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Just your average joe, with an unhealthy obsession with politics and news.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Well Lets See What Our Friends In Europe Have Been Saying While You Were Sleeping

Well lets start off with a major foreign policy speech that Prime Minister Blair will be giving today. For those in the Labor Party that think Blair will step away from Bush, the war on terror, or the anglo alliance might be disappointed. The Financial Times reports in a preview:
The prime minister will defy leftwing critics of the war in Iraq to mount an impassioned defence of Britain's “special relationship” with the US.
The prime minister returns to the offensive over the Anglo-American relationship despite deepening unease among Labour backbenchers about the aftermath of the war in Iraq and Mr Blair's dealings with the US president.
A Downing Street insider said on Sunday night: “What you need is democratic world opinion to be united in the pursuit of democracy. In various parts of the world, and the Middle East is one of them, while America has the power Europe has immense amounts of areas of influence.”

However the war is the main focus in many of the papers .TheTimes has a great compelling piece on the action a must read. However since they require a paid subscription a nice poster at the Free Republic utilized this thread where he posted the whole story. The Times reports:
The last hours of the mujahidin are terrifying. With the city they once ruled with the absolute authority of medieval caliphs now overrun by American and Iraqi troops, they have to keep moving. To pause even for a few minutes can mean instant death from an unseen enemy.
From a house across the road, the explosion flushed out another group of guerrillas. Deafened by the blast, they stumbled out into the street, formed a ragged line and started off on the marathon to postpone their deaths, the drone dogging their every step.
Any guerrilla who could make his way back up from the last pockets of resistance in the south would see the mujahidin graffiti — “Jihad, jihad, jihad, God is Greatest and Islam will win” — replaced by slogans daubed by the US-backed Iraqi Army, posted the length of the route. Standing on a street reeking of decomposed bodies, the ruins of a five-floor building silhouetted behind him, Lieutenant Fares Ahmed Hassan said that the destroyed city would send a strong message to a nation where force has long been the lingua franca of government. “When the people of Fallujah come back and see their houses, they will kick out any terrorists. This will be an example to all Iraqi cities,” the Kurdish officer said.
Pretty compelling stuff. The Times also has a statement from the commander that planned the attack that shows the key to its success. Again go to this thread at the Free Republic to see the whole article The Times Article states:
US Marine Major-General Richard Natonski, who devised the ground attack, yesterday revealed one of the key ingredients of Operation Phantom Fury: several days before the start of the real attack, a large “invasion” force, with up to 200 armoured vehicles, carried out several “feint” attacks to the south of Fallujah, charging right up to the edge of the city in what is known as dynamic manoeuvres.
General Natonski said that these feint invasions confused the insurgents, who assumed that the attack was going to come initially from the south and built up their forces in that part of the city.
In fact, the main thrust of the invading force was made up of six battalions of US Army and Marine troops, punching through defensive lines across six points in the north of Fallujah. The feints to the south also forced insurgents to open fire from their secret bunkers, which immediately exposed them to bombing from the air and artillery fire.

The Guardian had a story on the fight too.(actually ran in the Sunday edition) However being The Guardian they make the Americans look like a bunch of uneducated "rednecks" From The Commander on down. Click here for full story with all their emphasis on funny "backwood" pronunciation. Heres a few quotes:
In the huge, muddy field which serves as a forward base, Major-General Richard Natonski prepared his troops for the battle ahead. 'We're goin' in to raise the Eye-raqi flag above Falluja - to give it back to the Fallujans,' he shouted, the eyes of the entire 1st Marine Division on him.
Only two songs send a shiver up my spine,' said one marine, his face scored with the pockmarks and confidence of youth. 'The marine hymn, and that song by Toby Keith after 9/11 which says "we're gonna kick you up the ass - that's the American way".'
Oh well theres more but I will let you read their "world class reporting". Continuing the war coverage, The Telegraph has an inspiring story of an British soldier who became a amputee and went to great lengths to rejoin his unit. Quite an inspiring story, Click last link to read it. Also in The Telegraph is an interesting article on how the "conservative" members of the Tories might be pushed out of power and influence by the "Bush Loving-Sarcarism here" Torie leader Michael Howard. Guess the Tories didn't learn much from the US elections as they move more and more toward the mushy middle. Good article though click here for the link

NOTE- The two articles I cite from the London Times are actually in their Sunday editions but I thought the reporting was so good I wanted to include them.

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