themcglynn.com

17 Feb

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

Damn The War Criminals,

Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rumsfeld,Wolfowitz, Powell and Blair from England.

Some History:

Bush’s Five Big Lies That Led to the Iraq Quagmire

These are the five lies Bush told that Ralph Nader documented to impeach him.

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction. The weapons have still not been found. Nader emphasized, “Until the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was our government’s anti-communist ally in the Middle East. We also used him to keep Iran at bay. In so doing, in the 1980s under Reagan and the first Bush, corporations were licensed by the Department of Commerce to export the materials for chemical and biological weapons that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney later accused him of having.” Those weapons were destroyed after the Gulf War. George W. Bush’s favorite chief weapons inspector, David Kay, after returning from Iraq and leading a large team of inspectors and spending nearly half a billion dollars told the president We were wrong. See: David Kay testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, 2004-01-28.Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) ’s Europe division, revealed that in the fall of 2002, George W. Bush, Vice President Cheney, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and others were told by CIA Director George Tenet that Iraq’s foreign minister — who agreed to act as a spy for the United States — had reported that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction program.

  • Iraq Ties to Al Qaeda. The White House made this claim even though the CIA and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) repeatedly told the Administration that there was no tie between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. They were mortal enemies — one secular, the other fundamentalist.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to the United States. In fact, Saddam was a tottering dictator, with an antiquated, fractured army of low morale and with Kurdish enemies in Northern Iraq and Shiite adversaries in the South of Iraq. He did not even control the air space over most of Iraq.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to his Neighbors. In fact, Iraq was surrounded by countries with far superior military forces. Turkey, Iran and Israel were all capable of obliterating any aggressive move by the Iraqi dictator.

  • The Liberation of the Iraqi People. There are brutal dictators throughout the world, many supported over the years by Washington, whose people need liberation from their leaders. This is not a persuasive argument since for Iraq, it’s about oil. In fact, the occupation of Iraq by the United States is a magnet for increasing violence, anarchy and insurrection.

The McGlynn

War News

Abu Dhabi arms fair opens amid Yemen war criticism

An explosion strikes during a military demonstration targeting a theatrical “ballistic missile launchpad” at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. The biennial arms show in Abu Dhabi comes as the United Arab Emirates faces increasing criticism for its role in the yearlong war in Yemen. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A biennial arms fair has opened in the United Arab Emirates as the country faces increasing scrutiny over its involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

While the war went unmentioned at the opening ceremony of the International Defense Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, it was clearly present in the theatrical show offered to spectators.

In it, a militia threatens an unknown country with both launchpad-based and mobile ballistic missiles. Saudi Arabia has faced over 100 such launches by Yemen’s Houthi rebels into the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the leading members of a coalition that has been at war with the Iran-aligned Houthis since March 2015. The conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and caused the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Read Full Article>>

AP: US-backed Syria force says IS holding 1,000 civilians

A man selling chicken sits in an area recently retaken by U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from Islamic State militants in Hajin, Syria, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

SDF officials have said the extremists are hiding among civilians in a tented village and using a network of caves and tunnels. IS, which once ruled a proto-state in large parts of Syria and Iraq, is clinging to an area less than a square kilometer (square mile) in the village of Baghouz, in eastern Syria.

The extremists may include high-level commanders, and could be holding hostages among those trapped inside.

Occasional coalition airstrikes and clashes continue inside the village of Baghouz. Artillery rounds were meant to clear land mines for the SDF fighters to advance. SDF commanders say the end of IS’ self-declared caliphate is near.

“We will very soon bring good news to the whole world,” Ciya Furat, an SDF commander, said Saturday at a news conference at the al-Omar Oil Field Base, miles away from Baghouz in the Deir el-Zour province.

AL-OMAR OIL FIELD BASE, Syria (AP) — Islamic State militants are preventing more than 1,000 civilians from leaving a tiny area still held by the extremist group in a village in eastern Syria, a spokesman for the U.S.-backed Syrian militia fighting the group said Sunday.

“Regrettably, Daesh have closed all the roads,” Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, told The Associated Press, referring to IS by its Arabic acronym.

Read Full Article>>

REU: U.S. envoy on Syria tells allies troop withdrawal won’t be abrupt

MUNICH (Reuters) – The United States will not make an abrupt and rapid withdrawal of its troops from Syria and will consult closely with its allies on the issue, its special envoy on Syria said on Sunday.

“We’ve been telling them (allies) continuously this is not going to be an abrupt, rapid withdrawal but a step-by-step withdrawal,” James Franklin Jeffrey told the Munich Security Conference, addressing concerns from allies over the U.S. decision to pullout 2,000 troops.

With talks of creating a safe zone on the Turkish-Syrian border, Jeffrey and Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar appeared to differ on what to do about Kurdish-led militias working with the U.S.-backed coalition fighting Islamic State militants.

“We have respect for the territorial integrity of Syria, but the main issue is the safety and security of the Turkish border and Turkish people,” Akar said. “The main issue is security to get rid of the terrorists regardless of whether the YPG (Kurds) or Daesh (Islamic State).”

Read Full Article>>

REU: IS ‘caliphate’ on brink of defeat in Syria as Trump urges Europe to do more

U.S.-backed fighters in Syria are poised to capture Islamic State’s last, tiny enclave on the Euphrates, the battle commander said on Saturday, bringing its self-declared caliphate to the brink of total defeat as U.S. President Donald Trump spoke of “100 percent victory”.

Jiya Furat said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had cornered the remaining militants in a neighborhood of Baghouz village near the Iraqi border, under fire from all sides.

“In the coming few days, in a very short time, we will spread the good tidings to the world of the military end of Daesh,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

He was speaking after Trump said on Friday there would be “great announcements” about Syria over the next 24 hours.

Trump on Saturday said the caliphate was “ready to fall and that the United States was asking European allies to take back more than 800 Islamic State fighters captured in Syria and put them on trial.

“The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial,” he said in a Tweet. “The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them…

Read Full Article>>

REU: Timeline: The rise and fall of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

(Reuters) – Islamic State faces the total defeat of its self-proclaimed caliphate. This timeline chronicles its lightning rise, cruel reign and stubborn fall.

** 2004-11 – In the chaos following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, an al-Qaeda offshoot sets up there, changing its name in 2006 to Islamic State in Iraq.

** 2011 – After Syria’s crisis begins, the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sends operatives there to set up a Syrian subsidiary. Baghdadi follows in 2013, breaking with al Qaeda and renaming his group ‘The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’.

** 2014 – Its year of sudden success starts by seizing Fallujah in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria at the turn of the year. It takes Mosul and Tikrit in June and overruns the border with Syria. At Mosul’s great Mosque, Baghdadi renames it Islamic State (IS) and declares a caliphate.

So begins a reign of terror. In Syria, it massacres hundreds of members of the Sheitaat tribe. In Iraq it slaughters thousands of Yazidis in Sinjar and forces more than 7,000 women and girls into sexual slavery. It beheads Western hostages in grotesquely choreographed films.

In September, the United States builds a coalition against IS and starts air strikes to stop its momentum, helping the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia turn it back from Kobani on the border with Turkey……………………

** 2019 – IS is besieged in its last enclave on the Euphrates at the village of Baghouz.

Read Full Article>>

NYT: Roadside Bomb Kills 3 Civilians in Southern Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan official says a roadside bomb killed three civilians in the southern Kandahar province.

Gen. Tadeen Khan, the provincial police chief, says a small child was among those killed in Sunday’s blast, which he blamed on the Taliban.

The insurgents routinely plant explosives targeting Afghan security forces, but the bombs often end up killing or maiming civilians.

In the northern Balkh province, the Taliban stormed a police checkpoint late Saturday, killing six police. Adel Shah Adel, spokesman for the provincial police chief, says the insurgents targeted a force charged with guarding a gas pipeline. The Taliban claimed the attack.

NYT: ‘No One Survived.’ A Taliban Attack Kills 32 at Remote Afghan Post.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Afghan border security troops were asleep inside their remote post in southern Afghanistan early Friday when a Taliban infiltrator climbed a guard tower. Moments earlier, a lone sentry had left the post to wake his replacement.

As the new sentry climbed the tower, he was shot dead by the insurgent hiding inside, officials in Kandahar Province said Saturday.

Then, moments later, Taliban fighters rammed a stolen police Humvee packed with explosives through the entrance of the base, they said. Once inside, the attackers shot and killed security troops who had survived the initial explosion.

All 32 men posted at the base died, said Khalid Pashtun, a member of Parliament from Kandahar.

“No one survived,” he said.

Officials said the insurgents escaped after looting the base, in Spinboldak district, across the border from the Pakistani city of Quetta some 60 miles south, where the Taliban leadership is based.

Mohammad Yousuf Yunasi, a member of the provincial council, confirmed the attack but said he had few details. He said such ambushes are possible because Taliban fighters are often better equipped than border security forces. Some, he said, have night-vision goggles.

“This is the main reason the police suffer high casualties,” Mr. Yunasi said.

Officials said at least one of the Taliban attackers, the Humvee driver, was killed.

The attack on the small base was the latest in a series of deadly Taliban ambushes of Afghan security outposts. Fighting during in the conflict, now in its 18th year, is normally limited during the harsh winter months, but it has spilled over from the traditional fighting season as the United States and the Taliban seek leverage in ongoing peace talks.

Read Full Article>>

 

Afghan War Children

Civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan (2001–present)

During the war in Afghanistan (2001–present), over 31,000 civilian deaths due to war-related violence have been documented;[1][2] 29,900 civilians have been wounded.[2] Over 111,000 Afghans, including civilians, soldiers and militants, are estimated to have been killed in the conflict.[1] The Cost of War project estimated that the number who have died through indirect causes related to the war may be as high 360,000 additional people based on a ratio of indirect to direct deaths in contemporary conflicts.[3] These numbers do not include those who have died in Pakistan.

The war, launched by the United States as “Operation Enduring Freedom” in 2001, began with an initial air campaign that almost immediately prompted concerns over the number of Afghan civilians being killed[4] as well as international protests. With civilian deaths from airstrikes rising again in recent years,[5] the number of Afghan civilians being killed by foreign military operations has led to mounting tension between the foreign countries and the government of Afghanistan. In May 2007, President Hamid Karzai summoned foreign military commanders to warn them of the consequences of further Afghan civilian deaths.[6] The civilian losses are a continuation of the extremely high civilian losses experienced during the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s, and the three periods of civil war following it: 1989–1992, 1992–1996, and 1996–2001.

The McGlynn

Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

Recent Casualties:

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale, 32, of Carrollton, Virginia, died Jan. 22, 2019, as a result of injuries sustained from enemy small arms fire during combat operations in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.

Beale was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of one soldier, one sailor and one DOD civilian who were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

The deceased are:

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida. Farmer was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon M. Kent, 35, of upstate New York. Kent was assigned to Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66, based at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

DOD civilian Scott A. Wirtz of St. Louis, Missouri. Wirtz was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency as an operations support specialist.

Farmer, Kent and Wirtz died Jan. 16, 2019, in Manbij, Syria, as a result of wounds sustained from a suicide improvised explosive device.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Sgt. Cameron A. Meddock, 26, of Spearman, Texas, died Jan. 17, 2019, in Landstuhl, Germany, as a result of injuries sustained from small arms fire during combat operations on Jan. 13, 2019, in Jawand District, Badghis Province, Afghanistan.

Meddock was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

Cost of War in Iraq>>

Cost of War in Afghanistan>>

Care for Veterans:

PTSD: National Center for PTSDPTSD Care for Veterans, Military, and FamiliesSee Help for Veterans with PTSD to learn how to enroll for VA health care and get an assessment.

All VA Medical Centers provide PTSD care, as well as many VA clinics.Some VA’s have programs specializing in PTSD treatment. Use the VA PTSD Program Locator to find a PTSD program.

If you are a war Veteran, find a Vet Center to help with the transition from military to civilian life.

Call the 24/7 Veteran Combat Call Center1-877-WAR-VETS (1-877-927-8387) to talk to another combat Veteran.DoD’s Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) 24/7 Outreach Center for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury provides information and helps locate resources.

Call 1-866-966-1020 or email resources@dcoeoutreach.orgMilitary OneSourceCall 24/7 for counseling and many resources 1-800-342-9647.Need further assistance? Get Help with VA PTSD Care

 

Iraq War Dead Children

The war ended for these children, but it has never ended for survivors who carry memories of them. Likewise, the effects of the U.S. bombings continue, immeasurably and indefensibly.

Please do not forget the children.

The McGlynn

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16 Feb

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

Recommended:

Irish Examiner>>

France 24>>

Spiegel>>

Le Monde>>

View All>>

Week in wildlife – in pictures

Trump’s former campaign manager found guilty in August on eight counts of tax fraud, bank fraud and a foreign bank account

Manafort, 69, has been in jail since June last year, when he and Konstantin Kilimnik were charged with witness tampering.

Manafort, 69, has been in jail since June last year, when he and Konstantin Kilimnik were charged with witness tampering. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, should be sentenced to up to 24 years in prison, the special counsel Robert Mueller said on Friday.

Mueller’s team said in a court filing that Manafort should face a prison term of 235 to 292 months, or between 19 and a half and 24 and a half years, for “serious, longstanding, and bold” financial crimes.

Manafort, 69, could also receive financial penalties totaling more than $50m, according to the filing by Mueller’s prosecutors. His sentence will be decided by federal judge TS Ellis.

The new court filing dealt with Manafort’s convictions in Virginia last year for fraud and other crimes that the veteran political consultant began committing before he joined Trump’s campaign in 2016.

“Manafort acted for more than a decade as if he were above the law, and deprived the federal government and various financial institutions of millions of dollars,” Mueller’s team said. “The sentence here should reflect the seriousness of these crimes, and serve to both deter Manafort and others from engaging in such conduct.”

A jury found Manafort guilty in August on eight counts of tax fraud, bank fraud and a foreign bank account. They could not reach a verdict on 10 other charges.

He was found to have hidden more than $16m in income from US authorities, which allowed him to avoid paying $6m in taxes. He also hid tens of millions of dollars in foreign bank accounts secured $25m in loans from banks through fraud.

Manafort had “ample funds” to cover the tax bills he should have paid, the filing said, but “he simply chose not to comply with laws that would reduce his wealth”.

Mueller’s team said Manafort resorted to fraud to maintain a lifestyle of “lavish spending” – spanning multiple homes, luxurious rugs and an ostrich-skin leather jacket – after his lucrative work for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine dried up.

Following his convictions, Manafort admitted other crimes in a plea deal to avoid a second trial on other charges in Washington DC. But the deal was scrapped by Mueller after Manafort continued to lie to investigators.

Friday’s court filing said Manafort’s “concerted criminality”, even while out on bail and under indictment last year, should be a factor in his Virginia sentence. He also faces sentencing next month in Washington for crimes he admitted in that case.

Mueller is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election, which intelligence agencies concluded was aimed at helping Trump. Prosecutors from Mueller’s team have said Manafort’s interactions in 2016 with Konstantin Kilimnik, an alleged Russian intelligence operative, are a central focus of their inquiries.

Manafort has been in jail since June last year, when he and Kilimnik were charged with witness tampering while Manafort awaited his trial in Virginia. Kilimnik denies the allegations and insists he has not worked for Russian intelligence.

Mueller’s team said on Friday that Manafort had resorted to crime despite having had “every opportunity to succeed” – including a good education at Georgetown university and law school. His sentence should punish him for serious wrongdoing and serve as a deterrent to others tempted to commit similar crimes, they said.

The court filing said Manafort was the ringleader of a financial criminal operation that also involved his accountants, Kilimnik and Rick Gates, Manafort’s deputy chairman on the Trump campaign. Gates has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators.

“Manafort solicited numerous professionals and others to reap his ill-gotten gains,” the prosecutors wrote.

Separately on Friday, the transcript of a hearing held in Manafort’s case in Washington DC on Wednesday was unsealed. The transcript showed judge Amy Berman Jackson explaining why she agreed with Mueller that Manafort had breached his plea deal by lying.

Jackson said Manafort had been caught lying repeatedly about his interactions with Kilimnik, which she said went to the “undisputed core” of Mueller’s search for any “links and/or coordination” between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.

“Mr Kilimnik doesn’t have to be in the government or even be an active spy to be a link,” she said.

Jackson said Manafort had forced Mueller’s investigators “to pull teeth” by trying to withhold facts if he thought he could get away with doing so, before learning that Mueller’s team actually already knew the truth.

World Politics

United States

Ex-governor of Massachusetts says he has set up an exploratory committee to pursue the Republican presidential nomination

Bill Weld speaks at the Politics and Eggs breakfast at the Bedford Village inn in Bedford, New Hampshire on 15 February.

Bill Weld speaks at the Politics and Eggs breakfast at the Bedford Village inn in Bedford, New Hampshire on 15 February. Photograph: Cj Gunther/EPA

Donald Trump is facing a potential challenge in the 2020 primaries after Bill Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts, became the first rebel Republican to take on the president in a long shot bid to oust him.

Weld announced on Friday that he had set up an exploratory committee to begin the process of challenging Trump for the Republican presidential nomination. In a speech in Bedford, New Hampshire, he criticized the president as a threat to American democracy and said it was time for patriots to stand against him.

“In every country there comes a time when patriotic men and women must stand up and speak out to protect our individual rights and the overall health of the nation. In our country, now is such a time,” he said, according to the local New Hampshire news station WMUR9.

Weld, 73, has a Herculean task ahead of him in seeking to topple Trump. He is unlikely to be able to muster anything like as much money or media attention as the White House incumbent.

But by opening a crack of insurgency within the Republican party, he may embolden others to follow. He may also force Trump to expend some energy, however limited, on his right flank at a time when Democratic presidential candidates are amassing on his left.

Weld comes from the libertarian wing of US conservatism. He ran as vice-presidential running mate to Gary Johnson on the Libertarian party ticket in 2016.

He switched allegiance from Libertarian back to Republican only last week.

The former governor announced the start of a Trump challenge at the Politics and Eggs breakfast at the Bedford Village inn. The event traditionally attracts presidential candidates as New Hampshire holds the distinction of hosting the first primary election in the nation.

Weld addressed about 150 local business and political leaders, WMUR9 reported, and was scathing about Trump. He accused the president of running roughshod over press freedom and of “appalling instances of racism”.

“We cannot sit passively as our precious democracy slips quietly into darkness. Congress must do its duty and citizens we must do ours,” he said.

The start of a challenge is likely to intensify the spotlight on other potential Republican candidates. There has been speculation around former Ohio governor John Kasich, who was a sore in Trump’s side during the 2016 primaries, and around Larry Hogan, the current governor of Maryland.

Five false claims from Trump’s national emergency speech – video

Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to secure extra funding for his wall at the US-Mexico border. Trump’s decision came after weeks of wrangling over his campaign promise, which led to a record 35-day partial government shutdown, damaging his approval rating.

Trump declares national emergency to build US-Mexico border

wall>>

Rambling Trump calls an emergency in speech that goes on and on and on>>

Pelosi slams Trump’s national emergency over border wall – video>>

Flag-waving and Democrat-bashing: Trump’s blueprint to win in 2020>>

Trump’s emergency declaration is unconstitutional – ask his lawyers>>

What is a national emergency – and does it mean Trump can build his wall?>>

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15 Feb

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

Damn The War Criminals,

Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rumsfeld,Wolfowitz, Powell and Blair from England.

Some History:

Bush’s Five Big Lies That Led to the Iraq Quagmire

These are the five lies Bush told that Ralph Nader documented to impeach him.

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction. The weapons have still not been found. Nader emphasized, “Until the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was our government’s anti-communist ally in the Middle East. We also used him to keep Iran at bay. In so doing, in the 1980s under Reagan and the first Bush, corporations were licensed by the Department of Commerce to export the materials for chemical and biological weapons that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney later accused him of having.” Those weapons were destroyed after the Gulf War. George W. Bush’s favorite chief weapons inspector, David Kay, after returning from Iraq and leading a large team of inspectors and spending nearly half a billion dollars told the president We were wrong. See: David Kay testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, 2004-01-28.Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) ’s Europe division, revealed that in the fall of 2002, George W. Bush, Vice President Cheney, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and others were told by CIA Director George Tenet that Iraq’s foreign minister — who agreed to act as a spy for the United States — had reported that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction program.

  • Iraq Ties to Al Qaeda. The White House made this claim even though the CIA and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) repeatedly told the Administration that there was no tie between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. They were mortal enemies — one secular, the other fundamentalist.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to the United States. In fact, Saddam was a tottering dictator, with an antiquated, fractured army of low morale and with Kurdish enemies in Northern Iraq and Shiite adversaries in the South of Iraq. He did not even control the air space over most of Iraq.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to his Neighbors. In fact, Iraq was surrounded by countries with far superior military forces. Turkey, Iran and Israel were all capable of obliterating any aggressive move by the Iraqi dictator.

  • The Liberation of the Iraqi People. There are brutal dictators throughout the world, many supported over the years by Washington, whose people need liberation from their leaders. This is not a persuasive argument since for Iraq, it’s about oil. In fact, the occupation of Iraq by the United States is a magnet for increasing violence, anarchy and insurrection.

The McGlynn

War News

Guard: Isis fighters firing at escaping family members, says coalition

Wives of jihadist fighters wounded as they flee Baghuz, the final Isis enclave in Syria

Women and children fleeing Baghuz, the last remaining Isis enclave in Syria.

Women and children fleeing Baghuz, the last remaining Isis enclave in Syria. Photograph: Achilleas Zavallis/Guardian

Islamic State fighters shot and wounded fleeing family members trying to escape from its besieged enclave in Syria, according to a coalition commander, as Kurdish forces continued to tighten the noose on the remaining extremists.

The battle to recapture the group’s last speck of territory is now only days from completion, Kurdish commanders said, with perhaps several hundred hardcore members dug into the centre of Baghuz village, a hamlet on the banks of the river Euphrates.

A coalition military official said Isis had fired on the wives of fighters as they attempted to flee on Wednesday. Those “arriving to be screened are the wives of Isis fighters, some of whom sustained gunshot wounds while fleeing from Isis”, said British Maj Gen Christopher Ghika.

Read Full Article>>

REU: Life in Kabul’s squatter camps highlights challenge for any Afghan peace

KABUL (Reuters) – While negotiations between Taliban insurgents and U.S. envoys fuel dreams of peace in Afghanistan, the squatter village of Pul-e Shina highlights the tough realities ahead if the country is to re-build after years of war.

FILE PHOTO: An internally displaced family warm themselves inside a shelter at a refugee camp in Kabul, Afghanistan January 30, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail/File Photo

In the shadows of mountains east of the capital, Kabul, families recently displaced by fighting join others who have been there for years, scratching out a living with no access to reliable supplies of water and heating fuel, or schools for their children.

Melting snow leaves ankle-deep mud across the village of Pul-e Shina, where for many the new hopes for peace are tempered by the realization their struggles of daily life are unlikely to change for the better any time soon.

“Even if there is peace, we can’t go back,” said Sima Gul, a community leader who fled Taliban attacks in a neighboring province with her husband and nine children 18 months ago.

“There is nothing left for us there, even though it was once our home. We have to improve what we have here.”

Pul-e Shina, a mix of mud-walled huts and tarpaulin shelters, is home to some 3,800 people and part of a network 50-odd “informal settlements”, in which an estimated 100,000 displaced people have joined Kabul’s urban sprawl.

As well as lacking basic amenities, residents of such villages invariably hold no land rights or title, leaving them at the mercy of developers or government planners.

Read Full Article>>

REU: Knock-on effects of war kill 300 babies every day – charity

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Starvation, disease and a lack of aid are killing 300 babies a day in warzones around the world, with the number of children caught up in conflicts nearing a 30-year high, Save the Children said on Friday.

Afghanistan, Yemen, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Syria were among the worst conflict zones for children in 2017, the charity concluded from an analysis of U.N. data for the five years to the end of that year.

In all, more than 500,000 babies died during the period from the knock-on effects of conflict – hunger, hospital attacks and reduced aid – according to the data, which excludes those killed in attacks.

“From Yemen to Syria and South Sudan, children are bearing the horror of armed conflict,” said Kevin Watkins, head of Save the Children, in a statement.

Yemen’s almost four-year war has killed tens of thousands of people, caused the economy to collapse and brought millions of people to the brink of famine, according to the United Nations.

Children there are at risk of malnutrition, diarrhea, cholera, and diphtheria – a disease that spreads as easily as the common cold, said Save the Children.

Five million children in Africa have died over the last 20 years because armed conflict deprived them of access to basic healthcare or clean water, the Lancet medical journal said in a report last year.

Save the Children said a fifth of all children worldwide – about 420 million – lived in a conflict zone in 2017, 30 million more than the year before and the highest number since 1990.

It said the U.N. data showed the number of “grave violations” against children – from sexual violence, armed recruitment and restricting aid – rose to a record 25,000 in 2017 from 10,000 in 2010.

Read Full Article>>

 

Afghan War Children

Civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan (2001–present)

During the war in Afghanistan (2001–present), over 31,000 civilian deaths due to war-related violence have been documented;[1][2] 29,900 civilians have been wounded.[2] Over 111,000 Afghans, including civilians, soldiers and militants, are estimated to have been killed in the conflict.[1] The Cost of War project estimated that the number who have died through indirect causes related to the war may be as high 360,000 additional people based on a ratio of indirect to direct deaths in contemporary conflicts.[3] These numbers do not include those who have died in Pakistan.

The war, launched by the United States as “Operation Enduring Freedom” in 2001, began with an initial air campaign that almost immediately prompted concerns over the number of Afghan civilians being killed[4] as well as international protests. With civilian deaths from airstrikes rising again in recent years,[5] the number of Afghan civilians being killed by foreign military operations has led to mounting tension between the foreign countries and the government of Afghanistan. In May 2007, President Hamid Karzai summoned foreign military commanders to warn them of the consequences of further Afghan civilian deaths.[6] The civilian losses are a continuation of the extremely high civilian losses experienced during the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s, and the three periods of civil war following it: 1989–1992, 1992–1996, and 1996–2001.

The McGlynn

Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

Recent Casualties:

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale, 32, of Carrollton, Virginia, died Jan. 22, 2019, as a result of injuries sustained from enemy small arms fire during combat operations in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.

Beale was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of one soldier, one sailor and one DOD civilian who were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

The deceased are:

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida. Farmer was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon M. Kent, 35, of upstate New York. Kent was assigned to Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66, based at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

DOD civilian Scott A. Wirtz of St. Louis, Missouri. Wirtz was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency as an operations support specialist.

Farmer, Kent and Wirtz died Jan. 16, 2019, in Manbij, Syria, as a result of wounds sustained from a suicide improvised explosive device.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Sgt. Cameron A. Meddock, 26, of Spearman, Texas, died Jan. 17, 2019, in Landstuhl, Germany, as a result of injuries sustained from small arms fire during combat operations on Jan. 13, 2019, in Jawand District, Badghis Province, Afghanistan.

Meddock was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

Cost of War in Iraq>>

Cost of War in Afghanistan>>

Care for Veterans:

PTSD: National Center for PTSDPTSD Care for Veterans, Military, and FamiliesSee Help for Veterans with PTSD to learn how to enroll for VA health care and get an assessment.

All VA Medical Centers provide PTSD care, as well as many VA clinics.Some VA’s have programs specializing in PTSD treatment. Use the VA PTSD Program Locator to find a PTSD program.

If you are a war Veteran, find a Vet Center to help with the transition from military to civilian life.

Call the 24/7 Veteran Combat Call Center1-877-WAR-VETS (1-877-927-8387) to talk to another combat Veteran.DoD’s Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) 24/7 Outreach Center for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury provides information and helps locate resources.

Call 1-866-966-1020 or email resources@dcoeoutreach.orgMilitary OneSourceCall 24/7 for counseling and many resources 1-800-342-9647.Need further assistance? Get Help with VA PTSD Care

 

Iraq War Dead Children

The war ended for these children, but it has never ended for survivors who carry memories of them. Likewise, the effects of the U.S. bombings continue, immeasurably and indefensibly.

Please do not forget the children.

The McGlynn

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14 Feb

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

Recommended:

Irish Examiner>>

France 24>>

Spiegel>>

Le Monde>>

View All>>

Yellow Vests struggle to define their movement as protest turnout falls

Thomas Samson, AFP | A Yellow Vest protester waves a French flag in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on February 9, 2019

Turnout at Saturday’s Yellow Vest protests fell sharply, with 51,400 attending demonstrations nationwide as opposed to 69,000 just two weeks ago. The movement is falling prey to deep internal divisions even as it seeks greater legitimacy.

After drawing 282,000 people nationwide during the first weekend of protests in November, less than a fifth of that turned out on Saturday for “Act 13”, according to interior ministry estimates.

The protests – which began in response to the government’s decision to introduce annual increases to diesel and carbon taxes – has since coalesced into a broader opposition against French President Emmanuel Macron’s government, the high cost of living in France and widespread economic uncertainty.

But a movement that has attracted many who are experiencing economic anxiety has struggled to transform popular anger into a real political force. The Yellow Vests have failed to anoint leaders who can take them forward nor agreed on clearly defined goals.

A leaderless movement

The movement’s lack of any real structure has led to infighting as its most visible members vie for control.

Priscillia Ludosky and Éric Drouet emerged as early leaders of the movement after creating an “official” Yellow Vest Facebook page calling for the first nationwide protests on November 17 in response to the government’s decision to raise a direct tax on diesel fuel.

The idea to create the page came from a popular petition Ludosky posted online earlier in the year demanding Macron repeal the tax. Following the success of the first two Yellow Vest protests, Ludosky and Drouet were among eight representatives of the movement invited to attend a meeting on November 27 with Environment Minister François de Rugy. In the end, they were the only two to accept the invitation.

But the pair soon had a falling out. In the month that followed, Drouet took an increasingly hard line, even calling on protesters to storm the Élysée presidential palace. He was arrested in December after organising an unauthorised protest in Paris.

In January, Ludosky published a statement announcing that she would no longer be working with Drouet, who she accused of “harming” the movement.

“We decided to go our separate ways,” Drouet later said in a video posted online. “We can’t always be in agreement on what to do, and how to do it.”

Enter Maxime Nicolle, another Yellow Vest protester whose online videos have attracted thousands of followers. The 31-year-old, who also goes by the alias Fly Rider, rose to national prominence after appearing as a guest on several popular French television shows. He made a bid to become the movement’s official spokesman in early December.

“I would not decide anything, I would just give voice to what you decide,” Nicolle told Yellow Vests supporters on Facebook Live.

One of the movement’s most divisive figures, however, is arguably Jacline Mouraud, 51, who rose to fame after a video she posted online lambasting Macron’s government drew more than 5 million views. Since then, she has come under fire from Yellow Vest protesters for using the movement as a platform to launch her own political party. She hopes to make headway in the country’s municipal elections in 2020.

“She’s hit rock bottom!” Drouet said of Mouraud’s political ambitions in late December.

Disparate demands

Read Full Article>>

World Politics

United States

Ilhan Omar grills Trump’s Venezuela envoy over past – video

The Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar had a heated exchange with the Trump administration’s special envoy to Venezuela over his record in Latin America.

The Minnesota representative pressed Elliott Abrams – a former Reagan administration official – on his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal

Ilhan Omar takes Trump’s Venezuela envoy to task over his political past>>

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