Thursday, September 29, 2005

# Posted 9:01 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  


David Ignatius: We're winning the war in 2/3 of Iraq, but that other 1/3 is killing us.
Jim Hoagland: Bush won't listen to reason. How about to an old college buddy?
David Broder: Here's a list of Republicans who can tell Bush how to deal with Katrina.
Leon Kass: Americans refuse to admit that getting old means getting frail.
Robert Novak [print only]: There are a few Republicans left who don't want to spend like Democrats.

Editorial 1: Tom Delay is a big jerk, but he may be innocent.
Editorial 2: The GOP Congress wants innocent people to get the death penalty.
Editorial 3: Virginia pols don't have the guts to raise taxes, so the highways are f****d.

Today's must read? Ignatius, hands down. Reporting from the front lines in Iraq, he writes:
It's a war in which U.S. troops remain upbeat, even as support deteriorates back home; in which the appearance of stability in much of Iraq is shattered by spasms of hideous violence; in which U.S. military strategy is confounded by Iraq's political disarray...

The Shiite areas to the south are fairly calm; Iraqi military and police units, nearly all Shiite, are increasingly effective in keeping the peace there. Najaf, for example, is protected by six checkpoints manned by Iraqi police. Lt. Col. James Oliver, who has responsibility for these areas, says that he hopes to be able to turn over Karbala and Najaf provinces entirely to Iraqi control by the end of October...

There is no effective Iraqi army or police presence in these Sunni areas. Nor is there a Sunni militia that might maintain a rough peace...

Before the Mississippi Rifles go back home at year-end, the Iraqis will hold another election. If the new government doesn't reflect a Sunni-Shiite alliance that can begin to restore order, sending a new team of Americans to Kalsu Base won't make much sense.
I don't agree with that last point. There isn't much reason to think that Sunni politicians -- let along the insurgents -- will be worn down enough by the end of the year to play a constructive role in government. Set an early deadline, and we are asking for chaos.

Nonetheless, great reporting from Ignatius. Also of note, Jim Hoagland suggests that the GOP can get around its aversion to tax hikes by just asking for a one-time, one-percent-of-your-income "surcharge" to help pay for Katrina. Here's my idea: pass a one percent surcharge, but allow people to divert as much of it as they want to Katrina-related charities.
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