Sunday, March 21, 2004

War News for March 21, 2004 Bring 'em on: Two US soldiers killed, seven wounded in rocket attack near Fallujah. Bring 'em on: Green Zone mortared in Baghdad. One US soldier wounded. Bring 'em on: Attempted pipeline sabotage reported near Kirkuk. Bring 'em on: One Iraqi killed, four wounded in mortar attack on PUK office in Mosul. Bring 'em on: One Iraqi killed, ten wounded in Baghdad mortar attack. Bring 'em on: One Iraqi policeman killed, two wounded by bomb in Khalis. Bring 'em on: Roadside bomb in Mosul wounds one Iraqi civilian. (Last paragraph.) Bring 'em on: Gunmen attack Turkmen youth center in Kirkuk. CENTCOM reports one US soldier killed, two injured in vehicle accident near Taji. Happy anniversary. "The millions of Iraqis who exulted in Saddam's downfall did not publicly celebrate the day, nor were there street protests from those who enjoyed his patronage - partly because public gatherings are vulnerable to suicide attackers, car bombs, shootings and other violence." More happy anniversaries coming. "Despite optimistic predictions from the Bush administration about an emerging democracy and plans to transfer sovereignty to an Iraqi government this summer, experts in foreign policy say Americans should prepare for many more years of deadly roadside bombings and U.S. and civilian casualties. Americans should also be prepared to pay billions per year for Iraq's reconstruction." Lieutenant AWOL's shabby coalition. "Because the coalition is one of individual governments without the cohesion provided by the United Nations or NATO, its makeup can change as governments do. Those who, in Bush's language, are 'with us' before national elections can suddenly be 'against us' depending on an election's results." Iraqis feel humiliated in an unstable nation. "'Now I will list the bad things,' said Saad as he entertained two visiting Americans in his living room and served them cans of Pepsi. 'There is no stability, there is no security, there is no clear future. Along with a feeling of humiliation.' One year after American forces invaded Iraq and overthrew the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Saads' fears and complaints are one way to understand why many Iraqis haven't embraced the American-led occupation." Widow still can't find out how her husband died in Iraq. "A news release from Coffin’s unit said he died after the Humvee swerved to avoid a civilian vehicle. But the U.S. Central Command reported the day before that a member of Coffin’s unit was killed July 1 when his convoy was hit by 'an improvised explosive device.'" Commentary Analysis: "Retired Gen. William Odom, director of national security studies at the Hudson Institute in Washington, said the Iraq war has already weakened the broad international unity Bush commanded after Sept. 11. Then, Odom said, NATO for the first time invoked Article 5 of its founding constitution, essentially declaring that the terrorist attacks on the United States constituted attacks on the trans-Atlantic alliance as a whole. 'Everybody was with us,' Odom said. 'Today, a remarkable number of people have left us. The question is when and why. It starts with the president's 2002 State of the Union message, when he announced the axis of evil. The Europeans were absolutely shocked. They said, 'We didn't sign up to fight Iraq, Iran and North Korea. We signed up to fight al Qaeda." That was the fork in the road' Odom said. 'By waging war in Iraq, the president has managed to essentially erode the anti-terrorism coalition.'" Opinion: "America went to war in a dishonest way that alienated key allies, divided and weakened the United Nations, outraged the world community, made us more hated in the world and made the war on terrorism more difficult to win. The decision on war or peace is the most important decision any president ever makes." Opinion: "Of the numerous misrepresentations in the ads, I find particularly annoying the claim that Kerry voted to cut combat pay for soldiers. In fact, as the public record abundantly proves, it was the Bush administration that opposed extending the period for increases in combat pay for soldiers in both Afghanistan and Iraq by $75 a month for imminent danger pay and by another $150 for family separation allowance. The administration backed down because of public outcry." Opinion: "Their 507th Army Ordinance Maintenance Co. was ambushed March 23, 2003. Eleven soldiers died; six were captured. A lone soldier held out until the end; he ultimately was fatally shot and stabbed by Iraqi troops. When American forces later retrieved Lynch from an Iraq hospital, the Pentagon immediately created the myths of a daring raid to rescue her and of her heroic resistance to the Iraqis. U.S. soldiers don’t need myths to bolster their reputation. This isn’t like the Vietnam conflict, when some troops found themselves reviled by folks back home. Americans have come to their senses. Irrespective of their views about the ongoing war in Iraq, Americans are unified in their support and concern for U.S. servicemen and women." Analysis: "Honduras is sticking with its plan to withdraw 300 soldiers in July, and when Bush recently met the Dutch Prime Minister, Jan Peter Balkenende pointedly refused to say how long he would leave his 1300 troops in Iraq. Small beer, perhaps. But it is all symptomatic of rising anger and tension among the old and valued friends at the insistence of Bush - who may well be judged by history to have been the ventriloquist's doll for the ideologues around him - that his very necessary war on terrorism did not need to be swamped by war and its uncertain aftermath in Iraq." Editorial: "When Vice President Dick Cheney and others in the administration continue their bullheaded insistence that it does not really matter whether the central reasons for invading and occupying Iraq have come to pass, it serves only to drive away key coalition members such as Spain. The latter's frustration and distrust were underscored by the defeat last week of its pro-U.S. government… With the November election looming, it is past time for the Bush administration to come clean with the American people and its allies, and admit its mistakes in Iraq. That might help it make its case for more help from abroad for the important work that remains to be done. But continuing to go it alone, with no end in sight, is not an option." Casualty Reports Local story: Texas Marine wounded in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Ohio Marine dies of wounds received in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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