Thursday, November 03, 2005

War News for Thursday, November 3, 2005: Bring 'em on: TWO MARINES KILLED IN SUPER COBRA CRASH NEAR AR RAMADI Bring 'em on: MARINE AND SAILOR KILLED BY IED IN AR RAMADI Bring 'em on: In Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad, a U.S. soldier was mortally wounded when his patrol came under small arms fire Wednesday, the military said. Bring 'em on: a soldier from the Army's Task Force Baghdad who was killed by a roadside bomb Wednesday in a southern district of the capital, the military said. Bring 'em on: Petty Officer 1st Class Howard E. Babcock IV, 33, of Houston, Texas, died in a motorcycle accident on Oct. 13 in Bahrain. Babcock was assigned to the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station in Bahrain. Bring 'em on: A U.S. soldier was killed by a roadside bomb, the military said Thursday. The blast occurred Wednesday during combat operations in Ramadi. Bring 'em on: One of the Baghdad bombs was aimed at an Iraqi army patrol in the southeast of the capital and five soldiers were killed, police said. Bring 'em on: A second bomb in the east of the city hit a civilian van, killing five civilians and wounding several more, the U.S. military and Iraqi police said. Bring 'em on: Another bomb wounded five civilians near a vegetable market in the southern Doura district of the city. Bring 'em on: an Iraqi police patrol came under fire in western Baghdad, leaving one policeman dead and five wounded. Bring 'em on: In the latest airstrikes, the military said coalition air forces had bombed three al Qaeda safe houses in the area of Husayba, which is near the Syrian border. Bring 'em on: One Iraqi soldier was killed and four others wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their patrol in Falluja police said. Two civilians were killed in subsequent shooting. Bring 'em on: Iraqi police said they retrieved a body from a river in the small town of Khasim, near Hilla, south of Baghdad. The body was identified as that of a senior member of the city council of Khasim who was abducted three days ago. Bring 'em on: A policeman was wounded when gunmen attacked an Iraqi police patrol in western Baghdad, police said. Bring 'em on: One civilian Iraqi died and nine others were wounded in explosion of a car-bomb in the Northern Iraqi town of Kirkuk. According to the information the attack was supposedly aimed at a U.S. military convoy. Bring 'em on: At least 23 people were killed and 46 were wounded when a car bomb exploded outside a Shi'ite Muslim mosque in the Iraqi town of Musayyib on Wednesday, the Interior Ministry said. Bring 'em on: (updated) The death toll in Wednesday's car bombing near a mosque in the Shi'ite town of Musayyib rose to 29, with 62 wounded, hospital sources said. Bring 'em on: The chief of police of Ninevah escaped death when gunmen attacked him in northern Baghdad, police said, adding that two of his guards were wounded. Bring 'em on: The al-Qaida in Iraq militant group said Thursday that it has sentenced to death two Moroccan embassy employees kidnapped last month in Iraq, the insurgents' latest attempt to scare Arab nations from sending diplomats. Bring 'em on: Police said they found 11 bodies in southeastern Baghdad. Some had been beheaded and some shot. Bring 'em on: It has become a routine. Iraqi insurgents blow up one of the North Oil Company’s facilities out in the scrubland. Engineers go and patch it up. The guerrillas fire on them and they beat a retreat. It has happened regularly for the past two years and is happening now as North Oil tries to repair a gathering centre hit last week by four explosions. At this rate, officials say, it will take at least a month to restart exports. Bring 'em on: As of Monday, 428 civilian contractors have been killed in Iraq and 3,963 were injured, according to Department of Labor insurance-claims statistics obtained by Knight Ridder. Those statistics, which experts said are the most comprehensive listing available, are far from complete: Two of the biggest contractors in Iraq said their casualties are higher than the figures the Labor Department had for them. Their deaths have more than tripled in the past 13 months. Criminals: Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff and a key architect of the Iraq war, was indicted Friday on felony charges of perjury, making false statements and obstruction of justice for allegedly impeding the grand jury investigating the CIA leak case. The five-count indictment alleges that Libby lied to FBI agents who interviewed him on two occasions, perjured himself during two appearances before the grand jury, and obstructed justice when he "knowingly and corruptly endeavored to influence, obstruct and impede" the grand jury's efforts to find out who leaked Valerie Plame's status as a covert agent to reporters during the spring of 2003. Within minutes of the indictment, Libby resigned his post. Commentary: Americans are long overdue for an answer to why they were told there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The indictment of Lewis Libby on charges of lying to a grand jury about the outing of Valerie Wilson has focused attention on the lengths to which the Bush administration went in 2003 to try to distract the public from this central fact: American soldiers found a lot of things in Iraq, including a well-armed insurgency their bosses never anticipated, but they did not find weapons of mass destruction. Talabani rejects any strike on Syria from Iraq-paper: Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said in remarks published today he would oppose the use of Iraqi territory as a launchpad for any US military strike on Syria. ''I absolutely reject that Iraqi territory be used as a launchpad for any military strike against Syria or any other Arab country,'' Talabani told Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat. ''But this is my personal opinion and my capabilities are limited in confronting America's might ... I cannot impose my opinion on them,'' he added in an interview. The Pentagon has begun contingency planning for potential military conflict with Venezuela as part of a broad post-Iraq evaluation of strategic threats to the United States. The planning has been precipitated by general and specific directives issued by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his civilian policy assistants. To call Venezuela a "rogue" nation, a retro-label usually reserved for the worst lawless regimes, is both lazy and small minded. Relations between the U.S. and Venezuela have deteriorated steadily since President Hugo Chavez, an anti-imperial populist, was elected in December 1998. Country needs you, Iraq tells Saddam's officers: The Iraqi government issued a plea on Wednesday to former junior officers in Saddam Hussein's military who were sacked by the U.S. occupiers after his fall to return to the army as it battles a fierce Sunni Arab insurgency. In a statement, issued on the eve of the main annual Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, Defense Minister Saadoun Dulaimi, one of the few Sunnis in government, invited former officers with the ranks of major, captain and lieutenant to return to the forces. "Those who wish to rejoin the new Iraqi army to serve the precious homeland should go to recruitment centers opened around the country ... for medical procedures and interviews," he said, listing six centers around the country where they can register. The Bush Administration's prewar claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction were "manipulated, at least" to mislead the American people, former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday. The decision to go to war was the culmination of a long-term plan to attack Iraq that resulted from the first President Bush not taking out Saddam, Carter said on NBC's "Today" show. Carter also said he supports the move by Senate Democrats to force an update on the investigation into prewar intelligence on Iraq, and says Republicans have been dragging their feet on the investigation. Marine tells of 'carte blanche' to kill: In response to Mr Nix’s query as to what was their "firing policy". Mr Massey replied: "To shoot first and ask questions later. We were given carte blanche to kill." Asked by counsel if this was in breach of the Geneva Convention, Mr Massey replied: "Yes sir". Mr Nix: "Did it happen?" - "It did, many times. Over a three month period more than 30 innocent people were killed that I know of." Why this unpopular war has no tipping point: Media attention focused on the death of the 2,000th American soldier in Iraq last week. But that grim event alone probably won't prove a tipping point in public opposition to the war. After 30 months of fighting, most Americans have already turned against the war. Polls find that 54 percent believe the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, up from 24 percent in March 2003. Compare Iraq to Vietnam. Although the 1968 Tet offensive, in which the US military took heavy losses, did cause people to worry that the war was not going well, support did not plummet. It simply continued to drift downward. In Iraq, support bumped up a bit when Saddam Hussein was captured and when elections were held, and it slumped at the time of the Abu Ghraib disclosures. But in each of these cases, it soon returned to its previous course. Using comparable poll questions, support levels for this war when 2,000 American soldiers have been killed are about the same as they were in the Vietnam War when well over 20,000 perished. This strongly suggests that the public places a much lower value on the stakes in Iraq than it did in Vietnam. Polls, however, are not referendums. Eroding public support cannot keep the administration from continuing to prosecute the war any more than discontent did in Vietnam, unless it is expressed in congressional action. Moreover, though a decline in American casualty rates is unlikely to boost support, it may, as in Vietnam, cause the public to pay less attention to the conflict. Shamed from a broken house: Bunnatine ("Bunny") Greenhouse: In late August 2005, after twenty years of service in the field of military procurement, Bunnatine ("Bunny") Greenhouse, the top official at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in charge of awarding government contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq, was demoted. For years, Greenhouse received stellar evaluations from superiors -- until she raised objections about secret, no-bid contracts awarded to Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) -- a subsidiary of Halliburton, the mega-corporation Vice President Dick Cheney once presided over. After telling congress that one Halliburton deal was "was the most blatant and improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my professional career," she was reassigned from "the elite Senior Executive Service...to a lesser job in the civil works division of the corps." Richard Clarke: Perhaps the most well-known of the Bush administration's casualties, Clarke spent thirty years in the government, serving under every president from Ronald Reagan on. He was the second-ranking intelligence officer in the State Department under Reagan and then served in the administration of George H.W. Bush. Under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, he held the position of the president's chief adviser on terrorism on the National Security Council -- a Cabinet-level post. Clarke became disillusioned with the "terrible job" of fighting terrorism exhibited by the second president Bush -- namely, ignoring evidence of an impending al-Qaeda attack and putting the pressure on to produce a non-existent link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. (His memo explaining that there was no connection, said Clarke,"got bounced sent back saying, ?Wrong answer. Do it again.'") After 9/11, Clarke asked for a transfer from his job to a National Security Council office concerned with cyber-terrorism. (The administration later claimed it was a demotion). Quit, January 2003. Paul O'Neill: A top official at the Office of Management and Budget under Presidents Nixon and Ford (and later chairman of aluminum-giant Alcoa), O'Neill served nearly two years in George W. Bush's cabinet as Secretary of the Treasury before being asked to resign after opposing the president's tax cuts. He, like Clarke, recalled Bush's Iraq fixation "From the Very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," said O'Neill, a permanent member of the National Security Council. "It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying ?Go find me a way to do this.'" Fired, December 6, 2002. Legion of merit: AnArmyofficer who was promoted to Colonel after his death in a Baghdad explosion has become the highest-ranking Soldier killed in action in Iraq, the Pentagon said Monday. Col. William W. Wood, 44, of Panama City, died Oct. 27. He was directing security operations following an explosion when another bomb went off. Wood was a lieutenant colonel at the time. The Army posthumously promoted him to Colonel, Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Pamela Hart said. (Editors comments) This is the kind of leader who leads from the front, he could have sent his men to the site of a roadside bombing which killed four men, bet he decided to direct the operation in person and got killed for his decision. This is a true hero! Especially to his troops right now even though in hindsight a battalion commander should not be risking himself in stupid ways. Now if we had people of this moral judgment, who leeds by example from the front in our highest office right now I suspect we wouldn't be in this situation right now. But we have cowardly leaders who hide from there own shadow, afraid to walk among his own people, lying, deceiving, stealing from his very subjects. How shameful! Casualty reports: Wisconsin Army Reserve member died Monday at Brooke Army Medical Center Mississippi Guard Soldier Killed By Roadside Bomb Two soldiers from the Northern Marianas have died in bomb attacks 4 from 101st Airborne are killed in Iraq Father of 2 killed in Baghdad Pomona man killed in Iraq Broward soldier killed in Iraq Fort Benning Ranger killed in Iraq 'Dedicated' soldier Debra Banaszak dies in Kuwait Native Killed During Third Tour In Iraq


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