President Musharraf of Pakistan Resigns

Yes, that just happened:
Under pressure over impending impeachment charges, President Pervez Musharraf announced he would resign Monday, ending nearly nine years as one of the United States’ most important allies in the campaign against terrorism.
Speaking on television from his presidential office here at 1 p.m., Mr. Musharraf, dressed in a gray suit and tie, said that after consulting with his aides, “I have decided to resign today.� He said he was putting national interest above “personal bravado.�
Such an enemy of personal bravado is Musharraf that he closed his address, according to the New York Times, by pumping his fist and bellowing "Long live Pakistan!" As of the moment, it's unclear who will replace Musharraf as president, as the new governing coalition is rife with infighting and has to elevate someone within a month.

The FBI Admits to Spying on NYT and WaPo Reporters in 2004

In the dull drone of a late Friday afternoon in Washington in August -- you know, when absolutely nothing happens? -- FBI Director Robert Muller called Bill Keller and Len Downie, executive editors of the New York Times and Washington Post, to inform them that in 2004, the bureau spied on reporters for their papers in Indonesia. Without warrants. Without even the approval of the deputy attorney general. Without, apparently, any good reason.

Keep reading...Show less

The Liberal Jewish Majority Must Beat Back the Neocon Jewish Minority

Last month I wrote about how the right-wing fake-friends of Israel in American Jewry were coming after Joe Klein -- a member of the Tribe -- for saying something that all of us DC Jews acknowledge to be true, which is that a bunch of our neocon co-religionists, out of ignorance or mendacity, seek to steer American policy in the direction of a misguided belief of what's good for Israel. That direction is a warlike one, and often a racist one. And for years, out of a bizarre fear that America is a more antisemitic nation than it is, they've believed that such a proposition can't be uttered in mixed company, and so have succeeded in intimidating the rest of us, Jew and Gentile alike, by intimating that even breathing in that direction is antisemitic. Indeed, they will not stop until they define all of liberalism as antisemitic.

The result of the euphemistic and fearful dialogue that they have cultivated and enforced has been, among other things, an intellectual climate that enabled a war disastrous to both American and Israeli security. Good going, fellas!

Unity Between Turkey and Kurds Grows

According to Iraqi Crisis Report, Turkey and the Iraqi Kurds are engaging in a surreptitious, finance-driven rapprochement:

Gocalb Salshik, a Turkish engineer with Tapa Company, which is building the new 260 million US dollar University of Sulaimaniyah campus, welcomes greater cooperation, which he said would benefit business in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan.

“We tried to import materials into the region through the Turkish border and have been denied several times because of the tensions between Turkey and Kurdistan region,� said Salshik.

“It is very important for us that Turkey and Kurds have the best relations [possible] because we can invest more in the region.�

Fareed Assasard, head of Kurdistan Strategic Studies Centre, a think-tank linked to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, PUK, agreed….

“The Kurdistan region needs Turkey in order to get a foothold in the Middle East,� said Assasard. “Until now, many Turks and other Middle Eastern [countries] consider Kurdistan an alien entity that might damage the region� by breaking from Iraq, he added.
Just saying. Who called it? Almost two years ago, in TNR:

Troops Try To Give Iraqis Religion

KITTY HAWK, NC — My friend the award-winning journalist Colin Asher points me to this horrifying McClatchy story:

At the western entrance to the Iraqi city of Fallujah Tuesday, Muamar Anad handed his residence badge to the U.S. Marines guarding the city. They checked to be sure that he was a city resident, and when they were done, Anad said, a Marine slipped a coin out of his pocket and put it in his hand.

Out of fear, he accepted it, Anad said. When he was inside the city, the college student said, he looked at one side of the coin. “Where will you spend eternity?” it asked.

He flipped it over, and on the other side it read, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.”

“They are trying to convert us to Christianity,” said Anad, a Sunni Muslim like most residents of this city in Anbar province. At home, he told his story, and his relatives echoed their disapproval: They’d been given the coins, too, he said.
How desperately we need this story to be untrue. MNF-I says, inauspiciously, “Local commanders are investigating since the military prohibits proselytizing any religion, faith or practices.” Far far far more comforting would be a flat denial. For the Iraq war to actually take on the overtones of a Christian crusade — in any way, shape of form — would herald an ever-greater disaster that would be difficult to reverse. The Iraq war will be hard enough to cauterize — think of it as a self-inflicted national wound — without millions of Muslims having evidence of U.S. forces trying to get them to no longer be Muslims.

In interviews, residents of Fallujah repeated two words â€â€� “humiliation” and “weakness”.

“Because we are weak this is happening,” said a shop owner who gave his name as Abu Abdullah. “Passing Christianity this way is disrespectful.”
Please let this not be true. How could MNF-I not have any training in place to tell soldiers and Marines not to proselytize?

Sistani Switching Sides in Iraq?

Now, if you thought things couldn’t get worse in Iraq, think again.

Keep reading...Show less

Next Troop Rotation to Consist Solely of National Guard

Fresh out from the Pentagon: the next Iraq rotation. Notice how it’s all National Guard troops.
The Department of Defense announced today the alert of additional major units scheduled to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The announcement involves four brigades from the Army National Guard.
All four brigades will have a security force mission and be assigned tasks to assure freedom of movement and continuity of operations in the country. Those tasks will include base defense and route security in Iraq and Kuwait.
These deployments will involve approximately 14,000 personnel who will begin deploying in the spring of 2009. They are receiving alert orders now in order to provide them the maximum time to complete their preparations. It also provides a greater measure of predictability for family members and flexibility for employers to plan for military service of their employees.
Specific decisions made by the secretary of defense include:
72nd Brigade Combat Team, Texas National Guard
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania National Guard
256th Brigade Combat Team, Louisiana National Guard
278th Brigade Combat Team, Tennessee National Guard
So we’re so thin on active-duty Army brigades that we’re sending reservists to Iraq as our entire spring-2009 force complement. Perhaps by then we’ll have a president who decides that such an Iraq deployment is the last one U.S. forces will make.

Crossposted to The Streak.
@2023 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by