The U.S. should pull nearly all combat troops out of Iraq by 2008 and push for a broad diplomatic and political solution—or face a “slide toward chaos,” according to the long-awaited Iraq Study Group’s report.
A line from the report: “U.S. forces seem to be caught in a mission that has no foreseeable end.”
Tensions between the U.S. and Venezuela took a bizarre turn this week after Venezuelan authorities confiscated diplomatic cargo headed for the American Embassy in Caracas and accused Washington of smuggling. Included in the shipment were parts for ejector seats and 176 pounds of chicken.
Hugo Chavez, Venezuela?s feisty president, said he intends to cut diplomatic relations with Israel in protest of its attack on Lebanon, which he called “a new holocaust.” Tensions began to build between Venezuela and Israel after Chavez visited Iran last month, saying he would ?stand by Iran at any time and under any condition.?
Official diplomatic relations between the two countries may be at a nadir, but young citizens on both sides are finding common ground on Internet chat boards. Says a blogger: “We have tons of things in common. We come from two of the most liberal, educated countries in the Middle East….”
Also: Read the back story on that infamous picture of Israeli girls writing on rocket shells.
Contrary to the official “diplomatic solution” line, Seymour Hersh reports that Washington is stepping up plans for a possible airstrike on Iran. According to Reuters, Hersh’s story in the April 17 issue of The New Yorker reports that a former senior defense official said the planning was, in Hersh’s words, “based on the belief that a bombing campaign against Iran would humiliate the leadership and lead the Iranian public to overthrow it.” The ex-official reportedly added that he was shocked to hear the strategy.