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Friday, June 24, 2005

It's tough work and it's hard

Posted by: Hammer / 12:13 PM

Plus, he thinks about it every day. Bush on Iraq:
"The enemy's goal is to drive us out of Iraq - they will not succeed," said the president.

"It's tough work and it's hard. But nevertheless, progress is being made... and the progress that is being made will lead to the defeat of this enemy."

You know what else is tough, hard work? Defending a police station when it's assaulted by mortars, grenades, and car bombers:
Dawn had yet to break and Baghdad's biggest police station, like the rest of the city, was quiet. About 80 officers dozed inside the fortress, leaving just a few sentries guarding the walls, razor wire and concrete barriers.

It started with mortars. A series of whooshes from north and south followed seconds later by explosions inside the perimeter. Figures emerged from the gloom and knelt in the middle of Hi al-Elam and Qatar Nada streets, pointing rocket launchers.

More figures materialised on rooftops overlooking the station to spray gunfire and lob grenades. Dozens of gunmen, guerrilla infantry, swarmed from houses and alleys. It was just after 5.30am and the station was surrounded.

The defenders heard engines rev and guessed what was next: suicide car bombers. Baghdad's biggest battle in months - and possibly the boldest yet by insurgents - had begun.

They struck on Monday but details of the assault on Baya'a, a vast police complex in the southern suburbs, emerged only yesterday when American and Iraqi officers opened the station to reporters. Bullet holes and debris testified to a synchronised and audacious strike by up to 100 rebels in what is supposed to be a locked-down capital.

The piece is written in a breathless style that pauses only to note that local commanders have a positive view of the situation:
"The enemy spent weeks, maybe months planning this," said Lt Col David Funk, a US infantry commander responsible for the area. "They failed spectacularly."

..."It was our victory," said the Iraqi commander, Col Khaldoon. But residents, picking their way through rubble that had been homes and shops, disagreed.


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