Sunday, May 02, 2004

War News for May 2, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers killed in convoy ambush near Amarah. Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers killed, one US soldier and two Iraqi policemen wounded in Baghdad attack. Bring ‘em on: US troops under mortar fire near Najaf. Bring ‘em on: Two Fijian security contractors killed in northern Iraq. Bring ‘em on: US convoy attacked with roadside bomb and mortar fire near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Six British soldiers wounded, five Iraqis killed in ambush near Amarah. CENTCOM reports one US soldier died in a non-hostile incident in Baghdad. American hostage escapes from insurgents near Baghdad. UK deploys another 4,000 troops to Iraq. Patrol in Fallujah. "The orders that morning were to check out a village where mortars were being fired at an American base. ‘I don't begrudge them,’ a Marine officer told me. ‘We'd do the same thing if some foreign dudes rolled into San Diego and set up shop.’ The marines I was accompanying last month were based at Twentynine Palms, Calif. They were spread out in several vehicles. It was your basic search-and-destroy mission. But many marines didn't like that term. They said it sounded too much like 'Nam." Sen. Kerry visits wounded troops at Walter Reed, spanks Lieutenant AWOL at veterans’ breakfast. “He sought a low profile, but in a rare, unscripted conversation with those gathered, the Massachusetts senator questioned President Bush's wartime moral authority, suggested that Vice President Dick Cheney would face harsher scrutiny for potential war-profiteering if Democrats were in control of Congress, and vented about the tone of the presidential race.” Commentary Opinion: The Architect did not accurately enough concern himself with the death of individual American soldiers, or groups for that matter. So it was 524 in combat instead of 350, or a total of 726 instead of ‘approximately 500’ on Thursday morning. But don't bother the Architect with untidy details; he's a big picture kind of guy…Still, Wolfowitz continued, unfazed, with his prepared lecture to the senators. He quoted from letters Marines had sent home reassuring their relatives that they were not wasting their lives. Some might consider this exploitation, but not the Architect. ‘Oil revenues helped build Saddam Hussein's palaces,’ he told the senators. ‘Today, Iraqi oil revenue goes to the Development Fund for Iraq, where it helps build a new infrastructure and a new future for the Iraqi people. At 2.5 million barrels per day, Iraqi oil production has reached its pre-war levels, and oil proceeds to date exceed $7.5 billion and are projected to be $14 billion this year.’ Numbers about Iraqi oil rolled off the Architect's tongue with a fluency that failed him when asked about the cost in American lives. Where almost everyone else sees a looming quagmire in Iraq, Wolfowitz sees an eight-lane, hard-surfaced autobahn winding through endless oilfields.” Analysis: “The shameful pictures of U.S. soldiers humiliating naked Iraqi prisoners were the final straw for Margaret D. Tutwiler. Moved out of her post as Ambassador to Morocco last December to become Undersecretary of State for Public Affairs, Ms. Tutwiler was instructed to spruce up the Bush administration's image in the Arab world in particular and the Muslim world in general. It took her only four months to conclude this was mission impossible.” Analysis: “The foreign policy establishment was shocked by an interview in the ‘Wall Street Journal’ by retired Gen William E Odom who, among other posts, served as director of the National Security Agency (NSA) under former President Ronald Reagan (1981-89). ‘We have failed,’ he said last week, adding that even if an Iraqi election takes place next January as scheduled, ‘anybody that's pro-American cannot gain legitimacy.’ Calling for a swift withdrawal, Odom, who is based at the conservative Hudson Institute and has never been inclined to traditional isolationism, warned that the continued presence of US troops - let alone a major military crackdown against Iraqi insurgents - was simply radicalizing both Iraqis and other Arabs, risking the destabilisation of the entire region. ‘The issue is how high a price we're going to pay ... less, by getting out sooner, or more, by getting out later?’” Casualty Reports Local story: California soldier killed in Iraq. Note to Readers I won't update tomorrow because I will be travelling. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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