Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sunday Drive By

John Kerry's on "Meet the Press" telling Tim Russert we need to give Iraq a May 15 deadline. Get its government together or we're out of there.

It's time for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to start upholding the Constitution and quit upholding the administration's political agenda.

(Tim showed a snippet of Gonzales telling the Senate Mister Bush had authority under the Constitution to declassify the Executive Intelligence Summary. I'm offering a $1 reward to anyone who can find where the Constitution addresses that topic.)

Kerry pushes back on accusations that the Dems were at fault for the immigration bill's failure to pass. Frist and his coalition failed to live up to the agreements that had been reached.

This morning's New York Times carries a story on the state of Iraq.
An internal staff report by the United States Embassy and the military command in Baghdad provides a sobering province-by-province snapshot of Iraq's political, economic and security situation, rating the overall stability of 6 of the 18 provinces "serious" and one "critical." The report is a counterpoint to some recent upbeat public statements by top American politicians and military officials…

…There are alerts about the growing power of Iranian-backed religious Shiite parties, several of which the United States helped put into power, and rival militias in the south. The authors also point to the Arab-Kurdish fault line in the north as a major concern, with the two ethnicities vying for power in Mosul, where violence is rampant, and Kirkuk, whose oil fields are critical for jump-starting economic growth in Iraq.

The patterns of discord mapped by the report confirm that ethnic and religious schisms have become entrenched across much of the country, even as monthly American fatalities have fallen. Those indications, taken with recent reports of mass migrations from mixed Sunni-Shiite areas, show that Iraq is undergoing a de facto partitioning along ethnic and sectarian lines, with clashes — sometimes political, sometimes violent — taking place in those mixed areas where different groups meet.

Contrast this with a statement made last month on "Face the Nation" by Dick Cheney: "I think it has less to do with the statements we've made, which I think were basically accurate and reflect reality than it does with the fact that there's a constant sort of perception, if you will, that's created because what's newsworthy is the car bomb in Baghdad."


Back on "Meet the Press," Congressman J.D. Hayworth (R-Arizona) says the Fourteenth Amendment wasn't intended to grant citizenship to children born in this country whose parents are illegal immigrants.

Here's what the Fourteenth Amendment actually says:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.

I don't know what to think about the immigration issue, but I'm not about to make up my mind based on what someone like J.D. Hayworth says.

Tim brings up Hayworth's connection to Jack Abramoff. Hayworth is happy for a chance to talk about it.

The guy's a human talking point machine.


All the talk about there being 11 million illegal Hispanic immigrants in the United States has buried a story from last month about Homeland Security opening new detention facilities to "house" entire families of Chinese whom the U.S. has denied immigration and whom the Chinese government refuses to take back.

Like I said, I can't make head or tails of the immigration issue.

But getting back to Kerry's proposal for a March 15 deadline in Iraq.

I think we ought to withdraw whether Iraq gets its act together or not. Given the presence of private militias and factions with in factions, the country isn't in the midst of a civil war; it's becoming consumed in a Hobbesian war. If our troops are going after a Shiite group one day and a Sunni outfit the next, they're everybody's enemy and the friends of no one.

That is not a position to have our military in.

And if the Iraqis do get their act together by May 15, they don't need us to stick around, do they?

The arguments for "staying the course" in Iraq have become as murky as the reasons we went there in the first place.


  1. Hey Jeff,
    Great post--thanks for watching the talking heads.

    By the way, your PTSD posts on Epluribus have been quite useful for an article I'm writing. Just wanted to let you know what I'm up to since I'm not blogging!

  2. Glad to hear you're picking up the banner, Ariadne.

    We've had quite a bit of positive response to the PTSD series, and seem to have influenced much of the discourse on the subject.

    Both MSNBC's Matthews and FOX News (gasp) have covered the subject lately.

    And I recently got a call from Mark Baol who's doing a piece on the subject for PLAYBOY, of all places.

  3. ROFL

    Right on. That post was MIND-BLOWING.

  4. Just watching what's going on is mind-blowing.

  5. So what's your take on the current Iran sabre-rattling? Do you believe that BushCo. wants the nuclear option to stay in the plans? Will senior military leaders really resign if it does?

    Or is it all just for show?

  6. Cool, Jeff. Let us know when the Playboy piece runs. I'd love to see the article.