War News for Sunday, May 29, 2003
Bring 'em on: Two suicide bomb attacks kill five and injure forty five outside a US base in Sinjar
Bring 'em on: Three Iraqis killed in IED attack targeting US troops in Mosul
Bring 'em on: Ten pilgrims found murdered near the Syrian border
Bring 'em on: Moderate Sunni leader gunned down in Kirkuk
Bring 'em on: US Marine killed by roadside bomb in Haqlaniyah
Bring 'em on: Two killed and nine wounded in suicide bomb attack near Kirkuk
Bring 'em on: Japanese hostage confirmed dead
Giving Iraq Back
"We want to hand it over to them. But when it comes down to it, the (Iraqi police) we're hiring are all bad," said Army Sgt. Nicholas Radde, 21, of LaCrosse, Wis., as his soldiers took a break in the parking lot of an abandoned storage area.
Despite two interim Iraqi governments, a national election and the graduation of thousands of Iraqi soldiers, U.S. troops remain the ultimate security force in most of Iraq, more than two years after the U.S.-led invasion.
Earlier this month, when U.S. Marines led a major assault against insurgents near the Syrian border and lost nine troops, the Iraqi forces played a secondary role.
As the elected Iraqi government tries to coax a wary Sunni Arab population into joining the new political system, American soldiers continue to raid homes, patrol neighborhoods and hurriedly train Iraqi soldiers -- the faster the better if they are to get home soon.
But a resilient Sunni-led insurgency has effectively stalled progress, killing thousands of Iraqis.
Journalism in the USA
From Chicken Yoghurt
Hersh is firm in his assertion that the war in Iraq has never ended despite the ostentatious proclamation by Bush from the deck of an aircraft carrier. He said the term "insurgency" used to describe those fighting coalition troops is a misnomer because the coalition is still fighting the same people they were engaging before the fall of Baghdad. In April 2003, Hersh says, around 6000 military commanders and soldiers, Baathist bureaucrats and other leaders of the regime (including those who ran the public utilities and oil infractructure) simply disappeared from Baghdad over a short period of days. It's these same commanders and soldiers that are still fighting now. Jihadists have come to the country but the bedrock of the "insurgency" remains Republican Guard units and the like. Hersh also maintains that Iraq is already in a state of civil war and has been for some months, it's merely that a timid American press is afraid to use the term.
Bogeyman of the moment Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is a useful figleaf to the Iraqi commanders leading the insurgency, said Hersh. In adopting the tactic of killing civilians in an attempt to turn the population against the occupation, the former Baathists find Zarqawi's status as terrorist-in-chief deflects the blame away from them and gives succour to their hope of reassuming control of the country again some time in the future. Their thinking is that the civilian population being told by the coalition to blame Zarqawi for Baathist atrocities will make their task easier.
760 Iraqis Dead in May 2005 for what
"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.