Speech Followups

SPEECH FOLLOWUPS….Some miscellaneous followups to Bush’s speech last night:

  • My wife’s reaction: “He didn’t seem like he was asking for my support. He was just telling me what he was going to do.”

  • AP reports that “Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has agreed to crack down on fighters controlled by his most powerful political ally, Muqtada al-Sadr.” If that’s right, it means we are indeed declaring war on Sadr and the Mahdi Army.

  • We invaded the Iranian consulate in Irbil yesterday. This, combined with our recent naval maneuvers and Bush’s threats last night, seems likely to strain relations with Abdel Aziz al-Hakim and SCIRI.

  • Of course, we’re also continuing to target the Sunni insurgents. Put this all together, and outside of Kurdistan it means we’re fighting everyone: the Sunnis and both of the main Shiite factions, plus Syria and Iran. And all with shiny new rules of engagement that take the gloves off. I don’t care what they call this, it sure doesn’t sound like counterinsurgency to me. Exactly what population is left to win the hearts and minds of?

  • I see that I’m not the only one who noticed Bush’s plan to “deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies.” Like me, Brian Ulrich is confused about this.

That’s all for now. More later.