Sunday, October 01, 2006

An act of state terrorism with hostage-taking


Josh Narins, temporarily unable to post on his own blog, points to the findings of a Program on International Policy Attitudes poll taken in Iraq, showing that support for attacks on American forces is now 61% (92% among Sunnis), but that only 37% want those forces to withdraw within the next 6 months. Josh comments that you’d think 100% of the people who want to attack us would want us out now, but in fact 24% want us to stay and be attacked.

He also points out that in today’s print NYT, the article on Mark Foley goes most of the way down the right-hand column on page one, but doesn’t mention the fact that the page Foley was emailing is male until after the jump to page 18, in the 10th paragraph.

Condi Rice will be visiting Israel this week. She will discuss with Olmert “creative means” to undermine Hamas and strengthen Abbas. You know what’s sure to strengthen Abbas’s position? Having everyone know that Olmert and Rice will discuss “creative means” to strengthen his position.

Since Abbas’s position is to be strengthened at the expense of the elected parliament, this plan sounds an awful lot like a coup.

Russia is directing a major, and I mean major, hissy fit at Georgia, which just arrested 4 alleged spies – or as Russia put it, committed “an act of state terrorism with hostage-taking.” What’s fun is that Putin is accusing Georgia of acting like Stalin and Beria (both of them Georgians), and thinking they’d be protected by “foreign sponsors,” meaning the US. No, I’m not sure how we got in the middle of this thing either. Russia still hasn’t pulled all its troops out of Georgia, which has only been independent since 1991. Putin is now threatening to continue its occupation, and has ordered those troops to “shoot to kill” if their bases are threatened.

Hastert and Boehner are admitting that they might have been told something about Mark Foley months ago, but they can’t remember exactly what, because accusations of sexual predation are so darned unmemorable. I suspect Hastert’s career as a Republican leader is over, and the R’s may lose a House seat or two more than they’d expected, which is kind of unsatisfying, like Al Capone being jailed for tax evasion.

In an interview with CNN, Secretary of War Rumsfeld says of intra-Muslim violence that “[t]he overwhelming majority are not violent extremists” and indeed that “the overwhelming majority in that faith are getting tired of it and don’t like it and are tired of seeing their families killed by extremists.” I could see how that would be tiresome.

Much of the interview seemed to consist of Rummy trying to say that there was no proper measurement of success for anything he’s been trying to do for the last five years. How convenient for him. His reforms of the Pentagon? “I would say that it’s attitude and culture as much as anything else.” Are we, as he famously asked, creating more terrorists than we’re killing? “[T]here aren’t metrics for it. It’s not knowable. The answer is not knowable, so I don’t ask it overtly.” How do we measure if we’re winning in Iraq?
SEC. RUMSFELD: You can look at the things that are on the plus side. You can look at the things that are on the minus side.

MR. SESNO: But take it as a whole.

SEC. RUMSFELD: Each person has to look at it in the aggregate and say what they think about it.
So it’s all subjective. He may not know anything about war, but he knows what he likes.


No comments: