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Iraq
TCP Iraq
Iraq Update: November 19, 2005
Home Front - House Rejects Iraq Pullout
07:54 AM EDT | 3:54 PM Iraq | Posted By Dan Spencer
>> Go here to visit Dan Spencer's weblog.

The Washington Times reports the House last night overwhelmingly voted down a resolution calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq.

The Resolution simply read:

It is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

The vote was 403-3, with six voting present and 14 not voting.

From California Yankee.

Iraq Update: September 13, 2005
Good News - Good News from Iraq (Arthur's Finale): 13 September 2005
02:58 AM EDT | 10:58 AM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Note: Available from Chrenkoff, as well as “WSJ Opinion Journal,” Winds of Change.NET and GoodNewsFromTheFront.com. As this is my last contribution to the series, an extra special thanks to WSJ's James Taranto and Joe Katzman of Winds of Change.NET, as well as to countless readers and bloggers for your support and encouragement right from the beginning. Here is the entire series.

It's been almost a year and a half since I first started compiling the under-reported and often-overlooked stories of positive developments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Major changes and events have taken place in both countries. With the constitutional referendum in Iraq and a parliamentary election in Afghanistan still ahead, however, it is time for me to say good-bye. A change in my work circumstances will unfortunately prevent me carrying this forward or blogging at Chrenkoff; nevertheless, the trend has been set.

I have no doubt that good news will continue to come out of the Middle East and Central Asia - and that it is likely to continue to lose prominence to stories of violence, mayhem, dislocation and crisis. With the Support of The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, however, GoodNewsFromTheFront.com has risen to fill the news void and redress the imbalance of negativity. Future reports will be found there; other briefings may arise as well.

Big thanks go to James Taranto, the editor of WSJ's “Opinion Journal”, who had the courage, imagination and foresight to provide a forum for this news. If the American press and networks across the ocean had more editors like James, I'm certain Americans news providers would face a far less disillusioned public. As they don't, however, it's a huge loss for everyone. Big thanks also to all of my readers for your support and encouragement.

I don't know what Iraq and Afghanistan will look like in five or ten years time, but I hope for the best. I hope that despite all the horrendous problems and challenges, both countries manage to make it through and join the international family of normal, decent and peaceful nations. If so, it will be all due to the amazing spirit and commitment of the majority of their people, and to the crucial help of the Coalition members both in and out of uniform. If that does indeed happen, many will wonder just exactly how these two countries, seemingly in the news only when blood flows, ever managed to get there. But you, who have read these round-ups for the past year and a half, will not be surprised.

So here's another two weeks' worth of stories from Iraq that the great majority of news consumers rarely get to hear.

Iraq Update: September 12, 2005
Intelligence Reports - Winds Iraq Report: Sept. 12/05
05:13 AM EDT | 1:13 PM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. This briefing is brought to you by Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended and Andrew Olmsted of Andrew Olmsted dot com.

TOP TOPICS

  • The battle for Tal Afar, mentioned here last week, has expanded to include an attempt by the Iraq government to seal the Syrian border to prevent insurgents from slipping into the country to augment those already there. The fighting in Tal Afar itself seems to have slowed, however.
  • Someone purported to be Abu Musab al-Zarqawi released an audio tape in which he claimed the U.S. was using chemical weapons in Tal Afar. Al-Zarqawi claimed the Coalition would be defeated in Tal Afar, and he cursed the Iraqis who were joining Iraq's army and security forces as traitors.

Other Topics Today Include: a hostage freed; RadioShack IED finders; Iraq takes the lead in Tal Afar; Iraq's stock exchange on the move; reconstruction highlights; working the constitution; Carnival of the Liberated; Dawn Patrol.

Read the Rest…

Iraq Update: August 31, 2005
- 500 Die In Baghdad Stampede
05:26 AM EDT | 1:26 PM Iraq | Posted By Dan Spencer
>> Go here to visit Dan Spencer's weblog.

Reuters reports up to 500 people died when a crowd of Iraqi Shi'ites stampeded off a bridge over the Tigris river in Baghdad on Wednesday, fleeing rumors of a suicide bombing threat:

“So far we have 500 dead,” Jalil Al-Shumari, the deputy minister, told Reuters.

The crowd, on its way to the Kadhimiya mosque for an important religious ceremony, panicked as rumors spread that a suicide bomber was preparing to blow himself up.

Earlier at least seven people died in three separate mortar attacks on the crowd.

Iraq Update: August 30, 2005
Terrorism - U.S. Aircraft Destroy Terrorist Hideouts Near Iraq's Syrian Border
12:01 PM EDT | 8:01 PM Iraq | Posted By Dan Spencer
>> Go here to visit Dan Spencer's weblog.

Bloomberg reports that suspected al-Qaeda fighters were killed in western Iraq today when precision guided bombs destroyed three terrorist hideouts in two cities near the Syrian border:

Four bombs were dropped on a house “occupied by terrorists” outside the city of Husaybah in the first strike, the military said in a statement e-mailed from the capital, Baghdad. Then at 6:20 a.m. local time two bombs were dropped on a second house, killing a man identified as “Abu Islam, a known terrorist” and several others, the military said.

At about 8:30 a.m. another attack was conducted, this time on a house in the city of Karabilah, six kilometers south east of Husaybah, where some of Islam's followers are believed to have fled, the military said. Several terrorists were killed, according to the statement.

From California Yankee.

Iraq Update: August 26, 2005
Al-Sadr - Al-Sadr Gaining Support
08:37 AM EDT | 4:37 PM Iraq | Posted By Dan Spencer
>> Go here to visit Dan Spencer's weblog.

The Washington Times reports that firebrand Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is gaining support among Iraqi youth, raising fears he could eventually unify Shi'ites and Sunnis against American forces.

Followers of al-Sadr have been engaged in two days of violent clashes with the rival Iranian-trained Badr Brigades in the holy city of Najaf:

Fighting between the Mahdi militia and the Badr Brigades — the military wing of the leading Shi'ite political party, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) — began after Sheik al-Sadr's followers tried Wednesday to reopen an office in Najaf.

Armed men moved to stop them, setting the office on fire and killing four al-Sadr followers. The Mahdi militia blamed the Badr Brigade and retaliated by attacking SCIRI offices in several southern cities.

According to the Washington Times, the clashes reveal a struggle for influence among the Shi'ites of south and central Iraq, with Sheik al-Sadr emerging as a liberating figure for many angry and alienated youth. But he also is attracting support from Sunni militants not connected with the religiously driven followers of Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab Zarqawi.

Babak Rahimi, a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, said he was taken aback by the dedicated following accumulated by the young cleric over the past two years:

“This is an anti-American resistance movement, and he will eventually exploit this, he will eventually merge with the Sunni insurgents,” Mr. Rahimi predicted. “This would prompt a stronger force against American troops in Iraq and he will have a lot more followers,” he said.

From California Yankee.

Iraq Update: August 25, 2005
Insurgency - Italians Hid Iraqi Insurgents
01:23 PM EDT | 9:23 PM Iraq | Posted By Dan Spencer
>> Go here to visit Dan Spencer's weblog.

Italy hid four Iraqi insurgents from U.S. forces and had them treated by the Red Cross in exchange for the freedom of two Italian aid workers kidnaped last year in Baghdad.

According to the Associated Press, in exchange for the release of Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, who were abducted on Sept. 7 and freed Sept. 28,

“The mediators asked us to save the lives of four alleged terrorists wanted by the Americans who were wounded in combat,” Scelli was quoted as saying. “We hid them and brought them to Red Cross doctors, who operated on them.”

They took the wounded insurgents to a Baghdad hospital in a jeep and in an ambulance, smuggling them through two U.S. checkpoints by hiding them under blankets and boxes of medicine, Scelli reportedly said.

Also as part of the deal, four Iraqi children suffering from leukemia were brought to Italy for treatment, he said.

From California Yankee.

Iraq Update: August 23, 2005
U.S. Government - President Says "Stay The Course"
10:41 AM EDT | 6:41 PM Iraq | Posted By Venomous Kate
>> Go here to visit Venomous Kate's weblog.

From BBC News:

President George W Bush has restated his policy that the US will “stay the course” in Iraq as he interrupted his holiday to address war veterans.

Mr Bush said a “policy of retreat and isolation” would not make the US safer.

His remarks in Salt Lake City are the first of two speeches on the war this week and come with anti-war protesters still camped outside his Texas ranch.

The US anti-war movement has been reinvigorated by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a US soldier killed in Iraq.

Read the rest of the story here.

Iraq Update: August 20, 2005
Insurgency - Iran Arming Iraqi Insurgents
12:38 PM EDT | 8:38 PM Iraq | Posted By Dan Spencer
>> Go here to visit Dan Spencer's weblog.

The Washington Times reports that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld says Iran is arming Iraqi insurgents:

“I see intelligence reports and we know that we're finding Iranian weapons inside the country,” Mr. Rumsfeld told reporters on his way to visit Paraguay earlier this week. “They don't just get there by accident. They don't fly there.

“And we know that Iran has a system of government it would like to replicate in Iraq. And we know the system of government they have with a handful of clerics running the place and telling everyone what to do is fundamentally inconsistent with the kind of a constitution that's currently being drafted in Iraq,” he said.

Time magazine reports that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps has established a network of insurgents headed by Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani with the express purpose of committing violence against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. According to a U.S. military-intelligence document obtained by Time, the U.S. believes al-Sheibani's team consists of 280 members, divided into 17 bombmaking teams and death squads. The U.S. believes they train in Lebanon, in Baghdad's predominantly Shi'ite Sadr City district and “in another country” and have detonated at least 37 bombs against U.S. forces this year in Baghdad alone.

From California Yankee.

Iraq Update: August 19, 2005
Elections/Politics - Sunnis, Shiites Protest Constitution
11:24 AM EDT | 7:24 PM Iraq | Posted By Venomous Kate
>> Go here to visit Venomous Kate's weblog.
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Sunni Arabs and followers of a radical Shiite cleric held protests Friday against federal provisions in Iraq's proposed constitution, as negotiators sought to reach agreement on the charter by next week's deadline.

Sunni Arab negotiators are holding out against Shiite and Kurdish proposals for a federal structure for Iraq, saying such proposals would divide the country.

The Sunnis want a strong central government.

On Thursday, masked gunmen burst into the Sunni grand mosque in the tense city of Ramadi as religious, political, and tribal leaders met to discuss possible Sunni participation in the constitutional process.

The gunmen asked participants to end their meeting and then opened fire on them, said Omar Seri, secretary of the governor of Anbar province.

Three members of the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars and a bodyguard were injured, Seri said.

Source: Fox News

Iraq Update: August 09, 2005
Battle Plan - Understanding IED Tactics & Methods
06:49 AM EDT | 2:49 PM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Gloabl Guerillas describes the IED “marketplace” in Iraq, including the roles various specialists play and some of the common tactics and methods. Read and it your ability to discuss the IED threat, how it really works, and options to counter it will improve substantially.

Winds ran a recent lessons learned article about these roadside bombs, which may interest you. Dan Darling also noted that some of that marketplace consists of foreign imports, via Iran and/or Hezbollah.

Iraq Update: August 08, 2005
Intelligence Reports - Winds Iraq Report: Aug. 8/05
07:08 AM EDT | 3:08 PM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. This briefing is brought to you by Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended and Andrew Olmsted of Andrew Olmsted dot com.

TOP TOPICS

  • Iraqi political leaders met Sunday in an attempt to break the deadlock over the new Iraqi constitution. The National Assembly is supposed to approve the document on 15 August, meaning the deadline is fast approaching and there may be a great deal of wheeling and dealing to get a final document in place.
  • Insurgents gained possibly their largest propaganda victory of the war with the destruction of a Marine AAV that killed 14 Marines alongside the deaths of six other Marines all from one Ohio town. The insurgency is using larger bombs as IEDs now, resulting in significantly great risk to forces travelling throughout Iraq. Dan Darling reports that the shaped IED are coming from Iran.

Other Topics Today Include: Monday and God's Will; U.S. troop withdrawal thoughts; Reconstruction highlights; Women's rights and the Iraqi constitutions; Carnival of the Liberated; Saddam's trial approaches; Rice says the insurgency is losing strength.

Read the Rest…

Iraq Update: August 01, 2005
Good News - Good News from Iraq: 01 August 05
06:55 AM EDT | 2:55 PM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Note: As always, also available from “The Opinion Journal” and Chrenkoff. Thank you all - your support is what's making this project so personally worthwhile.

Monsignor Rabban al Qas, Chaldean bishop of Amadiyah and Arbil, was recently asked by a foreign interviewer whether there is any good news coming out of Iraq: “Twenty-three Iraqis are killed every day in Iraq. Nearly two years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, there is no security as yet. Is there still hope in Iraq?” To which Monsignor al Qas replied:

What the media portray is true: explosions, killings, attacks. But if you see how much order, discipline, transport, displacements, and work have improved, there is a change for the better compared to one or two years ago. Now people understand there is a government, the structure of a new state. Thousands and thousands of allied and Iraqi soldiers are present. There is a constitution which is being drawn up, laws are being enacted.

The presence of authority is recognised. This was not the case before. And Al-Qaeda integralists and terrorists coming from abroad seek to penetrate Iraq precisely to destroy the beginnings of this social organization.

A war for the future of Iraq is going on, no doubt about it, but not all of that war is being fought with guns and explosives. Terrorists and insurgents might be killing both soldier and civilians and sabotaging infrastructure, and the Iraqi and the Coalition security forces might in turn be hunting down the enemies of the new Iraq, but every step towards self-government, every new job created, every new school opened are a small victory against those who would want to turn Iraq's clock back three or 1300 years. Below are some of these stories that often get lost in the fog and smoke of war.

Intelligence Reports - Winds Iraq Report: Aug 1/05
06:52 AM EDT | 2:52 PM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. Joel Gaines and Andrew Olmsted are taking vacations with their families, so Joe Katzman is filling in for today's report. Been a while since I did one of these…

TOP TOPICS

  • Mudville Gazette takes a long, hard look at press coverage in Iraq. Interesting to hear some reporters saying the military officers who stay in the Green Zone have no idea what's going on in Iraq. Take that argument to its logical conclusion, boys, as you sit in the hotels….

Other Topics Today Include: Targeting Michael Yon; Counter-guerilla cascades; Iraqi unemployment, economic growth; Reconstruction highlights; The constitution; Zakaria on talks with Ba'athists; Does al-Sadr own the Basra police?; Iraq & Syria; Did Iran win?; Algeria & Algeria; Changes in British debate; JAG promotion questioned; Strategy review; PA's idiot LtG; Over There underwhelms; Support the Troops.

Read the Rest…

Iraq Update: July 29, 2005
Religious Incitement - Winds HateWatch: 2005-07-29
08:45 AM EDT | 4:45 PM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Welcome! This briefing will be looking hard at the dark places the mainstream media sometimes seem determined to look away from, to better understand our declared enemies on their own terms and without illusions. Our goal is to bring you some of the top jihadi rants, idiotarian seething, and old-school Jew-hatred from around the world, leaving you more informed, more aware, and pretty disgusted every month. This Winds of Change.NET HateWatch briefing is brought to you by Lewy14 (hatewatch@winds…), and by zorkmidden of Discarded Lies. Past briefings and posts on related topics can be found here. Entil'zha veni!

HIGHLIGHTED TOPICS

  • Religious Hate: British Islamists on 7/7; Convert “Sheikh” in Australia: Muslims can’t be friends of non-Muslims; Gay advocacy group reports threats by Muslim fundamentalists in Britain; Michael Graham: Islam is a terrorist organization; Saudi Imam’s incitement thrown down the memory hole; Iraqi Christians fear new constitution; Christians, Ahmadiya face persecution in Indonesia.

  • Idiotarian Seethings: Colorado congressman: bombing Mecca an option; Retired Lebanese General gets creative with “Global Zionism” theme; Retired Egyptian General: Israel behind Sharm e-Sheikh bombings.

  • Race and Culture: Moderate Muslims in Egypt undermined by conspiracy theories; Aryan Nations embraces “jihadeen”; Highbrow incitement against Jews in the Ukraine; Lowlife thugs murder Vietnamese in Moscow; Two essays on the evolution of modern radical Islamism.

  • A Hopeful Note: Musharraf calls for jihad against… extremism; U.N. to (finally) define “terrorism”?; Iraqi prime minister calls Arab media on double standards.

Iraq Update: July 27, 2005
Good News - Change to Contributor
12:27 PM EDT | 8:27 PM Iraq | Posted By Zoe Brain
>> Go here to visit Zoe Brain's weblog.

Updating a Previous Post….

Finally avoiding the confusion of having two Alan's on TCP, the one is Australia is changing her name soon, to Zoe.

More pics here.

Iraq Update: July 26, 2005
Intelligence Reports - Iraq Report, July 25/05
11:53 AM EDT | 7:53 PM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. This briefing is brought to you by Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended and Andrew Olmsted of Andrew Olmsted dot com.

TOP TOPICS

  • Kris Alexander provides an at-a-glance analysis of the current situation in Iraq called the Road Map to Victory. What are your thoughts - too much progress shown, or not enough?

Other Topics Today Include: PA lt. governor crashes funeral, hanging out with IP SWAT, Iraqi forces pictorial, Devil's Foyer, World bank loan, Reconstruction highlights, Constitution almost finished, Sunnis getting involved, Saddam nephews' assets frozen, Three moments of silence in Baghdad, Roggio on River War

Read the Rest…

Iraq Update: July 18, 2005
Good News - Good News from Iraq: 18 July 2005
06:20 AM EDT | 2:20 PM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Note: Also available from “The Opinion Journal” and Chrenkoff. As always, many thanks to James Taranto and Joe Katzman, and all of you readers and fellow bloggers who keep supporting this project. Please note that because of the changes in recent publishing schedule, this installment contains the good news from the past three, instead of usual two, weeks.

Traveling overseas can definitely broaden your horizons, not to mention make you appreciate your home even more:

[Spc. Christopher] Bean, 20, of Port Gibson, finished up a year-long stint in Baghdad as a truck driver with the 594th Transportation Co., a 101st Airborne division. His time in the military has given him a different perspective on the Fourth of July.

“In Iraq, we’re not fighting for ourselves,” said Bean, from his home base in Fort Campbell, Ky. “We’re over there fighting so the Iraqis can have their own Fourth of July.”

One of the things that struck Bean most about his time in Iraq was the people themselves. Most of the Iraqis he met were proud to have the Americans there, he said, and watching them go through their daily lives made him appreciate the historic significance of our Independence Day.

“Being there really opens your eyes to what our forefathers went through to get the freedom we have today,” he said.

Nation-building is never quick and never easy; hard-work and heartache are today, and the results often only years if not decades ahead. But the Iraqi people, with the assistance of the Coalition, have commenced their journey, and despite all the hardships, every day is another step forward. Below, some of these often much under-reported and unappreciated steps from the past three weeks.

Intelligence Reports - Winds Iraq Report: July 18/05
06:18 AM EDT | 2:18 PM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. This briefing is brought to you by Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended and Andrew Olmsted of Andrew Olmsted dot com.

TOP TOPICS

  • 15 suicide bombers struck the Baghdad area over the weekend, including a single attack in a vegetable market beside a mosque that killed some 70 Iraqis and injured 95 more. The failure of the Iraqi government to stop the attacks has some Iraqis calling for the return of popular militias, a move that could increase the threat of civil war between Iraq's ethnic groups.

Other Topics Today Include: Task Force Liberty; Baghdaddy reports; Angels Among Us; reconstruction highlights; preparing for the elections; Carnival of the Liberated; British pullout plans; Iraq PM visits Iran; Hussein formally charged.

Read the rest…

Iraq Update: July 17, 2005
Trial of Saddam - First Charges Brought Against Saddam
06:48 AM EDT | 2:48 PM Iraq | Posted By Michele Catalano
>> Go here to visit Michele Catalano's weblog.

Just breaking on CNN…

Link soon.

Sky has this:

Court proceedings against deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein could begin within days, according to a special tribunal which says it has made the first charges against him.

The tribunal's chief investigating judge says Saddam has been charged along with three other defendants in connection with the killing of Shi'ite Muslims in the village of Dujail, north of Baghdad, in 1982.

- Four Car Bombs Kill 19
06:45 AM EDT | 2:45 PM Iraq | Posted By Michele Catalano
>> Go here to visit Michele Catalano's weblog.
At least 19 people have been killed in a rash of suicide bombings today in and around Baghdad.

Iraqi police say there have been four attacks in the capital, including one that missed a U-S convey, but struck two minibuses, killing six civilians.

At least six police officers were killed in the three other attacks, that also left seven civilians dead.

Read more…

Iraq Update: July 16, 2005
Terrorism - At Leats 54 Killed in Iraqi Gas Station Bombing [updated]
03:08 PM EDT | 11:08 PM Iraq | Posted By Michele Catalano
>> Go here to visit Michele Catalano's weblog.
A suicide attacker detonated explosives strapped to his body Saturday at a gas station near a Shiite mosque south of Baghdad, triggering a huge explosion in a fuel tanker and killing at least 54 people, police said.

Eighty-two people were injured.

Police Capt. Muthanna Khaled Ali said the attack occurred in Musayyib, about 40 miles south of Baghdad.

Update:

Reuters has the death toll at 98:

Stricken townspeople swept away the wreckage of a fuel truck bomb that killed 98 people south of Baghdad as three more suicide car bombers struck the Iraqi capital on Sunday in a relentless new campaign.

The overnight attack which devastated the highway town of Musayyib was the deadliest since the new Iraqi government took power in April and the highest death toll from a single car bomb since 125 people were killed in February in Hilla, also south of Baghdad.

Saturday's bombing prompted denunciations of the authorities in parliament and calls for local militia to take up arms.

Iraq Update: July 15, 2005
Terrorism - Attacks Kill 29 Across Iraq
08:29 PM EDT | 4:29 AM Iraq | Posted By Michele Catalano
>> Go here to visit Michele Catalano's weblog.
Car bombs and explosions rocked wide areas of the Iraqi capital Friday, targeting U.S. and Iraqi security forces and killing at least 29 people. Two U.S. Marines died in a blast near the Jordanian border.

At least 111 people, including seven American soldiers, were wounded in the bombings — at least seven of them homicide attacks. One of the homicide bombings occurred after sundown on a bridge over the Tigris River near the home of President Jalal Talabani .

Three security guards were killed and nine people were wounded in that attack. Talabani was at home at the time, aides said, but the target may have been a U.S. convoy.

Read more..

Iraq Update: July 13, 2005
Terrorism - Bomber Kills Dozens in Iraq, Including GI, Kids
10:54 AM EDT | 6:54 PM Iraq | Posted By Michele Catalano
>> Go here to visit Michele Catalano's weblog.
A car bomber sped up to American soldiers distributing candy to children and detonated his explosives Wednesday, killing up to 27 other people, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. One U.S. soldier and about a dozen children were among the dead.

At least 21 others, including three U.S. soldiers, were wounded in the attack, the second major homicide bombing in Baghdad this week. A bomber killed 25 people Sunday at an Iraqi army recruiting center.

The fireball from Wednesday's blast also set a nearby house ablaze, the U.S. military said. The attack stunned the impoverished east Baghdad neighborhood of mostly Shiite Muslims and Christians.

Read more…

Al-Zarqawi - Key Zarqawi Operative Captured
06:21 AM EDT | 2:21 PM Iraq | Posted By Dan Spencer
>> Go here to visit Dan Spencer's weblog.

Reuters reports that a key operative in the organization of Iraq's al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been captured:

Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the PBS program “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” that Monday's capture of Abu Abd Al-Aziz, whom he called Zarqawi's “main leader in Baghdad,” was “going to hurt that operation of Zarqawi's pretty significantly.”

Myers said Al-Aziz was picked up “on the battlefield,” but provided no other details.

A defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, added, “When you look at the picture of the Zarqawi network of the different elements that are known to exist, he's the second-in-command of the Baghdad element and has the reputation of being the 'emir of Baghdad' for Zarqawi.”

Iraq Update: July 11, 2005
Intelligence Reports - Winds Iraq Report: July 11/05
10:03 AM EDT | 6:03 PM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. This briefing is brought to you by Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended and Andrew Olmsted of Andrew Olmsted dot com.

TOP TOPICS

  • Suicide bombers struck three different targets in Baghdad over the weekend, killing at least 33. The attacks broke up a recent string of calm in the city, providing a painful reminder of how easily terrorists can disrupt daily life.

Other Topics Today Include: building Iraq's army; recruiting arrest; Israeli armor for Bradleys; Americans held in Iraq; the books of Salah al Din; Carnival of the Liberated; Zarqawi admits murdering ambassador; American Soldier comes home.

Read the Rest…

Iraq Update: July 10, 2005
Terrorism - Suicide Bombers Kill 30
06:39 AM EDT | 2:39 PM Iraq | Posted By Michele Catalano
>> Go here to visit Michele Catalano's weblog.
Bombs in three Iraqi cities, including two suicide bombings, killed a total of 30 people and wounded up to 70, authorities said.

In Baghdad, a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including five Iraqi police officers, and wounded more than 50 others at an army recruiting center, Iraqi security sources said.

The blast occurred about 8:55 a.m. (0455 GMT), police said, when a bomber wearing an explosives vest underneath his clothing detonated among recruits.

In Kirkuk, a suicide car bomb exploded near offices in the city center about 8 a.m. Sunday (0400 GMT), said Maj. Gen. Anwar Mohammed Amin, commander of the Iraqi Army of Kirkuk. Four people were killed and at least 18 wounded.

The suicide bomber was waiting in a side street off a main road that is usually used by Iraqi government officials and employees, Amin said. The attack apparently was targeting government officials. The blast destroyed three civilian cars as well.

And in Mosul, a car bomb detonated about 10 a.m. as a police convoy passed, authorities said. Four people were killed and at least three wounded.

Read more…

Iraq Update: July 07, 2005
Terrorism - Al Qaeda in Iraq: Egyptian Envoy Killed
09:58 AM EDT | 5:58 PM Iraq | Posted By Michele Catalano
>> Go here to visit Michele Catalano's weblog.
Al Qaeda in Iraq said in a Web posting that it killed Egypt's top envoy in Iraq, posting a video of the blindfolded diplomat, identifying himself.

“We announce in the Al Qaeda in Iraq that the verdict of God against the ambassador of the infidels, the ambassador of Egypt, has been carried out. Thank God,” a written statement in the Web posting said.

The claim's authenticity could not immediately be confirmed. Al Qaeda in Iraq, headed by Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi ), threatened to kill Ihab al-Sherif in a Web posting Wednesday.

Al-Sherif was seized by gunmen in western Baghdad on Saturday. On Tuesday, gunmen fired on senior envoys from Bahrain and Pakistan in apparent kidnap attempts.

Read more….

Iraq Update: July 04, 2005
Intelligence Reports - Iraq Report, July 05/05
11:56 PM EDT | 7:56 AM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Welcome and a fine Fourth of July! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. This briefing is brought to you the day after the long weekend by Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended and Andrew Olmsted of Andrew Olmsted dot com.

TOP TOPICS

  • U.S and Iraqi forces launched Operation Muthana Strike near the Baghdad International Airport, detaining at least 100 suspected militants. The operation took advantage of tips from locals to nab a number of foreign fighters and provided another opportunity for the Iraqi forces to prove their mettle.

Other Topics Today Include: Operation Sword; Milblogger injury report; memorial for the fallen; new al-Zarqawi challenge; Japanese recovery pledge; reconstruction highlights; Sunni clerics cast their vote; Carnival of the Liberated; Bush administration takes the offensive.

Read the Rest…

Home Front - How to Support the Troops
01:02 PM EDT | 9:02 PM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

(published March 24, 2003; last updated July 20, 2005)

Stuck on the home front, but still want to make a difference in the War on Terror? Well, one of the unique features of our Internet and 4th Generation Warfare is that you can. The explosion of direct citizen-soldier and citizen-citizen assistance opportunities is unprecedented - and you can be a part of it!

The U.S. Dept. of Defense keeps a list of organizations at America Supports You. We continue to update our compilation here because [a] it includes troops from other nations and related efforts as well; [b] we offer explanations and personal recommendations, not just a list; and [c] we offer resources they don't - such as advice for gay members of the U.S. military. With that said, there are many worthy organizations at AmericaSupportsYou.com and we recommend it as a resource.

Meanwhile, I'm still updating this list, validating its links and accepting new submissions. On with the show, this is it…

Iraq Update: July 02, 2005
Terrorism - Suicide Bomb Kills 20 in Baghdad
05:00 AM EDT | 1:00 PM Iraq | Posted By Michele Catalano
>> Go here to visit Michele Catalano's weblog.
A suicide bomber killed up to 20 people and wounded at least 21 at a police recruitment center in Baghdad on Saturday, while across town an angry crowd of Shi'ites buried a senior cleric gunned down by insurgents.

The bombing was the worst in Iraq in at least six days after a relative lull in the Sunni Arab insurgency against U.S. forces and the Shi'ite- and Kurdish-led government in Baghdad.

A senior Interior Ministry source said 20 people had been killed and the death toll could rise.

Twelve bodies lay under sheets surrounded by wailing relatives in a courtyard at the nearby Yarmuk hospital.

Doctors there said they were also treating 21 wounded, many of them in serious condition. Others may have been treated elsewhere and some bodies may have been collected by families at the scene.

Read more…

Iraq Update: June 29, 2005
U.S. Government - Transcript: Bush Speech on Iraq
05:26 AM EDT | 1:26 PM Iraq | Posted By Michele Catalano
>> Go here to visit Michele Catalano's weblog.

via Fox News

Thank you and good evening. I am pleased to visit Fort Bragg — “Home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces.” It is an honor to speak before you tonight. My greatest responsibility as president is to protect the American people, and that is your calling as well. I thank you for your service, your courage and your sacrifice. I thank your families, who support you in your vital work. The soldiers and families of Fort Bragg have contributed mightily to our efforts to secure our country and promote peace. Americais grateful — and so is your commander-in-chief.

The troops here and across the world are fighting a global war on terror. This war reached our shores on September 11, 2001. The terrorists who attacked us — and the terrorists we face — murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent. Their aim is to remake the Middle East in their own grim image of tyranny and oppression — by toppling governments, driving us out of the region, and exporting terror.

To achieve these aims, they have continued to kill — in Madrid, Istanbul, Jakarta, Casablanca, Riyadh, Bali, and elsewhere. The terrorists believe that free societies are essentially corrupt and decadent, and with a few hard blows they can force us to retreat. They are mistaken. After September 11, I made a commitment to the American people: This Nation will not wait to be attacked again. We will take the fight to the enemy. We will defend our freedom.

Iraq is the latest battlefield in this war. Many terrorists who kill innocent men, women, and children on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of our citizens in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home. The commander in charge of Coalition operations in Iraq — who is also senior commander at this base — General John Vines, put it well the other day. He said: “We either deal with terrorism and this extremism abroad, or we deal with it when it comes to us.”

Continue reading "Transcript: Bush Speech on Iraq"

Iraq Update: June 28, 2005
- Car Bomb Kills Iraqi Shiite Legislator
05:19 AM EDT | 1:19 PM Iraq | Posted By Michele Catalano
>> Go here to visit Michele Catalano's weblog.
A suicide car bomb killed an Iraqi Shiite legislator, his son and two bodyguards near Baghdad as they were headed to a parliamentary session in the capital Tuesday, officials said.

Dhari Ali al-Fayadh and his son were killed while traveling from their farm in Rashidiya, some 20 miles northeast of Baghdad, said legislator Hummam Hammoudi, who heads the parliamentary committee charged with drafting Iraq's new constitution.

Two of al-Fayadh's bodyguards were also killed, and four were wounded, police Maj. Falah al-Mihamadawi said.

Al-Fayadh, who was in his late 80s, was the oldest member of the new parliament that was installed about three months ago. He had acted as speaker until one was elected.

He was a member of the country's largest Shiite political party, the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. The party is the senior member in the ruling coalition.

Read more…

Iraq Update: June 27, 2005
Good News - Good News from Iraq, 27 June 2005 (vol. 30)
10:47 AM EDT | 6:47 PM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Note: Also available at “The Opinion Journal” and Chrenkoff. Many thanks to James Taranto, Joe Katzman, and all of you who supported the series through all its 30 installments so far.

A prominent politician has recently penned this opinion piece for a major American daily:

Today I am traveling to Brussels to join representatives of more than 80 governments and institutions in sending a loud and clear message of support for the political transition in Iraq.

A year ago, in Resolution 1546, the U.N. Security Council set out the timetable that Iraq, with the assistance of the United Nations and the international community, was expected to fulfill. The Brussels conference is a chance to reassure the Iraqi people that the international community stands with them in their brave efforts to rebuild their country, and that we recognize how much progress has been made in the face of daunting challenges…

As the process moves forward, there will no doubt be frustrating delays and difficult setbacks. But let us not lose sight of the fact that all over Iraq today, Iraqis are debating nearly every aspect of their political future…

In a media-hungry age, visibility is often regarded as proof of success. But this does not necessarily hold true in Iraq. Even when, as with last week's agreement, the results of our efforts are easily seen by all, the efforts themselves must be undertaken quietly and away from the cameras.

Who is this unreconstructed optimist who, going against most media reports, refuses to acknowledge that Iraq is fast descending into hell? If you answered George Bush, Dick Chaney or Condoleezza Rice, you're wrong. If you answered Tony Blair, you're wrong too. The correct answer is Kofi Annan.

Two years and a democratic election later, the international community, deeply sceptical if not hostile at first, is now increasingly coming onboard to help Iraq make the transition to a normal country. While stories of violence dominate the news, these international and domestic efforts to rebuild Iraq after decades of physical and political devastation continue to pick up pace. Below is a selection of past two weeks' worth of stories which, if get reported at all, usually drowned by the tide of negativity.

- U.S. Helicopter Crashes in Iraq
08:31 AM EDT | 4:31 PM Iraq | Posted By Michele Catalano
>> Go here to visit Michele Catalano's weblog.
A U.S. military helicopter crashed around 11 a.m. in a field north of Baghdad Monday morning, killing two people, FOX News has confirmed.

The helicopter's pilot was killed immediately; the copilot was alive until a second phosphorus explosion occurred, FOX News has learned. It's not clear if the second victim, the copilot, died on the ground or on the way to being treated. U.S. military witnesses told FOX News that the apache helicopter may have been shot down.

The helicopter went down in Mishahda, 20 miles north of the capital. The helicopter was in flames on the ground. Heavy gunfire was heard at the time of the crash, and white smoke billowed from the helicopter before it burst into flames and slammed into the ground. Gunfire was also heard after the crash.

The military confirmed that a Task Force Baghdad helicopter crashed at the time in question in northwest of Baghdad.

Read more…

Insurgency - Winds Iraq Report: June 27/05
01:02 AM EDT | 9:02 AM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. This briefing is brought to you by Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended and Andrew Olmsted of Andrew Olmsted dot com.

TOP TOPICS

  • Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld highlighted a hard fact in Baghdad on Sunday: success in Iraq rests not on America defeating the insurgency, but turning Iraq over to native forces trained well enough to withstand an insurgency that is likely to last many years.
  • Terrorists hit Mosul hard over the weekend, killing dozens with suicide attacks on a police barracks, an army base, and a hospital. Meanwhile the propaganda war heated up with the ambush of a convoy in Fallujah that killed six Marines and Sailors, four of whom were female. The attack caused the greatest loss of female troops since the Second World War.

Other Topics Today Include: a new martyrs's brigade; Zarqawi aide killed; reconstruction highlights; Carnival of the Liberated; Iraq wants Syria shut down, backs US vs. Iran; President Bush makes the case for staying the course; Kucinich & the insurgents; Tariq Aziz takes a pass on Saddam trial; another milblogger heads to Iraq.

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Iraq Update: June 24, 2005
- Marines Killed in Fallujah
10:58 AM EDT | 6:58 PM Iraq | Posted By Michele Catalano
>> Go here to visit Michele Catalano's weblog.
A suicide bomber in a vehicle killed two U.S. Marines and left four troops unaccounted for when it exploded near their convoy in Falluja, the volatile city west of Baghdad, a U.S. military official said Friday.

Thursday night's blast wounded 13, the military said.

Some of the casualties were women, the official said. The troops were assigned to the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force.

A Marine statement confirmed two Marines were killed and listed three Marines and a sailor as “duty status whereabouts unknown.”

Earlier reports said as many as six Marines were killed.

Read more…

Iraq Update: June 23, 2005
Terrorism - 15 Killed in 15 Minutes
05:58 AM EDT | 1:58 PM Iraq | Posted By Michele Catalano
>> Go here to visit Michele Catalano's weblog.
Three car bombs killed at least 15 people and wounded 50 more in Baghdad this morning, including a boy who appeared to have lost a leg.

The co-ordinated attack on the central Baghdad shopping district of Karradah followed last night's bloodshed that included four car bombs within 15 minutes of each other, killing at least 23 people in the Shula district of western Baghdad.

Police said a suicide car bomber killed three policemen and
wounded two when he drove at their patrol at around 7am (0300 GMT). Two other cars exploded in the same area, each several minutes apart, one close to a Shia mosque.

Read more…

Iraq Update: June 20, 2005
Combat - Winds Field Report: A Springtime of Ops in Iraq
02:37 PM EDT | 10:37 PM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Over the course of the past week, Coalition forces conducted four separate battalion size plus operations in Iraq, two in Anbar - Spear in Karabilah and Dagger near lake Thar Thar, one south of Mosul in Tal Afar, and one south of Baghdad - White Shield. Force estimates for Spear and Dagger are at about 1,000 combined Coalition and Iraqi forces each, about 4,000 troops for the Tal Afar operation and 2,000 troops, split between American and Iraqi forces for White Shield.

The past week of operations follows a spring of military offensives designed to disrupt the enemy’s activities in the Anbar province, starting with Matador, which was followed by New Market and then Thunder/Lightning in Baghdad. The difference is the earlier operations were conducted sequentially while the past week’s operations are being conducted simultaneously, indicating American forces are being freed up at greater numbers than in the past.

Wretchard at Belmont Club asks “So where do are US forces getting the manpower to up the pace of attack?” He looks at the options, and concludes the spare forces are due to Iraqi forces entering the battle. Omar at Iraq the Model points us to an article which states an Iraq brigade has assumed most of the responsibilities the province of Salahideen, which includes the cities of Tikrit (Saddam’s home town and tip of the Sunni Triangle), Beiji and Dujail.

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Intelligence Reports - Winds Iraq Report: June 20/05
02:32 PM EDT | 10:32 PM Iraq | Posted By Winds of Change.NET
>> Go here to visit Winds of Change.NET's weblog.

Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. This briefing is brought to you by Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended and Andrew Olmsted of Andrew Olmsted dot com.

TOP TOPICS

  • The pressure to withdraw from Iraq is growing. Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike are starting to raise the issue in higher profile forae. War supporters argue withdrawal would throw away all the United States has sacrificed to date, while war opponents argue that staying in Iraq is simply throwing away more lives in a hopeless cause. General John Abazaid notes that he can find more confidence in the Iraq mission in Iraq than in Washington. Doubtless the Iraqi people will watch this debate closely.

Other Topics Today Include: more on Mosul; Raven 42; the right number of troops for Iraq; another Al Qaeda member arrested; where are the Iraqis; Carnival of the Liberated; French journalist freed; the Downing Street Memo; new ambassador for Iraq.

Read the Rest…

Terrorism - Suicide Bomber Kills 20 Police
05:41 AM EDT | 1:41 PM Iraq | Posted By Michele Catalano
>> Go here to visit Michele Catalano's weblog.
A suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of morning roll call today outside traffic police headquarters in the northern Kurdish city of Irbil, killing at least 20 and wounding 50 more, police said.

The bomber disguised himself as a policeman and joined the early morning gathering of some 200 traffic policemen, said police Col. Mohammed Saleh and Lt. Col. Abdul-Salam Zibari.

Read more…

Iraq Update: June 19, 2005
Terrorism - Suicide Bomber Kills 23
12:20 PM EDT | 8:20 PM Iraq | Posted By Michele Catalano
>> Go here to visit Michele Catalano's weblog.
Wearing a vest of explosives, a suicide bomber detonated himself and killed at least 23 people Sunday at a crowded Baghdad restaurant where Iraqi police and security forces were eating lunch, Iraqi police said.

Seven police officers were among the dead, and 36 people were hurt, police said. The blast wounded 16 police officers.

The Kabob restaurant is in central Baghdad near a checkpoint leading to the heavily fortified Green Zone, seat of Iraq's government and U.S. operations.

Read more…

Global Politics - Downing Street Excerpts
09:05 AM EDT | 5:05 PM Iraq | Posted By Alan
>> Go here to visit Alan's weblog.

The Boston Globe has excerpts of the Downing Street memos here.

The Trenches - Militaryphotos.net
08:57 AM EDT | 4:57 PM Iraq | Posted By Alan
>> Go here to visit Alan's weblog.

Here's an interesting site: Militaryphotos.net. Iraq galleries here; Afghan galleries here.

Recognition - Other Awards For Raven 42 From The 617th
08:48 AM EDT | 4:48 PM Iraq | Posted By Alan
>> Go here to visit Alan's weblog.

As a follow-up to this post comes this email from Joseph Shelley at Camp Victory, Iraq:

Alan and Michele

I totally enjoy your web site. Your Story on SGT Hester is great and she is a Great American warrior. I just wanted to let you know that the following Soldiers were also recognized for their Achievements during this battle. SGT Hester and SPC Pullen are both female, SPC Mike was the Medic and all the others are Military Policemen.

Here are the other troops recognized at the same ceremony:

SSG Nein, Silver Star
SGT Morris, ARCOM v/V
SPC Casey, Purple Heart and Bronze Star w/V
SGT Rivera, Purple Heart and ARCOM w/V he is recovering from injuries in KY
PFC Mack, Purple Heart and ARCOM w/V he is recovering from injuries in KY
SPC Haynes, Purple Heart and Bronze Star w/V recovering from injuries in KY
SPC Mike, Silver Star
SGT Hester, Silver Star
SPC Pullen, Bronze Star w/V
SPC Ordunez, ARCOM w/V

Speedy recoveries, and thanks for stepping into the breach.