War News for Thursday, December 16, 2004
Bring ‘em on: Nine Iraqis killed, 40 wounded by bomb at mosque in Karbala
Bring ‘em on: Senior communications ministry official assassinated in Baghdad
Bring ‘em on: Insurgents overrun Iraqi police station in Samarra
Bring ‘em on: Insurgents attack two Iraqi police stations in Mosul
Bring ‘em on: Insurgents launch coordinated attacks across Baghdad
Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi policeman killed, two wounded in ambush near Tikrit
Bring ‘em on: One US soldier dies of wounds received in ambush near Baghdad
Bring ‘em on: One US Marine killed in action in al-Anbar
Bring ‘em on: Two US Marines killed in action in al-Anbar
Bring ‘em on: Insurgents execute six Iraqis near Latifiyah
Bring ‘em on: Three Iraqis killed by roadside bomb near Moqdadia
Bring ‘em on: Iraqi chief of police in Ramadi
escapes assassination attempt.
Bring ‘em on: Powerful explosion reported in central Baghdad
announces troop cuts in Iraq.
More catastrophic success
. “An Army study shows that about one in six soldiers in Iraq report symptoms of major depression, serious anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, a proportion that some experts believe could eventually climb to one in three, the rate ultimately found in Vietnam veterans. Because about one million American troops have served so far in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Pentagon figures, some experts predict that the number eventually requiring mental health treatment could exceed 100,000. ‘There's a train coming that's packed with people who are going to need help for the next 35 years,’ said Stephen L. Robinson, a 20-year Army veteran who is now the executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, an advocacy group. Mr. Robinson wrote a report in September on the psychological toll of the war for the Center for American Progress, a Washington research group. ‘I have a very strong sense that the mental health consequences are going to be the medical story of this war,’ said Dr. Stephen C. Joseph, who served as the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs from 1994 to 1997.”
. “Responding to the threat of roadside bombings and ambushes of American ground convoys in Iraq, the Air Force is sharply expanding its airlift of equipment and supplies to bases inside the country to reduce the amount of military cargo hauled over land routes, Air Force officials said Tuesday. Dozens of Air Force C-130 and C-17 transport planes, and contracted commercial aircraft, are ferrying about 450 tons of cargo a day, including spare parts, food, water, medical supplies and other matériel that normally moves by truck or trailer, a 29 percent increase in the past month. Even trucks are sometimes shipped in by air. In just the past month, the increased air operations have kept more than 400 trucks and about 1,050 drivers with military escorts off the most dangerous roads in Iraq, said an Air Force spokesman, Lt. Col. Mike Caldwell. American military convoys have been suffering about 100 deaths and injuries a month.” Yesterday, Matt posted the original AP article reporting this story. This NYT article provides a bit more detail, and I think it's important for readers to understand the significance of this development: US supply routwes are so dangerously interdicted that we're risking aircraft to deliver basic subsistance items, spare parts and fuel
. “In all, six mothers in uniform have died in Iraq between the start of the war in March 2003 and the end of November, leaving behind a total of 10 children. Overall, 27 women troops have died in the war.”
: “When a group of soldiers, furious that their duty tours had been extended, sued to get out of the military on the same day last week that a dozen former soldiers who had been bounced just because they were gay sued to get back in, it didn't take a four-star general to see the irony — and the waste.”
: “When you do your grocery shopping this weekend, don't be too surprised or too impressed to find a Presidential Medal of Freedom in specially marked boxes of your favorite breakfast cereal. The medal of Mother Theresa, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela and Pope John Paul II apparently isn't as hard to come by anymore.”
: “Maybe the Oval Office should be renamed the Echo Chamber. As President Bush awards the Medal of Freedom to architects of the Iraq war and holds an economic summit to cheerlead for his tax cuts and Social Security privatization, it's increasingly clear that the president wants to hear only voices that echo his own.”
: “The White House medal ceremony was really about George W. Bush. It had a slight touch of the absurd to it, as if facts do not matter and failure does not count. The War to Rid Iraq of WMD has now become The War to Bring Democracy to the Middle East. No one is ever held accountable, because the president will not do as much for himself. He admits no mistakes because he is convinced that he has made none. The terrorist attacks themselves, for which Tenet should have been sacked, are no one's fault because they cannot be the president's fault. He was warned. Condi Rice was put on notice. But, still, who could have known? To make these awards in the face of failure -- the mounting American death toll, the awful suffering of the Iraqis, the looming possibility of civil war, the nose-thumbing of the still-at-large Osama bin Laden and the madness of making war for a nonexistent reason -- has the creepy feel of the old communist states, where incompetents wore medals and harsh facts were denied. For this reason Bernie Kerik -- three months in Iraq building a police force as good as rhetoric can make it -- seemed as likely and appropriate a recipient of a presidential medal as any of the others. Maybe next year.”
: “In part, the slash-and-smear campaign against Annan and ElBaradei is the Bush administration's effort to subjugate international civil servants and organisations to its central command. But this episode also reflects the rolling coup of the neocons as they struggle for power, position and policy in a second Bush term. In the wake of catastrophe in Iraq, they are trying to foster a new conflict with Iran. Even Karl Rove, Bush's political strategist, plays in this arena, with his very own Iran adviser - Michael Ledeen, a sleazy operator on the fringes who was involved in the Iran-contra scandal in which even Oliver North suspected him of skimming money.”
Local story: Arizona
soldier killed in Iraq.
Local story: Wisconsin
Marine killed in Iraq.
Local story: Georgia
Marine killed in Iraq.