Friday, September 24, 2004

War News for September 24, 2004 Bring ‘em on: One US Marine killed in fighting in al-Anbar province. Bring ‘em on: Three Iraqis wounded in RPG attack on Italian embassy in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Four Iraqis killed, 14 wounded in Baghdad mortar attack. Bring ‘em on: US patrol ambushed, ten Iraqis wounded in fighting near Dhuluiyah. Bring ‘em on: Insurgents kidnap six Egyptian contractors in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: US air strikes, artillery hit Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: Three US soldiers wounded in fighting in Sadr City. Bring ‘em on: Oil pipeline sabotaged near Najaf. Bring ‘em on: Five Illinois Guardsmen wounded by car bomb in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: US troops fighting in central Ramadi. Rummy calls for limited "elections." Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday raised the possibility that some areas of Iraq night be excluded from elections scheduled for January if security could not be guaranteed. ‘Let's say you tried to have an election and you could have it in three-quarters or four-fifths of the country. But in some places you couldn't because the violence was too great,’ Rumsfeld said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. ‘Well, so be it. Nothing's perfect in life, so you have an election that's not quite perfect. Is it better than not having an election? You bet,’ he said.” Rummy forgot to tell DoS. The second-ranking official at the State Department said today, in an apparent contradiction of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, that the elections scheduled for Iraq in January must be ‘open to all citizens.’ ‘We're going to have an election that is free and open,’ Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said at a House committee hearing, ‘and that has to be open to all citizens.’” More troops. “Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday that he expects Iraq to become a more violent place as elections approach, and he said Abizaid will be getting more troops. Rumsfeld, however, also expects the forces to come largely in the form of new Iraqi security recruits. He also said that more U.S. troops could be sent if combat commanders request them.” European media abandons Iraq. “Germany's biggest television network, ARD, said on Friday it planned to pull out its two correspondents in Iraq after a foreign ministry warning that German journalists could be singled out for kidnappings. Separately, the Spanish government has recommended to media that they withdraw their correspondents from Iraq following the increase in attacks and kidnappings there, the newspaper El Mundo said on its Web site on Friday. The Spanish news agency EFE has withdrawn its only Spanish correspondent, Jose Manuel Seage, from Baghdad, a senior journalist at the agency said.” Commentary Editorial: “Until Iraq holds free elections, Mr. Allawi cannot claim to speak for more than the narrow coalition of exile parties that maneuvered his appointment as interim prime minister. Increasingly well-organized and deadly attacks are directed against American troops, foreign relief workers and Iraqi security recruits. Sunni towns like Falluja and Mosul and Shiite areas, including much of Baghdad, are gripped by insurgencies that American military analysts believe are nowhere near being overcome. Oil pipelines are attacked regularly, electricity supplies remain erratic, and foul drinking water breeds disease.” Editorial: “Elections - let alone lasting peace - will not deliver democratic rule to Iraq unless some new undertakings are made and order is restored. Yet it seems that order will not be brought to Iraq merely through the continuing presence of more than 130,000 coalition troops, let alone a premature security handover to the nascent Iraqi authorities. Elections held in such circumstances may not just lack legitimacy but fuel further insurgency. A process that does not genuinely embrace the Shiite majority along with other sectarian and political groups is doomed.” Opinion: “At the moment there is no evidence the president understands anything about the war. He led the nation into it with false pretenses. He never mobilized sufficient numbers of troops. He seemed to believe the war was over in May 2003. And he seems not to know how to proceed now.” Opinion: “Mr. Bush claims that Mr. Kerry's plan to secure and rebuild Iraq is "exactly what we're currently doing." No, it isn't. It's only what Mr. Bush is currently saying. And we have 18 months of his administration's deeds to contrast with his words. The actual record is one of officials who have refused to admit that their fantasies about how the war would go were wrong, and who have continued to push us ever deeper into the quagmire because of their insistence that everything is going according to plan.” Analysis: “In truth, the reason for this has more to do with the Sunnis than with Ayatollah Sistani. Without Sunni participation, the election results would be worse than useless. To understand why, one must bear in mind that the purpose of the election is not just to choose a legitimate government but also to elect leaders who can negotiate a new and permanent Iraqi constitution. Although such a constitution would guarantee basic rights, it would be first and foremost a power-sharing deal reached among different factions of Iraqis - Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni. Thus if the Sunnis were excluded because of security problems, or if they boycotted, they would not be able to elect leaders empowered to negotiate on their behalf, and the resulting constitutional deal would be rejected by the great majority of Sunnis as illegitimate.” Casualty Reports Local story: Illinois Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Indiana soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Texas soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: New York Marine wounded in Iraq. Local story: Illinois Guardsman wounded in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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