Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Legacy of Shame

Happy New Year, George......

AS Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was buried in his home village yesterday, the US military death toll in the war reached 3000, with another 22,000 wounded.

The mark was reached as President George W. Bush weighs up options for the war, including a short-term increase in the number of US troops in the country to possibly 30,000 to help control the deteriorating military situation. Mr Bush, at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, informed of the death of the 3000th servicemancautioned Americans that no quick end to the war was in sight.

Mr Bush has been under intense pressure to change course in the Iraq conflict amid widespread public and political discontent.

He is expected to unveil his new strategy early this month, but has rejected the idea of a timetable for pulling out the 134,000 US troops now in the country. December has been the deadliest month for US forces in the past two years, with 111 fatalities. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died in the war.

United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of more than 1300 groups throughout the US that have joined to protest against the war, said it was planning a march in Washington on January 27.

"We must bear witness to this tragic milestone," the group said on its website.

"And... we must remind others that hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, women and men have died in this outrageous war and occupation."

US civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson said yesterday Saddam's execution would not make the US safer and would only increase the violence in Iraq.

"Killing him intensifies the violence and reduces our moral authority in the world," said Mr Jackson, who has travelled to the Middle East on peace missions. "Today we are not more secure. We're less secure. We've missed a moment to appeal to those in Iraq to break the cycle of violence."

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