THE WORLD WAR NEWS IN BRIEF
(click headlines for links)
NOTE : The new 'War On Terror' front that has opened up in Somalia for the United States will be dealt with in a separate post.
Despite claiming to be committed to the 'War On Iraq' and expresing backing for whatever decisions President Bush makes, Australia's foreign minister, Alexander Downer, revealed Australia would not be sending additional troops to the region, or making any plans to increase the troop commitment in the future.
Downer also said that he expected the US President would follow the advice of his senior military commanders on the number of troops needed to fight the war.
"...that is obviously a matter of consultation between the (US) president and his military commanders," Mr Downer said.
Downer failed to acknowledgment that the majority of the United States' senior military executive who have commented on US troop commitments have stated that a troop "surge" will not change the situation on the ground.
Turkey Warns Kurds It Won't Allow Them To Seize Oil-Rich Kirkuk In Northern Iraq
This is a battle that has been brewing since before the Iraq War, though tensions and attacks have increased since the American-led invasion in 2003. Though you would hardly now it from the Western media. This is the silent war in Iraq, and Turkey not only fears that the Kurds will get their own independent state, but Iran and Syria rightly fear that Kirkuk will be where the oil pipelines to Israel (through Jordan) will begin :
Turkey has been warning for at least two years now that the Kurds will not get their independent state, embracing Kirkuk, without a fight. A big fight :
Ankara has accused the Kurds of deliberately boosting their numbers in Kirkuk, at the expense of Arabs and Turkish-speaking Turkmens, to ensure the city votes in an eventual referendum in favor of being incorporated into Iraq's Kurdish region.
"God Damn You, Persian Midget" - What Saddam And His Executioners Said To Each Other
A more detailed deciphering of the words exchanged between Saddam Hussein and his executions has been published online.
Before the noose was fixed around his neck, Saddam mocked one of his executioners with the line, "God damn you, Persian midget."
Saddam then smiled and made the first reference to powerful Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. This led to claims on Sunni/Baathist websites that the cleric was actually one of the masked executioners.
Officials in the execution chamber then drown out Saddam by shouting "ila jahanam". Which has been translated as "go to Hell" :
Others insult Saddam. One man asks them to stop: "I beg you, I beg you, the man is being executed!" Saddam then says the Shahada, or testimony, that there is no god but Allah and Muhamad is his prophet. When he tries to say it again the trap door opens and he falls through to be hung. One man then shouts that "the tyranny has ended!" and others call out triumphal Shia chants.
As Israel tries attempts to ramp up support for possible nuclear strikes against Iran's nuclear energy facilities, Iran has issued yet another warning that it will not pull back from its plans to use nuclear energy to free itself from an oil-dependent energy future.
In reaction to a U.N. sanctions resolution passed on Dec 23, Iran's parliament passed a bill obliging the government to revise its cooperation level with the U.N.'s International Atomic energy Agency (IAEA), and to accelerate its nuclear work.
The bill, passed last month, gave a free hand to president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government to decide whether it wanted to pull out of the NPT if pressured.
No doubt sensing great trouble ahead, the United Arab Emirates has announced that neither the United States nor Israel will be able to launch any military strikes from it's territory :
The United Arab Emirates rejected as "madness" reports that the United States and Israel will use regional countries as launch-pads for future attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities. In Tehran, Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said that his country is willing to develop cooperation with Iran, adding that both countries agree on the need to support peace and stability in the region, Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.
Sending up to five additional combat brigades, as suggested by administration officials in Washington who have discussed the plan with reporters, would push the American force in Iraq to at least 160,000 troops, close to the levels involved in the invasion nearly four years ago.
This so-called surge would constitute an abrupt about-face in American strategy, which has aimed in the past two years for a drawdown of American troops as Iraqi forces take on greater responsibility for the war.
Moscow Warns Israel It Must End Violence In Palestine
Moscow "is worried by the actions of Israel that objectively heat the tension on the Palestinian territories, including the military operation conducted on January 4 in the West Bank administrative center Ramallah..."
Meanwhile, there is a new kind of relgious terror boiling over in Gaza, as Fatah and Hamas are pushed towards a civil war by their own disunity and the weapons flows from Israel and the United Sates.
And a disturbing report that claims Israel is now puring Christians from its lands in a deliberate 'cleansing'.
The United States Shifts Up To 20 Stealth Fighters To South Korea As Reports Of North Korea's Plans For Second Nuclear Test Grows
15 to 20 radar-evading F-117A Nighthawk fighters are now being sent to US bases in South Korea in a major realignment of American bomber forces in South Asia. A spokesman for US Forces in South Korea, however, called the move, "a routine deployment".
North Korea views such repositioning of its major aerial assets as preparations for war and a possible invasion.
The aircraft can "penetrate high-threat airspace" and take out critical targets with laser-guided weapons.