T Nation

Good News from Iraq

Saddam Aide Izzat Ibrahim Captured in Iraq - Govt
Sun Sep 5, 2004 09:00 AM ET

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The most-wanted Saddam Hussein aide in Iraq, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, was captured in the town of Tikrit on Sunday, Iraq’s defense ministry said.

The ministry said Ibrahim was captured by members of Iraq’s national guard backed by U.S. forces. Tikrit was Saddam’s hometown and one of the powerbases of his regime.

Iraqi Minister of State Wael Abdul al-Latif told Reuters it was “75 to 90 percent certain” the captured man was Ibrahim. He said 70 of the man’s supporters were killed and 80 captured when they tried to prevent him being seized.

Latif said the captured man was suffering from leukemia. It has long been rumored that Ibrahim was suffering from the disease.

The U.S. military has said Ibrahim was directly involved in organizing and funding attacks on U.S. forces since the fall of Saddam. There was a $10 million bounty on his head, and in a deck of cards issued to U.S. troops to help them identify fugitives, Ibrahim was the King of Clubs.

The news spread fast in Baghdad, and in some Shi’ite districts residents fired AK-47s in the air in celebration.

Ibrahim was Saddam’s number two in the Revolutionary Command Council, and held a senior post on a government committee in charge of northern Iraq when chemical weapons were used against the town of Halabja in 1988, killing thousands of Kurds.

He was sixth on the U.S. list of the 55 most-wanted members of Saddam’s deposed regime. The top five on the list, including Saddam, his sons Qusay and Uday and “Chemical Ali” Hassan al-Majid, have already been captured or killed.

The seventh most-wanted man on the list, Special Security Organization Director Hani Abd Latif Tilfah al-Tikriti, is still at large.

The relationship between Saddam and Ibrahim goes back nearly four decades. The two men were among the leading plotters of the 1968 coup which returned the Baath party to power in Baghdad.

Ever since, Ibrahim was one of Saddam’s top aides and most trusted confidants. His daughter was briefly married to Saddam’s elder son Uday, bonding him within the ruling elite.

The red-haired Ibrahim was born in 1942 near Tikrit, 160 km (100 miles) north of Baghdad. His father was an ice seller.

Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.

BB, just read about his capture prior to signing onto the forum. I think this is really big in terms of slowing down the insurgency!

Zeb –

I think so too – it seems that there are at least two major insurgent groups: 1) former Baathists; and 2) Iranian-backed insurgents. This is a major blow to the former Baathists.

Other insurgent groups: 1) The army, laid off by Bremner; 2) Iraqis offended that their sovereign nation was occupied by soldiers, who them molested and tortured fellow muslims; 3) Muslims offended that a sovereign Muslim nation was occupied by non-Muslims.

I think those groups were overlooked in your analysis of the situation, but don’t feel bad - it’s not the first time they’ve been underestimated.

DrS:

The latest poll out of Iraq will show that the citizens of that country are quite grateful that we have toppled the ugly Sadam regime.

Naturally, there are still hold overs from Sadams camp. There are also militant religious groups who want to see more pain inflicted upon the region for their own personal gain.

Other than this, things are going well and will continue to improve as time goes by.

I really hope that does not disapoint you!

Disparity Among
Iraqi Insurgents
Complicates Task
Car Bomb Kills Seven in Fallujah

By YOCHI J. DREAZEN
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
September 7, 2004; Page A18

BAGHDAD, Iraq – The weekend debate over whether Iraqi forces had arrested a high-ranking fugitive obscured a key point: The apprehension of a few key leaders is likely to have little impact on the fighting here.

The militants waging guerrilla war across Iraq are far from monolithic, vastly complicating the task of finding a solution to the bloodshed. In guerrilla conflicts such as Turkey’s war against Kurdish separatists, insurgents were led by a hierarchy of leaders whose killing or arrest largely quelled the violence. In Iraq, by contrast, authorities are fighting parallel insurgencies with different goals, tactics and command structures.

The tenacity of the violence has been underscored in recent days by the deaths of at least nine U.S. military personnel and dozens of Iraqis in a car bombing near the restive city of Fallujah, a mortar attack in Balad, a car bomb in Kirkuk and gun battles in Latifia. On Sunday, Iraqi officials said they arrested Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri and insisted his capture would lead to a reduction in violence. The officials later said the man they had in custody wasn’t Mr. Douri.

On Monday, an apparent suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed vehicle on the outskirts of Fallujah, killing seven U.S. Marines and three Iraqi National Guard soldiers and wounding several others, the U.S. military said. It was the deadliest day for U.S. forces in four months of fighting.

Iraqi and American officials who study the insurgency say it has four main components: a network of mainly foreign-born extremists led by Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi; shadowy groups of fighters from Iraq’s minority Sunni community that operate in the center of the country; a large Shiite militia led by firebrand cleric Muqtada al Sadr that draws most of its supporters from southern Iraq; and scattered cells of veteran operatives from ousted leader Saddam Hussein’s security and intelligence services.

“The resistance isn’t homogeneous, and you have to treat each strand differently,” said Sadoun Dulame, executive director of the Iraq Center for Research and Strategic Studies here. “It’s not just one big group.”

There are some signs of cooperation between the fighters. The officials say the secular supporters of Mr. Hussein have joined forces with Sunni religious fundamentalists to carry out joint attacks. When the Sunni city of Fallujah was besieged by the U.S. last April, meanwhile, it received needed supplies from Shiites across the country. Sunnis returned the favor last month by sending supplies to the Shiite holy city of Najaf when it faced an American-led onslaught.

Still, the officials draw sharp distinctions between the groups. They note that both the Sunni fighters and the foreign-born extremists are waging religiously motivated campaigns to drive the U.S. out of Iraq by inflicting large amounts of casualties using suicide attacks against both civilian and military targets. Mr. Sadr’s militia, by contrast, has some degree of political aspirations and largely eschews suicide bombings.

The contrast between the groups means Mr. Sadr and his fighters could potentially be co-opted into the country’s political process. That suggests it might have been wiser for American commanders to launch a large-scale offensive into Sunni areas such as Fallujah – which are controlled by militants – instead of Shiite cities such as Najaf.

“The Shiites are not fighting for an ideal. They still see this as a political issue, and that leaves room for negotiations,” said Sheikh Fatih Kashif al-Ghitta, a prominent Shiite cleric. He says Shiite radicals could be persuaded to lay down their guns through a combination of economic aid and expanded roles in Iraq’s new government, but, he warns, “the window is closing.”

–The Associated Press contributed to this article.

A long, link-filled summary of the good news to come out of Iraq the past two weeks, courtesy of OpinionJournal.com (the Wall Street Journal’s opinion site):

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110005610

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
– it seems that there are at least two major insurgent groups: 1) former Baathists; and 2) Iranian-backed insurgents. This is a major blow to the former Baathists.[/quote]

US troops have battled with 3 out of the 4 major factions in Iraq, including the groups that would supposedly shower us with flowers and chocolates:

The Sunnis
The Shiites
The Baathists

The only Iraqi group we haven’t yet engaged militarily are the Kurds in the North (to my knowledge).

Gee, the Wall Street Journal says things are going great? I’m so surprised. Why don’t you just quote Rush Limbaugh, and quit pussyfooting around with the National Review, the Wall Street Journal, and Rev Moon’s Wahington Times? According to the Bizarro-World GOP, the war in Iraq is going great, the economy is going great, the deficit is just swell, and everything is going super. We already know that’s what the right wing hard-liners think. Spare me the spin from the Bush kool-aid drinkers. Try posting some info from a source that is at least marginally non-partisan.

Here’s a good article that touches on how Team Bush’s failed war strategy now revolves around getting re-elected in November, not on good military planning. Read carefully:

“Mission Still Not Accomplished”:
With U.S. control imperiled in Iraq, the military vows to oust the insurgents from their havens. Here’s what it will take

By JOHANNA MCGEARY
Sunday, Sep. 12, 2004

The U.S. military has been here before: caught in a conflict where the thing it does best–fighting–can’t win the war. In Iraq today, brute force is a wasting asset, as Major General Peter Chiarelli, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, knows firsthand. On a hot late-summer day, his soldiers entered Baghdad’s Sadr City slum to quell attacks from militiamen loyal to rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Chiarelli’s troops came under fierce fire as dozens of rocket-propelled grenades (rpgs) pounded their vehicles, and roadside bombs blew the tracks off a tank. For four hours, the two forces battled until the outmatched gunmen melted into the shadows. “We killed folks. There’s no doubt we did,” says Chiarelli. He knew the fighting would soon resume, but he sent his men back into the same neighborhood to distribute food supplies and materials such as cement, nails and boards to repair homes. It was part of the military’s mixed mission: to defeat the insurgents while trying to win the backing of Iraq’s resentful citizens.

But these days even good intentions don’t add up to much. Chiarelli last month had hoped to drain recruits from al-Sadr’s Mahdi militia by hiring 15,000 Sadr City men to clean the district’s filth-filled streets. When a truce between coalition forces and al-Sadr broke down, however, the work project collapsed. The state of the district helps explain, Chiarelli says, why “a guy in Sadr City feels there is no hope.” There’s sewage in his yard, he gets one hour of electricity out of six, and he has no job. “If someone offers him money to shoot an RPG at Americans,” Chiarelli says, “I would imagine it’s not a hard choice.”

That kind of despair, 19 months after the U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein, is adding fuel to the angry guerrilla insurgency that the Bush Administration acknowledged last week is out of hand. Important parts of the country, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers said, are controlled by rebels. Principal cities and major roads west and north of the capital are ruled by Sunni insurgents. Al-Sadr’s men launch uprisings at will across the wide Shi’ite belt, and even parts of Baghdad are no-go zones for U.S. troops and the frail forces of the interim Iraqi government. All this has helped make the peace much bloodier than the war: last month anti-U.S. attacks climbed to 87 a day, more than double the rate in 2003 and the first half of 2004. The U.S. death toll since sovereignty was returned to Iraq on June 28 has eclipsed the number killed in the invasion, and the total tally just passed 1,000. The wounded number more than 7,000. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld estimates that coalition forces killed up to 2,500 suspected insurgents in August, but the will of the rebels shows few signs of cracking. Attacks on U.S. troops increasingly come in the form of direct fire from small arms and suicide bombs, the tactics of a more sophisticated and in-your-face foe.

The Bush Administration would prefer to avoid any bloody showdowns until after the U.S. presidential election in November, but it faces hard decisions now. The crisis on the ground imperils prospects for Iraq’s national elections in January, the results of which could determine how quickly the U.S. can draw down its troop levels. For a legitimate vote to go forward, U.S. and Iraqi forces must soon wrest back control of the country. But there are no easy ways to do that.

With their overwhelming firepower, coalition troops could take any Iraqi city at any time, but the collateral damage would be heavy and the political costs high. “It’s an inherent dilemma,” says a senior U.S. intelligence official. “If you don’t go in, you’ve got a no-go zone” that cedes control to the enemy. “If you do go in,” he adds, “you cause resentment and anger” that breed more support for the insurgency. Back inside the cities, U.S. patrols are a magnet for attacks, resulting in higher casualties and sparking the very violence they are trying to suppress.

What can Washington do? Since last spring, the Administration has bet on a tenuous strategy of trying to hang in long enough to train and equip an Iraqi force sufficiently strong to take over the job. But the U.S. dawdled for nearly a year before it got serious about training and equipping the Iraqis, and as a result, they are still not ready to take over primary responsibility for dispersing the insurgents and then policing the cities. A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad says, “The training program is getting up to speed now.” A trained Iraqi National Guard should total 145,000 by the end of December.

The Americans and their Iraqi allies face growing opposition. The Pentagon once assumed the insurgents numbered less than 5,000; now its analysts privately estimate there are 20,000 or more. The deputy commander of coalition forces in Iraq, British Major General Andrew Graham, estimates there are 40,000 to 50,000 active insurgent fighters. While many Iraqi civilians bitterly oppose the guerrillas’ violence, few openly side with the U.S. The risk of further inflaming public opinion has forced U.S. commanders to refrain from launching punishing assaults to take back insurgent-held areas. Even the U.S.-installed government of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, sensitive to its lack of legitimacy, has been ambivalent about using American might in all-out offensives against fellow Iraqis.

For the time being, U.S. forces are stuck in place while the violence escalates. Some military experts who supported the war now believe the U.S. does not have a plan to win. To independent analysts like William Arkin, who maintains close ties to the Pentagon, the Administration is “completely lost at the tactical level.” As more locales become sanctuaries for rebels, some military experts say the U.S. can’t afford to stand by and wait for Iraqi forces to be trained to retake them. “We need a strategy now,” says Representative Ike Skelton of Missouri, the senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, “to force the insurgents from their holes.” Some Pentagon officials privately say it was a dangerous mistake to delay taking back the no-go zones. “The longer we wait, the tougher it is going to be,” a Joint Chiefs of Staff officer says. Some frontline U.S. commanders are also pushing hard for earlier action. But their superiors in Baghdad and Washington argue that waiting until Iraqi forces are ready will give the new government a better chance of sustaining control. Pentagon officials concede that heavy U.S. action before November could boomerang if things go badly, hurting Bush on the eve of the presidential vote. But they insist that the White House has put no brake on their decisions.

While they hold back on major offensives, Washington policymakers say their strategy is to mollify insurgents where they can and use muscle where they can’t. The U.S. is letting Iraqi officials pursue negotiated solutions in some places, while American units apply measured military pressure to other resistance strongholds to keep insurgents off balance. Iraqi troops will be groomed to tackle big cities by first carrying out small-scale operations against insurgent villages. U.S. warplanes struck insurgent hideouts in Fallujah last week, and combined U.S.-Iraqi ground troops stormed the northern border city of Tall 'Afar to wipe out what the military called “a large terrorist element.” And for the first time in months, U.S. forces rolled into the off-limits Sunni city of Samarra, after local sheiks cut a deal with insurgents who had become the de facto town rulers. In a small step forward, the Americans were allowed to install an interim mayor and a new police chief. But when U.S. forces departed, at least 500 armed guerrillas resumed their own patrols of the streets. Nevertheless, said a senior Pentagon official, “we have started eating away at these sanctuaries.”

The U.S. may soon have to do a lot more. Leaving key cities to the militants much longer could cripple plans to hold national elections in January. The violence has already prevented the start of voter registration or public campaigning. Lieut. General Thomas Metz, U.S. ground forces commander in Iraq, said last week that the “cancer” of resistance would not delay the vote, but he suggested some of the hot spots might have to be excluded. That would compromise the election’s legitimacy and alienate Sunni cities that were bypassed.

In the long run, pacifying enough of the country to allow for a U.S. pullback will require not just an effective military strategy but also a political one. The U.S. has failed in 19 months to get significant reconstruction work off the ground. Lack of security is partly to blame: kidnappings, killings and sabotage have driven out aid agencies and private contractors. The Bush Administration has managed to spend about $1 billion of the $18.4 billion Congress appropriated for reconstruction a year ago. And plenty more may be required to stabilize Iraq?a prospect that seems particularly dim in the midst of a presidential campaign in which neither candidate seems willing to call for more sacrifices from the American people or prepare them for the likelihood that the violence will get worse before it gets better. With so many tough decisions ahead, that may prove to be the biggest failing of all.

Reported by Christopher Allbritton and Scott MacLeod/ Baghdad and Massimo Calabresi and Mark Thompson/ Washington

From the Sep. 20, 2004 issue of TIME magazine

Uh-Oh, somebody’s trampling the flowers…

It’s Worse Than You Think
By Scott Johnson and Babak Dehghanpisheh
Newsweek
September 20 2004 Issue
As Americans debate Vietnam, the U.S. death toll tops 1,000 in Iraq. And the insurgents are still getting stronger.

"America has its own Election Day to worry about. For U.S. troops in Iraq, one especially sore point is the stateside public’s obsession with the candidates’ decades-old military service. “Stop talking about Vietnam,” says one U.S. official who has spent time in the Sunni Triangle. “People should be debating this war, not that one.” His point was not that America ought to walk away from Iraq. Hardly any U.S. personnel would call that a sane suggestion. But there’s widespread agreement that Washington needs to rethink its objectives, and quickly. “We’re dealing with a population that hovers between bare tolerance and outright hostility,” says a senior U.S. diplomat in Baghdad. “This idea of a functioning democracy here is crazy. We thought that there would be a reprieve after sovereignty, but all hell is breaking loose.”

It’s not only that U.S. casualty figures keep climbing. American counterinsurgency experts are noticing some disturbing trends in those statistics. The Defense Department counted 87 attacks per day on U.S. forces in August - the worst monthly average since Bush’s flight-suited visit to the USS Abraham Lincoln in May 2003. Preliminary analysis of the July and August numbers also suggests that U.S. troops are being attacked across a wider area of Iraq than ever before. And the number of gunshot casualties apparently took a huge jump in August. Until then, explosive devices and shrapnel were the primary cause of combat injuries, typical of a “phase two” insurgency, where sudden ambushes are the rule. (Phase one is the recruitment phase, with most actions confined to sabotage. That’s how things started in Iraq.) Bullet wounds would mean the insurgents are standing and fighting - a step up to phase three.

Another ominous sign is the growing number of towns that U.S. troops simply avoid. A senior Defense official objects to calling them “no-go areas.”
http://www.truthout.org/...4/091404V.shtml

Even greater news…

Apache fired on crowd - video
http://informationclearinghouse.info/articlee6896.htm

New Army Helmet Kills 30% More Soldiers
(so Government orders more)

By GREG JAFFE, Wall St. Journal. Nicholas Zamisica contributed to this article.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Earlier this year, with the insurgency in Iraq building and U.S. casualties mounting, Lt, Col. Jeff Poffenbarger, the Army’s senior neurosurgeon here, became convinced the Army was making a mistake that could lead to American deaths.

The Army had begun issuing a new helmet, dubbed the Advanced Combat Helmet. Made of a new type of Kevlar, the helmet is stronger and lighter than its predecessor. But the new helmet has a critical flaw, Col. Poffenbarge contends: It is about 8% smaller than the old helmet offering less protection on the back and side of the head.

Tens of thousands of soldiers are already wearing the new helmet in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For now, the Army is committed to issuing the helmet to all 840,000 soldiers in the force by 2007, says Col. John Norwood, the Army’s project manager for soldier equipment.

http://www.albasrah.net/maqalat/english/0904/gi-special2b52.htm

In a nutshell, entire regions of Iraq are now controlled by insurgents. Even parts of Baghdad are out of our control.

Sure, the US military could go in with overwhelming force, and destroy the resistance on a city-by-city and region-by-region basis. But then US troops would be killing the very people we’re supposed to be “freeing”. And the White House wants to avoid a big bloodbath right before the November US presidential election.

Sure, during a war “shit happens”. But most of the problems we’re having now in Iraq can be traced back to the fact that Team Bush deliberately ignored the extensive post-invasion planning done by Colin Powell and the State Department.

Ok To get the only truth as to what is going on in Iraq, you hear from the soliders on the front lines. Here are two letters from the same general. Someone who is NON biased, and what he sees in Irzq:

Hello Everyone, I am taking time to ask you all for your help. First off, I’d like to say that this is not a political message. I’m not concerned about domestic politics right now. We have much bigger things to deal with, and we need your help.

It seems that despite the tremendous and heroic efforts of the men and women serving here in Iraq to bring much needed peace and stability to this region, we are losing the war of perception with the media and American people. Our enemy has learned that the key to defeating the mighty American military is by swaying public opinion at home and abroad.

We are a people that cherish the democratic system of government and therefore hold the will of the people in the highest regard. We love to criticize ourselves almost to an endless degree, because we care what others think. Our enemies see this as a weakness and are trying to exploit it. When we ask ourselves questions like, “Why do they hate us?” or “What did we do wrong?” we are playing into our enemies’ hands.

Our natural tendency to question ourselves is being used against us to undermine our effort to do good in the world. How far would we have gotten if after the surprise attacks on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor, we would have asked, “Why do the Japanese hate us so much?” or “How can we change ourselves so that they won’t do that again?”

Here in Iraq the enemy is trying very hard to portray our efforts as failing and fruitless. They purposely kill innocents and desecrate their bodies in hopes that the people back home will lose the will to fight for liberty. They are betting on our perceived weakness as a thoughtful, considerate people. Unfortunately our media only serves to further their cause.

In an industry that feeds on ratings and bad news, a failure in Iraq would be a goldmine. When our so-called “trusted” American media takes a quote from an Iraqi doctor as the gospel truth over that of the men and women that are daily fighting to protect the right to freedom of press, you know something is wrong.

That doctor claimed that out of 600 Iraqis that were casualties of the fighting, the vast majority of them were women, children and the elderly. This is totally absurd. In the history of man, no one has spent more time and effort, often to the detriment of our own mission, to be more discriminate in our targeting of the enemy than the American military.

The Marines and Soldiers serving in Iraq have gone through extensive training in order to limit the amount of innocent casualties and collateral damage. Yet, despite all of this, our media consistently sides with those who openly lie and directly challenge the honor of our brave heroes fighting for liberty and peace.

What we have to remember is that peace is not defined as an absence of war. It is the presence of liberty, stability and prosperity. In the face of the horrendous tyranny of the former Iraqi regime, the only way true peace was able to come to this region was through force. That is what the American Revolution was all about. Have we forgotten? Freedom is not free and “peace” without principle is not peace.

The peace that so-called “peace advocates” support can only be brought to Iraq through the use ofmilitary force . And we are doing it, if only the world will let us! If the American people believe we are failing, even if we are not, then we will ultimately fail. That is why I am asking for your support. Become a voice of truth in your community. Wherever you are fight the lies of the enemy. Don’t buy into the pessimism and apathy that says, “It’s hopeless,” “They hate us too much,” “That part of the world is just too messed up,” “It’s our fault anyway,” “We’re to blame,” and so forth.

Whether you’re in middle school, working at a 9-5 job, retired, or a stay-at-home Mom you can make a huge difference! There is nothing more powerful than the truth. So, when you watch the news and see doomsday predictions and spiteful opinions on our efforts over here, you can refute them by knowing that we are doing a tremendous amount of good.

Spread the word. No one is poised to make such an amazing contribution to the everyday lives of Iraqis and the rest of the Arab world than the American Armed Forces. By making this a place where liberty can finally grow, we are making the whole world safer.

Your efforts at home are directly tied to our success. You are the soldiers at home fighting the war of perception. So I’m asking you as a fellow fighting man: do your duty. Stop the attempts of the enemy wherever you are. You are a mighty force for good, because truth is on your side. Together we will win this fight and ensure a better world for the future.

God Bless and Semper Fidelis,
1st. Lt. Robert L. Nofsinger USMC Ramadi, Iraq

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=13152


antimedia
USN OST-6 68-74
http://antimedia.blogspot.com/


Untold Stories from Iraq
So many soldiers are making a difference for 25 million Iraqis! My friend, while serving his year in Iraq, met several Iraqi women who served as translators for troops. These women warmly welcomed the troops and were really happy to be helping out in the liberation of their country. These women gave their lives because militants exploded their vehicle on the way home from translating duty one night. My friend knows the miitants who took these lives are no more representitive of the Iraqi people than Al Queda is representative of the Islam faith. If our media had any sense of resposibility, they would balance their outlandish focus on the militants in Iraq with stories like these women.

WANT to READ the TURTH what is going on in Iraq, go to this website: NONE of which is bring told or heard:

http://www.untoldiraq.org/index.cfm

Joe

Facts and Figures
Education
3300
Iraqi schools renovated, or soon to be completed, since the overthrow of Saddam

(“What We’ve Accomplished,” Fox News Sunday, April 30, 2004)

9 Million
New math and science textbooks printed and distributed with pro-Saddam propaganda extracted

(“What We’ve Accomplished,” Fox News Sunday, April 30, 2004)

85%
Primary and secondary schools that have re-opened since the overthrow of Saddam

(“Free After 50 Years of Tyranny,” The Observer, October 5, 2003)

159,000
Student desks distributed to Iraqi schools

(“Countdown to Sovereignty,” Coalition Provisional Authority)

81,735
Teaching kits distributed to Iraqi primary school teachers

(“Countdown to Sovereignty,” Coalition Provisional Authority)

Human Rights
71%
Proportion of Iraqis in a February 2004 survey that said they expected their lives to be even better in a year

(“National Survey of Iraq,” Oxford Research International, February 2004)

76,000
New jobs created by the Iraqi National Employment Program

(“Countdown to Sovereignty,” Coalition Provisional Authority)

600
New judges presently working in Iraqi Courts of Law

(“What We’ve Accomplished,” Fox News Sunday, April 30, 2004)

170
Newspapers currently published in Iraq

(“Countdown to Sovereignty,” Coalition Provisional Authority)

33%
Percentage of Iraqis that receive worldwide information via satellite

(“What We’ve Accomplished,” Fox News Sunday, April 30, 2004)

70
Mosques refurbished by coalition forces

(“Countdown to Sovereignty,” Coalition Provisional Authority)

Healthcare
$1 Billion
Current budget for the Iraqi Ministry of Health; 25 times greater than the $16 million annual budget under Saddam’s reign

(“A Year After Liberation,” The Washington Post, April 9, 2004)

25%
Increase in immunization rates among Iraqi children

(“What We’ve Accomplished,” Fox News Sunday, April 30, 2004)

75 Iraqi medical facilities refurbished by the Coalition Provisional Authority

(“Countdown to Sovereignty,” Coalition Provisional Authority)

700,000
Pregnant Iraqi women received a tetanus toxoid vaccination to improve their pre-natal healthcare

(“Countdown to Sovereignty,” Coalition Provisional Authority)

Infrastructure
500,000
Average increase in the daily number of oil barrels produced

(“What We’ve Accomplished,” Fox News Sunday, April 30, 2004)

16
Average number of hours of electricity for Iraqi citizens; a 40 percent increase from levels under Saddam

(“What We’ve Accomplished,” Fox News Sunday, April 30, 2004)

20 Million
Iraqis of the country’s 27 million citizens receive clean water due to new water and sanitation projects

(“Countdown to Sovereignty,” Coalition Provisional Authority)

1,005,580
Iraqi telephone subscribers; a 20 percent increase from under Saddam

(“Countdown to Sovereignty,” Coalition Provisional Authority)

Government and Politics
67
Iraqi cities with fully functioning municipalities only four months after the beginning of the war

(“The Real Iraq,” The New York Post, July 17, 2003)
85%
Percentage of small Iraqi towns that had fully functioning municipalities only four months after the beginning of the war

(“The Real Iraq,” The New York Post, July 17, 2003)

81
Iraqi women serve on neighborhood and district councils around Baghdad

(“U.S. Commitment to Women in Iraq,” Office of International Women’s Issues, May 24, 2004

6
Iraqi women appointed as Cabinet-level ministers in the newly-formed Iraqi Interim Government

(“The Interim Iraqi Government,” Coalition Provisional Authority, June 1, 2004)

The Iraq-America Freedom Alliance is a project of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in partnership with Iraqi and American organizations.
Contact Us :: Web Site Terms & Conditions :: Privacy Policy :: ? 2004 Iraq America Freedom Alliance
Kurdish group discovers mass grave in northern Iraq


By Agence France Presse (AFP)

Friday, September 10, 2004

SULAIMANIYYAH, Iraq: Dozens of bodies have been discovered in a mass grave near the town of Halabja in northern Iraq, the head of a Kurdish anti-chemical weapons campaign group said on Thursday.

The burial site - crammed with dozens of men, women and children in ragged clothes - was discovered Tuesday during construction on a road between the villages of Abu Obeida and Djellila, said Aras Abed.

Abed himself lost 11 members of his family when ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s forces dropped chemical bombs on the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988.

“The three common graves at this site near Halabja contain the remains of the rest of those who fled the chemical bombing before Iraqi fighter jets caught up with them,” said Abed.

Iraq’s newly established human rights ministry, informed of the discovery, is set to send special investigators before the bodies are exhumed.

“This new discovery just adds to the crimes against the Kurds … and will help investigators and the special court set up to try Saddam,” Abed said.

On March 16, 1988, 5,000 Kurds were killed and tens of thousands wounded in a sarin and mustard attack unleashed by the former Iraqi air force

And want to read the truth what is going on in Iraq, again go to thos webpage: Aghain news from Iraq by iraqis!

http://www.untoldiraq.org/links.cfm

Joe

Ok To get the only truth as to what is going on in Iraq, you hear from the soliders on the front lines. Here are two letters from the same general. Someone who is NON biased, and what he sees in Irzq:

Hello Everyone, I am taking time to ask you all for your help. First off, I’d like to say that this is not a political message. I’m not concerned about domestic politics right now. We have much bigger things to deal with, and we need your help.

It seems that despite the tremendous and heroic efforts of the men and women serving here in Iraq to bring much needed peace and stability to this region, we are losing the war of perception with the media and American people. Our enemy has learned that the key to defeating the mighty American military is by swaying public opinion at home and abroad.

We are a people that cherish the democratic system of government and therefore hold the will of the people in the highest regard. We love to criticize ourselves almost to an endless degree, because we care what others think. Our enemies see this as a weakness and are trying to exploit it. When we ask ourselves questions like, “Why do they hate us?” or “What did we do wrong?” we are playing into our enemies’ hands.

Our natural tendency to question ourselves is being used against us to undermine our effort to do good in the world. How far would we have gotten if after the surprise attacks on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor, we would have asked, “Why do the Japanese hate us so much?” or “How can we change ourselves so that they won’t do that again?”

Here in Iraq the enemy is trying very hard to portray our efforts as failing and fruitless. They purposely kill innocents and desecrate their bodies in hopes that the people back home will lose the will to fight for liberty. They are betting on our perceived weakness as a thoughtful, considerate people. Unfortunately our media only serves to further their cause.

In an industry that feeds on ratings and bad news, a failure in Iraq would be a goldmine. When our so-called “trusted” American media takes a quote from an Iraqi doctor as the gospel truth over that of the men and women that are daily fighting to protect the right to freedom of press, you know something is wrong.

That doctor claimed that out of 600 Iraqis that were casualties of the fighting, the vast majority of them were women, children and the elderly. This is totally absurd. In the history of man, no one has spent more time and effort, often to the detriment of our own mission, to be more discriminate in our targeting of the enemy than the American military.

The Marines and Soldiers serving in Iraq have gone through extensive training in order to limit the amount of innocent casualties and collateral damage. Yet, despite all of this, our media consistently sides with those who openly lie and directly challenge the honor of our brave heroes fighting for liberty and peace.

What we have to remember is that peace is not defined as an absence of war. It is the presence of liberty, stability and prosperity. In the face of the horrendous tyranny of the former Iraqi regime, the only way true peace was able to come to this region was through force. That is what the American Revolution was all about. Have we forgotten? Freedom is not free and “peace” without principle is not peace.

The peace that so-called “peace advocates” support can only be brought to Iraq through the use ofmilitary force . And we are doing it, if only the world will let us! If the American people believe we are failing, even if we are not, then we will ultimately fail. That is why I am asking for your support. Become a voice of truth in your community. Wherever you are fight the lies of the enemy. Don’t buy into the pessimism and apathy that says, “It’s hopeless,” “They hate us too much,” “That part of the world is just too messed up,” “It’s our fault anyway,” “We’re to blame,” and so forth.

Whether you’re in middle school, working at a 9-5 job, retired, or a stay-at-home Mom you can make a huge difference! There is nothing more powerful than the truth. So, when you watch the news and see doomsday predictions and spiteful opinions on our efforts over here, you can refute them by knowing that we are doing a tremendous amount of good.

Spread the word. No one is poised to make such an amazing contribution to the everyday lives of Iraqis and the rest of the Arab world than the American Armed Forces. By making this a place where liberty can finally grow, we are making the whole world safer.

Your efforts at home are directly tied to our success. You are the soldiers at home fighting the war of perception. So I’m asking you as a fellow fighting man: do your duty. Stop the attempts of the enemy wherever you are. You are a mighty force for good, because truth is on your side. Together we will win this fight and ensure a better world for the future.

God Bless and Semper Fidelis,
1st. Lt. Robert L. Nofsinger USMC Ramadi, Iraq

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=13152


antimedia
USN OST-6 68-74
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Untold Stories from Iraq
So many soldiers are making a difference for 25 million Iraqis! My friend, while serving his year in Iraq, met several Iraqi women who served as translators for troops. These women warmly welcomed the troops and were really happy to be helping out in the liberation of their country. These women gave their lives because militants exploded their vehicle on the way home from translating duty one night. My friend knows the miitants who took these lives are no more representitive of the Iraqi people than Al Queda is representative of the Islam faith. If our media had any sense of resposibility, they would balance their outlandish focus on the militants in Iraq with stories like these women.

WANT to READ the TURTH what is going on in Iraq, go to this website: NONE of which is bring told or heard:

http://www.untoldiraq.org/index.cfm

Joe

YOu like some more good news? As to what is happening in Iraq? Well here is one:
What do Fallujans think?
It looks like there?s determination to solve the crisis in tension foci in Iraq as a key step before holding the elections. It?s become more than clear that the terrorists are an obstacle created by known external powers to delay the desired political process in Iraq and the public opinion here agrees with the measures taken by the government to destroy the strongholds of crime and terror. There?s a pole at the popular ? New Sabah? newspaper that demonstrate this clearly as about 93.65% voted as agreeing with the government policy in Iraq. (Link in Arabic)
Of course everyone knows that asking for back up from the multinational forces is unquestionable.
Anyway, what I want to say here is that yesterday I received some information from a reliable source, that I?ll refrain from mentioning his name or position, about what?s going on in two of the hottest, probably most dangerous spots in the mean time; Talla?far and Fallujah.

Talla?far?s name has been repeated more often recently and the news I heard confirm that the town has become an exclusive haven for the Ba?th party where the party?s members gained full control of the streets to the degree that no one would dare to say a word against Saddam in public.

The Ba?th formation there reminded me of Saddam?s days; the same old pyramid structure of units and ranks has been reformed but the most important is that the command center for this structure lies in the Syrian city of Al-Hasaka and the chief commander is, ?Ahmed Younis Al-Ahmed?, a member in the former ?Revolution Command Council?, and who?s believed now to be the secretary of the reformed organization in Iraq and this man is well supported by the Syrian government who provided shelter for a whole lot of mid-ranking party officials who escaped Iraq and still ranting with slogans of making a come back and re-controlling the country.
In Fallujah the situation is totally different where control is in the hands of the radical Islamic groups together with Arab fighters from across the borders. The latest information I received indicate that seven major ?armies? have united their efforts; the ?armies? are: Mohammed?s army, Al-Farouq?s battalions, the Salafies, Ansar Al-Sunna and three other groups I couldn?t get their names.

There was a dispute about who should lead the ?army? and whether this commander should be a cleric or a military expert. Abdullah Al-Janabi, one of the significant Sunni clerics there was a candidate for that position but the dispute was settled and an agreement was reached to assign a military professional as the chief commander because the war is against a well organized and highly trained army, so they chose an ex-colonel in Saddam?s army to lead the fighters. The new commander began organizing the ?army? and planned a redeployment for the units and gave orders that ammunition must be used only according to the ?102 rule? which was a protocol used in the old Iraqi army. Also, many of the concrete walls that were constructed to protect some facilities were dragged and used by the fighters to construct safe positions and they painted the roofs of the position with pitch and ground glass which are supposed to distract surveillance aircrafts and in addition to that, new weapons were introduced including some anti-aircraft batteries (including SAM 6 missiles) were reportedly assembled and prepared in positions.

The ?army? commanders know for sure that these preparations will never grant them victory but the primary objective they?ve agreed on is to level Fallujah with the ground as part of a plan to ruin the reputation of the government and the multinational forces by forcing them to enter a bloody and destructive battle that will end with negative consequences even for the winner in a critical time where events and news have a strong impact on political field in both Iraq and America.
This subject however, cannot be resolved by talks, the terrorists have made up their mind to confront the legitimate authorities.

I want to point out that the citizens of Fallujah have had enough of those fighters who lost a great deal of their support, if they had any, but the problem is that they still have the power and they still get support from the clerics and the extremists.

We will always be faced with this problem, as it has been clear that it is a basic tactic used by the terrorists to hide among innocents and use them as shields. Saddam used it, Taliban and Sadr and all the other terrorists and dictators. However, I believe that this sick tactic has become rather useless lately and cannot fool all people anymore, and not even the majority.

We in Iraq accepted the sacrifices needed to remove Saddam, in Afghanistan we didn?t see any real demonstrations protesting against the American Army for the accidental death of civilians when targeting Taliban fighters and the same applies for Iraq lately. Isn?t it amazing that many people in the west and some Americans blame the American army and administration for the life losses and mess in Najaf, while Najafies are strongly blaming Sadr in their latest demonstration without a word to condemn the American army!? Aren?t people, even seemingly simple people, smarter than what some media elite thinkers and reporters want us to believe!?
It?s also worth mentioning that the news I heard from inside Fallujah confirm that the bombarded targets we hear about in the news every now and then did belong to Zarqawi followers and those targets were identified and chosen according to reports from the Fallujans most of the times.

This does not, by any means, mean that the military power should be set free without any monitoring or questioning, but we simply should not overestimate the danger because we?ll be underestimating the people?s lust for freedom and how much they are ready to give to have it, and this will be an insult to them. I?ve always felt insulted by the anti-war and human shields who came to Iraq before the war telling me that they were here to protect me! That was very insulting to my intelligence, my dignity and humanity. Protect me from what? Freedom and having a dignified and honorable life?!
I think there is no other choice but to confront them and this is the choice they want to impose on the government, so this is going to be a tough challenge but unfortunately, there?s no other way.

By Mohammed.

OR how about this???

Friday, September 10, 2004

“Spirit of America” have carried out many successful helpful projects in Iraq. One of those was distributing sandals for children and barrels for carrying water. The barrels are especially important and helpful to Iraqis living in rural areas where water supply is still very poor and not that clean. People need to get drinking water from water treatment plants which can be distant to many, and this make it essential for each family to have such containers. However, this is not easy, as these barrels cost a lot compared to what poor Iraqi families can afford.

And there is so much storeis like this coming out of Iraq…None of which is being heard??

Joe

[quote]Lumpy wrote:
In a nutshell, entire regions of Iraq are now controlled by insurgents. Even parts of Baghdad are out of our control.

Sure, the US military could go in with overwhelming force, and destroy the resistance on a city-by-city and region-by-region basis. But then US troops would be killing the very people we’re supposed to be “freeing”. And the White House wants to avoid a big bloodbath right before the November US presidential election.

Sure, during a war “shit happens”. But most of the problems we’re having now in Iraq can be traced back to the fact that Team Bush deliberately ignored the extensive post-invasion planning done by Colin Powell and the State Department.[/quote]

Lumpy:

Things are definitely not perfect in Iraq – and, to the extent that the U.S. is not willing to apply sufficient force to the problem to win, that would be highly troubling.

However, the situation is not as bad as it is made out to be – just from a quick study of the map, it seems there are several small areas with insurgency problems. Casualties are quite low by historical standards - and the only way I know how to judge something like this is to compare it to historical precedents. I wonder how the murder rate in Detroit compares with a city in Iraq? Seriously – I don’t know the answer to that question.

Unfortunately, this conflict has become a political football, with one side wanting to show only the bad stuff and the other wanting to only deal with the sunny side. I think the U.S. made some serious mistakes right after Saddam was overthrown – many of which were related to how badly and how quickly the Iraqi army was beaten, and to U.S. humanitarianism (they didn’t kill or capture the hard core Baathists, but allowed them to run away). The borders weren’t shut down to control the inflow of foreign fighters – or, prior to the overthrow of Saddam, the probable outflow of Iraqi assets.

This isn’t to nit-pick – I think the glass is definitely half full. But the army isn’t a standing police force, and if there are known forces attacking our soldiers we shouldn’t hold back force for political reasons. They seem to be doing a good job building the government and rebuilding infrastructure, which is necessarily a slow process. But, as I said, there is much to improve – and I think it will happen.

Good post BB. The only reason we’re holding back as far as “handling” insurgents is world opinion. Believe me, nothing would be better than to enact martial law and go house to house, kicking ass along the way. The worst thing you can do to a soldier is to set limitations that prevent him from doing his job as fast and effectively as possible. But as you said, things are getting better, and eventually things will be under control. RLTW

rangertab75

This is hilarious and sad at the same time…given that it’s the only real news on TV.
http://www.comedycentral.com/mp/play.php?reposid=/multimedia/indy04/stewart/jon_9027.html

That’s also what my post said. There are many ‘off-limits’ zones where US troops cannot go, because violence erupts. Rather than stir up a hornet’s nest, troops agree to stay out, on the request of the new Iraqi government. However, insurgents still control these areas. And the longer insurgents control these areas, the harder it will be to regain control later. But because of the upcoming presidential election in the US, the administration does not want to launch any major offensives unless necessary… until the election is over. Plus it is illogical to wipe out the very people we are supposed to be “liberating”.

As far as Falluja, Marines were ordered to attack the insurgents (followers of Al Sadr). Then three days later the administartion turns around and pulls the marines and attempts to negotiate. Is that a strategy? Is that a smart use of US troops?

The current mess in Iraq can largely be attributed to the lack of planning and the way the administartion handled the invasion (too few troops, underequipped). Someone said we had a choice between slaughtering the Baathists and letting them “melt away” into the countryside. I know having more than two options is confusing to those who hate “nuanced” approaches, but there was a third option, which was recommended by our State Dept (and ignored) which was to maintain the Iraqi Army (many of whom were not Saddam loyalists). However the detailed post-war planning done by our State Dept and Army War College was blatantly ignored (other recommendations included prevent looting, and get water and electricity back on immediately).

Saying the mess in Iraq is due to “catastrophic success” during the invasion phase is pure spin, and it’s also stupid. The fact is that Team Bush ignored their own experts. (Its a FACT). And the spin version 'catastrophic success" implies that our military is unable to handle a victory that comes too soon. DUH? That’s really your opinion? We can’t handle a military success? This also implies that US intelligence was completely wrong about Iraq’s military force, and overestimated it in a major way (in truth, Team Bush said invading Iraq would be a “cake walk”, yet when the cake walk happened, they were unprepared. WHY?)

To Chuckmansjoe
You said that a soldier in Iraq would be the best person to report on how the war was going. Not true. A soldier is going to be in one place and lack an overall big picture.

As far as your post with statsitics like “3000 schoolbooks were handed out” what the hell can anyone do with that information? It’s meaningless.