Category: xthkmroz

20
Sep
2020

Keane: Mourinho was a disgrace

first_img The Scot suggested at one point that the hardest part of the midfield enforcer was his tongue, a barb which produced a cutting response. A smiling Keane said: “Well, what do you think? I kick pretty hard. “I think it was a cheap dig. He was never critical when we were winning trophies and he was getting his new contracts, getting this after him, Sir this. “He was not pulling me or other players, saying, ‘Listen, you need to relax a bit’. That was the game and I appreciate the game. The game finished, but it was all the carry on afterwards.” While Keane moved on to Celtic to finish his playing days before himself heading into management, Ferguson rebuilt once again at Old Trafford before retiring in a blaze of glory, leaving the club in a period of transition which created issues for successor David Moyes that are currently being addressed by Louis van Gaal. However, Keane does not blame his former manager for what he left behind. He said: “I wouldn’t be critical of Ferguson, but sometimes when you’re leaving, it gives the manager a chance to make their own mark. He (Moyes) brought in one or two players, didn’t get the players clearly that he was after in the summer. “But I don’t think that’s the manager, it’s the chief executive (Ed Woodward) who can probably look at himself. I’m sure if you ask the chief exec, he will say, ‘Yeah, we missed out on a few deals’. There were two or three lined up that fell through, and they ended up getting one or two on transfer deadline day, (Juan) Mata in January. “But maybe the damage was done then. I was going to Old Trafford and there was a lot of negativity around. They got no momentum and it was as if David Moyes was snookered from the first few weeks. “That negativity can get into the dressing room, and that’s why I felt it was a weak dressing room. They should have dealt with that and the players should have done better. “I saw a number of games and whatever has gone on – politics, managers leaving, lack of players coming in – they should have done better and they did let him down, without a shadow of a doubt.” In the book, Keane talks candidly about his issues with alcohol and anger, and the mistakes he has made during his career to date, and it has proved a cathartic exercise. However, asked if it has been hard work being Roy Keane at times, and if he now likes himself more, he replied with a smile: “That’s a bit heavy. I’m contented and comfortable with who I am, yeah.” Roy Keane has warned Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho he would be “knocked out” if he tried to shake hands before the final whistle in Sunday league football. Press Association “I’ve seen him doing it to other managers, it is a disgrace. The game is still going on. You wouldn’t do that on a Sunday morning, you would get knocked out.” But while Mourinho found himself in the firing line, it was Keane’s former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson upon whom the spotlight fell as Keane discussed the falling-out between the pair as his time at Old Trafford drew to a close in 2005. The relationship between the two men deteriorated beyond the point of no return with the then United captain’s infamous MUTV interview and his reference to Ferguson’s involvement with the syndicate which owned racehorse Rock of Gibraltar helping to bring matters to a head. Keane, who insisted he only ever had ” five, six” one-to-one talks with the Scot during his 12 and a half years at United, was nevertheless not afraid to have his say, but admitted other managers were intimidated by Ferguson. He said: “I think a lot of managers would probably be intimidated by him, probably bow to him. I think a lot of managers are heavily influenced by him, of course. “I think (Everton boss Roberto) Martinez reckons he was misquoted a few years ago (saying) that Ferguson had his disciples. He obviously does. “When a manager takes players away from being on loan – I think it was Preston when Ferguson was manager – when his son (Darren) got the sack, and, all of a sudden, the players are coming away on loan.” Ferguson used his own autobiography, published last year, to settle his own scores with Keane and Beckham among those to come in for criticism, a move described as “ridiculous” by the Irishman. Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert refused to take Portuguese’s hand as he prepared to head down the tunnel before the end of his side’s 3-0 defeat by the Blues at Stamford Bridge on September 27, and his assistant Keane’s reaction was even more withering. Asked about the incident as he launched his new autobiography, The Second Half, in Dublin on Thursday afternoon, Keane said: “It’s disgraceful. last_img read more

18
Sep
2020

The Latest: FIFA wants to use 5 substitutes during backlog

first_imgThe plan is then to race in “Eurasia, Asia and the Americas, finishing the season in the Gulf in December with Bahrain before the traditional finale in Abu Dhabi.”Carey expects the early races to be without fans but hopes they “will be part of our events as we move further into the schedule.”___The French Grand Prix has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.The decision further pushes back the start of the Formula One season. The Latest: FIFA wants to use 5 substitutes during backlog Associated Press FIFA says the temporary plan could help prevent more injuries due to “potential player overload” as soccer competitions catch up with a backlog.The proposal gives competition organizers the option of letting teams use five substitutes in 90 minutes and a sixth in knockout games that go to extra time.Teams would still be limited to three stoppages of play to make the changes.FIFA says the rule could be used by all competitions finishing this year and next and all national team games through 2021.FIFA’s proposal must be formally approved by rule-making panel IFAB. ___British Grand Prix organizers say they are talking to the government about the viability of holding the Formula One race on July 19 with no fans amid the coronavirus pandemic.The season was due to begin in March but no races have been possible so far.Silverstone circuit managing director Stuart Pringle wrote an email to ticket buyers saying he is “extremely disappointed to tell you that we are unable to stage this year’s British Grand Prix in front of the fans.”Pringle says organizers left the decision for as long as possible “but it is abundantly clear given the current conditions … that a Grand Prix under normal conditions is just not going to be possible.“ ___Formula One chairman Chase Carey says he is “increasingly confident” the season can start in July despite the first 10 races being canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.The French Grand Prix decided to call off its race on June 28 rather than postponing it. That means the earliest start date is now the Austrian GP on July 5.Carey says “we are now increasingly confident with the progress of our plans to begin our season this summer” and that 15-18 races can take place.F1 plans to start racing in Europe “through July, August and beginning of September, with the first race taking place in Austria.”center_img April 27, 2020 The race was scheduled for June 28 on the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet in southern France. The French government has banned public gatherings until mid-July and race organizers decided not to try to postpone the race or try holding it without fans.French GP managing director Eric Boullier says their plans are “already turning towards the summer of 2021 in order to offer our spectators an even more original event.”F1 chairman Chase Carey says “while it is disappointing for our fans and the F1 community that the French Grand Prix will not take place we fully support the decision.”The first 10 races this season have either been rescheduled or canceled.The Austrian Grand Prix on July 5 is now the earliest potential date to start the season. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___FIFA wants to let soccer teams use five substitutes to cope with expected schedule congestion caused by the coronavirus pandemic. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

18
Sep
2020

Rishi Persaud cops UCCA Cricketer-of-the-Year at Awards ceremony

first_imgOPENING batsman Rishi Persaud, who had a very prolific 2018 cricket season in the Upper Corentyne area, was named Cricketer-of-the-Year when the Upper Corentyne Cricket Association (UCCA) hosted its second Annual Awards Ceremony at the Port Mourant ground.The Awards Ceremony for the second successive year was totally sponsored by the 10 cricket teams of the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club, MS.Persaud also carried home the Upper Corentyne Second Division and First Division Player-of-the-Year Awards. He carried home trophies, medals and a bicycle.Sponsors Ramesh Sunich, Devendra Ramgoolan and Dennis D’Andrade were also specially honoured along with No.72 Cut and Load Club for their cooperation during the year.UCCA vice-president Sydney Jackman provided a comprehensive report for 2018 to the capacity audience that included Regional Chairman David Armogan, Vice-Chairman Dennis Deroop, former BCB president Malcolm Peters and the Mayors of Rose Hall Town and New Amsterdam.Jackman, a former Guyana wicketkeeper-batsman stated that players in the Sub-Association benefited from cricket organised by the UCCA at the Under-19, Inter-Primary School, Inter-Secondary School, and Second Division levels while parent body, Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) organised numerous tournaments at different levels.He described BCB president Hilbert Foster as a passionate leader, who has worked beyond the call of duty to change the fortunes of Upper Corentyne cricket.Foster, who has visited the Upper Corentyne area 42 times since his elections 17 months ago, praised the UCCA as a pro-active body.Cricket in the Upper Corentyne area is now on the move with the BCB organising tournaments like the Ramnaresh Sarwan 40-Overs, RHTY&SC/GNNL 20/20, and the Magic Moments 20/20 primarily for clubs in the area.Last Saturday, the Board hosted a Coaching Clinic for 36 youths at the Scottsburg ground while clubs continue to benefit from donations from the Board and RHTY&SC. The dynamic president urged the awardees and UCCA to uphold their high standards while striving for excellence.Other awardees are:Under-15 Player-of-the-Year – Tomesh HemrajUnder-17 Player-of-the-Year – Aktar NaharUnder-19 Player-of-the-Year – Stephan NorahSecondary School-of-the-Year – Skeldon Line PathPrimary School-of-the-Year – Massiah PrimaryMost Improved Club – No.72 Cut and LoadJunior Team-of-the-Year – No.73 Young WarriorsClub-of-the-Year – No.72 All Starslast_img read more

09
Sep
2020

Peak Milk Offers to Refurbish Paralympians Gymnasium at Sportscity

first_imgHead Coach of the Nigerian Paralympics Powerlifting team, Feyisetan Areh, described the gesture by Peak Milk as the best thing to happen to sports development in the country.“The coming of Peak milk to help us refurbish and equip the gymnasium will further enhance the training process of the lifters and enable better performance from our team. This is very inspiring coming after several years we have been abandoned to our fate with obsolete and non-fuctional gym equipment,” Areh stressed.The coach further thanked the brand specially for the monthly supply of its product to the powerlifters. “It is this Peak Milk gesture that has been nourishing our powerlifters making them to excel in several global competitions,” stressed Areh.In his remarks, the Managing Director of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, Mr. Ben Langat, stated that the decision to renovate the gym was in line with the brand’s promise to enable and empower its teeming consumers to attain their peak regardless of their limitations or challenges.Langat noted that the achievements of the paralympians is an aunthentication to the fact that individuals and indeed a country can attain greatness regardless of the limitations and difficulties that they may be faced with.“For Peak Milk as a brand, supporting the paralympians is our way of inspiring greatness in Nigerians by using their story to reach out to millions of NShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Nigerian Paralympians who have braved the odds winning countless gold medals from global championships for Team Nigeria have been promised a brand new gymnasium to further boost their morale to do more.Peak Milk, the country’s top milk brand produced by FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, has promised to refurbish the paralympians gymnasium at the National Stadium in Lagos and equip it with modern training and fitness equipment within eight week.Speaking at the handing over of the gymnasium to the brand on Tuesday, Director and Head of the Lagos Liaising Office of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sport, Dr Segun Akinlotan, praised Peak Milk for coming to the aid of the ministry.last_img read more

08
Sep
2020

Maldonado’s 3-run shot leads Astros over Giants 5-1

first_img First Published: 13th August, 2020 11:00 IST SUBSCRIBE TO US COMMENT Written By WATCH US LIVE LIVE TVcenter_img Associated Press Television News Last Updated: 13th August, 2020 11:00 IST Maldonado’s 3-run Shot Leads Astros Over Giants 5-1  Martín Maldonado hit a three-run home run to back a strong start by Zack Greinke and help the Houston Astros to a 5-1 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.  Martín Maldonado hit a three-run home run to back a strong start by Zack Greinke and help the Houston Astros to a 5-1 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.The game was tied with no outs in the sixth when Carlos Correa, Kyle Tucker and Abraham Toro hit consecutive singles. Houston took a 2-1 lead when Correa scored on a wild pitch by Caleb Baragar (2-1).Maldonado then knocked his two-strike homer into the seats in left field to make it 5-1.Greinke (1-0) allowed one run and scattered seven hits over a season-high 6 1/3 innings for his first win. He struck out seven and walked one.A night after squandering a four-run lead in a 7-6 loss in 10 innings, Houston’s bullpen came through on Wednesday. Brooks Raley struck out two in 1 2/3 scoreless innings after taking over for Greinke, and Blake Taylor pitched a perfect ninth to secure the victory.San Francisco starter Trevor Cahill, who was selected to the Major League roster before the game, walked four in 1 2/3 innings. Cahill hadn’t played this season while dealing with a fingernail injury. He was only expected to throw about 50 pitches and was pulled after 55.Mike Yastrzemski tripled on the second pitch of the game and the Giants took a 1-0 lead when he scored on a single by Alex Dickerson.Houston had just one hit when Myles Straw singled with no outs in the fifth. But he was quickly erased when he was caught trying to steal second base.Dereck Rodríguez then walked George Springer and Josh Reddick before an RBI single by Alex Bregman on a liner to center field tied it at 1-1.TRAINER’S ROOMGiants: INF Donovan Solano missed his second straight game because of abodominal soreness. Manager Gabe Kapler hopes Solano can return for San Francisco’s next game on Friday. Solano is batting .458 with a home run and 15 RBIs. … OF Austin Slater was scratched from the lineup on Wednesday, but no reason was given for taking him out.Astros: DH Yordan Alvarez, last season’s AL Rookie of the Year, could make his season debut soon. Alvarez, who has been on the injured list all season for an undisclosed reason, has been working out at the team’s alternate training site in Corpus Christi, Texas, and manager Dusty Baker said he could join the team in the next few days.UP NEXTGiants: San Francisco is off on Thursday before Johnny Cueto (1-0, 5.40) is scheduled to start on Friday night in the first of three games against Oakland.Astros: Houston also has a day off Thursday before opening a three-game series against Seattle. The Astros haven’t announced their rotation for that series. FOLLOW USlast_img read more

28
Aug
2020

Vodafone Business Solutions to stage Polo game to mark Nigeria’s 53 Independence Day

first_imgVodafone Business Solutions is set to stage a Vodafone Nigerian Independence Day Cup on Saturday, October 12, at the Accra Polo court to mark Nigeria’s 53rd Independence Day which fell on October 1.The event will feature people from Ghana’s elite, members of the Nigerian community in Ghana, nationals of other countries as well as key officials from Vodafone Ghana.A statement from Vodafone said, “the event is Vodafone Business Solution’s commitment to help promote the game of Polo and make it a more familiar sport in the country.””Through the effective and continued partnership with the Polo Club, Vodafone Business Solutions has built a strong team that is able to compete and beat international teams,” the statement added.Organizers expressed optimism that the event will be an exciting game of the finest polo talents as two teams compete for this year’s Vodafone Independence Polo Tournament trophy.The Vodafone Business Solutions (VBS), over a period of three years, has collaborated with the Accra Polo Club  in several Polo tournaments including the Vodafone Accra Open Championship which was held a couple of months ago. The Vodafone Nigerian Independence Cup, is held once every year to commemorate Nigeria’s Independence Day.last_img read more

26
Aug
2020

For pitcher Jim Johnson, Dodgers are fifth team in 20-month span

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “Once you start getting traded to other clubs, you kind of become that guy,” Dodgers bullpen coach Chuck Crim said. “Hopefully he does well and we have him here for a little bit. It’s a tough business.”For now, Johnson said his 6-year-old daughter, Abby, will remain in school back east. He also has a 3-year-old son, Levi.“My daughter took it the worst out of everybody in the family,” Johnson said. “My son didn’t care. He’s like, ‘I’ve got a new uniform.’ My daughter realized she wasn’t going to be able to see some of her friends she made on the team. … She’ll make new friends when she gets a chance to meet them. “It’s something people don’t really see – the packing up, moving, flying across country. All that craziness when we get here to the ballpark is a stress reliever.”Rehabs continueDodgers pitchers Carlos Frias (back) and Chris Hatcher (oblique), both on the 15-day disabled list, will continue their rehab assignments with Triple-A Oklahoma City in the coming week. Frias threw a bullpen session Sunday morning at Dodger Stadium and will start Wednesday for Oklahoma City. Hatcher is leaving today for Triple-A “and will be there for a while now,” manager Don Mattingly said. Frias was placed on the 15-day disabled list July 1 with tightness in the lower right side of his back. Hatcher is on the 60-day disabled list because of a left oblique strain and cannot be activated before August 15. They will not be joined by catcher A.J. Ellis, who is eligible to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday. Ellis had pain in his right knee when he was placed on the 15-day DL on July 20, but that issue is long past. Austin Barnes is expected to be optioned to Oklahoma City when Ellis is activated Tuesday, when the Dodgers begin a road trip to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.Sticking by PedersonDodgers manager Don Mattingly gave Joc Pederson two games off to clear his head Friday and Saturday. The rookie center fielder got the start Sunday trying to shake an 0-for-13 slump over his previous three games, with seven strikeouts in that span.Pederson finished 0 for 4 with three strikeouts batting eighth in the lineup.Still, Mattingly said, he’ll let Pederson work through it on the field rather than giving him more days off.“He made a great play in center field,” Mattingly said. “He’s hitting eighth and he’s fine. We’re going to keep working. We know Joc can play. He’s going to be fine.”AlsoThe Dodgers optioned Yimi Garcia to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room on the 25-man roster for Sunday’s starting pitcher, Mat Latos. The move had been expected for a few days. The Dodgers had an eight-man bullpen and a 72-hour window to add Latos to their 25-man roster from the time he was acquired in a trade with the Miami Marlins on Thursday. … Garcia leads the Dodgers in appearances this season with 41, but only one in his most recent big league stint. He was last optioned to Triple-A on July 7. … Kenley Jansen said he is taking the antibiotic drug Azithromycin to treat a bacterial infection that he initially referred to as a virus. The Dodgers’ closer pitched through the illness Friday and Saturday to record a save both nights, then was unavailable Sunday. The Dodgers became Jim Johnson’s fifth employer in a 20-month span this week. If that sounds like no big deal, just ask his wife.“She is seven and a half months pregnant right now,” the pitcher said Sunday. “She’s packing up the house.”Hopefully the Johnsons hung on to their cardboard boxes. center_img The first move took place in December 2013 when the Baltimore Orioles, who drafted Johnson out of high school in 2001, traded him to the Oakland A’s. Nine months later, the A’s designated Johnson for assignment.“That one was a little bit different because after getting DFA’d I was in no man’s land,” he recalled.• Related: Ethier’s 10th inning walk-off powers Dodgers past Angels Johnson eventually latched on with the Detroit Tigers, then became a free agent at the end of the season and signed with the Atlanta Braves. He had little more than five months in a Braves uniform before he was traded to the Dodgers this week.This move might not be his last, either. Johnson will be a free agent in October, when the dance will begin again. last_img read more

14
May
2020

Mario leaves the session and continues the plague of injuries

first_imgBad luck, in the form of injuries, is priming with Lightning. The first gravity came in preseason, when Velázquez suffered a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of the left knee. The central left the concentration and had to go through the operating room, but today faces the final phase of his recovery. That was the first, not the last. Baby followed, who also broke the crossed right knee in the month of November, moment when the end was sweet. A similar diagnosis was received by the forward Ulloa less than a week ago. The medical part reflected a “rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament and the inner side of his left knee.” The bad news continues for Paco Jémez. The last one occurred during this Wednesday’s session, when Mario Suarez had to retire with discomfort 40 minutes to start. At that setback we should add the absences of Saveljich and Andrés Martín in training. The defender had to be replaced in the match against Tenerife by some left twin problems and the midfielder has been ill since last week. “He caught the flu. Little by little it is better, but I was neither to train nor to enter the locker room because I could infect someone. We are very fair, but we cannot control it, “Paco confessed in the previous crash of Heliodoro. Another of the most important ailments has affected the captain. Alberto García has had to go through the operating room twice because of the cartilage of his left knee. The discomfort began in late September and, first, he was diagnosed with synovitis. The goalkeeper improved and returned to training, but the pains soon reappeared. There the injury hit the face. A few days after his last arthroscopy, Comesaña was also intervened. The Galician, because of a “bilateral inguinal hernia” and will return, approximately, in mid-March. More or less by that date, Pozo would have to return. The midfielder was injured against Extremadura with “a break in the adductor major of the right thigh. ” To all this list of casualties, the goalkeeper Morro joins, with discomfort after the Cup.last_img read more

12
Jan
2020

Artistes set Lethem on fire at All-Stars Mash concert

first_imgThe Mashramani “All-Stars Concert”, on Saturday evening left the residents of Lethem and surrounding communities clamouring for more. The performers captivated the audience with their boundless energy and songs on social issues, politics and the economy among others.Melissa “Vanilla” RobertsHosted by the Ministry of Presidency’s Department of Social Cohesion at the Tabatinga Sports Complex Ground, the show featured artistes like Michelle “Big Red” King, Jumo “Rubber Waist” Primo, Melissa “Vanilla” Roberts, Reigning Soca Monarch Brandon Harding and Reigning Chutney Monarch Bunty Singh and Kwasi Ace among others.Social Cohesion Minister Dr George Norton told the residents that the initiative is aimed at ensuring nationwide inclusion in the Mashramani festivities.“We had activities in Region One, Two, Six, Five and Nine here tonight. This is the idea to take the celebration to the different regions so that you can be part and parcel of what everybody is enjoying in Guyana. We look forward to seeing you in the capital city…” he said.The Minister said that he was impressed with the turnout at the event and the participation between the singers and audience who thoroughly enjoyed themselves.Brandon HardingRegional Chairman Brian Allicock noted his satisfaction with the support shown by residents.According to Allicock, discussions are ongoing to host similar events in Lethem in the future. Minister Norton also gave his nod of approval to this move.Last year’s Calypso semi-finals were hosted for the first time in Lethem and received rave reviews from the spectators. In previous years calypso competitions were held in the capital city, Georgetown, which meant hinterland communities missed being entertained by this extraordinary eventAs Mashramani activities continue across the country, persons are invited to attend the Banks Calyspo Semi-Final at Union No 53 Village Community Centre, the Carib Soca Monarch Semi-Finals at the Linden-Georgetown Municipal Bus Park and the Chutney Dance Competition in Region Three.last_img read more

11
Jan
2020

Bomb deaths plunge after U.S. crackdown

first_imgBAGHDAD – Bomb deaths have gone down 30 percent in Baghdad since the U.S.-led security crackdown began a month ago. Execution-style slayings are down by nearly half. The sound of weapons has been reduced from frequent to episodic, and downtown shoppers have returned to outdoor markets, which are favored targets of car bombers. There are signs of progress in the campaign to restore order in Iraq, starting with its capital city. But while many Iraqis are encouraged, they remain skeptical how long the relative calm will last. Each bombing renews fears the horror is returning. Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents are still around, perhaps just lying low or hiding outside the city until the operation is over. The rattle of automatic weapons fire or the rumble of distant roadside bombs comes less frequently. Traffic is beginning to return to the city’s once vacant streets. “People are very optimistic because they sense a development. The level of sectarian violence in streets and areas has decreased,” said a 50-year-old Shiite, who gave his name only as Abu Abbas, or “father of Abbas.” “The activities of the militias have also decreased. The car bombs and the suicide attacks are the only things left, while other kinds of violence have decreased.” In the months before the security operation began Feb. 14, police were finding dozens of bodies each day in the capital – victims of Sunni and Shiite death squads. Last December, more than 200 bodies were found each week – with the figure spiking above 300 in some weeks, according to police reports compiled by The Associated Press. Since the crackdown began, weekly totals have dropped to about 80 – hardly an acceptable figure but clearly a sign that death squads are no longer as active as they were in the final months of last year. Bombings too have decreased in the city, presumably due to U.S. and Iraqi success in finding weapons caches and to more government checkpoints in the streets that make it tougher to deliver the bombs. In the 27 days leading up to the operation, 528 people were killed in bombings around the capital, according to AP figures. In the first 27 days of the operation, the bombing death toll stood at 370 – a drop of about 30 percent. U.S. military combat deaths have also declined, according to an AP count. Twenty-four members of the military were killed in Baghdad from Feb. 14 through March 14, compared with 29 from Jan. 13 through Feb. 13. Overall nationwide, there were 68 U.S. military deaths from Feb. 14 through March 14, compared with 112 from Jan. 13 through Feb. 13. Figures alone won’t tell the story. In Vietnam, generals kept pointing to enemy body counts to promote a picture of success even when many U.S. soldiers and civilian officials realized the effort was doomed. True success will be when Iraqis themselves begin to feel safe and gain confidence in their government and security forces. Only then can the economy, long on its heels and with unemployment estimated between 25 and 40 percent, rebound and start providing jobs and a future for Baghdad’s people. A long-term solution also must deal with the militias that sprang up after the ouster of Saddam Hussein. Much of the relative calm may be due to a decision by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to remove his armed militiamen, known as the Mahdi Army, from the streets. U.S. troops rolled into the Mahdi stronghold of Sadr City on March 4 without firing a shot – a radical change from street battles there in 2004. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! U.S. military officials, burned before by overly optimistic forecasts, have been cautious about declaring the operation a success. Another reason it seems premature: Only two of the five U.S. brigades earmarked for the mission are in the streets, and the full complement of American reinforcements is not due until late May. A Pentagon report released Wednesday in Washington even used for the first time the term “civil war” to describe some of the violence here. But it stressed that the term does not capture Iraq’s complex situation, and its assessment was based on the final three months of 2006, which it said was the most violent three-month period since the U.S.-led invasion. U.S. officials say that key to the security crackdown’s long-term success is the willingness of Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic political parties to strike a power- and money-sharing deal. That remains elusive: A proposal for governing the country’s main source of income – oil – is bogged down in parliamentary squabbling. Nevertheless, there are encouraging signs. Gone are the “illegal checkpoints,” where Shiite and Sunni gunmen stopped cars and hauled away members of the rival sect – often to a gruesome torture and death. last_img read more