Saturday, May 22, 2004
Muqtada has failed. The Mahdi Army has left Karbala. They have slinked out without putting up much resistance, granting the Americans a victory of sorts. All that remains is the wrapup. Al-Sadr's support is now confined to Najaf and Sadr City in Baghdad.
Sistani's triumph is now complete. His deal with the Americans can now move to the political theater, with the handover scheduled for June 30th. For al-Sadr, his rebellion is over. The Shi'a heirarchy will never forgive him for going out of turn, currying favor with the Ayatollahs in Teheran, and sullying the family name of his father, a Grand Ayatollah of some repute who was assassinated by the Mukhabarat in 1999.
.... by Adrian Woolridge that can be found in this week's Weekly Standard. Titled The Michael Moore Conservatives, it outlines just how far the Tory Party has drifted away from an alliance with its sister party to the West, the Republicans.
I find this troubling. The only real ally we appear to have in Britain right now is Tony Blair. His back benches are in constant tumult, and his whips have had to be used now and again to keep his Government in power. The Conservatives dislike George W. Bush's affection for Blair, and have made their distaste for him known to the Bush White House. This article makes clear that present Tory disdain for the "Toxic Texan" runs deeper than just the relationship between Bush and Blair. A good read, and read the whole thing.
Emptying boxes in a new home is a bit like misplacing the TV channel changer. Even though you put it down somewhere, there is really no right place to put it. I've got a ton of boxes in the back spare room that I have to either store or dispose of on the next bulk pickup date.
You have no idea how much money Home Depot and Public Storage, among other companies, make off of the empty box sale business.
Meantime, President Bush is making his "where do we go from here" speech on Monday. I am looking forward to it. The President has an enormous well of trust with the American people, despite what one might read in the blogosphere or in the elite media. They believe in large measure that he is trying to do the best he can to protect them. I strongly suspect that even among regular Democrats who intend to vote for Kerry, the hatred for Bush is not pronounced. Common Tator has emphasized that the regular Dems just haven't been coming out for Kerry as the Senator's campaign people might have hoped. This is a campaign in a profoundly weak position. I think Bush will win by a wider margin than people today can imagine.
It can't be emphasized too much how out of touch the mainstream press is with the American people. Much of what the press reports is a reflection of their own experience as cynical young liberals who learned not to trust government as a result of Vietnam and Watergate. That most liberals in the media ended up become staunch Democrats who stand for larger and larger government is one of those ironic mysteries of our times. This is as opposed to the old liberal media that hired reporters out of high school and taught them how to write punchy prose. There were real newspapermen in those days.
As for Iraq, the U.S. Army continues its rather successful campaign against Fat Muqtada. Al-Sadr has lost much of his support within the Shi'a community, and I am told that by cleaning up Muqtada's people we are doing the bidding of Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani. The Grand Ayatollah is well on his way to becoming the First Man in Iraq, and will act as kingmaker of the New Regime after the June 30th handover. What is needed now is an understanding between al-Sistani and the Sunni collegium. In that way, a civil war will probably be avoided.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
It is my pleasure to announce that I am back from internet oblivion. I have moved from one part of South Florida to another. It is my hope that you will once again enjoy my blog as much as I do.
All the best, and thanks for reading!