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The New Iraq

Iraqi Occupation

From AP at The Guardian: Sunday March 21, 2004 8:01 PM
U.S. Will Retain Power in Sovereign Iraq By JIM KRANE
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The United States says Iraq will be sovereign, no longer under military occupation, on June 30. But most power will reside within the world's largest U.S. Embassy, backed by 110,000 U.S. troops. ...

At Reuters: Sun Mar 21, 2004 08:47 PM ET
Iraq's Sistani Warns UN Not to Back Constitution By Khaled Yacoub Oweis
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United Nations must not endorse Iraq's U.S.-backed interim constitution because it could lead to the break-up of the occupied country, Iraq's most influential Shi'ite Muslim cleric said. ...

At The Independent: 22 March 2004
Carter savages Blair and Bush: 'Their war was based on lies' By Andrew Buncombe

From the NYT: Friday, March 26, 2004
U.S. Officials Fashion Legal Basis to Keep Force in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 25 — With fewer than 100 days to go before Iraq resumes its sovereignty, American officials say they believe they have found a legal basis for American troops to continue their military control over the security situation in Iraq. After months of concern about the legal status of the 110,000 American troops who are expected to remain here after the occupation formally ends on June 30, the officials say they believe an existing United Nations resolution approving the presence of a multinational force in Iraq, approved by the Security Council in October, gives American commanders the authority needed to maintain control after sovereignty is handed back. Showing his confidence that the approach was grounded in international law, L. Paul Bremer III, the chief of the occupation authority, issued an executive order this week specifying that the newly formed Iraqi armed forces be placed under the operational control of the American commander, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, who has been named to lead American and allied forces after the transfer of political authority to the Iraqis. Mr. Bremer and other top American officials say they believe Security Council Resolution 1511, which conferred the mandate for the American-led alliance, can be used to provide legal justification for the American military command to operate until Dec. 31, 2005. That is when a timetable agreed on by Iraqi leaders envisages the final transition to an elected Iraqi government. The plan, the American officials say, will require the Security Council to review the resolution before it expires in October. But the United States may also seek a new resolution, hoping to placate Spain's new prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who has said that he will withdraw Spain's contingent unless the force is placed under clear United Nations control. ...

Real Player audio from NPR: March 26, 2004
U.S. to Control Iraq's Forces after June 30

From The Chicago Tribune at Yahoo: Fri Mar 26, 9:40 AM ET
Bush, aides stress Iraq's terror link By Michael Kilian
The White House strongly defended its anti-terrorism campaign Thursday, declaring its war on terrorism and the invasion of Iraq one and the same and asserting that Saddam Hussein had links to terrorists. ... "I saw a threat, the Congress saw a threat, the United Nations Security Council saw a threat in the form of Saddam Hussein," Bush said. "He was not only a threat to people in the Middle East because of terrorist ties, he was a threat to America or anybody else who loved freedom." ...

From Bloomberg: April 1, 2004 13:11 EST
U.S. Marines Prepare to Occupy, `Pacify' Fallujah After Attack by Edward DeMarco
April 1 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. commanders in Iraq are preparing to occupy Fallujah and carry out combat operations and civil- affairs rebuilding missions to defeat resistance after four American guards were killed and their dismembered bodies burned and displayed by residents in the town yesterday. ``We will be back in Fallujah,'' Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt said today in Baghdad about the U.S. Marines who operate in the area, according to a transcript. ``It will be at the time and the place of our choosing. We will hunt down the criminals. We will kill them or we will capture them. And we will pacify Fallujah.'' ... U.S. officials have said that even in Fallujah, the majority of residents support the U.S.-led occupation, and only a handful of rebels were behind the violence...

From AP at My Way News: Apr 1, 5:24 PM (ET)
U.S. General Vows Reply to Iraq Murders By SAMEER N. YACOUB
FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) - A U.S. general vowed an "overwhelming" response to the murder and mutilation of four American contractors, but U.S. troops stayed out of this anti-American city Thursday and fearful Iraqi police took no action. ... U.S. troops stayed out of Fallujah on Thursday despite pledges from a military commander to stamp out resistance in a city that is home to militant forces who appear to enjoy the support - or at least acquiescence - of a significant part of the population. ...
Iraq's administrator, L. Paul Bremer .. said "their deaths will not go unpunished." ... Secretary of State Colin Powell said the United States would not be "run out" of Iraq. "America has the ability to stay, fight an enemy and defeat an enemy," Powell, who was attending a donor conference in Berlin for the rebuilding of Afghanistan, said in an interview on German ZDF television.

From The Washington Post: Sunday, April 4, 2004; 4:15 PM
Mounting Protests Turn Deadly Across Iraq By Karl Vick and Sewell Chan
Followers of Cleric Sadr Clash With Soliders in Kufa
KUFA, Iraq, April 4 -- Supporters of a fiery young Shiite Muslim cleric clashed Sunday with a Spanish-led force at a military base in this southern Iraqi town as a week of protests and violence escalated across the country. At least 14 protesters and two soldiers, including one American, were killed and more than 100 were injured in fighting here that witnesses said involved gunfire, mortars and an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. ... The clash in Kufa, near the Shiite holy city of Najaf, about 90 miles south of Baghdad, came after authorities detained a senior aide to Moqtada Sadr, 30, a charismatic anti-American cleric. The fighting also followed a week of protests and violence since the U.S.-led occupation authority in Baghdad ordered the closing of Sadr's weekly newspaper, al-Hawza, for printing inflammatory articles. Sadr delivered a sermon here Friday calling on supporters to challenge the occupation. ... In Baghdad on Sunday, demonstrations by Sadr's supporters were largely peaceful to start. Protesters demanded that U.S.-led forces release Yacoubi and reopen Sadr's newspaper. ... The crowd in Baghdad, mostly consisting of young and middle-aged men, chanted, "We are all soldiers of the Mahdi Army." The demonstrators also shouted, "Today is peaceful. Tomorrow will be warlike." ...

From AP at My Way News: Apr 4, 6:07 PM (ET)
10 U.S. Troops Killed in Iraqi Violence By KHALID MOHAMMED
NAJAF, Iraq (AP) - Supporters of an anti-American cleric rioted in four Iraqi cities Sunday, killing eight U.S. troops and one Salvadoran soldier in the worst unrest since the spasm of looting and arson immediately after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The U.S. military on Sunday reported two Marines were killed in a separate "enemy action" in Anbar province, raising the toll of American service members killed in Iraq to at least 610. The rioters were supporters of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. They were angry over Saturday's arrest on murder charges of one of al-Sadr's aides, Mustafa al-Yacoubi, and the closure of a pro-al-Sadr newspaper. Near the holy city of Najaf, a gunbattle at a Spanish garrison killed at least 22 people, including two coalition soldiers - an American and a Salvadoran. Fighting in the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City killed seven U.S. soldiers and wounded at least 24, the U.S. military said in a written statement. ... Protesters clashed with Italian and British forces in other cities in a broad, violent challenge to the U.S.-led coalition...

From The NYT: April 4, 2004
Violent Disturbances Rack Iraq From Baghdad to Southern Cities
BAGHDAD, April 4 — Iraq was racked today by its most violent civil disturbances since the occupation started, with a coordinated Shiite uprising spreading across the country, from the slums of Baghdad to several cities in the south. ... By day's end, witnesses said Shiite militiamen controlled the city of Kufa, south of Baghdad, with armed men loyal to a radical cleric occupying the town's police stations and checkpoints. ...
In Baghdad, American tanks battled militiamen loyal to Mr. Sadr... "The occupation is over!" people on the streets yelled. "We are now controlled by Sadr. The Americans should stay out." ...
"There is no use for demonstrations, as your enemy loves to terrify and suppress opinions, and despises peoples," Mr. Sadr said in a statement distributed by his office in Kufa today. "I ask you not to resort to demonstrations because they have become a losing card and we should seek other ways," he told his followers. "Terrorize your enemy, as we cannot remain silent over its violations."

From Reuters: Mon Apr 5, 2004 10:15 AM ET
U.S. Forces Take on Shi'ite, Sunni Rebels in Iraq By Michael Georgy
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. helicopters blasted targets in Baghdad Monday in an intensifying showdown with Shi'ite Muslim radicals resisting America's postwar plans for Iraq. U.S. forces also tackled Sunni insurgents in Falluja, where four American security men were killed last week. Residents reported heavy firing overnight and a hospital doctor said five people had been killed and three wounded. Troops used loudspeakers to announce a night-time curfew and sealed roads around the troubled town west of Baghdad. ...
The Shi'ite violence opens a new front for U.S.-led forces already struggling to quell Sunni Muslim insurgents. ... Bremer said Sadr was an outlaw trying to usurp legitimate authority. "We will not tolerate this," he told an Iraqi ministerial committee for national security. Sadr responded defiantly. "I'm accused by one of the leaders of evil, Bremer, of being an outlaw," he said in a statement read out in a mosque in Kufa, near Najaf, where he is staging a sit-in. "If that means breaking the law of the American tyranny and its filthy constitution (for Iraq), I'm proud of that and that is why I'm in revolt," the 30-year-old cleric said. ...

From Reuters: Mon Apr 5, 2004 11:43 AM ET
Arrest Warrant Issued for Radical Iraq Cleric
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi judge issued an arrest warrant for radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in connection with the murder of another cleric last year, a senior spokesman for the U.S.-led authorities in Iraq said Monday. Dan Senor said the arrest warrant had been issued several months ago. U.S. officials have accused Sadr of inciting violence, and shut down his newspaper in Baghdad last week. Asked when Sadr would be arrested, Senor said: "There will be no advance warning." ...


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Some Blogs on Iraq:

Baghdad Burning - Today in Iraq - Back To Iraq 3.0 - Juan Cole * Informed Comment *

Casualties in Iraq - Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

Cost of the War in Iraq
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