...presented with absolutely no comments (except for a couple of key points highlighted in boldface) from me!
The first comes to you via the Associated Press:
[In an audiotape, not yet authenticated but believed to be genuine] Abu Ayyub al-Masri, also known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, also urged the U.S. to stay in Iraq so his group would have more opportunities to kill American troops.
"The al-Qaida army has 12,000 fighters in Iraq, and they have vowed to die for God's sake," a man introduced as al-Muhajir said in an audio tape made available on militant Web sites.
Al-Muhajir became the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike in June...
...[T]he speaker praised the outcome of Tuesday's elections in which Democrats swept to power in the House and the Senate, in large part due to U.S. voter dissatisfaction over the handling of the war in Iraq.
"The American people have put their feet on the right path by ... realizing their president's betrayal in supporting Israel," the terror leader said. "So they voted for something reasonable in the last elections."
Describing President Bush as "the most stupid president" in U.S. history, al-Masri reached out to the Muslim world and said his group was winning the war in Iraq faster than expected due to U.S. policies...
...[T]he speaker also referred to Rumsfeld's resignation and called on "the lame duck (Bush) not to hurry up in escaping the same way the defense minister did."
"They are getting ready to leave, because they are no longer capable of staying," the al-Qaida leader said, referring to U.S. forces.
And this just in from Iran via Reuters...
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday called U.S. President George W. Bush's defeat in congressional elections a victory for Iran.
Bush has accused Iran of trying to make a nuclear bomb, being a state sponsor of terrorism and stoking sectarian conflict in Iraq, all charges Tehran denies.
"This issue (the elections) is not a purely domestic issue for America, but it is the defeat of Bush's hawkish policies in the world," Khamenei said in remarks reported by Iran's student news agency ISNA on Friday.
"Since Washington's hostile and hawkish policies have always been against the Iranian nation, this defeat is actually an obvious victory for the Iranian nation...."
...Khamenei, a senior cleric in power since 1989, has the last word on matters of state in Iran's complex system of Islamic rule, while the government, under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in charge of day-to-day decision making.
"The result of this election indicates that the majority of American people are dissatisfied and are fed up with the policies of the American administration," the IRNA state news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
Khamenei said military maneuvers in the Gulf this week in which Iranian forces tested new missile systems showed Iran was ready to face any threat.
But, he said: "With the scandalous defeat of America's policies in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and Afghanistan, America's threats are empty threats on an international scale."
And, finally, this, also from AP:
George McGovern, the former senator and Democratic presidential candidate, said Thursday that he will meet with more than 60 members of Congress next week to recommend a strategy to remove U.S. troops from Iraq by June.
If Democrats don't take steps to end the war in Iraq soon, they won't be in power very long, McGovern told reporters before a speech at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
"I think the Democratic leadership is wise enough to know that if they're going to follow the message that election sent, they're going to have to take steps to bring the war to a conclusion," he said.
McGovern will present his recommendations before the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a 62-member group led by Reps. Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee.
"The best way to reduce this insurgency is to get the American forces out of there," McGovern said. "That's what's driving this insurgency."
McGovern told the audience Thursday that the Iraq and Vietnam wars were equally "foolish enterprises" and that the current threat of terrorism developed because -- not before -- the United States went into Iraq.
43 minutes ago