Friday, September 19, 2008

US helicopters slay Iraqi Family

A US air strike killed eight family members, three of them women, near Tikrit on Friday, police and witnesses said. The pre-dawn helicopter raid occurred in the village of Al-Dawr
Several Iraqi police and army officers from Tikrit, the capital of Salaheddin province, confirmed the raid.

A doctor at Tikrit General Hospital, Imad al-Juburi, said the bodies of eight people were brought in and the victims appeared to have died of injuries consistent with an air strike.

US air strike kills eight family members in Iraq: police

1 hour ago

"Eight people -- five men and three women -- were killed by a US air strike targeting their home. They are all members of the same family," First Lieutenant Firaz al-Duri of Al-Dawr police told AFP.

One child survived but was wounded, he added.

Several Iraqi police and army officers from Tikrit, the capital of Salaheddin province, confirmed the raid.

Abdul Kareem, a close relative of the victims whose home is in the same neighbourhood, said he saw US troops surrounding the house in the early hours.

"Americans came and surrounded the house," he said. "Then helicopters targeted it."

KABUL (AP): NATO troops killed a civilian in southern Afghanistan. The civilian victim was riding in a truck in Kandahar province Thursday, the military alliance said in a statement. The troops fired two shots into the vehicle, killing the civilian inside. The statement did not say whether the civilian was driving.

``Incidents such as this are very regrettable, and our thoughts are with the families and friends of the casualty,'' the statement said.

"What causes the documented high level of civilian casualties -- 3,000 - 3,400 [October 7, 2001 thru March 2002] civilian deaths -- in the U.S. air war upon Afghanistan? The explanation is the apparent willingness of U.S. military strategists to fire missiles into and drop bombs upon, heavily populated areas of Afghanistan."

Professor Marc W. Herold
Ph.D., M.B.A., B.Sc.

Departments of Economics and Women's Studies
McConnell Hall
Whittemore School of Business & Economics
University of New Hampshire
Durham, N.H. 03824, U.S.A.
FAX : 603 862-3383
Phone: 603 862-3375

When U.S. warplanes strafed [with AC-130 gunships] the farming village of Chowkar-Karez, 25 miles north of Kandahar on October 22-23rd,killing at least 93 civilians, a Pentagon official said, "the people there are dead because we wanted them dead." The reason? They sympathized with the Taliban1. When asked about the Chowkar incident, Rumsfeld replied, "I cannot deal with that particular village."2

Human Rights Watch estimated at least 173 Afghan civilians were killed by US or NATO attacks in the first seven months of 2008: 119 by airstrikes and 54 by ground fire. This number did not include the 8/22 airstrikes that, according to the Afghan government and the U.N. killed 90 civilians, the vast majority of which were women and children.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported in September of 2008 that 577 Afghan civilians had been killed by U.S., NATO, and Afghan government forces in the first eight months of 2008

= IRAQ =

A November 11, 2006 Los Angeles Times article[95] reports:

The [Iraq] nation's health has deteriorated to a level not seen since the 1950s, said Joseph Chamie, former director of the U.N. Population Division and an Iraq specialist. "They were at the forefront", he said, referring to healthcare just before the 1991 Persian Gulf War. "Now they're looking more and more like a country in sub-Saharan Africa."

A November 9, 2006 International Herald Tribune article reported what Iraq's Health Minister, Ali al-Shemari, said about the issue:

Al-Shemari said Iraq needed at least 10 years to rebuild its infrastructure, and that the medical situation in the country was "gloomy." There was a shortage of medical supplies, which sometimes took months to reach the country from abroad, while roadblocks prevented people from getting to hospitals, he said. No hospital has been built in Iraq since 1983, and the country's 15,000 available hospital beds were well short of the 80,000 beds needed. The minister also noted that many doctors had left the country. "We need help from anybody," Al-Shemari said.[18]

ORB survey of Iraqi war deaths in August 2007

A September 14, 2007 estimate by ORB (Opinion Research Business), an independent British polling agency, suggests that the total Iraqi violent death toll due to the Iraq War since the US-led invasion is in excess of 1.2 million (1,220,580). Although higher than the 2006 Lancet estimate through June 2006, these results, which were based on a survey of 1499 adults in Iraq from August 12-19, 2007, are more or less consistent with the figures that were published in the Lancet study

On 28 January 2008, ORB published an update based on additional work carried out in rural areas of Iraq. Some 600 additional interviews were undertaken and as a result of this the death estimate was revised to 1,033,000 with a given range of 946,000 to 1,120,000

D3 Systems poll in early 2007

From Feb. 25 to March 5, 2007 D3 Systems [4] conducted a poll for BBC, ABC News, ARD German TV and USA Today.[104][105][106][107] The methodology was described thus: "This poll for ABC News, USA Today, the BBC and ARD was conducted Feb. 25-March 5, 2007, through in-person interviews with a random national sample of 2,212 Iraqi adults, including oversamples in Anbar province, Basra city, Kirkuk and the Sadr City section of Baghdad. The results have a 2.5-point error margin. Field work by D3 Systems of Vienna, Va., and KA Research Ltd. of Istanbul."

17% of respondents reported that at least one member of the household had been 'physically harmed by the violence that is occurring in the country at this time', translating into at least ~650-700,000 Iraqis. The survey did not ask whether multiple household members had been harmed, so the actual number would most likely be significantly higher.

Most studies estimating the casualties due to the war in Iraq acknowledge various reasons why the estimates and counts may be low.

A January 10, 2008 Washington Post article reported: "Previous research has shown that household surveys typically miss 30 to 50 percent of deaths. One reason is that some families that have suffered violent deaths leave the survey area. ... Some people are kidnapped and disappear, and others turn up months or years later in mass graves. Some are buried or otherwise disposed of without being recorded. In particularly violent areas, local governments have effectively ceased to function, and there are ineffective channels for collecting and passing information between hospitals, morgues and the central government."

The October 2006 Lancet study
states: "Aside from Bosnia, we can find no conflict situation where passive surveillance [used by the IBC] recorded more than 20% of the deaths measured by population-based methods [used in the Lancet studies]. In several outbreaks, disease and death recorded by facility-based methods underestimated events by a factor of ten or more when compared with population-based estimates. Between 1960 and 1990, newspaper accounts of political deaths in Guatemala correctly reported over 50% of deaths in years of low violence but less than 5% in years of highest violence."

Systematic underreporting by U.S.

An April 2005 article by The Independent reports:

"A week before she was killed by a suicide bomber, humanitarian worker Marla Ruzicka forced military commanders to admit they did keep records of Iraqi civilians killed by US forces. ... in an essay Ms Ruzicka wrote a week before her death on Saturday and published yesterday, the 28-year-old revealed that a Brigadier General told her it was 'standard operating procedure' for US troops to file a report when they shoot a non-combatant. She obtained figures for the number of civilians killed in Baghdad between 28 February and 5 April [2005], and discovered that 29 had been killed in firefights involving US forces and insurgents. This was four times the number of Iraqi police killed."

The December 2006 report of the Iraq Study Group (ISG) found that the United States has filtered out reports of violence in order to disguise its policy failings in Iraq. A December 7, 2006 McClatchy Newspapers article reports that the ISG found that U.S. officials reported 93 attacks or significant acts of violence on one day in July 2006, yet "a careful review of the reports for that single day brought to light more than 1,100 acts of violence." The article further reports:

"The finding confirmed a Sept. 8 McClatchy Newspapers report that U.S. officials excluded scores of people killed in car bombings and mortar attacks from tabulations measuring the results of a drive to reduce violence in Baghdad. By excluding that data, U.S. officials were able to boast that deaths from sectarian violence in the Iraqi capital had declined by more than 52 percent between July and August, McClatchy newspapers reported."

From the ISG report itself: "A murder of an Iraqi is not necessarily counted as an attack. If we cannot determine the source of a sectarian attack, that assault does not make it into the database. A roadside bomb or a rocket or mortar attack that doesn't hurt U.S. personnel doesn't count."

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posted by u2r2h at 4:25 AM


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