Wednesday, October 19, 2005
War News for Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, two wounded, in roadside bombing near Iskandariyah.
Bring ‘em on: One US soldier by small-arms fire in
Bring ‘em on: Deputy governor of Anbar province shot dead by gunmen in Ramadi. His bodyguard was also killed in the attack.
Bring ‘em on:
Bring ‘em on: Three Iraqi election officials assassinated by gunmen in
Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqi police commandos killed and three wounded in fighting in
Bring ‘em on: One British soldier killed in a roadside bombing in
Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed by small arms fire in
Bring ‘em on: Six Shiite factory workers lined up and shot to death in front of their fellow workers by insurgents who then fled in stolen company vehicles.
Bring ‘em on:
Some statistics: As anticipated, insurgent attacks continued at a high level in
But the number of U.S. troops wounded in action continued at a grimly high level, and the percentage of U.S. troop fatalities inflicted by improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, was higher than ever for September and October so far -- an ominous indicator that the technical expertise of the insurgents is steadily advancing.
The number of
This was a very high rate of injuries suffered, and reflected the continuing widespread and formidable nature of the insurgency. The figure was far worse than the average of 16.3
It was open season once again on the poorly trained and even more poorly protected new Iraqi security forces. No less than 109 of them were killed in the 14 days from Oct. 2 to Oct. 16, the IIP said.
That was a rate of just under eight per day, far worse than the six per day kill rate the insurgents achieved in the first 13 days of September and even worse than the 7.5 per day kill rate they achieved during the four days from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2.
At that time, it appeared possible that that kill rate might have been a statistical aberration, with the insurgents getting "lucky" or mounting an intensive offensive that they could not sustain for more than a few days. But they have now sustained it for two-and-a-half weeks with no relief in sight. As long as the insurgents can continue to inflict such a sustained heavy level of casualties on the allied Iraqi police and troops, their effectiveness must be judged to almost negligible. They remain far more the hunted rather than the hunters.
These figures clearly document an insurgency that so far has been able to sustain its latest quantum leap in area, intensity and tactical sophistication in terms of the power of the IEDs and the number of car bombs per week it can set off.
Like naming Karl Rove head of the Plame leak inquiry: The U.S. military will look into whether American warplanes and helicopter gunships killed civilians during a raid on suspected militants near the western Iraqi city of
Asked for President George W. Bush's reaction to the deaths on Sunday of about 20 civilians, including children, spokesman Scott McClellan disputed the reports.
"The military has said otherwise at this point," he said. "The military has review mechanisms in place, and when there are questions raised they look into those matters and so that's something that, obviously, they will look into."
Mother of mercy – 570 a day?: Analysts do not see an end to Iraq's nonstop jockeying among competing ethnic and religious groups or to an insurgency that is averaging 570 attacks a day, despite voters' apparent approval of a new constitution on Saturday.
The constitution, opposed by many of the country's Sunni Muslim minority, leaves up in the air such vital questions as control of oil resources, regional autonomy, the role of Islam and women's rights.
The new government, to be established by the parliament elected Dec. 15, faces a huge challenge to solve those problems while fighting a counterinsurgency, rebuilding a shattered economy and dealing with a Bush administration eager to cut
"It's 50-50 this thing holds together through the spring of 2006. But that is purely a guess,'' Anthony Cordesman, a military analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in
Some Iraqis miss him: Dozens of supporters of Saddam Hussein took to the streets of his hometown Tikrit on Wednesday, vowing loyalty to the former dictator as he went on trial in
He’s still dangerous: The main reason the trial of Saddam Hussein and seven others facing charges of crimes against humanity has been adjourned was because many witnesses were too afraid to turn up, the judge trying the case said on Wednesday.
Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin told Reuters around 30 or 40 witnesses had not come to
"The main reason is the witnesses did not show up," Amin said. "They were too scared to be public witnesses. We're going to work on this issue for the next sessions."
No question the sumbitch deserves whatever he gets: For angry families in this small Iraqi village, the start of Saddam Hussein's trial on Wednesday marks the beginnings of justice for husbands, sons and brothers murdered three decades ago.
"This is the end of every tyrant," said Laith Abd Mahdi, a middle-aged man outside his small house in Dujail. "He hurt us, hurt my relatives and hurt my closest friends. Death is not enough for him."
The first charges Saddam faces stem from events in Dujail, a Shi'ite farming village about 60 km north of Baghdad, after local young men tried but failed to assassinate the Iraqi ruler in 1982 as his motorcade passed through town.
Prosecutors say Saddam sought brutal revenge, ordering his henchmen to hunt down, torture and kill more than 140 men from the town following the attack.
Women and children were also alleged to have been forcibly removed from Dujail, imprisoned and later sent to a desert internment camp where many ultimately "disappeared". The village's farmlands, rich date palm and fruit groves on the banks of the
But he wasn’t worth this war: The documents were released by the independent Washington-based National Security Archive yesterday as the dictator went on trial for the 1982 massacre of 143 Shi'ites in the town of
They also showed US intelligence had an early understanding that overthrowing the Iraqi dictator would lead to instability that could pull the country apart.
Saddam's removal "could usher in an extended period of instability in
The report said such infighting raised the chances of an Iran-backed fundamentalist Islamic regime coming to power – a widely anticipated possibility since the
Who says we don’t have a plan?: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday outlined a strategy of helping Iraqis clear out insurgents and build durable, national institutions as she sought to reassure jittery members of Congress about the path to peace in Iraq. Rice said the
Under the heading of Ummm, yeah – how’s that working out?, please pop by our sister site, Today in
Following the successful model:
''Islamic terrorism is a much bigger problem in Europe than in the
Donald Rumsfeld, National Embarrassment
The wise teacher: Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told students and faculty at a Communist Party school here today that openness, democracy and freedom are the keys to
Irony’s corpse is starting to reek: Republican members of Congress say there are signs that the Defense Department may be carrying out new intelligence activities through programs intended to escape oversight from Congress and the new director of national intelligence. The warnings are an unusually public signal of some Republican lawmakers' concern about overreaching by...
This is all of the article TimesSelect ripoff will give us. If any alert reader is actually paying money for this ‘service’ and wants to sort of copy the article to comments…hmm?
From 2004 and do you think it’s different today?: The official in charge of information security at the Pentagon told lawmakers yesterday that at least half of the information the U.S. government classifies every year should not be kept secret.
"How about if I say 50-50?" Carol Haave told the House Government Reform national security, emerging threats and international relations subcommittee, when asked to quantify the problem of overclassification.
Speaking Of National Embarrassments
Bush: President Bush's unprecedented inclusion in his weekend radio address of a direct reference to a letter he said was written by al-Qaida's number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, highlights the fascinating insights it appears to offer into the inner workings of the group.
But there are nagging questions about the document -- which
And even the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., has cautioned against "reading too much into a single source of intelligence."
Loaded cigar: A letter purportedly written by a senior al Qaeda leader -- and said to be authentic by
Some analysts have gone so far as to label the letter a likely
"If this is a forgery, then either it was designed to blow up in the face of the American government; or someone in the 'coalition of the willing' has been caught with their pants down," said one analyst, who spoke with Cybercast News Service on the condition of anonymity.
Ha ha! This is from the GOPUSA website. How pathetic is this letter if even those bozos don’t buy it?
Turkish officials have repeatedly demanded
Judge Santiago Pedraz issued the warrant for Sgt. Shawn Gibson, Capt. Philip Wolford and Lt. Col. Philip de Camp, all from the U.S. 3rd Infantry.
Jose Couso, who worked for the Spanish television network Telecinco, died April 8, 2003, after a
Reuters cameraman Taras Portsyuk, a Ukrainian, also was killed.
The Spanish judge said he issued the arrest order because of a lack of judicial cooperation from the
Lord Steyn, a law lord, also launched a scathing attack on ministers over the
He said it was a “fairytale” to suggest that the
Lord Steyn echoed the views of Lord Alexander of
Lord Alexander’s view that the war was illegal “reflected the overwhelming view of international lawyers and was undoubtedly correct”.
US Military News
Another cost of war: A Pentagon assessment of troops returning home from
The newspaper obtained the report from the
About 28 percent, or 50,000 troops this year, reported problems ranging from lingering battle wounds to suicidal thoughts or strained marriages, the report said.
Screw the troops: The Pentagon has reneged on its offer to pay a $15,000 bonus to members of the National Guard and Army Reserve who agree to extend their enlistments by six years, according to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Seattle).
The bonuses were offered in January to Active Guard and Reserve and military technician soldiers who were serving overseas. In April, the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs ordered the bonuses stopped,
“This is outrageous,” the senator said in a telephone interview. “It makes me angry that this administration has broken another promise to our troops.”
A Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, confirmed the bonuses had been canceled, saying they violated Pentagon policies because they duplicated other programs. She said Guard and Reserve members would be eligible for other bonuses.
The “Dirt Navy”, heaven preserve us: With the squeeze of an index finger, the machine gun jerked to life – a metallic, menacing growl that chattered in the bone marrow: rat-a-tat … rat-a-tat-tat … rat-a-tat-tat-tat …
An acrid halo of steely smoke rose from the 84-pound gun. Spent shell casings bubbled from an opening in its side. Three football fields away, thumb-size bullets – as many as 550 per minute – sparked off a battered tank parked on the hillside of a gun range.
These are the sights, sounds and smells of the “Dirt Navy,” the buzz words for a new initiative that, if put into play, could thrust sailors into a domain long reserved for foot soldiers.
The Navy has been pondering the idea since at least July, when the service outlined plans aimed at making it more effective in the small-skirmish, close-quarter arenas of a drawn-out war on terrorism.
Among the proposals: creating an expeditionary combat force. The move would produce, according to one Navy official who spoke at the summer briefing: “A sailor with a bayonet in his teeth, ready to go ashore and mix it up.”
They can fight for free speech, they just can’t listen to it: A liberal talk show host scheduled to begin broadcasting on Armed Forces Radio on Monday is blaming political payback for a last-minute decision to shelve the show.
Ed Schultz, whose daily radio show is broadcast in about 100 markets in the
“They knew exactly what kind of program they were getting,” he said. “This looks like a get-back to me. They don’t want any other voices on the air.”
But Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Schultz’s views and recent comments played no factor in the decision.
“What we have here is a staff member who got ahead of the decision-making process,” he said. “We’re in the process of looking at additional programming, but there have been no decisions yet.”
Everything they touch they screw up: When Porter J. Goss took over a failure-stained CIA last year, he promised to reshape the agency beginning with the area he knew best: its famed spy division.
Goss, himself a former covert operative who had chaired the House intelligence committee, focused on the officers in the field. He pledged status and resources for case officers, sending hundreds more to far-off assignments, undercover and on the front line of the battle against al Qaeda.
A year later, Goss is at loggerheads with the clandestine service he sought to embrace. At least a dozen senior officials -- several of whom were promoted under Goss -- have resigned, retired early or requested reassignment. The directorate's second-in-command walked out of
High risk constitution: Early reports from elections officials over the weekend indicated the referendum passed, clearing the way for Dec. 15 elections and a new government by Dec. 31. Constitutional approval and subsequent elections are key concerns for
Not a normal democracy: It won’t be until later in the week that we have even an unofficial tally of how the vote went in the Iraqi referendum on a constitution, though Condoleezza Rice has already jumped the gun by opining in
By that, she meant the rejectionist front of Sunnis had not won more than two-thirds of the votes in more than three provinces. The only figure available is that more than 60% of voters turned out overall.
But if the supporters of the referendum have to hold their breath for a province-by-province breakdown of the voting, they can draw comfort already from the unexpectedly peaceable nature of the referendum. Of course, the level of violence would be unacceptable in a normal democracy.
Rockets were fired yesterday into
The fact that Sunni terror groups largely abstained from such heavy-handed tactics at the weekend suggests they realised many Sunnis were going to vote, so that bombing polling stations would result in killing “their own”.
Bombing bridges: In his speech, casting the conclusions of both missions aside, President Bush observed that Muslim countries from "
President Bush did not shy away from using phrases like "Islamic fascism", "violent Jihad" and "Islamic terrorism", thus condemning everything associated with Islam. It is, however, inappropriate to associate Americans indiscriminately with
Meanwhile, back at home: Habeas corpus is the greatest protection Americans have against a police state. Habeas corpus ensures that Americans can only be detained by law. They must be charged with offenses, given access to attorneys, and brought to trial. Habeas corpus prevents the despotic practice of picking up a person and holding him indefinitely.
President Bush claims the power to set aside habeas corpus and to dispense with warrants for arrest and with procedures that guarantee court appearance and trial without undue delay. Today in the
These new "seize and hold" powers strip the accused of the protective aspects of law and give rein to selectivity and arbitrariness. No warrant is required for arrest, no charges have to be presented before a judge, and no case has to be put before a jury. As the police are unaccountable, whoever is selected for arrest is at the mercy of arbitrariness.
The judiciary has to some extent defended habeas corpus against Bush's attack, but the protection that the principle offers against arbitrary seizure and detention has been breeched. Whether courts can fully restore habeas corpus or whether it continues in weakened form or passes by the wayside remains to be determined.
Americans may be unaware of what it means to be stripped of the protection of habeas corpus, or they may think police authorities would never make a mistake or ever use their unbridled power against the innocent. Americans might think that the police state will only use its powers against terrorists or "enemy combatants".
But "terrorist" is an elastic and legally undefined category. When the President of the
Local story: Grottoes, VA, Marine killed in combat near the Jordanian border in
Local story: Springer, NM, Marine killed in al Rutba.