S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Turning points in U. S. and Iraq?

Possible turning points in the United States about the war in Iraq -

  • Learning how many Iraqis have died in the war? In an earlier post I talked about how hard it has been to determine the number of Iraqis killed in the war in Iraq. But yesterday our current president admitted that perhaps 30,000 Iraqi deaths have resulted from the war in Iraq. Quoting Yahoo! News,

In a rare, unscripted moment, President Bush on Monday estimated 30,000 Iraqis have died in the war, the first time he has publicly acknowledged the high price Iraqis have paid in the push for democracy.

The TPM Cafe blogger, cscs posed a important question about whether this information would have any impact on the American people. It prompted dozens of interesting comments.

  • Declaring the goal of "victory" will mean pulling out? Also at TPM Cafe, blogger Bruce W. Jentleson makes an excellent reasoned argument that the American people have basic good sense about why or why not any war is justified. This NYT story says that our Ambassador to Iraq has warned that the election may not mean a quick withdrawal of U. S. troops.
    WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 - Four days before parliamentary elections in Iraq
    that the Bush administration has portrayed as a "significant milestone," the
    American ambassador there and a Republican lawmaker cautioned today against assuming that the vote would produce quick and dramatic improvement or lead to a rapid withdrawal of United States forces.
  • Going on the road and appearing to be more forthcoming? CNN reports on President Bush's third of four "speeches designed to bolster support for the war." (Includes link to the speech transcript). The NYT article is very similar in pointing out the president's acknowledgement of the "heavy toll in Iraq."

On the other hand, this article about a British public opinion poll of Iraq citizens points out several things our government may be ignoring.

Election results will inevitably be a significant turning point for Iraq-

  • Who becomes the Prime Minister - unity or fracture for Iraq? This is an absolutely fascinating NYT story about the leading PM candidates called, "The Boys of Baghdad". To quote,
    The three Iraqi political leaders considered most likely to end up as prime minister after nationwide elections this week - Ayad Allawi, Ahmad Chalabi and Adel Abdul Mahdi - were schoolmates at the all-boys English-language school in the late 1950's, fortunate members of the Baghdad elite that governed Iraq until successive waves of revolution and terror swept it away.
  • What majority/minority parties will gain control? This NYT article describes the political campaign leading up to this election. To quote,
    It is democracy, but in a distinctly Iraqi style. This country is in the final days of a campaign that is at once more ruthless and more sophisticated than anything yet seen here. Candidates have been killed, even as slick television spots run throughout the day, showing office-seekers who soberly promise to defeat terrorism and revive the economy.
    In some of the best information available from the region, Aljazeera describes the parties to watch, as well as the key players. It is reading full of unique tidbits!

At a different site, my Diary at DailyKos, I wrote more personally about my fascination with the Middle East. Several very interesting comments followed.


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