Wednesday, May 04, 2005

If the ethics of perfidy don’t work, why is Chalabi in office?

The WaPo characterizes these comments by Iraqi PM Jafari, addressed to Sunni insurgents as “conciliatory”: “Come back to our people with atonement and apology... The dialogue of words will take you to what the language of bullets and the ethics of perfidy failed to do.” A great big sloppy kiss, that is, straight out of the John Bolton school of diplomacy. I can’t find the whole speech, so I have only the word of the Post and a few other papers that it was specifically Sunni insurgents he meant, as opposed to the Sunni politicians who refused to join his administration, so that a Cabinet was sworn in today missing 7 members. There was a deadline of early May (the 7th?) after which, if no cabinet had been formed, a new prime minister would need to be chosen. Hard to see how a cabinet without proper ministers of defense, oil, etc counts.

A measure setting stricter standards for driver’s licenses went through the House, attached by James Sensenbrenner to a measure to fund the military in Iraq. No one has attacked him for this tactic, designed to circumvent a proper debate, because this sort of blackmail goes on in the legislative branch all the time. “Nice little supplemental appropriations bill ya got here, shame if something wuz to happen to it.” Without extortion, nothing would get done in Congress. Just wanted to point out, in the midst of all the recent talk about filibusters, that the normal processes of law-making would make Tony Soprano turn away in disgust.

Oh, and Sensenbrenner also snuck through a provision removing the right of habeas corpus for non-citizens.

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