How is it that despite being told there are no more than 6,000 al-Qaida fighters in Iraq, while there are 158,000 U.S. troops stationed there (never mind the coalition forces and the Iraqi military police), we're also being told that al-Qaida is there to stay? The Associated Press reported the "U.S. Commanders: al-Qaida in Iraq to stay" story last week, describing the group's "remarkable staying power" in a country in which we're to believe that the group has little support from locals?
How can a terrorist army of 6,000 with no roots in Iraq prior to our invasion of the country and with nothing in the way of major visible support from the outside (that would be preventable) be any match for our trained military and mercenary contractors? Heck, they might leave as soon as we do. It's not as though al-Qaida in Iraq has much in the way of connections and support from Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida. As much as President Bush would love to make the connection between bin Laden and Iraq stick, a Pentagon-sponsored study recently debunked that myth. Indeed, there's a duality with the message we're receiving from Bush: Al-Qaida (in Iraq) is on the run (so the surge is a success!), but they're really tough, so we're probably going to have to go ahead with maintaining those permanent/long-term bases in Iraq.
In what appears to be a move to align himself with the Bush administration's long-term plans for Iraq (Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama oppose permanent bases), Sen. John McCain, who also maintains that al-Qaida in Iraq is on the run (but still not beaten), keeps trying to link the group to Iran. He's done that several times in recent months. But there's no link between the Shiite nation and the Sunni terrorist group, and in an embarrassing turn of events, Sen. Joe Lieberman (himself no fan of Iran) felt compelled to publicly correct him. 6000 Al Qaeda beating 158000 Americans?
While the Bush-McCain line of thinking is at work, it will be impossible for us to get an honest assessment of al-Qaida in Iraq. I have to tell you, After following McCain in the middle east, listening to his misstatements there and listening to him in England, and now in France, I am struck by the simple fact that he is the one chosen by the right to follow Bush's war mongering agenda and the guy, partisanship aside, Is losing it seeming to have dementia and not even being capable of carrying an intelligent cohesive conversation. I know it sounds like his boss but we can not afford this again.
Then there was the overwhelming subversion with Tibet, the Olympics, and news blackouts in China because of their success? Don't expect to turn on your TV during the Beijing Olympics and see live shots of Tiananmen Square, where Chinese troops crushed pro-democracy protests nearly two decades ago. Apparently unnerved by recent unrest among Tibetans and fearful of protests in the heart of the capital, China has told broadcast officials it will bar live television shots from the vast square during the games.
A ban on live broadcasts would disrupt the plans of major international networks, who have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to broadcast the August 8-24 games and are counting on eye-pleasing live shots from the iconic square. The rethinking of Beijing's earlier promise to broadcasters comes as the government has poured troops into Tibetan areas wracked by anti-government protests this month and stepped up security in cities, airports and entertainment venues far from the unrest.
The communist government's resorting to heavy-handed measures runs the risk of undermining Beijing's pledge to the International Olympic Committee that the games would promote greater openness in what a generation ago was still an isolated China. If still in place by the games, they could alienate the half-million foreigners expected at the games. Like the Olympics, live broadcasts from Tiananmen Square were meant to showcase a friendly, confident China -- one that had put behind it the deadly 1989 military assault on democracy demonstrators in the vast plaza that remains a defining image for many foreigners.
"Tiananmen is the face of China, the face of Beijing, so many broadcasters would like to do live or recorded coverage of the square," said Yosuke Fujiwara, the head of broadcast relations for the Beijing Olympic Broadcasting Co., or BOB, a joint-venture between Beijing Olympic organizers and an IOC subsidiary. BOB coordinates and provides technical services for the TV networks with rights to broadcast the Olympics, such as NBC. China to block certain live broadcasts
* I don't get it? We are as bad as they are but I don't understand with China's dirt poor human rights record how it is that they were even allowed to hold the Olympics in the first place? What does that say as to where the world is headed in the near future? Amidst all this with China crushing and trying to hide Tibet's so called "Sabotage", American's warned of constant spying even in their bedrooms, Bush says he is going to the Olympics anyway! Why? What is this all going to prove? What is to be gained besides more war if we stay in Iraq? attack Iran? The promise of future war? I do not see it all ending any other way but! What the Hell does that tell you?