God's Politics

The latest news on Iraq-protests, immigration, African Union- Sudan, Iraq-Congress, new analysis on Iraq-Iran, another presidential candidate, political internet, the Gulf Coast, Churches and elections, Climate change-Davos, Drinian passing, and a select Op-Ed.

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Iraq. Iraqis Raid Insurgents Near Shiite Holy City – “Iraqi soldiers, backed by U.S. helicopters, stormed an encampment of hundreds of insurgents hiding among date palm orchards in southern Iraq in an operation Sunday that set off fierce, day-long gun battles.” 250 Are Killed in Major Iraq Battle– “At least 250 militants were killed and an American helicopter was shot down in violent clashes near the southern city of Najaf,” Iranian Reveals Plan to Expand Role in Iraq– “Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad outlined an ambitious plan on Sunday to greatly expand its economic and military ties with Iraq.”

Iraq-protests. Thousands Protest Bush Policy – “They came to Washington at what they said was a moment of opportunity to push the new Congress to take action against the war, even as the Bush administration is accelerating plans to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq.” Protest Focuses on Iraq Troop Increase– “Tens of thousands of protesters converged on the National Mall on Saturday to oppose President Bush’s plan for a troop increase in Iraq in what organizers hoped would be one of the largest shows of antiwar sentiment in the nation’s capital since the war began.” Thousands rally on National Mall – “The rally occurred at a critical time in the four-year-old conflict: President Bush faces a political battle with newly empowered Democrats — and some Republicans — over his plan to send 21,500 more troops.”Thousands join bicoastal war protest – “Protests attended by several thousand people also were held in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities.”

Iraq-Congress. US Congress weighs its role on Iraq – “As the Senate begins a debate this week on whether to oppose President Bush’s “new way forward” in Iraq, many lawmakers are balancing what they see as competing constitutional responsibilities – and stepped up pressure from voters long weary of a war that most Americans no longer think can be won.” Senators swipe back over Iraq – “Prominent Democratic senators who are against the troop buildup in Iraq took issue with criticism from Bush administration officials who have charged that opposition to the president’s new strategy could embolden the enemy.” Vietnam Shades Warner’s Iraq Stand – “Virginia Sen. John W. Warner’s words betray the guilt he still carries about the Vietnam War and help explain why this pillar of the Republican establishment is leading a bipartisan revolt against the war plans of a president in his own party.”

Iraq-Iran. News Analysis. On Iran, Bush Faces Haunting Echoes of Iraq– “As President Bush and his aides calibrate how directly to confront Iran, they are discovering that both their words and their strategy are haunted by the echoes of four years ago – when their warnings of terrorist activity and nuclear ambitions were clearly a prelude to war.”

Immigration. Fresh potential on immigration – “With a new Democratic-controlled Congress and a president newly committed to bipartisan accomplishments, prospects for an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws have never seemed brighter.”

African Union- Sudan. African snub to Sudan over Darfur – “Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has again been bypassed in his bid to become chairman of the African Union because of the conflict in Darfur. Mr Bashir had been due to take on the role but it has instead been given to Ghana’s President John Kufuor.”

Another candidate. Huckabee Announces Presidential Bid– “Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee yesterday announced plans to form a presidential exploratory committee, hoping to carve out a conservative niche in an increasingly crowded field of Republican candidates.”

Political internet. Medium is message for ’08 runs – “As 2008 hopefuls use the Internet to craft their message, they have an incredible sense of control. Instead of risking a potentially campaign-ending gaffe with a live announcement before a crowd in Iowa or New Hampshire, candidates such as Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois are filming messages on their couches.”

Gulf Coast. As Aid Lags, Volunteers Shoulder Rebuilding on Gulf Coast – “The two-by-fours inside the walls of George and Margaret Ladner’s new home are inscribed with biblical verses, each written by one of the Alabama schoolchildren who raised money to buy the lumber.”

Churches and elections. Turning a blind eye, IRS enables church politicking – “Last year was supposed to spell doom for sermons that endorsed political candidates or parties. Months before the congressional elections, the IRS made front-page headlines by trump
eting a new effort to crack down on churches that violated IRS restrictions on politicking by houses of worship.” Crossing the line? Here’s a sampling of churches that are the subjects of complaints filed with the IRS:

Climate change-Davos. World leaders rally around climate-change issue – “The world’s political and business elite packed up yesterday and headed home from their five-day annual session in Davos, united in the belief that climate change poses the most serious threat to the planet. Security concerns in Iraq and Iran, the rising power of China and India, and efforts to revive the Doha round of global trade talks all were held second to climate fears.”

Passing. Congressman-priest Drinan dies – “The Rev. Robert F. Drinan , who left Boston College’s administration to become the first Roman Catholic priest elected to Congress and who in 1973 filed the initial impeachment resolution against President Richard M. Nixon, died yesterday at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. He was 86.”

Op-Ed. JAMES CARROLL: Deathtrap – “just by being in the streets to shoot at, our well-armed soldiers empower the gunmen on all sides. Perhaps the most destructive unintended consequence of America’s lethal presence has been the way the lethal power of all belligerents has scaled up to match it. Our young people are surrounded now by killers united only in the will to kill them. Operation deathtrap, exactly.”

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