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Casualties

When the US and NATO Get Caught Committing Atrocities in Afghanistan, the Default Response is Lie and Blame the Messenger

By Dave Lindorff

London Times reporter Jerome Starkey has broken two stories of US/NATO atrocities in Afghanistan over the past month or so, the first the execution-style slaying of eight innocent Afghan students and a visiting 12-year-old shepherd boy, and the second the killing of a popular government police commander, a local government prosecutor, two pregnant women and a teenage girl.

The US/NATO response was first to lie about what happened (military spokesmen first claimed that the students had been a bomb squad and that they'd died in a firefight, and they claimed that the pregnant women had been "discovered" bound and gagged). Then, when Starkey interviewed locals and blew the lies apart, the military command under Gen. Stanley McChrystal took a more insidious step, trying to malign Starkey and his reporting.

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Jump to 74,768

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Jump to 74,768****
Compiled by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com

US military occupation forces in Iraq under Commander-in-Chief Obama suffered nine combat casualties in the week ending March 23, 2010* as the official total since the 2003 invasion rose to at least 74,768. The total includes 35,219 dead and wounded from what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and more than 39,549 (as of March 6, 2010) dead, injured and sick from "non-hostile" causes requiring medical evacuation.

The actual total is well over 100,000 because the Pentagon chooses not to count as "Iraq casualties" the more than 30,000 veterans whose injuries-mainly brain trauma from explosions - were diagnosed only after they had left Iraq.** In addition, Iraq Coalition Casualties names eight service members who died of wounds after they left Iraq but are not counted by the Pentagon.

US media divert attention from the actual cost in American life and limb by occasionally reporting only the total killed (4,390 as of March 23, 2010) but rarely mentioning the 31,739 wounded in combat. To further minimize public perception of the cost, they almost always ignore the 39,549 (as of March 6, 2010)*** military victims of accidents and illness serious enough to require medical air evacuation, although the 4,390 reported deaths include 910 (up one this week) who died from those same causes, including at least 18 from faulty electrical work by KBR and 204 suicides through March 6, 2010.***

* The number of wounded is updated weekly (usually Tuesday).
** New York Times, Jan 26, 2009
*** http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/oif-total.pdf
**** last week, 793 was transposed, it was 74,739

Trauma of War Doubles Asthma Risk Among Civilians

ScienceDaily (Mar. 16, 2010) — Living through the trauma of war seems to increase the risk of developing asthma, suggests research published ahead of print in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Those who are most traumatised are twice as likely to develop the condition as those who are least traumatised by their experiences of war, the research suggests.

The authors base their findings on a random sample of just over 2000 Kuwaiti civilians who endured the Iraqi invasion and seven month occupation of their country in 1990, and were aged between 50 and 69 at the time.

Heart Abnormalities Diagnosed in World Trade Center Workers

ScienceDaily (Mar. 16, 2010)— Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine are presenting more than 20 ground-breaking studies at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 59th annual scientific session (ACC.10) in Atlanta. Their research includes data showing that the World Trade Center (WTC) collapse has caused potentially dangerous heart problems in responders on-site.

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Jump to 74,759

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Jump to 74,759****
Compiled by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com

US military occupation forces in Iraq under Commander-in-Chief Obama suffered 17 combat casualties in the week ending March 16, 2010* as the official total since the 2003 invasion rose to at least 74,759. The total includes 35,211 dead and wounded from what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and more than 39,548 (as of March 6, 2010) dead, injured and sick from "non-hostile" causes requiring medical evacuation.

The actual total is well over 100,000 because the Pentagon chooses not to count as "Iraq casualties" the more than 30,000 veterans whose injuries-mainly brain trauma from explosions - were diagnosed only after they had left Iraq.** In addition, Iraq Coalition Casualties names eight service members who died of wounds after they left Iraq but are not counted by the Pentagon.

US media divert attention from the actual cost in American life and limb by occasionally reporting only the total killed (4,388 as of March 16, 2010) but rarely mentioning the 31,732 wounded in combat. To further minimize public perception of the cost, they almost always ignore the 38,548 (as of March 6, 2010)*** military victims of accidents and illness serious enough to require medical air evacuation, although the 4,388 reported deaths include 909 (up three this week) who died from those same causes, including at least 18 from faulty electrical work by KBR and 204 suicides through March 6, 2010.***

The 1,000 Day Siege of Gaza

The 1,000 Day Siege of Gaza
By Ann Wright

This week marked 1,000 days of an Israeli and international siege on Gaza—1,000 days of an open air prison where “inmates”, the civilian Palestinian population of 1.5 million, cannot leave or enter at will -by land, sea or air, the tiny area known as the Gaza Strip.

60 years after the World War II Nazi military siege of Leningrad that lasted for 900 days and caused the greatest destruction and largest loss of life ever known in a modern city, the Israeli military has imprisoned Gaza for 1,000 days. The blockade has caused incredible physical and emotional suffering those crowded into an incredibly small space-25 miles long and 5 miles wide—one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

The siege means that the Israeli government controls the entry of food, medicines, and gasoline and construction materials for the Palestinians. The purpose of the blockade is to force by blatantly violating international law, a change in the government represented by Hamas, the political organization the people elected. The siege began in June, 2007, following Hamas' takeover of governmental functions in Gaza.

Hamas is named by the Israeli and American governments a “terrorist” organization because its militant wing and other militant groups in Gaza, have fired homemade unguided rockets at border villages of Israel which have killed 30 Israelis over the years.

Compounding the siege, a year ago, in a disproportionate use of force that violated international law, the Israeli military, the largest and most powerful in the region, attacked the people of Gaza with U.S. provided F-16 jet fighters, Apache attack helicopters, rocket firing unmanned drones, white phosphorus and dense inert metal explosive bombs. The attack killed 1,440 persons, wounded 5,000, left 50,000 homeless and destroyed schools, hospitals, and civil infrastructure including the water facility and the sewage plant for the entire area.

As one could predict, the siege and the attack have caused the people of Gaza to suffer from long term low levels of nutrition and lack of appropriate medical treatment and care. Most children and many adults have the symptoms of post traumatic stress from the indiscriminate violence waged on them by the Israeli military.

This Timne It's Pregnant Women: Another US Atrocity in the Bush/Cheney War in Afghanistan

By Dave LIndorff

Another night-time raid on a housing compound in Afghanistan. Another bunch of innocent Afghans killed. Another round of lies by the US-led forces of the so-called International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Only this time, among the dead are two pregnant mothers and a teenage girl.

And once again the US media remain mute, accepting the official story, which was of ISAF forces responding to an attack which in reality appears never to have happened.

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Jump to 74,793

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Jump to 74,793
Compiled by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com

US military occupation forces in Iraq under Commander-in-Chief Obama suffered 10 combat casualties in the week ending March 9, 2010* as the official total since the 2003 invasion rose to at least 74,793. The total includes 35,194 dead and wounded from what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and more than 39,545 (as of March 6, 2010) dead, injured and sick from "non-hostile" causes requiring medical evacuation.

The actual total is over 100,000 because the Pentagon chooses not to count as "Iraq casualties" the more than 30,000 veterans whose injuries-mainly brain trauma from explosions - were diagnosed only after they had left Iraq.** In addition, Iraq Coalition Casualties names eight service members who died of wounds after they left Iraq but are not counted by the Pentagon.

US media divert attention from the actual cost in American life and limb by occasionally reporting only the total killed (4,384 as of March 9, 2010) but rarely mentioning the 31,716 wounded in combat. To further minimize public perception of the cost, they almost always ignore the 38,545 (as of March 6, 2010)*** military victims of accidents and illness serious enough to require medical air evacuation, although the 4,384 reported deaths include 906 (no change) who died from those same causes, including at least 18 from faulty electrical work by KBR and 204 suicides through March 6, 2010.***

* The number of wounded is updated weekly (usually Tuesday).
** New York Times, Jan 26, 2009
*** http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/oif-total.pdf

Rachel Corrie’s (Posthumous) Day in Court

Rachel Corrie’s (Posthumous) Day in Court
By Amy Goodman | Truthdig

An unusual trial begins in Israel this week, and people around the world will be watching closely. It involves the tragic death of a 23-year-old American student named Rachel Corrie. On March 16, 2003, she was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer.

Corrie was volunteering with the group International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which formed after Israel and the United States rejected a proposal by then-United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson to place international human rights monitors in the occupied territories. The ISM defines itself as “a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.” Israel was building a large steel wall to separate Rafah from Egypt, and was bulldozing homes and gardens to create a “buffer zone.” Corrie and seven other ISM activists responded to a call on that March day to protect the home of the Nasrallah family, which was being threatened with demolition by two of the armored Israeli military bulldozers made by the U.S. company Caterpillar.

Cindy Corrie, Rachel’s mother, related what happened: “The bulldozer proceeded toward Rachel. ... She was in her orange jacket. When it kept coming, she rose on the mound, and the eyewitnesses testified that her head rose above the top of the blade of the bulldozer, so she could clearly be seen, but the bulldozer continued and proceeded over her, and so that it was covering her body. It stopped and then reversed, according to the eyewitness testimonies, without lifting its blade, so backed over her once again.

“Her friends were screaming at the bulldozer drivers through this to stop. They rushed to her, and she said to them, ‘I think my back is broken.’ And those were her final words.” Read more.

Media Blackout on Agent Orange: Coverage Ignores Effects on Vietnamese Victims

By Dave Lindorff

From Extra!, January 2010

In mid-October, hundreds of thousands of Vietnam-era veterans got some good if grim news: The Veterans Administration announced it was adding three more diseases to the 11 others it automatically presumes to have been caused by exposure to Agent Orange, the dioxin-laced herbicide spread by the U.S. military across much of South Vietnam to deny crops and cover to North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters during the war.

Newspapers and radio and TV news programs across America ran stories announcing that veterans of the jungle war who now suffer or may eventually suffer from Parkinson’s Disease, ischemic heart disease or a type of cancer called hairy-cell leukemia will henceforth automatically be offered free medical care by the VA if they’d spent at least one day in uniform on the ground in Vietnam.

Disturbing Story Of Fallujah's Birth Defects

Disturbing story of Fallujah's birth defects
By John Simpson | BBC News

Six years after the intense fighting began in the Iraqi town of Fallujah between US forces and Sunni insurgents, there is a disturbingly large number of cases of birth defects in the town.

Fallujah is less than 40 miles (65km) from Baghdad, but it can still be dangerous to get to.

As a result, there has been no authoritative medical investigation, certainly by any Western team, into the allegations that the weapons used by the Americans are still causing serious problems. Read more.

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Rise to 74,417

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Rise to 74,417
Compiled by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com

US military occupation forces in Iraq under Commander-in-Chief Obama suffered 13 combat casualties in the week ending March 2, 2010* as the official total since the 2003 invasion rose to at least 74,417. The total includes 35,184 dead and wounded from what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and more than 39,233 (as of Feb 6, 2010) dead, injured and sick from "non-hostile" causes requiring medical evacuation.

The actual total is over 100,000 because the Pentagon chooses not to count as "Iraq casualties" the more than 30,000 veterans whose injuries-mainly brain trauma from explosions - were diagnosed only after they had left Iraq.** In addition, Iraq Coalition Casualties names eight service members who died of wounds after they left Iraq but are not counted by the Pentagon.

US media divert attention from the actual cost in American life and limb by occasionally reporting only the total killed (4,384 as of March 2) but rarely mentioning the 31,706 wounded in combat. To further minimize public perception of the cost, they almost always ignore the 38,327 (as of Feb 6, 2010)*** military victims of accidents and illness serious enough to require medical air evacuation, although the 4,384 reported deaths include 906 (up four) who died from those same causes, including at least 18 from faulty electrical work by KBR and 202 suicides through Feb 6.***

* The number of wounded is updated weekly (usually Tuesday).
** New York Times, Jan 26, 2009
*** http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/oif-total.pdf

1-2-3 What are We Fighting For?

By Dave Lindorff

The stated goal of the US-led War in Afghanistan, according to the Obama Administration, is to defeat the Taliban and establish a stable democratic government over the entire country. Critical to that goal is establishing a professional Afghan army and police force that is not corrupt, and that has the respect of the Afghan people.

But reports out of Canada suggest that far from creating such a military and police force, the so-called International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) is turning a blind eye to the thuggish criminality of those organizations, both to avoid growing opposition in ISAF member countries, and to avoid offending those organizations in Afghanistan.

The issue in question is routine rape and sodomy of children by Afghan soldiers and police operating on Canadian-run bases in the Kandahar region.

U.S. Military Casualties Reach 1,000 in Terrorism Campaign, Says Pentagon

U.S. Military Casualties Reach 1,000 in Terrorism Campaign
Milestone Reached in Operation Enduring Freedom, U.S. Deaths Expected to Rise
By Devin Dwyer, Luis Martinez and Mike Gudgell | ABC News

Of the 1,001 U.S. troops and two department civilians killed in Operation Enduring Freedom, the majority have lost their lives in the war in Afghanistan. The number of U.S. fatalities in or around Afghanistan stands at 925. The Pentagon's definition of "in or around" refers to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

The Pentagon keeps a separate tally of fallen service members and Defense department civilians who have died supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. 4,371 military service members and 13 department civilians have been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to Pentagon reports.

The number of U.S. fatalities in Afghanistan is nearing the 1,000 milestone as well...

The latest Pentagon figures do not include CIA, Drug Enforcement Administration or other civilians killed in the war...We lost 15 soldiers and Marines in November. We lost 44 in October. Casualties will vary as we go into the winter, but come spring, those casualties will grow."

"Every life is precious," Gates said. "Some experts say the numbers released today are simply one count of a complex method of tracking the human toll of the counterterrorism fight and that the total number of American lives lost in the campaign is actually higher...Read more.

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Rise to 74,400

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Rise to 74,400
Compiled by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com

US military occupation forces in Iraq under Commander-in-Chief Obama suffered 23 combat casualties in the week ending February 23, 2010* as the official total since the 2003 invasion rose to at least 74,400. The total includes 35,171 dead and wounded from what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and more than 39,229 (as of Feb 6, 2010) dead, injured and sick from "non-hostile" causes requiring medical evacuation.

The actual total is over 100,000 because the Pentagon chooses not to count as "Iraq casualties" the more than 30,000 veterans whose injuries-mainly brain trauma from explosions - were diagnosed only after they had left Iraq.** In addition, Iraq Coalition Casualties names eight service members who died of wounds after they left Iraq but are not counted by the Pentagon.

US media divert attention from the actual cost in American life and limb by occasionally reporting only the total killed (4,380 as of Feb 23, 2010) but rarely mentioning the 31,693 wounded in combat. To further minimize public perception of the cost, they almost always ignore the 38,327 (as of Feb 6, 2010)*** military victims of accidents and illness serious enough to require medical air evacuation, although the 4,380 reported deaths include 902 (up one) who died from those same causes, including at least 18 from faulty electrical work by KBR and 202 suicides through Feb 6, 2010.***

* The number of wounded is updated weekly (usually Tuesday).
** New York Times, Jan 26, 2009
*** http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/oif-total.pdf

An Accidental Experience with a Health System that Seems to Work

By Dave Lindorff

Geneva, Switzerland--As I write this article, I’m seated in a hotel room across from the train station in Geneva, Switzerland. There’s a slight, dull pain in my forehead from a two-inch line of stitches that are pulling together a gash that runs diagonally across my brow, thanks to a stumble on a high step on a sidewalk in the rain last night, that sent me flying airborne headfirst into a round metal lamppost.

I have been covering the Fourth Congress Against the Death Penalty sponsored by the United Nations and the international abolition movement, which brought together anti-death penalty groups from all over the world, and featured talks and workshops with a number of people, several from the US, who had spent years and even decades on death rows before being found innocent of the crimes that had put them there.

UN: 346 Afghan Children Killed In 2009, More Than Half By NATO

UN: 346 Afghan Children Killed In 2009, More Than Half By NATO | Monsters & Critics

The United Nations said Wednesday that 346 children were killed in Afghanistan last year, more than half of them by NATO forces, mostly in airstrikes.

'In 2009, 346 children were killed,' Radhika Coomaraswamy, the special representative of the UN secretary general for children and armed conflict, said in Kabul after a seven-day visit the country.

She said 131 children were killed in airstrikes, while 22 were killed in nighttime raids by international special forces.

Taliban militants were responsible for the deaths of 128 children last year, with seven of the children used by militants as suicide bombers, she said. In 38 cases, it was not possible to determine who had killed the children.

More than 2,400 civilians were killed last year, the deadliest for Afghan civilians since the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001, according to the UN. Read more.

Terrorists or Internists? What's the Real Threat?

Sepsis and Pneumonia Caused by Hospital-Acquired Infections Kill 48,000 Patients, Cost $8.1 Billion to Treat

ScienceDaily (Feb. 22, 2010) — Two common conditions caused by hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) killed 48,000 people and ramped up health care costs by $8.1 billion in 2006 alone, according to a study released in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

This is the largest nationally representative study to date of the toll taken by sepsis and pneumonia, two conditions often caused by deadly microbes, including the antibiotic-resistant bacteria MRSA. Such infections can lead to longer hospital stays, serious complications and even death.

Daytona Beach, Tomorrow Night! Milestone: 1,000 Americans KIA In Afghanisan Action: "Stop The Wars Now!"

We've reached a sad milestone in Afghanistan. Today, Monday, February 22, 2010, it was reported that 1,000 U.S. Troops have now been killed in action (KIA) in Afghanistan. The name of the soldier and other details, other than being killed by an improvised explosive devise (IED), have yet to be released. For more information about troops killed in both Afghanistan and Iraq, go to www.icasualties.org on line.

To recognize the 1,000th KIA in Afghanistan and to say "enough" to continued killing there due to the 9-year U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, there will be an Emergency Antiwar Protest in Daytona Beach tomorrow evening, Tuesday February 23rd, beginning at 6:00 PM and ending at 8:00 PM on the Northwest corner of Nova Road and International Speedway Boulevard in front of the Steak N Shake. The street address is 1000 W. International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114 and directions can be found on line here.

This event is being billed as "Afghanistan - 1,000 KIA - Enough Already, Bring Them Home Now!".

There will be TV and Print News Media on site reporting on the event.

This event will not be a vigil, but rather a spirited demand that our government Stop The Wars Now!

Attendees are asked to bring signs such as those suggested in the notice.

For more information click "Read more." Click "File attachment" for flyer.

For more details, please see the Media Alert in the attached flyer or contact Phil Restino of Central Florida Veterans For Peace (VFP Chapter 136), cell: (386) 235-3268, hm: (386) 788-2918, email: CentralFlaVFP@aol.com. Thank you.

Holland Has Had Enough: Killing of Innocent Civilians Goes on Apace in Afghanistan

By Dave Lindorff

The civilian death toll in the US media-hyped and much government-touted Battle of Marjah is now up to 21, about a third of them children. But that’s only part of this ugly story.

While the slaughter goes on in this pointless display of Marine power, civilians have been dying at American hands elsewhere in Afghanistan. On Thursday a US airstrike allegedly targeting “insurgents” ended up hitting and killing seven Afghani policemen. And yesterday, another airstrike, this time on a “convoy” of three vehicles, killed an astonishing 27-33 civilians and injured at least 12 more--and given the vicious nature of American weaponry, it’s a fair bet that many of those who were injured will end up dying of their wounds too.

Nice work Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Your newly professed “concern” about protecting civilians is working out nicely.

998 KIA As Of Today! NYC Prepares To Mark 1,000 American GIs Killed In Afghanistan


Joan Wile of the Granny Peace Brigade writes:

THE G.I. FATALITY COUNT IN AFGHANISTAN IS 998 TODAY, FRIDAY, FEB. 19, ACCORDING TO ICASUALTIES.ORG.

THEREFORE, WE MUST BE ON ALERT AND EXPECT THAT WITHIN THE NEXT DAY OR SO IT WILL REACH 1,000.

So, please keep checking icasualties.org, and remember that the day after it hits 1,000 we will meet at 5:30 p.m. on the west side of 5th Ave. between 49th and 50th Sts (the Grandmothers Against the War, Granny Peace Brigade, and Veterans for Peace 6-year plus regular weekly vigil site). I will send a notice the minute I see the count has reached the dreaded number.

Many groups will be joining us -- Peace Action NYS; Veterans for Peace; the Granny Peace Brigade; the Raging Grannies; Code Pink; and others.

State Senator Bill Perkins has promised to be there if the day does not fall on a day he is in Albany. Other leaders and celebrities are being invited to speak, as well. In addition, we will read the names of G.I. and Afghan civilian fatalities. At the end of the hour's vigil at 6:30, we will silently walk to the recruiting station at Times Square for some songs and talk.

INASMUCH AS THE MEDIA HAS BEEN INVITED, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE A BIG SHOWING SO THAT WE CAN SEND A STRONG MESSAGE TO THE WARMAKERS. PLEASE MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO BE THERE.

Please remember to bring candles and/or flashlights. I will be making a number of black armbands created by John Bolstrom of NYS Peace Action. There are two files attached. One can be printed out on paper and worn. The other is a template that can be used to cut for painting onto ribbon or material.

Media Alert: Antiwar Protest in Daytona Beach To Mark 1,000 KIA

MEDIA ALERT: Antiwar Protest in Daytona Beach to mark 1,000 KIA

Afghanistan - 1,000 KIA - Enough Already, Bring Them Home Now!

As of today, Friday February 19, 2010, there have been 998 U.S. troops Killed in Action (KIA) in Afghanistan. On the day following the 1,000th U.S. soldier KIA in Afghanistan ... which should be any day now ... there will be an emergency Antiwar Protest in Daytona Beach billed as "Afghanistan - 1,000 KIA - Enough Already, Bring Them Home Now!".

Note: This event will not be a vigil, but rather a spirited demand that our government Stop The Wars Now!

The only thing worse than sending our soldiers to die in vain in Afghanistan and Iraq is for the American people to allow, by their consent of silence and indifference, more of our soldiers to die in vain.

What have you done today to end the senseless U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Join us and get involved!

Call your Representative today at (800) 828-0498 or (202) 224-3121 and tell them to vote NO on War Funding!

When:

From 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm on the day after the 1,000th U.S. soldier is KIA in Afghanistan.

(Note: If 1,000th KIA is on a Saturday, then the protest will be held 2 days after on a Monday.)

As of Friday Feb. 19th, 2010 there have been 998 Killed in Action (KIA) in Afghanistan.

(Go to http://www.icasualties.org for the up-to-date total of U.S. soldiers KIA in Afghanistan and Iraq)

Where:

Daytona Beach at the Northwest corner of Nova Road and International Speedway Boulevard in front of the Steak N Shake.

For more information click "Read more." Click "File attachment" for flyer.

"Mass Casualties": The Dark Underbelly of Occupation, An Army Medic's Account

"Mass Casualties": The Dark Underbelly of Occupation, an Army Medic's Account
By Dahr Jamail | Truthout

"Look around," the drill sergeant said. "In a few years, or even a few months, several of you will be dead. Some of you will be severely wounded or so badly mutilated that your own mother can't stand the sight of you. And for the real unlucky ones, you will come home so emotionally disfigured that you wish you had died over there."

"It was Week 7 of basic training ... eighteen years old and I was preparing myself to die," said Michael Anthony in "Mass Casualties: A Young Medic's True Story of Death, Deception and Dishonor in Iraq." The book is more than a simple memoir about a difficult experience. It is an insider's scathing testimony of an ongoing illegal and unethical military action in a distant, once-sovereign state, by the US. Perhaps, this fresh account will raise some outcry over an issue that has all but dropped out of the American public's radar.

Following the family legacy of military service, Anthony enlisted in the military at 17. The image he had nurtured of the idealism of military life, however, ran aground upon his arrival in Iraq, where he served as a medic in an operating room (OR) at a US military base.

"Mass Casualties" is a collection of Anthony's personal journal entries from his time in Iraq. It includes his introspections on and insights into the inherently irrational and meaningless nature of military life. The rawness of the narrative reveals how the occupation broke down the young soldier's spirit and almost desensitized him into believing "my job isn't to feel." Read more.

Doubling of Childhood Leukemia Rates Confirmed in Southern Iraq

ScienceDaily (Feb. 18, 2010) — Childhood leukemia rates have more than doubled over the last 15 years in the southern Iraq province of Basrah, according to the study, "Trends in Childhood Leukaemia in Basrah, Iraq (1993-2007), published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The authors, three of whom are from the University of Washington, say they hope their calculations can now pave the way for an investigation into reasons why the rates have climbed so high, and why they are higher than found in nearby Kuwait, or in the European Union or the United States.

The study documents 698 cases of leukemia for children aged 0-14 during the 15-year period, with a peak of 211 cases in 2006. Younger children had higher rates than older ones.

Battle for Marjah: The US has Already Lost

By Dave Lindorff

The fighting is still underway in the town of Marjah, in what is being described as the first battle in Obama’s War in Afghanistan, or alternatively as the biggest battle of the US War in Afghanistan. But already, the US has lost that battle.

It lost it from day one, when troops fired missiles in to a Marjah house, killing 12 civilian occupants--half of them children. And it lost it further when another three more civilians were blown away by US-led forces. Finally, it lost the battle as much of the town has been simply destroyed by the fighting.

US Iraq Casualties Jump to 74,357

US Iraq Casualties Jump to 74,357
Compiled by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com

US military occupation forces in Iraq under Commander-in-Chief Obama suffered four combat casualties in the period ending February 16, 2010* as the official total since the 2003 invasion jumped sharply to at least 74,357. The total includes 35,130 dead and wounded from what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and more than 39,227 (as of Feb 6) dead, injured and sick from "non-hostile" causes requiring medical evacuation.

The actual total is over 100,000 because the Pentagon chooses not to count as "Iraq casualties" the more than 30,000 veterans whose injuries - mainly brain trauma from explosions - were diagnosed only after they had left Iraq.** In addition, Iraq Coalition Casualties names eight service members who died of wounds after they left Iraq but are not counted by the Pentagon.

US media divert attention from the actual cost in American life and limb by occasionally reporting only the total killed (4,379 as of Feb. 16, 2010) but rarely mentioning the 31,651 wounded in combat. To further minimize public perception of the cost, they almost always ignore the 38,327 (as of Feb 16, 2010)*** military victims of accidents and illness serious enough to require medical air evacuation, although the 4,379 reported deaths include 900 (no change) who died from those same causes, including at least 18 from faulty electrical work by KBR and 197 suicides through Feb 16, 2010.***

Key:

* The number of wounded is updated weekly (usually Tuesday).
** New York Times, Jan 26, 2009
*** http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/oif-total.pdf

Gore Sells, but Not American Gore

By Dave Lindorff

NBC, the Military Industry Network owned by General Electric, at least unless or until it is sold to Comcast, was, along with most of the rest of the US corporate media, outraged when, last year, the Associated Press circulated, and some newspapers ran, a photo of an American marine, Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard, dying after being shot in battle in Afghanistan.

There was all kinds of high-minded talk about the protecting the dignity of the dead, and about how it was not appropriate to show such images without the permission of the deceased’s close relatives.

But then how to explain the spectacle of poor Notar Kumaritashvili, the 21-year-old luge rider from the Georgian olympic team. Kumaritashvili had the misfortune of hitting the edge of the luge shute he was on during a training run in British Columbia, and, at a speed of 89 mph, he was thrown from his sled and over the safety wall into the air, where he hit a steel pole, which killed him.

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Rise to 73,758

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Rise to 73,758
Compiled by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com

US military occupation forces in Iraq under Commander-in-Chief Obama suffered nine combat casualties in the week ending February 2, 2010* as the official total since the 2003 invasion rose to at least 73,758. The total includes 35,126 dead and wounded from what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and more than 38,632 (as of Jan 2, 2010) dead, injured and sick from "non-hostile" causes requiring medical evacuation.

The actual total is over 100,000 because the Pentagon chooses not to count as "Iraq casualties" the more than 30,000 veterans whose injuries-mainly brain trauma from explosions - were diagnosed only after they had left Iraq.** In addition, Iraq Coalition Casualties names eight service members who died of wounds after they left Iraq but are not counted by the Pentagon.

US media divert attention from the actual cost in American life and limb by occasionally reporting only the total killed (4,378 as of Feb 2, 2010) but rarely mentioning the 31,648 wounded in combat. To further minimize public perception of the cost, they almost always ignore the 37,732 (as of Jan 2,2010)*** military victims of accidents and illness serious enough to require medical air evacuation, although the 4,378 reported deaths include 900 (up one) who died from those same causes, including at least 18 from faulty electrical work by KBR and 197 suicides through Jan. 2, 2010.***

Key:

* The number of wounded is updated weekly (usually Tuesday).
** New York Times, Jan 26, 2009
*** http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/oif-total.pdf

Autopsy: FBI Agents Shot Detroit Imam 21 Times

Autopsy: FBI Agents Shot Detroit Imam 21 Times | Democracy NOW!

In Michigan, explosive details have emerged from the long-awaited release of the autopsy report for a Detroit-area Muslim imam slain by the FBI in October. The imam, Luqman Ameen Abdullah, headed a Sunni Muslim group called the Ummah. He was shot dead during an FBI raid shortly after being indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit federal crimes. Local Muslim leaders have questioned if authorities are trying to cover up facts surrounding his death. The autopsy report was finally released Monday after a lengthy delay. It shows Abdullah died from twenty-one gunshot wounds and was found with his wrists handcuffed behind his back. House Judiciary Chair John Conyers is expected to join a coalition of civil rights and Muslim groups today to call for a Justice Department probe.

Imam's autopsy report stuns widow
By Ben Schmitt | Freep.com

The widow of a Detroit imam shot to death by FBI agents said today that she was appalled to learn her husband died from 21 gunshot wounds.

“It’s really hard and it’s really painful for me,” Amina Abdullah, 36, said of the autopsy report detailing the death of Luqman Ameen Abdullah. “I was shocked. I was almost going to faint. I couldn’t eat, and I couldn’t sleep.”

Amina Abdullah was married 10 years to the imam, said her attorney Nabih Ayad. Ayad also said the government is trying to deport her to Tanzania.

“She’s concerned about going back home,” Ayad said.

Amina Abdullah appeared at a news conference this morning in Detroit with U.S. Rep John Conyers, who is calling for an independent investigation into the imam’s Oct. 28 death in a Dearborn warehouse.

Ayad told reporters he would also like a second autopsy done because he is concerned about reports of lacerations to Abdullah’s hands and wonders if an FBI dog bit him before he fired back. Read more.

New York Peace Grannies to Mark 1000th American Death in Afghanistan at Rockefeller Center

NEW YORK PEACE GRANNIES TO MARK 1000TH AMERICAN DEATH IN AFGHANISTAN AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER | Press Release

As the American military death toll nears the 1,000 mark in Afghanistan, anti-war grandmothers and their supporters are preparing in advance to mark the grim occasion. The grannies held special commemorations for the 3,000th and 4,000th American death in Iraq, and now are planning to perform the same heartbreaking task for those unfortunate soldiers sacrificed to the war in Afghanistan.

"Perhaps most of the public is not much concerned with these wars and their casualties, but the peace grannies always have been, are now and will continue to be until they are stopped," said 94-year-old Lillian Pollak, an active member of the Granny Peace Brigade, one of the organizers of the event. "We will publicly acknowledge the carnage in the hope that we will awaken citizens to the fact that the wars are still being waged with their resultant unjustified death and destruction -- not only of our own young people but of countless innocent civilians. We must not let up in our efforts to end these immoral occupations."

Please be advised that a special memorial will be held the day AFTER the 1,000th fatality is announced. People are asked to meet at 5:30 p.m. at the site of the regular Wednesday Rockefeller Center Grandmothers Against the War vigil -- the west side of Fifth Ave. between 49th and 50th Sts. They will vigil there for approximately one hour and then slowly walk to the recruitment center in Times Square for a short appearance. The grannies will be joined by Veterans for Peace, who regularly stand with them on Wednesdays, and other loyal followers.

It is requested that people bring candles and flashlights. Names of the dead will be read. Celebrated persons in in the arts and government have been invited to eulogize the lost lives.

The count is as of this date (Feb. 1) 977, so it is likely that the 1,000th death will occur within the next month or two. Those who plan to attend are asked to be vigilant in observing the count so that they can participate at the right moment.

Regretfully, the casualties continue to mount in Iraq, as well, though not to the extent they have in the past. American deaths there now total 4,375. Hopefully, the U.S. will have pulled out before the total reaches the dreaded 5,000. Rest assured, the indomitable grannies will continue their non-stop efforts to make this a reality.

DATE: The day AFTER the 1,000th American casualty is reached in Afghanistan
TIME: 5:30 - 6:30 P.M.
PLACE: West side of 5th Ave. between 49th and 50th Sts. -- then walk to Times Square Recruiting Center, 44th and Broadway

###

CONTACT: Joan Wile -- 917-441-0651

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