Tristero

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Two Week Break  

Meanwhile, read about who gets to meet with the President and his top advisers. Hint: it's not your Daddy's spiritual leaders.

Via Atrios.



Fallujah May Now Be Staging Ground For Baghdad Attacks  

The law of unexpected consequences:
Baghdad — A senior Iraqi official lashed out at the United States yesterday after a spectacular assassination in Baghdad, saying a deal with insurgents has turned the city of Fallujah into a staging ground for attacks on the capital.

"The number of car bombs in Baghdad has gone up dramatically since the peace agreement in Fallujah," Defence Minister Ali Allawi told The Globe and Mail, hours after a suicide bomb blast killed Iraqi Governing Council president Izzadine Saleem.

Mr. Allawi said Fallujah, a city of 400,000 people 50 kilometres west of Baghdad, has become a haven for insurgents since the April 28 agreement between U.S. Marine commanders and rebel leaders that ended the siege of the city.

"They are forming a network, supported by guns and money, connected to insurgents in other parts of Iraq," he said. "And they are making a serious bid for power."



Welfare To Chalabi To Stop  

Abour fookin' time:
The United States government has decided to halt monthly $335,000 payments to the Iraqi National Congress, the group headed by Ahmad Chalabi, an official with the group said on Monday.

Mr. Chalabi, a longtime exile leader and now a member of the Iraqi Governing Council, played a crucial role in persuading the administration that Saddam Hussein had to be removed from power. But he has since become a lightning rod for critics of the Bush administration, who say the United States relied on him too heavily for prewar intelligence that has since proved faulty.

Mr. Chalabi's group has received at least $27 million in United States financing in the past four years, the Iraqi National Congress official said. This includes $335,000 a month as part of a classified program through the Defense Intelligence Agency, since the summer of 2002, to help gather intelligence in Iraq. The official said his group had been told that financing will cease June 30, when occupation authorities are scheduled to turn over sovereignty to Iraqis.

Internal reviews by the United States government have found that much of the information provided as part of the classified program before American forces invaded Iraq last year was useless, misleading or even fabricated.



Monday, May 17, 2004

Solutions For DeLay  

Tom DeLay got angry at something Democratic Rep. John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania said. Here's the skinny:
The ruckus began May 6, when Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) -- a hawkish, longtime defender of the Pentagon -- told reporters he believed the war in Iraq could not be won without sending in significantly more troops and equipment, which he advocated. "Our failure to surge in terms of troop level and resources needed to prevail in this war" has resulted in "what appear to be unattainable goals in our current path," Murtha said at the news conference, hosted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

House Republicans responded within minutes. "This morning, in a calculated and craven political stunt, the national Democrat Party declared its surrender in the war on terror," said Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.). "Out of sheer, brazen partisanship," House Democrats have "undermined our troops." Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Tex.) said Democrats "are basically giving aid and comfort to our enemies."

Reporters pointed out that Murtha has consistently said the war was unsustainable only under the current policies, and that he urged massive troop buildups as a remedy. DeLay was unmoved. "If you don't give solutions," he said, "that is saying, 'Cut and run.' "
Um, Tom?

The reporters just told you what Murtha's solution was: massive troops buildup.

Would you like another solution to Iraq? Okay:

Elect John Kerry in 2004.

And while we're at it, you should step down and go back to exterminating, Mr. Delay.



Incomparable  

Bob Somerby tells Jim Lehrer to stop lolling around and do his job. It's the kickoff for a new series Bob's running called "Now they tell us! Pundits snoozed on the road to Iraq. All week, we explore pre-war coverage."

Go thou and read.



Craig Unger On WABC Radio  

For you New Yorkers out there, Craig Unger, the author of House of Bush, House of Saud will be on WABC John Batchelor's show at 11:05 Tuesday. Recently, his book was reviewed by the NY Times, which sparked an extraordinary exchange of letters, in which the reviewer had to admit that he imputed conclusions to Unger's book that were nowhere to be found in the text, and that, in spite of considerable justification to detain them, he saw no reason why bin Laden's family shouldn't have been hustled out of the US with the express consent of the White House.



Family Values Day  

Today, great American history was made. Someday, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, May 17 will be celebrated as a national holiday. Because today, Massachusetts affirmed the value of family in American life by issuing applications for marriage to couples regardless of their genders.

Congratulations to all newlyweds today and best of luck to all of you! The celebration of marriage is a time to rejoice, especially when it has been denied to so many couples who desire it. Marriage itself is a rewarding, challenging, and affirming partnership and it is just wonderful that so many couples are not only eligible but eager to embrace it, not only for the obvious material benefits that marriage provides but because of their desire to say publicly that they are are a family.



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