Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Daily War News for Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Bring ‘em on: At least eleven Iraqi police killed in a series of clashes in eastern
Bring ‘em on:
Bring ‘em on: Heavy fighting near
Bring ‘em on: American contractor kidnapped in November pleads for his life on video released on Tuesday.
Bring ‘em on: Three policemen and two insurgents killed, three police wounded in attack on police station in eastern
Bring ‘em on: 170 foreigners have been kidnapped in
Gee, this is a surprise: Iraqi authorities routinely torture prisoners, a leading human rights group said Tuesday, citing examples of abuse which will sound all too familiar to those who suffered under Saddam Hussein.
Prisoners have been beaten with cables and hosepipes, and suffered electric shocks to their earlobes and genitals, the U.S.-based group Human Rights Watch said. Some have been starved of food and water and crammed into standing-room only cells.
The report also said
It highlighted the systematic use of arbitrary arrest, pre-trial detention of up to four months, improper treatment of child detainees and abysmal conditions in pre-trial facilities.
Good news but so what: Security forces in
The announcements came hours after a suicide car bomb exploded near the headquarters of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's political party, injuring at least 14 people, nine of them police officers, the Interior Ministry said. The bomb detonated at a checkpoint guarded by a special unit of the Iraqi police.
This sounds about right: A suicide bomber from
Our allies lend a hand to the flypaper strategy: Fundamentalist Islamic leaders in Saudi Arabia are telling militants intent on fighting "infidels" to join the insurgency in Iraq instead of taking up Osama bin Laden's call to oust the Saudi royal family at home, say Saudi dissidents who monitor theological edicts coming out of the kingdom.
Our other allies learn to keep their heads down: The helicopter attack sent a wave of dismay throughout the Kurdish autonomous region, where nearly everyone supports the
Like their leaders, most Kurds are still grateful to the Bush Administration for toppling Saddam Hussein. The vast majority seems to have accepted the
GW Bush, friend to fundamentalists everywhere: French journalist George Malbrunot spent 124 days as a hostage of Islamic fundamentalists in
"These people will not surrender," he said, referring not only to the what he estimated to be the 15,000-17,000 member strong Islamic Army in
What 20 billion for infrastructure will buy you: Most of the Iraqi capital - particularly the western districts - has been without water for the past seven days.
Added to a lack of electricity - the national grid is off more than it is on - a crumbling mobile phone network, endless lines to get fuel and a daily dose of bombs and mortars, it has made it next to impossible to even think about the coming election.
Oh, Yeah, The Elections
Love your freedom or we’ll blow your head off: About 2,200 Fallujans daily come through what the
They also line up to get Falluja ID cards, and many talk disparagingly about the upcoming elections. Sunday, Iraqis will cast ballots for the 275-member transitional national assembly, which will be charged with preparing a draft constitution to be put up for a vote.
Abd El-Rahman Al-Zobari, surveying the damage to his house, said he and his friends are not going to vote on Sunday. "Is this what they call democracy?" he said. "We don't want democracy that comes on the back of a tank."
Voting with their feet: So frightened were Iraqi policemen injured in a suicide bomb attack on the offices of the Prime Minister's party yesterday that even in hospital they clutched their sub-machine guns and refused to remove their black ski masks.
Well, fear at least: Hope, expectation and fear are the emotions that are coursing through
The usual Bush competence: Behind the 900 exterior columns and 10-inch-thick granite walls of the ornate Eisenhower Office Building, a senior White House official was holding forth recently on Iraq. After next weekend's election, she explained optimistically, a new assembly will be announced by Feb. 15, a new government by March 1, and a permanent constitution ratified by October. What she did not mention is that this schedule and the painfully negotiated protections for Iraq's minorities that go with it are enshrined in an interim constitution that many experts, and Iraq's most powerful cleric, say will no longer be legally binding once the elections take place.
What’s the hurry, it’s just the Constitution burning: The Pentagon sent its top intelligence official to Capital Hill on Monday to explain the mission and makeup of a secret battlefield intelligence group that some lawmakers suggested may have skirted congressional oversight and not been coordinated fully with the CIA.
Some Democrats pressed for hearings, but Republicans said they were in no rush.
John McCain is such a tool: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold hearings on a Washington Post report that the Defense Department is reinterpreting U.S. law to give the secretary broad authority over clandestine operations abroad.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has created a new espionage unit called the Strategic Support Branch, according to the news report, but McCain, speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation," said he doubts Rumsfeld has broken any laws.
"I'm always sorry to read about things in The Washington Post when they affect a committee that I am a member of," McCain said.
Oh, that’s why they missed it: At the Pentagon, two senior defense officials told reporters that members of Congress had been fully briefed on the intelligence group during last year's budget deliberations. They said lawmakers may not recognize it now because the group's name was changed after their briefings.
The group, now called Strategic Support teams, were previously called Humint Augmentation teams, the officials said, speaking on condition that they not be further identified. Humint refers to human intelligence, or information provided by spies.
Breaking the Army
It’s a problem now: But a deeper look inside the Army National Guard, Army Reserve and Marine Corps Reserve suggests a grimmer picture: At the current pace and size of American troop deployments to Iraq, the availability of suitable reserve combat troops could become a problem as early as next year.
Suck it up, soldiers: Today, nine of 10 regular Army divisions are either in
Suck it up, soldiers: The third rotation of American soldiers and Marines into
What that means is some outfits find themselves on their way back over after only nine months at home since their last combat tour. In other outfits where they were expected home for Christmas, the troops instead got a two-month extension on top of their "standard" 12-month combat tour.
Suck it up, soldiers: After losing a limb, mobility or eyesight to bullets or bombs in
Some 200 soldiers have lost at least one limb in the
Many of them left the hospital in dire financial straits. In many cases, family members had to quit jobs to be with the disabled soldier, and overextended their credit cards to pay for airfare to Walter Reed and other expenses. Houses were lost, cars repossessed.
Suck it up,
Administration and congressional officials said on Monday that the new request would come on top of the $25 billion in emergency spending already approved for this fiscal year. That means funding for military operations in
Richard Clarke looks back from 2011: The several years without an attack on
Then the second wave of al-Qaeda attacks hit
Commentary – Ramsey Clark: The United States, and the Bush administration in particular, engineered the demonization of Hussein, and it has a clear political interest in his conviction. Obviously, a fair trial of Hussein will be difficult to ensure — and critically important to the future of democracy in
The intention of the
Opinion – Scott Ritter: It is hard as an American to support the failure of American military operations in
As an American, I have hoped that there was a way for
We not only invaded Iraq on false pretences, but we perverted the notion of liberation by removing Saddam and his cronies from his palaces, replacing them with American occupiers who have not only kept open Saddam's most notorious prisons, but also the practice of torture, rape and abuse we were supposed to be bringing to an end.
Faced with our inability to come to grips with a popular-based resistance that has grown exponentially over the past year, the best the American policy planners can come up with is to embrace our own form of terrorism, supporting death squads we cannot control and which will only further debase the moral foundation of our nation while slaughtering even more Iraqis.