Friday, January 12, 2007

Finally the voices of sanity are speaking

There is a great report on the Senate Committee meeting yesterday before which Condoleezza Rice appeared: Devastating Criticism on Iraq by Both Parties. It's amazing to read how Republican Senators are also voicing opposition now (no doubt out of electoral fear) and the Committee appeared to have been united. Among those distinguishing themselves, Joe Biden, Chuck Hagel and Russ Feingold. As for Rice, once again, reminiscent of her 9/11 Commission appearance, she failed to answer questions and engaged in word play:
Lawmakers argued with Ms. Rice over what to call the latest plan — she corrected critics who referred to it as an “escalation,” describing it as an “augmentation” — and over whether a civil war is underway.

When Ms. Rice asserted that insurgents, not warring Shiite and Sunni factions, were mainly responsible for American casualties, Mr. Hagel shot back, “Madame Secretary, your intelligence and mine is a lot different.”

He added, “To sit there and say that, Madame Secretary, that’s just not true.”

“Well, Senator, if you’ll — ,” Ms. Rice began.

“That is not true,” Mr. Hagel repeated.

“Senator, if you’ll allow me to finish,” Ms. Rice said, visibly exasperated, finally conceding that Iraqi attacks on other Iraqis are taking place in the form of death squads.
Can you f*%#ing imagine the nerve of Rice to inject a new focus-group-like word like "augmentation" into the discussion. As if the White House desperation at loss of control over the coverage of Bush's "surge" would not be painfully obvious...these people have got to stop playing politics with this disaster. Are they still listening to the likes of Karl Rove?

And Bush is wearing, more than ever, the effects of his war of choice:
Early in the day, in an emotional ceremony at the White House, Mr. Bush awarded the Medal of Honor to the family of Cpl. Jason Dunham, a marine from Scio, N.Y., who was killed in Iraq in 2004 when he threw himself on a grenade to save the rest of his unit. The president began crying during the ceremony.
There is something about this report that is disturbing. Not that he's crying, it's the element of an emotional breakdown that comes through...somehow when he's just committed more troops and is potentially widening this conflict to Iran and Syria, it's not the kind of image that is reassuring at all.