ThinkFast: January 30, 2007

The Army and Marine Corps “are short thousands of vehicles, armor kits and other equipment needed to supply” the extra 21,500 troops President Bush plans to send to Iraq. “It’s inevitable that that has to happen, unless five brigades of up-armored Humvees fall out of the sky,” one senior Army official said.

Simulations of civil war in Iraq carried out by the Brookings Institution found that, “as the descent into civil war gathered pace, confrontation between the US and Iran intensified, and Washington’s leverage on Tehran diminished. Civil war in Iraq would turn Iran into ‘the unambiguous adversary’ of the US.”

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Testimony from former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer yesterday showed he knew only “what the truly powerful chose to tell him, and sometimes that was not much. On occasion he would pronounce with great authority the administration’s position on a topic only to find it had changed and nobody had bothered to let him know.”

Two private advocacy groups say they have “new evidence of suppression and manipulation” of climate scientists “in seven federal agencies to downplay the threat of global warming.”

The House has reconstituted “the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee” after “more than a decade of dormancy.” The subcommittee “will delve into the details of Iraq-related reconstruction contracts, troop readiness, equipment priorities and Iraq war strategy — looking for waste, fraud and shortfalls.”33: Number of “forgotten emergencies” around the globe, according to UNICEF. Twenty of these crises are in Africa. UNICEF is calling on the world to give $635 million to assist children and women in these countries.

“Chile’s president has signed a decree so that the morning-after contraceptive pill can be given to girls as young as 14 without their parents’ consent.”

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“Concerned about the way the Bush administration moved against Iraq,” a group of congressman led by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) is pushing a resolution saying Bush must come to Congress before using military force against Iran. “The Congress should say to the President,” Jones said, “that ‘we believe you should come to the Congress before you initiate any kind of attack.’”

And finally: “If the thought of buying dolphin-safe tuna and free-range chicken makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, just wait until you can fill your car up at a Terror-Free Oil station.” The Terror-Free Oil Initiative “promises to sell gasoline sourced from countries that ‘do not export or finance terrorism.’” Its first outlet opens next month in Omaha, Nebraska, but locals “seem to be greeting the station with healthy dose of Midwest skepticism. ‘It’s really going to depend on the cost,’ one told a local news station.”