Tuesday, February 17, 2004

War News for February 17, 2004. draft Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, one wounded by roadside bomb ambush near Tall Afar. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi police patrol ambushed near Kirkuk. One insurgent killed. Bring ‘em on: One Kurd killed in drive-by shooting in Kirkuk. Bring 'em on: Iraqi trade official assassinated in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Two US soldiers, one Iraqi civilian wounded in RPG attack near Ramadi. Bring 'em on: US troops ambushed by roadside bomb near Mosul. Insurgent attacks become better organized. "The US military says that the tactics used in the al-Fallujah attack do not resemble those of al-Qaeda or other known terrorist groups. A US military official, speaking to the Agence France Presse (AFP) news agency on condition of anonymity, said that a group skilled in 'small-unit tactics' conducted the raid. These 'would not be the same tactics that al-Qaeda would employ', the official said. 'These are military tactics. It points to former military members.' Mayor of Fallujah questioned in recent insurgent attack. Anti-American sentiment in Baghdad. “It does not take much to ignite anti-American anger in Iraq - just a car accident with the U.S. military is enough to deepen suspicions over the occupation.” Report: One terror incident occurs every day in Kirkuk. Analysis: “One revelation of Bush's ‘Meet the Press’ interview last week is that the president views his ‘enemies of freedom’ equation as much more than a rallying cry: It guides his policy decisions. He clings with almost theological intensity to his belief that fighters in Iraq are terrorists determined to destroy freedom. ‘There are people who desperately want to stop the advance of freedom and democracy because freedom and democracy will be a powerful long-term deterrent to terrorist activities,’ Bush said, explaining why he was not surprised by the insurgency…But there's also little doubt that most of the roadside bombings and grenade attacks, particularly in the so-called Sunni Triangle, are by Iraqis who were not part of a larger terrorist organization before the war. On ‘Meet the Press,’ Bush referred to attacks by ‘disgruntled Ba'athists’ loyal to Saddam Hussein, but the weight of the evidence, especially since Hussein's capture, is against the view that anyone is fighting for a Hussein restoration.” Insurgents in Fallujah call for end to attacks on Iraqi police. Mass migration or ethnic cleansing? “In a quiet mass migration, Arabs are fleeing their villages in northern Iraq and Kurds are moving back in, reversing Saddam Hussein's campaigns of ethnic cleansing and effectively redrawing the demographic map.” Operation Cut and Run. “Ready or not, the process is beginning. US forces are already adopting a lower profile, moving their bases to the periphery of Baghdad and other urban centers. While the new Iraqi police, the civil defense corps, and Army will still receive backup from American-led coalition troops, Iraqi and US officials are voicing doubts about Iraq's ability to handle such hot spots as the volatile Sunni triangle west and north of Baghdad.” Brigadier General Kimmit says some Iraqi cities not yet ready for local control. “Each city's situation will determine when coalition forces move to the outskirts of the city, allowing Iraqi security forces to take responsibility, Kimmitt noted. ‘When the conditions in the city are right, the level of insecurity is down to a certain level, and Iraqi security forces are ready, then the coalition forces will make that determination,’ he said.” IGC members no longer support Bremer's transition plan; want sovereignty passes to IGC until elections. I wonder what Sistani thinks about this idea. Seems he was pretty clear about direct elections. Our national humiliation is complete. “'Bush could not debate a Cuban ninth grader, who knows more than he does,’ Castro said in a speech closing an international conference of economists hosted by his communist government. Castro had his audience of 1,400 economists in stitches when he read out some of Bush's more unfortunate statements. Commentary Opinion: Halliburton and corruption. “Defense Department officials declined to testify. You would think the Pentagon would be interested in reports of gouging. Just another evasion regarding Iraq.” Editorial: "The common thread here is that the Bush administration took unlikely worst-case scenarios and inflated them drastically to justify an immediate invasion without international support. The Senate committee will need to find out not just why the intelligence was so wrong, but also the extent to which the administration misused it to stampede the nation." Casualty Reports Local story: Alabama soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Minnesota soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania Guardsmen injured in Kuwait. Local story: Connecticut soldier wounded in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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