Wednesday, November 19, 2003

War News for November 19, 2003 Bring ‘em on: Major counter-insurgency operations continue across Iraq. Bring ‘em on: US conducts tactical air strikes in central Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi official assassinated in Diwaniyah. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqi policemen and Iraqi translator wounded in attack on police station in Mosul. Australians working for CPA evacuated from Iraq after threats. Report from Fallujah. “This city is a case study in how U.S. war planners appear to have underestimated the complexity of Iraqi society, including the role of tribes and different ethnic and religious groups. As casualties grow, the Americans are discovering how hard it will be to create a government of these disparate interests.” Back to the future in Baghdad. Insurgents are locals, according to US general. “’I want to underscore that most of the attacks on our forces are by former regime loyalists and other Iraqis, not foreign forces,’ said the officer, Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., commander of the 82nd Airborne Division.” So why does Lieutenant AWOL keep yapping about “foreign fighters?” Iraqis complain about targets. “But residents are wondering why some of the targets were picked, saying they are on land that's fully controlled by coalition forces.” Media Analysis: The collapse of American values. “Three things America cherishes and prides itself more than anything else are its democratic values — absolute freedom of the media to report anything it wants, as it wants according to its best judgment; and indiscriminate and fair dispensation of justice. The US government could not imagine to advise media about the coverage or otherwise of a story or the mode of the coverage.” Commentary Opinion: Take a close look at Bush’s “exit strategy.” “But I worry that this new strategy, like the last one, has too much wishful thinking and too little hard analysis about what could go wrong.” Keep worrying. All of this administration’s military and diplomatic policy is coming exclusively from the political office. Lieutenant AWOL and his buddies really don’t give a rat’s ass about either the Iraqi or the American people. Opinion: Former US Marine sounds off. Opinion: Bush’s taxpayer-supported propaganda network is a bad idea. Casualty Reports Local story: California soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Minnesota soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: California soldier dies in Iraq. Local story: Mississippi soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Tennessee soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: New York soldier killed in Iraq. Operation Cut and Run Report from Samarra. “Mowafaq Hameed, a police captain in Samara, speculated the Americans pulled back after pressure from the city's religious leaders and tribal chiefs. He said the police had no prior knowledge of the move. The soldiers had barely left Saturday when an army of looters arrived in pickup trucks to strip the bases of whatever they could lay their hands on, including bricks from walls and glass from windows.” Emphasis added. Name That War! In an otherwise incoherent piece in today’s New York Times, Nicholas Kristoff announced that he is sponsoring a contest to name the current war in Iraq. “We need a name for this war. 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' never rolled off the tongue, and 'Iraq war' creates confusion with the 1991 war. So send in your entries by mail or e-mail. I'll report the top five suggestions and give those writers Iraqi 250-dinar notes with Saddam's portrait.” As Kristoff himself acknowledges, “Mr. Bush has gotten us into this mess” so I suggest Bush’s War is an appropriate title both for history to remember this folly and for Americans to remind Lieutenant AWOL (and future Presidents who might contemplate their own vanity wars) about where the buck stops. Send in your own suggestions. Mr. Kristoff’s email is at the link above.


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