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Dec 24th, 2008

Iraqi Parliament Speaker Resigns

Move clears way for non-U.S. troops to remain into 2009

Dec. 23, 2008

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s fractious parliament squeezed its abrasive speaker out of a job Tuesday and authorized non-U.S. foreign troops to stay in the country for another half-year, a pair of high-stakes moves in its final session of 2008.

The resignation of Sunni speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani capped a long-running power struggle with Shiite and Kurdish lawmakers and even members of his own party. Lawmakers applauded his announcement, quickly approved it, then passed a measure allowing Britain’s 4,000 troops and several smaller contingents from other countries to stay through July. …

The new measure will allow non-U.S. military personnel to stay and assist American soldiers through the end of July. The Americans can remain until the end of 2011 under a separate security agreement.

Britain has already said it plans to withdraw its 4,000 troops from southern Iraq by the end of May. Australia, El Salvador, Estonia and Romania also have troops in Iraq but much smaller contingents. …

Also Tuesday, nearly two dozen police and security officials allegedly arrested on suspicion of forging identity cards and badges were released on bail, security officials said.

The men originally were reported to have been arrested for conspiring to restore Saddam Hussein’s outlawed Baath party and planning a coup. But the government subsequently denied there was any conspiracy.

Bomb blast in Tarmiyah

Elsewhere in Iraq, four policemen were killed and three others injured in bomb explosion in Tarmiyah, 30 miles north of Baghdad, an officer said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media. …


Late update

Iraq’s Ex-Speaker Praises ‘Brave’ Shoe-Hurler

Dec. 24, 2008

BAGHDAD — The newly resigned Iraqi parliament speaker on Wednesday praised the journalist who threw shoes at President George W. Bush and says the legislature should have supported him. …

“He was a zealous, brave journalist and even his enemy Bush said he is brave — only the parliament did not say that he is brave,” said al-Mashhadani, who is Sunni. …

The abrasive speaker had frequently quarreled with lawmakers, but tensions came to a head last week during a shouting match over the detention of journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi. …

The case has become a focus for Iraqis and others who resent the U.S. invasion and occupation. Thousands of Iraqis have demonstrated for al-Zeidi’s release, but the judge says he does not have the legal option to drop the case. …


Conflict in Iraq video

Bush wars forever? (MSNBC, Dec. 22, 2008) — Talk Me Down: Will U.S. troops stay in Iraq longer than the 3-year timetable thats already put in place? Will troop levels in Afghanistan double as indicated in an Associated Press report? New Yorker staff writer Lawrence Wright tries to talk Rachel Maddow down. (06:28)


Iraq Situation Still Fragile, Says U.S. General

Dec. 23, 2008

BAGHDAD — The situation in Iraq after five years of war is fragile and remains under threat from al Qaeda, possible meddling by Iran and unresolved political tensions, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said on Tuesday.

Army General Ray Odierno said a series of elections next year, beginning with provincial elections on Jan. 31 and culminating in a general election at the end of the year, would be the test of whether Iraq can attain greater stability. … 

The northern city of Mosul, which Odierno said was the last area where U.S. troops were conducting major military operations, remains plagued by al Qaeda and other insurgents.

And political analysts say they fear tensions between the Shi’ite bloc of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and ethnic Kurds in the north, especially over the oil-rich disputed city of Kirkuk, could plunge Iraq back into violence.

Odierno said he remained concerned about Iran’s intentions in neighboring Iraq.

“We still have some intel (intelligence) reports that say they’re still training surrogates. They’re still moving a little bit of ammunition and weapons into Iraq,” Odierno said. …

The elections would likely see attempts by al Qaeda to stir up violence, intimidation by some political actors and possibly some effort by Iran to influence the vote in the south, he said. …


U.S. Marine killed in Iraq — Reuters reports that a U.S. Marine died on Sunday, Dec. 21, after being wounded in fighting in Iraq’s western Anbar province. Several U.S. soldiers have died in separate non-hostile incidents over the last week, bringing the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq since the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion to 4,213.

2008 Veterans Day Ceremony, St. Cloud — Rifle Salute and Taps

Remember Their Sacrifice

Remember Their Sacrifice

5 Responses to “Coalition Troops OK’d Until July”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » What George W. Bush Did Right Says:

    […] Iraq’s Ex-Speaker Praises ‘Brave’ Shoe-Hurler (Dec. 24, 2008)  […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Election Day in Iraq Says:

    […] Iraq’s Ex-Speaker Praises ‘Brave’ Shoe-Hurler (Dec. 24, 2008)  […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Tracking Santa on Christmas Eve Says:

    […] Coalition Troops OKd Until July […]

  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » ‘Limited Chance of Success’ in Afghanistan Says:

    […] Iraq’s Ex-Speaker Praises ‘Brave’ Shoe-Hurler (Dec. 24, 2008) […]

  5. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Tracking Santa on Christmas Eve Says:

    […] Iraq OKs Coalition Troops Until July 2009 […]

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