Saturday, April 24, 2004

War News for April 23 and 24, 2004 Bring ‘em on: One Bulgarian soldier killed in convoy ambush near Karbala. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed by roadside bomb near Samarra. Bring ‘em on: Five US soldiers killed, six wounded in rocket attack near Taji. Bring ‘em on: Explosions, firefights reported in Karbala. Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi killed, three wounded after US troops open fire in Sadr City. Bring ‘em on: Four Iraqi policemen killed, 16 wounded by car bomb at US base near Tikrit. Bring ‘em on: Nine Iraqis killed in mortar attack on Baghdad market. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi translator and her husband assassinated near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Three Iraqi police wounded in RPG attack near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: One Italian soldier wounded in ambush near Nasiriyah. CPA flip-flops on de-Baathification policy. Chalabi gets the boot? “The US and the top UN envoy to Iraq have decided to exclude the majority of politicians who have served for the past year on the US-appointed Governing Council when a new Iraqi government is picked to assume power on June 30, The Washington Post reported today.” I wonder if Cheney and Rummy have approved this plan. Al-Sadr threatens to retaliate with suicide bombers if US troops move into Najaf. US issues warning to Fallujah residents while Baghdad fashion maven and incompetent administrator L. Paul Bremer talks tough on Iraqi TV. Details emerge of “sovereignty” transfer plan. “The Bush administration's plans for a new caretaker government in Iraq would place severe limits on its sovereignty, including only partial command over its armed forces and no authority to enact new laws, administration officials said Thursday. These restrictions to the plan negotiated with Lakhdar Brahimi, the special United Nations envoy, were presented in detail for the first time by top administration officials at Congressional hearings this week, culminating in long and intense questioning on Thursday at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's hearing on the goal of returning Iraq to self-rule on June 30… The proposed curbs on Iraqi sovereignty are paving the way for what officials and diplomats say is shaping up as another potential battle with American allies as the United Nations is asked to confer legitimacy on the new government.” 595 US troops wounded in last two weeks. General Abazaid needs more troops. The top United States commander in the Middle East suggested in an interview on Friday that he was likely to ask for another extension in the current troop levels in Iraq, now at 135,000, and might even ask for more troops beyond that. The commander, Gen. John P. Abizaid, said the security situation was liable to worsen as June 30 approached, and with it the return of self-rule to Iraq. He cited the likelihood of new insurgent attacks against American troops and doubts about the current reliability of Iraqi security forces. The next four months are critical, he said. The Pentagon has already extended by 90 days the tours of 20,000 soldiers; they were to return to their home bases after a year in Iraq." Lieutenant AWOL is unhappy that Americans can see photographs of fallen soldiers’ caskets. Support the Troops! “This is how Nicole Goodwin travels these days: with her 1-year-old daughter pressed to her chest in a Snugli, a heavy backpack strapped across her shoulders, and a baby stroller crammed with as many bags of clothes and diapers as it can hold. When you are a homeless young mother, these are the things you carry. And tucked away somewhere are the documents attesting to Ms. Goodwin's recent honorable discharge from the United States Army, as well as Baghdad memories that are still fresh.” Commentary Opinion: “Cronyism and corruption are major factors in Iraq's downward spiral. This week the public radio program ‘Marketplace’ is running a series titled ‘The Spoils of War,’ which documents a level of corruption in Iraq worse than even harsh critics had suspected. The waste of money, though it may run into the billions, is arguably the least of it - though military expenses are now $4.7 billion a month.” Analysis: “Foreign policy in the Bush administration reflects a lack of experience in the real world away from a Washington overrun with armchair polemicists and ideologues. Too many of them have no experience in the military, where one learns to expect the unexpected, or in international finance, where America's insecurity also resides. This White House is known for its hostility to curiosity and intellectual debate… The failures of the Bush administration are not those of foreign intelligence but of a cerebral sort of intelligence.” Opinion: “One of the eerie things about Bush's press conference performance was just how divorced from reality he is. Not only is he still claiming we're going to find the WMD and that Saddam Hussein was linked to 9-11, but he actually claimed we went to war to save the credibility of the United Nations. The man is living in Fantasyland.” For non-US readers the reference to a “turtle on a fence post” comes from a saying about Lieutenant AWOL: “He’s like a turtle on a fence post: You know he doesn't belong there, he can't get anything done while he's up there, he looks stupid sitting there, and you know he didn't get there by himself.” Casualty Reports Local story: Maine Guardsman killed in Iraq. Local story: New York Marine dies from wounds received in Iraq. Local story: Massachusetts soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Three Florida Guardsmen wounded in Iraq. Local story: South Carolina Guardsman wounded in Iraq. Local story: Three Maine Guardsman wounded in Iraq. Remember ANZAC Day. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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