Monday, June 27, 2005

War News for Monday, 27 June, 2005 Bring 'em on: Three US soldiers and four Iraqi policemen wounded in a series of four bomb attacks in and around the city of Kirkuk. Bring 'em on: Iraqi police colonel gunned down in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Fifteen people killed and seven wounded in suicide bomb attack near the Al-Kisk army base in Mosul. Bring 'em on: One US soldier killed and two injured in roadside bomb attack on a convoy in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Deputy police chief of Baghdad gunned down in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Five Iraqi policemen killed, eight policemen and four civilians injured, in suicide bomb attack on security facility in hospital in Mosul. Bring 'em on: Six Iraqi commandos gunned down in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: US Apache helicopter down north of Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Mother and two girls killed in a mortar attack in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Bodies of five truck drivers found in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Policeman, civilian and nine year old boy killed in gun attack on a barbershop in Baghdad. The strike at Baghdad Airport: Global won a contract to secure the airport last June, worth several million dollars, and it was regarded as one of the most important contracts in Iraq, with the airport an essential outside link as well as a frequent target for guerrilla attack. The one-year deal was signed as power was being handed from U.S. authorities to an Iraqi interim government in late June -- a factor that appears to have caused subsequent problems. "That's when the difficulties began," said Simington. "It was hard to get paid by the Ministry of Transport in November and December. They were saying there was no contract signed with them and that it wasn't their responsibility," he said. I am sure that there are many other contracts like this and the powers that be in the new Iraqi government want their share of the gravy also. The only reconstruction that seems going on in Iraq is prisons: Faced with unremitting violence, the United States is building new detention areas at Iraqi prisons including the notorious Abu Ghraib. Hmmm promises, promises: President George Bush had declared that Abu Ghraib would be torn down in a symbolic gesture after shocking pictures emerged of Iraqi inmates being abused and tortured by American forces. Must have slipped his mind, I guess. The Reality Chasm: How, then, to explain the very different versions of reality in Iraq that come out of the mouths of top Bush administration officials and of senior generals on the ground in Iraq? On Memorial Day, Vice President Dick Cheney declared that the Iraq insurgency was in its "last throes." Yet last week, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Abizaid said that, actually, the insurgency has not grown weaker over the last six months and that the number of foreign terrorists infiltrating Iraq has increased. Pressed by Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a California Democrat, to choose between the general and the vice president, General Casey seemed to struggle. "There's a long way to go here," he testified. "Things in Iraq are hard." He said that the allied forces had weakened the insurgency—but acknowledged that the number of attacks has remained steady. Waiting List: Marwan asked his commander to consider him for a suicide mission last fall but had to wait until the beginning of April for his name to be put on the list of volunteers. "When he finally agreed," Marwan recalls, "it was the happiest day of my life." There are, he says, scores of names on that list, and it can be months before a volunteer is assigned an operation. But at the current high rate of attacks, Marwan hopes he will be called up soon. "I can't wait," he says, rubbing his thumbs with his fingers in nervous energy. "I am ready to die now." Pick a number: Insurgencies tend to go on five, six, eight, 10, 12 years. Coalition forces, foreign forces, are not going to repress that insurgency. We're going to create an environment that the Iraqi people and the Iraqi security forces can win against that insurgency." Worst Secretary of Defence EVER! What happened in Buhriz? Some of our readers, and especially Bob, have been discussing this issue in the comments section over the past few days. Xymphora is now writing about it in his blog and I recommend you follow his link to Dahr Jamail's article in Electronic Iraq.


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