Saturday, June 19, 2004

War News for June 18 and 19, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Car bomb kills 35, wounds 141 in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed in firefight near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: One Portuguese contractor, one Iraqi policeman killed by roadside bomb near Basra. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, civilian contractor wounded in mortar attack near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Three Iraqis killed, three US soldiers wounded in coordinated ambush near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: One British soldier, two Filipino contractors wounded in mortar attack near Amarah. Bring ‘em on: US troops attacked at Samarra police station. Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers wounded in fighting near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: Three Iraqi civilians wounded in roadside bomb ambush near Mosul. Bring ‘em on: Four Iraqi policemen killed by bomb in Nasiriyah. Bring ‘em on: Hungarian soldier killed in ambush near Hillah. Bring ‘em on: Three US soldiers killed, 23 wounded in rocket attack near Balad. Bring ‘em on: Twenty Iraqis killed in US airstrike in Fallujah. RPG Alley. “Scores of U.S. military convoys and Western contractors have been hit in sophisticated guerrilla ambushes that have claimed dozens of lives along the thoroughfare. ‘According to the latest information, there is one successful attack every two days on that road. It is a high risk area,’ said one of the hundreds of Western security consultants hired to protect foreigners in Iraq.” Axis of deceit. “On balance the strong, unambiguous language contained in the case for war seemed more the work of salespeople than professional intelligence officers. The claims that the repeated assertions reflected accurately the views of national intelligence agencies are plainly wrong. They were simply too much at odds with the piles of intelligence material I was privy to. In all the material I saw on Iraq, never did I see such a string of unqualified and strong judgements as was contained in the official case for war presented by Bush, Blair and Howard.” Ingrates. “From Iraq's new president to the men who stand guard at the Martyrs' Monument to the country's war dead -- itself taken over as a US base until last month -- Iraqis are irritated at the prospect of US diplomats occupying their country's equivalent of the White House. The dispute is becoming a test of how strongly the new Iraqi state can assert its will against a country that will retain great power here even after the occupation formally ends, because the 138,000 US troops remaining far outnumber Iraq's military and the United States controls $18 billion in reconstruction aid.” Freedom and liberation. “Iraq's caretaker government weighed imposing emergency powers to conquer a wave of violence and sabotage that has killed more than 180 people this month and halted oil exports for at least five days. Justice minister Malik Dohan al-Hassan said the government may resort to ‘exceptional’ laws imposed by former dictator Saddam Hussein after it takes power on June 30.” Catch of the Day. "Over the course of the occupation, the relationship between the CPA and the military has become increasingly bitter. Soldiers have blamed civilians for not performing enough reconstruction to pacify the country, while civilians have blamed the military for not providing enough security to enable the rebuilding. In the view of several senior officials here, a shortage of U.S. troops allowed the security situation to spiral out of control last year. Attacks on U.S.-led forces and foreign civilians now average more than 40 a day, a threefold increase since January. Assassinations of Iraqi political leaders and debilitating sabotage of the country's oil and electricity infrastructure now occur routinely." If you only read one article today, read this one. It's a comprehensive analysis of the chronic bungling that has distinguished the Bush administration's Iraq policy. "Wartime president," my Polish ass. These people couldn't organize a latrine detail. Commentary Editorial: “Mr. Cheney said he had lots of documents to prove his claims. We have heard that before, but Mr. Cheney always seems too pressed for time or too concerned about secrets to share them. Last September, Mr. Cheney's adviser, Mary Matalin, explained to The Washington Post that Mr. Cheney had access to lots of secret stuff. She said he had to ‘tiptoe through the land mines of what's sayable and not sayable’ to the public, but that ‘his job is to connect the dots.’ The message, if we hear it properly, is that when it comes to this critical issue, the vice president is not prepared to offer any evidence beyond the flimsy-to-nonexistent arguments he has used in the past, but he wants us to trust him when he says there's more behind the screen. So far, when it comes to Iraq, blind faith in this administration has been a losing strategy.” Editorial: “The Bush administration has misled the American people. It has isolated the US, as American diplomats and commanders pointed out this week. And its bungling in Iraq has given new and terrifying life to the cult of death sponsored by Osama bin Laden. Above all, it inspires little confidence it is capable of defeating the spreading al-Qaeda franchise, which always was the clear and present danger.” Casualty Reports Local story: Colorado soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Illinois soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Virginia soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Florida soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Four Pennsylvania Guardsmen wounded in Iraq. Local story: Texas contractor killed in Iraq. Local story: Maine contractor killed in Iraq. Local story: Florida contractor wounded in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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