June 2, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 06/02/2008

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
U.N. Chief to Prod Nations On Food Crisis - UNITED NATIONS -- U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will issue an urgent plea to world leaders at a food summit in Rome on Tuesday to immediately suspend trade restrictions, agricultural taxes and other price controls that have helped fuel the highest food prices in 30 years... (READ MORE)

Clinton Wins Easily in Puerto Rico - SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, June 1 -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) won the Puerto Rico primary comfortably on Sunday, claiming perhaps her last triumph in the race for a Democratic presidential nomination that increasingly appears to be out of her reach. (READ MORE)

Immigration Prosecutions Hit New High - Federal law enforcement agencies have increased criminal prosecutions of immigration violators to record levels, in part by filing minor charges against virtually every person caught illegally crossing some stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border, according to new U.S. data. (READ MORE)

Tangled Blame in Quake Deaths - DUJIANGYAN, China, June 1 -- Tears of grief and anger mixed with smoke from ritual fires lighted on the ruins of Xinjian Primary School on Sunday, as hundreds of parents commemorated the deaths of their children and pleaded for the government to punish those responsible for the building's collapse... (READ MORE)

Cap and Spend - As the Senate opens debate on its mammoth carbon regulation program this week, the phrase of the hour is "cap and trade." This sounds innocuous enough. But anyone who looks at the legislative details will quickly see that a better description is cap and spend. This is easily the largest income redistribution scheme since the income tax. (READ MORE)

Shanghai Stock Lesson - If U.S. stock investors think they're in pain, cast an eye to China, where the Shanghai market dropped 7% in May and 35% year-to-date as of Friday's close. And the government is making it harder for the market to get back on track. (READ MORE)

Count Every Half Vote! - Barack Obama took another step to clinching the Democratic Presidential nod on the weekend, with the party's rules committee deciding to seat delegates from Florida and Michigan but to give them only half a vote. Now we'll see how Hillary Clinton decides to use her remaining leverage, and whether Mr. Obama feels obliged to put her on the ticket. (READ MORE)

Port ID delays worry lawmakers - A highly touted, $70 million Department of Homeland Security program to administer high-tech, tamper-resistant security cards to help identify seaport employees is facing delays that lawmakers say could threaten the nation's security. (READ MORE)

Arabs hail Olmert probe as 'democracy at its best' - JERUSALEM - Embarrassed at charges Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had accepted envelopes stuffed with cash from an American businessman, Israelis are doubly stunned to discover that the investigation of Mr. Olmert has won Israel extraordinary praise from bitter enemies throughout the Arab world. (READ MORE)

General: McCain weak on security - The most senior retired military officer to back the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, says the first-term U.S. senator will not give Sen. John McCain, a decorated war hero, a pass on the issue of national security in the fall campaign. (READ MORE)

McClellan: Bush should have fired Rove - President Bush broke his promise to the country by refusing to fire aide Karl Rove for leaking a CIA agent's identity, said Scott McClellan, the president's chief spokesman for almost three years. (READ MORE)

Father remembers hero with his faults - SHIPPENVILLE, Pa. - Growing up in a small rural town, Ross McGinnis was more apt to get in trouble than on the honor roll. So he enlisted in the Army, and in just under a year found his soul mate, a brotherhood, and even himself. (READ MORE)

Muslim hard-liners intolerant of tolerance rally - JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Islamic hard-liners broke up a religious-tolerance rally Sunday in Indonesia, beating demonstrators with bamboo sticks and calling for the deaths of members of a Muslim sect they consider heretical, witnesses said. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Robert D. Novak: Parroting the Democrats - In Scott McClellan's purported tell-all memoir of his trials as President Bush's press secretary, he virtually ignores Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's role leaking to me Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA employee. That fits the partisan Democratic version of the Plame affair, in keeping with the overall tenor of the book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception." Although the media response has dwelled on McClellan's criticism of Bush's road to war, the CIA leak case is the heart of this book. On July 14, 2003, one day before McClellan took a press secretary's job for which many colleagues felt he was unqualified, I wrote a column asserting that while at the CIA Plame had suggested her Democratic partisan husband, retired diplomat Joseph Wilson, for a sensitive intelligence mission. That story would make McClellan's three years at the briefing room podium a misery, leading to his dismissal and now his bitter retort. (READ MORE)

Daniel's Big Trip: I walked with family and friends today - Everyone at some point in their life takes a walk. Be it literally or figuratively, it happens. For some it might be a walk with the Lord, for others a walk with their wife or children. Some go for walks almost everyday, for health, for fun, for community. These walks are of so little importance to us, we scarcely notice that they've happened. We seldom stop to think that this walk was somehow special because we enjoyed it with a good friend, a family member, or just a four legged companion. We fail to see the beauty in each and every one of these walks, because we know they will be followed by many more. Rarely is a walk taken knowing it will be the last, even if it is. (READ MORE)

Talisman Gate: Sunday Happy Sunday - Ouch, what a gloomy Sunday for Washington’s doom-n’-gloom crowd! The Washington Post ran a front-page story on Basra that opens up into two whole pages deeper inside; who in DC can turn their backs on such genuine aspirations for liberty? Then, there’s a lead editorial in the same paper “warning” Obama & Co. that Iraq is turning into a success, and that he needs to come up with a strategy quick to build on that victory, rather than retreat, and retreat, and retreat so more. Now for those of you who’ve followed my reporting on Basra from Day 1 of Operation Cavalry Charge, isn’t it satisfying to have gotten two months’ prior notice of what is now universally being billed as a success? (READ MORE)

Information Dissemination: The Detainee Issue Has a Naval Twist - The Guardian has an article out regarding the use of US Navy ships as floating prisons. Actually the accusations aren't quite to that extent, in fact the headline appears to be misleading based on the facts presented. What is presented though does have the feel of being potentially legitimate, does pass the smell test, however is also presented under a political slant from a certain perspective. This is being introduced as the center of the discussion. “It is the use of ships to detain prisoners, however, that is raising fresh concern and demands for inquiries in Britain and the US. According to research carried out by Reprieve, the US may have used as many as 17 ships as ‘floating prisons’ since 2001. Detainees are interrogated aboard the vessels and then rendered to other, often undisclosed, locations, it is claimed.” (READ MORE)

This Ain't Hell: Obama’s Iranian advisor - Yesterday, on Gateway Pundit, I read that Obama had an Iranian on his staff, so I did some research and found Trita Parsi’s website. It seems that Parsi is indeed Iranian by birth, but he was raised in Sweden. Do I think he’s an agent of Iran? No, not really. But the fact that he’s on Obama’s staff and an advisor on Iran is fairly disturbing, not because of his ethnicity, but because of his scholarly work. I haven’t read his book Treacherous Alliance - The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States (Yale University Press, 2007), but what I’ve found in interviews should cause alarm. In John Hopkins Magazine; “Among Parsi’s primary conclusions is that for years the U.S. and others have misunderstood the relationship between Iran and Israel, and that misunderstanding has played to those countries’ interests. ‘The most important false perception,’ he says, ‘is that the conflict is ideologically driven.’” (READ MORE)

Words from Warriors: While You Were Sleeping - I came across this post on a blog called Fifteen Months. It's a blog journaling an Army wife's journey while her husband is on deployment in Iraq. If you have time, it wouldn't be wasted reading her posts from the beginning. Pictures for this post I am reprinting here with her permission, can be found on the original post here. Thank you, Stella. Thank you for lending us your eyes, ears, heart. Thank you for you and your husband's service. “While You Were Sleeping - Today seems like the right day to share an R&R memory from months ago. At the time, it felt too raw to write about because my husband had just left back to the sandbox after being home for 17 days. That 17 days of joy was just what we needed after being apart some 8+ months--it recharged and reinvigorated us for the second half of the deployment. I found it much tougher to ‘let’ him go back after R&R, but I tried not to cry too long when we went to bed that night.” (READ MORE)

Ron Winter: "Moved Goalposts" and Renewed Vigor for Clinton Campaign - I watched the Democratic National Committee's Rules Committee hack its way through the controversy over Florida and Michigan's delegations Saturday, and came away with several impressions, most of which were favorable. First, even though I am a Republican I was proud to see the party that usually represents my opponents showing the world how America works. Lots of debate, conflicting opinions, diverse points of view, passions and positions laid bare, but no one was dragged out of the room, imprisoned or summarily executed. We are allowed to get intense in America, but no one goes to a gulag over it. I also came away with a favorable opinion of one of Hillary Clinton's primary allies on the Rules Committee. (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: I Question The Timing, Part I - Well, Barack Obama has pulled a "Peter" and denied his faith. It's not surprising -- the ongoing scrutiny into both the past and present practices of the Trinity United Church Of Christ has damaged Obama's standing with a lot of Americans, especially those who put hold their own faith as very important. But I find myself wondering -- at what point did the Church go too far for Obama? When did it change? Obama joined the church over 20 years ago. He was devoted enough to the church to make it the place where he married his wife, where he had his daughters baptized, and gave them plenty of his own money (as opposed to funneling federal funds) over the years. But now that he's on the cusp of being the Democratic nominee for president, he's finally had enough and is walking away. (READ MORE)

Cassandra: The McCain/Armitage Connection: On Nurturing Vipers - As the Scott McClellan debacle continues to implode, John McCain may wish to reconsider the wisdom of clasping vipers to his bosom: “The worry about Mr. McCain is centered among a group of foreign policy realists who have long been close to him and who lost out to the hawks in the intense ideological battles of the first term of the current White House. The group includes former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage and Brent Scowcroft, the national security adviser to the first President Bush.” Notably, it was Richard Armitage who was the leaker of Valerie Plame's so-called "secret identity". It was Armitage who, knowing full well he had been the leaker, allowed the White House to become embroiled in the Plame scandal after his boss George Bush called for anyone with knowledge of the affair to step forward. In this he was aided and abetted by one Colin Powell. But that is not the last of his offenses. Armitage had previously shown himself to be a less than reliable member of the administration. Clarice Feldman explains: (READ MORE)

Socrates' Academy: The Fowl Return, Make Nest - Afters years of preaching a certain kind of "fairness", the Democratic Party faithful have seen the results. Barack Obama, whose name was not on the ballot in Michigan, was awarded 46% of that State's delegates to the Democratic National Convention, by the convention's Rules and Bylaws Committee. The committee decided that the results of the Florida election should stand, but that the delegates for each State would get half a vote at the national convention. It was almost justice. It was almost the right decision. But in attempting to achieve fairness, the committee forgot to be fair to the voters. They also acceded to the threats of violence by Obama supporters should the Party "steal" the election from him. At the root of the problem is the Fallacy of the Golden Mean: if two people disagree, then the truth is somewhere between what each says. But that is clearly not always the case; sometimes people are just wrong. (READ MORE)
TigerHawk: Standing up for America - Every now and then, a foreigner writes something so nice about Americans or the United States that we would be remiss not to call it to your attention. Those of us of a certain age remember the famous editorial by Canadian broadcaster Gordon Sinclair, which bolstered American morale at a time when it sorely needed bolstering. Younger Americans know it because it ripped around the country in email chains in the months following September 11. It is worth rereading, both because it is cheering if you believe in America's greatness and because it reminds us that intense anti-Americanism is not a new phenomenon, claims of the anti-Bush left notwithstanding. It comes with the territory. Now comes a new editorial from Australia's Janet Albrechtsen that ought to receive similar attention, but probably will not. This part echoes Sinclair for a new day and age: (READ MORE)

Mark Steyn: THE NOPEC FIX - I was watching the Big Oil execs testifying before Congress. That was my first mistake. If memory serves, there was lesbian mud wrestling over on Channel 137, and on the whole that's less rigged. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz knew the routine: "I can't say that there is evidence that you are manipulating the price, but I believe that you probably are. So prove to me that you are not." Had I been in the hapless oil man's expensive shoes, I'd have answered, "Hey, you first. I can't say that there is evidence that you're sleeping with barnyard animals, but I believe that you probably are. So prove to me that you are not. Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence and prima facie evidence, lady? Do I have to file a U.N. complaint in Geneva that the House of Representatives is in breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?" (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: Masochistic Omnipotence Syndrome - Yesterday Larry Derfner penned an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post in which he attacked the credibility and motivation of those involved in illuminating the Al-Durah Affair. Apparently, even as I was reading the piece, Richard Landes was working on a proper fisking of it. MOS meets Al Durah Forgery: Larry Derfner Weighs In; “Larry Derfner has an op-ed at the Jerusalem Post on the Al Durah Affair which lays out in a quite striking fashion the aggressive aspect of the mentality of the Masochistic Omnipotence crowd (MOS) crowd. In the Dreyfus Affair the term “intellectual” was coined to describe someone who was capable of looking at the empirical evidence and changing his or her mind. Derfner’s rant suggests that the term could not, by the remotest stretch of the imagination, be applied to him. On the contrary, one has to wonder what could drive him to such heights of irrationality as to assault people who call into question so base a story as that of al Durah.” (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: OBAMA - THE COWARDLY LION - He’s going to get away with it, of course. No one will dare point to the fact that once again, Barack Obama has disposed of a problem, not by addressing the cause but rather the political garbage that goes along with it. After 20 years association, the near nominee has decided to end his association with Trinity United Church. Was it because of the racist, hate mongering sermons of Jeremiah Wright? Was it because his church has embraced Louis Farrakhan? Was it because the church allowed a Roman Catholic priest to preach sermons that ape the worst of Reverend Wright’s rants against whites and America? Was it because almost everything about the church was far from mainstream Christian thought and that he finally rebelled against the message of hate that spewed from its pulpit for 20 years? Not according to the candidate himself: (READ MORE)

Rhymes With Right: "Dark Forces" Attack Danish Embassy Over Cartoons - Looks like the Islamo-censors are back again, out to punish Denmark with acts of terror because of the reprinting of the Muhammad cartoons. After all, there have been repeated threats towards Danish embassies, including this one, since the February reprinting of the inoffensive drawings that offend the sensibilities of those whose brains are addled by extremist Islam. Now they've tried to blow up "the Danish Embassy in Pakistan. “At least eight people have been killed in a car bomb attack near the Danish embassy in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, according to reports. About 30 people were wounded. An embassy worker was among the dead and three were hurt, but no Danish citizens died, Danish officials said. The embassy building and several vehicles outside were damaged.” (READ MORE)

Political Pistachio: Barack Obama is no Dan Quayle - In yesterday's newspaper, at the bottom of the editorial cartoon canvas, was an op/ed cartoon that made me smile. It had Barack Obama sitting on a pedestal with three quote bubbles around his head. The first said, "I see many of our fallen war heroes in the audience today." The second reads, "My Grandpa helped liberate Auschwitz." The final bubble quotes Obama as saying, "I've campaigned in all fifty-seven states." Those gaffes by Barack Obama are fast becoming legendary in this 2008 presidential campaign, and the liberal left shrugs them off and says, "Instead of you right-wingers jumping all over these little verbal mistakes, how about you discuss the issues." We have discussed the issues, and Barack has proven to fail poorly. He is the most liberal senator with views that rival Marxist and Lenin. Back to the cartoon, as Obama is being quoted with his many gaffes, the press is standing off to the right saying to each other, "It's a good thing he's not Dan Quayle, or we'd have to report all of these gaffes." (READ MORE)

Scott Johnson: Barack Obama's Song of Himself - In his New York Times column today Bill Kristol takes a look at Barack Obama's May 25 Wesleyan University commencement address. Kristol observes, as did Bill Katz in "Pay no attention to the facts," that Obama omitted military service from the theme of service to which the address was devoted. Kristol concludes that the omission was deliberate. He does not speculate, however, on the reason for it. He comments that Obama "felt no need" to discuss or honor military service as a form of public service. I think there are two principal reasons for Obama's omission of military service from the commencement address. First, in the guise of praising public service, Obama sings a song of himself. His work as a "community organizer" in Chicago is more praiseworthy, in Obama's eyes, than work for profit-making companies in the private sector. It would truly be a public service for commencement speakers and others to challenge this reigning cliche of elite opinion. Consider, for example, Thomas Sowell: (READ MORE)

neo-neocon: Hillary: whining about sexism “Just Like a Woman” - Has Hillary been the victim of sexism in her quest to become President? How’s this for an equivocal answer: Yes and no. I think the major phenomenon of which she’s been the “victim” is the strangeness of the primary season rules for the Democrats: the disenfranchisement of Florida and Michigan voters due to those states’ defiance in moving up their primaries; the many caucus states that Obama was able to finesse by appealing to an elite group of voters; the end of winner-take-all primaries; and the disproportionate allocation of delegates in some states that ended up with the surpassingly strange phenomenon of Hillary winning the vote there and Obama getting more delegates nevertheless. (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: Coming around to it at last - After jumping in the fight for Sadr City in April, US casualties in Iraq for the month of May declined to their lowest level since February 2004. Iraqi civilian casualties were also down by 54% from the previous month. In the crucial Iraqi port city of Basra, civil society peeks out cautiously from behind their physical and psychic barricades. The sound of music is once again heard, which only sounds trite to those who have never had to suffer under an imposed silence. In Baghdad, coalition forces and the Iraqi Army have turned from rooting out Sadrist militias - and dodging rocket and mortar fire - to rebuilding the slum from which the “sayid” Moqtada drew his political power and which only recently seethed with armed insurrection. In the north, the IA is on the brink of restoring order to Mosul, meaning that all three of Iraq’s major cities may soon be under the security blanket of the national army. (READ MORE)

The Marching Camp: Iraq and Iran - You know, I've always hated that stupid song where the singers tells me he doesn't know the difference. If that's the case, he should not be permitted to vote. The franchise should be a responsibility. But in Modern America, we can't say "responsibility" much less take any. But I digress. First, Iran. As far as I'm concerned, we are fighting a proxy war in Southern Iraq against Iran. A friend of mine recently returned from theater and told that in his unit's sector in Baghdad, of the EFPs, 60% were imported from Iran and the rest were home-made. The imported ones were much better, as they had copper disks vice the steel ones of the home-made charges. A steel disk doesn't have as much velocity and doesn't have enough residual thermal energy to set a vehicle on fire after impact. (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: U.S. Troop Deaths at Lowest in Four Years - Bottom Line Up Front: U.S. troop and Iraqi civilian deaths plummet along with mainstream media war coverage. “U.S. military deaths plunged in May to the lowest monthly level in more than four years and civilian casualties were down sharply, too, as Iraqi forces assumed the lead in offensives in three cities and a truce with Shiite extremists took hold. All five of the ‘surge brigades’ rushed to Iraq last year will be gone by July, lowering the troop strength to about 140,000, U.S. officials say. There are currently about 155,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. At least 21 American troopers were killed in May — four in non-hostile incidents. That’s one more than the lowest monthly figure of the war set in February 2004.” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Prison Ships - Breathless UK Guardian article parrots a Brit advocacy group’s claim that United States has a fleet of prison ships, and has the US holding “at least 26,000 without trial in secret prisons.” 100 people “disappeared” from Somalia. Twenty-six thousand? That’s a big prison fleet! Hang on, I think they might be talking about something else. There are a couple of structural problems with the article. What are purported to be facts are frontloaded without a lot of context, like the fact that there are either vast unreported Crusader gulags out there, or the vast majority of those 26,000 are the terrorism and insurgency suspects being held in Iraq and Afghanistan by US and local forces, “by its (US) own admission.” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: McCain on Iran: Obama still doesn’t know the history Update: Full speech added - John McCain will address AIPAC’s Policy Conference today, speaking on the subjects of Israel, Iran, and Iraq, and laying out his views on the most critical foreign-policy issues facing the next administration. His speech will reassure the pro-Israeli lobby that he sees the ties between the US and Israel as “the most natural” of alliances, based on mutual respect for freedom and democracy, and acknowledge the singular nature of both in the Middle East. In doing so, he will reflect back on his first introduction to Israel, courtesy of a Democrat who would find it difficult to fit into today’s party: (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: Obama aide: His decision to leave Trinity was “a deeply personal, not a political decision” - Via the Busters. It’s undoubtedly true — just like his decision to start wearing the flag pin again was personal, just like his decision to take a trip to Iraq and meet with Petraeus was personal, just like his climbdown from unconditional meetings with Iran was personal. The fact that all three coincide with the start of the general election campaign is but a happy whim of chance, much like him suddenly deciding that we needed a national conversation on race at the very moment his relationship with Wright was coming under a microscope. Behold the “new politics,” then: The same old crap with political stunts a-gogo, but adorned with half-hearted nonsense about “principle” and sheepish, shinola-eating grins like the one worn by this idiot. (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: No Preaching Allowed! - Back in January the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester, got himself in trouble with the Anglican hierarchy for stating the obvious: the concentration of Muslims in some of Britain’s urban districts has effectively turned them into no-go zones for non-Muslims. The Church of England considers these multicultural areas to be models of diversity. Referring to them as “no-go zones” shows a disturbing lack of tolerance, and is evidence of racist thinking. A couple of Christian evangelists decided to take this multi-culti party line at face value, and went into one of the go-go zones in Birmingham. They found to their misfortune that, although they were allowed to enter the area, they were not allowed to proselytize — they had entered a no-preaching zone. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: AIPAC - Republican Sen. John McCain: “Rather than sitting down unconditionally with the Iranian president or supreme leader in the hope that we can talk sense into them, we must create the real-world pressures that will peacefully but decisively change the path they are on.” McCain brought Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman in the flesh and the spirit of Democratic Sen. Scoop Jackson with him to this ayem’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee meeting. He also brought his A game. “From the prepared text: The Iranians have spent years working toward a nuclear program. And the idea that they now seek nuclear weapons because we refuse to engage in presidential-level talks is a serious misreading of history. In reality, a series of administrations have tried to talk to Iran, and none tried harder than the Clinton administration.” (READ MORE)

Crazy Politico: Outing McClellan - Scott McClellan's book "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception." has been all the rage in liberal circles for the last week or so. They are eating up the fact that McClellan spent lots of words on the Valerie Plame case, and wishing Karl Rove had been fired over it. They guy who printed Plame's name, Robert Novak, has his take on the book in today's column, and calls out McClellan for his lack of facts about the Plame affair. Novak points out the inconsistencies between the former White House Press Secretary's book, and the reality of the leak, and the Grand Jury investigation into it. (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: Hoyt Responds on Luttwak's Obama Apostasy Editorial - Let's just say that New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt wasn't charitable on dealing with Edward Luttwak's op-ed on Barack Obama and apostasy. He writes that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. That's a curious statement in and of itself given that the editorial page is absolutely rife with New York Times editorial stances that are unsupported by facts, outright lies, to say nothing of the op-eds by the likes of Paul Krugman or Maureen Dowd who regularly chop up quotes, omit key statistics, or have their own set of facts that do not relate to reality. Hoyt has regularly failed to deal with this week after week. Still, it is good that he is reviewing and questioning editorials, even if it is only occasionally and unevenly. I find this curious: (READ MORE)

Aurvant @ Ace of Spades: Australia lowers the flag - Bringing their troops home - Well, it's official, the Australian Army is leaving Iraq and is heading back home after transferring their duties over to U.S. forces. While a part of me says "Thanks for all the help" another part of me says "Where the hell do you think your going?" I guess since the surge is working the Aussies feel that they can leave while everything is on the up-and-up and it won't be any skin off anyones back. Unless of course there is a major upswing in attacks on U.S. troops once the Australian's fully leave the area then I can't exactly say that I'll be having a glowing opinion of them. “‘Our soldiers have worked tirelessly to ensure that local people in southern Iraq have the best possible chance to move on from their suffering under (Saddam Hussein's) regime and, as a government, we are extremely proud of their service,’ said Joel Fitzgibbon, Australian Minister of Defence.” (READ MORE)

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