Iraq War

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  Veterans Group Hits Mccain On Troop PulloutJuly 23, 2008 23:16 A veterans group critical of the war in Iraq accuses John McCain of wanting to occupy Iraq indefinitely, against the wishes of the country's leaders, in an ad that will air later this week.

The group, VoteVets.org, calls attention to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's desire for a troop withdrawal timetable. The group will spend $100,000 to run the ad on the MSNBC and CNN cable channels from Friday through the middle of next week.

In the ad, Iraq war veteran Brandon Woods of New York says: "What did we fight for in Iraq? I have some idea. I fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom. And 'freedom' means when the Iraqi people and their Prime Minister ask us to make a plan to leave, we do. But Senator McCain would occupy Iraq indefinitely, against their wishes. That's not what freedom means. That's not what we fought for. Senator, I thought you would know better."

Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama was in Baghdad earlier this week when Iraqi officials said they envisioned a U.S. combat troop withdrawal in 2010. That's generally the same 16-month timetable Obama has recommended.

McCain has opposed a specific target date for pulling out troops.
  Us Troops At Risk From Shoddy Wiring In IraqJuly 18, 2008 08:46 U.S. soldiers face death and danger from shoddy electrical work at their bases in Iraq, raising further questions about a heavy reliance on private contractors, the New York Times reported on Friday.

The Pentagon knew about the problems but did little to address them until Ryan Maseth, a member of the elite Green Berets, was electrocuted in January while taking a shower, the newspaper said.

The Army says 13 soldiers have been electrocuted in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003 but the Times reported that internal documents show many injuries from shocks and losses from electrical fires.

As recently as June, an electrical fire destroyed 10 buildings at a base in Falluja, forcing Marines to ask for donations to replace their belongings, the paper said.

Congress and the Pentagon have started to investigate, it said, with Army officials this month ordering inspections of all buildings in Iraq maintained by KBR, a Houston company that provides basic services to U.S. troops in Iraq.

"We consider this to be a very serious issue," a Pentagon spokesman told the Times in an e-mail.

A spokeswoman for KBR, which has faced accusations of overbilling, providing unsafe water to soldiers and other lapses, told the Times the company had found no link between its work and the electrocutions.