The news in Iraq goes from bad to worse everyday. Even hour by hour. I was just reading about the miserable effort to train Iraqi soldiers at the WaPo which quotes a soldier, 1st Lt. Kenrick Cato, 34, of Long Island, N.Y, as saying of the Iraqis, "I know the party line. You know, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, five-star generals, four-star generals, President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld: The Iraqis will be ready in whatever time period...But from the ground, I can say with certainty they won't be ready before I leave. And I know I'll be back in Iraq, probably in three or four years. And I don't think they'll be ready then," and I click back to Yahoo and bam! there's this story:
"BAGHDAD - Five U.S. Marines have been killed by a roadside bomb in western Iraq, the military said Friday. The Marines were killed Thursday while conducting combat operations near the volatile Anbar province Haqlaniyah, 90 miles northwest of Baghdad.At least 1,689 U.S. military members have died since the Iraq war began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count."
When I started this death count was at 1,684. And now comes the fragging.
According to the AP the military is investigating as a criminal case the deaths of two officiers from the 42nd Infantry Division, New York Army National Guard, who were initially thought to have died in an "indirect fire" attack on Forward Operating Base Danger in Tikrit. It does seem like a bit of a coincidence that an insurgent mortar shell would just happen to kill the company commander and the operations officer.
And then we go after eachother.
BAGHDAD -- American and Iraqi security guards for a North Carolina-based company were detained for three days in a military jail by US Marines after shots were fired at US forces and civilians last month, officials said yesterday, and some of the contractors complained they were abused while in custody.
''Nineteen employees working for a contract security firm in Iraq were temporarily detained and questioned after firing on US Marine positions in the city of Fallujah on Saturday," according to Marine spokesman Lieutenant Colonel David Lapan.
''Marines put their knees on the backs of their necks and ripped off religious medallions," Mark Schopper, a lawyer purportedly representing two of the detained workers, told the Charlotte Observer.
''They asked for attorneys, they asked for Amnesty International, they asked for the American Red Cross," he said. ''All three requests were denied."
''The Americans were segregated from the rest of the detainee population, and like all security detainees, were treated humanely and respectfully," Lapan said.
That's good, only the Iraqi contractors got the crap beat ouit of them.
The WaPo reports Schopper said "At one point during the contractors' confinement...a Marine asked, "How does it feel to be a rich contractor now?"
Peter Singer, a military expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington is quoted in the Charlotte News as saying "They are making decisions although they are not in the chain of command," said Singer, adding that it is not clear whether the military has legal authority to detain contractors. "They are operating in a legal netherworld."
This is what happens when you go into a war on the cheap built on lies.