News War Bulletin
posted by October 27 at 9:00 AMon
From the New York Times:
Five American service members were killed Wednesday in Anbar Province, the military command reported Thursday, raising the American death toll in October to at least 96, one of the worst monthly tolls of the war.
From the Washington Post:
With his chorus of critics expanding deeper into Republican ranks, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told detractors yesterday to pull back as U.S. and Iraqi officials grapple with the uncertainties of laying out Iraq’s course.
“You ought to just back off, take a look at it, relax, understand that it’s complicated, it’s difficult,” Rumsfeld said, appearing unusually combative as he sparred with reporters at the Pentagon. “Honorable people are working on these things together,” he said, adding emphatically that “no daylight” exists between the U.S. and Iraqi sides.
A roadside blast Friday ripped through a vehicle in southern Afghanistan, killing 14 people as they traveled to a provincial capital for holiday celebrations, an official said.
The explosion, which also wounded three people, went off on a road leading to a small village just north of Tirin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan province, said Abdul Qayum Qayumi, the governor’s spokesman.
It wasn’t clear if the explosion was from an old mine left over from past conflicts or a newly planted roadside bomb, Qayumi said.
“The extent of our social lives is a trip to the porta-john with an FHM magazine,” a soldier told me. The troops worry about “Jody.”
I’d never heard of it. I know al-Qaida in Iraq, the Mahdi army, and other nefarious death squads that want to kill American troops. But “Jody?” I drew a blank.
A soldier filled me in:
“Jody is the guy that back home with you wife or your girlfriend,” he said, suddenly deadly serious. “He’s the guy hiding behind a corner, behind the curtain, hiding in the closet.
“I just hope that I never meet Jody. That’s how I feel about it. You never want that to happen to you and you try not to be Jody yourself.”
From the L.A. Times:
The Bush administration acknowledged Thursday that it had not won agreement from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki for a plan to crack down on sectarian militias, but asserted that Maliki had said he would work on “benchmarks” for achieving new security measures.
“Can I say that … the prime minister and his government have come down and said, ‘Yes, we’ll do this, we won’t do that,’ or ‘Yes, we will do this, we won’t do that, and we’ll do it by this time?’ No,” Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said at a contentious Pentagon news conference.
From Fox News:
The five-day trend toward diminished violence in the Iraqi capital was holding Friday, the Muslim day of prayer, as a curfew kept vehicles off the streets through the middle of the day.
The quiet in Baghdad followed a day of bloody house-to-house fighting outside a chaotic city to the north in which 43 people were killed.
From the Wall Street Journal:
A Marine pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of assault and conspiracy to obstruct justice in the death of an Iraqi civilian last April.
Pfc. John J. Jodka III, 20 years old, entered the pleas through his lawyer Joseph Casas and then began testifying.
He was one of seven Marines and a Navy corpsman initially charged with murder, kidnapping, conspiracy, assault and housebreaking in the killing of 52-year-old Hashim Ibrahim Awad in the Iraqi town of Hamdania.
From Stars & Stripes:
The U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Thursday that NATO could be in for an extended stay in the central Asian nation and called on member nations to be patient.
Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry urged the global community to devote more resources to the rebuilding of the country as it struggles to contain a resurgent Taliban militia.
“We need perseverance,” Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry told the Asia Pacific Summit in Vancouver.
“We cannot win this in a year. We cannot win this in two years,” he said via satellite from the U.S. Embassy in Vienna.