Sunday, October 31, 2004

War News for Sunday, October 31, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Explosions reported in Baghdad’s Green Zone. Bring ‘em on: Polish troops mortared near Karbala. Bring ‘em on: Sudanese translator working for US contractor kidnapped near Ramadi. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqi policemen killed in mortar attack in Ramadi. Bring ‘em on: Three US Marines wounded in Ramadi ambush. Bring ‘em on: Air strikes and artillery shelling reported in Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: British troops mortared near Mahmoudiyah. Bring ‘em on: Ten Iraqis killed, 15 wounded in heavy fighting in Ramadi. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi Kurd newspaper editor assassinated in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: One US Marine killed in attack on patrol in Ramadi. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqi soldiers killed in ambush near Baghdad. Numbers. “On average, two U.S. troops die every day in Iraq and almost 15 are wounded. …In 18 months of conflict, 1,106 U.S. personnel have died in Iraq from combat action or accidents and 8,150 Americans have been injured, according to Pentagon statistics as of Friday.” Chemical weapons site looted. “Looters overran an Iraqi complex last year where a bunker holding old chemical weapons was sealed by United Nations monitors, American arms inspectors have reported. The American inspectors say all of the sealed structures at the Muthanna site, 35 miles northwest of Baghdad, were broken into. But it is unknown if usable chemical warheads were in the bunker, what may have been taken and by whom.” Al QaQaa today. “When he stood among the clusters of bunkers, Mr. Mizher said, he felt the weight of dead silence, pierced now and then only by the screech of a desert bird winging overhead. The outline of a grinning Saddam Hussein had been sketched on a wall in a half-destroyed building. In one place, a handful of looters were still working under the watchful eyes of the mujahedeen. Nothing of much value was left except for the metal reinforcing bars inside some of the crumbling concrete walls of buildings around the bunkers. So the looters tugged at those and carried them off. There was no sign of any remaining explosives. The insides of the bunkers were picked clean. The complex was arranged in eight great clusters of seven bunkers each. Mr. Mizher visited three of those clusters, where a total of four bunkers had contained sealed containers of high-density explosives, according to confidential records kept by the International Atomic Energy Agency.” Not enough troops. “Six months after the fall of Baghdad, a vast Iraqi weapons depot with tens of thousands of artillery rounds and other explosives remained unguarded, according to two U.S. aid workers who say they reported looting of the site to American military officials. The aid workers say they informed Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the highest-ranking Army officer in Iraq in October 2003, but were told that the United States did not have enough troops to seal off the Ukhaider Ammunition Storage Area, which included more than 60 bunkers packed with munitions.” Progress report. “A year ago the insurgents were relegated to sabotaging power and gas lines hundreds of miles outside Baghdad. Today they are moving into once safe neighborhoods in the heart of the capital, choking off what remains of "normal" Iraqi society like a creeping jungle. And they are increasingly brazen. At one point in Ramadi last week, while U.S. soldiers were negotiating with the mayor (who declared himself governor after the appointed governor fled), two insurgents rode by shooting AK-47s—from bicycles. Now even Baghdad's Green Zone, the four-square-mile U.S. compound cordoned off by blast walls and barbed wire, is under nearly daily assault by gunmen, mortars and even suicide bombers.” Commentary Editorial: “To adapt the words of Talleyrand, the Bush presidency has been not merely a crime but a mistake. Mr Bush has proved a terrifying failure in the world's most powerful office. He has made the world more angry, more dangerous and more divided - not less. This, above all, is why it matters to us, as it should to Americans, that John Kerry is elected on Tuesday. A safer world requires not just the example of American power but the power of American example. Mr Bush has done more to destroy America's good name in the world than any president in memory. Mr Kerry provides an opportunity to begin to repair the damage. It is as simple - and as important - as that.” Opinion: “If George W. Bush is indeed elected for real this time around, it would signal the triumph of White House falsehoods continuously told. The prime lie, for those who yet believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, took a country to war under false pretenses that Saddam Hussein posed a nuclear threat to the continental U.S. A corollary, that 41 percent still believe, held that the Iraqi dictator supported the al-Qaida consortium that brought down the World Trade Center towers.” Casualty Reports Local story: Texas soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: New Hampshire Marine wounded in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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