Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Government of Iraq

One of the subtle consequences of the formation of the Iraqi cabinet after months of tortuous negotiations is that it is now the internationally recognized legal and permanent goverment of Iraq. The BBC has a roundup of quotes which indicate this new status.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Foreign Minister: Our first step will be to invite the Iraqi prime minister or foreign minister to a meeting [of EU foreign ministers]. The EU troika (Germany, Britain and France) will travel to Baghdad when the security situation permits.

George W Bush, US President: Iraqis now have a fully constitutional government, marking the end of a democratic transitional process in Iraq that has been both difficult and inspiring. Iraq's new leaders know the period ahead will be filled with great challenge. But they also know that they - and their great country - will not face them alone. The United States and freedom-loving nations around the world will stand with Iraq.

The United Nations News Centre has this statement to the press.

20 May 2006 – United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and his senior envoy to Iraq today welcomed the announcement of the formation of the new Iraqi Government, and urged that the process be completed in order to consolidate stability.

“The Secretary-General wishes the new Government every success in confronting the enormous challenges facing Iraq,” a spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement released in New York. “He hopes that the process of forming a broad-based and inclusive government will be completed as soon as possible, so that it will be able to quickly address the crucial issues of national reconciliation, security, the rule of law, respect for human rights, reconstruction and development.”

The Secretary-General also paid tribute to the “courage and determination that the Iraqi people have shown despite the ongoing violence,” urging them to seize the opportunity offered by the successful establishment of a broad-based and inclusive Government, and come together to support it and build the foundations of a united, peaceful and prosperous Iraq.

He reiterated the UN's commitment “to fully support the new Government and the people of Iraq,” a pledge echoed by his Special Representative, Ashraf Qazi.

That's not to say that Iraq's government is as stable as Canada's or Australia's or even at par, in terms of effective internal sovereignty, with a moderately successful Third World country. But it is apparently now as legally respectable as Mexico, Belgium or the Sudan. People used to tramping the woods are familiar with the concept of a "watershed", an often used metaphor whose real physical meaning is the contour of high ground that separates one river system from another. Anyone accustomed to staring at a topo map and having it pop out in his head in visualized 3D knows what this means. On one side of a watershed the water flows one way and on the other it flows the other way. From this point on, barring a convulsion in the landscape, America's role in Iraq will diminish and those of Iraqis increase, perhaps slowly like a rivulet beginning its long journey to the river basin, then with inexorably gathering strength until it is finally ignorant of its beginnings.

A great many problems remain. The Washington Post reported on the new government in these terms.

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- On a day heralded as a new beginning for Iraq, many Iraqis were divided on whether the newly inaugurated national unity government will be able to curtail sectarian violence in the country. "We have been waiting for a genuine change in Iraqi life since the fall of Saddam's regime in 2003, but the security ... has deteriorated from worse to worst," said Zakyaa Nasir, 52, in the southern city of Amarah. Her husband was an Iraqi soldier killed during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

The actual role of the United States in resolving these security issues will be great. But as a matter of principle, the troubles are now an internal matter of a sovereign Iraqi government; and whether or not the problems are successfully resolved is ultimately a challenge that Iraqis will have to meet. They may fail or succeed, but it will increasingly no longer be America's responsibility. Some will argue that it must needs remain America's responsibility, because the US toppled Saddam. Yet at some point in the process, if the words "Iraqi Government" or "sovereignty" are not to remain wholly fictive, the circumstance of US responsibility must diminish and those of the Iraqis increase. Legally at least, that time has come. At some imperceptible point on a ridge a watershed is reached; and water begins to flow another way.


Blogger Habu_1 said...

Congratulations Iraq!

It took the USA more than a decade to put together a constitution.

Now make it work, it's worth it.

5/20/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...


Many will not want to admit success, as defeat and failure and humiliation suits them so much better.

Time to get ready for the next round.

5/20/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" He reiterated the UN's commitment “to fully support the new Government and the people of Iraq,” a pledge echoed by his Special Representative, Ashraf Qazi. "
Hey, it's a done deal: No Brainer.
I always thought a "Watershed" was like a water closet.
But, as usual, I remain ignorant of my beginnings.
It's inexorable.
So, what's their policy wrt Illegals?
OK, I'm gone!

5/20/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

What is significant about the Post comment is that no one is questioning the LEGITIMACY of the government, only its competence. This is a huge, monumental difference from two years ago.

5/20/2006 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

arab democratic self accountablity...

what a concept..

ya think the greenhouse destroying palestinians are listening?

5/20/2006 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Those were Israeli Hothouse Torture Chambers for Pali Babies.

5/20/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger exguru said...

The ratio of American troops to Iraqi population has been something like the ratio of British troops to Indian nationals during the early 20th century. Accordingly, you must say the Iraqis have already had great responsibility for their security or lack of it. America, plus others in the Coalition, can never be compared here with "occupation" forces of history in the usual sense. Most of the Iraqis wanted us there, as I think they will admit after we have gone, and they will erect statues to Bush and Blair--as well they should.

5/20/2006 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger Don Meaker said...

The first US government was formed before the Declaration of Independence. The First US President was John Hancock, who was President of the Continental Congress after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The Second US government was formed during the Revolutionary War. John Hansen of Maryland was the first President of the United States of America, a perpetual union.

The current constitution is our third attempt at forming government. It has served as the model for both the United States of Mexico in 1917 and for the Swiss Confederation.

5/20/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

I love the double bind implied in your conclusions:

whether or not the problems are successfully resolved is ultimately a challenge that Iraqis will have to meet. They may fail or succeed, but it will increasingly no longer be America's responsibility. Some will argue that it must needs remain America's responsibility, because the US toppled Saddam.

So as soon as we begin to draw down, the critics will say we are leaving Iraq to its fate...

5/20/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


The political price for being over-pessimistic is no less than the price for being over-optimistic. Politicans who staked their reputations on the assertion that Zarqawi would run the US Army out on a rail will suffer as much as those who said the road would be strewn with flowers. Neither was true. What is apparently true is that victory would come, but with effort and persistence. But the existence of a formally recognized Iraqi government will be like a T-Rex in the living room, a thing impossible and yet ... Look to people trying to change the subject.

5/20/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Whether one agrees or disagrees with our policies to date, the Dems have proven themselves to be manifestly unfit to defend the nation - again.

We can only hope that truth is not overwhelmed by other events and continued derelection by the truly disgusting Senate.

As Limbaugh says, they aren't just flipping us the bird, they're mooning us.

5/20/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

I must respectfully disagree, wretchard, that the media will make the pessimists pay any price, particularly as so many of them are pessimists.

I hope people remember the pessimism, the negativism, the objectively pro-fascist rooting for the other side we have in this phase, and are better prepared to ignore it in the next phase.

5/20/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

This is bad news for Iran and Syria. The Iraqis should be able to neutralize some of the domestic insurgency by taking a greater role in security with the US taking the lesser. One would expect a nationalistic turning against the foreign jihadists and a better civilian intelligence apparatus. The big fight will be the necessary demand of the central government to demobilize the militias. This demand will be met if supported by US forces and the various groups acquiesce to a strong central government. There no longer seems to be the fear of Saddam returning and the Iraqis do not have an appetite for civil war. It is time for cautious optimism, always a losing position for Democrats.

5/20/2006 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Law often seems as insubstantial as magic, based on mere words. But as the Left keeps on reminding the world, formulas have power; the power to indict; investigate and so on. From Saddam's point of view the fall of Baghdad in April 2003 was theoretically retrievable for so long as he could be regarded as the de jure leader of Iraq. Now what? Think about the position of George Galloway who liked to go to Iraq to hobnob with Presidents and Foreign Ministers. Liked.

All of this is as insubstantial as air. But then air is the product of the airwaves and that is often as hard as a sonic wall.

5/20/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Shades of Flight School Stories Past, or Beslan.
-ht Fluffy at the Gates of Vienna

5/20/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

allen said..."What is significant about the Post comment is that no one is questioning the LEGITIMACY of the government, only its competence. This is a huge, monumental difference from two years ago."

Allen, just give them a little time.

My guess is that delegitimization of the IRaqi government will continue unabated. Some will continue to object to the ends. The two things Ahmedinajad made clear in his rambling letter/declaration of war were that (1) liberal democracy was a failure and that (2) it was doomed to the scrap heap of history, with a little of his help to boot. Many people, not all of whom are Muslims, agree with him and will act in concert with him on this matter.

Others will take issue with the means. Sure, it's a liberal democracy, they'll say, but it is an illegitimate one because it was forced upon an occupied people, many of whom met their maker because of our heavy-handed, unilateral, cowboy ways. They'd be happier if the UN had created a provisional government that lasted for 15+ years.

There will also be those seeking to delegitimize by pointing to the apparent ineffectiveness of the new Iraqi government. They'll claim that the government is a sham because it fails in one of its most basic duties- providing security for its citizenry. They will not apply this standard to any other country however as it would provide the pretext for intervention.

And should security improve, they'll move the goalposts, i.e. they'll complain about irregular electricity, lack of clean drinking water, the number of miles of unpaved roads, whether oil production is lower than it was before or immediately after Saddam's fall, and how many schoolboys got beat up on the way home.

And as the SAddam trial continues, expect complaints here too. Experts will be trotted out to proclaim that the trial falls beneath internationally-accepted standards of jurisprudence, blah blah blah. If the judge is too soft, they'll take to calling him the "Judge Ito" of Iraq.

And when Saddam hangs, some will see nothing but Rovian machinations designed to boost the sagging approval ratings of the President.

My expectation is that the International Left, much of the US media, many prominent Democrats, and a grab bag of freedom-hatin' governments and peoples the world over will take to criticizing the legitimate Iraqi government with the same ferocity that they now criticize the US government. The latter is, for some time, going to be called by many a stooge of the latter.

For the above named groups not to do the aforementioned things would be to conceded victory to Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney and to legitimize the Bush Doctrine. That can't be allowed to happen.

I really hope I have got this all wrong.

To end on a less pessimistic note let me here express my most sincere congratulations to the Iraqi people on the formation of a Their Government.

5/20/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Yes, George Galloway et al, what ever will they do? Since there is no denying a legitimate government, the opposition will have to work very hard to prove the new Iraqi government imperfect. I'll just bet the press corps is up to the task. Why, they may actually get out into the field to question that ever present disgruntled Iraqi.

None of this will change the fact that the US and Iraq are going to be compadres for a long, long, time. The threat of Iran will help even the Democrats to stay on board.

And what will the Democrats do in response to this clear foreign policy fait accompli, why, Mr. Murtha already has signaled that.

5/20/2006 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...


I believe you are correct. It makes one wonder what outcome the Left would find acceptable and worthy of praise. (Obviously not a serious question). It is times like this that I find GWB most frustrating. He seems to be limited to one bullhorn moment per presidency. The real horn bull of course, Bill Clinton, would have seized this moment politically. Let us hope for some divine intercession to put some silver in GWB's tongue.

5/20/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...



Can we please not do this again...

any time soon?

'Cause, brother, has it sucked.

5/20/2006 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

This is an important mile stone. Wretchard's commentary is well balanced and on target.

There are still some things that need to be resolved.

Austin Bay notes that there are 3 important cabinet position yet to be permanently filled. These are: Interior, Defense and National Security Affairs. But, I would guess that they will be filled in due time.

5/20/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

The Italian Left Offers a Helpful Response:

DW News | 21.05.2006 | 02:00
Italy to pull troops out of Iraq

Italy's foreign minister has said that the new Italian government will begin planning the withdrawal of troops from Iraq next week. Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema said during a visit to Naples that the Italian presence in Iraq will become a civilian one. D'Alema's comments came two days after Prime Minister Romano Prodi, who took office on Wednesday, called the war in Iraq "a grave error" that was "fuelling international terrorism". Italy has 2,600 troops in Iraq.

5/20/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

World Renowned Atmospheric Scientist issues wake-up call:
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) -
"Former President Bill Clinton said on Saturday global warming is a greater threat to the future than terrorism and that the United States and other countries must "get off our butts" and do something about it.

Clinton, speaking to the graduating class at University of Texas' Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, said the United States must pursue policies that make "more partners and fewer enemies" and use "institutionalized cooperation" before there is catastrophic damage from global warming.

"Climate change is more remote than terror but a more profound threat to the future of the children and the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren I hope all of you have," Clinton said.

"It's the only thing we face today that has the power to remove the preconditions of civilized society," he said.
During Clinton's administration, the global Kyoto Protocol to curb the release of greenhouse gases was created but the Bush administration has rejected it on grounds it will hurt the U.S. economy.
Didn't the Senate vote that down unanimously?

5/20/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"And when Saddam hangs, some will see nothing but Rovian machinations designed to boost the sagging approval ratings of the President. "
Unless W is mute, it will be
"Mission Accomplished II"
Even so, it will be an International Crime.
A Capital Offense.

5/20/2006 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

7:48 PM Allen:
Don't blame the messenger.
"Semper we're Jealous"

5/20/2006 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

ledger said:
>>Austin Bay notes that there are 3 important cabinet position yet to be permanently filled. These are: Interior, Defense and National Security Affairs. But, I would guess that they will be filled in due time.<<

1. What is the value of a government that does not possess a monopoly of violence within its territory?

2. For five weeks Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki has struggled to fill the three cabinet post dealing with national security and he has failed. Why?

3. What will be the operational efficiency -- the command capability -- of those three ministries without established leadership?

5/20/2006 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

War is hell, trish. When has it not sucked?

This was just one campaign. The rest of the Axis of Evil has yet to be decisively dealt with. And time is running out.

5/20/2006 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...


the real international crime will be when this man comes to perform a concert in Baghdad ;-)

From ABC News:

Baghdad's Lionel Richie Obsession
American Pop Star is an Iraqi Obsession:

I have been to Iraq nine times since the American invasion three years ago, for a total of about 10 solid months. (My wife is counting.) During that time, I have seen bombs and blood, I have seen rebuilding and restructuring, and I have seen death and democracy. So what have I heard? That's easy: Lionel Richie.

Grown Iraqi men get misty-eyed by the mere mention of his name. "I love Lionel Richie," they say. Iraqis who do not understand a word of English can sing an entire Lionel Richie song.

I decided I had to investigate, and not just investigate, I decided I had to ask Lionel Richie himself. So I called him from Baghdad. Actually it was a formal interview. It was the first interview with Lionel Richie ever on the subject of Iraq and Iraqis.

I asked Richie if he knows just how big he is here. He said, "The answer is, I'm huge, huge in the Arab world. The answer as to why is, I don't have the slightest idea."

He has performed in Morocco, Dubai, Qatar and Libya. There is obviously something up there. The more we talked, the more he theorized as to the reasons his music might be so popular here. He thinks it is because of the simple message in his music: Love.

Richie says he was told Iraqis were playing "All Night Long," on the streets the night U.S. tanks rolled into the country in 2003.

Richie was no supporter of the war, but he says he could see a day when he would come and perform in Baghdad. I would love to be here for that. I have reported many stories here in Iraq, many of them sad, some inspiring, but none of them quite like this.

"No supporter of the war"...just had to throw that in... but "would love ... (to) perform in Baghdad"... once brave men have made it safe.

Lionel was just in Dubai a few months back. Heard it was a great show, and sold out, too. I suspect he will perform In Baghdad one day. I wonder what he'll say to the crowds as he stands on stage in front of thousands of Iraqis? Will he apologize or congratulate?

5/20/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

exguru - Most of the Iraqis wanted us there, as I think they will admit after we have gone, and they will erect statues to Bush and Blair--as well they should.

Suuuuuure they will! Just like all the statues to Lawrence of Arabia and all the other infidels Muslims show such gratitude towards. Ever visit the Bill Clinton statues in Bosnia or Kosovo? The infidels who freed Kuwait statues? Keep looking.

5/20/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"ya think the greenhouse destroying palestinians are listening? "
See my 8:09 PM:
They were just trying to save the World.
For the children.

5/20/2006 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What have we done for Kuwait of late?

5/20/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/20/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger John Samford said...

Cannon cocker #4 is correct. The next front will open up as soon as the Jihadists have finished preparing the battlespace. America picked Iraq, it will be interesting to see where the Islamofascists will choose to fight next. Sudan offers a muslim cause that might help recruiting, but it's a killing field for guerrilla type forces facing an enemy with overwhelming air power. It would be worse then Afghanistan.
The best place would be europe. With 5% of the EU's population Muslim, the Mosques should be able to raise a 200,000 jihadists. With Europes open borders, getting them arms and ammo would be easy, if they aren't already there. The Car-b-que riots last fall showed the Europeans are not ready to handle a lot of civil unrest. If the rioters had brought out Kalashnikovs last fall, it would have been the end of France.
The Citizens are unarmed and the police almost the same. The French Army isn't trained in urban ops, so they will need heavy weapons to dig out the revolutionaries. I just can't see the President of France ordering artillery barrages on Paris. Yet without the big guns, the French army will not be able to recapture Paris from 50,000 Islamic fundamentalists who want to take over France as an Islamic state.
It would be a gamble, but the rewards would be great. When France falls, the jihadists will have Nuclear weapons AND a means to deliver them. Plus a lot of loot. Then there is the rape and pillage side of it. Quite a recruiting tool to the average 7th century mind.
Course, if they lose, then all bets are off and it will be crusading time again. The Problem with Sudan is that its a much more difficult battle and winning doesn't gain them much. A bunch of dirt and rocks with a littl OIL under it. Nothing the Muslim world doesn't already have bunches of. Taking Europe would set up Islam as the dominant political power for the rest of this century.
Especially if it was done as a 'revolution'.
The One thing the Jihadists cannot do is wait and let PRESIDENT Bush work up his nerve and take out Iran. If the Mad Mullahs fall, it would pretty much be the end of Islamic radicalism, for at least the next two generations.

5/20/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I would guess France would call in the Peacekeepers if it got THAT bad.
That would be US
Could the American GI once again be adored in France?

5/20/2006 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

starling david hunter,

Your 7:40 PM - "Allen, just give them a little time."

Thank you for a well considered post.

There will be no easy victory in the battle against the enemies of liberty (that includes the MSM); therefore, your observations are on target. However, when I’m feelin’ blue, all I have to do is take a look at the blogosphere. Our adversaries confuse ruthlessness with intelligence, gratuitous cruelty with decisiveness, and mean-spirited rudeness with concision. We will defeat them, but at what cost I cannot say.

5/20/2006 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

On the Fall of Rome

FDR's address of June 5, 1944.

Delete Italy, Italians, Mussolini, Fascists, Germany, Hitler.

Insert Iraq, Iraqis, Saddam, Baathists, Jihadis, bin Laden.

Berlin fell 11 months after Rome.

5/20/2006 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

I second the France-as-Battlefield for the Islamo-fascists. But its THEIR choice, we'll meet and beat them wherEVER they are!

OT, sort of, but I just got a report by email that there is now public confirmation that a new source of oil has been discovered below the Rockies, estimated at over 1 TRILLION Barrels!

1 fifth that amount would seriously tilt geopolitics! Yumm!

5/20/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...


I would suspect the posts are important and politically sensitive (or hot button posts like our Sec. of Def. and head of the CIA). But, they are filled on a temporary basis:

...Maliki will assume the acting interior minister temporarily while Salam al-Zigum Al-Zoubaie, new Sunni deputy prime minister,and Barham Salih, Kurdish deputy prime minister, were assigned the acting defense minister and the acting minister for the national and security affairs respectively...

See: Austin Bay

5/20/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

john samford,

Your 8:57 PM

I readily admit that on the surface it sometimes appears that the Europeans are a lost cause. In poking fun at the French, I take a backseat to no one. But I would caution the Islamists, beware the Germans.

Anyone who has spent any amount of non-tourist time in the Fatherland will attest to the obsessive meticulousness of Germans. Watch them build a house, pave a road, brew beer, or harvest timber and one discovers an almost inhuman striving for perfection. Sir Kenneth Clarke, commenting in his book “Civilization” on a self-portrait of Albrecht Durer, remarked on that disturbing look of fanaticism.

As one who has had opportunity to observe their troops, you may rest assured that the mythology of German martial prowess is not misplaced. What the Germans lack, for the moment, is leadership. When that finally rises to the occasion, Europe’s Muslim guests are in for a rude awakening. And, yes, I know that we here scratch our heads in disbelief at Germany’s ever so PC political class, but I assure you, the average German is not pleased with the number or behavior of Germany’s Islamic “guests”. It is for this reason that the US, contrary to what may be the conventional wisdom, is investing heavily in key American military facilities in Germany. It is but one man’s opinion, but I think the money well spent.

The question to be asked of Europe as of the United States is, will we strike first or will we react to an Islamic “big one?”

5/20/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Allen, agreed.
Got a Heck of a Deal on some of this last week, not bad at all.
(Caution: Video Includes likely Interracial Gang-Rape Gang)

5/20/2006 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But strictly for environmental reasons, I refill w/ethanol.

5/20/2006 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Fancy a refreshing pint of betaglucanase?
Or maybe a thirst-quenching glass of propylene glycol alginate

...With one rather notable exception: Germany.

With more breweries than any other country, the Germans take the purity of their beer exceptionally seriously.
German beer has led the way on natural ingredients.
Ever since the German Purity Law or Reinheitsgebot of 1516, beers in Germany can only legally be produced using the core ingredients of water, hops, yeast and malted barley or wheat.

Forget chemicals; German brewers are not even allowed to add sugar or lesser grains such as maize or rice.
(No Pansy Infusion Mash Tuns Either!)

5/20/2006 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...



In heaven there must be hefe weiss; otherwise, what's the point?

Man, oh, man, German beer, French bread, wine, and chocolate, Spanish tapas, and Italian gelato, there is a God!

5/20/2006 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Has a real German ever uttered the word:

5/20/2006 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ya gotta be serious just to speak the language:
Das Tempolimit, die erlaubte Höchstgeschwindigkeit, zulässige Höchstgeschwindigkeit oder Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung ist ein verbindlicher Grenzwert für die Geschwindigkeit, der nicht überschritten werden darf.

5/20/2006 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


And they do it quickly

5/20/2006 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"This was just one campaign. The rest of the Axis of Evil has yet to be decisively dealt with. And time is running out."

It sure is. Have at it, cannoneer.

5/21/2006 12:46:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...


5/21/2006 12:57:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Doug, thanks for the note on Clinton's pandering commencement speech. A recent article on current history textbooks mentioned that the most recent ones in the public schools include page after page on the Clinton administration, with only a paragraph or two on Reagan.

This puts me in mind of the fundamental principle of economics that the perceived value of a commodity is inversely proportional to its abundance.

Remember when Merlin in Twain's "Connecticut Yankee" tried to buy up all the trading tokens of his New England rival, and ended up just making the value of those still circulating skyrocket? Of course, that was FICTION, but unlike the fraudulent science used to promote KYOTO, the story is based on demonstrable processes.

Clinton’s enduring legacy will be that captured by a German parade float that caricatured him grabbing the bosom of an outraged “Liberty.”

(Can anyone link to some concise review of the status of the Kyoto Accord, especially information about how ratifying states are doing in compliance?)

5/21/2006 02:00:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Karridine--your post of 9:29--could you give us a little more info on that topic? I have been a farmer in the general area you speak of, and we have drilled dry wells in our area. What's up? Where are you talking about?

5/21/2006 03:23:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

You'd probably have better luck if you got more sleep.
Just be sure to stay up through the witching hour with those sticks, and perform some black magic in your quest for black gold.
Good Luck.
If all else fails, try bending two pieces of welding rod.

5/21/2006 03:56:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Even if you don't strike it rich in oil, you can write about your late night exploits and we'll still make that trip to the Yukon.

5/21/2006 03:58:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Ah, Karridine,sooner or later you will have to get back to the earth, and face the fact there is no saver, no Moses, no Jesus, no Mo,no Buddha, no saver of your mentioning, just people who lived long ago and had something to say in their lives. All the ancient literature is very good and interesting, but let's go with guys like Walt Witman now.Or Mark Twain,or all the good ones of our
American experience.And not think that god or whoever has blessed us with a big find under the Rockies. I hope you are right, we will have oil gallooor, but you should grow up now and face the reality of life. It's not so bad as you might think.Save yourself.

5/21/2006 03:58:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Doug--am going to sleep now, and am recalling when I was a youth, driving on my summer job all the cars in from the docks from the ports to downtown lulu--recall the smell of the pineapples to this day. Take care.

5/21/2006 04:19:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Allen and Starling David: Please note that it took at least 4 years and another not-very-close election for many Democrats - and virtually ALL of the party's
"leadership" - to stop questioning the legitimacy of the Bush Administration - and many did not stop even then.

And, like them, Saddam will keep on insisting that he is the REAL president of Iraq right up to the point where they stick that last cigarette in his mouth.

We should insist that last smoke is an American-made one.

5/21/2006 05:08:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Now that the NEW government of Iraq has agreed to support the BOYCOTT of Israel, it will have complete support and legitimacy within the Arab world, the EU & Asia!

Wow a new/old day is dawning in the moab...

5/21/2006 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger Thrasymachus said...

Actually, the term watershed in the US usually refers to basin that drains into a common outlet, such as the Mississippi River watershed. The sense listed in the original posting is in the dictionary, but I believe is the more british sense of the word. In the US, we'd call that a divide, as in the Continental Divide.

5/21/2006 05:47:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

With regards those important Posts left unfilled
"al-Maliki was unable to make a final decision about the top three security posts: defense minister, who oversees the Iraqi army; interior minister, who is responsible for police; and minister for national security.

That would be equivalent to No Possible Candidate for Sec of Def, Attorney General & the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs being able of passing Confirmation.

No Candidate is acceptable, in Iraq, none could pass Advise & Consent muster.

If that were to occur here, how many would be proclaiming Victory?

In any case there is no longer any reason, as described in the Authorization, to remain in Iraq. Their democratic government has done more than "emerge" it is, according to Mr Bush, large and in charge.

Best get those Leases signed.
Time's awastin'

5/21/2006 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You expected Mr al-Sadr and his Team to not boycott Israel?
To except them as equals?

What planet are you visiting from?

Iraq is now free to chart its own Course.
Just like Italy, Spain and Mexico.

The only practical question for "security" issues in Iraq, which will the militias integrate into, the Interior or Defense portfolios? Or some type of combination?
Will the integration weaken or strengthen the Radicals influence within the Government?

5/21/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

LGF reporting that the Iraqi government is supporting the Arab/Middle East boycott of Israel. I'd say given that idiotic commitment, the water has done been shedded to the Insane Arab Side of the ridge.

When the Iraqi's start talking about Iran's right to develop a Muslim nuclear bomb to achieve parity with Israel and the West, we'll know our mission is complete.

5/21/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

France falls to the Islamists..ok

Germans are meticulous in tree cuttting and beer making..ok

Bush should strike first ....2xOK

Just don't mess with the Yoohoo formula or production.

5/21/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Mayor Nagin and the Chocolate City.

Are we allowed to call him the Chocolate Mayor?

Yoohoo, chocolate mayor Nagin?
Naw, Ill bet he's a scotch and milk man at parties and a muscatel wine man while relaxing with a blunt.
Insane racists chocolate voters.

5/21/2006 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

devoided of it's spin the NYTimes piece is most interesting, here

"... Among the more powerful Shiite members of the cabinet are the Bayan Jabr, the finance minister, who until recently served as interior minister and Hussein al-Shahristani, the new oil minister. Among the most prominent Kurds is Hoshyar Zebari, the foreign minister.

Among well-known Iraqis still without a job are Ahmad Chalabi, the former exile leader and ally of the Bush administration. He is said to be one of the leading candidates to become interior minister. ..."

Now is that not something, the exInerior Minester, the one with those secretarian ties, is in charge of the money, now.
And Mr Chilabi, that Bush ally accused of being an Iranian spy... charges I disbelieve by the way, is in line to command the National Police, both overt and covert.

That could be good or bad, depending upon perspective.

5/21/2006 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

NahnCee said...

>>When the Iraqi's start talking about Iran's right to develop a Muslim nuclear bomb to achieve parity with Israel and the West, we'll know our mission is complete.<<

Moqtada al-Sadr has vowed to be the Iraqi arm of Hezbollah. When he, or some similar mullah, attains the secretariat of Defense, or National Security or the Interior to export terror . . . then we'll know that Iraqis have "stood up". For an analogous institutional capture, please see Hamas's new state sanctioned security force.
Disagree? Maybe then you can come up with a suitable candidate of your own and forward his name to PM Maliki. He seems to be having some difficulty.

5/21/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...


5/21/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The idea of Mr Chilabi as Interior Minister puts a secular Shia who, is as friendly to US as anyone in Iraq in that spot.

If Mr Allawi were to become Defense Minister, that would also be a tremendous step forward.

A secular Sunni of Mr Allawi's ability and acceptability would be difficult to find.

If both of those two folks, or a member of Mr Allawi's bloc in his stead, are chosen, it would be a very positive development.

5/21/2006 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

RWE said...

"Saddam will keep on insisting that he is the REAL president of Iraq right up to the point where they stick that last cigarette in his mouth. We should insist that last smoke is an American-made one."

RWE points out the next important milestone, i.e. Saddam needs to be convicted for his crimes against Iraq and then sentenced to death. Saddam's sentence must then be debated by the Iraqi parliament on whether or not to grant clemency. Clemency won't be granted but the nature of that debate and the behavior of the Iraqi people will be important litmus tests concerning Iraq's near term political future.

After Saddam is hung, the next major milestone will be the disposition of Muqtada al-Sadr. Until now, Al-Sadr has been allowed to live because almost anyone replacing his as leader of the Mahdi Army would have been more competent. However the Mahdi Army as an Iranian proxy is on the verge of becoming the most dangerous militant group in Iraq. Only after the Mahdi Army has been taken down will it be appropriate to try and execute Al-Sadr. Only after Al-Sadr's execution through due process of the Iraqi legal system (NOT by assassination), will it be safe to say that complete victory has been achieved in Iraq.

The good news is that complete victory in Iraq is possible and near at hand.

The bad news is the "heavy lifting" of dealing with Iran hasn't really started yet.

The really bad news is that George W. Bush has almost exhausted all of his political coin.

The Iraq War cost Bush politically more than it should have. If the Iraqi people had greeted our troops as liberators from a terrible tyrant then we could have immediately begun the process of taking down Iran (obviously that didn't happen). Rove will need to use every trick that he knows for the Republicans to retain the House of Representatives in the 2006 elections. If the House is lost then Bush truly becomes a lame duck and the US will default back to the 10 September mindset.

I'm convinced the Left will gain political power in 2008 (this will happen mainly because we'll be in an economic recession). It is vital that over the next two years, our position in the Middle East be made so strong that it'll take more than 4 years for the Islamic fascists to reorganize themselves.

5/21/2006 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

reocon is right, will Mr al-Sadr and his Team allow moderation in the major appointments?

That is the question, which when answered on the ground, will indicate whether Victory or Defeat has been achieved.

If Iraq becomes a democratic State that is, as Mr Rumsfeld says "Same as Saddam", then the US will not have won anything of value with Mohammedan democracy.

Mr al-Sadr, he still has the "votes" and at least veto power over government policies and appointments, more so than Mr Reid could dream of for himself.
As forecast by Mr Bremmer.

Perhaps that is why Mr Sistani said Mr al-Sadr is a "special case".

Mr al-Sadr the once and future Defender of Baghdad.

Depending upon how Mr al-Sadr wields his political power, whether he and his can be "moderated", that still remains to be seen, but Mr Maliki said he needed another week.

5/21/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"...Still, Sunnis like Mr. Mutlaq, who joined the walkout, said they were discouraged about their future role in the government.

"This is going to be a very aggressive government," Mr. Mutlaq said after the vote. "It is going to be a very tough government. A lot of blood is going to be spilled." ... "

5/21/2006 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger John Samford said...

To much doom and gloom.
No, the Germans WON'T fall. They have a lot of experience with rounding up undesirables and dealing with them. A few million Turks won't be much trouble at all.
I have a long time pen-pal (E-Pal?) who is a serving officer in an armored battalion in Germany. He says that there are many in the German command structure who also saw the Car-b-que riots as a recon in force. They are quietly getting ready, just in case. If the muslims don't jump, then everybody gets some extra training, which never hurts. If they do jump, they will land it a pit full of sharp stakes.
The French, on the other hand, sasy there in no chance, none, zero, of am Islamic revolution taking control of France, and there will not be any such attempt made. They could very well be correct, but if they are wrong.... I think that Italy and the Danes will beat the jihadists. The Low countries will try and fail, while France, Spain and England will fall to the Islamists. 2 of those 3 will be enough to destroy NATO and the EU.

5/21/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

Bobalharb RE: Rockies oil

I went looking too and found "oil shale", which is fine but a different story in terms of extraction. I think it safe to assume that the oil and gas industry knows exactly how much oil is buried where. The economics and the geopolitics are now making shale extraction more palatable.

5/21/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

OT but don't miss the Dymphna Instalanch! Wish the topic--lights going off all over Europe--was less grave...maybe someday it can be again.

5/21/2006 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Geez, reminds me of BobAl'soliloquy;

Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter business as the day
Would quake to look on.

5/21/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I sure wouldn't vote to stand by and let France Fall.
Mercy Bo Cups!

5/21/2006 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

""Saddam will keep on insisting that he is the REAL president of Iraq right up to the point where they stick that last cigarette in his mouth. We should insist that last smoke is an American-made one.""
I'll buy the last (Family Size) bag of Doritos!
...doesn't get Nacho Cheese, tho.

5/21/2006 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Doug--Good Lord, your 1:48pm--that is quite good and reminds me of Shakespeare(only degree I have is in Shakespeare-U of W 71)--but for the life of me I fail to place that passage. A newly found play? or your creative sub/super consciousness? If it's old Bill let me know the play. Thanks, Bob, perhaps of the lapsing memory....

5/21/2006 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Maybe Dubya's last official act before leaving the Presidency will be to authorize the arrest of Moqtada, and if Sadr happens to become dead during that procedure ... ooops. Abject apologies all around.

5/21/2006 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Hamlet, Act III, scene 2.

5/21/2006 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Blanc is correct.
Is Blanc related to "blank?"
Blanc seems better informed.

5/21/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Thank you both...I was thinking MacBeth but am glad to be corrected...still can remember how to try the dry fly quess I am not done yet.

5/21/2006 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

how to tie the dry fly...still have some;) marbles....

5/21/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...


Blank with a 'c', since you wouldn't acknowledge my signature initial and I finally found controls (in the bottom drawer wouldn't you know) to change 'blank'. Don't forget you like to add an 'o' due to your inner bard.

5/21/2006 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe you can claim Social Security for both names, and I'll claim blanko.

5/21/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"creative Pub consciousness"

5/21/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

How about "La Dame Blanche?"
Apologies if you are Afro, Latino, or "other."

5/21/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Too bad Malkin's already got that Pen Logo.

5/21/2006 09:03:00 PM  

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