DAILY WAR NEWS FOR THURSDAY, January 18, 2007
: Iraqis embrace each other as they mourn during the funeral of a relative in the holy city of Najaf. Car bombs have rocked Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul, killing at least 19 people, as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pressed Washington to better equip his army so that foreign troops can withdraw from Iraq.(AFP/Qassem Zein)
A Baghdad Mahdi Army commander said U.S. and Iraqi troops launched a major campaign Tuesday in Um al-Maalef
, a Shiite neighbourhood in south Baghdad. "They detained every man who was able to carry weapons. We heard from our people in the area that about 400 people were detained," said the militia commander on condition of anonymity because senior figures in the group are not permitted to give their names.
Ten people died and 30 others were wounded when three car bombers simultaneously attacked the al-Rasheed vegetable market
in the southern Dora district.
A bomb exploded in central Baghdad at rush hour
, killing four people and wounding 11, two other police officers said. One said the death toll was expected to rise.
A car bomb targeting an Iraqi police patrol exploded in central Baghdad
, killing four people and wounding 10 others, an Interior Ministry official said. The casualties were a mix of police and civilians.
An explosion in eastern Baghdad's Khamsara district killed three and wounded seven.
A bomb blast in a parked car killed three civilians and wounded seven others in the Camp Sara neighborhood
in southeastern Baghdad.
Gunmen opened fire on an Iraqi police patrol near al-Shaab stadium in eastern Baghdad
, killing one policeman and wounding another, police said.
A car bomb parked near a police station in the western Al-Mashtal neighborhood exploded
, killing at least one person and wounding six, an Interior Ministry source said. All were civilians.
Iraqi soldiers killed three insurgents and arrested 57 others during the last 24 hours
in different parts of Iraq, the Defence Ministry said.
Mortars killed four people and wounded 13 more on Wednesday night in northern Baghdad.
Two people were killed and four wounded in a car bomb in the New Baghdad district
in the east of the capital, police said.
Gunmen shot up a convoy of democracy workers
in an ambush that took the lives of an American woman and three bodyguards. (…)
The three-car convoy belonged to the Washington-based National Democratic Institute, according to Les Campbell, the not-for-profit group's Middle East director. He said the four dead included an American woman along with three security contractors — a Hungarian, a Croatian and an Iraqi. Two others were wounded, one seriously, Campbell said by telephone from Washington.
Gunmen attacked a civilian car and wounded its driver in the town of Kifil
, near Najaf, 160 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad.
Police said they found a body of a man, bound and shot dead, in Iskandariya
, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad.
Gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in Iskandariya
, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, killing three and wounding one.
Gunmen launched two separate attacks last night on the British forces base in al-Saii district
in downtown, she told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) by telephone. The British forces returned fire and two attackers were wounded by British snipers fire, the spokeswoman added.
(update) A British soldier was injured on Wednesday when 13 katyusha rockets fell on the British base in the presidential palaces in central Basra.
A mine exploded at British boats in Shatt al-Arab, then the boats came under heavy firing by light arms from the two banks of Shatt al-Arab
, the spokeswoman for the Multi-National forces in south Iraq told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) by telephone. She said there were reports that eight civilians including three school girls were wounded and taken to hospital. It was not clear if the civilians were injured by the British troops or the gunmen fire, the spokeswoman said. A police source in Basra has earlier said that a British soldier was wounded when a mine exploded at a British boat in Shatt al-Arab.
A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol wounded three policemen in Samarra
, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, the Iraqi-U.S. Joint Military Centre said.
Iraqi police seized 83 crude oil trucks in the city of Tikrit
, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The trucks were heading to Kurdistan in northern Iraq.
A policeman was killed and another wounded when insurgents threw a bomb at a police checkpoint in Mosul.
A suicide car bomber blew himself up near a police patrol
, killing a civilian and wounding four policemen and two civilians in the northern city of Mosul.
Gunmen opened fire on a wedding convoy in Mosul
, killing two people and wounding four.
A Sailor assigned to 16th Military Police Brigade, Camp Bucca, Iraq, died Jan. 17 in a non-combat related incident.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday released the name of a contractor working for its Huntsville center that was killed in Iraq Jan. 4.
Amir Kaun, a native of Pakistan, was killed while working in Iraq for the Corps of Engineers' Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville. The Huntsville center is in charge of clearing captured munitions in Iraq. Kaun was killed in an incident involving small-arms fire while working as a driver for Global Freight Services, based in the United Kingdom.
A US unmanned scout airplane crashed close to an Iraq international airport
, according to States' Central Air Forces. The Air Force MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle crashed 5 miles southeast of Baghdad International Airport on Wednesday, reports say. While the Air Force said the plane didn't appear to be shot down, the service didn't say why the plane might have crashed.
Apparently seeking to calm fears that he will not go after militia gunmen loyal to one of his key political backers, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said 400 fighters from the Mahdi Army had been arrested over the past several weeks.
It was the first time the Shiite prime minister has specifically detailed any arrests of figures from the Mahdi Army militia that is loyal to his key backer, the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Many of the militiamen are believed responsible for a majority of the sectarian violence in Baghdad over the past year.
A Sadr spokesman, Abdul Razak al-Nadawi, denied that 400 Mahdi Army members had been arrested and said he was unaware of an operation in Karbala.
The Italian daily Corriere della Sera
reported Thursday that al-Maliki was deeply critical of President Bush
during a briefing with a small group of reporters.
It quoted the embattled Iraqi leader as saying Bush had capitulated to domestic pressure when he criticized the hanging of former leader Saddam Hussein. He further struck back at comments by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice which suggested al-Maliki was in a weak position and on borrowed time.
He said such remarks were giving aid and comfort to militants fighting to drive out American troops and unseat his government.
Al-Maliki also was quoted as saying his military could control security in Iraq without direct U.S. involvement in three to six months if Washington stepped up the dispatch of arms to his forces.
Bush worked to quell an open rebellion against his unpopular new Iraq strategy
from increasingly vocal Republican allies-turned-critics in the US Congress.
While his party's leadership in the US Senate and House of Representatives has held fast behind his plan, some rank-and-file Republicans in both chambers have broken and are publicly assailing it.
"At this late stage, interjecting more young American troops into the cross fire of an Iraqi civil war is simply not the right approach," Republican Representative Ric Keller (news, bio, voting record) said on the House floor last week.
"We're not going to solve an Iraqi political problem with an American military solution," said Keller. "The solution is not to lose even more lives and to spend even more money."
Bush will get a high-profile shot in his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday at reversing the steep slide in US public support for his handling of the nearly four-year-old war.
And the White House has invited lawmakers from Bush's party who are "at least skeptical" of his decision to send 21,500 more US soldiers to quell raging sectarian violence, according to spokesman Tony Snow.
In a sign of the political climate, Snow refused to say who took part from either side, how many took part, how long such meetings ran, or to describe what was said, and jokingly boasted: "I won't even tell you if the coffee was hot."
Snow has also implied that any vote on the Iraq war strategy would signal divisions and weakness, emboldening US enemies, disheartening US allies and crippling Iraqi confidence in their fledgling government at a crucial time.
Some of the toughest attacks on Bush's push to escalate US troop levels have come from the Senate, where two Republicans have lined up behind a symbolic but tough-worded resolution principally backed by opposition Democrats.
Tehran's ambassador to Baghdad said that Iran stood ready to help train and equip Iraqi security forces
to combat what he called terrorism.
Speaking after talks with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Hassan Kazemi demanded to be shown "any shred of evidence that Iran is working to destabilise Iraq," as the United States alleges.
"We are working for, not against, security in Iraq, because we know that insecurity justifies maintaining foreign troops in the country," Kazemi told reporters.
"Iran is disposed to helping to train and equip Iraqi security forces to combat terrorism."
Iraqi former officers and soldiers behind a four-year insurgency plan to escalate attacks
after the hanging of their leader Saddam Hussein, an Iraqi Sunni politician said on Thursday.
Sudan summoned the senior U.S. diplomat in Khartoum after it said American troops raided the Sudanese embassy in Baghdad
, violating diplomatic conventions, a foreign ministry spokesman said. In Baghdad, U.S. spokesman Christopher Garver denied U.S. troops had raided the Sudanese embassy, which is near the airport road where many bombs have targeted troops and convoys. "Nine American soldiers in four military vehicles forcibly went into the embassy after overpowering the guards and searched the embassy offices inside," said Ali al-Sadig, Sudan's foreign ministry spokesman.
McCain's popularity among New Hampshire's independent voters has collapsed.
"John McCain is tanking," says ARG [American Research Group] president Dick Bennett. "That's the big thing [we're finding]. In New Hampshire a year ago he got 49 percent among independent voters. That number's way down, to 29 percent now." (...) Bennett says ARG is finding a similar trend in other states polled, including early primary battlegrounds like Iowa and Nevada. "We're finding this everywhere," he says.
The main reason isn't hard to find: His hawkish stance on the Iraq war, which is tying him ever more closely to an unpopular president. "Independent support for McCain is evaporating because they view him as tied to Bush," says Bennett.
>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Needlenose: WE'RE WAY PAST THE "SALVADOR OPTION" IN IRAQ
and Ian Welsh
at the Agonist have posted in the last day or two about U.S. complicity in the ongoing death-squad violence in Iraq.
Since I've followed this topic fairly closely here and wrote two years ago about the emergence of government-affiliated Iraqi militias in the wake of the Newsweek
"Salvador option" article in January 2005, I want to point out something I think Digby and Ian are missing: All that happened when our guy, Iyad Allawi, was prime minister. If the Americans were pulling all the strings in Iraq, he still would be. (Well, actually, Ahmad Chalabi would be -- even Allawi was a fallback choice.) But he isn't.
When the UIA (the religious Shiite slate) took power in 2005, they looked at the "special police commando" units whose creation we'd blessed and said, "Very nice -- now step aside, and let us show you how to do it
." They kept the names of the units, installed their own commanders, and shifted the brutality into overdrive.
The Bushites' hands are very dirty, but the fact is that the death squads in Iraq have been out of their control for almost two years now. The notion that the U.S. is orchestrating all of the carnage there needs to get placed in the same obsolete conspiracy-theory pile as "Karl Rove is an evil mastermind who will make sure the GOP doesn't lose in 2006."
Paul Craig Roberts: ATTACKING IRAN: WHAT'S IN IT FOR BUSH?
The question is: why is Bush, who is confronted with failure in Iraq, willing to compound his problems by attacking a more powerful Muslim state that the US has no prospect of being able to occupy?
A former member of the National Security Council gave me a possible answer. Bush can bury his defeat in Iraq with a "victory" in Iran.
Here is the victory scenario: Bush and Cheney will claim that their air attack on Iran succeeded in destroying Iran's (non-existent) nuclear weapons program. The victory claimed by the Bush Regime and the propagandistic US media will "make America safe from nuclear attack." This will restore Bush's popularity and move the US back to a 50-50 political split in time for Karl Rove to steal the 2008 election with the fraudulent electronic voting machines built and programmed by Republican operatives.
The former national security official believes that Bush will be able to claim victory over Iran, because Iran will avoid responding militarily. Iran will not use its Russian missiles to sink our aircraft carriers, to shut down oil facilities throughout the Middle East, or to destroy US headquarters in the "green zone" in Baghdad. Instead, Iran will adopt the posture of another Muslim victim of US/ Israeli aggression and let the anger seep throughout the Muslim world until no pro-US government is safe in the Middle East.
Bush needs a short-run victory, and Iran will let him have it in order to gain the long-run victory.
read in full...
Roads to Iraq: THE BIG BATTLE OF BAGHDAD #2
The events reported on "Haifa Street" just because the neighborhood was a total embarrassment for the "Green Zone" government and the occupation forces, actually if you stand in the street you can see the entrance of the "Green Zone", but what is not reported is the same events are going on since then in every Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad.
This is a report about Al-Amariah from yesterday, US occupation forces to empty the areas from defense weapons a militias attack will follow, there are reports today about Ahdamiya, Sleikh, Hai-Kahira and other neighborhoods.
Islamemo reported a week ago that in Sadr-city joining the Mahdi army became mandatory for the 15-45 years old promising the recruits of 1500$ salary and a private weapon, and there are two other recruiting centers in Khadmia and al-Shula. [This is how the new army "Baghdad Liberation Army" started]
At the same day Sunnis answered this with an announcement:
Leaflets distributed in different areas in the city Diyala and its suburbs, indicating that five thousand suicide bombers to enter this battle and defeat the sectarian Safavid militias,
Although Baghdad is virtually converted to a "Shiites city" but it is surrounded with Sunnis areas, and that makes it a "virtual Shiite prison", every Shiites enter or leave Baghdad is a target or dead person.
Most of these roads are guarded with Americans occupation forces [Tikrit, Ramadi Samaraa....] except Diyala, which makes the road Diyala-Baghdad the most important road for "The Big battle of Baghdad", [see the Shiite letter in the previous post: isolate Baghdad from the rest of the Sunni areas], and if you noticed there were many fights concentrated on this road last month.
Didn't took Iraqi resistance and Sunni alliance long to publish their "Baghdad defense plan", you can read it here in Arabic
Here are the first five points from 31 points translated by me:
In order to present of the draft plan of Baghdad defense, and to avoid entering into any long details, we provide what we have to you are all the points focused, As follows:
First : that the main objective, which the Shiites want to achieve with repeated attacks on Baghdad's residential areas, is to break the will of the residents, and create a state of shock, injury, intimidation, and consequently induce them to abandon their homes and regions, allowing the Iranian occupation of these areas.
Second: the American occupation crusaders force cooperates with these attacks, providing all facilities to them. And for the Americans, this type of the attacks on Sunnis, who are the base of the resistance movement in Iraq, will drain the resistance abilities and their main cause.
Third: Americans, lead the attacks against districts and cities, to force the residents to fight a (passive defense), a defense to last man and the last bullet.
Fourth : Iranian Shiites use two methods of attacks, either in an indirect fire (mortar shelling Between 81 mm or 120-mm -heavy-), or attempt to storm the city itself and direct fire (medium and heavy machine guns, and even fired RPGs).
Fifth: To accelerate the shock factor among people, criminals used to concentrate their firepower against mosques, God worshipping places.
These points are the "public points" but and as islamemo reported there are other "secret points" not published and announcing:
Resistance complete their military preparations for the battle of Baghdad [Arabic]
Among these instructions there are confidential points, would prefer not to be published, but that the most important thing was (police forces, the Iraqi army and and any other government forces), are legitimate targets, to be targeted without reference or orders from the Iraqi resistance high commands.....
According the instructions on other points, how to deal with the attackers, prisoners, their families, and how to deal with the missiles......
It seems that the Americans are managing the armed Sunni-Shiite conflict for much bigger reasons and I bet an Arab-Iran military confrontation is one of them, to explode the entire region, with the presence of other dossiers Lebanon and Palestine.
Certainly, inflame Shiite-Sunni conflict is not in the interest of the Arabs, it works for the benefit of the United States and Israel.
But, it is too late for this moral and political preaching!
read in full...
Roads to Iraq: ARAB LEADERS "SCEPTICAL" OR "WELCOMED" NEW U.S. STRATEGY IN IRAQ?
This is how world news reported
Arab leaders 'deeply sceptical' of Iraq plan......January 17, 2007
The ministers, from six Gulf states plus Egypt and Jordan, showed particular concerns about whether the Shiite-led government of Nouri Maliki can reach out to Iraq's Sunni Arab minority to end their resistance and lure them to the political process, said Arab diplomats.
And this is how the Americans read it
Gulf Allies Support Goals of New U.S. Strategy in Iraq.....January 17, 2007
The six foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council, along with those of Egypt and Jordan and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, issued a statement that "welcomed the commitment" of the United States to stabilizing Iraq.
Huffington Post: FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION! IT COMES STANDARD WITH EVERY BUSH MODEL!
is not an option. It's standard! On every policy we make!
Name a policy, and it's got failure
! Guaranteed! Or your government back!
War in Iraq?
, built in from day one! Go to war based on lies, go to war in a way that's technically a war crime, that's got failure
, built in!
To make certain that it had failure
, we went in without enough people do to the job!
And without a plan!
Post war (the Occupation or the continuing war or whatever you want to call it)?
We started with delusions about how the Iraqis would respond. Delusions are one of the firmest foundations for failure
To make sure those delusions stayed in place until failure
had really taken hold, we had the all the programs runs by incompetent cronies, anti-abortion activists, Republican contributors and assorted dingbats. And it worked! The occupation authority blew through more money than anyone can count - and nobody did count it, then or now, we've made sure of that - and achieved failure
in everything they did! And nothing but failure
To draw attention to that failure
, we gave out the highest medals you can to the people who achieved it! That's failure
* * *
Another way to look at it, is that the phrase "failure
is not an option" is very clever.
It creates the illusion that failure
has not already happened.
But it has. The war is already lost. It was lost by George Bush. The occupation has failed. Already. And irrevocably. It failed under George Bush. The whole effort or plan or whatever it was, to change the Middle East, has failed.
It is a rhetorical device that necessarily implies that failure
will be what happens because of what is done now or in the future. Which - they hope - can be blamed on someone else. They should not be permitted to do that. Nothing that can be done now - short of a ten or twenty year commitment, that will require a draft, trillions of dollars, a new foreign policy and Bush to self-immolate in some way to restore the necessary moral authority to call for that - will change their failure
is not an option. failure
is the condition. failure
is what they've done. failure
is where we are. The question is what can we do about their failures
read in full...
Asia Times Online: A BLUEPRINT FOR CHAOS IN IRAQ
The "New Way Forward" strategy to be implemented by the Bush administration amounts to a new way forward to regional chaos. The policy pointedly asserts itself to politically unite Iraq's fractious and troublesome sectarian entities and, simultaneously, defang Iraq's more radical Sunni and Shi'ite sectarian militias. The goal is stability inside Iraq, but with the assured cost of a deadly boomerang in one form or another.
Notably, the Bush administration is likely to get a deadly form of tactical "unity" among Iraq's diverse factions that it foolishly and shortsightedly didn't bargain for. This will include a newborn cohesion among Shi'ite and Sunni factions and militias arising out of their impending joint struggle against a desperate and dangerous common foe - the foreign occupiers.
If the US and Britain are perceived by Iraq's Shi'ites as excessively targeting Shi'ite militias while largely ignoring Sunni militias, then they risk mobilizing the entire body of Iraq's Shi'ite population against the continued presence of foreign forces, resulting in a virtual Shi'ite insurrection, with catastrophic results. (...)
Inside Iraq, the rival militant Shi'ite and Sunni factions, both facing a renewed US assaults, will be obliged to unite on a purely tactical basis against their common foe.
If the Nuri al-Maliki government in Baghdad genuinely aligns with the US and Britain in their final push against the militias, then it, too, will become part of the "larger enemy" and a prime target for the powerful militias. The government, already struggling for legitimacy, voice and leverage, would likely fall quickly.
Under such a threat, the "sovereign" Maliki government is likely to abandon the US and Britain, aligning with Iraq's militant factions and demanding an emergency withdrawal of all foreign forces from Iraq, thereby creating a crisis of immeasurable consequences for the US.
The tactical union of factions opposed to the US presence will cause the rapid transformation of the Iraqi political-militant landscape from the current complex mixture of anti-US insurgency and sectarian warfare into a much simpler and unified landscape. What will emerge is a nation-wide insurrection against the newly aggressive occupiers.
read in full...
A Tiny Revolution: CONDOLEEZZA RICE IS ONLY GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE TERRORISTS
After so many years of Condoleezza Rice telling us we're loser-defeatists who're only encouraging the terrorists to think they can beat us, I can't help enjoying this:
[S]tatements such as Rice's "give morale boosts for the terrorists and push them toward making an extra effort and making them believe they have defeated the American administration," Maliki said.
Yes, that's about as funny as anything can be that involves hundreds of thousands of corpses.
Just World News: GOOD COP/ BAD COP???
Down near the bottom of his blog post today, Juan Cole wrote this:
. Al Franken had me on his radio show on Air America Tuesday and suggested that Congress and Bush could play bad cop, good cop with PM al-Maliki. As I understood the argument, he suggested that Congress cut off funding for the extra troops such that it would run out by the end of this summer. Bush could then tell al-Maliki that there has to be substantial progress on curbing militias and national conciliation by then, because Bush can't guarantee a sustained US commitment now that his party has lost Congress. I told Al that his plan sounds good to me. I do think a lot of the problem here is that the top Shiite and Kurdish leadership doesn't feel a need to compromise with the Sunni Arabs because they know if the latter make trouble, the US will deal with them. They might not be so cocky, and might compromise more readily, if they thought they'd have to fight them themselves.
Why do I find Juan's position there so politically naive and so morally troubling??
(1) Juan-- and also his host there, Al Franken-- both seem to have bought, hook, line, and sinker the whole (administration-propagated) narrative that portrays what is going on in Iraq as exclusively a power-play between Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds-- one in which the "poor beleaguered Americans" find themselves caught in the middle, earnestly and benevolently trying to establish the optimal "balance" among those wild and unpredictable local forces... (See my analysis of the manipulative and politically inspired roots of this narrative, here.)
(2) Juan also apparently believes that threatening to withhold US troops from Iraq is a threat that can force Maliki to comply with US wishes on the political front??? But as I noted here, that's a totally non-credible threat. Maliki wants the US troops to leave. How come Juan doesn't seem capable of factoring that into his calculus? It's true that Maliki seems like a timorous, diffident political figure; and it's quite probable that the US have given him all kinds of cash inducements while he's been PM, to get him to stay "on the team" with their plans. But despite all such inducements he-- and more importantly the political coalition of Daawa and Sadrists of which he's a member-- have all remained committed to a speedy and total US withdrawal from Iraq.
So all this business about "the top Shiite and Kurdish leadership ... might not be so cocky, and might compromise more readily, if they thought they'd have to fight them themselves" bears what kind of relationship to political reality there in Iraq??
(1) So we have a large and well-grounded political movement in this country that's getting closer and closer to (a) bringing the Bushites into some form of accountability re their handling of the war, and (b) forcing the administration to withdraw from Iraq completely.... And Juan-- and apparently also Al Franken-- wants to compromise and blunt this movement by having it enter into some form of intentional and neocolonialist coalition with Bush on his handling of Iraq?
(2) And to do this, moreover, by explicitly joining with the Bushites in the "divide and rule" game they've been playing inside Iraq since April 2003, whereby they try to dole out incentives and very lethal punishments in such a way that it divides the Iraqi groups against each other and deliberately attempts to suppress the (still existing) nationalist Iraqi movement whose major leitmotif is "end the occupation"??
(3) Just the bullying language Juan uses there is a giveaway... "Bush could tell Maliki..." "if they make trouble, the US will deal with them..." et., etc.
... Honestly, I can't imagine how someone like Juan Cole , whose probity and good intentions I generally strongly admire, has gotten anywhere near expressing support of this "good cop/ bad cop" idea. We in the US who are deeply disquieted over the tragedy that our government's actions have inflicted upon the people of Iraq should do our utmost to reverse the administration's policies as fast as possible. That is, to lift the yoke of ill-considered occupation and brutal "counterinsurgency" off the Iraqis as soon as we can.
"Good cop/ bad cop" sounds like a recipe only for continued colonial-style manipulation of the Iraqis' tragic fate by Americans.
And I can't understand why Al Franken-- whose reported credentials as a "leftist" are actually much stronger than Juan's-- would have any truck with it, either.
Reality-Based Educator: THE BLACK HOLE
From the Evans-Novak Political Report (via Taegan Goddard's Political Wire):
President George W. Bush's attempt to revitalize his Iraq War policy has been a political failure. His 'surge' in troops won no converts, and all efforts now are based on attempting to prevent a negative resolution from being passed in the Senate."
"The gloom pervading the Republican Party cannot be exaggerated. The long-range GOP outlook for 2008 is grim. The consensus is that U.S. troops must be off the ground of Iraq by next year to prevent an electoral catastrophe in the next election."
"Iraq, one of Bush's top political advisers now notes, is a black hole for the Republican Party. A nationally prominent Republican pollster reported confidentially on Capitol Hill after the President's speech that if U.S. boots are still on the ground in Iraq and U.S. blood is still being spilled there at the end of the year, the GOP disaster in 2008 will eclipse 2006."
Robert Novak tends to say in public what other Repubs and conservatives say behind closed doors.
You can bet right now, Republicans are looking for a way out of the Iraqi Black Hole.
Unfortunately for them (and for U.S. troops, for that matter), as long as "The Decider" is preznut, there ain't no way out of the Iraqi Black Hole short of impeaching the preznut AND
the vice preznut.
I am firmly convinced that George Bush has decided that as long as he is preznut, he will not be pulling troops out of Iraqi and having the pundits declare defeat on him. And you can be damned sure the same goes for Cheney.
They want the next president to have deal with the troop pull-out/fall-out.
So if Republicans really want out of the Iraqi Black Hole, they're going to have to do something to take care of both Bush and Cheney.
Angry Arab: DEMOCRACY BY HANGING
So democracy in being constructed in Iraq, hanging-by-hanging: "The Iraqis described the decapitation of Mr. Ibrahim as a "rare incident," but they acknowledged that a similar thing had happened at least once before in the score or more of hangings that have been carried out since the fall of Mr. Hussein
. They cited the case of an Egyptian man hanged in the northern city of Mosul for offenses linked to the insurgency, who had also had his head separated as he fell."
QUOTE OF THE DAY
: “[The] enthusiasm [of the new Democratic Congress] for American world domination is matched only by the Republican incompetence in maintaining it.” -- from “Baghdad: Battle Of The Bulge For A Surging U.S. Imperialism” by Pham Binh