themcglynn.com

26 Dec

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

 

Damn The War Criminals,

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

.

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

NYT: Arms Sales to Saudis Leave American Fingerprints on Yemen’s Carnage

CAIRO — When a Saudi F-15 warplane takes off from King Khalid air base in southern Saudi Arabia for a bombing run over Yemen, it is not just the plane and the bombs that are American.

American mechanics service the jet and carry out repairs on the ground. American technicians upgrade the targeting software and other classified technology, which Saudis are not allowed to touch. The pilot has likely been trained by the United States Air Force.

And at a flight operations room in the capital, Riyadh, Saudi commanders sit near American military officials who provide intelligence and tactical advice, mainly aimed at stopping the Saudis from killing Yemeni civilians.

American fingerprints are all over the air war in Yemen, where errant strikes by the Saudi-led coalition have killed more than 4,600 civilians, according to a monitoring group. In Washington, that toll has stoked impassioned debate about the pitfalls of America’s alliance with Saudi Arabia under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who relies on American support to keep his warplanes in the air.

Saudi Arabia entered the war in 2015, allying with the United Arab Emirates and a smattering of Yemeni factions with the goal of ousting the Iran-allied Houthi rebels from northern Yemen. Three years on, they have made little progress. At least 60,000 Yemenis have died in the war, and the country stands on the brink of a calamitous famine.

For American officials, the stalled war has become a strategic and moral quagmire. It has upended the assumptions behind the decades-old policy of selling powerful weapons to a wealthy ally that, until recently, rarely used them. It has raised questions about complicity in possible war crimes. And the civilian toll has posed a troubling dilemma: how to support Saudi allies while keeping the war’s excesses at arm’s length.

In interviews, 10 current and former United States officials portrayed a troubled and fractious American response to regular reports of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes.

The Pentagon and State Department have denied knowing whether American bombs were used in the war’s most notorious airstrikes, which have struck weddings, mosques and funerals. However, a former senior State Department official said that the United States had access to records of every airstrike over Yemen since the early days of the war, including the warplane and munitions used………………The civilian toll is still rising. According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, November was the most violent month in Yemen since the group began tracking casualties in January 2016. There were 3,058 war-related fatalities in November, it said, including 80 civilians killed in airstrikes..

GUARD: The Kurds and Trump’s Syria withdrawal

Readers respond to the US president’s decision to bring the troops home

In criticising Trump’s abrupt withdrawal from Syria, Janine di Giovanni won’t admit that what passed for American policy – and by default that of the west – never made sense (Trump’s Syria withdrawal has handed a huge gift to Isis, 22 December). Assad’s secular regime did not pose a threat to the west. Yet from the start of Syria’s troubles we diplomatically sided with the insurgents. We trained “moderates” and supplied them with “non-lethal” equipment. When it became obvious that Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey were aiding Islamic State, we turned a blind eye.

Then there was Washington’s creation of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. It was in a sense too successful, occupying much of north-east Syria. No thought was given to reconciling Kurdish rule over extensive Arab-populated areas. And Washington must have known that Turkey would never tolerate a bordering Kurdish state. Syria’s Kurds would have been better off aligning themselves with Assad.
Yugo Kovach
Winterborne Houghton, Dorset

Trump’s ordering the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, in the very week that Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, Turkey’s president, has declared his intent to attack the enclave of Rojava, is a shocking betrayal of the Kurds, until now armed and supported by the US, who have been successfully fighting Isis in Syrian towns and villages throughout this conflict.

The Kurds, in Syria and Turkey, and their long-imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan, must be key participants in any peace process. Now, more than ever, they require the immediate support of the international community to protect them from annihilation.

The UK, the main provider of arms to Erdo?an, must stop appeasing Turkey and selling it arms – and must use all its diplomatic clout to get Trump to cancel this order. Isis is not defeated and we must not yet again betray the Kurds, a people committed to peace and democracy.
Margaret Owen
London

Turkey has said it will invade and destroy the quasi-independent Kurdish enclave of Rojava in northern Syria: the Kurds “will be buried in their ditches”, Turkish leaders have said. Surely the world cannot just stand by and watch this happen?

REU: Christmas revived in a village devastated by Islamic State

TEL NASRI, Syria (Reuters) – The one family still living in a Christian village devastated by Islamic State is working to revive Christmas traditions that have brought at least a few of its people home for the holiday.

Sargon Slio, 51, a farmer, walks in the damaged church of the Virgin Mary at the village of Tel Nasri, Syria December 25, 2018. REUTERS/Rodi Said

Tel Nasri was one of dozens of Assyrian Christian villages in northern Syria targeted by the jihadist group when it was near the peak of its power. They blew up its 80-year-old church on an Easter Sunday and abducted hundreds of people.

Kurdish forces and local fighters seized the village a few months later, in May 2015, but nobody has returned.

“I was born and raised in Tel Nasri, I’m still here and I’m staying,” said Sargon Slio, 51, a farmer who stayed on with only his brother and two cousins. Before the fighting, the village was home to nearly 1,000 people, he said.

Some 265 Assyrians were kidnapped from Tel Nasri, Slio said, and on their release, like the rest of the villagers, they fled.

“There used to be hundreds of people celebrating. You’d see dancing and hear singing. Everyone decorated the houses and Christmas trees,” Slio said. “Now we are four people.”

Read full story »

REU: U.S.-led coalition reports recent air strikes on ISIS in Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S.-led coalition in Syria conducted air strikes last week that destroyed facilities used by Islamic State, the coalition said on Tuesday, less than a week after President Donald Trump declared victory over the militant group and said he would withdraw U.S. troops from the war-torn country.

The coalition said its attacks during the week of Dec. 16-22, including air strikes and “coordinated fires,” had destroyed logistics facilities and staging areas used by Islamic State, damaged the group’s ability to finance its activities and “removed several hundred ISIS fighters from the battlefield.”

“ISIS presents a very real threat to the long-term stability in this region and our mission remains the same, the enduring defeat of ISIS,” said UK Major General Christopher Ghika, the deputy commander of the coalition.

That statement presents a contrast to Trump’s declaration last week that U.S. troops had succeeded in their mission to defeat Islamic State and were no longer needed in the country.

News of the withdrawal drew immediate criticism from some of Trump’s fellow Republicans, who said that leaving would strengthen the hand of Russia and Iran, which both support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Read full story >>

AP: Iraq says it could deploy military into Syria

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi troops could deploy into neighboring Syria, Iraq’s prime minister said Monday, in the latest fallout from the U.S. decision to withdraw from the war-torn country.

Adel Abdul-Mahdi said his government was “considering all the options” to protect Iraq from threats across its borders, days after President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would leave Syria.

Iraq is keeping reinforcements along its frontier to guard against infiltration by Islamic State militants, who hold a pocket of territory along the Euphrates River.

With the U.S. pulling out of Syria, it leaves its allies, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, to fight the IS group alone.

It also leaves the SDF exposed to military action by Turkey, which says the group is linked to a Kurdish separatist organization operating within Turkish borders.

SDF officials warned they would divert resources away from the battle against IS to defend against Turkey, which is amassing forces along its frontier.

And the Syrian government could also step into the fray, analysts warned, if it sees the opportunity to bring the SDF-controlled northeast back under its rule.

Abdul-Mahdi, in a press conference Monday, said Iraq was concerned that IS could expand its footprint in the warzone. He also expressed concerns that a wave of Syrian refugees is being displaced to Iraq.

The prime minister spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the U.S. withdrawal on Saturday. Abdul-Mahdi said his government did not receive a U.S. request to deploy inside Syria. But he said the possibility was “circulating.”

Read full story »

REU: Two dead, 11 wounded by car bomb in northern Iraqi city Tal Afar

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – At least two people were killed and 11 wounded on Tuesday by a car bomb in the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar, a former Islamic State stronghold, the military said.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack hours later, via its Amaq news agency.

The city, which had about 200,000 residents, came under the militants’ control when Islamic State overran swathes of Iraq’s north in 2014.

It fell to Iraqi Security Forces, backed by the U.S.-led coalition, in August 2017, the last area to be retaken in the north before fighting moved to the Syrian border.

A heavy security presence has remained since then and the city has been mostly quiet.

AP: Suicide attack on Pakistanis in Afghanistan kills 6

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says a suicide bomber disguised as a beggar has killed six people in a wealthy subdivision of the southern city of Kandahar.

Mohammad Yousof Younosi, a provincial council member, says the attack on Tuesday happened a block away from his home and appeared to have targeted a group of Pakistanis from that country’s Baluchistan region.

No one immediately claimed the attack. Several militant and separatist groups operate in Baluchistan.

Pakistan has accused Afghanistan of sheltering Baluch separatists, including those behind a deadly attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi earlier this month. Afghanistan in turn accuses Pakistan of sheltering the Taliban and other Islamic extremists.

AP: Death toll from attack in Afghan capital climbs to 40

An injured woman receives treatment at a hospital after Monday’s Christmas Eve attack, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. A suicide bomber and gunmen armed with assault rifles and explosives attacked the building in Kabul on Monday, setting off an eight-hour-long siege. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The death toll from an attack in the Afghan capital has climbed to 40, the Health Ministry said Tuesday, as police and rescue workers combed through the smoldering public welfare building where the gunmen held out for eight hours against security forces.

A suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden vehicle outside the building Monday before at least three gunmen stormed in, rampaging through the office complex hunting for victims. Some employees managed to barricade themselves inside offices while police quickly evacuated more than 350 people.

Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majro says 40 people were killed and 29 were wounded. An earlier, higher toll provided by the ministry included the attackers.

No one immediately claimed the attack, but the Taliban and a local Islamic State affiliate have carried out a relentless wave of assaults on government targets in recent years.

The U.N. Secretary-General’s envoy to Afghanistan condemned Monday’s attack carried, noting that it was carried out in a heavily populated area, saying “those who have organized and enabled such attacks must be brought to justice and held to account.”

In a statement Tuesday, Tadamichi Yamamoto said “these attacks cause untold human suffering to Afghan families … there is no justification whatsoever for such attacks.”

Abdul Jalil, an employee who spoke to reporters Tuesday from his hospital bed, was on the second floor when the gunmen entered.

“They came in and they were shooting at everyone. They were shooting at the closed doors. If anyone was there they shot them,” he said.

NYT: Afghanistan Postpones Next Year’s Presidential Election

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s election commission says the presidential vote scheduled for April will be postponed for several months to allow time to fix technical problems that surfaced during October’s parliamentary elections.

Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi, deputy spokesman for the Independent Election Commission, said Wednesday that more time is needed to train staff on a biometric identification system designed to reduce fraud. He says additional verification of voter lists also requires more time.

Parliamentary elections were fraught with delays after the few staff trained on the biometric system did not show up at the polling booths and countless registered voters could not find their names on voter lists. Scores of challenges to the parliamentary election results have surfaced.

No new date for presidential polls has been set.

NYT: He Survived Two Mass Shootings. Now He is About to Deploy to Afghanistan.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — At 22, Brendan Kelly has experienced more mass violence than anyone should face in a lifetime. He has used his 6’3” frame — twice — to protect friends during mass shootings, first in Las Vegas and then at his favorite bar in Thousand Oaks.

In two weeks, he will deploy to Afghanistan for his first tour of duty as a Marine.

Not for a moment did he ever consider delaying his service overseas after a gunman killed 12 people at the Borderline Bar & Grill in November, where he and his friends often went to drink and dance to country music, he said. Instead, his experience has only made him feel more determined to fight enemies abroad and protect what he sees as essential freedoms he has here, like the right to bear arms and to worship freely.

“This is what I can do,” he said of his military service. “This is what my role is supposed to be, as an able bodied and willing young man.”

Still, in moving from domestic massacres to war zone, from hero at home to soldier abroad, Mr. Kelly offers a portrait at once inspiring and deeply troubling of how we live with violence, how we can both transcend it and be indelibly scarred by it at the same time.

Read full story »

KHA:  A New Strategy for Afghanistan Begins In Iran

Under the US law which prescribes these sanctions, Washington could exempt sanctions for activities that “provide reconstruction assistance for or further the economic development of Afghanistan.” Many analysts, including this author, strenuously argued that India should push for and ultimately receive sanction relief. India stood its ground on all counts and, consequently,  the Trump administration offered India a waiver on both oil imports and Chabahar developments, including the railway linkage. This is welcome news not only for India but also for Afghanistan. However, more needs to be done to make Chabahar the much-needed economic life-line of Afghanistan.

Read full story »

Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

Recent Casualties

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Sgt. Jason Mitchell McClary, 24, from Export, Pennsylvania, died Dec. 2, 2018, in Landstuhl, Germany, as a result of injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device on Nov. 27, 2018, in Andar District, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. The incident is under investigation.

McClary was assigned to 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers and one airman who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

The service members died Nov. 27, 2018, from injuries sustained when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Andar, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.

The soldiers were assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The airman was assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.

The incident is under investigation.

The deceased are:

Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29, of Lexington, Virginia.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39, of Brush Prairie, Washington.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, 25, of Hookstown, Pennsylvania.

Cost of War in Iraq>>

Cost of War in Afghanistan>>

Care for Veterans:

PTSD: National Center for PTSDPTSD Care for Veterans, Military, and FamiliesSee Help for Veterans with PTSD to learn how to enroll for VA health care and get an assessment.

All VA Medical Centers provide PTSD care, as well as many VA clinics.Some VA’s have programs specializing in PTSD treatment. Use the VA PTSD Program Locator to find a PTSD program.

If you are a war Veteran, find a Vet Center to help with the transition from military to civilian life.

Call the 24/7 Veteran Combat Call Center1-877-WAR-VETS (1-877-927-8387) to talk to another combat Veteran.DoD’s Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) 24/7 Outreach Center for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury provides information and helps locate resources.

Call 1-866-966-1020 or email resources@dcoeoutreach.orgMilitary OneSourceCall 24/7 for counseling and many resources 1-800-342-9647.Need further assistance? Get Help with VA PTSD Care

 

War Child

Please do not forget the children.

The McGlynn

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