Friday, April 13, 2007

Perspective: On This Day In Iraq -- April 13th edition

April 13, 2003: An unidentified boy hangs on to a machine gun held by a British soldier from C Company of the 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment in Al Qurna

April 13, 2002:

Iraq warnings prompt rush to order vaccine

TONY BLAIR rushed through an order for 16 million doses of the smallpox vaccine after Dick Cheney, the American Vice-President, warned him that a military attack on Iraq would be met by a biological terror onslaught on Britain.

The two leaders met at Downing Street on March 12 and exchanged intelligence about the possible threat from Iraq.

Mr Cheney told the Prime Minister that intelligence experts had warned that the United States and Britain would be the two main targets of biological warfare in the event of a conflict.

American security reports suggested that Saddam Hussein would use all the weapons at his disposal if he was attacked. Unlike the Gulf war, where he showed some restraint, this time he would know that the military action is intended to end in his death or capture.

Read the rest at the Telegraph

April 13, 2003:

Bush Concerned by Iraq Looting, but Confident in Plan

President Bush is concerned by the widespread looting in Iraq but is satisfied that his administration planned adequately for the demise of Saddam Hussein's government, his aides said yesterday.

With some Baghdad residents complaining that the U.S. military should halt the lawlessness, a senior administration official said Bush does not believe the plunderers are "indicative of the character of the people or indicative of the overall moment that we have been experiencing."

"We wish it could be avoided, but he also understands that many Iraqis who've been oppressed for dozens of years by this regime may take action," the official said. "But the president remains confident that rational minds will prevail and that Iraqi citizens will step forward and bring order and stability."

Read the rest at the Washington Post

April 13, 2004:

Is Iraq becoming another Vietnam?

WASHINGTON — Mounting casualties and growing guerrilla resistance. Skepticism about the justification for going to war in the first place. No clear strategy for finishing the job and coming home.

Critics say they hear echoes of the most divisive war of the 20th century in the first war of the 21st.

Is Iraq becoming another Vietnam?

"The analogy is false," President Bush said Tuesday night at his news conference in response to the first question.

But a year after the fall of Baghdad, some analysts see growing parallels. They say U.S. policymakers are repeating mistakes of the Vietnam era, among them relying on military might to achieve political ends and delivering unrealistically rosy predictions of how long the war will last and how much it will cost.

Read the rest at USA Today

April 13, 2005:

Marking 2 Years in Iraq, Bush Offers Thanks to Troops

FORT HOOD, Tex., April 12 -- President Bush on Tuesday praised soldiers stationed at the largest U.S. military base for their service in Iraq, saying the 146 soldiers from here who died and many more who were injured made sacrifices for the worthy causes of liberating a nation, diminishing the threat of terrorism and spreading democracy in the Middle East.

An audience of 25,000 soldiers, some recently returned from Iraq and others soon to ship out for a first or second tour, gathered under a spring sun to listen, politely and often quietly, to Bush compare their efforts toppling Saddam Hussein's statue in Baghdad to the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was, Bush said, "one of the great moments in the history of liberty."

The president, greeted by flag-waving soldiers, many accompanied by wives and children, was here to mark the two-year anniversary of the liberation of Baghdad this past weekend. Bush delivered what has become a fairly standard speech about what the military is accomplishing in Iraq and why, he says, the effort will go down in history as a turning point in the twin campaigns to preemptively fight terrorism and spread democracy in the Middle East.

"You are making possible the peace of Iraq, and you are making possible the security of free nations," he said. ". . . The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a crushing defeat to the forces of tyranny and terror, and a watershed event in the global democratic revolution."

Read the rest at

April 13, 2006:

Iraq unrest forces 65,000 to flee

At least 65,000 Iraqis have fled their homes as a result of sectarian violence and intimidation, according to new figures from the Iraqi government.

And the rate at which Iraqis are being displaced is increasing.

Figures given to the BBC by the Ministry for Displacement and Migration show a doubling in the last two weeks of the number of Iraqis forced to move.

Read the rest at the BBC