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Author Topic: Merry Xmas War Is Over IV
DrConway
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posted 09 November 2003 08:08 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Defining the resistance in Iraq - it's not foreign and it's well prepared

quote:
DELMAR, N.Y. – In the Baghdad suburb of Abu Ghraib is a compound on an abandoned airstrip that once belonged to a state organization known as M-21, or the Special Operations Directorate of the Iraqi Intelligence Service. As a UN weapons inspector, I inspected this facility in June of 1996. We were looking for weapons of mass destruction (WMD). While I found no evidence of WMD, I did find an organization that specialized in the construction and employment of "improvised explosive devices" - the same IEDs that are now killing Americans daily in Iraq.

From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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Babbler # 490

posted 09 November 2003 08:26 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. warplanes renew bombing of Iraq targets

quote:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. warplanes have bombed targets in Iraq in air strikes that resumed last week for the first time in more than six months after the shooting down of three U.S. helicopters.

The renewed air strikes on Sunday came as Iraq's interim foreign minister promised that local leaders would meet a December deadline for setting out a path towards self-rule.

The pledge by Hoshiyar Zebari came amid frustration expressed by occupation officials that Iraqi politicians have not moved more quickly to draw up plans for taking over power.


Still bombing targets? I thought the war was over, eh?


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majorvictory
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posted 09 November 2003 09:15 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Vietnam II: floundering and helpless against anyone with a rifle or grenade, American troops are tigers against the unarmed!

‘Lord ... Just Help Us Kill ‘Em’

(please note, this is nothing ironic or critical about this article, they are proud of this!)

quote:
Peering over the wall of Taha’s house, one sergeant relays word that no cars are in the courtyard—the hoped-for meeting has apparently been canceled. But Taha may still be inside. As a Black Hawk helicopter hovers overhead, the troops kick in the gate and swarm inside the house. Moments later, they subdue a plump man with fleshy cheeks and a small mustache. Terrified women and children are led outside into the cold. Taha kneels on the floor of his kitchen, hands flex-cuffed behind his back, muttering protest as the soldiers ransack his cabinets and closets. “Shut your mouth!” says one young specialist, prodding the suspect with his gun barrel. “Bad Hajji!”

The soldiers find a mortar tube, a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher and two Kalashnikovs—confirmation, they say, that Taha was part of the resistance. “Sergeant Johnson’s wife is going to see your face on TV,” another soldier taunts the manacled prisoner, sliding a burlap bag over his face and wrapping duct tape tightly around his mouth.


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majorvictory
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posted 09 November 2003 09:18 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
2 soldiers killed, 1 hurt in attack on US vehicle in Iraq

quote:
BAGHDAD -- Deputy US Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage said yesterday that US officials have been sobered by an increasing toll of casualties in Iraq, but insisted that US forces would press forward.

ADVERTISEMENT

Armitage's remarks were made at the end of the bloodiest week for coalition forces since April.

The day began with the deaths of two US paratroopers with the 82d Airborne Division, who were killed in a land-mine explosion outside the restive city of Fallujah. It ended with several mortars falling near the Republican Palace complex in central Baghdad, the third such bombardment in a week aimed at the headquarters of the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority. There appeared to have been no injuries.

Citing what it called an unacceptable security threat, the International Committee of the Red Cross announced yesterday that it was closing its offices in Baghdad, the capital, and Basra. Twelve people were killed in a suicide car bombing at the organization's Baghdad headquarters on Oct. 27, but the Red Cross said it was unwilling to accept military protection because of its neutrality policy.

The deaths yesterday brought to 35 the number of coalition troops killed in November, a figure that included 34 US troops and one Polish major.

Sixteen of the deaths occurred in the crash of a Chinook helicopter near Fallujah on Nov. 2, and six people died in the crash Friday of a Black Hawk helicopter near the main US base in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown. The cause of the latest crash remains unknown, although the US command said in a statement that initial findings "discount the use of surface-to-air missiles as a possible cause.

In response to the latest crash, US F-16 warplanes dropped three 500-pound bombs yesterday near Tikrit and shelled several abandoned houses and structures thought to have provided cover to some insurgents. Troops accompanied by Bradley Fighting Vehicles also swept the area along the Tigris River, near where the Black Hawk fell.

"This was a show for force," said Major Gordon Tate, a spokesman for the Fourth Infantry Division, headquartered in one of Hussein's former palaces in Tikrit. "It shows we have the ability to strike back, and it demonstrates our resolve."



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al-Qa'bong
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posted 10 November 2003 01:45 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The troops now refer to Iraqis as “Hajjis”—in the Arab world, this is a term of respect for those who have made the pilgrimage to Mecca, but within Bravo Company, it’s meant as an epithet.

Dogs will eat the Crusaders' souls in hell.


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beluga2
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posted 10 November 2003 05:47 AM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Some bloggers are trying to pass off the "hajji" epithet as not being based on the religious-pilgrimage angle at all, but on a character named "Hadji" in some 60's cartoon series called "Johnny Quest". Which I find a bit hard to believe; I've never heard of that cartoon before, and I'm a hell of a lot older than the average GI in Iraq.

Besides, Iraqis could hardly interpret the word as anything but an outrageous sneering insult against their faith.

Kraut, slope, dink, gook... the tradition continues.


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Courage
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posted 10 November 2003 06:14 AM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:

Dogs will eat the Crusaders' souls in hell.




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aRoused
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posted 10 November 2003 09:23 AM      Profile for aRoused     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Johnny Quest trivia: It was in reruns on Sunday mornings when I was growing up, and I'm (just) under 30. Also, they tried to remake the series when I was in my teens. So I'd say it's a likely story, particularly if it was started by a senior sergeant or lieutenant, who'd be slightly older than his/her troops.
From: The King's Royal Burgh of Eoforwich | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 10 November 2003 10:54 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The pledge by Hoshiyar Zebari came amid frustration expressed by occupation officials that Iraqi politicians have not moved more quickly to draw up plans for taking over power.

In the new air strikes, F-16 fighter-bombers dropped three 500-pound bombs near the flashpoint town of Falluja, in the area west of Baghdad where 16 American soldiers were killed when a U.S. Chinook helicopter was downed a week ago.

The air strikes early on Sunday followed attacks on U.S. troops, a U.S. military source said. He had no precise details.

Warplanes dropped 500-pound bombs on suspected guerrilla hideouts on Friday night around Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, 110 miles north of Baghdad, where a U.S. Black Hawk helicopter was shot down that day, killing all six aboard.

That was the first time U.S. planes had bombed Iraq since the official end of major combat on May 1. A third U.S. helicopter, a Black Hawk, was downed near Tikrit on October 25.


From the first article posted.

No account of casualties from these bombing raids, civilian or otherwise. 500 pound bombs are not precision weapons. These bombs were dropped on neighbourhoods near where the helicopters were shot down, not as specific attacks against the militants responsible. They were blowing up the haystack to find the needle. Someone really needs to explain to me how this retaliation bombing of residential neighbourhoods in Tikrit and Fallujah differs from a terrorist attack on, say, the Baghdad Hotel.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 10 November 2003 11:37 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Military Policeman Killed in Iraq

quote:
By SLOBODAN LEKIC
Associated Press Writer
Published November 10, 2003, 6:33 AM CST

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A U.S. military policeman died in ongoing attacks on coalition troops and their allies, the U.S. command said Monday, as the Army intensified operations to root out the growing insurgency.

In Sadr City, a poor, mainly Shiite quarter of eastern Baghdad, witnesses Monday said that a U.S. soldier shot and killed the head of the district's U.S.-appointed municipal council in a weekend altercation.

In the town of Iskandariyah, 40 miles, south of Baghdad, guerrillas attacked a patrol with a rocket-propelled grenade, killing a military policeman, a statement said.

The death brought to 37 the number of American soldiers who have died in Iraq this month. The downing last week of the Chinook and the crash of a Black Hawk helicopter made the first week of November the bloodiest for American forces since President Bush declared an end to major combat May 1.

On Sunday, a senior Iraqi official warned that mounting violence may delay steps toward a new constitution, considered a major condition for returning the country to full Iraqi rule. And soldiers arrested 18 people in a deadly missile barrage last month that Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz escaped, officials said.

L. Paul Bremer, the coalition's chief administrator in Iraq, warned that the coalition could expect intensified attacks in coming months.

"We're going to have increased attacks and increased terrorism because the terrorist can see the reconstruction dynamic is moving in our direction," Bremer, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, was quoted as saying in The Times newspaper of London.

"It will be more of a problem in the months ahead unless the intelligence gets better," The Times quoted him as saying.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 10 November 2003 12:27 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Americans sow seeds of hatred

quote:
Sunday November 9, 2003
The Observer

Sarab rolls up her sleeve and looks at the thick scar across her upper arm. The eight-year-old says she was playing in the bathroom of her house when the shots were fired but cannot remember anything else.
'It is their routine,' said her grandfather, Turk Jassim. 'After the Americans are attacked, they shoot everywhere. This is inhuman - a stupid act by a country always talking about human rights.'

Last September, US forces shot dead Sarab's two-year old sister, Dunya, and wounded two other girls in her family, 13-year-old Menal and 16-year old Bassad. The family belongs to the Albueisi tribe who farm the rich land along the Euphrates river south of Falluja. The Albueisi fought against the British and even Saddam Hussein found them difficult to control. Since April, at least 10 members of the tribe have been killed by US forces, including five policemen.

While the US authorities maintain that resistance attacks are carried out by former Baathists and supporters of Saddam, they continue to ignore the tribal nature of the insurgency which has grown steadily over recent months. Deeply conservative clans like the 50,000-strong Albueisi have codes of honour which they complain the American army ignores at checkpoints and during raids on houses.

They also believe that the Koran demands jihad against foreign invaders. Asked how many American lives should be taken if one of their own is killed, the answer is: 'As many as possible.'

Last week an American Chinook helicopter was shot down by a heat-seeking missile a few kilometres from Sarab's house, killing 16 soldiers. It could have been worse, the neighbours say. Resistance fighters were ready to fire another missile at a second Chinook when they were stopped by worried locals.

After the crash, others in the area came out with rocket-propelled grenade launchers and Kalashnikovs, but they, too, were dissuaded for fear of retaliation. And with good reason. After Friday's downing of a Black Hawk helicopter near Tikrit,US troops dropped two 500lb bombs and fired tank rounds at the area of the crash in a show of force.

According to Albueisi resistance supporters, the attack on the Chinook was carried out by members of the tribe, as was a second attack later in the week on a military train. One of the freight containers from the train lies behind Sarab's house, its lettering partially effaced by handfuls of mud.

'If the Americans came as normal citizens, we'd welcome them,' said Khalid, an Albueisi with ties to the resistance. 'When they came for liberation, I sent them food. Now I just want to kill them. If I didn't have children, I'd join tomorrow.'

As a teenager, Khalid won local fame for revenging his brother's death. A notoriously good shot, he says he is now thinking of dusting off his Kalashnikov.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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Babbler # 490

posted 10 November 2003 02:32 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The colonial governor 'sees more Iraq attacks'

quote:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's U.S. governor Paul Bremer has predicted local and foreign fighters will step up violence to stop reconstruction, and a weekend grenade attack killed another U.S. soldier south of Baghdad.

Bremer told the Times newspaper on Monday U.S.-led occupation forces would not be driven out of Iraq because the price of failure was too high for the country and for the Middle East.


(Ed. note: I have to giggle at the fact that Bremer is now obliquely referred to as a colonial governor these days)


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 10 November 2003 04:36 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
How we denied democracy to the Middle East

quote:
By Robert Fisk

8 November 2003: (The Independent) We created this place, weaned the grotesque dictators. And we expect the Arabs to trust Bush's promise?

It gets weirder and weirder. As his helicopters are falling out of the sky over Iraq, President Bush tells us things are getting even better. The more we succeed, he says, the deadlier the attacks will become. Thank God the Americans now have a few - a very few - brave journalists, like Maureen Dowd, to explain what is happening.

The worse things are, the better they get. Iraq's wartime information minister, "Comical Ali", had nothing on this; he claimed the Americans weren't in Baghdad when we could see their tanks. Bush claims he's going to introduce democracy in the Middle East when his soldiers are facing more than resistance in Iraq. They are facing an insurrection. So let's take a look at the latest lies. "Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe," he told us on Thursday. "Because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty." Well said, Sir. George Bush Jr sounds almost as convincing as, well, Tony Blair. It's all a lie. "We" - the West, Europe, America - never "excused and accommodated" lack of freedom. We endorsed lack of freedom. We created it in the Middle East and supported it.

When Colonel Ghaddafi took over Libya, the Foreign Office thought him a much sprightlier figure than King Idriss. We supported the Egyptian generals (aka Gamal Abdul Nasser) when they originally kicked out King Farouk. We - the Brits - created the Hashemite Kingdom in Jordan. We - the Brits - put a Hashemite King on the throne of Iraq. And when the Baath party took over from the monarchy in Baghdad, the CIA obligingly handed Saddam's mates the names of all senior communist party members so they could be liquidated.



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majorvictory
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posted 11 November 2003 02:41 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Shocking images shame US forces

quote:
By Yvonne Ridley and Lawrence Smallman

Monday 10 November 2003, 0:46 Makka Time, 21:46 GMT

Fearful women and children are bound by US soldiers

A series of shocking pictures revealing US soldiers tying up Iraqi women and children in their own home has provoked international outrage.

The occupying forces have now come under renewed fire for their treatment of ordinary Iraqis as shown in the pictures published today by Aljazeera.net.

CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is conducting an investigation and seeking advice before taking further action.

"This kind of image increases resentment of American troops in Iraq and can also play a major part in demoralising troops who are having to tie up small children.

"We are seeking to raise this issue further in the appropriate arena," said Washington CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper.

A spokesman for the London-based Islamic Observation Centre said the pictures showed a "complete disregard for the human rights of the Iraqi people".

He added: "A normal human being should be repulsed by the very idea of tying up children.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 11 November 2003 06:01 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Names They Still Won't Mention

quote:
November 11, 2003

The baby had gone into a deep sleep in the warm funeral home and she was flat on her back in the mother's arms as the mother brought her out into the chill night. The baby did not move. Warm air, cold air, it made no difference.

The mother was carrying her out from the wake of . Sgt. Joel Perez, dead at 25 when he went down in a Chinook helicopter near Fallujah, Iraq, Nov. 2. The wake was in a funeral home with a neon sign saying, "Funerarias Las Americas."

"I'm the cousin," the woman said.

"His mother called my mother and then my mother told me," she said. "That is how you find out."

She shook her head and said she didn't want to talk anymore and she left.

On the funeral parlor steps were Omar Valentine, 22, and a friend.

"Did you know the guy well?" Omar was asked.

"The wife."

"From school," the friend said.

"We graduated high school together. Essex County Vocational."

"He was coming home to surprise them," the friend said.

That is all they had to say. Nobody else wanted to talk, either. What was there to say?

The other Sunday, in high excitement, Sgt. Perez got on a helicopter that was going to start him home to his wife, Milagros, and 15-month-old daughter in time for the wedding anniversary, which was yesterday, the day they put him into the ground in Newark.

He had not told his wife that he was coming home and the others in the family kept it secret. He got on that helicopter because he had a Bronze Star and Purple Heart from the fighting.

Now, yesterday, he was a name on a list of the dead. If I had not been typing out this list, I wouldn't have known that Perez was the short ride away at Newark.

There is no public display over the death and all these others on the list accompanying this column. Bush and his people sent them out to get killed and now you can't get one of them in Washington to mention these dead.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 11 November 2003 06:04 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Blasts rock Baghdad near coalition headquarters

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S. military officials said at least two mortar shells or rockets hit Tuesday night within the Iraqi capital's "Green Zone," the center of most of the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority's activities.

Lt. Col. George Krivo said there were two explosions in the vicinity of a parking lot near Saddam Hussein's former palace in Baghdad that now serves as the headquarters of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

He said the origin of the explosions was not known.

"Crater analysis is going on at the moment. There are no reports of casualties. There are reports of damage to an unknown number of vehicles in the parking lot," Krivo said. "As far as I know, these are the only explosions that happened in the Green Zone tonight."

Earlier reports indicated three or four explosions.

A coalition spokesman said all the authority's staff members have been evacuated to basements.

A CNN security adviser at a hotel in Baghdad saw two strikes in the zone and smoke rising from the sites.

Traffic appeared to be moving normally, and nearby bridges over the Tigris River are open.

The blasts were heard hours after the U.S. Army officer in charge of coalition ground forces in the country said the tempo of attacks on troops has risen.

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez told reporters that the number of daily engagements between troops and guerrillas has doubled from the mid-teens to 30-35 within the past two months.

"What we're seeing is that unmistakably the number of engagements per day are increasing," Sanchez said.

Those opposed to the U.S. presence also are employing more remote tactics, using rockets and mortars to avoid direct combat with coalition troops, he said.

"When they do decide to engage, we're having good success in killing them," Sanchez said.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 12 November 2003 03:39 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US admits troops shot Iraqi mayor

quote:
The US military has confirmed that one of its soldiers shot dead the mayor of a highly volatile Baghdad district.
Mohannad Gazi al-Kaabi, who was appointed by the US authorities to run the largely Shia Muslim area of Sadr City in Baghdad, died on Sunday.

He was shot during an altercation with US troops at the local council's compound.

US Central Command says it is still investigating the incident in the area where US-Iraqi tensions are high.

It appears that the American soldiers stopped the mayor from driving into the Sadr City council compound, in line with rules to prevent car bombings.

The mayor took exception and began to fight with one of the guards.

Another soldier fired warning shots and finally shot the mayor in the upper leg. He bled to death.



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DrConway
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posted 12 November 2003 04:21 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bush Admits Things Not All Hunky-Dory

quote:
BAGHDAD : A compound housing the US-led coalition in Baghdad has come under rocket fire, as US President George W. Bush warned extremists were trying to install a Taliban-style regime in Iraq.

Violence also spread to the southern Iraqi port city of Basra where at least four Iraqis were killed in a bomb blast.


quote:
In Washington, Bush charged Tuesday that extremists slipping into Iraq to attack US-led forces there aim to replace Saddam Hussein's rule with a regime modeled on Afghanistan's ousted Taliban.

"Foreign jihadists have arrived across Iraq's borders in small groups with the goal of installing a Taliban-like regime," he said in a speech to a friendly audience at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank here.

Bush has long blamed deadly strikes at US troops on a combination of Saddam loyalists and terrorists from outside Iraq, but it was the first time he has said that they hope to seize control there and emulate the iron-fisted Islamist militia that ran Afghanistan until ousted by US forces in 2001.



From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Blind_Patriot
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posted 12 November 2003 12:30 PM      Profile for Blind_Patriot     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Neil McDonald had an excellent point during the Rememberance Day report. Bush was quoted as saying "Terror is not the tool of the free world", Then Neil McDonald said "I guess what he's saying is that it is the tool of the oppressed"
From: North Of The Authoritarian Regime | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 12 November 2003 06:10 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. troops arrest Iraqi for criticising them

quote:
BAGHDAD, Nov. 11 — American soldiers handcuffed and firmly wrapped masking tape around an Iraqi man's mouth as they arrested him on Tuesday for speaking out against occupation troops.

Asked why the man had been arrested and put into the back of a Humvee vehicle on Tahrir Square, the commanding officer told Reuters at the scene: ''This man has been detained for making anti-coalition statements.''

He refused to say what the man said.

A U.S. military spokesman said he had no immediate information on the incident.

U.S. politicians and military commanders often say they toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein so that Iraqis can enjoy free speech and democracy after years of iron-fisted rule.



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Courage
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posted 12 November 2003 06:33 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Disappeared.
From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
April Follies
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posted 12 November 2003 06:45 PM      Profile for April Follies   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hell, they disappear U.S. citizens these days, why not Iraqis?

Edited to disclaim: By "they" I mean U.S. personnel. I am not in any way shape form or fashion implying that it is "more OK" to disappear Iraqis than USians.

[ 12 November 2003: Message edited by: April Follies ]


From: Help, I'm stuck in the USA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 12 November 2003 10:36 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraq Allies' Deadliest Day

quote:
CBS/AP) A suicide bomber blew up a truck packed with explosives at an Italian paramilitary base Wednesday, killing at least 26 people.

The United States struck at the Iraqi insurgency hours later, destroying a building in Baghdad in an assault that thundered across the capital. CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin says the moves are part of the new "get tough" approach of U.S. forces.

The Nasiriyah attack was the deadliest against an American ally since the occupation began and appeared to send a message that international organizations are not safe anywhere in Iraq. It came on the same day the chief U.S. administrator for Iraq went to the White House to put forth proposals on transferring more authority to the Iraqis.

Col. Gianfranco Scalas said 18 Italians were killed: 12 Carabinieri paramilitary police, four soldiers, a civilian working at the base and a documentary filmmaker. A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition said at least eight Iraqis also died. The bomber -- whose nationality was not known — also died.

The blast wounded 79 people, 20 of them Italians, hospital sources and Italian officials said.

Italians were stunned by their nation's single worst military loss since World War II and its first in the Iraq campaign. At Rome's tomb of the unknown soldier, the green-white-and-red flag rippled at half-staff, and parliament held a minute of silence.

The blast came as a top-secret intelligence report warned that Iraqis were losing faith in the U.S.-led occupation. Meanwhile, President Bush and his top foreign policy advisers held urgent meetings in Washington over how to more quickly transfer power to Iraqis.



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majorvictory
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posted 13 November 2003 02:17 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraqi Teenagers Cheer as American Blood Flows

quote:
By Michael Georgy

Wed November 12, 2003: BAGHDAD (Reuters) - If Washington doubts there is Iraqi public support for guerrillas killing its troops, it should consider the teenagers who happily watched American blood spill on Wednesday.

After a roadside bomb ripped through a military vehicle and wounded two soldiers, Iraqi boys rushed out of their homes to survey the damage.

"This is good. If they ask me, I will join the resistance. The Americans have to die," said Ali Qais, 15. "They are just here to steal our oil."

The U.S. administration has long dismissed the guerrillas as isolated "terrorists" who are Saddam Hussein loyalists or foreign Islamic militants.

But the scene in the Sarafiya district of Baghdad suggests they are winning the sympathy of Iraqis, whose joy at Saddam's fall has been overshadowed by anti-American rage.

Teenage boys were irritated to hear that two American soldiers were just wounded, not killed.

"I saw them pushing their hands onto one of the Americans' chest. They must have died. One soldier's friend was crying," said Abdullah Oman, 18.

His fury has been fueled by what he says is an American desire to humiliate all Iraqis.

He even believes that U.S. troops plant the bombs themselves, risking American lives to terrify and kill Iraqis.

"They are watching us die and laughing. They humiliate us. They handcuffed me and arrested me in front of my parents late one night because I stood on my house porch after curfew," he said.



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majorvictory
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posted 13 November 2003 01:26 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Death Toll Up to 31 in Italy Base Attack

quote:
NASIRIYAH, Iraq - In a crackdown on insurgents, U.S. troops destroyed an empty dye factory in Baghdad on Thursday and chased attackers seen firing mortars, while the death toll from a suicide bombing at an Italian paramilitary base rose to 31.

The bombing in this relatively quiet Shiite Muslim city 180 miles southeast of Baghdad prompted Portugal to send 128 elite police officers originally slated for Nasiriyah to Basra instead. A Japanese government spokesman indicated Tokyo will likely postpone sending troops until sometime next year.

The suicide bombing was the deadliest attack against the coalition since the occupation in Iraq (news - web sites) began.

Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino blamed the attack on Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) loyalists and al-Qaida terrorists. The death toll is expected to rise because one of the injured Italians is brain dead.

Nevertheless, British Maj. Gen. Graeme Lamb, commander of the multinational division in the southeast, insisted the coalition "won't be deterred" by the attack. President Bush (news - web sites) declared Thursday: "We're going to prevail."



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Courage
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posted 13 November 2003 04:06 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Prevail? But I thought it was 'Mission Accomplished'?

I just can't keep up...


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majorvictory
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posted 13 November 2003 06:02 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Insurgents gain a deadly edge in intelligence Guerrillas have better sources than the coalition

quote:
By John Diamond, Steven Komarow and Kevin Johnson

U.S. forces are losing the intelligence battle in Iraq to an increasingly organized guerrilla force that uses stealth, spies and surprise to inflict punishing casualties.

U.S. military, intelligence and law enforcement officials say that after six months of intensifying guerrilla warfare, Iraqi insurgents know more about the U.S. and allied forces -- their style of operations, convoy routes and vulnerable targets -- than the coalition forces know about them. Indeed, U.S. intelligence has had trouble simply identifying the enemy and figuring out how many are Iraqis and how many are foreign fighters.

With local knowledge and the element of surprise on their side, the guerrillas are exploiting their intelligence edge to overcome the coalition's overwhelming military superiority. Insurgents routinely use inexpensive explosives to destroy multimillion-dollar assets, including tanks and helicopters. Using surveillance and inside information, the guerrillas have assassinated many Iraqis helping the coalition, gunned down a member of the U.S.-appointed Governing Council, killed the top United Nations official in Iraq and blasted the heavily guarded hotel in Baghdad where Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was staying.

Sophisticated U.S. intelligence tools such as spy satellites and electronic eavesdropping intercepts have been of little practical use, according to intelligence officials in Washington and military officers in Iraq. And despite an intense search and exhaustive intelligence efforts, deposed leader Saddam Hussein remains at large.

The key problem is that Iraqi guerrillas simply have more and better sources than the coalition. U.S. military officers worry that the Iraqis who work for them, such as translators, cooks and drivers, include moles who routinely pass inside information back to insurgents. In at least two cases, Iraqis have been fired on the suspicion that they were spies.

A former senior director in the Iraqi intelligence service says the Americans are right to be anxious.''The intelligence on the Americans is comprehensive and detailed,'' says the Iraqi, who insisted on not being identified and spoke to a reporter in a private home rather than at a restaurant or hotel to avoid being observed. He says guerrillas get detailed reports on what is going on inside the palace grounds occupied by Paul Bremer, the chief U.S. civilian administrator, Bremer's staff and the Governing Council. Again on Tuesday, guerrillas fired mortar rounds into the ''Green Zone,'' a heavily secured area of central Baghdad that includes Bremer's headquarters.



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majorvictory
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posted 14 November 2003 02:42 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Japan pulls back from sending troops to Iraq after latest killings

quote:
TOKYO : In a new blow to US efforts in Iraq, Japan pulled back from sending troops to bolster international forces in the country, a day after the worst attack yet on US-coalition forces.

The conditions were not right for Japan to send troops, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda told reporters, hours after an attack on an Italian police base in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah claimed 27 Italian and Iraqi lives.

"If the situation allowed our Self-Defense Forces to participate, they could go at any time... Unfortunately, it is not such a situation," Fukuda told a news conference.

His comments come as US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld prepares to visit Japan for talks which had been expected to see Tokyo commit to sending troops to aid its US ally.

Only hours before the attack in Nasiriyah, Tokyo had issued its strongest public message to date that it planned to send troops later this year. "We are firm in our thinking that we will have a dispatch this year," Fukuda said Wednesday.

And on Thursday Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters that intimidation would not deflect Japan from its commitment to help rebuild the shattered nation.

"We cannot be daunted by terrorism," he said. "Iraq's reconstruction is a problem for the whole of the international community... We cannot lose to terrorists," he added.

However, the Japanese law on helping rebuild Iraq, enacted in July, prohibits the government from sending troops to combat zones and Samawah, where the Japanese are expected to be based, is less than 100 kilometres from Nasiriyah.

Any dispatch of troops abroad from Japan is especially sensitive because of its role in World War II.



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al-Qa'bong
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posted 14 November 2003 03:19 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Appreciating Resistance

quote:
The intensification of armed attacks against US occupation forces in Iraq is being applauded by the bulk of public opinion in Egypt, with news of the resistance seeming to provide an emotional counterpoint to the constant stream of tragic reports of Israeli atrocities committed against the Palestinians, somehow softening the public's increasing sense of humiliation and anger.

Bassem El-Kababgi, president of the Suez University student union, told Al- Ahram Weekly that, "my colleagues and I are very happy with the escalation of Iraqi resistance, but we feel the Iraqis should do even more to end the occupation. Americans, at any rate, will be ultimately forced out of Iraq."

Mohamed Ibrahim, a 23-year old medical student at Zagazig University, said he and his colleagues are equally "enthusiastic about the Iraqi resistance" and even wish they "could take part in it".

Why? Because, according to Ibrahim, "it's normal and perfectly legitimate for a nation to defend its land, honour and children.

"Suppose Americans had a despotic president, would they like another country to invade their land, destroy their houses, kill their children, and steal their resources in the name of liberation?" asked Ibrahim. "The whole world, including Americans themselves, have now uncovered US lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and US claims that it invaded Iraq to liberate its people. It's common knowledge that the US is after Iraqi oil -- there's no argument about that. It's enough to know that American companies have won the lion's share of the reconstruction work in Iraq."

In Ibrahim's mind, there is a link between the US occupation of Iraq and Israeli colonial interests in the region. "It is very obvious that Israel, America's pampered child, has become more bold since the US occupation of Iraq, committing more bloody crimes against the Palestinians and threatening Syria and Lebanon," he said. "While I'm sure the Iraqi resistance will become stronger, I just hope other countries realise their turn is coming soon, and start acting as well."



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majorvictory
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posted 14 November 2003 09:20 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Downstate GI mourned in non-military funeral

quote:
GENOA, Ill. -- Army 1st Lt. Brian Slavenas -- one of 16 soldiers killed in Iraq earlier this month when the Chinook helicopter he was piloting was shot down -- was memorialized Thursday by family and friends in a service largely devoid of military trappings.

More than 200 people packed Faith United Methodist Church in this northwest Illinois town, and a few dozen more listened to the 70-minute service in the church basement.

While there were several soldiers in uniform in the church, Slavenas' casket was covered with flowers, not an American flag. One of the few military traditions was the playing of taps outside the church after a brief service at a cemetery nearby.

Outside the church, Slavenas' mother gave a blistering attack on President Bush.

''George Bush killed my son,'' Rosemary Dietz Slavenas said. ''I believe my son Brian died not for his country but because of our country's lack of a coherent and civilized foreign policy."



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majorvictory
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posted 14 November 2003 09:24 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Two US soldiers killed, four wounded

quote:
November 13, 2003

Two US soldiers were killed and four wounded in separate bombing attacks in Baghdad and north of the capital late yesterday, a military spokeswoman said.

"One 1st First Armoured Division soldier died and two were wounded in an IED (improvised explosive device) attack in Baghdad," she told AFP.

"Despite best efforts at treatment, one soldier was pronounced dead at 9pm at the 28th Combat Support Hospital. The other two wounded soldiers were taken to the 47th Combat Support Hospital for treatment," she said.

She said that on Monday "one Task Force Ironhorse soldier was killed and two were wounded when their military vehicle struck an IED north-west of Baghdad.



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majorvictory
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posted 14 November 2003 09:39 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Detains Relatives of Suspects in Iraq Attacks - Military Denies Claims That It Takes Hostages

quote:
By Anthony Shadid
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, November 6, 2003; Page A21

KHALDIYA, Iraq, Nov. 5 -- Her eyes still heavy with sleep, 60-year-old Aufa Towqan awoke at 3 a.m. on a cool Saturday. Her husband was away, working as a night watchman. Her daughter-in-law and mother-in-law were still in bed. The house cloaked in darkness, she bowed her head in prayer, as was her custom on a restless night. And moments after she whispered the first ritual words of faith, she said, U.S. soldiers charged through her battered front door.

"They were pointing their guns and yelling at us in English," she said, "and I didn't understand them."

The soldiers were seeking her fugitive son, Thamer, 31, whom she said she has not seen in four months. They detained her, another son and the other women instead -- one of them, by villagers' accounts, well over 100 years old. She said brown burlap bags were placed over their heads. Terrified and crying, they were driven in Humvees to the nearby U.S. base at Habbaniya.

Standing outside her home Wednesday, her hair covered by a black veil and her weathered face adorned with the green tattoos of rural Iraq, Towqan groped for the right words to denounce the five-day detentions, which ignited protests last month in Khaldiya. She found them in the religion that infuses this Sunni Muslim region west of Baghdad.

"God does not accept this," she said simply.

As the U.S. military searches for tactics to break an escalating guerrilla war in a region where grievances tend to accumulate but rarely fade, few occurrences have unleashed more anger and etched deeper the cultural divide than several recent arrests of wanted men's relatives -- particularly women -- in Khaldiya and nearby hamlets in the Euphrates River valley. Some villagers insist the relatives have been taken as hostages to force fugitives to turn themselves in, a charge the military has denied.

While acknowledging the arrests of Towqan and the others on Oct. 18, U.S. military officials said they believed the women had information on Thamer, who was accused of planting deadly improvised mines. Maj. John A. Nagl, a battalion operations officer for the 1st Infantry Division, said that in certain cases it becomes necessary to detain anyone "who has knowledge of the acts of particularly nefarious people."



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majorvictory
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posted 14 November 2003 02:08 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist says Iraq is a massive failure

quote:
Jin-Min Lee
Daily Staff Writer
Pulitzer Prize-winner Seymour M. Hersh criticized the Bush administration's operations in Iraq as a "massive failure" during a lecture at the Fletcher School yesterday. He is the winner of a Pulitzer-Prize and regular contributor to The New Yorker.

The biggest problem, according to Hersh, is that "there are no weapons of mass destruction [WMD]." Hersh found it "unnerving" that US authorities sincerely believed in the existence of WMD in Iraq.

"A lot of people I like and respected really thought there was an issue there, but I don't think so," he said.

Hersh believes the majority of the weapons in Iraq were gone by the early 90s, most by 1991. "How come in twelve years we never figured out what really happened? It's an amazing failure," he said.

Hersh said what the US now needs to do is accept the truth that Saddam did remove his WMDs more than a decade ago. He said this also raises a reliability question on the US intelligence information on North Korea other regions of the world.

Speaking on Bush's stance on the war, Hersh said "Bush is gonna hold Iraq. It's the super arrogance of the American power. And the President believes that that's the mission of America."

The President's plan had included a vision of significant regional impact beyond Iraq, the journalist said. "I think the initial plan was very grandiose. They thought, maybe get a regime change [in Iraq], then certainly Iran would change, and this would take the pressure off the Israelis, and Sharon would make a more progressive move," Hersh said. "The picture," however, "is gloomy in the short-run. Our allies are bailing out like crazy," he added.



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majorvictory
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posted 14 November 2003 08:44 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Roadside Bomb Kills 2 G.I.'s in Central Iraq

quote:
Filed at 6:47 p.m. ET

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- U.S. troops stepped up their campaign against Iraqi insurgents Friday, killing seven people preparing to attack a U.S. base and dropping satellite-guided bombs, the military said. Elsewhere, rebels killed an American contractor and a soldier.

A leading Shiite cleric warned the Americans that attempting a military solution to Iraq's crisis ``will only make things worse.'' Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Taqi al-Modaresi also criticized the U.S.-led coalition for failing to usher in democracy seven months after the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime.

Iraq's growing lawlessness claimed more victims. A 1st Armored Division soldier was killed Friday and two others were wounded in a roadside bombing in central Baghdad, the military said.

Two 4th Infantry Division soldiers were killed Thursday and three others were wounded when their convoy was attacked with a roadside bomb near Samara, the military said.

An American civilian contractor was killed and another wounded when gunmen attacked a convoy Thursday near Balad, 45 miles north of Baghdad, the military said. The victims were not identified.

In the south on Friday, gunmen fired on jeeps carrying Portuguese journalists, wounding one reporter and kidnapping another, Portuguese media reported. It was the first abduction of a journalist since the occupation began in May.

Distant explosions could be heard after sundown in central Baghdad, and the 1st Armored Division said they were part of ``pre-emptive mortar fire'' against insurgent positions.

A division spokesman said aircraft were launched to carry out some of the strikes. He would not specify the targets but said the operation was ongoing late Friday.

The seven Iraqi insurgents died Thursday night when a U.S. Apache helicopter fired on suspected Saddam supporters preparing to rocket an American military base 20 miles north of Tikrit, the 4th Infantry Division said. U.S. soldiers later found hundreds of rockets and missiles there.



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majorvictory
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posted 15 November 2003 02:06 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bremer, Iraq Council Meet; Soldier Killed

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Chief U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer on Saturday presented Iraq's Governing Council with Washington's new policy proposals aimed at speeding up Iraq's sovereignty, officials said.

Bremer met with the council as the military reported that a soldier was killed when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb, becoming the 400th U.S. serviceman to die since the conflict began in March.

Details of Bremer's meeting with the Governing Council were not immediately available. Senior administration officials told The Associated Press that the proposed changes include holding elections in the first half of next year and forming a new government before a constitution is written, thus effectively granting Iraq sovereignty by the middle of 2004.

Previously, the Bush administration has insisted that a new charter be written and adopted before general elections are held, a process that was likely to last at least another year.

Bremer met in Baghdad Friday with Jalal Talabani, the head of the Iraqi Governing Council, to discuss Washington's new policy proposals regarding a return of Iraqi sovereignty, said Mahmoud Othman, a member of the 24-seat body.

Othman told the AP that the Governing Council will study the proposals but may not agree with the details. ``For our part, we have our own ideas,'' he said. ``We will listen to Bremer and he will listen to us.''

Winning speedy agreement on a new political course may take time because of conflicting interests among Iraq's diverse groups.

The changes include a proposal to accelerate Iraqi self-rule to as early as June, according to a report in The New York Times. The ideas appeared aimed at defusing growing attacks against coalition forces, which the military said continued to claim more victims.

The U.S. soldier who was killed Saturday was traveling in a two-vehicle patrol. Two other soldiers were wounded in the blast, a military spokesman said.



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al-Qa'bong
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posted 15 November 2003 11:13 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Two US Helicopters Downed in Iraq - at least 17 Killed

quote:
MOSUL, Iraq - A guerrilla attack brought down two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters in Iraq on Saturday, killing 17 people, just hours after the unveiling of a faster timetable for self-rule which Washington hopes will pacify Iraqi resentment.

A U.S. officer at the scene said one of the helicopters was hit on the tail by a rocket-propelled grenade. Witnesses said it then collided with another helicopter, and both crashed



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majorvictory
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posted 15 November 2003 11:29 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Head of CentCom orders hundreds of staff to Qatar

quote:
By JEFF WILKINSON and JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY
Knight Ridder Newspapers

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. John Abizaid, has ordered hundreds of his staff members to move to CentCom's forward headquarters in Qatar to cope with the increased pace of military operations in Iraq.

The shift in staff - with Abizaid himself expecting to spend more time in the region - reflects the military's view that large-scale operations will continue in Iraq for an extended period.

The latest of those operations - dubbed "Iron Hammer" - continued Friday as a U.S. Apache helicopter gunship killed seven suspected guerrillas near Tikrit. On Thursday night, F-16 fighter jets destroyed a building near the Syrian border that was suspected of being used to stage attacks.

Senior Army officers, who asked not to be named, said 300 to 400 staff members would return to Qatar and join 150 staffers who've been there since active combat ended last spring. The size of the forward headquarters staff has ebbed and flowed with the pace of operations.

The Army officers said Abizaid already was spending two-thirds of his time in Qatar and Iraq.

Over the next few months, large numbers of American troops will be on the move, as those in Iraq come to the ends of their one-year tours and new divisions and brigades begin arriving to replace them.



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majorvictory
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posted 16 November 2003 01:34 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Rebuilding Bodies, and Lives, Maimed by War

quote:
By NEELA BANERJEE

Published: November 16, 2003

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 — Every hour of every day for the last four months, Robert Acosta has thought of the moment when the grenade slipped from his fingers.

In the early evening of July 13, Specialist Acosta, of the Army's First Armored Division, was riding in the passenger seat of a Humvee toward the gates of the Baghdad airport. Something entered through his window, flew by his face trailing a ribbon of smoke, hit the windshield and landed next to the driver.

Specialist Acosta grabbed the grenade with his right hand, but as he turned to throw it out the window, he dropped it between his legs. He picked it up again. Somewhere between his ankles and knees, the grenade exploded in his hand.

"It was gone, it just disintegrated," he said of his hand. "It was just a mist of blood."

The driver of the Humvee was unhurt. Not only did the blast destroy Specialist Acosta's hand, it also shattered his legs, the left one now mended with a steel plate and skin grafts and the hole in his heel almost closed. In place of his right hand and part of his forearm, he wears a prosthesis that ends in a two-pronged claw.

"I think I should be dead right now," the 20-year-old Specialist Acosta said one recent afternoon, resting from doing pull-ups in physical therapy at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center here. "But I feel like I failed myself. If I hadn't dropped it, I would still have my hand."

Reminded that he had saved his friend's life, Specialist Acosta stared straight ahead and kept silent.

More than 6,800 have been evacuated from Iraq for medical reasons, including disease and "nonbattle injuries," the Army said.

[By Friday, the Defense Department said, 1,994 had been wounded in action, with 342 more injured. The dead totaled 399, with 272 from hostile action. At least 18 more soldiers were killed and five wounded in Iraq yesterday.]



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majorvictory
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posted 16 November 2003 03:27 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Including Iraq sick,casualties top 9,000

quote:
By Mark Benjamin
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL

The number of American casualties from Operation Iraqi Freedom — which includes those evacuated due to injury or illness as well as those wounded and those killed — has passed 9,000, according to new Pentagon data.

In addition to the 397 service members who have died and the 1,967 wounded, 6,861 troops were medically evacuated for noncombat conditions between March 19 and Oct. 30, the Army Surgeon General's office said.

That brings total casualties among all services to more than 9,200 and represents an increase of nearly 3,000 noncombat medical evacuations reported since the first week of October. The Army offered no immediate explanation for the increase.

A leading veterans' advocate expressed concern. "We are shocked at the dramatic increase in casualties," said Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center.

Of the noncombat medical evacuations:
•2,464 were for injuries such as those suffered in vehicle accidents.
•4,397 were due to illness; 504 of those were classified as psychiatric, 378 as neurological, and another 150 as neurosurgery.

"We are especially concerned about the psychological and neurological evacuations from this war," Mr. Robinson said. "We request a clarification of the types of illnesses people are suffering from so we do not have a repeat of the first Gulf war. We need to understand the nature and types of illnesses so scientists can determine if significant trends are occurring."



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majorvictory
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posted 16 November 2003 03:55 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US stays blind to Iraqi casualties

quote:
By Derrick Z. Jackson

11/14/2003: (Boston Globe) THE WHITE HOUSE always said it would never count how many Iraqi parents we killed to liberate their children. We would never count how many toddlers we blew to pieces to free their elders. We would never count how many nuclear families we vaporized. We would never know if we razed a village to save a child.

This is the most disgusting and least discussed aspect of President Bush's invasion and occupation of Iraq. In the early days of his war Bush said, "The citizens of Iraq are coming to know what kind of people we have sent to liberate them. American forces and our allies are treating innocent civilians with kindness."

No one could possibly know the truth or lie of that statement, since the mantra of the military from Tommy Franks down to his spokespeople was, "We don't do body counts." The most bald-faced expansion on that policy was given in April by Brigadier General Vincent Brooks of Central Command. "In all cases, we inflict a considerable amount of destruction on whatever force comes into contact with us," Brooks said. "It just is not worth trying to characterize by numbers. Frankly, if we are going to be honorable by the warfare, we are not out there trying to count up bodies."

You cannot be any more frank than that. The very people we claim to liberate are not worth the honor of counting.

It is obvious why. In an unprovoked war based on unproven threats, it was not enough to vilify Saddam Hussein's soldiers to gain the invasion's acceptance among the American people. Bush also had to dehumanize innocent civilians to the point where if we slaughtered some of them, they were not worth our time, either. Bush clearly figured, if you do not count, you cannot lie.

If you do not count, you can stonewall the press and hit its softballs out of the park. In April, David Frost of the BBC suggested to Secretary of State Colin Powell that an early Iraqi figure of 1,254 civilian deaths was "relatively low." Powell responded, "I would say that's relatively low." In August, Paul Bremer, the US administrator in Iraq, said: "If you go back to what we achieved here, which was the liberation of 25 million people in less than three weeks, with fewer civilian casualties and less collateral damage than any war in history . . . the loss of innocent life is a tragedy for anyone involved in it but the numbers are really very low."

This has worked magnificently for eight months with no widespread complaints from Americans. That raises as many questions about our own humanity as Bush's. Did the Pentagon really do that good a job brainwashing Americans on the notion of sanitized warfare? Amid the demonizing of Saddam, were Iraqi civilians easier to dismiss because they were tan, Muslim, or both? Is the United States still mired in a quagmire of paternalism that goes back to the "saving" of "heathens" by yanking them from Africa and baptizing them into slavery?



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SHH
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posted 16 November 2003 04:36 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Healing Iraq is reporting:
quote:
Huge anti-terrorism demonstrations were held in Nassiriyah yesterday by students association condemning the attacks on the Italian force carrying signs such as 'No to terrorism. Yes to freedom and peace', and 'This cowardly act will unify us'. I have to add that there were similar demonstrations in Baghdad more than a week ago also by students against the bombings of police stations early this Ramadan.
I Googled for any mention of this anywhere. Nothing.

From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 16 November 2003 05:53 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I can't seem to get logged into your link. Anyway, I wonder who 'Healing Iraq' are. Moreover, who, exactly was this 'student group' supposedly holding/organising the demonstration?

I'm not asking you, SHH, just wondering aloud.


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pogge
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posted 16 November 2003 06:17 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Courage:

Healing Iraq is a blogspot blog, which means it may be someone reputable or it may be someone spinning like mad. You can't really tell 'til you read it for a while and get a sense of what you're dealing with.

All the blogspot blogs seem to be unavailable at the moment. That happens once in a while.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 16 November 2003 06:23 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Figures. Moments after I posted, blogspot came back to life.
From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 16 November 2003 06:24 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Baghdad Burning

I don't know much about blogs, but I like reading this one.

quote:

Another site I’m checking out lately is a site by "Malcom Lagauche", a journalist/author who writes about Iraq, amongst other things. His site is called Lagauche is Right. One post that got my attention was his September 25 post about that atrocious toy that was being sold in America- the “Forward Command Post” which shows an Iraqi home, complete with bloodstains, crumbling walls, no family members (they were probably detained) and a triumphant American soldier…

I can imagine a child receiving the huge package for Christmas or a Birthday and opening it up with glee… seeing the chaos, the havoc, the destruction and feeling… what? Pride? Victory? Elation? And they say it's Al-Jazeera that promotes violence. Sure.


Speaking of blogs....

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


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majorvictory
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posted 17 November 2003 03:09 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Invasion as Marketing Problem: The Iraq War and Contempt for Democracy

quote:
By NOAM CHOMSKY

11/14/03: 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.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 17 November 2003 03:13 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US agrees to international control of its troops in Iraq

quote:
17 November 2003

The United States accepts that to avoid humiliating failure in Iraq it needs to bring its forces quickly under international control and speed the handover of power, Javier Solana, the European Union foreign policy chief, has said. Decisions along these lines will be made in the "coming days", Mr Solana told The Independent.

The comments, signalling a major policy shift by the US, precede President George Bush's state visit this week to London, during which he and Tony Blair will discuss an exit strategy for forces in Iraq.

Mr Solana underlined the change of mood in Washington, saying: "Everybody has moved, including the United States, because the United States has a real problem and when you have a real problem you need help." There is a "growing consensus" that the transfer of power has to be accelerated, he said. "How fast can it be done? I would say the faster the better."

He added: "The more the international community is incorporated under the international organisations [the better]. That is the lesson I think everyone is learning. Our American friends are learning that. We will see in the coming days decisions along these lines."



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DrConway
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posted 17 November 2003 03:58 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've just been skimming some headlines and I find it interesting that the two most right-wing countries in the West (the US and Italy) and the lapdog country (the UK) are keen on sending troops into Iraq while other nations, such as Singapore and Japan, are expressing strong reservations, and not-so-right-wing countries in the EU are also hesitant about sending troops into Iraq.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
drgoodword
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posted 17 November 2003 05:18 PM      Profile for drgoodword   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Italian Official Resigns In Protest From US-led Iraq Administration

quote:
ROME (AP)--An Italian official resigned from the U.S.-led administration running Iraq, saying it is mismanaging reconstruction, out of touch with Iraqis and only fueling their anger, the Foreign Ministry and news reports said Monday.

"The provisional authority simply doesn't work," Marco Calamai, a special counselor to the authority in the province of Dhi Qar, told reporters in announcing his resignation, according to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

Calamai said only an interim authority headed by the United Nations could turn things around.



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majorvictory
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posted 17 November 2003 10:37 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
2 U.S. soldiers killed near Baghdad

quote:
TIKRIT, Iraq -- Two U.S. soldiers were killed today in separate incidents north of Baghdad, while an American patrol killed three people at Baghdad's gun market after apparently mistaking the test firings of customers as an attack, officials and witnesses said.

Earlier, in a show of force backed by tanks and mortars, U.S. forces assaulted dozens of suspected guerrilla positions in Saddam Hussein's hometown before dawn, killing six alleged insurgents and capturing others, officials said.

Faced with a deteriorating security situation, the military in past days has reacted with heavy raids and dramatic bombings in central and northern Iraq in an effort to intimidate the resistance. U.S. forces fired a satellite-guided missile armed with a 500-pound warhead at a target near Tikrit today, the second use of the weapons in as many days.



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SHH
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posted 17 November 2003 11:34 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sgt. Striker give us a pic...
From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 18 November 2003 09:57 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Systematic infiltration and terrorism.

Who are they protesting, exactly? That sounds like the US-UK methodology (shock and awe and occupation).

BTW, that photo has at least two different shadow angles. I'm just sayin'.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy M
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posted 18 November 2003 10:59 AM      Profile for Tommy M     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

It is the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but transported to Iraq. A town is imprisoned by razor wire. The entrance is guarded by soldiers, protected by sand bags, concrete barricades and a machine-gun nest.

Only those people with an identification card issued by the occupation authorities are allowed in or, more importantly, out.

"Hey, this is just like Gaza, isn't it?" a fiery-eyed young Iraqi policeman shouted at us from behind the chest-high, three-layer wire coils which separate his home from the rest of the surrounding dead-flat Iraqi landscape, Sunni Triangle heartland. "We're not happy. Not happy!"


Americans turn Tikrit into Iraq's own West Bank


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DrConway
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posted 19 November 2003 02:49 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sarcasmobri:
BTW, that photo has at least two different shadow angles. I'm just sayin'.

I'll be dipped. I thought something looked funny about the picture, but couldn't put my finger on it.

Call ol' Sarcasmo the Eagle Eye.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 19 November 2003 03:17 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Guerrilla Advantage in Iraq

quote:
Don't underestimate the insurgents. History is on their side.

By Michael Keane

As recently as two weeks ago, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, called the guerrilla attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq "strategically and operationally insignificant."

Insignificant? Actually, it is difficult to identify any military or political objectives that the guerrillas are not making real progress toward achieving.

The insurgents have successfully struck a blow at coalition military forces. According to an extensive survey by Stars and Stripes, 49% of troops reported that their unit's morale was low or very low.

Friendly governments, like Japan's, have either delayed their troop commitments or, like the Italians, are debating their current commitments.

And there are indications that the ranks of the insurgents are swelling with every successful strike against U.S. forces and other targets.

The guerrillas have successfully delayed the reconstruction and economic recovery of Iraq and substantially raised the costs of these efforts. Recurring attacks on miles of unguarded Iraqi pipelines have continued to impair the coalition's ability to improve the vital flow of oil out of the country.

Also, as a result of direct attacks on their offices and personnel as well as the absence of security generally, the 15 largest aid agencies, including the Red Cross, have been driven out of Iraq.

Finally, the insurgents have achieved political success by properly appreciating that the "center of gravity" is the will of the adversary.



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majorvictory
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posted 19 November 2003 01:24 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Amputee soldiers ponder bitter-sweet price of survival

quote:
November 17, 2003

Specialist Robert Acosta, 20, of California, lost his hand on July 13 in Baghdad when a grenade was thrown into his Humvee.

Injured soldiers in Iraq are often surviving with missing limbs. Neela Banerjee reports from Washington.

Every hour of every day for months, Specialist Robert Acosta has thought of the moment the grenade slipped from his fingers.

On July 13, Acosta, of the army's 1st Armoured Division, was riding in a Humvee toward Baghdad airport when a grenade flew in and landed by the driver.

Acosta grabbed it, dropped it, then grabbed it again. Then it exploded. "It was gone, it just disintegrated," he said of his hand.

The driver was unhurt, but the blast also shattered Acosta's legs. He wears a prosthesis on his right arm that ends in a two-pronged claw.

"I think I should be dead," Specialist Acosta, 20, said recently at the Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington. "But I feel like I failed myself. If I hadn't dropped it, I would still have my hand."

Reminded that he had saved a life, Specialist Acosta remained silent.

The Defence Department said on Friday that the number of American casualties in Iraq had passed 9000, United Press International reported.




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Jingles
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posted 19 November 2003 05:43 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
BTW, that photo has at least two different shadow angles. I'm just sayin'.

Also notice that there are no faces visible on the english banner half of the photo, just feet.

Remember when a picture was worth a thousand words?


From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 19 November 2003 07:29 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Also, the letter M in terrorism is partially written on the guys shirt . . . also there is a strange "glow" around everyone, sort of the glow one sees when you cut and past one picture on top of another and use a blending tool to hid the rough edges . . . just saying!!
From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 20 November 2003 06:16 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Truck Bombing in Iraq Kills Five People

quote:
By MARIAM FAM, Associated Press Writer

KIRKUK, Iraq - A truck bomb exploded near a Kurdish party office in this northern oil city Thursday, killing five people and wounding 30 in an attack local officials blamed on Islamic extremists linked to al-Qaida. It was the second bombing this week against Iraqis who cooperate with the U.S. occupation.

In Baghdad, an American general said the 12-day "Operation Iron Hammer" offensive against insurgents in the capital had reduced guerrilla attacks in the city by 70 percent.

Brig. Gen. Martin Dempsey, commander of the 1st Armored Division, said the campaign will now focus on using intelligence to disrupt rebel strikes. "What I want the enemy to know is that there is no sanctuary in Baghdad," he told reporters.

The powerful 10:30 a.m. explosion in Kirkuk shattered windows and damaged doors at the two-story, yellow-and-green building of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. It also blew out windows of a nearby radio-television station.



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DrConway
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posted 21 November 2003 01:31 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Suicide Truck Bomb Attack in Kurdish Region of Iraq

quote:
A suicide truck bomb exploded at the office of a U.S.-allied Kurdish political party in this northern oil center Thursday, killing four bystanders and wounding about 30 -- including children.

It was the second car-bombing in as many days against Iraqis cooperating with the U.S.-led occupation. Elsewhere, a pro-U.S. politician was assassinated in the southern city of Basra, his party said Thursday.



From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 21 November 2003 02:05 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Destruction of Iraqi homes within ' rules of war,' spokesman says

quote:
By JEFF WILKINSON

11/20/03: (Knight Ridder Newspapers) TIKRIT, Iraq - The decision to destroy at least a dozen homes belonging to family members of guerrilla suspects in and around Tikrit was "within the rules of war" and was approved by the commander of the 4th Infantry Division and probably by the overall commander for U.S. forces in Iraq, a spokesman for the division said Tuesday.

But some military officers acknowledged that the tactic had caused debate over whether it would inflame opposition rather than tamp it down. One officer referred to the demolitions as "unprecedented."

The destruction of the homes is a sensitive issue because the tactic resembles a controversial Israeli practice of destroying the houses of families of suicide bombers in the West Bank and Gaza. The U.S. State Department previously has denounced the Israeli actions.

U.S. forces destroyed the homes on Sunday and Monday, after evacuating women and children, as part of an aggressive crackdown on anti-U.S. guerrilla forces. Those forces have shot down at least two helicopters in recent weeks and planted scores, if not hundreds, of roadside bombs in the area known as the Sunni Triangle.

Military officials on Tuesday lowered the number of houses destroyed to 12 from 15. There was no information on whether more houses had been destroyed Tuesday as U.S. forces pressed their offensive.

Division spokesman Maj. Gordon Tate said Tuesday's operations included F-15 and F-16 jets dropping a dozen 500-pound bombs on targets around Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, in the heaviest bombardment in north-central Iraq since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1.

"There have been numerous raids, numerous strikes and several aerial attacks," Tate said.

U.S. soldiers attacked other targets with Apache helicopters, artillery, Paladin howitzers and mortars. It was the fiercest display of firepower in the three days of the crackdown so far.

"We don't just destroy their homes for no reason," Tate said. "I don't want to say they (military commanders) are cold-hearted. But if your house is used to make IEDs (homemade roadside bombs) or house Saddam loyalists, that's within the rules of warfare."



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 21 November 2003 10:07 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The decision to destroy at least a dozen homes belonging to family members of guerrilla suspects

This is all about freedom. Any families displaced by this collective punishment will be free to beg on the streets of Tikrit. Anyone would prefer the freedom of starving in the street, begging for their sustenance to the restrictiveness of living in a home. If they don't relish such freedom, they must be terrorists (or perhaps the new USian term for terrorists - hajjis).


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 21 November 2003 10:46 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Blasts rock hotels, oil ministry

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Explosions shook Iraq's oil ministry this morning, witnesses said, and thick black smoke poured from the heavily guarded compound.

Fire trucks moved about the ministry and U.S. soldiers kept journalists away.

Imad Ahmed, a retired civil servant who lives near the ministry, said he heard five explosions at about 7:30 a.m. There were no reports of casualties in that attack.

The attack occurred minutes after at least three rockets were fired into the Palestine and Sheraton hotels in Baghdad. First indications were that there were no casualties among the large number of Americans and other Westerners who live in the Palestine Hotel, but a CNN report said at least two wounded people had been carried from the Sheraton after the attack.

The hotel attack was potentially the most serious strike on a major target involving foreigners in Baghdad since the Oct. 26 suicide bombing of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

On Thursday, a bomber in Kirkuk blew up a pickup packed with explosives alongside the office of a U.S.-allied political party, killing himself and five other people in the latest extension of resistance attacks into northern and southern Iraq.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 21 November 2003 11:21 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraqis Say Saddam Not Leading Attacks

quote:
By SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI, Associated Press Writer

SAMARA, Iraq - A former Iraqi general who claims to be part of the insurgency against U.S. troops says the guerrilla war around this "Sunni Triangle" city is being waged by small groups fighting on their own without direction from Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) or others.

He and two other Samara men, who said they are in separate guerrilla units, insisted in interviews with The Associated Press that their fight isn't aimed at returning Saddam to power. They said it's about ending the U.S.-led occupation and restoring Iraqi rule.

"I am fighting for my country — not Saddam Hussein — to get rid of the infidels. Very few people are fighting for him. They gave up on him at the end of the war," said one of the men, an unemployed electrical engineer.

Despite the Bush administration's statement that it wants to turn over sovereignty by next June and eventually withdraw its troops, the men said they believe the Americans are here to pillage Iraq (news - web sites) and steal its oil.

All three said their guerrilla groups are fighting without instructions from Saddam or any other contact with Iraq's former leader. They also said there is no shortage of potential fighters among Iraqi males, most of whom have at least rudimentary military training from compulsory army service during Saddam's rule.

The men, who described themselves as loyalists of the ousted Baath ruling party, were interviewed separately last week. They agreed to discuss the fighting around Samara only if they were not identified, to avoid making them targets of U.S. troops.

Their claims to be active in guerrilla operations could not be independently confirmed, but there was some indirect evidence that supported their accounts. Without providing details on a site or timing, the engineer said a bomb had been planted on a nearby railway in preparation for attacking a train; three days later, on Saturday, an explosion derailed a train causing damage but no injuries.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 21 November 2003 08:52 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
: The Hidden, Unseen War

quote:
Shielded from the reality of war -- the dead, the horribly maimed, the uranium poisoned, the psychologically devastated -- we are given a sanitized fantasy of war that shields Bush from the political consequences of this bloody, unnecessary war.

By Manuel Valenzuelas

Autumn leaves continue to fall inconspicuously throughout the United States just like our cannon fodder troops fall dead, maimed and scarred in the Mesopotamian deserts of Iraq. Throughout our nation, lawns surrounded by white-picket fences and small blotches of green in concrete jungles are covered by dry and dead brown leaves signaling the change in the seasons, as warmth and comfort gives way to the dreaded doldrums of winter. As each day passes, more leaves fall to the ground, leaving bare the skeletons of wood around and above us, a stark reminder of the hibernation of life in the natural world.

In similar ways, the loss of life and limb of our soldiers in Iraq continues unabatedly in a far away land. Like our leaves, soldiers continue to fall and die, their bodies devoid of a life once so full of energy. More than 400 have died, and the number of injured is eight times that, conveniently hidden from Americans’ view, lest we see the horrors that our little war for oil has spawned. They might be called lucky to have escaped the claws of explosives, flying shrapnel or bullets whizzing by their heads were it not true that many will have to continue living without hands, arms, legs and feet or with severe burns, scars, brain damage and handicaps that will forever traumatize their lives.

Of course the hidden and much more dehabilitating scars, the psychological, emotional and mental ones will linger perpetually in the minds of thousands who will never be able to escape the terror of war. These demons will haunt them for the rest of their lives. And, lest not we forget, thousands of these brave and young men and women will carry with them back to their homes the pulverized remnants of depleted uranium from our bombs, missiles, ordinances and munitions, creating in them diseases and sicknesses that act like a timebomb, ready to afflict and decimate over the course of time.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 21 November 2003 11:57 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Worse Than Crimes

quote:
Exclusive commentary by William S. Lind

Nov 19, 2003

It is increasingly evident that U.S. Army commanders in Iraq know nothing about guerilla warfare. Over and over, they are ordering actions that are counterproductive. Three recent examples include:

U.S. forces have sealed off Saddam Hussein’s little home village of Auja, Iraq, ringing the town with barbed wire and forcing locals to show identity cards to enter or exit. One of the rules of guerilla war is that tactical actions can have strategic effects. When images of sealed-off Auja appear in the Islamic press all over the world – and they will – who do we look like? Israel in the West Bank.

As if sealing off towns were not enough, the British newspaper The Independent carried a story by Patrick Cockburn titled, “U.S. soldiers bulldoze farmer’s crops.” The lead paragraph states,

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 not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops.

Why not just start flying the Israeli flag? The parallel with what Israel does to the Palestinians is one nobody can miss. That, in turn, hands the guerillas a massive propaganda victory. Ironically, the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces recently denounced these same tactics as ineffective and counterproductive.


Across Iraq, American troops last week began Operation Iron Hammer, described by The Washington Times as a “new ‘get tough’ strategy of going after insurgents before they strike.” Thus far, Operation Iron Hammer has included calling in F-16s to drop bombs and using heavy artillery on targets in Baghdad itself. If sealing off towns and bulldozing orchards did not do enough to encourage our enemies, Operation Iron Hammer certainly will. Not only does it telegraph desperation, not strength, but it also drives uncommitted Iraqis straight into the arms of the resistance. As Robert Kennedy said in a speech he delivered in 1965, just as the Vietnam War was ramping up, success in guerilla war comes not from escalation but from de-escalation.
The Army didn’t get it then, and it doesn’t get it now (the Marine Corps did get it then, as evidenced by its CAP program in Vietnam, and it seems to get it better now as well). Why is it that the American Army repeatedly proves so inept and so plain ignorant when it comes to guerilla warfare?



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majorvictory
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posted 22 November 2003 04:22 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Tired, Terrified, Trigger-Happy

quote:
By Andrew M. Cockburn

November 19, 2003: (Los Angeles Times) Among the less publicized incentives propelling Iraq overseer Paul Bremer's urgent dash to Washington last week was the concern in various quarters of the administration that the U.S. expeditionary force in Iraq was in a dangerously unstable state. "We are one stressed-out reservist away from a massacre," remarked one senior official closely involved in the search for an exit strategy.

He was expressing the fear that a soldier, possibly a reservist, pressed beyond endurance by the rigors and uncertainties of his or her condition in a hostile land far from home, might open up with a machine gun on an Iraqi crowd, with obviously disastrous consequences for the future of the occupation.

In case anyone considers this contingency unthinkably remote, examples already abound of overstressed U.S. soldiers behaving in a lethally trigger-happy fashion. As U.S. soldiers get more and more stressed, their tempers fray and you see more altercations on the streets, more browbeating of ordinary Iraqis by soldiers and, as a result, a general deterioration in the already tense relationship that helps convince Iraqis that the U.S. is nothing but an ugly, arrogant occupying army.

In traveling around Iraq, I always stay well away from American convoys, for reasons well known to all Iraqi drivers and best illustrated by an incident (by no means unique) outside Fallouja last month. Gunners in an armored column responded to a roadside bomb blast by opening up, apparently indiscriminately, with heavy automatic weapons on traffic moving in the opposite direction on the other side of the highway median. Six civilians died, including four in a single minivan, some of whom were decapitated. An 82nd Airborne spokesman was later quoted as insisting that "the use of force was justified."

Indiscriminate fire and other atrocities can be understood, if not explained, by the degree of stress endured by hot and exhausted soldiers terrified of an unseen enemy. U.S. Army Field Manual 22-51 addresses what it calls "misconduct combat stress behavior," which it deems most likely in guerrilla warfare. The manual notes that, "even though we may pity the overstressed soldier as well as the victims," such cases must be punished.

The manual also identifies other stress behaviors, including looting and pillaging, practices that many people in Iraq — including non-Iraqis — report is widespread among the occupation force.

"I keep hearing rumors about our attached infantry company. Apparently they are under investigation for a few 'incidents,' " a young officer based in the Sunni Triangle wrote home to his family in August. "It seems that whenever they get the chance, they steal money from the locals. I'm not talking about small amounts of cash, I'm talking about a nice, fat bankroll. They take the money during raids, while searching cars, while detaining locals."



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majorvictory
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posted 22 November 2003 09:41 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Remains of toxic bullets litter Iraq

quote:
The Monitor finds high levels of radiation left by US armor-piercing shells.

By Scott Peterson | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

BAGHDAD – At a roadside produce stand on the outskirts of Baghdad, business is brisk for Latifa Khalaf Hamid. Iraqi drivers pull up and snap up fresh bunches of parsley, mint leaves, dill, and onion stalks.

But Ms. Hamid's stand is just four paces away from a burnt-out Iraqi tank, destroyed by - and contaminated with - controversial American depleted-uranium (DU) bullets. Local children play "throughout the day" on the tank, Hamid says, and on another one across the road.

No one has warned the vendor in the faded, threadbare black gown to keep the toxic and radioactive dust off her produce. The children haven't been told not to play with the radioactive debris. They gather around as a Geiger counter carried by a visiting reporter starts singing when it nears a DU bullet fragment no bigger than a pencil eraser. It registers nearly 1,000 times normal background radiation levels on the digital readout.

The Monitor visited four sites in the city - including two randomly chosen destroyed Iraqi armored vehicles, a clutch of burned American ammunition trucks, and the downtown planning ministry - and found significant levels of radioactive contamination from the US battle for Baghdad.

In the first partial Pentagon disclosure of the amount of DU used in Iraq, a US Central Command spokesman told the Monitor that A-10 Warthog aircraft - the same planes that shot at the Iraqi planning ministry - fired 300,000 bullets. The normal combat mix for these 30-mm rounds is five DU bullets to 1 - a mix that would have left about 75 tons of DU in Iraq.



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beluga2
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posted 22 November 2003 09:50 PM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I wonder how long it'll be before American soldiers (not to mention Iraqis) start showing the symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome: The Sequel?
From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 22 November 2003 10:40 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
From ordinary to incendiary in Iraq

quote:
Donkey carts used in rocket attacks on Oil Ministry, two hotels
November 22, 2003

BY JONATHAN S. LANDAY AND JEFF WILKINSON
FREE PRESS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS

BAGHDAD -- Most people would never suspect the lowly donkey of being an instrument of terror -- which is exactly why anti-U.S. insurgents used the beasts to launch rocket attacks Friday on two hotels and the Oil Ministry.

The coordinated strikes were a twist in an age-old practice of warfare, in which weaker forces exploit the vulnerabilities of their better-armed enemy.

"This is an adaptive enemy," said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmett, the chief coalition military spokesman in Baghdad. "He's inventive, he's ingenious, but we'll continue to try to stay one step ahead."

Such an unconventional strike doesn't have to inflict major casualties and damage to succeed. Just pulling off such an act deals a blow, as occurred Friday in the heavily guarded heart of Baghdad.

"Any attack in a sensitive location takes on a political message far more powerful than the attack itself," said Anthony Cordesman, a national security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington policy institute.

In the Friday attacks, a barrage of rockets fired from two donkey carts -- common on Iraqi streets -- pounded the Oil Ministry and the Palestine and Sheraton hotels, both used by Western journalists and contractors. Soldiers found a third, unfired donkey-cart launcher with 21 rockets.

The attacks -- which wounded one person seriously -- came about 14 hours after the U.S. Army commander in Baghdad, Brig. Gen. Martin Dempsey, said rocket and mortar attacks were down about 70 percent since a U.S.-led offensive was launched about 12 days ago. However, U.S. commanders reported 44 attacks Thursday, an increase over the usual number.

The Palestine Hotel and the Oil Ministry are among the most fortified buildings in the city, ringed by blast-resistant walls, razor wire and dozens of armed guards.

Bill Evans, a U.S. telecommunications contractor, was working in his room on the 13th floor of the Palestine when he heard a rocket hit above him. "You heard a swoosh, then a continuous rumble like thunder," he said.



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majorvictory
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posted 23 November 2003 12:41 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Robert Fisk: We Are Paying The Price For An Infantile Attempt To Reshape The Middle East

quote:
November 21, 2003: (The Independent) It's the price of joining George Bush's "war on terror". They couldn't hit Britain while Bush was on his triumphalist state visit to London, so they went for the jugular in Turkey. The British consulate, the British-headquartered HSBC bank. London-abroad. And of course, no one -- least of all the Turks -- imagined they would strike twice in the same place. Turkey had already had its dose of attacks,
hadn't it?

"They" must mean "al-Qa'ida". And of course, merely to point out that we -- the British -- are now paying the price for George Bush's infantile attempt to reshape the Middle East in Israel's favour will attract the usual venom. To tell the brutal truth about the human cost of Tony Blair's alliance with the Bush administration is to "do the terrorists' work for them", to be their "propagandist". Thus, as usual, will all discussion of yesterday's
atrocities be closed down.

But the American and British administrations know very well what this means. The Australians paid the price for John Howard's alliance with Bush in Bali. The Italians paid the price for Silvio Berlusconi's alliance with Bush in Nasiriyah. Now it is our turn. Al-Qa'ida was quite specific. The Saudis would pay. The Australians would pay. The Italians would pay. The British would pay. They have. Canada is still on the list. Until, I suppose, it is our turn again. Even in 1997, Osama bin Laden would repeat to me that Britain would only escape Islamic "anger" if it pulled out of the Gulf. Nor do these mass murders have just one purpose. Turkey is allied to Israel. Ariel Sharon has visited Ankara. Turkey is hated in Iraq and much of the Arab world, partly for its Ottoman antecedents.

And if the Saudis are attacked because their Islamic regime is led by a corrupt monarchy, Turkey is attacked because it isn't Islamic enough. Break up Turkey. Break up the relations between Muslims and Jews in Istanbul -- the purpose of last Saturday's suicide bombings -- and break up the compromise "Islamist" overnment that now rules Turkey. All must have formed a part of al-Qaida's thinking.

Nor should we fool ourselves about what I always call "the brain". We have a habit of thinking that the bombers don't understand the outside world. If they are "against democracy", they wouldn't understand us, would they? But they do. They knew exactly what they were doing when they attacked the Australians in Bali -- they knew the Iraqi invasion was unpopular in Australia, that Howard might ultimately be blamed. They knew the invasion was unpopular in Italy. So Italy would be punished for Berlusconi's hubris.

They knew, too, of the demonstrations that awaited George Bush in London. So why not distract attention from the whole panjandrum by assaulting Britain in Turkey. Who would care about Bush's visit to Sedgefield when Britons are lying dead in the grounds of their consulate in Istanbul? Just so in Iraq. The Iraqi insurgents are well aware of George Bush's falling opinion polls in the United States. They know how desperate he is to extract himself from Iraq before next year's presidential elections. Thus are they increasing their assaults on American forces and their Iraqi supporters, provoking the US army to ever more ferocious
retaliation?



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WingNut
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posted 23 November 2003 12:30 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
"In one case we are talking about electric shocks being used against a man . . . If you keep beating somebody for the whole night and somebody is bleeding and you are breaking teeth, it is more than beating," said Amnesty's researcher, "I think that's torture." The Americans hold more than 4,000 prisoners - a higher figure, it is estimated, than those incarcerated at any time by Saddam Hussein.
John Pilger

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majorvictory
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posted 23 November 2003 07:16 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraqi mob beats bodies of slain U.S. soldiers

quote:
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi teenagers dragged two bloodied American soldiers from a wrecked vehicle, pummelled them with concrete blocks and slit their throats today, witnesses said, describing a burst of savagery in a city once safe for Americans.
Another soldier was killed by a bomb and a U.S.-allied police chief was assassinated.

The U.S.-led coalition also said it grounded commercial flights after the military confirmed that a missile struck a DHL cargo plane that landed Saturday at Baghdad International Airport with its wing aflame.

Nevertheless, American officers insisted they were making progress in bringing stability to Iraq, and the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council named an ambassador to Washington - an Iraqi-American woman who spent the last decade lobbying U.S. legislators to promote democracy in her homeland.

The appointment of veteran Washington lobbyist Rend Rahim Francke was announced by Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. Francke, who has spent most of her life abroad, led the Iraq Foundation, a Washington-based pro-democracy group, and has helped plan Iraq's transition from Saddam Hussein's rule.

The appointment will renew the diplomatic ties between Washington and Baghdad severed in 1990 when Saddam invaded Kuwait.

Witnesses to the Mosul attack said gunmen shot two soldiers driving through the city centre, sending their vehicle crashing into a wall. The 101st Airborne Division said the soldiers were driving to another garrison.

About a dozen swarming teenagers dragged the soldiers out of the wreckage and beat them with concrete blocks, the witnesses said.

"They lifted a block and hit them with it on the face," said Younis Mahmoud, 19.

The bodies were seen with their throats cut. It was unknown whether the soldiers were alive or dead when pulled from the wreckage.

Another teenager, Bahaa Jassim, said some looted the vehicle of weapons, CDs and a backpack.

"They remained there for over an hour without the Americans knowing anything about it," he said. "I... went and told other troops."

Television video showed the soldiers' bodies splayed on the ground as U.S. troops secured the area. One victim's foot appeared to have been severed.

The frenzy recalled the October 1993 scene in Somalia, when locals dragged the bodies of marines killed in fighting with warlords through the streets.

In Baqouba, just north of Baghdad, insurgents detonated a roadside bomb as a 4th Infantry Division convoy passed, killing one soldier and wounding two others, the military said.

In Baghdad, Brig.-Gen. Mark Kimmitt confirmed the Mosul deaths but refused to provide details.

"We're not going to get ghoulish about it," he said.



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DrConway
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posted 23 November 2003 07:23 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In another country where the "war is over" (so we are told )...

Five wounded during protest by sacked officers in Kabul

quote:
KABUL: Five people were wounded on Sunday after Afghan troops opened fire in Kabul to disperse hundreds of sacked defence ministry officers who had forced their way into the ministry to demand outstanding pay, officials said.

“A protestor pulled out a gun and shot at the soldiers on guard inside the building,” Defence Ministry Spokesman Mohammad Zahir Hazimi said.


On a related note, Karzai's having problems.

quote:
Two years after their defeat by US-led forces for harbouring Osama bin Laden, Afghanistan’s former rulers are staging increasingly bold attacks on aid workers, troops and government targets. They have also taken control of several southeast border districts, according to the UN and Afghan officials. —AFP

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majorvictory
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posted 23 November 2003 07:24 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A war that can never be won

quote:
Terrorism is a technique, not an enemy state that can be defeated

Jonathan Steele
Saturday November 22, 2003
The Guardian

The bombast has increased with the bombs. We saw two disturbing escalations this week. The explosions that devastated the British consulate and the HSBC bank in Istanbul mark a significant widening in the choice of targets by those Islamist radicals who use terror to express their hatred of British and US policy in Iraq and the Middle East. The Blair/Bush response reached an equally alarming new level of ferocity.
At their swaggering joint press conference on Thursday, the two men repeatedly made the risible claim that they could win their war on terror. The prime minister was the worse. While Bush gave himself a global carte blanche to intervene anywhere, by speaking of his "determination to fight and defeat this evil, wherever it is found", Blair put the issue in terms of a finite goal. He talked of defeating terrorism "utterly" and "ridding our world of this evil once and for all".

The hyperbole of the religious pulpit allows for all-embracing and eschatological language, but these men are meant to be practical political leaders. When Blair, in his opposition days, invented the phrase "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime", he knew that crime could never be totally eliminated. The task is to reduce and restrain it by a variety of methods. Violence and terrorism are no different. Like poverty, they will always be with us. At best they can only be diminished and contained. Yet now, with the arrogance of power, we have the Bush/Blair roadshow promising in sub-Churchillian tones to vanquish terrorism as though it were a clearly defined enemy like Nazi Germany.

Terrorism is a technique. It is not an ideology or a political philosophy, let alone an enemy state. Our leaders' failure to understand that point emerged immediately after September 11 2001 when they reacted to the attacks in New York and Washington by confusing the hunt for the perpetrators with the Afghan "state" that allegedly "harboured" them. The Taliban ran avicious regime, but Afghanistan was a disastrously failed state and its nominal leader, Mullah Omar, had no control over al-Qaida.



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majorvictory
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posted 24 November 2003 02:59 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
5 U.S. soldiers killed, 7 injured in helicopter crash in Afghanistan

quote:
01:46 AM EST Nov 24
KABUL (AP) - Five U.S. soldiers were killed and seven injured when their helicopter crashed Sunday near the American military headquarters north of the Afghan capital, the U.S. Central Command said.

The soldiers were involved in an ongoing U.S. military operation, dubbed Mountain Resolve, taking place in the east of the country, the military said. "A U.S. military helicopter crashed today near Bagram, Afghanistan," said a statement sent by e-mail from the Central Command, in Tampa, Fla. "Early reports indicate seven service members were injured and at least five service members were killed."

It was not clear what caused the crash, and the military said it was investigating.

Bagram Airbase, just north of the capital, is home to most of the 11,600 coalition forces in Afghanistan. An additional 5,000 international peacekeepers patrol Kabul.

Mountain Resolve has been going on since Nov. 7 in eastern Nuristan and Kunar provinces, but so far no major skirmishes with suspected Taliban and al-Qaida holdouts have taken place.

Also Sunday, a coalition vehicle struck a landmine while patrolling an area of Afghanistan near the Pakistani border, seriously wounding two American soldiers, including one who lost one of his legs.

Several reporters were travelling with the 10th Mountain Division forces in eastern Afghanistan, but none was seriously hurt, the U.S. military said in a statement issued at Bagram airbase. It gave no further information about the journalists.



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aRoused
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posted 24 November 2003 09:13 AM      Profile for aRoused     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Regarding this:

quote:
On a related note, Karzai's having problems.


This:

Voter registration in Afghanistan sounds good

Until you realize (as I did following a lecture last week from a British aid coordinator) that the UN is sending 20-something-year-old kids fresh out of college into southern Afghanistan, yeah, Taliban-held territory, to register women to vote. Security? Well, I guess they may have hired some guards and the kids probably have flak jackets...

Can we all say 'recipe for disaster'?

[ 24 November 2003: Message edited by: aRoused ]


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majorvictory
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posted 24 November 2003 08:43 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraqi families want retribution for deaths

quote:
Fallujah, Iraq -- It was a fateful turn in the road. Traveling home one night from a local farm -- where the al-Jumaidy family had bought live chickens for their store in town -- the driver turned the pickup truck on to the highway to Fallujah, which has been the flashpoint for anti-American attacks for months.

Fifteen minutes later, the driver and four passengers lay dead in the vehicle, their bullet-riddled bodies battered by a volley of heavy fire from an American tank, which was part of a mobile checkpoint set up on the dark road.

Among the dead was 10-year-old Khalid al-Jumaidy -- his sweatpants, with the word "Italy," soaked in blood -- as well as his father and two young cousins, ages 18 and 21.

Those are about the only details that are not in dispute. What occurred during those chaotic 15 minutes late on Nov. 11 depends on whom one asks -- American soldiers or Iraqi residents.

Their starkly different versions of how Iraqis are killed by American soldiers is an increasingly familiar feature in the conflict, where neither side speaks the other's language and the truth is often lost in the confusion, leaving rage and frustration on both sides.

"Sometimes I think some of the attacks against American soldiers are not resistance against the occupation," says Shata Ali al-Qurashi, 34, a Baghdad attorney who represents several claimants against U.S. forces, some for wrongful death. "I think they are revenge by people who have claims against the military."



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majorvictory
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posted 25 November 2003 02:21 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US continues to humiliate Iraqis

quote:
Pictures of US soldiers searching young girls on their way to class have provoked renewed international outrage.

Exclusive photos show US-led occupation forces frisking schoolgirls – a move condemned by the girls’ parents and international human rights organisations alike.

One father, Abu Muhammad, told Aljazeera.net on Sunday that if he ever hears his daughter has been touched by American soldiers again, he would “not be responsible for the consequences”.

“This humiliation has got to end now. I refuse to live like this. I’d rather die and I’ll take a few soldiers with me – and that’s a promise, not a threat.”

CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is already conducting an investigation and seeking legal advice after previous Aljazeera.net pictures showed troops tying up little girls in their own home.

Washington CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said such treatment of young children can only increase resentment of American troops in Iraq, a development that will “ultimately demoralise troops further”.

But senior US officers continue to justify their actions, stressing children could be carrying explosives.

Central Military Command in Florida says the security of US soldiers comes before any “hearts and minds operation or the rights of Iraqi children”.



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majorvictory
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posted 26 November 2003 01:57 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Guerrillas Fire Rockets Into the Heart of Baghdad: "Attack. Take cover. This is not a test,"

quote:
Tue Nov 25, 5:41 PM ET
By Andrew Marshall

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Guerrillas fired rockets at the headquarters of the U.S.-led administration in central Baghdad on Tuesday and loudspeakers ordered personnel in the compound to take cover as explosions echoed across the Iraqi capital.

"Attack. Take cover. This is not a test," warned loudspeakers at the compound in one of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s former palace complexes. Sirens wailed, flares lit up the night sky and U.S. helicopters clattered overhead.

A spokesman for the U.S. 1st Armored Division which patrols Baghdad said at least two rockets had been fired. One crashed through the roof of an empty apartment building near the coalition compound and another landed near a bus station.


"There are no reports of U.S. soldiers being injured, or of civilian casualties" the spokesman said.

But he said two Iraqi police were wounded in a rocket-propelled grenade attack near a Baghdad petrol station.

The U.S. Central Command, which covers Iraq (news - web sites), said attackers fired mortar bombs at American soldiers at a forward position in Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit early on Tuesday. The Americans retaliated with counter-fire.

"One person was found unresponsive and one was wounded," the command said in a statement. A command spokeswoman was unable to explain what "unresponsive" meant. "Just stick to the wording," she said.

Guerrilla attacks in Iraq have become increasingly brazen. On Saturday, a DHL cargo plane made an emergency landing in Baghdad with an engine on fire after being hit by a surface-to-air missile. A video tape delivered to a French journalist apparently showed the missile being fired.

The footage showed several men with their faces concealed by scarves, carrying grenade and missile launchers. One aimed a shoulder-fired missile at a plane.

The attackers were shown escaping by car, and the tape then showed a plane descending with smoke pouring from one wing.



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majorvictory
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posted 26 November 2003 04:06 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US pays up for fatal Iraq blunders

quote:
Rory McCarthy in Baghdad
Wednesday November 26, 2003
The Guardian

The US military has paid out $1.5m (£907,000) to Iraqi civilians in response to a wave of negligence and wrongful death claims filed against American soldiers, the Guardian has learned.
Families have come forward with accounts of how American soldiers shot dead or seriously wounded unarmed Iraqi civilians with no apparent cause. In many cases their stories are confirmed by Iraqi police investigations.

Yesterday the US military in Baghdad admitted a total of $1,540,050 has been paid out up to November 12 for personal injury, death or damage to property. A total of 10,402 claims had been filed, the military said in a brief statement to the Guardian. There were no figures given for how many claims had been accepted.

"The US pays claims for personal injury, wrongful death and property damage," it said. "Payments will only be made for non-combat related activities and instances where soldiers have acted negligently or wrongfully."

Commanders make payments from their discretionary funds, rarely even admitting liability. Payouts average just a few hundred dollars and in some cases families have been asked to sign forms waiving their right to press for further compensation. In one area of south-western Baghdad, controlled by the 82nd Airborne Division, an officer said a total of $106,000 had been paid out to 176 claimants since July.

Beyond the initial payments there is little recourse for the families of the dead. No American soldier has been prosecuted for illegally killing an Iraqi civilian and commanders refuse even to count the number of civilians killed or injured by their soldiers.

Iraqi courts, because of an order issued by the US-led authority in Baghdad in June, are forbidden from hearing cases against American soldiers or any other foreign troops or foreign officials in Iraq.



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majorvictory
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posted 27 November 2003 02:05 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Seen Making Mistakes of Past Colonizers

quote:
By Andrew Hammond
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. efforts to give Iraqi Sunni Muslims more involvement in running the country in a bid to quell resistance in Sunni areas may just deepen resentment toward the occupying powers, analysts say.

"The main trick of any colonial power in the world is divide and rule. We know it: they are trying to divide us," said Wamid Nazmy, a politics professor at Baghdad University.

"Now the Americans and the British are speaking about Sunni grievances because there is resistance in the Sunni area, so they want to bring them into the cabinet or the ruling council just to satisfy them."

The U.S.-led administration set up Iraq's Governing Council in July as a first step toward a sovereign government after U.S.-led forces toppled Saddam Hussein in April. The Council contains a majority of Shi'ites, Iraq's largest religious community which suffered decades of repression under Saddam.

But a growing insurgency, which has claimed 185 U.S. lives since May 1, has been concentrated in the Sunni heartland of the country and the coalition authorities have said the Council will now be "reaching out" more to Sunni Arabs.

Political analyst Saad Jawad said history was repeating itself. "When the British came to Iraq in the First World War they made the mistake of giving power to the Sunni community," he said, noting the British soon faced rebellion.

"The Americans are making the same mistake. The problem is not who is Sunni or Shi'ite, the problem is Iraqis would like to see the best qualified people and don't mind who they are."

As well as leaning on Shi'ites, Washington filled the interim Iraqi authorities with exiles who opposed the Baath regime from abroad and found favor with the United States.

"The majority of people in Iraq don't accept the leadership of people coming from abroad, even if they are good people," Jawad said. "The people who lived here suffered the wars and sanctions, unlike exiles who were all the time outside and 99 percent of whom are seen as American stooges."



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DrConway
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posted 28 November 2003 01:21 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"The most important thing for us is to find Osama bin Laden. It's our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." - George W. Bush, Sept 13, 2001

"I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." - George W. Bush, March 13, 2002

---

So, uh, just why was there a war on Afghanistan, then?


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 28 November 2003 01:28 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Because their dropping bombs on somebody gives the US voter the impression that the government is doing something about the 11 September attacks?
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majorvictory
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posted 28 November 2003 03:04 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What has failed in Palestine, will fail in Iraq

quote:
Just as many senior Israeli military officials are openly criticizing their government's tactics in the occupied Palestinian territories, the United States is repeating in Iraq many of Israel's worst mistakes. This will doom efforts to stabilize Iraq and restore its independence.

"In a tactic reminiscent of Israeli crackdowns in the West Bank and Gaza," reported the Detroit Free Press on November 18, "the U.S. military has begun destroying the homes of suspected guerrilla fighters in Iraq's Sunni Triangle, evacuating women and children, then leveling their houses with heavy weaponry...Family members at one of the houses, in the village of al Haweda, said they were given five minutes to evacuate before soldiers opened fire."

This is precisely the tactic for which human rights organizations and even the U.S. government have repeatedly condemned Israel.

Near the Iraqi town of Dhulaiya, U.S. forces reenacted another scene familiar to Palestinians. "The bulldozers worked for 10 days, methodically clearing the date palms and citrus groves as 200 soldiers sealed off the area," according to a November 5, report in Newsday. "Townspeople looked on helplessly, while jazz music blared from speakers mounted atop the soldiers' trucks," the report said, adding, "Iraqis are quick to make a comparison with Israel's actions in the Palestinian territories, where Israeli forces regularly clear fields as a security measure - and as a form of communal punishment."

In The Independent, Phil Reeves reported that the town of Awja, near Tikrit, "is the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but transported to Iraq." Reeves, a long-time Palestine/Israel correspondent, described a town "imprisoned by razor wire. The entrance is guarded by soldiers, protected by sand bags, concrete barricades and a machine-gun nest. Only those people with an identification card issued by the occupation authorities are allowed in or, more importantly, out." (18 November 2003)



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majorvictory
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posted 28 November 2003 03:29 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraqi Police Sympathize With Resistance

quote:
Thursday November 27, 2003 2:16 AM

By SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI

Associated Press Writer

BAQOUBA, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi police say they are underpaid, poorly armed and lack equipment to protect themselves from increasing attacks by insurgents. Frequently branded as collaborators with the U.S. occupation, many police resent the Americans and some even express sympathy for the guerrillas.

The recent surge in attacks on Iraqi police followed a decision by the U.S. command to aggressively pursue insurgents before they can strike. Nine police were among the 12 Iraqis killed in car bombings last weekend at police stations in Baqouba and nearby Khan Bani Saad. Two senior police commanders were killed last weekend in Mosul and a town south of Baghdad.

American officials expect attacks to increase against Iraqis working with the coalition as the U.S.-led administration begins handing power to local leaders. Culture clashes between Iraqi and American forces only exacerbate a climate of bitterness and distrust.

About a dozen Iraqi policemen who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday said they were not deterred by the bombings and would continue working for the police force.

Still, they expressed resentment toward the Americans, who are better armed and less vulnerable to attack. Several policemen referred to the resistance against the Americans as a jihad, or holy war, and said Iraqis had a legitimate right to fight occupation.

``Take a look at the American bases,'' said Lt. Miqdad Thamer, 25, in Baqouba. ``They are hiding behind barricades while we are here in the streets with not even guns to protect ourselves.



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majorvictory
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posted 29 November 2003 02:56 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Soldier Killed in Iraq Hours After Bush Visit

quote:
BAGHDAD - A mortar attack on a U.S. base in Iraq killed an American soldier Friday, hours after President Bush made a secret visit to Baghdad to spend Thanksgiving with U.S. troops fighting to end a guerrilla war.

A military spokeswoman said four mortar bombs landed inside the headquarters of the 101st Airborne Division in the northern city of Mosul with one killing the soldier, another wounding an Iraqi working in the compound and two falling harmlessly.

Since Bush declared major combat over on May 1, 185 U.S. soldiers have been killed in action in Iraq. Separately, U.S. Central Command said soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division based west of Baghdad had shot a seven-year-old child in the foot after he pointed an AK-47 at approaching U.S. troops.

In a statement, Centcom said the child was being treated at a Baghdad hospital and the incident was under investigation.

During his lightning trip Thursday, Bush thanked American soldiers for "sacrificing for our freedom and our peace."

"We did not charge hundreds of miles through the heart of Iraq, pay a bitter cost of casualties, defeat a ruthless dictator and liberate 25 million people only to retreat before a band of thugs and assassins," he said to a standing ovation at the heavily fortified Baghdad International Airport.

He assured the Iraqi Governing Council Washington would stay the course in Iraq while urging them to work harder to prepare for next year's handover of sovereignty.

In an elaborate plan to ensure his security, Bush slipped away from his Texas ranch Wednesday night, arrived in Iraq Thursday and spent two and a half hours with the troops, becoming the first U.S. president to visit the country.

He arrived back in the United States early Friday morning.


[ 30 November 2003: Message edited by: majorvictory ]


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majorvictory
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posted 30 November 2003 01:55 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Seven Spanish agents killed in Iraq

quote:
At least seven Spanish intelligence officers and two Japanese thought to be diplomats have been killed in separate attacks.

According to the Spanish Defence Ministry, occupation forces on Saturday found the bodies and one wounded at the site of the attack on a convoy near Suwayrah, 30km south of the Iraqi capital.

The wounded officer was taken for treatment to a medical centre.

The group which was driving in two vehicles was on its way back to Baghdad when it was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifle fire.

Two Japanese citizens who may have been diplomats were killed in another ambush in north Iraq, a Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman said, citing information from Baghdad.

A non-Japanese driver was wounded in the attack near the ousted President Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit.

"There is a good possibility they are Japanese diplomats," the foreign ministry spokesman said.



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majorvictory
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posted 30 November 2003 03:05 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Two U.S. Soldiers Killed in Western Iraq

quote:
By SLOBODAN LEKIC, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Guerrillas killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded a third in an ambush in western Iraq (news - web sites), the U.S. military said Sunday. A day earlier, seven Spanish intelligence agents and two Japanese diplomats died in separate attacks near Baghdad.

The latest deaths bring to 104 the number coalition troops who have died in Iraq in November, with 79 American soldiers slain along with 25 other allied troops. In terms of coalition losses, it has been the bloodiest month of the war that began March 20.

Also Sunday, gunmen shot and killed two South Korean electricians and wounded two others as they drove in a passenger car, apparently to a power transmission plant they were working at in Tikrit, South Korea (news - web sites)'s foreign ministry said. The workers' company was hired by a U.S. firm to lay power lines.

A Colombian civilian working as a contractor for the U.S. military was killed in an ambush on a convoy Saturday, the military said.

Asked about the recent deadly attacks on participants in the U.S.-led coalition, Secretary of State Donald H. Rumsfeld said he did not expect violence to drive any allies to abandon the mission.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2878

posted 30 November 2003 03:15 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Montana soldier describes duty in Iraq as a nightmare

quote:
Associated Press

HAVRE - Neither the Pentagon nor the news media are giving the American public an accurate picture of the situation in Iraq, which is "a nightmare," says a soldier who is about to go back.

"It's nothing like what the people back home have been hearing," Army Sgt. Michael Badgley Jr. said. "They're saying the war's over. The war's not over. Now, it's more of a guerrilla war."

But despite the problems and the mixups and poor troop morale, allied forces seem to be accomplishing some great things, he said.

"The waste and frustration, everything that goes on over there, it's just a nightmare," Badgley said.

A Great Falls police officer for five years, Badgley was activated by the Army Reserve on Feb. 7. His 889th Quartermaster Company left for Fort Lewis, Texas, on Feb. 10 and arrived in Kuwait April 22. Badgley entered Iraq on May 15.

He returned home on a two-week leave Monday night. He is to report to Baltimore on Dec. 10 to return to Iraq.

Badgley said the fact he's still in Iraq speaks to confusion and changing rules. He was supposed to be there until September. Then his tour was extended 60 days, and now everyone has to stay for at least one year, he said.

Some of the troops in Iraq have been told they are there only to provide numbers, and there are more troops in Iraq than there are jobs for them, he said. "Morale over there is very low."

He said the success of the operation, as far as the Iraqi people go, is mixed.

Badgley said he hears about humanitarian projects the United States and its allies are doing, but in his seven months in Iraq he hasn't seen a single food or water distribution point set up or a school being constructed.

The Iraqis seem happy about their freedom, or at least to be free from Saddam Hussein's rule, Badgley said.

The message the military is providing to the people is not helping improve relations, Badgley said. An area controlled by multinational forces "was more of a horse and pony show," he recalled.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 30 November 2003 07:31 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. troops kill 46 Iraqi guerillas

quote:
BAGHDAD (AP) - In the deadliest reported firefight since the end of the war, U.S. soldiers fought back co-ordinated attacks today, using tanks, cannons and small arms to kill 46 Iraqis in running battles throughout the northern city of Samarra, officials said. Five Americans were wounded.

Minutes later, two South Korean contractors were killed nearby in a roadside ambush in what U.S. officials called a new campaign aimed at undermining international support for the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. Attacks Saturday killed seven Spaniards, two Japanese diplomats and a Colombian oil worker.



From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3807

posted 01 December 2003 01:25 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And from another perspective...

Innocents Killed in Samarra Bloodbath

quote:
US troops in the Iraqi town of Samarra have admitted to perpetrating a bloodbath, with one occupation spokesman confirming nearly four dozen people were killed.

Lieutenant Colonel Bill MacDonald told journalists on Sunday that all the 46 were killed when troops fought off multiple attacks on military convoys.

But local residents said US troops killed innocent bystanders when they opened fire on anything that moved around midday.

Workers at a nearby pharmaceutical plant said at least two colleagues were killed and many wounded as they walked out of the factory gates at the end of their shift, downed by a US tank shooting randomly in all directions.



From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3807

posted 01 December 2003 10:36 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Someone doesn't have the story straight

quote:
American troops said on Monday that 54 resistance fighters had been killed in clashes on Sunday.

But our correspondent and other news agencies quoted hospital sources and Samarra residents as saying that the US fire killed eight people, all civilians.

Samarra hospital accident and emergency department anaesthetist Bassam Ibrahim said “we received the bodies of eight civilians, including a woman and a child”.

It was not immediately clear whether the dead civilians included two Iranians on a visit to holy sites found dead in their bus



From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2878

posted 02 December 2003 04:10 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sounds like unacknowledged, rolling free fire zones. Meanwhile, Iraqis fight back and take a grim toll on occupation troops:

It's an around-the-clock fight to save lives at Iraq combat hospital

quote:
Since the largest U.S. Army hospital in Iraq opened its doors on April 10, nearly all U.S. casualties have passed through its first-floor emergency room. Some come already dead. Some arrive with one arm instead of two, a shattered leg or a face wiped away by an explosion.

Assaults on U.S. troops have reached as high as 45 a day, although the frequency has dropped off in the past couple of weeks. For the staff at the 28th Combat Support Hospital, located within the U.S.-led occupation authority's headquarters at one of former president Saddam Hussein's palaces, that often translates into a dozen patients a day.

About 70 percent of the hospital's patients are wounded soldiers; the rest are Iraqi civilians and prisoners, along with a small number of U.S. civilian contractors, said Maj. Mark White, director of patient administration.

The number of soldiers treated for serious combat injuries is not publicly disclosed. Instead, the hospital releases statistics on patient admissions — a total of 1,659 U.S. soldiers through Oct. 30. The combined number of U.S. soldiers and Iraqi patients admitted per month has increased since September, and this month was expected to reach about 400, White said.

Soldiers stay here for up to two days; those with serious wounds requiring further treatment are sent on to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and, if necessary, to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.

"They come in here saying, 'Did he make it? Did my driver make it?' " said Lt. KomKwuan Pholtavee, 24, an ER nurse from Bellmore, N.Y. In their haze of pain and fear, she said, "I've had soldiers think that I'm their wife."

The worst that Maj. Michael Hilliard, 33, an emergency physician, saw back home in San Antonio were car-crash and gunshot victims. Here, he estimates he has treated the broken bodies of more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers.

"The injuries are horrific," he said. "They are beyond anything that you see in a textbook, and they are the worst that I have ever seen."

Twenty-four hours in the hospital's emergency room with soldiers stripped of their uniforms and gritty exteriors revealed the physical and emotional toll.




From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 02 December 2003 03:25 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A Combat Leader Gives The Inside Skinny Of The Biggest Battle Since The War Ended

quote:
The convoy which was attacked while driving through Samara was not a supply convoy as reported, but was carrying large amounts of new Iraqi currency to stock local Iraqi banks and US greenbacks used to pay for goods and services the US forces need to accomplish their missions in Iraq. This convoy was heavily guarded by Abrams Tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles. It was akin to a huge Brinks Truck delivery.

The reports of 54 enemy killed will sound great on the home front, but the greater story is much more disturbing and needs to be told to the American Public.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2878

posted 03 December 2003 12:40 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Losing Hearts And Minds

quote:
Mohammed Ali Karam wants to kill a U.S. soldier. He doesn't love Saddam Hussein, and he was happy in April when U.S. Marines rolled through his Baghdad neighborhood on their way to liberate the capital. But he turned against the Americans the night he saw his brother Hussein, 27, take two bullets in the neck. At 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 17, Karam says, he and three of his brothers were driving to a neighborhood where the pumps were working in order to get water for their home. Hussein, in the passenger seat, talked excitedly about having his new suit tailored for his upcoming wedding. That's when 82nd Airborne paratroopers, crouched in an observation post across the street, opened fire — after rounds struck their position, they say. Three of the brothers ran to the safety of a creek bed, but Hussein didn't make it. In the car, said Karam, the soldiers found Hussein — gurgling blood through his throat — but no weapons. Hussein died on the way to the hospital — three days before his wedding.

U.S. troops face a difficult task in trying to root out the violent insurgents who want to drive them out of Iraq. But in pursuing this deadly enemy, the Americans are frequently guilty of excesses that are turning ordinary Iraqis into foes. Bush's Thanksgiving visit meant little to Iraqis, who cite three areas of concern: the killing of innocents, the "disappearance" of countrymen detained by U.S. forces, and the destruction of buildings, including family homes. The last tactic, justified by U.S. commanders as legitimate demolition of military targets, is criticized by human-rights groups like Amnesty International as smacking of collective punishment. As U.S. forces employ more aggressive tactics to take on the resistance, these grievances are only getting worse, setting back the effort to win over local hearts and minds. "Before the Americans came, we heard a lot about their respect for human rights," says Khalid Mustafa Akbar, at a mourning tent for his three brothers who were shot dead while driving their pickup by a U.S. patrol outside Tikrit last week. "But then we found it is only talk."



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 03 December 2003 01:10 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US Resistance to Direct Vote Tries Patience of Shiite Clerics
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
rabble-rouser
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posted 03 December 2003 10:46 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. soldier loses leg in Afghan grenade attack

quote:
Wed 3 December, 2003 09:08

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A U.S. soldier had a leg blown off when a renegade Afghan policeman threw a grenade at a U.S. military vehicle in the southern city of Kandahar, police say

The attack occurred in a crowded market area in the centre of Kandahar as four U.S. military vehicles were driving through, a senior police officer said.

"I saw the American soldier, who had lost a leg, being carried from his vehicle to an ambulance," the police officer, Gulalai, told Reuters.

"We have arrested the attacker. He was a member of our own police force. He had a rifle with him and several grenades. We caught him as he was trying to flee the area."

Earlier, General Khan Mohammad Khan, the senior military official in Kandahar, told Reuters he had heard that a U.S. soldier was only slightly hurt in the leg.

U.S. soldiers cordoned off the site of the attack as they evacuated the wounded man. A witness said he saw blood on the road at the scene of the blast.

Kandahar was the seat of power of the Taliban regime overthrown by U.S.-led forces in late 2001. It and the surrounding province have been the scene of a number of attacks blamed on the guerrillas and their militant allies since then.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 04 December 2003 03:16 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Human Rights Testimonies from Iraq - #1 - Testimony of an Iraqi Minor Detained and Mistreated by US Forces

quote:
The following statement was recorded by CPT members Le Anne Clausen and David Milne in a neighborhood heavily affected by US house raids in Baghdad. The family has asked that the 16 year old youth who gave the testimony not be identified because his relatives are still detained.

"At 2:30am, US troops came to our house, and ordered our entire family outside. They ransacked the house searching for something, but they didn't tell us what they wanted. They broke the locks to our cabinet [a large storage chest and display case along one wall of the front room] and threw the contents onto the floor, even though our father gave them the cabinet key so they wouldn't have to do this. They took our money and a gold wedding necklace belonging to my mother. My father, cousin, older brother, and I were tied and taken away. We were not told why we were being taken."

"We were taken to the soldiers' military base at a palace within this district and kept in a small dark room. We were tied at our wrists with plastic ties behind our backs the entire night. In the morning, we were put out into the sunlight, as a type of punishment. The soldiers were verbally abusive towards us. We asked for shade, but the soldiers refused. We were squatting in the sun all day. [Temperatures at the time were 110-120F]. When I was taken, I was only wearing my underwear because I was sleeping. I was embarrassed. These were my only clothes during the time I was in custody."

"The first day, our hands were still tied behind our back with the plastic ties. Because of this, we were unable to drink any water. We explained this to the soldiers, and they refused to re-tie us so we could drink. We asked if just one of us could be re-tied with his hands in front of him so that he could help the rest of us to drink. The soldiers refused. The soldiers re-tied us with the plastic ties in front of us on the next day."

"The water they gave us for drinking was also kept out in the sun with us. This way it was too hot to drink. Another day I asked a soldier for water, because I hadn't had anything to drink for the entire day in the sun. He beat me on my back and chest, while another soldier kicked me in the back. Both were verbally abusive towards me during the beating."

"I was forced once to drink a strange kind of juice. I didn't like it, so I said, no, thank you. The soldiers then put the bottle in my mouth and forced me to swallow all of it."

"We were treated like animals. The soldiers would grab us by the head and shove us in the direction they wanted us to move. When we were beaten, I couldn't distinguish when it was from a baton and when it was with fists. We were forced to squat much of the time."

"One night my 18-year-old brother and I were kept in an open-air passageway, but we didn't know how large it was because we were blindfolded. We heard a tank approaching us. It was so close, the ground was shaking beneath us. The sound was deafening. We were screaming to each other and the guards, we were sure we would be run over and executed. Then the tank passed."

[The son asked his mother to leave the room so he can tell the CPTers something privately].

"My brother asked for some water. The guard gagged him and began beating him around his mouth until blood started flowing from his mouth. My brother screamed in pain. We also screamed in protest, and to encourage him to scream so they would stop this abuse. We were then beaten also, for advising him to scream. We were beaten in the neck, back, and behind." [The boy demonstrated how and where he was beaten. He indicated that his buttocks were held apart and he was kicked in the anus]. "It is because of this beating that my father is now suffering from a heart condition."



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 04 December 2003 07:10 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hi, it's your friendly neighbourhood lengthy thread-closer. Since this is one of those threads that will always "be continued", I'll close it now since it's getting too long to load quickly for those with slow connections.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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