Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
How can you kill him, when he's already dead?
A suicide bomber targets Vice Lord of Doom, Dick Cheney, in Afghanistan:

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - A suicide bomber killed and wounded some two dozen people outside the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan on Tuesday during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney. The Taliban claimed responsibility and said Cheney was the target.

The blast happened outside the base at Bagram, north of the capital, Kabul. Cheney's spokeswoman said he was fine, and the U.S. Embassy said the vice president later met with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul.

There were conflicting reports on the death toll. Provincial Gov. Abdul Jabar Taqwa said 20 people were killed, but NATO said initial reports indicated only three were killed, including a U.S. soldier, a South Korean coalition soldier and a U.S. government contractor whose nationality wasn't immediately known. NATO said 27 people were also wounded.

It was unclear why there was such a large discrepancy in the reports.
Meanwhile, in a notty twist of irony:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's Shiite vice president narrowly escaped assassination Monday as a blast ripped through a government meeting hall just hours after it was searched by U.S. teams with bomb-sniffing dogs. At least 10 people were killed.

Adel Abdul-Mahdi was slightly wounded in the explosion, which splintered chairs, destroyed a speakers' podium and sent a chilling message that suspected Sunni militants can strike anywhere despite a major security crackdown across Baghdad.

As U.S. forces sealed off the area around the municipal building, investigators grappled with the troubling question of how the bomb was smuggled into the ministry of public works — a seven-story structure with crack surveillance systems from its days as offices for Saddam Hussein's feared intelligence service.
Last but not least, is our military ready for a third "major conflict" should one arise? Er ... no:

WASHINGTON - Strained by the demands of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a significant risk that the U.S. military won't be able to quickly and fully respond to yet another crisis, according to a new report to Congress.

The assessment, done by the nation's top military officer, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, represents a worsening from a year ago, when that risk was rated as moderate.

The report is classified, but on Monday senior defense officials, speaking on condition on anonymity, confirmed the decline in overall military readiness. And a report that accompanied Pace's review concluded that while the Pentagon is working to improve its warfighting abilities, it "may take several years to reduce risk to acceptable levels."

Pace's report comes as the U.S. is increasing its forces in Iraq to quell escalating violence in Baghdad. And top military officials have consistently acknowledged that the repeated and lengthy deployments are straining the Army, Marine Corps and reserve forces and taking a heavy toll on critical warfighting equipment.
Between this and his continued contrariness on the subject of Iran's supposed meddling in Iraq, how much longer until General Pace is put out to pasture by the Bushies?

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