Saturday, January 26, 2008


Will it be ten years, or less than ten years? That is the question that is being asked about how long U.S. troops are going to be in Iraq.

If it were up to President Bush, U.S. troops would be in Iraq for next 50 or more years. Bush plans to circumvent Congress and work with the Iraqi government in establishing a virtual permanent U.S. presence in Iraq.

An Iraqi Minister claims the U.S. troops will be out of Iraq within 10 years, but that is only a guesstimate.

As we have been reporting for weeks on my blog,, the security situation in Iraq is anything but stable.

There is also a great deal of talk that Iraq has failed to meet most of the 18 benchmarks putdown by the Bush administration. This could mean U.S. troops could be in Iraq as long as U.S. troops have been in Germany, Japan and Korea.

However, there is one major difference between our troops in Germany, Japan and Korea. They are not being fired upon night and day.

By Bill Corcoran, editor and host of CORKSPHERE:, a blog devoted entirely to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which the mainstream media no longer covers.

US troops will be gone within 10 years, says Iraqi minister

By Patrick Cockburn in BaghdadFriday, 25 January 2008

The Republican presidential candidate, Senator John McCain, caused anger among Iraqis this month by saying during the New Hampshire primary that US military forces might stay in Iraq "for 100 years". Mr Zebari, asked by The Independent in Baghdad if the American army would be in Iraq in 10 years, said: "Really, I wouldn't say so."

Mr Zebari is much more confident than he was a year ago that "al-Qa'ida has been crushed, its network has been shattered" though it has not been completely eliminated. He says he thinks it dangerous if the Shia-Kurdish government, of which he is one of the most powerful members, does not pay and absorb into its own security forces the 70,000-strong Sunni Awakening movement which is fighting al-Qa'ida.

"That is the danger," said Mr Zebari. "The Awakening movement is not that well organised and it could be easily manipulated by al-Qa'ida." He added that it was an illusion that the Sunni political parties and their leaders "represent the Sunni community".

Mr Zebari originally made his name as the energetic spokesman and foreign representative of the Kurdistan Democratic Party during its long years of resistance to Saddam Hussein. He has been the most successful of Iraqi ministers since he was appointed in 2004, cultivating good relations with the US and Iran. Three years ago, insurgents tried to assassinate him using a vehicle packed with a tonne of explosives, including a naval torpedo, which was detected near his home before it was detonated.

For all Mr Zebari's optimism, Iraq remains an extraordinary violent country. Yesterday, a suicide bomber in a police uniform killed Brigadier-General Salih Mohammed Hasan, the chief of police of Mosul, northern Iraq's largest city. He had been inspecting the ruins of a building in which 20 civilians had been killed and 150 wounded in an explosion the previous day.

You can read the rest of this story by clicking on link above.


The news media in the United States wants everyone to believe Iraq is a sea of tranquility.

However, violence is still erupting in Baghdad and across Iraq and the country is anything but secure.



#1: One of the explosions was a roadside bomb that targeted a U.S. patrol in eastern Baghdad. A police officer said the blast site was sealed by American forces and there was no immediate way to detail damage or casualties. There was no immediate report of the incident from the U.S. military.

#2: Another police officer confirmed a mortar round hit the heavily protected Green Zone. The Americans did not report damage or casualties from that incident either. Both officers spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to release the information.

#3: Iraqi troops foiled an attempt to kidnap a businessman in central Baghdad and arrested the kidnapers, a security source said on Saturday. "Iraqi army troops managed, Friday evening, to arrest 14 gunmen clad in police while trying to kidnap a businessman in al-Andalus square, central Baghdad," the source told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq- (VOI) .The source added that five police-like-4wheel drive vehicles were also confiscated during the arrest. The source provided no further details. On Friday, a security source told VOI that Iraqi forces detained 14 gunmen clad in police near al-Andalus square.

#4: Around 10 a.m. a roadside bomb targeted civilians near Al Shaab soccer stadium, injuring five civilians.

One civilian was killed and another injured when an explosive device went off near the same city.

Robert Fisk: A lesson in how to create Iraqi orphans. And then how to make life worse for them

Alas, the milk of human kindness does not necessarily extend to orphans from Iraq – the country we invaded for supposedly humanitarian reasons, not to mention weapons of mass destruction. For as their British uncle waited for them at Queen Alia airport, Jordanian security men – refusing him even a five-minute conversation with the girls – hustled the sisters back on to the plane for Iraq.

"How could they do this?" their uncle, Paul Manouk, asks. "Their mum has been killed. Their father had already died. I was waiting for them. The British embassy in Jordan said they might issue visas for the three – but that they had to reach Amman first." Mr Manouk lives in Northern Ireland and is a British citizen. Explaining this to the Jordanian muhabarrat at the airport was useless.

Western mercenaries killed their 48-year-old Iraqi Armenian mother, Marou Awanis, and her best friend – firing 40 bullets into her body as she drove her taxi near their four-vehicle convoy in Baghdad – but tragedy has haunted the family for almost a century; the three sisters' great-grandmother was forced to leave her two daughters to die on their own by the roadside during the 1915 Armenian genocide. Mrs Awanis' friend, Jeneva Jalal, was killed instantly alongside her in the passenger seat.

The Australian "security" company whose employees killed Mrs Awanis and her friend – "executed" might be a better word for it, because that is the price of driving too close to armed Westerners in Baghdad these days – expressed its "regrets". The chief operating officer of Unity Resources Group claims that she drove her car at speed towards the company's employees and that they feared she was a suicide bomber.

"Only then did the team use their weapons in a final attempt to stop the vehicle," Michael Priddin said. "We deeply regret the loss of these lives." He refused to identify the killers or their nationality. Westerners in Baghdad – especially those who kill the innocent – are once they are known, rich in regrets. But they are less keen to ensure that the bereaved they leave behind are cared for.

Click on link above to read the full account by Robert Fisk.


An investigation has been launched by the Iraqi government in conjunction with the U.S. military to determine what exactly took place in Mosul when several buildings were blown up by U.S. forces resulting in the deaths of over 50 Iraqi civilians and injuring close to 200.

Mosul, Jan 25, (VOI)- The Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) said on Friday that it held Iraqi and U.S. troops responsible for the bombings in al-Zanjili neighborhood in western Mosul, which left hundreds of people killed or wounded on Wednesday.

Unidentified gunmen blew up a building in al-Pepsi street in Zanjili region in western Mosul.The Ninewa provincial council chief had said on Thursday that the attacks in al-Zanjili, western Mosul, on Wednesday have claimed the lives of 55 civilians and wounded 169 others.

"U.S. troops, in coordination with Iraqi security forces, detonated a building in al-Zanjili neighborhood using barrels of explosives," the AMS said in a statement.

Read the full story by clicking on link above.