Friday, February 1, 2008


After a steady decline for four months, the Pentagon is reporting U.S. casualties are on the rise in Iraq.

With the twin suicide bombings on Friday that claimed the lives of 80 Baghdad civilians with another 240 injured, and now the announcement that U.S. troop casualties are on the rise, the highly praised "surge" doesn't look so good anymore.

However, the media in the United States is still looking the other way when it comes to covering the war in Iraq.

What is going to take for the mainstream media to come out of their self-imposed exile and start covering the Iraq war like it should be covered?

We have 160,000 troops in Iraq battling insurgent elements every single day, but you would think the war was over if you were to tune into FOX NEWS, MSNBC, CNN or look at any major newspaper in the United States.

Not only is the lack of war coverage a disgrace, but it is an insult to every American serving in the military in Iraq and here in the United States and their families who turn to the free press in the United States for information on the war.

Bill Corcoran, editor of CORKSPHERE, a blog which brings readers up-to-date information on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which are not found in any of the mainstream media in the United States.

U.S. casualties rise in Iraq after falling for 4 months

Nancy A. Youssef McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The U.S. death toll in Iraq increased in January, ending a four-month drop in casualties, and most of the deaths occurred outside Baghdad or the once-restive Anbar province, according to military statistics.

In all, 38 American service members had been reported killed in January by Thursday evening, compared with 23 in December. Of those, 33 died from hostile action, but only nine of them in Baghdad or Anbar.

A total of 3,942 American service members have been killed in Iraq as of Thursday, according to, an independent Web site that tracks the statistics.

U.S. officials in Iraq said the death toll had risen because the military was targeting armed groups that had been driven out of Baghdad and Anbar by the increase in American troops.

In January, the military launched a major offensive in northeastern Diyala province, where nine service members were killed. In addition, the U.S. moved troops to the northwestern Ninevah province, which has become an al Qaida in Iraq stronghold. Seven service members were killed there in January, compared with four in December.

The fact that more Americans have been killed in those provinces has some fretting that the U.S. is fighting another round of "whack-a-mole," a term that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., once used to describe chasing insurgents and terrorists from one part of Iraq to another.


FOX NEWS and much of the other media in the United States continue to ignore what is taking place in Baghdad, Iraq.

Two bombs were set off on Friday in two pet markets in Baghdad and the latest figures indicate 70 Iraqis have been killed and 230 people have been injured.

Not since the introduction of 30,000 more U.S. troops into Baghdad and the rest of Iraq has there been such a serious bombing.

The success of the "surge" is a figment of the imagination of President Bush and FOX News, the propaganda branch of the Bush White House.

What little success the "surge" brought about in Baghdad and Anwar Province in Iraq had more to do with the tribal leaders banding together to push Al Qaida out of the region than anything the U.S. military has done.

Bill Corcoran,
editor of CORKSPHERE,, a blog which tells the TRUTH about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pet markets bombing in Baghdad leaves 230 casualties

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Friday , 01 /02 /2008 Time 9:24:03

Baghdad , Feb 1, (VOI)- An Iraqi security spokesman on Friday said the casualty toll of two pet markets bombings in Baghdad rose to 230.

The attacks were the deadliest in the Iraqi capital since 30,000 more American troops flooded into the centre of the country last spring.

“The toll of the two bombing that targeted al-Ghazal pet market and Baghdad al-Jadida pet market rose to 54 deaths and 176 injuries”, Qassem al-Musawi, the spokesman for Baghdad’s security plan told Aswat al-Iraq-Voices of Iraq(VOI). Al-Musawi noted “the two bombings were the result of a suicide attack by two female suicide bombers”.

The spokesman played down the effects of bombing and considered them as “attempts to undermine the morale of security forces and to chip away at Iraqi confidence in the permanence of recent security gains.”

Earlier, a police source told (VOI) “Casualties from Friday's earlier bombing attacks on two pet souks (markets) in al-Shurjah and Baghdad al-Jadida (New Baghdad) areas rose to 115”.


President Bush has decided he is above the law---even laws he approved---when it comes to the war in Iraq.

As this editorial from The Roanoke Times so clearly points out, President Bush is acting more like a dictator of a third world state than the President of the United States of America.

Bush, Vice President Cheney and their right-wing constituency continued to lie to the American public---a total of 935 times according to a recent survey---prior to invading and occupying Iraq.

The American public heard about weapons of mass destruction, stockpiles of nuclear weapons, plans to build a nuclear bomb and even Cheney continuing to assert Saddam Hussein's people were meeting with Usama bin Laden's people to plot the 9/11 attack.

All of it proved to be lies and now after five years of war and 160,000 American troops in Iraq nothing has been found to suggest what Bush, Cheney and the evil cabal of right wingers was saying were true.

However, as The Roanoke Times editorial so adroitly points out, the past does not stop President Bush. He has learned nothing from his mistakes. He is bound and determined to do it his way even though his way has led to nothing but chaos and death.

Bill Corcoran, editor of the blog CORKSPHERE, devoted entirely to telling the truth about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Editorial: A war without end or oversight

President Bush places himself above the law -- even ones he signed.

An honorable president would have the gumption to veto bills he found objectionable.

But as Americans have learned by now, there is no room for honor in President Bush's Oval Office.

He prefers chicanery in the form of "signing statements."

Prior to delivering the State of the Union Address on Monday, Bush eviscerated four key provisions of the new defense bill by saying he will ignore parts of the law he doesn't like.

Bush finds objectionable provisions that:

n Forbid the United States from building a permanent military base in Iraq and controlling Iraq's oil reserves.

n Create a wartime commission to investigate waste, fraud and abuse by military contractors and finally hold them accountable.

n Offer protection for employees of government contractors who expose wrongdoing.

n Require intelligence officers within 45 days to either respond or state why they will not produce documents requested by the Armed Services committees of Congress.

The Bush administration repeatedly has denied concerns that it seeks to create a permanent base in Iraq.

But this signing statement and the president's reluctance to bring before Congress a pact it is negotiating with Iraq regarding the presence of U.S. troops beyond 2008 indicate otherwise.

Bush must be stopped before he commits this country to obligations that endure long after he vacates Washington.

Congress must do what it can to hold Bush accountable. Virginia Sen. Jim Webb said he intends to move forward with the wartime commission that he sponsored. It is akin to one created by President Truman during World War II to bring oversight and accountability to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse.

"We don't quite know what the administration intends with this sort of language," Webb said Wednesday on the Senate floor.

"But I want all my colleagues to be aware of it and to be aware that it potentially is an impingement on the rights of this legislative body -- in effect saying the president has the authority to ignore a law that is now passed, a law that he has now signed."

No American should be able to ignore the law without consequence.

Not even a president.


Will President Bush and his mouthpiece FOX NEWS continue to lie to the American public that the "surge" in Baghdad has tamed all the violence?

On Friday morning two bombs ripped apart two pet markets in Baghdad killing at least 21 Iraqis and wounding scores of others.

It is incomprehensible how the mainstream media can continue to avoid reporting on events like this breaking news story of chaos and violence in Baghdad.

Bush, Fox News and all the right wing pundits who appear on television are doing the American public a great disservice by not reporting on the true nature of what is taking place on the ground in Baghdad and the rest of Iraq.

It is the job of this blogger, Bill Corcoran, editor of CORKSPHERE, to bring readers of the blog the truth about the war in Iraq and not a sanitized version handed out by Bush surrogates to FOX NEWS and other right wing media outlets.

Bombs at Baghdad pet markets kill at least 21
Dozens wounded in explosions 20 minutes apart in Iraqi capital

The Associated Press
updated 2:58 a.m. CT, Fri., Feb. 1, 2008

BAGHDAD - Two bombs 20 minutes apart tore through two separate pet markets Friday morning, killing at least 21 people and wounding dozens, police said.

The deadliest blast occurred about 10:20 a.m. when a bomb hidden in a bird box exploded at the central al-Ghazl market, killing at least 17 people and wounding 27, police and hospital officials said.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information, said six children and many teenagers were among the victims.

About 20 minutes later, another bomb targeted a bird market in the predominantly Shiite southeastern neighborhood of New Baghdad. Police said four people were killed, including a woman, and nine wounded, including children, in that attack.

The violence, which took place shortly before the weekly Islamic call to prayer resounded across the city, was the latest in a series of attacks chipping away at recent security gains with a U.S. troop building and a Sunni revolt against al-Qaida in Iraq.

The al-Ghazl market has been struck several times since the war started but it has recently re-emerged as a popular venue as security has improved in recent months and a weekly driving ban was lifted.

A bomb hidden in a box of small birds exploded at the market in late November, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens.

The U.S. military blamed the November attack on Iranian-backed Shiite militants, saying they had hoped al-Qaida in Iraq would be held responsible for the attack so Iraqis would turn to them for protection.



President Bush and the State Department have been secretly carrying on conversations with the Iraqi government in hopes of keeping U.S. troops in Iraq ad infinitum.

Even though Bush will be leaving office next January, he still wants to leave the next President saddled with the responsibility of overseeing 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

Bush was hoping to build his legacy around Iraq, but when things started to go sour he began to look for ways to salvage the mess he and his administration had created.

Almost 4,000 Americans have been killed in Iraq and another 30,000 are seriously wounded, and the latest survey by a British organization puts the Iraqi civilian death toll at ONE MILLION.

Despite all the chest-thumping by Bush and the right wingers like FOX NEWS that the "surge" has been a roaring success, the truth of the matter is violence continues throughout Iraq on a daily basis with no letup in sight.

As it stands now, Iraq will go down in history as the biggest foreign policy blunder ever undertaken by the United States of America.

Commentary by Bill Corcoran, editor and host of CORKSPHERE,, the ONLY blog in America that is dedicated to telling the truth about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. wants right to hunt fighters in Iraq
By Lolita C. Baldor - The Associated PressPosted : Thursday Jan 31, 2008 20:20:59 EST

WASHINGTON — The United States, determined to prevent a resurgence of terror networks in Iraq, wants to preserve the right to hunt down top foreign fighters, as it negotiates a long-term security agreement with the Iraqis, according to a working draft described to The Associated Press.

And, while the agreement will not tie the U.S. to specific troop levels, officials do not rule out including some broad goals for the U.S. military presence there, reflecting the gradual transfer of security responsibilities to Iraqi forces.

The closely held draft document foresees a flexible agreement that would allow the U.S. and Iraqi governments to adapt and shift responsibilities as conditions change — a goal seen as critical to both calming resistance from Iraqis who want their country free of U.S. control and giving commanders the needed room to respond to changing violence levels.
In particular, it could adjust as attacks increase, decrease or shift to other areas, and as the provincial and national Iraqi governments progress and take on more security responsibilities.

Several officials with knowledge of the approximately 15 pages that outline the administration’s “developing positions” on the negotiations spoke on condition of anonymity, to describe private discussions.

As U.S. military and diplomatic leaders begin shaping their positions for the talks, it is also becoming clear that they will need to provide greater controls over U.S. contractors in Iraq, and that a blanket immunity from prosecution is not likely.

U.S. officials consider this one of the more sensitive issues and are expected to resist Iraqi pressure to make contractors subject to local laws. But, under the cloud of a shooting incident last year involving Blackwater Worldwide that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead, the U.S. may need to provide better assurances that security contractors will be held accountable for their actions.

Any U.S.-Iraq agreement will face criticism from U.S lawmakers who say they will insist Congress review or approve it. Administration officials, who have just begun to brief lawmakers, insist the agreement will not rise to the level of a treaty, which must be approved by Congress.

Go back to link from the ARMY TIMES to read full account