Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 15, 2006

WB: Mass Graves


Mass Graves

Posted by b on March 15, 2006 at 6:28 UTC | Permalink


Calling in the operational reserve Rumsfeld Hints at Troop Increase During Pilgrimage Surge

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld gave a strong hint on Tuesday that American troop levels in Iraq might be increased in coming days, perhaps only slightly and temporarily.

At a Pentagon news briefing, Mr. Rumsfeld said any increase in troops would coincide with a surge of pilgrims expected to visit Muslim shrines in coming weeks.
Three officials involved in the discussions said a leading proposal was to send in a battalion-size group, about 800 troops.

Pentagon civilian and military officials said any extra forces that might be ordered into Iraq would come from an armored brigade of about 3,500 to 4,000 troops now stationed in Kuwait for just such a need if conditions deteriorated.

If the deployment were to occur, it would be the first time the brigade, a unit of the First Armored Division, left its standby status and entered the fight.

Posted by: b | Mar 15 2006 6:32 utc | 1

Let us not engage in a blanket condemnation of mass executions: the old mass graves were the work of a cruel dictator, these new ones are the fruits of a stable democracy.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Mar 15 2006 7:38 utc | 2

Newsweek Jan. 2005:

The Pentagon may put Special-Forces-led assassination or kidnapping teams in Iraq.

    What to do about the deepening quagmire of Iraq? The Pentagon's latest approach is being called "the Salvador option"-and the fact that it is being discussed at all is a measure of just how worried Donald Rumsfeld really is. "What everyone agrees is that we can't just go on as we are," one senior military officer told Newsweek. "We have to find a way to take the offensive against the insurgents. Right now, we are playing defense. And we are losing." Last November's operation in Fallujah, most analysts agree, succeeded less in breaking "the back" of the insurgency-as Marine Gen. John Sattler optimistically declared at the time-than in spreading it out.
June 2005>LINK

{...} in September 2004 Counsellor to the US Ambassador (John Negroponte) for Iraqi Security Forces James Steele was assigned to work with a new elite Iraqi counter-insurgency unit known as the Special Police Commandos, formed under the operational control of Iraq’s Interior Ministry.
From 1984 to 1986 then Col. Steele had led the US Military Advisory Group in El Salvador, where he was responsible for developing special operating forces at brigade level during the height of the conflict. These forces, composed of the most brutal soldiers available.
The Police Commandos are in large part the brainchild of another US counter-insurgency veteran, Steven Casteel, a former top DEA man who has been acting as the senior advisor in the Ministry of the Interior. Casteel was involved in the hunt for Colombia’s notorious cocaine baron Pablo Escobar, during which the DEA collaborated with a paramilitary organization known as Los Pepes, which later transformed itself into the AUC, an umbrella organization covering all of Colombia’s paramilitary death squads.
Robert Dreyfus, Tom Dispatch Nov.2005
Make no mistake. The gangsters now running Iraq are our creatures.

Earlier this week, I was speaking with someone who was involved in the pre-2003 war planning effort vis-à-vis Iraq. As I mentioned in TPM Cafe , he told me that some of his colleagues realized that the New Iraq would probably be taken over not by Ahmed Chalabi, but by the Shiite fundamentalists. Those radical-right parties (along with the Kurds) were the real forces that took part in Chalabi's INC bloc. And the United States consciously supported the toppling of Saddam knowing that radical Shiites would be the chief beneficiaries. This was not an intelligence failure. We knew it. This was an explicit decision by the neocon-dominated cabal to replace Saddam with Shiite crazies. Now, we see that those crazies are running Saddam-like torture prisons where they use electric drills and flay the skin off Sunni captives.

The military in Iraq is scrambling to limit the damage from the stunning revelation about the men who are running Iraq today. We toppled Saddam—and in his place we've installed a hundred mini-Saddams.
Robert Worth, NYT Feb2006:

There have been previous investigations of alleged abuses by the Interior Ministry. But none led to significant changes, prompting accusations that the ministry is shielding killers within its ranks and fueling distrust in a public already reeling from the rise in sectarian killings. American officials have publicly and repeatedly pressed the government for reform, especially after a bunker was discovered in Baghdad where some detainees had been tortured.

The Interior Ministry includes many members of Shiite militias. Many critics and some officials in the ministry say its paramilitary units often work in tandem with members of two of the most feared militias, the Badr Organization and the Mahdi Army, to carry out widespread killings of Sunni men.

As the leaders of Iraq's political coalitions begin negotiations to form a national unity government, many have pointed to allegations of the Interior Ministry's abuses in calling for an interior minister to be appointed in the new government with no connection to a militia or a political party that is linked to one.
Sydney Morning Herald, Paul McGeough, March 2006:
In particular, they are urging the dismissal of the hardline Interior Minister, Bayan Jabr.

But in an interview with the Herald, Mr Enzy snapped: "The last time I checked, Bayan Jabr was Interior Minister of Iraq - not of the US or the UN. He is one of our best and this is interference in our business."

Mr Enzy argued that if the US-led coalition in Iraq had been more serious about rebuilding the country's security forces in the first year of the occupation, it could now be making substantialcuts in foreign troop numbers in Iraq. "We don't want foreign forces here, but it's impossible for them to leave now, because we're on the edge of civil war," he said.

"The truth is the Americans don't want us to reach the levels of courage and competence needed to deal with the insurgency because they want to stay here.

"They came for their own strategic interests. A lot of the world's oil is in this region and they want to use Iraq as a battlefield in the war on terror because they believe they can contain the terrorism in Iraq."

Asked if the West - and the US in particular - understood Iraq and the region, Mr Enzy said significant differences of culture and tradition complicated the relationship.

"We don't want to be a part of international problems - the US has a problem with Iran, but as an Iraqi government, we don't. We are not a part of the Israel-Palestine problem, but the deployment of foreign forces in Iraq puts pressure on that issue."

The minister's spiel was symptomatic of a rising anti-American sentiment among Iraq's Shiite majority. Mr Enzy said many Iraqis believed the US wanted civil war in the hope it would break the power of the religious parties still struggling to form a government.

"This is not the view of the Government; it is street talk. Butit could be why the coalition forces are being targeted in the[Shiite areas] of the south and east."

Posted by: anna missed | Mar 15 2006 10:12 utc | 3

Careful what you wish for.

Posted by: anna missed | Mar 15 2006 10:18 utc | 4

Thanks anna - add to that: U.S. military airstrikes significantly increased in Iraq

A review of military data shows that daily bombing runs and jet-missile launches have increased by more than 50 percent in the past five months, compared with the same period last year. Knight Ridder's statistical findings were reviewed and confirmed by American Air Force officials in the region.

The numbers also show that U.S. forces dropped bombs on more cities during the last five months than they did during the same period a year ago. Airstrikes hit at least 11 cities between Oct. 1, 2004, and Feb. 28, 2005, but were mostly concentrated in and around the western city of Fallujah. A year later, U.S. warplanes struck at least 22 cities during the same months.

Also a big question is why in March 2006 are AC-130 gunships returning to Iraq?
The U.S. Air Force has begun moving heavily armed AC-130 airplanes - the lethal "flying gunships" of the Vietnam War - to a base in Iraq as commanders search for new tools to counter the Iraqi resistance, The Associated Press has learned.

Posted by: b | Mar 15 2006 11:45 utc | 5

Billmon once again slices through to the heart of the matter without needing to write a word of his own, and better than a hundren long screeds on the subject. How does he remember these quotes?


In the same vein as G-dub's statement that "Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction" while trying to build bunker busters, "free nations don't have mass graves, Iraq is now free, therefore there are no mass graves."

Posted by: Rowan | Mar 15 2006 18:22 utc | 6

Its really hard to figure out what the US will do next, but rest assured, what ever it is it will backfire -- as inevidably, every major move they make, ratchets against what they see as their "best interests". Every smoking hole they blow into the ground, someone like Muqtada al-Sadr turns it into a swimming pool. His rise to significance, in particular, has taken every negative void the US has created and shaped it into an ever more plausable and self evident solution toward national unity. He has, and is, doing from the ground up what neither the US or the (stillborn)government can never do from the top down. And that is to inspire relationships capable of developing into real and working institutions, that inhance security and commerce on the ground >>now<< not in some pie in the sky future. The US policy is run by adolescent and privileged one diminsional idiots that think their peers, in this case the Iraqis, will be unduly impressed and beholden when shown the latest toy mommy bought them at the Target store. And when they are not impressed in the proper portion of envy and willing servitude (read loyality) it becomes show time -- and we get the obstanant, unpredictable, and counterproductive head banging temper tantrum display of power that, in spite of working on mommy and daddy, never fails to inspire abhorance and avoidance onpart of the potential friend. At this point, the only thing anybody (in Iraq) remembers about that shiny new toy is the pieces of it scattered all over the place.

Posted by: anna missed | Mar 15 2006 19:30 utc | 7

Another mass garve: 11 killed in US raid in Iraq

Eleven people were killed when US forces flattened a house during a raid north of Baghdad, police and relatives said.

The dead were mostly women and children. Elsewhere, insurgent attacks killed at least four more people.

The US military acknowledged the raid and said it had captured one insurgent.

11 dead, most of them children, to capture one suspect. Hearts a minds ...

Posted by: b | Mar 15 2006 19:37 utc | 8

Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 23:02 GMT

Computer Scientist Infects RFID Tag - Causes First Pet Death
By Marty Warnock
Technology Correspondent, CBB News website

A laboratory dog has died of a computer virus at the Santa Rosarita Lab,
Conastoga Park, California, health officials have said - thought to be the first
time a computer virus has killed a pet.

Computer security researchers had deliberately infected a Radio Frequency
ID (RFID) tag on a can of dog food with a new computer virus to show how the
technology is vulnerable to malicious computer hackers. But the experiment
had an unintended side effect, when the laboratory dog, named Katie, died
suddenly after eating the RFID virus-infected can of dog food.

The World Hearth Organization has yet to confirm the deliberately-created
computer virus caused the lab animal death, but said the DCC lab that
carried out the tests on the canine carcass was reliable.

Many security researchers warn that RFID tagged pet food could soon mount
several different types of viral attacks on pets, and even their human owners.
In some cases, said health researchers, computer viruses could be spread
by household pets such as cats and dogs that are infected by the RFID tags,
which then mutate and spread uncontrolled through the human population.

Makers of radio tag systems were urged by the group to introduce safeguards
to guard against RFID-borne pet viruses. The researchers urged companies
working on RFID systems to start thinking seriously about security measures
to protect against future viral threats, both silicon-based and carbon-based. has offered a G-Smell(TM) anti-virus for concerned pet owners,
in order to check the RFID-bar code marked pet food for potential inflections.

"Simply hold the can up to your telephone," Peter Markus of Gaggle explained,
"And our Giga-Gaggle network will scan the can and erase any viruses found."

Gaggle is asking a small service charge of 50c per scan for the service.

Posted by: PingPing | Mar 16 2006 3:41 utc | 9


I won't trust any autopsy reports until they send the dog's body to Moscow for independent testing...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Mar 16 2006 5:30 utc | 10

"Gaggle is asking a small service charge of 50c per scan for the service."

Posted by: PingPing | Mar 15, 2006 10:41:02 PM | #

Hey! That's nothing!

To-day a seagull bombed my car. As he flew away I swear I could see a smirk on his beak,,,like he was programmed to do it. When I went to an transnational gas station to wash it off, I could see why that bastard had that twisted sneer. The order had come right from the top.
The sign on the air/water station had a sign on it, 50 cents!! 50 cents for air or water? Is this the start of it?

Posted by: pb | Mar 16 2006 5:35 utc | 11

Gaggle will be contracting with Dept of Homeland Security soon.
And wouldn't ya know it, Rumsfeld has millions of dollars of shares of Gaggle that he didn't divest before becoming SecDef....

Posted by: gylangirl | Mar 16 2006 16:21 utc | 12

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