December 29, 2003


U.S. Soldiers Kill 3 Suspected Militants (CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA, 12/29/03, AP)

American soldiers killed three suspected members of an al-Qaida linked Islamic militant group during a firefight in the northern city of Mosul, the U.S. military said Monday. Two U.S. soldiers were wounded.

The interrogation of Saddam Hussein yielded more information with the deposed leader acknowledging sending $40 billion abroad, a member of the Iraqi Governing Council said in published remarks. The Iraqi official said Saddam had provided the names of people who know where the money is.

The operation against the suspected Ansar al-Islam militants was carried out by soldiers of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division who came under small arms fire while searching homes on Sunday. The house harboring the assailants caught fire during the shootout, and Iraqi firefighters extinguished the blaze.

After the fight, U.S. troops seized two rocket-propelled grenade launchers, eight grenades and two assault rifles, the military said in a statement. The injured soldiers were in stable condition. [...]

In other developments:

- Japan pledged to forgive "the vast majority" of Iraq's nearly $8 billion debt if others do the same, a critical boost to the U.S. campaign for debt relief. China said it would consider the idea, boosting the U.S. campaign to ease Baghdad's financial burden.

Even sillier than the argument about Saddam and WMD--is there a statute of limitations or something?--is that over his link to terrorism--never mind whether he was directly linked to al Qaeda, just consider his funding of Palestinian suicide bombers and that Ansar al-Islam operated with impunity in the North of the country.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 29, 2003 6:44 PM

Expect to hear about the WMD through Nov. of '04, unless they're found beforehand.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at December 30, 2003 9:40 AM

That last sentence is critical.

Dems (and many careerists at State) want to treat terror as a law-enforcement problem. Hawks (call them neocons if you must) believe terrorism that threatens the U.S. requires a state sponsor (or at the least an indifferent host). The President sided with the latter when he said we will make no distinction between terrorists and the nations that harbor them.

Meanwhile, Dean worries whether Osama can get a fair trial. It's comical, really.

Posted by: kevin whited at December 30, 2003 10:13 AM