The Week's News
Retired Generals who served in Dubya's War are now airing commercials opposing the war in contested congressional districts - aimed at getting some wishy-washy reeps to shit or get off the pot on Iraq. The ads are hard-hitting, and mark the first time that generals who served in the war are going after BushCo and Neocons.
Meanwhile, the commander of U.S. forces in northern Iraq is not a happy camper. The problem is the Baghdad surge has pushed insurgents and mini-Saddams into neighboring provinces. Operation Whack-a-Mode continues unabated.
Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. "Randy" Mixon also said that the Iraqi government had failed to help the situation in the restive [Diyala] province and that it has been a hindrance at times by failing to support local army and police forces. Diyala borders Baghdad on the east, and violence in the province has grown as U.S. troop levels have been bolstered in the capital. ... The local government is "nonfunctional" and the central government is "ineffective," he said.
It is rare for an officer of Mixon's rank to publicly call for more troops. When Donald H. Rumsfeld was secretary of Defense, there was intense pressure on officers to not make such requests, even privately, according to officers who served in Iraq.
Mixon was withering in his criticism of the Iraqi government, saying it was hamstrung by bureaucracy and compromised by corruption and sectarian discord, making it unable to assist U.S. forces in Diyala.
Its easy to see why Mixon is pissed. While he was talking about local and provincial pols, the Iraqi Parliament is resisting BushCo's energy plan, went against BushCo on the security wall intended to separate Sunnis and Shias, is about to go on a two-month break, and had one session cut short this week when two Sunni lawmakers started throwing haymakers at each. Call it dysfunction junction.
On top of this, an active duty Lt. Colonel publicly criticized the brass in the running of the war. (That criticism didn't occur this week - his article was published three weeks ago - but these incidents only add to the fact that Dubya isn't listening to his generals. If Dubya was listening to his generals, he might actually feel some level of confusion and nuance about how to proceed with the war. No, Dubya is resting happy inside his little bubble.
Back in the capitol, a remarkable meeting occurred Tuesday.
The [Tuesday][T]he meeting between 11 House Republicans, Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, White House political adviser Karl Rove and presidential press secretary Tony Snow was perhaps the clearest sign yet that patience in the party is running out. The meeting, organized by Rep. Charlie Dent (Pa.), one of the co-chairs of the moderate "Tuesday Group," included Reps. Thomas M. Davis III (Va.), Michael N. Castle (Del.), Todd R. Platts (Pa.), Jim Ramstad (Minn.) and Jo Ann Emerson (Mo.).
"It was a very remarkable, candid conversation," Davis said. "People are always saying President Bush is in a bubble. Well, this was our chance, and we took it."
That's really quite amazing, a reep congressman talking to the Washington Post about the "Bush Bubble." And it really appears that bubble was burst - at least for a time. After all, Cheney was in Baghadad - he couldn't protect poor, poor sensitive Dubya.
A number of reeps are now talking about reassessing the Iraq situation in September. That's when General Petraeus gives an assessment. Moderate reeps and other reeps scared shitless about the 2008 elections could start jumping off BushCo's ship. That's less than a Friedman from now.
As for the democrats, they are heaping on the pressure. The odds of Dubya getting a "clean" war spending bill appear dimmer by the day. Senator Clinton is taking a run at de-authorizing congressional approval for the war. The dems likely won't win any specific battle since BushCo does wield the veto pen. However, the dems can skillfully makes the reeps pay a price with a painful series of votes on the war. As the war continues to go down the toilet, the votes will be harder and harder and harder.
As for other news in the capitol, there really isn't any. The Iraq War has completely sucked the oxygen out of any domestic initiatives. The only domestic activity I can see is the continued drip, drip, drip of Republican corruption in Congress and the White House.
Bush's poodle - Tony Blair - is just about history. This can't mean good things for Britain's continued involvement in the war, held together almost completely by the force of Blair's will alone.
Finally, BushCo got a kick in the balls today when the big Central Asian natural gas pipeline will go through Russia - and through Central Asia as BushCo had fervently hoped. This is yet another example where BushCo's ham-handed attempts to increase influence and power drive others away - running.
Maybe this week will be better for BushCo, but I wouldn't put any money on it. Its probably safe to say that BushCo hasn't won a single week politically since the week Dubya put the plan to privatize Social Security on the table.