Monday, November 03, 2008

The treaty

"Our coverage of the U.S. election is not heavy because we believe that the result of the elections will not have a direct impact on the future of Iraq," said Ahmed Abdul-Majid, chief editor of Azzaman, a major Baghdad newspaper.
"There is no difference between McCain and, Obama because both of them will follow the strategic policies drawn up by decision-making circles," he said.
Abdul-Halim Saleh, senior editor at the government-owned newspaper Al-Sabah, offered a similar view: "In the end, strategic policies made in the United States will not be affected by the changing of the administrations."
The idea that institutions and not presidents determine U.S. policy helps explain why the security agreement commands so much attention. The agreement, under negotiation for months, would keep American troops in Iraq for three more years but give Iraqis a greater role in deciding U.S. military operations.

The above is from Sameer N. Yacoub's "Iraqis keep an eye on US vote, but security pact has full attention" (AP) and on the treaty masquerading as a Status Of Forces Agreement, China's Xinhau notes al-Sabah (Baghdad newspaper) is reporting three of the five amendments have been agreed to by DC. Among the rejected are supposedly the issue of immunity for US troops and among the agreed to changes is that US forces would leave in 36 months and that the treaty will be called "agreement on withdrawal of US forces."

Moving from the treaty to the continuing crisis created by the White House when it decided to attack Syria two Sundays ago, AP reports that Walid al-Moualem, Syria's Foreign Minister, has used the word "painful" to describe the responses from Syria to the US should the White House and its agencies continue to stonewall regarding the attack. Meanwhile AKI reports that the US Embassy in Syria reopened yesterday (it was closed Thursday due to protests and closed Friday as well although the State Dept maintained that was due to a holiday). The US school has been closed and Sami Moubayed's "American dream expelled from Syria" (Asia Times) addresses that:

A belated victim of the United States raid into Syria on October 27 was the American school in Damascus. The institution has been a controversial satellite of US interests in Syria since its founding more than a half-century ago, and it has often been featured as political football during the two nations' turbulent, often bitter relationship.
The American school in Damascus, known as the Damascus Community School (DCS), was one among many US academic institutes that started appearing in the Middle East in the mid-20th century. Unlike the American University of Beirut (AUB), a missionary school, or the American College in Aleppo, northern Syria, DCS was part of American initiative fostered by then-US secretary of state John Foster Dulles during the Cold War in 1956.
There was no US ambassador in Syria at the time of its founding - as is the case today - and relations were tense. The White House, under president Dwight D Eisenhower, had accused the Syrian government of transforming Syria into a Soviet satellite. Yet a key architect of the school's opening was Syria's ex-foreign minister Salah al-Din al-Bitar, ironically also one of the two founders of the Baath Party.

Bonnie notes that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Ms. Troll" went up last night. Turning to the US presidential election, Ralph Nader is in the independent presidential candidate and Matt Gonzalez is his running mate. Sarita notes this from Team Nader:

Breaking Point: The Real McCoy


Breaking Point: The Real McCoy .
I’m 39 years old; I have never voted in my life. There are many reasons as to why, none of which I will bore you with. I saw Mr. Nader on C-Span the other day, he will get my first vote as an American citizen. That is all.

Mr. Nader,
Congratulations for standing up and supporting the American Taxpayer for all these years. As a registered(conservative)Democrat for 38 years, I have decided to change my party affiliation to Independent. I certainly admire your tenacity and want thank you on behalf of all Americans that have come to understand often, as a result of your irrepressible energies that the current two party system has become untenable and that it is crucial for our country to have a viable third party choice.
Stay well.
—Jonathan Galin
Anchorage, Alaska

I just saw you (Ralph Nader) on CNN which prompted me to visit your website. As I read through your stance on the issues I realized you stand for everything I do. Prior to today I was going to vote for Obama. Not anymore.

Ralph Nader has my vote now.

Thank you for explaining your agenda in a clear, concise manner. This is the kind of straight talk and ACTION that will make America great once again, and restore our good reputation in the world.

Thank you!
—Joel Nethery
Redding, CA

Dear Mr. Nader,
On October 21st, I attended your Seattle rally along with my husband and brother. Two days have passed since then and I just wanted to say that your words are still buzzing in our house! My husband, who was until then an Obama supporter, has been watching your videos on youtube non-stop, and has also starting reading your books that I’ve had on my shelf for years! I am proud to say that you have our whole family hooked now! My husband and I have been very moved by your message and will pledge our support to you as long as you are running. Never again will we vote for the "least worst". Our first child is due in the next three weeks, and we hope that someday he will get to see a president like you or Mr. Gonzalez in office. Please know that our hearts are with you, our votes have been cast to you, and our lives have been so inspired by your cause. Much luck to you and your running mate!
Be well,
—Jamie Kostek

Photo above provided by a supporter.

If you haven’t reached your breaking point, visit
Send me your Breaking Point story to share at, so the growing numbers of independent voters can join our voices, and together, we can change the system.

Loralynne Krobetzky
Communications Director
Nader for President 2008


John McCain is the Republican presidential nominee and Sarah Palin is his running mate. The campaign picked up another endorsement and Robert noted this:

"America's choice this Tuesday"
By Joseph W. McQuaid
New Hampshire Union Leader
November 2, 2008

This presidential election comes down, as they often do, to trust. We must trust the person's competence, courage and ability to defend us from our enemies and to fight for the best economic conditions possible.

In both areas, John McCain stands head and shoulders above his rival. McCain has been tested as few men ever have, and he has never been found wanting. Barack Obama has no experience -- none. He may be the most unprepared major-party candidate ever. His own vice presidential pick says our enemies will test him quickly and severely. There is no good reason to take that chance.

Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party presidential candidate and Rosa Clemente is her running mate. We'll again note Kimberly and Ian Wilder's "Vote Green Party On Tuesday!" (On The Wilder Side):

November 1, 2008
This is an exciting time for us! The Green Party has never been as relevant

as it is today. As Congress offers trillion-dollar bailouts to Wall Street,
people living on Main Street struggle to stay in their homes and pay for
basic needs. Why is Congress bailing out corporations while the public
slides into economic insecurity? Because the industries that will benefit
from the bailout are some of the largest campaign contributors to political campaigns.
But never fear because you can VOTE GREEN on Tuesday and choose People Power over corporate power. Support
Cynthia McKinney for President and
Rosa Clemente for Vice President; and, support other Green candidates
running in your community. Greens are running for office across the
country for 60 types of office. Check them out! To find out who’s
running in your community, click here.
Once elected, Greens will not betray the public interest for corporate

cash. We accept no corporate money because we believe corporate
influence is what’s wrong with politics.
If you believe healthcare is a right for all, not to be governed by the

profit motive of insurance companies, support the Green Party and
our campaign for Single Payer Healthcare.
If you believe offshore drilling furthers our national addiction to fossil

fuels; and want to see positive solutions like renewable energy, local food production, local businesses and better public transportation- Help
elect Greens who will make it a reality.
If you believe every vote must be counted, that higher education should

be available to everyone, that climate change is real, that the war on
drugs is racist, and that the privatization of public goods and services
is wrong and that we need to BRING OUR TROOPS HOME NOW stand
up and support the party that will stand up for you The Green Party.
If you want to see a clean, healthy future for our children, make sure

we have a strong Green Party today

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