Putin Denounces Unilateral US Iraq War
Jaafari Calls for US Troops to Depart
The US military on Saturday announced 3 GIs killed and 4 wounded in al-Anbar province.
Reuters reports political violence in Iraq for Saturday, including a car bombing in Karrada that killed 5 Iraqis and wounded 10. There also other killings, in east Baghdad and points south. See also Daily War News, which points out that a US forward base for the "surge" strategy in Adhamiya, a Sunni district of the capital, was attacked as soon as it was set up.
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari of the Islamic Call (Da'wa) Party, is visiting Iran. IRNA reports,
' Concerning occupying forces in Iraq, Jafari said the best way for them is leaving Iraq adding even public opinion in their own countries supports their departure from Iraq. '
Jaafari was the first elected Iraqi prime minister since 1954, and all that enthusiasm in the US in January, 2005, about the purple fingers was in essence enthusiasm for the government that he formed (April 2005-March 2006). His call, in Tehran, for US troops to go, now, should be front page news and lead the cable news cycle on Sunday. It will not be.
Jaafari also congratulated his Iranian hosts on the 28th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The Shiite religious parties that now rule Iraq are full of people who feel the same way Jaafari does about 1979.
Meanwhile, Iranian Expediency Council Chairman and former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, implied that Sunni-Shiite violence in Iraq is an American plot and said that Muslims need to confront it.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also called for the setting of a timetable for US withdrawal on Saturday, in an interview with Aljazeera. I can't find a link on the internet . . .
' MOSCOW. Feb 10 (Interfax) - The new U.S. strategy in Iraq will work only if a date for withdrawing the foreign military contingent is set, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
"It seems to me that a date for the withdrawal of foreign forces should be set," Putin said in an interview with Al-Jazeera. . . the U.S. has officially declared that it plans to hand over full authority, primarily in the law enforcement and security areas, to Iraqi agencies, Putin said.
"But I think this won't work if we don't decide beforehand when the foreign contingent should be withdrawn. Because, as it happens in any conflict and in any country, people should know that they have to be prepared to take on full responsibility inside the country by a certain date. When they do not have a definite date and when it is unclear when the maturity of relevant organizations in this country should reach a certain appropriate level, then everything is shifted off to the foreign contingent," Putin said.
The situation in Iraq should be stabilized by strengthening the Iraqi security forces, withdrawing the foreign military contingent from that country, and providing the Iraqi people with the chance to decide their fate on their own, Putin said.'
Putin also critiqued the Bush administration policy of unilateralism, saying that since countries can no longer be sure of the protection of international law, they are turning to possession of nuclear weapons. In other words, Putin is saying that Washington has been producing its own worst nightmare by its illegal aggressions, and that you can have nuclear non-proliferation or you can have unilateralist disregard for the UN Security Council and international treaty obligations, but you cannot have both.
An English translation of the speech is here.
USG Open Source Center paraphrases items in the Iraqi Press for Feb. 10:
' Al-Adalah carries on the front page a 250-word report citing Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's Representative Ahmad al-Safi during the Friday prayer sermon in Karbala yesterday, 9 February, calling for a peaceful demonstration on the first anniversary of the Samara bombing on 12 February. . .
Al-Adalah runs on page 2 a 240-word report on the statement issued by the Governmental Communications Office yesterday, 9 February, on the conference organized by the National Security Affairs Ministry on 8 February to discuss the expulsion of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization from Iraq. . .
Al-Da'wah on 8 February carries on the front page a 600-word report on parliament members' calls to replace Mahmud al-Mashhadani. The report adds that the Iraqi Al-Tawafuq Front has rejected the calls to replace Al-Mashhadani. . .
Al-Sabah carries on page 4 a 650-word report citing Harith al-Ubaydi, parliament member from the Iraqi Al-Tawafuq Front, calling on Saudi Arabia to hold a conference attended by Iraqi political forces to solve the Iraqi crisis. The report cites the Kuwaiti Prince calling on the United States and Britain to conduct talks with Syria and Iran to solve the Iraqi crisis. . .
Dar al-Salam on 8 February carries on page 10 a 200-word report confirming that US Army officers apologized for killing civilians by mistake in southern Baghdad. . .
Al-Bayan carries on page 2 a 530-word report saying that the Health Minister Ali al-Shammari has decided to increase the number of ambulances from 288 to 1,080 and establish 76 health centers in Baghdad. . .
Al-Da'wah on 8 February carries on page 2 a 200-word report saying that Al-Sadr Office in Al-Taji arrested a gang involved in stealing electricity wire and handed it over to the tribes to punish them. . .
Dar al-Salam on 8 February carries on page 10 a 700-word report entitled "In Basra, Intellectuals Talk About Campaign To Expel Them From City; Anger at Iranian Officials Pictures in Southern Governorates. . . "