“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Saturday, January 13, 2007

01/13 Morning Report

With the Democrats and some Republicans already saying “No” to President Bush’s plan for Iraq, al-Qaeda linked groups are calling the new plan a US defeat.

"What we hear in the media about a so-called security plan in Baghdad and Bush's new strategy, will not change anything. They are tasting the bitterness of defeat after announcing to limit their troops to Baghdad instead of all around Iraq," the so-called Islamic state in Iraq group said in the Web posting.
Exactly how limiting troop deployments to only around Baghdad amounts to a defeat is not clear. But, given the media habit of only reporting negative news this will probably go far. One really interesting note in the article was:
Last week, the group urged its followers to confront a U.S.-backed security plan in Baghdad announced by Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, saying it was an Iranian ploy to hit Sunni Muslims.
The group really needs to make up its mind. Either it’s a US defeat or an Iranian plot to kill Sunnis. But, it can’t be both.
(…more trustworthy and accurate Muslim propaganda…and it’s Bush’s fault, of course…)

There was an anti-Bush media explosion yesterday after the raid on Iranian offices in Irbil. Rampant claims of having “broken into diplomatic facilities” were widely thrown around. Interestingly, today’s news is a little different. First, Bush authorized this policy a few months ago. So, it was not a knee jerk action. And, second, just as the US claimed yesterday, the Iranians are now saying it was not an established diplomatic office.
Iranian and U.S. officials say the office did not have formal diplomatic status, although Iran says it was a liaison office representing the interests of the Tehran government and is seeking the release of the five Iranians.
(…I wonder how much play the truth will get in the MSM today…or any day, for that matter…)

Meanwhile, back at home, I liked what McCain had to say about the policy of pulling out of Iraq.
…those advocating the start of a troop withdrawal, which includes many Democrats, "have a responsibility to tell us what they believe are the consequences of withdrawal in Iraq. If we walk away from Iraq, we'll be back, possibly in the context of a wider war in the world's most volatile region."
(…of course, expecting responsibility from Congress is probably like expecting the Pope not to be Catholic…but…Hey!...stranger things have happened…)

If nothing else, this report by the NY Times should make you wonder why lawyers take certain cases.
…lawyers at many of the nation’s top firms were representing prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba…
They can’t be doing it for the money. You can’t recover from the US government. The only reason I can think of is the PR. (…lawyers do predominantly back Democrats and liberals…) Needless to say there was an outcry from lawyers and related groups. Pentagon officials, and even an editorial in the WSJ, are saying that corporations who use these firms should reconsider whether supporters of terrorists should be retained. I think the comment by Michael Ratner, who heads the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based human rights group, sums it up nicely:
“It’s not clear, is it? Some will maintain that they are doing it out of the goodness of their heart, that they’re doing it pro bono, and I suspect they are; others are receiving moneys from who knows where, and I’d be curious to have them explain that.”
(…and the lawyers got mad about that comment, too…)