July 18, 2007

Harsh Reality


From FOX News: U.S.: Top Iraqi Al Qaeda Leader Arrested.

The U.S. command said Wednesday the highest-ranking Iraqi in the leadership of Al Qaeda in Iraq has been arrested, adding that information from him indicates the group's foreign-based leadership wields considerable influence over the Iraqi chapter.

Khaled Abdul-Fattah Dawoud Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, also known as Abu Shahid, was captured in Mosul on July 4, said Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, a military spokesman.

"Al-Mashhadani is believed to be the most senior Iraqi in the Al Qaeda in Iraq network," Bergner said. He said al-Mashhadani was a close associate of Abu Ayub al-Masri, the Egyptian-born head of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Bergner said al-Mashhadani served as an intermediary between al-Masri and Usama bin Laden and Al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri.

"In fact, communication between the senior Al Qaeda leadership and al-Masri frequently went through al-Mashhadani," Bergner said. He added: "There is a clear connection between Al Qaeda in Iraq and Al Qaeda senior leadership outside Iraq."

From FOX News: After All-Night Debate, Senate Rejects Measure to Bring Troops Home From Iraq.

The Senate rejected a plan Wednesday to bring home U.S. troops from Iraq by early next year after spending an all-night session debating whether to demand President Bush change the mission.

The 52-47 vote fell short of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate and move toward passage. Four Republicans voted with the Democrats, but only one new backer emerged after the 24-hour Democrat-orchestrated talkathon: Susan Collins of Maine who is seeking re-election next year. She joined three previously known Republicans supporting a troop withdrawal plan: Sens. Olympia Snowe of Maine, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Gordon Smith of Oregon.

Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman voted against the troop withdrawal plan. ...

MoveOn.org, the anti-war group, announced plans for more than 130 events around the country to coincide with the Senate debate, part of an effort to pressure Republicans into allowing a final vote on the legislation. A candlelight vigil and rally across the street from the Capitol was prominent among them, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., among those attending.

Posted by Forkum at July 18, 2007 02:45 PM