Friday, May 16, 2008


Who is going to sign the surrender in Iraq?

Will it be the insurgents?

Will it be Al Qaeda?

Will it be the terrorists?

Will it be the Mehdi Army?

Sen. John McCain says we will not leave Iraq until we WIN in Iraq.

How do we know when we have WON in Iraq?

Let's look at the facts.

The "enemy" is not ONE army and doesn't even wear ONE kind of uniform.

So who the hell surrenders?

I was in the Army during the Korean war and the enemy wore uniforms and represented either North Korea or the Chinese. You could spot an enemy soldier a couple of hundred yards away because they were wearing a uniform unlike the one you were wearing.

This is not the case in Iraq.

Not one single group we are fighting in Iraq wears a uniform and they don't answer to any government.

So what I want to know from Senator McCain is who signs thesurrender in Iraq?

The readers of my blog, CORKSPHERE, at have been asking me this question and I haven't got an answer for them because there isn't an answer.

Bill Corcoran, editor of CORKSPHERE


VA e-mail: Save money, do not diagnose PTSD

By Kelly Kennedy - Staff writerPosted : Friday May 16, 2008 10:24:47 EDT

Two veterans advocacy groups have asked for copies of all documents relating to the Veterans Affairs Department’s post-traumatic stress disorder policies after an e-mail surfaced asking VA doctors to keep costs down by giving diagnoses of adjustment disorder instead.

Veterans diagnosed with PTSD are eligible for health benefits and, in some cases, disability retirement pay. Adjustment disorder, on the other hand, is considered a short-term diagnosis, and does not qualify veterans for benefits, said Brandon Friedman, vice chair of, one of the advocacy groups.

“They can say, ‘Ah, you’ve got something temporary, it’ll go away, so we don’t need to pay you for the rest of your life,’ ” Friedman said.

He said several veterans have told him they were diagnosed with adjustment disorder rather than PTSD, and that they felt they had received the wrong diagnosis.

“We hear anecdotal evidence all the time that VA is trying to cut costs by not diagnosing PTSD,” said Friedman, a former infantry officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. “But we’ve never actually seen proof that it was being done in an organized way.”

The e-mail, which Friedman said came from a VA hospital’s PTSD program coordinator, was apparently sent to several VA employees at that hospital. A psychologist from the hospital in turn sent it to, Friedman said.

Click on link to read full Marine Corps Times story.


The Bush administration, GOP candidate for POTUS John McCain and the mainstream media continue to LIE to the American public and say all is going great in Iraq and Afghanistan.



War News for Friday, May 16, 2008
Baghdad:#1: Gunmen ambushed an Iranian Embassy convoy in Baghdad, wounding three Iranians, including two diplomats, and an Iraqi. Iranian Embassy spokesman Manoucher Taslimi says the convoy was en route to a revered Shiite shrine in the northern neighbourhood of Kazimiyah when it came under fire. The attack happened at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday as the convoy approached a bridge that links Kazimiyah with the predominantly Sunni area of Azamiyah, according to Taslimi. He says those wounded, including two Iranian diplomats and an Iranian and an Iraqi administrative employee, were in stable condition.The Interior Ministry official said five people were wounded when the two-vehicle Iranian convoy exchanged fire with Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint near the bridge after most of the Iranians failed to produce identification cards. "The checkpoint staff asked them for ID cards, but nobody had one except for one Iranian called Abu al-Fadhil," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information. Reports indicate the Iraqi security forces "handled the situation appropriately and with a high degree of professionalism, once again demonstrating their capability at maintaining security in their districts," Russell said in an e-mailed statement.#2: 3 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad by Iraqi Police today. 1 in Fdhailiyah; 1 in Iskan and 1 in Bayaa.#3: A roadside bomb exploded at a bus station in central Baghdad, killing one civilian and wounding three others, police said.#4: A roadside bomb hit an Iraqi army convoy in southeastern Baghdad, wounding two civilians, police said.#5: The U.S. military said it killed one gunman and wounded another in eastern Baghdad on Thursday when their vehicle came under attack.#6: 3 mortar rounds slammed into the Ghazaliyah police station, west Baghdad, which is being used as a US military base at 11.15 am. No casualties were reported.#7: 3 mortar rounds slammed into the former Central Markets building in Shaab, North Baghdad, which is being used as a US military base at 11.15 am. No casualties were reported.#8: Medical sources inside Sadr city reported 11 injuries and 2 deaths including women and children brought in from al-Shamaiyah and Rashad neighbourhoods, two eastern suburbs of Baghdad, at 4 pm Friday.Diyala Prv:Khanaqin:#1: Five people were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in northeast of Baaquba city on Friday, an official security source in Diala said. "The IED, planted in al-Aasry neighborhood in Jalawlaa, Khanaqin district, (155 km) northeast of Baaquba, wounded five civilians, including four children from the same family," the source, who did not want his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.Mahaweel:#1: U.S. and Iraqi security forces detained nine gunmen during a raid on Thursday in Mahaweel town, 75 km (45 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.Iskandariya:#1: U.S. forces detained 12 suspects on Thursday in the town of Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police saidTikrit:#1: 3 prominent doctors were kidnapped by gunmen on the way between Tikrit and Baiji, close to al-Hamra village, 20 km to the north of Tikrit. They are Dr. Sabbar Mahrooz Abdullah, administrator of Tikrit Teaching Hospital, his deputy and specialist Dr. Ahmed Salah.Mosul:#1-2: U.S. and Iraqi troops moved against al-Qaida on two separate fronts Thursday, with house-to-house searches in Mosul and an operation in the desert to stanch the flow of insurgents and weapons to that northern city.#1: There were no reported clashes during the searches in known al-Qaida strongholds in the western and eastern parts of Mosul, Iraq's third largest city, where insurgents are believed to use the cover of sheep and produce markets to smuggle cash, weapons and foreign fighters from nearby Syria.#2: American Marines were operating farther south, near Lake Tharthar, a remote desert region that has been a refuge for al-Qaida fighters and a back channel for supplying the network in the north. We're trying to shut down the rat lines,'' Marine Brig. Gen. Richard Mills, who is heading up the operation, told a briefing at a mobile command post set up in the Mameluke desert. U.S. Marines on Thursday searched an abandoned mud house, uncovering six weapons caches including material for building roadside bombs.Since the Marines' operation began five weeks ago, they have killed six Sunni insurgents in clashes - including five killed when a Harrier jet dropped two bombs on a desert house after a clash in which a U.S. Marine was wounded, Brig. Gen. Randolph Alles said.#3: A physician was killed by a stray bullet in his home in western Mosul. Dr. Muhammad Abdul-Hakim Lawind, a physician at the Ibn Sina Teaching Hospital, was killed when he received a stray bullet in the head while inside his home in al-Najjar neighborhood, western Mosul," the source, who refused to give his name, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.#4: In the 17 Tamuz neighborhood, western Mosul, a child was wounded when an Iraqi army force detonated an IED," the source said, adding the child happened to be near the scene.#5: A woman was shot down inside her home in eastern Mosul during a late hour of Thursday night, a Ninewa police source said on Friday. A 30-year-old woman was shot down in her home in the eastern Mosul neighborhood of al-Bakr. The woman's brother said she was killed by stray bullets," the source, who did not want his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.Al Anbar Prv:Fallujah:#1: A suicide bomber blew up his explosive vehicle near a police station in central Falluja city on Friday with no word yet on casualties, an official security source in Anbar province said. "A suicide bomber attacked a police station in the al-Dhubbat neighborhood in central Falluja on Friday afternoon. Fire broke out in the attack site," the source, who refused to give his name, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.A suicide car bomb killed four policemen and wounded nine other people in Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, police said. Police beat up a Reuters cameraman and a photographer when they tried to film the aftermath of the bombing. The photographer had to be treated in hospital.#2: 1 policeman was shot at by gunmen in al-Ameriyah/Fallujah, 30 km to the south of Fallujah city at 4 pm. The bullet lodged in his stomach and his situation is critical.Afghanistan:#1: Two Canadian soldiers had a close call in Afghanistan on Friday, escaping a suicide attack with only minor injuries. Two Afghan soldiers were also injured in the attack just west of Kandahar City in Zhari district, said CTV's Paul Workman, reporting from Kandahar. The troops were on a foot patrol in a village when the attack took place.#2: In other violence, militants attacked the compound of a district chief in neighbouring Zabul province Thursday night. A one-hour gun battle broke out, leaving five Taliban dead and six wounded, said the district chief, Barat Khan, according to reports.#3: In Khost province in Afghanistan's east, troops comprising Afghan and foreign forces attacked insurgents who were planting roadside bombs in the early morning hours on Friday. Two militants were killed in the skirmish and another died later in hospital.#4: Suspected Islamic militants have killed a Pakistani soldier in revenge for an alleged U.S. missile strike near the Afghan border, an official said Friday. Authorities found the bullet-riddled body of the paramilitary soldier early Friday about 6 miles north of Damadola, a village in the northwestern tribal region of Bajur.


The con job of the century If you are a US serviceman or woman and you fail to come back in one piece, you're pretty much on your own.If you do receive medical services, you'll have to fight for every penny and what you'll get will be substandard at best.

Recently, the military has been sending bills to wounded soldiers.

Why?Because of their injuries they failed to complete their tours of duty for which they received sign up bonuses. The government wants them to pay back the bonuses for the time they're not available for service. It pays to read the fine print when dealing with the government. It pays even better not to deal with the government at all unless you have a floor or two full of attorneys to deal with them...which is why the Fortune 500 et. al. have in essence taken over the country.


I was actually thinking of titling this post News of the Weird. Reuters, without further explanation, posts in its daily factbox "The Iraqi army said it arrested the manager of the Nineveh governor's office in a raid in southern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad," and "The Iraqi army said it arrested the head of the facilities protection force in Mosul on Wednesday." So it appears that so far the main yield of the crackdown on "al Qaeda" in Mosul has been government officials. I find nothing about this anywhere else. Curious, and I'm not sure what to make of it.

The "Facilities Protection Force," in case you didn't know, has widely been accused of being controlled by Shiite death squads. Al Qaeda? I really don't think so. As for the governor's office, the governor of Ninevah Province, Duraid Kashmoula, is a darling of the U.S. occupation. As a matter of fact, it's rather surprising that Mosul turns out to be the main stronghold of al Qaeda in May, since in late January, according to Pentagon propaganda outlet Blackanthem Military News:

Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commander of MND-N, Col. Stephen Twitty, commander of 4-1 Cavalry, Ninewa Provincial Governor Duraid Kashmoula, and Provincial Director of Police Maj. Gen. Wathuk shared their thoughts of the current situation and future of the three prominent cities and the remainder of Ninewa Province. . . .“Amidst the turmoil and issues that persist in Iraq, there is a semblance of peace and normalcy in the north. Ninewa’s leadership works hard to provide its citizens security, build its economy, and implement programs that will continue to keep sectarian violence from the province,” said Twitty. “One thing we cannot do is attempt to put an American standard on any Iraqi city,” said Twitty. “We have to remember that this country lived under a dictator for more than 30 years. The major and significant difference between U.S. cities and Mosul is the use of improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades, and other military - grade weapons. Anti-Iraqi forces persist in their attacks, but the Iraqi security forces, consisting of the Iraqi Army, border patrol and police, continue to quell those attacks daily,” Twitty continued.Both Kashmoula and Wathuk agreed that their police and army are trained; they have enough equipment to do their jobs, and are securing their streets, cities, and province.“This province has more than 18,000 police and 20,000 Iraqi Army soldiers who provide security for its citizens,” said Kashmoula. “Both the 2nd and 3rd Iraqi Army Divisions have demonstrated that they are fully capable of assuming counter-insurgency missions by taking over operations in east and west Ninewa province. They conducted transfer of authority ceremonies, putting them under the control of Iraqi Ground Forces Command instead of Coalition Forces,” he continued.Mixon said he believes that with so many Iraqi security forces now working to secure their own cities in the province, it shows the diligence of the local government.“The leaders of this province continue to make progress standing up security forces to maintain domestic order and deny terrorists from using Mosul and the other cities as a safe haven,” said Mixon.Curiouser and curiouser,that's all I can say.

It seems that Ahmad Chalabi is finely, really and truly, cross my heart and hope to die, off the U.S. payroll. Apparently. Maybe. Or maybe NBC got this info from Curveball, who knows?
Sources in Baghdad tell NBC News that as of this week American military and civilian officials have cut off all contact with controversial Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi, the former favorite of Washington's once powerful neoconservatives.The reason, the sources say, is "unauthorized" contacts with Iran's government, an allegation Chalabi denies. Iran has been accused of arming and training rebel Shiite forces in Iraq....Since September 2007... American military officials and civilian officials working out of the U.S. Embassy had contacts with Chalabi. At that time he was installed as the head of a "services" committee for Baghdad that was to coordinate the restoration of services to the city's residents.Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the Multi-National Forces-Iraq, even escorted Chalabi on a trip, on U.S. helicopters, to address reconstruction issues. And American officials attended meetings with him and supported his efforts.

Then there's John McCain, who has a dream. Victory by 2013!. He doesn't say why he believes this will happen, how he plans to achieve it, or what he means by it, but just elect him, and feel the magic!The U.S. House of Representatives voted "NO" on the latest Iraq occupation funding bill. The war is over! Dancing in the streets! Sadly, no. They don't actually mean it. They sent a bill to the Senate, calling for withdrawal by mid-2009, with the expectation that the Senate will strip out the timetable for withdrawal, restore the funding, and then send it back to the House, which will pass it. You gotta love those Dems, if only they had vertebrae.He who shall not be named, in a speech before a foreign parliament no less, equates Democrats with appeasers of Hitler. Jellyfish Joe Biden grows a spine:

Joe Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that if the president disagrees so strongly with the idea of talking to Iran, then he needs to fire his secretaries of state and defense, both of whom Biden said have pushed to sit down with the Iranians."This is bulls**t. This is malarkey. This is outrageous. Outrageous for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, sit in the Knesset ... and make this kind of ridiculous statement," he said."He's the guy who's weakened us. He's the guy that's increased the number of terrorists in the world. His policies have produced this vulnerability the United States has." The president, at Israel's 60th anniversary celebration in Jerusalem, suggested that some Democrats were acting in the same way some Western leaders did when they appeased Hitler in the runup to World War II."As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is: the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history," he said while speaking to Israel's parliament, the Knesset. He called it a "foolish delusion" to think the U.S. can negotiate with terrorists. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called on Bush to "explain the inconsistency between his administration's actions and his words today." "Not surprisingly, the engineer of the worst foreign policy in our nation's history has fired yet another reckless and reprehensible round," he said in a statement.The president did not name Sen. Barack Obama or any other Democrat, but White House aides privately acknowledged to CNN that the remarks were aimed at the presidential candidate and others in his party.Nancy Pelosi also had some remarks: I think what the President did in that regard was beneath the dignity of the office of the president and unworthy of our representation at that observance in Israel. And I would hope that any serious person would disassociate himself from the President’s remarks who aspires to leadership in our country.”

And John Kerry (warning: Joe Lieberman remarks also included at link. Click at your own risk).


Contractors Gone Wild, Media Gone Missing

Source: Mother Jones, May 2, 2008

Bruce Falconer is calling out the mainstream media for ignoring the disturbing testimony that dominated recent U.S. Senate hearings into corruption by private contractors in Iraq. The testimony came from whistleblowers Frank Cassaday, Linda Warren (both former employees of Kellogg Brown and Root) and Barry Halley (who worked in Iraq for Worldwide Network Services, the Sandi Group and CAPE Environmental Management.) They told stories of widespread theft of materials and supplies needed by soldiers, looting Iraqi treasures (in one case melting down Iraqi gold to make cowboy spurs), and a prostitution ring run by the manager of a "major defense contractor," which led to the death of a colleague whose armored car was diverted "to transport prostitutes from Kuwait to Baghdad." Cassaday, Warren and Halley say they were punished and harassed when they tried to alert their companies to these abuses. Aside from Mother Jones, the only news outlet to file a report on their testimony was David Ivanovich of the Houston Chronicle, although a transcript of the hearings is available on the Senate's website.


US plot to nail Iran backfires. Findings does not deter FOX NEWS who keep saying Iran is providing weapons to insurgents and Al Qaeda in Iraq to fight the war.

By Gareth Porter WASHINGTON

The George W Bush administration's plan to create a new crescendo of accusations against Iran for allegedly smuggling arms to Shi'ite militias in Iraq has encountered not just one but two setbacks.

The government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki refused to endorse US charges of Iranian involvement in arms smuggling to Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, and a plan to show off a huge collection of Iranian arms captured in and around the central city of Karbala had to be called off after it was discovered that none of the arms was of Iranian origin.

The news media's failure to report that the arms captured from Shi'ite militiamen in Karbala did not include a single Iranian weapon shielded the US military from a big blow to its anti-Iran strategy.

The Bush administration and top Iraq commander General David Petraeus had plotted a sequence of events that would build domestic US political support for a possible strike against Iran over its "meddling" in Iraq, and especially its alleged export of arms to Shi'ite militias.

Click on this link for full story:


Ever since the New York Times broke the story about how the Pentagon rounded up a gaggle of former military officers and trained and coached them on what to say when they went on TV to talk about the war, the internet has been abuzz with people trying to find out more of what went on behind the closed doors of the Pentagon.

Now Newsvine , which is owned by MSNBC has obtained audio tapes of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld talking with the military analysts.

You can read the full story here:

Audio of Rumsfeld on Iraq creates buzz
Audio of luncheon with media military analysts posted on Newsvine


The blogosphere has been abuzz about the Internet posting of audio of a luncheon former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld held with media military analysts that provides insight into the relationship between those analysts and the Pentagon.
The Pentagon released the audio in response to requests filed by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act.
On April 20, The Times published "Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand," in which reporter David Barstow detailed a "Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance.”
The government released the audio, which lasts nearly an hour, on May 8. Jack Gillis, a 55-year-old self-described news junkie, downloaded it over the past weekend and analyzed it.
His findings, which he posted Monday on his Newsvine account (MSNBC is the owner of Newsvine), include a review of eight clips totaling nearly 10 minutes. Gillis, an adjunct professor of composition and rhetoric at a community college, also provides a link to the full audio.
The luncheon was held in December 2006, a month after Rumsfeld resigned as defense secretary.
The clips Gillis provides include one in which the media analysts suggest, with Rumsfeld's agreement, that Iraq needs an authoritarian dictator. In another, Rumsfeld suggests that the American public lacked the "maturity" to understand that the nation remained under threat from terrorists and that the only "correction" would be another attack on the U.S.
Gillis said that since he posted the analysis and audio on Monday, he has been fielding e-mails and phone calls and has had his work picked up by other blogs, including
The full audio, clips, analysis and links to other blogs can be found on his Newsvine account.