Wednesday, April 11, 2007

There must be some kind o' way outta here....

This really isn't that hard to figure out:

Iraq has become a "combat training zone for jihadists" as a result of the US-led war on terror, a new report claims.

The damning critique of British and US foreign policy by the Oxford Research Group, comes amid growing concern over Iran's apparent willingness to confront the international community.

The authors of the report - entitled Beyond Terror: The Truth About the Real Threats to Our World - say support for political Islam is increasing worldwide and the war in Iraq has actually boosted the risk of further terrorist atrocities on the scale of 9/11.

"Treating Iraq as part of the War on Terror only spawned new terror in the region and created a combat training zone for jihadists," the report added.
and the blowback is perfectly clear:

Britain's part in the Iraq war has seriously hurt its ability to stop war crimes and human rights abuses elsewhere, Oxfam said on Wednesday, as a poll showed over half the British public consider the war unethical.

Reviewing British foreign policy during Prime Minister Tony Blair's 10 years in power, the international aid body said Blair's successor -- widely expected to be Finance Minister Gordon Brown -- needed to introduce a tough new stance of standing up to Britain's allies if they violate human rights.

It said its workers in war zones around the world were reporting a trend of anti-British sentiment driven by perceived double standards in Britain's foreign policy.
Haven't we been here before?

"I and the school childrenpublic know
What everyone mustall schoolchildren learn.
Those to whom evil is done,
Do evil in return."

--W.H. Auden [good grief!]

And yet the White House can't seem to add 2+2 and come up with anything but 1:

The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies, but it has had trouble finding anyone able and willing to take the job, according to people close to the situation.

At least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks have declined to be considered for the position, the sources said, underscoring the administration's difficulty in enlisting its top recruits to join the team after five years of warfare that have taxed the United States and its military.

"The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going," said retired Marine Gen. John J. "Jack" Sheehan, a former top NATO commander who was among those rejecting the job. Sheehan said he believes that Vice President Cheney and his hawkish allies remain more powerful within the administration than pragmatists looking for a way out of Iraq. "So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, 'No, thanks,' " he said.
What's really sad is that criticism about about Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Syria still dominates US news, while the press in Egypt, Lebanon, and the UAE, seems mostly interested in the fact Tom Lantos said yesterday that he now wants to travel to Iran. (I can't find anythning on this press conference at WaPo or The most current news on Pelosi I can find is this opinion column on the effect of the White House smear campaign against Pelosi.) Seems the people most affected by our diplomacy, welcome our diplomacy. But our leadership still prefers belligerence.

At this point, all we can hope for is that Congress takes their shovel away. The hole we're in is plenty deep enough.

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