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The Iraq thread 4

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Quote[/b] ]basically the iraqi people thought they would be sitting in La-Z-Boys and be watching MTV when the americans came right away.

They probably thought they'd have running water and electricity and that people wouldnt be dying of preventable disease. I imagine its disheartening when your country is "liberated" and the liberators then stand back and allow weeks of anarchy and looting by every scumbag and criminal in their country.

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They probably thought they'd have running water and electricity and that people wouldnt be dying of preventable disease. I imagine its disheartening when your country is "liberated" and the liberators then stand back and allow weeks of anarchy and looting by every scumbag and criminal in their country.

Hey...they're blowing up hospitals too you know.

It isn't completely unfair to assume that your liberators will help more than they do harm.

Well, I'm still curious how it'll be handled, there might be some way to mend the mess Iraq is in now, at least I hope so. sad_o.gif

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The fact is, Bush could have summed up his reason to go to Iraq in two words. Geneva Convention. Nobody would have argued with that.

Last time Saddam violated the Geneva Convention (which is a convention about how war is to be conducted) was against Iran in the 1980s crazy_o.gif Well, and GW1 - human shields.

What do you think of the 2nd Gulf War. Don't you remember those POW's, a lot of them were beaten up and tortured except for that woman rock.gif

Oligo, first I laughed about that picture but when I was taking a closer look, I found it kind of tasteless. mad_o.gif

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Tasteless as in how? Because it has half of truth in it?

Especially Paradise part, it's making fun of someones believes and religion, and the Guarded level is also not something to make fun of.

But that's just my opinion.

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All of the three big monotheistic religions have ideas of an afterlife in paradise reserved for righteous people. Other big religions also promise some kind of improvement after death, if you behave. That's one of the reasons these religons have succeeded so well with those who suffer hunger, poverty and insecurity: You can always believe that after your inevitable death, your suffering and piety will be rewarded. It gives people hope. Thus I don't think the picture is making fun of any religion, just stating a known reason for people having the strength to go on despite horrible conditions.

As for the "Guarded" level, if situation is worse than scattered small-arms fire and roadside bombs (Unsettling), there IS a significant risk of seeing your children blown up in front of you. And this is undeniably what many Iraqi parents have indeed witnessed. Do you think that stating what actually has happened and can still happen is tasteless? Do you think that keeping quiet will make things somehow go away? See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil?

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LOL, Oligo. Only laughs here.

Some intellectuals in the neighborhood are not laughing, however. In fact, to a certain extent, they're actually jealous:

Quote[/b] ]Arab Columnists: Arab Countries are Hypocritical on Iraq

Several Arab columnists have recently published articles in the Arab press refuting the argument that the Iraqi government is illegitimate, in response to an argument voiced by representatives of several Arab countries at the November 2004 Sharm Al-Sheikh summit. The following are excerpts from three of these pieces:

Free Elections in the Arab World Occur Only in Occupied Iraq and Palestine

In an article titled 'Democratic Occupation?' columnist Salama Ni'mat, the Washington, D.C. bureau chief for the London Arabic-language daily Al-Hayat, wrote:

"The Arab concern for … the legitimacy of Iraq's upcoming elections, and for the representation of [iraq's] entire political, ethnic, and religious spectrum is outrageous. Anyone who watches what is going on could, if he did not know the truth, almost believe that the Arab countries – which throughout their history have never known what elections are – have become the [countries] most keen that Iraq's upcoming elections will reflect the will of the Iraqi people, with all its elements – and will particularly [reflect the will of] the Sunni minority that in Saddam Hussein's day was, for well-known reasons no one even questioned, [considered] a 'majority.'

"It is outrageous, and amazing, that the first free and general elections in the history of the Arab nation are to take place in January: in Iraq, under the auspices of American occupation, and in Palestine, under the auspices of the Israeli occupation.

"[it is just as] outrageous that the Arab League, which represents the will of the regimes of 20 [Arab] countries from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf, wanted the Iraqi opposition to be invited to the Sharm Al-Sheikh conference, so as to ensure that all Iraq, with its entire political spectrum, would be in attendance to represent the Iraqi people. It matters not at all that other Arab oppositions have not been invited to any Arab League meeting or to its many summit conferences, throughout the history of the Arab peoples."

'What Prevents Arab Regimes from Holding Free Elections is Fear of the Will of the Peoples'

"It is well and good for the Arabs to demand the right of political representation for the Sunni Arabs out of concern for them in the face of the tyranny of the other Iraqi groups and out of concern for national unity and the ideal relative representation. But we do not understand why this concern does not apply to the many Arab countries that do not permit their minorities to announce their existence, let alone their right to [political] representation.

"Have the ministers of the countries that participated in the Sharm Al-Sheikh [conference] noticed that some of the participating countries are still controlled by minorities that do not permit the majority to express its opinion? Why haven't we heard of any Arab concern like that for the Sunni Arabs in Iraq? Were other Arab oppositions invited to the conference, such that the Arab League could insist on the Iraqi opposition's presence?

"It is sad and pathetic that the eyes of the entire world are upon the Palestinian and Iraqi elections that will be held under the lances of foreign occupation, while the peoples of the 'independent, free, and sovereign' Arab countries have no way of expressing their will. It is sad and pathetic that certain countries today are treating the Iraqis with the cheapest kind of political hypocrisy, even though no one heard any particular Arab protest during the time of the regime of the mass graves [i.e. during Saddam's rule].

"What prevents some of the Arab regimes from holding free and genuine elections is their fear of the results, and nothing more – that is, their fear of the will of their peoples."

'Ask the Arab League Why the Media in Occupied Iraq and Palestine Enjoy Freedom Under the Occupation, While the Media in the Other Arab Countries Do Not'

"Although the Taliban's regime of darkness has become history, and Saddam Hussein sits in his cell awaiting trial on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, the Arab regimes still act as if nothing has happened. Further, [they act] as if history is not happening as long as they do not acknowledge its existence and do not announce it in the papers and on the television channels, [all of] which they control. Can anybody ask the Arab League why the media in occupied Iraq and Palestine enjoy freedom under the occupation, while the media in the other Arab countries do not?

"No one expects an occupation to respond to the will of the people suffering beneath its yoke. But nothing is more repugnant than a national regime that is worse than occupation.

"The remaining challenge is this: Can independent and sovereign Arab countries give their peoples something better than what the occupation is giving today to Iraq and Palestine?" [1]

The Iraqi Regime Is More Legitimate than Most Arab Regimes

In a similar vein, Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, former editor of the London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat and now director-general of Al-Arabiyya TV, wrote in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat:

"Some of the members sitting at the conference table [at Sharm Al-Sheikh, and some] of the commentators and conferees in the halls maintain that the Baghdad government is not legitimate. Why? They argue that it is not elected and was appointed by the American occupation.

"This widespread view has some basis… However, the talk of the illegitimacy of the [iraqi] government … allows us to raise questions regarding [the legitimacy] of most of the regimes in the region.

"The current regime in Baghdad was given legitimacy by a unanimous vote of the members of the U.N. Security Council, and became legal according to international law. On the regional level, the legitimacy of the new Iraqi regime was emanated from a unanimous Arab League vote. Locally, this regime made huge strides when it established the National Council – a parliament that represents all the different populations in Iraq, including the opposition – and the [regime] will reach its goal when it holds the upcoming elections.

"If we view these three levels [i.e. the U.N. Security Council, the Arab League, and the Iraqi National Council] as a criterion, the Iraqi regime is more legitimate than most [regimes] in the countries of the region – some of which emerged as a result of coups or internal conspiracies, when no one asked the people what it thought.

"If the doubt regarding the Iraqi regime stems from its ties with Washington - do you know of any [Arab] government that does not have any special ties with Washington or other [Western] countries? If the justification for the doubt in the Iraqi regime is the presence of American forces [in Iraq], we must remember that Iraq is not the only country hosting American forces. Moreover, most of the voices criticizing the [present] regime in Iraq come from countries with even more American forces on their land…" [2]

'This Country Will be a Platform for Liberties in the Whole Region'

Egyptian journalist Nabil Sharaf Al-Din also spoke on Al-Jazeera TV about the future of Iraq. The following are excerpts from the program:

Nabil Sharaf Al-Din: "We are not being fair to the current Iraqi government. Not me, nor you, nor the other guest on this program, not even the viewers, but history will do justice to them. These people are establishing the first democracy in the Middle East. This country will be a platform for liberties in the whole region. In Iraq, the days of a leader who remains on his throne until he dies are gone. This is over. For the first time the Iraqi leader will be elected by Iraqi ballots."

Interviewer: "We've heard that [head of the Sunni Clerics Council in Iraq] Sheik Al-Dhari says the purpose of [sharm Al-Sheikh] summit aims to assist the occupation…"

Nabil Sharaf Al-Din: "This Al-Dhari is a mufti of terrorism and slaughter. This Al-Dhari is the military branch of the murderers, the military branch of terrorism and televised slaughtering This Al-Dhari … and his group… Sir, please…

"First and foremost, the claim that this summit was meant to save America… When have the Arabs succeeded in resolving their own crises and conflicts?" [3]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] Al-Hayat (London), November 25, 2004.

[2] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), November 24, 2004.

[3] Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar), November 23, 2004, MEMRI TV Clip No. 386 "Egyptian Journalist Nabil Sharaf Al-Din: Iraqi Sunni Leader, Sheik Al-Dhari, 'Mufti of Terrorism and Televised Slaughter'" http://memritv.org/Search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=386.

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Hey, I'm all for establishing democracy in Iraq. They'll get a governing body chosen by the masses, just like we have here in the "west". Democracy is a fine idea which would work (just like communism) if people in general just weren't so stupid. biggrin_o.gif Anyway it'll be interesting to see what kind of government they'll vote for. What if they vote in a majority of ultra-religious lunatics? Will U.S. let them turn Iraq into a new Iran?

Seriously though, what they need is stability and security. I sure hope they'll get it one way or another, without paying too high a price for it. sad_o.gif

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What if they vote in a majority of ultra-religious lunatics?

They'll get what they ask for.

Quote[/b] ] Will U.S. let them turn Iraq into a new Iran?

Yes.

Quote[/b] ]Seriously though, what they need is stability and security. I sure hope they'll get it one way or another, without paying too high a price for it. sad_o.gif

I believe they'll get it but at a very high price.

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Quote[/b] ]They'll get what they ask for.

I see stupid people. They're all around us and they don't even know they are stupid. biggrin_o.gif

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http://www.wired.com/news....phead_1

Quote[/b] ]

More Robot Grunts Ready for Duty  

By Noah Shachtman  |   Also by this reporter  Page 1 of 2 next »

02:00 AM Dec. 01, 2004 PT

ORLANDO, Florida -- Hunting for guerillas, handling roadside bombs, crawling across the caves and crumbling towns of Afghanistan and Iraq -- all of that was just a start. Now, the Army is prepping its squad of robotic vehicles for a new set of assignments. And this time, they'll be carrying guns.

As early as March or April, 18 units of the Talon -- a model armed with automatic weapons -- are scheduled to report for duty in Iraq. Around the same time, the first prototypes of a new, unmanned ambulance should be ready for the Army to start testing. In a warren of hangar-sized hotel ballrooms in Orlando, military engineers this week showed off their next generation of robots, as they got the machines ready for the war zone.

Today's the Day. "Putting something like this into the field, we're about to start something that's never been done before," said Staff Sgt. Santiago Tordillos, waving to the black, 2-foot-six-inch robot rolling around the carpeted floor on twin treads, an M249 machine gun cradled in its mechanical grip.

For years, the Pentagon and defense contractors have been toying with the idea of sending armed, unmanned ground vehicles, or UGVs, into battle. Actually putting together the robots was a remarkably straightforward job, said Tordillos, who works in the Army's Armaments Engineering and Technology Center.

Ordinarily, the Talon bomb-disposal UGV comes equipped with a mechanical arm, to pick up and inspect suspicious objects. More than a hundred of the robots are being used in Iraq and Afghanistan, with an equal amount on order from the UGV's maker, Waltham, Massachusetts-based firm Foster-Miller.

For this new, lethal Talon model, Foster-Miller swapped the metal limb for a remote-controlled, camera-equipped, shock-resistant tripod, which the Marines use to fire their guns from hundreds of feet away. The only difference: The Marines' version relies on cables to connect weapons and controllers, while the Talon gets its orders to fire from radio signals instead.

"We were ready to send it a month ago," Tordillos said. Navigating the Pentagon bureaucracy and putting together the proper training manuals are what's keeping the Talon stateside, for now.

Back in December 2003, the Army's 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division tested an armed Talon in Kuwait. Now, the brigade wants 18 of the UGVs to watch the backs of its Stryker armored vehicles.

Four cameras and a pair of night-vision binoculars allow the robot to operate at all times of the day. It has a range of about a half-mile in urban areas, more in the open desert. And with the ability to carry four 66-mm rockets or six 40-mm grenades, as well as an M240 or M249 machine gun, the robots can take on additional duties fast, said GlobalSecurity.org director John Pike.

"It's a premonition of things to come," Pike said. "It makes sense. These things have no family to write home to. They're fearless. You can put them places you'd have a hard time putting a soldier in."

.....

more in the link (with pics) with other projects...

wow_o.gif  wow_o.gif  wow_o.gif  wow_o.gif  wow_o.gif  wow_o.gif  wow_o.gif

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denoir had chance to see those robotic soldiers in Kosovo long time ago. IIRC, snipers loved to shoot them. but then again, those robots were painted red. tounge_o.gif

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.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/12/01/iraq.main/index.html

Quote[/b] ]WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States is dispatching an additional 1,500 troops to Iraq and extending the stays of more than 10,000 others to bolster security ahead of January's scheduled elections, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

The moves will bring the number of U.S. troops in Iraq from nearly 140,000 to an all-time high of about 150,000, the Pentagon said.

Gen. George Casey, commander of the American-dominated multinational force in Iraq, requested the increase to take advantage of momentum gained by recent U.S.-led offensives against an insurgency that has killed hundreds of American troops over the past 18 months, the military said.

"Force posture changes will take advantage of a 'window of opportunity' following successful operations in Falluja," said a news release from U.S. Central Command.

Two battalions of the 82nd Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, are being dispatched to Iraq for up to four months in order to provide security for Iraq's elections, currently set for January 30, the Pentagon said.

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.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/12/02/pentagon.media/index.html

Quote[/b] ]WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Amid a debate over the use of misinformation by the U.S. military, the Pentagon says it is investigating an October incident in which a Marine spokesman gave CNN misleading information about an attack on the Iraqi city of Falluja.

In an October 14 interview from Iraq, 1st Lt. Lyle Gilbert announced that a major U.S. military operation was under way in Falluja -- three weeks before the offensive that eventually recaptured the city began.

A senior Pentagon official told CNN that Gilbert's remarks were "technically true but misleading." It was an attempt to get CNN "to report something not true," the official said.

CNN management has asked the Pentagon for an official response to a report in the Los Angeles Times that identified Gilbert's comments as a possible case of deliberate misinformation of news outlets. The newspaper reported that the interview was part of a broader effort to manipulate the media to achieve U.S. goals in Iraq.

Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita said U.S. personnel are never allowed to deceive reporters, and he said he is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the Gilbert interview.

"We are looking into reports where people may have gotten more creative than they should have," he said.

Gen. Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has warned commanders not to mix up "information operations" with the dissemination of news to reporters. But some in the military are concerned about blurring clear distinctions among three goals: psychological operations against enemy forces; offering timely and accurate information to reporters; and influencing international audiences.

The interview with Gilbert was unusual. He appeared on air only because military officials contacted CNN and said they had someone ready on the scene to discuss major unfolding developments that night.

"The troops crossed the line of departure. We had artillery fire, prep fire going out," Gilbert said in the October 14 interview. "Aircraft have been moving through the area all day, helicopters providing transport. It's been a pretty uncomfortable time."

The objective, Los Angeles Times reporter Mark Mazzetti said Wednesday, was "to see what the enemy was up to."

"The Pentagon people I spoke to said that the intended audience was the insurgent population around Falluja [who] might think that the U.S. military was coming to get them, and the U.S. military wanted to observe what they did when they thought the U.S. was coming," Mazzetti told CNN's "Newsnight With Aaron Brown."

Military officials said later that the operation was not an attempt to retake the city, just an effort to lay the groundwork for the eventual offensive that began in November.

"As the story developed, we quickly made it clear to our viewers exactly what was going on in and around Falluja," CNN spokesman Matthew Furman said.

The Gilbert interview sheds light on a debate behind the scenes at the Pentagon about the use of information as a weapon in the war in Iraq -- and whether a single battlefield commander should be in charge of both psychological operations and media operations at the same time. Some senior officers who served in the Vietnam War and its aftermath, when the credibility of the military was damaged, have raised concerns about the issue.

"Over time, people just didn't believe what the military was saying, and they fear that if we go down this path, the same thing is going to happen again," Mazzetti said.

A proposal circulated within the Pentagon calls for a new post for a "director of central information" to be established as part of a deeper effort to "counter ideological support to terrorism."

A Pentagon advisory panel warned recently that the military must make an effort to communicate better with the Muslim world. But critics worry that effort is becoming a Madison Avenue-style campaign full of leaflets, broadcasts and government-sponsored "influence" that crosses the line.

maybe the underlying idea of some rightwingers is that CNN is the news portal of liberals and thus terrorists. great going idiots. whoever thought of this idea needs to get some reality check. why not use Fox news network for this?

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I like the fact being skeptical towards press statements issued by the U.S military is defined as:

Quote[/b] ] "ideological support to terrorism."

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Man, don't you know that military organizations during wars always release "Gods honest truth"?? What's with you, the rules are set in stone during wars: "NO LYING" tounge_o.gif

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http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tm....chamber

Quote[/b] ]Marines Find Alleged Iraqi Torture Chamber

25 minutes ago

By KATARINA KRATOVAC, Associated Press Writer

FALLUJAH, Iraq - Down a steep staircase littered with glass shards and rubble, U.S. Marines descended Thursday to a dark basement believed to have been one of Fallujah's torture chambers. They found bloodstains and a single bloody hand print on the wall — evidence of the horrors once carried out in this former insurgent stronghold.

"We had sensed that there was a pure streak of evil in this town, ever since the first days of engagement here," said Maj. Wade Weems.

The basement, discovered while Marines fought fierce battles with Fallujah insurgents last month, is part of the Islamic Resistance Center, a three-story building in the heart of this city 40 miles west of Baghdad.

Maj. Alex Ray, an operations officer with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said all evidence indicates the 15-foot-by-20-foot space was used by insurgents to imprison and torture their captives.

"Based on the evidence we have found here, we believe people were held here and possibly tortured — we have found enough blood to surmise that," Ray told reporters shown the basement Thursday.

On the wall adjacent to the hand print, human fingernails were found dug deep into the porous gravel around a hole in the wall — evidence, the Marines say, of a tunnel-digging attempt.

Although most of the evidence had been taken away, there was enough to suggest "they tried to dig their way out," Ray said.

No bodies or human remains — except for the fingernails — were found when the Marines discovered the underground chamber on Nov. 11, but they found "plenty of blood," he said. Marine experts have collected samples for forensic and DNA testing.

"This is tangible proof how horrific they were," Weems, of Washington, D.C., said of the insurgents, shuddering as he gazed at the bloody hand print.

Although unmarked, the center was a known base of operations for the insurgents who ruled Fallujah with terror and fear until U.S. forces and Iraqi troops captured it last month.

The assault was launched Nov. 8 to wrest Fallujah from the control of radical clerics and fighters who seized it after the Marines lifted a three-week siege of the city in April. The city fell after a week of fierce battles and overpowering airstrikes which reduced many of the buildings to rubble.

Two weeks later, Marines continue to fight sporadic gunbattles with holdouts as they clear streets, homes and buildings of weapons caches and rubble. More than 350 weapons caches have been found so far.

As Weems' troops inspected the Islamic Resistance Center on Thursday, gunshots and small arms fire reverberated from Fallujah's northeastern Askari neighborhood. The Marines said it was a sign the insurgents are still active.

On the Islamic center's first floor, the Marines discovered a weapons-making factory at the back of what appeared to be a legitimate computer store.

It contained boxloads of empty shotgun shells and a primitive-looking reloading machine on one of the tables. On the second floor, they found a sack of gunpowder and numerous mortar launcher cases.

Elsewhere in Fallujah, the Marines have discovered DVD recordings of beheadings, as well as a cage and chains bearing traces of human blood. They say it was "apparent the cage was not holding animals."

"It's the combination of the chains, the cage, the blood — there were not nice people here, that's for sure," Ray said. "They certainly didn't have the morals I would expect in a human society."

Reporters were not taken Thursday to the other sites, many of which have been cleared of evidence and the buildings destroyed by the Marines.

Maj. Jim West, a Marine intelligence officer, has said Fallujah's "atrocity sites" were used by the insurgents to imprison, torture and kill hostages. In some, knives and black hoods, many of them blood-covered, have been found.

More than 30 foreign hostages have been killed by their captors in Iraq (news - web sites) this year, including three Americans. Many of the victims have been beheaded and their deaths shown on grisly videos posted on the Internet. Iraqi police and other security forces have also been killed after their capture by insurgents.

"We believe the majority of the hostages were held in Fallujah because it was such an insurgent haven," said Ray.

The military says an estimated 1,200 insurgents and more than 50 Marines have been killed in the assault on Fallujah.

sad_o.gif

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71 US marines killed during Fallujah offensive

Quote[/b] ]Seventy-one US troops were killed in the offensive led by US Marines to take control of the Iraqi city Fallujah from insurgents, the US military has said.

The toll was 20 higher than previously reported.

Fallujah, a Sunni Muslim city of 300,000 people 50 kilometres west of Baghdad, was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting since the initial US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

The Fallujah offensive caused more than half of the total US military fatalities in Iraq in November, the second-deadliest month of the 20-month war.

According to Pentagon figures released on Wednesday, 134 US troops died in Iraq in November, one shy of the previous worst month, April 2004.

Lieutenant Col Steve Boylan, a US military spokesman in Baghdad, said 71 US troops were killed in Fallujah during the offensive launched on November 8.

The previous official tally was 51, given by Marine Corps Lieutenant General John Sattler on November 18.

Thousands of US troops, along with US-trained Iraqi government soldiers, stormed into Fallujah three weeks ago in an assault intended to deprive insurgents of a safe haven from which American officials said rebels had coordinated a spree of killings, bombings and kidnappings.

The US military has estimated that 1,200 to 1,600 insurgents were killed in the offensive.

The Iraqi government says over 2000 people were killed during the offensive.

-Reuters

Iraqi rebels creeping back into Fallujah's secure zones: US military

Quote[/b] ]FALLUJAH, Iraq (AFP) - Iraqi rebels are creeping back into areas cleared by US marines in Fallujah, where the military continues daily to secure homes and try to seize weapons caches before they can be used to again attack US and Iraqi troops, marines say.

"The last few days we found 20, 25 guys in houses that were already cleared," said one marine.

Patrols from the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines were searching blocks in north Fallujah Tuesday, combing through abandoned homes which repeatedly yielded weapons they say have been stashed by insurgents who continue to put up sometimes stiff resistance.

A massive US and Iraqi assault launched November 8 to wrestle the Sunni-Muslim enclave away from rebels has broken the back of Iraq 's insurgency, according to top US military officials.

Fallujah has largely been quiet for days, with marines encountering only pockets of resistance — small groups of rebels either caught hiding out in buildings or hitting patrols in hit-and-run ambushes.

But marines Tuesday were taking no chances as they blasted homes with heavy machine-gun fire and grenades before climbing from roof to roof and storming the empty buildings, according to an AFP correspondent embedded with the unit.

Several weapons, including assault rifles and anti-armor rounds, were found in bedrooms and kitchens littered with clothes and broken crockery, the correspondent said.

On Monday, similar patrols turned up a much larger cache of some 70 assault rifles and 22 RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) launchers, as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition, bullet-proof vests with "police" written across them and computer equipment, said Captain Tom Tennant.

He said suspected rebels have been caught turning up at food distribution centers, and several attacks have occurred in areas of the city that have been described by some military officials as Fallujah's Green Zone.

"We cleared an area up here," he said, pointing to a corner of a map of his unit's sector, "and then saw some guys running around in there."

Drawing his finger down a few blocks, he said: "They ran down here and engaged some of our guys in a firefight."

Marines at 1-3 Charlie Company's small toe-hold in the city, an abandoned school surrounded by sprawling homes in the largely affluent neighborhood, say they have been frustrated by rebels who appear beaten one day, only to turn up again another.

But they also say with increasingly fewer marines — several units have already left the city following the November attack — there is virtually no way to keep rebels from taking up refuge in cleared buildings.

"If you want to keep this place secured, you need a whole lot of bodies," said one marine corporal.

So let's ignore for a minute the fact that the US deathtoll has jumped 20+ KIA since the last briefing and that there are still intense skirmishes in the city.

Let's also ignore the US military officials who acknowledged that even now when they are desperatly clinching to a claim that the offensive has broken the back of the insurgency the rebels are retaking control of secured buildings in Fallujah and that Marine units had to be relocated to other places in dire need of their presence with no real security in the current city.

But what we can not ignore is that there are curently 200,000 Fallujah citizens in refuge camps or at relatives with nerves streched thin not being allowed to return to their city and as the current situation it doesn't appear that the situation would change any time soon.It's beyond doubt the level of suport the rebels had in the city as numbers show an overwelming majority of them were locals,so now here is the predicament.

How will 200,000 Fallujah citizens react when they return to their city and they see flatned hospitals,destroyed mosques,their homes and neighberhood reduced to nothing but rubble.Will 100 dollars promised by Allawi for each familly be enough to calm their anger at the sight of such a level of death and destruction  rock.gif

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http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news....san.xml

Quote[/b] ]Fallujah body 'not UK hostage'

(Filed: 01/12/2004)

The mutilated body of a Western woman found in Fallujah is not that of Irish-born aidworker Margaret Hassan.

Dental records show that the body, which was found without arms and legs, is not that of the Care International director, a Foreign Office spokesman said.

There had been fears that the corpse, which had also been disemboweled, was that of Mrs Hassan who had been held hostage.

But the Foreign Office confirmed its belief that Mrs Hassan is dead.

The 59-year-old was taken hostage on her way to work in Baghdad on Oct 19.

A video had been released which seemed to show a blindfolded Western woman being shot in the head.

Mrs Hassan, who also holds British and Iraqi nationality, had lived in Iraq for 30 years and had married an Iraqi.

Her husband has called for her body to be returned to him.

The body of a woman, believed to be a Westerner, was found by US marines near the end of their assault on the Sunni rebel-held town.

It is currently being held in US custody.

A Polish woman was also being held by kidnappers in Iraq at about the same time.

There is no indication at this stage whether it is the Polish hostage.

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Please someone. Make sense of this. Since I'm finding that these extremists are far more out of touch with reality than previously imagined:

Quote[/b] ]"We cannot tolerate a crocodile in our bedroom," said Sheik Omar Bakri. "U.S. forces in Muslim countries are crocodiles in our bedrooms. So we are not going to give them ice cream."

Do you hear that americans? No ice cream for you.

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http://www.nbc4.tv/news/3966040/detail.html

Quote[/b] ]LOS ANGELES -- Sergio Diaz Varela of Lomita joined the Army to buy his mother a house.

"All he wanted was to help his mother," neighbor Leticia Garibay said. "He was fighting for his mother."

Diaz, 21, an Army specialist, died Nov. 24 in Ramadi when a bomb exploded near his patrol vehicle. His father was told that he was hit by shrapnel in his hip and side after stepping out of the vehicle and died instantly.

He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Camp Howze, Korea.

Diaz was sent to Iraq in September. In a recent telephone call, he told his father, Sergio Sr., that the sound of bombs made it hard to sleep at night, said Darcey Griffis, manager of a trailer park where Sergio Sr. lives.

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Please someone. Make sense of this. Since I'm finding that these extremists are far more out of touch with reality than previously imagined:
Quote[/b] ]"We cannot tolerate a crocodile in our bedroom," said Sheik Omar Bakri. "U.S. forces in Muslim countries are crocodiles in our bedrooms. So we are not going to give them ice cream."

Do you hear that americans? No ice cream for you.

Damn, and i like Ice Cream, especially Strawberry.

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Heil dem Führer! America über alles!

http://www.bentoncourier.com/article....gg2.txt

Quote[/b] ]WASHINGTON - Evidence gained by torture can be used by the U.S. military in deciding whether to imprison a foreigner indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as an enemy combatant, the government says.

Oh yeah conservatives, America is now a real shiny example of a true Democracy, Freedom all the way, I guess you are really trying to make this statement come true "They target us because they hate our freedom". Would you like a Volkswagen for each family with that? Maybe make a state called Texasyria?

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Quote[/b] ]Video Game Celebrates Fallujah Slaughter

BreakForNews.com, 3rd Nov, 2004 11:00ET

by Fintan Dunne, Editor

Research KathyMcMahon EXCLUSIVE

http://www.breakfornews.com/articles/KumaWarAlFajr.htm

If you thought the new video game inviting players to try their virtual skills at assassinating JFK was tasteless, hold on to your hat. A just-released mission in the Kuma wargame series is themed "Fallujah: Operation al-Fajr." It re-creates the recent assault on Fallujah, which may have left thousands of civilians dead.

Players join U.S. Marines and Army soldiers in their attack on the Jolan district in Fallujah. For the making "Fallujah: Operation al-Fajr" Kuma Reality Games used detailed satellite imagery of Jolan.

Publicity material for yesterday's new game says players "dodge sniper fire and protect civilians," while fighting to secure the Jolan district. "Protect civilians"?

REALISTIC?

Perhaps the action is not that "realistic" after all. Civilians there outnumbered rebels by perhaps thirty to one. They bore the brunt of a relentless US bombardment of Jolan. News media reports say this included 2,000-pound bombs, helicopter gunships and artillery.

Independent journalists and Arab media say napalm-like weapons and poison gas were also deployed. Reporter, Dahr Jamail told BreakForNews.com that witnesses saw people poisoned, fall to the ground and die. Other reports describe firebombs spewing lethal contents which adhered to skin and burned unquenchably.

Only later did the soldiers --the real ones-- come to root out any "resistance" left alive. This involved the use of cluster bombs and grenades tossed into homes, with devastating results in at least one case. Cowering inside was a family - not virtual terrorists. A young boy was hospitalized with grenade fragment injuries.

Don't expect that kind of realism from the latest Kuma offering. "Fallujah: Operation al-Fajr" is the sanitized electronic world of good guys and bad guys. Just like Bush's war. And you can guess who the good guys are.

The Kuma /War series is lovingly following the action around Iraq, and modeling game chapters on set-piece recreations of real military operations. Players have battled the Medi army in the south and hunted down Uday and Qusay Hussein.

We are now up to Mission #28. In the coming weeks, game subscribers will get missions that re-create current combat in Fallujah and elsewhere in Iraq.

SEAMLESS INTEGRATION

Many missions are being developed in cooperation with the US military.

"Fallujah: Operation al-Fajr" even contains a discussion with Major General Thomas L. Wilkerson, USMC (ret) on the strategy behind the fight for control of Fallujah. The last mission before Fallujah, was "Ramadi Convoy Exercise,"

based on the same training mission Kuma\War modeled for CASCOM - the US Army Combined Arms Support Command.

Kuma Reality Games has just opened voting for its "Stories from the Front" contest. The contest asked soldiers to contribute stories from their actual experiences in the battlefield. The winner's story will become an upcoming mission. The winner will be featured with three friends as characters in the re-creation of the winning story.

The eligible entries have been slimmed to finalists like: Beneath the Saddam Mosque, the story of a rescue team searching for a kidnapped woman in the tunnels beneath a mujahedeen-controled mosque; Baghdad Cowboy details an ambush on enemies to rescue a troubled Fallujah convoy; and Saddam City Shocker centers around a squad that fights its way across a bridge into Saddam City.

This is the seamless integration of military gaming and real military action. The two have become one. Virtually. A seamless virtual reality whose barbarity and insensitivity is puzzling to the "reality-based" community.

In Fallujah, during the bombing families could hear the screams from those whose homes had been hit, but they had to keep their heads down and pray.

Kuma should have taped those screams.

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