Friday, September 5, 2008

Bob Woodward's new book

Both the Guardian and the Washington Post have reports on Bob Woodward's new book. The Guardian's headline focuses on Woodward's claim that the US has been spying on Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki (which, given the Bush administration's past practices, I hardly find surprising). But also important here is Woodward's contention that the "Surge" was not the chief factor in reducing Iraq violence. Remember, Woodward, though he broke (with Carl Bernstein) the Watergate story more than 30 years ago, is hardly a lefty/liberal muckraker. His early books about Bush after 9-11 were accused at the time of being little more than stenography for Bush-administration propaganda. If Obama/Biden/Clinton choose to cite Woodward's conclusions about the Surge to undermine one of McCain's chief talking points (that he was right about the Surge, and that the Surge is the biggest reason why the US is "winning" in Iraq), McCain and other Republicans will have a hard time simply waving off Woodward's findings as those of a typical mainstream-media "liberal elite" type.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the Iraqi government may want to purchase 36 F-16 fighters from Lockheed. As always, the business of war is good for American business, especially our weapon-makers - and it's also good for those members of Congress whose districts are homes of weapons-makers (as in, "Hey voters, look at the jobs I've brought you!").

What Iran and Israel would think of the US helping to rebuild the air force of an Arab country is, on the other hand, another matter altogether.

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