War News for June 27, 2004
Bring ‘em on: Forty Iraqis killed, 22 wounded by two car bombs in Hilla
Bring ‘em on: Two ICDC members, one Iraqi policeman killed in ambushes near Mahmoudiyah
Bring ‘em on: Oil pipeline bombed near Latifiyah
Bring ‘em on: Explosions, smoke, reported in Green Zone in Baghdad
Bring ‘em on: Insurgents threaten three Turks with beheading
Bring ‘em on: Coalition patrol ambushed near Hindiyah
. “Premier Iyad Allawi said the January 2005 elections may be delayed by two months if attacks continue and threaten the political process.”
State of emergency
. Some form of martial law looks increasingly likely in at least parts of Iraq after its caretaker government takes power on June 30. The country has remained dangerously unstable since the US-led invasion last year.
Baghdad fashion maven and incompetent administrator L. Paul Bremer hands over “sovereignty
.” “Some of the orders signed by Bremer, which will remain in effect unless overturned by Iraq's interim government, restrict the power of the interim government and impose U.S.-crafted rules for the country's democratic transition. Among the most controversial orders is the enactment of an elections law that gives a seven-member commission the power to disqualify political parties and any of the candidates they support. The effect of other regulations could last much longer. Bremer has ordered that the national security adviser and the national intelligence chief chosen by the interim prime minister he selected, Ayad Allawi, be given five-year terms, imposing Allawi's choices on the elected government that is to take over next year.”
L. Paul Bremer packs up his extensive wardrobe
. “Adel Abdel Mahdi, Iraq's new finance minister, served on the Iraqi Governing Council as a representative of an Islamic party with a reputation for working well the United States. Bremer, he said, was surrounded by a cadre of political advisers and Iraqi exiles who often shielded him from the reality of problems like cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's following or the likely public fallout of an offensive against insurgents in Fallujah. ‘Who do you think he listens to?’ he said ‘He took a lot of bad advice.’” Bad advice? What do you expect when you staff an organization with refugees from the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute? Bremer is a posturing fool who could fuck up a wet dream. He’s the man who put the FU in FUBAR.
Winning tactically and losing strategically
. “To make matters worse, some U.S. officials who had relevant experience — State Department officers who had worked in places like Somalia and Haiti — said they were initially locked out by a hostile Pentagon, which didn't trust their views. Instead, the CPA was staffed by a wide variety of volunteers — State Department officials, members of other federal agencies, congressional aides, business executives and academics — who sometimes came with more enthusiasm than expertise. Many signed up for stints that lasted only 90 days, barely long enough to begin understanding Iraq's complexities. The three-month policy was changed when Bremer arrived. Subsequently, people had to serve six-month terms. Some were Republicans devoted to Bush's vision of a free-market democracy in Iraq as a beachhead for reform in the Arab world. They included Scott Carpenter, a former aide to Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.); Dan Senor, a former aide to then-Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.); Williamson Evers, a Hoover Institution education expert who was an advisor to the 2000 Bush presidential campaign; and Jay Hallen, a 24-year-old Yale graduate who applied for a job at the White House and instead landed the assignment of reopening the Baghdad Stock Exchange. (It hasn't reopened yet.)”
Salvadoran troops evacuate Najaf
1st Armored Division
prepares to depart Iraq (again). “Their time here has left many soldiers, from veteran tank drivers to young company commanders, with a confused picture of the Iraqis who never took up arms against them. Many share tales of intimate kindnesses by individual Iraqis. But they also acknowledge that the tactics they used against an elusive insurgency, while killing many enemy fighters, created new adversaries among civilians caught in the crossfire.”
: “The insurgents have no intention of laying down their arms. Indeed, the nature of the insurgency in Iraq is fundamentally changing. Time reported last fall that the insurgency was being led by members of the former Baathist regime, who were using guerrilla tactics in an effort to drive out foreign occupiers and reclaim power. But a Time investigation of the insurgency today—based on meetings with insurgents, tribal leaders, religious clerics and U.S. intelligence officials—reveals that the militants are turning the resistance into an international jihadist movement. Foreign fighters, once estranged from homegrown guerrilla groups, are now integrated as cells or complete units with Iraqis. Many of Saddam's former secret police and Republican Guard officers, who two years ago were drinking and whoring, no longer dare even smoke cigarettes. They are fighting for Allah, they say, and true jihadis reject such earthly indulgences.”
Local story: Louisiana
soldier killed in Iraq.
From the Fuckin' Honor and Dignity
department. “’These things happen from time to time,’ said White House spokesman Scott McClellan when asked what Bush's reaction to Cheney's remark had been. ‘You're talking about one incident involving a private exchange,’ McClellan told reporters traveling with Bush on a trip to Ireland and Turkey. ‘It's not an issue with the president. The president is looking ahead.’”
86-43-04. Pass it on.