Tuesday, May 03, 2005
War News for Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Bring ‘em on: Suicide car bomber killed in attack on US convoy near Abu Ghraib, no other injuries reported. One Iraqi national guardsman killed and six wounded in car bombing of a checkpoint south of
Bring ‘em on: Three children killed, 22 wounded in car bomb attack against an American convoy in
Bring ‘em on: Eight Iraqi soldiers killed, 20 wounded in suicide truck bombing at checkpoint near Youssifiyah. Six civilians killed and seven wounded in car bombing in an upscale shopping district in
Bring ‘em on: At least 12 suspected insurgents killed and one wounded, six coalition troops wounded in clash near Al Qaim. One
Jets missing: Two Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets lost while flying in support of the war in
Last minute: In a bid to ease the fears of Iraq's Sunni Arab minority, Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari is expected Tuesday to announce that his new government's policy on former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party will strictly distinguish between those responsible for crimes and those who were merely members of the now discredited party.
In a sign of the sensitivity of this issue, however, Jafari is facing last-minute increased resistance to making such a declaration within his predominantly Shiite political coalition because some Sunni Arab politicians in press interviews Monday night had described the expected declaration as a concession to them, Kubba said.
Meanwhile, six hours before the 5 pm swearing-in ceremony for members of Jafari's new cabinet, a final decision still had not been made on the Sunni Arab who would occupy the key post of defense minister.
An Iraqi Gen. Myers: A car bomb obliterated a tent packed with mourners at the funeral of a Kurdish official in northern Iraq on Sunday, killing 25 people and wounding more than 50 in the single deadliest attack since insurgents started bearing down on Iraq's newly named government late last week.
The blast capped four exceedingly violent days in which at least 116 people, including 11 Americans, were killed in a storm of bombings and ambushes blamed on Iraqi insurgents, believed largely populated by members of the disaffected Sunni Arab minority.
Despite the unrelenting violence,
"There is no shadow of doubt in my mind that by the end of the year, we would have achieved a lot," Mouwafak al-Rubaie said in an interview with CNN's "Late Edition." "Probably the back of the insurgency has already been broken."
Can’t Even Get Their Stories Straight
Limited abilities: The concentration of American troops and weapons in
The officer, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, informed Congress in a classified report that major combat operations elsewhere in the world, should they be necessary, would probably be more protracted and produce higher American and foreign civilian casualties because of the commitment of Pentagon resources in Iraq and Afghanistan.
General Myers cited reduced stockpiles of precision weapons, which were depleted during the invasion of
The general's report appears to provide a slightly different assessment than President Bush offered at a news conference last week when he said the number of American troops in
Mr. Bush said he had asked General Myers, "Do you feel that we've limited our capacity to deal with other problems because of our troop levels in
"And the answer is no, he didn't feel a bit limited," Mr. Bush said. "It feels like we got plenty of capacity."
Britain: The Iraq war came back to haunt Prime Minister Tony Blair yet again on Sunday in a newspaper article suggesting that he had committed himself to an American plan for "regime change" months before he told either Parliament or the British people that British participation in the American-led invasion was all but inevitable.
The article - whose accuracy was not immediately challenged by government officials - could further damage Blair because his opponents may use it to renew their assault on his trustworthiness as Britons prepare to go to the polls on Thursday. It may revive the argument that he secretly promised President George W. Bush that he would support the invasion of
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer met U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Monday to discuss what could be done to help free 63-year old engineer Douglas Wood.
An extremist group calling itself the Shura Council of Mujahideen has threatened to murder Wood within days if its demands are not met to withdraw Australian troops from
Downer said that an Australian rescue team, including the Deputy Secretary of his department Nick Warner, members of the Australian Federal Police and Defense personnel will arrive in
The Italian report said there were coordination problems among officials in
The Italian report also found no evidence the killing was deliberate.
But the Italian report also said no clear warning signs were given to the vehicle -- that flashing warning lights came at the same time troops began firing.
In addition, the report took issue with the American report about the speed the vehicle was traveling, saying it was 20 to 30 miles per hour (30 to 50 km/h) compared with the U.S. military's claim it was around 50 mph (80 km/h).
The police repeatedly tortured prisoners, State Department officials wrote, noting that the most common techniques were "beating, often with blunt weapons, and asphyxiation with a gas mask." Separately, international human rights groups had reported that torture in Uzbek jails included boiling of body parts, using electroshock on genitals and plucking off fingernails and toenails with pliers. Two prisoners were boiled to death, the groups reported. The February 2001 State Department report stated bluntly, "
Now there is growing evidence that the
The Uzbekistan States of
They are known as "ghost detainees" -- people who have disappeared, with no public record and no government acknowledgement of their confinement, and thus are beyond the reach of legal counsel or the Red Cross.
The White House has maintained tight restrictions on any information regarding the CIA-held prisoners, where they are and how they are being interrogated.
The secret detention program was established in 2002, and its activities are known only to those with exceptional security clearances. Only the top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees are acquainted with the deportation program. Their silence on this unconscionable practice is deafening.
The Uzbekistan States of
The report on the investigation, which is still a few weeks from being completed and released, will deal with accounts by agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation who complained after witnessing detainees subjected to several forms of harsh treatment.
The F.B.I. agents wrote in memorandums that were never meant to be disclosed publicly that they had seen female interrogators forcibly squeeze male prisoners' genitals, and that they had witnessed other detainees stripped and shackled low to the floor for many hours.
Return of the Doughy Pantload: The flood of stories in the press marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of
Green light: The Pentagon has got to be kidding.
It turns out that only those rogue enlisted men and women, and one woman general, are to blame for the horrifying treatment of prisoners and detainees of the Iraqi war, according to Lt. Gen. Stanley Green, the Army Inspector General.
He cleared four senior Army officers of any responsibility for the abuse of prisoners at
In effect, his report is the final word unless there are some brave members of Congress who are willing to investigate the role of the military higher-ups who gave the green light for the severe interrogation of prisoners in
The responsibility ultimately lies with President George W. Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales -- then White House counsel -- who decided that the Geneva Conventions on Humanitarian Treatment of Prisoners of War didn't apply in the "war on terrorism."
No understanding: Mr. Delgado's background is unusual. He is an American citizen, but because his father was in the diplomatic corps, he grew up overseas. He spent eight years in
"He laughed," Mr. Delgado said, "and everybody in the unit laughed with him."
The officer's comment was a harbinger of the gratuitous violence that, according to Mr. Delgado, is routinely inflicted by American soldiers on ordinary Iraqis. He said: "Guys in my unit, particularly the younger guys, would drive by in their Humvee and shatter bottles over the heads of Iraqi civilians passing by. They'd keep a bunch of empty Coke bottles in the Humvee to break over people's heads."
He said he had confronted guys who were his friends about this practice. "I said to them: 'What the hell are you doing? Like, what does this accomplish?' And they responded just completely openly. They said: 'Look, I hate being in
Mr. Delgado said he had witnessed incidents in which an Army sergeant lashed a group of children with a steel Humvee antenna, and a Marine corporal planted a vicious kick in the chest of a kid about 6 years old. There were many occasions, he said, when soldiers or marines would yell and curse and point their guns at Iraqis who had done nothing wrong.
He said he believes that the absence of any real understanding of Arab or Muslim culture by most G.I.'s, combined with a lack of proper training and the unrelieved tension of life in a war zone, contributes to levels of fear and rage that lead to frequent instances of unnecessary violence.
25,000 more: Last fall, a major public-health study appeared in The Lancet, a prestigious British medical journal, only to be missed or dismissed by the American press. To the extent it was covered at all, the reports were short and usually buried far from the front pages of major newspapers. The results of the study could have played an important role in future policy decisions, but the press’s near total silence allowed the issue to pass without debate.
The study, though scientifically robust, had several elements working against it. One was its subject matter: Researchers had done a door-to-door survey of nearly 8,000 people in thirty-three locations in
In the meantime, five months have passed since the paper came out. If the death rate has stayed the same, roughly 25,000 more Iraqis have died.
Non-recognition: Laura's racy act was the talk of the town. But there was something more strange and discomforting about the evening than her channeling of Ellen DeGeneres. Neither she nor her husband once referred to the Americans serving in
His--and Laura's--non-recognition of the American troops (those dying and those doing the real hard work) was not a one-time phenomenon. Two nights earlier at Bush's first primetime news conference in a year, Bush said nothing about the Americans risking their lives in