Wednesday, May 16, 2007

You're Fucking Kidding Me

* OGM has Bill Maher:
'Repugs seem to win when they nominate the 'You're Fucking Kidding Me' candidate. Nixon? You're Fucking Kidding Me! Reagan? You're Fucking Kidding Me! GWB? You're Fucking Kidding Me! and now Giuliani. You're Fucking Kidding Me!

* arkin:
"Give the Iraqis a Break

Washington empties out every August as members of Congress and administration officials leave for their annual summer vacations. So why isn't this American political tradition good enough for Iraqi officials in Baghdad?

President Bush and Vice President Cheney have both now urged Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to discourage Iraqi lawmakers from taking a two-month summer break. The issue has become symbolic of the sad truth of the surge in particular and the war in general: We cannot make Iraq the country we would like it to be, and we cannot force Iraqis to act when we want them to.

Cheney met with Maliki in Baghdad yesterday to communicate the administration's sense of the gravity of the situation: The Iraqi government needs to make progress on security and move forward on reconciliation and governance far more quickly.

The vice president also pressed the prime minister to discourage the Iraqi parliament from taking its two-month summer recess. Bush appealed to Maliki on Monday not to let the lawmakers go on vacation.
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In fact, if it stays in session, capitulating to American pressure, it may well demonstrate to Iraqis that their elected representatives cannot even make their own schedule. And from an American political standpoint, canceling the Iraqi summer recess will also be unhelpful, allowing more pretending here in Washington that "progress" is being made and forestalling tough decisions.

So I say, let them go."

* From Lehrer:
"ANDREW YOUNG (former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former mayor of Atlanta.): I think who's on trial here is not Paul Wolfowitz, but that board. In a world where tolerance is required, where women in the Islamic world are the hope of the entire planet, for them to take their prejudices -- which I agree with -- against him on the war in Iraq and resurrect it to try to put it into the World Bank political scene is, in many ways, obscene.

It's sort of like Imus referring to these young women on the basketball team and ignoring all of the professional competence and all of the skills and talents that are at stake here. Paul Wolfowitz and Riza Shaha have tremendous things to offer the world. And I think, right now, staid bureaucrats who've been there 25 years bungling in the bank are trying to make him a scapegoat."

* Lenin:
"So, anyway, almost eight years on, and the regime is in serious trouble. Today, Karachi and several other cities have come to a standstill because of a general strike in response to a recent wave of violent repression by the state. The crisis began, tellingly enough, when the government decided to suspend Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry over alleged "misconduct". What he had been doing was using his position to challenge corruption in the government. In one crucial case, he stopped the regime from selling off the Pakistani Steel Mills for a tenth of their value. When the state tried to impose the Hasba bill, outlawing certain non-Islamic practises, Chaudhry deemed it unconstitutional. Recently he took up the case of 'missing' people who had been interrogated by ISI and CIA. If the military elite were not going to take orders from Sharif, they certainly weren't going to put up with this amount of adversarial challenge from the judiciary. The decision has been met by massive protests and a wave of resignations by senior judges and two deputy attorney generals, and Chaudhry has been cheered by enormous rallies wherever he has spoken, voicing his opposition to dictatorship. When Chaudhry appeared in Karachi on Saturday, 'clashes' took place between his supporters and supporters of the government: to put it another way, Musharraf sent some thugs out there to seal off the roads and attack the rally. 33 died in the street battles that ensued, most of them supporters of Chaudhry.
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Obviously, Washington is terrified of what may occur. Pakistan is a crucial ally in South Asia and in the 'war on terror'. Musharraf and his military high command fulfil a crucial role in pacifying Afghanistan - indeed, the initial occupation of Afghanistan would not have been so quick and simple had the ISI not instructed its former students to leave. Unless the US finds someone to coopt and lead this movement, which would be very difficult for them to do, they are stuck with backing a lame duck."

* kleiman:
" Mitt Romney wants to double the size of Guantanamo and endorses "not torture but enhanced interrogation techniques." Giuliani says, "I would tell the people who had to do the interrogation to use every method they could think of. It shouldn't be torture, but every method they can think of.""

1 comment:

Kax said...

Dopey and the VEEP Creep are not going to let the Iraqi gov't have a vacation unless and until they pass the goddamned oil legislation.

They don't care about anything else.