Friday, July 20, 2007

More Fun in Iraq

A good article detailing some of the latest happenings in Iraq. Further down, it's reported that several U.S. soldiers are in the process of being charged and possibly court-martialed with various crimes, such as kidnapping and murder, which I find to be very ironic. I have ever since the Abu Ghabrib thing and the outrage about all of that. I mean, you heard all this outrage about the torture and degradation of these men by a few soldiers. But one man and his administration decided to put our troops there in the first place where they could do these things. Soldiers are being charged with murdering one or two Iraqis, who I'm presuming weren't terrorists and weren't armed, but yet based on Bush's initative, our forces went there, probably killed hundreds of people (if not thousands) before their boots even hit the ground, and even now they're dying, as well as U.S. soldiers. How can one soldier be charged with murder or kidnapping, yet the guy who orchestrated the deaths of thousands and the upheavel of millions, he's still in the White House and once he's out of there, won't have a care for the rest of his days. It just sucks how this country works sometimes.

Sunnis End Iraqi Parliament Boycott
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Jul 19, 9:18 AM (ET)


(AP) Iraqi Army soldiers speak to a suspected terrorist before loading him into their armored vehicle...
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BAGHDAD (AP) - Sunni lawmakers ended their five-week boycott of parliament Thursday, raising hopes the factious assembly can make progress on benchmark legislation demanded by Washington. The U.S. said two American soldiers have been charged with killing an Iraqi.

Also Thursday, the U.S. command announced the deaths of five American soldiers. Four soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter were killed Wednesday in a roadside bombing in east Baghdad and one soldier was killed Friday by small arms fire near Rusdi Mulla, just to the southwest of the city.

The 44 members of the Iraqi Accordance Front attended Thursday's session after striking a deal with other blocs to reinstate the Sunni speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, who was ousted by the Shiite-dominated assembly last month for erratic behavior.

Al-Mashhadani is expected to gracefully resign after presiding over a number of sessions. Shiite legislator Hassan al-Suneid, an aide to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said al-Mashhadani's return came after secret conditions that should not be made public.

(AP) Iraqi Army soldiers prepare to load two suspected terrorists into their armored vehicle Thursday,...
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However, one official said al-Mashhadani has until Wednesday to step down or parliament will force him out. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

"We all have to work together to rescue Iraq from the catastrophe which has befallen it," Sunni leader Adnan al-Dulaimi told parliament. "This is the first step in solving the Iraqi problem and in stopping the bloodshed."

The Sunnis ended their walkout two days after Shiite lawmakers loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ended their boycott after officials accepted their demands for rebuilding a Shiite shrine damaged by bombings.

Those two boycotts had paralyzed the 275-member parliament, which is under strong criticism from U.S. critics for failing to approve key legislation and for plans to take a month's vacation in August at a time when American and Iraqi troops are dying on the battlefield.

The sensitivities displayed by both the Accordance Front and al-Sadr's allies indicates the depth of suspicion and sectarian rivalry prevalent in Iraq after more than four years of war.

(AP) An Iraqi Army soldier escorts a suspected terrorist Thursday, July 19, 2007, as U.S. and Iraqi...
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The U.S. military said an Army lieutenant colonel had been relieved of command in connection with the murder charges, which were filed this week against two soldiers - Sgt. 1st Class Trey A. Corrales of San Antonio and Spc. Christopher P. Shore of Winder, Ga.

Each was charged with one count of murder in the death, which allegedly occurred June 23 near the northern city of Kirkuk, the U.S. said.

Lt. Col. Michael Browder, who was their battalion commander, is not a suspect and has not been charged with any offense but was fired for leadership failure, the U.S. said.

The statement noted that the charges are allegations and neither of the two soldiers has been convicted.

The charges were announced one day after a U.S. Marine was convicted of kidnapping and conspiracy to murder in connection with the death of an Iraq last year in Hamdania. Cpl. Trent Thomas was acquitted of the most serious charge of premeditated murder during a trial at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

(AP) Iraqi Army soldiers escort suspected terrorists Thursday, July 19, 2007, as U.S. and Iraqi troops...
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Meanwhile, American and Iraqi forces were continuing operations to clear Sunni extremists from the eastern part of Baqouba, 35 miles north of Baghdad, the U.S. said.

U.S. troops killed three al-Qaida suspects Thursday as they tried to slip out of the city, Iraqi security officials said. Clashes occurred during the day as American and Iraqi forces moved through the streets, securing buildings and clearing explosives.

One insurgent explosives expert led U.S. and Iraqi troops to a bombs cache hidden in two homes of Shiites who had fled sectarian tension, police said.

U.S. troops regained control of the western half of the city last month and launched operations into the rest of Baqouba on Tuesday.

Since last month, the Americans said they have killed at least 67 al-Qaida operatives in Baqouba, arrested 253, seized 63 weapons caches and have destroyed 151 roadside bombs.

In Baghdad, suspected Shiite militiamen blew up the minaret on a Sunni mosque in the city's Jihad area, police said. The bodies of two men with bullets in their heads were found dumped near the mosque, police said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Gunmen firing from a speeding car killed a bodyguard of a Sunni parliament member in Mosul, police said. A Kurdish political party member was ambushed and killed in eastern Mosul, police also said, speaking on condition of anonymity for the same reason.

In western Iraq, residents said assailants blew up two bridges in Haditha overnight. The bridges connect Haditha with Anah, about 160 miles northwest of the capital. The American forces are blocking the area now looking for those involved in the operation.

The residents spoke on condition of anonymity out of fears for their safety.

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