Roy L. Harbin:The DANG-DInGIE American

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re:edwards camp shows self percieved weakness
~C.A. "Charlie" Tuggle, an associate professor at the school, said the Edwards campaign contacted the reporter, second-year master's degree student Carla Babb, asking for a video of her report to be removed from the Internet. When that failed, the campaign demanded in three calls to Tuggle that the TV story be killed, he said.
Tuggle said the campaign had complained that the reporter misrepresented the story she planned to do. He also said the Edwards campaign warned that relations with the school could be jeopardized.
The Edwards campaign had no comment on the professor's specific contentions. More generally, spokeswoman Colleen Murray said: "This is silly. We love all reporters, the problem is the feeling isn't always mutual."
The TV story is to air Monday on the program "Carolina Week" in Chapel Hill. It was first posted on YouTube for an MTV contest and drew only a couple of hundred hits during the first days on the site.
The Edwards campaign complained to Tuggle, he said, that the student had not disclosed the angle of the story and had asked for access to do a feature on a student who was interning for the campaign.
In the report, Babb interviews students, one on the campaign, one not. She asks whether it is appropriate for Edwards to base his operations in his affluent hometown of Chapel Hill, home of the university, as opposed to a location that would better reflect his campaign platform of fighting poverty.
After quoting the students, Babb concludes her report by saying, "It's ultimately up to the voters to decide if running a presidential campaign here was a smart move politically. But it's safe to say, in Chapel Hill, opinions are split. "
In an interview Friday, Babb said: "I was completely shocked to get a phone call from the Edwards campaign saying that the story was straight from the Republican Party and that we needed to take it down."
She said she wanted to do a story about student opinions about Edwards' headquarters near campus in Chapel Hill's Southern Village.
Tuggle is the news director of "Carolina Week" and the broadcast professor who advises students for the newscast.
"Was it what the campaign was expecting it to be? No," Tuggle said. "But I don't know that we're obligated as journalists to tell that the focus of a story has changed."
Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, graduated with a law degree from the university and helped develop and operate a poverty center there after the 2004 election.~

re:edwards stance on corporate and worker concerns
~Edwards also wants to mandate universal health care, and said businesses should be required to provide coverage for their workers, or help them purchase coverage.~
re:san francisco protest,,report deigns mention of ANSWER & WWP involvemnet less newsworthy than the quakers participation
~Thousands Call for Swift End to Iraq War
Published: 10/27/07, 11:05 PM EDT
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Thousands of people called for a swift end to the war in Iraq as they marched through downtown on Saturday, chanting and carrying signs that read: "Wall Street Gets Rich, Iraqis and GIs Die" or "Drop Tuition Not Bombs."
The streets were filled with thousands as labor union members, anti-war activists, clergy and others rallied near City Hall before marching to Dolores Park.
As part of the demonstration, protesters fell on Market Street as part of a "die in" to commemorate the thousands of American soldiers and Iraqi citizens who have died since the conflict began in March 2003.
The protest was the largest in a series of war protests taking place in New York, Los Angeles and other U.S. cities, organizers said.
No official head count was available. Organizers of the event estimated about 30,000 people participated in San Francisco. It appeared that more than 10,000 people attended the march.
"I got the sense that many people were at a demonstration for the first time," said Sarah Sloan, one of the event's organizers. "That's something that's really changed. People have realized the right thing to do is to take to the streets."
In the shadow of the National Constitution Center and Independence Hall in Philadelphia, a few hundred protesters ranging from grade school-aged children to senior citizens called on President Bush to end funding for the war and bring troops home.
Marchers who braved severe wet weather during the walk of more than 30 blocks were met by people lining the sidewalks and clutching a long yellow ribbon over the final blocks before Independence Mall. There, the rally opened with songs and prayers by descendants of Lenape Indians.
"Our signs are limp from the rain and the ground is soggy, but out spirits are high," said Bal Pinguel, of the American Friends Service Committee, one of the national sponsors of the event. "The high price we are paying is the more than 3,800 troops who have been killed in the war in Iraq."
Vince Robbins, 51, of Mount Holly, N.J., said there needed to be more rallies and more outrage.
"Where's the outcry? Where's the horror that almost 4,000 Americans have died in a foreign country that we invaded?" Robbins said. "I'm almost as angry at the American people as I am the president. I think Americans have become apathetic and placid about the whole thing."
In New York, among the thousands marching down Broadway was a man carrying cardboard peace doves. Some others dressed as prisoners, wearing the bright orange garb of Guantanamo Bay inmates and pushing a person in a cage.
In Seattle, thousands of marchers were led by a small group of Iraq war veterans.
At Occidental Park, where the protesters rallied after the march, the American Friends Service Committee displayed scores of combat boots, one pair for each U.S. solider killed in Iraq.
Associated Press writer Bob Lentz in Philadelphia contributed to this report.~
American Friends Service Committee - Quaker values in action
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace, ...

sarah sloan
Sarah Sloan is the Washington, D.C., organizer of the anti-war group International ANSWER and a member of the Workers World Party (WWP), a Marxist-Leninist ...
Sarah Sloan: Civilian Targets
Sarah Sloan is a leading International Action Center youth organizer and an IAC Commission of Inquiry researcher. She spoke on NATO’s claim that it tried to ...
re:guiliani on terorism
re:another alledgedly anti-racist attack by race baiters on 'voucher advocate'
~NAACP Wants Apology From Overstock Chief
Published: 10/27/07, 12:45 AM EDT
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The founder of rejected the NAACP's demand for an apology Friday after an Internet video surfaced of him saying that Utah minorities who don't graduate from high school might as well be burned or thrown away.
Patrick Byrne's comments were posted on YouTube. The video clip was from a debate two weeks ago in Provo, where he was speaking in favor of vouchers, public aid for families sending kids to private schools.
A statewide voucher program that would grant $500 to $3,000 per child based on family income is on the Utah ballot Nov. 6.
On the YouTube video clip, Byrne says: "Right now, 40 percent of Utah minorities are not graduating from high school. You may as well burn those kids. That's the end of their life. That's the end of their ability to achieve in this society if they do not get a high school education. You might as, just throw the kids away."
Byrne has made similar remarks in other debates. He said Friday he had no intention of apologizing and claimed his comments were taken out of context.
"These folks have been selective in their editing," Byrne told The Associated Press. "I very clearly said the system is throwing away 40 percent of the minority kids because they're not graduating. I'm saying that I'm against throwing kids away.
"People against vouchers are in favor of throwing the kids away," Byrne said.
Jeanetta Williams, a voucher opponent and president of the NAACP's Salt Lake branch, said the videotaped comments shocked her and she believes Byrne meant that minorities who don't graduate should be burned or thrown away.
"Those were his words, not mine," she said.
Williams noted that Byrne didn't mention white children who don't graduate. Utah is 83.5 percent white, 11 percent Hispanic and 1 percent black.
"It says he's not sympathetic to the minority community and he means exactly what he said," Williams said of Byrne's lack of an apology.
Byrne, chief executive of Utah-based Overstock, has long been a voucher advocate and has donated several hundred thousand dollars to the voucher movement in Utah.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People opposes vouchers, saying they could lead to segregated public schools. It says tuition still would be out for reach for many minority families because a voucher wouldn't cover the entire cost of private school.~

re:army corrects mistake,,but watch the race baiters turn it into a 'psychogandic coup'
~Army: Black Soldiers Wronged in POW Case
Published: 10/27/07, 12:25 AM EDT
SEATTLE (AP) - Black soldiers court-martialed 63 years ago in the rioting death of an Italian prisoner of war at Fort Lawton were unfairly denied access to their attorneys and investigative records and should have their convictions overturned, the U.S. Army said Friday.
The ruling by the Army's Board of Corrections of Military Records applies to four soldiers who petitioned military investigators with the help of two congressmen, but could eventually cover two-dozen more soldiers found guilty of rioting over alleged resentment of Italian prisoners' living conditions on the post.
Samuel Snow, 84, one of the petitioners who served a year in prison, said he was "elated" by the decision.
"It just knocked me off of my feet," Snow said from his home in Leesburg, Fla.
"No, I don't have no resentment over it," he said. "I've just kept myself clean up to this present moment."
The decision could grant the soldiers honorable discharges, back pay and benefits.
"I'm absolutely overwhelmed with joy. You don't often get a chance to pursue justice on behalf of something that happened (63) years ago," Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., who requested the review along with Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.
In 1944, POW Guglielmo Olivotto was found hanging on wires in an obstacle course following a night of rioting on the post in what is now Seattle's Discovery Park.
Forty-three black soldiers were tried in one of the largest courts-martial of World War II. Of those, 28 were found guilty of rioting and sentenced to as many as 25 years in prison.
Only two of the 28 soldiers are believed to be still alive, said Jack Hamann, who wrote a book on the case, "On American Soil: How Justice Became a Casualty of World War II."
The other petitioners - Booker W. Townsell, of Milwaukee; Luther L. Larkin, of Searcy, Ark.; and William G. Jones, of Decatur, Ill. - are all deceased.
Larkin and Jones were also convicted of manslaughter and their convictions will also thrown out in the ruling, Hamann said.
Hamann said the ruling also will give the deceased soldiers marble headstones for their graves, and their families will be entitled to American flags.
"My first thought is, what a shame it is that the folks who this injustice was done to are not around to see this," Hamann said. "And yet I'm so elated that their families will finally know that these men did not commit these crimes."
The lawyer in charge of the case for the board, John Tait, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Friday night.~

re:dem politico smeared through hubby being defender of FtDix terror suspects
~A court-appointed lawyer for a defendant accused of plotting an attack on Fort Dix said Tuesday that a campaign mailer suggesting that his wife, a political candidate, might be sympathetic to terrorists could taint the jury pool.
Attorney Michael Riley said told U.S. District Court Judge Robert Kugler that the ad could sway potential jurors in the case against his client, Shain Duka, and the four other men who were charged in May with conspiring to kill soldiers.
The Republican mailer that went out this month criticizes his wife, Tracy, a Democrat running for a seat in the state Assembly.
It features a picture of masked men carrying automatic guns. It reads: "He came to our country illegally. He plotted with other Islamic radicals to kill American soldiers at Fort Dix. Now, Tracy Riley's family's law firm is defending him ... and your tax dollars are paying them to do it."
"If she goes to Trenton, will she really fight for tougher crime laws that hurt her clients?" it asks.
Michael Riley, a former prosecutor, said he was considering trying to force the GOP to hand over their mailing list so he could figure out which potential jurors received the flier.
"It's pretty despicable stuff," Kugler said, noting that Dawn Marie Addiego, one of the Republican candidates, is a lawyer. "She should know better."
Addiego accused Riley of exploiting the issue for political gain.
"I'm shocked that Tracy Riley and her husband would stoop so low as to use a federal courtroom as the stage for an obvious campaign stunt," she said in a statement on Tuesday. "Not as surprising is Tracy Riley making yet another attempt to divert attention away from the serious issue we've raised."
Tracy Riley, who graduated from law school this year but has not taken the bar exam, said it's unfair to link her to her husband's career. She said her husband is upholding the Constitution by taking on a client accused of a frightening crime - something she said her opponents don't seem to grasp.
"They clearly don't understand what the Sixth Amendment means," she said, referring to the part of the U.S. Constitution that provides for people accused of crimes to have a fair trial.
The mailer also features Republican state Senate candidate Phil Haines and Assembly candidate Scott Rudder. Neither Haines, who is also a lawyer, nor Rudder returned calls for comment Tuesday.
Authorities say the men - all foreign-born and in their 20s - were training for the attack and buying weapons. The five face life in prison if they're convicted. A sixth man, Agron Adbullahu, was charged with weapons offenses and was scheduled to plead guilty in the case on Wednesday.~

re:2 major darfur rebel groups boycott kaddafi sponsored peace talks w/sudanese gov
~The Justice and Equality Movement claimed Friday that the groups attending Saturday's session were proxies for the Sudanese government.
"The mediators adopted the policy of bringing every single individual and group, and all these groups and individuals were created by the Sudanese government," said Ahmed Tugod Lissan, the movement's chief negotiator.
More than 200,000 people have died since ethnic African rebels in Darfur took up arms against the Arab-dominated Sudanese government in 2003, accusing it of decades of discrimination and neglect. Sudan's government is accused of retaliating by unleashing a militia of Arab nomads known as the janjaweed - a charge it denies.
Rebel groups are also threatening to expand the violence into vital oil areas near Darfur. The Justice and Equality Movement attacked an oil field this week, kidnapping two workers and demanding all foreign oil companies leave because oil sales benefit the Sudanese government.
The other boycotting group, SLA-Unity, is suspected of killing 10 African Union peacekeepers in Darfur last month, the worst attack against the group since the 7,000-strong force deployed to the area.~

re:people detained for transporting chadians,,not sudanese?
~Seven crew members of a plane contracted to fly more than 100 children out of Chad were detained, authorities said Saturday, and Chad's president promised punishment for anyone involved in a plan to spirit the children to Europe.
President Idriss Deby traveled Friday to the eastern city of Abeche where 103 children were being cared for after authorities arrested nine French citizens, who had attempted to fly them to France. The French aid group L'Arche de Zoe, or Zoe's Arc, said it had arranged French host families for the children. It said they were orphans from Sudan's Darfur region.
But the head of UNICEF France, Jacques Hintzy, said Saturday that many of the children appeared to be from Chad, not Sudan. He also said the children were given bandages to provide the impression their evacuation was health-related, though none was injured.
Late Friday, state television showed Deby visiting with the children, many of them in tears. Deby called the situation "intolerable" and "shocking" and said: "Everyone who is implicated will be punished."~
~Doumgor said authorities were trying to ascertain the family status of each of the children, and that officials would search the refugee camps along the Chad-Darfur border to find their parents.
Hintzy said the organization was questioning each of the children and it appeared that the 48 questioned so far were Chadian children, not Sudanese.
"Today we spoke to 48 of the 103 and I can tell you that these 48, according to the name of the village they gave us, are all Chadians," Hintzy told RTL radio.
"Our impression is that the majority aren't orphans but at this stage it's just an impression," Hintzy said, adding that UNICEF, the U.N. child protection agency, would try to find the childrens' families.~
~The Darfur region has suffered 4 1/2-years of conflict that has left more than 200,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced.
The violence began when ethnic African rebels in Darfur took up arms against the Arab-led government in 2003, accusing it of decades of discrimination and neglect. The government is accused of retaliating by unleashing a militia of Arab nomads known as the janjaweed - a charge it denies.~
~The ministry warned French citizens months ago against taking in children from Darfur, saying aid groups in the Sudanese region opposed the appeal by Zoe's Arc.
Diplomatic officials have said that such an evacuation mission could infringe on national laws and threatened to exploit the troubles of the children in the region.
Stephanie Lefebvre, secretary-general of Zoe's Arc, said the group asked host families for $3,400 each to pay for the operation's logistics, but that some gave much less. She stressed that the families were not adopting the children, but merely taking them in.
"We just wanted to save them from death, by giving them a host family," she told Le Parisien.~

re:charges levied
~Chad charged six French citizens with kidnapping after they tried to fly out 103 African children from the remote border region with Sudan, bandaging them up to look injured and claiming they were Darfur orphans in need of rescue.
The case threatens to impede aid efforts for hundreds of thousands of Darfur refugees by intensifying already deep local suspicions about the motives of humanitarian workers.
Seventeen Europeans have been detained since Thursday, when authorities blocked an attempt by a French group calling itself L'Arche de Zoe - Zoe's Ark - to fly the African children to Europe, where they were to be placed with host families.
The French Foreign Ministry and others have cast doubt on the claims by the little-known group that the children are Darfur orphans.
"According to initial information ... there seem to be many Chadian children and even many who are not orphans," French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Pascale Andreani told reporters in Paris on Tuesday.~

re:fighting in somolia
~Islamic fighters briefly occupied a police station in south Mogadishu, before heading back out of the area, chanting "God is great," witnesses said. Witnesses said at least seven people including a woman had died in the heavy fighting between insurgents, government troops and government-allied Ethiopian forces.
At least 35 people wounded in the fighting were being treated at Mogadishu's Medina Hospital, said Tahir Mohammed Mahmoud, an administrative assistant. He said it was the worst fighting, and heaviest day for hospital admissions, for at least four months in the war-scarred city.~
~Mogadishu has been plagued by fighting since government troops and their Ethiopian allies chased out the Council of Islamic Courts in December. For six months, the Islamic group controlled much of southern Somalia, and remnants have vowed to fight an Iraq-style insurgency. Thousands of civilians have been killed in the fighting this year.
Some 1.5 million Somalis are now in need of food and protection - 50 percent more that at the start of the year - due to inadequate rains, continuing internal displacement and a potential cholera epidemic, the U.N. says.~

re:ramadi currently a brighter spot than last year
~Last year, U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officials declared Anbar lost. "The social and political situation has deteriorated to a point" where U.S. and Iraqi troops "are no longer capable of militarily defeating the insurgency," according to a five-page report written in August 2006 by Col. Peter Devlin, a military intelligence officer with the Marine Expeditionary Force.
The Sunni insurgency had sunk roots so deep in Anbar that the Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaida front group, declared Ramadi its capital.
"These guys were ruthless," said Col. John W. Charlton of Spokane, Wash., the American commander responsible for Ramadi. "They would come in and cut young men's heads off and drag their bodies through the streets."
An important turning point was the founding late last year of the Anbar Awakening Council by the charismatic Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Risha. He united dozens of Sunni tribes against al-Qaida.
Fed up with the violence and eager for revenge against al-Qaida members who killed 10 family members, including his father, Abu Risha persuaded citizens to join the police force. They did - in droves - despite past attacks against recruits.
"Sheiks see themselves as prominent leaders of the community. They recognize you have to have good, intelligent people running things," Charlton said. "(Abu Risha) wasn't saying, 'Do this for me.' He was saying, 'Do this for your family, for your country.'"
There are now 8,000 police officers and 14 police stations in Ramadi, according to the U.S. military. That's compares with fewer than 200 officers in spring 2006.
"Al-Qaida was just reeling," Charlton said. "They lost their capital. They lost all their good areas around there. ... We essentially made a gated community out of a city of 300,000 people."
But al-Qaida struck its own shocking blow - killing Abu Risha last month.
U.S. military leaders called the fatal bombing an inside job, organized by one of Abu Risha's bodyguards. All the alleged perpetrators were rounded up.
The sheik's death could easily have shattered the fragile peace.
Instead, Charlton said, the people declared Abu Risha a martyr. His image now appears on posters in the streets, on walls in offices and on placards in car windshields. A parade was held in his honor on Oct. 23. Schoolgirls, bunches of silk flowers in one hand, waved the yellow flag of the Anbar Awakening, now renamed the Iraqi Awakening.
"People do feel the weight's off," said Ambassador Ryan Crocker. "Al-Qaida simply is gone."
What remains of al-Qaida in the province is a contingent near Lake Tharthar, just north of Ramadi, according to Charlton, who initiated an attack there last week.~
~Sheik Ahmed Abu Risha has taken over the movement from his slain younger brother. They were always close, talking daily while the elder brother ran family businesses in Dubai and the younger took care of things at home. Despite his loss, Ahmed Abu Risha seems to accept - though not relish - his new leadership role.
His brother embraced the spotlight, but Ahmed seems to shy from it. He's soft-spoken, friendly, but not extroverted. He said he meets about 300 people a day who come looking for jobs, offering advice, asking for help. He is now on his first visit to the U.S., and plans to meet with President Bush.
"We are the only movement that is supported by all the people," he told The Associated Press. "We are the only people who fought al-Qaida and won. We are good fighters and we are good builders and now we want to rebuild this country."~
(wow,,that sounds like how we're supposed to's a pity how our folks can't all be proud of opposing murdering thugs.)

re:tribal leaders kidnapped,,1 found bullet riddled
~Gunmen in Baghdad snatched 10 Sunni and Shiite tribal sheiks from their cars Sunday as they were heading home to Diyala province after talks with the government on fighting al-Qaida, and at least one was later found shot to death.
The bold daylight kidnapping came as the top U.S. commander in Iraq said the threat from the terror network has been "significantly reduced" in the capital.
A suicide car bomber, meanwhile, struck a busy commercial area in the oil-rich, northern city of Kirkuk, killing at least eight people and wounding 26, police said.
A new general assumed control of the region north of Baghdad, acknowledging that violence remains high but expressing confidence that the military has al-Qaida on the run there as well.
The two cars carrying the sheiks - seven Sunnis and three Shiites - were ambushed in Baghdad's predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Shaab at about 3:30 p.m., police officials said.
The sheiks were returning to Diyala province after attending a meeting with the Shiite-dominated government's adviser for tribal affairs to discuss coordinating efforts against al-Qaida in Iraq, police and a relative said.
Police found the bullet-riddled body of one of the Sunni sheiks, Mishaan Hilan, about 50 yards away from where the ambush took place, an officer said, adding that the victim was identified after his cell phone was found on him.
A relative of one of the abducted Shiite sheiks blamed Sunni extremists and said the attackers picked a Shiite neighborhood to "create strife between Shiite and Sunni tribes that have united against al-Qaida in the area."
But, Jassim Zeidan al-Anbaqi said, "this will not happen."~
~Petraeus said the reduced threat from al-Qaida had given way to nonsectarian crimes - kidnapping, corruption in the oil industry and extortion.
"As the terrible extremist threat of al-Qaida has been reduced somewhat, there is in some Iraqi neighborhoods actually a focus on crime and on extortion that has been ongoing and kidnapping cells and what is almost a mafia-like presence in certain areas," he said.~

re:sheiks tell of ordeal and echo bush
~A daring rescue operation secured their freedom.
A meeting Tuesday between most of the former captives and military officials - including the Iraqi commander of the rescue operation - offered the first detailed picture of the tense and fast-moving events: the kidnapping, the slaying of one captive and the seven-hour rescue mission Monday converging on an area that was "not fit for rats."
The sheiks, recounting their 30-hour ordeal to a small group of reporters including The Associated Press, said they were tortured and humiliated. At least three of the sheiks were visibly bruised. One man's left eye was red and swollen. The two others had bruises on their backs, arms and legs.
But they insisted that they emerged from captivity more determined than ever to continue their fight.
"We already forgot the pain and the wounds from our ordeal," said Haroon al-Mohammedawi, the bearded leader of the group from Khalis, a region in Diyala province where the terror organization has a heavy presence. "We pledge to you, the people and leadership of Iraq, that we will stay the course."~
~The swift action to rescue the sheiks, launched by about 200 Iraqi soldiers and backed by the U.S. military, reflected the strategic importance of local reconciliation initiatives and the forging of alliances with Sunni tribes in areas where the terror network remains active.
The strategy was stunningly effective in several Baghdad neighborhoods, areas south of the capital known as the "triangle of death" and in the vast western province of Anbar, forcing al-Qaida militants to flee and reducing the levels of violence.
Failure to free the hostages would have dealt a blow to efforts to rally the residents of Diyala, a mix of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, behind the U.S. and Iraqi forces in the fight against al-Qaida.
Lt. Gen. Abboud Qanbar, the overall Iraqi commander of Baghdad, said the kidnappers belonged to "criminal gangs."
The U.S. military, however, said the culprits were rogue members of the Shiite Mahdi Army militia led by anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who in August ordered his fighters to lay down their arms for six months. The military has claimed that such splinter Shiite groups are doing everything possible to stop Iraqis from joining U.S. forces - even in the fight against the Sunni al-Qaida in Iraq.~
~They combed orchards and raided homes in a wide area to the northeast of Baghdad before they finally located the house where the sheiks were held prisoner, he said.
"The area where the house was is not fit for rats to live in," al-Qusaibi said. "The kidnappers' response to our arrival was slow, and the gunfight lasted only minutes."
Four of the kidnappers were killed in the gunfight and six were detained, according to the Iraqi Defense Ministry. U.S. military officials, however, said the number of suspected kidnappers detained was much larger.
Al-Qusaibi said several of his men were superficially wounded, but none was killed.
The U.S. military has sought to play down the role it played in the rescue operation, touting the success as evidence of the growing capabilities of the Iraqi forces.
"The sheiks' rescue mission is one that required advanced coordination and execution that couldn't have been accomplished without significant coalition support just a few months ago," said Brig. Gen. John F. Campbell, who was closely involved in the rescue mission.
"We had U.S. advisers on the ground that assisted with aerial support and we also had some additional ground forces that could have supported if required," he told the AP.
U.S. Army Col. Philip L. Swinford, a senior adviser to al-Qusaibi's unit, said the speed with which the Iraqis prepared and launched the operation was the key to its success.
He told the AP that he and al-Qusaibi, commander of the Iraqi army's 9th Division, "felt that speed was the most important factor. Had we taken the time to plan, prepare, and rehearse to a higher level the sheiks could have been moved or killed before we got there."
Five of the surviving six sheiks attended Tuesday's meeting with Iraqi and U.S. commanders at an Iraqi army camp on the outskirts of Baghdad.
The meeting's atmosphere was jovial.
"They had removed our head dress, and you put it back on our heads," al-Mohammedawi said, addressing the Iraqi commanders and alluding to the insult a traditional Arab feels when his head dress, known in Arabic as "uqal," is forcefully removed by a rival.
Al-Qusaibi basked in the limelight and accepted lavish praise from U.S. commanders for leading his men from the front.
"I had to be at the front to save the lives of my men," al-Qusaibi, in green camouflage, said to a U.S. commander in a husky voice. "I lost my voice shouting orders during a gunbattle with the kidnappers," he proudly recounted.~

re:us to give iraqis control of karbala
~U.S. forces will turn over security to Iraqi authorities in the southern Shiite province of Karbala on Monday, the American commander for the area said, despite fighting between rival militia factions that has killed dozens.
Karbala will become only the eighth of Iraq's 18 provinces to revert to Iraqi control, despite President Bush's prediction in January that the Iraqi government would have responsibility for security in all of the provinces by November.~

re:iraqi pm admits christians,,er catholocs,,er chaldeans need protection
~Iraqi PM Pledges to Protect Christians
Published: 10/27/07, 5:06 PM EDT
BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's prime minister pledged Saturday to protect and support the Christian minority that has been fleeing the chaos and sectarian violence in the country.
After receiving the Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad, Emmanuel III Delly, Nouri al-Maliki affirmed his government's readiness and determination to defend the small community and to stop the outflow of Iraqi Christians, according to a statement released by al-Maliki's office.
Delly, who is the head of Chaldean Church in Iraq and spiritual leader to all Chaldeans, has been outspoken about the need to protect minority Christians from Iraq's spiraling violence.
Earlier this month, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Delly a cardinal, when he named 23 new "princes" of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Christian community here, about 3 percent of the country's 26 million people, is particularly vulnerable, and has little political or military clout to defend itself.
Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, Iraqi Christians, who are mostly Chaldeans, have been targeted by Islamic extremists who label them "crusaders" loyal to U.S. troops.
Churches, priests and business owned by Christians have been attacked by Islamic militants.
Seeking better and safer life, about 50 percent of Iraq's Christians are thought to have left the country, according to a report issued by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which advises the White House and Congress.~

~The 80-year-old head of the ancient Chaldean Church in Iraq said the hopes of freedom in the aftermath of Saddam Hussein's ouster in 2003 have given way to widespread fear.
"We had hoped that the situation would be better. In fact it is worse," he told The Associated Press during an interview at his guarded compound in western Baghdad.
"Car bombs, roadside bombs, killings, assassinations. All of these things were not happening in the past. There was stability and security."
But Delly, who was one of 23 new cardinals named by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct. 17, blamed the violence on extremists and said it is his job to reach out to Muslims and followers of other faiths to promote unity.
"I pray every day to God to enlighten the minds of the officials and guide them to the road of peace and reconciliation," he said.~
~The country's Christian population was estimated at more than 800,000 before the war - the majority of them Chaldean-Assyrians and Armenians, with small numbers of Roman Catholics.
They were generally left alone under Saddam's regime, and many, including former foreign minister and deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz, reached the highest levels of power. But after Saddam's ouster, Christians became perceived as supporters of the U.S., the Minority Rights Group says.
Christians were increasingly targeted by the Sunni-led insurgency, causing tens of thousands to flee, isolating many of those who remained in barricaded neighborhoods and forcing them to hide their religious affiliation when venturing out. Up to 50 percent may have left Iraq, says the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which advises the U.S. government.
Attacks on Christians peaked with a coordinated bombing campaign in the summer of 2004 aimed at Baghdad churches and again last September after the pope made comments perceived to be anti-Islam.~
re:from afghanistan
~Australia's prime minister, meanwhile, said more NATO powers must directly engage the Taliban to help ease the burden on Australia, the United States, Britain, Canada and the Netherlands, which all have troops in the dangerous southern and central parts of Afghanistan.
Germany, Italy, France and Spain have troops in the relatively safer northern sections, a fact that is causing a rift within NATO, and Australian Prime Minister John Howard said those countries need to help ease the burden on countries operating in the south.
"Some of the other countries have lots of troops in Afghanistan, but they're not in some of the areas that are experiencing the heaviest fighting," he said.
The governments of the Netherlands and Canada, in particular, are coming under domestic pressure to pull out troops because of heavy casualties.
"I think the Dutch government has been very courageous to date," Howard said. "It's not for me to comment on Dutch politics, but I do observe that the Dutch are making a great contribution and as are of course the Canadians."~

re:communist group attacks party in india
~About 25 Maoist guerrillas attacked the village festival in the remote state of Jharkhand, firing indiscriminately, local police chief Arun Kumar Singh told The Associated Press.
Among the dead was Anuplal Marandi, the son of the state's former chief minister, Babulal Marandi, he said. The politician was thought to be on the rebel's hit list after leading a crackdown against them while in office, Singh said.
Some 14 people were killed in the attack and four others died later in a hospital. Three more people were wounded, he said. The rebels, who frequently target police and government officials, also threw a bomb into the crowd before fleeing.
Police have launched a manhunt and sealed the state's borders, Singh said.
The rebels, also known as Naxalites after the Naxalbari region where the movement was born, are mainly active in six of India's 28 states - Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Karnataka, Orissa and Chattisgarh - where widespread poverty has fueled a lengthy insurgency by militants demanding land and jobs for agricultural laborers and the poor.
The movement claims inspiration from Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong.~

re:israel makes good on threat to curb attacks
~Israel began cutting vital fuel shipments to the Gaza Strip on Sunday, following through on a promise to step up pressure on the territory's Hamas rulers after months of Palestinian rocket attacks.
Dor Alon, the Israeli energy company that sells fuel to Gaza, confirmed it received instructions from the Israeli Defense Ministry to reduce shipments.
Last month the Israeli government declared Gaza a "hostile entity" and approved the plan for cutoffs as a response to near-daily rocket attacks by Gaza militants. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak gave the final go-ahead last week.
The Israeli Defense Ministry said in a statement Sunday that the Sufa crossing between Gaza and Israel has been closed. That crossing is used for transporting cargo in and out of Gaza. Its closing leaves only a smaller cargo crossing in operation.
Israel says it holds the violent Islamic Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in June, responsible for the continued rocket fire. Smaller militant groups have carried out most of the rocket attacks, with Hamas militants firing mortars at border crossings. But Hamas has done nothing to stop the rocket fire.
The fuel cut drew harsh condemnation from Palestinians in Gaza, which relies on Israel for all its fuel and more than half its electricity.~
~In what appeared to be an attempt to head off criticism, Matan Vilnai, Israel's deputy defense minister, insisted the cutoff is not a response to the rocket fire, but the latest step by Israel to "disengage" from Gaza following its withdrawal of all troops and settlers from the area two years ago.
"This is the continuation of our disengagement since the troops pulled out," he told Israel Radio on Saturday. "This is not connected to Qassams (rockets)."
Israeli government spokeswoman Miri Eisin said Israel will "not allow in any way" a humanitarian crisis to develop in Gaza. "The terrorists are bombarding the crossing points of the fuels, and we do not feel the need to supply the terrorists," she said.
At a taxi depot in downtown Gaza, drivers agreed the cutoff will mean price hikes but couldn't agree on who to blame.
"Israel wants us to give in. We will not. If the rockets were useless, Israel wouldn't have been that angry," said Mohammed al-Haddad.
But another driver, who would only identify himself as Abu Nidal, blamed the rivalry between Hamas and Fatah. "If they can't manage things, and are only making people suffer, they should both step down," he said.~

re:israeli party says will quit if giving up 67 war results are allowed to be part of talks with pals
~The Palestinians are demanding that the U.S.-sponsored conference to be held by the end of the year include talks on the major hurdles preventing a final peace agreement, including the fate of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees and the borders of a Palestinian state.
While Lieberman's threat was not new, he has been making it more leading up to the meeting.
"We won't remain partners in the government if there will be significant negotiations on the core subjects," Lieberman told Army Radio.
Any agreement with the Palestinians must not include a concession by Israel on its control over Jerusalem's disputed holy sites nor a symbolic return of Palestinian refugees, Lieberman said. A confidant of Olmert, Vice Premier Haim Ramon, has hinted that he has discussed such Israeli offers in talks with the Palestinians.
Lieberman said he is also opposed to a connection between the West Bank and Gaza Strip over Israel, which Israel has reportedly offered in the talks.
The Palestinians insist they be able to establish a capital of a future state in east Jerusalem, where the holy sites of both sides are located. Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed it, calling the entire city its capital.
The Palestinians also want hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled or were displaced by fighting that led to Israel's establishment in 1948, and their descendants, to be able to return to their former homes.
Palestinian negotiators have reportedly agreed to exchange West Bank territory they want for a state - where Jewish settlement blocs are located - for Israeli land that would connect between the Gaza Strip and West Bank.~

re:pals talk tough,,like they have the upper hand
~The chief Palestinian peace negotiator raised the stakes Tuesday for a U.S.-sponsored peace conference, saying there will be no talks with Israel unless it agrees to set a deadline for establishing a Palestinian state.
Israeli aircraft, meanwhile, hit a Hamas police station in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, killing four people, hospital and Hamas officials said. The Israeli military said it targeted a Hamas position after the Islamic group pelted southern Israel with mortar shells earlier in the day.
The demand from Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia is the latest problem for the peace conference. Arab nations have been slow to endorse the effort, and Israel is making only general promises instead of specific proposals.
However, it was unclear if the Palestinians could afford to follow through with their ultimatum by boycotting a conference called by President Bush at a time when moderate President Mahmoud Abbas needs Western support and U.S. aid in his struggle against Hamas, which expelled his loyalists and took over Gaza in June. Instead, the threat could be a ploy to wring concessions from Israel.
Israel and the Palestinians differ over the issue of a timetable for setting up a Palestinian state, and talks between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert have so far failed to solve the impasse.
Qureia tightened the screws Tuesday.
"The Israeli prime minister has stated that he will not accept a timetable, and we say we will not accept negotiations without a timetable," he said at a news conference with the European Union's external affairs commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner.
Qureia indicated the talks with Israel weren't going well.
"We haven't gotten closer yet concerning the issues," he said. "We are talking in general about the issues that should be included in the document. (But) we haven't yet touched the core issues."
What the Palestinians want, he said, is "a clear and specific document, without vagueness, that lays the basic foundation for all final status issues. Without that, the conference will be hindered."
Israeli government spokeswoman Miri Eisin said negotiations should be held behind closed doors, not through the media.
"We're not at the ultimatum stage," Eisin said. "They agreed to work to go forward, and we are committed to going forward to a joint statement."
No date has so far been set for the peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland, because the two sides remain so far apart on the starting point. Israel wants a vague joint statement of objectives, but the Palestinians want a detailed outline that would address core issues.
These include final borders, sovereignty over disputed Jerusalem and a solution for Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes in the war that followed Israel's creation in 1948.
In the past, deadlines for establishing a Palestinian state have been set and ignored. The latest was the "road map" plan of 2003, a three-stage process ending in creation of a Palestinian state in 2005. The plan stalled at the first stage.
Qureia said a U.S. envoy, Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, is meeting with both sides to try to revive the "road map."
In Egypt on Tuesday, Abbas lashed out against Israel for cutting fuel supplies to Gaza in an effort to pressure militants there to stop their daily rocket fire into southern Israel. Ten mortar rounds exploded in an Israeli village near Gaza Tuesday afternoon, the military said. No one was hurt.
On Monday, Israel's attorney general held up the government's plan to cut back electricity supplies to Gaza, demanding more work be done to prevent humanitarian harm.
"We have told the Israelis that they are wrong in adopting these measures, which we fully reject," Abbas said after meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo. "We do not accept at all this collective punishment."
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband criticized the Israeli measures Tuesday. In a statement, he condemned the rocket fire but said Israeli reprisals must "not cause suffering to innocent civilians."
Palestinians in Gaza rely on Israel for all of their fuel and more than half of their electricity.
If the energy cutbacks don't halt rocket attacks, then Israel threatens an invasion. Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Army Radio on Tuesday, "Every day that passes brings us closer to a broad operation in Gaza."~

re:pal convert to judaism convicted for assisting bro with attacks
~Asaf Ben-David, a naturalized Israeli citizen who was born Hussam Sawafta in the West Bank town of Tubas, was found guilty earlier this month of assisting an enemy during wartime and of contact with a foreign agent. In their sentencing decision, three judges of the Haifa district court noted that the two charges were among most serious crimes on Israel's law books.
The enemy agent that Ben-David contacted was his brother, a Palestinian operative from Islamic Jihad, an Iranian-backed group that has killed dozens of Israelis in suicide bombings. Ben-David was convicted earlier this month of helping his brother plan a bombing attack against Israelis.
Ben-David left his home in the West Bank town of Tubas in the early 1990s, working as a laborer in Israel and later converting to Judaism, living for a time as an Orthodox Jew. He married an Israeli woman with whom he had four children and became an Israeli citizen.
Ben-David re-established contact with his family in 2006, and agreed to help his brother, Salah Sawafta, obtain a large amount of nitric acid - a chemical which can be used to manufacture bombs - according to the court documents.
Ben-David had secret contacts with his brother, changing the memory card in his cellphone to avoid leaving traces of calls to him. He later went to an Islamic religious court and converted from Judaism back to Islam, the documents said.
Salah Sawafta was killed in December 2006 by Israeli troops. Ben-David was arrested weeks later.
During the trial, Ben-David insisted he had never agreed to help his brother, and had tried to convince him to cease his militant activities.
In their decision, the judges said they took into account that Ben-David never actually purchased the nitric acid, but only agreed to do so.
"The case before us is indeed exceptional because of the defendant's personal circumstances," the judges wrote in their ruling. They said Ben-David's Israeli citizenship and his "full integration over the years in Israeli society" made his crime worse.
"An Israeli citizen collaborating with terror organizations, a domestic enemy, is one of the most serious and reprehensible phenomena that exist," they wrote.~

re:southeastern asians in dubai go on strike
~DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Thousands of South Asian construction workers went on strike Sunday over harsh working conditions in the latest threat to a spectacular building boom already endangered by a falling currency and labor shortage.
While laborers have long complained about working conditions in this Gulf city known for its avant-garde skyscrapers, luxury dwellings and archipelagoes of artificial islands, their recent action comes as contractors are struggling to find workers to complete their ambitious projects.~
~Authorities report an annual average growth rate of 12 percent over the past decade, largely driven by construction.
The boom has been possible due to plentiful investment from oil-rich neighbors and armies of non-unionized south Asian workers whose fear of deportation, until recently, kept them from voicing discontent over low wages.
"The cost of living here has increased so much in the past two years that I cannot survive with my salary," said Rajesh Kumar, a 24-year-old worker from the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh who earns $149 a month.
The laborers ignored the threat of deportation and refused to go to work, staging protests at a labor camp in Dubai's Jebel Ali Industrial Zone and on a construction site in Al Qusais residential neighborhood.
They demanded pay increases, improved housing and better transportation services to construction sites. On Saturday, workers threw stones at the riot police and damaged to police cars.
Emirates' Minister of Labor Ali bin Abdullah al-Kaabi described workers' behavior as "uncivilized," saying they were tampering with national security and endangering residents' safety.
They could have registered their complaints peacefully but instead "turned themselves into rioters," he told state news agency WAM. Those who damaged public property will be deported, the labor minister said.
Companies, however, do not want more workers as they struggle to find enough to complete existing projects following an overwhelming response to a government amnesty program to persuade illegal laborers to leave.
In June, the government offered, no questions asked, a free one-way plane tickets to illegal workers hoping to leave. They have since been swamped by 280,000 workers who, fed up with a rising cost of living and low wages, were ready to go home.
A booming economy in India also means that many there no longer see the need to travel to Dubai and the Gulf, said Bernard Raj, managing director of the Dubai-based Keith International, which supplies Indian workers.
"In the past, when we go for recruitment of workers we were able to choose whomever we wanted. Now the turnout of candidates is very low," he said, estimating that at least 40 percent more workers were needed for the city's projects.
With the usual labor markets like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka drying up, labor companies are turning to less traditional places like Tibet and North Korea.
At the root of the problem is the Emirati Dirham's close connection to the U.S. dollar, which has seen it plummet in value, further decreasing laborers' already low salaries.
Kumar and his fellow workers said they asked their employer, Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises, for a pay increase several times, but management was not willing to address the issue.
"We were left without any choice but to stage the protest," Kumar said.
Other workers said similar requests to the other main labor company, Al Mussa Contracting, were unsuccessful.
"I can not save anything," said Sunder Raj, a 32-year-old worker who at the end of the month has nothing to send to his family in India from his salary of $162.
"We are working hard for nothing and there is no way for us to continue like this," said Mohammed Hussein, a Bangladeshi worker.
K.V. Shamsudheen of the Pravasi Bhandu Welfare Trust, a group that helps workers, said it is the unskilled labor force that has been especially hard hit, with many no longer able to send money home.
"The low exchange rate of dirham against Indian Rupee left laborers without any savings," he said. "The only way for the UAE to attract workers is to set competitive salaries and assure better living conditions."
While Mohammed al-Shaiba, a UAE-based labor analyst, criticized the strikes, saying they could only harm an economy gripped by a labor shortage, he acknowledged that the government had to do something.
"Now it's the right time to set a minimum wage," he said, adding that government should require companies to pay workers at least $272 a month.
"If they allow a strike today, tomorrow there will be another one," he added.~
(this allows a glimpse into our own mexican invasion problem,,IF there country wasn't so poor,,i.e., if it had it's own economy geared towards the people instead of gov,,and they didn't make MORE money here,,they would go home and/or not come)

re:myanmars child soldiers
~The report "Sold to Be Soldiers: The Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in Burma," also charged that ethnic guerrilla groups in Myanmar use child soldiers, though on a much smaller scale than the government. Ethnic minorities along the country's borders have been fighting for autonomy for decades.
Human Rights Watch said recruiters routinely falsify enlistment records to list children as 18, the minimum legal age for service. It cited the case of a boy who said he was forcibly recruited at age 11, though he was only 4 feet, 3 inches tall and weighed less than 70 pounds.
According to the report, child soldiers are typically given 18 weeks of military training and some are then sent to combat zones.
"Child soldiers are sometimes forced to participate in human rights abuses, such as burning villages and using civilians for forced labor," said Human Rights Watch. "Those who attempt to escape or desert are beaten, forcibly re-recruited, or imprisoned."~

re:myanmar blames US for it's woes,,like everyone else on that bandwagon is

re:castro preloads the settings
~He claimed that President Bush's recent major policy speech on Cuba, in which the president challenged the international community to help the people of the communist island shed Fidel Castro's rule and become a free society, indicated the U.S. might be prepared to use force.
Perez Roque singled out a comment from Bush's speech last week: "The operative word in our future dealings with Cuba is not stability. The operative word is freedom."
"If that's the expression of the attempt to bring about a regime change by force in Cuba, that will clash with the resilience of the Cuban people, and the people are prepared," Perez Roque said.
In Cuba, he said, more than 90 percent of the 11.5 million people support "the genuine revolution" that began in 1959 when Castro toppled dictator Fulgencio Batista.
The only "freedom" that Cubans can imagine Bush pursing, Perez Roque added, "would be similar to the one he has taken to Iraq," where war has continued for years.
"An attempt to bring about a change in regime in Cuba is going to jeopardize not only Cuba's stability, but also the stability of the United States because then a conflict would be unleashed very close to their shores," Perez Roque warned.
Asked to comment on Perez Roque's statements, Richard Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, said: "We strongly believe that the Cuban people deserve the powerful force of freedom and democracy."
The United States has no diplomatic relations with Cuba, lists the country as a state sponsor of terror, and has long sought to isolate it through travel restrictions and a trade embargo, which has been tightened over Bush's two terms. This year, the U.S. stepped up enforcement of financial sanctions, which Perez Roque strongly denounced.
Perez Roque spoke to the AP shortly after the U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to urge the United States to end its 46-year-old trade embargo against Cuba. The resolution passed with the highest ever margin - 184 to 4 with 1 abstention - in the 16 years it has come before 192-member body. Albania, El Salvador and Iraq did not vote.
Calling it "an historic victory," the Cuban minister said it was the international community's answer to Bush's speech and showed global support for "the Cuban right to be an independent nation, to be respected in its right to self-determination."
Though the resolution is not legally binding, Perez Roque said the vote "has a very important ethical and moral meaning" and strengthened "our resilience and our decision, really, to resist and finally to defeat the blockade."
In his speech, Bush did not mention Fidel or his brother, Raul, by name. Raul Castro has been the island's interim ruler since July 2006, when the 81-year-old Fidel temporarily ceded power to his brother after undergoing intestinal surgery.
But Bush said "the dissidents of today will be the nation's leaders" after the Castro era, and he told the Cuban military: "You may have once believed in the revolution. Now you can see its failure."
The Bush administration sees Castro's failing health as an opening for change. But little has changed in Cuba under Raul Castro, 76, and Bush said in his speech that the U.S. will make no accommodations for "a new tyranny."
Perez Roque called Bush's statements "the expression of the failed policy of the United States towards Cuba," which was demonstrated by the total lack of support for the U.S. in Tuesday's vote.
Perez Roque said he would like the next U.S. administration to sit down with the Cuban government and negotiate improved relations, "but I'm not dying with anxiety to see it happen."
"Cuba doesn't pose a threat to the U.S. Cuba is a country that would like to have normal relations with the United States," he said.
What about the future of Fidel Castro as the county's leader?
Perez Roque said Fidel is continuing his recovery, and met with him last Friday to discuss his General Assembly speech. But he said he could not speculate on whether Fidel would return to power soon.
As for Raul Castro, Perez Roque said despite being demonized by some of the media, the acting president "has a great deal of moral authority in Cuba."
"The Cubans feel that they are close of Raul, as they've been with Fidel, and in Cuba it was no surprise that with Fidel's disease, Raul was called upon to take over," Perez Roque said.~
re:leb politicos claim syria targeting them for assassination


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