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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

President Musharraf given 48 hours to respond to Bhutto demands. Then what?


Bhutto 'ultimatum to Musharraf'
By Barbara Plett
BBC News, Islamabad


Could Benazir Bhutto co-operate with a Musharraf government?
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has given President Musharraf 48 hours to respond to her demands for a power-sharing deal, media reports say.

The embattled military ruler is seeking support for presidential elections that would give him another five-year term.

But his options have narrowed after a series of Supreme Court decisions.

Ms Bhutto wants a clear statement the general will resign as army chief of staff before year end, some say before a presidential vote due in the autumn.

Uniform off

She also wants a pledge to remove legal obstacles currently preventing her from becoming prime minister.

Until now Gen Musharraf has said he will abide by the constitution when it comes to his dual role as president and army chief.

Some say this means he will take off his uniform by year's end.

But Ms Bhutto wants a public declaration. So why has she upped the ante now?

Analysts say she was alarmed by the Supreme Court's decision last week allowing the exiled opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, to return to Pakistan, perhaps as early as next month.

Mr Sharif has gained much support for opposing army rule and vowing to force President Musharraf out of office.

Ms Bhutto on the other hand has been losing public support by negotiating with the general.

It is not clear whether the military leader can accept her demands.

At the moment he has enough votes in parliament to win another five-year term.

But there are growing defections from the ruling party and crucially, the Supreme Court might rule that his re-election from existing assemblies is unconstitutional.


67 comments:

  1. Westhawk:

    "Afghan artillery forces Pakistani choices

    "Yesterday, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation posted this report on Afghan mortar and artillery strikes against Taliban positions inside Pakistan."

    [...]

    "American policymakers can have understandable qualms about American strikes into Pakistan and the attendant destabilization of Pakistani politics that might result. But Westhawk has long maintained that Afghanistan has the inherent right of self-defense, and has a legal basis to strike wherever it needs to inside Pakistan in order to defend Afghanistan. Such military actions would include mortar and artillery fire into Taliban and al Qaeda assembly areas and security, ambush, and raid patrols targeting Taliban and al Qaeda travel routes and encampments.

    "Having now crossed the line, the Afghans, supported by the Americans, should escalate this type of activity. This will have two benefits. First, it will push the Taliban and al Qaeda sanctuary zones deeper into Pakistan. This will increase Pakistani discomfort and increase Afghan and American warning time.

    "Second, it will focus the mind of Pakistan’s leadership. Pakistan’s leaders will have one of three possible responses, all of which will be favorable to the Afghan and American side. The Pakistanis could do as they did with the incident described above, namely deny it, but do nothing to prevent it. Or Pakistan could join the Afghan-American coalition, and claim it was thus defending Pakistani territory."

    The Coalition has been firing artillery into Pakistan for quite a few years now. It's SOP.

    That oughta put things in perspective.

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  2. "Some say this means he will take off his uniform by year's end."

    Yep.

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  3. You mean to say that General Musharraf will be trying to run Pakistan in the nude?

    Better give Mr Craig a call, he'll want to make a fact finding trip to Pakistan, just to check out Musharraf's stance.

    Just how wide will it be?

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  4. slightly off topic, by a few country miles, i listened to that Craig news conference. I did not see it. I understand his wife was next to him. Gutless. He really believes everyone else is too stupid to see what went on. He may not be gay, but he is certainly no man either.

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  5. "You mean to say that General Musharraf will be trying to run Pakistan in the nude?"

    Whatever it takes to save his bacon.



    Craig probably genuinely believes he's not gay (himself, not Musharraf). Wouldn't be the first married man participating in extracurriculars with other men to believe it.

    But WTF is it with gay/not "REALLY" gay men and restrooms and bathhouses? I used to think it was an urban myth.

    It's just damned...unsavory.

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  6. The National Geographic has an excellent background piece on Pakistan. Tough times at Islamabad High.

    The teaching of revisionist history at it's "best"

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  7. "Whatever it takes to save his bacon."
    ---
    What about his Polish Sausage?

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  8. "But WTF is it with gay/not "REALLY" gay men and restrooms and bathhouses? I used to think it was an urban myth.

    It's just damned...unsavory.
    "
    ---
    Exact conversation I had with my wife this morning about a time, around 1990, when a restroom in a park where my son and I would ride bikes regularly was cited in the paper.
    (real gays, in this case)
    At that time I said WTHell?
    WHY would anybody do ANYTHING other than zip in and out of one of those things when they HAVE to relieve themselves?

    Whatever, it does happen, all too frequently.
    SICKO

    Some parts of Black Culture have an odd Clinton-Like Mentality about poking other guys in the butt and not being gay, to themselves, their wives, or their kids.

    ...then there is the "necessity" of relieving yourself in prison.

    Only AlBobAl knows all the ins and outs of all this seedy stuff.
    That's why he's a farmer:
    Likes to sow those seeds.

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  9. Yuck,
    Ingraham plays Tucker Carlson knocking the MSM double standard for all their interest.
    What business is it of theirs/ours?

    ...once upon a time, corrupt, blackmailable folks were considered some kind of risk in positions of responsibility.

    ...the "right wing" continues to DISPIRIT.

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  10. That all changed in December 1979, when the Soviet Union invaded neighboring Afghanistan, driving hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees—mainly conservative Pashtun tribesmen—across the border into Pakistan. Within months Zia's Islamist dream got a huge boost: The United States and Saudi Arabia joined Pakistan in a covert alliance to supply arms, training, and billions of dollars to an anti-Soviet insurgency in Afghanistan. The motto of Zia's army—Jihad in the Service of Allah—became a rallying cry for thousands of mujahideen training in camps funded by the CIA in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province. Over time, Zia's agenda, and that of the United States, became indistinguishable: If Zia wanted to Islamize Pakistan while mobilizing support for the anti-Soviet jihad, all the more power to him. Besides, the fundamentalist madrassas of northwestern Pakistan made excellent recruiting centers for mujahideen—young fighters who saw the struggle against the Soviets as a holy war.

    During the 1980s, as the mujahideen prevailed against the Soviets in Afghanistan, the winds of extremism blowing from the northwest began to chill all of Pakistan. Millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia flowed into the hard-line Sunni madrassas clustered along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, which eventually spread across Pakistan. Not all Pakistani madrassas today are fundamentalist or radical. Some are shoestring operations run by moderate clerics to meet the educational needs of the poor. But the majority—more than 60 percent—are affiliated with the fundamentalist Deobandi sect, an austere interpretation of Islam that calls for a rejection of modernity and a return to the "pure," seventh-century Islam of the Prophet Muhammad. Politically savvy and extremely well funded, more than 10,000 of these schools operate across Pakistan today, compared with fewer than 1,000 before General Zia took power. Thousands more operate unofficially.

    - National Geographic

    Trite but true: Blowback's a bitch.

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  11. WHY would anybody do ANYTHING other than zip in and out of one of those things when they HAVE to relieve themselves?

    - Doug

    A compulsion to do otherwise.

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  12. I've come to think of the national security establishment's role as one of constantly dealing with blowback from earlier actions, earlier policies.

    Not quite a self-licking ice cream cone, but almost.

    It's rather depressing.

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  13. Pakistan's first leader, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, and his brain trust of secular intellectuals created a fledgling democracy that gave Islam a cultural, rather than political, role in national life. Their Pakistan was to be a model of how Islam, merged with democratic ideals, could embrace the modern world. "Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense," Jinnah said in his inaugural address, but "as citizens of the state."

    Sixty years later, having been educated in schools that teach mainly the Koran, the young women in the library are stunned when I mention Jinnah's secular vision for Pakistan. "That is a lie," Ayman says, her voice shaking with fury. "Everyone knows Pakistan was created as an Islamic state, according to the will of Allah. Where did you read this thing?" Such is the certainty of Pakistan's Islamists, whose loud assertions give them political influence far beyond their numbers.


    And everyone "knows" that the US interests are in managing the political affairs of distant lands, despite Mr Washington's warnings of foreign entanglements. That the Military Industrial Complex and Global Omni-power Hegemony by US is in the best interest of ranchers in Show Low, AZ.

    That the deaths of 3,400 US patriots, to bring Mr al-Sadr and Mr Maliki to power through free and fair elections, is justified by the vital interests those two serve, for US.

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  14. Hot times in the City

    “The real question for Republicans in Washington is how low can you go, because we are approaching a level of ridiculousness,” said Mr. Reed, sounding exasperated in an interview on Tuesday morning. “You can’t make this stuff up. And the impact this is having on the grass-roots around the country is devastating. Republicans think the governing class in Washington are a bunch of buffoons who have total disregard for the principles of the party, the law of the land and the future of the country.”

    Then again, Washington does not have a monopoly on the latest trend among Republicans. Just ask Thomas Ravenel, the state treasurer of South Carolina, who had to step down as state chairman of Rudolph W. Giuliani’s presidential campaign after he was indicted on cocaine charges in June.

    Or Bob Allen, a state representative in Florida who was jettisoned from the John McCain campaign last month after he was arrested on charges of soliciting sex in a public restroom.


    We're sending out the invitation
    Come and join the celebration
    This old town is up to something
    Everybody's really jumpin'

    Hard rock rhythm is in your soul
    Baby let the good times roll
    The neighbors wanna call the cops
    But the party's never gonna stop
    Everything is gonna be alright

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  15. Politico guy says the only way Craig's seat might not remain GOP is if Craig runs:
    GREAT!
    Our fearless "leader" will no doubt remain essentially silent, just as he torpedoed Specter's oppo, and a NJ real conservative, and a REAL Conservative in CA.

    Hit the streets NOW, AlBobob!
    Craig's GOTTA GO!

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  16. Calls Ideehoe a
    "Cherry Red State"
    Unfortunately, Ideehoe Craig is not interested in Cherries.

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  17. Almost half of uninsured in America are illegal aliens
    Poverty is down and median income is up, according to just released census figures 2006, Current Population Survey. (pdf) Reporting: Molly Henneberg, Fox News Channel.

    2006: number of uninsured in America 47 million people, or 15.8% of the population.
    2005: number of uninsured in America 44.8 million people, or 15.3% of the population.


    Joseph Antos, American Enterprise Institute, looks inside the numbers, because they are very misleading.

    Broken down by legal vs. illegal uninsured who are NOT U.S. CITIZENS IS 45% of the 47 million.
    Broken down by age, 18 - 24 years old - 29.3% of the 47 million.

    25 - 35 years old - 26.9% of the 47 million.

    Broken down by salary, $75,000 or more per year - 8.5% of the 47 million.


    Did you get that? Almost half of the uninsured in America are ILLEGAL ALIENS. Think what a financial break to our hospitals and doctors it would be, if the illegals were not here. Just a thought.

    Also if you do the math 45% (illegal aliens) of 47 million is over 20 million illegal aliens inside the United States. Fact.


    Interesting and enlightening. What a little economic bump 20 million folks can become.

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  18. "But the majority—more than 60 percent—are affiliated with the fundamentalist Deobandi sect, an austere interpretation of Islam that calls for a rejection of modernity and a return to the "pure," seventh-century Islam of the Prophet Muhammad. Politically savvy and extremely well funded, more than 10,000 of these schools operate across Pakistan today, compared with fewer than 1,000 before General Zia took power. Thousands more operate unofficially. "
    --
    It behooves us to counter Mr Globalist non Rogers in the Whitehouse with ROP rejoinders like that.

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  19. Mecklenburg, Nashville, America starts to wake up.

    Guy says Nashville alone deported 4,000 criminals, and the program is just getting up to speed.

    Mecklenburg going full tilt.
    Sheriff Joe,
    Well, you know...

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  20. "We're sending out the invitation
    Come and join the celebration
    This old town is up to something
    Everybody's really jumpin'
    "
    ---
    All the New-Left Commie Leaders of the Sixties became Dem Politicians or Operatives.

    It appears all the Closet Sexual perverts and libertines became Pubs for Pud.

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  21. You just cannot make this kind of stuff up.

    So where does one Mr. Carlos Carrillo fit into all of this? It has come to light that Mr. Carrillo, Border Patrol sector chief of Laredo, made a statement at a Laredo Town Hall meeting, as reported in the Laredo Morning Times, that was to say the least, provocative:

    “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Border Patrol’s job is not to stop illegal immigrants. The Border Patrol’s job is not to stop narcotics…or contraband or narcotics...the Border Patrol’s mission is not to stop criminals. The Border Patrol’s mission is to stop terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the country."


    Your Civil Servants at work, kind of.

    Looking for an excuse not to work, really. Because, as we all know, there was not "Border Patrol" before 9-11-01.
    Simply no need for it.

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  22. Boy, the trenches got the message from the big Cheese.
    Those that didn't, are in Prison.
    "Hispanics," both.

    Families, Bankrupt.

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  23. Mecklenburg Comment:

    He needs to call that Sheriff in Arizona to find out where he buys the tents he houses criminals in. He might also ask where he gets the pink underwear he issues to the criminals.

    Then call a local fencing company to build a tall chain link fence and he will be open for business. Less than $50,000 and he could be open for business in a matter of weeks.

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  24. IF THE FEDS WON'T DO IT, THE STATES HAVE TOO!

    FEDERALISM RULES!

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  25. (using the laws of the land, that the Feds refuse to obey)
    Esp with CRIMINAL BUSH

    In Charge.

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  26. GP Mediums, doug, surplus from the Army or new from the manufacturer.

    Good enouh for the boys in uniform, good enough for criminal detainees.

    Sheriff Joe has the the County dog shelter under his jurisdiction. He put it in the downtown jail, the facility with A/C, while the people prisoners he puts into the tents, with swamp coolers.

    Says the abused animals are more deserving of the improved living conditions than the people.
    Most citizens tend to agree, he keeps getting reelected to the job.

    The tents came when he got a court order to release prisoners due to overcrowding. The County Board of Supervisors would or could not fund the conventional jail space required by the courts.

    Rather than release the miscreants or campaign for a tax increase, he bought the tents. We've been utilizing them for years, now.

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  27. One thing the folks in San Diego told Romney was, even with the fence, until workplace enforcement is enforced, enough folks sneak in as to make tracking terrorists nearly impossible.
    As soon as that magnet is turned off, Terrorists will stick out like sore Thumbs.

    As if W Cares.
    ASSHOLE Globalist, boner, elitist, Wuss that he is.

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  28. Yeah, Lindsey Lohan got 84 minutes in prison due to prison overcrowding for snorting coke, being drunk, and driving the wrong way on a freeway.

    Celebrity Justice?
    NO!
    Same thing happens to Mexican immigrants, legal and otherwise.

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  29. If you and your family happen to encounter someone driving the wrong way on a freeway, the results are not pleasant.

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  30. 84 minutes.
    Where is MADD?
    (assume they've been corrupted)

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  31. "IF THE FEDS WON'T DO IT, THE STATES HAVE TOO!

    FEDERALISM RULES!"


    States can't do if the Federal Government rubber stamps it by legalizing it.

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  32. SENATOR'S WORD RING HOLLOW FOR GAY IDAHOANS

    from our local fish wrap this morning

    Craig's denials ring false to gay community.

    "All it does is continue to put a bad face on a subject that a lot of people feel uncomfortable about," said Kevin Kappes, 31, president of Inland Oasis, a group seeking a safe community for gay people in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

    (Well, I'll be damned--that Kevin is my Kevin, one of my best tenants, lives with his friend John, both really nice folk. I didn't know we had an Inland Oasis, or that he was spokesman for it. Hey, these guys always pay their rent on time. Been there for 4 yrs now.)

    "Gay people have families, homes and jobs. They don't all have sex in public", said Kappes, a Moscow resident who works in fashion design.

    "We are your average American and not the crazy sex fiends."

    Kappes calls Craig's assertion he did not engage in lewd conduct "comical". Innocent men hire lawyers and fight false charges, he said.

    "The fact he pleaded guilty initially, right off the bat, there's got to be some truth behind it."

    The arresting officer's report of how Craig tapped his feet in an adjacent bathroom stall to indicate interest in lewd conduct with the officer rings true to Kappes. "Being a gay man and having used bathrooms before, I have seen this happen", Kappes said.

    I have a guy and his girl friend and child that live upstairs above Kevin and John. This guy is an engineer degree and sells irrigation equipment all over the world. He is hardly ever there. He is also a bike rider. He could ride in the tour of France, I think. Body made out of iron. The other day he rode from Moscow to the Canadian border in one day. I have interesting folks in my apartments. Everybody gets along fine, too.

    reporting from Idaho.......

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  33. from the Lewiston Morning Tribune editorial page...

    Larry Craig is kidding us, isn't he?

    Can Idaho' senior Senator expect his constituents, even in ruby-red Idaho, to buy his story that he was arrested for soliciting sex in an airport toilet stall on the basis of a misunderstanding, and that even though he was innocent, he pleaded guilty two months later without ever seeking help from a lawyer?

    That not only defies belief, it invites the assumption from those hearing it that the teller is a feeble-minded babe in the woods. Craig is neighter.

    He obviously took a calculated risk that his arrest and convictionin Minnisota would not be discovered, and now that he has lost, he has no coherent explanation forhis conduct.

    But he does have evildoers to blame for his troubles. Tuesday, he lamely accused the state's largest newspaper, the Idaho Statesman, of conducting a witch hunt against him, although the paper refrained from printing any results of its months-long investigation of his sexual history until earlier the same day, after newsof his arrest surfaced.
    xxxxx

    Craig was hoping it would slip under the radar. It didn't and he's toast. The Lewiston Morning Tribune is a democratic rag, used to be big supporter of Frank Church.

    I do see a double standard in our politics. Barney Frank runs a male prostitution ring out of his basement, and he's still an honored member of our congress. But Craig's gotta go, we are sunk if we hold ourselves to the democrats standards.

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  34. Barney, bob, never denied his proclivities. The prostitution ring was run by his room mate, for all the difference it makes. At least Mr Franks had the good sense not to be arrested in the incident.
    Let alone cop a plea.

    Beyond that, the cultural mores bewtween Boston and Idaho differ, I'm sure you'd agree.

    Mr Franks colleagues in the House stood by him, Mr Craigs are cutting and running. Just look to Mr Romney for validation of that.

    The phase "Stand by your man", more meaningful to the Democrats, on a variety of levels, then to Republicans. The Dems are more forgiving of men that take a wide stance on issues of impropriety.

    Wheteher those improprieties are hetero or happily homo. The historical record on that is quite clear.

    As Mr Craig, himself, stood in moral judgement of Mr Clinton, saying this:

    If we were in a church, the minister would admonish us from the pulpit to hate the sin and forgive the sinner. But we're not in a church. If we were in a court of law, the judge would tell us to hate the crime, and punish the criminal. But we're not in a court of law. We're part of a constitutionally-directed impeachment tribunal, and our job is to love the Constitution and protect the office of the president. Our decision should not be about saving or rejecting William Jefferson Clinton, but about protecting the office of the president and keeping our Constitution strong. I believe he committed the crimes and acts charged in the articles of impeachment, and I will vote to convict and remove him from office.

    We should protect the Senate from, in the phraseology of the WSJ, the weak individual.

    The people of Idaho will get to stand in judgement, if Mr Craig does not do the honorable thing.

    Just as the people of Mass decided that Mr Franks lack of good judgement in choosing his room mates was unimportant, the people of Idaho can do the same in regards Mr Craig's wide stance in Minneapolis.

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  35. Rat, that 'wide stance', that's so ridiculous an image, it may become a part of the language:)

    I plead the 'wide stance' defense, your honor.:)

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  36. Thanks, Rat, for that Craig quote, I may use that in a letter to the editor I am working up. Timing it for the weekend edition. Around here, one of the advantages of being in a small urban area, we do have an active letters to the editor contingent. Anybody can publish anything, as long as there is no profanity. On Sundays, the letters sometimes go two or more full pages. Freedom of the press!

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  37. Global warming? At least it is hot in Arizona

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  38. Always hot here, from May to October.

    June was tolerable, this year.

    Now is not an especially good time to be living in one of Sheriff Joe's tents.

    January and February, that is when our weather shines. Called the Valley of the Sun, for good reason, year round.

    Each year the summer heat does seem more oppresive, can't hardly believe I used to frame houses in the summertime. Now it is hard to even venture outside, the pool isn't even that inviting anymore.

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  39. Sleep during the day, swim at night, Rat.

    Article from two Brits about US plans to maybe strike Iran.

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  40. And everyone "knows" that the US interests are in managing the political affairs of distant lands, despite Mr Washington's warnings of foreign entanglements. That the Military Industrial Complex and Global Omni-power Hegemony by US is in the best interest of ranchers in Show Low, AZ.

    That the deaths of 3,400 US patriots, to bring Mr al-Sadr and Mr Maliki to power through free and fair elections, is justified by the vital interests those two serve, for US.

    - Rat

    The vital interest thing...

    There's a reason why the hunt for bin Laden and Zawahiri remains such a desirable task, despite every hurdle and condition attached to it. You can connect it to a vital interest, the simplest interest of all, which is justice. Vengeance. For us, not for anyone else. Almost anything else in this sorta war, you've gotta compartmentalize.

    In this way, paradoxically, it seems almost an illicit task.

    You never have to question it.

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  41. And that is why, trish, I always tried to focus attention to those two, while others fretted about Iraq, elections, democracy, etc.

    Why, of all the candidates for the Presidency I tend to support the one fellow that carries a blood debt and is culturally attuned to the idea of vendetta.

    But that's just me. Small minded but focussed on the border bandits deserving of attention.

    Why I've always advocated that US attention be spent in Warizistan, not on the Civil War in Iraq.

    Team 43 disagreed, for that they will be eternally damned by the spirits of 9-11-01.

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  42. Why, of all the candidates for the Presidency I tend to support the one fellow that carries a blood debt and is culturally attuned to the idea of vendetta.

    But that's just me.

    - Rat

    That's just you.

    That's not Guiliani.

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  43. Vengeance, how uncouth. Sounds like a violation of 'international law' to me.

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  44. It does, doesn't it cutler?

    It's a good word.

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  45. Conduct Unbecoming of a Senator But is it unbecoming of a representative?

    The sharks begin to circle. I hope Craig serves out his term, announcing he will not run again. I want an open republican primary. Not somebody appointed by 'Butch' Otter, another arse.

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  46. Exactly, trish, more projection, leading to disillusion and disappointment.

    But that'll be the choice, or Ms Clinton. Hoping for a hormonal rage to redeem the US.

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  47. Did you read his piece in this quarter's Foreign Affairs, Rat?

    Have you looked at who he's taken on as his foreign policy advisers and read their previous work?

    Don't assume.

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  48. I do know who, and I do not assume,
    I KNOW

    Just as there are those who KNOW that the attack on Iran is going to occur in the next 16 months, just as George W Bush leaves office.
    No pardons, just a new War.
    A Legacy to remember.

    As I said, KNOWING leads to disillusion and disappointment.

    Just as there are those who still KNOW that the US is at war with the mussulmen, or KNOW that Mr al-Sadr is alive, only because of Mr Maliki. Rejecting that the Marine Corps nixed Mr Bremmer's desire to "get him", back in '03 & '04, according to both Mr Bremmer and Dan Senor.

    The power of projection is strong, and not only in young Skywalker.

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  49. All it took was the bold type.

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  50. With several prominent Republicans calling for his resignation today, embattled Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) agreed this afternoon to comply with a request by Senate GOP leaders to step down as ranking member on one committee and two subcommittees.

    After asking for an ethics investigation into Craig’s actions regarding his arrest for lewd conduct and his guilty plea to disorderly conduct in a Minnesota airport men’s restroom, GOP leaders released a statement Wednesday saying that Craig stepping down “is in the best interest of the Senate until this situation is resolved by the Ethics Committee.”

    Craig has temporarily stepped down from three panels: the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, and Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests.

    Meanwhile, at least three Republican lawmakers have called for Craig’s resignation including, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who said on CNN, “when you plead guilty to a crime, then you shouldn’t serve.”

    Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) also called on Craig to step aside.

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  51. "Don't sing Dixie and tap your feet in the airport toilet."--Michael Savage:)

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  52. FWIW, Guiliani's new expert on Middle Eastern affairs, Martin Kramer, is a self-proclaimed democracy skeptic. Has been since before Iraq. Not a believer in the natural, simply repressed, nobility of the Middle Eastern peoples.

    I agree about vengeance, so long as you don't lose your head - though that can be said about everything. I spent the immediate days after 9-11 arguing with a Belgian and Canadian over whether the United States was allowed to go after Al Qaeda without going after groups such as the IRA, because it'd supposedly be vengeance otherwise.

    Idiots.

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  53. "The world was with us."

    My ass.

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  54. Oh, I know the world wasn't with us. I'd just come back from Belgium when it happened.

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  55. "I agree about vengeance, so long as you don't lose your head..."

    and take it to Baghdad.

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  56. "This was something that happened in the routine course of military operations in Baghdad. The issue was handled and looked at.

    The individuals have subsequently been released. And I think that's pretty much case closed," State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said at a briefing.

    According to Casey, the Iranians, including two diplomats, were stopped at a checkpoint and some weapons were confiscated. After U. S. forces searched the hotel rooms they were in, the Iranians were detained "for a period of time."


    Iranians in Iraq

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  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  58. The Craig re-enactment video, as per the police reports.

    A truly seated and wide stance, 3 minutes and 25 seconds of who'd have ever thought. re-enactment video, as per the police reports.
    A truly wide stance, 3 minutes and 25 seconds of who'd have ever thought.

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  59. Rejecting that the Marine Corps nixed Mr Bremmer's desire to "get him", back in '03 & '04, according to both Mr Bremmer and Dan Senor.

    - Rat

    Did Bremer and Senor say that, Rat? I ask because that decision, either way, was one of many well above the pay grade of either Bremer or any Marine Corps commander. That would have been the WH's call.

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  60. A Rueful Return To Chinagate?

    This in the least is an example of hillary's famous tin ear. But since bill has not changed his philandering ways its likely she hasn't either.

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  61. That was what Senor said, that it was on the list, but the Marines held back and then there were more pressing events.

    This I was able to find quockly, which outlines the situation as described by Senor, that I had seen on tv interviews, after he left the government, on FOX, most likely

    One courageous Iraqi judge, Raid Juhi, doggedly investigated the case. He exhumed the bodies of al-Khoei and his colleague, and wrote up a confidential arrest warrant for Sadr in August 2003. "From that moment through April 2004, the issue was whether we were going to enforce the arrest warrant," says Dan Senor, a senior official in the Coalition Provisional Authority at the time.

    The CPA, the Pentagon and the military on the ground were in disagreement.

    The Marines in southern Iraq were particularly wary of stirring up trouble. As it was, the United States was preparing to hand off the area around Najaf to a multinational force with troops from Spain and Central America.

    Still, the Coalition had a secret arrest plan, and momentum toward nabbing Sadr was building. "The pivotal moment was Aug. 19, 2003," says Senor. "We were down to figuring out the mechanisms of ensuring that the operation was seen as Iraqi, executed on an Iraqi arrest warrant. I remember it was late afternoon and we had just received a snowflake from [U.S. Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld ... with nine different questions, rehashing how we were going to do this, to make sure it was not seen as an American operation." (A "snowflake" was a Rumsfeld memo.)

    Suddenly word came that insurgents had detonated a massive truck bomb at the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. Senor recalls rushing to the scene with Hume Horan, a top U.S. diplomat and Arabist. Horan leaned over to Senor and said, "We should take down Sadr now, when no one's looking." But there was enough chaos to deal with already. The U.N. bombing was "a huge distraction," says Senor, "and the Sadr operation was forgotten."


    Dec. 4, 2006
    MSNBC/Newsweak

    In the interview I saw he put more emphisis on the Marines not wanting to take action.

    Then, in another Newsweak piece, a cover story about al-Sadr, 26 Nov 06

    Bremer responded that he was waiting for a new plan from Coalition forces. "I first wanted to go after him when he had probably fewer than 200 followers," Bremer recalled in an interview with Newsweek last week. "I couldn't make it happen ... the Marines were resisting doing anything." But in the meantime, on March 28, 2004 Bremer suspended publication of Sadr's newspaper after it ran an editorial praising the 9/11 attacks on America as a "blessing from God."
    The response was swift: mass demonstrations, which would lead to the first of two Sadr uprisings in 2004. In a final meeting between Diamond and Bremer on April 1,(Larry) Diamond pressed the point that the U.S. needed more
    troops in Iraq. It was around 8 p.m., and Bremer's dinner was sitting on a tray uneaten. He looked exhausted. "And he just didn't want to hear it," says Diamond. "In retrospect, I think he had gone to the well on this issue of more troops during 2003, had gotten nowhere ... and had just resigned himself to the fact that these troops just weren't going to come. I think the tragedy is that everyone just gave up."


    Larry Diamond, a senior adviser to Ambassador Paul Bremer

    That's the tale, they're stickin' to it.

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  62. "I couldn't make it happen ... the Marines were resisting doing anything."

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  63. Still, the Coalition had a secret arrest plan, and momentum toward nabbing Sadr was building.

    ***********************************

    Well if they had an arrest plan, they didn't need momentum.

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  64. The Marines were resisting, on their own, doing anything?

    No I don't think so.

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  65. "One could view this as a case crumbling around the prosecutor's feet, or one could see this as the unique UCMJ system of justice in operation," said Gary D. Solis, a former Marine judge who teaches the laws of war at Georgetown University Law Center and at West Point.

    Prosecuting the Haditha case has been especially difficult because the killings were not thoroughly investigated when they first occurred. Months later, when the details came to light, there were no bodies to examine, no Iraqi witnesses to testify under oath, and no damning forensic evidence to help support a murder charge.

    Walter B. Huffman, a former Army judge advocate-general, said it was not uncommon in military criminal proceedings to see charges against troops involved in a single episode to fall away under closer examination of evidence, winnowing culpability to just one or two defendants at the heart of the case.


    Charges for Haditha

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  66. That's the story, trish, they're stickin' to it, regardless of what you think.

    That is now the historical record. As written by those that were there. Those tha were "Large and In Charge".

    It's on the Marines, letting Mr al-Sadr slide, unless the Mairne Commander at the time disputes it, which I have not seen.

    But then you do not believe much of what is told, when it disputes your personal perception of reality.

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