Monday, November 20, 2006

Other Items

The Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone announces a "pattern" and Sabrina Tavernise runs with it the New York Times. That's actually not the big pattern (if it's a pattern at all, never trust Caldwell). There is a pattern that's been going on since the summer and something as simple as stick pins and a map of Iraq would demonstrate what it is. (If that sounds familiar, yes, I'm talking about what I wrote for Polly's Brew Sunday.) That the flack for the military won't share it with the press isn't surprising. (Members of the air force are very aware of the actual pattern.) That the press hasn't noted it on their own is. (We don't spoon feed. Any visitor who's lost can print up a map of Iraq, get some pins with different colored flags and start following what's going on.) For chuckles, those who've read Polly's Brew should read Tavernise's article this morning.

Biggest laugh getter? When the Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone declares, "If we could stop the cyclical nature of this in Baghdad, we could really change the dynamics here." You are the dynamics, Caldwell. Three years after the illegal war started and still wishing on "if"s.

Martha notes Charles Babington's "Amid Uproar Over War, Rangel Renews Call for Draft" (Washington Post):

The incoming Democratic chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said yesterday that he will push to renew the military draft, as lawmakers in both parties sharpened their criticisms of the situation in Iraq and struggled for consensus and solutions.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a likely presidential contender, leveled one of his harshest assessments yet, saying U.S. troops are "fighting and dying for a failed policy." He renewed his call for more U.S. troops in Iraq and said it is immoral to keep them fighting at the current deployment levels.

Don't get except, he hasn't offered the fabled, mythical 'straight talk.' He's not talking about the war itself being immoral. He's talking 'strategy.' The 'failed policy' isn't wars of choice, he means strictly the number of troops on the ground. Back to the article:

And Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), incoming chairman of the Armed Services Committee, repeated yesterday his view that troop withdrawals must begin within four to six months.
The varying proposals underscored the extent to which key policymakers remain at odds two weeks after voters registered deep discontent over the war and restored Democrats to power in Congress.
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) has long advocated returning to the draft, but his efforts drew little attention during the 12 years that House Democrats were in the minority. Starting in January, however, he will chair the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. Yesterday he said "you bet your life" he will renew his drive for a draft.
"I will be introducing that bill as soon as we start the new session," Rangel said on CBS's "Face the Nation." He portrayed the draft, suspended since 1973, as a means of spreading military obligations more equitably and prompting political leaders to think twice before starting wars.

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