Coverage of US difficulties in Iraq

D OC donaloc at hotmail.com
Wed Jul 2 06:26:26 MDT 2003


The Channel 4 news site is again carrying decent coverage. I post the latest
as an example. Yesterday, the initial version of this estimated the US dead
as 4, now its 6 injured, I suspect that they came under pressure.

US forces under fire
Published: 01-Jul-2003
By: Lindsey Hilsum

The US government insists the situation in Iraq is under control, but the
number of attacks is rising - three separate assaults within hours of each
other in and around Baghdad.

Six American soldiers were wounded. Three of the soldiers were injured near
the university quarter in central Baghdad when a bomb exploded by their
vehicle.

The rest were injured in two separate grenade attacks, one eleven miles
South of Baghdad and another to the West of the capital.

Exactly two months after the US president declared an official end to
hostilities at least 25 American soldiers and six British soldiers have been
killed.

Mid-morning, broad daylight, right in the capital city, an American Humvee
vehicle attacked. An amateur camerawoman caught the immediate aftermath.

What's left of the unit escapes in their remaining vehicle, but the first
Humvee took a direct hit probably from a rocket propelled grenade. The Iraqi
driver following the Humvee manages to pull away his pickup.

The driver of a truck caught in the blaze tries to retrieve something, but
exploding ammunition forces him back.

He said: "I was driving alongside the Humvee. Suddenly I heard an explosion
and my truck caught fire. It was right next to me. I didn't know what was
happening."

An American team arrived at the scene asking for eyewitnesses. The gathering
crowd isn't friendly.

"Many people are accusing Saddam's stooges. They're not Saddam's stooges,
this is the struggle of the Iraqi people. There's no security - the country
isn't stable."

An hour later, the Humvee was still smouldering. The American casualties had
been removed immediately, so now investigators were trying to establish what
happened. Despite their body armour and helmets, the Americans are immensely
vulnerable, it seems that anyone with a rocket propelled grenade or a
kalashnikov can take a potshot.

Lindsey Hilsum explains: "A crowd aways gathers round an incident like this,
but what's interesting is that the people don't seem sorry about what's
happening to the Americans. Rather, they say they understand why others
would attack. They say it's because everyone here is angry and frustrated
about the the chaos that's followed the American occupation."

An Iraqi says: "I've got no work. A gang stole everything I had, a friend of
mine was killed next to me. I've got no money, no hope. We've got nothing -
no water, no electricity. Bush promised to get rid of Saddam. Where is he?
Bush promised us freedom. But where is it?" In this environment, all young
Iraqi men become suspects.

It's a cycle of resentment and suspicion. Wherever we go, people complain
constantly about the Americans and their failure to provide basic services -
but the Americans blame the escalating attacks on old Saddam supporters and
isolated malcontents with no popular support.

For full see:
http://www.channel4.com/news/2003/07/week_1/01_iraq.html

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