Sunday, June 18, 2006

Bush's Best Week Ever!

Listen to this:

It's been the kind of week that President Bush and the beleaguered White House have only dreamed about.

A spate of polls now shows a slight rise in public confidence in the war in Iraq after Bush conducted a high-powered summit at Camp David on the Iraq war, made a surprise trip to Baghdad to meet with troops and newly elected Iraqi government leaders, and then returned home to a triumphant Rose Garden news conference.

In addition, Bush's top adviser, Karl Rove, learned he would not face charges related to the 2003 leak of the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame.

This may have been the president's best week ever.

I hope that this was meant as a joke, because if it wasn't the alternative reality has truly taken over the so-called liberal media.

Speaking about Iraq, this item of news might be of some interest, given that it applies to the same "best ever week":

The Washington Post has obtained a cable, marked "sensitive," that it says show that just before President Bush left on a surprise trip last Monday to the Green Zone in Baghdad for an upbeat assessment of the situation there, "the U.S. Embassy in Iraq painted a starkly different portrait of increasing danger and hardship faced by its Iraqi employees."

This cable outlines, the Post reported Sunday, "the daily-worsening conditions for those who live outside the heavily guarded international zone: harassment, threats and the employees' constant fears that their neighbors will discover they work for the U.S. government."

It's actually far worse than that, as the details publish below indicate, which include references to abductions, threats to women's rights, and "ethnic cleansing."


Among the other troubling reports:

--"Personal safety depends on good relations with the 'neighborhood' governments, who barricade streets and ward off outsiders. The central goverhment, our staff says, is not relevant...People no longer trust most neighbors."

--One embassy employee had a brother-in-law kidnapped. Another received a death threat, and then fled the country with her family.

--Iraqi staff at the embassy, beginning in March and picking up in May, report "pervasive" harassment from Islamist and/or militia groups. Cuts in power and rising fuel prices "have diminished the quality of life." Conditions vary but even upscale neighborhoods "have visibly deteriorated" and one of them is now described as a "ghost town."

--Two of the three female Iraqis in the public affairs office reported stepped-up harassment since mid-May...."some groups are pushing women to cover even their face, a step not taken in Iran even at its most conservative." One of the women is now wearing a full abaya after receiving direct threats.

--It has also become "dangerous" for men to wear shorts in public and "they no longer allow their children to play outside in shorts." People who wear jeans in public have also come under attack.

--Fuel lines have grown so long that one staffer spent 12 horus in line on his day off.

Other than that, it's been a very good week. For Bush.