Sunday, January 04, 2004

War News for January 4, 2004 Bring 'em on: Two US soldiers killed, three wounded in Baghdad ambush. Bring 'em on: Firefight near Kirkuk. One Iraqi bystander killed. Bring 'em on: Two Iraqis killed in car blast in Mosul. Bring 'em on: US troops attacked in Baquba. Five Iraqi policemen wounded. (Last paragraph.) Karbala remains tense. US troops accidentally kill car full of Iraqi civilians near Tikrit. Reaction to raid on Baghdad mosque. British soldiers accused of killing Iraqi civilian. Comprehensive report from troops and officers Iraq. "'The continuing welcome is dependent on making progress every single day, in terms of basic services, in terms of improving electricity flow, in terms of solving the fuel crisis, in terms of very basic needs — ration cards, schools, student-to-teacher ratio, roads, potholes, wells and then repair of basic infrastructure,' said Maj. Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul." The Insurgency: Other than the capture of Saddam Hussein seems to have made no impact, US officials know little more than before. "Saddam Hussein's capture three weeks ago has not slowed the anti-American insurgency in Iraq, which now seems more entrenched than ever, according to a review of recent attacks and interviews with U.S. and Iraqi officials…' We don't think, as some have speculated, that he was the central figure managing the entire anti-coalition operation,' said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy director for operations in Baghdad…Even something as basic as the number of anti-U.S. fighters in Iraq is a mystery. 'We've seen varied assessments that range from 500 to 5,000 or even higher,' Kimmitt said. 'I don't think we really have a good fix on that number.'' As for how the various cells might relate to one another, officials admit they are working on hunches as much as anything." Baghdad fashion maven and incompetent administrator L. Paul Bremer loses another crucial battle in the information war. "Block said she had heard rumors that one of the suicide bombers was motivated at least in part by rage over alleged rapes of Iraqi women by American soldiers, but that she was flabbergasted by how widely the rape story has spread." Analysis: The beginning of a critical six months. "Both America and its enemies will have the same six-month window of opportunity stretching to June 30." Report on Iraqi clan rivalries. Bringing the war home. "His behavior when he first returned in October could be hard to handle, she says. He did not sleep much and frequently paced the house or woke up looking for his rifle. He would eat anything, even if he wasn't hungry, compensating for the frequent shortages of rations in the field. Driving, too, brought back his training from Iraq -- he was constantly on the lookout for explosives on roads." Another soldier returns. "'In Afghanistan, the people were really supportive, and you could see things were getting bigger. Just the people was the biggest difference,' he said. 'Where I was in Iraq in Fallujah, there was really not much support from the people at all...We got shot at a lot. It was just an everyday occurrence,' he said." Casualty Reports Local story: South Carolina soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Iowa soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Alaska soldier injured in Iraq.


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