Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Yes, Virginia, there is still a war going on in Iraq even though the mainstream media in the United States has placed the Iraq War on the back burner.

Iraq continues to be a quagmire of chaos with killings by suicide bombers, random acts of shootings, and more recently reports the U.S. military has killed at least 12 Iraqi citizens in two separate incidents.

Iraq is anything but the restive and peaceful country Fox News and other media outlets in the United States paint when they do on manage to squeeze in a few snippets of news about the Iraq war.

Below is just a small sampling of what has been taking place in Iraq over the past three days. There is no letup in the violence and the "surge" is more a public relations ploy than a reality.

Commentary by Bill Corcoran, editor and host of CORKSPHERE,
http://corksphere.blogspot.com/, a blog devoted to bringing readers what they are not hearing or reading about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.



Each story below can be clicked on by clicking "blue" for additional details.

Washington PostIn Iraq, Three Wars Engage U.S.
Three separate but related wars are being waged in this country now, and the third one, against Shiite extremists, is the most worrisome, according to the commander and senior staff of the U.S. Army division patrolling Baghdad.

News Current Time in Baghdad: 11:37:12 PM

02/05/08 Reuters: Three Iraqi national police kidnapped on Saturday
Shi'ite militants kidnapped three Iraqi national police officers from a police checkpoint on Saturday in Ur district in northern Baghdad before releasing them hours later, the U.S. military said.

02/05/08 Reuters: U.S. forces arrest eight suspected Sunni militants
U.S. forces arrested eight suspected Sunni militants during operations on Friday and Saturday in southern Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

02/05/08 AP: 3 Iraqis killed during U.S. raid
Three Iraqis were killed, including a woman, and at least one child was injured after American soldiers stormed a tiny one-room house north of Baghdad and opened fire, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Tuesday.

02/04/08 Reuters: Roadside bomb kills 3 Iraqi soldiers in northern Baghdad
A roadside bomb killed three soldiers and wounded two others when it struck their vehicle in northern Baghdad's Adhamiya district, a member of a neighbourhood police unit said. Two members of the local police unit were wounded in gunfire...

02/04/08 Reuters: Iraqi and U.S. forces kill 7 gunmen in Salman Pak
Iraqi and U.S. forces killed seven gunmen, wounded another one and arrested 28 suspects during air assaults targeting al Qaeda near Salman Pak, 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

02/04/08 Reuters: Gunmen ki9ll 3 policemen in Mosul
Gunmen killed three policemen in two separate drive-by shootings in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

02/04/08 Reuters; Roadside bomb wounds 2 in Kirkuk
A roadside bomb aimed at a police patrol wounded two civilians in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

02/04/08 Reuters: U.S. forses kill 15 militants northeast of Khalis
U.S. forces killed 15 militants and detained eight other suspects in an operation on Sunday to target a suspected al Qaeda meeting place northeast of Khalis, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

02/04/08 Reuters: Gunmen kill foreign ministry official in southwest Baghdad
Gunmen killed a foreign ministry official in a drive-by shooting in western Baghdad's Mansour district, police said.

02/04/08 Reuters: Roadside bomb wounds 2 policemen in southwest Baghdad
Two policemen were wounded by a roadside bomb southwest of Baghdad, police said.

02/04/08 Reuters: Roadside bomb wounds 2 in northwestern Baghdad
Two people were wounded by a roadside bomb planted under their car in northwestern Baghdad's Hurriya district, police said.

02/04/08 Reuters: Gunmen kill bus driver in Baquba
Gunmen killed the driver of a minibus and a girl in a drive by-shooting near Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The girl's brother was wounded.

02/04/08 ynet: Turkish warplanes bomb Kurdish area along Iraq-Turkey border
Five Turkish fighter jets bombed suspected Kurdish rebel hideouts Monday in northern Iraq, a senior Kurdish official said. No casualties were reported.

02/04/08 MCT: Iraqi women struggle to survive as violence claims their men
About 155,000 Iraqis have died from the violence in Iraq during the nearly five years since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to a study by the Iraqi Family Health Survey Study Group in collaboration with the World Health Organization

02/04/08 NYTimes: U.S. troop rules in Iraq made public
American military forces in Iraq were authorized to pursue former members of Saddam Hussein's government and terrorists across Iraq's borders into Iran and Syria, according to a classified 2005 document that has been posted on an independent Web site.

02/03/08 NYTimes: U.S. Says It Accidentally Killed 9 Iraqi Civilians
American forces said Sunday that they had accidentally killed nine Iraqi civilians and wounded three in a strike aimed at militants of Al Qaeda south of Baghdad, acknowledging what appeared to be one of the deadliest cases of mistaken identity...

02/03/08 Observer: Iraq veterans are denied help for combat trauma
Hundreds of veterans, including many who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, are being denied vital help by the government to cope with the psychological fallout of war.

02/03/08 NYTimes: U.S. military reaches for landmark in spending
As Congress and the American public focus on more than $600 billion already approved in supplemental budgets to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other counterterrorism operations, the Bush administration has with little...

02/03/08 iht: Iraqi official and 2 Americans wounded in bombing
A bomb exploded inside an office at the Diyala provincial headquarters Sunday and wounded a local politician and two American soldiers who were meeting, according to Iraqi police officials.

02/03/08 AFP: Baghdad drowning in sewage - Iraqi official
Baghdad is drowning in sewage, thirsty for water and largely powerless, an Iraqi official said in a grim assessment of services in the capital five years after the US-led invasion.

02/03/08 AP: Families of civilian hostages frustrated by lack of information
After 14 months of waiting for the rescue of her son, a civilian who was kidnapped in Iraq, Jackie Stewart feels like a hostage too.

02/03/08 AP: Iraq issues law to return some Baath party jobs
Iraq's presidency council on Sunday issued a controversial law that allows lower-ranking former Baath party members to reclaim government jobs, the final step for the first U.S.-backed benchmark approved by parliament.

02/03/08 LATimes: Former Hussein supporters live in fear in Iraq
First, the attackers beat the retired Baghdad municipality worker, his wife and their daughter in their home last weekend. Then they beheaded them. The only clear motive people could think of for such brutality was that the dead man...

Britain's Prince Andrew attacks Bush on Iraq

05 Feb 2008 08:20:45 GMT 05 Feb 2008 08:20:45 GMT

Source: Reuters

By Kate Kelland


LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Britain's Prince Andrew launched a sharp attack on Tuesday on U.S. President George W. Bush for failing to listen to Britain during the conflict in Iraq.

In a newspaper interview ahead of a 10-day visit to America to support British business, the prince, who is fourth in line to the throne, said the aftermath of the Iraq war had left Britons with a "healthy scepticism" towards what is said in Washington.

"If you are looking at colonialism, if you are looking at operations on an international scale, if you are looking at understanding each other's culture, understanding how to operate in a military insurgency campaign -- we have been through them all," he said. "We've won some, lost some, drawn some."

"The fact is there is quite a lot of experience over here which is valid and should be listened to," he told the International Herald Tribune.

The prince, who also carries the title Duke of York, said that while Britain remained America's number one ally, the post-war situation in Iraq had prompted many here to wonder: "Why didn't anyone listen to what was said and the advice that was given."

"(There are) occasions when people in the U.K. would wish that those in responsible positions in the U.S. might listen and learn from our experiences," he said,

He added that it was, after all, the Americans who had asked for advice: "It's not as if we had been forcing that across the Atlantic."

Click on link to read full story.

Your Time Is Up, Mr. President -- the National Guard Is Coming Home From Iraq

By Karen Dolan and Ben Manski, AlterNetPosted on February 5, 2008, Printed on February 5, 2008

Guess what, Mr. President? Your authority to keep state National Guard troops in Iraq has expired. So says a new bill introduced this week to the Vermont Legislature by Rep. Michael Fisher and Sen. Peter Shumlin. It is supported by 30 of their colleagues.

"It is clear that the mission that Congress authorized no longer exists," said Fisher. "Unless Congress grants a new authorization, the Vermont Guard should revert back to state control." The Vermont bill states:

The Authorization for the Use of Military Force of October 16th, 2002, having expired, the General Assembly declares that all members of the Vermont National Guard should be promptly and expeditiously withdrawn from Iraq, subject only to the conditions of time and manner specifically required to assure their safety and well-being during removal operations … The General Assembly calls on the Governor of Vermont to take prompt steps as the Commander-in-Chief of the Vermont National Guard to effectuate these purposes.

The Guard are the mainstay of America's national defense, and as with other American institutions, the Guard's duties are distributed between the states and the federal government. Unless called into national service, each unit and each individual member of the Guard remains in the service of their respective states.

Five years ago, George Bush called the Guard into national service pursuant to the 2002 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq. The AUMF, passed by Congress in its rush to war, established a limited mission: First, the removal of Saddam Hussein from power; second, enforcement of preceding United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding the elimination of alleged Iraqi WMDs and ballistic missiles. The Vermont bill recognizes that those two mission objectives are complete and that the national service of the Vermont Guard is over; the bill recalls the Guard to state control.

And Vermont is not alone. State legislators in Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island plan to sponsor similar legislation. And legislators in several other states, including Maryland, Maine and Wisconsin, have openly declared that they are examining the issue and considering following suit.

This latest chapter in Democracy v. Empire illustrates one of the most significant and perhaps most underreported aspects of the tragedy which is the occupation of Iraq: The wisdom of the American people. For a public that has all but given up hope for congressional action to end the war, this new state-based legal approach takes advantage of a surge of another kind ...

Click on link above to read full story


US troops slay Iraqi family

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 11:41:21


US troops have shot dead three members of an Iraqi family and wounded another during a raid on their home in a town near Tikrit.

According to police sources, the forces attacked the house in the town of Durra early Tuesday and killed three members of the family - the father, mother and a son - and wounded the daughter.

The girl was reportedly rushed to a US base for medical treatment.

The incident comes three days after the US military admitted accidentally killing nine Iraqi civilians, including a child, during operations south of Baghdad.