Monday, August 09, 2004

War News for August 9, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Heavy fighting continues in Najaf, situation described as “unraveling.” Bring ‘em on: One US Marine killed in fighting in al-Anbar province. Bring ‘em on: Eleven Iraqis wounded in six mortar and rocket attacks in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: British base mortared near Basra. Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi child killed, seven Iraqis wounded in Baghdad mortar attack. Bring ‘em on: Six Iraqis killed, 16 wounded by car bomb in Baquba. Bring ‘em on: US helicopter shot down in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Three US soldiers wounded in attack on district council building in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier wounded in patrol ambush near Muqdadiyah. Bring ‘em on: US patrol ambushed by roadside bomb, small arms fire near Samarra. Bring ‘em on: Four Iraqis killed by bus bomb in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: British patrol ambushed near Amarah; one Iraqi killed, two wounded. Bring ‘em on: Explosions reported in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Four Iraqis killed by roadside bomb near Khaldiyah. Bring ‘em on: Incoming mortar fire reported at three Polish bases near Karbala. Bring ‘em on: Insurgents capture Iraqi police chief in Baghdad. Interim government declares emergency 4:00 pm to 8:00 am curfew in Sadr City. Al-Sadr calls for uprising. Illumination rounds. “At around 10:30 pm (1830 GMT), two men load a 81-mm mortar into a barrel mounted on a base plate. The target is Iraq's vital southern oil pipeline near the city of Basra, close to the Iranian border. ‘Fire,’ yells one of the soldiers and with a crack the mortar is released. A few seconds later, a thick orange fireball illuminates the dark sky like a million candles lit at the same time. The glow slowly brightens up nearly 400 metres (yards) of the pipeline, before fading about 30 seconds later. The scene is repeated over and over. As one more mortar is fired at the pipeline, another orange fireball erupts as the shell breaks. Nearly two dozen mortars are fired all night, practically every night. Such is the toil of a dozen-odd British soldiers of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers who nightly guard the pipeline that everyday carries oil worth 64 million dollars against insurgent attacks.” Arrest warrants issued for Ahmad Chalabi and nephew Salem Chalabi. “Details were sketchy on Sunday night, but Iraqi officials said they suspected that Mr. Chalabi had been counterfeiting old Iraqi dinar notes used during the reign of Saddam Hussien and exchanging them for newly minted notes, which came into circulation earlier this year. The charges against the younger Chalabi, Salem, appear more serious, alleging his involvement in the killing of Haithem Fadhil, a director general of the Iraqi Finance Ministry, in June.” Either the Chalabis are much worse villains than anybody imagined, or the new Iraqi governmednt is willing to use the judicial system to settle ploitical scores. Commentary Editorial: “Things have gone so obviously wrong with America's approach to rebuilding Iraq that even the Bush administration is now willing to listen to some informed advice. Before the invasion, the White House and Pentagon contemptuously ignored post-invasion planning memos drafted by State Department experts knowledgeable about Iraq, the Arab world and the broader problems of nation-building. Now some of those same State Department experts are quietly being called back to try to repair the damage. Their re-emergence is welcome, but late in the game. Winning back the good will and trust of ordinary Iraqis will be, at best, an uphill fight.” 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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