Friday, January 14, 2005

War News for Friday, January 14, 2005

"There are some who, uh, feel like that, you know, the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is: bring 'em on. We got the force necessary to deal with the security situation." - George W. Bush, July 2, 2003.

Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi policeman critically injured, four guards and a driver severely beaten in mass escape of 38 Abu Ghraib prisoners, of whom 10 were later recaptured. The escape was possible because of a shortage of handcuffs.

Bring ‘em on: Two Marines killed in Al Anbar province. US soldier killed in Mosul. Three officials in Kurdish Democratic Party killed in ambush in Mosul. Four suspected insurgents arrested in Kirkuk.

Bring ‘em on: Four Iraqi police and three civilians killed, 30 others wounded in car bombing in Khan Bani Saad. Director of a Baghdad election center assassinated by gunmen. Democratic Islamic Party presidential candidate survives second assassination attempt.

Bring ‘em on: Seven insurgents shot dead by US snipers while setting up a mortar post near the Abu Sinifa mosque in northern Baghdad. Police officer killed and an Iraqi soldier kidnapped in separate incidents north of Baghdad.

Bring ‘em on: Three Kurdish pershmerga troops killed in fight with insurgents in Mosul. (Scroll down)

Bring ‘em on: US troops battle insurgents in Baghdad’s northern Azamiyah neighborhood and ‘some Iraqis’ were killed. Iraqi of Egyptian origin kidnapped in Kirkuk by gunmen dressed as Iraqi National Guards. Five explosions rocked the Green Zone, no damage reports available. (All incidents cited a bottom of article)

Bring ‘em on: One Egyptian and four Kurds abducted in separate incidents in and around Kirkuk.

Bring ‘em on: US troops burn down commercial shops in the al-Radwaniya district west of Baghdad after coming under attack from the area. US military vehicle damaged by IED in al-Dawra district south of Baghdad.


A statement on “Bring ‘em on’ by alert reader Lie Detector, from yesterday’s comments:

"Sometimes, words have consequences you don't intend them to mean. 'Bring 'em on' is the classic example, when I was really trying to rally the troops and make it clear to them that I fully understood, you know, what a great job they were doing. And those words had an unintended consequence. It kind of, some interpreted it to be defiance in the face of danger. That certainly wasn't the case." - G.W. Bush, January 13, 2005 THE BOY EMPORER'S MEMORY MUST BE REALLY BAD, OR HE HAS PAINTED HIMSELF INTO A CORNER AND IS TRYING TO FIND A WAY OUT BY REWRITING HISTORY (AGAIN). READ AND LISTEN FOR YOURSELF TO THE FULL QUOTE AND SEE IF YOU CAN HEAR ANY HINT AT RALLYING THE TROOPS OR PRAISING THEM FOR THE "GREAT JOB THEY WERE DOING." [CLICK TO LISTEN] - "Uhh ... Anybody who wants to harm American troops will be found, and brought to justice. Uhh ... There are some who feel like that uhh, if they attack us, that we may decide to leave prematurely. They don't understand what they're talking about if that's the case. Let me finish. There are some who, uh, feel like that, you know, the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is: bring 'em on. We got the force necessary to deal with the security situation. Of course we want other countries to help us. Great Britain is there; Poland is there; Ukraine is there, you mentioned. Anybody who wants to help, we'll welcome the help. But we got plenty tough force there right now to make sure the situation is secure. We always welcome help. We are always glad to include others in, but make no mistake about it, and the enemy shouldn't make any mistake about it. We will deal with them harshly if they continue to try to bring harm to the Iraqi people. I also said yesterday an important point: That those who blow up the electricity lines really aren't hurting America; they are hurting the Iraq citizens; their own fellow citizens are being hurt, but we will deal with them harshly as well." - George W. Bush, July 2, 2003, referring to attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq.

Thanks, Lie Detector. Couldn’t have said it better myself. (I did fix the date and de-bolded the comment. Sorry, LD, it was making my ears ring.)


Six people killed, eight injured when in head-on collision between a minibus and a US tank near Muqdadiyah.

Training ground: Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of "professionalized" terrorists, according to a report released yesterday by the National Intelligence Council, the CIA director's think tank.

Iraq provides terrorists with "a training ground, a recruitment ground, the opportunity for enhancing technical skills," said David B. Low, the national intelligence officer for transnational threats. "There is even, under the best scenario, over time, the likelihood that some of the jihadists who are not killed there will, in a sense, go home, wherever home is, and will therefore disperse to various other countries."

100 yards: The Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq issued a list of crimes it hoped to squelch so the country can have a safe and fair vote for a new national assembly on Jan. 30, a spokesman said Thursday. The crimes include bribing electoral workers, forcing people to vote a certain way and bringing a weapon within 100 yards of a polling station.

But many Iraqis say they are afraid to go within 100 yards of a polling station. The violence has terrified Sunni Muslims, who dominate the areas hit hardest by the insurgency and by the U.S.-led response to it. Many say they will stay home from the polls for their safety.

Oil for food: For months, the US Congress has been investigating activities that violated the United Nations oil-for-food programme and helped Saddam Hussein build secret funds to acquire arms and buy influence.

But a joint investigation by the Financial Times and Il Sole 24 Ore, an Italian business daily, shows that a tanker seen at Iraq's Khor al-Amaya terminal by a UN inspector was involved in the single largest and boldest smuggling operation in the oil-for-food programme - and that the operation was conducted with the knowledge of the US government.

Special to Yankeedoodle: The Army, stretched thin by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, is dipping into one of its last resources for wartime duty: retirees on a military pension.

At least 320 retirees signed up last year under this program. Probably more than 500 will go back on active duty this year, says Lt. Col. Karla Brischke, an Army personnel manager. Ages range from mid-40s to late 60s and possibly older, and each has at least 20 years of military service.

"It doesn't mean that we're scraping the bottom of the barrel," says Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, a spokesman for the Army personnel department.

Hey, Yankee, here’s your chance for a little supplemental income…;-)

Special to the rest of us: The Selective Service System is looking for men and women to serve as members of local boards that are currently in a standby mode. A prospective member must be a United States citizen, at least 18 years old, registered with the Selective Service (if male), not employed in law enforcement, not an active or retired Armed Forces member and not convicted in any criminal offense.

Dissent Part One: Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, an architect of the U.S. war with Iraq in 1991, is advising the Bush administration to consider a phased withdrawal of some of the 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

Otherwise, Baker says, the United States risks being suspected of having an "imperial design" in the region.

Oh my god, we wouldn’t want that to happen!

Dissent Part Two: Scowcroft, a retired lieutenant general who served as national security adviser to the former president, is not nearly as sanguine as the incumbent president on the Jan. 30 National Assembly elections in Iraq.

The elections "won't be a promising transformation, and it has great potential for deepening the conflict. We may be seeing incipient civil war at this time," Scowcroft told a recent gathering sponsored by the New America Foundation. Anxiety among President Bush's Republican base about the elections and overall U.S. policy toward Iraq seems to be rising. Larry Diamond, who served as a senior adviser for the now-disbanded, U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, sees the same danger as Scowcroft.

Dissent Part Three: Sixteen House Democrats led by Rep. Lynn Woolsey of Petaluma called on President Bush on Wednesday to begin the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, just as some administration supporters are starting to question the wisdom of staying the course in the war.

The anti-war Democrats' letter was sent as more voices are being raised across the political spectrum in Washington discussing how the United States can begin to remove its 150,000 troops from a country where almost 1,400 Americans have been killed.


Opinion: Amid the daily turbulence and chaos plaguing Iraq as the country's date with electoral democracy looms, a set of disturbing trends is becoming clear. Not only do the Iraqi interim Government and senior US officials concede that elections will be imperfect, and that security cannot be guaranteed on polling day across a quarter of the nation, but the vote itself appears to be dragging Iraq closer to civil war.

Opinion: Bush is nearing his Tet moment. After the Jan. 30 elections, he will have three options. Persevere in a no-win war with 150,000 U.S. troops bleeding indefinitely, until America turns on him, his policy, and his party. Send in tens of thousands of fresh U.S. troops to crush the insurgency, as we undertake a years-long program of training Iraqis to defend their own democracy. Third, find an honorable exit, and leave Iraq to the Iraqis.

Opinion: It took no less a sage than President Bush to put the firing of four high-level CBS News employees in perspective: "CBS said they would act. They did. And I hope their actions are such that this doesn't happen again." This from the man who fired not a single person in his entire administration for getting nearly everything wrong about Iraq and taking the nation to war for reasons that did not exist or were downright specious. Lucky for Bush he's only the president of the United States and not the head of CBS.

Opinion: The drumbeat to focus responsibility for the torture and other vicious abuses of noncitizen prisoners in American custody has begun. But it has not yet stirred Congress. Not only is the Republican leadership silent, but where is the outrage from the minority leaders—Harry Reid in the Senate and Nancy Pelosi in the House?

As reported by Frank Davies in the December 27 Miami Herald, retired rear admiral Don Guter, former navy judge advocate general, says it plain: "That branch [Congress] has really abdicated its responsibility to set rules and oversee what's happening [to the detainees], and we are paying a price for it."

Opinion: Characterized as a possible suicide by cop, the story of Andres Raya made national news because it was captured on the surveillance tape of a local liquor store. It is symbolic of the untold story of war. In the coming years, thousands of similar stories will unfold in towns and cities across America. They will not make the national news wires. They will not be featured on television newscasts. They will not usually be so dramatic: Stories of domestic abuse, alcohol or drug related rage, homelessness and crime statistics. They will only be reported as local interest stories, buried in the back pages where few will notice – like the fallen soldiers themselves.

Commentary: I’d like to put out an urgent call to Republicans to make sure their sons and daughters volunteer for active military service. Uncle Sam needs you. National Guard and Army Reserve recruitment is falling short by some 50%, and it’s getting tougher and tougher for the Marines, the Army and the other services to get the kind of recruit they want. Wait a minute -- the Marines and the Army ought to be flooded with volunteers!

Some 59,000,000 Americans voted for George Bush and the Republicans. That includes the majority of the people in Tennessee. So why are we short of recruits to fight in Iraq?

I’ll volunteer to drive busloads of young Republican volunteers to their first military basic training session after they enlist. And there should be a huge number of volunteers; I don’t think Republicans are cowardly blowhards like most Democrats. Otherwise, I’m sorry to say, I’m going to tell my Congressman Lincoln Davis that we need a military draft in this country. The reason is simple: we need to hold people accountable for what they do, and it’s time for Republicans to go face combat and support their Commander in Chief. You voted for it. Now go get in it.

Casualty Reports

Local story: Funerals held for two Louisiana National Guardsmen killed in Iraq.

Local story: Services held at Hawaii Marine base for nine Marines and one Navy corpsman killed in Fallujah.



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