Wednesday, March 15, 2006

News roundup 03.15.2006

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

The war in Iraq

Saddam's latest, CNN:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Saddam Hussein took the stand for the first time at his trial Wednesday and angrily called on Iraqis to unite and fight the occupying forces.
I just finished Foreign Affairs: "Saddam's Delusions: The View from the Inside":
Only slowly did Saddam and those around him finally seem to realize that they were suffering a catastrophic military defeat. In the regime's final days, the only decisive actions those at the top seemed capable of were attempts to stem the flow of bad news. For instance, a Ministry of Defense memorandum dated April 6 told subordinate units, "We are doing great," and reminded all staff officers to "avoid exaggerating the enemy's abilities." By that point, Iraq's military forces had already collapsed or were collapsing. Coalition attacks had destroyed almost all of the corps and division headquarters, and the few that remained had been rendered ineffective by the furious pace of the U.S. advance. Although some isolated Iraqi units continued to fight, they were no longer connected to a coherent military organization.
The Washington Post on giving Iraq more territory to control:
Michael E. O'Hanlon, a defense scholar at the Brookings Institution, said of Bush's year-end target. But he added: "It's important for America, and the president, not to misunderstand: Even if Iraqis have primary jurisdiction over most of the country, it doesn't mean our responsibilities are finished. It just means that day-to-day responsibilities are in their hands. But we'll still need to be there as backup, and backup could take a long time."

Odd array of coverage.

Bloomberg News: "Feingold Censure Move May Give Bush a Boost on Security Debate"

The Hartford Courant: "Bush Censure: Democrats Tempted"

The Washington Post:
"We have a great case that they have done a poor job of fighting the war against terrorism," Feingold said of the Republicans in an interview yesterday. "We need a different strategy, one that shows we stand for something."
The White House

The Los Angeles Times:
Saying the White House has been afflicted by a political "tin ear," Sen. Norm Coleman called on President Bush to bring in a new team.

"I have some concerns about the team that's around the president," said Coleman, a Minnesota Republican with close ties to Bush. "I think you need to take a look at it."

The New York Times:
WASHINGTON, March 14 — After weeks of internal wrangling over a measure to tighten lobbying laws, the House Republican leadership decided Tuesday night to back a measure that would temporarily bar lawmakers from privately financed trips and require lobbyists to disclose their gifts to lawmakers.
The New York Times:
WASHINGTON, March 14 — Senate Republicans on Tuesday narrowly defeated an effort to impose budget rules that would make it harder to increase spending or cut taxes, a move that critics said that showed Republicans were posturing in their calls for greater fiscal restraint.

The New York Times:
One senior Iranian official, who asked to remain anonymous because of the delicate nature of the issue, said: "I tell you, if what they were doing was working, we would say, 'Good.' " But, he added: "For 27 years after the revolution, America wanted to get Iran to the Security Council and America failed. In less than six months, Ahmadinejad did that."
Israeli raid

The Christian Science Monitor: "Prison raid fallout spreads"

JERICHO, West Bank Mar 15, 2006 (AP)— Reeling from a blow to his prestige, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday toured the devastated Jericho prison where Israel spirited away six prisoners, denouncing the raid as an "unforgivable crime," while Israel pledged to put the six on trial for killing an Israeli Cabinet minister.


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