Wednesday, June 02, 2004

War News for June 2, 2004 Bring ‘em on: One US Marine killed in action in al-Anbar province. Bring ‘em on: Four Iraqis killed, 20 wounded by car bomb in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Fighting resumes near Kufa. Bring ‘em on: Two Polish contractors kidnapped near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Turkish and Egyptian truck drivers kidnapped in Iraq. Bring ‘em on: Three Iraqi contract drives killed in RPG ambush south of Kirkuk. Bring ‘em on: US troops ambushed by RPG fire in Sadr City. Bring ‘em on: Police station near Fallujah mortared; one Iraqi killed, one US Marine wounded. Bring ‘em on: Three Filipino soldiers wounded in ambush near Talayyi. Bring 'em on: Oil pipeline ablaze near Sherqat. Charades. “Questions about Iraq's real sovereignty are bound to deepen, according to many diplomats, now that it has become clear that the United Nations special envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, played a secondary role in setting up the new government. People close to the envoy say the choices, especially that of the prime minister, Iyad Allawi, were essentially negotiated between the United States and the Iraqi Governing Council, which the occupation authorities put together last year. ‘The visible role of the Iraqi Governing Council in choosing its own successors in Iraq is more than was anticipated,’ an American official acknowledged in something of an understatement.” Your tax dollars at work. “Even by standards here, the $119.4 billion that President Bush and Congress have provided for the first two years of the war in Iraq is real money. It dwarfs the $100 million that could hire 2,500 more airport security screeners, the $500 million that could add 69,400 more children to Head Start, the $1 billion that would let 160,000 more low-income families keep federal rent subsidies, Senate Democrats say. Or it could reduce the runaway federal deficit.” Brain injuries. “Traumatic brain injuries are nothing new in war zones. But Iraq is producing a higher rate of returning wounded than previous wars, military medical officials say. At Walter Reed Army Medical Center alone, doctors have identified more than 280 cases of traumatic brain injury in the past year, most from Iraq. Medical officials credit better body armor for keeping brain-injured patients alive, and better screening. But they also cite the impact of the weapons of choice among Iraqi insurgents - roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades.” The writing on the wall. “A random survey of military bathroom graffiti, from Germany to Kuwait, can’t capture the outlook for most serving in the war in Iraq.” Veterans will appreciate this story. The new dictator of Iraq. “’I don't think he'd mind my saying this: Bremer is the dictator of Iraq. He has the money, he has the signature,’ said Brahimi after stressing he had been invited to choose the new cabinet at the request of the Americans and the now-disbanded Governing Council.” Brahimi may refer to L. Paul Bremer as a "dictator," but to me he's still the Baghdad fashion maven and incompetent administrator of Lieutenant AWOL's Mesopotamian satrapy. Commentary Analysis: “Bush's policies were built on fantasies and cheap slogans that have now come back to embarrass their authors: The premise that ‘shock and awe’ would stun our adversaries into quick submission; the idea, accepted by no serious intelligence analyst, that radical Islamist Al Qaeda and militantly secular Saddam were part of a common terror network; the claim that a motley assortment of small nations whose troop commitments mostly numbered in the hundreds were a grand ‘coalition of the willing.’” Analysis: “Stop-loss and the activation of the inactive reserve show how politics has taken priority over readiness. The Pentagon uses these policies to meet its needs in Iraq because they are expedient and ask nothing of the civilian populace on the eve of a national election. This allows us to put off what is sure to be a difficult debate: whether our volunteer military is adequate to meet our foreign policy commitments. Meanwhile, in the absence of this debate, the men and women of our armed forces languish.” Read this piece to get a good insight into the hypocrisy of the Bush administration when they spout off about supporting the troops. Editorial: “The end of the Governing Council concludes a chapter of unpopular, ineffectual governance that failed to stem a growing insurgency and did little to lay the groundwork for a workable democracy. Although the new governing body looks uncomfortably like the old one with a new name and a few added powers, it must be helped to do better.” Opinion: “Another subject conservatives do not talk about is the number of injured U.S. soldiers. It’s not a figure that’s mentioned often, even by the ‘liberal’ media, due to the fact that the data is so hard to find. In today’s European Stars and Stripes, the number of injured troops treated at Landstuhl hospital in German was listed at over 7,000. That’s just the one hospital.” Casualty Reports Local story: Arizona Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Michigan soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Washington State Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Ohio soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: California soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Ohio soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Colorado contractor killed in Iraq. Local story: Wisconsin Marine wounded in Iraq. Local story: Illinois soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Minnesota soldier wounded in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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