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Posted by on Jan 4, 2007 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Around The Sphere January 4, 2007

Our famous linkfest offering you links to sites with MANY different viewpoints. Links do not necessarily reflect the opinion of TMV or its cobloggers.

Is Bush’s Impending Plan For A U.S. Troop Surge (REAL WORD: “Escalation”) Realistic? Oh!pinion takes a look at it in detail. A small part 4 U:

At minimum, the number of additional troops necessary to turn things around in Iraq — and keep them turned around while Iraqi society begins to heal and rebuild — is 125,000. Bush can’t even propose that because the U.S. doesn’t have 125,000 troops to send, Also, he’s too feckless to ask for a draft and rapid military buildup to make that kind of commitment possible.Once committed, the U.S. force of about a quarter-million troops would have to be maintained in country for at least five years. Over that time, in slow, carefully monitored stages, Iraqis would have to be trained, fully equipped and assigned to police/anti-insurgency duties in relatively quietly areas of the country. Iraqi forces wouldn’t be assigned to more difficult duty until they had proven their skills and reliability.

Read it all. Our prediction: look for polarization when Bush announces this plan. Some who deserted him may back him, reacting to the critics denouncing it. But the key factor is this: even within the Republican party, the political support is not there since GWB now has as much political capital as Enron stock has value. He can send the troops…but everything will have to go perfectly or he (and the country) will face a graver dilemma.

Another View On This from Ron Beasley.

So What’s President Bush Planning? A blogger in Alaska worries that he’s up to something even bigger.

Meanwhile, If You Don’t Think The Democrats Will Have A Problem With The Party’s (Far) Left just read this. The question has been: do the Democrats have the political backbone to stand up to Bush? Now the question also is: do they have the political backbone to stand up to this group as well? Who sets the agenda for the party? Stay tuned…

Are Blogs Journalism Or Just Op-Ed Pages?
Regardless of your political beliefs, this represents progress in blogs becoming vehicles for original reporting versus cyberspace op-ed pages.

We Already Did A Post On Him But We Can’t Help Ourselves. We’re drawn to watch Pat Robertson, like we can’t keep our eyes off the guy on the street corner talking to the fire hydrant. Steven Taylor has a must read that begins with this:

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: Pat Robertson is an embarrassment . Whether it is in his stating that Ariel Sharon’s stroke was God’s punishment for dividing the lands of Israel, or calling for the assassination of Hugo Chavez or promising God’s wrath on a town because of their views on evolution or any number of other things, I don’t understand how any Christian (let alone anyone else) can take the man seriously. And now he is at it again (via CNN): Pat Robertson: God told me of ‘mass killing’ in 2007.

Read it all. (Of course, if Robertson is correct yours truly will go to hell but then that would fulfill the wishes of many TMV readers…)

Obama Helps U.S. Image Abroad: A German newspaper points to Obama’s rising prominence and says: “America continues to function as a model for the world… No European country would be capable or ready to give a politician with such a biography the chance to reach the highest and most powerful public office.” (Of course, give Obama’s foes and operatives who specialize in discrediting political foes a few months, and they can change all that. Rudy Giuliani is already getting a crash course in the underside of American politics…)

Some People Are Shrill
and one great blog specializes in the shrill…(yours truly was mentioned once BUT I AM NEVER SHRILL! DO YOU HEAR ME???!)

Guess What Country Is About To Make Housing An Official Enforceable Right?
Did you guess it’s this one?

What’s Up With Iran? Nothing good, according to this post in The Jewish Chronicle:

If you’re looking for good news, look away now. Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons is only a matter time, according to Dr Zvi Shtauber, the director of Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies. He said Teheran was determined to achieve this aim and “I don’t see the same determination on the other side to stop them.� Speaking at a press conference this week to mark the publication of the institute’s Middle East Strategic Balance 2005-2006, Dr Shtauber also said this summer’s Lebanon war damaged Israel’s deterrent image and exposed weaknesses in the IDF and the decision-making process in Israel. Dr Shtauber, a former Israeli ambassador to the UK and a retired brigadier-general, noted that the “cost of a nuclear Iran will be much greater than the cost of military action against Iran,� but he also noted the difficulty of taking action against Teheran.

The early 21st century is promising to be such fun…