Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Monday, January 30, 2006
War News for Monday, January 30, 2006
Bring ‘em on: Three people killed and nine wounded in five car bombings aimed at Christian churches, two in Kirkuk and two in Baghdad, and at the office of the Vatican envoy in Baghdad.
Bring ‘em on: Bombings and ambushes Sunday killed eight policemen and a medic in attacks across
Bring ‘em on: A massive car bomb killed four Iraqi soldiers and wounded six more in Saddam Hussein's birthplace of Uja, about 75 miles north of Baghdad. It was unclear whether the attacks was linked to Saddam's trial, which resumed Sunday.
Bring ‘em on: A former high-ranking general in Saddam's disbanded army, Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Idham, was assassinated near Tikrit. The motive for the attack was unclear.
Bring ‘em on: ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and a cameraman were seriously injured Sunday in an explosion while reporting from
Bring ‘em on: Two policemen were killed and 20 people were wounded when a suicide bomber in a car attacked a barracks in Nassiriya on Monday. The wounded included soldiers and civilians.
Bring ‘em on: Thirty people were arrested, including two top suspects, by U.S and Iraqi forces in Sebtiya, a northern suburb of Baquba.
Bring ‘em on: Three decapitated bodies were found on Saturday by U.S forces in a soccer field west of
Getting further apart: It's already a bitter fight and getting more acrimonious by the day — the question of who should control
At stake is whether
In a clear sign of the issue's importance, American officials have been pointed in their demands that the two sides reach a deal, and that no one group should monopolize key ministries. But so far, the sides are getting further apart, not compromising.
Sunni Arabs insist that Shiites aligned with sectarian groups with private militias cannot control the key interior and defense ministries that run the police and the army.
"We will work hard to not allow the security ministries to be in the hands of groups that have militias. And we will also work hard not to let those sectarian people head these ministries," said Thafir al-Ani, a spokesman of the main Sunni Arab bloc. "We will absolutely not allow this."
But Shiites say they must control those key ministries to ensure that members of their majority community are protected.
"We have red lines that cannot be crossed in regard to electoral weight and the interest of national security," Hadi al-Amri, head of the Shiite Badr militia. "We will never surrender these. We are subjected to a daily slaughter. We will not relinquish security portfolios."
This worked out about as well as the rest of it: Not long after the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq in 2003, a top aide to L. Paul Bremer III, then the head of the American occupation authority there, excitedly explained that Iraq had just become the front line in Washington's effort to neutralize Iran as a regional force.
So far, though,
In almost every conversation about
Negotiating with terrorists: American officials in
Even the good news is bad: Deadly fighting has erupted within
Mowaffak Rubaie, the Iraqi government's national security advisor, said a growing body of intelligence indicated that Iraqi-led groups were turning against Zarqawi's faction, Al Qaeda in
The protesters demanded the release of five men who were among 14 arrested by British and Iraqi forces last Tuesday to try to weed out security forces linked to Shiite militia groups operating in
"No, no for the occupation; no, no for taking Iraqis' rights," chanted the protesters outside the consulate. Many carried banners emblazoned with slogans demanding the release of the detainees.
Among the demonstrators, some who burned and tore British flags, were
The sources said Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum, from a prominent Shi'ite family, was quitting because of Shi'ite wrangling over the oil job since
The upheaval coincides with a collapse in
The incredible shrinking Army: Since September 2001, the number of junior enlisted soldiers -- the bulk of the Army, and on whose shoulders rest most of the fighting in
And despite Army efforts to add soldiers to its payroll and historically high retention rates, the active duty force actually shrunk by 6,800 from 2004 to 2005.
These declines come as the Army is trying to increase its force to 512,400 soldiers, up from a baseline of about 480,000 in 2001.
That’s ok, we’ll just keep everyone in forever: The U.S. Army has forced about 50,000 soldiers to continue serving after their voluntary stints ended under a policy called "stop-loss," but while some dispute its fairness, court challenges have fallen flat.
The policy applies to soldiers in units due to deploy for the
"As the war in
"When a service has to repeatedly resort to compelling the retention of people who want to leave, you're edging away from the whole notion of volunteerism."
More Ancient History
It would be nice if this really blew up: Tony Blair knew that George Bush was only "going through the motions" of offering support for a second UN resolution in the run-up to the
According to reports in The Mail on Sunday, the Prime Minister and the
An updated edition of a book by Philippe Sands QC, a leading human rights barrister and Professor of Law at London University, to be published in Britain this week, is expected to strengthen claims that President Bush decided to go to war with or without UN backing, and that he had Mr Blair's support.
An odd little tale: For more than a decade, Osama bin Laden had few soldiers more devoted than Abdallah Tabarak. A former Moroccan transit worker, Tabarak served as a bodyguard for the al Qaeda leader, worked on his farm in
During the battle of Tora Bora in December 2001, when al Qaeda leaders were pinned down by
Tabarak was captured and taken to the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was classified as such a high-value prisoner that the Pentagon repeatedly denied requests by the International Committee of the Red Cross to see him. Then, after spending almost three years at the base, he was suddenly released.
Today, the al Qaeda loyalist known locally as the "emir" of
When The People Lead, The Leaders Will Follow
Feinstein: Cindy Sheehan, the peace activist who set up camp near President Bush's
"She voted for the war. She continues to vote for the funding. She won't call for an immediate withdrawal of the troops," Sheehan told The Associated Press in an interview while attending the World Social Forum in Venezuela along with thousands of other anti-war and anti-globalization activists.
"I think our senator needs to be held accountable for her support of George Bush and his war policies," said Sheehan, whose 24-year-old soldier son Casey was killed in
"We want Hillary and other Democrats to show some teeth," said Nancy Mancias,
"I think she has left the Democratic Party behind," said protester Linda Wiener of Code Pink, an anti-war group that helped organize the demonstration. She said
Afterward, Wiener and as many as a dozen demonstrators managed to get into the ballroom and repeatedly interrupt her speech with shouts of "Hillary supports the war!" and "Stop the War!" At one point, they displayed an anti-Clinton banner that was ripped down by supporters as security guards repeatedly hustled out protesters who popped up in various parts of the ballroom.
Lieberman: Sen. Joe Lieberman of
Ned Lamont, a businessman and war critic, earlier this month publicly began seeking support for a run against Lieberman in the state's August nominating contest.
Lamont is attracting interest largely because of Democratic grumbling — in
"The indications I have is that a primary would be good for the party and very doable," said Lamont, 52, who founded a cable television company.
My god! A clear unambiguous statement! Quick, Democratic leadership! Hide!
Philip Gailey: Karl Rove, the president's unindicted leaker in the CIA leak case, stooped to a new low in suggesting that Democrats still have a "pre-9/11 worldview" when it comes to fighting terrorists. "Let me be as clear as I can be - President Bush believes if al-Qaida is calling somebody in
What a loathsome insinuation. Some Republicans also have expressed doubt about the legality of Bush's surveillance program. Senate hearings are scheduled next month, but senators probably shouldn't expect much cooperation from an imperial White House that routinely defies congressional investigators.
Last week, the White House stiffed a Senate committee trying to determine why the administration was so unprepared for Hurricane Katrina. Bush to Senate: Drop dead. Citing executive privilege, the president's men have refused to provide the documents and witnesses the committee requested. If only the levees around
Bad news has no place in Bush's world. Neither does reality. To hear the president tell it, everything in
So much executive power, so little competence.