Tuesday, March 16, 2004

War News for March 16, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Four US missionaries killed, one wounded near Mosul. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi translator assassinated, her father wounded in Mosul. Bring ‘em on: Assassination attempt against Turkmen leader wounds two near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: CPA reports Iraqi secretary of labor and social affairs and his driver killed in ambush near Mosul. Bring 'em on: Two German workers, two Iraqi policemen killed in shooting near Mussayab. IGC wants to retain power. “In interviews in the council's chamber yesterday, members admitted that the 25-member council was stymied over how to piece together a transitional government to rule Iraq, once the American-dominated authority dissolves in three months. Racing against time, with little consensus among them, most members appear to be moving toward the quickest option -- simply expanding their numbers.” Bush-league liberation. “But for those outside the political spectrum, such as 26-year-old IT instructor Dina from Baghdad, it’s a very different story. From her point of view, the Iraq of today is a country that offers no future… Being told by US soldiers that they should not make such a fuss, that the crime rate in their cities is no worse that of Los Angeles or Chicago only stokes their anger.” Bulgaria will replace Spanish troops. US media says Chalabi scammed them, too. “Feeding the information to the news media, as well as to selected administration officials and members of Congress, helped foster an impression that there were multiple sources of intelligence on Iraq's illicit weapons programs and links to bin Laden. In fact, many of the allegations came from the same half-dozen defectors, weren't confirmed by other intelligence and were hotly disputed by intelligence professionals at the CIA, the Defense Department and the State Department. Nevertheless, U.S. officials and others who supported a pre-emptive invasion quoted the allegations in statements and interviews without running afoul of restrictions on classified information or doubts about the defectors' reliability.” Commentary Opinion: “On Wednesday, March 17th, 2004, ‘An Iraqi Economic Forum’ will be held in Beirut where foreign economists and investors will gather to lecture or be lectured on what is obviously a pressing subject in the minds of many. More than the topics to be discussed, however, I could not help but be struck by the role which American big businesses will invariably play. With their rights in the Iraqi cut reserved by the current US occupation, it’s not surprising. However, it also brought to my mind similar events that happened decades ago during the British Mandate over Iraq.” Opinion: “National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on Sunday acknowledged what the Bush administration has, up to now, argued only by implication -- that the war in Iraq was a direct response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attack by Al-Qaida on New York and Washington. Confronted with intelligence reports that have repudiated every single rationale President Bush had used to justify the war, Rice argued that the conquering of Iraq and overthrow of Saddam Hussein were designed to shrink the areas from which Al-Qaida can operate.” Editorial: “Saddam Hussein's was the first government to be ousted by the American-led war on Iraq. Jose Maria Aznar's was the second. And British Prime Minister Tony Blair, like Aznar a rare European supporter of President Bush, must be nervously reading the election returns from Spain. So should anyone else who cares about making the world safer from terrorists.” Opinion: "Polls suggest that a reputation for being tough on terror is just about the only remaining political strength George Bush has. Yet this reputation is based on image, not reality. The truth is that Mr. Bush, while eager to invoke 9/11 on behalf of an unrelated war, has shown consistent reluctance to focus on the terrorists who actually attacked America, or their backers in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan." Editorial: "The victory of incoming Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero thus is a clear rebuff to President Bush, who cherished the backing he received from Madrid as many other Western allies disowned the U.S.-British invasion to oust Saddam Hussein." Opinion: "In America, the new order of things is defined mainly by the sour taste of moral hangover, how the emotional intensity of the 9/11 trauma -- anguished but pure -- dissolved into a feeling of being trapped in a cage of our own making. As the carnage in Madrid makes clear, the threats in the world are real and dangerous to handle, but one US initiative after another has escalated rather than diffused such threats. Instead of replacing chaos with new order, our nation's responses inflict new wounds that increase the chaos. We strike at those whom we perceive as aiming to do us harm but without actually defending ourselves. And most unsettling of all, in our attempt to get the bad people to stop threatening us, we have begun to imitate them." Casualty Reports Local story: Ohio soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: North Carolina soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: California missionary killed in Iraq. Local story: North Carolina missionaries killed in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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