BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- AMMAN, JORDAN.
BULLY BOY IS PLAGUED BY ONE QUESTION: "DID I STAND HIM UP OR DID HE STAND ME UP?"
IN LIGHT OF THE NON-MEETING THAT DID NOT TAKE PLACE TODAY, BULLY BOY HAS BEEN CONFINED TO HIS SUITE AND REFUSING TO LEAVE. WHEN THESE REPORTERS HEARD HIM SHOUT THE QUESTION REPEATEDLY, WE ATTEMPTED TO PERSUADE THE SECRET SERVICE TO ALLOW US ENTRY BUT THEY REFUSED.
A NERVOUS DAN BARTLETT EMERGED SHORTLY TO EXPLAIN IT WAS "NO BIG DEAL" THAT THE MEETING DID NOT TAKE PLACE TODAY AS PLANNED BECAUSE "IT WAS GOING TO BE MORE OF A SOCIAL MEETING ANYWAY."
AT WHICH POINT BARTLETT CEASED SPEAKING BECAUSE OF THE LOW, GUTTURAL CRY OF "WHY ME! WHY ME!" THAT SEEMED TO FILL THE HALLWAY.
BARTLETT NODDED TO THE SECRET SERVICE WHO TOLD THESE REPORTERS THAT WE WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE. WHEN WE REFUSED, THE SECRET SERVICE GRABBED EACH OF US BY AN ARM BUT WHATEVER MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED WAS PREVENTED BY THE ARRIVIAL OF SECRETARY OF STATE & ANGER, CONDI RICE.
"HEY, HEY, DIG IT," CONDI SAID WAVING A CONTAINER, "DEAD SEA BATH SALTS! DEAD SEA BATH SALTS! ISN'T THAT THE WILDEST THING YOU EVER HEARD OF?"
WHEN NO 1 RUSHED TO LAUGH WITH CONDI, THESE REPORTERS EVENTUALLY DID.
"YEAH, THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. THESE BOYS GET ME. WHAT'S GOING ON ANYWAY?"
WHEN IT WAS EXPLAINED TO SECRETARY RICE, SHE SIGHED LOUDLY, SHOOK HER HEAD AND MUTTERED SOMETHING TO THE EFFECT OF, "WHY DO I ALWAYS HAVE TO CLEAN UP HIS MESSES? YOU'D THINK HIS MOTHER WOULD HAVE TAUGHT HIM HOW TO WIPE."
SHE HEADED INTO THE SUITES AND THESE REPORTERS ATTEMPTED TO FOLLOW
BUT WERE STOPPED BY THE SECRET SERVICE UNTIL SECRETARY RICE EXPLAINED, "THEY'RE COOL. THEY'RE WITH ME."
ONCE INSIDE SECRETARY RICE SHOOK HER HEAD HEAD IN DISGUST AT A BLUBBERING BULLY BOY WITH HIS HEAD BURIED IN A PILLOW.
CLEARING HER THROAT, SHE WALKED STRAIGHT TO THE DRAMA.
"YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS?" SHE ASKED THE BULLY BOY WHO STOPPED CRYING LONG ENOUGH TO LOOK UP.
"IT'S MYSTERY DATE. YOU KNOW MYSTERY DATE, RIGHT?"
"UH-HUH," BULLY BOY SAID WIPING HIS NOSE ON THE PILLOW CASE.
"SO WHAT HAPPENED? NOTHING. YOU WERE ALL DRESSED FOR A PICNIC AND NOURI AL-MALIKI SHOWED UP AT THE DOOR IN SKI GEAR. WHAT DO THEY SAY, 'BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME'."
"BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME," BULLY BOY SAID NODDING SLOWLY.
"THAT'S RIGHT," SECRETARY RICE SAID FIRMLY, "BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME."
"JUST LIKE YOU TOLD ME WHEN THE YELLOW CAKE STORIES EXPLODED," BULLY BOY SAID STARTING TO GRIN.
"THAT'S RIGHT," SECRETARY RICE AGREED.
"YES, MR. BULLY BOY?"
"CAN WE PLAY MYSTERY DATE NOW?"
"DID YOU PACK THE GAME?"
BULLY BOY RAN TO HIS LUGGAGE AND BEGAN TEARING THROUGH IT QUICKLY BEFORE PULLING OUT THE MYSTERY DATE BOARD GAME AND WAVING IT AROUND.
"YES, I DID. I WANT TO BE THE PURPLE GIRL. YOU CAN BE DARK BLUE!"
AND THAT'S HOW WE LEFT THE BULLY BOY OF THE UNITED STATES, SITTING ON THE FLOOR, TALKING EXCITEDLY ABOUT HOW HE HOPED HE GOT "THE SWIMMER AND NOT THE DUD. I HATE THE DUD!"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting with the memo:
We returned from Iraq convinced we need to determine if Prime Minister Maliki is both willing and able to rise above the sectarian agendas being promoted by others. Do we and Prime Minister Maliki share the same vision for Iraq? If so, is he able to curb those who seek Shia hegemony or the reassertion of Sunni power? The answers to these questions are key in determining whether we have the right strategy in Iraq.
Maliki reiterated a vision of Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish partnership, and in my one-on-one meeting with him, he impressed me as a leader who wanted to be strong but was having difficulty figuring out how to do so. Maliki pointed to incidents, such as the use of Iraqi forces in Shia Karbala, to demonstrate his even hand. Perhaps because he is frustrated over his limited ability to command Iraqi forces against terrorists and insurgents, Maliki has been trying to show strength by standing up to the coalition. Hence the public spats with us over benchmarks and the Sadr City roadblocks.
Despite Maliki's reassuring words, repeated reports from our commanders on the ground contributed to our concerns about Maliki's government. Reports of nondelivery of services to Sunni areas, intervention by the prime minister's office to stop military action against Shia targets and to encourage them against Sunni ones, removal of Iraq's most effective commanders on a sectarian basis and efforts to ensure Shia majorities in all ministries -- when combined with the escalation of Jaish al-Mahdi's (JAM) [the Arabic name for the Mahdi Army] killings -- all suggest a campaign to consolidate Shia power in Baghdad.
Michael R. Gordon (New York Times) reports that author of the memo is National Securtiy Adviser Stephen J. Hadley and that Hadley wrote the memo November 8, 2006. The memo was based on conclusions Hadley drew while visiting the Green Zone on October 30th, a visit John F. Burns and David E. Sanger (New York Times) noted was spoken of "only in the vaguest of terms". The memo's distrust of Nouri al-Maliki and its suggestions fly in the face of what Geroge W. Casey Jr. was publicly pushing immediately prior to Hadley's visit. As Amit R. Paley (Washington Post) reported the US' military commander's claims of Iraqi security forces 'success' was doubted by American troops on the ground.
The memo covers a number of topics. Mainly it attempts to chart how the puppet can be propped up if he agrees to continue to following orders from the US administration (such as "support the renewal of the UN mandate for multinational forces" -- done yesterday -- through the end of 2007 as Sandra Lupien noted on yesterday's The KPFA Evening News). If that is the case, US tax dollars can be used to prop up political parties that do not support Moktada al-Sadr and thereby sideline al-Sadr from the process. ("This bloc would not require a new election, but would rather involve a realignment of political actors within the Parliament.") Mainly the memo's concerned with appearances, ways to make it appear the puppet is independent and strong. Such as: "Encourage Zal [Zalmay Khalilzad, the American ambassador] to move into the background and let Maliki take more credit for positive developments." As noted in previous snapshots, Zalmay-Take-Me-Away is on his way out. His supposed 'success' in Afghanistan began to implode in front of the world shortly after he was shipped to Iraq to create more 'success.' Reality didn't wait and Zalmay is on the way out.
The memo offers that al-Maliki can appear 'strong' if the US administration will: "Seek ways to strengthen Maliki immediately by giving him additional control over Iraq forces, although we musr tecognize that in the immediate time frame, we would likely be able to give him more authority over existing forces, not more forces" While pushing appearances, Hadley makes it very clear that al-Maliki is extremely out of touchand that he has one self-presentation "when he talks with Americans" and another at other times. Hadley writes: "But the reality on the streets of Baghdad suggest Maliki is either ignorant of what is going on, misrepresenting his intentions, or that his capabilities are not yet sufficient to turn his good intentions into action."
The memo reveals the doubts, all the times after, that the US administration still has of their puppet. Mark Silva (Chicago Tribune) reports that Tony Snow Job issued a statement of Bully Boy's confidence in al-Maliki which should make the puppet shudder if he's aware of "Heck of a job, Brownie." [Or of November 1st, when Bully Boy was singing Rummy's praises. As Ron Hutcheson (McClatchy Newspapers) reported: "Rumsfeld's ouster came a week after Bush told a small group of reporters that he wanted the defense secretary to stay on the job until end of his presidency."]
Silva also speaks with a nameless administration official who states that the memo is about raising questions and it "doesn't mean you're casting judgment" which is either cover up or the nameless hasn't read the memo. The third step Hadley outlines that al-Maliki "should take" is to "Shake up his cabinet by appointing nonsectarian, capable technocrats in key service (and security) ministries."
For those paying attention months ago, al-Maliki's claimed that was happening. He began saying it was happening after he finally got a cabinet semi together. He missed the Constitutional deadline as well as his own appointed deadline. When he finally had a 'cabinet' it was short three positions. As soon as those were filled, al-Maliki began making repeated noises about a 'shake up' that has still not taken place. That was telling when Hadley visited in October, it was telling when Hadley wrote the memo on November 8th and, as November draws to a close, it's even more telling.
As Tony Snow Job tries to spin the memo, the US administration still attempts to deny the reality of the civil war that has been raging in Iraq. Shatha al-Awsy (McClatchy Newspapers) registers quite clearly what she has seen in the last year in the neighborhood she lived, the neighbors who left as strangers began showing up, the talk of impending attacks, the need to build a secret passage way between her home and her parents, the night when violence was only streets away, her baby crying from the mortar rounds falling and her promise to herself to leave if they made it through tomorrow.
In the face of such reality, the US administration continues to deny Iraq is in a civil war. James Coomarasamy (BBC) reports that Stephen Hadley, of all people, "has said the Iraqi government does not see it in those terms, while the president himself described the latest attacks as part of an ongoing campaign by al-Qaeda militants." The same Hadley who wrote "the reality on the streets of Baghdad suggests Maliki is either ignorant of what is going on"? Meanwhile, Diala Saadeh (Reuters) reports Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State, has stated, "I would call it a civil war. . . I have been using it (civil war) because I like to face the reality." (Like your blot?) On CBS' The Early Show, Bob Schieffer (host of Face the Nation) offered, "This is not a memo that was leaked by some Democrat in Congress. This is something that obviously came from someone within the administration itself. It shows that the situation in Iraq is the kind of chaos that has been described by others at every level, political and military. It paints a picture that is unlike what we have been hearing from the administration. We've been hearing that things are getting better and so on and so forth, that al-Maliki is doing his best. Now this memo raises questions about those statements."
Recommended: "Iraq Snapshot"
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"robert parry, iraq, pacifica radio"
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"Bully Back Down"
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