War News for Monday, March 28, 2005
Bring 'em on: Iraqi police colonel and captain killed by insurgents in Baghdad
Bring 'em on: One policeman and five injured in roadside bomb attack in Baghdad
Bring 'em on: Three members of the Badr organisation killed by gunmen in Baquba
Bring 'em on: Lieutenant colonel from the former Iraqi army shot dead in Baquba
Bring 'em on: One Iraqi soldier killed and another injured in attack in Dhuluiyah
Bring 'em on: Iraqi soldier killed and three injured in attack in Balad
Bring 'em on: Four Iraqi policemen killed and six injured in an insurgency attack on a police station in Tal Afar
Bring 'em on: Newly repaired oil pipeline sabotaged 60km west of Kirkuk
, bodyguards for Science and Technology Minister Rashad Mandan Omar opened fire on a crowd of protesters who had gathered in front of the ministry's offices to demand their full wages, said Hamid Balasem, an engineer at the Science and Technology Ministry. Balasem said about 50 ministry guards were demonstrating because they said they were paid only part of their wages. "We didn't carry any weapons or have any intention of shooting, but the minister's bodyguards started firing on us," said Haithem Jassim, one of three people injured in the melee. In this report from AP, it is claimed that one person was killed in the protest and in this report from KUNA, it is claimed that four were killed in the protest.
In a CNN interview
, George Casey, the commanding US general of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, told the news network that current insurgent assaults were running at between 50 and 60 attacks a day. "They (insurgents) are able to maintain the level of violence between 50 and 60 attacks a day," General Casey said.
"The four provinces where the insurgency is still capable is out west, near Fallujah in Anbar province, in the Baghdad area and Saladdin, which is in the centre of the country, around Saddam's home town, and up north, in the Mosul area," he said.
50 to 60 attacks per day? Broken backs, progress, turning corners and mission accomplished are words that spring to mind.
troops based in the southern Iraqi governorate of Muthanna have started withdrawing, paving the way for British and Japanese troops to take over control of the city, an official of the Iraq-based Multi National Forces, speaking on a status of anonymity told newsmen Saturday evening.
? The war has damaged our standing in the world. The failure to find any weapons of mass destruction -- the stated cause of the invasion -- has cast doubt on our intelligence community and hurt our credibility. The perceived rush to go to war frayed some of our most vital alliances and has made it harder to obtain cooperation for some other initiatives. Public opinion has become even more profoundly anti-American in the Arab world. The prospect that the invasion fed terrorist recruitment and provided a training ground for militants is likely.
The message of the war to other rogue nations and weapons proliferators is unclear. Libya concluded an extended diplomatic agreement to peacefully give up its weapons of mass destruction. But North Korea and possibly Iran seem to have learned the opposite lesson: that the only way to avoid a similar fate is to develop nuclear weapons.
A long-term struggle remains, and the ultimate outcome depends upon Iraqis -- how they will negotiate and work through differences. The two largest blocs in Iraq -- the Shia and the Kurds -- still need to break a political stalemate in the formation of a provisional government and the drafting of a constitution. Sunnis, many of whom did not vote, must be brought into the tent. Iraqi forces are not ready to provide security. Economic reconstruction has stalled, as services remain erratic, and unemployment hovers near 50 percent.
! The possibility of democracy in Iraq must not eclipse the tragedy of American lives lost and Iraqis sacrificed in a reckless and needless military venture based on falsehood. None of the Iraqi dead will benefit from a democratic government, nor were they patriots in a struggle for freedom. They were reduced to collateral damage in a war a foreign power decided was needed to eliminate their evil leader.
If a mass murderer was spotted in a huge apartment building filled with innocent men, women and children, the police would never blow up the building in order to capture the culprit. Yet that is precisely what we did in Iraq by destroying a nation and thousands of innocent people of all ages. Couldn't the world's oldest representative democracy come up with a more intelligent and moral strategy than shock and awe (blitzkrieg works better)? Is that what a Christian nation does? If bin Laden is labeled a Muslim heretic, certainly George Bush must exemplify a failed Christianity and compromised democracy.
This report from the Guardian would appear to indicate that Tony Blair has ordered all troops to be confined to barracks in Basra; he wouldn't want any casualties affecting his reelection campaign; would he?