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Friday, February 23, 2007


Repealing War Authorization

Thunder Without Lightning * For Romano Prodi, A Return to Life

Democrats in the Senate are finally showing some spine, moving in the right direction to rein in the warrior president. Too early to predict the outcome of their plan. It is voice of the people that will be the key element. Every day soldiers are dying in Iraq. There has to be an outcry, a howl about the senseless waste. Otherwise the Democratic thunder will be ineffective.

Washington Post

Senate Democratic leaders intend to unveil a plan next week to repeal the 2002 resolution authorizing the war in Iraq in favor of narrower authority that restricts the military's role and begins withdrawals of combat troops.

House Democrats have pulled back from efforts to link additional funding for the war to strict troop-readiness standards after the proposal came under withering fire from Republicans and from their party's own moderates. That strategy was championed by Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) and endorsed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

For Romano Prodi, A Return to Life

On Wednesday, Italy's Romano Prodi resigned as prime minister after losing a vote on foreign policy. He was written off and there was rejoicing among the supporters of his predecessor, Silvio Berlusconi. The reactionary Berlusconi -- rich and reported to be corrupt -- was ready to emerge again. However, negotiations currently underway indicate that Romano Prodi might survive. But with only a 2-vote majority over Berlusconi's Center-Right Coalition, Prodi's Center-Left Coalition would have a tenuous existence.

The issue of troop deployments split Mr Prodi's coalition (BBC)

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano is holding talks with key politicians on forming a new government, in an effort to resolve a deep political crisis.

PM Romano Prodi is hoping to stay in office after centre-left coalition partners agreed to back him.

The crisis began on Wednesday, when Mr Prodi resigned after losing a Senate vote on foreign policy.

Some coalition partners had opposed troop deployments in Afghanistan and plans to expand a US airbase in Italy.

The deal between Mr Prodi and other party leaders came late on Thursday.

"We have all agreed to the programme so that he can continue to govern," his spokesman, Silvio Sircana, said.

The 12-point programme gives the prime minister the final say in any future disputes. It is also reportedly includes support for Italy's military presence in Afghanistan.


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