Fire At Will
The Wars Iraq and in Washington have merged. Iraq the Model describes the impending onslaught on Washington by Iraqi politicians come to plead their special case.
The American capital is going to witness intensified Iraqi presence and political activity in the coming few weeks. First there are Sunni leaders who have been invited by members of Congress. ...
A Sunni delegation at the level being reported wouldn’t go without a countermeasure from the current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who represents the Shia-Kurdish coalition of four. In order to avoid any threat for this ruling coalition, the government announced that Maliki is going to head a big delegation to Washington later this month as well.
If politics in Iraq is increasingly about influencing Washington, politics in Washington is increasingly about Iraq. One indication of how hot the action will be is the controversy over the New York Times' discounted advertisement to Moveon.Org attacking General Petraeus. It is turning out to be the first shot in a fusillade of fire. Nobody is backing off. It is Fix Bayonets and advance to contact. In order to avoid charges it was electioneering by charging differential rates, the Old Gray Lady offered a similar discount to Rudy Giuliani. Rather than pouring oil over the waters this just seemed to put a match to the gasoline.
Republican 2008 White House front-runner Rudolph Giuliani Friday fired a first, biting attack at top Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton, accusing her "spewing venom" at America's commander in Iraq.
In a preview of a possible 2008 general election matchup, the former New York mayor took out a full page-advertisement in the New York Times rebuking Clinton over the unpopular war.
Then he debuted his first Internet advertisement of the campaign, accusing the former first lady of turning her back on US troops, after voting to authorize the war in Iraq in 2002, and now demanding an end to the conflict.
Giuliani took Clinton to task over an advertisement by liberal anti-war group MoveOn.org, which ran in the Times earlier this week with a headline of "General Petraeus, or General Betray US?"
"Just when our troops need all our support to finish the job, Hillary Clinton is turning her back on them," says a narrator in the web ad. "General Petraeus and the brave men and women now serving under him deserve an apology. And our nation deserves better. Senator Clinton, do the right thing. Apologize for your comments and condemn the MoveOn.org ad."
The odds Hillary is going to fire back are high. The fire will be withering. Newt Gingrich recently claimed that nothing that wants to live should stand before the mighty Clinton political machine.
These events are hard on the heels of Osama Bin Laden's recent speech to America on the subject of the Democratic Party not doing enough to End the War, the evils of capitalism, high taxes and Global Warming. Given the attractions of the impending political clash, perhaps Osama's chief regret is that as a fugitive he can't appear as a guest on all the talk-shows. Who knows? If he surrenders to a friendly judge he might be allowed to post bail. Stranger things have happened recently. But even as matters stand the fight will be intense enough without factoring in enemy combat operations.
Those combat operations will be political too. What else to make of al-Qaeda's recent assassination of "Sheikh Abdul Sittar Bezea al-Rishawi, who helped the US military drive the terror group from large swathes of western Iraq"? Or the 240 mm rocket attack on a US facility. That's a big rocket. But I think it's payload was designed to explode on the front pages. All these are designed to show that the "benchmarks" have been missed. And understandably the counterbattery from the US Armed Forces was aimed at Washington too, reminding any one who will listen that Iran is an unacknowledged belligerent in this fight.
A US general in Iraq on Thursday pointed the finger of blame at Shiite militiamen using what he said was an Iranian-supplied rocket for a fatal attack two days ago on a military base near Baghdad.
Major General Kevin Bergner said the rocket was launched from the Rasheed area of west Baghdad which he said was a stronghold of the Mahdi Army militia of firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. ...
Bergner, spokesman for US forces in Iraq, told a press conference the rocket was similar to those supplied in the past by "Iranian sources" to Mahdi Army fighters.
Any hope that a calm, Olympian, disinterested bipartisan consensus on national security issues will emerge is probably forlorn. It is more probable that the partisan fighting will intensify with the Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives duking it out; and with Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and Qods playing a not inconsiderable role indirectly. Ironically Washington's sheer importance may have diminished it as a purely national capital; from a place where Americans could refer to themselves as "us" looking out at the "them" of the world. Maybe today it is an imperial capital where only the "we" exists; a form of pluralis majestatis once appropriate, or so it was said, to royals, schizophrenics and people with tapeworms.