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Political Roundup

Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006 12:03 AM

Israel is none too pleased with Pat Robertson.

Though evangelical Christian groups consider it their spiritual duty to support Israel as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy, Tourism Minister Abraham Hirchson has called for the end of business relations with any group affiliated with Robertson's ministry (though not, a spokesman says, with other evangelical Christian groups).

Robertson was spearheading the concept of a Christian Heritage Center in the Galilee region, Christ's old stomping grounds.

The wheels on the Freedom Bus (it's on the move!) don't seem to be getting much traction off sectarian politics in Iraq.

The leader of the most influential group in the ruling Shiite coalition, Abdul Azziz al-Hakim, has indicated that there will be no significant changes in the recently-ratified constitution - despite hints that Sunni concerns would be addressed after ratification through an amendment process.

Maybe the Sunnis should have issued a signing statement.

And while President Bush is taking his DoubleSpeak "Turmoil Is Progress" foreign policy for another spin around the block, Abdul al-Hakim also criticized the United States for encouraging the insurgency through its attempts to rein in Iraqi security forces. Al-Hakim also referred to American officials' belief that Shiite leaders are systematically torturing and killing Sunni Arabs.

Far from expecting InstantDemocracy� or other liberal fantasies, it is clear that Iraq's nascent government will be firmly rooted in religion, and that might give it a flavor we didn't expect, nor one that we find entirely to our liking.

But we'll have to smile and compliment the chef, regardless.

A senior British officer has given his evaluation of the U.S. Army as being, "culturally ignorant," and burdened by, "moralistic self-righteousness, unproductive micromanagement, and unwarranted optimism."

It's not all bad, of course - the officer, Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, lauds soldiers for their patriotism, duty, passion, and talent - but found a, "damaging optimism" interfered with realistic assements of the situation in Iraq, and could discourage, "... junior commanders from reporting unwelcome news up the chain of command."

But if you're not being honest amongst yourselves, how the hell can we possibly believe you're being honest with us?

(The full text of Brig. Aylwin-Foster's article in Military Review can be found here.)

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