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DAILY POST COMMENT: Iraqi war: Now for the bad news.

ANYONE who bought the idea that the invasion of Iraq would be a relatively painless process must by now be waking up to the cold reality of war. The notion that the Allied forces would roll virtually unchallenged up the road to Baghdad,pausing only to accept the mass surrender of Iraqi troops, was always wildly optimistic.

The levels of resistance that have been encountered over the last 24 hours have made it clear that this is a war that will not be won without a price to be paid.

Troops yesterday encountered fierce resistance at the port of Umm Qasr, which was thought secure and is a vital link for the importation of humanitarian aid.

Last night it was revealed that a dozen US soldiers were missing after what senior US officers described as the sharpest engagement of the war so far,in the southern Iraqicity of Nasiriyah.

Once again, the tragedy of so-called ``friendly fire'' deaths has reared its head, with a British Tornado bomber carrying a two man crew shot down by a US Patriot missile yesterday.

It comes on top of helicopter accidents in recent days that have killed 19 British and American servicemen.

The news that ITN journalist Terry Lloyd, a familiar face from our TV screens,and one of dozens of courageous reporters bringing live coverage of this war into our homes at considerable personal risk,has been killed is a vivid reminder of the dangerous and uncertain environment everyone in Iraqfaces.

Elsewhere,an American soldier apparently threw grenades into tents,killing one of his comrades and wounding others,and Iraq repeated its shameful 1991 Gulf War tactic of putting prisoners of war on television,in clear breach of the terms of the Geneva Convention.

It is getting ugly,and it is getting painful. War is like that,and there will undoubtedly be more bad news,and more agony and grief for families,before this is over.

The decision to go to war was a controversial one,flying as it did in the face of so much public opinion both in the UK and around the world. But,now that the decision has been taken, there can be no going back.

The scale of the human sacrifice involved would become unacceptable if the aim of removing Saddam Hussein's brutal regime for good was not to be achieved.

There must be no wavering in the resolve of the Forces,or the support of the public, and we must pray that this conflict reaches a swift and successful conclusion.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 24, 2003
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