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andromeda_eats
24-02-05, 05:38
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer denied the United States pressured Australia into sending more troops to Iraq.

After a request from the British and Japanese governments, Australia is sending another 450 soldiers to Iraq to protect Japanese engineers in the country's south, replacing a Dutch contingent that is withdrawing from Iraq.

The Australians will also help train local security forces.

The decision breaches a government pre-election commitment not to substantially increase troop numbers in Iraq.

But Mr Downer denied that the government was trying to downplay the role the United States played in its decision to send further troops.

"We're not. We have no motive for doing that," he told ABC Radio.

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"In our side of politics we have always been proud of the strong relationship we have with the United States. But they weren't the requesting country on this occasion. That's just a fact."

He said while overall the United States coordinated military operations in Iraq, the British coordinated operations in the south of the country.

"The British coordinate military operations in that southern part of Iraq, so really it's a matter that more the British and obviously the Japanese, who are so directly involved, were looking at - and the Americans haven't been involved in this," he said.

He said the decision by the Dutch to pull out of Iraq had left the Japanese exposed.

"The problem here with the Dutch decision to withdraw ... of course it would have left the Japanese exposed."

Good on the Netherlands for getting out of there. But Im am so angry that it is Australian lives that now have to cover their tracks. Howard cant guareentee that no more troops will be sent! This is such horrible news.

Tramp
24-02-05, 05:58
So much for the people that believed the lies John Howard told prior to the election. What about the interest rate rises that he said would not happen under a Liberal Government but would happen under a Labor Government. He was an ass Treasurer under Fraser's Government and he's a bigger ass now. :mad:

Draco
24-02-05, 10:05
Sorry to hear that. Wish we could do it ourselves.

Melonie Tomb Raider
24-02-05, 12:38
Why aren't you proud that they are fighting? Australia rocks, I've always loved that country, and their strong will to fight and do the right thing makes me like them even more. So instead of being sad, be proud. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif

Tramp
24-02-05, 12:48
Because Melonie the majority of Australians do not believe that we should be there. We were lied to about weapons of mass destruction. And now we are being lied to again about more troops being sent there. Australians are proud to fight for a true cause but not when we are sent to a fight that is based on lies. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/wave.gif

Draco
24-02-05, 13:01
True enough Tramp. And to be honest Iraq was a foolish decision on the part of everyone involved in making it. We should have stuck with keeping Afghanistan on track.

Capt. Murphy
24-02-05, 16:10
I think whether or not the reason for "war" was a lie or not, that shouldn't matter at this point. What's done is done and now help is needed wherever it can be utilized for the benefit of the Iraqi people. I also think it is selfless and honorable what Australia is doing. :cool: May God Bless and protect the Australian soldiers who are undertaking this conscionable effort. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/hug.gif

nikos
24-02-05, 16:56
politicians are always unfaithfull to the citisens!
the same all over of the world!
in greece the respect to the politicians is approaching 0%!
we just vote for the one is not the worst!

Tramp
24-02-05, 21:43
Thats about the same here Nikos. Unfortunately we have just had the opportunity to change but the yuppies who are worried about their massive mortgages going up believed the lies that were told and now we have to put up with the same lot of idiots for another term.

Capt. Murphy what is making us angry is that the idiots election promise was that no more troops would be sent to Iraq and a few months after the election yet another election promise is broken. This is not the first and won't be the last.

wantafanta
24-02-05, 21:44
Originally posted by Capt. Murphy:
I think whether or not the reason for "war" was a lie or not, that shouldn't matter at this point. It should always matter. Politicians need to be held accountable. Hoepfully, Tony Blair will get soundly booted out of office and some justice will prevail. Nobody has any right to be in Iraq but Iraqis.

http://home.att.net/~dalibrul/april30.jpg

[ 24. February 2005, 21:46: Message edited by: wantafanta ]

andromeda_eats
24-02-05, 23:13
Because ITS NOT OUR WAR! PEOPLE ARE DYING FOR AN ILLEGAL AMERICAN WAR! I used to love the U.S and their people. I use to consider it a second home.

More and more I detest the country whose leader bullied my country into sacrificing lives over here. Thanks a lot Bush, you jackass!!

Australians are comparing the Iraqi war to the Vietnam war in terms of its pointlessness! And its true. How many more lives? HOW MANY MORE FOR SOMEONE ELSES FIGHT! Australia will get NOTHING from this war, from America or otherwise. Howard wont listen to the UN but he will listen to that coward Bush, who cant fight his own ****ing battles.

I cant go on. Im too distressed.

Sophia Leigh
25-02-05, 00:24
John Howard is pathetic, I don't even know anyone who voted for him - I certainly didn't.

Since the GST (goods and services tax) has come in the cost of living has gone up dramatically.

The first home buyers grant that he introduced, while on the surface seemed like a good idea at the time has helped push up housing costs by double in my area since (near Sydney) it came in almost five years ago so too bad for young couples and others wanting to buy their first home, and forget it if you have more than one child under school age as the cost of childcare these days means its pointless for both parents to work unless the parent who earns the least is on more than $55000 p.a, regardless there goes one income.

I too believe we should not send more troops, if I remember history lessons correctly (and please correct me if I'm am wrong) more Aussie troops were lost in the Vietnam war by American "friendly fire". Don't get me wrong, I like American people, I just don't like their government, or ours for that matter.

Tramp
25-02-05, 00:51
Hi Sophia whereabouts near Sydney are you.

The first home buyers grant is a joke. You only get it if you are married or going to be married in the next 6 months. I'm not married so I didn't get a cent. (It was around also when I bought this house). The people who bought my house in Galston were both working, he had got it with his first wife and he also got it with his second wife (technicallity that she had not had it before and it was joint ownership).

I'm on a disability pension so just imagine how the GST has affected me. If I'm lucky I get a couple of dollars extra every six months and that just barely covers the increase in medicine.
I worked my butt off for over 35 years had the misfortune to get a chronic illness and I can't even get a subsidy for glasses (which I need to see anything) not even for the lenses, let alone the frames. Pensioner frames are yuck and having a very small face usually relegated to the kids section. (And they wonder why kids don't want to wear glasses).

You sound like you are in an area similar to me, house prices here have really jumped because of the yuppy area of Rouse Hill. Because of Rouse Hill we are now a Liberal area when we have always been Labor. Have met the Federal member. At our Festival she fell all over herself to be nice to me. Then at our Local Fire Brigade's 60th Anniversary she saw me talking to the Labor candidate and the Mayor (he's Labor too) and totally ignored me.

Capt. Murphy
25-02-05, 16:47
Originally posted by Tramp:
Capt. Murphy what is making us angry is that the idiots election promise was that no more troops would be sent to Iraq and a few months after the election yet another election promise is broken. This is not the first and won't be the last. Oh. Well I can understand why you feel bad about being deceived. :( But the fact that they could make a difference in the lives of the Iraqi people establishing a new government... (wait) Okay. I know that the fact that they would be helping could never outweigh what has been done. Like the overthrowing of a brutal dictator, or protecting Iraqis from insurgents who want to topple the new Iraqi government and kill our troops. [/sarcasm]

As for the pic about Iraqis protesting the Americans: I wonder how many Iraqis (like a percentage) prefer to have the US and Coalition forces there? I can only speculate that the number that are 'for' are much greater than the number that is 'against'.

Originally posted by wantafanta:
Nobody has any right to be in Iraq but Iraqis.Oooo-kay. :confused: Are you aware of the different tribes/religious sects like the Shias, Kurds, Sunni, and whatever else there is/could be? What about civil war breaking out? What about the other foreign insurgents that are bombing and killing Iraqi policemen? Maybe US and coalition forces shouldn't be there. Is that what you're saying wantafanta? Don't bother answering. You already said noone else should be there. And well if we're not there then we certainly can't control what the insurgents do. I guess that would be too bad - so sad for the Iraqis. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/redface.gif Let them fend for themselves even if they aren't fully up on their own two feet yet with a legitimate democratically elected government...?

EDIT: Make that - an Established government. :rolleyes:

[ 25. February 2005, 16:53: Message edited by: Capt. Murphy ]

Tramp
25-02-05, 21:35
Capt. no one is saying that it is not a good thing to overthrow a brutal dictator. But that is not the reason Iraq was attacked. Why wasn't something done about Idi Amin in the 70's. Why isn't something being done about the Somalis. The only reason America (and therefore us) are in Iraq is about the oil. That's right it boiled down to money. The attack on Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with overthrowing a vicious dictator it had to do with money and oil. There are many other countries where there are brutal dictators, but America, Australia and the UK are not attacking them.

What this thread is about is that our idiot Prime Minister has yet again lied to the Australian Public as is sending more troops into Iraq. :rolleyes:

Sophia Leigh
26-02-05, 01:02
Originally posted by Tramp:
Hi Sophia whereabouts near Sydney are you.

The first home buyers grant is a joke. You only get it if you are married or going to be married in the next 6 months. I'm not married so I didn't get a cent. (It was around also when I bought this house). The people who bought my house in Galston were both working, he had got it with his first wife and he also got it with his second wife (technicallity that she had not had it before and it was joint ownership).

I'm on a disability pension so just imagine how the GST has affected me. If I'm lucky I get a couple of dollars extra every six months and that just barely covers the increase in medicine.
I worked my butt off for over 35 years had the misfortune to get a chronic illness and I can't even get a subsidy for glasses (which I need to see anything) not even for the lenses, let alone the frames. Pensioner frames are yuck and having a very small face usually relegated to the kids section. (And they wonder why kids don't want to wear glasses).

You sound like you are in an area similar to me, house prices here have really jumped because of the yuppy area of Rouse Hill. Because of Rouse Hill we are now a Liberal area when we have always been Labor. Have met the Federal member. At our Festival she fell all over herself to be nice to me. Then at our Local Fire Brigade's 60th Anniversary she saw me talking to the Labor candidate and the Mayor (he's Labor too) and totally ignored me. Hi Tramp, I'm out near the Blue Mountains. I used to be a real estate agent before I had my last child so I know that you should have been entitled to the first home buyers grant if you bought your first property after 1 July 2000 as single people are actully entitle to it too, as long as you hadn't owned property previously - if you were misinformed you should speak to your solicitor to see if you can get back payment.

The guy who bought your house should not have been granted the fist homebuyers grant with his second wife - but unfortunately some people rort the system.

Visit this website for requirements for the first homebuyers grant www.firsthome.gov.au (http://www.firsthome.gov.au)

The GST has really affected alot of people especially pensioners. I have seen an elderly couple forced to move into a caravan after renting three bedroom house for years because the cost of living was just too high.

Unfortunately your federal member sounds typical of all our politicians.

I am sorry to hear about your illness and hope that things work out for you. Lets just hope that things get better in our country. I was really hoping that Mark Latham would get in last election but now he has resigned. Lets hope John Howard gets voted out next time!

Sophia Leigh
26-02-05, 01:07
Melonie Tomb Raider & Capt Murphy, we are proud of our soldiers and do want peace, we are just unhappy that our Prime Minister lies.

wantafanta
26-02-05, 01:55
Are you aware of the different tribes/religious sects like the Shias, Kurds, Sunni, and whatever else there is/could be? What about civil war breaking out? What about the other foreign insurgents that are bombing and killing Iraqi policemen? Maybe US and coalition forces shouldn't be there. Is that what you're saying wantafanta? And well if we're not there then we certainly can't control what the insurgents do. I guess that would be too bad - so sad for the Iraqis. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/redface.gif Let them fend for themselves even if they aren't fully up on their own two feet yet with a legitimate democratically elected government...?
All of the chaos and anarchy that is in Iraq today is the fault of the U.S. Do you think it is right for the US to train Iraqis to die in a civil war that the US started? I have no grudge against the "insurgents" as you call them. They have never attacked my country, nor have any other Iraqis. If Russia invaded the US, you and I would become "insurgents." The longer we stay, the longer the killing will continue.

Last I knew, it was 'Department of Defense' - not Department of 'Nation Building.'

I too do not appreciate being lied to by my elected leaders, and I will not ignore that. Once you forgive them, they will continue to lie and deceive the voters, because they know you will let them. It's already happening again with the made up Social Security "crisis." Will people never learn! And why shouldn't Bush lie. He always gets away with it because we let him.

http://home.att.net/~dalibrul/april30b.jpg

[ 26. February 2005, 02:01: Message edited by: wantafanta ]

Tramp
26-02-05, 02:49
Sophia where near the Blue Mountains, Penrith, Richmond, Windsor, if so you are very close to me at Riverstone.

Unfortunately I bought my house well and truely before 2000 and the laws have changed since then. I bought my first home in 1975, got my mortgage from a bank (which was very unusual for a single woman to get a bank mortgage in those days.) My first house was in Galston, very good position went out my front door and nearly literally fell into the shops. Sold it in 1985 and bought my house in Riverstone outright. (No Mortgage Yeah). Its over 50 years old but I am in the process of renovating it. Have already had a new roof put on, new windows and cladding. First room is the Kitchen and it's big at 4.7m x 4.7m with around 20 cupboards, so its a big job. First thing is new walls and ceiling, then we tile the floor. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/wave.gif

Capt. Murphy
26-02-05, 14:06
Originally posted by wantafanta:
I have no grudge against the "insurgents" as you call them. They have never attacked my country,...But they have attacked your fellow countrymen... Our soldiers.

:confused: I suppose you think they deserve it for fighting an "unjust" war. You aren't by any chance engaged to Ward Churchill, professor of BS are you? http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/tongue.gif

And any time I see the old regurgitated "argument" about Oil, I know the discussion is over. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif

Thorn
26-02-05, 15:00
If you live in the U.S. then there's virtually nothing you can do. The government rules our lives and it's sad and horrible that more of our soldiers and Australia's are being sent out.

Draco
26-02-05, 19:30
Do any of those soldiers not want to go? I mean for other reasons than family.

nikos
26-02-05, 21:01
sorry draco but in history nobody like to fight for a "foreign" war! i dont think australian soldiers and any other soldiers want to risk their lives for any war his country was not in dangerous!
greek soldier when they asked to go in yougoslavia and afghanistan mostly obay[except some few],not because they like it, but because they have to do,it was a duty not their will!
you know its very bad to fool people,promising that you will stop to send people in a foreign war, and after say oh!iam sorry!its a big lie and i think if he said that before the election, that he will send troops to iraq he probably loose the elections[and he was about to loose them,but last moment change his thoughts and said his lies,fool the people,and took the victory]!
BTW this just an opinion about australia election and if any australian citizen disagree with it then i already apologise!
i took some infos about this matter for some greecks relatives they live in brisbain and melbourne!so if it is rong dont throw me in to the flames!

[ 26. February 2005, 21:10: Message edited by: nikos ]

Tramp
27-02-05, 00:43
Basically Nikos that is what he did. He told the Australian Public what he thought they wanted to hear. It now appears that he knew he was sending more troops to Iraq prior to November and he is only telling us now. So at the elections in October he probably already knew.

wantafanta
27-02-05, 02:03
But they have attacked your fellow countrymen... Our soldiers.
No, our soldiers attacked them. It started with "Shock and Awe" - another word for "terror". And it continues today. Our soldiers have killed far more innocent Iraqis than the 1500 U.S. soldiers who have died. And it is their country, not ours. They have a right to be angry and take up arms.

Our own country was founded by rebels, militias and "insurgents" - not by armies. I am not a follower of Ward Churchill and never heard his name before until last week. Howevever, I believe we make our country stronger by asking tough questions from our leaders, instead of lying down to be obedient slaves. Communist countries and fascist ones like North Korea follow without challenging their government. We have the freedom to speak out here. Vietnam was a waste of lives based on a lie, the Gulf of Tonkin incident was made up -- and it is happening again because we have a president who does not read, has no understanding of the world or history, and worse yet, has no desire to learn from the past. Why we re-elected this man who a. - either lied to us about WMDs or b. - was too incompetent to get the real facts together before starting a war -- is one of life's greatest mysteries.

It's clear Bush has no clue. He thought the war was over in May '03 ("mission accomplished"), he told Pat Robertson there would be no casualties, and the said the whole project would cost $50 billion. It now is pushing $300 Billion. Utterly inept. And this is the guy who is going to "fix" Social Security! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/yikes.gif

Draco
27-02-05, 02:56
The war did end, what is going on now isn't a war, its the cleanup.

The war ended when the established government in Iraq fell.

wantafanta
27-02-05, 07:26
Originally posted by Draco:
The war did end, what is going on now isn't a war, its the cleanup.

The war ended when the established government in Iraq fell. The war is over? I guess I missed the ticker-tape parade. Then why did we lose 100 soldiers in the last 3 weeks - no. 1500 died today? Is that part of the "cleanup"? A horrible oil fire rages in Iraq today, and an anchorwoman for the US supported Iraqi TV station was just assassinated. The governor of Baghdad was assassinated just a couple months ago. And now these two stories:

Graham offers sobering assessment on Iraq
By BRUCE SMITH
Associated Press Writer

February 25, 2005

South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, back from a weeklong journey overseas, offered the sobering assessment Friday that American troops will be in Iraq for years and casualties are likely for some time to come.

Graham vowed to push to increase the size of the military, attracting recruits through bonuses and benefits. But, he said, there is no need for a draft.

He also said the United Nations and NATO should assume a larger role in Iraq.

"Saddam Hussein literally raped his country," the Republican lawmaker said. "Americans have to understand that, just as in Japan and Germany, it will take years to go from a dictatorship to a democratic government."

Graham returned from his third trip to Iraq on Thursday. He told reporters in a conference call that he is encouraged by the recent elections there.

"The Iraqi people are more empowered but the security situation is worse," he said. "We had a lot less freedom to move around. In many ways in terms of security it is not better off than all."

Graham visited Iraq with Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin as well Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and John McCain of Arizona.

All but Feingold are members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which oversees the Defense Department budget. The lawmakers also visited Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tunisia.

"Casualties in Iraq are very likely for Americans for a time to come," Graham warned. "I am hopeful this political process if we support it will pay dividends."

On Friday, the U.S. military death toll in Iraq reached at least 1,489, according to an Associated Press count since the war began in March, 2003.

Graham said Americans should not think that simply because Iraq has held elections, the troops will be coming home anytime soon.

"We're still in Germany and South Korea 50 years later," Graham said. "It took years after the fall of Tokyo and Berlin before a functioning democracy was up and running. I see no reason it will not take years in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Two other Republican South Carolina lawmakers, U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, and U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis, of the Upstate's 4th District, are currently traveling with another congressional delegation to Iraq.

Graham said he would work to make permanent a temporary 30,000-troop increase in the size of the Army and also would work to increase the size of the Marine Corps.

The additional troops are not all needed in Southwest Asia, but are required so troop rotations to the region are not so frequent.

"There are troops there on their third rotation. The stress is real," the senator said. "We cannot continue down this road with our military. We need a larger active duty component in the Army and Marine Corps and to upgrade our pay for the reserves."

Increasing bonuses and benefits will attract recruits, he said, noting there has been a 75 percent drop in the number of active duty personnel who subsequently go into the National Guard and reserves.

"They see going into the Guard and Reserve as a continuation of active duty. We have got to turn that dynamic around," Graham said.

But Graham said there is no need for a draft to solve the military's immediate problems. "We need to pay attention to this force," he said.

CIVIL WAR OUTBREAK IMMINENT IN IRAQ?

Revenge killings of members of Saddam's former regime rise

2 hours, 3 minutes ago

By Hannah Allam, Knight Ridder Newspapers

BAGHDAD, Iraq (news - web sites) - Shiite Muslim assassins are killing former members of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s mostly Sunni Muslim regime at will and with impunity in a parallel conflict that some observers fear could snowball into civil war.

The war between Shiite vigilantes and former Baath Party members is seldom investigated and largely overshadowed by the mostly Sunni insurgency. The U.S. military is preoccupied with hunting down suicide bombers and foreign terrorists, and Iraq's new Shiite leaders have little interest in prosecuting those who kill their former oppressors or their enemies in the insurgency.

The killings have intensified since January's Shiite electoral victory, and U.S. and Iraqi officials worry that they could imperil progress toward a unified, democratic Iraq.

"It's the beginning, and we could go down the slippery slope very quickly," said Sabah Kadhim, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry. "We've been so concerned with removing terrorists and Islamists that this other situation has reared its ugly head. Both sides are sharpening their knives."

Since the Jan. 30 elections, Shiite militants have stepped up their campaign to exact street justice from men who were part of the regime that oppressed and massacred members of their sect for decades. While Shiite politicians turn a blind eye, assassins are working their way through a hit list of Saddam's former security and intelligence personnel, according to Iraqi authorities, Sunni politicians and interviews with the families of those who've been targeted.


Former Baathists have responded in kind, this month killing several Shiites allied with major political factions. Cases under investigation include the killings of two Shiite militiamen outside a popular restaurant in Baghdad a week ago and the deaths of three Shiite militiamen who were in police custody.


In a tactic borrowed from Sunni insurgents, Shiite militants have begun distributing printed death threats. One leaflet that lists several former Baathists targeted for assassination says: "We have given you the chance to repent for your crimes against the people of this country, but we have noticed during surveillance that you are instead trying to restore the glory of the atheist, corrupt Baath Party."


Among those killed in recent weeks:


- Taha Hussein Amiri, a prominent judge who handed down death sentences during Saddam's regime. Two gunmen on motorcycles shot and killed him Feb. 12 as he was being driven to work in the southern Shiite port city of Basra.


- Haider Kadhim, a former intelligence worker. He was shot in the back of the head Feb. 17 after six gunmen disguised as Iraqi security forces talked their way into his home in the Baghdad district of Saidiyah. The attack occurred at 7 a.m. - Kadhim was still in his pajamas, and his mother, wife and daughter were home.


- At least two other former Baathists were killed in Saidiyah in the past month, including Abdulrazak Karim al Douri, who was a major in Saddam's intelligence service and most recently worked at the Interior Ministry. He and a co-worker were killed when gunmen surrounded their car and pumped more than 50 bullets into their bodies, according to death certificates and an autopsy report.


Especially besieged are Shiite Baathists who live in predominantly Shiite or mixed Sunni-Shiite neighborhoods, where targets are more accessible than in homogenous Sunni strongholds. Militiamen have demanded that former Baathists fly white flags to atone for their party membership and let their neighbors know they've renounced their pasts. Those who refuse often end up dead.


"They're doing it in Shiite neighborhoods because it's easier," said Mishan Jubouri, a prominent former Baathist who was one of the few Sunni Arabs elected to the new Parliament. "I know a lot of Shiite Baath Party members who have had to escape to Ramadi or Mosul or Tikrit," mostly Sunni territories.


There's been little or no investigation into any of the assassinations, the slain men's relatives said. Not that they need an investigation to place blame: The families staunchly believe that Shiite militias are behind the killings.


The assassination squads are widely believed to be from the Badr Brigade, the armed wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the country's most influential Shiite political party and the biggest winner in the elections.


"I believe they were Badr forces. They're assassinating all the well-known men," said Walid Rasheed, whose brother, a former Baathist named Falah Rasheed, was gunned down Monday outside his shop in Baghdad. "They just want to provoke strife among Iraqis."


Officially, the Iran (news - web sites)-backed Badr militia is now the Badr Organization, a political party whose leaders say it's disarmed. In reality, Badr fighters were so emboldened by their sect's victory at the polls that they're again roaming southern Shiite territories with weapons displayed, according to witnesses and Iraqi authorities.


An intelligence memo distributed Feb. 15 to the U.S. military and private security contractors in Iraq said the renewed militia presence in southern Shiite cities "may be a defensive measure by one of the successful political parties following the release of the election results, and may explain the reason for the link to the Badr corps."

Hadi al Ameri, the leader of the Badr Organization, was among the powerful Shiites elected to Parliament last month and is said to be a top contender for defense or interior minister. In an interview Friday at his heavily guarded home, al Ameri denied that Badr fighters are behind the assassinations and said his men abided by the calls for restraint from Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani, Iraq's highest-ranking Shiite cleric.

"The head of Iraqi intelligence accused us of these assassinations and I told him, `If you have proof against us, give me the intelligence.' I offered to form a committee and hand over any guilty men," al Ameri said. "We don't want revenge from anyone. We've been oppressed and we shouldn't oppress others."

The guerrilla-turned-politician conceded that some Shiites were attacking former Baathists of their own accord. If al Sistani hadn't asked militiamen to use the courts - not guns - for revenge, he said, the situation would be much worse.

"The Baathists should pray day and night for Sistani," al Ameri said with a chuckle.

Knight Ridder tried to contact several former Baathists whose names appeared on a hit list; only one agreed to speak about the threat. The man, a Shiite in his 50s who was a security official under Saddam, received a note at his home last month that read: "You are a Baathist and we are watching you." He'd refused to fly a white flag in his neighborhood, he said, so he wasn't surprised to find his name among those marked for death.

Abu Muqdad - he asked that his full name be withheld for protection - said that since the elections, the targeting of former Baathists was "like a plague spreading through a town with no doctor." He accused political parties of quietly funneling names and addresses to their militias or hiring criminal gangs to carry out the killings.

"Go to the morgue and you'll find all our old (Baathist) luminaries," Abu Muqdad said. "Why were they killed, and who killed them? For revenge, by the Iranian-trained militias inside Iraq. They can do whatever they like now. Let's hope God grants us all restraint."

Draco
27-02-05, 11:55
I know you want to call that war, but that is occupation. They are not the same thing.

Just like France lost the war when Germany conquered. Germany occupied France.

Wars only occur between states. The 'War on Terror' is a misnomer.

wantafanta
27-02-05, 23:56
Technically, the US has not been in a war since 1945, because only Congress has the legal authority to declare war. In that sense, Bush has broken his oath to uphold the Constitution by sending us into a war without the authority. IMO, the war powers act was unconstitutional. Congress was supposed to protect us from egotistical scammers like Bush, but Congress was too lame to stand up to Bush. Funny how a president can be impeached over an affair with another consenting adult, but not for lying about WMDs and getting 100,000 innoncent people killed for nothing.