Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ballad of the Sad Jefe

From my article at Raw Story, Pelosi: It's 'sad' Bush is blaming Iraqi insurgent violence on al-Qaeda:

House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters on Wednesday that she feels it is "sad" that President Bush continues to blame Iraqi insurgent violence on al Qaeda.

"My thoughts on the president's representations are well-known," Pelosi said. "The 9/11 Commission dismissed that notion a long time ago and I feel sad that the president is resorting to it again."


Pelosi's statement also followed a press briefing in Baghdad earlier today, where a US military spokesman was unable to state clearly what role al Qaeda plays in Iraq violence. Displaying a series of slides and charts, the spokesman for the multinational forces in Iraq claimed that "since October of 2004, we have now killed or captured over 7,000 al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists."


A journalist asked the spokesman, "You keep saying al Qaeda in Iraq. What proportion of the Sunni resistance do you think al Qaeda in Iraq is responsible for? It's a handy tag, but in reality is it 10 percent, 50 percent of what we would loosely call Sunni resistance or insurgency?"

Caldwell didn't have an answer to the question. "We also, you know, look at that also very closely, try to identify exactly what percentage it is," he said. "What we do know is that al Qaeda in Iraq are the most well-funded, produce the most sensational attacks than any element out there. So that's where we put our predominant effort against."

Also at Raw, Gore: 'I would have heeded 9/11 warnings':

In an interview with GQ Magazine, former Vice President Al Gore - who many Democrats believe should have been determined the winner in the 2000 presidential election against George Bush which the Supreme Court eventually decided - maintained that he would have "heeded the warnings" before the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, although he added that "no one can say that the 9-11 attack wouldn’t have occurred whoever was president."


Gore admitted that "it’s almost too easy to say, 'I would have heeded the warnings,'" but left little doubt that he thought the president hadn't done as much as he should have, when warned by the CIA that bin Laden was determined to attack the Unites States in the summer of 2001.


According to GQ, Gore "practically" began screaming when he spoke of the lack of "accountablity" by the Bush Administration.

"But dammit, whatever happened to the concept of accountability for catastrophic failure?" Gore said. "This administration has been by far the most incompetent, inept, and with more moral cowardice, and obsequiousness to their wealthy contributors, and obliviousness to the public interest of any administration in modern history, and probably in the entire history of the country!"

(hat tip to Luke for the GQ link)

The Telegraph reports that "Senior Pakistani officials are urging Nato countries to accept the Taliban and work towards a new coalition government in Kabul that might exclude the Afghan president Hamid Karzai."

Pakistan's foreign minister, Khurshid Kasuri, has said in private briefings to foreign ministers of some Nato member states that the Taliban are winning the war in Afghanistan and Nato is bound to fail. He has advised against sending more troops.

Western ministers have been stunned. "Kasuri is basically asking Nato to surrender and to negotiate with the Taliban," said one Western official who met the minister recently.

A day before he flying over to Iraq to embed with the troops, military blogger Bill Roggio weighs in on the latest Pakistan embarrassment:

Pakistan continues its slide into darkness as the government attempts to appeases the Taliban. While the Chingai al-Qaeda training camp air stike, which killed 80 Taliban, gave some hope that the Pakistani government may change its policy of appeasement to the Taliban, the follow up suicide bombing at the Dargai Army base, which killed 45 recruits, sent a message to the Pakistani government and military. Pakistan has ceased to aggressively or passively fight the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the tribal areas, essentially ceding the region to the terrorists.


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