* the army found another way to get rid of Arabic speakers.
"A GOP-controlled Congress would continue to give Bush a blank check, meaning the Iraq War would be prolonged and, quite possibly, expanded into other Middle East countries.
Bush would be tempted to double up on his Iraq wager by attacking Iran and Syria, two countries that U.S. officials have accused of aiding Iraqi insurgents. A number of U.S. military experts also believe that Bush would order the bombing of Iran if it doesn’t agree to curtail its nuclear research.
But the continued war in Iraq and its regional expansion would serve bin Laden’s interests, too, by proving to many of the world’s one billion Muslims that the Saudi exile was right in his predictions of an aggressive Western assault on Islam."
"CENTCOM has just abandoned a US trooper to the tender mercies of the Mahdi Army. Think hard about that, because every grunt will be. When you're captured by the enemy, the US Army will try to rescue you, when convienent. Otherwise, hold your head up on your video before they kill you.* nyt:
At least the Israelis are willing to make a deal for their missing soldiers. The US just stops looking for them.
Now, maybe this guy ran away, maybe not. But no matter what, soldiers need to know his fate.
The right wing media wants to talk about anything else but Iraq. They want to spin this Kerry story, hoping you won't notice the US Army has abandoned a soldier in the field.
I don't imagine morale recovering from this. Because nothing says pointless as taking orders from Sadr on how to conduct US operations."
"First, the size of (Rove's) challenge may be bigger than presumed. Pew’s mid-October, nationwide survey over-sampled voters living in Congressional districts thought to be competitive by a consensus of the handicappers. It found that with less than two weeks to go before the midterm election, the Democrats not only continued to maintain a double-digit advantage nationally, but also held virtually the same lead in the competitive districts that will almost certainly determine which party controls the House of Representatives.* amblog:
Nationally, the Democrats held an 11 percentage point lead — 49 percent to the Republicans’ 38 percent — among registered voters. In 40 competitive districts, the Democrats also led by 11 points — 50 percent to 39 percent. But what was most surprising about the survey was that the Democratic tide seemed to extend into at least some Republican districts presumed to be not competitive by the handicappers."
""This isn't an election anymore, it's an intervention." - Andrew Sullivan on CNN."I wish i coined that.
"I have to give the Republicans credit, I really do. The head of their party, the president of the United States, the leader of the free world is almost virtually unintelligible when he speaks, he insults people, creates international incidents and when not making gaffe after gaffe, is almost entirely incoherent. Yet they just got away with two days of wall-to-wall pearl clutching and hanky wringing over an irrelevant Democrats' blown punchline.
They may not be able to keep their majority after this disasterous experiment in Tinkerbell governance, but they continue to impress with their gigantic brass... impudence. Gentlemen, I salute you."