Monday, May 31, 2004

War News for May 31, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers, 20 Iraqi militiamen killed in fighting near Kufa. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, two wounded by roadside bomb “south of Baghdad.” Bring ‘em on: IGC member assassinated near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi security guard killed in ambush near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Two Westerners killed, three kidnapped in ambush near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers wounded in fighting near Najaf. Bring ‘em on: Car bomb kills two Iraqis near Green Zone in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Japanese military convoy ambushed near Samawah; casualties are reported. Bring ‘em on: Three Iraqis killed, four wounded in mortar attack in Samarra. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqis killed in mortar attack on US positions near Mosul. Bring ‘em on: Two insurgents killed while planting roadside bomb near Beiji. Bring ‘em on: Five Iraqi policemen wounded by roadside bomb near Basra. Lieutenant AWOL’s war trophy. “Ousted Iraq president Saddam Hussein's pistol has made its way to the White House with United States President George W Bush proudly showing it to select visitors, Time magazine said in a report…’ He really liked showing it off,’ the report quoted an unnamed visitor to the White House as saying. ‘He was really proud of it.’” salvage has the best commentary on this item. Redeployment. “At Fort Riley, this is the last stop before home for soldiers returning from Iraq. Mandatory "debriefs" like this one, to be conducted for thousands of soldiers in training rooms and auditoriums at bases across the country, are a novelty for the United States military. The sessions were begun in response to a spate of deaths at Fort Bragg, N.C., in 2002, when four soldiers were charged with killing their wives in unrelated cases. The sessions reflect the realization that for soldiers and their families, the burdens and sacrifices of deployment go far beyond fighting overseas and waiting at home. As these re-entry sessions show, coping with war is a long-term struggle, a way of life, falling hardest on a sliver of American society: the men, women and children of the military class, hundreds of thousands of them, many clustered in and around bases like Fort Riley.” More on detainee deaths. “In the aftermath of the international outcry over the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, the Pentagon has repeatedly said it thoroughly investigates all accusations of mistreatment and misconduct. But as the handling of the death certificates suggests, many of the known investigations into abuses against Afghan and Iraqi detainees moved glacially, at least until the photographs of hooded, shackled and naked Iraqi prisoners appeared late last month.” Commentary Analysis: Meanwhile, America's reputation has plummeted, not only in the Middle East but in European and other countries considered long-time allies. Among Arabs, the prevailing view hasn't improved since the war was launched, Mr. Telhami said. "They believe the war was for oil and for Israel, but not for democracy, not for weapons of mass destruction, not for any of these things that were stated by the U.S." Analysis: “Now, as Mr. Brahimi nears the end of his work, Iraqis are discovering that his task was not so simple. With his slate of appointees expected to be announced in the next day or two, the appointments leaked so far suggest that what Mr. Brahimi ultimately accomplishes may turn out to be less a revolution than a rearrangement, less a new cast of characters than a reworked version of the same old faces. The reason, Iraqis are beginning to say, has been the unexpected assertiveness of American officials and their allies on the Iraqi Governing Council, coupled with Mr. Brahimi's surprising passivity, after he was expected to have a free hand. The danger, some of these Iraqis say, is that the new government could end up looking too much like the old one, an American-appointed council that never gained the acceptance of the people. If that proves true once the appointees are officially announced, they said, the new government could lack the credibility it needs to carry the country through the turbulent period leading to nationwide elections next year. Already, a three-day cease-fire appeared to be unraveling in the south.” 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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