Wednesday, March 09, 2005
War News for Wednesday, March 09, 2005
There are some who, uh, feel like that, you know, the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is: bring 'em on. We got the force necessary to deal with the security situation." - George W. Bush, July 2, 2003
Bring ‘em on: At least three people killed in addition to the bomber and 30 wounded in suicide bomb attack on Baghdad hotel near Agriculture ministry.
Bring ‘em on: Twenty-six bullet riddled corpses found near Rumana, close to Quaim. Fifteen headless bodies, including three women and two children, found in Latifiya. One
Bring ‘em on: Four Iraqi police officers killed when a booby trapped corpse exploded south of
Bring ‘em on: Two guards killed and one wounded in unsuccessful assassination attempt directed at
Bring ‘em on: Four US soldiers killed in bomb attack near Ramadi.
Death by fundamentalists: When the kidnappers came for Zeena al Qushtaini, she was dressed, as one friend put it, "in the latest fashion." She wore a $5,000 watch, her hands were manicured and her hair was highlighted to accent her blue eyes. Many of her friends were women's rights activists, but few were as conspicuously modern as Qushtaini. She was a divorced, single mother in her late 30s who supported two children with a full-time office job. She also ran a pharmacy with her business partner, Dr. Ziad Baho.
It was evening at the pharmacy, and Qushtaini and Baho were behind the counter when six men in business suits burst in brandishing automatic weapons. The men wrapped duct tape across the mouths of Qushtaini and Baho, then took them away in a pair of SUVs. Relatives of the two captives waited for a ransom demand that never came. When the bodies were found 10 days later, beside a highway just south of
Iraqi police: The bombing in Hilla last week that killed more people than any other insurgent attack in
Jabouri's office is full of Photoshopped posters promoting the police as a force for good in the "new
"We can't let you write about that," Jabouri replies.
The Sgrena Affair
Skeptical: An Italian intelligence officer slain by U.S. troops in Iraq after he helped free a kidnapped journalist was buried Monday with full ceremonial honors as angry questions over the shooting threatened to do political harm to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a fervent ally of the Bush administration.
Berlusconi sent about 3,000 troops to
Berlusconi summoned Sembler, the
Many Italians are skeptical, however, that the Americans will tell the full truth, or that Berlusconi can force them to.
Fini dismissed speculation that
"It was certainly an accident," Fini said.
"But this doesn't mean, in fact it makes it necessary, to demand that events are clarified ... to identify those responsible, and if people are to blame then to request and ensure that the guilty parties are punished," he added.
Accident?: The Italian reporter wounded when American troops opened fire on the car carrying her and Italian secret service officers to the Baghdad airport just hours after her release from kidnappers rejected today the United States' version of the incident and refused to rule out that she was intentionally targeted.
"The fact that the Americans don't want negotiations to free the hostages is known," Ms. Sgrena said in a telephone interview with Sky TG24 television. "The fact that they do everything to prevent the adoption of this practice to save the lives of people held hostages, everybody knows that. So I don't see why I should rule out that I could have been the target."
The White House called the shooting a "horrific accident" and promised a full investigation.
Operation was authorized: The Italian agent killed by American forces in
In his first major address since Friday's shooting strained relations between Washington and one of its biggest allies, Berlusconi told Italy's Senate that the car carrying agent Nicola Calipari and hostage Giuliana Sgrena stopped immediately when a light was flashed. The
"Only a frank and reciprocal recognition of eventual responsibility is the condition for closure of the incident which was so irrational to us and that caused us so much sorrow," Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told the Senate.
This should be good – Inerrant Boy take responsibility for something?
Oh, yes, we’re shooting Bulgarians too: The lack of direct communication between Bulgarian and U.S. troops was the probable cause of last week's killing of a Bulgarian soldier in Iraq in a suspected ``friendly fire'' incident, a top military official said Wednesday.
Army chief of staff Gen. Nikola Kolev said the two forces had not yet agreed on how to communicate with each other when Pvt. Gardi Gardev was fatally shot near the city of
The Bulgarian investigation found that Gardev was killed by
Shortchanged: The finished project, called "Discharged and Dishonored: Shortchanging America's Veterans," ran last weekend in Knight Ridder newspapers, and is now part of an extensive online package, but it was months in the making. For the KR investigative team -- comprising reporters Chris Adams, Alison Young, and editor James Asher -- reporting on the bureaucracy, and getting all the necessary information, proved challenging.
"We filed a bunch of FOIA requests with the Veterans Administration early on -- I think it was February of 2004 -- and got stonewalled by them," Asher told E&P. "Ultimately, in November, we sued them. It was very intriguing that once the suit was filed, they started coughing up every record we asked for."
The story describes inefficiencies and irregularities within various state offices which have no standardized method of assessing veterans' injury claims. Similarly, the amount of remuneration offered for the same conditions varies wildly from state to state and office to office. Asher noted that while it would be heartening if the government used the Knight Ridder stories to make reforms, he wasn't sure they would be so quick to act.
PTSD: A guardsman walks into a local Wal-Mart, freaks, does a 180, and walks back out again. Even after seven months, he can't stand the crowds. Another jerks awake in the middle of the night, holding an imagined gun at his wife's temple.
"Uh ... honey?" she asks.
The soldiers tear down highways, swerve to avoid trash in the road. The bag that held a Big Mac could now hide a bomb. One still jumps if you touch his neck. Others refuse to sleep in beds. Those who do may awake in a sweat.
They're members of the Ephrata-based 1161st Transportation Company, the close-knit National Guard unit that returned from
Here’s some hearts and minds we won: Hundreds of thousands jammed a central Beirut square Tuesday, chanting support for Syria and anti-U.S. slogans in a thundering show of strength by the militant group Hezbollah — a rally that greatly outnumbered recent demonstrations against Syria's presence in Lebanon.
"We are demonstrating here against foreign intervention in our internal affairs, and we're supporting Hezbollah," said Maha Choukair, a 21-year-old
The Growing Parallels With the
Detention without trial: No other European country has introduced internment without trial in the wake of 9/11. Indeed, the only comparable example in any Western country is the
Critics say that by introducing control orders the
The article goes on to list the top ten regimes that imprison without trial. They include
Outsourcing torture: Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales yesterday defended the practice of "extraordinary rendition," the process under which the
Then why are we doing it at all, Al? Exactly what does
Disappearing the news: The National Security Council (NSC) had an entire chapter on
Economists from both political parties considered the decision to delete an entire completed chapter as extraordinary and a sign of the CEA’s loss of influence. Outgoing CEA Chairman N. Gregory Mankiw has declined to comment.
The missing chapter addresses the development of the Iraqi banking system, financial markets and other economic institutions. Apparently, the chapter portrayed
Rigged contracts: The U.S. Justice Department has opened a criminal inquiry into possible bid-rigging on foreign contracts by Halliburton, the company revealed Tuesday.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company said "information has been uncovered" that former employees of KBR "may have engaged in coordinated bidding with one or more competitors on certain foreign construction projects and that such coordination possibly began as early as the mid-1980s...."
The SEC filing also revealed that the Justice Department is investigating "whether former employees may have received payments in connection with bidding practices on some foreign projects." In other words, authorities are investigating whether KBR paid bribes to foreign governments for the purpose of rigging the contracting process and whether KBR employees received kickbacks.
What generous fellows: Halliburton issued a press release today congratulating itself for donating 12 laptop computers to the 256th Brigade of the Army National Guard in
Of course this has nothing to do with
Wow. Half the country has no intention of changing any habits, not even cutting down on unnecessary trips, if gas goes up over two bucks a gallon. I wonder if there could be any correlation between people who responded that way and their political affiliation. Do ya think?
Sentence fragment: … just because virtually everyone in the administration lied with their bare faces hanging out about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, terrorism ties in Iraq, so break out the plastic sheeting and duct tape because we're all gonna die, just because they did this in no small part to win the 2002 midterms by any means necessary, just because 1,502 American soldiers have been killed looking for the 26,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 500 tons (which is 1,000,00 lbs.) of sarin and mustard and VX nerve agent, 30,000 munitions to deliver the stuff, mobile biological weapons labs, arial drones to spray the aforementioned stuff, and let's not forget the uranium from Niger for use in Iraq's robust nukular program, all of which was described to the letter by Bush in his 2003 State of the Union address, all of which remains on the White House website on a page titled 'Disarm Saddam Hussein,' just because the medical journal Lancet estimates that as many as 198,000 Iraqi citizens have been killed as well in the war to get at this stuff, just because none of the stuff was there, and by the way none of the stuff was there, and did I mention that none of the stuff was there…
Editorial: No one can question the benefits oil has brought to global society. Here in
Yet even as oil gives generously with one hand, it takes grievously with the other. Even if the petroleum industry is correct and there remain trillions of barrels to be plumbed, that oil is located for the most part in some of the most dangerous and unstable places on the planet. That danger and instability has been created, in no small part, by the fact that oil can be found there.
Oil revenues fund global terrorism. Oil resources motivate wars, and more wars, and more wars. This is the sharp other edge of the sword; if the petroleum industry is correct and oil can be found and drilled for generations to come, that means generations to come will be required to share the death and destruction we endure today in the grubbing for oil. There is no escaping this.
Comment: Lately, I’ve been considering whether Bush’s justification for the Iraq War: we are fighting them there so they won’t come here isn’t completely without merit. After all, there have, incredibly, been no attacks in
But it breaks down on closer examination. First, there’s the madness of creating a vicious insurgent war in a place that didn’t have one. No matter how many times Bush and the neocons say so, there were no terrorists directed at