Wednesday, August 02, 2006
WAR NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 02, 2006
“We got the force necessary to deal with the security situation.”
An Iraqi journalist working for the Iranian government-run Al-Alam television was slain in western
Tuesday a cameraman for an Iranian television channel was killed at about noon in the Amariya neighborhood of
Three Iraqi soldiers were killed Tuesday evening when a suicide car bomber attacked a checkpoint in the northern city of
Early Wednesday three roadside bombs exploded in central
In Baquba, north of
On Wednesday, two traffic police colonels were killed and two guards wounded in a drive-by shooting in Khalis.
A police patrol was hit by a roadside bomb in the northern city of
A man was killed when a bomb he was planting on a highway in northern
Two unidentified bodies, showing signs of torture and gunshot wounds to the head, were found in northwestern
Tuesday a gunman was killed and another wounded in fighting between commandos and unidentified armed men in Jihad, the
“Plan to kill everyone you meet”: Ramadi, the capital of
Ramadi has lost as much as a quarter of its population of 400,000 since the insurgency began. The city has no effective government and few police officers. Insurgents assassinate officials with impunity, and recently issued a death threat against anyone entering the heavily shelled
Joblessness in Ramadi is at least 40 percent and there is no local industry, with utilities and other vital infrastructure regularly blown up by insurgents,
Warfare rocks the city daily. Over a one-month period this summer, insurgents launched nearly 600 attacks, laying about 250 roadside bombs, firing more than 100 rockets and mortars, waging 150 assaults with rifles and machine guns, and setting off four suicide car bombs. "The problem set is mind-numbing," said Maj. David Womack, operations officer for the 101st Airborne Division's battalion in charge of eastern Ramadi. A warning in bold type posted at the battalion's dusty headquarters advises all soldiers to "be polite, be professional, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet."
Popular committees: Thousands of Shi'ite civilians charged with guarding neighbourhoods in
Young men in civilian uniforms and headbands, all members of what is known as the popular committees, chanted as a speaker called on them to crush "terrorists" and loyalists of ousted President Saddam Hussein leading a Sunni Arab insurgency against the Shi'ite-led government.
"Step on terrorism," he said.
The crowd included members of the Badr Organisation, one of the armed Shi'ite groups Sunni Arabs accuse of running militia death squads, a charge they deny.
Shutting down: Sectarian violence and rising crime are transforming
Merchants are shuttering their shops not only because they fear attacks but also because they are unable to keep their shops well-stocked.
Bombings, hijackings and checkpoints delay deliveries. Customers shy away from shopping in parts of town where their sect is in the minority.
"We used to get our supplies from the wholesale in
In Kazimiyah, jewelry stores have folded after driving restrictions and checkpoints discouraged customers from reaching their shops. In Mansour, once among the capital's most prosperous neighborhoods, gunmen last month threatened some store owners with death if they didn't close.
Fliers containing the warnings were slipped under the doors of boutiques, bookstores and bakeries owned by Shiites, Sunnis and even Christians. Some merchants who defied the orders lost their lives to drive-by shooters.
Terminating terrorism: President Jalal Talabani said Wednesday that Iraqi forces will take over security of all provinces in the country by the end of the year.
The optimistic statement by Talabani comes at a time when the country is reeling under intense sectarian violence, mainly involving Shiite and Sunni militias. On Tuesday, more than 70 people were killed in one of the worst days of bloodshed.
Talabani, a Kurd from northern
"We are highly optimistic that we will terminate terrorism in this year... the multinational forces' role is a supportive one and the Iraqi forces will take over security in all Iraqi provinces by the end of this year gradually and God's will, we will take the lead," he said.
Sounds good to me! All US forces home by January! Tell 'em, Jamal! -m
Pathetic: A flailing
While the handover is occurring gradually, it comes as
In some cases, Iraqis are having to take over projects from American construction firms that were removed from jobs because of poor performance. For example, in Nasiriyah, about 300 miles southeast of
The war that would pay for itself: A project to build a critical oil pipeline in northern
The 31-mile pipeline, designed to connect
Even when the project is complete, the auditors conclude, there is no way of knowing whether it will actually be an improvement because reconstruction officials have not been monitoring its progress.
Down The Rathole
Another $57 billion: Years of combat in
Gen. Peter Schoomaker, U.S. Army chief of staff, has requested $17 billion as an emergency appropriation and another $40 billion over three years, The Washington Times reported.
Emergency funding: As lawmakers decried the strain on the
The Senate approved the measure on a voice vote with no debate after Democrats accused the White House of letting the war weaken the military's ability to take on missions.
About three years late: After months of struggling to forge a unified stance on the Iraq war, top congressional Democrats joined voices yesterday to call on President Bush to begin withdrawing U.S. troops by the end of the year and to "transition to a more limited mission" in the war-torn nation.
With the midterm elections three months away, and Democrats seeing public discontent over
Law and Order
Murder: A military court opened a preliminary hearing on Tuesday to determine whether four
They have been charged with premeditated murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, communicating a threat, and obstructing justice in the killings in or around May 9 north of
Premeditated murder charges can bring the death penalty under
The Article 32 hearing is being held at Contingency Operating Base Speicher in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of the capital.
It comes at a sensitive time when the military is investigating other cases of alleged abuses -- including the killings of up to 24 unarmed civilians in the town of
Prosecution witness Private First Class Bradley Mason said one of those charged, Staff Sergeant Raymond Girouard, told him if he were arrested he would try to get out of it on medical grounds because he had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
"They just smiled," said Mason.
"I told him (Girouard) that I am not down with it. It's murder."
Lawsuit: A Marine Corps staff sergeant who led the squad accused of killing two dozen civilians in
Attorneys for Frank D. Wuterich, 26, argue in court papers that Murtha tarnished the Marine's reputation by telling news organizations in May that the Marine unit cracked after a roadside bomb killed one of its members and that the troops "killed innocent civilians in cold blood." Murtha also said repeatedly that the incident was covered up.
Rape: The media and public will be barred from witnessing the testimony of Iraqis in a hearing for U.S. Army soldiers accused of raping and murdering an Iraqi teenager, an Army commander has ruled.
The restriction was issued Monday after an appeal by the trial counsel to protect the witnesses, who fear they could be perceived as aiding
Crime and punishment: Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, who commanded detention operations at
Because of his experience as a commander of the detention center at
Subsequently, dogs were used as a tool of intimidation of detainees at Abu Ghraib, and debate has swirled over responsibility for abusive interrogation procedures.
At his retirement ceremony Monday, General Miller received the Distinguished Service Medal, which is awarded for exceptionally commendable service in a position of great responsibility, Army officials said.
John Sifton, a lawyer who is a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, said giving the medal to General Miller “is not just a disappointment, it’s an outrage.”
Joel Connelly: As Iraq was crowded off TV screens last week by the fighting in
No, or at least not as the
Americans saw injured Lebanese kids, sobbing widows in
At the same time, on Thursday, car bombs and rockets ripped through an upscale
We saw almost none of this on the tube, dominated this night by high-profile news personalities relocated to
The body count from sectarian strife in
We can read about the
Why no pictures?
Are not civilians being hurt, and killed, in greater numbers than in
Are the TV networks fearful of displeasing those in high places, or being labeled advocates of "cut and run" by Fox News commentators, if they run sharply critical reports?
Paul Krugman: The most compelling argument against an invasion of
Glenn Greenwald: How do you have a meaningful debate over what the U.S. ought to do in Iraq with people who believe that things are going really well over there and who insist that Saddam really did have WMDs? How do you have a meaningful debate with people over the Israel-Lebanon war who insist that reports of civilian deaths in
David Corn: Why is it taking the Senate intelligence committee forty times longer to examine how the Bush administration used--or misused--the prewar intelligence on
Georgie Anne Geyer: Despite all proof to the contrary,
But this attitude, as any even reasonably sensitive person should know, is, at the bottom, one of despising one's enemies (always a dangerous business), of believing that he would never react the way you do and thus creating more guerrillas, insurgents and suicide bombers through the humiliation thus inflicted.
Hezbollah, after all, did not exist before
Surprise, surprise, surprise.
Meanwhile, these self-indulgent policies, which refuse to take into consideration the cultural realities of other peoples and groups, are changing the
The New York Times recently wrote about the new war between nations, like the
And on every level, the American presence in the region is serving to create a new "retribalization" that is destroying what is left of the secular Arab states.
This is not at all to say that these groups are innocent, desirable or unsusceptible to violent confrontation -- far from it. It IS to say that there are intelligent ways to confront them, and to defeat them, other than indiscriminately bombing them to smithereens.
The intelligent policy would be the old middle ground: to address their real grievances, to negotiate and mediate confidently even with difficult governments like Syria's and Iran's and, while using military power prudently, to work on diffuse levels to gradually change the structures of power.
But it's so much easier to drop bombs, even if they only create exactly what you set out to destroy.
A nephew of Sen. Max Baucus serving in the Marines was killed in
Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus, 28, died Saturday during combat operations in Anbar province, the Department of Defense said. It did not immediately release further information.
Lance Cpl. James W. Higgins Jr. was fascinated by the past. His favorite musician was Frank Sinatra; his favorite comedians, Abbott and Costello; his favorite books, histories -- particularly anything about World War II.
And when the
He grabbed his piece of history, but it cost him. The Pentagon announced Monday that Higgins was killed Thursday in Anbar province, a desert region in western
Lance Cpl. Anthony E. Butterfield, 19, of Clovis, California, died Saturday ``while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province,
Army Specialist Dennis K. Samson Junior was killed July 24th by enemy gunfire in Taqaddum.
The 24-year-old was assigned to the Fourth Brigade Troop Battalion, Fourth Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at
Sgt. Christian B. Williams, a decorated U.S. Marine, was killed in
Williams was killed during combat operations in Al Anbar province, where he was assigned as a light-armored-vehicle section leader
The Ministry of Defence has named the soldier killed in
The 29-year-old, who served with 1st Battalion The Light Infantry, died as a result of wounds sustained in a mortar attack on a