2 US Troops Killed in Baghdad, 2 Wounded
A roadside bomb killed two US troops in Baghdad, along with a civilian translator, and wounded two others. According to Michelle Faul of AP, the US military is worried that guerrillas will mount a Christmas offensive against US troops in Iraq.
In other developments, interim Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said that once Iraqi sovereignty was restored on July 1, the Iraqi government would open bids for reconstruction projects to all countries. This statement seems to be a reproach to Paul Wolfowitz, who cut France, Germany and Russia out of $20 bn. in US reconstruction projects because of their opposition to the war.
In line with Zebari’s plan, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim appears to have negotiated a deal with Vladimir Putin of Russia to have Moscow forgive some of the $8 bn. in debts Iraq owes it, in return for a shot at Iraqi government contracts.
On a personal note, I just want to send my warm holiday greetings to all the brave men and women serving in the US armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. As my readers know, I grew up in a service family, and I have enormous admiration for the individuals who are risking their lives. I just hope they can all come home, safe and sound, ASAP.