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Sunday, 14 March 2004
There he goes again...
Rumsfeld on Face The Nation today:
http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/face_031404.pdf

SCHIEFFER: The--the president ordered this invasion, as the world knows, because he said
there were weapons of mass destruction, and he said they posed a threat to this country.
Knowing what we now know, Mr. Secretary, do you think it was still wise to take this
invasion? Did Iraq pose an immediate threat to this country?

Sec. RUMSFELD: Bob, the answer is I do believe it was the--it was the--the right thing to do.
And I'm--I'm glad it's done. The 25 million Iraqi people have been liberated. A regime, a
vicious regime, is gone after decades of repression and death squads and--and mass graves
and mass killings, a country that used chemical weapons on its neighbors and on its own
people, that fired ballistic missiles into several of its neighboring countries. It's a good thing
they're gone. And--and...

SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just ask you this. If they did not have these weapons of mass
destruction, though, granted all of that is true, why then did they pose an immediate threat
to us, to this country?

Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, you're the--you and a few other critics are the only people I've heard
use the phrase `immediate threat.' I didn't. The president didn't. And it's become kind of
folklore that that's--that's what's happened. The president went...

SCHIEFFER: You're saying that nobody in the administration said that.

Sec. RUMSFELD: I--I can't speak for nobody--everybody in the administration and say
nobody said that.

SCHIEFFER: Vice president didn't say that? The...

Sec. RUMSFELD: Not--if--if you have any citations, I'd like to see 'em.

Mr. FRIEDMAN: We have one here. It says `some have argued that the nu'--this is you
speaking--`that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent, that Saddam is at least five to
seven years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain.'

Sec. RUMSFELD: And--and...

Mr. FRIEDMAN: It was close to imminent.

Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, I've--I've tried to be precise, and I've tried to be accurate. I'm s--
suppose I've...

Mr. FRIEDMAN: `No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security
of our people and the stability of the world and the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.'
[http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/arms/02091831.htm]

Sec. RUMSFELD: Mm-hmm. It--my view of--of the situation was that he--he had--we--we
believe, the best intelligence that we had and other countries had and that--that we believed
and we still do not know--we will know. David Kay said we're about 85 percent there. I
don't know if that's the right percentage. But the Iraqi Survey Group--we've got 1,200 people
out there looking. It's a country the size of California. He could have hidden his--enough
chemical or biol--enough biological weapons in the hole that--that we found Saddam Hussein
in to kill tens of thousands of people. So--so it's not as though we have certainty today.
But what--think what happened. There were 17 UN resolutions. There was unanimous
agreement that he had filed a fraudulent declaration. The final opportunity was given with
the last resolution, and he didn't take it. He chose war. He didn't do what Kazakhstan did.
He didn't do what South Africa did. He didn't do what Ukraine did. He--he didn't say,
`Come in and look and see what we have.' He was engaged in active deception. We'll
ultimately know a great deal about what took place.


...In other words, "where's the guy who asked about the subway running under the building?"

See also: Rumsfeld 'pocketed 9/11 souvenir'
From John Solomon in Washington
13Mar04
http://www.news.com.au/common/printpage/0,6093,8953686,00.html

Posted by bushmeister0 at 5:03 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 16 March 2004 5:29 PM EST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Friday, 12 March 2004
I have a few thoughts on this Madrid bombing situation.
Amazingly, the Spanish government is still insisting ETA is a suspect in these terrible attacks. The media is playing right along discussing whether it's possible they might have teamed up with Al-Quaeda. All the evidence points to Al-Quaeda or an offshoot, not ETA. However, it's most convenient and self-serving for the Spanish to keep the heat on ETA to try and convince the Bush administration to start focusing the "War on Terror" on the Basque insurgency, which they haven't had any luck defeating on their own for 40 years.

I think they've seen charlatans like Ahmad Chalabi dupe the Pentagon and Cheney into invading Iraq; they've noted Israel conflating their problems with Hizbollah and the Palestinian Intifada into the "Global War On Terrorism."
Every tin-pot dictator in the world is trying to get us to believe their homegrown insurgencies are Al-Quaeda. (We're even doing it in Iraq; it can't be the Iraqis fighting us, it has to be groups from outside!)

Let's read this quote again from "Bounding the War on Terrorism" by Jeffery Record (cited below):

"Should the United States, in addition to fighting Al-Qaeda, gratuitously pick fights with the Basque Eukzkadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigars...Hamas and Hizbollah? Do we want to provoke national-and regional-level terrorist organizations that have stayed out of America's way into targeting the U.S. interests and even the American homeland?"

I should think not. We don't have the manpower or the resources.

One more quote that is sobering:

"A cardinal rule of strategy is to keep your enemies to a manageable number. A strategy whose ambitions provoke the formation of an array of enemies whose defeat exceeds the resources available to that strategy is doomed to failure. The Germans were defeated in two war wars notwithstanding their superb performance at the operational and tactical levels of combat because their strategic ends outran their available means..."

Let's hope the quid pro quo for Spanish support of our invasion in Iraq wasn't adding the ETA to our list of enemies.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 11:29 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 14 March 2004 5:34 PM EST
Post Comment | View Comments (7) | Permalink
It's good to be Neil Bush
This is trully unbelieveable.
Here's a few little tid-bits from an article from the Washington Post on the president's brother.

The Relatively Charmed Life Of Neil Bush
Despite Silverado and Voodoo, Fortune Still Smiles on the President's Brother
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A35297-2003Dec27?language=printer

"During his travels, he met with several Arab princes and enjoyed a private dinner with Jiang Zemin, then China's president, who serenaded Bush with a military song.

For the last several years, Bush's main business interest has been Ignite!, the educational software company he co-founded in 1999. To fund Ignite!, Bush has raised
$23 million from U.S. investors (including his parents), as well as businessmen from Taiwan, Japan, Kuwait, the British Virgin Islands and the United Arab Emirates,
according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The program's first course -- eighth-grade American history -- was tested over the last two years in schools in a dozen states. Available commercially for the first
time this year, it is being used by about 40,000 students in 120 school districts, mostly in Texas, at a cost of about $30 per pupil.

However, Ignite! has been attacked by other educators for dumbing down history. Among its controversial aspects is a lesson that depicts the Seminole Wars in a
cartoon football game -- "the Jacksons vs. the Seminoles" -- the animated Indians smashing helmets with animated white settlers. The Constitutional Convention is
taught in a rap song:

It was 55 delegates from 12 states

Took one hot Philadelphia summer to create

A perfect document for their imperfect times

Franklin, Madison, Washington -- a lot of the cats

Who used to be in the Continental Congress way back.

Ignite! is working well, Bush wrote in an e-mail: "Teachers and students have given anecdotal feedback that confirms the powerful impact our program is having on
student achievement, student focus and attitudes, and teacher success in reaching all of their students."

But at Whitney reviews were less laudatory. "The kids felt pretty strongly that what this was about was lowering the bar," says Humes.

Humes wasn't impressed, either. "There was a lot of rhyming and games," he says. "It reminded me of what my son uses -- but he's in kindergarten."

When Bush spoke at Whitney, several students began arguing with him.

"He was very surprised," Humes recalls. "You had to see the look on his face when one young woman got up and said she liked calculus. He said it was useless.
This is the branch of mathematics that makes space travel possible, and he said it was useless.""

There's also a lot of stuff about him having sex with strange women who just happen to walk into his hotel room and a very nasty divorce with charges of voodoo being used against him by his former wife.
Man! Billy Carter and Roger Clinton have nothing on this perp.

See also: No Bush Left Behind: When You're Barred From Banking, Why Not Bank on Education
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/03/12/1534244

Posted by bushmeister0 at 9:34 PM EST
Post Comment | Permalink
Where's the man who asked about the subway coming in under the building?
A day after the devastating bombings in Madrid, security has been increased on the Metro here in DC and around the country. I thought this might be a good time to recap the whole `guy who asked Donald Rumsfeld about the subway that runs under the pentagon' thing.

On August 6th 2002 at a Pentagon Town Hall Meeting Dennis Stephens, an employee at the Pentagon, was the first person to get up and ask Rumsfeld a question. The timing was perfect because Rummy had just spent about 20 minutes blathering on about all the "truly remarkable accomplishments" since 9/11 that had made everyone so much safer.

Rummy: And I would be happy to respond to questions. Make the first one easy.(Laughter.) And why don't we try something totally new? When I get questions from the press, all they ask about is Iraq. (Laughter.) So why doesn't somebody ask something else, anything else?! (Laughter.) There's a hand way in the back.Yes, sir?

Q: My name is Dennis Stephens (sp). I work for the Air Force in the Finance Department. I'm curious and concerned about what's going on here for us, the people that work in the Pentagon, as far as the security is going, and especially because the Metro runs right under our building.

Rumsfeld: Well, you are doing exactly what the president suggested, and that is that all of us go about our normal lives but have a heightened sense of awareness. And clearly you do.
I thought the Metro did not currently run under the building. Am I wrong? Is it currently under --

Not distinguishable: (Off mike.)

Rumsfeld: The answer's yes. Is that right? Not distinguishable: Yes.

Rumsfeld: Yes. And I will talk to some folks who are involved in that, the chief and others who have set up, as you can see, around the department a whole host of new security activities. But I just was not aware that that's still happening, and I'll ask why.

Q: It goes right underneath the East Wing. In fact, I ride it every day.

Rumsfeld: I see. Fair -- are you looking around you when you're riding?(Laughter.)

Q: To be sure, sir.

Rumsfeld: (Laughs.) Thank you. I'll check. Well, wasn't it stopped for a while? It was.

Not distinguishable: Just the different rings -- (off mike) -- get off -- (off mike) --Pentagon -- (off mike).

Rumsfeld: I see. Good.

What else? That was very good. It wasn't about Iraq. (Laughter.) That's impressive.

[It wasn't over then. The issue just wouldn't go away...]

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Q: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. My name is Dennis Stevens. I work for the United States Air Force in the finance department as a computer specialist.
In light of the ongoing threat and the ongoing military operations, I know that there have been a lot of changes in our building as far as security for the people who come to work here every day. I asked this question last time we were here, and there was some -- maybe some confusion. But I wanted to see if you could tell us all how things are changing around this building to protect the men and women that come here and work every day.

Rumsfeld: Are you the one who asked about whether the subway came in? It turns out I think I was right and you were wrong! (Laughter, applause.) I hope I was right!

Q: The metro doesn't go right under the building, it goes --

Rumsfeld: It stops short now.

Q: -- it goes right next to the East Wing of the building, which is where --

Rumsfeld: Right. I thought I'd been told that by someone smart like Wolfowitz. But -- (laughter).

Q: Yes. It doesn't go right under the building, it goes very close to the building. But in general, the improvements in security for the people who come to work here every day.

Rumsfeld: Well, there have been a great many things that have been done. As you -- visually, you can see there are a good many more people that are in the area around the building, police as well as military people. The subway was one of the things that was taken care of.

Thursday, March 6, 2003

Rummy: Where's the man who asked about the subway coming in under the building? (Laughter.) Not here. Okay

Q: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. I was actually out in the hall, you asked for me. Is there an update on subway security, sir? (Laughter.)
Rumsfeld: I had a feeling you'd be here. (Laughter.) I think we're doing just fine down there where the subway comes in. They're making some improvements and they're keeping it out from under the building. And most people who look at the security thing feel pretty good about it. How do you feel about it now?

Q: Thank you. It has improved. I do know that there have been some problems. There was an issue yesterday. But since I take the subway every day, it's something I see every day. And it's not -- it doesn't have the security of, say, the airport, for instance, which is unfortunate, but it would be very difficult to implement that.

[The thing is, as far as I know, it still runs under the Pentagon. The evidence of absence isn't the absence of evidence. (Or something like that.)]
http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/archive.html

Posted by bushmeister0 at 7:44 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 12 March 2004 11:13 PM EST
Post Comment | Permalink
Thursday, 11 March 2004
John Kerry on the
In an unguarded moment John Kerry is reported to have been caught on video saying "These guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group I have ever seen. It's scary."
Wasn't there a West-Wing episode where the president did something similar?
I dunno, it seems a little contrived to me.



Posted by bushmeister0 at 6:17 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 11 March 2004 8:57 PM EST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Proud to be an American
Yesterday we released five British Guantanamo detainees to the British government. Naturally, being dangerous terrorists they were immediately arrested and put away.
Wait! They weren't? They were let go for lack of any evidence? Hmmm...
Can't we kidnap them and send them to Syria for proper questioning?
What? We're not doing that any more because Syria is a terrorist state?
Well, there's always Jordan. They've got us on one side in Iraq and Israel one the other. They'll do whatever we tell them, they're scared shitless.

Can't we send Aristide to Gitmo?




Posted by bushmeister0 at 3:10 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 12 March 2004 12:40 AM EST
Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 9 March 2004
An interesting quote as the new "Iraqi Interim Constitution" is signed
"Should a nation which attacks and occupies foreign territory in face of United Nations disapproval be allowed to impose the conditions of its withdrawal? If we agree, then I fear will have turned back the clock of international order."

National broadcast in 1957 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower commenting on Israel's
first invasion of the Sinai.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 7:41 PM EST
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Some random thoughts and ramblings:
Here we go again in Haiti. For a second time Jean Bertrand-Aristide has been over-thrown. This time he was flown out of the country by the U.S. and plunked down in the Central African Republic.
I'm not quite sure what to think about this whole situation. I do know the U.S. must have had a lot to do with it. When Colin Powell says-"He was not kidnapped. We did not force him onto the airplane. He went onto the airplane willingly. And that's the truth"-I start thinking about the WMDs and Iraqi robot planes flying over New York.(I'm not reading this bullshit!)[http://www.subliminalnews.com/archives/000066.php]

The CIA has its fingerprints all over this. All of these clowns running around over there in their brand new fatigues worked for them. The Washington Post says "In the 1980's and early 1990's, the United States Central Intelligence Agency had important senior Haitian Army officers and Fraph members on its payroll, according to American officials."

Guy Phillip and his band of misfits all came across the border from the Dominican Republic, where they had been preparing to go into Haiti for some time it appears. This came as no surprise to anyone in the Bush administration, I'm sure. If they had wanted to prevent this "New Haitian Army" from entering Haiti and staging a coup, one call to the Dominican army would have ended the whole thing. Chamblain would have gone back to New York and Guy Phillip would have gone back to Ecuador to continue his CIA training.

Why these murderers and drug dealers are all armed with the most up to date American weaponry is another question I have, by the way.

And for all you out there that think Haiti is just a basket case that can't be helped, so who cares; I would remind you that Haiti was able to run things fairly well before we started interfering in their affairs in the late 19th century. The occupation and imposition of martial law from 1915 to 1934; us propping up Papa Doc and Baby Doc and the cut-off of international loans after the parliamentary elections in 2000 all contributed to the mess Haiti is in now. Aristide had no choice but to start acting like the typical Haitian ruler after we left him with no other source of funding. It was just a matter of time before everything fell apart again.

I will say Colin Powell is no Henry Kissinger, though. If this thing had been handled right, Aristide would have accidentally fallen out of the plane on the way over to Africa. There wouldn't be all these pesky questions of "kidnapping" and such.

Anyway, on to other things:
Speaking of coups, how about Hugo Chavez in Venezuela? (See letters to the editor) How long before the Marines are dropping in to secure their oil wells?
(The Washington Post mentioned in an op-ed that Chavez was importing Cuban personnel for some sort of stand against us. What the hell does that mean? Are these the same shovel-toting Cubans we fought in Granada? )

If we're so outraged about Aristide and his electoral shenanigans, by the way, why don't we have anything to say about Azerbaijan? According to Eurasia-Insight "IIham Aliyev, son of the now deceased authoritarian ruler, Heydar Aliyev, was "elected" president of Azerbaijan last October 15 in an election condemned by international monitors as rigged."

I think he got 96% of the vote, after arresting anyone who could have run against him. Richard Armitage, the under-secretary of State, called to congratulate him on his "strong performance at the polls." This guy is a real joker!

I won't even go into Putin in Russia or General Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan. You get the point.

More thoughts later. I need to cogitate.


Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:58 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 14 March 2004 9:22 PM EST
Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink
Thursday, 26 February 2004
Blast from the past. Let's see how right or wrong I was.
2/26/04

Here I offer some ramblings from about 5 months ago.
Since I've written this, the idea of sending Turkish soldiers to Iraq has been dropped. What the hell were they thinking about?

Also, the US is threatening the PA with cuts to humanitarian aid unless they come up with the bombers who killed the three Americans in the Gaza.

Saddam has been found and there hasn't been any let up in the attacks on us or our Iraqi allies. The body count of US soldiers dead is now up to 549.
http://lunaville.org/warcasualties/Summary.aspx

More than a hundred Iraqis were killed in the past two weeks in suicide bombings. The Kurds took the biggest hit with duel suicide bombers killing scores of Kurds at the headquarters of the two Kurdish political parties.

The CPA says they'll be handing power over to the Iraqis on the 30th of June, but the whole plan they had set up has fallen apart because of Shiite opposition. Now what?

Naturally, they'd like to have an agreement with the occupation appointed council on American troops hanging on after the handover, but that doesn't seem to be working out either.

Anyway, I'll be writing more about all of this later, so check out this blast from the past.


10/16/03

As could have been expected, the Turkish embassy was
car bombed in Baghdad this week. I kind of thought the
mere mention of Turks being deployed in Iraq would
lead to this. The Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani has
threatened to quit the Iraqi governing council if
Turks enter Iraq.
Remember, the quid pro quo for Turkish help in
"peacekeeping" is that we help them with their Kurdish
problem on their southern border. Not a good idea at all.
Let's just go ahead and get
involved in a centuries old fight between the two
sides. We got the Sunni problem all cleared up in
Tikrit and Falluja, right?

Also, in Iraq this week there were a number of violent
clashes between Shiite factions in Karbala, their
holiest city.
The latest fire-fight involved U.S. troops from the
101st airborne which left three Americans dead and 10
wounded.
Expect more of the same and for it to get much worse.

The problem with rounding up, arresting, and
marginalizing all the Baathists, who are Sunnis, is
that you give the Shiites a free reign. There isn't
any counter-weight any more. Any colonial power worth
its salt knows you play the various factions off of
each other. Divide and conquer.

To date 339 U.S.soldiers have been killed in Iraq with
the total wounded at 1,916.
http://lunaville.org/warcasualties/Summary.aspx

Three more Americans were killed in the Gaza Strip
last week also. They were traveling in a clearly
marked U.S. diplomatic convoy when a roadside bomb
went off. The three who died were employees of a
shadowy company call DynCorp. This is a private
security firm that provides ex-special forces types to
protect people like Hamid Karzi, the Afgan interim
leader.
They also help the "war on drugs" in Columbia. (There
is a suit in the courts, right now, charging DynCorp
employees with aiding the Columbian air force in
bombing innocent civilians.)

The story is that the diplomat these guys were
protecting was going to see Palestinian kids about
getting Fulbright scholarships in the U.S.
It may be true, but driving through Gaza is never safe on a good day, never mind now with Israel pelting the area with bombs and rockets for weeks on end and bulldozing hundreds of refugee homes.

I really have questions about what exactly was going
on with this convoy and why they got bombed. It
doesn't make any sense for any of the known resistance
groups in the area to be going after Americans.The
last thing they need is us teaming up with the
Israelis to go after them. Plus, they have never gone
against Americans before. Their fight is with Israel.
It's all very fishy. I would keep my eye out for
further explanations of this story.

[3/9/04-This from a December 2003 study titled "Bounding The Global War On Terrorism" by Jeffery Record for the Strategic Studies Institute;
"Insistence on moral clarity once again trumps strategic discrimination. Even if all terrorism is evil, most terrorist organizations don't threaten the United States. Many pursue local agendas that have little or no bearing on U.S. interests. Should the United States, in addition to fighting Al-Qaeda, gratuitously pick fights with the Basque Eukzkadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigars...Hamas and Hizbollah? Do we want to provoke national-and regional-level terrorist organizations that have stayed out of America's way into targeting the U.S. interests and even the American homeland?"
http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ssi/]

There probably a lot more I could go into but I'm out
of time for this week.



10/10/03
reviewing this week's news we have these few items...

Bush this week announced the new Iraqi Stabilization
task force to be run from the NSC by Condoleezza Rice.
Judging from the media offensive they launched this
week to show everyone what a smashing success Iraq is,
one wonders why they need to reshuffle the cards once
again.
First it was Jake Garner, then it was L. Paul Bremer
reporting to the Pentagon, and now, though nothing has
changed---and everything is great you understand---
the whole shabang will be coordinated in the White
House from the office of Rice's National Security
Counsel.
I can't think of a more useless person to pick for
this job.
Condi Rice is supposed to take all the intelligence
from all the various agencies and put it all together
so the President can make informed decisions. (ha,ha)
Even though she was told by the Clinton people before
she took office they had warnings about Al Quaida
using planes as weapons, she seems never to have
mentioned this to Bush until a week before the 9/11
attacks.
After 9/11 she defended the administration's not
preparing for such a threat by saying there was just
no way to know anyone would use planes as missiles.
Besides the 16 firm warnings over the years received
by the CIA about just such an attack, she might have
noticed the anti-aircraft batteries ringed around the
G-8 summit at Genoa Italy in May 2001. Maybe not.

[3/11/04:ABC News and Dateline NBC reported that White
House
officials acknowledge that U.S. intelligence officials delivered a
one-and-a-half page document to President Bush on August 6th that
warned
that "bin Laden's terrorist network might try to hijack American
planes."
(4, 5, 6) Those warnings came at the same time that U.S. and Italian
officials were warning that "Islamic terrorists might attempt to kill
President Bush and other leaders by crashing an airliner into the [July
2001] Genoa summit of industrialized nations." (7)
4. "Bush Was Warned of Hijackings Before 9/11; Lawmakers Want Public
Inquiry", ABC News, 05/16/2002,
http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1210124&l=21739.
5. ABC News, 05/16/2002.
6. Dateline NBC, 09/10/2002.
7. "Italy Tells of Threat at Genoa Summit", Los Angeles Times,
09/27/2001,
http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1210124&l=21740.]


Her job also should be making sure all the
inter-agency disputes are settled by her, but again,
the CIA, the Pentagon, and the State Department, have
been at each other's throats over the WMD evidence and
the war in Iraq for over a year. The leaks have been
coming fast and furious out of all these departments
either, supporting, or undercutting the intelligence
of the others right under her nose and she has done
zelch to stop it. In other words, she's been a big
zero.

Just rearranging the deck chairs and sloganeering from
Bush and Co. is not going to get it done in Iraq.
It might work to get their $87 billion from congress,
but the Iraqis are still being occupied and they seem
to be getting more and more angry.
Speaking of which, just wait until the Turks arrive.
You think Iraq is mad now?
The Turkish Parliament just passed a bill on
Wednesday, against the wishes of the majority of
Turks, to send troops to help us "peace-keep." No one
else will, so someone has to.

The United Nations basically threw cold water on the
idea of a new resolution in the security council to
legitimize our invasion and occupation, so there won't
be any other countries coming anytime soon.
This is either a sign of how desperate, or how stupid
the Bushies are, or both. If they really think the
Iraqis are going to put up with thousands of Turkish
troops coming back in, after 400 years of their own
occupation, they've got something else coming.

Which sort of leads into the "Syria Accountability
Act" in congress. Now, here's a law that's been
rattling around congress for a year that calls for
extreme sanctions against Syria for supporting
terrorism. It will be voted on, and pass, very soon.
Now, this is a really stupid policy. Since 9/11 the
Syrians have been helping us more than any other
country to track down Al-Quaeda. They don't like them
anymore than we do. They happen to have the most info
on these guys but we're telling them to take a hike
because Israel doesn't like the fact that they let
Hams and Islamic-Jihad have offices in Damascus.
(They also support Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is
another big no no.)
Now, what Israel's domestic politics and foreign
policy have to do with protecting the "Homeland" I
don't understand.
They occupy Gaza and the West Bank. They've had an
ongoing revolt against this occupation for decades.
They invaded and occupied southern Lebanon for 20
years and they're still dealing with the blow-back
from that. Syria basically runs Lebanon which is not a
great thing, but again, what does that have to do with
us?
All these middle east terrorist groups are all focused
on dealing with Israel. They're not a threat to us.
Al Quaeda is. They get their money and support from
Saudi Arabia, I don't hear any talk of sanctions
against them.
Just as a little kicker to the whole thing; I read
today Israel will be selling a very sophisticated
radar to India to tip the balance in their favor over
China and Pakistan. Thanks guys, we don't have enough
problems already. Thanks for making our lives a little
more complicated by bombing Syria last weekend, too.

Now, one more little item:
Bush says on Friday the embargo against Cuba will be
increased and we'll really start cracking down on
Americans going over there for a vacation. Somehow
this will cut money off to the regime and hasten it's
collapse.
Sounds good, but it's nonsense.
If we really want to cut money to Cuba, go after all
the family members in the "exile" community who send
over a billion dollars a year there to relatives still
on the island. Pumping more money into Radio Marti is
just a crock. The embargo hasn't worked in 40 years
and strengthening it won't even faze Fidel now.
It does help keep the Cuban vote come November 2004,
though.
By the way, rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the dumbest
member of congress, is cosponsoring the Syria
Accountability Act.
She's been a one trick pony ( CUBA,CUBA,CUBA,CUBA!!!!)
ever since she got to Washington, so it's good to see
she's finally got another issue! Thank God.




Posted by bushmeister0 at 10:40 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 11 March 2004 4:25 PM EST
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Friday, 20 February 2004
My rambling tirade for January
1/12/04

Here it is again, my semi-monthly political wrap-up for January 2004.

The beginning of the New Year sees us losing our U.S troops in Iraq at about the same clip as before Saddam was captured and the reasons for them being there in the first place are being shown to be even more questionable than ever.

On January 7th Barton Gellman wrote in the Washington Post an interesting article on the pathetic state of the Iraqi WMD program before the war. His conclusion is that Iraq's capabilities of threatening anyone in the region or in the U.S. was nonexistent. The most striking part of the piece was the discovery of a memo written by Hossam Amin, the head of Iraq's National Monitoring Directorate, the liaison to the U.N. inspectors. The memo, sent to Saddam's son Qusay, spelled out all the secrets Kamel Hussein, Saddam's son-in-law, had given U.N. inspectors after his defection to Jordan in 1995.

For a long time U.S. intelligence experts and U.N. inspectors questioned whether Kamel had really told them all he knew and tended to discount his information. With this contemporary handwritten memo we now know Kamel Hussein's information was totally correct. Iraq had destroyed all their chemical and biological weapons in 1991 and had no functioning nuclear program. Gellman suggests Saddam's own scientists lied to him about the extent of the programs in order to save their own necks and keep the money flowing. I have a copy of the secret UNSCOM/IAEA debrief of Kamel Hussein, you can get it at www.fair.org

Remember those pesky aluminum tubes Colin Powell spoke about at the U.N. on February 5, 2003, the ones that were being used as centrifuges for enriching uranium? Camel Hussein said: "They manufacture their own centrifuges in two ways. One way was from maraging {sic} steel and the second-using carbon fibers. All centrifuges worked but they preferred the ones made of carbon fiber...this would be done in a different area but the activity was stopped by the war." Professor Zifferero of the IAEA asked, "Were there any continuation of, or present nuclear activities, for example, EMIS centrifuge? Hussein answered," No, but blueprints are still on microfiches." This fits right in with Gellman's contention that Iraq's weapons programs existed only on paper, or microfiches.

Two days after Gellman's article, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace released a report on pre-war intelligence. A six-month's study of all documents and related information concluded the intelligence was manufactured to fit a decision that had already been made to go to war. According to the Financial Times the report," describes nascent efforts to develop long-range missiles and viruses, but neither of these appear to have left the drawing board. The evidence suggests there was no reconstituted nuclear program, as alleged by vice-president Dick Cheney in August 2002, when he said, 'We now know that Saddam Hussein resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.'"

Based on the overwhelming evidence of the massive intelligence failures before the war, the Carnegie report recommends that the strike first-ask questions later approach to diplomacy be scrapped. The Financial Times goes on to say," the evidence showed that the constraints provided by the pre-war policy of sanctions, weapons inspectors, and military action did work to stop the effective development of Iraqi weapons programs." Even Colin Powell agreed with this assessment back in February of 2001," He (Saddam) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."

Saddam being a brutal dictator isn't the issue. Bush would have never been able to convince the American people that losing over 500 troops dead and over 9000 wounded was worth over-throwing Saddam Hussein. There is no evidence of weapons of mass destruction and no threat to the U.S.- so what are we doing over there? There must be an accounting made for this loss of blood and treasure.

Either, the Bush administration and the pentagon were totally suckered by Ahmad Chalabi and his bunch of misfits from the "Iraqi National Congress," or there was a conscience decision made, regardless of the facts which were obvious, to invade another country to get control of its oil wealth and project American imperial power throughout the Middle East. I tend to lean towards the latter considering that the whole script was written back in the nineties by the Project for the New American Century and has been followed to the letter ever since "W" got into power. The neocons who wrote it are now, even as we speak, hatching their new plans for another four years of Bush/Cheney. Go to your local bookstore and read all about it. "An End To Terror" by David Frum (Mr. Axis-of-Evil) and Richard Perle, is the blueprint for the new neocon agenda.

Bush's former Treasury Secretary has said plans were in the works to invade Iraq three days after the administration got into office. At the same time discussions were started on doling out oil contracts to other countries.

Your homework for this month is to find out more about the Office of Special Plans in the pentagon. Check out "the Lie Factory" in this month's Mother Jones for more info. There will more on this next time. .

[3/09/04: Additional info related to this post.This is from "The Gun and the Olive Branch" by David Hirst
review of book: http://books.guardian.co.uk/extracts/story/0,6761,1046646,00.html?=rss
"...some Israelis began to wonder out loud whether the prot?g? had now turned the tables on the superpower patron; whether, in the words of novelist and celebrated jazz musician Gilad Atzmon, America was `about to lose its sovereignty...becoming a remote colony of an apparently far greater state, the Jewish state...very small place in the eastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea' though it might be.'we must remember,' he went on, `that this kind of strange scenario does happen. Last month I heard Israel Shamir's [an anti-Zionist Israeli historian and peace activist] observation regarding this very issue. In a very open manner he said that no one would be surprised to hear that during different phases of the British Empire that world was governed by a very close group of Eton graduates. "Sometimes", he added, "great empires are taken over by very marginal groups." We might have to acknowledge that this is the case with America. American foreign policy is dictated by a very marginal group of Zionist activists, even by the state of Israel itself.']

More on the Office of Special Plans
http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0311/dailyUpdate.html?s=entt




Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:00 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 11 March 2004 9:01 PM EST
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