Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Morning copy 02.21.2006


Note the trend on these stories...

The Chicago Tribune:
BAGHDAD -- Amid growing tensions between U.S. officials and Iraq's pro-Iranian Shiite political parties, America's ambassador warned Monday that unless Iraq's factions unite to form a non-sectarian government free from ties to militias, the U.S. will withdraw funding for the nation's security forces.
Phila. Inquirer:
BAGHDAD - The American ambassador to Iraq yesterday warned that the United States would not support a new Iraqi government that served sectarian interests and told Iran that Washington would not tolerate meddling by Tehran, either.
The Guardian:
The foreign secretary, Jack Straw, today visited Baghdad to urge Iraqi leaders to form a new government that was not dominated by any one religious or ethnic group.
The Los Angeles Times:
BAGHDAD — A 1,500-member Iraqi police force with close ties to Shiite militia groups has emerged as a focus of investigations into suspected death squads working within the country's Interior Ministry.

Iraq's national highway patrol was established largely to stave off insurgent attacks on roadways. But U.S. military officials, interviewed over the last several days, say they suspect the patrol of being deeply involved in illegal detentions, torture and extrajudicial killings.
And add domestic politics to the mix...

The Christian Science Monitor:
Few lawmakers care to risk not supporting US troops or first responders, making these must-pass bills. As such, they're attracting add-ons that lawmakers deem "emergencies."

But unlike the previous five defense supplemental bills, No. 6 comes at the start of what lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are calling a make-or-break year for US engagement in Iraq.

The Boston Globe:
The steps are among the package of international actions that could be taken at the UN Security Council in March to pressure Iran to give up uranium enrichment activities. Diplomats and regional specialists said President Bush and his counterparts want to find ways to target the regime without directly punishing ordinary Iranians, as widespread economic sanctions or an oil boycott might do.

''That is one principle that everybody would like to stick by," said a Washington-based European diplomat who focuses on Iran, adding that technical questions remain about how such individualized sanctions would work. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the preliminary nature of the talks.
Bloomberg News:
Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrives in the Middle East today aiming to persuade Arab allies to cut support for the Hamas-led Palestinian government and help deny Iran a nuclear weapon.
The Boston Globe sees a split between Bush and the neocons in the handling of the Muslim cartoon riots.


The USA Today notes that Bush touts energy alternatives. But, Julie Hirschfeld Davis of the Baltimore Sun realizes:
What Bush does not mention is that a significant part of his new energy initiative, a major push to develop renewable fuels from farm products, also could curb global warming, a subject the president has largely avoided since taking office.


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