[+/-] Iraq war news roundup
British troops will start a major withdrawal from Iraq next May under detailed plans on military disengagement to be published next month, The Observer can reveal.
The document being drawn up by the British government and the US will be presented to the Iraqi parliament in October and will spark fresh controversy over how long British troops will stay in the country. Tony Blair hopes that, despite continuing and widespread violence in Iraq, the move will show that there is progress following the conflict of 2003.
Japan willl probably follow soon thereafter:
Britain has already privately informed Japan - which also has troops in Iraq - of its plans to begin withdrawing from southern Iraq in May, a move that officials in Tokyo say would make it impossible for their own 550 soldiers to remain.
Meanwhile opposition to the war continues to grow in the US, as 100,000 anti-war demonstrators marched in protest in DC yesterday:
In the crowd: young activists, nuns whose anti-war activism dates to Vietnam, parents mourning their children in uniform lost in Iraq, and uncountable families motivated for the first time to protest....
While united against the war, political beliefs varied. Paul Rutherford, 60, of Vandalia, Mich., said he is a Republican who supported Bush in the last election and still does — except for the war.
"President Bush needs to admit he made a mistake in the war and bring the troops home, and let's move on," Rutherford said.
You might not have heard of the protests, though, since no major cable news channels sent any cameras to cover it. Here's some video and photo links instead. A counter-protest in support of the war drew a mere 400 persons, and a Bush appeal for donations to rebuild Iraq netted $600.