Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Perspective: On This Day In Iraq -- April 10th edition

April 10, 2006: The U.S. Embassy names the new Diplomatic Security Service weapons training facility in Baghdad after Special Agent Eric Sullivan, who was killed during an attack on his motorcade in Mosul.

April 10, 2002:

Blair sees no need for new UN mandate to attack Iraq

Tony Blair will refuse to commit Britain to seeking a fresh UN mandate before any escalation of military action against Iraq, Labour MPs were warned last night.

As Downing Street moved to calm backbench Labour fears of "precipitate" action, Whitehall sources claimed that the promised dossier on Saddam Hussein's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programme was being kept under wraps precisely because of a lack of hard evidence, that would only serve to deepen concern.

British intelligence sources say that despite attempts by the CIA and FBI to find links between Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network and Iraq, the British dossier does not refer to them because there is no evidence to back up the US claims - such as the meeting between Mohammed Atta, the September 11 hijacker, and an Iraqi intelligence officer.

Read the rest at the Guardian

April 10, 2003:

Some see victory extending beyond Iraq

WASHINGTON — The fall of Baghdad is a victory not only for the U.S. military but for an influential group of foreign policy hard-liners who have realized the first step in a bold plan to reorder the Arab world and global institutions.

The loose-knit group, whose core includes Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, sees the war in Iraq as a model for the world's lone superpower. The group believes that with or without international consensus, the United States should move with force to pre-empt security threats and spread democracy and free-market economics to remaining pockets of authoritarianism, primarily in the Middle East.

While U.S. officials emphasize the enormity of the tasks that need to be completed in Iraq, some administration supporters already are proclaiming the birth of a new historical period and suggesting that regime change in Iraq could be followed soon by Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Read the rest at USA Today

April 10, 2004:

Bush: Iraqi insurgents 'a small faction'

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) — Amid an uprising in Iraq, President Bush declared Saturday that insurgents are "a small faction" trying to derail democracy in a battle he vowed the U.S. military and its allies will win.

"Coalition forces will continue a multi-city offensive ... until these enemies of democracy are dealt with," Bush said in his weekly radio address...

"A small faction is attempting to ... seize power" as the June 30 date for Iraqi sovereignty draws near, the president said on the radio, and to delay the turnover of sovereignty "is precisely what our enemies want."

Read the rest at USA Today

April 10, 2005:

Millions squandered in effort to rebuild Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraqi officials have crippled scores of water, sewage and electrical plants refurbished with U.S. money by failing to maintain and operate them properly, wasting millions of American taxpayer dollars in the process, according to interviews and documents.

Hardest hit has been the effort to rebuild Iraq's water and sewage systems, a multibillion-dollar task considered among the most crucial components of the effort to improve daily life for Iraqis. Of more than 40 such plants run by the Iraqis, not one is being operated properly, according to Bechtel Group, the contractor on the project.

The power grid faces similar problems. U.S. officials said the Iraqis' inability to properly operate overhauled electrical plants contributed to widespread power shortages this winter. None of the 19 electrical plants that have had U.S.-financed repair work is being run correctly, a senior U.S. adviser said.

An internal memo by coalition officials in Iraq obtained by the Los Angeles Times says that throughout Iraq, renovated plants "deteriorate quickly to an alarming state of disrepair and inoperability."

"There is no reason to believe that these initial experiences will not be repeated for the other water and sanitation projects currently under way throughout Iraq," the memo said. "This is the antithesis of our base strategy and a waste not only of taxpayer funds, but it deprives the most needy of safe drinking water and of streets free from raw sewerage."

Read the rest at the Seattle Times

April 10, 2006:

U.S. report counters upbeat talk about Iraq

WASHINGTON An internal staff report by the U.S. Embassy and military command in Baghdad provides a sobering province-by-province snapshot of Iraq's political, economic and security situation, rating the overall stability of 6 of the 18 provinces "serious" and one "critical." The report is a counterpoint to some recent upbeat public statements by top U.S. politicians and military officials.

In 10 pages of briefing slides, the report, titled "Provincial Stability Assessment," underscores the shift in the nature of the Iraq war three years after the toppling of Saddam Hussein. Warnings of sectarian and ethnic frictions are raised in many regions, even in those provinces that U.S. officials generally described as nonviolent.

There are also alerts about the growing power of Iranian-backed religious Shiite parties, several of which the United States helped put into power, and rival militias in the south.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune