Tuesday, February 01, 2005

War News for Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Bring ‘em on: Four detainees killed, six wounded in riot at Camp Bucca internment facility in southern Iraq.

Bring ‘em on: Three US Marines killed in combat south of Baghdad. One US Marine killed in Al Anbar province.

Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, two wounded in roadside bomb attack in Ramadi. Humvee destroyed in another bomb attack in Ramadi, crew escaped with minor wounds.

Nine RAF airmen and one British soldier killed in crash of RAF C-130 Hercules aircraft. No official determination of cause at this writing. Two militant groups claim responsibility for shooting it down.

Election News

Note to Readers: The first more-or-less free elections in 50 years have just taken place in Iraq and the overall mood in the American press seems to range from cautious optimism to self-congratulatory triumphalism. The White House, predictably, is claiming that the elections were a ‘resounding success’ and that the ‘world is hearing the voice of freedom from the center of the Middle East’.

Uh huh.

Granted, overall the news is nowhere near as bad as it might be. Turnout in the non-Sunni provinces was good. ‘Only’ around 40 people died and a few dozen were wounded – less, as one article points out, than a typical bad day since the invasion, for what that’s worth. For those of us who were worried that election day would dissolve into a blood bath this outcome is a relief.

On the other hand, in spite of the most overwhelming security presence the country has seen since the start of the occupation, the total number of attacks set a new record – as Yankee said in his post, it was a particularly violent day, though not as bloody as it might have been. Clearly the insurgents feel that the issue is far from settled and the fact that they were able to operate so widely under such strict security does not bode well for the future.

The real key is what is going to happen over the next year. For those who aren’t up on the details, here’s the plan:

After votes are counted, a 275-member national assembly will be formed, its seats allocated by the share of votes gained by each competing bloc. Election organisers say it may be 10 days or more before they can announce final results.

The assembly will elect a presidency council, consisting of a president and two deputies. The council must have the backing of two thirds of the assembly, or 184 members.

The three-person council will then select a prime minister and a cabinet. It must name a prime minister within two weeks and the decision must be unanimous.

The prime minister and cabinet will seek a vote of confidence from the national assembly, requiring only a simple majority of 138 votes. The government can then start work.

The national assembly will draw up a draft constitution for Iraq by August 15.

The draft constitution must be put to the Iraqi people for approval in a referendum to be held no later than October 15.

The constitution needs a simple majority of Iraqi voters to pass, as long as two thirds of voters in three or more of Iraq's 18 provinces do not reject it.

If the constitution is approved, a general election will be held by December 15 and a new government installed by the end of the year. If the constitution is rejected, the national assembly will be dissolved and an election for a new one will take place by December 15.

Clearly, there is a lot to be done. It is going to take a true statesman to negotiate a new constitution that satisfies Sunni demands for representation, Kurdish demands for autonomy, Shi’ite demands for power, and that allocates resources in a way that all regions perceive as fair. Let’s hope Sistani is up to it.

Another problem is that the new government that is being formed based on the election results is not going to be any more sovereign in practice than the current Allawi regime. It will still not control its own borders, foreign policy, army, resources, or be able to prevent a bunch of well-armed foreigners from shooting and bombing its citizens at will. This is going to severely limit its ability to maneuver politically.

And finally, there is the festering question of restoring jobs and infrastructure. The post-election euphoria is not going to last long if people can’t find work, can’t feed their families, can’t rely on the power supply, and can’t even get clean drinking water. The track record on these critical issues is not good so far and the elections aren’t going to do anything much to solve those problems.

But let’s give credit where it’s due. The Bushies did manage to assemble something that looked a lot like an election and it did create a temporary sort of hump of optimism. In this mess, we’ll take whatever optimism we can find.

Here’s a selection of the news from the western press. Inclusion of articles does not necessarily indicate agreement with their conclusions:

Allawi speaks: Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has urged his countrymen to unite after an election lauded by world leaders as an historic breakthrough that should not be undermined by sectarian conflict.

Iraq's election commission said Monday that a majority of voters took part in the country's first free election in half-a-century, with exceptions in rebel Sunni areas, but even there the world was surprised that some braved the threat of death to vote.

But in a stark reminder of the presence of insurgents, three US marines were killed in combat Monday south of Baghdad, the military said.

No surprises here: President Bush declared Iraq's landmark elections "a resounding success" in a brief White House appearance hours after polls closed Sunday.

"Today, the people of Iraq have spoken to the world, and the world is hearing the voice of freedom from the center of the Middle East," Mr. Bush said. He said the voters had rejected "the anti-democratic ideology of the terrorists."

Most reactions to the election, which was closely watched around the world, seemed to hit the same notes as Bush.

Praise for the bravery of Iraqi voters was universal, as was acknowledgment of the hardships ahead. The differences came in the arrangement and interpretation of the notes.

An opposing view: It doesn’t matter how many people voted yesterday in Iraq. In the end, the Iraqi parliament that results from yesterday's vote will be illegitimate, having been elected under the guns of U.S. soldiers. The triumphalism of the Bush administration aside, the new Iraqi regime will have no more credibility than the Iraqi Governing Council, set up by the United States in 2003, or the ersatz government of Prime Minister Allawi, appointed in 2004.

The real resistance—the resistance that attacks the U.S. occupation forces with roadside bombs, mortars and organized, platoon-style actions—is made up of ex-Baath and Sunni forces, and they are likely to gain strength once the results of the election are known. It will be a victory for obscurantist Ayatollah Sistani and his pet mullah, Abdel Aziz Hakim, the cleric who headed Sistani’s election list. A Shiite fundamentalist majority in Iraq’s new parliament, with a counterpoint of independence-minded Kurds, is not likely to win favor among Iraq’s Sunnis.

Get out the vote: Voting in Baghdad was linked with receipt of food rations, several voters said after the Sunday poll. Many Iraqis said Monday that their names were marked on a list provided by the government agency that provides monthly food rations before they were allowed to vote. Many Iraqis had expressed fears before the election that their monthly food rations would be cut if they did not vote. They said they had to sign voter registration forms in order to pick up their food supplies.

Their experiences on the day of polling have underscored many of their concerns about questionable methods used by the U.S.-backed Iraqi interim government to increase voter turnout.

IECI officials have meanwhile 'downgraded' their earlier estimate of voter turnout. IECI spokesman Farid Ayar had declared a 72 percent turnout earlier, a figure given also by the Bush Administration. But at a press conference Ayar backtracked on his earlier figure, saying the turnout would be nearer 60 percent of registered voters.

Arab reactions: The spectacle of celebration and violence that marked election day in Iraq brought mixed reactions from an interested Arab audience Monday, with newspapers and satellite television channels finding reasons to celebrate and condemn the country's first free vote in decades.

For even the most skeptical columnists, the images of dancing Iraqis, ink-stained index fingers held jubilantly overhead, were powerful evidence that a suffering nation may have taken a decisive leap forward. Nonetheless, even the most hopeful among the pundits also cautioned that a single day, no matter how inspired, did not mean that Iraq's determined insurgency or the stark sectarian lines that divide its people would disappear.

World reactions: The day after Iraqis defied the threat of violence and voted by the millions, world leaders from Europe to the Middle East, many of whom had opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq, said yesterday the national election was a step forward.

President Jacques Chirac, who led a diplomatic campaign against the war, told President Bush by phone the vote was ''an important step in the political reconstruction of Iraq" and declared the turnout and organization a success.

Germany's foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, one of the more vocal opponents of what is widely perceived in Europe as the Bush administration's dangerous and unilateral approach in Iraq, said he believed Berlin was right to have opposed this war, but wanted to look to the future and help Iraqi people establish a democracy.

Most of the caution expressed yesterday came from Europe's newspapers and television commentators, who noted that despite the successful elections, the threat of civil war still looms.

More Arab reactions: Praise for millions of Iraqis who defied attacks to vote poured in from world leaders yesterday but most rulers in the Arab world, where elections are either rigged or never held, remained silent.

While much of the Arab press hailed the courage of Iraqi voters, the most open official comments came from King Abdullah of Jordan, who said the vote would spur reform in the region.

"People are waking up," the king told CNN. "[Arab] leaders understand that they have to push reform forward and I don't think there is any looking back."

The US had intended that democracy in Iraq would set an example for a region where governments are largely authoritarian and resistant to change.

Shiites approve: Leading clerics here in the holiest city of Shiite Islam on Monday expressed strong approval of the conduct of the country's first multiparty elections in decades, despite the fact that Iraqi electoral officials have yet to announce the results.

The United Iraqi Alliance, the large slate of candidates cobbled together by the most revered Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, is expected to emerge as the top vote-getter once all the ballots are counted.

The holding of elections was seen by many Shiite leaders as a way to legitimize rule by the majority Shiites, who have been governed by the minority Sunni Arabs for decades, most recently during the oppressive reign of Saddam Hussein.

Another challenge: The ballots are still being counted, but the hard bargaining to form a new Iraqi government has begun.

Less than a day after millions of Iraqis flocked to the polls, the leaders of the major political parties said they were reaching out to potential allies in what is almost certain to be a coalition government. Between rivals, candidates signaled that the battle lines had been drawn

The most likely contest, political leaders here say, will pit the largest coalition of Shiite parties, the United Iraqi Alliance, against a group led by the interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi. The struggle, in addition to setting the composition of the next government, will raise fundamental questions about the nature of the new political order. Principal among them, these political leaders say, will be the role of Islam in governing the country and the relative influence of the United States and Iran.

Sunni participation: Reversing decades of political dominance by minority Sunni Arabs, Shiites and Kurds probably won the most seats in Sunday's national assembly election. The voting seems almost certain to guarantee that Iraq's new prime minister will be a Shiite Muslim, the majority group in Iraq. But beyond that, it is not yet known how the newfound power of Shiites will translate into policy, because there are sharp ideological divisions between religious and secular members of the sect.

Voting was almost nonexistent in the largely Sunni provinces of Al Anbar, Salahuddin, Nineveh and Diyala, Western officials said. For instance, in Baqubah, a city of 300,000 north of Baghdad that has a substantial Sunni population, just 17,000 people voted.

Security concerns: With Iraq still counting millions of ballots from Sunday's historic national elections, US and Iraqi officials looked ahead yesterday to their most pressing challenges, from taming an insurgency that mounted a record 250 attacks on election day to coaxing the many Sunni Muslims who did not vote into accepting the new government.

US and Iraqi officials said, meanwhile, that Iraq's fledgling security forces had scored a major victory in limiting casualties from the wave of attacks to 34 killed.

But a US diplomat cautioned that their ability to fend off attacks on polling stations -- on a day that 100,000 of the total 130,000 security personnel were on the job and car traffic was halted across the country -- does not mean Iraqi forces are ready to take on the insurgency.

Not too fine a point: Insurgents made good on their repeated threats to attack Iraq's polling stations on election day, unleashing car and suicide bombs, mortars, rockets, small-arms fire and grenades in 109 separate attacks, according to U.S. officials.

In all, there were more attacks than on any other day in Iraq since the U.S. invasion almost two years ago. Across the country, insurgents launched 260 attacks against targets of all kinds, including U.S. military and Iraqi security forces, officials said. Yet the casualty count -- 45 dead, about 100 wounded -- did not rank among the highest one-day totals.

Baghdad residents said their city on Sunday reminded them of the days immediately after the fall of Saddam Hussein, only far safer. With Americans almost omnipresent and intently focused on people's behavior, no one dared carry away large sections of the capital's infrastructure as thousands of looters did, unchallenged, for weeks following the invasion.

As U.S. officials toured the city Sunday, several privately asked colleagues how different the last two years in Iraq might have been if the invasion force had been able to secure Baghdad after taking it.

"Yeah," said one U.S. official, "maybe they wouldn't have looted the whole [expletive] place, not to put too fine a point on it."

Perfect, except for the record number of attacks: Officials said the one-day operation was months in the making. On the military side, commanders dated their campaign for a safe election day to November, when U.S. forces mounted an offensive to retake the western city of Fallujah from insurgents. That high-profile operation was followed by hundreds of raids and roundups intended to keep insurgents off balance and deprive them the havens that enabled them to organize and plan.

At the same time, commanders and officials laid out a plan for election weekend. To put every possible uniform on the street, the interim government cancelled all leaves for police officers and soldiers and offered the police extra pay to stick around. U.S. forces stockpiled supplies at the dozens of American bases around the country, to deny insurgents convoys easy targets on election day.

Aircraft were deployed en masse. The skies over the capital buzzed with U.S. Army OH-58 Kiowa and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and F-18A fighter jets — in large part because captured insurgents have said they are especially intimidated by aircraft, one official said.

As a final touch, Iraq's new army rolled out its armor. On election day, Soviet-era T-55 tanks and armored personnel carriers were stationed on squares in Baghdad. Apparently the only bits of Iraqi armor not destroyed in the invasion, a U.S. official said, were reclaimed from the Mujaheddin-e Khalq, an Iranian opposition militia that Hussein had armed and used as a surrogate force inside Iraq.

"The security plan is perfect," interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi announced after casting his vote.

Not over till it's over: Iraq's first multi-party election in half a century was by no means violence-free. Suicide bombers and mortars killed 35 people and wounded dozens more, mostly in Baghdad. But the onslaught was far less ferocious than many had feared, and it failed to deter millions of Iraqis from streaming to the polls. "Everyone expected chaos, but it didn't materialise," a senior United States military official said. No one was claiming Iraq's insurgency was over, or even seriously weakened, after proving its ability to strike almost at will during the electoral countdown. Al-Qaeda's wing in Iraq has assassinated hundreds of politicians and security men. "The fact that they can organise 10 suicide bombers to strike in a four-hour period shows their huge capacity," said Mustafa Alani, security expert at the Gulf Research Centre in Dubai. "No one should underestimate their ability."

Ramadi: Security concerns, roadside bombs and a series of brief gunbattles kept most Ramadi citizens from participating in Sunday’s historic Iraqi elections.

One U.S. soldier was killed and at least two others injured by a roadside bomb around 3 a.m. Sunday, according to military officials. In another attack at noon, a Humvee patrolling less than 200 meters from a polling station was hit by another bomb, sending a huge plume of smoke into the sky.

Other News

No timetable: President Bush, pressed by Democrats for an exit strategy from Iraq, will not give a timetable for a U.S. withdrawal but stress in his State of the Union speech the need to train Iraqi forces to take over security, the White House said on Monday.

Still a long way to go: Iraqi security units are still far from reaching expanding U.S. goals in numbers and capabilities, despite mounting pressure to rapidly turn them into a force able to defend the country’s new democracy without American assistance.

Anthony Cordesman, a military analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the new urgency in training is helpful but almost a year too late. “We’re only now beginning to train forces against the insurgency problem,” he said.

In a recent analysis, Cordesman suggested that Iraq has only between 7,000 and 11,000 effective soldiers and police, saying the rest have not received enough training or equipment to fight insurgents.

Australia stays in: Prime Minister John Howard vowed on Tuesday to keep Australian troops in Iraq even though Baghdad has held its first multi-party elections in 50 years, saying the poll was no reason to withdraw forces.

A day after the al Qaeda militant group vowed to pursue "holy war" in Iraq after failing to wreck the vote, Howard said there was no immediate plan to withdraw Australia's contingent of about 950 military personnel in and around Iraq.

Remote control occupation: Late last week, in a parking lot in New Jersey, the U.S. Army unveiled what may be the future of war: 3-foot-tall robotic "soldiers," outfitted with tank tracks, night vision and mounted automatic weapons capable of firing more than 300 rounds at a burst. Known as SWORDS (Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection Systems), these battle bots are on the leading edge of a new kind of warfare, in which — or so the argument goes — our troops will one day remain hidden (and, presumably, protected) while engaging the enemy by remote control. The Army intends to deploy 18 SWORDS units to Iraq in the spring, marking the first time robots have been used to fight and kill human beings one on one.

Cute acronym too.

Chump change: An official US audit provided evidence yesterday of widespread corruption in postwar Iraq, finding that America's occupation authority failed to keep track of nearly $9bn (£4.8bn) in reconstruction funds.

The scathing report by Stuart Bowen Jr, the inspector general for reconstruction, said that while the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was careful to monitor the spending of US taxpayers' money in Iraq, it failed to provide proper oversight of projects paid for with Iraq's own funds.

"It is clear that the monitoring and accounting systems were dysfunctional, and set a precedent for corruption that continues to this day," said David Phillips, a former state department adviser on Iraq.

Compare and Contrast

Dead Americans: President Bush will propose a dramatic increase to $100,000 in government payments to families of U.S. troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and in future combat zones.

In addition to the higher gratuity, the Pentagon would substantially increase life insurance benefits, Chu said. The current $250,000 coverage offered to all service members at a subsidized rate under the Servicemen's Group Life Insurance program would be raised to $400,000, and for troops in a combat zone the government would pay the premiums on the extra $150,000 coverage.

Including the retroactive gratuity payments and the cost of subsidizing more life insurance coverage, the first-year cost of the proposed changes would exceed $450 million, officials said.

Dead Iraqis: When more than 200,000 people died in a tsunami caused by an Asian earthquake in December, the immediate reaction in the United States was an outpouring of grief and philanthropy, prompted by extensive coverage in the news media.

Two months earlier, the reaction in the United States to news of another large-scale human tragedy was much quieter. In late October, a study was published in The Lancet, a prestigious British medical journal, concluding that about 100,000 civilians had been killed in Iraq since it was invaded by a United States-led coalition in March 2003. On the eve of a contentious presidential election -- fought in part over U.S. policy on Iraq -- many American newspapers and television news programs ignored the study or buried reports about it far from the top headlines.

The Draft

Project for the New American Century – Letter to Congress: While estimates vary about just how large an increase is required, and Congress will make its own determination as to size and structure, it is our judgment that we should aim for an increase in the active duty Army and Marine Corps, together, of at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years. There is abundant evidence that the demands of the ongoing missions in the greater Middle East, along with our continuing defense and alliance commitments elsewhere in the world, are close to exhausting current U.S. ground forces. For example, just late last month, Lieutenant General James Helmly, chief of the Army Reserve, reported that "overuse" in Iraq and Afghanistan could be leading to a "broken force." Yet after almost two years in Iraq and almost three years in Afghanistan, it should be evident that our engagement in the greater Middle East is truly, in Condoleezza Rice's term, a "generational commitment." The only way to fulfill the military aspect of this commitment is by increasing the size of the force available to our civilian leadership.

Does anyone have the time to do a search on the list of signatories to this document to see how many have children serving in the military?

More Rummy lies: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in an Op-Ed blaming "conspiracy mongers" for "attempting to scare and mislead young Americans," insisted that "the idea of reinstating the draft has never been debated, endorsed, discussed, theorized, pondered or even whispered by anyone in the Bush administration."

That assertion is demonstrably false. According to an internal Selective Service memo made public under the Freedom of Information Act, the agency's acting director met with two of Rumsfeld's undersecretaries in February 2003 precisely to debate, discuss and ponder a return to the draft. The memo duly notes the administration's aversion to a draft but adds, "Defense manpower officials concede there are critical shortages of military personnel with certain special skills, such as medical personnel, linguists, computer network engineers, etc." The potentially prohibitive cost of "attracting and retaining such personnel for military service," the memo adds, has led "some officials to conclude that, while a conventional draft may never be needed, a draft of men and women possessing these critical skills may be warranted in a future crisis." This new draft, it suggests, could be invoked to meet the needs of both the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.

The memo then proposes, in detail, that the Selective Service be "re-engineered" to cover all Americans -- "men and (for the first time) women" -- ages eighteen to thirty-four. In addition to name, date of birth and Social Security number, young adults would have to provide the agency with details of their specialized skills on an ongoing basis until they passed out of draft jeopardy at age thirty-five.


Editorial: The voting is over, but sorting out what it means will take days, weeks and possibly years. There were some discouraging signs; the Sunni minority, which has long held the reins of power in Iraq, largely stayed away from the polls, and that could raise questions as to the legitimacy of the vote. Even if those questions are allayed, the process ahead is a long one. A transitional National Assembly composed of 275 members will pick a president and two vice presidents. Those people will pick a Cabinet and a prime minister that has to gain approval from the Assembly. The Assembly, with a term of less than a year, has to get to work on a permanent Iraq constitution, which will be subject to a straight up or down national referendum. If the constitution fails, everything starts over with a new election for a transitional assembly.

Even in a stable country, this would be a daunting task.

Yet, the first step has been taken, and that's worth celebrating.

On the flip side of this coin, it probably shouldn't be celebrated too much. Sunday's vote is being touted as the turning of the corner, the light at the end of the tunnel. But the corner was supposedly also turned with the fall of Baghdad, President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech and the capture of Saddam Hussein, so it's probably wise to be hopeful, but realistic.

Opinion: Bush is counting on Sunday's images from Iraq to turn the tide of public opinion in the U.S. Scenes of men and women lining up to vote, defying the dire predictions of the insurgents, breathe life into Bush's second inaugural speech, particularly his statement that the "survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands." He is counting on average Americans to share his belief that "the best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."

However, unless Americans buy into Bush's rhetoric for years to come, his experiment with democracy will fail. Georgetown University professor Michael Hudson calls Iraq "the most expensive political science experiment in the world." 150,000 Americans were serving in Iraq in the run-up to the elections. The U.S. diplomatic presence in Baghdad is the largest since Vietnam. Politicians in Baghdad and Washington wisely avoid discussion of specific losses - no daily tallies, no lingering, mournful looks - and instead focus on the outcome. Freedom was mentioned more than 20 times in Bush's inaugural address; Iraq, not once.

Juan Cole: With all the hoopla, it is easy to forget that this was an extremely troubling and flawed "election." Iraq is an armed camp. There were troops and security checkpoints everywhere. Vehicle traffic was banned. The measures were successful in cutting down on car bombings that could have done massive damage. But even these Draconian steps did not prevent widespread attacks, which is not actually good news. There is every reason to think that when the vehicle traffic starts up again, so will the guerrilla insurgency.

Iraq now faces many key issues that could tear the country apart, from the issues of Kirkuk and Mosul to that of religious law. James Zogby on Wolf Blitzer wisely warned the US public against another "Mission Accomplished" moment. Things may gradually get better, but this flawed "election" isn't a Mardi Gras for Americans and they'll regret it if that is the way they treat it.

Fareed Zakaria: Unless there is a major change in course, Iraq is on track to become another corrupt, oil-rich quasi-democracy, like Russia and Nigeria.

In April 2003, around the time Baghdad fell, I published a book that described the path to liberal democracy. In it, I pointed out that there had been elections in several countries around the world—most prominently Russia—that put governments in place that then abused their authority and undermined basic human rights. I called such regimes illiberal democracies. In Newsweek that month, I outlined the three conditions Iraq had to fulfill to avoid this fate. It is currently doing badly at all three.

Editorial: Tony Blair and George Bush were quick to characterise yesterday's election as a triumph of democracy over terror. Bush declared it a "resounding success", while Blair asserted that "The force of freedom was felt throughout Iraq". And yet the election fell so completely short of accepted electoral standards that had it been held in, say, Zimbabwe or Syria, Britain and America would have been the first to denounce it.

Draconian security measures left Iraq's cities looking like ghost towns. The ballot papers were so complicated that even Jalal Talabani, the Kurdish leader, needed a briefing on how to use one. Most candidates had been afraid to be seen in public, or to link their names to their faces in the media. The United Iraqi Alliance, identifying only 37 of their 225 candidates, explained: "We offer apologies for not mentioning the names of all the candidates ... We have to keep them alive.

The Rude Pundit: No, really, let's celebrate the act of voting, even if, in the end, the election doesn't change much and is just another mile marker on the road to legitimizing the occupation. Even if there's still no plan to bring American troops home for at least another two years. Even if, even if . . . But, c'mon, everyone. We should be acting like the proud parents of a baby, should we not? A severely disabled baby? We're just so thrilled to have a child, but, Christ, what hardship and heartache lie ahead. But it was worth it, right? Isn't that what we need to keep telling ourselves over and over, as more and more loss happens, that it was just fucking worth it? Otherwise, the act of voting was just like watching a mime. See, there is no box, but it sure as hell looks like that fucker's trapped.

Casualty Reports

Local story: Two Minnesota soldiers die in two separate vehicle crashes in Iraq.

Local story: Merrimack, NH, Marine killed in helicopter crash.

Local story: Camp Pendleton Marine killed in Al Anbar province.

Local story: French Valley, CA, Marine killed in helicopter crash.

Local story: Texas woman loses both her father and her husband in Iraq.

Local story: Vineland, NJ, Marine killed in Iraq.

Local story: Augusta County, VA, Marine killed in Iraq.

Local story: Las Cruces, TX, soldier killed in Iraq.

Local story: Irving, TX, Marine killed in Al Anbar province.

Local story: Oklahoma soldier killed by sniper fire in Iraq.

Local story: First Australian soldier dies in Iraq.

Local story: Wounded Salt Lake City, UT, Marine coming home.

Local story: Sacramento, CA, soldier killed in vehicle crash northeast of Baghdad.

Local story: Detroit, MI, sailor dies in non-combat incident aboard ship supporting Iraq operations.

Local story: West Chester, OH, soldier killed in Ramadi.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?