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Saturday, December 22, 2007

U.S. Soldiers Stage Mutiny, Refuse Orders in Iraq Fearing They Would Commit Massacre in Revenge for IED Attack

We speak with a reporter from the Army Times who gives an inside account of how an army unit committed mutiny and refused to carry out orders in Iraq. After an IED attack killed five more members of Charlie 1-26, members of 2nd Platoon gathered for a meeting and determined they could no longer function professionally. Several platoon members were afraid their anger could set loose a massacre.

By : Kelly Kennedy, medical reporter for Army Times. She is the author of the new four-part series Blood Brothers. 21 / 12 / 2007

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JUAN GONZALEZ: In what has been described as one of the most remarkable stories of the entire Iraq war, a reporter from the Army Times has given perhaps the first inside account of how an Army unit committed mutiny and refused to carry out orders in Iraq.The incident occurred in Adhamiya, a district in northeastern Baghdad, where soldiers in the 2nd Platoon, Charlie Company, were stationed. The 2nd Platoon had lost many men since deploying to Iraq eleven months before. After an IED attack killed five more members of Charlie 1-26, members of 2nd Platoon gathered for a meeting and determined they could no longer function professionally. Several platoon members were afraid their anger could set loose a massacre. They decided to stage a revolt against their commanders that they viewed as a life-or-death act of defiance. READ THE FULL STORY HERE :

John Berlin: Why the Bush Turnaround on Iran ?

2007-12-22 So now the US’ official point of view is that Iran has not been striving for a nuclear arsenal over the past four years. That’s quite a break from the Administration’s established creed. After a long time of heated rhetoric from Mr Bush, even making intimations of war over the past months, suddenly the official position is that the possible nuclear threat from Iran is far, far less than expected. Has the US intelligence community, in its most recent National Intelligence Estimate , suddenly regained some of its objectivity? Or is the Bush Administration suddenly striving for better relations with Iran?

LATEST NEWS 24 Th Dec 2007

One moment, US President George W Bush was warning of the danger of World War III because of Iran's nuclear programme. In the next, peace was breaking out. It's been a strange year for Iran. By Jon Leyne Read the Article

Posted 24/12/2007 @ 11:48:23 GMTThe European View on Iran: Fallout from the New U.S. Intelligence EstimateOn December 13, 2007, Neil Crompton, Hans-Peter Hinrichsen, and Nicholas Roche addressed a Policy Forum at The Washington Institute. Mr. Crompton is a political counselor at the British embassy who served until recently as Iran coordinator and head of the Iraq Policy Unit at the British Foreign Office. Dr. Hinrichsen, first secretary for political affairs at the German embassy, has long worked on non-proliferation issues. Mr. Roche is a counselor at the French embassy who has focused extensively on the Iranian nonproliferation file. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks. more By The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Posted 24/12/2007 @ 11:42:23 GMTThe Clock Ticks: Sanction Iran Now The latest U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran's nuclear intentions and capabilities has been the subject of much analysis, most of which has been off point. The new estimate opens with the startling judgment that Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003, which has led some to conclude sanctions are no longer necessary. They are. Indeed, the estimate's more significant conclusion is that the most likely tool to successfully alter Iran's nuclear calculus is targeted political and economic pressure, not military action. more By Financial Times Deutschland

Posted 24/12/2007 @ 11:39:55 GMTAmbassador Skeptical of Iran's Plan for IraqBAGHDAD -- The U.S. ambassador expressed wariness Sunday about Iranian intentions in Iraq, saying that even if Iran-backed militias had decreased activities here, he was not yet convinced the Islamic state was committed to helping stabilize Iraq. more By Los Angeles Times

Posted 24/12/2007 @ 10:51:16 GMTThe Ayatollah Khomeini LegacyOver the last few months the Iranian political system has raged over the publication of a series of memoirs by Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran's former president, who currently serves as chairman of the regime's Assembly of Experts and of the Expediency Council of Iran. more By The Jerusalem Post

Posted 24/12/2007 @ 11:24:23 GMTAppeasement Yesterday and Appeasement TodayUntil a few days ago, Iran's nuclear ambitions appeared destined to become the hottest issue in the current American presidential campaign. A consensus, cutting across partisan divides, appeared to be taking shape that the Islamic Republic should be confronted forcefully, contained, and in time, forced to scale down its ambitions. more By Asharq Alawsat

Posted 24/12/2007 @ 10:48:25 GMTWhy Not Engage Iranian Pragmatists?BERLIN -- The recent comprehensive assessment by America's spy agencies about Iran's nuclear program and ambitions — the "National Intelligence Estimate" — has opened the door to fresh strategic discussions among the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany. Such a strategic reconsideration is probably most necessary for those in the Bush administration (and a few elsewhere), who until recently have been prophets of imminent danger. more By The Japan Times

Posted 24/12/2007 @ 10:26:16 GMTIran to Seek Bids for 19 Atomic Power PlantsTEHRAN -- Iran will soon announce an international tender for building 19 nuclear power plants, an MP was quoted as saying, a week after Russia said it had begun fuel deliveries to the Islamic state's first such facility. more By Reuters

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