My Take On The Obama Speech

First of all, it was a major speech, obviously.  Some notable bullet points: (1) Obama did not use the word terrorism or any variant in the entirety of the speech.  That can only be deliberate, one presumes to avoid fanning the flames considering the primary audience was intended to be the Arab public. (2)  The [...]

The New Woodward Series Begins Today

Bob Woodward is not always a hero to either the right or the left.  His biggest flaw is that he willingly plays the mouthpiece to Washington insiders with an agenda.  His biggest strength is the same thing.  Everyone in Washington knows that Woodward is going to air dirty laundry and the contents of what were [...]

Another, Um, ‘Interesting’ Racial Perspective From Biden

The Washington Post editorial board digs up a dandy.  I’ll point out up front that they like the pick, overall, but they have a few criticisms, one of his bad judgment on Iraq (not his support of the war, but his ridiculous partition plan), and one of his loquaciousness: Mr. Biden’s expertise may reassure those [...]

Great News For Republicans…

…as it’s all but confirmed that Joe Biden is indeed Barack Obama’s VP choice.  Biden is a fantastic choice…for the other side.  Of course, we all know about the plagiarism, and it’s hard to take anyone with hair plugs seriously (hey, baby, I’m balding, but natural!), yet there are other, lesser known (for now) reasons [...]

Endgame In Iraq?

Two stories floating around tonight suggesting that an agreement is near on the end of the Iraq War, for all intents and purposes. Both stories agree that the sticking point is legal immunity for American contractors who have worked in Iraq.  They disagree on the final withdrawal date of support personnel.  The AP says that [...]

But Then Again…

Sigh…I suppose it was inevitable, with all the good news coming from Iraq, that we were due for some bad news again: Iraq was struck by a series of female suicide bombings and ethnic violence that shook the country and left the volatile northern city of Kirkuk reeling amid fears of further bloodshed between the [...]

Who Says We Are Winning In Iraq?

The Associated Press, that’s who – in an analysis piece that you’ll have to read for yourself, since I don’t excerpt AP pieces after they got ugly with bloggers.  Nevertheless, despite my policy to not even link the AP unless necessary, in this case, I think it’s worth it.  Go henceforth… UPDATE 07/27/08 12:28 a.m.: [...]

Listen To The Generals, Senator Obama

The Washington Post notes that NOT everyone on Obama’s Iraq trip agreed with his 16-month timetable: THE INITIAL MEDIA coverage of Barack Obama‘s visit to Iraq suggested that the Democratic candidate found agreement with his plan to withdraw all U.S. combat forces on a 16-month timetable. So it seems worthwhile to point out that, by [...]

The Surge Is Over…

…and it’s time to state for the record, unapologetically, that it was a massive success: Admiral Michael Mullen said today that he expects to be able to recommend troop reductions in Iraq this fall, as security gains from the troop surge continue to hold. Mullen made his comments in a Pentagon press conference with Defense [...]

Let’s Not Lose Sight Of The Forest For The Trees

I know that for Republicans and conservatives who back President Bush and Senator McCain, it is more than a little dispiriting to read almost daily now how the Iraqi government has apparently decided, whether for political reasons or our of real conviction, to all but endorse Barack Obama.  Today brought more stories in this vein: [...]

Lest Anyone Think I’m Dodging The Story…

…I’m well aware that the Iraqi Prime Minister gave a boost to the Obama campaign by seemingly endorsing a quicker troop withdrawal than either Senator McCain or the Bush Administration is in favor of, and indeed, in seemingly direct contradiction of the recent joint statements of the Iraqi government and the Administration of a general [...]

Foolish Consistency?

So says the Washington Post editorial board regarding Obama’s apparent non-change of heart on Iraq: BARACK OBAMA yesterday accused President Bush and Sen. John McCain of rigidity on Iraq: “They said we couldn’t leave when violence was up, they say we can’t leave when violence is down.” Mr. Obama then confirmed his own foolish consistency. [...]

The Case For Stubbornness

Well, I’m a bit under the weather tonight – a cold or the flu or something, in the middle of what is literally the hottest summer in Austin’s very hot history! I do want to pass on one link, however – a quite provocative column by David Brooks arguing that it was President Bush’s stubbornness [...]

The Problem With An Inarticulate President…

…is not that lack of eloquence means lack of intelligence, but rather that a president who cannot speak well cannot sell well.  Now, Iraq was hardly going to be an easy sell (it WAS an easy sell, until the much-expected WMD stockpiles turned out to be a mirage), but President Bush (and this is coming [...]

So, What About Iraq?

For a war supporter, I suppose my silence on the renewed violence in Iraq has been deafening, but not for the reasons you might think.  I’m not afraid to admit that my heart sank at the news that al-Sadr’s truce might be off, and God knows we’ve all had enough killing.  I’ve kept my silence [...]

War With Iran Is Immiment – Or Maybe Not

I’m late on highlighting this, but with the resignation of Admiral Fallon, top military man in the Middle East, last week, tongues started wagging again about our plans re:Iran. Widely quoted was this Terry Atlas U.S. News piece giving six reasons we may be going to war with Iran. In the Washington Post, William Arkin [...]

Brookings Institution: Iraq Is Making Political Progress, Too

The latest liberal talking point on Iraq goes something like this: sure, the surge worked, militarily (as if they had said that at the beginning, instead of arguing that more troops would lead to even greater violence), but Iraq has made zero progress politically, so it’s been a waste, and yes, we should bring the [...]

An Important Article

We’re going to have to deal with the prospect of a possible Barack Obama presidency sooner or later.  We’ll have plenty of opportunity to dwell on the historic nature of his candidacy, as well as the ‘rock star’ aspects of the Obama juggernaut.  I want to focus on policy for the moment, though, particularly on [...]

Another Baghdad Miracle

A day after it snowed in Baghdad for the first time in 100 years, much to the delight of the locals, another equally improbable thing has been reported: real progress towards reconciliation by the Iraqi parliament. Iraq’s parliament voted Saturday to give jobs back to thousands of former supporters of Saddam Hussein’s Baath party who [...]

How To Spot A Hack

Those who waved (and continue to wave – see McGovern, George) the Lancet’s 600,000+ excess-Iraqi-deaths number around as a blunt instrument to strike down defenders of the Iraq War had one advantage over us: they could point to the ‘statistically sound’ methodology and fall back on arcane statistical niceties while we could only say “It’s [...]