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IraqNews, 7/19/05

Some articles on Iraq; may have more later today. As always, comments in brackets [] are mine, and full article can be found through the link.
U.S. forces behind deadly children bomb: Iraqi experts

Iraqi experts are saying that the recent car bomb that killed some 18 children was not the work of the anti-occupation fighters but of the U.S. occupation troops.

A traffic lieutenant who asked not to be identified said to a media source that U.S. solders crazily raced out of the street less than a minute before the explosion and that after the blast they did not return to the bomb scene but continued to hurry out of the area.

Furthermore, a captain in the fire department said the explosion was extremely powerful and left a big crater in the earth – something that other car bombs do not do. The captain stated that this was because the bombs used by the Iraqi resistance are made from Russian-made TNT that was in the possession of the Army of the Republic of Iraq before the U.S. occupation.

According to the captain former soldiers are very familiar with the effects of such explosives, and know that during an explosion it blows upwards, not downwards, and for this reason U.S. forces prohibit the taking of photographs from the scenes of attacks where the effects of explosions are obvious.

When the fire captain was asked to clarify his remarks and whether he was accusing the Americans of setting the blast, he replied, “The Traffic Stop Director for the area, Ahmad Kamal was fired because of his statement one hour after the explosion in which he said the U.S. forces were behind the blast. This was regarded as an ‘irresponsible statement’ by him and attributed to the fact that he had lost control of himself and had a breakdown after the bombing and to the fact that he is a Sunni and does not want to believe that what is happening in Iraq is ‘terrorism’.?

Who Murdered 32 Iraqi Children? (Truth Comes Out)
Layth, - Mufakirat Al-Islam, July 17, 2005

An independent investigation of the murder last week of 32 Iraqi children has been conducted by a local Iraqi news location (Mufakirat Al-Islam / with results as follows:

The writing is in Arabic, so I will translate some highlights for non-Arabic speakers:

- All major Iraqi Resistance groups issued joint written communiqué that was distributed on Thursday proclaiming that this operation was not undertaken by any of the groups neither in terms of execution or planning or involvement.

- Interview with local residents of the bombing stated that US forces cordoned off the street under the pretence that a vehicle (a KIA) parked in the street was wired to explode.

- Local residents stated that the US soldiers began handing out candy and schoolbags attracting the children.

- When residents, fearing for their children, asked about the KIA car , the US soldiers said that it was a 'false alarm' and that there was no bomb (but that a couple of US soldiers remained fiddling with the car).

- Children from neighboring streets came upon hearing of the sweets and free bags (as well as a rumor that Pokemon toys were being given out).

- After a period of about 15 minutes from them entering the street, the US forces dumped the remaining toys/sweets in a pile in the middle of the street and frantically drove off hitting 4 children in the process with their vehicle.

- Seconds later, the KIA vehicle exploded killing 32 children and wounding about ten others who were gathered in the street.

- Residents also reported that, contrary to what the US military stated, there were no US casualties or injuries from this blast as the US forces had rushed out of the street just before the explosion took place.

- Information gathered from the Iraqi fire services stated that the explosion did not leave the signature traces of a TNT blast as used by the Resistance (being left over from Russian explosives used by the Iraqi army), as the TNT blast is always outward from the place of explosion and does not leave a crater as this car bomb did.

GET OUT THE VOTE - Did Washington try to manipulate Iraq’s election?
SEYMOUR M. HERSH July 18, 2005

...A Pentagon consultant who deals with the senior military leadership acknowledged that the American authorities in Iraq “did an operation? to try to influence the results of the election. “They had to,? he said. “They were trying to make a case that Allawi was popular, and he had no juice.? A government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon’s civilian leaders said, “We didn’t want to take a chance.? I was informed by several former military and intelligence officials that the activities were kept, in part, “off the books?—they were conducted by retired C.I.A. officers and other non-government personnel, and used funds that were not necessarily appropriated by Congress...

Experts Urge Release of Iraq Scientists
CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent, July 17, 2005,1,1994243.story

Former U.S. arms inspectors are calling for release of the final handful of Iraqi weapons scientists still imprisoned at Baghdad's high-security detention center, where the death of one of them remains an unsolved mystery 18 months after his battered body turned up at a local hospital.

A declassified document, meanwhile, tells of beatings and other abuse at the same Baghdad airport detention complex.

Between eight and 12 "high-value detainees" at the airport's Camp([search]) Cropper fit the weapons-scientist category, according to the U.S. command in Baghdad. They're known to include Amer al-Saadi, Iraq's liaison to U.N. inspectors in 2002-03, and Rihab Rashid Taha, a biological weapons expert of the 1980s.

Ex-inspector Rod Barton, an Australian biologist who was a key deputy to Duelfer, said it's "outrageous" that the Iraqis are still held, and cited the example of Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, a bioweapons specialist in the 1980s.

"Huda is there accused of restarting the bioweapons program in the mid-1990s. And there was no such program," he said.

For the past year, the U.S. military has declined to discuss why the scientists are still held, saying that although they remain physically in U.S. custody, their legal status would be determined by the Iraqi Special Tribunal, which is preparing to prosecute members of the ousted Baathist regime.

No criminal charges have been announced against the former arms experts, however, and AP telephone calls and e-mail queries to the tribunal went unanswered.

The U.S. military also has been largely silent about the death of Mohammad Munim al-Izmerly, 65, a former chemical weapons specialist who was held at Camp Cropper and whose body was delivered to a Baghdad hospital on Feb. 17, 2004, along with a death certificate claiming he had died of natural causes 17 days earlier.

The certificate cited "brainstem compression," without saying what caused it. Al-Izmerly's family arranged for an Iraqi autopsy, which found he died of blunt trauma injury, a blow to the head.

The U.S. Baghdad command last year would not answer reporters' questions about the death. When the AP inquired this March, however, the Army's Criminal Investigation Command said an investigation had been "reopened."

Asked this week for an update, the Army would not discuss what progress, if any, had been made in the case. "We have not charged anyone," said Lt. Col. Pamela Hart, an Army spokeswoman at the Pentagon.


Re: IraqNews, 7/19/05

Families returning to Karabila in need
UN Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN), 17 July 2005

Nearly all residents from the town of Karabila, in Iraq’s western Anbar governorate have returned, but are now in need of humanitarian assistance.

They fled a heavy US-led attack four weeks ago against insurgents, aid agencies said.

Some 65 percent of buildings in the town have been damaged following battles between US forces and insurgents, according to the Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS).

The operation left around 7,000 families displaced in the nearby desert, close to the city of al-Qaim. Now they have gone back to their homes and are trying to piece their lives together again, following the five-day military operation.

According to a report released by the IRCS on Wednesday, the situation in the town is critical for many families especially those whose properties have been destroyed are now forced to live in tents inside the town.

The Iraqi government has not said whether residents will be compensated for the losses they have sustained. Repairs to essential public utilities, such as water and power, have not yet started.

Re: IraqNews, 7/19/05


The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already cost taxpayers $314 billion, and the Congressional Budget Office projects additional expenses of perhaps $450 billion over the next 10 years. That could make the combined campaigns, especially the war in Iraq, the most expensive military effort in the last 60 years, causing even some conservative experts to criticize the open-ended commitment to an elusive goal. The concern is that the soaring costs, given little weight before now, could play a growing role in U.S. strategic decisions because of the fiscal impact.

The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a nonpartisan Washington think tank, has estimated that the Korean War cost about $430 billion and the Vietnam War cost about $600 billion, in current dollars. According to the latest estimates, the cost of the war in Iraq could exceed $700 billion.

"T'anks to Mr. Bush"

by Stephen Pearcy
T'anks to Mr Bush.jpg
part of a display of art by attorneys in Sacramento, CA.

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An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

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