Friday, March 04, 2005

War News for Friday, March 4, 2005 Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers killed by roadside bomb in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi police chief assassinated near Al Budaur. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi police colonel survives assassination attempt near Kirkuk. Bring ‘em on: Two US security contractors killed by roadside bomb near Ashraf. Bring ‘em on: US patrol ambushed by roadside bomb in Ramadi. Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi policeman, one civilian killed by roadside bomb in Samarra. Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi policeman killed, six wounded in roadside bomb ambush near Baquba. Bring 'em on: Oregon Guardsmen discover the bodies of two Westerners near Taiji. Turkey deploys troops in northern Iraq. “Turkey has deployed 1,357 military personnel in northern Iraq to fight against members of the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), said Turkish National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul on Thursday.” Detainees. “The American military's major detention centers in Iraq have swelled to capacity and are holding more people than ever, senior military officials say. The growing detainee population reflects recent changes in how the military has been waging the war and in its policies toward detainees, the officials say. The military swept up many Iraqis before the Jan. 30 elections in an attempt to curb violence and halted all releases before the vote. Other detainees have been captured in ambitious recent offensives across the Sunni Triangle, from Samarra to Falluja to the Euphrates River valley south of Baghdad.” Rummy’s Army. “The Army is so short of new recruits that for first time in nearly five years it failed in February to fill its monthly quota of volunteers sent to boot camp. Army officials called it the latest ominous sign of the Iraq war's impact on the military's ability to enlist fresh troops. ‘We're very concerned about it,’ Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday when asked about recruiting shortfalls in the active-duty Army and Army Reserve. ‘When people ask you what you worry about the most, I say there's just two words: people and money.’ In February, the active-duty Army shipped 5,114 recruits to boot camp, 27 percent below its goal of 7,050; it was the first time since May 2000 that the Army missed a monthly goal. For the first five months of the current fiscal year, the Army has met 94 percent of its goal of 29,185 new soldiers in basic training. Over all, the Army plans to bring in 80,000 new recruits this year - 3,000 more than last year - to replace soldiers who retire or do not re-enlist.” Negroponte’s Army. “After experiencing little success recruiting and retaining soldiers in Iraq’s formal military units and security forces, the US military has resorted to hiring a private, homegrown armed force to track and capture members of the Iraqi resistance, reports Reuters. In a program that resembles rumored plans to implement what has been dubbed ‘the Salvador option’ in Iraq, the establishment of a hardline indigenous paramilitary force may indicate the first step toward a more aggressive counterinsurgency campaign modeled in part after the notorious ‘death squad’ campaign used to suppress a popular revolution in El Salvador during the 1980s.” Commentary Opinion: “To understand the danger, one needs to understand the Senate. The Framers created an institution designed not for speed or efficiency but as a place where mature wisdom would reside. They intended the Senate to be the stabilizer, the fence, the check on attempts at tyranny. To carry out that role, an individual senator has the right to speak, perhaps without limit, in order to expose an issue or draw attention to new or differing viewpoints. But this legislative nuclear option would mute dissent and gag opposition voices.” Opinion: “But catastrophic change is dangerous, even when it's bringing down a system people detest. This is not a time for U.S. triumphalism, or for gloating and lecturing to the Arabs. That kind of arrogance got us into trouble in Iraq during the first year of occupation. It was only when Iraqis began to take control of their own destinies that this project began to go right. The same rule holds for Lebanon, Egypt and the rest. America can help by keeping on the pressure, but it's their revolution.” Casualty Reports Local story: Mississippi Guardsman killed in Iraq. Local story: Texas soldier killed in Iraq. Awards and Decorations Local story: Oklahoma soldier decorated for valor in Iraq. Joke of the Day Alexander the Great, Ghengis Kahn, Louis XV and Napoleon were hanging around the Afterlife Tavern one day, drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, swapping war stories and talking about their campaigns. Suddenly, Louis had an idea. “Hey,” Louis said, “lets’ go down to Iraq and see what’s happening. I hear there’s a bunch of rank amateurs fighting a war there. Might be good for some laughs.” So the old warriors went to Baghdad. They were impressed instead of amused. “Holy shit,” said Alexander. “With this infantry I could have conquered India.” “With a few of these tanks,” said Ghengis Kahn, “I would have overrun Europe.” “If I had this logistics system,” said Louis, “I would have wrapped up the Seven Years’ War in two months.” “Crap,” said Napoleon. “If I would have had Fox News, none of you bastards would have ever heard about my retreat from Moscow.”


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