Archive: Apr 2003

There was a distinct feeling of deja vu from 1994 in the air this week. Back then, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak saved the international community from embarrassment by physically forcing Yasser Arafat to sign the Gaza-Jericho agreement on live television.   This week, Mubarak sent the commander of his intelligence service to repeat the performance. General Omar Sulieman came to Ramallah on Tuesday and literally forced Arafat to meet with his deputy, Dr. Mahmoud Ab…
Read more
After three weeks of intense fighting, the American military offensive against Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq more or less ended last Saturday.  The military operation can be compared to smashing down pieces on a chess board by a violent hand and rearranging them according to a new guiding logic. The manner in which the pieces of the Iraqi regime were smashed down and are now being rearranged will serve as a basis for the work of politicians and an inspira…
Read more
BAGHDAD - At first glance, the smiling faces of the Iraqi throngs who mobbed the streets of Baghdad throughout Wednesday were cause for unadulterated jubilation. US and British forces, after 12 years, have finally arrived to liberate them from the terror regime of Saddam Hussein. The smiles on the faces of the pillaging mobs making off with every piece of government property they could cart away and burning what remains registered like a huge sigh of relief tru…
Read more
BAGHDAD - A smiling burka-clad Shi'ite woman gave a big thumbs-up to the US forces she passed as she walked along the road in southern Baghdad, dragging a bathtub she had just looted. 'Go Bush! Yes America!' she called out. Thousands upon thousands of Iraqi civilians took to the streets of Baghdad yesterday, smiling and waving at US forces as they looted government and military warehouses. By nightfall the soldiers in the 3rd Infantry Division had p…
Read more
HIGHWAY 8, SOUTH BAGHDAD - At nightfall Monday US forces had taken over footholds in large swaths of Baghdad.The 3rd Infantry Division's Second Brigade was located at the center of the city. The 3rd Brigade was located in northwest Baghdad and the Marines were located in the city's northeast. The 1st brigade was still securing the airport, with the exception of the 2-7 Mechanized Infantry Battalion, which was located in southern Baghdad along Highway 8. The…
Read more
SADDAM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - US forces continued Sunday to destroy Iraqi Republican Guard Units in and around Baghdad in their bid to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime. By the afternoon, 3rd Infantry Division and Marine Corps units had enveloped some 90 percent of Baghdad. The 3rd Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade destroyed a Republican Guard tank battalion on Sunday. In the fight, 23 Iraqi tanks were destroyed from the ground and the air and 125 Iraqi infan…
Read more
BAGHDAD AIRPORT - A call came over the radio at 2:30 p.m. Saturday: Two truckloads of Iraqi civilians, displaced when the US Army took over the Saddam Hussein International Airport in Baghdad late Thursday night, would be moving through the lines escorted on either side by Army vehicles.The call was a warning not to shoot; the civilians had already been interrogated by the 3rd Infantry Division 1st Brigade and were cleared to relocate inside the city.This call was necess…
Read more
BAGHDAD AIRPORT - 'We are on an offensive-oriented mission. Our job is to destroy the enemy. We defend the airfield by destroying the enemy around us,' explained Lt. Col. Scott Rutter, commander of the 2-7 Mechanized Infantry Battalion, at a command briefing to his officers Saturday afternoon. The 2-7 Battalion, together with the 3-69 Battalion from the 3rd Infantry Division First Brigade, took over Saddam Hussein International Airport on the western ed…
Read more
I just finished my first 'Ranger pudding.' Sitting in the back of the Bradley fighting vehicle, I followed the recipe instructions I received a few days ago from one of the guys in the battalion: 'You take the cocoa powder pouch in the MREs [combat rations], add a pouch of instant coffee, fill the cocoa pouch with water, and stir.' It was wonderful. I needed that coffee powder after spending the night stretched out on the cold metal ramp of the Bradl…
Read more
About 30 minutes after a suicide bomber killed four soldiers from the 2-7 Mechanized Infantry Battalion, Operations Officer Maj. Rod Coffey stood before the maps lying on the table of the battalion operation tent absentmindedly but violently smashing his plastic water bottle on the table. Coffey managed the front-rear coordination of the operation to secure the checkpoint on Highway 9 that had just been attacked and to retrieve the soldiers' bodies. During each radio contact with the un…
Read more