God's Politics

the latest reports on Al Qaeda, Iraq and Congress, Iraq and the military, evangelicals against war, immigration, Darfur, British nuclear weapons, health insurance, education, presidential politics, and “Reports of the GOP’s Death…”

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Al Qaeda. Alleged Architect Of 9/11 Confesses To Many Attacks – “Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, confessed at a Guantanamo Bay military hearing that he planned and funded that al-Qaeda operation and said he was involved in more than two dozen other terrorist acts around the world,” Suspected Leader of Attacks on 9/11 Is Said to Confess– “In a rambling statement, Mr. Mohammed, a chief aide to Osama bin Laden, said his actions were part of a military campaign. “I’m not happy that 3,000 been killed in America,” he said in broken English. “I feel sorry even. I don’t like to kill children and the kids.” He added, “The language of war is victims.”

Iraq-Congress. Democrats’ Resolution on Iraq Reaches Senate Floor – “After weeks of delay, Democratic leaders managed to bring to the Senate floor for the first time a binding resolution that would bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. But Republicans remained confident that they could kill the proposal, and the White House threatened a veto,” Battle in Senate stalls debate on Iraq war – “The Senate, stalled for weeks over how to take on the president’s war strategy, failed again Wednesday to begin formal debate of the issue as Republicans and Democrats sparred over what exactly lawmakers would consider.” Democrats’ Measure for Iraq Pullout in 2008 Nears Senate Vote; White House Threatens Veto– “In the face of determined opposition from the Bush administration, the Senate began an impassioned debate over an exit strategy from Iraq, headed toward a vote on a Democratic resolution aimed at a pullout of American combat troops in 2008.” Their antiwar cries are no longer in the wilderness. – “like slightly eccentric relatives at a family reunion, Reps. Lee, Woolsey and Waters were rarely invited to sit at the head table in Washington. Until now. The three California Democrats – who have been waging a passionate, four-year campaign to end the war in Iraq – find themselves in the mainstream as Congress begins debate today on a crucial war spending bill. And the group they lead, the more than 80-member Out of Iraq Caucus, controls the fate of the most important war vote since the 2003 invasion.”

Iraq-military. Violence Down in Baghdad – “U.S. and Iraqi officials said Wednesday that the month-old Baghdad security plan has reduced the level of violence in the capital, but they cautioned that the security situation in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq remains unstable.” Iraqis point to success; U.S. reaction cautious – “Iraqi officials touted the successes of the Baghdad crackdown, seen as a last-ditch attempt to tame sectarian violence, by noting that civilian casualties had dropped sharply in the first month of the plan.” Iraqis’ Progress Lags Behind Pace Set by Bush Plan– “The Bush administration, which six months ago issued a series of political goals for the Iraqi government to meet by this month, is now tacitly acknowledging that the goals will take significantly longer to achieve.” Iraqi forces backslide on lead role – “Iraqi forces began taking a back seat in combat operations in Iraq last autumn, even before President Bush started deploying 21,500 more troops chiefly to spearhead a security crackdown in Baghdad, according to a new Pentagon report.”

Christian Peacemakers mark anniversary of death of Iraq hostage – “Christian peacemakers in Hebron have held a memorial service to mark the first anniversary of the death of Iraq hostage Tom Fox.”

Evangelicals against war. Evangelicals: Against abortion, and now war – “No polling data conclusively demonstrate that opinion among the broad national base of conservative evangelicals has shifted. But some prominent national evangelical leaders say that debate about — and, in some cases, outright opposition to — the war is breaking out among Christian conservatives whose support was key to President Bush’s election victories.”

Immigration. Bush promises a compromise on immigration – “President Bush wrapped up his Latin American tour with a pledge to Mexican President Felipe Calderon that he would seek an accord that straddles the middle ground between amnesty to illegal residents and booting out more than 12 million people.” Bush ‘optimistic’ on immigration reform – “President Bush said yesterday he has proved his commitment to securing the U.S.-Mexico border and members of Congress now can turn to broad immigration overhaul.” Border states protest plan to cut funds for immigrant care – “A proposal to divert funds from a federal program that reimburses hospitals for the cost of treating illegal immigrants has angered lawmakers in California and other border states.”

Sudan-Darfur. U.S. seeks U.N. sanctions on Sudan – “The United States yesterday called for U.N. sanctions on Sudan and threatened to impose new unilateral penalties in response to Khartoum’s decision to back away from an agreement to allow a U.N.-led peacekeeping force into Darfur.” Bush and Blair threaten new Sudan sanctions – “Sudan was confronted with the prospect of stiffer sanctions over its failure to allow UN peacekeepers in Darfur, after Tony Blair threatened tougher action and a top US official warned of measures targeting the country’s economic interests.”

British nuclear weapons. PM gets missile despite rebellion – “Labour’s historic divisions over nuclear weapons came back to haunt Tony Blair yesterday when 95 Labour backbench MPs rejected his plans to commence the £20bn renewal of the Trident nuclear submarine system. The scale of the rebellion, the largest on a domestic issue since 1997, forced the government to rely on the support of the Conservatives to win the vote.” Blair Wins Vote to Renew Atom Arsenal – “the vote raised a broader issue for some in Parliament, and outside, who questioned how Britain could press for nuclear nonproliferation, particularly in Iran and North Korea, if it was planning to spend $40 billion to create a new generation of nuclear submarines to carry American-supplied Trident missiles.”

Health insurance. Who’s uninsured in 2007? – “For the first time in more than a decade, the debate over how to provide health care for the uninsured is moving back to center stage in Washington and many state capitals.”

Education. Dozens in GOP Turn Against Bush’s Prized ‘No Child’ Act – “More than 50 GOP members of the House and Senate — including the House’s second-ranking Republican — will introduce legislation today that could severely undercut President Bush’s signature domestic achievement, the No Child Left Behind Act, by allowing states to opt out of its testing mandates.”

Presidential politics. How the family factor figures in ’08 presidential race – “This raises questions about whether candidates’ personal lives will matter when voters go to the polls, and if so, how much. For candidates with less-than-picture-perfect personal histories, the answer may well be, it depends.”

Op-Ed. Reports of the GOP’s Death . . . (By David S. Broder, The Washington Post) – “Months before the first votes are cast in the campaign of 2008, some in the media are conducting last rites for the Republicans. The rush to bury the GOP is as hasty as it is premature.”

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