Saturday, July 22, 2006

No Honor Among Puppets

Via Tennessee Guerrilla Women, Maureen Dowd's column today on the failed foreign policies of the Bush Administration. Snip:
In a twist that illustrated the growing power of Shiites and Iranians, even the Shiite Iraqi prime minister broke with the Bush stance and denounced Israeli attacks on Lebanon. Is there no honor among puppets?

Condi was as cool as ever in the State Department briefing room yesterday, perfectly groomed in a camel-colored suit with an athletic white stripe. Like her boss, she does not show any sign of tension over the fact that all of their schemes to democratize the Middle East ended up creating more fundamentalism, extremism, terrorism and anti-Americanism. Having ginned up the idea that Al Qaeda was state-sponsored terrorism backed by Saddam, now W. and Condi have to contend with the specter of real state-sponsored terrorism.
Meanwhile, back to the subject of Iraq, which this administration is desperately attempting to avoid, looking for cover in Lebanon and Iran, Harper's reports that John Negroponte, the Director of National Intelligence, is preventing a National Intelligence Estimate on the situation in Iraq. There hasn't been one of these reports since 2004 because the administration found that report too pessimistic (even if it has proven accurate). Snip:

A third source, a former CIA officer who served in Iraq, said he had no direct knowledge of Negroponte blocking the NIE but that it jibed with past practice. “The NIE is a crucial document . . . that tells you how to tweak your policy,” he said. “That's hard to do if you don't want to look at it.” He said he had two recent conversations with people in Iraq, one an official at the Ministry of Interior who told him that as of two days ago there were 1,600 bodies piled up at the central morgue in Baghdad. The second conversation, he said, was with an Iraqi general officer who told him, “I never thought I would see my capital like this. It's on fire.”

“[The administration] can call it whatever they want,” said the former CIA officer. “There's a civil war going on in Iraq.”

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