April 2007 Archives

April 26, 2007

Garth Porter Describes 'A U.S. Recipe for Endless War in Iraq'

Gareth Porter, described by Asia Times online as "a historian and national-security policy analyst" and author of "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam," asserts in an April 27, 2007, article that, "The language on a timetable for US withdrawal from Iraq voted out of the House and Senate conference committee this week contains large loopholes that would apparently allow US troops to continue carrying out military operations in Iraq's Sunni heartland indefinitely."

To read more, please see "A US recipe for endless war in Iraq."

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Professor Juan Cole: 'Iraq Casualty Numbers Doctored'

"Since the Bush administration doesn't actually have any good news on Iraq, they are just making it up," contends University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole, proprietor of the influential Informed Comment blog, in an April 26, 2007, roundup of news and opinion from and about Iraq.

Mr. Cole said, "It confirms your worst suspicions. They haven't been counting victims of car bombings when they say that violence is down in Iraq! Bush administration spokesmen and officials are just saying that fewer bodies are found in the streets, victims of death squads. But the number of victims of car bombing has actually increased in this period."

To read the entire post, please see "Iraq Casualty Numbers Doctored."

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Has U.S. Troop Surge in Iraq Brought A Surge in Combat Deaths?

Just World News proprietor Helena Cobban offers a thought-provoking perspective on the effect that U.S. President George W. Bush's troop surge in Iraq is having on U.S. occupation forces engaged in a futile war in that devastated Middle East nation.

Writes Cobban, whose April 25, 2007, commentary was prompted by Washington Post Foreign Service Correspondents Sudarsan Raghavan and Thomas E. Ricks' April 25, 2007, report headlined "Outpost Attack Highlights Troop Vulnerabilities:

"As I and others predicted back when Bush first proposed his plan to "surge" more troops into Iraq and to do so with a plan that would distribute them more widely throughout the country, that surge is now resulting in increased combat-related deaths of US soldiers-- and also, most likely, of Iraqis as well. (Though that latter aspect doesn't get reported much in the US MSM.)"

To read the entire post, please see "'Surge' brings surge in combat deaths."

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April 25, 2007

The Telegraph: 'U.S. Offer Iran Olive Branch'

"The United States Olympic Committee, the free world's wealthiest national sports body, has negotiated with its Iranian counterpart for a ground-breaking exchange of coaching, training facilities and sports technology," reports London Telegraph correspondent David Miller from Beijing in an April 25, 2007, dispatch.

To read more, please see "Exclusive: US offer Iran olive branch."

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Does Anyone Pay Attention to Middle East Summits?

Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Trudy Rubin asks in an April 25, 2007, column: "Want to know whether the White House has any real strategy to stabilize Iraq?"

"Then pay attention to what happens - or doesn't happen - at a crucial meeting May 3 and 4 [2007] in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh," she wrote in a column headlined "Worldview | Iraq summit may mold U.S. strategy."

Does anyone pay attention to these summits anymore? They don't seem to accomplish much.

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April 23, 2007

What Does Bush's Separation Wall For Iraq Mean?

The blog Missing Links, which offers "News items from the Arabic-language press to help fill in the gaps" in Western news coverage of the Middle East, published an April 22, 2007,  perspective on the Bush Administration's decision to build the equivalent of a Berlin Wall in Iraq to keep Sunnis and Shia separated.

The article is headlined "What the separation-walls mean."

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Imprisoning The Sunni Residents of Baghdad

"Anger and dismay is rising in Baghdad, as US occupation forces are building a wall, similar to the Israeli apartheid wall in Palestine, to fence in unwanted Iraqi communities in the capital," Arab Monitor reported April 22, 2007.

The Monitor said, "Since 10th April [2007], US forces are building a concrete wall around the Adhamiya district in Baghdad, allegedly as part of a strategy to "break the cycle of violence" between Sunni and Shiite Iraqis."

According to Al-Jazeera.com, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has ordered a halt to construction on the wall.

To read more of The Monitor report, please see "US occupation forces imprisoning Sunni residents of Baghdad behind walls." 

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April 10, 2007

Eric Margolis: Speaker Pelosi Is Doing All Americans A Service

"President George Bush charges that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s trip last week to Syria was undermining US foreign policy. He’s absolutely correct," opines veteran foreign affairs columnist Eric Margolis in an April 09, 2007, post headlined "Road to Damascus."

Margolis, who has "covered 14 wars" and is author of "War at The Top of The World: The Struggle for Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Tibet," says "If ever there was an administration whose foreign policy needed undermining, it’s the Bush/Cheney diumverate."

"The House and Senate do not traditionally take a lead in foreign affairs, except, of course, for assisting Israel, but these are extraordinary times and extraordinary measures are needed," he added.

Margolis said, "Speaker Pelosi, the third ranking government official, and a remarkably capable lady, is doing all Americans a service."

I recommend Margolis' post. He's always interesting and provocative.

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April 9, 2007

Henry Nau Explains 'Why We Fight Over Foreign Policy'

Henry R. Nau, "professor of political science and international affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., USA, asks in an April 9, 2007, post at RealClearPolitics: "Why do we disagree so stridently about foreign policy?" According to Nau,

An easy answer is because leaders lie about events abroad. Take the decision to invade Iraq. Didn’t Tony Blair say before the war that Iraq could assemble a nuclear weapon in 45 minutes? He was obviously lying, right? Or what about George W. Bush, whose CIA director said at the time that it was a “slam dunk” that Iraq had nuclear weapons? He obviously knew better. Didn’t he?

Well, maybe. But what if we disagree not because leaders are wicked and lie but because they, like we, see the world differently and assemble and emphasize different facts that lead to different conclusions? Saddam Hussein evaded un inspectors.

"That’s a fact," Nau contends. "But was he hiding something like weapons of mass destruction (wmd? Or was he behaving as might any leader of a country that comes under external threat? Answers to those questions are interpretations. Some looked at Iraq’s glass and saw it was half full of wmd; others concluded that it was half empty."

To read more, please see "Why We Fight Over Foreign Policy." It's a thought-provoking essay.

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