leaves bloggers like myself as the last bastion for telling the truth about Iraq and that is what we continue to do.

Below is what happened in Iraq on Thursday, January 24.

By Bill Corcoran, editor of CORKSPHERE


Also Thursday, a roadside bombing in central Baghdad killed two police officers and wounded six people, an Interior Ministry official said. The bombing, in Andalus Square, targeted a police patrol about 8 a.m. Three of the wounded were police and the other three were civilians.

#2: Two civilians were injured in an IED explosion in Ghadeer neighborhood east Baghdad around 4,00 pm.

#3: A civilian was injured in an IED explosion in Zafaraniyah district southeast Baghdad around 4,30 am.

#4: Police found three anonymous bodies in Baghdad today. Two bodies were found in Doura neighborhood in Karkh, the western side of Baghdad while the third body was found in Ma’amil neighborhood in Rusafa, the eastern side of Baghdad.

Mahaweel:#1: A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed one civilian and wounded two others in Mahaweel, 75 km (45 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.Iskandariya:#1: One body was found in the town of Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

Samarra:#1: Gunmen abducted seven oil tanker drivers on Wednesday near Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The drivers were transporting oil from the Baiji oil refinery to western Anbar province.

Delouyia:#1: Gunmen on Thursday targeted a patrol of Delouyia awakening council in al-Mashru’a village, east of Delouyia, leaving four of the council members wounded”, Hameed al-Ahmed, the chief of Delouyia awakening council, told Aswat al-Iraq-Voices of Iraq (VOI).He added “the awakening council fighters and police forces, backed by U.S. helicopters, conducted a blitz in the accident site, clashing with the gunmen”.The tribal official pointed out “three gunmen were killed and two others arrested”.

Mosul:#1: A suicide bomber killed Nineveh province's director of police in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Thursday, the U.S. military said. The bomber struck at the site of another deadly explosion the day before, killing the provincial police official and two other Iraqi officers, the U.S. military said. An Iraqi army soldier and a coalition forces soldier were also wounded in the attack.A suicide bomber disguised as a policeman killed Mosul's police chief and two other officers on Thursday as they visited the scene of an earlier blast, Iraqi officials and the US military said. They said five policemen and a journalist were wounded in the attack, which prompted authorities in Iraq's main northern city to impose an immediate and indefinite ban on vehicle traffic. "Two Iraqi police were killed in the blast, and one Iraqi army and one coalition force soldier was injured. "Brigadier General Salah, the provincial director of police, was also killed in the blast.#2: (update) The death toll from a bomb blast which obliterated a building in Iraq's main northern city of Mosul has risen to 34, with at least 217 people wounded, a provincial official said on Thursday. "More than 100 houses were damaged," Hisham al-Hamdani, head of the provincial council of Nineveh, of which Mosul is the capital, told AFP.Al Anbar Prv:

Khalidiya:#1: Police forces killed a suicide bomber trying to blow up himself outside the police station in Khalidiya town of Anbar province on Thursday, a security source said.Afghanistan:#1: At least eight policemen were killed Thursday during an operation by U.S.-led coalition troops in central Afghanistan, an Afghan official said. The officers died in the village of Ghariban in Ghazni province during an operation that included U.S. ground forces and airstrikes, said the deputy head of Ghazni's provincial council, Habeb-ul Rahman. It was unclear whether Afghan troops also took part in the raid. Two other villagers, including a woman, were killed in the clash, Rahman said. It was not immediately clear how the officers and civilians were killed. Afghan police officials in Ghazni province, who spoke on condition of anonymity since they were not authorized to speak to the media, said that policemen appeared to have been killed by airstrikes, which also destroyed several houses.Nine police and two civilians were killed in an air strike by U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan, a provincial doctor said on Thursday, but the coalition said Taliban fighters had been killed. "Nine police, including an officer, two civilians, one of them a woman, were killed in the raid," he told Reuters. Five police were wounded, he said, adding they were in a vehicle patrolling the area when it was hit in the air strike.#2: Separately, a soldier from the NATO-led force was killed and two were wounded when a blast hit their vehicle in southern Afghanistan, an alliance spokesman said on Thursday. He did not identify the victims of Wednesday's attack.At approximately 1:40 p.m. local time (in Kandahar) today, one Canadian soldier who was part of a convoy was killed when the armoured vehicle he was in struck a suspected Improvised Explosive Device (IED), 35 km South-West of Kandahar City. Two Canadian soldiers were also injured.

#3: A Kiwi soldier has been injured in a helicopter accident in Afghanistan but the crash was not the result of enemy fire, according to the New Zealand Defence Force. The soldier, a member of the New Zealand peacekeeping force stationed in the troubled country, received minor injuries in the helicpoter crash, Captain Zac Prendergast said. No one else was injured in the accident.

Casualty Reports:

Brad Thomas, 22, suffered a serious head wound and other injuries Saturday from a roadside bomb during combat operations in Iraq. He was airlifted to American medical facilities in Germany, and his family remains hopeful he will pull through.

Specialist James Robak and his unit were searching homes in Sinsil, Iraq looking for bombs and Al Qaeda members. Along with Gaul, and four others, the explosion also killed sergeant first class Matthew Pionk of Eveleth, Minnesota. Robak was wounded as his sniper unit searched a suspected Al Qaeda compound for weapons. "I was on the roof along with two other guys, something set off the house and the whole house exploded," he said, "We lost six guys and four were injured and our [interpreter] was killed." Robak survived with a wounded leg and some minor cuts. For his father worrying comes with the job, but he was aware of the danger his son was facing before the explosion.


The untold stories about life in Iraq continue to unfold while all the time the media in the United States looks the other way.

We reported on the electricity and gasoline shortages in a post yesterday on this blog, and today Ahmed Ali and Dahr Jamail are reporting on how curfews have become a way of life for Iraqi citizens living in Baquba.

Someday, hopefully, the American media will shed their "Iraq Fatigue" and again begin telling the American public the truth about Iraq.

However, until that happens we will continue to bring readers of this blog the inside story on life inside of Iraq.

By Bill Corcoran, editor and host of CORKSPHERE,, a blog dedicated to telling the truth about Iraq and Afghanistan sans White House filters.

IRAQ: Under Curfew, This Is No Life

By Ahmed Ali and Dahr Jamail*BAQUBA, Jan 24 (IPS)

- Continuing curfew has brought normal life to a standstill in Baquba, capital of the restive Diyala province north of Baghdad.Through nearly three decades of rule under Saddam Hussein, Iraqis witnessed only two curfews; for the census in the 1970s and 1980s. Under the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, curfews are commonplace, enforced whenever the Iraqi government and U.S. military fail to control the situation on the ground. A curfew means all public utilities and services cease.

Life becomes frozen, and nobody is able to get to work. Factories and other utilities close, the wheel of the economy and development stops. "When the government imposes a curfew it does not think of those who have no salary," 39-year-old labourer Adnan al-Khazraji told IPS.

"A very large number of people like me rely on daily income for their living. On the contrary, government employees feel safe whether there is a curfew or not because at the end of a month they receive the salary regardless of stoppage of work." Members of the government and parliament receive big salaries, "and therefore they forget poor people at such times," Khazraji added. Not just economically, curfews have taken their toll psychologically as well.

In Baquba, 40 km northeast of Baghdad, there has been a curfew every Friday since 2005. "I feel imprisoned when I have to keep to my home," Salma Jabr, a resident of the city told IPS. "It is the only holiday that we have to do things like visits, shopping, travelling."

Click on link above to read full account of life under curfew in Iraq.



By Maamoun Youssef - The Associated PressPosted : Wednesday Jan 23, 2008 16:49:10 EST

CAIRO, Egypt — Five militant Iraqi Sunni groups said in a joint statement posted on the Internet that they were stepping up attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq in support of Palestinians in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

The statement announced the launching of what was described as the “Iraqi Resistance Campaign to Help Gaza” and accused President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of responsibility for the deteriorating situation in the coastal strip.

It described the American and Israeli leaders as “war criminals,” saying they sought to “cover up their dreadful failures in all fields.” It did not provide details of the planned attacks on U.S. troops.

The statement, which surfaced Tuesday on an Islamic Web site commonly used for militant messaging, also called on nations all over the world to “help lift injustice off the innocent Gazans.”

It also addressed the Gazans, urging them to be “patient and steadfast” because “victory was close,” adding that although the mujahideen, or holy warriors, were preoccupied with fighting “the enemies of God in Iraq, this will not deter us from helping our brothers (Palestinians) because the enemy is one and the victim is one.”

The Iraqi Sunni groups said to be behind the posting include the Jihad and Reform Front, formed last May and made up of the Islamic Army in Iraq, the Mujahideen Army and Ansar al-Sunnah, as well as the Islamic Movement of Hamas-Iraq and the Islamic Front for the Iraqi Resistance.

“We announce the launching of a military campaign ... to step up military action against the American partners of the Zionists and enemies of humanity,” said the statement. Its authenticity could not be independently verified.

The statement was posted before Wednesday morning’s dramatic break through a security barrier at the border between the small Gaza Strip, run by Hamas militants, and Egypt, after which tens of thousands of Palestinians poured into Egypt to stock up on medicine, fuel and food supplies.

Israel has been carrying out airstrikes and limited ground operations against Gaza militants. Last week Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza, stopping shipments of fuel, medicine and food, but began easing the restrictions on Monday in the wake of an international outcry.


Is this anyway to win the "hearts and minds" of the Afghan people?

8 policemen killed in US Afghan raid

Thu, 24 Jan 2008 10:43:22

At least eight policemen and two civilians have been killed during an operation by US-led coalition troops in central Afghanistan. The officers died in the village of Ghariban in Ghazni province during an operation that included US ground forces and airstrikes, said the deputy head of Ghazni's provincial council, Habeb-ul Rahman. It was unclear whether Afghan troops also took part in the raid, AP reported. Two villagers, including a woman, were killed in the clash, Rahman said. Among the officers killed was the former provincial deputy police chief, he added.