Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The music died/Protest the NSA/Threat Resurges in Deadliest Day of Year for Iraq

Today the music died in 1977!




Just in case anyone still believes it was the right thing to invade Iraq in 2003, this article is a must-read.  There are many actors who should be prosecuted for war crimes for fabricating that great notion that Iraq threatened us because of its weapons of mass destruction. Colin Powell is one, yet he is to be the grand marshal for Baltimore’s Grand Prix.


Less well known is the role played by former National Security Agency director General Michael Hayden.  He helped to craft Colin Powell’s February, 2003 speech before the UN, which purported to prove that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.  Hayden was instrumental in providing false information to Colin Powell, at George Bush’s request, so that the invasion of Iraq could proceed.  Thus the NSA was complicit in possibly one of the worst debacles and humanitarian crises in this nation’s history.  Despite the NSA’s failure to protect this country on 9/11 during Hayden’s directorship and his role in illegal surveillance, he was eventually promoted to head the Central Intelligence Agency. 


Also the NSA was involved in the wiretapping of the UN Security Council in 2003.  The NSA asked British intelligence to tap the phones of the UN Security Council members’ offices so the US would know how each country would vote on the resolution to invade Iraq.  Luckily, Katherine Gunn, a courageous British intelligence linguist, alerted the world to that illegal operation.


The list of criminal activity by the NSA is endless, and the above is just a sampling.  If you want to speak out against the war machine and demand a restoration of our constitutional rights, join us in protesting the National Security Agency at noon on October 9 as part of http://october2011.org/!  If interested, let me know, and l will share details.









The New York Times

August 15, 2011

Threat Resurges in Deadliest Day of Year for Iraq


BAGHDAD — A chilling series of fatal attacks across Iraq on Monday sent a disheartening message to the Iraqi and American governments: After hundreds of billions of dollars spent since the United States invasion in 2003, and tens of thousands of lives lost, insurgents remain a potent and perhaps resurging threat to Iraqis and the American troops still in the country.

The 42 apparently coordinated attacks underscored the reality that few places in Iraq are safe. The number of American troops killed this year has jumped, ahead of their planned withdrawal. Monday’s strikes against civilians and security forces across the country made it the deadliest day of the year for Iraqis, and it came in many forms: suicide attacks, car bombs, homemade bombs and gunmen.

By sundown, when Iraqis broke their fast in observance of the holy month of Ramadan, the death toll had reached 89, including 3 suicide bombers, and an additional 315 people were wounded. The widespread and lethal nature of the attacks — compared with an average of 14 a day this year — frightened many Iraqis, because it suggested that radical Sunni insurgents, led by Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, may have regained the capacity for the kind of violence that plagued Iraq at the height of the sectarian war in 2006 and 2007.

But it also demonstrated the multiple and simultaneous threats gripping the nation at this pivotal time, with Shiite militants being linked with the killing of American troops, and threatening more violence if they remain, and Iraqi forces clearly unable to preserve the peace.

“Our forces are supposed to have the intelligence capabilities to prevent these types of breaches,” said Shawn Mohammed Taha, a Kurdish member of Parliament who serves on its security committee. “The fact is, the insurgents have acted like our security forces don’t even exist.”

No group claimed responsibility for the attacks on Monday. But in a voice recording posted on a Web site for Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia last week, a spokesman for the terrorist group said that it was preparing a wide-scale strike.

“I promise you that we are on the right path,” said the spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani. “Thank God that we are doing very well here.”

“Do not worry, the days of Zarqawi are going to return soon,” he said, referring to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia who was killed by American forces in 2006. “We have men who have divorced themselves from life and love death more than you love life, and killing is one of their wishes.”

The attacks came just two weeks after the Iraqi government agreed to formally negotiate with the United States about possibly leaving some troops in Iraq after the end of the year.

“The insurgents are able to attack anywhere and everywhere and no one can really stop them,” Mr. Taha said, adding that the United States has achieved little in trying to improve Iraq’s own intelligence operation.

Still, one political analyst said he saw the attacks as a calculated bid to frighten the Iraqis into asking the American forces to stay behind, because if they completely withdraw, Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia will have lost its rationale for existing.

“If the Americans leave, Al Qaeda will no longer have an excuse to operate throughout the country,” said Hamid Fhadil, a professor of political science at Baghdad University. “Al Qaeda wants Americans to stay here so they will have Iraq as a battlefield to fight the Americans.”

Mr. Fhadil said that one of the biggest problems with the Iraqi security forces was that they were more loyal to armed groups like Al Qaeda and Shiite militias than to the Iraqi government. “This army is not able to take control by itself,” he said. “It’s hard to talk about the existence of an Iraqi Army and a Ministry of Interior without them being loyal to Iraq.”

The attacks began around 3:30 a.m. on Monday in the city of Ramadi, when two improvised bombs exploded near a police patrol, killing three officers and wounding two others. A half-hour later in the city of Baquba, gunmen attacked a checkpoint, killing one police officer.

About 5:45 a.m., two suicide bombers attacked an Iraqi counterterrorism unit in the city of Tikrit, killing three officers.

Fifteen minutes later, gunmen with silencer weapons attacked a group of Iraqi Army officers in Baquba, killing five.

At 7:45 a.m., the day’s most lethal attack occurred when two car bombs exploded in a market in the southern city of Kut, killing 35 people and wounding 71 others.

An hour and a half after that attack, two suicide car bombers struck a police checkpoint in the city of Taji, just north of Baghdad, killing one person and wounding nine, including seven officers.

Saad Ahmed, 38, a policeman who was wounded in Taji, said he opened fire on a suicide bomber who was driving toward him.

The car struck Mr. Ahmed and knocked him to the ground. He said he stood up and fired again. Seconds later, the attacker detonated the car bomb.

“I looked at my body, and I was drowning in blood,” he said at Kadhimiya Hospital in Baghdad, where he was being treated for wounds to his legs, arm and neck. “I just thought about my friends and if they were O.K., because it was 9:15 in the morning and there was a change in shifts.”

He added: “It is Ramadan this month, and we should pray that we won’t kill each other. What crime did we commit? We were just trying to protect our country.”

Another policeman being treated at the hospital, Amir Khazal, 33, said that he was leaving work at the time of the attack.

“I was just about the leave the checkpoint for vacation,” he said. “All I wanted was to get home to my kids. I heard gunfire at the beginning and then I heard shouting saying, ‘Car bomb, car bomb!’ ” “After that there was a boom,” he said. “I heard my friend calling me: ‘Help, help, I lost my leg!’ ”

Around 8 p.m., gunmen dressed in military uniforms stormed into a mosque in the city of Yusufiya, just south of Baghdad. The gunmen read off the names of seven people who had been loyal to the United States and joined the Awakening movement, took them outside the mosque and executed them.

After the execution, the gunmen told the people gathered in the mosque that they were from Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and then left.

Reporting was contributed by Yasir Ghazi and Duraid Adnan from Baghdad, and Iraqi employees of The New York Times from the provinces of Diyala, Salahuddin, Babil and Anbar, and the cities of Kirkuk, Najaf, Kut and Mosul.

© 2011 The New York Times Company

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


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