Monday, July 31, 2006

Happy Evan Bayh Day

About two months ago - One Bayh, to be exact - Evan Bayh suggested that we need to wait and see a little bit longer on Iraq, and if things aren't working out swimmingly "we're out." He didn't provide precise conditions, leaving him room to wiggle out, but here's what was said:

Calling it “the biggest political and military blunder of my lifetime,” Sturgeon said to Bayh, “I’d like you to explain your vote on the war and why you gave the president a blank check to get us into this disaster.”

Bayh calmly answered that “I wouldn’t cast the same vote today as I did then.” He noted that “the French believed that (there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq), the Germans believed that, the Russians believed that, everybody believed he [Saddam Hussein] had weapons of mass destruction.”

Bayh said if the Iraqi factions “get their political act together — and we will know this in the next six to eight weeks… if they can form a government… then there’s something to work with there.” If not, then “we’re out.”

Again, it's not really clear what conditions he was imposing, but presumably it involved the Iraqi government getting their shit together and making things better.

Since then Iraq has become the forgotten war, but things are not in fact going swimmingly.

BAGHDAD (AP) - Gunmen kidnapped 29 people in Baghdad on Monday, while Iraq's latest wave of violence killed 27 people, including four Iraqi soldiers in a suicide bombing.

The interior minister faced calls for his dismissal because of the worsening security crisis in Baghdad and surrounding towns, mostly blamed on sectarian conflict between Shiites and Sunnis.

The Iraqi government said Monday that 30,359 families have fled their homes to escape sectarian violence from mid-February through July 30 - roughly 182,000 people. Baghdad accounted for the highest number of displaced.

Gunmen in military fatigues drove to the main shopping area of Karrada in 15 vehicles and split into two groups, one going into a mobile phone shop and the other into the office next door of the Iraqi-American Chamber of Commerce, said police Lieut. Thair Mahmoud.

They kidnapped 15 staff and customers from the shop and 11 from the chamber, he said. All were believed to be Iraqis. No other details were available.

Perhaps a reporter should ask Bayh if it's time to get out.