Friday, December 22, 2006

Meanwhile in Iraq

Calls for Haditha massacre troops to be tried in Iraqi court: In an interview with the BBC, an Iraqi lawyer said that US soldiers involved in the Haditha massacre should be tried by the Iraqi justice system, indicating that Iraqis have no confidence in US military's court system. Citing light sentences and limited prosecutions in the Abu Ghraib trials, he argues that Iraqis do not expect justice to be delivered in the Haditha trials. He also points out that harsher sentences are delivered for killings of American citizens.

Video: General says Iraq troop boost plan won't work: "Frankly," General Marks says, "I don't think it's going to work with the numbers being suggested. It sounds like it's a considerable amount but, let's be frank, 15 to 30 thousand -- with the size of the mission sets that are required -- I don't think that's going to make a difference."

Iraqi Fugitive Donated to Bush Campaigns: Contributed Before, After Appointed Iraqi Govt. Minister: IraqSlogger has learned that the ex-Iraqi government minister who is the subject of a nationwide manhunt in Iraq contributed to George W. Bush's presidential campaigns before and after being appointed by U.S. authorities as Iraq's minister of electricity.

Premier Wants U.S. Forces to Target Sunni Insurgents: Iraq's Shiite prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has created a two-pronged security plan for Baghdad in which U.S. forces would aggressively target Sunni Arab insurgents instead of Shiite militias. At the same time, Maliki would intensify his efforts to weaken Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and contain his Mahdi Army militia, Iraqi officials said Tuesday.

Rice says Iraq is worth the sacrifice of lives and money: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told The Associated Press on Thursday that Iraq is "worth the investment" in American lives and dollars. The top U.S. diplomat said the United States can win in Iraq, although the war so far has been longer and more difficult than she had expected.

Saudi Royals Snub Bush, Fund Opposition to U.S. Troops: The Saudis are clear about their bottom line: If the United States isn't careful about withdrawing from Iraq, the Sunni kingdom will have no other choice but to arm Iraqi's Sunnis, especially if the Saudi's arch-rival, Iran, which has already destabilized the regional power equilibrium by launching a nuclear program, rushes into a military vacuum left by the Americans.

Iraq Deadliest Conflict for Journalists: CPJ: "Alarming Trend," Most Murdered by Insurgents: Iraq is by far the world's most dangerous country for journalists, with more journalists killed there this year than in any country in a single year on record.

Iraqi Journalists Call on United Nations to Act over Media "Nightmare": Journalists' leaders from Iraq today issued an urgent appeal to the United Nations to take urgent action over the "media nightmare" in the war-torn country that has seen 163 journalists and media staff killed since 2003.

Who Will Pay For Haditha?: With charges expected to be filed Thursday against five to eight Marines accused of killing 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha, Iraq on Nov. 19, 2005, it now appears that at least one senior officer will also be charged in the case. According to the group Human Rights First, no civilian official or officer above the rank of major responsible for interrogation and detention practices has ever been charged in connection with the torture or abuse-related death of a detainee in U.S. custody. The Haditha case is somewhat different as it involves an alleged massacre of families in their own homes, but experts say it shares similar themes of accountability.

Brown's first job must be to break free of US shackles: A new prime minister has the opportunity to do what Blair never could - leave Iraq and face the consequences

U.S. Occupation Forces Squad Leader Charged in Killings Of 24 Iraqi Civilians:
Squad leader charged in killings of 24 Iraqi civilians; More Marines expected to be charged.

In case you missed it: Iraqi Girl tells of US Attack in Haditha: Ten-year-old Iman Walid witnessed the killing of seven members of her family in an attack by American marines last November. The interview with Iman was filmed exclusively for ITV News by Ali Hamdani,our Iraqi video diarist.

US casualties in Iraq near 3,000: Deaths today top 2,960; 71 this month alone.

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