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crossposted at Over the Line, Smokey!

Hidden in a story which is primarily about Turkey is this much more important information. Washington Post has these accounts of US attack on Warsaw, 1941 Sadr City, in Baghdad:

U.S. Reports 49 Fighters Dead in Sadr City Raid; Residents, Officials Say Victims Are All Civilians

The U.S. military said its troops killed 49 fighters in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood, one of the highest death tolls for a military operation since President Bush declared an end to active combat in 2003.

,,,Iraqi officials and residents of the vast Shiite enclave, loyal to powerful anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, said 13 people were killed and all of the victims were innocent civilians, including children.

According to the military, U.S. troops entered the neighborhood at 4 a.m. to target a militia chief responsible for an extensive Iranian-backed [of course] kidnapping ring. ....
Gunmen then began firing automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at the U.S. troops, the military said. It said ground forces returned fire, killing 33 fighters, then called in helicopter gunships, which killed six more.

As U.S. soldiers left the neighborhood at 7 a.m., they struck a roadside bomb but continued returning fire, killing 10 more, the military said. ...

But Sadr City residents and Iraqi officials said the only victims were civilians -- whom they described as 13 dead and 52 injured.

"I have seen the dead children," said Abu Zahara, an official in the local Sadr office. "We are a peaceful people. We are just sitting in our homes. We don't want anything to do with the Americans. Just leave us alone."

He said among the dead were a woman and four children, including a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy. Their 1-year-old brother was seriously wounded, he said.

"Why are the American soldiers fighting women and children?" said Abu Hawra, a local religious leader. "The American occupation forces started bombing the city for no reason."

...

Salah al-Obeidi, a spokesman for Sadr in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, called the raid a "barbaric action" and a "crime" that should lead to criminal charges.

...
Mohammed Chaloub,...said he watched the raid from his roof and saw the damage it left: a bombed-out primary school, several destroyed shops and 18 burned cars. U.S. gunfire prevented firefighting vehicles from reaching the area, he said.

He said Sadr City residents were furious at the U.S. troops. "If you woke up in the morning and saw your entire family killed and your house burned out, what would your reaction be?" he said. "Nobody would accept that."

You tell me; who's lying?

Couldn't be the US military. After all, Dick Cheney himself saidyesterday:

The war on terror is, after all, more than a contest of arms and more than a test of will. It is also a battle of ideas. To prevail in the long run, we have to remove the conditions that inspire such blind, prideful hatred that drove 19 men to get onto airliners to come kill us. Many have noted that we're in a struggle for the "hearts and minds" of people in a troubled region of the world. That is true and it should give us confidence. Outside a small and cruel circle, it's hard to imagine anybody being won over, intellectually or emotionally, by random violence, the beheading of bound men, children's television programs that exalt suicide bombing, and the desecration of mosques. The extremists in the Middle East are not really trying to win hearts and minds, but to paralyze them, to seize power by force, to keep power by intimidation, and to build an empire of fear.

We offer a nobler alternative. We know from history that when people live in freedom, have their rights respected and have real hope for the future, they will not be drawn in by ideologies that stir up hatreds and incite violence. We know, as well, that when men and women are given the chance, most by far will choose to live in freedom. That's the cause we serve today in Afghanistan and Iraq -- helping the peoples of those two nations to achieve security, peace, and the right to chart their own destiny. Both peoples face attack from violent extremists who want to end democratic progress and pull them back toward tyranny. We are helping them fight back because it's the right thing to do, and because the outcome is important to our own long-term security.

Originally posted to seesdifferent on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 09:13 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Gosh I Hope These Reports Are Wrong (0+ / 0-)

      and we didn't kill yet more women and children. I don't get why our military can't seem to grasp that if you killed my family I'd take up arms against you in a heartbeat. It just seems we don't understand what we going on or how to handle it in a more professional manner.

      "It is not enough to win, all others must lose," Sun Tzu.

      by webranding on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 09:21:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, in any (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        goon 01, VClib

        urban setting, especially a densely packed so-called slum like Sadr City, you are going to have unintended casualties when you use any of the weapons we have deployed there.

        This is not excusing our actions (I don't have enough facts to know how culpable we really are). But if you do have to operate in an area like that, and you use gunships the odds of hurting someone not involved have to be approaching 100%.

        On the other hand, what do you do if you're trying to stop a militia that operates in an area like that?

        If you live in fear, then the worst that can happen to you has already happened. Will You live in fear?

        by Something the Dog Said on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 09:28:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  aerial attacks klll large numbers of innocents (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scharrison

          aerial attacks during an occupation are illegal and immoral. We cannot do this.
          4 years into an occupation we are killing innocents by the score, with aerial attacks.
          Some halfbaked plan, some "Iran" fiasco, some panic, turns into killing women and children.

          fouls, excesses and immoderate behaviors will not be ignored at Over the line, Smokey!.

          by seesdifferent on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 10:03:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You disengage from the area and... (0+ / 0-)

          return to your base.  Then you get the hell out of this civil war.  Carefully, and with a blitz of diplomatic activity, you disengage.

          Born in lies, grown beyond "than anyone could have thought, no one could have predicted this" spin, and now the Iraq fiasco is lingering beyond all rhyme and reason on the political initiative of a lame duck commander questing for even more power as his days in office draw to a close.

          We are safe, 8000 miles from the action.  How long we allow this money eating machine feed contract mercenaries working beyond any control, and over stretched military resources depends entirely on how stupid we wish to be and how gulled we are by Johm Wayne-esque fables and lies posited for pure political and ideological gain.

          The best anti-terrorism actions that have stopped attacks have been made by police agencies and services...not mercs running amok, not by blasting the women and kids and then rationalizing that "no one could have foreseen this" over    

          This is not excusing our actions (I don't have enough facts to know how culpable we really are). But if you do have to operate in an area like that, and you use gunships the odds of hurting someone not involved have to be approaching 100%.

          The disaster has to end.  but so long as Iraq is politically useful as a tool to control domestic politics, there will be no end to it.

          Today, 10/21/07, 3834 Americans, and untold Iraqis are dead, tens of thousands more maimed. What are YOU going to do today to help end the Bush/Republican war?

          by boilerman10 on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 10:08:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Link? (0+ / 0-)

      The link seems to be going to a different article.

    •  The spelling of "Disastrous" (0+ / 0-)

      is disastrous.

      /friendly ribbing

      ;-)

  •  Again, it's hard to support the troops... (0+ / 0-)

    When I hear of this crap.

    I just hope the US report is true and not the Iraqi report. If the latter is true, then this is complete bullshit.

  •  Turks invading in the north too... (2+ / 0-)

    It's going to be an interesting week.

    "Frankly, you epitomize weak. Your every pore exudes feebleness. You *are* surrender monkeys." - Meteor Blades to Capitulation Dems

    by RichM on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 09:27:28 AM PDT

  •  Dear Lord, please allow these people to be (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skrekk, snazzzybird, mango, wmacdona66

    tried for their crimes.  Let us give to them what they consistently refuse others:  A fair trial, at the Hague, with adequate knowledge of the charges and evidence against them and an opportunity to be heard... and then let us lock them up and throw away the key.  Amen.

    •  No Juristiction (0+ / 0-)

      This issue has been the subject of several diaries and many more comments.  The Hague has no juristiction over this, or any other US administration. The US is not a party to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and it has no juristiction over US citizens. Any criminal action against BushCo would have to be in US courts.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 10:06:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When do we leave Iraq? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seesdifferent, snazzzybird

    Will the major Dems Presidential candidates (Obama, Clinton and Edwards) continue to refuse to pledge to a the withdrawal from Iraq and leave open the door to our intervention until 2013 or will they call for an immediate end to the war now?  

    Here is what the former US ambassador to the UN is saying:

    Americans are fed up with the President's stalling and Congressional failure to act. Frankly, it is well past time we make a choice. And the only responsible choice left to us is to get all of our troops out of Iraq, with no residual forces left behind--no combat forces, no non-combat forces. As President, I will do it. I will get all of our troops out within a year after I take office - sooner if we can get it done safely.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    Bill Richardson: "Get out now. Get all our troops out now. It is the only right and responsible choice."

    by Stephen Cassidy on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 09:37:43 AM PDT

  •  The initial (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vacantlook, seesdifferent

    US military reports claimed 49 "criminals" were killed, they seem to have toned that down.

  •  Also ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seesdifferent

    i think airstrikes are up %400 this year, over last year.

    •  That would not be supprising, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      seesdifferent, ZappoDave

      it is one of the very few ways that you can attack and reduce the risk of casualties to your troops.

      There are two big problems with it though, a) the weapons on helicopters and jets are much heavier caliber, so they go through walls and other things, and they travel a hell of long way if they are not stopped by something. b) you can fight from the air all you like, but you can not control things (as much as you can actually control anything in a civil war) from the ground.

      Given those factors, it is easy to see why the Administration would want to do this, and why it would not help the situation at all.

      If you live in fear, then the worst that can happen to you has already happened. Will You live in fear?

      by Something the Dog Said on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 09:44:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        seesdifferent

        They're using the "Vietnam model" alright.

        Here's a link from today's Air Force Times:

        The U.S. military has increased airstrikes in Iraq fivefold this year, reflecting a steep escalation in combat operations aimed at al-Qaida and other militants. Coalition forces launched 1,140 airstrikes in the first nine months of this year, compared with 229 in all of last year, according to military statistics.

        Airstrikes are up on Afghanistan, too. Coalition planes have made 2,764 bombing runs so far this year, up from 1,770 last year. The figures don’t include strikes by helicopter gunships.

        War-zone airstrikes up fivefold this year

    •  Got to practice... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      seesdifferent, ZappoDave

      ...for our airstrikes in Iran.  :(

    •  bingo n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZappoDave

      fouls, excesses and immoderate behaviors will not be ignored at Over the line, Smokey!.

      by seesdifferent on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 10:11:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Most Iraqi dead are just citizens like you (3+ / 0-)

    and me, which is what makes this fucking occupation so disgusting, wrong and an impeachable offence to all complicit with it.

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones"

    by roseeriter on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 09:43:16 AM PDT

  •  We do need to get out of Iraq, but (3+ / 0-)

    for those of you who are ready to take the word(s) of Muqtada al-Sadr's "officials" as gospel on this, temporarily forgetting that the Mehdi Army numbers in the tens of thousands and has been engaging in the systematic displacement of Sunnis from Baghdad for quite a while now, go get some fresh air.

    Troll rate me if you want to, but please don't pick and choose your propaganda. The truth is somewhere in between, with a bunch of fighters dead and some innocents also, which is a tragic consequence of urban operations and one more reason to get the fuck out.

  •  Cheney's MO (0+ / 0-)

    And so the VP voices his own goals, veiled as always, in the darkside projection of his personality:

    The extremists in the Middle East USA are not really trying to win hearts and minds, but to paralyze them, to seize power by force, to keep power by intimidation, and to build an empire of fear.

    That the big nugget in the chicken basket.

    "Peace is more distant than might be thought." - Subcommandante Marcos.

    by walkshills on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 10:11:39 AM PDT

    •  that is the m.o. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      walkshills

      how is a state "by the people" supposed to rise in this setting. In this regard, I particularly find the idea of a new "summit" on the P/I questio/Palestinian state to be utterly ridiculous.

      fouls, excesses and immoderate behaviors will not be ignored at Over the line, Smokey!.

      by seesdifferent on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 10:18:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        seesdifferent

        Iraq is the reservation at this point, which I expect to be subdivided into smaller, more controllable areas if this process continues. Not unlike Israel.

        Why have summits if the goals of the power states have not changed? For me, that only means that the power states want a better deal and some PR. Resolution of anything is only a carrot, a wispy dream to be blown away in the near future.

        "Peace is more distant than might be thought." - Subcommandante Marcos.

        by walkshills on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 10:32:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  One Has To Be Skeptical (2+ / 0-)

    Sadr City is the nest of anti-Iraq gov't. and anti-US occupation militias.  All the members of those militias can be considered "civilians."

    There's a difference between so-called "civilians" and innocents.

    The "report" of dead women and children is an "I have seen. . ." and must be greeted with as much skepticism as we greet the US military's accounts of casualties.

    We know from the fight against the Taliban militants that the identification/characterization of their dead as civilian casualties was, for a time, an effective propaganda tool until it became evident to the locals who was going to win that war and they started telling the truth.  The Taliban also manufactured claims of the slaughter of innocents, beyond the actual incidences.

    Which in no way implies that what has been reported in the diary is not true.

    I will remain skeptical to the degree indicated above.

    They burn our children in their wars and grow rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

    by Limelite on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 10:14:41 AM PDT

    •  The military (0+ / 0-)

      initially reported the 49 civilians which included women and children as "49 criminals". I don't think anyone can show how airstrikes on civilian areas can differentiate between civilians and "insurgents".

      Air Strikes on civilian neighborhoods are murder.

      It's also insane.

    •  Well, certainly you know (0+ / 0-)

      that al Sadr has declared a moratorium on attacks. Certainly you know that the Sunnis are at the heart of the insurgency.

      Certainly you know that 60% of iraq is Shiite. Hotbed?

      fouls, excesses and immoderate behaviors will not be ignored at Over the line, Smokey!.

      by seesdifferent on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 10:39:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Certainly I Know That Sadr City (0+ / 0-)

        is a district in Baghdad that has been a Shiite flash-point,  the scene of repeated insurgent attacks.  And that Moqtada al-Sadr's nearly-expired 6-month moratorium against attacks on US and British troops probably resulted from pressure by the Iranian trainers of the "super-cells" in Jaysh Al-Mahdi.

        They burn our children in their wars and grow rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

        by Limelite on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 11:21:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Washington Post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seesdifferent

    ...is hiding the fact that our troops are killing civilians behind the headline of Turkey invading Iraq.

    Keep doing these guys favors WaPo.  I mean, once your subscription numbers hit 0 how low can they go?

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