It's another of their perfect storms of irrational hysteria. They always seem to work too.
I wonder where this polling figure comes from, the one that says 68% of New Yorkers are against the building of Park51 Cultural Center. I'm surrounded by New Yorkers, particularly New Yorkers who live and work within some kind of range of Ground Zero -- most of us long prior to the 9/11 attack. I'm not encountering anyone who is against it, or even thinks it should be moved to a different location. But then I don't live on the upper east side of the obscenely wealthy and powerful, and I don't know many of those people to talk to either.
This moving location thing? The reason the Center was locating at 51 Park was BECAUSE they could afford the property. They got it dirt cheap because NOBODY wanted it. You go anywhere else and the price is going to be more like 40 million than 4 million, yanno? and easily, depending on where you go, a lot more than 40 million too.
They tell us we are now pulled out of combat in Iraq. Ha. What we have is a bag left being held by the Secretary of State, namely Hillary, who has to run a private army of contractors. Train Iraqi police? Nobody in the history of the world has been able to do that successfully.
We are also left with at least 50,000 combat troops still in Iraq, though they've been re-labeled as something else.
... The remaining 50,000 troops are viewed as trainers and logistics support to the Iraqi government. But they include special operations units, helicopter gunship crews, and other war fighters who are still going to be engaged in combat but will not be categorized as being in Iraq for that purpose. Iraq has no air force to speak of, and the US will be providing the air support until at least 2018.
Juan Cole, as so often, speaks most clearly to what this pull out means.
... the true significance of Thursday’s last convoy. It is a symbol of a turnaround in US policy, a repudiation of the Bush administration doctrine of preemptive war. “Preemptive war” is a euphemism for the rehabilitation of aggressive war, which the world community attempted to abolish in the United Nations charter. While many blame Obama for escalating the Afghanistan War, that war at least grew out of the al-Qaeda attack on US soil, which was planned out in Khost and Qandahar, and it has the backing of the UN and of NATO, which invoked article 5 of its charter (an attack on one is an attack on all).
In contrast, the Iraq War was virtually without legal foundation. In the United Nations order, there are only two legitimate preconditions for going to war. One is clear self-defense, in response to an aggressive attack. (The Gulf War, responding to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, is a case in point). The other is authorization by the UN Security Council. But W. had neither precondition on his side when he invaded Iraq, and so he acted lawlessly, as Obama saw clearly at the time.