Tuesday, August 30, 2005

NYT: "U.S. General Says Iraqis Will Need Longtime Support From Air Force" (Eric Schmitt)

The Air Force's top general said Monday that American warplanes would have to support Iraq's fledgling security forces well after American ground troops eventually withdraw from the country.
Gen. John P. Jumper, who is to step down this week as the Air Force chief of staff, predicted that American fighter and reconnaissance aircraft would continue flying missions over Iraq for a long time, until Iraqi forces are capable of fighting insurgents on their own.
"As I see the transition into the hands of the Iraqi military, I will continue to see the need for them to require the support from the air until they're able to set up their own ability to support themselves," General Jumper told reporters at the Pentagon. "And that's going to take a while, even after some future withdrawal of ground forces."

The above is from Eric Schmitt's "U.S. General Says Iraqis Will Need Longtime Support From Air Force" in this morning's New York Times. It's all so very fly the friendly skies.

So let's drop back to an entry from Sunday:

Via Watching
, Brenda e-mails to note "Eyewitness
account of U.S. Operation Quick Strike on Haditha
" (Iraq's Azzaman):
It was Friday, August 5, when the bombs started falling on our
city. They came in like heavy rain and their thunder broke the silence and early
morning calls to prayer from the mosque's minarets.

The Pentagon called this new military offensive Operation Quick
Strike. There were warplanes, tanks explosions and shrapnel. Many of us began
reciting verses from the holy Koran pleading with the Almighty to save us from
U.S. fire as we had nowhere to hide and nothing to defend ourselves with.We were
subject to a terror attack by the U.S. The operation could be nothing but

The same day the U.N. Security Council had passed a resolution
condemning terrorist attacks in Iraq and the government's U.N. representative in
New York, Samir al-Sumaidi, himself born in Haditha, was quoted over the radio
as thanking the council for adopting the resolution.

When the shelling subsided, U.S. commanders ordered their marines
to storm the city. They searched Haditha quarter by quarter, house by houses and
arrested scores of young men and even women and prevented us from holding the
afternoon Friday prayers.

Among the topics scheduled for today on Democracy Now!:

Damu Smith on environmental racism and who will be hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina.

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