Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Even though he knows the administration's official position on the subject is a loud "LA LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU," Ayad Allawi may have tried to talk to President Bush about delaying the Iraqi elections, according to The New York Times:

Hours after a wave of bombing attacks that left at least 20 people dead on Monday, Prime Minister Ayad Allawi telephoned President Bush and discussed the many impediments still facing the country as it heads toward elections in 27 days, according to senior American officials familiar with the contents of the call.

The officials insisted that Dr. Allawi, Iraq's interim leader, did not tell Mr. Bush that the elections should be delayed, though his defense minister said in Cairo on Monday that the voting could be postponed to ensure greater participation by Sunnis....

But some officials in Washington and in Iraq interpreted the telephone call as a sign that Dr. Allawi, who is clearly concerned his own party could be headed to defeat if the election is held on schedule, may be preparing the ground to make the case for delay to Mr. Bush.

"Clearly the thinking on this is still in motion in Baghdad," a senior administration official said Monday evening.

It's not going to happen, of course. Beyond the obvious reason -- the fact that Bush can never admit error -- I assume that the election is already being described as a resounding success in early drafts of the State of the Union address. The election's going to take place on January 30; the State of the Union will be February 2. Almost certainly, the Bushies will take anything short of the nuclear annihilation of Baghdad and paint it as the triumph of Good over Evil. Three days will be enough time for votes to be counted, winners to be declared, lockstep right-wing op-ed pieces to be written and published (or, presumably, published -- I'm sure they're already written), and a few winning Assembly candidates possibly flown to D.C., to sit next to Laura.

And three days after the election, most Americans won't yet grasp that the ongoing violence in Iraq has actually become a civil war.

Shades of 1984....

After investigation, there is some evidence suggesting that there was pressure from the White House for this particular Challenger launch. The day of the accident, speculation about pressure from the White House to have the Challenger launched before Reagan's State of the Union address, was denied by NASA officials. However, Richard Cook, the former NASA budget analyst, contended in a 137-page report that the reason NASA managers overruled Thiokol's engineers was politically motivated. He claims that the President wanted to mention the teacher in space in his State of the union message...

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