Archive | December, 2006

Lebanon Destroyed, Destabilised, Desperate for Change

BEIRUT — The 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah has left Lebanon heavily damaged and politically destabilised, with hopes for a better future only dimming as the New Year approaches.

Before Jul. 12 this year when the war broke out, many people in this nation of four million situated north of Israel believed they were finally shaking away the last of the dust from the 15-year civil war 1975-90 which decimated the country. That civil war was fought between extreme Muslim and Christian groups. Lebanon is now believed to be about 60 percent Muslim.

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Saddam Execution Set to Destabilise Iraq Further

BAGHDAD — Former dictator Saddam Hussein is due to be executed next month in a move that could bring more instability in an increasingly violent and chaotic occupation.

The execution is to follow a decision by a court of appeal Dec. 26 to uphold the death sentence for Saddam. Under present Iraqi law, execution must be carried out within 30 days of confirmation of the order.

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More Troops but Less Control in Iraq

BAGHDAD — More U.S. troops are expected to be deployed in Iraq in the New Year. Despite obvious rethinking, there is no decision on withdrawal of occupation forces.

The presence of troops may be raised just for their own protection. According to a Pentagon report, U.S. and Iraqi forces are facing close to 1,000 attacks a week now. U.S. forces comprise more than 90 percent of the “coalition of the willing” in Iraq.

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