Saturday, September 11, 2004

War News for September 10 and 11, 2004 Bring ‘em on: US air strikes continue in Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: Forty-five Iraqis killed, 80 wounded in fighting with US troops near Tal Afar. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqis killed, five wounded as Iraqi troops open fire on demonstrators in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Four Iraqi policemen kidnapped in Najaf. Bring ‘em on: Car bomb detonates at Baghdad church. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi policeman kidnapped in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Three rocket attacks reported in and near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Senior Iraqi National Guard officer assassinated near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi National Guard officer and family kidnapped near Hibhib. Bring ‘em on: US troops lay siege to Tal Afar. Bring ‘em on: US troops fighting in Sadr City. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqis killed, three wounded by roadside bomb at US consulate in Basra. Fallujah. “Islamic militants in Iraq are strengthening their grip on the insurgent stronghold of Falluja, four months after American commanders struck a ceasefire deal that was supposed to pacify the city and return it to government control, residents said yesterday. Militants have imposed religious law on communities, issuing edicts and executing those accused of spying and even stealing. US patrols no longer enter the city, 40 miles west of Baghdad, and the Falluja Brigade, a government force established in May to maintain security, was disbanded this week.” Fallujah Brigade. “The controversial Iraqi military force formed by U.S. Marines in a last-ditch effort to pacify the restive city of Fallujah has been officially disbanded after months of continuing violence, assaults on government security forces and evidence that some members have been working openly with insurgents….’The Fallujah Brigade is done, over,’ said Marine Col. Jerry Durrant, who oversees the 1st Marine Expeditionary Unit's involvement with Iraqi security forces. ‘The whole Fallujah Brigade thing was a fiasco. Initially it worked out OK, but it wasn't a good idea for very long.’” Read the following story of the soldier re-enlisting, also. Illinois National Guard. “The 1544th, just 260 of the more than 3,000 men and women with the Illinois National Guard currently in Iraq, has suffered half of all the deaths and injuries for the entire Illinois National Guard. So far, four from the unit have been killed and 26 wounded.” Burn center. “There are more than 100 soldiers at BAMC recovering from injuries they suffered in Iraq. Five more Marines arrived Friday afternoon.” Interim assembly. The 100-member assembly, set up in August at a national political conference, won't hold its first policy session until Sunday. But many in Iraq already see it as little better than the widely despised U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, which dissolved itself in June. ‘They are two faces of the same coin,’ said Abdul Haleem Salem, a 26-year-old from Kut who was in Baghdad on a religious pilgrimage. ‘This assembly doesn't represent the Iraqi people, which makes it a failure.’ Indeed, 19 of the assembly's members are former Governing Council members, and many of the remaining 81 belong to the five political parties that already control Iraq's executive branch.” But Rummy’s still loose. “Specialist Armin Cruz, 24, a military intelligence analyst, had pleaded guilty to maltreatment and conspiracy to maltreat detainees, and the court martial accepted his guilty plea.” “Peacefully”? “Rumsfeld, meanwhile, described another restive city, Najaf, as ‘taken back peacefully’ due to an overwhelming show of force that persuaded rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to tell his fighters to disband. That followed widespread fighting involving Sadr's militia, U.S.-backed Iraqi forces, and American soldiers and Marines. Still, the fighting ceased before U.S.-backed Iraqi troops went forward with plans to retake holy Shiite mosques in the city by force.” Commentary Editorial: “Mr. Rumsfeld gave President Bush the legal advice that led to the president's famous memo declaring that the United States could, at his discretion, suspend the Geneva Conventions in the ‘global war on terror,’ and that prisoners with the newly minted designation of ‘unlawful combatants’ were not entitled to the conventions' protections. Mr. Rumsfeld authorized the use of brutal interrogation techniques at the prison in Guantánamo Bay, some of which he later rescinded. His war plans left the Army without enough forces to face the uprising that followed Mr. Bush's ludicrously premature ‘mission accomplished’ photo-op. Those policies - which commanders were afraid to challenge - left 97 untrained military police guarding some 7,000 Iraqis at Abu Ghraib who were not considered prisoners of war.” Opinion: “Iraq, as you know, is the front line in the War on Terror that began Sept. 11, 2001. Or at least, that's what the president keeps stubbornly saying and polls indicate half of us keep stubbornly believing. And never mind that intelligence experts say Iraq had about as much to do with Sept. 11 as Canada did. No need to focus too closely on that. We're watching a sort of magic show, after all, public opinion manipulated like a handkerchief borrowed out of the audience. Nothing up his sleeve, presto! The lie becomes the truth. And a thousand people die.” Analysis: “Iraqi insurgents are slowly but surely extending their control over key cities in the notorious ‘Sunni Triangle’ north and west of Baghdad, a creeping consolidation of their influence that bodes ill for the fumbling transitional government and the U.S. forces propping it up. Continued uprisings by Shiite irregulars of the Mehdi Army militia, led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, scion of a revered religious family, point to the possibility of Shiite militants seizing and holding other ‘no-go zones’ in southern Iraq, further undermining the putative central government in Baghdad.” Casualty Reports Local story: New Jersey soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Indiana soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Texas soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Tennessee soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Ohio soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Ohio soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Virginia soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Oklahoma Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Texas soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Texas soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: California Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: California Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: California Marine wounded in Iraq. Local story: Maine Marine wounded in Iraq. Local story: Three Alabama soldiers wounded in Iraq. Rant of the Day In the last two days, the US media has provided more coverage and in-depth analysis to the properties of obsolete typewriters than they have to the events in Iraq over the last month. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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