Archive for September 3rd, 2007

Congress Back From Vacation, Will Renew Debate On Iraq

by- Suzie-Q @ 9:06 AM MST

Richard Lui / AP

A volunteer with Veterans for Peace puts up crosses in Santa Monica, Calif., representing U.S. soldiers killed in the Iraq war.

WASHINGTON — Congress returns from its summer recess this week still split along partisan lines about whether there’s progress in Iraq and what policy on Iraq would best protect U.S. security interests.

Democrats and Republicans don’t intend to renew their formal debate about what to do next in Iraq until after Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker report next Monday, but it’s clear where both sides will line up.

Republicans, led by President Bush, say there have been military gains, citing as evidence such things as numbers of enemy forces killed and captured and more tips from Iraqis. They say this shows that Bush’s troop “surge” is working and deserves support.

Most Democrats want to withdraw U.S. combat troops. Some of them acknowledge some military gains, but note that violence remains high. They stress that American intelligence experts say the prospects for Iraqi politicians finding a political solution to the violence are dim. That assessment was seconded by a Government Accountability Office draft report leaked Thursday that found that Iraq’s leaders have failed to meet 15 of their own 18 benchmarks for progress toward peace and stability. The report also says that questions remain about whether sectarian violence has been reduced.

Statistics that McClatchy Newspapers collected in Baghdad don’t show any drop in violence. Civilian deaths in the capital were about the same in July as in December, before the American troop increase began. U.S. officials in Baghdad declined to provide data to back up their claims of lower violence.


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What Have We Done?

by- Suzie-Q @ 8:24 AM MST

This video is a look at the war in Iraq… a war that never should have happened. These images alone serve as a reminder to us all that war is not something for us to be proud of. It is something that should be avoided at all costs… unless it is for the right reasons.




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We’re out by Feb. ’09: MacKay

punditman says @ 9:20 EDT: Looks like the Canadian government sees the writing on the wall with respect to the Afghan combat mission.

From Monday’s Globe and Mail

September 3, 2007 at 2:00 AM EDT

OTTAWA — Canada has made it clear to its NATO allies that they cannot count on our troops to fight on the deadly battlefields of southern Afghanistan after February of 2009, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Sunday.

“The signal that has been sent already is that our current configuration will end in February, 2009,” Mr. MacKay said in an interview on the CTV television program Question Period.

“Obviously the aid work and the diplomatic effort and presence will extend well beyond that. The Afghan compact itself goes until 2011,” he said. “But the way the mission is currently configured, with respect to our presence in Kandahar, there is an expiration date that has been set.”

Mr. MacKay added that the government has committed to a vote in the Commons on Canada’s future in Afghanistan. He also said he and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are in regular contact with North Atlantic Treaty Organization officials and their counterparts among NATO countries.

Opposition parties have been pounding away at the government to notify NATO and Afghan allies that the mission will not be extended past February of 2009.

Full article…

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