Sunday, July 18, 2004

War News for July 18, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Eleven killed in air strike in Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: Four Iraqi policemen wounded by roadside bomb near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqi policemen wounded in attack on police station near Hawijah. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi police chief assassinated near Iskandariyah. Bring ‘em on: Insurgent killed attempting to sabotage gas pipeline near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Sunni cleric assassinated in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqi policemen killed, five wounded in two Tikrit car bombings. Bring ‘em on: Three British troops wounded in mortar attack near Basra. Commentary Editorial: “More grim indicators of problems ahead: As of January, more than 1,000 soldiers had been evacuated from Iraq for psychological problems. And another: The Pentagon is concerned about low morale among troops in Iraq and a spike in suicides. That's unusual, because in times of war, the suicide rate among the military - normally lower than among the general population - usually drops even more, not climbs.” Editorial: “Many of the problems of terrorism and guerrilla violence Allawi confronts are the legacy of the Bush administration's ineptitude. A recent report on British intelligence cites a warning from British sources issued in February 2003, a month before the war, that ‘senior Al Qaeda associate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has established sleeper cells in Baghdad, to be activated during a US occupation of the city. These cells apparently intend to attack US targets using car bombs and other weapons.’ The administration's inability to act upon this and similar alerts is an inexcusable failure to make proper use of intelligence.” Analysis: “The war in Iraq is proving to be a wake-up call regarding the role of contractors. Last month, the Senate approved amendments to the 2005 defense appropriations bill that would place controls on the Pentagon's use of outside companies. But that's unlikely to be enough. It is time to stop the hypocrisy of claiming to shrink government while hiring an ever-larger contingent of private contractors. If these employees are performing work crucial to the function of government, then we should integrate them more fully into the government workforce — with the same responsibilities and benefits as other government employees.” Analysis: “Already, the allotment of seats in the National Conference has widened a rift between the former Iraqi exiles and those who lived under Hussein's regime. The indigenous leaders argue that six political parties largely made up of exiles will have disproportionate influence over the conference. These groups have been allied with the United States during its 15-month occupation of Iraq, and they dominated the U.S.-appointed Governing Council.” 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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