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and the cease-fire may be called off as well.


Iraqi government forces and Shiite militia fighters clashed anew Tuesday despite a government ultimatum to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to either disband his Mahdi Army or give up politics.

Meanwhile, security forces were reported to be blocking al-Sadr's supporters from traveling to Baghdad from outlying areas to attend an anti-U.S. rally scheduled for Wednesday.


Two aides in al-Sadr's office in the holy city of Najaf told The Associated Press that the rally had been canceled. They spoke on condition of anonymity pending an official announcement.

Al-Sadr had called for a "million-strong" protest to mark the fifth anniversary of the capture of Baghdad by U.S. troops. It was seen by many observers as a show of force in his confrontation with the government over calls to disband his Mahdi Army militia.

As everyone knows, Petraeus will be speaking today to Congress.  You have to read this interview with Juan Cole to understand the level of lies that will come out today.

In short, Iran wants the status quo -- which is pretty much what the United States wants, too. So why shouldn't the U.S. just work out the most harmonious way of achieving that goal by talking to the Iranians? That, in fact, is just what Gause argued the United States should do in his testimony before Congress. But the Bush administration, in thrall to its neoconservative ideology, will never conduct serious negotiations with Iran. Indeed, it seems to be too ideologically blinkered, or incompetent, even to realize that Iran and the United States have a significant shared interest in Iraq.

"The thing that I see in Iraq is an unwillingness to let those processes play out," Cole said. "Instead, we insist that we have to have military bases in Iraq and make sure that U.S. petroleum companies have a favorable negotiating position. I have a sinking feeling that the two of them, the Americans and the Iran-backed militia, are going to sink what's left of Iraqi democracy in the south. They're going to set the stage for major violence. As usual, Cheney and Bush are shooting themselves in the foot."

Originally posted to LiberalBadger on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 06:22 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's a mystery to me.... (5+ / 0-)

    As usual, Cheney and Bush are shooting themselves in the foot."

    How can these two guys with such shot up feet keep standing?  I guess that's one of the benefits of being a dictator.

    In a democracy, the most important office is the office of citizen.- Louis Brandeis

    by crystal eyes on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 06:29:15 AM PDT

  •  Irrespective of whatever barometre you (11+ / 0-)

    measure things with, regardless of what kind of glasses you look at this Iraq debacle through, it is very difficult to come to any conclusion other than the fact that the decision to invade this country was seriously bone-headed. There are no good options really -- one either has to choose between being involved in this messed up situation for an undetermined duration of time or leave carefully. And none of these decisions would be easy. The logistics are enormous. The strains would be vast.

    This is why I shake my head in amazement when these fools talk about victory in Iraq. The British government doesn't use that idiotic spin because they understand that bullshit is difficult to sell here.

    This war alone should drown McCain in this election. I cannot express how fundamentally wrong he is on this matter. There is no end to this rubbish.

    A chick that will grow into a cock can be spotted the day it hatches -- African Proverb

    by The British Observer on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 06:34:16 AM PDT

    •  my time in England (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rapala, The British Observer

      I'm an expat living in Halifax up in West Yorkshire.  Lot it here and that is one of the big reasons.  The US government is so setup to not infringe on the rights on citizens that it actually has no way of running and having a check on how it runs.

      I'd give my left nut to have a "shadow" government of Dems with access in the executive branch.

      •  "Love it here" not "Lot it here" n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  It's worse when you have a legal background (0+ / 0-)

        and you care about things other than money. You just get frustrated at how things are going. It's not unique to any country, it's like there's some sort of global supra-national agreement between nations' governments to take collective stupid decisions -- gross abuse of office, acting outside the powers conferred by the constitution, in some cases, ouright corruption. It's just frustrating really.

        This Iraq thing, the West walked wide-eyed into it and it was totally totally unnecessary. The new French President is somewhat disappointing in his approach as well. If he isn't gallivanting around Europe taking pictures that border close to soft-porn, he's trying to be best mates with George Bush.

        A chick that will grow into a cock can be spotted the day it hatches -- African Proverb

        by The British Observer on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 06:56:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hutton's - The World We Are In (0+ / 0-)

          I'm in the process of reading Will Hutton's The World We Are In where he argues (in 2002) that Britain needs to realize that it is, in fact, European and to avoid the Amerification that is more and more creeping in.  I would have loved to have seen Old Labour for a while - New Labour seems a bit too close to America.

          There's a brilliant part of Bill Bailey's comedy sketches where he talks about the US being the bully in the schoolyard who says "Give Me Your Lunch Money" and Britain is the puny weird kid behind him who shakes his fist and says "Yeah".

          courtesy of YouTube at 8:39 if you care to see

  •  They can't even have a rally? (5+ / 0-)

    Thats Bush democracy in action!

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 06:35:09 AM PDT

  •  An answer we are all afraid to face (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    minorityusa, joe shikspack

    is that all these thoughtful diaries, pundits, critics, supporters and detractors have yet to talk about openly is the religious aspect here we have often heard in passing but in my belief is the only true explaination of Bush and Company's manuvering. Bush is a reborn holier than thou Christian Fundamentalist who longs to experiance the "Rapture". He has always believed he "was picked by God" to run this country, and religious ideals underline everything this administration has done (besides the obvious profiteering) Remember some of the earliest civilians over in Iraq before the contractors were missionaries, until they became easy marks and literally lost their heads.

    GWB's failure to give an inch in any direction besides his own can only be viewed in a true fundamentalist's views on how he feels God wants this to go. This is most frightening for us all. It also offers up the explaination for the war drums with  Iran considering the shape our military is in.

    Words escape me, but deeds are always noticed

    by utopia on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 06:35:48 AM PDT

    •  I can understand where you are coming (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      from and I have often pondered what Bush's thought-process is like. What does he believe? Why did they invade Iraq? Why is he so so stubborn? I gave up trying to understand or rationalise the thought-processes of these neo-cons, and I have come to attribute any action of theirs' to stupidity. Trust me, it's easier that way. I don't really buy the Christian argument because I know Christianity and none of these bastards are Christians. War, bloodshed and suffering are not things that true Christians gleefully enable.

      These people are just really really stupid.

      A chick that will grow into a cock can be spotted the day it hatches -- African Proverb

      by The British Observer on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 06:45:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is pathology there that (0+ / 0-)

        carried over from when he was Govenor of Texas. Look at the change that visibly comes over him when he talked about imposing the death penalty and executions. It's frightening. When I use the term "Christian" I use it in the sense that these cult like evangelicals use it, not the true christianity Christ taught.

        Words escape me, but deeds are always noticed

        by utopia on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 08:14:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't buy this "Bush is religious" stuff - (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Erwin

      unless you mean "The Religion of Filthy Lucre." Bush and Cheney both are in it for love and money - the love of power and the power of other people's money.

      The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings. -- Julius Caesar, I.ii.

      by semiot on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 06:51:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  thanks. more of the same incompetence.... (0+ / 0-)

    from the Bush administration.

  •  But sending troops off to war (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is so much more manly, and lucrative. And besides, it's some other poor SOB whose gonna get shot . . .

    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings. -- Julius Caesar, I.ii.

    by semiot on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 06:48:23 AM PDT

  •  Don't worry about the "facts" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LEP, semiot, minorityusa

    I wouldn't get too worried about these events and happenings on the ground in Iraq.  John McCain says that the situation in Iraq is moving toward "something approaching normal," and his strength is in foreign policy, so he must be right.

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