Vice President Cheney was shuttled into a bomb shelter at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan this morning after a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the main gate in an attack Taliban officials say was aimed at the vice president.
Cheney was uninjured and in no real danger from the blast, which killed at least four people, including a U.S. soldier, at the gate of the Bagram Airfield.
It wasn’t a major attack, but it was enough to remind people that the Afghan War, which was started because the Taliban were harboring, and allied with, the men responsible for September 111th, isn’t really over either and that the Taliban and al Qaeda still haven’t been defeated. It may even be partially responsible for the jitters affecting world financial markets today.
As I argued last week, the real legacy of the Iraq War may be the fact that it diverted the United States from it’s fight against the terrorists who killed 3,000 Americans five years ago and who, as they reminded us today, remain a real threat today.
With Congress preparing for renewed debate over President Bush’s Iraq policies, a majority of Americans now support setting a deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces from the war-torn nation and support putting new conditions on the military that could limit the number of personnel available for duty there, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Opposition to Bush’s plan to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq remained strong. Two in three Americans registered their disapproval, with 56 percent saying they strongly object. The House recently passed a nonbinding resolution opposing the new deployments, but Republicans have blocked consideration of such a measure in the Senate.
The Post-ABC poll found that 53 percent of Americans favored setting a deadline for troop withdrawals. Among those who favored a deadline, 24 percent said they would like to see U.S. forces out within six months and 21 percent called for the withdrawals to be completed within a year. The rest of those who supported a timetable said they do not support withdrawing all troops until at least a year from now.
I’m rarely one to base my political opinions on poll results, but if there was ever a time that a change in America’s strategy in the Iraq War was called for, this it. As I said in January, it’s time for us to go.
President Hugo Chavez ordered by decree on Monday the takeover of oil projects run by foreign oil companies in Venezuela’s Orinoco River region.
Chavez had previously announced the government’s intention to take a majority stake by May 1 in four heavy oil-upgrading projects run by British Petroleum PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), Chevron Corp. (CVX), ConocoPhillips (COP) Co., Total SA (TOT) and Statoil ASA. (STO)
He said Monday that has decreed a law to proceed with the nationalizations that will see state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, taking at least a 60 percent stake in the projects.
“The privatization of oil in Venezuela has come to an end,” he said on his weekday radio show, “Hello, President.””This marks the true nationalization of oil in Venezuela.”
By May 1, “we will occupy these fields” and have the national flag flying on them, he said.