Thursday, November 02, 2006

Morning News Roundup (02 November)

A short one today as I've got a heavy work schedule...

Midterm Madness
  • From today's must-read lead NYTimes editorial:
    In Mr. Bush’s world, America is making real progress in Iraq. In the real world, as Michael Gordon reported in yesterday’s Times, the index that generals use to track developments shows an inexorable slide toward chaos. In Mr. Bush’s world, his administration is marching arm in arm with Iraqi officials committed to democracy and to staving off civil war. In the real world, the prime minister of Iraq orders the removal of American checkpoints in Baghdad and abets the sectarian militias that are slicing and dicing their country.

    In Mr. Bush’s world, there are only two kinds of Americans: those who are against terrorism, and those who somehow are all right with it. Some Americans want to win in Iraq and some don’t. There are Americans who support the troops and Americans who don’t support the troops. And at the root of it all is the hideously damaging fantasy that there is a gulf between Americans who love their country and those who question his leadership.
    But when candidates for lower office make their opponents out to be friends of Osama bin Laden, or try to turn a minor gaffe into a near felony, that’s just depressing. When the president of the United States gleefully bathes in the muck to divide Americans into those who love their country and those who don’t, it is destructive to the fabric of the nation he is supposed to be leading.

  • And another stellar Special Comment from Keith Olbermann (downloadable video and transcript available via Crooks and Liars; hat tip to Raw Story for YouTube vid):
    So now John Kerry has apologized to the troops; apologized for the Republicans' deliberate distortions.

    Thus the President will now begin the apologies he owes our troops, right?

    This President must apologize to the troops — for having suggested, six weeks ago, that the chaos in Iraq, the death and the carnage, the slaughtered Iraqi civilians and the dead American service personnel, will, to history, quote "look like just a comma."

    This President must apologize to the troops — because the intelligence he claims led us into Iraq proved to be undeniably and irredeemably wrong.

    This President must apologize to the troops — for having laughed about the failure of that intelligence, at a banquet, while our troops were in harm's way.


    We will not receive them, of course.

    This President never apologizes.

BushCo's Wars
  • At least 17 people were killed in car bombings, mortar attacks and roadside explosions in Baghdad on Wednesday, as the sounds of gunfights and explosions reverberated through the capital for much of the day.

    In Sadr City, a Shiite Muslim slum in eastern Baghdad, life returned to normal a day after U.S. and Iraqi checkpoints were removed to allow the free flow of traffic and a strike was lifted to permit residents to reopen shops and return to jobs and classrooms. [WaPo]

  • In a continued effort to demonstrate their independence from Washington, Iraqi Shiites are pressing a fresh set of conditions on their American supporters, asking for changes in the Iraqi government’s relationship with the United States military. In a move that seemed designed more to placate Iraq’s Shiite majority than to influence the broader management of the war, Iraqi leaders have drawn up a set of changes to a United Nations agreement that provides some of the legal basis for American troops here.
    Iraqi leaders say they cannot accept a continuation of the United Nations agreement, which gives the United States and 27 other countries “the authority to take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq” without attaching some conditions to the original agreement. They say they want more control over their military to protect vulnerable areas from insurgent attacks.

    A common view among American officers in the field, though, is that Iraqi troops, more than three years after the American effort to rebuild the Iraqi forces began, are years away from being able to fight the war on their own. [NYTimes]

Domestic Potpourri
  • This week, the US Episcopal Church installs a woman as "chief pastor" - the first to lead a national church in the five-century history of the global Anglican denomination. Katharine Jefferts Schori - oceanographer, pilot, professor, mother, priest - will be invested as presiding bishop in a stately ceremony at Washington National Cathedral on Nov. 4.

    Although most Episcopalians are eagerly anticipating the upcoming ceremony, it comes as the church grapples with history of another sort - the most troubled moment in Anglicanism. A rift over actions of the US church, especially in regard to homosexuality, has grown into a genuine threat of schism. [CSM]

[ posted with ecto ]


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