Wednesday, July 28, 2004

War News for July 28, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Fifty-one Iraqis killed, 55 wounded by car bomb at Baquba police station. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, three wounded by roadside bomb near Balad. Bring ‘em on: Seven Iraqi soldiers killed, 10 wounded in firefight near Suwariyah. Bring ‘em on: Indian truck driver wounded in convoy ambush near Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi policeman assassinated in Kirkuk. Bring ‘em on: Nine Iraqis wounded in roadside bomb attack against US convoy near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: Bulgarian troops mortared near Karbala. Bring ‘em on: Bomb explodes at entrance to Polish base camp near Hilla. Bring ‘em on: Two insurgents killed in attempted pipeline sabotage near Kirkuk. Jordanian company pulls out of Iraq to save kidnapped employees. “The company provides construction and catering services to the U.S. military. Chief executive Rami al-Ouweiss would not say when the company would leave but indicated it was in the process of doing so.” Foreign truck drivers refuse to deliver goods in Iraq. “On his first journey to Iraq in eight months, Jordanian truck driver Faisal Suleyman was followed, pulled over and robbed by four men in a sky-blue taxi brandishing automatic weapons. The trip will be his last, he said Tuesday, placing him among a growing number of foreign drivers whose cargo is vital to Iraq's reconstruction refusing to brave the gantlet of kidnappings, robberies and other violence plaguing the country.” Shanghaied. “In Kenya, where half the population lives on less than a $1 aday, the lure of a two-year contract worth $360 a month, plus allowances and the promise of overtime, was too good to resist. But within months of the first Kenyans arriving in Kuwait, many of their expectations were dashed. They found themselves forced to drive through the frontlines of the insurgency in neighbouring Iraq, delivering supplies to US and British troops, according to several drivers and a former manager of the Kuwaiti company that employed them.” Two hundred Jordanian truck drivers killed in Iraq since last year. “The president of the Jordanian syndicate of truck owners, Abdel Rahim al-Jamal, said Wednesday that land transportation services had sustained severe losses in human lives and vehicles as a result of armed robberies and U.S. fire inside Iraqi territory.” Power shortages continue. “This is the second summer since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and people here widely expected power to be restored by now. Instead, the city's electricity shuts off four or five times a day under a government energy-rationing scheme while officials struggle to revive a power system ravaged by war, vandalism and years of neglect.” Not to mention the entire year wasted by Baghdad fashion maven and incompetent administrator L. Paul Bremer. The insurgency incubated during the summer of 2003, when the CPA couldn't get electricity to the population. Anybody with a lick of sense should have known that restoring electrical service should be a top priority for the CPA. Summers are hot in Baghdad, and summer happens every year. The "war, vandalism and years of neglect" defense cut ice in 2003, but not in 2004. This year, the power shortages are a direct result of the failed CPA led by Bremer. Today, it's 114 degrees in Baghdad. Bremer’s legacy. “Even patrol leaders now carry envelopes of cash to spend in their areas. The money comes from brigade commanders, who get as much as $50,000 to $100,000 a month to distribute for local rehabilitation and emergency welfare projects through the Commanders Emergency Response Program. There are few restrictions on the expenditures, and officers acknowledge they consider the money another weapon. The targets at which it is aimed are the restless legions of unemployed Iraqi men, many of them former soldiers, policemen, and low-level members of the Ba'ath Party of ousted president Saddam Hussein. They were put out of work when the US administrator, L. Paul Bremer III, ordered a de-Ba'athification of Iraq. US soldiers say those men are vulnerable to entreaties to carry out an attack on the Americans for pay.” New Europe is starting to sound like Old Europe. “Reisz, a 47-year-old accountant in Budapest, is among many people in mostly pro-America Eastern Europe who are bristling at Secretary of State Colin Powell's exhortation to the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq to '’not get weak in the knees.’ ‘I don't know what our politicians told Powell, but if he thinks we want to keep our soldiers there, he is very mistaken. No one wants friends and relatives in a war zone like that,’ he said Tuesday. ‘We're grateful to the Americans for a lot of things, but they can't expect us to sacrifice lives just to be friends.’” Halliburton. “Halliburton Co. has lost $18.6 million of government property in Iraq, about a third of the items it was given to manage, including trucks, computers and office furniture, government auditors claim. The auditors couldn't account for 6,975 of 20,531 items on the ledgers of Halliburton's KBR unit, according to a report by Stuart Bowen, auditor for the coalition provisional authority inspector general. Halliburton is providing services to U.S. troops under a contract that has generated $3.2 billion in revenue so far.” Philippine foreign minister red-asses the Australian ambassador in Manila. Look, US media, this isn’t about the weakness of Spain, the Philippines, Thailand, El Salvador, or every other country that backs out of the “Coalition of the Willing.” It’s an international referendum on the leadership and competence of George W. Bush in prosecuting both a war against al-Qaeda and the war in Iraq. The leaders of those countries, as well as their citizens, are voting with their feet. Commentary Analysis: “Among the most dangerous instances of this neglect occur in Pakistan. The present US administration appears to have substantially ‘outsourced’ the management of its security interests in this region to what it perceives as a pliant, even servile, military dictatorship headed by President General Pervez Musharraf, and there is a belief that this regime will bring about the "enlightened moderation" that the United States hopes for in its favored ally. It is useful, consequently, to identify where precisely, within this arrangement, the ideologies of hatred are articulated, what their constituent elements are, and what relationship the Musharraf regime has with their most visible advocates.” Casualty Reports Local story: Pennsylvania soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Ohio soldier wounded in Iraq. Awards and Decorations Local story: Illinois Guardsmen decorated for valor. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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