U.S. no longer has active role in Iraq

Freedom New Mexico Two large bomb blasts in Baghdad, one aimed at the Foreign and Finance Ministries, killed at least 100 people and injured about 600, putting something of an exclamation point on a month of escalating insurgent violence and calling into question the capacity of the Iraqi government to provide effective security. There will […]

Justification of Iraq invasion yet to be seen

Freedom New Mexico As of July 1, all U.S. troops in Iraq were scheduled to have moved out of Iraqi cities, and most of them had done so. Those remaining in cities will serve as advisers and support resources for Iraqi security forces, who now have responsibility for maintaining a modicum of order in that […]

Iraq voter turnout offers sign of hope

Freedom New Mexico The Iraqi provincial elections, a prelude to national elections later this year or early next year, were carried out almost

Anbar success remarkable yet

Freedom New Mexico Something truly remarkable happened Monday in Iraq. The U.S. military handed the Iraqi government full control of security in Anbar province. Two years ago, top military intelligence people in Iraq considered Anbar pretty much a lost cause about which the U.S. military could do little or nothing. But a place that not […]

Many reasons to doubt rosy Iraq assessment

Freedom New Mexico During his State of the Union message, President Bush argued that his new tactics in Iraq — sending 30,000 additional troops and having them operate actively in neighborhoods rather than return to secure bases each night — “have achieved results few of us could have imagined just one year ago.” There is […]

Despite problems, private companies necessary in Iraq

By Freedom New Mexico The private security company Blackwater USA is on the hot seat just now, largely as a result of a shooting incident Sept. 16. That’s when 14 people, mostly Iraqi civilians, were killed and 18 people were wounded. If the imbroglio leads to clarifying the legal status of private security operatives and […]

War no excuse for taking action against civilians

By Freedom Newspapers The trials, plea bargains and conviction of U.S. Marines involved in war crimes in Iraq have — like everything else involving the Iraq war — divided Americans. Many Americans are shocked at the brutal nature of the crimes these Marines have committed or are accused of committing, including an execution-style killing of […]

U.S. military not meant to serve as security guards

By Freedom Newspapers The latest quarterly report from the Pentagon on the war in Iraq confirms the general impression most of us get from daily news reports. After a brief period following the U.S. “surge” in troop strength, when violence declined, “the aggregate level of violence in Iraq remained relatively unchanged during this reporting period.” […]

Republicans finally voice Iraq concerns

By Freedom Newspapers Administration spokespeople may still talk about the foolishness of having 435 micromanagers of a war, of giving the “surge” a chance to be successful, of a timetable being a timetable for surrender, of not being affected by opinion polls. But recent actions suggest they are aware that time is running short to […]

Small Iraq funding bill works for now

Freedom Newspapers As expected, President Bush vetoed a $124 billion supplemental spending bill for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that included a timetable that could have required the U.S. to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq no later than October. “Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure,” the president said. Whether Congress […]

Wall epitomizes communication problems in Iraq

By Freedom Newspapers Good fences make good neighbors, Robert Frost has his neighbor say in the famous poem, “Mending Wall.” But his own sentiment — this is poetry so it’s open to interpretation — seems to be rather contrary: “Before I built a wall I’d ask to know What I was walling in or walling […]

Oil distribution shows hope for Iraqi reform

By Freedom Newspapers An agreement by the Iraqi cabinet on a draft of a new law to govern the distribution of oil revenues could be the most hopeful long-term sign in Iraq in a long time. The pact might reduce a great deal of the tension and resentment that feeds violence in that country, even […]

New Iraq strategy banks on influence we may not have

By Freedom Newspapers In his State of the Union message, President Bush made it clear that his current strategy in Iraq is not up for negotiation. “Our military commanders and I have carefully weighed the options,” he said. “In the end, I chose this course of action because it provides the best chance of success.” […]

Letters to the Editor: Devil, child abuse not part of Wiccan religion

Regarding the Jan. 14 newspaper story about the Portales woman accused of killing her son because he had “the devil” in him: The story reported the suspect checked out books on Wicca from the library. This statement from District Attorney Matt Chandler flew in my face: “We believe the way some of the child abuse […]

President’s plan may be too late to salvage victory

By Freedom Newspapers Give President Bush some credit. In his speech Wednesday night he was sober and serious. He was willing to acknowledge past mistakes. He presented a plan to change U.S. strategy in Iraq that seems to take into account unpleasant realities on the ground. In short, he seemed to know that this plan […]

After long, brutal reign, Saddam executed

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Saddam Hussein was convicted for his role in the killings of 148 Shiite Muslims from a town where assassins tried to kill the dictator in 1982. (MCT photo) The Associated Press BAGHDAD, Iraq — In the end, Saddam Hussein died at the hands of those he brutalized during a bloody regime that led Iraq into […]

Iraq Study Group fails to address main problem

By Freedom Newspapers The most impressive aspect of the report by the Iraq Study Group, or the Baker-Hamilton commission, created by Congress in March, is the assessment contained in the first 40 pages. It is a grim but essentially realistic assessment. It highlights the increasing levels of violence and the inability of the current “stay […]

Deployed troops request donations for Iraqi children

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Troops deployed to Balad Air Base in Iraq have begun a campaign for donations of goodies troops in the field can give to Iraqi children. The items will be distributed by military personnel as they conduct missions to disarm explosive devices in the Iraqi countryside. The goal of the […]

Saddam death sentence may set example

By Freedom Newspapers One hopes that the death sentence imposed on former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein by an Iraqi court will resonate most meaningfully in places like North Korea, Zimbabwe, Cuba, and perhaps even in Iran. It cannot but help to focus the mind for people like Kim Jong Il, Robert Mugabe, the Castro brothers […]

Situation in Iraq not encouraging

By Freedom Newspapers President Bush describes Iraq as a young but hopeful democracy with a “unity government,” a country in which “the sight of an old man pulling an election lever” terrifies al-Qaida members and other terrorists and sectarians. We can all hope these and other optimistic assessments may prove valid in the long run, […]