Sunday, August 31, 2003
War News for August 31, 2003
against Americans continues to build.
US troops arrest tribal chief for failing to protect
US talks with Iraqi exiles
about forming “militia.” Haven't we bought enough snake oil from these assholes?
Tens of thousands march in Baghdad
to mourn al-Hakim.
300,000 Iraqis join funereal
march from Baghdad to Najaf. ``’Saddam and Bush will not humiliate us,’ read another banner.” ”Saddam and Bush.” That banner is the complete summary of the neo-conservative post-war failure to administer Iraq.
Language creep: L. Paul Bremer caught fibbing
. At least Bremer’s CPA now has the correct organizational title on their homepage. They finally changed “Coalition Provincial Authority” to “Coalition Provisional Authority,” but they still need to work on their HTML skills. And can anybody tell if those organizational charts extend below the executive level?
: McCain on Iraq. “Iraq must be important to us because it is so important to our enemies. That's why they are opposing us so fiercely, and why we must win.”
Op/Ed: American-only policy in Iraq is a failure
. “The American military presence in Iraq has, for the most part, become a ‘Fort Apache’-type environment, with soldiers barricading themselves in heavily fortified garrisons, emerging in heavily armed convoys to conduct their operations, only to return to the safety of their bases at mission's end.“
fails miserably, but Bushies continue to pursue failed policy.
More Bush campaign donors cash in on Iraq War. Law firm lands privatization
are getting sick of Bush’s incompetence and lying.
Local story: Colorado
soldier, 41, killed in Iraq leaves two children 1 and 4.
Local story: North Carolina
Guardsmen do not yet know when they will come home.
Names, brief bio of Guardsmen, Reservists killed
in Iraq since March 1st.
John McCain’s Pretzel Logic
Senator, I’m disappointed in you.
We did not
fight “a just war in Iraq to end the threat posed by a dictator with a record of aggression against his people and his neighbors and a proven willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against both.” We invaded Iraq and deposed Saddam Hussein because President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and many others in the Bush administration told us and the entire world that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat to our security because he had biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction, and he would soon have nuclear weapons. The same officials told us Saddam Hussein was intimately linked to the terrorists who attacked us on September 11th 2001.
We did not
“go to war to liberate Iraq.” “Liberation” was the sweetener used to sell the war, not the justification. The Bushies promised a cakewalk, and told us the Iraqi people would greet American soldiers “with flowers and music.” They lied. You cannot ask Americans to make a "generational commitment" of American blood and treasure based on more deceit.
So let’s start with some straight talk. We fought a war based on lies. The Iraqis did not want to be liberated. Republicans control the executive branch and the legislature. Iraq is out of control, the Bushies are out of ideas, out of options and out of touch with reality. If we are to avoid defeat we must find a realistic definition of victory.
Iraq's transformation into a progressive Arab state would be a positive outcome, but the Bushies are incapable of achieving that objective. Don’t believe me? Check out Afghanistan.
So far, the only “tangible benefits of occupation” the Iraqi “silent majority” has experienced are social chaos, economic collapse and political suppression. The CPA has not only failed to improve daily life, Iraqis now live with daily death from gunfire in the streets, bomb explosions and accidental shootings from jittery American soldiers. The Iraqi “silent majority” already believes our sole purpose is to steal their oil.
We don’t have time to spare. The Bushies have already allowed many windows of opportunity to slam shut through their ineptness, while they have deliberately slammed others shut through ideological beliefs or plain spite. The Bushies’ actions and failures to act have already produced an irreversible loss of Iraqi confidence and reinforced the efforts of extremists who seek our defeat. In fact, the only opportunities the Bushies have successfully exploited were the opportunites to enrich themselves, their families and their friends.
Your own complaints demonstrate that the Bushies are incapable of providing sound leadership. The “insufficient sense of urgency in Washington,” lack of political commitment, and a deliberately under-resourced reconstruction effort coupled with their glib efforts to stonewall the obvious need for more troops (troops we do not have
) while gladhanding the public with rosy numbers of “allied” troops of inferior quality all prove the Bushies are out of their depth.
Why should we avoid a debate over who “lost” Iraq? I say bring ‘em on. We need to examine in detail how the Bush administration failed to “transform our military success into political victory.” We need to understand how we arrived at this sorry juncture. We need healthy debate, so I can’t imagine why you’d want to avoid it – unless you and your Party have something to hide, of course.
If you and your Republican colleagues wish to help extricate ourselves from the Bush quagmire, start by offering less Party discipline and more honesty.
And John - can I call you John? – lay off the pretzels.
Saturday, August 30, 2003
War News for August 30, 2003
Bring ‘em on: Attempted assassination of US-appointed police chief near Tikrit
Another pipeline in flames near Tikrit
Army investigation reveals helicopter crew deliberately knocked down Sadr City
Islamic flag in August 13 incident.
Occupation costs skyrocketing
. “Contrary to what Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told a Senate committee at the start of the war, the reconstruction of Iraq won't be financed almost completely by Iraqi oil revenue”
More on costs and administration bungling
. “’We have a George C. Marshall plan with a Grover Norquist budget,’ says a Senate Republican.” That’s a nice quote, but the real significance of this article are the observations of a former ambassador: “The main mission of American troops now is self-protection. They aren’t handing out candy to children or joining in impromptu soccer games. They are hunkered down hoping only to survive. ‘You can walk around the streets in central Baghdad and not see a single serviceman,’ says the former ambassador. ‘We don’t look like we’re occupying anything.’”
Bush seizes assets
of Iraqi former government officials to pay for his war.
Bush seizes your
assets to pay for his war
Large protests in Najaf and Basra over car bombing at Najaf
mosque. American forces blamed for lack of security.
Assassination of al-Hakim
leaves vacuum in volatile area. CPA appears blissfully unaware of potential dangers. “L. Paul Bremer, the chief U.S. administrator, was on vacation. Nobody seemed to know when exactly he would return…’I think someone is writing up a statement, somebody, I'm not sure,’ said Mahmoud Othman, a member of the 25-member Iraqi Governing Council, one of the few who could be found Friday afternoon.”
Four arrested in Najaf bombing
. Two Saudis, two Iraqis, with reported links to AQ.
AQ operative captured in Ramadi
with eleven surface-to-air missiles.
Kurdish police chief assassinated by Ansar al-Islam
UN reduces staff
in Iraq due to deteriorating security.
policy produces resentment. I wonder how much angrier these people would be if they knew that the exception to this policy is applied to former Baathist intelligence and internal security personnel.
German foreign minister calls for leading UN role
prepares UN resolution calling for new political leadership in Iraq.
Bush rules out
military command role for UN in Iraq.
Rant of the Day
I can’t say it any better:
"Who says George W. Bush failed to make any post-Iraq war plans? Of course he did. You think he's dumb or something? From the very beginning, our president knew exactly what he'd do once the war was over -- he'd launch an all-courts, cross-country fund-raising campaign to fuel his re-election effort. And he's been as good as his word." -- John Farmer, The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.
Friday, August 29, 2003
War News for August 29, 2003
Bring ‘em on: US soldier killed, three wounded in RPG ambush near Baquba
Bring ‘em on: US troops wounded in bombing in Ramadi
Bring ‘em on: US troops under RPG fire near Fallujah
; two US soldiers wounded. (Buried deep in this CNN story.)
Bring ‘em on: Explosion reported near British HQ in Basra
Bring ‘em on: Bulgarian troops under RPG fire in Karbala
reports one US soldier killed during combat operations in Zabul province.
“We’re making good progress:” Another explosion reported on Iraq-Turkey
“We’re making good progress:” At least 75 dead in Najaf
car bombing, including leading Shi’ite clergyman.
Chalabi blames Baathists
for Najaf bombing. '''The Americans have complete control over security and military force and we have a lot of information. We need to work better to marry the two -- the information and the ability to act,' he said."
Who’s who among Shi’ite clergy
Op/Ed: US sinking in Iraq quagmire
. “The present administration has proven itself very skilled at spinning reality so that truth becomes invisible.”
Return of the prodigal: Bush ends summer vacation
. “Said analyst Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies: ‘You're going to have to prepare the American people for figures that could climb up to at least 1,000 or more American dead.’”
Chirac calls for UN-supervised transfer of political power
Bush administration making no progress
on efforts to gain UN support. The Bush administration wants troops and money from UN members to provide security and reconstruction in Iraq but refuses to allow those member states to participate in the political decision-making in Iraq and wants to keep an exclusively American command structure in place. I suppose the UN members realize that at the top of that command structure is a Commander-in-Chief whose idea of a political solution is to swagger around in a soldier costume while bellowing, "Bring 'em on." Of course, it didn't help that Bush managed to gratuitously piss of the entire world before he foolishly invaded Iraq.
US troops plaster Baghdad
with “Wanted” posters for Saddam Hussein.
Coalition of the Unable: Bulgarian Soviet-era
military equipment doesn’t function in the desert. Nor does Bush's Soviet-style foreign policy.
Local story: Illinois
soldier, 20 recovers from wounds.
Local story: Pennsylvania
soldier killed in Iraq was father of three.
Thursday, August 28, 2003
War News for August 28, 2003
Bring ‘em on: One British soldier killed, one wounded 120km north of Basra
Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers killed, three wounded in ambushes in Baghdad and Fallujah
Bring ‘em on: Four US soldiers wounded in second ambush in Fallujah
. Iraqi civilians at the scene cheered and shouted, “Down with Bush” and “We will protect you, Saddam.”
Bring ‘em on: Five US soldiers wounded in mortar attack at Baghdad airport
Bring “em on: Four US soldiers wounded in ambush on Balad-Kirkuk
reports US soldier in Kuwait dies from undetermined cause.
Bush talks tough
: "Terrorists are gathering in Iraq to undermine the advance of freedom. And the more progress we make in Iraq, the more desperate the terrorists will become." Progress? What progress?
US troops launch “Operation Ivy Needle
” to find Saddam and break up his “support structure.”
outside Iraq show little sympathy for US policy in Iraq.
Jackpot: Halliburton and Bechtel
cash in on US-taxpayer subsidized Iraqi contracts. “The Post reports Halliburton employees have become an integral part of Army life in Iraq, often dressing in Army fatigues with civilian patches on the shoulders.” Aside from the obvious corruption involved in awarding these no-bid contracts to Bush’s major campaign donors (and in the case of Halliburton, a company in which Dick Cheney has a direct personal financial interest) is the US Army now a private security service for Halliburton? Army Regulation 670-1 restricts the wear of military uniforms to military personnel and Department of the Army civilians, because only those personnel are protected by the uniform as combatants under the Law of Land Warfare.
Semper Fidelis: Two US Marine officers selling card deck
targeting administration critics. It’s time for these two “officers” to take their entrepreneurial talents into the private sector. Speaking as a former officer of the United States Army, I believe these gentlemen have clearly disregarded the oath they took to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and their partisan political actions while serving on active duty make them unfit to occupy positions of trust in the American armed forces. I urge every civilian reader of this blog who values civilian control of the military and an apolitical American officer corps to contact their elected Congressional representatives and demand a Congressional investigation of these officers’ activities. Concerned veterans might want to contact the Commandant of the Marine Corps and ask for a command inquiry.
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Headquarters Marine Corps
ATTN: General Michael W. Hagee
2 Navy Annex
Washington, D.C. 20380-1775
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
War News for August 26, 2003
Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, two wounded in ambush near Hamariya
Bring ‘em on: Polish troops under mortar fire near Karbala
. Under the conditions of the “Coalition of the Willing,” Polish troops were replaced by US troops after this incident. Who said Polaks are dumb?
Bulgarian troops assume control in Karbala
Another Islamic group threatens death to Iraqis
cooperating with US.
US troops raid
Iraqi town in search of Iraqi criminal gang members.
Thousands protest lack of security in Baghdad
AQ claims responsibility for Baghdad
L. Paul Bremer
, on vacation from Baghdad, says US faces a “growing terrorist threat” in Iraq. (No wonder he's "on vacation.")
Claims reconstruction will cost billions, and “the budget situation will be very difficult ‘even if we succeed in getting oil production back up to prewar levels, which we hope to do by October 2004.’” October 2004? First, Bremer said oil production would reach pre-war levels in July 2003. Then he said September. Now, he moves the goalposts again. Of course, NPR Senior Correspondent and Resident GOP Press Flunky Juan Williams didn’t bother to follow up on this. Obviously conditions in Iraq are deteriorating much more rapidly than the administration will admit if they can’t even achieve pre-war production until 18 months after the end of major combat operations. It’s becoming more evident every day that the biggest threat to US security in Iraq is the incompetent CPA under Bremer.
Lucent, under investigation by US DOJ for violation of bribery laws in Saudi Arabia, wins $25 million
contract to rebuild Baghdad telephone system. How much did Lucent give the GOP in campaign contributions?
Sunday, August 24, 2003
War News for August 24, 2003
Bring ‘em on: Attacks on US troops average 12 per day
Bomb explodes at Shi’ite mosque in Najaf
; three Iraqis killed. Religious warfare in Najaf is one of the worst developments since the beginning of the war. I seriously doubt the administration is aware of the potential consequences for American troops caught between two sides and blamed by both.
Attempted bombing of Baghdad
bridge. (Second item in this Reuters story.)
Ansar al-Islam denies responsibility for Baghdad UN bombing
reports US soldier drowned in Euphrates.
reports soldier dies from “non-hostile gunshot wound.”
Ethnic fighting continues in Kirkuk
Black market in Baghdad
thrives under US occupation.
Army parts shortage
in Iraq. “Bradleys, which are being used heavily to provide security for supply convoys in Iraq, are putting on as many as 1,200 miles a month, compared to their usual 800 miles per year.” This is an unsustainable operations tempo no matter how you slice it. Further, every Bradley used to escort a logistics convoy is a Bradley that isn’t conducting counter-insurgency patrol. Aside from the problems created by a constrained supply system, we are conceding terrain other than base camps and main supply routes to the insurgents. When logistical sustainment becomes the main tactical effort, you have lost strategic initiative. Rummy, tell me again why we don’t need more troops. And Lt. AWOL, please tell me again how much “progress" we’re making.
Saturday, August 23, 2003
War News for August 23, 2003
Bring ‘em on: US patrol caught in crossfire between Kurds and Turkmen near Kirkuk
; two Iraqis killed.
Bring ‘em on: Three British soldiers killed in ambush in Basra
British evacuate Baghdad
US troops raid house in Baquba
looking for Saddam Hussein.
: Multiple and competing agendas.
Another Army general who disagreed with Rummy reassigned
. Rumors I’ve heard from some active-duty types say Rummy is planning to activate a new command in the Aleutians for non-team players.
Local story: Six Alabama
Guardsman wounded in mortar attack. I didn’t see this story reported in the national media.
Local story: Army captain wounded
. You read stories like this, about American soldiers who risk their lives every day because they are faithful to the oath they took and believe in the ideals of America, and you realize that Lt. AWOL is really nothing more than a spoiled piece of shit who’s never known a hard day in his whole pathetic life. And then, when you see Bush raking in all that cash for his reelection campaign, you realize that his conservative donors have a set of values and morals that are contrary to any notion of self-sacrifice and public spirit.
Friday, August 22, 2003
War News for August 20 - 22, 2003
Bring ‘em on: One soldier killed, two wounded in Baghdad
Bring ‘em on: reports one US soldier killed in convoy ambush near Ad Diwaniyah
Bring ‘em on: US Marine killed near al Hilla
Bring ‘em on: US civilian translator killed, two US soldiers wounded near Tikrit
reports one soldier died, six injured in fire at small-arms range.
“Coalition of the Willing” on life support
L. Paul Bremer says “terrorists have regrouped” in Iraq
Just a note
As I posted the other day, I'm visiting in Chicago. Unfortunately, the new laptop I bought specifically so I could access the internet and update this site got infected with the Blaster Worm the first time I plugged it into the internet. Now the goddamb thing re-boots every four minutes and I'm unable to fix it.
So I'll update over irregular intervals until I return to the Pacific Northwest next week.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
I'll be traveling to Chicago today to visit family. Tomorrow I'll post news for August 20 and 21.
On NPR news, I heard a brief interview with L. Paul Bremer about the UN bombing in Baghdad. I wish I had a copy of that interview. Bremer sounded absolutely terrified. He tried to sound bully-boy tough, and actually seemed to try to taunt the UN. In reality, he stammered repeatedly and the fear in his voice was evident. He rhetorically asked if the UN would "run and cut," when the expression he wanted is actually "cut and run."
For a guy who thinks he cuts quite a dash in his Gucci suits and combat boots, Bremer is a clueless chickenshit. The best start to finding a solution to the problems in Iraq would be to get Bremer out of the secure, well-guarded and air-conditioned isolation of Saddam Hussein's palace and put him in a flak jacket with an M16 and a few frags and let him guard a pipeline. Who knows, AQ might be deterred by a posturing blow-hard with a gun.
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
War News for August 19, 2003
Bring ‘em on: US soldier killed by explosive device in Baghdad
Bring ‘em on: Five US soldiers wounded by mine attack near Ramadi
Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqi policemen wounded in grenade attack near Ramadi
Bring ‘em on: US troops attacked near Tikrit
. No US casualties reported.
costing “Iraqi people” billions. Last time I checked, the American taxpayers were still paying for this operation.
Al Qaeda recruiting
anti-American fighters for Iraq.
US – Iraqi relations in Baghdad
Iraqis working for US continue to be targeted
Bush administration ideological squabbles
make a bad situation worse.
Bomb-maker with AQ connections reportedly captured in Ramadi
. The bomb-maker is in this story about a Florida National Guard unit in Ramadi. You’ll realize the significance of his presence after reading the story cited in the rant below.
Afghanistan: Ten more police killed in Taliban
Local story: Connecticut
soldier dies from heat injuries.
Rant of the Day
Back in the days of the Cold War, Army tactical intelligence officers were trained to look for small details that would answer big questions. If you were unfortunate enough to have a mission defending a place like the Fulda Gap, you looked for two small Soviet engineer vehicles. One was called an IRM and the other an IMR. (I always remembered which was which with the help of the mnemonic “I Move Rocks” and “I Remove Mines.”) Soviet battle doctrine always placed these two of these vehicles in the forward detachment of an advancing Motorized Rifle Division. If you found that forward detachment, you just found the MRD’s axis of advance. If you found the axis of advance, you just found MRD’s tank regiment. If you found the tank regiment, you found the MRD’s main effort. If you found the main effort…well, you get the picture.
The same principle applies to low-intensity conflict. Small details are often the precursors of a larger trend. So far the indicators ain't pretty, at least if you think an active Al Qaeda presence in Iraq is a bad thing.
Today the Arab press reported
an explosion at ammo dump near Tikrit that killed twelve former Iraqi soldiers, were said looting the place looking for copper. ”Looting,” while a technically correct term, is actually misleading in this case. To the trained eye, twelve former officers found in an unsecured ammo facility near Tikrit aren’t “looting” in the conventional sense; they’re most likely scrounging explosive material to kill Americans. “Looting copper,” my ass: the only copper component in an artillery projectile is the rotating band, and it’s easy enough to remove the band without detonating the shell. You just knock it off with a chisel. Unless the explosive material inside the shell is already unstable for some other reason, it’s not that hard to do.
On the other hand, extracting the explosive material is a much riskier operation especially if you’re trying to extract a lot of material from lots of shells. Lately, press reports show an increase in the use of IEDs and a shift away from RPG ambushes. The report of a Syrian AQ operative captured in Ramadi says he was training Iraqi insurgents to use and manufacture IEDs. That report is disturbing because he’s probably not the only AQ operative providing assistance to the Iraqi insurgency – he’s just the only one we’ve caught.
Before the war, critics warned that a prolonged occupation of Iraq would provide a great source of recruits for AQ. The neo-cons said that wouldn’t happen, and when it did Bush told them to “bring ‘em on.” Evidently AQ is taking him at his word.
Monday, August 18, 2003
War News for August 18, 2003
Sunni and Shiite clerics agree to cooperate
in opposition to US occupation.
Iraq date crop fails due to lack of power
for irrigation. "…'nobody here wanted Saddam. But nobody wants to be occupied either. This occupation is especially bad because it seems to have been so poorly planned. We can't wait much longer for stability.'''
Sabotaged pipeline continues to burn near Kirkuk
Journalist shot, killed during mortar attack on Abu Ghraib
is investigating the incident.
Water in Baghdad
remains cut off due to pipeline sabotage. ”’This resistance is not a reaction to the American provocations against the Iraqi people or to the shortage of services, as some analysts believe ... but to kick out the occupiers as a matter of principle,’ a man read from a statement in a videotape aired on the Al-Jazeera television network.”
Use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against US troops increasing
. “Soldiers think the widespread use of the devices and similarities in their design across Iraq may mean those who deploy them are being trained by a central authority.”
Free market reforms in Baghdad
. Porn, drugs, prostitution.
Iraqi couple shows gratitude by naming new baby
after Bush. ”He’s incoherent, dribbles a lot and cries himself to sleep at night. And now he's had an Iraqi baby named after him.” You're gonna name a kid "George Bush" in Baghdad? Why don't they just name the poor bastard "Ariel Sharon" and move to Beirut?
British soldiers save abandoned baby in Basra
Afghanistan: Four hundred Taliban raid police station near Barmal
: 22 killed.
Afghanistan: Two hundred Taliban raid police station near Tarway
: four police taken hostage.
Bush administration shifting focus
, agents, and resources from Kabul to Baghdad.
Arabic TV airs tape from al Qaeda spokesman, claims Osama bin Laden
is still kicking.
Home Front: Terror attack in US likely
in next 12 months.
: “We’re winning the war on terror.”
Sunday, August 17, 2003
War News for August 17, 2003
Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers shot, wounded in Baghdad
Bring ‘em on: US troops attacked in Baquba
. One US soldier wounded, one vehicle destroyed.
Bring ‘em on: US troops under mortar fire in Ramadi
US-appointed police chief ambushed in Mosul
; four Iraqi police killed, four wounded.
Baghdad water supply
US halts patrols in Sadr City
Just another day in Iraq
Jobs and Growth
programs at DynCorp, MPRI, Vinnell.
Local story: Wounded US soldier
undergoes first round of surgery.
Local story: New York Air National Guard unit may begin second
tour of duty in Iraq.
Rant of the Day
Two hundred and sixty-eight American soldiers have died in Iraq
since the war began. One hundred and thirty have died since Bush announced the end of major combat operations. No reliable estimates of US wounded exist, and no firm numbers of Iraqi casualties have been published.
Every day American troop convoys are attacked, bases mortared, pipelines sabotaged, civilians are accidentally shot, soldiers are killed or maimed. The Provisional Authority is a shambles. Bremer and his top honchos sit in splendid isolation in Saddam Hussein’s air-conditioned former palaces and issue glowing press released to gullible American reporters living in the well-guarded al-Rasheed Hotel. Meanwhile, on the streets of Baghdad electricity, water, and medical services are maintained by Iraqi improvisation rather than through American design. Robbery and kidnapping are rampant. Anger grows in direct proportion to mismanagement.
But you won’t read about any of these things in the American press, because the US media has stopped covering the Iraq War. It's getting harder and harder to find any mention of Iraq and Afghanistan in the US media these days. Some of the casualties aren’t even mentioned until some local paper or TV station runs a little piece about the hometown hero who got his ass shot off a couple of weeks ago. The White House issues inflated numbers and meaningless statistics “proving” progress and the press passes it along without question.
Guardsmen are getting notified that they're going to be activated for at least a year, and to be prepared for two years. The active forces just started a one-year individual rotation policy, which is the worst possible way to fight a war and try to maintain some kind of unit cohesion. None of this is getting any kind of attention. But that's been Bush administration's pattern on everything: make a mess, sweep it out of sight and move on to the next piece of mischief. And the media enables them every step of the way. Whether it's the failure of the Bush economic policy, the outright lies used to justify an aggressive war, inept leadership, corruption and cronyism, or the religious right's stealth attack on the Federal judiciary, the press ignores the consequences of this administration's actions.
We have witnessed the death of the American Fourth Estate. Once the envy of the Free World and a vital component of American democracy, the American press expired after a long illness brought about by chronic addiction to sex scandals, sensational exhaution and poisonous Republican blast-faxes. The press was replaced with a steno pool.
Bush recently eulogized the American press by blaming the media for the economic mess he created saying, “Remember on our TV screens — I’m not suggesting which network did this — but it said, ‘March to War,’ every day from last summer until the spring — ‘March to War, March to War.’ That’s not a very conducive environment for people to take risk when they hear ‘March to War’ all the time.”
The steno pool took notes, corrected Bush’s syntax before print, and eagerly awaited his next appearance.
Don't be surprised when Iraq explodes like a land mine. You'll get full coverage on all the major networks, complete with color commentary, state-of-the-art graphics, and archive footage just as soon as the shit hits the fan. And when Bush tells you it's a wake-up call they'll report that, too.
Just like it's news or something.
Saturday, August 16, 2003
War News for August 16, 2003
Bring ‘em on: Two US convoys attacked
, several US soldiers reported wounded.
Bring ‘em on: US patrol ambushed near Baquba
; one US vehicle destroyed, nor reports of casualties.
Bring ‘em on: Turkish embassy in Baghdad
10,000 Iraqis demonstrate against US in Sadr City
Muslim clerics demand
US end occupation.
Holy Man Gary Bauer
clamors for jihad.
Portrait on an insurgent
Inside the Iraqi resistance
US still blames Saddam Hussein
for Iraqi revolt. And Lieutenant AWOL still blames Clinton for the recession, deficit, power failures and the pretzel that whipped his ass.
Wanting it both ways: Bush administration seeks UN recognition
of Iraqi provisional government and resists giving UN security
Republicans try to dodge flap over reductions
in combat pay. Notice that the DoD spokesman says they'll look to offset reductions by using other incentive pays, not that they'll actually restore the cut in imminent danger pay or family separation pay. And why are the troops getting "imminent danger pay" and not "hostile fire pay?"
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
War News for August 12, 2003
Bring ‘em on: Three US soldiers wounded near Tikrit
Bring ‘em on: US base at Ramadi
racked by explosions.
Bring ‘em on: US convoy attacked in Baghdad
related fatalities. Two of these casualties were reported previously.
US forces begin Operation Ivy Lightning
is a growth industry in Iraq. Eighteen vehicles robbed near Fallujah. Victims included Thomas Friedman,
noted NYT warhawk.
: US troops kill two Iraqi policemen.
continues in Iraq.
Sixty-one New Zealand
troops off to Iraq, but will come home early if instability continues.
Fuzzy Math! How much
is Operation Iraqi Freedom costing the US treasury? Bushies won’t say.
Bidding continues for Iraqi reconstruction contracts
Home Front: Another American “human shield
” fined $10,000 for travelling to Iraq. Treasury Department says it’s because he ignored the sanctions against Iraq.
Local story: Wisconsin
soldier wounded in Iraq.
Monday, August 11, 2003
War News for August 11, 2003
Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, two wounded in Baquba
Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers wounded in Baghdad
Grenades thrown near British embassy in Baghdad
. "Life is returning to normal for the Iraqi people." G.W. Bush, August 9, 2003.
Six Iraqis mistakenly killed
by US troops. "Life is returning to normal for the Iraqi people." G.W. Bush, August 9, 2003.
Riots continue in Basra
. "Life is returning to normal for the Iraqi people." G.W. Bush, August 9, 2003.
Power failure closes main gasoline refinery
in Basra. "Life is returning to normal for the Iraqi people." G.W. Bush, August 9, 2003.
between US troops and Iraqi civilians.
L. Paul (“Check out my combat boots”) Bremer blames
terrorists for Iraqi insurrection.
Rant of the Day
If L. Paul Bremer spent as much time looking for viable solutions as he does making excuses for failure, the power in Baghdad would be functioning, civil security would improve, and attacks against American troops would be decreasing instead of escalating.
It’s pretty obvious that the Jordanian embassy bombing was caused by an Al Qaeda cell operating in Baghdad. Bremer says the terrorists are “returning” to Iraq but the fact of the matter is that Al Qaeda never had an operational presence in Iraq until now. The administration’s pre-war attempts to link the Baathist regime to terrorists have been thoroughly discredited, yet Bremer continues to whine about terrorists “returning” to Iraq.
The operational presence of AQ in Baghdad is big news, bigger than Kobe Bryant’s troubles and bigger than Ahnuld’s gubernatorial vanity campaign.
Let’s review some unpleasant facts that the administration doesn’t want us to talk about: The war in Iraq isn’t over, major combat operations aren’t over, and the war is going very, very badly. Aside from the daily casualties, US troops are restricted by guerrilla activity to operating only in company-sized elements with heavy firepower support. Civilians, including families, are being shot every day. The US information war effort has collapsed and anti-American propaganda rules the Iraqi conventional wisdom. People are drinking dirty water, the power is off, gasoline is unavailable, there are no jobs and it’s hot as hell.
Letters to the editor in the Stars and Stripes
and emails published on Colonel Hackworth’s site indicate troops aren’t getting supply, including water, parts, rations and mail. If there is one thing the US Army does better than any other Army on earth, it’s logistics. If supplies are short, it’s because transport is constrained by insurgent activity. Supplies aren’t getting to the troops because a convoy can’t move without combat troops to escort it, and there aren’t enough troops to guard all the bases, secure the infrastructure, keep order, and escort convoys too.
And that’s why an AQ presence in Iraq is such big, bad news. The Iraqi insurgency is having a tremendous impact, it’s growing, and it’s gaining popular support. But it’s leaderless, inarticulate and disjointed. It’s a collection of Baathists, Islamic fundamentalists, nationalists and pissed off former soldiers. There is no centralized leadership, no regional coordination, no logistical, support or intelligence structure, and insurgent communications suck (there’s no other word for it, I’m afraid.) But AQ has the resources to provide all those things.
On Saturday, Dubya’s used his radio address to talk about Iraq. He emphasized “progress.” Dubya sounded like Pollyanna. He didn’t mention Al Qaeda, the growing insurgency, or even US casualties. That’s hardly surprising, since this administration doesn’t do
deductive intelligence. What this administration does well is distract, distort, and deceive while hoping that reality magically transforms itself into the neo-conservative Nirvana of crony colonialism predicted by the prophets at PNAC.
Sunday, August 10, 2003
War News for August 11, 2003
Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers wounded by IED near Tikrit
Bring ‘em on: Three US soldiers wounded by small arms and grenade fire near Baquba
Bring ‘em on: More rioting in Basra
reports US soldier dies of heat injury during convoy near Ad Diwaniyah.
reports US soldier found dead in barracks.
CIA warning in February that guerrilla war likely if Iraq invaded. Who you gonna believe? Those lying professional intelligence analysts or neo-conservative ideologues? Lots of good happy-Iraqi predictions from Cheney, Wolfie, Perle in here.
US security policy
wins few friends.
US arrests Shiite cleric in Baquba
New Iraqi group releases tape calling for “guerrilla war
Bush administration resists UN assistance
in Iraq, prefers to keep burden on US taxpayers. “The Bush administration wants to show the Iraqi people that benefits are flowing to them from the United States, something that wouldn't happen if the United Nations and private aid groups played a leading role.”
Carjackings in Baghdad
: 70 per day.
Rule of law
Afghanistan: US base in southeastern Afghanistan
under rocket fire.
Afghanistan: Taliban expands insurgency
into northern provinces.
Home Front: Bush briefs fundraisers
at Texas BBQ. Access to Bush was limited to contributors who have donated $50,000. Ah, the promise of America. Any humble American citizen who slips Bush $250,000 can become the next privatization czar of Iraq! Isn't this a great country!
Saturday, August 09, 2003
War News for August 9, 2003
Bring ‘em on: Army reveals that a second soldier
was killed in Iraq during drive-by shooting. See yesterday’s entry.
Bring ‘em on: US base near Fallujah
Bring ‘em on: Four US soldiers wounded
in ambushes in Kirkuk and Baghdad.
Bring ‘em on: Iraqis riot in Basra
, residents angry about lack of fuel and electricity. British troops open fire
after being stoned at four gas stations in Basra. Grenade
thrown at British vehicle. Witnesses report three British soldiers injured.
US tactics continue to alienate
NYT editorial on losing the propaganda front
Al Qaeda “mutating like a virus
.” Recruiting, support and sympathy increasing worldwide as a direct result of bungled US policy in Iraq.
Al Qaeda recruits “flocking
” to Iraq. Administration claims they’ve been there since before the war; orders a new National Intelligence Estimate on the Iraqi resistance.
Gunshot deaths in Baghdad
increase 470 percent over last year.
Bush says there has been “progress
” in Iraq.
is just like Germany after World War II.
Former chairman of Bush's Connecticut campaign finance committee appointed as director of private sector development
in Iraq. Surely this appointment is based completely on Foley’s merit; the candidate is more qualified than any of the professional foreign service officers or commerce officials in the entire United states Government, and has nothing to do with the $100,000 Foley raised for Bush’s election campaign or that he was George's classmate at Yale. And the guy doesn’t even have a security clearance! Now that's what I call white-collar affirmative action.
Local story: Vermont
soldier killed in Iraq was 20 years old.
Local story: Iowa
Guardsman, 21, loses both legs in mine attack. Two other Iowa soldiers wounded.
Home Front: Treasury Department fines 62 year-old American former “human shield
” $10,000. Did the Treasury Department fine those wacky Cuban "Brothers to the Rescue" when they flew into Cuban airspace trying to provoke conflict?
Friday, August 08, 2003
War News for August 8, 2003
Bring ‘em on: US soldier killed in Baghdad
Bring ‘em on: Three US soldiers wounded in two incidents near Tikrit
; one by mortar fire, two others in mine ambush. (Buried deep in this story.)
reports 4th Infantry soldier dies sleeping.
US troops fire on demonstrators in Fallujah
; second incident this week. Two Iraqis killed, 14 wounded.
US troops kill two Iraqi arms dealers in Tikrit
Hostility grows at US
BBC Arabic press roundup
: Warnings about security in Iraq.
Losing the information war
over the spoils.
Thursday, August 07, 2003
War News for August 7, 2003
Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers, one wounded killed in Baghdad
Bring ‘em on: RPG attack
on US troops in Baghdad. Witnesses report four US soldiers wounded, one Iraqi civilian killed.
Car bomb explodes
at Jordanian embassy in Baghdad.
Jordanian embassy after bombing.
Baghdad, 100 days after the war
reports soldier dies of seizure in Mosul.
US general reports Iraqi resistance places “bounty
” on American troops.
strategy in Iraq.
Afghanistan: Taliban raid near Khandahar
kills Mercy Corps worker, six Afghan soldiers.
Afghanistan: Taliban claims RPG attack kills five Afghan soldiers near Pakistani border
Afghanistan: Op/Ed piece: Bush administration bungling
creates fresh disaster.
US concerned that terrorists may target passenger aircraft
using missles. “Intelligence agencies say that the al-Qaida network has dozens of the small missiles, many of them Stingers made in the United States, left over from the American-led effort to help Muslim guerrillas oust the Soviet Union from Afghanistan in the 1980s.”
Home Front: Cheney touts Bush administration’s success
in anti-terrorism, jobs, and tax relief at Sacramento fund raiser.
Home Front: Bush administration refused to penalize
Saudi groups funding terrorism.
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
War News for August 6, 2003
Bring ‘em on: First US civilian contractor
killed by IED near Tikrit.
Bring ‘em on: Police station in Fallujah
attacked again. One US soldier reported wounded.
US soldier dies in fall in Mosul
reports US soldier dies of heart attack during convoy in Kuwait.
Jakarta car bomb linked to al Qaeda
. According to Paul Wolfowitz's grand strategy, all terrorists are supposed to gravitate to Iraq, where they can be killed or bagged by US troops. Evidently these car-bombers didn't get the word.
Turkish convoy attacked in Baghdad
“Voice of Free Iraq,” walks out on CPA, says US is losing the propaganda war
. The only propaganda war this administration is actively fighting is the one directed against the American electorate to get Lieutenant AWOL (re-)elected.
Iraqis working for US.
Arab League rejects US request for troop support
, refuses to recognize Iraqi provisional government.
sees no need to expand the Army. “His views contrasted sharply with the recent comments by senior American military officers who see a larger force as virtually inevitable in the absence of any significant reduction in overseas missions.” Here we go again, Rummy knows best…
Home Front: Cheney goes to private fundraisers in Sacramento
. In Billings, access to Cheney
costs $1,000 and members who raise $5,000 get a photo session for themselves and one other contributor with VP Cheney. The rest of the country just gets fucked.
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
War News for August 3, 2003
Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers, Iraqi interpreter killed by bomb in Baghdad
Bring ‘em on: Three US troops wounded in RPG attack near Fallujah
CENTCOM reports Iraqi woman killed during IED attack in Baghdad
Mine on Baghdad
airport road wounds Iraqi.
Iraqis execute US collaborators
New spin from L. Paul (“Check out my combat boots”) Bremer: Iraqi revolt tied to Al Qaeda
between US troops and aid workers.
Al Qauda threatens
US over Gitmo detainees. Stay out of tall buildings. Don’t fly. It’s August, Bush is on vacation and AQ is making threats again.
Local story: Washington State
soldier killed in Iraq.
Local story: Washington State
soldier loses arm in grenade blast, continues to drive his vehicle through ambush site. ``At about 4:30, I heard a big explosion to my left front,'' Atherton said. ``The explosion blew my arm onto my lap and blew my gunner on the roof into the hole.''
War News for August 5, 2003
Bring ‘em on: US troops mortared
at Baquba. Two US soldiers wounded in convoy ambush near Baghdad.
Bring ‘em on: Three US soldiers, Iraqi translator wounded in RPG attack at Baghdad
Bring ‘em on: Iraqis storm and burn police station in Khaldiyah
. One US soldier reported wounded.
Bring ‘em on: US soldier wounded in convoy ambush near Baquba
Former supporters turn against
US occupation. Moqtada al Sadr’s
influence appears to be increasing.
Civilian deaths anger
killed during Saddam Hunt.
Pakistan refuses to send troops to Iraq without UN mandate
India demands UN mandate
for Iraq; will not send troops under US command.
France refuses to help Iraq occupation without UN mandate
UN official says Iraq needs $5 billion
in 2004 to prevent infrastructure collapse.
UN efforts to broaden international support for Iraq peacekeeping.
Car bomb explodes at downtown Jakarta Marriot Hotel
Local story: Dubuque, Iowa
soldier killed in Iraq.
Local story: Arkansas
soldier killed in Iraq.
Home Front: Lieutenant AWOL
on vacation, plans fundraisers.
Home Front: Big-talking Chickenhawk Cheney
raises funds in Utah. “’For as long as we're in office, possibly longer, we will stay in Afghanistan and Iraq until we know the threat has been eliminated,’ Cheney said at a $1,000-a-plate luncheon in the Grand America Hotel.” Cheney raked in $300,000 in SLC and attended another fundraiser in a private home in Bellevue, Idaho.
Saturday, August 02, 2003
Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed
, three wounded in convoy ambush.
Bring ‘em on: US soldier killed
by celebratory fire.
US troops in raid house
Tikrit; no Saddam.
Dutch soldiers deploy
Local story: Soldier
killed in Iraq. This soldier’s daddy and I served together in Italy many years ago. I remember his father as a good man and a superb NCO. And it looks like his son grew up to be a fine young man, too. Please say a prayer for Lieutenant Nott. This is my last entry for today.
Friday, August 01, 2003
War News for August 1, 2003.
Bring ‘em on: Pipeline sabotaged
north of Baghdad.
Bring ‘em on: Polish troops under mortar attack near Hilla
Bring ‘em on: CENTCOM
reports attempted RPG ambush; no US casualties, one Iraqi insurgent wounded and captured.
Bring ‘em on: US convoy ambushed near Fallujah
. Four insurgents wounded, six captured. Other reports indicate three US soldiers were wounded.
Bring ‘em on: US troops attacked in Ramadi
Anti-US attacks expected to worsen
US admits accidental killings in Baghdad raid
CPA stacks the deck in favor of Worldcomm/MCI
on mobile phone licensing. "It seems that none of the companies in the Middle East will be able to bid in these conditions." Verizon is not expected to submit a bid due to concerns that somebody might accidently shoot the "Can you hear me now?" guy.
Radical Sunni Islam rising
reports IED ambush Kabul.