Monday, August 29, 2005

Bush suffers ratings tumble as Sunnis reject Iraq charter

By David Usborne in New York
The Independent (UK)
29 August 2005

President George Bush's exit strategy from Iraq suffered a severe setback yesterday when Sunni negotiators rejected a new constitution, increasing the chances of outright civil war.

After a series of delays and missed deadlines, the negotiating committee delivered the completed draft constitution to the Iraqi parliament, but the assembly failed to vote on the text after the 15 Sunni members - a minority of the committee - rejected the draft because of continuing disagreement on federalism.

Mr Bush and Tony Blair, in separate statements, urged Iraqis to unite behind the project despite the disagreements. But the prospect of more violence will only make it more difficult for the Americans to withdraw from Iraq.

To read the full text, see The Independent

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

How Bush would gain from war with Iran
The US has the capability and reasons for an assault - and it is hard to see Britain uninvolved

Dan Plesch
Monday August 15, 2005

President Bush has reminded us that he is prepared to take military action to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. On Israeli television this weekend, he declared that "all options are on the table" if Tehran doesn't comply with international demands.
In private his officials deride EU and UN diplomacy with Iran. US officials have been preparing pre-emptive war since Bush marked Iran out as a member of the "axis of evil" back in 2002. Once again, this war is likely to have British support.

A plausible spin could be that America and Britain must act where the international community has failed, and that their action is the responsible alternative to an Israeli attack. The conventional wisdom is that, even if diplomacy fails, the US is so bogged down in Iraq that it could not take on Iran. However, this misunderstands the capabilities and intentions of the Bush administration.

America's devastating air power is not committed in Iraq. Just 120 B52, B1 and B2 bombers could hit 5,000 targets in a single mission. Thousands of other warplanes and missiles are available. The army and marines are heavily committed in Iraq, but enough forces could be found to secure coastal oilfields and to conduct raids into Iran.

To read the full text, see Guardian