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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:02 AM
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Four pretty good articles from UPI
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 07:02 AM by NNN0LHI

Sadr: A new Arab hero in the making

By Claude Salhani
UPI International Editor
Published 4/6/2004 12:36 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- The ancient Romans used to "divide and conquer" to defeat their enemies.

During the course of the past few centuries, all foreign and domestic powers that came to rule Iraq, from the Arabs, to the Ottomans, and from the British to Saddam Hussein's Baathists, followed that same doctrine by promoting division between the country's Shiite majority and the Sunni minority.

Now, Iraq's firebrand, fiercely anti-American Shiite cleric, Moqtada Sadr, is using the Romans' principle, but in reverse, to unite the two communities in the face of their common enemy, the United States. Unite and resist.

As the U.S.-led coalition continues its efforts to find and capture Sadr, after a warrant for his arrest was issued Monday, the 31-year-old cleric who until just a week ago was considered to be on the outer fringes of Iraqi politics, is now emerging as someone who could unite Iraqis in their resistance to the U.S. occupation in an unprecedented manner.


Analysis: A mini-Tet offensive in Iraq?

By Arnaud de Borchgrave
UPI Editor at Large
Published 4/6/2004 4:12 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- Any seasoned reporter covering the Tet offensive in Vietnam 36 years ago is well over 60 and presumably retired or teaching journalism is one of America's 4,200 colleges and universities. Before plunging into an orgy of erroneous and invidious historical parallels between Iraq and Vietnam, a reminder about what led to the U.S. defeat in Southeast Asia is timely.

Iraq will only be another Vietnam if the home front collapses, as it did following the Tet offensive, which began on the eve of the Chinese New Year, Jan. 31, 1968. The surprise attack was designed to overwhelm some 70 cities and towns, and 30 other strategic objectives simultaneously. By breaking a previously agreed truce for Tet festivities, master strategist Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap in Hanoi calculated that South Vietnamese troops would be caught with defenses down.

After the first few hours of panic, the South Vietnamese troops reacted fiercely. They did the bulk of the fighting and took some 6,000 casualties. Vietcong units not only did not reach a single one of their objectives -- except when they arrived by taxi at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, blew their way through the wall into the compound and guns blazing made it into the lobby before they were wiped out by U.S. Marines -- but they lost some 50,000 killed and at least that many wounded. Giap had thrown some 70,000 troops into a strategic gamble that was also designed to overwhelm 13 of the 16 provincial capitals and trigger a popular uprising. But Tet was an unmitigated military disaster for Hanoi and its Vietcong troops in South Vietnam. Yet that was not the way it was reported in U.S. and other media around the world. It was television's first war. And some 50 million Americans at home saw the carnage of dead bodies in the rubble, and dazed Americans running around.

As the late veteran war reporter Peter Braestrup documented in "Big Story" -- a massive, two-volume study of how Tet was covered by American reporters -- the Vietcong offensive was depicted as a military disaster for the United States. By the time the facts emerged a week or two later from RAND Corp. interrogations of prisoners and defectors, the damage had been done. Conventional media wisdom had been set in concrete. Public opinion perceptions in the United States changed accordingly.


Former Iraqi enemies unite to fight U.S.

By P. Mitchell Prothero
Published 4/6/2004 4:08 PM
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BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 6 (UPI) -- The American dream to bridge ancient Iraqi sectarian rivalries turned nightmarish Tuesday as Shiite and Sunni religious and tribal figures put aside their differences and publicly aligned against the occupation, vowing to rid Iraq of the American-led invaders.

In the past 72 hours over 18 U.S. soldiers and well over 100 Iraqis have died in vicious fighting across Iraq. U.S. aligned coalition forces also took significant casualties of an unconfirmed number in fighting in four southern cities.

Before last week the primary forces resisting the U.S. occupation were a combination of former Baath Party members and Sunni religious figures, but after fighting broke out between the coalition and a militia led by a young radical Shiite cleric, much of Iraq turned to complete chaos.

There are also indications that the two groups have come to an agreement to join with an al-Qaida affiliated terrorist group thought to have conducted widespread terrorist attacks against U.S. and Iraqi targets alike.


Baghdad tense amid Sadr standoff

Published 4/6/2004 12:17 PM
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BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 6 (UPI) -- U.S. troops supported by Bradley Fighting Vehicles and M-1 tanks surrounded Tuesday the office of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr while a large-scale demonstration of his heavily armed supporters is under way.

Sadr's militia, the Mehdi Army, has vowed to fight to protect the building. Its supporters have dispersed into the surrounding homes with weapons. United Press International has seen men with assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades in the neigborhood. The supporters waved signs of all major Shiite Clerics -- including Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the late Ayatollah Mohammed Hakim, Sadr's father, Mohammed Sadr, and the young cleric -- in a sign of unity rarerly seen as Sadr and Sistani are known not to get along.

About two hours into the standoff, despite the neighborhood being sealed off by U.S. troops, two Sunni clerics -- one from the Anbar province, which includes the towns of Ramadi and Fallujah, and another from Adamiyah -- arrived with a letter, which proclaimed support for Sadr's opposition to the U.S.-led occupation forces, signaling for the first time a public alliance between the previously Sunni and Baathist resistance and the Iraq's Shiite majority. It is the first time the Army of Mohammed has publicly announced support for Sadr. The letter called upon all Muslims to come together to throw out "infidel occupiers of Iraq."

It is the conflict with the Shiite followers of Sadr -- who controls a seminary and charity system he inherited from his father -- that offers the newest pessimistic signs for the transition of Iraq in a year of terror and strife.


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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:46 AM
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1. UPI has these occassional gems! - great find! :-)
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:56 AM
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2. Thanks. And yes, I don't get it for being Moonie run?
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 08:04 AM by NNN0LHI
I am hesitant about using them as a source. Seen a UPI reporter interviewed on Keith Oberman last night named Pamela Hess who was reporting from Baghdad. She didn't seem to be spewing the party line at all. I was shocked. She was actually a journalist. And a good one too. Watch for her work.


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