Tuesday, May 6, 2008


2 U.S. soldiers killed, injured in Ninewa

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Tuesday , 06 /05 /2008 Time 10:13:51


Baghdad, May 6, (VOI) - One U.S. soldier was killed and another one was injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near their vehicle in the northern Iraqi province of Ninewa, the U.S. army in Iraq said on Tuesday
“A Multi-National Division – North soldier was killed from wounds sustained in an insurgent attack against the soldier’s patrol in Ninewa Province May 6,” according to a U.S. army statement received by Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).“One soldier was also wounded in the attack and was taken to a Coalition force hospital for treatment,” it added.The death, reaching seven this month, brings the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq since the beginning of military operations in March 2003 to 4072 .Of this number, 52 were killed in April, thus becoming the deadliest month for U.S. forces since September, during which 65 were killed.

Thirty-eight soldiers were killed in March, 29 in February and 40 in January 2008.December 2007 saw the death of 23, the month with the second lowest number of U.S. fatalities after February 2004 during which 20 soldiers were killed.November 2004, which witnessed fierce battles between U.S. forces and armed groups in Falluja city, Anbar province, remains the month that witnessed the highest U.S. death toll with 137.April 2004 comes second with 135, followed by May 2007 during which 126 U.S. soldiers were killed.


The mainstream media is totally swept up in the race for POTUS, and the Iraq war and US casualties are no longer on the media radar screen. Nobody in the media cares that there 160,000 young Americans in Iraq and 30,000 in Afghanistan. The media treats our brave young Americans like they were garbage. IMO, there is nothing worse in the history of the United States than the current crop of owners, editors and reporters who make up the mainstream media. Hopefully someday there will be a military draft and every single one of the media who shunned the brave men and women in Iraq will have one of their own little darlings in camo gear and prowling a street or alley in Baghdad.

Editorial comment by BILL CORCORAN, editor of CORKSPHERE

War News for Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Casualty Reports:Spec. Clay Henson, now 21, of Tuscaloosa was injured on Wednesday in a sneak attack on his convoy that also killed one soldier and injured another. Speaking from his hospital room at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Monday, Henson said he remembers everything about the blast that occurred minutes after his convoy departed on a mission from a base in northern Iraq.'We just pulled out of our base and we got hit,' said Henson, who attended Paul W. Bryant High School. 'We were just driving along and all of a sudden, boom ­— the front of the truck was on fire.' Dazed from the blast and aware of a high-pitched squeal in his ear, Henson did not know that a quarter-inch piece of shrapnel had embedded itself into his brain. His only indication, he said, was that he was bleeding from his head.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - North soldier during an insurgent attack in Ninewah Province on Tuesday, May 6th. One other soldier were wounded in the attack.

The Canadian Press is reporting the death of a Canadian ISAF soldier in a gun battle in the Pashmul area, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, May 6th. One other soldier was wounded in the attack.


Reported Security incidents:Baghdad:#1: Iraqi security forces killed 10 militants, arrested 131 others and seized a quantity of weapons during two days of operations in Shula district, northwestern Baghdad, an Iraqi security force spokesman said.#2: On Tuesday, Iraqi officials said at least another four people were killed and 12 wounded in overnight clashes in Sadr City.#3: U.S. and Iraqi troops fought militants in a Shiite neighborhood on Tuesday, killing three people and wounding nine others, an Interior Ministry source said. The troops clashed in the morning with Mahdi Army militiamen who were armed with rocket-propelled grenades and machine-guns in the Abu Dsheer neighborhood.Around 9am, clashes took place in Abu Desheer between gunmen and police commandos .Three people were killed (including a female student) and nine others were injured.#4: Iraqi soldiers closed down a hospital suspected of treating Shi'ite militiamen in a Baghdad stronghold of cleric Moqtada al -Sadr's Mehdi Army, Iraqi security officials said on Tuesday. The soldiers also raided the Mohammed-Bakr Hakim hospital, arresting 35 workers, including orderlies and cleaners, and forced its closure, said hospital head Dr. Yassin al-Rikabi. "We don't have any staff to receive patients," Rikabi told Reuters, adding that patients had been transferred to another hospital. "At 9 a.m. on Monday around 40 soldiers and their officers stormed the hospital. They gathered all the staff in one place. They beat some people, including me," he said.#5: Around 1 pm two mortar shells hit the Baghdad municipality building at Khulani intersection (downtown Baghdad) .Three employees were killed and 15 were injured (including four guards).Two mortar bombs killed three people and wounded 10 others, including four officers from the Facility Protection Services, which guards government buildings and infrastructure, near Baghdad's municipal headquarters, police said.#6: Around 1:10 pm, a Katyusha missile hit Mansour College at Andalus intersection (downtown Baghdad). Five people were injured, including a female student.#7: Around 1:30pm, two mortar shells hit Shalchiya neighborhood (north Baghdad).twelve people were injured including 5 policemen.#8: Gunmen killed Ayad Hamza, the deputy director of Nahrain University in charge of sciences, and wounded his two sons in a drive-by shooting on Sunday in Mansour district, western Baghdad, an Education Ministry spokeswoman said.#9: Around 5pm, a katyusha missile hit a house near Sarafiyah bridge on the Risafa bank. Five people were injured.#10: Police found three dead bodies in Baghdad neighborhoods today: two were found in Risafa bank (east Baghdad);1 was found in Ubeidi and 1 was found in Shaab .While 1 was found in Hurriyah in Karkh bank(north west Baghdad).Diyala Prv:#1: Suspected Al-Qaeda operatives kidnapped a pro-US tribal chief and family members in a village north of Baghdad on Tuesday, police said. Gunmen grabbed Ibrahim Abdullah al-Mujamai, his wife, their daughter-in-law and a grandchild in a village in the restive province of Diyala, said a local police official who declined to be named. He said the chieftain from the al-Mujamai tribe had been arranging for a Sunni militia group to protect his village against Al-Qaeda attacks and to support American forces deployed in the country.#2: Unidentified gunmen kidnapped a policeman in Jalawlaa district, Diala, on Tuesday, a local police official said."The policeman was kidnapped on the main road linking the district of Qurrat Tabbah to Jalawlaa, northeast of Baaquba, and led him to an unknown place," Maj. Ahmed Khalifa al-Qassab, the Jalawlaa police chief, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.#3: Around 3pm, a roadside bomb targeted Sahwa members at Al-Wijahiyah (12 miles east Baquba).One member was killed and another was injured in that incident.Tikrit:#1: A car bomb attack killed two people and wounded 28 in Tikrit, the hometown of the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, local officials said.Kirkuk:#1: A roadside bomb killed one policeman and wounded seven others on Monday in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.Mosul:#1: A group of armed men opened fire at an Iraqi police patrol on Monday evening, prompting the policemen to fire back, killing two gunmen in al-Nour neighborhood, eastern Mosul," Brig. Khaled Abdul-Sattar, the official spokesman for the Ninewa security operations command, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.#2: Meanwhile, the same source said another armed group attacked a police patrol in al-Mansour neighborhood, southern Mosul, killing two policemen and wounding one civilian near the attack site.#3: Separately, the U.S. military said in a statement Tuesday that a brothel in northern Iraq was attacked the day before. The Americans blamed the attack on al-Qaida insurgents, but local police did not speculate on who carried out the killings. Iraqi police said the attack in Mosul killed three prostitutes and wounded two others.#4: Around 4:30pm, a roadside bomb exploded at Al-Noor neighborhood downtown Mosul city. One policeman was killed in that incident.#5: Two militants accidentally blew themselves up trying to place a bomb on a road south of Mosul, police said.#6: A roadside bomb hit an Iraqi army patrol, killing one soldier and wounding two in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.Afghanistan:#1: A bomb struck a minivan taking Afghan police trainers to work in Afghanistan Tuesday wounding five people, police said. The bomb, fixed to a bicycle, was apparently remotely detonated to blow up as the van passed in the southern city of Kandahar, police Colonel Noor Khan told AFP at the site of the blast. The three police officers in the vehicle were wounded but the driver was unhurt, Khan said. Two passers-by were also injured, including a woman.#2: In a new operation Monday to "degrade militant anti-government operations", coalition troops killed several militants and detained one near the border with Pakistan in the eastern province of Nangarhar, the force said. The soldiers had gone to the area to look for a Taliban fighter suspected of helping foreign militants to operate in Afghanistan, it said. "During the course of the operation, several armed militants were killed when they fired on Coalition forces."#3: A suicide bomber riding a rickshaw attacked a police checkpoint in Pakistan's northwest Tuesday. Police said the suicide attacker rode up to the checkpoint on a bridge in the garrison town of Bannu. He detonated his explosives when officers signaled him to stop, said Dar Ali, the Bannu district police chief. The army said two civilians and one policeman were killed. Police said four of their officers were wounded.#4: gunmen fired on officers guarding a bank in Pakistan's northwest Tuesday. The gunmen struck in Matta, a former militant stronghold in the scenic Swat Valley, where troops were deployed to repel the spread of Islamic militancy from the border region last year. Humayun Khan, a police official in Matta, said several gunmen approached a bank in the town on foot early Tuesday and shot to death two officers standing guard.


The capitol of Iraq, Baghdad, has come under heavy fire from US forces and return fire from militias and the the people caught in the middle are the residents of Baghdad who are fleeing the city in great numbers.

Iraqi civilians flee fighting in Baghdad militia stronghold

By SELCAN HACAOGLU, Associated Press Writer 35 minutes ago


BAGHDAD - A rocket slammed into Baghdad's city hall and another hit a downtown park Tuesday as more frightened civilians fled a Shiite militia stronghold where U.S.-led forces are locked in fierce street battles.
The American push in the Sadr City district — launched after an Iraqi government crackdown on armed Shiite groups began in late March — is trying to weaken the militia grip in a key corner of Baghdad and disrupt rocket and mortar strikes on the U.S.-protected Green Zone.

But fresh salvos of rockets from militants arced over the city, wounding at least 16 people and drawing U.S. retaliation that escalated civilian panic and flight to safer areas.



By Norman Solomon t r u t h o u t Perspective Tuesday 06 May 2008

When The New York Times published its explosive "Pentagon Pundits" story on April 20, the result was a wave of criticism directed at the Defense Department for manipulating TV news coverage of the Iraq war. Critics also faulted the networks for failing to scrutinize the conflicts of interest of the "military analysts" who went on the air. Many of those retired military officers were being coached by the Pentagon to mislead the public, and many had personal financial stakes in corporations with major Pentagon contracts.

Routinely lost in the current uproar is the extent to which media managers have gone out of their way to suck up to the Pentagon. Top network executive Eason Jordan - who ran CNN's news operation during the invasion of Iraq - is a case in point. He repeatedly asked the Pentagon for approval of the "military analysts" who were under consideration for on-air roles.

The documentary film "War Made Easy," based on my book of the same name, shows the pervasive and long-running partnership between key news outlets and high-ranking warmakers in Washington. This video excerpt from the movie puts the "Pentagon Pundits" story in a broad and chilling context.

Years later, some news outlets like to critique the previous media spin for war. It's part of what amounts to a repetition compulsion disorder - which includes participating in the corrupted process and then critiquing it long after the damage has been done.

Unfortunately, when the next agenda-setting for war gets underway, as is now the case for Iran, the mainline news reporting slides into a very similar mode of parroting official sources. It's not hard to point the finger backwards and acknowledge misdeeds in the past. As Mark Twain said long ago: "It's easy to quit smoking. I've done it hundreds of times."

From the "War Made Easy" transcript:

SEAN PENN [narrator]: CNN's use of retired generals as supposedly independent experts reinforced a decidedly military mindset, even as serious questions remained about the wisdom and necessity of going to war.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Often journalists blame the government for the failure of the journalists themselves to do independent reporting. But nobody forced the major networks like CNN to do so much commentary from retired generals and admirals and all the rest of it. You had a top CNN official named Eason Jordan going on the air of his network and boasting that he had visited the Pentagon with a list of possible military commentators, and he asked officials at the Defense Department whether that was a good list of people to hire.

EASON JORDAN [speaking on CNN]: Oh, I think it's important to have experts explain the war and to describe the military hardware, describe the tactics, talk about the strategy behind the conflict. I went to the Pentagon myself several times before the war started and met with important people there and said, for instance, at CNN, here are the generals we're thinking of retaining to advise us on the air and off about the war, and we got a big thumbs up on all of them. That was important.

NORMAN SOLOMON: It wasn't even something to hide, ultimately. It was something to say to the American people on its own network, "See, we're team players. We may be the news media, but we're on the same side and the same page as the Pentagon." And that really runs directly counter to the idea of an independent press, and that suggests that we have some deep patterns of media avoidance when the US is involved in a war based on lies.


US expert says Iraqi women use suicide attacks as protest against loss of their men, society, country.

By Karin Zeitvogel - WASHINGTON

As many women carried out suicide attacks in Iraq so far this year as in the five previous years combined, and attacks by women are expected to spike again in the coming months, a US terrorism expert said Monday.

"Between January and April, there were 12 suicide attacks by women in Iraq. That marks an exponential increase," Farhana Ali, a US international policy analyst of Pakistani origin, said after a symposium on terrorism at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting in Washington.

Twelve women carried out suicide attacks in Iraq in the first few months of this year compared with 11 between 2003 and 2007, according to Ali.

"So long as this conflict continues, you will see greater instability in Iraq and women will be greatly victimized -- you will see more women in Iraq choose suicide terrorism in the next few months," she predicted, adding that she had warned US officials and policy makers of the threat since 2005.

"It's only in the past two months that we have given serious attention to this issue. Why? Because female attackers in Iraq are hurting our efforts for peace and stability in that country," she said.

Ali, who worked as an adviser to the US government before joining the private sector as an international policy analyst, blamed the rise in female suicide bombers largely on the marginalization of Iraqi women since the US invasion in 2003.

"Iraqi women, slowly, over the course of the conflict have been marginalized," she said.
"They were at the forefront of their society. They were in the Iraqi cabinet, in government, in NGOs. We stripped them of those opportunities.

"Many have left but those who stayed behind are also victims of rape and torture and kidnapping. So they are being victimized twice," she said.

"Women use attacks as a protest. In Iraq, they are protesting at the loss of their men, the loss of their society and the loss of their country," said Ali.

In a presentation given to several hundred mental healthcare practitioners and a handful of reporters at the American Psychiatric Association meeting, which runs until Thursday, Ali warned that US soldiers face a cultural barrier in detecting women bombers.
"A marine officer coming back from Fallujah said to me: 'How are we supposed to detect these women if we are taught before we are deployed to not even look at them?'" she explained.
Some Iraqi women may have been coerced into carrying out suicide attacks, but the greater danger comes from those who choose to blow themselves up, said Ali.

"Iraq is a country of widows ... when women are vulnerable and have to protect themselves and play the role of the man and woman of the household, they are easily exploitable," she said.
"But we can't assume that all Iraqi women suicide attackers are exploited and recruited. We have to ask how many women are doing this because they want to -- that's the more serious question."

Ali suggested ways of dissuading Iraqi women from carrying out suicide attacks, including empowering more women and forging US-Iraqi alliances with them.

"If you want to gain entrance into female jihadi organisations, you need female case officers. You need female police officers. You need women in Iraqi law enforcement," she said.

"Most US commanders see Iraq as a very male society, and our military is creating alliances with tribes," said Ali, adding that she has warned since 2005 of the dangers posed by women suicide attackers.

"But women are half of any society, and so we have to nurture the women if we are to have a stable society," she added.

Some 19,000 psychiatrists and other health practitioners are expected to attend the American Psychiatric Association meeting, where the psychological traumas of war and school violence are high on the agenda of items to be discussed.


New York Times columnist Frank Rich was a guest on one of the weekend cable news shows and the topic came up about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rich, who has long been against the war in Iraq, made a startling statement.

He said you can hear people all across the United States switching to another channel when one of the cable news stations bring up anything about the Iraq war.

Rich didn't mention it, but I have heard other op/ed writers and pundits say there is "Iraq Fatigue" with Americans.

After five plus years and 4,062 American deaths and another 30,000 severely wounded, the American public is just tired of hearing about the Iraq war.

I for one don't believe for a nanosecond Americans want a victory in Iraq. To begin with, what is a victory in Iraq going to look like? This is not like other wars where one side signs a surrender. Our troops are fighting various militias and they don't speak for each other. So one militia group might give up, but that would only leave scores of others to continue the fight.

The history of Iraq dates back 1,300 years and the only time in the 1 300 years there has not been tribal war going on was when Saddam Hussein was in power. For better or worse, Saddam Hussein held the country together.

Now we have 160,000 troops in Iraq, and many of them are on their third and fourth rotation to the war torn country.

Nothing is getting better and the "surge" has been a dismal failure because only one province, Anbar, has shown any stability and that had NOTHING to do with the US military, but instead the various tribal chiefs getting together and deciding to run Al Qaeda out of their province.

The Iraq Army is at best a ragtag unit made up of people who for the most part don't want to fight their "brothers" and so you see huge defections like the 1,000 who refused to fight recently in Basra.

The Iraqi government is at best a government in name only. They haven't accomplished a single thing since getting elected four years ago. Baghdad still suffers from lack of water and electricity and there are still hundreds if not thousands of Iraqi civilians trying to escape to Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

The once proud Iraqi health care system is in shambles. Most of the best doctors have fled the country to save their families from the continuing violence.

The oil that was supposed to go to pay for the war has never materialized and the United States is paying $5.4 MILLION dollars every hour on the war effort.

Frank Rich may be right when he says the American public is turned off to the war, but I blame the media as much for that as I do anything else. The mainstream media gave up reporting on the Iraq war and the Afghanistan war a year of more ago.

Only when something really big happens like the recent shelling of the Green Zone does the media ever mention the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan anymore.

They used to call the Korean War "the forgotten war," but IMO the new "forgotten war" is the Iraq war and its sister the Afghanistan war.

The only people who can't forget there is a war going on are our brave young men and women who every single day go out on patrols still facing IEDs, RPG attacks and an Iraq civilian population that doesn't want the United States in their country anymore.

We started this blog six months ago in hopes of bringing to readers the events from Iraq and Afghanistan the media deems are no longer newsworthy.

We have heard from many veterans and families of veterans and that is what keeps us going.

We hope to be able to continue bringing our readers the very latest events from Iraq and Afghanistan. That is the very least we can do for all those brave young Americans stuck in this quagmire and for the most part forgotten except for their families here in the United States.

Editorial comment by BILL CORCORAN, editor of CORKSPHERE, http://corksphere.blogspot.com/ and a former Cpl. (E-4) in the United States Army Combat Engineers and a Korean War veteran.


CAIRO — Saddam Hussein feared catching AIDS or other diseases during his U.S.-supervised captivity, a leading Arab newspaper said Monday in publishing excerpts of his prison writings.


The London-based Al-Hayat said the comments came in portions of Saddam's prison diaries that it obtained from U.S. authorities. The U.S. military confirmed some of the late Iraqi leader's writings had been released.

When Saddam found out his U.S. military guards were also using his laundry line to dry clothes, he wrote that he demanded they stop, according to the excerpts.

"I explained to them that they are young and they could have young people's diseases," Saddam wrote. "My main concern was to not catch a venereal disease, an HIV disease, in this place." He said some soldiers ignored his request.

A U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, Maj. Matthew Morgan, declined to describe the writings as a formal diary, but said the former Iraqi president produced thousands of pages of writing while in custody.