Friday, February 16, 2007

Rumors of Bin Laden's Death

Rumors are circulating that Osama bin Laden has died earlier this month of typhoid. This site has the details in an article by Robert Fox. The conclusion of his piece is a little strange, though. He claims that bin Laden's death would be a blow to neo-conservatives and would require a re-thinking of the global war on terror. Why this should be the case Fox does not explain, and so we're left to ponder the odd logic of asserting that bin Laden's demise will be a setback for those people who have for a decade wanted to see him dead.

At any rate, the reports are unconfirmed at this point.


The Shadow War

Well. Bill Roggio reports that a bus carrying Iranian Revolutionary Guards soldiers was blown up by a car bomb which killed 18 Iranian troops. Roggio is suspicious that this might be payback for Iranian complicity in the deaths of American soldiers although there's no evidence of American involvement.

In the same post he notes a few more developments in the war against Mookie al-Sadr's Mahdi army in Baghdad. It's interesting reading.


Slow-Bleeding the Troops

John Murtha, whose willingness to accept a bribe was documented on tape in the Abscam scandal of the early eighties, is, as chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Sub-Committee, working with anti-war groups to make it almost impossible for the White House to win in Iraq. Realizing that an American victory would be a devastating blow to Democrats for years to come, and believing that the American people would punish the Democrats if they overtly used congressional power to cut off funds for the war, Murtha, Pelosi and others seem to have chosen subterfuge over principle. Rather than hold a straight up or down vote on cutting off funding for the war, they have opted for a more furtive, more obscure way of accomplishing the same thing. Their ploy will enable them to conceal their handiwork from the voters behind a faux concern for the troops:

Top House Democrats, working in concert with anti-war groups, have decided against using congressional power to force a quick end to U.S. involvement in Iraq, and instead will pursue a slow-bleed strategy designed to gradually limit the administration's options.

Led by Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Pa., and supported by several well-funded anti-war groups, the coalition's goal is to limit or sharply reduce the number of U.S. troops available for the Iraq conflict, rather than to openly cut off funding for the war itself.

As described by participants, the goal is crafted to circumvent the biggest political vulnerability of the anti-war movement -- the accusation that it is willing to abandon troops in the field. That fear is why many Democrats have remained timid in challenging Bush, even as public support for the president and his Iraq policies have plunged.

There's more on the Dems strategy at the link. It certainly looks like a strategy born of political cowardice. It also looks like their plan is almost certain to result in increased American casualties since it will be difficult for the military to send reinforcements to aid those troops already in the field. Perhaps I and others misunderstand what the Democrats are doing with this proposal, but if not, the details of it are as cynical as they are despicable.

One wonders how fat Murtha's wallet has grown on this one.