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

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | *** The Command Post Has Moved ***


  Posted by Clyde | Permalink |


Sunday, March 23, 2003 | *** The Command Post Has Moved ***

THE NEW IMPROVED COMMAND POST. The URLs are: until the DNS is fully resolved ...

and once it is.

  Posted by Clyde | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Attention Command Post members: Please email me immediately.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Maariv: Yemen has officialy refused to expell Iraqi diplomats per US demand, calling it "interference in Yemen's internal affairs".

  Posted by Alisa InWonderland | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Iran: Missile was Iraqi, Not U.S.

Assumed it was posted by now, but couldn't find it in the Command Post is a CNN link to the story.

  Posted by Clyde | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

The Geneva Convetions...

A very good HTML version of the Geneva Conventions, including keyword searches, is available on the International Committee of the Red Cross website. The treatment of POWs is covered under the 3rd Convention, dated 12 August 1949.

  Posted by Crazy Write Winger | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

We are in the process of moving to a new server and new domain name (

In order for the site to be moved over to the new host, I need everyone to stop posting for ONE HOUR. It is now 1:30 EST.

To our readers, we will be back in an hour with a faster loader page. There will be a redirect here.

Thank you all for your support.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

British forces have found a cache of missiles and warheads, abandoned in bunkers by Iraqi forces in the Basra area, following the battles there. (IBA)

  Posted by Alisa InWonderland | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Nizar al-Khazraji

Here is a fairly hinky little story asserting that the highest-ranking Iraqi army defector -- who went missing while under house arrest in Denmark last week -- was snatched by the CIA for his intelligence value to the current unpleasantness.

I've been beating around for any sort of corroboration, or even a US denial, but I don't see it.

  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Israeli Tech

Something interesting via My Way: U.S. Military Employs Israeli Technology

The Bush administration has made clear it wants Israel to stay out of an Iraq war so as not to provoke Arab and Muslim countries assisting the United States. But that won't stop Israel's weaponry and arms technology from being used against Iraqis.
Iraqi forces might be on the receiving end of Israeli technology in several scenarios.

  Posted by Ravenwolf | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Here is a good Strategy Page Article on why there is so much resistance going on in previously taken towns. Scatter a few loyalists around the towns to conduct ops, and it looks like a big guerilla movement.

Maybe this will give the 4th to do when they finally arrive in Kuwait.

  Posted by Nick ( ) | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Streaming Al-Jazeera

Little Green Footballs has a link to continuous streaming video from al-Jazeera (Windows Media, broadband needed). Apparently, you don't have to wait long for the video of American POWs to show up, though I haven't seen it so far. Lots of video from Iraq, and interviews with Iraqi military.

Wanna see the hottest photos of American Idol 2010 hottie Tim Urban? Here are the Tim Urban shirtless photos. Also watch Tim Urban Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Crystal Bowersox Bobby McGee and Siobhan Magnus Paint It Black performance video. . Also check out sexy Miley Cyrus bikini pictures.

Beadle Beads | Glass Beads Supplies | Paquet Full of Glass | Native American Jewelry | Thunder Beads.

kitchen cabinets | tv stands | dining tables | glass beads | Mother of Pearl Beads | Agate Beads | Lapis Lazuli Beads | Turquoise Beads | Toronto SEO

  Posted by E. Nough | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Iraq accused Israel of taking part in war

vi Haaretz:

Israeli political sources said Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz told the cabinet Sunday that the missile in question bore the word Taas, an Israeli company that has made electronic components sold for use in missiles in the U.S. armoury.

  Posted by Dima | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | First Person Account on Baghdad Bombing

A Newsweek reporter gives a first person account of the start of bombing and real feelings of Iraqis.

  Posted by Patrick | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Playing the Israel Card...

The Iraq's Foreign Minister is grasping at straws trying to draw other Arab countries into the conflict with claims that the Israelis are taking part in the war:

Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said Sunday an Israeli missile had been found in Baghdad and accused Israel of taking part in the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.

"You know that Israel is taking part in this aggression against Iraq. It's sending missiles. We found a missile, an Israeli missile, in Baghdad," he told reporters in Cairo where was to attend a meeting of Arab foreign ministers scheduled for Monday.

Sabri offered no proof to back up the allegation.
If Israel were taking part of this war, there wouldn't be an Iraq to be Foreign Minister of, Naji Sabri.

  Posted by Laurence | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | admin note

News and links only.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Jesus Gil has posted a full account of the al Jazeera tapes.

Enter at your own risk.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Reuters Equivalence

The headline ("Invaders Find No Easy Ride in Southern Iraq") is a good sign of the tone of this story.

  Posted by Michael Chamberlain | Permalink |


This outrageous news in today's WaPo: 3 Russian Firms' Deals Anger U.S.. (Hit Tip: Tony Snow on Fox News just mentioned the story on the air.)

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Al-Jazeera's tapes of captured American troops

...seems to be real.

Pentagon has confrimed that al-Jazeera's tape of captured US troops seem to be real. Pentagon said if Iraqis violate Article 13 of Geneva convention the consequences will be severe.

Update: Their names:
The four were the first American prisoners known to be POWs in Iraq. The footage showed them being questioned on and divulging their names, military ID's and home towns.

They were:

* Joseph Hudson, of El Passo, Texas. When asked by his prisoners why he came to Iraq, he answered: "I am following orders." Hudson was also asked how many officers were stationed in Iraq with him, but said he did not know;

* Sergeant James Riley, 31, of New Jersey, of the 507th Maintenance Company;

* A soldier identified as Edgar, from Texas, who was wounded in the face.

  Posted by Dima | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Smoking gun captured?

(Via Little Green Footballs)

According to the Jerusalem Post, massive chemical plant captured.

  Posted by Laurence | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | 101st airborne tough night

via WaPo

  Posted by Dima | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Via IDF radio: al-Jazeera has retracted its claim that an American pilot has been captured by the Iraqis.

  Posted by Alisa InWonderland | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Admin Update

Some good news: The Command Post is becoming very, very popular ... and we know Blogger has been slow at times since last night. SO, Michele and I are exploring registering a domain name and hosting the site on a non-Blogspot server as you read this. We'll keep you posted.

Thanks again for everyone's efforts.

UPDATE: Also, we've received very gracious offers for free server space, etc. It looks like we'll be all set, but thank you for this ... we're amazed at how much everyone wants to help.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Bob Woodward in WaPo

Great article on the hours preceeding the the war and how the war was in actuality 48hrs "in progress" before it began.

  Posted by Dima | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

From Ha’aretz: “…Two of the prisoners, including a woman, appeared to be wounded. One was lying on the floor on a rug. …

…The prisoners were questioned on air and gave their names, military identification numbers and home towns. …

…The first prisoner shown gave his name as Miller and said he was from Kansas. …

…Asked why he had come to Iraq he replied: "Because I was told to come here. I was just under orders. I was told to shoot - only if I'm shot at. I don't want to kill anybody.

  Posted by G. | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | MISMATCH:

How surreal is this Reuters report? Iraqi Bodies Litter Plain as U.S. Troops Advance.

On the main road running across the plain, burned-out Iraqi vehicles were still smoldering on Sunday afternoon, and charred ribs were the only recognizable part of three melted bodies in a destroyed car lying in the roadside dust.

"It wasn't even a fair fight. I don't know why they don't just surrender," said Colonel Mark Hildenbrand, commander of the 937th Engineer Group.

"When you're playing soccer at home, 3-2 is a fair score, but here it's more like 119-0," he said, adding that the Iraqi sport utility vehicles (SUVs) stood no chance against tanks.

"You can't put an SUV with a machine gun up against an M1 tank -- it's heinous for the SUV," Hildenbrand said.
"I feel nothing but sorrow for these people," Hildenbrand said as he toured the hideout. "This war is against one man, it's not against the Iraqi people. I just wish they would surrender so we could get it over with."
The contrast between Hildenbrand's attitude and the mindset of a regime that would put these people out as cannon fodder--not to mention murder prisoners and parade the bodies on television--is striking. It should shame anyone who claims there is a moral equivalence between the American and Iraqi regimes. It won't; but it should.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Jerusalem Post is reporting that a chemical plant has been taken.

(JP sign in: user: command pw: center)

via K-Loat the Corner, via a reader

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Iraqi tv job

According to what shown on Israeli channel 2 the video was broadcast by Al Jazeera but the microphone in the video says Iraqi TV. So it looks like it was originally taped by the Iraqis and given to Al Jazeera to be broadcast. I think it is being broadcast all over the world by now except for the US.

  Posted by G. | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Mapping the War

I saw a blurb about this via Scripting News. Blogger Nick Denton is mapping the progress of the War. Also, in a later post, he lists The Command Post under "essential Web viewing" for War coverage.

  Posted by joy | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Our Friends the Russians

According to this WaPo story, Russian companies have been selling military items such as anti-tank missiles, night-vision goggles, and satellite jamming equipment to Iraq. Reps of at least one Russian company were seen in Iraq last week instructing Iraqis on the use and maintenance of satellite jamming equipment. The US has expressed its displeasure with this activity at increasingly higher levels since last June. Yet the Russians continue to deny and ignore even when given specific info.

  Posted by Michael Chamberlain | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | The outcome is certain.

I don't know homw much Secretary Rumsfeld has been breifed on regarding the alleged POW video or other events, but he'e charging ahead. Wolf Blitzer is currently asking him a series of really stupid questions (no surprise there), but Rummy has explicitly said, twice since I've been watching, that the outcome in Iraq is "certain," and that the Iraqi army should just give up now. Hs'e providing carefully worded, sometimes brusque answers. But, he's not kidding.

Wolf and paula are two reaosn why CNN has become absolutely unwatchable.

  Posted by Joe | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Where is Powell?

Al-Jazeera is "independent" a la the BBC, but is based in and funded by ally Qatar. If they are violating the Geneva Convention and other international laws, our STATE DEPARTMENT should immediately demand Qatar to force Al-Jazeera to stop.
(sorry to rant, but...

  Posted by Clyde | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | FYI

Go here to read the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

  Posted by Alan | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Incredible...not.

Wolf Blitzer just called the dead American soldiers in Iraqi hands as " killed in action".

No comment required.

  Posted by Feste | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Photo of the American captured soldiers (Ynet – Hebrew link)

  Posted by G. | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Is Al Jazeera Now a Target?

Secretary Rumsfeld has said that the Al Jazeera tape violates the Geneva convention. On Meet the Press this morning, Secretary Rumsfeld also said that General Franks would make the call as to when Iraqi television would be taken off the air. If Al Jazeera wants to be the propoganda arm of the Iraqi regime, does that make them a legitimate target? Is Al Jazeera the embedded media for Iraq?

As General Sherman said long ago, "war is all hell."

  Posted by Charles | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

This is translated from German to English by babelfish, so it may seem a bit on the fuzzy side:

Black Sunday for the allied ones

The Iraqi television showed Sunday afternoon first pictures of killed, hurt as well as five imprisoned taken US soldiers. According to data of the television they were killed with the fights for Nasirija in the south Iraq or taken imprisoned. A 30-jaehrige colored woman, fear was clearly written the five members of the US army, under it in the face with the questioning. The prisoners of war indicated that it to 507. Belonged to repair company. Their homeland are US Federal States Kansas, Texas and new jersey.

via Lilli in Germany

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Heavy fighting by the Euphrates; American casualties; Iraqis using human shields

CNN reports a battle between U.S. marines and the Republican Guard near Nasiriyah near the Euphrates, after the RG attempted to ambush an American convoy.

Unsurprisingly, Iraqis seem to be using Palestinian tactics:

Earlier, soldiers on reconnaissance missions reported that they had seen members of the Iraqi Republican Guard herd Iraqi women and children to military positions for use as human shields, a U.S. military source told Rodgers, who is accompanying the 7th Cavalry's 3rd Squadron.

  Posted by E. Nough | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Moral Equivalence?

How the US treats Iraqi prisoners: photos from Reuters.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Defense Department spokesperson says footage "looks like Iraqi TV propaganda"

Fox News is now reporting online the following statement from an unnamed Defense Department spokesperson:

"This is the first we've seen of it -- it looks like Iraqi TV propaganda," said a U.S. Defense Department spokesperson. "What they're doing is wrong -- we're trying to get to the bottom of what we're seeing. We're investigating the tape now."

It looks as if this could go either way: it could be legitimate or it could be staged.

  Posted by Dustin | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | IDIOT:

Katie Couric just asked someone whether the President had been informed that the soldiers had been taken prisoner and apparently executed.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Through Israeli channel 2: Al Jazeera video shows 4 soldiers, man 31 y/o from New Jersey, woman 30, from Texas and another man from Texas. 2 of them are from 507 maintenance unit.
Some of them are injured.

The captured soldiers told their names, age, state, army number and unit.

  Posted by G. | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Likely is US military

FoxNews is saying military initial response is that likely it is US POWs, possibly from 507th Maintenance Company out of Ft. Bliss, TX. The executed were shot in the head. The interrogations on camera were a violation of the Geneva Convention Article 13.

  Posted by susanna in KY | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | WAR CRIMES:

Reuters Iraqi TV Shows Dead and Captured U.S. Soldiers.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | PRISONERS:

Reuters reports Baghdad said it had downed five planes and two helicopters and would show prisoners on television. NBC TV reports say there is evidence some of these soldiers have been executed.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Fox on American Prisoners

Fox reports U.S. military has viewed the Al Jazeera video referenced by Michele below. They buy it--looks like the real thing; "not inconsistent" with U.S. military. Violation of Geneva Convention to showcase/interrogate POWs in this manner. Not to mention executing half of them after capture.

UPDATE: Major Garrett on Fox at Pentagon: Military officials viewed video in our booth...based on assessment of military officials, they believe what they saw was in fact U.S. military personnel....a couple identified with 507th Maintenance Company. Very disturbing bc it appears several [of those dead--all or parts of the video taped in morgue] if not all were executed, shot in head--that is what appears in video....that is why one of many reasons military officials had visceral reax, very very disturbing...

Rumsfeld now live...finished, didn't add much. Haven't checked the other channels; Fox choosing at the moment to not show "grotesque" video.

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Interviews with US POWs?

Fox News is talking about the video purportedly showing the captured US POWs, which FoxNews is thus far choosing not to show. There's speculation about whether they're really Americans, but it seems likely. Also, as reported before, some may have been killed/executed. The reporters keep noting that the mistreatment and interviewing are "against the Geneva convention", which would be true, but as another military analyst said, "It's Iraq. They don't care about the Geneva convention."

As far as being a propoganda tool, it may work in the Arab countries but it will have the opposite effect in the Western countries.

This kind of thing is a part of war. All we as civilians can do at this point is pray for the POWs and do all we can to make the military success more assured and swift.

UPDATE: At least five in custody, according to Al Jazeera, including at least one woman. Two of the "POWs" are saying they're from Kansas and Texas. The Pentagon has not confirmed the capture yet.

  Posted by susanna in KY | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | International Reaction: India

Also from UPI, a commentary from columnist Mani Shankar Aiyar, member of the Indian Parliament representing the Congress Party. He writes weekly for UPI.

AGARTALA, India, March 23 (UPI) -- And so, at the end of the day, we of the lesser breed count for nothing. Washington decides who lives, who dies. If we shut our mouths and follow the leader, we live. If we do not, we might still live, but on sufferance. Thus is the arrogance of power consummated. How are those of us less endowed than the world's sole superpower to cope with this superpower's new world order?...

A survey undertaken in Muslim northern Nigeria showed that 80 percent of the male children born after 9/11 were named Osama. My guess is that 80 percent of Arab children born after Saddam is martyred will be called Saddam. If that does not happen, Bush and Blair would have won the peace. If it does, those who have sowed the wind will reap the whirlwind. For the will to independence and dignity is the weapons of asymmetry.

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Jordan Expels Iraqi Diplomats

Apologies if this is old news for Command Post, but I don't see it here. From UPI:

Jordan said it has expelled five Iraqi diplomats from the capital, Amman on Sunday, on "security grounds," insisting it had nothing to do with the U.S. request of some states to ask Iraqi diplomats to leave their countries.

Information Minister Mohammad Edwan said the five had "violated their diplomatic duties, so we asked them to leave."

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Al Jazeera tv is running video of the captured Americans.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | POWs

I just heard an update on the POWs. It sounds pretty certain that at least 6 of the American POWs were executed.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | War Crime

NBC re reporting that American prisoners have been executed by the Iraqis near Al Nasiriyah. The were captured and led away alive.
They then showed around eight shot dead, in a building. Some still alive, and were interviewed.

  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Republican Guard Speculation

Thoughts from retired military Jed Babbin at National Review Online on why Republican Guard may fight tenaciously:

We have to remember that though the population of Iraq has been brutalized for three decades, Saddam's Republican Guards have been the privileged class. We shouldn't be surprised that they fight with some tenacity. The Republican Guards will be defeated, but first they will fight to hold their own nation much more than the fought to keep Kuwait. They may give up today, tomorrow, or next week. But they must have a different mindset than they did twelve years ago. The "elite" Republican Guards aren't in the same league as our guys, nor do they have the training or equipment that we have put in the field. But they are fighting for their nation, and that makes 2003 a different war than 1991.

The other reason they may fight is that some of them, and their immediate commanders, know they are guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Either we will try them as war criminals, or the post-Saddam, free Iraqi government will do the same. The result will be the same. These men may think they have nothing to lose. They may also hold out hope that we will stop short of removing Saddam's regime as we did in 1991. In that, they are sadly mistaken. And because of that, some or all of them will pay the full price. In advance. And then we have to deal with Baghdad, and whatever awaits there.

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Missing crew

They're apparently still trying to determine the fate of that Tornado crew.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Israelis consider lowering alert

In light of the American capture of the only airfields from which Iraq could have fired SCUDs at Israel, the Israeli government is considering lowering the nationwide alert status.

  Posted by E. Nough | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | POWs executed?

Listening to Russert's show and I'm hearing that they've got unconfirmed reports that the American POWs mentioned here may have been summarily executed.
(Um. I see WindRider beat me to this one. Can't argue with his headline.)

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Bastards

NBC reporting that captured Americans outside Nasiriyia may have been executed, based on Al Jazeerah footage

  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Iraq latest: At-a-glance

BBC News Online charts the latest developments in the Iraq conflict.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Missing Aircraft or not? Not.

Fox news guy saying latest official info: No missing aircraft, other than the RAF Tornado apparently downed by Patriot due to absence of a functioning Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) system.

  Posted by Christopher Rake | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | ABC: 11 Soldiers Captured

A senior military official said 11 soldiers, maintenance workers, had taken a wrong turn outside Nasiriyia on a mission to carry out repair work.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Must have been after some BIG ones...

Fox News TV reporting that U.S. Navy SEALs have found Iraqi fishing boats "packed with" "very powerful mines" -- about ten. A few days back, they found a couple of tugboats with a total of 87 mines on them. I wonder what the Geneva Convention says on this topic...

  Posted by E. Nough | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | from the admin

If I have to put this reminder up every day, I will do so: Leave the personal commentary on your own sites.

Thank you.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Navy Seals have found two fishing boats loaded with mines. (Fox)

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Damn, I'm Proud of Our Troops

This cannot be said often enough. Every time we see them on television, I am impressed with their demeanor, sincerity, and bravery.

  Posted by Charles | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | ABC Says Large Fire Fight in Nasiriya

U.S. Marines are engaged in heavy house-to-house fighting in a southern Iraqi city and have called in at least eight medical evacuation choppers.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Correct me if I'm wrong

I just heard George Stephanopoulos begin an interview by saying, "It does seem like the coalition has had a lot of bad news in the last 24 hours."

Now, while it's true that we've had some bad news, it seems to me that, considering we're in the middle of a war, that we've had amazingly little bad news.

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

We came in contact with approximately 60 soldiers last night.

Now there are approximately 60 enemy soldiers dead. We did take some EPW's

LtCol Twitty, one of the 3d ID Task force commanders...

  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Phantom pilots

Peter Arnette indicates that the hundreds of Iraqis by the river were more likely chasing a $50,000 reward.

'Action, if you want to call it that'

Also referred to hourly strikes and explosions...for the past 48-72 hours. Persistence.

  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | CIVIL STRIFE:

Another solid analytical piece in WaPo: Civil Strife Figures in U.S. Thinking.

From the first, the U.S. assault force was designed to be fast and lean -- which means it is too small to simultaneously carry out both an invasion and an occupation, dropping off units in each town as it proceeds. And while the outbreak of civil strife is a concern, because of its effect on Iraqi civilians and the image it projects to the rest of the world, officials said they are determined not to allow it to distract the invasion force from its mission.
"Follow-on forces will be arriving to deal with security eventually, but we're just not going to slow down our combat force," a Defense Department official said. There has been no indication of when those reinforcements might arrive to begin peacekeeping operations.

"You can't have it both ways," said another Pentagon insider. "You have to win the war quickly -- and you can't move fast enough if you are infusing authority along the way." He echoed the view that the violence might help the U.S. military if it targets the secret police and other elements of the regime that might otherwise be able to fight the invasion.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

A story on ABC: "liberated" Iraqis turning doubtful and bitter the next day. Promised supplies aren't there, etc.. This is going to be the real war soon; seems we'd better start doing a better job at it before too much longer.

  Posted by Gary | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | YOUNG TROOPS:

Echoing comments I made a couple days ago, this WaPo piece by Jonathan Finer describes the feelings of young soldiers perfectly: War? Nothing to It for Young Troops, at Least on the First Few Days. This line especially evokes some memories of 1991:

Jobe said he reminded his forces that their job will get harder the longer it goes on, and that it could culminate in a difficult siege of Baghdad, the Iraqi capital. But that hasn't stopped many of his charges from referring to their procession north as the "Baghdad 500."
Gotta love youth.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Rummy

Tim Russert was showing footage of Iraq's defense minister with Rumsfeld watching. In the footage, you can hear a bomb go off.

Rumsfeld: We missed.

Russert: You said, "We missed."

Rumsfeld: Well obviously we missed. He's still standing.

Russert: Why is the defense ministry still standing so he can conduct briefings like this.

Rumsfeld (looking at Russert like he just grew horns): Because we haven't hit it, what's your point?

  Posted by jeffrey | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | UK Intelligence Suggests Saddam Survived 1st Raid


  Posted by Sean | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Arab Media "Parachutes Seen".

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Meyers soundbite just says he doesn't think any planes missing ... but, he is 'out of place' and may not have latest minute info, and that clip may have been a few minutes old.

If they're downed aircrew...where is the frikkin parachutes? Those things are a bit hard to hide quickly.

  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | CNN Just Reported "No Aircraft Missing"

I think CNN is way behind the always...

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | from

Sunday, March 23, 2003
ABC News
While we have been looking on TV for what the Iraqis are looking for abc news reported the following:
"Arab television channel Al-Jazeera has reported two pilots have been captured and a Sky reporter on the spot said an Iraqi soldier told him a US pilot had been captured and a search was continuing for the other."

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Fox relaying report of possible missing aircraft

As they show Qatari TV footage of Iraqis swarming through the reeds on the bank of the Tigris.

  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Rumsfeld reports there is a missing aircraft.........Still developing.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Ollie phones in

Oliver North just phoned in on Fox, reported wrap up of major medevac operation, as many as 50 casualties, no words of any fatalities. Said that a lot of the injuries appeared to be burns resulting from Molotov cocktails thrown by irregular forces.

  Posted by Wind Rider | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | CNN: 7th Cavalry Taking Heavy Heavy Fire

Live on CNN now....heavy artillery fire from Iraqis... 7th Cav. now dispersing....

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Rummy Speaks: On MTP Rumsfeld just stated that 1) he was aware of no mising paratroopers, 2) that there is possibly a plane missing, and 3) that there "could be" coalition troops in Iraqi hands. He also noted that some journalists are missing.

  Posted by Steven Taylor | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Pictorial Update

Pic: Trenches in Baghdad on Fire
Pic: Heavy Smoke Over Baghdad
Pic: Cobra Open Fire on Iraqi Positions
Pic: Iraqi Soldiers Surrender
Pic: Distributing Food
Pic: One of America's Finest

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | STRATEGERY:

Excellent piece by Bob Woodward in today's WaPo: Attack Was 48 Hours Old When It 'Began'. It paints a picture of a thoughtful, flexible, and bold war planning effort.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Update on Saddam

Military analyst on FoxNews: Intel indicates that Saddam and his two sons were all in the bunker hit Wednesday night, and that Saddam was injured. They don't know for sure how badly injured, but the allied forces have seen no evidence that the top Iraqi military commanders have been in contact with the forces on the ground.

A lot of that isn't new info, but just think about the strike on Wednesday night - it was an amazing feat; it was right on the money, just (apparently) not hard enough. We almost destroyed the Iraqi military command in one blow, and we did wing it, possibly quite badly. It will be interesting to read the whole story, whenever it eventually comes out.

  Posted by susanna in KY | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | U.S.: No Evidence Pilots Ejected Over Baghdad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Sunday discounted claims by Iraq that Western pilots had been forced to abandon aircraft over Baghdad.
Full Story:

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Picture of the "Iraqi Search for Downed Airman"

And another.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Choppers Sent to DMZ

Fox news reports 4 or 5 Chinook choppers sent towards DMZ(Iraq-Kuwait border), possibly where RAF Tornado when down.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

The Great Iraqi Disinformation Campaign has officiallly begun. Look for more staged acts like the one at the Tigris.

Iraqi news sources are also reporting that Saddam met with his officers today.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Search Goes On:

Military personels have lit bushes on fire on the river bank hoping the pilot will come out. They seem convinced there is someone there. Some of the watchers in the crowd seem to be chanting. Fox news reports that the Iraq army tried to stage a similar event yesterday for the Russian news media.

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

A crowd of Iraqis are celebrating something by the Tigris river. Still trying to figure out what is going on, though I suspect it's a ploy by the Iraqi police to make it look as if there is a downed coalition plane there.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | What happened?

According to a military analyst on Fox: Apparently what happened... the Tornado either did not have or did not have working their IFF (Identification Friend or Foe). There was an unidentifiable blip on the radar, efforts to identify it came up empty, so they brought it down.

UPDATE: Link to a story on the plane.

  Posted by susanna in KY | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

There is white smoke coming from the banks of the Tigris. There are reports that Iraqi police set the reeds on the bank on fire themselves, but no one knows why.

If they are trying to make it appear as if a U.S. coalition plane went down there, they are not doing a very good job of it, according to Gen. Meyers.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Patriot brings down allied plane

FoxNews: They're confirming that a Patriot missile misfire did bring down a British plane over the Gulf.

UPDATE: I'm late again on a story!

UPDATE: Three soldiers on board that Tornado.

  Posted by susanna in KY | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Patriot missile accidently shot down a British Tornado jet: This has just been confirmed by the Pentagon.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Shield "Naive"

UK Telegraph via

"We on the bus felt that we were sympathetic to the views of the Iraqi civilians, even though we didn't actually know any. The group was less interested in standing up for their rights than protesting against the US and UK governments.

I was shocked when I first met a pro-war Iraqi in Baghdad - a taxi driver taking me back to my hotel late at night. I explained that I was American and said, as we shields always did, "Bush bad, war bad, Iraq good". He looked at me with an expression of incredulity.

As he realised I was serious, he slowed down and started to speak in broken English about the evils of Saddam's regime. Until then I had only heard the President spoken of with respect, but now this guy was telling me how all of Iraq's oil money went into Saddam's pocket and that if you opposed him politically he would kill your whole family."

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Modern Technology

MSNBC's Kerry Sanders is outside Al Nasiriya reporting on some Iraqi resistance. He's on the ground, alongside an American Marine. As he reported what's going on, he drew a map in the sand with his finger to describe the specifics of the battle scenario. Let those in-studio guys have their screen writers and fly-over graphical maps. Nothing is better than a finger drawing in the sand.

MSNBC and CNN are both reporting that civilian women and children are being moved into the streets of Al Nasiriya has shields. Once again, we see the tactical advantages used by the brave Iraqi armed forces.

  Posted by Joe | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Pincer Attack on Baghdad Taking Shape: MSNBC

A two-pronged “pincer” assault on the Iraqi capital appeared to be taking shape following the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers toward a showdown with Saddam Hussein’s best units, the Republican Guards, now dug in around the capital.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | No "Scuds" Fired or Found: Pentagon

"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."

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Yet another reason for war

605 Kuwaiti POWs who have been missing for 12 years now. Plus, as I said in a previous post, one American. If we find him alive and sane, what do we tell him about the delay in his rescue?
On that sombre note, it's Midnight here in Oz, and I'm going to Kip.

  Posted by Zoe Brain | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Fox is reporting that a U.S. soldier has been killed in a vehicle accident.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Reports of a new round of blasts on the outskirts of Baghdad.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | MORE ON BRIT PLANE:

BBC now reports the plane shot down, possibly by a US missile, was a Tornado, which usually carries a crew of two. Search for survivors is underway.

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

I found this blog that is supposedly by a group of people in Kuwait. A recent post said this:

Iraqi Vice President appeared on TV. He claims they have American POWs and will show them on TV soon.

Through that link I found that Nick Denton has made an amazing map showing the advance of US and UK forces in Iraq.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Saddam's dome

Major Bob Belavaqua, Fox military consultant, when asked if he thought Saddam was alive or dead: "If he is, he's got the mother of all headaches, since that bunker buster probably cracked his melon."
Sounds like Bob's a Jim Rome fan. He's also certain that the shooting into the water scene along the banks of the Tigris was staged for the cameras.

  Posted by Joe | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Architecture

There's an impression of middle eastern cities that I keep getting when I see the video of Baghdad on TV. I expect the mosques and temples to have unusual designs, but I'd really like to know what Saddam was thinking when he had some of these other buildings designed and constructed. The very size and shape of some of them just screams out "hit me." And, as much as I like the President, I can't imagine what life would be like if his face and figure were everywhere the was Saddam's grille is in Iraqi cities.

  Posted by Joe | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Iraqi Spin

A Fox consultant claims that the video of Iraqi soldiers shooting and searching for something in the river in downtown Baghdad appears to be a staged even for the cameras. The coalition has not verified that any aircraft has gone down over the city.

  Posted by Joe | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | B-52s on their way

Fairford is 6 hours flight time from Baghdad and environs (Tikrit etc)

  Posted by Zoe Brain | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Now they are saying that the Tigris river shot was probably staged by the Iraqis.

  Posted by michele | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Battle of Umm Qasr Video Link

Follow the link to Sky News report on the skirmish at Umm Qasr.

  Posted by Sterling | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Somethings up on the Tigris

Fox is showing some video and live b'cast of Iraqi troops firing at something in the Tigris River, under a road bridge.

They're also reporting that a coalition plane mavy have gone down in Baghdad, and a search is supposedly on for the pilots.

  Posted by Joe | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

Kind of a news roundup from various sources here:

From the wire services:

Iraqi, U.S. Forces Battle in Umm Qasr
Iraqi Forces Resist U.S.-British Advance on Basra
Bush Gets More U.S. Support for War
Iraqis Fight Back as US Forces Push Toward Baghdad
Saddam's VP: We Have Prisoners of War

From Islamic Republic News:
USWAR/Iraqis in fierce battle with Americans, Britons in Najaf
USWAR/British warplane was shot down by US Patriot: report
USWAR/SAIRI leader says Baghdad responsible for Iraq crisis
USWAR/Iraqis take 20 US forces captive

From BBC:
Eyewitness: Firefight at Umm Qasr
Iraqis mount stiff resistance
Fact file: Iraq's Republican Guard

From CNN:
Iraqis put up fierce fight at Umm Qasr
U.S. Marines destroy pocket of resistance in Umm Qasr
Northern Iraqi cities of Mosul, Kirkuk bombed

From FoxNews:
Allies Make Bold Advances, But Take Hits From the Rear
Heavy Fighting in Umm Qasr Over; Air Strikes May Follow
U.S. Officials: Saddam Seen on Stretcher After March 19 Strike

From CBS News:
Blix Interested In War's Weapons

From ABC News:
Blast Heard Outside U.S. HQ in Qatar
Iraq Says Captured Soldiers Soon to Be Shown on TV
US Says Iraq Downed No Planes, Seized No Prisoners

  Posted by Crazy Write Winger | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Blogger's Back Up - Back To Work

Turkey Denies Reports That Its Troops Defied U.S. and Entered Iraq

The Turkish military issued a formal denial today of news reports that Turkish troops had entered northern Iraq late Friday in defiance of American requests that they stay away.

Iraqi Kurdish leaders also said there had not been any incursion of Turkish troops into northern Iraq since the American military strikes on Iraq began, and they warned Turkey that such a move could lead to violence between the troops and Iraqi Kurds.

  Posted by Dodd | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Military Chic

Anyone else recognise this as the first dress fabric in Admiralty Disruption #33
Coming soon: Dazzle No 6

  Posted by Zoe Brain | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Fight Windows

Walt Rodgers is reporting the wait on incipient air strikes on what used to be an Iraqi battalion, the remnants of which will now be killed in the grove of trees where they're hiding. This fight has been going on for an hour that I know of. It evidently kicked off when the Iraqis fired at the 3-7th with RPG's, for which act of whatever-you-want-to-call-it, they paid with their lives.

All that's in the little window on the left, now, while the sound of the Harriers angling for the drop on Umm Qasr rumbles out of the larger window on the right. (This is CNN. MSNBC is running two windows from Umm Qasr: the Marines live on the berm, and tape of the M1A1 tank action, earlier.)

Now, Rodgers is reporting that the air strike in the 7th Cav A/O is now cancelled. Don't know why, but it might have something to do with the smoke pillars on the horizon behind him.

And, the Umm Qasr window maximizes for an interview with the Marines.

These people are moving data, now.

  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Second Air Strike Called Off

According to Sky TV.

  Posted by Patrick | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Battle is Not Over

According to the Sky TV feed another air stike is coming. One Iraqi soldier came out with a white flag.

  Posted by Patrick | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Battle near Umm Qasr is finally over

The battle near Umm Qasr is finally over, after an airstrike. And as I feared, the camera wass pointing the wrong way, so the airstrike wasn't visible. These guys still have a bit tl learn about live video.

I believe that if it wasn't for a desire to minimize civilian casualties, the whole affair would have lasted about 3 minutes - the time it took for the tanks to destroy the buildings and machine-gun any non-surrendering survivors.

  Posted by John (Useful Fools) | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Bravo Zulu

Airstrike went in near, rather than directly on, the centre of enemy concentration. White flags now being seen.
Enemy no longer offering resistance, and POWs are being rounded up.
From the looks of it, it's just possible that there may have been no casualties on either side. Certainly no friendlies.

Bravo Zulu (Manouver Well Executed)

But that multi-story building will never be the same again.

There may of course be others. This may have to be repeated a few times.

  Posted by Zoe Brain | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Playing to the cameras?

Fox News military analyst says our forces are being "too cautious" in part due to the embedded media, that what we're seeing is a straightforward skirmish action and that there should've been an air strike called in to end this a long time ago. Not sure if he means that the commander of the forces on camera in Umm Qasr is showing off for the camera, that our forces don't want to risk killing on TV, or what. But an interesting observation nonetheless.

  Posted by Yeechang Lee | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Only 100 miles from Baghdad

NBC reports that US officials confirmed we're only 100 miles from Baghdad.

  Posted by Patrick | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | I hope

I hope that camera is aimed the right direction. It seems to me it should be pointed more to the left.

Wouldn't want to miss the bombing run.

  Posted by John (Useful Fools) | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 |

This is surreal, but Fox is split-screen right now, with the feed from Umm Qasr on one the right and a press conference featuring the bloviating minister of information rambling about the heroic resistance of the heroes at Umm Qasr on the left. He's also claiming that after 4 days the allies have only moved 50 meters into Iraq (Umm Qasr is on the Kuwaiti border). Allied timing is off just a bit -- an airstrike is rumored for the holdouts in Umm Qasr, and the juxtaposition of the airstrike with the ministers words would have been... poetic.

Update: Now he's praising the fragging.

Update 2: Now he's claiming that attacks on Basra, Nasriyah, etc. have been repulsed. Five minutes ago he was claiming that coalition troops have yet to cross the border into Iraq.

  Posted by Erik | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Exploitation Maneuver

"The heroic Iraqi units at Umm Qasr are giving the American and British mercenaries the taste of death."

And so on: Iraqi MinInform news conference, now, Fox News.

It's interesting to me that the translation arrived as "units", in the plural. I have been thinking that it would be odd to find a Republican Guard company operating alone.

  Posted by Billy Beck | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Umm Qasr Update

The USMC M1A1 (I got a good look this time) tanks have withdrawn at speed, along with the convoy. Commentators are talking about an airstrike very soon.

  Posted by Zoe Brain | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Command Post at #4 on Popdex

Our blog is scoring 73.5 on the hit parade of blogs....

  Posted by Clyde | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | IFF codes "sometimes turned off"

MSNBC military analyst says the IFF transmitters on aircraft are "sometimes turned off" during bombing runs in enemy territory.

  Posted by Yeechang Lee | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | PATRIOT DOWNS BRIT PLANE?

The BBC story I posted earlier has now been updated to include the rumor/report RAF aircraft 'hit by US missile', confirming(?) the reports below on TV reportage.

I'm still skeptical. Why would they fire Patriots at an airplane? What about our IFF (Identify Friend or Foe) equipment?

  Posted by James | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | The San Francisco anti-war protests: Dissed in SF

The SF Gate's own columnists are criticizing the protests.

Channel 7 anchorman Pete Wilson had it close to right when he segued from Iraq coverage to protest coverage and said, "Of course, San Francisco manages to make this about itself."

Sure, there were plenty of people in the streets who care deeply about what happens elsewhere in the world. But as protesters' behavior got worse, it was clear it was about them.

  Posted by Hulkette | Permalink |

Sunday, March 23, 2003 | Oil Prices

Continue to drop

And the DOW continues to rise

  Posted by Sean | Permalink |

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