Monday, November 28, 2005

Morning copy 11.28.2005

The war over the war in Iraq

The tense, high stakes trial of Saddam Hussein resumes today, New York Times. And will be delayed for a week.

Congressmen Tim Murphy and Jim Marshall were injured in a motorvehicle accident in Iraq, AP via NY Times.

The New York Daily News recaps a story in this week's New Yorker on George W. Bush's belief in the mission in Iraq. The president is impervious to bad news, reports the New Yorker. Seymour Hersch breaks a few stories in this report. Where is the war going?
A key element of the drawdown plans, not mentioned in the President’s public statements, is that the departing American troops will be replaced by American airpower. Quick, deadly strikes by U.S. warplanes are seen as a way to improve dramatically the combat capability of even the weakest Iraqi combat units. The danger, military experts have told me, is that, while the number of American casualties would decrease as ground troops are withdrawn, the over-all level of violence and the number of Iraqi fatalities would increase unless there are stringent controls over who bombs what.

And as for the NY Daily News story:
The former senior official said that after the election he made a lengthy inspection visit to Iraq and reported his findings to Bush in the White House: “I said to the President, ‘We’re not winning the war.’ And he asked, ‘Are we losing?’ I said, ‘Not yet.’ ” The President, he said, “appeared displeased” with that answer.

“I tried to tell him,” the former senior official said. “And he couldn’t hear it.”

On Meet the Press, Senator John Warner (R., Va.) suggested that President Bush should issue "fireside chats" about the status in Iraq, AP via ABC News.

Iraq war vet Maj. Ladda "Tammy" Duckworth may run for a hotly contested seat in the Illinois delegation to the U.S. Congress, Chicago Sun Times. Her views on the war are not known. She was wounded severely and is a Democrat.

The use of white phosphorus in Fallujah is detailed in the Los Angeles Times:
The Pentagon and other U.S. officials at first denied, and later admitted, that troops had used white phosphorus as a weapon against insurgents in Fallouja during that fiercely fought campaign. Its use became public because of questions raised by an Italian television documentary Nov. 8, which alleged that civilians had been targeted "indiscriminately" and that hundreds had died.

But even though U.S. officials have admitted using the substance against enemy fighters, they have denied the allegations of Fallouja residents such as Abdullah that its use was widespread and civilians were among those killed.

The curious case of Ramsey Clark joining Saddam's defense, the Washington Times.

Philip Dine of the St. Louis Post Dispatch dug up an interesting quote about the Iraq war debate:
"It's silly to tell the American people what they can debate. They are going to debate whatever they want," said James Carafano, military expert at the Heritage Foundation. "That's how democracies go to war, how they fight. We're still debating the Civil War."

Carafano, a 25-year Army veteran, also dismisses the administration's claim that such talk hurts troop morale.

"I think the notion that it undercuts the American will to fight is clearly overblown. That's a myth that comes from Vietnam," he said.

At the same time, Carafano agrees with Cheney that the administration is "being picked on unfairly" by its critics over the issue of prewar intelligence.

Two Canadian aid workers are held hostage in Iraq, Globe and Mail.

Hillary Clinton will have a minor challenger for the party nomination for U.S. Senator of New York. Her rival advocates an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, AP via the Boston Globe.

Marines from a battle weary Ohio battalion see signs of progress amid their losses in Iraq, the Chrsitian Science Monitor.

Border security

The president will try to augment the support he has from his base by pushing for border security. No doubt this is an effort to appear presidential and salvage some better poll numbers during the holiday season.

TIME magazine has the best political pun of the day: "Playing Both Sides of the Fence".

The Washington Times details how this will be a difficult balance:
President Bush today will call for a crackdown on illegal immigration, a move aimed at further rallying conservatives who recently cheered Mr. Bush's tough talk on Iraq and the Supreme Court.

But the president will also renew his call for a program to allow Mexicans who have already entered the U.S. illegally to remain here for up to six years. That initiative has long angered conservatives who equate it with amnesty.

The Los Angeles Times yesterday approached the issue of illegal immigration as a potential means to excite the GOP electorate but also one that could do harm:
WASHINGTON — Illegal immigration has emerged as a major issue in political campaigns around the country, adding an element of emotional intensity that Republicans hope will excite their conservative supporters — but that also threatens to split the party.

"In Russia we trust"

The Wall Street Journal is right to be skeptical of what Russo - Iranian negotiations may yield.

The auto industry

Ronald Brownstein in the Los Angeles Times says that the U.S government needs to jump start the American auto industry. Senator Barack Obama, (D., Ill.) has advanced a proposal that the government would help with worker healthcare if the auto makers were to produce more fuel efficient vehicles.

Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation

Another TIME reporter is to testify in the CIA Leak case. This is seen in the MSM as an indication that Karl Rove remains in legal trouble, as the upcoming testimony will involve what Rove's attorney was saying in 2004, AP via Washington Post.

Samuel Alito

Note these two grafs from Bloomberg News:
The risk for Democrats is that they may appear overzealous -- and politically impotent -- should Alito perform well at confirmation hearings scheduled to start Jan. 9, presenting himself as an open-minded and careful jurist who forthrightly explains his decisions.

``I don't think the public has been told anything about Alito that troubles them,'' says Jennifer Duffy, an analyst for the Washington-based, non-partisan Cook Political Report. If Democrats ``look like they're badgering him, if they look like they are trying to misrepresent him, I think that could be problematic,'' she says.


The Muslim Brotherhood has gained 29 seats in Egypt's parliament, AP via Post and Courier.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: border- anything about the house bill that does not grant citizenship to children born on US territory whose parents illegal?

Justification being the 2nd part of the 14th- "Citizens all persons born or naturalized ...and subject to the [laws and authority of the US Government]"

12:10 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

I've never been clear on the immigrants issue... it's such a tough issue to make a clear-cut judgement on.

12:14 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Ezzie, I agree. This is from the Time article linked above (via the Note):

Immigration: Time magazine nails it: "In the end, though, it's unlikely that Bush will ever consummate his flirtation with the anti-immigrant right. It's too big a departure from his history, and too many Big Business G.O.P. donors need their cheap labor. 'Bush decided to give these guys' —the immigration hard-liners— 'their rhetorical pound of flesh,' says a Republican official close to the White House. 'In return, he wants a comprehensive bill, which is what he has always wanted. He's just going to lead with a lot of noise about border security.'"

1:24 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

It's a tough issue for that reason: It's not just good for big business, it's actually best for small businesses and manufacturing companies who need good, hard-working, cheap labor. In general, I don't think the Mexicans are causing much trouble; they just want to earn some money, and are willing to work for it. OTOH, they still are illegals.

10:30 PM  

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