Saturday, December 13, 2003

War News for December 13, 2003 Bring 'em on: One US soldier killed, two wounded in bomb ambush near Ramadi. Bring 'em on: Two Iraqi CDC members killed on patrol near Samarra. Bring 'em on: Pipeline sabotaged near Beiji. Bring 'em on: Roadside bombs defused near US positions in Kirkuk. Bring 'em on: Attacks on US troops averaged 21 per day over the last week. Analysis: Lieutenant AWOL's foreign policy reflects his personal vindictive streak. Soldier pleads guilty to self-inflicted wounding in Iraq. Analysis: Bush's neo-colonialism will only provoke more resistance. "On its own, the privatisation plan, if implemented successfully, would be a disaster for the bulk of Iraqi citizens (as is the case in most of Latin America and central Asia), but the situation here is unique. These 'reforms' are being imposed at tank point. Many Iraqis perceive them as a recolonisation of the country, and they have provoked an effective and methodical resistance. On the military level, the situation continues to deteriorate, thus remaining the source of numerous internal difficulties and sustaining friction and strife within the west." Coalition of the Wobbly: Norway may withdraw troops from Iraq. Rummy seeks better intelligence on Iraqi insurgency. "Despite his optimistic public comments about the success of U.S. forces in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has privately expressed the need for better intelligence on whether Iraqi insurgents are replenishing their ranks faster than they are being killed and captured… Retired Army Col. Andrew J. Bacevich, who teaches strategy and security issues at Boston University, said Rumsfeld is 'right to be concerned. There has never been a time in U.S. military history when, six months into a war, we have known so little about the enemy.'" Clerics criticize US occupation during Friday sermons. More Iraqi soldiers desert. " The first mistake, according to those in charge of the training program, was that the Iraqi soldiers' salaries were too low. Privates earn $70 a month -- about half the amount paid to the people who fill sandbags around the Baghdad headquarters of the U.S.-led occupation authority, Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton said. For several months, Eaton has been asking for extra money for the soldiers…Another problem, Eaton said, was that a civilian company was hired to conduct the training rather the military. The $48 million contract was awarded to Vinnell Corp. in the spring, when U.S. forces in Iraq were stretched thin and cutting loose several hundred soldiers to oversee the training would have been difficult." Rebels with a cause. The coming civil war in Iraq. US holds about 10,000 detainees in Iraq. Commentary Editorial: Bush's contracting policy shafts the American taxpayer. Opinion: Neo-ineptitude. "The United States has a mess on its hands in Iraq, and the man who may have done more than anyone else to bring that about shot his own country in the foot yet again this week." The author is correct in his assessment that Wolfie and the neo-cons are a bunch of incompetent screw-ups. But it's clear that the neo-cons are still in their jobs because they're doing a good job as far as Lieutenant AWOL is concerned. A competent President would have shit-canned them all a long time ago. Opinion: Bush's contracting is bad policy. "Not winning reconstruction contracts won’t hurt the people of Germany, France and Canada. But it will thrust most of the burden back on Americans. And it has dealt a serious blow to relations with our allies, on whom we must rely in the war on terror." Opinion: "Lurching from one publicity stunt to the next, the Bush administration's Iraq policy appears to be - to use an old Texas saying - all hat and no cattle." Editorial: Bush's poor diplomacy. "The administration's position on the contracts echoes its disturbing tendency to make unnecessary enemies in a world that now is full of necessary ones. Instead of clinging to, even nurturing, resentment toward Germany, France and Russia about their prewar criticism, the United States had an opportunity to turn the page." Casualty Reports Local story: Indiana soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Idaho soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Ohio soldier missing in Iraq. Home Front Despite three years of miserable failure, Lieutenant AWOL boasts about a "year of accomplishment" in his weekly radio address. Here's the transcript.


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