Tomorrow the U.S. and Iraq will officially mark the pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq’s cities and towns. Coming six years after the massive U.S. invasion, it is the first step in a withdrawal timetable agreed on by the two countries in December, with all U.S. troops to be out of Iraq by the end of 2011. Only time will tell whether this first pullout phase will turn out to be real, and what kind of Iraqi nation will emerge.
In calling for a stricter use of air strikes, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the new commander of forces in Afghanistan, took a step back from the abyss. In coming to grips with the harsh reality that too many civilians were being killed, McChrystal decided to limit air strikes only to prevent American and coalition troops from being “overrun.” This is a long-delayed, yet welcome step.
The following is a June 21 statement from the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran. Following the speech of Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader and the commander of the coup d’état, in the Friday prayers in Tehran – which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called “authoritative and unravelling” – the armed thugs of the regime, including the forces of the Basij militia, Intelligence Ministry and units of the Revolutionary Corps brutally attacked peaceful and righteous-seeking demonstrations of the people.
WASHINGTON – “The people don’t want 30,000 more troops, but instead 30,000 engineers, teachers and scientists,” said Dr. Roshanak Wardak, a member of the parliament in Afghanistan.