Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Prime Minister has laid out a comprehensive plan. That’s what leaders do.

Israel is talking about holding on to a large swathe of Lebanon until the vanishingly unlikely event of a handoff to a large international force (10 or 20 thousand, and Israel has specified that only those with combat experience need apply). The buffer zone will in theory keep Hezbollah rockets beyond their firing range of 3-4 miles from Israel proper. Hmmm, so they won’t be able to hit civilian areas, just this zone filled with Israeli troops and troops, ethnically cleansed of Lebanese. Sounds like a target-rich environment to me.

Bush met with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki today. He seems to have been having flashbacks to his days in b-school. “The Prime Minister has laid out a comprehensive plan. That’s what leaders do. They see problems, they address problems, and they lay out a plan to solve the problems. The Prime Minister understands he’s got challenges and he’s identified priorities.” But wait, what if the enemy has discovered the secret of doing things to accomplish goals too? Oh no! they have: “These are people that just kill innocent people to achieve an objective, which is to destabilize his government.” I blame the New York Times, cause we so had the idea of killing innocent people to achieve an objective first, and it was secret, and the media just leaked it like the traitors they are.

So the best idea Bush has left is to “lay out a plan,” possibly using different colored pencils. Oh, and form committees, lots and lots of committees, those are always good: “The Prime Minister and I agreed to establish a joint committee to achieve Iraqi self-reliance.” Let me say that again: a joint committee of Iraqis and Americans to end Iraqi reliance on Americans.

Hey, does anyone know what happened to that female Sunni MP who was kidnapped? I can’t believe I completely forgot about her.

Oh, he’s really firing on all cylinders today; he has another bold idea: an Iraqi Leaders Initiative, to bring 200 Iraqi high school and college students to the US next summer to study and “build personal friendships with the people of our country.” Hurrah! Iraq is saved! Really, did Maliki come thousands of miles from a war zone to discuss a summer program for 200 students with the so-called leader of the so-called free so-called world?

Bush and Maliki touted their new security crackdown in Baghdad. A reporter asked why this one would succeed unlike all the previous ones. Maliki said because there is a national unity government (NUG), “So what the Baghdad security plan gains in terms of support is support from all over the segments of the Iraqi population.” Bush chimed in that “there needs to be more forces inside Baghdad who are willing to hold people to account. In other words, if you find somebody who’s kidnapping and murdering, the murderer ought to be held to account. It ought to be clear in society that that kind of behavior is not tolerated. ... And I think the Iraqi people appreciate that type of attitude.”

Bush was asked how he can provide humanitarian aid to Lebanon and, at the same time, the military hardware to Israel that makes humanitarian aid necessary. He replied, “No, I don’t see a contradiction in us honoring commitments we made prior to Hezbollah attacks into Israeli territory.” Sarcasm fails me.

So does the Blogger picture-upload function.

(Update: working again. Yay.)

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