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Daily Column
US Papers Wed: War Bill Passes House
Mental Health Counselor Killed in Camp Victory Shooting Laid to Rest
By DANIEL W. SMITH 06/17/2009 02:00 AM ET
Nothing much about Iraq today, and nothing at all filed out of Iraq. The House’s passing of the $106 billion war-funding bill is briefly covered, as is the burial in Arlington National Cemetery of a counselor in the Camp Victory clinic shooting last month.

Stateside
Perry Bacon Jr. of the Washington Post covers the passage in the House of a bill which will fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through September. It has been a divisive issue among Democrats, but in the end, Speaker Pelosi managed to rally enough of them to pass it, “despite their misgivings about his strategy in Afghanistan”. A group of 51 Democrats also initially opposed the bill, who “have long pressed for complete withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq and reduced presence in Afghanistan.”
One of those voting yes was Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who had earlier said that he opposed the war funding. "We are in the process of wrapping up the wars. The president needed our support. But the substance still sucks," Weiner said. All but five Republicans opposed the bill after the White House included language to fund a line of credit for the International Monetary Fund. The GOP said that amounted to a "global bailout."
The bill still faces Senate approval, where a fight is expected over another provision provides $1 billion for vouchers for people who trade in old cars to buy more fuel-efficient ones (called “Cash for clunkers"). Also in the Washington Post Mark Berman writes of Monday's burial in Arlington National Cemetery of Navy Cmdr. Charles K. Springle, 52, who had served for more than two decades before volunteering to go to Iraq to help counsel service members. He was killed May 11 when a U.S. soldier opened fire inside a combat stress clinic at Camp Victory in Baghdad. It is one of several similar articles published in the Post since the ban on media coverage of funerals for soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan was lifted.

"He knew that his work was very important, and he also knew that it was dangerous . . . in the theater," said a colleague. "It was in the combat zone, and that's where he wanted to be. He volunteered to go there. He felt that that's where he could be most effective."
At Arlington yesterday, the U.S. Navy Band, a sea of crisp white dress uniforms, led more than 100 mourners down Marshall Drive to York Drive. The slow, steady drumbeat of the band accompanied them, the only noise audible besides the clop-clopping of the horses pulling the caisson.

Family and friends gathered in the shade of the willow oaks lining York Drive before emerging into Section 60, following the wooden box containing Springle's cremated remains. Members of the motorcycle-riding Patriot Guard Riders stood watch behind them.
Opinion
Iraq is briefly mentioned in Thomas L. Friedman’s column today, as an example of how the mosque isn’t the only influential gathering place in majority Muslim countries in the Middle-East, an article driven by what is happening in post-election Iran. He likens sites like Twitter a “virtual mosque,” as opposition supporters mobilize online and in the streets.

Christian Science Monitor, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, no original Iraq coverage.

Comments on the US Papers roundup are welcome at ds@iraqslogger.com.


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