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Baiting The Enemy?

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2007 2:05 AM

Whatever scraps of moral authority America retains in regards to the war in Iraq are quickly being sold off at a discount.

In testimony pertaining to the shooting of a civilian in Iraq, it was revealed that the tactic of 'baiting' has been employed. Soldiers leave a piece of detonation cord, plastic explosive, or ammunition in the street. When Joe Q. Iraqi goes to pick it up, a sniper shoots him.

That would be fine if the world worked on 'only terrorists pick up detcord, plastic explosives, and ammunition.' We forget that there may be Iraqis who may see such items, fail to recognize them, but find them novel/unique enough to warrant a second look.

And what's the ROE if a terrorist sends a little kid to fetch the object for him? Do we shoot the kid?

The failures of American statesmanship continue to be made plain as the country pisses and moans about the visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Now, I'm not saying that he's a nice guy, or that he's a good man being maligned by a vast right-wing conspiracy.

But when 60 Minutes effectively plays sock puppet for President Bush, we're not engaging in dialogue. We're lecturing. Again. And then slamming the door. Again.

This isn't like you've been hit up by door-to-door Jesus salesmen, or accosted by cultists at the bus stop. Merely talking to the guy isn't going to transform Washington, D.C. into a Shiite paradise.

This is the president of a hostile regime, and we need to engage them at the negotiating table instead of daring them to cross the line. And don't try to sell me the 'all options are on the table' nonsense if you're not going to hold talks.

The military option should remain the unspoken threat, the 'here's what awaits you if you don't negotiate.'

In the wake of having their asses kicked by the Republicans, the Democrats are lining up for second helpings.

Sen. Carl Levin has admitted that deauthorizing the Iraq War, '... raises more problems than it solves.' An amendment co-sponsored by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Robert Byrd, designed to rescind the AUMF and require Mr. Bush to seek additional authorization through Congress, seems headed for a quick death in committee. (Even if it passed, the Democrats would need to muster a continued majority when authorization came up for another vote.)

Gosh, that sounds familiar. Like the wishy-washy answer to the question of impeachment. Too much trouble, it seems.

You stupid, spineless motherfuckers were elected to handle the tough issues like the Iraq War and how to bring our troops home safely, not capitulate to the Republicans at every turn.

And with the White House now pushing for corporate immunity for the telecommunications companies that assisted in the illegal, warrantless wiretapping program, I'm fully expecting lots of bluster, then a quiet capitulation by Democrats, who seem to have no clue as to how to exercise their majority. (Of course, Sen. Dianne Feinstein's soul has been bought and paid for long before this, and I expect her to sing the praises of AT&T and the NSA. Seeing as she voted to confirm Gen. Michael Hayden in the first place.)

Christopher Renz, the prosecutor in the Larry Craig case says Senator Craig knew the consequences of his plea, and chose not to seek counsel. Craig only changed his mind after the negative publicity began to mount.

In a motion opposing Craig's request to withdraw his guilty plea, Renz writes, "The defendant chose to plead guilty and consciously took that risk. The defendant's current pursuit of withdrawal of his guilty plea is reactionary, calculated and political."

Renz also points out that Senator Craig should not be able to plead ignorance, as he is a college graduate, has served in Congress for 30 years, and has sponsored or co-sponsored at least 10 bills dealing with criminal law.

Ooops. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn goes on MSNBC's "Tucker" and runs afoul of guest host David Shuster. Shuster inquired about the hypocrisy of figures like Rush Limbaugh branding Senator Chuck Hagel as 'Senator Betray Us' (long before the ad), and Blackburn launches into scripted talking points about the MoveOn ad and the New York Times.

Shuster asks her if she knows the name of the last soldier from her district to be killed in Iraq.

She doesn't.

Shuster then asks why she knows chapter and verse about's ad, but has no idea about the death of an actual constituent.

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