Thursday, April 08, 2004

War News for April 8, 2004 Bring 'em on: Fighting spreads to Samawah. Bring 'em on: Roadside bomb explodes in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: US convoy attacked near Baghdad. Bring 'em on: US troops attacked by RPG fire near Karbala. Two Iraqis wounded. Bring 'em on: Bombs discovered, defused inside Green Zone. Bring 'em on: Insurgents attack Iraqi police station and police checkpoint in Mosul. Bring 'em on: Spanish troops fighting insurgents in Najaf. Bring 'em on: US troops attacked in Tikrit. One Iraqi policeman killed by US fire. Bring 'em on: Bulgarian base camp near Karbala attacked. Bring 'em on: Polish and Bulgarian troops engaged in all-night battle in central Karbala. Bring 'em on: One US Marine killed in fighting near Fallujah. Bring 'em on: Three Japanese civilians kidnapped by insurgents. Bring 'em on: Two Israeli Arabs kidnapped by insurgents. Bring 'em on: British contractor kidnapped near Nasiriyah. Mercenaries in Iraq. "The demand for a private security force in Iraq has increased since the war ended, CPA officials said. There are about 20,000 private security contractors in Iraq including Iraqis, and Americans and other foreigners. That number is expected to grow to 30,000 when the number of US troops is reduced after the planned July 1 handover to Iraqi authorities." Lieutenant AWOL begs France for troops. "Washington has approached France, which led opposition to the war in Iraq, as well as India, Pakistan and other nations that were reluctant to join the U.S.-led coalition that invaded Iraq, U.S. and European officials said. The list includes "a good global mix," said a U.S. State Department official familiar with the proposed force." Mahdi Army issues ultimatum for Polish and Bulgarian troops to leave Karbala. Sunni and Shi'ite Iraqis march on Fallujah with food, supplies. Mahdi Army claims to hold Spanish and US hostages. CPA launches TV advertizing blitz to promote democracy in Iraq. Mahdi Army retains control of Najaf and Kut. Update: US helicopter was shot down by small arms fire near Baquba. Kazakhstan withdraws troops from Bush's War. More attacks expected on Good Friday. Perles of wisdom: "Indeed, in a hour-long interview, Mr Perle is even more critical of those agencies than in the book, arguing that the administration failed in its policymaking both before the war - he would have trained Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress as a government-in-exile months before the war started - and after...'I don't believe democracy can be imposed from outside. . . I certainly prefer change from within to military action from the outside,' he says. 'They make it sound as though we're proposing war with Syria, war with Iran. It's not true. I don't propose war with anyone. Libya is an example of what I and some others hope will result from a more robust American policy.' By more robust, Mr Perle means constant, almost harassing diplomatic pressure. Stopping the flow of oil from Iraq to Syria. Smuggling communications equipment to Iranian dissidents. Backing independence for Saudi Arabia's oil-producing Eastern Provinces. It sounds like a recipe for destabilising an entire region, one that is home to one of the US's most important interests - oil - and its most dangerous enemy, Islamic fundamentalism." Commentary Editorial: "It’s clear that Bush intended to attack Iraq from the very beginning. Well before the 2000 election, he was surrounded by a far-right clique of Iraq-invasion advocates. Upon gaining the White House, he and top aides repeatedly sought ways to start war and remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The Muslim suicide attack on Sept. 11, 2001, provided an excuse — although Iraq had no connection to the attack. In March, 2002, Bush swaggered before some U.S. senators in the White House: “F—- Saddam, we’re taking him out.” Later that year, he began telling the world that Iraq had ghastly stockpiles of chemical and germ weapons — and was on the brink of creating nuclear bombs — and was in league with terrorists who would unleash the weapons on Americans — and Iraq’s people would welcome American troops as liberators, etc. Today, it’s clear that all those claims were false." Analysis: "A year ago many Shiites rejoiced when Saddam Hussein - a Sunni who had brutally repressed the Shiites for decades - was toppled. But intelligence officials believe that hatred of the US occupation is now so widespread that Mr Sadr and his forces represent just one element of it." Analysis: "The best picture of President Bush's process in deciding to invade Iraq comes from author Ron Suskind - who based his book, 'The Price of Loyalty' on thousands of documents provided by Bush's first Treasury secretary, Paul O'Neill, and extended discussions with him...The decision process encased an incurious, policy- knowledge-deficient, docile president, operating in a sanitized setting that blocked any information that conflicted with the administration's hard ideological line." Editorial: "The administration refused to listen, and now this nation and Iraq are paying the price. Lugar is wisely using his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to plan hearings on preparations, or lack of them, for meeting the June 30 deadline. The deadly events of the last week and the administration’s apparent unwillingness to adjust its plans for the handover of power make the need for such hearings all the more urgent." Opinion: "I can understand your emotional defense of your son when you spoke to the Petrochemical and Refiners Association in San Antonio last week...Your advice to your son throughout this ordeal has been private. But I wonder whether you cautioned him against taking the nation to war to avenge you after Saddam reportedly targeted you for assassination back in 1993. Is that why we are in a war with Iraq? Some people think so. Or did we covet Iraq's vast oil reserves. Or did we go to war to satisfy the geopolitical ambitions of the president's hawk advisers who are intent on empire building in the Middle East? Right now the administration is running on empty when it comes to explaining why we are in Iraq. I wonder what justification the White House will come up with to justify continuing the carnage." Opinion: "President Bush must still think he is speaking to a group of kindergarteners like he was on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Here are some of his recent statements in response to the increased violence in Iraq this week that has so far claimed the lives of more than 30 U.S. soldiers: 'We've got tough work there because, you see, there are terrorists there who would rather kill innocent people than allow for the advance of freedom. That's what you're seeing going on. These people hate freedom, and we love freedom. And that's where the clash occurs.'" Casualty Reports Local story: Wisconsin Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: California Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: New York soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Arizona soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Indiana Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: New Jersey Marine dies of wounds received in Iraq. Local story: Rhode Island Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Kentucky soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Delaware Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Iowa Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Wisconsin soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Minnesota Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Connecticut soldier dies of wounds received in Iraq. Local story: California soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Texas soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: New York Marine wounded in Iraq. Local story: Wisconsin Marine wounded in Iraq. Local story: Alabama Marine wounded in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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