Friday, December 28, 2007

Instahoglets 28th December 2007

By Cernig

The assassination of Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto continues to dominate the headlines and op-eds today - as it rightly should. But there's other stuff out there worthy of attention too. So today's Instahoglets comes in two chunks:

Bhutto Discussion and Reports

Yesterday, National Review got a bunch of their usual suspects to pontificate on the impact of the assassination. Lord help me, I found myself agreeing in large part with Victor David Hanson!

Steve Benen, guesting for Kevin Drum, scathingly points out the stupidity of every candidate in the US '08 race claiming this bolsters their campaign.

This really has the Islamophobes climbing out of their closets, though. One Rudy campaigner is claiming Guilliani is the only one who can chase "the Muslims" back "into their caves". Niiice. But I suspect we'll hear lots more of the same.

Andrew Sullivan points out that Al Qaeda being to blame is actually the most optimistic assessment.

But there's a report that another Taliban-linked group, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, may be responsible. Backgrounder on the group here and here you'll find the links between that group and Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency.

Non-Bhutto Related Stuff

When warhawks lose their faith, they do so in a hawkish way. John Derbyshire at NRO contemplates living with an Iranian mid-East hegemon and concludes: "Given the rivalries and hatreds of the ME, I doubt a stable Iranian hegemony is possible. If it is possible, it's something we'll learn to live with, and no direct threat to the U.S.A. that I can see."

NY Times: "Top editors at the military newspaper Stars and Stripes are asking for full disclosure of the paper's relationship with a Department of Defense publicity program, called America Supports You, after disclosures that money for the program was funneled through the newspaper." The Bushies politicising supposedly independent chunks of the federal infrastructure? Who'd a thunk it!

So obsessed with secrecy! - the CIA refuses to declassify the size and budget of the Agency....fifty years ago.

The Iraqi government announcement that monthly food rations will be cut by half has left many Iraqis asking how they can survive. They say they've run out of money despite having several billion dollars to do what Saddam managed with one billion. That'll be your Bushivick-advised government, then.

Iraqi reconcilliation update: the Kirkuk referendum has been postponed because the various players can't agree on how to run the census needed before the vote. And the much-promised rewriting of the Iraqi Constitution to address Sunni misgivings has been postponed for the fourth time.

War on the Real Terrorist or dangerous superstition? Pope Benedict XVI plans to tackle the rise of Satanism by setting up specialist exorcism squads in every diocese.

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