US soldiers are building a three-mile wall to separate one of
's Sunni enclaves from surrounding Shia neighbourhoods. The move is part of a contentious security plan that has fuelled fears of the Iraqi capital's Balkanisation. Baghdad
When the barrier is finished, the minority Sunni community of Adamiya, on the eastern side of the River Tigris, will be completely gated. Traffic control points manned by Iraqi soldiers will provide the only access, the
military said. US
In a question-and-answer period after his speech, [Karl] Rove was asked whose idea it was to start a pre-emptive war in
"I think it was Osama bin Laden's,'' Rove replied.-- JIM CARNEY
Military planners have abandoned the idea that standing up Iraqi troops will enable American soldiers to start coming home soon and now believe that
troops will have to defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces. U.S.
Training Iraqi troops, which had been the cornerstone of the Bush administration's
policy since 2005, has dropped in priority, officials in Iraq and Baghdad said. Washington
The Imus affair does look kind of small in retrospect, doesn't it?
-- MICKEY KAUS
Gen. Petraeus and his brain trust have devised the best possible Plan F, given the resources available to the Pentagon and declining patience for the war at home. But the Achilles heel of this latest effort is the Maliki government. It is becoming increasingly clear to all in
that its interests — seeking power and treasure for its Shiite backers — diverge sharply from those of the U.S.-led coalition. Even if Gen. Petraeus' plan succeeds on the streets of the city, it will fail in the gilded palaces of the Green Zone. Maliki and his supporters desire no rapprochement with the Sunnis and no meaningful power-sharing arrangement with the Sunnis and the Kurds. Indeed, Maliki can barely hold his own governing coalition together, as evidenced by the Sadr bloc's resignation from the government this week and the fighting in Baghdad over oil and power. Basra
Plan F will fail if (or when) the Maliki government fails, even if it improves security. At that point, we will have run out of options, having tried every conceivable strategy for
. It will then be time for Plan G: Get out. Iraq
Even Republicans told CNN that poking holes in the Gonzales narrative was the equivalent of clubbing a baby seal.
-- DICK POLMAN
Throughout the hearing, Gonzales displayed an odd dissociation from his job as head of the Justice Department, often behaving more as though he was a diligent inspector general called in to analyze what had happened rather than someone who had made things happen himself.
The White House was pleased with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it's easy to see why. Instead of making up excuses for why the
attorneys were fired, Gonzales looked the committee members in the eye and straightforwardly told them he just didn't remember what had happened--64 times. His honesty and forthrightness was reminiscent of Oliver North when he turned the tables on a congressional committee that was investigating him and came out the hero. I think Gonzales' brilliant performance probably saved his job. U.S.
It's hard now to remember those shiny days before 9/11 when Congress seemed to believe that the greatest threat to the republic lay in an obscure land deal in northwestern
called Whitewater. Given all that has passed under the bridge, there’s something quaint and nostalgic about so much froth and fury over something that in the end went nowhere, like a slightly gonzo Norman Rockwell cover showing democracy in action. Arkansas
These days, Ken Starr seems as distant a figure as Nero, but with springtime returning to the ancient Ozarks, it’s the perfect time to visit Flippin,
, to see the appealing mountain landscape where Whitewater was born. And after Flippin, right down the road there is Yellville, Dogpatch, Gassville, Eros, Stumptoe, Fifty-Six, Big Flat — it has to be fun. Ark.
Within an hour of the rescue operation, Greek authorities declared it had proceeded without "even a nosebleed". But two weeks on, the sinking of a cruise ship off the Aegean
is threatening an environmental disaster, a French father and his daughter are still missing, and the government in islandof Santorini has been left with a public relations disaster on its hands. Athens
-- HELENA SMITHThere's an interesting phenomenon exhibited among men, which I guess is as old as religion, but has become quite pervasive with the rise of sexually confident women such as Paris Hilton and Australia's own Candice Falzon.
To witness this phenomenon, simply administer the "Paris Test" and ask a guy if he'd shag her; the sexually confident ones tend to say "yep" but the dudes with issues go out of their way to exclaim that she's a "lowy" or "scrubber" and they "wouldn't root her with your dick."
I hear this all the time from guys, especially in regards to attractive women who exhibit a high (or masculine) degree of sexual aggression; some men label them "sluts" and, because they perceive Paris (or whomever), to be less than discriminating in their choice of sexual partners, they disqualify the woman as a hypothetical lover.
I guess it's all about power, about men trying to wrest back control where they feel they've lost it, but what those guys are really saying in this situation, is that they're intimidated by a woman as sexually powerful as Paris Hilton and don't think they're good enough to be with her.
-- SAM DeBRITO
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere
As few of 25 of the graceful Amur leopard survive. More here.