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  1. NRG
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    Iraq citizens deem U.S. soldier as sheik

    Horn, 25, a native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., acknowledges he had little interest in the region before coming here. But a local sheik friendly to U.S. forces, Dr. Mohammed Ismail Ahmed, explained the inner workings of rural Iraqi society on one of Horn's first Humvee patrols.

    Horn says he was intrigued, and started making a point of stopping by all the villages, all but one dominated by Sunni Arabs, to talk to people about their life and security problems.

    Moreover, he pressed for development projects in the area: he now boasts that he helped funnel $136,000 worth of aid into the area. Part of that paid for delivery of clean water to 30 villages during the broiling summer months.

    Some sheiks later gave him five sheep and a postage stamp of land, fulfilling some of the requirements for sheikdom. Others encouraged him to start looking for a second wife, which Horn's spouse back in Florida immediately vetoed.
  2. #322  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    Iraq citizens deem U.S. soldier as sheik
    Some sheiks later gave him five sheep and a postage stamp of land, fulfilling some of the requirements for sheikdom. Others encouraged him to start looking for a second wife, which Horn's spouse back in Florida immediately vetoed.

    (Thanks for the great post.....sorry no article, but that just struck me funny on the Monday morning)
  3. #323  

    Good and Bad:

    Iraq hopes to finish constitution on time

    BAGHDAD, Iraq - Bowing to intense U.S. pressure, the head of the commission writing Iraq’s new constitution agreed Monday to stick to the Aug. 15 deadline to complete the draft on condition that political leaders can exert their influence to overcome remaining differences.

    Chairman Humam Hammoudi told parliament that he had recommended the commission formally ask the National Assembly for more time after the members deadlocked on such issues as the role of Islam, federalism and distribution of the national wealth.

    But U.S. authorities ratcheted up pressure Sunday to stick by the deadline, which Washington considers essential to maintain political momentum, undermine the insurgency and pave the way for the Americans and their coalition partners to draw down troops next year.


    If two-thirds of the people in any three of the 18 provinces vote against it during the October referendum, the constitution will be defeated. Kurds form an overwhelming majority in three provinces and Sunni Arabs hold sway in at least four.

    Since assuming his post this month, Khalilzad has urged the Iraqis to show statesmanship and compromise to forge a “national compact” in which Sunni Arabs would gradually abandon the insurgency and enable American troops to go home.

    The Americans fear that any delay in the constitutional process would serve as an opening to insurgents and widen the gulf among ethnic and religious groups.
    Draft Iraqi constitution elevates role of Islam
    Proposal may erode women's rights in marriage, divorce, inheritance. AQ steps in to take side and offer threats.

    BAGHDAD, Iraq - July 26, 2005
    A part of Iraq’s draft constitution obtained by The Associated Press gives Islam a major role in Iraqi civil law, raising concerns that women could lose rights in marriage, divorce and inheritance.

    The proposal also appears to rule out non-governmental militias, an area addressed Monday by U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. Urging Iraqis to build national institutions, he said there is no place for factional forces that “build the infrastructure for a future civil war.”

    The civil law section, one of six to make up Iraq's new charter, covers the rights and duties of citizens and public and private freedoms. The language is not final, but members of the drafting committee said there was agreement on most of its wording.


    Terrorist group issues warning
    On Tuesday, Iraq’s most feared terrorist group warned Sunni Arabs against taking part in the October referendum on the constitution, saying their participation would make them infidels — and therefore subject to the same treatment as occupation forces.

    In a statement posted on the Internet, al-Qaida in Iraq slammed recent calls by some Sunni leaders encouraging the religious minority, which forms the core of the insurgency, to get involved in the political process.


    Rollback for women's rights?
    Most worrying for women's groups has been the section on civil rights, which some believe would significantly roll back women's rights under a 1959 civil law enacted by a secular regime.

    In the copy obtained by the AP on Monday, Article 19 of the second chapter says "the followers of any religion or sect are free to choose their civil status according to their religious or sectarian beliefs."

    Shiite Muslim leaders have pushed for a stronger role for Islam in civil law but women's groups argue that could base legal interpretations on stricter religious lines that are less favorable to women.
  4. #324  
    Seven Marines killed in Iraq, toll passes 1,800

    By Michael Georgy1 hour, 27 minutes ago

    Seven American Marines have been killed in fighting in Iraq's western Anbar province, the guerrilla heartland which keeps challenging U.S. and Iraqi troops despite repeated security crackdowns.

    One of Iraq's most violent Islamic militant groups, Army of Ansar al-Sunna, claimed responsibility for the deaths, saying it had killed eight Marines.

    "The lions of monotheism succeeded in killing eight American Marines, slaughtering some of them and shooting the rest after ambushing them in al Jazeera area, north of Haditha," it said in a statement posted on an Islamist Web site.

    The attacks push the number of U.S. troops to have died since the start of the war in March 2003 to above 1,800, according to a Reuters count based on information provided by the Pentagon...
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  5. #325  
    And 14 more of my Leatherneck buddies were killled today by IED in Haditha.

    There is something there the Jihadis don't want to give up.

    Rest in peace, my brothers.
  6. #326  

    Tough talking to Baghdad’s new government. Why the language matters.

    Armed with a serious to-do list, Rumsfeld told Jaafari that Washington would not look kindly on any delays in submitting a draft Iraqi constitution to parliament by the Aug. 15 deadline. Any postponements caused by bickering among the country's three main factions could push back an October nationwide constitutional referendum and national elections slated for December, ultimately jeopardizing plans to begin withdrawing large numbers of American soldiers in spring 2006. Rumsfeld also told the Iraqi PM to be ready to assume more responsibility for up to 15,000 Iraqi detainees in American custody and to make plans to take over security duties from more than 20,000 foreign Coalition soldiers who are scheduled to withdraw by December.

    Rumsfeld offered some of his trademark blunt advice to the new government: start talking tough to neighboring Syria and Iran "to see that foreign terrorists stop coming across those borders and that their neighbors do not harbor insurgents and finance insurgents in a way that is destructive of what the Iraqi people are trying to accomplish," he said. That statement not only highlighted Iraq's largest external security threat, but underscored a point that tends to get lost in the fog of propaganda on the ground here. The new Iraq government is facing not one security threat, but two. The biggest one is from Iraqi insurgents—mostly drawn from the ranks of the disaffected Sunni minority who enjoyed favored status under Saddam Hussein. The secondary threat comes from foreign suicide bombers—the kind Western governments vilify as a grave threat to human civilization.

    The distinction between resistance and terror is an important one—and one not often made by U.S. officials in Iraq. Take, for example, the daily press releases from the U.S. military via their combined public information center, a.k.a. CPIC—here in Baghdad. A military operation in Mosul: 10 terrorists captured, is a typical comment. A firefight in outside Baghdad: three terrorists killed. A security sweep based on good intelligence—a terrorist operation thwarted. It all sounds pretty clear. But it's not. The vast majority of these so-called terrorists that the U.S. military brags about killing and capturing are actually insurgents fighting the American occupation and the fledgling Iraqi government. Categorizing them as terrorists has probably played well with a gullible American public—indeed, it probably makes them feel safer—but factually speaking it's wrong.

    The vast majority of attacks against U.S. and Iraqi security forces are perpetrated by former members of Saddam Hussein's regime and Sunnis fearful of being politically marginalized by the Kurds and majority Shiites. Then there are the foreign Muslims coming into Iraq to wage jihad against the United States and its allies, primarily through suicide bombings. The first group sees itself as resisting an army of occupation, the second neither cares about the Iraqi people nor the country's political status, wanting only to thwart the Americans by creating fear and chaos. The latter group can fairly be called terrorists.

    What's the difference? ............... FULL STORY HERE
  7. #327  

    Citizens Help Troops Capture Suspects, Take Down Safehouse

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2005 – Coalition forces in Iraq arrested 10 suspected terrorist during a raid in western Ramadi today after Iraqi citizens pointed out a safehouse where the suspects were hiding and storing weapons. The military said a local Iraqi citizen confirmed the building was being used as a terrorist safehouse. When coalition forces approached the building, several suspects fled, officials said. Six of them were immediately detained, and four others were captured hiding inside a nearby Mosque after Iraqi citizens alerted coalition forces to their whereabouts.
    Meanwhile, a male who lived at the house told coalition forces the suspected terrorists were storing explosives inside, where his two small children remained.

    Coalition forces immediately rescued the children, and then destroyed the safehouse using attack helicopters. Secondary explosions were seen in the blast, officials said.

    The military said a search of the destroyed building afterward turned up improvised explosive devices and other weapons.

    In other news from Iraq, Iraqi army soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Intervention Force, and coalition forces searched an apartment complex in Fallujah on Aug. 2 and found a 155 mm artillery round, a rocket, a mortar round and a rocket-propelled grenade round. An explosive ordnance disposal team was called in and destroyed the munitions in place.
  8. #328  

    Almost 900 Detainees in Iraq Set Free in July, Officials Say

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2005 – Almost 900 of the nearly 2,000 detainees held in brigade- and division-level internment facilities in Iraq were released in July, U.S. military officials in Baghdad reported.
    "The release of detainees is a positive step toward the fundamentals of establishing a democracy," said Army Col. Arnaldo Claudio, the provost marshal for Multinational Corps Iraq, which oversees combat and stability operations in the country. "It is also an indication of Iraqi and coalition forces working together towards a common objective - a free and prosperous Iraq."

    The colonel emphasized that the detainees had been treated well. "Detainees are treated humanely and receive medical and dental care, as well as three meals per day, as they are processed through the detainee system," Claudio noted. "In addition to the health screening, detainee spiritual needs are addressed through access to a Quran and prayer rug."

    Claudio went on to say that the release of nearly 7,000 Iraqis from division and brigade internment facilities during the first six months of the year demonstrates the case review system set in place works.
  9. #329  

    Iraqi, U. S. Forces Conduct Targeted Searches in Fallujah

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2005 – Iraqi and coalition soldiers conducted targeted searches for terrorist operatives in Fallujah, Iraq, July 30, military officials reported.
    Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Intervention Force, and soldiers with the U. S. Army's 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, searched more than 445 homes during the operation. A cache of bomb-making materials was found, including an artillery fuse, 20 blasting caps and five triggering devices.

    Officials noted that all of the items were found hidden in an air conditioning duct staged on a pile of trash. An Iraqi explosive ordnance disposal team removed the materials.

    Three suspected terrorists were detained during the operation. Two of the suspects were found in possession of an AK-47 assault rifle, five loaded magazines, four bayonets and insurgent propaganda materials. The third suspect had a . 38- caliber revolver.

    In a similar operation, soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Intervention Force, searched 205 houses and captured one mortar tripod and an improvised explosive device detonator, while detaining four suspected terrorists.
  10. #330  

    Insurgent Search Continues
    Five Soldiers Killed in Iraq

    The schoolhouse was rigged with explosives and fortified with . 30 caliber machine guns in the windows, officials said. Coalition forces determined that the school was being used as a weapons cache site.

    The engagement began while coalition forces were conducting a cordon and search of the area, during which a weapons cache of rockets was discovered nearby. When coalition troops counter attacked the schoolhouse, they were supported by M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks and combat aircraft that dropped bombs on targets.

    Officials described secondary explosions as being larger detonations than those from the bombs that were dropped.

    No civilian casualties were reported and the school was not in session at the time.

    Several terrorists were confirmed killed during the incident.

    In Samarra, Task Force Liberty soldiers killed one terrorist and captured two others July 30 after observing them trying to emplace a 155 mm artillery shell roadside bomb in a hole one of them had been digging earlier in Samarra, U. S. military officials in Tikrit reported today.

    During a search of the area, troops found two more 155 mm rounds, wire and a cell phone inside a nearby car.

    While working in west Baghdad July 28, a Task Force Baghdad unit discovered a weapons cache containing bomb-making materials, detonation devices and a roadside bomb in the beginning stages of construction, officials noted.

    Fifteen minutes later, another group of Task Force Baghdad soldiers found a car bomb in an old truck stopped in the middle of a road in the Karb de Gla district of south Baghdad. The soldiers noticed wires running from the car and followed them to a location where they found three suspected terrorists. The suspects were taken into custody and an explosives team safely detonated the bomb, officials said.

    Over the course of the day, coalition forces found three more roadside bombs in south Baghdad and another bomb in north Baghdad before terrorists could use them. Explosives ordnance disposal teams safely detonated the bombs.

    Iraqi and U. S. troops also nabbed 10 terror suspects while carrying out early morning combat operations throughout Iraq's capital city of Baghdad July 27, according to a Task Force Baghdad public affairs spokesperson.

    Three of the detainees were specifically targeted individuals, including a man thought to be an arms dealer who was captured by Macedonian soldiers in northwest Baghdad.

    Iraqi police and Task Force Baghdad soldiers were chasing a vehicle driven by terrorists when it flipped over. One of the two men in the car got out and the Iraqi police arrested him, officials said. The other man came out of the car waving a pistol at the patrol and was killed by the Iraqi-U. S. patrol.

    Earlier in the day, Task Force Baghdad soldiers found a roadside bomb near a major highway in south Baghdad. The bomb exploded after the patrol cordoned off the area, officials said.
  11. #331  
    Iraq to Have Gov't Based on a Parliament
    Thursday, August 04, 2005,2933,164698,00.html

    BAGHDAD, Iraq — The new political system in Iraq will be centered around a strong parliament that can prevent a dictator from running the country in the future, a constitution committee member said Wednesday.

    Thamer al-Ghadban (search) said there will be bicameral system: a parliament that is elected by the people, and a regional council with representatives elected by residents of each province.

    "There has been an agreement that the political system in Iraq will be parliamentary," al-Ghadban told reporters. "This system was chosen to prevent any chance of a dictatorship in the future."

    Al-Ghadban said that parliament will have the right to summon and question senior state employees. It will also be authorized to grant votes of confidence to the government.


    The president will be elected by the National Assembly for a four-year term, the prime minister will be the supreme commander of the armed forces, and the defense minister must be a civilian, al-Ghadban said.

    He said there has been an agreement on decentralized governments in the regions. He added that there will be a "federal court whose job is to solve problems between regions or between regions and the central government."

    Another member, Shiite cleric Ahmed al-Safi (search), said disagreement on the role of Islam continues.

    "There are three different opinion about Islam's role," he said. "One says that Islam should be the main source of legislation, another says Islam should be a main source of legislation, while the third says Islam should be one of the sources of legislation."
  12. #332  
    Why can't we see stuff like this in the MSM?
  13. #333  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sforever
    Why can't we see stuff like this in the MSM?

    Our forces, even the Iraqi police, successfully kill and capture hundreds every day probably. That is not notable enough for the network news.

    When 20 marine reservists, from the same part of Ohio, are killed in 2 days --- that's news, and it provides a revealing window into our last throes there.

    Maybe you saw my very first post in the off-topic forum:

    "damn liberal media !

    everyday they report on the 2 or 3 cars that've blown up in Iraq.

    I never see no report on the thousands and thousands of cars that did'nt !! "

    (we can discuss this further on the Iraq discussion thread if you want).
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  14. #334

    Switched Off in Basra
    New York Times July 31, 2005

    Basra, Iraq

    ...reform is failing the very people it is intended to serve: average Iraqis who simply want to go about their lives. As has been widely reported of late, Basran politics (and everyday life) is increasingly coming under the control of Shiite religious groups, from the relatively mainstream Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq to the bellicose followers of the rebel cleric Moktada al-Sadr. Recruited from the same population of undereducated, underemployed men who swell these organizations' ranks, many of Basra's rank-and-file police officers maintain dual loyalties to mosque and state.

    In May, the city's police chief told a British newspaper that half of his 7,000-man force was affiliated with religious parties. This may have been an optimistic estimate: one young Iraqi officer told me that "75 percent of the policemen I know are with Moktada al-Sadr - he is a great man." And unfortunately, the British seem unable or unwilling to do anything about it.

    The fact that the British are in effect strengthening the hand of Shiite organizations is not lost on Basra's residents.

    "No one trusts the police," one Iraqi journalist told me. "If our new ayatollahs snap their fingers, thousands of police will jump." Mufeed al-Mushashaee, the leader of a liberal political organization called the Shabanea Rebellion, told me that he felt that "the entire force should be dissolved and replaced with people educated in human rights and democracy." ...

    ... At the city's university, for example, self-appointed monitors patrol the campuses, ensuring that women's attire and makeup are properly Islamic. "I'd like to throw them off the grounds, but who will do it?" a university administrator asked me. "Most of our police belong to the same religious parties as the monitors."

    Similarly, the director of Basra's maternity hospital, Mohammad Nasir, told me that he frequently catches staff members pilfering equipment to sell to private hospitals, but hesitates to call the police: "How do I know what religious party they are affiliated with, and what their political connection is to the thieves?"

    It is particularly troubling that sectarian tensions are increasing in Basra, which has long been held up as the brightest spot of the liberated Iraq. "Are the police being used for political purposes?" asked Jamal Khazal Makki, the head of the Basra branch of the Sunni-dominated Islamic Party. "They arrest people and hold them in custody, even though the courts order them released. Meanwhile, the police rarely detain anyone who belongs to a Shiite religious party."

    An Iraqi police lieutenant, who for obvious reasons asked to remain anonymous, confirmed to me the widespread rumors that a few police officers are perpetrating many of the hundreds of assassinations - mostly of former Baath Party members - that take place in Basra each month. He told me that there is even a sort of "death car": a white Toyota Mark II that glides through the city streets, carrying off-duty police officers in the pay of extremist religious groups to their next assignment.

    Meanwhile, the British stand above the growing turmoil, refusing to challenge the Islamists' claim on the hearts and minds of police officers. This detachment angers many Basrans. "The British know what's happening but they are asleep, pretending they can simply establish security and leave behind democracy," said the police lieutenant who had told me of the assassinations. "Before such a government takes root here, we must experience a transformation of our minds."

    In other words, real security reform requires psychological as well as physical training. Unless the British include in their security sector reform strategy some basic lessons in democratic principles, Basra risks falling further under the sway of Islamic extremists and their Western-trained police enforcers.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  15. #335  

    Marine Killed in Iraq; 28 Suspected Terrorists Captured

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2005 – A U.S. Marine assigned to 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), was killed in action Aug. 3 by small-arms fire during combat operations in Ramadi, Iraq, about 60 miles west of Baghdad, U.S. military officials at Camp Fallujah reported today.
    The Marine's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

    Elsewhere in Iraq, multinational forces from Task Force Freedom detained 28 suspected terrorists Aug. 3 and today. The task force also responded to an attack against Iraqi police in northern Iraq, killing the attackers, according to military officials in Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, about 240 miles north of Baghdad.

    Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, from Fort Carson, Colo., today detained 15 suspected terrorists during a cordon-and-search operation northwest of Tal Afar, which is near the Syrian border. On Aug. 3, soldiers from the regiment killed an unreported number of terrorists who were attacking Iraqi police in Tal Afar. No American soldiers were injured during the attack, officials noted.

    Also on Aug. 3, soldiers from 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, detained four suspected terrorists after an improvised explosive device attack on their patrol in eastern Mosul.

    Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, detained four suspected terrorists during two separate operations in Rawah and Mosul. Soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, detained three more suspected terrorists at a checkpoint near Rawah. Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, detained two suspected terrorists while patrolling near the Syrian border.

    In other news, Iraqi army soldiers established "flash" traffic control points at several different locations Aug. 3 to identify anti-Iraq forces, U.S. officials said. Soldiers with the 3rd Iraqi Army Division manned at least four different temporary checkpoints along a major route in the area, detaining 11 suspected insurgents. The detainees were transported to the Iraqi army's 3rd Division headquarters.
  16. #336  

    British Commander Optimistic About Southeastern Iraq

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2005 – The British Royal Marine in charge of coalition operations in southeastern Iraq is optimistic about ongoing efforts there to train Iraqi army and police forces to eventually assume security duties. "We have been able to force ahead with the main effort, which is security sector reform," Maj. Gen. Jim Dutton, commander of Multinational Division Southeast, told Pentagon reporters today via a video link from Basra.

    Dutton's 13,000-plus-troop multinational command is made up of 7,900 British troops, 3,000 Italians, 640 Australians, 622 Romanians, 562 Japanese, 388 Danes, 97 Czechs, 33 Lithuanians, five Norwegians, and two Portuguese.

    Those troops, along with Iraqi army and police forces, are charged with providing security for four southeastern Iraqi provinces, which make up an area half the size of Great Britain. Dutton's area of operations contains the cities of Nasiriyah, Basrah, and Umm Qasr, Iraq's only deep-water port.

    Dutton said his command would continue to build on its partnership with the Iraqi army, police and border-enforcement elements "until they are capable of conducting operations successfully without our direct assistance." The "relatively benign environment" across southeastern Iraq has contributed to advancements in regional security and stability, Dutton said, although there are occasional inter-tribal disputes and citizen frustrations over a jittery electricity and water infrastructure to resolve.

    Yet, life in southeastern Iraq can still be dangerous. Dutton noted that roadside explosives have killed five British soldiers in Maysan province in the past three months. Improvised explosive devices are "a major concern" within his area of operations, Dutton said.


    Dutton said there is "no shortage of volunteers" who want to join the new Iraqi army, noting there are now about 5,500 Iraqi soldiers in his sector. That number is expected to increase to 9,000 soldiers next year, he said.

    The new Iraqi police are receiving good training at academies in Jordan or Baghdad, Dutton said. There are about 25,000 police in southeastern Iraq, he said, more than 14,000 of whom have received training.

    Any future departure of coalition troops from southeastern Iraq would be "conditions-based, and not time-based" and would be a joint decision made between the coalition and the Iraqi government, Dutton said.

    Iraq has "a long way to go," Dutton acknowledged. But, he emphasized, "there is no doubt that this country has the resources and the people have the natural talent and desire for improvement that should prove to be a winning combination."
  17. NRG
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    7115 South Boundary Boulevard
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    Phone: (813) 827-5894; FAX: (813) 827-2211; DSN 651-5894


    August 1, 2005
    Release Number: 05-08-01C



    BAGHDAD, Iraq – Two separate bomb attacks July 30 killed five Task Force Baghdad Soldiers during patrols in Baghdad neighborhoods.

    One Soldier was killed when a patrol struck an improvised explosive device around 1:40 p.m. July 30 in al-Dora south of Baghdad.

    Four more Soldiers were killed when their patrol southwest of Baghdad struck an improvised explosive device around 11 p.m. July 30.

    Two Soldiers were wounded in the al-Dora attack.

    The names of the deceased Soldiers are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

    The incidents are under investigation.

    Please contact Task Force Baghdad Public Affairs at for more information

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