Latest | Recent Articles | Multimedia Page | TV | Search | Blog

Email this article | Print this article | Link to this Article

If you don't get MER, you just don't get it!
12 Sept 2004 - MiddleEast.Org - MER is Free
News, Views, & Analysis Governments, Lobbies, & the
Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know

The most honest, most comprehensive, and most mobilizing news and
analysis on the Middle East always comes from MER. It is indispensable!"
Robert Silverman - Salamanca, Spain
MIDDLEEAST.ORG
Comment on this and other MER articles in the MER FORUM



U.S. Helicopter Gunships Attack Crowds in Baghdad
60+ Dead Hundreds Injured throughout Iraq

By ROBERT H. REID

``I'm dying, I'm dying'' - journalist cameraman recorded the chaotic scene


BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP - 12 September 2004) - Insurgents hammered central Baghdad on Sunday with one of their most intense mortar and rocket barrages ever in the heart of the capital, heralding a day of violence that killed nearly 60 people nationwide as security appeared to spiral out of control.


At least 37 people were killed in Baghdad alone. Many of them died when a U.S. helicopter fired on a disabled U.S. Bradley fighting vehicle as Iraqis swarmed around it, cheering, throwing stones and waving the black and yellow sunburst banner of Iraq's most-feared terror organization.


The dead from the helicopter strike included Arab television reporter Mazen al-Tumeizi, who screamed, ``I'm dying, I'm dying,'' as a cameraman recorded the chaotic scene. An Iraqi cameraman working for the Reuters news agency and an Iraqi freelance photographer for Getty Images were wounded.


Maimed and lifeless bodies of young men and boys lay in the street as the stricken U.S. vehicle was engulfed in flames and thick black smoke.

Across the country, the death toll Sunday was at least 59, according to figures from the Health Ministry, the Multinational Force command and local authorities.

Nearly 200 people were wounded, more than half of them in Baghdad.

Strong detonations again shook the center of Baghdad after sunset Sunday. There were no reports of damage or casualties.

As the early morning barrage was under way in Baghdad, insurgents attacked the infamous U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison on the city's western edge. Several mortar shells exploded outside the complex about 6 a.m., and about 20 minutes later a pickup truck packed with artillery shells crashed through the chain-link fence on the outer perimeter.

Marines opened fire and the vehicle exploded before reaching the main security wall, killing the driver, a military statement said. Seven people were later arrested, it said.

Tawhid and Jihad, a militant group linked to al-Qaida and led by Jordanian terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, said it carried out Sunday's coordinated campaign of violence in Baghdad.

In an Internet statement, the group boasted that it holds the initiative in the Iraqi insurgency and possesses the ``capability to surprise the enemy and hit its strategic installations at the right time and place.''

The statement's source could not be verified, but the scope and intensity of the attacks raised serious questions about the state of security, which has deteriorated since the June 28 transfer of sovereignty to the interim Iraqi government.

In Basra, interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi vowed to pursue insurgents.

``We are adamant that we are going to defeat terrorism,'' Allawi said. ``We intend to confront them and bring them to justice.''

Interior Minister Falah Hassan al-Naqib suggested the attacks could be in response to a government operation against the Adel neighborhood of west Baghdad, an insurgent hotbed. However, the scope of the attacks suggested they had been in preparation for some time.

Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged that the U.S.-led coalition faced a ``difficult time'' in Iraq but said the United States had a plan to quash the insurgency and bring those areas under control in time for national elections in January.

The insurgency ``will be brought under control,'' Powell said on NBC's ``Meet The Press.'' ``It's not an impossible task.''

Near Hillah, 60 miles south of Baghdad, three Polish soldiers were killed in an ambush - raising Poland's death toll in Iraq to 13 - and a bomb killed three Iraqi national guardsmen. A district police chief was killed in an attack in Baghdad's Yarmouk neighborhood.

Meanwhile, 10 people were killed and 40 were wounded in fighting in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, said hospital director Abdel Munim Aftan.

Three American soldiers and two Iraqi civilians were wounded Sunday when a suicide driver blew up his car next to a U.S. Army convoy on the road to Baghdad International Airport, American sources said. The vehicle was one of seven car bombs reported Sunday in Iraq, two of which did not explode, the sources said.

Powell did not elaborate on the plan for addressing the insurgency, but senior U.S. officials in Iraq have spoken of a multi-pronged strategy involving overtures to tribal leaders, economic incentives and the use of force as the best way to prevail against the resistance.

Rockets and mortar shells began raining down before dawn on the Green Zone, headquarters of the Iraqi government and its U.S. allies, and other parts of central Baghdad. As the shelling continued after sunrise, U.S. troops backed by armored vehicles moved into the streets searching for the attackers.

A Bradley fighting vehicle rushing down Haifa Street, a major traffic artery near the Green Zone, to assist a U.S. patrol was disabled by a car bomb about 6:50 a.m., the U.S. military said. Two Bradley crewmen were wounded by the bomb and four were injured by grenades and small-arms fire as they fled the vehicle, the military said.

Jubilant fighters, curiosity seekers and young boys swarmed around the burning vehicle, dancing, cheering and hurling firebombs. Several young men placed a black and yellow banner of Tawhid and Jihad in the barrel of the Bradley's main gun.

Fearing the crowd would loot the vehicle of weapons and ammunition, American soldiers called for air support, and as U.S. Army helicopters flew over the burning Bradley ``they received small-arms fire from the insurgents in vicinity of the vehicle,'' a military statement said.

The helicopters ``fired upon the anti-Iraqi forces and the Bradley preventing the loss of sensitive equipment and weapons,'' the statement said. ``An unknown number of insurgents and Iraq civilians were wounded or killed in the incident.''

Iraq's Health Ministry said 13 people were killed and 61 wounded on Haifa Street, though it was unclear how many were killed by the helicopter strike. Scattered shoes, pools of fresh blood and debris littered the street.

``We were standing near the destroyed vehicle when the helicopter started firing, so we rushed to safety in a nearby building,'' Alaa Hassan, 24, said from his hospital bed. ``I went back to the scene to help the wounded people when the helicopter fired again and I was hit in the chest.''

Twelve more people died and 41 were injured in other violence across the city Sunday, the Health Ministry said.

Elsewhere, gunmen attacked a group of policemen in the northern city of Mosul, killing one and wounding seven, police said.

Also in the north, three security officers were wounded when attackers opened fire as they stood guard near the Dibis oilfields northeast of Kirkuk. Two others were injured in a drive-by shooting west of Kirkuk, said Maj. Gen. Anwar Mohammed Amin of the Iraqi national guard.

Security officers guarding the oil-rich Kirkuk area have repeatedly been targeted by militants, who have blown up dozens of pipelines in a bid to disrupt reconstruction efforts and undermine the U.S.-backed interim government.




Please forward MER articles to others in their entirety with proper attribution.
Your comments and information and welcome in the new MER FORUM.


MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org
Phone: (202) 362-5266 Fax: (815) 366-0800
Email: MER@MiddleEast.Org
Copyright 2004 Mid-East Realities, All rights reserved

If you don't get MER, you just don't get it!
Click here to subscribe by email


September 2004


Magazine






Iran and Syria now Targeted
(September 30, 2004)
Now the Americans and Israelis have Iran and Syria in their sights.

MER Warned About Jewish Neocons and Israeli Lobby Years Ago
(September 30, 2004)
Think back now to the days before the Bush/Cheney regime took power in Washington, before the term 'neocon' and the policy of 'pre-emption' were in wide use, and to before 9/11 was even imagined by all but a very few. MER was already long ago raising the warning flags, explaining what was really happening in Washington as well as in the Middle East, previewing what has since come to be; all while so many others were proclaiming the 'peace process is irreversible' and Yasser Arafat was the most frequent foreign guest at the American White House!

MER Articles - Sept 1998
(September 30, 2004)


Intifada II Enters Year Five
(September 28, 2004)
The figures for the Intifada are brutal. Adjusted for the size of the U.S. population, that is if the Israeli occupation were taking place in the U.S., over 300,000 Americans would have been killed in just the past 4 years alone, well over a million seriously injured, many millions imprisoned and tortured, plus considerable land confiscated, homes destroyed, and occupying Jewish 'settlers' taking over.

MER Articles - September 1997
(September 28, 2004)
These MER Articles were published in September 1997. The perspective they offer on events since is crucial.

Maps tell the Real Story 'on the ground' where it counts
(September 26, 2004)
The Israelis now control all Palestinian areas through hundreds of military Checkpoints, No-go zones, By-pass 'Jews only' Roads, Settlements, Outposts, and in recent years Fences, Walls, and Electronic Monitoring systems throughout the West Bank similar to what was done in the past to Gaza. In addition all Palestinians must even receive Israeli military permission to travel from one city and village. The situation is today far worse than Apartheid was in South Africa. As a result, no real, contiguous, and even minimally sovereign Palestinian State is possible any longer in the area that was Palestine in 1947.

Anglican group calls for Israel sanctions
(September 24, 2004)
A few months ago the American Presbyterians officially took the first major Church steps to sanction Israel, recalling how South Africa was treated in the days of Apartheid not that long ago. Now an influential Anglican group is pushing for a combination of boycott and divestment from Israel when their senior Church leaders next meet.

USA at MOMENT of NATIONAL CRISIS
(September 24, 2004)
"Over the last three years, practicing a philosophy of deliberate deception, fear-mongering and abuse of authority, the Bush administration has done more to undermine the republic of Lincoln and Jefferson than the cells of al-Qaida. It has willfully ignored our fundamental laws and squandered the nation's wealth in bloody, open-ended pursuits.... We have arrived at a moment of national crisis."

Sy Hersh - Readers' Comments
(September 23, 2004)
Important articles and exclusive insights like this would not be easily available, or oftentimes available at all, but for MER. These Readers' Comments this week concern the recent MER article about Washington journalist Seymour Hersh and his recent interviews and talks about his new book Chain of Command:

ARAB AMERICANS - REALITIES NOT DECEPTIONS
(September 22, 2004)
The real message to the tough-minded politicos in Washington is this: There's nothing to worry about from Arab Americans...working overtime they can only mobilize quite few in numbers...they are not even protesting against the upcoming agreement itself likely to be soon signed across the street...they know nothing about the power of civil disobedience...they have no powerful or even significant allies...their leadership is naive and oftentimes foolish...and the Arab organizations we work with can be counted on to keep them under control come what may.

IRAN - The U.S. and Israel Prepare to Attack
(September 22, 2004)
The new massive arms sale of 'bunker busting' bombs to Israel has two major purposes at this point in addition to furthering the Bush/Cheney election campaign -- to prepare for real war with Iran sooner rather than later, while at the same time attempting to further intimidate one more time those in Tehran to 'comply, resistance is futile'.

About MER - Please Read and Contribute Today
(September 21, 2004)
Reorganizing and overcoming all the obstacles has come at a considerable price in time, effort, and funds. We have to appeal now for your substantial financial support; for a truly independent and hard-hitting organization must have truly independent funding or it cannot continue and have impact. Please contribute today to make MER possible and of growing impact. Thank you!

Sy Hersh - Israeli Disinformation and Cover-Up?
(September 21, 2004)
In fact, the more one thinks about this, the more one reaches the possible conclusion that while Hersh is on target (though incomplete) when it comes to the torture scandal, when it comes to the geostrategic, especially when it comes to matters relating to Israel, Hersh may well be being used for disinformation and continually engages in a kind of self-censorship and cover-up.

Journalists and Professors With Chilling Warnings
(September 20, 2004)
"Every generation has its test of principle in which people of good faith can no longer remain silent in the face of authoritarian ambition. If we cannot join together to fight the abomination of American camps, we have already lost what we are defending."

The 'Fucking' Crazy and Stupid Washington Neocons
(September 19, 2004)
Of course they only talk this way when they've really had it and when they think the befuddled largely ignorant general public won't hear. But the reality is these two top American Generals who have been saluting to power their whole lives, and who themselves are very much a part of the terrible corrupted system, are known to feel the senior neocons empowered by Bush and Cheney are out of control and sometimes a little fucking out of their minds!

Feith of Israel
(September 18, 2004)
MER 'Washington Scene'EXCLUSIVE: Click to Listen to Douglas Feith at an Israeli lobby White House rally while Bill Clinton was still President, Feith was not yet back in government, and more than a year before 9/11 was to happen. For some time in Washington Feith has been a prominent member of the extended Israeli-Jewish lobby speaking at times as harshly and unrelentingly as any Israeli propagandist. Persons in the media should contact MER for more extensive information and additional audio and video clips of Feith - 202 362-5266 and press@MiddleEast.Org

Crude Politics: How Bush's Oil Cronies Hijacked the War on Terrorism
(September 17, 2004)
But, when writing about the situation in Washington and the linkages between persons and groups that brought about the Iraqi invasion/occupation, Sperry makes significant contributions in his book Crude Policies that need to be understood.

Washington's Pathetic Arabist Hustlers - National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations
(September 16, 2004)
But the most tragic reality of all is that in the process of what they have done for themselves this pathetically incestuous Washington cabal of 'Arabists' has squandered crucial decades, all together more than a hundred million dollars, and even now with the Middle East on fire and Washington gripped by policy warfare very very few even want to bother to come and get their free lunch with them.

Iraqi Debacle, Iraqi Disaster
(September 16, 2004)
Most senior US military officers now believe the war on Iraq has turned into a disaster on an unprecedented scale

EYEWITNESS TO SLAUGHTER IN BAGHDAD
(September 15, 2004)
On Sunday as the details of this murderous U.S. attack on a Baghdad crowd were first being reported, MER asked an officer on Commanding U.S. General Abizaid's staff how could the U.S. be using attack helicopters to fire on crowds in Baghdad and still think Iraqis wouldn't hate the Americans. He suggested it must have been to protect troops still in the damaged vehicle. A few hours later when told that was not the case, that the troops had already been rescued, he suggested maybe there was a need to destroy the vehicle for 'intelligence' reasons. When told the vehicle was already destroyed and on fire he could only shrug... How telling... This unusually gripping first-hand report from the exploding streets of Baghdad:

Bin Laden More Popular Than Bush in Egypt
(September 14, 2004)
With Iraq exploding, the Americans attacking street crowds in Baghdad with bombs and missiles, and the U.S. military already stretched to the breaking point both in terms of manpower and credibility, Washington's propaganda machine is in overdrive both at home and abroad. Even so, even in long-time American ally Egypt, Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda are considerably more popular than George W. Bush and the U.S.

Iraq Exploding in Rebellion and Death
(September 12, 2004)
At least 37 people were killed in Baghdad alone. Many of them died when a U.S. helicopter fired on a disabled U.S. Bradley fighting vehicle as Iraqis swarmed around it, cheering, throwing stones and waving the black and yellow sunburst banner of Iraq's most-feared terror organization.

'Fucking Crazies' Powell Explodes - Withdraw from Iraq Financial Times Editorializes
(September 12, 2004)
The U.S. policy in the Middle East is already a disaster of historical proportions. In a new book being published in a few days no less an authority than U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell himself is quoted describing the top neo-conservatives in the Bush administration as 'fucking crazies' during the build-up to war in Iraq.

9/11 - 'War of the Worlds'
(September 11, 2004)
Immediately when 9/11 occurred the publisher of MER was asked to quickly write about it's meaning and ramifications for the about-to-be-published October issue of a European Edition of Playboy Magazine.

9/11 began a long time ago and for very real reasons
(September 11, 2004)
Those who were reading MER six years ago were giving a prescient foretaste of what has since come, and why. This MER article was originally published on 25 August 1998. Read it now keeping in mind that what has been happening since was being caused and was foreseeable then; just as what is being done now is creating the still bleaker future now ahead if today's course in Washington is not significantly altered...and soon.

Chechnya - Crucible for Hatred and Terrorism
(September 10, 2004)
It is a genocidal war Vladimir Putin is personally responsible for more than any other. But then neither the U.S. nor the European powers nor the U.N. for that matter have had the vision, the determination, and the courage to step in. And thus the fingers of responsibility and blame should be pointing in many simultaneous directions at this time.

Israeli Spying in USA Fox Series Spiked and Covered-Up
(September 10, 2004)
AIPAC and Israel's many official and unofficial lobbyists are now mounting a major campaign to bring the FBI investigation to an end with only minor charges involving 'mishandling' of classified documents. The pressures on everyone in Washington are no doubt intense; especially in this election year. And so what happened in November 2002 should be especially instructive; and in view of the most recent charges and investigations should be resurrected:

Chechnya - Crucible for Hatred and Terrorism
(September 8, 2004)
This look back on the terribly brutal Russian war in Chechnya to prevent Chechnyan independence must be understood to be the crucible in which the horrifying events of recent days were brewed. It is a genocidal war Vladimir Putin is personally responsible for more than any other; but then neither the U.S. nor the European powers nor the U.N. for that matter have had the vision, the determination, and the courage to step in. And thus the fingers of responsibility and blame should be pointing in many simultaneous directions.

Aljazeera Caves Again
(September 8, 2004)
Coerced self-censorship and forcing the media to constantly be wary of offending the powers that be is a long-time hallmark not only in the Middle East, Russia, and China, but also in the West and the United States. The techniques and methods are different, especially when it comes to the American scene, but in many cases the results are similar.

Chechnya, Palestine, Iraq, Kashmir - Occupations All
(September 7, 2004)
Brutal occupations all -- Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, Kashmir. All examples of when overwhelming military force is used by a major power to put down popular resistance to historical subjugation and injustice.

IsraelGate +
(September 6, 2004)
Major efforts are now underway in Washington to head off, cover up, derail, what we earlier today for the first time called ISRAELGATE. IsraelGate is potentially the most significant scandal to rock relations between the U.S. and Israel ever -- since the Lavon Affair and 1956 war when President Eisenhower faced down the Israelis, then 1967 with the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, and then the Pollard spy affair nearly twenty years ago now. But now the stakes are much much higher than ever for the following three reasons:

ISRAELGATE!
(September 5, 2004)
Now that the new Israeli spy scandal has broken into public view, the top-level connections between the Jewish neocons at the Pentagon and the National Security Council -- among them Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and Elliott Abrams -- the following and associated stories first published earlier this year deserve much more than a second look. They should in fact be the basis for a full-fledged journalistic investigation into what could yet be called ISRAELGATE.

Israel, Neocons, Lobby, and Spying
(September 4, 2004)
For there are those in Washington and in the media who know very well that it was the Israelis and the Jewish neocons, working in tandem, who worked relentlessly to push the U.S. into the invasion and occupation of Iraq. And there are those who are well aware that the Israelis and the Jewish neocons are now working in tandem to push and cajole the U.S. to take on Iran, Syria, and all who stand in the way of their plans for the U.S. and Israel in partnership to control the Middle East strategically, politically, and economically.

Revered Muslim Cleric Calls On Muslims To Fight The U.S.Occupier
(September 3, 2004)
"Al-Qaradawi was one of 93 prominent Muslim figures who in August called on Muslims around the world to support resistance against US forces in Iraq and its apppointed interim Iraqi government."

Bush Speaks, Eocons (Christian Evangelicals + Jewish Neocons) Rule
(September 2, 2004)
As George W. Bush prepares to outline his 'vision' and 'agenda' to the American nation tonight from besieged New York City he today published the following appeal to American Jews in The Forward newspaper. Ironically, in the same issue of The Forward, the latest Israeli and Jewish Lobby spy scandal gets much play including the additional article below:




© 2004 Mid-East Realities, All rights reserved