Monday, October 10, 2005

(Late) morning copy 10.10.2005

The Earthquake

CNN: The toll is now at 30,000.

The Indian military/government are under fire for slow response to the quake, CNN. The Kashmir region has more than 500,000 Indian troops deployed for anti-sepratist fighting.

United States aid to Pakistan is $50 million, CNN.


We are less than a week away from elections and that means we'll see lots of Op-Eds on what to do about Iraq.

Senator Carl Levin of Michigan in the Washington Post:

There is, however, one point on which leaders of the three main groups in Iraq agree: None of the Iraqi groups wants U.S. troops to leave precipitately. The Shiites want us to stay until Iraqi security forces are strong enough to deal with the insurgency on their own. The Kurds want us to remain for the impending future. And the Sunni Arab leaders want us to stay as a deterrent to those who might seek revenge against them for the actions of Saddam Hussein.

We must use that leverage -- the possibility of an American withdrawal -- to achieve the broad-based political settlement that is essential for defeating the insurgency.

Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold interviewed in Salon:

Well, I think it's his job to come up with the specifics. But among the things that I would certainly be looking for would be first a recognition that the military mission and the mission of having a democratic and stable Iraq are actually different things. There is a tunnel vision in the White House which suggests we are just going to go out and find the bad guys, we are going to kill them, and we are just going to stay there until that is done. Well, that actually plays into the hands of those who are trying to radicalize the Iraqi people.

William Shawcross in the Los Angeles Times bemoans the overly simplistic hippy peaceniks but his analysis is dripping with naivete.

They want to convince a world where understanding comes only from brief television images that Iraq has gone to hell. That is a lie.

Iraq was always complex — it is now vibrantly so. Despite the terrorist campaign to kill it, the country has become a school for free expression and for government elected by the people. The dread silence of half a century has given way to millions of opinions — as in the U.S., or any society that sees itself as free.

His conclusion for troop draw down:

The sacrifice of U.S. soldiers, of their coalition allies and of Iraqis is horrifically painful. But if we can stay long enough to enable the Iraqis to lay the firm foundation of civil society, their deaths will not be in vain. We should leave when the elected Iraqi government asks us to do so.

Miers nomination

Senator Arlen Specter says Miers faced a "stampede" to judgment and a "lynch mob". What he expects from his committee, WaPo:

Specter and Vermont Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the committee's ranking Democrat, said they intend to follow up on a comment by Focus on the Family founder and chairman James C. Dobson that, based on conversations with White House adviser Karl Rove, he believes she opposes abortion and would be a good justice.

Interestingly that is the meat and potatoes of the WaPo story but the lede in the New York Times version:

"If Dr. Dobson knows something that he shouldn't know or something that I ought to know, I'm going to find out," Mr. Specter said Sunday in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on the ABC News program "This Week."

Ronald Brownstein in the Los Angeles Times figures Dubya out:

Bush picked Miers because he felt strong, not weak. Remember that Bush, throughout his presidency, has repeatedly demonstrated that he believes leadership is more about following his personal convictions, regardless of outside opinion, than building consensus. When he has the power to implement his ideas, he usually does, no matter how much critics complain.


Issues finding new candidates for the GOP in the Washington Post:

"Is it poor recruiting or a bad environment? Probably both," said Jennifer Duffy, who tracks Senate races for the independent Cook Political Report.


Another Republican, pollster Tony Fabrizio, said a recruiting chill was inevitable. Candidates "aren't stupid," he said. "They see the political landscape. You are asking them to make a huge personal sacrifice. It's a lot easier to make that sacrifice if you think there's a rainbow at the end."

Same story in the Los Angeles Times:

"The wind is not at our back, it's in our face," said Glen Bolger, a GOP pollster. "If you're a candidate making an assessment about challenging an incumbent, having wind in your face is clearly a negative factor in the decision."


Blogger Bassizzzt said...

"United States aid to Pakistan is $50 million, CNN."

At least we're not US flag effigy burning, dirty pajama wearing neanderthals yelling "death to america" and "kill all americans" as they do to us.

Question to ponder: why hasn't Musharaff outlawed such violent demonstrations?

There, we've just proven to the world we're not as bad as they are. It seems that we're not so broke as we imagined, what with this bottomless checkbook we have that is labeled "DEFICIT."

3:43 PM  

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