Addressing the House Armed Services Committee last week, a leading U.S. general in Iraq let a cat out of the bag — unless Congress and a new administration that is committed to a sane foreign policy chart a radically different course, significant U.S. troops may be in Iraq until at least 2018.
Despite President Bush’s much-publicized visit to Israel and the Palestinian West Bank this month, most commentators say no peace progress is likely without U.S. pressure on Israel to halt its settlements in the West Bank. Now escalating tensions between Israel and Palestinian Gaza, and a mounting humanitarian crisis for Gaza’s 1.5 million residents blockaded by Israel, threaten to torpedo peace talks, many fear.
As Israel imposed a lockdown and continued a military assault on Gaza, and rockets from Gaza continued to terrify the bordering Israeli village of Sderot, Israeli peace and human rights advocates organized a relief convoy and peace demonstration, Jan. 26, at a Gaza border crossing. A parallel Palestinian demonstration was set for the other side of the border.