Sunday, December 28, 2003

War News for December 28, 2003 Bring 'em on: One US soldier killed, five wounded by roadside bomb ambush in Baghdad. Comprehensive after-action report of yesterday's carnage in Karbala. Two Thai soldiers, four Bulgarian soldiers, seven Iraqi police officers killed, thirty-seven soldiers, including five Americans wounded, in a very skillfully executed attack. Iraqi insurgency having significant impact on CPA and military planning. Long WaPo article well worth reading. It seems that many of the "senior officials" are conveniently blaming the insurgency for the failure of their unrealistic plans such as wholesale privatization and an unworkable scheme to end food rationing. Now read the next article from the LA Times. Do the Bushies even have a realistic plan? The administration's only objectives are to get the bad news from Iraq off the TV before the elections and prevent a total collapse of the CPA until January 2005. "A failure to make the deadline or the continuation of an unelected government would be a setback for the Bush administration, and not merely in terms of its election-year image. It probably would deter the United Nations from becoming more active in Iraq and would fuel suspicion in the Arab world that the U.S. is reluctant to cede power." Read this article and decide if they are planning for anything else. US casualties in Iraq. "The number of US service members killed and wounded in Iraq has more than doubled in the past four months compared with the four months preceding them, according to Pentagon statistics… 'The rate of casualties over the last four months is an indication that the insurgents are getting better organized,' said retired Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Krepinevich, director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington think tank. 'The insurgents have been encouraged by the fact that they have had some success.'" CPA puts $1 million bounties on each of the 12 last remaining Baathists, and $10 million on al-Douri. What makes Bremer so confident capturing these people will end the insurgency? Or is this another public-relations stunt to show the US audience that the CPA is making progress? Pop music in Iraq. "Hashim is part of a new and growing group of Iraqi singers whose anti-Western lyrics are raw with hate. In one number in his latest collection, Hashim urges listeners to: 'Carry your weapons and kick the heretic people out of your land. The people of Fallujah are like wolves when they attack the enemy.'" Revenge killings in Iraq. AP votes Bush's War as top story of 2003. The obvious question is why isn't the US media covering this war if it's such a top story? The media barely covers the breaking news items, such as the daily mayhem inflicted on US troops and Iraqi civilians, and devotes almost no coverage to the administration's repeated policy failures. We've seen three distinct, major insurgent offensives since the beginning of the occupation, and the US media continues to parrot the Bushie line that "dead-enders" and "foreign fighters" are the sole cause of the insurgency. If I could nominate a top story for 2003, I'd name the death of the American press in the obituary catagory. Iowa town hosts pancake breakfast to help pay for two local soldiers' airfare home from Iraq. "The $600 raised will help defray Stutenberg’s and Christner’s traveling expenses while on a 15-day leave. They enlisted in the National Guard while attending Pleasant Valley High School. They could be home by late January or February depending on when their leaves are approved." Iraq is a bonanza for private security companies. "Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraq has sunk into what the United States has characterised as 'low intensity warfare' carried out by 'desperate' former regime loyalists and 'foreign terrorists'. Private security firms jumped in, turning the country into a magnet for veterans of guerrilla wars in Africa, Latin America and Northern Ireland and cops who worked America's meanest streets. And all of them are mainly motivated by cold hard cash." Commentary Opinion: Out the Door in '04. "I have been convinced for a long time that George Bush, as did his father, will do himself out of a second term. He is considerably worse as president than his father was. He doesn't have sense enough to stop his war, unlike his father, who stopped his in plenty of time for the voters to think of other reasons to vote against him. I see no signs of W's serious interest in stopping anything about it except TV cameras filming the unloading of the body bags." Casualty Reports Local story: Oregon soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Wisconsin soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Two Michigan soldiers killed, one wounded in Iraq. Local story: Montana soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Alabama soldier killed in Iraq.


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