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OPINION
July 21, 2011
Nearly four years ago, Congress created a special program that set aside 5,000 visas annually for five years to help Iraqis who risked their lives working alongside U.S. troops and diplomats to resettle in this country. These were people who worked as translators, as drivers or in other jobs helping Americans in the war, and many of them faced anger and even threats of violence as a result. But though the program was greeted with fanfare and relief when it was passed, federal officials now acknowledge that the Special Immigrant Visa program is languishing.
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NATIONAL
April 23, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
A U.S. soldier faces a preliminary hearing on Wednesday on charges he unlawfully killed two unarmed teenagers in an Iraqi battle zone. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera has been charged with several counts, including premeditated murder, and faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted of the killings. The preliminary hearing, known in military parlance as an Article 32 proceeding, is being held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. The Army has been reluctant to comment on the case, which was pushed into the limelight in 2012 by an investigative report by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in which soldiers who served with Barbera said they were troubled that no legal action had been taken after the shootings.
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WORLD
January 2, 2010 | By Raheem Salman and Ned Parker
Cars breezed by the trimmed green hedges and flowers of Baghdad's Nisoor Square on Friday, while pedestrians strolled past billboards of smiling men and women promoting national elections. Little trace was left of the September 2007 day when Blackwater security guards opened fire on the crowded intersection, killing 17 civilians. On Thursday, a judge in a U.S. federal court had thrown out the criminal prosecution of five Blackwater guards involved in the shootings. The consequences of that decision were still being felt Friday by survivors of the attack, politicians and ordinary Iraqis, who expressed feelings of helplessness at the hands of the United States.
NATIONAL
February 18, 2014 | By David Zucchino
This post has been updated. See below for details. It was one of the most disturbing war crimes to emerge from the brutal conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan: U.S. Army Pfc. Steven Dale Green raped and killed a 14-year-old Iraqi girl in 2006 after shooting and killing her parents and younger sister. Then he and his combat buddies from a nearby U.S. Army checkpoint set the girl's corpse on fire. Green, 28, serving five life sentences, apparently has committed suicide eight years after the crimes.
OPINION
October 11, 2007
Re "Blasts, other violence kill at least 37 Iraqis," Oct. 9 Imagine if we were to trade places with Iraqis. We have little water, electricity or healthcare. More than 2 million people have fled the country, and thousands have been killed. Our cities are patrolled by people who speak a different language and shoot before they ask any questions. Does this sound like a "war on terror" or simply "terror"? Syed Hussaini Anaheim Hills
NEWS
December 16, 2011 | By James Oliphant
As the United States winds down its military role in Iraq, on Friday it turned over its last detainee in the country to Iraqi authorities, but not without serious concerns. The Obama administration had been trying to convince the Iraqi government for months to allow the extradition of Ali Mussa Daqduq, a suspected Hezbollah operative, to the U.S. for trial. Daqduq is accused of orchestrating a 2007 kidnapping that resulted in the killing of five U.S. military personnel. But ultimately, Baghdad would not cooperate.
WORLD
April 10, 2009 | Associated Press
Tens of thousands of supporters of an anti-U.S. cleric burned an effigy of former President George W. Bush on Thursday and demanded that U.S. troops leave Iraq, in a rally marking the sixth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad to U.S. forces. Cleric Muqtada Sadr, whose Shiite Muslim militia fought U.S. troops intermittently until a cease-fire was declared last May, had called on Iraqis to turn out for the protest at Firdos Square, where a statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled on April 9, 2003.
WORLD
March 7, 2010 | Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Bombs and mortars pounded Baghdad Sunday morning, killing at least 27 people and wounding more than 40, as Iraqis dodged explosions to cast their votes. The first blasts echoed across the capital before 7 a.m. and continued until close to noon, casting a pall on the day Iraqis voted for their second four-year government since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In western Anbar provinces, explosions jolted the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, but no casualties were reported. The Islamic State of Iraq, a radical umbrella group that includes Al Qaeda, had declared a curfew for election day and threatened death to all those who headed to the polls.
NATIONAL
January 8, 2010 | By David Zucchino
The security firm formerly known as Blackwater has reached a settlement in seven civil lawsuits filed against it by families of Iraqis killed during what the suits called "senseless slaughter" by company guards. In an unrelated shooting involving Blackwater guards in Afghanistan in May, two former employees of the North Carolina-based security contractor were charged Thursday with killing two Afghan civilians after a traffic incident. The legal developments came a week after a federal judge dismissed manslaughter charges against five Blackwater guards charged with killing at least 14 civilians in Baghdad's Nisoor Square in September 2007.
WORLD
January 23, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Eleven Iraqis carrying false passports and heading to California were arrested at Monterrey's airport, Mexican immigration officials said. The nine men, a woman and a 2-year-old girl had traveled from Madrid. None of the Iraqis appear on terrorist watch lists, and they told authorities they were Chaldean Christians trying to get to California, where they would request asylum, an official said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2014 | By Tony Perry
The Marine Corps has decided to retry a sergeant from Camp Pendleton who spent six years behind bars for his alleged role in killing an unarmed Iraqi civilian but whose case was overturned on appeal. Arraignment is set for Wednesday at Camp Pendleton for Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins, who has been free since a military court of appeals overturned his conviction on grounds he was improperly denied an attorney when investigators began to question him. Hutchins and his attorney had hoped the Marine Corps would drop the case and allow him to leave the service and return to civilian life.
WORLD
January 27, 2014 | By David S. Cloud
WASHINGTON - Iraq's embattled government will be allowed to buy and lease Apache attack helicopters to help fight a renewed insurgency after a U.S. lawmaker lifted his long-running objections to the deal, the Pentagon said Monday. The agreement allows Iraq to lease as many as six Apaches this year and purchase another two dozen for delivery over the next three years, officials said. Iraq's military hopes to use the aircraft against militants from the Al Qaeda-linked group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, who have overrun parts of Iraq's Anbar province, including the capital, Ramadi, and the city of Fallouja.
WORLD
January 6, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki urged the residents of Fallouja to expel Al Qaeda-aligned militants who seized the city last week or deal with an imminent attack by government forces to regain the Sunni Muslim stronghold, news agencies in Baghdad reported Monday. Although the statement issued by Maliki on his Shiite-led government's website appealed for troops to avoid striking civilian areas, it warned of the risks of a military onslaught and armed clash with the Sunni warriors of the Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.
WORLD
January 5, 2014 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State John F. Kerry pledged Sunday to "do everything that is possible" to help Iraqi government forces in an escalating battle against Al Qaeda-linked insurgents in the western province of Anbar, but he said the Obama administration will not send American troops back to Iraq. After heavy fighting, Sunni Muslim militants fighting under the banner of Al Qaeda reportedly have in effect taken control of Fallouja and secured large parts of Ramadi, the province's most important cities.
NATIONAL
November 16, 2013 | By Soumya Karlamangla
A U.S. soldier has been charged with two counts of premeditated murder in the killing of two Iraqi civilians. The charges against Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera, 31, stem from an alleged shooting of two civilians near the village of As Sadah in Diyala Province in March 2007. Barbera was charged Wednesday at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, U.S. Army Public Affairs Officer Major Johnpaul Arnold told the Los Angeles Times. The incident in which Barbera is accused was first made public by  an investigation by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in Pennsylvania last December: "AS SADAH, Iraq - Shortly before noon on March 6, 2007, Small Kill Team leader Michael Barbera rose from his squad's position in high grass in a palm grove here and shot two teenage cattle herders.
OPINION
October 24, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
In 2007, Congress created the Special Immigrant Visa program to help Iraqis and Afghans who had risked their lives to work for the American government during the wars in their countries. Thousands of former interpreters, drivers and other contractors applied, many of them worried about reprisals from fellow citizens and confident that the United States would help them begin a new life in America. More than five years after the program began, however, less than half of the visas set aside for the program - 5,000 annually for the last five years, plus more for family members - have been issued.
NATIONAL
July 13, 2012 | By David Zucchino
While under death threats from insurgents in Baghdad last year, Tariq Abu Khumra mailed a prized possession to his girlfriend in California: a huge American flag signed by 50 American military officers whom Khumra had served as an interpreter for theU.S. military. Kohima was afraid the flag would get him killed if the wrong people found it at his home in Baghdad. Insurgents had already marked him for assassination, even though he had lost his interpreter job when U.S. militarybases in Iraq shut down last fall.
WORLD
October 10, 2009 | Saif Hameed and Liz Sly
Many Iraqis interpreted the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama on Friday as recognition of his role in winding down the Iraq war, never mind that the timetable for troop withdrawal was negotiated during the Bush administration. "He deserves even more," said Qassim Fartoosi, 35, a store owner in the capital's Shiite Muslim neighborhood of Sadr City. "Who was expecting peace from America? All we heard from American policies were threats and wars." Even though it was former President Bush who signed off on the security pact setting the end of 2011 as a deadline for the withdrawal of all U.S. forces, Obama's pledges to end the war have certainly helped restore a measure of trust in America on the part of Iraqis who otherwise were disinclined to believe American troops really would go home.
WORLD
October 15, 2013 | By Monte Morin
New research on the human cost of the war in Iraq estimates that roughly half a million men, women and children died between 2003 and 2011 as a direct result of violence or the associated collapse of civil infrastructure. In a study published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine, researchers concluded that at least 461,000 "excess" Iraqi deaths occurred in the troubled nation after the U.S.-led invasion that resulted in the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein. Those were defined as fatalities that would not have occurred in the absence of an invasion and occupation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 27, 2013 | By Tony Perry
An Iraqi immigrant was ordered Friday to stand trial on a charge of bludgeoning his wife to death in their El Cajon home  -- a crime that initially gained notoriety as a potential hate crime. Police found a note next to the body of 32-year-old Shaima Alawadi that read, "This is my country go back to yours terrorist. " The note led to speculation, particularly in the media, that the bloody crime was the result of anti-Iraqi sentiment in the San Diego suburb that has one of the largest Iraqi immigrant communities in the nation.
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