Gaza on the Tigris (cont’d.)

One of the Bush administration's talking points on the occupation of Iraq is to compare this effort with the rebuilding of Japan and Germany in the years following World War II. I'm not sure this is a comparison they really want to be making, since it sets a very high standard for the eventual outcome of the occupation -- Germany and Japan became prosperous, democratic allies of the U.S. The comparison also highlights the excessive cost of the Iraqi occupation, both in terms of … [Read more...]

Early Returns

As the networks cover returns from California, you can be sure they'll offer projections, even after only a small percentage of precincts have reported. Imagine, hypothetically, that California had 130 precincts. Imagine if, after returns were in from 10 of these, 100 percent of those returns showed voters in favor of the recall, with 0 percent opposed. There's little doubt, in such a scenario, that the news networks would (appropriately) inform us that: "With 7.6 percent of … [Read more...]

One year before the war

Calpundit continues to be vital reading for keeping up with Leak-gate. (It probably helps to keep Kevin's mind off of his state's downward spiral.) The simple fact is that two high-level officials in the White House have betrayed their country and broken the law. Apologists for this treason, inside and outside the Bush administration, have adopted the strategy of the (failed) defenders of Baghdad. They have lit thousands of small oil fires, trying to fill the air with black smoke and … [Read more...]

Sending a very clear signal

Tim Dunlop of Road to Surfdom provides some helpful clarity about the issues of consequence (and of no consequence) in the CIA leak-gate investigation. He frames the issue more clearly in 13 short lines than I have heard done from a whole afternoon of cable news chatter. One odd aspect of today's news coverage was the continual updating of the number of administration staff who have turned over either their documents relevant to the investigation, or an affidavit affirming that they have no … [Read more...]

“Bring ‘em on”

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:2) Candidate George W. Bush, 1999, discussing the state of the U.S. military: "Resources are over-stretched. Frustration is up, as families are separated and strained. Morale is down. This administration wants things both ways: To command great forces, without supporting them. To launch today's new causes, with little thought of tomorrow's … [Read more...]

Post profile of Joe Wilson

Richard Leiby's profile in tomorrow's Washington Post is going to make it harder for his critics to continue their smear campaign: His fingers threaded a string of ornate black worry beads, common in the Arab world. They're from his days in Baghdad, where he was acting U.S. ambassador. In 1990, while sheltering more than a hundred Americans at the U.S. embassy and diplomatic residences, he briefed reporters while wearing a hangman's noose instead of a necktie -- a symbol of … [Read more...]

Smear, smear again

Whatever virtue there may be to being disciplined and staying on message, that benefit doesn't seem to outweigh the transparent cynicism of robotically concerted campaigns. Yesterday's White House-defender talking point was to argue that Valerie Plame wasn't really a covert operative, but merely an analyst. That strategy failed miserably because it was directly contrary to the facts as known -- she was, in fact, a covert operative. Today's talking point is to go on the … [Read more...]

Bremer, Bono and $200 billion

President Bush's request of another $87 billion for securing and rebuilding Iraq has to be added to the $70 billion already spent there. Add to that $157 billion another $50 to $60 billion that various reports say will be needed and you've got a pricetag well over $200 billion. But there's another $200 billion lurking here as well -- Iraq's existing foreign debt. In a case of "you broke it, you bought it," that debt gets inherited by the Coalition Provisional … [Read more...]