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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What Really Happened In The Middle East

Here’s a presentation from the TERRORISM AWARENESS PROJECT website. It’s titled “What Really Happened In The Middle East”
Click it out below...

Read/View Video HERE

Thanks go out to Lord Nazh by way of Beth for bringing this presentation to our attention

Israel Backs U.S. Arms Plan To Middle East Allies

JTA.org website brings us this news article this morning and it goes in part like this... With the threat of Iran looming ever larger, both the United States and Israel are taking steps to increase the military might capable of countering Iran and its radical forces in the region... The United States intends to increase military aid to its allies in the Middle East to the tune of around $60 billion over the coming decade. Most of the American weapons would go to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel...
Read this article in full at link below...
Israel backs U.S. arms plan as both bid to contain Iran

About Photo: President Bush, with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia at Bush’s Texas Ranch back in April, 2002.
White House file photo by Tina Hager

MND-B attack aircraft engage enemy rocket launchers

MND-B attack aircraft engage enemy rocket launchers
Tuesday
, July 31, 2007

Multi-National Division-Baghdad Apache helicopter crews located and engaged enemy rocket launchers at approximately 3 p.m. July 29 in northern Baghdad.

The crew reported finding 10 rocket-launching systems in an open area, possibly the same area from which a July 29 rocket attack was launched on the International Zone.

“Detailed reconnaissance and demonstrated aerial skills by the air weapons team were key in interdicting future rocket attacks directed at the International Zone,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Walach, commander of 1st “Attack” Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.

The 1-227th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion’s Apache team was conducting a reconnaissance mission when it was called by ground forces from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, to go to the site. The ground forces cleared the Apache crews to engage the launching systems, and the crews fired on them, disabling them.

A ground unit from 2nd BCT later moved to the site to confiscate the rocket-launching systems while the Apache crews provided security.


Written by Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. Public AffairsMulti-National Division – Baghdad PAO
(From press release #20070731-02 - Multi-National Corps-Iraq, Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory)
If I can run across the video, I’ll post it up.
AubreyJ.........

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

No. 947-07 July 31, 2007
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Cpl. Sean A. Stokes, 24, of Auburn, Calif., died July 30th from wounds suffered while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Media with questions about this Marine can contact the Camp Pendleton public affairs office at (760) 725-5044.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 946-07 July 31, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Staff Sgt. Wilberto Suliveras, 38, of Humacao, P.R., died July 29th in Taji, Iraq, of wounds suffered from enemy small arms fire. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
For more information related to this release, the media may contact the Fort Hood public affairs office at (254) 287-9993; after hours (254) 291-2591.

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

No. 942-07 July 31, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died July 27th near Kamu, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when their unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire during combat operations. They were assigned to 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.

Killed were:
Maj. Thomas G. Bostick Jr., 37, of Llano, Texas.
Staff Sgt. William R. Fritsche, 23, of Martinsville, Ind.

For more information related to this release, media may contact the Southern European Task Force public affairs office at 011-39-0444-71-7011 or 011-39-0444-71-8020.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Iran Lashes Out At U.S. Over Proposed Saudi Arms Deal

TheNews.com.pk website has this article today... Iran on Monday lashed out at the United States over a proposed arms package for Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies that seek to counter Iranian influence, saying the deal was aimed at “spreading fear.”
Read the rest at link below...
Iran condemns US over Saudi arms deal

* FT.com website has this take on the story... Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, on Monday unveiled a series of multi-billion-dollar military agreements that Washington hopes will help stabilize the Middle East and counteract the rise of Iran... Among the deals – which will need to be approved by Congress – are a 10-year, $30bn (€22bn, £15bn) military assistance agreement with Israel and a similar $13bn pact with Egypt...
Read the rest at link below...
Rice unveils arms deals to counter Iran

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 940-07 July 30, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Spc. Daniel A. Leckel, 19, of Medford, Ore., died July 25th in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered from enemy small arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.
For more information related to this release, the media may contact the Fort Riley public affairs office at (785) 239-3410.

MRAP VEHICLES - Mine Resistant Ambush Protected

MRAP VEHICLES
Mine Resistant Ambush Protected
.
Even as the Defense Department hurries to get as many Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles as possible to Iraq, it’s busy working to improve on the heavily armored vehicles to make them more survivable and easier to maintain. The department is on the fast track to get the V-hulled vehicles that provide increased protection against underbelly blasts as quickly as they roll off the assembly line. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates asked Congress for approval to transfer an additional $1.2 billion to the MRAP program. If approved, the department will be able to increase its total MRAP order to 6,415 vehicles. An estimated 3,500 vehicles are expected to be delivered to Iraq by Dec. 31...
Read more on these new MRAP VEHICLES HERE
.
About top photo: A Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected (MRAP) prototype vehicle is displayed on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 26, 2007. The MRAP is designed to help protect military troops from mines and improvised explosive devices in Iraq. This prototype is currently being tested in Aberdeen, Md.
DoD photo by William D. Moss

.
About bottom photo: The Cougar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle shown here at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, is the newest defense against the improvised explosive device. MRAP vehicles feature a V-shaped hull, which deflects, rather than absorbs, the blast of an IED. U.S.
U.S. Marine photo by Sgt. Tracee L. Jackson

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Photo for the Day - July 29, 2007

President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom, walk past an honor guard Sunday, July 29, 2007, after the Prime Minister's arrival at Camp David in Thurmont, Maryland.
White House photo by Chris Greenberg

On the Ground in Iraq: Part 1 and Part 2


On the Ground in Iraq: Part 1
Long Term Perspective
About this video:
Daniel Speckhard, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, remarks on the long term perspective regarding issues on the ground in Iraq.
Full Text HERE
**********************


On the Ground in Iraq: Part 2
Tough Questions
About this video: Daniel Speckhard, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, remarks provides answers to some tough questions regarding issues on the ground in Iraq.
Full Text coming soon
**********************
Note: On the Ground in Iraq: Part 3 is coming out Monday so check back
AubreyJ.........
.
Above info and videos courtesy of DoS

Iraq Soccer Team Wins Its First Asian Cup Title With Win Over Saudi Arabia

Foxnews.com brings us this report this morning... Younis Mahmoud's second-half header clinched Iraq's first Asian Cup title, giving the conflict-ravaged country a 1-0 win over three-time champion Saudi Arabia in Sunday's final... The Iraqi skipper met Hawar Mulla Mohammed's corner kick at the far post and angled his header into the back right side of the net in the 72nd minute for his fourth goal of the tournament...
Read this story in full at HERE

* EUROSPORT.com has this take on the story... Iraq completed one of sport's great fairytales by beating Saudi Arabia 1-0 in the Asian Cup final on Sunday to provide a rare moment for celebration in their war-torn homeland...
Read the rest at link below...

Iraq defy odds to complete Asian Cup fairytale

* Omar, at Iraq The Model website, has this read for us...
Mesopotamia: The Champions of Asia

Congrats go out to the Iraqis!!!
May your celebrations be safe ones...
AubreyJ.........

U.S. To Announce Massive Middle East Arms Sale

U.S. To Announce
Massive Middle East Arms Sale
.
The ABC News website brings us this news article today that goes in part like this... The United States and its Middle East allies are expected to raise the ante this week in an intensifying confrontation with Iran. ...the Bush administration is expected to announce a controversial $20 billion arms sale over the next 10 years to Saudi Arabia and five other American allies in the Persian Gulf -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates... A senior defense official told ABC News that the Saudi government unsuccessfully seeks an arms deal nearly every year. This year, the Bush administration is supporting the sale to counter what it sees as a rising military threat from Iran...
Read this article in full at link below...
Possible Saudi Arms Sale Stirs Controversy
.
* The Alalam.ir website has this take on the story that starts off like this... In a break from historic Israeli opposition to US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday his regime understands Washington's plan to supply state-of-the-art weapons to Riyadh as a counterweight to Iran... He said that alongside the arms deal, the US is offering a sharp increase in defense aid to Israel, assuring the regime it will retain a fighting edge over its neighbors... "We understand the need of the United States to support the Arab moderate states and there is a need for a united front between the US and us regarding Iran,'' Olmert told a weekly Cabinet meeting... The rare agreement reflects shared US and Israeli concern with Iran's power...
Read the rest of this story in full at link below...
Israel Oks US, Saudi Arms Deal
.
* Newsday.com has this report... Two New York congressmen criticized a possible deal to sell state-of-the-art weapons to Saudi Arabia, accusing the oil-rich country of exporting terrorism and acting against American interests... "We need to send a crystal clear message to the Saudi Arabian government that their tacit approval of terrorism can't go unpunished," Rep. Anthony Weiner said at a Sunday news conference. "Saudi Arabia should not get an ounce of military support from the U.S. until they unequivocally denounced terrorism and take tangible steps to prevent it." Weiner was joined by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, both Democrats, who also laid into the Saudi government, saying that any move to supply the Saudis was "folly."
Read the rest at link below...
Weiner, Nadler say they will try to block Saudi arms deal
.
* JTA.org has this report out on topic... A U.S. plan to increase military aid to Israel to offset growth in U.S. aid to Arab allies is being welcomed in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he and President Bush agreed in talks at the White House last month that Israel would receive $30 billion in U.S. military aid over the next decade, averaging $3 billion a year. Olmert said it was an increase of 25 percent...
Read the rest at link below...
U.S. increasing aid to Israel
.
More to come on this story this week I’m sure...
AubreyJ.........

Iran buys 250 long-distance Sukhoi fighter-bombers, 20 fuel tankers, from Russia???

Iran is buying 250 long-distance Sukhoi fighter-bombers and 20 fuel tankers, from Russia??? According to a DEBKAfile report they are. It starts out like this... Tehran and the Russian Rosoboronexport arms group are about to sign a mammoth arms deal running into tens of billions of dollars for the sale to Tehran of 250 Su-30MKM warplanes and 20 IL-78 MKI fuel tankers. DEBKAfile’s military sources report Iran has stipulated delivery of the first aircraft before the end of 2007... The transaction, Russia’s largest arms deal in 30 years, will endow Iran with a long-range aerial assault capability...
Read the rest HERE

This is the first I read on this sale so I for one question it to hold true. We’ll see...
If more info comes out on it I’ll post it up...
AubreyJ.........

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

No. 936-07 July 29, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died July 26th in Saqlawiyah, Iraq of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle. They were assigned to the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.

Killed were:
Sgt. William R. Howdeshell, 37, of Norfolk, Va.,
Spc. Charles E Bilbrey, Jr., 21, of Owego, New York, and
Spc. Jaime Rodriguez, Jr., 19, of Oxnard, Calif.,

For more information related to this release, the media may contact the Fort Stewart public affairs office at (912) 767-2479.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Battle In Tripoli, Lebanon - Update Nine

Battle In Tripoli, Lebanon
Update Nine
Saturday
, July 28, 2007

Photo by YaLibnan.com website

* YaLibnan.com website brings us this new today and it starts off like this... Lebanese Army Commander Gen. Michel Suleiman said Saturday in a rare statement that the showdown against Fatah al-Islam militants reached its final stages...Suleiman said that the much-awaited final assault against the remaining members of the terrorist group in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp was "imminent"...
Read the rest in full at link below...
Lebanese Commander to declare victory over terrorists soon

* USAToday.com website has this... Lebanese troops stormed a hideout of Islamic militants holed up in a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon on Saturday, killing eight, the state-run National News Agency reported...
Read the rest at link below...
Lebanese troops kill 8 militants in refugee camp

* Irland.com website has this take on the story... Islamist militants killed two Lebanese soldiers in fierce fighting at a Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon today, security sources said...
Read the rest at link below...
Islamists kill 2 Lebanese soldiers

More to come...
AubreyJ.........

Vice President Dick Cheney Leaves Hospital After Successful Defibrillator Surgery

Saturday, July 28, 2007
Vice President Dick Cheney, who has had four heart attacks, left the hospital after he had a defibrillator implanted in his chest replaced today by a new one with a fresh battery, according to a statement e-mailed by his spokeswoman Megan McGinn... “The device was successfully replaced without complication,” said the statement. “The vice president has returned to his home at the Naval Observatory and has resumed his normal schedule.”

Read the rest at Bloomberg.com
White House file photo by David Bohrer

President Bush’s Saturday Radio Address

President Bush’s Saturday Radio Address
Saturday
, July 28, 2007

The President: Good morning. This week I visited with troops at Charleston Air Force Base. These fine men and women are serving courageously to protect our country against dangerous enemies. The terrorist network that struck America on September the 11th wants to strike our country again. To stop them, our military, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals need the best possible information about who the terrorists are, where they are, and what they are planning.

One of the most important ways we can gather that information is by monitoring terrorist communications. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- also known as FISA -- provides a critical legal foundation that allows our intelligence community to collect this information while protecting the civil liberties of Americans. But this important law was written in 1978, and it addressed the technologies of that era. This law is badly out of date -- and Congress must act to modernize it.

Today we face sophisticated terrorists who use disposable cell phones and the Internet to communicate with each other, recruit operatives, and plan attacks on our country. Technologies like these were not available when FISA was passed nearly 30 years ago, and FISA has not kept up with new technological developments. As a result, our Nation is hampered in its ability to gain the vital intelligence we need to keep the American people safe. In his testimony to Congress in May, Mike McConnell, the Director of National Intelligence, put it this way: We are "significantly burdened in capturing overseas communications of foreign terrorists planning to conduct attacks inside the United States."

To fix this problem, my Administration has proposed a bill that would modernize the FISA statute. This legislation is the product of months of discussion with members of both parties in the House and the Senate -- and it includes four key reforms: First, it brings FISA up to date with the changes in communications technology that have taken place over the past three decades. Second, it seeks to restore FISA to its original focus on protecting the privacy interests of people inside the United States, so we don't have to obtain court orders to effectively collect foreign intelligence about foreign targets located in foreign locations. Third, it allows the government to work more efficiently with private-sector entities like communications providers, whose help is essential. And fourth, it will streamline administrative processes so our intelligence community can gather foreign intelligence more quickly and more effectively, while protecting civil liberties.

Our intelligence community warns that under the current statute, we are missing a significant amount of foreign intelligence that we should be collecting to protect our country. Congress needs to act immediately to pass this bill, so that our national security professionals can close intelligence gaps and provide critical warning time for our country.

As the recent National Intelligence Estimate reported, America is in a heightened threat environment. Reforming FISA will help our intelligence professionals address those threats -- and they should not have to wait any longer. Congress will soon be leaving for its August recess. I ask Republicans and Democrats to work together to pass FISA modernization now, before they leave town. Our national security depends on it.

Thank you for listening.

Audio can be heard HERE
(From White House press release, Office of the Press Secretary)

White House File Photo By Eric Draper

Friday, July 27, 2007

Photo for the Day - July 27, 2007

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani talks with Vice President Richard Cheney and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Peter Pace before the admiral's retirement ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., July 27, 2007. Giambastiani is retiring with more than 37 years of commissioned service. Read the story HERE
DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Adam M. Stump, USAF

Pakistan: Al-Qaeda Regroup Poses Dual Threat

Friday, July 27, 2007
The attempted reopening today in Islamabad of the Red Mosque complex that saw a bloody confrontation between security forces and militant Islamic radicals on July 10-11 is a reminder of the challenges confronting Pakistan's embattled President Pervez Musharraf. The event was descending into rioting as Islamic hard-liners sought to retake the facilities.

Another reminder is taking shape in Washington, where legislators are pressing to tie U.S. aid to Pakistan's success in combating Al-Qaeda. Reuters reported today that U.S. lawmakers are nearing agreement on a bill to would make funds contingent on a crackdown on Al-Qaeda, Taliban, and other militants.

With Pakistan long a source of concern in the U.S.-led counterterrorism effort, there is also new speculation about whether the U.S. military in Afghanistan might be tempted to cross the border into Pakistan to respond to any threat. In the United States, officials have declined to rule out direct strikes against Al-Qaeda targets in Pakistani territory, angering some Pakistanis...
Read article in full HERE

(From article by RFE/RL - Radio Free Afghanistan)
Photo courtesy RFE/RL
****************
* TheNews.com.pk website has this take on the story... A suicide bomber blew himself up among a group of policemen during clashes at the Lal Mosque here on Friday, killing at least 14 people and injuring over 60 people, most of the victims included the cops, the sources said... The blast came after hundreds of radical students occupied the mosque in the heart of Islamabad after its official government reopening, which followed an army operation earlier this month in which more than 100 people died... Policemen's caps and shoes lay alongside body parts at the scene of the blast in one of the leafy city's busiest bazaars, where police were resting after firing tear gas at stone-throwing protesters, the eyewitnesses said...
Read the rest of the story at link below...
Cops among 14 killed in Islamabad suicide blast

* APP.com.pk
website has this short report...
Involvement of foreign hand cannot be ruled out in Aabpara blast: Tariq Azeem

* BBC News
website has the Pictures
HERE
and Video
HERE

More to come I’m sure...
AubreyJ.........

Christians United for Israel Warns: Iran Wants to Hit Israel First, U.S. Next

Foxnews.com brings us this article that is the first in a two-part series on the Christians United for Israel conference in Washington, D.C., and the impact of evangelical support on U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East...
Read article in full HERE

Note: Check back Monday for the second part of the story chronicling efforts by American evangelicals to influence the Middle East debate

United States and India Complete Civil Nuclear Negotiations

Joint Statement by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Indian Minister of External Affairs Shri Pranab Mukherjee
Washington, DC
Friday, July 27, 2007

The United States and India have reached a historic milestone in their strategic partnership by completing negotiations on the bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation, also known as the “123 agreement.”

This agreement will govern civil nuclear trade between our two countries and open the door for American and Indian firms to participate in each other’s civil nuclear energy sector.

The conclusion of negotiations on this agreement marks a major step forward in fulfilling the promise of full civil nuclear cooperation as envisioned by President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The successful completion of the text permits us to move forward on the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation initiative, first announced by the two leaders on July 18, 2005, and reaffirmed on March 2, 2006. The next steps include India’s negotiation of a safeguards agreement with the IAEA and support for nuclear trade with India in the forty-five member Nuclear Suppliers Group. Once these additional actions have been completed, President Bush will submit the text of the agreement to the U.S. Congress for final approval.

Civil nuclear cooperation between the United States and India will offer enormous strategic and economic benefits to both countries, including enhanced energy security, a more environmentally-friendly energy source, greater economic opportunities, and more robust nonproliferation efforts.

This achievement reinforces the growing bilateral relationship between two vibrant democracies. We are committed to the strategic partnership outlined by President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and look forward to working together to implement this historic initiative.

(From a DoS Press Statement)
DoS Official Portrait

Coalition Forces Detain Four Suspected Special Groups Terrorists Affiliated With Iranian Lethal Aide Network

Coalition Forces Detain Four Suspected Special Groups Terrorists Affiliated With Iranian Lethal Aide Network
Friday, July 27, 2007

Coalition Forces captured four suspected Special Groups terrorists affiliated with the Iranian lethal aide network in a pre-dawn raid Friday in the village of Qasarin, Diyala Province.

Coalition Forces conducted a raid to capture or kill a highly-sought operative believed to be a senior leader of a weapons smuggling network. The captured terrorists are suspected of facilitating the transport of weapons and personnel from Iran into Iraq. The captured terrorists are also believed to have facilitated the flow of deadly Explosively Formed Projectiles (EFPs) into Iraq from Iran to be used against Coalition Forces.

“Coalition troops remain relentless in our pursuit of those terrorists who seek to bring EFPs and other lethal aid into Iraq,” said Major Marc Young, MNF-I spokesperson. “Iranian influence is hindering the prospects of peace and stability in Iraq.”

(From press release #Ao70727a by MNF-I, Press Desk - Baghdad, Iraq)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Photo for the Day - July 26, 2007

2nd Lt. Andrew Walko (background), a native of Great Falls, Va., native and 1st Platoon leader for Company C, 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, watches a resident of Ur, a neighborhood in Baghdad's Adhamiyah District, July 21. The paratroopers went door to door to gather information from residents who are being terrorized by a criminal militia.
Photo by Spc Leith Edgar
Courtesy of DVIDS

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 932-07 July 26, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Pfc. Juan S. Restrepo, 20
, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., died July 22nd in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.
For more information related to this release, media may contact the Southern European Task Force public affairs office at 011-39-0444-71-7011 or 011-39-0444-71-8020.

Taking a Moment to Honor Our Fallen Heroes

Some of our bravest gave their all these last few days...
Take a moment to read their names, (in the posts below/above this one,) and in your own way thank them for all they have done and were willing to do for you -- me and this great country of ours… May God bless each and every one of these fallen Heroes, their families, friends, loved ones and their comrades in arms who were at their side...

AubreyJ.........

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 931-07 July 26, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sgt. Courtney D. Finch, 27, of Leavenworth, Kan., died July 24th in Qayyarah, Iraq, of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 714th Maintenance Company, Kansas Army National Guard, Topeka, Kan.
The incident is under investigation.For more information related to this release, the media may contact the Kansas National Guard public affairs office at (785) 274-1192.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 928-07 July 26, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Staff Sgt. Joshua P. Mattero, 29, of San Diego, died July 24th in Baqubah, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 749th Ordnance Company, 63rd Explosive Ordnance Battalion, Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
For more information related to this release, the media may contact the 20th Support Command (CBRNE) public affairs office at (410) 436-0400.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Battle In Tripoli, Lebanon - Update Eight

Battle In Tripoli, Lebanon
Update Eight
Wednesday,
July 25, 2007

On June 21st... Lebanese officials claimed victory after troops seized Fatah Islam positions on the camp's edges. Ever since then... the MSM has more or less forgotten the story completely... yet the fighting still goes on.

With that said... lets get caught up with the battle in Lebanon...


>>> The YaLibnan.com website has this report out today. It starts off like this... Lebanese army troops unleashed a barrage of artillery and tank shells on the northern Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in an effort to seize the remaining pockets controlled by Fatah al-Islam militants... Troops advanced towards fortified positions of Islamist militants at a Palestinian refugee camp on Wednesday, in what political sources said was the start of a final assault to root out the gunmen...
Read the rest at link below...
Lebanese army close to eliminating Fatah al-Islam terrorists

More to come...
AubreyJ.........

U.S. Airports Warned Of Possible Terrorists Dry Runs

U.S. Airports Warned Of Possible
Terrorists Dry Runs

FOXNews.com has this story out this morning... Airport security officers around the nation have been alerted by federal officials to look out for terrorists practicing to carry explosive components onto aircraft, based on four curious seizures at airports since last September... The unclassified alert was distributed on July 20 by the Transportation Security Administration to federal air marshals, its own transportation security officers and other law enforcement agencies...
Read story in full
HERE

* UPI.com has this take on the story that goes in part like this... "The unusual nature and increase in number of these improvised items raise concern and TSA personnel should continue vigilance for groupings of ordinary items that look like (Improvised Explosive Device) components," the bulletin said...
Read story in full at link below...
U.S. screeners warned of terror 'dry runs'

**********************************
(What does TSA have to say on all of this? Check the following statement out below.)
TSA Statement Regarding Intelligence Bulletin
on Suspicious Incidents at U.S. Airports

News media has obtained a routine TSA intelligence bulletin relating to suspicious incidents at U.S. airports. While this bulletin is not classified nor does it contain secret material, it is for official use only and is commonly shared with law enforcement partners, Federal Air Marshals and our transportation security officer workforce. There is no intelligence that indicates a specific or credible threat to the homeland.

During the past six months TSA has produced more than 90 unclassified bulletins of this nature on a wide variety of security-related subjects. We constantly feed intelligence and training information to our officers and the law enforcement community and this is one example of such information sharing.

Everyday, TSA senior officials review intelligence information with the intent to provide as much information as possible to our front line officers, air marshals and our law enforcement partners.

(Statement from the TSA website)
TSA File photo

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

No. 926-07 July 25, 2007
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Killed Were:
Lance Cpl. Robert A. Lynch, 20, of Louisville, Ky.
Cpl. James H. McRae, 22, of Springtown, Texas.
Cpl. Matthew R. Zindars, 21, of Watertown, Wis.
All three Marines died July 24th while conducting combat operations in Diyala province, Iraq.
Lynch was assigned to 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan.

McRae was assigned to 3rd Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan.

Zandars was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Media with questions about Lynch or McRae can contact the Okinawa public affairs office at 011-81-611-745-0790 or email OkinawaPao@usmc.mil . Media with questions about Zandars can contact the Camp Pendleton public affairs office at (760) 725-5044.

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

No. 925-07 July 25, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of four soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died July 23rd in Sarobi District, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.

Killed were:
1st Sgt. Michael S. Curry Jr
., 37, of Dania Beach, Fla.
Sgt. Travon T. Johnson, 29, of Palmdale, Calif.
Pfc. Adam J. Davis, 19
, of Twin Falls, Idaho.
Pfc. Jessy S. Rogers, 20, of Copper Center, Alaska.

For more information related to this release the media may contact the Southern European Task Force public affairs office at 011-39-0444-71-7011 or 011-39-0444-71-8020.

DoD Identifies Navy Casualty

No. 924-07 July 25, 2007
DoD Identifies Navy Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a sailor who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Hospitalman Daniel S. Noble, 21, of Whittier, Calif., died July 24th, as a result of enemy action while conducting security operations in the Dilaya Province, Iraq. He was permanently assigned to 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
For further information related to this release, contact Navy Public Affairs at (703) 697-5342, or Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Public Affairs at (760) 725 5011.

America Builds Case On Iran

US military spokesmen, officials and analysts are gradually adding flesh to the bones of allegations of official Iranian collaboration with Shia and Sunni insurgents in Iraq, including elements linked to al-Qaida... The development comes amid reports that the White House is leaning towards military action against Iran over its suspect nuclear activities and supposed meddling in Iraq, and growing expectations that George Bush will extend the military "surge" to at least next summer...
Read this story in full at Guardian.co.uk

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Strategy Delivered To Congress

On Friday, 20 July 2007, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates joined with the Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to submit to Congress a three-page statement on U.S. national security and nuclear weapons, entitled "Maintaining Deterrence in the 21st Century."

The statement underscores the President's policy for achieving "an effective strategic deterrent at the lowest level of nuclear weapons consistent with U.S. national security and our commitment to our allies." The statement acknowledges that the Cold War is behind us, but points out that a new, diverse array of potential adversaries must now be deterred. At the same time, U.S. allies must remain assured of America's continuing security commitment and capabilities.

To achieve this, the strategy paper states that it is crucial to have bipartisan support for a 21st century nuclear weapons strategy. The statement recommends that Congress initiate the Reliable Replacement Warhead program, and notes the importance of a responsive nuclear infrastructure for managing the technological and geo-political risks associated with drawing down the size of the nuclear arsenal.

Read the statement in full at link below...
http://www.nnsa.doe.gov/docs/factsheets/2007/NA-07-FS-04.pdf
Taken from DoD press release #919-07 - Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

President Bush Discusses War on Terror in South Carolina

President Bush Discusses War on Terror in South Carolina
Charleston Air Force Base
Charleston, South Carolina
Tuesday,
July 24, 2007

(After spending a few minutes in saying his thank-yous to all those who showed up to hear him speak, President Bush went on to give the following Speech.)

... Nearly six years after the 9/11 attacks, America remains a nation at war. The terrorist network that attacked us that day is determined to strike our country again, and we must do everything in our power to stop them. A key lesson of September the 11th is that the best way to protect America is to go on the offense, to fight the terrorists overseas so we don't have to face them here at home. And that is exactly what our men and women in uniform are doing across the world.

The key theater in this global war is Iraq. Our troops are serving bravely in that country. They're opposing ruthless enemies, and no enemy is more ruthless in Iraq than al Qaeda. They send suicide bombers into crowded markets; they behead innocent captives and they murder American troops. They want to bring down Iraq's democracy so they can use that nation as a terrorist safe haven for attacks against our country. So our troops are standing strong with nearly 12 million Iraqis who voted for a future of peace, and they so for the security of Iraq and the safety of American citizens.

There's a debate in Washington about Iraq, and nothing wrong with a healthy debate. There's also a debate about al Qaeda's role in Iraq. Some say that Iraq is not part of the broader war on terror. They complain when I say that the al Qaeda terrorists we face in Iraq are part of the same enemy that attacked us on September the 11th, 2001. They claim that the organization called al Qaeda in Iraq is an Iraqi phenomenon, that it's independent of Osama bin Laden and that it's not interested in attacking America.

That would be news to Osama bin Laden. He's proclaimed that the "third world war is raging in Iraq." Osama bin Laden says, "The war is for you or for us to win. If we win it, it means your defeat and disgrace forever." I say that there will be a big defeat in Iraq and it will be the defeat of al Qaeda.

Today I will consider the arguments of those who say that al Qaeda and al Qaeda in Iraq are separate entities. I will explain why they are both part of the same terrorist network -- and why they are dangerous to our country.

A good place to start is with some basic facts: Al Qaeda in Iraq was founded by a Jordanian terrorist, not an Iraqi. His name was Abu Musab al Zarqawi. Before 9/11, he ran a terrorist camp in Afghanistan. He was not yet a member of al Qaida, but our intelligence community reports that he had longstanding relations with senior al Qaida leaders, that he had met with Osama bin Laden and his chief deputy, Zawahiri.

In 2001, coalition forces destroyed Zarqawi's Afghan training camp, and he fled the country and he went to Iraq, where he set up operations with terrorist associates long before the arrival of coalition forces. In the violence and instability following Saddam's fall, Zarqawi was able to expand dramatically the size, scope, and lethality of his operation. In 2004, Zarqawi and his terrorist group formally joined al Qaida, pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden, and he promised to "follow his orders in jihad."

Soon after, bin Laden publicly declared that Zarqawi was the "Prince of Al Qaida in Iraq" -- and instructed terrorists in Iraq to "listen to him and obey him." It's hard to argue that al Qaida in Iraq is separate from bin Laden's al Qaida, when the leader of al Qaida in Iraq took an oath of allegiance to Osama bin Laden.

According to our intelligence community, the Zarqawi-bin Laden merger gave al Qaida in Iraq -- quote -- "prestige among potential recruits and financiers." The merger also gave al Qaida's senior leadership -- quote -- "a foothold in Iraq to extend its geographic presence ... to plot external operations ... and to tout the centrality of the jihad in Iraq to solicit direct monetary support elsewhere." The merger between al Qaida and its Iraqi affiliate is an alliance of killers -- and that is why the finest military in the world is on their trail.

Zarqawi was killed by U.S. forces in June 2006. He was replaced by another foreigner -- an Egyptian named Abu Ayyub al-Masri. His ties to the al Qaida senior leadership are deep and longstanding. He has collaborated with Zawahiri for more than two decades. And before 9/11, he spent time with al Qaida in Afghanistan where he taught classes indoctrinating others in al Qaida's radical ideology.

After Abu Ayyub took over al Qaida's Iraqi operations last year, Osama bin Laden sent a terrorist leader named Abd al-Hadi al Iraqi to help him. According to our intelligence community, this man was a senior advisor to bin Laden, who served as his top commander in Afghanistan. Abd al-Hadi never made it to Iraq. He was captured, and was recently transferred to the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. The fact that bin Laden risked sending one of his most valued commanders to Iraq shows the importance he places on success of al Qaida's Iraqi operations.

According to our intelligence community, many of al Qaida in Iraq's other senior leaders are also foreign terrorists. They include a Syrian who is al Qaida in Iraq's emir in Baghdad, a Saudi who is al Qaida in Iraq's top spiritual and legal advisor, an Egyptian who fought in Afghanistan in the 1990s and who has met with Osama bin Laden, a Tunisian who we believe plays a key role in managing foreign fighters. Last month in Iraq, we killed a senior al Qaida facilitator named Mehmet Yilmaz, a Turkish national who fought with al Qaida in Afghanistan, and met with September the 11th mastermind Khalid Shaikh Muhammad, and other senior al Qaida leaders.

A few weeks ago, we captured a senior al Qaida in Iraq leader named Mashadani. Now, this terrorist is an Iraqi. In fact, he was the highest ranking Iraqi in the organization. Here's what he said, here's what he told us: The foreign leaders of Al Qaida in Iraq went to extraordinary lengths to promote the fiction that al Qaida in Iraq is an Iraqi-led operation. He says al Qaida even created a figurehead whom they named Omar al-Baghdadi. The purpose was to make Iraqi fighters believe they were following the orders of an Iraqi instead of a foreigner. Yet once in custody, Mashadani revealed that al-Baghdadi is only an actor. He confirmed our intelligence that foreigners are at the top echelons of al Qaida in Iraq -- they are the leaders -- and that foreign leaders make most of the operational decisions, not Iraqis.

Foreign terrorists also account for most of the suicide bombings in Iraq. Our military estimates that between 80 and 90 percent of suicide attacks in Iraq are carried out by foreign-born al Qaida terrorists. It's true that today most of al Qaida in Iraq's rank and file fighters and some of its leadership are Iraqi. But to focus exclusively on this single fact is to ignore the larger truth: Al Qaida in Iraq is a group founded by foreign terrorists, led largely by foreign terrorists, and loyal to a foreign terrorist leader -- Osama bin Laden. They know they're al Qaida. The Iraqi people know they are al Qaida. People across the Muslim world know they are al Qaida. And there's a good reason they are called al Qaida in Iraq: They are al Qaida ... in ... Iraq.

Some also assert that al Qaida in Iraq is a separate organization because al Qaida's central command lacks full operational control over it. This argument reveals a lack of understanding. Here is how al Qaida's global terrorist network actually operates. Al Qaida and its affiliate organizations are a loose network of terrorist groups that are united by a common ideology and shared objectives, and have differing levels of collaboration with the al Qaida senior leadership. In some cases, these groups have formally merged into al Qaida and take what is called a "bayaat" -- a pledge of loyalty to Osama bin Laden. In other cases, organizations are not formally merged with al Qaida, but collaborate closely with al Qaida leaders to plot attacks and advance their shared ideology. In still other cases, there are small cells of terrorists that are not part of al Qaida or any other broader terrorist group, but maintain contact with al Qaida leaders and are inspired by its ideology to conduct attacks.

Our intelligence community assesses that al Qaida in Iraq falls into the first of these categories. They are a full member of the al Qaida terrorist network. The al Qaida leadership provides strategic guidance to their Iraqi operatives. Even so, there have been disagreements -- important disagreements -- between the leaders, Osama bin Laden and their Iraqi counterparts, including Zawahiri's criticism of Zarqawi's relentless attacks on the Shia. But our intelligence community reports that al Qaida's senior leaders generally defer to their Iraqi-based commanders when it comes to internal operations, because distance and security concerns preclude day-to-day command authority.

Our intelligence community concludes that -- quote -- "Al Qaida and its regional node in Iraq are united in their overarching strategy." And they say that al Qaida senior leaders and their operatives in Iraq -- quote -- "see al Qaida in Iraq as part of al Qaida's decentralized chain of command, not as a separate group."

Here's the bottom line: Al Qaida in Iraq is run by foreign leaders loyal to Osama bin Laden. Like bin Laden, they are cold-blooded killers who murder the innocent to achieve al Qaida's political objectives. Yet despite all the evidence, some will tell you that al Qaida in Iraq is not really al Qaida -- and not really a threat to America. Well, that's like watching a man walk into a bank with a mask and a gun, and saying he's probably just there to cash a check.

You might wonder why some in Washington insist on making this distinction about the enemy in Iraq. It's because they know that if they can convince America we're not fighting bin Laden's al Qaida there, they can paint the battle in Iraq as a distraction from the real war on terror. If we're not fighting bin Laden's al Qaida, they can argue that our nation can pull out of Iraq and not undermine our efforts in the war on terror. The problem they have is with the facts. We are fighting bin Laden's al Qaida in Iraq; Iraq is central to the war on terror; and against this enemy, America can accept nothing less than complete victory.

There are others who accept that al Qaida is operating in Iraq, but say its role is overstated. Al Qaida is one of the several Sunni jihadist groups in Iraq. But our intelligence community believes that al Qaida is the most dangerous of these Sunni jihadist groups for several reasons: First, more than any other group, al Qaida is behind most of the spectacular, high-casualty attacks that you see on your TV screens.

Second, these al Qaida attacks are designed to accelerate sectarian violence, by attacking Shia in hopes of sparking reprisal attacks that inspire Sunnis to join al Qaida's cause.

Third, al Qaida is the only jihadist group in Iraq with stated ambitions to make the country a base for attacks outside Iraq. For example, al Qaida in Iraq dispatched terrorists who bombed a wedding reception in Jordan. In another case, they sent operatives to Jordan where they attempted to launch a rocket attack on U.S. Navy ships in the Red Sea.

And most important for the people who wonder if the fight in Iraq is worth it, al Qaida in Iraq shares Osama bin Laden's goal of making Iraq a base for its radical Islamic empire, and using it as a safe haven for attacks on America. That is why our intelligence community reports -- and I quote -- "compared with [other leading Sunni jihadist groups], al Qaida in Iraq stands out for its extremism, unmatched operational strength, foreign leadership, and determination to take the jihad beyond Iraq's borders."

Our top commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, has said that al Qaida is "public enemy number one" in Iraq. Fellow citizens, these people have sworn allegiance to the man who ordered the death of nearly 3,000 people on our soil. Al Qaida is public enemy number one for the Iraqi people; al Qaida is public enemy number one for the American people. And that is why, for the security of our country, we will stay on the hunt, we'll deny them safe haven, and we will defeat them where they have made their stand.

Some note that al Qaida in Iraq did not exist until the U.S. invasion -- and argue that it is a problem of our own making. The argument follows the flawed logic that terrorism is caused by American actions. Iraq is not the reason that the terrorists are at war with us. We were not in Iraq when the terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in 1993. We were not in Iraq when they attacked our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. We were not in Iraq when they attacked the USS Cole in 2000. And we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001.

Our action to remove Saddam Hussein did not start the terrorist violence -- and America withdrawal from Iraq would not end it. The al Qaida terrorists now blowing themselves up in Iraq are dedicated extremists who have made killing the innocent the calling of their lives. They are part of a network that has murdered men, women, and children in London and Madrid; slaughtered fellow Muslims in Istanbul and Casablanca, Riyadh, Jakarta, and elsewhere around the world. If we were not fighting these al Qaida extremists and terrorists in Iraq, they would not be leading productive lives of service and charity. Most would be trying to kill Americans and other civilians elsewhere -- in Afghanistan, or other foreign capitals, or on the streets of our own cities.

Al Qaida is in Iraq -- and they're there for a reason. And surrendering the future of Iraq to al Qaida would be a disaster for our country. We know their intentions. Hear the words of al Qaida's top commander in Iraq when he issued an audio statement in which he said he will not rest until he has attacked our nation's capital. If we were to cede Iraq to men like this, we would leave them free to operate from a safe haven which they could use to launch new attacks on our country. And al Qaida would gain prestige amongst the extremists across the Muslim world as the terrorist network that faced down America and forced us into retreat.

If we were to allow this to happen, sectarian violence in Iraq could increase dramatically, raising the prospect of mass casualties. Fighting could engulf the entire region in chaos, and we would soon face a Middle East dominated by Islamic extremists who would pursue nuclear weapons, and use their control of oil for economic blackmail or to fund new attacks on our nation.

We've already seen how al Qaida used a failed state thousands of miles from our shores to bring death and destruction to the streets of our cities -- and we must not allow them to do so again. So, however difficult the fight is in Iraq, we must win it. And we can win it.

Less than a year ago, Anbar Province was al Qaida's base in Iraq and was written off by many as lost. Since then, U.S. and Iraqi forces have teamed with Sunni sheiks who have turned against al Qaida. Hundreds have been killed or captured. Terrorists have been driven from most of the population centers. Our troops are now working to replicate the success in Anbar in other parts of the country. Our brave men and women are taking risks, and they're showing courage, and we're making progress.

For the security of our citizens, and the peace of the world, we must give General Petraeus and his troops the time and resources they need, so they can defeat al Qaida in Iraq.

Thanks for letting me come by today. I've explained the connection between al Qaida and its Iraqi affiliate. I presented intelligence that clearly establishes this connection. The facts are that al Qaida terrorists killed Americans on 9/11, they're fighting us in Iraq and across the world, and they are plotting to kill Americans here at home again. Those who justify withdrawing our troops from Iraq by denying the threat of al Qaida in Iraq and its ties to Osama bin Laden ignore the clear consequences of such a retreat. If we were to follow their advice, it would be dangerous for the world -- and disastrous for America. We will defeat al Qaida in Iraq.

In this effort, we're counting on the brave men and women represented in this room. Every man and woman who serves at this base and around the world is playing a vital role in this war on terror. With your selfless spirit and devotion to duty, we will confront this mortal threat to our country -- and we're going to prevail.

I have confidence in our country, and I have faith in our cause, because I know the character of the men and women gathered before me. I thank you for your patriotism; I thank you for your courage. You're living up to your motto: "one family, one mission, one fight." Thank you for all you do. God bless your families. God bless America.

(Taken from a press release by The White House, Office of the Press Secretary)

View the Video in full HERE
White House photo by Eric Draper

Not bad, Mr. President... Not bad at all...
AubreyJ.........

New US-Iran Talks Start in Baghdad

New US-Iran Talks Start in Baghdad
Tuesday,
July 24, 2007
.
Iran and the United States launched a second round of rare face-to-face talks in Baghdad on Tuesday to pinpoint the root causes of raging violence in the war-torn Iraq... The talks began at 10.15 AM (0615 GMT) at the office of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who began the meeting with a brief speech...
Read the rest at
FARSnews.com
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>>> The Telegraph.co.uk website has this report out... The second round of talks between the US and Iran aimed at bringing stability to Iraq has reportedly been marred by a tense exchange over American allegations that Teheran is fuelling violence... The meeting in Baghdad was closed to the press but an unnamed official has been quoted as saying that the US ambassador clashed with his Iranian counterpart...
Read the rest at link below...
Iraq talks marred by 'US-Iran clash'

>>> The RadioFreeEurope website has this take on the story today... The chief U.S. envoy at talks with Iranian officials in Baghdad today expressed his concern about what he said is Tehran's continuing support for militant activity in Iraq... Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told reporters he made the remarks today during talks with his Iranian counterpart, Hasan Kazemi-Qomi... Crocker said that although Tehran has a stated policy of supporting a stable and democratic Iraq, Washington does not believe it is following that policy on the ground... Crocker said that in the two months since the envoys' last talks, militant-related activity in Iraq attributed to Iran has increased, not decreased.
Read the rest at link below...
U.S. Envoy Says Iranian Support For Iraqi Militants Increasing

>>> KGAN.com reports...
U.S. ambassador says security subcommittee to be set up with Iran and Iraq
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Iran Should Reconcile Actions with Talk, U.S. Iraq Envoy Says
U.S., Iran, Iraq to establish subcommittee on security issues
Written by David Shelby
USINFO Staff Writer

Washington-
The United States would welcome Iran’s bringing its practices in line with its stated policy of supporting a stable and democratic Iraq, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said July 24.

The ambassador spoke to journalists in Baghdad, Iraq, shortly after a trilateral meeting to discuss Iraq’s security with the Iranian envoy to Iraq and senior Iraqi officials.

Crocker said that Iran’s stated policy on Iraq is in line with the United States’ policy and in keeping with Iran’s national interests. Nevertheless, he said, the United States and multinational forces have ample evidence from people in custody and from seized weapons shipments to indicate that Iranian support for illegal militia activity has increased over the two months since Crocker's previous meeting with the Iranian ambassador in May.

Crocker said the measure of success for the trilateral talks should be results on the ground, not promises or statements of principle, and he said the results to date have been disappointing. (See related article.)

Nevertheless, he said, the United States is not prepared to abandon the dialogue. He said he and the Iranian ambassador discussed the possibility of establishing a security subcommittee at the expert level to address the problem of violent militias, the threat from al-Qaida and issues of border security. If Iran is serious about supporting Iraqi security, he said, the subcommittee would be a mechanism to demonstrate that.

Crocker’s May 28 meeting with the Iranian ambassador was the first official high-level meeting between Iranian and U.S. officials since the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran during Iran’s 1979 revolution.

For more information on U.S. policies, see
Iraq Update.

(USINFO is produced by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov/)
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More to come...
AubreyJ.........

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah: Hizbullah Rockets Can Hit Any Point In Israel, Including Tel Aviv

TheAge.com.au website brings us this story. It goes in part like this... Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said Hezbollah's rearmament "is a direct and grave violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701," which ended last year's war... "The international community must hold accountable those governments, namely Syria and Iran, who by supplying weapons to Hezbollah are deliberately trying to undermine the United Nations, the Lebanese government and peace and stability in the region," he said...
Read the full story at link below...
Hezbollah says rockets can hit Tel Aviv

>>> AlBawaba.com has this take... Hizbullah fighters possess an arsenal of rockets that can reach "any point" in the state of Israel, including Tel Aviv, the movement's leader said Monday in an interview... "We could absolutely reach any corner and any point in occupied Palestine," Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah told pan-Arab Al-Jazeera satellite TV channel and Hizbullah's Al-Manar television...
Read story in full at link below...
Nasrallah: Hizbullah rockets can hit Tel Aviv

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

No. 918-07 July 24, 2007
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Lance Cpl. Bobby L. Twitty, 20, of Bedias, Texas, died July 22nd from a non-hostile vehicle accident in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 6, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the II MEF public affairs office at (910) 451-3538.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 914-07 July 24, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sgt. Shawn G. Adams, 21, of Dixon, Calif., died July 22nd, in Owaset, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska.
For more information related to this release the media may contact the U.S. Army Alaska public affairs office at (907) 384-1542.

Senior Terrorists, Khalid, Khalil, and Khattab al-Turki... Killed

Senior Terrorists Eliminated

Video and more removed by me in respect of Google Ads policy rules

Video posted on YouTube by MNFIRAQ
About Video: Khalid, Khalil, and Khattab al-Turki, senior terrorists operating in Iraq with close ties to top al-Qaeda leadership, were killed after taking hostile action against Coalition forces on June 23, 2007.
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AubreyJ.........

Monday, July 23, 2007

DoS Daily Press Briefing: McCormack Discusses Upcoming US-Iran Meeting And More

U.S. Supports Transparent Relationship
Between Iran and Iraq
Spokesman Sean McCormack
July 23, 2007

McCormack's comments went in part like this... "Iraq wants a positive, open, transparent relationship with Iran. We absolutely support that. The Iranians say they want the same. They say, in fact, that they would like to contribute to Iraq's stability... If Iran truly does want to play a positive role, they can. We've seen it in the past with their neighbors, even where we may have differences with Iran. The Iranians have proven that they can play a positive role in one of their neighbors' future." Full Text

Taken from the DoS website