Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Sticky Situation

With polls showing that approval of the Iraq war is less than forty percent, one would think a slow but steady path to exit is assured. It will not be that easy.

Even Juan Cole, the prolific critic of the Iraq war and the Bush Administration, can't see a clear path from the current situation to complete withdrawal. He writes here that:

Personally, I think "US out now" as a simple mantra neglects to consider the full range of possible disasters that could ensue. For one thing, there would be an Iraq civil war. Iraq wasn't having a civil war in 2002. And although you could argue that what is going on now is a subterranean, unconventional civil war, it is not characterized by set piece battles and hundreds of people killed in a single battle, as was true in Lebanon in 1975-76, e.g. People often allege that the US military isn't doing any good in Iraq and there is already a civil war. These people have never actually seen a civil war and do not appreciate the lid the US military is keeping on what could be a volcano.

We have a problem if Juan Cole is hesitant to call for a complete withdrawal.

Some don't agree with Juan, however, including Andrew Bacevich who writes in the Washington Post that we should get out as soon as possible. Also, Juan himself posts a letter from a reader disagreeing with his own position.

This indicates Juan is probably open to reconsidering his stance.

Still, deciding how we get out of Iraq will be as difficult the decision to get out in the first place. I imagine that those who got us into this situation were counting on this.

Don't let them get away with it.


Anonymous r said...

Now that we have FUBAR I see no satisfactory way out...and no point in staying unless it is to stand up the Iraq themselves...sooner or later it's their ballgame, they will have to keep order and support the Iraq government unless we intend to stay there for the next century.

The first option on Iraq should be either we leave Iraq NOW or the INCOMPETENTS in the Pentagon leave NOW and let some people who have a clue take over.

8/24/2005 02:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Dee said...

We're not getting out when war is so profitable.

I've read more than a dozen books in the last few years trying to understand the real story on our war monger chicken hawk president because I don't believe the spin. From the 'Price of Loyalty' and 'Against All Enemies' to Howard Zinn's latest 'Peoples History of the US', I get the fact that Bush wages war to enrich himself and his friends at the Carlyle Group and the oil giants. But I just couldn't figure the angle on Social Security Reform and why it was such a passion for the liar-in-chief. Then some thoughts came together.

Warning signs of financial danger are flashing for Americans of every economic class. Our twin deficits and looming real estate bubble foreshadow the possibility of a crash of 1929 proportions. If that particular analogy is too vague for you then think of the recent DOT COM bust on steroids. This potential threat is especially worrisome for the richest 1% because they hold vast wealth in the form of stocks and bonds. How can the 1% get out and stay rich? Well, all of our securities exchanges are "auction" markets. That means any imbalance between buyers and sellers drives the prices up and down. Clearly small stockholders on any given day can sell a few hundreds shares without tilting the market. What about the ultra-rich, the executives and CEOs whose holdings number upwards to millions of shares? The simple rumor of these massive blocks of securities going on sale would drive the prices down immediately. So big sellers require big buyers or else they can't keep their wealth intact when they need to cash out at the top.

Enter Social Security reform as proposed by Bush with private accounts managed by experts and funded by social security taxes. Consider what a safety net this new system would be for Bush's constituents, those who "Have More". Envision a Perfect Storm made up of the US trade imbalance, crippling government debt, rising interest rates and oil prices sparking a panic on Wall Street. Those savvy Wall Street insiders know the value of acting quickly as urgent situations develop. (Even Bush himself was a savvy insider selling his Harkin Energy at about $4 per share a few days before every one else had to sell theirs for about $2 a few years ago.) If and when these flashing warning signs of financial collapse actually materialize for real, wouldn't it be convenient for Uncle Sam to be available for buying out the big sellers? Then as the stock markets collapse and share prices become almost worthless, Bush's friends in the richest 1% of the population preserve their wealth. And all those depressed shares would be safely tucked away for the long term in the accounts of average working class American citizens. Oh my, shafted again!

Intriguing that the war Bush started contributes to inflating the value of defense and oil shares while at the same time draining the treasury, running up the debt and setting the stage for the crash. Who said these Neocons weren't smart?

8/24/2005 05:42:00 PM  
Anonymous r said...

Dee is right, but the short form is they simply push all the money to the top.

They think the Robber Baron era was American's greatest period. The masses aren't fit to think for themselves you know, and wouldn't make the best use of money if they had any. All their supporting minons are just white trash hangers on who hope to be given some cushy court jester role once America is returned to its' righful owners (them).

Only the elites ( that would be them again) know how to run the world and keep order...them in power and the people in the servants quarters. Amen.

8/24/2005 08:07:00 PM  
Anonymous r said...

And here's a scary bedtime tale for Dee...

The Fed recently printed a few billion extra dollars and bought government debt notes with it...


Meanwhile the gov is letting banks lower their bad loan reserves...

Our econmic Appointment in Summara looks something like this...:

“The narrowing spread between short- and long-term interest rates is squeezing net-interest margins at some of the nation's banks,” The Journal column begins. “And as that so-called yield curve flattens, competition for loans and deposits is intense. So how did KeyCorp manage to increase its profit 22% in the second quarter?

“It was easy. The Cleveland bank, with a stock-market value of roughly $14 billion and branches in 13 states, slashed the amount set aside for loans that might go bad. By adding only $20 million to its loan-loss reserves, instead of $74 million in last year's second quarter, KeyCorp boosted the bottom line by about $39 million — or eight cents of its per-share profit of 70 cents, or $291 million. Without that, KeyCorp would have fallen about two cents short of Wall Street profit targets.”
The newspaper reports that saving less for a rainy day “is becoming a popular earnings-enhancement strategy at U.S. banks increasingly stretched for profit growth.

8/24/2005 09:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cindy Sheehan to take bus tour to D.C.

8/25/2005 02:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dying for Israel

8/25/2005 02:37:00 PM  
Anonymous r said...

Plamemania...latest spectulation from needlenose:

"After a June 12 Washington Post story made reference to the Niger uranium inquiry, Armitage asked intelligence officers in the State Department for more information. He was forwarded a copy of a memo classified "Secret" that included a description of Wilson's trip for the CIA, his findings, a brief description of the origin of the trip and a reference to "Wilson's wife."

The memo was kept in a safe at the State Department along with notes from an analyst who attended the CIA meeting at which Wilson was suggested for the Niger assignment. Those with top security clearance at State, like their counterparts in the White House, had been trained in the rules about classified information. They could not be shared with anyone who did not have the same clearance.

Less than a month later, Wilson went public with his charges.

The next day, July 7, this memo and the notes were removed from the safe and forwarded to Powell via a secure fax line to Air Force One. Powell was on the way to Africa with the president, and his aides knew the secretary would be getting questions.

Fitzgerald has become interested in this memo, the earliest known document seen by administration officials revealing that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. Powell told prosecutors that he circulated the memo among those traveling with him in the front section of Air Force One. It is believed that all officials in that part of the aircraft had high-level security clearance.
I've written before that Powell and his immediate aides were behind previous Plame news leaks, especially those about the State Dept. memo, as a way of "putting the smoking gun within reach of the suspected criminals" -- and it doesn't get much clearer than the phrases highlighted above.

Look at the information that couldn't have come from anyone but Powell and his team: We kept the memo in a safe ... we knew the information couldn't be shared ... Powell showed it to other officials on Air Force One, but no one without proper clearance. They want the world to know that the White House spin team got its hands on the info about Valerie Wilson, and that it couldn't have leaked out any other way.

There's no doubt about it: Powell wants Rove, Libby et al. to take the fall on this. And each of these leaks is just another little twist of the knife.

..if only this is true...Powell has a lot, lot more he could leak if he wasn't such a wussie yes man.

8/25/2005 10:14:00 PM  
Anonymous r said...


I see more signs of "now or never" attempts by the zealot zionist to assert their power and shove Israel down american throats in their preachings and screachings ..this article by Susan Estrich is one...notice how some bravdo is always inserted by the in ...they are no longer the powerless waifs turned away by America as they were after WWII...they are "political now".

These veiled threats and hints of power and hints of resentment toward America are present in many of the right wing israeli supporters.

These people either have a death wish or are entirely stupid...even if they are able to keep down average American's knowledge of their agenda and keep their control of the US congress do they think they the US can impose their Israel above all no matter what agenda on the rest of the world thru a diminished and soon to be broke USA?...I think not....

I think in the end they are going to be lucky if this anti-semitism they have worked so hard to create doesn't take full bloom and crash down on them. And when that happens their fellow zealots in the christian rapture camp will be the first ones to go after them.

Gonna be interesting times...

8/26/2005 09:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How to be a good victim.

8/27/2005 11:23:00 AM  

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