My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Howard Dean's Amazing Sense of Timing 

Howard Dean was in Denver today, and, as usual, managed to step right into a fresh, steaming pile of . . . whatever it is Dean regularly steps in.

The war in Iraq will be a major issue during the Democratic National Convention in Denver, DNC chairman Howard Dean told several hundred people at the west entrance to the Pepsi Center this afternoon.

"Every single one of the Republicans running for president thinks we ought to stay in Iraq, maybe for as long as 50 years," said Dean. "Every Democrat thinks we ought not to be there."

On the same day--THE VERY SAME DAY--a major step towards Iraqi reconciliation is announced in the Italian press [via Captain's Quarters]

The leader of Iraq's banned Baath party, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, has decided to join efforts by the Iraqi authorities to fight al-Qaeda, one of the party's former top officials, Abu Wisam al-Jashaami, told pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.

"AlDouri has decided to sever ties with al-Qaeda and sign up to the programme of the national resistance, which includes routing Islamist terrorists and opening up dialogue with the Baghdad government and foreign forces," al-Jashaami said.

. . . . In return, for cooperating in the fight against al-Qaeda, al-Douri has asked for guarantees over his men's safety and for an end to Iraqi army attacks on his militias.

Recent weeks have seen a first step in this direction, when Baathist fighters cooperated with Iraqi government forces in hunting down al-Qaeda operatives in the volatile Diyala province and in several districts of the capital, Baghadad.

Now, what in the world could make somebody like al-Douri decide to lay down his arms? Why would such a terrible dead-ender try to actually strike a deal?

Oh . . . maybe this, from President Bush today:

“In Iraq, our troops are taking the fight to the extremists and radicals and murderers all throughout the country. Our troops have killed or captured an average of more than 1,500 al Qaeda terrorists and other extremists every month since January of this year. "

Oh, so, you mean it's possible that we can move towards political progress once we get closer to establishing security? And--just so I'm clear in my own mind--we're starting to establish security to the tune of killing 12,000 terrorists since January? And--again, just to be clear--isn't January about when the surge really started kicking in? So . . .

maybe the surge is working. And, maybe, just maybe, the Iraqis are moving themselves in the right direction now that they're not getting blown up so much (well, except for the bad guys). And maybe we'll have a massive success story in Iraq by the Democratic National Convention next year.


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