Saturday, August 13, 2005


It may be Saturday, but it's more importantly 8 p.m. on August 13th in Baghdad, and there are just over two days for a constitution. And that is the first set of news stories.


President Jalal Talabani says that the constitution will be ready Sunday, though others are not certain. The two obstacles remain federalism and the role of Islam in the state. Reuters LINK.

A deal is met on oil. Apparently the central government will distribute oil revenues across the entire country, based on population, NY Times LINK.

Such a plan could substantially strengthen the power of the central government, read power of the purse. Of course, that's only IF there is a central government.


Sunni clerics have called for their followers to vote against a consitution that would partition central and southern Iraq into a federal, Shiite region, al Jazeera LINK.

Middle East Times excerpt, of an AFP story:

"We are shocked and scared by the demand for autonomy as expressed by my Shia brothers," said Salah Al Motlag, a key Sunni member of the constitutional drafting committee.

International Herald Tribune excerpt:

"We reject it wherever it is, whether in the north or in the south, but we accept the Kurdish region as it was before the war," said Kamal Hamdoun, a Sunni member of the committee drafting the constitution. Some Shiite leaders want to replicate the success of Kurdish leaders in the north who govern an autonomous part of the country.

Sheehan demonstration.

The motorcade buzzed by, and the Chicago Tribune has the BEST headline that I have seen: "Bush avoids beef, heads for barbecue"

Cindy Sheehan is attracting a lot of attention, and I highly doubt what Pat Buchanan said on MSNBC today that she will encounter diminishing returns. She is also blogging on Michael Moore's site (gasp).'s interview with Ms. Sheehan.

A bio of the late Sp. Casey Sheehan, CNN LINK.

The Nexus for anti-war protestors, NY Times LINK. Conservative (pro-war?) groups also to flock to the region, Washington Post LINK.

I do not understand how someone could be so ferverently pro-Bush as to think that Iraq is going well and his muddled, stay-the-course policies are good for the country and the world.
1. Our army cannot sustain military operations at this level a year from now, as presently constituted.
2. International (CIA as well) intelligence officials believe this war is a boon for global terrorism.
3. Iran is going to go nuclear, and God forbid if a SCIRI friendly government gets a foothold in Southern Iraq.

News.'s Lede:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Coalition forces have found more than 1,500 gallons of various chemicals in what officials believe is an insurgent chemical production facility and storage sites, the U.S. military said Saturday.

The "calmest" city in Iraq, Samawah -- which had been a possible area for Iraqi military autonomy -- has a developing insurgency problem. LINK.

A fascinating analysis of the photos of casualties in this war, LA Times LINK.

All the trappings of home, kinda' sorta', NY Times LINK.


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