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
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
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
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
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
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.