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A sense of "foreboding" in Washington... (IRAQ)

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  • A sense of "foreboding" in Washington... (IRAQ)

    This article is definitely worth reading and is reasonably factual.

    I wonder why I had a sense of foreboding even before the conflict
    started... Was I smart or was Bush/Cheney admin so stupid? I tend to
    think that the real answer is both.

    Like I said earlier... Immoral wars are much more difficult to win.


    ================================================== ====================

    In article <[email protected]>, United Press International wrote:

    WASHINGTON, July 1 (UPI) -- The top U.S. administrator in
    Iraq has made an informal request for additional U.S. troops on the
    ground in the face of increasing U.S. casualties, but the Defense
    Department is opposed to an increase, administration and U.S.
    intelligence officials told United Press International.
    These sources said L. Paul Bremer's request was made 10 days
    ago to the appropriate administration authorities and also was
    discussed 10 days ago in a meeting of senior Pentagon officials.
    Publicly, however, defense officials remained tightlipped.
    "I can't comment on personal communications between
    Ambassador Bremer and Secretary of Defense (Donald) Rumsfeld," said
    Brian Whitman, deputy assistant secretary of Defense.
    But a former senior administration official told UPI that
    Bremer and his generals, "who are all on the same page," had been
    poised to make a formal request for more troops when Rumsfeld and
    perhaps the White House asked that the request be kept "informal."
    "That way when officials are asked, they can always say that
    no official request was made," the source said.
    Whitman again said, "I cannot go into the personal
    communications of senior Pentagon leadership," but acknowledged that
    an informal request could have been made.
    "You never make a formal request," a former senior Pentagon
    official commented: "If you do, and it's not granted, it almost
    means you have to resign."
    Asked if the matter had been discussed 10 days ago at a
    high-level Pentagon meeting, Whitman said he could not comment.
    Administration officials also told UPI that, if granted,
    U.S. troop levels could rise to 200,000 on the ground from the
    present total of 150,000.
    Pentagon spokeswoman, Cmdr. Diane Perry, told UPI in
    reference to the Bremer request, "I have not heard of that report."
    She did say, however, Congress must approve the nomination
    of Lt. Gen. John Abizaid as successor to Gen. Tommy Franks, head of
    the U.S. Central Command, before the Joint Chiefs of Staff would
    undertake a new assessment to determine if additional troops were
    required in Iraq.
    Franks is expected to retire later this summer, the Pentagon
    announced in May.
    But at least four administration officials told UPI the
    Pentagon was opposed to any increase in troop levels.
    "This is a touchy subject and more troops being sent in
    could look like we are having less than complete success," one
    Pentagon official said.
    One former Pentagon official said Bremer agreed reluctantly
    to keep the request informal, making clear if the situation in Iraq
    did not dramatically improve, he might resign.
    Since President Bush announced the end of the major combat
    operations May 1, at least 31 British and U.S. troops have been
    killed and 178 hurt in Iraq.
    Some say this may be one reason the administration is
    reluctant to beef up its troop numbers.
    A former very senior CIA official commented: "There is a
    deep foreboding spreading across (Washington) about Iraq. Bremer
    can't win without another 100,000 troops, and he isn't going to get
    them. U.S. troops on the ground are almost used up, and literally
    tens of thousands of active duty and reservists are blocked from
    leaving the Army. We've got trouble, and we're in Vietnam-era
    But there is agreement on one matter.
    Several administration officials and serving U.S.
    intelligence agents said they believe the United States is now
    involved in a guerilla war in Iraq, also despite the Defense
    Department's denials.
    "It's what I would call a long-term, low-intensity
    conflict," an administration source said, adding: "There is a high
    degree of concern at the White House."
    Evidence that the increasingly brazen attacks on U.S. forces
    in Iraq are being coordinated was made clear when the National
    Security Agency intercepted what one former senior CIA official
    described as "tactical communications between (anti-American) Iraqi
    According to one U.S. government Middle East expert, "You
    have an American being killed or wounded every day. That is not
    happening by accident."
    Another U.S. government official said, "The terrorists are
    testing us, our ability to react, prevent, pre-empt. They are taking
    time to build capabilities to see what the reaction will be, and
    what level of force we will respond with. Then they will move to the
    next level of escalation."
    "I would say from looking at the attacks that there is a
    pattern of coordination," said Mike O'Hanlon, military analyst for
    the Brookings Institution.
    Then why the reluctance on the part of Rumsfeld and others
    to concede that it's a guerrilla war?
    At a news conference Monday, Rumsfeld denied that the
    attacks were indicative of a guerrilla campaign. He described the
    assaults on U.S. soldiers as "acts of terrorism."
    Pat Lang, a former senior Defense Intelligence Agency
    official and Arab world specialist, was critical of Rumsfeld, saying
    his position "is eerily reminiscent of those which I have seen and
    heard made across the globe by governments which did not wish to
    give any degree of 'legitimacy' to their guerrilla opponents."
    Lang added that by "attacking in many places in small
    attacks (you) demonstrate the U.S. inability to defend territory,
    people and forces" unless you "concentrate your forces, which
    usually means you surrender territory and population to the
    The core of the armed anti-American resistance consists of
    "small, organized groups" of Saddam's Special Republican Guard, a
    former senior CIA official told UPI.
    "The good news was that the U.S. Army had no pitched battle
    with these guys in taking Iraq. The bad news is that they melted
    away and formed the core of guerilla resistance."
    The highest threat areas in terms of incident frequency are
    in and around Baghdad, administration officials said, speaking on
    condition of anonymity.
    After nightfall, attacks have occurred in the south-central
    region along Highway 8 from al-Hilla to Baghdad, these sources said.
    Attacks on U.S. and coalition convoys have continued, with
    rocket-propelled grenades, or RPGs, used to strike vehicles in
    between the lead and last vehicle in the convoy, these sources said.
    The most frequent targets are coalition convoys,
    installations and patrols, according to these sources.
    On Tuesday, eight U.S. soldiers were wounded when their
    vehicle was destroyed outside Mustansiriyah University in the heart
    of Baghdad, news reports said. Accounts differ: Some describe a
    drive-by attack and others say the attacks used grenades. One
    soldier died Wednesday of his wounds, CNN reported.
    Reports of daily incidents, a partial list of which were
    obtained by UPI from former U.S. intelligence officials, are
    chilling to read:
    "29JUN03 General: Looting and unrest making expansion of
    port operations difficult.
    "29JUN03 1130 hrs: Coalition mounted patrol was fired on by
    passing vehicle near U.N. compound.
    "29JUN03 0230 hours: Two RPGs fired at al-Rasheed Hotel, no
    damage reported.
    "28JUN03 2144 hrs: Karkh: RPG fired against static coalition
    "28JUN03 2200 hrs: Ahmad Ghajar: Mortar rounds impacted in
    area, specific target unknown.
    "28JUN03 2100 hrs: Tikrit: Coalition convoy ambushed near
    bridge, vehicle struck by RPG.
    "28JUN03 1900 hrs. Al-Hilla: Grenade attack against Iraqi
    police station.
    "28JUN03 1800 hrs: Mahmudian: Coalition convey ambushed,
    vehicle(s) targeted with RPG and small arms fire.
    "28JUN03: 1200 hrs: Mosul: Coalition patrol received pistol
    fire from passing vehicle.
    "28JUN203: Daytime: N-NW Baghdad: Coalition contractor shot
    and killed at point blank range, one round to the head, one in the
    "28JUN03: 0800 hrs: SW Baghdad: Coalition convoy ambushed,
    targeted by IED (individual explosive device).
    "28JUN03: 0600 hrs: Al-Kut: IED (improvised explosive
    device) attack against Iraq police sub-station," and so on.
    There are a total of 11 attacks either on coalition forces
    or Iraqi police cooperating with U.S. forces, nine attacks on June
    28 alone, most of these not reported in the U.S. media.
    One U.S. specialist in warfare said that part of the
    guerilla strategy was to use the attacks "to lure the U.S. forces in
    Iraq into enforcing a grim suppression" of hostile elements.
    Coalition forces are currently engaged in Operation
    Sidewinder, a sweep designed to gather up suspected Iraqi attackers
    or their supporters.
    "The guerrillas hope that by goading U.S. troops into
    searching Iraqis, by bullying them, by even killing them, that, over
    time, every Iraqi in the country who represents anything important
    will grow more and more hostile to the United States," this
    specialist said.
    "There is no doubt that we are involved in an unconventional
    war," said a sensitively placed congressional staffer. "It's partly
    a product of U.S. actions, our inability to restore services and
    order, that we have alienated some portions of the (Iraqi)
    He added: "What we need to do put pressure on the population
    Another congressional staffer said the mood in Congress was
    privately very gloomy. "Many think that we ain't seen nothing yet."
    "Saddam still thinks he can win," said Pat Clawson, Middle
    East expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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