Friday, March 24, 2006

Wouldn't This Be News?

Wouldn't This Be News?

John Nichols of The Nation writes:
In January, 2004, when the Des Moines Register made an unexpected endorsement of John Edwards as the best presidential pick for participants in Iowa's Democratic Caucuses, it was national news. The Register, an extremely influential newspaper because of its wide circulation in a relatively small state, shook up the Democratic dance card. The Register's editors found themselves being interviewed on national television and radio programs, as political writers for daily newspapers across the country stumbled over themselves to assess the significance of this particularly influential newspaper's endorsement of a still relatively unknown senator. As it turned out, the attention to the endorsement was merited, as Edwards himself acknowledged that his strong second place finish in the caucuses owed much to the boost he got from one of Middle America's most historically powerful and respected publications.

So what would happen if the same newspaper were to come out this year with a strong editorial calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq? And what if that editorial represented a reversal of the newspaper's previous "stay-the-course position?

Would that be news?
Set timetable to leave Iraq
Des Moines Register Editorial Board

Matthews on Imus

Matthews on Imus

Listen to MSNBC's Chris Matthews conversing with Don Imus on March 24th (about 19 minutes long). He speaks of his disgust with Bush and Cheney's misleadings on Iraq. He's a lot more candid here than on Hardball.

Mr. Matthews says that a winning Democrat for 2008 will have to learn to "whack the other side with a chuckle." (Alec Balwin-style). His bets are on Hillary Clinton and John Edwards on the Democratic side, saying that Hillary has a way to go to learn how to be tough and charming at the same time. He calls John Edwards "a star".

*Tip of the hat to lib_dem at OAC.

Stuck in Iraq Mud, U.S. Lost Track of Iran

Stuck in Iraq Mud, U.S. Lost Track of Iran

There is a damning article in the Jerusalem Post about the lateness in the day to spin gold from the shredded landscape and failed hopes in Iraq. I fear that our President, with his series of misjudgements and misleadings, has made a mess of things - and to be honest, I am genuinely afraid of what his administration will do from here. I know I am not alone.

My hope is that President Bush will root out the failure from his administration and show America and the world that he recognizes how seriously astray we've gone by taking our eyes off nuclear proliferation while we took pre-emptive action against a nation with no 9/11 connection - - a nation we understood so little about.

The world marked the third anniversary this week of the US's invasion of Iraq and the day columns of tanks entered Baghdad to topple Saddam Hussein's regime.

But once triumphed as the beginning of a new world order, the invasion may have had the opposite effect, former senior Israeli officials said Monday.

Backing Dayan's concern regarding America's ability to act against Iran while stuck in Iraqi mud, Prof. Uzi Arad - a former Mossad official and the founding head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya - said Israel was also at fault for the US's wrong list of priorities.

While America originally thought the war in Iraq would empower it to deal with Iran, it in fact had the opposite effect, Arad said. Israel, he added, also had high hopes for the war in Iraq but all of those had similarly disappeared.

"Israel hoped Iraq would turn pro-Western, would prosper and would become another country that supported peace with Israel," said Arad, who also served as foreign policy adviser to former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. "We thought it [the war] would be able to serve as an example of what democratization can do in the Middle East."

Israel and the US, Arad said, were "caught up in a wrong set of priorities" and instead of invading Iraq and disengaging from the Gaza Strip, the countries should have invested their efforts in curbing Iran's race for nuclear power.

"There is no reason why Iran could not have been referred to the United Nations Security Council a year or two ago before it was at the stage of enriching its uranium like it is now," he said