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Lets's talk about democracy
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Sunday, 7 November 2004
W's got capital and collateral (damages) to prove it!

Not that things are going from bad to worse or anything but besides the hourly car-bombings assassinations and executions of large numbers of Iraqi security forces...

Baghdad, 6 November - Amidst continous airstrikes and bombing sprees of the US-led occupation forces against Falluja and the ongoing raids on Samarra, a group of US-trained Iraqi National Guards have clashed with US troops and one Iraqi officer is reported to have deserted yesterday.

It is feared he might turn over his informations about the US operation plans to resistance fighters, as the high-ranking Iraqi commander of 160 troops had deserted after having received a full briefing on US military plans to practically flatten the city of Falluja,

Now that W has got his mandate:

Analysts expect a very high death toll among civilians in Falluja in case of the planned assault on the city and the interim Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi has been touring Europe in the hope of drumming up at least tacit support for the US-strategy of reducing resistance by bombing Iraqi cities deemed to be strongholds of insurgency.

In his letter, Kofi Annan warned the occupation forces and Allawi that the mounting military violence against the Iraqi people is bound to swell the numbers of resistance fighters and risks to jeopardize the general elections scheduled to be held in January next year.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:21 PM EST
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Saturday, 6 November 2004
Mission accomplished in Samarra?

This is the template for what Fallujah will look like after we expel the insurgents in the run up to elections? (Remember all the hooplah when they launched the attack on Sammarra right as the first presidential debate started?}

Let me guess, we can expect more violence because people who hate our freedoms are desperate.

From the A.P..

Insurgents set off at least two car bombs and attacked a police station Saturday in the central Iraqi town of Samarra, killing at least 21 people and wounding 22 in what could be an effort to take pressure off Fallujah, where U.S. forces are gearing up for an assault.

Elsewhere, 20 American soldiers were wounded in the Sunni Triangle city of Ramadi, the U.S. command said without elaborating.

The attacks in Samarra, 60 miles northeast of Fallujah, occurred in a city that U.S. and Iraqi forces reclaimed from insurgents in September and had sought to use as a model for pacifying restive Sunni Muslim areas of the country.

Early Saturday, however, armed militants stormed a police station, killing 12 policemen and injuring one. In other attacks, a suicide car bomber detonated explosives inside a stolen police car near the mayor's office, a second car bomb exploded near a U.S. base and a mortar fell on a crowded market.

The dead included an Iraqi National Guard commander, Abdel Razeq Shaker al-Garmali, hospital officials said. The town's mayor was reportedly injured in the car bombing.

Residents said U.S. forces, using loudspeakers to make the announcement, imposed an indefinite curfew on Samarra. American warplanes and helicopters were heard roaming overhead.

Like bees to honey:

The commander of a British regiment that lost three soldiers in a suicide attack near Baghdad had expressed security concerns before his unit was redeployed to aid U.S. forces, a newspaper reported Saturday.

Black Watch commanding officer Lt. Col. James Cowan had written a series of e-mails saying he expected "every lunatic terrorist from miles around to descend on us like bees to honey," the Daily Telegraph said.

The three soldiers and an Iraqi translator were killed in an insurgent suicide attack on Thursday. Eight others were injured.

The newspaper, which did not specify to whom Cowan was writing, quoted his e-mail as saying: "I hope the government knows what it has got itself into. I'm not sure they fully appreciate the risks."

"The (U.S.) Marines we have taken over from have taken nine dead and 197 wounded since July. I hope we do better," he reportedly wrote.

The newspaper, which did not specify to whom Cowan was writing, quoted his e-mail as saying: "I hope the government knows what it has got itself into. I'm not sure they fully appreciate the risks."

Posted by bushmeister0 at 11:05 AM EST
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Friday, 5 November 2004
I drove you into this ditch, I can drive you out.
The Post:

The dollar dropped to record lows against the euro on Friday, succumbing to negative sentiment and erasing all of the U.S. currency's earlier gains following a robust U.S. October employment report.

The dollar index, a measure of the U.S. dollar's performance against a basket of currencies, fell to a nine-year low. The U.S. currency also fell to six-month lows against the yen and 6-1/2 month lows against the Australian dollar.

Traders were struck by the dollar's inability to sustain a robust rally fueled by the strong U.S. economic data. An undertow of negative dollar sentiment driven by the U.S. current account and budget deficits made currency investors keen to buy euros, analysts said.

"The price action today is nothing short of stunning," said Richard Franulovich, senior currency strategist with Westpac Banking Corp in New York.

"Net-net, given the sharp U.S. upward revisions to payrolls, for the euro to punch higher to fresh highs is nothing short of spectacular. I think this is a pretty good guide at just how entrenched negative sentiment is toward the dollar," he said.

[See Nov. 3 post:
"We can sell but will they buy?"

[Also, expect interets rates to go way up. Foreign investers will expect a return on their worthless dollars.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 5:01 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 6 November 2004 12:58 AM EST
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Thursday, 4 November 2004
Rummy must have missed this one.
Didn't Rummy say something about if it had happened after the invasion they would have seen it? Well, apparently they did, I guess he must have been asleep at the wheel again.

LOS ANGELES - Explosives were looted from the Al-Qaqaa ammunitions site in Iraq while outnumbered U.S. soldiers assigned to guard the materials watched helplessly, soldiers told the Los Angeles Times.

About a dozen U.S. troops were guarding the sprawling facility in the weeks after the April 2003 fall of Baghdad when Iraqi looters raided the site, the newspaper quoted a group of unidentified soldiers as saying.

U.S. Army reservists and National Guardsmen witnessed the looting and some soldiers sent messages to commanders in Baghdad requesting help, but received no reply, they said.

"It was complete chaos. It was looting like L.A. during the Rodney King riots," one officer said.

The eyewitness accounts reported by the Times are the first provided by U.S. soldiers and bolster claims that the U.S. military had failed to safeguard the powerful explosives, the newspaper said.

Soldiers who belong to two different units described how Iraqis snatched explosives from unsecured bunkers and drove off with them in pickup trucks.

The soldiers who spoke to the Times asked to remain unidentified, saying they feared retaliation from the Pentagon.

One senior noncommissioned officer said troops "were running from one side of the compound to the other side, trying to kick people out" and that at least 100 vehicles were at the site waiting for the military to leave so that they could loot the munitions.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:57 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 7 November 2004 10:20 PM EST
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Famous last words?
According to Jack Straw, the man who has called Moammar Gaddafi a "statesman:"

LONDON (AFP) - Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said it was "inconceivable" that the United States would attack Iran over its nuclear programme.

"I don't see any circumstances in which military action would be justified against Iran full stop," Straw told BBC radio amid speculation that re-elected US President George W. Bush may be more hawkish over the Islamic republic.

Asked if the world would support a US bombing campaign against Iran, Straw said: "Not only is that inconceivable, but I think the prospect of it (US military action) happening is inconceivable."

[He didn't say he wouldn't support it, though.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:42 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 5 November 2004 6:02 PM EST
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Our overstreched army.

This is from the yet another mess this idiot has gotten us into dept. I'm sure Condi will get it all worked out, though.

The Asia Times reports:

According to information provided by the Project on Defense Alternatives (PDA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, soldiers can occasionally deploy for 120 days overseas without missing out on important yearly routines at their home bases, such as training and leave.

But deployments of much more than that result in deficits adversely impacting other aspects of a soldier's career and personal life.

PDA estimates that the 120-plus-day overseas deployment rate (averaged for 2003 and 2004) has been 46% during the Iraq war years, with most of it being 365-day deployments.

This rate is likely to decline only marginally in 2004. And, many of the soldiers deployed in 2005 will be on their second 365-day deployment in three years. PDA anticipates that accumulated stresses by late 2005 will exceed any since the Vietnam War period.

It is not hard to find examples of the army being stretched thin. The 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division was sent to Iraq in January this year, even though it had returned from Afghanistan only five months before.

Meanwhile, the 3rd Infantry Division, which liberated Baghdad in early April 2003, has had its tour in Iraq extended at least five times.

In mid-July 2003, Lieutenant-General John Abizaid, the head of US Central Command, announced that all army units would have to spend a full year in Iraq, double the normal tour for peacekeeping duties.

Meanwhile, several National Guard and Reserve units have been mobilized without reasonable notice, kept on active duty for longer than anticipated and sent overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan without effective training.

Members of the Michigan National Guard, for example, were sent to Iraq with only 48 hours notice. The Maryland National Guard's 115th Military Police Battalion, meanwhile, has been mobilized three times in the past two years, and by the end of its last tour will have remained on active duty for 18 months.

This is all despite the fact that a reserve soldier should be given at least 30 days of notice before being mobilized and should not be kept on duty for more than nine to 12 months in a five-to-six-year time frame.

As a result, the typical active-duty US soldier in a deployable unit could literally spend the majority of the next three to four years abroad.

In 2004 alone, 26 of the army's 33 main combat brigades in the active force will deploy abroad at some point; over the course of 2003 and 2004 together, virtually all of the 33 brigades will be deployed.

The typical reservist might be deployed for another 12 months over the next three to four years. As one example, all 15 of the Army National Guard's enhanced separate brigades are to be deployed at some point by 2006

It's worth noting that it is not just outside critics who are concerned about an overburdened military. In September the Defense Science Board, a panel of outside advisers to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, released a report stating that the US military lacks sufficient personnel to meet the nation's current war and peacekeeping demands throughout the world in coming years, despite steps being taken by the army to stretch its ranks and increase the number of soldiers available for combat.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:15 PM EST
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Comings and goings.
(NY Times)

The Times seems to think if Powell goes:

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has long been described by many people working with him as likely to leave office after tiring of the battles he has waged with administration hardliners.

(The)most likely successors are Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, and former Senator John F. Danforth, who is now United Nations ambassador.

[Yeah, Condi would be a great choice. She's been so effective as a National Security Advisor. Kaboom!]

Associates of Ms. Rice say, on the other hand, that she would be more interested in the job of Defense Secretary than Secretary of State. [Even better!]

People who work with Ms. Rice say, for example, that attending diplomatic functions and ceremonies and meeting with visiting diplomats are one of the least favorite aspects of her job. [She's way to intellectual for that.]

Rummy on the other hand:

At the Pentagon, meanwhile, some working with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld say he is interested in staying in the job in order to complete some of his changes, including the redeployment of troops around the world, transforming the military to make it more flexible, and training an Iraqi security force. [Yeah, why not let him finish what he started? So far it has only been a second class disaster.]

If Condi leaves we have the choice of Stephen J. Hadley, her deputy, and Paul D. Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, who was an early advocate of invading Iraq. [He's really done a great job with the whole finding the WMD thing. Why not make him the top security advisor to the president?]

Some were said to be angling for more powerful jobs in a second term. John R. Bolton, under secretary of state for arms control and international security, and an architect of the administration's tough policies on the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea, [What tough policies? Ignore them and threaten them occasionally? Seems to me they both are on their way to having a ton of nukes.]is being pushed by supporters for a more senior position in a second Bush term.

My money is still on Newt becoming Secretary of State. All these predictions are based on what a sane administration would do. Remember, these guys are bonkers.

So, Genl. William Boykin for Defence and Newt for State. And can't someone find a position for Richard Perle? How about Ollie North?

Posted by bushmeister0 at 11:30 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 6 November 2004 12:52 AM EST
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Liberals to become extinct.
(NY Times)

Exulting in their electoral victories, President Bush's conservative supporters immediately turned to staking out mandates for an ambitious agenda of long-cherished goals, including privatizing Social Security, banning same-sex marriage, remaking the Supreme Court and overturning the court's decisions in support of abortion rights.

Dr. (James) Dobson [Nut-job.] and several other Christian conservatives said they believed the expanded Republican majority in the Senate and the defeat of the Senate Democratic leader, Tom Daschle, put them in striking distance of both amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage and approving the appointment of enough conservative Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe v. Wade and other abortion rights cases.

Austin Ruse, president of the conservative Catholic Culture of Life Foundation, suggested that if Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist steps down, Mr. Bush could begin to repay his social conservative backers by naming Justice Antonin Scalia to replace him. "We'd love to see Scalia in that spot, and I think we have earned it," Mr. Ruse said.

Grover Norquist: The moderate.

Social conservatives are a very important part of the base, but they are not enough alone," said Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform and a conservative strategist close to the Bush administration, noting that in Illinois, Alan Keyes had taken a drubbing in the race for the Senate after running a vigorously conservative campaign on social issues.

Mr. Norquist eagerly predicted the accomplishment of a long agenda of government reduction: repealing the estate tax, privatizing Social Security, restricting medical and other liability lawsuits, closing military bases, opening more government jobs to competitive bidding to lower costs and weaken unions, imposing new disclosure requirements on organized labor, and expanding health care and investment savings accounts.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 11:03 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 4 November 2004 11:03 AM EST
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Wednesday, 3 November 2004
Guam build up. Watch your ass China.

If it comes down to our fuel needs or China's economic development...



Giant B-52s have been rotated regularly through Guam's Andersen Air Force Base since February, the first time the bombers have visited in more than a decade.

Work on a $32 million bomber hanger began in the same month, and an August announcement that Andersen's runway would be upgraded at a cost of $24 million was seen as signaling a bigger air force redeployment to Guam in the future.

Andersen stores more than 60 million gallons of fuel, and saw its role sharply underlined when it supplied about 21 million gallons for U.S. forces preparing for war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The base covers 22,000 acres, only a third of which is in use.

Among other projects, the military plans to build a $26 million high school and spend $20 million to improve the Navy's chlorination system and $12.5 million to expand Navy ammunition storage.

Guam's harbor is being dredged to make way for bigger ships. A third nuclear submarine is due to be based on the island from December and there are rumors that an aircraft carrier will be stationed in Hawaii with its air wing deployed at Andersen.

More housing, fitness centers and bigger supermarkets are also in the works, catering for the 6,000 military personnel and their families.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 10:18 PM EST
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Bush to dance with the one who brung him.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices surged more than $1 on Wednesday as the re-election of President Bush countered the impact of a big increase in spare oil supplies ahead of winter.

Crude dealers said Bush's victory over Democrat Senator John Kerry could bolster U.S. fuel demand and underscore anxiety over the security of Middle East oil shipments.

If another Bush government moves on to Iran, then oil prices would go very high and really threaten China's economic development," said Andy Xie, Morgan Stanley's chief Asia economist.

"I believe the fluctuation in oil over the past few days has been tied to the election," said Wachovia market analyst Jason Schenker.

"Last night there was a spike after it appeared a Bush win would be imminent," he said.

"The Bush administration is much more focused on fossil fuels, a Kerry administration would be more focused on renewables."

Hmmm...wonder why?

Oil company share prices on the New York Stock Exchange were also stronger Wednesday, with ChevronTexaco up $1.17 to $53.27, ConocoPhillips p $1.97 to $85.40, ExxonMobil up 84 cents to $49.27.

[And of course the Saudis are rolling in it too.]

Sign of things to come:

In his "victory" speech Bush said " We'll reform our outdated tax code." {Translation: consumption tax]

"We'll strengthen the Social Security for the next generation." [Translation: Privatization]

All our worst nightmares are about to become true. Better start hiding your money under the mattress.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 10:09 PM EST
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