[Allawi insurgency count-down continues. 3 months 3 days.]
That's working about as well as the "cake walk" strategy.
"Guerrilla bombings and other attacks have killed more than 250 people since the cabinet was announced eight days ago.
New tensions also erupted on Friday between Iraqi security forces and supporters of radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
Followers of Sadr clashed with Iraqi soldiers after Friday prayers in Kufa, near the holy city of Najaf, and hours later gunmen killed two Sadr supporters in Baghdad, police said.
Sadr, who has led two major uprisings against U.S. troops in Iraq, has been keeping a low profile since an American military offensive against his Medhi Army fighters in Najaf last August."
If Sadr starts his attacks aginst U.S. troops again this could mean big trouble for the "victory strategy." I don't see how we fight the insurgency and Sadr at the same time. This resurgence of car bombings and the general every day mayhem going on there is taking up all the attention of the Iraqi "security forces," and they're not faring well. Over 480 of them have been killed in the past two months. That's not including the recruits who don't even get through the door before they're blown up.
AIPAC spy case.
"WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI arrested a Pentagon analyst Wednesday on a charge alleging he passed classified information about potential attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq to employees of a pro-Israel group. Larry Franklin, 58, of Kearneysville, W.Va., turned himself in Wednesday morning.
Franklin, who specialized on Iran and Middle Eastern affairs and had clearance to review top secret information, gave the information to two people without such clearance at a luncheon meeting at a restaurant in Arlington, Va., in June 2003, FBI agent Catherine Hanna said in an affidavit accompanying the criminal complaint.
The people at the lunch were employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a law enforcement official said on condition of anonymity because they are not identified in court papers.
Franklin acknowledged at the lunch that the information was highly classified and asked the two people not to use it, Hanna said. It concerned possible attacks against U.S. troops by Iranian-backed groups in Iraq, the law enforcement official said.
Franklin's top secret security clearance was suspended in June 2004, the Justice Department said. He formerly worked in the office of policy undersecretary Douglas Feith."
Have no fear though, the WaPo says:
"Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said his country was not involved.
"Israel does not carry on any activity in the United States which could harm, God forbid, its closest ally," Shalom told Israel's Channel One TV."
God forbid! Except for that U.S.S. Liberty "accident" and the Jonathan Pollard "incident" Israel has been our best buddy.
See this blog July 9th, 2004 for more on Israel spying on us.
And August 31, 2004 on Israel's new nuclear tipped submarines that we can't track because of Jonathan Pollard's treason.
That other axis of evil problem.
KYOTO, Japan - Japan threatened on Friday to put the issue of North Korea's nuclear weapons program before the U.N. Security Council next month unless six-nation talks on the dispute show progress.
The North also fiercely opposes taking the issue to the Security Council, which would be a first step toward possible sanctions against the reclusive communist regime. North Korea's leaders hvave said they would consider sanctions a "declaration of war."
But the Japanese foreign minister, Nobutaka Machimura, said Friday during an Asia-Europe meeting Kyoto that Japan was thinking of pursuing the matter with Security Council.
"If there is no progress, we have to think of other options, such as taking this matter to the United Nations Security Council," Machimura told reporters after meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Ban Ki-moon."
This is kind of odd. Since when does Japan go off like this without us telling them too? They don't. This puts pressure on China and give Japan a little pay-back for the "text book" riots two weeks ago in China. A very dangerous strategy. First a missile test and then a Nuke test? Maybe. Lucky for us we aren't bogged down anywhere.
The president seems pretty confident. (He can afford to be, he's not a details kind of guy.)
"We've got good capacity in Korea. We traded troops for new equipment [Is that the new equipment they're waitng for in Iraq?],as you know; we brought some troop -- our troop levels down in South Korea, but replaced those troops with more capacity."
Boy, that's a relief. For a minute there I thought we were fucked. We've got "capacity." Take that Kim Jong il.
"there is concern about his capacity to deliver a nuclear weapon. [Oh crap, he's got capacity too.] We don't know if he can or not, but I think it's best when you're dealing with a tyrant like Kim Jong-il to assume he can."
Like now for instance?
"WASHINGTON, May 5 - White House and Pentagon officials are closely monitoring a recent stream of satellite photographs of North Korea that appear to show rapid, extensive preparations for a nuclear weapons test, including the construction of a reviewing stand, presumably for dignitaries, according to American and foreign officials who have been briefed on the imagery.
"The North Koreans have learned how to use irrationality as a bargaining tool," a senior American official said Thursday evening. "We can't tell what they are doing."
Nonetheless, American officials have been sufficiently alarmed that they have extensively briefed their Japanese and South Korean allies and warned them to be prepared for the political implications of a test. [Or a war.]
Several officials said they had never before seen Korean preparations as advanced as those detected in recent days, including the digging of a tunnel. That tunnel resembles the one used in Pakistan for nuclear tests in 1998.
One of the creators of Pakistan's program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, traveled to North Korea repeatedly and has admitted to Pakistani interrogators that he supplied nuclear technology to the North, American intelligence officials said.
A senior European diplomat deeply involved in the issue said this week that he suspected that North Korea was "now pursuing the Pakistani model."
Pakistan and India were both condemned and subjected to economic sanctions after their 1998 tests. But all of those were lifted after the United States determined it needed Pakistan's help immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
"The North Koreans may be thinking that in two or three years, it too may be regarded as just another nuclear power, outside of the Nonproliferation Treaty, the way we now view Pakistan and India and Israel," the official said." [Israel has nukes? Who knew?]
Several black eyes on the "the war on drugs" front.
BOGOTA, Colombia May 4, 2005 — Colombian police have detained two U.S. Army soldiers near a huge military base southwest of the capital in an alleged arms smuggling plot, Colombian and U.S. officials said Wednesday.
The arrests mark the latest U.S. embarrassment in this South American nation. On March 29, five American soldiers were arrested after 35 pounds of cocaine were found aboard a U.S. military plane that flew to El Paso, Texas, from the Apiay air base east of Bogota.
Colombian lawmakers called for their extradition to face trial in Colombia, but U.S. Ambassador William Wood ruled out such a move, citing diplomatic immunity." [That's rich! How many times have we threatened cutting them off if they didn't didn't turn over their drug lords?]