Friday, February 11, 2005

War News for Friday, February 11, 2005 Bring ‘em on: Wounded Sistani aide survives assassination attempt in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Eleven Iraqis killed by gunmen at Shi’ite bakery in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Heavy fighting reported in Salman Pak. At least ten Iraqi police killed, 50 wounded. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi interpreter working for US troops executed by insurgents near Beiji. Bring ‘em on: Croatian truck driver killed in ambush near Tikrit. Bring ‘em on: Sons of prominent Iraqi politician assassinated in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi killed in roadside bomb ambush of US convoy in Kirkuk. Bring ‘em on: At least twelve Iraqis killed by car bomb at Shi’ite mosque near Balad. CENTCOM reports one US soldier died of non-battle related causes. Rummy in Iraq. I hope you brought the troops some body armor, dickweed. Salman Pak. “Salman Pak, a town southeast of Baghdad where insurgents launched a spectacular onslaught against police Thursday, has become Iraq's new hotspot where a motley army of Wahhabists, Saddamists and criminals are imposing their bloody rule. Less than two weeks after the country's historic elections were hailed as a blow to the insurgency, a series of grisly attacks in the area has turned the spotlight back on the kind of violence that dominated the pre-vote period.” Thanks to alert reader Sonofhades for providing this link in yesterday’s Comments. Theater Review. “Raised in California, he joined the ROTC while in college and rose through the ranks as a reservist and PSYOP ("psychological operations") specialist. He served with peacekeeping operations in Haiti and Kosovo, but leading the Upland, Calif.-based, 315th PSYOP Army Reserve company in Iraqi was different. ‘In Kosovo, we were viewed as liberators. In Iraq, the people are coming out of an authoritarian regime, and used to having those in power take care of most things. ‘(We Americans) didn't have the planning in place to run their entire country — the schools, the utilities, the borders. So the Iraqis quickly got very frustrated with us. They'd say, “You can put a man on the moon, why can't you get us running water?”’ The task of Tucker's PSYOP unit was to reach out to the Iraqi people by spreading information and building trust through military-produced newspapers, handbills and broadcasts. He has memories of positive individual contacts with numerous Iraqis, especially some children he got to know. But on the streets of Baghdad, in temperatures rising above 120 degrees, like all uniformed American soldiers, Tucker and company got pelted with rocks and subjected to grenade and shrapnel attacks. A less obvious danger for the reservists was ‘trying to fight on two fronts, the war and home. Sometimes the combat issues were easier to deal with than the homefront problems.’” “We will not falter, we will not fail” We will not update our goddam website, either. A story you won’t see in the American media. “EIGHT months before the September 11 attacks the White House's then counterterrorism adviser urged then national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to hold a high-level meeting on the al-Qaeda network, according to a memo made public today. ‘We urgently need such a principals-level review on the al-Qaeda network,’ then White House counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke wrote in the January 25, 2001 memo.” Commentary Analysis: “What we are witnessing here is a startling application of the law of unintended consequences: A U.S. president who is intent on breaching the wall between church and state in his own country on issues such as birth control and the ‘sanctity of marriage’ has now used the world's most powerful military to pave the way for a new Muslim theocracy in the heart of the Arab world. Furthermore, Bush has unwittingly strengthened the hand of Iran, a nation allegedly developing weapons of mass destruction and supporting global terrorism. For now, of course, the slate is fresh for Iraq's incoming leaders. But it would be naive for the White House to think that a winning coalition headed by self-defined Islamic revolutionaries long nurtured by Iran would not emulate key aspects of their former Tehran hosts' thinking.” Analysis: “How much power the national assembly will be able to wield is in question. The Transitional Administrative Law, which was imposed by U.S. occupation authorities, remains the law of the land in Iraq. Amendments can only be passed with a three-quarters majority of the National Assembly as well as the unanimous support of the Presidential Council. Due to their advantages in organization and funding, parties dominated by pro-American exiles could easily get at least 25% of the vote and/or at least one member of the Presidential Council, thereby leaving these unpopular laws in place. Members of the “control commissions”—including those overseeing the media and public finances—are dominated by American appointees and are scheduled to serve until at least 2009. American appointees also dominate the judiciary, which can challenge government rulings.” Analysis: “Most Shi'ite scholars insist the Americans must stay away from the writing of the new constitution. Whether the Americans like it or not, Sharia law will prevail over civil law. What's left is a matter of degree: how deep will Sharia in Iraq rule over everything - apart from stating that women may not shake hands with men, music is allowed only "if it is not for enjoyment" and daughters inherit less than sons?” Thanks to alert reader Tom Griffin for providing this link in yesterday’s Comments. Casualty Reports Local story: Illinois soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: California Marine killed in Iraq.


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