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Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair (Wednesday, March 01, 2006)

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  • jim@leftopia.com
     Iraq Front News Subscribe: IraqFrontNews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com Wednesday, March 01, 2006 News roundup by Jim Galasyn
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2006
      
      Wednesday, March 01, 2006
      News roundup by Jim Galasyn
       
       
      Iraq Front News

      Wednesday, March 01, 2006

      Bring Them Home

      Fool Me Once

      Hearts And Minds

      White Man's Burden

      Graph of US Military Deaths


      Graph of US Military Casualties


      Civilians reported killed by military intervention in Iraq
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      Max

      Iraq Body Count


      Cost of War

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      Iraqi Attacks Killing Almost 70 A Day
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 08:22:48 GMT

      Bombings, mortar fire and shootings are killing almost 70 people every day in Iraq.

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      Deadly Sectarian Violence kills 76, Wounds 179 - Talabani Condemns Jaafari for Turkey Visit
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 05:18:00 GMT

      The Los Angeles Times estimates the dead in various attacks throughout Iraq on Tuesday at 76, with 179 wounded. Details are below.In the meantime, the glacial political process among top Iraqi politicians was roiled on Tuesday by a confrontation between President Jalal Talabani, a Kurdish leader, and Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari. Jaafari planed a visit to Ankara without consulting Talabani or his cabinet, according to Talabani, who accused the PM of returning to his old high-handed ways. Talabani thundered that Jaafari's behavior contradicted the clear desire expressed by the major parties that the next government be one of national consensus. He said the prime minister was not at liberty unilaterally to make agreements with foreign states that might bind Iraq in the long term. Talabani said that Jaafari was supposed to notify the president and also the speaker of the house about any planned trips abroad, according to the Transitional Administrative Law. (Since the largely American-authored TAL has been de facto if not de jure superseded by the Iraqi constitution, which was approved last October 15, and since the religious Shiites who have essentially won two elections in the past year always rejected the TAL, Talabani's attempt to impose it on Jaafari at this late date is unlikely to succeed.)This dispute may seem minor, but it probably signals that Talabani is determined to unseat Jaafari as the prime ministerial candidate for the United Iraqi Alliance. It also seems likely that Jaafari is seeking to do some sort of deal with Turkey of which Talabani disapproves. (The Iraqi Kurds don't generally get along with Ankara). In fact, one of the few things that could explain Talabani's outburst would be that Jaafari is secretly exploring Turkish military aid of some sort to the new Iraqi government. The Kurds would consider that out of bounds, since they are afraid of the Turkish military. Turkey is dead set against the emergence of an independent Kurdistan, for fear that its own Kurds might try to secede and join it.Al-Hayat says that Muqtada al-Sadr is heading for Ankara as well, at the invitation of the Turkish government, and bringing some Sunni leaders in his entourage. Something is afoot between the Shiites and the Turks.Since Jaafari needs the Kurds to form an initial government and get a president who can appoint a prime minister, this outbreak of Kurdish hostility to him could derail his candidacy for prime minister in the new government. They are already saying in Baghdad that it will take 2 months to form a government, but if the Shiite religious parties in the United Iraqi Alliance have to start from scratch in choosing a prime minister, it could take much longer. Meanwhile the country outside the Green Zone is in flames, aside from Kurdistan and maybe a few southern cities.Lin Noueihed reports that armed militias and gangs rule the streets of Iraq. As for Tuesday's worrisome violence:Al-Zaman [Ar.] reports that guerrillas detonated 4 carbombs in Karada, New Baghdad, a gas station in southeast Baghdad, and North Baghdad. Guerrillas killed a US soldier in West Baghdad with small arms fire.A Sunni mosque in the Hurriyah district of Baghdad was blown up.Guerrillas attempted to assassinate Dahham Radi al-`Asal, a senior adviser to the Ministry of Defense with a roadside bomb, but only managed to kill 5 and wound 7 of his bodyguards.In downtown Baghdad, guerrillas used a roadside bomb to wound 3 Iraqi police near al-Nida' mosque.The Iraqi army found 9 bullet-riddled bodies in Nahrawan. All of them were from that city, near Wasit south of Baqubah. The dead included Shaikh Khital al-Muhammadawi, chief of the Al Muhammad tribe in the city.In Nasiriyah, a roadside bomb aimed at an Italian convoy instead wounded two Iraqi civilians. The Italian soldiers escaped unscathed.In Amara, guerrillas deployed a roadside bomb against a British convoy, killing 2 British soldiers and wounding a third.Hmm. Someone seems to be targetting Coalition troops in the south of the country.A rash of assassinations of physicians in Mosul continued, with the killing of Dr. Ya`sun Sulayman. [There has been a series of assassinations of doctors in Mosul? Everywhere you look south of Kurdistan, you find new corners of this ongoing horror show in Iraq!]A roadside bomb in Kirkuk that targetted a high police official instead seriously wounded 4 civilians.A bomb attack inflicted significant damage on a small mosque in Tikrit where the father of Saddam Hussein is buried. Mortar shells landed near the television station run by the Iraqi Islamic Party, killing two senior employees at the station. [The Iraqi Islamic Party has a television station in Tikrit? It is a Sunni fundamentalist group descended from the Muslim Brotherhood).In north Fallujah two bullet-riddled bodies showed up in the street. In the same place, guerrillas used a roadside bomb to kill two Iraqi national guardsman.The Association of Muslim Scholars (hard line Sunnis) denied on Tuesday the reports that Shiite families had been forced out of Sunni neighborhoods in west and north Baghdad. It also confirmed that there were 26 casualties among worshippers at the Dhat al-Nitaqayn Mosque in New Baghdad when it was shelled during evening prayers on Monday.Nancy Youssef reports from Baghdad that Sunni Arabs are sending arms to Baghdad and forming militias to match those of the Shiites, which attacked Sunni mosques last week. More good news.

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      At Least 30 Killed in New Iraq Violence
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 17:29:23 GMT

      Bombings in Baghdad killed 26 people, and four others died when mortar rounds slammed into their homes in a nearby town Wednesday, the second day of surging violence after authorities lifted a curfew that briefly calmed sectarian attacks.

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      At least 29 killed in Iraq amid sectarian tension
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 14:20:00 GMT

      At least 29 people were killed, most of them in a Baghdad car bomb attack, a day after multiple bombings in Iraq left 64 dead and revived fears of civil war.

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      Multiple Attacks in Iraq Kill 34
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 12:35:00 GMT

      Most of the carnage took place in Baghdad, where a series of blasts that went off almost simultaneously killed 15 civilians and wounded at least 50 others.

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      Car bombs kill 25 in Baghdad
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 14:26:09 GMT

      A car bomb killed 25 people in mainly Shi'ite east Baghdad on Wednesday, a week after the bombing of a major Shi'ite shrine sparked sectarian bloodletting that has brought Iraq to the brink of civil war.

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      23 Killed in Three Explosions in Baghdad
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:00 GMT

      Another car bomb exploded in the eastern suburb of Kamaliyah after residents had alerted police to a suspect vehicle and officers were clearing the area. There were no reports of casualties, said Maj. Falah al-Mohammedawi, an Interior Ministry official.

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      Four police killed, at least ten abducted in convoy ambush - police
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:00 GMT

      At least four police officers were killed when gunmen attacked a police convoy in northern Iraq on Wednesday. At least seven were wounded and around 10 of their colleagues had been abducted. The fate of the other policemen was unclear.

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      Iraq police survive major ambush
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:00 GMT

      Three Iraqi policemen said they had survived the ambush in which many of their colleagues may have been killed or captured--a convoy of minibuses bringing about 50 officers back to Tikrit had been attacked. They saw one officer killed and 10 abducted.

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      Gunmen kill three Iraqis in Baqubah
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:00 GMT

      In Baquba, north of Baghdad, gunmen in a car shot three men dead as they walked to carpentry jobs. Police are investigating the shooting deaths in a southwestern neighborhood.

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      U.S. Soldier Killed in Iraq
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 15:52:50 GMT

      A U.S. soldier assigned to Multi-National Division-Baghdad died in a non-combat-related incident Wednesday, the military said.

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      Iraqi woman killed by mortar in Baghdad
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:00 GMT

      A fifth mortar shell slammed into the mixed Qadisiyah neighborhood in west Baghdad, killing a woman and wounding a child, Mahmoud said.

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      Shiite cleric killed in Baghdad
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:00 GMT

      Late Tuesday police reported finding the body of Shiite cleric Hani Hadi handcuffed, blindfolded and shot in the head near a Sunni mosque in Baghdad's notorious Dora neighborhood.

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      Sporadic fire in Baghdad, Saddam due back in court
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:00 GMT

      Mortar and gunfire kept Baghdad on edge overnight on Wednesday after a bloody day of sectarian attacks--There were no immediate reports of casualties but residents heard sporadic explosions and firing across the city.

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      Prisoners seize police hostages in Jordan riot
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 15:08:42 GMT

      Rioting inmates held Jordanian prison officials hostage for several hours in protest at their separation from death row convicts and other Islamists linked to Al-Qaeda in Iraq head Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

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      101st Airborne soldier died in Iraq, mom says
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:00 GMT

      On Saturday, Army Pfc. Joshua Francis Powers, based at Fort Campbell, Ky., died in southern Baghdad after having been in the country about 2 1/2 weeks, said his mother, Patricia Powers.

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      Airman preparing for Iraq dies during trainin
      1 Mar 2006

      FORT BLISS, Texas -- An Arizona airman who died at an Army hospital while training for deployment to Iraq has been identified as Senior Airman Leonard Hankerson Jr. Hankerson, 24, was participating in a training exercise at McGregor Range on Saturday when he became ill and was rushed to nearby William Beaumont Army Medical Center, where he later died. Clarence Davis III, a hospital spokesman, said Wednesday that autopsy results are pending but that Hankerson died of some sort of illness. Hankerson, a security forces patrolman assigned to the 56th Security Forces Squadron at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, had been at Fort Bliss since Jan. 31. He was scheduled to deploy to Iraq later this spring.

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      DoD Identifies Army Casualty
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:00 GMT

      Spc. Joshua M. Pearce, 21, of Guymon, Okla., died in Mosul, Iraq, on Feb. 26, when an IED detonated near Stryker military vehicle during patrol operations. Assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

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      News Slow to Reach Troops in Western Iraq
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 17:33:01 GMT

      News travels slowly to American troops deployed in the desert plains of western Iraq. Days after the bombing of a Shiite shrine convulsed the country in religious violence, word hadn't reached U.S. Marines some 160 miles away.

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      Iraq war vet dies of viral infection
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:00 GMT

      A 42-year-old Jersey City police officer who had returned from Iraq last November...was found dead inside his apartment last night...his illness appeared to be a viral infection, a hazardous materials unit was sent in for further investigation

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      One third US troops back from Iraq need mental help: study
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 07:07:03 GMT

      One third of US troops returning from Iraq have needed at least one mental health consultation and one in five have been diagnosed with combat-induced psychological problems, a US study reported.

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      'Juba' = 'Baghdad Sniper'
      29 Feb 2006

      On Saturday, I took the day off and spent it at home resting, studying for the TOEFL and the GRE and hanging out with my friends whose main subject at that day was the Baghdad Sniper. Baghdad Sniper is a man who shoots US soldiers with his silent guns. He fires once and vanishes just like ghosts. There is never a follow-up shot, never a chance for US forces to identify him. It’s a matter of seconds. You’ll never hear it. In my neighborhood, a new phenomenon is incredibly increasing. CDs with videos of this ghost shooting at the US soldiers in Baghdad are being sold and exchanged by young men and teenagers who are incredibly interested in that mysterious sniper. As people say, he uses silent guns in his shooting and he never missed a target. On August 5 of last year, the Guardian published a story about the sniper. The Guardian’s Rory Carroll quoted Specialist Travis Burress, 22, a sniper with the 1-64 battalion based in Camp Rustamiyah, saying "He's good. Every time we dismount I'm sure everyone has got him in the back of their minds. He's a serious threat to us." "Juba" is the nickname applied to that sniper by the U.S. military in Iraq. He is alleged to be an accurate sniper, having killed and wounded up to several dozen U.S. soldiers. He fires only once and disappears from his position, leaving behind no evidence of his whereabouts. According to the CDs and internet posted videos I watched, the Baghdad Sniper waits for soldiers to dismount, or stand up in a Humvee turret, and then shoots. He has killed from 200 meters away. Ok now, to be more frank, this sniper becomes a “hero” in my neighborhood. Yesterday, there was a group of young men gathering in an internet café watching series of his attacks on a website called, Ogrish. “He is so brave,” one young man said. “He is not a terrorist. He kills the occupiers only,” the other said with his both eyes concentrated on the computer’s monitor. Images of US soldiers being shot by that sniper was aired on Aljazeera more than once, specially in the period before I went to the U.S. The only indication that Juba is the same individual each time in these incidents is a single bullet casing and a note left behind at the location where he is believed to have been. The message, in Arabic, "What has been taken in blood cannot be regained except by blood. Baghdad Sniper". These items were found only after nearby buildings. "Juba's" existence, however, is not proven. He may not exist, or he could be a combination of many different insurgents. It is also possible that Coalition forces have killed one or more "Jubas," but each time a new one emerges. Click here and download 'juba_sniper_video.wmv' (Part of entire video). This is the Ogrish link to the video of some of the attacks the sniper did against the US soldiers. WARNING This video shows the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience. Now, whom to blame for this? I'll leave the answer to you. But my own point of view is this man and many others like him are leading the destruction of this country. They kill and only kill whether Iraqis or Americans. It doesn't matter for them now. They are powerful but someone should stop them. Iraq is no more a country. It is hard to do everything in it now. It is even hard to fight in it. These are trying to kill the happiness of getting rid of the dictator and are trying to establish a new State of Horror. And who is suffering now? Before, it was only Iraqis but now, it is even the Americans who are losing loved sons, friends, and relatives in an endless horrible war. God bless all.

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      Developments in Iraq, March 1
      01 Mar 2006

      March 1 (Reuters) - The following are security incidents and political developments in Iraq as of 1935 GMT on Wednesday. U.S. and Iraqi forces have been battling a Sunni Arab insurgency against the Shi'ite- and Kurdish-led government in Baghdad since U.S. troops toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. A wave of sectarian killing since a bombing of a Shi'ite shrine on Feb. 22 has killed more than 450 people, by conservative estimates. ** Asterisks denote new or updated items.
       
      SECURITY INCIDENTS
       
      **Four policemen were killed and eight wounded when a convoy they were travelling in was attacked by gunmen, according to police. Some 22 officers were seized by the gunmen but later released, police said. Another 16 officers fled at the time of the incident and made their own way to safety, police said.
       
      BAGHDAD - Two people were killed and 10 wounded when a bomb in a car exploded near a bus station in central Baghdad, police said.
       
      BAGHDAD - Twenty five people were killed and 58 wounded, most of them civilians, when a car bomb went off near a police checkpoint in a mainly Shi'ite district of eastern Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.
       
      BAGHDAD - Gunmen shot dead two people and wounded five while they were attending a Shi'ite funeral in western Baghdad, a hospital source said.
       
      GARMA - U.S. forces arrested 75 residents on Tuesday in Garma, near Falluja, 50 km (35 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraqi police said. No immediate comment by the U.S. military. BAIJI - Gunmen kidnapped a goldsmith in Baiji, 180 km (112 miles) north of Baghdad, local authorities said.
       
      BAGHDAD - A parked car exploded close to a Sunni mosque in northeast Baghdad but there were no casualties, police said.
       
      MAHMUDIYA - Mortar rounds targeting a U.S. base in Mahmudiya 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad hit a nearby house killing three Sunni civilians and wounding two from the same family, police said.
       
      BAGHDAD - Eight civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near an oil tanker in the southern district of al-Dura, police said. In a separate incident nine bodies were found in the western side of Baghdad riddled with bullets, police said.
       
      **KIRKUK - Three policemen were killed and five wounded when their patrol was ambushed by gunmen in Riyad 60 km (40 miles) southwest of the northern oil city of Kirkuk, police colonel Sarhat Khadir said.
       
      RAMADI - Three people were killed and seven wounded when U.S. helicopters bombed houses surrounding the provincial building in Ramadi 110 km (68 miles) west of Baghdad after they had been attacked by gunmen, according to doctor Sabah Duleimi from Ramadi hospital.
       
      POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS
       
      NAJAF - Iraqiya state television said Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the leading Shi'ite cleric, met fiery young Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr denies sending his Mehdi Army militia against Sunni targets.
       
      BAGHDAD - Saddam Hussein appeared in court.
       
      ANKARA - Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said he would press on with forming a broad, national unity government.

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      Military mulls whether Iraq troop cut possible
      March 1, 2006

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A spike in violence in Iraq that has heightened worries about civil war has the Pentagon discussing the wisdom of further cutting American forces there, defense officials said on Wednesday. Bryan Whitman, a senior Pentagon spokesman, said Army Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, planned to make a recommendation this spring to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and President George W. Bush on future U.S. troop levels. "Spring starts this month. And clearly the commanders will be looking at that (future force levels) and whether or not they'll be recommending any force adjustments to the secretary and the president," Whitman said. The United States has 133,000 troops in Iraq nearly three years into the war, the Pentagon said, down from about 160,000 in December when they were helping during parliamentary voting. The Pentagon has cut U.S. combat brigades to 15 from 17. Defense officials previously have said the Pentagon was looking at options for troop levels in Iraq in 2006 including dropping down to about 100,000 if security and political conditions permit, but with other options for smaller cuts or none at all. In his January 31 State of the Union address, Bush said, "As we make progress on the ground, and Iraqi forces increasingly take the lead, we should be able to further decrease our troop levels. But those decisions will be made by our military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, D.C." A defense official, who asked not to be named, said U.S. commanders believed U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces did "a tremendous job" containing sectarian violence triggered by last week's bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra. Since the blast, however, at least 450 people have been killed, according to even the most cautious estimates. The official said there was concern over making troop cuts at a time when many experts were concerned Iraq was descending into civil war. "The glass half empty is: 'Oh my God, this is one crisis, what's the next one going to be? And is this the beginning of the meltdown?"' the official said, while noting that U.S. commanders did not believe such a meltdown was imminent. "There's the optics of: Is this the right time to be able to announce any decision that would send the message that we intend to draw down our forces in the near term?" the official said. The official said he expected military leaders to decide soon whether to hold back perhaps three to five brigades already chosen to be part of upcoming Iraq rotations. Whitman said the level and nature of the violence in Iraq were factors he expected commanders to consider in the troop level recommendation, along with progress in Iraq's political process and in developing Iraqi security forces. "Any spike in violence is unfortunate and is always concerning," Whitman said. "But we tend to look at these things broadly and over time." U.S. military deaths fell for the fourth straight month in February -- the first time this has occurred in the war. After reaching 96 in October, the U.S. death toll was 84 in November, 68 in December, 62 in January and 55 in February, according to a count announced by the military. There have been 2,303 U.S. military deaths since the 2003 invasion, the Pentagon said.

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      National Guard and Reserve Mobilized as of March 1, 2006
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:00 GMT

      This week, the Air Force announced an increase in the number of reservists on active duty, while the Army, Navy and Marine Corps numbers decreased. The net collective result is 6,369 fewer reservists mobilized than last week.

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      Pentagon dismisses poll that says US troops want out of Iraq
      Wed, 01 Mar 2006 16:59:00 GMT

      THE Pentagon has dismissed a poll's finding that 72 per cent of United States troops in Iraq believe the US should pull out within a year or less. "It shouldn't surprise anybody that a deployed soldier would rather be at home than deployed, even when they believe what they are doing is important and vital work," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. The poll by Le Moyne College and Zogby International found that only 23 per cent believed US troops should stay in Iraq "as long as it takes", as US President George W. Bush has insisted. Nearly one in three troops said US forces should withdraw immediately. Another 22 per cent said US forces should be out within six months, and 21 per cent thought they should exit within a year. "I don't think anybody is getting alarmed over any one poll, if that's what you're asking me," Mr Whitman said. He said some of the military's highest retention rates had been among frontline units in Iraq and Afghanistan, indicating morale remained strong. Military recruiters had also met all their goals so far this year, he said. The survey was conducted among 944 US military personnel at several locations in Iraq. It had a margin of error of 3.3 per cent. Mr Whitman said the poll was conducted without US Defence Department involvement.

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      Intelligence agencies warned about growing local insurgency in late 2003
      Feb. 28, 2006

      WASHINGTON - U.S. intelligence agencies repeatedly warned the White House beginning more than two years ago that the insurgency in Iraq had deep local roots, was likely to worsen and could lead to civil war, according to former senior intelligence officials who helped craft the reports. Among the warnings, Knight Ridder has learned, was a major study, called a National Intelligence Estimate, completed in October 2003 that concluded that the insurgency was fueled by local conditions - not foreign terrorists- and drew strength from deep grievances, including the presence of U.S. troops. The existence of the top-secret document, which was the subject of a bitter three-month debate among U.S. intelligence agencies, has not been previously disclosed to a wide public audience. The reports received a cool reception from Bush administration policymakers at the White House and the office of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, according to the former officials, who discussed them publicly for the first time. President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld and others continued to describe the insurgency as a containable threat, posed mainly by former supporters of Saddam Hussein, criminals and non-Iraqi terrorists - even as the U.S. intelligence community was warning otherwise. Robert Hutchings, the chairman of the National Intelligence Council from 2003 to 2005, said the October 2003 study was part of a "steady stream" of dozens of intelligence reports warning Bush and his top lieutenants that the insurgency was intensifying and expanding. "Frankly, senior officials simply weren't ready to pay attention to analysis that didn't conform to their own optimistic scenarios," Hutchings said in a telephone interview. The office of Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte declined Tuesday to comment for this article. The NIC is the intelligence community's foremost group of senior analysts, and as its chairman, Hutchings presided over the drafting of the October 2003 report and other analyses of the insurgency. Wayne White, a veteran State Department intelligence analyst, wrote recently that when it became clear that the National Intelligence Estimate would forecast grim prospects for tamping down the insurgency, a senior official "exclaimed rhetorically, `How can I take this upstairs?' (to then-CIA Director George Tenet)" White argued forcefully in inter-agency deliberations for a more pessimistic description of the insurgency, and his views eventually prevailed. White is now an adjunct scholar at the Washington-based Middle East Institute. Revelation of the intelligence warnings come as religious and ethnic violence has escalated in Iraq after last Wednesday's destruction of a revered Shiite Muslim mosque in the city of Samarra. In Congress on Tuesday, Army Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified that the insurgency "remains strong, and resilient." Maples said that while Iraqi terrorists and foreign fighters conduct some of the most spectacular attacks, disaffected Iraqi Sunnis make up the insurgency's core. "So long as Sunni Arabs are denied access to resources and lack a meaningful presence in government, they will continue to resort to violence," he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. That view contrasts with what the administration said as the insurgency began in the months following the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion and gained traction in the fall. Bush and his aides portrayed it as the work primarily of foreign terrorists crossing Iraq's borders, disenfranchised former officials of Saddam's deposed regime and criminals. In August 2003, with concerns about the insurgency growing, Bush told reporters: "There are some who feel like that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is bring them on. ... We've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation." On Nov. 1, 2003, a day after the National Intelligence Estimate was distributed, Bush said in his weekly radio address: "Some of the killers behind these attacks are loyalists of the Saddam regime who seek to regain power and who resent Iraq's new freedoms. Others are foreigners who have traveled to Iraq to spread fear and chaos. ... The terrorists and the Baathists hope to weaken our will. Our will cannot be shaken." As recently as May 2005, Cheney told a television interviewer: "I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency." White, who worked at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, said of the administration: "They've gone through various excuse phases." Now, he said, "The levels of resistance are pretty much as high as they were a year ago." Hutchings, now diplomat in residence at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, said intelligence specialists repeatedly ran up against policymakers' rosy predictions. "The mindset downtown was that people were willing to accept that things were pretty bad, but not that they were going to get worse, so our analyses tended to get dismissed as `nay-saying and hand-wringing,' to quote the president's press spokesman," he said. The result, he said, was that top political and milit

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