Thursday, January 18, 2007

Did we actually perpetuate sectarian violence?

* digby:
"Did we actually perpetuate sectarian violence to force the Sunni population to "pay a price?" Did we create this civil war?

I would think that was nuts except for the fact that it is completely in keeping with the arrogance and idiocy of this administration to have thought this was a good idea. The idea behind the Salvadoran death squads, you'll recall, was to show the spics/wogs/animals that they were up against something so ruthless and violent that they would just give up and surrender. Now ask yourselves if that would have sounded reasonable to this crew, particularly since they view El Salvador as a rousing success. (In fact, the presence of war criminal Eliot Abrams in the White House may just be the most compelling clue.)

I wish I didn't believe this could be true, but it explains the strange lethargy the administration had over the past year. They had a secret plan to end the war --- training Shia death squads to put the Sunni in their place. Shockingly, it doesn't seem to have worked."
* amy:
"Arrest Warrants for 3 US Soldiers in Killing of Spanish Journalist
In Spain, an arrest warrant has been reissued for three US soldiers connected to the killing of Spanish TV cameraman Jose Couso in Iraq. Couso was one of two journalists killed in April 2003 when the US military opened fire on Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel. The new warrant came after the Spanish Supreme Court overturned an earlier ruling dismissing charges against the soldiers. The US government did not respond to the previous arrest warrants nor to requests to provide statements from the soldiers."

* amy:
Iraq War Resister Denied Key Defense Strategy in Military Trial
And finally, new developments in the military tribunal of First Lieutenant Ehren Watada. The judge in the case has ruled Watada’s defense won’t be able to present evidence challenging the legality of the war nor explain Watada’s motive to resist deploying to Iraq. Watada faces up to six years in prison. He is the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment orders to Iraq.

* emptywheel:
"Say. wasn't there a time, not so long ago, that the NYT believed that fellatio was an impeachable offense? Because now, you see, they seem to think it's worthy of publication. I can't think of any other description of (Scott) Shane's latest than a big drooly blow job to Scooter Libby.

I don't so much mind the profile. But if you're going to do a profile, base it on neutral observers. Dennis Ross? Raising money for Libby's Defense Fund. Fukuyama? Matalin? Ditto.

But the real reason this profile gets my Blow Job of the Week award is the way it so neatly parallels the talking points Libby's defense team would love to have out there–and Shane doesn't seem to be troubled that he's getting these talking points from professional spinmeisters. Just before a trial in which Libby's grand jury testimony will show him leaking information without knowing whether it was declassified or not, all his paid buddies call him "reserved." “Like Cheney, Scooter’s a tomb.” So says a profile quoting not one, but two former paid spokepeople for these tombs. Libby's heroic efforts to cover for the potentially and clearly criminal behavior of Cheney and Marc Rich, respectively? That's him advocating for others, like some nice boy scout. No matter that this "boy scout" is helping a criminal cross the road, not some old lady. Want to help someone make a claim that he was so busy with very important security issues that he plum forgot he outed a spy? Get your once and future paid shill to insist that, "What animates him is security." And in case that's doesn't do the trick, describe him as too concerned with safety. Not working from a script here, at all, Scott Shane isn't. He's just showing real skepticism about the claims that all these people employed to make Scooter look good are saying.

The big old blow job ends with a slimy swallow, as Shane paints Libby as the victim, "It seemed a dreadful shame that circumstances can sometimes ruin lives."

Yeah Shane. A bigger shame, though, that the willful behavior of our nation's top officials might have deliberately ruined public servants' lives. "

* clemons has Nelson's latest on Iran - ending:
"This deployment is carefully calibrated. It could have been larger. Increasing to two carrier strike groups in the AOR serves as a firm signal and deterrent, reminding everyone US has bench strength; the US also still can "reach out and touch someone."

Along with announced deployments of two UK minesweepers and the Patriot battery, it is also an actual contingency force that has significant defensive and offensive capability (e.g. ., could initiate heavy 24 hour air ops if necessary).

On the other hand, increasing to three carrier strike groups would be noticeably more 'robust', belligerent and suggestive of intending or anticipating attack. The difference between two and three strike groups is huge. Two ='s strong and capable, but existing offensive intent is less probable; three ='s 'we don't care about provocation, we're preparing to fight in this new dimension'.

(An indicator would be to watch for announcements about Nimitz strike group; Nimitz reportedly has completed the routine pre-deployment work-up and is in San Diego.)"

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