Monday, March 06, 2006

News roundup 03.06.2006


This may not exactly be the best way to win hearts and minds. The dateline is surreal: AN AIR BASE IN IRAQ. Washington Times (A.P.):
The U.S. Air Force has begun moving heavily armed AC-130 airplanes -- the lethal "flying gunships" of the Vietnam War -- to a base in Iraq as commanders search for new tools to counter the Iraqi resistance.

An Associated Press reporter saw the first of the turboprop-driven aircraft after it landed at the airfield last week. Three more are expected.
Rep. John Murtha differs (WIS TV) with General Peter Pace's analysis on Iraq from Meet the Press.

Senator Tom Harkin (Des Moines Register) says that Iraq is a civil war and U.S. troops need to redeploy out of the country.

Amnesty International states (the Times of London) that "America 'has failed to learn from Abu Ghraib'"

The Los Angeles Times profiles one secular Sunni Arab:
BAGHDAD — Politicians like to fill their offices with tokens meant to inspire and prod them to greatness. A baseball signed by a sports hero. An inspirational slogan in a golden frame. Pictures of themselves with world rulers and shapers.

Mithal Alusi's office is adorned with two paintings of his slain sons. Assassins targeting Alusi, an iconoclastic Iraqi politician who is under consideration to take over Iraq's nascent army, killed them last year.
Thanassis Cambanis of the Boston Globe is one of the top reporters in Iraq:
In many areas, like the Sadr City district on the edge of the capital, where 2.3 million mostly poor Shi'ites live, it is militias -- and not occupying US forces or Iraqi police -- who hold sway.

''When you stop terror, and get the occupation out, then you will find us servants to the law," said Abu Barah, 26, who quit his job as a hotel security guard a year ago to work full time as an office manager for the Mahdi Army headquarters in Sadr City.
Domestic Politics

Rebuild New Orleans? Bloomberg News:
The federal Gulf Opportunity Zone Act, signed into law Dec. 21, authorized the Go Zone bonds to help businesses recover and invest in Louisiana. The bonds offer access to credit at lower rates than regular corporate debt.

That hasn't been enough. Companies want assurances that new levees will protect their investments and that new federal maps won't put them in the middle of flood plains. None has gotten what it wants.
The Boston Globe: "Bush to send Congress line-item plan today"

The Chicago Tribune:
WASHINGTON -- As controversy rages over whether a Dubai company should run U.S. ports, many of America's other key facilities remain vulnerable to terrorists more than four years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Government Accountability Office last week cited the need for improved security at chemical facilities, particularly in urban areas, and said the government needs more power to require it.
The Boston Globe:
''This is a watershed moment for the Republican Party," said Rodriguez, digging into a steak at an American flag-festooned restaurant near the US Capitol, where he had been lobbying GOP leaders last week. ''Hispanics are social conservatives. Their votes can determine the next 25 years of national elections. But all that is in jeopardy, based on what is happening."

The Times of London:
THE US Administration is riven by divisions over how it should tackle Iran’s defiance of the international community with its nuclear programme, according to British MPs returning from a fact-finding mission to Washington.

They expressed astonishment that widely differing policies — ranging from military action to diplomatic soft-pedalling — were still being debated even as the International Atomic Energy Agency board prepared for its vital meeting in Vienna today.
When this administration can't decide on something, they become static and ineffective. This is not good. Fire some people, George.


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