Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bob Gates channels Dick Cheney

In "Is Gates channeling Cheney on Iraq with 'last gasp' remark?" (McClatchy Newspapers), Nancy A. Youssef notes US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' Tuesday interview by Judy Woodruff on The NewsHour (PBS) and his "last gasp" assertion ("I think what we're seeing is al Qaeda trying sort of as a last gasp to try and reverse the progress that's been made through these attacks"). Youssef notes how similar it is to Dick Cheney's 2005 assertion that "recent resurgence of violence in Baghdad was 'a last gasp' of Islamic extremists." Despite Gates' claim, Youssef reveals, many "top U.S. military and intelligence officals worry that escalating tensions could threaten the administration's plans to draw down American forces in Iraq." Youssef notes an unnamded "top administration official:"

The official, who insisted on anonymity because of the consequences of publicly criticizing a cabinet officer, said that contrary to what Gates said, most U.S. intelligence and military officials are afraid that ethnic and sectarian violence in Iraq could explode again because, the official said: "All sides are just waiting for us to leave to finish settling scores."

Youssef's source is backed by today's events. Al Jazeera reports that as Turkey's Foreign Minister, Besir Atalya, visited Baghdad in the never ending discussions on how Turkey and Iraq will address the group they've both identified as a terrroist group, the PKK, 2 Turkish troops and 7 PKK fighters were killed in an armed clash on the border of Iraq and Turkey.

Laith Hammoudi and Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) report a bomber killed himself as well as 9 other people with thirty-one left wounded in Iskandariyah in what is seen as an attack on either the Iraqi military or Sahwa or both. Habib al-Zubaidy, Sami al-Jumaily, Ahmed Rasheed, Michael Christie and Richard Meares (Reuters) report the death toll has risen to 12 (and that hospitals are reporting the death toll is 13) and that Sahwa had been lined up "to collect overdue pay cheques at an Iraqi army post" and they note:

Delays in paying the Sahwas, known as "Awakening Councils," have also contributed to tensions.
"The death toll from the suicide attack has risen to 12 killed and 32 wounded," said police colonel Ali al-Zahawi, head of Iskandariya police.
"The Sahwa men were preparing to enter the military post to receive their salaries when a suicide bomber managed to blow himself up among them...," Zahawi had told Reuters earlier.

The following community sites updated last night with a roundtable:

Cedric's Big Mix
Iraq roundtabling
23 hours ago

The Daily Jot
23 hours ago

Thomas Friedman is a Great Man
Roundtable on Iraq
23 hours ago

Mikey Likes It!
Roundtabling Iraq
23 hours ago

Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude
the roundtable
23 hours ago

23 hours ago

Trina's Kitchen
Iraq in the Kitchen
23 hours ago

Ruth's Report
Roundtable on Iraq
23 hours ago

Oh Boy It Never Ends
Talking Iraq
23 hours ago

Like Maria Said Paz
23 hours ago

Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills)
Talking Iraq roundtable
23 hours ago

The Common Ills
Iraq roundtable
23 hours ago

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mcclatchy newspapers

hussein kadhim
laith hammoudi

the newshour

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends