A few things I came across last night that I found of interest, which I’ll link to with little comment…first up this story on the disappearance of Iraq’s Christians….under the watch of a born again President….
All of the major Republican presidential candidates, echoing the White House, assure us the surge is working, that things are much better in Iraq. They say we're winning, that Iraq is a generational ideological battlefield.
These men believe invading a Muslim country that posed no threat to America was a good idea, but not one of them has explained to their predominantly Christian base that the policies they embraced not only killed or displaced milliions of Muslims but also opened a pandora's box that obliterated a million member Christian community. Someone should ask them about that.
Then a rather pragmatic Salon piece about the Surge from Professor Juan Cole…
What the recent publicity about the "success" of the troop surge has ignored is this: The Bush administration has downplayed the collapsing political situation in Iraq by directing the public's attention to fluctuating numbers of civilians killed. While there have been some relative gains in security recently, even there the picture remains dubious. The Iraqi ministry of health, long known for cooking the books, says that a few hundred Iraqis were killed in political violence in November. However, independent observers such as Iraq Body Count cite a much higher number -- some 1,100 civilians killed in Iraq in November. They reported that bombings and assassinations accounted for 63 persons on Saturday, the first day of December, alone.
Then, in the aftermath of the rather shocking (for those who want yet more blood in the Middle East) US NIE report comes this timeline from Digby illustrating how the US hard right have made it up to suit their agendas for years: and from Arms Control Wonk, who argue that none of this is really a surprise to anyone who’d actually thought about it..or of course if you’d listened to Mohamed ElBaradei, this is pretty much what he and his agency have been saying for a hell of long time.
“Despite repeated smear campaigns, the I.A.E.A. has stood its ground and concluded time and again that since 2002 there was no evidence of an undeclared nuclear weapons program in Iran,” a senior agency official said. “It also validates the assessment of the director general that what the I.A.E.A. inspectors have seen in Iran represented no imminent danger.”