Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Morning copy 8.31.2005

Substantial flooding and chaos in hurricane-ravaged area.

The Superdome will have to be evacuated within a matter of days, Washington Post LINK.

Navy ships are dispatched to the area, NY Times LINK.

Bush will cut his vacation short (two days out of the four weeks) and return to D.C., Washington Post LINK.

With oil rigs adrift and refineries shut down, a short run oil "crisis" looms, AP Story, USA Today LINK.

Atlanta Journal Constitution says that Atlanta area motorists could pay "considerably more" than $3.00 a gallon because of the regional impact of the storm, AJC LINK.

Kos has one of the most disturbing pictures from Tuesday.


More than 600 killed in a stampede in Iraq, perhaps provoked by someone claiming a suicide bomber was in the area, al Jazeera LINK. The stampede happened at Shiite Islam's 3rd holiest shrine.

George W. Bush is providing more history lessons, comparing the war in Iraq to WWII. LINK. Excerpt:

"Now, as then, they are trying to intimidate free people and break our will, and now, as then, they will fail," Bush said to applauding sailors in white uniforms and Marines in camouflage. "They will fail, because the terrorists of our century are making the same mistake that the followers of other totalitarian ideologies made in the last century. They believe that democracies are inherently weak and corrupt and can be brought to their knees." But, he added, "America will not run in defeat, and we will not forget our responsibilities."

Reaching back into history, Bush repeatedly cited Roosevelt's steadfastness as the model for today's conflict, comparing the Japanese sneak assault on Pearl Harbor in 1941 to the al Qaeda terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001. Much as Roosevelt fought pre-Pearl Harbor isolationism, Bush urged against a return to what he called the "pre-9/11 mindset of isolation and retreat."

"He knew that it was the lack of democracy in Japan that allowed an unelected group of militarists to take control of the state, threaten our neighbors, attack America and plunge an entire region into war," Bush said of Roosevelt. "And he knew that the best way to bring peace and stability to the region was by bringing freedom to Japan."

I guess fire bombing Tokyo was a step toward achieving freedom and not a brutal attack to destroy the will to fight in a militarized nation. What else can we expect from a president who compares Federalists and Antifederalists in the late 18th century to Iraq's myriad sectarian fissures?

And if the president doesn't understand the affairs in which he leads, how can we expect victory? Or is he just heaping rhetoric in an effort to deceive?

The U.S. ambassador to Iraq "hinted" that the Iraqi constitution is still in draft form, and may see revisions, AP story, USA Today LINK.

U.S. troops target "terrorist" locales in the Western part of Iraq, but locals say civilians were killed, LA Times LINK.

Los Angeles Times analysis of the (draft????) constitution says that perhaps 50 issues still need to be resolved by the next elected assembly, assuming the constitution is approved in the referendum, LINK. Excerpt:

"There's going to be a lot of wrangling," said Saadoun Zubaidi, a Sunni Arab negotiator who opposes the draft charter. "A lot of the paragraphs in the constitution are vague and bland. There's still a lot to be said."

Kurds wanted the constitution to include a formula for dividing oil profits, but Shiites insisted that the matter be settled by the assembly.

Women's rights leaders sought protections against religious courts in matters such as divorce, child custody and inheritance, but the current version promises only that the issue — like dozens of others — will be "organized by law."

Other issues left unresolved include the powers and formation of a second legislative body, known as the Council of Union; the wartime powers of the prime minister; the powers of Iraq's intelligence agencies; the right to protest and peacefully assemble; and the definition of hate groups.

The risks contestants will take for a chance at escaping Iraq -- on each episode of Iraq Star, LA Times LINK.

U.S. general says Iraqis will need long term air defense from American forces, NY Times LINK.

And those planes need pilots and crews. Those pilots and crews need cooks and commanders. Those cooks and commanders need troops to protect them. Those troops need more cooks and a few tanks.

More links

Bush's poll numbers erode slightly, Washington Post LINK.

Prominent security leaders, pro-Syrian also, arrested in Lebannon for the death of nationalist leader Rafiq Hariri, Washington Post LINK.

Rudolph Giuliani will decide on his potential candidacy for president in 2006, Washington Post LINK.

Women's rights groups, environmental groups and soon perhaps civil rights groups and others have joined an anti-Roberts alliance, Washington Post LINK.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says that some questions about Roberts' views, including abortion questions, are permissible, USA Today LINK.

U.S. poverty rate increased for fourth straight year, NY Times LINK.

New Bush administration rules to permit more pollution from power plants, Washington Post LINK.

The Nationals will not necessarily open all their seasons at home, like teams in D.C.'s past, Washington Times.

"Alternative archeology" at :-/


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