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Author Topic: Merry Xmas War Is Over V
majorvictory
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posted 07 December 2003 04:51 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
sorry Doc, but i can't let the franchise die!

U.S. Airstrike Kills Nine Afghan Kids

quote:
Sun Dec 7,11:10 AM ET

By AIJAZ RAHI, Associated Press Writer

HUTALA, Afghanistan - Children's hats and shoes littered a bloody field cratered by gunfire Sunday after a U.S. airstrike, aimed at a wanted Taliban commander, mistakenly killed nine children in an Afghan mountain village.

The American warplane was targeting Mullah Wazir, once a local commander for the hard-line Islamic militia. U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and a U.S. military official said Wazir was killed in the attack, but residents and local officials said Wazir escaped — or was not in the village at all.

The residents reported at least one adult man, possibly a Wazir relative, was killed along with the children.

The strike was the latest U.S. air attack to kill Afghan civilians as American-led forces hunt for remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaida who have stepped up violence in southern and eastern Afghanistan (news - web sites).

The United Nation's envoy to Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, said he was "profoundly distressed" by the attack in the village of Hutala. The airstrike, "which follows similar incidents, adds to a sense of insecurity and fear in the country," Brahimi said.

The government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai said it fully supported fighting terrorism but urged the U.S.-led coalition to "be very careful not to repeat such tragedies."



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 07 December 2003 04:57 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Landstuhl mortuary is funeral home for those killed in Mideast war

quote:
By Lisa Horn, Stars and Stripes

European edition, Thursday, December 4, 2003

LANDSTUHL, Germany — A dry white board at the U.S. Army Memorial Affairs Activity-Europe lists the names of each servicemember whose remains are in the unit’s mortuary at any given time.

Lately, the board has been filled.

With at least 75 servicemembers killed in November, last month was the deadliest for U.S. troops since the invasion of Iraq.

Between Oct. 5 and Nov. 12, the unit deposed of 54 remains, 23 of which included servicemembers involved in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The other 31 were DOD civilians, dependents or servicemembers who died in places other than the Middle East.

In operation since 1951, the mortuary is part of the 21st Theater Support Command at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany.

It serves as the funeral home for U.S. servicemembers and coalition forces, Department of Defense civilians, dependents and other Americans assigned or deployed with the U.S. European Command and the U.S Central Command.

“We didn’t have enough room on this board that week,” said Mark Baldwin, the facility’s deputy director, as he pointed to the list of the current week’s names.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 07 December 2003 05:15 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Tough New Tactics by U.S. Tighten Grip on Iraq Towns

quote:
By DEXTER FILKINS

Published: December 7, 2003

BU HISHMA, Iraq, Dec. 6 — As the guerrilla war against Iraqi insurgents intensifies, American soldiers have begun wrapping entire villages in barbed wire.

In selective cases, American soldiers are demolishing buildings thought to be used by Iraqi attackers. They have begun imprisoning the relatives of suspected guerrillas, in hopes of pressing the insurgents to turn themselves in.

The Americans embarked on their get-tough strategy in early November, goaded by what proved to be the deadliest month yet for American forces in Iraq, with 81 soldiers killed by hostile fire. The response they chose is beginning to echo the Israeli counterinsurgency campaign in the occupied territories.

So far, the new approach appears to be succeeding in diminishing the threat to American soldiers. But it appears to be coming at the cost of alienating many of the people the Americans are trying to win over. Abu Hishma is quiet now, but it is angry, too.

In Abu Hishma, encased in a razor-wire fence after repeated attacks on American troops, Iraqi civilians line up to go in and out, filing through an American-guarded checkpoint, each carrying an identification card printed in English only.

"If you have one of these cards, you can come and go," coaxed Lt. Col. Nathan Sassaman, the battalion commander whose men oversee the village, about 50 miles north of Baghdad. "If you don't have one of these cards, you can't."

The Iraqis nodded and edged their cars through the line. Over to one side, an Iraqi man named Tariq muttered in anger.

"I see no difference between us and the Palestinians," he said. "We didn't expect anything like this after Saddam fell."



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 07 December 2003 06:37 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
"I see no difference between us and the Palestinians," he said. "We didn't expect anything like this after Saddam fell."

I wouldn't be booking any American Airlines flights for the next 15 years or so.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 07 December 2003 11:22 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. GI killed after patrol attacked in Iraq

quote:
Associated Press

MOSUL, Iraq — Insurgents attacked a U.S. military patrol in northern Iraq on Sunday, killing one soldier and wounding two, the U.S. military said. A bomb also was detonated on a railway, derailing half the carriages on a freight train but causing no injuries.

Guerrillas set off a roadside bomb as an American convoy passed through the center of Mosul, 250 miles north of Baghdad, at around midday, Master Sgt. Kelly Tyler said.

"I heard an explosion and came running toward the site of the attack and saw three soldiers, one of them covered with blood," said Bahaa Hussein, a student who lives in the neighborhood.

Hussein said Iraqi policemen rushed out of a police station about 200 yards from the site of the explosion and cordoned off the area until U.S. troops arrived. Mosul is the largest city in the north.

Further south, near the town of Samarra, an explosive device on Saturday evening derailed eight of 20 carriages on a train heading from Baghdad to Mosul, said Abdel-Nasser Abdel-Rahman, a railway official. No injuries were reported, he said.

Train service between the capital and Mosul will be disrupted for five days, Abdel-Rahman said. On Sunday, Iraqi police and two American tanks were at the scene. Bottles of water, apparently part of the train's cargo, were scattered around the derailed carriages.

"We're conducting our investigation, but we think that remnants of the former regime are behind the attack," policeman Ahmed Waleed said.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 08 December 2003 12:11 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Denial of Purple Heart medals raises questions about casualty count

quote:
BY PATRICK PETERSON

Knight Ridder Newspapers

GULFPORT, Miss. - (KRT) - An influential Mississippi congressman has raised the possibility that the Pentagon has undercounted combat casualties in Iraq after he learned that five members of the Mississippi National Guard who were injured Sept. 12 by a booby trap in Iraq were denied Purple Heart medals.

The guardsmen were wounded by an artillery shell that detonated as their convoy passed the tree in which it was hidden, but their injuries were classified as "noncombat," according to Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss. Taylor, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, learned of the classification when he visited the most seriously injured of the guardsmen, Spc. Carl Sampson, 35, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.

"How could no one have caught this?" Taylor said.

On Nov. 20, shortly after visiting Sampson, Taylor brought the matter to the attention of Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Purple Hearts quickly were awarded.

But Taylor said the incident raised concerns that Iraq combat casualties had been understated. He said Myers told him he'd been made aware of similar oversights.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 08 December 2003 01:28 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Baghdad's U.S. Zone A Stand-In For Home

quote:
BAGHDAD -- In Elzain Elzain's Baghdad, they serve peanut butter, lobster and ice cream. The cell phones have a 914 area code. The television sets show Monday Night Football. The people speak English. And the strictly enforced speed limit is 35 mph.



"It's like I never left America," said Elzain, an artist from the District who works as an interpreter for the U.S.-led occupation government.

Elzain and several thousand other government workers, contractors and soldiers live and work in what is called the Green Zone. The four-square-mile area, encircled by 15-foot concrete walls and rings of barbed wire, includes Saddam Hussein's presidential palace compound, which is now the headquarters of the Coalition Provisional Authority that rules Iraq.

Once an oasis of fabulous architecture, date palms and swimming pools, it is now an eerie mix of shiny white trailers, SUVs, Black Hawk helicopters and other symbols of occupation and ruins created by months of bomb, rocket and mortar attacks.

Some residents say they prefer the comfort of surroundings like home and are happy to stay here, rather than venture out into the real Iraq. But most people say they came to help -- and for the adventure. Their greatest frustration is that they feel trapped inside the Green Zone.

Officials say the idea was to create a "safe area" where civilian advisers and military officials trying to help the country could do their work with less risk than in Baghdad proper. In the early days of the occupation, the creation of the enclave was the subject of much debate between the United States and the United Nations, which based its staff in a hotel on one of the city's busiest streets because it felt it needed to be out in the neighborhoods and accessible to the Iraqi public. But after two devastating attacks on the U.N. personnel, the philosophical debate has been replaced by the reality of the security situation. Nearly all U.N. workers have gone to neighboring countries.

Venturing from the protection of the Green Zone is not just a chore, it's a feat. Forms must be filled out explaining the reason for the outing, requesting transportation and a protective detail. Some trips must be rescheduled three or four times, with recent trips to visit children at an orphanage, to speak at a women's center and repair a water treatment plant postponed because of security concerns.

The seclusion, many readily concede, is compounding the challenge of the reconstruction.

"The Americans are behind the walls in the palace. They have difficulty knowing what's going on. I call it the 'green area syndrome,' " said Frank Dall, project director for District-based Creative Associates International Inc., which is assisting the U.S. Agency for International Development with education reform and is housed outside the zone.

"You want to feel like you are of the people. But when you are here there are rules and you can't go out and you can't talk to them," Elzain said. "You are isolated."



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mick
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posted 08 December 2003 12:44 PM      Profile for Mick        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
A Bloody Victory or Dangerous Fantasy?

The True Story of the Battle of Samarra

by Phil Reeves in Samarra
Independent/UK
December 6, 2003

Nearly a week has elapsed since the American military issued the startling claim - puzzling even some within its own ranks - that its troops killed 54 guerrillas during running gunfights in the Sunni town of Samarra.

Official versions described how dozens of Fedayeen guerrillas wearing red or black checkered headscarves and dark shirts and trousers attacked troops in the bloodiest engagement since the US-led occupation of Iraq last April - and lost.

Repeated visits to the scene, interviews with Iraqi civilians and US soldiers, and close inspection of the battle damage by scores of correspondents have failed to eliminate several troubling and crucial questions. Where are the bodies? Did they exist? Or was this death toll - as some suspect - a fabrication which was intended to generate positive headlines for the US, after a disastrous weekend in which guerrilla attacks killed 14 foreigners, including seven Spanish intelligence officers?

All occupying armies lie, and so do their opponents. But Iraq is particularly perilous territory, given that so many millions of people believe the invasion was launched on the false pretext that Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

Samarra is a small, angry pocket of resistance on the banks of the Tigris. And it smoldered anew
yesterday as two Apache helicopters circled only a few score feet above the rooftops, not far
from the gold dome of the Ali al-Hadi Shia shrine, just minutes before Friday prayers. People were infuriated by an incident a few hours earlier in which an elderly shopkeeper, Abdel Rasul Saleh al-Abassi, was shot on his rooftop. His relatives say he was shot by a US sniper while trying to repair a water tank.

Accounts of last week's battle differ, sometimes alarmingly. But on one issue, they have
remained adamant: only eight people were killed in Samarra, although 55 were injured as the US
army sprayed the place with gunfire.

"If 54 people were killed here we would know. This is a very tribal society, in which everyone in the area knows everyone else," Yahir Mahmoud al-Abassi, a businessman, said. "It just did not
happen. It's impossible."

The people of Samarra are not alone in their skepticism. A senior official from the occupation
authorities in Baghdad said, with evident exasperation: "We said this would happen ... it isn't right."

There is no doubt that two US convoys came under attack on Sunday morning as they were arriving to deliver new Iraqi dinars to two banks, the al-Rashid in Babel Kabla Street and its other branch opposite the al-Risala mosque in Bank Street. Surrounding buildings in both areas - which are about half a mile apart - bear the scars of fierce gunfights.

The US says troops of the 4th Infantry Division entered Samarra at about 11am, with a force of
some 100 soldiers, six tanks, four Bradley fighting vehicles and four Humvees.

With them were two squads of military police and four squads of infantry. The convoys entered
town at opposite ends, and both were attacked with roadside bombs. The attacks seem to have
been well-planned.

Both the US military and Iraqi residents agree that the ensuing battles lasted for several hours. The guerrillas used small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars; the US army fired their 120mm cannon on the Abrams tanks, 25mm machine-guns mounted on their Bradley fighting
vehicles and armored Humvees, and their own personal arms - M-16 rifles and pistols. As
running battles spread through the town, some of the shooting was random.

At about 1.30pm Falah Hamid Salman, 48, a clerk, was in the front office of the Samarra Drugs
Factory when a mortar shell landed near the front gates. Workers were queuing near by for a
shift change. Amira Mahdi Saleh, an employee in her mid-thirties, was killed.

Mr Salman said bullets from passing US armored vehicles smashed into the reception area. It
bears the marks of at least five machine-gun bullets. Other mortar shells landed further inside the premises, injuring Hossam Shakir al-Douri, 25, who later died.

As the fighting flowed back and forth through the town, with guerrillas darting through the alleys, Abdullah Amin al-Kurdi was mown down outside a small mosque in front of the local hospital. His 10-year-old son, who was with him, survived with leg and stomach injuries. Another man, Raid Ali Fadhel, also died there.

Not far away Salem Mohammed al-Rahmani, a businessman, was inspecting his premises just a
few yards from the Shia mosque when the US forces swept in and - he says - posted snipers on the roof. This was the scene of one of the ambushed bank deliveries. A firefight erupted, which injured Gazal Jado'a al-Bazi and killed Fatah Allah Hijazi, a 71-year-old Iranian pilgrim.

What happened in Samarra was a battle - and a big one at that. But the evidence suggests that the victims were mostly civilians, not guerrillas, and that their numbers were far fewer than US
officials have said.

The US army is increasingly sensitive on the subject. Lt-Col George Krivo angrily accosted The
Independent on Wednesday. "I can tell you one thing - we trust our soldiers!" he said, half- shouting.


[ 08 December 2003: Message edited by: Mick ]


From: Parkdale! | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 08 December 2003 07:48 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
MOVING TARGETS

quote:
The Bush Administration has authorized a major escalation of the Special Forces covert war in Iraq. In interviews over the past month, American officials and former officials said that the main target was a hard-core group of Baathists who are believed to be behind much of the underground insurgency against the soldiers of the United States and its allies. A new Special Forces group, designated Task Force 121, has been assembled from Army Delta Force members, Navy seals, and C.I.A. paramilitary operatives, with many additional personnel ordered to report by January. Its highest priority is the neutralization of the Baathist insurgents, by capture or assassination.

The revitalized Special Forces mission is a policy victory for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who has struggled for two years to get the military leadership to accept the strategy of what he calls “Manhunts”—a phrase that he has used both publicly and in internal Pentagon communications. Rumsfeld has had to change much of the Pentagon’s leadership to get his way. “Knocking off two regimes allows us to do extraordinary things,” a Pentagon adviser told me, referring to Afghanistan and Iraq.

[snip]

But many of the officials I spoke to were skeptical of the Administration’s plans. Many of them fear that the proposed operation—called “preëmptive manhunting” by one Pentagon adviser—has the potential to turn into another Phoenix Program. Phoenix was the code name for a counter-insurgency program that the U.S. adopted during the Vietnam War, in which Special Forces teams were sent out to capture or assassinate Vietnamese believed to be working with or sympathetic to the Vietcong. In choosing targets, the Americans relied on information supplied by South Vietnamese Army officers and village chiefs. The operation got out of control. According to official South Vietnamese statistics, Phoenix claimed nearly forty-one thousand victims between 1968 and 1972; the U.S. counted more than twenty thousand in the same time span. Some of those assassinated had nothing to do with the war against America but were targeted because of private grievances. William E. Colby, the C.I.A. officer who took charge of the Phoenix Program in 1968 (he eventually became C.I.A. director), later acknowledged to Congress that “a lot of things were done that should not have been done.”

The former Special Forces official warned that the problem with head-hunting is that you have to be sure “you’re hunting the right heads.” Speaking of the now coöperative former Iraqi intelligence officials, he said, “These guys have their own agenda. Will we be doing hits on grudges? When you set up host-nation elements”—units composed of Iraqis, rather than Americans—“it’s hard not to have them going off to do what they want to do. You have to keep them on a short leash.”



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 09 December 2003 01:32 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraq Insurgents Shoot, Kill U.S. Soldier

quote:
By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents shot and killed a U.S. soldier guarding a gas station Monday in northern Iraq (news - web sites), and an Iraqi policeman died trying to defuse a bomb, the U.S. military said.

The attack on the soldier from the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division took place in Mosul, 250 miles north of Baghdad, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said in Baghdad.

"Four Iraqi males traveling in vehicles stopped approximately 50 meters (yards) from a gas station in Mosul and opened fire on coalition soldiers guarding the station," Kimmitt said. "One coalition soldier died of gunshot wounds in that attack."

Hours after the killing, three U.S. soldiers in Mosul were wounded when a bomb exploded as their patrol passed, a U.S. military spokesperson said on condition of anonymity.

On Sunday, a soldier was killed and two others were injured when insurgents detonated a roadside bomb in Mosul. The killing came one day after another soldier from the same division was killed and two others were injured when insurgents detonated a roadside bomb in Mosul.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 09 December 2003 11:20 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Car Bomber Wounds 41 U.S. Troops in Iraq

quote:
TALAFAR, Iraq Dec. 9 — A suicide bomber blew up a car packed with explosives at the gates of a military barracks on Tuesday, injuring 41 American troops and six Iraqi civilians. Hours earlier, three soldiers died in a road accident in central Iraq, and three civilians died when a Baghdad mosque was rocketed.

Giving a boost to the U.S.-led occupation, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's Cabinet on Tuesday approved a plan to send about 1,000 soldiers to help in Iraq's reconstruction in that nation's biggest overseas troop deployment since World War II.

The attack at the army base occurred at 4:45 a.m. local time when a car drove to the gate of the base in the town of Talafar, 30 miles west of the northern city of Mosul.

Guards at the gate and in a watchtower opened fire on the vehicle and moments later it blew up. The bomb left a large crater at the gate's entryway.

Col. Michael Linnington, commander of the 3rd Brigade which controls the area west of Mosul and all the way to the Syrian border, said the attack was a suicide mission and that the attacker's remains were "all over the compound."



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 09 December 2003 11:39 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
3 Fort Lewis Stryker brigade soldiers die

quote:
By MIKE BARBER

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

Three soldiers from Fort Lewis's 5,000-member Stryker brigade combat team, a prototype infantry unit deployed to Iraq last month, were killed and a fourth was injured in an accident during a combat patrol yesterday, a Stryker brigade spokesman confirmed from Iraq last night.

The injured soldier was evacuated to the 21st Combat Support Hospital in Iraq, Lt. Col. Joseph Piek, spokesman for the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, also known as the Stryker brigade, said from Tikrit last night.

"This is a terrible accident. We take the death or injury of a soldier very seriously. Our condolences are with the families of these soldiers, as well as with the soldiers who served beside them," Piek said via e-mail.

The accident occurred last night (early in the morning Pacific time) when the new Stryker infantry-carrier vehicles were traveling on a rural road and an embankment collapsed. Both vehicles rolled over into a canal, Piek said. The exact cause remains under investigation.



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majorvictory
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posted 09 December 2003 10:58 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Chopper Felled by Guerrilla Attack

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Guerrillas hit a U.S. helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade Tuesday near Fallujah west of Baghdad, and the American military said the aircraft made a "controlled landing."

A military spokesman, who would not be named, said he had no details on casualties. The spokesman said the OH-58 Kiowa observation helicopter was hit at 2:30 p.m.

Omar Ali, an Associated Press reporter, said two helicopters were flying in formation near the city, about 30 miles west of the capital, when one was hit by a grenade fired from the ground.

It went down immediately in an open field, Ali said. The aircraft appeared structurally intact, but smoke was billowing from it.

Two other helicopters with red crosses painted on the sides landed nearby a few minutes later, he said.

Fallujah, a hotbed of resistance to the U.S. occupation, sits in the heart of the dangerous Sunni Triangle where the majority of attacks on American forces have occurred since the ouster of former leader Saddam Hussein.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 10 December 2003 11:11 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Six Afghan Children Killed in U.S. Attack

quote:
By STEPHEN GRAHAM, Associated Press Writer

KABUL, Afghanistan - Six children were crushed to death by a collapsing wall during an assault by U.S. forces on a weapons compound in eastern Afghanistan (news - web sites), an American military spokesman said Wednesday — the second time in a week that children have been killed in U.S. action against Taliban and al-Qaida suspects.

Both incidents occurred in Pashtun-dominated areas, risking further alienation among the country's largest ethnic group from which the Islamic militant Taliban emerged. The areas already have been a focus of insurgent attacks on coalition and government targets, and international aid workers.

Two adults were killed along with the six children during an attack Friday night against a complex in Paktia province where a renegade Afghan commander, Mullah Jalani, kept a huge cache of weapons, said Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty.

"The next day we discovered the bodies of two adults and six children," he said. "We had no indication there were noncombatants" in the compound.

Jalani is believed to be an associate of renegade warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former prime minister who has joined the resurgent Taliban. The military believes Jalani was involved in recent attacks against coalition forces, but has not provided any details.

Jalani was not at the site, but nine other people were arrested, Hilferty said. He did not identify the adults that were killed or say whether they were combatants or civilians.

Hilferty said U.S. warplanes and troops attacked the compound, setting off secondary explosions. He expressed regret over the death of civilians in Afghanistan, but said it was impossible to completely avoid such incidents.

"We try very hard not to kill anyone. We would prefer to capture the terrorists rather than kill them," Hilferty said.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 10 December 2003 11:23 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Winning hearts and minds...


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
evenflow
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posted 10 December 2003 02:06 PM      Profile for evenflow        Edit/Delete Post
When Christians Kill

quote:
By TESS HARPER

"Our troops" (preferred term. Avoid "military" or "bombs", as those words can get people upset) seem to have, regrettably, killed nine children inside a home in another inevitable accident in Afghanistan. This is going to present us with yet another challenge, linguistics-wise, because as you surely know by now, we have a very, very Christian President, which means that everything he orders his military to do, and everything his military orders our troops to do, is of course consistent with Christian principles.

I've been on the horn all morning with Washington on this potential PR disaster, and I know that my readers are concerned as well, lest our military missions or our rules of engagement be questioned (Tess Tip: "rules of engagement" reliably quells opposition, as it sounds too official and sophisticated for the average reader to dare question). But not to worry, Tess is on the case. A bit of shuffling around is in order, but if we work fast, we can prevent the usual whining about how "US aggression" has led to more civilian deaths, etc., blah blah blah.

Never fear, Dear Reader: As long as we get the words right, people will have forgotten all about those nine juveniles by, oh, Tuesday at the latest.

You see, when Christians kill, we have to have certain-wording. The right wording has been brilliantly used by our leaders these last two years to nip in the bud any dangerous notions that killing is somehow un-Christlike. I mean we all know that Jesus would be the first to commend the bombers for their good intentionsafter all, they were trying to kill "the enemy" and rid the world of evil, and just had a little, well, accident.

And Jesus saidwell never mind. Let's move on to pious-sounding words from the other parts of the Bible or from cherished old hymns that are, well, more amenable to our purposes than all that stuff that Jesus taught, which really has no pertinence here. (Tess Tip: you'll save a lot of time by skipping the Gospels altogether when justifying military defense killings, or when sanitizing military offense killings disguised as defense killings. I know all this is rather confusing, but the simple rule of thumb is in these situations is: Don't quote Jesus.)

Think with me for a moment. We need to strategize. What kind of phrase would make this nasty little incident more palatable to the good Christians of America?

For starters, we'll need a good Biblical-sounding word or two. "Evildoers" is usually a winner, but it's been a bit overused of late. How about-hmm-"freedom"? Good, but not quite Biblical enough to cover our.to convey the Christian impulse behind this regrettable incident (Tess Tip: always include the word "regrettable" when families are killed, preferably followed pretty quickly by the word "inevitable"-but don't use "collateral damage", as a lot of folks are starting to see through that one).


Here's an article which attempts to describe the type of language that the White House is using to win the hearts and minds of American Christians. I'm not sure how accurate it is, but it is clear to me that Bush does use an almost exclusive good vs. evil (sky high) rhetoric when describing his actions. Throw in the occassional "wanted dead or alive" slogan a la John Wayne re: Osama to round out the image.

Is the 2004 vote building up to be America's Christians vs. non America's non-Christians?


From: learning land | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 10 December 2003 10:00 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
AP: Iraq to Stop Counting Civilian Dead

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi Health Ministry officials ordered a halt to a count of civilian casualties from the war and told workers not to release figures already compiled, the head of the ministry's statistics department told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The health minister, Dr. Khodeir Abbas, denied that he or the U.S.-led occupation authority had anything to do with the order, and said he didn't even know about the survey of deaths, which number in the thousands.

Dr. Nagham Mohsen, the head of the ministry's statistics department, said the order came from the ministry's director of planning, Dr. Nazar Shabandar, who told her it was on behalf of Abbas. She said the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority, which oversees the ministry, didn't like the idea of the count either.

"We have stopped the collection of this information because our minister didn't agree with it," she said, adding: "The CPA doesn't want this to be done."

Abbas, whose secretary said he was out of the country, sent an e-mail denying the charge.

"I have no knowledge of a civilian war casualty survey even being started by the Ministry of Health, much less stopping it," he wrote. "The CPA did not direct me to stop any such survey either."

"Plain and simple, this is false information," he added.

Despite Abbas' comments, the Health Ministry's civilian death toll count had been reported by news media as early as August, and the count was widely anticipated by human rights organizations. The ministry issued a preliminary figure of 1,764 deaths during the summer.

A spokesman for the CPA confirmed the authenticity of the e-mail, saying the occupation authority contacted the minister by phone and asked him to respond. The CPA didn't provide a phone number, and the minister didn't respond to e-mails requesting further comment.

The CPA spokesman said the coalition had no comment.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 11 December 2003 01:32 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraqi town's balance of power stays in doubt

quote:
A week after a vicious firefight in the streets of Samarra, in which US forces claim to have killed 54 guerrilla fighters, it was unclear on Sunday who really controlled the town.

At the one remaining US military compound in the city, US soldiers on Sunday refused to leave their sand-bagged bunkers to meet a western visitor at the gate. "It's dangerous here! Go away!" yelled one. Two other such US compounds within Samarra have been vacated in the past three weeks.

US-paid Iraqi troops of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (ICDC) have not entered the town since one of their number was killed on Saturday, shot by enraged mourners after his squad crossed paths with a funeral procession for a man slain in last week's shoot-out.

The ICDC men guard checkpoints outside the town. They wear green balaclavas so locals cannot recognise them. "So that no one knows who is doing this sacred duty," says Lt Col Ihsan Aziz Mohammed, the ICDC commander and 13-year veteran of the Iraqi Republican Guard.

If what Lt Col Mohammed says is true, US forces and their Iraqi allies face open conflict with the entire town. On Sunday he accused local tribal leaders, religious clergy, and even the local police in Samarra of aiding "Saddam's mercenaries", as he calls the guerrillas.

As punishment for the Saturday killing, he has shut down the main road leading out of Samarra to all traffic from dusk to dawn for the next week.

Lt Col Mohammed's suspicions about local leaders and police appear to have some foundation. At the police headquarters in Samarra on Sunday, many high-ranking officers openly expressed sympathy for the anti-coalition guerrillas, speaking on the condition that they not be named. "The whole town rejects the occupation, and we work to serve the citizens," said one.



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majorvictory
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posted 11 December 2003 10:45 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. defends raid that killed Afghan children

quote:
Kabul — The U.S. military defended its raid on a suspected renegade commander's compound that resulted in the deaths of six Afghan children, saying Thursday the site was packed with weapons and soldiers were fired on from inside.

News of the Dec. 5 raid in eastern Paktia province emerged Wednesday, just days after a botched weekend attack in neighboring Ghazni in which nine children, all under 12 years old, were killed. The children and two adults in the Paktia compound were found crushed to death under a wall.

It was not clear how old the six children were.

The twin operations have provoked outrage and expressions of concern from ordinary Afghans all the way to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. But U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Bryan Hilferty said U.S. forces exercised proper restraint in the Paktia operation against a weapons storage depot allegedly used by Mullah Jalani, a suspected associate of extremist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

“Certainly, we followed the law of proportionality in this compound,” Col. Hilferty said Thursday. “From the compound, they were shooting at us with machine guns. Jalani has more ammunition at his house then the coalition keeps at Bagram,” the U.S. headquarters.



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majorvictory
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posted 12 December 2003 03:02 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Coalition: Nearly half of new Iraqi army has quit

quote:
Explosions heard at U.S. compound

Thursday, December 11, 2003 Posted: 6:21 PM EST (2321 GMT)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- About 300 of 700 members of the new Iraqi army have resigned, citing unhappiness with terms, conditions and pay and with instructions of commanding officers, a representative of the U.S.-led coalition said Thursday.

"It's a new force, and ... we face some difficulties," the representative said.

In response to the resignations, the coalition will review the terms and conditions and compare them with other security services in Iraq -- the police and Civil Defense Corps, the representative said.

The first and only battalion of the new army serves under the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division.

Last month, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the Pentagon and the Coalition Provisional Authority were discussing recalling some units of the former Iraqi army, which was formally dissolved in May.

The discussions followed a letter two senators sent President Bush about the "need to speed up the process by which Iraqis assume greater responsibility" for security as the coalition prepares to cede power back to Iraqis in July.

The letter, from Sens. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, said the new Iraqi army, "which is being created from scratch, currently has less than 1,000 members. We cannot afford to transfer security functions to Iraqis at that slow a pace. The quicker we get the new Iraqi army in place, the more security we are likely to have and the better off Iraq will be."



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majorvictory
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posted 12 December 2003 04:06 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Arrests Iraqi Union Leaders

quote:
David Bacon, Pacific News Service
December 10, 2003
Viewed on December 12, 2003

U.S. occupation forces in Iraq escalated their efforts to paralyze Iraq's new labor unions with a series of arrests this weekend.

On Dec. 6, according to a union spokesperson interviewed by phone, a convoy of 10 Humvees and personnel carriers descended on the old headquarters building of the Transport and Communications Workers union, in Baghdad's central bus station, which has been used since June as the office of the Iraqi Workers Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU). Twenty soldiers jumped out, stormed into the building, put handcuffs on eight members of the Federation's executive board, and took them into detention.

"They gave no reason at all, despite being asked over and over," says IFTU spokesperson Abdullah Muhsin. Soldiers painted over the name of the federation on the front of the building with black paint, Muhsin says. The union had few resources, "but we did have a few files, and they took those," Muhsin adds. Ironically, the office had posters on the walls condemning terrorism, which soldiers tore down in the raid.

Although the eight were released the following day, there was no explanation from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), the U.S. occupation government in Iraq, for the detentions.

The bus station raid followed the detention of two other trade union leaders on November 23 -- Qasim Hadi, general secretary of the Union of the Unemployed, and Adil Salih, another leader of the organization. Hadi had been arrested twice before by occupation troops, for leading demonstrations of unemployed workers demanding unemployment benefits and jobs. In the November raid, CPA troops said they found two guns in the union's office, which was only permitted to have one. Hadi explained at the time that the organization has been the subject of threats and fatwahs by Iraqi religious parties, and needed weapons for self-defense.



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majorvictory
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posted 12 December 2003 08:40 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The soldiers Bush didn't visit on Thanksgiving

quote:
"My `Bush Thanksgiving' was a little different . . . I spent it at the hospital taking care of a young West Point lieutenant wounded in Iraq. He had stabilization of his injuries in Iraq and then two long surgeries here for multiple injuries; he's just now stable enough to send back to the USA. After a few bites of dinner I let him sleep, and then cried with him as he woke up from a nightmare. When he pressed his fists into his eyes and rocked his head back and forth he looked like a little boy. They all do, all 19 on the ward that day, some missing limbs, eyes, or worse.

"There are two more long wards just like this one. The ICU has been receiving soldiers for many months now, often unconscious young men on ventilators with wives and parents (our age) bending over the beds, stroking whatever part isn't bandaged, pinned, or burned. It requires a deep breath and strong heart anymore to walk through those swinging doors; I know the photo IDs outside the rooms will bear little resemblance to the men in the rooms.

"It's too bad Mr. Bush didn't add us to his holiday agenda. The men said the same, but you'll never read that in the paper. Mr. President would rather lift fake turkeys for photo ops, it seems. Maybe because my patients wouldn't make very pleasant photos . . . most don't look all that great, and the ones with facial wounds and external fixation devices look downright scary. And a heck of a lot of them can't talk, anyway, and some never will talk again. . . Well, this is probably more than you want to know, but there's no spin on this one. It's pure carnage . . . Like all wars, the "shock and awe" eventually trickles down to blood and death. But you won't see that. I do, every single day."



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Mick
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posted 12 December 2003 08:44 PM      Profile for Mick        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by majorvictory:
U.S. Arrests Iraqi Union Leaders

FYI: I started a thread that's specific to the Workers Movement in Iraq for stories such as this.

I also wanted to say that these war is over threads are a kick-ass news resource! I sure appreciate the work you put into them.


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majorvictory
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posted 13 December 2003 12:45 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks, Mick.

AP: U.N. May Have to Abandon Afghan Effort

quote:
KABUL, Afghanistan - The United Nations — already forced out of Iraq by suicide bombers — may have to abandon its two-year effort to stabilize Afghanistan because of rising violence blamed on the Taliban, its top official here warned Friday in an interview with The Associated Press.

Lakhdar Brahimi said his team could not continue its work in this war-ravaged nation unless security improves. He called for more foreign troops to halt attacks that have killed at least 11 aid workers across the south and east since March.

"Countries that are committed to supporting Afghanistan cannot kid themselves and cannot go on expecting us to work in unacceptable security conditions," Brahimi said.

"They seem to think that our presence is important here. Well, if they do, they have got to make sure that the conditions for us to be here are there," he said. "If not, we will go away."

NATO, which commands a 5,500-member peacekeeping force in the capital, Kabul, has agreed in principle to expand into the provinces. But nations have been slow to come forward with pledges of troops and equipment.

In addition to the peacekeepers, a U.S.-led force of some 11,700 soldiers are still pursuing Taliban remnants, followers of al-Qaida and fighters loyal to renegade warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan, responding to Brahimi's comments, said the Bush administration hopes the world body remains in Afghanistan.

"Our military and those working with us there as well in the coalition efforts have done an outstanding job to improve the security situation," McClellan said.

"There's more to do and they're continuing to do that," he said. "But the U.N. has an important role to play in the efforts going on there — they have been playing an important role and we hope they will continue to."

German and Canadian troops now make up the bulk of the NATO peacekeeping force.


[ 13 December 2003: Message edited by: majorvictory ]


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majorvictory
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posted 13 December 2003 07:17 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraq Spy Service Planned by U.S. To Stem Attacks

quote:
CIA Said to Be Enlisting Hussein Agents

By Dana Priest and Robin Wright
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, December 11, 2003; Page A41

The Bush administration has authorized creation of an Iraqi intelligence service to spy on groups and individuals inside Iraq that are targeting U.S. troops and civilians working to form a new government, according to U.S. government officials.

The new service will be trained, financed and equipped largely by the CIA with help from Jordan. Initially the agency will be headed by Iraqi Interior Minister Nouri Badran, a secular Shiite and activist in the Jordan-based Iraqi National Accord, a former exile group that includes former Baath Party military and intelligence officials.

Badran and Ayad Alawi, leader of the INA, are spending much of this week at CIA headquarters in Langley to work out the details of the new program. Both men have worked closely with the CIA over the past decade in unsuccessful efforts to incite coups against Saddam Hussein. The agency and the two men believe they can effectively screen former government officials to find agents for the service and weed out those who are unreliable or unsavory, officials said.

By contrast, some Pentagon officials and Ahmed Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress, vehemently oppose allowing former intelligence and military officials into the new organization for fear they cannot be trusted. Intelligence experts said Chalabi and his sponsors also fear some former government officials would use the new apparatus to undermine the influence of Chalabi, who wants to play a central role in a new Iraq.

Although no deadline has been set, officials hope to have the service running by mid-February. Congress had approved money for the effort in the classified annex of this year's budget. The service will focus largely on domestic intelligence and is seen by some administration officials as a critical step in the administration's effort to hand over the running of the country to Iraqis.

The CIA declined to comment on the program.



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Mick
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posted 13 December 2003 05:48 PM      Profile for Mick        Edit/Delete Post
quote:

British Soldiers Attacked More Now Than During The War - report from Basra

Occupied Basra 13/12/03
General News Round-Up

British soldiers are coming under attack more now that they did during the war according to an anonymous soldier source based in Basra. Conversation at an undisclosed military location revealed that a British convoy came under fire yesterday on the highway to Basra Airport, home to British Forces Divisional HQ and corporate war profiteers Bechtel. The source said that a vehicle had been hit and soldiers returned fire but there were no injuries.

Probed further, he said, 'Our lads are coming under attack more now then they were during the war. We're getting shot at every day. There's much more danger now than during the war'. He went on to say that the situation was beginning to mirror that of the occupation in Northern Ireland where 'soldiers are going to start getting killed everyday and it'll barely make the papers'. He stressed that 'It seems like everyone's forgotten about us back home'. When questioned about heavy machine gun fire heard two days ago at approximately 4.30pm near Coalition Provisional Authority South HQ (based in the former Baath Republican Palace), he put it down to 'tribal warfare'. Asked to explain the situation with regards to this warfare he said, 'There's whole villages out there, thousands of people, with tribes fighting eachother. We don't want to get in the middle of that. Us going in there with eight of us? I don't think so'. This statement implied that troop levels were either too low to, or there was an unwillingness for, British Forces to carry out their obligations under the 1949 Geneva Conventions to provide for the safety of the civilian population. British Troops can be mustered up to contain and kill protestors as happened with a spontaneous demonstration involving former soldiers demanding survival-benefits in Maqal in September and also in Majal Al-Kabir in June, where four demonstrators were shot dead, protesting against British forces inflaming of religious-cultural taboos by humiliating women by entering their rooms without permission.

Read More...


quote:

GI Special Resistance in the Ranks and in Iraq newsletter

Round-up of troop and Iraqi resistance to the Occupation compiled almost daily by a former vietnam draft resister. Email Thomas for the better photo-bearing version

Read More...



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DrConway
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posted 13 December 2003 06:28 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm beginning to see who John Ashcroft wants to emulate, and his name begins with a B and ends with an a.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mick
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posted 13 December 2003 08:43 PM      Profile for Mick        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:
I'm beginning to see who John Ashcroft wants to emulate, and his name begins with a B and ends with an a.

Batista?


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'lance
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posted 13 December 2003 08:46 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Baretta!
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DrConway
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posted 13 December 2003 08:59 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Beria.
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majorvictory
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posted 14 December 2003 12:46 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just Another Week

quote:
By Tom Engelhardt

"'You have to understand the Arab mind,' Capt. Todd Brown, a company commander with the Fourth Infantry Division, said as he stood outside the gates of Abu Hishma. 'The only thing they understand is force - force, pride and saving face.'" (This only sounds like it was spoken in 1917 … from Dexter Filkins, Tough New Tactics by U.S. Tighten Grip on Iraq Towns, the New York Times)

The week that was

It was just another day, just another week in occupied Iraq. The U.S. military announced that attacks on our troops were down, thanks to our new offensive operations. However, an American soldier was killed and two wounded by a roadside bomb near Mosul on Sunday, as yesterday a soldier guarding a Mosul gas station was assassinated in a drive-by shooting; another helicopter went down today; a suicide car bomber struck at the front gate of an American base, wounding 58 Americans and three Iraqis, only four seriously; another Iraqi policeman was assassinated; Bangladesh withdrew its diplomats from the country, while 60 South Korean engineers seem to be in the process of withdrawing as well.

The Koreans were subcontracted to work for the U.S. government repairing the Iraqi electricity grid. This is, according to the Washington Post, "the largest known withdrawal of contractors over security issues and follows a week of confrontations between the workers and their managers that culminated with yelling and punches Sunday afternoon." Evidently, others in the vast army of privateers that we've brought into Iraq to fix this, that, and the other thing, are also growing nervous (and unlike the military, as civilians, they need no exit strategy and no orders, should they decide to depart.)

And oh yes, not so surprisingly, electricity in Baghdad is again blinking off for hunks of the day, while those gas lines are once more stretching toward the horizon, partially because of constant sabotage of oil pipelines. The Japanese government announced that it would send 1,000 troops (though only for peacemaking operations). Meanwhile, in duty-free Iraq, goods are pouring into the country meant for the slice of Iraqis making money on the back of the occupation (though at least 60% of the country remains jobless). According to Rory McCarthy of the Guardian, reporting from the docks of Abu Flus ("the name means 'Father of Money'"), $200 satellite dishes and TVs are now flowing in and a new black-market economy is forming (Making a killing in the new Iraq):

"Today few scenes in postwar Iraq capture so powerfully the exuberance and the lawlessness that has accompanied America's invasion and its promises of free trade and open markets… The vast influx of new satellite dishes, televisions, fridges and cookers on to the streets of Iraqi cities is one of the most visible signs of change since the war. But the corollary of these new-found economic freedoms is a wave of smuggling."



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majorvictory
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posted 14 December 2003 02:04 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
2 American soldiers die in Iraq; Roadside bomb wounds 2 riding in Polish convoy

quote:
From Tribune news services
Published December 13, 2003

BAGHDAD -- Insurgents detonated a bomb alongside a U.S. military convoy west of Baghdad on Friday, killing one soldier and wounding two others, the military said. A second soldier died in the capital from what was described as a "non-hostile" gunshot wound.

The bomb attack occurred Friday morning in Ramadi, about 60 miles west of the Iraqi capital, the U.S. Central Command said. One of the injured soldiers was evacuated to a combat hospital and died of his wounds. His name and those of the other wounded were withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Also Friday, a roadside bomb exploded on the outskirts of the southern city of Mahaweel as a Polish convoy drove by Friday, wounding two soldiers.

Warrant Officer Tomasz Kloc sustained a serious stomach injury and was evacuated to Baghdad, 45 miles to the north, while Sgt. Boguslaw Wasik suffered less severe injuries and was treated at the scene, Maj. Gen. Andrzej Tyszkiewicz told Poland's TVN24 television.

Two other foreign soldiers were slightly injured earlier Friday when insurgents fired at least two projectiles, possibly mortar shells, at coalition headquarters in Baghdad. A spokeswoman said she did not know their nationalities.

A building in the so-called Green Zone, the downtown area housing coalition headquarters, was slightly damaged in the attack, the first on the U.S. seat of power since the Americans mounted a counteroffensive against insurgents last month.

"I heard what appeared to be incoming mortar rounds," Charles Krohn, a U.S. defense spokesman, said from his room inside the Green Zone. "I was shaken and I heard a couple of thumps. I felt the vibrations."

The zone includes Al-Rasheed Hotel, which was shelled Oct. 26 in an attack that killed a U.S. colonel and wounded 18 other people. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was in the hotel at the time but escaped injury.

Also, the U.S. military said a soldier from the 1st Armored Division in Baghdad died early Friday of a "non-hostile gunshot wound." There were no further details, and an investigation was under way.

It brought the death toll for U.S. troops to at least 316 since May 1, when President Bush said the major combat had ended in Iraq.



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majorvictory
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posted 14 December 2003 04:31 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
20 killed in Iraq bomb - police

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Twenty people have been killed and 32 wounded by a car bomb outside an Iraqi police station west of Baghdad, an Iraqi police officer told CNN.

Sixteen policemen were among those killed in Sunday's explosion at Khaldiyah, 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the Iraqi capital, the officer added.

The police station is on a main road in the town which lies between Fallujah and Ramadi in the heart of the Sunni triangle, a hotbed of anti-coalition activity.

"About 8:30 (a.m.), a car bomb was detonated at Khaldiyah police station. We have some indication that it's a suicide bomber. But it's too early to give a final judgment," The Associated Press quoted Lt. Col. Jeff Swisher of the U.S. military as saying.

The U.S.-led coalition said a rapid reaction force had been sent to the area. None of its forces were involved, a spokesman added.

The bombing was the latest of several police station blasts that have killed dozens of officers in recent months.

Anti-U.S. assailants appear to target the police and other officials because they are regarded as collaborators with the U.S.-led occupation.

The blast came as U.S.- led coalition leaders said they were considering pay raises for members of the new Iraqi army after about half of the recruits resigned.



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majorvictory
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posted 14 December 2003 10:21 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Army shells pose cancer risk in Iraq

quote:
Antony Barnett, public affairs editor

Sunday December 14, 2003

The Observer

Depleted uranium shells used by British forces in southern Iraqi battlefields are putting civilians at risk from 'alarmingly high' levels of radioactivity.
Experts are calling for the water and milk being used by locals in Basra to be monitored after analysis of biological and soil samples from battle zones found 'the highest number, highest levels and highest concentrations of radioactive source points' in the Basra suburb of Abu Khasib - the centre of the fiercest battles between UK forces and Saddam loyalists.

Readings taken from destroyed Iraqi tanks in Basra reveal radiation levels 2,500 times higher than normal. In the surrounding area researchers recorded radioactivity levels 20 times higher than normal.

Critics of these controversial munitions - used to penetrate tank armour - believe inhaling the radioactive dust left by the highly combustible weapon causes cancer and birth defects. It has long been alleged that depleted uranium (DU) used in the first Gulf conflict was responsible for abnormally high levels of childhood leukaemia and birth defects in Iraq. Depleted uranium is also believed by some to be a contributing factor in Gulf War syndrome.

The disclosure comes days after the charity Human Rights Watch claimed hundreds of 'preventable' deaths of civilians have been caused by the use of cluster bombs by US and UK forces during the conflict. The latest research, based on a two-week field trip by scientists, was carried out by the Canadian-based Uranium Medical Research Centre (UMRC) led by a former US military doctor Asaf Durakovic.

Tedd Weymann, deputy director of UMRC, said: 'At one point the readings were so high that an alarm on one of my instruments went off telling me to get back. Yet despite these alarmingly high levels of radiation children play on the tanks or close by.'



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majorvictory
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posted 15 December 2003 04:29 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Eight killed in Baghdad suicide bombing

quote:
Monday December 15, 2003

A suicide bomber today killed eight Iraqi police officers in an attack on a police station in Baghdad's northern outskirts.
The blast - which happened a day after the announcement of the capture of Iraq's former president, Saddam Hussein, by US forces - showed that the insurgency would continue, at least for the short term.

Scores of Iraqis have been killed or injured in bomb attacks targeting police stations and those cooperating with coalition forces since the US-led invasion of the country.

In an attack yesterday - overshadowed by the later announcement of Saddam's arrest - 17 police officers were killed in an explosion in Khalidiyah, around 35 miles west of Baghdad.

Lieutenant Colonel Ali Amer, the station's commander, said that, in addition to the eight fatalities, 10 officers were injured in today's blast. It happened in Husseiniyah, 18 miles to the north of the capital.

A Toyota Land Cruiser drove through the razor fence encircling the building and detonated next to the gate, leaving a 3ft deep crater by the entrance to the building.

In Baghdad, seven police officers were wounded when another car bomb exploded at the Amiriyah criminal investigation department.

"We were standing outside the police station when a very fast car came. We shouted to try and stop him, but he detonated the car," police officer Mohamed Hashim told Reuters.

The driver was killed, and 12 people - eight police and four passers-by - were wounded.



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majorvictory
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posted 15 December 2003 09:45 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Troops Disperse Pro-Saddam Protest in Tikrit

quote:
Mon December 15, 2003 04:45 AM ET

TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. soldiers Monday used batons to break up a demonstration in Tikrit to protest against the capture of Saddam Hussein near his hometown, witnesses said.
Chanting "We sacrifice our blood and souls for you Saddam," scores of people gathered outside Tikrit university to denounce Saturday's arrest of Saddam, who was born and captured near the town.

"God is Greatest, America is the enemy of all peoples," they shouted with their fists raised.

Shortly afterwards U.S. soldiers charged the protest, beating and arresting some protesters, the witnesses said.



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majorvictory
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posted 16 December 2003 12:42 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US Eyes Up Saddam's Baghdad Palace As Site For Embassy

quote:
By Robert Fisk in Baghdad

14 December 2003: (The Independent) Saddam Hussein's massive presidential palace in Baghdad - with its imperial domes and marble columns and swimming pools - may soon be turned into America's new embassy in Iraq.

Yet outside its protective walls of reinforced concrete, the petrol queues now stretch for two miles and the power still flickers on for just 12 hours a day. In Baghdad these days, hubris and folly go hand in hand.

Is it a product of empire, this aggrandisement of authority? The echoing conference rooms and chambers of Saddam's former palace, the banqueting halls with their grape-clusters of chandeliers, the velvet lawns and fountains and hundreds of square yards of roses are redolent of the Raj. Even the triumphal entrance arch, guarded by 30ft-high concrete walls and squads of American soldiers, speaks more of Lutyens and New Delhi than "New Iraq". The State Department - the real one, back in Washington - confirms that the presidential keep is one of its options for a new embassy.

So when the so-called Coalition Provisional Authority dissolves itself next July to be replaced by an Iraqi government - and such promises must be fulfilled here before they can be believed - everyone in Baghdad will come to the conclusion that America intends to remain the true power in Iraq. No one knows, of course, where the Iraqi "government" will be headquartered. In a smaller palace, no doubt; perhaps the Ozymandias-style villa once owned by Saddam's vicious son Uday.

Yet Iraqi history is made outside the walls of its rulers; the gas lines, the power cuts, the growing numbers of attacks on policemen and "collaborators" and the growing insurgency against US forces are driving history here. So is the sheer violence of events. In the Hurriyah area of Baghdad, for example, a Sunni mosque was bombed last week and the local Sunni community immediately blamed the Shia. Sunni and Shia Muslims are almost equal in number in Baghdad but this week an unprecedented and frightening new precedent was set.

Three Sunnis were killed in the bombing and after their community blamed the Islamic - and Shia - Dawa party for the attack, hundreds of Sunnis took over a Shia mosque where they offered ritual prayers before the coffins of the dead men. Several Shias claimed later that the invaders of the mosque tore down portraits of Imam Ali, founder of their faith and a cousin of the Prophet Mohamed. This does not mean that Iraq is on the edge of civil war. But both communities blamed the Americans in the aftermath of the bombing - because there is no security in Baghdad, because the Dawa party was given legality in Iraq, because the Americans "allowed" gangs of Sunnis into the Shia mosque.

In fact, the Americans are far too busy protecting themselves in Baghdad these days to worry about the lives of the millions of Iraqis whom - under the laws of occupation - they have an obligation to protect. Two days ago, there was another mortar attack on the presidential compound where the American proconsul works and the Baghdad night was shattered by three huge explosions so powerful that they rattled the windows of my room three miles away.

The result? More aggressive raids on Sunni Muslim homes across the country, more cowboy talk of rounding up the bad guys and - more disturbing - the increasing use of Iraqi militiamen, carrying AK-47 rifles and in many cases cowled with scarves or semi-hooded so that their identity is concealed. When they turn up with American troops, the response of Iraqi civilians is not hard to imagine. When was the last time their homes were raided by soldiers and hooded men? Indeed, when was the last time that their roads were sealed off for "security" and their rulers lived in palaces behind concrete walls?



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 16 December 2003 02:11 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A fitting fortress for a colonial governor... or feudal lord.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mick
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posted 16 December 2003 10:35 AM      Profile for Mick        Edit/Delete Post
Resistance to occupation will grow

quote:
Saddam's surrender is likely to embolden the political forces in Iraq which, until now, feared that a call for the immediate end to the occupation might help Saddam return to power.

The largely peaceful resistance in Baghdad and the so-called Shia areas of Iraq will also attract greater attention. In the past two weeks, trade union leaders in Baghdad and the south have been arrested. The occupation authorities shamelessly used Saddam's 1987 law barring trade union activity within state institutions. But such opposition will be difficult to suppress. This week in Hilla, a so-called Shia city, a militant but peaceful mass insurrection succeeded in deposing Iskander Jawad Witwit, the US-appointed governor. The thousands who besieged the governor's office called for free elections to replace him.

Now that Saddam is no longer a bogeyman to scare the people with, trade union and other mass opposition is likely to increase, complementing and coalescing with the armed opposition.

Read More..



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majorvictory
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posted 17 December 2003 07:47 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Hunts for Militants North of Baghdad

quote:
By ALEKSANDAR VASOVIC, Associated Press Writer

SAMARRA, Iraq - Using sledgehammers, crowbars, explosives and armored vehicles, U.S. forces smashed down the gates of homes and the doors of workshops and junkyards Wednesday to attack the Iraqi resistance that has persisted despite the capture of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites).

Loud blasts mixed with the sound of women and children screaming inside the houses. An explosion at the gate of one compound shattered windows, cutting a 1-year-old baby with glass. U.S. medics treated the injury while other soldiers handcuffed four men, who were later released.

The raid, launched before dawn and lasting until midmorning, targeted the city of Samarra, north of Baghdad. U.S. officials say some 1,500 fighters operate in Samarra, making it one of the persistent hotspots in the so-called Sunni Triangle.

"Samarra has been a little bit of a thorn in our side," said Col. Nate Sassaman. "It hasn't come along as quickly as other cities in the rebuilding of Iraq. This operation is designed to bring them up to speed." (news - web sites).



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majorvictory
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posted 18 December 2003 03:26 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bomb Kills 17 in Iraq, Justice for Saddam Debated

quote:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A fuel truck bomb killed 17 people in a huge fireball that incinerated cars on a Baghdad street on Wednesday as violence and instability gripped Iraq in the wake of Saddam Hussein's capture.

Hours after President Bush said the ousted Iraqi president deserved the death penalty, the U.S.-backed Governing Council said the former dictator was being held in the Baghdad area and would face a public trial in Iraq.

The head of Iraq's North Oil Company highlighted the country's continued instability by revealing its northern export pipeline was too vulnerable to reopen after a Sunday attack.

The bomb in Baghdad's Bayya'a district exploded shortly after dawn in a ball of flame that tore through a packed minibus and several civilian cars, police said.

It was not immediately clear whether the explosives had been in the truck or had gone off at the roadside, causing the fuel-laden vehicle to explode.

One police officer said the truck appeared to be aiming for a nearby police station but collided with the minibus, triggering the blast. At least 17 people, mostly passengers, were killed and around 16 were badly burned in the inferno.

"I was at an intersection and I saw a truck explode in front of me. After that I fainted," 16-year-old Mutaab Aybee told Reuters from a Baghdad hospital.



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Mick
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posted 19 December 2003 09:36 PM      Profile for Mick        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Shooting Samarra's Schoolboys in the Back

Phantam Insurgents in Fantasyville

By ROBERT FISK

Schoolboy Issam Naim Hamid is the latest of America's famous "insurgents". In Samarra--for which read Fantasyville--he was shot in the back as he tried to protect himself with his parents in his home in the Al-Jeheriya district of the ancient Abbasid city.

It was three in the morning, according to his mother, Manal, when soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division came to the house, firing bullets through the gate. One of the rounds pierced the door, punched through a window and entered Issam's back, speeding on through an outer wall. His father was hit in the ankle and was taken to Tikrit hospital yesterday in serious condition. Issam cries in pain in the Samarra emergency hospital ward, a drip-tube sticking into his stomach through a wad of bloody bandages.

The Americans claimed to have killed 54 "insurgents" after a series of guerrilla ambushes in the city last month, and the only dead to be found in the mortuaries were nine civilians, including an Iranian pilgrim to the great golden- cupolaed Shia shrine that looms over Samarra. Four days ago, they boasted of a further 11 "insurgents", but the only dead man who could be found was a vegetable seller. At the Samarra hospital, doctors also have the names of a taxi driver called Amer Baghdadi, shot dead by the Americans on Wednesday night.

Read More...



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majorvictory
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posted 19 December 2003 11:24 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Truck Blast Kills 2 U.S. Soldiers in Iraq

quote:
By SAMEER N. YACOUB
Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP)--A U.S. military tanker truck exploded on a road outside Baghdad on Friday, and witnesses said it killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded one.

Before dawn Friday, another blast hit the office of Iraq's major Shiite party, killing one Iraqi woman and wounding five others, witnesses said.

That attack came the day after Shiites buried a senior politician assassinated Wednesday as he left his home in Baghdad. Officials of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution party blamed the killing and explosion on Saddam Hussein loyalists.

The explosion brought down half of a one-story residential building in western Baghdad, which also housed a party branch office.

Rahim Jabar, who lives in the building, said his sister was killed in the attack and five other residents were wounded.

Supreme Council members were rushing to the scene.

An anti-Saddam rally was planned in the capital later Friday.

There was no official confirmation immediately of the tanker truck explosion, near Abu Ghraib on the road from Baghdad to Fallujah, nor of the death toll reported by witnesses.

On Thursday, the military reported that rebels had killed a U.S. soldier in the first fatal ambush for the U.S. military since Saddam's capture Saturday.

The soldier was killed late Wednesday when a 1st Armored Division patrol came under fire in northwest Baghdad, the military said. A second soldier and an Iraqi interpreter were wounded. According to official reports, 314 U.S. soldiers have been killed in combat since the war began March 20. There have been 199 soldiers killed in hostile action since U.S. President George W. Bush declared the end of major combat on May 1. Another 144 soldiers have died in non-hostile incidents, according to the Pentagon.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 19 December 2003 11:28 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Arresting Children

quote:
Jo Wilding, Electronic Iraq, 18 December 2003


The tank that blocked access into the school gates.
"Two days ago there was a demonstration after school finished, against the coalition and for Saddam. Yesterday the American army came and surrounded the whole block. They just crashed into the school, 6, 7, 8 into every classroom with their guns. They took the name of every student and matched the names to the photos they got from the day before and then arrested the students. They actually dragged them by their shirts onto the floor and out of the class."

They wouldn't give their names. The children at Adnan Kheiralla Boys' School in the Amiriya district of Baghdad were still scared, still seething with rage. Another boy, Hakim Hamid Naji, was taken today. "They were kicking him," one of the pupils said. A car pulled up and a tall, thin boy ran into the school, talked briefly with staff and left again. The kids said the soldiers had come looking for this boy too.

The headmaster, too, was reluctant to speak. No, he said, looking down at the desk, there were no guns. But Ahmed, an English teacher, followed the soldiers on the raid. "The translators had masks or scarves because maybe they are from this area. They came and they chose several students and they took them. The demonstration started after school on Tuesday. I advised them not to do it because I am their teacher and the Americans don't care. The children had pictures of Saddam Hussein from their text books and that's all, so they demonstrated and just said we want Saddam Hussein.

"There were no leaders, this wasn't an arranged demonstration. It comes honestly, some of the students say, we love Saddam Hussein. Some of the students say no, we hate Saddam Hussein. I told them, it's OK, let them love him and let them hate him, we can all express our opinions. There are no weapons, there is no bombing."

"The American soldiers came with tanks and stopped the demonstration and the kids sat in front of the tanks. They took pictures of the students and they had some spy maybe, I'm not sure, maybe students in the school. I begged the soldiers to leave these students because they are naïve, they just believe this is a civilian demonstration, but the soldiers were very rude to the students and treated them like soldiers. They are kids, they are teenagers, so I begged the officer, but he didn't care.

"I told them, just calm down, but they said no, they are not kids. In Abu Ghraib we have 16 year olds shooting at us. I said yes, but these are in school. They have books, not weapons. And they took pictures of us, what is your name, stand here. I am not a criminal, I am a teacher. They took pictures of most of the teachers.


"I told them you have to educate people about freedom, not punish them, but they brought tanks and helicopters. Yesterday they surrounded the school and came in with weapons everywhere, soldiers everywhere and used tear gas on the students. They fired guns to scare them, above their heads. One student got a broken arm because of the beating. They had some sticks, electric sticks and they hit the students. Some of them were vomiting, some of them were crying and they were very afraid."



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majorvictory
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posted 20 December 2003 03:15 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Another Home Pillaged, More Illegal Detentions

quote:
On December 9th, at 10pm, US soldiers stormed a home in Al Ewadiyah neighborhood of Baghdad. Taharoh Muhammad Munahi Al Rufayai, a 43-year-old college professor; Leith, her brother and a retired army officer; and their elderly aunt Fahad. The soldiers forced the inhabitants to stand outside at gunpoint for five and a half hours in their bed clothes while they searched and pillaged the home, destroying much of its contents while looking for weapons and members of the resistance. Twenty soldiers picked through the home, while many more waiting outside with the family members, amidst hummers and light tanks, while helicopters circled above.

Om Fadah, 44 years old and a psychologist who owns the home, together with her husband, lives nearby. She uses this alias, for fear of further reprisals from the Americans. She arrived quickly to the home after she saw all of the soldiers, and witnessed the events of the terrible night that happened to her brother, sister and aunt, who had lived in the home for many years.

She lives in fear now. When the soldiers finally left that night, they took her brother Leith with them. Furthermore, the following day the soldiers returned, asking for her brother-in-law Iftihar, who was at that time accompanying her father, Abu Fahar, to the nearby Rasafah US base trying to obtain information about Leith's whereabouts. Although the soldiers told Om Fahadh that they had incorrect information and had raided the wrong home because someone had told them a resistance fighter lived there, they asked for Iftihar. Unable to find Iftihar, the soldiers instead took Taharoh, and gave no reason as to why.

While this is occuring, Iftihar and Abu Fahar learn from the commander of the base that the storming of the home is simply US policy now and that wrong information was the reason their home was raided. Yet the commander was unable to provide any information as to the whereabouts of Leith, and now both he and Taharoh remain detained, whereabouts unknown.

A look through the devastated home reveals stacks of Taharoh's books thrown on the floor, most of the dishes and glasses broken, furniture ripped apart and destroyed, flour and rice poured out of their sacks and spread across the floor. Antique wooden furniture sits lopsided atop broken legs, the back cushions of sofas and padded chairs are cut apart from being searched.

Terrible as it was that Leith had been taken to prison for no reason, he wasn't the only thing taken illegally from the home. Om Fahadh tells me jewelry and gold were taken, $1,900 of Taharo's money, Fahad is missing $60 of her retirement money, two expensive watches, and between $1,750 and $2,500 of Leith's money, which he was saving as he was to be married soon. One of the watches was recovered the next day, returned by their neighbor who had watched an American jump from the fence between the two homes into his yard, then go to the street. Upon inspection in his yard the next day, he found a watch that had been dropped by the soldier.

Thinking they had discovered a small arms cache, the soldiers placed a wooden military box found under one of the beds in the back of a hummer. When they finally opened it, to their surprise they find it is merely filled with school books. Taharoh had found the empty box in the street after the Anglo-American Invasion.

Fahad suffers from diabetes, and from her condition must relieve herself often. She begged, through an Iraqi interpreter of the soldiers, to use the restroom, but to no avail. She even suggested they allow her to use the restroom while accompanied by a soldier. This was declined, and while weeping she was forced to urinate on herself while soldiers stood by laughing at her with the interpreter.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 20 December 2003 03:22 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fight to the death

quote:
December 20, 2003

Paul McGeough reports from Baghdad on the Iraqis who hated Saddam, but who hate the Americans more.

In Khaldiyah, it's a war of nerves. A three-metre-deep crater marks the explosion point of a careering car bomb that the local police knew was inevitable. Just across and down a highway that cuts through this small town west of Baghdad is the home of a man the US suspects could help bring an end to these relentless attacks - tribal sheik Fanar Al-Kharbit.

The bomb exploded only hours before the first news flash on the most dramatic turn in the Iraq conflict since the fall of Baghdad - the capture last Saturday evening of Saddam Hussein.

Throughout the night each side operated in secrecy, the Americans subjecting Saddam to a humiliating videotaped medical examination that would be released to the world, the insurgents rigging the car with enough explosive to kill 23 Iraqis in a strike on the Khaldiyah police station that also would flash worldwide - until it was blitzed from the media by the news of Saddam's arrest.

As black smoke cleared over Khaldiyah and its dusty main street was swept of body parts, shattered glass and clothing now reduced to singed rags, locals went through the grim ritual of tallying the dead - more than a dozen policemen, at least one student from a nearby school, a fruit vendor, a few other street-stallholders and a man who worked in a nearby sewage control office.

The police station, shielded only by a lightweight cinderblock wall, was targeted because the insurgents accuse the Iraqi police of collaborating with the US occupation forces. Initially, at least, it had the desired effect - police anger was directed not at the bomber, but at the Americans.

Surviving policemen complained that the US had not sufficiently protected their station, that they had been threatened with the sack for their reluctance to join US raiding parties and that locals constantly abused them as American lackeys. Acutely aware that he is 120 times more likely to die than his counterpart on the beat in New York, police officer Khalid Hammed said: "The best thing the US can do for us is pull out."

The two-storey building is a police station in name only, pushed into action ahead of its time because of a US determination to be seen to be putting Iraqi security forces in place. More than 100 men are stationed at Khaldiyah, but only half have uniforms and fewer have weapons; they share two patrol cars with four other stations in the area and they have one telephone.

Like other guerilla conflicts, Iraq has become a war of attrition.


[ 20 December 2003: Message edited by: majorvictory ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 20 December 2003 11:27 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Two Former Baath Party Officials Attacked in Iraq

quote:
NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - Gunmen opened fire on two former members of Iraq's toppled Baath Party on Saturday, killing one of them and wounding the other in the holy Shi'ite City of Najaf, hospital sources said.

A police official said earlier that both former Baath officials were killed in the two separate attacks.

Dhamya Abbas, a teacher, survived the attack but her eight-year-old son was killed as they walked to her school, hospital officials said.


Iraq has clearly become more dangerous since the Americans invaded.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 20 December 2003 02:29 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. officials: Bremer in earlier ambush

quote:
Friday, December 19, 2003 Posted: 2:17 PM EST (1917 GMT)

L. Paul Bremer

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S. civil administrator L. Paul Bremer survived an insurgent attack this month on his convoy in Baghdad, U.S. officials said Friday.

U.S. military officials said that the ambush occurred December 6 as Bremer was traveling in an armored civilian vehicle. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was visiting the Iraqi capital that day but wasn't in the party.

Insurgents began the ambush by setting off a roadside bomb, followed by small-arms fire, officials said. The convoy sped off, and no one was hurt, they said.

Officials said the attackers probably did not know the convoy carried Bremer.

"We have reason to believe it was a random, opportunistic attack, not necessarily specifically targeting him," said Dan Senor, a Coalition Provisional Authority official.

Many attacks have happened around Baghdad International Airport, the area near where the ambush took place.

In the southern Iraqi city of Basra, Bremer also confirmed the attack. "As you can see, it didn't succeed," he told reporters.

While in Basra, Bremer met with local political leaders and discussed the recent capture of Saddam Hussein. He also said security is improving in the country.



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majorvictory
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posted 20 December 2003 08:50 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Benton man heading to Iraq as truck driver for Halliburton

quote:
By COLIN HICKEY, Blethen Maine News Service

BENTON — Matt Tulley is a father determined to provide for his young family. That's why he is headed for Iraq next month. Tulley, 33, landed a job with Halliburton, the controversial company that Vice President Dick Cheney once headed. The process required a week of research, a marathon phone session and help from Maine's congressional delegation, particularly Sen. Susan Collins' office.

Tulley made the effort, he said, because employment opportunities for independent truck drivers like himself decrease by the day, and job losses in this country, at least in the manufacturing industry, seem to be a daily occurrence.

"There is absolutely no money over here any more, and it is sad," Tulley said. "People are losing jobs here every day."

Tulley said he is willing to risk the dangers of Iraq for a year because as a truck driver for KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton, he can earn as much as $125,000.

A Lawrence High School graduate and father of two, Tulley said he began to explore the possibility of a job with Halliburton last week and eventually applied for a position with the company via e-mail. Tulley said a Halliburton recruiter called him with a job offer at 11 p.m. Thursday.

Tulley said there is a the lack of quality jobs in Maine and the rest of the country, a situation he blames on the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Central American Free Trade Agreement and other government initiatives he said have hurt the economic prospects of working people.

Tulley said three commercial drivers already have been killed in Iraq, and there was an unconfirmed report of a fourth death Thursday night. "The kids are kind of concerned about it, because they were watching the thing on the news last night about the driver being killed, but, as they like to say, you have to roll with the punches," Tulley said.


[ 20 December 2003: Message edited by: majorvictory ]


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beluga2
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posted 05 January 2004 04:26 AM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Death in custody -- British prison in Basra

quote:
'The British said my son would be free soon. Three days later I had his body'

The last time Lieutenant Colonel Daoud Mousa of the Iraqi police saw his son Baha alive was on 14 September, as British soldiers raided the Basra hotel where the young man worked as a receptionist.

...

No one hides the fact that most if not all the eight men picked up at the Haitham hotel - where British troops had earlier found four weapons in a safe - were brutally treated while in the custody of the Royal Military Police. One of Baha's colleagues, Kifah Taha, suffered acute renal failure after being kicked in the kidneys; a "wound assessment" by Frimley Park Hospital in Britain states bluntly that he suffered "generalised bruising following repeated incidents of assault".

When Col Mousa and another of his sons, Alaa, visited Kifah Taha in a Basra hospital immediately after his release to seek news of Baha, they found the wounded man - in Alaa's words - "only half a human, with terrible bruises from kicking on his ribs and abdomen. He could hardly speak."

But another of Baha's colleagues - who pleaded with The Independent on Sunday not to reveal his name lest he be rearrested by British forces in Basra - gave a chilling account of the treatment the eight men received once they arrived at a British interrogation centre in Basra. By a terrible coincidence, the building had formerly been the secret service headquarters of Ali Majid, Saddam's brutal cousin, known as "Chemical Ali" for his gassing of the Kurds of Halabja and later military governor of the Basra region.



From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 06 January 2004 03:27 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The colonial governor expresses his "reservations"...

quote:
A source close to the Kurdish bloc in the Iraqi governing council said that the Kurdish confederation project was met with reservations from the American adminstrator of Iraq, Paul Bremer.

The source said that Bremer asked in a meeting held on Saturday in Irbil, with the chairman of the National Federation Party, Jalal al-Talibani, and the chairman of the Kurdistani Democratic Party, Masoud Barazani, to delay the request for the confederation, until things calm down, and a provisional constitution for Iraq is reached.


Aw, how sweet. The widdle Kurds patted on the head and guided by the all-wise colonial governor. *barf*

quote:
The source added that Bremer's position was not welcomed by the Kurdish side which believes that chances will be narrowed for this success of this project with the passing of time.

Not welcomed by the Kurdish side? My gosh, I didn't see that coming at all, no sir.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 06 January 2004 08:37 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraq Police Chief Says U.S. Army Gunned Down Family

quote:
By Robin Pomeroy

TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - The police chief investigating the deaths of an Iraqi family gunned down in their car in northern Iraq (news - web sites) said on Monday he was convinced U.S. troops were responsible, although the army has denied involvement.

Tensions have been rising in Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), since the bodies of the family were found on a nearby highway on Saturday. Coalition forces said the bodies were of a man, a woman and a child.

General Mazhar Taha al-Ganaim, police chief of Salahaddin province, said four people were killed -- two men, a woman and a nine-year-old boy.

A fifth man who survived and was taken to Tikrit hospital has told local soldiers the car was fired on by a U.S. Army convoy. Mazhar said he had interviewed other witnesses and was "100 percent" sure this was true.

"The civilian car tried to by-pass the convoy. Because they tried to by-pass, they (the army) opened fire," Mazhar said, through an interpreter. The machine gunner on the rear vehicle of the convoy must have suspected the car posed a threat, he said.

The Army's 4th Infantry Division (4ID) which patrols the area has denied any of its forces were involved in the attack. But a spokeswoman for the 4ID said other troops could have been involved.

"Is there a possibility that this could have happened? Yes," Major Josslyn Aberle told reporters. "It could have been someone else passing through our area. It could have been Iraqi on Iraqi."



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majorvictory
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posted 07 January 2004 01:44 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
British troops likely to stay in Iraq for years

quote:
Associated Press

BASRA, Iraq -- British forces are likely to remain in Iraq for several more years, a top British official said today, a day after Prime Minister Tony Blair made a surprise visit to troops headquartered in Basra.

Also today, the military said a bomb exploded near a U.S. military convoy west of Baghdad, injuring three soldiers, and another American soldier was shot and wounded when a foot patrol was ambushed northwest of the capital.

The violence Sunday underscored remarks by Blair that the U.S.-led coalition must "get on top of the security situation" in Iraq as the country prepares for self-rule. Blair was in the southern city of Basra on Sunday for an unannounced visit to the 10,000 British troops serving in Iraq, the vast majority stationed in and around Basra in southern Iraq.

Since the start of war in Iraq in March, 54 British troops have been killed. The latest were two British soldiers who died after a New Year's Day traffic accident in Baghdad, the Ministry of Defense announced today. There was no evidence of hostile fire in the accident early Thursday.

In London, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he could not be precise about when British troops might withdrawal after the planned transfer of power this summer from the coalition to an Iraqi authority.

"I can't give you an exact time scale," Straw said. "It's not going to be months for sure. I can't say whether it's going to be 2006, 2007."

Straw, in an interview with British Broadcasting Corp. radio, also said he had no reason to believe power would not be transferred by July 1, as agreed by the occupation authority and the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council.

But he added that considerable numbers of British troops would likely remain in Iraq long beyond that date, despite the ongoing anti-coalition insurgency.

Blair's top envoy in Iraq, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, warned Sunday that rebels likely will stage bigger and more sophisticated attacks.

"The opposition is getting more sophisticated, using bigger bombs and more sophisticated controls. We will go on seeing bigger bangs," Greenstock told reporters after meeting with Blair.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Youngfox.
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posted 07 January 2004 02:47 AM      Profile for Youngfox.   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
First-hand news vs. CNN

We move to another area near the border of razor wire to try to get a better view of the wreckage. We stand talking with the soldiers. They are very down, not talking much, other than asking one of us,

"You bang an Iraqi chick yet? Can you get good hash here? Go to Europe, they got the really good shit there man."

Another soldier pointed out the group of soldiers who were sent to the scene first to clear the area and take detainees, and said of his fellow troops,

"Those are the war criminals."

The mood is extremely tense, and needless to say, morose.

Controlling what we hear from Iraq

"We will have to leave this land because we cannot farm our fields with bombs in them."

A little further into this area which has been struck so hard by 'Operation Iron Grip' we speak with a man standing in front of his farm house.

He invites us to his home and we sit sharing tea in the setting sun. His 3 year old boy, Halaf Ziad Halaf, walks up to us and with a worried look on his face says,

"I have seen the Americans here with their tanks. They want to attack us."

Halaf's uncle leans over to me and says,

"The Americans are creating the terrorists here by hurting people and causing their relatives to fight against them. Even this little boy will grow up hating the Americans because of their policy here."

Three soldiers ordered discharged for abusing Iraqi prisoners

The charges stemmed from an incident May 12 at Camp Bucca in Iraq in which at least one detainee was held down while soldiers beat and kicked him at the urging of their superior, Master Sergeant Lisa Girman.

Girman was found guilty of dereliction of duty and maltreatment of an Iraqi detainee "by knocking him to the ground, repeatedly kicking him in the groin, abdomen and head and encouraging her subordinate soldiers to do the same," an army statement said.


From the front

"The news told you that a furniture truck blew up outside the compound, and that our excellent defenses prevented a lot more people from being killed. That's a load of sh*t. The truck blew up inside the compound, and the reason only 15 people were hurt and one American killed is plain luck. They make us get on every vehicle that enters the compound, and plenty of vehicles come. It's like playing Russian roulette."

"Let me tell you what was being delivered though, and what Marshall Edgerton died for. A general is decorating his office here. It's a nice office, a luxury office you might say. And it needed a carpet to go with all the new furniture."


Take No Prisoners
Another proud moment in U.S. Military History.

U.S. Marines execute an Iraqi to the cheers of fellow marines. A little flashblack to the invasion.


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35 GIs Injured in Iraq Mortar Attack

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Thirty-five U.S. soldiers were wounded Wednesday in a mortar attack on a U.S. base west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

Six mortar rounds exploded about 6:45 p.m. at Logistical Base Seitz, the military said in a statement. The wounded soldiers were from the 3rd Corps Support Command.

"The wounded soldiers were given first-aid and have been evacuated from the site for further medical treatment," the statement said.

In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. James Cassella said some of the wounded soldiers returned to duty shortly after the attack, while others were hospitalized. He said he did not have figures on how many troops were lightly injured and how many were seriously wounded.



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posted 08 January 2004 02:54 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Accused of Killing Iraqi Couple

quote:
FALLUJAH, Iraq Jan. 7 — U.S. paratroopers fired on a house in this center of anti-American resistance, killing an Iraqi couple, orphaning their five children and enraging neighbors who insisted the pair were innocent.
"This is democracy? These corpses?" neighbor Raad Majeed asked at the hospital, gesturing at the remains of the couple, on gurneys covered with bloody sheets. "It's a crime against humanity." The 82nd Airborne Division said its paratroopers acted after receiving "two rounds of indirect fire" around 9 p.m. Tuesday.

"Paratroopers from our Task Force engaged the point of origin with a grenade launcher and small arms, causing two personnel to flee into a nearby building, which was also engaged and destroyed," division spokeswoman Capt. Tammy Galloway said in a statement.

"The building was searched and no weapons or personnel were found. Upon questioning, civilians in the area reported two dead personnel were taken to a nearby hospital," the statement said.

Civilian deaths in the counterinsurgency campaign have enraged many Iraqis at a time when the U.S.-led coalition is trying to win popular support. On Wednesday, the coalition announced it was freeing 506 of 12,800 prisoners in a goodwill gesture also aimed at encouraging more Iraqis to come forward with intelligence against anti-American guerrillas.

Officials offered rewards for the capture or information confirming the deaths of 30 more wanted Iraqis, putting bounties of $50,000 to $200,000 on their heads. That is in addition to bounties for the 13 remaining fugitives at large from the original 55 most- wanted Iraqis whose pictures appeared on a deck of cards.

There's a bounty of $10 million on the head of the most-wanted man since Saddam Hussein's capture, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, one of the ousted dictator's chief lieutenants.

In Fallujah, neighbors said U.S. soldiers were on a routine search for suspects and arms when they were fired on. The paratroopers then fired at the house of Ahmed Hassan Faroud.

Associated Press Television News film showed a wall of the house collapsed into rubble of concrete bricks and two walls splattered with blood that neighbors said belonged to Hassan, 37, and his wife Suham Omar, 28. They said the couple's five children were in bed in an adjoining room and survived Tuesday night's attack uninjured. Fallujah is about 30 miles west of Baghdad, the capital.

"They just brought in their tank and fired at their house from 200 meters (220 yards) away," Majeed said. "What did these people do wrong?"



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posted 08 January 2004 11:03 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Copter Goes Down in Iraq, Killing 9

quote:

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A U.S. Black Hawk medivac helicopter crashed Thursday near a stronghold of the anti-American insurgency, killing all nine soldiers aboard, the U.S. military said.

Also Thursday, a U.S. soldier died of injuries suffered in a mortar attack a day earlier that wounded 33 other troops and a civilian west of Baghdad.

Hundreds of angry Iraqis, meanwhile, waited outside Baghdad's infamous Abu Ghraib prison for a much-publicized release of detainees that did not occur by late afternoon.

There were no survivors among the nine American soldiers aboard the medical evacuation helicopter that crashed about 2:20 p.m. near the city of Fallujah, said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt. The cause of the crash was unknown, he said. Fallujah, west of Baghdad, is a flash point of the resistance against the U.S. occupation where rebels previously have shot down U.S. helicopters.

A U.S. helicopter was shot down Jan. 2 in the same area, killing one soldier, and military officials said it almost certainly was shot down by rebels.

In the deadliest single attack on U.S. forces since the Iraq (news - web sites) invasion began in March, 17 soldiers were killed Nov. 15 when two Black Hawk helicopters collided above Mosul in what the military called a likely grenade attack.

On Nov. 2, a Chinook helicopter was shot down near Fallujah, killing 16 American soldiers and injuring 26. The military believes a SA-7 shoulder-fired missile slammed into one of the chopper's rear-mounted engines.



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Journalists Under Fire - The Death of José Couso in Baghdad

quote:
By JAMES HOLLANDER

"I think war is a dangerous place, and I think that nobody would kill a journalist intentionally."

George W. Bush

"The death of José Couso was a premeditated crime, an attack on journalists to prevent us from telling the story of something the US has tried to hide from the start of the war: the slaughter of civilians."

Mónica G. Prieto, Baghdad correspondent for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq has certainly had its share of crimes and atrocities, any of which should be cause enough to have Bush and Blair brought before the Hague, if the mechanisms of international justice could actually bring the powerful to heel, beginning with the war itself, which, as noted here at Counterpunch and elsewhere, was a crime against peace, the worst possible crime, as it constitutes a prelude to all other crimes. As valuable and important as it is, the immediate body count from the war doesn't begin to tell the whole story. Indeed, even many of us opposed to the war usually fail to grasp the fullest dimension of its unseen, long-term sheer criminality, for it goes far beyond the direct victims of bombing raids and the ongoing counterinsurgency by US troops: they have lain waste to a entire country, setting back for decades its possibilities for development and progress, ravaging its health system, shortening its life expectancy by impairing its general health and well-being, inflicting deep, traumatic psychological wounds and truncating the life possibilities of Iraqis for generations: in a word, genocide.

Though Iraqis are the main victims, journalists also suffered their share of losses, and it should be remembered that journalists are defined as civilians in the Geneva Conventions. It is essential to defend journalists in war zones from the attacks of those who would seek to cover up their crimes by silencing reporters and thereby depriving the world of first-hand knowledge of what's really happening in war. This is especially true for non-US journalists, as they are less prone to simply pass on the servings of mess-hall slop dished out by the US military, but called "reporting" by US retail media outlets. To stop future wars, we must work to fully bring home the horror it entails and defend those in the field working tell the truth.

Given Washington's hostility towards media it does not control (witness Rumsfeld and the Arab satellite stations), the issue is crucial for them and for us, because more wars are coming down the pike, friends, and they would like nothing better than to make the next invasion off-limits to anyone not "embedded," and thus prevent ghastly pictures of the victims from making the rounds on the net, Al-Jazeera or anywhere else.

The death of José Couso, a TV cameraman for Tele 5, is a case in point on the treatment meted out to troublesome witnesses to the outrages of the US empire. It also tells us something about the impunity demanded by US forces, its insistence on the freedom to act with no restraints or accountability for the consequences of its actions, in effect turning the entire planet into a free-fire zone. Moreover, the nature of the one-way "alliance" between the US and Spain, sealed at the Bush-Blair-Aznar summit in the Azores Islands three days before the war, comes into plain and sordid view. Most important, though, the mighty struggle for justice being waged by the family, friends and colleagues of Jose Couso should serve as an inspiration and example for all.

As the fall of Baghdad approached, some 300 international journalists were based in the Palestine Hotel, on the eastern bank of the Tigris River. They had relocated from the Al-Rashid when CNN left and moved to the Palestine. Most reporters assumed that the presence of CNN would provide a sort of cover, that the US military wouldn't bomb CNN. José Couso and reporter Jon Sistiaga, reporting the war for Spanish TV channel Tele 5, followed suit.

Early in the morning of April 8, the day before the fall of Baghdad, a tank with the Third Infantry Division's Fourth Brigade, 64th Armor Regiment standing on the Al-Jumuriya bridge over the Tigris River aims its turret and knocks out a camera on the roof of the offices of Abu-Dhabi Television. From room 1403 in the Palestine across the river, José Couso's camera captures the tank carefully aiming at the "target," even though Abu-Dhabi TV had already given the coordinates of its offices to the Pentagon before the war.

Some time later, Al-Jazeera comes under attack. Though in a more conflictive area, they had also alerted the Pentagon to the exact GPS position of their Baghdad bureau. To no avail: a missile takes the life of Tarek Ayyoub, a Jordanian reporter with the network. Al-Jazeera is once again a target for US forces, as its bureau in Kabul had been hit in November 2001.

Later that morning, a lull in the fighting reigns in the district of Baghdad immediately surrounding the Palestine Hotel, where, as the Pentagon knows the international media is based. Throughout the early morning, US tanks and planes have been cleaning up the last scattered remnants of Iraqi forces still putting up some find of fight, almost entirely on the western bank of the Tigris river, where the presidential palaces and ministries are found. A calm seems to take hold, as no shooting occurs for a good while. The Spanish reporter, Carlos Hernández of Antena 3, says that they seemed to have run out of targets. Some reporters go inside and begin to file reports, and many cameras stop shooting. Sistiaga: "I even left the balcony because I saw that a whole half-hour had gone by with a single shot, and it seemed that the battle was at a halt." But not José Couso, who continues to aim his camera at the tanks on the Al-Jumuriya bridge.

Then, Couso sees and records an Abrams M1A1 tank as it swings its turret round and points toward the Palestine; it pauses, then fires a single round at the hotel, some three quarters of a mile away, striking the 15th floor. This is the third attack on the media of the day, and it's not yet quite 12 noon. Couso himself and the Ukrainian reporter for Reuters, Tara Protsyuk, are struck by debris and shrapnel. Protsyuk dies almost immediately from his wounds. Severely wounded in the leg, Couso is rushed to the hospital by his partner Jon Sistiaga and Mexican cameraman Jorge Pliego, in scenes shown on Spanish TV. Couso holds on for a couple of hours, but succumbs to a massive state of shock, though doctors have done all they could despite the chaos and sheer number of Iraqi civilians coming in.



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posted 10 January 2004 01:11 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraq Mosque Blast Leaves 5 Dead, 37 Hurt

quote:
By SARAH EL DEEB
Associated Press Writer

January 9, 2004, 8:38 AM EST

BAQOUBA, Iraq -- A car rigged with explosives exploded outside a Shiite Muslim mosque as worshippers streamed out of Friday prayers, killing five people and wounding 37, according to medical officials in the central Iraqi town of Baqouba.

Attacks on Shiite and Sunni Muslim mosques have increased in recent weeks, raising tensions between the two communities. An upsurge in sectarian violence could undermine U.S. efforts to put together a democratic government in Iraq, where the Shiite majority was oppressed for decades under Saddam Hussein's mainly Sunni regime.

After the Baqouba blast, footage from Associated Press Television News showed men pulling sheets over two bodies lying in the street as women in black robes wailed. Wounded people wandered in a daze.

The vehicle where the explosives had been hidden was ablaze near the mosque entrance.

Five people were killed and 37 wounded in the blast, Ahmed Ali at Baqouba General Hospital said in the town, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.

Under Saddam's authoritarian rule, ethnic and religious divisions in Iraq were largely kept under check. Since Saddam's fall in April, religious leaders on both sides have tried to prevent an outbreak of tensions.

Still, violence has erupted. On Dec. 9, a Sunni mosque was bombed in Baghdad, killing three people, in an attack that mosque officials blamed on Shiite extremists.

A bomb planted in a parked car went off on Nov. 3 outside a holy Shiite shrine in the city of Karbala, killing three people and wounding 12.



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posted 10 January 2004 01:24 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Cargo plane hit by missile

quote:
From correspondents in Washington
January 9, 2004

A US Air Force C-5 cargo plane carrying 63 passengers and crew members apparently hit by a surface-to-air missile today as it took off from Baghdad international airport managed to land safely, a senior US defence official said.

"It looks like its number four engine was hit by a surface-to-air missile, but it was able to turn around, come back and land," the official said.

An investigation into the incident was under way.

Earlier, the air force said in a statement that the C-5 declared an inflight emergency "because of excessive engine vibrations in their number four engine".

"The aircraft had just departed the airport when the problem occurred. The crew was able to land safely. There were 63 passengers and crewmembers on board the aircraft. No injuries were reported," it said.

It would be the third time since May 1, when major combat operations were declared over, that a plane has been hit by a surface-to-air missile while flying out of Baghdad international airport.



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Iraq civilian deaths probe demand

quote:
An independent ombudsman should lead inquiries into the deaths of Iraqi civilians allegedly killed by coalition forces, an MP has said.

Adam Price of Plaid Cymru wants an "impartial" non military investigation.

His call comes after the MoD said it had paid £8,125 in compensation to the families of three Iraqi civilians allegedly killed by UK troops.

Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram said the current complaints procedure was sufficiently independent and robust.

As well as the three deaths for which compensation had been paid, the MoD was also investigating claims over the deaths of 13 other Iraqi civilians since 1 May, a spokesman said.

The payouts were not an admission of guilt, he stressed, adding that all the deaths were still being investigated by the Royal Military Police (RMP).

But Mr Price said it was "simply not acceptable for the military to be investigating themselves and deciding on an ad hoc basis whether or not to award ex gratia payments to the families of the deceased".


[ 10 January 2004: Message edited by: majorvictory ]


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Six Iraqi Protesters Killed During Clash

quote:
By MATTHEW ROSENBERG, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - British soldiers and Iraqi police clashed Saturday with armed, stone-throwing protesters in southeastern Iraq (news - web sites), killing six people. U.S. officials acknowledged American soldiers mistakenly killed two Iraqi policemen after they failed to identify themselves to a patrol.

In Baghdad, a senior U.S. military officer confirmed that preliminary reports showed that a U.S. Army medevac helicopter that crashed last week near Fallujah, killing all nine soldiers aboard, was shot down.

And north of the capital, the U.S. military said it was investigating allegations that soldiers killed four Iraqi civilians who tried to pass a convoy this month in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown.

The shooting of the policemen occurred Friday after paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade responded to a report of "family fighting" in Kirkuk, about 150 miles north of Baghdad.

Paratroopers spotted two men firing into a house, said Maj. Josslyn Aberle, a spokeswoman for the 4th Infantry Division. The men, who were wearing long coats, fled as the troops approached and were joined by a third man, she said.

"The soldiers verbally warned the three to stop and then fired warning shots," Aberle said. "The men refused to comply and the soldiers took a defensive position and fired," killing two of them and detaining the third.

All three were found to be Iraqi policemen, Aberle said. The U.S. military is investigating why they refused to identify themselves.



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Iraqis Demanding Jobs Resume Protests

quote:
Sunday January 11, 2004 8:46 AM

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG

Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Hundreds of Iraqis demanding jobs resumed protests in the southeastern town of Amarah on Sunday, a day after a clash with British soldiers and Iraqi police in which six demonstrators were killed and at least 11 wounded.

A dozen British soldiers with riot shields and batons guarded the mayor's office, which had its windows shattered Saturday by stone-throwing demonstrators. No Iraqi police were visible Sunday at the compound, which also houses the U.S.-led coalition and the 1st Battalion of Britain's Light Infantry.

Earlier, U.S. officials acknowledged American soldiers shot and killed two Iraqi policemen who failed to identify themselves in the northern town of Kirkuk.

Elsewhere, Danish and Icelandic troops uncovered a cache of 36 shells buried in the Iraqi desert, and preliminary tests showed they contained a liquid blister agent, the Danish military said Saturday.

The 120mm mortar shells were thought to be leftovers from the eight-year war between Iraq and neighboring Iran, which ended in 1988, Kimmitt said.

The U.S. military also confirmed that a U.S. Army medevac helicopter that crashed Thursday near Fallujah, killing all nine soldiers aboard, was probably shot down.

The trouble in Amarah, 200 miles southeast of Baghdad, started when hundreds of Iraqis demanding jobs gathered in front of the coalition compound and started stoning the town hall, smashing windows.

As the protesters grew agitated, shots rang out from the crowd, a British military spokeswoman said. At the same time, troops ``received reports of small explosions in the crowd.''

Iraqi police, believing they were under attack, opened fire into the crowd but did not hit any protesters, she said. But witnesses said the police killed some protesters.



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U.S. Mortuary Sees No Let-Up from Iraq War Dead

quote:

DOVER, Del. (Reuters) - Nearly a month after Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s capture, American war dead from Iraq (news - web sites) continue to arrive with somber regularity at the wind-swept Air Force base in Delaware that is home to the world's largest mortuary.

The remains of the fallen, wrapped in body bags and encased in ice-laden metal transfer cases, descend from the sky aboard gray military planes or white civilian Boeing 747s. They are met at the airstrip by an honor guard, chaplain and small motorcade of blue vans.

The chaplain prays while the honor guard drapes a flag over each coffin and escorts it to the vans, which ferry the dead on a two-mile trek to the 70,000-square-foot Dover Air Force Base Port Mortuary.

There, at the U.S. military's only stateside mortuary, the remains are identified, autopsied, embalmed, clothed in dress uniforms, placed in coffins and shipped to grieving relatives in the company of military escorts.

The bodies of nine soldiers who died aboard an Army Black Hawk helicopter that crashed near Falluja on Thursday were expected to arrive this weekend.

"That will put us over 500 for Iraq," said Karen Giles, an Air Force Reserve lieutenant colonel who heads a permanent eight-member staff supplemented by FBI (news - web sites) fingerprint experts, pathologists and other specialists.

"We'll probably have 50 or 60 people working here over the weekend," Giles said.



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US sergeant branded a coward mounts furious fightback

quote:

12 January 2004

If Jessica Lynch, the fresh-faced West Virginia teenager turned international media icon, could be described as the accidental hero of the Iraq war, then Georg-Andreas Pogany is the accidental coward.

Like Private Lynch, who became an international celebrity largely through the manipulation of the Pentagon's propaganda machine rather than anything she did or did not do on the battlefield, Staff Sergeant Pogany, hired as a translator and interrogator with US Special Forces, did nothing to seek out his poster-child status and almost certainly does not deserve the notoriety that has come his way.

Unlike Ms Lynch, though, he has no million-dollar book deals or exclusive television interviews lined up. Instead, he is back at his home base in Fort Carson, Colorado, treated as a pariah by his fellow soldiers and former colleagues in the Green Berets, his legal status in limbo and his reputation in tatters.

His story, on the surface, seems unremarkable. Last September, after just two days on active duty in Iraq, he caught sight of the mangled body of a dead Iraqi soldier inside a white body bag. The body was ripped almost in two, with a large hole and strips of ripped flesh where the man's chest should have been.

Although a gun battle was in progress at the time - he was stationed in the tense city of Samarra, within the so-called "Sunni Triangle" of central Iraq - Sgt Pogany was not himself involved in the combat. Initially, he pushed the image of the dead Iraqi to the back of his mind and continued puffing on a cigarette.

But a few hours later, the image returned and began to haunt him. He started shaking and vomiting and could not sleep. By the next morning, he thought he might be having a nervous breakdown.

One might conclude that this was a relatively routine case of combat stress. That was the opinion of an Army chaplain Sgt Pogany consulted, and also that of an Army psychologist who suggested he transfer to other, less stressful duties until the panic attack subsided and he could return to his regular job. His, they concluded, was a normal reaction to the brutality of war.

But Sgt Pogany's misfortune was to have a singularly unsympathetic commanding officer, whose first reaction was to tell him to "get your head out of your ass". It only deteriorated from there.



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Desertions blow to Afghan military

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01/12/04: (Gulf News) Thousands of Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers have deserted the fledgling service after completing training given by instructors from the United States, France and Britain, defence ministry officials said yesterday.

"Some 3,000 ANA soldiers have fled the army," ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi said.

"The defence ministry has announced that they have to come back and join the army otherwise they will have to pay for all the expenses spent on their training."

The desertions are a serious blow to the nascent ANA which, according to Zahir Azimi, numbers around 10,000 troops. However, international observers believe the real strength of the ANA is closer to 7,000.

Even though it is forecast to grow to be about 70,000-strong, the ANA's numbers are small in comparison to the 100,000 armed militia currently being disarmed and demobilised by government authorities.

Tough training, low wages and factional links to the private militias which still control wide swathes of the country outside Kabul are believed to be behind the mass exodus from the ANA.

A rocket was fired toward an airport used by American troops in eastern Afghanistan, but failed to explode, the Afghan military reported.

The rocket screeched over a village near Khost city, 150km south of Baghdad, said Niishauddin, a spokesman for the military commander of Khost province.



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US Troops Kill 7 Iraqis in Clash Over Oil Theft

quote:
VOA News
12 Jan 2004, 16:33 UTC

The U.S. military says troops shot and killed seven Iraqis during a clash with an armed group that was trying to steal oil from a pipeline in central Iraq.

AP
American soldiers guard road near Samarra
An American army spokesman says an informant led soldiers to a place north of the town of Samarra, where a group of 40 armed men were trying to steal fuel late Sunday.

The spokesman says the soldiers were fired at when they confronted the group, and the Americans returned fire. Seven Iraqis were killed and the others escaped. Three fuel trucks and other vehicles were destroyed.

The U.S.-led coalition in Iraq has blamed sabotage, theft and smuggling for fuel shortages in Iraq, which has one of the world's largest reserves of oil.

In a separate incident, the military says one American soldier was killed and two wounded by a roadside bomb in Baghdad Monday.

Meanwhile, an influential Shi'ite cleric in Iraq is repeating his warning that a U.S. backed plan for an interim government without direct elections will hurt Iraq's political and security situation.



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Last Copter Out of Baghdad

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George Bush is selling out Iraq. Gone are his hard-liners' dreams of setting up a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic republic, a light unto the Middle Eastern nations. The decision makers in the administration now realize these goals are unreachable. So they've set a new goal: to end the occupation by July 1, whether that occupation has accomplished anything valuable and lasting or not. Just declare victory and go home. The tyranny of Saddam Hussein will be over. But a new tyranny will likely take its place: the tyranny of civil war, as rival factions rush into the void. Such is the mess this president seems willing to leave behind in order to save his campaign.

"The Bush game plan is to have pictures of some U.S. troops leaving and the Iraqis opening their own government, the U.S. having presided over the birth of this new embryonic democracy," observes former Clinton White House adviser Sidney Blumenthal. The problem is, there will be no Iraqi democracy. There might not even be a viable Iraqi government. Instead, Baghdad will become Beirut: Iraq's three major religious and ethnic groups, the Sunnis, the Shiites, and the Kurds, will consolidate their respective positions in the center, south, and north of the country, recruit their militias, and get down to fighting for control of the power vacuum that is the post-war "peace."

Once again, as so often in these last few months, an analogy is Vietnam. And, as so often in the last three years, the analogous president is Nixon.



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Witnesses: U.S. Troops Kill Four in Iraqi Town

quote:
By: Reuters

Tue January 13, 2004 09:24 AM ET

FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. soldiers killed at least four Iraqi civilians Tuesday in the center of the town of Falluja when they opened fire after coming under rocket attack, witnesses said.

They said the troops were patrolling the town west of the capital Baghdad after a noisy anti-U.S. protest when two rockets were fired at them. An elderly woman in a nearby house and three men in a car were killed when the soldiers returned fire, the witnesses said.

"Two rockets were fired at them," said Khalas Ahmed, a 15-year-old boy selling cigarettes from a nearby kiosk. "The Americans started firing back. The bullets hit my kiosk and I dived to the ground."

The woman who was killed was on a balcony of a nearby house while a car which was passing was caught in a hail of bullets, other witnesses said. All three men inside were killed.

A U.S. military spokeswoman in Baghdad said she had no immediate information on the incident.



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posted 14 January 2004 03:19 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
G.I.'s Fire on Family in Car, Killing 2, Witnesses Say

quote:
By EDWARD WONG

Published: January 13, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 12 — American soldiers on Monday night killed an Iraqi man and a boy and wounded four others in a car that was driving behind their convoy after a roadside bomb went off nearby, said witnesses, a police official and relatives of the family in the car.

The soldiers, traveling in a convoy of two Humvees, opened fire on the family, which was riding in a dark blue station wagon, after the bomb exploded on Palestine Street about 300 yards from the Oil Ministry, witnesses said.

The family's driver, a man whose first name was Haider, was killed, as was a 10-year-old boy named Mustafa in the seat beside the driver, said family members, a neighbor and a police officer. Mustafa's mother and two of his siblings and his aunt were injured and taken to local hospitals.

"You want to know the truth?" said Lt. Muhammad Ali, an Iraqi policeman who was driving away from Al Kindi Hospital with several colleagues after taking one of the women there. "I'll tell you the truth. The Americans did this. I know after this conversation they will fire me from my job, but that's what happened."

By the end of the day, in violence around the country involving the American military, an American soldier and at least 9 Iraqis had been killed, and 10 Iraqis and 2 American soldiers wounded.

A soldier at the scene of the Palestine Street violence in Baghdad said that the bomb had killed two Iraqi civilians and wounded two others and that all had been in the blue station wagon. Capt. Jason P. Beck, a spokesman for the First Armored Division, which controls most of Baghdad, said three hours after the incident that he had not received a report.

Earlier in the day a roadside bomb in Baghdad killed a soldier in the First Armored Division and wounded two others, military officials said.

Another roadside bomb exploded near an Army convoy in Ramadi, a town west of Baghdad, but the military said no American casualties had been reported, The Associated Press reported. The report quoted residents as saying Americans had opened fire after the attack, killing two Iraqis.

The military also said soldiers killed 7 of about 40 members of a gang of smugglers that was siphoning oil from a pipeline south of Samarra, a guerrilla stronghold 60 miles north of Baghdad.

About 9 p.m. on Monday, suspected guerrillas fired rockets in Sadr City, a sprawling Shiite Muslim slum of 2.2 million people in northeastern Baghdad, Captain Beck said. Later, suspected insurgents fired two mortar rounds at the Baghdad Hotel on the east bank of the Tigris but failed to hit anything, a hotel guard said.

The events outside the Oil Ministry also took place about 9 p.m., when a bomb exploded on the median of Palestine Street after the two Humvees had passed it, said Feras Ali, 42, a resident on the block. The explosion shattered the windows of nearby houses.

The Humvees, which witnesses said did not appear to have been damaged, then turned in the wide road, which was slick from a driving rainstorm, they said.

Soldiers opened fire on the family in the station wagon traveling behind them, said the witnesses, relatives of the victims and Lieutenant Ali, the police officer. The station wagon crashed into a wall about 200 feet past where the bomb had exploded, and soldiers soon began pulling bodies out, the witnesses said.



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DrConway
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posted 14 January 2004 04:38 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Clashes Rise in Southern Iraq

quote:
KUT, Iraq, Jan. 13 -- The boom of exploding dynamite packets, followed by the rat-a-tat of returning assault-rifle fire, echoed all Tuesday morning through the streets of this gritty, once peaceful city on the Euphrates River, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad.

Angry demonstrators confronted Ukrainian army tanks and Iraqi police at City Hall plaza for the second day in a row. A block away, Ali Aziz, 35, a stocky, out-of-work laborer, watched the battle from behind a schoolyard wall, red-eyed and shaking with anguish.

"I have three children to support, we are living in one rented room and I have to hold up a bucket to the ceiling when it rains," he said. "I helped protect the city offices during the war, but now the old thieves are back inside, and they only give jobs to their friends." The protesters were "out there to defend all our rights," he said.


The Communist Party of Iraq must be making quite a bit of hay out of this.


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majorvictory
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posted 15 January 2004 03:12 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Soldiers' Suicide Rate Is Up in Iraq

quote:
Wed Jan 14, 5:17 PM ET

By MATT KELLEY, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - U.S. soldiers in Iraq are killing themselves at a high rate despite the work of special teams sent to help troops deal with combat stress, the Pentagon's top doctor said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, about 2,500 soldiers who have returned from the war on terrorism are having to wait for medical care at bases in the United States, said Dr. William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. The problem of troops on "medical extension" is likely to get worse as the Pentagon rotates hundreds of thousands of troops into and out of Iraq this spring, he said.

Both situations illustrate the stresses placed on the troops and the military's health system by the war in Iraq.

Suicide has become such a pressing issue that the Army sent an assessment team to Iraq late last year to see if anything more could be done to prevent troops from killing themselves. The Army also began offering more counseling to returning troops after several soldiers at Fort Bragg, N.C., killed their wives and themselves after returning home from the war.

Winkenwerder said the military has documented 21 suicides during 2003 among troops involved in the Iraq war. Eighteen of those were Army soldiers, he said.

That's a suicide rate for soldiers in Iraq of about 13.5 per 100,000, Winkenwerder said. In 2002, the Army reported an overall suicide rate of 10.9 per 100,000.

The overall suicide rate nationwide during 2001 was 10.7 per 100,000, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

By contrast, two U.S. military personnel killed themselves during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, although that conflict only lasted about a month. The Army recorded 102 suicides during 1991 for a rate of 14.4 per 100,000. The Army's highest suicide rate in recent years came in 1993, when the rate was 15.7 per 100,000.



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majorvictory
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posted 16 January 2004 03:08 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thousands Of Iraqis Protest Against America

quote:
BASRA, Iraq -- Shouting "No, No to America," thousands of Iraqis have added their voice to a demand for early elections on a new government.

As many as 30,000 Shiite Muslims demonstrated in the southern city of Basra Thursday.

They are followers of a prominent cleric, who's demanding more power for Iraq's Shiites, who were long shut out under Saddam Hussein.

The cleric has become a direct threat to the U.S. plan, which calls for a transfer of power July 1 to an interim government picked by provincial caucuses.

The cleric is demanding an interim legislature be elected directly -- and not chosen in the caucuses.

British troops kept a close watch over Thursday's massive demonstration, which ended without trouble. One commander said it's just Iraqis "exercising their newfound right of freedom of expression."



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Lard Tunderin' Jeezus
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posted 16 January 2004 09:51 AM      Profile for Lard Tunderin' Jeezus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If the Bush adminstration were loyal to their ideology rather than Haliburton....
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majorvictory
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posted 17 January 2004 02:46 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraq Isn't Vietnam, But They Rhyme

quote:
By Robert G. Kaiser

Sunday, December 28, 2003; Page B01

Is Iraq another Vietnam? The question, heard often now, implies more specific questions: Are we caught in another quagmire? Are we dooming thousands of young Americans to a premature death? Have we again lost our way?

"History doesn't repeat itself, at best it rhymes," Mark Twain is credited with saying. This is a wise warning. A close examination of Iraq and Vietnam quickly makes clear the limits of any analogy. There are just too many differences to justify putting these two entanglements in the same category.

But it's easy to find the rhymes:

"Our military is confronting terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan and in other places so our people will not have to confront terrorist violence in New York or St. Louis or Los Angeles."

-- George W. Bush, Aug. 26, 2003

"If we don't stop the Reds in South Vietnam, tomorrow they will be in Hawaii, and next week they will be in San Francisco."

-- Lyndon B. Johnson, 1966

Two beleaguered presidents, each hyping his unpopular war, suggest how these two episodes can turn out to be similar in their effects. The war in Southeast Asia was Topic A for three successive presidential elections, from 1964 though 1972. Iraq seems destined for a similar role in 2004. In a domestic context, there are many similarities between the two: Disputed and inaccurate intelligence, molded for political purposes, created pretexts for both wars; each caused deep divisions in the country; and pro-war presidents draped themselves in the flag and preached the stark necessity of their war, while promising its speedy, successful conclusion.

Thinking about the similarities as well as the differences is instructive. Particularly because we did experience Vietnam -- a fact that sets us apart from our compatriots of the 1960s, who didn't have the benefit of an earlier, comparable event to learn from -- we can anticipate some of the danger signs.



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majorvictory
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posted 17 January 2004 12:50 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
3 GIs Killed, Pushing Iraq Toll to 500

quote:
By PAUL GARWOOD, Associated Press Writer

TIKRIT, Iraq - The number of American service members who have died in the Iraq conflict since war started last March reached 500 Saturday after a roadside bomb exploded near Baghdad, killing three U.S. soldiers and two Iraqi civil defense troopers.

Two Americans also were wounded when a Bradley Fighting Vehicle hit the explosive device and caught fire on a road near Taji, about 20 miles north of the Iraq capital, said Lt. Col. Bill MacDonald, a spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division.

Those killed and wounded had been part of a joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol looking for roadside bombs, a frequent attack method by insurgents targeting the U.S.-led occupation, MacDonald said. Three men fleeing in a white truck were detained, and soldiers found bomb-making material in the vehicle, he added.

Also Saturday, the military said a U.S. soldier died from a non-hostile gunshot wound south of Baghdad. The incident occurred Friday evening near Diwaniyah south of Baghdad, the command said in a statement. No further details were released.

The deaths raised to 500 the number of U.S. forces who have died since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq started March 20. Of those, 346 died as a result of hostile action and 154 of non-hostile causes, according to Defense Department figures in addition to those reported Saturday.

Most of the deaths — both combat and non-combat — have occurred since President Bush declared an end to major fighting on May 1.


[ 17 January 2004: Message edited by: majorvictory ]


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majorvictory
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posted 18 January 2004 02:18 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraq Rebels Seen Using More Skill to Down Copters

quote:
By ERIC SCHMITT

Published: January 18, 2004

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 — A classified Army study of the downings of military helicopters in Iraq found that guerrillas have used increasingly sophisticated tactics and weapons — including at least one advanced missile — to attack American aircraft, senior Army officials in Iraq and the Persian Gulf region say.

The insurgents have proved adept at using both rocket-propelled grenades, which are point-and-shoot weapons, and heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles, which require greater maintenance and skill, said Army officials familiar with the study.

No type of helicopter is more vulnerable or more protected against the problem, the review found. But the team recommended specific changes to help pilots better evade ground fire, Army officials said. Senior officers declined to elaborate, but changes in the past have included flying more missions at night with lights off to avoid detection.

The study was conducted before the three most recent downings this month, but those incidents in the restive area near Falluja, west of Baghdad, have only reinforced the team's findings and raised fears that insurgents are closely studying the flight patterns of helicopters and other aircraft, Army officials said.

"The enemy has clearly seen the possibilities from earlier successes," said one senior Army aviator in the Persian Gulf region. "The enemy enjoys a strategic success each time one of our aircraft is shot down. It becomes a major media event, and questions arise as to who is winning. So the enemy sees this as very useful."

It was concern about these attacks that prompted Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the senior American commander in Iraq, to go beyond the standard review after any crash and order last month a comprehensive study of all downings, Army officials said.

The goal was to detect more about the insurgents' techniques and weaponry, and possible weaknesses in the Americans' defensive countermeasures and tactics.

One troubling finding, Army officials said, is that on at least one occasion the insurgents used an SA-16 shoulder-fired missile, which has a guidance system that is harder to thwart than the SA-7 missiles and rocket-propelled grenades that insurgents have used in other attacks.



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DrConway
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posted 18 January 2004 09:44 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Assassin strikes at America’s Iraq gate

quote:
Baghdad, Jan. 18 (Reuters): A suicide bomber detonated half a tonne of explosives outside the US seat of power in Iraq today, killing at least 20 people in the deadliest attack since the capture of Saddam Hussein.

The explosion in the heart of the Iraqi capital came a day before a key meeting in New York between the UN, Iraq’s governing council and US and British officials on the political future of the country.

The bomb exploded at what the Americans call the Assassin’s Gate, the main entrance to the “Green Zone”, formerly Saddam’s Republican Palace complex and now the top-security civilian and military headquarters of the US-led administration.



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majorvictory
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posted 19 January 2004 01:00 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Logic of Withdrawal

quote:
[A note of explanation: In the spring of 1967, my book Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal was published by Beacon Press. It was the first book on the war to call for immediate withdrawal, no conditions. Many liberals were saying: "Yes, we should leave Vietnam, but President Johnson can't just do it; it would be very hard to explain to the American people." My response, in the last chapter of my book, was to write a speech for Lyndon Johnson, explaining to the American people why he was ordering the immediate evacuation of American armed forces from Vietnam. No, Johnson did not make that speech, and the war went on. But I am undaunted, and willing to make my second attempt at speech writing. This time, I am writing a speech for whichever candidate emerges as Democratic Party nominee for President. My supposition is that the nation is ready for an all-out challenge to the Bush Administration, for its war policy and its assault on the well-being of the American people. And only such a forthright, courageous approach to the nation can win the election and save us from another four years of an Administration that is reckless with American lives and American values.]

My fellow Americans, I ask for your vote for President because I believe we are at a point in the history of our country where we have a serious decision to make. That decision will deeply affect not only our lives, but also the lives of our children and grandchildren.

At this moment in our nation's history, we are on a very dangerous course. We can remain on that course, or we can turn onto a bold new path to fulfill the promise of the Declaration of Independence, which guarantees everyone an equal right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The danger we are in today is that the war--a war without any foreseeable end--is not only taking the lives of our young but exhausting the great wealth of our nation. That wealth could be used to create prosperity for every American but is now being squandered on military interventions abroad that have nothing to do with making us more secure.

We should listen carefully to the men serving in this war.

Tim Predmore is a five-year veteran of the army. He is just finishing his tour of duty in Iraq. He writes: "We have all faced death in Iraq without reason or justification. How many more must die? How many more tears must be shed before Americans awake and demand the return of the men and women whose job it is to protect them rather than their leader's interest?"

What is national security? This Administration defines national security as sending our young men and women around the world to wage war on country after country--none of them strong enough to threaten us. I define national security as making sure every American has health care, employment, decent housing, a clean environment. I define national security as taking care of our people who are losing jobs, taking care of our senior citizens, taking care of our children.

Our current military budget is $400 billion a year, the largest in our history, larger even than when we were in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. And now we will be spending an additional $87 billion for the war in Iraq. At the same time, we are told that the government has cut funds for health care, education, the environment, and even school lunches for children. Most shocking of all is the cut, in billions of dollars, for veterans' benefits.

If I became President, I would immediately begin to use the great wealth of our nation to provide those things, which represent true security.



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majorvictory
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posted 19 January 2004 05:25 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
SOLDIERS SENT TO GULF... WITH NO BULLETS

quote:
BY DAVID BYERS

12:00 - 17 January 2004

Up to nine Nottingham soldiers were sent into a battle-zone in Iraq without bullets for their rifles, a Notts MP has been told.

Members of the Bulwell-based South Notts Hussars said they were horrified when they were told to "ask around" British soldiers in Basra for bullets because there were not enough for everyone.

Newark Tory MP Patrick Mercer said he was told of the scandal by two officers.

The officers from the Territorial Army unit were drafted out to Iraq during the conflict to provide back-up for 7 Brigade.

They and many of the seven others serving as backup from the Hussars were told by a quartermaster that there was a bullet shortage because "ammunition is in woefully short supply".



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majorvictory
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posted 19 January 2004 10:47 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Three U.S. soldiers wounded in Afghan raid

quote:
Mon 19 January, 2004 10:45

KABUL (Reuters) - Three U.S. soldiers have been wounded at the weekend in an unusually bold attack on a base in Afghanistan by guerrillas firing assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, the U.S. military says.

One attacker was killed in return fire from troops at the U.S. base at Deh Rawud in the central province of Uruzgan on Sunday, U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Hilferty told a news briefing on Monday.

U.S. bases come under regular, but generally ineffective, rocket strikes in Afghanistan. Sunday's raid was rare because the attackers came close enough to fight with rifles and rocket grenades.

"This attack was relatively uncommon," Hilferty said, adding that the three wounded soldiers were in stable condition at Bagram, the U.S. military headquarters in Afghanistan.

Hilferty did not identify the attackers, but attacks on foreign troops in Afghanistan are usually carried out by guerrillas of the former Taliban regime overthrown by U.S.-led forces in 2001, or allied Islamic militants.

The U.S. government says 100 soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since their deployment following the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the United States.



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majorvictory
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posted 20 January 2004 02:08 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Reality to sink in for widows of war dead as troops return

quote:
01/19/04

Kimberly Hefling
Associated Press

Fort Campbell, Ky. - Capt. Pierre Piche's wedding ring was not found at the helicopter crash site where he died in Iraq. His body was in a closed casket at his funeral.

Sometimes his death does not seem real to his widow, Cherish.

But as his comrades from the 101st Airborne Division return home to the arms of their wives and children in coming days, reality will sink in.

"I feel like sometimes he's going to come back with everybody else," said Piche, a seventh- grade math teacher. "I think that's going to be the thing that tells me he's not coming back."

The widows living in the military community 50 miles north of Nashville have until now been able to blend in with the others. Some spouses go weeks without hearing from their soldiers in Iraq.

It can be awkward and painful for the widows, however, as others plan reunion parties and resume life with their military spouses. Already, the first planeloads of an expected 20,000 soldiers from the 101st have started to return.

"It's going to be rough," said Amy Gallo, whose first husband was among 248 soldiers from the 101st who died when their plane crashed in Newfoundland in 1985. She's now married to a Special Forces soldier and counsels others widows.

Piche's 29-year-old husband from Vermont was one of 17 soldiers from the 101st who died Nov. 15 when two helicopters collided in Mosul, apparently due to enemy fire. In all, 60 soldiers from Fort Campbell have died in Iraq - a higher toll than any other military installation.

The Piches often talked about what it would be like when they saw each other again. He planned to leave the Army after coming home, and the two were going to move to Florida.

Christine Bellavia, whose husband, Sgt. Joseph Bellavia, 28, was killed Oct. 16 in Karbala, acknowledges she's "a little jealous" of the other spouses. She looks forward to talking to her husband's buddies but still dreads the homecomings.

"That's going to be the hardest thing for me," said Bellavia, 32, of Clarksville, Tenn., who was pregnant when her husband left in March but she miscarried shortly after.

He was one of three soldiers from the 101st's 716th Military Police Battalion killed by gunfire while trying to negotiate with armed men near a mosque.

The enormity of the emotions associated with seeing others return hit her last year at an air port as she was returning from her husband's funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.

A crowd at the airport applauded when a group of soldiers walked by, and tears welled up in Bellavia's eyes. She was holding the box with the U.S. flag from her husband's funeral.

Bellavia takes some comfort in a letter her husband had written to be given to her in the event of his death.

"Dear My Beloved Princess, Receiving this letter indicates that I was unable to keep my promise to you," the letter says. "I'm sorry I was unable to return home to you and fulfill your dream of being a mother . . . I hope you can forgive me for this . . . I love you. I always have and always will."



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majorvictory
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posted 21 January 2004 12:30 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Missile Lands in U.S. Compound in Iraq

quote:
Tuesday January 20, 2004 8:31 PM

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A missile landed in the sprawling U.S. compound in central Baghdad late Tuesday, causing little damage, a U.S. spokesman said. Officials were investigating a report that one person was wounded.

The projectile, believed to be a rocket, hit near the Al-Rasheed Hotel, said the spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The missile caused a loud explosion heard as far as 2 miles away at about 9.30 p.m., and immediately sirens were activated in the compound, known as ``green zone.''

The spokesman said there was an unconfirmed report of one person being injured, but no other significant damage was reported. Officials were investigating the attack.

The ``green zone'' has several offices and residences of the U.S. military and civilian authorities involved in governing Iraq since the ouster of Saddam Hussein in April last year.



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majorvictory
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Iraq Bombing Hurts 3 U.S. Soldiers, Others

quote:
By Associated Press

January 21, 2004, 8:19 AM EST

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A roadside bomb exploded Wednesday near the northern city of Mosul, wounding three U.S. soldiers and seven other people, the military and local police said.

The explosion occurred as three American vehicles were passing, but the force of the blast hit two civilian cars behind, said a witness, Alaa Mohammed Hanash.

A hospital spokesman, Abdel Wahab Ismail, said six Iraqis, including a female university student, and a Turkish national, were injured, but none seriously. All except one were released.

A U.S. military spokesman said three U.S. soldiers were injured but gave no other details except that the explosion occurred at about 8 a.m. west of Mosul, about 225 miles northwest of Baghdad. He spoke on condition of anonymity.

In recent months, roadside explosives have become one of the weapons of choice among Iraqi insurgents. The bombs -- usually made from mortar shells and explosives, like TNT -- are routinely placed along the side of roads and detonated as American convoys pass.



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majorvictory
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Two American Soldiers Killed in Iraq

quote:
Thu Jan 22, 6:00 AM ET

TIKRIT, Iraq - Insurgents fired mortars at an American military encampment in central Iraq, killing two soldiers and critically wounding another, the military said Thursday.

The attack happened Wednesday night on a forward operating base in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, military spokeswoman Maj. Josslyn Aberle said.

The wounded soldier was evacuated to a support hospital, where he is in critical but stable condition, she said.

The three soldiers were standing outside the tactical operations center when a series of mortars and rockets hit, she said. The attack also damaged vehicles.

U.S. forces launched a counterattack but there was no indication the insurgents sustained casualties, she said.

Meanwhile, unidentified assailants gunned down three Iraqi women and a driver working for the U.S.-led coalition forces in a central city, police said Thursday.

In the south, an unidentified gunman shot and killed the son of a fugitive former member of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, police said.

The women were attacked late Wednesday in Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, when assailants opened fire at the car in which they were riding, police officer Taha al-Falahi said. A fourth woman in the car was wounded, he said.



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majorvictory
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Iraq may be on path to civil war, CIA officials warn

quote:
By Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay
Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON — CIA officers in Iraq are warning that the country may be on a path to civil war, current and former U.S. officials said yesterday, starkly contradicting the upbeat assessment President Bush gave in his State of the Union address.

The CIA officers' bleak assessment was delivered orally to Washington this week, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the classified information involved.

The warning echoed growing fears that Iraq's Shiite majority, which until now has accepted the U.S. occupation grudgingly, could turn to violence if its demands for direct elections are spurned.

Meanwhile, Iraq's Kurdish minority is pressing for autonomy and shares of oil revenue.

"Both the Shiites and the Kurds think that now's their time," one intelligence officer said. "They think that if they don't get what they want now, they'll probably never get it. Both of them feel they've been betrayed by the United States before."

These dire scenarios were discussed at meetings this week by Bush, his top national-security aides and the chief U.S. administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, said a senior administration official who requested anonymity.

Another senior official said the concerns over a possible civil war are "broadly held within the government," including by regional experts at the State Department and National Security Council.

Top officials are scrambling to save the U.S. exit strategy after concluding Iraq's most powerful Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, is unlikely to drop his demand for elections for an interim assembly that would choose an interim government by July 1. Bremer then would hand over power to the interim government.

The CIA hasn't put its officers' warnings about a potential Iraqi civil war in writing, but the senior official said he expected a formal report "momentarily."



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majorvictory
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Iraq's 'Sunni Triangle' scene of new deadly attacks

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Insurgents in Iraq's volatile "Sunni Triangle" launched three deadly attacks during a 24-hour period, killing two U.S. soldiers, three Iraqi police officers and four civilians.

The Sunni Triangle is Iraq's most volatile region, an area north and west of Baghdad that is a hotbed of opposition to the U.S.-led coalition and scene of political instability.

In the most recent attack, three Iraqi police officers and a civilian were killed Thursday at a highway checkpoint between the central cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, an Iraq police official said.

Suspected insurgents in two pickups with medium to heavy machine guns opened fire on the police checkpoint, said Maj. Walid Jalal, an official with the Iraqi highway patrol force based in Fallujah.

A grenade was thrown at a police vehicle parked at the checkpoint, Jalal said. Another police officer was wounded in the attack, he said.

In other violence, a mortar and rocket attack on a U.S. military base north of Baghdad killed two American soldiers and wounded four others Wednesday night, U.S. military sources said Thursday.

Three of the wounded received treatment and returned to duty. The fourth, who was critically wounded, is hospitalized.

A mortar round directly hit the forward operating base near Baqubah, said Maj. Josslyn Aberle of the 4th Infantry Division. Aberle said U.S. forces launched a counterattack but the fate of the attackers is unknown.

The number of U.S. troops killed in the Iraq war is 504, with 349 fatalities in hostile circumstances.



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majorvictory
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posted 25 January 2004 03:27 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
5 U.S. Troops, 4 Iraqis Killed in Attacks

quote:
Saturday January 24, 2004 6:16 PM

By VIJAY JOSHI

Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Bomb attacks in central Iraqi towns killed five American soldiers and four Iraqis on Saturday, a day after two U.N. security experts arrived in the capital to study the possible return of the world body's international staff.

The deadliest attack took place in Khaldiyah, west of the capital, where a four-wheel-drive vehicle rigged with explosives drove up to a U.S. checkpoint at a bridge and detonated, a witness said. The U.S. military said three American soldiers were killed in the attack. Six soldiers and several Iraqi civilians were wounded, the military said.

About 20 miles away, near the town of Fallujah, a roadside bomb went off as a U.S. convoy passed, killing two soldiers.

The latest deaths brought to 512 the number of American service members who have died since the United States and its allies launched the Iraq war March 20.

The two bombings took place in towns in the heart of the so-called Sunni Triangle, the region north and west of Baghdad where the anti-American insurgency has been strongest. Despite Saddam Hussein's capture on Dec. 13, insurgents loyal to him have continued to attack police stations and U.S. troops.

In a third attack Saturday in the area, a truck bomb exploded soon after a U.S. patrol passed by in Samarra, killing four Iraqis and wounding 33 people, military spokesman Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt told reporters. Three American soldiers were slightly wounded, he said.



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majorvictory
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posted 25 January 2004 01:06 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Arrests Nearly 50 in Iraq; GI Dies

quote:
By PAUL GARWOOD, Associated Press Writer

TIKRIT, Iraq - U.S. soldiers arrested nearly 50 people and confiscated weapons in several raids in Iraq's volatile Sunni Triangle after a series of bombings that killed six U.S. soldiers.

A U.S. soldier died Sunday of wounds suffered in a grenade attack on his Bradley vehicle that was patrolling a central Iraqi town of Beiji the day before, said Maj. Josslyn Aberle, a spokeswoman for the 4th Infantry Division.

Five other U.S. soldiers were killed in separate bombings and a blast that narrowly missed an American convoy killed four Iraqis and wounded about 40 others in a bloody day of attacks on Saturday.

The deaths raised to 513 the number of U.S. service members who have died since the United States and its allies launched the Iraq war March 20. Most of the deaths have occurred since President Bush declared an end to active combat May 1.

The violence underscores continued resistance to the American occupation that is strongest in the Sunni heartland north and west of Baghdad, despite the Dec. 13 capture of Saddam Hussein.

On Sunday, U.S. soldiers raided several locations in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of the capital, and captured 46 people including three men suspected of involvement in anti-coalition activities, Aberle said. The remaining 43 were detained for possessing weapons without authorization, she said.



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Army Copter With 2 Crew Crashes in Iraq

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A U.S. military helicopter crashed Sunday in the Tigris River in the northern town of Mosul while searching for a soldier, and both crewmembers were missing, a spokeswoman said.

She did not say what caused the crash of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter, attached to the 101st Airborne Division.

The helicopter was searching for a U.S. soldier missing when the boat he was in capsized earlier Sunday, the spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity. The soldier was on a river patrol with three other soldiers and some Iraqi policemen, she said.

The other three soldiers were safe but two Iraqi police officers and an iraqi translator are reported dead, said the spokeswoman.

She said the search for the two pilots is underway as well as an investigation into the crash in Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad.

It was the fifth helicopter crash in Iraq this month - three of them due to hostile fire. Another Army OH-58 Kiowa Warrior crashed on Friday south of Mosul, killing the two pilots. The cause of that crash also has not been disclosed.



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majorvictory
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posted 27 January 2004 11:34 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Lots of blood today. Bathe in it, you "patriots."

2 CNN employees killed in attack

quote:
Tuesday, January 27, 2004 Posted: 8:31 PM EST (0131 GMT)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Two CNN employees were killed, and a third was lightly wounded Tuesday afternoon when the cars they were traveling in came under fire.

The employees were returning to Baghdad in a two-car convoy from an assignment in the southern city of Hillah, when they were ambushed on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Translator and producer Duraid Isa Mohammed, 27, and driver Yasser Khatab, 25, died from multiple gunshot wounds. Cameraman Scott McWhinnie, traveling in another vehicle, was grazed in the head by a bullet.

The CNN vehicles were headed north toward Baghdad when a rust-colored Opel approached from behind. A single gunman with an AK-47, standing through the sunroof, opened fire on one of the vehicles.

That lead CNN vehicle, hit at least five times, managed to escape from the gunman as the CNN security adviser returned fire.

"There is no doubt in my mind, that if our security adviser had not returned fire, everyone in our vehicle would have been killed," said Correspondent Michael Holmes. "This was not an attempted robbery, they were clearly trying to take us out."



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majorvictory
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posted 27 January 2004 11:36 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraq Bombings Kill 6 U.S. Soldiers

quote:
Tue Jan 27, 6:24 PM ET

By HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The United Nations agreed Tuesday to send a team to Iraq to help break the impasse over electing a new government, as the deaths of six more American soldiers in roadside bombings underscored concerns about security in the volatile nation.

A bomb that exploded south of Baghdad killed three U.S. soldiers and wounded three others Tuesday night, hours after another bombing west of the capital killed three U.S. paratroopers and wounded one, the military said. In addition, two employees of Cable News Network died in a shooting south of Baghdad.

Elsewhere, U.S. troops killed three suspected members of a guerrilla cell during raids Tuesday in the central Iraqi town of Beiji, the Army said. And a suspected car bomb was discovered near coalition and Iraqi Governing Council offices.

The United States has cited the ongoing violence in arguing against demands by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani for the direct election of a provisional legislature, which in turn will select a government to take power by July 1.



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majorvictory
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posted 27 January 2004 11:39 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Correspondence from 18-year-old soldier before death in Iraq

quote:
JUNE 6, 2003, FROM SOMEWHERE IN IRAQ:

Dear Mom and Dad,

You guys spent 18 years providing me with everything I ever wanted and needed. ... Ninety percent of all the GI's I've talked to, have a story of what a horrible childhood they had. ... Nobody has told me that they had a childhood that can even hold a candle to mine. I'm not talking about wealth. Something more important. Simply being raised by two people who love each other more and more every day. I have always said, "You're only as good as your parents." ...

Before I left for basic, I told you guys I lived a life of little, if any, adversity. I thrived (on) the need to experience adversity and hardship to become the man I want to be. My lesson in adversity and hardship is something that can't be priced and is the ultimate reason I want to stay, rather than go home early. Whatever happens will happen, but in the end, as much as I hate it here, this is where I want to be.

JULY 7, 2003, FROM BAGHDAD:

When we crossed the border it was like entering a new world. The sides of the roads were covered with starving Iraqis begging for food. Kids as young as what looked to be 4 or 5 would run up to the vehicles.

We were given a direct order by the company commander not to throw food or water to the starving people because there are too many Iraqis getting run over by our convoys when they run after the food. It is so hard to tell a starving 5 year old who is begging for food to go away. Every time our convoy would stop, we would be ambushed by kids trying to get food; it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to watch. Finally I gave in.

Sitting up in the gunner's hatch, I can see everything. A sickly barefooted 6 year old approached the vehicle, he looked so sick. He was touching his lips saying "please, please." I told him to go away and he just looked up at me. It looked like he wasn't going to make it much longer in the 133 degree weather we had that day. Again, I shouted "kief!" which is "go" in Arabic, and I pointed. As we drove away, I threw an ice cold bottle of water out the window to him. Luckily no one saw me. ...

Over all I am dealing with it well. The living conditions suck. I'm getting eaten alive by bugs, shot at every other day, showering only 3 times a week and working non-stop. I love it! ... I love you guys. And please try not to think too much about it, it sounds a lot worse than it is.

FIRST READ DEC. 31, 2003, DATED MARCH 14, 2002 (RETRIEVED FROM MIKE'S SAFE DEPOSIT BOX):

To My Beloved Parents George and Diana Mihalakis,

If you are reading this, then that should mean only one thing; our family is enduring one of the most painful things we have ever seen. Sometime before reading this letter, you got word that I gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty as a Military Police Officer in the United States Army. All in the name of protecting and defending the world's greatest nation, The United States of America.

I can promise you that I would not give my life for any other cause and that I am honored to have been able to make such a sacrifice to protect my family and the many families like us, throughout the country. Everyone sooner or later has to part this world. It makes me proud to know that I left while protecting the United States.

Eighteen is such a young age, and you're probably thinking of all the things that I'm going to miss out on. Don't. I got to live such a wonderful life because of you two, and because of that I don't regret missing anything that would later come in the future.



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majorvictory
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posted 29 January 2004 02:34 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Japan reportedly pays Iraqis € 75 million protection money to guard SDF

quote:
RISQ News, 27 January 2004

The Japanese government is reportedly paying approximately 10 billion yen (€ 75 million or US$ 94 million) to Iraqi tribal leaders to provide bodyguards for the Self Defense Forces (SDF) in Iraq.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office said: "It is rather cheap if we can buy security for our soldiers with that amount of money. In Iraq, oil money is distributed to those tribes. It is more important for the Japanese government to make one-time payments to the leaders than to pay them a salary. That will help their local economy and benefit Japan's foreign policy toward new Iraq."

Escorted by Dutch marines, stationed in the area since August, the first contingent of Japanese troops arrived in the town of As Samawah in southern Iraq last Tuesday. The main force is scheduled to be sent at the end of January or early February.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's main concern has been to protect the lives of the SDF soldiers. Last December, Abdul Amir Rikabi, an Iraqi politician and leader of a local tribe [1], visited Japan and Mr Koizumi made a confidential agreement with him: Japan would pay a huge amount of money in exchange for protection, according to a source in the Prime Minister's Office.

"Mr Rikabi told us that he would organize 200 to 300 guards to protect Japan's SDF soldiers until the main unit arrives in Samawah. The SDF will construct their camps within double barbed wire entanglements in the suburbs of Samawah and engage in supplying water to the city. The Iraqi guards will provide 24-hour patrols and in the event of a terrorist attack, Dutch troops will help out," said the source.



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majorvictory
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posted 29 January 2004 04:14 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Seven U.S. Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan

quote:
KABUL (Reuters) - An explosion near an arms cache in southern Afghanistan (news - websites) killed seven U.S. soldiers on Thursday in one of the deadliest blows in months to American forces hunting Taliban and al Qaeda guerrillas.

U.S. Central Command said in a statement the soldiers were killed when working near an ammunition dump in the southern province of Ghazni on Thursday afternoon.

Another U.S. soldier was missing and an interpreter was also injured, the statement said.

"Everything else is under investigation, they'll be wanting to establish exactly what happened," said Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Williams at Central Command in Florida.

The U.S. military has a 12,000-strong force in Afghanistan hunting Taliban and al Qaeda rebels after a U.S.-led campaign ousted the ruling Taliban in 2001.

Guerrillas are most active in the south and east of Afghanistan, but two suicide attacks in Kabul this week killed one British and one Canadian soldier, both members of a multinational peacekeeping force in the capital.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks.



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majorvictory
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posted 29 January 2004 08:40 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
“The Americans are treating us like animals."

quote:
US Misrepresenting Casualty Counts; Beating Sheikhs in Ramadi

Dahr Jamail

01/29/04: (ICH) Yesterday in Khaldiya, 60 miles west of Baghdad, a powerful roadside bomb exploded killing US soldiers. Iraqi civilians were killed by US soldiers’ gunfire during the aftermath. However, questions about the conflicting numbers as to the number of dead US soldiers and Iraqi civilians remain. In a CENTCOM press release for the incident, the US Military claims that three task force “All American” soldiers were killed in the blast by the Improvised Explosive Device (IED), and one Iraqi killed. The press release also states that one soldier and several Iraqis were wounded.

Witnesses at the scene today told a very different story, as did personnel at the Ramadi Hospital where the civilian Iraqi casualties were taken. Mohammed (last name withheld), a 25 year old Iraqi man who lives near the scene, said, “I saw 12 US soldiers killed. Body parts were everywhere. There were also at least 5 injured.”

He and several other witnesses said they watched as the US vehicle was exploded by the IED, then other soldiers opened up with gunfire, shooting everything in sight. Hammad Naif Ermil, driving a large truck, was shot and killed, as were other Iraqis riding in a bus behind him that was riddled with American bullet holes.

Ali (last name withheld), an Iraqi Policeman who witnessed the incident, said, “I saw 12 dead US soldiers. They put them in black body bags and flew them out by helicopters.” Ali said, “We tried to help get the man out of the bus, but the Americans wouldn’t let us. He died because they wouldn’t let us get him out.”

A man who also lives near the scene of the incident, Abdul Ahkman, said, “I saw 12 US soldiers killed and flown away by their helicopters. We want the Americans to leave. They said they would bring us freedom, but they have only brought us death and suffering. We will kill them all if they stay here.”

Meanwhile, last weekend Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt told AP News, “We believe we’ve got sufficient capability to maintain a reasonable security level in the country.”



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majorvictory
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posted 30 January 2004 12:28 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ad Agency Is Sought To Pitch Elections

quote:
By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 28, 2004; Page A17

The U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad wants to hire an advertising agency to sell the Iraqi public on its plans for a new democratic government, even as U.S. officials and Iraqi leaders struggle to decide whether that government should be formed through elections, caucuses or some combination.

The occupation authority invited advertising agencies with Middle East experience to "prepare a proposal for planning, developing and executing a full communications plan in support of the Iraq electoral process." Bidders were given six days to formulate their programs, and their proposals were due today.

The bid solicitation said the winning agency should be prepared to educate the Iraqi people on the "caucus/electoral process leading to a democratically elected government in Iraq" and should devise a campaign to "inform and educate the Iraqi people about the transition to sovereignty."

The bidders will have to take into consideration the unsettled nature of the situation. The U.S. and the Iraqi Governing Council agreed on Nov. 15 that a new government would be chosen through a system of 18 regional caucuses by June 30, when the U.S. would relinquish political authority. But Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, is demanding instead that the new government be created through elections, which the United States has said cannot be done by the end of June deadline.

Yesterday, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan agreed to a U.S. request to mediate the dispute by sending a team to Iraq to decide whether popular elections are possible or whether some other compromise is possible.

The Coalition Provisional Authority's solicitation said the winning agency will have to conduct a "major, time-compressed advertising campaign" to promote the caucuses, or elections, that will allow the United States to transfer sovereignty at the end of June.

The request for proposals said the winning agency is to develop a "branding" symbol and slogan for the transition along with "informational campaign products," including tapes for use in radio and television advertisements.



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majorvictory
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posted 30 January 2004 11:17 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"A Glide Path Towards Success" - US deaths rise in wake of Saddam capture

quote:
By Charles Clover in Baghdad
Published: January 29 2004 19:41 | Last Updated: January 29 2004 19:41

US combat deaths in Iraq have risen sharply during January despite a drop in the number of attacks and the capture of former dictator Saddam Hussein over a month ago.

As of Thursday, 33 American soldiers and one civilian had been killed by hostile fire during the month. That compares with 24 US combat deaths in December, and a total of 32 coalition combat deaths.

The figures appear to show that the security situation in Iraq is not improving, contrary to earlier claims from the US military and politicians.

The US casualties are also mounting Afghanistan, where seven US soldiers were killed on Thursday in an explosion near an ammunition dump in the south of the country.

The US military on Thursday declined to confirm or deny the figures for combat deaths in Iraq this month, which were calculated from press releases from US Central Command in Florida. A US military spokesman in Baghdad said figures were only kept for two-month periods, and a computer malfunction made it impossible to calculate an official casualty count for separate months.

Overall, January has been one of the bloodiest post-war months for the coalition. Combat deaths in the first 28 days of January alone exceeded those in every post-war month except October (35) and November (94), according toIraq Coalition Casualty Count - a website devoted to tracking coalition deaths.

Eighteen combat deaths - more than half the January total - occurred in one province, Anbar, in central Iraq, where the restive cities of Falluja, Ramadi, and Khaldiya are located. Nine soldiers were killed when a Blackhawk helicopter was shot down near Falluja on January 8.

Four further fatalities from the two most recent helicopter crashes , on January 23 and 25, are still under investigation to determine if hostile fire was involved.

Only three weeks ago, on January 6, Major General Charles Swannack of the 82nd Airborne Division, who commands Anbar province, declared that the region was largely under control. "I'm here to tell you that we have turned that corner," he told a news conference.

"I also can tell you that we're on a glide-path toward success," he said, adding that attacks against US forces in Anbar province had decreased "almost 60 per cent over the past month".


[ 30 January 2004: Message edited by: majorvictory ]


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majorvictory
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Three U.S. soldiers among dead in 2 bombings

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Two bombings in Iraq on Saturday killed 12 people, including three American soldiers, and wounded at least 45 others, according to the U.S. military and news agency reports.

A car bomb exploded early Saturday, which was payday at a police station in the northern Iraq of Mosul. The blast killed nine people and wounded at least 45 others, according to news agency reports.

There were no U.S. casualties, said U.S. Army Maj. Trey Cate. Fire and rescue teams are on the scene as well U.S. forces, Cate said.

Also Saturday, a roadside bomb attack on a U.S. Army convoy traveling between the northeast Iraqi towns of Tikrit and Kirkuk killed three U.S. soldiers.

A military spokesman told CNN the attack on soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division happened 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Kirkuk. The deaths bring to 522 the number of U.S. forces killed in the Iraq war, including 364 from hostile fire.

Witnesses to the Mosul attack told The Associated Press they saw severed limbs and decapitated bodies in the street in front of the police station after the explosion. The police station was crowded when the bomb detonated, police Lt. Mohammed Fadil told the AP.



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majorvictory
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More than 100 dead in Iraq suicide blast

quote:
Sunday, 01 February , 2004, 18:44

Arbil: More than 100 people were reported killed or wounded when two suicide bombers blew themselves up Sunday in this northern Kurdish city, after US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz flew into Baghdad.

A Kurdish party quickly blamed Islamist extremists for the deadly attacks in Arbil, 350 kilometres north of Baghdad, at the start of the three-day Muslim Eid al-Adha festival, or feast of the sacrifice.

"The number of people killed and wounded who were taken to hospitals from the two offices is more than 100," Mohammed Ihsan, minister for human rights in the regional government, told AFP.

The bombers separately entered the offices of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and detonated explosive belts as residents gathered to celebrate Eid with local officials.



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majorvictory
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posted 02 February 2004 08:42 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
War Comes Home in a Coffin

quote:
Kimberly Hampton, like most of the soldiers killed in Iraq, was from a small town. And for everyone there, her death was a big deal.

By Ellen Barry
Times Staff Writer
February 2, 2004

EASLEY, S.C. — A month after Army Capt. Kimberly N. Hampton's helicopter was shot down in Iraq, her death reverberates in the hill town that sent her to war.

At the elementary school across the railroad tracks, children have clipped newspaper articles about her and taped them to the wall. At the tiny Art Deco movie theater on Main Street, the marquee was lettered with her name. At the high school, and at Bob Seaborn's Body Shop, and at Buck's Drive-In, and at the Dixie Lumber Co., the signs bore one announcement — her name.

Hampton died Jan. 2, the 492nd American soldier to die in Iraq since the beginning of the war. A few days later, a Black Hawk was shot down nearby, killing all nine soldiers aboard, and Hampton's death became a footnote in a larger story about the insurgency.

But not in this part of South Carolina.

The "lint-heads" — textile workers — who built Easley never had the rich soil that nourished farms or plantations, and they did not drink whiskey like their neighbors on the flat plains to the east. Instead they had preaching, and war: "In the South," reads an inscription at the county courthouse, "we have believed always in fighting."

The day of Hampton's funeral — when children in church clothes stood on the side of the road to salute her coffin as it went by — was about the biggest thing that had ever happened in Easley, people say.


[ 03 February 2004: Message edited by: majorvictory ]


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majorvictory
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posted 03 February 2004 12:44 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
American Soldier Killed in Central Iraq

quote:
The Associated Press

Sunday, February 1, 2004; 1:03 PM

TIKRIT, Iraq - One American soldier was killed and 12 others injured in a rocket attack Sunday on an Army base in central Iraq, the U.S. military said.

The rocket landed inside a logistics support base of the 4th Infantry Division in Balad, 50 miles south of the division's headquarters in Tikrit, an Army statement said.

It said two of the injured soldiers are in a serious condition. Following the attack, troops detained 16 people including four women for questioning, it said without elaborating.

Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein, is part of the Sunni Triangle, where most of the anti-U.S. insurgency has taken place.



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majorvictory
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posted 03 February 2004 02:16 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In January, U.S. suffered 40 combat fatalities in Iraq

quote:
It is the 2nd-deadliest month for troops since major operations over
February 3, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The 40 combat deaths in January made it the second deadliest month for U.S. soldiers in Iraq since President George W. Bush declared major combat operations over in May, according to a review of military and news reports.

The high death toll came in spite of a decline in the frequency of attacks on U.S. troops, which could mean insurgents have improved their targeting abilities.

In addition to the U.S. death toll, hundreds of Iraqis were killed or wounded in a spate of bombings in January.

U.S. Army and civilian officials in Iraq recently began citing the reduction in attacks against soldiers as a sign of progress in the war. In November, which had a record 69 soldier deaths, there were 40 to 50 attacks a day, a figure that has plummeted to about 20, according to military officials.

The attacks, however, are growing more deadly. Roadside bombs in October, November and December tended to kill one soldier at a time. In January, there were four instances in which one explosive device killed three soldiers, the highest such totals for any month since May, according to military reports.



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majorvictory
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posted 04 February 2004 01:44 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Abuse of Iraqi prisoners common, Marine says

quote:
By Rick Rogers
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

February 3, 2004

CAMP PENDLETON – A former Marine guard testified yesterday that it was common practice in Iraq to kick and punch prisoners who didn't cooperate – and even some who did.

Lance Cpl. William S. Roy, granted immunity for his testimony, said guards often abused prisoners at the Camp White Horse detention center.

Roy testified on the sixth and last day of a preliminary hearing in the death of Nagem Sadoon Hatab, an Iraqi prisoner at Camp White Horse.

Although guards beat and choked Hatab and although he died in their custody, Col. William Gallo, the investigating officer, said he had not seen evidence to substantiate charges of negligent homicide against two Marines in the case: Maj. Clarke Paulus and Lance Cpl. Christian Hernandez.

Gallo said there might be enough evidence, however, to send Sgt. Gary Pittman to trial.

The Marines are facing charges arising from the death June 5 of Hatab, a ranking member of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, while he was at Camp White Horse near Nasiriyah, Iraq.

The Marines are with the 2nd Battalion, 25th Regiment, a reserve unit based in New England that was running Camp White Horse. Because the regiment was assigned to the 1st Marine Division, the military's version of a preliminary hearing is being held here, the division's home.

Paulus, an active-duty Marine assigned to the reserve unit, was in charge of the camp; Pittman and Hernandez were guards.

Roy testified yesterday that he, Pittman and another Marine once beat a sheik who had resisted being taken into U.S. custody. The man had a bag over his head and his hands were tied behind his back.

In Hatab's case, Roy said the Iraqi might have received more abuse because he was a difficult prisoner and because he was linked to the ambush on the Army's 507th Maintenance Battalion. It was during that ambush that Jessica Lynch was taken prisoner.

Medical experts have disagreed on what killed the 52-year-old Hatab.



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DrConway
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posted 04 February 2004 03:58 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh, Puh-leeeeeeeeeeeeze!

quote:
The mission of the American Forces Network, Iraq, is to sustain and improve the morale and readiness of U.S. forces in Iraq by providing news, information and entertainment programs through the American Forces Radio and Television Service.

Snerk (TM Michelle).


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Willowdale Wizard
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posted 04 February 2004 06:11 AM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
oneworld, feb 3

quote:
Iraqi women, who were among the most liberated in the Arab world under the country's legal system, are seeing their rights stripped away by the U.S.-backed Iraqi Governing Council (IGC), according to 44 U.S. lawmakers who are calling on President Bush to take urgent steps to address what they call a "brewing women's rights crisis."

They were referring to IGC resolution 137, approved by the 25-member IGC December 29, which replaces Iraq's 1959 personal-status laws--that could affect everything from the right to education, employment and freedom of movement, to property inheritance, divorce, and child custody--with religious laws to be administered by clerics from the country's different religious faiths, depending on the sect to which the parties in any dispute belonged.

The resolution must still be approved by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), headed by Amb. Paul Bremer, in order to become legally binding. In a letter to Bremer Friday, MADRE, a New York-based international rights advocate for women, noted that IGC's action lacked transparency and was taken without any public debate or open consultation with only a minority of Council member's present.

"In less than 15 minutes of discussions, the IGC--none of whose members were elected by Iraqis--passed Resolution 137, effectively abolishing women's legal rights in 'liberated' Iraq," said MADRE's associate director, Yifat Susskind. "Under the direct authority of the Bush administration, the IGC has privileged sectarianism over inclusiveness and violated core principles of democratic governance..."



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al-Qa'bong
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posted 04 February 2004 11:01 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Abuse of Iraqi prisoners common, Marine says

Remember what happened to our Airborne Division after a couple of Canadian paratroopers killed a Somali prisoner?

D'ya think the First Marines will be disbanded?


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 05 February 2004 01:42 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraq toll climbs despite claim of `turning corner'

quote:
By ROBERT BURNS
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- U.S. soldiers are dying at a rate of more than one a day in Iraq, despite some commanders' recent claims to have broken the back of the insurgency.

The toll in January was 45 -- five more than in December -- despite hopes that deposed President Saddam Hussein's capture would stop the killings from roadside bombs and other attacks.

The number of deaths in January will rise to 47 when the Pentagon changes the status of two soldiers who are missing and believed to have died in the Tigris River on Jan. 25. That would make the second-highest monthly total since April, when daily combat from the U.S.-led invasion was under way.

All told, 528 U.S. troops have died in the war, including three so far this month. The worst month was November, when 82 died. In October there were 43, September had 30, August 35.

Of 39 deaths in January that the Army attributed to hostile action, 23 involved attacks with homemade bombs, which the military calls "improvised explosive devices," and which have been the insurgents' weapon of choice, according to a review of Pentagon casualty reports.

The Army has put great emphasis on defeating the threat from homemade bombs, often detonated along roadways used by Army convoys. Usually a remotely transmitted signal sets them off.

To counter the threat, more soldiers are using Humvee utility vehicles with extra armor, and troops are wearing an improved version of body armor that provides more protection against bomb shrapnel. Some vehicles also are equipped now with devices that jam the electronic signal used to detonate the bombs.

Most of the attackers are thought to be remnants of the Baath Party that ruled Iraq under Saddam for more than three decades, although some may be foreign terrorists.

When U.S. troops captured Saddam near his hometown of Tikrit on Dec. 13, some thought that would take the punch out of the resistance. By early January, U.S. commanders were publicly emphasizing that the number of attacks on U.S. troops had declined, as had hostile deaths.

Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack Jr., commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, told reporters on Jan. 6 that "we've turned the corner" in the counter-insurgency effort in his area of responsibility, the western part of Iraq, which includes a part of the "Sunni Triangle" west of Baghdad.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 05 February 2004 11:49 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Guess who's filling Iraq's mass graves today?

quote:
This is the village where, in July, the US military raided the home of Shaaker Mahmoud Moklef. Suspecting him of being an IED engineer, they tossed concussion grenades into the rear yard, then blew the front door off with explosives. The soldiers entered the courtyard--guns blazing--killing the 52-year old farmer along with his wife and son. Shaaker's two daughters survived--the oldest required surgery for a gunshot wound to the leg. No IED making gear was found....

Inside the home of Ali, the Sheikh and I drink hot, sweet tea with the younger brother and Jamal. Ali painfully recounts the story of attempting to track down the body of Shaaker's wife. After many months, they learned that she was buried behind a military hospital in the ancient city of Babel, just to the south of Baghdad. According to Ali, as the bulldozer began to exhume the woman's body, other corpses were uncovered, revealing a mass grave. When the wife's body was disinterred, they found that her hands were still bound.


What's the Mongol word for "freedom"?


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 06 February 2004 10:11 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US learns that corruption is a hard habit to break in Iraq

quote:
By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times, 2/4/2004

BAGHDAD -- Iraq's new trade minister was three months into his job when he found out about the door scam.

Alerted by a complaint last fall, Ali Abdul-Amir Allawi discovered that the ministry had agreed to order $100 million worth of wooden doors at a 220 percent markup through 10 well-connected companies and that everyone involved would reap the spoils.

After Saddam Hussein's ouster, bureaucrats who remained in their posts continued to push the order, prioritizing it over critical food and medical shipments and accepting what Allawi described as "millions of dollars in bribes." Two top officials have been suspended and the case referred to the local prosecutor.

The cost so far: $40 million.

"It's the tip of the iceberg," Allawi said.

As Iraqis and their occupiers comb through mass graves and struggle against terrorist attacks, they are coming to grips with yet another crippling Hussein legacy: a massive government riddled with corruption. With US taxpayers pouring billions of dollars into the country and Iraqis feeling frustrated by the sense that the Americans are doing little to end the cycle of corruption, the persistence of graft is a vital issue.

On Saturday, Iraqi Governing Council President Adnan Pachachi announced the creation of a National Commission on Public Integrity to try to clean up the problem.

The commission, like several others created by the Governing Council, will be part of a de facto fourth branch of government with independent authority.

Under Hussein, public employees were so poorly paid that they demanded bribes from the public to feed their families.

Because the totalitarian regime sought total control of its citizens' life, payoffs pervaded virtually every level of society: Kickbacks were needed to get a passport for the holy Hajj pilgrimage, evade a police checkpoint, build a house or get out of the army.

And the corruption shows no signs of abating. The new head of the prison system was recently jailed for trying to establish a network of subordinates who could extort bribes in exchange for prison releases, according to Iraqi police.

The US-appointed mayor of the city of Najaf was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and theft. The Pentagon is investigating the award of Iraq's cellphone contract to companies linked to a former Hussein loyalist and to a friend of a member of the US-appointed Governing Council.

The persistence of corruption feeds resentment toward what many Iraqis see as the United States' ignorance of the country and its inability to maintain control. "The people feel nothing has changed," said Jabar Habib, a prominent political scientist at Baghdad University.

His advice to Americans: "Deal with corruption, because one of the [reasons] for the insecurity is the corruption."



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 06 February 2004 04:06 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Two killed after Iraq checkpoint attack

quote:
Two Iraqi men have been killed and two teenagers have been wounded after US soldiers returned fire following an attack on a checkpoint in the northern town of Samarra, witnesses and medics said.

An owner of a shop near the checkpoint, Safaa Abud Abbas, said a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at the US checkpoint by two people in a car, but missed the soldiers. The Americans retaliated by returning fire.



From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 07 February 2004 11:18 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Officials flee embassy amid terror fears

quote:
By KANAKO TAKAHARA
Staff writer

Officials at the Japanese Embassy in Baghdad have been evacuated from the compound to a separate site in the city amid fears of a terrorist attack, government sources said Friday.
"Embassy officials at times leave the building due to various (security) information," said a senior Foreign Ministry official, declining to be named.

The official hinted that this is not the first time officials have been evacuated from the diplomatic mission.

The official denied, however, that the embassy staff withdrew from Baghdad. A full withdrawal would mark a major policy shift amid mounting concerns over the security situation there.

Although Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda declined comment on the issue, citing security reasons, he hinted that the officials had been evacuated to a different site in Baghdad.

"Well . . . they are doing their duty within Baghdad," Fukuda said.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 07 February 2004 01:48 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The persistence of corruption feeds resentment toward what many Iraqis see as the United States' ignorance of the country and its inability to maintain control. "The people feel nothing has changed," said Jabar Habib, a prominent political scientist at Baghdad University.

Well, when the USA is practicing the same form of corruption on an institutional scale, what incentive is there to end the penny-ante form of it in Iraq?

(Doors at a 220 percent markup? That's chump change next to Halliburton shaking down the US taxpayer for a few billion dollars. Or how about the ridiculous spectacle of building a completely unnecessary cell phone network using North American cell standards, which the rest of the world considers a quaint antique, all on the government dime?)

[ 07 February 2004: Message edited by: DrConway ]


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 07 February 2004 08:50 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Torture Files

quote:
Iraqi detainees allege mistreatment and abuse

by Ben Ehrenreich


A widower and the father of two young boys, Baha al-Maliki worked as a hotel receptionist in the Iraqi city of Basra until September 14 of last year. That day, British soldiers arrested him and seven other hotel workers, saying they had found a stash of weapons hidden in the hotel. His family learned nothing of his whereabouts until three days later, when British soldiers came to their door to tell them he was dead. When al-Maliki’s father retrieved his body from the hospital, according to Amnesty International’s Khaled Chibane, “it was severely bruised and covered in blood.” The cause of death listed on his death certificate, says Chibane, was asphyxiation, apparently from being hooded during his interrogation. “It was obvious that he had died,” Chibane says, “as a result of torture.”

Al-Maliki is not the only Iraqi to have died under disturbing circumstances while detained by coalition forces. Though they have received minimal attention in the U.S. press, allegations of mistreatment of detainees have been surfacing persistently for at least the last six months. The allegations range from generalized neglect — unsanitary conditions and exposure to the elements — to beatings, electric shock and other forms of torture.

It was not until early this month, though, that the U.S. military’s Central Command released a brief and tersely worded statement announcing, “An investigation has been initiated into reported incidents of detainee abuse at a Coalition Forces detention facility.”

The announcement, so vague as to be enigmatic, came after several days of Defense Department denials in response to repeated inquiries by the L.A. Weekly about allegations of the torture and mistreatment of Iraqi detainees. Just two days earlier, a Defense spokesperson said, in regard to the over 13,000 Iraqis currently in coalition custody, “No rights have been violated to my knowledge.”

A military spokesperson would say only that Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez ordered the investigation following allegations of abuse at Abu Ghraib, a Baghdad prison, and that investigators would look at all the coalition’s detention facilities.

On any given day in Baghdad, dozens of Iraqis wait outside prison gates, hoping for news of detained relatives. Interviews with representatives of human-rights groups active in Iraq paint a distressing picture of the military’s treatment of the Iraqis held behind those gates. While they have almost universally been denied entry to detention facilities, several groups have been able to gather information by interviewing detainees after their release.

Many of the detained are arrested in violent late-night home raids and never formally charged with any crime (nearly half of all those detained are noncriminal “security detainees”). Family members report being unable to find relatives, who, after arrest, may be taken to one (and sometimes several) of 13 prisons administered by the coalition — some built hastily in the months since the invasion; others, such as Abu Ghraib, with a legacy of infamy dating back to the rule of Saddam Hussein.

Former detainees allege that they could not contact lawyers or relatives and were not told why they were being detained or for how long. They complain of crowding and unsanitary conditions, insufficient food and water, inadequate shelter from extremes of temperature, and a lack of access to medical care. Some report being tortured through so-called “stress and duress” methods during interrogations: being restrained in painful positions for extended periods, being hooded or deprived of sleep for days through bright light and loud music. Others allege that they were beaten and even electrocuted, and rights groups report several cases in which the bodies of prisoners who died while in custody showed signs of torture.

A coalition official denied the bulk of these allegations, asserting, “Detainees are afforded humanitarian treatment in accordance with international law.” Detention conditions, he said, “are improving on a daily basis.”



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 08 February 2004 12:34 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bomb Wounds Two Soldiers In Baghdad

quote:
Associated Press
February 7, 2004


TIKRIT, Iraq - U.S. forces on Friday captured six people "closely tied" to Saddam Hussein and his regime for suspected anti coalition activities including attacks on helicopters, an American commander said. A roadside bomb exploded in Baghdad, wounding two U.S. soldiers.

The explosion that wounded the soldiers took place about 3 p.m., the U.S. command said, without providing further details.

Roadside bombs are a major threat to U.S. troops across the country. A review of Pentagon casualty reports shows that of 39 deaths in January that the Army attributed to hostile action, 23 involved attacks with homemade bombs, which the military calls "improvised explosive devices."

In Fallujah, residents said Friday that two men suspected of having been informants for the Americans were slain by insurgents. The killings, which occurred late Thursday and early Friday, came after pamphlets were circulated in the area west of Baghdad warning Iraqis against cooperating with the occupation force.

Separately, scores of well-wishers gathered Friday near the house of Iraq's most powerful Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, in the holy city of Najaf to check reports of an attempt on his life. They were met by security guards who told them that their spiritual leader is safe and accounts of a failed assassination were false.

Arab media reported the attempt on al-Sistani's life Thursday in Najaf. But details varied widely, and the report has been denied by two bodyguards, the ayatollah's political allies and by U.S. officials.

Hassan al-Jarah, a student who visited al-Sistani's office Friday, said he did not notice anything wrong. "It seems very much business as usual," he told The Associated Press.

Al-Sistani is not known to have left his modest house in the center of the city since last April, and receives very few visitors except other clerics and students.

The raids around Saddam's hometown of Tikrit were targeting Iraqis suspected of involvement in attacks on U.S. troops and helicopters, said Lt. Col. Steve Russell, a battalion commander in the 4th Infantry Division.

"The individuals are closely tied to the Saddam family and the former regime. They represent some of the last of the main network that we have been targeting for many months," Russell said without providing details.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 08 February 2004 08:41 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The terrible human cost of Bush and Blair's military adventure: 10,000 civilian deaths

quote:
UK and US authorities discourage counting of deaths as a result of the conflict. But academics are monitoring the toll and have identified a grim new milestone

David Randall

02/08/04: (The Independent) More than 10,000 civilians, many of them women and children, have been killed so far in the Iraqi conflict, The Independent on Sunday has learnt, making the continuing conflict the most deadly war for non-combatants waged by the West since the Vietnam war more than 30 years ago.

The passing of this startling milestone will be recorded today by Iraq Body Count, the most authoritative organisation monitoring the human cost of the war. Since the invasion began in March, this group of leading academics and campaigners has registered all civilian deaths in Iraq attributable to the conflict. They do this in the absence of any counts by US, British, or Baghdad authorities.

Iraq Body Count's co-founder, John Sloboda, said: "This official disinterest must end. We are now calling for an independent international tribunal to be set up to establish the numbers of dead, the circumstances in which they were killed and an appropriate and just level of compensation for the victims' families."

His call was backed by Bob Marshall Andrews, Labour MP for Medway. He said: "These are figures which are airbrushed out of the political equation and yet are central to whether it is possible to create a stable and democratic Iraq."

Iraq Body Count said last night that deaths are only recorded by them when reported by at least two media outlets. Its leading researcher Hamit Dardagan said that its careful, but necessarily incomplete, records are in contrast to "the official indifference" to counting either the Iraqi lives lost or those blighted by injuries.

Neither the US or British military, nor the Coalition Provisional Authority have kept a record of Iraq civilian or military casualties, and Washington and London have both rejected calls for them to compile such totals.

This attitude extends also to the provisional Iraqi government. Until late last year, an official at the Iraqi Health Ministry, a Dr Nagham Mohsen, was compiling casualty figures from hospital records. But, according to a barely noticed Associated Press report, she was, in December, ordered by her immediate superior, director of planning Dr Nazar Shabandar, to stop collating this data. The health minister Dr Khodeir Abbas denied that this order was inspired or encouraged by the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 08 February 2004 11:57 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
GI Dies As Iraq Insurgents Attack Convoys

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq Feb. 8 — Insurgents attacked U.S. Army convoys in three areas, killing one soldier and wounding three others Sunday, witnesses and the U.S. command said.
Elsewhere, a U.N. team met with Iraqi leaders Sunday to discuss the chances of holding early legislative elections, and its leader pledged to do "everything possible" to help the country regain its sovereignty.

Meanwhile, a bomb planted inside a police station killed three policemen and injured 11 others on Saturday, officials said. In southeastern Iraq, about 90 Japanese soldiers began their controversial humanitarian mission. They are the first Japanese troops in a combat zone since World War II.

Also, Prince Charles made a surprise visit to British troops in the southern city of Basra on Sunday amid tight security, the first member of the royal family to visit the country since the ouster of Saddam Hussein.

Charles wearing desert camouflage combats, sturdy boots and a black beret met more than 200 soldiers from the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment and thanked them for their work in Iraq.

Elsewhere, Iraqi workers unearthed a mass grave containing the remains of at least 50 people.

U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and his team held talks for about two hours with members of the U.S.-installed Governing Council on the second day of a mission to break the impasse between the United States and the country's influential Shiite Muslim clergy on the blueprint for transferring sovereignty to the Iraqis.

"The U.N. can only emphasize its wish to do everything possible to help the Iraqi people with all their sects and components to come out from their long plight and to help them regain independence and sovereignty," said Brahimi, who is Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special adviser on Iraq.

A senior Iraqi official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the team would stay here about 10 days.

"We are here to see what kind of mechanism the Iraqis feel is more appropriate to their country," the team's spokesman, Ahmed Fawzi, said.

The United Nations withdrew its international staff from Iraq last year following two attacks against their headquarters. The Aug. 19 truck bombing killed 22 people, including the top envoy, Sergio Vieira de Mello.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 10 February 2004 12:25 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Two U.S. soldiers killed

quote:
Bomber blows himself up trying to enter home of prominent sheiks

By Mariam Fam

ASSOCIATED PRESS

BAGHDAD, Iraq – A man wearing an explosives belt blew himself up Monday outside the home of two tribal leaders who have cooperated with American forces. Two U.S. soldiers were killed while disposing of explosives in northern Iraq.

Three Iraqi guards were seriously wounded in the blast outside the compound of brothers Majid and Amer Ali Suleiman in Ramadi, northwest of Baghdad.

Witnesses said the brothers were receiving callers when a man approached the compound but was told to leave. He returned moments later and triggered the explosives, the witnesses said. The brothers are two of the city's most prominent tribal leaders who have worked with coalition forces.

Insurgents have repeatedly warned Iraqis not to cooperate with the Americans. The most recent threats were contained in pamphlets circulated in Ramadi and nearby Fallujah by a purported coalition of 12 insurgent groups.

Ramadi and Fallujah are located in the Sunni Triangle, a major center of resistance to the U.S.-led occupation.

The two American soldiers were killed in an explosion outside Sinjar near the northern city of Mosul during an operation to dispose of ordnance, deputy operations chief Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said.

Five soldiers were hurt in the blast, according to a statement issued by the U.S. military's Task Force Olympia. The statement said the soldiers were moving mortar shells and rocket propelled grenades from a storage area to a demolition point when the explosion occurred.

One of the soldiers was killed instantly. The second soldier died later of his injuries. Three of the injured were hospitalized in stable condition and two others were treated for minor injuries and returned to duty.

The names of the two victims were withheld pending notification of their families.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 10 February 2004 12:41 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Jimmy Breslin - Bloomberg Fails to Ask Why

quote:
February 8, 2004

The soldier's girlfriend, who was weeping quietly in the cold rain, had more sense than all her purported betters in this city.

Informed that the mayor of New York had just made a huge and bold move on the White House and asked for citizenship for her dead soldier, who was a Dominican, she said at the wake, "What good is it now? He can't use it."

He sure can't. He was Private Luis Moreno. He was 19 years old. They were loading him in his box into a hearse for the ride to a cemetery forever.

She also had a question: "Why is he dead?"

She is Jessica Corporan and she is 18 and was going to marry him when he got back from Iraq. If you are going to have your heart broken, 18 is not the easiest age to evade pain, and she showed it on Friday.

Mayor Bloomberg was proud that he sent a hand-delivered note to President Bush requesting citizenship posthumously for Private Moreno.

The idea wilted in the noisy steam coming out of the radiators in St. Francis of Assisi church on Shakespeare Avenue in the Bronx.

Along with Bloomberg's request, here was a general of the army giving a bronze star posthumously to Moreno. The general couldn't speak Spanish.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Willowdale Wizard
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posted 10 February 2004 08:03 AM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
bbc news, feb 10

quote:
A car bomb has killed at least 15 people and wounded dozens outside a police station south of Baghdad. The device exploded in the mainly Shia Muslim town of Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) from the Iraqi capital.

A Reuters reporter at the scene counted at least 20 dead bodies. Hospital director Razak Jannabi reported 30 deaths and estimated the final death toll would be 49.

It appears to be the worst loss of life in Iraq since twin bomb attacks in the northern city of Irbil on 1 February killed more than 100 people at Kurdish rallies.



From: england (hometown of toronto) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 11 February 2004 11:52 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Up to 47 die as car bomb strikes Iraq army centre

quote:
UP to 47 people died today when a suicide attacker blew up a car packed with explosives in a crowd of hundreds of Iraqis waiting outside an army recruiting centre in Baghdad.

It is the second bombing in 24 hours after more than 50 died when a bomber struck at a police station in the Iraqi capital yesterday.

The attack fuelled warnings insurgents are stepping up violence against those co-operating with United States forces to disrupt the planned June 30 handover of power to the Iraqis.

Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, the military’s deputy operations chief in Baghdad, said: "This could be part of the ongoing pattern of intimidation we’ve seen of late. We have stated numerous times that in the lead-up to governance, there could be an uptick in the violence."

Colonel Ralph Baker, of the 1st Armored Division, said there was no immediate indication who was behind today’s attack, but he said it resembled "the operating technique" of al-Qaida or Ansar al-Islam, a radical Muslim group linked to Osama bin Laden’s terror network. The 7.25 am blast tore into would-be army volunteers waiting outside the recruitment centre less than a mile from the heavily fortified green zone, where the US administration has its headquarters.

Col Baker said a man driving a white 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Sierra detonated about 300 to 500 lb (135 to 225 kg) of explosives.



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majorvictory
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posted 12 February 2004 11:14 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Baghdad bomb kills two US troops

quote:
Two American soldiers have been killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, the US military has said.
Another soldier was wounded in the blast, in a western suburb of the Iraqi capital on Wednesday night.

The 1st Armoured Division said the bomb exploded as the soldiers were passing by in their vehicles.

It comes after two consecutive days of heavy bloodshed in Iraq, when nearly 100 Iraqis were killed by car bombs outside recruitment centres.



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majorvictory
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posted 12 February 2004 02:16 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Scenes of horror at Iraqi hospital

quote:
Jennie Matthew | Samawa, Iraq

11 February 2004 12:22

Two-year-old Nawaf Mishal lies whimpering on a pile of dirty blankets in an Iraqi hospital, so malnourished his face is deformed, his legs are like pencils and his enormous almond eyes empty with pain.

He vomits everything he eats, and a 10-day course of antibiotics and fluids at the children's hospital in Samawa, about 260km south of Baghdad, has not helped.

Nawaf fell ill when the village drinking water became infused with sewage. No one in his family thought to boil the water first.

Doctors at the hospital say the number of cases of severe gastroenteritis caused by contaminated water have doubled since the 2003 United States-led invasion of Iraq.

In the children's ward, the stench of dried sweat and raw waste is almost unbearable. Mothers, dressed head to foot in black robes, sit cross-legged on the floor or beds, cradling children as many drift slowly into death.

The hospital has only 11 incubator units for more than 20 premature babies. Most date back to the 1980s before international sanctions isolated Iraq from the world in the wake of Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Oxygen supplies run out for days. Doctors have less than half the drugs, fluids and equipment they need. The electricity goes off for hours. The hospital's sewage system frequently overflows.

"We have nothing. Most children die, especially in winter," said Samah Zaher, a 25-year-old junior doctor.



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majorvictory
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posted 13 February 2004 10:58 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. Soldier Killed in Iraq Explosion

quote:
Fri Feb 13,12:59 AM ET


BAGHDAD, Iraq - An explosion killed an American soldier and wounded two others in a Baghdad suburb, the U.S. military reported Friday.

The blast occurred at 10:40 p.m. Thursday in Abu Ghraib, in the western part of the capital, hitting a patrol by members of the 16th Military Police Brigade, said Cpl. Craig Stowell, a spokesman at U.S. command.

The type of explosive used in the attack was not yet determined, he said.

Abu Ghraib, site of a notorious Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)-era prison now being used by the Americans, has seen occasional mortar fire and other attacks in the past.



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majorvictory
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posted 14 February 2004 02:51 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
DU Contamination in Iraq: Dutch troops refuse to remove radioactive debris

quote:
RISQ News, 12 February 2004

Author: M.H.J. van den Berg

Residents of As Samawah in Southern Iraq are unduly exposed to radioactive debris as Dutch troops stationed in the area refuse to remove remnants of war contaminated with depleted uranium (DU).

This is the principle finding of a report obtained by RISQ from Mamoru Toyoda, a Japanese researcher and journalist who has been investigating DU-contamination in Iraq, and who visited the town of As Samawah last month. Equipped with a Geiger counter, Mr Toyoda measured radiation levels 300 times higher than normal in town, at the site of an abandoned anti-aircraft artillery stand.

Responding in detail to questions raised by RISQ, Mr Toyoda says the marks he found on the guns render it more than likely that the radiation is due to the impact of depleted uranium ordnance. According to local residents, the area was a military target twice in 1991 and 2003, when it came under heavy fire from US aircraft.

Immediately after "the war of the invasion", as residents called it, US military cleared the area, picking up unexploded ordnance and other debris. However, they refused to remove the artillery pieces without any explanation. Later, when residents asked Dutch troops, stationed in the area since August last year, to remove the artillery, they too refused to do so.

To date, the site has not been fenced off or marked by warning signs. In fact, as Mr Toyoda conveyed to RISQ, "he was horrified to find that many children were playing near and around the abandoned guns".



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majorvictory
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posted 14 February 2004 11:57 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
At Least 21 Killed in Attack in Iraq

quote:
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: February 14, 2004

FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) -- Guerrillas overwhelmed an Iraqi police station west of Baghdad, meeting little resistance as they went room to room shooting police in a bold, well-organized assault that killed 23 people and freed dozens of prisoners, officials said.

The fierce, well-coordinated daylight attack on Saturday in Fallujah -- unprecedented in its scale -- raised questions whether Iraqi police and defense forces are ready to battle insurgents as the U.S. military pulls back from the fight in advance of the November U.S. presidential election. It also underscored the tenacity of a resistance that continues despite the Dec. 13 arrest of Saddam Hussein.

The attack came at the end of a bloody week in which about 100 people were killed in suicide bombings at a police station in Iskandariyah and an army recruiting center in Baghdad. Those attacks and Saturday's Fallujah raid suggest a campaign by insurgents to strike at key institutions of the U.S.-backed Iraqi administration.

Iraqi police stations have frequently been targeted by insurgents before, but not by so many gunmen in such a well-coordinated assault.

Before the attack, the gunmen set up checkpoints and blocked the road leading to the police station, but residents did not notify police, Deputy Interior Minister Ahmed Kadhum Ibrahim said in Baghdad. Nearby storeowners were warned not to open Saturday morning, one shopkeeper in Fallujah said.

The battle left 17 policemen, two civilians and four attackers dead. At least 37 people -- nearly all policemen -- were wounded. Two wounded attackers were captured, but the rest escaped.

Police in the Fallujah station complained they had only small arms -- nothing larger than an automatic rifle -- in the face of dozens of fighters armed with heavy machine guns, hand grenades and rocket-propelled grenades. No U.S. forces took part in the battle.



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Cueball
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posted 15 February 2004 04:13 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Pretty much every time you go down there you get shot at," said Capt. Ryan Huston, 25, of Huntsville, Ala. Huston is the liaison officer from the 82nd Airborne to the city of Fallujah. "I can almost count the times I went there and didn't get shot at."

Insurgents attack five sites, kill 17 Iraqi policemen -- USA Today


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majorvictory
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posted 16 February 2004 12:48 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Four Afghans helping U.N. killed in ambush

quote:
In a separate incident, U.S. soldier killed, nine injured in mine explosion

Associated Press
Originally published February 15, 2004

KABUL, Afghanistan - Four Afghan aid workers were killed in an ambush yesterday, the latest victims in a Taliban-led insurgency that is threatening plans for midyear elections.
Also yesterday, the U.S. military said that a soldier died in a mine blast. The anti-tank mine exploded under a Humvee in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, killing the soldier and wounding nine others.

Investigators were examining whether the blast, northwest of the city of Ghazni, was a targeted attack on the patrol "or just a leftover mine," Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty said. Afghanistan is littered with munitions from more than two decades of war.

Of the nine American soldiers injured Friday, two were being taken to a U.S. military hospital in Germany. All the soldiers were from the 10th Mountain Division, but their names were not released.

Yesterday, four Afghans working for a de-mining agency were shot to death in an ambush in the western part of the country, officials said.

The victims had just delivered supplies to de-miners working near Bala Buluk, about 340 miles west of the capital, Kabul, said Patrick Fruchet of the United Nations de-mining program.

"We had a team nearby who heard the shots being fired," Fruchet said. "When they got there, they were all dead."

An Afghan intelligence official said bullets found in the victims' two vehicles were from AK-47 assault rifles and heavy machine guns.

Civilians have borne the brunt of recent attacks by suspected Taliban insurgents and their allies. The violence has killed more than 100 in the first six weeks of the year, mainly in the country's south and east.



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majorvictory
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posted 18 February 2004 12:28 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraq Bombings Leave 3 U.S. Soldiers Dead

quote:
Tue Feb 17, 7:00 AM ET

By MATT MOORE, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Roadside bombs have claimed more American lives, killing three U.S. soldiers in separate attacks in Baghdad and Sunni Muslim areas to the north of the capital. At least six soldiers were wounded in the attacks, one critically.

In the biggest attack, one soldier from Task Force Iron Horse was killed and four were wounded in a roadside bombing in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. One of the wounded was critically injured and the other three were in guarded condition, the military said.

A soldier from Task Force Olympia was killed and another wounded by a bomb Monday evening in Tall Afar in northern Iraq (news - web sites). A soldier from the 1st Armored Division died and another was wounded in a bombing Monday in central Baghdad.

The latest deaths brought to 541 the number of Americans who have died since President Bush (news - web sites) launched the Iraq war on March 20. Most of the casualties have occurred since Bush declared an end to active combat May 1.

Witnesses said two roadside bombs exploded Tuesday outside the Anbar Medical College and hospital in Ramadi in the Sunni Triangle, damaging a U.S. Army Humvee. It was unclear if any soldiers or civilians were injured. A third bomb was defused.



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majorvictory
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posted 20 February 2004 01:08 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
UK troops accused of POW brutality

quote:
February 19, 2004 - 12:30PM

British soldiers in Iraq kicked and punched hooded prisoners as they screamed for mercy, according to a witness who says he saw one Iraqi detainee beaten to death..

The serving British soldier, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Sun newspaper he had been "sick to his stomach" after witnessing the beatings in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

Britain's defence ministry said earlier this month that it was investigating the death of an Iraqi prisoner while in British custody following reports that he had been beaten to death.

According to The Sun, the dead man was among nine Iraqis held by the Queen's Lancashire Regiment on suspicion of being bandits last September, just a few weeks after the regiment lost one of its number to a roadside bomb.

The unnamed soldier said that when he visited the British base's cell block he saw the prisoners stretched out or kneeling with hoods over their heads



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majorvictory
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posted 20 February 2004 02:27 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Report says military distorts war deaths

quote:
By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff, 2/18/2004

WASHINGTON -- By refusing to make public its estimates of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has undercut international support for the US campaigns in those countries and has made the postwar stabilization of the two societies more difficult, according to an independent report to be released today that accuses the Pentagon of appearing indifferent to the civilian cost of war.

The analysis by the Project on Defense Alternatives, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, concludes that the Pentagon has not fully disclosed in recent years accidental deaths and injuries inflicted upon civilian populations by American military forces. Its failure to do so has made it more difficult to predict how local populations will receive the United States after a conflict, the report said.

According to the report -- "Disappearing the Dead: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Idea of a `New Warfare' " -- the Pentagon's stance has also distorted the national debate over whether to go to war.

The report says the US military has wrongly given the impression that its high-tech form of warfare is extremely low risk, creating unrealistic expectations that war produces very low casualties.

Ignoring evidence to the contrary, the report says, the Pentagon has also said that estimates of the number of war casualties cannot be known and that such numbers nonetheless would not be meaningful in assessing the overall success of a military operation.

"Distortion of the civilian casualty issue can only serve to impede the sober assessment of US policy, policy options, and their consequences," states a draft copy of the report, provided to the Globe. "It is antithetical both to well-informed public debate and to sensible policy making."

Based on a review of thousands of news articles and other publicly available materials, the report estimates that 18,000 combatants and civilians were killed during the course of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, about one-third -- 6,000 -- were civilians. A Pentagon official, who said he had not yet read the full report, maintained that the Pentagon is unable to tally civilian casualties and has no need to.

"Our efforts focus on defeating enemy forces, so we never target civilians and have no reason to count such unintended deaths," said the official, who asked not to be identified. "It is at best extremely difficult to estimate casualty figures, and we cannot say with any certainty how many civilians have been killed . . .

"Even one innocent death is a sad fact, and something we sincerely regret."

As for Iraq, he added, "The responsibility for every death in Iraq, be it soldier or civilian, Iraqi, American, British, or others, lies with Saddam Hussein, who chose war over complying with UN resolutions."

The 60-page report accuses the Pentagon of "spinning" the casualty issue to the media so as to limit public discourse about a subject that military leaders, still haunted by the Vietnam War, fear will hurt support at home and abroad. One method has been to simply not discuss civilian casualties and make no effort to tally them, even when news reports make estimates possible.

The report terms it "casualty agnosticism."



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Rufus Polson
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posted 20 February 2004 05:43 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I love this:
quote:
"Our efforts focus on defeating enemy forces, so we never target civilians and have no reason to count such unintended deaths,"

So say there was a military force in New York, and someone nuked New York to crush that military force. I'm sure these military guys would be sympathetic to the need to ignore any unintended civilian casualties--the civilians weren't targeted and so there would be no reason to count such unintented deaths.


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majorvictory
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posted 21 February 2004 12:28 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Quaker deserts as unit deploys

quote:
By Julia Oliver
Staff writer

Contributed photo
Jeremy Hinzman fled to Canada with his wife, Nga Nguyen, and their son, Liam, in January.
Jeremy Hinzman said he could barely stomach chanting "kill we will" during basic training and, as a Quaker, he didn't want to shoot anybody. But it was the thought of serving U.S. interests in Iraq that made the 82nd Airborne Division specialist flee to Canada last month.

"I would have felt no different than a private in the German Army during World War II," he said by phone from Toronto, where he is seeking refugee status.

Hinzman, 25, who was a member of the 2nd Battalion of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, is subject to prosecution as a deserter if he is caught within U.S. borders.

His name will go on a national database that law enforcement officers can access, said Sgt. Pam Smith, a spokeswoman for the 82nd Airborne. He can be arrested, but the Army won't go looking for him, she said.

"We don't have time to go and track down people who go AWOL," she said. "We're fighting a war."

Hinzman, who grew up in Rapid City, S.D., joined the Army in January 2001. The socialist structure of the military appealed to him, he said. He liked the subsidized housing and groceries and, at the end of his service, the money for college.

"It seemed like a good financial decision," he said. And, he said, "I had a romantic vision of what the Army was."

But from the beginning, basic training bothered him. He said he was horrified by the chanting about blood and killing during marches, by the shooting at targets without faces and by what he called the dehumanization of the enemy.

"It's like watching some kind of scary movie, except I was in it," he said. "People would just walk around saying things like, 'Oh, I want to kill somebody.'"

He felt that the prospect of killing should be taken more seriously and that soldiers should not talk about death in such a cavalier way, he said.



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majorvictory
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posted 21 February 2004 09:19 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
UK Troops Accused On Iraq Killings

quote:
Richard Norton-Taylor

Saturday February 21, 2004: (The Guardian) The Ministry of Defence is facing the prospect of a string of lawsuits over the deaths of at least 18 Iraqi civilians allegedly killed by British soldiers, the Guardian can reveal.

The incidents, hitherto unreported, are separate from the suspicious deaths of seven Iraqis who were being held by British troops in the notorious Camp Bucca detention centre near the port of Umm Qasr, south of Basra.

The threat of legal action comes as the conduct of British troops serving in southern Iraq is under intense scrutiny, with MPs and human rights lawyers demanding independent inquiries into the deaths at the prison camp as well as civilian fatalities in and around Basra.

The new disclosures relate to incidents in which Iraqis have died when they were fired on by mistake or were innocent bystanders to operations allegedly being conducted by British troops.

While the MoD has refused to accept liability for any of the deaths, it has offered and paid compensation to some of the families.

One family was offered about $1,000 (£530) for the death of Waleed Fayayi Muzban, who was killed when his vehicle was hit by a barrage of bullets allegedly fired by British troops. Lawyers said the sum was derisory, and are preparing to sue the MoD in civil courts in the UK to provide better compensation.

The new cases include:

· The death of Mr Muzban in August last year. He died from chest and stomach wounds in a military hospital.

· Three days later, on August 27, Raid Hadi Al Musawi, an Iraqi policeman, was allegedly shot by British soldiers patrolling Basra.

· Hanan Shmailawi was shot in the head and legs while sitting down to her evening meal in November. British soldiers were on the roof of Basra's Institute of Education complex, where the family lived and worked, investigating a crime.

· Muhammad Abdul Ridha Salim went to visit his brother-in-law at around midnight on November 5. British troops raided the house and one allegedly shot him in the stomach. He died later in hospital.

· Jaafer Hashim Majeed, 13, was playing in a Basra street in the morning of May 13 when a cluster bomb exploded. He died on the way to hospital.

In another incident a senior British army officer has acknowledged responsibility for killing and wounding members of a family who were legitimately carrying arms.

Phil Shiner, whose firm Public Interest Lawyers is acting in these and other cases, said yesterday: "The 18 Iraqis are the tip of the iceberg. All have lost relatives and loved ones in circumstances where it is crystal clear the UK armed forces are to blame, often because they've shot people by mistake.

"The government must act immediately to set up an independent inquiry to establish the precise cause of these deaths."



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majorvictory
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posted 22 February 2004 02:43 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
'They were kicking us, laughing. It was a great pleasure for them'

quote:
Rory McCarthy in Basra
Saturday February 21, 2004
The Guardian

It was dawn when the squad of British soldiers raided the Ibn Al Haitham hotel. Baha Mousa's night shift on the reception desk was coming to an end and his father had just arrived to drive him home.
The soldiers ordered Baha, 26, to lie on the black tiled floor of the lobby with six other hotel employees, their hands on their heads.

Troops searched the building and arrested the staff, driving them off to a British military base in Basra, southern Iraq. It was only a formality and the men would be released shortly, they said.

Four days later Baha was dead.

When his father, Daoud Mousa, a stout colonel in the Basra police force, arrived at the British military morgue to identify his son's body he was confronted with a bruised, bloodied and badly beaten corpse.

"When they took the cover off his body I could see his nose was broken badly," he said. "There was blood coming from his nose and his mouth. The skin on his wrists had been torn off. The skin on his forehead was torn away and beneath his eyes there was no skin either. On the left side of his chest there were clear blue bruises and also on his abdomen. On his legs I saw bruising from kicking. I couldn't stand it."

Two other hotel staff, who have been questioned by investigators, described in interviews with the Guardian how they were repeatedly punched, kicked and forced to crouch in stress positions for two days and two nights.

One of the survivors was so badly beaten he suffered kidney failure, according to British military medical records. None was ever found to have committed a crime.

A month after Baha's death in mid-September, the British military commander, Brigadier William Moore, wrote to Col Mousa expressing "regrets", offering "sincere condolences" and promising an investigation. Since then, officers from the special investigation branch of the 3rd Regiment, Royal Military Police, have been examining the circumstances of Baha's death.

But to date no British soldier has been arrested or charged in connection with Baha's death, or the beating of the six others.



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majorvictory
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posted 23 February 2004 01:12 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Special forces quitting to cash in on Iraq

quote:
CHRISTIAN JENNINGS

BRITAIN’S elite special forces are facing an imminent crisis because record numbers of men are asking to leave their units early, lured by high wages on offer in a growing security industry in Iraq.

Defence and special forces sources have told The Scotsman that such is the demand from private military companies in Britain and the United States who are operating in Iraq for former Special Air Service and Special Boat Service soldiers that, between May 2003 and December 2004, between 40 and 60 men are expected to have sought premature voluntary release, or PVR, from the army and Royal Marines.

In operational terms, this could mean that this year, the equivalent of one entire special forces squadron out of a total of six in the SAS and SBS is on its way to seek its fortune in the new Iraq.

The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, anti-terrorism deployments in Europe, training commitments abroad as well as the need to have one entire SAS squadron of 65 men and one SBS unit of 20 men permanently on anti-terrorism standby in the UK, means that Britain’s special forces are very thinly stretched.

British, US and South African private military companies are all making money in Iraq following the fall of Saddam Hussein last year.

Former elite troops from the SAS and SBS, the US’s Delta Force, Navy SEALs and Green Berets, South Africa’s special forces and police, as well as ex-French Foreign Legionnaires, are queuing up to take up contracts safeguarding oil installations, as bodyguards or training the Iraqi police and army.

In particular demand are former members of Britain’s special forces.

"Security companies want ex-Brit SF [special forces] because they have the most amazing history," said John Davidson, who runs Rubicon International, a British security company whose interests in Iraq include contracts with BP and Motorola.



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majorvictory
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posted 23 February 2004 06:17 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Rumsfeld Assesses Iraq Security; Bomb Kills 13

quote:
By Charles Aldinger and Joseph Logan
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide car bomber killed 13 policemen Monday in an Iraqi city riven with ethnic tension, the latest attack in an insurgency which Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld flew to Iraq to discuss with senior commanders.

Rumsfeld flew in from Kuwait on a C-130 military transport plane that made a rapid descent as it landed in Baghdad to thwart any attack employing shoulder-fired missiles.

On his fourth visit to Iraq since the war began, he met U.S. commanders and Iraqi police on a trip partly aimed at assessing whether Iraqi forces can assume more security responsibilities from foreign troops after June 30, when Washington plans to hand sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government.

Speaking to reporters with Rumsfeld, the chief spokesman for the U.S. military, Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, said: "It is clear that the Iraqi security forces are not capable of taking over the security of this country (now)."

At the United Nations, Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a report saying Iraq would not be ready for elections until late this year or early next year -- far later than many Iraqis want.

"After more than three decades of despotic rule, without the basic elements of rule of law, a ruined economy, a devastated country, the collapse of state institutions, low political will for reconciliation, and distrust among some Iraqis, conditions in Iraq are daunting," Annan's report said.



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majorvictory
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posted 25 February 2004 08:36 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US helicopter 'downed by missile'

quote:
25/02/2004 - 13:14:05

A US military helicopter crashed today into a river west of Baghdad, police said, and a witness reported seeing a missile hit the aircraft.

The OH-58 Kiowa helicopter, which carries a two-member crew, crashed about 1.50pm near Haditha, Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt said.

He said there were two casualties but would not say whether they were dead or injured. Kimmitt also said the cause of the crash had not been determined.

Two US helicopters were flying over Haditha when a missile hit one of them, said Emad Rasheed, a 45-year-old Haidtha resident.

Police in Haditha confirmed that an aircraft crashed, but had no word on the cause.



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majorvictory
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posted 25 February 2004 08:38 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Insurgent and soldier: two views on Iraq fight

quote:
By Nicholas Blanford | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

CAMP MANHATTAN, IRAQ - When a conventional army is forced to fight an antiguerrilla warfare campaign, it can be "messy and slow, like eating soup with a knife." So said T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, the British Army officer who led the Arab revolt against the Turks in World War I.

For Maj. John Nagl, never was a truer word spoken. He even adapted the quote as the subtitle for his doctoral thesis, "Counterinsurgency Lessons From Malaya and Vietnam," published two years ago.

The 37-year-old guerrilla warfare specialist serves with the 82nd Airborne Division in this former Iraqi Air Force base in the Sunni triangle. Since deploying to Iraq in September last year, Major Nagl has grappled with the challenges posed by the cells of insurgents operating in his area.

"It's a constant struggle of one-upmanship," he says. "We adapt, they adapt. It's a constant competition to gain the upper hand."

That view is shared by "Ahmad," a member of a local resistance cell.

In separate interviews, the two of them paint a picture of a classic guerrilla war in which semi-autonomous groups of lightly armed fighters fired up with religious and nationalist zeal compete against the world's most advanced military machine in a constantly evolving struggle.

The inspiration for the insurgency in Fallujah, neighboring Khaldiyeh, and other towns in the Sunni triangle came from the mosques immediately following Saddam Hussein's ouster. The clerics in Fallujah made oblique references to jihad and resistance in their sermons, messages that were understood by those listening.

The catalyst that transformed those ambiguous references into an outright call for resistance came in May after several demonstrators were shot dead in Fallujah by American troops.

"The clerics called for resistance and jihad against the Americans," Ahmad, a native of Fallujah, says. "We responded because we love our religion and we love our clerics and respect the history of Islam."

Nine months later, and Nagl estimates the number of cells in his area of operations around Khaldiyeh, which does not include neighboring Fallujah, at "more than five, less than 15" with between six and 15 militants in each group.



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majorvictory
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posted 26 February 2004 12:28 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Soldiers 'given 5 bullets for Iraq war'

quote:
Feb 24 2004

A serving solider has risked his career by speaking out over equipment shortages in the Gulf conflict.

Just five bullets each were issued to him and his men, who were serving along frontlines in southern Iraq, the unnamed soldier told Channel 4 News.

"We had five rounds each to defend ourselves. I actually crossed the border with five rounds," he said.

"The magazine held 30 separate bullets but I was issued with five separate bullets to last the entire hostilities of the war. We came under fire in Um Qasr three or four times.

"Not fire, it was more like ricochets. There were firefights going on all around us. It was scary."

The claims threaten to reignite the controversy over equipment shortages, dramatically highlighted by the death of Sgt Steve Roberts.

Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon came under mounting pressure when Sgt Roberts' widow Samantha revealed he was ordered to hand body armour to a colleague, shortly before he was shot and killed.

By raising the latest case, the unnamed solider, who is reportedly based in Germany and served in Um Qasr, Az Zubayr and Basra, risks losing his job and pension.



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majorvictory
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posted 26 February 2004 11:09 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Five Afghan civilians killed in ambush

quote:
Five Afghan aid workers have been killed and two wounded in an ambush on a road north-east of Kabul.

Another aid worker is still missing after Wednesday night's attack, said Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali.

More than 100 people have died in such attacks this year, many of which are believed to have been carried out by Taleban militants.
News of the deaths came as US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld arrived in the southern city of Kandahar.

Mr Rumsfeld's visit began in the city of Kanadahar, the former stronghold of the Taleban.

There he saluted a graduating class of 48 Afghan policemen trained at the heaquarters of a new civilian-military Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).

Taleban remnants

The PRT is backed by the US and is helping to train police and soldiers bring more security among local communities.

It is regarded as a key part of a new US push to stabilise southern Afghanistan, where remnants of the Taleban and al-Qaeda remain active more than two years after being driven from power by US-led forces.

Mr Rumsfeld later flew to Kabul for talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

His visit came as news emerged that five Afghan aid workers had been killed and three wounded in an ambush north-east of Kabul.

The aid workers killed on Wednesday had been involved in government projects to rebuild the rural economy, correspondents say.

They belonged to the the Serai Development Foundation, a group involved in rebuilding roads and providing clean water.
The killings came less than two weeks after suspected Taleban gunmen killed four deminers in the west of the country.

More than 550 people, including many rebels, have been killed since August.



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majorvictory
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posted 27 February 2004 08:57 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. forces to pull out from Baghdad

quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A senior U.S. army commander in Iraq said U.S. forces will be pulled out from Baghdad gradually as of the beginning of April.

Gen. Ricardo Sanchez told a press conference in Baghdad Thursday American troops will, however, back Iraqi police and security forces whenever it is necessary after they take over security duties in the Iraqi capital.

"All U.S. forces will be withdrawn from Iraqi cities by the time powers are transferred to the Iraqis by June 30," Sanchez said.



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majorvictory
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posted 29 February 2004 06:10 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Estonian Soldier Killed in Iraq

quote:
An Estonian soldier trying to defuse a roadside bomb was shot and killed by insurgents in Iraq, an Estonian government spokesman said today.

The victim was the first Estonian soldier to die from hostile fire since independence in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Junior Sgt. Andres Nuiamae was shot late on Saturday night in northwest Baghdad while on patrol with other coalition troops.

He was the first coalition soldier killed by hostile fire in Iraq since February 19 when a pair of Americans were killed in a roadside bombing near Khaldiyah, 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of the capital.

The soldier was the first member of Estonia’s 45-person contingent, which has been in Iraq since last summer, to die here, Estonian government spokeswoman Hanna Hinrikus told The Associated Press.

“This is a very painful reminder that the situation in Iraq has not stabilised by today and common efforts by coalition troops to restore peace are necessary,” Estonian Prime Minister Juhan Parts said.

“We can never overestimate his courage and readiness to serve both Estonia and all the countries and people that hold dear freedom and democracy.”

Ten Estonians have been injured, including two last month, when an insurgent threw a grenade at them.



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al-Qa'bong
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posted 29 February 2004 11:31 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Juar Another Street Killing

quote:
"Every day we lose another one of out brothers," one policeman said, "Every day I leave my house and kiss my wife and children goodbye not knowing if I will return." Another officer complained that "his family will get nothing. Even in the worst of times under Saddam, the family of a dead police officer received a salary, or a car or a house even. Now they get nothing. If the situation for the police does not improve we all soon all quit." I asked a police officer about the problems they faced. "Three problems a day," he said, "breakfast, lunch and dinner." He and his men asked me to tell the Iraqi Governing Council about their difficulties.

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beluga2
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posted 01 March 2004 03:09 AM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"I've gotta get out of this country"

quote:
"I've gotta get out of this country," one engineer said, shaking his head at the sight of the damaged Humvee.

It is a sentiment shared by the thousands of American soldiers who are nearing the end of their year-long duty in Iraq and preparing to make way for fresh units. In the biggest US troop movement since the Second World War, over the next three months 14 brigades will briefly overlap with, and then replace, 17 brigades now in Iraq, reducing the number of divisions from four to three, and the total US force from 130,000 to 110,000.

The rotation brings high risk as inexperienced soldiers grapple with their first real taste of combat in a complex, dangerous and alien country.

Despite intense training beforehand in simulated Iraqi towns and villages, nothing can fully prepare the new troops for the mixture of anti-terrorist action, defending civilians and policing Iraq, that they face.

Commanders know that relationships forged over many months with Iraqi officials, tribal chiefs, and religious leaders cannot be duplicated overnight.

Gen Peter Schoomaker, the US Army chief of staff, told a House Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington last week: "We're very, very sensitive to the fact that the great progress we've made has much to do with the understanding and relationships we've established at the local level."

Just days earlier near Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, an incident involving newly arrived soldiers of 25th Infantry division illustrated the dangers.

A bomb had exploded next to a troop convoy and in the ensuing panic, soldiers chased and shot a woman and her two daughters who had failed to heed warnings to stop - killing one daughter and injuring her sister and mother.

No soldier was hurt, yet local goodwill developed by their predecessors over almost a year was destroyed in an instant.



From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2878

posted 02 March 2004 11:59 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Blasts Kill 143 at Iraq Shiite Shrines

quote:

By TAREK AL-ISSAWI and HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press Writers

KARBALA, Iraq - Simultaneous explosions ripped through crowds of worshippers Tuesday at Shiite Muslim shrines in Baghdad and the city of Karbala, killing at least 143 people on the holiest day of the Shiite calendar, a U.S. official said. It was the bloodiest day since the end of major fighting.

The attacks, a combination of suicide bombers and planted explosives, came during the Shiite festival of Ashoura and coincided with a shooting attack on Shiite worshippers in Quetta, Pakistan that killed at least 29 people and wounded more than 150.

Tuesday was the climactic day of the 10-day Ashoura festival, which marks the killing of Shiite saint Imam Hussein in a 7th century battle. It is the most important period in the Shiite religious calendar and draws hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in Iraq (news - web sites), Iran, Pakistan and other Shiite communities.

Three suicide bombers set off their explosives in and around Baghdad's Kazimiya shrine, killing 58 and wounding 200, U.S. Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt told reporters. In Karbala, at least one suicide attacker blew himself up and pre-set explosives detonated, killing 85 and wounding more than 100, he said.

A fourth suicide bomber whose explosives did not detonate was captured at Kazimiya, and four people were arrested in connection with the attack in Karbala, Kimmitt told reporters in Baghdad. Another bomb was found and defused Monday night in Najaf, the holiest Shiite city, police said.

Iraqi police also arrested four would-be suicide bombers in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Tuesday. Two men — a Syrian and an Iraqi — were arrested after a car bomb was found outside the Seyed Ali al-Musawi Mosque. Later in the day, police arrested two women who were wearing explosives-laden belts as they marched in a procession to mark Ashoura.

The bombings produced a wave of Shiite outrage — much of it directed at U.S. troops in the Iraqi capital. U.S. soldiers who arrived at Kazimiya were attacked by angry crowds throwing stones and garbage, injuring two Americans.




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

posted 03 March 2004 01:10 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Death toll in Iraq bombings jumps to 271

quote:
Baghdad — As the death toll in Tuesday's devastating bombings in Iraq continued to climb, an official said that Iraqi police and U.S. troops had detained 15 people thought connected to the attacks.

A few hours later, the president of Iraq's Governing Council said that 271 people had been confirmed killed in the bombings of Shia shrines in Baghdad and Karbala. Another 393 were listed as injured.

The Iraqi estimate was considerably higher than the tally from U.S. occupying forces, who put the number of dead at 117.

The confusion reflected the chaos Tuesday, when suicide attackers set off bombs and explosives, apparently on wooden pushcarts, among thousands of pilgrims who were gathered in the two cities for the holiest day of the Shia calendar, the mourning ceremony of Ashoura.

The attacks forced the delay of a milestone in the path toward the U.S. handover of power to the Iraqis on June 30 — the planned signing Thursday of an interim constitution agreed to by council members this week. Iraq's top U.S. administrator Paul Bremer said the signing would be delayed as the Governing Council declared a three-day mourning period.

It appeared other attacks had been planned. Iraqi officials said suicide bombers were arrested in the southern city of Basra and in police in oil-rich Kirkuk found a bomb with 10 kilograms of TNT alongside a road where Shiites had planned to march. Anwar Amin, the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps chief in the city, said Wednesday that police defused the bomb and the march was cancelled at the request of police.



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

posted 07 March 2004 02:51 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Colonial Governor discusses democracy in Iraq

quote:
WALLACE: As we reported earlier, there are reports out of Iraq that Ayatollah Ali Sistani has now signed off on the new constitution. Is that true? And if so, when will the new constitution be signed?

BREMER: Well, I don't want to speak for the Ayatollah. We hope that the signing ceremony will happen tomorrow. We've noted a statement by the current president of the Governing Council that they do intend to sign it tomorrow.

And I think it's a remarkable thing that here we are less than a year ago when Saddam Hussein was still running a dictatorship here that you've got Iraqis debating about a democratic constitution. It's a wonderful thing, and we certainly hope we can move forward with the signing.



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

posted 07 March 2004 05:36 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Explosions Rock Baghdad Near Coalition Headquarters

quote:
Guerillas in Iraq fired at least 10 rockets late Sunday toward the so-called "Green Zone" in Baghdad where the U.S.-led authority has its headquarters.

Sirens went off after at least a few of the rockets landed and exploded inside the heavily-guarded zone.

Reports quoting Iraqi police and a U.S. military officer say there were no casualties from the attack. Officials say the rockets were small and did only minor damage.



From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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Babbler # 1885

posted 08 March 2004 02:13 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
American occupiers in Afghanistan acting like, well, occupiers...

quote:
The 59-page report, "Enduring Freedom": Abuses by U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, is based on research conducted by Human Rights Watch in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2003 and early 2004. Human Rights Watch documented cases of U.S. forces using military tactics, including unprovoked deadly force, during operations to apprehend civilians in uncontested residential areas—situations where law enforcement standards and tactics should have been used. Afghan forces deployed with U.S. forces have also mistreated persons during search and arrest operations and looted homes.

The report also details mistreatment in U.S. detention facilities. Released detainees have said that U.S. forces severely beat them, doused them with cold water and subjected them to freezing temperatures. Many said they were forced to stay awake, or to stand or kneel in painful positions for extended periods of time.

"There is compelling evidence suggesting that U.S. personnel have committed acts against detainees amounting to torture or cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment," said Adams.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 29 March 2004 07:08 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraqi outcry as US bans newspaper

quote:
Hundreds of Iraqis have protested in Baghdad after a Shia newspaper was banned for allegedly inciting violence against the US-led coalition.

Angry crowds gathered at the offices of Al-Hawza Al-Natiqa weekly, which is produced by supporters of the radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr.

US troops earlier delivered a letter announcing a 60-day ban on the weekly.


Banning newspapers. How fun. Whatever happened to good ol' Freedom of Speech?

(Although I guess it's only free for the colonial governor and his minions)


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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Babbler # 1885

posted 29 March 2004 12:20 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US kills four militants in Mosul; Brits clash with activists in Basra

quote:
British troops clashed with dozens of Iraqis when the soldiers tried to evict anti-coalition activists from a government-owned building in the southern Iraqi city of Basra today. Three Iraqis were injured.


Associated Press Television News footage showed Iraqis throwing stones at the troops and their vehicles.

At one stage, two soldiers struggled with an Iraqi man as he tried to grab one of their weapons.

During the clashes, a freelance photographer working for The Associated Press, Nabil al-Jourani, was wounded when he was shot in a leg with a rubber bullet by the soldiers.


...

quote:
In the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, US soldiers shot and killed four rebels suspected of involvement in attacks in the region, the US military said.

The deaths came hours after gunmen fired on a convoy carrying a government minister and the separate killings of a Briton and a Canadian in the region.

The four were killed late last night in a firefight with a US military police patrol, the military said in a statement. Two soldiers were wounded, it said.

The troops had stopped the rebels’ vehicle because it matched the description of one used in an earlier drive-by shooting at US forces in Mosul.

Inside the vehicle, soldiers found assault rifles, a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher and other weapons. The statement said US and Iraqi security forces were investigating to see whether the rebels “were involved in any of the recent attacks”.



From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
beluga2
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3838

posted 18 April 2004 05:50 AM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Rumsfeld to homebound US troops: not so fast

quote:
"Because we're in the midst of a major troop rotation, we have a planned increase in the number of U.S. troops," Rumsfeld said at a hastily arranged Pentagon press conference.

The first casualties of what Rumsfeld called "taking advantage of the overlap" were a few hundred soldiers from the Army's First Armored Division. Pentagon officials told the Daily News those troops were at Baghdad International Airport preparing to return to their home base in Germany this week when the plug was pulled.

"They were on the tarmac waiting for their plane when they were told to pick up their gear, head back to camp and get ready to go back into the field," the official said. "Can you imagine the effect on morale that had?"



From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 19 April 2004 10:11 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
AAN Promises Important Iraq Story Tomorrow

quote:
The 3,000-word story, embargoed until Tuesday but obtained by E&P today, is based on a "closely held" memo purportedly written by a U.S. government official detailed to the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). It was provided to writer Jason Vest by "a Western intelligence official." The memo offers a candid assessment of Iraq's bleak future -- as a country trapped in corruption and dysfunction -- and portrays a CPA cut off from the Iraqi people after a "year's worth of serious errors."

The article is titled, "Fables of Reconstruction," with a subhed, "A Coalition memo reveals that even true believers see the seeds of civil war in the occupation of Iraq."


We should keep an eye on this, but greet the memo with the same skepticism that the "yellowcake from Nigeria" memo was greeted.

After all, it may turn out to not have been written by anyone associated with the colonial governor.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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Babbler # 2878

posted 03 May 2004 02:09 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Falluja confusion as toll mounts

quote:
America's top soldier has contradicted officers on the ground in Iraq by denying a Saddam-era general has been given control of the city of Falluja.

Gen Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he did not believe Gen Jasim Saleh would pass the vetting process for taking command.

Gen Saleh has been in the city with 200 Iraqi peacekeepers since Friday.

Nine US soldiers died in attacks on Sunday, taking to 12 the death toll for the first two days of May.

April saw the highest US combat losses in Iraq since the invasion last March, with 129 killed.

In the bloodiest attack on Sunday, two mortars hit an unidentified base in western Iraq, killing six soldiers

'Blood all over'

US marines would only say that the base was located two hours' drive west of Falluja, itself 50km (32 miles) west of the capital Baghdad.

I saw blood all over, I didn't know whose it was, mine or other people's

Witness
"I didn't know who was dead and who was wounded," an unnamed 27-year-old survivor was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

"I knew it was a mortar from the black smoke... It was a bad day."

The witness said two bombs had fallen, the second directly on soldiers seeking shelter after the first blast.

A survivor quoted by AFP news agency described a scene of chaos:

"When it hit, everybody went down, took cover, there were people screaming. It knocked me off me feet... I saw blood all over, I didn't know whose it was, mine or other people's."



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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Babbler # 1299

posted 03 May 2004 02:15 AM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Welcome back, major. We've missed your news threads.
From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 03 May 2004 03:51 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"Fables of Reconstruction"

quote:
AS THE SITUATION in Iraq grows ever more tenuous, the Bush administration continues to spin the ominous news with matter-of-fact optimism. According to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Iraqi uprisings in half a dozen cities, accompanied by the deaths of more than 100 soldiers in the month of April alone, is something to be viewed in the context of "good days and bad days," merely "a moment in Iraq’s path towards a free and democratic system." More recently, the president himself asserted, "Our coalition is standing with responsible Iraqi leaders as they establish growing authority in their country."

Also: The original memo.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 08 May 2004 12:49 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"Sometimes they pretended to kill me"

quote:
May 8, 2004 | BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Last Saturday, Suhaib Badr al Baz, a cameraman for Al-Jazeera, sat in the lobby of the Swan Lake Hotel and calmly described his experience being tortured by U.S. military personnel. The soft-spoken journalist's account of his 74 days in U.S. custody was deeply disturbing, and his story not only supports what is now coming to light about human rights violations in Abu Ghraib, but also adds interesting new details. Al Baz said that much of his mistreatment took place in a building at the Baghdad airport, a place where he heard the sounds of prisoners screaming for long periods of time. If his account is accurate, it means that the abuse of prisoners in Iraq is not limited to Abu Ghraib prison or a single military unit. It may well be, as military critics argue, more widespread.

Like many other prisoners of Abu Ghraib, al Baz was never charged with a crime and did not have the opportunity to defend himself before any court. As soon as he was arrested, he found himself plunged into a secretive network of American detention facilities with little connection to the outside world, a zone where human and civil rights were completely ignored. As a civilian in occupied Iraq, he should have been protected by the Geneva Conventions, but instead, al Baz became the victim of a war crime perpetrated by U.S. soldiers. Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines war crimes as: "Willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment ... Unlawful confinement of a protected person ... willfully depriving protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial."

Al Baz, who is a single man of medium build and a slight belly, hardly presents the image of an insurgent. There is nothing threatening about him. He is not dramatic, choosing instead to make his points in a straightforward way. Al Baz never raised his voice while he was talking, and over the three days of our meetings he did not seem angry about his incarceration. In a country of furious people, al Baz did not make a political speech. We sought him out to tell his story; he did not seek the attention.

Al Baz was not an ordinary Iraqi as far as the soldiers were concerned. He works for Al-Jazeera, the Arab media network with few fans in the administration. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently excoriated Al-Jazeera's coverage of Fallujah, saying, "I can definitively say that what Al-Jazeera is doing is vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable." These comments reflect the bitter feelings the administration has toward producers of negative news about the occupation. But this bitterness is not confined to words -- the U.S. military hit Al-Jazeera buildings in both Baghdad and Kabul, Afghanistan, strikes that the network believes were intentional, though the military denies it. As Baghdad fell to American forces on April 8 last year, a bomb struck the office of the network and killed Tariq Ayoub, an Al-Jazeera cameraman. Many journalists who have covered the war for the past year believe there is a clear pattern of intimidation toward the network by the coalition. Al Baz himself believes he was singled out because of his employer. "They knew me, they had stopped me before," he said of the soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division, who arrested him.



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

posted 08 May 2004 01:04 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Poland's top war reporter gunned down in ambush

quote:
GUNMEN ambushed a Polish television crew in Iraq yesterday, killing Poland’s best-known war correspondent and a producer.

Waldemar Milewicz, a correspondent for Poland’s TVP television, and Mounir Bouamrane, a dual Algerian-Polish national, died in the hail of gunfire in Mahmoudiyah, to the south of Baghdad. Cameraman Jerzy Ernst was wounded.

Mr Ernst told Polish television that the crew set out yesterday morning for Najaf, scene of heavy fighting between US troops and Shiite militiamen loyal to radical anti-US cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

The road was blocked, so the Iraqi driver, who was not injured, decided to take another route.

"Suddenly we heard shots from very close behind and the window was shattered," Mr Ernst said. "It took about 30 to 40 seconds. We all ducked down and then there was silence."



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

posted 08 May 2004 09:33 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Early Iraq Abuse Accounts Met With Silence

quote:
Sat May 8, 2:39 PM ET

By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent

Detailed allegations of psychological abuse, deprivation, beatings and deaths at U.S.-run prisons in Iraq (news - web sites) were met by public silence from the U.S. Army last October — six months before shocking photographs stirred world outrage and demands for action.

At the time, one ex-prisoner sensed that words might count for little. Instead, Rahad Naif told a reporter, "I wish somebody could go take a picture of Camp Bucca."

These early accounts by freed prisoners, reported by The Associated Press last fall, told of detainees punished by hours lying bound in the sun; being attacked by dogs; being deprived of sufficient water; spending days with hoods over their heads.

One told AP of seeing an elderly Iraqi woman tied up and lying in the dust; others told of ill men dying in crowded tents.

They spoke repeatedly of being humiliated by American guards. None mentioned the sexual humiliation seen in recently released photos, but Arab culture might keep an Iraqi from describing such mistreatment.

In contrast to suggestions that the photos indicate isolated abuse by a few, these Iraqis told of widespread practices in several camps that would violate the Geneva Conventions and other human rights standards. On Friday, in an unusual public statement, the international Red Cross agreed, disclosing that its inspectors last year found a "broad pattern" of abuse.

On Oct. 18, AP posed specific questions about the reported abuses to the U.S. military command in Baghdad and the 800th Military Police Brigade, which was in charge of detainees at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison and other facilities.

The MP unit drafted responses, AP later learned, but the Baghdad command did not release them. No explanation was given. The AP report, published Nov. 1, cited a statement to Arab television by the MP commander, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, that prisoners were treated humanely.



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

posted 09 May 2004 01:45 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Doctor Who Treated Thousands of GIs Wounded in Iraq: "Severest Form of Injuries I've Seen in My Career"

quote:
We speak with Dr. Gene Bolles who for the last two years served as the chief of neurosurgery at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center - the largest hospital outside the U.S. for troops stationed in Europe and the Middle East - about what is not frequently discussed in the mainstream media: wounded soldiers.

In the latest news from Iraq, six Iraqis and a US soldier were killed in a massive car bomb outside the headquarters of the US occupation authority in Baghdad.
Following the bloodiest month for US troops since the beginning of the invasion, the total number of American soldiers killed in Iraq has now topped 760. U.S. authorities have not bothered to count the Iraqi dead, but some estimates put the number as high as 11,000.

News reports and Pentagon briefings emerge daily announcing the death of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. But what is rarely heard in the U.S. media or from the Defense Department is the number of U.S. soldiers wounded.

Some figures that have been briefly mentioned in the press fall in the range of two to three thousand. But in a story that received little national attention, the Pentagon reported last month that the military made over 18,000 medical evacuations - representing 11,700 casualties in the first year of war in Iraq.

Nearly all those wounded US soldiers ended up in a US military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany for treatment. Today we speak with a doctor who has treated many of those casualties, Dr. Gene Bolles.

Dr. Gene Bolles, neurosugeon from Boulder, Colorado. He was hired as a private contractor after the 9/11 attacks to serve as the chief of neurosurgery at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the largest hospital outside the U.S. for troops stationed in Europe and the Middle East. He returned from Landstuhl after more than two years treating wounded US soldiers. Bolles was the surgeon who repaired the broken back of Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch after her rescue as a prisoner of war in Iraq last April.

Mark Benjamin, UPI Investigations editor. He has been closely following the hidden US casualties from the Iraq war. He was awarded the American Legion's top journalism award for 2004 for his reporting last fall on the plight of hundreds of sick, wounded and injured soldiers at Fort Stewart, Ga.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 09 May 2004 11:59 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Nice to see you back, majorvictory. And that is news.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 May 2004 03:19 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It is good to see you back, MV! However...don't hate me, but I'm going to close this thread - it's just too long for people on dial-up. Feel free to start a new one!
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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