Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday. This briefing is brought to you by Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended and Andrew Olmsted of Andrew Olmsted dot com.
- The insurgency in Iraq is financially self-sufficient now, thanks to criminal activities throughout Iraq that ensure that, even should Iraq manage to gain the support of all its neighbors in calming the situation, the insurgency will be able to continue operations.
- Prime Minister al Maliki says the violence in Iraq is a byproduct of the political uncertainty and that the politicians of Iraq can end the fighting if they work together.
Other Topics Today Include: Anbar tribe counts coup; British look to turn over Basra; Iraq-Singapore trade agreement plans; Iraq seeks to help the poor; Polish loans; EU debt writeoff; Sheik asks Arab nations to abandon Iraqi government; Carnival of the Liberated; Iraq summit planned; Talabani to Iran; Syria and Iran may help Iraq; Iraq in civil war; 3BCT comes home.
REPORTS FROM THE FIELD
- A tribe in the Anbar province claims to have killed more than 50 al Qaeda fighters in a battle on Saturday. U.S. forces could not confirm the claim.
- British forces may hand over security responsibilities in Basra to Iraqi forces by the spring.
RECONSTRUCTION & THE ECONOMY
- The Minister of Trade, Dr. Abd-ul-Flalah Hassan Assudani, began negotiations with Singapore to study the proposed convention for the development of economic relations between the two countries.
- Iraqi government is currently engaged in actions to correct a sharp rise of the prices of many services and goods which burden those with limited income.
- Iraq obtained a loan of 250 MM euros from Poland to build housing units, then pay it back after five years from the date of completing their implementation.
- In recent high level discussions there was agreement to write off 80 percent of the debts due for payment by Iraq to the EU.
- Sheik Harith al-Dhari, head of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq, called on Arab governments to disavow their support for the Iraqi government, warning that Iraq would face disaster if they did not do so.
- This week's Carnival of the Liberated is up.
THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE
- The foreign ministers for all nations bordering Iraq will meet on December 5 to discuss the situation there in hopes of calming the violence and reducing the threat to their own nations.
- President Jalal Talabani will soon visit Tehran to meet his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
- Syria may be willing to help the U.S. calm Iraq, but their assistance will come with a price tag. This should come as no surprise to any observers of international politics, of course, but the question remains, will the Bush administration be willing to pay Syria's price. Iran is also willing to work with the U.S. on Iraq, but in their case they want the U.S. to cease its 'bullying and invading' tactics and improve relations with Iran.
- Incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer called for bipartisanship in determining the road ahead in Iraq.
- In what will come as a shock to, well, pretty much no one, a group of experts has proclaimed that the situation in Iraq is a civil war despite the denials of the Bush administration.
- The 3d Brigade Combat Team made it home for Thanksgiving.
- Do you have your GI Bracelet? Many military families fall into financial hardship when the breadwinner is injured or killed. The entire purchase price of the GI Bracelet is donated to support our troops and their families! Please join us to give back to these brave people in their time of need.
- The troops are still there. So is the Winds of Change.NET consolidated directory of ways you can support the troops: American, Australian, British, Canadian & Polish. Anyone out there with more information, contact us!
- Don't forget Chief Wiggles' Toys for Iraq drive!
- Many American troops have taken it upon themselves to reconstruct schools and gather learning tools for the children of Iraq. Their efforts have been met with immense gratitude from the local Iraqis and their children. You can help too! Visit Operation Iraqi Children and get involved.
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