Cattle Call
February 02, 2007

A crop of Democratic presidential wannabes attended the DNC's winter meeting today. I'm told Hillary Clinton--who declared "[i]f I had been president in October of 2002, I would not have started this war"--was nonetheless heckled by "Code Pink" antiwar activists. Notes a spy at the event: An interesting footnote is that one of the Code Pink protesters was wearing a "NO WAR WITH IRAN" shirt. It occurred to me that it's difficult for an antiwar protester to keep up with the Bush administration. Heh. --Michael Crowley

Don't Tell Feingold!
February 01, 2007

Under the new compromise Iraq resolution, the Senate would specifically resolve not to cut off funding for U.S. troops. Update: A Feingold ally protests my above formulation. Here's an excerpt from the senator's own characterization: I want everyone to be clear on exactly what my proposal will do. The first and most important thing to know is that my plan does not cut funding for the troops. Our troops will continue to receive the salaries, equipment, training and protection they need. What I am proposing is ending funds for the continued deployment of U.S.

Tuesday Update: More Killings In The Middle East
January 30, 2007

Thirty Palestinians (at least) from Hamas and Fatah murdered each other over the work-end. That's old news. Then a cease-fire was agreed upon late Monday, and the killing stopped ... but just for a few hours. Another Hamas gunman was shot by Fatah on Tuesday morning. Are the dead of intra-Palestinian killings also martyrs? We will wait for a clerical ruling. A new dateline: Algeria. Ten jihadists were killed in a shoot-out with the security police, of whom ten are now dead. This civil war was supposed to be over a long time ago. Old dateline: Iraq.

Who Needs Experts?
January 30, 2007

The biggest problem in Washington, of course, is that President Bush's crack team of political appointees doesn't have enough power. Luckily, help is on the way: In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries.

Israel's Treatment Of Refugees
January 29, 2007

OK, the Arab countries and the other Muslim countries are in continuous conspiracy in international organizations to deflect them from doing anything serious to rescue Darfur from Sudanese genocide. Some of these countries actively contribute to Sudan's war against its black population, even when these Africans are Muslim. It is preposterous that Nigeria should be leading the African Union peace-keeping operation in Darfur. So on and on... Now, Jews have made a big "never again" fuss about Darfur, here in America and also in Israel.

Kagan/keane Not Pleased With Kagan/keane Plan
January 29, 2007

Over at Salon, Mark Benjamin lays out a problem some conservatives have with the surge. Benjamin: The Baghdad surge plan, announced by the president on Jan. 10, calls for the new U.S. soldiers to be embedded with Iraqi forces, who will take the lead. But while the U.S. troops would report to American officers, their Iraqi counterparts, in an apparent sop to national sovereignty, would report to Iraqi officers.

Jane Fonda Resurfaces
January 28, 2007

I understand that Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins and Danny Glover spoke at the Saturday anti-war protest on the National Mall. What with Jesse Jackson and Rep. Dennis Kucinich also addressing the crowd, the nation is now armed with the most sensitive ethical arguments against our involvement in Iraq. But let's face it. The piece de resistance in this preachy cohort was Jane Fonda. (Long ago, during the Vietnam War, she once came to our house in that unforgettable slithery outfit she wore in Klute.) Her appearance should be a moral crisis for all who are against the war.

Will Sudan Head The A.u.?
January 28, 2007

Friday's Financial Times carried a collective dispatch from Addis Ababa, London and Brussels reporting on the ambitions of Omar Al Bashir to become the chairman of the African Union. Who, you may ask, is Omar Al Bashir? And what difference will the chairmanship of the A.U. make to anyone? Well, Bashir is the president of Sudan. And, the story reports, he does have a real chance of winning the election to the position.

All Terrorism Is Local?
January 26, 2007

by Daniel W. DreznerOver the past few weeks, stories have been trickling out (including Peter Bergen's in TNR) about how Al Qaeda is back and badder than ever (click here for another example). That cheery news was in the back of my head when I attended a few panels of a conference, "The 'War on Terrorism': Where do We Stand?" There was a paradox in the presentations that I saw. On the one hand, terrorism is increasingly prevalent in certain parts of the globe. Mia Bloom from the University of Georgia presented some sobering numbers.

Stumbling Into War
January 26, 2007

Last week, a U.S. official told Laura Rozen that the Bush administration was planning to "confront Iran in every way but direct armed conflict, using all means short of war." No mention, though, of how the White House planned to ensure that these new moves--confronting Iranian networks in Iraq, doubling its naval power in the Gulf, finding "covert ways to counter Hezbollah in Lebanon"--actually do stop short of war. After all, say the U.S. military decides to "kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq," as seems to be the new policy. Iran could very likely retaliate.