Friday, April 02, 2004

War News for April 2, 2004 Bring 'em on: Three Iraqi policemen killed in ambush near Baquba. Bring 'em on: One US soldier killed, one wounded by roadside bomb in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: One US Marine killed west of Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Three insurgents killed while planting a bpmb in Kirkuk. Anti-American resentment growing in Iraq. "The U.S. army has increasingly linked the insurgency to foreign terror networks, but Wednesday's killings showed their No. 1 enemy within Iraq is hatred of the occupiers." Restoring electric power in Iraq. "Still, on Oct. 9, a beaming Paul Bremer, President Bush's top envoy to Iraq, strode into a Baghdad press conference to tick off the accomplishments of the first six months. Topping the list was news that three days earlier, Iraq had produced 4,518 megawatts of power -- just above the country's estimated prewar level. In reality, electricity production had hit what turned out to be a false peak and was falling fast." Commentary Editorial: Such a lack of security at this stage points anew to the Bush administration's utter failure to plan for the aftermath of the shooting war. The Fallujah attack shows that U.S. forces are incapable of protecting Americans in portions of Iraq. Indeed, hours passed before any U.S. Marines arrived, giving the vengeful mob time to vent its rage. Worse still is that the administration isn't certain and hasn't been clear about who the enemy is. Blame has shifted from remnants of the Baathist loyalists to remnants of the Iraqi army to, lately, Islamist terrorists converging on Iraq. Some of the men and boys involved in the Fallujah attack belong to no organized resistance. They were Iraqis hellbent on creating a different picture of Iraq's reality. They will succeed if the administration doesn't produce a better plan." Opinion: "Last year, after going to war in Iraq, Bush established himself as the most fiscally irresponsible president in U.S. history. Despite ongoing wars/occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Congress, at Bush's urging, passed a bill with generous additional tax cuts that put the federal deficit in the range of $500 billion per year. And then last fall he encouraged Congress to pass an unfunded prescription drug benefit under Medicare that is likely to add hundreds of billions more to the federal deficit in the future." Although this piece isn't directly about the war in Iraq, I still think it's interesting that it was printed on the Op/Ed page of Jesse Helms' former rag. Opinion: "In President Bush’s handling of the war on terror, two facts stand out: Before Sept. 11, he failed to take military action against an enemy that had attacked us, and later, he took military action against an enemy that had not attacked us. He has a rejoinder for anyone who accuses him of failing to move against al-Qaida early in his term. He said last week, 'George Tenet briefed me on a regular basis about the terrorist threat to the United States of America, and had my administration had any information that terrorists were going to attack New York City on Sept. 11, we would have acted.' We would have acted? What a relief. Unfortunately, Osama bin Laden was not kind enough to phone the Oval Office with a schedule of events planned for New York and Washington that day." Opinion: George Medina, whose 22-year-old son, Spec. Irving Medina, was killed when an explosive device struck his convoy in Baghdad, heard about the commander-in-chief's joke from his daughter, an Army sergeant. 'She was very upset,' the grief-stricken dad said. 'This is disgraceful. He doesn't think of all the families that are suffering. It's unbelievable.'...George Bush, of course, doesn't have a clue what that feels like. Nor, apparently, does he care. The bodies of our soldiers are sneaked back into the country far from the cameras' -- or the president's -- view, and he thinks the tragic blunder that led to their deaths is good for a giggle." Analysis: "Fewer than 100 days remain before "sovereignty" and, presumably, power are to be transferred from the U.S.-British occupation authority in Baghdad to …? I don't know. Neither does the White House, which drifts toward subcontracting the job of organizing a sovereign interim Iraqi authority to the United Nations. Washington also has decided that a new U.N. Security Council resolution should provide the legal basis for the continuing presence of nearly 150,000 American and other foreign troops in Iraq after the June 30 turnover -- even though the administration had agreed last fall to negotiate a status-of- forces agreement with Iraq's Governing Council. Washington assumes Iraqis, who have not been consulted, will accept this reversal." Casualty Reports Local story: North Carolina soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: New Hampshire soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Maryland soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Ohio contractor killed in Iraq. Local story: California contractor killed in Iraq. Local story: Tenessee contractor killed in Iraq. Local story: Washington State soldier wounded in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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