Sunday, January 25, 2004

War News for January 25, 2004 Bring 'em on: One US soldier killed in RPG ambush near Beiji. Bring 'em on: One Iraqi police officer killed in drive-by shooting in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: US patrol ambushed by roadside bomb in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: One Iraqi police officer killed, one wounded in ambush near Mosul. Bring 'em on: One Iraqi policeman killed, two wounded in pipeline IED attack near Kirkuk. (Last paragraph.) Bring 'em on: Two US soldiers wounded in convoy ambush near Fallujah targeting US flag officer. Al-Hakim says direct elections are possible before June 30. "'It can be done, if we want it and make the effort. I believe they can be run,' Hakim told Reuters in an interview." Analysis: Bush's master plan for miserable failure in Iraq. "During his initial presidential campaign Bush said he would steer clear of nation-building. Too bad he didn't stick to that, because he stinks at it. By diverting our attentions from Afghanistan to Iraq, he has allowed the terrorist incubator to devolve into a nation of fiefdoms controlled by warlords and revived elements of the Taliban. Iraq will be another failure. We are transferring power back to Iraqis on a schedule that makes a lot of sense for Bush-Cheney 2004 but not much for the country's future as a durable liberal democracy." Operation Cut and Run. " But in private conversations with the United Nations and its coalition partners, the Administration has begun to discuss abandoning the complex caucuses outlined in the agreement and even holding partial elections or simply handing over power to an expanded Iraqi Governing Council, an old proposal now back on the table, US and UN officials said…Yet in a sign of how much control the United States has lost since the November 15 accord, US officials concede that the most important calculations in ending the political crisis will be the positions of two players excluded from the original agreement: the United Nations and an aging ayatollah who has not left his home in six years." Remember when Lieutenant AWOL was running around braying about how he would "stay the course" and remain in Iraq "as long as it takes" to establish a viable Iraqi state? Now June 30th is carved in granite as the administration's date to haul ass because Lieutenant AWOL is worried about an election. The administration's Iraq policy has nothing to do with US security, regional stability or even American credibility. It's all about Bush's poll numbers. Article on Ayatollah al-Sistani. Also known as the Iraqi cleric who now directs US Iraq policy and owns Lieutenant AWOL's tiny testicles. Soldier sounds off about stop-loss. "I can’t help but notice how much difference there is pay-wise between me, an E-5, and a civilian contractor here in the Middle East doing a similar job. Before now, it’s been more like a subtle irritation. I was fully aware that even though I only had an active-status obligation of six years, like everyone else who initially enlists in the military I actually signed an eight-year contract. But now, since that eight-year contract is over and I’m still here, why should I be getting paid any less than the civilian contractors do?" Powell says maybe Iraq didn't have WMD after all. There is a crude old Army term that describes the art of screwing up in a spectacular fashion known as "stepping on one's own dick." A soldier who performs this feat regularly is referred to as "Paddledick" because…well, you can figure it out. We have an entire administration of paddledicks but only Powell might appreciate the nature and applicability of the insult. Bush's lies and manipulations weaken US security and cause the world to lose trust in America. WaPo says Cheney "reaches out to war critics." Reaches out or another reach-around? National Guard artillerymen retrain for MP duty in Iraq. It's interesting to note that in the run-up to the war Rumsfeld trimmed two military police brigades from the initial force structure recommended by professional military officers and supported by tactical doctrine. The lack of those MP's - whose mission is to provide area security - was blamed for the civil disorder that followed the fall of Saddam Hussein. Nine months later, the Army is still paying for Rummy's poor judgement. Can you say "Paddledick?" I knew you could. New strategy in Iraq. "Soldiers can't give candy to Iraqi children. It's forbidden to be 'too' friendly. It's important to look tough. That's what they are being told. The strategy in Iraq has evolved. There's no talk about hearts and minds. 'They will never like us,' says one senior officer. 'We need to move on.'" Commentary Opinion: Bush administration treats veterans with contempt. "This administration's policy towards those who have served honorably and that have sacrificed so much is abysmal. Why, Mr. Rumsfeld, is the DAV being restricted in providing much needed services to our veterans? And why, Mr. President, do you want to cut the budgets on the backs of wounded veterans and break the faith with those that are wearing the uniform today?" Opinion: Bush's SOTU priorities. "Not a single name of the 500 Americans killed in Iraq was read. There was room for quarterback Tom Brady, but there were no widows or orphans sitting in the box with the first lady. No wounded need apply for a place in the Martian rhetoric." Opinion: Bush's blurred vision. "His grand vision told Bush that American troops invading Iraq would be hailed as liberators, not hated as occupiers, and that the transformation of Iraq under American sponsorship into a Jeffersonian democracy would have a domino effect in democratizing the entire Islamic world. That dream has waned, and so has the vision that lies behind it… The United States is today an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. In a couple of years, Bush the younger has succeeded in turning the international wave of sympathy that engulfed the United States after 9-11 into worldwide dislike, distrust and even hatred. With his Iraq vision collapsing around him, Bush is trying to dump his self-created mess on the United Nations, heretofore an object of contempt in his administration. And he is trying out a new vision -- the moon and Mars." Casualty Reports Local story: North Dakota Guardsman killed in Iraq. US Civilian Casualty Local story: Halliburton employee from Delaware killed in Iraq.


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