Wednesday, June 29, 2005
From last night’s patented Bush bombast, declamation, diatribe, disquisition, dissertation, eulogy, exhortation, harangue, homily, invocation, lecture, opus, oration, oratory, panegyric, pep talk, pitch, prelection, recitation, rhetoric, skull session, soapbox oration, spiel, stump, and tirade:
“Marking the first anniversary of the transfer of power from the U.S.-led coalition to Iraq’s interim government, Bush cited advances in the past year. These included elections in January that drew 8 million men and women voters; improvements to roads, schools, health clinics and basic services like sanitation, electricity and water; and gains in the number and quality of Iraqi security forces who “are proving their courage every day.”From The Weekly Telegraph, courtesy Hobson:
“But the mood in the city is increasingly one of desperation. While residents wait in vain for promised reconstruction projects to materialise, the government cannot even agree on the make-up of the committee to draw up a new constitution, let alone its contents.Today’s profiles from Iraq on BBC World Service:
Sovereignty was returned to the Iraqi people from the occupying administration a year ago. But electricity output in the capital has decreased in the past five months - averaging only 854 megawatts per day now, compared with 2,500 megawatts before the war. The rationing system for sugar and baby milk collapsed at the beginning of the year, forcing many to go without.
Sadr City, the vast slum in the capital's west, is in the grip of a hepatitis outbreak. Forty per cent of Baghdad's homes have reported sewage on the streets. Fresh water had finally returned to most of the city by last night - but for only two hours a day.”
“I'm Um Mustafa. I work in a salon for the ladies. And how are things? There is no electricity, no water, the heat is killing us.”From last night's Bush violin concerto:
“When I reached the gas station, it didn't take me long to change my mind about buying fuel. The queue of cars stretching back hundreds of metres and the prospect of waiting hours in the burning sun made me decide to turn to the black market.
Black market fuel is about four times more expensive than the gas station.
With Baghdadis getting about six to eight hours of electricity every 24 hours, people are much more reliant on generators at home. This increases the demand on fuel."
"We are trying to create something from nothing. We don't have even adequate materials, equipments, drugs, or the simplest things we need in our work, or even proper theatres for minor or major surgery or enough emergency staff.”
“Finally, we have continued our efforts to equip and train Iraqi security forces. We've made gains in both the number and quality of those forces.”From the Philadelphia Inquirer, courtesy last night’s post by Lambert:
“Iraqi and American officials said the killings were not being investigated systematically, but in dozens of interviews with families and Iraqi officials, and a review of medical records, a reporter and two special correspondents found more than 30 examples of this type of killing in less than a week. They include 12 cases with specific dates, times, names and witnesses who said they might come forward if asked by law-enforcement officials.And with a flourish of a wind-up pitch, Bush finished up:
The Interior Ministry, which oversees the Iraqi police, denies any involvement in the killings. But eyewitnesses said that many of those who turned up dead had been apprehended by large groups of men driving white Toyota Land Cruisers with police markings. The men were wearing police commando uniforms and bulletproof vests, carrying expensive 9-millimeter Glock pistols and using sophisticated radios, the witnesses said.
If the killers are proven to be Sunni insurgents masquerading as Shiite police, that would raise troubling questions about how insurgents are getting expensive new police equipment. The Toyotas, which cost more than $55,000 apiece, and Glocks, at about $500 each, are hard to come by in Iraq, and they are rarely used by anyone other than Western contractors and Iraqi security forces.
Further evidence that a police force created, trained and funded by the United States has been abusing human rights, on the other hand, would complicate the Bush administration's efforts to muster greater domestic support for its Iraq policy and more international support for the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari”
“But Americans have always held firm, because we have always believed in certain truths. We know that if evil is not confronted, it gains in strength and audacity and returns to strike us again. We know that when the work is hard, the proper response is not retreat, it is courage. And we know that this great ideal of human freedom entrusted to us in a special way and that the ideal of liberty is worth defending.”But back on February 7, 2002, he was thinking hard about how too much idealism might be more than we could handle:
“I also accept the legal conclusion of the Department of justice and determine that common Article 3 of Geneva does not apply to either al Qaeda or Taliban detainees, because, among other reasons, the relevant conflicts are international in scope and common article 3 appliesFreedom always spreads a little more freely when you grease the knife with blood.
only to ‘armed conflict not of an international character’.
d. Based on the facts supplied by tbe Department of Defense and the recommendation of the Department of Justice, I determine that the 'Taliban detainees. are unlawful combatants and, therefore, do not qualify as prisoners of war under Article 4 of Geneva. I note that, because Geneva does not apply to our conflict with al Qaeda, al Qaeda detainees also do not qualify as prisoners of war.”