Saturday, January 03, 2004

War News for January 3, 2004 Bring 'em on: One US soldier killed, two wounded in mortar attack near Balad. Bring 'em on: US soldier killed, one wounded as US helicopter shot down near Fallujah. Troops securing the crash site were also ambushed. Bring 'em on: Train derailed in RPG ambush near Habbaniyah. Bring 'em on: Three US troops wounded in convoy ambush near Ramadi. Bring 'em on: US patrol ambushed in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: University professor assassinated in Mosul. Bring 'em on: One killed, one injured in ethnic violence in Kirkuk. CENTCOM reports one soldier killed, six injured in vehicle accident near Baghdad. CENTCOM reports one US soldier killed, one wounded by accidental weapons discharge. Bulgarian troops decline Iraq deployment. Analysis: Ethnic conflict in Kirkuk. Protests in Baghdad over mosque raid. Massive unemployment still causes resentment in Iraq. No decrease in anti-US violence since Saddam's capture. " U.S. and Iraqi officials say they now doubt that Saddam had a significant role in directing guerrilla attacks. They say that while his interrogation has led to some arrests, basic information is still lacking about the guerrilla cells that are attacking U.S. and allied troops with sophistication and brutality." Revenge killings in Mosul. "'All of these people were attacked because they were soft targets,' said Brigadier Hikmat Mahmoud, spokesman for the Mosul police directorate. 'It's an attempt to destabilise the situation here. Twenty of my police officers have also been killed – these people just want to hit the reconstruction effort.' But local journalist Roaa al-Zrary has a different explanation for the killings which she has been investigating since they began in October with the murder of outspoken newspaper editor Ahmed Showkat – her father. 'These are carefully chosen targets and they are killed in a very professional manner," she said. "What connects them is that they were either Baath party members who have started to work with the Americans, or they were involved with current operations against the Baathists.'" About those freedoms for Iraqi women Lieutenant AWOL was crowing about. Report on the ICDC. "Some U.S. trainers in Tikrit say the Iraqi force is ill-equipped, prone to corruption and so trigger-happy that some have shot at their own comrades. Added to that is the threat of anti-American guerrillas targeting Iraqis cooperating with the coalition. By some estimates, it will take years before this ragtag militia of former Iraqi soldiers, impoverished farmers and jobless men and youths will be able to shoulder the burden of securing Saddam Hussein's hometown." Recruiting for the ICDC. Lieutenant AWOL supports the troops. "The Bush administration is considering dramatic increases in the fees military retirees pay for prescription drugs, a step that would roll back a benefit extended 33 months ago and risk alienating an important Republican constituency at the dawn of the 2004 campaign season." Military Officers Association of America legislative alert on this issue. "Given only two days to respond, all Services reportedly objected to the plan. Our sources indicate this initiative didn't start in the Pentagon, but was directed by the Office of Management and Budget - the budget arm of the White House." Army expects to extend Stop-Loss program again. "The announcement of a further expansion of the program, which Army officials confirmed was imminent, comes amid evidence that the Army is straining to meet its growing commitments around the world." Report on female American soldiers in Iraq. "American women have participated more extensively in combat in Iraq than in any previous war in U.S. history. They've taken roles nearly inconceivable just a decade or two ago - flying fighter jets and attack helicopters, patrolling streets armed with machine guns and commanding units of mostly male soldiers. Seven have been killed in combat." Lucky soldier. Lucky he didn't shoot his own nuts off. Commentary Opinion: Iraq isn't Vietnam. "The Bush administration, in Iraq, is still looking for its Ngo Dinh Diem. It ignores the political lesson of Vietnam, which is that no leader in Iraq will be capable of rallying the country, or its major religious or ethic components (except the minority Kurds), whose program is not national sovereignty, an end to American occupation, and national renewal on Iraq's own terms. That means an Iraq in full control of its resources, its security, and its foreign policy. This is not what the Bush administration wants." Opinion: Message of Christianity lost to right-wingers. "The far right wing of the Republican Party seems to have trouble following many of the tenets and principles of Christianity and democracy: loving thy neighbor, not stealing, not killing (war and the death penalty are their biggest personal problems), freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, etc. This group is tightly focused on icons or symbols…the Bible; the flag; the American eagle; the Constitution; the Bill of Rights, and so on. Though focused on the icons, they are pathologically unable or unwilling to tolerate other peoples' beliefs." Casualty Reports Local story: Two Connecticut soldiers injured in Iraq. Local story: Oregon Guardsman wounded in Iraq. Local story: Texas soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Illinois soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: North Carolina soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Stars and Stripes report on two wounded soldiers recovering in Germany.


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