Inconvenient News,
       by smintheus

Thursday, September 13, 2007

  Bush & Co. not even trying to make sense

Today some Bush administration mouthpieces floated so far free of logic, reason, and fact that they must now count as extraterrestrial objects.

For example, this idiocy:

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said a status report going to Congress on Friday would not show "dramatic differences" from a similar one in July. That review found satisfactory progress on just eight benchmarks.

"It has only been 58 days since the last assessment," she said.

How does that square with Petraeus' testimony to Congress that "progress" has been especially significant during the last few months ("the overall number of security incidents in Iraq has declined in 8 of the past 12 weeks, with the numbers of incidents in the last two weeks at the lowest levels seen since June 2006.")? Indeed, when pressed by Senator Biden to explain why his own rosy scenario differed radically from other recent pessimistic reports, such as the GAO report on Iraq, Petraeus replied that the other reports did not incorporate the remarkable results of the last five weeks.

The appeal to the last 5 weeks made no sense, of course, even on its own terms. We've been told over and over again that the occupation of Iraq is a very long term project and "progress" has to be measured in small increments over years. Along comes Petraeus claiming that "progress" revolves around events of just five weeks' time.

In any case, Perino's statement today shows the contempt that the White House holds for any who took Petraeus' words seriously.

* *

Then there was all the nonsense about the circumstances and meaning of the murder of sheik Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha.

The White House said Abu Risha's death was an "unfortunate and outrageous act" and that it believed al-Qaida was responsible.

The White House had no actual details, but General Petraeus wasn't waiting around for pesky facts.

General David Petraeus, the US commander in Iraq, issued a statement calling the sheikh's death a tragedy. "It's a terrible loss for Anbar province and all of Iraq. It shows how significant his importance was and it shows al-Qaida in Iraq remains a very dangerous and barbaric enemy. He was an organising force that did help organise alliances and did help keep the various tribes together."

The CSMonitor adds:

Petraeus first met Abu Risha during an encounter outside a US military headquarters building in Ramadi in March.

"I have enormous respect for what you and your tribe have started," Petraeus told the sheikh during the meeting, captured by a videographer.

This is the General whose judgment we are supposed to accept as the first and last word of wisdom on Iraq?

To begin with, nobody has produced any clear evidence to show which group killed Abu Risha. Even the WH, not known for its subtlety, hasn't gone as far as Petraeus—who immediately rushed to the conclusion that al Qaeda was responsible.

Makes you wonder how Petraeus attained the reputation, at least among the DC elite, for being level-headed and brilliant?

As the Monitor points out, Abu Risha had tense relations with other powerful sheiks even within the (mainly tribal) "Anbar Awakening" group. He was also loathed by many other Sunni groups in Anbar Province, including a rival tribal coalition and especially the anti-occupation insurgents, particularly after he appeared with George Bush ten days ago.

Among Abu Risha's chief rivals in Anbar was Ali Hatem al-Suleiman, another leader in the Duleimi tribe.

"Clans that cooperated with the British nearly a century ago still live in shame," al-Suleiman told the AP by telephone Wednesday, referring to Britain's period of colonial rule in Iraq. "Only a mercenary would meet with Bush, who had no business coming to Anbar anyway."

And then there were all those who detested Abu Risha because he was a crook and a thug, a leader of highway robbers, who had among other things stolen millions of dollars donated by the US.

Sheikh Sattar, whose tribe is notorious for highway banditry, is also building a personal militia, loyal not to the Iraqi government but only to him. Other tribes — even those who want no truck with terrorists — complain they are being forced to kowtow to him. Those who refuse risk being branded as friends of al-Qaeda and tossed in jail, or worse. In Baghdad, government delight at the Anbar Front's impact on al-Qaeda is tempered by concern that the Marines have unwittingly turned Sheikh Sattar into a warlord who will turn the province into his personal fiefdom.

It takes a particular kind of fool to rush immediately to the conclusion, in the absence of evidence, that al Qaeda was behind Abu Risha's murder. But then Petraeus and the administration cannot bring themselves to admit, even now, that they were playing a dangerous game showering money, power, and influence on a petty crook.

crossposted from

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  • mullah cimoc say all him collaborator to get the bullet in head unless sotorture by ameriki, or him children so torture by ameiriki.

    what aemriki him do if aemrika be occupation by chinese army and some whitie amerika collaborate with foreign chinese occupier?

    mullah cimoc hoping honest and good ameriki to kill all collaborator and all him family even him second cousin. But maybe not now him ameriki way if so feminize and be bossed each day by the woman unless not having even the one gonad.

    this sheik him just a bandit and kill for money so many generation. even him name kind of joking in arabic, call play on words.

    abdul sattar abu risha when speaking by shia from south or iraq sound like to mean: him eat dung of whitie until exploding.

    this favorite joke now for all him sunni in baghdad.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:18 PM  

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