As if in an effort to muffle all the sound and fury of the past few months, the weather this morning is declaring the start of a dust storm. And I just read that the storm is complicating the movement of ballot boxes from the countryside into Baghdad since sandstorms cause problems for helicopters. The wind is blowing briskly, something it rarely does here. Skyline features ordinarily very clearly visible have disappeared from sight altogether. One of the veterans here tells me this is a sign the weather is going to start to turn noticeably colder “within the next three days.” Maybe this guy should apply for a job at the Farmer’s Almanac, but it was so much cooler this morning that I found myself trying to recall if I brought a sweater to Iraq. Probably not.
All the news reports today speak quite clearly about the “very apparent victory of the Constitution.” In two of the “critical provinces,” the Constitution is garnering over 70% of the vote and the anti-Constitution Sunnis only a bit over 20%. This is a huge and bitter disappointment for the them.
In order to defeat the Constitution, the Sunnis need 67% of the vote in at least three provinces. When the Shiites agreed to this provision, it seemed like an enormously bold and risky move from their standpoint. Lest any of us forget, now that the election is over, the final version of this document was a bitterly fought agreement. Most observers felt the U.S. backed government had simply taken an unjustifiably risky gamble in agreeing to the three-province veto rule. Most felt the Sunnis would, in all probability, exceed the results they needed and the Constitution would go down to defeat. But, the Shiites, by whatever means, appear to have prevailed. The Sunnis are now resorting the last refuge of all whiners. They are asking to be declared the winners even though they lost, simply to “keep peace in the family.”
This is also a bitter pill for the American MSM. They were hoping the Constitution would lose, not because they felt that would be good or bad for Iraq, or that it would be good or bad for the U.S., but because it would enable them to stick a finger in President Bush’s eye. That is all that matters to them. To hell with the U.S.! Let’s bring down George Bush even if it hurts the country!p> Monday Afternoon br> I NOW SEEM TO BE GETTING at least a partial reply to a question I have been asking ever since Thursday. For four days, and for part of today, the U.S. Air Force was a very significant factor over this part of Iraq. Too high to be seen, but a very major presence with the roar of their jet engines which are obviously so much more powerful and noisy than the ones that drive civilian airliners. /p>
The questions I kept asking were: Why is the Air Force out in such large numbers? This is the first time I have heard any of its aircraft since I arrived here seven months ago. Where are they headed? Obviously to the west. Does that mean Anbar or maybe even the Syrian border?
A few minutes ago the AP started reporting through their “Writer” Thomas Wagner that yesterday American planes “killed 70 militants” in an attack near Ramadi. He immediately added “that at least 39 of the dead were civilians.”
Wagner went on to report that, according to the Air Force, “a crowd was setting another roadside bomb when F-15’s hit them with a precision-guided bomb killing about 20 described by the military as ‘terrorists.’” Wagner’s use of quotation marks is an interesting exercise. If the military describes a group planting a roadside bomb as terrorists, he puts the word in quotes. When he uses the word civilians he uses no quotes, but gives no explanation for this inconsistency.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?