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Lets's talk about democracy
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Friday, 12 November 2004
Almost two years into this mess...

AP

With no sign of the Iraq insurgency ending soon, the Army has again raised its goal for replacing regular Humvee utility vehicles in Iraq with armored Humvees, the Army's top civilian official said Friday.

Les Brownlee, the acting secretary of the Army, said in an Associated Press interview that the Army recently doubled its requirement for "up-armored" Humvees in Iraq from 4,000 to 8,000.

Brownlee said that at the current production rate of 450 a month he believed the Army could meet the goal of having 8,000 armored Humvees in Iraq by March 2005. He did not say how many already are there, but he said the goal of 4,000 was met in September.

In May 2003, after the fall of Baghdad but before it was clear to U.S. officials that an insurgency was developing, the Army had 235 armored Humvees in the country and they were being produced at a rate of 15 per month, Brownlee said. By September the requirement was raised to 1,000.

Brownlee said the Army also is adding armor to its truck fleet because soldiers in supply convoys are often attacked by insurgents.

He said this was an illustration of how much more deadly the insurgency has proven to be than anyone in Washington believed possible in 2003.

"No one ever anticipated we'd be up-armoring our truck fleet," he said. "Nobody anticipated that we'd have to do that." [hmm.imagine that. Better lat than never.]

Global Security says, by their count U.S. wounded stands at : 22,005

Dead: 1,175 (38 so far this month)

Posted by bushmeister0 at 9:27 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 12 November 2004 9:36 PM EST
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Proud Americans for Bush.

Before the election, the Guardian offered their readers the chance to write to American voters in Clark County, Ohio urging them not to vote for Bush. Here are some very thoughtful letters the good people of Ohio wrote back to the Guardian.

KEEP YOUR FUCKIN' LIMEY HANDS OFF OUR ELECTION. HEY, SHITHEADS, REMEMBER THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR? REMEMBER THE WAR OF 1812? WE DIDN'T WANT YOU, OR YOUR POLITICS HERE, THAT'S WHY WE KICKED YOUR ASSES OUT. FOR THE 47% OF YOU WHO DON'T WANT PRESIDENT BUSH, I SAY THIS ... TOUGH SHIT!
PROUD AMERICAN VOTING FOR BUSH!

Real Americans aren't interested in your pansy-ass, tea-sipping opinions. If you want to save the world, begin with your own worthless corner of it.
Texas, USA

Keep your noses out of our business. As I recall we kicked your asses out of our country back in 1776. We do not require input from losers and idiots on who we vote for in our own country. Fuck off and die asshole!!!!!
Knoxville, Iowa

[And there's a lot more. We should all be very proud that these mouth breathers are presenting our best face to the rest of the world.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 8:48 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 12 November 2004 8:50 PM EST
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Iraq interuptus

A.P.

The Dutch cabinet has decided to bring home the 1,350 Dutch troops in Iraq in March next year, confirming a decision first made in June, the Dutch news agency ANP cited Defense Minister Henk Kamp as saying on Friday.

Iraq's interim administration wants to hold elections in January despite mounting violence, and the Netherlands has come under increasing U.S. and British pressure to keep its troops there after March.

Foreign Minister Bernard Bot recently suggested that might be possible in unforeseeable circumstances, but Kamp said the cabinet had ruled that out.

[See my musings on the issue of us pulling out at Non Sum Dignus {Nov. 12)]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:14 PM EST
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Thursday, 11 November 2004
More wounded and here come the Kurds.
From the Guardian:

Planeloads of injured soldiers have been flown to the US military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, and doctors were bracing for a further influx as the Falluja battle culminates.

Two aircraft carrying 102 injured soldiers arrived yesterday. Another 125 injured arrived earlier in the week and more were expected today.
Only seriously injured soldiers are evacuated from Iraq to Landstuhl, the biggest American military hospital outside the US.

"This is one of our peak periods," a hospital spokeswoman, Marie Shaw, told Reuters. "We are very busy. It is more than we have seen in the last couple of months because we used to admit about 30 patients a day."

Most of the patients had bullet wounds, although some had more serious injuries. "We've had more cases of bullet wounds than usual, though some have also suffered blast wounds from rocket-propelled grenades," said Lieutenant Colonel Richard Jordan, a physician at the hospital's deployed warrior centre.

Several soldiers needed intensive care, with brain or spinal injuries or limb amputations, including at least eight of yesterday's arrivals.

While we're busy in Falluja, the insurgents are busy stirring up the Kurds. (Guess what? We don't have anywhere enough troops to deal with an Iraqi civil war involving the Kurds.)

U.S. Troops were drawn into a new offensive in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul yesterday to tackle a tide of insurgency unchecked by the military assault on Falluja.

In Baghdad at least 17 Iraqis were killed in a suicide car bombing as gunmen set up checkpoints on roads in the west of the capital and fought battles with US troops.

Rebels also took to the streets of the northern town of Baiji, home to Iraq's main refinery, clashing with security forces.

The violence suggests the four-day operation in Falluja [and the month long heads up on our invasion plan] may have cleared out the most important insurgent stronghold in Iraq, but has done little to curb the burgeoning militant movement.

"The [insurgent] activities have now spread to the borders with the Kurdish self-rule area, and are threatening Kurdish and other minorities in the region," said the official.

The Kurdish governor of Kirkuk, a disputed city to the north-east, survived an assassination attempt yesterday when a car bomb exploded as his convoy passed.

Abdulrahman Mustafa was not hurt, but six members of his personal security detail and eight civilians were hurt, according to Arif Qurbany, the director of a local TV station.

The deployment of Kurdish fighters in Kirkuk would be sensitive (Classic British understatement.}

Last night Kurdish leaders in Arbil and Sulaymaniya, inside the Kurdish self-rule region, said they were preparing Kurdish troops in the national guard to restore order in Mosul and Kirkuk in coordination with the US military. [Who are too busy elsewhere and won't be coordinating with anyone.]

"We cannot stand by and let minorities be attacked, as they were under Saddam," said a military commander in Sulaymaniya. But the deployment of Kurdish fighters in Kirkuk would be sensitive. [Think things are bad now? Just wait.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 11:44 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 11 November 2004 11:48 PM EST
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More wounded.

The numbers of wounded Landstuhl is recieving from Falluja should be added to the 44 on average the hospital gets everyday from the rest of Iraq.

How many troops have been wounded anyway?

Here's some idea of the numbers from last year:

The largest estimate of the number of medical evacuations from Iraq is to be found in a December 30 article by retired US Army Col. David Hackworth, "Saddam's in the slammer, so why are we on orange?"

Hackworth writes, "Even I...was staggered when a Pentagon source gave me a copy of a Nov. 30 dispatch showing that since George W. Bush unleashed the dogs of war, our armed forces have taken 14,000 casualties in Iraq--about the number of warriors in a line tank division."

The former colonel adds that the figure "means we've lost the equivalent of a fighting division since March. At least 10 percent of the total number" of available personnel--135,000--"has been evacuated back to the USA!"

Lt. Col. Scott D. Ross of the US military's Transportation Command told Hackworth that as of Christmas his "outfit had evacuated 3,255 battle-injured casualties and 18,717 non-battle injuries," a total 21,972 servicemen and women. Ross, however, cautioned that his figure might include some of the same service members counted more than once.

The major categories of "non-battle" evacuations included orthopedic surgery, 3,907; general surgery, 1,995; internal medicine, 1,291; psychiatric, 1,167; neurology, 1,002; gynecological (mostly pregnancy-related), 491.

Hackworth concludes that "it's safe to say that, so far, somewhere between 14,000 and 22,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have been medically evacuated" from the war zone in Iraq.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 3:39 PM EST
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More wounded

FRANKFURT, Germany (APAP) - A steady stream of wounded from Iraq, mostly from fighting in Fallujah, has begun arriving at the U.S. military's main hospital in Europe, an official said Thursday.
Two planeloads with around 90 wounded who could not be treated in Iraq were expected later Thursday at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, said spokeswoman Marie Shaw.

"We are very busy," Shaw said. "We have seen an increase of patient arrival since the outbreak of the Fallujah conflict."

She said 38 injured soldiers arrived on Monday, 23 more on Tuesday, and 64 on Wednesday.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:21 PM EST
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Crunching numbers...

A.P.

The Fallujah campaign has...sent a stream of American wounded to the military's main hospital in Europe.

Planes carrying just over 100 bloodied and broken troops were arriving Thursday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. They join 125 wounded soldiers flown there already this week.

The large number of wounded sent to Germany suggests that fighting may be more intense -- at least in some areas -- than the military had initially indicated. Only seriously wounded troops are flown to Landstuhl.

In contrast, it's puppy dogs and daffodils according to the military.

Maj. Gen. Richard Natonski, commander of the 1st Marine Division, also said 69 American service members and 34 Iraqi security forces had been wounded since the assault began Monday against insurgents in the Sunni Muslim stronghold.

Natonski said the operation was "ahead of schedule" and he saluted "the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and our Iraq comrades" taking part in the fight.

[In addition, the number of killed is a little off. Yesterday it was 10 U.S. soldiers dead now its at 18. I understand everything is going right on schedule but we've lost more dead in 24 hours than over the past three days.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:58 PM EST
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Falluja, the second phase.

BBC:

US marines in Falluja have come under sustained attack from several different directions in the headquarters they have set up in the Iraqi city.
The BBC's Paul Wood, who is at the scene, said there was sniper fire from four or five points on the horizon.

The insurgents may have regrouped, he says, after US-led troops took over large parts of the city.
Meanwhile, two US Cobra helicopters were hit by small-arms and rocket fire in separate incidents and forced to land.

The BBC's Paul Wood says troops are coming under sniper fire all over the city, he says.

US forces say they have taken control of the district of Jolan, just north of the centre.
However, a witness told the BBC that US forces were still fighting for control there at midday.

Villages to the west of the city, thought by the US to be clear of insurgents, are also reporting sniper, mortar and rocket-propelled grenade fire.

al-Jazzera:

Abu Shams al-Fallujy, a member of the National Islamic Resistance in Falluja, told Aljazeera that US forces had entered the city's centre rapidly because they were surrounded in the Julan neighbourhood and were being targeted by snipers

With respect to Julan, al-Askary, Nizal, Jibail and the industrial quarter, they are still under control of the resistance which vows not to allow the US forces to control the town unless it is turned into dust," al-Fallujy said.

"The situation in the town is very critical. The US forces began a retreat under intense resistance fire. They are conducting a ferocious aerial bombing and artillery barrage. They have not accomplished any advance towards the edges of the town," al-Fallujy added.

A US officer said they expected to take command of the city before the weekend.

"If everything goes as planned we will take full control of the city in the next 48 hours," he said on condition of anonymity, adding that it would take "at least 10 days to clear the city".

Then we can go level Mosul:

ABC:

Insurgents have set police stations ablaze, stole weapons and brazenly roamed the streets of Mosul as Iraq's third largest city appeared to be sliding out of control, residents said.

Explosions and fire from assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades echoed across the city and columns of smoke rose from at least two police stations set alight. At least seven police stations have been attacked in the past 48 hours.

As US forces battle to suppress insurgents in the city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, it appears many fighters may have fled to other cities where they are launching new attacks.

In the past three days, there has been a step up in guerrilla activity in Samarra, Baiji, Baquba, Tikrit, Ramadi and parts of Baghdad - across the Sunni Muslim heartland.

In Mosul, a city of about three million people, insurgents attacked a group of Iraqi National Guardsmen blocking a bridge in the city centre, killing five of them and destroying three vehicles, witnesses said.

And then on to Baghdad:

A car bomb has exploded near a police patrol in a central Baghdad square, killing at least seven civilians, destroying cars and devastating a nearby building, witnesses said.

A Reuters reporter saw four bodies in burnt-out cars at the scene of the blast, in a busy commercial district.

Dr Raad Jabbar at al-Kindi hospital said seven civilians were killed.

There were 18 wounded people at his clinic, he said, and others were taken to another hospital. There was no word on the final toll.

"A car bomb hit a police patrol, wounding several policemen," a police officer at the scene said.

The explosion caused a nearby building to collapse into a pile of rubble and twisted metal. Passersby and rescue workers searched the ruins for survivors.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:06 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 11 November 2004 12:12 PM EST
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Arafat is dead. Now, the real fun begins.

A.P.

Under Palestinian law, Parliament Speaker Rauhi Fattouh, a virtual unknown, is to become caretaker president until elections are held in 60 days.

"We can be certain transition will be smooth, and the Palestinian people deserve to have free and fair elections," Palestinian Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat told The Associated Press.

He urged the United States to ensure that elections can he be held. In the past, Palestinian officials have said they cannot organize a vote until Israeli troops withdraw from West Bank towns and cities they reoccupied in a major military offensive in 2002.

[Wishful thinking? Somehow I don't get the impression Sharon is just going to let the Palestinians vote for whoever they want. You vote for who we want and we'll let you have a vote.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:12 AM EST
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Election result causes suicide.

The Guardian:

November 8, 2004
A man apparently distraught at the outcome of last week's presidential election, climbed into the pit marking the spot in New York where the twin towers once stood, and shot himself, the authorities said at the weekend.

City police told reporters the body of Andrew Veal, 25, of Athens, Georgia, was discovered in the restricted area around the wreckage of the World Trade Centre on Friday night with a shotgun and a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey by his side. He is believed to have died from a head wound.

Mr Veal left no note, but his colleagues from the University of Georgia, where he helped oversee political polling, said that he was a passionate opponent of the war on Iraq, and of George Bush.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:04 AM EST
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