Thursday, June 30, 2005

State Department: Iraq Too Dangerous For American Visitors

From the Associated Press:

"The State Department called Iraq too dangerous for American travellers on Wednesday, hours after President George W Bush pointed to 'significant progress' there.

'Attacks against military and civilian targets throughout Iraq continue,' and targets include hotels and restaurants, the State Department's travel warning said. 'There have been planned and random killings, as well as extortions and kidnappings.' The State Department issues warning against unnecessary travel to countries where internal conditions such as war, political unrest or terrorism may make American tourists, business people or other travellers targets. Wednesday's warning replaced a similarly worded warning issued in October.

Bush's speech on Tuesday night marked the first anniversary of the transfer of power from the US-led coalition to Iraq's interim government. The president cited advances in the past year, including the January elections, infrastructure improvements and training of Iraqi security forces.

'In the past year, we have made significant progress,' Bush said.

'Rebuilding a country after three decades of tyranny is hard and rebuilding while a country is at war is even harder. Our progress has been uneven but progress is being made.'

The State Department warning said terrorism threatens travel over land and by air.

'There is credible information that terrorists are targeting civil aviation. Civilian and military aircraft arriving in and departing from Baghdad International Airport have been subjected to small arms and missiles,' the warning said.

US government personnel are not allowed to fly commercially aboard Iraq's national airline, Iraqi Airways. They must come and go to the country on US military or other government-owned aircraft, or by Royal Jordanian Airlines.

'All vehicular travel in Iraq is extremely dangerous,' the warning said. 'There have been numerous attacks on civilian vehicles, as well as military convoys. Attacks occur throughout the day, but travel at night is exceptionally dangerous.' More than 1,700 US troops have died in Iraq, with thousands more injured. The toll is even higher among Iraqis.

Ah, progress. It really sounds like we're "completing the mission."

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?