Sunday, May 23, 2004

Democratic Détente

Democratic Détente
The party's 20-year-old fights are -- well, 20 years old. Enough already

For Democrats, E. J. Dionne lays out ten arguments no longer worth having and replaces them with ten positions he believes are worth taking.


Iraq / War on Terror: Today's News and Views

Iraq / War on Terror: Today's News and Views

BBC- Karbala calm as militia withdraws

Karbala, which is 110 kilometres (70 miles) south of Baghdad, is home to the shrine of Imam Hussein - one of the holiest places for the world's Shia Muslims. On Friday more than 2,000 Iraqis demonstrated demanding that Mr Sadr's men leave the city. And on Tuesday Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most senior Shia cleric, said all armed forces should be withdrawn from the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala.

Reuters- Bill Clinton: U.N. Should Lead Iraq Effort

"I don't think Iraq was about oil and imperialism but it was about unilateralism over cooperation as way to shape the world in the 21st century," Clinton said in a comment about the Bush administration's approach to foreign policy.

Paul de Rooij- A Political Obituary: Colin Powell, DOA

Sometimes it is worth writing someone's obituary ahead of schedule. In the case of politicians, the purpose of an obituary is to serve as a warning against the political zombies those politicians who are politically spent or have lost their souls.

WP- Prison Visits By General Reported In Hearing; Alleged Presence of Sanchez Cited by Lawyer

A military lawyer for a soldier charged in the Abu Ghraib abuse case stated that a captain at the prison said the highest-ranking U.S. military officer in Iraq was present during some "interrogations and/or allegations of the prisoner abuse," according to a recording of a military hearing obtained by The Washington Post.

WP/Robin Wright- President Plans Drive To Rescue Iraq Policy; Speeches, U.N. Action Will Focus on Future

President Bush will launch an ambitious campaign tomorrow night to shift attention from recent setbacks that have eroded domestic and international support for U.S. policy in Iraq, particularly the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and the escalating violence, and focus instead on the future of post-occupation Iraq.

Sunday Herald- Wedding massacre at Makr al-Deeb will fuel resistance against occupying forces

The bombing started at 3am on Wednesday. The villagers from the tiny desert community of Makr al-Deeb were fast asleep, exhausted after a day spent celebrating a wedding. By the time the bombing had stopped and the advancing GIs had finished marauding and shooting their way through the remains of the village, the Americans had killed at least 42 innocent people.

Guardian commment- Here Be Monsters

What happens next will determine the future of Iraq, the region and perhaps the world. The fantasy of Osama bin Laden may be forestalled only if the US coalition, in thrall to myth, can finally sift the real from the imagined.

Gen. Anthony Zinni speaks

Gen. Anthony Zinni speaks-
NeoCons created their own intelligence to match their needs

No personal accountability for negligence and incompetence

"In the lead-up to the Iraq war and its later conduct, I saw, at minimum, true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility; at worst, lying, incompetence and corruption."

"....regardless of whose responsibility [it is] should be evident to everybody that they've screwed up, and whose heads are rolling on this?"

-Gen. Anthony Zinni [LINK]

Gen. Zinni declared Iraq a diminishing power and of little threat before we ignorantly marched in. [LINK]

SEE: The 10 mistakes: Gen. Anthony Zinni, former CentCom commander, lists the catastrophic blunders made by the Bush team that led to the Iraq nightmare

Proof: Blair suspected Bush was incompetent boor

Proof: Blair suspected Bush was incompetent boor

And other unfortunately true sordid stories

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi has been heavily criticized this week by the GOP for stating (and sticking with) the obvious: Bush is an incompetent leader. [LINK]

A new revelation surrounding the Blair government's early misgivings about Bush is now exposed. [LINK]

In the field of journalism, many mainstream (pre-Iraq-war) pundits (Ted Rall called them "war-pimps") now have runny egg all over their faces. Suddenly, they're all pulling back...some saying what Dennis Kucinich has been stating all along. (Unless you're William Safire, who still clings to stubborn ideas that time has proven he senile?) Over the past year and a half, I've been saying how wrong these journalists have been and what a disservice they've done to the American people. Will they suffer any consequences? The N.Y. Times will eventually have to apologize to the people of America (and the world) for an inept journalist they still employ..Judith Miller.

Ahmad Chalabi is a total mess. He's all over the board in his own self-defense...a poor witness on his own behalf. He says he wants our troops out of his country..."Let my people go free" he says (after 793 Americans died for this piece of shit's cause). He is creating a carefully-crafted scene where it's Chalabi vs. Tenet...a good cover, I suppose..given that Tenet assured Bush that the WMD issue would be a "slam-dunk" as a public-convincing reason for attacking Iraq. It's all too obvious the White House is now trying to distance themselves from Chalabi when we know (damned well) the flim-flam flunky has been their favoured war-pimping political instrument. It seems he's been a Judas to (and for) the Bush administration. He may as well hang himself a la Judas, because by the time this is all over, he will be a worthless, used piece of slime ready to slink easily through the gutterhole.
(See various views on the Chalabi situation from Juan Cole, Juan Cole (2), Andrew Cockburn, Jim Lobe, and Atrios).

The great "hand-off" on June 30th is close-at-hand. Bush-supporters lead the blind to believe the bad guys will be silenced on July 1st. We already know this is not true...General Abizaid told us as much last week. A civil war is about to erupt in the blistering heat of the cruel Iraqi summer.

Bush will begin his new spin on Iraq tomorrow night. He's expected to outline a plan of action to dispel the idea that we don't know what we're doing on Iraq. Bush will explain to Americans and people around the world that the United States has "a plan to overcome the security problems and the political impasse in Iraq", an official said. (per ABC's Political Note).