And the rocket's red glare....

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ARogueTrader, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. Rockets Blast Wolfowitz's Baghdad Hotel

    Sunday, October 26, 2003; 3:20 AM

    By Carol Giacomo

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Anti-American guerrillas blasted the Baghdad hotel where U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was staying with a barrage of rockets on Sunday, but the No. 2 Pentagon official survived unharmed, U.S. officials said.

    A defiant Wolfowitz vowed that the United States would not be cowed into abandoning Iraq after the brazen attack that he said may have killed one American.

    Up to 15 people were wounded in the strike that is a setback for the Bush administration, undermining its insistence the United States is winning the guerrilla war in Iraq despite escalating violence.

    The blast of the rockets hitting the Rashid Hotel at about 6 a.m. (0300 GMT) echoed across the city as a clear, rapid series of explosions. Several guests were thrown from their beds by the impact.

    Some people were carried out of the hotel on stretchers and others walked away with blood on them after at least six rockets slammed into the building, destroying rooms on stories below Wolfowitz's on the 12th floor, witnesses said.

    Wolfowitz, a major force behind the United States invading Iraq, was led away by security forces. He appeared composed after descending a stairwell past thickening smoke and blood stains with a fire alarm blaring, witnesses said.

    "These terrorist attacks will not deter us from completing our mission, which is to help the Iraqi people free themselves from the types of criminals who did this and protect the American people from this kind of terrorism," Wolfowitz told reporters hours after the attack.

    U.S. officials had previously said there were no reports of deaths. But an unshaven and tired-looking Wolfowitz, wearing a blazer and open-necked shirt, said he had an unconfirmed report an American had been killed.

    Iraqi security guards exchanged gunfire with the attackers and wounded two of them, Capt. Charles Steward, spokesman for the 1st Armored Division, said. He did not know if anyone had been detained.

    Injuries were generally minor and caused by flying debris and possible smoke inhalation, he said.

    "We have unconfirmed reports of 15 wounded," another military official said.

    Wolfowitz was paying his second visit to Iraq in three months and had stressed the need to speed up the formation of Iraqi security forces.

    Members of his traveling party, who had been dressing ahead of a breakfast meeting, calmly walked down stairs and gathered in the lobby before exiting the building with about 200 people, including journalists and U.S. civilian contractors.

    In one corridor, survivors waded calf-deep through water from a burst pipe.

    The 11th-floor room in which an American may have died was destroyed, according to a journalist who saw the devastation. Part of the ceiling collapsed, the door was blown off, a hole was punched in the wall and smoke poured from the room.


    Escalating guerrilla violence in Iraq has eroded President Bush's popularity among Americans worried at the rising U.S. death toll. This month Wolfowitz's boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, warned the United States faced a "long, hard slog" in Iraq.

    Guerrilla attacks have targeted the United Nations, the Jordanian embassy and a hotel used by U.S. media. The attack on the Rashid was the second in a month on the hotel. Attacks on U.S. military in Iraq have killed more than 100 troops since Bush declared major combat over on May 1.

    On Sunday, a U.S. military spokesman, Sgt. Danny Martin, said six to eight rockets hit the west side of the hotel.

    Steve Marney, a journalist with Middle East Broadcasting based in Dubai, said the two ninth-floor rooms on either side of his were completely destroyed by the attack.

    "I was a very lucky person. The rooms on both sides of me were hit," he said. "It threw me out of bed." He said the hallway was full of smoke and "it was pretty hard to see."

    The hotel is part of a compound on the west bank of the Tigris river used by the U.S.-led administration. It is in a fortified complex that includes palaces built by former leader Saddam Hussein.

    A Reuters photographer saw five impact holes on the west side of the hotel. He said three of the rockets appeared to have gone through the wall, the others through windows.

    The whole area was sealed off and U.S. military helicopters circled the building.

    On Saturday, Iraqi guerrillas fired rocket-propelled grenades at a Black Hawk helicopter which came down near Tikrit, wounding one American soldier. Wolfowitz had left Tikrit by helicopter for Kirkuk just hours earlier.

    Wolfowitz said he was not changing his scheduled events following the attack. He faces a full day of meetings in Baghdad and a patrol of the city with a military unit, and had planned to depart late on Sunday for Washington.
  2. Great that asshole got a glimpse about the realities of war - too bad that Dumbsfeld wasn't there as well.

    Hope he's seen the injured soldiers, will be something for him to think about in his pentagon office-chair...
  3. Maverick74


    It really pains me to see a fellow American take joy when a rocket is shot at one of our government officials. Makes you wonder about the people living around you. I hate Hillary Clinton, but I would never wish in a million years for a rocket to be shot at her. I guess that's the difference between a liberal and a conservative. It's still sad though.
  4. msfe




    Latin original:

    si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes

    "If you can read this, you're overeducated."
  5. Because attacks on our troops are so highly disturbing, if US soldiers are getting killed/maimed, it <b>is</b> preferable that the policy makers witness the horrors of war first hand.
  6. I'm no american, but thanks for the compliment anyway (no joke).

    About 10 years ago, I have personally experienced the results of politicians who have no damn clue about what's really going on at the frontline, that the map in their war-room is just that - a map that doesn't show the dead and wounded and all the crying relatives at home.

    And like i wrote: I'm glad he wasn't killed, I just hope that'll leave the traumatic experience he badly needs. I'm feeling sorry about the one soldier in the hotel who didn't survive...
  7. Thank's for the check (see new signature)

    BTW, you're definitely overeducated :D
  8. Wait a minute!

    Wasn't the war supposed to be over May 1st 2003? Chief in thief declared it so. Aircraft carrier fighter flying, media hoorays and all?

    Sad times indeed.

    War is quickly over, now it's easy to sign executive orders such as the following:
    Executive order 13302, May 22nd 2003

    Section1, basically gives free get out of jail card, no liability of any wrongdoing to Oil Cos or persons doing oil business business in Iraq.
  9. From a NYT article on the rocket attack:

    "...Half the missiles were 68 millimeter, which have a range of two to three miles; the others were 85 millimeter, whose range is three to four miles, he said. The smaller ones were French made, and designed for use by helicopters. The others were Russian. The French rockets, officers said, were quite new, and likely purchased after the arms embargo was in place..."
  10. Siwash



    The US supplied arms to both Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein in the past, so they bought French weapons, so what, you could buy US made weapons on the black market too.
    #10     Oct 26, 2003