Thursday, May 31, 2007

More on Obama Running as a Prophet

Good piece by Karen Tumulty in Time Magazine.

He brings in crowds and spectacles and he bakes the people and their leaders. And often he does so in a very conversational non-hyped tone. And yet the people keep returning in mind-boggling numbers.

He has the summer to get his game ready for the National Debates come Fall. Mickey Kaus predicts he will destroy Hillary. We'll see if he's right.

Romney on Dept. of Reconstruction

Barnett's everywhere.
Third, we need to dramatically and fundamentally
transform our civilian capabilities to promote peace, security, and freedom around
the world.
Today, there is no such unity among our international
nonmilitary resources. There is no clear leadership and no clear line of authority.
Too often, we struggle to integrate our nonmilitary instruments into coherent, timely,
and effective operations. For instance, even as we face the need to strengthen the
democratic underpinnings of a country such as Lebanon, our resources in education,
health, banking, energy, commerce, law enforcement, and diplomacy are spread across
separate bureaucracies and are under separate leadership. As a result, we have had
to look on as Hezbollah has brought health care and schools to areas of Lebanon.
And guess who the people followed when the conflict between Israel and Lebanon broke
out last summer?
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Kissinger on Iraq

Baker-Hamilton really back in vogue.
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Two lessons emerge from this account. A strategic design cannot be achieved on a fixed, arbitrary deadline; it must reflect conditions on the ground. But it also must not test the endurance of the American public to a point where the outcome can no longer be sustained by our political process. In Iraq, rapid, unilateral withdrawal would be disastrous. At the same time, a political solution remains imperative.

A political settlement has to be distilled from the partly conflicting, partly overlapping views of the Iraqi parties, Iraq's neighbors and other affected states, based on a conviction that the caldron of Iraq would otherwise overflow and engulf everybody. The essential prerequisite is staying power in the near term. President Bush owes it to his successor to make as much progress toward this goal as possible; not to hand the problem over but to reduce it to more manageable proportions. What we need most is a rebuilding of bipartisanship in both this presidency and in the next.
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Paul Berman II

The previous post covered the main outlines of Berman's thinking:

Liberalism under attack from transgressive myth, cult of death, embodied in totalitarian movements. The battle is mostly one of ideas.

So I want to get into the battle of ideas bit.

This links back up with my noting Berman's stance on the Iraq War because I think it is connected. Namely has the Iraqi invasion helped with the war against totalitarian impulse? I think overall it is hurt, but I understand there is a lot of subjectivity involved in that decision.

The overthrow of Hussein has sent the death knell of one of the two forms of Arab totalitarianism mentioned by Berman: pan-Arabism.

It was already seriously damaged in its credibility by the loss of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
Hussein represented the Baath but it could be argued that he like the House of Saud, Mubarak, Assad is just an Arab dictator who ruled through tribes. That Pan-Arabism was long ago dead.

The new "ism" is pan Sunni-ism promoted by the Arab autocrats against the so-called Shia Crescent.

But what Iraq certainly has done is give an transfusion, an infusion to Islamism that it did not have prior to the invasion. This is why I thought it was a bad idea and it was certainly a bad idea to become an occupier in the heart of the Arab world and have no plan for extrication or securing the area.

But either way it's done and now the question is how to move forward. With the battle of ideas. If using the totalitarian analogy think Eastern Europe. Individuals like Reagan argued from abroad that we were on their side and was smart enough to still deal with the Soviets.

But how much do we think the Czecks and Slovaks would have favored a US invasion of their homeland that say expelled Russians but then caused the break between the two groups, civil sectarian bloodshed, and lack of security? As a battle of ideas issue.

Why do we think it is any different in the Iraqi sphere or more broadly the Arab world? Particularly unlike the Soviet example, the US has been aligned with the authoritarian, if not, totalitarian governments, e.g. Saudis, Mubarak, etc.

This gets back to an issue I have with Berman's analysis, the blanket monolithic nature of Islamism.

In other words, what is the alternative to continued despotic rule for the Arab world? Particularly now given the bloodshed in Iraq and the more to come once the Americans start the pullout. Not to mention the US promotion of elections in Lebanon and esp. Iraq & Palestinian territories where the results were not accepted because they didn't accord with the US definition of what group(s) should have been voted in by the people.

Not all Islamism is the same. Even Berman knows better in his profile of Tariq Ramadan for TNR here.

The US can not be winning the battle of ideas if there is no future for people to look forward that they can create themselves (key conservative concept btw).

Paul Berman I

Following on the last post, Peter Berkowitz mentions that for Leo Strauss while he supported constitutional government Strauss also:
saw that modern doctrines of natural right contained debilitating tendencies, which, increasingly, provided support for stupefying and intolerant dogmas.
A perfect segue for Paul Berman. I'm going to be quoting from an interview at Carnegie Council which you can read here. Berman is a liberal interventionist like most of the staff of the The New Republic, of which he is a frequent contributor. He like Peter Beinart, Kevin Pollack, not to mention Tony Blair supported the war in Iraq from the liberal interventionist standpoint. I point that out because it gives him an interesting stand, being both anti-Bush and (say unlike Beinart who has said he was wrong) stuck by his opinion.

But that is not the central issue. The key piece I'm interested in is Berman's book Terror and Liberalism. I want to spend a few posts digesting the piece because he covers an enormous amount of material briefly (and quite lucidly). The main reason I like his work is that he takes seriously the history of ideas and does not reduce all political thinking to social forces or historical materialism.

What he is ultimately after is the argument that democratic liberalism does have inherent flaws in the system which strangely allow for the continued reappearance of anti-liberal (totalitarian) movements. Further these totalitarian movements are sourced in what he terms the Ur myth of the 20th century: The Book of Revelation. He calls this adoption of the myth over liberalism "transgressive" (which is a perfect term to which I will return later).

First I'm going to go through some of the main lines of the argument and then take it a step further and show (using integral concepts) why for example this flaw in liberalism manifests as collectivists totalitarian mythic movements.

Berman sets the context in late nineteenth century Western thinking:
1) In the nineteenth century, the belief arose that the secret of human progress had been discovered and had been proved to be correct. This secret was thought to be a belief in the many instead of the one, a belief that each aspect of life should be allowed to remain in its own sphere -- the public and the private, the state and society, the religious and the civil. There was a belief that society ought to govern itself through rational analysis.
The reference to the many over the one is a key one often forgotten. The argument threaded through historical narrative in Sex, Ecology, and Spirituality is precisely this point. In short: Western thought up until the modern period (minus few geniuses like Plotinus, Eckhart who got both the One and the Many) focused on the One over the Many.

This manifested socially in a rigid hierarchical feudal Western European order power ascending to an apex, pinnacle point, whether the Emperor or the Pope, both of whom considered themselves God's representative on Earth.

The modern world began with the Differentiation of the Spheres as Habermas called it and focused on the Many-ness over the One.

As Berman points out however this 19th c. liberal synthesis already back then had detractors:
First, there was a rebellion within the romantic literary tradition, in romantic poetry. An important sign of this was Victor Hugo’s verse play Hernani in 1830, which already broached certain themes. The play ends with the attempted assassination of the King of Spain and a triple suicide. The theme of murder and suicide in the context of rebellion had already been broached. Baudelaire picks up the same theme. In the second edition of The Flowers of Evil, the inscription mentions enrolling in the rhetorical school of Satan. And, in fact, there is a religious subtext that underlies this notion of rebellion, which is the romantic cult of Satan, which, within the literary tradition, begins to mean a cult of murder and suicide as literary postures.
Then the religious aesthetic revolt:
This new version is not the cult of Satan. It is a series of images that come out of the Book of Revelation. There is a Millenarian idea, of an impending calamity, that something unspeakable is about to occur. You can see it in Yeats. This idea emerges as the new religious underpinning.
As a result:
At the end of the First World War, these currents in poetry, from the romantic to the symbolist poets at the end of the century and the beginning of the new century, finally convert themselves into a series of political movements, which are mass movements against the idea of liberalism. They are movements of rebellion against the belief in the many instead of the one, against the idea that life should be divided into a series of spheres -- the public and the private, the state and society, the civil and the religious -- and at some level, in different ways, they are movements of rebellion against the idea of rational analysis. Instead, they are movements in favor of the one, the solid, the granite, of authority, as opposed to rational analysis -- sometimes of mysticism, but in any case of authority.
These trends connect Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, and Lenin.

The Ur myth of the Book of Revelation:
The story in the Book of Revelation says: There is a people of God; the people of God are being afflicted and polluted by forces from within their own society, who worship at the synagogue of Satan. At the same time, the people of God are being afflicted by cosmic foes from abroad.
The enemies from within were often Jews, liberals, Masons, from without Allied Forces, capitalist West, etc.

And being transgressive they could not result in achievement:
5) All of these movements proposed impractical programs which were unachievable except in one way, which was through mass death. Mass death showed that these were movements of transgressive rebellion, not movements of reform, not conservative movements of reform or social democratic movements of reform, Left or Right, but movements that would break through the ordinary morality of behavior, thus would break through the existing world view.
And worse:
6) The liberal society which in its weaknesses and contradictions and inability to conceive of the dark in human nature, the liberal society which in some way had inspired these movements and against which these movements now arose in rebellion, also had a great deal of trouble in identifying what these movements were.
Liberals Berman argues do not know the extent of human evil and their naivete often plays into and in fact is necessary for the rise of totalitarianism.

The totalitarian impulse also manifested in two non-European mutations: Islamism and pan-Arabism.

Berman interestingly notes that like fascism and communism, which are often seem to be divergent (far right vs. far left), so Islamism (religious) and Pan-Arabism (secular) are thought to be opposite poles but actually are much more closely related:
In the case of Baathism and Islamism, these similarities are easy to see. There is a people of God. The people of God should be described as the “true Muslims” in the case of the Islamists, or as the “true Arabs” in the case of the Baath. The people of God are afflicted by internal corruptors within Muslim society. These internal corruptors are the Jews or the Masons or the Muslim hypocrites. The people of God are afflicted by sinister external foes, Western imperialists or the worldwide Zionist conspiracy. The people of God will resist these internal foes and external foes in a gigantic war of Armageddon. This war will be the liberation of Jerusalem or it will be the jihad. Afterwards the reign of purity will be established and this reign of purity is described in the case of both of those movements in the same way: it is the re-resurrection of the Caliphate of the seventh century in the years after the Prophet Mohammed. The Caliphate is described by each of these movements in a slightly different way. For the Islamists, it means the reinstating of Shar’iah or Qur’anic law. For the Baathists the emphasis is secular; it is the recreating, the resurrecting, of the Arab empire when the Arab empire was on the march.
And as a solution:
Each of these movements in the past was defeated not militarily but ideologically. World War II was violent and military, but although D-Day was important, de-Nazification was the actual victory. The defeat of Nazism militarily would not have been all that helpful if Germany, which is inherently an extremely wealthy and powerful society, had continued to remain a society of millions and millions of convinced Nazis. The same is true now. The struggle we are involved in now has, had, and will continue to have a military aspect, but this aspect must be secondary to the ideological aspect, to the war of ideas.
The war of ideas--next post.

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Varieties of Conservatisms

The history and movements parsed by Peter Berkowitz (of the Hoover Institute) in an op-ed for WSJ. Read here. (Hat tip: Powerline).

It's a good piece, but unfortunately wastes too much space at the front-end arguing that the battle of ideas rages on the right conservative side of the spectrum but not on the left. That the left is now monolithic in thinking. I think this is a garbage view, but anyway it's incidental to the main thrust of the place (hence I think it was unnecessary but so be it).

One source of the divisions evident today is the tension in modern conservatism between its commitment to individual liberty, and its lively appreciation of the need to preserve the beliefs, practices, associations and institutions that form citizens capable of preserving liberty. The conservative reflex to resist change must often be overcome, because prudent change is necessary to defend liberty. Yet the tension within often compels conservatives to wrestle with the consequences of change more fully than progressives--for whom change itself is often seen as good, and change that contributes to the equalization of social conditions as a very important good.
The individual liberty/preservation of beliefs is I think an uniquely American brand of conservatism. [The Conservative Party in Britain, the Thachterites being a possible variation]. The European brand of conservatism stressed the need to preserve the institutions of that day--monarchy, church. The US conservatism never had this attachment to the Ancien Regime.

Again Berkowitz:
In contrast to much European conservatism, which harks back to premodern times and the political preeminence of religion and royalty, in America--which lacked a feudal past to preserve or recover--conservatism has always revolved around the preservation of individual liberty. Of course modern conservatism generally admires virtues embodied in religious faith and the aristocratic devotion to excellence. It also tends to emphasize the weaknesses of human nature, the ironies and tragedies of history, and the limitations of reason and politics. At the same time, it wishes to put these virtues and this knowledge in liberty's service.
And then Berkowitz offers this helpful way of assessing the main variants of contemporary American conservatism:
The divisions within contemporary American conservatism--social conservatives, libertarians, and neoconservatives--arise from differences over which goods most urgently need to be preserved, to what extent, and with what role for government.
As emblematic of these three schools of American conservatism Berkowtiz offers three great names/figures in the movement.

Russell Kirk (social conservatism): emphasis on traditions, esp. religious
Frederick Hayek (libertarianism): limited government, extension of liberty-individual choice
Leo Strauss (neoconservatism): natural right, democracy around globe

So for Strauss the big government aspect if you like is (at least in his descendants) is the military Leviathan to enable attacks around the world.

For the social cons, the "big" government element is moral guardian watchdog of the society.

And Hayek government should be small, small as possible.

There are points of agreement though as Berkowitz points out. For example:
--The neocons were all former New Dealers, more properly anti-Stalinist socialists who turned against welfare.
--Hayek was anti-welfare of course.
--And the Social cons while they want federal amendments banning gay marriage and such, they tend to be anti-welfare state as well.

Berkowitz ends by suggesting in light of the implosion of Bush Republicanism and as conservatives and Republicans shine the light on themselves and think about where they should go and are going in the future (e.g. Sam's Clubs Republicans) they should return to these three key figures. Good idea I think.

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What I Meant When I Raised my Hand

By Sam Brownback
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The question of evolution goes to the heart of this issue. If belief in evolution means simply assenting to microevolution, small changes over time within a species, I am happy to say, as I have in the past, that I believe it to be true. If, on the other hand, it means assenting to an exclusively materialistic, deterministic vision of the world that holds no place for a guiding intelligence, then I reject it.

There is no one single theory of evolution, as proponents of punctuated equilibrium and classical Darwinism continue to feud today. Many questions raised by evolutionary theory — like whether man has a unique place in the world or is merely the chance product of random mutations — go beyond empirical science and are better addressed in the realm of philosophy or theology.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

NEWT level ideas

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Gingrich has been criticized lately by some conservatives—most notably DeLay—for spending too much time reaching out to center-right voters; he advocates modernizing the government rather than making it smaller. (Gingrich and DeLay barely speak; their relationship came apart in the late nineteen-nineties, when Gingrich suspected DeLay of engineering an attempted coup.) It is true, Gingrich said, that he wants to bring the center into a coalition with the right, “because I want to give the right power. The right can have power only by being allied with the center.”

That, Gingrich said, was Rove’s mistake. “I think he didn’t understand the second-order effect of base mobilization. The second-order effect is that you drive away the center because you become more and more strident at the base.” What you end up with, he said, is cases like Schiavo’s, and the feeling that Republicans risk alienating “America’s natural majority.”

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Saturday, May 26, 2007



Eleven-month old Jada Chow wears a Princess Leia costume during the opening day of "Star Wars Celebration IV" in Los Angeles May 24, 2007. The five-day convention celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Star Wars saga. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES)

Community as and for the Future

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Contrary to my previous culturally conditioned interpretation of the word “community,” I now see our most important philosophically and spiritually based relationships as the only ground upon which conscious or intentional evolution can actually occur. Without being deeply connected with others in a conscious commitment to a shared ideal, there is no way that we will be able to create any kind of future that we are going to want to live in!
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Joe P. on Indigo

His thoughts here.

I'll excerpt just one passage:
Indigo is less concerned than turquoise with developing comprehensive worldviews or integrating partial conceptions of reality into flexible and flowing holistic syntheses. Indigo “takes for granted” that the psyche, culture, nation, and world are inseparable at the root. Its growing awareness of connectedness and unity is without effort; it is simply becoming more attuned to the sights, sounds, and dynamics of one's own psyche. The ego-aware mind begins to perceive the unity of causation and observation. Past, present, and future no longer appear as strictly linear points along a line, but as segments of a loop that can mutually interact. Suddenly, the contents of the future appear as repeating patterns of connecting symbolism extending forward into the future based on past trends and present contours. Indigo is more fascinated by the need for transrational structures of meaning-making and solution-seeking. Art, story, symbol, image, and metaphor may become more intriguing than concept, idea, theory, and framework. Indigo tends to derive greater satisfaction from communal and relational expressions of meaning-making.

Temple Theology IV--Judaism, Xty, Islam

So the earlier posts dealt with the ancient notion of the Second God (the Lord); Atonement as the Lord's work; participation in this Atonement (theosis, divinization); Cosmic in scope and related therefore to the future rest of the whole creation (apocalypse as growing out of Temple Theology).

It also opens up new avenues for Jewish, Christian, Muslim dialog.

Barker argued that the Second God could be manifested (the point at which the downward facing ^ meets the upward facing V--heaven and earth connect) in two main roles: King-Messiah and the Prophet.

Christianity early had a chance to see Jesus in light of the Prophet's role but choose rather the focus on the Cosmic Word-Exalted Royal Messiah figure.

That left open the door for the Prophet role, as in a Final Prophet role to be fulfilled. Hence Islam. Muhammad is referred to as Rasul Allah (Messenger of Allah). Messenger in Hebrew is the same as Angel/Prophet. The heavenly divine messenger.

Orthodox Islam struggled to keep Muhammad "only" as a human prophet. The Prophet but a prophet man nonetheless. Particularly in relation to polemical debate with Christianity.

[Sidenote: Important to note in this context it seems that the Christianity in Islam that Muhammad was familiar with may have been mostly Monophysite, only one nature Divine to Christ not orthodox Two Natures/One Person Chalcedonian Christianity. The over-divinization and under-humanitization of Christ in the Arabian peninsula may have sparked by the over-reaction against Christian theology in the Qu'ran.]

That aside, the notion of the Messiah/Prophet dyad as the relation between Christianity and Islam would be major point of new contact. In a weird way then the older Christian polemic that Islam was a "Jewish heresy" would actually fit. Once we realize Christianity, by this model is itself a "Jewish heresy." Or rather there was another form of Judaism that was not heresy that both flow from.

What is clear is this distinction between the High God and the Second God runs through all three religions. In Christianity at the formal theological level (Father, Son) while in Islam and Judaism only in their mystical strains: Kabbalah and Sufism.

In Kabbalah there is the distinction between Ayn Sof (the Unnameable) and Keter the Head. Ayn Sof is the Ground beyond all. Beyond even beyond the All. Keter is the Prime mechanism through which Ayn Sof manifests in creation. Like the Christ Logos.

The Sefirot are a depiction of the Divine System in the form of a human body. What is referred to in Kabbalah as the Adman Kadmon (Primal Adam). Adam recall is not an individual man named Adam. But rather "the creature" (ha-adam, from the root ademat, ground). So the Divine System is nothing other than the awakening human and the awakened human is the Divine enfleshed. Sound Christian? Sound Jewish?

In Islam there is the same basic distinction between Allah (the-God) and Al-Haqq (The Truth). When the famous Sufi mystic Al-Hallaj said "Ana al-Haqq" (I am the Truth) notice he did not say I am Al-lah, the God. He was speaking from the Ground. He was aware that he was not God in the relative sphere. In fact the I is the Great I not Hallaj.

At this plane, Trinitarian Christian theology, Sufism, and Kabbalah line up. This is the place of their resonance. It's not the exact same but its close enough to make your eyes bug out of your head.

Religious Christianity "hid" the mystical form of its teaching in plain sight as a device of control. Islam and Judaism hid them in specialized teaching. Two different strategies to the same end.

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flippity flop

Stuff like this makes me wish the Romney who was Governor of Mass. was running for President. Not the flip-flopper currently on the campaign trail. It's a race to the bottom at this point to see who is the bigger craven party hack: Romney or his bizzaro Democratic twin Edwards. They are both so fake.

Campaign finance reform law has some flaws in no doubt. It needs to be amended and updated (in light of new evidence, trial/error). But repeal the whole thing? Get a grip.

It's actually making me want Fred Thompson to jump in so at least the social conservative Reaganite position will be held by a man who actually believes it. Not that I'm a huge Reaganite social conservative. But for God's sakes if you going to run as one, at least actually be one.

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glob. guer.

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On first engaging the group in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, the Lebanese army was welcomed by the camp's population, who, some reports say, were not too pleased by Islamist group imposing itself on the refugees. But the situation changed quickly when the Lebanese army met stiff resistance and began using tanks and heavy artillery against the group.

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Andrew Bacevich

An articulate foreign policy/international relations theorist who I've quoted before. He has been a scathing critique of this administration---not some moonbat lefty.

He sadly lost his son in Iraq (age 27) this month. In this WashingtonPost op-ed which is deeply tragic, he discusses receiving (2) letters from individuals who maintain that his son's death was the direct result of his opposition to the war. He gave aid and comfort to the enemy.

This is a difficult piece to read for a lot of reasons. I don't agree with all of it by any means, but it is a voice, an important voice that is often neglected in the debates surrounding the issue on all sides.

I can imagine the last paragraph being ripped out of context and used for other purposes. Bacevich writes:
I know that my son did his best to serve our country. Through my own opposition to a profoundly misguided war, I thought I was doing the same. In fact, while was he was giving all, I was doing nothing. In this way, I failed him.
The nothing that he did however is clear from the rest of the article. It is not that he literally did nothing but that all he has done he realized is worthless in the current political climate.

He states (my emphasis):
Not for a second did I expect my own efforts to make a difference. But I did nurse the hope that my voice might combine with those of others -- teachers, writers, activists and ordinary folks -- to educate the public about the folly of the course on which the nation has embarked. I hoped that those efforts might produce a political climate conducive to change. I genuinely believed that if the people spoke, our leaders in Washington would listen and respond. This, I can now see, was an illusion. The people have spoken, and nothing of substance has changed.
There is a valid argument as to whether nothing has changed. Bacevich is right from the point of the election until now and up until at least September.

Bush and Crew, however, are already working on Plan B (basically Hamilton-Baker redux). Secs. Rice and Gates plus the Joint Chiefs are behind the new plan to reduce significantly in '08. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader stated after the recent supplemental vote that the writing was on the wall for a course change in September. Meaning the Republicans will bolt if Bush stays this course come September. Meaning everyone knows that they already thinking past the surge.

A cynical side of me wonders whether that the line about how I have done nothing will be spun in the right blogosphere to mean exactly the opposite of what Bacevich meant. Namely that the initial letters (aid and comfort to the enemy) were while vile in a sense right. That opposition is doing nothing.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bush's Timeline

Bush has repeatedly stated that a timeline is a memo to our enemies to wait for us to leave and to claim victory. Or worse to step up attacks. The new September mini-deadline seems that it will bring on the latter.

Canadian Demographic Change

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Canada’s demographic make-up is in the throes of profound changes that could have significant long-term political and economic implications. Initial results of the 2006 census, published by Statistics Canada (the national statistical agency) in mid-March, show that immigration now contributes the bulk of Canada’s population growth. The data also underline the westward shift of Canada’s economic and political centre of gravity, and show a continuing shift from rural to urban areas, especially to the suburbs around Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

According to the census, Canada’s total population stood at 31.6m in mid-2006, up by 5.4% since the previous census in 2001, representing the highest growth rate among major industrial countries. Immigration accounted for 66% of the increase, compared with 58% in the previous census period (1996 to 2001).

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Maliki playing sectarian card

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Partisan politics make for a dirty game, but nowhere more so than in Iraq. Lt. Gen. Aboud Qanbar, the Iraqi in charge of the Baghdad security plan and the Interior Ministry, has reportedly presented Prime Minister Maliki with a dossier of 15 parliamentarians who should be stripped of immunity and prosecuted for ties to terrorists.

With the bloody power politics of Baghdad, many MPs no doubt have ties to paramilitary groups, but this list of 15 curiously only includes Sunni members of Maliki's political opposition, and almost all are members of the National Dialogue Front.

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Gerson on Immigration

Conceding Latinos to the Democrats in perpetuity is a stunning failure of political confidence. If the Republican Party cannot find ways to appeal to natural entrepreneurs, with strong family values, who are focused on education and social mobility, then the GOP is already dead.

But the real passion in this debate is not political, it is cultural -- a fear that American identity is being diluted by Latino migration. Tancredo is the lowbrow expression of this fear. Professor Samuel Huntington of Harvard University, whom Tancredo calls an intellectual mentor, presents the highbrow version. Huntington argues that Mexican migration is a threat to American unity and to the "core" of our cultural identity. "America," he says, "was created as a Protestant society just as and for some of the same reasons Pakistan and Israel were created as Muslim and Jewish societies in the 20th century."

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Evolution of pro-War Iraqi-American

Fascinating piece on Kanan Makiya from International Herald Tribune.

Makiya was a close friend of Iraqi National Congress Leader Ahmad Chalabi. He supported the war and is working on a new book where he analyzes what happened, what went wrong. He is turning the light on himself and his allies.

From the article:
"I want to look into myself, look at myself, delve into the assumptions I had going into the war," he said. "Now it seems necessary to reflect on the society that has gotten itself into this mess. A question that looms more and more for me is: Just what did 30 years of dictatorship do to 25 million people?""It's not like I didn't think about this," he said. "But nonetheless I allowed myself as an activist to put it aside in the hope that it could be worked through, or managed, or exorcised in a way that's not as violent as is the case now. That did not work out."
An interesting point that has not gotten the proper play:
Chief among the culprits, he said, were the Iraqis picked by the Americans in 2003 to sit on the Iraqi Governing Council, many of them exiles, who tried to create popular bases for themselves by emphasizing sectarian and ethnic differences.
Then there is the issue of American policy. "Everything they could do wrong, they did wrong," Makiya said. "The first and the biggest American error was the idea of going for an occupation."

Expect More Violence in Thailand

If this passes. Primary loyalties is what terrorists are after.
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BANGKOK: In a step that could sharpen divisions in its increasingly violent, largely Muslim southern provinces, Thailand appears ready for the first time to make Buddhism the state religion in a new constitution.

Under pressure from masses of orange-robed monks who have rallied in the streets and distracted by other political challenges, the country's military-backed government is going along with a notion that has made little headway in the past.

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Assad Stronger?

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"Syria has a great deal of confidence now," said Abdel Fattah Al-Awad, editor in chief of the government-run newspaper Al Thawra. "The country is convinced that the major pressures that once faced us have disappeared. We want to offer security - that's what we offer. The Americans, they offer Iraq, which is chaos."
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Prayers for Haleh Esfandiari

Imprisoned by the Iranians. A powerful op-ed by her husband in the LATimes here.

Movement on Protection?

This is hopefully a way to increase the speed of protection for Iraqis who have worked with the coalition.
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An obscure program that bypasses the State Department’s normal immigration procedures has granted a form of temporary asylum to a former minister who led Iraq’s troubled Health Ministry and to more than 100 other Iraqi professionals, witnesses of potential crimes by Americans, and children wounded in the conflict.
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Michael Gordon Apes Administration Line

Yet again. In the NYTimes (sticking it to the lie it's a totally left wing paper) on the "return" of Moqtada al Sadr.

The title first off is an unsubstantiated charge made by the US military/government. Namely that Sadr was hiding in Iran.

It is at least likely (if not more so) that he was hiding in the Marshes of Southern Iraq or areas around Kufa, where he hid for years from Saddam Hussein. Gordon does slip in that Sadr's followers argued he never left the country. He could have also been on pilgrimage--or yes used that as a cover.

And then this line:
Mr. Sadr’s re-emergence in Iraq comes after his position has been significantly eroded because of a strong push by American forces against the Mahdi Army.
Again that's a line that wants to be broadcast by certain parties. Significantly eroded?

Not helped by the following admission later on in the article:
Still, not even American officials privy to classified intelligence on Mr. Sadr’s return pretend to be certain what he has in mind.
What seems most probable from all his actions is making alliances with non-Baathist and non-Salafi Sunnis (i.e. tribal leaders fighting Islamic State of Iraq); elbow out the SIIC; try to prevent the fracture of Iraq (making him strangely a back door Bush ally in terms of the sovereignty issue); cleanse his ranks of the non-loyal elements; and kick out the Americans, likely through Parliamentary procedures/protests

The Americans have had stronger ties with the SIIC (Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council) who favors autonomous regions in the South and has stronger ties to Iran certainly than Sadr. Those two commitments don't line up with the US anti-Iranian, Iraq as a single country stance.

What is clearly the case is Maliki's clock is running down. Everybody is positioning themselves for the fallout.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fundies: Atheist and Theist

I was listening to Stephen Prothero, author of Religious Literacy and advocate for teaching of religion in public schools. Protheros' earlier book on the American Jesus is brilliant. Haven't had a chance to read this one yet, but hearing him speak lot of wisdom.

Anyway, a question was posed to him about the new atheists (the anti-vangelicals as Colbert aptly calls them)--people like Dawkins, Harris, Dennett--and their strange bedfellow relationship with Christian fundamentalists.

Prothero's response was that both Christian fundamentalists and atheist (fundamentalists) agree on is a prior epistemological point: namely that religious truth is propositional.

This is back to the point (a la the last post on Benedict) of the mistake of reducing truth to scientific claims. To "it" language. Religious truths are a series of propositions that are either to be believed full stop or are wrong and therefore the whole operation is flawed.

But as Benedict pointed out religious truth is about love and communion. About ethics, about culture, about human freedom and dignity. It is about discipleship, living into mystery, living with questions, searching, comfort and consolation. Something completely missed by the fundies of both the religious and atheist varieties.

Religious truths are not a list on a wall that are yes or no. Literal birth, atonement, scriptures, whatever. The only thing that divides say a Harris from a Christian fundie is whether they answer yes or no to the problem as they have conceived it.

More more Benedict

The rest of the speech sadly didn't get as much play because of the controversy. But there are some real profound nuggets o' truth in them.

Like the following:

As a first step, we can respond to this question with another: what is this “reality”? What is real? Are only material goods, social, economic and political problems “reality”? This was precisely the great error of the dominant tendencies of the last century, a most destructive error, as we can see from the results of both Marxist and capitalist systems. They falsify the notion of reality by detaching it from the foundational and decisive reality which is God. Anyone who excludes God from his horizons falsifies the notion of “reality” and, in consequence, can only end up in blind alleys or with recipes for destruction.
I like how he correctly mentions both Marxism and capitalism as both premised on the reduction of reality/truth to economic, material, social and political events only.

And this on Christian faith:
We can ask ourselves a further question: what does faith in this God give us? The first response is: it gives us a family, the universal family of God in the Catholic Church. Faith releases us from the isolation of the “I”, because it leads us to communion: the encounter with God is, in itself and as such, an encounter with our brothers and sisters, an act of convocation, of unification, of responsibility towards the other and towards others. In this sense, the preferential option for the poor is implicit in the Christological faith in the God who became poor for us, so as to enrich us with his poverty (cf. 2 Cor 8:9).
As someone who grew up Catholic and still resonates deeply with the Catholic formulation of Christian theology, I appreciate the social and communal nature of this theology. Not individual salvation by being born again but birth into a family of God, a people of God, a household of God. Which brings responsibility, family squabbles, love, the need for mercy, the exposing of our woundings, fears, and prejudices. Our life being about others more than ourselves.

He also calls for deeper catechesis of the Gospel and the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church. Kudos to both those. And connects the work of social, cultural, religious, and political expression/freedom to the Incarnation. For the Christian God was human in Christ, therefore humanity has inherent dignity. And where Spirit is not recognized, faceless inhumanity follows.

More on Benedict's comments

Finally had a chance to read all of Pope Benedict's remarks in Brazil that caused the controversy. You can read the entire speech here on the Vatican Website.

Benedict's Christology (around which the whole thing revolves in my estimation) is labeled in theological inspeak as "inclusivism." According to the categorization here in Wikipedia, Benedict would be a traditional inclusivist.

Inclusivism in the Christian context grows out of the theology of the Patristic Fathers (3-7th c. CE) which stated the Logos (the Word of God, Christ) existed as a seed (spermatikoi) already inherent in the pre-Christian Greek culture. Augustine saw the seeds in Plato. Others like Clement used Stoic and Middle Platonic categories.

So Christianity by this view is not seen as an exterior culture dumped onto a group but rather fulfills their (secret and unknown to such individuals consciously) desires.

As St. Paul said to the philosophers in Athens (Book of Acts) after seeing an altar to an Unknown God, we too worship this Unknown God (the Father as Source Beyond Mystery) but we know this Unknown God in Jesus of Nazareth (The Christ).

It's a step up for sure from my religion/culture or total damnation. But the Truth is still one's own religion.

Benedict employed both Paul and the Patristics in his speech and meant the above in his comments on indigenous Amerindian traditions conversion to Christianity.

Here's the Pope (my emphasis):
Yet what did the acceptance of the Christian faith mean for the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean? For them, it meant knowing and welcoming Christ, the unknown God whom their ancestors were seeking, without realizing it, in their rich religious traditions. Christ is the Saviour for whom they were silently longing. It also meant that they received, in the waters of Baptism, the divine life that made them children of God by adoption; moreover, they received the Holy Spirit who came to make their cultures fruitful, purifying them and developing the numerous seeds that the incarnate Word had planted in them, thereby guiding them along the paths of the Gospel. In effect, the proclamation of Jesus and of his Gospel did not at any point involve an alienation of the pre-Columbian cultures, nor was it the imposition of a foreign culture.
Now it is one thing and I would say a good one theologically for a group of people like the Gentile Christians of the Patristic era to go back and as it were "redeem" their ancestral traditions, philosophically, religiously, ethically, and culturally. It makes perfect sense in that context (negate and preserve).

Where it doesn't work I think and where Benedict runs into trouble is when that vision is worked out by the Greek/Western (and later European) tradition and is then enforced aligned with colonialism onto another people who are then told they have been secretly longing for what we are giving you. Any way you slice it, the native culture and religion is incomplete without the Church and the Gospel.

As Benedict says:
If we do not know God in and with Christ, all of reality is transformed into an indecipherable enigma; there is no way, and without a way, there is neither life nor truth.
It's not that I'm totally 100% percent against inclusivism, Christian or otherwise especially of Benedict's variety. It is an appropriate response from one point of contact and development. And anyway it will always be in existence among some. As I said before it is not wrong so much as limited and Benedict I think overstepped the bounds of this theology and Christology's truth value.

And he was correctly rebuked and told where the boundary lay by others.

I have heard indigenous North American Christians quote the Gospel of Matthew: I have not come to abolish the Law but rather to fulfill it" to mean that Jesus was a son of the traditional Tribal Ways. It was not that Jesus was their secret longing all along but that he (Jesus) fits the picture and embodies the tradition they already know.

Again I don't impute bad motives to the Pope. He is a thinker and not built for the world of diplomatic language that the role requires.

Baer smart as always

clipped from

As for the intelligence on al-Qaeda and Iraq, it's even

Another problem with Abu Faraj al-Libbi's confession is that
it doesn't make sense. Qaeda knows as well as anyone that Iraq, where
the U.S. military could knock down your door at any moment, would be
one of the worst places in the world from which to launch or plan a
terrorist attack on the United States. The Administration knows that
America is much more vulnerable in Europe. A Qaeda terrorist with a
European passport can come into this country under the visa waiver
program, virtually without scrutiny.
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Response to Edwards

Here's the response to an Edwards position--from Peter Wehner, member of White House staff.

Wehner begins:
The global war on terror is not a "political doctrine" advanced by the Bush Administration or a bumper sticker slogan. Rather, it refers to an epic struggle we are engaged in against Islamic jihadists. These jihadists -- years before George W. Bush became president and years before Operation Iraqi Freedom -- publicly announced, through their fatwas, that they were at war against us.
Wehner then goes into a list of attacks--Khobar Towers, African embassies, Cole, etc.

Wehner is right in that the War on Terror did not begin with Bush until after 9/11. True there are and has been an al-Qaeda threat throughout the 90s predating Bush.

Wehner also writes:
For the Edwards thesis to have merit, he would have to rewrite most of the history of the past five-and-a-half years. He would have to erase virtually all of the day-to-day activity of the war on terror, which as a practical matter consists of unprecedented levels of cooperation and integrated planning across scores of countries, both long-time allies and new partners. But Senator Edwards seems quite willing to engage in that kind of revisionism.
Actually no he wouldn't---re-write the history that is. Of course co-operation could be occurring and the GWOT could be used as a political weapon.

In other words Wehner is right the war was started by others, the way Bush has fought it Edwards is in large part correct.

What Wehner can not understand is that yes there is in fact a trans-national appartus of jihadism. Prior to the Iraq Invasion it was actually close to dying out. It is Iraq that has re-ignited it and given its raison d'etre.

The flypaper theory where Iraq would tempt a finite number of jihadis into the place and kill them has proved sadly, unbelievably mistaken. It has becoming a breeding ground. This is Edwards' key point.

I prefer (as opposed to Edwards and Wehner) for this reason the phrase Long War. It doesn't equate the Long War with Iraq (Wehner), nor does it underestimate that some percentage (2% at most, but 2% of 650 million is enough to be worrieed) is always going to be in existence and can not be dealt with other than through police/military action. Moreover the Long War could be connected with the notion that the US has been pulled into the Islamic Civil War/Reformation and must understand when and how it to intervene, knowing it is always a cost/benefit analysis (none of that in Wehner) and will always have some negative blowback but some actions the good may outweigh the bad. And that this thing is not a 100% victory (like Cold War, still problems in Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Ukraine, etc.).

But like the Cold War, Long War you get the sense of the primacy on a whole other range of issues: leading, forming alliances, markets, moral authority, Soft Power, security building/resiliency at home, Dept. of Reconstruction, and when necessary Hard Power.

For Wehner, as a Bushie, it's all military power.

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Edwards against GWOT

I'm not a big Edwards fan, but much of this rings true.

The war on terror is a slogan designed only for politics, not a strategy to make America safe. It's a bumper sticker, not a plan. It has damaged our alliances and weakened our standing in the world. As a political "frame," it's been used to justify everything from the Iraq War to Guantanamo to illegal spying on the American people. It's even been used by this White House as a partisan weapon to bludgeon their political opponents. Whether by manipulating threat levels leading up to elections, or by deeming opponents "weak on terror," they have shown no hesitation whatsoever about using fear to divide.

But the worst thing about this slogan is that it hasn't worked. The so-called "war" has created even more terrorism--as we have seen so tragically in Iraq. The State Department itself recently released a study showing that worldwide terrorism has increased 25% in 2006, including a 40% surge in civilian fatalities.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Papa in Brasilia

Benedict has got himself in another controversy (although no violence thank God this time around) for saying the following:
“The proclamation of Jesus and of his Gospel did not at any point involve an alienation of the pre-Columbus cultures, nor was it the imposition of a foreign culture.”
These peoples had silently longed for Christianity and it "purified" their culture.

So that makes a trifecta. He angered Jews for his statements at Auschwitz. The quotation of the Byzantine Emperor angered many a Muslim. And now indigenous peoples.

Benedict today tried to tone down the statement saying it was:
“not possible to forget the suffering and the injustices inflicted by colonizers against the indigenous population, whose fundamental human rights were often trampled.”
As the article rightly points out the simplest answer tends to be the correct one: Benedict is tone deaf and not made for politics. He knows church politics well. But his a theologian and bishop not a church Vatican diplomat. And it shows. He's more Mr. Maggoo-ish than out to get people seems to me. I just don't think he is aware of the impact of his words on others. How his words will be seen by others (some? many? a substantial enough number to at least consider revising if not self-editing?).

I haven't had a chance to read the entire text of the speech in Brazil nor this radio address. Hopefully I can get to that tomorrow. I bring this issue up mostly because it distracts from what are otherwise important points he wants to make: criticizing both Marxism and capitalism; abortion and the War in Iraq. But this message gets lost by these kinds of lines. They're self-destructive.

Liberal Humanitarian Interventionism in Iraq

Pepe Escobar in Asian Times:
The United Nations says Somalia is now the most urgent humanitarian crisis on the planet. No it's not: it's Iraq. Baghdad is now the ultimate laboratory of perverse social engineering: a brutalized, militarized, neo-Spartan future three-tier society where privileges are enjoyed by the first tier - the US Army, the handsomely paid US shadow army of contractors - and the second tier - Iraqi politicians who spend most of their time in London or Middle Eastern capitals. The overall population are just corralled, humiliated and treated as mere slaves - extras in their own land...Blowback will be perennial: the "sanctions generation" - the angry young men who grew up deprived of everything during the 1990s - will never, ever forget it.
The difficulty for a liberal interventionist (so-called) is that Iraq is the world's worst humanitarian crisis. For the conservative interventionist the problem is that the US [edit: civilian leadership in its lack of planning for post-war conflict] is the cause of this being the world's biggest humanitarian crisis. The lib. interv. get tagged by the pro-Bush types for inconsistency on supporting pulling out of Iraq and entering Darfur. The libs get the cons on the fact that the US military is causing the crisis and radicalizing a generation (including the sanctions generation). The blowback will be perennial.

In the short/medium term the best that can be achieved I think is a re-stabilization (as best as can be got) of the trans-national scene: regional security (Asian NATO). But it is going to be dicey for a while.

Africa is going to increase in violence exponentially in the next decade. The fallout of from the Iraq withdrawal is going to be pretty heavy I'm afraid. Lebanon is de-stabilized. Israel is weakened. Palestinian in-fighting will continue sporadically for some time. Pakistan is wobbly. Afghanistan will be this not fallen, not rising thing for a while. Iraq will be Iraq. Turkey today experienced a suicide bomb. Iran is pushing for the US out of the Gulf and the Saudis and Iranians either cut a detente backdoor or go at it or go at it through proxies (or all of the above).

The largest threat to the system is not (as Hillary Clinton suggests) an Iranian nuke. The largest threat seems to me is a US-Iranian War. Particularly if Iran by then has a nuclear arsenal. Or Musharraf falling to a radicalized elite of course. Or North Korea I guess.

Long term what this points to is the nation-state as unable (inherent to its DNA) to handle these sorts of crises for which it was not designed.

Iraq as Jihadi Training Ground

The Fatah al-Islam fight in Lebanon is likely an outgrowth of the Iraqi conflict. Radicalized in the Iraqi exodus. So argues Francis Fukuyama in this blogginghead with Bob Wright.

The Americans are blaming Syria (of course), but seems the group is more likely connected to viral al-Qaeda Salafi revivalism.

The training group has spread to Afghanistan as we know.

Fly paper theory not exactly working out as planned. In fact the complete opposite. Creating a whirling force that is going to spent out centripetally. Jordan is in the cross-hairs.

And what of Peter Bergen's argument that IEDs could be exploded domestically in the US? Check out this video (Timz, an Iraqi-American Rapper) on youtube. I'm not necessarily endorsing all his views, but you sense in it what Bergen predicts. Nir Rosen too. [Note: not that the artist is advocating violence/terrorism, just that you see the level of rage rising].

Namely that the Iraqis will be the new Palestinians. And that the "they" who will come to fight us back here after US pullout. Namely it will be radicalized Iraqis who will be the ones to come after the US.

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Forgotten War II: More on Afghanistan

For background this Blogginghead divalog between David Corn and Peter Bergen.

Bergen probably the English-speaking world expert on Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda. Extensive traveler in Afghanistan & Pakistan.

One of the key points has been reported elsewhere, that Iraqi open-source jihadis are funneling money to al-Qaeda in Pakistan. Not only have the Taliban learned guerilla style warfare from the Iraqis, Afghan militants are now getting moneys from oil/kidnappings, etc. Suicide bombers, IEDs, these have all been learned from Iraq.

Bergen makes a very chilling hypothesis. That the Taliban may turn a la the FARC in Colombia into essentially a narco-trafficking gang. This seems to me very possible. Particularly given FW I reporting that some "moderate" militant elements might be pulled in, extremist extremists (as it were) leaving completely. Making them perfect candidates for open-source warfare. Which is urban to the core.

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Iraq Brief

Topics Discussed:
1. Iran offensive against US this summer? Story here.
2. US counter-retaliation in the form of black covert ops. (Hat tip: John Robb)
3.New Political Strategy merged to neo-Baker Hamilton agenda. (HT: Sic Semper Tyrannis)

The first story from the Guardian argues that Iran is now linking up with Sunni (even al-Qaeda in Iraq) jihadis along with their traditional alliances among the Shia (including new stronger links with Mahdi Army) in order to pull a massive summer uprising against the Americans, forcing them to withdraw. Juan Cole finds this charge ludicrous.

They know the US political debate and come September a reckoning might come. Barnett refers to this as the veto Iran has always had over US policy in Iraq. Seems possible they are in talks let's say with some Sunni groups in Iraq. There have always been rumors (Michael Ware comes to mind) that the Iranians have their hands in all sides in Iraq. But I don't know about a coordinated attack. Seems if such a thing were to be pulled off it would come from Sadr not the Iranians.

The Iranians are also, so goes this article, forging links with Sunni elements in Afghanistan, something they would have never dreamed of prior to the US declaration of them as in the Axis of Evil--which they now are becoming. Nice self-fulfilling prophecy there. The Iranians were one of the key supporters of the Karzai government. This seems more far-fetched to me (agreeing with Cole). But who the hell knows in the Middle East nowadays. We may be heading to a place where all bets are off.

#2 outlines the US response, which has been to fight a covert war with a covert war. Brian Ross of ABC News reports that:
The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.
According to Ross this means:
Current and former intelligence officials say the approval of the covert action means the Bush administration, for the time being, has decided not to pursue a military option against Iran.
Perhaps. It would represent an in-between position from that of Cheney (who supports direct military intervention) and Rice who supports diplomacy/sanctions. On the other hand it could easily escalate and create a causus belli. As usual in this conflict, the Iranians look like they know the game. They have massively increased according to reports their hunt for nuclear weapons capacity. The current time frame (so goes the article) is 2 years. Although given the record on Iraq, I think that should be taken with a grain of salt. A massive amount of grain. But 2 years is a perfectly timed (coincidence?) to Bush's exit.

#3 New political strategy. Via WAPO.

Here's the plan:
The overarching aim of the plan, which sets goals for the end of this year and the end of 2008, is more political than military: to negotiate settlements between warring factions in Iraq from the national level down to the local level. In essence, it is as much about the political deals needed to defuse a civil war as about the military operations aimed at quelling a complex insurgency, said officials with knowledge of the plan.
Sounds logical. Sounds like something that should have been done 2 or more years back. But then the following:
Finally, the campaign plan aims to purge Iraq's leadership of a small but influential number of officials and commanders whose sectarian and criminal agendas are thwarting U.S. efforts. It recognizes that the Iraqi government is deeply infiltrated by militia and corrupt officials who are "part of the problem" and are maneuvering to kill off opponents, install sectarian allies and otherwise solidify their power for when U.S. troops withdraw, said one person familiar with the plan.
And further:
The plan is also designed to shore up Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, even though some U.S. commanders regard him as beholden to narrow sectarian interests. But they support Maliki for pragmatic as well as political reasons: As pressure mounts in Congress for a troop withdrawal, time lost reorganizing the government could mean losing the war, officials said...The campaign plan upholds Bush's long-term goal of creating a stable and unified Iraq that is a partner against terrorism. Yet because of uncertainty over Maliki's intentions, the plan lowers medium-term expectations for reconciliation in Iraq. Instead, it aims for bargains to curb sectarian violence.
Problematic. This gets to the heart of the matter. With the US engineering a putsch against elements of the Iraqi government (depending on your counting at least second time, possibly third or fourth), how can the continued line of them being a sovereign democratically elected government hold? Particularly with the populace. Maliki as the commanders admit is beholden to narrow sectarian interests. Why would that change? Especially if he knows the US won't pull the plug on him. And who would they substitute? No such US-backed coup government will have the support of the populace seems to me.

Moving to support, logistics for the Iraqi Army as well as Sunni tribes to take on the Salafis, even trying to squeeze some of the most hardline sectarians (easier said than done), working further on the regional security blanket (Sharm el Sheik) and getting the sides to hammer out some sorts of deals. I'm with all this. Again it's Baker-Hamilton, what we should have done when the thing originally came out instead of going for a surge which has just delayed the endgame in my estimation.

But again what to do about Moqtada? Would he qualify as one to be outed from the government? It also still assumes the government actually has control. When the US troops pull back are the Iraqi Troops going to fight for corrupt bureaucrats?

Bush is still locked into the view that the US gets to decide who their government is and what their governing policy should be. This is the central point of why it changed from a liberation force to an occupation. The summer is shaping up to be horrifically bloody.

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