For the first time a top Pentagon official has admitted the U.S. is now fighting a “guerrilla war.”
Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told Congress yesterday, “There’s a guerrilla war there but we can win it.”
The Financial Times reports that Wolfowitz’s comments reflect efforts by the White House to prepare the nation for a longer and more hazardous fight in Iraq than had been anticipated.
Wolfowitz’s comments came after it was revealed a US soldier was killed in a drive-by shooting at a Baghdad petrol station.
52 soldiers have now died in Iraq since President Bush announced the end of major combat on May 1.
Meanwhile up to 30,00 troops from a group of countries including Italy, Spain and the Ukraine plan to arrive in Iraq in mid-August to replace some of the U.S. forces.
And U.S. officials yesterday announced they had captured Saddam’s Hussein’s top aide, Abdel Hamid Mahmoud al-Tikriti. Only Saddam and his sons were higher on the Pentagon’s wanted list. One official described him to the Los Angeles Times as “the Condoleezza Rice of the Baath Party.” Officials in Washington are hoping he will provide information on whether Saddam Hussein is still alive and, if so, his whereabouts.
A former CIA director has accused the administration of President George W Bush of “overstretching the facts” about Iraq’s weapons program in order to justify a war on Iraq.
Stansfield Turner, who headed the CIA under President Carter, said, “There is no question in my mind (that policymakers) distorted the situation, either because they had bad intelligence or because they misinterpreted it.”
Yesterday the House and Senate intelligence committees began closed-door hearings on the intelligence that provided the basis for the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.
Senator John Kerry said of President Bush, “He misled every one of us.”
Pakistani president General Pervez Musharraf yesterday called for tens of thousands of more international troops in Afghanistan to impose order outside of Kabul.
Musharraf said the force needs to be increased from the existing 14,000 soldiers to between 40,000 and 45,000. Almost all international troops are stationed in Kabul.
Musharraf said, “Things are not going as well as could be expected.”
Despite pressure from the U.S., the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency decided yesterday not to pass a resolution condemning Iran for its nuclear program. The Bush administration maintains Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEA secretary-general, last week pressed Iran to agree to enhanced inspections after Iran refused to let IAEA inspectors enter an electricity plant, which is thought to be part of a uranium enrichment project.
Meanwhile President George Bush warned Iran yesterday not to develop nuclear weaponry. He also told anti-government protesters in Iran “America stands squarely by their side.”
An Israeli died in the village of of Sde Trumot near the West Bank after a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in an Israeli grocery story. This came a day after a 7-year-old Israeli girl was shot dead in a highway ambush. Israeli officials blamed Palestinian gunman for the killing.
The Catholic Bishop of Phoenix, the Most Reverend Thomas O’Brien has resigned after being charged with leaving the scene of a fatal car accident.
The accident came shortly after he admitted that he shielded from prosecution priests accused of molesting minors.
The Washington Post reports O’Brien is the first Bishop in the United States to ever resign in the face of criminal charges and the first to ever be charged with a felony.
The Census Bureau yesterday announced that Latinos are now the nation’s largest minority group. According to the census the nation’s Latino population in July 2002 was 38.8 million, about half a million larger than the African American population.
A new report by Amnesty International has found the United States locks up more than 5,000 children a year who enter the country illegally and alone. They are often held in harsh conditions without access to lawyers.
Amnesty reports some are jailed with criminals, strip-searched, shackled, and physically abused, in violation of international accords. This all comes in violation of a 1985 US court ruling that children in immigration custody must be treated with ’’dignity, respect, and special concern for their vulnerability as minors.”
Amnesty went on to say children from all over the world, from toddlers to teens, are held for months and sometimes years while US authorities decide whether to grant them political asylum or humanitarian resettlement.
The New York Times is reporting that the White House has rewritten a major report by the Environmental Protection Agency in order to delete data on global warming.
Among other things, the White House removed references that concluded global warming is caused in part by rising concentrations of smokestack and automobile emissions.