Saturday, February 12, 2005

War News for Saturday, February 12, 2005 Bring ‘em on: Car Bomb at Mussayyib hospital kills 17 Iraqis. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi judge assassinated in Basra. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqis killed, three wounded by roadside bomb near Tall Afar. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed in roadside bomb ambush near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Three US soldiers wounded by car bomb attack in Saladin province. One US soldier killed in vehicle accident in Babil province. One US Marine killed in vehicle accident in al-Anbar province. General Luck must have brought back some pretty bad news from Iraq last month to get Rummy to haul ass to Mosul to check on Iraqi security forces training. Retrospective. “Dozens of notables had been invited to a meeting in the ruins of the ancient city of Ur, the birthplace of Abraham, in southern Iraq. It was to be the first in a series of gatherings from which, we were told, would grow the roots of a new, idealistic, democratic Iraqi government. ‘I don't think we are in the process of anointing anyone or imposing anyone,’ said the man from Washington. ‘We are not interested in governing Iraq. We want to turn it over as quickly as possible.’ They were hollow words. Ur was the last of those meetings and liberation quickly became occupation. America's proconsul, Paul Bremer, did anoint and impose people: in the first year he picked 25 Iraqis for an advisory council, in the second year he picked an entire unelected cabinet of ministers. The US and Britain did find themselves governing Iraq, and at spectacular cost.” A thorough account of a bungled occupation by The Guardian’s Baghdad correspondent, who is leaving after two years in Iraq. Rejectionists. “A vociferous and well-organized faction of extremist Shi'ite Muslims is mobilizing to challenge the new government that emerges from Iraq's recent election and to push for a hard line against the United States. The religious and political leaders are loosely allied with the militant cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and include supporters of Sadr's uprising in several cities last April. In recent days, including at prayer services yesterday, they vowed to use seats they expect to win in the Transitional National Assembly to demand a timetable for the departure of US forces.” Kurds and Turkmen demonstrate in Kirkuk. Cheneyburton. “A Halliburton Co. shipment of radioactive material went missing in October but the company didn’t alert government authorities until this week, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials said Thursday. The material — two sources of the element americium, used in oil well exploration — was located intact Wednesday at the Chelsea, Mass., terminal of shipper Forward Air, Inc., in the Boston area, after an intense search by federal authorities.” Situational awareness (or lack thereof.) “A new survey of 1,001 adults conducted by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University found that fewer than half said they "very closely" follow news coverage of the military occupation. Less than a third named "the war on terror" or "peace in the Mideast" as the most important issue facing America. Most others preferred domestic concerns like the economy, Social Security, education or health care. So far this year, soldiers and Marines have died at a rate of about three per day in the conflict. More than 1,450 military personnel and several dozen civilian employees of the Defense Department have died since Operation Iraqi Freedom began nearly two years ago. Forty percent of people in the poll gave the correct answer when asked, to the nearest 500, how many have died in the six-week war and the bloody military occupation that followed. Thirty-two percent guessed that 1,000 or fewer have died, 21 percent said 2,000 or more have died and 7 percent could not make a guess.” Casualty Reports Local story: California sailor killed in Iraq. Local story: Montana soldier wounded in Iraq.


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