Sunday, August 07, 2005

War News for Sunday, August 7, 2005 Bring 'em on: Two American soldiers killed by roadside bomb in Samarra. Bring 'em on: Two Iraqi civil servants in the oil ministry shot in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Three Iraqi soldiers gunned down in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Employee of the Independent Electoral Commission in Iraq assassinated in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: US soldier killed in attack in Mosul. Bring 'em on: Three Iraqis wounded by suicide bomber attacking US patrol in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Two Chalabi supporters assassinated in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Iraqi woman killed, child wounded by bomb in Al Dawr. Bring 'em on: Iraqi soldier killed by suicide bomber near Balad. Bring 'em on: Three Iraqi civilians killed, five wounded during fighting near Haditha. Bring 'em on: One British soldier wounded in roadside bomb ambush near Baghdad. Bring 'em on: US and Iraqi troops repel coordinated insurgent attacks in Baghdad. Torture policy. "For much of his Army career David Irvine preached a kinder, gentler interrogation style: Legal under international military law, effective against the most stubborn enemy, and - above all - moral. Satisfied that his instruction to would-be interrogators was consistent with Army-wide tactics, the retired brigadier general was crushed, last year, when he learned his nation's flag had flown over prisons where U.S. troops abused suspected enemy fighters. . . . 'The Army explanation that these acts are being ginned up by a half dozen low-ranking reserve soldiers just doesn't ring true,' he said, noting that the photographs of abuses in Abu Ghraib have been followed by descriptions of abuses in other prisons - implicating many dozens of other soldiers and making the purported ignorance of senior officers implausible. 'It is obvious that there has been a complete breakdown of command discipline and a complete departure for the Army's policy on treating prisoners of war,' he said. Irvine disregards claims of those who say tougher techniques are necessary to extract information from religious zealots, noting that Israel, which "got very good at torture" in its struggle against its Arabic enemies, has banned the practice. The former chief interrogator for Israel's General Security Services, Michael Koubi, has said the most important skill for an interrogator is to know the prisoner's language - something the U.S. military has struggled with." This article also describes Sen. John McCain's proposed legislation to prohibit torture, and the right-wing's furious defense of Little George's right to torture. Operation Quick Strike.
Though the Marines in Haqlaniyah didn't discuss the deaths of their comrades earlier this week, they felt urgency. Talking to a truckload of troops, sitting in pre-dawn darkness Friday morning, Sgt. Marcio Vargas Estrada made the point to the men of his squad from 3-2's Lima Company. ``If somebody shoots at you, you waste'' him, said Estrada, 32, of Kearny, N.J. ``When you go back to Camp Lejeune, these will be the good old days, when you brought . . . death and destruction to -- what . . . is this place called?'' A Marine answered in the darkness: ``Haqlaniyah.'' Estrada continued: ``Haqlaniyah, yeah, that. And then we will take death and destruction to Hadithah. Hopefully, we'll stay until December so we can bring death and destruction to half of . . . Iraq.'' The flatbed truck erupted in a storm of ``Hoo-ahs.'' Lima Company rumbled toward town at 5:30 a.m. At 6:04 a.m., Sgt. Maj. Arthur Mennig, listening to the radio, said, ``We've already had a vehicle hit a mine.'' A few minutes later came an explosion ahead -- a roadside bomb. Still another call came over the radio. Mennig shook his head. ``It's going to be a long day.'' While insurgent shells landed, and heavy U.S. armament replied, Mennig and his men walked through 100-plus-degree heat, searching for traces of their enemy's base. A temporary intravenous station was set up for those suffering from sunstroke.
Police training. Multiple witnesses attest that Vincent and Khal were taken by men who appeared to be driving police vehicles. One witness, who refused to give his name, said he recognized one abductor as a Ministry of Interior employee. 'The man also recognized me, after I saluted him,' the witness said. 'He said to me, 'Do not interfere! It is our duty.'" Racketeers. "California Army National Guard troops charged unauthorized, off-the-books 'rent' to Iraqi-owned businesses inside Baghdad's Green Zone in Iraq to raise money for a "soldier's fund," military officials and sources within the troops' battalion said Friday." Gun show. "A quarrel between two firearms vendors at a Floyd County flea market on Thursday allegedly led both men -- described as "good friends" -- to draw guns. Douglas Moore, 65, of Martin, who supports the war, shot and killed Harold Wayne Smith, 56, of Manchester, who opposed it, investigators said." Constitution:
Iraqi Kurds Saturday rejected suggestions the country should be proclaimed an Islamic state in the new constitution and said there would be no compromise on the incorporation of oil-rich Kirkuk into their autonomous northern region. Massoud Barzani, the president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan, assured Kurdish MPs that he would also insist on federalism and retaining the Kurdish peshmerga militia when he meets top Iraqi leaders to discuss the constitution Sunday in Baghdad. “We will not accept that Iraq’s identity is Islamic,” Barzani told an emergency session of the autonomous Kurdistan parliament in Arbil. He also rejected suggestions that Iraq be termed an Arab nation. “Let Arab Iraq be part of the Arab nation – we are not,” the Kurdish leader said. Barzani, one of the leaders of the 4.5 million Kurds in Iraq, arrived in Baghdad late Saturday to participate in a national conference Sunday where Iraq’s leaders will attempt to break the deadlock on a new draft constitution. “This is a golden chance for Kurds and Kurdistan – if we don’t do what is important for Kurdistan, there will be no second chance. We will not make our final decision in Baghdad, the Kurdish parliament will decide,” he said. The Kurds want a constitution that will guarantee federalism and preserve their region’s autonomy, wrested from Saddam Hussein 14 years ago. Barzani also insisted his region would retain its peshmerga militias, despite calls by Baghdad that they be incorporated in the national army. The emergency meeting of the Kurdish parliament had prompted a two-day postponement of the national conference to break the constitutional deadlock. The deadlock revolves around federalism, what the official languages of the new Iraq will be, the relation between religion and state, the rights of women and the future of Kirkuk.
Across the Border: Iran has rejected the Europeans’ proposal for a settlement of its nuclear standoff with the West, saying Saturday the offer failed to recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium. Germany accused Iran of being confrontational and suggested the matter would go to the UN Security Council, which could impose sanctions unless Iran backed down. “The European proposals are unacceptable,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told Iranian state radio. He said the primary reason was the failure to allow Iran to enrich uranium. Uranium enriched to low levels is used in nuclear power reactors, but further enrichment makes it suitable for nuclear bombs. “We had already announced that any plan has to recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium,” Asefi said.


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