By most accounts, they’re not interested, but isn’t the obvious destination for Allen Iverson on the merits the Chicago Bulls? Here’s a team that could put an attractive package together and that’s genuinely suited to what makes Iverson valuable — if you surround him with a bunch of offensively limited players with other skills, he can carry a huge portion of the scoring load single-handedly.
Josh Marshall observes:
Another point, and one I’m not sure is widely appreciated. The folks who brought you the Iraq War have always been weak in the knees for a really whacked-out vision of a Shi’a-US alliance in the Middle East. I used to talk to a lot of these folks before I became persona non grata. So here’s basically how the theory went and, I don’t doubt, still goes … We hate the Saudis and the Egyptians and all the rest of the standing Arab governments. But the Iraqi Shi’a were oppressed by Saddam. So they’ll like us. So we’ll set them up in control of Iraq. You might think that would empower the Iranians. But not really. The mullahs aren’t very powerful. And once the Iraqi Shi’a have a good thing going with us. The Iranians are going to want to get in on that too. So you’ll see a new government in Tehran. Plus, big parts of northern Saudi Arabia are Shi’a too. And that’s where a lot of the oil is. So they’ll probably want to break off and set up their own pro-US Shi’a state with tons of oil. So before you know it, we’ll have Iraq, Iran, and a big chunk of Saudi Arabia that is friendly to the US and has a ton of oil. And once that happens we can tell the Saudis to f$#% themselves once and for all.
Now, you might think this involves a fair amount of wishful and delusional thinking. But this was the thinking of a lot of neocons going into the war.
Of course, it goes beyond this. With a new regime in Teheran, Hezbollah was suddenly going to become impotent in Lebanon, leading to the setup of a pro-American, anti-Syrian government there. Then with its grip on Lebanon lost, Syria would be the next domino to fall. At which point, everything would be awesome.
Now that’s crazy, but pay attention to the really crazy part. Even if all of that happened what would it accomplish? This was all supposed to be part of the master plan to beat al-Qaeda, but even if the plan worked it . . . wouldn’t have done anything to damage al-Qaeda. Thank God for the grownups.
Conservatives attacking Mitt Romney’s (R) past support for same-sex unions say “the Massachusetts governor has some explaining to do. For now, at least, the potential presidential candidate isn’t talking. … The governor’s office issued a brief statement last weekend…[saying] the governor has been a ‘champion of traditional marriage.’ At a gathering of San Diego County Republicans Monday night, Romney brushed aside a question from The Associated Press. ‘Thanks, I have other people to talk to right now,’ he said.”
“Lawmakers in Nigeria are debating a bill that would ban same-sex marriage and any form of association among gays, even sharing a meal at a restaurant,” the AP reports. “Few in Nigeria’s deeply closeted gay community have publicly opposed the legislation, which proposes penalties of up to five years in prison and is widely expected to pass.”
New column on the Iraq Study Group:
I never had what you would call high hopes for the Iraq Study Group, but the report, now that it’s in, is an almost physically sickening exercise in denial and evasion. The document itself comes in essentially two parts — one is a review of the situation, the second a set of recommendations for moving forward. The first part is quite good. The second is a mess, a farrago of illogic that bears no real relationship to the analysis on which it was allegedly grounded.
Read the rest!
CNN’s John King reported this afternoon that President Bush is planning a “substantial policy shift” on Iraq and is “very seriously considering…agreeing with Sen. John McCain and increasing U.S. troop levels in the short-term.”
King said the White House has postponed the announcement of the policy shift to January because Bush “has asked for more advice about” how he could send 20,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq, and administration officials “need more time to put all that on the table.”
King said the White House sees a political benefit to delaying the announcement. “If you are going to disagree with the Iraq Study Group and not accept its major recommendations, then let some time go by, let the American people forget about that a little bit” and “buy some time for critics” to attack the ISG.
Full transcript: Read more
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This morning, a USA Today/Gallup poll reported that fewer than 20 percent of Americans have “a great deal” of trust in President Bush to “recommend the right thing” for the United States to do in Iraq. The poll found that confidence in congressional leaders to chart the proper course is even lower, at 14 percent. A separate CBS News poll reported a record-low 21 percent approve of Bush’s handling of the war.
At the White House press conference this afternoon, Press Secretary Tony Snow was forced to acknowledge that the administration’s handling of Iraq has caused a “crisis of confidence” in government:
Whatever the discontent may be with the president, the level of confidence in Congress is even lower. And what you have is the sense of crisis of confidence in government.
Full transcript below: Read more
WorldNetDaily columnist Jim Rutz targets soy food. “Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality,” Rutz writes.
In a new interview posted on Townhall.com, conservative columnist Cal Thomas asks outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, “With what you know now, what might you have done differently in Iraq?” Rumsfeld offers a remarkable response:
I don’t think I would have called it the war on terror. I don’t mean to be critical of those who have. Certainly, I have used the phrase frequently. Why do I say that? Because the word ‘war’ conjures up World War II more than it does the Cold War. It creates a level of expectation of victory and an ending within 30 or 60 minutes of a soap opera. It isn’t going to happen that way. Furthermore, it is not a ‘war on terror.’ Terror is a weapon of choice for extremists who are trying to destabilize regimes and (through) a small group of clerics, impose their dark vision on all the people they can control. So ‘war on terror’ is a problem for me.
Rumsfeld not only used the phrase ‘war on the terror’; he repeatedly criticized anyone who questioned the validity of it.
– “[T]here has been comment in the press of late about whether or not we’re even engaged in a war on terror, or whether our purpose might be better explained in a different manner. Let there be no mistake, we are a nation at war, against terrorist enemies who are seeking our surrender or our retreat. It is a war.” [8/2/05]
– “I would like to say that Iraq is really one of the battle grounds in the global war on terror.” [4/24/06]
– “Iraq is the central front of the global war on terror.” [12/16/05]
– Q: My argument is that we are fighting the war on terror in Iraq. Back me up a little bit on that, Mr. Secretary.
RUMSFELD: Well, you’re absolutely right. [8/3/04]
– “[Iraq is] part of the global war on terror; let there be no doubt.” [9/10/03]
– Q: Do you feel that the Administration by turning its attention onto Iraq would be leaving the job undone a bit too soon?
RUMSFELD: Oh, no. Indeed that’s part of the global war on terrorism, Iraq. [12/4/02]
Rumsfeld’s outgoing memo on Iraq – which calls for a “major adjustment” in strategy – makes no mention of the one thing he would have “done differently” on Iraq.
Salon’s War Room has more.