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Ear to the Ground

Baghdad 9/13 Death Toll Nears 100

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Posted on Sep 13, 2006

UPDATE: The numbers keep rising.

It’s carnage so grisly that the largest Sunni group demanded that the Shiite-led government take steps to disarm militias. The AP called it a “violent day even by the standards of Baghdad.”


AP:

The leader of Iraq’s biggest Sunni Arab group demanded Wednesday that the beleaguered Shiite-led government take steps to disarm militias after police said the bodies of 65 tortured men were dumped in and around Baghdad.

On a violent day even by the standards of Baghdad, car bombs, mortars and other attacks also killed at least 39 people and wounded dozens. Two U.S. soldiers also were killed, one in enemy action in restive Anbar province on Monday and the other in a roadside bombing south of Baghdad on Tuesday, the U.S. military command said.

The attacks have been unrelenting despite a security crackdown around the capital by 12,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops. The more than 1,500 violent deaths last month at the height of the joint operation speak to the difficulties in restoring any semblance of security to this sprawling city of 6 million people.

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By Ted Buila, September 14, 2006 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Its no real surprise that the Whitehouse is grasping for straws when it plays fast and dirty with body count definitions/numbers. This much they had to admit a day back.  Full stop.

We have next to no real numbers for sorties and ordinance expended…and only estimates for Iraqies killed/maimed.

Nor can we expect an executive order to the GAO/EPA to asap audit the environmental impact, clean-up numbers & ID Iraq’s Superfund sites.

Surely the media will come around to the realization that terrorizing civilian populations is perhaps the most favored military tactic..history/today..laments notwithstanding.  Stalin, Hitler, Sadam, Pol Pot, Mao, Mladic… Dresden, Hiroshima, Korea, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Gulf Wars 1 & 2, Lebanon, Palestine/Israel.

Bottom line: Iraqi and Afghan populations are being terrorized by both the US/Coalition Forces and Opposition Forces.

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By 2 U.S. troops killed, 25 wounded in Iraq, September 14, 2006 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

2 dead; 25 WOUNDED?  The real numbers please?
———————————————————-
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060914/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_060910164779

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide car bomber killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded 25 in Baghdad on Thursday, the U.S. command said. The attack brought to five the number of Americans who have died in Iraq since Wednesday.

The suicide bomber struck just after noon west of Baghdad.

It said the wounded Soldiers were evacuated by helicopter to a military hospital. Of the 25 wounded, six have been returned to duty and 15 were listed as not serious.

Also in Baghdad, one soldier died from wounds early Thursday after his unit came under attack by small arms fire. Another soldier died after his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb south of Baghdad.

A soldier attached to the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division died from wounds received Wednesday by enemy fire near Mosul.

At least 2,676 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Violence has flared in Baghdad despite a monthlong security operation by thousands of U.S. and Iraqi troops aimed mostly at stopping the killings carried out by Sunni and Shiite death squads.

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By Time Running Out, September 14, 2006 at 8:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/09/14/iraq/main2007288.shtml

Official: Time Running Out In Iraq
State Department Advisor Says Sectarian Violence Must Be Quashed Soon
(CBS/AP) As violence explodes in Iraq — with 65 tortured bodies found today as well as a spate of car bombing and mortar fire that killed at least 39 people — a U.S. official warns that time is running out.

“If sectarian violence cannot be demonstrably, tangibly reduced … (then) over the next several months an Iraqi government that represents all of its people, is a partner against terror and is at peace both at home and with its neighbors, will be difficult if not impossible to achieve,” David Satterfield, a senior State Department advisor for Iraq, said Wednesday on Capitol Hill, reports CBS News national security correspondent David Martin.

“Failure means the possibility that Iraq would become a permanent haven for terrorists, a satellite of Iranian influence, or both,” Satterfield said.

Part of the problem is that the predominantly Shiite police force working alongside U.S. troops, s accused of being behind many of the execution-style-murders, reports CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan.

Sunni and Shia residents told CBS News that a strong American presence is necessary to quell violence, and that if Americans leave, the fighting will start again.

In fact, the leader of Iraq’s biggest Sunni Arab group demanded on Wednesday that the Shiite-led government take steps to disarm militias.

The majority of the bodies of 65 tortured men were dumped in predominantly Sunni Arab neighborhoods.

All of them showed the hallmarks of having been victims of sectarian death squads, reports CBS News’ Pete Gow (audio). They were bound hand and foot, and shot execution-style through the head, and many showed signs of having been tortured.

Such killings are usually the work of death squads, operated by both Sunni Arabs and Shiite gangs and militias, who kidnap people and usually torture them with power drills, or beat them, before shooting them.

In other developments:


The Japanese government is studying a plan to send peacekeeping troops to Lebanon to provide logistical support for U.N. forces, Kyodo News agency reported, citing unnamed government officials. The report, however, said it remains uncertain whether Japan will give the go-ahead given strong concerns over possible recurrence of fighting.


Supreme Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told the visiting Iraqi prime minister Wednesday that the way to end instability in Iraq is for U.S. forces to withdraw. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was on the second day of his first visit to Iran since he taking office in May, looking to a close ally of his Shiite-led government for help in calming the violence tearing apart Iraq and in developing Iraq’s troubled oil industry.


Two U.S. soldiers were killed, one by an attack in restive Anbar province Monday, and the other Tuesday by a roadside bomb south of Baghdad, the U.S. military command said.


The chief prosecutor in Saddam Hussein’s genocide trial demanded the presiding judge step down, accusing him Wednesday of bias toward the deposed leader and his co-defendants. “You allowed this court to become a political podium for the defendants,” roared prosecutor Munqith al-Faroon, as judge Abdullah al-Amiri listened. The judge brushed aside the demands more witnesses on Wednesday testified about chemical attacks against Kurds.


An Iraqi militant group threatened in a brief videotape posted on a Web site Wednesday to kill a Turkish hostage if his government does not close down the company that employs him. The authenticity of the video could not be independently verified.

(CBS/AP) 
The unflagging attacks have come despite a massive monthlong security crackdown around the capital by 12,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops. The more than 1,500 people who died last month at the height of the joint operation are indicative of the difficulties faced in restoring any semblance of security to this sprawling city of six million people.

Adnan al-Dulaimi, who heads Iraq’s largest Sunni Arab political bloc, called on al-Maliki to take a first step by honoring a pledge to disband militias — blamed by many Sunnis of being behind many of the death squads.

“We hope the government carries out what it pledged and disbands militias and considers them terrorist organizations,” Adnan al-Dulaimi, head of the Iraqi Accordance Front told The Associated Press. His party holds 44 seats in the 275-member parliament.

“Their presence is deteriorating the situation and bringing more troubles to the political atmosphere.” al-Dulaimi said of the militias. “We call upon all religious authorities to raise their voices and demand militias be disarmed.”

The U.S. military said it could not confirm all the executions and said the numbers they had for the bodies so far was lower than that reported by police.

“It is looking like about a 50 percent discrepancy on execution-style killings so far,” said Maj. Josslyn Aberle, chief of the media relations division for the Multi-National Corps-Iraq.

The reason for the difference was not immediately clear. The confusion over numbers underscores the difficulty of obtaining accurate death tolls in Iraq, which lacks the reporting and tracking systems of most modern nations. Also, counts by the U.S. military often lag behind those of the police.

According to Iraqi police, 45 of the bodies were discovered in predominantly Sunni Arab parts of western Baghdad. The rest were found in predominantly Shiite areas of eastern Baghdad. Another five bodies were found floating down the Tigris river in Suwayrah, just south of Baghdad.

In the two bloodiest attacks in the capital, a car bomb killed at least 19 people and wounded more than 62 after it detonated in a large square used mostly as a parking lot near the main headquarters of Baghdad’s traffic police department.

In eastern Baghdad, a parked car bomb exploded next to a passing Iraqi police patrol in the Zayona neighborhood, killing at least 12 people and wounding 34.

Sunni Arabs fear more sectarian violence will break out if the largest Shiite political bloc in parliament succeeds is passing legislation that will set in place the mechanism for establishing autonomous regions as part of a federal Iraq.

Iraq’s parliament speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, urged that a bill drafted last week by the dominant Shiite United Iraqi Alliance not be submitted to the body on Sept. 19. Instead he called for its postponement until parliament amends the country’s new constitution, a time consuming affair that could drag on for months.

“The parliament speaker believes that it is not the right time to form provinces in the middle and in the south. There is no dispute with Kurdistan, it can remain as it is. Al-Mashhadani thinks that for the time being this issue must be postponed,” Al-Mashhadani spokesman Mohanad Abdul-Jabar told The AP.

Sunni Arabs have said the bill could split the country into three distinct sectarian and ethnic cantons and have vehemently opposed it.

Although federalism is part of Iraq’s new constitution, and there is already an autonomous Kurdish region in the north, special legislation and a referendum would be needed to turn Iraq into a full federation.

Alliance leaders were sending delegations to the Shiite holy city of Najaf to meet radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and other leaders who do not fully support the legislation — but for different reasons than the Sunnis. Al-Sadr, for examples, wants it to be discussed after U.S. troops leave Iraq.

“We will resume meetings tomorrow and after tomorrow to reach a final agreement on this issue. The Alliance has formed a delegation to visit Najaf to meet with religious authorities like Muqtada al-Sadr to persuade them and to reach an agreement with them,” Alliance member Bassim Shareef said.

He added that American, British and United Nations officials were urging a postponement, which a Sunni Arab legislator also reported.

“Meetings will continue before this parliament session. There are blocs that want the participation of the American embassy in the discussions. The U.N. suggested a one-year postponement,” said Omar Abdul-Sattar, a member of the Sunni Arab Iraqi Islamic Party.

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By J. Koch, September 14, 2006 at 7:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The AP writer, P. Quinn, writes that, “Although Sunni Arabs operate some death squads, the vast majority are run by Shiite militias and gangs.”  I wonder if there is a real difference in sect proclivity towards militias, or if it simply reflects that one group outnumbers the other.  Neither do any of the press accounts clarify whether the victims occupy certain roles or belong to certain groups.  Are they targeted at random, based only on sect, or also because of political, business, blood reasons?  In any case, this could go on for years, and there is no fruitful role for US forces to play. Yet Bush tells voters that Baghdad is the central front in the war to avenge 9/11 martyrs.  No, he cannot really believe this, but it saves his political hide—which no Dem really want to wear.

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