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Wednesday, Jul 30th

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While Bush Announces 8,000 Troop Withdrawal, Leaked Draft Agreement Calls for Indefinite Occupation

Again, what Nouri al-Maliki is saying is that all U.S. combat troops will leave, but there will be exceptions that will stay in Iraq indefinitely. Now, this view that Mr. al-Maliki is representing in Iraq is completely rejected. Iraqis do not support the idea of half-withdrawal and leaving U.S. troops on the long run. In fact, the full agreement, that can be viewed on my organization's website now, on afsc.org, can show you in details how the U.S. will stay on the long run and who gets to decide the troops level and the troop tasks. It's neither the Iraqi nor the U.S. elected officials.

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US can't kill its way to Afghan victory: Pentagon boss

The top military officer at the Pentagon has told a Congressional committee that US and international forces are not winning the war in Afghanistan.

Admiral Mike Mullens, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says victory in Afghanistan cannot be achieved solely by the military.

"We cannot kill our way to victory," he told the Armed Services Committee.

Admiral Mullens said he was not convinced US and international forces were winning, but he said he believed they could eventually.

"Frankly we're running out of time," he warned.

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US death in Afghanistan makes 2008 deadliest year

Militants attacking a compound in Afghanistan's east killed a U.S. soldier on Thursday, making 2008 the deadliest year yet for American forces in the country that sheltered al-Qaida while the terror group plotted the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Thursday's death brings to 112 the number of troops who have died in Afghanistan this year, surpassing last year's record toll of 111.

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No victory in Iraq, says Petraeus

The outgoing commander of US troops in Iraq, Gen David Petraeus, has said that he will never declare victory there.

In a BBC interview, Gen Petraeus said that recent security gains were "not irreversible" and that the US still faced a "long struggle".

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TVNL Comment:  Has anyone defined 'victory' in Iraq?  Is it when we've depleted the country of all its oil, or when there are no more billion dollar contracts to distribute?  Another hundred years?  Probably...

Bush Said to Give Orders Allowing Raids in Pakistan

President Bush secretly approved orders in July that for the first time allow American Special Operations forces to carry out ground assaults inside Pakistan without the prior approval of the Pakistani government, according to senior American officials.

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TVNL Comment: And the American people are concerned about who said what about pigs with lipstick.  We deserve what we get.

US 'not winning' in Afghanistan

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff has said the US is "not winning" in Afghanistan and needs a new strategy which includes Pakistan's border area.

Adm Mullen said he was already looking at a new strategy covering both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border. But Pakistan insists it will not allow foreign forces on to its territory. 

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TVNL Comment: No nation that has tried to do so, has managed to 'win' in Afghanistan....not the British, not the Russians, and now, not the US and its NATO accomplices.  The US needs the pipelines in Afganistan and wil violate Pakistani sovereignty to try to 'win' them.

Victory in Iraq declared, not achieved

George Bush's justification for the US troop withdrawal from Iraq – that the surge has promoted political reconciliation – is false.

The Iraq troop withdrawals President Bush announced on Tuesday at the National Defence University were much ado about nothing. The slight reduction in troop levels will keep US troop levels several thousand above what they were in January 2007 when he announced the "surge" of US troops. Bush administration critics will say the troop withdrawals are too little and too late, while supporters will echo Bush's "return on success" talking point.

The greatest myth promoted by Bush in his speech was found in this line: "Political reconciliation is moving forward, and the Iraqi government has passed several major pieces of legislation." By overstating the meagre steps taken by Iraq's leaders in barely passing a few relatively insignificant laws in their parliament, Bush's statement ranks right up there with his 2003 "mission accomplished" speech and vice-president Dick Cheney's assertion that the insurgency was in its "last throes" in 2005.

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