Topic: Couldn't be so...
Midweek Assessment: Trouble Brewing
As of Wednesday, August 3, where did we stand?
Everyone got off the Air France plane in Toronto before it burned itself to a cinder. Good.
Paul Hackett, the fellow running for the open congressional seat in Ohio - see Cincinnati to the Moon last weekend - came close. Not bad in a heavily pro-Bush district for a marine who saw combat in Iraq, and a lawyer, who repeatedly called Bush a "chickenhawk" - and an SOB for that "Bring it on!" comment. But he lost:
Assessment? Political observer Charlie Cook had written:
So I guess this falls in the "serious warning" category. But he lost. Warnings are rather useless.
Other than that? Here's a list:
1.) In Iraq: Twenty-One Marines Killed in Three Days (all but one reservists from the Cleveland area, and the first six snipers who got ambushed because someone revealed their positions)
2.) Our enthusiastic guys dealt with an Iraqi general who surrendered to us by stuffing him into a sleeping bag and beating him to death - the Washington Post reviews just-released documents
3.) We are told Iraq's Defense Ministry 'riddled with crippling problems' (the New York Times on this one)
4.) A freelance journalist is killed after filing his report on Iraqi police ties to radicals
6.) Bush poised to set vacationing record...
And the president's call for teaching "intelligent design" in science classes on equal footing with evolution is still ruffling feathers. Note this press release from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) -
John Marburger? The Carpetbagger says that fellow has The Worst Job in Washington.
Why? He recognizes reality:
Yeah, but the man can tap dance with the best:
The trouble is that that is exactly what the president said.
Ah well. Not important.
Is this important? "If the security situation in Baghdad remains unstable," Iraq's transportation minister suggests re-routing air traffic to a new airport in Najaf, funded by Iran.
Aren't they the bad guys?
One suspect the beat-the-general-in-the-sleeping-bag-to-death story is the one of some importance, as that is the one that that will get the most play overseas. It makes Karen Hughes' new PR job - convince the Muslim world we are the good guys - a tad more difficult.
Over at UCLA, professor Mark Kleiman is a bit angry:
Gee, as World War II came to an end a good number of Germans surrendered to the Americans because they knew if they surrendered to the Russians they'd be in big trouble. The Americans were the good guys. Times change.
From the Post review of the new documents:
How did this happen? Perhaps the result of policy:
Perhaps one shouldn't ask for wish lists. One of the three noncoms used his imagination:
So the kid took the policy and improvised. Do they call that initiative? Well, you cannot blame the leaders if it was the low-level guy misunderstanding his mandate. Sometimes your reward a subordinate's initiative, and sometimes you breathe a sigh of relief and hide behind it.
Poor Karen Hughes. Her new PR job gets harder by the day.
Late addition to the beat-the-general-in-the-sleeping-bag-to-death story -
Digby over at Hullabaloo offers this:
Yeah, well, this is angry. But one suspects there are more than enough people in the United States who assume that bad stuff happens all the time and, anyway, slapping the world around is our right, and there will always be enough young and naïve low-level suckers who can be counted on to do the wet work, and take the rap if it gets a bit messy.