Tuesday, June 08, 2004

War News for June 8, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Car bomb in Mosul kills 10 Iraqis, wounds 100. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier, four Iraqis killed by car bomb near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, two wounded by roadside bomb ambush near Iskandariyah. Bring ‘em on: Senior Shi’ite politician assassinated in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Three security contractors wounded by roadside bomb near Mosul. Bring ‘em on: US troops under mortar fire in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: One US marine killed in al-Anbar province. CENTCOM reports one US soldier collapsed and died on guard duty in Baghdad. Two Polish, two Slovakian, one Latvian soldier killed in de-mining operation near al-Suwariya. Fallujah. “It was not supposed to be like this. Under an agreement made last month with U.S. Marine commanders, a new force called the Fallujah Brigade, led by former officers from Saddam Hussein's demobilized army, was to safeguard the city. The unruly gunmen — many of them insurgents who battled the Marines through most of April — were supposed to give way to Iraqi police and civil defense units. Instead, the brigade stays outside of town in tents, the police cower in their patrol cars and the civil defense force nominally occupies checkpoints on the city's fringes but exerts no influence over the masked insurgents who operate only a few yards away.” Abu Ghraib. “An analyst from the 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, who asked not to be identified for fear of being punished for speaking out, said: ‘If you walked down through the wing of the prison where they were being held, they would have them strip down naked. Sometimes they would stand on boxes and would hold their arms out. That happened almost every night — having them naked. I wouldn't say it's abuse. It's definitely degrading to them.’” Hostage update. “An Anglican cleric seeking the release of foreign hostages in Iraq says he fears their captors are selling them off to Islamic militants in a dangerous game that leaves few clues on their fate. ‘Things are looking very bad for the hostages. The groups that kidnap them are selling them off to militant groups who sell them off again. It is very hard to track them,’ Canon Andrew White told Reuters.” Security contractors. “After the United States, the biggest single military contributor to the occupation of Iraq is not Britain - as official figures claim - but private military companies. The figures are startling: more than 10,000 men and women perform various jobs under contract to the military in Iraq. Furthermore, official figures in Washington estimate that out of a total S$150 billion allocated by the US for military operations in the Middle East this year, over a third will go to private contractors. This is greater than the defence budgets of most countries worldwide.” Families of reservists sound off. “It's been 550 days since members of the 94th Military Police Company left their homes.” Interview with Major General Batiste. “’It's very hard to compare Iraq with back then,’ the general said in an interview after a dinner of baked chicken and green peas. ‘They were in continuous contact with the enemy. Here, we have contact with the enemy all the time, but it's a different kind of contact. You've got this whole spectrum of operations you've got to deal with simultaneously, from combat to stability operations. The commanders are in effect military governors.’” In a nutshell, MG Batiste had summarized the reason for the failure of the US occupation: the complete lack of effective political leadership from the CPA. Commentary Editorial: “The Bush administration now talks about maintaining large numbers of American ground troops in Iraq through at least the end of next year. Most of that burden will fall on the Army, with limited help from the National Guard and the Marines. That is more than the Army, at its present strength, can handle without paying a heavy price in future combat readiness and re-enlistment rates.” Casualty Reports Local story: Missouri soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Vermont Guardsman killed in Iraq. Local story: New Jersey Guardsman killed in Iraq. Local story: South Carolina soldier dies in Iraq. Local story: Florida contractor killed in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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