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Lets's talk about democracy
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Thursday, 26 February 2004
Blast from the past. Let's see how right or wrong I was.

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.

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.


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
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.

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
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?"

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

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
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
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
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
officials acknowledge that U.S. intelligence officials delivered a
one-and-a-half page document to President Bush on August 6th that
that "bin Laden's terrorist network might try to hijack American
(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,
5. ABC News, 05/16/2002.
6. Dateline NBC, 09/10/2002.
7. "Italy Tells of Threat at Genoa Summit", Los Angeles Times,

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

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
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
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,
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

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

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:00 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 11 March 2004 9:01 PM EST
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Thursday, 19 February 2004
let's talk rip-off 'o4
Ever get the feeling a democratic presidential victory in November might not be the end of Bush and his band of ideologues? I have a hard time believing they wouldn't do anything it took to stay in power.

It seems that some on the right view our very system of government as a liberal plot that must be crushed. For example; Grover Norquist's dream of draining the tub then strangling the baby (i.e. the government) with ever more tax cuts; the Patriot Act, the de-funding of Social Security and public education, Tom Delay and Darrel Issa perverting the electoral system, the stacking of the courts with like-minded fellow travelers, the list goes on and on. The end result? A fundamental sea change is under way and the democratic institutions we all take for granted are being pulled right out from under us.

Might another major terrorist attack, or some other kind of "crisis," in the US during the period between the election and the inauguration call for extraordinary measures? Might these revolutionaries in the White House not suspend or cancel any election result not favorable to their crusade against terror?

That scenario might not be so far-fetched. Tommy Franks, commander of Operation Iraqi Freedom, said another 9/11-type disaster would probably lead to martial law and the suspension of the constitution. Already two American citizens and thousands of foreign residents who were never charged with a crime have been put behind bars without being able to see a lawyer. The first concentration camp is already up and running in Cuba. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has plans for seven more to be set up during an emergency at military bases around the United States under the code name REX-84. Set up by Oliver North during the Reagan administration, REX-84 calls for the rounding up and detention of thousands of opponents of the government. Who these new American "enemy combatants" might be is anyone's guess. Is it beyond the realm of possibility that there is an ever-growing list of names being compiled somewhere in the bowels of the pentagon, just in case?

The question is; what would be considered a major crisis? $8 million of the $87 billion Iraq emergency appropriation went to the Miami police department for combating anti-globalization protesters at the FTAA meetings last November.

The war on terror doesn't stop at our borders. Neither, apparently, does the war on our basic civil liberties.

History is full of examples of well-ordered and long existing political systems overthrown by a small group of revolutionaries with relative ease. In many cases the establishment never saw it coming. Neocon ideologues on the fringe were writing their crackpot position papers in the nineties and were largely ignored. Once in power, they turned their warped theories into reality on the ground in Iraq and around the world. The United States is now ruling 50 million Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq. And diplomacy, the constitutional function of the State Department, has been circumvented by the pentagon. Donald Rumsfeld is telling other nations to jump and how high to jump. John Ashcroft, a religious fanatic, is dispensing vengeance from on high, political commissars are overseeing the running all the federal agencies, and the very backbone of our government, the civil service, is being outsourced to the highest bidding private corporation. Our fundamental way of life is under threat; declaring elections void is not such a big step when you understand what's been done right under our noses so far.

It can't happen here? It may have already happened. The corpse is just late for its own funeral.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 3:01 AM EST
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