Friday, May 20, 2005

On Iraq and Filibusters

Martin Sieff, who has not yet been 'Hannitized,' says it was a baaaaad week in Iraq:

Top generals have admitted to the U.S. Congress the renewed seriousness of the Sunni Muslim insurgency there and the failure to adequately create Iraqi security forces so far. They have also openly acknowledged what Pentagon planners have quietly known for at least a year: The United States will have to maintain current troop levels, or close to them, in Iraq for years to come.

Even more ominous, Iran's foreign minister was welcomed by the new Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad -- the strongest sign yet that Iraq won't stay in Washington's pocket. This also signals the danger of a huge Iraqi Shiite reaction against U.S. forces if the United States ever clashes with Iran over its nuclear program.

...growing political ties between the Shiite political leadership in Iraq and the neighboring Islamic Republic of Iran could transform what is currently at worst a holding situation in Iraq and make it dire.

For they open the possibility that if the U.S. confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program escalates into pre-emptive U.S. or U.S.-approved Israeli air strikes against Iranian nuclear installations, or if, even worse, U.S.-backed insurgents try and topple the Islamic Republic, then the mainstream Shiites in Iraq could rapidly be radicalized against U.S. forces in their country.

In that case, the security challenges facing U.S. and allied forces would vastly become exponentially worse than they are now.


The worsening situation in Iraq, overshadowed by the news that Larry King wasn't allowed to testify in the Michael Jackson case, is further demonstrated by the fact that US officials are stepping up American involvement to create a more "inclusive" government:

Facing an intensifying insurgency and a frail government in Baghdad, the Bush administration has reluctantly changed course to deepen its involvement in the process of running Iraq.

U.S. officials are taking a more central and visible role in mediating among political factions, pushing for the government to be more inclusive and helping resuscitate public services. At the same time, Washington is maintaining pressure on Iraqi officials to upgrade the nation's fledgling security forces.


With talk of civil war in the air, the media continues to ignore the Downing Street memo and other evidence that the fix was in on Iraq.

The lies used to drag our slumbering nation into war are in fact just one more example of the real character of George Bush. Likewise, the reluctance of the American media to discuss the administration's continuing, unceasing duplicity is, as Ivan Eland has written, one more piece of evidence that the public has accepted the Imperial Presidency.

So the president dragged the country into a war that has left tens-of-thousands of dead Iraqis, 1,600 dead American soldiers, a decimated Christian community in Iraq, and cost $300 billion. And, of course, there is no end in sight. Just think, all of this was done to hand the country to Iran-sympathizing Shiites. A strategic and moral victory if ever there was one.

Meanwhile, what are Christian activists concerned about? The judicial filibuster, naturally. Today, I received the following email from Citizen Link, an arm of James Dobson's Focus on the Family:

Word out of Washington, D.C., in the last hour is that a
"compromise" deal is close to being finalized that would
allow Democrats to continue hijacking the Constitution by
filibustering any judicial nominee whose views they
oppose.

One of the chief architects of the deal is Sen. Lindsey
Graham, R-S.C. -- and he needs to hear from thousands of
Americans RIGHT NOW that all attempts to broker such a
deal must be stopped. The GOP leadership has come up with
a sensible plan to restore Senate tradition by returning
to 51 the number of votes needed to confirm a judicial
nominee -- and that's the plan Graham and his colleagues
should support.

Please take a moment -- no matter what state you live in
-- to call as many of Sen. Graham's office numbers below
as you can and relay this message: "No backroom deals with
the liberals that would allow more judicial filibusters in
the future. Support the constitutional option to end the
Democrats' unprecedented filibuster of President Bush's
nominees to the federal bench. It's the right thing to
do."


Dobson and his colleagues are evidently real concerned that those nasty Commie-lovin' Democrats want to keep two of the emperor’s agents off the court. After all, our boys are dyin’ over in IIIIraq so that Priscilla Owen can have an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor—or it’s got something to do with making the world safe for Ariel Sharon.

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