Thursday, October 19, 2006

Defining success or failure in Iraq


At the Sherwood fundraiser, Bush both attacked Nancy Pelosi, and gave her a perfect straight line: “[If the D’s win the elections], The Speaker would be a Congressman [sic] who said catching Osama bin Laden would not make America any safer.” Any bets on whether Pelosi will fail to point out that if Bush had done his job properly in the last five years, that wouldn’t still be a hypothetical question?

Parallel to that remark is one from Maliki today, hoping for a quick execution of Saddam Hussein, which he says would help defeat the insurgency. Keep dreaming, Nouri, keep dreaming.

On a visit to Russia in August, Spain’s king Juan Carlos shot a bear. Turns out, it was a tame bear (named Mitrofan) who’d been liquored up with honey mixed with vodka (they got the recipe from Boris Yeltsin’s cookbook 101 Easy Meals Using Only Honey and Vodka).

Talking about Iraq in the ABC interview, Bush said, “I define success or failure as whether schools are being built or hospitals are being opened.” The London Times notes that the last hospital built in Iraq, and that the attempt by the occupying authorities to build a pediatric hospital in Basra has bogged down due to financial mismanagement. Patrick Cockburn also writes about Iraqi health care today, noting that hospital basements are being used as prisons, that doctors have been kidnapped and killed in large numbers, and many have sensibly fled the country, that it is “only possible to reach the front door of one of the main children’s hospitals in Baghdad by jumping over a stream of raw sewage.”

How to make interesting the 5 millionth picture of wreckage left by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, wondered AFP photographer Sabah Arar. I know, I’ll shoot it through the spokes of a bicycle wheel!



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