December 18, 2011 |
A U.S. military convoy sliced through the flat Iraqi desert before first light, carrying the last troops safely into Kuwait and ending America's costly and divisive war in a troubled land. When relieved soldiers got out on the other side Sunday, shouts of "Going home!" and "It's over!" mingled with bear hugs and high-fives. One soldier hollered, "I'm going to Disneyland!" Another, "A sweet, sweet Christmas. " The final vehicle passed a fortified Kuwaiti border police post eight years, eight months and 28 days after U.S. forces poured across the same frontier, 150,000 strong, sweating inside bulky chemical and biological protective suits, but convinced of a swift and certain victory.
December 14, 2011 |
President Obama celebrated the soldiers who fought the Iraq war on Wednesday, marking the fulfillment of a campaign promise to bring home all U.S. forces following a nearly nine-year conflict that killed more than 4,400 U.S. soldiers. "So as your commander in chief, on behalf of a grateful nation, I'm proud to finally say these two words - and I know your families agree," the president said. "Welcome home. Welcome home. Welcome home. Welcome home. " Obama, standing before a sea of paratroopers wearing maroon berets, thanked the troops returning from Iraq and hailed the country's steps toward creating an independent, democratic state.
November 21, 2011 |
Jose Pimentel appears to have spent much of his time hanging out on the stoop of an upper Manhattan apartment building, smoking cigarettes and being such a layabout that one old schoolmate assumed he was a drug addict or homeless. Police arrested the 27-year-old convert to Islam on Saturday and accused him of plotting to blow up U.S. targets — including American troops returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and launch a one-man holy war in New York City. On Monday, Pimentel's mother, Carmen Sosa, seemed stunned by her son's arrest and unable to understand how he could have turned into a radical Muslim.
November 20, 2011 |
A U.S. citizen who learned bomb-making on the Internet and considered changing his name to Osama out of loyalty to Osama bin Laden has been arrested on charges of plotting to blow up post offices and police cars and to kill U.S. troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, authorities said Sunday. Jose Pimentel, 27, a Dominican-born convert to Islam, was on the verge of testing his homemade explosives in a mailbox when he was arrested Saturday in a Manhattan apartment, New York Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said.
November 14, 2011 |
As the last U.S. troops pack up to leave Iraq by the end of next month, Pentagon officials and senior military commanders are warning that Iran will rush to fill a power vacuum created by the American exit unless Washington limits its pullback from the region. That broad assessment has taken on urgency in recent weeks against a backdrop of new intelligence that indicates the government in Tehran also is aggressively courting proxy forces in Yemen and, according to United Nations nuclear inspectors, is fast approaching the capability to build nuclear weapons.
October 21, 2011 |
Mitt Romney condemned President Obama's decision to recall all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year, essentially accusing the administration Friday of increasing the risk that the country will tumble into political chaos or fall under increased Iranian influence. “President Obama's astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women,” the Republican presidential candidate said in a statement.
October 18, 2011 |
Late in Karl Marlantes' memoir-philosophical treatise "What It Is Like to Go to War," a follow-up to his acclaimed Vietnam novel "Matterhorn," the author makes a plea for how America should treat its returning veterans from current and future wars. "There should be parades, but they should be solemn processionals, rifles upside down, symbol of the sword sheathed once again," he writes. "They should be conducted with all the dignity of a military funeral, mourning for those lost on both sides, giving thanks for those returned.
October 9, 2011 |
Eisenhower The White House Years Jim Newton Doubleday: 452 pp., $29.95 I liked Ike. He was my idol as he was to millions who were schoolboys when the hero of World War II was elected U.S. president. I remember writing an essay when I was a freshman in high school expressing regret that I was too young to vote for him in 1952. Of course, it did not hurt that I grew up in a Republican family immune to the charms and sophisticated rhetoric of Adlai Stevenson.
September 1, 2011 |
Sixty-seven U.S. troops died last month in the Afghanistan war, nearly half of them killed when the Taliban shot down a Chinook helicopter, making August the deadliest month for Americans in the nearly decadelong conflict. The attack on the helicopter, which took place Aug. 6 in Wardak province, west of the capital, was also the deadliest single event of the war for U.S. forces. The 30 service members who lost their lives in the attack — the majority of them Navy SEALs, including some from the unit responsible for killing Osama bin Laden — were flying in to help Army Rangers under fire.
August 16, 2011 |
A series of blasts and gunshots ripped across Iraq on Monday, killing at least 70 people and wounding more than 300 in a spasm of bloodshed that raised fresh concerns that the nation's security forces might be overwhelmed by insurgents when American soldiers withdraw later this year. The sprawling attacks, including suicide bombers, car explosions and militants firing Kalashnikov rifles, struck from north to south throughout the morning in what appeared to be a coordinated plan. Soldiers, police officers and market shoppers were targeted in Najaf, Kut, Baghdad, Baqubah and other areas.