October 25, 2004

George Bush and the Saudi connection

Some group calling themselves American Voters for a Secure Israel is going on the attack against George Bush and the Saudi Connection:

The terror coverups
Administration ignores Saudi role in funding suicide bombers while falsely claiming that Iraq war ended the intifadah. WHY?

Soft on the House of Saud (Washington Post)
One year after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Administration was still turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabia. The Council of Foreign Relations issued a report in October, 2002 stating: "It is worth stating clearly and unambiguously what official U.S. government spokespersons have not," the report noted. "For years, individuals and charities based in Saudi Arabia have been the most important source of funds for al Qaeda, and for years the Saudi officials have turned a blind eye to this problem"

The site features an animated video, for those who appreciate such things.

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October 22, 2004

Saudis funding Iraqi insurgents

Insurgents funded by Saudis, U.S. says (AP)
WASHINGTON Iraq's new security forces are heavily infiltrated by insurgents, and the guerrilla groups have access to almost unlimited money to pay for deadly attacks, according to a U.S. defense official who provided new details on the evolution of the rebels.

A significant part of the insurgents' money is coming from sympathizers in Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi government is neglecting the problem, said the official, who was authorized by the Pentagon to speak on the issue this week, but only on condition of anonymity.

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October 18, 2004

October 16, 2004

The Bush Economy

John Robb pass along some interesting graphs from the Bush economy....

Extrapolate over four more years for extra credit....

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October 14, 2004

Israelis: War on Iraq Good for Terrorists

Yahoo! News - Think Tank: Iraq War Distracted U.S.
TEL AVIV, Israel - The war in Iraq (news - web sites) did not damage international terror groups, but instead distracted the United States from confronting other hotbeds of Islamic militancy and actually "created momentum" for many terrorists, a top Israeli security think tank said in a report released Monday.
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October 12, 2004

Who said it was going to be easy?

Who said Iraq was going to be easy?

Well, besides Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Chalabi and Wolfowitz and Feith...

U.S. Faces Complex Insurgency in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The U.S. military is fighting the most complex guerrilla war in its history, with 140,000 American soldiers trained for conventional warfare flailing against a thicket of insurgent groups with competing aims and no supreme leader.

The three dozen or so guerrilla bands agree on little beyond forcing the Americans out of Iraq.

In other U.S. wars, the enemy was clear. In Vietnam, a visible leader - Ho Chi Minh - led a single army fighting to unify the country under socialism. But in Iraq, the disorganized insurgency has no single commander, no political wing and no dominant group.

U.S. troops can't settle on a single approach to fight groups whose goals and operations vary. And it's hard to sort combatants from civilians in a chaotic land where large parts of some communities support the insurgents and others are too afraid to risk their lives to help foreigners.

"It's more complex and challenging than any other insurgency the United States has fought," aid Bruce Hoffman, a RAND counterinsurgency expert who served as an adviser to the U.S.-led occupation administration.

But please, folks. Let's keep the leadership that chose to put us in this awful place.

What's the use of changing horseman in mid-apocalypse?

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October 11, 2004

Back from vacation, Tom Friedman finds that Bush made a mess of his war

Tom Friedman: Iraq was the right war, executed by the wrong administration. Iraq: Politics or Policy?

This war has been hugely mismanaged by this administration, in the face of clear advice to the contrary at every stage, and as a result the range of decent outcomes in Iraq has been narrowed and the tools we have to bring even those about are more limited than ever.

What happened? The Bush team got its doctrines mixed up: it applied the Powell Doctrine to the campaign against John Kerry - "overwhelming force" without mercy, based on a strategy of shock and awe at the Republican convention, followed by a propaganda blitz that got its message across in every possible way, including through distortion. If only the Bush team had gone after the remnants of Saddam's army in the Sunni Triangle with the brutal efficiency it has gone after Senator Kerry in the Iowa-Ohio-Michigan triangle. If only the Bush team had spoken to Iraqis and Arabs with as clear a message as it did to the Republican base. No, alas, while the Bush people applied the Powell Doctrine in the Midwest, they applied the Rumsfeld Doctrine in the Middle East. And the Rumsfeld Doctrine is: "Just enough troops to lose." Donald Rumsfeld tried to prove that a small, mobile army was all that was needed to topple Saddam, without realizing that such a limited force could never stabilize Iraq. He never thought it would have to. He thought his Iraqi pals would do it. He was wrong.

For all of President Bush's vaunted talk about being consistent and resolute, the fact is he never established U.S. authority in Iraq. Never. This has been the source of all our troubles. We have never controlled all the borders, we have never even consistently controlled the road from Baghdad airport into town, because we never had enough troops to do it.

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More on Korea

Kevin Drum, writing in The Washington Monthly following the first debate:

John Kerry has by far the better of the argument here: we should have both multilateral and bilateral talks. What's more, all the other countries involved in the talks agree, because they understand the reality of the situation. But George Bush refuses. After all, that would be giving Kim Jong Il something he wants.

In the meantime, the multilateral talks have ground to a halt, North Korea is busily building nuclear weapons, and we've lost two years in which it's just possible we could have put a stop to it. Sure, maybe bilateral negotiations wouldn't have worked, but we'll never know because Bush stubbornly declined to try based on little more than personal pique.

In this, he's following the path of conservative hawks who have derailed progress with North Korea for the past decade. For the definitive story, read Fred Kaplan's "Rolling Blunder" from the May issue of the Washington Monthly. It's a grim recital of error.

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October 06, 2004

The Proudest Moment in Cheney's Foreign Policy?

Via the totally amazing Debate Spotter, which lets you search debate transcripts for individual words, comes this moment of Cheney proudly describing his boss as the
First president ever to say we'll establish and support a Palestinian state nextdoor to Israelis.
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October 04, 2004

President Bush's Jewish Problem

In this Bloghead post concerning the president's possible senility, an anonymous commentator writes:

Bush is a moron, his father was a moron but the alternative is an evil calamity, to Jews most of all.
Really, who is senile now? Or, as I wrote:

"The alternative is an evil calamity"?

You mean, he'll attack the weakest of Israel's strategic enemies at the behest of the strongest?

You mean, he'll reveal the limits of an army based on expensive weapon contracts rather than troops, training, and supplies, and thereby weaken the image of the U.S. in the Middle East?

You mean, he'll make the creation of a Palestinian state an American policy for the first time?

You mean, he'll create one or two new Islamicist countries where a secular dictatorship used to be?

You mean, he'll alienate Israel's staunchest regional ally (Turkey)?

You mean, he'll grant al-Qaeda a strategic victory by withdrawing troops from Saudi Arabia?

You mean, he'll strengthen the Arab world by encouraging American fuel consumption?

You mean, he'll threaten to cut aid to Israel over a minor political dispute?

You mean, he'll blur the threat from jihadist organizations and divert focus to more politically convenient enemies?

You mean, he'll undertake the sort of populist fiscal policies (tax cuts and benefit increases) that put the new into the New Israeli Shekel back in the '80s -- with serious consequences for anyone whose livelihood, assets or aid packages are denominated in dollars?

You mean, he'll loudly promise to take unprecedently pro-Israel positions (e.g. move the embassy to Jerusalem) and then go back on his word time and time again?

You mean, he would put political correctness ahead of pragmatism and allow an unstable dictatorship to acquire nuclear weapons?

You mean, he would allow the director of a muslim state's "rogue" nuclear development program to be "punished" but then immediately pardoned?

That would indeed describe an "evil calamity", and "to Jews most of all."

Alas, that describes the incumbent. Sometimes, you know, you have to look beyond the mangled, well-meaning words to see the actual deeds.

Posted by yudel at 03:44 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Whatever happened to A.Q Kahn?


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The A.Q. Khan network has been brought to justice.

BLITZER: To justice? The guy has been -- Khan has been freed. He's been pardoned by President Musharraf... Khan himself lives in a villa. And the IAEA would like to question him, and the Pakistani government doesn't even allow that to happen.

RICE: I think we all know that A.Q. Khan was a particular kind of figure in Pakistani lore, a national hero... if you don't think that his national humiliation is justice for what he did, I think it is. He's nationally humiliated.

FYI: Earlier this year, Khan's underground nuclear bazaar--dubbed the "nuclear Wal-Mart" by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei--was uncloaked, solving the mystery of how North Korea, Iran and Libya acquired so much nuclear technology so fast. The answer: Khan's network sold it to them.

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