Scrapbook of a U.S. Defeat

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. ~ Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it. ~ George Orwell (1903-1950)

When we cannot hope to win, it is an advantage to yield. ~ Quintilian

“The false information in that paper was hurting stability. It was stirring up a lot of hate. It was making people think we were out to get them. If people actually believed that coalition forces were slaughtering civilians it could be real dangerous. That’s incitement.” ~ CPA spokesman Al Elsadr about the closing of the Al-Hawza newspaper, run by followers of a hardline Shiite Muslim cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr. (03/31/04)

“(The paper’s articles) form a serious threat of violence against coalition forces and Iraqi citizens who cooperate with coalition authorities in rebuilding Iraq.” ~ L. Paul Bremer (3/31/04)

“Problems continue for the U.S. Military in Fallujah? Why doesn’t the U.S. Military just go ahead and level it?” ~ Fox TV’s Bill O’Reilly commenting on the deaths of four US mercenaries mutilated and burnt by a mob in Fallujah, their bodies dragged through the streets. Two bodies are hanged from a bridge. (4/01/04)

“Well, quite simply, we will respond. We are not going to do a pell-mell rush into the city. It’s going to be deliberate, it will be precise and it will be overwhelming. We will not rush in to make things worse. We will plan our way through this and we will reestablish control of that city and we will pacify that city.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt on what kind of response might we see out in Fallujah. (4/01/04)

“(These are) dramatic examples of the ongoing struggle between human dignity and barbarism…the deaths of the Americans will not go unpunished.” ~ Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq. (04/02/04)

“We wish that they would try to enter Fallujah so we’d let hell break loose.” ~ Fallujah resident Ahmed al-Dulaimi (04/02/04)

“The man will get his wish… Fallujah will be pacified, just as Tikrit has been pacified, just as Samarra has been pacified, just as Baqubah has been pacified. But will there be a fight? That’s up to the belligerents. That’s up to the insurgents, because coalition forces will respond; they will be in that city. It will be at a time and a place of our choosing. It will be methodical. It will be precise and it will be overwhelming.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt (04/01/04)

“We have not seen significant number of new tactics. We haven’t seen, quite frankly, any new bravery on the part of these cowards.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt (04/01/04)

“Ask them after the Americans have come back in.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt dismissed the concern that the guerrillas and townspeople would be left with the impression that the Americans were scared of Fallujah or tolerant of violence. (04/01/04)

“Fallujah has remained a hotbed of support for the brutal past regime, and for reasons that can only be explained by political correctness, we have not, up to this point, destroyed that base of murder, terrorism and bestial violence. I contend it is now time to raze Fallujah… Beasts of violence and destruction understand one thing: destruction.

But consider this inane comment by Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, as he tried to explain why American forces have yet to enter the city: “I think that there was a well-thought-out decision on the part of the Marines that let’s not rush headlong into there, there may be ambushes set up a pre-emptive attack into the city could have taken a bad situation and made it even worse.”

Really? With this kind of response, if Kimmitt was making decisions in April 1945, perhaps we would have simply put a fence around Berlin in an effort not to inflame Hitler.

Let’s be honest here. The violent only understand violence.” ~ Tammy Bruce (04/02/04)

“When we heard US forces using the main gun on M-1 tanks at 1 AM we knew it was serious insurgency at hand. The night is no longer the refuge and domain of the Americans. I have to tell you although the wide open areas of Iraq give a false sense of security. Even though much of this is unseen to most people the situation has gone from bad to really bad to unbelievably bad! Westerners are getting hit everywhere.” ~ Talking Points Memo (04/04/04)

“Today the Iraqi police service formally arrested Mustafa al-Yacoubi, this pursuant to a valid arrest warrant issued by an Iraqi judge. Mr. al-Yacoubi was arrested in connection with the brutal murder of Ayatollah As Seyed Ala-Majid al-Khoei, who was repeatedly stabbed and shot to death last April in front of one of the world’s holiest shrines.” ~ Dan Senor, Senior Adviser, CPA (04/05/04)

“We warn you from putting up decorations, Iraqi flags or any celebration on April 9, 2004. Anybody who disobeys this order will be punished, especially those in charge.” ~ “the Iraqi armed resistance” in a warning sent to sent to schools, businesses and government offices.

“And I would just tell you that I’m not sure about the green zone, but I know on a rooftop yesterday in An Najaf, with a small group of American soldiers and coalition soldiers, Spanish soldiers and Salvadorian soldiers who had just been through about three-and-a-half hours of combat, I looked in their eyes, there was no crisis.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt responding to a question about the events of the first few days of April and if those events constitute a crisis. (04/05/04)

“We absolutely do have a middle ground to avoid violence in terms of having the warrant served and Muqtada al-Sadr coming to justice. He’s free to surrender. He’s free to walk into any police station. He’s free to have that warrant served upon him. He’ll be treated with dignity. He’ll be treated with respect. He’ll be treated the same way every other alleged criminal in the Iraqi justice system is treated.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt commenting on how al-Sadr would be treated when arrested. (04/05/04)

“For the near term, U.S. policy must flow from Napoleon’s axiom: “If you start to take Vienna — take Vienna.” We started to take Iraq 13 months ago. That mission is far from accomplished.” ~ George F. Will (04/06/04)

“Hate them? No inshallah I don’t hate them. But the Americans are two parts. There is the American people, and then there is the American government. The people of America, we have no problem with, and we like them to be our friends and for us to be theirs, in good and the bad times. There are no problems there.

But the American government, with its co-operation with Israel, it’s intent on dividing the Middle East, and Arabs and Muslims in particular. And this is a war on Muslims, as many clues attest to, such as declaring war on Afghanistan, and fighting Syria, and Iraq — all of these, what’s do they have in common? One element, and that is what? Islam.” ~ Muqtada al-Sadr interview (04/06/04)

“The city is surrounded. It’s an extended operation. We want to make a very precise approach to this… We are looking for the bad guys in town.” ~ Lt. James Vanzant of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force on “Vigilant Resolve,” the encirclement of Fallujah by 1,200 marines. (04/05/04)

“…the security situation in Iraq (is) not spiraling out of control and only “relatively small numbers of people” were causing the violence. This is an important moment in Iraq’s history. The future of the Iraqi people is certainly at stake. So the stakes are high. They’re high for Iraq, they’re high for the region and indeed they’re high for the world,” ~ Donald Rumsfeld (04/07/04)

“(Sadr) is seeking to use a violent power play to try to undermine democracy for the Iraqi people, but he will not succeed.” ~ White House spokesman Scott McClellan. (04/07/04)

“There had been enemy resistance and Marines have repeatedly repelled that resistance as well as conducting raids against key targets in the heart of Falluja city. U.S.-led forces would destroy Sadr’s Mehdi Army militia and that Sadr would be arrested… In the central and southern regions of Iraq the coalition and Iraqi security forces are conducting operations to destroy the Mehdi Army.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt. (04/07/04)

“If they use the mosque as a military machine, then it’s no longer a house of worship and we strike… When we hit that building I thought we had killed all the bad guys, but when we went in they didn’t find any bad guys in the building.” ~ Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne on dropping a 500 pound bomb on a mosque. (04/07/04)

“It’s incumbent upon all Americans to rally around the leadership of this country in times of great crisis in the world, when are we the leader of the free world, and not to incite the other side.” ~ Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia. (04/07/04)

“…there will soon be a big increase in the number of American troops in Iraq to quell the violence there and speed the country’s transition to a free government and society…This much is certain, we will take robust military action as necessary.” ~ Donald Rumsfeld (04/07/04)

“…the people responsible for the current spate of bloodshed will not block freedom for 25 million Iraqis. It’s just not going to happen.” ~ Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, rejecting the notion that the violence is in any sense a widespread popular uprising. (04/07/04)

“…the campaign in Iraq was worth the price America must pay for despite any misgivings over how the administration got involved in Iraq or its postwar planning… We have now engaged it…We have to win it.” ~ Senator Joseph R. Biden of Delaware on “The Early Show” on CBS. (04/07/04)

“I have no idea what’s going on there… I don’t know what’s going to happen July 1st, but it won’t be an Iraqi sovereign nation.” ~ Gen. McCaffrey to Lester Holt on MSNBC (04/07/04)

“They’ve been tortured and terrorized and traumatized by a tyrant.” ~ George W. Bush (04/07/04)

“It is also important to remember what this is not. It is not a popular uprising. It is not that at all… It’s not a Shiite uprising. Sadr has a very small following.” ~ Gen. Richard B. Myers (04/08/04)

“…the fighting in Iraq is just the work of thugs, gangs and terrorists.” ~ Donald Rumsfeld (04/08/04)

“More than 200 Iraqis, including women and children, have been injured in the past 24 hours. The situation is getting worse. An ambulance carrying casualties was attacked on its way to the medical center.” ~ Ahmad Mansur, Aljazeera correspondent in Falluja.

“What Muqtada Sadr did simply woke up the people. Now, the people have the guts to resist.” ~ Sarmad Akram, food shop owner (04/07/04)

“The Americans crossed oceans to come to us and spread their Western culture, molding our religion into their Western model. This is why the Muslims rise up in jihad.” ~ Ali Midhat, a devout Sunni (04/07/04)

“…a militant Shiite cleric could help end the violence by surrendering…The president is very proud of our troops. He knows our troops are performing well and knows that our troops will prevail against this violent power play by a relatively small number of extremist elements in Iraq.” ~ White House spokesman Scott McClellan (04/07/04)

“The Sunni people, the Shiite people, we share the same God, the same suffering under the Americans and the same goal, to end the occupation of Iraq… We have been working together, and will continue to work together, to see that our aims are met…We would be willing to see a peaceful solution. We do not like all the bloodshed. But we have no trust left for the Americans. They have proven themselves again and again to be liars.” ~ Said Ammer al Husainie, the Mahdi Army leader in Sadr City. (04/07/04)

“…al Sadr is a stupid little man. He has a few followers in Sadr City and some down south in Basra. Other than that, most Iraqis despise the man. He claims more followers than he has to make himself feel big.” ~ One adviser in the coalition legal office. (04/07/04)

“Iraq will be another Vietnam for America and the occupiers.” ~ al-Sadr. (04/08/04)

“…deliberate, precise and powerful offensive operations to destroy the Mahdi Army.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt. (04/08/04)

‘We will fight until the end, until each one of them dies…The Americans think we are afraid while we recognize them as cowards. We have many heroes who are standing here and elsewhere. We will not be afraid of their tanks and their weapons and their other equipment. We will stay until we defeat them.” ~ a commander of a small band of fighters. (04/08/04)

“The Americans are civilized with values, morals and manners, isn’t that right? If they are doing this because of the four Americans who were killed, why are they killing so many women and children and bombing the civilian districts?” ~ Yusuf about the third day of the “overwhelming” military response US commanders had promised for Falluja. (04/08/04)

“Where are they now, the cheerleaders for war on Iraq? Where are the US Republican hawks who predicted the Anglo-American invasion would be a “cakewalk”, greeted by cheering Iraqis? Or the liberal apologists, who hailed a “new dawn” for freedom and democracy in the Arab world as US marines swathed Baghdad in the stars and stripes a year ago?” ~ Seumas Milne (04/08/04)

“The Americans are just as bad as Saddam Hussein. We think they will attack Muqtada in Najaf. We will defend our religious leaders.” ~ Hamid al-Ugily, the leader of six men from Sadr city carrying a green flag who are spending two to three days walking to Kerbala. (04/08/04)

“We have problems, there’s no hiding that. But basically Iraq is on track to realize the kind of Iraq that Iraqis want and Americans want, which is a democratic Iraq.” ~ L. Paul Bremer said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” (04/08/04)

“In both cases, you had a largely American army, not completely but largely, trying to support or establish a state in a country that was foreign and alien to them. It’s not just the Shiites that came out in force, or one section of the Shiites, it’s not just the Sunnis, it’s not just the loyalists to Saddam Hussein, it’s Iraqis who want America out,” ~ Malcolm Fraser, who was defense minister at the height of the Vietnam conflict, said the comparison to Vietnam stood up. (04/08/04)

“This is supposed to be ‘retaliation’ for what happened last week with the American contractors — if they were indeed contractors. Whoever they were, it was gruesome and wrong — I feel for their families. Was I surprised? Hardly. This is an occupation and for those of you naive enough to actually believe Chalabi and the Bush administration when they said the troops were going to be ‘greeted with flowers and candy’ then I can only wish that God will, in the future, grant you wisdom.” ~ River (04/08/04)

“We tell you that three of your children have fallen prisoner in our hands and we give you two options — withdraw your forces from our country and go home or we will burn them alive and feed them to the fighters… You have three days from the date of this tape’s airing.” ~ Saraya al-Mujahideen (Mujahideen Brigades) on the kidnappings of three Japanese. (04/08/04)

“We’re taking the fight to the enemy (and) would move soon to break their hold in Kut in an operation dubbed ‘Resolute Sword.”’ ~ Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez attributing the rise in U.S. combat deaths to U.S. forces stepping up offensive operations over the past week as anti-U.S. Shiite militiamen held partial or full control over three southern Iraqi cities. (04/08/04)

“There’s nothing like an army or large elements of hundreds of people trying to change the situation. You have a mixture of a small number of terrorists, a small number of militias, coupled with some demonstrations and some lawlessness… This is not a turning point. It is a test of will. The militants were engaged in a power play.” ~ Donald Rumsfeld explaining why U.S. forces have suffered their bloodiest week in Iraq. (04/07/04)

“We are not cutting off humanitarian aid to the people of Fallujah. We are working multiple initiatives (for aid delivery) that have to be coordinated with the commander of the ground.” ~ Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez trying to explain why thousands of Sunni and Shiite Muslims forced their way through US military checkpoints to ferry food and medical supplies to the besieged Sunni bastion of Fallujah.

“I know the right thing to do now is to stay the course, defeat the bad guys, disarm the militias and try to build a political framework that will hold the now wavering Shiite majority on our side — because if we lose them, the game is over.” ~ Thomas L. Friedman (04/08/04)

“Expanding the U.S.-chosen Iraqi Governing Council is the leading option for an Iraqi authority to take over sovereignty from the United States on July 1.” ~ Colin Powell (04/08/04)

“An American, a Briton and an Iraqi are all drinking together in a bar. The American and the Briton guzzle their beers, then throw their glasses and draw guns, shattering the glasses in midair…

“In the West, we are so rich we never drink from the same glasses twice,” the American tells the Iraqi…

The Iraqi then downs his beer, pulls out his gun, and shoots the American and Briton dead. “In Iraq, we have so many Americans and Britons that we never have to drink with the same ones twice,” he tells the other bar patrons.” ~ Jokes zapping around on the Internet

“This is quite different, We have an army over there that knows what it is doing. We have a people that want to be free in a democratic society. We do not have huge, state sponsors outside of Iraq, flooding the place with weaponry and manpower. It is not a swamp that is going to devour us.” ~ Colin Powell (04/09/04)

“(al-Sadr) is a young radical who is not considered a leading figure in the Shiite community and an outlaw with a mob claiming to themselves the mantle of religion.” ~ Colin Powell (04/09/04)

“I believe that since Sept. 1, according to the reporting we have, more Iraqi security forces have been killed than coalition forces, which suggests that the Iraqi security forces are engaged and doing things, and not sitting back in their barracks.” ~ U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld explaining why American troops need to step up training of Iraqis, but added the number of Iraqi police deaths shows the local forces are pulling their weight. (04/08/04)

“The police just left. They did not want a fight.” ~ Qusai Abdel-Sattar, a retired accountant on Iraqi police abandoning stations or standing by while gunmen roamed the streets. (04/08/04)

“We will do whatever is necessary to defeat Moqtada Sadr’s forces wherever they are on the battlefield.” ~ Gen. Sanchez (04/09/04)

“We are fighting to restore law and order so that all Iraqis can enjoy their new freedoms. Falluja has become a symbol for those who reject the occupation.” ~ Paul Bremer from his headquarters behind the razor wire and concrete blast walls of Baghdad. (04/09/04)

“When people see dramatic scenes in which soldiers are killed, there will be more pressure for a pullout.” ~ Leszek Miller, the outgoing prime minister of Poland. (04/09/04)

“Don’t go too far beyond the shrine. There are Polish snipers on the roof of the governor’s building. They fire on anything that moves.” ~ Mohammed Ali Kareem, an elderly draper, referring to Polish troops who are hunkered down, nervous, wary, and barely able to guarantee their own safety. (04/09/04)

“First it was Saddam and his two sons, Uday and Qusay, who were leading a rump of diehard loyalists to regain power; then it was Saddam’s deputy, Izzat al-Douri, leading the same rump; then it was a leaderless rump of diehards who had no place in the new free and democratic Iraq; then it was foreign terrorists “flooding” into the country; then it was a fiendish foreign al-Qaida terrorist named Zarqawi who killed Shia mourners to start a Sunni-Shia civil war; then it got a bit confusing, with a creeping number of insurgent operations in the Shia quadrangle; then it got even more confusing with the Shias changing tactics and staging increasingly militant protest marches; and today we have Moqtada al-Sadr — an “unrepresentative” Shia radical cleric leading a tiny army of extremists who happen to be active in most of Iraq’s 18 governorates and who want to destroy the new free and democratic Iraq. Furthermore, many thousands of foreign fighters have indeed come “flooding” into Iraq — not terrorists sent by Bin Laden but mercenaries hired by the occupation authorities.” ~ Sami Ramadani

“I will not be the fall guy.” ~ Gen. John Abazid said if violence in the country worsens. Word leaked out that US generals are “outraged” by their lack of soldiers. (04/04/04)

“The lid of the pressure cooker has come off, and some of the tensions and pressures which were there and would have come out in any event, have to a degree been directed toward the coalition.

We need to be aware that the vast majority of Iraqis, whilst they do not like the occupation, they like the fact that Saddam has gone, and they are desperate for a smooth transition of power to a representative and then a democratic government.” ~ Jack Straw (04/09/04)

“These (U.S.) operations were a mass punishment for the people of Fallujah. It was not right to punish all the people of Fallujah and we consider these operations by the Americans unacceptable and illegal.” ~ Adnan Pachachi one of the strongest pro-U.S. Iraqi Governing Council member denouncing the U.S. siege of Fallujah. (04/09/04)

“I can confirm that France was approached by the American authorities on the question of protecting the United Nations in Iraq.” ~ French Foreign Ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous. (04/09/04)

“As of noon today coalition forces have initiated a unilateral suspension of offensive operations in Falluja.” ~ Paul Bremer (04/09/04)

“There is no brokered agreement for a cease-fire in Falluja. There is no agreement between the rebels and the coalition forces.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt after Paul Bremer’s announcement a few hours earlier. (04/09/04)

“Are you saying our film footage is lying?” ~ Aljazeera asking Gen. Mark Kimmitt as to why US forces imposed a condition including getting the Aljazeera crew out of Fallujah. (04/09/04)

“…because they are spreading lies… We asked that they hand over the individuals who killed the 4 Americans and they didn’t. When they hit us, we fire back with everything we’ve got.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt in response to Aljazerra’s question above.

“I would not describe this as a cease-fire. We are still aggressively defending our positions. However we have ceased offensive operations for now.” ~ Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne, commander of the First Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment, near Falluja. (04/09/04)

“They break into houses in the middle of the night and arrest innocent people. And they give us less then we had under Saddam. People are jobless, they distort our religion and they’re taking our oil and living in Saddam’s palaces. Nothing has changed. They’ve become like him, yet they pretend they’re here to help us. The coalition hasn’t delivered on anything.” ~ “Continuous Jihad” a member of a Ramadi-based Sunni insurgent cell explaining how things turned so bad so quickly that a scattered insurgency gained broad support and the coalition-Shiite alliance began to crack. (04/09/04)

“They seemed like they were well-funded. We captured one of their vehicles. They had a couple hundred dollars in American money. Then they had a lot more money hidden in other places in their car. And they were driving BMWs. There were several vehicles coordinating with one another.” ~ Garriman Woods, a 30-year-old Marine staff sergeant who was leading a unit guarding a bridge on the edge of Fallujah. (04/09/04)

“They weren’t giving us nearly enough ammunition for the situations out there. Everyone was running out. Everyone was grabbing each other’s ammunition.” ~ Cpl. Richard Stayskal, a 22-year-old Marine from San Jose, Calif. (04/09/04)

“The Shiite violence is being fomented by Moktada al-Sadr, a lowlife hoodlum from an august family. The ruthless and hyperpoliticized Sadr has spent the past year trying to marginalize established religious figures, like Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who come from a more quietist tradition and who believe in the separation of government and clergy. Sadr and his fellow putschists have been spectacularly unsuccessful in winning popular support. The vast majority of Iraqis do not want an Iranian-style dictatorship. Most see Sadr as a young, hotheaded murderer who terrorizes people wherever he goes.” ~ David Brooks (04/10/04)

“…move on from the war.” ~ Tony Blair urged his critics to do so when he joined his family for a short break in Bermuda. When he arrived at the airport, he was heckled by anti-war protesters. Next Friday, Mr Blair and President George Bush will tell the world that they are not wavering. Their common script is already being honed. (04/10/04)

“The shaken nerves of the US military and civil leaders in Baghdad were visible yesterday on the anniversary of the day a year ago when the statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in Fardous Square. Instead of any form of celebration, the US army had sealed off the square with rolls of razor wire. An armored vehicle with a loudspeaker circled the roundabout announcing that all demonstrations were forbidden and anybody coming to the square with a gun would be shot on sight.

The vehicle, as if to make sure that no Iraqi would remain uninsulted, then played loud rock music over its speaker outside the large mosque.” ~ Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad (04/10/04)

“Illegal and totally unacceptable.” ~ Adnan Pachachi, a council member and respected former diplomat harshly criticizing U.S. military actions. Pachachi, less than three months ago had accompanied First Lady Laura Bush to the president’s State of the Union address. (04/10/04)

“The Governing Council is falling apart, so the hope of the Bush administration to have even a symbolic transition looks remote, especially because they won’t have anybody to whom to transfer sovereignty.” ~ Marina Ottaway, a democracy expert at the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. (04/10/04)

“Nothing can be further from the truth. We run extremely precise operations focused on people we have intelligence on for crimes of violence against the coalition and against the Iraqi people.” ~ Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt dismissing the criticism. (04/10/04)

“…several thousand more troops.” ~ Gen. John Abizaid discussing plans with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. (04/09/04)

“In the Arab world, it is generally assumed that a supplicant for a truce or cease-fire does so from a position of relative weakness and that the request itself is an admission of the knowledge of that weakness. We should be concentrating on making them ask for a truce.” ~ Retired Army Col. Pat Lang, a former Middle East analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency, said he considered the request that U.S. commanders made publicly asking insurgents to honor an across-the-board cease-fire in the besieged city of Fallujah as unwise. (04/10/04)

“What is coming is the destruction of anti-coalition forces in Fallujah … they have two choices: Submit or die.” ~ Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne, commander of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. As hundreds of reinforcements joined Marines besieging Fallujah, and the military said it would move to take the entire city if negotiations fail. (04/10/04)

“Trucks, oil tankers, tanks are burning on the highway east to Falluja. A stream of boys and men goes to and from a lorry that’s not burnt, stripping it bare.” ~ Jo (04/10/04)

“Now, with regards to the question whether the Marines have stopped fighting because they’ve run out of fight, I can tell you that there is nothing further than the truth. The fact is that the Marines are ready, on order to continue the operations, to complete the destruction of enemy forces in Fallujah. They are more than capable. They’re more than equipped. They’re more than armed.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt on why the marines have yet to recapture Fallujah. (04/12/04)

“Were we not at this point observing suspension of offensive operations … it could well have been that we would have had the entire the city by this point.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt told reporters in Baghdad.

“What we need desperately in Iraq is a clear mission, a believable strategy for success, a morally viable exit plan and international involvement.” ~ The New York Times (04/11/04)

“For power to be handed to the Iraqis in June, it must now first be taken from them. The resistance is growing because the Iraqis don’t want to live under occupation. And no amount of military force will make them feel otherwise.” ~ Krasnaya Zvezda — Russia (04/11/04)

“With the insurgencies becoming more frequent and violent, the ‘coalition of the willing’ is proving to be a ‘coalition of the wavering’… A year after the fall of Saddam Hussein, the coalition no longer controls much in Iraq, which is starting to look like Afghanistan at the time of the Soviet occupation.” ~ Liberation — France (04/11/04)

“Schroeder did his country a service by not sending Germany to the front line in Iraq in the alleged war against terror. So that there is no misunderstanding: it is important for Germany to be friends with the Americans. But for this very reason, it could also be important not to be friends with George W Bush.” ~ Commentary in Bild am Sonntag — Germany (04/11/04)

“We Iraqis are tired of all this fighting, why doesn’t the US just leave us alone? What did we ever do to them?” ~ A man in Fallujah. (04/12/04)

“We are at a critical period in Iraq and the president looks forward to talking to the American people and updating the American people where we are in Iraq right now and where we are headed.” ~ White House spokesman Scott McClellan. (04/12/04)

“Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has sent a strongly-worded message to the Coalition forces, in which he warned them against attacking the Shiite shrine cities of Najaf and Karbala after the end of Arba’in.

In this letter, Sistani warned the US that were the Occupation forces to wage a campaign against Karbala and Najaf, the religious leadership of the Shiites would fight to its last breath for the rights of the Shiites.” ~ Juan Cole

“…a small faction.” George Bush describing Iraqi insurgents in his Saturday radio address. Meanwhile, people actually on the scene described a rebellion with widespread support. (04/13/04)

“The mission of the U.S. forces is to kill or capture Moktada al-Sadr.” ~ Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez (04/13/04)

“There is enough from the footage we’ve seen and from what has been said about what went on in Falluja to warrant a very serious investigation. We are deeply concerned about the consistent reports we are getting about women, children and unarmed civilians being killed.” ~ Hania Mufti, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, a New York-based rights group. (04/13/04)

“I could see many bodies in the streets. Hundreds were lying in the street. Relatives were too scared to get them.” ~ Samir Rabee, who escaped Fallujah relatives and eight other families in the back of a refrigeration truck. (04/13/04)

“When we first got here, it was just IEDs, and mortars. Then all of a sudden, it’s full-scale ambushes.” ~ Sgt. James Amyett, a scout with the 1st Infantry Division who arrived in Iraq just over a month ago commenting on the new sophistication of the insurgents. (04/14/04)

“The consequences of failure in Iraq would be unthinkable… Everyone against America would celebrate, proclaiming our weakness.” ~ George W. Bush as an Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said Washington had appealed through intermediaries for “axis of evil,” Tehran’s help. (04/14/04)

“(The insurgency is) a symptom of the success that we’re having here in Iraq and an effort to undermine the country’s transition to self-government… I think it’s that success which is driving the current situation, because there are those extremists that don’t want that success. They see this as a test of wills, a test of resolve against those who believe in freedom and self-determination against those who prefer a regime like we saw previously in Afghanistan, or perhaps a regime like we saw previously in Iraq.” ~ Gen. Richard B. Myers (04/16/04)

“…none of the routes in Iraq were now classified by the military as “black” or “red,” meaning too dangerous to use. But most were “amber,” a classification that means convoy operators assume “a certain measure of risk. It is certainly not green yet.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt as American troops in Iraq are battling insurgents to keep open vital military supply lines in and out of Baghdad.

“Currently we see a significant threat in the vicinity of Najaf by the name of Moqtada al-Sadr and his militia. We will get the forces to the place, at the time when it is necessary, to go after him and his militia to end this violence — it is that simple.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt. (04/14/04)

“I really don’t care; they’re all gonna die… If they’re trying to find a peaceful way out of this, great. But at this point, there seem to be few options other than to get innocents out and level it, wipe it clear off the map.” ~ 1st Lt. Frank Dillbeck, scanning the city of Fallujah’s outskirts with binoculars during a relative lull in fighting. (04/13/04)

“Combat is a dirty, nasty business.” ~ Lt. Gen. Richard Cody commenting on 83 U.S. troops killed in Iraq in the first 13 days of April. (04/14/04)

“I don’t forecast that this stalemate will go on for long. It’s hard to have a cease-fire when they maneuver against us, they fire at us. We are trying to maintain the cease-fire, but the enemy is not maintaining the cease-fire.” ~ Maj. Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of the 1st Marine Division. (04/14/04)

“…use decisive force… Our work may become more difficult before it is finished. No one can predict all the hazards that lie ahead or the cost that they will bring. Yet, in this conflict, there is no safe alternative to resolute action.” ~ George W. Bush when he said was prepared to send more troops to Iraq. (04/14/04)

“It may well be if he (Sadr) is captured, violence could increase for a bit. But I think it would be very temporary.” ~ General Myers saying the U.S.-led coalition occupying Iraq was committed to bringing rebel Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to justice. (04/14/04)

“The U.S.-picked Iraqi Governing Council would be dissolved June 30. Rather than expanded to form an assembly as called for in an earlier proposal U.S. administrators promoted.” ~ Lakhdar Brahimi, U.N. envoy. (04/14/04)

“We appreciated the United Nations’ help in moving forward on our strategy to transfer sovereignty to the Iraqi people by June 30.” -White House press secretary Scott McClellan. (04/14/04)

“Is there somebody else who could take this mission over and be just as effective and hasn’t been in combat for a year already?” ~ Mary Kulla, whose husband, Scott, has been in Iraq 13 months. After waiting a year for their loved ones to come home, relatives of a Wisconsin National Guard unit received a double shock in the past week: One of its soldiers was killed in Iraq, and the rest had their tour of duty extended four months.

“The Fallujah problem and the Sadr problem are having a wider impact than we expected… Sadr’s people and the people of Fallujah were seen as isolated and lacking broad support among Iraqis…The effect has been profound.” ~ A senior U.S. official involved in Iraq policy said. The violence has brought the U.S.-funded reconstruction of Iraq to a near-halt. (04/15/04)

“You shoot like a goat herder!” ~ U.S. troops blast AC/DC’s Hell’s Bells and other rock music full volume from a huge speaker, hoping to grate on the nerves of Fallujah’s Sunni Muslim city’s gunmen and give a laugh to marines along the front line. (04/16/04)

“The reconstruction projects which are so critical to the onward development of this country will be slowed down because contractors will be intimidated to come in. Every additional security guard and every dollar that’s paid for security is one less dollar to put into the infrastructure.” ~ Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt as the military announced the closure of two highways into Baghdad on Saturday. (04/17/04)

“No, no, I don’t believe so. Given the resistance that is clearly displaying itself in there, we probably didn’t go in hard enough initially.” ~ Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez when asked if U.S. forces had been too hard on Falluja. (04/19/04)

“It would appear there is an agreed political track. There is also a very clear understanding … that should this agreement not go through, marine forces are more than prepared to carry through with military operations. The US troops around Falluja could seize the city in fairly short order.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt as the US-led coalition in Iraq unveiled a fresh political blueprint to end the three-week siege of Falluja. (04/20/04)

“‘We Are One Hand’ — Sunnis, Shiites Uniting Against U.S. in Iraq.

Bremer, at the beginning, was a brother. But now he is worse than Saddam. Saddam said about us that we are a mob. And Bremer said the same thing — he said that we are criminals.” ~ Ali, in Sadr City’s Jamila Wholesale Market. (04/20/04)

“The government (in Tehran) wants to work out its problems with the United States.” ~ Hooshang Amirahmadi, the president of the American Iranian Council as to why the Bush administration has extended a temporary suspension of some U.S. sanctions on Iran that were eased to speed relief supplies after a devastating earthquake last December. (04/20/04)

“…every ground squirrel in the country knows the Administration will need an additional $50 billion to $75 billion, on top of last year’s $87 billion appropriation.” ~ Senator Chuck Hagel [R-Neb.] on how intense combat in Iraq is chewing up military hardware and consuming money at an unexpectedly rapid rate — depleting military coffers, straining defense contractors and putting pressure on Bush administration officials to seek a major boost in war funding long before they had hoped. (04/30/04)

“About one in every 10 members of Iraq’s security forces actually worked against U.S. troops during the recent militia violence in Iraq, and an additional 40 percent walked off the job because of intimidation. It’s very difficult at times to convince them that Iraqis are killing fellow Iraqis and fellow Muslims, because it’s something they shouldn’t have to accept. Over time I think they will probably have to accept it… Popular support for the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq is still very solid… History is going to have to decide whether that was right or not.” ~ Maj. Gen. Martin Dempsey (04/21/04)

Following the Marine offensive in Falluja, Iraqi journalists began grilling Coalition officials as to why Americans were targeting women and children, and why the Americans were punishing so many innocent Iraqis for the wrongs committed by the few who desecrated the bodies in Falluja. Coalition spokesman Dan Senor and Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt explained that the Coalition is not executing a campaign of collective punishment, is targeting only those who had demonstrated themselves to be violently anti-Coalition, and is following strict rules of engagement and stringent policies concerning the use of force. But these assurances fell on deaf ears. The journalists had seen the purported proof of the Coalition’s barbarity: they had watched satellite networks like Al Jazeera and Al Arabia. (04/21/04)

“When our city and holy sites are attacked, we will all be time bombs in the face of the enemy.” ~ al-Sadr said during Friday prayers at a mosque in Kufa. (04/24/04)

“The coalition boarding team were killed and wounded as a result of three concurrent waterborne attacks in the Arabian Gulf.” ~ A spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet when suicide bombers launched three coordinated boat attacks on Iraq’s vital southern Basra offshore oil export terminal on Saturday, killing two members of U.S.-led forces. (04/24/04)

I stumbled across this which has some VERY disturbing photos which originate from Iraq.

“It is not our understanding that we will have soldiers going into Najaf soon… It’s not going to be large-scale fighting, the likes of other places. But we’re going to drive this guy (al-Sadr) into the dirt.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt (04/25/04)

“At this point, it would not seem to be constructive for either side to be laying down ultimatums.” ~ Gen. Mark Kimmitt (04/25/04)

“In light of recent events — the security situation and the anticipated withdrawal of the Spanish troops — we are in discussions with coalition partners.” ~ A British Defense Ministry spokeswoman said after Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s decision to pull out 1,400 troops. Honduras and the Dominican Republic also plan to pull out their forces.

“This is for the madman Bush, for the madman Bremer!” ~ Said one youth as he waved a rifle, referring to President Bush and the top American administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer. Jubilant Iraqis swarmed over the Americans’ charred Humvees, waving looted machine guns, a bandolier and a helmet. (04/26/04)

“I hold her until Maki, a consultant and acting director of the clinic, brings me to the bed where a child of about ten is lying with a bullet wound to the head. A smaller child is being treated for a similar injury in the next bed. A US sniper hit them and their grandmother as they left their home to flee Falluja.” ~ Jo Wilding

“We are facing what can be called … war crimes, and the situation can no longer bear the actions of the occupation forces who are behaving outside all international laws… The human rights violations that happened in Falluja are very serious and the massacres that happened there are unprecedented.” ~ Muhammad Tariq Abd Allah speaking for the Falluja town council. (04/26/04)

“I think there are issues more important to concentrate on now than the changing of the flag.” ~ Iraqi Governing Council member expressing his opinion on the new national flag of Iraq. (04/26/04)

“When I saw it in the newspaper, I felt very sad. The flags of other Arab countries are red and green and black. Why did they put in these colors that are the same as Israel? Why was the public opinion not consulted?” ~ Muthana Khalil, supermarket owner in Saadoun, a commercial area in central Baghdad on why the new Iraqi flag won’t fly. (04/26/04)

“The danger with delay in Fallujah and Mr. Brahimi’s comments is that they will be interpreted by Iraqis as a sign that the U.S. is losing its resolve and simply wants out. Perhaps caution in Fallujah makes sense at this moment, but sooner or later the insurgents have to be defeated, and at the point of a gun, not by diplomacy. If we’re not prepared to do that, Mr. Bush might as well order the troops home now.” ~ Wall Street Journal — The Fallujah Stakes: The insurgents understand guns, not diplomacy. (04/26/04)

“I hope they will understand that in order for this government to get up and running — to be effective — some of its sovereignty will have to be given back, if I can put it that way, or limited by them. It’s sovereignty but (some) of that sovereignty they are going to allow us to exercise on their behalf and with their permission. It is not as if we are seizing anything away from them.” ~ Secretary of State Colin Powell on why Iraq after July 1 would have to give up its sovereignty to allow a free hand to U.S.-led armed forces. (04/27/04)

“Surrender, you are surrounded. If you are a terrorist, beware, because your last day was yesterday. In order to spare your life end your actions and surrender to coalition forces now. We are coming to arrest you.” ~ Leaflets dropped on Fallujah as AC-130 Gunships pound the city at night. (04/27/04)

“Even though it may not look like it, there is still a determined aspiration on the part of the coalition to maintain a cease-fire and solve the situation in Fallujah by peaceful means.” ~ Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said in Baghdad as AC-130 Gunships pound Fallujah at night. (04/27/04)

“There are pockets of resistance and our military along with Iraqis will make sure it’s secure… Most of Fallujah is returning to normal. (Those attacking coalition forces) want to kill innocent life to try to get us to quit and we’re not going to… Our military commanders will take whatever action is necessary to secure Fallujah on behalf of the Iraqi people… I have laid out a broad strategy that says that Iraq will be as secure as possible — that we will deal with those who want to stop the march to freedom…That’s exactly what’s happening in Fallujah.” ~ George W. Bush speaking a day after a series of explosions and gunfire rocked Fallujah; a day after a heavy battle on Tuesday in which U.S. planes and artillery pounded the city in a show of force against insurgents holed up in a slum. (04/28/04)

“Resistance fighters in the Iraqi city of Falluja have placed a $15 million bounty on the heads of key US occupation figures, including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.” ~ Aljazeera (04/28/04)

“The senior British military are strongly opposed to taking over the Spanish areas of command or sending further troops.” ~ Senior British military chiefs strongly resisted proposals to send more British troops to Iraq or any extension of their area of command. (04/29/04)

“Violent military action by an occupying power against inhabitants of an occupied country will only make matters worse.” ~ Kofi Annan, UN secretary general. (04/29/04)

“Part of the 36th battalion of the paramilitary Iraqi Civil Defense Corps revolted last week after the unit had been fighting in the besieged city for 11 days… (The mutiny was) a failure of command. The commanding officer was absent, his deputy … was seriously wounded and the number three faltered.” ~ Ali Allawi, the Iraqi Defense Minister on why the siege of Fallujah provoked a second mutiny. (04/29/04)

“Iraqi solution to an Iraqi problem.” ~ Marine Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne as the U.S. Marines make a 180 degree about-face and end the siege of Fallujah. (04/29/04)

“We accepted the offer on condition that the Americans do not enter Najaf or take action around its Shiite shrines.” ~ Ahmed Shaybani, a spokesman for al-Sadr. (04/30/04)

“This latest military planning fiasco seems yet another example of the Defense Department’s damaging insistence that U.S. ground forces make do with fewer troops and lighter equipment than they really need to carry out the mission they have been assigned in Iraq.

From the first days of the Iraqi conflict, the Pentagon’s stubborn refusal to face up to the realities of the battlefield there has compounded the political and military problems of occupation and needlessly endangered U.S. soldiers.” ~ New York Times — Nearly defenseless in Iraq (04/30/04)

“Victory over the Americans…The city’s defenders are celebrating.” ~ Yelled one man as a group of gunmen in civilian clothes raised green banners and rifles aloft in Fallujah to acclaim the “defeat” of the Marines, also proclaimed from mosque minarets. (05/01/04)

“Life for the Iraqi people is a world away from the cruelty and corruption of Saddam’s regime.” ~ George W. Bush on his weekly radio address. (05/01/04)

“…there are no longer torture chambers or rape rooms or mass graves in Iraq.” ~ George W. Bush’s words appeared on page A7 of Saturday’s Washington Post. (05/01/04)

“Sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses… Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees … beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape … sodomising a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broomstick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees … and in one instance actually biting a detainee.” ~ Major General Antonio Taguba on torture by American soldiers on Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. (05/02/04)