Tuesday, December 19, 2006

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST December 19, 2006


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The Washington Post


Bush Signs India Nuclear Law
Critics Say Deal to Share Civilian Technology Could Spark Arms Race

By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 19, 2006; A03

President Bush signed legislation yesterday permitting civilian nuclearcooperation with India, reversing three decades of nonproliferation policyin the interest of redefining U.S. relations with the world's largestdemocracy and reshaping the geopolitical balance as China asserts itself inAsia.

Bush, who has made the fight against the spread of nuclear weapons acenterpiece of his foreign policy, persuaded Congress to make an exceptionfor India despite its not having signed the nuclear Non-ProliferationTreaty. Although critics warn that the deal could spark a regional armsrace, Bush called it a landmark moment that finally relegates Cold War-eratensions to the past.


The Washington Post


Chad says nearly 40 killed in Janjaweed raids

By Betel Miarom
Tuesday, December 19, 2006; 9:39 AM

N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - Nearly 40 people were killed in clashes between Chad'ssecurity forces and Arab raiders on horseback who attacked two easternvillages, burning homes and mutilating their victims, the government said onTuesday.

It said the attackers, who struck at the weekend, gouged out and carried offthe eyes of eight government soldiers they killed and disemboweled one of 15Chadian civilians also slain.

Five Sudanese refugees from a nearby U.N.-run refugee camp were also killedduring the raids on Aradibe and Habile, which escalated into clashes withthe Chadian army on December 16 and 17, the government added.


The Washington Post


Forget the Domino Theories

By Robert Satloff
Tuesday, December 19, 2006; A29

The wise men (and woman) don't know their history. In boldly suggesting that"all key issues in the Middle East are inextricably linked," the authors ofthe Iraq Study Group report seem stunningly indifferent to the past 25 yearsof Middle East politics.

The basic proposition -- linkage -- is not new. President George H.W. Bushand his secretary of state, James Baker, tried 15 years ago to build anArab-Israeli peace process on American success in the Persian Gulf War. Inthe current Bush administration, some advocates of toppling Saddam Husseinechoed that argument when they predicted that a change in Iraq would opennew avenues for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.


The Washington Post


A 'Surge' in Wasted Sacrifice

By Eugene Robinson
Tuesday, December 19, 2006; A29

Here's an idea: Let's send more U.S. troops to Iraq. The generals say it'sway too late to even think about resurrecting Colin Powell's "overwhelmingforce" doctrine, so let's send over a modest "surge" in troop strength thathas almost no chance of making any difference -- except in the casualtycount. Oh, and let's not give these soldiers and Marines any sort ofwell-defined mission. Let's just send them out into the bloody chaos ofBaghdad and the deadly badlands of Anbar province with orders not to comeback until they "get the job done."

I don't know about you, but that strikes me as a terrible idea, arguably theworst imaginable "way forward" in Iraq. So of course this seems to be whereGeorge W. Bush is headed.


The Washington Post


Two Cities McCain Stands to Lose

By Richard Cohen
Tuesday, December 19, 2006; A29

Earlier this year a close friend of John McCain gave me fair warning: McCainwas about to become much more conservative, and I would not like what wascoming. He was right. I did not like McCain's speech at Jerry Falwell'sLiberty University, and I think his support of intelligent design is --sorry, John -- just plain brainless. But it is not the supposedly new McCainthat bothers me, it's the old one: His incessant sword-rattling has gottenjust plain rattling.

At the moment McCain is probably the most prominent proponent of thepour-it-on school regarding Iraq. He wants the United States to considerablybeef up its forces there, which as far as I'm concerned is throwing goodmoney after bad -- providing the insurgents with even more targets as well.But even if additional troops could succeed in tamping down the level ofviolence in Baghdad, we have learned enough about Iraq to suggest that itwould be only a temporary reprieve.


The Washington Post


Libya Sentences Bulgaria Nurses to Death

The Associated Press
Tuesday, December 19, 2006; 9:20 AM

TRIPOLI, Libya -- A court convicted six foreign health workers Tuesday oncharges of deliberately infecting 400 children with the AIDS virus andsentenced them to death, setting off shouts of joy in Tripoli.

The verdict, which will be automatically referred to Libya's Supreme Court,drew quick condemnation from European nations, which have charged that thefive Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were being made scapegoats. AWestern medical study, released too late for the trial, said the infectionsoccurred before the medical workers came to Libya.


The New York Times


White House, Joint Chiefs At Odds on Adding Troops

By Robin Wright and Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, December 19, 2006; A01

The Bush administration is split over the idea of a surge in troops to Iraq,with White House officials aggressively promoting the concept over theunanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to U.S.officials familiar with the intense debate.

Sending 15,000 to 30,000 more troops for a mission of possibly six to eightmonths is one of the central proposals on the table of the White Housepolicy review to reverse the steady deterioration in Iraq. The option isbeing discussed as an element in a range of bigger packages, the officialssaid.


The New York Times


December 19, 2006
Too Early for Deep Thinking

There's no satisfying the desire to get to the head of the pack in thepresidential primary sweepstakes. Weary of being a quadrennial wallflower,New Jersey's Legislature moved its primary up from June (long after thenominations are settled) to the last Tuesday in February, right on the heelsof the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire's sacrosanct, first-in-the-nationprimary.

But Democratic Party leaders shorted the Garden State spotlight, cramming aNevada caucus and a South Carolina primary into January. Quick as a proudNew Jerseyan says, "Oh yeah?" the Legislature is again voting to move theprimary up, this time to early February. The state Senate easily approvedthe date. And the Assembly is waiting to act, with the state expected tojoin a half-dozen others with a primary on Feb. 5, 2008.


The New York Times


December 19, 2006
Senator Seeks Detainee Abuse Case Update
Filed at 11:06 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A key Democratic senator asked the Justice Department onMonday for an update on its progress prosecuting government employees whowere accused in at least 17 cases of abusing detainees in Iraq andAfghanistan.

In response, a Justice spokesman said at least some of the cases are stillunder investigation.

In a letter sent Monday to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, incomingSenate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., noted that the department beganlooking into the allegations of abuse two and a half years ago.

''In that time, there have not been any indictments in any of these cases,''wrote Durbin, who first pressed the Justice Department for a prosecutionsupdate in November 2005, when now-Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty wasseeking Senate confirmation.


The New York Times

December 19, 2006
Guest Columnist
God's Gift?


One of the more disquieting aspects of the Iraqi occupation is that thepresident's final rationale for it is a cherished, though groundless,liberal belief about freedom. As we now know, the war was motivated less byany real evidence of Iraqi involvement with terrorism than by theneoconservatives' belief that they could stabilize the Middle East byspreading freedom there. Their erroneous assumption was a relic from theliberal past: the doctrine that freedom is a natural part of the humancondition.

A disastrously simple-minded argument followed from this: that becausefreedom is instinctively "written in the hearts" of all peoples, all that isrequired for its spontaneous flowering in a country that has known onlytyranny is the forceful removal of the tyrant and his party.



Life Just Got Harder for Welfare Moms
By Juliette Terzieff, Women's eNews
Posted on December 16, 2006, Printed on December 18, 2006

Stiffer work and reporting requirements for the federal welfare programTemporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, fail to recognize mothers'needs for training, education and child care to make their families selfsufficient, women's advocacy groups say.

"The new regulations are a continuation of the misguided 'work first'approach that has been the hallmark of welfare reform," says Erin Mohan,public policy director for Washington-based advocacy organization, WomenWork! "This strategy forces women into low-wage, low-skilled, dead-end jobs;jobs that don't pay the bills and can't support families."


The Washington Post


Giuliani's Primary Hurdle
Polls Aside, Skeptics Say GOP Won't Nominate a Social Liberal for President

By Michael Powell and Chris Cillizza
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, December 19, 2006; A01

NEW YORK, Dec. 18 -- His national poll numbers are a dream, he's a major boxoffice draw on the Republican Party circuit, and he goes by the shorthandtitle "America's Mayor." All of which has former New York mayor Rudolph W.Giuliani convinced he just might become America's president in 2008.

He is showing the early signs of a serious candidacy: Giuliani'spresidential exploratory committee throws its first major fundraiser in ahotel near Times Square on Tuesday evening, and he recently hired thepolitical director of the Republican National Committee during 2006. AWashington Post-ABC News poll released last week found that Republicans giveGiuliani an early lead over Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who is far ahead ofthe former mayor in organizing a national campaign.


The Miami Herald


Posted on Tue, Dec. 19, 2006

Jordan's king hosts Israeli PM for talks

Associated Press

AMMAN, Jordan - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made a surprise visit toJordan Tuesday for talks with King Abdullah II on ways to revive Mideastpeacemaking.

The palace also said Abdullah was offering to host a meeting in Jordan tohelp resolve Palestinian infighting between the Hamas and Fatah movements.As the statement was issued, the two groups waged fierce gunbattles in GazaCity.

Olmert's visit came in response to an invitation by Abdullah, who is eagerto see Israel resume peace negotiations with the Palestinians, a seniorpalace official said.

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