The Command Post  

Our little corner of the warblogger circle. Command Post has moved to a different host. Please go to until the DNS for the new host resolves
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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Manning The Post

History As It Happened

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | You have to be quick

Ye Gods, by the time I'd *thought* about what to write and post, looks like what, half-a-dozen got in before me.

  Posted by Zoe Brain | Permalink |


Saturday, March 22, 2003 | RAF Aircraft Lost in Blue-on-Blue

According to official spokesmen, it looks like a US Patriot battery shot down the RAF aircraft that's been reported missing. Systems are now being looked at to prevent a repeat. Shit happens in war - but any such error should happen at most once.
My sympathies to the families, the squadron, and also to the guys who did the firing. They must feel like shit at the moment. (I apologise for the language, but I reserve it for such occasions.)

  Posted by Zoe Brain | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | MAINLINE NEWS BEHIND:

Bill Gertz's report for the Sunday Washington Times is already outdated.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Patriot Shootdown

MSNBC now reporting word from CENTCOM that the missing RAF aircraft was bagged by a US Patriot battery on the Kuwait border. Two dead.

This is awful.

  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Missing RAF Aircraft may have been downed by Patriot

Sky News from Qatar reports.

  Posted by John (Useful Fools) | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Missing RAF Jet May Have Been Hit By Patriot

According to CNN ... more info to come from Brits soon.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | MISSING BRIT PLANE:

BBC News has a bit more on the RAF aircraft missing after completing its mission.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Um Qasr Mop Up (Live on TV)

Some US Marines, supported by what appears to be 2 British Challenger II Tanks (but could be US M1A2s if I've got the ID wrong) is on MNBC and other channels (see previous posts) doing some mopping-up. A convoy has just arrived, passing through the area.

Latest report: a Republican Guard Officer is civilian clothes captured earlier reports some 120 hostiles in the area. The threat is in 3 regions: a) a bunker or bunker complex which appears to have been neutralised though not occupied, b) a single well-built 3 or 4-story structure which took a few 120mm rounds plus much 40mm AGL (Auto Grenade Launcher) rounds and much other fire, and from which no fire has appeared since and c) A large factory or warehouse complex, with thin walls.
120 hostiles is no longer a mop-up, it's an engagement. Worth an airstrike or an artillery stonk, and I'm glad I'm not handling the insurance on those buildings. Hopefully, with the sight of the "reinforcements" who are actually just passers-by, white flags will start flying soon. If not, the burial detail will be busy, and a lot of Iraqi widows and orphans will be created. So let's hope they see sense, I really don't want to watch a snuff flick.

As for the Marines - they're acting with professional caution, and although in War nothing is certain, I doubt that there will be any friendly military casualties. The only ones at risk are the camera team, who are putting themselves in an exposed position, ie where they'll draw fire if anyone will.

And the Tanks - Challenger IIs - have got some of the heaviest armour of any MBT in service. Even from the side, there's little that would be a major threat, and nothing the Iraqis appear to have available. But they're not taking chances either.

  Posted by Zoe Brain | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Surreality TV

The footage of the battle from Umm Qasr is so incredibly surreal that I can barely believe I'm watching it.

I'm listening to a Sky News reporter interview a sergeant. Surreal doesn't even begin to describe this...

  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Iraq Claims Saddam Unfazed...

From AFP

Iraq claims Saddam still has control over Iraq.

  Posted by Greg | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | DRUDGE HOURS AND HOURS BEHIND:

Nothing on the DRUDGE REPORT that wasn't on the Command Post and elsewhere hours ago. The top half of the page is devoted to an Oscar party. Unbelievable.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Little Umm Qasr Skirmish now a Battle

Apparently there is a full company opposing the Marines at Umm Qasr. Republican Guards officers apparently have been sent south to stiffen some local units.

Some of the local guys aren't too smart, though. Firiing at a tank with an AK is a very dumb idea that we have seen at least once.

  Posted by John (Useful Fools) | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Hello Team

Alan checking in ... the site looks absolutely fantastic. Michele was spot-on with her earlier compliments, as well as her reminders -- while we have had a couple of emails noting that the "voice of the site" was starting to move away from cutting-edge news and toward rants and self-links, overall the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Thanks for keeping The Command Post a constant source of the freshest news about the war out there (IMHO).

In other news, I'm playing with some ideas for how we can use the traffic of this site (and of our own blogs, should we choose) to do some good. One idea is to post links to existing charities. Another is to begin our own effort, and I've been thinking about establishing a way to collect donations toward the education of children of American soldiers killed in Iraq. Just a thought, but I've taken it so far as to speak with an attorney and CPA about the possibilities. If anyone has any thoughts or opinions on this, I'd welcome them either in the feedback or via email to avocare at comcast dot net.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Pink Pick-Up Truck?

How much of Iraq’s “armor” is actually made up of technicals? (Technical: a civilian car or truck outfitted with a mounted gun.)

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | SOLDIER DEAD IN GRENADE ATTACK:

The grenade thrown by a Muslim US Army sergeant has claimed one life; 11 others wounded.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | HALF-WAY TO BAGHDAD:

Reuters reports heavy fighting on the road to Najaf and in Umm Qasr. A UK plane is missing.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Lies, damn lies, and statistics

Yahoo News lists “Iraq Body Count” under their sidebar of war related news sites. This is the site run by Mark Harold, who is well known to invent statistics, and has absolutely no connection to reality. It should not be provided by Yahoo as a legitimate source of information.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Question

Will this "British pool reporter" win a Pulitzer prize, while Aaron Brown continues chattering away?

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | CNN continues to hide source of riveting live coverage

CNN continues to refer to the Sky News team as a "British pool team". Arggh. At least he names David Bowden, the lead reporter.

  Posted by Clyde | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Amazing

Aaron Brown has admitted the “reality TV” aspect of it. I just got home, and quite literally tuned into a battle on my TV. What a world.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | incredible live firefight

The firefight in Umm Qasr currently on Fox/Sky News is riveting.

Contrast with current Drudge Report photos of Hollywood anti-war stars partying....

  Posted by Clyde | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Al Qeda in South America

. . . bin Laden spent three days in 1995 in the tri-border area where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet and where several Middle Eastern terrorist groups are known to be active. . . . American and regional intelligence officials contend the region is first and foremost a financing hub for the Shiite Lebanese group Hezbollah and to a lesser extent for Sunni groups like Hamas and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

. . . an Egyptian called El Said Hassan Ali Mokhles has been sitting in a jail in Montevideo, Uruguay, for the past four years, awaiting a decision by the country's Supreme Court on an Egyptian extradition request. Cairo claims that he participated in a 1997 attack on tourists in Luxor that killed 58 people and that he spent 18 months in a training camp in Afghanistan run by Al Qaeda
Lots more.

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | CNN stealing Fox coverage

CNN is copying, without attribution, video of Fox's sister Sky News live reporting of British firefight in Umm Qasr trying to protect incoming convoy of US tanks. CNN refers to source, David Bowden, only as a "British pool reporter". MSNBC is copying video with proper credit to Sky News.

  Posted by Clyde | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Fox/Sky News Live Firefight

Fox/Sky reporting from Umm Qasr in fire fight. No recent incoming after hit on enemy with Javelin. US Tanks now entering battle.

  Posted by John (Useful Fools) | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Fox: RAF Aircraft missing

Did not return from mission. No other details.

  Posted by John (Useful Fools) | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Fox confirms pictures of Saddam on stretcher exist

Fox is confirming from multiple sources that pictures exist of Saddam on a stretcher and being loaded into an ambulance.

They say the pictures may be made public soon.

  Posted by John (Useful Fools) | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | NYC Pro-America Rally

I know it's a late notice (sorry!) but I was talking to Michele about this and she gave me the ok to post about it:

A group called the Free Republic is organizing a Rally for America in Times Square today (3/23) starting at noon. According to the digital flyer, if you're interested in getting updates about the rally, the group has set up a dedicated number (917-387-8865) that will give you a pre-recorded message update. Just letting you all know...

  Posted by Ravenwolf | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Gas Mask Debacle

It's a good thing the invasion is securing western Iraq and thus eliminating the Scud threat in that direction, according to Haaretz:

Despite the calming announcements regarding the threat to Israel, the Home Front Command is short of some 300,000 gas-mask kits, it emerged this weekend. As a result, the General Staff has decided to hand over 50,000 army-issue masks from the Israel Defense Forces' emergency warehouses to the Home Front Command for distribution to civilians.

The shortage of, and defects discovered in hundreds of thousands of kits distributed to the public, are a sign of organizational and administrative problems that cast a doubt on the quality of the civil defense system, Defense Ministry sources said this weekend....

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Fighting in Umm Qasr

Well, sort of.

THE coalition says it has taken the port town of Umm Qasr, although forces were facing semi-organised resistance from Iraqi troops in civilian clothes. "We're seeing onesies and twosies popping up and shooting at us," said Colonel Larry Brown. "Someone will pop up over a berm and fire an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) and run away like hell." The sniping has not caused any casualties.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | 3rd Infantry going strong

The Washington Post reports that the 3rd Infantry Division has had, "one good fight," and, well, that's about it really. 150 miles, one skirmish, and one mortar fired at them. That's about it.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | notice

The great thing about having so many people involved in this project is there's someone for every time zone, plus. So now I can go take a little nap knowing that the Command Post is under control.

Two things: Just a reminder to keep the post to links and news, and please keep the self linking to a minimum.

Three things.

Thanks to all the posters here for doing a great job keeping this site fresh.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | This Wouldn't Fit Into A Comments Window

Jeffrey asked: "is this site working so well that it's becoming increasingly difficult to find actual news that someone hasn't already posted on here?"

One thing that I'm running into is that it's increasingly difficult to cull anything happening from production that hasn't been seen already. Here is a fact: from my seat here at home, and no matter how deftly I manage information resources that I can dig up, I am nonetheless ultimately dependent on those at the other end of the production pipeline represented by the "legitimate straights" -- print & broadcast types who're out there where the action is.

I am decisively distinguishing between "journalists" and reporters. The former group is, to my mind, sedimented with presumptuous half-wits who can barely record whatever happens to dribble onto their notepads, except when they amuse themselves that they're doing a "job" by asking insipid, insulting, and worthless questions. Repeatedly.

In this group, I also class their employers, who are even worse. Here's an example of what I'm talking about: this afternoon in watching CNN, it took me two or three iterations of a particular story before I became conditioned to expect about a five-second look at a satellite image of lines of surrendering Iraqi troops, aired during the story. "That's pretty good," I'd thought. "I need to watch out for that, and see if I can capture an image of it." The first two or three times, it went by so fast that I could not get set to do the screen-cap.

But it occured to me: that image might be at the CNN website. Well, guess what: if it's there, I haven't found it, and I looked for a pretty good time before I gave up.

Now, that might seem like a little thing. If I was running that operation, though, I would see to a lot tighter integration of news between the two information channels.

These people could really be moving news if they put their minds to it, but they are just appallingly lame. (And I'll tell you something: I lived in Atlanta for almost fifteen years until last November. Not many people at CNN would know me, but I know them, and I know people who know them, and more: I've worked in entertainment production for twenty-five years, and I know the difference between a category and a stereotype. I know that I'm watching a category.)

They represent the "pipeline" that I referred to above. At the other end of that pipeline are people in the field who are actually not doing bad work, when it makes it home to me. And I know full-well that there are difficulties in the matter -- like video-phone connections that don't exactly grow on trees because the satellites are out of sight, or the whole category of security constraints on field reporting of military operations, etc. -- but even for all that, there is a lot more going on than is being exploited in the fullest potential represented by technology now.

A common sense illustration of this is in the fact that this rag-tag little thing that we've going on here is soaking up information faster than most of the professional world can generate it. We're simply better at it than they are.

And that's the answer to your question.


  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | In case you care

Here's Fisk's latest explanation of why war's bad. Read it if you can. I got about half way through the third paragraph. Personally, I already knew war was bad. It's just that some things are worse.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

More Iraqi Propaganda

Al-Jazeera is now reporting Iraqi claims that their armed forces have prevented the advance of the allied troops. More on this kind of stuff on The Frog.

  Posted by Ribbity | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | One Dead, Fifteen Injured

FoxNews is reporting that one of the soldiers injured in the grenade attack has died.

  Posted by Charles | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Iraqi Net Down?

Uruklink the official Iraqi ISP is 101'ing (connection timeout). As Salam Pax uses it for updating his blog, he'll be off-line. My Best Wishes go out to him and his family and friends, and I hope that the US Military-Industrialist complex continues to retain its fantastic record of superb quality control and inhuman accuracy. I dips me lid to all those working on JDAM, PAVE TACK, and various AGMs etc, and to the people who've been delivering them so accurately.

  Posted by Zoe Brain | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Another Image

Here is another image of the 101st Airborne fragging suspect, with a sad CNN caption: "One Camp Penn. Soldier Has Died."

Time correspondent Jim Lacey on the scene reports via telephone that the 101st have their feet under them and they're determined to carry on.

  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Is it just me ...

Or is this site working so well that it's becoming increasingly difficult to find actual news that someone hasn't already posted on here?

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | I Can Understand This

"We're going hunting for bad guys: we're going to find them and kill them."

(Commander, 1st Marine Division, to MSNBC's Chip Reid, about to move out right now)

  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Another human shield recants

This guy has the guts to admit he was wrong. Like several other naive peaceniks, he was enlightened by Iraqis.

. . . . We just sat, listening, our mouths open wide. Jake, one of the others, just kept saying, "Oh my God" as the driver described the horrors of the regime. Jake was so shocked at how naive he had been. We all were. It hadn't occurred to anyone that the Iraqis might actually be pro-war . . . . Perhaps the most crushing thing we learned was that most ordinary Iraqis thought Saddam Hussein had paid us to come to protest in Iraq. Although we explained that this was categorically not the case, I don't think he believed us. Later he asked me: "Really, how much did Saddam pay you to come?"

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Camp Pennsylvania: Curiouser and curiouser...

Well now this is bizarre. ViaInsta via Junkyard Blog, a link to The Ross Institute, an anti-cult site about which I know nothing. The site says D.C. sniper John Muhammad may have tossed a grenade into a tent when he was in the Army. Muhammad has drifted in and out of the Nation of Islam, and a splinter group of same. From The Ross Institute:

The story, according to Berentson and at least two other former members of the 84th, was that Muhammad threw a thermite grenade into a tent housing 16 of his fellow soldiers.

Thermite grenades - made of finely granulated aluminum mixed with a metal oxide, and blasting heat up to 1,200 degrees - are used to destroy equipment during battle. The attack could easily have killed or maimed, but all 16 in the tent, some coughing and choking, escaped unharmed.

Berentson was in the tent. He says the grenade went off near him and near a staff sergeant with whom Muhammad had fought earlier that day. The Army's Criminal Investigation Division, Berentson says, concluded Muhammad (then named Williams) was the lead suspect.

Muhammad was led away in handcuffs and eventually transferred to another company pending charges. He had been court-martialed twice before for lesser incidents while serving in the Louisiana National Guard. But an indictment over the grenade incident never materialized, and Muhammad's Army file has no record of it.

Muhammad's side of the story, as told to his then-wife Mildred, was that after he was accused of the attack, he was hogtied and humiliated by his fellow soldiers in a way that he would never forgive or forget. The experience, Mildred told a Washington Post reporter, would change him permanently.

Slow-burning copycat? Lots more links at InstaMan

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Head in the sand

Newsday has a particularly interesting report about the current situation in Baghdad. I was struck by the stuff coming out of the Information Ministry though.

But top Iraqis were, if anything, even more vehement than ever in asserting that not only was the regime holding steady, but also that the Iraqi military was more than bearing the brunt of the American and British attacks around the country.

"In Umm Qasr, the fighting is fierce and we have inflicted many damages," Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf told reporters. "The stupid enemy, the Americans and British, failed completely. They're not making any penetration."

In fact, according to reporters with coalition troops in the southern port, most of the town is under British and American control.

Every similar report of coalition advances or Iraqi troops surrendering was also rubbish, he said: Iraqi divisions reported to have surrendered were in fact fighting bravely; American tanks were being destroyed; the town of Nassariya was not in coalition hands; Iraqi militia fighters were driving the invading forces back; there were "thousands of casualties among American troops."

Encountered by chance at lunchtime, the uniformed Information Ministry spokesman Uday al-Taie had barely sat down before he called across a restaurant to a table of reporters.

"We have got two American pilots," he said, angrily. "They are in Baghdad. They thought it was going to be a picnic with cream cakes and crates of Pepsi but you will see -- they will be slaughtered."

When asked later, he brushed aside a request to see or interview the two allegedly captured American pilots. American and British military spokesmen said that none of their aircraft have so far been hit by enemy fire.

I'm beginning to think that either the Minister of Information or Minister of Defense will be taken into custody by U.S. troops while giving a press conference explaining that the coalition doesn't have troops within a hundred miles of Baghdad.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Sky News on Camp Pennsylvania

An American Muslim soldier is understood to have carried out a grenade attack on a US military camp, injuring16 soldiers....

The story quotes Fox's Stuart Ramsay, who is now speaking on Fox. Sky News link
ViaInsta. Oh, and apparently Ramsay is with Sky News--that explains that!--a "sister network" of Fox.

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Arabic Reporting

The Frog contains an up-to-date summary of some of the latest reporting in the Arabic news media, as well as some older reports on this subject. I hope post further information on the Arabic media this evening (Israel time).

  Posted by Ribbity | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Jews in the military.

. . . . as a lone candle flickered in a tent at Camp Commando near the Iraqi border, one of four Jewish soldiers at the evening Sabbath service began to cry when Rabbi Irving Elson put his hands on his shoulders and prayed. “Be strong and of courage and trust in the Lord,” Rabbi Elson said, quoting from the Book of Joshua.
There are between 5000 and 8000 Jews in the US military, and about 1500 now in the Gulf. Jewish organizations have organized to provide them with chaplains (there are 4) and kosher-for-Pesach food. Rabbi Elson, who has been traveling throughout the Kuwaiti desert the last few weeks to conduct weekday and Sabbath services for the Jewish soldiers, described the services last Sabbath as “awesome.”

“I went with the Seventh Marines [who] … are literally in the tip of the spear,” he wrote in an e-mail. “We could see the lights of Iraq from our ‘synagogue.’ Every prayer seems to have extra meaning out here, in particular prayers such as Sim Shalom [bring peace] and Hashkiveinu [a prayer for God’s protecting love].” There is also a listserv for Jewish families with members in the military.

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Fox at 11 eastern time...

Okay, Fox's Shepard Smith interviewed a reporter over there someplace, not in Camp Pennsylvania, and the following exchange ensued:
Reporter: American soldier held, being questioned...We don't know name of anyone injured....between 13-16 injured...One solider arrested, being questioned, found hiding after bunker, sign of any breach in perimeter, investigation still underway. Spokesman Max Blumenfeld was asked about motive, and he said resentment may have been the motive but would not elaborate...

Smith: What do we know about this guy?

Reporter: We know very little....there have been some reports this sergeant is a Muslim American, that has not been confirmed..nothing else is known for sure....

Smith: Well, we do know--Stuart Ramsay told us....and the Pentagon has told us to go with our embedded reporters, and that's what we're going to do.

Reporter: Yes, that has been reported, but US Army sources have not confirmed it.
Anyway, folks, this can go either way; lots of early reports are wrong.

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | 101st Fragging Suspect

Here is a really mediocre image captured from my Win2K cable drop, video-phoned to CNN: the suspect sitting on the ground under guard. (640x480, 240K .jpg)

E-Mail Query Update: That is as good a look at the man as was presented in the viddie-phone sequence.

  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Camp Pennsylvania Non-Update

I've noticed that none of the networks are referring to the soldier-suspect as a Muslim anymore; for example, it's been taken off the Fox crawl and CNN's Aaron Brown ran through the incident without mentioning it. He, and another talking head, also mentioned that their reporters knew more than they could say because of the reporting restrictions. My guess is that the military handlers are requiring the reporters to keep this to themselves for the moment, but the cat's out of the bag, as the Jerusalem Post link below indicates ("Get the press release ready"). OTOH perhaps it was an erroneous report. One other item, however: The first time Fox's Stuart Ramsay recounted the incident, he said he'd heard the suspect was a Black Muslim. Ramsay may have been merely adding the identifier of the guy's race--judging from the videophone shots now being shown, he is indeed black. But he also could have meant Black Muslim as in member of the Nation of Islam, which is a whole 'nother kettle of fish. That's Louis Farakkhan's group.

Early reports are often wrong; I add this now because it's curious that U.S. press, at the moment, is suddenly mum on the possible Muslim connection.

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Scott Ritter

Sorry to bring this lowlife up, but I'm flipping channels and I came across Frontline documenting the 12 years of WMD development by Saddam since 1991, and there's Scott Ritter as vocal and vociferous as anyone about going after Saddam and his WMD. Strange.

  Posted by Charles | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

From an interview with a Colonel Ghobashi, who is a surrendered Iraqi soldier, reported in the NY Times:

Colonel Ghobashi talked on for a while, detailing his participation in the disastrous wars begun by Mr. Hussein in Iran and Kuwait. He was a professional soldier, he said, and he did not sign up to engage in fanciful adventures. As he talked on, his tone grew bitter, until he concluded that Mr. Hussein must have a secret agenda.

"He doesn't give us enough to eat, and he doesn't pay us," the colonel said. "And then he starts this thing with the Americans and then tells us to defend the country against the invasion."

Colonel Ghobashi pursed his lips in contemplation and rendered his final opinion on Mr. Hussein. "I believe he is an American agent," he said.

  Posted by Gary | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | I Wonder If They Let Him Shoot a Tommy Gun?

FoxNews has an extended show with Geraldo Rivera in Afghanistan with a bunch of out troops there who continue to do a necessary, dangerous job with little or no publicity. As cheesy as Geraldo is, and he is kind of clumsy and uncomfortable with this crowd, he's doing a good thing right now.

If the title throws you, I guess you didn't waste three hours watching Geraldo in Cicero circa 1987.

  Posted by Charles | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Lots of Great Photography out there: for example: here and here.

  Posted by Steven Taylor | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Saddam needed blood transfusion after attack: UK briefing

Saddam Hussein is thought to have needed a blood transfusion after being seriously wounded in the first wave of cruise missile attacks, according to a British intelligence briefing.

British prime minister Tony Blair's War Cabinet was told in the special 40-minute briefing of the injuries suffered by Saddam when his bunker was hit on Wednesday night.

His son, Uday, is also thought to have been badly hurt and may be dead. According to Britain's Sunday Telegraph, American officials claimed that another of Saddam's relatives, Ali Hassan al-Majid - known as Chemical Ali for his involvement the infamous 1988 Halabja chemical weapons attacks - had been killed.

"Saddam Hussein was so badly injured he needed a blood transfusion," an official told the newspaper. "Unfortunately, he was not critically injured. We think he is still alive. We also think his son Uday was killed or badly injured in the attack."

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Comedy Break Continued

March Madness Rolls On: U.S. Continues Cinderella Story . I like our chances.

  Posted by Patrick | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | I Hate To Be Pedantic, But...

Just because an American Soldier has been taken into custody for the grenade attack in Kuwait, it doesn't mean that it isn't a terrorist attack. Why is it impossible to imagine that our armed services can't have any Islamic nutcases as sleepers? Anybody remember John Allen Muhammad?

And no, I'm not accusing any Muslims in our armed services of being Islamic nut cases. But I think it will only take about two more cases like this before there will be some serious questions raised about Muslims in the armed services, no matter how sensitive we want to be about religion. You have to be able to trust the man or woman standing beside (or behind) you in combat. I also expect to see some anti-Islamic violence in the US now because of this. It is as regrettable as it is inevitable.

  Posted by Charles | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Comedy Break

Caption contest over at the Agonist.

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Notes from a peaceful religion
Attention CAIR. Get the press release ready:

A Muslim-American soldier has been apprehended under suspicion that he was responsible for the grenade attack within a rear base camp of the 101st Airborne Division in Kuwait, Sky News reports. 13 soldiers were injured in the attack.

  Posted by Christopher Johnson | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Rather Broke In ...

.. the 101st Airborne is entering Iraq to fight the Republican Guard. They will be doing a helicopter attack to the rear position of the republican guard.

  Posted by Patrick | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Taken right from LGF, Some info on the Terror Wars thats going on in our own house:

"We are not Americans," he shouted. "We are Muslims. [The U.S.] is going to deport and attack us! It is us vs. them! Truth against falsehood! The colonizers and masters against the oppressed, and we will burn down the master's house!"

  Posted by Nick ( ) | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Can Saddam Destroy His WMD Without Us Knowing?

Of course, while it could easily be argued that this would be a very good thing, if Saddam could manage to destroy all his WMD now, then it could provide him with a final Pyhrric victory from beyond the grave, robbing the Coalition of the Willing of their primary casus belli -- at least in the eyes of much of the world. This would lead to probably disgrace for Bush and Blair and leave people like Chirac crowing interminably about how they were right all along. And, of course, Jacque would have plenty of allies to help publicize this "war crime."

I only ask, because it's clear that Saddam is willing to leave nothing but destruction in his wake -- even at his wake.

  Posted by Charles | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | U.S. Has Hussein's DNA

Clinton's Was Much Easier to Get

Interesting Sunday People article says we have a sample of Saddam Hussein's DNA, in case the Iraqis try planting a lookalike's body in the rubble of a building.

My latest rant.

  Posted by Steve H. | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | War Pix

Ton of great pix at FreeRepublic.

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | So Frightfully Simple.

Howard seems to have left his ultra-brief speaking notes (written on hotel notepaper) at the lectern after he gave a controversial press conference last week in the Kiwi capital Wellington, linking the campaign against Iraq with the Bali bombings. And this is what the PM, who famously shuns speechwriters and typically speaks off the cuff, wrote down: "Disarming Iraq is part of the wider war vs terror, because of Iraqi's past and ongoing support for terrorists. If Iraq is not disarmed there cd be more terrorist attacks like Bali or worse (worse sharply underlined)". So frightfully simple.

Not to be compared with Blair's razor-sharp intellectual analysis, nor even Bush's simple homespun call-to-arms. Just the simple truth.

"Disarming Iraq is part of the wider war vs terror, because of Iraqi's past and ongoing support for terrorists. If Iraq is not disarmed there cd be more terrorist attacks like Bali or worse ".


From The Australian's STREWTH column, via Tim Blair.

  Posted by Zoe Brain | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | NIGHT BOMBING

Reuters: "Several explosions rocked Baghdad before dawn on Sunday, including one massive blast that shook the ground in the center of the city..."

Some great photographs by Goran Tomasevic accompany the story.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Looking for endorsement dough

Anyone catch the soldier who, when interviewed in full military garb, thanked not only his family and the support from back home, but also "Oakley, for making the finest eye protection in the world"? Heh. I'm sure his check's in the mail.

  Posted by Mike Krempasky | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Iraq Information Minister refuses to answer questions about Saddam

From the New York Times (of all places)...scroll to bottom of article:

Today, attempts by reporters to gain some elucidation met with a blank wall. At a news conference, an American reporter asked when Mr. Hussein would be making another address on the war to the Iraqi people.

"Next!" the information minister, Muhammad Said al-Sahhaf, said sharply, beckoning to another reporter for a new question.

Moments later, a different reporter tried again. Had the minister seen Mr. Hussein in person at any time in the last few days?

"Next! Next!" Mr. Sahhaf replied, still more testily, then demanded: "Please ask something reasonable."

  Posted by Clyde | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Why The Old Media is Useless

This is the huge headline at Boston.Com, the Boston Globe's "continuously" updated website:
"Baghdad Ravaged by Bombardment". One of the story's first paragraph reads..."Warplanes targeted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's palace on the banks of the River Tigris, government and military targets and other symbols of his rule. The precise scale of Iraqi fatalities from the bombing and the hostilities was not clear."

That was 32 HOURS AGO!!!


  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Fox News Reports Presidential Intimacy

Fox reporter just said, "President was a Camp David spending some quality time with the First Lady."

Way to go, George!! Hubba, Hubba.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | A positive note from Canada...

There's a nice piece in today's National Post, by Andrew Coyne, titled How rare, to ask the UN to go to war. An excerpt:

In the history of the United Nations, only one country has ever asked the world's permission to go to war. That country is the United States.
Very supportive of the U.S. position, and likely a good source of some 'intellectual ammunition'.


  Posted by AlexPGP | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Unnamed British Official: Saddam Injured Severely But Not Critically


Just saw this on Google News. According to Sean Rayment and Colin Brown of The Daily Telegraph, an unknown British official now says our first attack injured Saddam Hussein so badly he required a blood transfusion. However, the official says the British believe Hussein is still alive.

None of this stuff is reliable, but we can at least hope Hussein is in great pain and that he will be permanently disabled.

And I put up a cute rant about Muslims defending Saddam today, if anyone cares.

  Posted by Steve H. | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Unfinished Business

There are still 600 Kuwaitis missing, believed captured, by the Saddam regime during the 1991 contretemps. Their release, or an accounting for them, should have been one of the non-negotiable demands of the cease-fire.

Then there's Capt. Michael Scott Speicher, USN.

(via Bill Gertz)

  Posted by Zoe Brain | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | MSA post at LGF similar to 101st sabotage

This post regarding an MSA at a u.s. university has an excerpt that is very similar to the situation going on with the soldier who was arrested in the 101st airborne:

"Asalamu Alikum Wa Rahmatu Allah Wa Barakatu,
I always thought (and still think) it's a great idea to join the US ground forces for a simple reason: they're all getting shipped off to the Middle East for FREE! So, you go there, free, with US equipment and weapons, yada yada yada, then when you get there, you change sides and fight the kufar! After changing your uniform of course! And while you're at it, you can sabotage some of their stuff from the inside! "

I wonder if the FBI is keeping track of this guy.

  Posted by Murley | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Fox reporter on Camp Pennsylvania

"A bizarre story... originally appeared to be terrorist attack...Now apparently a crime by an American soldier. .....Unit attacked was 101st Airbrone, scheduled to be deployed in next few days...Two men have been arrested, one an engineer with the 327th in 101st; he has been with the unit for long period, he was on guard duty when the attack occurred two to thee grenades thrown into tent, he goes missing, search ensues, he is found in bunker shot in leg, he is Muslim-American....Second individual, not believed to be soldier, is also under arrest...attack was on tent of Col. Ben Hodges, injured, not seriously....motive is absolutely unknown."

Obviously this sucks, but methinks Fox anchor Rita Cosby is freaking out more than is helpful.

UPDATE: Stuart Ramsay on the scene for Fox...there are three tents where main command structure is...Hodges is in charge of camp, grenade was thrown in tent...grenades rolled in three, one did not explode, 16 people injured, 11 seriously enough to be taken for medical evac....I am watching man who is surrounded [this is the American suspect I believe]...another man is near him, initial reports were two translators attacked, it turns out this is not the case [so initial Debka report is wrong on that point] ....At same time, within half hour, Scud attack took place, destroyed by Patriot...Hodges does not believe that is coordinated, just coincidence [bc it would take a lotta coordination]....this man, shot in the leg, is still being questioned, is now being pulled to feet and taken away in armored Humvee....I have been told he is Muslim American quote one soldier, he was acting weird, we have been preparing to go to forward position, and he was not going to be going forward [with 101st]....

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Genetic Manipulation?

What do you get when you cross Two Greatest Monsters of the 20th Century?

(Original article from Salon, found via Tim Blair thence to Michael J. Trotten, a good source of photos.)

  Posted by Zoe Brain | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Ideological warfare

Long post with documentation speculating that the Saudis might be behind the recent attempt to smear the neo-cons in the Bush administration.

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Iraqis and Americans To Rally

There is an Iraqi-American on Fox reporting that there is going to be a rally tomorrow at the Lincoln Memorial made up of Iraqis and Americans who support the military action taking place. I didn't catch the specific time, but it sounds like something that should get some press. This gentlemen has family there and he is looking forward to seeing his country being liberated.

  Posted by jaycaruso | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | NBC on the economy

dateline NBC is showing some "objectivity." They just ran a bleak piece about the economy post-war. The concern? People might learn how to "live lean" and not bother to pick up spending after the war is over.

I think they're spinning in a different direction than fox or cnn.

  Posted by Murley | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Free Iraqi Forces

Courtesy of Bargarz, PBS has an interesting article about Free Iraqi Forces now training in the USA. Given that there's 4 million refugees from Saddam, that's about 15% of the Iraqi population, there isn't likely to be a shortage of volunteers. This is how we'll deal with the Werewolves in the cities - we won't, the Iraqis will.

The several hundred people who showed up get signed up with the Titan Corporation, a private contractor providing interpreters for the military, sign a personal services contract with or become a term employee of the military, join the reserves or in one of the most popular options, join the Free Iraqi Forces, or FIF.

MAN: You'd be in uniform in a free Iraq... a special Free Iraqi Force uniform.

ELIZABETH BRACKETT: The Pentagon says nearly 1,000 Iraqi-Americans have already been sent to Hungary for a four-week army training course for FIF fighters.

Someone in the Puzzle Palace* is thinking long-term, and is smarter-than-the-average-bear.

* As the Pentagon is known to those who work within it... even some Aussies have been known to call it that.

Just a quick remark : as I've often found when telecommuting from Australia to Europe, the time-zone differece can really work for you. CommandPost is a 24-hour service, with shifts in the US, Australia and the UK each taking about 8 hours. This wasn't planned, it just self-organised. Call it the Coalition of the Willing, you see a job that needs doing, and do it..

  Posted by Zoe Brain | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | U.S. Soldier Continued...

Fox and CNN are also reporting that a U.S. soldier is being "detained for questioning" in the incident at Camp Pennsylvania.

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | From CBS

"From our reports it appears that a terrorist penetrated Camp Pennsylvania, one or more terrorists threw two hand grenades into a tent," said George Heath, spokesman at Fort Campbell, home base of the 101st.

Strassman said three suspects were being held for questioning, two Kuwaitis who served a translators and an American soldier described as a black Muslim.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | "U.S. Soldier Now In Custody For 101st Attack"

MSNBC crawl, now.

  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Armed masked thugs attack major American cities

Even Justin Raimondo is seriously fed up with the antiwar protesters.

Masked thugs stopped cars, and tried to drag people out. These "peaceful" protesters had quite an array of weapons: stun guns, crowbars, brass knuckles, and other instruments of mayhem were confiscated from arrested demonstrators. They deliberately blocked streets, tied up the entire city for 8 hours, broke windows, threw rocks, and wreaked havoc, acting like the hooligans they are. Some of them wore masks, demonstrating that they are also cowards. News crews were assaulted with spraypaint, rocks, and other objects.

A milder version of these tactics were replicated in Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York City, and elsewhere, but San Francisco was, naturally, the worst. Over 1,000 people were arrested in the City by the Bay, but most were, unfortunately, released. Shouting their defiance – "We’ll be back! We’ll be back!" – they are still out there, as I write [10:00 PM, March 20], moving in groups from intersection to intersection, creating as much chaos as possible. They are organized, they are violent, and they are nuts.
Well well well.

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Joy amidst the rubble of Baghdad

Reuters photo by Faleh Kheiber.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Reuters reports Patriot missiles brought down a Scud missile in northern Kuwait.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Shock and Awe downgraded?

Jim Micklashefki (I know that's not right) on NBC now reports that Baghdad is relatively quiet tonight because "Shock and Awe" has been downgraded today, with only 500 missiles being fired throughout the country.

Question: What do you call a "downgraded" Shock and Awe? Sudden Jolt and Mild Astonishment? Suggestions?

NBC also had some eerie video of the car bomb explosion that killed the journalists.

  Posted by Murley | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | No Scuds Used

"Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the vice director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon news conference that the Iraqis have not fired any Scuds and that U.S. forces searching airfields in the far western desert of Iraq have uncovered no missiles or launchers. " [Fox News]

  Posted by Gary | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

More evidence of a link between Al Qeada and Iraq, via the Ricin in Paris

  Posted by Nick ( ) | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | CBS is Reporting a Soldier is Being Questioned

In gernade attack. Dan Rather just reported the soldier was found wounded in a tent. No nationality was given.

  Posted by Patrick | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Gernade Attack Story Posted

The first story of the gernade attack has been posted. "As of right now, we have 10 soldiers from the 101st that were transported by helicopter to a hospital facility," said Sgt. Scott Whittington, spokesman for the 101st Airborne Division in Kuwait City."

  Posted by Patrick | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Celebrities...again!

Via, billed as an "anti-war libertarian" site:

Artists United to Win Without War will initiate a speaking tour of college campuses to help build and sustain opposition to the war. Many actors associated with the group will wear "Peace Pins" at the Oscars, including Salma Hayek, Ben Affleck, Dustin Hoffman, Jim Carrey, Kirstin Dunst, Ed Norton, and Julianne Moore.


  Posted by AlexPGP | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | The Werewolf Principle

One thing about Saddam Hussein: he is ( or rather, was ) a student of history. In talking with many Iraqi refugees here in Australia over the years, I was always struck by the similarity of methods between Saddam and Stalin.

In the military area, Saddam appears to have learnt two distinct lessons: Firstly, that Stalingrad managed to destroy an entire German Army: and secondly, the use of Werewolves as a weapon of war.

Of course, the Werewolf Nazi Resistance Movement was an abject failure, but expect to see attacks by people out of uniform over the coming few days at least. Probably weeks, possibly much longer. And the Coalition has also learnt a lot about MOUT ( Military Operations in Urban Terrain ). The first rule of which is not to engage in them if we don't have to. Remember, the war has 3 objectives. The first is to get rid of Iraq's WMD capability. This can be accomplished by occupying the country, and confining any resistance to small areas, like cities. We don't need them, providing we can get supplies to the populace. The second is to get rid of Saddam's regime, and Saddam and his sons. This may well have been accomplished on Day 1, we'll see. The third is to make a reasonably humane, democratic and stable regime in Iraq. This won't be done overnight, and will require both a "Hearts and Minds" and de-Ba'athification campaign, a la Germany in 45-48.

  Posted by Zoe Brain | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | What's going on at Camp Pennsy?

Shep on FoxNews is reporting that one soldier is missing there, a search is going on for him, and the two translators who were suspected have been located. The report seemed to indicate that there is confusion about precisely what happened, that the missing soldier may be involved and the two translators may not be. Very confusing.

UPDATE: Okay, I misunderstood. Now he's saying, the two translators threw in the grenades and opened up with small arms fire. They're in custody, the soldier is still missing.

UPDATE: Back to the original story - from Stuart Ramsey at Camp Pennsy, it could be the missing soldier, and the two translators are "accounted for", which seems to indicate not in custody.

UPDATE: Ramsey said the info on the soldier says he was guarding some materiel, that some of that is missing as is the officer, who may or may not be involved. Ramsey is reporting the information based on listening to the two-way radio he has that is keying in on conversations by the military there.

  Posted by susanna in KY | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |


At a media briefing in Canberra, ADF spokesman says SAS soldiers have overrun ballistic missiles sites inside Iraq.

Also says Aussie F-18 Hornets on AWAC escort mission re-tasked for a stike mission, but couldn't complete the mission as the crew could not positively id the target. He says this is in accordance with the rules of combat, to avoid hitting non-hostile target. The decision to abort the strike was the correct one, and is being backed up by ADF commanders

  Posted by Tom Paine | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | It's no fun being an illegal alien

Knock me over with a feather... Mexico arrests two illegal aliens and their coyote border-smuggler.

Of course, they're not Mexicans trying to sneak in. They're Iraqis:

Mexican immigration authorities in the border city of Tijuana detained two Iraqi citizens and an alleged immigrant trafficker who was trying to smuggle them into the United States, local media reported Saturday.

The men detained Friday were not apparently linked to any radical groups, but were instead intending to seek political asylum in the United States, the newspaper El Universal reported.

The men were detained after they arrived by bus from the western city of Guadalajara and were found to be carrying apparently false Austrian travel documents, according to Baja California state officials.
Don't bother asking the Austrians about this. They know noTHINK!

  Posted by Laurence | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Reporters Caught in Crossfire

Important safety tip: It's dangerous in war zones.

Missing British TV reporter Terry Lloyd and two of his news crew may have been hit in crossfire from coalition forces in Iraq, it has been reported.[...]

The Ministry of Defence has said it is possible the crew got caught in crossfire between coalition forces and Iraqis.

MoD sources have said the ITN group had gone through several checkpoints where they had been warned to turn back but instead they chose to carry on.

[Emphasis mine.] They ended up in the midst of a firefight between coalition tanks and Iraqi forces.

  Posted by Michael Chamberlain | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Live BBC Feeds

Here's the link to the BBC World Service page, and here's the link to a live Real player feed.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Don't Expect This To Last Just 100 Hours

In his radio address, the President was working to set expectations about how long this will take:

A campaign on harsh terrain in a vast country could be longer and more difficult than some have predicted. And helping Iraqis achieve a united, stable, and free country will require our sustained commitment. Yet, whatever is required of us, we will carry out all the duties we have accepted.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

B-52s set for second air raid.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

I have just heard the BBC live news feeds reported that Another group of B-52 bombers have just launched from Fairford.

Anyone have a link to provide for the feed?

  Posted by Nick ( ) | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Progress

CNN: US troops are now more than 150 miles into Iraq, and have crossed the Euphrates.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Here's a fabulous read regarding the way the rest of the world views the U.S.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Update on the attack on the 101st here.

  Posted by John | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Pentagon Denies Aircraft Shot Down

Iraq claims to have shot down an allied aircraft. All of the allies disagree.

  Posted by Michael Chamberlain | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | More on the attack

Fox News confirmed 10 wounded, six seriously; one or two terrorists apparently infiltrated the camp, the reporter said. The unit is US 101 Airborne in Camp Pennsylvania; most of the unit is apparently already in Iraq. They're not sure yet if the one(s) responsible have been caught.

UPDATE: Stuart Ramsey of Sky News is at Camp Pennsylvania; he reports on Fox News that it was two Kuwaiti or Arab nationals. They threw the explosive device into the command tent. A medical evacuation helicopter has arrived to take the injured away. Ramsey says the terrorists may have been in the translation staff used by the unit, and were wearing camouflage uniforms. It's unknown if the terrorists were caught, got away or were injured in the attack.

  Posted by susanna in KY | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Al Jazeera shows blood and guts - Reportedly from Basra

The Washington Post says 50 Iraqis are dead and a number wounded at Basra by bombing. This includes a Russian citizen. Al Jazeera shows the pictures on their network.

  Posted by Patrick | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Fact Check Request

Can anyone verify or provide updated information on this anthrax rumor?

Update: I forgot to tip the hat to Colin for emailing the link.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | OT: This Is Really Working

Amid other administrivia around my desk this afternoon, I also make Web-rounds of other blogs and more high-profile commentary, and one thing glaring out is that this place is way ahead of almost everyone I see when it comes to the pulse of events. I see other places as much as twenty-four hours behind us with news bits, and I have seen nothing else remotely approaching the comprehensive, one-stop-shop, that's going on here.

I think it's splendid. Some people might deride this as "obsessive" or whaddyawannacallit, but I see history being annotated here in real time. It's like nothing I've ever seen before, and have certainly never participated in. Not like this.

This is important. It's good to be here. Thanx for having me.

  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

CNN now reporting 10 wounded in the grenade attack, and the reporter is saying that he has been told to get behind a berm because there is a bag that may be a bomb in the camp.

  Posted by SunDevilDog | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Rather on grenade attack

Dan Rather just broke in on the NCAA tourney to say that someone threw grenades into those officers' tents (referred to below in John's post); 8 are injured, four seriously.

  Posted by susanna in KY | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | NY Times Reports Iraq Repositioning Missles

"Iraqi forces have been repositioning their surface-to-surface missiles and are expected to try further missile attacks against advancing American troops, senior American officials said today." Link Here.

  Posted by Patrick | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Grenade attack on 101st leadership in camp in Kuwait

CNN Reports: Two leadership tents were attacked, one grenade each, adjacent to the reporter's tent. Multiple serious injuries - the reporter saw 5 and carried out two. Brigade S2 is now running the brigade.

Update 6:19PM EST

10 injured, 6 serious.

Massive manhunt going on at post. 2 Arabs in custody, but not known if they did it. Post has large number of Arab contractors.

Per Time Reporter Jim Lacey via CNN.

At the moment, they are running behind a berm because an unidentified bag has been found that may be bomb.

  Posted by John (Useful Fools) | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Only for the strong of stomach

If you can manage to read this with a straight face and without losing your lunch...Democrats Speak Out on Iraq.

Good luck.

  Posted by Crazy Write Winger | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Jordan the mediator in those "high level talks" Gen. Franks mentioned?

Seems Jordan is acting as go-between in negotiations of some sort between the Coalition and Iraq according to the Islamic Republic News.

Interesting stuff from across the pond...

Interesting tidbit from the British Prime Minister's website. There is also a transcript of Tony Blair's address to his nation on 3/20.

  Posted by Crazy Write Winger | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Peacenik Watch

Another first-person report from a peace march, via Andrew Sullivan. This one sounds particularly pathetic.

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | They downed an Allied aircraft?

Naseer Al-Nahr of the Arab News "reports" as such:

Meanwhile, Iraq claimed that its surface-to-air missiles had downed at least one enemy plane. It was seen by residents falling from the sky on fire. Satellite television later showed pictures of the shattered plane as unconfirmed reports said the Iraqi missiles had hit another allied aircraft. An Iraqi spokesman announced here that Iraq’s air defense system had so far downed 21 enemy cruise missiles.
Oh course, this reporter is from the same publication that published claims by the Palestinians as matter-of-fact that Sharon was planning mass transfers under the cover of the invasion of Iraq, which I'm sure everybody is glued to their televisions and watching right now.

Probably just a cruise missile hit by a lucky shot. Our condolences go out to the robot's family and children.

  Posted by Laurence | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | War Bonus . . .

MSNBC reporting that Tony Blair's approval rating has jumped from 22% two weeks ago to 56% today . . . as light bulbs go on.

  Posted by SunDevilDog | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Frivolous Site Upgrade

I've given us some more interesting smilies ... because I'm all about strong intellectual content.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | CBS News Reports 101st Airborne Injuries

People are wounded when explosion happens near/inside tent. No one is clear on what's happened. I believe they said 6 people hurt in Kuwait. Cause unknown.

  Posted by Patrick | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | LIBERATION PHOTOS--Actual

Since my earlier post had a broken link (which I just fixed), here's a repost: I have collected some photos from around the web here.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Storm Shadow used by the RAF

From the Financial Times, "The use of Storm Shadow by Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s is the first acknowledgement by British forces that it has deployed new weapons in the war with Iraq and follows months of denial by the MoD that the cruise missile was ready for use in combat." France and Germany must be happy since one of their companies, Franco-German European Aeronautic Defence and Space, helped develop it.

  Posted by Patrick | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | PRECISION BOMBING

Reuters has this rehash discussed as breaking news. The thing I find fascinating is this quotation:

Three people were martyred in Baghdad last night and we are preparing for more deaths because the situation is developing rapidly," Iraqi Health Minister Umeed Midhat Mubarak told a news conference.
Baghdad is a big city. Coalition forces have been bombing the bejeezus out of it for three days. Shock and awe, and all that. And we have killed only three civilians? I knew our "brilliant bombs" were good; I had no idea they were that good.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Clashes in Najaf, South of Baghdad -Iraq TV

  Posted by Crazy Write Winger | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | 500 Cruise Missles and 1,000 Missions Flown

The last 24 hours has been very busy according to this AP article. At $600,000 a pop that's alot of money.

  Posted by Patrick | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | media critical of shock&awe show

At the afternoon Pentagon briefing, media reporters expressed disappointment that the Shock & Awe Show was much less spectacular than expected, apparently having concluded in advance that the unilateral coalition's goal was to give the world a fireworks display rivaling Epcot. Military leaders took pains to translate their remarks to a lower grade level trying to explain that 'shock & awe' should be viewed as perceived by its intended recipients as opposed to casual remote spectators.

  Posted by Clyde | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | The 101st?

Fox News just had an expert wondering openly where the 101st was, thinking they were still in Kuwait.

CNN and MSNBC have had people openly wondering why they're still in Kuwait. There's been images of their columns lined up and prepared to cross over.

Thoughts of inflatable tanks and fake airstrips from WWII came to mind. Anybody else suspecting that this is the handiwork of PsyOps and that they've already crossed over, kept quiet, and will pop up and surprise whoever's in their path?

  Posted by Laurence | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Air Raid in Mosul

Reuters is reporting that the northern Iraq city is seeing action. The air raid lasted about five minutes.

  Posted by Patrick | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Casualties Identified

From DefenseLINK:

The Department of Defense announced today the identities of four U.S. Marines killed in a CH-46E helicopter crash on March 20 in Kuwait. Killed were:

Maj. Jay Thomas Aubin, 36, of Waterville, Maine

Capt. Ryan Anthony Beaupre, 30, of Bloomington, Ill.

Cpl. Brian Matthew Kennedy, 25, of Houston, Texas

Staff Sgt. Kendall Damon Watersbey, 29, of Baltimore, Md.

Aubin was assigned to the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron - 1, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. Beaupre, Kennedy and Watersbey were assigned to the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron - 268, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, Calif.

May God be with them and their families.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Saddam watch continues

Fox News reports that the US government is in possession of photographs which show Saddam Hussein being placed on a stretcher as he was removed from a bunker that was hit in the first strike against Iraq. Iraqi opposition indicates that the strike took place during an intelligence briefing that was led by Saddam Hussein's son Qusay.

  Posted by Dustin | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Chemical Ali Alive

It appears that the reports of his demise were premature . . . Also, the more time that goes by without an appearance by either Qusay or Uday the more likely it becomes that they are dead.

  Posted by SunDevilDog | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | A Great Point

The Pentagon Comms. Director just made a great point: that the burning of oil in trenches around Baghdad is not about air defense, it's about creating dramatic images that make our targeting process look less accurate than it is. And I think she may be right.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Heartless Bombs

Why is it that every time one of our bombs goes astray, it hits an orphanage, an old folks home or a hospital? Ah, those clever Iraqis and their propaganda! Meanwhile, why was the orphanage empty???

  Posted by SunDevilDog | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Pentagon Briefing

Several newsies annoyed that Pentagon warns against non embedded newsies roaming the battlefield. It's dangerous, especially if you go between our forces and Iraqi forces, according to Pentagon.

Others annoyed that we will not tell them exactly where we are or what route we're taking to Baghdad.

  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | NPR Watch

From Andrew Sullivan's mailbag. Excuse me while I puke.

PS Scroll down for similar from the BBC.

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Hans continues to blix

More blah blah blah from Hans Blix.

Even though he wanted more time for inspections, Blix said yesterday that he didn't know if he could ever be sure that Iraq wasn't hiding the illegal missiles. "I could not guarantee that we would come to clear conclusions even after some months more," he said
If this sentence doesn't sum up the stupidity of the UN weapons inspections, I don't know what does.

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

IDF radio quotes the German FM Yoshke Fisher as warning Turkey against its forces crossing the border into Iraq. Germany says that if Turkey becomes a part in the conflict, Germany will pull out its NATO forces in that country.

  Posted by Alisa InWonderland | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Human Shield Update

"We have a bad impression of the human shields. Some of them are crazy," said an Iraqi Foreign Ministry official, who requested anonymity. "Yes, there are some fruitcakes among us," said Marc Eubanks, a Wyoming native and Air Force veteran who now lives in Athens, Greece. He was referring to some anarchists, who he said could provoke major culture clashes with Iraqi officials at joint meetings.

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Greek universities encourage antiwar protests

A four-hour nationwide strike called in opposition to the war brought Greece to a standstill, with schools and universities closed to allow students to protest. [emphasis mine - JW ]

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Pulling Rank..

Well I see that Fox is now down to using ex Captains as expert commentators. No offense to Capt Custer formerly of the 101st Airborne, he seems OK, but I was a Major in Airborne Ranger forces. I suppose I'd better saddle up and get on down to LZ Fox.

  Posted by Pancho | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Protest march infiltrators

Protest Warrior inflitrates antiwar marches and comes back with great photos. They also have a line of t-shirts and bumperstickers.

  Posted by Judith | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Liberation photos

I have collected some photos from around the web here.

UPDATE: The link actually goes somewhere now. Sorry about that...

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | on fox:

The lights are out in Baghdad. Only the streetlights remain lit, all other power looks to be out.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Basra siege? - No plans at present to take Basra:

US-led forces have no plans for a major attack on Basra, Iraq's major southern port city, General Tommy Franks has said.

The US commander said his troops had spotted no major concentration of Iraqi firepower in Basra and would prefer to work with civilians in the city.

"Our intent is not to move through and create a military confrontation in that city," he said.

A British military spokesman said earlier that allied forces were trying to work out the "peaceful surrender" of Iraqi troops defending Basra.

  Posted by Christopher Johnson | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Conflicting Reports

The Pentagon isn't sure about the 4 marines who were killed, apparently by a RPG to their humvee. They may not have been killed after all. (CNN)

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Predicting The Future?

On 4/17 New Yorker reporter Jon Lee Anderson (in Baghdad at the time) reported:

Later, in a situation without minders or translators, I told a man who is highly placed in Baghdad that I had seen trenches and foxholes on the road to Kut, and he laughed. That was just to keep people busy doing things, he said. It was obvious that the regime did not intend to defend anything but Baghdad itself. The Republican Guard and the Special Republican Guard had been pulled to Baghdad from the south and the north and had been dispersed throughout the city, in civilian areas. This seemed like a foolhardy policy to him, but there it was. “If everything else is gone,” he said, “then why fight for Baghdad? What is the point in that?”
Sounds like what we're seeing. More details here.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | best live video site

Reuters Raw Iraq Video: Reuters has launched a free streaming video feed online that shows raw war-related footage such as government briefings and footage from on the ground in Iraq -- including battlefield images. The service is free, although Reuters plans to charge for it eventually.

  Posted by Clyde | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Missles in Iran

As I recall, they claimed it happened in the first Gulf War, too.

  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | That woul be embarrassing (And so was my initial spelling in this headline.)

Bad roads and falling asleep at the wheel are listed as two of the biggest threats to journalists and soldiers alike in this story. (Warning, the font size is like pt. 6 on this page.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Pentagon briefing at 4pm EST.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Not KIA

Fox is reporting the Pentagon is saying that the four presumed KIA from the Third Infantry are, in fact, wounded. Also, an embed with the Marines reported that two Navy Corpmen stepped on a mine, with limb loss. Marine aviation landed under fire to extract them.

  Posted by Chuck | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

The northern front has been scrapped...

From Reuters:

The United States has scrapped plans to move U.S. troops through Turkey into northern Iraq and instead will send the 4th Infantry Division from Texas to Kuwait to join a thrust into embattled Iraq from the south, U.S. officials said on Saturday.

From CNN:

About 35 cargo ships carrying equipment for the U.S. Army's Fourth Infantry Division, originally slated to move into Iraq from northern Turkey, will be moved instead through the Suez Canal and then on to the Persian Gulf and Kuwait, Pentagon officials said Saturday. Turkey did not agree to allow the U.S. to use its territory to attack Iraq, so the Fourth will be part of the follow-on force instead of the original combat force.

So it looks like we'll send an airborne force into northern Iraq to convince the Turks and Kurds to behave themselves, while the 4th ID heads around the horn to Kuwait.

And in case anyone is interested, the view from The Kurdistan Observer.

Finally, you've GOT to check these guys out. Brave souls. They demonstrate just how un-observant protestors are.

  Posted by Crazy Write Winger | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Air Raid Sirens in Baghdad

11:11pm, Local

  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Two more names:

The Pentagon has released the names of the two Marines killed in action Friday: 2nd Lt. Therrel Childers, 30, of Harrison, Miss. and Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, 22, of Los Angeles. They were assigned to the 5th Regiment of the 1st Marine Division based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | RSS feed?

OT: Is it possible to create an RSS feed for the site for headlines? It would be nice to be able to monitor headlines without having to constantly reload the site. Thanks!

  Posted by joy | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Iraq TV is showing a tape of a meeting Saddam supposedly had today with his officers.


  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | More Polling Data

USAToday/Gallup poll of Americans shows 76% approval for the United States’ decision to go to war with Iraq, with 60% approving "strongly."

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Troops going into Northern Iraq...

CNN is reporting that the stage is being set to fly troops into Northern Iraq to keep the peace between Kurds and Iraqis.

Up to 200 U.S. Special Forces will set up a staging area in eastern Jordan near the border with Iraq, the sources said, where they will fly the airborne troops into the region. These could number thousands after a week. Sources say the operation is the result of American exasperation with Turkey's demands that it should be able to put its troops into northern Iraq at same time as U.S. troops would go into the region.

Watch for the liberals to leap on this as an evidence of failure, claiming we destabilized the region.

  Posted by Crazy Write Winger | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Washington D.C./Virginia Muslim Reaction

From local newsradio WTOP (which has a live, free broadcast by the way; file that one away).

With security stepped up at mosques across the state, many in Virginia's sizable Muslim community condemned President Bush's swift call to war against Iraq, but distanced themselves from supporting Saddam Hussein.

"The sentiment generally is that peace could have been given a little more of a chance," said Sherif Hafiz, as he emerged from the Islamic Center of Tidewater in Norfolk. "I pray that the Lord will make this an instrument of peace and betterment for humankind."

Other random quotes:
Despite the fear of community backlash, though, some religious leaders openly questioned whether weapons inspectors were given enough time to do their work and whether pre-emptive strikes against Iraq were absolutely necessary. "I don't think Bush is evil," Mohammad Shafi told worshippers at the Reston branch of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society. "But he does have some people around him who are - and we should pray for them. Perhaps God will turn their hearts around."

Shafi said aggression is against the tenets of Islam and that Mohammed did not impose his rule on anyone....

Zeinab Hassouna, an Egyptian native who lives in the Harrisonburg area, said she is against the war, but she also does not support Saddam Hussein's regime. She would have preferred to give inspectors more time to spare the Iraqi people. "People in Iraq have no choice about whether to fight," said her husband, Abdelrahman Rabie. "They either face American guns or Hussein's. They are forced one way or another."

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | NYC Protest Confrontation

CNN is reporting a "confrontation" is occurring with protesters on 14th street in NYC.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | No chemical weapons, BUT...

Reuters reports that German soldiers conducted tets on Iraqi missiles fired at Kuwait and found no evidence of chemical weapons.

The German Defense Ministry said on Saturday an examination conducted by German soldiers on an Iraq missile fired at Kuwait found no signs of biological or chemical weapons. A spokesman for the ministry in Berlin said a team of German chemical, nuclear and biological weapons experts had examined the remains of the missile on Friday.

"It is a Scud missile but had neither biological or chemical weapons on it," Defense Minister Peter Struck said.

First of all, the Germans wouldn't admit it if they DID find them, because that would prove they are twits for opposing the war in the first place.

The proof? SADDAM ISN'T SUPPOSED TO HAVE SCUDS EITHER!! The Scuds are every bit of a violation as any chemical weapon.

Apparently, the French are sending a chemical weapons detection unit to Qatar as well.

Do I smell a cover-up here?

  Posted by Crazy Write Winger | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Fox is reporting that the senior Iraqi leadership is leaving Iraq.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | CNN Clarifies The Air War

CNN's pentagon correspondent is reporting that the coalition has flown 2,000 missions, 1,000 of which have been combat missions. Also saying we are in the middle of a 3-4 day campaign against fixed targets with the intention of getting the Iraqi regime to capitulate. If they don't by then, the air war will shift to Iraqi combat forces.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Bring a hat

Weather forecast for Baghdad: high 70s through the week, partly cloudy with a chance of rain on Tuesday. (Insert smoke cloud joke here)

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

IDF radio cites Iraqi official as saying that Iraqis have captured a foreign pilot. He says that the pilot is neither American nor British.

  Posted by Alisa InWonderland | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Listening to the ABC radio news coverage, The news guy is reporting the Iraqi info people are claiming they have shot down "21 cruise missiles".

  Posted by Nick ( ) | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Seems like the terror never ends for Iraqi citizens

The Sydney Morning Herald writes about Iraqis in Safwan welcoming Western troops, but this is chilling:

Happiness and dread rose together yesterday from this desolate border village, where some of the first Iraqis liberated by American and British troops found the joy of their deliverance muted by the fear that it was too good to last....

Only hours before, the residents said, the Mukhabarat, Saddam's security force, had held Safwan in a state of near-permanent terror. Even now, the villagers said, Saddam's agents were still among them, waiting, as they did 12 years ago, for their moment to return. "There, there are Saddam's men, and if you leave me they will kill me right now," said a trembling Najah Neema, an Iraqi soldier, who said he had torn off his uniform and thrown down his gun and ran away as the US Army approached at dawn.

Like many residents here, Mr Neema feared that the Americans would lose their will, as they had in 1991, when an American-encouraged uprising across southern Iraq fell before a withering assault by Saddam's regime that drew no American riposte. One of those people who Mr Neema pointed to with such fear was Tawfik Mohammed, a well-dressed man who stood a few yards away. Mr Mohammed laughed at the suggestion that he had ever worked for Saddam's regime. He was headmaster of the local school, he said, and a respectable man.

"God willing, the Mukabarhat will return," Mr Mohammed said with a wave as he walked away. A crowd that had gathered round him gave a nervous laugh.

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Demonstrations across from the White House

Most of the news stations are inserting occasional glimpses of demonstrations across from the White House in Lafayette Park, heavy police presence.

Is it just me, or do the horses with face shields look like giant AIBO robots?

  Posted by Laurence | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | If they're good enough for Zionists...

They can't offer Israeli gas masks for sale in shops, but they're offering them via email to worried Arab Gulf residents.

Excuse me while I giggle at the irony.

  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | 'Secret op targeted Saddam'

A top-secret U.S. intelligence operation, working in Baghdad weeks before the war, provided the crucial targeting information for the attack on Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, which may have killed Saddam's son Qusay, administration officials said...the "most important" information was obtained by a small group of Delta Force operatives who infiltrated a fiber optic communication center in Baghdad, compromising its communications... "They were able to triangulate phone calls and determine their point of origin," this source said.

  Posted by LonewackoDotCom | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | FRESH EXPLOSIONS

Reuters reports 7 more explosions in Baghdad, no air raid sirens just after 1 EST.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Our Allies, The Saudis

REUTERS: Saudi Arabia Urges Bush, Saddam to Halt War

Saudi Arabia urged the United States and Iraq on Saturday to halt what it termed an illegitimate war which risked igniting further Arab anger.

Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal also said the United Nations should help Iraqis take control of their country when the conflict ended.

"Stop the war -- let's sit down, let's have a breather after what we have seen...let's have diplomacy work, that would be the message we would send to both," Prince Saud said. "(Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein now knows what his country faces. If he asks the people of Iraq to sacrifice their lives... perhaps he should also begin to think of what sacrifices he can make for his country," he told a briefing for selected foreign reporters.
Um, what is this United Nations thing you speak of?

  Posted by Laurence | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Fox: Many targets to be hit in Baghdad tonite

Per pentagon... a "long list of targets in Baghdad will be struck"

  Posted by John (Useful Fools) | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | More on the captured Americans

According to a Russian television network and Hizballah Al-Manar TV station the Iraqis have captured at least 3 Americans after they parachuted in West Iraq near the Syrian border. (NFC - Hebrew link)

  Posted by G. | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

More on the missing British TV crew:

One of the crew, Daniel Demoustier, was injured but was able to get to safety.
Mr Demoustier, who had a black eye and cuts to his face, said two Iraqi vehicles were following the team for a while before overtaking them and making hand signals.
"It looked like they wanted to give themselves up using us as cover," he said. "But that same moment, very heavy gunfire started." He added: "I had to duck down straight away, windows were exploding inside the car. "I looked to my right side and the right door where my correspondent (Mr Lloyd) was, was open and he was not there anymore.

He said the car fell into a ditch and then burst into flames.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Unlikely

French Exile Deal for Saddam

Secretary of State Colin Powell hinted at the possibility of ongoing talks, saying: "There are a number of channels open to Baghdad. There are a number of individuals in countries around the world who have been conveying the message to the Iraqi regime that it is now inevitable that there will be a change."
One of the back channels goes through France, according to American officials aware of the negotiations.
Assuming, of course, there’s enough of him left to exile.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Targeting the Regime: One of Saddam's palaces here.

  Posted by Steven Taylor | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | The dog that didn't bark...

China's government-run Xinhua news agency has only one front-page story on Iraq: Annan Says Talks With Iraq Going Well. Yeah, dated Feb. 28. In top news: China Issues Article on U.S. Human Rights Conditions; Chinese President's Statement at Asia Forum.

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | The Good Guys

Apparently, Japan is considering using one of the Imperial Family's 747s to transport humanitarian aid to Iraqi civilians.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

IDF radio cites Hezbullah TV as saying that several US soldiers were captured today by the Iraqis, in the same incident that 4 of them were killed. Has anyone seen this anywhere else?

The report says that the pictures of the captured soldiers will be shown soon, and says that the incident took place during an ambush, when RPGs were fired at the US vehicles. It also says that the US force was attempting to capture an area in Western Iraq which is believed to contain an uranium-enrichment plant.

  Posted by Alisa InWonderland | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

From the BBC weblog of embedded reporters:

Northern Kuwait :: Caroline Wyatt :: 1653 GMT

One of the problems in the fighting in Umm Qasr has been that some of the conscript army appeared to surrender, but then disappeared.

It's thought they then took off their uniforms, became civilians, but kept their guns. And so they were effectively acting as a guerilla force which makes it very hard for conventional armies to fight that because they don't want to risk killing civilians.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

JERUSALEM POST: Fatah calls on Muslims to attack US, UK targets

Apparently, the Palestinians are just champing at the bit to take Iraq's about-to-be-vacated slot in the Axis of Evil:

The Aksa Martyrs' Brigades, an offshoot of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, on Saturday called on Muslims to attack American, British and Israeli targets all over the world in response to the war in Iraq.

A statement issued by the group in the West Bank city of Nablus said: "This fierce onslaught against the [Arab] nation, which began in Iraq, is aimed at dividing the region in order to establish new Zionist cantons led by neo-Nazis."
It'll be some fierce competition to join Iran and North Korea, you know. France and Germany have already put down deposits and are practicing for the talent show, Saudi Arabia's got their checkbooks ready, and Syria won't be on the UNSC forever.

  Posted by Laurence | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Totally Cool Map Supplied by Pentagon HERE

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | DoD Plans for Saddam's Possible Flooding of Tigris River Plains

"Department of Defense military planners are considering operational strategies in response to possible flooding by Iraqi military forces. If the Iraqi military releases water into the Tigris River from upstream reservoirs, extensive flooding between Baghdad and Al Kut could occur. Thousands of Iraqis could be displaced, adding to congestion on roads and requiring extensive humanitarian support.

Despite Saddam Hussein's claims to the contrary, historical precedence indicates Iraqi military strategies include the release of water as a viable option for deterring enemy forces. For example, during the Iran-Iraq war, the Iraqi military created water obstacles to deter Iranian advances.

Iraq's strategy could include releasing a small amount of water from major dams and canals to interrupt maneuvering units. Iraq also could cause catastrophic flooding of portions of the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys, either by releasing large amounts of water from dams or by destroying them. The latter could cause major humanitarian crises in parts of Iraq, though Baghdad would experience minimal damage. "

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Syria condemns war. Calls it "barbaric".

Are they nervous?

DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria, the only Arab non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, demanded on Saturday an immediate end to what it called the "barbaric aggression" against neighboring Iraq.

"As it condemns this barbaric aggression to which our Iraqi brethren are being subjected...Syria calls for an immediate end to the war and the withdrawal of invading forces," an official statement carried by the state-run news agency said.

I particularly like this gem.

Syria warned that the war would have "grave ramifications on the security of the region."

True, but that isn't a bug. It's a feature.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Anti-war demonstrators were able to gather loads of people tonight here in Israel. A total of 15 people demonstrated against the war in front of the US embassy in Tel Aviv. (Ynet – Israeli news site).

  Posted by G. | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Turkey Update: Haaretz

In a Haaretz.comstory, Turkish military denies reports of troop crossings into Iraq:

An official from the Kurdistan Democratic Party, which controls the Iraqi side of the border, said he had no knowledge of any crossing. "No Turkish troops have entered into our areas," said KDP spokesman Hoshyar Zebari. "This may be a leakage or dissemination of some information to prepare the minds or prepare the grounds for future large-scale deployment of Turkish troops into our areas." Iraqi Kurdish groups have vowed to oppose any Turkish intervention.

And on the NATO front:
In response to reports of a deployment, Germany threatened to withdraw its crew members from NATO surveillance planes that are protecting Turkey if Turkey had moved troops into Iraq. In southeastern Turkey, there were clearly military preparations. Scores of Turkish tanks, artillery and armored personnel carriers were positioned near the border town of Silopi and thousands of Turkish troops were also camping seven kilometers (four miles) away from the Iraqi border. The entire border area has been declared a military zone and is off limits to journalists. Some 5,000 Turkish troops were on their way to the border area, military officials said.

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Anti-war protest snobbery

More protests are scheduled for today. Earlier this morning, I saw Roy Scheider interviewed on CBS. Here's a quote that I quickly wrote down:

"I feel that when the dust clears, the American people will become more sophisticated, and they're going to understand what this administration is up to."

So nice to know that we poor schlubs have celebrities to explain the world to us. We're so unsophisticated, dontchaknow. That sneaky administration gets everything past us.

  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Reuters: U.S. Scraps Turkey Deployment.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

No thanks, Turkey

After having floated off the coast of Turkey for weeks while the Turkish Parliament decided the answer to the $16 billion question was No, the equipment for Ft. Hood's 4th Infantry Division is heading through the Suez Canal for Kuwait.

If Turkey truly hasn't pulled their 1,000 soldiers out of Northern Iraq, they may be seeing some of that equipment up close.

  Posted by Laurence | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | More unitlateral every day

Apparently, the U.S. ambassador to Georgia is negotiating for the use of an airfield in Georgia to be used in the war in Iraq.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

"Protestant B"

15 Jewish soldiers among the British contingent have been allowed to remove their religion from their dog-tags in the event that they are captured by enemy troops.

This is similar to the "Protestant B" designation that the DoD used for Jewish soldiers serving in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War, right under the noses of the strict anti-Semitic religious authorities there.

  Posted by Laurence | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Surge of THE COMMAND POST Continues

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | MSNBC: Shock and Awe Will Continue Tonight

I don't think I believe it...we'll see.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Chirac, irrelevant to the end

In his ongoing bid to destroy the UN, Jacques Chirac is now threatening to veto UN humanitarian aid to Iraq. He wants to prevent the UN from doing the one thing it actually has a chance of getting right.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

I'm going to be a bit opportunistic here, for a good cause.

This would be a good time to remind people about my other project, TroopTrax - a novel way to send support to the troops.

Trooptrax has the DoD seal of approval!

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Three Protesters Killed Outside US Embassy In Yemen

Police clashed with 30,000 anti-war demonstrators Friday outside the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, setting off an exchange of gunfire that killed three people and injured dozens. Similar outrage over the U.S.-led assault on Iraq spilled into streets in cities around the world. From

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Saddam's Palace

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Iran denies injured leaders of Ansar al-Islam were transferred to Iran

Iranian leadership is claiming absolute neutrality in the conflict and steadfastly denying that the have accepted wounded Ansar al-Islam leaders.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Latest Polling Data

An ABC-Washington Post poll found the president's job approval rating at 67 percent, up from prewar polls that showed his approval level ranging from the middle 50s to about 60 percent. A CBS-New York Times poll found that 62 percent say they think the United States did the right thing about Iraq. Slightly more in a CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll, 70 percent, said they agreed this country acted at the right time. From the Billings Gazette.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Arab Press

March 21 overview by Middle East Media Research Institute ( of Arab press includes this summary:

Editorials in the Egyptian and Saudi official newspapers emphasized the war's 'lack of legitimacy.' However, following clashes between demonstrators and security forces on the streets of Cairo, they underscored the importance of maintaining the unity of the "national front."

One example from Galal Duweidar, editor of Egyptian government Al-Akhbar:
In the face of the total darkness which engulfs the Arab world, following the unjust American attack on Iraq, we emphasize the importance of protecting the Egyptian national front. It means it should be protected in the framework of the supreme national interest and [we should] frustrate any conspiracy against the Arab nation… We must stand firm against any violation of our national security that takes advantage of the tragedy of this war. We must all join hands and cooperate to protect our national front and oppose any action that would affect our security or stability.

And this from one D. Ali Al-Samman in official government daily Al-Ahram:
It is not possible to separate the current crisis from the crisis and the Gulf war of 1991. For those who suffer from a weak memory let me say: the first and only responsibility for initiating the aggression, attack and occupation of Kuwait without any justification other than the desire for expansion and hegemony and the violation of international and Arab legitimacy…came from those who ruled Baghdad. Let me then summarize this point: 'I say that the primary responsibility carries the names of a person who made the tragic decision in 1991 and carries his name twice and thrice—Saddam, Saddam, Saddam.

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Urban Warfare in Umm Qasr?

ABC Online has this report from Umm Qasr:

An AFP correspondent has reported US Marines are still battling Iraqi resistance on the outskirts of the strategic southern port of Umm Qasr.

Iraqi commandos are hiding around the city putting up significant resistance, Lieutenant Colonel Steve Holmes of the US Marines told AFP close to the fighting.

"The city is under control, but there are various organised groups offering resistance on the outskirts," he said.

US Cobra helicopters have been engaged in combat, firing missiles while both sides were heard launching mortar rounds.

The attack helicopters were backed up by US tanks positioned in Umm Qasr and British artillery units in Kuwaiti territory beyond the 10-kilometre demilitarised zone between Iraq and Kuwait.

The Iraqis apparently have placed anti-tank mines around the area.

Lieutenant Colonel Holmes said US Marines found Iraqi munitions in abandoned bunkers.

Also, in the same story, it appears that the Marines have been forced to take POWs against their will.

Major Bull Gurfein of the Marines Expeditionary Force said many fighters in Umm Qasr surrendered, wanting to become prisoners of war.

"We told them to go slowly to their homes but they didn't want to because they're scared that Saddam's men will go and kill them," he said.

They'd rather get processed into a POW camp than go home and risk Saddam's goons finding them. That ought to tell you something.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Saddam to UN: Please help!

Iraq has just asked UN to ask US and coalition forces to halt the attacks! Good luck!

  Posted by Dima | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Audio Report Of Car Bomb Explosion

You can listen to Karl Vick's telephone report of the car bombing here.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

Captain Steve, a pilot based at Prince Sultan Air Force Base in Saudi Arabia, sent a new letter today. It's too long to post here, unless Michele thinks I should do it anyway. Just give the word.

Enjoy the steak, Captain, and keep on giving us those Frog updates.

  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Dispatch from the trenches

As the major battle outside Basrah is underway (with Euphrates river being a potential chokepoint) FOXNews is reporting that as 3rd infantry division is moving in on the gorund, another aerial bombing support campaing has begun over Basrah. There's a potential of significant casualties in this battle, so let's keep our fngers crossed.

There are also reports of the second wave of bombing in Baghdad to begin shortly...

  Posted by Dima | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 | Some news from Israel.

Not really news, just business as usual: Arab terrorism against the Jews of Israel continued over the past day, as has the Israeli war to counter it. Several attempted attacks were either prevented by security forces or failed to achieve their aims for other reasons. And elsewhere: In foreign terrorism news, authorities in Germany arrested five Moslems who were working to recruit local Arabs for terrorist attacks. Police in Berlin have raided several buildings in connection with the terrorist threat, including at least one mosque.

  Posted by Alisa InWonderland | Permalink |

Saturday, March 22, 2003 |

The Press Enterprise (link requires registration) is reporting that the General Patton Memorial Museum was vandalized last night with anti-war and pro-Iraqi graffiti.

Employees at the General Patton Memorial Museum arrived at work Thursday morning to find anti-American, anti-war and pro-Iraqi graffiti on military tanks, a Christian altar and a memorial plaque.

"No War," in more than foot-tall letters, was scrawled on a wall surrounding a statue of Gen. George S. Patton, who in 1942 established a training center near this remote outpost 30 miles east of Indio along Interstate 10.


The vandals used the Arab word for God several times, misspelling it each time: "Alla" instead of "Allah."

"Alla is God," they wrote in block letters on the front of one tank. On one side of the same tank they wrote "America is evil," and "Iraq will win" on the other side.

Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, said it could not have been Muslims who did the defacing.

"Every Muslim knows Allah is spelled A-L-L-A-H," he said. Muslims say, "Allah is the one God," not "Allah is God," he added.

"That's somebody trying to frame Muslims," Al-Marayati said.

In addition to defacing many of the 19 tanks outside the museum, the vandals painted "Alla" over a cross made of white quartz stones embedded in a stone Altar of Heroes that replicates an altar at which Patton's men worshiped when training in the region before shipping off to fight in World War II. Roberts, Chiriaco-Rusche and a third woman had gathered the stones and built the altar.

(user info for P.E. news:, password: warblog)

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

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