Iraqi-pilot trainer earns Bronze Star

Janet Taylor-Birkey Last summer the Air Force was looking for pilots to serve six months as aviation advisors to the new Iraqi air force as part of AEF (Air Expeditionary Force) 7 and 8. Lt. Col. Jack Maixner, who was at the time Assistant Director of Operations for the 522nd Fighter Squadron (currently director of […]

Situation in Iraq not encouraging

By Freedom Newspapers President Bush describes Iraq as a young but hopeful democracy with a “unity government,” a country in which “the sight of an old man pulling an election lever” terrifies al-Qaida members and other terrorists and sectarians. We can all hope these and other optimistic assessments may prove valid in the long run, […]

Iraqi PM glossed over potential Middle East problems

Freedom Newspapers “Trust that Iraq will be the graveyard for terrorism and terrorists for the good of all humanity,” said Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in an address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday that went reasonably well despite some grumbling in advance. “Iraq is the front line in this struggle, and history […]

Violence makes Iraq milestones tough

A small hopeful sign emerged in Iraq last week. While it came amid increasing violence in the capital city of Baghdad, it is still worth noting. The still-emerging Iraqi government on Thursday was given full control of Muthanna, in the southern portion of the country, one of Iraq’s 18 recognized provinces. Iraqi prime minister Nouri […]

Iraq situation too terrible to keep up

Freedom Newspapers Was it only two weeks ago that the United States killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, the Iraqi government finally got all its ministers in place, and things seemed to be looking up? It is hardly a surprise that al-Qaida or other insurgents would unleash a wave of violence […]

Al-Zarqawi’s dead, turbulent times ahead

Freedom Newspapers A side from the larger question we won’t attempt to resolve here — whether killing people, even bad people, is the best way to move toward a more stable, civil and orderly society — the death of a terrorist like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi at the very least means there is one less person […]

Leaving Iraq would embolden terroists

By Mona Charen: Syndicated columnist President Bush has made errors, as all humans do, but one thing he has not been guilty of is bad faith. The same cannot be said of his critics. One thinks of those liberals and Democrats who accused President Bush of “lying” about weapons of mass destruction and about ties […]

Airmen thanked for making a difference

General T. Michael Moseley T. Michael Moseley General, USAF Chief of Staff AF Chief of Staff remembers OIF anniversary, sacrifices March 19 marked the 3rd anniversary of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and the removal of an oppressive, dangerous regime. This was the culmination of a joint and coalition intense effort on land, sea, and air. I […]

Lack of strategy in commitment to war unwise

Freedom Newspapers President Bush’s speech at the Naval Academy on Wednesday was disappointing on several levels. First, of course, was that it was long on chest-thumping bravado and short on actual strategy, let alone details. Even more disappointing is that it suggests the president seems to see “staying the course” and being seen as unwavering […]

DA investigator escaped blast in Iraq

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By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer Keith Bessette was checking e-mails in the early morning hours of March 9 in his fourth-floor room at the Al-Sadir Hotel in downtown Baghdad, a short distance from the square where a statue of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was famously toppled in 2003. He started hearing volleys of […]

Soldier spent her time in Iraq cleaning up explosives

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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Angela Olguin looks at a picture of herself taken in Iraq, where she spent five months clearing road sides and property of explosive ordnances with the 27th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer A few days before Angela Olguin was slated to […]

Bombing victim leaves legacy of compassion

Freedom Newspapers Looking at photographs on various Web sites of the smiling 28-year-old California blonde with more than a hint of impish good humor in her eyes, it is difficult to believe such a person could be dead. But Marla Ruzicka, who had spent much of her time in Iraq since 2003 working on behalf […]

Iraqi elections not cure-all, but definitely a start

CNJ staff Maybe, just maybe, the transformationists were right. We use the term to describe those inside the Bush administration and out who predicted that the democratization of Iraq would spark a wider transformation in a part of the world, the Mideast, where tyranny still largely reigns in one form or another. And while the […]

‘Freedom from fear’ not in Bill of Rights

CNJ staff In his State of the Union address Wednesday night, President Bush finally started spending some of what he has called the “political capital” he earned with his re-election. It was good to see him begin to tackle difficult domestic issues, but we’re still troubled by his seemingly open-ended commitment to defeat tyranny everywhere […]

Poor planning leads to poor management

CNJ staff It is seldom really shocking to hear that a government agency has wasted large sums of money, or spent it in ways that would be viewed as sloppy or even criminal in the private sector. After a certain number of examples, one is almost beyond being scandalized. How does it happen? A government […]

Elections were critically important victory

Freedom Newspapers Only the most naive optimist would believe Sunday’s historic elections in Iraq mark the end of bloodshed and hardship in that war-torn land. But only the most stone-hearted pessimist would disdain the spectacle of millions of Iraqis lining up to vote and dancing in the streets as insignificant. Iraq indeed passed a crucial […]

Trial proof U.S. holds abusers accountable

Freedom Newspapers Let’s get one issue out of the way at the outset. The conviction and sentencing of Army Spc. Charles Graner to 10 years in prison as punishment for his part in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison stands on its own. The fact that Saddam Hussein’s minions did much worse […]

United Nations is an arrogant bureaucracy

Freedom Newspapers T he United Nations is facing what could be a serious crisis over the Oil-for-Food program, which was intended to ameliorate the suffering of ordinary Iraqis due to U.N. sanctions against Saddam Hussein’s regime in the 1990s but was apparently rife with bribery, corruption and kickbacks. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations charged […]

Will success at Fallujah solve the problem?

Freedom Newspapers The long-awaited U.S.-Iraqi military assault on what is generally called the “rebel-held” city of Fallujah has begun. Despite some early problems — facing more booby traps with explosives than expected — there is little reason not to expect the U.S. military to be able to defeat most of the overt insurgent activity and […]

Attacking Najaf may be necessary but not beneficial

Freedom Editorial Iraqi and American forces have begun a major offensive in the city of Najaf against militants in the Mahdi Army militia loyal to the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. At a military level, even though urban warfare can be bloody and dangerous for those seeking to oust fighters familiar with the territory, U.S. […]