Neighbors Pledge To Halt Iraq Violence

Neighbors Pledge to Halt Iraq Violence
Iranian FM Snubs Sec. Rice

Four American GIs were announced killed on Friday. The US broke up a weapons smuggling ring in Sadr City. At the Sharm El Sheikh Conference, the neighbors pledged to help with security.

The Iranian foreign minister, Manuchehr Mottaki, protested the continued holding of 5 Iranian detainees by the US military in Iraq on Thursday evening by refusing to have dinner opposite US Secretary of State Condi Rice. He gave as his pretext the un-Islamic dress of a violinist performing for the diplomats.

The Sharm el Sheikh conference wrapped up without a high-level meeting between the US and Iran.

Back in Iraq, The Mosul correspondent of al-Zaman, writing in Arabic, reports “an utter deterioration of the security situation” in the city, saying that guerrillas use cars to kill any time a group of youths or children gathers together in the residential sections of the city. Police found 15 bodies on the streets on Friday, all of them with gunshot wounds. Police declared a 3-day curfew. Guerrillas cut telephone communication between the city and the outside world!

McClatchy reports civil war violence in Iraq on Friday. Among the incidents:

Around 11.15 am,a roadside bomb exploded at Amil neighborhood near the petrol station at the junction of Amil- Milhania neighborhoods targeting a police patrol killing 5 poliemen and injuring 2. . .

- Around 5 pm, clashes tool place at Habibiya neighborhood of Sadr city between Sadr followers and Bedr’s who were inside their headquarter when Sadr followers attacked them with RBG7 and light machine guns injuring 4 guards of the building . . .

- Around 8 pm , gunmen attacked Imam Ali mosque in Adhamiya neighborhood killing the two guards of the mosque and burned the whole mosque afterwards. . .

Najaf – After Fridays prayer clashes happened between Sadr followers and police as one prominent member of Al-Sadr bloc has been stopped by a police check point to be searched without having details of the number of casualties on both sides. . .

Ten percent of US troops in a recent survey admit to having unnecessarily beaten Iraqi civilians or having damaged their property for no good reason. Does that translate into 100,000 such incidents? And, mind you, Iraqis are a clan society where an affront to a person is an affront to all his siblings and cousins, as well, and where revenge for affronts is often exacted by the clans.

The US military confirmed that it had killed some senior leaders of the self-styled “al-Qaeda” in Iraq. But it hadn’t killed top leaders, apparently, and anyway, the history of killed or captured such leaders is now long, and it is hard to connect it to any serious changes in the security situation.

Jim Lobe on the Bush administration’s turn toward realism in its foreign policy dealings.

They are even delaying the grant of a medical degree, so as to eny

Retired British general Sir Michael Rose urges that the US and UK admit defeat in Iraq and withdraw, arguing that no catastrophe will ensue. He also said that he could understand why the Iraqi guerrillas are fighting US troops. He compared a potential Anglo-American withdrawal from Iraq to the British withdrawal from North America in the face of resistance from General Washington.

Women in Congress have emerged as potentially key players in Iraq policy going forward.

Tomdispatch has a new batch of indispensable essays on Iraq..