Wednesday, August 10, 2005
War News for Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Bring ‘em on: Four US soldiers killed and six wounded in Beiji when an armored Humvee hit an antitank mine and insurgents then attacked with small arms fire. Two civilians killed and four wounded in a mortar attack near a Shiite mosque in
Bring ‘em on: Four insurgents killed by US troops while trying to plant a roadside bomb in Ramadi. Iraqi Cabinet employee assassinated by gunmen in
Bring ‘em on: Ten Iraqi doctors killed in an ambush by unidentified gunmen while on their way to Ramadi to help at hospitals there.
Bring ‘em on: Fifteen people killed separate incidents in
Bring ‘em on: Iraqi brigadier general in charge of the Interior Ministry’s administrative affairs office kidnapped in central
Break’s over: A day after fierce sandstorms brought most of
Marine Corps units involved in Operation Quick Strike — a 1,000-strong Marine offensive in the
The operation, at least the sixth in the region recently, was launched after a spate of attacks killed more than 20 Marines last week.
Upgrades: The bomb that killed two Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers Saturday was of a type used with increasing frequency by insurgents to try to penetrate the extra-armor kits that have been recently put on most
Lt. Col. Philip J. Logan, commander of Task Force Dragoon, said in an e-mail to The Inquirer from
Guard officials in
"The detonation caused the vehicle to swerve down an embankment, which was what caused most of the damage/injury,"
The Guard soldiers were riding in an M1025 humvee equipped with a factory-made armor kit for extra protection,
Blowing smoke: Iraqi army and police forces now have the lead security role in eight to 10 areas of
"It's going to take time; nobody knows," Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a Pentagon news conference. "It's event-driven. It's going to be driven by a lot of events."
Though a constitutional referendum in October and elections for a permanent government in December will represent significant political milestones for
Last March, Gen. John Abizaid, of U.S. Central Command, told Congress that he believed Iraqi forces would be able to take the lead role this year, but Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, told Congress two months later that only a "small number" of Iraq's 173,000 army and police troops were capable of battling terrorists on their own.
Myers named only two areas where Iraqis police and army had taken the lead in security - a portion of
Home-grown: One reason the insurgency has grown so intractable, analysts say, is that Iraq, like Lebanon and the Palestinian territories before it, has developed a home-grown terrorist culture where little if any had existed before the war.
"Two years ago, the Iraqis did not know how to mount insurgent or terrorist operations and were heavily dependent on foreign jihadists to show them how to do things, how to make bombs, how to set up IEDs [improvised explosive devices, better known as roadside bombs], how to set up operational plans and do everything else for themselves," said Kenneth Pollack, an Iraq and military expert with the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.
"Today they have internalized most of those lessons," Pollack told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month, "and they are increasingly less dependent on foreigners for the know-how."
That's one reason the
Let’s hope they don’t get even more desperate: US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned overnight that violence in
"I think it's reasonable to expect that violence could, again, increase for a time, as it did during the last elections," Rumsfeld said, looking ahead to a referendum on a new constitution in October and elections in December.
Senior Bush administration officials have repeatedly argued that the insurgency in
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in an interview released on Sunday that the insurgency in
"It's a lot easier to see the violence and suicide bombing than to see the rather quiet political progress that's going on in parallel," she said.
Vice President Dick Cheney sparked controversy in June when he said the insurgency was in its "last throes".
“Reasonable suspicion”: Australian and British military legal advisers frequently had to "red card" more trigger-happy
In the most detailed insight yet into the secret rules Australian forces operated under during the conflict in 2003, Colonel Kelly, who went on to become a senior adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, said for Australian forces to open fire the enemy was "required to visibly carry weapons while deploying for an attack".
Defence sources said that under more relaxed US rules there only had to be a "reasonable suspicion" that the person was an enemy combatant and a threat.
Local coup: Armed men entered
The deposed mayor, Alaa al-Tamimi, who was not in his offices at the time, recounted the events in a telephone interview on Tuesday and called the move a municipal coup d'état. He added that he had gone into hiding for fear of his life.
"This is the new
Turmoil: Political crisis gripped the southern Iraqi town of
The uncertainty came in the wake of protests over public services that erupted on Sunday. Police fired into the crowd of hundreds, killing one person and wounding 40.
A day later, regional council members voted to oust governor Mohammed al-Hassaani, head of Muthanna province, one of 18 Iraqi regions, after the protesters had demanded his resignation in the town where 550 Japanese troops are stationed.
But local government officials said on Wednesday Hassaani, backed by a leading Shi'ite Islamist party in the national government, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), has kept showing up for work, insisting there were not enough members of the local legislature present to vote him out.
Murder: Every couple of weeks in the town of
The pattern is the same. One day, someone in a police uniform drives up and abducts the victim and a few days later their body is found in the river near a bridge on the northeastern side of town, toward Basrah in southern
In some cases, the victim`s name shows up on police prison rolls as having been arrested, suggesting some level of police involvement in the killings, said Maj. Freddie Grounds, 35, commander of the Royal Anglian Regiment`s B Company.
Fanatics and extremists: Quietly, in their ones and twos, the professional classes of
Outside the shelter of the Green Zone, home to the American and Iraqi political leadership, lawlessness has overtaken the capital.
Professor Abdul Sattar Jawad, the head of English literature at
Since the new Government came to power in April there have been up to 3000 civilian deaths, about half attributed to criminal activity.
"I love my country but I am unable to do any service for the people because it is overrun by fanatics and extremists," Professor Jawad said. "The streets are ruled by gangs, looters and goons."
Flight to safety: Each morning before dawn, hundreds of Arabs from southern
Dead journalists: In its second appeal in three days for the protection of journalists in
Risky business: Islamic militants threatened to kill him for it, but Abu Mustafa says it was the only way he knew to make a living in the chaos that is
The pornographic video salesman is among many traders caught between two faces of the new
Relentless guerrilla violence has killed thousands of Iraqis, ravaged the economy and pushed up unemployment, forcing people like Abu Mustafa to scramble for a job.
But like the tens of thousands signing up for the new, U.S. -trained police and army, selling pornography has become an especially high-risk profession in Iraq, where a religious Shi'ite-led government swept to power in January, raising fears in some quarters of an Islamic state modeled after Iran.
Shattered minds: Pfc. Steven Sherwood was declared mentally fit by the Army only a few days before he killed his wife and then himself at their home in
Shattered bodies: His real injuries were almost as bad as the ones he hallucinated. He had a broken femur, broken jaw, broken cheekbone. His right calf was blown away. Also, his right ear couldn't hear and his right eye couldn't see.
He spent a month and a half at Walter Reed. The doctors wired his jaw shut, put a metal rod in his leg, did nine hours of surgery on his eye, reconstructed his calf, and did skin grafts.
"I've had way too many surgeries to count," he says.
One day a nurse came in to ask Rodgers if he wanted to meet President Bush, who was visiting the hospital. Rodgers declined.
"I don't want anything to do with him," he explains. "My belief is that his ego is getting people killed and mutilated for no reason -- just his ego and his reputation. If we really wanted to, we could pull out of
Rodgers says he also declined to meet Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice. This wounded soldier has lost faith in his leaders, and he no longer believes their repeated assurances of victory.
"It's gonna go on as long as we're there," he says. "There's always gonna be insurgents trying to blow us up. There's just too many of 'em that are willing to do it. You're never gonna catch all of 'em. And it seems like they have unlimited amounts of ammunition. So I don't think it's ever gonna end."
Shattered trust: American attitudes toward the war in
An unprecedented 57% majority say the war has made the
The poll of 1,004 adults, taken Friday through Sunday, also finds that one in three say the
G. Terry Madonna, a pollster at
"You can't go month after month with no sign of progress and little evidence that Iraqi troops are able to defend themselves without public attitudes toward the war deteriorating," Madonna says. "It has been seven months since the Iraqi elections, and most of the news since then has been bad."
Editorial: The mindset that justifies classifying "faulty maintenance" as a state secret is what ties these two cases together. Somewhere in between
Opinion: It's getting harder for the president to hide from the human consequences of his actions and to control human sentiment about the war by pulling a curtain over the 1,835 troops killed in Iraq; the more than 13,000 wounded, many shorn of limbs; and the number of slain Iraqi civilians - perhaps 25,000, or perhaps double or triple that. More people with impeccable credentials are coming forward to serve as a countervailing moral authority to challenge Mr. Bush.
Paul Hackett, a Marine major who served in
Selectively humane, Mr. Bush justified his
But his humanitarianism will remain inhumane as long as he fails to understand that the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in
Editorial: You probably remember the Tennessee National Guardsman who embarrassed Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld in December. He asked Rumsfeld why he hadn't procured armor to protect his troops.
The real answer: Because you didn't make him.
You allowed the Pentagon and Rumsfeld to pretend armor was no big deal. "You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want," Rumsfeld responded. If you had been paying attention, such a flip answer would have sent Rummy packing.
You allowed the president to remain oblivious. You didn't protest when your congressmen, from both parties, snatched money out of the military budget to pay for pork-barrel projects. You let them protect well-connected contractors even after it was obvious that they weren't up to fixing the problem.
Of course, Rummy, when he visited
The military moves No. 1 prisoner Saddam Hussein around in a Rhino. Our soldiers get something far inferior.
And that's on you.
Truly armored vehicles like the Rhino Runner would cut military casualties in half and eliminate the insurgency's most effective weapon.
But Americans, so very bored with
Unfortunately, armoring military vehicles doesn't fit on either side of
So you didn't raise hell when 14 young Marines perished in an amphibious landing craft in the middle of the damn desert.
Their deaths are on you.
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Local story: Marine with family ties to
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