Alternet reports, “Despite the ethnic bloodshed in Iraq, majorities of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds are united in their disapproval of the proposed oil laws that Washington and Big Oil are pushing.” A recent poll of all Iraqi ethnic and sectarian groups across the political spectrum oppose the principles enshrined in the laws. “Considering the multiethnic bloodbath we’ve witnessed over the past four years, it’s an impressive display of Iraqi solidarity,” writes Joshua Holland.
McClatchy reports that behind the scenes “the president’s top aides have been engaged in an intensive internal debate over how to respond” to Iran. “Vice President Dick Cheney several weeks ago proposed launching airstrikes at suspected training camps in Iraq run by the Quds force, a special unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to two U.S. officials who are involved in Iran policy.”
Philadelphia Daily News columnist Stu Byokofsky: “One month from The Anniversary, I’m thinking another 9/11 would help America.” (Via Atrios.)
Immediately following President Bush’s press conference today, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews spent three unbroken minutes fawning over the president’s “powerful rendition” of his “philosophy” without uttering a single critical word. “I thought in listening to the president, I was listening to one of the great neoconservative minds,” gushed Matthews.
Calling Bush “powerful” on three separate occasions, Matthews marveled at the president’s defense of his foreign policy:
We were given a rare opportunity to hear the real philosophy of this administration with regard to the war in Iraq. A powerful rendition by the president of why we’re there. When he talked about the fact that we can support emerging democracies in the Middle East, and that’s the only way we can prevent future 9/11′s, you’re getting to the heart of why this administration is fighting that war in Iraq.
“This president is ready to fight like a rock through the rest of his term,” Matthews proclaimed. “He made it clear that he’s going to fight as long as it takes to develop a democracy in Iraq. There’s not going to be any change come September.” Watch it:
Bush’s comments today, which contained at least one untrue assertion, were nothing more than a rehashing of his tired old rhetoric. Yet somehow, Matthews, who is labeled a liberal by partisan conservatives, only saw it through rose-colored glasses.
Matthews’ monologue is unsurprising, however, given his long record of hero worship for Bush and his supposedly “powerful” presidency:
– “We’re proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who’s physical.” [5/1/03]
– “Sometimes it glimmers with this man, our president, that kind of sunny nobility.” [10/25/05]
– “I like him. Everybody sort of likes the president, except for the real whack-jobs, maybe on the left.” [11/28/05]
– “A little bit of Lincoln there, I think,” referring to Bush finally admitting that telling Iraqi insurgents to “bring it on” in 2003 “sent the wrong signal to people.” [5/25/06]
Given the president’s track record with the truth on Iraq, Matthews should check his uncritical awe at the door.
UPDATE: Media Matters catches Matthews lamenting over the lack of “big, beefy” and “every-way big” guys in the Democratic presidential race.
The real-world inspiration for Omar from The Wire and the real-world Fran from The Corner are getting married and I’m touched.
takes issue with our post. We argued that her article this morning presented a one-sided platform for neoconservative pundits to articulate their long-running agenda to bomb Iran as “a new drumbeat for bolder action.” Wright disagrees:
This article totally misrepresents what I wrote and the intent, and I consider it intellectually dishonest to attack me or The Post for merely trying to identify the people, institutions and arguments for more aggression action against Iran. In three references, I pointed out that the people cited were either advocates of war in Iraq or echoed arguments to justify war in Iraq.
Second, the press is constantly coming under attack for not identifying early enough the arguments made for going to war with Iraq. I am trying to make sure that the press is devoting attention to what is beginning to be a critical mass for this argument on Iran. This was meant to be a benchmark piece in covering the emerging debate, which is no longer focused just on Iran’s alleged nuclear program but is also now tied to Tehran’s role in Iraq.
Let me be the first to admit that I have no idea what this is all about, but it sure is weird:
Matt Stoller put this together and explains that Fancy Farm “is a large and raucus political festival in Kentucky.”
In their infamous New York Times editorial, Brookings analysts Michael O’Hanlon and Ken Pollack alleged that “significant changes [are] taking place” in President Bush’s escalation, potentially ushering in a “sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with” in the future.
Center for Strategic and International Studies military analyst Anthony Cordesman, who accompanied O’Hanlon and Pollack on the trip to Iraq, recently published a report expressing a difference of opinion.
In a briefing today, Cordesman further elaborated on his disagreements with the Brookings analysts and asserted that there has been little change in Iraq:
I did not see any dramatic change in our position in Iraq during this trip. Many of the points, the problems which exist there are problems which have existed really since late 2004, if not earlier. I didn’t see a dramatic shift in the ability of the Iraqi’s to reach the kind of compromise that is almost the foundation of moving forward. [...]
But I also want to stress another thing. I did not see success for the strategy that President Bush announced in January.
While O’Hanlon and Pollack claimed “many of the corrupt and sectarian Iraqi commanders who once infested the [security] force have been removed,” Cordesman observed the opposite. “The security forces are more divided, facing more problems in terms of alignment with Shi’ite factions than I had expected to see, even for the army.”
Cordesman added: “It is clear, that in some ways our intervention in Iraq has allowed the Sadr militia and Shi’ite extremist groups to operate in terms of sectarian cleansing with more freedom than they had in the past.”
Later in the briefing, Cordesman slammed O’Hanlon’s plan calling for a “soft-partition” of Iraq into three distinct regions, stating that such an effort would be “brutal, it is repressive, it kills people, it injures them, it drives them out of their homes, and it drives them out of their country. To talk about this as if it was something that is gentle or nonviolent is simply dishonest.”
Today, the ONE campaign released the results of a bipartisan survey of likely Democratic and Republican New Hampshire primary voters. Among its findings:
– Nearly all Democrats (97%) and 70% of Republicans agree that America’s standing has suffered in recent years.
– Democrats (91%) and Republicans (78%) agree that the United States also needs to improve diplomatic relations by doing more to help improve health, education and opportunities in the poorest countries around the world.
– Democrats (90%) and Republicans (85%) agree that it is in keeping with the country’s values and our history of compassion to lead an effort to solve some of the most serious problems facing the world’s poorest people.
See more results from the survey here.
The alternative, and it’s taken me time to think through, I think we should be acquiring and accumulating all the data that is appropriate for possibly bringing criminal charges against members of this administration at a later date.