Sunday, July 25, 2004

War News for July 25, 2004 Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, one wounded in roadside bomb ambush near Beiji. Bring ‘em on: Former Ba’athist official assassinated in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Thirteen insurgents killed in heavy fighting near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: Five Iraqis killed in ambushes and assassinations near Kirkuk. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi translator working for US forces assassinated near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: Car bomb detonates on Baghdad highway. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqi policemen killed near Mahmoudiya. Report from Ramadi. “The ferocity of the fighting in Ramadi and the tenacity of the mujahedin — as the insurgents are widely known, though one commander favors the snappier ‘Johnny Jihad’ — have produced a very specific view of who the enemy is here: A mostly home-grown mix of anti-U.S. nationalists, loyalists of Saddam Hussein's former regime and a seemingly endless supply of part-time fighters — many former members of the Iraqi army — willing to pick up a rifle or grenade launcher to fire at U.S. forces and their Iraqi allies.” Let freedom reign. “The Intelligence Service has its own secret prison. Criminals wear uniforms and collect police salaries. Senior security officials hand out jobs to family members. Investigators charged with being watchdogs over the police say they have little or no power. They report to the interior minister rather than to justice itself. The police arrest the innocent, beat them, and imprison them without charge; and in at least one case, police shot dead an innocent bystander. This is not Saddam Hussein's corrupt police state. This is the new Iraq run by interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, the man the international community is hoping will shepherd Iraqi democracy into being early next year. There are so many corrupt, violent and useless police officers in the new Iraqi police force that, according to a senior American adviser to the Iraqi police, the U.S. government is about to pay off 30,000 police officers at a cost of $60 million to the American taxpayer.” Names of our dead and wounded are a “political statement.” “Town officials in Duxbury have removed dozens of yellow ribbons that were mysterously tied around trees in a conservation area. The ribbons bore the names of American soldiers killed in Iraq. Selectmen Chairman Andre Martecchini said the display, which also included ribbons in honor of wounded Americans and Iraqi civilians killed in the war, made a political statement that just couldn't be allowed on town property.” More Bush progress. "To an extent which would previously have been unthinkable, Iraqi hospitals, doctors and medical workers have become the targets of violence and kidnappings aimed at undermining the fabric of the new Iraqi state.” New Iraqi Army chief of staff cashiered. “Al-Sabah and al-Mashreq dailies quoted Iraqi Defense Ministry sources as saying army chief Gen. Amer Baker al-Hashemi and his aides were fired following last week's assassination of the head of contracts at the ministry in Baghdad by unidentified assailants. Al-Mashreq daily said the defense ministry was also taking ‘tough disciplinary measures’ after the leaking of security information to rebels related to the movement of employees at the ministry.” Kenya orders citizens to leave Iraq. Snafu. “The first raid by all-Iraqi security forces on suspected terrorist hide-outs in Baghdad descended into chaos when members of the two teams involved turned their guns on each other, Scotland on Sunday can reveal. The captain in charge of a detachment from the newly-formed Iraqi civil defence corps threatened to shoot anti-terrorist squad officers who were using strong-arm tactics against a taxi driver trying to get through a road block.” Lieutenant AWOL finally wins an election. “The November elections may still be ahead of him, but U.S. President George W. Bush has already come out a big winner at the World Stupidity Awards… Stupidest Statement of the Year was Mr. Bush's pronouncement that "combat operations have ended in Iraq," where fighting still rages more than a year after the U.S.-led invasion to topple Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Mr. Bush beat out pop princess Britney Spears, nominated for saying, ‘I do,’ at her brief Las Vegas wedding, and singer Jessica Simpson, who wondered aloud on TV: ‘Why does Chicken By the Sea taste like tuna? Is it chicken or tuna?’” It's pretty sad when you're dumber than a couple of pop-tarts like Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears. Commentary Editorial: “In Afghanistan, a war strategy directed toward removing the Taliban government left Al Qaeda leaders in their mountain redoubts. In Iraq, the administration vastly overestimated the military threat posed by a cornered dictator and was totally unprepared for the violent resistance that followed his swift overthrow. And when it comes to the military budget, President Bush has failed to acknowledge either the real costs of his policies or the need for a radical shift from expensive superweapons to increased numbers of adequately trained and equipped ground forces.” Opinion: “What I’m worried about here is the amnesia factor. Am I the only person around who distinctly remembers an entire 18 months ago? This is what happened: The CIA was wrong, but it wasn’t wrong enough for the White House, which kept pushing the spies to be much wronger. The CIA’s lack of sufficient wrongness was so troubling to the anxious Iraq hawks that they kept touting their own reliable sources, such as Ahmad Chalabi and his merry crew of fabulists. The neo-cons even set up their very own little intelligence shop in the Pentagon to push us into this folly in Iraq.” Analysis: “Negroponte is yet another member of the Bush administration with a long history with the Bush family and -- like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld -- Negroponte's familiarity is more with the father than the son. Negroponte became the U.S. representative to the United Nations a week after 9/11, which muted the criticism to his appointment. The Bushes do not like to go very far afield when they do their most sensitive business -- be it arms for hostages in the Iran-contra case, or overseeing Iraq's transition from a military government headed now by Allawi to its ‘march toward democracy.’ Negroponte's specialty in Honduras was setting one rebel group against another, getting them to eliminate one another. Whether he can do that on a much larger scale in Iraq -- setting tribe against tribe, sect against sect -- remains to be seen.” Opinion: “Bush's United States disgusts and frightens many American citizens who come November pray to whatever god they believe exists that their vote will actually be counted and the half-brained monkey in the White House will not be reappointed. I realize that the election is more important than a fictional character, but I will not allow somebody who doesn't know what the hell he's talking about to sully Batman's reputation by comparing him to a waste of skin like George W. Bush. Do not look to super-heroes for a George W. Bush comparison. Look toward the super-villains.” Casualty Reports Local story: Illinois Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Puerto Rico soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Illinois Guardsman wounded in Iraq. Local story: Maine soldier wounded in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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