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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

Talk Now with the Taliban (We're Going to End Up Having to Talk with Them Anyhow)

By Dave Lindorff

You had to love the headline the Philadelphia Inquirer put on the jump page of columnist Trudy Rubin’s Sunday commentary about word that the Obama administration is hoping to talk with at least some mid-level Taliban leaders about giving up the fight and “coming over” to the “government” side.

“Relax--No deal with Taliban is Imminent,” the headline read. “I suggest everyone take a deep breath,” Rubin wrote. “The US position toward talks with the Taliban has shifted somewhat, but no deal with top Taliban leaders is imminent, or even likely.”

Phew! Thank god for that! Imagine Americans actually sitting down and discussing peace just as we’re getting a good war on!

Leading Cause of Medical Evacuation out of War Zones: It's Not Combat Injury

ScienceDaily (Jan. 23, 2010) — The most common reasons for medical evacuation of military personnel from war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years have been fractures, tendonitis and other musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders, not combat injuries, according to results of a Johns Hopkins study published January 22 in The Lancet.

"Most people think that in a war, getting shot is the leading cause of medical evacuation, but it almost never is," says study leader Steven P. Cohen, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves. "As in the past, disease and non-battle-related injuries continue to be the major sources of service-member attrition and that's not likely to change. It's likely to get worse."

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Rise to 73,742

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Rise to 73,742
Compiled by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com

US military occupation forces in Iraq under Commander-in-Chief Obama suffered 13 combat casualties in the eight days ending January 20, 2010* as the official total since the 2003 invasion rose to at least 73,742. The total includes 35,111 dead and wounded from what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and more than 38,631 (as of Jan 5) 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 (4,377 as of Jan 20, 2010) but rarely mentioning the 31,633 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 4,377 reported deaths include 899 (no change) 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 The AP reported: This is a decrease from the Oct. 31, 2009 figure of 39,232. According to the DOD, medical air transport personnel data have been recently reclassified, resulting in lower totals.

US Magazine Claims Guantánamo Inmates Were Killed During Questioning

US magazine claims Guantánamo inmates were killed during questioning
Harper's investigation quotes camp staff who say suspects died in interrogation and their deaths were made to look like suicides
By Ian Cobain | Guardian.co.UK

US government officials may have conspired to conceal evidence that three Guantánamo Bay inmates could have been murdered during interrogations, according to a six-month investigation by American journalists.

All three may have been suffocated during questioning on the same evening and their deaths passed off as suicides by hanging, the joint investigation for Harper's Magazine and NBC News has concluded.

The magazine also suggests the cover-up may explain why the US government is reluctant to allow the release of Shaker Aamer, the last former British resident held at Guantánamo, as he is said to have alleged that he was part-suffocated while being tortured on the same evening.

"The cover-up is amazing in its audacity, and it is continuing into the Obama administration," said Scott Horton, the contributing editor for Harper's who conducted the investigation.

When the three men – Salah Ahmed al-Salami, 37, a Yemeni, and two Saudis, Talal al-Zahrani, 22, and Mani Shaman al-Utaybi, 30 – died in June 2006, the camp's commander declared that they had committed suicide and that this had been "an act of asymmetrical warfare", rather than one of desperation.

According to an official inquiry by the US navy, whose report was heavily censored before release, each man was found in his cell, hanging from bedsheets, with their hands bound and rags stuffed down their throats.

However, Horton spoke to four camp guards who alleged that when the bodies were taken to the camp's medical clinic they had definitely not come from their cell block, which they were guarding, and appeared to have been transfered from a "black site", known as Camp No, within Guantánamo, operated by either the CIA or a Pentagon intelligence agency. Read more.

Despite Prevention Efforts, U.S. Military Suicides Rise

Despite prevention efforts, U.S. military suicides rise
By Halimah Abdullah | McClatchy Newspapers

Eight years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq have etched indelible scars on the psyches of many of the nation's servicemen and women, and the U.S. military is losing a battle to stem an epidemic of suicides in its ranks.

Despite calls by top Pentagon officials for a sea change in attitudes about mental health, millions of dollars in new suicide prevention programming and thousands of hours spent helping soldiers suffering from what often are euphemistically dubbed "invisible wounds," the military is losing ground.

The Department of Defense Friday reported that there were 160 reported active-duty Army suicides in 2009, up from 140 in 2008. Of these, 114 have been confirmed, while the manner of death in the remaining 46 remains to be determined.

"There's no question that 2009 was a painful year for the Army when it came to suicides," said Col. Christopher Philbrick, the deputy director of the Army Suicide Prevention Task Force, in a statement, despite what he called "wide-ranging measures last year to confront the problem."

While the military's suicide rate is comparable to civilian rates, the increase last year is alarming because the armed services traditionally had lower suicide rates than the general population did. Read more.

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Rise to 73,729

Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Rise to 73,729
Compiled by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com

US military occupation forces in Iraq under Commander-in-Chief Obama suffered five combat casualties in the week ending January 12, 2010* as the official total since the 2003 invasion rose to at least 73,729. The total includes 35,098 dead and wounded from what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and more than 38,631 (as of Jan 5, 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 (4,377 as of Jan 12, 2010) but rarely mentioning the 31,620 wounded in combat. To further minimize public perception of the cost, they cover for the Pentagon by ignoring the 37,732 (as of Jan 2, 2010)*** military victims of accidents and illness serious enough to require medical air evacuation, although the 4,377 reported deaths include 899 (up two) 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 The AP reported: This is a decrease from the Oct. 31, 2009 figure of 39,232. According to the DOD, medical air transport personnel data have been recently reclassified, resulting in lower totals.

An Iranian Nuclear Physicist Is Murdered

An Iranian nuclear physicist is murdered
By Glenn Greenwald | Salon

Back in February, 2007, a controversy erupted when University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds advocated that, in response to Iran's nuclear activities, the U.S. should be "killing radical mullahs and iranian [sic] atomic scientists" -- in other words, have the U.S. Government select religious leaders and scientists it dislikes in Iran and just murder them, despite long-standing domestic and international legal prohibitions on exactly such programs.  Today, an Iranian nuclear scientist and professor at Tehran University, Massoud Ali Mohammadi, was killed when "when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle was triggered by remote control outside his home in the northern Tehran neighbourhood of Qeytariyeh."  Mohammadi taught neutron physics and "was the author of several articles on quantum and theoretical physics in scientific journals," though the extent of his involvement in Iran's nuclear program is unclear.

Although the Iranian government has issued a statement blaming the U.S. and Israel for this rather sophisticated and well-executed assassination, there is no actual evidence yet of who is responsible.  It's possible that the killing is related to Iran's complex internal conflicts rather than its nuclear program.  There is, however, ample evidence that the U.S. covertly provides various means of support to extremist groups which have previously carried out violent terrorist attacks inside Iran -- which, in other contexts, is called being a "state sponsor of terror."  In the very recent past, other Iranian nuclear scientists and officials have disappeared and ended up in the custody of the U.S. and its allies -- either abducted or defected, depending on who you believe.

Whatever else is true, this murder of Professor Mohammadi is rather clearly an act of pure terrorism.  As Kevin Drum wrote of Reynolds' proposal: Read more.

Waxman Attacks Winograd On Israel; Ignites A Political Firestorm

by Linda Milazzo

At the behest of his congressional ally, Jane Harman (CA-36), Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman (CA-30) has launched a mean-spirited ideological assault on Harman's Democratic primary challenger, Marcy Winograd, that is garnering disfavor for Waxman and Harman amongst Democratic voters.

Marcy Winograd

Marcy Winograd

In a move characterized by one Harman constituent as desperate, Waxman sent the following letter to Harman's Jewish supporters, attacking and misquoting Winograd's position on the issue of Israel/Palestine. Here is the text of Waxman's letter, distributed on his letterhead:

Looking for Green Shoots in an Economic Desert?

By Dave Lindorff

So much for economic “green shoots.”

The Obama administration and the Federal Reserve, along with the servile corporate media, have been quick to grasp at and trumpet every little suggestion that things might be improving, as they did when the Labor Dept. announced last week that new unemployment claims had dropped to “just” 434,000, from a high of 684,000 in the week ended March 28 or last year.

Or when the Commerce Dept. reported last month that November housing starts had risen by 8.9% compared to the prior month.

Of course, what none of the rosy analysts and politicians mention is that the number of new unemployment claims would be bound to fall even if the economy were getting worse, because so many of the people who are covered by unemployment insurance have been laid off already for months, or even for more than a year already, and so the total pool of those eligible to file claims is much smaller.

Afghan War Kills Three Children A Day: Report


Afghan war kills three children a day: report
By Agence France-Presse | Raw Story

Children are the biggest victims of the war in Afghanistan, with more than 1,050 people under 18 years old killed last year alone, according to an Afghan human rights watchdog.

Taliban-linked militants caused around 64 percent of all violent child deaths last year, the Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) said in a report.

Children were also press-ganged, sexually exploited, deprived of health and education, and illegally detained by all sides in a war that is dragging into its ninth year since the US-led invasion toppled the Taliban regime.

"At least three children were killed in war-related incidents every day in 2009 and many others suffered in diverse but mostly unreported ways," ARM director Ajmal Samadi said.

Children died in suicide attacks and roadside bombings -- at the crux of the Taliban's arsenal against US, NATO and Afghan troops fighting the increasingly virulent insurgency as it spreads across the impoverished country. Read more.

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