Sunday, October 05, 2003


And I think its super that this new army no longer segregates Iraqis by ethnicity or religion.

Gee...sort of like America.
Almost 700 recruits completed their basic training on Saturday as the first battalion of a new Iraqi army, a small step in the US effort to replace the giant force that disintegrated under US-British attack six months ago.

The US administration of President George W Bush proposed to spend USD 2 billion to create a 40,000-member Iraqi military by the end of 2004. A second battalion begins the nine-week course on Sunday.

In a gritty desert training camp, 85 kilometres northeast of Baghdad, the graduating battalion marched in review on Saturday, high-stepping past dignitaries including the US civilian administrator for Iraq, L Paul Bremer, and Iyad Allawi, current president of the interim Iraqi Governing Council...

(T)hey will be assigned to help the US 4th Infantry Division with security on the Iranian border, 30 kilometres (20 miles) east of Kir Kush.

"Our army will be for the defence of our nation and all our citizens regardless of ethnic background," Allawi told the recruits.

Afterward, Allawi told reporters that the army would serve the nation and not be used "in oppressing people."

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