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Iraqi Resistance Report, 8-10 December 2003.

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  • thekoba@aztecfreenet.org
    ================= Begin forwarded message ================= Iraqi Resistance Report for Monday, 8 December 2003 through Wednesday, 10 December 2003.
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 10 6:50 PM
      ================= Begin forwarded message =================

      Iraqi Resistance Report for Monday, 8 December 2003
      through Wednesday, 10 December 2003. Translated
      and/or compiled by Muhammad Abu Nasr, member,
      editorial board The Free Arab Voice.

      Monday, 8 December 2003.

      The Iraqi Resistance killed one American occupation
      soldier on Monday when fighters opened fire from a
      speeding car in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul,
      according to US sources. Brigadier General Mark
      Kimmit told a Baghdad press conference that four
      Iraqis opened fire from a speeding car, hitting a US
      occupation soldier and killing him.

      Earlier the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul had
      announced that the soldier had been wounded.

      Two other American occupation troops were wounded in
      gunfire as they were organizing lines up columns in
      front of a fuel station, according to the station
      manager.

      Akram 'Abd al-Karim Muhammad, 45, said, "we heard
      shooting and came out to find two American soldiers
      lying on the ground covered in blood. The other
      American soldiers prevented us from approaching. They
      took them away in a Humvee."

      A worker in the station who refused to give his name
      said "a man opened fire on the soldiers with a Russian
      gun from a moon roof in a green BMW [as it passed by]
      and then fled."

      In other news, a south Korean diplomat told Agence
      France Presse (AFP) that 51 south Korean technicians
      and electrical engineers left occupied Iraq on Monday
      following the killing of two of their compatriots in a
      Resistance attack on 30 November. The killings have
      sparked heightened controversy in south Korea, an
      American satellite country in Northeast Asia.
      Currently the Seoul regime has posted 400 south Korean
      soldiers to occupied Iraq in service of US interests,
      but last month the south Korean President Ro Mu Hyun
      announced that he was exploring the possibility of
      sending 3,000 south Korean troops to occupied Iraq.

      In Korea the National Democratic Front of south Korea
      (NDFSK) issued a statement on 5 December concerning
      the shooting of the south Korean technicians in Iraq.
      The Korean Central News Agency reported on December 8
      that the NDFSK stated:

      "It goes without saying that the U.S. and the south
      Korean "government" authorities, yielding to its
      pressure, are to blame for the incident." The NDFSK
      bitterly denounced the authorities in Seoul for
      "driving young Koreans to death."

      The NDFSK dismissed the troop dispatch to Iraq as a
      challenge to justice and peace of the world, an
      anti-national criminal act and despicable pro-U.S.
      flunkeyist treachery, the Korean Central News Agency
      reported.

      Supporting the U.S. in its occupation of Iraq is
      little short of favoring its policy of war of
      aggression against the north [of Korea], the statement
      noted, calling on all the people to conduct a
      nationwide struggle to resolutely reject the U.S.
      pressure for the troop dispatch to Iraq and decisively
      foil the authorities' move to send additional troops
      there.

      Meanwhile on the streets in Korea the struggle against
      the troop dispatch continued, reflecting the
      effectiveness of the Iraqi Resistance strategy and the
      rise in anti-imperialist sentiment in south Korea.
      The Korean Central News Agency reported popular
      rallies to oppose the additional troop dispatch to
      Iraq and denounce the "government" authorities'
      unreasonable suppression were simultaneously held in
      over 70 areas including Seoul, Pusan, Kwangju on Dec.
      6 with at least 80,000 people attending, according to
      KBS of south Korea. That day the "National People's
      Solidarity" comprising 37 civic and social
      organizations held a people's rally in front of the
      Seoul City Office.

      The rally was attended by members of different
      organizations and civilians at least, 5,000 in all.
      Also present there were members affiliated to the
      "National Alliance of the Poor" who had a rally
      against the forcible eviction of roadside vendors in
      the area along the River Chonggye on the same day.

      Its participants strongly demanded the authorities
      withdraw the decision on the additional troop dispatch
      to Iraq and stop the suppression of the labour
      movement, etc.

      Meanwhile, Bangladesh closed down its embassy in
      Baghdad and sent its diplomatic staff to Amman,
      Jordan, following threats received via e-mail that
      their embassy was going to be blown up. Riyad
      ar-Rahman, Bangladesh Minister of State for Foreign
      Affairs, said that the country's ambassador, Sarwar
      Husayn Mulla and the employees of the embassy moved to
      Jordan on Saturday for security reasons. He added
      that the embassy had been closed temporarily and that
      its affairs were being run out of Amman.

      Foreign Ministry staff said that the embassy was
      abandoned after a warning was received via e-mail that
      Iraqi Resistance fighters were going to blow it up.

      Sources: al-Arab al-Yawm daily newspaper, Amman,
      Jordan, Tuesday, 9 December 2003.
      http://www.kcna.co.jp


      Tuesday, 9 December 2003.

      The Iraqi Resistance intensified its attacks Tuesday
      on US occupation forces in the so-called Sunni
      Triangle inflicting losses in men and materiel.

      In three qualitative operations, one each in Mosul,
      al-Fallujah, and Baghdad, the Resistance made the
      position of the occupation that much more difficult
      and complex.

      Tuesday, an Iraqi Resistance martyrdom bomber blew up
      a car packed with explosives at the gates of a
      military barracks, injuring 59 American occupation
      troops and six Iraqi civilians, the Associated Press
      reported. The attack at the army base occurred at 4:45
      a.m. local time when a car drove to the gate of the
      base in Tall 'Afir, 30 miles west of the northern city
      of Mosul. Guards at the gate and in a watchtower
      opened fire on the vehicle and moments later it blew
      up, leaving a large crater at the gate's entryway.

      An American military spokesman claimed that the
      injuries inflicted by the blast were not serious.
      Informed sources told the Jordanian daily al-Arab
      al-Yawm, however, that a large number of the wounded
      were severely injured, suffering broken bones and
      copious loss of blood, forcing the American occupation
      forces to transport them to medical facilities in
      Baghdad, Mosul, and in some cases Germany.

      US occupation forces prevented the news media from
      approaching the site of the blast. One American
      occupation officer said that an explosives-laden car
      passed through a checkpoint without stopping whereupon
      the US soldiers opened fire on the vehicle that
      stopped at the gate and exploded. The occupation
      officer estimated the weight of the bomb to have been
      455kg, and said that the force of the blast left a
      large crater.

      Other sources reported that ten American military
      vehicles were destroyed in the explosion.

      Later Tuesday, another martyrdom bomber blew himself
      up outside a US occupation Army compound near Baghdad,
      lightly injuring two soldiers, according to the US
      military.

      Hours earlier in the day, three US occupation soldiers
      died in what was described as a road accident in
      central Iraq. It was reported that their military
      vehicle plunged into a water channel. Eyewitnesses
      quoted in al-Arab al-Yawm said that a rocket struck
      the American vehicle throwing it in the water and
      killing all aboard.

      According to the American official version, three
      occupation soldiers were killed and one was injured in
      that attack in which a bridge over a water channel
      collapsed under a US occupation vehicle dropping it
      into the water. A military spokesman, Colonel Bill
      MacDonald said that the attack had actually happened
      late on Monday night, east of the city of ad-Dal'iyah,
      90km north of Baghdad. He said that a bridge
      collapsed plunging the vehicle and its passengers into
      the water and stressing that it was only a traffic
      mishap.

      Iraqi Resistance fighters brought down an American
      occupation helicopter on Tuesday with a
      rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) but US military
      spokesmen said the craft was able to make a
      "controlled landing." The American spokesman, who
      refused to be identified, said he had no details on
      casualties, but said that the OH-58 Kiowa spy
      helicopter was hit at 2:30 p.m. Later an American
      spokesman said that the helicopter pilot had been
      wounded.

      'Umar 'Ali, an Associated Press (AP) reporter, said
      two helicopters were flying in formation near the
      al-Fallujah, about 30 miles west of Baghdad, when one
      was hit by a grenade fired from the ground.

      It went down immediately in an open field, 'Ali said.
      The aircraft appeared structurally intact, but smoke
      was billowing from it.

      Two other helicopters with red crosses painted on the
      sides landed nearby a few minutes later, he said.

      Akram Saleh, a Reuters photographer, said he saw the
      aircraft in the field on fire.

      Eyewitnesses reported seeing the helicopter struck by
      a missile.

      The AP reported that the Kiowa class of helicopter, a
      small observation and reconnaissance helicopter
      commonly seen in the skies over Iraq's cities, carries
      one pilot and as many as four passengers.

      In another incident, three civilians died and others
      were wounded when a Sunni mosque in Baghdad was
      rocketed. US occupation Lieutenant Colonel Frank
      German said that the blast apparently occurred shortly
      after the dawn prayer inside the Ahbab al-Mustafa
      Mosque in the center of Baghdad. The American said he
      had no details as to casualties.

      Ahmad 'Abdallah, a resident in the area, said that a
      blast shook the mosque at about 6:45am. "I went up to
      the roof of my house and three minutes later I heard a
      second explosion. There was blood all over the place
      in the mosque."

      German said that when the Americans arrived on the
      scene, the fire had been put out. They therefore set
      up a "secure zone" and started an investigation. Yet
      all he could say was that an explosion had occurred in
      the mosque.

      The League of 'Ulama' of Religion in Iraq � an
      organization of Sunni religious leaders � issued a
      statement that said that Sunni mosques and those who
      pray in them are coming under attacks throughout Iraq
      by. The statement said that "known elements" were
      undertaking the attacks on the "false grounds" that
      the Sunnis "supported the previous regime."

      Hundreds of Shiites demonstrated in Baghdad on Tuesday
      protesting the death of a Shiite religious leader at
      the hands of the Americans on Friday. The
      demonstrators gathered in front of the Palestine
      Hotel, which is frequented by reporters, where they
      waved black, green and Iraqi flags and pictures of the
      Imam of the Mosque of ar-Rahman in as-Sadr City Shaykh
      'Abd ar-Razzaq al-Lami and pictures of the remains of
      his car which an American tank crushed.

      The Imam's brother, Jasem al-Lami said that an
      American tank crushed the Imam's car killing the
      64-year old Shiite religious leader inside.

      Meanwhile in al-Khalidiyah, west of al-Fallujah, some
      300 people demonstrated against American provocations
      and demanding the release of their neighbors and
      relatives in US occupation custody. The
      demonstrators, some of whom wore headbands emblazoned
      with the Islamic credo "There is no god but God,
      Muhammad is the messenger of God" waved Iraqi flags in
      a march that started at al-Khalidiyah mosque.
      Demonstrators carried placards denouncing the local
      American-appointed municipal council and demanding
      that it be changed. One sign read "expel the
      hypocrites and opportunists from al-Khalidiyah's
      municipal council." The marchers stopped at the
      crossroads leading to al-Habbaniyah airbase, occupied
      by the US invading forces. They sent a five-man
      delegation to the base to present a petition listing
      their demands, including a halt to provocative
      American patrols, an end to indiscriminate firing of
      live ammunition, and release of the citizens and
      neighbors of the city.

      Meanwhile American Proconsul Paul Bremer's puppet
      so-called "Interim governing council" chose a Shiite
      woman dentist to replace 'Aqilah al-Hashimi, the
      assassinated member of what has been called the
      Council of No Accounts.

      The Council also announced its readiness to expel the
      Mujahidi Khalq Iranian dissident organization from
      Iraq. News reports indicated that it was intended to
      hand members of the organization over to the Iranian
      authorities.

      Doctors at America's Walter Reed Medical Hospital
      report that about 100 US occupation soldiers have
      contracted leshmaniosis, a skin disease, from Iraqi
      desert flies. Spokesman Jim Stueve said the hospital
      had already treated 70 afflicted soldiers and expected
      many more. The US military said that there were some
      cases of the disease in the 1991 30-nation aggression
      against Iraq but that there are many more now. The
      disease, which is sometimes disfiguring, requires some
      ten days of treatment. Stueve said, "If you get there
      early, it's very curable."

      In other news, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro
      Koizumi's Cabinet on Tuesday approved a plan to send
      about 1,000 soldiers to help America with its
      faltering occupation of Iraq. This is to be Japan's
      biggest overseas troop deployment since the period of
      Japanese fascist aggression in World War II.


      Sources: al-Arab al-Yawm daily newspaper, Amman,
      Jordan, Wednesday 10 December 2003.
      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20031210/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq&cid=540&ncid=1480
      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20031209/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_helicopter_10
      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20031208/hl_afp/us_iraq_health_031208183621



      Wednesday, 10 December 2003.

      Two US occupation soldiers were killed and four
      wounded in separate Resistance attacks Wednesday in
      the northern city of Mosul, the American military
      said. American troops in another northern city
      arrested five Iraqi policemen and 24 others suspected
      of ties to the Resistance.

      In the first attack, Resistance fighters fired on
      occupation troops guarding a gasoline station, killing
      one and injuring another, said a spokesman for the
      U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division. The US
      occupation troops returned fire and killed one
      assailant, according to the American spokesman.

      But witnesses said the Resistance attackers escaped,
      and that US troops opened fire on passing cars,
      killing a driver.

      Witnesses identified the driver as a member of the
      Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK, a major
      pro-American political party. The PUK's Mosul
      headquarters is across the street from the gas
      station.

      An Associated Press reporter saw bloodstains at the
      spot where witnesses said the soldiers had stood, and
      a bullet-riddled and bloodstained car said to belong
      to the PUK member.

      Later a US occupation army spokesman, Major Hugh Keat
      of the 101st Airborne Division, offered a version of
      the events that absolved the Americans of
      responsibility for the death of their Kurdish
      chauvinist ally. Major Keat claimed that "two cars
      passed along the street shooting at both sides of the
      road. They fired at the headquarters of the Patriotic
      Union of Kurdistan and at the gasoline station on the
      opposite side of the street and then fled."

      A Kurdish leader in Mosul said only that a Kurdish
      official was killed by gunfire as he was leaving the
      offices of the party near the gasoline station.

      A few hours later, Resistance fighters detonated a
      handmade roadside bomb and opened fire on a US
      military convoy, killing one occupation soldier and
      wounding three others, the spokesman said on condition
      of anonymity. The attack reportedly took place on the
      east bank of the Tigris River.

      Residents said other occupation troops on the convoy
      responded to the attack by shooting in the streets,
      killing a 19-year-old man and injuring his mother and
      father. Residents said the family lived close to the
      site of the ambush, which occurred on a busy road near
      a US occupation military compound.

      Later in the day Lieutenant Neal Forbes of the 502nd
      Battalion acknowledged yet another Resistance attack
      when he announced that "two attacks occurred on
      Wednesday targeting two gasoline stations, while a
      third attack targeted a military convoy that was
      passing near a gasoline station." Forbes admitted
      that the US occupation forces had trouble guarding
      fixed points like gasoline stations because, simply by
      being stationary, the troops turn into targets for the
      Resistance. "We prefer to keep moving rather than
      remain in one place," he told the press.

      A spokesman for the US occupation 4th Division
      reported that an Iraqi citizen attacked a position
      occupied by US forces in the city of Baaqubah. The
      spokesman said that the Iraqi approached the gate of
      the US base and when he was denied entry, he detonated
      an explosive belt wounding two American soldiers who
      were guarding the base.

      Also on Wednesday, the US military admitted what was
      common knowledge the day before when it announced that
      the emergency landing of a US helicopter near
      al-Fallujah, west of Baghdad, was likely the result of
      ground fire by the Resistance.

      In another Resistance attack on the occupation's
      aircraft, US officials admitted that the Iraqi
      Resistance struck a US Air Force C-17 transport plane
      with a surface- to-air missile, forcing the crippled
      plane to return to Baghdad. A senior Pentagon
      official, speaking on condition of anonymity, made the
      admission. In Baghdad, military spokeswoman Captain
      Carrie Clear said the plane reported an engine
      explosion on takeoff and that one of the 16 people on
      board was slightly injured by the blast.

      Occupation forces closed down occupied Saddam
      International Airport after the shooting down of the
      transport by a shoulder-fired Strela SAM-7 missile.

      Eyewitnesses told the Jordanian daily al-Arab al-Yawm
      that one missile flew like an arrow at the plane which
      it struck, igniting a fire that forced the pilot to
      make an emergency return to the airport just after
      taking off.

      After the attack, US occupation forces sealed off the
      villages surrounding the airport, slapped a curfew on
      them, and then began house to house raids and searches
      on the residents in the area. As is usual in the
      aftermath of Resistance attacks, the aggressor troops
      made numerous arrests of civilians in the hope that
      some would provide information about the Resistance to
      the occupation forces.

      In the third attack on US aircraft in 24 hours, a
      missile fired by the Iraqi Resistance struck an
      American occupation Apache helicopter in the air over
      Mosul, setting it ablaze and forcing it down. An
      eyewitness told al-Arab al-Yawm newspaper that a
      missile struck the front of the helicopter causing it
      to crash to earth, probably killing or at least
      injuring all aboard. The witness said that occupation
      forces cordoned off the area and prevented residents
      of the area from approaching the crash scene. An
      American occupation spokesman claimed that the
      helicopter crew came through the attack unhurt.

      The Salvadoran Defense Ministry announced that forces
      from El Salvador in Iraq, based near the city of
      an-Najaf, 160km south of Baghdad, came under barrage
      of five mortar rounds. The Salvadoran Ministry
      claimed that there were no casualties.

      Meanwhile, the chief of the puppet police in the Bayji
      area 'Abd al-Karim Hasan al-Jabburi, said that six
      bombs had been discovered and disarmed on the road
      leading to the Tall al-Ward American military base.

      Early Wednesday, US occupation troops and Iraqi puppet
      police in the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk
      arrested 29 people, including five policemen, who were
      suspected of ties to the former regime of Iraqi
      President Saddam Hussein, according to 'Adnan Muhammad
      Saleh, a city puppet police officer. Saleh said the
      policemen were suspected of passing intelligence to
      the Resistance.

      In the course of raids early Wednesday morning in
      another northern Iraqi city, Mosul, US occupation
      troops stormed into the house of a senior officer of
      the Resistance group Saddam's Fedayeen and shot and
      killed him, his neighbors said.

      The US aggressor army confirmed there were raids early
      Wednesday in Mosul but refused to comment on the
      reported death of Colonel Ghanem Abd al-Ghani Sultan
      az-Zaydi.

      Two neighbors of az-Zaydi, who spoke on condition of
      anonymity, said US occupation troops stormed his
      one-story house in Mosul's central neighborhood of
      al-Sukkar about 4 a.m. and shooting was heard later.
      Helicopters took part in the operation, the neighbors
      said. The gate of az-Zaydi's house was locked
      Wednesday afternoon. There were several bullet holes
      in the gate. A black banner nearby read: "The heroic
      martyr Colonel Ghanem Abd al-Ghani Sultan az-Zaydi was
      martyred during a blatant aggression by American
      forces at his house on 10/12/2003."

      Captain Brian Cope, a spokesman for the American 2nd
      Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division, refused to
      comment on az-Zaydi's death, confirming only that the
      army carried out raids Wednesday against "35 separate
      targets" in Mosul. Cope, whose brigade occupies Mosul,
      said dozens of people were captured in the raids
      including suspected members of Saddam's Fedayeen and
      other people loyal to the Iraqi government.

      In Baghdad on Wednesday, 3,000 funeral marchers
      mourned three men killed in a bombing of a Sunni
      mosque a day earlier. The mosque's imam, Faruq Khamis,
      accused Shiite Muslim extremists of carrying out the
      attack. "Prominent Shiite clerics are urged to deter
      those politically motivated groups so that the unity
      of Muslims in this country can be preserved," Khamis
      told the mourners.

      Such attacks are consistent with a trend in the
      strategy of the American occupation forces to provoke
      sectarian violence in Iraq. The Baath Party in a
      statement issued on 5 December 2003, noted that
      America's inability to pacify Iraq had led Washington
      to "come close to proposing a plan to partition [Iraq]
      as a way out of the crisis." The recent American
      announcement that Kurdish chauvinist Peshmergah and
      pro-Iranian militia of the so-called "Supreme Council
      for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq" (SCIRI) would be
      joining US forces in repressing the Sunni population,
      were clearly aimed at inciting sectarian conflict.
      Zionist Neo-Conservative Leslie H. Gelb's article in
      the New York Times entitled "The Three State Solution"
      (25 November 2003) served to proclaim and rationalize
      such a strategy as far as US ruling circles are
      concerned. Attacks such as the one on the Baghdad
      mosque, and other steps along such divisive lines are
      likely to increase together with Washington's
      frustration.

      Also in keeping with that sectarian policy was the
      announcement by the puppet so-called "Interim
      Governing Council" that it was going to establish a
      "war crimes tribunal" to prosecute top members of the
      Iraqi regime. Two people who attended the meeting
      said that the puppet officials planned to establish
      the tribunal Wednesday. Western news reports have
      linked the planned "war crimes tribunal" to the
      exhumation of graves of those killed in the
      Iranian-provoked sectarian violence that followed the
      30-nation aggression in the spring of 1991, thereby
      disclosing that this project too is aimed at provoking
      conflicts among Iraq's religious and ethnic
      communities. US occupation authorities are holding
      several dozen top Baath Party and Iraqi government
      officials who could be "tried" under the new measure.

      American imperialist Defense Department officials
      acknowledged a major disappointment on Wednesday in
      their plans to set up an Iraqi puppet army to take on
      some of the US occupation force's jobs and to die in
      place of Americans. One-third of the Iraqis whom the
      Americans had trained for their puppet army have quit,
      Pentagon officials announced.

      Some 250 out of a 700-man battalion have quit in
      recent weeks before the unit's scheduled start of
      military operations this month.

      "We are aware that a third ... has apparently resigned
      and we are looking into that in order to ensure that
      we can recruit and retain high-quality people for a
      new Iraqi army," said Lieutenant Colonel James
      Cassella, a Pentagon spokesman to the Associated Press
      (AP).

      An AP report noted that the battalion was highly
      celebrated when the newly retrained soldiers, marching
      to the beat of a US Army band, completed a nine-week
      basic training course in early October, and passed in
      review before America's Proconsul in occupied Iraq, L.
      Paul Bremer.

      The new units were to initially take on largely
      passive defense duties - such as border security and
      manning road checkpoints. Officials have been working
      for weeks to speed up the training of Iraqi puppet
      soldiers and police in the face of the accelerating
      pace of Resistance attacks.

      Recruitment of the puppet troops is done by US
      occupation authorities and the training is provided by
      "civilian instructors", mostly ex-US military men,
      from the American defense contractor Vinnell
      Corporation, officials told the AP.

      In another development on Wednesday, Iraq-based
      members of the Iranian opposition group, the Mujahidi
      Khalq, denounced a decision by Iraq's US-appointed
      puppet council to expel them from the country by the
      end of the year. In a statement released at the
      group's camp northeast of Baghdad, the group said the
      decision favored Iran's efforts to establish a
      "satellite theocratic dictatorship in Iraq." Members
      of the Mujahidi Khalq should be out of Iraq by the end
      of the year and the group's offices in Iraq will be
      closed, the puppet so-called Interim Governing Council
      said. A reporter who visited the group's Baghdad
      office on Wednesday found it occupied by squatters who
      said the militia had abandoned it.

      The Mujahidi Khalq have battled Iran's theocratic
      regime since the late 1970s. In 1999, it was added to
      the US State Department's official list of "terrorist
      organizations." As the Associated Press notes, over
      the years, the US government has maintained an
      ambiguous posture toward the group, even allowing it
      and an associated organization, the Paris-based
      National Council of Resistance of Iran, to maintain
      offices in Washington. In August, however, the State
      Department shut down both groups' offices, earning
      rare praise from Iran.

      Finally, in an indication of how effectively the
      western media conceal the reality of the deteriorating
      US position in occupied Iraq from the American
      populace, a new opinion poll indicated that US popular
      support for the aggressive war has slightly increased
      in the last few weeks.

      Some 59 percent of respondents to the December 5-7
      poll said the situation in Iraq was worth going to war
      over, up from 56 percent November 16. And 55 percent
      said they approved of Bush's handling of his position,
      up from 50 percent in mid-November, according to the
      USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll of 1,004 adults.

      The American newspaper USA Today cited analysts
      suggesting that the rise in support could be
      attributed to Bush's surprise Thanksgiving holiday
      visit to troops in Iraq and the reduced reports of US
      deaths within the past two weeks. "The Thanksgiving
      trip had a powerful effect," Karlyn Bowman, a polling
      analyst for the right-wing American Enterprise
      Institute think tank, told USA Today. "Seeing the
      troops' reaction to the president reminded Americans
      of their commitment and might have encouraged them to
      support him." The Bush trip - in which he sneaked
      into Baghdad for 150 minutes and posed for cameras
      while holding a plastic turkey, only to leave the
      occupied Iraqi capital without setting foot outside
      the occupied airport - apparently gave the
      Administration a hefty boost in the opinion poles.
      Easily swayed by slick images and clever packaging,
      some 79 percent of the Americans surveyed said Bush's
      Iraq trip was a good idea, and two in three Democrats
      concurred. Fifty-four percent felt that he made the
      visit to show troops his support, while 37 percent
      felt his purpose was purely political.

      Forty-eight percent of registered voters said they
      would vote to re-elect Bush next year, up from 46
      percent in October. The poll has a
      three-percentage-point margin of error.



      Sources: al-Arab al-Yawm daily newspaper, Amman,
      Jordan, Thursday, 11 December 2003.
      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20031210/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq&cid=540&ncid=716
      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20031210/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq&cid=540&ncid=1480


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