Saturday, April 01, 2006

Permanent bases in Iraq?

Continuing my reporting of developments on this issue, here's a brief post by Gary Hart with which I agree, that such bases must not be established. Trouble is, the link he provides to a Reuters story, which he claims attributes an assertion of such bases to the commander of American forces in Iraq, doesn't really support his claim. So--nothing new.

P.S. I'm not naive, BTW. I know the neocons and military desire permanent bases and are constructing them as I type. I'm just keeping watch on how they manage to pull it off while concealing and denying it all the while. Call it cyber-curiosity.

P.S.S. So, check this out for a quick verification.

Look, we whities have been killing and occupying the lands of these "wogs" for over a century, since oil became a vital resource. Now that it's in even more critical demand, are we whities all of a sudden gonna become benign intervenors, dispossessing dictators and withdrawing to allow the hapless natives control their own liquid gold? Get real, whities. What is their sand doing over our oil?

Friday, March 31, 2006

I love this

Apparently, Bush wrote a letter to influential Iraqi Shia cleric al-Sistani, suggesting that the cleric intervene or at least express a preference that the Premier-designate, al Jaafari, not be selected for an upcoming term. The letter was hand-delivered, but al-Sistani, who's tired of Bush's meddling in Iraq's affairs, put the letter aside and hasn't even had it translated.

Ya gotta love it.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

What do you think?

Bush is in Mexico, touring some Mayan ruins today. Will he comprehend the historical similarities between the steps he's taking to try to build an American empire and the causes of the decline and decay of the Mayan civilization?

Don't bet on it. He'll have a tough enough time fighting back the urge to slug down a cerveza or ten.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

This is comforting

According to a Reuters report, that disputed assault a few days ago by US and Iraqi forces wasn't on a mosque, after all. According to a rescued kidnap victim and the Iraqi military leader it was just a business office of some kind. So--all is well, right? Not quite. According to the rescued victim, he'd been kidnapped and held and tortured by Iraqi militia forces who were supposedly part of Iraqi security, wearing uniforms of the Interior Ministry. Whaaa...? They're supposed to be on our side!

Be the last on your block to know

about this Republican fraud. Hilarious, actually. I've followed it for hours, overnight, while it was exposed by bloggers picking out discrepancies from the photo. The photo? A shot a street scene that a Republican congressional candidate said showed how calm the streets of Baghdad really are, and that the leftists were accentuating the violence to defeat the Bush administration. The photo, the Republican said, was taken by him on a recent trip to Iraq, and for sure, the scene's quite serene, no doubt. Trouble is, the photo's not of a Baghdad street, but of Istanbul.

I've got good taste in blogs

Turns out that one of my favorite, regular links for news about the Middle East, "Informed Comment" by Professor Juan Cole, has been awarded the first-ever Aronson award for Social Justice, announced by Editor & Publisher website.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bush in a box

At least three tough choices loom for Bush, and we should keep an eye out for how he deals with them. On Iran, without a concensus among the other powers about how to react to its continuing dodging and weaving about its nuclear activities, can Bush--through Cheney's mouthpiece Bolton in the UN--save face while getting results? Military might won't help, so what's Bush to do?
On the immigration bill that Kennedy/McCain sponsored, that gives immigrants a shot at citizenship, how will Bush placate his base without causing a furor among Latinos? Bush is willing to give them a six-year work permit, but requiring them to return home afterward (best of all worlds for agribusiness), and the far right barely tolerates this accommodation. Can Bush find a way through this morass?
The Iraqis are becoming increasingly testy about our military's continued presence. How will Bush deal with the prospect that the "democratically constituted" government will demand our withdrawal of troops, or at least set a timetable for doing so. I would suspect that some leader in Iraq will soon see the popular benefit of making such a demand and will persuade others to join him. How will Bush finesse that prospect?
Bush is so incompetent--has he succeeded at anything in his life?--that it's almost amusing to watch him suffer the consequences of his idiocy.

Another word that's difficult to come up with

is one that describes a person who does this. It's akin to placing explosive candies in schoolyards, but on the grownup level. And because its victim is democracy, it's baseline odious, an act so destructive of our entire system of governance. If there's a hanging offense (and I don't believe in capital punishment), this is it.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Riverbend rocks!

My favorite Iraqi blogger, a young woman whom I've often cited, is a nominee for an important nonfiction award for her blog, Baghdad Burning.

I'm not alone in being confused about what's being reported in Iraq

My preferred expert, Professor Juan Cole, is too.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Who's on first?

Here's BBC's report of some of today's attacks in Iraq. It lists several players: "insurgents," "the Medhi Army," "armed militias," "Iraqi military," "Iraqi police," "Sunnis at prayer", the "US Army", and of course the ubiquitous "innocent bystanders," who likely comprised most of the dead. Can you figure out what happened?

The problem with being a blogger/writer

is that you're expected by others--certainly you expect yourself--to come up with a word to describe the type of person who would do this. Trouble is, like concepts such as infinity and eternity, the human mind cannot conceive of it.