Yesterday's roadside bombings that killed 8 Iraqi soldiers is the focus of Timothy William's report in this morning's New York Times. He draws a connection between the violence and the upcoming elections:
Although the majority of Diyala's population is Sunni, the provincial council is dominated by Shiites because Sunnis boycotted local elections in 2005. But as new provincial elections, scheduled for Jan. 31, are approaching, tensions between Sunnis and Shiites have increased.
The United Nations has been issuing warnings that violence would increase as provincial elections approached -- a warning picked up by the US State Dept and by Dana Perino, White House spokesperson. By the way, what didn't get picked up by the State Dept? No press briefing by Sean McCormack or Robert Wood this week bothered to note the US Embassy in Baghdad's grand opening. Did anyone notice that? Not once. Not even a single sentence opening remark.
Meanwhile Tony Perry's "5 platoon members honored for bravery in 2005 Iraqi firefight" (Los Angeles Times) notes the honors bestowed upon Jesse Hinckey, Javier Alvarez, Robert W. Homer, Joshua Mooi and the late Donald R. McGlothlin:
Jesse Hickey admits he was afraid during a firefight in Iraq in which five Marines were killed and 11 badly wounded -- afraid not for his life but that he might let down his comrades.
Hickey was a Navy corpsman with a Marine platoon ordered to roust insurgents from a region along the Iraq border with Syria. As they were clearing homes in a village called New Ubaydi, the platoon was ambushed by insurgents firing AK-47s and throwing grenades from at least four fortified positions.
One Marine was killed instantly, others were wounded and in danger of bleeding to death. Hickey was in the middle of a close-in firefight that lasted most of an hour.
"My job was making sure people stayed alive," Hickey said. "I saw dead guys everywhere. It seemed like it went on forever."
Turning to that treaty disguised as a Status Of Forces Agreement, it just gets weaker and weaker. But don't worry, the bulk of the country (US) refuses to pay attention. Ron Jacobs and Thomas E. Ricks are the only ones who've even addressed its illusions so far this year. And 2008 didn't find many others addressing it. So it's a new day, as Nina Simone used to sing, and the treaty is bringing a new Iraq. But about those Iraqis imprisoned by the US military . . .
Yeah, they're not all being transitioned over to Iraqi control. Yeah, yeah, the treaty says they get released or handed over to Iraqi officials. So what? You didn't really think that treaty meant a damn thing did you? Oh, then you must be one of the useless members of United For Pathetic and Juvenile, spreading lies about the Iraq War 'ending' and humiliating yourselves and others.
Peter Graff, Ahmed Rasheed, Khalid al-Ansary and Jon Boyle (Reuters) report:
Some prisoners held indefinitely without charge by U.S. forces in Iraq may not be freed or given trials, even though U.S. forces lost the authority to hold them at the beginning of this year, a U.S. military spokesman said.
Iraqi legal experts said the plans -- which would apply to prisoners U.S. forces believe are dangerous or of intelligence value but have not been charged with a crime -- might violate Iraqi law by placing detainees beyond the reach of the courts.
U.S. forces are holding 15,000 prisoners, most of whom have been detained without charge under the authority of a U.N. Security Council resolution which expired on Dec. 31.
It's a real shame so many have gone along with the lies of what the treaty supposedly will do and won't do. It's a real damn shame so few can read, know their history or know how to interpret a legal document. After the lies that forced a nation into an illegal war in 2003, the left claimed it would be smarter and prepared. It traded it in for a Hopey Poster. It won't stop the illegal war, but they think it looks really rad on their bedroom closet door.
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