Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 06, 2008

This Week In Baghdad

Today the Washington Post reports:

Gen. David H. Petraeus has decided to reduce the number of U.S. combat brigades in Iraq from 15 to 14 about six weeks earlier than planned, as a result of dramatically lower violence there, Pentagon officials said yesterday.
The departing brigade has served in Baghdad, where attack levels have plunged.
Combat Brigade Is Cut 6 Weeks Early in Iraq

Petraeus is right to withdraw troops from Iraq. He is wrong in asserting 'dramatically lower violence there.' That is simply a lie to justify moving troops to Afghanistan as his new Commander in Chief demands.

There are 150,000 U.S. soldiers and ten thousands of security-contractors in Iraq. But they seem to make little difference to the ongoing violence.

There were at some twenty bomb explosions in Baghdad in just the last four days. The civil war is back in Iraq and there is nothing the U.S. can do about it. The war will stop only after the U.S. has left.


One of the explosions hit the busy Karrada district, damaging many shops.
One bomb was detonated outside a police building in eastern Baghdad, and then as people ran away, a second bomb was set off in their path.

Police appeared to have been the target in the most serious attack, but it claimed the lives of six civilians.

In the third explosion, the deputy oil minister of Iraq escaped a bomb attack on his convoy with minor injuries but a bodyguard was seriously hurt.

One policeman was killed in a bombing north of Baghdad, while another bomb exploded near a police patrol in west Baghdad, injuring one policeman and a civilian, police said.
Seven dead in Baghdad bomb blasts


Seven people were killed and 18 wounded when a bomb exploded in the depot in the eastern Baghdad neighbourhood of Al-Mashda, the officials said.

In a similar attack, four people were killed and eight wounded when a roadside bomb went off in Al-Qahira in the north of the capital, they said.

One person was killed and seven wounded when a bomb planted in their car, part of a government convoy, exploded in the central Karrada district.

A civilian was killed and five wounded when a bomb blew up in a car near the University of Technology in Baghdad, the security officials said.

In another attack, a policeman was killed and three others wounded when they were shot at by gunmen driving in a vehicle in the the southeastern Baghdad district of Al-Gadhir.

An Iraqi police major was also wounded along with his two sons when a bomb planted in their car exploded in Al-Wahda in the centre of the capital.
String of Baghdad bombings kill 14


A car bomb near a checkpoint on the road to Baghdad's airport killed four people and wounded nine on Wednesday, police said.

Two policemen were among the dead and three policemen were among the wounded in the blast, which took place by a statue near a major checkpoint outside the heavily guarded airport, police said.
Four killed in Baghdad airport road blast


The deadliest attack Thursday came near a checkpoint in central Baghdad when two bombs exploded during the morning rush hour, police said. Four people were killed and seven wounded in the blasts.

Another bomb targeting a government convoy injured six people, police and hospital officials said. Police said the convoy was carrying city workers. The police spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not supposed to release information.

The twin blasts in the capital's Sunni enclave of Sheik Omar happened at a checkpoint manned by members of an Awakening Council, the mostly Sunni groups that have joined forces with the Americans against al-Qaida in Iraq.

Another two Awakening Council members was killed in a bombing just before noon in southeastern Baghdad. The councils come under frequent attacks by insurgents because they have sided with U.S. forces.

Roadside bombs targeting two separate convoys carrying Baghdad city officials injured eight people, the mayor's office said in a statement. The municipal officials were not hurt in the attacks.

Nine other people were wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Baghdad's sprawling Shiite slum of Sadr City, police said.
Blasts in Baghdad kill 4, wound more than 20

Posted by b on November 6, 2008 at 09:39 AM | Permalink


There are 150,000 US Occupation troops and approximately 200,000 Dirty Filthy Evil Scum Mercenaries in Iraq.

there, fixed that line for you.

Posted by: No Spin For Thee & Me | Nov 6, 2008 11:00:56 AM | 1

@b That is simply a lie to justify moving troops to Afghanistan as his new Commander in Chief demands.

b, while I might be wrong, I think this is more of a Bush 'legacy' thing.

Posted by: Ensley | Nov 6, 2008 11:14:06 AM | 2

We will not willingly leave, and we will leave.

Posted by: alabama | Nov 6, 2008 12:05:37 PM | 3

Sabah al Mukhtar, pres. Association of Arab lawyers (London), pointed at Mohammed al Dainy (MP Baghdad) and said, “Remember the face of this man, tomorrow he may be dead.” Ali Wajeeh (TV Al Sharquiyya) looked down.

They have established the existence of 426 secret prisons in Iraq. (Officially, only 27 prisons exist.) They have piles of docs, vids, photos, testimony, etc. 4 of Ali Wajeeh co-workers were kidnapped and assassinated.

They are requesting, amongst other things, the opening of an International Tribunal. They have given their docs. to the HCR, to the Red Cross, to the HC of the Rights of Man, all of whom received them (not easy to achieve.)

“In some cells, we counted 200 ppl - in others 700. Women, the elderly, children, mixed up with the men.”

Exactly which prison is run by whom is not known, or impossible to list/sort out, or is skimmed over or muddled. Many of course are joint US/Iraq operations. During the press conference it was said that the 426 was exclusive of US secret prisons. (I suppose because al Dainy can investigate, and enter, when Iraqis are involved, otherwise not. He is half Sunni and half Shia and calls himself only Iraqi.)

-- from the Swiss paper press, end oct/begin nov. 08.

Note that Swiss-info does not give the number 426 and mixes everything up, dragging in some old cherry picked data; transforms things, e.g. calls the proposed Int. Trib ‘an ad hoc int. trib to investigate human rights abuses’; mixes in the title iraq, the death squads , which evokes other issues; uses the word ‘believes’ instead of ‘attests’ or ‘documents’; says that permission is not granted to visit prisons (this is false.) Swiss- info used to be excellent, so they got into trouble, and were going to be shut down. They then transformed themselves to stay alive.

The BBC film mentioned by Swiss-info can be seen here, you can see Al Dainy visiting a prison.>googlevid

The official line -sectarian violence- is pushed hard; two American failed whistleblowers are shown. Unsurprisingly, no conclusions are drawn. (Err I didn’t watch it all.)

Posted by: Tangerine | Nov 6, 2008 12:13:27 PM | 4

what alabama sd - is in essence - the ugly truth - the dilemna for empire because the empire will never, never be able to win militarily & in iraq, afghanistan & pakistan - they are very far from winning in any sense politically - except for a few journalists who are paid for agreeing

how that dilemna wil be dealt with will reveal quite quickly the substance of the new administration

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 6, 2008 12:55:53 PM | 5

Obama's needs us to scream & yell all we can as he's getting pulled every ways & sideways, so we can end this barbaric outrage we have brought on Iraq once & for all.

Bush was'nt going to end it. We could have offered him an arm each, he was'nt going to end it.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Nov 6, 2008 1:42:52 PM | 6

The war will stop only after the U.S. has left.
True enough, but that doesn't mean that the war will stop after the US has left -- the neo-con segment of Arrogant insanity salivates at the thought of being able to pounce upon and hold the Dolchstoßlegende aloft and scream some gibberish.

Posted by: Chuck Cliff | Nov 6, 2008 2:02:15 PM | 7

True enough, but that doesn't mean that the war will stop after the US has left

No, that's not right. The war will stop after the US leaves, because there is no reason for it to go on. There might be a brief clash, even war, but it will be over in a week or two. It should never be forgotten that it is very much in US interests to stimulate division - divide and rule - and the US has a lot of experience in stimulating conflict in Central America in the 1980s, Negroponte in the act.

Even now the Arab Iraqis are coming together in their detestation of the US - it is the unifying element. However many so-called "independent analysts" try to convince you that the Iraqis are as split as ever. It is not so - these people are being given their talking points by the US embassy in the Green Zone.

The Kurds are another matter. They are empire-building, and they are going to discover one day that it doesn't work.

Posted by: alex | Nov 6, 2008 2:46:34 PM | 8

There are 150,000 U.S. soldiers and ten thousands of security-contractors in Iraq. But they seem to make little difference to the ongoing violence.

What about the Iraqi security forces? “Six battalions of the Iraqi regular army and the Iraqi Intervention Force are now conducting operations. . .Within the next 60 days, six more regular army and six additional Intervention Force battalions will become operational. . . Nine more regular army battalions will complete training in January”--General Peraeus, in a self-promotional (and Bush-boosting vs. Kerry) WaPO OpEd, September, 2004, when Petraeus was in charge of training Iraqi forces, and in the final months of the presidential campaign.

What about the Iraqi security forces? "On the security side, today some 214,000 Iraqi security forces have been trained and equipped."--SecDef Rumsfeld, December, 2005

What about the Iraqi security forces? Nobody ever asks, no leading politicians, no MSM "journalists" at Pentagon press conferences or at Petraeus press gaggles, nobody.

What about the Iraqi security forces? According to the most recent Iraq Weekly Status Report from the US State Department there are over 300,000 trained members including over 200,000 in the New Iraqi Army.

It's time, beyond time, for the US military to leave Iraq.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 6, 2008 3:12:44 PM | 9

@Don Bacon - What about the Iraqi security forces?

They are one party in the civil war (or two or three - no one knows ...)

Posted by: b | Nov 6, 2008 3:26:30 PM | 10

Not to forget the rest of Iraq, this on Monday:

U.S. base in Kut rocketed

The U.S. military base in western Kut was attacked by unidentified gunmen using Katyusha rockets on Monday, with no reports of casualties, a police source said.
“Four rockets hit the U.S. Delta base in western Kut this evening,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

Posted by: Alamet | Nov 6, 2008 4:15:41 PM | 11

They are one party in the civil war

No, that's the way the US govt wants you to see it, with the noble US holding the ring. The civil war was to a good degree stirred up by the US.

But particularly in September this year, Iraq was presented anew as a set of competing factions, all out for power in order to rope in resources for themselves. You could read it on Abu Muqawama, Abu Aardvark, and others. There had to be a reason why it was being particularly insisted on, and that must be because in fact the truth was the opposite, that Iraqi opinion was coalescing against the US, as it certainly is, and also to undermine that new unity.

Posted by: alex | Nov 6, 2008 4:20:26 PM | 12

Democracy Now interviews Sergeant Matthis Chiroux who served in Afghanistan, refused to deploy to Iraq and is now being prosecuted by the army. Chiroux is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

AMY GOODMAN: Sergeant Matthis Chiroux, do you think there is more of an opening to make your point?

SGT. MATTHIS CHIROUX: I’m not exactly sure. I do hope when the Obama supporters of this country who voted for him, specifically because they believed he was going to be an antiwar candidate, when they find out that that is not, in fact, the case, I hope they will be motivated to rejoin the antiwar movement in this country and support people like myself refusing to deploy to an occupation that clearly violates our Constitution and international laws.

And, you know, I have hope. I’m inspired by Barack Obama’s journey from senator to president. But it is our responsibility as the people not to assume that one man is going to do the job. If we want to see peace, the people need to get out and make that a reality. And they’re going to do that by supporting service members refusing to deploy to Iraq. They’re going to do that by opposing Barack Obama’s narrative of Afghanistan as somehow being good. And, you know, they’re going to do that by standing up and being heard, getting out there, participating.

We’ve seen the antiwar movement’s ranks shrink, because so many of these people have gone to campaign for Obama. And I’m looking forward to, now that the election is over, maybe some of those people are going to start moving back in. And when they realize that we have a candidate who wants to actually leave troops in Iraq, that will catalyze some activism.

Posted by: Alamet | Nov 6, 2008 4:20:56 PM | 13

According to iCasualties reported deaths - both foreign and iraqi - in Iraq are down since the latest top in the summer of 2007.

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Nov 6, 2008 4:26:32 PM | 14

Let's just hope when the Arabs finally do get together in Iraq then can crush the Kurds once and for all. They have been nothing more than Cheney's mercenaries from the beginning.

Posted by: alec | Nov 7, 2008 8:11:53 AM | 15

Let's just hope when the Arabs finally do get together in Iraq then can crush the Kurds once and for all.

Lets hope they don't try - within their mountains, the Kurds always win. As soon as they get into the plains ... well ...

Posted by: b | Nov 7, 2008 9:46:09 AM | 16

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