themcglynn.com

02 Aug

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

Damn The War Criminals

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

How many Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion 15 years ago? Some credible estimates put the number at more than one million. You can read that sentence again.

The invasion of Iraq is often spoken of in our country as a “blunder,” or even a “colossal mistake.” It was a crime.

Those who perpetrated it are still at large. Some of them have even been rehabilitated thanks to the horrors of a mostly amnesiac citizenry.

We condemned children to death, some after many days of writhing in pain on bloodstained mats, without pain relievers. Some died quickly, wasted by missing arms and legs, crushed heads. As the fluids ran out of their bodies, they appeared like withered, spoiled fruits. They could have lived, certainly should have lived – and laughed and danced, and run and played- but instead they were brutally murdered. Yes, murdered!

The war ended for those 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.

The McGlynn

War News

NYT: U.S. Prepares to Reduce Troops and Shed Missions in Africa

STUTTGART, Germany — Hundreds of American troops in Africa would be reassigned and the number of Special Operations missions on the continent would be wound down under plans submitted by a top military commander, a response to the Trump administration’s strategy to increasingly focus on threats from China and Russia.

Defense Department officials said they expected most of the troop cuts and scaled-back missions to come from Central and West Africa, where Special Operations missions have focused on training African militaries to combat the growing threat from extremist Islamist militant groups.

The plan by Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, the leader of United States Africa Command, follows an ambush in Niger last fall that killed four American soldiers and an attack in southwestern Somalia that killed another in June.

In an interview with The New York Times, General Waldhauser said his plan would help streamline the military’s ability to combat threats around the world — but not retreat from Africa………………But it was in Niger last October where four American soldiers, their translator and four Nigerien troops were killed when their convoy was attacked near the border with Mali. A Pentagon investigation into the attack found a “general lack” of “command oversight at every echelon.”

J. Peter Pham, an Africa specialist at the Atlantic Council in Washington, suggested that too many American Special Operations forces — especially in places like Somalia — could lull local officials into complacency and dependency, preventing them from getting their own soldiers up to speed.

“Islamist terror threats are indeed on the rise on the continent, but that doesn’t mean that every Islamist terrorist needs to be hunted down by U.S. Special Forces,” Mr. Pham said.

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ALJ: Opinion Why Trump needs to ‘be cautious’ in his war of words with Iran

Trump’s Iran threats pull from the playbook he used for N Korea, but Iran is a different kind of adversary altogether.

US President Donald Trump’s tweet in all capitals, warning Iranian President Hassan Rouhani of a catastrophic war and to “BE CAUTIOUS!”, was, some would say, typical Trumpian bluster, and not dissimilar to his first salvos against North Korean President Kim Jong-un, which eventually led to a friendly summit.

And indeed, just days after putting Iran on notice that it must “NEVER EVER THREATEN the UNITED STATES”, the US president did an about-face in what is becoming a pattern in the Trumpian foreign policy game, and offered to meet Rouhani, without conditions……………The US can no longer rely on Europe During the Bush Jr years, and even for a time Obama’s, war was an option on the table. But that was before the 2015 nuclear deal, which changed everything. It recognised sanctions were not sufficient, and rehabilitated the Islamic Republic, committing the signatories to a partnership with the regime as long as it complied with the JCPOA. The US withdrawal from the deal destabilised its relationship with its European allies, which has only deteriorated with Trump’s threats of a trade war and his handling of NATO.

Not surprisingly, in the face of Trump’s offer to meet, a suspicious Rouhani has turned to the Europeans, calling on them to proclaim the US as having “illegally” withdrawn from the deal, and stating the ball is in their court.

The US, therefore, can no longer rely on its old partners in Europe to make the strategy of confronting Iran work. Instead, the Trump administration is looking to Riyadh and Jerusalem – its closest friends today – and hoping for a little help from Moscow.

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AP: UN agency warns of another possible Yemen cholera outbreak

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — The U.N. children’s agency warned Wednesday of the potential for another cholera outbreak in war-torn Yemen after airstrikes hit water facilities and other civilian infrastructure in the port city of Hodeida.

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a statement the airstrikes earlier this week damaged a sanitation facility and a station that supplies most of the city’s water.

Impoverished Yemen has been devastated by a stalemated three-year civil war that has left around two-thirds of Yemen’s population of 27 million relying on aid, and over 8 million at risk of starving.

“Two days ago, we received reports that a UNICEF-supported warehouse containing humanitarian provisions, including hygiene and water-related supplies, was hit by two airstrikes,” Fore said.

She said a UNICEF-supported sanitation center in the district of Zabid in Hodeida came under attack on July 28, damaging the facility’s fuel tank. A day earlier, she said, the water station in the district of al-Mina, which provides Hodeida with most of its water, was hit.

“Attacks on water infrastructure jeopardize efforts to prevent another outbreak of cholera and acute watery diarrhea in Yemen,” Fore said.

A previous cholera outbreak, which began in in October 2016 and escalated in April 2017, has killed more than 2,000 people, according to the Red Cross.

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REU: Special Report: America’s unending hostage crisis with Iran

WASHINGTON, August 1 (Reuters) – A year before leaving office, Barack Obama stunned the world with a prisoner trade with Iran. After more than a year of secret negotiations, the U.S. president announced that five Americans were freed from captivity, closing a deal he dubbed a “one-time gesture.”

But even before Obama stepped down, American diplomats were back at the negotiating table, struggling to secure the release of more prisoners.

His successor, Donald Trump, blasted Obama as soft on Iran. As a candidate, Trump made a bold pledge on Iran’s prisoner taking: “This doesn’t happen if I’m president!”

Trump didn’t deliver. More than a year into his presidency, Iran still holds prisoner at least five U.S. citizens and permanent residents – including one taken during Trump’s tenure. The White House declined to comment, and the State Department said the United States works “tirelessly” to free Americans held in Iran.

His administration confronts a troubling reality: There is no easy way to stop Iran from taking Americans prisoner, a tactic Tehran has employed since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

That year, Iran took 52 Americans hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Since then, it has detained at least 25 American citizens or permanent residents, Reuters found through interviews and a review of court documents and news reports.

Democratic and Republican administrations alike have struggled to find an effective response. From military strikes to placating Iran through arms sales and cash payments, U.S. presidents have employed force, diplomacy and persuasion. Each path has led only to more prisoners, concessions and tension.

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AP: Russia: Iran-backed forces withdraw from Golan frontier

BEIRUT (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s envoy to Syria said Wednesday that an agreement with Israel that includes Russian guarantees ensures that Iran-backed fighters will remain more than 80 kilometers (50 miles) away from Syria’s frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Alexander Lavrentyev told the Russian Interfax news agency the agreement was reached in order not to “irritate” Israel. He didn’t elaborate on when the agreement was forged or for how long.

Russian-backed Syrian forces regained full control of the frontier on Monday after a six-week offensive in the area that expelled Syrian armed opposition and an affiliate of the Islamic State group that had been deployed along the frontier with the Golan.

“The agreement is still in effect. Iranian forces have actually been withdrawn from (the southern de-escalation zone in Syria) in order not to irritate the Israeli administration, which has increased the number of attacks on Iranian sites in this territory,” Lavrentyev said.

He said the pro-Iranian forces have withdrawn to 85 kilometers (53 miles) from the area with “our assistance,” he said.

Israel has escalated its attacks against targets inside Syria suspected of being linked to Iran, insisting that it won’t allow Iran to establish a permanent military presence near the frontier.

Iran has military advisers in Syria and backs Shiite militias fighting alongside Syrian troops, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Israel occupied the Golan Heights in the 1967 Mideast war. The frontier was quiet for decades following a 1974 disengagement agreement.

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NYT: Taliban Surge Routs ISIS in Northern Afghanistan

MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan — More than 200 Islamic State fighters and their two top commanders surrendered to the Afghan government on Wednesday to avoid capture by Taliban insurgents, after a two-day battle that was a decisive victory for the Taliban, participants on all sides confirmed.

One of the Islamic State commanders, Mufti Nemat, was reached by cellphone after his surrender, and he confirmed that he and 200 to 250 of his fighters had turned themselves in to the government after the battle in northern Afghanistan, in which 40 of his insurgents had been killed by the Taliban.

“It was a dark night, a pell-mell situation,” he said. “For two to three nights, we have been unable to sleep; we are very exhausted.”

The spokesman for Afghanistan’s commando forces, Maj. Ahmad Jawid Salim, said in a post on his Facebook page that the surrenders marked the end of the Islamic State in northern Afghanistan.

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NYT: U.N. Agency Worker Among 15 Killed in Eastern Afghanistan Attack

KABUL — An employee of the United Nations’ migration agency was among at least 15 people killed in an attack in Afghanistan’s eastern city of Jalalabad, the UN said on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s assault on the department of refugee and returnee affairs was the latest in a series of attacks in recent months that have killed and wounded dozens of people.

The 22 year-old employee of the International Organization for Migration who was killed had lost her husband to a bomb in Kabul three years ago and left a six-year-old orphan, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said.

“She was one of thousands of Afghans who form the backbone of the daily work of the United Nations in the country,” it said in a statement.

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US airstrikes pound ISIS, Taliban positions, leaving 7 militants dead

The US forces based in Afghanistan carried out a series of airstrikes on ISIS and Taliban positions in eastern Kunar and Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military said the airstrikes left at least seven militants dead.

A statement by Silab Corps said the US unmanned aerial vehicles pounded the ISIS hideouts in Milwa and Gorgori areas of Deh Bala in Nangarhar province.

The statement further added that the airstrikes left at least six ISIS militants and their hideouts were totally destroyed.

Silab Corps said the US unmanned aerial vehicles also targeted the Taliban targets in Watapur district of Kunar and as a result a Taliban group member identified as Masiullah was killed.

The Silab Corps in its also added that the airstrikes did not inflict casualties on the local residents of the two provinces.

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