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.

Damn 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!

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The McGlynn

NEWS

Photo

An Afghan holds her sick daughter before Dr. Zubeida, a midwife from the mobile health unit funded by UNFPA , as she inquires about her daughter’s condition as Zubeida offers pre-natal and anti-natal care, and are given counseling by in Charmas Village, a remote area of Badakshan, Afghanistan.

By lynsey Addario, photographer

NYT:How the War in Yemen Became a Bloody Stalemate

Saudi Arabia thought a bombing campaign would quickly crush its enemies in Yemen. But three years later, the Houthis refuse to give up, even as 14 million people face starvation.

A mother from a village on the Yemeni-Saudi border with two of her children at the therapeutic feeding center in Sa’ada. The baby, who is 9 months old, is malnourished

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GUARD: Khashoggi murder may be tipping point in Yemen’s agony

International reaction to the killing has weakened the Saudi crown prince

Women in an area hit by airstrikes in Sana?a, Yemen, September 2017.

Women in an area hit by airstrikes in Sana?a, Yemen, September 2017. Photograph: Yahya Arhab/EPA

Joining the dots between the death of a Saudi journalist in Istanbul and the possibility of a ceasefire in Yemen may once have seemed a stretch, but no longer.

Claims of the complicity of the autocratic Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, in the murder of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, has weakened the chief architect of the war in Yemen and opened a new space for diplomats in which to operate.

That space may have been widened further by the surprise call on Tuesday by the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, for a 30-day cessation of hostilities.

The UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has been touring the US, France and UK, against the backdrop of the unfolding drama of the murder and cannot be blind to its impact on western opinion and Saudi self-confidence. David Miliband, the former UK foreign secretary, told the BBC there was “a common link of the abuse of power” in the individual fate of Khashoggi and the millions of lives at stake in Yemen, which the UN has warned is sliding towards what could become one of the worst famines in living memory after three years of Saudi airstrikes………………….It may seem illogical or frustrating both for those who have campaigned for three years against the Saudi prosecution of the war against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, and equally for those that have argued Saudi Arabia is defending a legitimate UN-backed government in Yemen.

But history is full of individual moments that prove to be tipping points, especially if they are exploited with the skill of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an. Information on the killing as yet undivulged to the public, but available to other capitals, is clearly making the Saudi royal court squirm.

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REU: Europe torn over Islamic State children in Syria

ANTWERP/PARIS (Reuters) – For years, they heard little from daughters who went to join Islamic State. Now dozens of families across Europe have received messages from those same women, desperate to return home from detention in Syria.

They are among 650 Europeans, many of them infants, held by U.S.-backed Kurdish militias in three camps since IS was routed last year, according to Kurdish sources. Unwanted by their Kurdish guards, they are also a headache for officials in Europe.

In letters sent via the Red Cross and in phone messages, the women plead for their children to be allowed home to be raised in the countries they left behind.

In one message played by a woman at a cafe in Antwerp, the chatter of her young grandchildren underscores their mother’s pleas.

Another woman in Paris wants to care for three grandchildren she has never met, born after her daughter left for Syria in 2014, at the age 18. “They are innocent,” she said. “They had no part in any of this.”

Like other relatives of those held in Syria, the two mothers asked to remain anonymous – afraid of being linked to IS and worried their daughters may face reprisals.

The United States has taken custody of some citizens, as have Russia and Indonesia, and wants Europe to do the same – fearing the camps may breed a new generation of militants……………“The threat emanating from children of the caliphate is really an unprecedented, invisible and very complex one – one that we have to deal with right now,” Robert Bertholee, head of the Dutch AIVD intelligence agency, said earlier this year.

“These children are victims above all.”

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AP: Leaving Asia for the unknown, thousands disappear in transit

GENTIOUX-PIGEROLLES, France (AP) — When Almass was just 14, his widowed mother reluctantly sent him and his 11-year-old brother from their home in Afghanistan all the way to Germany via a chain of smugglers. The payment for their trip was supposed to get them away from the Taliban.

Now Almass’ young brother is among the vast, shadowy ranks of Asia’s missing migrants, vanished somewhere in Iran. Even Almass himself, although he is now safe in France, may be counted in the ranks of the missing.

As global migration has soared to record highs, far less visible has been its toll : The tens of thousands of people who die or simply disappear during their journeys, never to be seen again. A growing number of migrants have drowned, died in deserts or fallen prey to traffickers, leaving their families to wonder what on earth happened to them. At the same time, anonymous bodies are filling cemeteries around the world.

In most cases, nobody is keeping track: Barely counted in life, these people don’t register in death, as if they never lived at all.

Asia has the world’s largest overall population movements, but also has the least information on the fate of those who disappear after leaving their homelands. The Associated Press was able to document more than 5,400 migrants who disappeared or died after leaving home in Asia and the Mideast, their most common destinations. That’s in addition to the 2,700 missing and dead documented by the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration, for a total of more than 8,200 since 2014…………………Almass and his brother left from Khost, Afghanistan, into that unknown. The pair crammed first into a pickup with around 40 people, walked for a few days at the border, crammed into a car, waited a bit in Tehran, and walked a few more days.

His brother Murtaza was exhausted by the time they reached the Iran-Turkey border. But the smuggler said it wasn’t the time to rest — there were at least two border posts nearby and the risk that children far younger travelling with them would make noise.

Almass was carrying a baby in his arms and holding his brother’s hand when they heard the shout of Iranian guards. Bullets whistled past as he tumbled head over heels into a ravine and lost consciousness.

Alone all that day and the next, Almass stumbled upon three other boys in the ravine who had also become separated from the group, then another four. No one had seen his brother. And although the younger boy had his ID, it had been up to Almass to memorize the crucial contact information for the smuggler.

When Almass eventually called home, from Turkey, he couldn’t bear to tell his mother what had happened. He said Murtaza couldn’t come to the phone but sent his love.

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NYT: Afghan Forces Struggle to Regain Ground as Casualties Mount: Report

KABUL — The Afghan government is struggling to recover control of districts lost to Taliban insurgents while casualties among security forces have reached record levels, a U.S. watchdog agency said on Thursday.

The latest quarterly report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) underlines the heavy pressure on the government in Kabul even as the United States has opened initial contacts with the Taliban on possible peace talks.

“The control of Afghanistan’s districts, population, and territory overall became more contested this quarter,” the agency said.

The Taliban have still not succeeded in taking a major provincial center despite assaults on Farah in western Afghanistan and Ghazni in the center this year but they control large stretches of the countryside.

Data from Afghanistan’s NATO-led Resolute Support mission showed that government forces had “failed to gain greater control or influence over districts, population, and territory this quarter”, the agency said.

As of September, it said the government controlled or influenced territory with about 65 percent of the population, stable since October 2017, after a year of heavy fighting in Farah and Ghazni as well as other provinces like Faryab and Baghlan in the north.

However, it reported only 55.5 percent of the total 407 districts were under government control or influence, the lowest level since SIGAR began tracking district control in 2015.

“While the districts, territory, and population under insurgent control or influence also decreased slightly, the districts, territory, and population ‘contested’ — meaning under neither Afghan government nor insurgent control or influence —increased,” it said.