Two US Soldiers Wounded
Demonstration at Fallujah
Two US troops were injured near Tikrit on Friday.
There was a demonstration in Fallujah about the ongoing US bombing of the city. Al-Jazeerah showed videotape. I saw one cleric angrily denouncing the Allawi government for permitting foreigners to bomb its own citizens. It struck me that the speakers at this demonstration and their sentiments are not being seen on US television news, and it is a shame. Even if Americans just want to understand their enemy, they would have to be aware of these sentiments. My perception is that we almost never see dissidents or opposition figures speaking freely on US cable news, and seldom on the networks.
There are many murky charges and counter-charges about Fallujah. The US maintains it had a good view of terrorists killing someone, then going into their safe house, which the US then bombed. The Fallujah medical authorities keep insisting that such strikes are killing children and women. On Friday Fallujans charged that a US tank fired into the city, which the US military denies.
The Poles are turning over responsibility for Karbala, in preparation for their planned January departure from Iraq. Bush was boasting at the convention about all the foreign allies he had (he seemed to me to make Denmark an applause line; I like Denmark but it is no longer a Great Power.) But what he did not mention is all the countries that have withdrawn or are planning withdrawals in the next few months.
Tension was high again on Friday in Najaf, with US troops surrounding the city. Apparently there are fears of a Mahdi Army resurgence already. A small demonstration was held against Muqtada al-Sadr by Najafis.
A pipeline that had been attacked near Kirkuk continued to burn.