Via Reuters, we have been spending $7.5 million a day in Iraq since mid-June. That's a total to date of about $532 million.
U.S. military operations against Islamic State in Iraq have cost an average of $7.5 million per day since they began in mid-June, the Pentagon said on Friday, a figure that means the department has spent more than $500 million on the conflict.
Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told a briefing the expense of U.S. operations against Islamic State in Iraq had varied since U.S. forces became involved on June 16 but on average "it's costing us about $7.5 million per day."
Reuters says according to analysts, the U.S. has been spending $1.3 billion per week on Afghanistan.
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On the tribe members:
These clans were left armed after they agreed to submit to the rule of the Sharī’ah with the condition they hand over all heavy weaponry. They then betrayed their covenant by rebelling against the Islamic State. They ambushed Islamic State soldiers, and then tortured, amputated, and executed prisoners taken from the ambushes. All these crimes were carried out in opposition to the enforcement of the Sharī’ah.
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Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.
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Yesterday, ISIS posted photos of captured Syrian soldiers being forced to march across the desert in their underwear, presumably to their deaths. A video (non-violent) is here. Today Reuters reports ISIS released another video showing they were all killed.
Also today, ISIS issued another "blood message" to the U.S. warning it about helping the Kurds. In the video, now gone from You Tube but available elswhere (no links please) it shows a bunch of captured Kurdish soldiers in orange jumpsuits (likely to mimic Guantanamo.) One soldier is then beheaded on camera, while a warning to the U.S. is made about helping the Kurds. This took place in Mosul, in front of the Rahman Mosque.
ISIS also posted a video of it beheading a Lebanese soldier.
CENTCOM announces today it has struck a tank, a humvee, 4 armed vehicles, a construction vehicle and damaged a checkpoint.
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My iPhone 5s died yesterday. It just wouldn't turn on. I ended up having to plug it into my computer and restore the factory settings, and then an old backup. It took hours, and it worked -- until this morning. Dead as a doornail again.
I took it to the Apple store, and without my even asking, they offered me a brand new phone, same model. They set it up in 5 minutes. (Now I have to sync it and get all my music and apps back on it, but at least I won't have to keep doing it tomorrow and the next day.) Thank you Apple!
Apple is coming out with a 13" iPad. I still have the original iPad, which doesn't work with a lot of more advanced video apps, so maybe it will be time for a new one. I really like the big screen -- but then, I'm one of the few people I know who still prefer a desktop to a laptop. Anyone else tempted to buy it? [More...]
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Our last open thread is full, here's a new one. All topics welcome.
On James Foley's kidnappers: Before "the Beatles", there were the Belgians. Lots of dots to connect.
The latest victim of police "walking while black" syndrome: Hollywood producer Charles Belk, who was stopped while walking from a Beverly Hills restaurant to his car to feed the parking meter. He was stopped by police who thought he might be a bank robber, arrested and held for 6 hours. After viewing the robbery tape, police determined he looked nothing like the robber and released him, with a half-hearted apology. In his own words, on FB.
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Driving this afternoon and listening to CNN on Sirius, the main story was not ISIS or Syria, it was a new audio of the Michael Brown shooting that a passer-by captured on his cell phone while video-chatting with a woman. As he tells her how fine she looks, there are gunshots in the background. Either 10 or 11, depending on the guest they were interviewing. But all could clearly hear about a three second pause between the first round of five or six, and the final ones. They then replayed four interviews of eye witnesses, all of whom said there was a pause in the shooting as Brown turned around and put his hands up.
The significance? Unclear, since it's not been confirmed the tape is authentic or reliable, and obviously, the network doesn't have the original recording. The FBI has also been given a copy.
Here's a thread for all topics related to the Brown shooting.
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(Random photo of unnamed fighter from Tumbler page of Dutch fighter ChechClear.)
British authorities have not named the person standing beside James Foley in the ISIS execution video. They have said they are close to identifying him and refused to give names. On Meet the Press yesterday:
I think we are close. I've been in touch, obviously, in the last day or two with my colleagues at home. We're not yet in a position to say exactly who this is, but there is some very sophisticated voice identification technology and other measures that we have got which should allow us to be very clear about who this person is before very long.
The Sunday Times (UK) reported government officials have told them that security forces say a major suspect is former British rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary. Fox news says an unnamed "western intelligence source" has confirmed Bary is the primary suspect. All other media reports seem to be quoting the Sunday Times.
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Ferguson seems to have died down. The grand jury isn't expected to finish work until October.
In other cases: Joran van der Sloot allegedly threatened to kill the warden at Piedras Gordos prison and has been transferred to the hinterland: Challapalca prison in the Andres, near the border with Bolivia. It's one of Peru's roughest prisons, with most of the inmates sent there after disciplinary problems in other prisons. Human Rights groups have cited it for violations. There is no running water or electricity. The water for human consumpstion isn't treated, which causes gastric distress. The hygience is inadequate. There is no opportunity to go outdoors at all for recreation. Joran is on a hunger strike in protest of the transfer.[More...]
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The Emmys have been so boring. Maybe it is the low-key production. But they just picked up with Aaron Paul winning Best supporting actor for Breaking Bad.
Here's a thread for all things Emmy related.
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I'll be back to blogging this evening. In the meantime, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.
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Busy day. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.
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On James Foley, I think it's odd that the knife in the ISIS guy's hands in the execution video doesn't match the one on the ground next to Foley's body after he is killed. And we don't see the ISIS guy actually cutting Foley. Also, Foley doesn't flinch when he puts the knife up to his neck. Could the ISIS guy speaking in the video not be the actual killer, just playing the part for the cameras? They could easily have stopped the tape, and had the real ISIS executioner step in and do the killing. Are authorities searching for one person when they should be looking for two people?
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Here is the final email ISIS sent to the family of journalist James Wright Foley, who was executed this week. As for the reasons for disclosing it:
The Foley family has agreed to release the email from Foley’s captors. GlobalPost has chosen to publish it in full in the interest of transparency and to fully tell Jim's story. We believe the text offers insight into the motivations and tactics of the Islamic State.
The full text of the email is below: [More...]
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