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Iraqi resistance kicked Wolfowitz's ass out of Iraq (by Latuff)

by Latuff Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 2:50 AM
latuff@uninet.com.br

"...The effect of the 6:10 a.m. volley of rockets was dramatic: U.S. officials and officers fled from the Al Rasheed, some still in pajamas or shorts to a nearby convention center..."

Iraqi resistance kic...
wolfowitz.gif, image/png, 600x410

ROCKETS DRIVE WOLFOWITZ OUT OF IRAQ HOTEL

By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. occupation authority retreated from its headquarters Sunday after Iraqi insurgents, using a "science project" of a rocket launcher, attacked the heavily guarded hotel with a missile barrage that killed an American colonel, wounded 18 other people and sent the visiting deputy defense secretary scurrying for safety.

Paul Wolfowitz, the shaken-looking but unhurt Pentagon deputy, said the strike against the Al Rasheed Hotel, from nearly point-blank range, "will not deter us from completing our mission" in Iraq.

But the bold blow at the heart of the U.S. presence here clearly rattled U.S. confidence that it is defeating Iraq's shadowy insurgents.

"We'll have to get the security situation under control," Secretary of State Colin Powell told NBC's "Meet the Press."

The Bush administration knew postwar security would be a challenge, but "we didn't expect it would be quite this intense this long," he said.

The assault was likely planned over at least the past two months, a top U.S. commander said, as the insurgents put together the improvised rocket launcher and figured out how to wheel it into the park just across the street from the hotel.

The effect of the 6:10 a.m. volley of rockets was dramatic: U.S. officials and officers fled from the Al Rasheed, some still in pajamas or shorts to a nearby convention center. The concrete western face of the 18-story building was pockmarked with a half-dozen or more blast holes, and windows shattered in at least two dozen rooms.

The modern, 462-room Al-Rasheed, housing civilian officials of the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority and U.S. military personnel, is a symbol of the occupation. The assault highlighted the vulnerability of even heavily guarded U.S. facilities in Iraq, where American forces sustain an average of 26 lower-profile attacks daily, and where Wolfowitz came to assess ways to defeat the stubborn 6-month-old insurgency.

More than 15 hours after the rocket fire and after U.S. security officials flooded the neighborhood, two explosions went off in the same downtown area. An Iraqi policeman said an assailant fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a U.S. convoy next to the al-Mansour Hotel, about a mile away from the Al Rasheed. There were no casualties, he said.

A day earlier, a rocket-propelled grenade forced down a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter north of Baghdad, the 4th Infantry Division confirmed Sunday. The incident occurred just hours after Wolfowitz left that area on the second day of his three-day visit. One soldier was injured.

The U.S. command said the wounded included seven American civilians, four U.S. military personnel and five non-U.S. civilians working for the coalition. Two Iraqi security guards also were hurt. The command did not immediately identify the dead American, but Wolfowitz said he was a U.S. colonel.

A senior FBI official said the bureau, the Defense Department, the State Department and Iraqi police were all involved in the investigation. Wolfowitz and his aides were very close to the area of the hotel that was struck, but there was no indication the attack was directed at Wolfowitz, the Pentagon said.

Brig. Gen. Martin Dempsey of the 1st Armored Division said he believed the insurgents timed the attack with the lifting this weekend of an overnight curfew in Baghdad and the reopening of a main city bridge.

"Any time we demonstrate a return to normalcy, there are those who will push back at that," said Dempsey, who is responsible for security in Baghdad.

Iraqi police said the attacker or attackers boldly drove a white Chevrolet pickup to the edge of the city's main Zawra Park and Zoo, just 400 yards southwest of the hotel, towing what looked like a portable, two-wheeled generator.

A police commander said on condition of anonymity that when security guards approached, the assailants drove off, but rockets within the blue trailer apparently had been set to fire via a timer and suddenly ignited, flashing toward the hotel, a clear shot looming just over the treetops.

"When he saw us, he fled," guard Jabbar Tarek said of the driver. The guards weren't armed, Tarek said, or "I would have fired on him."

Tarek and one other guard were lightly injured by rockets that exploded prematurely, Dempsey said.

"I thought my house was being destroyed, it was such a huge sound," Hamoudi Mutlag, 48, said of the rockets' impact.

An Al Rasheed maintenance worker, he was asked whether he now feared staying in his house, situated between the firing point and the hotel.

"Every place in Baghdad is dangerous now that the Americans are here," he said.

Dempsey said the attackers welded together a 40-pod launcher that held both 68mm and 85mm artillery rockets. Between eight and 10 struck the hotel, and 11 never left their tubes, he said.

The division commander said the insurgent operation required "some reconnaissance and some rehearsal," and possibly two months' preparation. The device was not sophisticated - "a science project in a garage with a welder and a battery and a handful of wires" - but it was effective, he said.

"There is no guarantee we can protect against this kind of thing unless we have soldiers on every block," one of Dempsey's reconnaissance officers, 1st Lt. Brian Dowd, said at the scene.

The general said his troops had to disarm booby-trap explosives attached to the trailer before towing it away.

A coalition official said on condition of anonymity that the authority later ordered the hotel evacuated indefinitely, its hundreds of guests to be scattered among other lodging places in the so-called "Green Zone," a heavily guarded district along the Tigris River that includes the palace headquarters of the authority, the offices of the interim Iraqi Governing Council, and the Convention Center housing coalition press relations and other offices.

The formerly government-owned Al Rasheed, Baghdad's best-known luxury hotel, was taken over by occupation authorities after U.S.-British forces toppled the Baathist government of President Saddam Hussein in April.

The well-planned attack was the second on the hotel, which was hit Sept. 27 by small rockets or rocket-propelled grenades that caused minimal damage and no casualties.

In his brief morning statement, Wolfowitz spoke of "even bigger news" than the hotel attack - the growing number of Iraqis being trained and equipped "and going out on patrols, fighting these criminals."

The U.S. administration largely blames die-hard Saddam loyalists and foreign fighters for the continuing hit-and-run guerrilla war. But other Iraqis opposed to the U.S. occupation also are believed to be participating in the resistance.

At his news conference, Dempsey noted the number of attacks started surging in September.

"Why haven't the number of attacks gone down? I don't know the answer to that," he said. The U.S. command is "still trying ... to figure out exactly why that happened."

Also Sunday, a Spanish army sergeant died after being shot accidentally by a colleague, Spain's defense ministry said.
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
What a crock of shit Bob Sharott Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 4:44 PM
things are not what they appear to be adrian more Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 5:10 PM
Exactly fresca Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 5:27 PM
Unstable Iraq Cui Bono Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 5:36 PM
more lunacy from fresca's govt basement adrian more Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 5:37 PM
thanx cui bono... adrian more Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 5:39 PM
also notice reader... adrian more Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 5:47 PM
cui bono,show up more often!!! adrian more Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 5:49 PM
well fresca Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 5:51 PM
fresca,you're nearly a laugh... adrian more Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 6:22 PM
more evidence for bush behind iraqi instability adrian more Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 6:31 PM
BUSH=SADDAM adrian more Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 6:39 PM
more mainstream evidence for bush behind instability adrian more Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 6:48 PM
moving Wolfowitz and his delegation out of the hotel Meyer London Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 10:23 PM
Leave!! adios Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 11:08 PM
meyer fresca Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 11:13 PM
Mr. London Sheepdog Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 11:19 PM
Tribal Wars survivor Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 11:29 PM
former Yugoslavia Meyer London Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 11:53 PM
Iraqi "tribes" animals Meyer London Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 12:13 AM
ML anti-Tito Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 12:31 AM
slavery, life and death Meyer London Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 12:42 AM
ML the Killer anti-socialist Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 12:49 AM
^^^^^^^^^ anti-stupidity Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 12:58 AM
murderer Meyer London Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 12:59 AM
meyer fresca Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 1:06 AM
no business discussing anything Meyer London Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 1:23 AM
Meyer fresca Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 2:35 AM
Oscar Meyer London Weiner nonanarchists Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 3:19 AM
shut up ex-bush admirer Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 6:19 AM
woah ! troll fight Hex anon w/ encryption Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 6:50 AM
Really fresca Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 7:27 AM
not so anonymous maybe - blind again I see Hex anon w/ encryption Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 9:48 AM
Tito the butcher noway Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 12:28 PM
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adios 708:leave adrian more Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 2:05 PM
adios,708 adrian more Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 2:08 PM
bush,noted war criminal adrian more Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 2:12 PM
729 the racist animal adrian more Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 2:15 PM
thanx,753 meyer adrian more Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 2:17 PM
thanx again 813 meyer adrian more Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 2:18 PM
842 meyer:masterful adrian more Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 2:20 PM
sorry meyer i meant adrian more Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 2:22 PM
849 the assmole adrian more Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 2:26 PM
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828 the sick in the head adrian more Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 2:31 PM
well fresca Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 4:22 PM
let me just in passing adrian more Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 4:28 PM
if under mutual consent Sir Longfeather Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 4:32 PM
again let me remind posters... adrian more Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 4:37 PM
flippant but as expected Hex anon w/ encryption Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 4:51 PM
again reminding readers... adrian more Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 5:12 PM
do a search - get a clue Hex anon w/ encryption Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 5:25 PM
Looking back through the thread If this is true Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 5:39 PM
125,if you're not a troll... adrian more Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 5:57 PM
"if" won't do Hex anon w/ encryption Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 6:19 PM
adrian more the less A-Z Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 6:44 PM
the Rocket attack Sheepdog Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 8:12 PM
They don't want us there. iraq Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 8:20 PM
7 months + 12 years+ 20 years+ Sheepdog Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 8:25 PM
sd iraq Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 8:30 PM
suck my dick,iraq blowback Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 8:40 PM
hickies on my butt Sheepdog Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 8:41 PM
oh encrypted,self-decode... blowback Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 8:44 PM
AZ,NOW YOU... blowback Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 8:47 PM
'I Was Just Waving It' Ffutal Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 10:10 PM
Neat Sheepdog Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 10:30 PM
naughty evil Sheepdog (6:30) good but Unbalanced Sheepdog Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 10:47 PM
Good article, Ffutal. nonanarchist Thursday, Oct. 30, 2003 at 1:32 AM
trollbusting adrian more Thursday, Oct. 30, 2003 at 3:09 PM
The End of Liberal Compassion? Ffutal Thursday, Oct. 30, 2003 at 8:58 PM
adrian nonanarchist Thursday, Oct. 30, 2003 at 10:08 PM
Another good one, Ffutal. nonanarchist Thursday, Oct. 30, 2003 at 10:19 PM
bush=saddam/more arguments adrian more Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 3:01 PM
Why? youask Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 3:12 PM
HEX I'M ON YOUR SIDE adrian more Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 3:42 PM
1112 sick shit adrian more Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 4:23 PM
Um fresca Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 4:58 PM
frescassmole adrian more Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 6:08 PM
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frescassmole/2 adrian more Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 6:19 PM
answers fresca Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 6:36 PM
bish's and fresca's lies adrian more Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 7:36 PM
Whoops fresca Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 7:39 PM
adrian more Agent B Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 7:40 PM
fresca's lies:the ultimate proof adrian more Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 7:43 PM
FRESCA'S LIES:ULTIMATE PROOF adrian more Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 7:47 PM
FRESCA THE LYING BASTARD adrian more Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 7:49 PM
LEFT WING NUT FANTASY,FRESCASSMOLE? adrian more Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 7:53 PM
so who's the liar,frescassmole? ADRIAN MORE Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 7:56 PM
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adrian more the less 528 Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 9:57 PM
Thanks adrian fresca Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 10:15 PM
jerry wrong again - surprised ? Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 10:22 PM
actually it isn't fresca Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 10:25 PM
low blows and other jerry the hater games Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 10:56 PM
What are you kidding me? fresca Saturday, Nov. 01, 2003 at 1:56 AM
mr. "death to all Muslims" wants me in his hate pit too Hex anon w/ encryption Saturday, Nov. 01, 2003 at 6:39 AM
conspiracy sites? adrian more Saturday, Nov. 01, 2003 at 4:44 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Saturday, Nov. 01, 2003 at 7:21 PM
???? fresca Saturday, Nov. 01, 2003 at 9:08 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Saturday, Nov. 01, 2003 at 9:12 PM
Chicken Boy nonanarchist Saturday, Nov. 01, 2003 at 9:23 PM
Of course he is fresca Saturday, Nov. 01, 2003 at 9:26 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Saturday, Nov. 01, 2003 at 9:39 PM
Chicken Boy thinks he's tough, huh? nonanarchist Saturday, Nov. 01, 2003 at 9:59 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Sunday, Nov. 02, 2003 at 12:02 AM
Well fresca Sunday, Nov. 02, 2003 at 1:54 AM
Mr. New X Sheepdog Sunday, Nov. 02, 2003 at 2:00 AM
OOOOOO! fresca Sunday, Nov. 02, 2003 at 2:02 AM
hey sheep nonanarchist Sunday, Nov. 02, 2003 at 8:45 AM
comment peter Sunday, Dec. 14, 2003 at 12:14 AM

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