Archive for March 27th, 2008

Success Considerably Untidier Than Expected

Further proof that Teh Surge is working:

Iraq’s Prime Minister was staring into the abyss today after his operation to crush militia strongholds in Basra stalled, members of his own security forces defected and district after district of his own capital fell to Shia militia gunmen.

With the threat of a civil war looming in the south, Nouri al-Maliki’s police chief in Basra narrowly escaped assassination in the crucial port city, while in Baghdad, the spokesman for the Iraqi side of the US military surge was kidnapped by gunmen and his house burnt to the ground.

Saboteurs also blew up one of Iraq’s two main oil pipelines from Basra, cutting at least a third of the exports from the city which provides 80 per cent of government revenue, a clear sign that the militias – who siphon significant sums off the oil smuggling trade – would not stop at mere insurrection.

In Baghdad, thick black smoke hung over the city centre tonight and gunfire echoed across the city.

The most secure area of the capital, Karrada, was placed under curfew amid fears the Mahdi Army of Hojetoleslam Moqtada al-Sadr could launch an assault on the residence of Abdelaziz al-Hakim, the head of a powerful rival Shia governing party.

While the Mahdi Army has not officially renounced its six-month ceasefire, which has been a key component in the recent security gains, on the ground its fighters were chasing police and soldiers from their positions across Baghdad.

And this is what it looks like with the al-Sadr ceasefire still on.  I’m glad to see that the Times Of London is acknowledging its role in Teh Surge’s apparent military success.  Somehow I’m not expecting the American media to admit that Teh Surge’s squandered political breathing room was solely at al-Sadr’s sufferance, and not due to any kind of supreme tactical and strategic brilliance by Petraeus or (ha!) GeeDubya.

It sure does look like Iraq is beginning its death spiral into chaos and all-out bloody civil war, which the Republicans will desperately try to spin as All Iran And Al-Qaeda’s Fault rather than their own.  It will also be cited as vindication of their We Must Never Leave Iraq Or It Will Fall Apart strategy – never mind that Iraq is already falling apart just fine with us there in all our Surgey glory.

Iraq is burning, and our troops are not water, but gasoline.  The best thing we can do for the Iraqis is to get the hell out.

March 27th, 2008 at 08:21pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Iraq,War

Great Moments In Timing

March 24: Vice President Dick Cheney says of the 4,000 dead American troops, “we are fortunate to have a group of men and women, the all-volunteer force, who voluntarily put on the uniform and go in harm’s way for the rest of us.”

March 27: The movie Stop-Loss comes out.


March 27th, 2008 at 07:18pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Cheney,Iraq,Movies,Wankers,War

If McCain Wins….


Can you prove it didn’t happen?

(picture from Married To The Sea)

1 comment March 27th, 2008 at 11:11am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Comics,Constitution,Terrorism


Damn, I only just saw this late last night, but it’s perfect:

Let’s recap. Foreign policy cred lets him get away with wild howlers on foreign policy. Fiscal integrity cred lets him get away with outlandishly irresponsible economic plans. Anti-lobbyist cred lets him get away with pandering to lobbyists. Campaign finance reform cred lets him get away with gaming the campaign finance system. Straight talking cred lets him get away with brutally slandering Mitt Romney in the closing days of the Republican primary. Maverick uprightness cred allows him to get away with begging for endorsements from extremist religious leaders like John Hagee. “Man of conviction” cred allows him to get away with transparent flip-flopping so egregious it would make any other politician a laughingstock. Anti-torture cred allows him to get away with supporting torture as long as only the CIA does it.

Remind me again: where does all this cred come from? And what window do Democrats go to to get the same treatment the press gives McCain?

It encapsulates both the bedrock phoniness of McCain, and the alarming degree to which the media are in the tank for him – much like Dubya in the 2000 and 2004 elections. I have always viewed McCain as the scariest of all possible Republican nominees, for precisely this reason. The media are in love with McCain, and in love with the straight-talking Maverick image that they’ve crafted for him, and they will cut him all the slack that it is humanly possible to cut. (How much slack could the press corps cut, if the press corps could cut slack?) I was so relieved when it looked like his primary campaign was toast, and then look what happened. Sigh.

On the plus side, it doesn’t look like McCain is going to denounce the Iraqupation any time soon, so if the Democratic nominee runs an “If you want our troops to keep getting killed in Iraq forever, vote for John McCain” campaign, they might actually have a halfway decent shot. I sure do hope they get that this time – Kerry’s inability to say, “The war was a mistake and I will get us out immediately” hurt him at least as badly as the Swifties did.

(h/t Caro Kay)

3 comments March 27th, 2008 at 07:05am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Media,Politics,Wankers

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