Monday, June 21, 2004

War News for June 21, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Four US soldiers killed in ambush near Ramadi. Bring ‘em on: Two ICDC soldiers killed, 11 wounded in roadside bomb ambush near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Turkish truck driver killed in ambush in Iraq. Bring ‘em on: Home of Iraqi interior minister mortared near Samarra. Bring ‘em on: Explosions and gunfire reported in Samawah. Bring ‘em on: Four insurgents killed in fighting near Samarra. Military judge declares Abu Ghraib a crime scene. “A military judge on Monday declared the notorious Abu Ghraib prison a crime scene that cannot be demolished as President Bush had offered. He also refused to move the trial of a soldier accused of abusing inmates.” Wolfie’s sock puppet spews RNC talking points about media coverage. “New Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawer explained his belief that 90 percent of what's happening in Iraq is good news, and 10 percent in bad. ‘The media is magnifying the 10 percent, ignoring the 90 percent,’ Yawer said. He said the scandal surrounding detainee abuses at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison is a perfect example. The issue is clearer to people like him who have lived in the United States and understand American values, he said. ‘I know this is outrageous to the American public (and) to the American administration as much as it is outrageous to the Iraqis,’ Yawer said.” Why is the Armed Forces Information Service propagating this drivel? Wounded soldiers. “For those survivors, their tours of duty were jolted to a sudden halt with bright flashes, searing heat and noises drilling into their heads. Some had limbs blown off, internal organs shredded. Some lost their hearing or sight. Some had brain damage. The aftermath of surviving such an attack has many complexities, according to Associated Press interviews with survivors and the medical specialists who are treating them.” Saddam’s pistol. “’It's the phallic equivalent of a scalp - I mean that quite seriously,’ said Stanley A. Renshon, a psychoanalyst and political scientist at the City University of New York who has just completed a book, to be published by Palgrave/Macmillan in September, called ‘In His Father's Shadow: The Transformations of George W. Bush.’” Some people might call this stealing. “The spending program, which was started unannounced, has been undertaken in consultation with Iraqi ministers, despite misgivings that the oil revenue belonged to Iraq and that it should be set aside for use when Iraq's sovereignty is restored, scheduled for June 30.” Mortar attack. “Insurgents lob mortar rounds and launch rockets at U.S. camps throughout Iraq almost daily. It can happen at any time at any camp. Wednesday, a rocket hit the PX at Balad, killing three troops. Even the coalition’s headquarters in Baghdad, known as the Green Zone, comes under frequent attacks.” Blame anything except a failed ideology. “Agresto, a lifelong Republican and political conservative, does not regard himself as a turncoat. He still believes in the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Despite his disappointment with the lack of reconstruction, he is proud of the changes the Coalition Provisional Authority instilled in Iraq's universities, including the promotion of academic freedom and a purge of senior officials of Hussein's Baath Party. He says he feels the CPA accomplished ‘a lot of good under very difficult conditions.’ While acknowledging American mistakes, Agresto aimed some of his most pointed criticism at Iraqis. In his view, the Americans toppled a dictator and prepared the ground for democracy, but Iraqis have not stepped up to build on that start. ‘They don't know how to be a community,’ he said. ‘They put their individual interests first. They only look out for themselves.’” Good article on how a conservative ideologue rationalizes failure. Commentary Editorial: “Some reports suggest that al Qaeda wants President George W. Bush in the White House for another four years. Why? Well, for starters, Mr Bush’s Middle East policy is providing a bonanza of new funding and new recruits for al Qaeda. Almost three years after the September 11 atrocity, al Qaeda is flourishing. Instead of being pounded into dust, it’s stronger. Another reason for al Qaeda to back the Republican ticket is the gulf emerging between Europe and the United States.” Editorial: “It is true, as the President stressed last week, that he never flat-out said Saddam Hussein helped plan the Sept. 11 attacks. It is also beside the point. He said many other things, misleading things, to plant the idea that invading Iraq was a logical extension of - rather than a fatal distraction from - the effort to dismantle al-Qaeda…Now, ask yourself, along with those 27 American diplomats and warriors: Have the last two years made America more secure, more respected? The answer is obvious and appalling. The answer is no.” Analysis: “The Justice Department memo assured the Bush administration of three things: First, that interrogators could cause a lot of pain without crossing the line to torture. Second, that even though the United States criminalizes torture and has signed a treaty outlawing it, interrogators could torture prisoners as long as the president authorized it. Third, that even if those interrogators were later prosecuted for engaging in torture, there were legal defenses they could use to avoid accountability. Bybee's conclusions rest upon three stunning legal contortions, requiring no less than an entirely new definition of torture, a distortion of fundamental constitutional law and a new approach to the application of international law.” Editorial: “Since Mr. Rumsfeld referred directly to The Post, we believe we owe him a response. We agree that the country is at war and that we all must weigh our words accordingly. We also agree that the consequences of the revelations of prisoner abuse are grave. As supporters of the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have been particularly concerned about the ways that the scandal -- and the administration's continuing failure to come to terms with it -- could undermine the chances for success. We also have warned about the uses that might be made of it by captors of Americans. What strikes us as extraordinary is that Mr. Rumsfeld would suggest that this damage would be caused by newspaper editorials rather than by his own actions and decisions and those of other senior administration officials.” I'm impressed. WaPo's editorial board finally administered Rummy a well-deserved bitch-slap. I guess the editors are finally reading their own news articles. Awards and Decorations Local story: Massachusetts sailor decorated for valor in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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