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A DAY OF DEFEAT IN IRAQ: Iraqis Fight Back, Inflict Heavy Casualties
Umm Qasr is Still in Iraqi Hands: 150 Iraqis Holding out Against U.S.-British Juggernaut
Tommy Franks Faces Disgrace and Removal: Fidayeen Capture 12 U.S. Troops

[In war time, it is difficult to know what is going on. New Trend's purpose in reporting the war is to read what both sides say so that our readers are not misled by propaganda. We are always open to correction - Ed.]

The 4th day of the ground war seems to have gone badly for the U.S. The facts seem to be as follows:
1. An Iraqi garrison of only 150 is holding on in Umm Qasr which was reported captured on Day One.
2. Basra has not been captured. U.S. air raids on Basra have killed numerous civilians.
3. The U.S. offensive has been halted by heavy fighting at Nasiriya. CNN admits "heavy" U.S. losses at Nasiriya.
4. A guerrilla attack by Iraqi Fedayeen has captured 12 U.S. troops. Of these five were shown on Iraqi TV and Al-Jazeerah.
[The U.S. is upset by the Iraqi capture of U.S. troops. First the U.S. said the report was not true. When the POWs appeared on Al-Jazeerah TV, the U.S. condemned it as a violation of the Geneva Convention. The U.S. anger is getting a lot of response in the world media. The U.S. showed Islamic prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in very degrading conditions which drew protests from human rights groups, some critics say. The U.S. has also been showing Iraqi prisoners in humiliating postures which makes critics wonder why U.S. is criticizing the Iraqis for showing prisoners.]
[Our reporters say that the footage on Al-Jazeerah showed U.S. troops in bad shape, dispirited and confused. Also, Al-Jazeerah showed U.S. troops killed in the fighting with gaping wounds. ]
[New Trend notes: The U.S. media have not shown horrific pictures of civilians, Islamic Kurds, killed in northeastern Iraq in U.S. missile attacks, as well as civilians massacred in Basra by U.S. bombers. After withholding those pictures, the U.S. is protesting pictures of U.S. troops captured by the Iraqis. Without Al-Jazeerah, the American people would have never known that 12 Americans are in Iraqi hands. What's the point of sending 400 journalists into the war zone when basic information is being withheld, our observers ask.]
5. The American Muslim who attacked the 101st airborne's officers has been identified as Asan Akbar (original name Mark Kool). The fuzzy pictures shown on MSNBC indicate that he is African-American, not White as we had incorrectly reported earlier.
6. U.S. reports indicate that there was a LARGE EXPLOSION near the U.S. Central Command HQ in Qatar. Al-Jazeerah says these were gas containers which supply the U.S. base. It's not clear how the explosion was caused.
ANALYSIS: American Commander Tommy Franks seems to have made a mistake by launching troops into Iraq in the hope that the Iraqis won't fight. The Iraqis might have used disinformation in making the American commander think that a surrender was imminent. If Iraqis don't surrender and the U.S. does not achieve a quick breakthrough, the American forces could be stuck in Iraq's desert. Saddam Hussain seems to have learned from the Islamic resistance in Afghanistan. His tactics have become flexible, with mujahideen going out in small numbers with RPGs to attack American and British forces. Also, the Iraqis let the powerful U.S. tank units pass and then attack the softer units which follow. The Iraqi fighters seem to have imbibed Islamic values and motivation, following Saddam's move towards Islam in 1991.

The Iraqi leadership seems to be intact. Izzat Ibrahim, Vice President, gave a press conference today. He was earlier rumored to have been killed in the Wednesday attack by the U.S.. He is the one who recited Qur'anic verses during the OIC meeting and called the Kuwaiti representative a "monkey" of the U.S. government.

2003-03-24 Mon 08:23ct