Monday, January 19, 2004

War News for January 19, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Bomb wounds thirteen near Shi’ite shrine in Karbala. Bring ‘em on: US soldier dies from wounds received in previously unreported bomb attack in Samarra on Friday. Bring ‘em on: Firefight during raid in Baghdad. Up to 100,000 Iraqis demonstrate in Baghdad demanding direct elections. The Curious Case of the Smuggled Dinars gets even smellier. “An informed source was cited as saying that it was almost certain that the money intercepted by the Lebanese authorities was ‘black money’ sent by the Iraq-based Americans ‘not just for the purpose of laundering it, but in order to be used by some local (Lebanese) politicians in order to destabilize the situation in Lebanon.’” It’s starting to look like the CPA is deliberately fudging the numbers on civilian casualties in Iraq. Detainees in Iraq. “They put me in solitary confinement. I wanted somebody to interrogate me and there wasn't anybody,” said Ahmad Dulaimi, who says he spent four weeks in jail after a raid that netted 25 men in the restive town of Falluja, west of Baghdad. “Most of the inmates don't know why they are imprisoned.” Iraqi Trade Fair in Virginia. “The reconstruction of Iraq has emerged as a vast protectionist racket, a neo-con New Deal that transfers limitless public funds - in contracts, loans and insurance - to private firms, and even gets rid of the foreign competition to boot, under the guise of "national security". Ironically, these firms are being handed this corporate welfare so they can take full advantage of CPA-imposed laws that systematically strip Iraqi industry of all its protections, from import tariffs to limits on foreign ownership.” Sectarian violence in Iraq. US troops on campus at Baghdad University. “This week’s series of guest lectures from the U.S. Military Academy turned out to be another example of what the Army considers its good works being misunderstood by those living under its occupation.” Remember all those rosy pre-war Bush promises that Iraqi oil revenues would pay for reconstruction? “The President's Office of Management and Budget told Congress last week that oil revenues from Iraq last year were US$3.9 billion and were projected to reach US$13 billion this year, not even enough to cover the Iraqi government's operating costs for this year, which are forecast to reach US$15.6 billion.” Of course, this is exactly what the experts at the State Department’s “Future of Iraq” assessment team predicted, but since those predictions were contrary to neo-conservative ideology the report was ridiculed and disregarded by the bunglers at Team Bush. Commentary Opinion: Bremer has become Iraq’s bankruptcy trustee. “Bremer’s bankrupt Iraq has three main political creditors: the Shiites, the Kurds and the Sunnis. If any one of them presses for unilateral advantage ­ threatens to “call their loans,” so to speak ­ the fragile structure of the new Iraq might crumble. As in a bankruptcy, the creditors can only achieve their goals if they patiently forbear and let the trustee do his job of putting the enterprise back together.” Opinion: Why Bush is afraid of elections in Iraq. “Annan should resist the poisoned chalice. He should support the concept of direct elections. It need not mean a delay in sovereignty for Iraq. Five months are not too long to prepare a vote. Alternatively, the UN should offer to take over responsibility for the entire transition to Iraqi rule, as many member governments originally hoped. Washington's plan for a transfer of power is a facade. The real intent is to get Bush re-elected and continue the occupation by indirect means. The UN should have no part of it.” Opinion: Former CIA officer sounds off on Bush’s serial lying. “Why not ask Scowcroft to lead an inquiry into which government officials and members of Congress were briefed on the full story provided by Kamel, and when? With 500 of our sons and daughters already killed in Iraq, we are due no less.” Casualty Reports Local story: Florida soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Texas soldier killed in Iraq. Another Note To Readers I wanted to thank everybody for all the support you've expressed in the Comments section. This blog evolved from a summary of the daily war news that I started posting on the Bartcop Forum last year when it became clear that Lieutenant AWOL intended to pursue his vanity war in Iraq. As I watched the US press coverage of the run-up to the war, I realized that the American media is incapable of following a story beyond a 24-hour news cycle, and they will only cover a story if there is dramatic film footage. As a result, the media only covers specific events in a selective fashion. They don't cover patterns. Eventually, I realized that posting a daily summary on a forum wasn't a very good approach so I decided the best place for this stuff was on a consolidated website giving a chronological history of events. At first, I fooled around trying to develop a mission statement so I could focus my objectives and methods (mostly because that's how I approach most projects) but I soon discarded that approach. The purpose of this site is to cover all the stories from Iraq that don't get covered in the US media and to show a pattern of events. I've only got two rules. (1) Every soldier killed or wounded gets a specific entry that gives his or her name and something about their lives. When I do my daily news searches, I look for those stories first. (2) Every attack on a US soldier, Iraqi policeman, car bombing, or other act of insurgency gets preceded with "Bring 'em on" in memory of the belligerent fool who invited those attacks. I'm especially flattered by the reviews of this site some of you posted on your own sites. Thanks. As the 2004 elections approach George W. Bush is doing his best to sweep this war, its casualties and consequences under the rug. All the evidence strong suggests that the only reason we went to war was because Karl Rove made a political calculation that Iraq was low-hanging fruit and a victorious little war would help his pet monkey win an election. I don't intend to let Bush duck the consequences of his folly. And I'm grateful for the offers of financial help, but the fact of the matter is that this site is free and the only thing this costs me personally is time and effort. But if you're determined to part with some of your money, here's what I suggest: Give it to the Democratic candidate you think most likely to beat Bush. A lot of other bloggers think he's going to be easy to beat but I'm not so sanguine. He's got a quarter of a billion dollars to spend, he's got a superb slime machine and the media is more concerned with Wacko Jacko than they are with elections. Personally, my money is on Clark because I think he's the guy who can beat Lieutenant AWOL like Gene Krupa could beat a drum. A lot of people from outside the US read this site. I want to apologize to you. I am truly sorry that you have to deal with George W. Bush. I'm going to do my best to ensure that it won't happen again. By the way, according to the site meter sometime early Sunday morning this site received its 100,000th visit. I don't know what that means since I have no basis for comparison to other blog traffic, except that "Today in Iraq" has received 100,000 visits since June.


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