"I don’t think he understands the world... I don’t think he’s particularly curious about the world. I don’t think he reads like he says he does... Every time he’s read something he tells you about it, I think.”* damien:
"Our Aussie foreign minister, Downer, is close friend of former US defence secretary, William Cohen, founder of the Cohen Group. It's no accident, I suppose, that this powerful US PR firm with close ties to defense industries and the Bush leadership, was willing to assist the AWB (Aust. Wheat Board) before the Volker and Cole Inquiries. And then there's Frank Miller. This former Senior Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control at the National Security Council, VP of the Cohen Group, served for thirty one years at senior levels of the US government on things like nuclear deterrence, strategic arms reduction, national space policy, defense trade reform, and transforming the American and NATO militaries. This is a very senior guy. He doesn't get out of bed except to reorganize NATO. Yet we are told that he flew to Australia to handle "the day-to-day work" for the AWB before the Cole inquiry. What gives? What's a Frank Miller doing handling a wheat corruption investigation in Australia? It wouldn't be, would it, that Miller and the Cohen Group were acting as damage control agents, not for the AWB, but for Downer and the Federal government? Perhaps there was other stuff about bribes to Saddam that they didn't want to get out? It's a strange case."
"The reason our foreign policy has been so incoherent, amoral and bloodthirsty is because the people behind it are. And until Democrats and other opponents of this extremist group commit themselves to stopping them and figuring out how to do that (and so far, at least, they've done neither), nothing will deter them in their insane militarism."
"And a new publishing company created by Jane and Markos Moulitsas has just published a new book by blogger and Plamegate expert Marcy Wheeler which I read in galley form and which -- particularly in light of the imminent Lewis Libby trial -- I highly recommend as the definitive account of that scandal."
"There isn't a chance in hell I would support Clinton, or to be honest, Obama, in a primary at this point. Neither has done more than talk and that will not cut it when we have to salvage our reputation and foreign policy."* rimone's long-awaited Recluse, Part 3 is up. eg:
"Back to the freak show I thought of as life, for some strange reason I could never explain properly, I was always entranced by anything that smacked of being different than the norm. There was nothing in my tedious middle-class upbringing that could have served as harbinger of this element; deviance attracted me as something to be desired, or emulated if I could manage to do so and especially get away with it."
“The most explosive question about the Taliban resurgence here along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is this: Have Pakistani intelligence agencies been promoting the Islamic insurgency?* mcclatchy:
The Pakistanis are actively supporting the Taliban,” declared a Western diplomat in an interview in Kabul. He said he had seen an intelligence report of a recent meeting on the Afghan border between a senior Taliban commander and a retired colonel of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence."
"Iraq - As the Iraqi government attempts to secure a capital city ravaged by conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslim Arabs, its decision to bring a third party into the mix may cause more problems than peace.* someone has posted a copy of Kyle's video at YouTube in which Indira Singh reads Sibel's letter to Thomas Kean and the 911 Commission. (I've written about that letter here)
Kurdish soldiers from northern Iraq, who are mostly Sunnis but not Arabs, are deserting the army to avoid the civil war in Baghdad, a conflict they consider someone else's problem.
The Iraqi army brigades being sent to the capital are filled with former members of a Kurdish militia, the peshmerga, and most of the soldiers remain loyal to the militia.
Much as Shiite militias have infiltrated the Iraqi security forces across Arab Iraq, the peshmerga fill the ranks of the Iraqi army in the Kurdish region in the north, poised to secure a semi-independent Kurdistan and seize oil-rich Kirkuk and parts of Mosul if Iraq falls apart. One thing they didn't bank on, they said, was being sent into the "fire" of Baghdad."