|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
In recent weeks senior American officers have condemned Tehran for providing training and deadly explosives to insurgents. In a predawn raid on Dec. 21, U.S. troops barged into the compound of the most powerful political party in the country, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and grabbed two men they claimed were officers in Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Three weeks later U.S. troops stormed an Iranian diplomatic office in Irbil, arresting five more Iranians. The Americans have hinted that as part of an escalating tit-for-tat, Iranians may have had a hand in a spectacular raid in Karbala on Jan. 20, in which four American soldiers were kidnapped and later found shot, execution style, in the head. U.S. forces promised to defend themselves.
Some view the spiraling attacks as a strand in a worrisome pattern. At least one former White House official contends that some Bush advisers secretly want an excuse to attack Iran. "They intend to be as provocative as possible and make the Iranians do something [America] would be forced to retaliate for," says Hillary Mann, the administration's former National Security Council director for Iran and Persian Gulf Affairs. U.S. officials insist they have no intention of provoking or otherwise starting a war with Iran, and they were also quick to deny any link to Sharafi's kidnapping. But the fact remains that the longstanding war of words between Washington and Tehran is edging toward something more dangerous. A second Navy carrier group is steaming toward the Persian Gulf, and NEWSWEEK has learned that a third carrier will likely follow. Iran shot off a few missiles in those same tense waters last week, in a highly publicized test. With Americans and Iranians jousting on the chaotic battleground of Iraq, the chances of a small incident's spiraling into a crisis are higher than they've been in years.
It‘s going to be a great campaign for us. We‘re all very excited about it, Mike. As you know, the primary calendar has changed a little bit. California has now said they are moving up to the 5th of February. Florida says they‘re moving up to January 29th. We‘re at the point that a year from today we will almost have a nominee for the Democrat and Republican Party.
BARNICLE: Well, I was going to ask you about the timing of that.
BARNICLE: So what happens to New Hampshire and Iowa, given this projected new primary calendar?
MCAULIFFE: That‘s a good question, because if you have these huge, megastates like a California and New Jersey as well as Michigan, are now saying they are a going to move up, Iowa an New Hampshire always important. The early contests, Hillary, as you know, going to Iowa this weekend. They‘ll have an important play. But also if you are aye collecting delegates, you are going to have to have a lot of money to compete in the big state that are just going to come 10 days later.
So it‘s going to be a massive expenditure of funds to try and compete in all these different contests.
BARNICLE: Well, California and Florida, are those dates set if stone?
Have they been moved up?
MCAULIFFE: Well, they both have said their legislators are going to move them up and people have to be prepared. So we‘re planning accordingly as I‘m sure other campaigns are. But until this calendar is set you‘re not exactly sure where you‘ll commit your resources.
So right now you have got of course Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, the early states and then there will be a whole mixture, literally you could have 40 percent of the delegates chose in a week ending on February 5th, which I predict now, Michael, we will have a nominee of the Democratic Party.
We‘re at the point that a year from today we will almost have a nominee for the Democrat and Republican Party.