Monday, March 13, 2006

News roundup 03.13.2006

War on terror

A major speech on Iraq today.

The latest Rise of al Sadr story comes from the Los Angeles Times.

If anyone can be called a maverick, it's Michael Scheuer. In today's Washington Times, he assails the president:
As the smoke clears from this U.S.-foreign-policy train wreck, the dominating image must be that of Osama bin Laden's shy and wry smile. America, once again, has validated the al Qaeda chief's decade-long and ongoing lesson for Muslims: America supports democracy only if its agents are elected; America will destroy any regime that threatens Israel; America will not allow a country to be ruled by Islamic law unless it has vast oil resources; and, for America, Muslim blood is cheap, it has no qualms about cutting funds used to feed Muslim children.
Ellen Knickmeyer of the Washington Post:
The past two weeks have changed the war in Iraq, shifting its focus from a U.S.-driven fight against Sunni insurgents to a direct battle for power and survival between Iraq's empowered Shiite majority and disempowered Sunni minority. On Sunday, three car bombings in Baghdad's Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City killed about 50 people, the deadliest string of sectarian attacks since the Feb. 22 bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra touched off a wave of retaliatory killings.
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
BAGHDAD - Senior Iraqi officials confirmed for the first time yesterday that death squads composed of government employees had operated illegally from inside two government ministries.
The latest New York Times excerpt from Gordon/Trainor leads with:
The war was barely a week old when Gen. Tommy R. Franks threatened to fire the Army's field commander.

The Washington Post:
The internal administration debate that raged in the first term between those who advocated more engagement with Iran and those who preferred more confrontation appears in the second term to be largely settled in favor of the latter. Although administration officials do not use the term "regime change" in public, that in effect is the goal they outline as they aim to build resistance to the theocracy.
The Washington Times (now this is editing!):
Public details are vague, but Venezuelan opposition figures and press reports have said the deal on minerals could involve the production and transfer to Iran have said the deal on minerals could involve the production and transfer to Iran of Venezuelan uranium taken from known deposits located in the dense jungle states of Amazonas and Bolivar.

The New York Times: "Budget Restraint Emerges as G.O.P. Theme for 2008"

Robert Novak:
The wheels came off the Republican cart on Capitol Hill last week with abandonment of any pretense of loyalty to George W. Bush. But while upbraiding the president, Republican members of Congress were adrift on a sea of unrestrained government spending.
(Compared to wheels that gingerly meander off...)

White House fatigue in the Washington Post:
"By the time you get to year six, there's never a break . . . and you get tired," said Ed Rollins, who served five years in President Ronald Reagan's White House. "There's always a crisis. It wears you down. This has been a White House that hasn't really had much change at all. There is a fatigue factor that builds up. You sometimes don't see the crisis approaching. You're not as on guard as you once were."
The plight in Kenya

The Times of London: "'There's nothing to eat. The cows are finished, we have nothing'"

A Fein idea?

I believe Senator Russ Feingold's plan to censure, or attempt to censure, the president is not a wise political move; unless viewed with 2008 colored glasses. But, Bill Frist's reaction, as quoted in the New York Times is partisanship reductio ad absurdum:
"We are right now at a war, in an unprecedented war, where we do have people who really want to take us down," Mr. Frist said.

"The signal that it sends — that there is in any way a lack of support for our commander in chief, who is leading us with a bold vision in a way that we know is making our homeland safer — is wrong," he added. "And it sends a perception around the world."
Most Americans do not believe Bush has a bold vision, do not believe that he has made us safer (as of now and with Iraq) etc., etc.

Roe v. Wade

The A.P.:
''Rock solid in its absolutely contradictory opinions" is how public opinion specialist Karlyn Bowman describes the nation's mind-set.
Journalism and a shield law

The Hartford Courant:
Legislators grappled Friday with a proposed shield law for Connecticut journalists, saying they are concerned about who would deserve legal protection in a world of Internet bloggers and talk-radio jockeys that has emerged beyond the traditional definition of news media.


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