Thursday Quick Hits
Low American Troop Morale In Iraq
A nonscientific survey of almost 2000 soldiers in Iraq by the military’s own Stars and Stripes finds almost half of them with poor morale and inadequate training, a finding disputed by the commander in Iraq, based on his own nonscientific walk-around amongst the troops. Yet the story confirms that whenever VIPs or politicians visit Iraq, they meet only with handpicked troops so that no negative assessments of the theater are heard.
Reaching to Daddy's Spinmeister For Help
Bush has named daddy’s chief Defense Department spinmeister from over a decade ago to be Colin Powell’s chief spinmeister overseas.
The Hollow Victory at the UN
The Bush Administration won a major public relations victory this morning when they got a unanimous vote of the Security Council to support a US-written resolution aimed at getting foreign money and troop assistance. Yet the victory was proven to be hollow when donor countries reported that they had no intention of sending either troops or money to Iraq anytime soon:
Speaking in Washington, Powell said the vote sets the stage for an Iraq donors conference next week in Madrid, helping U.S. officials raise money and making it easier for countries to provide peacekeepers. He declined to "put any numbers" only how many would be volunteered, however, and acknowledged opposition by some countries to sending forces. "I don't see this vote as opening the door to troops," he said, adding that he did not expect contributions from Russia, Germany or France but hoped they would be helpful.
In a joint statement after the council vote, those three nations said they would not commit troops because the resolution failed to give the United Nations a bigger role in Iraq's political transition or speed up the transfer or authority to Iraqis. Therefore, "the conditions are not created for us to envisage any military commitment and no further financial contributions beyond our present engagement," the French-German-Russian statement said.
Which means that it was all for public relations and didn’t do anything to alleviate our problems there now.
Iran to Allow IAEA Inspections
Iran shrewdly manages to keep the US from setting the stage for an invasion over its nuclear program by agreeing to inspector access at its military sites. As such, any move by the US or Israel against Iran’s sites would be a clear act of war.
Evangelical Zealot Running the Anti-Terror Program
NBC News tells us yesterday that the general Bush picked to be a deputy undersecretary of Defense for anti-terrorism happens to be a evangelical Christian who feels that Bush was placed in the White House by God, and who is also convinced that terrorists are against us because we are Christian. In other words, he is the ideal holy warrior. Well, if you are fighting Bin Laden, I guess Bush feels we need our own nutcase.
Heavy-Handing White House Unable to Sway GOP Senators on Iraq Reconstruction
Bush is losing support amongst GOP senators for the $87 billion Iraq reconstruction package, because of his heavy-handed tactics and unwillingness to make the $20 billion reconstruction part of the package a loan to be repaid later. Senators and representatives are being bombarded from home about why Bush is willing to give billions to Iraq for rebuilding when there is no money from Bush to rebuild America. And Bush is facing opposition from Dick Lugar over plans to allow the Pentagon rather than the State Department to rebuild Iraqi media.