Friday, January 05, 2007

Iraq roundup: needed adults, Jamilgate and new victims

Just a quick round up on Iraq as the there are some interesting things swirling about. Juan Cole has some upbeat news tied to the new leadership under Gates.

Bush is bringing in Ryan Crocker, a distinguished career foreign service officer, as the new US ambassador to Iraq. And Gen. David Petraeus will replace Gen. Casey as top ground commander in Iraq. Zalmay Khalilzad, the outgoing ambassador to Iraq, will go as ambassador to the United Nations, replacing the lying blowhard John Bolton.

I'm stricken with a case of the "what ifs" and "if onlys"! What if Gates had been at the Pentagon in 2003 and Petraeus had been in charge of the US military in Iraq and Crocker had been there instead of Paul Bremer? These are competent professionals who know what they are doing. Gates is clear-sighted enough to tell Congress that the US is not winning in Iraq, unlike his smooth-talking, arrogant and flighty predecessor. Petraeus is among the real experts on counter-insurgency, and did a fine job of making friends and mending fences when he was in charge of Mosul. Crocker has been ambassador to Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon and Pakistan, and knows the region intimately (as does Khalilzad). Bremer had been ambassador to . . . Holland. Despite all the talk of the resurgence of the Neoconservatives with t
heir "surge" (actually ramped up occupation) plan, this team is the farthest from Neoconservative desires that you could possibly get.
Imagine that, hiring regional expertise? and don't forget the surge - rather bump.

* I just read this about another new apointee - Admiral William J. Fallon (this could be scary)


Jamilgate?? What the hell? Well there has been a swelling in the right's blog ranks spearheaded by the shrill Michelle Malkin over an AP source - a man named Jamil Hussein (an Iraqi police officer). He has been cited as a single source by the AP on various killing attributed to the U.S. military. Malkin is supposedly going to Iraq to uncover the "conspiracy" of Jamilgate and bring justice to the AP for publishing insurgent propaganda. Well the AP apparently is vindicated.
No surprise. Of course he is losing his job now and will probably meet with an unattractive fate as a leaker of information but at least Michelle's curiosity can be quenched once and for all. Let's hope Malkin actually goes to Iraq and gets on the wrongside of some Blackwater mercenary on a Greenzone bender. The General has the usual funny take and some links to the right.

Remember that broadcast hanging a few days back by Rupert Murdoch and friends? Well sadly some kids have been paying attention. The second immitation death has occurred. The fine print reads: Saddam a martyr for Islam. Well done gang!!!

images: Huff Post, Jesus' General

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