July 8th, 2004


More on the abuse of Iraqi children in prisons.

Save the Children has called on the Danish government to mediate with coalition forces in Iraq to release children detained in Iraqi jails.

Meanwhile, another article was released today, detailing information from UNICEF, the Red Cross, and Amnesty International on the imprisonment of Iraqi children.

These are serious allegations, which are apparently documented in a confidential Red Cross report. Congress, upon finding out, pressed the Pentagon for answers, some of which will be given tomorrow in a congressional briefing. Unfortunately, this briefing will be closed to the public, and the information revealed by the Defense Department will not be made available to the public.

Not that they really wanted to give the details to Congress anyway...

"It's something of a stretch of policy and procedures to give them to the Congress," said Larry Di Rita, chief spokesman for Donald Rumsfeld.

Isn't it *great* to know that the Defense Department thinks "it's a stretch of policy" for Congress to know how our country treats prisoners of war... and that they believe we, as citizens, shouldn't know anything about it at all?

So, who here believes that they should be kept ignorant and uninformed for the common good?!

Samarra explodes.

On Thursday, Iraqi insurgents drove a SUV through the gates of a headquarters building in Samarra shared by U.S. forces and Iraqi National Guard troops, detonating a massive carbomb. This was immediately followed by a coordinated 38-round mortar attack, which destroyed the main building inside the base. Five U.S. soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division and two Iraqi guardsmen were killed, with twenty U.S. soldiers and another four Iraqi guardsmen wounded.

Witnesses said they saw insurgents and looters overrun the base, which the US had recently turned over to the Iraqi National Guard.

Amidst all the violence, two Turkish truck drivers were killed in Samarra, when their convoy was attacked in the city.

U.S. troops backed by helicopters soon arrived, sweeping through the city of Samarra (pop. 200,000), killing four insurgents and three Iraqi civilians, and apparently wounding many others.

By all descriptions, the base which was attacked appears to be a small base called CMOC Samarra,which is garrisoned by MPs, special forces, and Iraqi defense forces. (Scroll down on this link for a very interesting description of CMOC Samarra from an artist who visited the camp.)

Though there have been plenty of days with more U.S. casualties than this, the attack in Samarra seems to have been very organized and very effective. Samarra, which located on the Tigris between Baghdad and Tikrit, has been a major center of resistance, and the CMOC was the only military facility inside the city. The military goal of the attackers may have been to make a continued U.S. presence inside Samarra unfeasible.

Could Samarra become the next Fallujah?