Tuesday, April 13, 2004

War News for April 13, 2004 Bring ‘em on: One US soldier wounded by roadside bomb ambush near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Two US marines killed, eight wounded in Fallujah firefight. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, two wounded in convoy ambush south of Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: US helicopter shot down near Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, four wounded in patrol ambush near Samarra. Bring ‘em on: Three US Marines killed in al-Anbar province. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqi policemen killed, two wounded by roadside bomb near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: Romanian security guard killed, one wounded in ambush near Hilla. Bring ‘em on: Eight Russian citizens kidnapped in Iraq. Bring ‘em on: Three Kurds killed in gunfight with Iraqi police near Mosul. Bring ‘em on: Spanish troops attacked, mortared near Kufa. Bring ‘em on: Four Italian security guards taken hostage by insurgents near Fallujah. Report that another US helicopter crashes near Fallujah. “It was not immediately known how many the members of the crew are, nor the cause of the crash, AFP reported, citing an officers from the Marine Infantry. Reports say the helicopter does not belong to the Marine Infantry, but to an yet unknown American governmental agency. ” The MH-53 is used by US Army Special Forces and Delta Force. I'm fairly certain that this incident involves a different helicopter from the other helicopter reported shot down near Fallujah which was reported to be an AH-64 Apache. It's pretty hard to confuse the two. General Abazaid says he needs two more combat brigades “if not more.” New Zealand troops remain in base camp due to hostilities in Iraq. Al-Sadr’s top aide in Baghdad arrested by US troops. CPA relinquishes control of Najaf. US losing control of supply routes in Iraq. “Over the weekend, U.S. forces fought pitched battles to clear the main routes to and from Baghdad, and also near Fallujah, for trucks to haul food, fuel, water and ammunition to soldiers and Marines, they said. Many convoys have been delayed; others suspended, officials said…Gunmen battered U.S. supply lines around Baghdad on Monday, attacking and burning a convoy of flatbed trucks carrying M113 armored personnel carriers south of the capital. A supply truck was burned and looted on the road from the airport.” Last year the neo-cons said an Iraqi Thomas Jefferson would emerge from post-Saddam Iraq. Looks like we found the Iraqi Francis Marion instead. Bad stuff: “In an e-mail, a defense contractor who asked not to be named said the situation was getting worse, and that while the coalition controlled pockets within Iraq, the rebels ‘own the roads.’” There is also a story in today’s LA Times that Halliburton has suspended supply convoys in some areas. Hope the troops have plenty of ammo! The puppets are pissed. “Members of the Iraqi Governing Council, picked by the United States to serve as a transitional authority here, say they were never consulted over the large-scale American military moves last week, exposing deep fissures between the council and the occupation authorities. The council, which said it would have opposed the decision to confront Sunni insurgents in Falluja and Ramadi, sent in a delegation to negotiate an end to the offensive, offering it a taste of what lies ahead after the United States turns sovereignty over to Iraqis on June 30.” Bremer and his buddies didn’t consult the Council because they knew the Council would oppose such a bone-headed response. That’s how these ideologues operate. If you don’t bring the advice they want, they don’t want to hear it. Bulgarian president tells soldiers’ families that he is considering pulling out of Karbala. Germany warns citizens to leave Iraq. Australia warns citizens to stay out of Iraq. French government tells citizens to leave Iraq. Poland considers troop cuts in Iraq. Mahdi Army tells Bulgarians to stop patrols in Karbala. “At-Tay said that his people are grateful to Bulgaria for the tasks its troops executed but added, should the Bulgarians stay in Karbala ‘there would be a massacre’. He pointed out that in his opinion the Polish troops are actually taking care of the peace in the region, while the Bulgarians are assisting the US soldiers in their special operations.” Blowback. “‘The action the Americans take in Fallujah is not right,’ Amanooel says, shaking his head in dismay. ‘We used to say we wanted Saddam Hussein overthrown, but now people say Saddam is better than the Americans. I wish there would be someone like Saddam to run the country to ensure the safety of the people.’ It is a revealing statement from a member of Iraq's silent majority, which is no longer quite so silent. And few places better reflect the recent change in mood than in the Karada District of Baghdad.” About Face! “The US military has begun recruiting former officers of Saddam Hussein's military to staff the new Iraqi army, an acknowledgement of the serious problems it has faced in trying to build reliable security forces…As part of the de-Ba'athification process put in place by the US-led coalition after the overthrow of Mr Hussein's government, Paul Bremer, the chief civil administrator in Iraq, insisted on disbanding the Iraqi army despite suggestions from some in the US military that experienced officers would be needed to staff the new army.” When I first read this article, I thought it was a effort to put the toothpaste back in the tube. After all, the CPA has already wasted an entire year trying to field an effective and loyal Iraqi security force and it will still be a long and difficult process to constitute new units even with experienced and trained leadership cadres. But this policy reversal might mean that there is finally somebody in the decision tree who can over-rule Bremer's more idiotic ideas. Since I strongly suspect that Bremer's original decision to disband the Iraqi regular army had less to do with de-Ba'athification than eliminating an Iraqi officer corps of uncertain loyalty to a future Chalabi/INC government - which has been Bremer's unspoken goal since the beginning - this reversal might mean the beginning of an even deeper policy change. Commentary Opinion: “In his Saturday radio address, George Bush described Iraqi insurgents as a ‘small faction.’ Meanwhile, people actually on the scene described a rebellion with widespread support. Isn't it amazing? A year after the occupation of Iraq began, Mr. Bush and his inner circle seem more divorced from reality than ever.” Analysis: “‘What's really needed is a viable political process and the building of a consensus -- internationally, regionally and locally -- to work our way out of this mess,’ retired Army Gen. William Nash, a U.S. commander in the Gulf War, told Reuters. ‘That's what I don't see anybody doing,’ said Nash, now with the Council on Foreign Relations… Still, one U.S. official said Falluja should be ‘flattened’ and prominent Republican, William Kristol, wrote in his Weekly Standard magazine: ‘We trust that U.S. troops will soon move to uproot what seems to have become a kind of terrorist sanctuary in Falluja.’” General Nash also commanded the 1st Armored Division during the successful implementation of the 1995 Dayton Accords in Bosnia. William Kristol is a right-wing professional scribbler who mysteriously avoided the Vietnam draft and has never served his country in uniform. Casualty Reports Local story: Kansas Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Massachusetts soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Alabama Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Texas soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: California Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: New York soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Georgia airman killed in Iraq. Local story: Texas soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Ohio soldier missing in action in Iraq. Local story: North Carolina soldier missing in action in Iraq. Local story: Arizona Marine wounded in Iraq. Local story: Idaho soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Ohio soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Colorado soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Florida soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Illinois Guardsman wounded in Iraq. 86-43-04. Bring it on.


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