Tuesday, June 03, 2003

War Blog Iraq War Updates
'Intellgence faliure' misses the point - Lies now standard operating procedure (3 June 03) in Radio Free USA

Chirac reopens Iraq wounds in BBC: War in Iraq

British envoy unhurt after confrontation with bandits in Iraq: "Britain's special envoy for human rights in Iraq, Ann Clwyd, escaped unharmed when the convoy in which she was travelling near Kirkuk in the north of the country was ambushed by bandits, the priem minister's office said. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Iraqis Protest U.S. Presence, Women Body Searches: "Thousands of Iraqi Muslims marchedthrough Baghdad Tuesday, threatening violence unless U.S.troops withdraw from the country and venting their anger overbody searches of women in the capital. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Arab leaders meet Bush, vow terror fight: "Arab leaders, meeting with President Bush as he entered the labyrinth of Mideast peace negotiations, pledged Tuesday to fight terror and violence and called on Israel to "rebuild trust and restore normal Palestinian life.""

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

U.N. Inspectors Say Iraqi Mobile Labs New to Them: "Agreeing with the United States,U.N. weapons inspectors reported on Monday Iraq had failed todeclare what appeared to be mobile biological arms labs, butthey did not back up sweeping U.S. claims of arms caches. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Iraq Democracy Watch: "Guns and butter
Investors of various sorts are holding off on ventures in Iraq because of security.  The NYT today says that,

Many of Iraq's wealthy exiles...say that they and other foreign investors consider Iraq too unstable for large investment.  'They are all afraid, and I am concerned that the situation may be getting worse,' said one prominent Iraqi business executive.

The oil companies apparently agree.  The Financial Times says that, "International oil companies are postponing visits to Iraq because of continued insecurity there, potentially setting back by weeks or even months the timing of reconstruction of the country's oil production and exports."  This is not helped by the fact that "The US Pentagon has warned companies hoping to operate in Iraq that they will have to provide their own security and that their movements will be restricted."
This brings up the spectre described in a previous post of a hybrid economy operating with different levels of protection, including home-grown mafia and the like.
Given the hullaballoo over the recently demobilized Iraqi army, I can just imagine how they might fit in to such a picture, should we permit such an environment to evolve.
One other point:  the reluctance of oil companies to venture in seems to prove that we cannot, in fact, tolerate an environment of chronic, low-grade conflict in the region, which I, among others, had wondered about.  Although it makes me wonder even more why we seem to lack the commitment needed to secure the country.  Perhaps we are simply not estimating the requirements correctly.
On another tack, without any apparent irony, the NYT quotes Paul Bremer as saying, "I want to start the process now of turning this economy around into an economy which can offer real jobs with real wages for the millions of citizens who need and deserve them..." 
In counterpoint, the LA Times reports that,

U.S. reconstruction officials will soon hand out pink slips to nearly half a million Iraqi military and civilian personnel, exacerbating an unemployment crisis that experts say could slow the pace of postwar reconstruction....'It will be catastrophic for the Iraqi economy,' said Humam Shamaa, senior professor of finance and economics at Baghdad University. 'There will be a depression. It is a contraction to the reconstruction.'

I understand the desire to purge the administration and government of Ba'athists, and I understand the desire to not have to pay salaries.  I do not understand making such a move in one swell foop, without any sort of clear plan as to what to do next, or as to how to mitigate the impact on the economy. 
The improvisation continues.

USS Constellation arrives home in CNN - War in Iraq

PSA: Caption Contest Winners: "Thanks to all who entered our caption contest. After much deliberation (and by some, heavy consumption), we've selected our winners and posted their captions. They are:
Baghdad Bob: "You are not reading this!" - Jim Treacher
Saddam Hussein: "Command-Post commentors makes me drool!" - Dave Dube
Dear Leader: I will continue to use Command Post contributor ideas for how I can crush western decadence ? until I get o-n-e m-i-l-l-i-o-n dollars! -Devlis Chewtoy
Osama bin Laden: The Command Post is my favorite virtual cave! - Dave Dube (again!)
Thanks again to everyone, and we'll have another contest and some new photos soon.

In Command Post: Irak

New Prison Opens In Southern Iraq: "From the Charleston Post Courier / AP :
With a flourish, the British military on Monday opened the first functioning prison in postwar southern Iraq, a new high-security home for people picked up by U.S.-led occupation forces on suspicion they killed, raped or robbed in the chaotic wake of the war.

In Command Post: Irak

Missing Soldiers Recovered: "An update on this post , from CENTCOM :
At approximately 3:15 p.m. (Kuwait) Monday, Coalition Forces reported four soldiers from the U.S. Army?s 1092nd Engineer Company, a U.S. Army contractor from Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), and two civilian boat captains were found after they had been reported missing Sunday evening. When transiting up the Shatt Al Arab (SAA) waterway, they were taken detained by Iranians. They were not physically abused.
The four soldiers and three of the civilians were escorted and released back onto their boats. The U.S. patrol craft, U.S.S. CHINOOK located them in the vicinity of the SAA at approximately 2:45 p.m. (local) Monday. The two drivers remain detained.

In Command Post: Irak

U.S. Soldier Killed In Checkpoint Attack In Iraq: "From Reuters :
A U.S. soldier has died in Iraq after being wounded in an attack on a checkpoint in a town north of Baghdad, the U.S. Central Command said on Tuesday.
The soldier died on Monday evening from wounds received in the attack with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades near Balad, 55 miles from Baghdad, Central Command said on its Web site.
Here's the report at CENTCOM .

In Command Post: Irak

NATO Approves Plans To Assist Polish-Led Force In Iraq: "From FOXNews.com :
NATO allies approved plans Monday to give logistical and intelligence support to a Polish-led force that will help U.S. soldiers police central Iraq, diplomatic sources said.
The NATO support for the multinational force of 7,000 to be assembled by Poland would be the alliance's first involvement in postwar Iraq.

In Command Post: Irak

UN's Iraq Envoy Takes Charge: "From the Gulf News (Dubai) :
The new UN representative to Iraq arrived for work yesterday, saying his main priority is to ensure the quick establishment of an interim authority and pave the way for a democratic government.
"Iraq has suffered far too much for far too long," Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN commissioner for human rights, said in a statement upon arriving. "Iraqis deserve better - infinitely better."

In Command Post: Irak

Iraq WMDs Row 'More Serious Than Watergate': Labour MPs: "And then there's this take on the prior story, courtesy the Hindustan Times (India):
The row over absent weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq could turn out to be "more serious than Watergate", backbench Labour MPs have warned, demanding an independent inquiry into the Blair government's claims that Saddam Hussein possessed chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons.

In Command Post: Irak

Blair's Own Lawmakers Call For Publishing Iraq War Intelligence: "Public Service Announcement: The flurry predicted here is oficially underway. From Bloomberg :
More than 50 lawmakers from U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair's own Labour Party said he should make public all the intelligence he used to justify the war against Iraq.
Their motion, signed by one-in-eight of all Labour members of parliament, calls on the government to ``publish in full the evidence it holds, and its sources.''

In Command Post: Irak


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