Foreign Policy

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  Guantanamo Trials Are Illegal, Supreme Court Tells PresidentJune 29, 2006 20:05 PRESIDENT BUSH faced renewed calls to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp yesterday after being dealt a blow by the US Supreme Court, which ruled that the military tribunal system at the Cuban base was illegal.
In a ruling that served as a significant check on the powers claimed by Mr Bush to prosecute the War on Terror, the justices ruled that the controversial military trials at Guantanamo breached the Geneva Conventions and US law.



The ruling did not demand the release of the Guantanamo inmates, or the closure of the prison. But it forces the Bush Administration to try the 70 terrorist suspects it has either charged or plans to charge under a new tribunal system that conforms with international law.

Some Republican senators conceded that the ruling also increased pressure on the Administration to repatriate many of the 440 detainees still held at Guantanamo, and who are unlikely to be charged, to their home countries.
  Surprise! Troop Cut Just In Time For ElectionJune 27, 2006 15:22 Remember all that Sturm und Drang in Congress over the failed attempt by Democrats to commit the Bush administration in principle to troop withdrawals in Iraq -- maybe even to a timetable? "Cut and run," scornful Republicans labeled the effort.

No way are we going to commit to bringing the troops home while insurgency threatens the new Iraqi regime, much less to a timetable, the GOP majority, cheered on by the Bush White House, vowed. To do so would give a huge moral lift to alQaeda -- a date or set of dates when they could look forward to a reduced or ended American military presence and ultimate victory.

Seemed like a sensible position -- even to some of us who think the Iraq invasion was an unnecessary war launched on a phony premise. But it looks now like it was all just a dog and pony show to keep the GOP's conservative base fired up in support of "the troops" -- or at least the Bush administration.

For we now learn, courtesy of the New York Times, that Gen. George Casey, the U.S. commander in Iraq, already had formulated a three-stage withdrawal plan. The first stage would begin in September, just in time for the mid-term elections this fall, with more troops to come out in December and the bulk of the combat brigades to be out of harm's way by December, 2007, when the presidential campaign heats up.
  Terror: Rights Watchdog Backs CIA Renditions ReportJune 27, 2006 15:19 Europe's leading human rights body, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), today passed a resolution accusing a range of European states of colluding with the illegal abduction and incarceration of terrorist suspects by U.S. secret service agents.

The resolution endorses the findings of a seven-month investigation conducted at the Council of Europe's request. That report, in large part already publicized in early June, identified 14 specific countries. The PACE resolution avoided naming them.

Dick Marty, a Swiss senator and PACE deputy who was the highest-profile investigator, stressed that he had been given no real investigating powers. However, he made clear that he believes there is now enough evidence to back up the main allegations.
  Idea Of Strike On North Korea Missile Assailed As Overkill / Clinton-Era Officials' Suggestion 'Pours Gasoline On The Fire'June 25, 2006 08:41 A proposal calling on the United States to consider a military assault on North Korea if it refuses to mothball a new long-range ballistic missile has roiled the debate over how best to confront the dangers associated with the North's nuclear arsenal.

The idea comes from two experts in defense policy: William Perry, secretary of defense in the Clinton administration and now a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and his former assistant secretary of defense, Ashton Carter, now at Harvard University. Writing in Thursday's Washington Post, the two argue that while the doctrine of pre-emption has been unwisely ballyhooed by the Bush administration, the White House should still consider a military intervention against North Korea before it can develop into a mortal threat.

"I have a lot of respect for both of those guys, and I was really surprised" by the essay, said Daniel A. Pinkston, a Korea specialist at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey. "My jaw practically hit the floor."
  Warning Bonehead at Work: Santorum Claims WMD Found In IraqJune 23, 2006 21:51 Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is talking about his claim weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq.

The Pentagon report said the military has found about 500 weapons munitions that contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent.

"I think the American public has a right to know whether we have found weapons of mass destruction and what the character of those weapons are,” Santorum said.

 
  US Senate Rejects Iraq Troop WithdrawalJune 23, 2006 21:47 Republican senators backed President George W. Bush's Iraq policies on Thursday, rejecting Democratic plans to start pulling out troops after a debate that forced Iraq to the heart of campaigning for November elections.

Five U.S. troops were killed in the previous two days, the military said -- four Marines in two attacks in western Iraq and a soldier in a roadside bombing south of Baghdad, bringing the number of Americans to die in three years in Iraq to 2,511.

Some of Bush's fellow Republicans fear low poll ratings over the war could hurt them in legislative elections. But senators rallied to accuse Democrats of "cutting and running" while their opponents said Republicans were uniting on failed policies.

The votes came as the U.S. commander in Iraq, General George Casey, met U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for talks on future force levels. The Pentagon is considering a reduction of a few thousand troops from the present 127,000 in the coming months.
  Bush Under Attack At Eu SummitJune 22, 2006 08:21 President Bush, eager to discuss the perceived threats of Iran and North Korea, instead found himself passionately defending his country against suggestions that the United State threatens world security with its own foreign policies.

"That's absurd," Bush said at a news conference on Thursday morning (AEST) at Vienna's historic Hofburg Palace where European reporters pressed the president about declining European public opinion towards the US.

"We'll defend ourselves, but at the same time we're actively working with our partners to spread peace and democracy," Bush said.

During a three-day tour of Europe, the president is intent on encouraging European allies to maintain a united front against Iran over its pursuit of nuclear technology and to make good on a continental commitment to pay for the rebuilding of war-torn Iraq.

Though publicly he received support from European leaders, in private meetings some European leaders appeared as interested in pressing Bush on the closing of the US-run detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other issues that call into question US commitment to human rights. Bush raised the issue on his own and pledged again that he will eventually close the camp.

 
  Pullout Debate Divides SenateJune 22, 2006 07:46 Wading into a tough partisan battle over America's involvement in Iraq, Ken Salazar urged his fellow senators Wednesday to endorse a timetable for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops.

A nonbinding amendment to a defense measure co-sponsored by the Colorado Democrat urges the Bush administration to begin withdrawing forces from Iraq by the end of this year. The legislation was the subject of intense debate on the Senate floor Wednesday, with a vote expected today.

A competing Democratic amendment would require the administration to remove U.S. troops from Iraq by July 2007. The two plans reflect divisions among Democrats over the party's response to the war as fall elections approach.

 
  Servicemen To Face Charges In Iraqi Civilian Deaths - Los Angeles TimesJune 21, 2006 13:20 Eight U.S. servicemen are expected to face charges, including kidnapping, conspiracy and murder in connection with the death of an Iraqi civilian, officials said this morning.

The Marine Corps has scheduled a news conference at Camp Pendleton for later today, where the charges against seven Marines and one sailor are expected to be announced.

The current case comes as the military investigates other acts, including murder, by U.S. military personnel in Iraq.

The eight accused in the latest case have been held at Camp Pendleton since they were shipped back from Iraq in late May. All are from the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment, 1st Marine Division.

The charges stem from an incident on April 26 in Hamandiya, Iraq. U.S. forces allegedly broke into a house and dragged out an unarmed 52-year-old man.
  European Liberal Democrat Leader Calls On EU Leaders To Talk Tough With USJune 21, 2006 10:41 European Union leaders meeting with US President George W Bush in Vienna on Wednesday must talk tough on issues like the war on terror, visas and transfer of passenger data, European Liberal Democrat leader Graham Watson said Tuesday.

"The war on terror has dominated EU-US relations since 9/11 often to the exclusion of more important business. It is time for trans-atlantic relations to get back to normal," he said in the run-up to the EU-US Summit.

"Despite President Bush's commitment to lifting the visa requirements for EU citizens, travelers from many EU countries are still subject to a visa regime.

"What is worse, the transfer of passenger data the US insists on has compromised the individual privacy of Europeans traveling across the Atlantic. It has made us little, if any, safer. EU Leaders need to do some tough talking with their US counterparts," said Watson.

 
  Bush Oil "Addiction" Speech No Longer Rankles Saudi June 21, 2006 10:31 President George W. Bush has reassured Saudi Arabia's king that he will continue to cooperate with the kingdom on energy issues even after his pledge to wean America off Middle East oil, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States said on Tuesday.

Bush's pledge in January to cut U.S. oil imports from the Middle East rankled some kingdom officials, because Saudi Arabia had announced plans to spend $50 billion expanding oil production to meet rising global demand.


"When that statement came out we got in touch with the White House," Saudi Ambassador Prince Turki Al-Faisal told reporters at a news conference hosted by the United States Energy Association.

Bush later sent a letter to Saudi King Abdullah pledging to honor a 2005 agreement the two reached at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, Al-Faisal said. His remarks provided new details on how the White House smoothed relations with the Saudis after Bush's speech.
  Australia to Review Iraq CommitmentJune 20, 2006 20:32 Australia expects to review its commitment of troops in Iraq by the end of the year, Defense Minister Brendan Nelson said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki this week said local security forces will next month take control of the southern al- Muthanna province in the first step of a plan to transfer security duties from the U.S.-led coalition.

``The next six months in al-Muthanna is going to be extremely important for our future involvement in Iraq,'' Nelson said in an interview on Seven Network Ltd.'s Sunrise program.

Al-Muthanna, one of four provinces under U.K. command in the south, will be the first where security is handed over to civil authorities. The transfer of such responsibilities is key to U.S. and U.K. plans to begin withdrawing international forces from Iraq.
  US Military Spending Accounts For Half The World's TotalJune 20, 2006 08:54 World military expenditure in 2005 is estimated to have reached $1.12 trillion.

This is according to the Armament, Disarmament and International Security 2006 yearbook, issued by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on June 12th.

The eighth chapter of the book focuses on military spending. It says that the figure corresponds to 2.5 per cent of world GDP or an average spending of US$173 per capita. World military expenditure in 2005 presents a real increase of 3.4 per cent since 2004, and of 34 per cent over the 10 year period from 1996 to 2005. The USA, responsible for about 80 per cent of the increase in 2005, is the principal determinant of the current world trend, and its military expenditure now accounts for almost half of the world's total.

According to the SIPRI press release, the process of concentration of military expenditure continued in 2005 with a decreasing number of countries responsible for a growing proportion of spending: the 15 countries with the highest expenditure now account for 84 per cent of the total. The USA is responsible for 48 per cent of the world total, trailed by the UK, France, Japan and China with 4 to 5 per cent each. The rapid increase in the USA's military spending is to a large extent attributable to the costly ongoing military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  Rome Seeks Trial Of US MarineJune 20, 2006 08:47 Rome prosecutors have filed a request to indict a United States Marine on charges of murdering an Italian military intelligent agent at a Baghdad roadblock last year .

A preliminary hearing will be set over the next few days to rule on the request to indict Mario Lozano, 35, suspected of firing several rounds of automatic fire on an Italian car carrying the SISMI agent, Nicola Calipari, and a released hostage to Baghdad airport on March 4, 2005 .

Calipari died shielding hostage Giuliana Sgrena, who was slightly wounded. A Carabinieri officer was also wounded .

As well as homicide, the indictment request cites attempted double homicide .
  UK Intelligence Agents 'Uneasy' At Britain's Role In War On TerrorJune 20, 2006 08:43 A FORMER senior military intelligence officer told MPs yesterday there was "a great deal of unease" among the intelligence community about Britain's involvement in the war on terror.

Nigel Wylde told a House of Commons hearing it was "generally accepted" that the UK had made itself complicit in the US practice of "extraordinary rendition", under which terror suspects were allegedly flown to third countries for torture.

 
  Sad Milestone in Iraq Underscores Urgent Need for a Real PolicyJune 15, 2006 13:42 Democratic National Committee Press Secretary Stacie Paxton issued the following release on the House Republicans' playing political games with the Iraq War:

"Today, on the day that gravely marks the loss of 2,500 American servicemen and women in Iraq, Republicans in Congress are engaging in games to score partisan political points. The debate on this meaningless Republican resolution achieves nothing. After three years of rubberstamping President Bush's permanent commitment to a failed strategy in Iraq, this resolution cooked up by House Republicans, does not usher in a new era of real oversight. This resolution won't address the incompetence of the Bush Administration in dealing with post-war reconstruction and the rebuilding of Iraq. This resolution includes no benchmarks for success in Iraq. And this resolution does nothing to help our brave men and women in uniform achieve their mission any faster or bring them home any sooner. Democrats remain united that 2006 must be a year of significant transition in Iraq."

 
  Ireland considering inspections of US military flightsJune 14, 2006 12:56 US military-related flights landing in Ireland's Shannon airport might be subject to inspections in the future.

The Dublin government is considering the move after a US marine being held prisoner was transported through the airport last Sunday (11 June) without appropriate permission given by the Irish authorities, according to the Irish Times.

Alleged American transport of prisoners and terror suspects is coming under inceasing scrutiny in Europe, after publication of a Council of Europe report on the so-called rendition of prisoners by the CIA.

Ireland was identified in the report as one of 14 European states used for the rendition flights.

Up to now the Irish foreign affairs minister, Dermot Ahern, has relied on American assurances that there have been no renditions through Irish airports.


 
  Japanese View The U.S., War On Terror Less Favorably Than Four Years Ago, Survey SaysJune 14, 2006 12:53 The number of Japanese who view the United States favorably and support the Washington-led "war on terror" has declined since four years ago, according to a survey of global attitudes.

Results of the 15-Nation Pew Global Attitudes Survey, released Tuesday, said 63 percent of Japanese respondents had a favorable view of the U.S. That was down from 72 percent in 2002 -- but it was the highest percentage among the nations surveyed.

Japanese support for the war on terror also plunged, with 26 percent of respondents saying they support, compared to 61 percent in 2002.

Opinions of the U.S. in places like Europe and Asia are being dragged down by the continuing war in Iraq, the survey suggested.

  'US-led war on terror increasing risk of terrorist attacks'June 13, 2006 14:29 The US-led “war on terror” is increasing the risk of terrorist attacks and distracting governments from greater threats to global security such as climate change, a think-tank warned in a report Monday.

The Oxford Research Group urged countries, especially the United States and Britain, to rethink their security policies to counter future instability.

“The war on terror is a dangerous diversion and prevents the international community from responding effectively to the most likely causes of future conflict,” a press statement about the report said.

The US and British governments insist there is no alternative, but “there is abundant evidence that the ‘war on terror’ is proving deeply counterproductive - making the risk of future terrorist attacks on the scale of New York, Madrid or London more not less likely,” it said.

  Bush's Oil, Cuban-American Allies Split on Anti-Castro EmbargoJune 13, 2006 14:27 High oil prices are driving a wedge between energy companies and the Cuban-American community, two pillars of support for President George W. Bush and his fellow Republicans.

Companies including Marathon Oil Corp. are lobbying Congress to be allowed to bid for oil and natural-gas deposits in Cuban waters. They are backed by Republican lawmakers bucking Bush by supporting legislation to exempt the companies from the 1962 trade embargo and a ban on drilling within 100 miles of U.S. shores.

The U.S. need for energy and the likelihood that foreign companies will rush in to drill justifies the exemption, advocates say. "Are we supposed to sit by and let China drill in our backyard?" says Senator Pete Domenici, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, a co-sponsor with 12 other lawmakers of legislation exempting the U.S. companies.

Cuban-American groups, meanwhile, say the legislation would just prop up the government of President Fidel Castro; if anything, they want the embargo toughened.

  Bush Lands In Baghdad For Surprise VisitJune 13, 2006 14:26 President Bush arrived in Iraq today on an unannounced visit intended to chart the best way forward after the formation of the unity government there and after the killing last week of the most-wanted terrorist in Iraq.

Mr. Bush was flown into the Iraqi capital and then taken by helicopter to the Green Zone, where he was then brought to the blue-domed Republican Palace and greeted by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.

"Good to see you," said Mr. Maliki.

"Thanks for having me," President Bush replied, accompanied by his top aides.

Mr. Bush's surprise arrival came after a string of bombings in the northern city of Kirkuk killed at least 20 people as violence surged after the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the naming of his successor. Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who has vowed to crush the insurgency, announced several details today of a security plan for Baghdad.


 
  Disturbing assessment: Guantanamo Triple Suicide Is Good PR For Terrorists, Says AmericaJune 12, 2006 00:29 America has denounced as "a good PR move" the suicides of three terrorism suspects at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

The comment was made by Colleen Graffy, a senior State Department spokesman, who told the BBC World Service that the suicides were "a tactic to further the jihadi cause".

The US has imposed severe measures at Guantanamo, including force feeding, to prevent suicides

The statement bolstered assessments from senior American commanders that the two Saudis and a Yemeni were hardened terrorists who hanged themselves as part of a propaganda war against the United States.

Rear Adm Harry Harris, the camp commander, said: "They have no regard for human life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation but an act of asymmetric warfare against us."

  Menafn - Middle East North Africa . Financial Network News: Us Urges Arabs To Use Oil Profits For IraqJune 10, 2006 23:24 Senior US political figures have called on Arab nations to divert profits from high oil prices to help rebuild Iraq, adding that they should also forgive $40 billion of previous debts owed by Baghdad.

California Rep. Tom Lantos, ranking Democrat on the House of Representatives International Relations Committee was highly critical on Thursday of the contributions made by nations in the region to the reconstruction of their neighbour. He said: "If the American taxpayer would know that Arab countries which are getting billions in windfall oil profits are not meeting their puny obligations to participate in the reconstruction of their fellow Arab nation of Iraq, they would be outraged."

James Jeffrey, the State Department's Iraq Co-ordinator, told the committee that Arab nations had been hesitant to contribute large amounts until they were sure Iraq was politically stable.

  U.S.: 3 Gitmo Inmates Hanged ThemselvesJune 10, 2006 23:22 Three Guantanamo Bay detainees hanged themselves with nooses made of sheets and clothes, the commander of the detention center said Saturday.

They were the first reported deaths among the hundreds of men held at the base in Cuba - some of them for up to 4 1/2 years and without charge.

Two men from Saudi Arabia and one from Yemen were found "unresponsive and not breathing in their cells" early Saturday, according to a statement from the Miami-based U.S. Southern Command, which has jurisdiction over the prison. Attempts were made to revive the prisoners, but they failed.

"They hung themselves with fabricated nooses made out of clothes and bed sheets," Navy Rear Adm. Harry Harris told reporters in a conference call from the U.S. base in southeastern Cuba.


 
  Harsh UN Words Infuriate WashingtonJune 08, 2006 16:01 SIMMERING tensions between the US and the United Nations have exploded after a speech by the UN's deputy secretary-general in which he said Washington had failed to stand up for the UN and let its harshest detractors go unanswered.

Mark Malloch Brown, a plain-spoken Englishman appointed as Kofi Annan's deputy last year, said the US worked with the UN in many constructive ways, but was afraid to tell its citizens.

The US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, a fierce critic of the world body, reacted angrily.

"I spoke to the Secretary-General this morning. I said, 'I've known you since 1989, and I'm telling you this is the worst mistake by a senior UN official that I have seen in that entire time'."

  CIA Role In Somalia May Have BackfiredJune 08, 2006 15:56 A covert CIA effort to finance Somali warlords has drawn sharp criticism from U.S. government officials who say the campaign has thwarted counterterrorism efforts inside Somalia and empowered the same Islamic groups it was intended to marginalize.

The criticism, expressed privately, flared even before the apparent victory this week by Islamist militias in the country dealt a sharp setback to American policy, according to U.S. government officials with direct knowledge of the debate.

The officials said the CIA effort, run from the agency's station in Nairobi, Kenya, had channeled hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past year to secular warlords inside Somalia with the aim, among other things, of capturing or killing a handful of suspected members of al-Qaeda believed to be hiding there.

Officials say the decision to use proxies was born in part from fears of committing large numbers of U.S. personnel to counterterrorism efforts in Somalia, a country the U.S. hastily left in 1994 after attempts to capture warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid ended in the deaths of 18 U.S. troops.


 
  NATO Arguments Spark Clashes In Ukraine's CrimeaJune 08, 2006 12:40 Pro- and anti-NATO demonstrators clashed Thursday at the southern Ukrainian port of Feodosia as tension mounts over a U.S. naval ship docked at the port and Ukraine's intention to join the alliance.

Demonstrators in the largely Russian-speaking Crimea region, which is home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet, have been blockading a U.S. vessel, the Advantage, moored at Feodosia since late May ahead of military exercises slated to start late July that are seen by many as part of Ukraine's bid to join NATO.

Ukraine's Channel Five reported that anti-NATO demonstrators, organized by the pro-Russian opposition Party of Regions, outnumbered a pro-NATO group mustered by the Pora public movement, and physically ousted them.

Channel Five said it was the first clash between demonstrators since anti-NATO demonstrations had started.

Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych said his party, which won elections in March but was unable to form a parliamentary majority, would not support President Viktor Yushchenko's decree granting access to foreign military detachments for joint military exercises in Ukraine at the next session of the Supreme Rada.

 
  Report Suggests Poland, Romania Allowed CIA PrisonsJune 07, 2006 22:16 A European investigator concluded Wednesday that there are "serious indications" that the CIA operated secret prisons for senior al-Qaeda figures in Poland and Romania as part of a clandestine "spider's web" to catch, transfer and hold terrorism suspects around the world.

Dick Marty, a Swiss lawyer working on behalf of the Council of Europe, the continent's official human-rights organization, said at least seven other European nations colluded with the CIA to capture and secretly detain terrorism suspects, including several who were ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing.

Sweden, Italy, Britain, Turkey, Germany, Bosnia and Macedonia "could be held responsible for violations of the rights of specific individuals" who were handed over to the CIA or captured by U.S. operatives in those countries, Marty said in a report released Wednesday in Paris.

  Don't Push Your Way In Anti-Terror War, U.S. ToldJune 07, 2006 17:21 Indonesia warned visiting US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld yesterday that Washington risked triggering a backlash if it tried to force its approach to fighting terrorism on the rest of the world.

Rumsfeld, wrapping up a three-nation tour of the region, held talks with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Defence Minister Juwono Sudarsono and other senior government officials.

They said they discussed recently restored military-to-military ties, ways to bolster maritime security in the strategically important Strait of Malacca, and ongoing co-operation in the war against Islamic extremists.

"As the largest Muslim country, we are very aware of the perception... that the United States is overbearing, over-present and overwhelming in every sector of life in many nations and cultures," said Sudarsono, seen as a close US ally in the war on terror.

  Europeans 'Colluded' On Rendition FlightsJune 07, 2006 17:13 The UK, Germany and several other European countries illegally colluded with US extra-legal abductions in the "war against terror," a report for the Council of Europe said on Wednesday.

The report to the Council of Europe, which brings together 46 European countries, also said there were strong indications that Poland and Romania hosted illegal US prisons – something the two countries have always denied.

Dick Marty, the Swiss politician who compiled the report, said that seven countries had violated known individuals' human rights by participating in what he called a "spider's web" of CIA detentions and transfers. The countries involved were the UK, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Sweden, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

  U.S. Begins Deploying National Guard Along Mexico BorderJune 05, 2006 14:56 The United States began deploying the first contingent of National Guard soldiers along part of its border with Mexico on Monday as part of a new crackdown on illegal immigrants.

About 55 members from the Utah National Guard began work near the Arizona city of Yuma, which is the home of the busiest border patrol station in the country.

By mid-June, some 300 Guard soldiers from Arizona will be working along the state's part of the border. Eventually, 6,000 troops will be patrolling the entire border.

The Guard members in Arizona will work on building new fences, improving roads and adding to lighting.


 
  Furious Iraq Demands Apology As US Troops Are Cleared Of MassacreJune 04, 2006 03:17 AMERICA'S alliance with the new Iraqi government was plunged into major crisis last night as the country's prime minister and its people reacted with fury to the US military clearing its forces of killing civilians during operations against insurgents.

Iraqi leaders vowed to press on with their own probe into one of the most notorious American raids against extremist fighters, in the town of Ishaqi, rejecting the US military's exoneration of its forces.

Adnan al-Kazimi, an aide to prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, said the government would also demand an apology from the United States and compensation for the victims in several cases, including the alleged massacre in the town of Haditha last year.

The escalation in tensions comes as sources at the Foreign Office confirmed that the British Government is also urging the Americans to co-operate fully with comprehensive investigations into the deaths at both Ishaqi and Haditha.

  As Accusations Mount, Iraq Furor GrowsJune 02, 2006 19:02 A third set of allegations that U.S. troops have deliberately killed civilians is fueling a furor in Iraq and drawing strong condemnations from government and human rights officials.

"It looks like the killing of Iraqi civilians is becoming a daily phenomenon," the chairman of the Iraqi Human Rights Association, Muayed al-Anbaki, said Friday after video ran on television of children and adults slain in a raid in March on the Iraqi village of Ishaqi north of Baghdad.

Al-Anbaki's comments came a day after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki upbraided the U.S. military over allegations that Marines killed two dozen unarmed civilians in the western city of Haditha, calling it "a horrible crime." They were his strongest public comments on the subject since his government was sworn in last month.

U.S. commanders have ordered new ethics training for all troops in Iraq. But the flow of revelations and investigations threatens to undermine Iraq's new government and public support in America for President Bush's management of the war.


 
  General Orders Ethics Training In Iraq, Command Comes Amid Allegations Marines Murdered Civilians In HadithaJune 01, 2006 12:48 In the wake of the Haditha investigation, the U.S. general commanding coalition forces in Iraq on Thursday ordered his military commanders to conduct core values training on moral and ethical standards on the battlefield.

The order from Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the commander of Multinational Corps Iraq, came as the U.S. military investigated whether U.S. Marines might have intentionally killed unarmed civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha on Nov. 19.

The killings, in which victims included women and children, followed a bomb attack on a military convoy that killed a Marine.

Chiarelli said in a statement the training would emphasize "professional military values and the importance of disciplined, professional conduct in combat" as well as Iraqi cultural expectations.