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- The Vietnam question is getting a little more play with some American generals arguing that we are winning on the battlefield but losing the strategic fight. Many are pointing fingers at Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, although in the case of Army generals this could be payback as easily as honest commentary, as there has been friction between the Army and the SecDef since he took office.
- Phil Carter has a valuable roundup of Abu Ghraib links to review.
Other Topics Today Include: Fighting shifts focus to al Sadr; thoughts on Abu Ghraib from Iraq and the U.s.; terrorist plot foiled in Italy; new evidence of Iraq-9/11 link(?); first Abu Ghraib trial set.
REPORTS FROM THE FIELD
- Fighting with Shiites continued this weekend with 34 Iraqis reported killed in combat in Baghdad and Kufa. With the situation in Fallujah largely resolved, it would appear the Coalition is now shifting more focus onto Motaqda al-Sadr and his Mehdi Army. But will they be more or less successful than they were in Fallujah?
- Still, a number of Shiite leaders are offering al-Sadr a way out with an opportunity to surrender to Iraqi tribal authorities rather than to the U.S., an outcome that might be better for the Coalition in any case.
- A bomb went off in a Baghdad hotel frequented by foreign contractors, wounding six people, while at least five people were killed by an improvised explosive device in a Baghdad marketplace.
- A late add: Jim Henley scored an interview with Marine Captain Chris Chown (settling once and for all the question of his gender, among other things). Definitely worth a look, as Jim asked some good questions and got some valuable answers.
- One Iraqi looks at Abu Ghraid and has some interesting observations. This in no way excuses or mitigates Abu Ghraib, but it's an interesting perspective nonetheless (Hat tip: Rantburg).
- Twenty lawyers have been assigned to Saddam Hussein's defense for his coming trial. I doubt they'll have much success in getting him off, but there can be little doubt the trial will serve as a marvelous opportunity for them to improve their own profiles regardless of the result for their client.
THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE
- Italy claims to have foiled an Iraq suicide plot in Florence and Liguria, where they were using Italy as a logistical base. Whether as flypaper strategy, or simply an unfortunate side effect, Iraq remains a focal point for Islamic terrorists, for good or ill (Hat tip: Little Green Footballs).
- Edward Jay Epstein has uncovered new evidence buttressing the old claims that Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague prior to the 9/11 attacks. While interesting, I'd be much more impressed were Epstein not one of the more rabid conspiracy freaks regarding the Kennedy assassination, having argued that Oswald was a KGB agent at one point.
- Not content with capitulating to terrorism on their original schedule, Spain's defense minister now says they may all be home by May 27th. This is unlikely to have any significant military affect on the campaign, but it will mark a solid propaganda victory for our terrorist enemies.
- The first trial of an American serviceman accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib is set to begin in Baghdad on May 19. Unfortunately, as Donald Sensing pointed out last week, any prosecution will be difficult thanks to the almost certain fact of unlawful command influence.
- The troops are still there. So is the Winds of Change.NET consolidated directory of ways you can support the troops: American, Australian, British, Canadian & Polish. Anyone out there with more information, contact us!
- Don't forget Chief Wiggles' Toys for Iraq drive!
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