Thursday, June 12, 2008

Updates (updated 6/14)

1. How stupid can one be? Answer: Very #4 mentioned that President Bush and Nuri al-Maliki were trying to nail down a last minute “Status of Forces Agreement” on the QT… This has now run into major opposition in Iraq while in the U.S. there has been criticism from the Democrats, who insist that any agreement should be approved by the Congress. From McClatchy
“… On Capitol Hill, top Democrats and Republicans complain that Bush is rushing the negotiations to try to tie his successor's hands. A spokesman for Obama (D-Ill) said any long-term U.S. security commitment to Iraq must be subject to Congressional approval; alternatively the administration should seek an extension of the current UN mandate. Obama wants a new administration to make it "absolutely clear that the United States will not maintain permanent bases in Iraq," said spokesman Bill Burton….”
Hmm, exactly what is preventing Senator Obama from forthrightly declaring that if he is elected he will repudiate and declare null and void any last-minute agreement by President Bush, thereby rendering it moot? Oh yeah, that would require him sticking his neck out!

Iraq PM: security deal talks at dead end
Iraqi lawmakers reject security draft pact
Iraqis Condemn American Demands
SOFA down, but is it out?
SOFA update
Iraq's Grand Ayatollah warns from uprising against US security pact
Iraq officials question need for U.S. troop presence
U.S. security talks with Iraq in trouble in Baghdad and D.C.

2. In April Can It Be? wondered if there was a faint hope that the odious President Mugabe had reached the end of the road. With the second round of voting in Zimbabwe scheduled for the 27th of this month this prospect now looks bleaker. A crackdown on the opposition MDC, violence directed at those who do not support the regime, arrests of MDC leaders amid accusations of treason, NGOs being prevented from carrying out charitable works in Zimbabwe, food aid to Zimbabwe being directed only to Mugabe supporters, etc. , all of these don’t bode well for the future of the country. Meanwhile, most regional “leaders” remain quiet…

The Lion Who Didn't Roar
Mugabe warns of war if defeated
The Reign of Thuggery

Update 06/14:  "The men who pulled up in three white pickup trucks were looking for Patson Chipiro, head of the Zimbabwean opposition party in Mhondoro district. His wife, Dadirai, told them he was in Harare but would be back later in the day, and the men departed.  An hour later they were back. They grabbed Mrs Chipiro and chopped off one of her hands and both her feet. Then they threw her into her hut, locked the door and threw a petrol bomb through the window."

Robert Mugabe's militia burn opponent’s wife alive

3. Hereux anniversaire aux Schtroumpfs (50eme) noted the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Smurfs. Apparently now “…Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation are bringing a live-action/animated "Smurfs" project to the bigscreen…”

Col, SPA send 'Smurfs' to bigscreen

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