Monday, February 20, 2006

(Late) Morning copy 02.20.2006

The long war

TIME magazine:
The State Department's top official in Iraq, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, argues vigorously that the U.S. needs to maintain a robust military presence around areas such as oil pipelines and power grids, targeted by the insurgents. The Iraqis have organized special battalions to guard those assets. Yet Khalilzad, say military sources, is not that convinced the Iraqis are up to the job. That has sparked a sharp disagreement with General George Casey, the Pentagon's top commander in Iraq. "Casey is telling the ambassador, 'The Iraqis got it,'" a military source tells TIME. "I'm not sure the ambassador is listening." A spokeswoman for the ambassador says there is no serious disagreement and that Casey and Khalilzad are addressing the issues in a new Joint Working Group.
The Boston Globe:
WASHINGTON -- After months of trying unsuccessfully to develop a common message on the war in Iraq, Democratic Party leaders are beginning to coalesce around a broad plan to begin a quick withdrawal of US troops and install them elsewhere in the region, where they could respond to emergencies in Iraq and help fight terrorism in other countries.
The Washington Times has a story on another "Long war" document from the Pentagon.

Newsweek (sub-head):"From Gaza to Baghdad, the aim used to be to crush all extremists militarily. But now that Hamas is in government, weapons include money—and fruit."

The New York Times: "Israel Suspends Tax Money Flow to Palestinians"

The New York Times (Reuters): "Iran to Pursue Atomic Research Despite Russian Plan"

The A.P.:
An Iranian group that claims its members are dedicated to becoming suicide bombers warned the United States and Britain on Saturday that they will strike coalition military bases in Iraq if Tehran's nuclear facilities are attacked.
The Washington Post:
BAGHDAD, Feb. 20 -- Iran is playing "a negative role" in Iraq by providing weapons, training and other support to militias and insurgent groups that interfere in Iraqi politics, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq said at a news conference on Monday.

"I have said to Iraqis that we do not seek to impose our differences with Iran on them," Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said. "But we do not want Iranian interference in Iraq."
The Dems

Ronald Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times:
When House Republicans created the committee in September, Pelosi refused to appoint Democrats to the panel. She didn't block five House Democrats from the Gulf Coast region from informal participation. But she did seek to discredit the investigation by barring any Democrat from officially taking part. "I am not going to, as leader, validate what I consider to be a whitewash," she said in September.

Now that the special committee, under the chairmanship of Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), has finished its work (available at ), Pelosi's decision looks petty, partisan and small.

Was the report Davis released last week incomplete, as some Democrats charged? Sure. It left open questions, particularly about the president's role, that deserve further investigation.

But was the investigation a whitewash or a sham, as Democrats charged going in? Not even close.


Blogger Bassizzzt said...

"Israel Suspends Tax Money Flow to Palestinians"

Meanwhile, while no one wants to make any decisions, the US government continues to mail out the check.

9:33 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Bassizzzt, my take on this is the administration is worn out and they don't know what to do next -- other than some of the old bag of tricks like ineffective C.A. plans against the Iranian regime. And trying to get "allies" in the region and in Europe to help out.

4:46 PM  

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