What if the 'surge' works?

A mostly political Weblog.
Feb. 2 2007 6:19 AM

What if the 'Surge' Works?

Are foes of Bush's plan taking a political risk?

(Continued from Page 13)

Those Iranian Election Results in Full: NY Post columnist Amir Taheri doesn't seem to be reporting on the same local Iranian elections  we read about last month in the U.S. press. Yes, they were a rebuke of President Ahmadinejad, but the resemblance ends there:

Dissatisfaction with Ahmadinejad was partly reflected in the recent local government elections and elections for the Assembly of Experts, where candidates closely identified with the president did poorly.

Overall, however, the radical factions of the Khomeinist movement (of which Ahmadinejad is a product) did very well. In the local elections, the radicals ended up with 83 percent of the votes; they also did well in the Assembly of Experts' voting.

In other words, although Ahmadinejad's personal brand of radicalism suffered a setback, the Khomeinist movement as a whole remains in radical mode. [E.A.]

P.S.: Here's how a NYT editorial ("Saner Voices in Iran") characterized those same results:

The main gainers came from two very different opposition groups, one aligned with former President Ali Rafsanjani, an establishment conservative, and the other with remnants of the cautious reform movement led by former President Mohammad Khatami.

Someone would seem to be cocooning, or spinning. 12:32 P.M.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

More on Barbara & Condi & Laura: Compare Barbara Boxer's line of attack on Condoleezza Rice last week with Charles Peters' seemingly similar Washington Monthly attack  on the insulation of the powerful. First, Peters:

Many of those making between $100,000 and $500,000, especially those who live in large cities, worry far more about getting their children into the right private schools or into an elite university than  they do about fixing the public schools. And almost all of them, like the congressmen, have generous health insurance of their own that means health care for others doesn't tend to be one of their imperatives. Finally, because their sons and daughters, with rare exceptions, are not in the armed forces, they could support sending other people's children into the war in Iraq. [E.A.]

And here's Boxer:

"Now, the issue is who pays the price. Who pays the price?  I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family.  So who pays the price? The American military and their families."

See the problem? As Peters points out, even those who have sons and daughters are usually insulated from the costs of war because we have a volunteer military. Boxer's riffing about her children and grandchildren (and Rice's lack of "immediate family") isn't relevant to whether, as Boxer later put it, those who make Iraq policy "will pay the price for this escalation" because people who have military-age children don't pay the price for war either unless those children volunteer. And most don't.

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