Monday, November 27, 2006
WAR NEWS FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2006
Imagine the scenario where an Al Qaida-type organization uses
Yeah, just imagine…
Bring ‘em on: Three U.S. Army soldiers were killed and two wounded during combat operations in
A police commando was killed and another wounded when gunmen attacked their patrol in west
One policeman was killed and four were wounded when gunmen attacked their checkpoint in west
The bodies of five people were found with gunshot wounds and bearing signs of torture just north of
Police captain Abdul-Qadir Abbas was kidnapped outside the Sheikh Zayid hospital in central
Gunmen attacked a
Police in western
A tortured body was found in the
At least 17 bodies with bullet holes in their heads were recovered in various places around the city.
The head of the Sunni bloc, Adnan Dulaimi, came under attack in
Several mortar rounds landed in the Shiite neighborhood of Al Mustansiriya in eastern
Three mortar rounds landed on a residential district and killed three people and wounded 15 others in the southeastern
In the southern district of Dora, one of the city's most violent areas, armed men in two cars attacked a police patrol at 8:30 a.m., wounding six policemen.
Five mortar rounds exploded in the predominantly Sunni Arab neighborhood of Ghazaliya, wounding five.
Residents in Ghazaliya described a harrowing scene in which Shiite militiamen opened fire with machine guns and lobbed mortars and grenades at the al-Hadithi and al-Muhajirin Sunni mosques and at a nearby market. They said the militiamen were aided in the attack by Iraqi security forces. As many as 45 people were killed and several houses destroyed, residents said.
In Hurriya, one neighborhood where Shiite militias have driven out most of the Sunni residents, Iraqi police and soldiers stood by Friday as other uniformed men in police vehicles launched rocket-propelled grenades into houses and fired their guns at Sunni mosques, according to a policeman who was present. A mortar shell exploded in Hurriya, killing a woman and wounding three other people.
Police and witnesses said U.S. soldiers shot and killed 11 civilians and wounded five on Sunday night in Husseiniya, a suburb about 13 miles outside northeast Baghdad. The
In the mainly Shiite neighborhood of Karada, two mortar shells killed four civilians and injured five, including the imam of the Zuwiya Mosque. The wounded were taken to Ibn Nafis Hospital, where armed men later tried to break in. Police guarding the hospital fought the attackers, eventually repelling them as reinforcements arrived.
Two shells fell on a house across the street from a Shiite mosque in the central
In Mashtal, a mixed area in eastern
At least one mortar round fell in
Gunmen killed one man in the mainly Shi'ite Talbiya district of east
A police major was killed while he was trying to dismantle a roadside bomb in the oil refinery city of
Iraqi soldiers arrested the imam of a Shi'ite mosque in the
Update to Sunday’s post: At least 47 Sunni Arab insurgents were killed Saturday during long gun battles with Iraqi security forces in and around Baquba, the capital of
After nightfall, clashes broke out between gunmen and Iraqi Army troops in the Al Tahrir neighborhood in Baquba. At least 11 insurgents were killed in the fighting.
In Baquba, north of
In Baqouba, the capital of Diyala province north of
In the Sunni city of
An Iraqi security detainee died at a
Gun battles broke out in Buhruz, a predominantly Sunni village just south of Baquba, when gunmen assaulted the main police station from three directions using mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles. The gunmen began their attack using the cover of date palm orchards that surround the village and retreated after two hours of fighting. No immediate word of casualties on either side was available.
Twelve police officers were kidnapped after they ran out of ammunition during a shootout at a checkpoint near the Shiite
Alternate version: Gunmen attacked a checkpoint near Dujail and kidnapped eight policemen, police said. A ninth policeman was wounded but managed to escape. One policeman was killed and another wounded when their patrol arrived at the scene and was ambushed.
A U.S. F16 warplane crashed northwest of
In fighting elsewhere, Iraqi authorities reported that a car bomb in Haswah, about 40 miles south of
South of the capital, near the town of
Two local council members were gunned down by drive by assassins in Hillah, about 55 miles south of the capital.
Kanan In a raid near Kanan on Saturday night, men wearing Iraqi military uniforms seized 25 Shiite men.
A mortar attack set ablaze oil storage tanks in northern
Iraqi Army and Coalition Forces were dispatched to the scene of an oil pipeline fire just north of Al Mahmudiyah this morning and secured the area. The cause of the fire is unknown and is currently under investigation.
Gunmen killed an off-duty policeman along with his mother in the northern city of
Clashes erupted between gunmen and police during the night, killing three policemen and one gunman in Tal Afar, about 420 km (260 miles) north of
More War News
Casualty counts: The estimates of Iraqi civilians killed since the U.S.-led invasion on March 20, 2003, are indeterminate and controversial. Last week, a report from the United Nations estimated that violence in
On Oct. 21, 54 corpses were brought to Yarmouk's morgue. The following day, 46 more arrived before lunch, including six members of a Sunni family and a 10-year-old Sunni boy who was shot twice in the head outside his house.
I’ve run across a lot of stuff from war supporters, including some who comment here, to the effect that there is no way the Lancet’s estimate of over 600,000 Iraqi civilian war dead could be accurate because there couldn’t be that many deaths that weren’t reported. Well, Today in
Tension mounts: In the aftermath of one of the deadliest spasms of violence, a new level of fear and foreboding has gripped
In interviews across
Total polarization: The bloodiest bombings in
The killings of some 250 people in just a few days last week marked a "high-water mark", analysts said. It demonstrated with savage clarity how little control Iraq's government exercises, with a security force accused of sectarian bias and a series of peace plans doing little to slow the pace of killing.
"This violence shows that sectarian bitterness between Sunnis and Shi'ites has gone deep down into ordinary people. They are totally polarised," said Mohamed el-Sayed Said of al- Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies in
Civil war: Sectarian violence has turned Baghdad into a deadly jigsaw puzzle of contested neighborhoods where armed bands of Shiite and Sunni Muslims battle daily for control in fighting that is far more similar to an organized military campaign than is generally acknowledged.
For the most part, the
But over the past several months, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia, often backed by government security forces, has pushed into the western side of the capital and is driving Sunnis from their homes in the east.
Sunni forces -- neighborhood youths, former Baath Party members, Islamist extremists -- are conducting their own purges to expand their grip on the west and defend their brethren across the river.
Residents trapped in the capital's most fiercely contested districts braced Sunday for a new wave of bloodshed when a 24-hour curfew ends today. Reached by telephone, they all offered the same grim assessment: Civil war has begun.
Arguing definitions while the blood soaks the sand: Though the Bush administration continues to insist that it is not, a growing number of American and Iraqi scholars, leaders and policy analysts say the fighting in
The common scholarly definition has two main criteria. The first says that the warring groups must be from the same country and fighting for control of the political center, control over a separatist state or to force a major change in policy. The second says that at least 1,000 people must have been killed in total, with at least 100 from each side.
American professors who specialize in the study of civil wars say that most of their number are in agreement that
(My emphasis. We are ruled by craven cowards and fools. –m)
Three civil wars:
"We're juggling with the strong potential of three civil wars in the region, whether it's the Palestinians, that of
He said that as a result, "something dramatic" had to come out of this week's
Shouting into the hurricane: Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish leaders called Sunday for an end to
But as they went on national television to try to keep
True, but so what:
Taking an unusually tough stance, Nouri Maliki said only an end to political wrangling could end the bloodshed which on Thursday saw 200 killed in
Curfew lifted: Authorities lifted a three-day curfew in the capital and reopened the international airport Monday, clearing the way for President Jalal Talabani to make an official visit to
Talabani had been scheduled to visit neighboring
The most remarkable thing about this entry is that it means all the casualties listed above occurred while the curfew was in effect…-m
If the US military can’t do it, how is Maliki going to?: President George W. Bush meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki this week to press Iraq's government to suppress the sectarian militias that are fueling a new surge of bloodshed and political conflict there.
The hastily scheduled meeting in
Life In The Civil War
Why babbling about disarming the militias is just so much meaningless noise: On Thursday afternoon, bombs in six parked cars began detonating at 15-minute intervals in three sections of
They helped the injured into cars and carted the dead to funeral homes, where the corpses would be cleansed according to Muslim rituals. Some donated blood and helped fire fighters douse flames. Other militiamen, some clutching AK-47 assault rifles or rocket-propelled grenades, searched for the perpetrators of the bombings. They found one more car, filled with explosives, and took the driver into custody.
"Most of the cars were Mahdi Army, or Mahdi Army men were inside to carry in the wounded," Abid said.
Others fanned out to protect their neighborhoods. On nearly every street, heavily armed militiamen stood guard, residents said. Concrete barriers and barbed wire were quickly erected, closing off streets to unfamiliar cars to prevent further attacks.
Entry and exit into
"They prevented me from coming inside until they made phone calls to check who I was," Hendul recalled Friday. "Yesterday was a good example of how we can handle security. Our city can protect itself better than the government."
Disarm militias with what? These guys?: …in Fallujah, the Iraqi Army is made up largely of Shiites, and deeply distrusts the police - which are all local Sunnis. The first boot camp earlier this year, aimed at ushering Sunnis into the Iraqi Army and staged in
Of nearly 800 recruits in the five-week course, up to 500 decided to leave when they learned they could be deployed anywhere in
"They don't have enough soldiers," says Major Mundell, noting that the 2,500 Iraqi soldiers in Fallujah - at least, that is the number deployed on paper - should have double the strength to be effective. "We need another brigade in this city; another two brigades to clean it out [of insurgents]."
But those numbers are not likely to change before
The army positions are routinely mortared. A popular company commander was killed by a roadside bomb a few weeks ago, which shook up some units. One captain did not return to duty last week, after his family was threatened. A battalion surgeon was recently murdered, and when an officer went to identify the body, he, too, was shot.
A policeman’s life: The 22-year-old police officer wraps a black scarf around his face when on patrol. He sleeps in the station and sees his new bride only a few hours a month. He watches his colleagues get shot and blown to pieces and wonders if he will be next.
"I have to wear a mask because I'm from the city. When I do my duty the guerrillas can recognize me," said Kalid, who said having his last name appear in print would put his life in danger.
"If they find out who I am, they will kill me within the hour. I hope they don't do it in front of my wife. I hope they don't make her watch."
Doctors have been kidnapped and killed since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 that toppled ex-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, said Dr. Rajaa al-Khuzai, an obstetrician who is an elected member of the Iraqi National Council.
"They have been targeted since the fall of the regime," she told The Associated Press during a visit to
Death work: In another life or time, these four men might have found different callings. Maybe as laborers. Maybe teachers. Maybe even doctors.
Instead, their work is death.
One man cleans human flesh from the streets and disposes of body parts no one can identify.
Another works at a mosque, where his job has evolved into full-time funeral planner.
Another makes his living by reading verses from the Quran at funerals.
And one, Hamid Ahmed, lines up outside the morgue each day. A taxi driver for the departed, he drives bodies to a cemetery outside of town.
"All Iraqis living here now are going to be killed," Ahmed says matter-of-factly. "When the fighting is over, all the Iraqis who left will return and inherit everything left in the country."
Preparing To Blame The Victims
Stating the obvious: The Bush administration charged yesterday that the escalating violence in
The White House also said President Bush has no intention of backing out of talks next week with the Iraqi leader, despite threats yesterday from a powerful Shiite militia to pull out of the government if Maliki goes ahead with the meeting. The talks, set for Thursday in
"I think the circumstances have to change . . . We're reaching a critical point," said Lott. "I think the president, the vice president and the administration, the commission that's working on this issue know that. Do they know that in
Do the Iraqis know that they’re at a critical point? Damn,
Damn that lazy Maliki anyway: Congressional leaders displayed eroding patience in the Iraqi government on Sunday, adding pressure on President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to find a faster path to peace when they meet this week.
Stupidity is bipartisan: American support for the fledgling Iraqi government is not unconditional, and
"In the days ahead, the Iraqis must make the tough decisions and accept responsibility for their future," Hoyer, D-Md., said during the weekly Democratic radio address. "And the Iraqis must know: Our commitment, while great, is not unending."
Gee, Steny, maybe if we just got out of there and LET the Iraqis take responsibility for their future they wouldn’t be in this mess. You voted for this war, Steny. Why don’t you take responsibility? -m
More on the Baker commission sham: A draft report on strategies for
While the diplomatic strategy appears likely to be accepted, with some amendments, by the 10-member Iraq Study Group, members of the commission and outsiders involved in its work said they expected a potentially divisive debate about timetables for beginning an American withdrawal.
Another Bush administration first: In the history of
The innocuously titled Iraq Study Group, which has evolved into a parallel policy establishment over the past eight months, is also unique in the way it operates. For one thing, it's even more secretive than the Bush administration.
Forty experts -- on warfare, the
Browne refused to give specific numbers, but said: "By the end of next year I expect numbers for British forces in
Hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said
"The Iranian nation is ready to help you to get out of the quagmire — on condition that you resume behaving in a just manner and avoid bullying and invading," he said while addressing members of the Basij paramilitary group, which is affiliated with
Rotations: This week,
Amputees: Ryan Kelly wanted to be a firefighter.
These days, Kelly, 25, is a helicopter pilot instructor in
Profiles In Scumbaggery –The Ideologues, Posers And Thugs Who Are Shaping This War
Gates: Robert M. Gates, President Bush's nominee to lead the Pentagon, advocated a bombing campaign against
Baker: Everyone in
The last time he dominated the news was in 2000, in
Now, at 76, Mr. Baker is in high diplomat mode, on a mission, friends and supporters say, to aid his country and his president — and, while he is at it, seal his legacy in the realm of statesmen, a sphere he cares about far more than politics.
“I think he’d like to be remembered as a 21st-century Disraeli,” said Leon Panetta, a Democratic member of the group, referring to the 19th-century British statesman and prime minister. “I think deep down he is someone who believes that his diplomatic career, in many ways, helped change the world.”
Abrams: The neocons are reeling, but they're not dead yet. A few stalwarts are digging in their wing-tips. And there's already a small backlash against the backlash. At the State Department, supposedly the bastion of realism, some officials are sounding defiant. "There are a lot of people throughout the ranks who believe in the democracy agenda," says one senior official who would only discuss policy issues anonymously. "If the result of the Baker report is that we have to make any deal necessary ... to get out of
Abrams, who declined an interview request from NEWSWEEK, has his work cut out for him. A Harvard-trained lawyer, Abrams handles the Middle East, though not
McCain: You can read 1,000 profiles of GOP presidential front-runner John McCain without encountering a single paragraph examining his core ideological philosophy. His career is filled with such distracting drama — torture at the Hanoi Hilton, noisy conversion to the campaign-finance-reform faith, political suicide on the Straight Talk Express — that by the time you're done with the highlights, and perhaps a few "maverick" anecdotes, time's up.
People are forever filling in the blanks with their own political fantasies. Third party candidate! John Kerry running mate! Far-right warmonger! Republican In Name Only! But with the announcement that the popular
al-Sadr: One way to understand Moqtada al-Sadr is to think of him as a young Mafia don. He aims for respectability, and is willing to kill for it. Yet the extent of his power isn't obvious to the untrained eye. He has no standing army or police force, and the Mahdi Army gunmen he employs have no tanks or aircraft. You could mistake him—at your peril—for a common thug or gang leader. And if he or his people were to kill you for your ignorance, he wouldn't claim credit. But the message would be clear to those who understand the brutal language of the
…Sadr is a unique force in
The longer Sadr has survived, the greater his prestige has grown. Iraqis and foreigners who meet him are impressed by the transformation. He's more diplomatic and commands more respect. He used to greet visitors at his Najaf office sitting on pillows on the floor. Now he has a couch set. His concerns are high-minded: he speaks of fuel shortages and cabinet politics. In the past, Sadr was shrugged off as a rabble-rouser and a nuisance. Now he is undeniably one of the most popular leaders in the country. He is also its most dangerous, for he has the means to wage political or actual war against any solution that is not precisely to his liking. He is driven by forces
Cheney: In July 1987, then-Representative Dick Cheney, the top Republican on the committee investigating the Iran-contra scandal, turned on his hearing room microphone and delivered, in his characteristically measured tone, a revolutionary claim.
President Reagan and his top aides, he asserted, were free to ignore a 1982 law at the center of the scandal. Known as the Boland Amendment, it banned
"I personally do not believe the Boland Amendment applied to the president, nor to his immediate staff," Cheney said.
Most of Cheney's colleagues did not share his vision of a presidency empowered to bypass US laws governing foreign policy. The committee issued a scathing, bipartisan report accusing White House officials of "disdain for the law."
Cheney refused to sign it. Instead, he commissioned his own report declaring that the real lawbreakers were his fellow lawmakers, because the Constitution "does not permit Congress to pass a law usurping Presidential power."
The Iran-contra scandal was not the first time the future vice president articulated a philosophy of unfettered executive power -- nor would it be the last. The Constitution empowers Congress to pass laws regulating the executive branch, but over the course of his career, Cheney came to believe that the modern world is too dangerous and complex for a president's hands to be tied. He embraced a belief that presidents have vast "inherent" powers, not spelled out in the Constitution, that allow them to defy Congress.
Cheney bypassed acts of Congress as defense secretary in the first Bush administration. And his office has been the driving force behind the current administration's hoarding of secrets, its efforts to impose greater political control over career officials, and its defiance of a law requiring the government to obtain warrants when wiretapping Americans. Cheney's staff has also been behind President Bush's record number of signing statements asserting his right to disregard laws.
What Are These American Values We Fight For?
Torture?: Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the prison's former U.S. commander said in an interview on Saturday.
Former U.S. Army Brigadier General Janis Karpinski told Spain's El Pais newspaper she had seen a letter apparently signed by Rumsfeld which allowed civilian contractors to use techniques such as sleep deprivation during interrogation.
Spying on peaceful citizens?: Secret Pentagon documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union provide details of how the organization called "Veterans for Peace" was considered a threat.
Every Sunday for the past three years, members of the Santa Barbara Chapter of Veterans for Peace place a cross in the sand near
First started in
The actions of this veterans organization have not gone unnoticed at the Pentagon. A previously secret intelligence report calls the group a "threat to military installations." The report lists the group's upcoming events and warns that while it's a "peaceful organization," "there is potential that future protests could become violent."
Warrantless wiretapping?: When President Bush went on national television one Saturday morning last December to acknowledge the existence of a secret wiretapping program outside court supervision, the fallout was fierce.
Bush's opponents accused him of breaking the law, with a few even calling for his impeachment. His backers demanded that he be given express legal authority to do what he had done. Law professors talked, civil rights groups sued and a federal judge in
Opinion, Commentary, Analysis
Jonathan Chait: The debate about
Yes, I know. Hussein is a psychotic mass murderer. Under his rule, Iraqis were shot, tortured and lived in constant fear. Bringing the dictator back would sound cruel if it weren't for the fact that all those things are also happening now, probably on a wider scale. At the outset of the war, I had no high hopes for Iraqi democracy, but I paid no attention to the possibility that the Iraqis would end up with a worse government than the one they had. It turns out, however, that there is something more awful than totalitarianism, and that is endless chaos and civil war.
Don’t you just love these continuing admissions by former war supporters? “I paid no attention to the possibility
Ralph Peters: A rash of pop prophets tell us that Muslims in Europe are reproducing so fast and European societies are so weak and listless that, before you know it, the continent will become "Eurabia," with all those topless gals on the Riviera wearing veils.
Well, maybe not.
The notion that continental Europeans, who are world-champion haters, will let the impoverished Muslim immigrants they confine to ghettos take over their societies and extend the caliphate from the
The endangered species isn't the "peace loving" European lolling in his or her welfare state, but the continent's Muslims immigrants - and their multi-generation descendents - who were foolish enough to imagine that Europeans would share their toys.
In fact, Muslims are hardly welcome to pick up the trash on
Ralph Peters is an interesting mix – half neocon, half reality-based. Nothing he writes should be taken as gospel but it’s noteworthy that someone with his background is willing to challenge this whole ‘new Caliphate’ nonsense, even if his reasons for rejecting it are questionable. -m
Aparisim Ghosh: In the aftermath of the Thanksgiving Day suicide bombings in
On the other hand, some Sunnis were accusing the
The overheated rhetoric aside, this much is clear: The Sadr City bombings and their grim fallout again exposed the limitations of the joint U.S.-Iraqi Baghdad security plan, dubbed Operation Forward Together, that began last summer. The plan brought more than 7,200 additional
It is hard, now, to escape from the conclusion that Forward Together is a misnomer. But the main reason it's not going 'Forward' is that there's very little 'Together' about it — the Iraqi military is not keeping its end of the bargain. Although there are tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers in the city (in addition to the tens of thousands of police) they have, with remarkable consistency managed not to be where they are needed most.
Josh Marshall: Is it just me or has George W. Bush checked out of the stumbling national crisis we know as '
I know his name shows up in the headlines. He's meeting Iraq Prime Minister Maliki next week in
But I don't hear the president. Not his voice. The one thing that's been a constant over the last three and a half years is the president as the voice of American Iraq policy. Whether he's the author of it is another question entirely. But the voice and pitbull of it, always.
And yet since the election he seems to have disappeared from the conversation entirely. Like he's just checked out. It's not his thing anymore.
To a degree, this has been the case since early 2004 -- the point by which it was clear the entire effort was a failure. But politics -- first his reelection and then the 2006 election -- has kept him powerfully in the game, constantly arguing staying the course or cutting and running or how a rebuke for his policies would amount to a win for the terrorists.
But now the rebuke has been given. And what is more than that he validated it, confirmed the rejection by summarily firing his Defense Secretary. By doing so, he admitted (even if he can't quite admit it to himself) that his war policy has been a failure.
With that admission out of the way, there's really no more cheerleading to be done for the whole effort. It's a hard slog, a tortuous battle to find some least bad outcome to the whole affair.
Back when he was riding high President Bush used to say that he 'didn't do nuance' -- a point on which he was unquestionably right. And that being the case, there's just nothing left for him to say. No more chest-thumping or rah-rah or daring his opponents to say he's wrong. So he's just gone silent. Like it's not his problem any more.
Rupert Cornwell: It may or may not go down in
Like the killing of Pierre Gemayel in
Tony Karon: If this week's announcement that President Bush is to meet Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in the capital of neighboring Jordan raised eyebrows, by Friday it was abundantly clear why the meeting couldn't be held in Baghdad — the Iraqi capital is under siege. After a day of open sectarian warfare on the streets had claimed more than 200 lives, the city's airport is closed and its residents are forced to remain indoors under a curfew.
The latest carnage comes as the focus on Iraq's immediate future shifts outside its borders — to U.S. discussions over redefining its strategy, moves by Iran and Syria to stake their own claim to a role in stabilizing Iraq, and perhaps, to competition between the two camps.
President Bush is due to meet Prime Minister Maliki against a backdrop in which
But following the latest attacks, the pressure on Maliki from his own base to resist U.S. demands will likely be greater than whatever leverage President Bush can bring to bear: The Iraqi leader has long made clear that he can only move against the Shi'ite militias after the Sunni insurgent threat has been removed, and the bloodshed in Sadr City Thursday will only reinforce that point. Indeed, Sadr's party threatened to quit the government if Maliki's meeting with Bush goes ahead next week — and Sadr's support has been critical to keeping him in power.
James Gordon Meek: American troops have become secondary targets in
The Sunni fighters see a civil war and the collapse of the predominantly Shiite government as essential to their survival.
"Al Qaeda knows
While American casualties have escalated in recent months, statistics indicate where the combatants are concentrating their firepower.
I’m not familiar with James Gordon Meek. He writes for the NY Daily News. This analysis conflates Al-Qaeda with the Sunni insurgency which is a warning to take its conclusions with a handful of salt. As always with opinion and analysis pieces, its presence here is not an endorsement of its author’s views. -m
Donald Steinberg: The well-being of children in war and postconflict situations is not just a matter of justice and humanitarianism, some secondary issue we can attend to once the more important issues are dealt with. It is central to achieving lasting peace. Refusal to respect children's rights and hold perpetrators accountable for actions against children undercuts the need for justice and return to rule of law. Most sobering, children without a future form a ready reserve of potential recruits for any fanatic who can lure them with a siren song.
We owe full support and thanks to Mr. Annan, Dr. Coomaraswamy, Ambassador Voto-Bernales, the International Criminal Court, and others for highlighting these issues. Two additional actions can help give meaning to their struggle.
First, incoming UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon should present to the UN Security Council and General Assembly an action plan within the first 100 days of his term that begins on Jan. 1, 2007, to mobilize all United Nations agencies to protect children from armed conflict.
Second, the newly elected US Congress should ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which commits governments to ensure that children are protected from abuse and mistreatment. The
David Rieff: As the situation in
It often seems as if the
And yet the example of
Nevertheless, 30 years after the end of a war that left Vietnam in ruins and America in turmoil and confusion, the issues left over — accounting for the missing in action, reuniting families and even paying compensation for Agent Orange-induced maladies — are far less central to U.S.-Vietnamese relations than issues of trade and investment.
Remarkably, President Bush’s cordial reception to Prime Minister Phan Van Khai in 2005 was accepted with little protest except from small groups of Vietnamese-Americans. On the Vietnamese side, the dour commissars who fought the French and then the Americans, at the cost of more than a million of their own dead — “born in the North, die in the South” was a well-known saying in the North Vietnamese Army at the time — have given way to proud capitalists who, despite their Communist affiliations, are far more interested in deepening trade relations with America and in warding off their historic rival China than in pulling the scabs off old wounds.
Is there a lesson here for
Juan Cole: The Iraq Study Group or Baker-Hamilton Commission will urge intensive diplomacy with
"Serious failings" by the military led to the friendly fire death of a Royal Marine as he patrolled an Iraqi river, a coroner has said. On March 30, 2003, Christopher Maddison, 24, of the 539 Assault Squadron, was mistakenly fired on by his own side as he patrolled the Khawr Az Zubayr river in southern Iraq and died from shrapnel wounds. It was initially thought he had been killed by Iraqis but the friendly fire incident later came to light.
Family and friends gathered in Thomaston on Sunday to remember a
A British SAS soldier who died after a raid to arrest suspected insurgents in
Mark Gross recalled a shy 7-year-old boy whose eyes lit up when he played pinball at a Sycamore Mall arcade, who dragged Gross to Disney movies, asking for popcorn and candy, and who played sports. That little boy would later become a U.S. Army noncom - 6-4, 240-pound Sgt. James Musack. Musack died in
Pvt. Reece D. Moreno, 19, of