"How is the world ruled and how do wars start? Diplomats tell lies to journalists and then believe what they read." Karl Kraus, in Die Fackel [The Torch], Vienna, 1899-1936.
April 18, 2004
Otto Says Pentagon/NY Times Not Ready to Rule World: They Can't CountBy OTTO
t's either a remarkable display of ignorance or a remarkable lapse in America's selfless crusade for Democracy. The headline over the NY Times article reproduced below says "...5 Marines Killed," yet the article itself reports a total of 11 American soldiers killed.
Here's the tally for Saturday, April 17, 2004 as described in the article:
So, it's either, 1) the guy that wrote the headline can't add or 2) the six dead grunts somehow don't rate a headline. Either way it doesn't look good for the New World Order.
The rest of the article is mostly overworked clichés designed to conceal rather than to describe reality, e.g.,
Well, it's time for the mercenaries to feel restless, because it's not drums they're hearing in the night but Kalashnikov AK-47's.
April 18, 2004
Bremer Says Iraqis Not Ready to Secure Country; 5 Marines KilledBy CHRISTINE HAUSER
AGHDAD, Iraq, April 18 — The American administrator in Iraq said today that recent fighting in the country showed Iraqi forces would be unable to maintain security alone, stressing that United States-led armies were needed in the country after the handover of sovereignty on June 30.
Also today, the chief spokesman for the American military said five American marines were killed on Saturday in a prolonged gunbattle that started when they came under mortar and small arms fire in Qusaybah, near the Syrian border.
The spokesman, Brig. Gen Mark Kimmitt, said Iraqi anti-coalition forces and marines fought for about 14 hours in the battle, unusual for its duration and far from the area where marines have been fighting an offensive in Falluja, the Sunni Muslim town west of Baghdad.
"This is the first time we have lost five marines" in that area, General Kimmitt said by telephone.
Dozens of Iraqis were killed in the fighting, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which has a reporter embedded with the Marines.
Political preparations for the handover of sovereignty to Iraqis have been all but overshadowed by the battles that have raged in Falluja, and which have also flared in mostly Shiite towns south of Baghdad this month with fighters loyal to an anti-American cleric, Moktada Sadr.
"Events of the past two weeks show that Iraq still faces security threats and needs outside help to deal with them," the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority, L. Paul Bremer III, said in a statement.
"Early this month the foes of democracy overran Iraqi police stations and seized public buildings in several parts of the country," he said. "Iraqi forces were unable to stop them."
Mr. Bremer blamed former members of Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard and members of Mr. Sadr's militia for the violence. He added: "But it is clear that Iraqi forces will not be able, on their own, to deal with these threats by June 30 when an Iraqi government assumes sovereignty. Instead, Iraq and troops from many countries, including the United States will be partners in providing the security Iraqis need."
The remarks underscore the dilemma of occupation forces in Iraq more than a year after Saddam Hussein was toppled. Insurgents and Iraqi militia have said that they were fighting in recent weeks to rid their country of occupation forces, but for the American-led coalition, that unrest firms their resolve to remain.
But Spain's new prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, announced that he had ordered his defense minister to "do what is necessary for the Spanish troops stationed in Iraq to return home in the shortest time possible."
The security issue has been a priority in recent weeks for members of the American-installed Iraqi Governing Council, which has tried to mediate through its representatives to halt the fighting in Falluja.
In a further move expected to consolidate the Iraqi forces, the interim Defense Minister, Ali Allawi, named three senior officials today to the Iraqi Armed Forces. The appointments of the Sunni Arab, Kurdish and Shiite generals reflected in general the demographic majority of the country.
The top general was named as Gen. Babekr al-Zibari, a Sunni Kurd from Mosul. He will serve as senior military adviser. Gen. Amer al-Hashimi, a Sunni Arab from Baghdad, would be the chief of staff.
The deputy to that position would be Lt. Gen Daham al-Assal, from Nineveh.
He will be second in command of the Iraqi Armed Forces.
"Iraqis want peace," said Mr. Allawi in a statement. "Iraqis want security. With these generals providing leadership, Iraqis will have both."
The American military also announced today that in Baghdad on Saturday, one soldier was killed and two were injured when their Abrams tank rolled over and in another incident, a soldier died of wounds from a roadside bomb attack on his convoy.
Also on Saturday, three soldiers in the 1st Armored Division were killed in a small-arms ambush near al-Diwaniya, the military said.
In al-Anbar province where the Sunni Muslim town of Falluja is located, a soldier assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force was killed on Saturday as a result of enemy action, the military said.