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Author Topic: Merry Xmas War is Over III
majorvictory
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posted 05 October 2003 04:18 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Alas, wars can't be stopped so easily as a topic is closed!

A land ruled by chaos

quote:

Saturday October 4, 2003
The Guardian

In the centre of the rollicking Iraqi border town of Safwan, where dusty small boys dodge cars and lorries - and the odd slap from overheated adults - to offer tins of Pepsi for sale and Kuwaiti mobile phones for hire, lives a man who has inflicted his own private joke on Saddam Hussein's regime.
On a road lined with shabby tents and shacks, squatted by tea sellers, phone merchants and car salesmen, Risan al-Mana occupied the raised brick platform where Ba'ath party leaders used to take the salutes of the coerced and terrified "volunteer" brigades. Then he turned it into a sales office for a dubious trade in used cars from Kuwait. So much for Saddam, and his all-powerful Ba'ath party, Mr al-Mana laughed. They were consigned to the scrapheap of history.

So was the old Safwan, or at least the version I visited a few weeks before the war that would end Saddam's brutal career. The town, a sad and flyblown place, had been sinking into lethargy for 12 years, ever since the border was closed after the Kuwait war. It had one teahouse, where the most vigorous motion was the clicking of domino tiles. The town's inhabitants, under closer than usual surveillance because they lived in the border area, were the most terrified people I had ever seen, frozen into silence by the sight of my government minder.

By the time I returned to Safwan it was nearly six months since US forces had roared across the border from Kuwait, and I was no longer required to travel with a minder. From the border towns of Safwan and Umm Qasr, the US columns had advanced north along the Euphrates river, rising from the flat, featureless desert to the isolated stands of palm trees and the fertile plains before curving eastwards to Baghdad. On April 9, they entered the capital's Firdowz Square, where a crowd looped a noose around a statue of Saddam and broke it off at the knees.

The moment, recorded by a legion of cameras, came to symbolise the end of the regime. But what has risen in its place? Are the forces which now occupy and control Iraq building the foundations of the modern state they promised, or laying the foundations for another version of the old, repressive regime? My route, as I retraced the road to Saddam's ruin, took me through the southern heartland of the Shias, the despised and neglected majority of Iraq. It crossed sectors controlled by British, American, Italian, Romanian, Dutch, Bulgarian and Polish troops. It led past charred and contorted Iraqi army vehicles sinking into the sands, government buildings and army installations reduced to powder. But there was a more fundamental destruction.

Iraq under the US-led occupation is a fearful, lawless and broken place, where murder rates have rocketed, 80% of workers are idle and hospital managers despair at shortages of IV sets and basic antibiotics. Police are seen as thugs and thieves, and the American and British forces as distant rulers, more concerned with protecting their troops than providing security to ordinary Iraqis. The governing council they created is simply irrelevant. A mile away from one of the richest oilfields on earth, the queues at petrol stations stretch for hours. "We completely underestimated how broken this system was," says Andrew Alderson, the financial officer of the British-led administration in Basra.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 05 October 2003 04:30 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by majorvictory:
Alas, wars can't be stopped so easily as a topic is closed!


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
drgoodword
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posted 05 October 2003 07:38 PM      Profile for drgoodword   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Perhaps the mods would be so kind as to make joining links at the ends (and if possible, at the beginnings, perhaps with edits), so anyone coming across one of these dissected discussion threads can link to the others in the series.

Thanks.


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pogge
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posted 06 October 2003 01:41 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US soldiers shoot dead two Iraqis

quote:
US forces shot dead two Iraqi army veterans as ex-soldiers staged protests demanding back pay for a third consecutive day.

An Iraqi policeman said American troops shot dead the protesters late on Sunday in the northern city of Kirkuk.

He said the pair were killed and eight other demonstrators were hurt after US soldiers opened fire on a group they claimed was about to riot.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 07 October 2003 12:52 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
INSIDE THE SUNNI TRIANGLE

quote:
Iraqi raids fostering fresh enemies
Once-supportive, critical villagers now openly anti-American

Anna Badkhen, Chronicle Staff Writer Monday, October 6, 2003

Fallujah, Iraq -- Five months after President Bush declared the end of "major combat" in Iraq,
the war may indeed be over for most of the country.

But not for Sheikh Mishkhen al Jumaili. Last month, American troops killed nine of his relatives, including his son, in the span of just four days.

"They mean to kill as many Iraqis as possible," said al Jumaili, weeping silently as his younger relatives quietly lowered Beijiya's coffin into the parched yellow cemetery ground.

Bowing slightly over the red velvet cloth that draped the coffin of his cousin Beijiya, al Jumaili said a solemn prayer and wiped his eyes. Then he turned his back and stepped away, unable to watch yet another member of his extended family vanish under heavy chunks of dry clay.

That morning, al Jumaili, an elderly man clad in a long white dishdasha robe, had already buried Beijiya's daughter Amal and son-in-law Zamil, and their 1-year-old son, Heidar.

All were killed the night before, Sept. 26, driving toward Baghdad when American soldiers opened fire at Beijiya's car after it failed to stop at a temporary checkpoint that was preceded by no warning signs.




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majorvictory
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posted 07 October 2003 12:59 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Police flee as Saddam loyalists fuel city revolt

quote:
By Patrick Cockburn in Baiji
06 October 2003

Iraqis shouting pro-Saddam Hussein slogans have staged an uprising in the important oil refining city of Baiji, burning down the mayor's office, fighting with American troops and forcing local police to flee.

About a thousand people, some holding pictures of Saddam Hussein, were in a stand-off with American troops last night, with tanks surrounding the police station in the city, 160 miles north of Baghdad.

Loyalty to the ousted president, who is still being sought by Allied troops, is strong in the Sunni Muslim heartland.

The crowds were chanting: "With our blood, with our spirit, we are ready to die for you Saddam.''

"We were in a big firefight this morning but now we're back in control,'' claimed a US soldier manning a checkpoint on the outskirts of the city. But, despite the presence of American forces, pro-Saddam townspeople appeared to be in command of most streets in Baiji.

The uprising, which started early on Saturday morning, underlines the fragile grip on power held by the occupying US troops, and the local police they have appointed, even in an important centre such as Baiji.



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majorvictory
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posted 08 October 2003 12:19 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bitter Iraqi vents anger by killing U.S. troops

quote:
Every day, he tries to kill American soldiers.

Sometimes, from a hideout in the rattling reeds and bulrushes of the fertile Euphrates valley, 28-year-old Mohammed and a small group of fellow guerrilla fighters launch rocket-propelled grenades at passing American vehicles. Other days, they hide in the shadowy grid of dusty date-palm forests,

firing mortars at improvised U.S. checkpoints.

On the day of this interview, Mohammed, who did not give his real name, said he and his friends had fired RPGs at a convoy of two U.S. Bradley vehicles on Highway 10 outside the town of Habbaniyah, about 30 miles west of Baghdad.

"We saw their vehicles burning. We think we killed some of them," Mohammed said matter-of-factly as he sat in a white Formica chair in a friend's fragrant periwinkle garden in Deshah, a village on the outskirts of the volatile city of Ramadi, some 60 miles west of the capital.

Mohammed's damage assessment was a bit off. Lt. Kate Noble, a spokeswoman for the U.S.-led coalition force in Baghdad, confirmed an attack that day on a convoy of 82nd Airborne Division vehicles along Highway 10, known to American soldiers as "Ambush Alley." But she said that only one American soldier had been wounded.


DANGER PRESENT AND GROWING
But for the Americans, the danger is ever present and growing, as more and more Mohammeds decide that they are willing to give up their lives if necessary to protest the takeover of their country.

The restive valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates have for months been the staging grounds of relentless guerrilla warfare against the U.S. occupation. Every day, rebels stage an average of 15 attacks on coalition troops -- lobbing mortars at the soldiers, firing from semiautomatic rifles, machine guns and RPG launchers, and blowing them up with remote-controlled explosive devises, said Lt. Col. George Krivo, a U.S. military spokesman.

Contrary to assertions by American officials, including President Bush, Mohammed said neither he nor the rebels he operates with were either foreign militants or supporters of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein. He said he wanted to kill American soldiers simply because "they occupied our country."

"They are Satan," he said. "They became our enemy."



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majorvictory
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posted 08 October 2003 10:44 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Can't Locate Missiles Once Held in Iraq Arsenal

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 7 — The United States military has been unable to locate a large number of shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles that were part of the arsenal of Saddam Hussein, officials say, compounding the security risks for airports and airlines in Iraq and around the world.

The lack of accounting for the missiles — officials say there could be hundreds — is the primary reason the occupation authorities have not yet reopened the Baghdad International Airport to commercial traffic, officials said. The terminal has been rebuilt and the runways repaired, and Australian soldiers are running the air traffic control system.

But portable missiles were fired at incoming planes several times in recent weeks, one senior official said. Most of those incidents have not been reported to the public. The missiles missed their targets widely, suggesting that the people who fired them had not been extensively trained.

United States military officers do not know exactly how many of the missiles are unaccounted for, because they do not have precise estimates of how many Iraq once possessed.

"We just don't know," said an allied official, turning up his palms for emphasis.

The American military is pressing the search for the missiles, offering a reward of $500 for each one. The Pentagon has been surprised how many of the weapons, mostly Russian-designed SA-7's, Iraqis have turned in, another coalition official said.

Virtually every day, Iraqis are walking up to United States military posts to hand over portable missiles, and sometimes they have led Americans to small caches.

All together, 317 shoulder-fired missiles have been handed over to the military since May 1, according to unclassified United States military figures. The military has paid more than $100,000 in rewards, the figures show.



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pogge
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posted 09 October 2003 01:02 AM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
CPA to dismantle food distribution system

quote:
A more substantial assault on Saddam's legacy is under way in the Republican Palace, where the occupation authority is making preparations to dismantle the food distribution system which gave free rations of flour, rice, cooking oil and other staples to every Iraqi.

Described by the UN as the world's most efficient food network, the system still keeps Iraqis from going hungry. But the US civilian administrator of Iraq, Paul Bremer, views it as a dangerous socialist anachronism. The coalition provisional authority (CPA) is planning to abolish it in January, despite warnings from its own technical experts that this could lead to hunger and riots.


Emphasis added. The triumph of ideology over common sense. This has to be the dumbest decision Bremer could make. If he thinks he's seen resistance so far, he ain't seen nothin' yet.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 09 October 2003 03:05 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
War by the Numbers

quote:
When the United States and Britain invaded Iraq last March, some of the lessons learned in Kosovo were applied, and some weren’t. The bombing was amazingly meticulous. Even Human Rights Watch investigator Marc Garlasco gives the Air Force credit for “an outstanding job.” But this time the U.S. Army and Marines did go into action, using weaponry that included multiple-launch rockets that rain cluster bombs on the enemy—and it appears that most of the civilians who died were killed by infantry.

How many civilians would that be? The Pentagon piled up statistics on just about everything, except for the number of innocents killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and its aftermath. When asked why, the answer is always that the job is too difficult, that this was the Iraqis’ business, that families buried their dead without ever reporting them. “We don’t do body counts,” Gen. Tommy Franks declared last year after the big offensives in Afghanistan.

What that means in Iraq is that while the Bush administration may spend $1 billion to find those elusive weapons of mass destruction, it just doesn’t want to know about the people whose lives the war destroyed, much less pay them compensation.

Even as the administration talks about building democracy and preaches the rule of law, the U.S. government turns its back on the claims of civilians who lost fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters in this war. Under American law, which is the only one that counts in this case, civilians have no redress if they are killed in combat—and in practice, any time an American soldier fires his weapons and an Iraqi, any Iraqi, gets killed, that’s combat.

In August, when American military officials adjudicating Iraqi claims for financial compensation were asked about civilian casualties, they couldn’t cite a single instance of wrongful death. They’d paid out a lot of money for accidental property damage caused by the occupation, but if money was paid for someone who’d been killed, which they doubted, it wasn’t enough to make a blip on their screen. “The value of a life in Iraq—and I hate to say it—is probably a lot less in the United States, or Britain, for that matter,” one officer explained.

Since then, the United States did give $11,000 to a woman who was eight months pregnant when American soldiers gunned down her husband and three of her children in Baghdad, but that was “for sympathy,” she was told, and not an admission of error. The Reuters cameraman who was shot, the Iraqi police in Baghdad who were killed—they died under “the rules of engagement” and have no redress. The only case still under investigation is of the eight U.S.-trained Iraqi policemen blown away by U.S. troops in the rebellious city of Fallujah.


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pogge
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posted 09 October 2003 10:39 AM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Spanish Diplomat Assassinated in Iraq

quote:
A Spanish diplomat was assassinated near his Baghdad home and at least eight Iraqis were killed when a car bomb exploded inside a police station in a violent Thursday morning in the Iraqi capital.

Jose Antonio Bernal, a Spanish Air Force sergeant attached to the Baghdad embassy, was fatally shot as he left his home. Spain is a prominent U.S. ally in the effort to oust former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. It has 1,300 troops inside Iraq.

[In addition, a soldier from the 4th Infantry Division was killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack on a U.S. convoy outside Baghdad, the Associated Press reported. U.S. Central Command said the soldier died from wounds received in the attack at 2 a.m. Thursday in Baqouba, 30 miles northeast of the capital.]

The car bomb exploded at 8:45 a.m. after penetrating the gates of a police station in the heart of Sadr City, the vast Shiite slum. Witnesses and officials said that guards challenged the white Oldsmobile station wagon but that after an exchange of fire, the driver -- a bearded man wrapped in electrical wires -- roared into the compound.

There, some 70 Iraqi police officers were lined up for morning roll call after receiving their monthly pay. But a pair of Volkswagen Passats were parked between the police and the front gate. Witnesses said the driver crashed into the parked cars in an effort to get as close as possible to the assembled officers and the headquarters beyond them, then detonated the explosives.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 10 October 2003 03:40 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Two American soldiers have been killed and four wounded in an attack in Baghdad, the US military says.

The troops from the 1st Armoured Division were on patrol in the Sadr City area of the Iraqi capital, when they were ambushed on Thursday evening.

The latest deaths bring to 94 the number of American soldiers killed in attacks in Iraq since President George W Bush declared an end to major combat operations in May.



BBC


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majorvictory
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posted 11 October 2003 01:35 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Rising tide of lawlessness in Basra makes life harder for British Army

quote:
TIM RIPLEY IN BASRA


THE British officer was deadpan. "The difference between ‘friendly stoning’ and ‘unfriendly stoning’ is easy," ," he said. "Friendly stoning is when the kids are bored and just throw stones at your vehicle for something to do. Unfriendly stoning is when they lob a huge lump of concrete at your Land Rover to try to kill you."

For the 10,000 British troops occupying Basra and much of the surrounding countryside, stonings and other "unpleasantness" is part of the routine. In a classic case of understatement, the press briefing officer at British headquarters commented: "There are daily life-threatening situations on a routine basis."

When Iraqis fired a mortar inside the largest British base in Basra on Wednesday, it was a reminder of just what that can mean.

Over the past two months, British troops have been shot at with AK-47 assault rifles, high-power Dragunov sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades and blown up with radio-controlled bombs. Five British soldiers have been killed and several wounded.

The army has introduced some of its most Draconian troop-protection measures yet. Troops must leave bases in two-vehicle convoys, wearing helmets and body armour, with machine-gun armed soldiers providing "top cover" from the back of Land Rovers. Soldiers in 4x4 Land Cruisers often have cocked assault rifles pointing out of the windows, ready for an instant response to a threat.

The manpower needed to maintain this level of security was behind the deployment of 1,200 extra troops last month. While the attacks are well-documented, they are only a symptom of the wider anarchy and lawlessness. British and US officials who nominally run the city, under the banner of the Coalition Provisional Authority South, cannot give out crime statistics. "The police here don’t even have telephones or computers, so it’s a bit much to expect them to compile crime figures," one official said.



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pogge
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posted 11 October 2003 10:35 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US soldiers bulldoze farmers' crops

quote:
US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops.

[snip]

Other farmers said that US troops had told them, over a loudspeaker in Arabic, that the fruit groves were being bulldozed to punish the farmers for not informing on the resistance which is very active in this Sunni Muslim district.

[snip]

The destruction of the fruit trees took place in the second half of last month but, like much which happens in rural Iraq, word of what occurred has only slowly filtered out. The destruction of crops took place along a kilometre-long stretch of road just after it passes over a bridge.

Farmers say that 50 families lost their livelihoods, but a petition addressed to the coalition forces in Dhuluaya pleading in erratic English for compensation, lists only 32 people. The petition says: "Tens of poor families depend completely on earning their life on these orchards and now they became very poor and have nothing and waiting for hunger and death."



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 12 October 2003 08:35 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Baghdad blast kills at least 10

quote:
Sun 12 October, 2003 12:05 BST

By Brian Williams and Michael Georgy

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A powerful car bomb has killed at least 10 people outside a central Baghdad hotel used by U.S. officials, injuring many and filling the air with thick black smoke, police say.

Eyewitnesses said they saw a car crash through the security barrier at the Baghdad Hotel and explode. The hotel is widely thought to be used by members of the CIA, officials of the U.S. -led coalition, their Iraqi partners in the Governing Council as well as U.S. contractors.

A policeman at the scene said at least ten people had been killed. Hotel employees said five or six bodies lay in the hotel courtyard.

At a nearby hospital, a Reuters photographer saw more than a dozen wounded, many seriously. Several were Iraqi policemen.

Sirens wailed as ambulances and fire engines rushed to the scene. The lower floor of the building next door was on fire.

An Iraqi eyewitness said he saw a white car crash through the security barrier.

"I saw a car coming towards the hotel. One of the guards opened fire and it exploded," Nael Murkos said.



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majorvictory
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posted 13 October 2003 01:06 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Military Largely Comprised Of Rural Americans

quote:
Outside is Howard County, Texas. The fields are flat and planted in cotton. A few well pumps go about their rhythmic work. The buildings in Coahoma are empty mostly, if they aren't burned hollow, except for the Dairy Queen, the Town and Country quick stop and an auto parts store.

Howard County is poorer than most. Its young people are leaving, although Hispanic immigrants are replacing them. It is small. Its people have low incomes. It has relatively few people with college degrees. It is economically depressed.

Disproportionately, the young men dying in Iraq come from places just like this. Compared to the nation's population, those who have died are disproportionately from smaller counties. They are disproportionately from counties with lower per capita income. They are disproportionately from places with low levels of college education.

A statistical analysis of the more than 300 U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq by Austin American-Statesman consultant Robert Cushing shows that this may be America's war, but it is being fought by only a part of America.

The soldiers who died aren't numbers, but numbers tell some of their story. Those who died in Iraq were 39 percent more likely than the nation as a whole to live in counties with fewer than 100,000 people. They were 16 percent more likely than the nation as a whole to live in a county with lower than average levels of college education and 16 percent more likely to live in counties with below average incomes.

Those soldiers who came from the nation's large cities were disproportionately black or Hispanic. And a small proportion of those who died come from the nation's technology hubs, the score of urban areas that are creating the world's newest inventions and companies _ cities like San Jose, Seattle, Austin and Dallas. Those who have died largely grew up in old economy towns or rural regions, places with low levels of technology and little innovation.

Was this same divide evident in the Vietnam War? "I don't think so," said Steve Maxner, associate director of the Vietnam Center at Texas Tech University. "During the war in Southeast Asia, you had the draft."



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majorvictory
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posted 13 October 2003 01:41 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
War's bloody fallout

quote:
Hundreds suffer horrible wounds

By PATRICE O'SHAUGHNESSY
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Late last June, almost two months after the end of "major combat" in Iraq, Army Reserve Sgt. Rafael Vasquez, a city cop and nurse from Washington Heights, arrived at base camp Anaconda southwest of Baghdad.
Other Army medics welcomed his unit to the base, inviting them to a movie in a tent converted to a minitheater, but Vasquez's unit was too tired after the long convoy from Kuwait.

"Three mortar rounds found their way into the perimeter and into the movie tent," Vasquez recounted last week by E-mail from Iraq. "When I entered the trauma tent there they were, the same guys who invited us to the movie. Lying in blood and uniforms shredded from shrapnel. Nine out of the 20-men unit were seriously injured. We treated the wounds as best as we could and medivaced out the rest of the injured.

"That night I realized how quickly a life could end out here. A simple decision could make the difference between life and death. This was the type of environment we are in."

The number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq mounts incrementally each day, rising to 315 and bringing sorrow to families halfway around the world.

But in a devastation that has gone almost unnoticed, nearly 2,000 G.I.s, Marines, Navy and Air Force members have been wounded in the war.

Many have lost limbs, suffered severe head trauma and shrapnel wounds in combat, vehicle accidents and other mishaps. Additionally, more than 3,000 soldiers have left Iraq with illness or psychiatric problems.




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majorvictory
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posted 13 October 2003 02:25 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
War without end

quote:
catalogue of killings in Iraq

Monday October 13, 2003
The Guardian

May 8 US soldier shot dead by unknown assailant while directing traffic in Baghdad
May 13 US soldier killed when convoy ambushed near Diwaniya

May 26 US vehicle hits landmine in Baghdad killing one soldier and injuring three

May 26 US soldier killed and another wounded as convoy comes under enemy fire near Haditha

May 27 Two US soldiers killed and nine wounded in attack on army unit in Falluja. Two attackers killed, six captured



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majorvictory
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posted 14 October 2003 12:38 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bomber Targets Baghdad's Turkish Embassy

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives near the Turkish Embassy on Tuesday, wounding at least two people, the U.S. military said. The attack came amid widespread Iraqi anger over Turkish plans to deploy troops in the country.

It was the latest in a string of bombings to shake the Iraqi capital. Two days ago, a car bomb targeted the Baghdad Hotel, home to U.S. officials and members of the Iraqi Governing Council. At least eight people including the bomber were killed.

In Tuesday's attack, the car tried to approach the embassy in the mid-afternoon and suddenly exploded, witnesses said.

A concrete security barrier close to the embassy absorbed most of the blast and prevented further damage and injuries, U.S. officials said. A U.S. military spokesman said the explosion occurred about 500 yards from the embassy.

"Two embassy staff members were injured,"

Col. Peter Mansoor of the 1st Armored Division said two embassy staffers were injured, one Turkish and one Iraqi, and the vehicle's driver was killed.

U.S. troops and Iraqi police sealed off the area and prevented journalists from approaching the building.

"I was in a building across the street. I rushed over and saw that a car had exploded in front of the embassy," said Ahmed Hashem, 30, a graduate student at Mustansiryah University. "One person is dead. I know that because I helped carrying him into the ambulance."



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majorvictory
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posted 16 October 2003 01:40 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
On Furlough, Soldier Savors Every Moment

quote:
By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 15 (New York Times) Juan Castillo just came home from war. Now he is going back.

For the last 14 days, Specialist Castillo, a 21-year-old artilleryman, has been trying to savor each kiss from his wife, each minute with the baby, each inch of his bed and each sip of Mountain Dew.

But it has not been easy. Happiness is endless happiness, and it is hard to really enjoy 15 days off from the occupation of Iraq when you know war is back there waiting for you and your vacation is basically a bittersweet countdown.

"My strategy," Specialist Castillo explained one night, "is don't sleep too much, because you can sleep all you want back there. Eat a lot — my mom's trying to get me to gain 10 pounds. And try not to think about the madness back there."

The Army's new furlough program is an experiment, and Specialist Castillo, who is deployed with the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, based at Fort Carson, Colo., is one of its guinea pigs. Begun in September, the program is meant to give a "sanity check" to soldiers whose tours of duty in Iraq have been extended to a year, by splitting 365 days into two manageable halves.

"Our intent was that if we can give these men and women a chance to see their families and sort out what they've been through, they'll come back stronger," said Lt. Col. Bob Hagen, an Army spokesman.

More than 3,600 soldiers have come home so far. The reunions have been joyous, of course. One Baltimore specialist got married. But some people, including some veterans, are warning that plucking soldiers out of combat zones to go back home for mere days, which has rarely been done before, is a bad idea. They say such sudden re-entries into family life may cause more stress, not less. The respite is too brief, they say, the disorientation too extreme. And the goodbyes bring twice the pain.

Some soldiers, stoically, have refused the chance to go home.

Specialist Castillo, one of those instinctively sunny types, was not about to miss this furlough. But even his mood could quickly darken when someone asked about the unfinished business only a duffel bag away.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 16 October 2003 05:47 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Saddam's name more popular than ever in Iraqi oil town

quote:
New babies are being named Saddam by their parents in this oil refinery town 160 miles north of Baghdad, such is the hostility to the US occupation, an official at the local births and deaths registration office said.

Iraqis queued yesterday for new dinar banknotes with pictures of Babylonian rulers and a 10th century Iraqi mathematician in place of a smiling Saddam Hussein.

But in Baiji, "Long live Saddam" slogans are scrawled everywhere. The mayor's office and a building which housed a pro-American opposition party are burned out, having been set on fire by demonstrators who brandished pictures of the former Iraqi leader.

A local sheikh said: "The people have decided that the disasters they suffer under the Americans are worse than those they suffered under Saddam Hussein."

[snip]

Local leaders said guerrilla attacks were happening more frequently because many people who used to work for Saddam, often in his security services, were out of a job, and there had been a furious reaction to the random searches, arrests and shootings by US soldiers.

Anger exploded in Baiji two weeks ago when the US-appointed police fired into a pro-Saddam demonstration, wounding four people. The soldiers were forced to flee to the American base north of the town. US troops have returned, with snipers on rooftops and armour in the streets, but they can control the town only by using military force. This week a US soldier was killed and another wounded when their armoured vehicle hit a landmine.

[snip]

Faidh Hamid recounted how his 15-year-old nephew, Qusai, was on the roof of his house, "trying to fix the television antenna when US soldiers shot him dead". Another time, an imam who had gone for prayers at 4am, and may have been breaking curfew, was killed.

A Swedish journalist witnessed US soldiers beat an elderly religious man, Maad Ibrahim, almost to death. Mustapha Can, a correspondent for the Swedish evening newspaper Aftonbladet, was with a US patrol, which was hit by two mortar rounds.

He told The Independent: "Suddenly I saw the soldiers kick in a door and drag out an old man who screamed, 'Me no shoot! please, please mister.' The soldiers shouted, 'Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up!'

"They tied his hands behind his back and then, as he lay on the ground, one said: 'Keep his head still.' He slammed him on the head with his rifle butt again and again. Then the others kicked him. There was blood everywhere." US officers later admitted they were probably wrong about the old man, but said "these things happen in the heat of the action".



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 17 October 2003 12:05 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Army Concerned About Suicides of U.S. Troops in Iraq

quote:
Thu October 16, 2003 01:34 PM ET

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - At least 13 U.S. troops have committed suicide in Iraq, representing more than 10 percent of American noncombat deaths there, and the Army dispatched a suicide-prevention expert to assess the problem, officials said on Thursday.

At least 11 U.S. Army soldiers have committed suicide during Iraq operations, most with self-inflicted gunshot wounds, and two Marines have committed suicide using firearms, officials said.

One official said "a few more" Army deaths were being investigated as possible suicides, and the Navy said the death of one service member was under investigation. The Air Force said it had no such cases.

Army officials have expressed concern about the suicides, many of which occurred after President Bush declared major combat operations over in Iraq on May 1.

A 12-person Mental Health Advisory Team dispatched by the Army recently left Iraq after studying a wide range of mental health concerns, including suicide, among U.S. troops facing combat stress and longer-than-expected deployments.

The 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq are facing yearlong stints amid daily guerrilla-style attacks.

Lt. Col. Jerry Swanner, the Army's suicide-prevention program manager at the Pentagon, was a member of the team, said Martha Rudd, an Army spokeswoman.

"Of course we're concerned," Rudd said. "Even one suicide is alarming and upsetting."



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majorvictory
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posted 17 October 2003 08:37 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Many Troops Dissatisfied, Iraq Poll Finds

quote:
By Bradley Graham and Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, October 16, 2003; Page A01

A broad survey of U.S. troops in Iraq by a Pentagon-funded newspaper found that half of those questioned described their unit's morale as low and their training as insufficient, and said they do not plan to reenlist.

The survey, conducted by the Stars and Stripes newspaper, also recorded about a third of the respondents complaining that their mission lacks clear definition and characterizing the war in Iraq as of little or no value. Fully 40 percent said the jobs they were doing had little or nothing to do with their training.

The findings, drawn from 1,935 questionnaires presented to U.S. service members throughout Iraq, conflict with statements by military commanders and Bush administration officials that portray the deployed troops as high-spirited and generally well-prepared. Though not obtained through scientific methods, the survey results suggest that a combination of difficult conditions, complex missions and prolonged tours in Iraq is wearing down a significant portion of the U.S. force and threatening to provoke a sizable exodus from military service.

In the first of a week-long series of articles, Stars and Stripes said yesterday that it undertook the survey in August after receiving scores of letters from troops who were upset with one aspect or another of the Iraq operation. The newspaper, which receives some funding from the Defense Department but functions without editorial control by the Pentagon, prepared 17 questions and sent three teams of reporters to Iraq to conduct the survey and related interviews at nearly 50 camps.

"We conducted a 'convenience survey,' meaning we gave it to those who happened to be available at the time rather than to a randomly selected cross section, so the results cannot necessarily be projected as representing the whole population," said David Mazzarella, the paper's editorial director here. "But we still think the findings are significant and make clear that the troops have a different idea of things than what their leaders have been saying."



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pogge
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posted 17 October 2003 10:30 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Spain to probe US 'war crime'

quote:
In an unprecedented war crimes case, a High Court judge in Spain will investigate the death of a Spanish cameraman killed in a US tank attack during the war in Iraq.

Judicial sources said on Friday relatives of Telecinco cameraman Jose Couso asked the court in May to investigate his death and put three US soldiers on trial.

Their lawyer said the attack was a war crime and Spanish law allows for suspected war criminals to be tried in Spain wherever the alleged crime had been committed.

The 37-year-old cameraman was killed on 8 April when a US tank fired at a hotel serving as the main Baghdad base for international journalists covering the war.

A Pentagon report has absolved the US soldiers, who said they thought a spotter was directing enemy fire from the building.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 18 October 2003 01:14 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sick, wounded U.S. troops held in squalor

quote:
FORT STEWART, Ga., Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Hundreds of sick and wounded U.S. soldiers including many who served in the Iraq war are languishing in hot cement barracks here while they wait -- sometimes for months -- to see doctors.

The National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers' living conditions are so substandard, and the medical care so poor, that many of them believe the Army is trying push them out with reduced benefits for their ailments. One document shown to UPI states that no more doctor appointments are available from Oct. 14 through Nov. 11 -- Veterans Day.

"I have loved the Army. I have served the Army faithfully and I have done everything the Army has asked me to do," said Sgt. 1st Class Willie Buckels, a truck master with the 296th Transportation Company. Buckels served in the Army Reserves for 27 years, including Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first Gulf War. "Now my whole idea about the U.S. Army has changed. I am treated like a third-class citizen."

Since getting back from Iraq in May, Buckels, 52, has been trying to get doctors to find out why he has intense pain in the side of his abdomen since doubling over in pain there.

After waiting since May for a diagnosis, Buckels has accepted 20 percent of his benefits for bad knees and is going home to his family in Mississippi. "They have not found out what my side is doing yet, but they are still trying," Buckels said.

One month after President Bush greeted soldiers at Fort Stewart -- home of the famed Third Infantry Division -- as heroes on their return from Iraq, approximately 600 sick or injured members of the Army Reserves and National Guard are warehoused in rows of spare, steamy and dark cement barracks in a sandy field, waiting for doctors to treat their wounds or illnesses.

The Reserve and National Guard soldiers are on what the Army calls "medical hold," while the Army decides how sick or disabled they are and what benefits -- if any -- they should get as a result.

Some of the soldiers said they have waited six hours a day for an appointment without seeing a doctor. Others described waiting weeks or months without getting a diagnosis or proper treatment.

The soldiers said professional active duty personnel are getting better treatment while troops who serve in the National Guard or Army Reserve are left to wallow in medical hold.



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DrConway
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posted 18 October 2003 03:29 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I heard about that. I was just blown away by the fact that the US is spending $400 billion a year on its military now and it apparently can't find enough doctors. What. in. the. blazes. is. going. on. here?!?!?!?
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 18 October 2003 02:59 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Four U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq Clashes

quote:
KARBALA, Iraq - U.S. combat deaths since the end of major fighting passed the 100 mark Friday after a joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol confronted gunmen outside the headquarters of a Shiite Muslim cleric, triggering clashes in which three Americans and 10 Iraqis were killed, including two Iraqi policemen.

Another American soldier was killed and two were wounded by a roadside bomb near Baghdad, and nine U.S. troops were wounded in a roadside bombing in the northern city of Mosul.

The four deaths made it the deadliest day for American soldiers in Iraq (news - web sites) since Sept. 18, when three soldiers were killed in an ambush. With the latest deaths, the number of U.S. soldiers who have died by hostile fire since President Bush (news - web sites) declared an end to major combat May 1 has climbed to 101.

During a visit Friday to U.S. troops in Tikrit, Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz, commander of the Army's 3rd Corps, told reporters American troops would be in Iraq for another troop rotation or even two. At current pace of a turnover of troops every year, that could mean U.S. forces would be in Iraq until 2006.



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pogge
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posted 18 October 2003 10:41 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Marines Press Charges Against 8 Over the Death of an Iraqi Prisoner

quote:
The Marine Corps has charged eight Marine reservists in the death of an Iraqi prisoner near Nasiriya last June, Marine spokesmen and the lawyer for one of the accused said Saturday.

Marine spokesmen at Camp Pendleton, Calif., said that two of eight men faced charges of negligent homicide, while others faced lesser charges, including dereliction of duty, maltreatment and assault.

But the spokesmen released few details, and the lawyer for one of the accused, who provided a copy of the charge sheet against his client, noted that some of the charges in that case involved striking prisoners other than the prisoner who died in custody. Other charges involved failure to prevent harsh treatment of prisoners by other guards.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 19 October 2003 01:17 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Officer Was Highest Killed in Hostile Fire

quote:
Saturday October 18, 2003 10:01 PM

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - A military police commander killed this week during a bloody battle outside a cleric's headquarters has become the highest-ranking Army officer killed in hostile fire in Iraq, according to an Army spokesman at the Pentagon.

Lt. Col. Kim S. Orlando was among three soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, killed when a joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol confronted gunmen outside a mosque in the Shiite Muslim holy city of Karbala.

Staff Sgt. Joseph P. Bellavia, 28, of Wakefield, Mass.; and Cpl. Sean R. Grilley, 24, of San Bernardino, Calif. were also killed, as well as 10 Iraqis.

``He had a great personality. A great sense of humor. He had a kind of capability and leadership to fit whatever occasion necessary,'' said George Heath, a Fort Campbell spokesman.

Orlando, 43, was commander of the 716th Military Police Battalion, which had been sent to Iraq to help the Marines before the Iraq war started on March 20.

``His job as a battalion commander was a job that only people with great potential and with the ability to handle great responsibility are given,'' Heath said.

Orlando was a company commander with the 101st Airborne during the Gulf War, earning the Bronze Star for his service.

In an interview with The Associated Press in March, he spoke of his expected return to the Persian Gulf region. ``It's OK to have a little bit of fear, because I think it's healthy,'' Orlando said at the time.



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pogge
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posted 19 October 2003 01:40 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bush’s News War

quote:
IN BAGHDAD, OFFICIAL control over the news is getting tighter. Journalists used to walk freely into the city’s hospitals and the morgue to keep count of the day’s dead and wounded. Now the hospitals have been declared off-limits and morgue officials turn away reporters who aren’t accompanied by a Coalition escort. Iraqi police refer reporters’ questions to American forces; the Americans refer them back to the Iraqis.
Reporters and government officials have always squabbled over access; but the news coverage of the messy, ongoing conflict in Iraq has worsened the already tense relationship between the press and the administration. American officials accuse reporters of indulging in a morbid obsession with death and destruction, and ignoring how Iraq has improved since Saddam Hussein was toppled. Reporters grumble that the secretive White House and Pentagon hold back just how grim and chaotic the situation really is.

[snip]

One new tactic in the media war is to send congressional allies and cabinet secretaries to Baghdad to bypass the American reporters. Commerce Secretary Don Evans flew into Iraq last week to tell investors and voters back home to stop believing the news on TV. (Evans’s last high-profile travel was an American road trip to convince voters that the economy was recovering.) “All the TV wants to cover is some sensational, isolated terrorist attack,” Evans told NEWSWEEK on his flight back to Washington. “I went over expecting to find an environment where people were frightened. But I found a country that was alive with hope and optimism.” Yet reporters who covered the war say that some of the Coalition’s achievements are less impressive than they sound. Paul (Jerry) Bremer, the U.S. civilian administrator in Iraq, proudly announced the reopening of Iraq’s schools this month, while White House officials point to the opening of Iraq’s 240 hospitals. In fact, many schools were already open in May, once major combat ended, and no major hospital closed during the war. But that didn’t stop a group of Republican senators from tearing into American reporters covering Iraq earlier this month. “I was not told by the media... that thousands and thousands of Iraqi schoolchildren went back to school,” said Larry Craig of Idaho, who recently toured Iraq. The senator neglected to mention that he slept both nights of his trip in Kuwait, not Iraq.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 19 October 2003 01:53 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Convoy Attacked; GIs Die in Ambush

quote:
By TAREK AL-ISSAWI, Associated Press Writer

FALLUJAH, Iraq - Two U.S. soldiers were killed and one was wounded in an ambush north of Baghdad, the military said, and insurgents attacked a convoy Sunday in this turbulent city west of the capital, setting off huge explosions in several vehicles.

In a third incident, three apparent Iraqi attackers were also reported killed.

The U.S. command reported no American casualties in the Sunday morning attack against what appeared to be an ammunition truck and two other American vehicles in Fallujah, 35 miles west of Baghdad in the "Sunni Triangle."

Dozens of Iraqi youths cheered and danced in celebration as contents of the flaming vehicles continued to explode. The crowds scattered when two F-16 jets passed overhead.

Witnesses said U.S. troops tried to approach the truck but withdrew after they came under attack with rocket-propelled grenades.

"I was fixing my car on the other side of the street, and Americans fired in a circular motion as they attempted to leave the area," 30-year-old Thaer Ibrahim said.

At least five Iraqis were wounded when the Americans fired to cover their withdrawal, said Dr. Bassem al-Abdali of the Fallujah General Hospital.

U.S. troops and Iraqi police kept journalists away from the scene, but from a distance it appeared that the vehicles, which included a Humvee, were ablaze.



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Hinterland
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posted 19 October 2003 02:10 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
From the Bush's News War story

quote:
“This was an enormous logistical effort that could never have happened in a country in chaos or without the cooperation of the Iraqis,” says one senior U.S. official. “Yet it barely breaks through the media.”

It must have taken all of this administration official's theatric abilities to feign the incredulity this statement suggests, or this person is just incredibly stupid. The American media only showing one side of the story? Can that be right? Well, I mean, I never...?

Even if it's that true (I have my doubts; the currency thing, while impressive in scale, sounds like a mechanical issue that we know things like money and 25 747's can handle), it's odd how these people don't realise that when you refuse to question impartiality and objectivity when it suits your purposes to do so, you are leaving yourself open to the same lack of journalistic integrity when it may not be so convenient.


From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
April Follies
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posted 19 October 2003 08:13 PM      Profile for April Follies   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's complete BS, besides. Stories on "Saddam-free banknotes" have been in the news all week. My personal response was, "Yay. They have different pictures on the money. I'm sure they'll be thrilled with that improvement to their lives."

The Bushies don't seem to be able to grasp the point that their problem is as much or more substance as style. They think all they need is better PR. Because, of course, they're Unquestionably Right, even when all the facts say otherwise. Agggggggh!


From: Help, I'm stuck in the USA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 20 October 2003 12:11 AM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US crackdown on Shias fuels anger

quote:
US troops sealed off roads around the house of an Iraqi Shia Muslim cleric, while another religious leader warned the crackdown would only backfire.

Soldiers surrounded buildings used by local cleric Sayyid Mahmud al-Hassani on Saturday with armoured vehicles while helicopters circled overhead.

Three US military police and two Iraqi police were killed on Thursday night in fighting in the city which US forces blamed on supporters of al-Hassani. He is a sympathiser of firebrand Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, who opposes the US-led occupation of Iraq.

US officers would not comment on whether they were hoping to arrest al-Hassani. His supporters said he had left his home after Thursday's shootout in which local people said eight of his followers had been killed.

After arresting one of his followers, American soldiers surrounded al-Hassani's office building, witnesses said.


This is where things could get completely out of control. The Shia have tolerated the occupation up to a point, but they represent 60% of Iraq's population and if they turn on the Americans, then things get a lot worse very quickly. Al-Hassani is relatively moderate and has a lot of followers.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 20 October 2003 01:25 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Killed in Action

quote:
This morning's press release from U.S. Central Command brought bad news yet again. "One 220th Military Police Brigade soldier was killed and two were wounded in an improvised explosive device attack in the Baghdad area at approximately 7:50 a.m. Oct. 17," it read when I logged on.

DEATH ANNOUNCEMENTS ARE arriving almost daily for American soldiers killed in Iraq. It's hard to put a weekly average on the number of dead because some weeks there are no casualties. But by my unofficial tally, somewhere between three and six soldiers die every week in Iraq.
And yet, it often feels like the American public has no sense of the steady trickle of killed and wounded. I've had some people tell me that it's our fault; the media are not covering the deaths the way we did during the war. Others say it's because the numbers are so small compared to, say, Vietnam, the news doesn't catch people's attention.

I'll offer a different reason: there are no pictures. As much as I hate to admit this as a print reporter, images do sear into people's mind more than words. Nick Ut's photograph of 9-year-old Kim Phuc became synonymous with the Vietnam War. She was the terrified little girl running naked, covered in napalm. Television images of caskets and body bags also changed public opinion about the war.

But there are no images of flag-draped coffins in this war to remind people of the human price being paid. That's because the media are prohibited from filming or photographing soldiers' remains being sent home. Most fallen soldiers' bodies get sent back to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where they are identified and prepared for burial. During the Vietnam War, photographers and film crews were often at Dover taking pictures of the "dignified transfer of remains." But for more than a decade, the Department of Defense has cut off that access.

"It's out of respect for the families," explains Dover's Lt. Olivia Nelson. Even though none of the bodies are identified, letting the media in would not show the proper reverence for the dead. Plus, she explains, Dover is just a way station. The transfer is not ceremonial--even though an honor guard carries the body and a flag is draped over the container. Nelson argues that if the media were to show the offloading of remains it would create pressure on the families to be there when the body arrives rather than await delivery in the privacy of their homes.

But, of course, such images would create pressure on the administration, too. "Restricting access to Dover is part of a piece," says veteran war correspondent George Wilson, who did two tours in Vietnam. "It's designed to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. That's not limited to this administration, but it has accelerated."



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majorvictory
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posted 20 October 2003 02:14 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Soldier Killed in Fallujah Ambush

quote:
Mon Oct 20, 9:38 AM ET

By TAREK AL-ISSAWI, Associated Press Writer

FALLUJAH, Iraq - Assailants ambushed a U.S. Army foot patrol just outside Fallujah at midday Monday, killing one American and wounding five others in the second day of attacks in this anti-U.S. hotbed west of Baghdad, the American command reported.

The patrol, from the 82nd Airborne Division, was first hit by an exploding homemade bomb, and then by small-arms fire, the military said. American troops then raided a nearby mosque in an apparent search for the attackers and detained three Iraqis.

It could not be learned immediately whether there were any Iraqi casualties, although two civilian trucks were damaged in the action, including one left dangling on a bridge, apparently from what witnesses said was a rocket-propelled grenade strike.

The attack occurred about 20 yards from the main bridge leading into Fallujah from Baghdad, 35 miles to the east, when about 30 soldiers on foot, accompanied by five Humvees, were on patrol along the highway.

This was the same general area where a U.S. Army ammunition truck, part of a convoy, broke down on the main road Sunday and came under attack. That truck and possibly two other vehicles apparently were hit by rocket-propelled grenades. Dozens of Iraqi youths danced and cheered as the vehicles went up in flames.



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pogge
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posted 20 October 2003 10:10 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A Day In Iraq: 43 Attacks On U.S.

quote:
Assailants ambushed a U.S. Army foot patrol just outside Fallujah at midday Monday, killing one American and wounding five others in the second day of attacks in this anti-U.S. hotbed west of Baghdad, the American command reported.

The patrol, from the 82nd Airborne Division, was first hit by an exploding homemade bomb, and then by small-arms fire, the military said. American troops then raided a nearby mosque in an apparent search for the attackers and detained three Iraqis.

[snip]

It was one of 43 attacks on Americans all over Iraq on Monday, reports CBS News Correspondent Kimberly Dozier.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 22 October 2003 02:26 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In a time of darkness

quote:
EL CAJON – Majdolin Yonan's eyelids are sunken, the sockets empty. But she can still picture her 2½-year-old daughter, Valantina, who died when bombs hit their apartment building in Mosul, Iraq.

Remembering how her daughter slept and played is an obsession for the 24-year-old, who lost both eyes in the late March war raid.

She cannot see the frightful condition of her own once-beautiful features, although she can feel the haphazard ridges of scars that crisscross her face from the 250 stitches required to repair shrapnel damage.

Majdolin's unborn son, who was to be named David, did not survive an emergency Caesarean section at the Iraqi hospital where doctors saved her life.

When Wardiya Yonan first saw Majdolin's image on the Al-Jazeera television network at midnight on April 1, she didn't recognize her younger sister.

The news broadcast showed a woman with eyes and forehead covered in bandages and her face darkened by black stitches.

"I thought, 'Oh my God! God help this lady,' " said Wardiya, 35, who lives in El Cajon. Then the TV screen showed Majdolin's wedding picture and an image of Valantina.

Wardiya, who arrived in San Diego 2½ years ago, immediately began a quest to help her sister.

With the aid of her congressman, the Red Cross and the International Communities Services Center, she managed to bring her sister to the United States for medical care.

"She is first in my life, and my life is second," Wardiya said of the sacrifices she has made for Majdolin, who now lives with her. "I love her."

While no official estimate of Iraqi civilian casualties exists, an Associated Press analysis concluded that at least 3,240 civilians died during the war.

The Department of Defense has not verified whether the U.S. military mistakenly bombed Majdolin Yonan's residence, as her relatives have claimed. News reports indicated intense bombardments by U.S.-led forces on enemy positions near Mosul that day.



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pogge
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posted 22 October 2003 01:11 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Rumsfeld's war-on-terror memo

USA Today has published the full text of a memo from Don Rumsfeld to Gen. Meyers, Gen. Pace, Wolfowitz and Feith. It certainly doesn't read like the public White House position that all is rosy in Iraq and the result of the War on Terror is a forgone conclusion. Of particular interest:

quote:
DoD has been organized, trained and equipped to fight big armies, navies and air forces. It is not possible to change DoD fast enough to successfully fight the global war on terror; an alternative might be to try to fashion a new institution, either within DoD or elsewhere — one that seamlessly focuses the capabilities of several departments and agencies on this key problem.

So what's he talking about, a new CIA? They wouldn't listen to the current one.

quote:
Are the changes we have and are making too modest and incremental? My impression is that we have not yet made truly bold moves, although we have have made many sensible, logical moves in the right direction, but are they enough?

Invading a sovereign nation without provocation wasn't bold enough?

quote:
Does CIA need a new finding?

Interesting. I smell a major intelligence coup coming. A phony one, of course.

I originally described the memo as "leaked" but that's apparently not the case, so I've edited accordingly.

Edit No. 2 because it turns out the memo was leaked and Rummie's really unhappy about it.

[ 23 October 2003: Message edited by: Slim ]


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 23 October 2003 12:44 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Baghdad Tunnel Blast Injures Two GIs

quote:
Wednesday October 22, 2003 11:46 AM


By CHARLES J. HANLEY

AP Special Correspondent

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraq's ambush bombers struck Wednesday in the center of Baghdad and in the tense Sunni Muslim area west of the capital, rocking U.S. Army convoys with roadside bombs.

The attack in Baghdad inflicted only light casualties, a U.S. officer at the scene reported. Witnesses said four Americans were carried away on stretchers in an attack on a three-vehicle convoy on the western end of the flashpoint city Fallujah, but there was no comment from U.S. officials. Local residents cheered and looted one of the vehicles abandoned in the attack.

In the north, U.S. troops of the 4th Infantry Division staged overnight raids around the cities of Tikrit and Baqouba. U.S. officers said an Iraqi major general, who was not identified, was seized in the Baqouba operation.

Ten suspects, including six ``targeted individuals,'' were detained in the Tikrit area, the U.S. military said.

In the southern city of Najaf, a small band of gunmen staged a midnight attack on the headquarters of a leading Shiite Muslim political organization, but no casualties were reported in the firefight, said a spokesman for the group, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).



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majorvictory
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posted 23 October 2003 08:39 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bombs Kill GI, 4 Iraqis

quote:
CBS/AP) As U.S. officials pled for financial help in rebuilding Iraq, deadly violence persisted there Thursday. Two bombs claimed the lives of four Iraqis and an American soldier. Two other explosives were detected before they could kill.

The U.S. solider was killed and two others wounded in a roadside bombing near Baqouba, 40 miles northeast of Baghdad. An American paratrooper was wounded in a fifth straight day of attacks in Fallujah, a Sunni Muslim city west of the capital.

Two Iraqi guards were killed in a bombing near an oil pipeline 150 miles north of the capital, U.S. officials said. Ten other members of the Iraqi Civil Defense Force were wounded by the blast.

Elsewhere, troops from the 101st Airborne Division killed two Iraqis and wounded a third after gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades on a U.S. compound in the northern city of Mosul.

And in the capital, Iraqi police seized explosives from a car they said belonged to a Syrian and found a second improvised bomb in the same neighborhood. U.S. officials said they could not confirm the suspect was Syrian.

Meanwhile, at a donors conference in Madrid, U.S. officials and Iraq's interim leaders pushed for billions in foreign funding for reconstruction.

"It is our belief that reconstruction contributes to improving security conditions," Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told the conference.



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pogge
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posted 23 October 2003 11:43 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
AP: U.S. Raid Nets Whole Iraqi Village

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HABBARIYAH, Iraq - American troops in helicopters swooped down on this remote sheepherding village in the desert and detained nearly all the men, one as old as 81, one as young as 13. A month after the raid, apparently aimed at preventing terrorists from slipping across the border from Saudi Arabia, only two of the 79 captives have been freed.

The sweep - similar to those conducted in Afghanistan by U.S. special operations troops - came at a time when American officials are concerned that foreign fighters, including those loyal to Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, are crossing into Iraq to join the resistance against the U.S.-led occupation.

The U.S.-appointed mayor of Habbariyah and its deputy police chief believe the Americans rounded up so many men and boys to punish the village because of suspicions it maintains contact with desert smugglers or infiltrators from across the border, 80 miles away.

U.S. military officers refused to talk about the operation, but knowledgeable American sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the basics of the account given to The Associated Press by six villagers, including one who was detained and released.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 24 October 2003 12:44 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Pentagon set to deploy 30,000 GIs

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Washington -- After failing to attract large numbers of foreign peacekeepers to Iraq, the Pentagon is drawing up plans to rotate in as many as 30,000 more reservists early next year, despite growing worries in Congress about strains on the force, defense officials said Tuesday.

These troops would join three, 5,000-member Army National Guard brigades already in line to go to Iraq as part of an expected yearlong rotation to replace U.S. troops now there. U.S. Marines also may be sent back into Iraq by February to ease the burden on overstretched Army forces that normally shoulder U.S. peacekeeping duties.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld refused to discuss Tuesday how many more reservists might be needed next year, saying no final decisions had been made, but other officials described the planning for a reserves call-up on condition of anonymity.

There is growing unease on Capitol Hill about the stresses put on reserve forces by the war on terrorism, and questions over whether the Bush administration adequately foresaw just how many U.S. troops would be needed in Iraq, and for how long.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress have told Pentagon officials at repeated hearings about the complaints they hear from National Guard and reserve families about the strains of extended deployments. Some reservists now in Iraq had expected to be there for several months but have seen their tours of duty extended to 12 to 15 months -- which is what any new reservists also are being told to expect.



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majorvictory
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Iraq Violence Claims 3 More Troops' Lives

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Two U.S. soldiers were killed and four were wounded Friday in a mortar attack on their base north of Baghdad, and another American died in a shootout in the northern city of Mosul, the U.S. military said.

Elsewhere, 13 other soldiers were injured Thursday night in a mortar attack near Baqouba, 40 miles northeast of the capital, the command said. Witnesses reported that a roadside bomb wounded several other troops Friday in Fallujah in the sixth attack by insurgents there in as many days.

Separately, two children were killed and three adults wounded in a grenade attack on a police station in the northern city of Mosul, police said.

The latest U.S. deaths occurred when a mortar struck a forward operating base near Samara, 70 miles north of Baghdad, about noon Friday, the U.S. Central Command said.

In Mosul, a soldier from the 101st Airborne Division was killed by small arms fire before dawn Friday in the western end of the city, the command reported.

Names of the victims were withheld pending notification of kin.

The deaths bring to 108 the number of American soldiers killed by hostile fire since President Bush (news - web sites) declared an end to major combat May 1.



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majorvictory
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Iraq Pledge Drive Falls Short

quote:
(CBS/AP) An international donors conference for Iraqi reconstruction ended Friday with pledges totaling "more than $33 billion," conference officials said.

The amount was to be officially announced by the World Bank, but a senior conference official said on condition of anonymity that "more than $33 billion" was raised at the two-day conference in Madrid.

The total apparently included the $20 billion already promised by the United States. A senior U.S. official said earlier that the United States had counted "in excess of $13 billion" in new pledges, which he called in line with expectations.

The conference seemed sure to fall short of the $56 billion the World Bank estimates Iraq needs over the next four years. The World Bank has said much of that amount will likely be covered by Iraq's oil revenues, private investment and other resources, rather than donations.

While big spenders such as Japan and Saudi Arabia pledged more than some expected, much of it was in the form of loans or credits for a nation already burdened with an estimated $120 billion in debt run up during Saddam Hussein's rule.

Meanwhile, two GIs were killed and four wounded in a mortar attack near the northern city of Samarra. Another soldier was killed north of Baghdad, 13 troops were wounded in Mosul, and other soldiers may have been hurt in Fallujah.

American forces killed two Iraqi attackers in Beiji, and rockets killed two Iraqis at a Baghdad marketplace.



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majorvictory
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Coping with post-war stress

quote:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- It has had several names.

In World Wars I and II, it was called shell shock, or combat fatigue; in Vietnam, post traumatic stress disorder.

But the cause and effect was always the same -- exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened, resulting in crushing depression and anxiety.

And like the warriors of the past, coalition forces in Iraq are coming home to find that when you leave the battlefield, it does not always leave you.

"Some days I'm just sitting in my rack here, just thinking about what we did over the war, and those two bodies always stick out in my head. Or sometimes you dream about it and you just wake up and you're in a sweat," says Marine Sgt. Anthony Riddle.

In Iraq, Corporal Casey Brommer remembers the trip along the Tigris River to Baghdad and coming under fire.

"We called in with some artillery and some napalm. Some innocent women and child got hit. They came out. We met them on the road and they had little girls with noses blown off and husbands carrying their dead wives," Brommer recalls.

"That was extremely difficult to deal with because, you're like, what the hell do we do now?"



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pogge
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posted 26 October 2003 02:49 AM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wolfowitz Unhurt In Rocket Attack

quote:
BAGHDAD, Oct. 26 -- At least six explosive projectiles struck the al-Rashid hotel in central Baghdad where Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz was staying early Sunday morning.

The assault, which injured several people, followed a day of violence in which a convoy of civilian contractors was attacked west of Baghdad, killing at least three people, and a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter was shot down, injuring one crew member.

The projectiles slammed into three floors of the al-Rashid, which houses hundreds of U.S. military personnel and civilian reconstruction staff. The 14-floor hotel was struck in at least five locations. At least three rooms appeared to have been hit. Reports of injuries varied. At least two people, one of them an American soldier, were carried out of the hotel on stretchers. A military official said there were unconfirmed reports that more than a dozen people were wounded.

Wolfowitz, who is traveling in Iraq, appeared uninjured after the attack. The explosive projectiles hit the hotel on floors below where Wolfowitz and his party were staying, shattering scores of windows, blowing off doors and filling hallways with smoke.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 27 October 2003 12:51 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Embattled US troops kill civilians

quote:
Sunday 26 October 2003, 5:55 Makka Time, 2:55 GMT

Five Iraqis have been killed and several civilians seriously injured by US troops on a day of resistance attacks that left about 20 occupation soldiers wounded.

A female Iraqi translator and a male bodyguard were killed and a German man seriously wounded on Saturday when US soldiers opened fire at their car, Aljazeera's correspondent reported.

The shooting occurred in the aftermath of a roadside bomb blast near Falluja, 50kms west of Baghdad.

Elsewhere, a US military spokesman said three Iraqi civilians were killed and two wounded when a roadside bomb hit two civilian vehicles, which then came under fire on a highway, 80km west of Baghdad.

An official at a local hospital said one of the wounded was a Westerner while his Iraqi translator was among the dead.

Across the country, about 20 US troops have been injured in Iraqi resistance attacks, which included the shooting down of a US helicopter.

Six US soldiers were wounded in two separate attacks in the Baquba region, northeast of Baghdad, on Saturday.

Two were wounded in a roadside bombing of their convoy, near a bridge in central Baquba, 65km northeast of the capital.

US forces detained 15 local residents, tied their hands behind their backs and forced many of them to lay face down on the ground, witnesses said.



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majorvictory
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US troops kill Iraqi police

quote:
American troops have mistakenly killed at least eight Iraqi police officers at a checkpoint in Falluja, west of Baghdad, witnesses say.
The men who died were members of the local US-trained protection force, who were chasing a car carrying suspected thieves when the Americans opened fire on them, survivors said.

The incident took place near a hospital and a Jordanian guard there was also killed.

It appears to be the second friendly-fire case in the past two days in the flashpoint town, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Baghdad.

And in the nearby town of Ramadi two American soldiers were killed and seven wounded in a pre-dawn raid on Friday.

The BBC's Barbara Plett in Baghdad says it appears there were three police vehicles - one an unmarked pick-up with a rear-mounted machine gun - chasing a fourth vehicle containing gunmen.

There are conflicting reports about what happened as the cars reached the US checkpoint. The US military has said only that one of its soldiers was injured in an attack involving small arms fire near a Jordanian Red Crescent hospital.

But survivors say that despite repeatedly shouting to the Americans "We are police!" the US soldiers kept on firing for 45 minutes.



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April Follies
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posted 27 October 2003 05:06 PM      Profile for April Follies   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Guerillas in no danger of running out of arms

quote:
Iraqi guerrillas have an abundant supply of small arms and explosives that could allow them to maintain their pace of attacks indefinitely, Pentagon and U.S. Central Command intelligence analysts have concluded. ...

The combination of readily available small arms and explosives with tactics that require relatively little use of ammunition indicates that Iraqi forces will be able to sustain their ambush-style attacks indefinitely, these two intelligence officials said.

Rumsfeld has argued that the news media are overplaying the significance of the attacks and that most of Iraq is stable and calm. In a speech Oct. 10..., Rumsfeld said that of 1,700 coalition patrols per day, only about one-tenth of 1% encounter violence.

That would be fewer than two attacks per day. In fact, at that time, there were about 20-25 attacks per day, or a little more than 1% of the patrols.



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majorvictory
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posted 28 October 2003 12:16 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Robert Fisk: Eyewitness in Iraq: 'They're getting better,' Chuck said approvingly. 'That one hit the runway'

quote:
Robert Fisk

10/26/03: (The Independent - United Kingdom) Baghdad, Iraq: I was in the police station in the town of Fallujah when I realised the extent of the schizophrenia. Captain Christopher Cirino of the 82nd Airborne was trying to explain to me the nature of the attacks so regularly carried out against American forces in the Sunni Muslim Iraqi town. His men were billeted in a former presidential rest home down the road - "Dreamland", the Americans call it - but this was not the extent of his soldiers' disorientation. "The men we are being attacked by," he said, "are Syrian-trained terrorists and local freedom fighters." Come again? "Freedom fighters." But that's what Captain Cirino called them - and rightly so.

Here's the reason. All American soldiers are supposed to believe - indeed have to believe, along with their President and his Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld - that Osama bin Laden's "al-Qa'ida" guerrillas, pouring over Iraq's borders from Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia (note how those close allies and neighbours of Iraq, Kuwait and Turkey are always left out of the equation), are assaulting United States forces as part of the "war on terror". Special forces soldiers are now being told by their officers that the "war on terror" has been transferred from America to Iraq, as if in some miraculous way, 11 September 2001 is now Iraq 2003. Note too how the Americans always leave the Iraqis out of the culpability bracket - unless they can be described as "Baath party remnants", "diehards" or "deadenders" by the US proconsul, Paul Bremer.

Captain Cirino's problem, of course, is that he knows part of the truth. Ordinary Iraqis - many of them long-term enemies of Saddam Hussein - are attacking the American occupation army 35 times a day in the Baghdad area alone. And Captain Cirino works in Fallujah's local police station, where America's newly hired Iraqi policemen are the brothers and uncles and - no doubt - fathers of some of those now waging guerrilla war against American soldiers in Fallujah. Some of them, I suspect, are indeed themselves the "terrorists". So if he calls the bad guys "terrorists", the local cops - his first line of defence - would be very angry indeed.

No wonder morale is low. No wonder the American soldiers I meet on the streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities don't mince their words about their own government. US troops have been given orders not to bad-mouth their President or Secretary of Defence in front of Iraqis or reporters (who have about the same status in the eyes of the occupation authorities). But when I suggested to a group of US military police near Abu Ghurayb they would be voting Republican at the next election, they fell about laughing. "We shouldn't be here and we should never have been sent here," one of them told me with astonishing candour. "And maybe you can tell me: why were we sent here?"



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DrConway
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posted 28 October 2003 12:27 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There is an interesting irony in this situation.

Soldiers in the US military used to trash Clinton because of all the crap the Repubs (hypocritical bastards that they are) heaped on their commander-in-chief. As a result, they voted Republican, and look what they got.

For all the lies that got told to them about Clinton's alleged lack of respect for the armed forces, they now have a commander-in-chief, and a President, who, in actuality, gives even less of a damn about the men and women who make up the armed forces than Clinton ever did.


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majorvictory
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posted 28 October 2003 12:53 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Relief for US troops stalls after Turkish troop imbroglio

quote:

ANKARA, TURKEY – A plan to send upward of 10,000 Turkish troops to Iraq, a proposal the US heavily lobbied for in recent months, has effectively been shelved due to vehement opposition in Iraq.
For several months US military delegations came here seeking Turkey's approval to send its troops abroad - a nod which finally came earlier this month, only to be followed by a unanimous "no" vote by the interim Governing Council in Baghdad.

The US efforts point to a diplomacy disconnect, indicating miscalculations in how Iraqis would react to having troops from a neighbor they mistrust and casting doubt on the Bush administration's plans to get regional Muslim allies to share the Iraq burden.

The quiet crumbling of the plan to send Turkish troops to central Iraq makes it less likely that the 101st Airborne will be able to go home after a one-year tour of duty as hoped. A public-affairs officer for the division says via e-mail that "it would be difficult to say when we will be coming home."

One solution might be to ask Turkey to send in a small group of specially trained officers, primarily those with Arabic skills, who can contribute to antiterrorism work.

"They don't really need more troops; they need different kinds of troops," says Toby Dodge, an Iraq expert at the University of Warwick in Britain and the author of an upcoming book on Iraq. "What's hampering the occupation is lack of intelligence."

Another possibility is using Turkish troops in a lower-profile location. They were originally going to be deployed in three regions, including Tikrit - the restive birthplace of Saddam Hussein - and Fallujah, a hotbed of anticoalition violence west of Baghdad. Instead, some military sources say, Turkish troops might at some point be deployed along the quieter Syrian border, or sent to serve as trainers of the new Iraqi national army.

"The Turkish troops are the worst possible troops they can send in," Dodge says in a telephone interview. "The Iraqis have a very strong, almost mythological sense of history," he adds, and a sense of victimization by the Turks under the Ottoman Empire is Iraqi folklore.

"There is very popular and widespread resistance to Turkish troops, and anyone could have told them that," he says. "The numbers at stake aren't that great, so it isn't going to make a great difference. If I were the US, I would quietly drop it, thank them, and go looking somewhere else."



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majorvictory
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Ambushes in Iraq Wound Four U.S. Soldiers

quote:
Tuesday October 28, 2003 11:16 AM


By SLOBODAN LEKIC

Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Four American soldiers were wounded near the northern city of Mosul, the military said Tuesday, as U.S. officials urged aid groups to keep working in Iraq after suicide bombers struck the Red Cross headquarters and three police stations in Baghdad.

The suicide attacks Monday killed about three dozen people and caused foreign organizations to weigh their role in the insurgency-plagued nation. It was the bloodiest day in the Iraqi capital since the end of major combat in the U.S.-led war to oust Saddam Hussein six months ago.

Just hours after the attacks in Baghdad, two U.S. patrols were ambushed Monday night near Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, which in the past has been relatively peaceful.

One soldier was wounded when insurgents attacked his convoy in southeastern Mosul and three others were injured, one seriously, when their patrol was attacked by rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons in the town of Tal Afar, just west of Mosul, the U.S. command said.


[ 28 October 2003: Message edited by: majorvictory ]


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majorvictory
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Car Bomb Kills Four in Fallujah, Iraq

quote:
By TAREK AL-ISSAWI, Associated Press Writer

FALLUJAH, Iraq - A car bomb exploded Tuesday near a police station on a major street in the tense city of Fallujah, killing at least four people, police said. The attack came a day after a series of suicide bombings in Baghdad left about three dozen dead.

A series of strong explosions rattled the center of Baghdad on Tuesday night. The U.S. military said six blasts were heard about 3 miles from the main coalition compound, but it wasn't known what type of munitions.

Iraqi police said one of the blasts was from a mortar round that exploded in the Jadriya area on the Tigris River but caused no casualties. Police could not explain the other detonations.

In Washington, President Bush (news - web sites) blamed both loyalists to Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and foreign terrorists for the recent attacks.

"Basically what they're trying to do is cause people to run...That's what terrorists do," Bush told a Rose Garden news conference Tuesday.



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majorvictory
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posted 28 October 2003 08:42 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Position in Iraq Seen as Increasingly Perilous

quote:
By Jefferson Morley
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 28, 2003; 9:30 AM

In the international online press, the U.S. presence in Iraq is seen as increasingly perilous. Even supporters of the U.S. role express fear of a deteriorating situation.

The coordinated suicide bombings Monday across metropolitan Baghdad that killed at least 35 people came barely 24 hours after a sophisticated remote control rocket attack on the al-Rashid Hotel, a symbol of American occupation of the Iraqi capital and guest quarters for visiting deputy U.S. defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz.

"Baghdad is burning," writes Canadian-Iraqi journalist Firas Al-Atraqchi for Islam Online, a news site based in the Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar.

Patrick Cockburn, Baghdad correspondent for The Independent of London added, "the carnage . . . signalled a decisive moment in the Iraqi crisis, which has become the supreme test of Washington's power in the world."

In Cockburn's view, the U.S. is now losing the war.

"Three months ago, the U.S. occupation seemed evenly balanced between success and failure. Today, seeing how it can succeed has become very hard," writes Cockburn.



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majorvictory
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posted 28 October 2003 11:48 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraq's Guerrillas Adopt New Strategy: Copy The Americans

quote:
By Robert Fisk

28 October 2003: (The Independent)

Understanding the brain. That's what you have to do in a guerrilla war. Find out how it works, what it's trying to do. An attack on US headquarters in Baghdad and six suicide bombings, all at the start of Ramadan. Thirty-four dead and 200 wounded. Where have I heard those statistics before? And how could they be so well co-ordinated - well-timed, down to the last second? And why the Red Cross? I knew that building, and admired the way in which the International Red Cross refused to associate themselves with the American occupation - even at the cost of their lives, as the guards outside their Baghdad headquarters carried no guns.

So here's the answer to question one. Algeria. After the Algerian government banned elections in 1991 that would have brought the Islamic Salvation Front to power, a Muslim revolt turned into a blood-curdling battle between the so-called Islamic Armed Group - many of its adherents having cut their battle teeth in Afghanistan - and a brutal government army and police force. Within three years, the "Islamists" - aided, it seems, by army intelligence officers - were perpetrating massacres against the villagers of what was called the Blida triangle, a three-cornered territory around the very Islamist city of Blida outside Algiers. And the very worst atrocities - the beheading of children, the raping and throat-cutting of women, the slaughter of policemen - were committed at the beginning of Ramadan.

At Ramadan, Muslim emotions are heightened; in these most blessed of days, a Muslim feels that he or she must do something important so that God will listen to him or her. There is nothing in the Koran about violence in Ramadan or, for that matter, suicide bombers, any more than there is anything in the New Testament to urge Christians to carry out genocide or the ethnic cleansingin which they have become experts in the past 200 years, but Sunni Wahabi believers have often combined holy war with the "message", the dawa during Ramadan.

So what was the message? In Baghdad, the message of the past two days was simple: it told Iraqis that the Americans cannot control Iraq; more important, perhaps, it told Americans that the Americans could not control Iraq. Even more important, it told Iraqis they shouldn't work for the Americans. It also acknowledged America's new rules of combat: kill the enemy leaders. The United States killed Saddam's two sons. It has boasted of killing al-Qa'ida members in Afghanistan and Yemen, just as Israel kills Palestinians in Hamas and Islamic Jihad. So was it by chance that the Black Hawk helicopter shot down in Iraq was hit over Tikrit, just after Paul Wolfowitz had passed through town?



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majorvictory
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posted 29 October 2003 02:25 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Soldier on the lam battles guilt over Iraq combat killings

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FT. CAMPBELL, Ky. -- During the Iraq war, Pfc. Tyrone Roper became a combat star. By early April his Kevlar helmet bore three hand-drawn feathers, one for each of his confirmed kills. His buddies in the 101st Airborne Division praised his machine-gun prowess. He was the one they most wanted by their side in a firefight.

These days, Roper's battles are raging mostly inside his head. He was evacuated to Ft. Campbell this past summer after being found psychologically unfit. He says he is still racked by bad dreams, acute loneliness and punishing guilt over the killings he carried out for the U.S. Army.

Now Roper, 27 and a married father of two, is on the run.

This month, days before he was to be released from the Army, he left his blue stucco rowhouse on the base, possibly headed to Texas, where his mother lives, or to Canada, where he was born. No one is sure where he went or why. But he has communicated by e-mail to The Baltimore Sun in rambling, unpunctuated and uncapitalized messages about his pain.

"im feeling depressed i have nightmares a lot i get this feelings a lot and i never [had] them before the war," he wrote last week. "a lot has changed in my life [and] im a very different man."

"my nightmares," he wrote in a second e-mail, "are about what I did in the war." In yet another, referring to people he killed, he added: "yes i do feel guilty why i dont know."

Acknowledging the kill-or-be-killed mentality of soldiers in war, he wrote, "i know it [was] my friends or my self or them but i still feel guilty."

The Army has sent 478 soldiers home from the Iraq region for psychiatric reasons, said Medical Command spokesman Jaime Cavazos. And the Army is investigating the deaths of at least 11 GIs as possible suicides, said Maj. Steve Stover, an Army spokesman.

To some experts, Roper's ordeal sounds like a haunting 30-year echo of the Vietnam War, which produced a group of Americans who struggled with what came to be called post-traumatic stress disorder. Though the military is smarter and more sensitive about the battered psyches of troops, no one has found a way to prevent the damage.

"My heart sinks when I hear this," said Dr. Jonathan Shay, a psychiatrist at the Veterans Affairs clinic in Boston, after learning about Roper's case. "He has severe psychological injuries. The details are not clear from the story, but you don't have to be Louis Pasteur to figure out that this guy has been injured."

Roper's mother, Margaret, figured it out as soon as she saw her son in July.

"They sent our boys over there for what--the sake of oil?--and these boys who came home can't function," she said in a telephone interview. "He was an emotional wreck; his life was ruined."



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Scott Piatkowski
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posted 29 October 2003 10:54 AM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, you try to reconstruct Iraq, says U.S. Defensive Department

quote:
WASHINGTON, DC — Responding to recent criticism of reconstruction efforts in Iraq, the U.S. Defensive Department released a statement to the public Monday suggesting that perhaps they could do better, since they're obviously so smart.

"Well, it looks like you American people have figured it all out, then," the statement read in part. "There's no need for the old government to do anything, because the citizens know just how to handle this whole reconstruction-of-Iraq thing. Well, go ahead! If it's so simple, and if you're so smart, then what's stopping you? Come on."

"Oh, gosh!" the statement continued. "Wait! It looks like Iraq is a whole big country! And it seems that someone just fought a war there, to oust a despotic regime! So, gee, this might take a while, huh?"

At a press conference Monday, visibly upset Defensive Department spokesman Lawrence Pettibone addressed key points of the ongoing reconstruction process, such as its cost.

"Oh, dear!" Pettibone said. "It's taking a little bit more time than expected. Maybe the U.S. military should quit, huh? Then you could do the job for them, Mr. and Mrs. American Genius. Go ahead!"

"In fact, I'll pay for it!" said Pettibone, extending his wallet toward the assembled press corps. "Here! Here's, let's see, $49. Go ahead! Rebuild the infrastructure! Find the weapons of mass destruction! Keep the peace! What? This $49 isn't enough? Do you wish you had, say, about $87 billion to use right now? Well, well, well. How quickly things change."

Washington Post reporter Giles Mifflin asked Pettibone to address the issue of ongoing American casualties in Iraq, specifically the fact that more than 100 U.S. troops have been killed there since Bush declared an end to major combat six months ago.

"Well, Giles," Pettibone said. "I'd better get on the phone and inform the military that the soldiers in Iraq are still in danger, shouldn't I, Giles? Because they probably don't know that already! Or maybe I should just shut up and stop whining, because I'm a big pansy who never would have gone to Iraq in the first place!"


[ 29 October 2003: Message edited by: Scott Piatkowski ]


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majorvictory
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posted 29 October 2003 01:23 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Attack on U.S. Tank Kills 2 GIs in Iraq

quote:
Wednesday October 29, 2003 12:31 PM


By SLOBODAN LEKIC

Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Two American soldiers were killed when their Abrams battle tank was damaged by resistance fighters, U.S. officials said Wednesday, as the number of U.S. soldiers killed in combat since major fighting ended topped the wartime total.

In a separate attack, seven Ukrainian troops were wounded in the first ambush of a multinational unit in the Polish sector south of Baghdad, coalition officials said.

The latest deaths bring to 115 the number of American soldiers killed in combat in Iraq since President Bush declared an end to major fighting May 1. Defense Department figures - updated on its Web site Tuesday - show 114 U.S. soldiers died in the active combat phase, which began March 20.

The Abrams tank was disabled when it was struck by a land mine or a roadside bomb Tuesday night during a patrol near Balad, 45 miles north of Baghdad, said Maj. Josslyn Aberle, a spokeswoman for the 4th Infantry Division. A third crewman was evacuated to a U.S. hospital in Germany, she said.

It was believed to be the first M1 Abrams main battle tank destroyed since the end of major combat May 1. During the active combat phase, several of the 68-ton vehicles - the mainstay of the U.S. Army's armored forces - were disabled in combat.



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pogge
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Saddam’s New War

quote:
There is growing evidence that the devastating series of terrorist attacks bedeviling U.S. troops in Iraq may have been planned by Saddam Hussein and his lieutenants as part of a well-coordinated guerilla war strategy that was hatched well before the U.S. invasion of Iraq last March, U.S. intelligence sources tell Newsweek.

THE OFFICIAL BUSH administration position is that the attacks on coalition forces inside Iraq are the work of isolated gangs of Saddam loyalists and Baathist die-hards who, in some instances, have teamed up with an assortment of “foreign fighters,” Islamic radicals and even common criminals for individual strikes on U.S. troops. But an alternative view is gaining acceptance within the U.S. intelligence community about the origins of the campaign. Scraps of evidence - most not publicly acknowledged by the administration — suggest that Saddam and some of his top Baath Party lieutenants began detailed logistical planning and purchasing for possible guerilla fighting in the months before the war, officials say.

[snip]

The minority view inside the intel world that the campaign against U.S. troops may have been planned much earlier than was previously thought has gained greater acceptance in recent days as a result of the latest round of seemingly coordinated attacks in Baghdad, including four bombings on Monday (and a fifth foiled attempt) and the rocket attack last weekend on the Al Rashid hotel where Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was staying. Officials familiar with intelligence reports say that the fact that the attack on Wolfowitz’ hotel was carried out by a relatively high-tech (for terrorists) homemade multiple rocket launcher also supports this view.
The rocket attack also suggests that the anti-U.S. cells in Baghdad may be getting sophisticated assistance from outside the country, including hard-line factions within the Iranian intelligence service and even Colombian guerilla groups. One source says U. S . intelligence has seized compact discs containing instructions on how to build terrorist devices, including the kinds of multiple rocket launchers used in the attack on the Al Rashid hotel, officials say.

The terrorist infrastructure inside Iraq may be even more complex than pessimists inside the U.S. government fear. According to Mullah Krekar, the now-exiled leader of Ansar al-Islam, a Kurdish Jihadi group that some U.S. officials have recently blamed for the wave of anti-U.S. attacks in Iraq, and at least four Islamic groups linked by ideology or personnel to the international jihadi movement that includes Al-Qaeda are operating in Iraq, along with at least two Saddam-ite groups and cells from Ansar al-Islam itself.



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drgoodword
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posted 30 October 2003 03:33 AM      Profile for drgoodword   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Regarding Hussein's possible preparations for a guerilla war following a coalition "victory," I posted a link to an interesting article in this thread back in August.

Edited to add:

From the the above linked article (linked in thread):

quote:
Saddam also appointed the former deputy commander in chief of the Iraqi armed forces, Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, overall commander of the Mujahideen. Duri, well connected with Islamist figures in the Arab and Muslim world, was responsible for Islamizing secular Iraqi society after 1992.

From CNN.com today:

quote:
A former Iraqi general in Saddam Hussein's inner circle is believed to be financing and coordinating attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq, Pentagon sources have told CNN.

According to officials recent intelligence reports point to Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri the Iraqi military's former northern regional commander, as the key figure behind the attacks, possibly with help from Iraqi regime loyalists and "foreign fighters."


[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: drgoodword ]


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majorvictory
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Soldier routinely told her mother not to worry

quote:
By Peggy Breister
the reporter pbreister@fdlreporter.com

One day after she learned that her only daughter had been killed in the conflict in Iraq, Mary Bosveld received two letters from the 19 year old.

“Mom, don’t worry so much about me,” Pfc. Rachel Bosveld wrote. “My intuition has already saved several lives as well as my own. I love you always, Rachel.”

Bosveld, a 2002 graduate of Waupun High School, became the first woman and the fifth soldier from Wisconsin to die in Iraq.

A member of the 527th Military Police based in Giessen, Germany, she was killed Sunday in a mortar attack at a Baghdad police station.

The family was notified of her death at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

“She was my baby, my only daughter,” said Mary Bosveld of Oshkosh. “We were very close and I miss her terribly.”

Since her daughter left for Iraq in March, Bosveld said she had only been able to speak with her twice on the telephone. But she looked forward to the letters her daughter wrote and she went to her mailbox every day praying she’d find another letter.

“She talked about daily things, like the truck (Bosveld’s job was to drive a Humvee) and soaking her feet — she wore her boots 24 hours a day,” Mary Bosveld said.



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majorvictory
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Iraq Hit by String of Deadly Explosions

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraq was hit by a string of explosions Thursday that set a freight train on fire, killed a U.S. soldier in a military convoy and ripped through Baghdad's Old Quarter. Another blast injured two U.S. soldiers on a military police patrol.

The attacks came as international organizations continued their exodus from Iraq and the U.N. secretary-general warned of ``a new phase'' in postwar violence.

A top U.S. diplomat blamed al-Qaida for recent attacks, and in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, U.S. soldiers raided six houses after receiving tips that the inhabitants were helping establish a ``new terrorist network'' there, a military spokesman said.

In Baghdad's Old Quarter, an explosion went off next to a printing shop, killing at least two people and triggering a large fire. The dead included a tea seller who owned a stall near the site, police and witnesses said. At least four other people were wounded.

An Iraqi police officer said the source of the blast was an explosive device, possibly a box packed with TNT. Others believed it was a mortar explosion.

Soon afterward, two bombs detonated in the north of the capital next to a U.S. military police patrol, injuring two soldiers, Maj. Scott Patten said.

Also in Baghdad, police said a motorist was arrested after trying to throw a hand grenade into a police station on the edge the capital's ``green zone,'' the heavily guarded headquarters of the U.S. occupation.



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majorvictory
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U.S. Troops Clash With Rioters in Baghdad

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - American troops clashed with rioters carrying Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s picture in a Baghdad suburb Friday, and heavy smoke billowed from the mayor's office in a city west of the capital following a big explosion.

In northern Iraq (news - web sites), American troops sealed off the village where Saddam was born and began issuing identity cards to the villagers to determine who can move in and out.

There were conflicting claims about what triggered the clash at Abu Ghraib, a suburb on the western side of the capital. Iraqis said it broke out when U.S. troops tried to clear market stalls from a main road. But a U.S. officer at the scene, 1st Lt. Joseph Harrison, said it began with a grenade attack against American soldiers that left two of them wounded.

Youths began throwing stones at troops and Iraqi police and set tires ablaze. Protesters carried Saddam's picture and shouted "Allahu Akbar," or "God is great."

After a three-hour interlude, gunfire erupted again as helicopters hovered overhead and U.S. armored vehicles moved into the area to control the crowd after hundreds of Iraqis emerged from Friday prayers.

Machine gunfire and 10 explosions were heard, and fleeing civilians said the U.S. troops had "come under attack." A photographer on the scene saw several civilian casualties being evacuated. Within a half hour the gunshots subsided.

Later, mortars fell on an Iraqi police station near the market. The Americans said they arrested two Iraqis carrying a mortar firing tube.

In Fallujah, a center of Sunni Muslim resistance 40 miles west of the capital, a strong explosion rocked the center of the city at midday. Heavy, black smoke could be seen billowing from the mayor's office.



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majorvictory
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Family is stunned by news of death

quote:
By Tom Bower
San Antonio Express-News

Web Posted : 10/30/2003 12:00 AM

A tank sergeant from Von Ormy was one of two U.S. soldiers killed Tuesday in what has been described as the first ambush against a multinational force now patrolling central Iraq.

(Bahram Mark Sobhani/Express-News)
Gabriel and Hilda Guardiola embrace after giving a television interview about son Sgt. Michael Barrera.

Army Sgt. Michael Paul Barrera, 26, of Von Ormy, was on patrol in Baqubah and was fatally injured when his tank was hit by "an improvised explosive device," an Army statement said.

News of Barrera's death hit family members and friends hard.

"It makes me very angry because there was no need for us to be there, but it makes me very proud because he believed in what he was doing," said Barrera's mother, Hilda Guardiola, also of Von Ormy.

"He loved his job and he died for his country," she said.

According to an Associated Press report from Baghdad, insurgents destroyed a U.S. tank north of Baghdad, killing Barrera and another U.S. soldier.

The attack was part of a dramatic upsurge in fighting in recent days, the report said.

U.S. policy in Iraq suffered another setback when the International Red Cross announced it was reducing its international staff in the country, two days after a deadly suicide car bombing at its Baghdad headquarters, the AP reported.

The humanitarian group Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, also announced it had pulled out workers.

The latest attacks — 233 over the past seven days, according to the U.S. military — have driven the combat death toll during the occupation above the total killed before President Bush declared an end to active combat May 1.

Barrera was assigned to the 3rd Battalion of the 67th Armor Regiment headquartered at Fort Hood.

The identity of the second soldier was unavailable at press time.

Barrera enlisted after he graduated in 1995 from Somerset High School.

He was deployed to Iraq on April 9, his mother said, adding that she learned of his death Tuesday evening when an Army chaplain and another officer came knocking on her South Bexar County door.

"He always told me he was just doing his job. That's just the way my son was," Guardiola said.



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pogge
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U.S. Troops Cordon Off Saddam Birthplace

quote:
Facing an increasing tide of attacks, American soldiers Friday cordoned off the village where Saddam Hussein was born, suspecting this dusty farming community of being a secret base for funding and planning assaults against coalition forces.

"There are ties leading to this village, to the funding and planning of attacks against U.S. soldiers," said Lt. Col. Steve Russell, a battalion commander with the 4th Infantry Division, which is based in nearby Tikrit.

The operation began before dawn with hundreds of U.S. troops and Iraqi police. They erected a fence of barbed wire, stretched over wooden poles, and laid spirals of razor wire around the village, a cluster of mud-and-brick homes set in orchards of pears and pomegranates about six miles south of Tikrit.

Checkpoints were set up at all roads leading into the village of about 3,500 residents, many of them Saddam's clansmen and distant relatives.



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majorvictory
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U.S. Sounds Terror Alert in Baghdad, Soldier Killed

quote:
By Dean Yates

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - One U.S. soldier and an Iraqi policeman were killed in attacks in Iraq (news - web sites) on Friday as foreign governments warned of terror strikes in Baghdad at the weekend after suicide bombings this week killed at least 35 people.

With Iraq high on the campaign agenda as President Bush (news - web sites) seeks re-election next year, his administration handed over some of the material demanded by a Senate panel reviewing intelligence that triggered the war to oust Saddam Hussein (news - web sites).

But the White House, CIA (news - web sites), Pentagon (news - web sites) and State Department, which put together the case for war based on a threat from weapons of mass destruction, could not fully meet a Friday deadline, congressional and administration sources said.

The opposition Democrats and other critics have said Bush may have exaggerated the threat to gather support for the war, and his opinion poll ratings over Iraq have slipped.

No biological, chemical or nuclear weapons have been found in Iraq since Saddam was toppled by U.S.-led forces on April 9.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has not said what the consequences would be for missing the deadline.

"This is not like the showdown at the OK Corral where the guns get drawn at noon and start blazing away. This is really an effort to put a fire under them," one congressional official said on condition of anonymity.

In a terror alert, the U.S. consular office told Americans in Baghdad to be vigilant, citing "a number of rumors" that anti-U.S. forces had declared Saturday or Sunday a special day of resistance. Australia issued a similar warning.



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majorvictory
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Vietnam War Terms Creep Into U.S. Debate on Iraq

quote:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The language of the Vietnam war has crept into the U.S. debate on Iraq (news - web sites), with officials and pundits talking of guerrilla warfare, pacifying the country, combating insurgents and even how to leave with honor.

The trend has become particularly pronounced since Sunday's guerrilla rocket attacks on the Baghdad hotel where U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was staying and Monday's four bombings that killed at least 35 people near a Red Cross building and three police stations in the Iraqi capital.

In an editorial on Wednesday, The Washington Post said the wave of attacks "probably is intended to have the same effect as the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam: to convince Americans that their troops are committed to a losing cause and must withdraw -- even if, in military terms, that is not the case.

"The attacks so far ... like those of Tet, pose no strategic threat to the U.S. military presence in the country; they also pale beside those of 1968, which cost the lives of more than 3,800 U.S. servicemen and 14,000 Vietnamese civilians," it added. "Still, the bombings have shocked Iraqis, intimidated some would-be allies and strengthened doubts in Congress and the public about the Iraq mission."

Sandy Berger, national security adviser to former U.S. President Bill Clinton (news - web sites), on Tuesday asked a question that long haunted U.S. policy-makers on Vietnam: "Regardless of how we got here -- how do we get out with honor and with integrity and with a result that is better than what we started with?"



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majorvictory
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3 Americans killed this week in Afghanistan

quote:
Special Forces soldier is latest combat fatality

By Carlotta Gall

KABUL, Afghanistan -- An American Special Forces soldier died of wounds sustained during a gun battle against Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Friday. He is the third American combat fatality in Afghanistan in less than a week.

The Special Forces soldier, whose name has not been released, was with a combat unit of Americans and Afghan militia when they came under attack Thursday from a group of 10 to 15 gunmen suspected of being members of the Taliban in Helmand province.

While U.S. attack helicopters and planes blasted the rebels, an Afghan soldier, who was also wounded, and the American were evacuated by helicopter to the U.S. air base just outside the city of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.

The attack comes after three U.S. soldiers were slightly wounded in an ambush Monday in eastern Afghanistan and after two Americans working for the CIA were killed during a separate battle near the Pakistan border last Saturday.

Forty U.S. soldiers have been killed since the beginning of the campaign against the Taliban and its Al Qaeda allies in October 2001.

The Taliban have regrouped this year and launched a new insurgency, along with supporters of the renegade guerrilla commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Four American soldiers were killed in combat in August, one of the bloodiest months in Afghanistan since the end of the major fighting last year.

In an interview last week, the commander of the U.S.-led coalition in southern Afghanistan, Col. Burke Garrett, played down the strength of the Taliban, saying that his forces had never encountered a group of more than a dozen militants at any one time.

He described them as cowardly and without support of the local population.

"The Afghan Taliban are a broken, dispirited, fractured movement," he said. "They have lost hope and are grasping at some last hope with their attacks."



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majorvictory
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posted 01 November 2003 11:37 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Soldier dreamed of working in parks

quote:
Private was 1 of 3 killed in separate incidents in Iraq

By Rachel Osterman

Stephen E. Wyatt liked a friendly competition.

He fished in tournaments, kept the antlers of his first kill (a deer) and, recently, found thrills in the pleasant rivalry of a pool game.

Wyatt also liked the challenge of the armed services, said his stepmother, Lilmah Wyatt. He enlisted just after graduating from Kilgore High School in the small town of Kilgore, Texas.

Pvt. Wyatt, 19, died Oct. 13 in Balad, Iraq, when his vehicle was attacked with an explosive. He was a cannon crew member in C Battery, 1st Battalion, 17th Field Artillery based in Ft. Sill, Okla.

Wyatt was born and raised in Kilgore and never planned on settling too far from it, his stepmother said.

In January, Wyatt married his wife, Kelly, whom he met in the Army.

Wyatt's greatest pleasure was the outdoors. But it wasn't just fun and games to him.

He hoped to make a career, such as park ranger, in the woods and lakes near his home. And after hunting, Wyatt made practical use of his efforts. He skinned the kills himself, and his father, Charles, fried the steaks for dinner.

`Very, very shy'

Douglas J. Weismantle was the kind of quiet, respectful man who, before seeking his girlfriend's hand in marriage, first asked her father for permission.



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majorvictory
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posted 02 November 2003 12:17 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Err War: The Army buries its mistakes

quote:
By Fred Kaplan
Friday, October 31, 2003: (Slate) Back in Soviet times, there was a Russian army general who liked to bellow, "Analysis is for lieutenants and women." This brute-force approach to military matters didn't serve the Soviet Union well in the long run. Unfortunately, the same attitude seems to be creeping into the U.S. Army today.

Two pieces of evidence shine all too glaringly: 1) an official, unclassified, and highly critical report on the U.S. Army's inefficient-to-shoddy intelligence practices in Iraq and Afghanistan, written by the Center for Army Lessons Learned in Ft. Leavenworth, Kan.; and 2) the removal of this report from the center's Web site, (Full report archived here) after the Washington Post published a story summarizing its contents.

The report and its suppression make clear that, in pre-war training, combat deployment, and after-action assessments, the Army hierarchy in the field and the political hierarchy in Washington devote woefully scant resources to analysis of what they're doing—and that they hold the analysts themselves in contempt, sometimes lethally so.

Administration officials and their critics agree that better intelligence is needed to deal with the guerrilla war that's escalating daily in Iraq. So the release, late last month, of the "lessons-learned" report (which you can still read on the globalsecurity.org Web site) certainly dealt a shock. Some key findings:

The 69 U.S. tactical human-intelligence (HUMINT) teams in Iraq were expected to produce at least 120 "information intelligence reports" a day, but they've been putting out, on average, just 30—"not because of the lack of activity but because of the lack of guidance and focus" from their superiors.

Most of these superiors are junior military intelligence officers who "did not appear to be prepared for tactical assignments." Even captains "lacked advanced analytical capabilities."

HUMINT databases were stored on separate computer systems, many of them loaded with incompatible software, none of them connected in such a way that the data could be shared. As the report dryly puts it, "Connectivity between the terminals was non-existent, and had an adverse effect on HUMINT mission capability."
Other phrases that pop up repeatedly in the report: "very little to no analytical skills," "lacked the foundations of collective management," "junior officers who had no formal training," "information overflow," "no internal analysis capability," "lack of competent interpreters," "no ability to analyze the information," and so forth.

The report also finds that HUMINT personnel were (and, one Pentagon official tells me, still are) often ordered to take part in four-man units that kick down doors and raid buildings. The report notes that it's a bad idea to use spies in this way: "THTs [tactical HUMINT teams] rely on the rapport they generate with the local population and their ability to collect information. Putting them on a door-kicker team ruins that rapport."

But here comes the killer (literally). The report adds, in wryly understated parentheses, that when HUMINT agents were assigned with a door-kicker team, "they were usually the #2 man, who statistically is the person who gets shot." (Italics added.)

In other words, intelligence-gathering and intelligence-analysis teams are held in such low esteem that they're supplied with mismatched computer systems, they're manned by junior officers (or more senior officers who've received little training), they're assigned to risky raid operations that have nothing to do with their missions, and, as if to place an exclamation point on their dispensability, they're put in the raid-team's most dangerous slot.



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Tom Moore
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pogge
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40 reported killed in fighting in Afghanistan's Helmand province

quote:
KABUL : Some 40 people were killed when Afghan police and a former military commander and his fighters fought a fierce battle in southwestern Helmand province, the state-run Bakhtar news agency reported.

The clash erupted Friday afternoon in Gereshk district when police stopped a convoy of vehicles belonging to ex-military commander Haji Idrees for a routine check and the commander resisted.

Bakhtar said Idrees and his deputy were among those killed in the fighting, as well as three women and 12 other civilians caught in the crossfire.

[snip]

The incident reflected the poor security situation especially in the south and southeastern parts of Afghanistan amid increasing rebel attacks and clashes attributed to local warlord rivalries.



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majorvictory
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Former Iraqi detainees tell of riots, punishment in the sun, good Americans and pitiless ones

quote:

By CHARLES J. HANLEY
The Associated Press
11/1/03 12:33 PM


BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- In Iraq's American detention camps, forbidden talk can earn a prisoner hours bound and stretched out in the sun, and detainees swinging tent poles rise up regularly against their jailers, according to recently released Iraqis.

In these secretive islands in a scorched landscape, "they don't respect anyone, old or young," Rahad Naif said of his U.S. Army guards. He and others told of detainees in wheelchairs, and of a man carried into a stifling hot tent in his sickbed. "They humiliate everybody."

Naif, 31, is one of three brothers -- butchers from the east Baghdad slums -- who were thrown into the three biggest detention centers by the Americans in July after a nasty quarrel with an influential neighbor. They never faced charges; the last brother was finally freed Oct. 15.

The camps and prisons hold a mixed population: curfew-breakers and drivers who tried to evade U.S. checkpoints, suspected common criminals, anti-U.S. resistance fighters, and many of deposed President Saddam Hussein's Baath Party leadership.

A Naif brother released in September, Hassan, 32, said there are "good people" among the U.S. guards, like an older man the Iraqis respectfully dubbed "al-Haji" -- "Pilgrim." Ex-detainees also say conditions improve at times, as new underwear, toothbrushes and other supplies arrive; some facilities are better than others, and none compares with Saddam's bloody political prisons. On Oct. 1, the most notorious U.S. center, the Baghdad airport's overcrowded Camp Cropper, was closed.

For the third brother, however, the bitterness is too fresh.

"They confined us like sheep," the newly freed Saad Naif, 38, said of the Americans. "They hit people. They humiliated people."

Although details cannot be otherwise confirmed, the accounts by a half dozen former detainees in Associated Press interviews corroborated each other on key points, and meshed with what Amnesty International has heard from released Iraqis. The human rights group has accounts of detainee uprisings, punishment by exposure to the sun, and other examples of what it calls "inhumane conditions."



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majorvictory
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Deaths in Iraq Take a Steady Toll at Home

quote:
In Fayetteville, N.C., Missy Johnson was studying for a pharmacology test in her pajamas when she heard the thump on the door.

Who in the world is that? she asked herself.

She glanced out the window. Military men in their dress greens.

"I couldn't believe it," Ms. Johnson said. "I just couldn't believe it. I knew exactly what they were here for."

Her husband, Paul, a decorated paratrooper known as P. J. who had once fought a battle in Afghanistan in a flak jacket and boxer shorts, had been killed. His squad had just finished delivering a load of school supplies in Falluja on Oct. 20 when a homemade bomb ripped through his Humvee. He had burns on 80 percent of his body.

"The secretary of the Army has asked me to express his deep regret that your husband was killed in action," the notifying officer began. It is a formal script, always delivered standing.

Sergeant Johnson, 29, wanted to be G.I. Joe. At age 5, he announced that he was going to be a soldier. At age 8, he dug ditches in the yard for toy soldiers.

"He put those little plastic men through basic," said his mother, Patricia Urban.

As a teenager, he gravitated to Vietnam veterans, soaking up their stories and their combat aura. On his 16th birthday, the first day he was old enough to do it legally, he jumped out of a plane.

When Ms. Johnson told her 4-year-old son, Bryan, that Daddy had gone to live with Jesus, he put his hands on her cheeks and said, "It'll be O.K., Mommy, it'll be O.K."

The next day she got three envelopes, addressed in a hand that made her feel sick. Because of the delay with mail from Iraq, her husband's letters keep coming.

Worland, Mo.

There is no such thing as a "family" crisis here. Minutes after the family of Sgt. Jamie L. Huggins learned that he had been killed in combat, phones starting ringing across Worland, population 50. The Huggins boy had died. Time to start a collection.

Fay Wehar, a neighbor, started banging on doors, trying to raise some gas money.

"Everyone knew Jamie and everyone's reaction was about the same: it was a horrible thing," she said.

Ms. Wehar collected $371, mostly crumpled bills and one check. She gave it to the Hugginses, who left a few hours later for the 20-hour drive from this prairie town of shuttered coal mines to Fort Bragg, N.C., home of the 82nd Airborne Division.

Sergeant Huggins, a 26-year-old paratrooper, was killed during a patrol in Baghdad on Oct. 26, after his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb, the insurgency's weapon of choice.

Danielle Huggins had just heard from her husband the day before. She said she asked him: "Why are you still needing to be there? You should be at home."

His answer, she remembered, was, "We are doing good, Danielle; we are doing good."

Fort Hood, Tex.

Andrea Brassfield's husband painted a different picture.

"He told me: `They don't want us here. They throw rocks at us. They shoot at us. I don't know what we're doing here,' " she said.


[ 02 November 2003: Message edited by: majorvictory ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 02 November 2003 01:40 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
15 killed in helicopter attack in Iraq

quote:
FALLUJAH, Iraq, Nov. 2 — Insurgents shot down a U.S. Chinook helicopter in central Iraq on Sunday as it carried troops headed for R&R, killing 15 soldiers and wounding 21 in the deadliest single strike against American troops since the start of war.

THE ATTACK by a shoulder-fired missile was a significant new blow in an Iraq insurgency that escalated in recent days — a “tough week,” in the words of the U.S. occupation chief.

Other U.S. soldiers were reported killed Sunday in ground attacks here and elsewhere in central Iraq. The only day that saw more U.S. casualties came March 23, during the first week of the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.


[ 02 November 2003: Message edited by: Slim ]


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 02 November 2003 02:26 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Chopper Shot Down in Iraq, Killing 15 GIs

quote:
By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer

FALLUJAH, Iraq - Insurgents shot down a U.S. Chinook helicopter in central Iraq (news - web sites) on Sunday as it carried troops headed for R&R, killing 15 soldiers and wounding 21 in the deadliest single strike against American troops since the start of war.

The attack by a shoulder-fired missile was a significant new blow in an Iraq insurgency that escalated in recent days — a "tough week," in the words of the U.S. occupation chief.

Other U.S. soldiers were reported killed Sunday in ground attacks here and elsewhere in central Iraq. The only day that saw more U.S. casualties came March 23, during the first week of the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein (news - web sites).

Sunday's attacks came amid threats attributed to Saddam's party of a wave of violence against the U.S. occupation. Saturday had been planned as a "Day of Resistance" in Baghdad, though no widespread violence was reported there.

The aircraft was hit at about 9 a.m. and crashed amid cornfields near the village of Hasi, about 40 miles southwest of Baghdad and just south of Fallujah, a center of Sunni Muslim resistance to the U.S. occupation.

At the scene, villagers proudly showed off blackened pieces of wreckage to arriving reporters.

Others celebrated word of the helicopter downing, as well as a fresh attack on U.S. soldiers in Fallujah itself, where witnesses said an explosion struck one vehicle in a U.S. Army convoy at about 9 a.m. Sunday. They claimed four soldiers died, but U.S. military sources said they couldn't confirm the report.

"This was a new lesson from the resistance, a lesson to the greedy aggressors," one Fallujah resident, who wouldn't give his name, said of the helicopter downing. "They'll never be safe until they get out of our country," he said of the Americans.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 02 November 2003 02:41 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld mourned the soldiers and declared, “We can win this war. We will win this war.”

Yabbut, victory has already been declared....

I found the caption to the photo in this report interesting. "Guerrillas" (not "terrorists," not "dead-enders," not Ba'ath hardliners," not "insane Islamists," not "suiciders") are said to have shot down the helicopter.

[ 02 November 2003: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]


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beluga2
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posted 02 November 2003 04:13 PM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I note that it wasn't a Kiowa helicopter that was shot down, so presumably our buddy of the same name is okay.
From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 02 November 2003 07:16 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Assassinations Surge in Iraq

quote:
By Alissa J. Rubin , Times Staff Writer
BAGHDAD — The streets were almost deserted in the gray light before sunrise as the blind sheik, guided by a young boy, walked slowly home from his small mosque after leading the morning prayer on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.

At the corner, the sheik, Ahmed Khudayer, was hit by a volley of bullets and fell to the ground, slain along with his brother Waleed and the boy, Tayseer.

Khudayer was Sunni. The neighborhood is largely Shiite, the majority Muslim sect in Iraq whose members were viciously oppressed under Saddam Hussein. And Khudayer's family believes he was targeted because of his faith.

Although terrorist bombings have dominated the headlines, a spiraling number of assassinations across this troubled country is exposing other violent currents at work. These riptides of vigilante justice, sectarian violence and resistance to the U.S.-led occupation are pulling apart Iraq's neighborhoods — and signaling a new kind of lawlessness.

"During the former regime, the government ruled with an iron fist, but now since Saddam Hussein is gone, there is a security vacuum," said Tahani Kadhim, 35, the sheik's widow, wearing a black mourning dress. "People such as the ones who killed my husband are encouraged by this — they want to create strife among groups, to trigger a civil war."

The recent assassinations in Iraq are hardly the first since the end of major combat was declared in May, but the rapid proliferation of the phenomenon is startling.

In just the last three weeks, one of Baghdad's three deputy mayors was killed; the police chief of the southern city of Amara was cut down by an assassin's bullets; a pioneering Iraqi journalist in the northern city of Mosul was shot in the back and killed; at least two Sunni clerics were assassinated; there was an attempt on the life of a moderate Shiite cleric; and at least six former high-ranking officials of the Mukhabarat, Hussein's intelligence agency, were gunned down.

A close look suggests that no one group is responsible for the killings of recent weeks. The lack of any single culprit indicates that assassination may have become a terrorizing tool used by all sides.



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al-Qa'bong
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posted 03 November 2003 12:38 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I heard Rumsfeld say today that, despite the setbacks, the US will "prevail" in the war on Iraq.

What does that mean? What is their objective? Do they even have any military objective, besides making Iraqi oil safe for plunder?


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Jacob Two-Two
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posted 03 November 2003 02:12 AM      Profile for Jacob Two-Two     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think he means his administration will achieve good optics in Iraq in time for the next election, come hell or high water, no matter how many soldiers have to die. It won't happen, of course, but hey, live in hope, Rumsie.
From: There is but one Gord and Moolah is his profit | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 03 November 2003 07:43 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
'I praise those who struck down our American enemies'

quote:
Helicopters from the Habbaniyah airbase rushed to the downed helicopter to airlift the wounded out. US forces put up a security cordon around the site and tried to disperse the cheering Iraqis, with little effort on either side to disguise mutual hostility.

"Here come the bastards," shouted Mr Saleh as a company of US soldiers approached from the 10th Mountain Division, attached to the 82nd Airborne, which most of the men travelling in the Chinook helicopters were from. They in turn shouted at the "hyenas".

Neither side understood the words but the meaning was clear enough. "They are very bad people here," said Capt Scott Kirkpatrick. "The guy who shot the rockets is probably standing in the crowd over there."

Another soldier grimly predicted a night of mortaring and fresh attacks in the area - part of the "Sunni triangle", the hotbed of tribal resistance to the American-led occupation.

The nearby town of Fallujah is the scene of almost daily attacks on US forces, and more than a dozen Americans and scores of Iraqis have died there.

The villagers of Hasai were quick to deny any involvement in the attack, but proudly declared their commitment to fighting the Americans, who they blame for indiscriminate killings in the community and the arrest of village leaders.

"We are cheering because every American soldier we kill brings us one step closer to getting them out of the country for good," said one resident.



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No Yards
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posted 03 November 2003 02:12 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This article must be wrong, as it is based on impossible happenings . . . I saw Rumfeld himself, in a FAUX news interview saying that all Iraqis were in favour of the US "freedom" forces in Iraq.

Rumsfeld made it quite clear that only Al-Qadea terrorists and Iranian Religious fanatics are behind these sorts of attacks, and that the Iraqi people are fully against these sort of "terrorist" attacks.

He also explained to those less initiated, that "sure the number of American (and Iraqi) deaths are rising, but the situation is getting better overall" (or something to that affect!!)

Who measures a countries stability based on how many occupation soldiers and civilians get killed during a military action anyway?? Shouldn't we use a much more realistic measure . . . such as the Haliburton bottom line for instance??

This is why we need more embedded reporters in Iraq . . . too much of this independant reporting of obvious fabrications (imagine, Iraqi citizens resisting American occupation . . . how could one be so foolish to believe such a crazy concept?)


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 03 November 2003 04:17 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by majorvictory:
'I praise those who struck down our American enemies'


"Tribal resistance"....*snort*....because, of course, you have to be beholden to some uncivilised ancient social mode to want to attack the Good Ol' Boys of the U.S.A. who just finished being so nice as to kill about 13,000 people...

Not to mention that 'Sunni' is not strictly a 'tribal' identification, but a religious one, though these lines may be drawn in the same places. Either way, it's a bit of a misnomer.

Racism sucks.

[ 03 November 2003: Message edited by: Courage ]


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majorvictory
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posted 03 November 2003 07:15 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Blasts Rock Two Iraqi Cities

quote:
(CBS/AP) A blast near a holy Shiite Muslim shrine in the city of Karbala on Monday killed three people and injured 12, witnesses said. Meanwhile, in Baghdad, a string of mortar blasts struck near downtown after sunset.

The violence came a day after insurgents shot down a U.S. transport helicopter west of Baghdad, killing 16 Americans and wounding 21 in a dramatic show of increasing sophistication in their attacks.

Only two days before that strike, leaflets seen in mosques in the Fallujah area warned of new attacks using "modern and advanced methods."

In Baghdad, five strong explosions were heard in quick succession at about 9:10 p.m., and it appeared the blasts were coming from the western side of the Tigris River.

Soon after, the U.S military command reported three or four mortar impacts in central Baghdad. It did not report any casualties or give details on damage.



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majorvictory
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posted 04 November 2003 03:53 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Resistance is the First Step Towards Iraqi Independence

quote:
by Tariq Ali

11/03/03: (The Guardian. UK) Some weeks ago, Pentagon inmates were invited to a special in-house showing of an old movie. It was the Battle of Algiers, Gillo Pontecorvo's anti-colonial classic, initially banned in France. One assumes the purpose of the screening was purely educative. The French won that battle, but lost the war. At least the Pentagon understands that the resistance in Iraq is following a familiar anti-colonial pattern. In the movie, they would have seen acts carried out by the Algerian maquis almost half a century ago, which could have been filmed in Fallujah or Baghdad last week. Then, as now, the occupying power described all such activities as "terrorist". Then, as now, prisoners were taken and tortured, houses that harbored them or their relatives were destroyed, and repression was multiplied. In the end, the French had to withdraw.

As American "postwar" casualties now exceed those sustained during the invasion (which cost the Iraqis at least 15,000 lives), a debate of sorts has begun in the US. Few can deny that Iraq under US occupation is in a much worse state than it was under Saddam Hussein. There is no reconstruction. There is mass unemployment. Daily life is a misery, and the occupiers and their puppets cannot provide even the basic amenities of life. The US doesn't even trust the Iraqis to clean their barracks, and so south Asian and Filipino migrants are being used. This is colonialism in the epoch of neo-liberal capitalism, and so US and "friendly" companies are given precedence. Even under the best circumstances, an occupied Iraq would become an oligarchy of crony capitalism, the new cosmopolitanism of Bechtel and Halliburton.

It is the combination of all this that fuels the resistance and encourages many young men to fight. Few are prepared to betray those who are fighting. This is crucially important, because without the tacit support of the population, a sustained resistance is virtually impossible.

The Iraqi maquis have weakened George Bush's position in the US and enabled Democrat politicians to criticize the White House, with Howard Dean daring to suggest a total US withdrawal within two years. Even the bien pensants who opposed the war but support the occupation and denounce the resistance know that without it they would have been confronted with a triumphalist chorus from the warmongers. Most important, the disaster in Iraq has indefinitely delayed further adventures in Iran and Syria.

One of the more comical sights in recent months was Paul Wolfowitz on one of his many visits informing a press conference in Baghdad that the "main problem was that there were too many foreigners in Iraq". Most Iraqis see the occupation armies as the real "foreign terrorists". Why? Because once you occupy a country, you have to behave in colonial fashion. This happens even where there is no resistance, as in the protectorates of Bosnia and Kosovo. Where there is resistance, as in Iraq, the only model on offer is a mixture of Gaza and Guantanamo.



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majorvictory
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posted 04 November 2003 03:57 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
WE BUY ROCKET LAUNCHERS AT ARMS BAZAAR

quote:
Nov 3 2003

From Paul Martin In Baghdad

MILITANTS are able to buy devastating weapons to attack coalition forces easily and cheaply in Baghdad, a Mirror undercover probe discovered.

We recruited a former Iraqi army officer, General Alameen, to order arms for us at a market in a graveyard on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Groups of men sit around on tombstones, light candles and pray. But they are not all mourners. Some are arms dealers who trade there secretly for two hours three times a day.

We ordered our weapons late in the afternoon from Brahim Khalil, a former sergeant and mine laying specialist in the disbanded Iraqi army.

Most of the sellers are just 15 to 20 years old and they take their orders back to their bosses.

General Alameen arrived back the next day and waited 15 minutes for Khalil. A young boy came and took him to the other side of the cemetery where Baath party officials were hiding.

There we were offered five RPG launchers and seven rockets. We bought two Russian-made launchers, fired from the shoulder, for £140.

"If you need more, just let me know," said the seller. Each one and a half foot long RPG rocket costs £12 to £19 but can be bought for just £6 to £9 at Mahmoudiya, south of the capital. Bulk purchases of 50 or more items bring the price down further.



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majorvictory
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posted 04 November 2003 04:16 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Book Review: Inventing Iraq: The Failure of Nation Building and a History Denied

quote:
Long before the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance was set up in the Pentagon to establish democracy in Baghdad on just eight weeks notice before Bush’s “shock and awe” invasion was launched, the British empire had a plan to make Iraq the very model of a modern democratic state.

The failure of British colonial administrators to plant a viable parliament in the Cradle of Civilization in a tumultuous 12-year effort (1920-32) should be a sobering lesson to those running the American campaign, warns Toby Dodge, a British historian. In his timely book on the origins of Iraq, published amid daily news bulletins of violent attacks on “postwar” U.S. military patrols, Dodge shows how terribly relevant history can be.

Carved out of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I, Iraq was a British invention, a cobbling together of disparate desert tribes who were to be molded into a “modern” state. When the natives resisted, the reformers dispatched by Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill and other leading lights in London unleashed a deadly new device and bombed rural villages. “The British in Iraq in the 1920s, because of a lack of finance and soldiers, came to rely heavily on the coercive power of airplanes. Governance was delivered from two hundred feet, in the shape of regular bombing and machine-gun fire,” Dodge notes.

Now here’s the capsule lesson for Americans too busy reforming Iraq to read a history book: “The Iraqis of the 1920s were deeply suspicious of British motives. Through violence and political mobilization, they forced the colonial power to leave much sooner than they had anticipated,” Dodge writes. “Ultimately, however, it was the way the British understood Iraqi society that came to undermine their attempt to build a stable state. British colonial administrators…set about devolving power to indigenous Iraqis they believed had social influence. Resources were channeled through those individuals in the hope that they could guarantee social order at the lowest possible cost. The resulting state was built on extremely shallow social foundations. The governments that inherited the state after independence had, like the British before them, to resort to high levels of violence and patronage to keep the population from rising up and unseating them.”

The ink on Dodge’s book is barely dry and The New York Times Magazine cover story for Nov. 2, 2003, is titled “Who Botched the Occupation?” Journalist David Rieff writes: “What went wrong is that the voices of Iraq experts, of the State Department almost in its entirety and, indeed, of important segments of the uniformed military were ignored.” Judith Yaphe, a former CIA analyst on Iraqi history, is among those interviewed, whose expertise was brushed aside by Rumsfeld’s neo-colonial clique. “In some ways, we’re even more isolated than the British were when they took over Iraq,” Yaphe observes.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 04 November 2003 04:22 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The wounded who never die

quote:
VIEW FROM THE LEFT

Harley Sorensen, Special to SF Gate

Monday, November 3, 2003


If we were to believe our government (and who does?), our military doctors are the best in the world. Nobody ever dies in their care.

Common sense tells us we're being lied to again.

If you follow the news even loosely, you know that American soldiers and Marines are killed and wounded on a daily basis in Iraq. Just offhand, the number of wounded appears to be three times the number killed. So, roughly -- very roughly -- one can estimate about 1,000 troops wounded in Iraq. It could be twice that, or more. I think it's a lot more.

Our man in Iraq (I call him Sgt. Mike) e-mails the three steps in dealing with the wounded.

If the wounds are minor, Sgt. Mike says, the troops are patched up in Iraq and sent back to their units. Troops with major injuries are flown to Germany for treatment, and from there to the United States.

But, judging from press reports, none of these wounded ever dies. Maybe I don't know where to look, but I haven't been able to find one single report of a soldier who died later of his or her injuries.

Not one. Isn't that curious?



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majorvictory
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posted 04 November 2003 12:20 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Soldier Killed in Baghdad Bombing

quote:
By SLOBODAN LEKIC, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi insurgents killed an American soldier in a roadside bombing in Baghdad on Tuesday, and Spain said it was withdrawing much of its diplomatic staff from Iraq (news - web sites) for security reasons, the third coalition country to do so in the past two weeks amid mounting violence.

The Spanish Embassy will remain open but with minimal staffing and a significant number of its 29-member staff is being pulled out, a Foreign Ministry official said.

"We have taken staff out of Baghdad temporarily given that it is a very complicated moment," Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio was quoted as saying by the Spanish news agency Europa Press. She did not say exactly how many diplomats were being withdrawn.

In late October, Bulgaria and the Netherlands moved Embassy staff in Iraq to Jordan, both citing safety concerns following a attacks on diplomatic and humanitarian agencies — including deadly bombings at the Turkish Embassy and the U.N. headquarters.

In Baghdad, the roadside bombing killed one soldier and wounded two others, all from the 1st Armored Division, the U.S. command said. Another soldier was killed Monday and one other wounded when their vehicle struck a land mine in Tikrit.

The deaths brought the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq in November to 23, most in the weekend crash of a transport helicopter shot down Sunday west of Baghdad.

The roadside bombing followed a brief mortar barrage in which at least three projectiles detonated about Monday evening in central Baghdad, causing no damage or casualties, U.S. officials said.

One hit a U.S. Army camp of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, the officials said.



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majorvictory
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posted 04 November 2003 10:01 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Mission Demolished

quote:
By Eric Boehlert

Nov. 4, 2003 | Back in June, during one of his press briefings, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was getting needled with sharp questions about the increasing number of American casualties in Iraq. Though President Bush had announced May 1 that major combat was over, nearly four dozen soldiers had died in the weeks that followed. But Rumsfeld waved off the concern, comparing occupied Baghdad to Washington, and suggesting the Iraq capital was safer than its American counterpart, given Washington's sky-high murder rate.

Rumsfeld shouldn't have been so glib. Last year there were 262 murders in the city of Washington. As of Monday afternoon, 262 coalition troops had died in the six months since Bush's May 1 proclamation. (One hundred and seventy-three soldiers have died since July 2, when Bush sent a much-criticized message to Iraqi resistance fighters: "Bring 'em on.") To be fair, that casualty figure is for all of Iraq, not just for Baghdad. But there's no accurate count of how many Iraqis have perished in that same period, and it's safe to say conditions in Baghdad have only gotten worse since Rumsfeld made his unfortunate comparison.

In the last 10 days, the security situation throughout much of Iraq has raced from bad to disastrous, with an increasingly brazen, yet unknown enemy (Baath loyalists, al-Qaida guerrillas, foreign jihadis?) unleashing deadly hit (the al-Rashid hotel), after hit (the International Red Cross), after hit (a U.S. transport helicopter).

This, while Iraqi pipelines continue to be sabotaged, disbanded Iraqi soldiers roam the country instead of defending it, the constitutional process that was supposed to usher in free elections remains months, if not years, behind schedule, and at the center stands a crumbling Iraqi infrastructure that administration officials concede is far worse than they anticipated. Not surprisingly Iraqis themselves are turning more and more anti-American. A recent poll conducted by the Iraqi Centre for Research and Strategic Studies on behalf of the U.S. State Department showed just 15 percent of Iraqis see U.S. forces as liberators, down from 43 percent six months ago.



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majorvictory
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posted 05 November 2003 04:05 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Helicopter Down

quote:
Ray McGovern

11/03/03: The killing of 18 U.S. troops and the wounding of 21 others in Iraq on Nov. 2 brings to mind the successful attack by Viet Cong guerrillas on U.S. forces in Pleiku, Vietnam on February 7, 1965.

The Johnson administration immediately seized on that attack, in which nine U.S. troops were killed and 128 wounded, to start bombing North Vietnam and to send 3,500 Marines to South Vietnam. Unlike the U.S. advisory forces already in country, the Marines had orders to engage in combat, marking the beginning of the Americanization of the war. By 1968 U.S. forces had grown to over 536,000.

From the outset, my colleagues in CIA were highly skeptical that even with a half-million troops the United States could prevail in Vietnam. They were quick to remind anyone who would listen of the candid observation made by General Philippe LeClerc, dispatched to Vietnam shortly after World War II. The French general reported that, mainly because of the strong commitment of the Vietnamese nationalists/communists and their proven proficiency in guerrilla war, a renewed French campaign would require 500,000 men and that, even then, France could not win.

In 1965, similar warnings were blissfully ignored by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and the civilian whiz kids with whom he had surrounded himself. Then as now, the advice of our professional military was dismissed.

Civilian Whiz Kids vs. Military Professionals

While today's civilian leaders at the Defense Department hobbled through what passed for post-war planning for Iraq early this year, Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki warned the Senate Armed Services Committee that post-war Iraq would require "something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers." He was immediately ridiculed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz for having exaggerated the requirement. This evokes vivid memories of how McNamara and his civilian whiz kids dismissed our professional military—and at such a high eventual price.

The poet George Santayana warned, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." What is increasingly clear is that neither the present-day Pentagon whiz kids nor their patron, Vice President Dick Cheney, have learned much from history. They encourage President Bush to insist, "We are not leaving;" and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to protest that this war is "winnable." But most of those with a modicum of experience in guerrilla warfare and the Middle East are persuaded that the war is not winnable and that the only thing in doubt is the timing of the U.S. departure.

After many weeks of refusing to admit the word "guerrilla" into evidence, Rumsfeld seems to have made his peace with it. Yet, when asked this past weekend on television who are the guerrillas are, he foundered, admitting in so many words that he hasn't a clue. I was actually embarrassed for him. A terrific debater and otherwise reasonably smart man, Rumsfeld was reduced to telling us once again that Iraq is the size of California and bemoaning the deficiencies in "situational awareness" and lack of "perfect visibility" into who it is that are killing our troops.

At least we were spared the usual claims that we are "moving forward" and will prevail "at the end of the day." Apparently even Rumsfeld could see how incongruous such banalities would have sounded after such a disastrous week.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 05 November 2003 04:13 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Does anyone remember this thread, from last April?
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majorvictory
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posted 06 November 2003 03:04 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Reported U.S. Strike Disconcerts Karzai

quote:
As the Afghan leader's government tries to build support for a draft constitution, the homes of supporters are hit in an airstrike, killing six.

By Paul Watson
Times Staff Writer
November 4, 2003

KABUL, Afghanistan — The deaths of six villagers in what Afghan officials said was a U.S. airstrike embarrassed President Hamid Karzai's government Monday as it tried to rally support for a draft constitution that is key to reuniting this war-ravaged country.

The attack Friday night destroyed two houses in the village of Warez in the eastern province of Nuristan, killing four children, a woman and a young man, Deputy Governor Abdul Haleem Nooristani said in a telephone interview.

Word of the attack reached Kabul, the capital, on Monday, as Karzai accepted the draft of a new constitution that, if approved by a traditional grand council next month, would concentrate significant powers in the presidency. An aide to Karzai confirmed that the airstrike had taken place.

It occurred in a hostile region bordering Pakistan, where winning hearts and minds is seen as crucial to extending Kabul's control into the unruly heartland of the Pushtuns, Afghanistan's major ethnic group. The village of Warez is situated about 25 miles northwest of Asadabad, which sits near the Afghan-Pakistani border.

The attack also came amid an investigation by Karzai's government into allegations that Afghan militia fighters paid to guide U.S. troops had robbed, assaulted and tortured civilians during a sweep last month in Zabol province, hundreds of miles to the southwest.

U.S. and Afghan forces searching for suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters in eastern Afghanistan are turning people against Karzai, a fellow Pushtun, said Nooristani, who was appointed by the Afghan president.

"As the deputy of the province, I can assure you that there are no guns in this whole village and no Al Qaeda, no Taliban," Nooristani said. "The people in this area are very upset about this, and they are fed up with the central government."

The bombed houses belong to central government supporters Maulvi Ismail Khan and Maulvi Ghulam Rabani, the former governor of Kunar province, Nooristani said.

Rabani's 16-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter were among the dead, added Nooristani, who said American troops had ignored warnings to check with provincial authorities before launching attacks, to avoid being misled by Afghan guides who use U.S. forces to settle local scores.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 06 November 2003 03:12 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Chomsky: The Iraq War and Contempt for Democracy

quote:

"Recall that the self-appointed rulers of the world -- Bush, Powell, and the rest -- had declared forthrightly that they intended to carry out their war whether or not the United Nations (UN) or anyone else "catches up" and "becomes relevant."
"In the two major European countries, Germany and France, the official government stands corresponded to the views of the large majority of their populations, which opposed the war .."


By NOAM CHOMSKY


Establishment critics of the war on Iraq restricted their comments regarding the attack to the administration arguments they took to be seriously intended: disarmament, deterrence, and links to terrorism.

They scarcely made reference to liberation, democratization of the Middle East, and other matters that would render irrelevant the weapons inspections and indeed everything that took place at the Security Council or within governmental domains.

The reason, perhaps, is that they recognized that lofty rhetoric is the obligatory accompaniment of virtually any resort to force and therefore carries no information. The rhetoric is doubly hard to take seriously in the light of the display of contempt for democracy that accompanied it, not to speak of the past record and current practices.

Critics are also aware that nothing has been heard from the present incumbents -- with their alleged concern for Iraqi democracy -- to indicate that they have any regrets for their previous support for Saddam Hussein (or others like him, still continuing) nor have they shown any signs of contrition for having helped him develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when he really was a serious danger.

Nor has the current leadership explained when, or why, they abandoned their 1991 view that "the best of all worlds" would be "an iron-fisted Iraqi junta without Saddam Hussein" that would rule as Saddam did but not make the error of judgment in August 1990 that ruined Saddam's record.

At the time, the incumbents' British allies were in the opposition and therefore more free than the Thatcherites to speak out against Saddam's British-backed crimes. Their names are noteworthy by their absence from the parliamentary record of protests against these crimes, including Tony Blair, Jack Straw, Geoff Hoon, and other leading figures of New Labour.

In December 2002, Jack Straw, then foreign minister, released a dossier of Saddam's crimes. It was drawn almost entirely from the period of firm US-UK support, a fact overlooked with the usual display of moral integrity. The timing and quality of the dossier raised many questions, but those aside, Straw failed to provide an explanation for his very recent conversion to skepticism about Saddam Hussein's good character and behavior.

When Straw was home secretary in 2001, an Iraqi who fled to England after detention and torture requested asylum. Straw denied his request. The Home Office explained that Straw "is aware that Iraq, and in particular the Iraqi security forces, would only convict and sentence a person in the courts with the provision of proper jurisdiction," so that "you could expect to receive a fair trial under an independent and properly constituted judiciary."



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majorvictory
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posted 06 November 2003 03:48 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Third soldier’s death stuns school

quote:
ORANGEBURG — Students and teachers at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School struggled Tuesday to deal with the death of a third graduate in the Iraq war.

“It’s been a reality check,” guidance counselor Marilyn Wilson said of the “unseemly quiet” that fell over the 1,800-student school Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the dead soldier’s mother said she’d like to hear an explanation from President Bush of why her son had to die.

“If the people in Iraq don’t want us over there, then we need to bring our babies back to us where they’re needed and wanted,” said Harriet Johnson.

Johnson’s son, Spc. Darius Jennings, 22, died Sunday when a transport helicopter hauling troops to Baghdad International Airport was shot down by shoulder-fired missiles.

Fifteen men and women, headed back to the United States on leave, died in the deadliest single strike against U.S. forces since the Iraq war began March 20.

Jennings, who enlisted in June 2001, was assigned to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. He was the 12th serviceman with ties to South Carolina to die since the buildup for the war began in February.

The other O-W graduates killed in the war were Army Sgt. Anthony Thompson, 26, class of 1995, and Pfc. Vorn J. Mack, 19, class of 2002.

No other S.C. high school has lost three graduates to the war.



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majorvictory
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posted 06 November 2003 02:19 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
First Polish soldier killed in Iraq

quote:
Baghdad — Polish forces suffered their first combat death in Iraq on Thursday when a major was fatally wounded in an ambush south of the capital. Two U.S. soldiers were also killed, near Baghdad and along the Syrian border, the U.S. military said.

The new violence occurred as a senior Japanese official said his country would honour its commitment to send peacekeepers to Iraq despite the heightened threat to Japanese military and civilian personnel.

Yukio Okamoto, top diplomatic adviser to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, said withdrawing from Iraq would send the wrong message to "terrorists who seek to thwart international support efforts," the Kyodo news agency reported Thursday.

A senior figure from the U.S.-led coalition warned, however, that the Americans and their allies face a "rough winter" of attacks by insurgents.

The Polish officer was shot Thursday during an ambush near Karbala as he and 15 other Polish soldiers were returning from a promotion ceremony for the Iraqi civil defence corps. He died later in hospital, Polish Defence Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski said. There were no other Polish casualties,



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majorvictory
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posted 06 November 2003 07:10 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Where The Wounded Go

quote:
(CBS) The U.S. effort In Iraq is costing lives, but there's another price being paid, too – in the increasingly high numbers of those being severely injured and disabled. Lives are not only being lost, others are being broken and turned into long-term battles with pain and disability, CBS News Correspondent Mark Phillips reports.

When the 21 injured survivors of Sunday's helicopter attack were flown to the Army hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, they followed a well-worn trail. The facility here has been stretched to its limits.

"We've seen a lot of folks, yes sir," said the hospital's commander, Col. Rhonda Cornum. And the combat casualty rates haven't been falling off as had been hoped – they keep coming.

"Since the 23rd of March up to the 2nd of November we had 912" patients, said Cornum, and that doesn't include the 21 casualties from the helicopter attack.

The attack on the helicopter may have been the biggest single caseload from one incident that this hospital has had to cope with, but it wouldn't have come as a shock. They're used to big numbers here. Since the combat in Iraq began, including combat casualties, serious non-combat injuries and disease, this hospital has had to treat more than 7,700 U.S. personnel.



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majorvictory
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posted 06 November 2003 07:18 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Calls Up Troops for Iraq; UK Sees Tough Winter

quote:
Washington is set to order thousands of troops to prepare for duty in Iraq next year, U.S. officials said, as Britain's top envoy in Baghdad warned of difficult months ahead due to persistent guerrilla attacks.

"I believe we are in for a rough winter," Sir Jeremy Greenstock told Britain's Times newspaper.

He said insurgents "want to try and close Baghdad down and make it look as though Iraq can't work with coalition forces," and added British troops could still be in Iraq in 2005.

U.S. Central Command said guerrillas firing guns and rocket-propelled grenades killed one U.S. soldier and wounded two in an ambush south of Baghdad Wednesday evening. The attack brought to 139 the number of American soldiers killed in action since Washington declared major combat over on May 1.

The U.S. Army also said a soldier was killed Thursday when a military truck struck a land mine on a road near the border with Syria. It was not clear from the statement whether the land mine was placed there by anti-American guerrillas or was part of security measures at the border.

Faced with daily guerrilla attacks and a string of suicide bombings, the United States has been pushing for more countries to share the burden of policing Iraq, but with limited success.

Turkey initially agreed to send a large contingent, but Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council objected to the plan and says the idea has now been dropped.



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majorvictory
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posted 07 November 2003 03:06 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
85, 000 GIs Told They're Heading to Iraq

quote:
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 11:08 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon announced plans Thursday to send 85,000 Army and Marine combat forces to Iraq early next year to relieve troops completing one-year tours -- a rotation that when combined with another switchout of troops in Afghanistan will be the Army's largest sequence of troop movements since World War II.

In addition, 43,000 National Guard and Reserve support troops have been alerted that they may be sent as well.

The moves are part of a rotation plan that assumes Iraqis will be capable of contributing enough to the battle against the anti-occupation insurgency that the number of American troops in Iraq can be reduced from 131,600 today to 105,000 by May, senior officials said.

In an added twist, the Army announced that soldiers in every unit designated for deployment to Iraq next year -- whether active-duty or reserve -- will be prohibited from leaving the service during a period beginning 90 days before they go to 90 days after they return.

That measure, known in the military as ``stop-loss,'' does not apply to the Marine Corps, which said it will dispatch about 20,000 Marines to replace the Army's 82nd Airborne Division in western Iraq, including the Fallujah area where anti-occupation violence has been strongest.

Lt. Gen. Jan C. Huly, deputy commandant of the Marine Corps for plans and operations, told a news conference that the Marines would spend seven months in Iraq, then be replaced by another 20,000-Marine contingent for seven months. They will come from the 1st Marine Division, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif., which helped spearhead the invasion of Iraq last spring.

The Army will send the equivalent of three combat divisions to replace the four there now.

The rotation, combined with a switchout of troops in Afghanistan -- the 25th Infantry Division replacing the 10th Mountain Division in April -- is the largest sequence of troop movements for the Army since World War II, Lt. Gen. Richard Cody said in an interview. He is the Army's deputy chief of staff for operations.



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majorvictory
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posted 07 November 2003 06:20 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Goodwill is fragile in new Iraq

quote:
There are about as many versions of what happened at the Abu Ghraib market, beginning Friday, as there are plump crimson pomegranates on the average fruit cart here. But what started as a small protest over Iraqi police efforts to move traffic- blocking vendors flared to a bloody confrontation between locals and outsiders on one side- some armed with rockets - and US troops and tanks.

The new market was designed to get vendors - whose numbers had mushroomed after the war as nearby factories closed - off the streets and into new stalls. The market was also envisioned as a traffic-control project. The many vendors often blocked the entrance to a hospital, as well as the highway running through town to nearby Fallujah.

As attacks against US forces have increased in Fallujah - where a helicopter was downed Sunday, killing 15 American soldiers - keeping the highway clear has become a higher priority.

Offering more than 400 stalls, the new market looked like it would be a success. But when the town council decided to impose a small daily fee for stall space, some vendors balked, and returned to laying out their goods beside the highway.

With congestion building again, the new Iraqi police on Friday decided to return order and clear the street. Rocks were thrown, and the police, feeling threatened, called in the Americans. As tanks and infantry soldiers arrived, what had been small-arms fire escalated to grenades and 25- millimeter shells being fired at the US troops.

According to Major Wick, the Americans followed established rules of engagement, carefully targeting only rioters with weapons or seen lobbing grenades. But buildings where assailants had taken up positions - in at least one case with a missile launcher - were fired on. And as at least a dozen individuals retreated with arms into the new market, the Americans turned to blasting the very walls that so recently they had helped build.

On Sunday, violence peaked again when Estonian soldiers on patrol were attacked, obliging the Americans to step in once more. By the time it was all over, at least seven Iraqis were dead - although Wick acknowledges that some of the injured had been removed from the scene by locals, and that 14 funerals were held in Abu Ghraib on Monday.

"The Americans arrest people just for selling in the streets, and now they kill them, so how is this better than Saddam?" says Ali Ahmed Saleh, standing by the flattened hulk that was once the rusty pickup from which he operated a moving business.



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pogge
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posted 07 November 2003 10:45 AM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Six dead as Black Hawk crashes in Iraq

quote:
TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - An American Black Hawk helicopter has crashed near Saddam Hussein's hometown in Iraq, killing all six people on board, and U.S. soldiers say it has been probably shot down with a rocket-propelled grenade.

Apache attack helicopters were scouring the area around the crash site in Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, hunting for guerrillas who may have brought the Black Hawk down.

If confirmed to have been destroyed by hostile fire, it would be the third U.S. helicopter brought down by guerrillas in two weeks.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 07 November 2003 11:28 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Retaliates For Latest Deaths

quote:
An Army Black Hawk helicopter crashed Friday -- apparently shot down by insurgents -- killing all six U.S. soldiers aboard and capping the bloodiest seven days in Iraq for Americans since the fall of Baghdad.

In retaliation, American troops backed by Bradley fighting vehicles swept through Iraqi neighborhoods before dawn Saturday, blasting houses suspected of being insurgent hideouts with machine guns and heavy weapons fire.

"This is to remind the town that we have teeth and claws and we will use them," said Lt. Col. Steven Russell, commander of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 07 November 2003 11:48 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Blackhawk
Apache
Kiowa
Comanche

None of which count coup.


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majorvictory
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posted 08 November 2003 12:53 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraqi Security Crews Getting Less Training

quote:
By Bradley Graham and Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, November 7, 2003; Page A01

Announcing plans to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq by next summer, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday that rapid growth in the size of Iraqi security forces made the American cutback possible.

But much of that growth was accomplished by allowing Iraqi policemen and building guards to start work with little or no formal training in democratic standards and relevant job skills, according to officials with the U.S.-led occupation authority. The recent ballooning of reported figures also has raised questions about the reliability of the count.

Of the 60,400 Iraqi policemen now on the job, only 3,500 to 4,000 have been put through a U.S.-run three-week course in ethics and investigative methods , the officials said. An additional 36,000 Iraqis hired to guard ministry buildings, power plants, oil pipelines and other public facilities as part of a new Facilities Protection Service are at best receiving instruction lasting a few days.

The U.S. strategy for stabilizing Iraq and withdrawing American troops hinges on the successful development of a reconstituted police force and several other newly established security organizations. In recent days, amid a rise in guerrilla attacks, Bush administration officials have touted a surge in the overall size of these Iraqi forces, from 58,000 in mid-September to 118,000 reported by Rumsfeld yesterday.

But the speed at which the Iraqi forces are being created, and the dearth of training, are drawing warnings from lawmakers and others -- as well as expressions of disbelief about the extent of growth so far.

"When the United States announces a schedule for training and deploying Iraqi security officers, then announces the acceleration of that schedule, then accelerates it again, it sends a signal of desperation, not certitude," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Wednesday at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. "When in the course of days we increase by thousands our estimate of the numbers of Iraqis trained, it sounds like somebody is cooking the books."



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majorvictory
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posted 08 November 2003 03:09 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Insurgents Kill U.S. Paratroopers in Iraq

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq Nov. 8 — Insurgents killed two U.S. paratroopers and wounded another west of Baghdad on Saturday as the U.S. military cracked down on residents of Saddam Hussein's hometown after guerrillas apparently shot down a Black Hawk helicopter there.
The two 82nd Airborne Division soldiers died when a homemade bomb exploded beside their vehicle about 8:30 a.m. in Fallujah, a center of Sunni Muslim resistance 40 miles west of Baghdad, the military said.

Their deaths brought to 34 the number of American soldiers who have died in Iraq this month as resistance escalated during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

In Geneva, meanwhile, the international Red Cross said Saturday it was temporarily closing its offices in Baghdad and Basra because of security. The Red Cross had planned to cut back on foreign staff after the Oct. 27 truck-bombing at its Baghdad office but had planned to keep the offices open with reduced staff.

"We decided that in view of an extremely dangerous and volatile situation that we would have to temporarily close our offices in Baghdad and Basra," said Florian Westphal, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The Red Cross maintains a staff of about 30 foreign staffers and 600 Iraqis.

In Mosul, 250 miles north of Baghdad, guerrillas fired six mortar rounds at a police station in the city, Iraqi police said Saturday. Several shells missed their target and fell on nearby houses, slightly injuring a resident.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 09 November 2003 12:37 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Long thread! I'm not letting this one go because they take forever to load if they get too long, so start up another one, folks.

And before you even ask, skdadl, yes, I'll move it to the babble archives.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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