Wednesday, September 21, 2005

War News for Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Bring ‘em on: Iraqi police and US military patrol attacked by small arms fire in Baghdad’s Mansour neighborhood, leading to fighting that lasted through the morning and into the afternoon, with US helicopters firing 30mm rounds into the area, no word on casualties. Two Iraqi police commandoes killed in drive by shooting in western Baghdad. A total of four roadside bomb attacks against US military convoys reported in the greater Baghdad area. Two Iraqi journalists murdered in Mosul, one last Friday and one on Tuesday. Seven insurgents and one child killed, one child injured in US military raids in Mosul.

Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers wounded when their convoy was targeted by a roadside bomb in the Abu Ghraib area of Baghdad. According to Iraqi police, U.S. forces then opened fire on people in the area, wounding an Iraqi civilian. Two policemen, one Iraqi soldier, and five insurgents killed in fighting near the United Arab Emirates embassy in the Mansour neighborhood. The deaths of three US soldiers who were killed last Friday were announced Tuesday.

Bring ‘em on: Activist said to be an Al-Qaeda chief killed in Haditha, along with two gunmen and a child. Another gunman was wounded. (It is interesting that the child reported as killed in this report was said to be used as a shield which is the same claim made regarding the child reported killed in the first post above, although that incident took place in Mosul.) Al-Qaeda commander arrested along with his driver in Mosul. Six gunmen arrested by Iraqi troops in Al-Yusufiah. Scholar wounded in grenade attack in Al-Qaem. Up to 24 dead bodies have been found over the past hours in various locations in the country.

Bring ‘em on: Civilian death toll in Basra fighting between British troops and Iraqi police rises to five.

Bring ‘em on: The US army has been conducting operations, including air strikes, since Tuesday in the Al-Jabour district of Dhuluiyah. US forces have sealed off the area since four civilian contractors were killed and two others, in addition to two soldiers, were wounded in 'a complex attack on a Combat Logistic Patrol' in Dhuluiyah yesterday. One Iraqi police officer was detained during the incident for drawing his weapon on a US soldier.

Bring ‘em on: Two policemen from the Elite Unit killed and three wounded when they were attacked by gunmen in the Shula district, northwestern Baghdad. Three bodies found bound and blindfolded in Iskandariya. Police said they were shot dead three days ago. Two bodies found in the Shula district of northwestern Baghdad. They were bound and shot dead and police said there were signs of torture on their bodies. A cleric was wounded when a bomb was planted in front of his house near Hilla. One person was kidnapped by gunmen near Hilla.

Demonstration: About 500 civilians and policemen, some waving pistols and AK-47s, rallied Wednesday in the southern city of Basra and denounced "British aggression" following London's decision to use force to free two of its soldiers being held by Iraqi police.

Attacks by insurgents continued in and around Baghdad, with a roadside bomb wounding two U.S. soldiers. The blast came a day after the death toll for U.S. forces in Iraq rose to more than 1,900.

The demonstrators in Basra shouted "No to occupation!" and carried banners condemning "British aggression and demanding the freed soldiers be tried in an Iraqi court as "terrorists."

Some of the protesters met with the Basra police chief, Gen. Hassan Sawadi, to demand a British apology, said police spokesman Col. Karim al-Zaidi. Heavily armed soldiers and police watched the protest but didn't intervene. Al-Zaidi said the demonstration was arranged by some policemen, not by the force or its commander.

Clashes between British forces and Iraqi police have killed five civilians, including two who died of their injuries Wednesday in a hospital, authorities said.

Tal Afar: Nearly 1,500 displaced Iraqi families have returned to the northern city of Talafar after Coalition forces ended an operation to rout insurgents hiding there, but the returnees said dozens of their homes had been totally destroyed. The Iraq Red Crescent Society (IRCS) said on Tuesday that despite the returns, thousands of displaced people were still living in camps surviving on aid from various humanitarian organisations. One of the main IRCS camps near the city, which is located just 60 km from the Syrian border, was half-empty. The camp, with 750 tents, housed 3,000 families at the height of the recent fighting. "We don't have full information on what returnees are finding there [in Talafar]. Our efforts are now to address the difficulties of those still displaced in camps and villages around Talafar," Ferdous al-Abadi, spokesperson for the IRCS, said. Some residents complained that some operations were still ongoing – making the city insecure. "My husband was killed inside Talafar a week ago. Today I went to check our house and see if everything was still there. I cannot stay there and [so I] returned to this camp because at least there is security here," said Samira Muhammad, 42, a tearful mother of four.

Starvation: The UN World Food Program (WFP) has warned that a 56 per cent funding shortfall is jeopardizing the agency’s emergency operation in Iraq aimed at supporting more than three million people - over half of them children.

Despite a recent donation of wheat flour from the Indian government (valued at US$2.5 million), the WFP’s US$66 million operation, which runs until the end of this year, has received only US$29 million, or 44 per cent of the funds required.

The WFP aims to assist over 1.7 million extremely impoverished primary school children, 220,000 malnourished children and their family members (totaling over 1.1 million), 350,000 pregnant and lactating women, and more than 6,000 tuberculosis patients.

WFP spokesperson Mia Turner told ISN Security Watch from the organization’s regional office in Cairo that there was no safety net in place should they fail to make up the shortfall in funding, and with so many other emergencies around the world, the WFP insisted there were no funds that could be diverted from other projects.


Analysis: The British government - and opposition - is in total denial. Ministerial boasts can't conceal the gloom of private briefings. Blair has done what no prime minister should do. He has put his soldiers at a foreign power's mercy. First that power was America. Now, according to the defence secretary, John Reid, it is a band of brave but desperate Iraqis entombed in Baghdad's Green Zone. He says he will stay until they request him to go, when local troops are trained and loyal and infrastructure is restored. That means doomsday. Everyone knows it.

Iraqis of my acquaintance are numb at the violence unleashed by the west's failure to impose order on their country. They are baffled at the ineptitude, the counter-productive cruelty of the arrests, bombings and suppressions. They are past caring whether it was better or worse under Saddam. They know only that more people a month are being killed than at any time since the massacres of the early 1990s. If death and destruction are any guide, Britain's pre-invasion policy of containment was far more successful than occupation.

Infrastructure is not being restored. Baghdad's water, electricity and sewers are in worse shape than a decade ago. Huge sums - such as the alleged $1bn for military supplies - are being stolen and stashed in Jordanian banks. The new constitution is a dead letter except the clauses that are blatantly sharia. These are already being enforced de facto in Shia areas.

British soldiers are in a war over whose course, conduct and outcome their leaders have no control. Their government's exit strategy is no longer realistic, indeed is dishonest. Talk of reducing troop levels from 8,000 to 3,000 next year has been abandoned. Everyone seems on the wrong planet. Meanwhile daily groping for good news and the sickening litany of the bad is reminiscent of Vietnam. Nobody reads Barbara Tuchman on folly.

Editorial: We went into the Middle East with the same blinders we wore going into Vietnam: Surely the most powerful nation on Earth could bend the will of any people. Surely, American military might would pave the way for democracy in Vietnam and Iraq. Tell that to the peasants of Vietnam. Now President Bush, who so arrogantly declared mission accomplished as he landed on an aircraft carrier to bolster his image as a warrior-president, takes our country even deeper into uncertainty — and chaos — by his "stay the course" stance in Iraq. America invaded a sovereign nation under the guise of either bad intelligence or blatant lies. At this point — as far as the soldiers fighting and dying there — it no longer matters. The cost of Iraq may be far worse than the loss of 2,000 dead Americans, thousands more of our finest soldiers wounded and 25,000-30,000 dead Iraqi civilians. The enemy now looks upon Americans, the infidel, as weak, as a people without resolve. Were I a sworn enemy of this once-great nation, say a leader of a dangerous, rogue regime like the one in North Korea, I might seriously consider making a bold military strike against a weak neighbor. The army of al-Qaida, which has wisely used Iraq as a training ground for how to kill American soldiers, will have eager, dedicated enlistees willing to die for the cause against the Great Satan. Meanwhile, Army and Marine recruiters can't meet their monthly requirements of new recruits. Who, then, is winning the war on terrorism?

Casualty Reports

Local story: Queens, NY, soldier killed in IED explosion in Iraq.

Local story: Plattekill, NY, soldier killed by IED explosion in Ramadi.

Local story: Pennsauken, NJ, soldier killed by IED explosion in Iraq.

Local story: Elizabethtown, KY, soldier killed in roadside bombing in Baghdad.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?