A State Department official issues an apology for comments made on Al-Jazeera:
The State Department official in charge of public diplomacy for the Middle East apologized Sunday for telling the Arabic language Al-Jazeera television station that the U.S. had displayed "arrogance and stupidity" in Iraq.
Alberto Fernandez, director of public diplomacy in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department, made the remarks in an interview that aired Saturday on the Qatar-based channel, which is carried by satellite and is closely watched in the Arab world.
"We tried to do our best," he said during the interview, which aired late Saturday. "But I think there is much room for criticism because, undoubtedly, there was arrogance and there was stupidity from the United States in Iraq."
So...what is he apologizing for? Being too honest? Though I suppose if the administration won't admit to mistake to it's own people, there's no reason to think they're going to admit them to the Arab world.
The late Pat Tillman's brother, Kevin Tillman, gets some press today for his statement on the Iraq war and the Bush administration (read the statement here.)
"Somehow, the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country. Somehow, this is tolerated. Somehow, nobody is accountable for this."
I'm sure you can hear the swift boat engines starting in the distance, though I wonder if anyone could be stupid enough to attack Kevin Tillman for his (truthful) comments beyond perhaps calling him "deluded with grief" or some other nonsense. And he's not the only Tillman brother to speak out with the barest honesty.
October is well on track to being one of the deadliest months of the Iraq war for American soldiers, with six more soldiers killed yesterday in and around Baghdad alone as they continue security operations in the capital city.
This article recounts the failure of Iraqi security forces to control the outbreak of violence in Balad last week:
What brought this Tigris River city north of Baghdad to this state of siege was a series of events that have displayed in miniature the factors drawing the entire country into a sectarian bloodbath: Retaliatory violence between Sunnis and Shiites has soared to its highest level of the war, increasingly forcing moderates on both sides to look to armed extremists for protection.
The Shiite-led government's security forces, trained by the United States, proved immediately incapable of dealing with the sectarian violence in Balad, or, in many cases, abetted it, residents and police said.
More than 20,000 U.S. troops are based within 15 miles of Balad, but, uncertain how to respond, they hesitated, waiting for Iraqi government forces to step up, according to residents, police and U.S. military officials.
And that's how "standing down as they stand up" is going.