Monday, March 22, 2004

War News for March 22, 2004 Bring ‘em on: US soldier and Iraqi interpreter killed, three wounded by roadside bomb near Abu Ghraib. Bring ‘em on: Car bomb near US base in Balad kills two Iraqis, wounds 25. Bring ‘em on: Six US soldiers wounded by RPG and small arms fire in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Two Finnish businessmen killed by sniper fire in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Three US Marines wounded by mortar fire near Ramadi. CENTCOM reports one US soldier killed in weapons accident near Samarra. Italians want Berlusconi to withdraw troops from Iraq. IGC warns that Israel's assassination of Ahmed Yassin could cause more violence in Iraq. "'This could happen in Iraq because the Israelis are well protected in Israel and the Americans are vulnerable here in Iraq. It could escalate the dangers in Iraq,' Assadi said, whose party sits on the Governing Council." Sistani warns UN on interim constitution. “Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric has urged the United Nations not to endorse the country's interim constitution, raising another obstacle to U.S. plans to hand power to Iraqis, a Beirut-based aide has said…In his letter, Sistani said the interim constitution was unworkable because it establishes a three-person presidential council, which he said would be composed of a Sunni, a Kurd and a Shi'ite who would be required to take unanimous decisions. ‘This builds a basis for sectarianism. Consensus would not be reached unless there is pressure from a foreign power, or a deadlock would be reached that destabilises the country and could lead to break-up,’ Sistani said.” Resentment growing in Baghdad. "No one can deny that many Iraqis have been happy to see Saddam Hussein removed from power by the US-led coalition last year. It is also probably true that most Iraqis were willing to give occupation forces the benefit of the doubt in the first few months after invasion. But now that the bitter reality of occupation has ceased to be a novelty, it appears patience with US forces is running thin. Barely tolerated as it is, if the Americans stick around for too long, the resentment will only grow." Costs of Bush’s War delay Army IT upgrades. Iraq’s interim government. “The fledgling Iraqi government will be capable of tackling little more than drawing up a budget and preparing for elections, top U.S. and Iraqi officials say.” Ibtihal Jassem. Find out who she is. Commentary Opinion: "…The president himself has as much as said the weapons never really mattered. He told an audience in Charleston, S.C., last month that even knowing what he knows today - i.e., that weapons of mass destruction probably don't exist - he would 'still' have invaded Iraq. 'America did the right thing in Iraq,' he said. It was arguably the starkest indication to date that the nation's show of diplomacy in the days prior to the invasion was always a sham, a fig leaf to cover the fact that George W. Bush was determined from the beginning to go to war. Diplomacy would not get in his way, nor would facts, nor would the hesitation of allies. And what has it gotten us? Everything we feared. Lives lost. Bodies maimed. American prestige crippled. And daily attacks of ever-increasing intensity on soldiers who we were told would be greeted with open arms as liberators." Analysis: "What does the future hold for Iraq's 25 million people and, by extension, all Arabs and indeed the larger Muslim world of 1.3 billion, especially their toxic relationship with America? The answers lie partly in the response to another question, the one American soldiers in Iraq often ask, when not sitting in armoured vehicles with machine guns pointing outward: 'Why do they hate us?' …But beyond that, Iraqis are furious at America, first, for the same reasons that Canadians, Europeans, Asians and, increasingly, Americans are, and the Spaniards ousted their government for backing Bush and the Germans re-elected theirs last year for standing up to him. Further — and this is often forgotten in this age of media amnesia — Iraqis have not only been the principal victims of Bush's war but also American indifference or hostile actions stretching back two decades." Casualty Reports Local story: New York soldier dies in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania soldier killed in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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