Skip to comments.Bremer leaves Iraq suddenly...
Posted on 11/11/2003 8:09:35 AM PST by ClintonBeGone
U.S. governor, Paul Bremer, has left for Washington at short notice and canceled a meeting on Tuesday with visiting Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller, the Polish delegation said.
Officials in the U.S.-led administration had no immediate comment on Bremer's trip to Washington
The CIA has never officially authenticated his voice. Show me a cite that says that. Every article of that trope that I've read cites "CIA sources" or "intelligence sources", which is NOT the CIA speaking -- it's the lib media pulling a "Gilligan".
As for govt officials, they are careful to be unspecific as to whether Saddam is alive, i.e., "if Saddam is behind these attacks", "whether or not Saddam is behind these attacks", etc.
The reason for speaking that way is that they don't have the corpus delecti, i.e., Saddam's body, and so prudence dictates that they err on the side of conservatism, that he 'might' be alive. That's understandable.
But the stready passage of time without Saddam 'proving' he is alive -- to his own supporters -- strengthens the notion that he is dead.
I've been at a pucker-factor of 6 all day. Do you rate yourself higher than that?
We expected door to door fighting and possible chem and bio warfare. WE WOULD HAVE INCURRED MANY CASUALTIES, there is no doubt.
The loss of every soldier hurts but I believe our plan kept down those losses, probably more than we think.
We've chosen a road. It is a road of compassion, freedom and a better life for the Iraqi people.
It is interesting to note that the people who helped us in the Revolution have turned their back on us and the people we fought (England) have joined us.
It is a case of the "world turned down" being once more righted? I believe so.
Might be because they were "look-a-likes, and not the real thing.
They planned to go underground. Guerilla warfare is always the way against superior force. If loyalists had stood their ground, our casualty count would be much higher, but the nature of these casualties now are a hugh PR edge for the enemy.
That must be the line that the frog(my apologies to all our amphibian friends) focused on. I must say though, Condi is somewhat off if she thinks we had been waging 'all-out war', that has yet(but hopefully won't) be seen.
PM - Monday, 10 November , 2003 18:14:00
Reporter: Sally Sara
MARK COLVIN: In Iraq, the US Governor Paul Bremer has warned that guerrilla attacks are likely to get worse, not better. In an interview with the London Times, Mr Bremer said the price of failure was too high for the Americans to leave, and claimed the level of attacks was, paradoxically, a sign that the coalition's reconstruction efforts were succeeding.
He said the terrorists could see that what he called the reconstruction dynamic was moving against them.
Australia's Defence Minister senator Robert Hill will be meeting Mr Bremer later tonight, and the results of that meeting will have an effect on what he recommends back to cabinet about Australia's troop presence.
I asked our correspondent in Baghdad, Sally Sara, about Senator Hill's schedule.
SALLY SARA: This is quite an important trip for Senator Hill, and I guess he's really doing two main things: one is to meet with some of the air crew and also the soldiers here, to get a sense from them as to what the situation's like.
And then, secondly, he's holding a range of meetings with officials from the US-led Coalition and also the Iraqi Governing Council as well, to get a sense from them as to whether Australia's contribution is still what's needed, if there are any changes required.
Our contribution at the moment, there are around 800 servicemen and women, and a lot of them are filling niche roles in the Coalition, including air traffic controllers, those kind of tasks, rather than just general troops on the ground.
So, our input is quite specialised, and Senator Hill's here to have a look to see whether we're really hitting the needs of the Coalition at the moment; and also, given the kind of week that it's been here in Iraq, checking on the safety and security issues for the troops that are here already.
MARK COLVIN: Is the security situation now such that Senator Hill might be having really big second thoughts about keeping so many Australians there?
SALLY SARA: He was saying yesterday that obviously it's a concern for the Government, and it's something that the senior members of the Government are thinking about all the time, he said, particularly given the large number of US casualties.
And so far the Australian troops have largely been excluded from that, but certainly the risk is there. And the climate is so unpredictable that it's not wise to assume that because our troops have been fortunate so far, that they have some sort of guarantee of safety.
So there was a lot of concern from him about that, and he was speaking carefully with the troops here as well, getting a briefing about exactly what the situation is, so that he can take those kind of messages back to Cabinet in Canberra.
MARK COLVIN: Given what Paul Bremer, the top American in Baghdad, has been saying to the media, what kind of picture is he likely to paint for Robert Hill?
SALLY SARA: The kind of message that we're getting from Paul Bremer, who's the US chief administrator here, is that he's forecasting that the attacks are going to continue, if not to get worse, within the country.
And that's given the kind of week that we've had. So we're really talking about significant bloodshed, and Paul Bremer is predicting that that will continue, particularly with their concerns about the number of foreign fighters that might be in the country.
So it's not a very encouraging message is some ways. The administration here, which is dealing with these difficulties every day, is seeing the weeks and months ahead as extremely difficult, and really all the focus at the moment is on security.
Two or three weeks ago we were talking about reconstruction and other issues. Now, security is very much top of the agenda and overshadowing some of the other priorities of the Coalition, because if they can't get this sorted out then it makes it very difficult to move ahead in other areas.
MARK COLVIN: There have been an awful lot of arrests in the last 24, 48 hours, including a number who are suspected of involvement in the attack on the Al-Rasheed Hotel a couple of weeks ago. Are the Americans making progress in that regard?
SALLY SARA: We're not getting a lot of detail from the Coalition as to exactly who's been arrested, how they found them, what kind of evidence that they have. They're talking about arrests of up to 18 people for the rocket attack on the Al-Rasheed Hotel last month, plus a number of other suspected militants up to around 140 that they've rounded up.
The other thing that's changing, which is important to take note of, is that the US has responded with heavy fire, bombing raids with 500-pound bombs from F-16s, mortars and artillery and small arms fire. That's in Tikrit and also in Fallujah, which have been the site of a number of incidents.
So that's quite a different approach, and the US military is showing its military strength in those areas, which could go one of two ways: obviously sending a message of strength to those who are attacking the US forces, but also there's a risk that that kind of activity may frighten and put offside the local community, and they're the very people that the Coalition is relying on to gather intelligence to make these kind of arrests.
So it's a very delicate balance between doing nothing and not taking action against the militants, and the other side may be there's a risk that they could go too far and alienate themselves further from the civilian population. So that's quite a significant change as well.
MARK COLVIN: Our correspondent in Baghdad, Sally Sara.