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U.S., Iraqi Forces Kill 60 Insurgents

September 30th, 2007 . by TexasFred

BAGHDAD (AP) – U.S. and Iraqi forces killed more than 60 insurgent and militia fighters in intense battles over the weekend, with most of the casualties believed to have been al-Qaida fighters, officials said Sunday.

The U.S. Embassy, meanwhile, joined a broad swath of Iraqi politicians – both Shiite and Sunni – in criticizing a nonbinding U.S. Senate resolution seen here as a recipe for splitting the country along sectarian and ethnic lines.

U.S. aircraft killed more than 20 al-Qaida in Iraq fighters who opened fire on an American air patrol northwest of Baghdad, the U.S. command said.

I see the headline, and I applaud the effort from our guys, and this is exactly what I have said for quite some time, OUR guys can get the job done, they can take on any enemy and WIN, that’s what U.S. forces are supposed to to, the only hitch in this get-a-long has been them not being ALLOWED to get the job done, if this is a successful operation brought on by the surge, OK, awesome news, but I still don’t think the much publicized and often ballyhooed surge was necessary, even now, all that is necessary is to tell our guys to go break some things, they can do that, and that’s the job our troops NEED to be doing, breaking things and killing Islamic insurgents…

The aircraft observed about 25 al-Qaida insurgents carrying AK-47 assault rifles – one brandishing a rocket-propelled grenade – walking into a palm grove, the military said.

“Shortly after spotting the men, the aircraft were fired upon by the insurgent fighters,” it said.

The military did not say what kind of aircraft were involved but the fact that the fighters opened fire suggests they were low-flying Apache helicopters. The command said more than 20 of the group were killed and four vehicles were destroyed. No Iraqi civilians or U.S. soldiers were hurt.

This is exactly what’s needed in Iraq, U.S. and Iraqi forces working together as the Iraqis learn how to take on a fight all by themselves, who knows, 5 or 6 more years and they may actually be well trained and capable, because at the rate they are learning and standing UP, it could take that long, maybe longer…

Excuses need to be disallowed, results, that’s exactly what we’ve needed, and positive results from the Iraqi government would be great too, al-Maliki needs to get the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds all on the same page, and they ALL need to stand up to the radical among them, those that would prefer to have Iraq remain the divided nation it is…

And you just know that Iraqi national unity is coming very soon, like, oh, I don’t know, maybe when hell freezes over??

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U.S., Iraqi Forces Kill 60 Insurgents

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Blackwater: The Confidential Iraqi Incident Report

September 30th, 2007 . by TexasFred

Death From All Sides

Sept. 30, 2007 – Since the fatal Sept. 16 Blackwater USA shooting in Baghdad’s Nasoor Square, officials from the private security company have insisted that their guards were responding to fire from “armed enemies.â€? Yet an extensive evidence file put together by the Iraqi National Police and obtained by NEWSWEEK—including documents, maps, sworn witness statements and police video footage—appears to contradict the contractors’ version of events. A confidential incident report, which has been provided by Iraqi National Police investigators to American military and civilian officials, concludes that the Blackwater vehicles “opened fire crazily and randomly, without any reason.â€?

A nine-minute police video made in the moments after the shooting shows helicopters similar to those used by Blackwater still hovering over the wreckage of charred, smoking and bullet-pocked cars. The graphic images include footage of burned human remains and show the street littered with brass bullet casings. They also show what appears to be a police officer waving a pistol at the scene; the footage was captured by a different police officer, who had run over from the nearby Iraqi National Police headquarters. (Portions of the video have been previously broadcast; it was recorded without sound.)

Iraqi National Police investigators also believe that Blackwater’s helicopters fired on the cars from above, according to confidential police documents and interviews with senior police officials. A memo written on Sept. 17 by the lead Iraqi police investigator states that shortly after the shooting began, “helicopters opened fire from the air toward the cars and civilians.â€? Gen. Hussein al-Awadi, the commander of the Iraqi National Police, told NEWSWEEK that the trajectory of some of the bullet wounds could only have been caused by fire from the air. “If anyone moved—whenever they saw someone leaving—either the convoy or the chopper shot him,â€? says Ali Kalaf Salman, an undercover Iraqi National Police officer who was working as a traffic cop at the scene. (One of the police documents lists 17 fatalities and many more wounded from the shooting. Other accounts have put the death toll at 11.)

Blackwater officials have acknowledged that their helicopters were at the scene of the shooting, but have denied that the guards in the choppers opened fire. In statements from Blackwater guards provided to the U.S. State Department and obtained by ABC News, the guards say they were fired upon by uniformed Iraqi police officers and others dressed in civilian clothes from multiple locations near the traffic circle. Still images provided to the network show a Blackwater vehicle pocked with five bullet marks. Anne Tyrrell, a company spokesperson, said shortly after the incident that the company “acted lawfully and appropriately in response to a hostile attack in Baghdad … The ‘civilians’ reportedly fired upon by Blackwater professionals were in fact armed enemies and Blackwater personnel returned defensive fire.�

Full Story Here:
Blackwater: The Confidential Iraqi Incident Report

 

I don’t want to be throwing accusations out there or anything, but, ya just knew there was going to be a but didn’t you, but have you ever noticed how the Iraqis, and OUR very own MSM always seem to able to come up with video of insurgents shooting at American troops or launching rockets and firing off mortars too??

And there’s never footage of the bad guys getting their asses kicked.

Why is that I wonder?? Just askin’.


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Poor Smokers Would Pay for Health Bill

September 30th, 2007 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congressional Democrats have chosen an unlikely source to pay for the bulk of their proposed $35 billion increase in children’s health coverage: people with relatively little money and education.

The program expansion passed by the House and Senate last week would be financed with a 156 percent increase in the federal cigarette tax, taking it to $1 per pack from the current 39 cents. Low-income people smoke more heavily than do wealthier people in the United States, making cigarette taxes a regressive form of revenue.

Democrats, who wrote the legislation and provided most of its votes, generally portray themselves as champions of the poor. They do not dispute that the tax plan would hit poor communities disproportionately, but they say it is worth it to provide health insurance to millions of modest-income children.

All the better, they say, if higher cigarette taxes discourage smoking.

“I’m very happy that we’re paying for this,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in an interview Friday, noting that the plan would not add to the deficit. “The health of the children is extremely important,” he said. “In the long run, maybe it’ll stop people from smoking.”

Congress probably will revisit the cigarette tax issue soon because President Bush has pledged to veto the proposed $35 billion expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The decade-old program helps families buy medical coverage if their income is too high to qualify for Medicaid.

Full Story Here:
Poor Smokers Would Pay for Health Bill

I smoked for 36 years, I started when I was 12 years old, and I continued until 5 years ago when I laid them down cold, it was lay em down or die, that 2nd heart attack and 2nd heart surgery were serious indicators that stopping was likely my best option…

I am not under educated, I’m not poor, I smoked because I liked it, I enjoyed it immensely, and it damn near killed me, I knew the dangers of smoking, I heard all the Surgeon General’s warnings and I ignored them and smoked until I knew that I had no other choice but to stop, and now, I think it is the most offensive, vile, bad smelling habit anyone can possibly indulge in…

Smoking WILL kill you, and if you can’t convince a person of that then at least make the habit so expensive that perhaps that in itself will make them quit, and if they don’t quit, at least we’ll have the money to render health care to their smoke riddled bodies, because if it’s the poor doing the smoking, you can bet there’s going to be some social medicine involved too, and quite honestly, I don’t care if they raise the tax to $10.00 a pack…

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