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Iraq Updates

Sporty Dan

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~
Bushie blunders:

Bush Taking Heat for 'Bring Them On' Remark

Flypaper
David Warren
Ottawa Citizen


There are currently three main theatres of -- not war, precisely, but something resembling it, within the Middle East. One is the civil insurrection in Iran, which has continued to escalate, even though the media have withdrawn their attention again, wanting quicker results. One is in Iraq, which is now getting more media attention, as Saddamite and affiliated "dead-enders" try to step up resistance to the U.S. and British military occupation. The third is Israel/Palestine, always aboil, but where the media are reporting "hopeful signs".

I almost tire of mentioning how the media -- specifically, the "liberal" mainstream media that determine how 60 per cent of Canadians and 40 per cent of Americans think -- get everything backwards. So that by the time one has unwrangled their reflexive views, one is stupefied by the doublings, quadruplings, and sextuplings of negatives.

There are no hopeful signs in Israel/Palestine, per se. The Bush administration and the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon are entering consciously into a devil's pact, in which the Palestinian authorities who had pledged to disarm the terrorist militias, have instead made a show of arranging ceasefires with them. Far from putting them out of action, this gives Hamas, Islami Jihad, the various branches of Fatah, and affiliates of Hizbullah -- all still recruiting and operating freely throughout the West Bank and Gaza -- an opportunity to regroup and repair the damage the Israel Defence Forces were able to inflict on them through almost three years' of Intifada and counter-Intifada.

The ceasefires also give Israel an opportunity, and diplomatic cover, to pull back the most exposed West Bank settlements, and make preparations for the isolation of the various Palestinian enclaves when the terrorism resumes -- which it will do almost inevitably. But on balance, time weighs to the benefit of the terrorists.

The hopeful signs are instead around the region -- just where the media are affecting despair. With each passing day, the future of Iran's ayatollahs looks grimmer, as it becomes clearer they can depend on the loyalty of no significant section of Iranian society, and must increasingly doubt their own police and army. What appeared last year to be students versus ayatollahs, is now effectively the people versus the ayatollahs, with the biggest demonstrations yet planned for next week.

The U.S. occupation of Iraq has done more to destabilize Iran than the ayatollahs could hope to do in Iraq; and then something. This "something" has befuddled the various "experts" on regional security, trapped within their Pavlovian assumptions. They notice that the U.S. forces in Iraq have become a new magnet for regional terrorist activity. They assume this demonstrates the foolishness of President Bush's decision to invade.

It more likely demonstrates the opposite. While engaged in the very difficult business of building a democracy in Iraq -- the first democracy, should it succeed, in the entire history of the Arabs -- President Bush has also, quite consciously to my information, created a new playground for the enemy, away from Israel, and even farther away from the United States itself. By the very act of proving this lower ground, he drains terrorist resources from other swamps.

This is the meaning of Mr. Bush's "bring 'em on" taunt from the Roosevelt Room on Wednesday, when he was quizzed about the "growing threat to U.S. forces" on the ground in Iraq. It should have been obvious that no U.S. President actually relishes having his soldiers take casualties. What the media, and U.S. Democrats affect not to grasp, is that the soldiers are now replacing targets that otherwise would be provided by defenceless civilians, both in Iraq and at large. The sore thumb of the U.S. occupation -- and it is a sore thumb equally to Baathists and Islamists, compelling their response -- is not a mistake. It is carefully hung flypaper.


And I think the naïve "roadmap" exercise in diplomacy between Israel and the Palestinian Authority may make some sense in this context. I.e., Israel takes down its flypaper, while the U.S. puts up its own in Iraq.

At the moment it appears that most of the infiltration of Iraq is coming from the west, through Syria, and consists of Lebanese-based Hizbullah elbowing their way into Saddam's old territory. Their intention is to do to the U.S. Army in Iraq what they did to the Marines in Beirut in 1983. The chief source of both men and materiel is what Gal Luft has called "Hizbullahland" -- the 1,000 square kilometre patch, that Hizbullah now rules under Syrian protection, which was formerly Israel's security enclave in southern Lebanon (until they withdrew in a peace initiative in the year 2000).

Hizbullah itself (the "Army of Allah" -- Shia, and ultimately financed and armed by Iran's ayatollahs) are directing their attention less and less towards the "Little Satan" of Israel, and more and more towards the "Great Satan" of the U.S., as events unfold.

This is exactly what President Bush wants. To engage them, away from Israel, in mortal combat. To have an excuse for wiping them out -- a good, solid, American excuse, from which Israel has been extracted. The good news is, Hizbullah's taking the bait.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
An interesting conspiracy theory, no doubt. ;)

So, the war in Iraq has generated a lot of hatred, a lot of Anti-American sentiment and thus a lot of "terrorists" who are willing to focus their attention on killing and destruction in Iraq against the coalition forces. According to the author, this somehow demonstrates a very sound and logical justification for invading Iraq: create more killers and haters, bomb the shit out of a country, make all the angry bees sting in one place, and keep the home base (the United States) safe.

As unlikely as that justification appears, even if it were the case, doesn't actually vindicate the US government in any way--it just makes their own citizens a bit safer for a temporary period; what happens a couple years from now? And what about the 6000 or so dead Iraqis? And the author is really stretching it by declaring that Bush's comments were somehow justified in this context.

He does present one interesting and plausible idea--that the occupation is detracting the Hizbullah from Israel, which is allowing Israel to continue its racist and illegal occupation--the Apartheid wall goes virtually unmentioned these days, I wonder why?

Sharon probably appreciates that.

EDIT: I should mention, the author's statement of Iraq being the first potential democracy isn't really true...
 
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Sporty Dan

TRIBE Member
VOICE PURPORTING TO BE BIN LADEN DISPUTES AUTHENTICITY OF VOICE PURPORTING TO BE SADDAM
But New Saddam Tape Calls Osama Tape into Question


A new three-minute tape surfaced today on the al-Jazeera network featuring the voice of a man purporting to be Osama bin Laden, who is heard disputing the authenticity of a recent tape purporting to be Saddam Hussein.

"Do not believe the deceiver," the voice attributed to bin Laden says of the voice attributed to Saddam. "The deceiver is not to be believed, but rather, disbelieved."

Just as the CIA was beginning to analyze the bin Laden tape to determine its authenticity, the al-Jazeera network broadcast yet another tape purporting to be Saddam, in which the former Iraqi strongman openly questions the authenticity of the new bin Laden tape.

"Beware of the deceiver warning you not to believe the deceiver," the man purporting to be Saddam can be heard saying. "He – the first deceiver I mentioned, not the second – is not to be believed."

Executives at the al-Jazeera network said they were now receiving up to thirty-five new audiotapes a day, all claiming to be the voices of either Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein, forcing the news channel to consider switching to a 24-hour all-threat format.

At the White House, President Bush said he would not be ruffled by the near-constant stream of tapes that may or not have been made by the two evildoers, telling reporters, "Bring 'em on."

But later in the day, spokesman Ari Fleischer said that the White House was not sure if the President had actually said "Bring 'em on" and was studying the tape of Mr. Bush to determine its authenticity.
 
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~atp~

TRIBE Member
C B C . C A N e w s - F u l l S t o r y :
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Iraq war wasn't about banned weapons: Rumsfeld
Last Updated Wed Jul 9 14:48:54 2003


WASHINGTON-- The United States didn't declare war on Iraq because of evidence of banned weapons, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said on Wednesday.


Rumsfeld said the U.S. declared war because it saw existing evidence of Iraqi arms programs in "a dramatic new light," through the prism of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Rumsfeld made the comments in an appearance before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.

On Tuesday, the White House acknowledged that U.S. President George Bush's claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa was based on forged information.

Though Bush justified the invasion to topple former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein largely on his alleged chemical and biological weapons and possible pursuit of nuclear weapons, such arms have not been found in the 10 weeks after the war.

Congressional committees are evaluating whether the administration may have used faulty or exaggerated intelligence on Iraq's weapons to justify the war.

Rumsfeld also told the committee that talks were under way to increase NATO involvement in Iraq peacekeeping efforts.



Written by CBC News Online staff


Copyright © 2003 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - All Rights Reserved
 

beaker

TRIBE Member
'Help Is On the Way'?

The Army Times, in an editorial headlined "Nothing but lip service," complains: "President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress have missed no opportunity to heap richly deserved praise on the military. But talk is cheap -- and getting cheaper by the day, judging from the nickel-and-dime treatment the troops are getting lately."

What has Army Times upset? They don't like the White House's griping and opposition to a proposal to double the $6,000 now paid to families of troops who die on active duty. (An additional $6,000 multiplied by 212 dead so far works out to $1.27 million -- or, for perspective, about 0.00032 percent of the nearly $4 billion per month the war is costing us.) They also want to cut monthly imminent-danger pay to $150 from $225, and cut the family-separation allowance down to $100 a month from $250. The anti-tax Administration is doing nothing for the military -- it won't even step up and ease residency rules to help frequent-traveling service members who sell a home qualify for capital-gains exemptions. The Administration plans to cut more than a billion dollars out of next year's budget for military housing. "The chintz even extends to basic pay," Army Times fumes, noting that Bush's proposed 2004 budget would cap raises for some ranks at 2 percent.

All this from an Administration that came to power declaring: "To all of our men and women in uniform, and to their parents and families: Help is on the way!"

http://www.thenation.com/outrage/index.mhtml?bid=6
 

Colm

TRIBE Member
The USSR sliced army housing while tied up in Afghanistan... 10 years later the entire union had collapsed.

I hear Iraq being called the 'new Vietnam' - it could be the US equivalent to the Afghan war.

The cuts are pretty shitty, considering the average private in the US Army makes below the poverty line.
 
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organik

TRIBE Member
NEWS STORY
Bush puts blame on CIA for bad info
Tenet admits false claim about Iraq's nuclear weapons program

Tom Raum
The Associated Press; with files from The Times, London


Saturday, July 12, 2003
ADVERTISEMENT


ENTEBBE, Uganda -- President George W. Bush yesterday put responsibility squarely on the CIA for his erroneous claim that Iraq tried to acquire nuclear material from Africa, prompting the director of intelligence to publicly accept full blame for the miscue.

"I gave a speech to the nation that was cleared by the intelligence services," Mr. Bush told reporters in Uganda.

Hours later, CIA director George Tenet issued a statement, saying the 16 words in Mr. Bush's state of the union address concerning a purported uranium deal should never have been uttered by the president.

"This was a mistake," Mr. Tenet said. "This did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for presidential speeches, and CIA should have ensured that it was removed."

The controversy over Mr. Bush's claim in his state of the union address in January had undermined the administration's efforts to quiet rising doubts about Mr. Bush's justifications for going to war. The United States said military action was justified, in part, because Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, but no such weapons have been found.

Yesterday's episode clearly weakened the credibility that Mr. Tenet -- the only holdover from the Clinton administration -- has with Congress as key lawmakers called for accountability.

"It was incumbent on the director of intelligence to correct the record and bring it to the immediate attention of the president," said Senator Pat Roberts, chairman of the intelligence committee.

Anxious to dispense with the flap, which has dogged the president on his trip to Africa and stole attention from his message about AIDS, trade and terrorism, the White House took unusual steps yesterday to let Mr. Bush and his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, speak out on the issue. Both put responsibility for the error squarely on the CIA.

"I gave a speech to the nation that was cleared by the intelligence services," Mr. Bush said. "And it was a speech that detailed to the American people the dangers posed by the Saddam Hussein regime. And my government took the appropriate response to those dangers. And as a result, the world is going to be more secure and more peaceful."

Ms. Rice was more direct, saying, "The CIA cleared the speech in its entirety.

"If the director of central intelligence had said, 'Take this out of the speech,' it would have been gone -- without question," Ms. Rice said.

Colin Powell, the secretary of state, fuelled the fight by saying that he had not included the uranium-from-Africa claim in his presentation to the UN a week after Mr. Bush's speech because he doubted its veracity.

Dick Durbin, a senior Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said: "Somebody in the White House knew. This really calls into question the leadership in the White House and our intelligence agencies."

He demanded the resignation of any official who failed to tell Mr. Bush the information was false. "The only other possibility, which is unthinkable, is that the president of the United States knew himself that this was a false fact and he put it in the state of the union anyhow. I hope for the sake of this country that did not happen," he said.

© Copyright 2003 The Ottawa Citizen

http://www.canada.com/national/story.asp?id=8CBA07ED-17C4-4560-9225-2951971BADD8
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
fucking sad as hell.. yes the CIA had everything to gain by promoting the invasion of Iraq..

WTF people wake up!!!!!
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
20 Lies About the War

Falsehoods ranging from exaggeration to plain untruth were used to make the case for war. More lies are being used in the aftermath. By Glen Rangwala and Raymond Whitaker
13 July 2003


1 Iraq was responsible for the 11 September attacks

A supposed meeting in Prague between Mohammed Atta, leader of the 11 September hijackers, and an Iraqi intelligence official was the main basis for this claim, but Czech intelligence later conceded that the Iraqi's contact could not have been Atta. This did not stop the constant stream of assertions that Iraq was involved in 9/11, which was so successful that at one stage opinion polls showed that two-thirds of Americans believed the hand of Saddam Hussein was behind the attacks. Almost as many believed Iraqi hijackers were aboard the crashed airliners; in fact there were none.

2 Iraq and al-Qa'ida were working together

Persistent claims by US and British leaders that Saddam and Osama bin Laden were in league with each other were contradicted by a leaked British Defence Intelligence Staff report, which said there were no current links between them. Mr Bin Laden's "aims are in ideological conflict with present-day Iraq", it added.

Another strand to the claims was that al-Qa'ida members were being sheltered in Iraq, and had set up a poisons training camp. When US troops reached the camp, they found no chemical or biological traces.

3 Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa for a "reconstituted" nuclear weapons programme

The head of the CIA has now admitted that documents purporting to show that Iraq tried to import uranium from Niger in west Africa were forged, and that the claim should never have been in President Bush's State of the Union address. Britain sticks by the claim, insisting it has "separate intelligence". The Foreign Office conceded last week that this information is now "under review".

4 Iraq was trying to import aluminium tubes to develop nuclear weapons

The US persistently alleged that Baghdad tried to buy high-strength aluminum tubes whose only use could be in gas centrifuges, needed to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. Equally persistently, the International Atomic Energy Agency said the tubes were being used for artillery rockets. The head of the IAEA, Mohamed El Baradei, told the UN Security Council in January that the tubes were not even suitable for centrifuges.

5 Iraq still had vast stocks of chemical and biological weapons from the first Gulf War

Iraq possessed enough dangerous substances to kill the whole world, it was alleged more than once. It had pilotless aircraft which could be smuggled into the US and used to spray chemical and biological toxins. Experts pointed out that apart from mustard gas, Iraq never had the technology to produce materials with a shelf-life of 12 years, the time between the two wars. All such agents would have deteriorated to the point of uselessness years ago.

6 Iraq retained up to 20 missiles which could carry chemical or biological warheads, with a range which would threaten British forces in Cyprus

Apart from the fact that there has been no sign of these missiles since the invasion, Britain downplayed the risk of there being any such weapons in Iraq once the fighting began. It was also revealed that chemical protection equipment was removed from British bases in Cyprus last year, indicating that the Government did not take its own claims seriously.

7 Saddam Hussein had the wherewithal to develop smallpox

This allegation was made by the Secretary of State, Colin Powell, in his address to the UN Security Council in February. The following month the UN said there was nothing to support it.

8 US and British claims were supported by the inspectors

According to Jack Straw, chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix "pointed out" that Iraq had 10,000 litres of anthrax. Tony Blair said Iraq's chemical, biological and "indeed the nuclear weapons programme" had been well documented by the UN. Mr Blix's reply? "This is not the same as saying there are weapons of mass destruction," he said last September. "If I had solid evidence that Iraq retained weapons of mass destruction or were constructing such weapons, I would take it to the Security Council." In May this year he added: "I am obviously very interested in the question of whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction, and I am beginning to suspect there possibly were not."

9 Previous weapons inspections had failed

Tony Blair told this newspaper in March that the UN had "tried unsuccessfully for 12 years to get Saddam to disarm peacefully". But in 1999 a Security Council panel concluded: "Although important elements still have to be resolved, the bulk of Iraq's proscribed weapons programmes has been eliminated." Mr Blair also claimed UN inspectors "found no trace at all of Saddam's offensive biological weapons programme" until his son-in-law defected. In fact the UN got the regime to admit to its biological weapons programme more than a month before the defection.

10 Iraq was obstructing the inspectors

Britain's February "dodgy dossier" claimed inspectors' escorts were "trained to start long arguments" with other Iraqi officials while evidence was being hidden, and inspectors' journeys were monitored and notified ahead to remove surprise. Dr Blix said in February that the UN had conducted more than 400 inspections, all without notice, covering more than 300 sites. "We note that access to sites has so far been without problems," he said. : "In no case have we seen convincing evidence that the Iraqi side knew that the inspectors were coming."

11 Iraq could deploy its weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes

This now-notorious claim was based on a single source, said to be a serving Iraqi military officer. This individual has not been produced since the war, but in any case Tony Blair contradicted the claim in April. He said Iraq had begun to conceal its weapons in May 2002, which meant that they could not have been used within 45 minutes.

12 The "dodgy dossier"

Mr Blair told the Commons in February, when the dossier was issued: "We issued further intelligence over the weekend about the infrastructure of concealment. It is obviously difficult when we publish intelligence reports." It soon emerged that most of it was cribbed without attribution from three articles on the internet. Last month Alastair Campbell took responsibility for the plagiarism committed by his staff, but stood by the dossier's accuracy, even though it confused two Iraqi intelligence organisations, and said one moved to new headquarters in 1990, two years before it was created.

13 War would be easy

Public fears of war in the US and Britain were assuaged by assurances that oppressed Iraqis would welcome the invading forces; that "demolishing Saddam Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk", in the words of Kenneth Adelman, a senior Pentagon official in two previous Republican administrations. Resistance was patchy, but stiffer than expected, mainly from irregular forces fighting in civilian clothes. "This wasn't the enemy we war-gamed against," one general complained.

14 Umm Qasr

The fall of Iraq's southernmost city and only port was announced several times before Anglo-American forces gained full control - by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, among others, and by Admiral Michael Boyce, chief of Britain's defence staff. "Umm Qasr has been overwhelmed by the US Marines and is now in coalition hands," the Admiral announced, somewhat prematurely.

15 Basra rebellion

Claims that the Shia Muslim population of Basra, Iraq's second city, had risen against their oppressors were repeated for days, long after it became clear to those there that this was little more than wishful thinking. The defeat of a supposed breakout by Iraqi armour was also announced by military spokesman in no position to know the truth.

16 The "rescue" of Private Jessica Lynch

Private Jessica Lynch's "rescue" from a hospital in Nasiriya by American special forces was presented as the major "feel-good" story of the war. She was said to have fired back at Iraqi troops until her ammunition ran out, and was taken to hospital suffering bullet and stab wounds. It has since emerged that all her injuries were sustained in a vehicle crash, which left her incapable of firing any shot. Local medical staff had tried to return her to the Americans after Iraqi forces pulled out of the hospital, but the doctors had to turn back when US troops opened fire on them. The special forces encountered no resistance, but made sure the whole episode was filmed.

17 Troops would face chemical and biological weapons

As US forces approached Baghdad, there was a rash of reports that they would cross a "red line", within which Republican Guard units were authorised to use chemical weapons. But Lieutenant General James Conway, the leading US marine general in Iraq, conceded afterwards that intelligence reports that chemical weapons had been deployed around Baghdad before the war were wrong.

"It was a surprise to me ... that we have not uncovered weapons ... in some of the forward dispersal sites," he said. "We've been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad, but they're simply not there. We were simply wrong. Whether or not we're wrong at the national level, I think still very much remains to be seen."

18 Interrogation of scientists would yield the location of WMD

"I have got absolutely no doubt that those weapons are there ... once we have the co-operation of the scientists and the experts, I have got no doubt that we will find them," Tony Blair said in April. Numerous similar assurances were issued by other leading figures, who said interrogations would provide the WMD discoveries that searches had failed to supply. But almost all Iraq's leading scientists are in custody, and claims that lingering fears of Saddam Hussein are stilling their tongues are beginning to wear thin.

19 Iraq's oil money would go to Iraqis

Tony Blair complained in Parliament that "people falsely claim that we want to seize" Iraq's oil revenues, adding that they should be put in a trust fund for the Iraqi people administered through the UN. Britain should seek a Security Council resolution that would affirm "the use of all oil revenues for the benefit of the Iraqi people".

Instead Britain co-sponsored a Security Council resolution that gave the US and UK control over Iraq's oil revenues. There is no UN-administered trust fund.

Far from "all oil revenues" being used for the Iraqi people, the resolution continues to make deductions from Iraq's oil earnings to pay in compensation for the invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

20 WMD were found

After repeated false sightings, both Tony Blair and George Bush proclaimed on 30 May that two trailers found in Iraq were mobile biological laboratories. "We have already found two trailers, both of which we believe were used for the production of biological weapons," said Mr Blair. Mr Bush went further: "Those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons - they're wrong. We found them." It is now almost certain that the vehicles were for the production of hydrogen for weather balloons, just as the Iraqis claimed - and that they were exported by Britain.


http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=424008
 

Colm

TRIBE Member
War is the ultimate failure of humanity......

But for all who are surprised by the lack, mismatching, of information and the baseless claims - try reading newspapers from 1939 - 1944, with special attention to the German invasion of Belgium, Holland & France and the Norwegian campaign... its horrible! Half of what the British and Canadian public were told was false... Everywhere the Allies were getting kicked around - accentuated by listless planning & supplies, but the London Times would always report "Allies push hard into Norway, Narvik taken!"
for example.

Narvik, a coastal city in northern Norway, didnt fall for over 2 months of fighting - with something like 300-400 Germans vs 2000 Brits....

To find truth from our politicians is hard at the best of times. War only compounds this difficulty.
 
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Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Pro-U.S. mayor of Iraqi city slain
Associated Press

Baghdad — The pro-U.S. mayor of Hadithah in western Iraq was shot and killed Wednesday along with one of his nine sons, the U.S. military reported.

The military spokesman said he could offer no other details, but the Arab satellite network al-Jazeera said Mohammed Nayil al-Jurayfi's car was shot up by unidentified attackers as he drove through the city of about 150,000 about 250 kilometres northwest of Baghdad.

The Qatar-based broadcaster said Mr. al-Jurayfi's car caught fire after the attack. Al-Jazeera also said residents of the city had accused the mayor of collaborating with coalition forces.

Hadithah sits on the main road to Syria and lies within the so-called "Sunni Triangle" that stretches to the west and north of Baghdad, where pro-Saddam Hussein insurgents have routinely attacked U.S. soldiers.

The continuing and increasingly sophisticated assaults have taken a heavy toll on morale of U.S. forces patrolling the region, especially among soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division who recently learned their departure from the country had been put off indefinitely.

In the latest attack, a U.S. soldier and an eight-year-old Iraqi child were killed in and around the capital Wednesday on the eve of a recently banned Baath Party holiday.

The soldier was killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack on a supply convoy west of Baghdad near the Abu Ghraib prison, a U.S. military spokesman said.

The grenade blasted into the soldier's truck, hurling him out, as the 20-vehicle convoy passed along a main highway Wednesday morning. Soldiers at first believed a bomb was remotely detonated as the convoy passed.

The Qatar-based broadcaster said Mr. al-Jurayfi's car caught fire after the attack. Al-Jazeera also said residents of the city had accused the mayor of collaborating with coalition forces.

http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20030716.wiraq0716/BNStory/International/
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Iraq now guerrilla war, top U.S. general says
Morale among troops plummets
Missile misses plane in Baghdad


TIM HARPER
WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON - The top American commander became the first U.S. military official yesterday to say his troops are fighting a guerrilla war in Iraq and acknowledged that morale is plummeting among his soldiers.

"It's low-intensity conflict, in our doctrinal terms, but it's war, however you describe it," Gen. John Abizaid, the United States' new head of Central Command, said in his first Pentagon briefing.

Abizaid, who assumed the post only last week, showed a penchant for plain speaking, saying he understands Americans are facing increasingly sophisticated attacks by an increasingly well-organized adversary and they need to know when they are coming home.

Abizaid also said U.S. troops should be ready to spend a year on duty in the region, though military planners are working to bring home some units quickly.

Year-long deployments, a norm during the Vietnam War, have been rare in recent years.

"So we've done it before, and we can do it again," Abizaid said.

There are now 148,000 Americans and 13,000 coalition troops, mainly Britons and Poles, in Iraq.

Abizaid's characterization of the conflict as a guerrilla war contradicts his boss, U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who only last week went to great lengths to chastise journalists for using the term.

Just yesterday, in one of the boldest attacks since U.S. President George W. Bush declared the end of major combat, a surface-to-air missile was fired at a U.S. C-130 Hercules transport plane as it came in for a landing at Baghdad Airport. It did not hit its target and there were no injuries, but it was the largest-scale attack since April, U.S. officials said.

"Certainly we're fighting Baathist remnants throughout the country," Abizaid said. "I believe there's mid-level Baathist, Iraqi intelligence service people, Special Security Organization people, Special Republican Guard people that have organized at the regional level in cellular structure and are conducting what I would describe as a classical guerrilla-type campaign against us."

Abizaid also made it clear that — low morale notwithstanding — his soldiers do not have the right to take shots at Bush and top Pentagon officials as some did on a national newscast Tuesday evening.

ABC aired interviews with soldiers who criticized Bush, Rumsfeld and others for leaving them to languish in the searing Iraqi heat where they have been described as sitting in a shooting gallery.

The death of another American yesterday was the 148th casualty since the war began, matching the death toll of the first Persian Gulf War waged by the president's father, George H.W. Bush.

Since the sitting president declared major combat over on May 1, 33 Americans have been killed, eight of them in the two weeks since Bush challenged the enemy to "bring `em on."

The pro-American mayor of the western city of Hadithah was also shot and killed in a midday ambush by assailants firing automatic weapons yesterday.

On the ABC report, one member of the 2nd Battle Combat Team in Falluja, Iraq, talked about his "Most Wanted" list, a response to the deck of cards the U.S. administration had distributed in a bid to capture Saddam Hussein's loyalists. "The aces in my deck are (U.S. civilian administrator) Paul Bremer, Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush and (deputy defence secretary) Paul Wolfowitz," the sergeant told a reporter.

Another member, Specialist Clinton Deitz, told the reporter he would ask Rumsfeld to resign if he appeared in Falluja while another, Pte. Eric Rattler, said he once wanted to help Iraqis but "now, I don't care any more."

On another network, CNN, military families spoke harshly of broken promises about the length of the deployment and a fiancée of one soldier suggested there was talk of desertion because some soldiers would rather ruin their careers than lose their lives.

Against this backdrop, CIA chief George Tenet faced a closed-door grilling at a U.S. Senate committee yesterday where he was asked to explain how a false claim about Saddam's search for uranium in Africa made it into Bush's State of the Union address last January.

Abizaid said he understood the soldiers' frustration, but "none of us who wear this uniform are free to say anything disparaging about the secretary of defence or the president of the United States. We're not free to do that. It's our professional code."

With files from Associated Press

http://www.torontostar.com/NASApp/c...987&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154
 

Cheap Ego

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
Iraq now guerrilla war, top U.S. general says
Abizaid said he understood the soldiers' frustration, but "none of us who wear this uniform are free to say anything disparaging about the secretary of defence or the president of the United States. We're not free to do that. It's our professional code."
I find it odd that those who make the greatest sacrifice for their country are the only ones who aren't allowed to have opinions :confused:
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
A Big Letdown
Soldiers Learn They’ll Be in Baghdad Longer Than Expected

By Jeffrey Kofman

F A L L U J A H, Iraq, July 15— The sergeant at the 2nd Battle Combat Team Headquarters pulled me aside in the corridor. "I've got my own 'Most Wanted' list," he told me.

He was referring to the deck of cards the U.S. government published, featuring Saddam Hussein, his sons and other wanted members of the former Iraqi regime.

"The aces in my deck are Paul Bremer, Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush and Paul Wolfowitz," he said.

He was referring to the four men who are running U.S. policy here in Iraq — the four men who are ultimately responsible for the fate of U.S. troops here.

Those four are not popular at 2nd BCT these days. It is home to 4,000 troops from the 2nd Brigade of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division. The soldiers were deployed to Kuwait last September. They were among the first troops in Baghdad during the war. And now they've been in the region longer than other troops: 10 months and counting.

They were told they'd be going home in May. Then in early July. Then late July. Then last week they heard that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had mentioned them on Capitol Hill.

"The 2nd Brigade is — the plan is that they would return in August, having been there something like 10 months," said Rumsfeld.

He added: "The services and the Joint Staff have been working with Central Command to develop a rotation plan so that we can, in fact, see that we treat these terrific young men and young women in a way that's respectful of their lives and their circumstances."

Solid words from a solid source. Soldiers called their families. Commanding officers began preparations.

‘I Don’t Care Anymore’

Now comes word from the Pentagon: Not so fast. The 2nd Brigade will be staying in Iraq "indefinitely." The earliest they could return home is October.

"If Donald Rumsfeld were sitting here in front of us, what would you say to him?" I asked a group of soldiers who gathered around a table, eager to talk to a visiting reporter.

"If he was here," said Pfc. Jason Punyahotra, "I would ask him why we're still here, why we've been told so many times and it's changed."

In the back of the group, Spc. Clinton Deitz put up his hand. "If Donald Rumsfeld was here," he said, "I'd ask him for his resignation."

Those are strong words from troops used to following orders. They say they will continue to do their job, but they no longer seem to have their hearts in the mission.

"I used to want to help these people," said Pfc. Eric Rattler, "but now I don't really care about them anymore. I've seen so much, you know, little kids throwing rocks at you. Once you pacify an area, it seems like the area you just came from turns bad again. I'd like this country to be all right, but I don't care anymore."


Wondering Why

What they care about is their families. Sgt. Terry Gilmore had to call his wife, Stacey, this week to her that he wouldn't be home in a few weeks to see her and their two little children.

"When I told her, she started crying," Gilmore said, his eyes moistening. "I mean, I almost started crying. I felt like my heart was broken. We couldn't figure out why they do it. Why they can keep us over here right after they told us we were coming home."

Sgt. Felipe Vega, who oversees the platoon, sat alone in the platoon quarters, writing a letter. A photo of his wife, Rhonda, was taped to the wall above him.

It is Vega's job to maintain morale. That's not easy, he told me, when the Army keeps changing the orders.

"They turn around and slap you in the face," he said.

When asked if that's the way it feels, he said, "Yeah, kicked in the guts, slapped in the face."


Losing Faith

The 2nd Brigade originally came to Kuwait for six months of exercises. Then they stayed to fight the war. Like the others, Vega thought that would be the end of it.

"What was told to us in Kuwait," he said, "was the fastest way to go home was through Baghdad. And that's what we did."

But more than three months later they are still here.

"Well it pretty much makes me lose faith in the Army," said Pfc. Jayson Punyhotra, one of the soldiers grouped around the table. "I mean, I don't really believe anything they tell me. If they told me we were leaving next week, I wouldn't believe them."

Fighting words from men who are eager to put down their weapons.

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/wnt/World/iraq030715_2ndBrigade.html
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
"I used to want to help these people," said Pfc. Eric Rattler, "but now I don't really care about them anymore. I've seen so much, you know, little kids throwing rocks at you. Once you pacify an area, it seems like the area you just came from turns bad again. I'd like this country to be all right, but I don't care anymore."
I'm almost tempted to rake back through the posts from early March and repost some of the ludicrous arguments made by those "pro-liberation" people who were defending the U.S.'s decision to invade.
 
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expat

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
I'm almost tempted to rake back through the posts from early March and repost some of the ludicrous arguments made by those "pro-liberation" people who were defending the U.S.'s decision to invade.
i'd put money down that if you poll the Iraqi people on whether they think they are happier/better off with or without Saddam, 90% would say without. Not that this justifies the American invasion, but try to keep things in perspective: the brutal regime of one of history's great tyrants is done. It'll take some time, but the Iraq of the next 30 years will be a hell of a lot better place to live than the Iraq of the past 30 years.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by beatnik
i'd put money down that if you poll the Iraqi people on whether they think they are happier/better off with or without Saddam, 90% would say without. Not that this justifies the American invasion, but try to keep things in perspective: the brutal regime of one of history's great tyrants is done. It'll take some time, but the Iraq of the next 30 years will be a hell of a lot better place to live than the Iraq of the past 30 years.
By "past 30 years" you mean the past 30 years without including the 10 years of shit that the U.S. dragged Iraq through? Or the assistance by the U.S. in bringing Hussein to power, or the allowed bio/chem weapons sales by U.S. corporations?

Yes, the Iraqi way of life may get better, with a more democratic government, but that argument is fallacious (as you mentioned) in the context of a justification for war.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by beatnik
i'd put money down that if you poll the Iraqi people on whether they think they are happier/better off with or without Saddam, 90% would say without. Not that this justifies the American invasion, but try to keep things in perspective: the brutal regime of one of history's great tyrants is done. It'll take some time, but the Iraq of the next 30 years will be a hell of a lot better place to live than the Iraq of the past 30 years.
The tyrants that helped the Ba'ath party into Iraq are the ones that took them out, that's all. The Iraqi people really have no obligation to be greatful as all the US did was clean up some of the mess it created. The Iraqi people know that there are ultierior motives for the US's occupancy and for that reason they don't trust them. They don't want Saddam back, they just finally want their country back.
 
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