Saturday, August 07, 2004

War News for August 6 and 7, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Two US Marines killed, 12 wounded in heavy fighting in Najaf. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed in Baghdad ambush. Bring ‘em on: Sixteen US soldiers wounded in four Baghdad attacks. Bring ‘em on: Italian and Romanian troops in firefights near Nasiriyah. Bring ‘em on: British troops fighting Madhi Army insurgents in central Basra. Bring ‘em on: US helicopter shot down in Najaf. Two US soldiers wounded. Bring ‘em on: US convoy ambushed near Samarra. Bring ‘em on: British troops fighting insurgents in Amarah. Bring ‘em on: Twelve killed in fighting between Iraqi police and insurgents in Mosul. Bring ‘em on: Oil, culture and youth and sports ministries mortared in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: US hostage reportedly executed in Iraq. Bring ‘em on: Heavy fighting continues in Sadr City. Bring ‘em on: Insurgents attack governor’s residents in Basra with mortar and small arms fire. Bring ‘em on: Two Turkish hostages executed. Bring ‘em on: Five Iraqis wounded by mortar fire in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: US troops launch anti-insurgency operation in Samarra. Heavy fighting reported. Al-Sistani in London for medical treatment, perhaps by design. Iraqi interim government closes Al-Jazeera offices in Baghdad for one month. Report from Najaf. “U.S. helicopter gunships and fighter jets pounded Shiite Muslim insurgents hiding in a sprawling cemetery Friday in the most intense fighting in this holy city since the fall of Saddam Hussein. The U.S. military said 300 militants were killed in the past two days… The Najaf fighting dwarfed the clashes seen in the spring, residents said. Two U.S. Marines and an American soldier were killed in Najaf on Thursday, and 12 troops were wounded, the military said. The two days of fighting in Najaf also killed at least 13 civilians and wounded 58 others, according to hospital officials.” Lunatic. Dougie Feith explains the inexplicable. “Pentagon officials have the duty to probe the assumptions of military commanders who write war plans. It is good and proper to ask such questions as: If the United States is expected to attack at point X, should we consider attacking at point Y? How directly or indirectly should we engage enemies? Retrospective ridicule of those types of questions is, so to speak, off target.” Cute rhetoric, Dougie. I hope I'll see you try it out in front of a jury. Informed Comment has a post about the Bushies blowing the cover of an AQ operative US intelligence had turned. “So one scenario goes like this. Bush gets the reports that Eisa al-Hindi had been casing the financial institutions, and there was an update as recently as January 2004 in the al-Qaeda file. So this could be a live operation. If Bush doesn't announce it, and al-Qaeda did strike the institutions, then the fact that he knew of the plot beforehand would sink him if it came out (and it would) before the election. So he has to announce the plot. But if he announces it, people are going to suspect that he is wagging the dog and trying to shore up his popularity by playing the terrorism card. So he has to be able to give a credible account of how he got the information. So when the press is skeptical and critical, he decides to give up Khan so as to strengthen his case. In this scenario, he or someone in his immediate circle decides that a mere double agent inside al-Qaeda can be sacrificed if it helps Bush get reelected in the short term. On the other hand, sheer stupidity cannot be underestimated as an explanatory device in Washington politics.” Commentary Editorial: “The lesson for Americans is stark: Afghanistan was the point of origin for the terrorist threat to the United States. The Bush administration should have focused all its attention on reconstructing a stable, secure Afghanistan and rooting out Al-Qaida and the Taliban. Instead, senior members of the administration -- Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz -- were so eager to move on to Iraq that the job in Afghanistan was left worse than half done. In Iraq, the situation is almost as grim. Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi is described as ‘mayor of Baghdad’ because he exercises so little control over most of the country. The Iraqi police and armed forces are a joke; the U.S. training program has been scrapped, and the Iraqi government has had to start over. Electricity is still a sometimes proposition; all infrastructure rebuilding has ground to a halt because of the poor security.” Opinion: “Anthony Dixon and Adam Froehlich were best friends who grew up in the suburbs of southern New Jersey, not far from Philadelphia. They went to junior high school together. They wrestled on the same team at Overbrook High School in the town of Pine Hill. They enlisted in the Army together in 2002. And both died in Iraq, in roadside bombings just four months apart. Specialist Dixon was killed on Sunday in Samarra. Specialist Froehlich was killed in March near Baquba. They were 20 years old. No one has a clue how this madness will end. As G.I.'s continue to fight and die in Iraq, the national leaders who put them needlessly in harm's way are now flashing orange alert signals to convey that Al Qaeda - the enemy that should have been in our sights all along - is poised to strike us again.” Analysis: “Bush can't run ads featuring footage of him serving a turkey to U.S. troops during his secretive trip to Iraq last Thanksgiving Day. He can't use the video of him landing in a fighter jet on the USS Abraham Lincoln and strutting around in a flight suit. People would remember his speech afterward beneath the "Mission Accomplished" banner signaling an end to fighting in Iraq. So far more than 900 U.S. servicemen and women have died and thousands of others have been injured. In addition, countless Iraqis have been killed or wounded.” Casualty Reports Local story: California soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Washington State Marine dies in Iraq. Local story: Montana Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Texas Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: New Mexico soldier dies in Iraq. Local story: Arizona soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Arizona soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Ohio Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Massachusetts Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Kentucky soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Washington State soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Michigan soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Arkansas soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Five New York Guardsmen wounded in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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