Wednesday, October 20, 2004

War News for October 20, 2004

<>Bring ‘em on: Four Iraqi children killed, twenty people including eleven US soldiers wounded in bombing in Samarra

Bring ‘em on: Six Iraqi civilians killed and eleven US troops wounded in Samarra. (Unclear how this relates to story posted above)

Bring ‘em on*: Two Iraqi police officers and two US soldiers wounded in car bombing near Baghdad airport

Bring ‘em on*: Suicide bomber killed on Baghdad airport road. (Unclear how this relates to story posted above)

Bring ‘em on*: Three 2nd ID soldiers killed in Ramadi

Bring ‘em on and on: Family of six killed in US air raids in Falluja. Adviser to Allawi’s political party killed in drive-by shooting in Baghdad. 15 year old boy killed in shooting in Baquba. Two Americans and four Iraqi police wounded by car bombs in Baquba. Iraqi building contractor working for US forces killed by gunmen in Baquba.

Bring ‘em on and on: Yesterday’s mortar attack on headquarters of Iraqi National Guard now said to result in four dead, eighty wounded. Two Iraqis killed and 10 wounded in operations in al-Dalo'eya. American contractor killed and seven others wounded, including an American soldier, in mortar attack in downtown Baghdad. Oil pipeline attacked near Beji.

Bring ‘em the fuck on: Number of US wounded in Iraq tops 8,000

Bring ‘em on: Leader of CARE International abducted in Baghdad

Bring ‘em on: Car bomb explodes in central Baghdad

The Strategy to Secure Iraq Did Not Foresee a 2nd War: "John Abizaid was the only one who really had his head in the postwar game," General Garner said, referring to the general who served as General Franks's deputy and eventually his successor. "The Bush administration did not. Condi Rice did not. Doug Feith didn't. You could go brief them, but you never saw any initiative come of them. You just kind of got a north and south nod. And so it ends with so many tragic things."

Baghdad's persistent police shortage to continue until summer, U.S. general says: The Iraqi capital is still far short of the numbers of Iraqi policemen needed to secure it and the force won't be up to strength in time for national elections in January, the U.S. general in charge of security in Baghdad said Tuesday.

Report: Iraqi Troops Prone to Desertion: Nearly half of one of Iraq's new army units were spooked by a car bombing in Samarra and deserted last month, a report released Wednesday said. <> Shia leader cuts ties with Sadr*: Grand Ayatollah Kazem Haeri, one of the top authorities in Shia Islam, said Mr Sadr was no longer his representative in the holy city of Najaf. A spokesman said that Mr Sadr's actions no longer reflected the ideas of the Grand Ayatollah's teachings.

Captors in Iraq Free 2 Egyptian Engineers*: Two Egyptian mobile telephone engineers were released Wednesday by their kidnappers, who abducted them from their Baghdad office last month

Sunni Muslim clerics warn of Iraq vote boycott if Fallujah invaded*: The Committee of Muslim Scholars, an influential association of Sunni clerics, warned it would call a boycott of Iraq’s January elections if the US army launches a major assault on rebel-held Fallujah.

CARE International suspends operations in Iraq after director abducted: Care International suspended operations in Iraq on Wednesday after gunmen seized the woman who ran the humanitarian organization's work in the country. The victim's Iraqi husband appealed to the kidnappers to free her "in the name of humanity, Islam and brotherhood."

Iraqi official derides U.N. election prep: The United Nations has not sent enough election workers to help out with vital balloting in Iraq set for January, the Iraqi foreign minister said Wednesday. Iraqi Conflict: International Ramifications <> Blair faces rebellion over troop redeployment in Iraq: British Prime Minister Tony Blair faced a revolt on Wednesday from lawmakers who demanded a parliamentary vote on a US request to redeploy British troops in Iraq. It is feared that British troops will be placed under US command for the duration of the operation and that the redeployment -- which some see as helping US President George W. Bush in his race for the Nov.2 presidential elections -- will "significantly increase the risk" to British troops.

US envoy hints opposition to be excluded from Iraq conference*: The top US envoy to the Middle East suggested that Iraqi opposition groups would not be invited to next month's international conference on the war-torn country, but host Egypt said it had not been ruled out.

Department of Feeling Safer Already: Macedonia Will Not Withdraw from Iraq: Macedonia will not withdraw its 32 troops from Iraq, despite reports that two of the Balkan country's citizens were killed by a militant group that accused them of spying for the United States, the foreign minister said today.

Defence minister's remark sparks attack fears: Defence minister Henk Kamp has been accused of increasing the likelihood of deadly attacks on Dutch troops stationed in southern Iraq by supposedly threatening to pull the troops out if another soldier is killed.

Iraqi Conflict: Comic Relief

<>Robertson: I warned Bush on Iraq casualties*: The founder of the U.S. Christian Coalition said Tuesday he told President George W. Bush before the invasion of Iraq that he should prepare Americans for the likelihood of casualties, but the president told him, "We're not going to have any casualties." (Alert reader Butch posted this one, and his comment with it was dead on: “When Pat Robertson has a more realistic view of the world than Bush, we're in deep shit.”)

US drops last terrorism-related designation on Iraq*: The United States dropped its last terror-related designation on Iraq, removing it from the State Department's blacklist of "state sponsors of terrorism" by formally rescinding a 14-year-old determination that carried sanctions. US Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged the move would have little practical effect


<>Opinion: Yankees are blind to blundering Bush: Either the self-proclaimed "war president" and his men committed the worst set of blunders overseas since Vietnam, or they lied the nation into an imperial war to grab oil and boost Israel's fortunes. Republicans don't care. Amazingly, a recent CNN/USA Today poll showed 62% of Republicans still believe Iraq was behind 9/11. This is after a flood of contrary evidence and Duelfer's report.

Editorial: U.S. Troops' Other Struggle: Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the top commander in Iraq from mid-2003 until this summer, warned the Pentagon in a brutally frank Dec. 4, 2003, letter that a lack of spare parts was crippling his ability to fight the insurgents: "I cannot continue to support sustained combat operations with rates [of parts] this low," he said in excerpts published Monday in the Washington Post. The general declines to comment, and the Pentagon says that, almost a year later, all is well. No, it's not, particularly among National Guard and Reserve units.

Opinion: Abusive Promotions: The Pentagon continues to hold detainees at Guantanamo Bay in prolonged solitary confinement, under conditions that violate basic prohibitions against cruel and inhuman treatment under U.S. and international law. At the same time, the administration has steadfastly refused to allow the International Red Cross even to visit an unknown number of detainees still held in U.S. custody. Arguably worst of all, 232 members of the House earlier this month voted for a bill that would require the secretary of homeland security to exclude from the protection of the United Nations Convention Against Torture -- a treaty the United States signed and ratified a decade ago -- any foreign national the government deems a terrorist suspect.

Opinion: Grumbling in the ranks: The larger share of the growing resentment for Bush seems to come from Americans who believe he has bungled his self-proclaimed mission of hunting down and killing terrorists.

Casualty Reports:

Local story: Kennesaw, GA, private contractor killed in Green Zone

Local story: Pascagoula, Miss., soldier killed in Iraq

Note: As before, asterisked posts were cribbed from the last Comments, mostly from the impressive number collected by overcaffeinated superposter Not Anonymous, but also from many other dedicated readers. Thanks to you all. If you're new to the blog, go read the Comments, because, believe me, I can't keep up with these people and there are tons of interesting and relevant posts that aren't making it here to the front page. I'm so glad that we have a vibrant community of posters here because one person can't even begin to find and collate all the stories coming out of this tragic war. It's a huge job. My respect for Yankeedoodle and the labor he has put into this blog has increased immeasurably over the past few days. Please join me in sending him and his family our best wishes and hopes for safe travels and a speedy return to us here. thx


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