Wednesday, May 11, 2005
War News for Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Bring ‘em on: Newly elected governor of Al-Anbar province kidnapped by gunmen in Qaim. His son was with him at the time of the kidnapping but it is unclear whether he was kidnapped too.
Bring ‘em on: 30 people killed and 35 injured, about 15 critically, in suicide bombing outside a police and army recruitment center in Hawija. Two civilians wounded in car bomb attack in the New Baghdad area of the capital.
Bring ‘em on: 31 people killed and at least 66 injured in car bombing of a marketplace in Tikrit. Nine people wounded in car bomb attack in
Bring ‘em on: Three US Marines killed in Al-Anbar province, two as a result of indirect fire in Karmah and one in an IED explosion in Nasser Wa Sallam.
Bring ‘em on: One woman civilian killed and three policemen wounded in suicide car bomb attack on a police patrol in the Yarmouk area of west
Bring ‘em on: Three people killed and 10 injured in suicide car bombing of a police station in the Dora neighborhood of
Reuters keeps score: Suicide bombs killed at least 59 people in
Nearly 400 people have died in attacks in the last two weeks.
Here is a short chronology of some of the deadliest bomb attacks since the new cabinet was announced:
May 1 - A bombing hits a funeral for a Kurdish official in Tal Afar, near
May 4 - Suicide bomber kills up to 60 people at Kurdistan Democratic Party office in the northern Iraqi city of
May 6 - A suicide car bomb at a vegetable market in Suwayra, south of
May 7 - Two suicide car bombs explode beside a foreign civilian security convoy in
May 11 - Four suicide bombs kill at least 59 people. A car bomber in the northern town of
Stumped: The paradox that stumped the
Oil revenue was supposed to galvanize
Yet progress in security is moving slowly, too. Of the $5 billion in
Symptomatic: The military offensive now under way in northwestern
"The enemy is trying very hard to establish a sanctuary somewhere, and the small force structure out west makes it inviting for him," said a commander with significant time spent in Anbar province. "We had been watching that linkage since pre-Fallujah," he told United Press International, a reference to the November battle that ousted insurgents from that stronghold.
The problem, according to other military commanders, is that with such a large area and relatively few troops, there are many pockets where the
That was exacerbated during the November Fallujah fight as some 7,000
This gives insurgent forces temporary sanctuaries from which they can make good on threats against those who cooperate with American forces, a second senior official said.
The problem, according to other senior officials, is that the insurgency is a mobile one, and without more troops the hunt for them has evolved into an endless cat-and-mouse game. One commander in
A month before the war in 2003, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki told Congress he believed the occupying force could require "several hundred thousand" troops, a figure Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz later called "wildly off the mark."
Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told the Senate Appropriations Committee he considered the matter closed.
"I must say I am tired of the Shinseki argument being bandied about day after day in the press," Rumsfeld said.
Syrian border: Capitalizing on a lull in fighting Tuesday, hundreds of U.S. Marines pushed through a lawless region on the Syrian frontier after intense battles along the
After intense fighting with militants entrenched on the south bank of the Euphrates River early in the operation, Marines saw only light resistance Tuesday and advanced through sparsely populated settlements along a 12-mile stretch to the border with Syria, according to a Chicago Tribune reporter embedded with the assault, James Janega.
Residents reached by telephone in the area reported some fighting Tuesday in Obeidi and the two nearby towns of Rommana and Karabilah. They said frightened residents were taking advantage of the relative lull to flee the Qaim area.
Foreign fighters (I guess they’re talking about the Arab ones): U.S. Marines rolling though towns on the upper
Commanders said they believe the finds are strong indications that foreign fighters make up part of the resistance facing them as they conduct an offensive aimed at rooting out insurgents near the Syrian border.
South American visit: Iraqi President Jalal Talabani appealed to South American nations to support his country's efforts to defeat its bloody insurgency, saying terrorists are indiscriminately killing innocents and hampering reconstruction efforts.
"Terrorism is not limited to
Talabani, on his first foreign trip since being elected president of the interim government, said Iraq is on course with its strategy to defeat militants in spite of daily attacks around the country that have limited reconstruction efforts after the U.S.-war that toppled former President Saddam Hussein.
"We hope for your help in this initiative to combat the terrorism that has been carried out against the Iraqi people, against the cause of freedom and democracy," he said, calling on 12 South American nations gathered at the summit alongside 22 Arab and North African nations to step forward with investments and to bolster business contacts.
Strongman: The party of outgoing prime minister Ayad Allawi may have been locked out of power, but many members of the country’s police and National Guard remain fiercely loyal to him.
While the Iraqi List head will not be part of the new leadership that was recently sworn into office, Muhsin Kadhim of the Iraqi National Guard, ING, still believes that Allawi is the only person who can solve
Haider al-Moosawi, spokesman for Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmad Chalabi, also a member of the United Iraqi Alliance, said the government was not in a position to measure the extent of the security forces’ loyalty to Allawi. He said some police and guardsmen are concerned that they might lose their jobs under the new government. “The new security programme for the incoming government involves reorganisation and the elimination of corrupt people, terrorists or those related to the former Saddam regime,” he said. “But we will deal with each case on its own.”
More strains: Meanwhile, a Sunni political group said several of its members were still being held after two joint raids by American and Iraqi troops Sunday night in
Down The Rathole
$300 billion pissed away: Congress on Tuesday approved an additional $82 billion for
The fifth such emergency spending package Congress has taken up since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the bill includes sweeping immigration changes, a nearly tenfold increase in the one-time payment for families of troops killed in combat and money to build a sprawling U.S. Embassy in
Pushing for a more aggressive Japan: After kissing their babies and hugging their wives, 200 Japanese soldiers in combat fatigues lined up at a base in central Japan last weekend under the "Rising Sun" flag for what has become a familiar ritual — the send-off for troops on their way to Iraq.
But this batch of soldiers may be among the last.
Nearly 18 months into its most ambitious overseas military operation since
A pullout by
Despite the strong backing of the deployment by popular Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, public opinion remains deeply divided over whether the troops should have gone at all.
American Moral Leadership
A lightstick for this man, hold the KY: Despite reports of widespread abuse of prisoners in
Gonzales, who grew up in
"Torture, as a matter of prosecution, is defined by Congress as the intentional infliction of severe physical and mental pain or suffering," Gonzales said in an interview at the offices of Houston U.S. Attorney Michael Shelby.
Gonzales, who took office Feb. 3, was criticized by Democrats during his confirmation hearing for approving a memo in August 2002 while he was White House counsel saying that laws prohibiting torture do "not apply to the president's detention and interrogation of enemy combatants."
The memo also said that to qualify as torture, the pain must include "injury such as death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions."
A January 2002 memo by Gonzales said the war against terrorism "renders obsolete" the Geneva Convention treatment of prisoners of war.
Opinion: Gen. Gary Jones of the Army Special Operations Command recently released a report on Tillman's death and the Army's follow-up investigation. He said that there was no official desire to hide the truth. But why would the Pentagon persist in lying about the death of a well- known and highly admired soldier, sticking to that lie for a full year?
Is it for the same reason that they have singled out enlisted men and women for punishment as scapegoats for their own failures in preparing for and executing much of the aftermath of the Iraq War? Why would they focus on a National Guard brigadier general as the cause of the torture at Abu Ghraib if not to protect her superiors from potentially devastating disclosures? Why would they lie about the death of a celebrity soldier except to limit criticism of the war that cost his life?
The Bush administration knows the answers to these questions just as it believes that you and I will forget its lies. The tragedy is that Bush and company think they can get away with it. Do you think they should?
Opinion: We haven't seen too many pictures of our valiant military men and women returning in flag-draped coffins from
Then last month the Defense Department released hundreds of images of caskets, apparently in response to a legal challenge by Ralph Begleiter, a
In a democratic republic that puts freedom of the press at the top of its list of constitutional demands, there's no way of getting around the reality of suicide bombers and escalating U.S. casualties (1,592 Americans dead as of last week) - or the mounting death toll for Iraqi civilians.
On the 30th anniversary of the end of another
Local story: St. Mary Parish, LA, soldier killed by roadside bomb near