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December 07, 2006



DO you suppose that this explains Cheney's last visit to the Saudis..

Rick Ballard


My speculation is that Cheney was informing the KSA that Sadr was going to be removed (hopefully killed). The KSA had been making noises about funding a "Save the Sunni" campaign. The President's remarks after meeting with Hakim (who is just as scummy as Sadr) contained two or three references getting rid of "murderers". Sadr still has an open warrant for murder floating around somewhere in Baghdad.

If the KSA funds a 'Save the Sunni' campaign then there will be no question about civil war in Iraq. The Sunni sheiks who gave their solemn muslim oaths (equivalent in value to a years supply of camel dung) about hunting al Queada in order to gain aacceptance for raising a stronger Sunni militia are quite capable of turning that militia against the Baghdad government in the twinkling of a madman's eye.

It's odd that Sadr's shut down of the Iraqi legislature hasn't received wider reporting.


Hmm. Interesting. I am certain that Cheney knew the ISG finding and fly there to inform the King ahead of time. If they talked about Sadr as you suggest that's a bonus..Undoubtedly the issue of the Sadr militia arose..It may well be that they discusses what the President and the Kind of Jordan planned to raise with Maliki.

BTW Chalabi has returned to Iraq and is now in Hariri unlike most of the pansies the CIA and DoS supported.


**Flew, not fly****


Saudis! And you morons taunted Michael Moore.


Kind of surprising Baker could release his liplock on the sheiks' cheeks long enough to put this in the report.


Stan, Mikey is a liar and an idiot. If you're an adherent of his, you're the maroon. (Or is that Mooreon?)


We didn't have to taunt Michael Moore. He taunted himself to discredibility faster than the speed of a second.


But I want Victory! How can I have Victory if They want victory, and those Other Guys want victory also? What am I not understanding here?

-- GWB


Is there no country in the Middle East that we can trust? I like the prognosis for Sadr however and hope that Iraq can survive the nationalistic tribal fight they are engaging in at present.


Iraq and WMD:


"But I want Victory! How can I have Victory if They want victory, and those Other Guys want victory also? What am I not understanding here?

-- GWB"

If you don't play sports, you don't understand why both sides want victory. I don't have a problem with GWB's quote.


ahhh...but lurker - remember the left is into leveling the playing field for everyone. No more tag on the playground because somebody has to be "it". Sad


In the end, I think we are seeing an attempt to make a grand deal on Middle East Peace. If it fails we are at the beginning of a long manuever that will end with us siding with the Sunnis. I think Cheney went there to let the Saudis know it. Bush's embrace of Maliki was a "Good job, Brownie" moment. Maliki and his government probably don't have much time left.

We don't have the national will or the resources to impose a settlement and everybody knows it. As cynical as it may be, our best hope here, over the long run, is to pick a winner and deal with the consequences of that mess later. In the meantime, all of the potential players in the Civil War will have time to decide if that is what they really want,


But I want Victory! How can I have Victory if They want victory, and those Other Guys want victory also? What am I not understanding here?

Is that a quote? If so, would you mind linking to it so I can read it in context?


Sue, I'd lay odds that it's one of those made-up quotes which the BDS-afflicted are so fond of inventing and then ridiculing as if the person who looks ridiculous is Bush. It's really kind of creepy -- sort of like watching the schizophrenic on the park bench having a shouted argument with the voices in his head...


Institute for Peace and Congress had a deal to back off if Bush went with ISG, which institute for peace created. So, all they want is a building and everybody wants to know how much CIA( and CIA operations officers) was there because of Plame and the intelligence committee and Pelosi avoiding the two dems who were there for seven and three years because of all the mistakes they made listening to Plame complaints about standard intelligence. Like the intelligence committee, it looks like we're all about to get used for vindication again by Plames, through Congress, and Bush-who is suddenly having second thoughts.

I don't think he wants to sit by and watch all this go into the future. Maybe the bill for the building is a mistake? Maybe not what it represents in vindication of a few at CIA, but what it does not represent as the Iraq war is wound down by prior agreement between Congress and Bush.


Sue, I'd lay odds that it's one of those made-up quotes which the BDS-afflicted are so fond of inventing and then ridiculing as if the person who looks ridiculous is Bush.

A quick search of google produced nothing. I had someone at another site give 2 direct quotes that were attributed to Bush. The "" symbols were used. When I questioned where Bush made the statements, I was pointed to an op-ed that told you what Bush 'meant' when he said something else entirely.


TM: You really need to turn up the volume the irony!!

We need to listen to the ISG to learn that Saudi "private citizens" are funding terrorists? (Where, oh where, are the AP's irony quotes in their article?)

I guess Mark Steyn is correct in his determination that the AP has sided with the enemies of the US.

The "private citizens" funding the "Sunni insurgency" are members of the royal family that rules the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Just as the wife of the former Saudi ambassador to the US gave monies to a couple (one, two?) of the 9/11 terrorists, IIRC.

You can't make up these Captain Renault--from Casablanca--scenes, anymore!


--turn up the volume**on**the irony--

Carol Herman

Bob Woodward's STATE OF DENIAL, paints a broad picture that Bush thought the sunni's would fund the "takeover" stage. And, not the American taxpayers.

Chalabi, was CIA supported. And, had goons trained. And, WHILE STILL ON WAR FOOTING (in the first three weeks it to took "get" Saddam), Chalabi was FLOWN IN on a C-130 transport. Wearing a black Bush hat. And, black shirt. And, he immediately went about LOOTING and shooting people on his "revenge list."

Since all of this information is now out there, I suppose (given the horrid reception Baker's "fruit salad" got), there's an attempt to fix some of this crap up.

WHile, today, British and Dutch troops went into sunni terroritory, in the south. And, on maneuvers, killed or arrested 2,000 sunni terrorists.


But Bush #43, often called "light in the shoes," may, in fact, have to back peddle. Not quite "reverse." And, until WE deal with the Saudis, nothing good comes ahead.

I am reading Mark Steyn's AMERICA ALONE. And, about page 160. He NAILS the problem that Bush has allowed the Saudis to control the situation in Iraq! As to the egyptians, who also get our BILLIONS, he has a funny line: "We get nothing from the egyptians in return, unless you want to count Mohammed Atta coming in through the window."

Bush #43 is not the kind of captain that would go "down with the ship." And, all he will do is try to show he is non-aligned.

He also now realizes it's PERSONAL. He's not much liked with a majority of Americans. And, the GOP tent is shrinking. THere's not enough "useful idiots" to keep the old game,going.


Ha, I can't believe you guys took that "quote" seriously, humorless might be the descriptor that comes to mind....


I think it was the "-- GWB" that threw us.


I'll bet there IS some funding going in to help the sunni insurgents but that bit about truckloads of cash and other stuff is just AP reporting what their dubious sources say.

In fact, it sounds like gossip and conspiracy mongering from the shia though I don't doubt some funding is occurring.


Look, we're on the SHIA side in this mess. The problem is that the shia militia are killing any sunni they run across whether they're insurgents or not.

The simple fact is that the shia have taken matters into their own hands because they don't trust either their government nor the Americans to do the job.

I'm not excusing them, just explaining them. Well one part of a very complex explanation I'm sure.

Rick Ballard

The Kurds are Sunni and they remain the best bet. Badrists killing Sadrists is a good thing and Sadrists killing Arab Sunnis is a good thing and Sunnis killing other muslims is a good thing.

Kurds killing the survivors is a very good thing.

There isn't any real downside as long as the Sunni Arabs get killed disproportionately. The best ones to kill would be Saudi princes but they're pretty well protected. By us.

Don't let any cultural bias affect scorekeeping. This is the traditional muslim way of settling differences and the important thing is to keep all sides well armed and hard at work.

That will work out for the best in the end.

I think style points should be awarded for nailing mullahs or imams but others may differ.


So, Rick, you're for scorched earth..even if our role is simply good intentioned and not the scortched earthers. Hmmm..Works for me:Don't mess with the USA, they'll overrun your country and then send in do-gooders who'll be so bad at it that the place is a shambles when they leave.(Shows the value of modern warfare combined with diplomatic (lamebrain Bremer)and legalistic mushy thinking.)

Rick Ballard


Scorched earth is the muslim way. I'm for achieving an understanding of what taqiya and hudna and inshallah mean in a 7th century context. Everyone needs to recognize the values that Mohammad embraced and articulated along with the absolute fact that the Koran is unchangeable. Resolution of minor theological differences within islam requires a winner to dictate to a loser. To anyone in the West, the difference between the two is minuscule but if they're willing to die for slavery, who are we to stand in their way?

The main thing is to remember the Western concept of a "fair fight" and to make sure that the minority is very well armed.

If the fight extends to Iran and the KSA, well, I'm sure that allah will lend a hand to whomever he deigns most deserving.

I'm rooting for the Kurds, at the moment, but if they gain the ascendancy then I'll switch.

The main thing is that each side do its very utmost to achieve supremacy by all the means allowed within the common "ethical" structure - that gives them a pretty wide latitude, like from 0-360.


HEH--You'll forgive me but however you describe your motives, to me it still sounds like a diabolically clever way to scare the bejeebers out of everyone in the ME--and without turning the place to glass or to Lidice after Lidice.


"America:We'll kill you with kindness."

Rick Ballard


It's very important that we clarify that we will act only according to the precepts embodied in the koran. We should act strictly in a manner that is consonant with the beliefs and precepts of the indigenous population.

I would shorten your statement of intent by two words. Brevity, etc...


Glad to see you're returning to your old self, Rick. I've missed you.

shaman ∞

Clarice sez; America: We'll kill you with kindness."

Or with shock and awe,or Abu Gharib,or with unannounced midnight raids into your house,and with many other gun to your head tactics.

Wake up Lady,and see what's being done in your name.


As to Iran, a sharp reader at the Corner picked up this bit of idiocy:

Mr. Lowry:

There's an interesting tidbit in the ISG report which no one seems to be mentioning. The report says:

"Iran has provided arms, financial support, and training for Shiite militias within Iraq, as well as political support for Shia parties. There are also reports that Iran has supplied improvised explosive devices to groups—including Sunni Arab insurgents—that attack U.S. forces."

The disconnect here is fascinating. The ISG here states two facts: (A) that Iran is training and supporting Shia militias and (B) that Iran is probably arming Sunni insurgents, then seemingly skips over the fact that these groups are essentially fighting each other (or perhaps they assume that Iran is so naive as not to suspect that the Sunni insurgents they're arming are fighting the Shia militias they're training, which I doubt), and then fails to connect them. This should have been a red flag to the ISG that Iran's goal is the destabilization of Iraq and the region, else why would they be arming both sides. Yet the ISG then states:

" Despite the well -known differences between many of these countries, they all share an interest in avoiding the horrific consequences that would flow from a chaotic Iraq, particularly a humanitarian catastrophe and regional destabilization."

Just thought you'd be interested to know that the ISG report contains evidence so contrary to it's working assumption re: Iranian intentions.


--Glad to see you're returning to your old self, Rick. I've missed you.

Posted by: clarice | December 08, 2006 at 08:49 PM--


Soylent red

As the sun began to set over the low skyline of Sadr City, the echoes of the muezzin from the nearby mosque drowned out the sounds of gunfire. During this lull in the violence, as the faithful began to pray, a lone figure moved stealthily through the lengthening shadows of the slum's narrow streets and alleys. The man made his way through the winding urban maze confidently, pausing only briefly at various intersections to be sure he wasn't being followed, then moving quickly on.

Upon reaching a particular doorway, the figure entered wordlessly into the gloomy interior. Staying in the archway framing the inside of the doorway, the man scanned the room as his eyes adjusted to the lower light of kerosene lamps. The power to the neighborhood had been shut off recently in retaliation for a series of sniper attacks near the edge of the district, and kerosene was the only alternative available. Inside the halo of stinking, oily light, a group of young Iraqi men were rolling up their prayer rugs. Upon the entrance of the stranger, a sinewy young man, perhaps just past his twenty-second birthday, angrily stood and addressed him in gutteral Iraqi vernacular Arabic.

"Ismak eih? Who are you? How dare you disturb us? Imshi, imshi! Go away!"

A low chuckle rose from the man in the shadows, who strode past the young man into the light while unwrapping the keffiyeh covering his face. "You know who I am," the Bald Man said softly in flawless Arabic as he turned to face the impertinent young man. "And I, of course, will remember exactly who you are."

Upon revelation of the stranger's identity, the room erupted in salaams, which the Bald Man ignored. The tension of the group was palpable as he brushed dust off of his khaki field coat with a pair of black lambskin gloves. Overcoming almost visible terror, the young man quickly began to stammer his apology. "Excellency, please afwan, excuse me, I did not know..."

The sentence would never be finished. The Bald Man sharply struck the young man across the face with his gloves, snapping the man's head to one side and raising the beginnings of a deep bruise in his dark skin. At this, a young boy of seven or eight hurried to the Bald Man and took his hand, looking up and tugging and the sleeve of the khaki coat. Regarding the shrinking young man one last time, the Bald Man turned and quietly told the boy, "Take me to them."

The young boy led the Bald Man through a series of interior corridors to the back of the building. At the end of the last hallway, a door led to an elongated rectangular room, opening through French doors on one of the long sides into a lush courtyard and the cool Iraqi evening. Centered on the doors was a raised wooden platform sporting a low table and a thick bed of ornate satin cushions. It was from this platform that a half dozen older Iraqi men peered through the tobacco smoke and odor of strong black tea into the darkness from which the Bald Man emerged.

"Gentlemen. I have just been informed that the Principles are prepared to deliver from their warehouses in Riyadh. I trust you all have secured means of payment," the Bald Man said as he strode into the room and took his place around the table. "I am to collect for the first shipment tonight. Payment for any subsequent shipments will be your responsibility. You may make arrangements with Suleiman the Kuwaiti as usual."

A general murmur of low Arabic conversation started as a boy poured the Bald Man a glass of hot tea. One of the older Iraqis, a Kurd, made a hissing sound and the conversation abruptly stopped. "Of course, brother, we accept this contract," the Kurd began, "but we are concerned about it's...durability. We do not understand why you would make such a contract with us in light of the last four years."

The Bald Man stirred a sugar cube into the hot dark liquid and sighed. Fools, he thought. Why must he always expostulate every detail of every plan? Sometimes he felt like the protagonist in a poorly written conspiracy thriller. Alas, he mused, his life had always been this way. There was no logical reason to believe that the men around the table were any less of simpletons than the political elite back in the States.

" I should think that the events of the last several months would be proof enough of our commitment, but I will explain again so that we are all clear on our individual responsibilities," the Bald Man said as he loaded a thick wad of imported Turkish tobacco into the water pipe near his right elbow, placed a coal from the brazier into the bowl, and took a long gurgling draw of smoke. As he exhaled a series of perfect rings as he continued, to the rapt attention of all present.

"We are winding down our occupation of your country, now that the oil producing infrastructure has been repaired. That was, of course, our primary objective here. As you are all aware, the Principles–the men I work for, are interested in maximizing their profit from their venture in your country. Nothing lasts forever you know. Now that oil production has been stabilized, new revenue streams need to be established, as well as new alliances."

"But in view of the necessity for a continuing relationship between Houston and Iraq, we must determine who will lead Iraq's future. In deference to your, uh, cultural and religious viewpoints, coalition government is strictly unthinkable. Thus the Principles and you gentlemen, as leaders of the respective interested parties, have cause to make a deal. With all of your new found oil revenue flowing into the country, not to mention narco-trafficking with our Afghan partners, there is plenty of money for everyone to make a play for ultimate power."

"The Principles' position on this is quite clear: We do not take sides. We wish only to extract our investment and profit from Iraq in the most expeditious way possible. Oil transactions are easy to track. Illicit weapons sales–much less so. As long as payment is timely and full, we will uphold our end of the bargain. And for what it's worth, The Boss has promised significant use of his resources for delivery."

At this last statement, low conversation again erupted, punctuated with various phonetic variants of "Boosh" and "Cheenee". As the volume of the conversation rose, the Bald Man smoked quiescently and sipped tea. Finally he interrupted with a sharp, "Bass! BASS! Enough!" The group was quiet as a gray haired Shiite man, dressed in the traditional garb of a mullah, spoke.

"This is all well while your Bush is in power. But your democracy will not allow him to be in power forever. What of our agreement when 2008 comes?"

The Bald Man roared with laughter. "Sir, you really do not understand American politics. Even in the event that The Boss's party loses in 2008 and the agreement has to be adjusted, the Democrat Party will never stand for civil war. Honestly, do you think that a major oil producer like Iraq would be any less a priority than a bunch of skinny khat-gnoshers in Sudan? Please. The guilt from invading your country should be enough to drive Hollywood to fund the next fifty years of power struggle. The only difference is that rather than being pushed out of the back of U.S. Humvees, your shipments will be made through our people in U.S.AID in crates marked "Canned Fruit Cocktail! And, of course, we are currently in the process of reviewing our options on, mmm...delaying the 2008 elections for a period of time."

With this last statement, the Bald Man made a clucking sound and a nearby Iraqi emerged from the shadows and produced a medium-sized aluminum briefcase. Placing the briefcase on the cushion beside him, the Bald Man returned his attention to the chattering group and said quietly, "And now there is the small matter of payment..." Each of the men around the table produced small velvet bags containing rough DeBeers blood diamonds and handed them to the Bald Man. After inspecting each pouch and placing it in the briefcase, the Bald Man handcuffed it to his wrist and snapped it shut. He rose from the cushion, raised his glass of tea and said to the group, "To Allah's chosen leadership of Iraq, whomever that may be." He then turned and walked toward the door.

Before he had reached the edge of the circle of kerosene light, the Bald Man turned and addressed the Kurd. "I'd like to take the boy, Mohammed. The Principles are looking for new subjects for The Program," referring to the young boy who had led him into the room and was waiting nearby. "Will that be a problem?" The Kurd looked down, drew a long breath, and nodded his consent.

"Excellent!" the Bald Man said as he extended his hand for the boy to take. "You've made an excellent choice for your son's education. Look what The Program did for me!" And with that, left the room and led the boy back through the building.

Upon reaching the front room and readjusting his keffiyeh, the Bald Man nodded to a burly Iraqi in the corner. Quickly and wordlessly the large man moved across the room to the young man who the Bald Man had stuck earlier. As the young man reached for a Kalishnikov resting against a nearby wall, the larger Iraqi deftly grabbed him and broke his neck, letting his limp body and the rifle slide to the floor.

As the young boy looked up through eyes welling with tears, the Bald Man removed a small paper bag from his pocket and led the boy out the door. They walked down the alley, silently for a time, until the Bald Man patted the boy on the head and whispered quietly, "Look here son, Uncle Turdblossom bought you some dates..."

Soylent Red

And you all wondered what he'd been up to lately...

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