Sunday, May 09, 2004

War News for May 9, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Seven Iraqis killed in explosion at Baghdad market. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, one soldier wounded in mortar attack near Mosul. Bring ‘em on: Three Iraqis killed in bomb attack in Baquba. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed in mortar attack near Mosul. Bring ‘em on: British troops under mortar fore near Amarah. Bring ‘em on: Nine British soldiers wounded in fighting near Basra. Bring ‘em on: Two Polish soldiers killed in fighting near Karbala. Bring ‘em on: Fighting reported as US troops enter Karbala. Bring ‘em on: Seven Iraqis wounded by roadside bomb near Ramadi. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi judge assassinated near Hilla. Bring ‘em on: US troop convoy ambushed near Baghdad. OPTEMPO. “Troops are complaining of a shortage of windshields, which are shot out by insurgents' fire or pitted with rocks that kick up on rough Iraqi or Afghan roads. Fine desert sand is gnawing away at helicopter rotor blades at an alarming rate. The Army is struggling to supply batteries to power radios, computers, laser range finders and night-vision goggles.” Mothers’ Day. “This Mother's Day, Gloria Bonaccorso's thoughts will be on Iraq. Her 49-year-old son, John Bonaccorso, is there, serving with the Seabees. Just this last weekend, seven sailors in his unit were killed. ‘We always get together on Mother's Day,’ the Titusville mother said. ‘We would love to do it if he were only home.’” Baghdad art gallery. “The alabaster sculpture on display at a Baghdad gallery bears a striking resemblance to some of the shocking photographs that emerged last week of Iraqi prisoners abused by their American guards at the Abu Ghraib prison. But the 15-inch sculpture with words ‘We are living American democracy’ inscribed on its base was fashioned two months ago. “ “Free press” vs. corporate greed in Baghdad. “While the Bush administration has faced a spiraling scandal around prison abuses, a quieter controversy raged last week in one of Washington's most critical strategies to rebuild Iraq -- providing the country with a US-funded, and US-friendly, media network. The editor of the coalition-funded daily newspaper quit two weeks ago in protest at what he called ‘interference’ by American contractors hired to oversee the network…He was referring to Harris Corp., the Florida-based company that has the $96 million US government contract to run the Iraqi Media Network. Besides Al-Sabah, the network consists of television and radio stations that offer US-friendly alternatives to Arabic satellite channels such as Al-Jazeera… Zaher had pushed to make the newspaper a profit-making private entity by May 17, the first anniversary of the paper's debut issue. Harris Corp. rejected the idea. Zaher said Al-Sabah no longer needed the US funding, since it now had lucrative printing and advertising contracts, including one to print 25,000 copies of Stars and Stripes, the US military's daily newspaper, for troops in Iraq.” Progress Report. “A year ago, just 17 percent of Iraqis wanted the troops gone, according to Dulame’s respected research center in Baghdad. Now, the disturbing new results mirror what most Iraqis and many international observers have said for months: Give it up. Go home. This just isn’t working.” Osama offers bounty for Baghdad fashion maven and incompetent administrator L. Paul Bremer. “Ten thousand grams of gold, a little less than $125,000 on last week's London exchange, for the heads of people such as Paul Bremer, the U.S. Iraq administrator…” That’s a big price tag for a fifty-cent head. Bethesda Naval Hospital. “Marines arrive at the hospital daily, sometimes as many as 18 at once and usually in the middle of the night. Two trauma surgeons perform up to 10 operations apiece daily. ‘We are getting about as many people’ as during the first months in Iraq, said one of the trauma surgeons, Cmdr. James Dunne. ‘The trouble is, it is more steady. There is no end in sight.’” General Clark tears Lieutenant AWOL a new one. “The truth is President Bush made mistake after mistake as Commander-in-Chief, taking us into a war we didn't have to wage, alone and under false pretenses and is now managing it poorly.” Commentary Opinion: “Take the confident manner in which President Bush keeps asserting that ‘he says what he means and means what he says,’ as if consistency is the highest virtue and the inability to re-consider one's actions is a strength. He has the benighted notion that saying a thing makes it so. We have only to watch the faces of Iraqi women and children when their homes are invaded and torn apart by soldiers in search of terrorists. That is enough to make us know that life is not now better for families despite our president's insistent protestations that the people of Iraq are better off because we have liberated them.” Analysis: “A military defeat is a damaging thing, and Iraq remains a tense battleground. But a moral one may be more devastating and more enduring for a power like the United States that has long held that its actions are driven, at least in part, by the desire to be a force for good with a liberating mission for all humanity. It is precisely such a rout of the American idea that now confronts the United States in Iraq. The world is asking what sort of liberation is represented by an American woman holding a prone, naked Iraqi man on a leash in Saddam Hussein's Abu Ghraib prison, of all places. No matter that the offenders represent a tiny minority of the American military or that torture may be common in Arab jails. Such images will be held aloft for many years whenever America declares itself determined to right a wrong.” Opinion: “We're done in Iraq. The genie of Arab outrage is flowing over the Babylonian desert, and we will never jam it back into the bottle. We've lost all hope of winning hearts and minds. The longer we stay, the more we'll aggravate the problem, and the more soldiers we'll lose…It's time to start planning an orderly exit and bona fide transition of power to Iraqis, under the watch of the United Nations. Yes, our reputation will suffer, but it has already because the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz experiment has failed, and there's no excuse to spill more blood in the administration's ideological petri dish.” Analysis: “Through a cruel accident of timing, each of these images was in turn cross-cut with a retread of a golden oldie: President Bush standing under the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner of a year ago. ‘I wish the banner was not up there,’ Karl Rove had told a newspaper editorial board in the swing state of Ohio in mid-April. Not ‘I wish that we had planned for the dangers of post-Saddam Iraq before recklessly throwing underprepared and underprotected Americans into harm's way.’ No, Mr. Rove has his eye on what's most important: better political image management through better set design. In prewar America, presidential backdrops reading ‘Strengthening Medicare’ and ‘Strengthening Our Economy’ had worked just fine. If only that one on the U.S.S. Lincoln had said ‘Strengthening Iraq,’ everything would be hunky-dory now. Casualty Reports Local story: Florida Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: California soldier dies in Iraq. Local story: Florida soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Texas Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Arkansas Guardsman killed in Iraq. Local story: Oklahoma soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Tennessee soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Two North Dakota Guardsmen die from wounds received in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania soldier killed in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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