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

Afghanistan War Children Photos

 

AP: Judge allows class-action lawsuit by mentally ill veterans

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Thousands of Navy and Marine Corps veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who developed post-traumatic stress disorder but were denied Veterans Affairs health benefits have been given a green light to sue the military, under a ruling by a federal judge in Connecticut.

Senior U.S. District Judge Charles Haight Jr. in New Haven on Thursday certified a class-action lawsuit against Navy Secretary Richard Spencer by veterans who say they were unfairly given less-than-honorable discharges for minor infractions linked to their untreated mental health problems.

The discharge designation prevents them from getting VA benefits including mental health treatment.

“This decision is a victory for the tens of thousands of military veterans suffering from service-connected PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury),” lead plaintiff and Marine veteran Tyson Manker, of Jacksonville, Illinois, said in a statement Friday. “The fact that the Court has now recognized this class of veterans is further evidence of the Department of Defense’s disgraceful violation of the legal rights of the men and women who have served their country.”

Manker developed PTSD after serving in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and received an other-than-honorable discharge for a single incident of self-medicating himself with an illegal drug, according to the lawsuit. The Naval Discharge Review Board rejected his request for a discharge upgrade, as it has done with similar applications by thousands of other veterans.

Navy officials did not immediately return messages seeking comment Friday. The Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s Office, which is defending the Navy against the lawsuit, declined to comment.

In a court filing, a federal prosecutor listed several reasons why a class-action lawsuit should be rejected, including that the plaintiffs could reapply for discharge upgrades under new rules put in place last year that call for more leniency for veterans with mental health problems.

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REU: Trying to make Yemen child smile ‘like tickling a ghost’: U.N. food chief

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – United Nations food chief David Beasley spotted a tiny foot sticking out from under a blanket in a hospital in Yemen that has been overwhelmed with malnourished children, so he tried to bring a smile to the face of the small patient.

FILE PHOTO: David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) attends a news conference on the updated response plan for South Sudanese refugees at the U.N. in Geneva, Switzerland, May 15, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

“It was just like tickling a ghost,” Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme, told reporters in New York on Friday after returning from a three-day visit to the war-torn, impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

Beasley recounted a conversation he had with a doctor at the hospital in the country’s capital Sanaa: “He said ‘every day about 50 children are brought to us. We have to send 30 home to die. We can only accommodate 20.’”

Beasley will brief the U.N. Security Council on Friday with U.N. aid chief Mark Lowcock and U.N. Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths, who is trying to broker peace in the more than three-year conflict seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing government forces fighting the Iran-allied Houthi group. The Houthis now rule most of Yemen’s population, while the exiled government controls a section of the south.

The country’s economy is in crisis and three-quarters of Yemen’s population, or 22 million people, require aid. Some 8.4 million are on the brink of starvation, though Lowcock has warned that will likely rise to 14 million.

“This is not on the brink of a catastrophe. This is a catastrophe,” Beasley said.

“You cannot solve the humanitarian crisis in Yemen today with humanitarian response alone. It’s now going to require an economic infusion of substantial liquidity. Both are going to be required to avert a famine,” he said.

Yemen’s riyal has lost more than half its value against the U.S. dollar since the start of the war. Soaring prices have put some basic commodities out of reach for many Yemenis and the central bank has struggled to pay public-sector salaries on which many depend as foreign exchange reserves dwindle.

Beasley also visited Yemen’s main port city Hodeidah, which handles 80 percent of the country’s food imports and aid supplies. The Saudi-led coalition has ordered a halt in a log-running offensive against the Houthis in Hodeidah, sources said on Thursday…………….

Beasley also spoke about seeing an eight-month-old baby boy at the hospital in Sanaa who weighed a third of what he should. His mother had driven hundreds of miles through military checkpoints to get him medical help.

“The little boy died yesterday,” he said.

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REU: Britain to push U.N. Security Council to back humanitarian truce in Yemen

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Britain said on Friday it will push the United Nations Security Council to back a humanitarian truce in Yemen as the U.N. Yemen envoy said the warring parties had given “firm assurances” they were committed to attending peace talks shortly in Sweden.

British U.N. Ambassador Karen Pierce said she would give the 15-member council a draft resolution on Monday that would enshrine five requests made by U.N. aid chief Mark Lowcock, one of which was for a truce around infrastructure and facilities on which the aid operation and commercial importers rely.

Pierce said the aim of the resolution would be to put Lowcock’s call “into practice.” She gave no timeline for when the draft resolution could be put to a vote.

The remaining four requests were for protection of the supply of food and essential goods, a larger, faster injection of foreign exchange into the economy through the central bank, increased humanitarian funding and support, and for the warring parties to engage in peace talks……………U.N. food chief David Beasley said the situation in Yemen was “a catastrophe.”

The Houthis now rule most of Yemen’s population, while the exiled government controls a section of the south. An attempt to hold peace talks in Geneva in September was abandoned after three days of waiting for the Houthi delegation.

“I will go to Sanaa next week … I will also be happy to travel myself, if necessary, with the delegation to the consultations,” Griffiths said. He is aiming to convene talks before the end of the year.

The Houthis had said in September that they wanted U.N. guarantees their plane would not have to stop in Djibouti for inspection by the Saudi-led coalition. They also wanted the plane to evacuate some of their wounded to Oman or Europe.

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NYT: U.S. Peace Envoy Seeks to Reassure Kabul It Won’t Be Blocked From Talks

KABUL — The U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan is trying to reassure the U.S.-backed government in Kabul that it will not be shut out of a peace process with the Taliban, after it complained of being side-lined from talks, officials said on Friday.

The U.S. envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, wants representatives of Afghan society to join talks aimed at ending the 17-year war between the Western-backed government and the Islamist Taliban, who were ousted from power by U.S.-led forces in 2001.

Khalilzad, an Afghan-born U.S. diplomat, met Taliban leaders in Qatar last month to try to push talks forward but the Taliban have long rejected direct talks with the elected government, led by President Ashraf Ghani.

“Ghani and many Afghan politicians felt that the U.S. was shutting them out of the peace talks,” said a close aide to Ghani.

“Khalilzad cleared the differences by meeting top Afghan politicians, civil society members and women to prove that U.S. will not isolate Afghans during next round of peace talks,” he said.

Ghani’s office declined to comment.

The Taliban are fighting to expel foreign forces and defeat the Western-backed government.

The United States has for years resisted getting involved in direct talks with the militants, saying the process must be “Afghan-owned and Afghan-led”.

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Taliban militants suffer casualties in an explosion in Kapisa

At least two Taliban militants were killed and another militant was wounded in an explosion in northeastern Kapisa province of Afghanistan.

The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East in a statement said the incident took place in Tagab district of the province.

The statement further added that the incident took place while three Taliban militants who were attempting to plant an Improvised Explosive Device on a roadside.

The Taliban militants and other militants including ISIS often use improvised explosive device as the weapon of their choice to target the security forces and government officials.

However, in majority of such attacks the ordinary civilians are killed while in some cases the Taliban militants are themselves blown up in premature explosions.

Anti-government elements must immediately end the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of all improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in areas frequented by civilians, said UNAMA in a special human rights report released few weeks earlier.

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NDS Special Forces conduct raids on 5 ISIS-K compounds in Nangarhar

The Special Forces of the Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), conducted raids on five compounds of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-k) in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The provincial government media office in a statement said the raids were conducted in Achin district late on Thursday night.

The statement further added at least 20 ISIS militants were killed during the raids and all five compounds of the terror group were destroyed.

According to Nangarhar governor’s office, a commander of the terror group and orchestrator of ISIS attacks was also among those killed.

The militants were involved in planning and coordinating attacks in Jalalabad city and other parts of Nangarhar province using the five compounds which were destroyed during the operation.

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