Wednesday, March 23, 2005
War News for Wednesday, March 23, 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: One US soldier killed in
Bring ‘em on: One officer killed and two wounded in roadside bombing in
Bring ‘em on: Eighty-five militants and seven Iraqi commandos killed in a joint US-Iraqi raid on a suspected guerilla training camp near Lake Tharthar, according to Iraqi officials. One child killed and three wounded in a mortar or rocket attack on a west
Bring ‘em on: One policeman and one sapper killed, three others wounded, while trying to defuse a bomb outside a
An indicator: A poignant indicator of how the American occupation is going two years after the initial invasion of
The assembly meeting failed to name a prime minister, president and other top officials. Shiite and Kurd members, who together control about two-thirds of the assembly but have been unable so far to agree on top officials, said they hope to reach agreement by the next meeting, scheduled for Friday or Saturday. Numerous news stories say ordinary Iraqis, who experienced something close to euphoria in the days following the election, are impatient that after seven weeks the elected politicians can’t get their act together.
Sistani losing patience: The most powerful Shiite cleric in
The cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, appeared to be putting pressure on Kurdish politicians in talks on forming a governing coalition.
Even though he has no constituency in the mostly Sunni Kurdish territory, the ayatollah has proved to be the most influential authority in the new
Agree on almost everything: Leading Shia politicians said yesterday that they had finally brokered a deal with Kurdish parties to end a debilitating impasse over the formation of
"We have agreed on almost everything, and expect to present an agreement on a government of national unity to parliament by the end of the week," said Jawad al-Maliki, a senior aide to Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the prime minister in waiting.
But similar positive noises have been made over the past fortnight and negotiators admitted yesterday that the distribution of key cabinet posts, including oil, defence and finance, had yet to be decided.
Might be a bit further along than the above indicates: On the political front,
The cabinet lineup will solidify the grip on power of the election-winning Shiite majority nearly two months after some eight million Iraqis voted in national elections.
The Shiites will take the interior and finance ministries, along with the cabinet post of national security advisor, said Rayes, a negotiator with the United Iraqi Alliance, which won 146 seats in the 275-member parliament.
The second-placed Kurds, with 77 seats, will receive seven to eight ministries, including the foreign ministry and probably oil, Rayes said, echoing similar reports from a Kurdish source.
Other posts that were locked up for the Kurds included the presidency, to be held by Jalal Talabani, and the post of deputy prime minister, the source said.
We sure do win this war a lot: Two years after he started the
Iraq-Jordan tiff over?:
The diplomatic dispute began after
Now this will piss Bush off:
``It's a problem all ministries are dealing with because of the lack of paperwork provided by the U.S.-led administration on contracts they signed before handing over power in June,'' Iraq's deputy transport minister, Atta Nabil Hussain Auni Atta, said in a telephone interview from Amman, Jordan, on March 21.
The refusal of interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's government, which took power June 28, 2004, to pay bills may discourage foreign companies from working in the country, said analysts including Youssef Ibrahim, managing director of Strategic Energy Investment Group, a consulting firm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Spreading more liberty, we are: Aamal, a ministry consultant, shot dead. Wijdan, a women's rights activist and election candidate, murdered. Zeena, a businesswoman, kidnapped, shot and dumped on a highway in a headscarf she never wore.
Their crime? Wearing western clothes, having jobs or speaking out to make women's voices heard in efforts to rebuild
Many have been driven into their homes, out of schools and universities and off the streets. Leading women keep a black hijab on the peg by the door to wear when venturing outside. Women who never wore the headscarf turn to it for safety.
Women politicians fear female voices have become a whisper.
Dick Cheney, anti-corruption crusader: Vice President Cheney said yesterday that the elevation of White House loyalists and supporters of the
In an interview aboard Air Force Two, Cheney said the nomination of John R. Bolton to serve as ambassador to the United Nations in particular shows President Bush's commitment to ending corruption and changing the culture at the world body.
Critics charge the White House is purging its voices of dissent and sending the wrong signal to the world with
A good point: Racking his brain to think of something positive to say about the nominations of John Bolton as
But, like much of the international community, he is reeling from President George Bush's decision to name two of the hardest-line hawks in
The most likely scenario is that those committed to global teamwork will have to work around the U.S for the foreseeable future. "It won't be easy," Heinbecker said. "But we've been doing it for years."
Torture, Secrecy, Censorship
Why investigate? They swore they were innocent: The Pentagon has refused to reopen an investigation into allegations by three Iraqis working for Reuters that they were abused and mistreated by
The three Iraqis, along with another Iraqi freelancer working for NBC, were detained by soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division on Jan. 2, 2004, while covering the aftermath of the shooting down of a helicopter near Fallujah.
When they were released without charge three days later the Iraqis said that during their detention in Forward Operating Base Volturno near Fallujah they were subjected to repeated beatings, torture, and sexual humiliation, similar to the abuse later uncovered at Abu Ghraib prison.
Next time just classify the whole trial: The court-martial of a Navy SEAL lieutenant accused of abusing a prisoner in
The SEAL is accused of punching an Iraqi detainee in the arm and allowing his men to abuse the prisoner, who later died during CIA interrogation at Abu Ghraib prison in
The lieutenant will be referred to only by the first letter of his last name, as will all SEAL personnel in the courtroom -- a step specialists on military law say is virtually unprecedented.
One of the most significant findings was "the amount of editing that went into content after it was gathered but before it was published," the study stated. Of those who reported from
Of those involved in war coverage who were in newsrooms and not in
Some 42% of those polled said they were discouraged from showing photographic images of dead Americans, while 17% said they were prohibited.
Coming to What Senses They Have
They’re still an embarrassment to their country: Reversing course on a decision that had drawn sharp protests from students, parents and teachers, South Orange County Community College District trustees Tuesday reinstated a study-abroad program in
The district, composed of
An academic question: For two years now, a new vocabulary has invaded the nightly news shows. We hear the words so often they aren't so jarring anymore. "Another four
Some nights, the stock market, traffic tie-ups, even the weather get more attention than American casualties in
In the streets of
Well, they wouldn’t want us to feel all icky about ourselves: On the weekend of the two-year anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of
On the March 18 CBS Evening News, reporter Byron Pitts gave these figures: "Today,
With his "and beyond" comment, NBC's Williams seemed to be referring to an estimate of Iraqi civilian casualties that none of the networks saw fit to mention: According to a study published in the respected British medical journal The Lancet, about 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war. The majority of deaths were due to violence, primarily as a result of U.S.-led military action.
Recent polling indicates that the vast majority of the American public believes that
A tribute: In the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, at the gateway of
It was a day of comfort, a day for collective mourning, even if it did make for unlikely allies -- artists, well-pressed military, teary-eyed families. Politics roiled beneath the surface, symbolic of a nation still divided by the
Meanwhile, Ukrainian and Dutch troops started their phased withdrawal from the war-torn
About 150 Dutch troops arrived in their country on Monday.
There are still about 800 Dutch soldiers in
So long, farewell: Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has signed the order for withdrawing his troops from Iraq, the head of the country’s security council said yesterday — cementing a pledge by the new leadership to bring back its 1650-strong force.
The former Soviet republic provided the sixth-largest contingent in the US-led coalition in
More than 130 soldiers returned home last week.
Juggling: As the military struggles to find fresh recruits, there is unprecedented strain on individual service members and their families.
Since 2001, the
Because of spreading violence from the insurgency, coupled with a smaller foreign coalition than was hoped for, the U.S. Army and Marines have in particular scrambled to keep a force of roughly 17 brigades in
Lt. Gen. James Lovelace, the Army's operations chief, is a kind of circus master responsible for juggling limited units and equipment and prioritizing who does what. Ringed by organizational charts in his Pentagon office, the West Point graduate from
"We've deployed units of the Old Guard!" he says, referring to the first-ever deployment of the ceremonial guard from
An appeal: The Army expects to miss its recruiting goals again this month and next, Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey said Wednesday, and it is developing a new sales pitch that appeals to the patriotism of parents who have been reluctant to steer their children toward the Army.
In February the Army missed its monthly recruiting goal by 27 percent. That was the first time it had fallen short for any month since May 2000, and it underscored the difficulty the Army faces in signing up young men and women during time of war.
"I'm clearly not going to give up,"
One of those is designed to persuade more parents to steer their children to the Army.
"We're going to appeal to patriotism," he said.
People, help me out here. Can you think of anyone who is really Really REALLY patriotic and has military age children? If so, appeal to them! Maybe through your local newspaper or by a letter or phone call to their place of employment. Let’s help Secretary Harvey meet his goals! It’s the patriotic thing to do.
Interview with Seymour Hersh: Q:Is this all attributable to September 11th? How did we get to where we are now?
With that in mind, the vitality of barbershops might be viewed as a telling index of democratic spirit.
By that measure, as on other fronts,
As many as 12 barbers have been killed, Iraqi officials say, including five in one day in January. With little hope of police protection, most Iraqi barbers in southern
In the day to day lives of ordinary Iraqis, who have traded tyranny for anarchy -- and one kind of danger to life and limb for another -- it's difficult to make the case that life is better today than it was two years ago. Even in the south of the country, where insurgent attacks are rare and a measure of normalcy has returned, the attitude is more wait-and-see than anywhere near the kind of triumphal stance the Bush administration has been projecting.
Meanwhile in the heart of the country Fallujah stands as the apt symbol of what passes for a coalition victory these days. The city had been taken over by insurgents last year. They used Fallujah as a base for operations throughout central
Dahr Jamail: "There is not a split between Sunni and Shia here; we are all Iraqi," says Intisar Hammad. The 21-year-old physics student, who is a Shi'ite, adds, "There are enemies of
Such declarations of national unity aside, the specter of civil war looms in the back of Iraqi minds as the political machinations grind forward. Tensions continue to swirl over
Even before the National Assembly drafts the new constitution, debate over
Whatever their views on the timetable, one theme most Iraqis seem to agree on, whether Shi'ite or Sunni, religious leaders or ordinary people, is that the foreign power in Iraq must depart, leaving Iraqis to sort out their sectarian and ethnic differences.
As Wamid Nadhmi says, "It will take Iraqis something like a quarter of a century to rebuild their country, to heal their wounds, to reform their society, to bring about some sort of national reconciliation, democracy, and tolerance of each other. But that process will not begin until the
Helena Cobban: It is now 26 days since I wrote this about
It is 24 days already since the election. It took the authorities an inordinately long length of time to certify the election. And now, where is the presidential council?
Since then, I've increasingly been wondering-- what with Negroponte first of all preparing to leave
So I've been wondering: who the heck, on the
Look, we might not like the fact, but under the international law of military occupation the
And hey, it's not just that Neroponte was up and leaving the place, but don't you remember, some time back, we were all assured that National Security Advisor Condi Rice was going to be "in charge of running Iraqi affairs from Washington"?? But since then she too has been given new responsibilities and now she's off tooling around various parts of the world in her dominatrix jackboots...
So who is in charge of the
Or how about...nobody?
Personal statement: Over the past weeks, my wife and I painted a few hundred of these in our kitchen. Last Saturday we started putting labels on them with the name, age, rank and home state of each G.I. killed. As we sat on our living room floor, surrounded by stacks of tombstones representing so many young men and women, we listened to an old Dire Straits album. The track titled "Brothers in Arms" came on with these telling lines: "Every man has to die/But it's written in the starlight/And in every line on your palm/We're fools to make war/On our brothers in arms."
Sue looked at the tombstone with a 19 year-old soldier's name on it she was holding and dissolved into sobs crying, "He was someone's baby"
We are here today to recommit ourselves to ending this slaughter of someone else's babies, whether American or Iraqi. We are here to demand an end to George Bush's criminal war.
We must end Bush's war to prevent more deaths and traumatic amputations of arms and legs, more quadriplegics who will be bedridden the rest of their lives. We must end Bush's war because every day it continues, it produces more injuries we will never see until they explode years later at home. I'm talking about thousands MORE soldiers who will return from
Representative Cynthia McKinney: Two years ago we gathered all across
We were joined by people all over the planet who know that there is an alternative to war.
But war is about the only option available when the real motive is to steal natural resources that belong to someone else.
Or to restack the deck in the Middle East with today's generation of coups and assassinations, following the likes of the
They tell us we're at war for democracy.
But that's a joke; George Bush came to power by stopping democracy at home--denying the opportunity to vote to blacks and Latinos in
They built on that fine record last year with hackable voting machines that don't accurately tally our votes.
While they purport to cherish democracy, they really have a disdain for it.
But one thing I guarantee to you and to them: we won't be fooled!
We know the truth. And we won't stop.
Cindy Sheehan: This past weekend was the two year anniversary of the beginning of "shock and awe" of the US Government’s aggression in
There were protests all across our nation. CNN called the over 800 protest events "barely a ripple." I spoke at a protest in
As far as I am concerned, the amazing hypocrites in our Government are not making up for killing thousands of innocent Americans and Iraqis by passing emergency legislation to save one life. Every member of Bush’s executive branch (past and present) and every member of Congress who voted to give George the authority to invade
Mr. Tom ("We should investigate every avenue before we take the life of a living human being") DeLay should be outraged for the soldiers who have been murdered for the cowardice of he and his colleagues. He should shed real tears for the soldiers’ families whose lives have been destroyed by their murders. DeLay should search for a homeless Iraq Vet and pass legislation to find him a job and an apartment. Mr. Tom (who cried over Ms. Schiavo’s hunger pains) DeLay should go to Walter Reed hospital and find one of our kids who has been horribly maimed by the betrayal of his government and pass legislation to pay for his meals. After 3 months, the wounded soldier has to pay for his meals with his own money. Maybe Mr. Tom (Crocodile Tears) DeLay should find a soldier who has returned from this abomination of a war who is suffering from PTSD and pass a law to get him the help he needs before the soldier's dad finds him hanging by a garden hose in the basement.
William Rivers Pitt: The greatest strength of the Republican majority in Congress and their allies in the White House is their unfailing ability to say and do anything, no matter how hypocritical or brazen or wrong, in order to win.
These people will say anything, and use anyone as a pawn, no matter how gross or disrespectful or hypocritical or flatly illegal it may be. They do this, ultimately, because they want everything their own way, with no room for compromise whatsoever. It is their greatest strength. It may also come to be their greatest weakness.
Only dictators, tyrants and fools believe they can have it all their way. Every dictator, tyrant and fool in history who has tried to have it all his way has failed in spectacular fashion. Often, that failure brings about the destruction of their family, their army, or their entire nation. Yet the lessons of history do not resonate with dictators, tyrants and fools. That, more than anything else, is why they always fail.
What we have seen in these last years is mushmouthed dictators in the Executive, petty tyrants in Congress, and fools in between trying to have it all their own way. They will fail, as ever. The backlash comes. Mahatma Gandhi once said, "When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it, always.”
Another liberal traitor Democrat: A Tennessee lawmaker on National Guard duty in
State Rep. John Mark Windle, D-Livingston, was wounded Friday and has been hospitalized at an Air Force Base in
<>Windle, 42, is a major in the Tennessee Army National Guard's 278th Regimental Combat Team.