Monday, November 01, 2004

War News for November 1, 2004 draft Bring ‘em on: One US Marine killed, four wounded by roadside bomb in Ramadi. Bring ‘em on: Deputy governor assassinated in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Fifteen Iraqis killed, eight wounded in rocket attack in Tikrit. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi journalist killed in fighting near Ramadi. Bring ‘em on: British troops mortared near Basra. Bring ‘em on: British troops mortared near Mahmoudiyah. Bring ‘em on: Heavy fighting reported in Ramadi. Bring ‘em on: Seven Iraqis wounded by mortar fire in Samarra. Bring ‘em on: Retired Republican Guard officer assassinated in Baquba. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi employed by US contractor killed in Baquba. Bring ‘em on: Romanian and Salvadoran troops ambushed near Mashru. Bring ‘em on: British troops ambushed by roadside bomb in Basra. Bring ‘em on: US military convoy attacked with RPG fire near Qaim. Bring ‘em on: Japanese troops shelled near Samawah. One British soldier dies of non-hostile causes near Basra. Compassionate conservatism. “ABC News offered an appalling glimpse in a report two weeks ago. A critically injured soldier spoke of being sent a collection notice from the Pentagon while he was recuperating at a military hospital. The Pentagon was demanding the return of a $2,700 bonus because the soldier — who now lives in his car — could not fulfill his three-year tour of duty. A National Guardsman with a leg injury said he'll have to sell his home to pay his bills. A double amputee complained of getting the runaround from the Pentagon while financial ruin closes in like the shadows of twilight.” Midnight requisitioning. “First the Army gave Chief Warrant Officer Darrell E. Birt a medal. Then they handed the former Hempfield Township man six months behind bars. Birt said the Bronze Star and prison sentence he received while serving in Iraq were his reward -- and punishment -- for plugging holes in a faulty supply network that even the military has painted as flawed. ‘The supply system was broke,’ Birt said. ‘From the time we left Kuwait until the time we got into Iraq, it took two months to get the computer codes loaded for supply. So for two months, we couldn't get new supplies.’ Short of vehicles and spare parts critical to his unit's ability to haul fuel to infantrymen and helicopter pilots, Birt said he and other high-ranking soldiers agreed to procure the needed equipment improperly.” Another soldier takes the hit for Rummy’s incompetence. Commentary Editorial: “Bush's lack of seriousness — and his stubborn refusal to alter course in the face of altered circumstance — explains his administration's notorious hostility toward expertise of all kinds. Whether it is his own Treasury secretary telling him his tax cuts are no longer affordable, intelligence analysts raising doubts about a supposed Al Qaeda-Saddam Hussein tie, or his proconsul in Iraq clamoring for more ground troops, Bush has a way of freezing out expertise he deems inconvenient. The terribly botched occupation of Iraq — and the lost opportunity it represents according to the president's own assessment of the stakes in that conflict — is the price the United States pays for its president's obstinacy.” Analysis: “The best option is a quick exit, with a willingness to admit any friendly Iraqis who want to come to America. The administration has blundered; its current Iraq policy is unsustainable. The U.S. must pull out. The withdrawal can't be immediate, but it must be speedy. Even Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld now says that Iraq need not be ‘peaceful and perfect before we can reduce coalition and U.S. forces.’ Washington should begin pulling out its forces, with the goal of a full withdrawal by mid-2005. The exact time frame is less important than the goal: bringing American troops home, and doing so quickly. ‘My promise’ to those who've died ‘is that we will complete the mission so that their child or their husband or wife has not died in vain,’ said Bush. It does no honor to those who have died to throw away more lives in a vain attempt to establish Western-style democracy on the Euphrates. The best way to honor America's heroic dead is to never again repeat the Bush administration's misguided rush to war.” Opinion: “But we all are moral cowards when it comes to Iraq. Our collective inability to summon the requisite shame and rage when confronted by an estimate of 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians in the prosecution of an illegal and unjust war not only condemns us, but adds credibility to those who oppose us. The fact that a criminal such as Osama bin Laden can broadcast a videotape on the eve of the US presidential election in which his message is viewed by many around the world as a sober argument in support of his cause is the harshest indictment of the failure of the US and Britain to implement sound policy in the aftermath of 9/11. The death of 3,000 civilians on that horrible day represented a tragedy of huge proportions. Our continued indifference to a war that has slaughtered so many Iraqi civilians, and will continue to kill more, is in many ways an even greater tragedy: not only in terms of scale, but also because these deaths were inflicted by our own hand in the course of an action that has no defence.” Opinion: “These are days of shame for the United States. No one writing a civics text for American high school students would recommend this kind of behavior for a great and mighty nation. We have to figure out a way to extricate ourselves from Iraq and rebuild a truly representative democracy here at home. Right now we have a mess on both fronts.” Casualty Reports Local story: Kentucky soldier killed in Iraq. 86-43-04. Make it happen.


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