Sunday, June 13, 2004

War News for June 13, 2004 Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, two wounded in ambush near Taji. Bring ‘em on: Four Iraqi policemen and eight Iraqi civilians killed by Baghdad car bomb. Bring ‘em on: Senior Iraqi education ministry official assassinated in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Green Zone rocketed in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Kurdish religious leader assassinated in Kirkuk. Bring ‘em on: US troops under mortar fire near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: Six Iraqi policemen wounded in Kirkuk ambush. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi border guard chief escapes assassination attempt in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: US convoy ambushed near Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: Senior police officer wounded in assassination attempt near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi university professor assassinated in Baghdad. Brahimi resigns. “Brahimi explained that his decision stemmed from great difficulties and frustration experienced during his assignment in Iraq. He said that he does not intend to return to Iraq.” Real American patriots sound off. “A group of 26 former senior diplomats and military officials, several appointed to key positions by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, plans to issue a joint statement this week arguing that President George W. Bush has damaged America's national security and should be defeated in November. The group, which calls itself Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, will explicitly condemn Bush's foreign policy, according to several of those who signed the document.” I’m sure they feel honored. “An infantry battalion serving in Iraq has been awarded the dubious distinction of having been attacked more times than any British Army unit since the Korean War. The officers and men of the 1st battalion of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment have been ‘in contact’ with enemy forces on more than 250 separate occasions since they arrived in Iraq six weeks ago.” Convoy operations. “Off the road, women in black robes skillfully walk with huge packages balanced on their head, barefoot children run back and forth, and shepherds tend to flocks that forage along the ditches. There are a few shattered and burned-out vehicles in medians and high brush that stand as a reminder of problems on that stretch of highway in the past.” Neocons don’t need no stinkin’ Geneva convention. “An American engineer was killed in a drive-by shooting and another US national was believed kidnapped at the weekend in Saudi Arabia in apparent retaliation for US atrocities at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison.” Torturing prisoners to extract “intelligence” is such a wise policy and fully justified because it helps prevent terrorist attacks against Americans. Commentary Editorial: “The administration has strenuously objected to any suggestion that it knew of or approved the mistreatment and sexual humiliation of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq. But an ever-expanding body of evidence shows that the president, vice president, defense secretary and attorney general sought ways to defend the use of abusive tactics on the part of American military personnel and intelligence agents that violate international law and American tradition. Their actions have removed the United States from the pantheon of civilized nations - those that have promised not to resort to torture, regardless of the circumstances. We have now taken our place alongside nations such as China, Syria and Zimbabwe that justify any means of securing national security. In the process, they have endangered every American soldier and civilian who may become a prisoner of war and depend on the same protections the Bush administration has disregarded.” Analysis: “It was, asserted President George Bush, the biggest accomplishment of last week’s summit of world leaders at Sea Island, Georgia. Nothing to do with Iraq or the war on terrorism, but something called the ‘Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative’. This is the Bush administration’s Big Idea. It has been around for some time. But it was confined to the White House’s back room thinkers until January this year when it was given its first public airing in Bush’s state of the union speech. At the time it received a cool international response - and yet last week the G8 summit agreed to embrace it… The authors are a group of hawkish senior officials, led by Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defence, who have believed for a long time that the removal of Saddam could be the catalyst for a dramatic change for the better throughout the whole of the Arab Middle East.” Analysis: “But while it appears that the Prodigal Son has returned to the fold and is reaping the rewards, the United States remains largely unrepentant and continues to undermine UN and Iraqi authority in words and actions. Washington's moral legitimacy has been in tatters for months; now the UN's is at stake as well.” Opinion: “The financial stress of extended deployment can be severe for military families. Fully three in 10 report that in the past year, they and their family have had trouble paying bills. For more than one in five, their current financial situation is such that they have to get food stamps or Women, Infants, and Children program aid from the government. (Even 6 percent of families of officers say they receive food stamps or WIC.) Clearly more financial support is needed for the families of soldiers risking their lives for their country for an extended period of time.” Opinion: “Carvill was in the 112th Field Artillery of the New Jersey National Guard. He was one of four from the outfit killed in Iraq last week. His friend, Rancitelli, sat in St. Joseph's church in East Rutherford, N.J. There were no lights or cameras. They die in Iraq and the government that sent them to die acts as if this never happened, that there is no such thing as death leaving our hands with blackened blood. The country is asked to live in illusion while soldiers die in despair. Carvill didn't think we should be in Iraq, but if the other guys were going, then so, too, would he be in Iraq. Carvill was a National Guardsman who did not go to the dentist. He went to war and got killed.” Casualty Reports Local story: New York Guardsman wounded in Iraq. Local story: New Jersey Guardsman wounded in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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