"As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it, now or ever." - Reagan, January 20, 1981

"In Vietnam, we tried and failed in a just cause. No More Vietnams can mean we will not try again. It should mean we will not fail again." - from No More Vietnams by Richard Nixon

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saddam's sons; and thier demise (with video of the battle)


The Sum of Two Evils
By Brian Bennett and Michael Weisskopf I Baghdad Sunday, May. 25, 2003

After months of recovering from an attempt on his life that put eight bullets in his left side, Uday Hussein, the eldest son of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, was ready to party. At his first outing in 1998, at the posh Jadriyah Equestrian Club, he used high-powered binoculars to survey the crowd of friends and family from a platform high above the guests. He saw something he liked, recalls his former aide Adib Shabaan, who helped arrange the party. Uday tightened the focus on a pretty 14-year-old girl in a bright yellow dress sitting with her father, a former provincial governor, her mother and her younger brother and sister.

Uday's bodyguards picked up the signal and walked through the darkened room, flicking cigarette lighters as they approached the girl's table. Uday, then 33, flipped on his too, confirming they had identified the right one. When the girl left the table for the powder room, Uday's bodyguards approached her with a choice, says Shabaan, who was Uday's business manager. She could ascend the platform now and congratulate Uday on his recovery, or she could call him on his private phone that night. Flustered, she apologized and said her parents would allow neither. One of the guards replied, "This is the chance of your life" and promised she would receive diamonds and a car. "All you have to do is go up there for 10 minutes," he urged. When she demurred again, the bodyguards pursued Uday's backup plan. They maneuvered the girl in the direction of the parking lot, picked her up and carried her to the backseat of Uday's car, covering her mouth to muffle her screams.

After three days the girl was returned to her home, with a new dress, a new watch and a large sum of cash. Her parents had her tested for rape; the result was positive. According to Shabaan's account, Uday heard she had been tested and sent aides to the clinic, where they warned doctors not to report a rape. Furious, the father demanded to see Saddam himself. Rebuffed, he kept complaining publicly about what Uday had done. After three months, the President's son had had enough. He sent two guards to the man to insist that he drop the matter. Uday had another demand: that the ex-governor bring his daughter and her 12-year-old sister to his next party. "Your daughters will be my girlfriends, or I'll wipe you off the face of the earth." The man complied, surrendering both girls.

It has long been known in Iraq and beyond that as venal and vicious as Saddam Hussein was, Uday was worse. Now that the regime has fallen, the quotidian details of the son's outrages are beginning to emerge. With Iraqis free to speak more openly, it has become clear that the malignancy of Uday's behavior actually exceeded that of his reputation. At the same time, new hints are emerging about his psychological state. Uday, now 38, suffered not only from the anguish of Saddam's disapproval—the son was too unprincipled even for his father—but also often from physical pain as a result of the 1996 attempt on his life. TIME has obtained a three-page medical report that lays out the until now undisclosed gravity of Uday's injuries, which nearly killed him and resulted in a stroke, brain damage and seizures in addition to the wounds to his torso and left leg. Uday displayed a compulsion to control the tiniest of details in his life, perhaps with the hope that he could stave off the situation in which he finds himself today. According to both a family servant and another source familiar with communications from Uday, despite two U.S. attempts during the war to kill Saddam as well as Uday and his younger brother Qusay, all three survived. Even now, says this other source, Uday, from a hideout near Baghdad, has reached out to the U.S., hoping to strike a deal for his safe surrender. A relative, says the source, has approached an intermediary asking, "What are the chances of working out something? Can he get some kind of immunity?" The U.S., naturally, has no intention of pardoning a man with Uday's record. The first son of Saddam Hussein seems to be the last to know he is irredeemable.

And what of the supposedly more civilized Qusay, who in recent years usurped his older brother's position as Saddam's heir apparent? Specific tales of Qusay's transgressions are rarer, but it is only in comparison with Uday that Qusay, 37, could be regarded as a moderate man. He, too, had an eye for women, though he is not known to have raped any. Like his brother and father, he lived extravagantly, even as Iraqis survived on government food rations. And he did his share of killing.

While the regime held power, few dared to speak of any discord between the brothers, who have three sisters and a seldom-mentioned half-brother from Saddam's second marriage. But insiders are now opening up with tales of great strains between them. These tensions may help explain why, according to both a family servant and the source familiar with Uday's surrender bid, the brothers went separate ways when it came time to go into hiding. Uday, the second source says, is laying low with a number of aides, while Saddam and Qusay remained together, until recently at least, in a separate location near Baghdad.

To get a closer look at the brothers Hussein, TIME interviewed dozens of sources with knowledge of the two men—butlers, maids, business associates, bodyguards, secretaries, colleagues and friends, most of whom insisted on anonymity for fear the Husseins are somehow still capable of taking revenge. We visited the sons' homes and sifted through raw material, including scores of documents, photographs, videotapes and recordings of phone taps. Here's what we found: As the first-born son, generally an unassailable position in an Arab family, Uday was seen as his father's natural heir. But he lost that status when his brutal tendencies directly touched his father. In 1988 Uday clubbed to death Saddam's favorite food taster, bodyguard Kamel Hanna Jajjo, because the man had introduced Saddam to the woman who would eventually become the President's second wife. Furious, Saddam had Uday jailed for 40 days and beaten after he struck a prison guard. The jailing fueled Uday's anger. "Your man is going to kill me," he wrote his mother, according to a copy of the letter obtained by TIME. He demanded that she find someone who can "release me from this torture." Uday said he had not been given anything but water for eight days and had spent four days in iron handcuffs. "I will either die, or I will go crazy," he wrote.

Eventually, Saddam would soften and allow Uday to return to his duties as head of Iraq's Olympic Committee. But it was only after Saddam's humiliating defeat in the 1991 Gulf War that he would begin to carve out a significant role for Uday and his younger brother. In them, Saddam found complementary strains that reflected elements of his psyche. Uday was cunning, cruel, ambitious and headstrong. Qusay was secretive, politically ruthless, hardworking and so idolatrous of his father that he aped his clothing style, bushy mustache and choice of cigar, Cohiba Esplendidos. "Saddam himself couldn't kill everyone he wanted to or spy on everyone he needed to," says Kenneth Pollack, an ex-CIA and White House expert on Iraq who works for the Brookings Institution in Washington. "Having those two boys to do it for him was a critical element in his reign of terror."

Qusay had been working for his father in small jobs in internal security when his big break came. Iraq's Shi'ite Muslims, who make up a majority in the country but have long been repressed by the minority Sunnis, revolted against the regime in dozens of cities when Gulf War I ended. Saddam gave Qusay broad authority to oversee the crushing of the uprising. He did not entirely delegate the task. An eyewitness recalls watching Qusay, dressed in gray trousers and a blue jacket, arrive in Suera, where armed guards herded 300 Shi'ite detainees onto a field. The President's son, dangling a pistol in his right hand, walked up to the men and shot four of them in the head, according to a military officer at the scene. As he pulled the trigger, Qusay screamed out, "Bad people! Dirty criminals!" Qusay then ordered the execution of the remaining prisoners, got into his car and drove back to Baghdad. It was just one of many Shi'ite exterminations that Qusay ordered or personally performed in 1991, the ex-officer told TIME. The same source, one of Qusay's security commanders, said Qusay, for example, directed the execution of 15 families in Saddam City, a Shi'ite enclave in Baghdad.

His loyalty and ruthlessness proved, Qusay would move on to other assignments. He became commander of the Republican Guard and head of the Special Security Organization, which was part secret police, part security detail for Saddam and part umbrella group for his elite military forces. Before the regime collapsed, Qusay was widely regarded as the second most powerful man in Iraq.

Uday held less impressive posts. Apart from heading the Olympic Committee, he supervised various Iraqi media outlets and oversaw the Fedayeen Saddam, a ragtag band of armed militants, mostly ex-felons, that eventually became part of Saddam's security apparatus. Whereas Qusay would icily and efficiently murder for his father to further a political aim, his brother pursued a brand of terror that was personal, arbitrary and spontaneous. He was a threat to any father whose daughter might cross his path, to the women themselves, even to his own friends, who, it turns out, were subjected to torture and humiliation at his hands just as his perceived enemies were.

Uday demonstrated an insatiable sexual appetite. Five nights a week, some two dozen girls, all of them referred to him by his friends, were taken to the posh Baghdad Boat Club on the bank of the Tigris to meet Uday, close associates of his confirm. After drinks, music and dancing, the young women would be lined up like beauty queens for Uday's approval, and all but one or two would be dismissed. Those who stayed would join Uday in his bedroom at the club and leave with a gift of 250,000 dinars ($125), gold jewelry or sheer lingerie. "He never slept with a girl more than three times," says a former butler. "He was very picky." Uday took two days a week off from girls. He called it "fasting," his close associates say.

A chef at Baghdad's exclusive Hunting Club recalls a wedding party that Uday crashed in the late 1990s. After Uday left the hall, the bride, a beautiful woman from a prominent family, went missing. "The bodyguards closed all the doors, didn't let anybody out," the chef remembers. "Women were yelling and crying, 'What happened to her?'" The groom knew. "He took a pistol and shot himself," says the chef, placing his forefinger under his chin.

Last October another bride, 18, was dragged, resisting, into a guardhouse on one of Uday's properties, according to a maid who worked there. The maid says she saw a guard rip off the woman's white wedding dress and lock her, crying, in a bathroom. After Uday arrived, the maid heard screaming. Later she was called to clean up. The body of the woman was carried out in a military blanket, she said. There were acid burns on her left shoulder and the left side of her face. The maid found bloodstains on Uday's mattress and clumps of black hair and peeled flesh in the bedroom. A guard told her, "Don't say anything about what you see, or you and your family will be finished."

Although Uday had no children, Qusay's marriage resulted in four kids, and he projected the image of a family man. An officer in the Republican Guard who reported to him says he occasionally took two of his sons to the unit's headquarters. If he didn't have an important meeting, he would sometimes play with them there. Still, Qusay did have mistresses, according to associates. They say he was discreet about them and would return home to his wife every night.

At al-Dora, his farm across the Tigris from the Boat Club, Qusay would throw parties that were "like The Arabian Nights," says Salman Abdullah, who worked there as a gardener. The fetes featured as many as 50 belly dancers and ample whisky and caviar. Qusay enjoyed the sight of the belly dancers and other performers but refused to touch them for fear of disease, says Abdullah. Germs were an obsession of Qusay's, according to a family retainer who says Saddam's younger son did not like to be touched. If friends or colleagues kissed him in the typical Arab greeting, he would immediately go to the bathroom to wash his face. "If one of his kids touched him," says the source, "he would call a cleaner to brush it off."

Uday, according to a family friend, said he didn't want children. Automobiles were his babies, and he was particularly fond of European sports models. Cars were also currency for Uday: he demanded them as gifts from friends who owed him favors, and he took them from rivals who owed him nothing, according to a Baghdad businessman. One family friend says Uday had a staffer whose sole job was to surf the Internet and fill three-ring binders for him with pictures of new and rare vehicles, along with Arabic translations of their specifications. Uday reportedly used underground parking garages in his various businesses around Baghdad to store his hundreds and hundreds of cars. When the city was about to fall to U.S.- led forces, Uday instructed the Fedayeen Saddam to torch his cars rather than let anyone else take them.

Uday exhibited a vain streak. A family friend notes that he scouted for clothes in the Italian fashion magazine L'Oumo Vogue and on the Internet. "He went for anything odd, just to stand out," says the source. According to a friend, if someone appeared with the same kind of shoes as Uday's, he would tell them not to wear that pair again. The same was true of his favorite cologne, Angel, says a family friend. The source also says that for the sake of precision, Uday trimmed the outline of his beard with tweezers. That habit left him with black spots, so he was always looking for effective vanishing creams to cover them up.

Both princelings gobbled up property, each maintaining several houses. On the 10 acres at al-Dora, Qusay grew figs, oranges, limes, apricots, pomegranates and dates. He also kept ostriches. He had another farm in Arajdiyah, but his main residence was one of five 10,000-sq.-ft. mansions in a presidential complex on the bank of the Tigris in the Jadriyah area of Baghdad. Qusay commissioned a 10-ft.-high marble-inlaid family portrait to overlook the entrance. The swimming pool was embraced by sparkling white marble colonnades.

Qusay had his own private procurement officer, who says he was dispatched abroad every couple of months, usually to Beirut or Amman but sometimes to Paris, with $100,000 and lists of goods the family wanted, including $120 bottles of Johnny Walker Blue Label, Qusay's favorite. He drank about a quarter of a bottle each night, says the officer.

Uday's former palace, al-Abit, was on a pond surrounded by pine and eucalyptus trees inside the presidential compound; peacocks and gazelles roamed the grounds. One party pad that neighbors call the China house was decorated entirely in chinoiserie, complete with murals of Chinese women doing the washing and playing the erhu, a two-string instrument. In the upscale Baghdad suburb of Karada, Uday kept a love nest for trysts.

Uday maintained an extensive staff. In the guardhouse at al-Qadasiyah Palace, an old family home that Uday took over and lived in during the days just before the American invasion, TIME found a list signed by Uday dated March 5, 2003, that showed he had no fewer than 68 personal employees, including dozens of sentries and bodyguards, two butlers, seven cooks, 12 drivers, two pastry chefs, one baker, one fisherman, one personal shopper and two trainers for the lions he kept on the grounds of al-Abit. His staff spent hours collecting and counting Uday's possessions. TIME found careful reports on the whereabouts of even mundane items, such as a walking stick, with every receipt checked, approved and signed by Uday himself.

Uday lived at the center of a complex universe of ciphers and rituals that he concocted. He assigned code names for each of the places he frequented: the Boat Club was called 200; the Olympic Committee, 60; al-Abit palace, 111. Those in his employ were assigned numbers—the physiotherapist, 90; the cook, 222. Uday changed these codes every few months, and anyone who forgot the new system was beaten, according to a note written by Uday at the bottom of the most recent code sheet. A family friend says Uday, like his father, had his staff periodically weighed. If someone had gained weight, Uday would assume they were stealing to buy extra food, and he would send them to a "discipline" camp until the pounds were gone.

For all his helpers and his freaky methods of organization, Uday could not control the limitations of his damaged body. According to his medical report, the stroke and trauma he suffered after the 1996 attack left him with "clawing" toes on his left foot, which made walking difficult. A non-Iraqi doctor interviewed by TIME who examined Uday in Baghdad last December says he continues to suffer from seizures and spastic reactions in the muscles of his left leg. His butlers, says one of them, pushed him around his houses in a wheelchair and changed his stainless-steel bedpans when they were full. Uday slept in a twin-size metal-frame hospital bed attended not by fawning women but by a full-time physiotherapist and a butler who says that when he helped him put on his socks each day, Uday screamed in agony.

Uday tried everything to repair himself. In the ruins of the palace in which he last lived are thousands of packets of sterile acupuncture needles, an assortment of Chinese herbal medicines imported from Argentina and drawers full of multivitamins and sleeping pills. In the winter of 2002, says a butler, Uday demanded that his aides bring him a woman who had just had a baby. When the mother, in her 20s, with golden-brown hair and a henna-colored skirt and matching shirt, arrived, Uday sucked her nipples for what he believed would be vitamin-rich milk.

Uday's physical ailments seemed to heighten his sadistic tendencies. According to his chief bodyguard, when Uday learned that one of his close comrades, who knew of his many misdeeds, was planning to leave Iraq, he invited him to his 37th-birthday party and had him arrested. An eyewitness at the prison where the man was held says members of the Fedayeen grabbed his tongue with pliers and sliced it off with a scalpel so he could not talk. A maid who cleaned one of Uday's houses says she once saw him lop off the ear of one of his guards and then use a welder's torch on his face.

A family friend says the day Uday discovered the Internet was "a black day for Iraqis," because he used it to learn of torture methods from other ages and lands that he decided to try. He would lock victims in coffins for days at a time, says the source, or put them in pillories. According to a family friend, he also liked to have offenders beaten on one side. Then he would order medical tests and have the thrashings continue until the kidney on that side had conclusively failed.

Uday's favorite punishment was the medieval falaqa, a rod with clamps that go around the ankles so that the offender, feet in the air, can be hit on the bare soles with a stick. A top official in radio and TV says he received so many beatings for trivial mistakes like being late for meetings or making grammatical errors on his broadcasts that Uday ordered him to carry a falaqa in his car. Uday also had an iron maiden that he used to torture Iraqi athletes whose performance disappointed him.

The younger brother was not above petty abuses of power either. Once while Qusay was visiting a relative, something amused a maid who broke out in giggles. One of Qusay's bodyguards locked her in a cell for a day, slapped her around and told her never to laugh in the presence of the President's son. "I didn't think I'd ever get out alive," she told TIME.

Uday, however, was much more dangerous. The smallest thing could set him off. He was a stickler for personal hygiene, recalls a butler, and hated the smell of sweat. One summer day Uday stopped the butler and said, "What the hell is that smell?" Uday ordered five falaqa lashes on the butler's right foot and five in his right armpit. On another occasion, the butler says he received 160 falaqa for the sin of serving Uday's food on the wrong type of plate.

Uday was no less demanding at his parties. He was an expert at filling a highball glass to the top, without spilling a drop. Then he would force his mates to down an entire glass of liquor. When Uday was in the hospital after being shot, he called his friends in to cheer him up. Since he couldn't drink, he forced them to consume obscene quantities of alcohol, installing a stomach-pumping station in the next room for emergencies, says a friend. At the Boat Club, Uday kept a monkey named Louisa in a cage in the kitchen. Louisa had a taste for whiskey and was an angry drunk. If one of Uday's friends passed out in the course of an evening or was caught napping, says a butler, Uday would have the friend thrown into the cage with Louisa, who would scratch at the poor inebriate's face.

Only Qusay could say no to Uday at his parties. At the Boat Club, Qusay liked to sit at a table facing the river. Qusay always limited himself to two shots in this setting, says a butler, who poured for him. "Have more drinks," Uday would insist. "Why are you leaving us?" But the younger brother would always depart early. "This is enough for me," he would say. "I have some work to do."

Qusay disapproved of Uday's lifestyle and was open about it with relatives and friends, says his personal shopper. Another source who frequently visited Iraq's ruling elite says Qusay thought Uday's outrageous behavior contributed to the regime's dreadful image internationally. For his part, Uday complained that his younger brother plotted to marginalize him, says a source who has known Uday over the years. "Uday hates his brother with a passion," says this man. Whenever Qusay visited Uday's house, a worker there reports, "there was always shouting." Uday was so jealous of his brother, says a senior broadcaster, that he leaned on editors to keep Qusay's picture out of the media and threw tantrums when he couldn't prevent it. Uday's former business manager Adib Shabaan said the competition extended to women. Uday demanded that beautiful women who had had sex with his brother be brought to him. In several cases, Shabaan said, Uday also had sex with the woman, then had her branded on the buttocks with a horseshoe, producing a scar in the shape of a U, for Uday.

Saddam plainly favored Qusay, and certainly had more use for him. When Uday was in his mid-20s, Saddam wrote his tameless son a letter, on official presidential stationery, in an effort to rein him in. Two sources, a classmate of Uday's and one of his bodyguards, said Saddam used words to the effect of, "Don't be like your grandfather, with no morals or principles," referring to his father-in-law, a gout-stricken former politician known as the Thief of Baghdad for confiscating private property for himself. As for Qusay, says a staff brigadier in the Republican Guard, "Saddam trusted him completely."

In a letter to his father found at al-Abit palace, scrawled in Uday's loopy style, the elder son was obsequious and defensive. "You know, Dad, you are the only powerful man in Iraq who can stand up to a lot of big nations and defeat them," he wrote. Then he continued, "I'm not looking for the materialistic things, so that's why I don't want to work in government." He was pursuing other fields, such as sports, because they were no less important. "I want to learn," read the letter, "so I'll be ready for the stage after Saddam Hussein." When that day came, he said, with surprising frankness, he would be ready to defend against "the hatred toward you that will come out in the people after your death."

Uday won't have that chance. But he did have an opportunity to defend his father's regime before it fell. Indeed, he did a much better job of it than his more respected younger brother. The Republican Guard, under Qusay's command, barely resisted the U.S. invaders, and it was partly Qusay's fault. One reason the front lines against Baghdad fell so easily, says one of his officers, is that he kept impulsively moving units from one place to another, right up to the last minute. Many were simply out of position when the Americans arrived. The day before Baghdad fell, this source recalls, Qusay held a meeting with his top generals. Qusay would ask a question, get an answer and then repeat the question five minutes later. "He looked nervous," he says. "He wasn't stable." By contrast, Uday's Fedayeen Saddam were Iraq's best fighters in Gulf War II. They confronted the U.S. troops and slowed their march to Baghdad. Their attacks were often suicidal, but that was their intent.

In Uday's sprawling al-Abit palace on the banks of the Tigris, U.S. soldiers are sorting through rubble, putting together matching pairs of Uday's many shoes to give to Iraqi workmen. In a dark recess of one of the complex's stone-lined corridors is a steel door opening onto a vault painted dark green. It was here, his associates say, that Uday tucked away the admonishing letter from his father. It was a letter he couldn't destroy but never wanted to see again. A letter that proved his father's disappointment in his elder son. The vault is empty now, cleaned out by U.S. special forces. The letter is not to be found. The matter of succession has been settled. The brothers are finished.

—With reporting by Amany Radwan/Amman and Adam Zagorin/Washington


Witnesses, Dental Records Confirm Deaths of Uday, Qusay Hussein
Central Command Report, July 23: Iraq Operational Update

Washington -- Four former members of the now-defunct Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and various dental and medical records helped identify the remains of Hussein's two sons, Uday and Qusay, after they were killed by U.S. 101st Airborne Division troopers in a four-hour fire fight in Mosul July 22, says Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

At a briefing July 23 in Baghdad, Sanchez said that -- based on positive identification -- Qusay and Uday Hussein, who were numbers 2 and 3 on CENTCOM's Top 55 most wanted list, were killed by U.S. troopers along with two other Iraqis in a mansion on the northeastern edge of Mosul, which is northwest of Baghdad.

"We have confirmation that we've got Uday and Qusay Hussein, and we've got two other bodies" that have not yet been identified, Sanchez said.

Sanchez said the fact that Hussein's two sons could not be taken alive to stand trial for crimes against humanity should not be considered a failure on the part of the coalition. "Our mission is to find, kill or capture. In this case, we had an enemy that was defending, it was barricaded, and we had to take the measures that were necessary in order to neutralize the target," he said.

Qusay Hussein, 37, was a Special Republican Guard commander who controlled the Republican Guards, intelligence services and a special force providing security for his father, according to CENTCOM. Uday Hussein, 39, was commander of the Saddam Fedayeen militia, chairman of the Iraqi Olympic Committee, and head of the Iraqi Football Association.

Four U.S. troopers were wounded but were quickly evacuated to a nearby medical facility for treatment, he said. Three have returned to duty and the fourth will return to duty shortly, he said.

Sanchez, who is commander of Coalition Ground Forces, said the identification was based on confirmation from four senior officials of Hussein's former regime, dental records and x-rays, and other medical information and x-rays. He said records and identification from former Hussein advisors proved 100 percent conclusive for Qusay, but only 90 percent for Uday, in part because of wounds to his face and teeth.

Sanchez said the U.S. Defense Department is working on a plan to prove to the Iraqi people that the two Hussein sons have been killed.

The major force involved in the attack on the Mosul mansion was an infantry company of the 101st Airborne Division, which was supported by OH-58D Kiowa attack helicopters, equipped with 2.75-inch rockets and machine guns, he said. The infantry company arrived in armored Humvees that carried TOW anti-tank missiles, Mark-19 machine grenade launchers and 50-caliber machine guns. Additionally, the Army had AH-64 Apache attack helicopters on standby if needed, as well as Air Force A-10 fighter-bomber jets, though these were not used in the attack, he said.

The Iraqi police established the outer cordon, Sanchez said. "They were also participating in coordination with our forces on the ground to complete the cordon," he explained.

Sanchez said an Iraqi citizen gave information the night of July 21 that Uday and Qusay Hussein might be in the house.

"Over the course of the night we planned our operation, and we had all the conditions set in order for us to initiate our assault by 1000 hours [local time] yesterday [July 22] morning," he said.

Sanchez said that when troops attempted to enter the residence they were met with gunshots. Attempts had been made to get the men inside the house to surrender using an interpreter with bullhorns, he said. The troops determined that the men in the house had barricaded themselves in a fortified position on the second floor, and that they used small arms fire from AK-47 assault rifles, he said.

As the gun battle continued and as U.S. troops prepared for a main assault on the house, Sanchez said, U.S. forces fired light anti-tank weapons and machine gun fire into the house to prepare the area for the assault. In addition, the ground commander at the site decided to bring in supporting fire from the Kiowa helicopters, he said. When a second attempt was made to enter the house, the troops were again met with gunfire from a heavily barricaded area on the second floor, he said.

At that point, Sanchez said the ground commander decided to fire 10 TOW anti-tank missiles into the house. He said officials believe it was the 10 TOW missiles that killed three of the men in the house. The fourth man was shot by U.S. troops as they made their way to the second floor area.

In other operations in Iraq July 23, Sanchez said U.S. forces in Baghdad captured former regime loyalist Barzan Abd Al-Ghafur Sulayman Majid Al-Tikrit, who is listed as number 11 on the Top 55 most wanted list and was the former commander of the Iraqi Special Republican Guard.

In addition, CENTCOM reported that one U.S. 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment soldier was killed, and a soldier and a contractor were wounded, when their convoy was attacked by an improvised explosive device on Highway 1 in Ar Ramadi. Also, a trooper in the 101st Airborne was killed and seven other troopers were wounded when an explosive device struck two military vehicles traveling on Highway 1 outside of Mosul, CENTCOM reported.

Created:23 Jul 2003 Updated: 23 Jul 2003

Friday, November 21, 2008

Al Jazeera, The Press, and the defeat in the first battle of Fallujah - April 2004

Please see this first:


Al Jazeera's portrayal on events at that time, part of a series. pay attention to how they portray the opposing sides

there are so many lies and distortions in this that it would take a whole nother post to tackle them all, so i'll just name a few before i go on to Fallujah

1. as long time cbs reporter Bernard Goldwater says in his bestselling book 'Bias', there is a trick to bias journalism to give authority to whatever it is that you are saying - and that is this - if you look hard and long enough, you will find an 'expert' and/or 'insider' to say whatever you want. think i'm kidding?
2. in responce to thier "anylisis" of zarqawi: HA! this is the real zarqawi in his own words
and his group is, in fact, part of the al quaeda network
3. they say repeatedly that the existence of foriegn fighters is over played (they claim that the US is exployting them to downplay the "resistence"), yet say later that 'houndreds' of forieng fighters were coming into the country. this is the story, al quaeda in iraq is made up mostly of iraqi 'foot soldiers', but thier leadership and suicide bombers who carry out zarqawi's plan (discribed in his writing above) are ALLMOST COMPLETLY FORIEGN (al quaeda) !!!!
4. this is the real deal with abu ghraib (al jazeera is not telling the truth)
and this guy mejia was not there, and in NO WAY speaks for the soldiers. this is who he really is
and he spent a year in jail after deserting and hiding from the authorities for months. listen to the way he speaks about our military, and about the "resistance" -

'Mr. Mejia also drew a parallel between suicide bombers and the American Air Force. "When you drop a 500-pound bomb in a home, the bomb kills a lot of people," Mr. Mejia said. "The difference between that and someone who straps explosives around their body is that that person has less resources."'

5. you notice what they said about the april battle for fallujah, why it was called off, and the images that were used "as effective recruting tools for the 'resistence'" ? see below ....



Press, political pressure helped 'lose' Fallujah, report says

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


A secret intelligence assessment of the first battle of Fallujah shows that the U.S. military thinks that it lost control over information about what was happening in the town, leading to "political pressure" that ended its April 2004 offensive with control being handed to Sunni insurgents.

"The outcome of a purely military contest in Fallujah was always a foregone conclusion — coalition victory," read the assessment, prepared by analysts at the U.S. Army's National Ground Intelligence Center, or NGIC.

"But Fallujah was not simply a military action, it was a political and informational battle. ... The effects of media coverage, enemy information operations and the fragility of the political environment conspired to force a halt to U.S. military operations," concluded the assessment.

It added that the decision to order an immediate assault on Fallujah, in response to the televised killing of four contractors from the private military firm Blackwater, effectively prevented the Marine Expeditionary Force charged with retaking the town from carrying out "shaping operations," such as clearing civilians from the area, which would have improved their chances of success.

A copy was posted on the Web last week by the organization Wikileaks, which aims to provide a secure way for whistleblowers to "reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations," and says it favors government transparency.

Although a spokesman for U.S. Army intelligence declined to comment on the document, United Press International independently confirmed its veracity.

The authors said the press was "crucial to building political pressure to halt military operations," from the Iraqi government and the Coalition Provisional Authority, which resulted in a "unilateral cease-fire" by U.S. forces on April 9, after just five days of combat operations.

During the negotiations that followed, top Bush administration officials demanded a solution that would not require the Marines to retake the town, according to the assessment.

Crucial to the failure, the authors said, was the role of the Arabic satellite news channels Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya.

An Al Jazeera crew was in Fallujah during the first week of April 2004, when the Marines began their assault on the city of 285,000 people.

"They filmed scenes of dead babies from the hospital, presumably killed by coalition air strikes," the assessment said. "Comparisons were made to the Palestinian intifada. Children were shown bespattered with blood; mothers were shown screaming and mourning day after day."

By contrast, the assessment stated that later in 2004, when U.S.-led forces successfully retook Fallujah, they brought with them 91 embedded reporters representing 60 press outlets, including Arabic ones.

"False allegations of non-combatant casualties were made by Arab media in both campaigns, but in the second case embedded Western reporters offered a rebuttal," the authors said.

Copyright 2008 Washington Times

The coming of the Insurgency - A Study: Bremer's disolving of the Iraqi Military and the October Unemployment Riots - 2003

Note: Let me clear about my feelings about the issue; I am 100% opposed to the Insurgency; and I am 100% behind the effort to acheive victory in Iraq and peace, democracy and freedom for the Iraqis from the forces of terror.
This is for Historical and Educational perposes ONLY


Paul Bremer made three decisions that would change the course of Iraq, this video clip explains them.
- Stopping the formation of an interim government.
- The De-Bathification of Iraq
- Disbanding the Iraqi Military and Secret Service.


This video was made about the riots in October 2003, apparently by a soldier that was there. some of it is graphic


Troops kill rioters in Baghdad and Basra

By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
Sunday, 5 October 2003

British and American troops fired into crowds of rioting former Iraqi soldiers in Basra and Baghdad yesterday, killing one man in each city.

British and American troops fired into crowds of rioting former Iraqi soldiers in Basra and Baghdad yesterday, killing one man in each city.

In both places unrest broke out as the ex-soldiers, out of a job since the Iraqi army was dissolved in May, were queuing for hours to collect a promised pay-off of $40 each. A British military spokesman, Major Simon Routledge, said that in the Basra incident a British soldier heard gunfire and then shot and killed an Iraqi holding a weapon. Troops also fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

In Baghdad hundreds of Iraqis threw stones and charged towards American soldiers, who fired in the air and beat them back with batons. "Get out of here. It is very dangerous," said a harassed Iraqi police officer as he stood beside the burned-out remains of a police car.

In the nearby Yarmuk hospital Hussein Hatem, an ex-soldier, was lying on a bed with an X-ray clutched to his chest showing that he had two bullets lodged in his thigh. "It started when one man went to get a drink of water after we had been queuing for five hours," said Mr Hatem. "The US soldiers wouldn't let him get back in the line and beat him and us with long batons and electric cattle prods. Then we started throwing stones at them and they fired back."

The riot shows how friction between Iraqis and occupation troops can easily explode into violence, even when the authorities hand out money with the aim of defusing tensions. A few hours earlier, an attack on American troops with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns left one US soldier dead and another wounded.

At one stage during the riot the ex-soldiers, all conscripts, began the old pro-Saddam chant: "With our spirit, with blood we will be your martyrs O Saddam." Walid Jabber, a by-stander, said bitterly: "I am a Shia from Nasiriyah, but I would like to bring back Saddam." Probably many of those chanting pro-Saddam slogans do so primarily to annoy the Americans, though it is unlikely that they knew what the ex-soldiers were shouting about.

In the wake of the riot, gangs of demonstrators roamed the prosperous al-Mansour suburb attacking drink stores, four of which were reported to have been burned out.

The thousands of Iraqi police recruited by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) have reduced the amount of looting and armed robbery in the capital, but the pin-prick guerrilla attacks are also becoming better organised. Members of the US-appointed Governing Council, fearful of assassination, are all living in heavily guarded houses.

A long line of 15ft high concrete slabs now protects Saddam's old Republican Palace, the CPA headquarters, where it overlooks the Tigris river. As under the old regime swimming in the river, an unhealthy pursuit in any case because of raw sewage, is once again forbidden because of fear of underwater saboteurs.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The March 31, 2004 Fallujah Blackwater killings

From Times Online
March 31, 2004

Americans killed and mutilated in Fallujah attack

Four coalition defence contractors were killed, burnt and mutilated by angry Iraqis in the flashpoint town of Fallujah today.

The workers died when gunmen raked their two four-wheel drive Mitsubishi vehicles with gunfire this morning.

As the vehicles burst into flames, a crowd of locals gathered to pull the charred bodies from the cars, beating them with metal pipes, standing on their heads and cutting off limbs in the street with shovels.

Townspeople tied a cord to another body, attached it to a car and drove it down a street.

"The people of Fallujah hanged some of the bodies on the old bridge like slaughtered sheep," said Aziz Mohammed, a local resident.

Some of the dead were wearing flak jackets, said Safa Mohammedi, another local man.

"We are ready to kill them all," shouted one man. "Revenge, revenge for Saddam."

Foreign contractors often wear protective gear and carry weapons in Iraq and some are former servicemen. Residents also said that there were weapons in the targeted cars.

Fallujah has been a centre of resistance to the US-led occupation of Iraq.

Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, a US Army spokesman, said that he did not know how the mob had been allowed to vent their hatred for so long without intervention from either Iraqi or coalition security forces who were meant to be securing the notorious hotspot.

The US Marines have a base on the edge of Fallujah, while Iraqi police and the paramilitary Iraqi Civil Defence Corps gendarmes have bases in the troubled town.

The attack came three days after Marines fought a major gun battle with guerrillas armed with mortars and assault rifles in Fallujah, in which one Marine and nine Iraqis were killed.

The battle has fed into the long-standing tribal hatred that residents harbour for the occupation forces, with men today chanting "Fallujah is the graveyard of Americans."

Scott McClellan, White House spokesman condemned the "horrific attacks by people who are trying to prevent democracy from moving forward."

There was speculation tonight that the civilian contractors had tried to detour army roadblocks set up after an attack on a military convoy, and had strayed into central Fallujah.

US and other international contractors travel the country, usually with armed escorts or carrying weapons themselves, to work on reconstruction projects and developing facilities for Iraqis and the coalition.

The attack marked the latest murders of foreign workers in Iraq, who are increasingly bearing the brunt of a vicious guerrilla war that has already cost the lives of hundreds of coalition troops, Iraqi police and ordinary Iraqis targeted for working with the occupation authority.

So far this month, two Finns, four US missionaries, two Americans civilians working for the coalition, and two security guards - one British and one Canadian - have been killed in Iraq, in a relentless campaign aimed at halting reconstruction work and casting the country into chaos.

Soldiers killed and wounded

In a separate incident close to Fallujah this morning, a massive roadside bomb killed five American soldiers, leaving a hole 15ft wide and 10ft deep at the side of the road.

The attack was the worst single loss to coalition forces since a helicopter was shot down near Fallujah in January.

Three British soldiers were also wounded today by a roadside bomb near Basra. One of them had minor injuries.


U.S. Forces Launch Major Fallujah Operation
Monday, April 05, 2004

FALLUJAH, Iraq — Skirmishes broke out between U.S. Marines and Iraqi gunmen Monday as the Marines launched Operation Vigilant Resolve (search) in the volatile city in which four American civilians were slain last week in one of the more grisly displays of violence since the war began last year.

Explosions and gunfire were heard from the city — including a string of up to 30 blasts, apparently shelling, late Monday — as Marines met resistance while probing the outer neighborhoods of the city with reconnaissance missions.

At least one Iraqi gunman was killed in the exchanges. A U.S. Marine was killed in the area earlier Monday.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi judge issued an arrest warrant for a radical Shiite Muslim cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr (search), for the slaying of another Shiite leader shortly after the Iraq war began. Al-Sadr has called for revolt against coalition forces.

Pentagon officials also promised a strong response to this weekend's violence in the Shiite suburb of Sadr City (search) in Baghdad and in the city of Najaf (search), where eight Americans and one Salvadoran were killed.

Outside Fallujah, troops dug trenches on the city's edges, sealed off roads in and out and imposed a nighttime curfew.

But insurgents in the city appeared to be gearing up for a fight. U.S. troops on the edge of the city came under fire from a mosque, said Marine Capt. Michael Fehn. The Marines and helicopter gunships returned fire.

Marines also fired on a car carrying six men with grenades and rifles, killing one and wounding two.

A witness reported that a U.S. helicopter struck a residential area in the city early Monday, killing five people. The bombing damaged five houses, said the witness, Mohammed Shawkat. There was no immediate U.S. comment on the report.

Two Iraqi drivers working for The Associated Press were stopped by insurgents blockading a road about six miles east of Fallujah on Monday. The rebels, armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, searched the two vehicles before letting them go.

"In Fallujah, we're looking at small groups of disenfranchised former Baathists and regime elements who have little hope for the future," a senior U.S. Central Command official said. "That situation is not nearly as troublesome as the Shiite demonstrations that have occurred," in the other cities.

The Centcom commander said the Baghdad and Najaf violence will not go unchallenged. But, he stressed, the urgings of al-Sadr and the actions of his 3,000-member militia do not in "any way" make for a Shiite uprising.

"This is an outlaw group with its own militia that is not particularly [politically] powerful," he said, saying that violence is viewed as a "power grab" prior to the June 30 transition to Iraqi self-governance.

"We need to go after the militia forces, de-arm them and take them apart," he said. "The Iraqis are going to have to help us take care of the situation … this is not the beginning of a civil war in our view. The moderate Shiites don't want this to happen ... they want democracy."

President Bush vowed Monday that despite the increased violence against coalition forces, the June 30 deadline stands.

"We're being challenged in Iraq because there are people who hate freedom," Bush told reporters in Charlotte, N.C. "The closer we come to the deadline, the more likely people will challenge our will … I think throughout this period, there's going to be tests ... they think that we're not sincere about staying the course.

L. Paul Bremer, the top U.S. official in Iraq, cancelled a trip to Washington this week, a Senate aide said Monday. The aide said Bremer was to have given a closed-door briefing Thursday to the full Senate on the situation in Iraq, but Senate officials were informed Monday morning that the visit to Washington had been put off. No reason was given for the postponement, the aide said.

'We Want to Get the Guys'

About 1,200 Marines, joined by two battalions of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corp., surrounded Fallujah (search) with checkpoints Monday.

"The more we put our U.S. face on things out there we don't like, the more we're going to be victims of their retribution," said retired Marine Lt. Col Bill Cowan, a Fox News military analyst. "We need to put on an Iraqi face … whether they like it or not, we've got to do it."

A military spokesman said the operation would move steadily, perhaps spanning several days, and might not involve taking the center of the city.

Senior officials told Fox News that when Marines do roll into the city, they'll search for specific suspects who are thought to be holed up in specific places.

"Our concern is precise. We want to get the guys we are after. We don't want to go in there with guns blazing," said Lt. James Vanzant, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Pendleton, Calif.

The Marines and Iraqi security forces were poised to enter the city to arrest suspected insurgents, Vanzant said. "It's an extended operation. We want to make a very precise approach to this. ... We are looking for the bad guys in town," he said.

Defense officials told Fox News that there are some 1,200 Marines dug in around Fallujah, many others have spread out around the surrounding Al Anbar province in raids targeted against individuals known to be causing severe problems for the coalition.

Of the "six or so" individuals targeted in these raids, one source said, "all have been captured." They're thought to have been financiers, recruiters and weapons suppliers for anti-coalition elements, and all are thought to have had connections with the former regime.

Coalition forces mounted 1,566 patrols, conducted 18 raids and captured 42 anti-coalition suspects — all within a 24-hour period spanning Sunday and Monday — Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt told reporters in Baghdad Monday.

"These are the first in a series of actions to attack anti-coalition" forces, he said.

Marines imposed a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, warning the 300,000 inhabitants to remain indoors.

Iraqi police visited mosques, dropping off Arabic leaflets from the U.S. military, ordering them not to congregate in groups or carry weapons. It instructed Iraqis that if U.S. forces enter their homes, they should gather in one room, and if they want to talk to the troops, they should have their hands up.

Contractor Killers 'Are Specially Targeted'

After the slayings of the Americans on Wednesday, residents dragged the four bodies through the streets, hanging two of their charred corpses from a bridge in scenes that showed the depth of anti-U.S. sentiment in the city.

Marine 1st Lt. Eric Knapp said the coalition will target the killers of the four Americans as well as rebels who have attacked U.S. forces and Iraqi police.

"Those people are specially targeted to be captured or killed," he said.

Senior defense officials stressed that the Fallujah operation wouldn't have happened even if last week's killings and barbaric acts against the four contractors hadn't taken place.

"It was not the coalition that caused the casualties in Fallujah, it is the coalition that's responding to the casualties in Fallujah," Kimmitt said. "We have a responsibility, we have an obligation, to maintain a safe and a secure environment."

U.S. forces are hoping the Iraqis themselves will turn the insurgents in and that Iraqi police will be the ones to arrest and interrogate the suspects.

"This is a psychological objective, not a military one" for the U.S. military, said retired Army Maj. Gen. Bob Scales. "Control Fallujah and I think the insurgency will be kept in control."

Gen. John Abizaid (search), the Centcom leader who oversees the U.S. forces in Iraq, held meetings at the Pentagon Friday with military and intelligence leaders. Changing the situation on the ground in Fallujah — considered the most dangerous city for the coalition — was a central agenda item.

Coalition spokesman Dan Senor told reporters Monday that "there are clearly" foreign fighters and other Baathists still in Iraq leading insurgent activity.

"We will not tolerate that, the Iraqi people certainly will not tolerate that," Senor said. "There's no room for extremists in Iraq … elections will determine who governs Iraq, not mob violence."

Fox News' Bret Baier, Liza Porteus and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


We did our best. Nobody could have done it better in that position than McCain.

God Bless America

Tuesday, November 4, 2008