Thursday, February 21, 2008


The Department of Defense now lists U.S casualties in Iraq as MND (Multi National Division) rather than what branch of the U.S. military they were assigned to.

It is all part of the Bush Administration's effort to hide from the American public as much as possible the deaths of young American men and women in Iraq.

Here is how the Iraq casualty reports are now being listed:

U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD:

Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation:
DoD Confirmation List

Latest Coalition Fatality: Feb 20, 2008

02/21/08 MNF: Multi-National Division – Center Soldier attacked by IED
A Multi-National Division – Center Soldier was killed when the Soldier’s vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device Feb. 20. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin.

02/20/08 MNF: MND-N Soldiers attacked in Ninevah Province - 1 killed, 3 wounded
A Multi-National Division - North Soldier was killed as a result of injuries sustained from a rocket propelled grenade attack while conducting patrols in Mosul. Three Soldiers were also wounded and transported to a Coalition medical facility...

02/20/08 MNF: MND-B Soldiers attacked by IED - 3 killed
Three Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers were killed at approximately 10:30 p.m. Feb. 19 when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in northwestern Baghdad.


Suicide bombings in Iraq are on the rise and the Iraqi government is going to take a draconian measure and round up all the homeless and mentally ill and place them in government institutions.

What is interesting is how the mainstream media in the United States has been avoiding coverage of the war in Iraq except for "puff pieces" on how well "the surge" has been doing.

The mainstream press in the U.S. are shunning coverage of the Iraq war, but the foreign press, especially the press in the Middle East, have been reporting daily on the increase of suicide bombers, many of them women and young girls who suffer from mental problems.

This CNN story, along with a list of suicide bombings in recent days, is being carried on CORKSPHERE,, a blog by Bill Corcoran which covers the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan no longer covered by the mainstream press in the United States.

Bill Corcoran, editor of CORKSPHERE

Iraq to round up homeless, mentally ill, to prevent bombings

From Mohammed TawfeeqCNN

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi authorities plan to round up homeless and mentally ill residents on streets across the war-torn nation to prevent them from becoming used as suicide bombers, an Interior Ministry official said.

The move follows a pair of high-profile February 1 bombings that left almost 100 people dead.

The bombers, who hit a Baghdad pet market, were mentally handicapped women and the explosives strapped to their bodies were detonated by remote control, said U.S. and Iraqi authorities.

Police will hand beggars, vagrants and the mentally handicapped over to governmental institutions that can provide them with shelter and care, a high-ranking official in the interior minister's office said.

The campaign is scheduled to be launched Wednesday and is expected to last for at least a week, the official said.

"Militant groups, like al Qaeda in Iraq, have started exploiting these people in a very bad manner to kill innocents because they do not raise suspicions," Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf told The Associated Press.

"These groups are either luring those who are desperate for money to help them in their attacks or making use of their poor mental condition to use them as suicide bombers."

The U.S. military reported last week that al Qaeda in Iraq recruited female patients from Baghdad's two psychiatric hospitals, with the help of hospital staff, for suicide missions. It is unclear whether the women understood what they were doing. Watch how using women may represent a new tactic »

American troops arrested the acting administrator of one of the hospitals after the February 1 attack, announcing an unspecified link between the man and the bombers.

And Sunday, three civilians died and 10 people, including a police officer, were wounded when a female beggar blew herself up inside an electronics store in central Baghdad, according to another Interior Ministry official.

The official said Iraqi police suspect the woman was wearing an explosive vest and tried to warn the people around her, but she ran into the store and detonated it.

Meanwhile, Iraqi authorities are investigating another deadly blast Tuesday.
A truck loaded with rockets exploded as Iraqi police tried to defuse them, killing at least 15 officers and wounding 27, an Interior Ministry official said.

Police found the truck parked in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood of al-Obeidi, a Shiite Muslim district, after a rocket attack on a nearby U.S. military post, the official said.

A number of bomb disposal experts were among the dead and wounded, the official said.
Rocket and mortar attacks remain common in Baghdad despite a marked reduction in the level of sectarian killings over the past year.

Rocket attacks around Camp Victory -- a major U.S. base at Baghdad's airport -- left five Iraqis dead and 16 people wounded, including two U.S. soldiers and at least six children.

U.S. and Iraqi troops detained six people for questioning and recovered an unexploded rocket after the attack.


The mainstream media in the United States has been complicit in helping make the Iraq War disappear from the front pages and from television newscasts.

Tom Englehardt,, accurately points out the mainstream media has gone along with the Bush administration and buried all the news coming out of Iraq except to sing the praises of "the surge."

The PR blitz by the Bush White House in concert with the mainstream media in the United States has been a roaring success because no longer is the Iraq War uppermost on the minds of the American public according to all national public opinion polls even though the U.S. still has 160,000 troops in Iraq.

So while the mainstream press, especially the Bush White House propaganda machine, FOX NEWS, have been hailing the success of "the surge," there have been countless suicide bombings and other acts of violence going on every single day in Iraq but nobody is covering it anymore.

The average American thinks Iraq is now a sea of tranquility because they don't read or see anything about Iraq in the media.

Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth as Engelhardt points out in his article.

Commentary by Bill Corcoran, editor of CORKSPHERE,, the blog that reveals the truth about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sans Bush White House and FOX NEWS spin.

Making Iraq Disappear

The Million Year War

How Never to Withdraw from Iraq

By Tom Engelhardt
Think of the top officials of the Bush administration as magicians when it comes to Iraq. Their top hats and tails may be worn and their act fraying, but it doesn't seem to matter.

Their latest "abracadabra," the President's "surge strategy" of 2007, has still worked like a charm. They waved their magic wands, paid off and armed a bunch of former Sunni insurgents and al-Qaeda terrorists (about 80,000 "concerned citizens," as the President likes to call them), and magically lowered "violence" in Iraq.

Even more miraculously, they made a country that they had already turned into a cesspool and a slagheap -- its capital now has a "lake" of sewage so large that it can be viewed "as a big black spot on Google Earth" -- almost entirely disappear from view in the U.S.

Of course, what they needed to be effective was that classic adjunct to any magician's act, the perfect assistant. This has been a role long held, and still played with mysterious willingness, by the mainstream media.

There are certainly many reporters in Iraq doing their jobs as best they can in difficult circumstances.

When it comes to those who make the media decisions at home, however, they have practically clamored for the Bush administration to put them in a coffin-like box and saw it in half. Thanks to their news choices, Iraq has for months been whisked deep inside most papers and into the softest sections of network and cable news programs.

Only one Iraq subject has gotten significant front-page attention: How much "success" has the President's surge strategy had?

Before confirmatory polls even arrived, the media had waved its own magic wand and declared that Americans had lost interest in Iraq. Certainly the media people had.

The economy -- with its subprime Hadithas and its market Abu Ghraibs -- moved to center stage, yet links between the Bush administration's two trillion dollar war and a swooning economy were seldom considered. It mattered little that a recent Associated Press/Ipsos poll revealed a majority of Americans to be convinced that the most reasonable "stimulus" for the U.S. economy would be withdrawal from Iraq. A total of 68% of those polled believed such a move would help the economy.

Anyone tuning in to the nightly network news can now regularly go through a typical half-hour focused on Obamania, the faltering of the Clinton "machine," the Huckabee/McCain face-off on Republican Main Street, the latest nose-diving market, and the latest campus shooting without running across Iraq at all. Cable TV, radio news, newspapers -- it makes little difference.

The News Coverage Index of the Project for Excellence in Journalism illustrates that point clearly. For the week of February 4-10, the category of "Iraq Homefront" barely squeaked into tenth place on its chart of the top-ten most heavily covered stories with 1% of the "newshole." First place went to "2008 Campaign" at 55%. "Events in Iraq" -- that is, actual coverage of and from Iraq -- didn't make it onto the list. (The week before, "Events in Iraq" managed to reach #6 with 2% of the newshole.)

True, you can go to Juan Cole's Informed Comment website, perhaps the best daily round-up of Iraqi mayhem and disaster on the Web, and you'll feel as if, like Alice, you had fallen down a rabbit hole into another universe. ("Two bombings shook Iraq Sunday morning. In the Misbah commercial center in the upscale Shiite Karrada district, a female suicide bomber detonated a belt bomb, killing 3 persons and wounding 10… About 100 members of the Awakening Council of Hilla Province have gone on strike to protest the killing of three of them by the U.S. military at Jurf al-Sakhr last Sunday, in what the Pentagon says was an accident… Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that officials in Baqubah are warning that as families are returning to the city, they could be forced right back out again, owing to sectarian tensions...") But how many Americans read Juan Cole every day... or any day?

On that media homefront, the Bush administration has been Houdini-esque. Left repeatedly locked in chains inside a booth full of water, George W. Bush continues to emerge to declare that things are going swimmingly in Iraq:

"…80,000 local citizens stepped up and said, we want to help patrol our own neighborhoods; we're sick and tired of violence and extremists. I'm not surprised that that happens. I believe Iraqi moms want the same thing that American moms want, and that is for their children to grow up in peace…

The surge is working. I know some don't want to admit that, and I understand. But the terrorists understand the surge is working. Al Qaeda knows the surge is working…"
Having pulled the "surge" rabbit out of his hat -- even stealing the very word out of the middle of "insurgent" -- Bush then topped that trick by making Iraq go away for weeks, if not months, on end. Talk about success!

Click on link to read full story.


There are only so many rotations our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan can take before it breaks the back of the military.

There are many officers who feel something has to be done about the strain that is being put on the military---especially the Army and Marines---who are bogged down in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The time has come for the mainstream media in the United States to come out of their self-imposed exile on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and start telling the American public the truth about what is happening to our troops in both war theaters.

Commentary by Bill Corcoran, editor of CORKSPHERE.

US military severely strained, officers say

WASHINGTON - The US military is "severely strained" by two large-scale occupations in the Middle East, other troop deployments, and recruiting problems, according to a new survey of military officers published by Foreign Policy magazine and the centrist think-tank Center for a New American Strategy.

"They see a force stretched dangerously thin and a country ill-prepared for the next fight," said the report, "The US Military Index", which polled 3,400 current and former high-level military officers.

Sixty percent of the officers surveyed said that the military is weaker now than it was five years ago, often citing the number of troops deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We ought to pay more attention to quality," said retiredLieutenant General Gregory Newbold, who retired from the Joint Chiefs of Staff in part over objections to the invasion of Iraq, at a panel during a conference to release the data.

Go back to link to read the full story.