Monday, December 26, 2005

Morning copy 12.26.2005

The war over the war in Iraq

The A.P.'s analysis of Rumsfeld's recent activity:
That doesn't mean Rumsfeld believes the Iraqis are yet capable of making it on their own. There is still the potential for civil war, and a resilient and deadly insurgency is still alive. But it explains Rumsfeld's frequent assertion that success in Iraq will be decided by the Iraqis.

It also explains why Rumsfeld and his commanders are now scaling back the U.S. presence in Iraq by canceling the deployment of two Army brigades that had been scheduled to deploy in coming weeks. Fewer U.S. combat troops are needed because the Iraqis will be doing more of the fighting.

"We'll keep passing off responsibility to them," as Rumsfeld put it more than once while in Iraq.
Let's get the ticker tape ready for General Tommy Franks, Paul Bremer and the whole lot of nitwits who have handed a portion of Iraq over to Iran.

Bloomberg News on two generals:
Pace and Powell, a former Joint Chiefs chairman, said progress was being made to have Iraq forces take over the defense of their country. Pace warned that a sudden increase in violence could lead to additional U.S. troops, not a decrease.

``The enemy has a vote in this,'' Pace said on today's ``Fox News Sunday.'' ``If they were to cause some kind of problems that required more troops, then we would do exactly what we've done in the past, which is give the commanders on the ground what they need. And in that case, you could see troop levels go up a little bit to handle that problem.''
Boston Globe on the most recent violence:
The violence occurred after more than a week of discontent and acrimony among some voters over the preliminary results of the Dec. 15 balloting for the first permanent national government since the US-led 2003 invasion.

With those early tabulations showing a likely landslide victory for Shi'ite religious parties, losing slates and their supporters have cried foul. More than 1,000 fraud complaints have been filed with Iraqi election officials and waves of protests have been held in and around the capital.

''With these election results, you're giving the resistance a reason to continue their resistance," said Nabeal Mohammad Younis, a professor of political science and a Sunni Arab nationalist.
Domestic spying

Colin Powell via the New York Times:
"My own judgment is that it didn't seem to me, anyway, that it would have been that hard to go get the warrants," Mr. Powell said. "And even in the case of an emergency, you go and do it. The law provides for that."

But Mr. Powell added that "for reasons that the president has discussed and the attorney general has spoken to, they chose not to do it that way."

"I see absolutely nothing wrong with the president authorizing these kinds of actions," he said.

The New Orleans Times Picayune reports that local leaders are trying to keep FEMA trailers out of their communities.

Granite State GOP

Rick Klein, in the Boston Globe, writes that Democrats are gaining in New Hampshire, and the state's GOP delegation is becoming a problem for the GOP Congress.

The Senate's Lott

Robert Novak, in the Chicago Sun Times, writes:
Trent Lott within the next week plans to decide between seeking a fourth term in the U.S. Senate from Mississippi or retiring from public life. That could determine whether Republicans keep control of the Senate in next year's elections. For the longer range, Lott's retirement and replacement could signal that Southern political realignment has peaked and now is receding.


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