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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri
Reconstruction efforts in Iraq by the United States have left the Middle East country unstable, violent and even more broken than it was before the American invasion, despite the U.S. having spent $15 million every day for nearly a decade, according to a new report from an independent watchdog Wednesday.
Now that U.S. forces are gone, Iraq's ruling Shiites are moving quickly to keep the two Muslim sects separate — and unequal.
On July 23, 2001, a former senior Iranian intelligence officer,Abolghasem Mr. Mesbahi,learned that Iran's plan to strike the United States had been activated. Mr. Mesbahi knew it was important and real because he had worked on this plan previously, when he had helped set up Iran's intelligence service, the MOIS, as far back as the mid-1980s. Mr. Mesbahi - known outside Iran as one of a core of "Assassins"- told German intelligence, which had given him protected status as a key witness in German prosecutions of brutal Iranian assassinations of dozens of dissidents.
With the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq in its final days, President Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will meet at the White House on Monday to discuss the next phase of the relationship between their countries.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday thanked U.S. and Iraqi troops for sacrifices that he said allowed for the end of the nearly nine-year-long war, even as attacks around the country killed 20 people, underscoring the security challenges Iraq still faces.
In February, Turkey privately expressed opposition to increased sanctions on Iran but acknowledged that the entire Middle East is worried about the theocratic regime developing nuclear weapons.
A Florida pastor's plan to burn the Koran on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks hit the diplomatic community worldwide this week.
"There was misspending of money," he said.
In interviews with Mr. Bowen quoted in the report, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the huge amount of U.S. cash "could have brought great change in Iraq" but fell short.