April 22, 2013 |
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - U.S. Army Sgt. John Russell pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of five fellow service members and the attempted murder of another in Iraq in 2009 after the government agreed not to seek the death penalty. Russell, 48, was dispassionate and matter-of-fact as he gave his first public account of his methodical march with an M-16 rifle through the Camp Liberty combat stress center - the only mass killing of Americans by a U.S. serviceman during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
April 15, 2013 |
BEIRUT -- A string of bombings in Iraq claimed the lives of more than 30 people Monday in the run-up to provincial elections scheduled for this weekend. The attacks, which left dozens wounded, took place around the country, including in Baghdad; the southern city of Nasiriya; and in the northern cities of Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu, Samarra and Mosul. The blasts followed the assassinations over the weekend of two Sunni Muslim candidates for provincial elections. The deadliest attacks occurred in Baghdad, where security sources said 21 people were killed, including three in a major security breach when a pair of car bombs exploded by the heavily patrolled entrance to Baghdad International Airport.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2013 |
Azzam Alwash, an Iraqi immigrant and former Fullerton resident who returned to Iraq in 2003 to lead a marshlands restoration project, has received the Goldman Environmental Prize, a $150,000 prize awarded to six environmentalists annually. Alwash led a project to reflood the dessicated marshlands between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, an ecosystem twice the size of the Florida Everglades. The marshlands became a political battleground during Saddam Hussein's 30-year reign in Iraq.
April 9, 2013 |
BEIRUT - An Al Qaeda-affiliated militant group in Iraq has united with one of Syria's most-feared Islamic opposition groups in a vivid display of how the two-year Syrian civil war has emboldened extremists across the two countries' borders. The group known as the Islamic State of Iraq also revealed its formative role in creating Al Nusra Front, or Jabhat al Nusra, a Syrian group conceived last year that the U.S. has designated as a terrorist organization, according to an announcement posted on militant websites late Monday.
April 2, 2013
Re "Iran appears the victor in postwar Iraq ," March 29 In 1991, the first President Bush, a decorated World War II combat veteran, was content to simply drive Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait. Iraq was left militarily capable of opposing its longtime nemesis, Iran. A decade later, the second President Bush, who had avoided military service outside the U.S. during the Vietnam War, justified his full-scale invasion of Iraq using false pretenses, toppling the ruling regime.
March 29, 2013 |
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will ultimately cost between $4 trillion and $6 trillion, with medical care and disability benefits weighing heavily for decades to come, according to a new analysis. The bill to taxpayers so far has been $2 trillion, plus $260 billion in interest on the resulting debt. By comparison, the current federal budget is $3.8 trillion. The costs of the wars will continue to mount, said the study's author, Linda Bilmes, a public policy expert at Harvard University.
March 28, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - Ten years after the U.S.-led invasion to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the geopolitical winner of the war appears to be their common enemy: Iran. American military forces are long gone, and Iraqi officials say Washington's political influence in Baghdad is now virtually nonexistent. Hussein is dead. But Iran has become an indispensable broker among Baghdad's new Shiite elite, and its influence continues to grow. The signs are evident in the prominence of pro-Iran militias on the streets, at public celebrations and in the faces of some of those now in the halls of power, men such as Abu Mehdi Mohandis, an Iraqi with a long history of anti-American activity and deep ties to Iran.
March 26, 2013 |
Iraq is on its way to dissolution, and the United States is doing nothing to stop it. And if you ask people in Iraq, it may even be abetting it. With very few exceptions, an important event in Iraq went unnoticed in the U.S. media this month. Prime Minister Nouri Maliki sent a force that included helicopters to western Iraq to arrest Rafi Issawi, the former finance minister and a leading Sunni Arab opposition member. Issawi, who was protected by armed members of the Abu Risha clan, one of post-2003 Iraq's most powerful Sunni tribes, escaped capture.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2013 |
A large U.S. military map of Husaybah, a remote city on the Iraqi border with Syria, was spread across a table in the garage of a home outside the Marine Corps base here. The young men looking at the map know a great deal about Husaybah: They fought some of the bloodiest battles of the U.S.' long war in Iraq there. Remembrance of those days, unscripted and passionate, was at the heart of a reunion this past weekend of 75-plus Marines who served in Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.
March 22, 2013 |
An Iraq war veteran, paralyzed by a sniper's bullet, is preparing to take his own life rather than live sick. “My life is coming to an end,” Tomas Young wrote in an open letter published on Truthdig.com this week. “I am living under hospice care.” Young, an Army veteran, has decided he will stop taking food, water and medicine until finally death takes him, and he is giving a politically charged farewell before he goes. The Iraq war began 10 years ago this month, and Young was one of its most famous lingering casualties.