Saturday, December 04, 2004
Bring ‘em on: Two multinational force soldiers killed and five wounded in car bombing on Iraq-Jordan border.
Bring ‘em on: Four Mosul police stations brought under coordinated attack but repelled by Iraqi police. Six people killed in attacks on
Seven days of hell: Getting a broad view of the war has become harder than ever before; even investigating major incidents can be nearly impossible. For instance, two weeks ago 60 Iraqi police recruits reportedly were kidnapped from their hotel in Rutbah, in Anbar province, and to date no one has been able to confirm what became of them, because Rutbah is too dangerous to reach, even for Iraqi journalists. Compounding the problem, both Iraqi and coalition authorities often simply don't report much of what happens, while private contractors almost never reveal attacks on their reconstruction efforts, even when their foreign personnel are killed (although 190 such deaths have surfaced so far this year, it's a fraction of the probable total).
This article lists an admittedly incomplete account of the horrors occurring in
This is from a continuing series from the BBC, publishing accounts of daily life from ordinary Iraqis. Worth regular visits.redictions: Myers said he does not now see signs of a civil war brewing, but he did predict that targeted killings of Iraqis who join the new government would continue "for years to come."
At the beginning of this year, US military officials intended to reduce the number of American troops in
"I'm a realist," he said of the war. "Nobody predicted exactly where we'd be, and nobody can." Instead, he said the focus should be on how to respond to the shifting insurgency. "Where we need to be perfect is in our ability to adapt and our nimbleness in reacting."
Actually a number of highly accurate predictions regarding the course of events in
Such is the demand for the security skills of former SAS NCOs and officers in
The war that would pay for itself: As the Army continues to shoulder the brunt of operations and expenses in
More predictions: Yesterday, advance units from two 750-soldier battalions of the elite 82nd Airborne Division, flew to
"Was there any kind of understanding or agreement that there would likely be a long insurgency afterwards?' " Mr. Rumsfeld asked. "I don't believe . . . if you dropped a thumb line through all that intelligence, that anyone would say that."
Although convoluted, it was the clearest admission yet by a senior figure in the Bush administration that the expectation
Mr. Rumsfeld now suggests
To Mr Bush's critics at home and abroad Mr Rumsfeld personifies the mistakes of his first term.
His outspoken dismissal of
But the White House was keen to keep the 72-year-old political veteran. He was reluctant to leave with his reputation tarnished, and also wanted to see through his overhaul of the Pentagon.
Yeah, I’d hate to see him leave with a tarnished reputation too…
Meanwhile, At Slightly Lower Levels in the DoD Chain of Command…
Suck it up, part 3: Some plans were bigger than others. To live, for the first time, with the wife he married while home on leave. To shower with hot water. To be there as his wife's daughter, recently diagnosed with congenital heart disease, goes to doctor appointments. To eat good pizza. When the Pentagon announced Wednesday that some 10,000 troops serving in
Suck it up, part four: "You need a bigger Army if you're going to carry out the Bush national security strategy," said Lawrence Korb, who served as assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration. "Right now, you're really using the reserves at an unsustainable pace, and you're violating the norms that you have for deploying people overseas that you've established not only for equity but for retention."
About 40,000 servicemen and women have been held in the military beyond their retirement or separation dates under emergency "stop loss" orders, or kept overseas beyond their transfer dates under "stop move" orders. The Army National Guard achieved only 87 percent of its recruitment goal in the fiscal year that just ended. According to Lt. Gen. James Helmly, chief of the Army Reserve, the reserve is short about 5,000 captains--officers who fill vital roles as company commanders or perform other important duties in the field.
Suck it up, part five: After serving more than a year in Kuwait and Iraq, a South Side woman said she came home in June to find a notice posted at her residence: The City of Chicago was planning to demolish her brick bungalow.<> Bettye Green, a 65-year-old major in the Army Reserve, thought she had resolved the problem -- until a frantic neighbor called Wednesday to say a demolition crew was tearing through her
65 year old major?!? Deployed to Iraq? WTF? Suck it up, grandma! Suck it up, part six: Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew Derrig was fixing a dented .50-caliber machine-gun round outside one of Saddam Hussein's palaces when the bullet exploded. The blast cut through his hand, blew out an eye and scattered shrapnel over the 18-year-old.
Now, a year and a half later, the 2002 graduate of
Derrig and other wounded soldiers returning from
That finding comes even as the number of disabled vets is rising to what's expected to be record levels, because of the war in
Apparently we have been unable to purchase enough bullets with our half a trillion dollar Defense budget so we have to have jarheads fix the broken ones.American Moral Leadership
Rule of law: "If a little old lady in Switzerland writes checks to what she thinks is a charitable organization for Afghanistan orphans, but it's really supporting . . . al Qaeda, is she an enemy combatant?" the judge asked.
Boyle said the woman could be, but it would depend on her intentions. "It would be up to the military to decide as to what to believe," he said.
After hearing Green's hypothetical questions, the military agreed it could imprison a Muslim teacher whose class includes a family with Taliban connections. It also agreed that it could detain a man who does not report his suspicions that his cousin may be an al Qaeda member, or a reporter who knows where Osama bin Laden is located but does not divulge the information to protect an anonymous source.
Some of the photos have date stamps suggesting they were taken in May 2003, which could make them the earliest evidence of possible abuse of prisoners in
The photos surfaced amid a case of prisoner abuse involving members of another SEAL team also stationed at
Navy prosecutors have charged several members of SEAL Team Seven with abusing a suspect in the bombing a Red Cross facility. According to charge sheets and testimony during a military hearing last month, SEALs posed in the back of a Humvee for photos that allegedly humiliated Manadel al-Jamadi, who died hours later at Abu Ghraib. Some of the pictures can be seen here. They aren't pretty.
The multilateral framework: A blue ribbon panel released today a landmark report on global threats that insisted the UN Security Council approve any “preventive” war, which was not the case when the
The UN charter allows a nation to respond immediately in self-defence to an actual or imminent attack. But the report, spurred by the US-led invasion of Iraq last year that divided world leaders, said “preventive action” when a threat was not imminent needed Security Council consent. This was denied to the Bush administration before the war. "If there are good arguments for preventive military action, with good evidence to support them, they should be put to the Security Council, which can authorise such action,” the report said.
“For those impatient with such a response the answer must be that in a world full of perceived potential threats, the risk to the global order... is simply too great for the legality of unilateral preventive action,” it added.
An open letter: In April, US forces laid siege to Falluja in retaliation for the gruesome killings of four Blackwater employees. The operation was a failure, with US troops eventually handing the city back to resistance forces. The reason for the withdrawal was that the siege had sparked uprisings across the country, triggered by reports that hundreds of civilians had been killed. This information came from three main sources: 1) Doctors. USA Today reported on April 11 that "Statistics and names of the dead were gathered from four main clinics around the city and from Falluja general hospital". 2) Arab TV journalists. While doctors reported the numbers of dead, it was al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya that put a human face on those statistics. With unembedded camera crews in Falluja, both networks beamed footage of mutilated women and children throughout
Opinion: Maybe this should be the rule: If you can't handle seeing what really goes on in a war, maybe you don't deserve to support it. If you can't stomach the truths of what our soldiers are doing and how brutally and bloodily they're dying and in just what manner they have to kill those innocent Iraqi civilians in the name of BushCo's desperate lurch toward greed and power and Iraqi oil fields and empire, maybe you don't have the right to stick that little flag on your oil-sucking SUV. Clear enough?
The major media, by the way, is often hamstrung and torn. They can rarely run such photos. Newspapers and TV are hemmed in by "no-sensationalism" policies and are often paralyzed by the notion that if they ran such pictures, they would be called insensitive or inflammatory or anti-Bush and advertisers and readers alike would run away in droves. After all, most readers just aren't keen on seeing gross-out pics of 19-year-old kids from
You have to seek the facts yourself. You have to dare yourself to click, to take it in, to see if you can, in fact, handle the truth.
It is not easy. It is definitely not pleasant. But in this time of ever escalating numbers of war dead and flagrant BushCo lies and sanitized BS about the real effects of war, all coupled with a simmering plan to attack Iran and maybe North Korea someday real soon, seeking out such visceral truth is no longer just optional. It is, perhaps, the most patriotic thing you can do.
Note: This column contains a link to fallujahinpictures.com which is not for the squeamish.
Local story: Beaver Dam, WI, Marine killed in