Why the U.S. Can’t Leave Iraq

Just ran across this fascinating article by Christopher King on the Al Jazeera website. I was impressed not so much by the premise, which is familiar, as by the numbers, which are bruising. If you have ever asked yourself: “When will this American madness end?” you’ll be smitten by this article.

But before you go have a look at this montage by Mark Fiore, a real trip down memory lane. The title is “We Stopped the Vietnam War, So We Can Stop the Iraq War.”


Iraq: Who Won the War?

Child flees from Iraq fightingThis article in today’s Independent provides a nice summing up of what the U.S. and Britain have achieved with their war on Iraq.  Authors Raymond Whitaker and Stephen Foley have prepared a thorough and dispassionate report from an independent British point of view. It makes fascinating–and depressing–reading.  At the end of the piece they offer us two lists, one of winners, the other of losers:

  • Winners: Dick Cheney, Iran, Sir John Scarlett, Al-Qa’ida, the Kurds, Tim Spicer
  • Losers: George Bush, the neocons, Tony Blair, the Palestinians, the US media, Afghanistan, British security

If you find that article fascinating, you might also have a look at Lord Owen analyses Tony Blair’s psyche from today’s Times of London, written by Tony Blair’s ex foreign minister, David Owen, and which portrays Blair’s character as profoundly flawed due to his own hubris. It happens that Lord Owen, besides being a lifelong Labour politician, is also a neurologist.

U.S. Resorts to Pistachio Diplomacy–Take Cover!

Pistachos on a plateI intended to introduce you Robert Fisk this morning, but this journalist who has given us the finest, most reliable Middle East coverage for decades will have to wait till next time. Breaking news demands our attention.

According to Madrid’s El Mundo newspaper this morning, Sal Emergui, their correspondent in Jerusalem, filed the following report yesterday: “The United States and Israel are daily forging an alliance to confront Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadineyad’s nuclear project, but the pistachio question has provoked certain differences. This is not a joke. The Bush government has protested to Israel through various channels accusing them of consuming large quantities of Iranian pistachios.” (My translation.) Continue reading