They don’t all love us, it seems… 19 February 2009Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Afghanistan War, DC Politics, Europe, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, Moscow, WAR!.
Kabul, Afghanistan: A man begs on a street [Ahmad Masood/Reuters]
The US Defence Secretary pleaded with Nato allies to send more civilian personnel to Afghanistan yesterday, after proclaiming disappointment at their failure to meet his requests for troops.
Robert Gates made his request as Nato defence ministers convened in Poland, two days after President Obama committed 17,000 more US soldiers to the fight, making Afghanistan his foreign policy priority.
Washington had hoped to capitalise on the new President’s appeal by gaining further troop commitments from European allies, but so far no pledges have been forthcoming from Cracow.
Not the least of our problems… as we pursue war in the land that sinks empires…
The new US “surge” is smaller than commanders in Afghanistan had hoped and comes amid growing concern over the logistics of prosecuting the war with too few troops and too few supply routes into the country.
Russia has said it is willing to help with the movement of supplies but its help will probably come at the cost of Nato expansionism and the US missile defence system in Eastern Europe.
The first shipment of military goods will leave Latvia soon, going through Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to Afghanistan. Moscow remains opposed to any permanent Nato or US military presence, such as a base in an area it regards as its unique sphere of influence.
Meanwhile at home.. first on one foot then on the other… anything to stave off a DECISION that might be unpopular. Get it over with chumps. Go for it. (via Politico’s “44” page, no link)
Unsatisfied with the one week reprieve it got today, Justice Department is making a last-ditch plea to a federal appeals court for a full two weeks to negotiate a deal to head off the executive privilege dispute over Congress’s demands for testimony and documents from Bush White House officials Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, and Josh Bolten. — Josh Gerstein (5:55 p.m.)
Introducing ChangeTracker: Tracking Change in Washingtonby Brian Boyer, ProPublica – February 19, 2009 12:40 pm ESTWe’re launching ChangeTracker, an experimental new tool that watches pages on whitehouse.gov , recovery.gov  and financialstability.gov  so you don’t have to. When the White House adds or deletes anything— say a blog post, or executive order—ChangeTracker will let you know.
The latest changes are below, or sign up on the right to get alerts sent to you.
Each change links to a page (courtesy of a service called Versionista ) that shows the different versions side-by-side. Text highlighted in red means it was removed, green means it was added. If you notice something interesting, let us know . We’ll highlight the gems.
And in the hope that folks will track other important Web sites, we want you to steal our code: Here’s how to create your own tracker for any Web site .
Shuafat, West Bank: A Palestinian boy climbs through an opening in the West Bank barrier near Jerusalem [Guardian – 24 Hours in Pictures – February 19 2009 – Baz Ratner/Reuters]