Wednesday, September 08, 2004

War News for September 8, 2004 Bring ‘em on: US launches multiple air strikes in Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: Heavy ground combat reported in Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, one wounded in convoy ambush near Balad. Bring ‘em on: Fighting continues in Sadr City. Bring ‘em on: Insurgents kidnap two Italian and two Iraqi aid workers in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Insurgents kidnap deputy governor of al-Anbar province in Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi killed, five wounded in two bomb attacks in Baquba. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqi policemen wounded in Latifiyah ambush. Bring ‘em on: Son of Mosul deputy governor assassinated. Bring ‘em on: Three truck drivers killed in two convoy ambushes near Baghdad and Samarra. Losing ground. “As American military deaths in Iraq operations surpassed the 1,000 mark, top Pentagon officials said Tuesday that insurgents controlled important parts of central Iraq and that it was unclear when American and Iraqi forces would be able to secure those areas. As of late Tuesday night, the Pentagon's accounting showed that 998 service members and three Defense Department civilians had been killed in Iraq operations. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a news conference that the American strategy in retaking rebel-held strongholds hinged on training and equipping Iraqi forces to take the lead. Mr. Rumsfeld said Iraqi officials understood they must regain control of the insurgent safe havens. ‘They get it, and will find a way over time to deal with it,’' he said. But General Myers said the Iraqi forces would probably not be ready to confront insurgents in those areas until the end of this year…. But other American officials are more pessimistic about the prospects for regaining control of those areas. One noted, for example, that attacks on American forces rose to 2,700 in August, from 700 in March.” The mother of all flip-flops. “Dozens of Saddam Hussein’s former generals and colonels are being paid hundreds of dollars a month by the Pentagon to advise Iraqi officials and US on how to contain the insurgency in northern Iraq. First installed in Baquba by Colonel Dana Pittard three months ago, Saddam’s generals are working as US consultants in a bid to ease violence in the provinces of Salahuddin, Tamim, Sulaimaniya and Diyala, the US military said. Offering operational tips, thrashing out the finer points of security, benefits and equipment of Iraqi police and national guardsmen, many also use their connections with insurgents to encourage them to lay down their arms.” Wounded soldiers. “Blinded four months ago by a roadside explosion in Iraq, Pepper is almost completely dependent on his wife. She helps him bathe, dress and eat. When he walks, he throws his hands over her shoulders, shuffling along behind her. She has become his eyes. ‘It has been a huge challenge for us,’ says Heather Pepper, 26, sitting on the patio of a Fisher House group home at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. ‘I had to do everything as if he was a brand-new child, except bigger.’ Most families at Fisher House have similar stories. A mother who showed her brain-damaged son photos of his family to revive his blurred memory. A Colorado man who kept a vigil by his son’s hospital bed during the 19-year-old Marine’s three-month coma.” Coalition of the Wobbly. “The Ukrainian peacekeeping contingent deployed to Iraq will be cut by 200 servicemen, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma told journalists. Ukrainian peacekeepers have already left the Iraqi regions, where the situation is the most difficult currently, namely Iraqi-Syrian borders, Kuchma said. Ukrainian troops have been withdrawn from Baghdad suburbs and it will be easier to enhance our security, the President added.” Commentary Opinion: “McCain has his head neck deep in the Bush Kool-Aid. He is quaffing the administration's rationale for engaging in a war we shouldn't be fighting, against an enemy that pales in potential danger compared with North Korea or Iran. Didn't Vice President Dick Cheney promise that our soldiers would be embraced warmly as liberators? The war in Afghanistan made sense -- to attack al-Qaida, chase Osama. The war in Iraq, in the broader view, is bloody senselessness. We invaded a sovereign land for phantom weapons of mass destruction. Failing to find any, we switched the script to a freedom mission.” Casualty Reports Local story: Illinois Guardsman killed in Iraq. Local story: Illinois Guardsman killed in Iraq. Local story: Louisiana Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Texas Guardsman killed in Iraq. Local story: Utah Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Utah Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Arizona Marine killed in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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