P.S.: Two aspects of Hayden's sketchy scenario reek of possible wishful thinking:
1) That Sadr would support "restoration of Baathist professionals and military leaders in Sunni areas, ... the fair distribution of oil revenues, etc." and
2) that Al Qaeda's role would be diminished because "it is unlikely that a continuing jihad would be supported by many Iraqis if the occupiers were withdrawing and lights were turning on."
Wouldn't Sunnis want to keep Al Qaeda around--not to fight the withdrawing U.S. "occupiers," but to fight Shiite sectarians? The recent WaPo story on Anbar province suggests as much. ...
The [Marine] report describes Iraq's Sunni minority as "embroiled in a daily fight for survival," fearful of "pogroms" by the Shiite majority and increasingly dependent on al-Qaeda in Iraq as its only hope against growing Iranian dominance across the capital.
True or not, the memo says, "from the Sunni perspective, their greatest fears have been realized: Iran controls Baghdad and Anbaris have been marginalized." Moreover, most Sunnis now believe it would be unwise to count on or help U.S. forces because they are seen as likely to leave the country before imposing stability. [E.A.]
Of course, there's also the point that if anyone can guarantee Sunni leaders freedom from Shiite attacks, you'd think it would be Sadr, precisely because his army is suspected of carrying out so many of those attacks. So I'm not saying we should dismiss the Hayden Scenario out of hand. ...
P.P.S.: For an account of what it's like living in Baghdad these days, I once again recommend Iraq the Model, specifically this post. It's clear the recent violence has been terrifying and demoralizing. It's also clear that things could still get much worse. ... 11:21 P.M.
Bring back Zarqawi? His successor is a much more effective leader, according to Bill Roggio. ... 1:50 A.M.
My 'Macaca': My attempt at a dramatic vlog reenactment of that Mark Warner rumor turned out a lot more embarrassing than I'd planned. ... Should I ever seek the presidency, they can just play this clip and I'll drop out immediately. ... 1:19 A.M.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
1. Raise the minimum wage.
2. "[F]orce companies to provide more and clearer details of CEO pay, devise policies to recapture incentive pay if earnings are later restated, and require shareholder approval of 'golden parachute' payments to dismissed executives."
3. "[S]low the flood of imports and rethink the pacts that President Bush has been negotiating to lower trade barriers."
4. "[R]equire employers to recognize a union after a majority of workers sign cards asking for representation instead of secret-ballot votes."
5. "[L]et at least some of Mr. Bush's income-tax cuts expire in 2010 or roll them back--including "[ r]aising the top two tax rates, now 33% and 35%" and raising the top (15%) capital gains tax rate.
6. Enlarging the earned-income tax credit
7. "[O]ffer eligible dislocated workers up to half the difference between weekly earnings at their old and new jobs, up to $10,000 a year"
8. "Allowing businesses with up to 100 employees tax credits to buy [health] insurance through a government-sponsored pool modeled on the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan, which gives federal workers a choice of private health insurance plans"
9. A "'universal 401(k)' to which employees, employers and, in some cases, the government would contribute, a cousin to the private accounts Mr. Bush wanted to carve out of Social Security.
10. "[D]oing more to help Americans pay for college, including making up to $12,000 a year in college tuition tax-deductible ... [snip] as well as cutting interest rates on student loans and increasing the maximum Pell Grant for low-income students to $5,100 from $4,050."
11. "[M]ore government support of Pre-K education." [Boldface added]