A Soldiers News Blog
Monday, February 09, 2004
Iraq War News Updates
Robin's Iraq Report: Feb 9/04: "Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday.
Our " Winds of War " coverage of the global War on Terror is a separate briefing today, and both are brought to you by Robin Burk.
  • " Going postal " - it's not just for the home front! Looks like some Iraqis are learning the hard way that American postal types can be ornery.

Other Topics Today Include: Stryker's trial by fire; Committee formed to investigate pre-war intel; Arab League nervous about democracy; Support the troops; Cards captured; Toy drive recognized by President Bush.
Read the Rest?

In Command Post: Irak

Iraq Fighters Seek Religious War: "A memo from an Iraqi insurgent to al Qaeda leaders calls for help in fomenting strife between Shiites and Sunnis as a way to prolong the guerilla war."

In CBS News: Iraq Crisis

Iraqi Shias press UN on elections: "A leader of the country's largest group rejects the US view that conditions are not yet right for a national vote."

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq (UK Edition)

Court hears case over West Bank barrier: "The Supreme Court heard petitions from two Israeli human rights groups against the West Bank separation barrier Monday, a day after the government said it would change the route to minimize hardship for Palestinians."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Two U.S. soldiers killed in explosion: "Two U.S. soldiers were killed and six wounded Monday during an explosion while troops were trying to dispose of explosives, a U.S. officer said."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Report: Iraqi aims to spark sectarian war: "An anti-American operative in Iraq appealed for help from al-Qaida leaders to help spark a sectarian war between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in an effort to drive the U.S. out of the country, a newspaper reported Monday."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

U.S. seeks to be more sensitive to Iraqis: "The U.S. military will be more sensitive to Islam and intrude less into Baghdad's neighborhoods when a new Army division takes control of the Iraqi capital on April 15, Army commanders said Monday."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

'War President' Defends Iraq War: "In a televised interview, President Bush said he makes foreign policy decisions "with war on my mind," and defended his decision to invade Iraq despite no evidence Saddam Hussein had illegal weapons."

In CBS News: Iraq Crisis


NYT Reports Al-Qaeda Link: "From the New York Times, via Yahoo News :
An anti-American operative in Iraq appealed for help from al-Qaida leaders to help spark a sectarian war between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in an effort to drive the U.S. out of the country, a newspaper reported Monday.
The alleged plan is outlined in a 17-page memo that U.S. forces confiscated from an al-Qaida suspect in Iraq, The New York Times reported. The paper said its reporter viewed the Arabic document and a military translation on Sunday.
The Times says the document is the strongest evidence to date of contacts between extremists in Iraq and al-Qaida.

Apart from the Al-Qaeda material captured in a terrorist training camp by the Kurds during the war, that is?
The document expresses frustration over efforts to force the United States out of Iraq and suggests that attacks on Shiites would prompt Sunni retaliation and a cycle of widening violence, the Times said.
" It is the only way to prolong the duration of the fight between the infidels and us ," the document says. " If we succeed in dragging them into a sectarian war, this will awaken the sleepy Sunnis who are fearful of destruction and death at the hands " of Shiites.
U.S. authorities believe the memo was written by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian who is suspected of having ties to al-Qaida, the Times reported.
The paper said that American forces arrested a man who had the document on a computer disc and was taking it to Afghanistan to get it to al-Qaida's senior leaders. U.S. officials did not identify the man who had the document.
The author of the document claimed he had directed about 25 suicide bombings inside Iraq, but said the resistance against the U.S. occupation was struggling to recruit Iraqis and to combat American troops.
The memo even offers a kind of praise for U.S. forces, saying " America, however, has no intention of leaving no matter how many wounded nor how bloody it becomes. "

Unless Kerry wins in November.
Hat Tip: Reader Jeffers

In Command Post: Irak

Sunday, February 08, 2004
  A Collection of Thoughts: February 2004 Archives
As long as American fighting men are left behind, the POW/MIA flag will fly. Men were left behind in a variety of ways going all the way back to World War II. Of course the fact that American servicemen are missing in action to this very day is negative, it can't be a positive thing. The POW/MIA flag has nothing to do with "Rambo," a movie which came out many years AFTER the first flag was made. Let the record show that in 1971, Mrs. Michael Hoff, member of the National League of Families, whose husband was listed as "Missing In Action," recognized the need for a symbol of our POW/MIAs. Mrs. Hoff contacted Norman Rivkees, Vice President of Annin & Company and the POW/MIA flag was born. This has nothing to do with Hollywood.

A Collection of Thoughts: February 2004 Archives
  Dagger JAG
Sunday, February 08, 2004The call came last night. "Get your s**t ready to go we're manifested on a flight leaving on _____. " It's a bit sooner than I expected but, now that the wheels are set in motion, everything comes a little more into focus. The little tasks that need to be done get moved up on the priority list. All the extraneous tasks fall by the wayside. I have to finish packing any last minute stuff. I've reached GICO (Good Idea Cut Off) for buying anything else. If it doesn't fit in my ruck or A bag it goes in the box of stuff I'm mailing down to myself (the Military Postal System is wonderful, I can mail a box up to 70lbs down to Iraq for free). Among other things, I have to put my truck into storage, do the final cleaning of the house (dishes, laundry, etc...), and call the family to say goodbye. And then, once all that's done, the "adventure" begins. No doubt with a lot of "hurry up and wait" in typical army fashion.

I'm excited to finally get this show on the road. I have no doubt that this year will be filled with interesting, rewarding, frustrating, and difficult but, ultimately, rewarding experiences. And the people I meet and things I get to do will be so unlike anything else I've ever done that that in itself will make this deployment worthwhile. All my doubts and concerns will, hopefully, go by the wayside as we work to make Iraq a better, safer, and more prosperous country for it's citizens.

I don't know when I'll be able to post again. It may be a few weeks before I get access to an internet connection. But I've established my photo page here (there's a link on the sidebar as well) and I will try to take pictures of everything we're doing. This blog really is a wonderful resource to share my thoughts as well as let others know what's going on in my little part of Iraq.

Alright then, that's all for now....ON TO KUWAIT AND THEN....IRAQ!!! Dagger JAG
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