Boy walks past burned cars after fighting in Karbala. More here.
For those inclined to think that a willingness to grind up real people's lives in the pursuit of grand political causes is a distinctively left-wing vice, we present Mr Bill Kristol.
-- KIERAN HEALY
has failed to meet all but three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for political and military progress, according to a draft of a Government Accountability Office report. The document questions whether some aspects of a more positive assessment by the White House last month adequately reflected the range of views the GAO found within the administration. . . . Iraq
"Overall," the report concludes, "key legislation has not been passed, violence remains high, and it is unclear whether the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion in reconstruction funds," as promised. While it makes no policy recommendations, the draft suggests that future administration assessments "would be more useful" if they backed up their judgments with more details and "provided data on broader measures of violence from all relevant
When people say that they want to end the war in
, I always want to ask them which war they mean. There are currently at least three wars, along with several subconflicts, being fought on Iraqi soil. The first, tragically, is the battle for mastery between Sunni and Shiite. The second is the campaign to isolate and defeat al-Qaida in Iraq Mesopotamia. The third is the struggle of 's Kurdish minority to defend and consolidate its regional government in the north. Iraq
I will tell you that when you get in the Green Zone, there is a physiological phenomenon I think called Green Zone fog. . . . It’s death by PowerPoint. . . . It’s always that their argument is winning.
I hold no brief for [Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as such, but it's fair to note that we are asking him to reconcile a nation that by almost every indication does not wish to be reconciled. Our deep and continual misunderstanding of sectarian aspirations in Iraq is at the root of our inability to see Iraq for what it is.-- HAROLD MEYERSON
The need to be honest about Abu Ghraib and correct the abuses at military and C.I.A. prisons is not only about upholding the law and American values. It is about the safety of American soldiers. Every right the United States denies to its detainees may one day be denied to Americans captured in wartime. Every abuse the United States visits on detainees increases the risk of American soldiers being abused in foreign prisons.
If humanity and law are not reasons enough to end the detainee abuse, then it should be done for the cause that Mr. Bush invokes daily: supporting the troops.
A growing clamor among rank-and-file Democrats to halt President Bush's most controversial tactics in the fight against terrorism has exposed deep divisions within the party, with many Democrats angry that they cannot defeat even a weakened president on issues that they believe should be front and center.
The Democrats' failure to rein in wiretapping without warrants, close the detention facility at
or restore basic legal rights such as habeas corpus for terrorism suspects has opened the party's leaders to fierce criticism from some of their staunchest allies -- on Capitol Hill, among liberal bloggers and at interest groups. Guantanamo Bay
They . . . have "instructions" (yes, that was the word used) from the Office of the Vice-President to roll out a campaign for war with
in the week after Labor Day; it will be coordinated with the American Enterprise Institute, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, Fox, and the usual suspects. It will be heavy sustained assault on the airwaves, designed to knock public sentiment into a position from which a war can be maintained. Evidently they don't think they'll ever get majority support for this--they want something like 35-40 percent support, which in their book is "plenty." Iran
Photograph by The Associated Press