Sunday, April 04, 2004

War News for April 4, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Two US Marines killed in al-Anbar province. Bring ‘em on: Oil pipeline in southern Iraq attacked and ablaze. Bring ‘em on: Ten Iraqis killed, dozens wounded as Spanish troops open fire on demonstration in Najaf. Bring ‘em on: US tanks deployed as Baghdad protest turns violent. Bring ‘em on: Shi’ite mosque bombed near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: Four Salvadoran troops killed during fighting in Najaf. Bring ‘em on: Car bomb in Kirkuk wounds three Iraqis. Bring ‘em on: Three ICDC members killed, one wounded in bombing near Samarra. Marine press policy reveals little information about war in Iraq. “The Army and the Pentagon, in their news releases announcing service members' deaths in Iraq, typically offer a brief characterization of the hostile action, such as mortar fire, roadside bomb or other type of attack. They usually cite the town where it happened; the Marines do not.” Bullshit. The Marines know where they received casualties. The insurgents know where they inflicted casualties. The only people who are kept in the dark by this so-called "force protection" measure are the American people. Lieutenant AWOL sought British support for his Iraq war nine days after September 11, 2001. “Bush's approach came at a private White House dinner with Blair, said the Observer , which quoted Sir Christopher Meyer, the former British ambassador to Washington , who was at the meal.” Security consultants. “Such is the corporate but still consummately dangerous world of "security" or "risk management" firms that have struck gold in the lawless frontiers of Iraq. They are hired by private and government contractors, by the media, and by the Coalition Provisional Authority itself to provide protection from the bullets and bombs that still make up so much of daily life there. It was one of the largest of these firms, Blackwater U.S.A., that lost four employees in a horrific ambush in the central city of Fallujah last week.” Crime in Baghdad. Green Zone CPA REMFs react to killings in Fallujah. “’Let's just go in and level the town,’ said one angry US civilian. ‘Let's tell them to get their women and children out and then go in and level it. Why are these Iraqis protesting against us? They are the ones who are killing us, not the other way round.’ Another US civilian nodded in agreement - that reconstruction in Fallujah should be thrown into reverse. ‘That's exactly what we should do,’ he said. Both men spoke aboard one of the air-conditioned shuttle buses that ferry the Coalition Provisional Authority's officials and contractors around their heavily fortified enclave in central Baghdad. The 'Green Zone' has grown continuously over the past six months and its 4.5m-high concrete wall now stretches for about 32km, enclosing a vast area of central Baghdad. " Bremer plans to cut and run, but he’s making sure the troops stay. “When we leave the bottling plant in late afternoon, the streets of US-occupied Baghdad are filled with al-Sadr supporters vowing bloody revenge for the attack on their newspaper. A spokesperson for Bremer is defending the decision on the grounds that the paper ‘was making people think we were out to get them.’ A growing number of Iraqis are certainly under that impression, but it has far less to do with an inflammatory newspaper than with the inflammatory actions of the US occupation authority. As the June 30 ‘handover’ approaches, Bremer has unveiled a slew of new tricks to hold on to power long after ‘sovereignty’ has been declared.” Commentary Opinion: “The administration came to power in January of 2001 already focused on Iraq, to the distraction of practically everything else in the realm of national security and foreign relations. That's what O'Neill had to say. Clarke takes it a step further. Immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush wanted to know whether Iraq had any responsibility for what had happened. When Clarke told him, ‘But Mr. President, al-Qaida did this,’ the president replied, ‘Look into Iraq, Saddam.’” Analysis: "That was the frightening truth: that the chaos and carnage continue in Iraq, unabated and uncontrolled, despite $120 billion, 150,000 troops, and thousands of destroyed lives. It's so screwed up that, still, most of what hits our screens and newspapers comes out of Baghdad briefings by U.S. officials or their appointees. As CNN's Walter Rodgers confessed to Aaron Brown on Wednesday, he travels with ‘an armed security guard at all times’ and dares not venture out at night.” Opinion: “When you go to the manicured lawns and villas of the so-called Green Zone in Baghdad, you get this odd, weird feeling; that here is a place so isolated, so ostentatiously secure -- it is not secure of course, since mortars are regularly fired into the compound -- that it has no contact with the outside world. Here U.S. proconsul L. Paul Bremer lives in Saddam Hussein's former palace. There are fewer than 100 days before he supposedly hands over the ‘sovereignty’ of Iraq to America's own new handpicked Iraqi government that will hold elections at an unknown date. And so within the palace walls, the occupying power believes in optimism, progress and political development.” Opinion: In the second presidential campaign debate on Oct. 11, 2000, candidate Bush criticized the ‘nation-building mission’ in Somalia during which the Black Hawk was shot down and a soldier's corpse was dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. ‘I think our troops ought to be used to fight and win war,’ Bush said. Bush now ought to tell us if he really has changed his mind and, if so, how he proposes to win and maintain the peace in all of Iraq.” Casualty Reports Local story: Michigan soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania soldier wounded in Iraq. CPA Accomplishments Here is a selection of CPA press releases from the last week. Remember as you read these items, that the CPA will transfer "sovereignity" in three months and they don't even know who they will transfer power to. L. Paul Bremer unveils new Iraqi Olympic logo. CPA officials organize Baghdad chapter of the Optimists Club. The CPA dedicates $10 million for “beautification” projects in Baghdad. IGC member whines about the media to the American Enterprise Institute. CPA Inspector General starts a website and hotline. Presumably so the profiteers who are contracting with the CPA can rat themselves out. CPA restructures Iraqi commercial code so foreign investors can snap up Iraqi State assets. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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