Republican Priorities —

In full view in their legislative agenda for the next two months.

George Bush, Soft on Terror —

Read about it here, or in Bob Graham’s new book Intelligence Matters or Uggabugga’s diagram, both of which I’ve linked to before.

Bush AWOL no matter how you cut it —

Maybe you’ve already encountered this US News and World Report analysis elswhere, but it renders moot the whole debate over whether the CBS documents are legitimate.

Winning the hearts and minds —

Yesterday’s US bloodbath in Baghdad, which included the on-camera killing of a journalist and the killings of numerous Iraqi civilians (including children), is drawing the scrutiny and disgust it deserves.

Please look at these faces

And then look at this face…

as it lies once again about the fabled “links” between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda (Powell, on “Meet the Press” yesterday, continued to contradict Cheney)…

And then ask yourself, how is it that Iraq does not seem to be factoring in this election?

For history and perspective on Al Qaeda’s aims, Juan Cole is always indispensable —

I’d recommend this whole post, but here’s an important segment:

Al-Qaeda has succeeded in several of its main goals. It had been trying to convince Muslims that the United States wanted to invade Muslim lands, humiliate Muslim men, and rape Muslim women. Most Muslims found this charge hard to accept. The Bush administration’s Iraq invasion, along with the Abu Ghuraib prison torture scandal, was perceived by many Muslims to validate Bin Laden’s wisdom and foresightedness.

After the Iraq War, Bin Laden is more popular than George W. Bush even in a significantly secular Muslim country such as Turkey. This is a bizarre finding, a weird turn of events. Turks didn’t start out with such an attitude. It grew up in reaction against US policies.

It remains to be seen whether the US will be forced out of Iraq the way it was forced out of Iran in 1979. If so, as al-Zawahiri says, that will be a huge victory. A recent opinion poll did find that over 80 percent of Iraqis want an Islamic state. If Iraq goes Islamist, that will be the biggest victory the movement has had since the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan. An Islamist Iraq might well be able ultimately to form a joint state with Syria, starting the process of the formation of the Islamic superstate of which Bin Laden dreams.

If the Muslim world can find a way to combine the sophisticated intellectuals and engineers of Damascus and Cairo with the oil wealth of the Persian Gulf, it could well emerge as a 21st century superpower.

Bin Laden’s dream of a united Muslim state under a revived caliphate may well be impossible to accomplish. But with the secular Baath gone, it could be one step closer to reality. If you add to the equation the generalized hatred for US policies (both against the Palestinians and in Iraq) among Muslims, that is a major step forward for al-Qaeda. In Saudi Arabia, al-Qaeda has emerged as a dissident political party. Before it had just been a small group of Bin Laden’s personal acolytes in Afghanistan and a handful of other countries.

Although the United States and its Pakistani ally have captured significant numbers of al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a whole new generation of angry young Muslim men has been produced. Al-Qaeda has moved from being a concrete cell-based terrorist organization to being an ideal and a model, for small local groups in Casablanca, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and elsewhere.

The US is not winning the war on terror. Al-Qaeda also has by no means won. But across a whole range of objectives, al-Qaeda has accomplished more of its goals than the US has of its.

Ann Coulter tops the Ego Meter —

As demonstrated by Uggabugga. And, hmm, do you think she actually reads the Bible, or just recommends it? Because if she reads it, she missed some things about bearing false witness

This is America on Bush —

Hecklers are “traitors,” subjected to physical abuse and unlawful detention, by tax-payer funded Secret Service agents.

And here’s a complete history of the Bush Empire, cartoon-style —

Part I, Part II, and Part III.

A friend writes —

“I would love to have an election in my lifetime where I can vote FOR someone and not against someone else.”

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