Saturday, September 1, 2007

Gone for a while - but I'm back

I had a hearing in Tampa, and no ready access, so I was gone for a little bit. Some takes on the news:
1. Democrats need to be very careful about their reaction to the Larry Craig situation. The fact that he was soliciting gay sex is not something they should talk about. In fact, now that Craig is resigning due to pressure from Republicans, the Dems should start asking why Senator Vitter (Rep. LA) is still in the Senate. It seems to me its just because Vitter is straight and Craig, apparently, is not.
2. If I hear one more person tell me that the surge is working because "Al-Qaeda is on the run," or because "the Sunni tribes are aiding us," or because some politicians in Baghdad have agreed to agree sometime in the future, I am going to scream. We are currently the only thing preventin a full Civil War, and appear to be only delaying the inevitable. If and when Al-Qaeda in Iraq is gone, do you really think the Sunni tribes will be all smiles with the Shia? Do you really believe Moqtada Al-Sadr is ordering his people stop attacks on the US troops so he can hand flowers to the Sunnis and the Maliki government when we leave. The Iraqis are just biding their time - which they have and we don't.
3. We ahve heard too much about the "Petraeus Report" (actually written by the White House) and not enough about the GAO report which will be much more negative. The "Petraeus Report" will be written by political hacks, based on information provided by people with a reason to argue that eveything is hunky-dory. The GAO has no reason not to be evenhanded. Of course, the Repubs will say that the GAO cannot be trusted because it is the investigative arm of Congress. But we should all keep in mind that it is a non-partisn body, and no ones's career at the GAO, or reputation is hanging on the contents of the GAO report.
4. Remember when the surge was announced? Obsidian Wings has a great post pointing out the change in rhetoric regarding benchmarks and the fallout if they are not met.

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