War News for January 20, 2004
Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqi police killed, one wounded in attack at checkpoint near Balad
CPA announces sudden plan
to create 50,000 new jobs in Iraq. “The US-led coalition unveiled a series of multi-billion-dollar reconstruction schemes yesterday to create 50,000 jobs across war-battered Iraq in the wake of violent demonstrations by the country's disaffected unemployed.” Now you know how to get Bremer's attention.
A murder in Baghdad
: Bush’s lies on WMD now affecting US credibility abroad according to experts in both parties. “‘The foreign policy blow-back is pretty serious,’ said Kenneth Adelman, a member of the Pentagon's Defense Advisory Board and a supporter of the war. He said the gaps between the administration's rhetoric and the postwar findings threaten Bush's doctrine of ‘preemption…’ Already, in the crisis over North Korea's nuclear ambitions, China has rejected US intelligence that North Korea has a secret program to enrich uranium for use in weapons. China has a key role in resolving the North Korean standoff, but its refusal to embrace the US intelligence has disappointed American officials and could complicate negotiations to eliminate North Korea's weapons programs.”
urges Iraqi Shi'ites to oppose US transition plans.
Demonstrations continue in Baghdad
releases report on Iraqi detainees.
US troops begin new counter-insurgency campaign in Baghdad
: Bush is a divider, not a uniter. “The divisions he has sown extend abroad. The United States is more reviled than it has been since the Vietnam War. He has burnt many of the country's longest-standing, most reliable bridges, including those with Europe. The alliances that remain, with Britain, for example, have only shallow foundations in public opinion. On top of all this, Bush has done nothing to reduce U.S. standing as the world's No. 1 polluter, arrogantly shunning international efforts against global warming.”
: How are things going in Iraq? “The worst may be yet to come. Each of the main stakeholders in Iraq's future -- the Shiite Muslims, the Sunni Muslims and the Kurds -- has been battling to lock in its own gains, at the expense of the nation as a whole. Even senior U.S. officials talk about the danger that Iraq may be slipping toward civil war.”
: Legitimacy and lack thereof. “From the start, the Pentagon planners (or non-planners) believed the United States would have no legitimacy problems in Iraq. ‘We will be greeted as liberators,’ Vice President Cheney famously predicted. When urged after the war to transfer some authority to the United Nations to gain legitimacy, administration officials were dismissive in public and scathing in private. ‘We have far more legitimacy than the U.N.,’ one senior official told me last June. To discredit the idea of internationalization, Defense Department officials kept insisting that their goal was to transfer power not to the United Nations but to the Iraqis. ‘No foreigners can be in charge of [determining how elections will be held],’ Paul Wolfowitz said.”
: Bush’s State of Disunion. “In his State of the Union address tonight, President Bush will speak of the nightmare he has created in Iraq as if it is a dream come true. Yet the contrary facts of the American misadventure have begun to speak for themselves. When the awful story of the Iraq war is written, the two weeks just past may be recognized as a time when the deception and disarray of Bush's policy were made more clear than ever.”
: The neo-con dream becomes a nightmare. “If the Bush administration is beginning to realise that not all in the garden is rosy when it comes to Iraq, neo-con ideologues Richard Perle and David Frum, joint authors of a book entitled An End to Evil: How to win the war on terror, are undeterred. In this hate-filled tone, the two former members of the Bush administration urge the US government to reject the jurisdiction of the UN Charter, subject Muslims to special scrutiny by US law enforcement, and force European countries to choose between Paris - considered an enemy - and Washington.”
: The Bushies don’t understand the consequences of their own policies. “If Bush is rushing the date for turnover so he can claim victory in time for the November elections, chaos could well follow -- with or without United Nations help. The administration must proceed with extreme caution, listen with urgency to all of Iraq's factions, and find a compromise. Otherwise, the political situation could deteriorate into violence. If that happens, many more American soldiers will die.”
Local story: Texas
soldier killed in Iraq.
Local story: Idaho
Marine wounded in Iraq.
Local story: Minnesota
soldier wounded in Iraq.