Coalition Breakdown

British troops lost the hearts and minds of the citizens of Basra in one day last September, after an apparently successful, mostly peaceful two year campaign to bring order and train police in Iraq’s third largest city.

This week, after British military police arrested two of their own, the southern province of Basra has officially cut off all relations with the British. in connection with a 2004 video.

Over 1000 protesters reportedly congregated and burned the British flag in response. More arrests are expected in connection with the video, which, the Guardian reports:

filmed in the restive town of Amara in the Maysan province, just north of Basra, in January 2004 appeared to show defenceless young Iraqis being kicked and attacked with batons, to the apparent amusement of the cameraman.

I posted last fall on the significance of the uprisings in Basra and the evidence that the police forces were being infiltrated and commanded by a myriad of extremists and conflicted militant groups. (also here, and here ).

As Jasem al-Aqrab, head of organization of the Iraqi Islamic party in party, writes in Thursday’s Guardian, the real story is surfacing regarding the supposedly “calm” Basra region as it had been compared to the violence in the North since early 2003.

Cheney Reaction

While the majority of the blogosphere remains hung up on the ridiculous “hunter’s judgment factor” that resulted in the Vice President shooting a friend in the face at close range, the White House carries on with its quasi-isolationist ignorance and socially regressive budget realignments.

Ol’ Scottie Mac directed some frustration in Cheney’s direction according to members of the White House journo-jungle including WaPo’s Dana Milbank and the Trib’s Mark Silva. What better can we expect when the Big Time and Boy Genius are managing press relations.

Monday Night’s late shows were all over it indeed, but moving on —

The politically ineffective Ibrahim al Jaafari has been appointed Prime Minister of Iraq through 2010 — primarily because Moqtada al Sadr and other radical Shi’ites joined forces with him. Still awaiting word from the White House on the latest consequence to “freedom on the march.”

Also, an article in today’s Washington Post reveals that Bush’s insane budget plans would cut crucial health care components . This while also taking funds necessary to keep the Environmental Protection Agency’s libraries open.

Point being, even if Cheney decides to jump off a bridge at this point, the downward spiralling presidency is in full force. If McClellan has his way, he’ll have reporters raising hell about the Cheney story for two weeks in lieu of dealing with more important international policy and domestic budget / energy & oil profit-abuse related issues. Funny, innit?

Derelict Dick

I don’t care if Dick Cheney goes buck wild and goes on a great West Texas shooting spree. As long as the administration continues to casually veil their dirty truths from the public — it remains unclear whether the Veep’s office intended to EVER release details of Dick’s misfirings — death at the hand of Dick’s jumpy gun remains more likely than liberty. Seems more likely that the Corpus Christi Caller‘s Jaime Powell will be accused of endangering national security for filing the original report on a tip from ranch-owner and BushCo sponsor extraordinaire Katharine Armstrong. As WSJ’s Law Blog points out… Harry Whittington, the 78-year old “peppered” by the Veep’s shotgun blasts, has his own beef with eminent domain. Perhaps this explains the WH conclusion that it was all Whittington’s fault, y’know, getting shot and all.

Meanwhile, illustrating how the Cheney administration has veiled its failures in Iraq, Dahr Jamail comments on this weekends “security incidents.” It appears that Kirkuk ain’t Kansas, Dorothy.

Among the barrage of lies is the White Houses original denial that Jack Abramoff attended a 2001 White House meeting with the president, among others. Matthew Cooper breaks this down in Time.

JABBS summarizes the statements of Republican Congressman who have questioned the legality of Bush’s wiretapping program.

If in fact Scooter Libby was authorized to leak information regarding then-covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson by his superiors (read: Dick Cheney or George W. Bush), in no way should Cheney remain in power, as DNC Chairman Howard Dean expressed Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation (transcript).

Sens. Reed (D-RI) and Allen (R-VA) agreed that Cheney should indeed by tried for his role in “Plamegate” on FOXNews Sunday (transcript).

In a compelling article in the March Commentary magazine, Gabriel Shoenfeld considers the legal implications of James Risen and Eric Lichtblau’s original December article and compares it to the upcoming espionage trial involving members of AIPAC.

Cheney can shoot himself in the foot all he wants, but its time something is done regarding the unethical, constitution-breaching, and deficit plundering policies of this administration.

I’ve said enough…. as the Sans-culotte blog points out, the U.S. is preparing for a potential “war on blogs.”

Riverbend: Raided in Baghdad

The teenage Iraqi blogger known as Riverbend, author of Baghdad Burning, a series of blog-posts at and her own blog, posts anectodal details of a raid by Iraqi police this week on her house and neighborhood.

Riverbend concludes:

It’s almost funny- only a month ago, we were watching a commercial on some Arabic satellite channel- Arabiya perhaps. They were showing a commercial for Iraqi security forces and giving a list of numbers Iraqis were supposed to dial in the case of a terrorist attack? You call THIS number if you need the police to protect you from burglars or abductors? You call THAT number if you need the National Guard or special forces to protect you from terrorists? But?

Who do you call to protect you from the New Iraq?s security forces?

Breathtaking. Read it.