Saturday, February 23, 2008


The Department of Defense website contains the latest information of military deaths in Iraq.


At least 10 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Baghdad's Green Zone on Saturday in still another example that "the surge" is a myth and violence is on the rise all across Iraq.

The Green Zone is the home of Camp Victory where many of the 160,000 U.S. military forces deployed to Iraq are stationed.

It was not immediately known if there were any casualties to American military personnel.

In other developments in Iraq, suicide bombers struck both in Baghdad and Falluja the two cities supposedly a safe haven from insurgent attacks because of "the surge."

Adding to the chaos in Iraq, the Turkish Army has crossed into Kurdistan with 10,000 troops setting up a possible confrontation with American forces in that region of Iraq.

Meanwhile, the mainstream press in the United States continues to avoid reporting on developments in Iraq and when they do report on unfolding developments in Iraq they downplay them much like FOX NEWS does by saying these are isolated instances.

Nothing could be further from the truth and any news organization that claims what is happening in the Green Zone on Saturday and with suicide bombings in Baghdad and Falluja are "isolated instances" is not a new organziation but a propaganda branch of the Bush White House.

Commentary by Bill Corcoran, editor of CORKSPHERE, the ONLY blog that dares to tell the truth about the war in Iraq and not the sloppy reporting going on by the likes of FOX NEWS.

Shells hit Baghdad's Green Zone

Story Highlights
Mortars or rockets rain on secure area in Iraq capital, Pentagon says
Attack comes day after extension of Mehdi Army cease-fire
U.S. posts in Baghdad targeted four times this week, military says
Iraqi Journalists Union chief wounded in gun assault

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Rockets or mortars hit the U.S.-protected Green Zone early Saturday, the day after powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his Mehdi Army militia to extend its cease-fire by another six months.

Starting about 6:15 a.m., about 10 blasts could be heard in the sprawling area along the Tigris River that houses the U.S. and British embassies, the Iraqi government headquarters and thousands of American troops.

It was not immediately clear whether there were casualties.

Maj. Brad Leighton, a U.S. military spokesman, confirmed the Green Zone was hit by indirect fire -- the military's term for a rocket or mortar attack -- but could not immediately provide more details.

It was the fourth time this week that U.S. outposts in Baghdad appeared to be the targets of rocket or mortar attacks, killing at least six people and wounding both Iraqis and Americans, including at least two U.S. troops.

The flurry of attacks has followed a substantial lull in such assaults as security has increased and violence around the capital has dropped over the last half-year.

Earlier in the week, the U.S. military blamed Iranian-backed Shiite militias that have broken away from al-Sadr's block for the rocket attacks. Tehran denies that it sponsors extremists in Iraq.


There are two reasons why Americans are being misled by the so-called success of "the surge" in Iraq.

The first one is because the Bush Administration keeps putting out propaganda that "the surge" has been a big success in Baghdad and Falluja.

The second reason is because the mainstream media in the United States has bought into the Bush Administration smokescreen about "the surge" and no longer tells the truth about what is really happening in Baghdad, Falluja and other parts of Iraq.

National opinion polls in the United States reflect how the Bush Administration in concert with the mainstream media in the United States have shoved the Iraq War off the front burner and replaced it with the economy.

However, the success of "the surge" is all a myth and the people who are suffering most from the myth are the Iraqi citizens and 160,000 U.S. military stationed in Iraq who daily witness anything but a successful operation.

Rolling Stone sent a reporter into the heart of Iraq to get a firsthand look at the evolution "the surge."

What Nir Rosen of Rolling Stone reports is a shocking overview of how the U.S. military has been arming Iraqis who were once members of the insurgents fighting and killing U.S. forces.

But there is more. Much more. And it is a read that will leave you wondering what in the world is the Bush Administration and the U.S. military in Iraq thinking.

Commentary by Bill Corcoran, editor of CORKSPHERE, the blog that dares to bring readers the REAL TRUTH about the war in Iraq and not Bush Administration hype pushed on the American public by the likes of FOX NEWS.

The Myth of the Surge

Hoping to turn enemies into allies, U.S. forces are arming Iraqis who fought with the insurgents. But it's already starting to backfire. A report from the front lines of the new Iraq


Posted Mar 06, 2008 8:53 AM

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6

Click here to see more photos taken by Danfung Dennis for this feature

It's a cold, gray day in December, and I'm walking down Sixtieth Street in the Dora district of Baghdad, one of the most violent and fearsome of the city's no-go zones.

Devastated by five years of clashes between American forces, Shiite militias, Sunni resistance groups and Al Qaeda, much of Dora is now a ghost town.

This is what "victory" looks like in a once upscale neighborhood of Iraq: Lakes of mud and sewage fill the streets. Mountains of trash stagnate in the pungent liquid. Most of the windows in the sand-colored homes are broken, and the wind blows through them, whistling eerily. House after house is deserted, bullet holes pockmarking their walls, their doors open and unguarded, many emptied of furniture. What few furnishings remain are covered by a thick layer of the fine dust that invades every space in Iraq. Looming over the homes are twelve-foot-high security walls built by the Americans to separate warring factions and confine people to their own neighborhood. Emptied and destroyed by civil war, walled off by President Bush's much-heralded "surge," Dora feels more like a desolate, post-apocalyptic maze of concrete tunnels than a living, inhabited neighborhood. Apart from our footsteps, there is complete silence.

My guide, a thirty-one-year-old named Osama who grew up in Dora, points to shops he used to go to, now abandoned or destroyed: a barbershop, a hardware store. Since the U.S. occupation began, Osama has watched civil war turn the streets where he grew up into an ethnic killing field. After the fall of Saddam, the Americans allowed looters and gangs to take over the streets, and Iraqi security forces were stripped of their jobs.

The Mahdi Army, the powerful Shiite paramilitary force led by the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, took advantage of the power shift to retaliate in areas such as Dora, where Shiites had been driven from their homes. Shiite forces tried to cleanse the district of Sunni families like Osama's, burning or confiscating their homes and torturing or killing those who refused to leave.

"The Mahdi Army was killing people here," Osama says, pointing to a now-destroyed Shiite mosque that in earlier times had been a cafe and before that an office for Saddam's Baath Party. Later, driving in the nearby district of Baya, Osama shows me a gas station. "They killed my uncle here. He didn't accept to leave. Twenty guys came to his house, the women were screaming. He ran to the back, but they caught him, tortured him and killed him." Under siege by Shiite militias and the U.S. military, who viewed Sunnis as Saddam supporters, and largely cut out of the Shiite-dominated government, many Sunnis joined the resistance. Others turned to Al Qaeda and other jihadists for protection.

Now, in the midst of the surge, the Bush administration has done an about-face. Having lost the civil war, many Sunnis were suddenly desperate to switch sides — and Gen. David Petraeus was eager to oblige.

The U.S. has not only added 30,000 more troops in Iraq — it has essentially bribed the opposition, arming the very Sunni militants who only months ago were waging deadly assaults on American forces. To engineer a fragile peace, the U.S. military has created and backed dozens of new Sunni militias, which now operate beyond the control of Iraq's central government. The Americans call the units by a variety of euphemisms: Iraqi Security Volunteers (ISVs), neighborhood watch groups, Concerned Local Citizens, Critical Infrastructure Security. The militias prefer a simpler and more dramatic name: They call themselves Sahwa, or "the Awakening."

At least 80,000 men across Iraq are now employed by the Americans as ISVs. Nearly all are Sunnis, with the exception of a few thousand Shiites. Operating as a contractor, Osama runs 300 of these new militiamen, former resistance fighters whom the U.S. now counts as allies because they are cashing our checks.

The Americans pay Osama once a month; he in turn provides his men with uniforms and pays them ten dollars a day to man checkpoints in the Dora district — a paltry sum even by Iraqi standards. A former contractor for KBR, Osama is now running an armed network on behalf of the United States government. "We use our own guns," he tells me, expressing regret that his units have not been able to obtain the heavy-caliber machine guns brandished by other Sunni militias.

Click on link to ROLLING STONE:
to read the full story.


Turmoil in the Middle East continues to boil over as 10,000 Turkish troops have crossed the border and invaded the Kurdish region of Iraq.

Earlier today suicide bombers struck in Baghdad and Falluja Iraq as U.S. forces gear up for what looks like an increase in violence all across Iraq.

Meanwhile, Condoleeza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State, is calling on the UN to do something about Iran and the increase in their nuclear production capability.

The mainstream press in the United States continues to ignore the growing crisis in the Middle East but instead focus entirely on the presidential race.

The new invasion of Iraq

Up to 10,000 Turkish troops launch an incursion which threatens to destabilise the country's only peaceful region

By Patrick CockburnSaturday, 23 February 2008

The invading Turkish soldiers are in pursuit of Kurdish guerrillas hiding in the mountains. They are seeking to destroy the camps of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) along the border between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan. "Thousands of troops have crossed the border and thousands more are waiting at the border to join them if necessary," said a Turkish military source.

"There are severe clashes," said Ahmed Danees, the head of foreign relations for the PKK. "Two Turkish soldiers have been killed and eight wounded. There are no PKK casualties." Turkish television said that the number of Turkish troops involved was between 3,000 and 10,000, and they had moved 16 miles inside Iraq.

But the escalating Turkish attacks are destabilising the Kurdish region of Iraq which is the one peaceful part of the country and has visibly benefited from the US invasion.

The Iraqi Kurds are America's closest allies in Iraq and the only Iraqi community to support fully the US occupation. The president of the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, Massoud Barzani, said recently he felt let down by the failure of the Iraqi government in Baghdad to stop Turkish bombing raids on Iraqi territory.

The incursion is embarrassing for the US, which tried to avert it, because the American military provides intelligence to the Turkish armed forces about the location of the camps of Turkish Kurd fighters. Immediately before the operation began, the Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, called President George Bush to warn him.

The US and the Iraqi government are eager to play down the extent of the invasion. Rear Admiral Gregory Smith, a US spokesman for Iraq, said: "We understand [it] is an operation of limited duration to specifically target PKK terrorists in that region." The Iraqi Foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, claimed that only a few hundred Turkish troops were in Iraq.

But since last year Turkey has succeeded, by making limited incursions into Kurdistan, in establishing a de facto right to intervene militarily in Kurdistan whenever it feels like it.

Click on link above to read the full story.


The right wingers---especially the Bush Administration propaganda branch FOX NEWS---continue to LIE to the American public about the state of violence in Iraq.

If anything, violence is on rise all across Iraq and especially in Baghdad and Falluja, the two cities the Bush Administration and FOX NEWS claim are a sea of tranquility.

The right wing propagandists refuse to admit that conditions in Iraq are deteriorating as each day goes by, and in so doing the right wingers are not only insulting the American public but they are doing a great disservice to the brave young men and women serving in the United States military in Iraq.

Here is just a sampling of the VIOLENCE that took place Friday and early Saturday in Baghdad, Falluja and all across Iraq.

Does this look like Iraq is a "sea of tranquility?"

Commentary by Bill Corcoran, editor of CORKSPHERE,, the blog that will NOT become a part of the Bush Administration's LIES to the American public about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


BAGHDAD - A car bomb blew up in Baghdad's central Karrada district, killing one person and wounding four.

BAGHDAD - A bomb killed at least one person and wounded four others in Karrada district, central Baghdad, police said. [From McClatchy: A donkey and cart abandoned in a market place behind the National Theater, near Hamurabi Hotel, central Baghdad were used to carry an IED which was detonated early this morning, killing one civilian, injuring four, and causing a lot of material damage to the surrounding stores.]

BAGHDAD - Five bodies were found in different districts across Baghdad on Thursday, police said.

Baghdad - Mahdi Army commander killed in Baghdad

NEAR BAQUBA - Three mortars landed in a village of Buhriz, 60 km (36 miles) north of Baghdad, killing one child and wounding eight people.

KHAN BANI SAD - U.S. forces killed six suspected al Qaeda militants and detained six others in Khan Bani Sad, 35 km (21 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

Khan Bani Sad - Diyala Gunmen attacked a family working in a field in Khan Beni Saad, 15 km to the south of Baquba at around 03:15 pm killing Omar Mohammed, 12 years and his two sisters Budur and Seleema, 17 and 20 years old.

Balad –
U.S. soldiers wounded, vehicle destroyed by blast in Balad
Anbar - 3 policemen and 1 civilian killed as a suicide bomber detonates targeting the motorcade of Ameriyah Chief of Police, Major Saadoun Subhi in Ameriyat al-Falluja neibourhood, a suburb of Fallujah after Friday prayers this afternoon. The major himself was severely wounded.

ANBAR PROVINCE - One U.S. Marine was killed in a battle with gunmen in Anbar province on Thursday, the U.S. military said.

NEAR FALLUJA - A suicide bomber killed at least six policemen and wounded nine others when he detonated a vest packed with explosives outside a mosque near Falluja in western Anbar province, police said.

NEAR FALLUJA - A roadside bomb killed Brigadier-General Abdul Jabbar al-Juboury, head of the Iraqi army's Falluja Brigade, and his driver on Thursday south of Falluja, police said.

NEAR FALLUJA - A parked car bomb killed one man and wounded two others on Thursday near a market in Falluja, police said.

Fallujah - Suicide blast in Falluja mosque leaves 12 casualties Four people were killed and eight others wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up amidst worshippers performing the Friday prayers at a mosque in southern Falluja, police said.

GARMA - A suicide bomber on foot attacked an Iraqi security checkpoint, killing two people and wounding three in Garma, near Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

Near Kirkuk - Truck driver wounded in explosion near Kirkuk

Diala Province – Gunmen kill three family members in Diala
TIKRIT - A suicide car bomber killed three policemen and wounded eight others at a police station in Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Babel – Two corpses found in Babel

Mosul – 3 wounded in house bomb in Mosul

Mosul – 3 gunmen, suspect arrested in Mosul
ISKANDARIYA - Two bodies with gunshot wounds and signs of torture were found in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

Basra – 4 British soldiers wounded in blasts in Basra

Basra – Basra airport closed because of Katyusha attacks


The Department of Defense has released the names of more U.S. casualties from the war in Iraq.

As usual, the mainstream press and the Bush White House puppet FOX NEWS continues to ignore the deaths of these brave young Americans despite the fact the names of U.S. casualties in Iraq are carried on the extremely reliable web site.

Apparently FOX NEWS and others are too busy reporting on Drew Peterson, Britney Spears and the latest car chase somewhere in the United States to report on the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq.

Sad but so true the depths the media in the United States has sunk to, especially FOX NEWS, when celebrity gossip is more important than the deaths of young Americans in a war that never had to be fought in the first place.

Commentary by Bill Corcoran, editor of CORKSPHERE,, the blog that isn't afraid to tell the TRUTH about what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan and how the mainstream media in the United States has let down 160,000 young Americans in Iraq.

U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD:

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

Latest Coalition Fatality: Feb 21, 2008
02/22/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Capt. Nathan R. Raudenbush, 25, of Pennsylvania, died Feb. 20 in Busayefi, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team...

02/22/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualties (3 of 3)
Sgt. Conrad Alvarez, 22, of Big Spring, TX...assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division... died Feb. 20 in Baghdad, Iraq, from wounds suffered when their vehicle encountered an IED...

02/22/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualties (2 of 3)
Cpl. Albert Bitton, 20, of Chicago...assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division... died Feb. 20 in Baghdad, Iraq, from wounds suffered when their vehicle encountered an IED in Baghdad...

02/22/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualties (1 of 3)
Spc. Micheal B. Matlock, Jr., 21, of Glen Burnie, Md...assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division... died Feb. 20 in Baghdad, Iraq, from wounds suffered when their vehicle encountered an IED...

02/22/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Staff Sgt. Bryant W. Mackey, 30, of Eureka, Kan., died Feb. 20 in Mosul, Iraq, of wounds suffered when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas.

02/22/08 MNF: MND-B Soldier dies of non-combat related illness
A Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldier died as the result of a non-combat related illness Feb. 21. The Soldier’s name is being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin and release by the Department of Defense.