• Deadliest Iraq Attacks since US Pullout

    March 8, 2012 // Comments Off on Deadliest Iraq Attacks since US Pullout

    Iraq has been free for about two months now. As idiots debate whether or not “it was worth it,” the Agency France Press (AFP) cuts to the money shot with a terse summary of the deadliest attacks in Iraq since only January:

    January 5: Attacks against Shiite Muslims in Baghdad and south Iraq kill 68 people and wound more than 100.

    January 14: A suicide bomber kills 53 people and wounds 137 in an attack on Shiite pilgrims on the outskirts of the southern port city of Basra.

    January 27: A suicide bomber detonates an explosives-packed car at a funeral procession outside a Baghdad hospital, killing 31 people and wounding 60 others.

    February 19: A suicide bomber detonates a car bomb in front of a Baghdad police academy, killing 15 people and wounding 21.

    February 23: A wave of attacks nationwide, blamed on al Qaeda, kill 42 people and leave more than 250 wounded.

    March 5: Suspected al Qaeda gunmen, some wearing police uniforms, and rage through the western city of Haditha in a pre-dawn shooting spree that leaves 27 policemen dead.

    Even as the AFP posted this macabre list, violence in Iraq continued.

    A recent wave of violence in Iraq has resulted in the kidnapping, torture, and killing of about 40 people perceived to be gay or lesbian, with the murder weapon sometimes being a concrete block to the head. The killings began in early February after an unidentified group put up posters with death threats against “adulterous individuals” in largely Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad and Basra, reports the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. The threats listed the targets’ names and ages, and gave them four days to change their behavior or face divine retribution.

    On March 7 a car bomb attack in the Mansour neighborhood of Baghdad left three dead as the capital prepared for the Arab League summit. The same day, a suicide blast killed 14 in the predominantly Shia Turkmen city of Tal Afar. Al Jazeera summed up the continuing violence in a photo essay.

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    Posted in Democracy, Iraq

    US Embassy Helo Hella Fail in Baghdad

    January 27, 2012 // 1 Comment »

    The World’s Largest Most Expensive Embassy (c) maintains its own air force, several dozen helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. The aircraft ferry personnel in and out of Iraq (commercial air transport is considered unsafe so State Department personnel roll private from Amman or Kuwait into Baghdad), and move people around inside the country.

    The helicopters are also used by some of the 5,500 mercenaries hired to protect the Embassy, for observation and armed search and rescue missions when a diplo convoy gets ambushed along some freedom highway in Iraq.

    So it is a developing story that one of State’s merc helos went down inside Baghdad today and had to be rescued itself, eventually hauled back in shame into the Green Zone on a flatbed trailer with the Iraqi Army in support. Agence France-Presse on Twitter is the only outlet that even seems vaguely interested in a story that would represent a major diplomatic incident had it occurred in any other country.

    The Embassy states it was an “emergency landing” with no one hurt, but refuses further comment. Oh well, Iraq is a special place.

    For me, I tried as hard as possible to always fly Army while I was in Iraq. As recounted in We Meant Well, the closest I came to getting killed was when a State Department helicopter idiotically took off with me still standing next to it, the tail rotor swishing just over my head and the head of the bewildered crew chief the pilot accidentally left on the ground with me. The door was wasn’t closed and so the pilot also lost an unsecured weapon and some other items in his haste to depart. Army radios couldn’t contact the State helo radio, so we had to make a phone call to the Embassy to call the mercs to radio the helicopter to recall the helicopter.

    Until we know more about the downed helicopter, Embassy staffers are advised to buckle their seatbelts when in flight– it may be a bumpy ride.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.


    Posted in Democracy, Iraq