God's Politics

The latest news on Iraq, Israel-nuclear weapons, Darfur, immigration, Iran, minimum wage in Ohio, Ethiopia, Christian shopping, Evangelicals and sexuality, and select op-eds.

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Full news summary:

Iraq. US officer spells out Iraq police training woes – “As last week’s Iraq Study Group report urges President Bush to step up the training of the Iraqi Army and the police, an army captain’s diary entries from his tour with the 101st Airborne Division provide a first-person view of the challenges that remain before the nation’s fledgling security forces can become viable.” Pentagon’s plan: More U.S. troops in Iraq – “As President Bush weighs new policy options for Iraq, strong support has coalesced in the Pentagon behind a military plan to “double down” in the country with a substantial buildup in American troops, an increase in industrial aid and a major combat offensive against Muqtada Sadr, the radical Shiite leader impeding development of the Iraqi government.” Iraq Army Plans for a Wider Role in Securing Baghdad – “A plan presented to the United States calls for Iraqi troops to assume the primary responsibility for security in Baghdad early next year.” U.S. General Says Jobs and Services May Curb Iraq Violence – “The general in day-to-day command of United States troops in Iraq made an impassioned appeal on Tuesday for more time and money to make the American enterprise here work. He suggested that he did not favor a surge in American troop numbers, but rather a new effort to weaken the insurgency by creating jobs for what he called Iraq’s “angry young men.” White House to Delay Shift on Iraq Until ’07 – “The White House said that President Bush would delay presenting any new strategy for Iraq until early next year, as officials suggested that Mr. Bush’s advisers were locked in internal debates on several fronts about how to proceed.”

Israel-nuclear weapons. PM: ‘I could not have said what was written’ – “The furor over Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s comments on Israeli nuclear capabilities, broadcast Monday, refused to die down during his visit to Berlin yesterday.” Fallout rains on Israel’s Olmert after nuclear remark -“In an interview on German television late Monday, the Israeli leader seemed to list Israel among the world’s nuclear club, raising an outcry across the political spectrum here and questions about whether the long-standing policy had been abandoned.”

Darfur. Annan demands action in Darfur– “His time at the helm of the world body nearing an end, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan stepped up his efforts to force a halt to atrocities in Darfur, demanding the UN Human Rights Council send an independent team of investigators to the volatile Sudanese region.”

Immigration. Feds raid 6 Swift meat plants – “Workers at Swift & Co. meatpacking plants in six states were arrested Tuesday by federal agents in synchronized raids aimed at nabbing immigrants working illegally with other people’s identification.”

Iran. Move to bring genocide case against Ahmadinejad -“The outgoing US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, is backing a call for the president of Iran to be charged with inciting genocide because of his speeches advocating the destruction of the state of Israel.”

Minimum wage-Ohio. Minimum-wage bill advances – “Ohio’s minimum wage will rise to $6.85 an hour on Jan. 1, but rules to enforce it might not be in place by then. The Republican-controlled Ohio House adopted language yesterday to implement the constitutional amendment approved by voters last month. However, House leaders could not muster 66 votes necessary to pass the bill as an emergency measure, which would cause it to take effect quickly.”

Ethiopia. Ethiopian Court Finds Ex-Leader in Exile Guilty of Genocide – “An Ethiopian court on Tuesday convicted the former dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam of genocide, but Mr. Mengistu may never face punishment, because he remains in exile in Zimbabwe.”

Christian shopping. Christian lifestyle fills store shelves – “Christian consumption has gone far beyond the book as millions use their buying power to reinforce their faith and show commitment to the Christian community. Nearly 12% of Americans spend more than $50 a month on religious products, and another 11% spend $25 to $29, according to a national survey of 1,721 adults by Baylor University, out in September.”

Evangelicals and sexuality. Pastors’ Disclosures May Stir Empathy, Some Evangelicals Say – “Confessions by two evangelical Christian ministers to having same-sex relationships could lead evangelicals to feel greater compassion toward gay men and lesbians, especially those in their congregations, some evangelical leaders said Tuesday.”

Op-Ed. Beyond Baker Hamilton (Barry McCaffrey, Washingotn Post) – “A collapse of the Iraqi state would be catastrophic — for the people of Iraq, for the Middle East and for America’s strategic interests. We need a new political and military approach to head off this impending disaster — one crafted with bipartisan congressional support. But Baker-Hamilton i
sn’t it.”

The writer is a retired Army general and adjutant professor of international affairs at West Point. He served four combat tours and was wounded in action three times.

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