Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Bring ‘em on: Eighteen people, including five police, killed and one wounded in car bombing of police station in eastern Baghdad. Two Iraqi security guards killed in car bombing near
Bring ‘em on: Two civilians killed by US soldiers in checkpoint shooting in Tal Afar. Six children in the backseat of the car were uninjured. Physically.
Bring ‘em on:
Bring ‘em on: One bystander killed and another wounded in failed assassination attempt against dean of police academy in Irbil. The governor of Dahouk escaped injury in roadside bomb attack. Several people wounded in mortar attack on al-Muthana airport compound. Barber killed by gunmen in
Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqi Shiites publicly beheaded by insurgents in Ramadi. Four additional bodies found in Ramadi with notes claiming they were collaborators.
Bring ‘em on: Two British security contractors killed, one missing after attack on their convoy south of Beiji.
Long term plans: On the day of the debate the Christian Science Monitor spotlighted the findings of defense specialist John Pike, whose website, GlobalSecurity.org, located twelve "enduring bases" in
Now comes a report in the
Next time the Bush Administration hints at withdrawing troops, keep these grand plans in mind.
The invisible election: Less than two weeks before the Jan. 30 vote, Iraqis' frustration is rising as they prepare for the most important election of their lives amid a climate of fear, insecurity and scant information.
There have been no public debates or voter fact booklets to help citizens wade through the 111 lists of candidates for the new national assembly, which will write the country's constitution. Iraqis still don't know where they will vote, what the ballots will look like or, because of assassination fears, the names of more than 7,400 candidates.
Fourteen: The political violence in this ethnically diverse region of Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis has been constant for months, but it has intensified in recent weeks as the election approaches.
At least seven candidates and one poll worker have already been killed in Diyala, said Mr. Jubori, who counts 14 attempts on his own life.
But insurgents have had little problem spreading their message, mounting a steady campaign of violence and intimidation.
Divisions: It was an Iraqi gathering straight out of Bush administration dreams: Educated professionals and businessmen, both Shiite and Sunni Muslims, who wanted to build a new
But when the heated discussion started in Ghassan Attiyah's living room, you saw how these elections are tearing the country apart.
It is too late now to postpone the Jan. 30 elections. The open question is whether it will still be possible for Iraqis to reconcile with one another after a ballot that divides them along religious and ethnic lines.
Gen. Sattler voices confidence: Thousands of Iraqis have returned to the former insurgent stronghold of Falluja and will be allowed to vote inside the city in
Lt. Gen. John Sattler, speaking in a videoconference from Falluja with Pentagon reporters, said residents of the nearby city of
"If you're in Falluja, you'll be able to vote in Falluja. If you're in Ramadi, you'll definitely be able to vote in Ramadi ... It will be safe. It will be secure," said the general, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force based in al Anbar Province.
Gen. Sattler is an ass:
In recent interviews, officials in
Yet the violence in the weeks since then has proved that Iraqi insurgents remain capable of a sustained, organized campaign.
Political reconciliation, a real Bush specialty: Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's nominee for secretary of state, refused Tuesday to set any timetable for the withdrawal of American troops from
Under persistent bipartisan questioning at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ms. Rice also declared that beyond strengthening Iraq's fledgling police and military, the most urgent task facing Iraqis after the elections was to overcome differences among Sunni Arabs, Shiites, Kurds and others by seeking political reconciliation among themselves.
Contradiction: The strains on the volunteer military from the war in
Conservative defense analysts and GOP legislative leaders are raising alarms over the pressures that
Ready, aim, spin: As they leave for a yearlong tour in
Packing every desk in a high-ceiling classroom, and so close to shipping out that most already wore desert camouflage, they got a PowerPoint slide show from Master Sgt. Pam Smith of the Corps public affairs office. She also gave them plastic cards listing talking points on one side and basic guidelines and tips for interviews on the other.
Tailored to fit: As the U.S. military approaches nearly two years in the Iraq conflict, media training for soldiers going into the war zone has been stepped up, becoming mandatory for Army troops since October, E&P has learned.
"Talking point" cards for military personnel, meanwhile, are being updated regularly as the war progresses -- often as much as once a week -- to keep up with the conflict's changing issues and the proximity of embedded reporters. Among the current talking points: "We are a values-based, people-focused team that strives to uphold the dignity and respect of all."
"As situations happen, you will have ever-changing talking points, as much as every week," said Capt. Jeff Landis, a Marine Corps public-affairs spokesman. "They are tailored to the situation."
Fast learners across the puddle: A court-martial jury viewed photos of what prosecutors called ''shocking and appalling'' mistreatment of Iraqis as three British soldiers went on trial Tuesday for the alleged abuse.
Photos taken in May 2003 by British soldiers showed a bound Iraqi being dangled over a loading dock by a forklift, another being subjected to a simulated kick, and both Iraqis stripped and simulating sexual acts together.
Seymour Hersh: George W. Bush’s reëlection was not his only victory last fall. The President and his national-security advisers have consolidated control over the military and intelligence communities’ strategic analyses and covert operations to a degree unmatched since the rise of the post-Second World War national-security state. Bush has an aggressive and ambitious agenda for using that control—against the mullahs in
“This is a war against terrorism, and
Opinion: According to a Bush interview with The Washington Post, if you have a problem with the war in
"We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections," Bush said. "The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in
And that's Bush's best tack for his massive blunder: put it back on you. If you voted for Bush, it's your war, too. I suppose timing is everything. Had the White House fully acknowledged what it did last week back in November -- if Bush's "accountability moment" came after, not before, that moment of truth -- would you have still voted for Bush?
Editorial: After a costly and painstaking two-year effort by a team of 1,500 military and intelligence specialists, the United States recently shut down its search without finding even one stockpile of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. Charles Duelfer, the chief
The unmistakable conclusion is that the United Nations weapons inspections that Bush derided as ineffective were working precisely as intended. If the administration had given inspectors the time that other members of the Security Council said they needed, that reality might have become evident and the war - and all the chaos, uncertainty and death that it has wrought - might have been averted.
Opinion: But as appalled as I am by Bush's willful misreading of history, I'm even more upset by his hypocrisy. He seems determined to destroy the very foundations of American democracy that he insists are our bulwark against our enemies and the cause of our enemies' hatred of us. He launched a preemptive war against
Editorial: The good news from
The bad news, as usual, outweighed the good, as
Local story: Blairstown, NJ, soldier killed in Humvee crash in
Local story: Bronx, NY, soldier killed in shooting accident in
Local story: Queens, NY, soldier killed in
Local story: Cortez, CO, soldier killed in Ramadi bombing.
Local story: Pineville, LA, soldier killed in