Sunday, February 22, 2004

War News for February 22, 2004 Bring 'em on: Sunni cleric assassinated in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: ICDC headquarters in Kirkuk attacked by insurgents. Bring 'em on: Insurgents attack home of Iraqi police chief in Mosul. Bring 'em on: US convoy ambushed by roadside bomb near Fallujah. Bring 'em on: Two Iraqi policemen wounded in roadside bomb ambush in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Polish troops under mortar fire near Karbala. British mediator warns against marginalizing Iraqi Sunnis. "Canon Andrew White, who is negotiating between the U.S.-led occupation authority and Iraq's rival sects, warned on Sunday of dire consequences if the once privileged Sunnis are increasingly marginalised as majority Shi'ites push for more power. 'My biggest fear is that if the Sunnis are pushed too hard, they will explode. They need to be won over, otherwise there will be dangers of civil war,' White, special representative to the Middle East for the Archbishop of Canterbury, told Reuters." Roadside bombs in Iraq. "Air Force Capt. David Malakoff, a coalition spokesman in Baghdad, said in a phone interview Saturday that 1,300 roadside-bomb incidents have occurred from mid-June to Feb. 6. They killed 120 and wounded 1,206. " Neo-cons at DoD continue to pay Chalabi for cooked intelligence. "The Department of Defense is continuing to pay millions of dollars for information from the former Iraqi opposition group that produced some of the exaggerated and fabricated intelligence President Bush used to argue his case for war. The Pentagon has set aside between $3 million and $4 million this year for the Information Collection Program of the Iraqi National Congress, or INC, led by Ahmed Chalabi, said two senior U.S. officials and a U.S. defense official." Bush's War isn't over for Americans, despite Lieutenant AWOL's carrier stunt. Home Front report. The Mortician's Story: "She didn't know his name. It was on a tag someplace and it had already been logged in. They did that the moment they brought the dead soldier off the plane from Iraq and into the morgue at Dover Air Force Base. The body had to pass through a metal detector in case there was some ordnance still there. He had been taken right from the dirt of Iraq and flown here." The next time your local fishwrap runs a headline about Michael Jackson and buries a story about the casualties of Bush's War on page 12, send them this Jimmy Breslin article so they can see what a real journalist looks like. Lieutenant AWOL's presidential priorities. The White House has a prominent press release displayed on their website about the passing of Spot, the family dog. But see how many press releases they post about the soldiers we lose every day. Idiot Watch Rep. George Nethercutt wants an apology from Sen. Patty Murray. "Sen. Patty Murray should apologize for frightening the families of the 81st Armored Brigade when she raised questions about the Defense Department's ability to provide adequate body armor and other essential equipment to the National Guard members on their way to Iraq, her main Republican challenger said Thursday." All the 81st Brigade members I know are still waiting for an apology from Featherbutt for his words quoted at top of this page. Commentary Opinion: "Americans aren't naive about war. They know it's a highly expensive enterprise, and a profitable one for defense contractors. Still, there will be little public tolerance for findings of price-gouging and overbilling by an outfit with ties to the vice president, who is nearly as invisible as Halliburton's troop meals." Opinion: "It was obvious that a nakedly American occupation was going to make Iraqis resent the United States. The Pentagon's ideologues couldn't see this, but Ayatollah Ali Sistani did. From the start he has refused to meet with any American, including Paul Bremer. But he met with the U.N.'s senior official, Sergio Vieira de Mello. When Washington argued that elections couldn't be held by this June, Sistani wouldn't buy it. But when Kofi Annan sent his envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, Sistani spent two hours with him and consented to a delay." Opinion: "Our president's political handlers want to compare the young Lt. George W. Bush to a man like Sgt. Elijah Wong of Mesa, the first Arizona National Guardsman to die in Iraq. That would be a mistake. I was in the room at the Guard headquarters in Phoenix last week when Sgt. Wong's sister, Helga, spoke of her brother. For anyone to compare the Elijah Wong of 2004 to the George Bush of 1972 would be a disservice to Wong and an embarrassment to Bush. At least if we are to believe Secretary of State Colin Powell. I'll get to him in a minute." Opinion: "As to the question of whom we should trust to be our commander in chief, I would pay much more attention to what these men did after Vietnam. It was President Bush, not his younger self, who took the advice of political advisers and decided not to attend the funeral of a single man or woman killed in Iraq. I, for one, thank God that Karl Rove wasn't advising Abraham Lincoln, or else President Lincoln might never have gone to Gettysburg. I would also pay more attention to Senator Kerry's work with the first President Bush, when in 1991 and 1992 they supported the use of diplomacy to end the war in Cambodia and to construct a roadmap towards normalization with Vietnam. Both of these men, along with Senator John McCain, were bitterly condemned for making peace. It was one of those rare and wonderful bipartisan acts that transcended politics. It is a story that could inspire us to believe that public service is worth it after all." Casualty Reports Local story: New York soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Wisconsin soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Connecticut soldier wounded in Iraq.


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