Five more US soldiers die in Karbala, Iraq


George Bush, and escalation in Iraq, cartoon

George W Bush’s escalation … sorry … ‘surge‘ of the Iraq war is working wonderfully [sarcasm off].

The German news agency DPA reports:

Washington- The US military said five soldiers were killed in a militia attack on a security centre in Karbala, raising to 18 the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq Saturday.

The Karbala attack was launched on the Provincial Joint Coordination Centre, where US and Iraqi forces hold security meetings. …

Another 13 soldiers died when a US helicopter crashed near Baghdad Saturday, the US military said earlier.

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4 thoughts on “Five more US soldiers die in Karbala, Iraq

  1. *Leading Senator [Rockefeller] Assails Bush Over Iran Stance*
    Posted by: “hapi22” hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg
    Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:41 am (PST)
    Senator Jay Rockefeller has a very low opinion of Bush …

    “I don’t think he understands the world,” Mr. Rockefeller
    said. “I don’t think he’s particularly curious about the
    world. I don’t think he reads like he says he does.”

    He added, “Every time he’s read something he tells you about
    it, I think.”
    .

    But this is the most important part of this article …

    Mr. Rockefeller’s committee is working to complete a
    long-delayed investigation into the [Bush administration’s]
    misuse of intelligence about Iraq in the months before the
    American-led invasion.

    He said that the committee was nearing completion on one part
    of that investigation, concerning whether the White House
    ignored prewar C.I.A. assessments that Iraq could disintegrate
    into chaos.
    .

    BTW, why does CIA Director Michael V. Hayden ALWAYS show up at senate
    hearings wearing his general’s uniform? I thought he had said, at his
    senate confirmation hearings, that he would NOT do that in the future.
    The job of CIA Director is a CIVILIAN job, NOT a military job NOR is
    the CIA a branch of the Pentagon. Hayden should be roundly condemned
    for blurring his roles as a military person and a CIA director. We are
    not yet living under a military junta — or are we?

    In any event Michael V. Hayden is a complete toady of the Bush White
    House and will tell them — and you — anything they want him to say. He
    is one very frightening individual — sort of a Heinrich Himmler, whom
    he resembles physically.

    .
    ———————————————————-
    *Leading Senator Assails Bush Over Iran Stance*

    by MARK MAZZETTI
    The New York Times
    January 20, 2007

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 — The new chairman of the Senate Intelligence
    Committee on Friday sharply criticized the Bush administration’s
    increasingly combative stance toward Iran, saying that White House
    efforts to portray it as a growing threat are uncomfortably reminiscent
    of rhetoric about Iraq before the American invasion of 2003.

    Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, the West Virginia Democrat who took
    control of the committee this month, said that the administration was
    building a case against Tehran even as American intelligence agencies
    still know little about either Iran’s internal dynamics or its
    intentions in the Middle East.

    “To be quite honest, I’m a little concerned that it’s Iraq again,”
    Senator Rockefeller said during an interview in his office. “This whole
    concept of moving against Iran is bizarre.”

    Mr. Rockefeller did not say which aspects of the Bush administration’s
    case against Iran he thought were not supported by solid intelligence.
    He did say he agreed with the White House that Iranian operatives inside
    Iraq were supporting Shiite militias and working against American
    troops.

    Mr. Rockefeller said he believed President Bush was getting poor advice
    from advisers who argue that an uncompromising stance toward the
    government in Tehran will serve American interests.

    “I don’t think that policy makers in this administration particularly
    understand Iran,” he said.

    The comments of Mr. Rockefeller reflect the mounting concerns being
    voiced by other influential Democrats, including the Senate majority
    leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, and Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of
    Delaware, about the Bush administration’s approach to Iran. The
    Democrats have warned that the administration is moving toward a
    confrontation with Iran when the United States has neither the military
    resources nor the support among American allies and members of Congress
    to carry out such a move.

    Because Mr. Rockefeller is one of a handful of lawmakers with access to
    the most classified intelligence about the threat from Iran, his views
    carry particular weight. He has also historically been more tempered in
    his criticism of the White House on national security issues than some
    of his Democratic colleagues.

    Mr. Rockefeller was biting in his criticism of how President Bush has
    dealt with the threat of Islamic radicalism since the Sept. 11 attacks,
    saying he believed that the campaign against international terrorism was
    “still a mystery” to the president.

    “I don’t think he understands the world,” Mr. Rockefeller said. “I don’t
    think he’s particularly curious about the world. I don’t think he reads
    like he says he does.”

    He added, “Every time he’s read something he tells you about it, I
    think.”

    Last week, the Intelligence Committee heard testimony from John D.
    Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, that an emboldened
    Iran was casting a shadow across the Middle East and could decide to
    send Hezbollah operatives on missions to hit American targets.

    Mr. Negroponte testified the morning after President Bush had, in a
    televised address to the nation, said he was determined to confront what
    he called worrying activities by Iranian operatives in Iraq, and
    announced that the Pentagon was building up the American naval presence
    in the Persian Gulf and sending a battery of Patriot missiles to deter
    Iranian aggression.

    [NOTE FROM ME: Before we let Bush run off and invade Iran, we
    might take a few minutes to ponder some statistics:

  2. *Burnt Offering: 3,000 Sacrifices to Greed and Folly*
    Posted by: “hapi22” hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg
    Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:07 pm (PST)

    Yes, it grieves me to acknowledge it, but the American and “coalition”
    soldiers who have been killed or maimed in this war in Iraq, have been
    killed or maimed for NO good reason. They have sacrificed and died in
    vain.

    I wish it were not so, but until we acknowledge reality, Bush will go on
    and on with this crap about the war in Iraq being a war to make us safe
    here at home.

    It is anything but, and has generated a whole new generation of
    terrorists who want to kill us.

    If you want to understand everything that Bush has done to this country
    and the world with his jackbooted war-mongering, here’s the place to get
    caught up.

    The very BEST summing up I have seen.

    ———————————————————-

    U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD — 3021
    Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: — 20
    Total — 3041

    Latest Coalition Fatality: Jan 20, 2007
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – — – –
    *Burnt Offering: 3,000 Sacrifices to Greed and Folly*

    by Chris Floyd
    Chris-Floyd.com
    January 18, 2007

    A few weeks ago, I was asked to write a piece about the 3,000th
    American military casualty in Iraq. For various reasons of scheduling,
    time pressures, etc., the piece never ran. But I thought I’d offer it
    here – even though that grim milestone is now receding in the distance
    as we surge toward ever-greater levels of pointless death. This is a
    somewhat revised version of the original, which was written on Jan. 4,
    because at that time the details of Bush’s new “Operation Cannon Fodder”
    had not yet been revealed.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    I. The Spider’s Nest
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    At some point in the last week of December, the toll of American
    military dead in Iraq passed 3,000. These shades are the “strange fruit”
    of 9/11: unnecessary, unfated deaths seeded in that earlier cataclysm,
    which has been so ruthlessly and cynically exploited by the Bush
    Administration.

    The day after 9/11, I had a deadline to write a column. Although much
    was still obscure in those early hours of aftermath – chiefly, where and
    how the inevitable stroke of revenge would fall – one thing at least
    seemed clear. “Blood will have blood,” I wrote; “that’s certain. But
    blood will not end it. For murder is fertile: it breeds more death, like
    a spider laden with a thousand eggs.”

    Although the Bush Administration struck a reluctant, glancing blow at
    Afghanistan in response to the attacks – essentially lending American
    air power, a few troops, and bags of bribes to one faction of warlords,
    druglords and sectarian extremists in the long-running, many-sided
    Afghan civil war – Iraq was the nest in which most of the eggs of 9/11
    were hatched. We now know that in the earliest moments, when the dead
    were still burning beneath the rubble of the Twin Towers and the
    Pentagon wall, Donald Rumsfeld was frantically urging his minions to
    find some way to tie the attack to Saddam Hussein. “Best info fast,” he
    scribbled in one of the celebrated “snowflakes” of carping and command
    that he constantly showered upon his underlings. “Judge whether good
    enough to hit S.H. at the same time. Not only [Osama bin Laden]. Go
    massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

    We also know that this admonition was followed to the letter in the
    months ahead: “things related and not” – especially “not” – were indeed
    swept up, then packaged into the most relentless and mendacious
    warmongering campaign in American history. Without the deliberate
    manipulation and exaggeration of the fear and confusion generated by the
    9/11 attacks, not a single American soldier would have perished in Iraq.
    Not a single lament would have been drawn from their loved ones. Nor
    would more than 20,000 of their comrades have been maimed, nor many
    thousands more stricken with the invisible wounds of emotional torment,
    psychological dislocation, broken marriages, broken homes, broken lives.

    None of the 3,000 – whose numbers are growing every day – had to die. No
    genuine national interest compelled the war that has consumed them.
    Although polls show that a majority of U.S. soldiers in Iraq believe
    that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11 – a demonstrable lie in which
    they have obviously been deliberately schooled in order to keep their
    blood up for battle – the fact is that the war was planned long before
    the 2001 attacks. Its architects laid out their vision clearly in a
    September 2000 document called “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” in which
    the imposition of an American military footprint in Iraq was termed a
    strategic imperative that “transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam
    Hussein.” In other words, not only were 9/11 and the “War on Terror” and
    “weapons of mass destruction” irrelevant to the invasion, so was Saddam
    Hussein. It didn’t matter whether he was there or not. And this
    “transcendent” imperative was just part of a far-reaching plan of
    massive military expansion – and aggressive military action – to achieve
    “full spectrum dominance” over global affairs in the coming century

    However, these architects – who, under the umbrella of the “Project for
    the New American Century” and other related pressure groups, included
    Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, Scooter Libby, Elliott
    Abrams, Zalmay Khalilzad, Richard Perle, Richard Armitage, William
    Kristol, Thomas Donnelly and others – recognized that their wholesale
    militarization of American policy and society would be a tough sell to
    voters who might wistfully prefer the Jeffersonian pursuit of happiness
    to global empire. Thus the September 2000 document acknowledged that the
    “revolutionary” changes it envisaged could take decades to bring about –
    unless, of course, the nation was struck by what PNAC called “some
    catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.” (For more
    detail on the report and its history, see Dark Passage: PNAC’s Blueprint
    for Empire. Sarah Meyer offers an even more in-depth, heavily-sourced
    examination in Rebuilding America’s Defenses — A Biopsy on
    Imperialism.)

    September 11 gave them their wished-for “new Pearl Harbor.” Within days,
    George W. Bush – the second-place candidate installed in office by the
    Supreme Court’s self-declared extra-special, one-time-only ruling in
    favor of his campaign, which employed one Justice’s wife and another
    Justice’s son – was invoking 9/11 to justify “a new kind of conflict”
    that would require massive military expansion and aggressive military
    action all over the world. Within days, Cheney was citing the attacks to
    justify what he called going over to “the dark side, if you will” – an
    early indication of the lawless system of secret prisons, torture,
    rendition, “extrajudicial killing,” warrantless surveillance and other
    arbitrary actions of unfettered executive power that were to come. Bush
    summed up the grim future that his administration was furiously
    constructing from the PNAC blueprint in an August 2002 speech: “There’s
    no telling how many wars it will take to secure freedom in the
    homeland.”

    With these long-term plans at last kicking into high gear, it was only a
    matter of “fixing the intelligence around the policy” of invading and
    occupying Iraq, as the process was aptly described in the “Downing
    Street Memos” – the official UK papers that documented Bush and Tony
    Blair’s knowing collusion in “manufacturing consent” for the war. Thus
    did these two self-proclaimed Christian leaders of the world’s most
    advanced democracies betray their own soldiers to needless death. Thus
    did they knowingly, willingly, with full cognizance of their legal,
    political and moral responsibilities for the action, set in train the
    murderous engine of aggression that has killed more than half a million
    innocent Iraqi civilians — the vast horde of wasted lives beside which
    the American losses, as grievous as they are, pale in comparison.

    [The Iraqi civilian death count is based on studies published in The
    Lancet, one of the world’s msot respected medical journals. Although, as
    the Chronicle of Higher Education reports, the scientific model used in
    the Lancet for calibrating mass death rates is exactly the same
    procedure accepted by the U.S. government and the American media for
    counting victims in Rwanda, Bosnia, the Congo and other conflict areas,
    once again we meet with an extra-special, one-time-only exemption for
    George W. Bush: both the Administration and the media have consistently
    rejected the Lancet numbers for Iraq as “unsound” or “questionable.”
    They are neither, of course, but as with the votes in Florida, so with
    the dead in Iraq: the true accounting must be discredited.]

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    II. Blood on the Tracks
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    These plans for “unipolar domination” of the world through military
    aggression, geopolitical extortion (play ball with our corrupt crony
    capitalism – what Bush calls the “single sustainable model of national
    success” – or you’ll get it in the neck) and war profiteering on an
    unprecedented scale had their origins in the waning days of the first
    Bush Administration, in the Pentagon offices of then-Defense Secretary
    Dick Cheney. They were refined during the years of the Clinton
    interregnum not only at PNAC, a relative latecomer to the militarist
    talking shops, but also in such groups as the Hudson Institute, the
    Center for Security Policy and, especially, the American Enterprise
    Institute (AEI).

    Now Bush has drawn on AEI “scholars” Frederick Kagan to fashion his
    genuinely demented plan for a major escalation of the Iraq War: the
    famous “surge” that has dominated the shoptalk of the Beltway in the
    past month – the same month in which American soldiers were dying in
    near-record numbers while Bush cleared brush on his fake ranch. (The
    spread was purchased as a campaign prop in 1999 but is invariably
    referred to by media sycophants as his “beloved” homestead, as if he’d
    spent years of his life communing with the soil there, rather than the
    odd month now and then on vacation). While he dithered – consulting with
    his “brain trust” on the best way to ignore the suggestions of the Iraq
    Study Group and the clearly expressed will of the American people to
    bring the American occupation of Iraq to an end – more than 100 U.S.
    soldiers were shot to death or blown to pieces. An almost equivalent
    number of Iraqi civilians were murdered every day during December by the
    death squads of the factions brought to power by Bush and their
    sectarian opponents in the nationalist insurgency that arose in response
    to his invasion.

    What the Kagan plan called for – and what Bush accepted in a slightly
    diluted form (which, of course, the Kagen quickly and cravenly embraced
    – is a re-invasion of Baghdad, with thousands of additional U.S. troops
    thrown into savage urban warfare in “critical Sunni and mixed Sunni-Shia
    neighborhoods.” (The latter of which are now practically non-existent,
    thanks to the virulent “ethnic cleansing” in the city by Bush-backed
    Shia militias and their Sunni counterparts). In the unintentionally
    revealing language that permeates so much of the war-porn generated by
    the well-fed, stay-at-home armchair generals of PNAC, AEI and the White
    House, Kagan – a young, portly academic with no expertise whatsoever in
    the Middle East – writes in the Washington Post that “the only ‘surge’
    option that makes any sense is both long and large.”

    The mass-murdering blandishments that Kagan poured in Bush’s ear
    demanded that already-overstrained American ground forces “accept longer
    tours for several years” (italics mine), as he stated in his AEI report,
    “Choosing Victory.” The citizen-soldiers in National Guard units will
    also have to “accept increased deployments during this period,” it
    seems. Meanwhile, Kagan will no doubt continue to discuss the finer
    points of “counterinsurgency” and “clearing neighborhoods” with
    congenial colleagues at Washington’s finest restaurants – while also
    insisting, as he does in “Choosing Victory,” that “the president must
    issue a personal call for young Americans to volunteer to fight in the
    decisive conflict of this age.”

    In this plan – and the version of it Bush adopted for his “New Way
    Forward” – we see the hideous obscenity of the whole criminal enterprise
    laid bare. The bloodlust of physical cowards like Bush and Cheney and
    Kagan – their overpowering need to see other people kill and die – is
    now reaching genuinely irrational proportions. The war in Iraq was
    launched solely to serve the political ambitions, personal fortunes and
    radical ideologies of a small group of American elitists (and the
    delusions of grandeur of its little handmaiden in the UK). It had no
    larger strategic benefit or moral purpose, despite all the ever-shifting
    rhetoric to the contrary. It has not enhanced American security. It has
    not given the Iraqis a better life. It has not spread freedom and
    democracy throughout the Middle East. It was not designed to do these
    things. But neither has it accomplished its true aim, as clearly defined
    by PNAC and others, of establishing a solid American military presence
    in Iraq as a launching pad for further expansion of the “single
    sustainable model of national success” and the juicy contracts that
    would follow.

    Every single person killed as a result of Bush’s war – Iraqi and
    American, British and Italian, Polish and Japanese, soldier and civilian
    – has died in vain. The fantasy war of “sweets and roses” was lost from
    the very beginning (although a less wretchedly inept occupation might
    have mitigated at least some of the depredations spawned by every war of
    conquest). The real war of the “unipolar dominationists” is also clearly
    lost. There is no way clear to any realistic scenario where American
    troops remain in Iraq as the “invited guests” of a stable, supine client
    government in Baghdad. Any expansion of the war at this point – any
    continuance of the war in any form whatsoever – is thus nothing more
    than an exercise in wanton slaughter to “save face” for the defeated
    elitists and allow them to offload the inevitable Gotterdammerung onto
    their successors in office.

    This is the significance of 3,000th U.S. military death in Iraq. It is,
    literally, a milestone, a marker in the sand on a long and bloody trail
    whose end is still nowhere in sight.

    Read this at:
    http://www.chris-floyd.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1002&Itemid=135

    Photos at the same link.

  3. 5 Americans killed in Iraq copter crash

    By STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press Writer Tue Jan 23, 6:00 PM ET

    BAGHDAD, Iraq – A U.S. security company helicopter crashed Tuesday as it flew over a dangerous Sunni neighborhood in the central Baghdad where insurgents and Iraqi security troops fought a prolonged gunbattle, and a U.S. official said five American civilians on board were killed.
    ADVERTISEMENT

    A senior Iraqi military official said the aircraft was shot down, but this was disputed by a U.S. military official in Washington. The Iraqi said the helicopter was hit by a machine gunner over the Fadhil neighborhood on the east side of the Tigris River, while the American official said there was no indication in initial reports that the aircraft, owned by Blackwater USA, had been shot down.

    A second U.S. official, in Baghdad, said the five killed were Americans. All the officials demanded anonymity because the details had not been made public. The Americans said they did not know what caused the aircraft to crash.

    The U.S. official in Baghdad said there was no information to substantiate reports that the bodies had been shot.

    Witnesses in the Fadhil neighborhood reported seeing the helicopter go down after gunmen on the ground opened fire and were believed to have shot the pilot or co-pilot or both. Accounts varied, but all were consistent that at least one person operating the aircraft had been shot and badly hurt before the crash.

    The helicopter was believed to have been flying escort above a VIP convoy on the ground as it headed away from the heavily fortified Green Zone to an undisclosed destination.

    A spokeswoman for Blackwater USA, which is based in far northeastern North Carolina, declined to comment Tuesday. “We really don’t have any information for you yet,” said spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell. The company provides security for State Department officials in
    Iraq, trains military units from around the world, and works for corporate clients.

    Katy Helvenston, mother of Scott Helvenston, a Blackwater employee who died in March 2004, said Tuesday’s crash “just breaks my heart.”

    “I’m so sick of these kids dying,” she said.

    Helvenston was killed, along with Jerko “Jerry” Zovko, Wesley J.K. Batalona, and Michael R. Teague, when a frenzied mob of insurgents ambushed a supply convoy they were escorting through Fallujah. The insurgents burned and mutilated the guards and strung two of the bodies from a bridge. The gruesome scene was filmed and broadcast worldwide, leading the U.S. military to launch a three-week siege of Fallujah.

    Before Tuesday’s crash, at least 22 employees of Blackwater Security Consultants or Blackwater USA had died in Iraq as a result of war-related violence, according to the Web site iCasualties.org, which tracks foreign troop fatalities in Iraq. Of those, 20 were Americans, and two were Polish.

    The crash of the small surveillance helicopter, believed to be a version of the Hughes Defender that was developed during the Vietnam War, was the second associated with the U.S. war effort in Iraq in four days.

    A U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter went down Saturday northeast of Baghdad, killing all 12 service members on board. The American military in Baghdad has refused to confirm a report by a
    Pentagon official that debris at the crash site indicated the helicopter was shot out of the air by a surface-to-air missile.

    Relatively few U.S. aircraft have been shot down during the war despite hundreds, perhaps thousands of flights above Iraq. Helicopters typically flow fast and low over populated areas, making it extremely difficult for militant fighters to draw a bead with shoulder-fired missiles. U.S. fighter jets normally fly at very high altitudes and usually can be heard screaming through the skies but remain invisible to the naked eye.

    Civilian aircraft that serve Baghdad International Airport use avoidance techniques that included landing in a steep, circular descent from nearly straight overhead the runways. Takeoffs are achieved with the same technique until passenger jets are out of missile range.

    The Blackwater aircraft was at least the 14th helicopter to go down since the war began in March 2003. The worst incident occurred Jan. 26, 2005, when a U.S. transport helicopter crashed in a sandstorm in western Iraq, killing 30 Marines and a U.S. sailor.

    According to insurance claims on file at the
    Department of Labor, 770 civilian contractors have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003, through December 31, 2006. Additionally, 7,761 civilian contractors have been injured in the same time period, according to claims on file.

    Hours before
    President Bush’s annual State of the Union address, the U.S. military announced three more troop deaths, a Marine killed Sunday and two soldiers killed on Monday. That raised the three-day toll since Saturday to 31.

    In addition to the five Iraqi police and morgue officials, meanwhile, reported at least 57 people were killed in sectarian violence nationwide on Tuesday, including 27 bodies, most showing signs of torture, that were dumped in Baghdad.

    The U.S. military also reported it had detained four suspects in the Jan. 20 sneak attack on U.S. forces during a security meeting with their Iraqi counterparts in the Shiite holy city of Karbala.

    The statement said the four were captured two days afterward on a tip from a resident of the city south of Baghdad. It said the four were found in a house near where SUVs used in the attack had been abandoned after the insurgent fighters fled.

    Before the assault, the insurgents, who wore American-style military uniforms, were waved through a checkpoint at the outskirts of Karbala by security officials. Authorities apparently were fooled by the uniforms and the fact that the attackers were traveling in vehicles normally used by official U.S. or Iraqi convoys.
    ___

    Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor in Washington and Estes Thompson in Raleigh, N.C., contributed to this report.

  4. Pingback: USA: film ‘Ghosts of Abu Ghraib’; interview with producer Rory Kennedy | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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