Monday, October 23, 2006
WAR NEWS FOR MONDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2006
"The battle of
About 50 corpses were collected around
A bomb exploded under an unattended car in the capital’s Shorja market, an area filled with wholesale stores that is
A series of bombs ripped through a
A bomb exploded and wounded four people near the al-Farasha bakery in eastern
A suicide bomber, wearing an explosive belt, detonated it on
A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed three people and wounded 13 others, both police and civilians, near the shrine of a Sunni cleric in central
A civilian contractor working as a international police liaison officer was killed and four
Bring ‘em on – a summary: Six U.S. soldiers were killed Sunday, in five separate attacks in and around Baghdad, the Defense Department said in e-mailed statements. Iraqi gunman killed two soldiers with small-arms fire west of the capital, and another soldier southwest of
In Sunday's bloodiest attack, gunmen in five sedans ambushed a convoy of buses carrying police recruits near the city of
Gunfights broke out between fighters from Sadr's Mahdi Army and a rival Shiite militia, the Badr Organization, after a bomb went off near the offices of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, Badr's parent political party. Iraqi authorities called for backup from American forces, who imposed a curfew in Hamza al-Gharbi, about 60 miles south of
In all Sunday, at least 44 Iraqis were killed or their bodies were founded dumped along roads or in the
The battle for Amara: The Iraqi government said it had imposed a curfew in the tense southern town of
"We have imposed the curfew due to the security situation there," defence ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said.
The clashes between Shi'ite militias and Iraqi security forces, fuelled by tribal divisions, left at least 25 dead last week in Amara, which was handed over by British troops to Iraqi security forces two months ago.
The plan will be tweaked, adjusted and modified in the weeks ahead, as American commanders try to reverse the dismaying increase in murders, drive-by shootings and bombings.
But military commanders here see no plausible alternative to their bedrock strategy to clear violence-ridden neighborhoods of militias, insurgents and arms caches, hold them with Iraqi and American security forces, and then try to win over the population with reconstruction projects, underwritten mainly by the Iraqi government. There is no fall-back plan that the generals are holding in their hip pocket. This is it.
We’re negotiating with ‘terrorists’?: American officials held secret talks with leaders of the Iraqi insurgency last week after admitting that their two-month clampdown on violence in Baghdad had failed.
Few details of the discussions in the Jordanian capital
They included members of the Islamic Army in
Unavoidable fact: Behind the maze of men with guns in
But when the prime minister speaks of disarming militias — those mushrooming armies of men with guns that carry out most of the killing here — Iraqi brows begin to furrow.
“He’s just talking,” snapped Fadhil Sabri, a 37-year-old generator repairman in a grease-stained shop in
“Not now. Not even in 10 years. You need arms to defend yourself,” he said.
Iraqi Diaspora: Mohammed al-Mawla is adjusting to life in his new home as an Iraqi refugee living in
He fled the violence in his homeland in 2003 and is now one of more than 500,000 Iraqis living in
But al-Mawla, 42, fears the comfort he has found in
"I sold my car in
Though Iraqis who have fled to
As a result, many say the money they have saved is quickly dwindling. Their plight is not likely to ease, with more Iraqis arriving every day.
Regional tensions: The vote in
Iraqi Deputy PM: Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih warned against defeatism and panic on Monday as his
Congressional Research expert: A very blunt and disturbing assessment of things in
Kenneth Katzman is with the Congressional Research Service, which advises lawmakers on Capitol Hill. And the way he see it,
Ex-administration official: President Bush and other administration officials have been smearing anyone who suggests we begin to withdraw troops from
Now Richard L. Armitage — who served as deputy secretary of state from 2001-2005 — is advocating a phased withdrawal of
Ex-State Dept. expert: Mr White was the head of the state department's
He told the BBC that the
"The effort can't be sustained over the long haul, and so we can't stay a course, I think, that requires years and years more."
He said: "We're not winning. It's apparent.
"I checked with almost a dozen sources in
Top diplomat: Washington's top foreign affairs spin doctor has described US policy in Iraq as "a failure", and accused his government of "arrogance" and "stupidity". Speaking in Arabic on al-Jazeera television Alberto Fernandez, director of public diplomacy at the state department's bureau of near eastern affairs, gave viewers an unusually sharp assessment of the administration's efforts in
"We tried to do our best [in
One Dem Senator and a dozen cowardly partisan whores: On Fox this morning, Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) said the upcoming elections in November may determine whether the
Biden said three conservatives have told him personally that they want to change course, but won’t state so publicly until the outcome of the elections is determined. If Biden’s assertions are true, nearly a dozen conservative Senators have come to the determination that the course in
Two phony "independent Republicans" and one former administration official: 'I don't believe that we can continue based on an open-ended, unconditional presence,' Senator Olympia Snowe, a centrist Maine Republican, told the Washington Post last week. 'I don't think there's any question about that, there will be a change.'
Snowe is not alone. Senator John Warner, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has also weighed into the fray after returning from a fact-finding mission to
Most damning of all, however, were the comments of Richard Haass, a former Bush administration foreign policy official, who told reporters yesterday that the situation is reaching a 'tipping point' both in
'More of essentially the same is going to be a policy that very few people are going to be able to support,' said Haass, now the president of the Council on Foreign Relations. He added that the administration's current strategy - of a stable, democratic
But no one can tell C-plus Augustus anything, can they: President Bush on Saturday reviewed
"Our goal in
Under bipartisan, pre-election pressure for a significant re-examination of the president's war plan, the White House is walking a fine line.
It made sure to publicize the president's high-level meeting on the deteriorating conditions in
Department Of Bet You Never Saw This One Coming
Yes, in the Bush administration, telling the truth is misspeaking: A senior
"We tried to do our best (in
Fernandez, the State Department's director of public diplomacy in the bureau of Near Eastern affairs, said that he had misspoken during the interview.
"Upon reading the transcript of my appearance on Al-Jazeera, I realized that I seriously misspoke by using the phrase 'there has been arrogance and stupidity' by the
The State Department had said that the English translation of the comments posted on Al Jazeera's English-language Web site had misquoted Fernandez.
Ha ha! First he tells the truth (great career move in this administration) - on al-Jazeera of all places! - then the State Department lies and tries to blame it on the translation - and then this bozo - the director of public diplomacy! - admits to the quote, thus revealing his Department as the lying bunch of skanks they are. Hell of a diplomat, this guy. I wonder if he was in the Arabian horse business before he took this gig. Pure comedy gold, except all the mangled bodies and dead kids and destroyed lives sort of take the edge off the humor. -m
Their coffins are propaganda too: The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee asked the Pentagon on Friday to remove CNN reporters embedded with
Opinion – Joan Vennochi: Sometimes, a newspaper photograph or piece of television footage is so striking it cannot be ignored. When that happens, I find myself staring at the skeletal remains of cars and trucks that were ripped apart by bombs deliberately set in the vicinity of markets, police stations, and other public buildings. I try to comprehend the damage done to human beings who happened to be in that doomed spot. I think of the men, women, and children who were standing in line one moment -- and were obliterated the next, by people who live in the same country but do not see each other as fellow countrymen.
Any parent of a teenage son knows the stomach lurch that comes when military recruiting material arrives in the mail. Regularly now, I read news stories about soldiers from my area who died in
The truth is often controversial. It often hurts, but that is no reason to hide it.
CNN was right to broadcast the truth of these sniper attacks. It's well past time to rip off the blinders, so we are forced to see reality, even when it is filmed by insurgents.
Habeas Corpus Is Objectively Pro-Terrorist
Farewell, Rule of Law: Moving quickly to implement the bill signed by President Bush this week that authorizes military trials of enemy combatants, the administration has formally notified the U.S. District Court here that it no longer has jurisdiction to consider hundreds of habeas corpus petitions filed by inmates at the
In a notice dated Wednesday, the Justice Department listed 196 pending habeas cases, some of which cover groups of detainees. The new Military Commissions Act (MCA), it said, provides that "no court, justice, or judge" can consider those petitions or other actions related to treatment or imprisonment filed by anyone designated as an enemy combatant, now or in the future.
Beyond those already imprisoned at
The living: Sgt. Morrow, barrel-chested with salt-and-pepper hair, says he still gets headaches. He says his eyesight has been diminished by the explosion. He has lingering back problems, and says that his doctors told him that "my injuries are degenerative. Because of my age. Which is crazy."
His stint in
…The anger over his injuries and treatment has bled into other areas. He feels, for example, that other members of his platoon were wrongly nominated for a Bronze Star medal for heroism. He's not thrilled with the burgeoning Mexican population in Beechview, or with the rest of the population, for that matter:
"There's a lot of things that [tick] me off about the civilian population," he says.
He said he's worried that his troubles, physical and mental, are taking a toll on his wife, Nicolette, and his 6-year-old twins, Gemini and Robert.
Then he lit another cigarette. He's up to two packs a day.
The dead: Spread across several tables in a vast warehouse here are the pieces of one soldier's life.
There is the photo album with images of graduations and family gatherings, tanks and smiling military buddies. There are piles of brown T-shirts and socks, a jumble of sneakers and boots, a plastic bag filled with handwritten letters. A knife. A stack of video games.
Nearby, surrounded by walls of metal mesh, are rows of dusty black footlockers that have just returned from war. Inside each are the artifacts of other lives cut short.
This is the Joint Personal Effects Depot, a pair of warehouses on this base northeast of Baltimore that serve as the military's main repository for the possessions of U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Within days of troops' deaths in action, their clothes, pictures and books and everything else that defined their lives on the battlefield wind up here.
Beaumont, Helmore and Hinsliff: The difficulty for the British government is that American policy on Iraq is now likely to be determined by the outcome of the November elections: if Bush does badly, an early exit becomes more likely, but if he does unexpectedly well there could even be a push to send more troops to Iraq to quell the insurgency.
As the junior partner in the coalition,
And Bush is not the only one with elections on his mind. If the midterm contest goes badly for the Republican Party, Labour minds will inevitably turn to the elections due here in May for local councils and the Scottish and Welsh assemblies. In
All of which, however, is academic for those in the killing fields of
James Wolcott: Cokie Roberts made a cogent point on ABC's This Week--I know, I couldn't believe it either--when she said that all you had to do was look at the photograph of this weekend's high-level pow-wow on Iraq featuring the three principle architects of the Iraq war, Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, and wonder: How much can the policy actually change with those three still in charge--the ones who set the policy to begin with? It isn't as if any of them are prey to serious second thoughts and soul-searching. As of his most recent interview, Cheney is still relatively sanguine, whereas for Bush, as Steve Gilliard points out, it's personal:
"Bush will not leave
"This is a man who has never honestly looked himself in the face and said I have failed. He has always been protected from failure.
"Which is why Rumsfeld keeps his job. To admit he was incompetent, and some days he seems positively addled, would reflect poorly on Bush.
"When people look to understand
New York Times Editorial: The generals who told President Bush before the war that Donald Rumsfeld’s shock-and-awe fantasy would not work were not enough to persuade him to change his strategy in
So what finally, after all this time, caused Mr. Bush to very publicly consult with his generals to consider a change in tactics in
Robert Parry: The Republican National Committee has released a new campaign ad to rally the GOP base and other voters by showing threatening quotes from al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden followed by the pitch: “These are the stakes. Vote Nov. 7.”
President George W. Bush has flogged the same theme in lashing Democrats who favor a military withdrawal from
“If we were to follow the Democrats’ prescriptions and withdraw from
But these appeals from the RNC and Bush ignore
In effect, Bush and bin Laden share a common goal in
But if, as appears more likely,
A change of course won't necessarily rescue the U.S mission in
A priest was beheaded last week. A bomb blast at a
But the truth has been present all along for those who would dare to see it.
Within months of the
But the White House and its cheerleaders would have had us think otherwise -- that the source of trouble was solely foreign infiltrators and remnants of Hussein's Baathist Party.
There is a new
It is an Iraq that torments Christians, that indulges in unrelenting sectarian bloodbaths, that cheers for Hezbollah, that is no more a friend to Israel than is Iran, all despite the lies sold to the White House and Pentagon by self-serving, power-hungry Iraqi expatriates.
Sally Quinn: It is hard for the American people to turn completely against the president. It seems tantamount to patricide. We're much more comfortable being able to blame someone else for the president's mistakes. Laura Bush will never be the scapegoat. For now, it's Rumsfeld.
Vice President Cheney is not eager to replace him. And he would never fire Rumsfeld, who was his mentor and who hired him for three government jobs during the Ford administration, including as his deputy when Rumsfeld was chief of staff. (In fact, Cheney's Secret Service code name was "Back Seat.") In any event, Cheney is low-profile, secretive, nonconfrontational -- and presumably too experienced to allow himself to be easily made the scapegoat. But if Rumsfeld goes, the attention and criticism can be directed only to Cheney, or to Bush.
And it's improbable that Rumsfeld can last. He may not have an exit strategy for
I suspect that he has already told the president and Cheney that he will leave after the midterm elections, saying that the country needs new leadership to wind down the war. And he will resign to take a job in some sort of humanitarian venture, thereby creating the perception that he is a caring person who left of his own accord to devote the rest of his life to good works.
Bush and Cheney, who don't want him gone, will then have to contend with the reality of the new situation: One goat must be sent off into the wilderness. Who will it be?
The Independent: What is it that turns the modern American presidency into a family psychodrama? We saw it with Bill and Hillary Clinton and the endless speculation over this marriage of two extraordinarily talented people. A marriage , depending on your point of view, either made in heaven or a mere alliance of convenience -especially after Monica Lewinsky. But, pace
Not so, however, the other psychodrama that has been playing out here for four years, and whose climax may be yet to come - the relationship between Bush the elder and Bush the younger - "41" and "43" as they like to call each other - the first father and son to become president since John Adams and John Quincy Adams ("2" and "6" in Bush parlance) almost 200 years ago. It is a tangled tale of love and rivalry, of admiration and intense competition. And it may have brought us the disaster of
David Broder: No one speaks more authoritatively for the Democrats on defense and national security issues than Sens. Carl Levin of
In a conference call with reporters the other day, the two senators outlined the changes in
David Sarasohn: In every day's news, inescapable and bloody and increasingly dismal, there is
You won't find it on any map, and you won't see it in the news reports, and
"They've had three national elections with higher turnout than we have here in the
To see Cheney's
"Well," the vice president told Limbaugh, "I think there's some natural level of concern out there because, in fact, it wasn't over instantaneously."
Three and a half years -- about as long as American involvement in World War II -- is a while longer than "instantaneously," especially if it arrives with no end in sight. But in Cheney's
The vice president's
Probably, instead of the nation we actually sent troops to, we should have gone to war in Cheney's