Wednesday, May 26, 2004

War News for May 26, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Two Russian contractors, two Iraqis killed in ambush near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers killed, six wounded in mortar attack near Iskandariyah. Bring ‘em on: Six insurgents killed, one US soldier wounded in firefight near Tikrit. Bring ‘em on: Five Iraqis wounded by IED near Balad Ruz. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi police chief wounded in assassination attempt near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier wounded in RPG attack on Baghdad police station. Bring ‘em on: Bulgarian troops under mortar fire near Karbala. Bring ‘em on: Nine Iraqis killed in Najaf fighting. One US soldier killed, two injured in vehicle accident near ad-Dwar. Report from Sadr City. “In the past month, seven Iraqis, including the chairman of Sadr City's version of a city council, were killed in separate incidents, an Iraqi police official said. In every case, their bodies were hung in public with attached signs accusing them of being American spies.” More desperate measures. “’The thought that OPFOR is now being thrown into the mix in Iraq is deeply shocking because it absolutely shows where we are now,’ said retired Army colonel Kenneth Allard, an author and lecturer on military history and strategy. ‘We've always managed to maintain the basic integrity of the training base. That is the seed corn of the Army.’… Until now, OPFOR has been considered off limits for deployment to foreign wars. The Army's philosophy was, ‘the more you train in peace, the less you bleed in war,’ Allard said. The increase in violence in Iraq has forced the Pentagon to sustain a larger land force in Iraq than planned and for a longer - at this point, indefinite - period.” Something done right. “The senior Muslim religious leader in the Iraqi city of Samarra inspected the jail at Forward Operating Base Brassfield-Mora earlier this month to check on the condition of Iraqi prisoners being held there by the 1st Infantry Division, a 1st ID spokesman said.” Anatomy of an ambush. “The unidentified American soldier, a young military police officer, was carried from the gate by her four comrades, nervous, jittery men whose fear seemed to throb in their eyes. The wounded soldier writhed in her own blood and shrieked, her voice climbing and ebbing suddenly as if she had run out of breath. ‘Hold on, we'll be there in 10 minutes,’ one soldier said, lifting her onto the hood of their Humvee as a crowd of Iraqis gathered and the police waved their guns.” Commentary Opinion: “This is called staying the course. The only course an immoral war can follow is one of unrelenting tragedy and permanent mistrust. It cannot be a surprise that a certain number of soldiers did not care about Iraqi prisoners when the commander in chief has yet to seriously acknowledge, let alone apologize for the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians. It cannot be a surprise that the military continues to make mistakes and then blithely tells the press the victims had evil intentions when the commander in chief has yet to apologize for a single mistake outside of the prison abuse scandal. On Monday Bush issued a five-point plan to stabilize Iraq. No five-point plan can come from a president whose war had no point. Under him, staying the course will continue to mean the blowing to bits of brides, grooms, mothers, and children. The only credible plan is one where Bush announces that he has changed course -- right out of Iraq.” Analysis: “It has become an article of faith among neo-conservatives that, as one of their number - syndicated columnist Mona Charen - recently put it, ‘the question of the moment is not whether we've done enough good, but whether we've been tough enough’….Commanders on the ground knew it was a disaster and, with White House backing, eventually agreed to lift the siege and permit a former Revolutionary Guard general, who had been cashiered under Chalabi's ‘de-Ba'athization’ program, to organize a local security force that includes other ex-Ba'athists, and which so far has also kept the peace. Denounced as ‘appeasement’ by the neo-cons, that agreement is now seen by the uniformed military, as well as the realists in the State Department, the intelligence agencies and the British Foreign Office - who have always considered the neo-cons' dreams of ‘transforming’ Iraq into a democratic, pro-Western, pro-Israel state fanciful - as the model for dealing with other restive parts of the country, including the Shi'ite south. Casualty Reports Local story: Two Vermont Guardsmen killed in Iraq. Local story: California Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Ohio soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Ohio Guardsman wounded in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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