Monday, September 06, 2004

War News for September 6, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers killed, 16 wounded in mortar attack near Balad. Bring ‘em on: Seven US Marines killed, eight wounded in convoy ambush near Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: US launches retaliatory air strikes in Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: US troops in heavy fighting near Mosul. Bring ‘em on: US convoy ambushed near Mosul; one Iraqi killed, seven wounded. Bring ‘em on: US troops fighting in Sadr City. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi scientist assassinated near Mahmoudiyah. Bring ‘em on: Four Jordanian truck drivers kidnapped by insurgents in Iraq. Bring ‘em on: Norwegian woman killed in ambush near Kirkuk. More fighting anticipated. “A U.S. assault on one or more of Iraq's three main ‘no-go’ areas — including Fallujah — is likely in the next four months as the Iraqi government prepares to extend control before elections slated for January, the U.S. land-forces commander said yesterday. Army Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, the No. 2 American military leader in Iraq, said the U.S. military will work to regain control of rebel strongholds and turn them over to Iraq's fledgling security forces so elections will be seen by Iraqis — and the world — as free and fair.” Wounded troops. “Lance Cpl. Ian Anderson of Spokane was a gung-ho Marine who was shot five times while serving his country in Iraq. Now he is an embittered 23-year-old coping with his wounds, angry at his medical care, and unsure what he will do with the rest of his life. One of more than 130 Washington residents who have been wounded so far in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Anderson personifies a hard truth about war: Enthusiastic patriotism often gives way to shattered lives.” Shifting priorities. “The Bush administration is preparing to seek congressional approval to divert $3.3 billion earmarked to rebuild Iraq's shattered infrastructure into programs focused mainly to establish law and order. The move comes against a backdrop of steadily deteriorating public security in the country as it approaches a crucial first round of elections set for January. Those working on the changes said the proposed reallocation amounts to nearly one-fifth of the $18.4 billion Congress approved last November to rebuild Iraq. They said the shift would delay vital electricity, water and sewage projects -- all crucial to restoring Iraq's economy and building public support for the country's struggling interim government.” Pipeline security. “Iraq's Oil Ministry has deployed a new 14,000-member security force, has begun paying tribal leaders to guard pipelines and plans to double its fleet of reconnaissance aircraft, Oil Ministry spokesman Assim Jihad said Sunday. ‘When these pipelines were laid decades ago, no one then thought that saboteurs will damage them,’ Jihad said in discussing the security challenge.” Don’t feel too bad, Mr. Jihad. Last year when the neo-cons were planning to occupy Iraq they didn’t think about that shit, either. Retired West Virginia officer sounds off. “West Virginia’s top Army Reserve spokesman says the Iraq war was a mistake, and President Bush should be voted out of office. In a long interview with Gazette columnist Sandy Wells, Col. Lew G. Tyree of Charleston publicly revealed his feelings about the Iraq invasion, saying: ‘I feel we were not told the truth. I do not think we should be there. America is in more danger now because we are using up a tremendous amount of human resources, the soldiers. We tend to ignore that there are well over 1,000 dead and well over 7,000 injured. We use many of the soldiers time and time again. Where are the replacements going to come from? We’re getting re-enlistments, but not recruits. Where is the strength for defending this country in another arena?’” Another Bush lie exposed. “United Nations' chief weapons inspector has concluded there is no evidence that Iraq ever developed unpiloted drones capable of discharging chemical and biological weapons agents on enemy targets. The Bush administration cited the threat that Iraqi drones could be used in such attacks on U.S. cities in making its case for invading Iraq, but U.S. weapons inspectors in Iraq challenged those claims after the U.S.-led invasion. The CIA's top weapons expert in Iraq, Charles Duelfer, revived the debate, telling Congress last April that the group overseeing the U.S.-led hunt for Iraqi weapons had found evidence of advances in the development of Iraqi drones that were not reported to the United Nations.” Foreign fighters. “The elder al-Zahameel told The Associated Press he made several fruitless trips to Syria to search for his son. Then, in mid-July, Dhari, his friend and two other Kuwaitis - one also a teenager - were sent home from Syria. The Kuwait government said they had been accused of trying to enter Iraq illegally, the first official acknowledgment that citizens of this U.S. ally were taking up arms against American troops in Iraq.” Health care. “Yet another doctor from the valley has been called up to serve and to treat the wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Ruben Lopez is the trauma medical director of valley Baptist in Harlingen. He's the fourth trauma doctor from the hospital to be called up to serve since the war started.” Commentary Editorial: “But before that grim assessment is dismissed as more of the same from the nattering nabobs of negativism, check out the institute's best-case scenario: The Bush Doctrine, which virtually guaranteed the creation of a full-fledged democracy in Iraq friendly to the West, is hopelessly naive. The most the United States and its allies can hope for is a "muddle-through" scenario in which enormous amounts of money and military might are expended just to keep the country from disintegrating. The sobering report comes not from President Bush's political enemies, but from from the nation that is his most steadfast ally in Iraq. It was prepared by an independent group of foreign affairs experts whose scholars frequently advise the British government and the Foreign Office on international issues. This is not a Chicken Little outfit.” Analysis: “These days, with a few exceptions, US military casualties in Iraq are being reported as parts of other stories — for example, the battle for Najaf — or buried deep inside the paper or not reported at all. And information about Iraqi casualties is even harder to find, since the Pentagon does not track this figure. Is this some vast journalistic or bureaucratic conspiracy to make President Bush look better? I don’t think so. I think what’s happening may be even worse. The US media — especially television — always finds it difficult to cover more than one big story at the same time. Added to this multitasking challenge is the sense that the American public is just plain tired of reading and hearing these awful numbers. And who can blame them?” Opinion: “I once saw a man mugged on a street in New York City. I was half a block away when the mugger ran up behind his victim, pulled the victim's suit jacket up and over his head inside out, yanked the wallet from his back pocket and fled. The victim, a man in his 60s, was shaken up badly but not seriously hurt. The whole thing took three seconds. I saw something similar happen again last week in New York City. This time it was a gang. They straight-jacketed their mark with jeering and contempt. Then they stole his wallet in a symbolic way - yanking his identity from him with broad distortions of the truth. The victim was a 61-year-old man named John Kerry.” Casualty Reports Local story: Idaho Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: New York Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Texas Marine killed in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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