"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Monday, October 03, 2005

Danish soldier killed by remotely triggered IED...in Iraq

A Danish soldier was killed and 2 others were seriously wounded when a roadside bomb blew up alongside their vehicle on a bridge near Basra on Saturday Link. Denmark's Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Danish soldiers were making praiseworthy efforts to create a better life for the Iraqi people.

"Terrorists may not, by these hateful and cowardly acts, succeed in preventing progress and create chaos in Iraq," he said in a statement. "The government therefore intends to continue its policy in Iraq."... which is Danish for "Bring 'em on!!"

Iraqi police officer Mohammed Uraibi said at the scene of the attack that it may have been a remotely controlled explosion. Danish forces commander Lieutenant Colonel Tommy Kjær said that there would probably be a change in procedures to avoid future casualties. (See below for the US experience)

"There are a number of possibilities. We can use other roads than we normally take and use more heavily armoured vehicles,' Kjær noted that insurgents' methods were becoming more dangerous.There is a tendency that they use more and more advanced technology. For example, they use remote control to trigger bombs. We are aware of that, and we try to take steps to prepare for that, but it's difficult," said Kjær.
The fallen soldier was the first Dane killed by enemy fire in Iraq, and a sombre mood prevailed at the Danish soldiers' base, Camp Danevang, after the weekend's event. A memorial service was held, and soldiers had been offered counselling.

This is the second death of Danish soldier, the first was killed by “friendly fire” Corporal Preben Pedersen, 34, in Al-Madinah, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Basra, in January 2004.

At the time Denmark's Defence Minister Svend Aage Jensby told Danish radio. "It's tragic that one of our soldiers...has lost his life while working to help the Iraqi people get back on their feet," "We have lost soldiers in the Balkans, in Afghanistan, and now it has also hit us in Iraq." He said the death would not affect Denmark's decision to keep troops in Iraq. The Danish public has been very was divided over the issue and large peace rallies have been held in Copenhagen.

The prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen , Liberal Party (Venstre) called a snap election on January 18th 2005, with a year left of his 4 year term. Mogens Lyketoft of the opposition Social Democrat Party (SD) said at the time in a TV debate ...
“I am in favour of the withdrawal of our contingent at the end of its mandate at the beginning of June since we cannot continue to take part in something that many Iraqi’s consider to be an army of occupation,”… “Denmark will never take part in a war against Iraq that the Secretary General of the UN qualified as illegal. We shall never commit the same error that Anders Fogh Rasmussen committed by entering a war without the UN’s mandate and thereby breaking up European cohesion. We shall not follow the USA blindly as the present government has done. We shall be a critical ally,”
Denmark has a population of 5.34 million with 4 million registered voters and a remarkably dutiful 84.4% of them voted .The Social Democrats lost 5 seats and leader Mogens Lykketoft honourably resigned immediately after the election.

A recent poll showed 63% of responders agreed with the withdrawal of Danish troops from Iraq. Today's news will encourage others to join them in calling for the troops to leave Iraq as soon as practicable.

Joseph Heller should be writing this ...

Tom Lasseter of Knight Ridder spent 5 days as an embedded at Muqdadiyah in Diyala Province, a “quiet” area. Yet on the main supply route to the base, Route Vanessa, on the edge of Muqdadiyah, the U.S. military has reduced patrols from 24-hour cycles to two daily five-hour rotations. Explosives hit the military's bomb-detecting truck every day for 11 straight days in August. Commanders routinely call in F-16s to provide close support for the vehicle.

"We go out and kill the bad guys one at a time," said Hendricks, 32, who speaks with the soft accent of his native Claremore, Okla., where his high school graduating class had 55 students. "But we're just whittling down one group so it's easier for the other groups to kill them."
"They say attacks are down. Well, no shit," Hendricks said. "We're not patrolling where the bad guys are."

Pointing to Route Marie on a map on the wall of his barracks, Hendricks traced a 2-mile stretch of the road with his index finger where patrols ended in late May.

"They kicked our ass off this road," Hendricks said. "They hit us with so many IEDs we had to stop using it."

Meanwhile ... U.S. Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, a military spokesman in Baghdad, pointed to Diyala and the 13 other provinces in September as examples of a weakened insurgency.

"So what I'm trying to show you is ... there is indeed areas of Iraq that are relatively safe and secure, and those people in those provinces are working their way towards a peaceful society as they work their way towards democracy," Lynch said, motioning to a map of Iraq.

What emerges is a picture of an occupation force with its hands full, it's morale down, trying to keep the roads open to its forward operating bases, while leaving the rest of the province to Iraqi police or military units, or to the insurgents -- who, of course, are often the same people.

So you have the most powerful military forces in the world, supporting a corrupt, divided, untrustworthy, Iraqi military / police force, trying to stumble along to elections, in a country that the capital can boast of six hours electricity a day.... which is worse than it was before the whole violent bloodletting started. Yossarian would be at home.
Recent blogs on same topic here


markfromireland said...

Ummm. Lyketoft was ditched because he'd previously stabbed two leaders of the SDs in the back. Even his "Blairite" wing of the party hated his guts but were prepared to put with him if he was a success he wasn't in large part because Dansih voters don't like their politicians to be quite so blatant.

The Iraq war didn't really figure in the election campaign. That's a pity because support for Danish participation was actually quite low and is sinking further.

Technical Niggle: It's Venstre not Ventre.

ziz said...

That's the Dansih pelling , not the lancashire way. Anyway this koyboard spoils none to wel.

markfromireland said...

I can't wait for the elections to start here. I'm going to post on 'em over at liberal avenger giving English translations thus Venstre as Left etc. I'm looking forward to watching assorted wingnut heads explode. :-)

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish