Friday, August 03, 2007

Other Items

In war resistance news, Matthew Rothschild interviews Camilo Mejia on this week's Progressive Radio. The interview and Iraq Veterans Against the War's Adam Kokesh's interview on WBAI's Law and Disorder this week will be noted in the snapshot later today.

In the New York Times, John F. Burns remains locked with Saddam Hussein, apparently forever, even in death. No confirmation to the rumors that as Burns left the grave he muttered "Rosebud." Key detail may be the fact that Burns has enough contact with the 'insurgency' to set up safe passage. That's not a slam on Burns (that's not), but it is rather surprising that safe passage can be set up but the Times really can't cover them. (The US government has been in talks with various elements of the resistance for well over a year now.)

Lloyd notes Sudarsan Raghavan's "Maliki's Impact Blunted By Own Party's Fears" (Washington Post) which examines the break as well as the puppet of the occupation:

As the U.S. military attempts to pacify Iraq so its leaders can pursue political reconciliation, Iraqi and Western observers say Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his inner circle appear increasingly unable to pull the government out of its paralysis.
At times consumed by conspiracy theories, Maliki and his Dawa party elite operate much as they did when they plotted to overthrow Saddam Hussein -- covertly and concerned more about their community's survival than with building consensus among Iraq's warring groups, say Iraqi politicians and analysts and Western diplomats.
In recent weeks, those suspicions have deepened as U.S. military commanders have begun to work with Sunni insurgents, longtime foes of the Shiite-led government, who have agreed to battle the group al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Repeating from yesterday, NOW with David Brancaccio this week:

A strong blow to the Bush Administration's detainee policy, and the military lawyer who dealt it. On Friday, August 3 at 8:30 pm (check local listings), David Brancaccio talks with Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift, whose Supreme Court victory on behalf of his client, a Guantanamo Bay detainee, successfully challenged the Bush administration's detainee policy. It also laid the foundations for the current Congressional debate over how to try those accused of terrorism. Will this development in the war on terror deliver swifter justice or false hope? The NOW website at will offer special insight into detainee treatment through the perspectives of a former prisoner and an army interrogator.

The program begins in airing in most markets tonight.

Peter Spiegel and Alexandra Zavis' "'Depth of misturst' in Iraq unforseen" (Los Angeles Times)
addresses US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' comments yesterday regarding "Gee whiz, who knew?" The reporters observe:

The Pentagon's chief's remarks Thursday were his closest yet to acknowledging that the Bush administration's top political goals for Iraq may not materialize during the buildup, even if it is extended into next spring, the latest the military could sustain the increase. He also is the top Bush administration official to express such concerns publicly.

As the fig leaf of supposed support within Iraq is ripped away from Nouri al-Maliki, AP reports he will be in Turkey on Tuesday and in Iran on Wednesday. Meanwhile, in "A Nail in Maliki Government's Coffin?," Ali al-Fadhily (IPS) reports that the defections "underscore a continuing decomposition of Iraq's U.S.-backed government" and observes:

Security, basic services, and all measurable levels of Iraq's infrastructure are worse now than under the rule of Saddam Hussein. Nevertheless, the U.S., Britain and Iran all continue to support this government.
[. . .]
Withdrawals from the government by individual ministers and by political groups was the first sign of the end of al-Maliki's political life, but the U.S. government has remained insistent on keeping al-Maliki at the top of Iraq's leadership.

Kimberly Wilder (On the Wilder Side) is getting the word out on the Green Party's attempt "to bring in bloggers to our convention" She refers to this node and more information on the Green Party can be found at its website (as well as Wilder's site).

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