Bush Vetoes Supplemental for Iraq
Rice will be Polite
11 Killed in Minibus attack
Bush vetoed the supplemental appropriations bill for Iraq that Congress sent him on May 1. You know, Bush and Cheney and others got this meme going last fall that critics of the war had a responsibility to put forward their own solution to the problems. So the Congress has stepped up to that plate and said that a beginning can be made to resolving the Iraq crisis only if the US makes a commitment to bring its troops out of that country on a short timetable.
Bush is now revealing that he did not actually want to hear other proposals besides his fatally flawed “stay the course” policy. So now the ball is in his court. He has the responsiblity to lay out what he plans to do in September when it almost certainly be clear that the security situation is not substantially better and the al-Maliki government is not less paralyzed.
Charlie Rose asked him this question, and he fudged it, saying he had no plan B. That’s not good enough, George. What’s your plan, since you don’t like that of the Congress? The American public isn’t going to put up with “stay the course” any more, and they aren’t buying the alleged connection of Iraq to September 11.
With regard to the prospect that Condi Rice might talk to Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki at Sharm El Sheikh, Bush said that if there is an encounter, she will be polite. Bush sent an extra aircraft carrier to the Gulf to threaten Iran, and Cheney and Rumsfeld wanted to nuke Isfahan. But God forbid the administration should be rude to an Iranian official.
According to Reuters, guerrillas opened fire on a minibus in Iskandariya south of Baghdad, killing 11. Ten bodies were discovered in Baqubah, one hour northeast of the capital. In Baghdad on Tuesday, police found 15 bodies in the street and civilians were killed by mortar shells.
The office of the governor of Basra (Muhammad Misbah al-Wa’ili) protested his recent unseating by a vote of no confidence to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. His opponents, however, characterize this protest letter as illegitimate and untransparent, since it was sent secretly and personally rather than openly via the government bureaucracy.
KarbalaNews.net alleges in Arabic that Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari promised the Iranians that Iraq would expel from its territory the members of the anti-Tehran terrorist group, the Mojahedin-i Khalq (MEK or MKO). Saddam had given them a base, Camp Ashraf, from which they sent terrorists over the border to blow things up in Iran. The Neoconservatives in the US Department of Defense wanted to go on using MEK in this same way, but the State Department labeled them a terrorist organization. If this report is correct, the Iraqi government may at last have taken a decisive step in this regard. And, it was possibly a demand of the Iranians with regard to their attendance at the Sharm El Sheikh Conference this week.
Ali Larijani, secretary of the Iranian national security council, met Tuesday with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani (as well as with PM al-Maliki and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim.) Larijani rejected US accusations that Iran is aiding militias to destabilize Iraq, saying that it is rather US allies who are making mischief there (presumably a slam at Saudi Arabia).
In a recent poll, 76% of Iraqis reject the security wall the Americans were building around Adhamiya in Baghdad (Arabic).
Pepe Escobar in Baghdad— roving the Red Zone.
Tenet claimed in his book that Tyler Drumheller did not tell his office that the drunk fabricator, the Iraqi expatriate code-named “Curveball,” was a drunk fabricator. Curveball more or less wrote Colin Powell’s speech at the UN in February, 2003. Shorter Tyler Drumheller: Oh, yes I did.
The letter of six former intelligence officers blasting Tenet for his failure to speak out against the flimsy pretexts for the looming Iraq War is up at Daily Kos. Given the vindictiveness of this administration, these are 6 courageous persons with a hell of a lot of integrity.
The USG Open Source Center summarizes the Iraqi press:
‘ Al-Mashriq publishes on the front page a 200-word follow-up report on the statement issued by Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi outlining the results of his phone call with President Bush. The report cites Harith al-Ubaydi, parliament member from the Iraqi Al-Tawafuq Front, confirming that it is too early for the front to withdraw from the government. . .
Al-Mashriq runs on page 3 a 460-word follow-up report citing Husayn al-Falluji, parliament member from the Iraqi Al-Tawafuq Front, confirming that the front supports the projected cabinet reshuffle provided the replacement of Defense Minister Muhammad Abd-al-Qadir al-Ubaydi. The report cites political sources confirming that President Talabani is seeking to form a new political front comprising of moderate Iraqi political forces. . .
Ishraqat al-Sadr publishes on page 2 a 250-word exclusive report citing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Advisor Karim al-Bakhati criticizing the Al-Hurrah Satellite Television Channel and denying that he rejects the withdrawal of occupation forces from Iraq.
Dar al-Salam publishes on page 2 a 300-word report entitled “Al-Fadilah Party: Threats, Violence, Extortion To Impose Political Willpower, Control Over Basra Governorate.”
Dar al-Salam runs on page 5 a 300-word report confirming that the UAE Government has also declined to receive Prime Minister Al-Maliki. . .
Ishraqat al-Sadr publishes on page 2 a 400-word exclusive report citing an official source at the Al-Sadr Bureau in Al-Kazimiyah confirming that US planes shelled the bureau following the failure of US forces to break into it on 29 April. The report cites well-informed sources confirming that Law Enforcement Plan Commander General Abud Qanbar visited the district immediately after the eruption of clashes between Al-Sadr followers and occupation forces.
Ishraqat al-Sadr carries on page 2 a 400-word editorial by Adil al-Abid criticizing Iraqi security officials for their failure to prevent terrorist attacks despite the deployment of explosive detection equipment and the establishment of large number of checkpoints across Baghdad.
Dar al-Salam publishes on the front page a 350-word report accusing occupation forces and Iraqi National Guard of attacking the Al-Nu’man Public Hospital in Al-A’zamiyah District and insulting its patients and medical cadre. The report accuses the Health Ministry of closing the hospital for sectarian reasons.
Dar al-Salam runs on the front page a 400-word report entitled “US Inspector General: Iraqi Government Wastes $12 Billion.” . .