Thursday, March 6, 2008


Women who do not wear the hijab are becoming prime targets of militias, residents both in Basra and Baghdad have told IPS in recent months.

Many women say they are threatened with death if they do not obey.

"Militiamen approached us to tell us we must wear the hijab and stop wearing make-up," college student Zahra Alwan who fled Basra to Baghdad told IPS last December.

Graffiti in red on walls across Basra warns women against wearing make-up and stepping out without covering their bodies from head to toe, Alwan said.

Surviving Somehow Behind a Concrete Purdah

Analysis by Dahr Jamail

WASHINGTON, Mar 6 (IPS) - Iraq, where women once had more rights and freedom than most others in the Arab world, has turned deadly for women who dream of education and a professional career.

Former dictator Saddam Hussein maintained a relatively secular society, where it was common for women to take up jobs as professors, doctors and government officials. In today's Iraq, women are being killed by militia groups for not conforming to strict Islamist ways.

Basra police chief Gen. Jalil Hannoon told reporters and Arab TV channels in December that at least 40 women had been killed during the previous five months in that city alone.

"We are sure there are many more victims whose families did not report their killing for fear of scandal," Gen. Hannoon said.

The militias dominated by the Shia Badr Organisation and the Mehdi Army are leading imposition of strict Islamist rules. The Shia-dominated Iraqi government is seen as providing tacit and sometimes direct support to them.

The Badr Organisation answers to the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), the Shia bloc in the Iraqi government. The Mehdi army is the militia of anti-occupation Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Click on link to read full story.


It is known as the "silent killer."

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is afflicting over 60,000 veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Veterans Administration is not equipped to handle the mounting numbers of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with severe cases of depression.

More Than 60,000 Iraq, Afghanistan Vets Diagnosed with PTSD
Jason Leopold

Op Ed News

Mar 06, 2008- Jonathan Schulze was awarded two Purple Hearts in 2005 after a lengthy tour of duty in Iraq.

But the Marine veteran couldn't escape the war inside his head.

Drugs and alcohol temporarily numbed his pain. Yet the guilt he carried around with him having been one of a handful of soldiers in his unit to survive combat was impossible to run away from.

Schulze was suicidal.

On January 11, 2007, he sought treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder. His parents drove him to the VA hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Schulze told the VA staff that he "felt suicidal," his mother, Marianne Schulze, recalled.

The hospital didn't admit him. Instead, he was told to call back the following day. He did. He was given a number: 26. The VA staff told him he'd have to wait at least two weeks to be admitted. Apparently, there were other veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who were also suffering from PTSD. It's unknown whether they met the same fate.

On January 16, 2007, Schulze placed a photo of his one-year-old daughter beside him. He wrapped an electrical cord around his neck and hung himself in the basement of a friend's house in New Prague, Minnesota.

He was 25 years old.


Violence is on the rise in Baghdad and there are now grave doubts "the surge" is working anymore.

Also, all across Iraq violence, death and mayhem are rising and Iraq is well on the way to an all out civil war.

The mainstream media in the United States continues to ignore the growing chaos in Iraq and the American public are being kept in the dark about the serious nature of conditions in Iraq.

Pair of bombs kills 53 in Baghdad, officials say

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Fifty-three people were killed and 125 were wounded in two bomb attacks Thursday evening in a Baghdad commercial district, an Interior Ministry official said.

A roadside bomb exploded first, around 7 p.m., in the central Baghdad district of Karrada, killing and wounding a number of people, the Interior Ministry official said.

As others gathered to help the wounded, a suicide bomber amid the crowd detonated an explosive vest, killing and wounding many more, the official said.

The majority of causalities occurred during the second attack, the official said.

The U.S. military said Iraqi Security Forces and emergency responders were first on the scene, and coalition forces arrived afterward.

The U.S. military did not provide a death toll in its statement on the attacks.

"This terrorist attack was a senseless act of violence directed against the Iraqi people," Col. Allen Batschelet, chief of staff of the Multi-National Division, said in a written statement.

The explosions occurred during a busy time as Thursday night is the beginning of the weekend for Muslims.


War News for Thursday, March 06, 2008

Baghdad:#1: One person was killed and five wounded by a roadside bomb in northern Baghdad's al-Waziriya district, police said.Around 7:30 am, a roadside bomb targeted an American patrol at Al-Kasra of Waziriyah neighborhood near Taliyaa theatre .No casualties of the American patrol as it hit a civilian Kia mini bus killing one passenger and injuring five others including a woman

#2: An explosive charge, planted by unknown gunmen on the main road in al-Aazamiya neighborhood in northern Baghdad, went off, wounding three civilians,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#3: U.S. soldiers killed three suspected al Qaeda fighters and detained 19 others in raids in central Iraq over the past two days, the U.S. military said.

#4: Two bombs went off within minutes of each other in a Baghdad commercial district Thursday evening, killing 15 people and wounding 35, police and officials at three hospitals said.At least one of those killed died at the hospital, an official said. Karradah neighborhood, which was followed a couple of minutes later by a bomb in a nearby garbage can.Around 6:45 p.m., an IED exploded at Al-Attar Street in Karrada neighborhood and when police and army arrived suspecting of having another IED to be defused a suicide bomber detonated himself in the crowd. (54 )persons were killed (including policemen and soldiers) and injuring 123 others(including three women) See lead story for updated death toll from twin car bombs.

.#5: Police found two dead bodies in Baghdad today: both in Risafa bank; one was found in Bub Al-Sham and one was found in Husseiniyah.

Diyala Prv:#1: Two people were killed and 10 wounded in clashes between al Qaeda and villagers in Tal Asswad near Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, on Wednesday, police said.

#2: Roadside bombing on Thursday killed a police officer and wounded four policemen in Diala, north Iraq, a security source said. “An improvised explosive device went off on the main road leading to Himreen dam of Khanqeen district”, Diala security source said.The source pointed out “the explosion killed a lieutenant and wounds four policemen”.

Hilla:#1: Two people were wounded when a bomb exploded inside a minibus in the city of Hilla, 100 km (60 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

Amarra:#1: Two Iraqi soldiers were killed in an attack launched by gunmen in Missan on Thursday, a security source said. "Unknown gunmen driving a car opened fire and shot two Iraqi soldiers dead in central Amarra," a security source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of IraqBasra:

#1: In the morning, police found a female dead body at Nuaab Dhibat neighborhood (north Basra).#2: Around noon, gunmen killed a policeman of border guards in downtown old Basra city near Al-Sadiq mosque.

Kirkuk:#1: Two Iraqi soldiers were injured on Thursday when an improvised explosive device went off during a crackdown operation southwest of Kirkuk, an Iraqi army source saidMosul:#1: In the afternoon, a car exploded targeted an American patrol at Al-Noor neighborhood in Mosul city.No US casualties were reported,but the explosion injured 4 people were at the scene .

Irbil:#1: Police found a dead body at Khabat bank river, west Arbil. They found out that the dead man was a Peshmarga member who was kidnapped several days ago.


The Bush Admiistration and their propaganda mouthpiece, FOX NEWS, are shameless in their lies about "the surge."

They boast about the success of "the surge" when there are reports days after day on this blog indicating just the opposite is true.

But nobody ever lost a bet pointing out all the many ways the Bush Administration and FOX NEWS LIES to the American public.

The sad part is their are still Americans dumb enough to actually believe what the Bush Administation and FOX NEWS are telling them.

Commentary by Bill Corcoran, editor of this blog.

The Collapsing Myth of the Surge

By Brian Katulis

The easily foreseen consequences of conservatives' surge “strategy” in Iraq are now coming to pass.

The disaffected Sunni groups that turned against Al Qaeda in Iraq are now demanding their due—political power for these “Awakening” groups commensurate with their newfound military clout and their belief that Sunnis should once again be the dominant power in Iraq as they were under Saddam Hussein.

But the fractured Shi'a-led government of prime minister Nouri al Maliki has strongly opposed these efforts, and resisted integrating these irregular forces into the Iraqi government. The looming threat is that the different sides in one of Iraq’s key internal conflicts –supported to varying degrees by the United States over the last year—may start turning their weapons on each other.

That’s the first simmering civil war that could well resume in full force in the coming months.

The second is the Shi’a-on-Shi’a fight, which is also about to get more heated. The reason: Iraq saw a major political setback last week when a key benchmark of political progress—a provincial powers law that set a fall date for provincial elections—was vetoed by the presidency council.

The setback shows that Iraq’s leaders continue to fundamentally disagree about how to share power, relying on U.S. military forces to maintain a haphazard peace while they continue to squabble. When President Bush announced the surge of U.S. military forces, his stated goal was to give Iraq’s leaders some breathing room and space to advance their political transition by making Iraq more stable. The problem with this strategy was that it failed to address the fundamental divisions between different Iraqi factions.

Now, it is increasingly clear that the surge did little more than temporarily mask these divisions by offering support to different factions—support that today further undermines the Iraqi state.

The conservative strategy for Iraq has gotten the U.S. military caught in the middle of these new twists in the old ethnic and sectarian divides that define Iraqi society. The new Sunni militias demand that the U.S. force the Shi'a to grant them their due, and threaten to stop fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq and instead revive the Sunni insurgency. The Shi'a demand that the U.S. limit the growth of these Awakening militias. Both sides are increasingly shooting at American soldiers to get across their arguments.

Click on link to read full story.


There has been a lot of talk all across the internet about the video of the United States Marine tossing what looks to be a live little puppy off a cliff in Iraq. YouTube removed the video, but we have the full uncut version here:

This blog received more than 1,400 "hits" to this story on Wednesday alone.


By Ahmed Ali and Dahr Jamail, IPS NewsPosted on March 5, 2008, Printed on March 6, 2008

The 'Awakening Councils', known locally as the Sahwa, have left their centers in cities and districts around the capital of Diyala province, located 40 km northeast of Baghdad.

After seeing better security and stability brought about by the Sahwa, most of whom are former resistance fighters, residents are concerned about what their absence will now mean.

The Sahwa are protesting against kidnappings, rape, and killing of Sunnis by the Shia-controlled police in Baquba.

On the other hand, Shia politicians of Diyala, like those in Baghdad, have always shown their resentment against the fighters of the Sahwa. They often accuse the fighters of being "terrorists".

Many residents see this as more of the sectarian view of the predominantly Shia government of Baghdad, which does not want to share power with Sunni groups.

According to the U.S. military, 82 percent of the 80,000-strong Sahwa are Sunni.

"Police vehicles are used to kidnap Sunni people, and when asked, the police chief and government members say it is difficult to control the mistakes of all of the police and army," Abu Saad, a member of a local Sahwa group in Baquba told IPS. "We have to put an end to the bad conduct of the police and army. They have done enough bad things to the people of this city. The suffering of this city is because of them."

Click here to read full story.


The controversial video of the U.S. Marine allegedly tossing a puppy over a cliff in Iraq has been pulled by YOUTUBE, but we have a report from a TV station in Hawaii which shows a portion of the video as well as comments by viewers.

The United States Marine Corps is investigating the incident and will issue their findings shortly. A statement by the Marines is in this this report.

Video Of Hawaii Marine Throwing Puppy Spurs Probe
Thousands Of People Saw Clip on
POSTED: 9:06 pm HST March 3, 2008
UPDATED: 8:58 pm HST March 4, 2008

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Hawaii -- The Marines on Monday responded to a video clip on showing what appears to be a Kaneohe-based Marine throwing a puppy while in Iraq.

The video shows two Marines talking as one holds a puppy by the back of the neck before throwing the dog over what appears to be a cliff. There is the sound of a dog yelping as the puppy is seen flying in the air.

The clip has been viewed by thousands of people on the Internet, with several e-mailing Honolulu TV news media.

Marines' Statement

The leadership at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe said they are investigating the case and that they do not tolerate such behavior.

"This is a shocking and deplorable video that contrary to the high standards we set for every Marine. We will investigate this and take appropriate action," Maj. Christopher Perrine said.
Officials said they believe the Marine in the video is a lance corporal who returned to Hawaii in October from Iraq.

Thousands of people viewed the clip that lasted about 17 seconds. Many left messages on saying they were outraged by what they saw.

"The act itself is atrocious and just to see the disregard for life is just troubling," Hawaii Humane Society spokeswoman Kawehi Yim said.

Others said they believed the clip was staged and not real.

The Marines said while they will look into what happened. They want to determine whether the video clip is authentic.

"We need to find out who is this person, is this a legitimate video? Was it edited?" Perrine said. pulled the clips uploaded onto its site involving the Marine and the puppy by the late afternoon.

Officials at the Hawaii Humane Society said they were horrified by what was on the video.
"People have been e-mailing and calling outraged that one, that the act occurred and secondly that there appears to be little remorse," Yim said.

If the video is authentic, the Marines involved could face judicial charges, a reduction in rank and pay and a court-martial. They could also be discharged.


There is no let up to the violence in Baghdad despite the so-called success of "The Surge."

Another four people were killed when a suicide car bomber rammed an Iraqi army checkpoint in Ghadeer in eastern Baghdad.

Two soldiers were among the dead in that blast, which destroyed three houses and set several cars ablaze. Another 10 people were wounded.

US military commanders blame the al-Qaeda for most large-scale bombings in Iraq but there was no immediate indication of who was responsible for Monday's bombings or whether they were directly linked to Ahmadinejad's visit.