The Command Post  

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Conceived by Michele, created by Alan, and authored by the best damn bloggers in the world.

Why? So we can post breaking war news in one convenient place, and not all over the web.

What counts? Links and breaking news (keeping the rants for our home blogs).

Join the roll: email Alan at avocare at comcast dot net or Michele at michele at asmallvictory dot net.





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History As It Happened



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Post: There is Evidence Hussein Was Injured

You Bastards Owe Me

I dragged my fat ass out of bed to check this blog and see if anyone had reported it. I think this is very significant, because a dead Hussein, this early on, may end this conflict before it really starts and do the left a world of damage. I believe I will plug myself at this point. Relax, I'm not referring to some grotesque act of autoeroticism. I mean I will refer you to my exceptionally fine blog, Little Tiny Lies, on which I talked about how great it would be if Saddam were dead.

Anyway, here it is. The Washington Post and some other outlets now say there is evidence that Saddam has been injured, because right after our assassination attempt, urgent medical attention was sought on his behalf. Apart from that, our intelligence now tells us Hussein was probably in the building we bombed when it was hit.

I don't mean to come across as just another insensitive warmongering scumbag, even though I am, but I have to say, I sincerely hope Hussein is dead. Him and Qusay and Uday and Ebay and Ixnay and Ofay and Etouffe and the whole lot. I believe this is a regime which depends on fear; the fear of Hussein and his sons. Without that fear, the motivation of Iraq's conscripts, and maybe even the supposedly loyal Republican Guard, will evaporate.

Hope the Post got it right for once.

Thanks for the privilege of posting here. I hope I'm not repeating what you already know.

Addendum

Sorry to hog bandwidth. I have a better story which gives more detail.

This is really encouraging. We now believe Saddam was in the building, and the article lists the horrifying weapons that were used to destroy it. If Dub pulled this off, the Democrats will be lucky if he isn't made Emperor.

  Posted by Steve H. | Permalink |


3/20/2003  

 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Ollie North Appears

Ollie North is making a report right now on FOX. He witnessed the fatal helicopter crash. He was in the first chopper, another reporter in the second. It was the third that crashed. Both reporters turned over their videotape to the military for investigation. The crash occurred just inside the Kuwait border.

  Posted by John (Useful Fools) | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | More on that resistance thing

ABC has it.

  Posted by Alisa InWonderland | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

MSNBC is now identifying the unit that has allegedly surrendered as the 11th Division. A division-sized surrender would be a massive military -- not to mention PR -- victory.

  Posted by SunDevilDog | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

David Bloom on MSNBC was just talking about reports that he has received -- and deems credible -- that an entire Iraqi unit (a regiment, I believe) has surrendered (in his words, "signed surrender papers").

  Posted by SunDevilDog | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Reuters

One US column is now more than 150 kilometers into Iraq.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | The Helicopter Crash

Right now on MSNBC, Bob Arnot is describing the experience of being with the mission on which the CH-46 crashed. He saw it: he was flying in another machine in that formation. When this story gets printed, it'll be fairly harrowing. Basically, it was all about weather (I'm a private pilot, and the courage that he's describing at launching into this weather is really something), although he spoke of Iraqi ground forces shooting back at an AC-130, too.

Think about that. That's big nerve. Evidently, it hasn't all been a cake-walk.


  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Incoming

Sirens and gas masks again in Kuwait (FOX).

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | BBC America

BBC America has a reporter embedded with British units in the oil fields near Basra. I watched one report and there was some gunfire and mortar fire during the report. I don't know how much live coverage they have, but this was from a sector I hadn't seen before.

BTW... has anyone heard from FOX's Oliver North since the war started?

  Posted by John (Useful Fools) | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Iraqi resistance?

IBA radio reports that the Marines forces on their way to Baghdad were met with "fierce resistance" from the Iraqis, who shot anti-tank missiles at the Marines just after they crossed the border from Kuwait. British artillery is said to be pounding the Iraqi forces at this time.
Update: IDF radio radio reports the same, citing Reuters.

  Posted by Alisa InWonderland | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Looking Down The Road...

...This looks like it could be a serious problem.

I don't know why it shouldn't be: it's been brewing for a long, long time.


  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

This excerpt from the Washington Post article cited by Meryl below seems to me to be quite revealing:

One official argued that the intelligence about Hussein's whereabouts "could be a provocation." By planting the information, "the Iraqis could be luring American aircraft into a trap where they could be shot down," the official said, adding it would then be a propaganda victory for Hussein.

If there was fear among our intelligence officials that the information we were given could be intentionally misleading, that would indicate three things: first, that the information was clearly the product of humint; second, that the asset providing such information is not one of ours (i.e., the guy is Iraqi); and, third, that the asset must be within Saddam's inner circle. The last point is obviously the least certain, but, of course, the most compelling. It seems to me that if these U.S. intelligence officials thought that the asset could be an agent provacateur, that asset would have to also be someone that the Iraqis would think would make good bait; thus, this individual would likely be someone who we would recognize as being not only personally known to Saddam, but even close to him. This is, of course, just a theory based on that one passage, but it seems plausible under the circumstances.

To take it a step further and into the realm of totally wild speculation, could this be in any way related to the Tariq Aziz defection stories that were circulating prior to the commencement of hostilities? Is Tariq our man in Baghdad? Hmmm . . .

  Posted by SunDevilDog | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

If it's Uday, I'm supposed to dance a jig over his symbolic corpse.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

One dead Hussein?

Drudge has a headline that one of Hussein's sons is believed dead, but the link does not currently lead to a story, however.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Saw an interview with a soldier on NBC just now

The reporter asked the soldier, in regards to the surrender of the Iraqi 11th Army which John noted, "If those reports are true, is that a good thing?"

The soldiers response, "That would be a wise thing for them to do."

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Re: War Comparison

Well, Sean, during the last war I was in high school singing stupid songs about bombing Hussein and having no real understanding of what was going on. I thought did, but I didn't. I think to a lot of 15 year old guys, war is still cool. We really didn't understand the brutal nature of war then.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | DoD Image Libarary

Here's a link to the Department of Defense image library at DefenseLINK.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Lovely

NBC is running a story detailing the vicious nature of Uday Hussein. I knew he was horrible, but sheesh.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | War Comparison

If I can pose a question to the group between updates: what are people's memories of what they were doing at this point in the last war? How is the experience of watching it unfold compared to the first gulf war?

As I mentioned at my regular blog – I was building a play-fort in my bed and sneaking cookies while my parents watched the war last time. How far we’ve come.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Surrender

FoxNews is reporting 20% of the Iraqi Republican Guard has either surrendered or is planning to do so.

And that's in less than 24 hours.

UPDATE: Alan, stop beating me to it ;).

Additional note - "boots on the ground" in many sections of Iraq.

  Posted by susanna in KY | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Lotsa White Flags

More certainty: Fox is citing the Brits as saying 20% of the Republican Guard have surrendered or are planning to.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Excellent Summary Of Events

... here in the Washington Post.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Was Saddam in the bunker?

The Washington Post says he was, but they're not saying if he's dead or not. It's a very inconclusive article, but then, it's a pretty inconclusive thing, a war. Go read it, though. It's fascinating.

Meryl

  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

As much as I disagree with Gen. Clark on so many issues, his commentary is very insightful, especially in terms of bringing a military eye to seemingly mundane images. As any former military person would recognize, those guys are highly undisciplined and obviously led by someone who shares their interest in doing very little. These guys aren't digging in for a fight; they really are waiting for the first opportunity to be captured and probably looking to stay out in this spot rather than returning to their base, which they know is a target.

  Posted by SunDevilDog | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

There are Iraqi troops milling about on CNN right now, waiting to be captured.

UPDATE: Ok, maybe they don't know they're waiting to be captured, but they are.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Saddam Video not Pre-taped IMHO

The media keeps citing sources suggesting that the post-attack Saddam video may have been taped. He was known to have pre-made a bunch of video tapes for use in such circumstances.

I seriously doubt this explanation, however. Any tapes Saddam made before the attack would not have a rumpled, be-spectacled old guy in an ill-fitting uniform, reading from a notepad. He would have had his normal "command" appearance and no visible notes.

Either that guy wasn't Saddam, or he was seriously shaken up and wearing a borrowed uniform. I have comparison pictures here.

John (Useful Fools)

  Posted by John (Useful Fools) | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | We did it again - Killed some Brits

In the last gulf war we killed a bunch of Brits by friendly fire. This time it was in a sh*thook (Chinook) chopper crash - apparently all killed other than 4 crew were Brits.

If I were a British soldier, I'd be more afraid of Americans than Iraqi's.

  Posted by John (Useful Fools) | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Passing thought.....

The true hardcore Anti War-ista's, deep down, must be sorely disappointed that they don't have 1000's of baby deaths to report so far. And the human shields, if there are any left, must be scurrying around to find more dangerous spots!

  Posted by Pancho | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Iraqi 11th Army Reported Surrendering

MSNBC has a report that the Iraqi 11th Army is surrendering. They are investigating...

  Posted by John (Useful Fools) | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Palestinian propaganda

Via Ribbity Frog, the Palestinians censored Al-Jazeera. They broadcast news on the American attack on Iraq, but as soon as the subject turned to Iraqi soldiers surrendering, Al-Jazeera was pulled and Pal propaganda took its place.

What with that, and Hussein handing out another $210k to terrorists' families, no wonder the Pals were screaming "No good morning , no good night ... America, all Arabs should fight" today. By the way, schmucks--nice rhyme. Not.

  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Glad we cleared that up

The Senate finally passed that resolution in support of the troops.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Re: A Grain of Salt

The former mistress stated that the "Saddam" on television after the attack was not the real Saddam. She has a history of correctly identifying doubles vs. the real thug...err...thing. This is being taken by intelligence as one indicator that he may not have been on the TV and thus may have been injured or killed. I saw this on MSNBC when they had a Washington Post reporter on.

The link is here.

Other sources are insisting that it was Saddam.

  Posted by John (Useful Fools) | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | A Grain of Salt

Now they're reporting that they believe that Saddam was injured in the opening cruise missile attack. That report comes, apparently, from one of his former mistresses. How much weight should anyone give to that...?

  Posted by Dodd | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

The Toronto Star has an excellent summary of the day's events all on one page.

  Posted by Dodd | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

Fox News has a crew in a Hummer running a video phone feed as they've crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq tonight. The video images is choppy and pixellated, especially as the camera moves around, but when they get it secure, the pictures are pretty amazing. For most of the ride, it's been not much more than a cloud of sand being kicked up by the vehicle in front of them. But, occasionally, Greg Kelly, the reporter, gets some great images. They stopped shortly after crossing the border so a soldier could check out an Iraqi observation post that had already been shelled during the night. The soldier reached up and removed an Iraqi flag from a pole alongside the post. They've also shown shots of old tanks and vehicles abandoned after the '91 war.

This is really extroardinary to see.

I wonder why Earth First hasn't been over there to clean the desert up?

  Posted by Joe | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Feel Free To Roam About the Cabin

You’ve got to be kidding me.

The tanks on CNN have stopped, but they're just pausing to stretch their legs.

We will commence the path to victory momentarily.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Testing Steve's suggestion....

A MOMENT LATER: It seems to work.

  Posted by Dodd | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Operation Iraqi Freedom: The Catch Phrases

What is it about the media that causes catch phrases to spread among them like fire?

The one we've all heard the last few days is "shock and awe," one for which we must hold the DOD responsible.

Tonight, the expression I'm hearing all over the place is that U.S. infantry have "their boots on the ground." Even the guys in the Humvees and tanks have their boots on the ground.

I'm going to predict the next one: the Iraqi military leadership is "not running on all cylinders." That one's rapidly making the rounds Fox News.

  Posted by Joe | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Link Advice

From Steve:

Um, if you can't get the URL thing working, I'd suggest just having everyone enter HTML into the Nickname field. It seems to work fine for me, except it should be noted that the "_blank" tag seems to make it crap out.

UPDATE: This works ... as my nickname below shows. Just update your profile at the "Team" Blogger button so your nickname links to your URL via HTML.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Fox News is reporting that the military is seeing "interesting things regarding [Iraqi] command and control."

Don't know if too much should be read into this but . . .

  Posted by Steven | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | More on Fao

IBA radio says that the peninsula was taken over by the British commandos, citing eye-witnesses in Kuwait.

  Posted by Alisa InWonderland | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

That's an excellent point Sean.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | ... And I'm Back

Back on-line and (luckily) in a hotel room with high-speed access. I've added another eight or so bloggers to the roll. Frankly, looking at what's been posted since I hit the airport earlier today, this is really pretty extraordinary. Thanks to everyone who's been noting the latest.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Ahead Of Schedule

CNN's embedded correspondent with the 7th Cav just said they are now 1 and 1/2 days ahead of schedule ...

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

I didn't see that report, but you have to think that if he could, Saddam would do the easy thing and simply make a statement which removed all doubt about his status. Why wouldn't he make reference to the bombing in a live or recorded statement, unless he couldn't?

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

I just heard on ABC that the Washington Post is reporting that Hussein was at the initial target site and there is also a decent possibility that he was not the man on TV earlier.

Update-Here's the link to the post site.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | War as a Video Game

We only thought the Gulf War was well televised. This one is incredible. I am glued to my television. I prefer to watch it without the sound though. That way I can choose the music. I'm working my way towards Wagner, not there yet, but I'm working that direction. I really don't care what Ted Koppel or the other embedded ones have to say. I want to watch our warrior class, men and women, move their machines. About every 5 minutes I have to hit myself in the chest and tell myself to breathe.

  Posted by Ray Bridges | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Surrender talks are looking good.

I hope this report is true.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | copter update

According to Fox, the intial reports had the casualties backwards - 12 British commandos and 4 American aviators died in the helicopter crash.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Brits Move In

The ground war began in Iraq last night as British and American marines stormed beaches on the Gulf coast in an assault on the south-eastern city of Basra, while explosions lit up Baghdad under a heavy bombardment by cruise missiles.

Royal Marines from 3 Commando Brigade launched a helicopter and hovercraft assault on "Red Beach" where the strategically vital Shatt-al-Arab waterway meets the Gulf. There were also reports that British and US marines had taken the port town of Umm Qasr on the way to Basra.

The assault was preceded by a barrage by coalition artillery, naval guns and cruise missiles, along with aircraft launched from US carriers in the Gulf. Initial reports suggested that when the marines reached the beach, Iraqi resistance was light or non-existent.
From The Guardian.



  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | in control

Fox is reporting that the coalition forces have taken control of the Fao Peninsula



  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

It's a good thing no one was relying on the Kurds in this war ...

Because it sounds like they don't know what they're doing.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | They're Rollin'

CNN just broadcast open-desert viddie-phone imagery of US M1A1 tanks blowing past the wreckage of an Iraqi T-55 sitting there quite, quite dead. I'm switching around the cable tap that drops on my Win2K desktop, and didn't see this in time to capture it to hard disk, which is a shame because it was a simply slammin' look at how and why the main thrust of this thing is going the way I always said it would.

No pussy-footing, I've said it before and I'll say it again: we're talking about dirt-scratching savages in decrepit gear and working ridiculous, hopeless, doctrine.

I know better than to essentially rely on the experience of Desert Storm ("...fight the last war..."), but there are facts to be attended, and that's one of 'em.

The best I could hope for them is that they have enough sense to give up. Please. "Don't make me kill you, baby. Just go home and be cool."

Wesley Clark -- for whom I generally have very little use -- is doing pretty good commentary.

UPDATE: This video-phone is running with the US 7th Cavalry, and Walter Rodgers just described rolling past a "Bedouin tent" with the sides open, in which sat a dozen or so people who stared out completely dumbfounded as this awesome machine came rocking past. What he described is a collision of centuries: two distinct slices of life nearly completely mutually incomprehensible to each other, eye-to-eye for a moment on its way into history.

They're getting a lot out of that video-phone.


  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Slightly interesting info on the initial assault

The IHT indicates the info used in the initial assault was based on reports by Iraqi informants.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Protesting the protesters

Thanks to Razor from LGF, quick and easy instructions on how to ping San Francisco's Indymedia outlet and slow it down so that the kiddies can't organize as effectively.

Update: I've been informed that was illegal, and have taken out the link. Sorry.

Darn.

  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

CH-46 Update

It looks like 16 dead. Casualties are US and British.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | This...

...Ladies and Gentlemen, is Hyper-War.

Watch as history is made.....this may not go a week....



  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Meanwhile, back on the home front

US Anti-War Protests Flare, More Than 1,000 Arrests

"If this was happening in every city, there would either be martial law or an end to war," said one Berkeley student who chained himself to 16 others on a major San Francisco street.
So stupid it hurts.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Boots on the ground, South, North, and West

Senior Defense Officials have informed Fox news that ground operations underway in the North and West of Iraq, in addition to in the South.

Busy, busy day.

  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Embedded reporters change of tone?

I'm listening to an interview with Rick Leventhal on Fox, and he sounds really beat down. The host even commented on the tone of his voice. I'm wondering if other embedded reporters are having similar reactions to the "actualities" of war from within a combat troop. I'd be interested if other people who've been listening to the embeds throughout the day have noticed any change in their tone or their reporting?

  Posted by Murley | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Revolts

Some comments that there may be uprisings/ street fighting in Basra and Mosul. I've blogged before that we don't want a Warsaw Uprising scenario. If there is a legitimate revolt, we need to be close enough to help.

  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Helicopter Down

MSNBC is now reporting a CH-46D down on the Kuwait/Iraq border. "There are casualties reported."

Think about the individuals involved. Have you ever had a flat tire on a lonely road in the middle of the night? How helpless did you feel out there?

Well, it was nothing like what this must be, if there is anyone alive near the wreck. Try to imagine dying out there like that.

I emphasize that in order to emphasize this:

The violence being unleashed in this affair could be indescribable in scale: we could be sitting here completely intellectually and emotionally crushed with reports of young American and British soldiers dying hard in droves.

But we're not.


  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Al Jazeera among the embeds

CNN's Wolf Blitzer reported earlier that Al Jazeera was among the news organizations with embedded reporters. How tense must that detail be?

  Posted by Murley | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | CH-46 down in Kuwait

Initial reporting is mechanical failure, inside Kuwait. CH-46 reported to belong to Marine Air Group 39. No reports of casualties or survivors - initial take is all lost.

::Update:: 4 Marines, 8 Brits onboard

  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Fire in the Sky

Reporters have seen huge fireballs erupt over Basra. Not to be confused with fire from burning oil wells. These are ordinance blasts.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Mosul too?

Fox is relaying unconfirmed Al Jazeera reports of bombing and shelling around the Northern Iraq city of Mosul...



  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Antiwar protesters turned violent

San Francisco Police are calling it 'anarchy'. Over 1025 people have been arrested so far.

  Posted by Ravenwood | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | never fear...

Chief Moose to the rescue!

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

So was it Saddam or not?

Philip Murhpy says no. I have no idea if he's right or not, but he's got an interesting argument.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | fire, fire everywhere

Fox News (TV) is reporting that eyewitness have seen oil wells on fire.

Also, a refueling station about 160 miles south(?) of Baghdad has been taken out.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Rumsfeld one liners

Departing Capitol Hill after briefing Congress

Reporter: Mr Secretary, are there any new developments?

Rumsfeld: There are new developments in a situation like this every hour....

And this...

Rumsfeld: I've just given a classified briefing to 200 members of Congress...

(he might have told CNN directly, but this way is faster)




  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Blitzer/Amanpour talking up the "embedded ones"

Wolf Blitzer just did a two-minute commercial for the embedding principle. Then Brown tries to spin it to a negative, then he goes back to spinning it positively. Brown seems lost. Blitzer said it was something we haven't seen before in the news business. I wish they had transcripts so I could have this for future use when all the "real" journalists complain about the embedded ones.

  Posted by Murley | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | sf protest footage on CNN

Aaron Brown is spinning like crazy about the footage from the SF anti-war "peace" protest that shows people beating up some people in a blue wagon (minivan?).

"Most of the protests have been peaceful..." Brown said, sputtering around. He's clearly at a loss for words. He said this is the first he's seen of this footage. Man, get a grip!

Eerily reminiscent of the L.A. riots footage of the trucker who got beaten up.

  Posted by Murley | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

They found more of those missles Hans couldn't find ....

In the air, of course.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Hans.....As Seen on TeeVee

In a very short, but very interesting interview with Hans Blix tonight on ABC news, he gave his personal thoughts on Iraq. When asked whether Iraq had WMD, Dr. Blix said, "well we didn't find any, but undoubtedly they do". About his personal relationship with Saddam, Blix, chuckled and said, "Well I never met the man, he thinks that he is the Emporer of Mesopotamia and would not deign to talk to someone as lowly as me".


  Posted by Pancho | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Kick 'em out

The Time of India is reporting that the U.S. has called on all countries to expel Iraqi diplomats.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Don't forget about the Aussies

This article describes the activities of some of the Australian contingent.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

I wonder why we haven't heard more about this.

The National Post is reporting on massive sand storms in Iraq.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Assault on Basra underway

Reports of large explosions and heavy bombing activity in and around Basra.

Video of celebrating Iraqis in the morning?


  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | More reports from the antiwar front

Same LGF thread, later:

"This morning there was a group of sit-down protesters blocking Beale and Market, surrounded by a ring of police, with other protesters milling around the ring. The protesters were trying to sound all soulful singing, "all we are saaaaying is give peeeeace a chance" So I yelled at the top of my voice, Hey hey ho ho Saddam Hussein has got to go" and "Free free free Iraq!" It totally ruined their little moment. Heh heh."

"I live across the bay and I am very disturbed by the message the level of disturbance sends to potential terrorists -- come on down, the cops are totally overwhelmed by dealing with the bratty anarchists who think that closing down the city is cute. It declares the city is open for terrorist business."

"Another protest, this one moving up Market Street from the Ferry Bldg. Large banners the width of the street. at the front. I was crossing Market, so I decided to stand my ground in the middle of the street. March organizers wearing official-looking orange vests told me to move. I told them that they weren't policemen and had no authority to make me. The march stopped! Eventually the protesters got the bright idea of lifting the sign over my head and the march went on, but for a moment they were aghast--a protest tactic being used against a protest. Da noive! If there were 50-100 anti-protesters there I think we could have had some real fun. . . "

"Okay, ease up on the California bashing. Just because we have an ample supply of idiots doesn't mean that we're all idiots. But, lord help us, we do have our share. I almost got into a fight with one of them in the S.F. Civic Center area today. He was wearing an Israeli flag pinned to his shirt, but had marked over the star of David with a crude swastika. I one-finger saluted him and almost put my finger up his nose. My friend pulled me off as I was cursing him for the low-life I knew him to be. The main rally in the Civic Center around noon turned into a pro-Palestinian, pro-Saddam, pro-Arab rally. I know a lot of reasonable people have opposed this war, but those people have lost all control over the protests--if they ever had any."

"Hahahahaha im watching CNN right now, and apparently there was an attempted protest in times square during rush hour. The cops locked up everyone who didnt get run over. morons. "


  Posted by Judith | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

In addition to the war, the government has begun seizing Iraqi assets.

Treasury Secretary John Snow announced that the United States was confiscating Saddam Hussein's "blood money," or its non-diplomatic assets in the United States and asked other governments to follow suit.



  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | NBC: Republican guard negotiating "secretly" to surrender

So Tom Brokaw breaks into "Friends" (!) with a 1-minute special report that basically says the Republican Guard is in secret negotiations to surrender. Hmm. Which possibility is more likely?
a) this is just a psy-ops rumor started to create doubt and confusion
b) It's really happening
c) the media exposure will screw the whole thing up, and they won't surrender
?

I hope it's true. But then the question becomes: what do we do with them in a post-war Iraq?

  Posted by Murley | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | "Peaceful" protesters

If you can bear the hypocrisy, check out this comment thread, where San Franciscans annoyed with the protesters are threatened with having their throats ripped out. Seriously.

Good to know that the protesters know what they're out there for, and stick to that campaign of nonviolence.

  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | 90,000 Kurds

Chris Kline of Fox News just reported that the Kurdish authorities have agreed to supply as many as 90,000 fighters in Northern Iraq, for attacks on cities in the North, and for a drive on Baghdad.

Fox is also reporting the fall of Um Qaasar, south of Basra, to US Marines.




  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | A Report to Remember

From the Washington Post:

Under the shelter of night, and with the support of heavy bombing, the 1st Marine Division entered Iraq at around 9 p.m. local time (1 p.m. EST). Traveling north in their armored vehicles, the Marines encountered some resistance from "rear guard" units; they opened fire with machine guns on an Iraqi T-55 tank and destroyed it with a Javelin, a portable anti-tank missile.
That's great, but here's my favorite part:
There were no American casualties.
This was is going to be much shorter than anyone dared hope.

UPDATE: I really wish I hadn't said this now.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | what the left is saying about the Bush/Hitler connection

This is only slightly OT, because it's probably something you'll be hearing a lot of in the next few weeks from the left. Remember those posters of Bush comparing him to Hitler. Well, it's in print too:

"When Democracy Failed: The Warnings of History
by Thom Hartmann
© Copyright 2003 by http://www.CommonDreams.org and Thom Hartmann

March 16, 2003 -- The 70th anniversary wasn't noticed in the United States,
and was barely reported in the corporate media. But the Germans remembered
well that fateful day seventy years ago -- February 27, 1933. They
commemorated the anniversary by joining in demonstrations for peace that
mobilized citizens all across the world.

It started when the government, in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis,
received reports of an imminent terrorist attack. A foreign ideologue had
launched feeble attacks on a few famous buildings, but the media largely
ignored his relatively small efforts. The intelligence services knew,
however, that the odds were he would eventually succeed. (Historians are
still arguing whether or not rogue elements in the intelligence service
helped the terrorist; the most recent research implies they did not.)

If you want, you can read the whole twisted thing at Common Dreams

It reminds me a little bit of the Abe Lincoln/JFK assassination similarity sheets I used to see.

  Posted by Murley | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Tell us a ghost story, Rick!

Fox reporter Rick Leventhal finally on camera in low light, with that eerie green night-vision sheen.

Proof, indeed, that the Jews are behind the war in Iraq. They're spooky, and they report on Fox. What more proof could you want?

  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | rummy speaks

Rumsfeld speaks to the Senators. His face says "Are you a fucking idiot?"

His mouth says: "Ask me a question I can answer."

Which is basicallly the same thing.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Mercenaries?

This UPI article indicates the Iraqis are threatening not to follow the Geneva Convention. More bluster

Information Minister Mohammed Said Sahhaf declared Thursday that Iraq will treat U.S. and British prisoners of war as mercenaries over whom no international law applies.


  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | eavesdropping

Live feed of San Francisco police scanner.

The protesters are keeping them busy.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | the ratings game

I'm getting the feeling that a lot of reporters are actually going to be upset if it turns out we don't have to use Shock & Awe.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Truth or propaganda?

US helped Iraq build WMDs: Report

The United States provided aid to Saddam Hussein even after Baghdad began building weapons of mass destruction during the Iran-Iraq war, a report said on Thursday.

Not only did the US fail to protest when it learned of Iraq's use of chemical weapons during the Iran war, it also kept supplying arms and intelligence to Baghdad during those years, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.


  Posted by Shanti Mangala | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | US Forces Operating in Western Iraq?

Ha'aretz is carrying this story which leads off with news of

A large U.S. force is currently operating in western Iraq in a bid to prevent any Iraqi Scud missile attacks against Israel, Channel One reported Thursday evening.

Interesting.




  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Send a Thank You Note to Tony Blair


Here.

Link courtesy of K-Lo at The Corner.


  Posted by Charles | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | More than meets the eye

Who needs cruise missiles? The US Military is preparing to send Optimus Prime into the Middle East.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | "Suddenly..."

...you could see the light beginning to shine in on Paris and Berlin. Perhaps it's shock and awe.


  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Fluid situation.....

One of the hallmarks of the modern U.S. military is the ability to react quickly to a changing situation. And here not only one of the military scenario but also of the political. I conjecture that the Marine force was moved forward for "force protection" i.e. to deny the Iraqis the ability to fire rockets into Kuwait and that the time table for the big air show, as promised, is being delayed to allow time for Iraqi units to give themselves up.

  Posted by Pancho | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Still Waiting

It’s 1:20 am in Baghdad, and still no sign of the big offensive. Sounds like there may not be a military command structure, and the troops are waiting to here before leveling Baghdad. Still no word on the mass surrender of the Republican Guard, but Sky News is still carrying the headline.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Spy vs. Spy

If this article is to be believed, Iraqi agents have been up to their elbows in a whole bunch a shit. (via Amygdala)

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Site Update

Logging in from the Philadelphia Airport ... Fox has more sirens in Kuwait. Also, I've added the folks who sent emails to me in the past several hours to the roll. Now I'll be going on my own news blackout for the next several hours ... read you all from Minneapolis.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

BBC Reporter's Notebook:
Kuwaiti - Iraqi border :: Gavin Hewitt :: 2037GMT

We are paused here at the moment but within the last half hour off to our right there was a sound, like rolling thunder, it was missiles being launched into Iraq.

This salvo went on for at least twenty minutes, I counted at least 20 missiles being launched.

We have had no incoming or return fire from the Iraqi's

We did hear some Arabic voices coming through the night, cheering and shouting, some suggestion it might be Iraqis surrendering but we have not been allowed to go and see, we have to stay with the column.

It's very quiet here now - the only sound is of me talking. All lights are extinguished, it is dark. As I'm talking now I hear a fantastic rumble again, the attacks are starting again.

I can hear black hawk helicopters with no lights on are overhead heading into Iraq. The sounds of missiles are increasing.

A large number of helicopters are now heading overhead into Iraq.

The initial stages of the invasion of Iraq are taking place right now.



  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | FNC?

I'm getting Blair's speech live on the CBS & ABC affiliates, but Fox has Greg Kelly blithering about the 3rd Marine EF.

C'mon, man. Get with it.


  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Maps

Here are just about every map you could want of Iraq and Baghdad

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | IRAQBODYCOUNT.NET

It's the Germans, who'd a thunk it?

Domain Name: IRAQBODYCOUNT.NET
Registrar: SCHLUND+PARTNER AG
Whois Server: whois.schlund.de
Referral URL: http://registrar.schlund.info
Name Server: NS21.SCHLUND.DE
Name Server: NS22.SCHLUND.DE
Status: ACTIVE
Updated Date: 06-feb-2003
Creation Date: 06-feb-2003
Expiration Date: 06-feb-2004


  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | press

Tony Blair will be speaking at 5pm.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Austin should be in California

Austin has it's protest idiots too! Protesters

  Posted by beth | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | U.S. Hits Baghdad, Ground Troops Cross Border

U.S. Hits Baghdad, Ground Troops Cross Border

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United States attacked key targets in Baghdad with cruise missiles on Thursday, setting government buildings on fire, and with its British allies sent advance ground troops into Iraqi territory.

Events unfolded swiftly on the first day of a U.S.-led campaign aimed at occupying Iraq and destroying the rule of President Saddam Hussein.


  Posted by Shanti Mangala | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | site notice

Command Center bloggers: If your blog is not listed in the blogroll on the sidebar, please let me know. We have so many authors now it's hard to keep up.



  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | shock and awe = disinfo?

Stephen Green says that Shock and Awe might not happen with good reason.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | REUTERS: Ricin traces found in Paris subway

Link here.

  Posted by joy | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | This is Nice

If someone already posted this, I apologize.

Iraqi Body Count

  Posted by Matt Drachenberg | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Some Good Luck

UPI-

In Lebanon the Palestine Liberation Front announced that one of its officers, 1st Lt. Ahmed Walid Raguib al-Baz, was killed in the missile attacks on Iraq. The PLF was responsible for seizing the Italian liner Achille Lauro and the murder of one of its passengers, Leon Klinghoffer, in 1985.


  Posted by Moe | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | A Lighter Moment

We need Scott Ott more than ever.

U.S. Presses to End War Before Masters Tourney (2003-03-20) -- At the request of Martha Burk, chairman of the National Council of Women's Organizations, the Pentagon is accelerating its battle plan in order to complete the Iraq operation before the Masters Golf Tournament, at Augusta National.

  Posted by Matt Drachenberg | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Just In

Air Raid Sirens in Kuwait City

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | It looks like a wave

Aren't any links in this post, because, well, the sites I've been surfing today aren't accessible via the public internet. Due to that fact, I can't be as specific as I'd like to be, because a number of things are still in progress. It is, however, truly a wonder to watch. Not sure about the shock value, which I'm sure is occurring, but it definitely has me in awe. This is Afghanistan on major steroids, and then multiplied.

I can confirm that the bits and pieces that are visible from the Al Rasheed Hotel are a miniscule amount of the activity currently underway. Should be some very, very interesting stories being filed from the unit attached press guys, when they are finally allowed to file, although I imagine that some of the activities I've witnessed today didn't have anyone with a press pass within a couple of hundred miles.

Baghdad may be fairly quiet, but that's only because the party is warming up on the road, before it heads into town.

Man, I love this job.





  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

... to the Warblog Corner of the blog circle. If you'd like to be added to those with posting rights, email me at avocare at comcast dot net. Tip to Michele for the idea ...

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Umm Qasr

Here is a very brief report on the capture of Umm Qasr. This could be an important logistics matter because of the railhead there. Does anyone know anything about the state of Iraqi rail?


  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | UK Commandos take Red Beach

Red Beach is at the head of the Persian Gulf, where the strategically important Al Faw peninsula meets the Shatt-al-Arab waterway and the Iranian border. In other words, this is Iraq's major port.

Information courtesy of Britain's Sky News.

  Posted by joy | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Sky News Says 20% Of Republican Guard is Surrendering.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Cruise missiles hit Saddam home

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. cruise missiles have slammed into a Baghdad family home of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein during an attack that has set buildings ablaze in the city and caused massive explosions.Missiles flew in at low altitude and hit a string of targets across the Iraqi capital in a second wave of missile attacks after a dawn raid on Thursday, Reuters witnesses said.


  Posted by Matt Drachenberg | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Turkish Airspace

The CNN ticker is now reporting that Turkish airspace will open to allied flyover at 5:00pm EDT.


  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Wall Street Update:
15:30 ET Dow +24, Nasdaq +6, S&P +1.70: [BRIEFING.COM] Stocks retain resilience heading into the final half hour of trading...indices are all near unchanged, volume is about average, advance-decline line is near flat...it might almost seem as if not much of anything happened today... Nasdaq +6... NYSE Adv/Dec 1701/1520... Nasdaq Adv/Dec 1530/1538.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Major Network News Websites: Awful
Take a look at the CNN site, their HUGE headline is "Marines in Iraq"....duh.
Fox is no better and ABC is equally pathetic. The networks are doing well on TV but their web execution is terrible.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | What's the point of this?

Protesters shut down San Francisco's downtown. And their point is? That they can shut it down? How does this stop "the war machine"? How does this effectively do anything but annoy the hell out of San Franciscans?

The money quote, from Mayor Willie Brown:

"Most of these people who are being arrested and have been arrested, probably more than 75 or 80 percent, are not San Franciscans. I just wish they'd stay in their own communities and protest rather than put the expense on us.



  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Peace Activist Attacks

Commenters on LGF reporting on the "peace" rally in San Francisco:

"I'm in the middle of this. My girlfriend is there taking pictures and I just came back to my office after watching them for a while. There's a lot to tell, but here's one anecdote as described by my GF who saw it first hand. On Market Street (the main S.F. street that has been shut down for several blocks downtown) a veteran had a sign that said "Saddam must go" on one side and "Mr. President, you can do it in my name" on the other. He was attacked by a mob of "peace activists" who ripped up his sign and then physically attacked him. Unfortunately, she could not get a picture since she was trying to get away from the attacking mob . . . . "

"My sister called me from her car in San Francisco this morning about 9am- she was trying to get to work- all the intersections were blocked around Moscone Center- she was trapped in her car and some wahoo protester had just offered her a bagel for her trouble- She rolled down the window and told him to go f&^k himself. She said the look on his shocked face was priceless. "

"There are already strong complaints that the SF protest is keeping ambulances and emergency vehicles from being able to get to the elderly and children who are choking. Anyone directly affected by these protests in such a fashion could probably sue ANSWER et al. out of existance for calling for, organizing, and directing an illegal protest that brought direct harm."

"I work a block away from the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Davis St SF , some demonstrators broke into the center and vandalized equipments and furniture. The police showed up 15 minutes later after the demonstrators were gone. I went back to the office to get a digital camera but by the time I came back the area was already cleaned up."
Meanwhile, Free Republic has a running commentary on activist behavior in Washington, DC., including blocking the Key Bridge.

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Meanwhile...


Other tyrants in Cuba and Zimbabwe continue to do their worst.


  Posted by Charles | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Grain of Salt Alert

From Debka:

Iraq may shoot missiles against Israel, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia Thursday night after big US-UK air offensive begins

  Posted by Matt Drachenberg | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Profiteering

Who wants to take odds that Shock and Awe starts by midnight?

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Unfortunate event stateside

WABC 770 AM just reported that a man shot and killed an Arab store owner today in NYC, ostensibly in connection to the current conflict in Iraq. I hope the motivation is actually something else.

  Posted by susanna in KY | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Good Luck

Al-Sharq al-Awsat: Arab leaders can stop Iraqi war with free will


  Posted by Matt Drachenberg | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Oil

Mosul is just north-east of Kirkuk, where the largest single “supergiant’ oilfield in the country is located. The rest are in and around Basra, which is also on the verge of being taken.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Worth Noting

The SCUDs fired at Kuwait were, of course, banned weapons.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Mosul Under Attack

Air raid sirens are going off in Mosul, which is an important town because of oil fields and air strips located there.



Mosul [Arabic: 'al-mawsil] is the location of the headquarters of the Iraqi Army 5th Corps and the 16th Infantry Division of the Iraqi Army 5th Corps.
source: globalsecurity.org

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | What censorship?

Dexter Filkins just got off the phone with Tom Brokaw. Filkins, a photographer and another journalist are heading into Basra by themselves, without piggybacking onto a unit. It seems like the "shock and awe" that Blitzer doesn't understand is what is being unleased on the Iraqi soldiers in the field--not on Baghdad.

  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Kinda moot at this point, but . . .

Damian Penny unearths a 1999 Guardian article reporting on a meeting between Saddam and bin Laden. Gee, I thought there were no direct links between Saddam and Al Qeda. . . .

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | In War, the First Casualty is the Truth

Mark Harold, who invented the most thoroughly discredited count of civilian casualties during the Afghan war, has a site called Iraqi Body Count, where he apparently keeps with his ‘make shit up’ school of journalism.

Right now, the “Body Count” is up to 16. Strange, since even the Iraqi government isn’t claiming any civilian dead right now. Some of the ‘civilian’ casualties include:

“01 Jan 6:25AM + Al Qurnah, 210km SE of Baghdad 'military air defence [sic] radar”

“x002 06 Jan PM near Al Amarah, 265 km SE of Baghdad 'mobile radar equipment”

“x003 10 Feb - 'near city of Basra' 'mobile SAM system”
They sure don’t sound like civilians to me…

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Blix

Just wondering, if SH manages to use chemical or biological or other WMD that Blix and his team never found (never seriously looked for?), and there are casualties from this, will Blix be held accountable in the world court or the U.N.? Not likely, but it should be!

  Posted by beth | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Blitzer's Getting It

(Me) "...even if the battle plan is getting called like audibles at the line of scrimmage..."

Blitzer just copped that very line.


  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Another Round

Sirens in Baghdad again as I write this, and just as Blitzer was expounding on his confusion over how differently the thing was going from his conceptions of "Shock and Awe". Leaving aside the generally abysmal level of understanding that these people bring to things military, my own conviction is that even if the battle plan is getting called like audibles at the line of scrimmage, the central ideas of the strategy remain. And more: with the state of communications outstripping 1991 as they do, now, it would be only natural to adapt battle plans to a rapidly evolving situation, like the prospect of nailing Iraqi high command on an inside intel tip. Consider that once that shot goes off, the whole rest of the effort will necessarily be tailored around that fact for the simply obvious reason that the war is on: the enemy can be counted on to shoot back if he can, and there is no percentage in sitting around waiting for that. "In for a penny, in for a pound."

In brief: when a reporter expresses confusion over what he's seeing compared to what he thought he'd see, he's reporting on the last war. Lots of things are different, now, and these people have catching up to do.


  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | We Build Them...

CBS just reported that thirty Iraqis surrendered to Navy SeeBees this morning. They were trying to set a mine field, a couple of Marines shot at them, and they came over and surrendered to the SeeBees who were breaching a berm.

  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | UN Resolution tagainst the war?

Can you imagine if they finally managed to get a resolution passed, and it was targeted at protecting the Iraqi Regime?

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Powell's Mistake

How the first Bush administration decided to leave Saddam in power. (via Tal G)

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | What A Time To Be Out Of Pocket!!

I'm going to be away from the PC until around 9 or 10 tonight, so if you want to be added to the list of contributors and the blogroll please reach out to Michele (michele at asmallvictory dot net). We WILL get to everyone eventually ...

Thanks,

Alan

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | 'War Like No Other' - Other Side of the Coin

I don't believe this is an inane comment since Iraqis are monitoring the media. This is part of the psychology of war. Can you imagine what the Iraqi soldiers are thinking? (Those with media access at any rate, those without media access are at the mercy of their imaginations which may be worse). First they have to wonder if their commander in chief was killed this morning. Then they hear they've suffered a loss here or there. Then they lose their only port city. Each time, the dreaded US government says this is nothing yet...

I'm glad I'm not in their shoes.

  Posted by Admiral Quixote (www.solport.com) | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | burying the lead

This from CNN was interesting:

The headline on the CNN main page: • Pentagon: 'We will have casualties'

Click on the link and you get this story, with headline: Rumsfeld warns Iraqi leaders of unprecedented 'force'

You have to read to the third paragraph from the bottom of the story to find the mention of casualties:

Echoing comments made by President Bush Wednesday night, Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, underscored the danger U.S. armed forces face.
"We do not regard combat as an easy task," he said. "Warfare is dangerous. We will have casualties."


  Posted by Murley | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | 'war like no other'

I've heard this sentiment expressed several times recently, most notably here:

"What will follow will not be a repeat of any other conflict. It will be of a force and scope and scale that has been beyond what has been seen before." -Donald Rumsfeld.

I can only hope that our leaders will stop making these inane statements.

Just to summarize: Every war is different. I'm sure that when World War I began, it was "beyond what has been seen before," and the same with World War II, and, for that matter, VietNam (think puff the magic dragon). That's called technological progress. It's not something you need to crow about.

Not to mention the fact that I can't recall a war ever being a "repeat" of another conflict.

Of course, I don't know how a war in one country could possibly eclipse the scope of the global conflagration that was World War II.

  Posted by Murley | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | You're Right Politica


I had almost exactly the same thought about Drudge a few minutes ago, but I got distracted by the NCAA tournament before I could post it.

I'm hitting The Command Post, The Corner, and watching FoxNews to stay abreast of events in Iraq -- when I'm not watching the tournament that is!


  Posted by Charles | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Bush to speak at 2.45pm EST



  Posted by joy | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Thoughts on War Blogs:
If this war had occurred two years ago, we would have all been checking and rechecking the DrudgeReport for constant updates and intrigue. Now, to look at Drudge's site, you see he still has the same stuff posted that he had up four hours ago. It is interesting that Blogging has given us the ability to create a wildly dynamic site with updates measured in minutes, not hours, with info from around the world. This war is not just about a new world order, but about a new way in which information is transferred across the world.
R.I.P. DrudgeReport

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Site Update

Comments are now active ...

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | i'm betting no one was home

Fox News reporting that missiles have hit the family home of Saddam Hussein.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |


From NY Times: F/A-18 Hornet taking off from the carrier Abraham Lincoln today

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | U.S led troops have taken the town of Umm Qasr

CBS is reporting this, quoting Kuwaiti sources.

In 1992 a UN commission formed to demarcate the boundary between Iraq and Kuwait redrew the borders, placing most of the naval and commercial ports of Umm Qasr under Kuwaiti control. The new borders divide Iraq's Rumaila oilfield between Iraq and Kuwait, moving the border 80 kilometres into Iraqi territory. The Rumaila oilfield has an estimated remaining production of 11 billion barrels of crude oil. Umm Qasr was Iraq's only operating seaport. The port of Basra was blocked by vessels sunk during the early stages of the Iran-Iraq war. Iraq spent billions of dollars upgrading Umm Qasr's ports, building factories and petrochemical plants and dredging channels to enable large tankers to dock. The new borders became official under UN auspices on 15 January 1993.
From here

  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

National Guard Called Out to Protect Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant:
Terrorists may have targeted the Palo Verde nuclear power plant in Arizona, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said Thursday. Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has sent National Guard troops to provide additional security at the plant

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | one down

U.S led troops have taken the town of Umm Qasr.



  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Sky News says..."Multiple Mass Surrenders".

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Live feed of the State Department briefing

  Posted by Marm | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

As michele noted earlier, the ground war has begun and the first Marine expeditionary force has crossed into Iraq. There are also "reports that senior Republican Guard members were seeking to surrender." That appears to be in addition to reports from the last couple of days indicating that as many as 25% of Republican Guard troops around Baghdad had already deserted.

On a side note, I think the phrase "targets of military opportunity" is annoyingly redundant. Apart from "military'" ones, what other kind of target does a cruise missile have (other than Sudanese aspirin factories, of course)?

  Posted by Dodd | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

CBS Reports Some Iraqi Troops Surrendering.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |


British Royal Air Force group captain Mike Harwood, who commands the British joint Harrier Force, addresses his detachment on their base in Kuwait March 20, 2003.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Refugee and reconstruction news

I get this weekly email newsletter called Global Development Briefing, which lists NGO-related goings-on around the globe, carries job postings, etc. It's for international aid and development professionals, not scruffy "activists." I forget how I started getting it - I'm not in the industry. Anyway, this week's Briefing carries the following items relevant to this blog:

A special camp will be set up in the no-man's land between Iraq and Jordan to process refugees fleeing Iraq in the event of a war, Jordanian officials said Mar. 19. Refugees seeking to enter the kingdom will be processed in this "assembly" camp before they are sent to two other temporary camps near the Jordan-Iraq border, once their identities have been confirmed. Jordan agreed in mid-February to set up two temporary refugee camps near Ruweished, the last frontier town which lies 35 miles (60 kilometers) before the Karama border post with Iraq. They will be able to accommodate 10,000 refugees and will be managed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Jordanian Red Crescent. Jordan took in 1.3 million refugees out of 2.5 millions who fled Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War.

International donors Mar. 17 committed some $2 billion in aid over the next year to rebuild Afghanistan and help it counter international terrorism and curtail heroin production. U.S. government representative Alan Larson said Washington would contribute $820 million in new aid this year, while Japan said it would give a further $500 million over the next two and a half years. The EU, which hosted the donor meeting, has pledged $432 million in aid until the end of 2004. The World Bank has said Afghanistan received about $1.3 billion in international assistance over the past year but that less than half that money went to reconstruction, with the rest going to humanitarian relief. Afghan Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani said Kabul intends to raise $200 million of domestic revenue to support its $550 million annual budget but will rely on international assistance to meet the remaining shortfall. He said in an Financial Times interview the $550 million budget for the fiscal year that starts this month is only for recurring costs, while a separate development budget of $1.7 billion that will focus mostly on infrastructure projects will be entirely financed by donors. Mr. Ghani, a former academic who also worked at restructuring Russia's coal industry for the World Bank, said Afghanistan had attractive assets such as telecommunications, oil and gas, "with gas resources now proven", mining and agriculture. But his most immediate concerns were security and reducing poppy cultivation, which is "at the heart of the matter."



  Posted by Judith | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Two Suppositions and an Assumption


While Shock and Awe™ are scheduled for this evening, it seems to me we are taking our time unleashing it in the hope that we get lucky and take Saddam and the fruit of his loins out (if we haven’t already!), or that someone there will just shoot the bastards before we have to do serious damage to so many buildings and the infrastructure of Iraq with untold unintended casualties.

The handful of oil wells that have apparently been torched could be a trap. I wonder if they want us to try and rush in to stop them and put them out so they could launch propositioned rockets or mortars against those positions. Or perhaps they are booby-trapped. A few oil wells on fire does not sound like a scorched earth policy. Of course, there may be rogue elements acting here or perhaps even someone trying to accelerate the attack. Who knows?

If we do not suffer any terrorist attacks over the next week, then I believe a big pat on the back is due to the much maligned Tom Ridge, John Ashcroft, and George Tenet. These folks do seem to be doing an excellent job. The very nature of their task requires that they be like an umpire or referee -- they are only noticed when something goes badly.


  Posted by Charles | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Expert commentary

If you're not reading Silent Running, particularly Wind Rider's posts, you're missing some good reading.

Start here and work your way up.

  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

BBC Reporter's Notebook - "Awesome Power"
Kuwait :: Gavin Hewitt :: 1710GMT

Five minutes ago the most fantastic onslaught began on southern Kuwait.

Multiple rocket launchers, howitzers. The night sky has been lit up with flashes ahead of me. It's incessant.

This is the 'shock and awe' that has been talked about in recent weeks. We are in a column with the third infantry. We have stopped for a few seconds.

A lot of the troops are up on the tanks and fighting vehicles and looking down into southern Iraq at this display, a display of awesome power.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Demonstrations In South Korea

According to Tom Brokaw ... the video looks like the demonstration is bordering on violence ...

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Blogs by military families

Lots of military weblogs, including spouses and families, over at MSNBC.



  Posted by Judith | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Indymidiots

SF Indymedia is taking a long time to load. They're calling to shut down SF. Let's all head over there and make it even harder for their page to load and give instructions to the nazimedia kiddies.

  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Transcript of DoD Briefing

Available here

  Posted by Marm | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | moving fast

Missiles have landed, the first Marines are in.

Baghdad is under seige.



  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Radio News

Up to four oil wells on fire. Heavy shelling on the border near Basra. And evidence that the central Iraqi military command is out of commission or out of contact with the bulk of the military units.

I read previously that Saddam is so prone to killing his people that commanders are afraid to make decisions without his direct orders. That means that when the military is out of contact with him, they're subject to immediate chaos - as opposed to our military, where commanders are trained to make sound decisions toward a common goal even when separated from higher command.

Downtown Baghdad being shelled right now.

  Posted by susanna in KY | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Living in the South

While channel-surfing, I came across Pat Robertson's CBN offering Operation Prayer Shield. I didn't stay long enough to see if it was live, but the differences between north and south are still setting in for this former NJ resident.

  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Hail to the bus driver man

After years of Saddam giving money to Palestinians blowing up buses, the first reported casualty in the war to liberate Iraq from Saddam and eliminate weapons of mass destruction is a Palestinian bus driver.

JERUSALEM POST: Palestinian from Jenin said killed in Baghdad bombardment

A Palestinian man from the West Bank city of Jenin was said to have been killed in the US missile strikes on Baghdad early Thursday morning.

The family of Ahmed Raed Elbaz received a phone call from relatives in the Iraqi capital to say that Elbaz had been killed in the bombardment that targeted Iraqi leaders. The family set up a mourning tent and said that Elbaz was a bus driver in Baghdad.

Both Iraq and the International Red Cross said that one civilian had been killed and 14 wounded in the air strikes.


After 30 months of the stupidfada, how deliciously ironic. However, remember that this guy was from Jenin and those Jeninites love to dig up relatives from cemeteries to increase bodycounts for the Red Cross and humanitarian agencies to boo-hoo over.

  Posted by Laurence | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

DUH

Saw the stupidest anti-war sign in some photo gallery: "LET THE IRAQI PEOPLE CHOOSE REGIME CHANGE FOR THEMSELVES".

Uh ... isn't that, actually, kind of the point of this whole thing?? That they are UNABLE TO CHOOSE FOR THEMSELVES?




  Posted by Sheila | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Iraqis Still Putting Up Lots of AAA Fire in Baghdad:
Sky News reports two of Saddam's palaces bombed as wellas Iraqi Intelligence Headquarters.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | on the move

Fox News is reporting that the ground troops have begun moving in. You can hear large explosions.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Sky News Reports Large Explosions in Baghdad

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Keen foresight - not.

Guess which high-ranking American official said this?

When I met with Yitzhak Shamir on April 9 [1991] to discuss the peace process, he was quite concerned that despite a great victory, Saddam was alive and still in control. “It’s not a good lesson for the area,” Shamir told me. “Such a man, if you could call him a man, who’s cost us so many losses, who has dared to attack us with missiles, is a man that we can’t live with. I think everything in the region will be temporary until this fact changes.” I responded that all our Arab coalition partners believed that Saddam would be ousted by a coup within six to eight months.
Well, I won't keep you in suspense - it was James Baker. You know, Mr. "Fuck the Jews - they don't vote for us anyway." Mr. Baker, is that crystal ball of yours under warranty?

(via Matt Welch)

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | More war blogs.

Hi everybody,

Thanks for setting this up and letting me join you. A few more war blogs by mainstream media:

CNN correspondent Kevin Sites has a"personal website not affiliated with, endorsed by, or funded by CNN." Pretty gnarly looking dude.
On March 18th New Republic Senior Editor Gregg Easterbrook began filing regular dispatches focusing on such matters as tactics, weaponry, technology, and logistics, and long-time Iraqi dissident Kanan Makiya is also writing a war diary for TNR.

Judith

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

The stock market reacted to the commencement of hostilities by, predictably, opening lower. But, as of right now, the DOW and S&P have climbed back to almost to even while the NASDAQ is actually up a tick. I'm no analyst, but this seems to suggest that the market expects a fairly brief period of actual conflict. Plus, the end of the period of uncertainty about when or if this thing would start led to oil falling below US$30/barrel yesterday for the first time since January, which the market liked a lot.

  Posted by Dodd | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Iraq satellite imagery showing smoke near Basra

Satellite imagery showing abnormal plumes of smoke from oil fields near Basra.

  Posted by joy | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Psych-ops already paying dividends

According to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Uday, Saddam Hussein’s oldest son, is suffering from a brain hemorrhage inflicted by a member of Saddam's Fedayeen. These Fedayeen are Iraq’s version of Saddam’s special forces, so this is intriguing indeed.

Mosuah al-Nahrain in its website on Thursday quoted sources north of Iraq as saying that very tough and indecent orders, issued by Uday, who heads Saddam's Fedayeen, had provoked the conflict as the young an attacked Uday. Uday's bodyguards then beat the man to injury.

The website declined to give further comments.


My first impulse was to disbelieve this story and suspect that the brain hemorrhage was inflicted by the initial US attack. However, that does not make any sense. This story is much worse for the Iraqis. If some of his special forces are refusing to implement their orders, this shows that the psych-ops are showing results.

  Posted by Admiral Quixote (www.solport.com) | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Oil Fields

Orange flames could be seen Thursday on the horizon in the direction of the southern Iraqi oil center Basra, and U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said three or four oil wells may have been set afire.

No confirmation of this yet, however.

(via Redheaded Sheila)


  Posted by Sheila | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | The Middle Kingdom has been heard from

China demanded Thursday that military action against Iraq stop immediately and said the initial attack was "violating the norms of international behavior."

(via Charles Austin)

  Posted by Matt Drachenberg | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Concerning the Red Cross Report

I wonder if they got to look down into the crater that used to be a building? The one dead is said to be a Jordanian trucker who stopped to make a phone call. Huh? What'd we do, bomb a truck stop? "Eat at Mom's" bombed, film at 11.

Oh, and Lydia, I'M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!

  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Baghdad Blog

Salam is still posting ...

I watched al sahaf on al-jazeera. he said that the US has bombed the Iraqi sattelite channel, but while he was saying that the ISC was broadcasting and if it really did hit the ISC headquarters it would have been right in the middle of baghdad. what was probably hirt were transmiters or something. all TV stations are still working.


  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

A Little Information about Allied Targets in Iraq

A major target of the allies in Iraq is Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, a huge weapons depot.

Unfortunately, Kirkuk is also thh site of ancient Nuzi, an enomoursly important archaeological site. Also known as Yorghan Tepe, Nuzi is a Tell (mound) near Kirkuk in northern Iraq. Excavations in the 1920's explored levels of the mid 2nd milennium BC. A palace and private houses of the 15th to 14th centuries BC were excavated and finds include some 20,000 clay tablets mostly recording business transactions. This was a major site of the 15th century BC when northern Mesopotamia was under control of the Kingdom of Mitanni, a power centered in Syria. Remains from this period include a substantial palace and temple. Outlying mounds represent remains of suburban villas.

One should always remember that all military manoeuvers in Iraq are dictated by geography, and that geography has always been reflected in ancient cuneiform texts. Over the next while I shall try to put the current conflict in its proper archaeological context.

Via Marduk

  Posted by laurence | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | The rumor scam

Rush is laying out an interesting scenario as to what caused the selection of last night's "leadership" target. He believes that the rumors around yesterday that Tariq Aziz had defected or was captured were a ruse started by our intel in the region. This got Saddam to send Aziz in front of the TV camers, and once the intel on the ground found spotted his movements, they just tailed him back to last night's target.

I don't know where he got this from, but it sounds like a pretty good idea to me. I would be interesting to see if the old Anti-Semite spattered the walls.

  Posted by Joe | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Putin condemns attack on Iraq

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the US attack on Iraq as "not necessary to enforce United Nations resolutions":

"The military action in Iraq is being conducted in spite of world opinion, in spite of the principles and norms of international law and the U.N. Charter," Putin said. "This military action cannot be justified."

Russia is working with Iran to set up camps for Iraqi refugees, while seeking a special meeting of the Security Council to "address the crisis". (I thought we were already "addressing" it.)

To me the most interesting thing there is the open collaboration between Russia and Iran. What does that portend for international efforts to "address" the problems Iran poses?

  Posted by susanna in KY | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | 'Ashamed to be an American'

Hey, this woman beats the Dixie Chick by a long shot:

""I am very ashamed to be an American right now," Lydia Riley, 63, of Washington said Wednesday at a protest in Washington. "There's been nothing but lies and misrepresentations by the Bush administration."
War protests from D.C. to West Coast on CNN.com

As opposed to the truths and full disclosures of the Iraqi regime?

BTW, you know that reporters usually go out of their way to highlight the wackiest quotes on any topic of controversy. This must be like shooting fish in a barrel.

  Posted by Murley | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Information Age Warfare
The Saddam story is certainly intriguing. As I earlier posted at Solport, I believe that it was Saddam that spoke last night after the attack. However, it is great news that the Iraqi leadership appears to be having difficulty communicating with its troops. It looks like the initial US attack disrupted Iraqi communications as well as possibly killing some of those who would normally be making decisions for Iraqi forces. Earlier I read some information stating that Saddam had worried about this and had divided up Iraq into four grids, each with a commander who was to issue orders if Saddam fell out of contact. I wonder if these commanders are also out of communication? If not, I suspect they soon will be. This is warfare in the information age – command posts and communications facilities are the most desired targets.

  Posted by Admiral Quixote (www.solport.com) | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

"Iraq fired missiles into Kuwait in a series of apparently ineffectual counterattacks against U.S. troops and Kuwaiti civilians Thursday, forcing American soldiers to put on gas masks and chemical protective suits.... Soldiers were given the all-clear after several minutes....

"A British military spokesman, Lt. Col. Ronnie McCourt, confirmed three missiles were fired by the Iraqis into Kuwait, including one Scud that was intercepted by a Patriot. Col. Youssef al-Mullah, spokesman for the Kuwaiti military, said four missiles were fired at Kuwait."

  Posted by Dodd | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Air travel

According to a radio report, Continental Airlines is expecting a 20% drop in international travel as a result of the war.

Is that all?

I think this first week of the war is when we're at most risk for terrorist attacks aimed at the US and its allies, including airplanes - either suicide missions on board a plane, or a missile attack of some type. Security has been increased in Manhattan and its environs. I wonder if they've stepped up the Air Marshalls' program in anticipation of this war?

  Posted by susanna in KY | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | First casualty reports

ABC News is reporting the International Red Cross has verified 1 death, 14 injured in Baghdad.

  Posted by joy | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Site Update

Site Meter is up and running ...

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Drudge Posts Again:
"Military intelligence was picking up signs and 'circumstantial evidence' that Saddam and his senior leadership were either incapacitated or out of communication with battlefield commanders. It was too early to say if they were killed or wounded... MORE..."

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

BBC Reporter's Notebook:
Kuwait :: Gavin Hewitt :: 1643GMT

It was late afternoon, close to the Iraqi border when we began to hear some explosions taking place inside southern Iraq.

Then the sound of aircraft increased - American aircraft - and we actually saw an American aircraft firing a missile shortly after a very loud explosion was heard coming from inside southern Iraq.


  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Site Update

Thanks for everyone's posts ... this is working about even better than I thought, and as I've been on the phone all morning, has been a real lifeline. Also, I still can't get Blogger to correctly load everyone's URL ... the tag keeps pulling the Command Posts's URL, not the one in our profiles. I'll keep trying to fix this ...

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | The Suits Are Out

The Washington Post is reporting troops in Kuwait are putting on chemical/bio suits.

  Posted by jaycaruso | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | going ugly

Kathryn Lopez at The Corner posted this:

Ground commanders have been given authority to engage "any target" that comes up in front of them. Look for large number of surrenders. Possible "suicide surrenders" in Saddam's plan. Suicide bombers disguised as surrendering soldiers. They may go ugly early. If so, our guys will respond with restraint. Up to a point.

Trust no one. Not even white-flag wavers.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Information Sites

Map of Iraqi Oil Fields


How Many People Are in a Squad, Company, Division?

Via Winds of Change

  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

NYTimes Reports On Successful Ground Encounter:
KUWAIT, March 20 — The first reported combat engagement of the United States war with Iraq occurred at 3:57 p.m. local time today, when a patrol of light armored vehicles from the Marine First Division encountered two Iraqi armored personnel carriers south of the border with Iraq.

The armored vehicles, called LAV-25's, engaged and destroyed the armored personnel carriers using 25-millimeter chain guns, a type of machine gun, and TOW guided missiles


  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | From the battlefield

Lt. Smash posted recently. His site is slow, but it loads. I received a letter from Captain Steve and posted it as well. I should put it here, but it's a bit long. For those who don't read Kim du Toit's blog, Captain Steve is a pilot stationed at Prince Sultan Air Force Base in Saudi Arabia, who's sent letters from the front.

The thing I find most amazing is the direct contact from the battlefield. This isn't your father's war.


  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | more allies

Japan and South Korea have come around and are supporting this war.

Just two more countries to add to the "unilateral" fallacy.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Tidbits from the FoxNews ticker...

One of our Pave Low helicopters had a hard landing in Iraq while transporting Special Forces troops before the Tomahawk launch. The helicopter was destroyed so the gear would not get into Iraqi hands.

Iraq will be filing a complaint with the UN.

Paraphrasing Hans Blix, "If Iraq uses unconventional weapons, then world opinion will turn against them." Gee, ya think?

Also, uncomfirmed from the BBC, all US troops will be ordered into chemical gear for the initial attack.

  Posted by joy | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Drudge Post (and I don't believe it):
"I am being told by several senior officials not to take that taped speech Saddam gave last night as proof that he survived the attack," CBS NEWS reporter David Martin said on air.

"They say the evidence that put him in the bunker last night was very reliable, and they are confident that the cruise missiles and bunker-busting bombs that were fired at that bunker last night hit the target. So now, intelligence experts are studying the tape to determine if it is really Saddam, or a body double which he is known to use from time to time. And they are running a computerized voice analysis, comparing that speech with known recordings of Saddam's voice. But that's a process that takes awhile. So we may not have a quick answer."
"There is considerable belief in this government that they may, in fact, have gotten Saddam."

Developing...



  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Net Slowdowns

Drudge not loading. It looks like my site meter, Extreme Tracking, is slow to update stats. Other loading slowdowns noted. I think this will be the biggest Internet day ever, bigger than September 11.

  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Our Friends the Saudis:
“The kingdom will under no circumstances take part in the war against brotherly Iraq, and its armed forces will not enter an inch of Iraqi territory,” Prince Abdullah said on behalf of the ailing King Fahd.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | The British II

A message from the Queen to the troops.

''Especially for those of you now waiting to go into action, may your mission be swift and decisive, your courage steady and true and your conduct in the highest traditions of your service, both in waging war and bringing peace,''

  Posted by Matt Drachenberg | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Rumsfeld Does Sound Out of Breath

Hope he's OK. As an EMT, I don't like to hear my patients unable to finish a sentence without taking a breath. O2 at 15l., and ALS support ASAP.

  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Drudge

You know it's a busy news day when Drudge won't load.

  Posted by Matt Drachenberg | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | rummy live

Rumsfeld sounds like he is either having an asmtha attack or just ran 40 flights of stairs.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | time frame

Blogs of War is reporting the invasion will begin at 11:30.

BoW is updating every few minutes. Lots of good information coming out of that site.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Turkey Approves Overflights
Sky News reporting....

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Sky News Commentator in Britain "Iraqis out-thinking the Americans".
Claims the US has been caught on its "back-foot" and that the Iraqis have taken the initiative. Of course, this is absurd. If the purpose of the war was to save two oil wells from being lit-up, then this foolish Brit would be right. But he continues to forget that the purpose of the war is to disarm Saddam and to change the regime. This has nothing to do with "tactical" PR moves on the part of a handful of Iraqi footsoldiers.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | A bit eerie.

I work at a large Naval installation, and there's an eerie kind of quiet around here this morning. There are some planes buzzing around, as usual, but not as many as normal. We were expecting to go to a much higher threat condition level when the shooting started, but I didn't get a call last night or this morning, so I'm just following my routine (my job at my command makes me "essential personnel." Not like I'm launching any Tomahawks from my office , or anything).

I was rolling through my to-do list this morning, trying to figure out which fire to put out first. When I checked my mail, there was an e-mail from a senior enlisted in my command, who was just forward placed in theatre a couple of days ago. He was sending this from a restricted mail account.

I can't seem to access my email account...It worked fine last week...Could you please reset for me. It's my only contact with the outside world (friends/family).

His personal webmail account was locked.

That one went to the top of the to-do list.

Keep your head down, shipmate.

  Posted by Joe | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Sky News Reports 2 Oil Fires:
Sky News reporter questions possible American "arrogance" for claiming to start war at a "time of our choosing". With the burning of the well, Sky News reporters suggests that the war is now on Iraqi timetable.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

BBC Reporters
(Via Oliver Willis)

BBC reporters now have a weblog collecting up reports from correspondents in the field.

  Posted by Laurence | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Rolling

Reuters is reporting that the full jump off starts within the hour.

  Posted by Matt Drachenberg | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Who Saddam Really is...

Okay, there's a lot of speculation as to whether or not that was Saddam in the statement video last night.

Someone on Fox made an off-handed comment about him this morning, so I did some quick research...I think someone has risen from the dead to play one of his doubles.

Just go here.

Cubs win!



  Posted by Joe | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Pentagon Confirms Some Oil Wells are "alight": Sky News

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Pentagon Briefing Scheduled for 4PM GMT. (11am EST)

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Bomb Damage

Keep in mind when you hear about bomb damage that all that anti-aircraft fire that is shot up into the air must fall somewhere. A SAM can blow up a house just as easily as an American bomb. There are often injuries in those mob scenes you see on the news where the folks are shooting their AK-47's into the air.


  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Sky News Reports Iraq Setting Fire to Oil Wells.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Incoming Missles in Kuwait

Fox is reporting

  Posted by Matt Drachenberg | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | The British have a way with words

'The enemy should be in no doubt that we are his Nemesis and that we are bringing about his rightful destruction.'

As they say, read the whole thing.





  Posted by Matt Drachenberg | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Prediction

Sunset in 6 minutes. I think tonight we hit the air defenses and radars. Since we can visit downtown Baghdad, even in daylight, with the F-117A's, they may pay a visit or two to selected command posts.



  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Site Update

OK ... we're up to 18 bloggers who have at least requested access. Some of the user profiles don't have URLs, so if you're not on the blogroll, send me a note so I can add you to the links. Also, I'm still working on the Author URL tag issue.

Great to see this happen!

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Fisk is in Baghdad
The master of self-flagellation is in the target zone.

Read it here:
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=388571

Here's the headline:
Hope fades as the citizens of Baghdad begin to foresee the appalling fate awaiting them

Compare that with this post on AndrewSullivan.com.

I await the first fisk-fiskings of many to come.

  Posted by Murley | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | you couldn't make stuff like this up

Have no fear, Optimus Prime is here.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | ted rall, take notice

Iraq Body Count

They link to anti-war.com.

Meaning, expect inflated counts and outright lies. Right now the body count on the site stands at 16 civilians.

I guess they are getting their info from the same people who told us yesterday that Aziz was dead.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Arab News Embed

A woman with the very Western name Barbara Ferguson is writing reports from an embedded position for The Arab News. Interesting that a straightforward, even positive, view of US military activity is seeing light of day in Saudi Arabia. I like this quote:

The Marines, he said, have been told to defend themselves to the greatest extent possible, “but they also know they have to be very careful in regard to collateral damage.

“We are all able to make distinctions between good people and bad people,” said Col. Anderson.

“We’ve been telling our Marines that we are not at war with the Iraqi people... and this is not propaganda, this is what I honestly believe.

“If we do go to war, we want to try to preserve their culture, their historic sites, their mosques, etc. So as long as no one is shooting at us from such a place, and it is not dangerous, we will not destroy it.”

“Besides,” he said, “What we destroy, we will have to rebuild.”


Wonder if that will cool off "the Arab street" any?

  Posted by susanna in KY | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Spam Saddam, Almost Like Real Saddam?

Much debate about whether it was Saddam or not. Also, was it live or was it Memorex?

We bunker busted something, and with any luck at all, got some big shots, maybe even Saddam. My guess is that if it were really Saddam, he would have appeared with soot and blood stains to proclaim "I have survived." The near escape has mythic qualities to Arabs and to Moslems in general, dating from some their prophet had early on. If it were him, live, how could he resist the drama?

Sunset in Iraq is about 10:14 EST, and good hunting to our guys!
Chuck Simmins

  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Thank you!

Oh, Michele, you're one of my two most favorite people. Work on it, you could reach number one!

Thanks for the invite.
Chuck Simmins

  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Site Update

For reasons unkown Blogger is not recognizing the author URL tag ... I'll keep working on it. Also, we now automatically ping weblogs.com ...

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | predictions

I predict the rumors will be dropping faster than bombs.

I expect a day or so of erratic bombing and then the full campaign.

And I predict that Saddam will make at least three more speeches, none of which will be live, none of which will really be him. Perhaps.

It's the Saddam shell game.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Site Update

From NZ Bear ...

One question/suggestion: looks like the author field on each post is linking to our email addresses. Are we anti-spamming those in any way? If not, I need to switch mine to a dummy (as will most folks want to, I think).

I'd actually suggest making those links our URLs instead (easy enough to do with a template change I think)...
I've changed the template to take out the email address ... will work on putting in the URL. If I can't get Blogger to do that, append your URL to your post.

Also, I've set up a blogroll, and will be blogrolling people throughout the day (as work permits).

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

Amish Tech Support reporting in

A local named Ehling is in Kuwait, and I turned on the TV and accidentally watched a bit of That Place before turning it to a real news station. He had said that the troops had gotten on their chemical protector gear and masks, kept them on until the all-clear signal was sounded, and then he said a few troops called the suits "unbearable" when he asked how it felt. (Check link for station's latest streaming video report)

The invasion to liberate Iraq/Kurdistan hasn't even started yet, and the reporters are already being nay-bobs. I'm not sure I'd want that kind of potentially demoralizing information getting out from the get-go, especially considering that suspected chemical and biological attacks during the hot daylight hours aren't going to be a common thing when the troops roll past waves of surrendering Iraqis towards Saddam Central.

Thank you for making our troops wait until the weather got nasty, Jacques Chirac. Next time you're in the States, we'll be sure to make you walk a really long red carpet during a lightning storm. Feel free to carry your French tricolor on a long metal pole.

  Posted by Laurence | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 |

***THUMP*** ***THUMP***

Is this thing on?

Great idea, folks. I was actually kinda wishing we had something like this last night when the bombs were (not) falling and there were obviously many bloggers online. Well, this or a deck of cards.

The obvious first question to throw out would be: predictions for the day?

I'm going to go on record as saying that I have absolutely no clue what's going to happen, but don't let that stop anybody else...

  Posted by Rob Neppell | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | sirens

If I continue to watch tv all day, I am going to hear the sound of air raid sirens in my sleep tonight.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Site Upgrade

I've upgraded the site to BloggerPro and BlogSpotPlus ... so you can now upload files, spell-check, etc. Comments on the way later today ...

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | We're live!

Thanks to Alan for setting this up so quickly. If you would like to join, send an email to Alan or myself.

It's been a while since I used Blogger - have to get used to this again.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |



 
Thursday, March 20, 2003 | Welcome!

... to the Warblog Corner of the blog circle. If you'd like to be added to those with posting rights, email me at avocare at comcast dot net. Tip to Michele for the idea ...

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |


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