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British take Basra Outskirts: Attempt to Cut U.S. Line at al-Shomali

Quote of the day: "We come as an army of liberators." [Paul Wolfowitz, MSNBC, April 6, 2003.] [Comment from Buut Shikan: Zionists like Wolfowitz and Perle bear a heavy responsibility for this war which has done nothing but harm to America's real interests. Israel and America's Jews are the only gainers from this bloodletting. The American people will one day question these parasites.]

[New Trend's reporting on the invasion of Iraq is meant to clarify the situation. Owing to the welter of news reports, most people are confused about what's going on. On April 6, for instance, for a moment, Wolf Blitzer of CNN announced that he was reporting "from Baghdad" and later corrected himself without apology. Nick Robertson, we are told, is reporting "from just across the Iraqi border, in Jordan." Actually he is NINE HOURS away from Baghdad.]
[Our report is based on a critical study of U.S. reports, Russian reports, al-Jazeerah, BBC and others.]

APRIL 6, 2003: The Iraqis launched counterattacks on U.S. troops on the perimeter of Saddam International Airport. The Americans were hard pressed but were able to survive owing to air support. Several hundred Iraqis were killed in these attacks. American troops too seem to have suffered heavily. The outer perimeter belongs to the U.S. while the inner perimeter is held by the Iraqis.

Owing to the ferocity of the Iraqi counterattacks, U.S. forces were NOT able to stage a second raid into Baghdad, although CNN kept announcing, without evidence, that it had happened.

INSIDE BAGHDAD, Iraqi officials gave a tour of the city to a bus load of journalists to prove that there were no U.S. troops inside Baghdad.

[Looks like CNN's constant claim that the Americans are "in Baghdad" for a second day has started irritating Iraqi Information Minister Al-Sahhaf who has "lost his cool" in denying American reports. He's been watching too much CNN. Watching CNN stories can be hurtful for the psyche.]

BRITISH TROOPS entered Basrah again and this time seem to have decided to stay in one of the outlying areas of the city. Iraq still has most of the city. Al-Jazeerah reports bombing has caused 17 more civilian deaths in Basrah. No confirmation of American reports of death of Saddam's cousin, Abdul Majeed.

KDP leader Barazani's brother was seriously wounded in a (mistaken) bombing of a Kurdish rebel column by the U.S. At least 18 KDP fighters were killed. Barazani's son was lightly injured.

SEVENTY MILES south of Baghdad, at Al-Shomali, Iraqi units tried to cut the U.S. supply line. MSNBC reported the attack but then cut off the report.

Almost all towns remain in Iraqi hands though Najaf has been taken in part by the Americans. There is also heavy fighting in Kerbala.

The battle is becoming quite stressful for Americans. DAVID BLOOM of NBC, an embedded reporter with U.S. military forces, has died of a heart attack.
[WAR CAUSES TERRIBLE SUFFERING. There is no such thing as a sanitized war. We bring two reports, one about the steeply rising deaths of Iraqi civilians owing to U.S. bombing and then about the suffering of American soldiers owing to Iraqi resistance -Ed]

(With thanks to Ms. Carolyn in Florida.)
Red Cross Horrified by Number of Dead Civilians
Canadian Press

Friday 4 April 2003

OTTAWA - Red Cross doctors who visited southern Iraq this week saw "incredible" levels of civilian casualties including a truckload of dismembered women and children, a spokesman said Thursday from Baghdad.

Roland Huguenin, one of six International Red Cross workers in the Iraqi capital, said doctors were horrified by the casualties they found in the hospital in Hilla, about 160 kilometres south of Baghdad.

"There has been an incredible number of casualties with very, very serious wounds in the region of Hilla," Huguenin said in a interview by satellite telephone.

"We saw that a truck was delivering dozens of totally dismembered dead bodies of women and children. It was an awful sight. It was really very difficult to believe this was happening."

Huguenin said the dead and injured in Hilla came from the village of Nasiriyah, where there has been heavy fighting between American troops and Iraqi soldiers, and appeared to be the result of "bombs, projectiles."

"At this stage we cannot comment on the nature of what happened exactly at that place . . . but it was definitely a different pattern from what we had seen in Basra or Baghdad.

"There will be investigations I am sure."

Baghdad and Basra are coping relatively well with the flow of wounded, said Huguenin, estimating that Baghdad hospitals have been getting about 100 wounded a day.

Most of the wounded in the two large cities have suffered superficial shrapnel wounds, with only about 15 per cent requiring internal surgery, he said. But the pattern in Hilla was completely different.

"In the case of Hilla, everybody had very serious wounds and many, many of them small kids and women. We had small toddlers of two or three years of age who had lost their legs, their arms. We have called this a horror."

At least 400 people were taken to the Hilla hospital over a period of two days, he said -- far beyond its capacity.

"Doctors worked around the clock to do as much as they could. They just had to manage, that was all."

The city is no longer accessible, he added.

Red Cross staff are also concerned about what may be happening in other smaller centres south of Baghdad.

"We do not know what is going on in Najaf and Kabala. It has become physically impossible for us to reach out to those cities because the major road has become a zone of combat."

The Red Cross was able to claim one significant success this week: it played a key role in re-establishing water supplies at Basra.

Power for a water-pumping station had been accidentally knocked out in the attack on the city, leaving about a million people without water. Iraqi technicians couldn't reach the station to repair it because it was under coalition control.

The Red Cross was able to negotiate safe passage for a group of Iraqi engineers who crossed the fire line and made repairs. Basra now has 90 per cent of its normal water supply, said Huguenin.

Huguenin, a Swiss, is one of six international Red Cross workers still in Baghdad. The team includes two Canadians, Vatche Arslanian of Oromocto, N.B., and Kassandra Vartell of Calgary.

The Red Cross expects the humanitarian crisis in Iraq to grow and is calling for donations to help cope. The Red Cross Web site is:
Horrific wounds among U.S. soldiers, says medic
A Colorado newspaper has quoted a neurosurgeon treating wounded U.S. soldiers from Iraq at a U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, as saying that TV reports were sanitising the war. Dr Gene Bolles said wounded being flown to Landstuhl were young men, aged 18, 19, and 20, with "horrific injuries", including lost arms, legs and hands, and significant brain injuries. The newspaper, Colorado's "Boulder Daily Camera", said Dr. Bolles is a 66-year civilian medic and a former Vietnam War surgeon. Up until Friday, the hospital at Landstuhl had received 281 wounded from the war. Plane-loads were arriving regularly. Officially, the USA lists 75 dead; Britain, 27 killed. Iraq has not stated its military losses, but puts civilian casualties at 1,252 killed and 5,103 injured.
April 5, 2003 [Courtesy COUNTERPUNCH]

[Strange Fall Out from 9.11]
Aborigines and the Different God
What the Christian Chuch Could Not Do, Islam Has Done
Many Australian blacks gather around the fringes of the cities, getting taxis into town to get their grog on pension day and spending the rest of the fortnight drinking and fighting, sometimes killing one another. Their conditions are worse than any third world country, their death rate higher, the rate of rape and murder almost unbelievable. A few full-blooded Aborigines still live in Arnhem Land, attempting to live their ancient lifestyles, but thwarted every inch of the way by tourists, land owners and mining companies. Yet suddenly, there are young black men walking the streets, wearing their colours, orange red and black with pride, heads up, and looking people in the eye, proud of who they are and where they come from. What has wrought this change? What has brought pride to the young black people when their elders couldn't, and the church couldn't, and the bureaucrats couldn't. Islam. It all began with young black rugby league sensation turned boxer Anthony Mundine who announced publicly when the towers of the World Trade Centre fell to terrorists in 2001, "They brought it all on themselves the Americans, they deserve all they get." There were many who were horrified by what he said, but also many who listened, and the ones who listened were his black brothers. Now there are swelling groups devoting their lives to studying the Koran, their women veiled, and the men alive with self-respect and honour. What the Christian church could not do, Islam has done.

Every Australian would laugh when some young Aboriginal man would declare that he would lead his people to fight the whites. Didn't they all get in a bus to drive to Sydney during the 1988 bicentennial to protest at the stealing of their land, and before they were halfway there they were all drunk, and the whole trip was called off? Well not now. Now it is different. Now they are answering the call of a different God, and they are transformed. Bernie Pattison is an environmental and peace activist in Australia. She can be reached at:

2003-04-06 Sun 16:26ct