High stakes blame game

August 30, 2007 by barbara

barbara writes

Government Accountability Office. (sardonic laughter) The mother of all oxymorons for the past 6+ years. But the GAO is Congress’ baby.

Apparently an anonymous someone in the bowels of government leaked the GAO’s scathing report on the status of Iraq in advance of its release to Congress next week. “Someone” seemed to think the White House might doctor it. I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you. Such cynicism. After all, the Defense Department is reviewing the report, and their integrity is above reproach, is it not?

According to the Washington Post, the GAO report runs starkly counter to the partly sunny Petraeus/Crocker forecast that will follow in September. (Read the whole Post article here.)

Highlights from the outed GAO report:

  • Of eighteen benchmarks (mostly security), three have been met, 13 have not, and two have been partially met. (Why does this remind me of No Child Left Behind?)
  • One of eight political benchmarks has been met: protecting the rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi legislature.
  • Fewer attacks against U.S. forces, but Iraqi civilians are still being slaughtered in large numbers.
  • “Capabilities of Iraqi security forces have not improved.”
  • “Key legislation has not been passed, violence remains high.”
  • Legislation on constitutional reform, new oil laws and de-Baathification are all failures.
  • Prospects for additional progress in reaching benchmarks have been FUBAR’d by walkout of nearly half of Iraqi Cabinet members.
  • WH says there’s been a slight decline in army units capable of operating independently; GAO says number has dropped from ten to six. >>Read on.

It appears there’s a spot of trouble in BushCo’s current favorite occupied nation. But be assured it’s not the fault of BushCo. A WH spokesman clarified that point, saying, “While we’ve all seen progress in some areas, especially on the security front, it’s not surprising the GAO would make this assessment, given the difficult congressionally mandated measurement they had to follow.”

So. Failure in Iraq is being assigned to Congress and to the beleaguered Nouri al Maliki (competing with Scooter Libby for Time Magazine’s Fall-Guy of the Year).

Maliki is clearly fed up and rising with the United States. Who can blame him? My favorite source, McClatchy Newspapers, interviewed Maliki earlier this week in Baghdad, that toddling town. Near as I can figure out, the U.S. destabilization of Iraq now puts that country at our mercy. Maliki said there is now a need for Americans to stay there. “When the security situation becomes stable, the need will no longer be there.” Well, that’s a relief. No it’s not! See GAO report on unmet benchmarks.

Maliki says he’s going to stay the course. “I will not abandon my legal and legitimate responsibility in serving Iraq. Neither do I see any legitimate patriotic reason to resign.” McClatchy says Maliki portrays himself “as an Iraqi nationalist besieged by political self-interest.” Sounds familiar. And he says that Americans try to take credit for his accomplishments. That’s a subjective assessment that probably can (and will) be argued either way.

I confess that my knowledge about Things Iraq is not as deep nor as broad as that of the punditry. I further confess that my conditioned recoil to things BushCo and to Hillary Clinton must be factored in here. That said, I find it arrogant and appalling that BushCo and others are pressing for Maliki’s political demise. We don’t have the right to do that. We have created a chaotic hell in Maliki’s country. Our “leadership” and military have exacerbated that chaos. Maliki’s people chose him to do his job. Maybe he’s not the best man for it. We know a lot about that in this country. But it’s his country, not ours. It’s their oil, not ours. It’s their people dying in numbers vastly greater than ours.

If we withdraw our military, pump even a small portion of the open-faucet output now funding Iraq for recovery from the American plague, we would be doing the honorable and right thing and we’d be dollars ahead. Which, of course, means we would fund things like U.S. healthcare, education, bridges and such. And it would be forbidden to ever again award a no-bid contract to an American gouger. Provide advisors? Sure, why not? They’re plentiful.

So – how about we get the hell out of there. Let Maliki handle his country and his people. And don’t even think about waging war on Iran. Is that so much to ask?

Posted in


perhansa (not verified) | August 30, 2007 - 6:03pm

I suggest the next Bush to serve as a national leader does so in Iraq, under exile.

It's probably just delusion kicking in but it looks as though the seams in OPERATION DELUSION BUSH are coming undone. Perhaps he's finally managed to scare the bejesus out of some insiders that still have a thread of rationality and commitment to this Great Experiment to start to try and wake up the MSM and the Democratic party through blantant leaks. The spin doctors are even starting to look confused by their own spin. Silly, hardly captures their most frequent justifications.

Maybe I spent too much time away fishing on a MN lake the past week and thinking: Oh the tangled webs we weave when first we ...deceive...deceive...deceive...

Once the rotting structure falls the question is: What now? Kerosene is right that the Dems don't seem anymore rightful heirs than the blow-me-in-the-bathroom-values-party (as opposed to in-the-Oval-Office). BIG DIFFERENCE there--anybody see it?

I guess Sen. Craig willl be going to a Christian deprogramming camp soon like good-ol Teddy Bear.

What would we have to blog about without these characters? Iraq? New Orleans? Abu Ghraib? Guantanamo? WireTapping? Deficit Spending? Jobs? Global Climate Change? Justice Department? Afghanistan? Osama? Iran?

Anybody know if the Brit wore undies today? How many prior suicide attempts has OW tried?

Pass the aspirin...and the Entertainment Weekly.


barbara aka babs (not verified) | August 30, 2007 - 9:03pm

Hey, Perhansa, welcome back. Been missin' you.

Far as I'm concerned, the whole passle of faux patrician Bushes are candidates for exile. Napoleon went to the island of Elba (for a while), so if not Baghdad for Bushes, then surely Guantanamo qualifies.

So much for wishful thinking.

Who are the rightful heirs? This inquiring mind wants to know. And the companion question is, "Can the rightful heirs be elected?" I do think we need to get IRV in place sooner than possible. But that's not going to solve the 2008 problem(s), is it?

By the way, there is no such thing as too much time fishing on a MN lake. Best thinking locale aside from the john, and now we must worry about unwanted footsie there.

I think Larry Craig is disgusting. But his hypocrisy is pretty much SOP for a Bush Republican. He's this week's poster guy for lost moral compass. That said, I'm sick of this story. Way. Too. Much. Coverage.

We used to kid around that the MN state motto (I think it's a motto), L'Etoile du Nord meant toilet of the north. Now everyone knows it.

Did I say welcome back?


susan | August 30, 2007 - 10:53pm

Just a little comment on l'affaire du Toilette and Larry Craig. I know, the GAO report is what I ought to be thinking and writing about. And I am. Sort of. In fact, someone should publish a time line of the Bush years, no, limit that to the Bush-in-Iraq years, and then run along side of it the GAO reports, because the GAO would be a fairly steady through-line, with the flaming bullshit of the Bush administration piled on top of it. From the git-go, the GAO has contradicted just about everything the Pentagon and Bushco have been telling us about "progress" in Iraq. It's as if the GAO compass registers true north, while the Bushco compass spins and round and round and leads us in ever widening circles deeper into the swamp.
But let's get back to Larry Craig and hypocrisy. Does anyone else find it slimey that Norm Coleman, of all people, is calling for Sen.Tapping-in-the-Toilet to resign, but that Sen. David Vitter, another family values sort of Repub who was getting "erotic massages" from a prostitute, is back at work? Is there an ever-so-slight homophobic component here? Pay a woman for sex -- boys will be boys. Send cryptic hand signals under a bathroom stall to, gasp, a man -- resign you pervert.
Oh I tell you, the country is in good hands.


barbara | August 31, 2007 - 7:38am

Something strange happens to some (most?) people who are elected to political office. No, not that kind of strange. That's the perversion plethora thingie.

Apparently there is something about political power that moves some folks into an altered state of mind wherein one rises above and beyond mere mortals. Horrible to watch it take hold of even the best-intentioned pols. Conversation is replaced with sound bites. Even the short ones walk taller than the rest, in their own minds. And somehow, the laws and mores of society need not be observed.

Why in the name of the Toxic Texan's deity would a United States senator from troll for sex in a public bathroom? Why in the world would someone so arrogant about his position in Congress (and I'm not referring to the wide stance) think he would be invisible in Minnesota? Oh. Well, he almost was, wasn't he? I guess I don't understand the power of perversion.

As noted by Susan, why in the world would Norm Coleman, whose personal life ought not be an open book (even though parts of it are) attract attention to himself by grandstanding about Larry Craig's peccadillos? Oh. That's what he does. Routinely. The self-appointed, situational guardian of family values and fidelity in the toilet of the north and elsewhere. Sucking up to the conservatives (ewwww). Pathetique.

Oh, I tell you, the country is in good feet.


paul miller (not verified) | August 31, 2007 - 7:46am

anybody catch bush's appearance at the charter school in New Orleans? Bush could barely get the African American prop kids to acknowledge his existence, Bush had to ask them to get a picture, the only people bush has any legitimacey with is congress, like when he asks for the next 50 billion, with a B, for Iraq, like Depleted Uranium the half life of this disaster of an administration is almost infinite


susan | August 31, 2007 - 11:15am

Got a link to that Paul? You-tube? I'd love to see it.
I just read that Bush is telling us today that he has confidence in the economy. This is to quell financial jitters and to keep the stock-market set's ulcers from burning through their guts. But does the confidence of one George W. Bush mean anything to anyone any more? Even to those in Congress, as Paul says?
And back to Larry Craig for a minute. (His last minute as a senator, sources say.) The transcript of his 8 minute exchange with a Minneapolis airport cop is not exactly police work at its finest. But would anyone who (while "in-stalled") unknowingly taps his foot, assumes a "wide stance", picks up stray tissues off the floor, and gets busted for lewd behavior, plead guilty? If you've ever been mistakenly accused of say, shoplifting, you may be mortified and embarassed and quickly establish your innocence, but you don't plead guilty so you can hurry on home.
So one has to assume there's been a pattern of past behavior here. And while I'm not a fan of hot toilet stall sex, I don't really believe in monitoring the sex lives of consenting adults. But those who are in a positition to pass laws governing the sex lives of others, and who make political hay proclaiming their opposition to gay rights, while playing footsy with strangers on the toilet -- ewww. It's also telling that Larry Craig keeps denying that he's gay, as if that's the offense he's charged with. What part of lewd don't you get?


paul miller (not verified) | August 31, 2007 - 1:45pm

i noticed that Lar does not only say he's not gay but that he has never been gay, is there a distinction? In Donald Rumsfeldese: formerly gay but not now gay, formerly not gay but now gay, formerly gay and now gay, formerly not gay and not now gay, phew

can't find the link - I'm sure it was on the CSPAN website but couldn't track it down - picture some dumbass cracker trying to fit in with inner city kids and you pretty have the picture though you can't really believe how bad it can be unless you see it with your own eyes


barbara aka babs (not verified) | August 31, 2007 - 2:31pm

I'm guessing Larry Craig went through the three-week Ted Haggard homosexuality reversal clinic and now he's all finished with that gay thing. Halleluia! Praise Jesus! Another sinner finds salvation. Go thee and stand not wide again, brother. Amen and amen.