Thursday, July 20, 2006

Iraqi PM Denounces Israeli Overreaction, GOP Lawmakers Distance Selves From Bush's Iraq Policy

This will only surprise people who mistakenly believe that the U.S. intervention in Iraq was a good idea.

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq on Wednesday forcefully denounced the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, marking a sharp break with President Bush's position and highlighting the growing power of a Shiite Muslim identity across the Middle East.
"The Israeli attacks and airstrikes are completely destroying Lebanon's infrastructure," Mr. Maliki said at an afternoon news conference inside the fortified Green Zone, which houses the American Embassy and the seat of the Iraqi government. "I condemn these aggressions and call on the Arab League foreign ministers' meeting in Cairo to take quick action to stop these aggressions. We call on the world to take quick stands to stop the Israeli aggression."

The American Embassy did not provide an immediate response.

No kidding. Maliki is the same person who Bush met with and publicly endorsed in Baghdad last month.

Meanwhile, some Republicans (albeit not the hardcore denialists-yet) are beginning to put some room between themselves and the Bush administration over the quagmire in Iraq.

Faced with almost daily reports of sectarian carnage in Iraq, congressional Republicans are shifting their message on the war from speaking optimistically of progress to acknowledging the difficulty of the mission and pointing up mistakes in planning and execution.

Rep. Christopher Shays (Conn.) is using his House Government Reform subcommittee on national security to vent criticism of the White House's war strategy and new estimates of the monetary cost of the war. Rep. Gil Gutknecht (Minn.), once a strong supporter of the war, returned from Iraq this week declaring that conditions in Baghdad were far worse "than we'd been led to believe" and urging that troop withdrawals begin immediately. (...)

The shift is subtle, but Republican lawmakers acknowledge that it is no longer tenable to say the news media are ignoring the good news in Iraq and painting an unfair picture of the war. In the first half of this year, 4,338 Iraqi civilians died violent deaths, according to a new report by the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq. Last month alone, 3,149 civilians were killed -- an average of more than 100 a day.

"It's like after Katrina, when the secretary of homeland security was saying all those people weren't really stranded when we were all watching it on TV," said Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.). "I still hear about that. We can't look like we won't face reality."

Said Gutknecht: "Essentially what the White House is saying is 'Stay the course, stay the course.' I don't think that course is politically sustainable." (...)

Republicans and some conservative Democrats who have backed the president's call to stay the course are finding it increasingly difficult to square their generally optimistic rhetoric with the grim situation on the ground in Baghdad and other cities. (...)

"The Iraq issue is the lens through which people are looking at the federal government," said Rep. Charles W. Dent (Pa.), another swing-district Republican. "That is the issue to most people. There's no question about that."

To pretend the war is resolving itself nicely is no longer an option, he said.

4 Comments:

Anonymous M1 said...

Please square this news with the Quirkean Reflections I've hitherto come to rely on so as to stay bravely abreast reality. I'm experiencing acute coggy dissonance at the moment given this upsetting post of yours. Some harmonizing explanation, pretty please.

7/20/2006 1:16 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

Anytime anything from me squares with anything from our self-deluded professor, I will have coggy dissonance myself.

Remember, he is pro-victory.

LMAO

7/20/2006 3:25 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

I'm uberpro superduper victory

7/20/2006 5:06 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

It takes all kinds.

;-)

7/20/2006 5:34 PM  

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