Political Theater and the War in Iraq
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Senate Democrats have failed again to get a vote on forcing the President to bring the troops home from Iraq. We hear about the all-night debate and about the issue itself. What would withdrawal really look like? Is the President's current strategy just postponing the inevitable? Also, US forces announce the capture of the senior Iraqi leader of al Qaeda in Iraq and, on Reporter's Notebook, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is accused in a case of unusual brutality. How widespread is illegal dog fighting?
US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (center), Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Carl Levin (D-MI) and Patty Murray (D-WA) during a news briefing after failed cloture vote. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.
US Forces Announce Capture of Link between Two al Qaedas ()
US authorities announced today the arrest of Khalid al-Mashadani, who they claim is the senior Iraqi leader of al Qaeda in Iraq. The arrest occurred two weeks ago but was not announced until today. Brigadier General Kevin Bergner called al-Mashadani the "media emir for all of Iraq." Michael Gordon is in Baghdad for the New York Times.
- Michael Gordon: Military Correspondent for the New York Times
Senate Debates Military Draw-down in Iraq ()
Democratic Senate leaders staged an all-night debate on their plan to give President Bush just 120 days to start bringing troops home from Iraq. Republicans called it a "circus," a "mockery" and "Kabuki theater." Before noon today, the Democrats lost a procedural vote to cut off debate. Yet, despite today's outcome, there's no doubt that many Republicans are uncomfortable about the President's course in Iraq—especially those who are up for re-election next year, and back an alternative that incorporates recommendations of the Iraq Study Group. Meantime, polls show that a majority of Americans think it's time for the troops to come home. We hear about the marathon session and what's next for efforts to force the President to change direction. We also talk to authorities about troop withdrawal, whether the "surge" still has a chance or if it is only postponing the inevitable.
- Emily Pierce: Congressional Reporter for Roll Call
- Barry McCaffrey: Former Commander of the US Southern Command
- Ned Parker: Baghdad Correspondent for the Los Angeles Times in Baghdad, @nedparkerlat
- Anthony Cordesman: Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
- Wayne White: Policy Expert at the Middle East Policy Council
- Phebe Marr: former Senior Fellow at the US Institute for Peace
Vick Indictment Draws Attention to Pit Bull Fighting ()
Michael Vick has been indicted for sponsoring illegal dogfights across state lines. Even the Humane Society says the practices involved were unusually brutal. The indictment against the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons says losing dogs in his operation often died in the pit or were electrocuted, drowned, hanged or shot. The National Football League calls that "cruel and degrading," but points out that the charges have not been proven. Wayne Pacelle is president of the Humane Society of the United States.
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