Iraq War

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  Iraq War Support at New LowJune 26, 2007 16:27 new low of 30 percent of Americans say they support the U.S. war in Iraq and, for the first time, most Americans say they don’t believe it is morally justified, a poll released Tuesday said.

In the poll, which was carried out Friday through Sunday, 30 percent of respondents said they favor the war in Iraq; 41 percent said they oppose it because they think the 2003 decision to go to war was a mistake; 26 percent said they oppose it because they think it has been mismanaged; and 3 percent said they had no opinion.

Support is down 4 points from what it was May 4-6, when 34 percent of respondents said they favored the U.S. war in Iraq.

Asked during the latest poll how things are going for the United States in Iraq, more than two-thirds (69 percent) said badly — 4 percent said “very well,” 26 percent said “moderately well,” 25 percent said “moderately badly” and 44 percent said “very badly.”

There appears to be little optimism that things will improve, with 17 percent saying the situation is getting better; 46 percent saying it is getting worse; 35 percent saying it is staying the same; and 1 percent offering no opinion.
  Petraeus' Perspective On IraqJune 18, 2007 08:12 The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David Petraeus, does not believe that the situation there will be sufficiently stable by September to allow a drawdown of U.S. forces. Yesterday he hinted that the U.S. military will likely be engaged on the ground in Iraq for at least a decade.

"There are some very serious centrifugal forces here in Iraq," Petraeus said on Fox News Sunday, warning that the administration and Congress need to have "very clear eyes about what can happen, what the implications of various options are."

As I said on Friday, despite leadership changes in the Pentagon and despite public opinion, the Iraq war is not over -- not by a long shot. The top Iraq commander isn't prepared to declare what his recommendations are for the future. Is he practicing brilliant generalship, laying out the "realities" of counterinsurgency and leaving the political decisions to Washington? Perhaps. But it's also true that all this is well-crafted political theater that pretends there are many options when in fact there is only one: continuing the fight.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Petraeus gave a generally upbeat assessment of U.S. military progress in Iraq since the surge began in January, while admitting that Iraqi political progress has not moved as quickly.
  Battle Over Bush Oil Law ProposalJune 11, 2007 21:26 The threat of violence is of course a major concern for Iraqis, but so too is how to handle the country's oil resources. The Bush administration claims its plan to privatize production is the best way to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure. But representatives from Iraq's oil industry say the plan gives too much control to foreign interests. They're touring California right now to convey that message.

Most of the Iraqi oil wells which were destroyed during the first Gulf War and in the past four years may soon be under foreign control. A law backed by the Bush administration and now in Iraq's parliament would give control of the majority of these fields to foreign oil companies for about 30 years.

Severin Borenstein, U.C. Energy Institute: "There's a lot of expertise in the United States and in some other oil companies that simply doesn't exist in Iraq -- that they're going to need to make efficient use of these oil fields."

The plan is to privatize two thirds of the oil production with Iraq maintaining the other third. Two Iraqi labor leaders spoke in San Jose Sunday. They agree that Iraq needs help. But not so much that it has to give away It is one great natural resource for 30 years.

Faleh Abood Umara, Iraq Federation of Oil Trade Unions: "Improve the oil wells helping in the maintenance then leaving afterwards after getting their money."

Hashmeya Muhsinhussein is with the Electrical Utility Workers Union. Faleh Abood Umara is with the Federation of Oil Workers . They say the more than 60,000 Iraq electrical and oil workers they represent could strike -- paralyzing the country and stopping all oil production if parliament agrees with the Bush administration. Because of their stand they have faced death threats.
  U.S. Military Death Toll In Iraq Passes 3,500June 07, 2007 23:00 The four-year U.S. military death toll in Iraq passed 3,500 on Thursday after a soldier was reported killed in a roadside bombing the day before in Baghdad.

A British soldier was also shot to death Thursday in southern Iraq as Western forces find themselves increasingly vulnerable under a new strategy to take the fight to the enemy.

Suicide attackers and car bombs struck targets in central, western and northern Iraq, leaving at least 26 people dead and 42 wounded, Iraqi security officials said.

Gunmen also shot three professors from Islamic University in Baghdad, killing two and wounding one, and killed the head of the Education Ministry’s department of research and development as he drove to work.

“It is part of the campaign to attack every positive thing in Iraq,” said an Education Ministry spokesman, Basil al-Khatib, who blamed the attacks on extremists who oppose modernity and want to drive “all elite and educated people from Iraq.”

The U.S. soldier was killed and two others were wounded Wednesday when a roadside bomb exploded in combat operations in a southwestern section of Baghdad, the military said Thursday.

At least 3,501 U.S. service members have been killed since the beginning of the war, according to an Associated Press count.

They include at least 23 American deaths in the first six days of June — an average of almost four a day, a similar pace to that in May.
  It's too soon to say if the United States and its coalition partners are winning the war on terrorJune 04, 2007 15:57 It�s too soon to say if the United States and its coalition partners are winning the war on terror, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said here yesterday.
Gates comments came as federal authorities in the United States announced they had broken up a suspected terrorist cell planning attacks at New York�s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Gates, here for the International Institute of Strategic Studies� Asia Security Summit, cited �heartening developments� in the short term, but emphasized that long-term challenges remain.

�It is early in the struggle,� he told Asian defense and military leaders participating in the conference. �Some very positive things have been accomplished, but the danger remains very great and is going to require even more intense collaboration.�

Gates credited unprecedented international collaboration with preventing a second Sept. 11-type attack in the United States.

�A degree of international cooperation has developed that, in many respects, would have been unthinkable prior to 9/11,� he said. �So there is a wealth of sharing of information among almost all countries.�

In addition, there�s widespread cooperation in helping prevent terrorist attacks from happening and bringing terrorists to justice, he said.