Saturday, June 12, 2004

War News for June 11 and 12, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Insurgents storm and demolish Iraqi police station near Yusufiyah. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi deputy foreign minister assassinated in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Fighting reported in Sadr City. Bring ‘em on: US patrol ambushed by roadside bomb in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Coalition troops attacked by RPG and small arms fire near Hilla. Bring ‘em on: Fighting reported in Najaf. Bring ‘em on: Three US soldiers wounded by car bomb in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers, two Iraqi policemen wounded by car bombs in Baquba. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier wounded in roadside bomb, small arms ambush near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: Attempted pipeline sabotage reported near Qayyarah. Bring ‘em on: Three hostages killed near Fallujah. US helicopter crashes near Taji. Two soldiers injured. Bulgaria will withdraw from Iraq in 2005. Report from Baghdad. “It is the ever-expanding US bases and the increasing difficulties and dangers of their daily lives which make ordinary Iraqis dismiss declarations by President George Bush about transferring power to a sovereign Iraqi government as meaningless. As Mr Bush and Tony Blair were speaking this week about a new beginning for Iraq, the supply of electricity in the country has fallen from 12 hours a day to six hours. On Canal Street yesterday, close to the bombed-out UN headquarters, there was a two-mile long queue of cars waiting to buy petrol.” Progress report. “A car bomb had just hit a U.S. military convoy passing down the main avenue Friday afternoon in southwest Baghdad's Sayediyeh neighborhood, one of the near-daily attacks on occupation troops across Iraq. By the standards of Iraqi violence over the past two months, it was not particularly bloody. The U.S. military reported no serious casualties. But for what it told about Iraqis' attitudes toward the 13-month-old U.S. occupation, the attack was devastating.” Blackouts. "With electricity in Baghdad flowing at less than half prewar levels and a scorching summer ahead, many Iraqis see the struggle to ensure adequate power as a metaphor for a U.S.-led reconstruction mission gone bad." Insurgent attacks on Iraqi security forces increasing. “This month so far, Iraqi policing agencies have been involved in 67 engagements, according to U.S. military numbers, which are considered to be an undercount. If that trend holds, the total for June will come close to 200. In May, it was 147, and in April it was 135. Figures for the number of Iraqi security personnel killed weren't available.” Kofi Annan spanks Lieutenant AWOL. “UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Thursday that the war in Iraq has sparked a global crisis that must be resolved through international co-operation. ‘What kind of world would it be, and who would want to live in it, if every country was allowed to use force, without collective agreement, simply because it thought there might be a threat?’ he said at Harvard University's commencement…’Once again, in recent weeks, the United States found that it needed the unique legitimacy of the United Nations to bring into being a credible interim government in Iraq,’ Mr. Annan said.” General Zinni tears Rummy a new one. “’If there would have been a military failure heads would have rolled,’ Zinni said. ‘We need a civilian response. It has to start with the senior civilian leadership at the Pentagon, with the secretary of defense on down.’” Commentary Editorial: “The president's failure to adequately staff the armed forces is just one way in which he fails his own commitment to what he called this week "the imperative of our age." The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, changed Mr. Bush's view of the world, but he never adjusted his fiscal strategy; he continues to reduce the tax burden on the wealthy and leave the government without adequate resources for the fight. He has yet to invest the funds and energy, on a scale appropriate to an existential struggle, in public diplomacy, Arab-language training, foreign student exchanges, nuclear materials control and many other ventures that are key to eventual victory. And he has yet to acknowledge that the downsized military he favored in 2000 is no longer suitable in 2004.” Editorial: “President Bush, sadly, is a much discredited salesman for his own campaign, so it is easier for these leaders to snub him. His decision to promote democracy in the region late last year, as the soured occupation of Iraq continued, raised questions about his motivation. The G-8 statement includes a nod toward the need to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But President Bush's excessive deference to Ariel Sharon on Israeli settlements — along with his indifferent response to the American military's torturing of Iraqi prisoners — has undermined his credibility in the Arab world.” Editorial: ‘This is frightening for many reasons. It is frightening because it fits so neatly with other legal strategies of the Bush administration. The government has sought to put many of its prisoners in the war on terrorism beyond the reach of the law. At Guantanamo Bay, for instance, inmates are "enemy combatants," with neither the prisoner-of-war protections of the Geneva Conventions nor the due-process protections given accused criminals. They are in a legal black hole. Two U.S. citizens held in U.S. jails without charge or, until recently, access to lawyers or judicial review, Yaser Hamdi and Jose Padilla, are in a similar black hole. Maher Arar of Ottawa, shipped out of the United States to Syria under orders of the deputy attorney-general, also fell into the post-Sept.-11 black hole. In that black hole, the concept of human dignity is rendered meaningless.” Analysis: “In the new Iraq, the US is caught in pincers of its own making, between the tribes and the mosque. The Americans thought that both of these powers could be ignored as they dreamily set about crafting a secular administration that would be dominated by the hand-picked exiles Washington had airlifted into the country as the dust of war settled.” Casualty Reports Local story: South Carolina soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Virginia soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: South Dakota Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Massachusetts soldier dies in Iraq. Local story: Kansas soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: California soldier wounded in Iraq. Awards and Decorations Local story: Five ICDC members decorated for valor in Iraq. Local story: Illinois Marine decorated for valor in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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