Friday, September 14, 2007

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, 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 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.


Blogger PierreLegrand said...

Democracy a fool’s errand or our only way out? Jeane Kirkpatrick respondsReviewing the article that drew Ronald Reagan’s attention to her I discovered material relevant to our age and our fight. Here is Jeane Kirkpatrick’s article “Dictatorships and Double Standards that appeared in Commentary in November 1979.

Jeane Kirkpatrick: But once an attack was launched by opponents bent on destruction, everything changed . The rise of serious, violent opposition in Iran and Nicaragua set in motion a succession of events which bore a suggestive resemblance to one another and a suggestive similarity to our behavior in China before the fall of Chiang Kai-shek, in Cuba before the triumph of Castro, in certain crucial periods of the Vietnamese war, and, more recently, in Angola. In each of these countries, the American effort to impose liberalization and democratization on a government confronted with violent internal opposition not only failed, but actually assisted the coming to power of new regimes in which ordinary people enjoy fewer freedoms and less personal security than under the previous autocracy -regimes, moreover, hostile to American interests and policies . (emphasis mine)

This is no starry eye’ d youngster looking at the world through rose colored glasses. This was a hard nosed and brilliant United Nations Ambassador describing what happened when we forced our idealistic philosophy on people who didn’t understand what we were giving them.

Jeane Kirkpatrick: At best we will have lost access to friendly territory . At worst the Soviets will have gained a new base . And everywhere our friends will have noted that the U .S. cannot be counted on in times of difficulty and our enemies will have observed that American support provides no security against the forward march of history .

Brilliant. Substitute Islam’s warriors for the Soviets and look around to see if you can see some parallels. Are we winning or losing? Is radicalism declining or growing? In case you are not paying attention, we are losing the war in Iraq (no our armed forces are brilliant) because of our feckless politicians in the US, we are losing Pakistan simply because we are unwilling to confront the enemy wherever he rises. In Pakistan this policy may very well see us facing an Islamist Government armed with a substantial nuclear arsenal and the means to deliver it. India is not going to be amused not to mention the budding state of Afghanistan.

Jeane Kirkpatrick: Although most governments in the world are, as they always have been, autocracies of one kind or another, no idea holds greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances.(emphasis mine)

Much more at the I do not think that Democracy will work but I do think we needed to go to war with Saddam.

9/14/2007 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Wretchard I think Newt is wrong.

Clinton is faced with a dilemma. To win in the General Election she MUST be tough on AQ, Iran, and the Muslim world in general which is seen as America's enemy.

No one is going to vote for a Jimmy Carter re-run and particularly a woman. Who will be seen because she is a woman as weak. Particularly with Iran racing to nukes, North Korea perhaps playing nuclear footsie with Syria, and Pakistan falling slow-mo into the Taliban and AQ control.

But Hillary can't win the nomination unless she embraces the anti-military, anti-US, anti-Victory, and frankly anti-American position of Moveon, Code Pink, ANSWER, and the lunatic left. Which is basically the heart of the Democratic Party.

What, Americans will respond to Hillary blasting Rudy for ... being too tough on Osama? On Terrorists? For backing the military?

Hillary could WIN and WIN DECISIVELY if she ran to the right ala JFK, on a "missile gap" and promised even tougher action using the Air Force and Navy (and a much bigger AF and Navy) to beat Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi into a pulp.

"Nuke em all and go home" ... even if no nukes are used. Not fetishized defeat and weakness and victimhood.

The Democrats might appeal to the View/Oprah set who want America to be the "pitied victim" and see defeat as good for everyone. But that is not going to go down well for everyone else.

Increasingly the Dems look like that Britney Spears fan with mascara weeping "leave Britney alone!" on YouTube. Weakness is not attractive.

9/14/2007 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...


During the later Roman Republic, it was standard for rival royal pretenders to the thrones of client states to vie for influence in the Roman Senate. Eighteenth century Poland-Lithuania, eighteenth century Sweden, and the late Roman Republic all have in common a propensity for rival political parties to act as proxies for rival foreign states.

There's one difference, though. Rome turned on Jugurtha (a Roman favorite) when he massacred Roman citizens during the sacking of Cirta, Numidia's capital. In contrast, the United States has been amazingly lenient to the House of Saud.

9/14/2007 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger R said...

Pierrelegrand does us proud when he presents thoughts by "Jeane Kirkpatrick!" This is the woman of whom I spoke months ago that, for me, represents "Presidential" material. Hillary Clinton is one angry woman who hates men, while she sees government as being one super large teat where all are to come and feed!

As to those great politicians of Irag: They are the first generation, who are supposed to fall by the wayside for the second set of politicians. Where are the natural leaders of Iraq? What do they want for their country? A democracy, or perhaps something else?

Watch for Bill's older brother to come into this race, for he most certainly has a fight remaining with the beast known as Hillary (this would be Newt, of course)!

Is there another Jeane Kirkpatrick on the horizon? I sure hope so, for it would be a good thing to see a woman who is balanced in politics: Such a reality would open the eyes of many men! That is a good thing, too.

9/15/2007 03:54:00 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

pierrelegrand - Kirkpatrick suggested that our attempts to impose liberalization on Iran, China, Cuba, Angola and Vietnam made them worse, but in each of those nations that we remained engaged through some form of containment or proxy military action (China, Nicaragua and Vietnam), liberalization took root. That simply suggests that we don’t bite off more than we can chew, and that we persist in pressing our advantages.

9/15/2007 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

I think that when bin laden came on the tube just days before the 2004 election--his speech was pivotal in turning the election to bush. why? because he reminded everyone that the iraq war was about him.

His latest speech has been a different variant. He has told people that the democrats are all about him.

personally I don't like the way bin laden faggots up on the USA (reminds me too much of stevie wonder singing "we are the world we are the children") but clearly there is some immense confusion about the nature of reality there on the boundary between pakistan and hindustan. Here is a really funny exchange between a muslim and and hindu

9/15/2007 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I wonder how many of the Arabs will take the opportunity to claim political asylum once they're in Washington and on American soil.

We are full up to the brim with uneducated violent immigrants (not to mention Muslims who demand special treatment), and really don't need any more. If either Sunni or Shiia *does* want to bail out of his/her home country once they're here, I sincerely hope they're scooped up and sent back to their local sandbox, and told to work on it harder there.

BTW, I'm not seeing the word "Kurd" in the impending visit roster. Which tells me in and of itself something about their success, sanity and prospects for the future.

9/15/2007 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Ah, you speak of Incumbistan and its poor vassal state of Electistan. Yes, the Emirs of Incumbistan do, indeed, understand what they are being presented and who could doubt otherwise? Mere tribal affiliations to them must seem very familiar given the divisions they already know: 'caliphornia communista', 'freetraderites', 'cascadia closetistinians' and 'hsu sock fillerarians'? Why those poor tribes aroung Baghdad have nought to compare with the great struggles between the 'taxaronians' and the 'hamspreaderites' already seen in Incumbistan! A mere $120 million to help tribes from the Iraqi central government is as nothing to those that seek $5 billion in personal financial enhancements for supporters. Pocket lint from someone else's pocket, even...

Then these quaint notions of this thing called 'democracy', of which it is so inevitable that no one fights for it even as it is attacked, and Incumbistan has surpassed even such great democracies as that Weimar Republic in 1932-33 and broken new ground on what legitimacy actually IS for a democracy. Why, these inventive Emirs of Incumbistan have learned so very much from the Middle East, how could they not surpass any other democracy even in declining or reclining as the case may be? But, not to worry, the entire Incumbistanian Emirate, even if it only consists of a tiny postage stamp of actual real estate, has ensured that it and the poor vassals in Electistan in never having to confront those that would wage war unaccountably by the expedient of not being able to name them for what they do! Such wisdom! Who would have thought that if you just ignored a problem of killers that killed unaccountably that they would not grow emboldened nor even to try and attack those doing the ignoring. I am very sure that this will be put forward as wisdom for the ages so that Incumbistanians will be able to walk around, with absolute and utter impunity to all worldly things, by the fact they pay no attention to them. Ah, if only Electistanians could reach those nosebleed heights that, apparently, also remove enough oxygen to actually think so as to become as their leaders in the heart of Incumbistan!

It is unfortunate that those of us stuck in the vassal state of Electistan still have to WORK for a living, but we know that those in Incumbistan are working hard and mightily to replace us for all the jobs we will not do... which is all of them. Speak not of this 'successful democracy' business in Incumbistan as they have secured their Emir and High Emir status permanently via their means of keeping representation limited and then disabusing Electistanians that their votes have any meaning at all. Soon Electistan will be just as viable as the Emirates and other lovely Nations seen elsewhere in the world, where Royalty sit permanently in the Halls of power and the Nobility do work in counting their profits skimmed off of those willing to do work. Unfortunately that will not be Electistanians, but whoever the Incumbistanians bring in to replace us...

9/15/2007 02:48:00 PM  

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