"US Threatens Nicaragua With Sanctions Over Ortega Election
In Nicaragua, the Bush administration has issued one of its harshest warnings to date over the outcome of Sunday’s presidential elections. The administration is now threatening economic sanctions if Nicaraguans elect frontrunner and Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega. In an interview with the Nicuraguan newspaper La Prensa, embassy spokesperson Kristin Stewart says: "If a foreign government has a relationship with terrorist organizations, like the Sandinistas did in the past; U.S. law permits us to apply sanctions… Again, it will be necessary to revise our policies if Ortega wins.""
Centcom Briefing Warns Iraq “Violence at All-Time High”
In other Iraq news, the New York Times reports top US military officials are warning Iraq is headed towards chaos. A classified United States Central Command color-code chart shows sectarian violence is headed far away from the side of the chart representing “peace” and much closer to a red zone labeled “chaos.” The briefing cites intelligence describing “urban areas experiencing ‘ethnic cleansing’ campaigns to consolidate control” and “violence at all-time high, spreading geographically.” The news comes as CBS News reports Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki has told close advisors the situation in Iraq is "nearly out of control."
"What's dangerous about what's going on right now is that an electoral defeat of the Republicans next week, and perhaps a similar defeat in a presidential race two years from now, might fool some people into thinking that the responsibility for the Iraq war can be sunk forever with George Bush and the Republican politicians who went down with his ship. But in fact the real responsibility for the Iraq war lay not with Bush but with the Lettermans, the Wolf Blitzers, the CNNs, The New York Timeses of the world -- the malleable middle of the American political establishment who three years ago made a conscious moral choice to support a military action that even a three-year-old could have seen made no fucking sense at all.
We needed those people to act in the moment, not years later, when it's politically expedient. We needed TV news to reject "swift-boating" during the actual Swift Boat controversy, not two years later; we needed ABC and NBC to stand up to Clear Channel when that whole idiotic Dixie Chicks thing was happening, not years later; we needed the networks and the major dailies to actually cover the half-million-strong protests in Washington and New York before the war, instead of burying them in inside pages or describing the numbers as "thousands" or "at least 30,000," as many news outlets did at the time; and we needed David Letterman to have his war epiphany back when taking on Bill O'Reilly might actually have cost him real market share.
Because Bush and the rest of that crew sent young men to die for something they believed in, fucked-up as their reasoning might be and have been. But these shitheads in the political middle who are flip-flopping right now sentenced teenagers to death for the cause of expediency and careerism. There are young men coming home now without arms and legs because the Wolf Blitzers of the world were too afraid to lose their jobs or piss off advertisers bucking the war hysteria of the times."
"A "fella"– not a terribly bright or discerning one — who knows Coach Denny kind of well got drunk the other night and started bragging to a DWT activist that a private Hastert poll, taken after Americans started absorbing the magnitude of Hastert's cover-up of the page scandal, shows Coach Denny 49% and John 45%. The drunken Hastert enthusiast didn't realize this is nothing to brag about and that when an incumbent drops below 50% with increasing negative momentum — the last polling had him at 52% and John at 42% — trouble could be brewing."
" Conservative columnist Ann Coulter has refused to cooperate in an investigation into whether she voted in the wrong precinct, so the case will probably be turned over to prosecutors, Palm Beach County's elections chief said Wednesday.
Knowingly voting in the wrong precinct is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison."
Two brothers charged in an alleged plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners have been released after a British court ruled there was insufficient evidence to warrant a trial."* the guardian notes that 2 others are free on bail:
"Last Friday, after a hearing in chambers at the Old Bailey, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith granted bail to Nabeel Hussain and a 17-year-old male who cannot be named because of his age."* juancole:
"The Sunni Arab guerilla movements have been attempting to cut off Baghdad for some time, and have at times successfully imposed a fuel blockade on it. So far the blockade has been stacctto and not very successful. But if they really could blockade the capital, they could deprive the Iraqi police and army of fuel for their vehicles, and then execute them. This step could only come, of course, once the US begins withdrawing. Once that process starts, the Shiites had better start negotiating with the Sunni guerrilla groups, or else it wouldn't be long before the Green Zone fell."
* I've put up a DU thread for the Watada petition. Go kick.