A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Good Advice, Mr. President

"The way to prevail, the way toward successful conclusion that we all want, the way to secure Iraq and bring our troops home as quickly as possible is not to wilt or waver or send mixed signals to the enemy. You cannot lead the war against terror if you wilt or waver when things get tough."
--George W. Bush, King Of Prussia, PA, September 22, 2004

"BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) Wednesday, September 22, 2004 Posted: 9:03 PM EDT -- Conflicting accounts about the possible release of Iraqi detainees -- among them the woman known as "Dr. Germ" -- were issued by the U.S. and Iraqi governments Wednesday.

"Iraq's interim national security adviser, Kasim Daoud, told reporters that three detainees -- including Dr. Rihab Rashid Taha al-Azawi and her husband, the country's former oil minister -- would be released soon because no charges were being brought against them. Daoud denied their release was linked to the demand by the Unification and Jihad group to release Iraqi women being held prisoner.

"The group, led by Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claims it has killed two American hostages and says it will kill a British civil engineer it holds unless the demand is met.

"Daoud's statement about the detainees was contradicted by Iraqi interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, who is in New York for the U.N. General Assembly session. Allawi told The Associated Press that he has the final say on the release of detainees and he had not made a decision. Allawi also stressed that his government will not negotiate with terrorists on the release of detainees.

"In Baghdad, U.S. Embassy spokesman Alberto Fernandez said two female "high value detainees" -- one of whom is Taha -- are under the legal and physical custody of U.S. troops and their release is not imminent. The second female detainee in U.S. custody is Dr. Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, a former senior Baath party official who Pentagon sources called "Mrs. Anthrax."....

"U.S. officials said no women are being held at prisons in Iraq. One official said 45 women were once held in Abu Ghraib prison but all have been released. The U.S. military said Taha and Ammash are detained elsewhere....

"Earlier, a spokesman for the deputy commander for detainee operations in Iraq said Taha's status was still under review. "Any decision would need to be a joint decision between the multinational forces and the Iraqi government," said Lt. Col. Barry Johnson. Daoud said the multinational forces have no say in the release of the detainees. A U.S. military official in Baghdad said, however, that the ultimate decision rests with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.....

"The timing of the case going to the Iraqi government and the kidnappings of the three Westerners was "totally coincidental," the official said."

No mixed signals there, right?


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