A Soldiers News Blog
Saturday, June 26, 2004
Iraq War News
Lugar Warns NATO Its Reputation at Stake in Iraq: "U.S. Senator Richard Lugar warned NATOSaturday that its reputation would stand or fall on itscommitment to act in Iraq, after bickering erupted among alliesover an offer to help Baghdad train its security forces. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

PM asks Bush to return detainees: "Prime Minister Tony Blair has personally asked US President George Bush to send home the four remaining British detainees in Guantanamo Bay."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

Bush seeks Iraq help...Security tight in Turkey...Rapper arrested in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Car bombing, rocket attack targets Kurds, Shiites...Soldier killed in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Iraq Insurgency Showing Signs of Momentum: "BAGHDAD - As this week's coordinated violence demonstrates, Iraq's insurgent movement is increasingly potent, riding a wave of anti-U.S. nationalism and religious extremism. Just days before an Iraqi government takes control of the country, experts and some commanders fear it may be too late to turn back the militant tide. (Los Angeles Times)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Six Die in Iraq Violence Ahead of Handover: "A car bomb explosion killed a manand wounded 40 people in the Kurdish city of Arbil on Saturdayas insurgents kept up a bloody drive to derail Iraq'stransition to an interim government in four days' time. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Three killed in attack on Iraq offices: "Insurgents launched a spate of attacks in the strife-ridden northern city of Baqouba, killing three people and wounding two, hospital officials and witnesses said. Six guerrillas were also killed."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Iraqi PM's party office blown up, rebels storm second political party base: "Rebels blew up the local headquarters of Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi's political party in Baquba and staged a deadly attack on the offices of a major Shiite political party in the city Saturday, witnesses said. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Anti-Bush protest march: "A protest march against the arrival of US President George Bush at Ireland's Shannon airport has passed off peacefully."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

Iraqi Military Won't Get Tanks: "The lightly armed military taking shape in Iraq is far different from Saddam Hussein's massive force, and the United States appears to want it that way - at least for the time being. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Mehdi Army Ready to Fight Terrorists: "A day late, as I've been down with the Dreaded Lurgy, but here we have from the AFP via the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) the latest from Al Sadr :
Radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army has declared a truce by loud speaker in the Baghdad slum of Sadr City, saying it is ready to help protect important sites from terror attacks.
" Considering the exceptional circumstances that our people face, we have decided to stop from tonight the military operations in Sadr City until we receive new orders ," the militia's central committee said.
" All the Mehdi Army will respect this decision or face expulsion ."
The Mehdi Army is offering to protect Government buildings, hospitals, power stations, water stations, service stations and oil refineries.
Fighting has rocked the Shiite Muslim slum of Sadr City almost nightly since Sadr rose up against US forces in the first week of April.
The statement says the Mehdi Army is ready to protect " all those who might be targeted by terrorists notably in the coming two weeks ," referring to the June 30 handover of power in Iraq.
" The Mehdi Army proves day after day it cares for the greater interests of the oppressed people of Iraq ," it said.

Note that this announcement of ?protection' came before the latest round of attacks which have killed nearly 100 Iraqis.

In Command Post: Irak

Foreign Fighters in Fallujah?: "Accounts vary.
From the AFP via the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) :
A leading sheikh, Abdallah Janabi, condemns the attacks as launched " under the pretext that Zarqawi is based in Fallujah ".
" There are no foreign fighters here ", he said.

Then there's an account published on Hammorabi , an Iraqi Blog :
The names of the (so called)"mujahdin" (i call them killers)Arab nationalities died in the last American attack on Fallujah on 19-06-2004
1.Muhamed bin Salem Al-asmari Saudi
2.Abdullah bin Baz Al-utaibi Saudi
3.Muhamed Al-zahrani Saudi
4.Sa'ad bin Khaled Al-shahri Saudi
5.Abu Muhamed Al-Kusaimi Saudi
6.Muftaah saed Abu-dajana Emirates
7.Sultaan Mutaseem Al-ashmuri Yemen
8.Zakaria Abu-alabaas Morroco
9.Saed Muhamed Abu-zaaker Algeria
10.Mahmud uthman Al-shaikh Syria
11.Abu-attah Lybia
12.Abu Abdullah Somalia
13.Kaari Handalh Somalia
14.Omaar Hamid Khlil Iraq (Kurdistan)
15.Saif Al-Turkstani China
16.Abu Al-waleed Mauritania

Original source for this is ?quoted as one of the Islamic (wahabi) web sites', but I have been unable to find which one. Can any readers help verify or debunk this?

In Command Post: Irak

Protesting Bush...Dead man walking...Schwarzenegger in the dog house in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Terror-mastermind targeted...Bush faces protests...Ryan drops out in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Friday, June 25, 2004
Iraq War News
Blasts rock turbulent city of Fallujah: "Explosions and gunfire rocked the turbulent city of Fallujah for a second day Friday, after coordinated attacks in other Iraqi cities killed about 100 people less than a week before Iraq's new government takes power."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Bush heads to summits...Explosions in Fallujah...Protecting Baghdad in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Iraqi official says emergency laws may be needed to restore order in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Baghdad bracing for attacks as transfer nears in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

On Irish T-V, Bush defends Iraq invasion in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Bush says more troops from NATO countries for Iraq not likely in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Bush to Europe...General: Tough times ahead in Iraq...Police beating in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

British troops fly back to Iraq after being released by Iran in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Senate approves massive defense spending bill in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Iraq contacted Al-Qaeda in 1990s in anti-Saudi move: "Iraqi intelligence officials contacted Osama bin Laden in Sudan in the mid 1990s as part of efforts to work with organizations that opposed the ruling family in Saudi Arabia, according to a new document found in Iraq, The New York Times said. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Gore Accuses Bush Of Iraq Lies: "Al Gore stepped up his attacks on President Bush, accusing him and Vice President Dick Cheney of lying about the link between al Qaeda and Iraq, and refusing to acknowledge their error to avoid political backlash."

In CBS News: Iraq Crisis

Roadside bomb kills one in Baghdad in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Wolfowitz appears before senate panel this morning in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Deadly crash in Iran...Poll on Iraq war...Bush heads to Europe in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Heavy fighting in Iraq...Moore fights for his movie...Venus fades in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Bush to Europe...Roadside bomb in Iraq...Spacewalk aborted in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Iraq Attacks Kill Over 100, Wound 320: "Insurgents set off car bombs and seized police stations Thursday in a six-city offensive aimed at creating chaos ahead of next week's handover of power to a new Iraqi government. U.S. and Iraqi forces took back control in heavy fighting that killed more than 100 people and wounded about 320. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Thursday, June 24, 2004
  Green Bay Packers Support Our Troops
Over the past two years, Marco Rivera has enjoyed his share of unique experiences.

The Green Bay Packers offensive guard has twice been to Hawaii to play in back-to-back Pro Bowls, and it was just over two years ago that he and his wife, Michelle, were invited to the White House to meet President George W. Bush.

But compared to all of those events, and all of the Packers' victories in between, nothing stands up to what Rivera is experiencing now, halfway across the world and halfway through a four-day NFL-USO trip to the Middle East to visit U.S. bases in Kuwait and Qatar.

"This ranks top of the list, hands down," Rivera said Tuesday evening from Kuwait. "Meeting the president was nice. Going to the Pro Bowl, that was a great personal accomplishment. But when you get the chance to come over here and meet these American troops who are putting their lives on the line every day, and to make a small difference in their lives, that means more to me than anything else."

Rivera is making the trip through the Middle East with former NFL player and current FOX analyst Brian Baldinger. Together, the duo has already visited a handful of U.S. camps, including Camp Wolverine where they are based, to lend their support to the servicemen and servicewomen stationed there.

"We're just here to give them some happy time," Rivera said, "take photos, talk football, whatever. And we're here to make sure that the troops know that we're behind them 100 percent, and that we in the NFL respect them and appreciate the sacrifices they're making so we can have the freedom we have to run around on the football field on Sunday."

Rivera got involved in the NFL-USO visit when a member of the league office contacted him about the idea earlier this month during the Packers' recent mini-camp.

Reluctant at first due to safety concerns, Rivera quickly warmed to the idea. And any remaining fears about the trip were put at ease soon after his arrival.

"I expected to see a war-torn country and people in chaos," Rivera said. "Instead, I've come to find that Kuwait is a beautiful country, with beautiful homes and polite, educated people. Remembering the previous Gulf War and seeing the current media coverage about the war in Iraq, it paints a different picture than what I've seen here with my own eyes."

Most impressive of all, Rivera says, has been the sight of U.S. troops. Out in 120-degree heat, staying in camps constructed from scratch, the efficiency of the U.S. military has been inspiring.

"The military is a well-oiled machine," Rivera says. "The soldiers show up in the middle of the desert and put up a camp that holds 5,000 troops and has air-conditioned tents and running water. It's amazing.

"And all day long they work hard and don't complain. They're just focused on doing their jobs and trying to make a difference."

By making the trip, Rivera hopes he can make a small difference in the lives of the soldiers he meets there, even if it's just to serve as a momentary distraction from the daily grind.

But while Rivera is supposed to be the celebrity, he's the one walking away from each meeting with goose bumps. At each stop, he's been especially taken aback by the number of Packers fans he's come across -- fans who have packed their Packers pride all the way to the Middle East.

"I'm on the other side of the world and just the other day I signed a Packers football that a guy had here in Kuwait," Rivera said. "Just after that, another guy walked out of the same tent wearing a Packers T-shirt.

"Today, I met at least 20 pilots from Milwaukee and they talked to me as if they knew me on a first-name basis, like they were old pals of mine from home. And it was great. They're just guys from Milwaukee with a job to do, and we happened to meet here.

"I also met a Marine today who had an Ahman Green jersey. I mean, he comes all the way out to Kuwait ready to fight in a war, and when he packs his clothes one of the things he makes sure that he brings with him is an Ahman Green jersey. It just shows what great football fans these guys are, and how much the game means to them."

But on this trip the respect and the admiration goes both ways. And with each meeting on his NFL-USO tour, Rivera says he's becoming an even greater fan of the men and women in fatigues.

"When I leave here, I'm going to leave here a changed man," Rivera said. "The only reason I'm able to do what I do for a living, is because these troops make it possible. They're the reason.

"And seeing the troops here and meeting them has been such a great experience. I'm so glad I came."
Monday, June 21, 2004
Iraq War News
Britain to probe claims Iraqi bodies were mutilated in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Judge Declares Abu Ghraib a Crime Scene: "A military judge on Monday declared the notorious Abu Ghraib prison a crime scene that cannot be demolished as President Bush had offered. He also refused to move the trial of a soldier accused of abusing inmates. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Four U.S. Soldiers Killed in Attack West of Baghdad: "Four U.S. soldiers have been founddead west of Baghdad, apparently killed in an attack by Iraqiinsurgents, witnesses said on Monday. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

First Basra pipeline repaired, oil pumped to terminals: "Oil started flowing again to Iraqi sea terminals for export after a pipeline torn up last week by saboteurs was repaired, an official of the US-led coalition in Iraq told AFP. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Iraq: How Many Captives?: "Hours after terrorists released a video threatening to behead a South Korean hostage in Iraq, a report surfaced that the same kidnappers may be holding as many as ten other foreigners captive. The report has not been officially confirmed."

In CBS News: Iraq Crisis

Judge declares Abu Ghraib a crime scene: "A military judge on Monday declared the notorious Abu Ghraib prison a crime scene that cannot be demolished as President Bush had offered. He also refused to move the trial of a soldier accused of abusing inmates."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Abu Ghraib prison will stand...Hostages in Iraq...Clinton book in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Iraq begins pumping oil to Basra export terminal in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Generals face Abu Ghraib hearings: "A judge says the defence team of a soldier accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners can question top US generals."

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq (UK Edition)

Report: Others Held With S. Korean in Iraq: "As many as 10 foreigners are being held captive with a South Korean recently abducted by militants in Iraq, a South Korean news report said Monday. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Head of US forces in Iraq to be questioned in prisoner scandal: "A military judge said the defence team of a US soldier accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners will be allowed to interview the head of US-led forces in Iraq and ordered that Abu Ghraib prison where the alleged outrages took place should remain open. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Lawyer Wants Bush on Witness Stand Over Iraq Abuse: "A lawyer defending a U.S. soldiercharged with abusing prisoners in Iraq said on Monday he wouldseek to put President Bush and Secretary of Defense DonaldRumsfeld on the witness stand. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Al-Qaida ties to Iran, Pakistan cited: "WASHINGTON ? The chairman of the Sept. 11 commission said Sunday that al-Qaida had much more interaction with Iran and Pakistan than it did with Iraq."

In Kansas City Star: Iraq

Judge denies hearing in prison abuse case: "A lawyer for one of three soldiers accused in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal asked a military judge Monday to order a new hearing into charges against his client because the turmoil of Iraq prevented him from being able to question witnesses. The judge denied the request."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Saudis wonder about municipal election: "A father and son stop in front of a clearly marked "Ballot Box." The son asks, "Daddy, what's a ballot box?" The father opens a money bag, and responds: "It's for a charitable society. Here, put this riyal in it." The cartoon, which appeared in Al Watan newspaper in November, pokes fun at the Saudis' lack of experience in elections."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Sadr invited to Iraqi conference: "The committee preparing next month's Iraqi national conference says it has invited the radical Shia cleric, Moqtada Sadr."

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq



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