Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cheney itching to strike Iran

Not exactly a big surprise to anyone paying attention.

From Newsweek,
Vice President Dick Cheney had at one point considered asking Israel to launch limited missile strikes at an Iranian nuclear site to provoke a retaliation, Newsweek magazine reported on Sunday.

Citing two unidentified sources, Newsweek said former Cheney Middle East adviser David Wurmser told a small group several months ago that Cheney was considering asking Israel to strike the Iranian nuclear site at Natanz.

A military response by Iran could give Washington an excuse to then launch airstrikes of its own, Newsweek said.
When the desired provocation finally happens and the US attacks Iran, you won't see any mention of these in any US press accounts.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Iraqi refugee crisis

Refugees in their own land: 2m Iraqis forced to flee their homes

Last month set an all time record as the number of Iraqis forced to leave their homes increased by 71%. I guess they didn't get the Petraeus memo.


Reso Condemning MoveOn Passes Overwhelmingly, With Lots Of DemsHaven't been posting recently because I've been busy with work and just annoyed by all the BS coming out of DC on the supposed success of the Surge.

But I want to know why the fuck Harry Reid would allow such a silly resolution come up for a vote?

I'm curently in Bonners Ferry ID on business. Someone needs to call Reid's office and ask them, nicely, why he allowed this vote.

In fact, everyone should call his office and ask.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Rudy on Imagration

Giuliani had an interesting exchange with Glenn Beck recently on immigration. While I can appreciate Rudy's comments, the GOP base will emphatically not. It's hard here to figure out what he was thinking.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Are we about to attack Iran

I've been busy at work and away from the news. sometimes, I just need a break from this clowns.

Anyway, it seems while I was not paying attention the war drums have again started pounding at the Navel Observatory.

Spencer Ackerman is as good a journalist as exists in DC today and he has an excellent piece up today at TPM that will bring you current, as well as fill in the background.

Here is Spencer's lede,
Barnett Rubin is the last person to set off wild speculation about war with Iran: the longtime Afghanistan expert is wonky, moderate and thoroughly analytical. But that's exactly what happened on Wednesday, when Rubin blogged that an anonymous, plugged-in friend told him that Dick Cheney's office had issued "instructions" to conservative think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute to start a drumbeat for attacking Iran. In order to determine precisely what he's alleging, and get a sense of its credibility, I spoke with Rubin, a senior fellow at NYU's Center on International Cooperation this morning.

Cheney's likely motivation for issuing such instructions to his think-tank allies would be to win an inter-administration battle over the future of Iran policy.
Cheney's still losing the policy fight with Rice as well as the Generals and SecDef Gates opposed to a military confrontation with Iran.

Can Bush order an attack without Congressional authorization?
How would an actual war be launched, given the expected opposition of the Democratic-controlled Congress? To that end, President Bush's decision to declare Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group provides an opportunity. If the IRGC, Iran's alternate military, is a terrorist group, Bush could claim authority under the September 18, 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Afghanistan to take action against Iran without Congressional approval, citing the AUMF's broad provision that "the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States."
A second option is to simply provoke Iran into attacking US forces (or faking such an attack) which we've no doubt been attempting for a year or more to no avail. Clearly, this is the easiest option if Iran would only cooperate. The congressional Dems on a good day have a hard time standing up to Bush, and in the face of an overt attack?

Spencer's story is a must read.

Who are you and what have you done with Wolf Blitzer?

From Think Progress,

On CNN’s Late Edition Sunday, Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), who recently returned from Iraq, asserted “some major improvements” are being witnessed in Iraq. Boustany claimed “sectarian deaths are down.”

Gutless wonder, Wolf Blitzer, stunned his producers and the viewers at home by corrected Boustany’s false claim, citing Iraqi health ministry statistics that report Iraqi civilian deaths have been climbing. The LA Times reports:

Bombings, sectarian slayings and other violence related to the war killed at least 1,773 Iraqi civilians in August, the second month in a row that civilian deaths have risen, according to government figures obtained Friday. In July, the civilian death toll was 1,753, and in June it was 1,227.

Blitzer emphasized, “In terms of Iraqi dead people, those numbers are high and getting worse despite the increased military troop levels of the United States — the so-called surge — having been in effect over the past couple of months.”

Boustany was stunned that Blitzer would inject facts into what he thought would be an opportunity to shamelessly lie on national television as all of Blitzer's other guest have done. The Congressman tried to recover by telling the story, as many other recent GOP visitors have, of he and his companions shopping at an Iraqi market. But Blitzer again introduced facts into the conversation by pointing out that the Congressman had a lot of security on his shopping trip forcing Boustany to acknowledge he walked with “a platoon of Marines.”

Watch it:

The truth is that Bush has no idea....

Robert Draper, A former Texas Monthly writer, has written a book on the Bush Presidency, to be released today, titled "Dead Certain". Draper had significant access not only to key staff, but the Pres and First lady as well.

Draper gave the NYTs transcripts from interviews last fall with the President. The NYTs piece ran over the weekend so I'm getting to it late, but I wanted to highlight this gem of a quote,
Mr. Bush acknowledged one major failing of the early occupation of Iraq when he said of disbanding the Saddam Hussein-era military, "The policy was to keep the army intact; didn't happen."

But when Mr. Draper pointed out that Mr. Bush's former Iraq administrator, L. Paul Bremer III, had gone ahead and forced the army's dissolution and then asked Mr. Bush how he reacted to that, Mr. Bush said, "Yeah, I can't remember, I'm sure I said, 'This is the policy, what happened?' " But, he added, "Again, Hadley's got notes on all of this stuff," referring to Stephen J. Hadley, his national security adviser.
Bremer, is reported to have been "smoldering for months" over admin attempts to distance themselves from the disastrous decision. He responded today in the pages of the NYTs insisting in a phone interview that everyone was on board with dismantling the Iraqi army. Bremmer as provided copies of letters,
“We must make it clear to everyone that we mean business: that Saddam and the Baathists are finished,” Mr. Bremer wrote in a letter that was drafted on May 20, 2003, and sent to the president on May 22 through Donald H. Rumsfeld, then secretary of defense.

After recounting American efforts to remove members of the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein from civilian agencies, Mr. Bremer told Mr. Bush that he would “parallel this step with an even more robust measure” to dismantle the Iraq military.

One day later, Mr. Bush wrote back a short thank you letter. “Your leadership is apparent,” the president wrote. “You have quickly made a positive and significant impact. You have my full support and confidence.”

Justice Souter mulled resignation after Bush v. Gore

According to Jeffrey Toobin's new book, "The Nine," Justice Souter was so "distraught" over Bush v. Gore that he considered resigning,
Toobin writes that while the other justices tried to put the case behind them, “David Souter alone was shattered,” at times weeping when he thought of the case. “For many months, it was not at all clear whether he would remain as a justice,” Toobin continues. “That the Court met in a city he loathed made the decision even harder. At the urging of a handful of close friends, he decided to stay on, but his attitude toward the Court was never the same.”