If you didn't see it
(The video is in the box on the right. 3 minutes. The photo gallery is pretty good, too.)
Bush's wartime role model is President Harry Truman. On Friday he opened a meeting with congressional leaders by noting that Truman's Korean War leadership was scorned late in his presidency, but vindicated by history.
"Mr. Bush, I think, is attracted to the martyrdom of Harry Truman's presidency and the enormous reversal of his status amongst historians 20 years later," said Richard Kohn.
Bands of armed Shiite militiamen stormed through a neighborhood in north-central Baghdad on Saturday, driving hundreds of Sunni Arabs from their homes in what a Sunni colonel in the Iraqi Army described as one of the most flagrant episodes of sectarian warfare yet unleashed in the capital..
Sayed Muhammad (a Sunni cleric) described the aim of the Shiite attacks on Saturday as creating a Sunni-free corridor across northern Baghdad that would run from the Shula district on the city’s northwestern edge to Kadhimiya, a Shiite stronghold on the west bank of the Tigris river.....
The weapons (American issued to Iraqi forces) are easy to find, resting among others in the semihidden street markets here, where weapons are sold in tea houses, the back rooms of grocery kiosks, cosmetics stores and rug shops, or from the trunks of cars. Proprietors show samples for immediate purchase and offer to take orders — 10 guns can be had in two hours, they say, and 100 or more the next day.....
Tracing American-issued weapons back to Iraqi units that sell them is especially difficult because the United States did not register serial numbers for almost all of the 370,000 small arms purchased for Iraqi security forces, according to a report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.
"Since America came into Iraq uninvited, it should not leave Iraq uninvited," said Prince Turki, in comments which came against a rising tide of calls ahead of next week's legislative elections for US troops to leave Iraq.
Saudi intelligence chief Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud called for a timetable for a US troop withdrawal from Iraq, warning their presence was breeding terrorists.
"There is no question that the continuation of the foreign presence, including in Iraq, will give a push for instability and mainly contribute to create more terrorists," he told a Gulf security conference in Manama.
He was not surprised by President Bush’s decision to replace him the day after the midterm elections, several current and former aides said. He and Mr. Bush had talked several times about whether Mr. Rumsfeld could still operate effectively, especially if the Democrats took control of both the House and Senate, they said.
The circulation of the letter by gay rights groups in recent weeks has set off a storm of outrage among social conservatives, and by Friday was looming as a serious complication to Mr. Romney’s hopes.
“This is quite disturbing,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who had praised Mr. Romney as a champion of traditional values at the group’s conference in late September. “This type of information is going to create a lot of problems for Governor Romney. He is going to have a hard time overcoming this.”
She has advocated “deepening the isolation of Syria,” because she believes much of the rest of the Arab world condemns its efforts to topple Lebanon’s government, they said; and in seeking to isolate Iran, they said, she hopes to capitalize on the fears of nations like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan that Iran seeks to dominate the region, with the option of wielding a nuclear weapon.
Even so, Americans are not necessarily intent on getting all U.S. troops out right away, the poll indicated. The survey found strong support for a two-year timetable if that's what it took to get U.S. troops out. Seventy-one percent said they would favor a two-year timeline from now until sometime in 2008, but when people are asked instead about a six-month timeline for withdrawal that number drops to 60 percent.
Private Saudi citizens are giving millions of dollars to Sunni insurgents in Iraq and much of the money is used to buy weapons, including shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles, according to key Iraqi officials and others familiar with the flow of cash. .....
But the U.S. Iraq Study Group report said Saudis are a source of funding for Sunni Arab insurgents. Several truck drivers interviewed by The Associated Press described carrying boxes of cash from Saudi Arabia into Iraq, money they said was headed for insurgents.....
In one recent case, an Iraqi official said $25 million in Saudi money went to a top Iraqi Sunni cleric and was used to buy weapons, including Strela, a Russian shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile. The missiles were purchased from someone in Romania, apparently through the black market, he said......
Saudi Arabia is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East.
WASHINGTON - President Bush's war policies have failed in almost every regard, the bipartisan Iraq Study Group concluded Wednesday, and it warned of dwindling chances to change course before crisis turns to chaos....
Nearly four years, $400 billion and more than 2,900 U.S. deaths into a deeply unpopular war, violence is bad and getting worse, there is no guarantee of success and the consequences of failure are great, the panel of five Republicans and five Democrats said in a bleak accounting of U.S. and Iraqi shortcomings. The implications, they warned, are dire for terrorism, war in the Middle East and higher oil prices around the world.
A Pakistani civilian intelligence agent accused of planting a bomb at the house of North West Frontier Province's chief minister has been handed to police....
According to the arresting policemen, the metal object recovered from the rubbish bin outside Frontier House was seven inches long, one inch thick and labelled "high explosive."
The detainee, later identified as agent Tufail, was taken to a nearby police station and charged under the explosives act.
But within an hour of being taken into custody, agent Tufail was released when Intelligence Bureau (IB) joint director Zafarullah Khan came and took him away, provincial police officials on duty said.
Mr Khan also removed the alleged explosive device and later tried to play down events in an interview with a local paper.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Thursday that he disagreed with a U.S. advisory group's linkage of efforts to stabilize Iraq with new moves to end Israel's conflict with its neighbors.
U.S. military and intelligence officials have systematically underreported the violence in Iraq in order to suit the Bush administration's policy goals, the bipartisan Iraq Study Group said.....
The panel pointed to one day last July when U.S. officials reported 93 attacks or significant acts of violence. "Yet a careful review of the reports for that single day brought to light 1,100 acts of violence," it said.
"The standard for recording attacks acts as a filter to keep events out of reports and databases." It said, for example, that a murder of an Iraqi is not necessarily counted as an attack, and a roadside bomb or a rocket or mortar attack that doesn't hurt U.S. personnel doesn't count, either. Also, if the source of a sectarian attack is not determined, that assault is not added to the database of violence incidents.
Sources said a major theme in the report by the group, co-chaired by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Democratic Rep. Lee Hamilton, is a blunt assessment that the mission in Iraq will fail unless the Bush administration and the newly elected Democratic Congress come together to deal with the declining support for the war within the United States.
While they (members of Congress) won't agree with every proposal -- and we probably won't agree with every proposal -- it, nevertheless, is an opportunity to come together and to work together on this important issue.
The country, in my judgment, is tired of pure political bickering that happens in Washington, and they understand that on this important issue of war and peace, it is best for our country to work together. And I understand how difficult that is, but this report will give us all an opportunity to find common ground, for the good of the country -- not for the good of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, but for the good of the country.
"Keeping us up here eats away at families," said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who typically flies home on Thursdays and returns to Washington on Tuesdays. "Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families -- that's what this says."
In talks with US officials, Abdel Aziz Hakim of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), demanded his country be given the means to fight the Sunni rebels targeting his community and the US-backed government.
Iraq needs "American forces to remain in Iraq while transferring more authority to Iraqi officials and forces to enable them to deal with terrorism", the leading cleric said after talks with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.....
Iraqi government officials often complain that the security forces being trained and equipped by US forces are not receiving the right weapons to take on insurgent forces equipped with heavy arms such as rockets and mortars.
U.S. troops have sealed off an Iraqi town after militants forced its mayor and entire police force to resign, and residents said the Americans were preventing aid convoys from entering and people from leaving.....
Police in the neighbouring oil refining city of Baiji, 15 km (10 miles) east, said the entire council and police force quit on Wednesday after receiving leaflets threatening them with death unless they resigned.
A day later, militants had destroyed the police station, cut off communications and were now in effective control of the town, they said. Reuters could not contact anyone in Siniya, 80 km north of Samarra.
"The security and stability of the region needs to be attained and we should do it inside the region, not through bringing in foreign forces...."
"We don't accept the relationship between the U.S. and the countries of the region," Larijani said. "If you talk to Arab leaders here, you can sense that they aren't happy with the current situation. They feel the Americans are bullies. They don't want the U.S. ambassador ordering them around."
Just for examples' sake, let's cut my numbers above significantly and put together a mix of doctors and teachers. Let's say that the US made a worldwide commitment to send 50,000 American doctors abroad, and trained another 100,000 local doctors(figuring half the cost of US personnel.) And let's pick a random number of 125,000 US teachers with another 250,000 local teachers trained.
For $37.5 billion, about 7.5% of current military spending, our country could transform the world increasing world health substantially and also increasing the futures of hundreds of millions of children. The US, I would argue, would end up far more secure deploying 150,000 doctors and a 375,000 teachers around the world than we would be spending that 7.5% on a couple of weapons programs.
WASHINGTON — President Bush and his top advisors fanned out across the troubled Middle East over the last week to showcase their diplomatic initiatives to restore strained relationships with traditional allies and forge new ones with leaders in Iraq.
But instead of flaunting stronger ties and steadfast American influence, the president's journey found friends both old and new near a state of panic. Mideast leaders expressed soaring concern over upheavals across the region that the United States helped ignite through its invasion of Iraq and push for democracy — and fear that the Bush administration may make things worse.
WASHINGTON - President Bush has accepted the resignation of U.N. Ambassador John Bolton when his recess appointment expires.
In Teheran, Iranian leaders have made clear that they believe they are the big winners from America's involvement in Iraq. "The kind of service that the Americans, with all their hatred, have done us — no superpower has ever done anything similar," Mohsen Rezai, secretary-general of the powerful Expediency Council that advises the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamanei, boasted on state television recently.
"America destroyed all our enemies in the region. It destroyed the Taliban. It destroyed Saddam Hussein… The Americans got so stuck in the soil of Iraq and Afghanistan that if they manage to drag themselves back to Washington in one piece, they should thank God. America presents us with an opportunity rather than a threat — not because it intended to, but because it miscalculated. They made many mistakes".
Iran also watched with pleasure as America, Britain, France and Germany failed to persuade Russia and China to sign up to a package of sanctions against Iran in a draft United Nations Security Council resolution. The West wanted to punish Tehran for pushing ahead with banned uranium enrichment for its nuclear programme. The US is now drawing up plans for a diplomatic "coalition of the willing" to pursue sanctions outside UN auspices.
EVERYONE seems to be desperate for money to cope with the insecurities of life in Baghdad these days, so Dr Salim Jawad was not surprised when a hospital porter took him to one side and asked whether he would be interested in making some cash.
Jawad, a busy surgeon and a Sunni, thought he was going to be urged to smuggle drugs out of the building so that they could be sold on the street. But the brutal proposition from the porter Ali, a Shi’ite from the Sadr City suburb of the capital, was far more shocking.