Friday, August 29, 2008


The Iraq War has been a horrible failure and the proof is in what happened in Iraq today.

Friday, August 29, 2008

News of the Day for Friday, August 29, 2008
Shi'ite people march during an anti-U.S. military rally after attending Friday prayers in Baghdad's Sadr City August 29, 2008. REUTERS/Kareem Raheem (IRAQ) Note: Al Sadr announced yesterday that he is extending the cease fire, but his movement continues to oppose the occupation by peaceful means. -- CReported Security IncidentsAs is typical of Fridays, there was comparatively little political violence reported today. I do want to note that the deaths of U.S. soldiers on Wednesday and Thursday, which Whisker noted yesterday, have gone largely unreported in U.S. corporate media, as did the other substantial violence which occurred yesterday.

BaghdadRoadside bomb explodes in Yarmouk. No casualties reported.Tal AfarPolice foil an attempted suicide attack on a mosque, kill the attacker.

Tikrit"Coalition" (probably meaning U.S.) troops kill a "wanted man" in an operation targeting an "al Qaeda" leader. Implication seems to be that the "wanted man" was not the target of the operation.Other News of the Day

Contrary to earlier reports, it appears a deal on the continued presence of U.S. forces is not imminent after all. The Bush administration is balking over the Iraqis' demand for withdrawal by 2011. VoI report:
Most of the items in the long-term security agreement with Washington are still pending negotiations and not settled yet, an Iraqi legislator said on Friday, ruling out the parliament would vote over the deal."Differences revolve around a schedule of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq as well as their powers and the description of these troops," Abdelkareem al-Samarraie, a member of the Iraqi parliament's Security & Defense Committee, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI). A declaration of principles had been signed by U.S. President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in December 2007. The declaration was planned to be ratified on July 31, 2008, to be effective as of January 1, 2009.The agreement should govern the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq after the year 2008. This presence is currently depending on a mandate by the UN, renewed annually upon the request of the Iraqi government. The deal should not be effective before a 275-member Iraqi parliament approves it. Samarraie, who belongs to the (Sunni) Iraqi Accordance Front (IAF), the third largest in parliament with 38 out of a total 275 seats, pointed out that the Iraqi political leaders hope the year 2011 would be a final date for the end of foreign presence in Iraq."Although the Iraqi delegation has insisted on that date, the Americans have some reservations over it," he added.

U.S. forces arrest a senior member of the "de-Baathification Committee chaired by their old friend Ahmad Chalabi. Chalabi defends him. Reuters report:
U.S. forces arrested the deputy head of a committee that purged Iraq's government of members of Saddam Hussein's party, an ally said, but the U.S. military said he was a wanted militia leader behind a deadly Baghdad bombing. U.S. troops detained Ali al-Lami, general manager of a committee established in 2003 and 2004 by then U.S. governor Paul Bremer to remove members of Saddam's Baath party from the government, on Wednesday, the committee's head said on Thursday.A U.S. military statement said its troops seized a man at the airport suspected of planning a bomb attack in eastern Baghdad's Sadr City slum in June that killed 10 people, including two U.S soldiers and two U.S. civilian contractors. "He was captured at the airport. He had just returned from Lebanon with his family," Ahmed al-Chelabi, director of the deBaathification Committee, said in a statement. "We strongly condemn this operation against one of the highest officials of the ... committee, who had done good work."The U.S. military said the man they picked up at the airport, whom they could not name, was a senior "special groups criminal", jargon for Shi'ite militia cells it says are backed by Iran. Iran denies backing Iraqi militants."Coalition forces captured a man suspected of working within the highest echelons of the special groups criminals," spokesman for the U.S. military, Major John Hall, said.

AP's Robert Reid channels the U.S. spin that al-Lami was working for Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah. Reading between the lines, however, it seems more accurate to portray this as a further attempt to walk back the pro-Shiite tilt of the first years of the occupation. The reaction to the arrest splits along sectarian lines. -- C Excerpt:

BAGHDAD — A senior official in Nouri al-Maliki's government was in custody Thursday suspected of ties to Iranian-backed Shiite militias and plotting a June bombing that killed 10 people, including four Americans, Iraqi authorities said.The arrest of Ali al-Lami — taken Wednesday as he left a plane arriving from Lebanon — reinforced suspicions about Tehran's influence within the Shiite-led Iraqi government and could open wider probes into Shiite networks, including possible links to Lebanon's Hezbollah.Al-Lami heads a commission responsible for keeping Saddam Hussein loyalists out of government posts and has been a target of criticism from Sunni leaders who claim the government wants to limit the overall Sunni voice in political and security issues.He was arrested by U.S. and Iraqi troops at Baghdad's airport as he returned with his family from medical treatment in Beirut, said a member of his committee, Qaiser Watout.U.S. and Iraqi troops were waiting for al-Lami as the plane's doors opened, Watout said."We condemn this act," Watout said. "Al-Lami was a moderate official and we are surprised by his arrest."U.S. military officials would not confirm the arrest of al-Lami, who has been involved in government affairs since shortly after Saddam's fall in 2003.But the U.S. command said a "suspected senior" leader of Iranian-backed "Special Groups" militias was detained at the airport for allegedly planning the June 24 bombing of a municipal building in the capital's Shiite district of Sadr City. Two American soldiers and two State Department employees died in the blast along with six Iraqis.


The Army's suicide rate is at a high, and kin say that multiple deployments are to blame. Some troops with mental illnesses are cleared to serve in Iraq.

Read full story here:

By David Olinger and Erin Emery The Denver Post