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03-19-03, 03:22 PM #1
U.S. warplanes bomb Iraqi artillery
Some nice video....
NORTHERN KUWAIT, March 19 — U.S. warplanes bombed Iraqi artillery just north of Kuwait on Wednesday, softening up the path of U.S. and British troops poised to invade Iraq, NBC News has learned. The bombing came as 17 Iraqi soldiers surrendered at the border. The Pentagon hoped tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers would follow suit as the clock ticked toward the 8 p.m. ET deadline set by the United States for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq or face attack.
THE ARTILLERY, which U.S. intelligence sources said is capable of firing chemical or biological weapons, was well within range of U.S. and British troops on the Kuwaiti border, NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski reported from the Pentagon.
U.S. military officials had reported the artillery would have to be taken out before the U.S.-led coalition stormed across the border into Iraq.
U.S. warplanes also bombed short-range, surface-to-surface missiles positioned near Basra, an Iraqi port city, NBC reported.
The artillery and missiles are within the southern “no-fly” zone that U.S. and British warplanes regularly patrol. The warplanes often attack targets within the zone, but before Wednesday, the targets had been air defense sites, such as radar installations or anti-aircraft batteries, that threatened patrolling planes.
Along the border, two groups of Iraqi soldiers defected Wednesday and were handed over to Kuwaiti authorities, Pentagon sources told NBC. A 3rd Infantry Division officer, Capt. Darren Theriault, said 15 of the men gave themselves up at one location along the border with Kuwait.
NBC’s David Bloom reported that the lead troops of the 3rd Infantry Division, accompanied by the “Raging Bulls” tank company, were on the border with Iraq, having moved from a staging area to an attack position.
U.S. forces have moved into the demilitarized zone along the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border but are still inside Kuwait, NBC’s Miklaszewski reported Wednesday, citing unidentified U.S. officials.
Earlier, one tank company commander told troops to take down the U.S. flags from the tops of their tanks. “We will be entering Iraq as an army of liberation, not domination, so it would not be right to go in with the American flag flying,” Capt. Philip Wolford said.
At another position on the border, NBC’s Chip Reid reported Wednesday that Marines had slept in fox holes and were ready to attack with 30 minutes notice.
A fierce sandstorm briefly cut visibility to around 10 feet Wednesday, but a U.S. commander said the dust would not disrupt plans for an imminent invasion of Iraq.
03-19-03, 03:38 PM #2
A Letter from the Hornet Community ...
I am a Marine Corps Aviator. I was born and raised in a small town in New England. I come from a family of five. I was raised in a middle class home and taught my values by my mother and father. My dad worked a series of jobs in finance and my mom took care of us kids. We were not an overly religious family but attended church most Sundays. It was a nice small Episcopal Church. I have a brother and sister, and I am the youngest in my family. I was the first in many generations to attend college. I have flown Marine Corps aircraft for 16 years. For me the flying was never a lifelong dream or a "calling"; it just happened. I needed a job and I liked the challenge. I continue to do it today because I feel it is important to give back to a nation which has given so much to me. I do it because although I will never be rich, my family will be comfortable. I do it because many of my friends have left for the airlines and someone has to do it. My government has spent millions to train me to fly these multi-million dollar aircraft. I make about 70,000 dollars a year and after 20 years will be offered a pension. I like baseball, but think the players make too much money. I am in awe of firemen and policemen and what they do each day for my community, and, like teachers, they just don't get paid enough. I respect my elders and always use sir or ma'am when addressing a stranger. I'm not sure about kids these days, but I think that's normal for every generation. I tell you all this because when I come for you, I want you to know me. I won't be hiding behind a woman or a child. I won't be disguised or pretending to be something I am not. I will be in a US issue flight suit. I will be wearing standard US issue flight gear, and I will be flying a Marine Corps aircraft clearly marked as a US warplane. I wish we could meet up close in a small room where I could wrap my hands around your throat and slowly squeeze the life out of you, but unfortunately you're hiding in a hole in the ground, so we will have to do this a different way. I want you to know also that I am very good at what I do. I can put a 2,000 lb weapon through a window from 10,000 feet up. I generally only fly at night, so you may want to start sleeping during the day. I am not eager to die for my country, but I am willing to sacrifice my life to protect it from animals like you. I will do everything in my power to ensure no civilians are hurt as I take aim at you. My countrymen are a forgiving bunch. Many are already forgetting what you did on Sept 11th. But I will not forget, and my President will not forget. I am coming. I hope you know me a little bit better, see you soon...sleep tight.
Signed..... a USMC Pilot
Sounds like a letter that Saddam Should Get.
Semper Fi Mac
God Speed to all our Troops.
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