Wednesday, July 21, 2004

War News for July 21, 2004 Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, six wounded by roadside bomb near Duluiyah. Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers die of wounds received in al-Anbar province. Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi policeman killed by roadside bomb near Kirkuk. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqis killed, seven wounded if fighting near Samarra. Bring ‘em on: Two US Marines killed in action near Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi scientist assassinated near Samarra. Bring ‘em on: Heavy fighting reported in Samarra. Bring ‘em on: Four Iraqi policemen wounded in bomb ambush near Baquba. Zarqawi demands Japan withdraw troops from Iraq. “Teahouse chatter.” “Few things have thrust the prime minister further into the spotlight than a recent tale whispered on Baghdad streets that that in most countries would be a political nightmare: According to the rumor, Allawi pulled out a gun and executed suspected rebels at a police station last month. U.S. diplomats and Iraqi officials say they have no evidence to support the story. But after circulating for weeks in teahouse chatter, the story gained greater attention last week when an Australian newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, quoted two unnamed people who claimed to have witnessed Allawi execute six handcuffed and blindfolded suspects at Baghdad's al-Amariyah jail days before the return of sovereignty June 28.” More US media hooey on Allawi. “Such apparent urban myths are particularly potent in a society frayed by violence and divided over whether democracy or dictatorship will best deliver the life people desire. They are also a product of a society stripped of any frame of reference for leadership other than a system that relies on the fear of violence.” BOHICA. “In yet another sign of the strains on the U.S. military after the Sept. 11 attacks and the Iraq war, the Pentagon is considering extending the mobilization of National Guard soldiers who will soon hit the federal limit of 24 months of active service, defense officials said yesterday.” Miserable failure. “In the wreckage of the security situation, Neemeyer said, U.S. officials have all but given up on plans to install a democratic government in the city, and are hoping instead that Islamic extremists and other insurgent groups don't overrun the province in the same way that they've seized the region's most infamous town, Fallujah.” Allawi discusses oil pipeline with King Abdullah. Baghdad report. “Its buildings are crumbling or pockmarked by bullet holes. People are as likely to be jolted out of bed by a car bomb or a mortar shell as an alarm clock. Ambushes and kidnappings are rife, jobs are scarce. The power is out almost as much as it's on. Add to that the closure of many of the riverside restaurants and cafes, amusement parks, theaters and cinemas, the looted museums, the decrepit zoo, and Baghdadis have few entertainment options. The chaos has not only crushed their spirits, many say, it has left them bored to death. If not political freedom, people here say, Saddam Hussein's regime at least brought the freedom of family outings unencumbered by the fear of suicide car bombing.” Rummy’s military outsourcing idiocy comes full circle. “Just when the U.S. military needs them most, senior Green Berets, Navy SEALs and other elite forces are leaving for higher-paying jobs. After getting years of training and experience in the military, they leave for other government jobs or for what defense officials said Tuesday has been an explosion in outside contractor work.” Army Times interview with Sen. John Kerry. Over the course of 45 minutes, Kerry ticked off what he called the ‘failures’ and ‘arrogance’ of the Bush administration, and confidently spelled out how he would deal with key defense issues such as transformation, troop levels and stop-loss, the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ rule for gays in uniform, relations with foreign allies, leadership and accountability and his suitability to be commander in chief. ‘Look at this administration,’ he said. ‘Four years ago they said, “Help is on the way,” and they criticized the Clinton administration. They didn’t do anything to change what was really the deployable capacity of the military at the moment they began this war. This is the Clinton military.’” Commentary Editorial: “America cannot cut and run. It has destabilized Iraq with its pre-emptive war and it owes it to the Iraqi people to stabilize the country. The Bush strategy for Iraq appears to be based solely on an irrational ‘optimism,’ which along with ‘values,’ are the nebulous terms at the core of a campaign strategy that can't resort to concrete accomplishments. The Kerry campaign offers an admirably detailed Iraq strategy based heavily on United Nations and NATO involvement, but those organizations are wary of wading into a mess the White House created with its go-it-alone strategy.” Analysis: “The same American media that promoted last year’s invasion with stories of murder, torture and rape-rooms under the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein is displaying no interest in the growing evidence that the US-installed regime of Allawi will rule in essentially the same fashion.” Casualty Reports Local story: Pennsylvania soldier killed in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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