Thursday, December 15, 2005

Morning copy 12.15.2005

The war over the war in Iraq

Senator Joe Biden (D., Del.) said, on CNN's American Morning, that the difference between his view on Iraq and Rep. Jack Murtha's view is like the difference between the 8th inning and the bottom of the 9th, respectively.


New York Times: "Split Between Secular and Islamist Parties Is Seen in Election"

Reuters: "Scattered attacks fail to disrupt big Iraq vote"

Guardian: "Strong Sunni turnout as Iraqi elections begin"

Washington Post (not on the elections, but a headline of note):"In Four Speeches, Two Answers on War's End"

Al Jazeera: "Explosions as Iraq votes"
That explosion appears to have been a mortar attack on the Green Zone as the polls opened.
Globe and Mail: "Iraq goes to the polls"

BBC News: "Iraqis vote in landmark election"

Lede of the day goes to Thanassis Cambanis of the Boston Globe: "BAGHDAD -- The simplest thing about today's Iraqi election will be the voting."

On the whole, the main stream media in the United States is portraying these elections as a potential turning point, though with questions and risks. Not the doom and gloom upon which some say the MSM dwells.

The Washington Times:
BAGHDAD -- After months of painstaking dialogue, U.S. officials have persuaded most of the main insurgent groups to cease violence for today's election and its immediate aftermath, U.S. officials said yesterday.
David Sanger has news analysis in the New York Times:
But it is the longer term - the next year - that worries many of Mr. Bush's advisers and the United States military. Amid insurgent attacks and warnings of civil war, the government may take months to form, and many officials wonder whether that lag will distract the Iraqis from leaping the hurdles that Mr. Bush wants them to clear before he will begin withdrawing American forces next year.

Taken together, Mr. Bush's speeches and document lay out just how high those hurdles are: building a new government strong enough that "terrorists and Saddamists can no longer threaten Iraq's democracy," Mr. Bush said; strong enough to make sure terrorists cannot use Iraq as a place to plot attacks against the United States; and with an Iraqi security force strong enough to protect its own people.
Peggy Noonan of Opinion Journal:
The Bush White House--and the president--have in the same way made Iraq a Bush drama. Bush won't cut and run, Bush has personal relationships, Bush is like Harry Truman, Bush will hold to his word. Look, he's landing on an aircraft carrier. It's all about Bush.
Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has an opinion in the Washington Post:
Our strategy in Iraq is putting us on a path toward success, though many challenges lie ahead and much hard work remains to be done by Americans and Iraqis alike. But the benefits of success are worth the effort. Success in Iraq will advance American interests and values. It is a linchpin in the needed transformation of the broader Middle East, which is the defining challenge of our time.
Dear Mr. President,

Chuck Schumer (D., NY.) would like President Bush to explain why Robert Novak said that the president would know his source and should be the one asked, News & Observer.

Mitt Romney

Governor Mitt Romney (R., Mass) says he will not run for a second term in 2006 -- which is of course an indication of presidential ambitions, Boston Globe.

The viability of his candidacy is reviewed in this Globe story.


Times Picayune: Rumsfeld called by committee. Also in the Times Picayune: Insurance money may fall short for rebuilding effort.

The New York Times calls the loan system for recovery into question:
Hundreds of thousands of Gulf Coast families, hoping to rebuild their homes after the hurricanes using low-interest government loans, are facing high rejection rates and widespread delays at the federal agency that administers the disaster loan program.
McCain torture amendment

New York Times:
WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 - In an unusual bipartisan rebuke to the Bush administration, the House on Wednesday overwhelmingly endorsed Senator John McCain's measure to bar cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners in American custody anywhere in the world.


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