2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Rumsfeld: Don't politicize Iraqi army
SALAHUDDIN, Iraq (AP) - On a whirlwind
tour of Iraq that included his first visit to the Kurd-
ish region, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
urged the emerging national government yesterday
to avoid politicizing the Iraqi military.
At a news conference in a shaded courtyard sur-
rounded by young pear trees, Rumsfeld was asked
whether Iraqi officials he met earlier in Baghdad had
given him assurances about continuity in the senior
leadership of the Iraqi security forces.
"It's not so much a matter of continuity as a mat-
ter of competence, of capability," he said in an appear-
ance with Massoud Barzani, who has joined political
forces with his former Kurdish rival, Jalal Talabani.
"It's a matter of not causing undue turbulence in the
Iraqi security forces and not setting back the important
progress that's been achieved."
Last week, Talabani was selected as president of
the transitional government now being formed and
will lead the country until constitutional elections
scheduled for December. Some in the Bush admin-
istration fear the new interim government will force
out political rivals who have been working with U.S.
officials since Iraq regained sovereignty last June.
Rumsfeld said Washington hopes to see in the new
government "highly competent people who are not going
to politicize security forces" but will keep to the current
strategy of maintaining a U.S. presence until Iraq's own
forces are capable of defeating the insurgents.
President Bush, meanwhile, visited with soldiers at
Fort Hood, Texas, and said the war in Iraq is "entering
a new phase" as Iraqi security forces and government
institutions become more capable and self-reliant.
"America and its coalition partners are increasingly
playing more of a supporting role," Bush said. "Like
free people everywhere, Iraqis want to be defended
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld congratulates troops at a town hall-style meeting at the
3rd Infantry Division dining facility at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq yesterday.
and led by their own countrymen. We will help them
achieve that objective so Iraqis can secure their own
nation. And then our troops will come home with the
honor they have earned."
The president met privately with the families of 33
soldiers who were killed.
Bush likened the April 9, 2003, toppling of Sad-
dam Hussein's statue in Baghdad to the fall of the
Berlin Wall, calling it "one of the great moments in
the history of liberty."
As is his practice on trips to Iraq, Rumsfeld held what
he calls a "town hall-style" meeting with a few hundred
soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division, the main U.S. force
in Baghdad. He pinned Bronze Star medals and Purple
Heart awards on several soldiers and participated in the
re-enlistment of about 100 soldiers.
' The best-remembered Rumsfeld encounter with
troops was his question-and-answer session last
December with National Guard soldiers in Kuwait,
many of whom were preparing to head to Iraq.
Three terrorism supporters indicted
Three men have been indicted on charges they plotted to attack financial institu-
tions in New York, New Jersey and Washington.
A four-count indictment unsealed yesterday accuses Dhiran Barot, Nadeem
Tarmohamrmed and Qaisar Shaffi of scouting the New York Stock Exchange and
Citicorp Building in New York, the Prudential Building in Newark, N.J. and the
International Monetary Fund and World Bank in the District of Columbia.
The three men, already in custody in England, were charged with three con-
spiracy counts and providing material support to terrorists.
"They are indicted here, and whether or not they actually ever are extradited
here I guess is a matter of discussion," said New York Police Commissioner
Raymond Kelly. "But I think it's important, both substantively and symbolically
important, that you come here, you do this type of surveillance, we're not going
U.S. officials claim that Barot is a senior al-Qaida figure, known variously as
Abu Eisa al-Hindi, Abu Musa al-Hindi and Issa al-Britani, who scouted promi-
nent financial targets in the United States at the behest of al-Qaida leader Osama
Tel-Aviv schools shut down in protest
Activists chained shut dozens of schools yesterday to protest Israel's plans to
withdraw from the Gaza Strip, and the army confined one Jewish extremist to his
home until the pullout is complete.
Activists shut 167 Tel Aviv-area schools and nursery schools, placing chains and
small locks on the doors of the buildings from Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv, to Her-
zliya, an affluent coastal area north of the city, police spokesman Yossi Avendi said.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to evacuate all Gaza Strip and four West
Bank settlements this summer has drawn fierce opposition from Jewish settlers.
The plan will uproot some 9,000 settlers from their homes.
Settlers and their supporters repeatedly have taken to the streets since the plan
was announced a year ago, holding mass demonstrations, forming a 55-mile human
chain from the Gaza Strip to Jerusalem and even burning tires on several occasions
to block main highways during rush hour.
To deal with the security threat, Israel will train 10,000 soldiers to carry out
the evacuation from the Gaza Strip and West Bank, a senior Israeli army officer
Police save girls held hostage at knifepoint
German police commandos slipped into a house where a knife-wielding
man was holding four schoolgirls hostage yesterday, surprising the suspect
and taking him into custody while rescuing his captives after a five-hour
The man inflicted a superficial knife wound on the stomach of a 16-year-old
hostage, whom he held with three Il-year-olds, before he was captured by a police
SWAT team that entered the red brick house at the end of a cul-de-sac shortly after
6 p.m., lead investigator Ulrich Kuhne said.
Police earlier said the suspect, identified as a 50-year-old Iranian asylum-seeker
who has been in Germany since the 1990s, was injured as he was overpowered, but
Kuhne gave no further details.
New Pope expected to face economic trouble
The next pope will not only have to care for the souls of his 1.1 billion-mem-
ber flock worldwide, but also the church's accounts, hit by the falling dollar, sex
abuse settlements and a growing diplomatic mission.
Like the chief executive of a worldwide corporation, John Paul II demanded
financial accountability and promised greater transparency after years of secre-
cy and even scandal.
But in the last years of his papacy the Holy See was back in the red. In present-
ing the latest accounting, the chief of the Holy See's economic affairs office cited
Europe's sluggish economic recovery, poor investment climate and the rising
strength of the euro against the dollar.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A former
chief of the State Department's bureau
of intelligence and research castigated
John Bolton yesterday as a "kiss-up,
kick-down sort of guy" who abused
analysts who disagreed with him on
Cuba. A Democrat said he "needs
The pivotal Republican on the Sen-
ate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen.
Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, said
he was "still inclined" to vote to con-
firm Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the
United Nations. The Constitution gives
President Bush considerable leeway to
name ambassadors and "I see the bar
as very high" for rejecting his choices,
Chafee told reporters after the hearing
With Republicans in the major-
ity, Bolton's nomination could clear
the committee Thursday or early next
week and go to the Senate with the
committee's approval. Bolton's greater
vulnerability is at the committee level
because Republicans outnumber Demo-
These packages do not include airfare. Taxes and other
applicable fees are not included.
crats there only 10-8. They have a safer
margin of strength in the Senate.
Democrats have insisted that Bolton's
mistreatment of lower-level officials
who would not bend to his hard-line
views was underscored by Carl W.
Ford Jr., who appeared voluntarily as
a witness to support the accusations of
"I have never seen anyone quite
like Mr. Bolton," Ford testified under
oath. "He abuses his authority with
Contradicting Bolton's assertion Mon-
day that he never tried to have officials
who disagreed with him discharged,
Ford charged that Bolton tried to sack
the analyst, Christian Westermann, and
that Bolton was a "serial abuser."
"If this isn't enough I don't know what
you can do" to derail the Bolton nomina-
tion, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said in
an interview afterward. He said "a whole
slew" of officials could have been sum-
moned to make similar accusations.
Dodd said he had not been told
by any Republican that he would
The chairman, Sen. Richard Lugar
(R-Ind.) said the "paramount issue" was
giving President Bush the nominee he
wants to undertake reform at the United
Nations. "Bluntness may not be very
good diplomacy, but on occasion it may
be required," Lugar said as the hearing
drew to a close.
Sen. Joseph F. Biden, Jr. (D-Del.) who
is leading the fight to block the nomina-
tion, responded angrily to the accusa-
tion of mistreatment. Anytime a senior
official calls in a lower-level one "and
reams him a new one," he said, "that's
just not acceptable."
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said it
was not an isolated incident, that Bolton
had harassed at least three officials who
disagreed with the extent of threats he
saw posed by Cuba and other countries.
Calling Bolton a "bully," Boxer said,
"I think Mr. Bolton needs anger man-
agement at a minimum and he does not
deserve to be promoted" to the U.N. post.
Chafee noted calmly that analysts crit-
icized by Bolton had "kept their jobs."
And. Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.)
noting Ford had not witnessed the inci-
dent involving Westermann, said much
of the testimony would not be admis-
sible in a court of law.
Ford told the committee he considered
himself a loyal Republican, a conservative
and a strong supporter of President Bush
and Vice President Dick Cheney. Ford
said he appeared before the committee
only after a lot of "soul-searching."
On Monday, Bolton rigorously
rejected assertions by Democrats that
he tried to sack State Department intel-
ligence officials who challenged his
assessment of Cuba's efforts to develop
biological weapons and his appraisal
of the weapons programs of Iran and
"I didn't seek to have these people
fired. I didn't seek to have them dis-
charged. I said I lost my trust in them,"
Bolton also assured the committee
that he supports international law and
views the United Nations as "an impor-
tant component of our diplomacy." The
56-year-old State Department chief of
arms control is a hard-liner with a skep-
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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