God's Politics

The latest news on Iraq, Sudan-Darfur, China-healthcare, San Francisco-healthcare, Food for children. Immigration. Native peoples.

Sign up to receive our daily news summary via e-mail »

Iraq-Bush speech. Bush vows troop cuts “President Bush, insisting that his escalation of military forces has led to substantial progress in Iraq, promised to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from the battlefield by next summer, a payoff he touted as a “return on success.” Bush Tells Nation He Will Begin to Roll Back ‘Surge’ “President Bush tried to turn a corner in the fractious debate over Iraq by ordering the first limited troop withdrawals since voters elected an antiwar Congress last year.” Bush asks nation for patience “Bush asked the nation for patience, saying that more troops could return home as the situation improves on the ground, but he gave no specifics as to how many or when.”

Bush redefines ‘victory’ “this week, the word “victory” disappeared from the president’s lexicon. It was replaced by a slightly more ambiguous goal: “Success.” New Iraq plan recalls strategies past “The President declared success and said troops were coming home despite a range of government reports that says Iraqi civilian casualties remain high and that Iraqi security forces remain incapable of taking control.” Multiple Messages and Audiences “President Bush addressed three very different audiences on Thursday night, and he had to hope that each would hear a different message.” Why Officers Differ on Troop ReductionIt is the second time in 10 months that Mr. Bush has opted for higher troop levels in Iraq than are favored by some of his senior military advisers.”

Iraq-Sunni leader killed. Bomb Kills a Key Sunni Ally of U.S. “A charismatic tribal leader who allied himself with the United States and rallied fractious Sunni groups against extremists who claim links to al-Qaeda was killed when a bomb exploded outside his house in Anbar province.” Ally’s death undercuts Bush “George Bush called on Americans to support an “enduring relationship” with Iraq, in a speech delivered hours after a key Sunni tribal ally, portrayed as symbolic of a potential turnaround for the US in the war, was killed by a roadside bomb.” Iraqi Sunni ally’s slaying may hurt U.S. “The slaying of a Sunni Arab tribal leader who was one of the United States’ highest-profile allies in Anbar province drew a pledge from President Bush to continue support to an area he called “a good example of how our strategy is working” in Iraq.”

Iraq-civilian casualties. Poll: Civilian death toll in Iraq may top 1 million “A car bomb blew up in the capital’s Shiite Muslim neighborhood of Sadr City on Thursday, killing at least four people, as a new survey suggested that the civilian death toll from the war could be more than 1 million.”

Sudan-Darfur. Sudan ‘will honour’ Darfur ceasefire for peace talks “The Sudanese government today declared its willingness to observe a ceasefire with rebel forces when peace talks start next month on the conflict in Darfur.” Sudan truce pledge as talks loom “Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has said he is ready to call a ceasefire with rebel groups ahead of peace talks next month over the Darfur region.”

China-healthcare. China’s sick left to pay or die “This shift from public service to market principles is entirely in keeping with the wider transformation of healthcare in China, which is now among the most market-driven in the world. Like the entire economy, the system has a lot more money than 20 years ago, but far more inequality.”

San Francisco-healthcare. San Francisco to Offer Care for Every Uninsured AdultThe initiative, known as Healthy San Francisco, is the first effort by a locality to guarantee care to all of its uninsured, and it represents the latest attempt by state and local governments to patch a inadequate federal system.”

Food for children. Programs send needy students packing – with food for weekend “Today and every Friday, more than 50,000 children are taking backpacks full of food home from school in programs that have quietly swept the nation. The goal is to keep needy kids and their families from going hungry on weekends.”

Immigration. Communities take very different paths on illegal immigrants “Congress been unable to figure out how to deal with the estimated 12 million undocumented residents in the country, and as illegal immigration spreads to suburban and rural regions, local and state governments are enacting their own get-tough measures.” Coalition formed to address illegals “Virginia localities are forming a coalition to collectively address problems associated with illegal aliens. Culpeper County officials, who are leading the initiative, sent out more than 450 invitations to the governments of every county, city and town in the state.”

Native peoples. U.N. Declares Rights for Native Peoples “The U.N. General Assembly adopted a declaration Thursday affirming the rights of native peoples worldwide over objections from the United States and Canada, ending two decades of deliberations.” Canada under fire for vote against UN native-rights policy “Aboriginal leaders, human-rights groups and the opposition blasted the Conservative government yesterday after Canada voted against a United Nations declaration on aboriginal rights.”


What Steve Biko Means for South Africa Today (Nyameko Barney Pityana, all “Since his death Biko has become an international icon of black self-pride and of the African sense of humanity which the South Africans call, in their two main language groupings, “ubuntu” or “botho”. In recent days, much has been written about Biko’s intellectual heritage and what his life means to the liberated South Africa of today.”

Theology on the hustings (Cal Thomas, Washington Times) “The field of presidential candidates is nearly complete. Only Newt Gingrich remains to decide – or announce if he has decided – whether he, too, will run for president. His decision is expected in November. There is one person who is definitely not running, but may be invoked as the ultimate adviser. That would be God.”

Prison Library Purge (Michael Gerson, Washington Post) “In consultation with outside experts, the New York Times reported this week, the bureau has produced lists of up to 150 noncontroversial books for each of the major religions, then banned anything from prison libraries that didn’t make the cut.”

Painting the Suburbs Blue (E. J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post) “The decision of former Virginia governor Mark Warner to run for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. John Warner is more than just bad news for the GOP. It reflects fundamental shifts in the balance of political power in the country, the growing force and volatility of suburban voters, and the fact that the old red-state-blue-state maps are becoming obsolete.”

What I Saw in Darfur (Ban Ki-moon, Washington Post) “We speak often and easily about Darfur. But what can we say with surety? By conventional shorthand, it is a society at war with itself. Rebels battle the government; the government battles the rebels. Yet the reality is more complicated. Lately, the fighting often as not pits tribe against tribe, warlord against warlord.”

Republicans run right (Ronald Brownstein, Los Angeles Times) “The Republicans are betting that voters disillusioned with Bush have rejected his implementation of a conservative agenda – not the agenda itself. And they are wagering that they can survive what’s likely to be a powerful public demand for change after Bush’s tumultuous two terms by framing the 2008 election as a stark philosophical choice over the form that change should take.”


Democracy for D.C. (Los Angeles Times) “The Senate, which in recent days has been preoccupied with the state of democracy in Iraq, will soon have a chance to bolster democracy at home. The Democratic leadership is supporting legislation that would give residents of the District of Columbia a vote in the House of Representatives. The bill would increase the size of the House from 435 to 437 members, awarding an additional seat to Utah, which came the closest of any state to increasing its representation in the 2000 census.”

No Exit, No Strategy(New York Times) “Mr. Bush was clear last night – as he was when he addressed the nation in January, September of last year, the December before that and in April 2004 – that his only real plan is to confuse enough Americans and cow enough members of Congress to let him muddle along and saddle his successor with this war that should never have been started.”

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus