Thursday, February 17, 2005


Bush Vs. Reality - The Battle Continues

Three quick stories from Reuters:

Now that Mr. Bush has been re-elected, oil prices are heading back toward $50+/barrel.
Oil Extends Gains Above $48
Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:18 AM ET
By Jonathan Leff

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices added to strong gains on Thursday, spurred by persistent OPEC talk of a cut in supplies ahead of the second quarter that could drain healthy U.S. stockpiles before summer.

U.S. light crude rose 13 cents to $48.46 a barrel, building on Wednesday's rally of more than 2 percent that took prices to the highest level in three weeks.

Oil has rallied $3 over the past week on new forecasts for a tighter-than-expected market this year, as well as continued warnings from OPEC that a slide in prices or steep build in inventories could prompt swift action to stem output...
It also looks like we can expect visitors soon, despite the high oil prices:
Iraq Conflict Feeds International Terror Threat -CIA
Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:16 AM ET
By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Islamic militants waging a deadly insurgency against U.S.-led forces in Iraq pose an emerging international terrorism threat, CIA Director Porter Goss said on Wednesday.

In his first public appearance as U.S. spymaster, Goss described Iraqi insurgents, including al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as part of a Sunni militant movement inspired by Osama bin Laden and intent on attacking Americans.

"The Iraq conflict, while not a cause of extremism, has become a cause for extremists," Goss told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

"Those jihadists who survive will leave Iraq experienced in and focused on acts of urban terrorism. They represent a potential pool of contacts to build transnational terrorist cells, groups and networks in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries," he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bush's threat-based foreign policy is having the same effect in the Middle East as it did with North Korea - making them more defiant:
Syria and Iran Say Will Build 'Common Front'
Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:09 AM ET
By Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran and Syria, both locked in rows with the United States, said on Wednesday they would form a common front to face challenges and threats.

"We are ready to help Syria on all grounds to confront threats," Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Reza Aref said in Tehran after meeting Syrian Prime Minister Naji al-Otari.

Otari told reporters: "This meeting, which takes place at this sensitive time, is important, especially because Syria and Iran face several challenges and it is necessary to build a common front."
It will be interesting to see how history views Mr. Bush's continued string of disasterous policies. Maybe they'll title it "The Rise and Fall of the Bush Reich Right."


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