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Between the Lines

October 28, 2003

Here’s the problem …

Every 20 minutes, someone somewhere is injured or killed by an encounter with these kinds of explosives. More than 60 million landmines remain in areas of former and current conflict. Some of the worst-effected countries include Angola, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cambodia, Croatia, Ethiopia, Laos, Mozambique, Rwanda and Vietnam.
-- Clear Path International

… and here’s how to help

Clear Path International is a home-grown Northwest organization that assists casualties of land mines that still clutter the landscape in many former war zones, waiting to claim their next victims. It helps survivors of land mines – especially children – with emergency medical care, hospitalization, transportation, surgery, household economic support, occupational therapy and special scholarships.

Clear Path is holding its major annual fund-raiser Nov. 6 both in the U.S. and abroad. Background information on the "Night of a Thousand Dinners" is here. And a list of participating restaurants in Washington, Vermont and California is here.

Clear Path’s co-founder and board president, Imbert Mathee, is a former reporter for both The Seattle Times and our crosstown rival, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Posted by tbrown at 12:27 PM


Plame update: Was the CIA itself the administration’s target?

Vincent Cannistraro, former director of operations for the CIA's counterterrorism group (of which Valerie Plame was a member), said in pretty much unnoticed congressional testimony the other day that Plame’s cover was blown by the administration as a way of attacking U.S. intelligence agencies for failing to put the right spin on material they were sending the White House.

"She was outed as a vindictive act because the agency was not providing support for policy statements that Saddam Hussein was reviving his nuclear program," he said.

Once again, we tip our hat to blogger Mark A.R. Kleiman, for another significant development in this continuing travesty.

Also, Sam Dash, former counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee, says whoever leaked Plame’s name may have violated the absurdly overbroad Patriot Act. Don’t you just love it?

But the president still “would like to know” who did it, he said at a news conference today:

Q. Thank you, Mr. President. You have said that you are eager to find out whether somebody in the White House leaked the identity of an undercover CIA agent. Many experts in such investigations say you can find if there was a leaker in the White House within hours if you asked all staff members to sign affidavits denying involvement. Why not take that step?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the best person to that, Dana, so that the -- or the best group of people to do that so that you believe the answer is the professionals at the Justice Department. And they're moving forward with the investigation. It's a criminal investigation. It is an important investigation. I'd like to know if somebody in my White House did leak sensitive information. As you know, I've been outspoken on leaks. And whether they happened in the White House, or happened in the administration, or happened on Capitol Hill, it is a -- they can be very damaging.

And so this investigation is ongoing and -- by professionals who do this for a living, and I hope they -- I'd like to know.

Posted by tbrown at 12:19 PM


Today in Iraq

Deputy mayor of Baghdad is assassinated

Another car-bomb kills six in Fallujah

Four U.S. soldiers wounded near Mosul

Update on yesterday’s bombings in Baghdad: The accurate death toll now appears to be 34, rather than the 42 initially reported. More than 200 were wounded.

Some folks on the right think the bombing attacks yesterday on the Baghdad headquarters of the Red Cross and three police stations will boomerang in the Arab world because almost all the victims were Iraqis. Read their arguments here:

-- David Frum, National Review Online

-- Patio Pundit

Finally, here’s an update on coalition casualties since the war began – 356 Americans, 51 Britons and 5 from other countries. There also have been 2,046 Americans wounded.

Posted by tbrown at 12:18 PM


How about a nice little counterinsurgency?

Now that Iraq has turned out to be something less than the predicted “cakewalk,” the American Enterprise Institute and the Project for the New American Century – two neoconservative think-tanks whose policy proposals underlie much of the Bush administration’s foreign policy – are proposing that we launch a “counter-insurgency.” That is, anti-guerrilla campaigns similar to those we used in Vietnam.

Sound unhinged? They don’t think so. “For one thing, the conditions for a successful American counterinsurgency campaign are good. The vast majority of Iraq is not 'a sea' in which insurgents can hide and find ready support,” say authors Tom Donnelly and Gary Schmitt.

Could this have been what President Bush had in mind when he compared the occupation of Iraq to the U.S. colonization of the Phillipines, a campaign that cost the lives of 4,234 U.S. soldiers, 69,000 Filipino combatants and nearly 200,000 civilians over a half-century?

Donnelly and Schmitt might do well to read this piece by pollster John Zogby regarding the lack of liberation euphoria in Iraq before concluding that it is unfertile ground for the anti-U.S. jihadis.

Posted by tbrown at 12:15 PM


‘People are impatient’

Anne Garrels, the National Public Radio correspondent who was one of 16 Americans to stick it out in Baghdad as independent (i.e., “unembedded”) reporters during the war, thinks most Iraqis want the U.S. to leave “after a short period.”

“People are impatient,” she told an audience at the University of Washington last night. The problem, though, is that “they don’t know where they’re going. There’s no rambunctious debate about what kind of country they want to have.”

Posted by tbrown at 12:09 PM


The unsticker-in-chief

An exchange from President Bush's news conference today:

Q: You recently put Condoleezza Rice, your national security adviser, in charge of the management of the administration's Iraq policy. What has effectively changed since she's been in charge?

And a second question: Can you promise a year from now that you will have reduced the number of troops in Iraq?

BUSH: The second question is a trick question, so I won't answer it.
The first question was Condoleezza Rice. Her job is to coordinate inter-agency. She's doing a fine job of coordinating inter-agency. She's doing what her -- I mean, the role of the national security adviser is to not only provide good advice to the president, which she does on a regular basis -- I value her judgment and her intelligence -- but her job is also to deal inter-agency and to help unstick things that may get stuck. That's the best way to put it. She's an unsticker...
(LAUGHTER)
... and -- is she listening? OK, well, she's doing a fine job.

Well, that clears it up.

Posted by tbrown at 12:04 PM




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 RECENT ENTRIES
Here’s the problem …
Plame update: Was the CIA itself the administration’s target?
Today in Iraq
How about a nice little counterinsurgency?
‘People are impatient’
The unsticker-in-chief

 LINKS

Blogs to watch

Abu Ardvark
Altercation
Andrew Sullivan
Antiwar.com
Atrios Eschaton
Best of the Web
DailyKOS
Defensetech
Drudge Report
GlobalSecurity.org
Instapundit
Joe Conason (subscription required)
Josh Marshall
Kaus files
No More Mr. Nice Blog
Real Clear Politics
Tapped
The Corner
The Volokh Conspiracy
The Whiskey Bar

Mideast blogs

Salam Pax (Iraq)
G. in Baghdad
L.T. Smash (U.S. military in Iraq)
Lady Sun (Iran)

City blogs

Gawker
L.A. Examiner

Africa blogs

AfricaPundit
Cathy Buckle

Media blogs

Romenesko
Dan Gillmor's eJournal
Media Whores Online

Newspapers

Newspapers online (guide to papers on the web)
International Herald Tribune
The Guardian U.K.
New York Times (free registration required)

Economy blogs

EconoPundit
Brad DeLong

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