Sunday, May 30, 2004

War News for May 30, 2004 Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, nine wounded in mortar attack “south of Baghdad.” Bring ‘em on: Driver and bodyguard of Iraqi newspaper editor killed in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Three US Marines killed in action in al-Anbar province. Bring ‘em on: Four Iraqis wounded in continued fighting in Najaf. Bring ‘em on: Six US soldiers wounded by car bomb near Mosul. One US soldier dies in “non-hostile incident” near Mosul. Chalabi staffers evicted from offices in Ramadi. Coalition of the not-so-willing. “South Korean medics and engineers have been rotating in and out of Iraq for nearly a year, but the main dispatch of 3,000 troops is months behind schedule. Originally, the South Koreans were to go to the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. But the South Korean government changed its mind in March because of rising violence. Since then, the search for a new location has proceeded at such a slow pace that critics have accused the Koreans of foot-dragging. It now seems unlikely that the troops will be deployed before August.” Disillusioned. “Jabir Algarawi has returned from Iraq dejected and disillusioned. In December, the north Phoenix resident traveled to his former homeland for the first time in 11 years, eager not only to visit his family in post-Saddam Iraq but excited to play a role in the country's transition from a dictatorship to a democracy.” General Zinni lists Lieutenant AWOL’s Top Ten Blunders in Iraq. Arab press reaction to Iraq’s interim prime minister. Idaho National Guard mobilized for duty in Iraq. “More than 40 percent of Idaho's National Guard members will be headed to Iraq with Saturday's announcement of a full mobilization of the Guard's 116th Cavalry Brigade. It's the most extensive call-up of Idaho's National Guard for overseas military deployment in the state's history.” Massive looting continues in Iraq. “In the past several months, the International Atomic Energy Agency, based in Vienna, Austria, has been closely monitoring satellite photographs of hundreds of military-industrial sites in Iraq. Initial results from that analysis are jarring, said Jacques Baute, director of the agency’s Iraq nuclear verification office: Entire buildings and complexes of as many as a dozen buildings have been vanishing from the photographs.” OPTEMPO. “American soldiers are firing so much ammunition that the military's largest supplier of bullets can't keep up. Tanks that log 800 miles a year in peacetime are grinding through that many miles in a month, wearing out their treads. Fighting in Iraq and increased training back home are straining the military's supplies and giving manufacturers in the United States a surge in business.” It's interesting to note that the Army has "given contracts for 70 million rounds each to Israel Military Industries Ltd." Arabs shot by Israeli bullets fired from American rifles? Who the hell let this contract and why? Military necessity, incompetence or another Perle/Feith-based crony contract? An inquiring journalist might find an answer. Lieutenant AWOL’s health care plan for Iraq. “Iraq's top surgeons, neurologists and other doctors are fleeing Baghdad, bullied into exile by a growing gang of kidnappers seeking hefty ransoms from the country's affluent elite. ‘The kidnapping of doctors has risen over the past few months, forcing the best practitioners to leave Iraq and settle in neighbouring countries to protect themselves,’ said health ministry public affairs officer May Yassin.” More of Lieutenant AWOL’s “Support the Troops” tax policy. “The Bush administration opposes a House-passed plan to phase out the Social Security offset, also called the “widow’s tax” feature, of the military Survivor Benefit Plan. But White House budget officials aren’t recommending a presidential veto if the plan appears in the final 2005 defense authorization bill.” Commentary Opinion: "It is our patriotic duty to speak out when egregiously flawed policies and strategies needlessly cost American lives. It is time for the president to ask those responsible for the flawed Iraqi policy -- civilian and military -- to resign from public service. Absent such a change in the current administration, many of us will be forced to choose a presidential candidate whose domestic policies we may not like but who understands firsthand the effects of flawed policies and incompetent military strategies and who fully comprehends the price." The writer is a retired major general in the Marine Corps. He served as director of the expeditionary warfare division in the office of the deputy chief of naval operations. Analysis: “This time the point of these scolds' political strategy — and it is a political strategy, despite some of its adherents' quasireligiosity — is clear enough. It is not merely to demonize gays and the usual rogue's gallery of secularist bogeymen for any American ill but to clear the Bush administration of any culpability for Abu Ghraib, the disaster that may have destroyed its mission in Iraq. If porn or MTV or Howard Stern can be said to have induced a ‘few bad apples’ in one prison to misbehave, then everyone else in the chain of command, from the commander-in-chief down, is off the hook. If the culture war can be cross-wired with the actual war, then the buck will stop not at the Pentagon or the White House but at the Paris Hilton video, or ‘Mean Girls,’ or maybe ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.’” Casualty Reports Local story: Missouri soldier wounded in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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