Friday, October 01, 2004

Don't forget about Poland!

Poland planning pull-out of troops from Iraq
Derek Scally, in Warsaw

Poland is planning to withdraw its troops from Iraq in the coming months, dealing another blow to the US-led coalition forces there.

The revelation yesterday by a senior government adviser that Poland's 2,500 soldiers would leave Iraq comes just a day after the new Spanish Prime Minister, Mr José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, announced the pull-out of Spanish troops "as soon as possible".

A senior adviser to the Polish government confirmed to The Irish Times that Warsaw's decision had been influenced by the Spanish move. "Given the circumstances [in Iraq], we will probably diminish significantly the forces at the end of 2004," said Prof Tadeusz Iwinski, secretary of state for international affairs in the office of the prime minister.

By the way, this article was from April. But the general idea that Poland plans to remove most of its forces from Iraq within a few months is confirmed by this September article.

Poland To Withdraw More Troops: Defense Minister

Poland will hand over another part of the zone it administers in Iraq under a planned reduction of its forces next year, Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski said in an interview published Sept. 3.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I'm Iyad W. Allawi, and I support this message...

or maybe it should be

Live from New York, it's Iyad Allawi!

The Bush administration, battling negative perceptions of the Iraq war, is sending Iraqi Americans to deliver what the Pentagon calls "good news" about Iraq to U.S. military bases, and has curtailed distribution of reports showing increasing violence in that country.

The unusual public-relations effort by the Pentagon and the U.S. Agency for International Development comes as details have emerged showing the U.S. government and a representative of President Bush's reelection campaign had been heavily involved in drafting the speech given to Congress last week by interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. Combined, they indicate that the federal government is working assiduously to improve Americans' opinions about the Iraq conflict -- a key element of Bush's reelection message.


White House spokesman Scott McClellan, asked Tuesday about similarities between Bush's statements about Iraq and Allawi's speech to Congress last week, said he did not know of any help U.S. officials gave with the speech. "None that I know of," he said, adding, "No one at the White House." He also said he did not know if the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad had seen the speech.

But administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the prime minister was coached and aided by the U.S. government, its allies and friends of the administration. Among them was Dan Senor, former spokesman for the CPA who has more recently represented the Bush campaign in media appearances. Senor, who has denied writing the speech, sent Allawi recommended phrases. He also helped Allawi rehearse in New York last week, officials said. Senor declined to comment.

Bob Novak is a hypocrite, and nuts

Bob Novak, the journalist who, with the help of Bushco, blew the cover of an undercover CIA operative when her husband discredited evidence given by the government to justify the Iraq war, after having been supplied the identity by top administration officials, is now upset that the CIA is leaking

Conditions in Iraq appear to be deteriorating so badly that CIA officials are now leaking to reporters left and right, signaling a new dynamic in press coverage of the war. Columnist Robert Novak noted this on Monday in a column titled, "Is CIA at War With Bush?"


Not only does he criticize CIA agents for leaking information when he himself leaked the identity of a CIA agent, but he apparently may have blown the cover of another CIA agent in the process of doing so.

On Monday, columnist Novak criticized the CIA and Paul Pillar, a national intelligence officer. Novak said comments Pillar made about Iraq during a private dinner in California showed that he and others at the CIA are at war with the president. Pillar had not spoken for the record, but Novak published his remarks and name anyway., noting that he is "no covert operative."

Back Again, (Greetings, Ahmed)

From AFP (via Atrios)

JENIN, West Bank (AFP) - Two Palestinians were killed when Israeli troops targeting a militant from the radical Islamic Jihad movement fired on their taxi in the West Bank town of Jenin, medics said. Palestian security sources said the target, Ahmed Chalabi, had got out of the taxi just before the soldiers opened fire, killing the driver and his passenger. Medics said their bodies were riddled with bullets.

Could this be the same guy? He just seems to be up to all kinds of mischief... but oh, here's a possible explanation. Remember that bank he had in Jordan from which he was convicted of embezelling millions of dollars?

From relatively modest beginnings when he co-founded Petra Bank in 1977, Mr Chalabi became one of the most powerful and influential businessmen in Jordan. He even acquired the licence from the US to issue Visa cards in Jordan and became well connected in the royal court.
London banking sources say Mr Chalabi's financial empire originally thrived thanks to support from Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan, which enabled Petra to open a string of branches for the first time in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

via The Guardian