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  1. #1
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    Violence Uproots 100,000 Families in Iraq
    By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer
    27 minutes ago

    BAGHDAD, Iraq - Sectarian violence has forced about 100,000 families across Iraq to flee their homes, a top Iraqi official said. At least 17 people, including an American soldier, were killed Saturday in fighting.

    Adil Abdul-Mahdi, one of the country's two vice presidents, estimated on Friday that 100,000 Iraqi families _ 90 percent of them his fellow Shiites _ had fled their homes to escape attacks by rival religious sects.

    Abdul-Mahdi's estimate was higher than any offered so far by Iraqi officials.

    Dr. Salah Abdul-Razzaq, spokesman of a government body that runs Shiite religious institutions, put the number of displaced Shiite families at 13,750 nationwide, or about 90,000 people.

    That includes 25,000 Shiites who have fled since the bombing of a Shiite mosque in Samarra on Feb. 22 triggered a wave of attacks on Sunni mosques and clerics.

    The hardline Sunni clerical Association of Muslim Scholars said about 980 Sunni families, or about 5,000 people, have left five mixed areas of Baghdad in recent weeks and moved in with relatives in Sunni-dominated communities outside the capital.

    However, the U.S. military insists that even the lower estimates appear exaggerated.

    U.S. command spokesman Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch said this week that American troops investigate all reports of displaced people and have found no evidence of "widespread movement" away from religiously mixed areas.

    Lynch said sectarian attacks in the Baghdad area had fallen by 60 percent last week and were approaching the levels before the Feb. 22 bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra, which triggered a wave of reprisal attacks against Sunnis.

    Accurate counts are difficult because many people simply move in with relatives. Despite U.S. claims, it is clear that substantial numbers of people have relocated to areas where their communities form the majority.

    About 400 Shiite families are in a camp near Khanaqin, a largely Kurdish town near the Iranian border. Most fled Baghdad with only what they could carry.

    The Human Relief Organization, an Iraqi NGO, has provided the refugees with tents from the regional government and is talking with officials to get more help.

    "We get some every day," said Omar Mansour, an official with the relief group. "I'm afraid the numbers will increase greatly when the school year ends and people feel freer to flee. All these families have letters with death threats. So they came here fearing for their lives, only to live in these harsh conditions."

    One letter was signed by "The Mujahedeen Brigades" and addressed to "The Rejectionists" in Beiji, using a Sunni extremist term for Shiites.

    "Leave our city now, because we don't want to have to kill you as Sunnis in their regions have been killed. Go. You have been warned. The (Shiite) dogs won't stop barking until their mouths are shut," it said.

    U.S. officials are hoping a new national unity government can calm sectarian tensions as well as lure disaffected Sunni Arabs away from the insurgency. Prime Minister-designate Nouri al-Maliki has three more weeks to finalize his Cabinet _ the final step in forming the unity government.

    That is necessary before Washington can consider a substantial drawdown in the 130,000-strong U.S. military presence.

    Two former Cabinet members have emerged as contenders to head the key defense and interior ministries, officials said Saturday.

    Qassim Dawoud, an independent Shiite politician, was under consideration to head the Interior Ministry while Hajim al-Hassani, a Sunni Arab, was being discussed for the Defense Ministry post.

    Both jobs are currently held by members of the same religious groups.

    The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, said the names of both candidates were raised with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her visit to Baghdad this week.

    Rice raised no objections because both Iraqis are not affiliated with political parties that maintained armed militias, the Iraqi officials said. U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has insisted that the heads of those ministries have no ties to militias.

    U.S. officials believe the key to a stable Iraq is to abolish sectarian militias and rid the army and police of their influence. Militiamen, including some who have infiltrated security forces, are believed responsible for the wave of tit-for tat killings by Shiite and Sunni militants that have raised sectarian tensions and threaten civil war.

    The Iraqi officials emphasized that no decision had been made on the two key security posts and that other names were under discussion.

    Dawoud served as minister of state for national security during the administration of former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. Al-Hassani, who lived for several years in Los Angeles, was industry minister under Allawi and speaker of the previous parliament.

    Neither Dawoud nor al-Hassani has been tainted by accusations of corruption, but each carries considerable political baggage within his own religious community.

    Followers of Muqtada al-Sadr have not forgiven Dawoud for his role in Allawi's government during fighting between U.S. troops and the radical Shiite cleric's Mahdi militia in 2004. Dawoud became the first Shiite figure to call publicly for replacing Ibrahim al-Jaafari as nominee for prime minister, which angered some Shiite politicians.

    Al-Hassani broke with his own Iraqi Islamic Party in 2004 when he refused to resign from Allawi's government to protest the American assault on the Sunni insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.

    The 17 people killed Saturday included six men found dead in the Dora section of southwest Baghdad, police said. All were handcuffed, blindfolded and appeared to have been tortured, police Capt. Jamil Hussein said.

    The soldier's death in a bombing southwest of Baghdad brought the U.S. death toll for April to at least 70 _ the highest monthly figure since November, when 84 Americans died.

    __

    Associated Press correspondents Sinan Salaheddin in Baghdad and Yahya Barzanji in Khanaqin contributed to this report.

    Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


    How can we win against stupid ideology that we are confronted with? Cut Iraq in two and save the North Half?

  2. #2
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    Why do only the naysayers get press? All I hear from the guys and gals that have served in Iraq is how much good we are doing. Where are all of those stories?
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  3. #3
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    I don't know Ro Bo, but as this article said, these Islam extremists are not stopping. What is the solution? No matter how much good the troops do, they tear down anything we try to do. They want this a holy war, a crusade of the twentieth century like those of the past.

  4. #4
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by MikeJ
    [B]I don't know Ro Bo, but as this article said, these Islam extremists are not stopping. What is the solution? No matter how much good the troops do, they tear down anything we try to do. They want this a holy war, a crusade of the twentieth century like those of the past.




    Well, the solution is certainly not to cut and run and allow Iraq to be controlled by extremists and oppressors.
    The best defense against terrorist cells and organizations is a good offense. The only plans they can execute are homicide bombings when they are constantly in hiding and on the run.

    The media is doing a great job of giving the terrorists exactly what they are seeking. Sway public opinion in this country and wait for the political process to remove American influence and power from the region.
    Then it will be business as usual with the millions of freed Iraqi people enslaved again and terrorist organizations free to import weaponry and strategy to be used against their neighbors, Europe and America.

  5. #5
    Well, the solution is certainly not to cut and run and allow Iraq to be controlled by extremists and oppressors.

    How do you know that? The terrorists werent there before we got there. To them its about driving out the infidel trying to occupy an Arab nation. When we leave they just might to.

  6. #6
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    The terrorists werent there before we got there

    Uuumm how do you know that. Get that from Michael Moore? In fact, they were.

  7. #7
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    The fact that Muslim terrorists have existed worldwide for centuries is exactly why we are in the war we are in. By neglecting to acknowledge the existance of these Islamic terrorists the world has allowed them to grow and prosper.

    The United States did not create Islamic terrorists. The United States has drawn those hateful, cowardly bastards out in the open and into a common war zone that is away from US citizens that are not military.

    How many more decades was the world supposed to be antagonized by terrorist murders by Islamic terrorists hitting innocent citizens at will all around the world?

    How many more planes with innocent citizens were we supposed to put up with being hijacked and blown up? Over three decades, dozens of Islamic terrorist attacks have occured on civilian aircraft worldwide.

    Remember the Achilles Laurel? NO! And that's the problem with you jackasses who are too stubborn to support what is right because you don't support a particular governing party.

    I have nothing against any race or nationality of people in the world. I highly sympathize with the average citizens of countries whose governments are dead set on the destruction of the United States and the death of all American citizens. Unlike some here who spew out ridiculous notions of "nuke them all", I have compassion for all humans everywhere. What I won't ever tolerate and will always support fighting against are peoples who feel they have the right to determine the destinies of all other peoples of the world. "THAT"! is what these Islamic terrorists are all about.

    Are there more Islamic terrorists since the U.S. government grew a set and decided to stop Islamic terrorist aggresions? Absolutley not! What we are seeing is that the faith of Islam has created a hell of a lot more terrorists then we realized. If todays Muslims are not openly against the Islamic terrorists and are not willing to reevaluate the Islamic faith that has created the hateful nature that is causing Muslims to resort to terrorism...then all Muslims need to perish.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  8. #8
    "The terrorists weren't there before we got there"?


    Are you old enough to be pissing yellow yet?
    You've been watching too much tv and listening to too many political pundits.

    Terrorism was not only there, it was allowed and condoned by many of the middle eastern countries who call themselves our "friend".
    So, who are these ones we call our friends?
    Governments and terrorists killing their own?

    You people don't ask any questions at all about who these extremists are. You never get the opportunity to ask them WHY they do what they do. And you never will.
    Instead you choose to rely on spin doctors and politicians to tell you who our enemies are and blame our president for taking the fight to these bastards.
    What will it take for you people to understand the severity of this fight? A nuclear holocaust in your f--kin' back yard?



  9. #9
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    nuke them all

    straight to HELL!!

  10. #10
    Do you get all your stupid one-liners from tony?

  11. #11
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    rob,

    you're like one of those old pull-string dolls: Pull the string & one of three or four pre-recorded sayings will be heard.

    Gads, that can get annoying!
    WHY?

  12. #12
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    Re: rob,

    Originally posted by Special Ed
    you're like one of those old pull-string dolls: Pull the string & one of three or four pre-recorded sayings will be heard.

    Gads, that can get annoying!
    Fer cryin' out loud, Ed. Don't tell 'im that! He thrives on it.
    No reserve. No retreat. No regrets.

    For those who have fought for it, freedom has a sweetness the protected will never know.

    http://www.airwarvietnam.com/16thSOSGunners2.jpg

    Proud member of KA Club

  13. #13
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    LOL!

    Sorry, Boot.
    WHY?

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