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.

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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REU: U.N. says hopes for peace in Afghanistan are well founded

GENEVA (Reuters) – Afghanistan has a better chance of finding peace than it has for many years, with more coordination in international peace efforts and willingness to include all parties, the top U.N. humanitarian official in the country said on Friday.

“There are new-found opportunities in Afghanistan and there are very well founded hopes for peace. It sounds like a paradox but there are better opportunities today than there have been in many, many, many years,” U.N. resident coordinator Toby Lanzer told reporters in Geneva.

AP: Afghan official: Blast at army base mosque kills 9 soldiers

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An explosion ripped through a mosque inside an Afghan army base in the country’s volatile eastern Khost province as Friday prayers were drawing to a close, killing nine soldiers and wounding 22s, the military said.

Afghan officials indicated the blast may have been set off by a suicide bomber or a remotely detonated bomb but nothing was officially confirmed and details were sketchy. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the explosion.

It was the latest in a relentless, near-daily onslaughts in Afghanistan, where the Taliban regularly target Afghan military and police forces throughout the country.

“There were soldiers lying everywhere and the smoke was so thick, it was difficult to see,” said Abdullah, a soldier who like most Afghans uses only one name. He spoke to The Associated Press over the phone from the base.

The dead and wounded were rushed to a clinic within the army base, while the more seriously wounded were taken to a nearby hospital.

The explosion came just days after a suicide bomber killed 55 religious scholars gathered in the Afghan capital, Kabul, to celebrate the holiday marking the birth of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. The Taliban denied involvement in that bombing, which also wounded 94 people.

After 17 years and billions of dollars spent training and arming Afghanistan’s military, it is struggling against an emboldened Taliban insurgency that holds sway in nearly half of the country. As well as the Taliban, Afghan troops are also battling an audacious Islamic State affiliate which has been particularly brutal in its attacks against Afghanistan’s minority Shiites.

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AP: The Latest: Death toll in Afghan base bombing rises to 27

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on the situation in Afghanistan (all times local):

An Afghan military spokesman says the death toll from a bombing at a mosque inside an Afghan military base in the volatile eastern Khost province has risen to 27 soldiers.

The spokesman, Abdullah, who like many Afghans uses only one name, says the explosion on Friday also wounded 57 troops.

The base is located in eastern Khost province, a stronghold of the Haqqani-linked Taliban group.

Abdullah said it still wasn’t clear whether the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber or whether a remotely detonated devise was used.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

An Afghan official says an explosion inside a mosque at an Afghan military base in the volatile eastern Khost province killed nine people and wounded 22.

Abed Ahmad Zia, a provincial government official, says there were fears the death toll from Friday’s attack could rise further.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber, but Khost province is a stronghold of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network.

The Taliban, however, have in the past decried attacks on religious gatherings but have almost daily targeted Afghan military and security forces.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack

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REU: At least three schoolchildren killed in bomb blast near Mosul: Iraqi police

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – At least three schoolchildren were killed and six people wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Thursday, police and medical sources said.

Police said the bomb went off near a bus carrying the high school students in the Shura area to the south of Mosul. No further details were immediately available.

The city, which was recaptured from Islamic State militants last year, has suffered several bomb blasts in recent months, one of which killed six people in October.

Iraq’s security officials have accused Islamic State “sleeper cells” of carrying out insurgent-style attacks in and around the city of Mosul.

The group’s fighters have waged a campaign of kidnappings, killings and bomb attacks targeting civilians and security forces.

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Nation not in favour of Taliban’s return to power: Ghani

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani says the Afghan people do not want the Taliban to return to power and the nation supports peace, education, prosperity, and development of Afghanistan.

Speaking during a gathering of elders and influential figures of Jaghoori and Malistan districts, President Ghani said it has been revealed during his interaction with the people that the nation do not want the return of Taliban to power.

He said the nation supports peace, education, prosperity, and development of Afghanistan and under no circumstances are prepared to make compromise with the achievements of the state.

Pointing towards the casualties of the armed forces in Jaghoori district, President Ghani said the martyrdom of the commando forces is a sign of the national unity of the nation and national unity is key for the existence of the nation.

President Ghani further added that the future steps in Jaghoori and Malistan would ensure stability in the two districts and clear instructions and security plan exist for the two districts emphasizing that ensuring security of the routes is part of the plans.

He also added that clear instructions have been issued for the reinforcement of security outposts in Jaghoori and Malistan districts and work is underway for the establishment of a special unit in Bamyan province.

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Casualties feared as suicide attack target army mosque in Khost province

A suicide bomber detonated his explosives among the participants of Friday prayers in mosque located inside an Afghan army brigade in southeastern Khost province of Afghanistan.

The incident took place this afternoon during Friday prayers in Mandozai district of Khost province.

An Afghan army source confirmed the incident and said preliminary reports indicate at least ten army soldiers have been martyred and at least 20 others have sustained injuries.

However, unconfirmed reports indicate at least 26 people have died and nearly 50 others have sustained injuries in the explosion.

No individual or group including Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

Khost has been among the relatively calm provinces since the fall of the Taliban regime but the security situation of the province has deteriorated comparatively during the recent years.

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Dozens of militants killed, wounded in Balkh and Faryab operations

Dozens of militants have been killed or wounded during the operations in northern Balkh and Faryab provinces, the Afghan Military in the North said.

According to a statement released by 209th Shaheen Corps, at least 20 militants were killed during a clash which erupted in Garziwan district of Faryab province.

The statement further added that three local leaders of the militants were also among those killed.

At least 15 militants were also wounded during the same clash, the 209th Shaheen Corps added in its statement.

In the meantime, the 209th Shaheen Corps said at least 9 militants were killed and at least 12 others sustained injuries during the operations in Balkh province.

The operations were conducted as part of Walid-25 operations in Chahar Bolak and Dawlatabad districts, the Afghan military added.

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Humvee APC destroyed, 9 militants killed in AAF airstrike in Farah province

A Humvee Armored Personnel Carrier was destroyed and at least nine militants were killed in airstrike of the Afghan Air Force in western Farah province of Afghanistan.

The 207th Zafar Corps of the Afghan Military in the West said the Afghan Air Force A-29s carried out airstrike in Posht Rod district, destroying a Humvee APC and leaving nine militants dead.

According to a statement released by 207th Corps, the Humvee APC was captured by militants a while ago.

The statement further added that nine weapons, two communication radio sets, and five motorcycles were also destroyed during the same airstrike.

Farah was among the relatively calm provinces in West of Afghanistan but the security situation of the province has deteriorated during the recent years.

The Taliban militants are active in some of the districts of Farah province and often carry out terrorist related activities against the government and security institution

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