January 9, 2007

how can I make my body shed
around your metal scars

Edgar Martins, Untitled, from ‘The Diminishing Present’ 2003/2004

* New York Times. excerpt:

"We’ve been down this road before. This time, it has to be different.

"There have been too many times that President Bush has promised a new strategy on Iraq, only to repeat the same old set of failed approaches and unachievable objectives. Americans need to hear Mr. Bush offer something truly new — not more glossy statements about ultimate victory, condescending platitudes about what hard work war is, or aimless vows to remain 'until the job is done.'

"If the voters sent one clear message to Mr. Bush last November, it was that it is time to start winding down America’s involvement in this going-nowhere war.

"What they need is for the president to acknowledge how bad things have gotten in Iraq (not just that it is not going as well as he planned) and to be honest about how limited the remaining options truly are. The country wants to know how Mr. Bush plans to end its involvement in a way that preserves as much of the nation’s remaining honor and influence as possible, limits the suffering of the Iraqi people and the harm to Iraq’s neighbors, and gives Iraqi leaders a chance — should they finally decide to take it — to rescue their country from an even worse disaster once the Americans are gone."
"Mr. Bush must acknowledge that there is no military solution for Iraq. Whatever plan he offers needs to start with a tough set of political benchmarks for national reconciliation that the Iraqi government is finally expected to meet. It needs to concentrate enough forces in Baghdad to bring some security to streets and neighborhoods, giving Iraq’s leaders one last opportunity to try to bargain their way out of civil war.

"His plan needs to lay out tight timetables in which the Iraqis must take major steps to solve fundamental issues, including equitably dividing their oil wealth and disarming vengeful militias. There must also be a clear and rapid timetable for achieving enough stability in Baghdad to hand back significant military responsibilities to the Iraqis.

"The last time America presented Mr. Maliki with a set of political benchmarks, he bluntly rejected them. If he does that again, there is no way America can or should try to secure Iraq on its own. Mr. Bush must make clear to both Iraqis and Americans that without significant progress, American forces will not remain.

"We’re under no illusions. Meeting those challenges is going to be extremely tough. And Iraq’s unraveling may already be too far gone."
"Mr. Bush is widely expected to announce a significant increase in American troops to deploy in Baghdad’s violent neighborhoods. He needs to explain to Congress and the American people where the dangerously tapped-out military is going to find those troops. And he needs to place a strict time limit on any increase, or it will turn into a thinly disguised escalation of the American combat role.

"The Washington Post reported yesterday that just under 23,000 Iraqi civilians and police officers died violently in 2006, more than 17,000 of them in the last six months. That is a damning indictment of the Maliki government, and of current American military strategy.

"That is the Iraq that Americans want Mr. Bush to deal with tomorrow night."

* concerto for two bicycles: Frank Zappa on the Steve Allen show.

* Two good shows in dc thursday evening: Georgie James and the fake accents at the Rock and Roll Hotel, and the plums at Velvet Lounge, with Velcro Lewis & His 100 Proof band.

* Loretta Scars, new to the world of porn, hasn't even shot ten scenes yet (her favorite food, pizza; favorite band, pavement).


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