Monday, July 05, 2004

War News for July 5, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Oil pipeline sabotaged near Hawijat al-Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: Oil pipeline sabotaged near Karbala. Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi killed in rocket attack in Basra. Bring ‘em on: Two relatives of Baquba district head assassinated. Bring ‘em on: US convoy attacked near Samawah, one Iraqi wounded. Bring ‘em on: Five Iraqis wounded by roadside bomb near Mosul. Bring ‘em on: US fuel convoy ambushed by RPG fire near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Seven Iraqis killed in bomb attack on Iraqi Army convoy in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Polish troops ambushed by roadside bomb near Karbala. Insurgents deny executing captured Marine. Al-Sadr calls interim government “illegitimate.” Crooks. “The Iraqi official heading the investigation into alleged corruption in the United Nations oil-for-food program was killed in a bomb attack earlier this week, officials familiar with the probe said on Saturday…The investigation undermined a separate KPMG probe initiated by the now dissolved Iraqi Governing Council, and led to tension with former financier Ahmad Chalabi, who holds documents alleging that some international suppliers paid at least 10 percent of the value of contracts to Saddam. KPMG has stopped working on its investigation and did not issue a report due in June about the alleged fraud. This is because a bill of several hundred thousand dollars of work has not yet been paid, people familiar with the contact said.” Cops. “Badges and ammunition are Osama Hakim's biggest worries. The 22-year-old lieutenant, part of a 300-man Baghdad Police Emergency Division Unit charged with policing the fledgling government's key installations, remembers one of his colleagues ended up a detainee in the custody of U.S. troops because he had no way of proving his police identity. ‘In this job, you feel like a dead man walking the streets,’ said Hakim. ‘So many people are against us. But we have no ammunition to fight with. No badges to prove our credentials. Even if we are attacked today, there is nobody we can call because the radio isn't working.’ Hakim's weapon, a black, Austrian-made, 9-mm Glock pistol, is one among tens of thousands issued to the new police force by U.S.-led coalition officials over the past year. The guns were given with a single, 16-round clip.” Joint patrol. “Military commanders hoped the sight of Americans and Iraqis walking side by side would symbolize the start of the transfer of control over security back to Iraqis. The Iraqis didn't see it that way. Loath to be seen marching through their hometown with heavily armed Americans, none of them showed up. ‘Is this a joint patrol, or what?’ Capt. Chris Solinsky, the patrol leader, said into his shortwave radio. ‘Where are the Iraqis?’ Ten minutes later, eight unhappy-looking police officers joined the U.S. squad and reluctantly began the patrol.” Football coach quits due to poor security. Shanghaied. “The war in Iraq has been a windfall for Kellogg Brown & Root Inc., the company that has a multibillion-dollar contract to provide support services for U.S. troops. Its profits have come thanks to the hard work of people like Dharmapalan Ajayakumar, who until last month served as a kitchen helper at a military base. But Ajayakumar, 29, a former carpenter's assistant from this coastal town, was not there by choice. He said he was tricked into going to Iraq by a recruiting agent who told him the job was in Kuwait. Moreover, he said, the company skimped on expenses by not providing him and other workers with adequate drinking water, food, health care or security for part of their time in the war zone… Pakistan is looking into reports that recruiters were illegally trying to hire security personnel to go to Iraq. The Philippines is assessing protection measures for its nationals after attacks killed two military support workers. And India is conducting an investigation into the dining service workers' allegations. The State Department said it received a request from India for assistance and has passed it along to the Defense Department. A spokeswoman for the Army, which manages the KBR contract, said the responsibility for the investigation rests with the company.” Commentary Opinion: “Volunteers are told suddenly that they are not free to go after their period of duty is up. They are in this position because our political leaders ignored the counsel of military leaders who knew the occupation of Iraq would require more troops than the politicians were willing to commit. When they were selling the war, those politicians did not want to admit how hard things might get. Nor were they willing to be candid about how their expansive foreign policy requires more troops than the administration is willing to pay for.” Book Review: “For those Americans who had begun to doubt whether the Central Intelligence Agency could produce good analysis, ‘Imperial Hubris’ clearly demonstrates otherwise. It is a powerful, persuasive analysis of the terrorist threat and the Bush administration’s failed efforts to fight it. The CIA carefully vetted the book to ensure that no ‘sources and methods’ were exposed, but the anonymous author – a current CIA official – draws effectively on the years he’s spent carefully studying detailed intelligence reports from several U.S. and many foreign spy agencies. His criticism is damning.” The reviewer is Richard A. Clarke. Opinion: “Then there's the footage from that morning in a Florida classroom when an aide whispers to him that the nation has come under attack. For seven agonizing minutes he just sits there, his expression clearly that of a man who has not a clue. You want him to stand up, demand information, give an order, be the ‘president.’ Instead, he sits. The White House has said Bush was seeking to project an air of calm. What he projects instead is an air of utter incompetence.” Analysis: “Americans supported the war in Iraq not because Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator - they knew that - but because President Bush made the case that Saddam might hand weapons of mass destruction to his terrorist allies to wreak havoc on the United States. In the absence of any evidence for that theory, it's fair to ask: where did the administration's conviction come from? It was at the American Enterprise Institute - a conservative Washington DC thinktank - that the idea took shape that overthrowing Saddam should be a goal. Among those associated with AEI is Richard Perle, a key architect of the president's get-tough-on-Iraq policy, and Paul Wolfowitz, now the number-two official at the Pentagon. But none of the thinkers at AEI was in any real way an expert on Iraq. For that they relied on someone you probably have never heard of: a woman named Laurie Mylroie.” Casualty Reports Local story: Oregon Marine killed in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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