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By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Jalal Talabani
Voters in Iraq's Kurdish north cast ballots Saturday in local parliamentary elections, with smaller parties hoping to challenge the self-rule region's longtime political establishment.
Shortly after Israeli warplanes struck inside Syria to take out Iranian missiles intended for Hezbollah, Iranian Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said, "The attack carried out by the Zionist regime will shorten this fake regime's life."
Iraq's finance minister on Thursday accused a "militia force" of kidnapping members of his staff, saying he holds the prime minister personally responsible for their safety.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani will be flown to Germany for more treatment after he suffered a stroke earlier this week, two Kurdish officials close to him said Wednesday.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has been hospitalized in Baghdad after suffering a stroke and is in stable condition, a spokesman for the prime minister said Tuesday.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has had a stroke and his medical team in Baghdad is still trying to stabilize his condition, a spokesman for the prime minister said Tuesday.
Norway plans to close its embassy in Venezuela because of rampant crime in the South American country and move the diplomatic mission to neighboring Colombia, according to Norwegian Ambassador Lars Vaagen
Iran has played many political roles in Baghdad since the fall of Saddam Hussein: spoiler to American-crafted administrations, haven for Iraqi political outcasts and big brother to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite-led government.
Now that U.S. forces are gone, Iraq's ruling Shiites are moving quickly to keep the two Muslim sects separate — and unequal.
Fewer than half the leaders of the Arab world showed up at an Arab summit in Baghdad on Thursday, a snub to the Iraqi government that reflects how trenchantly the sectarian division between Sunnis and Shiites and the rivalry with neighboring Iran define the Middle East's politics today.
Two car bombs exploded Monday evening in the Iraqi capital, killing at least 14 people and wounding dozens, according to authorities, raising already high concerns about an outbreak of a full-scale sectarian conflict.
Iraq's Sunni vice president denied charges he ran a hit squad that killed government officials during the nation's wave of sectarian bloodletting, accusing the Shiite-led government Tuesday of waging a campaign of persecution.
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.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. made a surprise visit to Baghdad on Tuesday night to meet with Iraqi officials and thank U.S. troops in advance of the year-end drawdown.
On Oct. 7, 1997, during the Clinton administration, the People's Mujahedeen of Iran (POMI/MEK) was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The MEK represents the main opposition group to the Iranian theocracy and has been the source of key intelligence relating to Iran's secret underground nuclear sites. According to a senior Clinton administration official, the designation of the MEK as a terrorist organization was intended as a "goodwill gesture" to Tehran and its newly elected "moderate" President Mohammad Khatami. Such a goodwill gesture coming on the heels of the Khobar Towers bombing in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where we had proof of Iran's involvement, resulting in the killing of 19 U.S. servicemen and the wounding of more than 500 was unbelievable.
Mr. Talabani said Iraq rejected violence and bloodshed in Syria and called for a peaceful solution to end the conflict there and, echoing the language found in a draft communique from the summit, said the Syrian people had a legitimate right to freedom and democracy.
On Tuesday, he thanked Iraq's President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, for his support and said Mr. Talabani promised he would be responsible for his security.