Sunday, September 26, 2004
1.) Iraqi PM Iyad Allawi makes a whistle stop in Washington, D.C., last week, thanking his puppeteer from the caboose of the Happy Talk Express and explaining how, with each passing minute, Iraq is that much closer to paradise on earth. Soon thereafter, Kerry suggests that Allawi's assessment of the ground situation in Iraq is perhaps overly rosy, given the absence of water, electrical power, jobs, etc., and the general escalation in attacks on Americans, attacks by Americans, bombings, shootings, kidnappings, beheadings and the like. Within seconds, both Bush and Cheney are spitting venom like a couple of puff adders on crack:
Democrat John Kerry wrongly questioned the credibility of the interim Iraqi leader, and "you can't lead this country" while undercutting an ally, President Bush said Friday . . . .2.) If describing the simple reality of Iraq makes John Kerry unfit to lead this country, how in hell can this man be trusted to run the State Department?
"This brave man came to our country to talk about how he's risking his life for a free Iraq, which helps America," Bush said at a campaign event in battleground Wisconsin. "And Senator Kerry held a press conference and questioned Mr. Allawi's credibility. You can't lead this country if your ally in Iraq feels like you question his credibility."
"I must say I was appalled at the complete lack of respect Senator Kerry showed for this man of courage," Cheney said at an event Friday morning in Lafayette, La. "Ayad Allawi is our ally. He stands beside us in the war against terror. John Kerry is trying to tear him down and to trash all the good that has been accomplished, and his words are destructive."
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said yesterday that the insurgency in Iraq is getting worse and that the U.S. occupation there has increased anti-American sentiment in Muslim countries, but he said successful elections in Afghanistan and Iraq would turn the situation around.3.) More importantly: can we trust this pessimist to capture Osama bin Laden for us? Admittedly we didn't have time to do the job ourselves, given the looming menace of Saddam's WMD's, and there was really no one else to farm it out to, but damn! Talk about questioning your ally's credibility . . . .
"We have seen an increase in anti-Americanism in the Muslim world. We'll not deny this," Powell said on ABC's "This Week" . . . . He acknowledged that "yes, it's getting worse, and the reason it's getting worse is that they are determined to disrupt the elections" . . . .
The classified National Intelligence Estimate, which Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee have asked the CIA to declassify, predicted a tenuous stability at best and, in the worst-case scenario, civil war.
Powell, on Fox News, said the CIA report "wasn't a terribly shocking assessment. It was something that I could have written myself."
The assessment contrasted with President Bush's and Allawi's more optimistic portrayal of Iraq's short-term future.
Statistics compiled by Kroll Security International, a private security firm working for the U.S. government, indicate the attacks against U.S. troops, security forces and private contractors are greater than reported by the U.S. military and have spread to parts of the country that have been relatively peaceful, according to a report Sunday in The Washington Post.
[Pakistan's President Pervez] Musharraf, in the United States to attend the UN General Assembly, was asked in an interview on CNN if he thought the war in Iraq was a mistake.(Thanks to No Capital for the Musharraf catch.)
"It has ended up bringing more trouble to the world," said the Pakistani leader, an ally of the United States in its broader war on terror.
"[The world] is more dangerous ... because [the Iraq war] has aroused the passions of the Muslims more," he said, describing the US-led coalition as "bogged down" in Iraq.
"[The war in Iraq] has complicated the war on terror ... it has made the job more difficult," said Musharraf, who has been the target of two assassination attempts in recent months . . . .
Musharraf said that even if the United States succeeded in Iraq, the region's problems would not be resolved until the Israeli-Palestinian issue was dealt with.
"We are fighting terrorism in its immediate context. That's not very far-sighted," Musharraf said.