Thursday, April 14, 2005

War News for Thursday, April 14, 2005 Bring ‘em on: Eighteen Iraqis killed, 36 wounded by two Baghdad car bombs. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed in fighting near Ramadi. Bring ‘em on: Three Iraqi policemen killed, four wounded in attack on Kirkuk police station. Bring ‘em on: Nine Iraqis wounded in car bomb attack on US installation near Tikrit. Bring ‘em on: US Marines kill 30 insurgents in heavy fighting near Qaim. Bring ‘em on: Police patrol ambushed in Baquba; one policeman killed, three wounded. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi intelligence official assassinated in Baghdad. South Korean soldier killed by accidental discharge near Irbil. Refugee. “Alyaa said she was the first woman in her neighborhood to sign up to work with the U.S. government after Saddam Hussein fell. She used to stand shoulder to shoulder with an American soldier in front of the U.S. military's Camp Scania in the Rashid section of Baghdad. As a translator, Alyaa, 24, talked to Iraqis who lined up at the entrance seeking compensation for dead relatives and destroyed homes. Now, because of that work, her life is in danger and in limbo. Alyaa, who asked that her last name be withheld out of fear for her safety, fled to Jordan with her cousin Shaimaa after insurgents killed an uncle and kidnapped Shaimaa and another cousin. Alyaa hoped to find a haven in the United States but discovered the State Department isn't resettling refugees from Iraq. She's lost her faith in the country she once loved.” Systemic deficiencies. “Poor planning, lagging funding and an ineffective distribution system have led to delays in getting supplies to troops in Iraq, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office. The agency found the Defense Department spent more than $60 billion supplying troops with 2 million tons of equipment, spare parts and other items before, during and after major combat operations in Iraq from October 2002 to September 2004. ‘Despite these expenditures, there have been widespread reports of serious shortages of critical items needed by U.S. troops,’ the report (GAO-05-275) stated. Specifically, GAO cited shortages of batteries, tires, vehicle track shoes, body armor, meals ready to eat (MREs), Humvees with extra armor, and add-on armor kits for Humvees. Auditors found that those items were not available for five reasons that it called ‘systematic supply system deficiencies.’” Consequences. “Senator Mark Dayton is questioning the circumstances surrounding the death of a Rochester soldier killed last month by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq. Dayton sent a letter to President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. In the letter, Dayton says the day before 22-year-old Travis Bruce died, he told his girlfriend he did not have enough sandbags to fortify his position adequately.” Ukraine announces troop withdrawal from Iraq. Flowers and music. “But the protests reflect a growing impatience with American troops, viewed here both as protectors and antagonizers. Insurgents fueling the conflict direct their rage at U.S. troops and Iraqis seen as cooperating with them. That, in part, has delayed any talk of a pullout, with U.S. leaders saying they will only leave when the Iraqi government asks them to go. On Sunday, protesters shouted anti-American slogans in Duluiyah, 45 miles north of the capital. A day later, a similar demonstration was held in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. On Tuesday, in the troubled city of Samarra, tribal, city and religious leaders gathered along with students in the shadow of a spiral minaret, throwing rocks at U.S. tanks and shouting for the Americans to leave.” PTSD. “For seven months, Pfc. Herold Noel of Brooklyn drove fuel trucks on the front lines in Iraq for the Army's 3rd Infantry Division. He thought that he would come home a hero. Instead, he's become a symbol of the increasing number of former Iraq and Afghanistan service members suffering post-traumatic stress disorder who are seeking help from a veterans health-care system unequipped to handle their needs. ‘Raising my kids while living in a car was not what I expected,’ said Noel, 25, at a Capitol Hill news conference Wednesday about a bill designed to help veterans like himself. ‘I expected the American dream.’” Democracy on the march. “The brother of an Iraqi doctor living in Scarborough has been arrested by Occupation forces in his home-town of Mosul and detained without charge at an unknown location. Dr Amer Hamed, who moved to Scarborough four years ago, has been unable to find out why his brother was arrested by American troops on March 24, shortly after he opened an internet cafe to help pay for his studies.” Commentary Opinion: “The literal facts did not in the least give Bolton pause. Weapons of mass destruction would be found, he insisted. Where? When? How come they had not yet been discovered? The questions were insistent, but they were coming, please remember, from Italians, whose government was one of the few in the world to actively support the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Bolton bristled. I have never seen such a performance by an American diplomat. He was dismissive. He was angry. He clearly thought the questioners had no right, no standing, no justification and no earthly reason to question the United States of America. The Bush administration had said that Iraq was lousy with WMD and Iraq therefore was lousy with WMD. Just you wait.” Casualty Reports Local story: California soldier dies from injuries received in Iraq. Local story: Iowa Guardsman killed in Iraq. Local story: Idaho soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Four Pennsylvania Guardsmen wounded in Iraq.


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