Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sunday news

The war over the war in Iraq

National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said on CNN's Late Edition that an uptick in violence is expected in the coming weeks as the rejectionists, Saddamists and terrorists try to protest the election. These groups will try to "derail" the political process, so he said. Here is some of the political process:

Former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi was attacked at a Shiite shrine in Najaf, A.P. via New York Times. CNN says that off camera and through implication Allawi's people point to Moqtada Sadr. One of Sadr's men was shot dead, Agence France Presse via Free Republic. The A.P. account includes the assassination of a police commander. Rival Sunni factions are allying to form voting blocks, Boston Globe. A Sunni insurgent group was planning to attack Saddam's trial with rockets, USA Today.

This is not a heart warming political process.

Sir Ronnie Flanagan, former top cop of Northern Ireland, is heading to Basra to review Iraqi police, BBC News. Flanagan obviously has some experience working with a difficult police situation, his bio on BBC.

Sectarian law enforcement will fuel the insurgency. Militia involvement in the developing Iraqi military and police force is a serious risk, perhaps the most serious risk in Iraq. The president's focus seems to be on the Sunnis. It took a long time for the president to realize that the Sunni insurgency is split into numerous factions. How long will it take him to realize that the Shiite are operating with their own insurgencies? That is probably just too much for him to handle.

As for the Sunni insurgency, it appears to be evolving. Michael Ware in TIME has a must read:
But a Time investigation, based on dozens of interviews with military and intelligence officials as well as Iraqi leaders inside and outside the insurgency, reveals that Iraqis are reclaiming the upper hand, forcing al-Zarqawi to adjust. Differences between Baathist insurgent groups and al-Qaeda are driven by discomfort with al-Zarqawi's extreme tactics and willingness among some Iraqi commanders to join the political process. U.S. officials in Baghdad confirm to Time that they have stepped up their efforts to negotiate with nationalist insurgents and the Sunnis they represent. "We want to deal with their legitimate concerns," U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad tells Time. "We will intensify the engagement, interaction and discussion with them."

How a Duke professor influenced George W. Bush's speech, the New York Times:
Although White House officials said many federal departments had contributed to the document, its relentless focus on the theme of victory strongly reflected a new voice in the administration: Peter D. Feaver, a Duke University political scientist who joined the N.S.C. staff as a special adviser in June and has closely studied public opinion on the war.

Shailagh Murray details war woes with a narrative lede in the Washington Post:
CEDARTOWN, Ga. -- The annual Christmas parade is crawling down Main Street, and amid the marching bands and flatbed creches, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R) is throwing candy to kids from the cab of a pickup truck.

Glenda Mattox scowls at the festive scene. She is the type of voter who causes heartburn for Gingrey and other Republican lawmakers over the Iraq war. Slight and feisty, the former wife of a Vietnam War veteran, Mattox hangs out at the local American Legion hall and strongly supported the Iraq invasion. But she thinks the 2 1/2 -year war has dragged on too long, at the cost of too many lives.

Bill Lambrecht in the Saint Louis Post Dispatch writes that some GOP strategists are more worried about the war and the splits in the Grand Old Party than ever:
Fiscal conservatives are concerned about the deficit and the growth of government, as are many independents. Women, particularly suburban woman, are returning to family issues like health care and energy costs rather than the national security concerns that brought them to the GOP after 9/11.

Iraq troubles even staunch Republicans. More than a third of self-identified conservatives are telling pollsters that American foreign policy is on the wrong track, observed GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio.

Tom Raum writes a news analysis for the A.P. that details the difficulties Team Bush has had with singing the same song:
"They're trying to get on a common message, and it's basically coming through. But it took them a long time to get to this message," said Michael O'Hanlon, a foreign policy analyst at the Brookings Institution.

That is the war woes of the GOP and the Iraqis.

Here is an example of why John Kerry is a stooge, Boston Globe:
Rhode Island's Jack Reed, West Point graduate, former Army Ranger and paratrooper, Senate Armed Services Committee member and leader of Democratic efforts to build a unified message on Iraq, was supposed to be the designated hitter for Senate Democrats in responding to President Bush's speech on the war Wednesday.

But that was before John F. Kerry of Massachusetts got into the act.

On the eve of Bush's speech, Democratic Senate leaders told the media that Reed would deliver the party's official response at 11 a.m., inside the Capitol's ornate Mansfield Room. But Senate aides told the Globe's Rick Klein that Reed's staff had learned from TV producers that Kerry, past and likely future presidential candidate, had already booked a competing time slot to deliver his own remarks from the Senate's radio and TV gallery.

A last-minute scramble to organize a joint press conference ensued, and the two New England senators wound up sharing the podium.

If Kerry's action miffed the Democratic leadership, the minority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, isn't letting on. His spokeswoman praised the ''the two vets for speaking out about a new course in Iraq." Meanwhile, Kerry's office offered this: ''We had scheduled a press conference for Senator Kerry to talk about Iraq. When we learned that Senator Reed had one planned for the same time, we happily offered to do our event later or combine them."

Domestic politics

Robert Novak in the Chicago Sun Times on the GOP and scandal:
Over dinner at the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels, Md., the GOP leaders were reported to have discussed the repercussions of the scandal centering on the federal investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff. They were said to have discussed how many of their colleagues might find themselves linked to Abramoff, as has Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, the ''mayor'' of Capitol Hill as chairman of the House Administration Committee.

Dick Armey is upset with "borrow and spend" at Opinion Journal:
None of this will be easy. The good news for Republicans willing to do this heavy lifting is that the "ideas" of the left are bankrupt. Notice that the brightest liberal politicians, like Hillary Clinton, always move toward our policy ground as they prepare to run for national office. Why would Republicans want to act like them when they act like us in order to win?

One final Armey Axiom: When we act like us, we win. When we act like them, we lose.

The 2008 primary for the Democrats may tilt toward the West, Arizona Republic:
Lobbying by Western Democrats could spur the party to embrace a proposal for an eight-state Western regional presidential primary in 2008, a move that many say would elevate regional issues onto the national agenda during the next presidential campaign.


Taiwan's opposition party, which favors eventual reunification with China, won an electoral victory, A.P. via the Boston Globe.

The New York Yankees

The New York Daily News has this exclusive:
Despite drawing more than four million fans, the Yankees lost between $50 million and $85 million for the 2005 season, several Major League Baseball sources told the Daily News. The benefactors of baseball, who pumped more than $200 million into their payroll and almost $110 million into revenue sharing and luxury tax, are deep in the red this year.


Post a Comment

<< Home