Sunday, April 18, 2004

Blessed Mother of All Holy Crap!! This isn't good. Prepare for Bush Administration LIE count to be ratched up another notch (is that even possible? are they not already red-shifting?). Last month, 14 British soldiers were injured in Basra, at least three seriously, when they came under attack from demonstrators armed with petrol bombs, rocks and a grenade. "A crowd of 150,000 people at the gates of this barracks would be the end of this, as far as I'm concerned," Brig Carter said. "There would be absolutely nothing I could do about that." Senior military officials fear that insurgents may be planning a "spectacular" as they mount last-ditch efforts to disrupt the US-led timetable of restoring sovereignty to Iraq. Fighting in the Sunni-dominated city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, where an estimated 1,000 Iraqis died in clashes last week between American soldiers and mujahideen rebels, is causing particular concern. British officers in Basra are also worried about the stand-off at the twin holy cities of Najaf and Kufa, where the fiery Islamic cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, has taken refuge from 2,500 American troops determined either to capture or kill him. "If the Americans go into Najaf, there will be 300 Fallujahs," said one officer. A senior aide to Mr Blair said: "We have to recognise that there might be a certain amount of desperation. All the groups realise the significance of the June 30 deadline. Exactly what will happen we don't know. Fallujah is historically a terrible place that even Saddam Hussein could not control." .... During an interview in Basra last week Brig Carter acknowledged that the Coalition's presence in southern Iraq was entirely dependent on the goodwill of the local Shia Muslim leader, Sayid Ali al-Safi al-Musawi. He represents Ayatollah Sistani, Iraq's leading Shia cleric. "The moment that Sayid Ali says, 'We don't want the Coalition here', we might as well go home," Brig Carter said. Also just announced, Spain is pulling its 1,300 troops out ASAP keeping with the new government's campaign promise. And with the shift in governments in South Korea, don't hold your breath on 3,500 Korean troops either.
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