Daily archives: July 28th, 2007

G.O.P. Afraid of You(Tube)

Time Magazine is reporting that key G.O.P. presidential candidates are suddenly finding scheduling conflicts and other excuses to back out of the September 17 YouTube debate on CNN.  From Friday’s story in Time:

The Rudy Giuliani campaign has cited scheduling conflicts in saying it will skip the Republican version of this week’s Democratic debate, while Mitt Romney has mocked the seriousness of the questions and also seems likely to withdraw. John McCain, one of two candidates who had agreed to participate (Ron Paul is the other), has also expressed doubts about the Democratic debate’s level of decorum and aides say he may reconsider his commitment. Undeclared candidate Fred Thompson may still not officially be in the race by the event’s Sept. 17 airdate.

The Republicans’ sudden aversion has political observers wondering whether abandoning an opportunity to participate in the fledging format shows a potentially costly reluctance to engage with voters or is simply an exercise in prudent message management.

Are the Republicans afraid of facing real voters?  Skating through the presidential campaign while only answering carefully scripted, carefully crafted and negotiated questions in debates with  pre-screened audiences?

That seems likely, although the Republicans will try to spin this differently.

Iraqi leader tells Bush: Get Gen Petraeus out

Shouting matches. Our top people in Iraq are negotiating via shouting matches.

This from the Telegraph in the UK:

Relations between the top United States general in Iraq and Nouri al-Maliki, the country’s prime minister, are so bad that the Iraqi leader made a direct appeal for his removal to President George W Bush.

Although the call was rejected, aides to both men admit that Mr Maliki and Gen David Petraeus engage in frequent stand-up shouting matches, differing particularly over the US general’s moves to arm Sunni tribesmen to fight al-Qa’eda.

Apparently President Bush did intervene on at least one occasion. But, instead of telling Gen. Petraeus to watch himself, he warned Prime Minister Maliki to “calm down”.

One Iraqi source said Mr Maliki used a video conference with Mr Bush to call for the general’s signature strategy to be scrapped. “He told Bush that if Petraeus continues, he would arm Shia militias,” said the official. “Bush told Maliki to calm down.”

“Calm Down”

Yes, of course, “calm down.” Doesn’t Maliki have his own Crawford? Can’t he run to a ranch somewhere outside of Baghdad when things get rough? Has the President of the United States not yet advised Maliki to spend most of his term in office somewhere else, out of his office? Why didn’t Maliki think of that sooner? What a fool he’s been? “Calm down.” It’s so simple – the answer to a national crisis.

Maliki should follow the President’s advice. He should calm down. Better yet, he should declare war on a nation he doesn’t like. A small nation whose people he can easily dominate. Maybe he should just go after Qatar. Then, the Iraqi people would worry less about their own problems, and rally around the Iraqi flag as their soldiers march into this new country, welcomed as liberators and freedom fighters. Maliki could create a world-wide coalition to defeat this enemy.

And financing’s not a worry. The United States will just send more money so the Iraqi’s do not suffer an inordinate burden. After all, Maliki would not want to get tagged as the first leader since Saddam to actually require that Iraqi’s pay for their own college education! No, the United States will continue to pour in more money, and now that Saudi Arabia is on our side, Maliki would have nothing to worry about.

That’s the solution: Maliki should attack Qatar, take the Iraqi’s minds off their problems, Uncle Sam can finance it, and we can all, finally, “calm down.”