Saturday, February 16, 2008


Just a couple of weeks ago President Bush and the Pentagon were saying they were going to drawdown the number of U.S. troops in Iraq.

However, the Iraqi Defense Minister wants more troops in Iraq and U.S. military people are saying the "surge" could end in July with more troops in Iraq than when it started.

Once again the troops and the American people are being given double-speak on the troop withdrawals from Iraq.

What is even more disquieting is the Iraqi Defense Minister is calling the shots on how many U.S. troops stay in Iraq.

Perhaps before President Bush leaves office next January he can just ONCE tell the American people the truth about Iraq.

It would be refreshing.

Bill Corcoran,
editor of CORKSPHERE,, the blog that tells the TRUTH about what is happening with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Iraq defence minister says in need of US troops
Senior Pentagon official says US 'surge' likely to end with more troops in Iraq than before.

DUBAI - Iraq's defence minister said on Saturday that his country needs US troops to protect its borders and also for "strategic deterrence."

"We need US troops... for the defence of the borders... I don't have anything I can use for strategic deterrence. I do not have intercepting aircraft," Abdel Qader Jassim al-Obaidi said on the sidelines of a conference in the United Arab Emirates.

"My need for them (US troops) is pressing in this regard," al-Obaidi said.

But the Iraqi official, who was in Dubai to attend a conference on Iraqi defence and security, said that Iraqi troops always replace US forces when the security situation improves and the latter withdraw from a certain area.

"Whenever the security situation seriously improves we replace them. We have a plan for this year but I cannot disclose the timetable," he said.

"Anyway, the Americans themselves are not willing to abandon Iraq unless they are confident that we are capable. This is an agreement," al-Obaidi added.

A senior Pentagon official said earlier this week that the US "surge" is likely to end in July with more troops in Iraq than the 132,000 who were there before five extra combat brigades were sent in more than a year ago.

Lieutenant General Carter Ham said that support forces and trainers who went in with the surge will still be needed to back up Iraq's expanding security forces after the last of the extra combat brigades leaves.

"It's likely that the number will be a little bit larger than the 132,000 or so that was the number of personnel on the ground pre-surge," said Ham, the operations director of the Joint Staff.
Currently there are about 158,000 US troops in Iraq, down from a high of about 170,000 at the height of the surge.


In still another demonstration of FUBAR (ask one of the members of your family who was in the military what that means if you don't know), the U.S. military in Iraq has KILLED dozens of Iraqis who were in training to takeover security operations in Iraq.

This is just another story that will NEVER be covered by the mainstream media in the United States, especially FOX NEWS which is the mouthpiece of the Bush Administration.

Bill Corcoran, editor of CORKSPHERE, the blog that tells the TRUTH about events in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Iraqi Sahwa fighters stage demonstration against U.S. forces in Iraq

Babel - Voices of Iraq
Saturday , 16 /02 /2008 Time 8:23:22

Babel, Feb 16, (VOI) – The Sahwa (Awakening) tribal fighters staged a demonstration and announced their withdrawal from any activities in Hilla after three of them were killed by U.S. fire during a landing operation north of Hilla, an official source from Babel police said.

"U.S. forces conducted a landing operation in the area of Abad Weis in Jerf al-Sakhr, (60 km) north of Hilla. The U.S. soldiers opened their fire at a gathering of Sahwa men, killing three of them without any apparent reason," the source, who did not want his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

"The U.S. forces killed 19 Sahwa fighters and wounded more than 12 others in just one month and a half," Sabah al-Janabi, the chief of the Sahwa forces in the area, told VOI.

"After each incident, the U.S. forces claim that it occurred by mistake. The U.S. side promises to offer an apology and compensations for the victims' relatives but does not fulfill these pledges," said Janabi.

"Therefore, we announce our withdrawal from the Sahwa council and leave any duty assigned to the Sahwa fighters," he stressed.

Hilla, the capital of Babel, lies 100 km south of Baghdad.


BREAKING NEWS: Vice President Dick Cheney is asked about the Pentagon awarding a new $74 million dollar contract to Sioux Manufacturing, which just settled a lawsuit for providing faulty Kevlar helmets for our troops in Iraq & Afghanistan. Sign the petition demanding an investigation at the website.


According to a new study, hundreds of U.S. Marines have been killed in Iraq because Marine bureaucrats refused to approve the armor needed to protect them while on patrol in MRAPs, the 40-ton truck used so often when Marines go out on patrol in Iraq.

The study is just another example of the foot-dragging that has been going on with the Defense Department when it comes to protecting soldiers and Marine in the field of combat in Iraq.

Not long ago it was reported the soldiers and Marines were not getting the new Kevlar helmets so badly needed to protect them from the IED's and other explosive devices used by the insurgents and Al Queda.

President Bush and his propaganda branch, FOX NEWS, can boast all they want about the success of the "surge" but in reality the equipment U.S. forces are using in Iraq is outdated and in many cases just worn out.

The United States has 160,000 troops in Iraq and there are now reports the scaling back of troops will be put on hold as violence all across Iraq begins to show signs of increasing.

Bill Corcoran, editor of CORKSPHERE,, a blog devoted to telling the TRUTH about conditions in Iraq and not Bush White House and FOX NEWS spin.

Lack of MRAPs cost Marine lives

Study Says Refusal to Send Bomb-Resistant MRAPs to Iraq Led to Marine Deaths

Feb 15, 2008 15:37 EST

Hundreds of U.S. Marines have been killed or injured by roadside bombs in Iraq because Marine Corps bureaucrats refused an urgent request in 2005 from battlefield commanders for blast-resistant vehicles, an internal military study concludes.

The study, written by a civilian Marine Corps official and obtained by The Associated Press, accuses the service of "gross mismanagement" that delayed deliveries of the mine-resistant, ambush-protected trucks for more than two years.

Cost was a driving factor in the decision to turn down the request for the so-called MRAPs, according to the study. Stateside authorities saw the hulking vehicles, which can cost as much as a $1 million each, as a financial threat to programs aimed at developing lighter vehicles that were years from being fielded.

After Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared the MRAP (pronounced M-rap) the Pentagon's No. 1 acquisition priority in May 2007, the trucks began to be shipped to Iraq in large quantities.
The vehicles weigh as much as 40 tons and have been effective at protecting American forces from improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the weapon of choice for Iraqi insurgents. Only four U.S. troops have been killed by such bombs while riding in MRAPs; three of those deaths occurred in older versions of the vehicles.

The study's author, Franz J. Gayl, catalogs what he says were flawed decisions and missteps by midlevel managers in Marine Corps offices that occurred well before Gates replaced Donald Rumsfeld in December 2006.

Among the findings in the Jan. 22 study:

_ Budget and procurement managers failed to recognize the damage being done by IEDs in late 2004 and early 2005 and were convinced the best solution was adding more armor to the less-sturdy Humvees the Marines were using. Humvees, even those with extra layers of steel, proved incapable of blunting the increasingly powerful explosives planted by insurgents.

_ An urgent February 2005 request for MRAPs got lost in bureaucracy. It was signed by then-Brig. Gen. Dennis Hejlik, who asked for 1,169 of the vehicles. The Marines could not continue to take "serious and grave casualties" caused by IEDs when a solution was commercially available, wrote Hejlik, who was a commander in western Iraq from June 2004 to February 2005.

Gayl cites documents showing Hejlik's request was shuttled to a civilian logistics official at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in suburban Washington who had little experience with military vehicles. As a result, there was more concern over how the MRAP would upset the Marine Corps' supply and maintenance chains than there was in getting the troops a truck that would keep them alive, the study contends.

_ The Marine Corps' acquisition staff didn't give top leaders correct information. Gen. James Conway, the Marine Corps commandant, was not told of the gravity of Hejlik's MRAP request and the real reasons it was shelved, Gayl writes. That resulted in Conway giving "inaccurate and incomplete" information to Congress about why buying MRAPs was not hotly pursued.

_ The Combat Development Command, which decides what gear to buy, treated the MRAP as an expensive obstacle to long-range plans for equipment that was more mobile and fit into the Marines Corps' vision as a rapid reaction force. Those projects included a Humvee replacement called the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle and a new vehicle for reconnaissance and surveillance missions.

The MRAPs didn't meet this fast-moving standard and so the Combat Development Command didn't want to buy them, according to Gayl. The study calls this approach a "Cold War orientation" that suffocates the ability to react to emergency situations.

_ The Combat Development Command has managers — some of whom are retired Marines — who lack adequate technical credentials. They have outdated views of what works on the battlefield and how the defense industry operates, Gayl says. Yet they are in position to ignore or overrule calls from deployed commanders.

An inquiry should be conducted by the Marine Corps inspector general to determine if any military or government employees are culpable for failing to rush critical gear to the troops, recommends Gayl, who prepared the study for the Marine Corps' plans, policies and operations department.

More than 3,900 U.S. troops, including 824 Marines, have been killed in action in Iraq since the war began in March 2003. An additional 30,000 have been wounded, nearly 8,400 of them Marines. The majority of the deaths and injuries have been caused by explosive devices, according to the Defense Department.

Congress has provided more than $22 billion for 15,000 MRAPs the Defense Department plans to acquire, mostly for the Army. Depending on the size of the vehicle and how it is equipped, the trucks can cost between $450,000 and $1 million.

Click on link above to read the full account of how Marines have died because of the lack of bomb-resistant vehicles.


Is Iraq as stable as the Bush White House and FOX News are saying?

Not at all.

Read this full account of what life is like in Iraq. It is not what the Bush White House and FOX NEWS are saying.

Iraq: They Call This Stability?

By Patrick Cockburn, The Independent UKPosted on February 15, 2008, Printed on February 16, 2008

People in Baghdad are not passive victims of violence, but seek desperately to avoid their fate. In April 2004, I was almost killed by Shia militiamen of the Mehdi Army at a checkpoint at Kufa in southern Iraq. They said I was an American spy and were about to execute me and my driver, Bassim Abdul Rahman, when they decided at the last moment to check with their commander. "I believe," Bassim said afterwards, "that if Patrick had an American or an English passport [instead of an Irish one] they would have killed us all immediately."

In the following years, I saw Bassim less and less. He is a Sunni, aged about 40, from west Baghdad. After the battle for Baghdad between Shia and Sunni in 2006, he could hardly work as a driver as three-quarters of the capital was controlled by the Shia. There were few places where a Sunni could drive in safety outside a handful of enclaves.

What happened to Bassim was also to happen to millions of Iraqis who saw their lives ruined by successive calamities. As their world collapsed around them they were forced to take desperate measures to survive, obtain a job and make enough money to feed and educate their families.
In the US and Europe, the main measure of whether the war in Iraq is "going well" or "going badly" is the casualty figures. The number of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians being killed went down to 39 US soldiers and 599 Iraqi civilians in January.

The White House is promoting the idea that the United States is finally on the road to success, if not victory, in Iraq.

On the back of this renewed optimism about the war, Senator John McCain, the premier hawk among the Republican candidates for the presidency, has been able to revive his foundering campaign and is set to be his party's nominee. Despite the scepticism of many US journalists permanently stationed in Iraq, television and newspaper newsrooms in New York and Washington (in London they are more skeptical) have largely bought into the idea that "the surge" -- the wider deployment of 30,000 extra US troops since February 2006 -- has succeeded.

But any true assessment of the happiness or misery of Iraqis must use a less crude index than the number of dead and injured. It must ask if people have been driven from their houses, and if they can return. It must say whether they have a job and, if they do not, whether they stand a chance of getting one. It has to explain why so few of the 3.2 million people who are refugees in Syria and Jordan, or inside Iraq, are coming back.

Go back to link to read the full story....