, , ">
Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Lets's talk about democracy
10 Mar, 08 > 16 Mar, 08
3 Mar, 08 > 9 Mar, 08
25 Feb, 08 > 2 Mar, 08
18 Feb, 08 > 24 Feb, 08
11 Feb, 08 > 17 Feb, 08
4 Feb, 08 > 10 Feb, 08
28 Jan, 08 > 3 Feb, 08
17 Dec, 07 > 23 Dec, 07
26 Nov, 07 > 2 Dec, 07
12 Nov, 07 > 18 Nov, 07
5 Nov, 07 > 11 Nov, 07
10 Sep, 07 > 16 Sep, 07
20 Aug, 07 > 26 Aug, 07
30 Jul, 07 > 5 Aug, 07
23 Jul, 07 > 29 Jul, 07
9 Jul, 07 > 15 Jul, 07
25 Jun, 07 > 1 Jul, 07
18 Jun, 07 > 24 Jun, 07
28 May, 07 > 3 Jun, 07
21 May, 07 > 27 May, 07
14 May, 07 > 20 May, 07
7 May, 07 > 13 May, 07
26 Mar, 07 > 1 Apr, 07
5 Mar, 07 > 11 Mar, 07
22 Jan, 07 > 28 Jan, 07
15 Jan, 07 > 21 Jan, 07
8 Jan, 07 > 14 Jan, 07
13 Nov, 06 > 19 Nov, 06
23 Oct, 06 > 29 Oct, 06
16 Oct, 06 > 22 Oct, 06
9 Oct, 06 > 15 Oct, 06
2 Oct, 06 > 8 Oct, 06
25 Sep, 06 > 1 Oct, 06
18 Sep, 06 > 24 Sep, 06
11 Sep, 06 > 17 Sep, 06
28 Aug, 06 > 3 Sep, 06
21 Aug, 06 > 27 Aug, 06
17 Jul, 06 > 23 Jul, 06
10 Jul, 06 > 16 Jul, 06
12 Jun, 06 > 18 Jun, 06
5 Jun, 06 > 11 Jun, 06
29 May, 06 > 4 Jun, 06
8 May, 06 > 14 May, 06
1 May, 06 > 7 May, 06
24 Apr, 06 > 30 Apr, 06
17 Apr, 06 > 23 Apr, 06
10 Apr, 06 > 16 Apr, 06
3 Apr, 06 > 9 Apr, 06
27 Mar, 06 > 2 Apr, 06
20 Mar, 06 > 26 Mar, 06
13 Mar, 06 > 19 Mar, 06
6 Mar, 06 > 12 Mar, 06
27 Feb, 06 > 5 Mar, 06
20 Feb, 06 > 26 Feb, 06
13 Feb, 06 > 19 Feb, 06
6 Feb, 06 > 12 Feb, 06
30 Jan, 06 > 5 Feb, 06
23 Jan, 06 > 29 Jan, 06
16 Jan, 06 > 22 Jan, 06
9 Jan, 06 > 15 Jan, 06
2 Jan, 06 > 8 Jan, 06
26 Dec, 05 > 1 Jan, 06
19 Dec, 05 > 25 Dec, 05
12 Dec, 05 > 18 Dec, 05
5 Dec, 05 > 11 Dec, 05
28 Nov, 05 > 4 Dec, 05
21 Nov, 05 > 27 Nov, 05
14 Nov, 05 > 20 Nov, 05
7 Nov, 05 > 13 Nov, 05
31 Oct, 05 > 6 Nov, 05
24 Oct, 05 > 30 Oct, 05
17 Oct, 05 > 23 Oct, 05
10 Oct, 05 > 16 Oct, 05
3 Oct, 05 > 9 Oct, 05
26 Sep, 05 > 2 Oct, 05
19 Sep, 05 > 25 Sep, 05
12 Sep, 05 > 18 Sep, 05
5 Sep, 05 > 11 Sep, 05
29 Aug, 05 > 4 Sep, 05
22 Aug, 05 > 28 Aug, 05
15 Aug, 05 > 21 Aug, 05
8 Aug, 05 > 14 Aug, 05
1 Aug, 05 > 7 Aug, 05
25 Jul, 05 > 31 Jul, 05
18 Jul, 05 > 24 Jul, 05
11 Jul, 05 > 17 Jul, 05
4 Jul, 05 > 10 Jul, 05
27 Jun, 05 > 3 Jul, 05
20 Jun, 05 > 26 Jun, 05
13 Jun, 05 > 19 Jun, 05
6 Jun, 05 > 12 Jun, 05
30 May, 05 > 5 Jun, 05
16 May, 05 > 22 May, 05
9 May, 05 > 15 May, 05
2 May, 05 > 8 May, 05
25 Apr, 05 > 1 May, 05
18 Apr, 05 > 24 Apr, 05
11 Apr, 05 > 17 Apr, 05
4 Apr, 05 > 10 Apr, 05
28 Mar, 05 > 3 Apr, 05
21 Feb, 05 > 27 Feb, 05
14 Feb, 05 > 20 Feb, 05
7 Feb, 05 > 13 Feb, 05
31 Jan, 05 > 6 Feb, 05
24 Jan, 05 > 30 Jan, 05
17 Jan, 05 > 23 Jan, 05
3 Jan, 05 > 9 Jan, 05
20 Dec, 04 > 26 Dec, 04
13 Dec, 04 > 19 Dec, 04
29 Nov, 04 > 5 Dec, 04
15 Nov, 04 > 21 Nov, 04
8 Nov, 04 > 14 Nov, 04
1 Nov, 04 > 7 Nov, 04
25 Oct, 04 > 31 Oct, 04
18 Oct, 04 > 24 Oct, 04
11 Oct, 04 > 17 Oct, 04
4 Oct, 04 > 10 Oct, 04
27 Sep, 04 > 3 Oct, 04
20 Sep, 04 > 26 Sep, 04
13 Sep, 04 > 19 Sep, 04
6 Sep, 04 > 12 Sep, 04
30 Aug, 04 > 5 Sep, 04
23 Aug, 04 > 29 Aug, 04
16 Aug, 04 > 22 Aug, 04
9 Aug, 04 > 15 Aug, 04
26 Jul, 04 > 1 Aug, 04
19 Jul, 04 > 25 Jul, 04
12 Jul, 04 > 18 Jul, 04
5 Jul, 04 > 11 Jul, 04
28 Jun, 04 > 4 Jul, 04
21 Jun, 04 > 27 Jun, 04
14 Jun, 04 > 20 Jun, 04
7 Jun, 04 > 13 Jun, 04
17 May, 04 > 23 May, 04
19 Apr, 04 > 25 Apr, 04
12 Apr, 04 > 18 Apr, 04
5 Apr, 04 > 11 Apr, 04
29 Mar, 04 > 4 Apr, 04
22 Mar, 04 > 28 Mar, 04
15 Mar, 04 > 21 Mar, 04
8 Mar, 04 > 14 Mar, 04
1 Mar, 04 > 7 Mar, 04
23 Feb, 04 > 29 Feb, 04
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Bush Administraiton
General News.
Iraq
Israel
The Saudis
U.S. Military issues.
War on Terror
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
Thursday, 30 June 2005
Jebster digs up the dead.
Topic: General News.

News from the dumbshine state:

I know this is old news but I just wanted to get my licks in on the Jebster. (That’s what we used to call Jeb Bush when I was living there.) The Governor feels the Schiavo case needs to be reopened because there’s “new evidence,” which he won’t reveal, that an investigation should be opened into why Michael Schiavo took so long to call 911 when his wife collapsed and went into a coma. On Larry King two years ago Schiavo appeared to contradict a statement he had made to the police 15 years ago and it appears there is a 70-minute gap some how or other, so the Governor is calling out Torquemata.

Make no mistake, this has absolutely nothing to do with the autopsy that showed Terry Schiavo’s brain was half the size it should have been and she was blind to boot, which was very embarrassing to jackasses such as senator and doctor Tom Coburn(R. Oklahoma.) who made his diagnosis of Terry Schiavo before she died: “All you have to do is look at her on T.V. Any doctor with any conscience can look at her and know that she does not have a terminal disease and know that she has some function.” Perhaps the senator should stick to what he knows best, sterilizing under age girls.

In any case, even Jeb’s republican supporters are mortified by this new twist in the Schiavo case, but I say give them enough rope. Perhaps a little trip in the way-back-machine might better explain the insanity that reigns in Florida:

Back in the 18th century, Florida was divided into two states under the Spanish, east and west Florida. After the seven years war, which some historians consider the actual 1st world war, Spain lost and England traded Barbados for Canada and the Floridas in the peace of 1763 with France. English public opinion at the time wasn’t thrilled with the trade.

I quote from “The Origins of the American Revolution,” by John C. Miller, 1933:

“The Floridas, taken from Spain in 1763, were regarded as a waste of swamp and sand, which, groaned an Englishman, would be “the dwelling of desperate villains” and the chief product of the country seemed likely to be “disease and lamentation.”

So, you can see, nothing much has changed much since then. Nowadays, the approximate dwelling of the desperate villain is in Tallahassee.


Posted by bushmeister0 at 11:17 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 29 June 2005
Bush's speech, back to 9-11.
Topic: Bush Administraiton

Bush’s speech last night was long on propaganda and short on specifics: pretty much what I expected. I thought he would try harder to emphasize all the progress in Iraq but instead he pulls out 9-11. Where did that come from? I heard one of the talking heads bringing up the fact that the poll numbers for the war were down even among republicans, so I don’t think the speech was so much to change anybody’s mind but to buck up his base. When you look at the speech from this perspective it makes sense. Who else still believes there’s any connection between Saddam and Bin Laden? Who still believes the insurgents in Iraq are the same people who destroyed the WTC and on their way here if we pull out?

“The terrorists can still kill the innocent but they cannot stop the advance of freedom. The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of 9-11.” (The fight against a tactic must continue because the killers hate freedom.)

Now, that sort of rhetoric will only work on the most dyed in the wool republicans. What do the lessons of 9-11 have to do with Iraq? What does the “advance of freedom” have to do with WMD? I thought the lessons of 9-11 were about the breakdowns in intelligence and the bureaucratic infighting between the CIA and the FBI, which led us to miss the flashing red light warning us of an imminent attack. “Al-Qaeda determined to attack inside United States” didn’t contain any actionable information remember? Fore!

And OBL is back in the rotation. Haven’t heard about him lately. That was kind of a risk bringing him up, I mean, where is he? We’re “hunting down the terrorists” but, not so much with Osama. The one person most responsible for 9-11 is still making tapes and Bush is even quoting him now. (I’m sure they made sure there weren’t any secret messages in the quotes.)

But that’s old news; we’re all about looking ahead now. No more talk about those Downing Street memos, nothing new there. We always knew Bush wanted to go to war with Iraq, even though that was never brought up in pundit-land before the war. Bush knew it, the media knew it, but no one bothered to tell the American people. Recently a ABC/Washington Post poll showed 52% of American’s now feel they we “intentionally misled” into the war and 57% the administration “intentionally exaggerated” the evidence of WMD. So, the only ones left to lie to are his core of ditto-heads. Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina told Rummy even his constituents are “going south.” Hence the trip to Fayetteville and a friendly captive audience, who will at least make him feel better.

Captive Audience

Speaking of captive audiences: no mention of Gitmo in the speech. It seems U.N. Human Rights investigators want an invite to what Rummy calls the most transparent prison in the world, but so far no Cuban cigar. An AP article says the “failure of the United States to respond to requests since early 2002 is leading experts to conclude Washington has something to hide in the Cuban naval base.” Investigator Manfred Nowak is quoted as saying, “ At a certain point, you have to take well founded allegations as proven in the absence of a clear explanation by the government.” Of course, we all know terrorists are trained to lie. But the investigators press statement says, “Many of these allegations have come to light through classified [US] documents.” The FBI lies too. Documents can be interpreted different ways. Maybe, the terror suspects tortured themselves to embarrass us! An internal pentagon investigation found no evidence of anything. The prisoners are well fed.

Extraordinary renditions:

Now on to “extraordinary renditions.” [WaPo Our allies in the war on terror, the Italians, are after 13 U.S. citizens suspected of being CIA agents who kidnapped an Egyptian imam known as Abu Omar, who was whisked out of the country in February 2003 and was transferred to a third country where he was probably well fed but not tortured. These guys apparently weren’t too clandestine. The Milan prosecutor has traced their whereabouts during the kidnapping mission by following the cell phone records and credit cards bills they rang up. They stayed at all the best hotels and spent a lot of taxpayer money.

“During January 2003, they were regular patrons at the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan, which bills itself as “one of the worlds most luxuriously appointed hotels” and features a marble-lined spa and a mini-bar Cokes cost $10.” After the mission, that seems to have ended up in Egypt, all but one of the agents came back to Italy. “Four checked into luxury hotels in Venice. Two others spent a couple of days in the Italian Alps.” Today there’s a report the Italians are seeking the extradition of the 13 including one known to be the former CIA station chief. That’s a pretty sticky diplomatic wicket the CIA has gotten us into. Bush said last night there were 30 nations with troops in Iraq, I think there might be 29 soon. [Note: there are more security contractors in Iraq, 20,000, than all the “coalition” troops combined.]

Elections in Iran:

Then there are the elections in Iran. Perhaps, W should have kept his mouth shut during the run-up to the votes as many Iranians took his criticism of the poll as “undemocratic” call to go out and vote. The we-love-the-Shah crowd here in the U.S. also helped by urging the Iranians to boycott the vote. The Iranian government actually allowed the pro-Shah broadcasts from L.A. to go through. The call to boycott backfired, because it just pissed most Iranians off. One woman who voted for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the first round was quoted as saying, “It made us want to come out,” another man wanted the reporter to “Tell George Bush that his is not the master of our destiny!”

Even though Iran isn’t exactly a democracy, there were elections that were more or less free. Freer than in Uzbekistan or Ayzerbijan, where Richard Armitage congratulated Ilham Aliev for his "strong performance"; after he won 92% of the vote in true soviet style. All the right wingers are pooping their pants over Ahmadinejad becoming president, but who thinks he’ll have anymore influence on things than Khatami had?

Naturally, the Iranians will continue their nuclear efforts and our protests over this issue just got a little weaker as the NY Times reports the “Bush administration is planning the government’s first production since the Cold War of plutonium 238…the hot substance, valued as a power source, is so radioactive that a speck can cause cancer.” The government plans to produce 330 pounds over 30 years. “Officials say the program could cost $1.5 billion and generate more than 50,000 drums of hazardous and radioactive waste.” It sure would be nice if we had somewhere to get rid of all that waste. But, no worries, it won’t produce any green house gases, which don’t exist anyway. “The plutonium apparently is “intended for secret missions…Timothy A. Frazier, head of radioisotope power systems at the Dept. of Energy, said none of the classified missions would involve nuclear arms, satellites, or weapons in space.” Well, we all know when they say stuff like that you can take it to the bank. They never say one thing and do another.

The forgotten war:

No mention of Afghanistan in Bush’s speech last night either. Things are heating up there again. Since the snows melted 29 U.S. troops have died and perhaps 20 more were killed yesterday in a Chinook crash. The fighting has gotten very intense causing over a hundred deaths in the last week alone. The AP reported on the 24th that, “Radio intercepts indicate two top Taliban commanders are with dozens of rebels battling in the southern mountains against a blistering barrage from Afghan and U.S. forces, senior government officials said yesterday…Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Marad said the two commanders in the battle area were Mullah Dadullah and Mullah Brader, both well-known figures in the Taliban rebellion who are accused of orchestrating attacks across much of Afghanistan’s violence-ridden south.” I knew he should have had a pack of cards for those guys too. Would Mullah Omar or OBL be the ace of spades?

There doesn’t appear to be any end to the fighting in the forgotten war, either, so stay the course. Currently there are 19,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and I guess they won’t be coming home anytime soon. What about our good friends in Pakistan? What are they doing for us? These groups fight us and go right back across the border, just like the insurgents do in Syria, but as of yet no outraged calls for regime change in Islamabad.

By the way if CNOOC actually buys Unical, does that mean they own the Centgas pipeline? Boy, what a wasted effort the Afghan invasion would be if that happened!

Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:27 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 7 July 2005 11:51 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 28 June 2005
Operation: "stay the course."
Topic: Iraq
Gosh, I’m really looking forward to president Bush’s Iraq speech tonight from Ft. Bragg. [Wasn’t that the base Jesse Helms warned Clinton to bring plenty of bodyguards to?] I’m really interested to see how he spins 1,300 Iraq deaths [700 in Baghdad alone!) and over 100 U.S. solders dead since April 28th into a mission almost accomplished speech.

On the one hand he’ll say we’re not going to be there forever because there’s over 170,000 Iraqi troops ready to take up the fight, but on the other hand we can’t abandon the Iraqis because they’re not ready to defend their democracy yet. Let’s see how he assures the Shiites and the Kurds we’re not leaving and at the same time convinces the American people we are.

Just as soon as the Iraqis get that pesky constitution written, which will be happening anytime now, we’re out of there. The insurgents are clearly desperate seeing all this success, so they’re going to be even more deadly so we have to stick to it because our national security depends on a democratic Iraq. That message ought to go over in the heartland.

Perhaps not, it appears the old adage, “you can’t fool all of the people all of the time,” might be catching up with Dubya’ and Co. A Washington post poll says only 22% of those asked thought the insurgency was getting weaker. Not that the White House pays any attention to polls or anything, (This speech has nothing to do with the polls), but I think using the 82d Airborne as a backdrop—just like the “Mission Accomplished” banner on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln--- just might be a calculated move. You can’t argue with the Commander-in-Chief’s position on this because the troops are behind him (Literally) and if you’re not, you’re against the troops. (The Post poll also found 51% now believes the war wasn’t worth it. Pretty sobering numbers, but nothing a few hundred uniforms and a bunch of American flags can't fix.)

More signs of progress!

In a strange bit of timing, the military began a new offensive today, code named “Operation Sword,” along the Euphrates River, once again aimed at routing out insurgents and those “rat lines” we hear so much of. So far these big offensives, beyond leveling houses and displacing civilians, don’t seem to be doing much besides leaving other areas unprotected, which the insurgents then re-deploy to and attack. Doesn’t anyone in the pentagon know Bedford Forrest’s old insurgency axiom, “hit ‘em where they ain’t?”

There’s a report today from the AP that the U.S. military, not the Iraqis, is going to expand its prisons to help contain the more than 10,002 detainees it already has plus another 4000 more its expecting. Guy Rudsill, a spokesperson for detainee operations in Iraq is quoted as saying, “We are past the normal capacity for both Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca. We are at surge capacity.” The AP report says Rudsill attributes the rise in the number of prisoners to, “successful ongoing military operations against the insurgency and terrorists.” Right. You can really tell the insurgency is in its “last throes” by the vast numbers of prisoners you’re taking, who are, naturally, all guilty. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be there, right?

Rummy says, by the way, there are different ways of interpreting what “last throes” means. Rummy told FOX, “last throes could be a violent last throes, or placid and calm last throes.” (What the meaning of “is,” is.) He expects, though, “you’ll see an escalation of violence between now and the [next round of Iraqi] elections.” (Never heard that before. At least, he didn’t say “run-up.”)

Kill them. Kill them all.

Maybe, instead of getting overcharged by Halliburton for all this construction of new warehousing for “the usual suspects” we should take a page from the Iraqi security forces’ playbook. It appears that since the election they’ve been rounding up 100s of Sunnis and killing them. An article in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer claims Iraqi Shiite commandos are “arresting” Sunnis, beating and electrocuting them, then putting a bullet in the back of their heads. They just don’t dump the bodies though, oh no, their police after all, they drop them off at the hospital. The Inquirer relates the unsolved murder case of Anwar Jassim, a Sunni welder, who was taken from his home by “a large group of men dressed and equipped as police commandos:

“The abductors dropped Jassim’s body at Baghdad’s Yarmuk Hospital the next day, hospital staffers said. According to hospital record, Jassim had a bullet wound in the back of his head and cuts and bruises on his abdomen, back and neck. The man in charge of Yarmuk morgue…said he remembered the day the commandos brought Jassim’s corpse. The commandos told me to keep the body outside the refrigerator so that the dogs could eat it because he’s a terrorist and he deserves it.” (More democratic “untidiness.”)

An American advisor to the Iraqi Interior Ministry says the claims of Iraqi commandos carrying out these killings is, “either rumor or innuendo. You can buy a police uniforms in 20 different places in the market.” Oh that’s good, nice to see they’ve really got a handle on the problem. The article points out, however, the insurgents must be pretty well off to be able to afford the Toyotas they drive around in, which cost $55,000, the Glocks they carry, about $500 each, and the sophisticated radio gear that “are rarely used by anyone other than Western contractors and Iraqi security forces.”

The problem says Ghathanfar al Jasim, an attorney general on Iraq’s national judicial council is that,“ We cannot admit that our police are doing it; it would make them weak” After all, you must understand, the Sunnis are attacking groups like the Wolf Brigade: “When a man kills another man [from their group] what you think will be the result? How do you think the Wolf Brigade would behave?” (Indeed, we’d better keep them sweet, they’re going to be our new freedom fighters when we bug out.)

Sounds like a Lebanese style civil war in the making to me.

Bush will frame the issue of us “staying the course” as a fight of us against them. Profeesor Steven Biddel of the Army War college describes what’s going on there as really a “covert civil war masquerading as an insurgency against American occupation." Both sides in this inter-sectarian brawl are playing us and the masterminds at the pentagon are getting suckered again. No wonder Jaafari doesn’t want us to leave, we’re there to prop up him up until he can solidify his position. We need the Peshmerga 80,000 fighters, so we’re looking the other way while they ethnically cleanse Kirkuk, which could lead to even more serious consequences when the Turks get involved; which they will, because Kirkuk is a red line for them and we’re really playing with fire if we think regime change in Syria is a great idea. If everything falls apart there, what happens to the Syrian Kurds? Ever think of that Condi?

Who said it would be a “cake walk?” Not us!

Not that anyone in the administration ever said it was going to be easy in Iraq before they dragged us into this. In March of 2003 Cheney said he thought the war would go “relatively quickly…weeks rather than months.” In February of 2003 Rummy said, “It could last six days, six weeks, I doubt six months.” Seven months later Rummy said, “Never said that. Never did…you’re thinking of someone else.” He never said the threat from Iraq was “imminent” threat either. He said “immediate.” There’s a big difference there. There are various interpretations you can get from that. (That’s what I heard a New York Times editor say on Washington Week about the Downing Street memo.)

In any case, we never talk with terrorists. No, we do, we don’t negotiate with them, I forgot. Even though the pentagon has been denying for months that talks are going on with insurgents, Rummy had to admit yesterday that they are because of a Sunday Times article revealing the U.S. had met “face to face” with insurgent commanders at a villa in Balad, twice. Now, Rummy says “there probably have been many more [meetings] than that.” Rummy says these meeting “go on all the time.” (I like how he makes it sound like this is just common knowledge.) It’s all up to the Iraqis because we’re just “facilitating” these “talks.” The Iraqis “will decide what their relationships with various elements of the insurgency will be.” OK, so if they want to talk with Zarqawi, that’s cool too, right?

There are reports the insurgent negotiators are asking for a timeline for U.S. withdrawal as a starting point for discussing an end to fighting. Hmmm…our presence in Iraq couldn’t be what’s keeping the recruiting numbers up for the rebels, could it? There are no good solutions to this situation, but us getting out would take the wind out of the foreign element’s sails, at least. Then the Shiites and the Kurds could divvy up the country into their respective zones of influence and get on with it, although the question of the Kurds taking the northern oil fields is still a potential causas belli for an entirely new war. And I’ve got to think the Saudis and other Sunni countries wouldn’t be happy with Iraq getting all cozy with Iran, their Shiite brothers. This is a decades long disaster of our making, but it doesn’t have to include losing 100 troops every month for as far as the eye can see either. We have to cut our loses and go, a proposition the naked emperor and his tailors will resist until they are inevitably forced to make the choice between staying the course in Iraq or seeing their political aspirations at home go down the toilet.


Today's news:

AP:

"BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide car bomber killed an influential Shiite member of parliament and his son as they drove to the capital Tuesday, an attack likely to stoke ethnic tensions on the first anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis.

The attack that killed Dhari Ali al-Fayadh, his son and two bodyguards was one of several around the country carried out by suicide bombers. Other attacks killed one U.S. soldier in Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad, and one in Tikrit. Two soldiers were wounded. At least 1,743 members of the U.S. military have died since the war began in 2003, according to an Associated Press count."

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:05 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 28 June 2005 4:07 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 21 June 2005
Victory right around the coner.
Topic: U.S. Military issues.

Bush has a plan for victory in Iraq. At a meeting with leaders from the EU yesterday he said:

"The report from the field is that while it's tough, more and more Iraqis are becoming battle-hardened and trained to defend themselves and that's exactly the strategy that's going to work."

Which Iraqis is the question. Is he talking about the insurgents? If the article by Anthony Shadid and Steve Fainaru in the Post last week is any indication, he's talking about the insurgents, he just doesn't know it.

"We don't want to take responsibility; we don't want it," said Amar Mana, 27, an Iraqi private whose forehead was grazed by a bullet during an insurgent attack in November. 'Here, no way. The way the situation is, we wouldn't be ready to take responsibility for a thousand years.'"

Never fear, hot off his big success in getting that pipeline built for Unical in Afghanistan, (And almost getting killed last week) Zalmay Khalizad is going to take on the Iraqi insurgency and crush it! "I will work with Iraqis to break the back of the insurgency." Good luck.

Condi said on Sunday "This Week" that the insurgent's MO of blowing up civilians wasn't's a good political move. Maybe, she should take her own advice. No doubt "Operation Spear" was a rousing success but leaving towns with no houses standing kind of undermines the winning heats and minds part of it.

The war against Christians.

Rep. John N. Hostettler (R-Ind.) feels Christians are taking it on the chin from Godless dems and he's not going to take it anymore. (Is there an election coming up?)

The WaPo says:

In the middle of the House debating..."a Democratic amendment to the annual defense appropriations bill that would have required the Air Force Academy to develop a plan for preventing "coercive and abusive religious proselytizing..." Hostettler [Isn't that the evil SS guy on Hogan's Heros?]let loose:

"the long war on Christianity in America continues today on the floor of the House of Representatives" and "continues unabated with aid and comfort to those who would eradicate any vestige of our Christian heritage being supplied by the usual suspects, the Democrats."

"Like a moth to a flame, Democrats can't help themselves when it comes to denigrating and demonizing Christians," he said."

Bonehead! Christians are really on the run at the Air Force Academy. (When they're not raping they're prayin'.)

An Air Force Chaplin, Capt. MeLinda Morton, who was cashiered for trying to promote religious tolerance, alleges Academy endorsed zealotry. The New York Times reports the group "Americans United for the Separation of Church and State said:

"...that academy officers and staff members opened mandatory events at the academy with prayer, sent e-mail academy-wide with religious taglines, and published advertisements in the academy newspaper asking cadets to contact them to "discuss Jesus." The report is based on interviews with current and former academy staff and faculty members and cadets.

Fliers advertising a showing of the movie "The Passion of the Christ" were placed at every seat in the dining hall, with the tagline, "This is an officially sponsored USAFA event," according to the report."

There is currently an investigation going on looking into accusations "that officers, staff members and senior cadets inappropriately used their positions to push their evangelical Christian beliefs on Air Force cadets."

An NY Times editorial from last week says:

"In an overdue burst of candor, the superintendent of the Air Force Academy has acknowledged that his campus is so permeated with evangelical proselytizing that it will take years to rid the institution of religious intolerance. Lt. Gen. John Rosa Jr. said he finds the problem of cadets unfairly pressured to adopt Christian beliefs and practices occurring throughout "my whole organization," with offenders among faculty, staff and students.

"Perception is reality," the general apologetically declared of numerous complaints that cadets' constitutional rights have been violated by militant evangelists wielding peer pressure with the blessing of authority figures in the chain of command."

Nothing wrong with that, right? After all these anit-God liberal judges are more dangerous than a few guys with beards, flying planes in the World Trade Center, right?

Posted by bushmeister0 at 11:53 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Thursday, 16 June 2005
The militias are our saviours. I mean, "freedom fighters."
Topic: Iraq

Here's a way to win hearts and minds, or get us involved in a centuries old tribal conflict of biblical proportions that could spread all over the region.

WaPo:

"Police and security units, forces led by Kurdish political parties and backed by the U.S. military, have abducted hundreds of minority Arabs and Turkmens...Seized off the streets of Kirkuk or in joint U.S.-Iraqi raids, the men have been transferred secretly and in violation of Iraqi law to prisons in the Kurdish cities of Irbil and Sulaymaniyah, sometimes with the knowledge of U.S. forces. A confidential State Department cable...said the 'extra-judicial detentions" were part of a 'concerted and widespread initiative' by Kurdish political parties 'to exercise authority in Kirkuk in an increasingly provocative manner...The abductions have 'greatly exacerbated tensions along purely ethnic lines' and endangered U.S. credibility, the nine-page cable, dated June 5, stated. 'Turkmen in Kirkuk tell us they perceive a U.S. tolerance for the practice while Arabs in Kirkuk believe Coalition Forces are directly responsible.'"

Our little bastards in Iraq and our ticket out.

This goes along with our sudden tolerance of various Shiite militias roaming around Iraq killing Sunnis.

President Talabani thinks a combination of militias and the "security forces," if there any left alive, could roll up the insurgency in no time.

BBC:

"In my opinion, Iraqi forces, the popular forces and government forces, are now ready to end the insurgency and end this terrorism," he said. "But there is a kind of thinking inside the [outgoing interim] government that they must not use [them].

Asked how long it would take for Iraqi security forces to be in a position to replace the US-led coalition, President Talabani said the transition could take place straight away if a new strategy were adopted.

The Kurds have in the past offered the use of their estimated 80,000 Peshmerga guerrillas for security tasks but have been turned down. So, too, has the Iranian-influenced Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri) and its Badr brigade, another well-trained fighting force.

"We cannot wait for years and years of terrorist activity because we haven't enough government forces," the president said."

The Council On Foreign Relations [CFR] web site explains:

"There are a growing number of small, homegrown, paramilitary-style brigades being formed by local tribes, religious leaders, and political parties. Some battle Iraq's largely Sunni insurgency alongside official Interior and Defense ministry troops; others operate without official assistance or sanction. The larger, more established militias, such as the Badr Organization and peshmerga, are tied to Iraq's leading political parties, organized along sectarian lines, and enforce order in their respective regions. The relationship of these groups to the official U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces is variable and complex."

[There are also 20,000 American security contractors operating in Iraq from various companies who are beholden to no one. There is no law that covers their presence there. What happened in Fallujah with the arrest of 19 contractors by U.S. Marines last week is just the tip of the ice berg, when it comes the massive mess Rummy and Co. have gotten us into.One might image what happens when we actually do get out of there and all these war hardened contractors come back home and can't find a comparable job paying $100,000 a year. There's always Venezuela I guess, or a newly "liberated" Cuba.]

The Wolf Brigade was the target of the suicide bombing in the groups cafateria yesterday that killed 25 and wounded 30. The CFR says of them:

"Last December, the Wolf Brigade--backed up by the Iraqi army and U.S. military--achieved notoriety after launching a series of counterinsurgency operations in Mosul, a Sunni stronghold northwest of Baghdad. Their popularity was further buoyed by the success of Terrorism in the grip of justice, a primetime show on U.S.-funded Al Iraqiya television that features live interrogations of Iraqi insurgents by commandos. In one recent show, Abu Walid questioned around 30 shabbily dressed suspects, some clutching photos of their victims, waiting to confess their crimes."

Nice guys these.

Bring the troops home.

AP:

"WASHINGTON -President Bush would have to start bringing home U.S. troops from Iraq by Oct. 1, 2006, under a measure a small bipartisan group of House lawmakers — including a Republican who voted for war — proposed Thursday.

Among the resolution's sponsors are Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., who voted for the Iraq war but now says the United States has done what it can in Iraq and the reason for going to war —Saddam Hussein's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction — has been proven false.

'After 1,700 deaths, over 12,000 wounded, and $200 billion spent, we believe it is time to have this debate and discussion on this resolution,' Jones said.

Two years ago, Jones helped lead an effort to ensure Capitol Hill cafeterias retooled their menus to advertise "freedom fries" instead of french fries to protest France's opposition to the war.

The other resolution sponsors are Ron Paul, R-Texas, who voted against the war, and two Democrats who've opposed it, Reps. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii."

Pretty powerful stuff. I feel a tipping point approaching.

The beat goes on...

APAP:

"The deaths of...six U.S. troops came Wednesday during insurgent attacks that killed 58 people, making it the deadliest day of violence in more than a month. At least 1,714 U.S. military members have died since the war began in 2003, according to an AP count.

Five Marines were killed after their vehicle was attacked near Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, the military said Thursday. Officials in Ramadi had reported a roadside bomb blast in the pre-dawn hours. [That's not the same 5 marines killed last thursday in the same manner.]

A sailor attached to the Marines' unit also was killed Wednesday in Ramadi by gunfire, the military said."

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:46 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 15 June 2005
It's official: the war is pointless.
Topic: Iraq

Well, as usual I'm a a day late and a dollar short. Everybody has already seen the article in the Inquirer Generals: military can't end insurgency

It's a pretty startling admission by the generals in charge of fighting the war over there, who have been talking about he "desperation" of the insurgency for the past 5 months, to finally be coming out like General Casey did in the piece and say:

"The political process will be the decisive element."

Or, Brig. Gen. Donald Alston, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, who said:

"I think the more accurate way to approach this right now is to concede that ... this insurgency is not going to be settled, the terrorists and the terrorism in Iraq is not going to be settled, through military options or military operations."

Now, what's going on here? Bush and Cheney are still droning on about the insurgency being in its "last throes" but the military is saying the war is pointless.

Lt. Col. Frederick P. Wellman is quoted as saying of the insurgency ""We can't kill them all...When I kill one I create three." (Should have thought about that before launching "operation phantom fury!")

Rummy must have given the ok for these interviews, so is he going off the reservation or what?

Posted by bushmeister0 at 1:04 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 24 June 2005 4:23 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 10 June 2005
War on the cheap.
Topic: Iraq

The news in Iraq goes from bad to worse everyday. Even hour by hour. I was just reading about the miserable effort to train Iraqi soldiers at the WaPo which quotes a soldier, 1st Lt. Kenrick Cato, 34, of Long Island, N.Y, as saying of the Iraqis, "I know the party line. You know, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, five-star generals, four-star generals, President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld: The Iraqis will be ready in whatever time period...But from the ground, I can say with certainty they won't be ready before I leave. And I know I'll be back in Iraq, probably in three or four years. And I don't think they'll be ready then," and I click back to Yahoo and bam! there's this story:

AP:

"BAGHDAD - Five U.S. Marines have been killed by a roadside bomb in western Iraq, the military said Friday. The Marines were killed Thursday while conducting combat operations near the volatile Anbar province Haqlaniyah, 90 miles northwest of Baghdad.At least 1,689 U.S. military members have died since the Iraq war began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count."

When I started this death count was at 1,684. And now comes the fragging.

According to the AP the military is investigating as a criminal case the deaths of two officiers from the 42nd Infantry Division, New York Army National Guard, who were initially thought to have died in an "indirect fire" attack on Forward Operating Base Danger in Tikrit. It does seem like a bit of a coincidence that an insurgent mortar shell would just happen to kill the company commander and the operations officer.

And then we go after eachother.

AP

BAGHDAD -- American and Iraqi security guards for a North Carolina-based company were detained for three days in a military jail by US Marines after shots were fired at US forces and civilians last month, officials said yesterday, and some of the contractors complained they were abused while in custody.

''Nineteen employees working for a contract security firm in Iraq were temporarily detained and questioned after firing on US Marine positions in the city of Fallujah on Saturday," according to Marine spokesman Lieutenant Colonel David Lapan.

''Marines put their knees on the backs of their necks and ripped off religious medallions," Mark Schopper, a lawyer purportedly representing two of the detained workers, told the Charlotte Observer.

''They asked for attorneys, they asked for Amnesty International, they asked for the American Red Cross," he said. ''All three requests were denied."

''The Americans were segregated from the rest of the detainee population, and like all security detainees, were treated humanely and respectfully," Lapan said.

That's good, only the Iraqi contractors got the crap beat ouit of them.

The WaPo reports Schopper said "At one point during the contractors' confinement...a Marine asked, "How does it feel to be a rich contractor now?"

Charlotte News

Peter Singer, a military expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington is quoted in the Charlotte News as saying "They are making decisions although they are not in the chain of command," said Singer, adding that it is not clear whether the military has legal authority to detain contractors. "They are operating in a legal netherworld."

This is what happens when you go into a war on the cheap built on lies.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 1:34 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 15 June 2005 12:48 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 6 June 2005
Condi Rice: like a good neighbor.
Topic: Bush Administraiton

Condi is at it again, this time drumming up support for a rule at the OAS, written by the U.S., which would set up a council to "monitor" democracy in Latin America. She says:

..."we have to work with other democratic leaders and governments in the region to make certain that we pay attention to and help fragile democracies to deal with whatever tensions and difficulties there are inside those states. I think we know that there are tensions in Bolivia, there have been problems in Ecuador, there are obviously potential problems in other parts of the region.

...Our only criteria are governing democratically, governing transparently, governing accountably, being in favor of open economies and free trade. These are the principles on which we have worked since Quebec and I think they are principles that are very important to a stable and prosperous region."

Now she's all about "stability." When it comes to the Middle East stability isn't as important as democracy. I think when she says she wants a
"stable and prosperous" region she really means a stable place for BP and all the other multi-nationals to do business to make them more "properous."

The countries of the OAS aren't buying it, unfortunatly for Condi and her oil company firends. It might take a little bit longer to force this dictat from the U.S. down the throats of the Latin Americans. Hugo Chavez thinks he knows who she is really talking about when it comes to working with "democratic leaders and governments in the region," just like the good work the U.S. did with Haiti's President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who just decided he needed to go, all by himself, with no urging at all by the militia's armed and trained by the U.S. and the plane waiting at the airport with the special forces giving him the offer he couldn't refuse.

Chavez says:

"The times in which the OAS was an instrument of the government in Washington are gone...Are they going to try, through the OAS, to monitor the Venezuelan government? ... Those who think they can put the peoples of Latin America in a corral are mistaken..."

Rice says "We need a range of mechanisms to deal with crises that threaten to subvert democracies throughout the region."

But wait, who has subverted more democracies in the region than us? Chavez could only dream about that sort of domination of the region. Back then the "mechanisms" were gunboats. Now we're back to "dollar deplomacy." Judging by what's going on in Bolivia, we might be going to back to gunboats. [The "Good Neighbor" policy is no where to be seen.] The president of Bolivia has resigned and the masses of Bolivians aren't in the mood for more of the same. They are rejecting the next in line Hormando Vaca Diez.

NY Times:

"Protest leaders have vowed to stop Mr. Vaca Diez and the man who is next after him in line to the presidency, Mario Cossio Cortez, president of the lower house of Congress. Mr. Mesa and many others say the solution is for the two to step aside and permit the third in line, the Supreme Court president, Eduardo Rodriguez, to call elections.

But Mr. Vaca Diez signaled to reporters that the military could be used to restore order. He also warned that the protests could lead to a crackdown from the right.

"The radicalism of the left leads to totalitarian governments," he said." [Like Pinochet?]

Sounds like Washington should get another "Operation Condor" going and kill several birds with one stone. Venezuela and Ecuador are messing up the money making down there and Lula in Brazil better watch it too.

Rice says the region needs an organizatiuon that can "develop a process to assess, as appropriate, situations that may affect the development of a member state's democratic political institutional process or the legitimate exercise of power."

Something tells me if elections are called in Bolivia and its not someone we can buy, there will be many questions raised about the "legitimate exercise of power" of that person.

Jack Perkins in his book "confessions of an econiomic hitman" writes that Jaime Roldos, president of Ecuador, and Omar Torrijos, president of Panama, who both died in airplane crashes, "their deaths were not accidental. They were assassinated because they opposed that fraternity of corporate, government, and banking heads whose goal is global empire. We Economic Hit Men failed to bring Roldos and Torrijos around, and the other type of hit men, the CIA-sanctioned jackals who were always right behind us, stepped in." [See an interview at democracynow.org]

Watch out president Palacio, better check out the CIA fact book.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 1:09 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 9 June 2005 12:48 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 1 June 2005
Of torture and disassembling.
Topic: Bush Administraiton

President Bush said the Amnesty International's critism of Guantanamo was "absurd." Gulag of our times indeed! One thing you can say about the Bushies is, they stay on message.

Bush said of Amnesty:

"It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of ? and the allegations ? by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble ? that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report."

Actually, "disassemble" means to take something apart.(Like our military for instance.) Funny the media just printed this quote with no correction. I think what he meant to say, though, was "dissemble." Rummy and Cheney are so good at it, they ought to give the boy a heads up on that one.

An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer says "In a statement Sunday, the Pentagon said many of the men [The detainees] had been trained to lie." Of course, they're all guilty, they musy be lying. God knows, there's no evidence whatsoever of any torture, abuse, or killings has been going on at U.S. prisons over seas.

The Inquirer published several articles on records released through the FOIA on the reports of the special tribunals set up to determine the guilt or innocence of those being held. Which begs the question, if they're all people who are dangerous and hate America, why bother with a tribunal? The article goes on to say "While most of the prisoners denied the accusations that led to their imprisonment, some freely admitted joining the Taliban but wanted to be charged and put on trial." Now, isn't that strange. Not all are denying they are terrorists. Why weren't they trained to lie?

"It seems like you are keeping and detaining innocent people," said one detainee, accused of asking Afghan soldiers for guns to fight Americans."

Some detainees said they were sold by Afghanee war lords and Pakistani tribesmen to the U.S. for a bounty.

The Inquirer:

A former CIA intelligence officer who helped lead the search for Osama bin Laden told the AP that the accounts sounded legitimate because U.S. allies regularly got money to help catch Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. Gary Schroen said he took a suitcase containing $3 million in cash into Afghanistan himself to help supply and win over warlords to fight for U.S. Special Forces.

"It wouldn't surprise me if we paid rewards," said Schroen, who retired after 32 years in the CIA, soon after the fall of Kabul in late 2001...
Schroen said Afghan warlords such as Gen. Rashid Dostum were among those who received bundles of notes. 'It may be that we were giving rewards to people like Dostum because his guys were capturing a lot of Taliban and al-Qaeda,' he said."

Allawi 'end of insurgency count-down' continues:

According to the Iraqi Interior Ministry:

AP

"...at least 825 the number of people slain since the new Shiite-led government was announced April 28...In the past 18 months, 12,000 Iraqi civilians were killed, including more than 10,000 Shiites, Interior Minister Bayan Jabr said, citing figures from a research center. But he said he analyzed the figures on the basis of areas where the victims lived, not data explicitly stating the branch of Islam to which they belong." Yeah right. You got to wonder about the motivation behind breaking the numbers up into religeous sects. But no worries, they've got 40,000 troops out there hunting down insurgents. Regardless the bloodshed continues unabatted.

Are we leaving so soon?

The Nation:

"For the first time since the war in Iraq began twenty-six months ago, the House of Representatives debated the need for US troops to exit Iraq. The modest amendment, introduced by Rep. Lynn Woolsey of California last Thursday evening, called on President Bush to develop a plan for the withdrawal of US forces. With virtually no prior notice or lobbying, 123 Democrats and 5 Republicans voted for Woolsey's amendment. But with no support from either the Democratic or Republican leadership, and thus no chance of passing, no major US newspaper felt obligated to cover the unprecedented proceedings."

Not a moment too soon apparently.

Newsfromrussia":

"The U.S. military may not be able to win any new wars as quickly as planned because the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have strained its manpower and resources, the nation's top military officer told Congress in a classified report.

Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the U.S. military as in a period of increased risk, according to a senior defense official, who described the report Tuesday on the condition of anonymity.

The U.S. military has timelines in place for defeating its potential adversaries, given enough soldiers, tanks, aircraft and warships to do the job. But with so much of those resources tied up fighting insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, those timelines could slip, Myers said, according to the defense official."

This damn war is going to spoil the party in Iran!

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:36 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 3 June 2005 4:38 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 27 May 2005
Russian/Nuclear winter?
As if this wasn't bad enough, imagine one of Russia's craky old nuke plants going up?

That's right Vlad, round up the usual suspects. He didn't even know what hit him.
Reuters
Wednesday May 25, 7:32 PM

MOSCOW, May 25 - President Vladimir Putin blamed the management of Russian power monopoly Unified Energy System for a major power outage in Moscow on Wednesday.

"It is entirely possible to talk about a lack of attention on the part of RAO UES to the current activity of the company.

"They should work not only on global problems about company policy and its restructuring, but also pay attention to current activity," the Russian agency Interfax quoted Putin as saying..."

But, you forgot the really usual suspect.

Reuters

Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev said on Friday that his rebels had attacked an electricity substation, triggering Wednesday's major power outage in Moscow, the rebel Web site www.kavkazcenter.com said.

"The result of our special operation exceeded our expectations," Basayev was quoted as saying.

UES chief executive Anatoly Chubais has since been questioned by the public prosecutors office and has been called to give an explanation for the blackout to parliament.

Not a good year for Anatoly:

As Russian electricity boss Anatoly Chubais was chauffeured into work from his country house 40 kilometers west of Moscow on the morning of Mar. 17, would-be assassins awaited him. First they tried to blow up his armored BMW with a roadside bomb. Then they opened fire with Kalashnikovs, spraying Chubais' car and an escorting Jeep containing his bodyguards. A brief firefight ensued, and the failed killers fled into the woods beside the road. No one was hurt."

Russia is a basket case:

Business weekly Sept. 11 2000

The country's infrastructure is falling apart. Gas pipelines spring leaks daily, electricity is regularly cut off across Russia's far-flung regions, most of the nation's roads are pitted with potholes, trains stop running, industrial accidents are rampant, and toxic waste seeps from industrial plants into drinking-water supplies. This chronic malady is not simply about bad Soviet-era technology. It also stems from an 80% decline in investment during the post-Soviet era. Making matters worse, the stewardship of key facilities and funds is in the hands of corrupt and inefficient managers. There are no hard figures on what it would cost to rebuild the infrastructure. But by one estimate, it could cost $100 billion--four times Russia's current annual budget.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:33 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink

Newer | Latest | Older