My Newz 'n Ideas

It is my intent to express my opinion and to discuss current events. Feel free to make suggestions to fields you would like to see covered, and I will consider them. Please leave your name with comments. Thank you. Arabic: عربي.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Middle East News-2/18/2005

Survivors tell of massive assault in Iraq rebel fiefdom
Ammar Karim
Published February 11, 2005
BAGHDAD -- Iraqi police were the target of one of the most spectacular insurgent attacks to date on Thursday, with survivors telling how hordes of gunmen staged an ambush and overran a police station in the lawless town of Salman Pak.

According to the head of Iraqi intelligence, General Mohammed Abdullah Shahwani, Salman Pak has become "guerrilla fiefdom". "To reclaim the city would take a real battle," he acknowledged.
If Salman Pak sounds familiar, that is because this is the place where Saddam Hussein allowed and encouraged terrorist groups to train before, during, and after September 11, 2001.

I had to remove the link, because when I was making sure they worked the story was gone from the site. I had no way to recover it. The main jist was this: they were planning the attack for 3-4 days before the police showed up. They had taken over that part of the city the day after the elections. They were stopping people in their cars to see their fingers. They know of at least 10 people without a finger. They also agree that it is going to be another battle. A very bad one, but it must be done. They are calling on the USA.

Rice scolds Egypt FM on politician's arrest
Published February 17, 2005
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told her Egyptian counterpart on Tuesday that Washington had "very strong concerns" over the jailing of an opposition leader in Cairo and wanted the case resolved quickly.

Rice used talks with Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Abul Gheit to raise the case of Ayman Al Nur, head of the Al Ghad (Tomorrow) party, who has been detained pending a fraud investigation.

Nur, an elected member of parliament, has been accused of falsifying documents to support his bid to formally register his movement. An Egyptian state security judge ordered him detained for 45 days on January 31.
Iraq studies vote complaints as political haggling gathers pace
Mohammed Hasni
Published February 15, 2005
BAGHDAD -- Iraq was examining on Tuesday complaints lodged against the results of the country's landmark elections as political parties entered a period of intense haggling over the makeup of the next government. [read more]
Ah, can anyone say, "Florida?" Hehehe.
Egypt failed to report nuclear materials and activities
The UN's...IAEA also found traces of plutonium, a potential atomic weapons material, in "hot cells" used to handle radioactive material, the report said, with Egypt saying that this was due to contamination rather than plutonium production.
...the repeated failures by Egypt to report nuclear materials and facilities to the agency in a timely manner are a matter of concern", the report said. [read more]
Am I the only one who believes the UN's IAEA is useless? Do they need to see an actual weapon before believing that there is activity happening? Well, I'm not convinced. Period.

First Lady maps out tricky path for Iraq's future
Joelle Bassoul
Published February 17, 2005
BAGHDAD -- Nisreen Al Barwari's life reflects the complexities of today's Iraq: a Kurdish father and a Shia mother, married to a Sunni, now elected to parliament, yet living behind high walls protected by US troops.

"We need to set up a feminine platform in parliament to preserve women's rights and that will be a challenge because some [conservative] women MPs will defend their list's principles" over their own, says this woman who goes out without a headscarf and promotes a liberal lifestyle.

She hopes that lawmakers will not begin the constitutional debate from scratch, but will instead draw inspiration from the transitional law agreed last year, which lays down the law of the land until the permanent constitution is agreed.

The transitional law says that at least 25 percent of seats in parliament must be held by women. [read more]