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God's Politics

the latest news on Iraq, U.S. nuclear weapons, the United Nations, North Korea, politics, and select op-eds

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Iraq. U.S. rethinks its strategy to cut Iraqi violence – “The top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq acknowledged that a much-touted security crackdown by American and Iraqi forces has failed to reduce violence in the capital and called the results “disheartening.” Major Change Expected In Strategy for Iraq War –“The growing doubts among GOP lawmakers about the administration’s Iraq strategy, coupled with the prospect of Democratic wins in next month’s midterm elections, will soon force the Bush administration to abandon its open-ended commitment to the war,” Bush Faces a Battery of Ugly Choices on WarPresident Bush can order a rearrangement of U.S. forces inside Iraq, or he can reassess the strategy itself.” U.S. Says Violence in Baghdad Rises, Foiling Campaign – “The American military’s new security plan for Baghdad has failed to reduce the violence and a new approach is needed, said Gen. William Caldwell, a spokesman.” GOP solidarity on the war is cracking – Public anxiety over the Iraq war, already reflected in polls and demands from some Democrats to withdraw U.S. troops, is now prompting calls for change from some unlikely quarters: Republican congressional candidates.

North Korea. Rice Presses S. Korea to Pursue Full Sanctions – “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pressed the South Korean government to fully implement U.N.-authorized sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear test, but she encountered reluctance among officials in Seoul,” China May Press North Koreans – “China is prepared to step up pressure on North Korea in coming weeks by reducing oil shipments, among other measures, if the country refuses to return to negotiations or conducts more nuclear tests,”

US Nuclear weapons. U.S. Plan for New Nuclear Weapons Advances – “The United States took another step yesterday toward building a new stockpile of up to 2,200 deployed nuclear weapons that would last well into the 21st century, announcing the start of a multiyear process to repair and replace facilities where they would be developed and assembled…”

United Nations. Break called in voting on Security Council seat – “After three days and 35 rounds of voting, Guatemala and Venezuela agreed Thursday to a timeout until next week in their deadlocked contest for a U.N. Security Council seat. Latin American and Caribbean diplomats hope to come up with a compromise candidate.” Britain to defy US over UN resolution on arms trade – “The UK is next week expected to push through the United Nations a resolution to open the way for a landmark arms trade treaty, in spite of opposition from the US, Russia and China.

Politics. Republican Woes Lead to Feuding by Conservatives“Tax-cutters are calling evangelicals bullies. Christian conservatives say Republicans in Congress have let them down. Hawks say President Bush is bungling the war in Iraq. And many conservatives blame Representative Mark Foley’s sexual messages to teenage pages. With polls showing Republican control of Congress in jeopardy, conservative leaders are pointing fingers at one other in an increasingly testy circle of blame for potential Republican losses this fall.” GOP Aims to Scare Up Big Voter Turnout – “With top Republican strategists now privately predicting substantial House losses, President Bush and top GOP officials plan to spend the final days of the 2006 campaign attempting to rally partisans and limit conservative defections with dire warnings about the consequences of a Democratic Congress.”

Op-Ed. Faith-based politics is reason to worry (Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe) – “I thought there was more reason to be hopeful than nervous about the idea of funding more social programs for the poor under spiritual roofs. I remembered a time when our most prominent religious leader was not Pat Robertson or James Dobson but Martin Luther King Jr. Had we forgotten how many religious groups cared more about good works than good election results? … Before long it became clear that the faith-based initiatives were based on only one kind of faith. And it became clear that the faithful was political.”

“SEARCHING FOR JACOB” (A program note from CBS). “It hardly seems possible, but the genocide in Darfur is taking a turn for the worse. The government in Sudan has launched a new offensive, maybe trying to finish what it started three years ago. More than 300,000 people are dead; more than two million are refugees in the Sahara. While looking for a way to explain what’s happening in Darfur, “60 Minutes” came upon on the story of a boy named Jacob, whose name was on schoolbooks found in the ashes of his home. The books ended up at a US museum – and motivated Scott Pelley to try and find their owner, a boy swept up in the 21st century’s first genocide. The remarkable story will be shown on this week’s “60 MINUTES” (Sunday, Oct. 22, 7PM ET/PT on CBS).”

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