"It is anyone’s guess why the U.S. military is telling the tales they are telling in Iraq today. Perhaps the misinformation is some sort of attempt to confuse the insurgents. That said, anyone vaguely familiar with Iraq’s jihadists wouldn’t take these reports seriously. If U.S. military intelligence had a better history of success in Iraq, it would probably inspire more confidence. Either way, one of the first principles any soldier learns is “know your enemy.” Unfortunately, the stories the U.S. military are spinning in Iraq don’t suggest they know very much at all."* tim at scott's place:
"With the Australian army now plainly overstretched on regional ‘peacekeeping’ missions, there are noises from the Australian government that sound as if a pull out of Australian troops from Iraq may come sooner than expected. Presumably once they figure out a way to both bug out and avoid any media blowback about leaving Uncle Sam (a.k.a George Bush) in the lurch. My guess is that there will be a number of redeployments of Australian troops around Iraq with each one scaling back the overall number. "i hope he's right (he's an aussie). i'm not following this at all - i'd be surprised if he was right - although there'd be some good cover - the aussies were sposed to be in iraq protecting the japanese who are leaving the coalition of the billing.
* scott got wikipedia'd. yay scott. not a moment too soon.
"A senior aide to Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) pulled the financial disclosure forms of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and at least three other Republican Senators late last month, Senate records show.TNR asks whether it is GOP fratricide, or if Denny was looking for clues about how to get outta his own 'predicament'.
According to those records, Hastert aide Tim Kennedy accessed the financial records for Alaska Sens. Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Conrad Burns of Montana in addition to Frist on May 19.
The motive for the request is unclear, and neither Kennedy nor Hastert aides Ted Van Der Meid and Ron Bonjean responded to several requests for comment."
* via jeralyn:
"A Harris Interactive/Financial Times survey released Monday found that 36 percent of Europeans view the United States as the world's greatest threat to "global stability." By comparison, 30 percent of those polled named Iran as the biggest threat, while 18 percent named China."* zogby:
"After what some have called the “best week of the President’s second term” in office, George W. Bush’s job approval numbers have jumped significantly to 36%, as a nation hungry for good news out of Iraq was finally served a morsel, a new Zogby International poll shows."