06 February 2005

Best 2 out of 3?

[source source]

The leading Shiite candidate to become Iraq’s next prime minister welcomed overtures on Saturday by groups that boycotted national elections and declared that he and others were willing to offer “the maximum” to bring those largely Sunni Arab groups into the drafting of the constitution and participation in the new government.

But Adel Abdel-Mehdi, the current finance minister and a powerful figure in the coalition expected to dominate Iraq’s parliament, rejected a key demand of those groups — a timetable for a withdrawal of the 150,000 U.S. troops in the country.

“We are hearing some positive remarks coming from their side. That’s very good. We are encouraging them,” he said in an interview. “We are really willing to offer the maximum. . . . It’s a balanced view — from them, from us — to see what the future has.”

It would seem a reliable sign that one is losing when one is reduced to begging one’s opponent for a win.

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Someday, Brussels willing, we may have actual troops

Via Brothers Judd we have this article on the impending doom of the American Hegemony. I’ve commented at length elsehwere, but this article had such a great line:

Consider, as well, the EU’s rapid progress toward military independence.

Who could possible read past that for other than humor value?

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The turning of the tide

[source, source]

Iraqi police have investigated a case in the village of al-Mudhariya, which is just south of Baghdad. The villagers there say that before the election insurgents came and warned them that if they voted in last weekend’s election, they would pay.

Now the people of this mixed village of Sunni and Shia Muslims, they ignored the threat and they did turn out to vote.

We understand that last night the insurgents came back to punish the people of al-Mudhariya, but instead of metering out that punishment the villagers fought back and they killed five of the insurgents and wounded eight. They then burnt the insurgents’ car. So the people of that village have certainly had enough of the insurgents.

This is the kind of thing that the election was designed to achieve. People don’t fight back against this kind of thing unless they think that it can be defeated. That psychological state is the point and over time it will re-enforce itself and make the insurgency far more difficult to maintain.

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But it rolls so trippingly off the keyboard!

[source, source]

In the first week after the elections, the Iraqi Interior Ministry and the Mosul police chief are turning the tables on the insurgency here in the north by using a tactic - videotaped messages - that the insurgents have used time and again as they have terrorized the region with kidnappings and executions.

But this time the videos, which are being broadcast on a local station, carry an altogether different message, juxtaposing images of the masked killers with the cowed men they become once captured.

The broadcast of such videos raises questions about whether they violate legal or treaty obligations about the way opposing fighters are interrogated and how their confessions are made public. [emphasis added]

What possible treaties could this article be talking about? Apparently “treaty obligations” is simply a catch phrase, placed as a garnish without regard to any actual facts.

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