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" May No Soldier Go Unloved "

   
 
Saturday, June 28, 2003
 
Iran student leaders say crisis deepening: "Public opposition to Iran's ruling clerical establishment is deepening, a student leader said Saturday, as officials reported that more than 4,000 people were arrested during this month's pro-reform protests."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq



Remains of missing U.S. soldiers found in CNN - War in Iraq



U.S. SOLDIER DIES FROM INJURIES SUSTAINED IN VEHICLE ACCIDENT in CENTCOM: News Release



Mandela unrelenting ahead of Bush tour of Africa in Radio Free USA



US push for global police force (28 June 03) in Radio Free USA

 
War Blog Iraq War Updates
Campbell 'threatens to take BBC battle to watchdog': "Alastair Campbell could take his bitter battle with the BBC to the Broadcasting Standards Commission."

In Ananova: War In Iraq



US soldier dies in convoy attack in BBC: War in Iraq



COALITION CONTINUES EFFORTS TO REBUILD IRAQ (JUNE 28, 2003) in CENTCOM: News Release

 
Area soldier recovering from Iraqi sniper fire


By FOSS FARRAR
Traveler Staff Writer


Josh Chitwood's grandmother said the 20-year-old Army soldier, a native of Geuda Springs who recently was shot in the arm while on patrol in Baghdad, Iraq, is doing fine and back on patrol. Experiencing the aftermath of the War in Iraq has matured him, she said today.

"He was shot by a sniper in Baghdad while on patrol," said Wilsie Chitwood, of Geuda Springs. "As far as I know there was no one else injured in his group."

The sniper's bullet went "clear through his forearm," Wilsie said. "He's fine now, and on light duty."

The shooting occurred about three weeks ago. Josh called his grandmother from a hospital where he was treated. He was back on duty three days later.

"He called me about 4:30 a.m. (Geuda Springs time) and kept saying, 'Don't worry, Grandma, I'm OK."

Wilsie also received a call from Josh on Thursday. "He's fine," she said. "He's telling me about the people over there and the city."

Josh Chitwood, who grew up in Geuda Springs and graduated from Oxford High School, serves as a tank driver in the army field artillery, but he doesn't drive a tank while patrol in Baghdad. He drives a Humvee, Wilsie said.

She said the war experience has matured him.

"It's an experience for him, seeing how people in other cultures live," she said. "It's a maturing experience. You can even tell by his voice.

"It'll make him grow up in a hurry, but what a horrible way to grow up."

Wilsie Chitwood has lived in Geuda Springs since 1942. She worked as a nurse's aide in the old Mercy Hospital and later worked, for 25 years, as an industrial nurse for Maurer-Neuer, the Rodeo meat packing house.
 
Meet Steven Griles:
Big Oil's Inside Man
By JEFFREY ST. CLAIR


Steven Griles is finally on the run. Griles is Interior Gale Norton's top lieutenant, the man who holds the keys to the nation's oil and mineral reserves. For the past two years, he's used those keys to unlock nearly every legal barrier to exploitation, opening the public lands to a carnival of corporate plunder. He became the toast of Texas. But now Griles is hiding out from reporters and congressional investigators after accounts of his ongoing sleazy relationships with his former associates in big oil have begun to ooze out into the open.

Griles's recent misfortunes are scarcely a surprise. From the time he took his oath of office, Griles was a congressional investigation waiting to happen. The former coal industry flack was one of Bush's most outrageous appointments, an arrogant booster of the very energy cartel he was meant to regulate. His track record could not be given even the slightest green gloss. A veteran of the Reagan administration, Griles schemed closely with disgraced Interior Secretary James Watt to open the public lands of the West to unfettered access by oil and mining companies, many of whom funded Watt's strange outpost of divinely-inspired environmental exploitation, the Mountain States Legal Center.

As Deputy Director of Surface Mining, Griles gutted strip-mining regulations and was a relentless booster of the oil-shale scheme, one of the most outlandish giveaways and environmental blunders of the last century. He also pushed to overturn the popular moratorium on off shore oil drilling on the Pacific Coast, a move of such extreme zealotry in the service of big oil that it even caught Reagan off guard.

After leaving public office, Griles quickly cashed in on his iniquitous tenure in government by launching a DC lobbying firm called J. Stephen Griles and Associations. He soon drummed up a list of clients including Arch Coal, the American Gas Association, National Mining Association, Occidental Petroleum, Pittston Coal and more than 40 other gas, mining and energy concerns, big and small, foreign and domestic.

Then Griles was tapped as Norton's chief deputy. After contentious senate hearings that exposed his various and lucrative entanglements with the oil and gas industry, Griles was finally confirmed to office on July 7, 2001. He later signed two separate statements agreeing to recuse himself from direct involvement any Interior Deparment matters that might involve his former clients. He has since flouted both of those agreements, as disclosed by his own calendar of meetings, liberated through a Freedom of Information Act filing made by Friends of the Earth.

As the calendar and meeting notes reveal, Griles has used the cover of the 9/11 attacks and the war on Iraq to advance his wholesale looting of the public domain for the benefit of some of his former clients and business cronies. He has pushed rollbacks in environmental standards for air and water; advocated increased oil and gas drilling on public lands; tried to exempt the oil industry from royalty payments; and sought to create new loopholes in regulations governing stripmining.

Griles wasted no time compiling a wish list from his pals. Within days of assuming office, Griles convened a series of parleys between his former clients and Interior Department officials to chart a gameplan for accelerating mining, oil leasing and coal-methane extraction from public lands. Between August of 2001 and January of this year, Griles met at least 7 times with former clients; 15 times with companies represented by his former client the National Mining Association; on at least 16 occasions he arranged meetings between himself, former clients, and other administration officials to discuss rollback of air pollution standards for power plants, oil refineries and industrial boilers; on 12 occasions he arranged similar meetings between regulators and former clients regarding coal mining.

In the early days of his tenure, Griles huddled on at least three occasions with Harold Quinn, Jr., a chief lobbyist with the National Mining Association. Quinn and his association are Griles' former clients.

Quinn had business that needed urgent attention. He prodded Griles to move quickly to loosen restrictions on the most environmentally malign form of coal mining, the aptly-named mountaintop removal method, where entire streams and valleys are buried in mining waste. Although both the Clinton and Bush administrations saw nothing wrong with the practice, a federal judge though it was going too far and ordered an injunction on this kind of mining. Griles agreed to do what he could to overturn the ban, a move that would accrue to the benefit of one of his former clients, Arch Coal.

At another meeting, Quinn also reminded Griles of Bush's pledge to preserve the archaic 1872 Mining Law, which gives away gold-rich public lands for as little as $2.50 an acre. The giveaway law had come under attack even from Republicans.

Griles also convened a meeting on September 10, 2001 with a dozen top executives from the Edison Electric Institute, another former client of his lobbyshop. The energy bosses came to congratulate Griles on Bush's plans to scale-back enforcement actions on filthy and aging coal-fired power plants. But they also came to gripe. They were unhappy with Bush's pledge to toughen-up emission standards on sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury. Griles, who was then the Bush administration's point man on the financial impacts of air quality rules on the energy industry, bent a sympathetic ear.

From July 27, 2001 to February 20 of last year, Griles's logs show that he met on at least 32 occasions with other administration officials to discuss pending regulatory matters that were a concern to his former clients.

These meetings flout federal ethics rules which prohibit executive branch officials from participating in any "particular matter" which could advance their own financial interests or that involves former employers or clients. Griles claims that the meetings were merely social visits, utterly lacking in political intent. "We don't talk about work," Griles assured the Washington Post last year in an interview. "We're not allowed. We are all as scrupulous as we can be to assure that I will not be involved in any particular matter that would violate the ethics agreement or even have the appearance of a conflict of interest. The president said he wanted this administration to be held to the highest ethical standards. And I don't ever want it said that I didn't."

But it now turns out that not only was Griles shilling for his former clients, he is also pushing policies that will also plump up his own pocketbook. Griles was an ownership partner in a DC lobbying firm called National Environmental Strategies, a polluter's lobby founded in 1990 by Marc Himmelstein and Haley Barbour. Barbour soon left the firm to become head of the Republican National Committee. Griles moved in.

When he was nominated as deputy secretary of Interior, Griles was forced to sell his interest in the firm for $1.1 million , and he fixed up aq deal with Himmelstein, a friend and Republican powerbroker. Instead of paying Griles off in a lump sum, Himmelstein will pay the Bush official $284,000 each year over the next four years. Griles claims he arranged this kind of payment plan so as not to leave NES "strapped for cash."

But in effect Griles remains financially tied to the health of Himmelstein's firm. And, in fact, Himmelstein has admitted that over the past two years he and Griles have gotten together several times over beers and dinner.

One of the issues high on the list of priorities for some of NES's clients was coal-methane gas drilling. In April of 2002, Griles directly intervened in a bitter dispute over the huge deposits of coal methane in Power River Basin in Montana and Wyoming_deposits worth billions of dollars and long craved by the natural gas industry. This looms as the largest energy development project in the country and has been assailedby environmentalists and native groups as an environmental nightmare.

The project, which calls for the development of more than 80,000 coal-methane wells, is so fraught with danger that even the Bush administration's own EPA issued a report sharply criticizing the environmental consequences of the scheme. Among the findings:

the 80,000 coal methane wells will discharge nearly 20,000 gallons of salty water each day onto the ground surface, fouling the land, creeks and aquatic life; over its lifepsan, the project will deplete the underground aquifer of more than 4 trillion gallons of water, that will take hundreds of years to replenish; full-scale production will also entail 17,000 miles of new roads, 20,000 miles of pipelines and will turn nearly 200,000 acres of rangeland into an industrial zone.

This rare rebuke from the normally supine EPA roused Griles into furious action. On April 12, 2002, Griles sent a scorching memo under his

Department of Interior letterhead chastising the EPA for dragging its feet on the project. He chided the agency of being uncooperative with industry. It turns out that Griles had formerly represented the very companies that he was now accusing the EPA of failing to give proper deference. As a lobbyist, Griles's clients included the Coal Bed Methane Ad Hoc Committee, Devon Energy, Restone and Western Gas Resources, all companies seeking to gain access to the Powder Basin gas fields. His old firm, NES, also hosted an industry-sponsored tour of Powder Basin for EPA and Interior Department officials. NES also represents Griles' former

client Devon Energy, which stands to make a killing if the deal is approved.

Griles's meddling in this matter came to the attention of the Department's lawyers. On May 8, they forced Griles to sign an agreement disqualifying himself from any further involvement in the coal-methane issue. He later said he did so "for all the world to know that I'm not even going to be talking to anybody about it again."

Now the Inspector General of the Department of Interior has launched an investigation into Griles's entanglements with his clients and Griles isn't talking to anybody, especially the press.

But on May 9, reporter Roberta Baskin tracked Griles down at a discreet ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the Meadowood Farm Trail in Lorton, Virginia. Baskin approached Griles with a cameraman and began asking him unsettling questions about Powder Basin. As Baskin zoomed in for the kill, Griles grabbed hold of the nearest object he could find: a 94-year old woman named Gladys Bushrod, a ceremonial guest of the Interior Deparment. Basking Griles used the befuddled Bushrod as "a human shield" to deflect unpleasing questions about his incestuous ties to his friends in big oil until he reached his waiting limo, whereupon he relinquished the woman and made his getaway like Beelzebub amid a puff of dust and hydrocarbons.





 
Status.Blogger.Com
 
ONE SOLDIER KILLED, FOUR WOUNDED IN GRENADE ATTACK in CENTCOM: News Release



UK Government Renews Demand for BBC Apology: "A war of words between the Britishgovernment and the BBC over Iraq gained momentum on Saturdayafter the prime minister's press chief appeared on a rivaltelevision channel to renew his demand for an apology. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



Sleepless Days and Nights: ""Bremer is based now in Saddam's former palace with a staff of about six hundred. These six hundred people have so far cost $300 million in salaries and expenses. This is nearly twice the amount paid to-date to 24 million Iraqis in salaries and pensions." Michael Birmingham writes of the bitter reality that has taken shape in Iraq. Michael is currently in Baghdad."

In Electronic Iraq

 
American Soldier Shot at Baghdad Market: "A gunman shot a U.S. soldier in the neck as he browsed a Baghdad market on Friday and American forces accidentally killed an 11-year-old boy, part of a vicious cycle of Iraqi attacks and ever-tougher U.S. crackdowns on resistance. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



U.S. Army IDs 2 Soldiers Missing in Iraq: "The Army identified the two missing soldiers in Iraq on Friday as members of an artillery unit based in Fort Sill, Okla. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

 
War Blog Iraq War Updates
Mess assessment: "The U.S. is sending a five-person team to Baghdad to assess the state of post-war Iraq. The move comes amidst concerns for the stability of the country, as yet another American soldier was shot dead last night and after US soldiers shot and killed an 11-year-old boy they mistook for an armed attacker."

In Alternet: War On Iraq



U.S. evaluates success of 'Desert Scorpion' in CNN - War in Iraq



US Soldier Shot in Iraq, Analysts Warn of Revolt: "A U.S. soldier was shot in the head andcritically wounded while shopping in a Baghdad store on Friday,the latest target in a surge of attacks that analysts say couldexplode into open revolt. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

 
Ex-Iraq info minister evasive on TV: "The once-defiant former Iraqi information minister appeared humbled and evasive in a TV interview aired Friday, describing the fall of the Iraqi regime to coalition forces as an "earthquake" and refusing to blame Saddam Hussein for the war."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq



The Suez Crisis: Annotated Bibliography of Three Selected Texts in RISQ



Army Identifies Soldiers Missing in Iraq: "The Army identified the two missing soldiers in Iraq on Friday as members of an artillery unit based in Fort Sill, Okla. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



Rumsfeld Says Iraqi Attacks Scattered: "Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Friday declined to attribute violence against U.S. soldiers in Iraq to guerrilla warfare, instead blaming scattered, disorganized remnants of the ousted Iraqi government. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



Iraqi scientist says U.S. almost ignored him in CNN - War in Iraq



Witnesses: U.S. Soldier Shot in Baghdad: "Iraqi witnesses said an American soldier was shot in the neck while shopping and an Army truck struck what appeared to be a land mine Friday, the latest in a series of attacks raising concern that the United States could be confronting a guerrilla war in Iraq. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



U.S. asks countries to freeze Iraq assets: "Treasury Secretary John Snow is seeking international support to find and freeze financial assets of the former Iraqi government and transfer them to a fund to help rebuild Iraq."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq



Renegade militants could endanger truce: "Renegade bands of Palestinian militants promise to continue their attacks on Israelis despite an agreement by the main groups for a three-month truce, threatening to collapse the cease-fire before it starts."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

 
Jihad leader says group accepts truce: "An Islamic Jihad leader said Saturday the radical Palestinian group accepted a conditional three-month halt to attacks on Israelis, the first on-the-record comment from a militant leader involved in the truce."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



U.S. soldier killed, four wounded in Iraq: "The disquieting drumbeat of guerrilla-style attacks and sabotage deepened in Iraq, with a U.S. soldier killed in an ambush, another shot in the neck and an 11-year-old Iraqi boy slain by American troops who mistook him for a gunman."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Woman gets 50 years in windshield death: "A videotape of Chante Mallard at a nightclub, just one week after she struck a homeless man with her car and left him lodged in the windshield to die, may have been on jurors' minds when they sentenced her to 50 years in prison for murder, attorneys say."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Accused ex-priests freed from L.A. jail: "Two jailed former Roman Catholic priests were freed after a U.S. Supreme Court decision invalidated California's 1994 law extending the statute of limitations on decades-old child molestation cases."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Teen cites firecracker in N.M. wildfire: "A wildfire that menaced parts of the city was started by a firecracker tossed onto a pile of cotton from a cottonwood tree, one of the teens accused in the case told investigators."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Suspected militants kill 4 in Kashmir: "Two suspected Islamic militants stormed an army camp in Kashmir early Saturday, killing 12 soldiers before being slain themselves, as India's president wrapped up a three-day visit to the strife-torn Himalayan region."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



At least 20 hurt in Netherlands gas blast: "A large gas explosion ripped through three stores in a crowded shopping district of The Hague Saturday, wounding at least 20 people, eight of them seriously, city officials said."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Goodyear, United Steelworkers stop talks: "The United Steelworkers union has broken off contract talks with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., rejecting an offer made shortly before a midnight strike deadline."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Corvette fans mark car's 50th anniversary: "Tom Meadows isn't kidding when he says his two children, both in their 30s, are too young to inherit his all-original 1966 Corvette."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Boston sets record in rout of Marlins: "The Boston Red Sox set a major league record by scoring 10 runs before making an out Friday night and cruised to a 25-8 rout of Florida - but Fenway Park fell silent in the seventh inning with a frightening injury to Marlins pitcher Kevin Olsen."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press


Friday, June 27, 2003
 
War Blog News Uodates
North Korea Warns U.N. Against Doing U.S. Bidding in IraqWar.ru (English)



U.S. Troops Hunt Missing in Iraq, Report New Death in IraqWar.ru (English)



U.S. Soldier Shot, Critically Wounded in Baghdad in IraqWar.ru (English)



U.S. Soldier Shot While Shopping in Iraq in IraqWar.ru (English)



CIA resorts to using ex-Saddam officials due to lack of staff in IraqWar.ru (English)



The War Isn't Over in IraqWar.ru (English)



British Trust in Iraqi Militia Proved a Fatal Miscalculation in IraqWar.ru (English)



Iraq: all care, no responsibility in IraqWar.ru (English)



Veteran neo-con advisor moves on Iran in IraqWar.ru (English)



US refuses to comment on 'Comical Ali' claims in IraqWar.ru (English)

 
Friday 06 /27/03 4:28 PST
More loyal than the king? in IraqWar.ru (English)



American military morale shaken by Iraq quagmire in IraqWar.ru (English)



Arab volunteers set to bolster resistance in IraqWar.ru (English)



Back from the brink in IraqWar.ru (English)



Attacks on GIs reported almost hourly in Iraq; 2 killed in IraqWar.ru (English)



Iraq, al-Qaida not linked, U.N. finds in IraqWar.ru (English)



Jews who buy Iraq property must be killed -cleric in IraqWar.ru (English)

 
New Iraqi Police Garner Some Respect: "It wasn't a big bust, but the Iraqi police pulled it off with apparent aplomb, thanks to some mentoring from the U.S. military. A marketplace was sealed off, a teahouse raided, and 15 traffickers of drugs and weapons are now in jail. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



U.S. Sends Private Advisers to Assess Iraq Effort: "The Pentagon has sent a group ofprivate experts with extensive experience in the Clintonadministration to assess postwar reconstruction efforts in Iraqamid stubborn instability and escalating attacks on U.S. andBritish troops, officials said on Friday. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



Senate Confirms New Iraq Commander: "The Senate on Friday confirmed Army Lt. Gen. John Abizaid to replace Gen. Tommy Franks as head of U.S. Central Command, a position that includes responsibility for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

 
A Soldiers Blog Updates
New Iraqi Police Garner Some Respect: "It wasn't a big bust, but the Iraqi police pulled it off with apparent aplomb, thanks to some mentoring from the U.S. military. A marketplace was sealed off, a teahouse raided, and 15 traffickers of drugs and weapons are now in jail. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



U.S. Sends Private Advisers to Assess Iraq Effort: "The Pentagon has sent a group ofprivate experts with extensive experience in the Clintonadministration to assess postwar reconstruction efforts in Iraqamid stubborn instability and escalating attacks on U.S. andBritish troops, officials said on Friday. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



Senate Confirms New Iraq Commander: "The Senate on Friday confirmed Army Lt. Gen. John Abizaid to replace Gen. Tommy Franks as head of U.S. Central Command, a position that includes responsibility for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



Israel, Palestinians OK Gaza pullback: "Israel and the Palestinians agreed in principle Friday on the terms of an Israeli pullback from parts of the Gaza Strip, Israel TV said."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

 
Senate Approves Abizaid to Head Centcom: "The Senate confirmed a Middle Eastexpert of Lebanese descent on Friday to replace Gen. TommyFranks as head of the U.S. Central Command that oversees hotspots of Iraq and Afghanistan. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



Iraqis stunned at reappearance of white-haired "Comical Ali": "Mohammed Said as-Sahhaf's surprise re-emergence has stunned Iraqis, although many joked that Saddam Hussein's famed wartime "lying machine" who appeared with his hair turned white was "his older brother." (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



US sends policy experts to assess Iraq situation: "A group of policy experts from outside the government left for Iraq to provide Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and US administrator Paul Bremer with an informal assessment of the post-war situation in the country, a Pentagon spokesman said. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



You Are Not Reading This!: "Much has been posted recently about our unofficial mascot, Comical Ali. While browsing Kevin's Wizbang I came across a link to this wonderful piece of technology, courtesy David Bloom : The Iraqi Information Minister Quote Generator . And remember:
Allah will defile the monkey's in Basra!
"

In Command Post: Irak



Royal Democratic Alliance plans shadow government in Iraq: "The Royal Democratic Alliance, headed by pretender to Iraq's throne Prince Raad bin Zaid, announced plans for a shadow government to run the country. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

 
MIDDLE EAST
Nighttime in the Lawless City of Baghdad


By George Thomas
CBN News Senior Reporter
June 27, 2003






CBN.com - BAGHDAD - Fifty-seven days after President Bush declared an end to the war in Iraq, plenty of danger and hostility lingers. Since then, more than 50 Americans have been killed, either by guerrilla attacks or accidents, and many more have been injured. Increasingly, the day-to-day job of maintaining security in this country is turning into a dangerous mission.

It was a Tuesday evening, and a fierce sandstorm began to blow across Baghdad. Shortly after 9 p.m., a CBN News reporter and two CBN News cameramen joined a group of American soldiers on a night patrol of a heavily armed and dangerous city. The men were part of a platoon, with four Humvee vehicles and 12 soldiers, all from the Army's 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment out of Fort Polk, Louisiana.

As the convoy cruised down streets in a stealthy column, the men of the 2nd ACR had three objectives: search for weapons, arrest criminals and try to help restore law and order to the Iraqi capital. This is not an easy task since there are only 28,000 U.S. troops in Baghdad and roughly five million residents.

The night began with a checkpoint in the southeast quadrant of the city.

CBN News asked one lieutenant what he looked for when he searched a vehicle. "The biggest thing we are looking for is firearms, especially we see a lot of assault rifles, but also pistols, and we are confiscating those because they are a threat to the general populace," said 1st Lt. Ryan O'Reilly.

Iraq is a country awash with weapons, from pistols to rocket-launchers. Iraqis had until June 14th to turn in most of their weapons to U.S. authorities, but few have. That has made soldiers uneasy about policing the streets of Baghdad.

One soldier showed us one of his recent finds. "We have a .38 special, it's like just a regular handgun around here. [We took it] from this guy over here who did not tell us he had it. One bullet is gone, he could have used it to shoot at somebody or shot somebody with, we don't know."

As the night dragged on, more weapons were confiscated.

Lt. O'Reilly said, "I would say there is a certain degree of danger just because many people in Baghdad still own weapons."

And increasingly, some of those weapons are being used in hit-and-run attacks on U.S. service members.

"The toughest part is just the uncertainty. You always have to be on your guard," said Capt. James Kimbrough.

The U.S. troops who are serving today in phase two of the war in Iraq face many dangers, including the ever-present threat from Saddam's Fedayeen forces, remnants of the Republican Guard, and armed criminal gangs.

Intelligence reports indicate that Islamic terrorists from other countries in the region are also joining the resistance against the U.S.-led occupation in Iraq. The result is that American soldiers have been dying daily since President Bush declared the end of major military action.

Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, "These losses are a reminder that Iraq remains a dangerous place, but we must continue to stand firm. Our forces' role in establishing and maintaining security is critical to the stability and security of Iraq, and also to our war on terrorism."

In recent days, hundreds of U.S. Army troops supported by tanks and helicopters have struck back, launching several counterinsurgency operations.

U.S. Army spokesman Major Sean Gibson said, "The purpose is to eliminate Ba'athist Party members and seek out terrorist organizations or what we consider bad elements that seek to destabilize the country for their own agendas."

Hundreds have been arrested and plenty of illegal weapons seized, but the stepped-up patrols, searches, and arrests by U.S. forces have aroused widespread resentment, and it is adding to the rising level of discontent across the country.

Ten weeks after the fall of Baghdad, the United States finds itself in the middle of a guerrilla war - welcome to phase two of Operation Iraqi Freedom. But how long will this dangerous phase last, and can the American forces snuff out the remaining resistance without fueling more of it?

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, "General Franks and his team will root out the remainder of those people to the extent that it can be done. And I think the American people and certainly the President and I recognize that that will take some time and we think it's important that it be done."

If for only one reason, so that the men of the 2nd ACR, and the 140,000 odd U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq along with them, can continue to sow the seeds of democracy and freedom.

Capt. Kimbrough said, "I am here to provide, well to create a stable environment for Iraq so that they can become a better society with more freedoms."

But Kimbrough, and all of those who patrol the front lines, fears that the road to democracy could be long and costly. In the end, the men know that their success or failure in securing this country will be critical. It will determine whether Iraq becomes a showplace in the Arab world or an example of failed U.S. foreign policy.

CBN News asked Captain Kimbrough if there were times when he didn't think it would work out in Iraq. He replied, "No, because as soon as I do that, then I don't see a point in my job. I have to remain positive. I think it will be okay."

At 3 a.m., in a city fraught with danger and instability, the men of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment safely completed another night of perilous patrol.


The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc. © 2003
 
War Blog Iraq War Updates
Ex-S.C. Sen. Strom Thurmond dies at 100: "Former U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond died last night at the age of 100. She was in the Senate for 48 of his 100 years."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Broad Medicare bill passes House, Senate: "Medicare prescription drug legislation eased through the Senate and squeaked through the House early Friday, setting up challenging negotiations on a final compromise that President Bush hopes to sign later this summer."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Jury to pick penalty in windshield death: "Jurors will gather this morning to decide the fate of Chante Mallard, who was convicted yesterday of murder after she hit a homeless man on a highway after a night of drinking and drugs and then continued driving with his body lodged in her windshield. She faces the possibility of life in prison."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



FTC launches national do-not-call list: "People pestered by telemarketers can start signing up Friday for a national do-not-call list intended to block most phone sales pitches."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Israeli troops kill gunmen in Hamas raid: "Israeli soldiers hunting a top Hamas bombmaker raided two homes Friday, killing three gunmen and a bystander in a firefight. The Hamas response was muted, suggesting that a deal between armed groups on suspending attacks against Israelis might not unravel because of the raid."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



U.S. soldier dies in ambush in Iraq: "An American soldier was killed in an ambush in southern Iraq, the U.S. military said Friday, after it announced arrests in the possible abduction of two U.S. servicemen."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Charges expected vs. 3 in N.M. wildfires: "Officials said charges were expected against three people in connection with wildfires that forced evacuations near the Rio Grande this week, while investigators in Arizona said fires there were likely "human-caused.""

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Google puts gadgets in browser toolbar: "Online search engine Google introduced several new gadgets in its popular toolbar for Web browsers, hoping to build even greater brand loyalty amid heightened competition."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Stocks appear set to open higher: "U.S. stocks are set to open somewhat higher Friday as investors mull Thursday's late rally."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



LeBron James goes No. 1 in NBA draft: "LeBron James went No. 1, Andres Gliniadakis went No. 58. In between there were trades, one big slippage and a few pronunciation problems. An NBA draft that began with James, the high school phenom from Akron going to the Cleveland Cavaliers, ended with a record 21 international players being chosen in the two rounds."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



NORMAN: WHOPPERS OF MASS DESTRUCTION: "'That Alistair Campbell is a liar on an almost Archerian scale is a point too obvious to labour'..."

In Mirror.co.uk



MOBILE PHONE COSTS FACE CHOP: "Costs of using mobile phone set to be slashed after industry giants lose court case to defend prices..."

In Mirror.co.uk



BB UPDATE: DAY 36 - TICKETS FOR TONIGHT: "Win a pair of tickets for tonight's eviction...Happy housemate Cameron returns to the house..."

In Mirror.co.uk



BB UPDATE: DAY 36 - TICKETS FOR TONIGHT: "Win a pair of tickets for tonight's eviction...Happy housemate Cameron returns to the house..."

In The Mirror



End of line for rail firm: "OPERATOR Connex South Central stripped of lucrative franchise"

In The Sun - News



Lout who shouted out: "MAN who made bogus line call said sorry to British tennis ace last night"

In The Sun - News



MIXED FAREWELL FOR CAM: "African housemates say a muted farewell to straight-laced Scot Cameron..."

In Mirror.co.uk



BIG BROTHER UPDATE: DAY 36: "Tania reveals her morbid fear of moths; Scott thinks about sex every minute and joins Ray for a prank..."

In Mirror.co.uk



HAPLESS PUPPET MASTERS HAVE LOST THE PLOT: "Why is it interesting to swap our contestants with other countries Big Bores?, asks Kevin O'Sullivan..."

In Mirror.co.uk



COST OF QUEEN UP 2p PER PERSON: "Monarchy's expenditure rises £900,000 to £36.2million last year - equivalent to 60p per person..."

In Mirror.co.uk



BARRYMORE'S BACK: "Michael Barrymore is making his British comeback with a one-man stage show in the West End..."

In Mirror.co.uk



PUTIN AND BLAIR PLEDGE TO WORK TOGETHER: "Russian president Vladimir Putin finally buries the hatchet with Tony Blair over the Iraq conflict..."

In Mirror.co.uk



THE BECKS BIBLE: "David Beckham was given 32 pages of instructions on how to act during his Far East tour..."

In Mirror.co.uk



JIM CARREY - WITH GOD ON MY SIDE: "Hit new comedy Bruce Almighty proves Jim Carrey still has a divine gift for making us laugh..."

In Mirror.co.uk



BIG BROTHER UPDATE: DAY 36: "Tania reveals her morbid fear of moths; Scott thinks about sex every minute and joins Ray for a prank..."

In The Mirror



Iraq Democracy Watch: "Turning in the widening gyre
The Financial Times has the scoop of the day, with a report that, "The Pentagon has sent a team of outside policy experts to conduct an independent review of postwar operations in Iraq amid growing criticism that the US failed to prepare adequately for occupation."
But even more important, the FT summarizes an intelligence report from Kroll, a corporate security group, geared toward would-be investors.  Out of four possible scenarios, a "stable, soft landing," "complete fragmentation," a "wobbly landing," or an "Iraqi revolt," the last two are considered by far the most likely.  With an Iraqi revolt getting an "even" chance.
I would put my money, currently, on the Iraqi revolt.  Cross your fingers I am dead wrong.
Nonetheless, the Guardian quotes "US officers" as saying that attacks are increasing.  And the Washington Post has a couple of scary quotes:

"I thought we were holding our own until this week, and now I'm not sure," said retired Air Force Col. Richard M. Atchison... "If we don't get this operation moving soon, the opposition will continue to grow, and we will have a much larger problem."
Jeffrey White, a former Defense Intelligence Agency expert on Arab military issues, said, "There are a lot of worrisome aspects about the current situation. Resistance is spreading geographically, resistance groups seem to be proliferating in Sunni areas, resistance elements appear to be tactically adaptive, resistance elements appear to be drawn from multiple elements of Sunni society, our operations inevitably create animosity by inflicting civilian casualties, disrupting lives, humiliating people and damaging property."

And, the Guardian says, yesterday Al Jazeera had word from TWO new resistance groups (not one, as I said yesterday).  The Popular Resistance for the Liberation of Iraq brings my running list to nine.  (I'll start posting the list regularly if it continues to grow.)
Meanwhile, the NYT reports that yesterday was "...a fourth straight day with little or no electricity. Continued acts of sabotage have reduced living conditions to 19th-century levels...[and] Gasoline lines have reappeared as filling stations have had to cut their work hours."  Furthermore, according to the Post , "Iraqis are using buckets to draw water from the Tigris River..."
And Middle East On-line reports that the topic of conversation of the day in the cafes of Baghdad is, "Who was worse, Saddam or the Americans?"  That apparently keeps people going for quite some time.
"



U.S. Soldier Shot Shopping in Baghdad-Witnesses: "A U.S. soldier was shot in the headwhile buying digital video discs at a shop in Baghdad onFriday, the shop owner and other witnesses said. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



US soldier killed as search continues for two more believed abducted: "Another US soldier was killed in an ambush south of here overnight, as fears grew that two soldiers had been abducted by Fedayeen guerrillas who intended to use their armoured vehicle for an attack. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



Leader of Iraqi Shiite group opposes violence against coalition: "The leader of a key Iraqi Shiite movement said he opposed violence against the governing US-led coalition following a spate of attacks against US and British troops in largely Shiite areas, saying he preferred peaceful means to bring about an end to the occupation. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



How the money is dispersed in Baghdad in IraqWar.info



Three detained in connection with missing US soldiers in IraqWar.info

 
War Blog Iraq War Updates
Iraq Democracy Watch: "Turning in the widening gyre
The Financial Times has the scoop of the day, with a report that, "The Pentagon has sent a team of outside policy experts to conduct an independent review of postwar operations in Iraq amid growing criticism that the US failed to prepare adequately for occupation."
But even more important, the FT summarizes an intelligence report from Kroll, a corporate security group, geared toward would-be investors.  Out of four possible scenarios, a "stable, soft landing," "complete fragmentation," a "wobbly landing," or an "Iraqi revolt," the last two are considered by far the most likely.  With an Iraqi revolt getting an "even" chance.
I would put my money, currently, on the Iraqi revolt.  Cross your fingers I am dead wrong.
Nonetheless, the Guardian quotes "US officers" as saying that attacks are increasing.  And the Washington Post has a couple of scary quotes:

"I thought we were holding our own until this week, and now I'm not sure," said retired Air Force Col. Richard M. Atchison... "If we don't get this operation moving soon, the opposition will continue to grow, and we will have a much larger problem."
Jeffrey White, a former Defense Intelligence Agency expert on Arab military issues, said, "There are a lot of worrisome aspects about the current situation. Resistance is spreading geographically, resistance groups seem to be proliferating in Sunni areas, resistance elements appear to be tactically adaptive, resistance elements appear to be drawn from multiple elements of Sunni society, our operations inevitably create animosity by inflicting civilian casualties, disrupting lives, humiliating people and damaging property."

And, the Guardian says, yesterday Al Jazeera had word from TWO new resistance groups (not one, as I said yesterday).  The Popular Resistance for the Liberation of Iraq brings my running list to nine.  (I'll start posting the list regularly if it continues to grow.)
Meanwhile, the NYT reports that yesterday was "...a fourth straight day with little or no electricity. Continued acts of sabotage have reduced living conditions to 19th-century levels...[and] Gasoline lines have reappeared as filling stations have had to cut their work hours."  Furthermore, according to the Post , "Iraqis are using buckets to draw water from the Tigris River..."
And Middle East On-line reports that the topic of conversation of the day in the cafes of Baghdad is, "Who was worse, Saddam or the Americans?"  That apparently keeps people going for quite some time.
"



U.S. Soldier Shot Shopping in Baghdad-Witnesses: "A U.S. soldier was shot in the headwhile buying digital video discs at a shop in Baghdad onFriday, the shop owner and other witnesses said. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



US soldier killed as search continues for two more believed abducted: "Another US soldier was killed in an ambush south of here overnight, as fears grew that two soldiers had been abducted by Fedayeen guerrillas who intended to use their armoured vehicle for an attack. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



Leader of Iraqi Shiite group opposes violence against coalition: "The leader of a key Iraqi Shiite movement said he opposed violence against the governing US-led coalition following a spate of attacks against US and British troops in largely Shiite areas, saying he preferred peaceful means to bring about an end to the occupation. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



How the money is dispersed in Baghdad in IraqWar.info

 
U.S. Troops Comb Iraq for Missing Comrades
Yahoo! News: War with Iraq: "U.S. troops in Iraq searched on Fridayfor missing American comrades and hunted for clues to thekilling of other soldiers in the face of growing resistance tothree months of occupation. (Reuters)"
 
U.S. Soldier Killed in Ambush in Iraq: "A U.S. soldier was killed in an ambush near the southern town of Najaf, the U.S. military said Friday. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



Arrests as US troops 'abducted' in BBC: War in Iraq



3 arrested in case of missing U.S. troops: "Three Iraqis were arrested Friday in the possible abduction of two U.S. soldiers north of Baghdad, a military spokesman said."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq



ONE U.S. SOLDIER KILLED NEAR AN NAJAF in CENTCOM: News Release



Three Iraqis held in disappearance of two GIs in CNN - War in Iraq



US soldier killed, nine wounded, as search continues for missing troops: "A US soldier was killed and nine others wounded in an attack in the town of Kufah, as troops scouring the northern town of Balad for two missing soldiers admitted they could not understand how someone could abduct two soldiers and their armoured vehicle. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



3 Arrested in Case of Missing U.S. Troops: "Three Iraqis were arrested Friday in the possible abduction of two U.S. soldiers north of Baghdad, a military spokesman said. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



Three Iraqis Detained Over Missing U.S. Soldiers: "U.S. forces have detained three Iraqissuspected of involvement in the disappearance of two Americansoldiers near Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Friday. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



State Department experts question CIA claim Iraqi trailers are weapons labs: "US State Department experts disputed CIA conclusions that tractor-trailers found in Iraq were mobile biological weapons labs, while the White House stuck by the claim. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



Search for Saddam Goes Into High Gear: "The hunt for Saddam Hussein is taking on new urgency with the rise in attacks on coalition forces, and officials say the uncertainty of his fate has been a rallying point for anti-U.S. sentiment. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq



Barghouti is seen as leader on rise: "Marwan Barghouti has cemented his reputation as a Palestinian leader on the rise after clinching a truce deal with Islamic militants from his tiny prison cell."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq



Baghdad Bb on Arab TV after U.S. questioning: "Reuters
Former Iraqi information minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf appeared on Arab television Thursday saying he had surrendered to U.S. troops only to be freed.
Full story »»
> More »»

"

In Command Post: Irak



U.S. troops search for missing soldiers: "American troops and helicopters scoured the desert Thursday for two U.S. soldiers who were apparently abducted from an observation post north of Baghdad. Ambushes and hostile fire elsewhere in Iraq killed at least one U.S. soldier and two Iraqi civilians and wounded eight other Americans."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq


Thursday, June 26, 2003
 



Tyler Hicks/The New York Times
Iraqis exulted Thursday atop an American military vehicle, hit by a rocket-propelled grenade as it was being carried on a flatbed truck in Baghdad.

























OCCUPATION
Another G.I. Dies in Latest Attacks
By NEELA BANERJEE


AGHDAD, Iraq, June 26 — American forces came under scattered attacks again today, with two soldiers missing and one killed in a series of ambushes in and around Baghdad.

Reports of attacks on troops streamed in throughout the day. At midday, a trailer in a United States military convoy was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in southern Baghdad, and a truck was set afire by local residents protesting the American presence in Iraq, witnesses said.

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By early evening, Al Jazeera television reported a grenade attack on an American vehicle in the southern town of Najaf. Military spokesmen could not confirm either attack.

In another incident, a bomb exploded on a road to the Baghdad airport, killing one American soldier and wounding eight others, according to Maj. William Thurmond, a military spokesman here.

The attacks came as Baghdad suffered through a fourth straight day with little or no electricity. Continued acts of sabotage have reduced living conditions to 19th-century levels, with people sleeping outdoors and purchasing block ice in desperate attempts to keep food from rotting in more than 100 degree heat.

Among those killed today were two Iraqi electricity workers who died when a convoy of American and Iraqi civilian vehicles was attacked with hand grenades in west Baghdad.

L. Paul Bremer III, head of the American-led civilian authority here, in comments on Wednesday, said, referring to members of Saddam Hussein's old ruling party: "Almost certainly the saboteurs are rogue Baathist elements. They are trying to hinder coalition efforts to make life better for the average Iraqi person."

The two missing American soldiers had been absent for more than 24 hours, after failing to respond to a radio check on Wednesday while guarding a bombed area 25 miles north of Baghdad, the United States Central Command said today.

Col. Guy Shields, a military spokesman in Baghdad, said a search was under way for the two missing soldiers, but he refused to say where, for fear of hampering the rescue operation.

Pentagon and other military officials said they did not know why the soldiers had left their posts, and they were reluctant to speculate on whether they had been abducted, got lost or left their assigned location for some other reason.

The missing troops were members from an Army Fifth Corps artillery unit that had been assigned to surround and cordon off what a Central Command statement described only as a "blast danger area" of undetermined size. Three groups, each consisting of two soldiers in a Humvee, spread out around the site.

When the two soldiers failed to answer a radio check, the battery's executive officer and six troops in two Humvees went to look for them. Upon arriving at the location, they found no trace of the soldiers or their Humvee, the statement said.

The other soldiers assigned to guard the area told searchers they had not seen what happened to the missing troops because of sandstorm. There were no reports of gunfire, and military officials said there were no signs of a fight at the location, military officials said.

"We don't know much more than that," a senior Pentagon official said tonight. "We've got a search ongoing."

While the violence appeared to be gaining momentum, Colonel Shields said the attacks were considered "militarily insignificant." Soldiers on the ground offer a mixed picture of the danger they face, with some saying it is diminishing while many others assert the opposite.

The assault that killed one soldier and wounded eight in Baghdad occurred on an airport route that is often traveled by the military here and often attacked.

The casualties were members of an American Special Forces team, who could have been Rangers or Green Berets, Major Thurmond said. He said he could not provide other details, but a military incident report given to soldiers in the area indicated that the attack involved two remote-controlled explosives set off at 7:30 a.m. about 200 yards from an American military forward observation base.

Soldiers protecting substations and power plants report regular attacks. In addition to the American soldiers, it seemed clear that managers of the power grid were targets as well.

Haifa Aziz Daoud, a 40-ish mother of five and the manager of power distribution for half of Baghdad, was killed by unknown assailants Wednesday morning in her home here, and another official came under a grenade attack today while driving through Baghdad.

Two weeks ago, it looked as if the power shortage that had hobbled Baghdad since the war was gradually ending, as high-voltage power lines that had been severed by wartime bombing were repaired.

But now, Baghdad can meet only one-fifth of the power demand of its residents. Some quarters, if they are lucky, get perhaps two hours of electricity a day, at unpredictable times in the painful heat.

The price of ice has increased eightfold, and people have to scrounge for diesel fuel for generators. Gasoline lines have reappeared as filling stations have had to cut their work hours.

There seems to be no immediate relief in sight, Iraqi and allied officials said. As soon as power lines are fixed, they said, many are set upon and ruptured. With lines running for hundreds of miles and the allied forces stretched thin, the chances of preventing attacks are slim.

 
Our troops are paying the price for a quick-win war

Bad planning and over-confidence have left a dangerous legacy

Martin Woollacott
Friday June 27, 2003
The Guardian

Donald Rumsfeld said in a speech before the Iraq war that nation building was like setting bones: if you got it wrong, the result would be crooked. The US defence secretary now risks seeing his own axiom come true, thanks to the startling inadequacies of the preparations for administering Iraq, inadequacies for which he and his department were largely responsible. And, as is the way with these things, failures in the civil sphere rebound in the military one, so that ordinary American and now British soldiers are having to pay for the insouciance, the spurning of good advice, and the over-confidence about governing Iraq that was evident in Washington before and during the war.
That over-confidence was compounded after victory when the generals in Iraq failed to understand, or were not so instructed, that their job was to support the interim administration rather than to act as if Iraq was a bivouac which most of them would soon depart.

Some of the difficulties faced by troops arise from the fact that the war was so speedily prosecuted. The armed forces of the enemy were shattered, but armed force - as had been predicted by those who knew Iraq - survived in many forms, from the purely criminal to the political and quasi-political. Whatever is finally established about what happened in Majar al-Kabir, it is likely that our armed men were trying to disarm their armed men. This is always the most delicate of procedures. It is easiest, but still not easy, when a general atmosphere has been created in which arms are perceived as not being of much use or, in other words, when people sense they will not lose when they put down their weapons and that they will lose if they try to keep them.

Students of Iraqi society under Saddam understood that he ruled, particularly in his later years, by sub-contracting power to many groups outside the formal armed forces, police and security services. They sustained Saddam and in return were armed and had privileges which, in some cases, included permission to smuggle, steal and extort, activities which now, with him gone, they can pursue more vigorously.

Asked during the war what would be the main problems facing the occupation authorities afterwards, one expert in Washington presciently replied: "Crime, crime and crime." Should he also have replied "armed resistance", of which there is certainly some limited evidence, particularly in areas which the British and Americans had until now left largely alone?

The answer may be that there is no clear division between the maintenance of what might be called a criminal autonomy and political violence proper. Certainly individuals can inhabit both worlds, as a story by Jon Swain in the Sunday Times suggested. He interviewed a man who claimed he was paid on a mercenary basis by political taskmasters to shoot at Americans - a worrying Iraqi example of a gun for hire.

The Pentagon was warned by advisers and would-be advisers about these problems, notably by the US Institute for Peace, which wanted them to learn the lesson from the failure to pay sufficient attention to policing, law and order, and justice in Afghanistan. They got a hearing, but made no impression. Other organisations could not even get in the door, or could only reach the state department, whose influence at that stage was limited.

It is fair to say that Pentagon staff were warned of many disasters that did not come to pass. They ignored, for instance, suggestions that preparations be made to protect Iraqi civilians from the effects of chemical weapons, famously refusing to send gas masks to the Kurds.

George Ward of the Institute for Peace wrote that there had been expectations of "up to a million refugees, widespread food shortages, epidemics, acute homelessness, a shutdown of the oil industry and general lawlessness. In the end, only the last became reality." But it is an important reality, as the distinguished American diplomat Tim Carney underlined yesterday, because without security the big reconstruction work cannot begin and, until it does, the jobs and quality of lifeimprovement it will bring must wait, increasing anger and alienation among the people.

Carney also spoke of a lack of "doctrine" on how to conduct such nation- building operations; a lack of resources; and a failure, presumably by the Pentagon and the generals on the ground, to prioritise the efforts of the first provisional administration. Bonesetters, it might be said, but without a bonesetter's manual.

The danger which Majar al-Kabir illustrates, and even more the confrontations in which American troops have been involved further north, is obviously that of a deterioration in the relations between American and British soldiers and the population at large. The attitude of the occupying troops is critical. Some American soldiers betray an attitude hovering between self-pity and self-romanticisation, with a touch of anti-Arab racism.

Americans, it has been said, go to war in order to go home; and the combination of not being able to go home, finding themselves unpopular, and suffering casualties is making them resentful. The British may be better at trying to make it clear to ordinary people that they understand they are in Iraq on sufferance, but if relations with the people slip beyond a certain point it is hard to retrieve them.

Nor, for two reasons, are the reinforcements which the British and American governments have said are available necessarily a solution. First, the drafting in of more armed force would send a worrying signal. Second, even the American military is stretched by its Iraqi commitment, and the British even more so. To have such significant portions of our armed strength, perhaps a fifth or more, tied down in Iraq indefinitely is not a desirable prospect. There is also a level of casualties that neither American nor British society could sustain for long.

All of which suggests that the military victory in Iraq and the military occupation which has followed are only ultimately valuable in that they provide a finite period of opportunity to get things right in that country.

The failure to deal more quickly with the problems of security and lawlessness has delayed both political and economic reconstruction, the pulling together of a society whose old bonds have burst, and the beginning of a progressive handover of power to Iraqis. It would be unduly pessimistic to say we are near the point where our military forces could become hostage to our political failures. But there are worrying signs, and they should be heeded.



 
Officials: Saudi blast mastermind caught
JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press: "An al-Qaida mastermind of the May 12 terrorist bombing in Riyadh has been arrested in Saudi Arabia, U.S. and Saudi officials said Thursday."
 
Supreme Court strikes down gay sex ban: "The Supreme Court struck down a ban on gay sex Thursday, ruling that the law was an unconstitutional violation of privacy."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Woman found guilty in 'windshield' case: "A jury took less than an hour Thursday to convict a former nurse's aide of murder for hitting a homeless man with her car, driving home with his mangled body lodged in the windshield and leaving him to die in her garage."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Arafat says formal cease-fire imminent: "A formal cease-fire announcement is expected before the arrival of a senior U.S. envoy this weekend, Palestinian officials said Thursday, after securing a commitment from Islamic militants to halt attacks on Israelis for three months."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



U.S. special operations member killed: "A member of a U.S. special operations force was killed and eight were injured on Thursday in a hostile fire incident southwest of Baghdad, the U.S. military said."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Labor Department sues Enron over pensions: "Enron Corp. and some former executives violated pension laws by allowing employees to accumulate overpriced company stock in retirement plans that collapsed with the company, the Labor Department charged Thursday."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Hearing in Peterson case postponed: "Scott Peterson's preliminary hearing in the killing of his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn son was postponed Thursday until September."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Sept. 11 suspect may question witness: "A federal appeals court Thursday dismissed the government's appeal of a lower court order granting accused Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui the right to question a senior al-Qaida leader in U.S. custody."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Kevin Costner marrying his girlfriend: ""Dances With Wolves" actor Kevin Costner is marrying his girlfriend of four years, Christine Baumgartner."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Stocks rise on jobless claims report: "A report suggesting that layoffs might be stabilizing helped reassure Wall Street Thursday and sent stocks moderately higher, although the gains were limited by news of a sluggish gross domestic product."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press



Agassi, Serena Williams advance: "With an overhead slam on match point, Andre Agassi punctuated a polished performance in the second round at Wimbledon."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press

 

 
   
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