Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Perspective: On This Day In Iraq -- April 25th edition

April 25, 2006: During a commemoration by members of the Australian Defence Forces, the catafalque party rests on arms during an Anzac Day ceremony at Camp Victory, Baghdad.

April 25, 2002:

Bush's Unhappy Warriors

The signal has spread through the Pentagon: on to Baghdad to get rid of Saddam Hussein, probably in September when the weather should be fine and the U.S. high-tech arsenal will be replenished. That's what Defense Department policymakers plan, but their cheers are balanced by apprehension among civilian and military career officials.

One military thinker, considered one of the Pentagon's best brains, put it this way: "The risk of going through with this scares the (expletive) out of me. That's why a lot of us are rooting for Colin Powell to settle this somehow." The secretary of state's preference for negotiated settlements instead of war upsets the Bush administration's hard-liners, but he has a following of Pentagon officials looking for an antidote to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.

Read the rest at CNS

April 25, 2003:

Multitude of militias pose threat to democracy in Iraq

BAGHDAD AND KIRKUK, IRAQ – Some stand at mosque gates, warily cradling AK-47 assault rifles while their comrades frisk the faithful filing in to noon prayers. Others join US soldiers in the hunt for remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime. Still more are hidden in the Iraqi countryside, awaiting orders.

Some are in uniform; some wear civilian clothes. Some carry their guns openly; others have cached their weapons against the day when they might need them. Some support the US; some violently oppose it.

But all of these men are loyal to one of the various militia groups in Iraq that could pose serious threats to American plans for a peaceful transition to democratic rule. "If the Americans don't impose their authority on the people, militia groups will spring up, and there will be a lot of trouble," warns Khasro Jaaf, head of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) Baghdad office. "They will grow up around the political parties here."

Read the rest at the Christian Science Monitor

April 25, 2004:

Bush's Oratory Helps Maintain Support for War

With skillful use of language and images, President Bush and his aides have kept the American public from turning against the war in Iraq despite the swelling number of U.S. casualties there.

Even with the loss of more than 700 U.S. troops in Iraq, recent uprisings against the U.S.-led occupation there, a dwindling number of allies and the failure to find weapons of mass destruction, a majority of Americans still believe that going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do. By 52 percent to 41 percent, Americans trust Bush more than Democratic challenger Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) to handle the Iraq situation, according to last week's Washington Post-ABC News poll -- a double-digit improvement for Bush from a month before.

Political strategists and public-opinion experts say a good part of this resilience of public support for Bush and the Iraq war stems from the president's oratory. They say Bush has convinced Americans of three key points that strongly influence overall support for the war: that the United States will prevail in Iraq; that the fighting in Iraq is related to the war against al Qaeda; and that most Iraqis and many foreign countries support U.S. actions in Iraq.

Read the rest at the Washington Post

April 25, 2005:

U.S. weapons inspector finishes work without finding purported Iraqi WMD

WASHINGTON – In his final word, the CIA's top weapons inspector in Iraq said Monday that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction has "gone as far as feasible" and has found nothing, closing an investigation into the purported programs of Saddam Hussein that were used to justify the 2003 invasion.

"After more than 18 months, the WMD investigation and debriefing of the WMD-related detainees has been exhausted," wrote Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, in an addendum to the final report he issued last fall.

"As matters now stand, the WMD investigation has gone as far as feasible."

Read the rest at the San Diego Tribune

April 25, 2006:

Poll suggests Iraq PR push falls short

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- More than half of Americans believe the United States erred in sending troops to Iraq, a poll released Tuesday said, indicating that recent White House efforts to rally support for the war have not been successful.

In the poll, carried out by telephone Friday through Sunday with 1,012 American adults, 55 percent said they believe the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, 39 percent disagreed and 5 percent said they had no opinion...

Tuesday's findings are within the sampling error of CNN/USA Today/Gallup polls carried out on the same topic in January, February and March. That implies national sentiment has changed little, despite a public relations offensive by President Bush and administration officials.

The war's popularity peaked shortly after it began in March 2003, with 75 percent of respondents saying that month that it was not a mistake.

In a poll released Monday, Bush's approval ratings reached a personal low, with a third of those polled saying they approve of the way he is handling his job.

About 132,000 U.S. service members are currently in Iraq. Since the war began in March 2003, 2,391 U.S. service members and military civilians have been killed there.

Read the rest at CNN