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Old 04-07-2004, 11:45 PM   #31
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
LOL I am just going to say you are right. The Iraqi posting this stuff does not know what he is talking about.

Yep. anyone who believes that the uprising is significant is falling for it.

I swear you would tell me it was raining while somone was pissing on me.

The media is lying...the press is against us....

Please...enough already. I have posted from various sources including CFR and Iraqi Blogs. To deny that what is going on is not SIGNIFICANT is foolish. Is it a full scale uprising among the masses,,,no....but it is the MOST SIGNIFICANT resistance since the invasion.
Well, technically thats inaccurate. The MOST SIGNIFICANT resistence US forces have faced over the past 72 hours is in Ramadi and Fallugah against Saddam Loyalist and Sunni's not Mr. Sadr.

Sadr and his thugs are a problem, but the problem is not at the level of magnitude thats been suggested in here at this point.

Sadr of course wants everyone to think otherwise which is why he released a press statement saying if the Americans do not go home this will be another Vietnam for them.

Sadr over the past year has had very little support among the vast majority of Shia's. Its a classic tactic of any vocal minority to engage in actions which mistakenly inflate their capabilities there by helping to gain support and keeping potential opponents on the sidelines with fear.

Sadr is currently not the threat he has been described as being. Only if Sadr can't convince a vast number of Shia to join his movement will he become the level of threat and problem that others say he has been.

In the Sunni Triangle and Fallugah, the threat to US forces has been far greater. If you examine all the casualties that the USA has suffered since May 1 of last year, including the past 3 days, you will see that they overwhelmingly fall in the Sunni Triangle area. 75% of the people in Fallugah have been polled as supporting the resistence. The only place where Sadr could get that level of support over the past few months is in his corner of Baghdad.

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Old 04-08-2004, 12:24 AM   #32
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[Q]Iraqi anger meets U.S. resolve

By Betsy Hiel
Thursday, April 8, 2004

BAGHDAD -- U.S. troops intensified their street-to-street, rooftop-to-rooftop battle with insurgents in Fallujah and Ramadi on Wednesday, as clashes continued in Baghdad and southern cities with supporters of fiery Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
As casualties rose, the mood in many neighborhoods here appeared to harden against U.S.-led forces despite calls for calm by Iraq's interim governing council.

Many Iraqis condemned all sides for the violence. Yet more voices than usual publicly threatened revenge against U.S. forces.

The day's developments raised questions and concern over whether radical Sunnis -- many of them staunch supporters of Saddam Hussein's deposed regime -- are forging a united uprising with radical Shiites, who were generally oppressed by Saddam.

One U.S. soldier was reported killed Wednesday, and coalition soldiers from Ukraine abandoned Al Kut in central Iraq, leaving it to soldiers from al-Sadr's Mahdi Army.

The death toll for coalition forces in the last two days of fighting stood at 34, including 12 Marines who died Tuesday in Ramadi. Ten of those Marines were from a single company. Three Marines have died in Fallujah since Monday, U.S. officials said.

The Iraqi death toll was much higher, perhaps more than 500. Marine engineers patrolling near Ramadi on Wednesday reported coming across a mass grave containing up to 350 bodies of Iraqis who appeared to have been killed in the fighting. It wasn't clear whether the bodies belonged to combatants, civilians or both.

Vowing destruction

As the fighting continued, a senior U.S. military official vowed to "destroy" al-Sadr's militia, the Mahdi Army, and to restore calm. Al-Sadr's militia is estimated at 10,000 men, although al-Sadr claims it numbers 100,000 or more.

The seemingly mounting anger was further inflamed by reports of a U.S. airstrike on a mosque in Fallujah. Iraqi sources claimed 40 civilians were killed there.

U.S. officials said the attack was justified because gunmen fired from the mosque. They also struck a hard-line on al-Sadr's apparent uprising.

"We will attack and destroy the Al Mahdi army," declared U.S. Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt. "Offensive operations will be deliberate, they will be precise and they will be powerful and they will succeed."

Kimmit said Marines are engaged in "Stage 2" of Operation Vigilant Resolve, securing firm positions in Fallujah. He accused insurgents of operating among a "population that doesn't support them" and insisted U.S. troops take "extraordinary lengths" to avoid civilian casualties.

A Marine statement said insurgents fired "from the Haj Musheen Abdul Aziz Az-Kubaysi mosque complex in Fallujah" and the Marines "used air support to breach a wall located several hundred yards away from the actual mosque structure."

The statement insisted insurgents "violated the law of war" by using the mosque, making it "a lawful military target."

Marines said only one insurgent was killed in the attack and no civilians were killed or injured. Al-Jazeera, the Arab satellite-TV channel, broadcast images of what it claimed were civilians killed or wounded in the attack.

Anger mounts

Baghdad's streets were judged to be more explosive than ever by many observers. Many Iraqis openly denounced U.S. forces, accusing them of intentionally attacking civilians.

In the upscale neighborhood of Mansour, some 50 protesters gathered in front of the Al Arabia satellite-TV station, distributing flyers supporting al-Sadr and denouncing the U.S. assault on Fallujah.

"With our souls, with our blood, we will sacrifice for you, oh Fallujah," they chanted. Other chants warned that U.S. Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III, the top civilian administrator here, will suffer the fate of a former Iraqi prime minister, Nouri Said, whose body was mutilated and dragged through the streets in 1958.

"Now we are demonstrating peacefully," Fahran Hawas al-Suddaad, head of Iraq's Shamar tribe, told the crowd. "Tomorrow we will use RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades). We are with any Muslim (who) declares jihad, either Sunni or Shia."

Ali Abdullah, secretary-general of a council of Iraqi tribal chiefs, told the demonstrators: "We are with al-Sadr with our bodies and souls."

Some protesters said they chose Al Arabia for their protest because it is the "martyr" channel -- suggesting that it supports an uprising against U.S. forces.

Mohammed Abdel Abbass, 20, a security guard at Baghdad's municipal building, said "these things aren't good for us. We hope that the brothers responsible for these matters, especially Muqtada (al-Sadr), will stop what they are doing."

Both sides determined

But in Sadr City -- a Baghdad slum named for al-Sadr's father, a popular religious leader killed by Saddam's regime in 1999 -- residents expressed mostly anger.

Kareem Jassem, 33, a used-car salesman, called the Marines' assault on Fallujah "a tragic situation ... many innocent civilians dead, more than al-Sadr's followers. This situation makes us hate the Americans and the coalition. When they came to Baghdad, we gave them respect, and now they lie with their promises."

Riyadh Tahseen, 35, who works in the interim Iraqi government's transportation ministry, said he and his friends are on strike. "We are waiting on orders for jihad, and our weapons are ready," he exclaimed. "... If Muqtada is hurt or captured, the coalition will see its destruction."

Tahseen said women and children are helping the Mahdi Army by hiding or delivering weapons. Many Iraqis are buying machine guns, grenades and RPGs, he said.

Wearing the black Mahdi Army uniform, Haidar Sadiq, 19, said, "We didn't start this fight and we are not afraid of the coalition -- we follow Muqtada's orders, and we won't let America control us."

Pharmacist Salam Jassem, 29, said he hopes "peace comes back to our streets." Pointing to nearby U.S. tanks, he called on the Iraqi Governing Council and the Hawza, the Shia religious establishment, to persuade U.S. troops to withdraw from Sadr City.

Yet car salesman Jassem insisted the battle will go on: "Today, the day is for America and the night is for us. In the coming days, the days and the nights will be for us."

Al-Sadr is in the southern city of Najaf, where his militia is said to control the streets.

Kimmitt said he is weighing options to restoring order there. "We are understanding more and more about the Mahdi Army, how they operate, where they operate and against whom they operate," he said.

He insisted that Operation Vigilant Resolve is "going quite well at this point -- on schedule, on target." No government buildings had been seized by insurgents in Baghdad, he said.

Dan Senor, a senior spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority, said the U.S.-led military strikes are targeted at a small number of Iraqis. "The majority ... want the decision of who will govern Iraq to come from the ballot box, not with guns," he said. "Elections (will) determine who has authority in this country, not mob violence." [/Q]

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Old 04-08-2004, 12:27 AM   #33
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[Q]In central and southern Iraq, fighters loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shiite cleric who vowed Wednesday to turn Iraq into "another Vietnam for America," tightened their grip on the holy cities of Karbala, Kufa and Najaf. Members of the Mahdi Army, a militia loyal to Al-Sadr, seized control of Kut, southeast of Baghdad.


yep...little portion of bagdhad.....pass me an umbrella please
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Old 04-08-2004, 12:30 AM   #34
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[Q]Cleric's Armed Militia Stream Into Holy City

By Alissa J. Rubin, Times Staff Writer

NAJAF, Iraq -- Shops have been shuttered and few of this holy city's genteel residents are venturing out this week as armed young men, clad in black, their faces half-hidden by headscarves, stream into the city.

The armed men are loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who views the United States as the "biggest devil." They surrounded one of the most holy sites in Shiite Islam and opened an office for the "Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice" inside its walls. They forced their way into police stations, commandeering cars, jeeps, weapons and even the bullet-proof vests procured by the Americans for the nascent Iraqi force.

In the face of the incursion, natives of this city -- one of the intellectual centers of Shiite Islam, fell silent, afraid to protest. Their fear echoed across Iraq this week as moderates confronted the reality that they were up against countrymen with guns who appear to have little compunction about using them.[/Q]
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Old 04-08-2004, 12:32 AM   #35
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[Q]Account of Broad Shiite Revolt Contradicts White House Stand

Published: April 8, 2004

ASHINGTON, April 7 — United States forces are confronting a broad-based Shiite uprising that goes well beyond supporters of one militant Islamic cleric who has been the focus of American counterinsurgency efforts, United States intelligence officials said Wednesday.

That assertion contradicts repeated statements by the Bush administration and American officials in Iraq. On Wednesday, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that they did not believe the United States was facing a broad-based Shiite insurgency. Administration officials have portrayed Moktada al-Sadr, a rebel Shiite cleric who is wanted by American forces, as the catalyst of the rising violence within the Shiite community of Iraq.

But intelligence officials now say that there is evidence that the insurgency goes beyond Mr. Sadr and his militia, and that a much larger number of Shiites have turned against the American-led occupation of Iraq, even if they are not all actively aiding the uprising.

A year ago, many Shiites rejoiced at the American invasion and the toppling of Saddam Hussein, a Sunni who had brutally repressed the Shiites for decades. But American intelligence officials now believe that hatred of the American occupation has spread rapidly among Shiites, and is now so large that Mr. Sadr and his forces represent just one element..

Meanwhile, American intelligence has not yet detected signs of coordination between the Sunni rebellion in Iraq's heartland and the Shiite insurgency. But United States intelligence says that the Sunni rebellion also goes far beyond former Baathist government members. Sunni tribal leaders, particularly in Al Anbar Province, home to Ramadi, the provincial capital, and Falluja, have turned against the United States and are helping to lead the Sunni rebellion, intelligence officials say.

The result is that the United States is facing two broad-based insurgencies that are now on parallel tracks.

The Bush administration has sought to portray the opposition much more narrowly. In the Sunni insurgency, the White House and the Pentagon have focused on the role of the former leaders of the Baath Party and Saddam Hussein's government, while in the Shiite rebellion they have focused almost exclusively on the role of Mr. Sadr. Mr. Rumsfeld told reporters at the Pentagon that the fighting in Iraq was just the work of "thugs, gangs and terrorists," and not a popular uprising. General Myers added that "it's not a Shiite uprising. Sadr has a very small following."

According to some experts on Iraq's Shiites, the uprising has spread to many Shiites who are not followers of Mr. Sadr. "There is a general mood of anti-Americanism among the people in the streets," said Ghassan R. al-Attiyah, executive director of the Iraq Foundation for Development and Democracy in Baghdad. "They identify with Sadr not because they believe in him but because they have their own grievances."

While they share the broader anger in Iraq over the lack of jobs and security, many Shiites suspect that the handover of sovereignty to Iraqi politicians from the American occupying powers on June 30 will bypass their interests, Mr. Attiyah said.

With his offensive, Mr. Sadr has "hijacked the political process," he said. As a result, more moderate Shiite clerics and politicians risk going against public opinion if they come out too strongly against the rebellious young cleric, he said.

Also hard to gauge is the relationship between Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and Mr. Sadr. Ayatollah Sistani is an aging cleric venerated for his teachings, while Mr. Sadr is a youthful rabble-rouser, with little clerical standing. This week, Ayatollah Sistani issued a statement supporting Mr. Sadr's decision to act against the Americans, but emphasizing the need for a peaceful solution. In this, the older man seemed to be marking out a position that allowed him to associate with the tide of Shiite popular feelings, while allowing Mr. Sadr, for whom he is said to harbor a personal contempt, to risk his militia — and his life — in a showdown with the Americans.[/Q]

Well given the mistakes that the Intelligence Agencies have made....IE WMD Maybe you are right, it makes your case stronger in my eyes that the intelligence agencies are worried.

Anyone seen my rubber boots, it is really pouring?
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Old 04-08-2004, 04:44 AM   #36
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What kind of "sunshine-coalition" do we have in Iraq?

The 550 Japanese Soldiers and the 460 Soldiers from south korea stay in their , because the situation is to dangerous.
Huh, i thought they were soldiers and it was their job to stabilize dangerous situations and protect the civilians who are not joining the revolting iraqis!

After some fights in Kut the ukrainian soldiers left the city to the shiitic rebells.

Ahmad Mansur, Falluja-correspondent from Al-Jazeera
"More than 200 Iraqis, including women and children, have been injured in the past 24 hours," (They aired pictures in german tv from dead iraqi kids and even babies.

The shiites are the majority of iraqs population. (60%)

Muktada al Sadr reprents a verry radical part of them but it seems like others join him because they feel like America is the reason for it, al-Sadr is just reacting to the provocations.
(for example with a new, third case against him:

al-Sadr is accused of confiscating the "khums" (donations from worshippers) to mosques and shrines in the south, worth a few hundred dollars.)

The siege of Falluja also creates more solidarity in the Iraqi public.

Thousands of Sunni and Shia Muslims backed by cars full of food and medical supplies have headed on foot toward the town to support the iraqi people there.
The Iraqi "Red Cross" is allowed to bring the food and the medicine into the town.

In Falluja a bomb hit the minaret of a mosque, leaving it badly damaged.
This made some iraqis verry emotional about the current siuation too.

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Old 04-08-2004, 12:39 PM   #37
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All of you can say whatever... truth is , none of us know what the hell is going on... where not there.... over here, we hear of all the soldiers killed.... purchase satellite with some international channels, and u will see all these infants torn up.....

The problem with the States, is that we went into the war with a suspicious agenda.... Excited, we never researched the demographics of Iraq, even though 10yrs previously we were in there.... Instead we assume, and we treat the people of Iraq as if there stupid animals...
Shock and Awe destructed all forms of important institutions that helped the Iraqi people.... Remember, Iraq was a state that consisted of many intellectuals, just like Iran... However, when a world power, such as the US barges in there, and blows up the infrastructure.... what do u get???? chaos, destruction, poverty....

In the end, it is the frusturated youngsters, who lose hope and become the most agressive.... An American researcher for Iraq, came to our university and discussed their public surveys in Iraq, however, there was not one bit of information on the effects of the war on the youngsters.... This is a big problem...

Anyways, Sadr, a messed up man... who many Shias here do not consider a Shia for the fact that he worked with the Ba'ath party, and the killing within Imam Ali (AS) mosque... Many of us believe that he is working under a conspiracy, supported by the fact of his lack of knowledge of the faith and his irresponsible actions... In many ways, he reminds a lot of us of Saddam....

Anyways, point is.... there are to many mirrors to this problem... and there is a growing miscommunication b/w two worlds.... Lets try and step back from our arrogance...... B/c u guys, lets admit, we have seen nothing....

Here we see limited amount of info through our media, with breaks in between with reality shows and other bull shit.... Over in Iraq, these people are living everyday like it's there last.... lets be sympathetic and open minded about this situation. Our soldieres are being killed, and the feeling is soooo terrible... HOwever, on the other side, thousends and thousends of Iraqis are being killed, many which are children.... we don't have a clue with whats going on...
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Old 04-08-2004, 09:58 PM   #38
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This is what top US General in Iraq, Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez says about Al Sadr and his thugs and fighting in Fallujah:

Thursday, April 8, 2004 Posted: 6:36 PM EDT (2236 GMT)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The top U.S. general in Iraq said Thursday coalition forces were making strides in crushing the militia of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr throughout Iraq and retaking the largely Sunni city of Fallujah.

Sanchez said only Kut -- from which Ukrainian forces retreated to their base outside the city -- and the holy Shiite city of Najaf were out of full coalition control.

He said forces would retake Kut "imminently" and progress was being made in Najaf. Sanchez said there were still coalition forces in that city and base camps.

He said the Mehdi elements controlled the "inner part of the city, police stations, and government buildings."

Sanchez said no government or police buildings in Baghdad were in the hands of these fighters.

When asked why the coalition didn't react to the militia earlier, Sanchez said there are several militias, and the coalition had been working to reintegrate them into the country's armed forces.

When it was determined that al-Sadr's forces took a violent, anti-coalition stand, the coalition reacted accordingly, Sanchez indicated.

The encounters with the Mehdi Army have involved "ambush-type encounters" by the militia, which has been armed with rocket-propelled grenades, small arms and mortars. He said the best-coordinated militia units were in Najaf.

"There's clearly some military experience in elements," but in the greater sense "they are not a well-trained force."

"Sadr's gang is attempting without success to sabotage progress toward a free and democratic Iraq," said Sanchez, noting that coalition forces over the past several days have "inflicted some fairly heavy casualties."

He said that talk of Sunni insurgent support for al-Sadr is a concern, but it had been expected that "there may be a linkage at the lowest level."

Progress cited in Fallujah
In Fallujah, Sanchez said Marines and the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps have made "tremendous progress in restoring legitimate authority to Fallujah."

"I am totally confident we will succeed," Sanchez said.

"We are engaged in some moderate fighting in the city of Fallujah," and efforts were being made by the coalition to conduct talks with people in the city, he said.

Sanchez answered repeated questions about reports of medical aid and food being denied Fallujah residents and reports of innocents being killed.

He said there were no plans to isolate Fallujah from such aid, but he said it has to be coordinated with coalition officials.

"We are not cutting off humanitarian aid and food to the city of Fallujah," he said. Of reports that aid vehicles were being shot, Sanchez said, "If we are shooting vehicles, it's because people from those vehicles have shot at us."

He said it is "absolutely regrettable" when civilians get hurt or killed on the battlefield.

He was asked why Marines, who have recently taken over patrol of Al Anbar province, which includes Fallujah and Ramadi, have sustained so many fatalities. Sanchez said the Marines have "engaged in very robust operations."

Two Marines and three soldiers were killed in the past two days in attacks in Iraq, the coalition said. A soldier died Thursday of injuries sustained Sunday in Mosul.

A pool report said Marines came under machine gun fire Thursday and killed two insurgents when they shot back. They captured weapons and ammunition.

"They are fighting us," said a Marine officer in Fallujah. "And when he fights us and chooses to stand and fight, we're killing him. When he runs, he usually abandons his gear, and we recover it."

"We're facing an enemy that's unafraid to fight from behind women and children, from occupied apartment buildings, from protected sites," the officer said in a television report.

"To characterize their resistance as anything but kind of cowardly would be to give them more credit than they deserve."

Sanchez was asked whether the fighting in Fallujah and Ramadi amounted to "shadows" of the Vietnam conflict.

"I don't see any shadows of Vietnam here in Iraq," he said, calling them "two totally different battlefields."

There have been 637 U.S. troops killed in the Iraq war, including 447 in hostile action. Since President Bush's May 1 speech declaring the end of major combat, 506 troops have been killed, 339 of them in hostile action.
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Old 04-09-2004, 11:49 AM   #39
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US loses control of two cities

·Up to 300 dead in Falluja
·Three Japanese 'taken hostage'
·Iraqi interior minister resigns

George Wright and agencies
Thursday April 8, 2004
The US military admitted today that it had lost control of two cities to Shia militants as fierce fighting continued to rage across Iraq.
Despite attempts by Washington to play down the scale of the uprisings that have swept the country, Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez said today that coalition troops in Najaf and Kut had been fought back by militants loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

He said coalition soldiers - Ukrainians in Kut and Spaniards in Najaf - had retreated to their bases on the outskirts of the cities, effectively ceding control to the Shia fighters.

He vowed to retake Kut "imminently", while conceding that the presence of large numbers of pilgrims in the holy city of Najaf for a religious festival could hamper any coalition counter-offensive. The coalition denied reports that some of its soldiers had been taken hostage by Shia militants in Najaf yesterday.

In a further setback to the coalition on what has been the bloodiest week since the end of the war on year ago, Al-Jazeera television broadcast footage of three Japanese, including one woman, dressed in civilian clothes it said were taken hostage by an Iraqi group.

The hitherto unknown group - Saraya al-Mujahideen - threatened to kill the captives unless Japan withdrew its troops from Iraq within three days.

Meanwhile, US forces sustained further casualties in fierce hand-to-hand battles with militants on the streets of Falluja, where local doctors said the Iraqi death toll had reached almost 300 in the last three days.

The US assault on Falluja began early on Monday, when marines surrounded the city of more than 200,000 people. Since then, US forces have been waging heavy street battles, using warplanes and tanks against Sunni insurgents in heavily populated districts who have dug themselves in.

Taher al-Issawi, a doctor in the besieged city's hospital, said today that more than 280 Iraqis have been killed and 400 wounded during the offensive. He told the Associated Press there were many more dead and wounded "in various places buried under rubble" who could not be reached because of fighting.

According to a report on Al-Jazeera news, at least 45 Iraqis were killed yesterday - including a family sitting in a car parked behind the Abd al-Aziz al-Samarai mosque compound when it was bombed by a US plane.

A spokesman for Iraq Body Count criticised the US tactics for putting the lives of civilians in at risk.

"The recent upsurge in violence has emphasised yet again that it is innocent Iraqi civilians who are the main victims of the US-led war and occupation. Up to 11,000 civilians are now reported killed since the invasion. Although we regret the loss of military lives too, military people have chosen to put their lives at risk. Civilians have no choice," he said.

"The US has responded to the deaths of four security contractors in Falluja with the killing of 16 children. This is not the 'winning of hearts and minds' but the destruction of human life and hope. The continuing failure of the USA and the UK to acknowledge the costs of their policies in civilian deaths further undermines the prospects for peace and reconciliation in Iraq."

Despite the air strike and a six-hour gun battle yesterday, insurgents still appeared to be using the area around the mosque as a base today and a fresh assault was under way to uproot them.

Witnesses said there had been heavy fighting in several districts as US troops took positions on rooftops and in buildings. They fired on gunmen in the streets and, occasionally, civilians who poked their heads out of their homes, according to the Associated Press. Marines say they have control of about one-quarter of the town.

Meanwhile, thousands of Iraqis - from both the Sunni and Shia communities - marched 60km from Baghdad to Falluja to bring food and medical supplies to the besieged citizens there.

The marchers - carrying colourful flags and banners reading, "Sons of the great Falluja, we are with you on the road of jihad and victory" - arrived at the marine roadblock at the western entrance to the city earlier today.

After searching the vehicles for weapons, the marines allowed two ambulances full of medical supplies, two minibuses carrying food and a dozen cars with Sunni clerics and officials to enter the city.

There was also renewed fighting overnight in the holy city of Kerbala, south-west of the capital, Baghdad, where Polish and Bulgarian troops are involved in an operation against Shia fighters loyal to the radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Yesterday, Polish forces were reported to have killed the a senior aide to Mr Sadr who was leading the Shia fighters in the city.

In other developments, Iraqi interior minister Nouri Badran, who is responsible for Iraq's hard-pressed security forces, announced his resignation today.

Mr Badran's decision did not appear to be directly related to the turmoil sweeping the country. According to the Associated Press, he stepped down at the request of Iraq's US administrator Paul Bremer to maintain the Shia-Sunni balance in the government.

Mr Badran, a Shia Muslim, said he had been told that the US-led administration believed the defence minister and interior minister should not both be Shia. A new defence minister's position was created this month and filled by a Shia official.

However, critics will point to the fact that Mr Badran may have been forced to leave because the Iraqi police forces he controls have proved wholly ineffective in the face of sustained attacks by insurgents.

The coalition position worsened considerably last night when the most senior cleric in Iraq, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a moderate, refused to condemn Mr Sadr's uprising. Instead, he condemned "the methods used by occupation forces in the current escalating situation in Iraq ... and any action that disturbs order and prevents officials from carrying out their duties".

The US-appointed governing council also urged the Americans not to make the crisis worse by excessive force.

"More violence will cause more violence and this will be an endless spiral. We all made these points," Adnan Pachachi, a council member and former foreign minister, said. "By surrounding Falluja and pounding it they reacted with greater force than we expected."
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Old 04-12-2004, 02:48 PM   #40
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US tactics condemned by British officers
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
(Filed: 11/04/2004)

Senior British commanders have condemned American military tactics in Iraq as heavy-handed and disproportionate.

One senior Army officer told The Telegraph that America's aggressive methods were causing friction among allied commanders and that there was a growing sense of "unease and frustration" among the British high command.

The officer, who agreed to the interview on the condition of anonymity, said that part of the problem was that American troops viewed Iraqis as untermenschen - the Nazi expression for "sub-humans".

Speaking from his base in southern Iraq, the officer said: "My view and the view of the British chain of command is that the Americans' use of violence is not proportionate and is over-responsive to the threat they are facing. They don't see the Iraqi people the way we see them. They view them as untermenschen. They are not concerned about the Iraqi loss of life in the way the British are. Their attitude towards the Iraqis is tragic, it's awful.

"The US troops view things in very simplistic terms. It seems hard for them to reconcile subtleties between who supports what and who doesn't in Iraq. It's easier for their soldiers to group all Iraqis as the bad guys. As far as they are concerned Iraq is bandit country and everybody is out to kill them."

The phrase untermenschen - literally "under-people" - was brought to prominence by Adolf Hitler in his book Mein Kampf, published in 1925. He used the term to describe those he regarded as racially inferior: Jews, Slaves and gipsies.

Although no formal complaints have as yet been made to their American counterparts, the officer said the British Government was aware of its commanders' "concerns and fears".

The officer explained that, under British military rules of war, British troops would never be given clearance to carry out attacks similar to those being conducted by the US military, in which helicopter gunships have been used to fire on targets in urban areas.

British rules of engagement only allow troops to open fire when attacked, using the minimum force necessary and only at identified targets.

The American approach was markedly different: "When US troops are attacked with mortars in Baghdad, they use mortar-locating radar to find the firing point and then attack the general area with artillery, even though the area they are attacking may be in the middle of a densely populated residential area.

"They may well kill the terrorists in the barrage but they will also kill and maim innocent civilians. That has been their response on a number of occasions. It is trite, but American troops do shoot first and ask questions later. They are very concerned about taking casualties and have even trained their guns on British troops, which has led to some confrontations between soldiers.

"The British response in Iraq has been much softer. During and after the war the British set about trying to win the confidence of the local population. There have been problems, it hasn't been easy but on the whole it was succeeding."

The officer believed that America had now lost the military initiative in Iraq, and it could only be regained with carefully planned, precision attacks against the "terrorists".

"The US will have to abandon the sledgehammer-to-crack-a-nut approach - it has failed," he said. "They need to stop viewing every Iraqi, every Arab as the enemy and attempt to win the hearts and minds of the people.

"Our objective is to create a stable, democratic and safe Iraq. That's achievable but not in the short term. It is going to take up to 10 years."

7 April 2004: 'Every blow America strikes will bring more people to the way of God'
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Old 04-12-2004, 04:40 PM   #41
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This is a nightmare. I knew this would happen. Egads.

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