the show: 01-12-07

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Well, I just learned something, apparently in Czech, Zefrank is pronounced “Zfinka”. It’s cold outside, but you know what today is. It’s ride the fire eagle danger day.

Fire Eagle number 1, there’s no denying it. We’ve got ourselves a little bit of a situation here. The president has called for an increase in troops in Iraq, which is perfectly within his right as commander in chief of the armed forces. A few folks in Congress have lined up on his side, like Senator John McCain. McCain, who’s been an advocate of an even larger troop increase, said hey quote “Let’s give this new strategy a chance to succeed.” On the other side, critiques have lined up to critique the plan, Sayin “It’s stupid!” for a number of different reasons.

Reason number one, al-Maliki is Al not to be trusted. The whole plan hinges on prime minister al-Maliki sending additional Iraqi forces into Baghdad. The additional US soldiers would be embedded into those Iraqi forces to help train them and together they would try to take back control of the city. Problem is, al-Maliki has promised troops for Baghdad before and not come through. The Bush administration has yet to say whether the escalation would move forward in the event that the Iraqi troops just didn’t show up. Critiques say if the goal is to train Iraqis so they can take over in November, what’s the point if there are no troops to train? In six months time we’re potentially in the same situation we are now, just with more people over there. Even if the Iraqi troops show up, we’ll still be relying on al-Maliki for something else he’s botched up before.

One of the goals of the mission is to quell sectarian violence between the Shiites and the Sunnis. Al-Maliki has relied heavily on political support from Shiites tied to the militias. Because of that, he’s been reluctant to send Iraqi troops into Shiite neighborhoods, which is an integral part of the US plan. Critiques wonder if it’s possible to quell sectarian violence when those same sectarian tensions exist in the government and the military. Al-Maliki maybe to al-wiki to get the job done. Condi says “No, I’ve met al-Maliki and I saw his resolve.” If you see his resolve, take a picture, because the day after the Bush announcement, al-Maliki failed to show up for a press conference and made no public statement. That can’t be good.

A second critique of the escalation comes from fears that the Bush Administration will use troops to launch attacks across the Iran border. The Administration has blamed Iran for not doing enough to stop Iranians from crossing the border and joining militias. Things got hairier yesterday when American forces attacked an Iranian diplomatic office and detained five individuals. Senator Biden warned the President yesterday that present authorization does not allow him to cross borders. Opponents to the escalation in Congress only really have one tool at their disposal: Cutting funds for military operations in things like the Military Appropriations bill. Cutting funds however, is widely seen as a political liability because it can easily be made to look like you’re undermining troops already on the ground. In the weeks to come, we’ll most likely see a game of political poker, except in this game the chips get shot at. In the mean time, the democrats plan to vote on a non-binding resolution condemning the escalation. A non-binding resolution is the political equivalent of me going “uhhh”. Have a good weekend, this is Zefrank, thinking so you don’t have to. Uhhh

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Image:theshow-sponsor-3-0.gif    I love Courtney Huffines, + thanks 2 Ze 4 the show

Image:theshow-sponsor-2-3.gif    for all those thoughts i'll never have to think

Image:theshow-sponsor-2-0.gif    Stay the course Ze! No quitting March 17th.

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