Sunday, February 29, 2004

War News for February 29, 2004 Bring 'em on: One Estonian soldier killed by small arms fire near Baghdad. Bring 'em on: One Iraqi police officer shot dead in Kirkuk. More on fundamentalist vigilantes in Basra. "Most worrisome have been the kidnappings and sometime murder of women whose actions have been deemed un-Islamic. A few weeks ago, local newspapers reported the shooting death of a young woman who worked in a video store--which extremists brand as pornographic." Kidnappings in Baghdad. IGC fails to meet deadline for interim constitution. Troop rotation. "A passing convoy of soldiers from an engineering unit, grizzled and weary veterans after a year in the country, stopped to help. 'I've gotta get out of this country,' one engineer said, shaking his head at the sight of the damaged Humvee." This is why war should always be a last resort. "Soldiers from the 25th were en route to a meeting Feb. 18 with tribal leaders, accompanied by remnants of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, which is leaving Iraq after a year. A bomb exploded near their convoy, the military said, and in the chaos that followed, soldiers chased the women and shot them after they didn't heed warnings to stop." Three stories of wounded soldiers. Lieutenant AWOL's revenge. See yesterday's item on thieves falling out. "The U.S.-led authority running Iraq decided Friday to reopen the competition for a multimillion-dollar contract to equip the new Iraqi army which had been awarded to a small Virginia company lacking arms-dealing experience. The decision by the Coalition Provisional Authority to reevaluate the $327 million contract will further delay the creation of a new Iraqi army of 40,000 men who would lessen the risk faced by U.S. soldiers who are performing the bulk of military patrols." Commentary Opinion: "So hell-bent were President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair to go to war that they were not only misleading the world by exaggerating Saddam Hussein's threat, they were also stooping to snooping on the United Nations for any scraps of intelligence to help line up enough votes to authorize war or, failing that, to discredit and ignore the world body, which is what they did in the end. Yet here we are, less than a year later, watching these two apostles of unilateralism turn to the U.N. to help extricate them from a mess of their own making. This near-miraculous turn of events is attributable to a combination of continuing chaos in Iraq and the advent of the presidential election in the United States, on the one hand, and on the other, the moral authority of an aging ayatollah in Iraq and the high priest of the U.N. in New York, Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Call it the triumph of democracy and decency." Analysis: "Meanwhile, an analogous dynamic is playing out at the worldwide level. In the past 20 years, the US has come to be perceived as a global market-dominant minority, wielding wildly disproportionate economic power. In the eyes of many across the globe, the US is the ultimate crony capitalist, ruthlessly using its minority economic power to dominate the politics and policies of other countries." Casualty Reports Local story: Iowa soldier wounded in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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