The Last Saniac

Dean Opponent Bows Out of Chairman’s Race,” by Will Lester, Associated Press, http://apnews.myway.com/article/20050207/D883QJKG0.html, 7 February 2005 (from The Corner).

More brilliance from the new American Tory Party:

WASHINGTON (AP) – Tim Roemer, the only remaining opponent of Howard Dean in the race to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said Monday he’s bowing out of the race – but he offered a warning to Democrats.

Dean, the former presidential candidate and governor of Vermont, is expected to win the DNC chairmanship at the election Feb. 12.

Roemer, a former congressman from Indiana and a member of the Sept. 11 commission, said Democrats must be more inclusive in their outreach to fast-growing parts of the country.

“I got into this race five weeks ago to talk about the devastating loss we experienced in November,” Roemer said in an interview. “It was not about 60,000 votes in Ohio. It was about losing 97 of the 100 fastest growing counties in the country. If that’s a trend in business or politics you’re in trouble.”

Republicans are in the strongest position they’ve been in since the early 20th century, Roemer said.

Roemer, who said top Democrats in Congress encouraged him to enter the chairman’s race, said he wants to strengthen Democrats’ position on national security.

If there’s one reason Senator Kerry lost the presidential race, it was because he failed to make the American people feel safer,” Roemer said, adding that he also wanted to encourage talk within the party about developing a stronger position on values.

Roemer said he hoped to make the party more inclusive, especially on the issue of abortion. He opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest and the health of the mother.

Roemer would have been the best thing to happen to the Democratic Party since Bill Clinton. Instead, the opposition will further disintegrate into noncompetitive meaninglessness. KJL sums it up best

Such a ridiculous diaster–for Democrats and American politics.

No Free Movement for Turks in Iraq

Army helping build new Iraq border posts,” by Nicole Dalrymple, Army News Service, http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/read.php?story_id_key=6818, 3 February 2005 (from Larry Auster through The Corner).

MOSUL, Iraq (Army News Service, Feb. 3, 2005) — An estimated $25 million is being spent to construct 100 new border forts along the northern borders of Iraq, as well as rehabilitate and enhance numerous points of entry.

In several northern provinces, 34 forts are currently under construction and 66 others are planned to start in the coming months.

“Renovations will take approximately two to three months and new forts will take about six,” explained Capt. Dave Bouffard, battalion civil engineer for the 133 ECB(H). “The forts are being constructed using a concrete masonry process that maximizes the use of locally available materials. All construction is being done by local Iraqis. No Coalition Forces are participating in the actual construction.”

“The forts function as the Iraqi border patrol’s command outpost from which they run 24-7 operations,” explained Bouffard. “All forts include living quarters and office space, as well as independent life support sources for water, fuel, power generation and sewer.”

“We know how important it is to prevent foreigners from coming into Iraq,” said Wilson Myers, Project and Contracting Office representative for Iraq’s northern governorates – Dahok, Irbil and Ninewa. PCO is the contracting agency for distribution of the construction funds. “We are focused on properly equipping and manning the force in order to protect freedom for a sovereign Iraq.”

Wikipedia shows that these “northern governorates” are Kurdish provinces bordering Turkey. Adding this to earlier news of forts on the Saudi, Jordanian, and Turkish borders, it is further proof of our committment to free movement of people between Iraq and Iran.

(Parenthetically, to answer the question of the anti-immigration right, “When do we get our border forts [with Mexico]?,” the answer is never. Just as we are building a Shia sphere in the Greater Middle East, we are continuing the work of President Madison in united a North American Sphere at home.)

Clearly one purpose for connecting Iraq to Iran is to put pressure on the Shia Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. But why are forts going up on the Iraqi Kurdistan – Turkish Kurdistan border? One possibility is that the pressure is coming from the Kurds, showing Turkey that 1990s-styles interventions in Iraq will not be tolerated. Alternatively, pressure for the forts could be coming from Baghdaders trying to enforce an artificial border in the Kuridsh homeland.

I believe it is the former. The Kurds are too strong militarily for an anti-Kurd system of forts to appear on the border. “All construction is being done by local Iraqis” means that Kurds are in charge of these forts in their construction, and they are doubtless manning them now. And if they are truly self-supporting, the Kurds will be manning them until they are united with their Turkish brothers.

Juan Cole’s Marxist "Late Capitalism"

The Republicans’ Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iraq,” by Juan Cole, Informed Consent, http://www.juancole.com/2005/02/republicans-iraq-and-islamic-republic.html, 7 February 2005.

In the midst of an anti-Republican anti-Cheney rant

Although George Orwell/ Eric Blair wrote 1984 as an anarcho-syndicalist socialist critique of Stalinism, it is becoming increasingly clear that it was also prophetic about the direction of Late Capitalist societies characterized by corporate media consolidation. In such a society, Cheney can substitute himself for Sistani and speak for Sistani, erasing the real Sistani just as the Republican pundits have erased the real Iraq. “Ignorance is strength.”

What the heck? Is Juan Cole a Marxist? Does this explain his conspiracy theories? Should his writings be taken in the context of 19th century sociological pseudo-economics?