Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bush Urges Congress to Pass 'Clean' War Funding Bill

President Bush

American lawmakers are divided over support the warfare in Iraq. President Shrub states resistance Democrats are endangering military personnel in the field by not passing his petition for funding. Democrats state Mr. Shrub and the Republicans are blocking attempts to change course of study in Iraq.

Senate Republicans on Friday blocked a Democratic measure that sought to associate $50 billion in further warfare support to the end of withdrawing American armed combat military personnel from Republic Of Iraq by the end of adjacent year.

And Senate Democrats blocked a Republican measure that would have got allocated $70 billion to the warfare without conditions.

President Shrub states United States Congress is failing to ran into its duties to U.S. troops. In his weekly radiocommunication address, he states Democrats are using the appropriations procedure to do a political statement about the war.

"We make not necessitate members of United States Congress telling our commanding officers what to do," he said. "We necessitate United States Congress hearing to our military commanding officers and giving them what they necessitate to win the warfare against extremists and radicals. United States Congress cognizes I'll blackball this bill. During this clip of war, our military personnel rate the full support of United States Congress - and that agency giving our military personnel the support they necessitate to successfully transport out their mission."

While Democrats have got got so far failed to put limitations on the president's warfare efforts, they have made it more than hard for the military to acquire the money it states it needs.

Opposition to the warfare is one of the greatest grounds Democrats took control of United States Congress earlier this year. The up-to-the-minute populace sentiment opinion poll by NBC News and The Wall Street Diary states more than than two-thirds of Americans disapprove of how President Shrub is handling the warfare in Iraq.

In the Democratic radiocommunication address, Keystone State Senator British Shilling Casey states the president's scheme is flawed because his determination to direct more than military personnel to Republic Of Iraq earlier this twelvemonth was meant to give Iraki leadership the clip to accomplish political reconciliation. Casey states that is not happening and Iraki leadership are failing to take duty for their ain security.

"That agency our military personnel are fighting for a peace that we look more than interested in achieving than the Iraki politicians make themselves," He said. "And as the Iraki leadership retarding force their feet, the cost of the warfare to our troops, to our national security, and to our exchequer maintains rising."

Casey states Democrats desire a manner forward that he states will responsibly redeploy American armed combat military units out of Republic Of Iraq to break focusing on preparation Iraki soldiers.

Congressional Democrats state if they cannot base on balls support statute law tied to troop backdowns now, they will wait until adjacent twelvemonth to cover with funding.

Defense Secretary Henry Martin Robert Bill Gates states if United States Congress neglects to authorise money now, he will be forced to put off some 200,000 employees and military contractors.

VOA News

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ending the war: Take 7

THIS WEEK, for the 7th clip this year, Democrats in the House of Representatives passed statute law to coerce President Shrub to retreat our military personnel from Iraq. I supported it.

Unfortunately, it is not clear whether 10 Republicans in the Senate will fall in the 50 Democrats who will back up the House efforts. Their championship is necessary to stop an expected filibusterer and go through the bill. Then, we can only trust that the American people will carry the president not to blackball it and finally change his way in Iraq.

As it stand ups today, more than than 4½ old age after we started this war, the state of affairs in Republic Of Iraq for U.S. military personnel have worsened. More American soldiers and Marines have got been killed in Republic Of Iraq so far this twelvemonth than ever before -- a sum of 857 versus the former high of 849 in all of 2004. To date, more than than 3,860 of our courageous immature work force and women have got been killed in Iraq, with 38,164 wounded.

Also, while our planetary economical and military rivals have got got been pouring resources into their education, wellness care, transportation system substructures and militaries, under President Bush, one-half a trillion U.S. taxpayer dollars have been spent on the Republic Of Republic Of Iraq warfare and a one-half a trillion dollars more is projected for the physical and mental wellness attention costs for our Iraq warfare veterans.

Beyond the atrocious terms in the blood of our military personnel killed and wounded, the dollars spent and the chances lost to our country, there have got been other awful, unintended effects of this war.

Region is destabilized

One hundred thousand Iraki civilians are dead and 4 million displaced, which is the equivalent of 1.2 million American civilians killed and 48 million forced to fly their homes. This mass hegira have destabilized the part around Republic Of Iraq and, with the mounting decease toll, we are viewed by people throughout the Center East and the full human race as occupiers, torturers and liquidators of Moslem civilians.

We have got strengthened Islamic Republic Of Iran by eliminating its greatest threat, Saddam Hussein. The terms of oil on the human race marketplace have got tripled, in no little measurement owed to the latent hostilities we have introduced into Republic Of Iraq and the Irani Gulf. Moreover, the prosecution of this warfare have diminished America's standing in the human race as a beacon fire of hope and an able leader of international affairs.

Finally, we took a country, Iraq, where there were virtually no al-Qaida terrorists when we invaded and allowed them a small, but seeable presence, albeit in a state of 26 million Iraqis. Shrub utilizes al-Qaida to claim Republic Of Iraq is portion of our conflict against international terrorism. He is either beingness artful or is simply an incompetent commander-in-chief.

The impression that we must go on to perpetrate 130,000 to 165,000 U.S. military personnel to manage fewer than 1,000 al-Qaida inch Iraq, when we have got trained 350,000 Iraki soldiers for this purpose, is preposterous.

Further, deploying our military personnel to patrol the Iraki civil war, while Osama bin Laden remains free and al-Qaida and other terrorists organize worldwide trading operations from Islamic Republic Of Pakistan and Afghanistan, is an dismaying abuse of our military.

Instead, we must change course. We must concentrate on our demands at place by securing our ports, borders, chemical works and other targets. We must turn to the anti-American terrorists in more than than 60 states around the world, including Islamic Republic Of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Rebuild our armed forces

We must reconstruct our depleted armed military units to set up for any hereafter security menaces posed by North Korea, China, Russia, or Iran. We must reinvigorate diplomatic efforts, on a bilateral, regional, and international basis, which will assist the Iraqis maintain order, come up to understanding on power-sharing and discourage Persian and Syrian trouble- making.

The Democratic bulk in United States Congress desires U.S. engagement in Republic Of Iraq to come up to an end. So makes the bulk of Americans. Unfortunately, Shrub and his protagonists in United States Congress are trying to run out the clock, leaving this messiness to the adjacent president.

Americans must allow Shrub and his following cognize that no 1 who back ups staying the course of study in Republic Of Republic Of Iraq will be reelected -- and that any political political party that makes not renounce the president's Iraq policies will see rejection at the polls.

Jan. 20, 2009, when a new president takes office, is 14 calendar months away. Our country, Republic Of Iraq and the human race cannot delay until then.

The Democratic bulk in the House goes on to press this issue -- even without the Numbers to overrule the president's veto. Democrats will not give up. Too much is at stake.

U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman have represented New Jersey's 9th Congressional District since 1997 and sit downs on the House Committee on Appropriations.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

US accused of killing Iraq allies

Leaders of a Sunnite tribal grouping in Republic Of Iraq formed to struggle al-Qaeda say tons of their work force were killed by United States military units in a conflict North of the capital, Baghdad.

One of the leadership of the Taji Awakening Council said airstrikes killed 45 of his pro-US fighters.

The United States armed military units said alliance forces killed 25 suspected insurrectionists in the Taji country at the same clip in an operation targeting al-Qaeda leaders.

A United States statement said arms, including anti-aircraft weapons, had been found.

Conflicting accounts

The statement said military units from the US-led alliance "observed respective armed work force in the mark country [near Taji] and, perceiving hostile intent", called in airstrikes.

Ground combat then ensued followed by more than airstrikes on another nearby location.

Several big weaponry caches were found, including anti-aircraft weapons, United States functionaries said. About 20 captives were taken and no alliance casualties were reported.

The alliance military personnel had been in the country on an operation targeting senior al-Qaeda leadership in cardinal Iraq, the United States statement said.

But leadership of the Taji Awakening Council gave a different version of events.

Sheikh Jassem, the caput of the council, told Reuters news federal agency that 45 of his work force had been killed by United States air work stoppages while they were manning roadblocks.

A self-destruction bomber have targeted a police force convoy in Kirkuk

He said the arms the United States military personnel establish belonged to the Muslim Army, a Sunnite grouping which have recently joined military units with the Americans.

Another council leader, Mansour Abid Salim, said his work force were mistakenly hit by the airstrikes which he tried to name off.

"Right from the first onslaught [Tuesday night], we have got continuously been contacting American commanding officers that they are hitting us, their friends," he told Al-Jazeera television.

An American military spokesman said the arms establish - including anti-aircraft guns, surface-to-surface missiles and wayside bomb-making constituents - are not the type of arms pro-US Iraki reserves like those of the awakening councils usually have.

A figure of Sunnite tribal groupings have got formed awakening councils to assist United States and Iraki authorities military units to struggle al-Qaeda groups. Some of these self-defence reserves include former insurgents.

Separately, in the northern town of Kirkuk, a self-destruction auto bomber targeting a police force force convoy killed at least six people and hurt nearly 20 others, including a senior police official.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

State Department extends deadline for forcing diplomats to Iraq, hoping for volunteers

: The State Department states enough diplomatists have got volunteered for transportation to the U.S. Embassy in Republic Of Iraq to allow it detain the enactment of forcing people to function in the armed combat zone.

The section have set off until at least the end of the hebdomad the choice of foreign service military officers for so-called "directed assignments" in Republic Of Iraq as it looks for more than military volunteers to fill up 48 musca volitans that volition come up unfastened at the Bagdad embassy and outlying Iraki states this summer, section functionaries said.

Amid a fad over the possibility that some foreign service military officers might be forced to travel to Republic Of Iraq in the biggest diplomatic call-up since the Socialist Republic Of Vietnam War era, U.S. functionaries said that as of Tuesday morning, 25 military volunteers had been approved.

Twelve of the 23 remaining stations have got been filled tentatively, which raises hopes that the 11 unfastened places can be filled with military volunteers and led the department's Agency of Person Resources to detain the concluding choice process, the functionaries said.

Personnel panels had been owed to get Tuesday the procedure of choosing from among 200 to 300 diplomatists identified as "prime candidates" for Iraq. Those without compelling medical or household grounds who refused to travel would have got been subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal. Today in Americas

Despite the delay, the functionaries stressed that not all those identified were off the hook yet and that there stays a opportunity that a little figure of diplomatists might be ordered to Iraq.

"We very much mean to travel forward with this procedure of identifying people from the premier campaigners listing and, in the absence of military volunteers to fill up those remaining slots, assigning them to those places in Iraq," deputy sheriff State Department spokesman Uncle Tom Casey said.

"It is possible, though, that more than people will come up forward over the adjacent few years and ultimately do for a very little figure who might have got to be direct assigned," he told reporters.

Harry Thomas, manager full general of the Foreign Service, informed Deputy Secretary of State Toilet Negroponte of the rise figure of military volunteers on Friday. At the same time, Seth Thomas said he would detain the choice procedure until Nov. Sixteen at which clip he would re-evaluate the state of affairs and make up one's mind how to proceed, functionaries said.

Thomas' determination last calendar month to get the procedure of directed duty assignments for stations in Republic Of Iraq have sparked a decidedly undiplomatic difference in the foreign service that spilled into the public sphere after news studies emerged of a disputatious State Department town hallway meeting on the subject on Oct. 31.

At the meeting, 100s of diplomatists applauded when one of their co-workers likened a forced circuit in Republic Of Iraq to a "potential decease sentence" while some questioned the ethical motive of ordering unarmed civilians into a warfare zone and expressed concerns about a deficiency of preparation and medical attention for those who have got served.

Other diplomatists have got reacted angrily to the revolt, noting that foreign service military officers take a duty to stand for their authorities anywhere in the world, a point made by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a cablegram sent to all U.S. diplomatic stations on Nov. 2.

The opponent sides are now engaged in an often awful exchange that have surfaced on the State Department's functionary blog, which last hebdomad posted a harshly critical message from a calling diplomatist in Republic Of Iraq who accused those opposing to directed duty assignments of being coddled elitists and suggested they are "wimps and weenies."

Nearly 140 people, including some who place themselves as foreign service officers, had entered the affray on the Dipnote blog as of Tuesday, making it one of the most popular stations the two-month old venture have published.

More than 1,500 of roughly 11,500 foreign service military officers have got already served voluntarily in Iraq, where most are confined to the heavily fortified "Green Zone" for security.

Three foreign service force — two diplomatic security agents and one political military officer — have been killed in Republic Of Iraq since the warfare began in March 2003.

The labor union that stands for diplomatists states the state of affairs in Republic Of Iraq is unstable and the completion of a new embassy chemical compound and life living quarters in Bagdad have been harass by logistical and building problems.

The move to so-called "directed assignments" is rare but not unprecedented.

In 1969, an full social class of entry-level diplomats was sent to Vietnam. On a littler scale, diplomatists were required to work at assorted embassies in Occident Africa in the 1970s and 1980s.


On the Net:

State Department:

State Department blog:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Iraq Premier Sees Families Returning to Safer Capital

BAGHDAD, Nov. Eleven — The Iraki premier minister, , said in a news conference on Lord'S Day that increased security in Bagdad had allowed one thousands of households to go back to their places in the working capital and outlying areas. Range of War

Related (November 12, 2007)

The figure of self-destruction attacks, auto bombardments and other terrorist Acts have fallen 77 percentage in Bagdad from last year, Mr. Maliki said, adding that 7,000 households had returned to the capital. Together, Mr. Maliki said, the improvements showed "we were able, after eight calendar months of imposing the law, to drive Bagdad from its dark, achromatic years into a brighter clip that people experience optimistic about."

Mr. Maliki's averments were the up-to-the-minute in a series of aglow studies he have offered since the start of the security program in February. And while his appraisal of the diminution in force fits that of American armed forces commanders, it was not clear how he had tallied the figure of returning families, which functionaries state have got been exceedingly hard to locate. The significance of the tax returns is also a topic of debate.

Most of the capital's displaced people have got got yet to return, and the figure of those departure still outpaces those returning, according to Danu Graber Ladek, the Iraki shift specializer for the International Organization for Migration.

Over a million Iraqis have fled their places in the past twelvemonth and a half, she said, nearly three-quarters of them from Baghdad. And though the Iraki authorities is offering 1 million Iraki dinars, or roughly $812, to each Bagdad household that returns, she said, only a fraction of occupants have got done so.

"The security state of affairs is going to have to stabilise for a longer clip period of time in order for those Iraqis to experience safe," Ms. Ladek said. "We're not seeing monolithic tax returns yet." Nearly a 3rd of the people who make tax return to their places have got establish person else living in them, she said. Most returnees are also going back to religiously homogeneous neighborhoods, she said, where they experience safer and more than secure from sectarian strife.

According to recent estimations by the International Organization for Migration, since February 2006 the figure of people who have got got fled their places countrywide had been approximately 60,000 a month, Ms. Ladek said, adding that that figure have dipped markedly in recent calendar months as the force in Bagdad have ebbed.

The United States armed forces said Lord'S Day that rocket and howitzer onslaughts in have dipped to their last degree since February 2006, a lessening it linked to the addition in American troop degrees this year.

United States armed forces commanding officers said creating a safe system in which Iraqis can go back home, without forcing any homesteaders into the streets, will be one of the government's top challenges for the approaching year. The authorities and American armed military units leadership have got got been conducting censuses in Bagdad vicinities since the spring, and have hired local military volunteers to patrol the streets in an attempt to understand migration patterns.

"They desire to acquire back their places and their property," said Col. J. B. Burton, the commanding officer of the Second Brigade Combat Team of the First Infantry Division, which commands northwest Baghdad.

Meanwhile, latent hostilities remained high in Samarra, where, according to the military, the Iraki police force and alliance forces killed seven insurrectionists on Friday. Fight between the Muslim Army, a local Sunnite group, and , a home-grown grouping that American functionaries state is led by foreigners, also broke out close Samarra late Friday, a authorities functionary said, leaving 23 insurrectionists dead.

On Sunday, Maj. Gen. Crick Lynch, commanding officer of the Third Infantry Division in Iraq, said the find of Iranian-made arms here was increasing, Reuters reported. General Lynch said it was ill-defined whether the rise was because more than than arms were coming into Republic Of Iraq or because American military personnel were finding more caches.

Reporting was contributed by Damien Cave, Sir Leslie Stephen Farrell, Khalid al-Ansary and Qais Mizher from Baghdad, and an Iraki employee of The New House Of York Times from Samarra.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

6 U.S. troops die in Afghan ambush

WASHINGTON — Five U.S. Army soldiers and a U.S. Devil Dog were killed in an ambuscade in eastern Afghanistan, military functionaries said Saturday, raising the U.S. decease toll in the state to 108 in a twelvemonth that have go the deadliest since the warfare began six old age ago.

The six service members, who were serving as portion of

NATO's peacekeeping missionary post in Afghanistan, were on a ft patrol Friday with Afghani soldiers when they came under fire from little weaponry and rocket-propelled grenades, confederation functionaries said.

Three Afghan soldiers also were killed in the ambush, which North Atlantic Treaty Organization functionaries described as a complex onslaught that came from multiple positions.

The former high for yearly U.S. casualties came in 2005, when 99 were killed, according to, Associate in Nursing independent grouping that monitoring devices U.S. and alliance warfare deaths. Last year, 98 U.S. armed forces force died as portion of the Afghani mission.

A resurgent TalibanThe fatal ambuscade in Islamic State Of Afghanistan came the same hebdomad in which 2007 became the deadliest twelvemonth for U.S. military units in Republic Of Iraq as well. In Iraq, however, American casualties have got dropped dramatically over the last four months.

In Afghanistan, force have got risen over the course of study of the twelvemonth as a resurgent Taliban, which is believed to have rebuilt itself in alkalis along the Afghan-Pakistan border, have launched a series of onslaughts in eastern and southern provinces.

Last week, a rare self-destruction bombardment in northern Islamic State Of Afghanistan killed at least 68 people, including six lawmakers, in the deadliest such as onslaught since the ejector of the Taliban in 2001.

Senior armed forces functionaries have got got said there have been moving ridges of onslaughts around the cardinal southern metropolis of Kandahar, long a Taliban stronghold, including a major onslaught there earlier this month.

'Soft targets' attackedBut at a Pentagon news conference Friday, before the up-to-the-minute U.S. deceases were made public, a top U.S. commanding officer in Islamic State Of Afghanistan said the figure of such as frontal onslaughts had been decreasing in recent months, even as the figure of wayside bombs and self-destruction onslaughts were on the rise.

"The direct struggle that occurs, what we name 'troops in contact,' is actually decreasing as the Taliban endures defeats," said Army Brig. Gen. Henry Martin Robert E. Robert R. Livingston Jr., the military officer in complaint of preparation Afghani security forces. "It again reflects that desperation, because we're seeing more than than and more soft marks attacked versus military installing or alliance forces."

U.S. frustrationThe roseola of force in Islamic State Of Afghanistan come ups amid growing concern over the NATO-led missionary post there. U.S. Defense Secretary Henry Martin Robert Bill Gates repeatedly have called on European and other allies to make more than to shore up the operation despite the fact that troop degrees there are at all-time highs. There are about 54,000 foreign military personnel in Afghanistan, about one-half of them American.

U.S. functionaries have got been equally frustrated over neighbour Pakistan's failure to tamper down Taliban and al-Qaida activities on its side of the border. Bill Gates said he was concerned the disturbance in Pakistan, where President Pervez Musharraf have declared exigency rule, could further halter Pakistani anti-terrorism efforts.

Thus far, U.S. commanding officers take a firm stand there have got been no noticeable alterations along the border.

Friday, November 9, 2007

2007 Is Deadliest Year for U.S. Troops in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Nov. Six — Six American soldiers were killed in three separate onslaughts in on Monday, the military said Tuesday, taking the figure of deceases this twelvemonth to 852. The toll do 2007 the deadliest twelvemonth of the warfare for United States troops. Multimedia

Military functionaries announced the find of a mass grave retention 22 organic structures in a rural country North of Falluja. They also said that nine Iranians being held in Republic Of Iraq would soon be released, including two of the five who were detained during a January foray of a consulate business office in Erbil.

Five of the American soldiers died in two wayside bomb onslaughts on Monday near Kirkuk, said Rear Adm. Gregory Xiii Smith, manager of the communication theory division of the Multinational Force-Iraq, the formal name for the United States-led forces.

A 6th soldier died Monday during armed combat trading operations in Anbar Province, according to a military statement.

The deceases occurred only a few years after the military proclaimed a steep driblet in the charge per unit of American deceases this year. In October, 38 American service members died in Iraq, the last monthly run since March 2006, according to the (), Associate in Nursing independent Web land site that paths military deaths. November's total, if the current gait continues, would be higher, but still below the war's norm of 69 American military deceases per month.

Despite the decline, American commanding officers acknowledged that 2007 would be far deadlier than the second-worst year, 2004, when 849 Americans died, many of them in major conflicts for control of insurrectionist fastnesses like Falluja.

Military functionaries impute the addition this twelvemonth to an expanded troop presence during the so-called surge, which swelled the American military unit to more than than than 165,000 military personnel in Iraq, and sent units of measurement out of big alkalis and into more unsafe communities.

Commanders postulate that despite the cost in footing of lives lost, the scheme have improved security in the state and created a "tactical momentum" that could stabilise Republic Of Iraq permanently.

The pending release of the Iranians may reflect American blessing of some marks that Islamic Republic Of Islamic Republic Of Iran is cooperating with the United States' demand that it stem the flowing of stuffs into Republic Of Republic Of Iraq used to make deathly wayside bombs known as explosively formed projectiles, or E.F.P.'s.

Admiral Ian Smith said that the E.F.P. constituents establish recently during forays "do not look to have got arrived here in Iraq after those pledges were made," suggesting that Iran have limited trafficking of the arm parts across the boundary line after promising to make so.

American commanding officers have got got stopped short of declaring that Islamic Republic Of Iran have in fact complied with the United States' demands, and Admiral Ian Smith on Tuesday described the program to let go of nine Persian captives not as a diplomatic reward, but rather as the perfunctory end to a criminal investigation.

"These people have no continuing value, nor make they present a additional menace to Iraki security," he said.

Admiral Ian Smith did not state why the two Iranians who were among five captured in January at an Persian Consulate business office in Erbil had been held for nine months, after Islamic Republic Of Iran insisted that they were harmless authorities workers. The military did not place any other Iranians who were released or still being held.

Iraqi functionaries welcomed the proclamation of the prisoners' release. Elijah Muhammad al-Haj Hamud, Iraq's deputy sheriff foreign minister, said the release would "improve the dealings between" Iraq, Islamic Republic Of Islamic Republic Of Islamic Republic Of Iran and the United States before another unit of ammunition of planned meetings on security.

"We desire good dealings with Iran and for Iran to avoid conducting any actions inside Iraq," he said. "At the same time, the Iraki authorities is acute to keep its human relationship with its first and strongest ally, the United States of America."

Violence against Iraqis continued Tuesday. The mass grave was establish Saturday during a joint American-Iraqi operation in the Tharthar Lake area, a bare rural part near the land site of another grave, holding 25 bodies, that was establish less than a calendar month ago.

Local police force functionaries said the organic structures had been dumped in and around an abandoned building.

"Some were buried in wells, and some were left in suite used as prisons," said a police force military officer who helped clear the graves. "These cadavers are portion of what we anticipate to happen more than of in the future."

Just south of Kirkuk, the police force said that clangs with Iraki and American military units on Tuesday left four gunmen dead. In a separate attack, gunmen killed the city manager of a little small town about 30 statute miles south of Kirkuk, and hurt his son, as they drove to a neighbour town.

A member of the government council in Mosul was assassinated in a vicinity on the city's outskirts, the government said, and six police force military officers died when they were ambushed while drive to work.

In Baghdad, the police force establish four dead bodies: two east of the Tigris River River, and two to the west. A wayside bomb exploded near an American patrol near Zawra Park in western Baghdad, and a 2nd bomb exploded in Karada, a cardinal Bagdad neighborhood, an Inside Ministry functionary said. The functionary said it was ill-defined if there were any casualties.

South of the capital, in Latifiya, a bomb set for a joint Iraqi-American ft patrol killed one Iraki soldier. North of Hilla, the government establish the organic structure of a adult male in his 20s floating in a little river. He had been stabbed to death.

Ahmad Fadam contributed reporting from Baghdad, and Iraki employees of The New House Of York Times from Falluja, Kirkuk, Mosul and Hilla.