UKRAINE will begin withdrawing troops from Iraq regardless of the outcome of its presidential election at the end of next week.
It joins Spain, the Philippines and six other countries as the latest state to distance itself from the occupation and George Bush’s so called “coalition”.
The Ukrainian parliament is to debate three draft laws on the pullout. One calls for the immediate recall of all 1,600 Ukrainian servicemen from Iraq.
The other two focus on steady reduction of troops. Nine Ukrainian servicemen have already been killed by the Iraqi resistance.
...and Poland is doing the same
POLAND is also to start withdrawing its troops—the fourth-largest contingent in Iraq—from early next year.
The move follows mounting public pressure in Poland and complaints by government officials that they are getting sold short on an arms deal with the US.
The Bush administration signed the multi-billion dollar arms deal with Poland as a bribe for the government’s support for the war.
The deal, it now emerges, promised to shovel at least $6 billion in US investments into the country. Poland also got to buy 48 F-16 fighter planes built by Lockheed Martin.
So far 17 of the 2,500 Polish troops stationed in Iraq have been killed.
The profiteers of torture
INSTEAD OF a court martial, one general tied to the torture and abuses at Abu Ghraib prison will probably receive a promotion.
Another has been recommended for a new command position.
Investigators have cited General Ricardo Sanchez for creating an environment that contributed to the torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib. He’s now tipped for promotion.
Meanwhile, General Barbara Fast, former chief military intelligence officer in Iraq, looks set to command the US army’s intelligence school in Arizona.
And two US companies with direct ties to the torture scandal have been rewarded with lucrative contracts.
CACI International, which provides interrogators for the US army and had personnel at Abu Ghraib, has been given further contracts worth $266 million. The other firm implicated in torturing Iraqi prisoners, Titan Corporation, has won a “bridging contract” worth up to $400 million from the Pentagon.