But even such tight control could not always filter out the bizarre world inside the barricades. At one point, the three were trying to discuss the state of Iraqi security forces with Iraq's national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, but the large, flat-panel television set facing the official proved to be a distraction. Rubaie was watching children's cartoons. When [Congressman] Moran asked him to turn it off, Rubaie protested with a laugh and said, "But this is my favorite television show," Moran recalled.
We out here in the Reality Based Community understand why you might not want to impeach the Dear Leader and the Dark Lord. But we ask you to think, just for a minute, about a few of the things that will happen each day you don't:
This is why we're never leaving. Do you think a couple of wavering do-nothing Bush-enabling Republicans will cause the Dear Leader and Cheney to leave their new bases, and the toys in them, behind? To leave their shiny new embassy (bigger than the Vatican!) behind? Nah. Gah. Happen.
At Agitprop, we've noted that some are calling for George Tenet to donate a few of his literary millions to soldiers injured in Iraq. He'll make at least four or five of those millions, by the way. However, it might also be appropriate to send a few bucks to the kids who were orphaned in part because of George's failure to open his mouth. Kids like this:
At the very least, Mr. Tenet could auction his Medal of Freedom on ebay and send these kids a few bucks.
[Gates] said the new policy also seeks to ensure that all active-duty Army units get at least 12 months at home between deployments. He said it would allow the Pentagon to maintain the current level of troops in Iraq for another year, although he added that there has been no decision on future troop levels.
In a related story, now that The Decider has become bored by his latest failure - the destruction of an entire country - he wants to get someone else to come in and clean up his mess. Calling Jim Baker!
While conservatives are blaming Iraqis, Democrats and the MusCom-TerrorSymp Liberal MediaTM for the United States' lack of success in Iraq, Tom Friedman has taken a more broad approach.
America's number one cheerleader for free trade and globalization recently argued that We are to blame. That's right, if only the American people cared more about Iraq and if only Congress had properly funded the war then maybe we would be winning. Can I get a Hail Mary please?
Sure! More money is the solution! We could dump ten trillion dollars into the place and buy off every Iraqi citizen!...It's this same defeatist logic that yaps: "If only we spent more money maybe we'd win the War on Drugs".
Spoiled rich boy Friedman falls into the camp of kool aid drinkers who believes Iraq was a good idea that was executed poorly. (Hmm, maybe he's a Hillary '08 supporter).
Thankfully, Matt Taibbi offers some perspective and tears apart Friedman's latest regurgitation. My favorite line is "they are fighting us with garage-door openers".
NPR reports that, although there's lots of meetin' and strategerizin' goin' on in Crawford today, it's a "non-decisional" day on Iraq. What? Hmmm ... perhaps The Decider is clearin' him some brush. Wonder what he's waiting' fer?
And a year from now, I’ll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush. There is no doubt that, with the exception of a very small number of people close to a vicious regime, the people of Iraq have been liberated and they understand that they’ve been liberated. And it is getting easier every day for Iraqis to express that sense of liberation.
I think we may well have some kind of presence there over a period of time. But I think the level of activity that we see today, from a military standpoint, I think will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.
Alright already - yes, we admit it - Saddam was a bad man. He did nasty things. But life in Iraq is worse now - once the Dear Leader invaded, the religious nutjobs came out of their holes and decided it was time for some Sharia-style justice. This sort of killing did not happen when Saddam was running the place.
Listen to this NPR report and learn how shepherds are being killed when they don't diaper their goats (clerics think people will be turned on otherwise) - apparently this sort of punishment happens regularly in Nazaria, a suburb of western Baghdad. Are you a grocer who arranges your vegetables in a way that some mullah might find suggestive? You get the death penalty too, or at least your store will be firebombed. Shiite clerics wrote up a flyer telling you how to display your food and, if you don't obey, it's two in the hat! And here's a squib and a link to a Time article describing the hell on earth that Baghdad has become. And an NBC blog re: same.
Thanks Dear Leader!
Bonus religious intolerance: Bush's hand picked guy, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, "has moved aggressively to crack down on what Afghans call imported vices. He is acting partly in response to pressure from domestic religious leaders and partly to upstage Islamic Taliban insurgents who are stepping up attacks across the south."
So what time frames are we left with? Well, there is the Biden (5 years) and the Bayh (2 months). The Biden is just too scary to contemplate, and the Bayh ain't gonna' happen while the Dear Leader remains in charge.
Has anybody noticed how, instead of fighting to keep all of Iraq safe for its population, the Bushies are now reduced to sending more soldiers from other areas just to defend Baghdad? Seems like trying to regain control of the capital and protecting the Green Zone are now Job 1 - fuck the rest of the country.
Once again, Agitprop feels duty-bound to visit right-wing websites to report to you, the home viewer, on the wingnut fallout:
All Things Beautiful - this proves that there were WMDs all along and Bush is a master diplomat ... and don't you just hate the fucking French? All Things Conservative - Democrats will say it's only 500 shells so the war is still illegal, but it's not, because we say so, and Bush should be talking a lot more about what a success the war is. Austin Bay Blog - John Negroponte must hate America because he won't declassify the whole report. And Saddam had to go because, among other reasons, his regime was breeding terrorists, even though it never did. Big Lizards - we have no idea what's going on, but we'll believe anybody who says what we want to hear, and so what if it's all pre-Gulf War stuff? If you find empty shells and chemical drums in the same ZIP code it counts! Blogs of War - we never cared if they found WMDs or not but, now that they have, this proves everything we've ever said, including that Scott Ritter is a fat doodyhead. Blue Crab Boulevard - so what if the WMDs might not work and might not be the ones we were looking for as long as we can use them to make fun of liberals, because liberals are real silly. Bullwinkle Blog - since this comes from a declassified portion of one Pentagon report, there must be other still-classified reports that will show there are even more WMDs - but the left will never admit it. Captain's Quarters - so what if it's old stuff ... Saddam would have used the shells for sure on our troops even though he didn't. CNS News - the Duelfer Report, which said there were no WMD stockpiles, said there were WMD stockpiles. Confederate Yankee - this story was only reported by Fox, and that shows that there's a plot by the liberal media to cover up the story because they're afraid Bush is right. Expose the Left - lefty bloggers suck, and now that they're all upset because we found WMDs, it's finally O.K. to question their patriotism, which we've never done before, ever, honest. Flopping Aces - if we link to lots of other wingnut blogs it'll make the WMDs real. Freedom Watch - Bush was so scared of the Democrats and the MSM that he didn't tell us about the WMDs they found. Hot Air - Bush didn't say anything about the WMDs so he wouldn't embarass countries he doesn't give a shit about embarassing. Hugh Hewitt - The Washington Post didn't ask for information in the report that the Pentagon wouldn't have given it anyway, and that means the Post hates America. And so does The Boston Globe. And The New York Times. Instapundit - this just might make war opponents look real stupid, but one day it'll make the CIA look even stupider, especially if we're all speaking Arabic. JunkyardBlog - the Pentagon's statement was a Jedi mind trick, and even Fox News fell for it ... no fair! Macsmind - if we translate enough documents, we'll find the pony. Pass the paste. NRO Online (K-Lo) - Alan Colmes thinks everything's about politics! Patterico's Pontifications - The Los Angeles Times hates America. Prying1 - liberals can't criticize Bush unless they're willing to lick one of Saddam's old shells ... well, they can't criticize Bush at all, but I still want to see them lick the shells. Right Wing News - the left tells the truth and that's why nobody trusts them on national defense. Santorum Blog - what did you expect? I had to do something ... I'm getting my ass kicked! No, seriously, pay attention! Please, read my blog! ShrinkWrapped - NPR hates America. The Real Ugly American - I don't know what to think, but somehow this proves that Atrios and Keith Olbermann are real dumb. The Sundries Shack - Mahablog is really fucking stupid, and we're real smart. Wizbang - I have never doubted there were WMDs even though we don't yet know enough to know whether there were WMDs.
Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad (June 6, 2006 cable) "An Arab newspaper editor told us he is preparing an extensive survey of ethnic cleansing, which he said is taking place in almost every Iraqi province, as political parties and their militiast are seemingly engaged in tit-for-tat reprisals all over Iraq."
"Personal safety depends on good relations with the 'neighborhood' governments, who barricade streets and ward off outsiders. The central government, our staff says, is not relevant; even local mukhtars have been displaced or coopted by militias. People no longer trust most neighbors." [emphasis supplied]
George W. Bush (June 17, 2006 radio address) "[O]ur efforts in Iraq are well worth it, the mission is necessary for the security of our country, and we will succeed."