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

War News

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FILE PHOTO: A boy cries at al-Thawra Hospital after his brother was injured in a strike near the hospital in Hodeidah, Yemen . REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad/File Photo

NYT: Ex-IS Captive Says Son Died in Her Lap From Militant Fire

DAMASCUS, Syria — A Syrian woman captured by Islamic State militants said her 8-year-old son died in her lap after the extremists shot him and his cousin during a military operation to liberate them more than 100 days after they were kidnapped.

Najwa Abu Ammar, 35, was kidnapped with her two sons and daughter and nearly two dozen others in July from southern Sweida province in a bloody attack on their villages in which the militants killed over 200 people.

When a military operation began to liberate them Thursday, the children panicked during the gunfire, she said. Her son Rafaat and his 13-year-old cousin Qusay ran and the militants fired at them.

“We were in the open air at the bottom of a valley as the clashes raged between the army and gunmen,” she said. “When my son tried to run away, they (IS militants) shot him. He was in my lap when he died.”

His cousin Qusay bled to death after nearly five hours, Abu Ammar said.

“”I am very very sad,” she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview through a crackling line from her remote village of Shbiki. “I am tired.”

A large funeral procession for the two children set out Saturday from the national hospital in Sweida to their village, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) to the east.

“What is the sin of those innocent children, who should now be in their classrooms,” Monzer al-Shoufi, a resident of Sweida who took part in the procession, told AP by telephone.

The family of Abu Ammar suffered another loss in the kidnapping — Rafaat’s grandmother was killed on the day of the abductions.

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NYT: Official: Bomb Blast Kills District Official in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan official says a district administrator was killed when a bomb exploded inside his office in western Afghanistan.

Gelani Farhad, spokesman for the provincial governor in Herat province, says Amir Haftbalah, administrative chief for Kohsan district, was killed in the attack Saturday afternoon.

Two other people who had come to visit Haftbalah in his office were wounded in the attack, he said.

Farhad said the governor’s office has begun an investigation.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Farhad blamed Taliban insurgents who often target Afghan government officials and security forces.

REU: Taliban attends peace talks in Moscow for first time, no progress reported

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Taliban officials attended a diplomatic conference in Russia for the first time on Friday, but reaffirmed their stance that they would only hold direct talks on Afghanistan’s future with the United States, not with the Kabul government.

The one-day conference underscored Moscow’s eagerness to play a role in the Afghan peace process but the Kabul government did not send a delegation.

Instead, members of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, a body which oversees peace efforts but does not represent the government, attended the event, where they repeated President Ashraf Ghani’s offer of peace talks without pre-conditions.

The Taliban have refused to talk directly with Ghani’s government, which they consider an illegitimate foreign-imposed regime but said: “We are ready for face-to-face negotiations with the Americans and to discuss relevant issues with them”.

“The Islamic Emirate has left the doors of understanding and negotiations open,” they said in a statement that listed a series of demands including the end of international sanctions and the release of detainees.

Western officials and Ghani’s government view the Moscow meeting with some suspicion as an attempt by Russia to push its way into a process they say must be led by Kabul.

“The government hopes that this meeting leads to direct talks between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban and that the Taliban are not allowed to instrumentalize this meeting,” the Afghan foreign ministry said in a statement.

The Moscow meeting took place as U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad prepared for a fresh round of talks with Taliban officials in Qatar.

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Critics of the Saudi campaign have questioned US involvement in the war that has killed more than 10,000 people

The United States is halting refueling of aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition engaged in Yemen, the United States and Saudi Arabia has said, ending one of the most divisive aspects of US assistance to the Saudi war effort.

Saudi Arabia, in a statement released by its embassy in Washington, said it had decided to request an end to US aerial refuelling for its operations in Yemen because it could now handle it by itself.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis backed the decision and said the US government was consulted.

The move comes at a time of international outrage over the murder of US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and after Democratic and Republican lawmakers threatened to take action in Congress next week over the refuelling operations.

Critics of the Saudi campaign have long questioned US involvement in the war, which has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than 2 million and led to widespread famine in Yemen since it began in 2015.

“We shouldn’t be supporting coalition war crimes and I look forward to continuing to scrutinise the US’s role in Yemen,” said Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California.

Even as president Donald Trump’s administration has condemned Khashoggi’s murder, the White House has sought to preserve its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

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REU: Norway suspends arms export licenses to Saudi Arabia

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway announced on Friday that it was suspending new licenses for arms exports to Saudi Arabia following recent developments in the Gulf kingdom and the situation in Yemen.

A foreign ministry spokesman declined to say whether the decision was partly motivated by the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

“We have decided that in the present situation we will not give new licenses for the export of defense material or multipurpose goods for military use to Saudi Arabia,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said in a statement.

Germany said last month that it would halt German arms exports to Saudi Arabia until the killing of Khashoggi was explained.

Norway’s announcement comes a week after its foreign minister summoned the Saudi ambassador to Oslo to protest Khashoggi’s assassination.

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Taliban kill two civilians in Nangarhar and Parwan provinces

The Taliban militants have killed two civilians in eastern Nangarhar and Parwan provinces of Afghanistan, the Afghan military said Saturday.

According to a statement released by 201st Silab Corps in the East, Taliban militants on Friday arrested a civilian identified as Jawid in Surkh Rod who was later executed.

No further details have been regarding the circumstances surrounding the kidnapping and killing of the civilian.

In the meantime, the 201st Silab Corps said the Taliban militants also opened fire on civilian houses using heavy weapons in Sia Gerd district in Parwan province.

According to 201st Silab Corps, the incident took place on Friday in Chahar Dara area of the district, resulting into the death of a civilian.

The anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not commented regarding the two incidents so far.

Both Parwan and Nangarhar are among the relatively volatile provinces where the Taliban and other insurgents are active in some of its remote districts.

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MoFA reacts to Moscow Summit regarding Afghan peace process

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan reacted to Moscow Summit regarding the Afghan peace process, stating that the Afghan government hails any country that supports Afghanistan in achieving peace and emphasizes on an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Moscow summit has not been organized in continuation of the summits which were organized in Moscow Format among the independent states.

The statement further added that the Taliban group was also invited in the summit and based on principles and previous decisions of Tashkent and Kabul Process summits, the Afghan government and Taliban were supposed to participate in direct talks.

The Afghan government emphasizes on peace process in accordance with the accepted principles of Kabul and Tashkent summits which are based on national and international consensus and therefore the government has not sent any representative in the summit, the statement added.

The Afghan High Peace Council, being a national and non-governmental institution, has participated in the summit based on the invitation of Russia, MoFA said, adding that the Afghan government expects that the summit would result into the launch of direct talks between the government and Taliban as per the agreements of Afghanistan and Russia and that the Taliban would not be allowed to make instrumental use of the summit in their interest.

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