While the wisest ponder an exit strategy — as you’ll learn below through a powerful MSM newspaper editorial — we find that taking a sampling of the latest news about Iraq yields, as it does every day, unendingly worrisome, saddening and cruelly maddening reports:

Cole’s Tidbits: Irving Lewis Libby, Cheney’s then chief of staff, told Meyer that Britain is “the only ally that matters.” This is Neocon doctrine, which holds that the US, Britain, and Turkey are the only permanent partners in war, whereas other allies can be brought in or cycled out at will. Berlusconi must feel badly used. (And the Turks rather let Libby down . . . )

Karl Rove … told Meyer that an Iraq War could be delayed until September of 2003, and that the delay would have no impact on the presidential campaign. … (Emphases mine.)

Continued below:

And the news is infuriating in its exposure of greed and abuse …

The LA Times has a shocker: “Ziad Cattan was a Polish Iraqi used-car dealer with no weapons-dealing experience until U.S. authorities turned him into one of the most powerful men in Iraq … chief of procurement for the Defense Ministry, responsible for equipping the fledgling Iraqi army. As U.S. advisors looked on, Cattan embarked on a massive spending spree, paying hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraqi funds for secret, no-bid contracts, …”

Pam’s House Blend blog calls Ziad Cattan “The ‘Brownie’ of Iraq military procurement.”

Perspective and leadership are needed. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer does it again. Their editorial pages have long been a moral compass for me:

Pressure is growing on the Bush administration to enunciate a detailed strategy for the U.S. military occupation of Iraq, particularly about how it might end.

It’s been little noted in the U.S. media, but the U.N. mandate that provided President Bush the diplomatic imprimatur for using military force in Iraq is due to expire. As reported in The Financial Times on Friday, Resolution 1546 is set to expire after the December elections in Iraq. The president has, of course, not always shown himself willing to wait for international sanction, but his Iraq adventure would be diplomatically complicated by the failure of the U.S.-backed resolution to extend the U.N. mandate for another year.

A resolution with bipartisan support in the U.S. House, meanwhile, would demand that Bush at least lay out a road map, if not a timetable, for what the war in Iraq should accomplish and when.

It’s an example of Congress’ attempt to regenerate a spine. The indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff and the continuing investigation into the administration’s prewar justifications for the invasion have given members of Congress who voted for the war reason to question whether they were bamboozled.

And the slog in Iraq plays a big role in the president’s plummeting approval ratings, with more than twice as many people strongly disapproving of Bush’s performance than strongly approving.

Painful as it may be for some, this harsh examination of our foreign policy — and of ourselves — is healthy and long overdue.

-from the SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD, via Howie in Seattle’s blog

P.S. Democracy for America has created a new service:

On a single page, you can write your members of Congress as well as your local daily newspaper.

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