Female US Soldier Killed Bush Envoy Resigns over Unfair Policies toward Turks

Barnett Rubin at our Global Affairs site is live-blogging the state of emergency in Pakistan, declared by Gen Pervez Musharraf.

My essay, “Combating Muslim Extremism,” is now online at The Nation. It is a critique of the approach of most of the Republican presidential candidates and contains advice for the Democrats on how to escape the racism and fuzzy thinking that dominate this debate.

McClatchy says that the Turks are demanding action, not words with regard to the Kurdish Workers Party holed up in Iraqi Kurdistan, members of which have killed over two dozen Turkish soldiers in recent weeks.

Warren Strobel of McClatchy reveals the real reason for the resignation of Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston as Bush’s envoy to the Kurdish Workers Party. He felt that Bush was not taking the problem of PKK terrorism seriously and was neglected to fulfill the promises Washington had made to the Turks.

Patricia Kushlis at Whirledview, whom I had the honor of meeting in Santa Fe recently, says “I’m nudging closer and closer to agreeing with Juan Cole’s recommendation that Congress should mandate closure of the US Embassy in Baghdad even if it refuses to end the funding for the US military occupation of Iraq; Or, that the enormous US Embassy there should be reduced to a skeleton staff so that those who are assigned to it are qualified and can be adequately protected; Or that the diplomatic side of the Mission should be moved outside the country to where many Iraqi politicians spend considerable time anyway.” Ms. Kushlis is herself a former State Department employee.

Reuters reports civil war violence in Iraq on Saturday and Friday. Major incidents:

BAGHDAD – One female U.S. soldier was killed on Thursday when a roadside bomb exploded near a patrol south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. . .

BAGHDAD – Gunmen wounded three Iranian Shi’ite pilgrims in the Kadhimiya district of northwestern Baghdad, police said. . .

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb killed a man and wounded three police commandos when it targeted their patrol in southeastern Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD – Three bodies were found in different districts of Baghdad on Friday, police said. . .

BASRA – A roadside bomb targeted a convoy carrying the heads of the Iraqi army and police in southern Iraq. Both men were unhurt, but two guards were wounded, the police chief said.

KUT – Gunmen wounded the head of Wasit University and three of his guards in central Kut, 170 km (105 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL – Two bodies were found in different parts of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL – Gunmen killed an employee of the Sunni Endowment, a body that manages Sunni religious sites in Mosul, police said.

KHALIS – A roadside bomb killed one man and wounded 10 others outside a mosque in Khalis, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, on Friday, police said.

MAHAWEEL – A roadside bomb blew up near a police patrol, killing one policeman and wounding another one in Mahaweel, 75 km (45 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. . .

Statistics on attacks on British and coalition troops in Basra are given here. It turns out, if you don’t have troops in a place, attacks on them fall dramatically.