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Lets's talk about democracy
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Thursday, 3 February 2005
The state of the union.

I haven't really seen any of the analysis of the speech. After watching Cokie Roberts saying she thought the thing everyone would remember most about Bush's speech was the mother of Marine Sgt. Byron Norwood of Pflugerville, Texas and Safia Taleb al-Suhail a leader of the Iraqi Women's Political Council, hugging; I turned it off.

Some things I did want to comment on were: Bush says...

"...And tonight that is a privilege we share with newly elected leaders of Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories, Ukraine and a free and sovereign Iraq."

A free and sovereign Iraq? You mean our troops can go home now? It seems to me a sovereign country doesn't usually have 170,000 foreign troops occupying it and most can actually govern their territory. The current Iraqi interim government's writ doesn't extend much beyond the so called "green zone."

Never mind all the laws and rules L. Paul Bremer left behind that have nothing to do with a sovereign country.

>"I welcome the bipartisan enthusiasm for spending discipline."

Yeah, right. Making tax cuts permanent, spending a billion dollars a month in Iraq and borrowing 2 trillion dollars for private Social Security accounts doesn't pass the "spending discipline" smell test.

This is my favorite line though. Here's an issue the American people can really sink thier teeth into:

"Justice is distorted and our economy is held back by irresponsible class actions and frivolous asbestos claims."

If there was any clearer sign that the Bush family's business always comes before the American people's this is it.

Remember, Bush's grand daddy owned the comapny that is now costing Halliburton so much grief over asbestos. This is a not so veiled attempt to get us to bail out Cheney's mess.

From an article in the Cinncinnati Enquirer

"Analysts...are far more worried about Halliburton's potential liability for more than 300,000 pending claims by people who blame the company for their exposure to asbestos, a heat-resistant material with fibers that can cause lung disease if inhaled.

The burgeoning asbestos problem has caused critics to question the hallmark of Cheney's five years at the helm of Halliburton: the $7.7 billion acquisition of rival Dresser Industries Inc. in 1998.

The deal doubled Halliburton's size overnight and allowed it to claim it was the world's leading oilfield-services company. But most of Halliburton's current asbestos claims were inherited from Dresser.

Lesar said Halliburton investigated Dresser's asbestos liability before the acquisition. The company just didn't count on a surge in asbestos claims, which he blamed on the bankruptcy of other asbestos defendants, leaving Halliburton as a tempting target.

"It's easy to second-guess everything about the asbestos issue now," he said." [Yeah right. Cheney is a genius.]

Another day in the neighborhood.

Funny, I thought the insurgency was pretty much over after the big elections.

Not so, apparently.

From Reuters:

"BAGHDAD- Iraqi insurgents staged a major ambush on a road near Baghdad Thursday, killing two policemen, wounding 14 and leaving at least 16 missing on the worst day of violence since last Sunday's election.

The attack came a day after guerrillas in the north dragged Iraqi soldiers off a bus and shot 12 of them dead, and suggests the country's 22-month-long insurgency is far from over, despite its failure to stop last weekend's vote.

Police said insurgents attacked a police convoy Thursday between Diwaniya, 180 km (112 miles) south of Baghdad, and the capital. Police initially feared 36 were missing but reduced the number as some began returning to Diwaniya.

At least a dozen civilians were also killed in Thursday's bloodshed, the worst this week."

In the 'coming back to bite us dept.'

In recent weeks we've had stories of Marines, who had seen fighting in Fallujah coming back and taking it out on American civilians.

There was the former Marine in Texas who kidnapped a woman in a Walmart parkinglot and left her dead body 200 miles away and this story of a marine who was apparently upset about having to go back...in both cases the mothers of these men said they "came back different."

"(CNN) -- A 19-year-old Marine from Ceres, California, shot and killed a police officer and wounded another before dying in a weekend gunbattle.
Investigators said he may have been driven by a desire to avoid returning to Iraq.

Andres Raya was scheduled to report back to Camp Pendleton, near San Diego, on Sunday after a weekend leave.

Instead, police said, he went out with a semiautomatic rifle and drew officers into an ambush outside a liquor store in Ceres, a town of about 35,000 next door to his hometown of Modesto.

Raya's mother told the Modesto Bee that her son "came back different" from his last assignment, which included service in western Iraq's insurgent hotbed of Falluja.

"In speaking with family, they conveyed to us that their son did not desire to return to Iraq," said Lt. Bill Heyne, a spokesman for the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department."

The military, aprticulary the marines, allways tyalk about the trigger they plant in recruits head. They have to be trained to kill without thinking in combat situations in order to prevent them and their comrades from getting killed themselves.

The problem is there isn't any sure fire way of turning the trigger off once they get back. It is estimated 1 and five are coming back with mental problems but only a quarter seek out assistance.

Comments like this from high ranking members of the military aren't helpful, especially considering the stories above.

"Lt. Gen. James Mattis, who led troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, made the comments at a conference Tuesday in San Diego.

"Actually it's quite fun to fight 'em, you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up front with you, I like brawling," said Mattis.

"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil," Mattis said during a panel discussion.

"You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

Like for example these Special Forces soldiers from 2003? I can see a lot has changed.

"An Army Special Forces soldier charged with killing his wife after returning from Afghanistan nine months ago hanged himself in a jail cell Sunday, officials said.

Master Sgt. William Wright was one of four soldiers at Fort Bragg suspected of killing their spouses in a six-week stretch last summer. The deadly spree forced the Army to re-evaluate how it provided support for soldiers with strained marriages and those readjusting after combat service.

Sgt. 1st Class Rigoberto Nieves, 32, a Special Forces soldier, fatally shot his wife and himself June 11, two days after he had returned from Afghanistan.

Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Floyd, reportedly a member of the secret Delta Force, shot his wife and then killed himself July 19.

Still facing charges is former Army sergeant Cedric Griffin, who is accused of stabbing his wife, Marilyn, 50 times and setting her on fire July 9. He faces death if convicted."

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:21 PM EST
Wednesday, 2 February 2005
Famous last words...

"BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq interim prime minister declared Wednesday that the success of the national elections had dealt a major blow to the insurgents -- who have not carried out a major attack since the balloting -- and he predicted they will be defeated within months."

Vietnam flash back.

"The Joint Chiefs of Staff are increasingly mindful that our fortunes in South Vietnam are an accurate barometer of our fortunes in all of Southeast Asia.

It is our view that if the US program succeeds in South Vietnam it will go far toward stabilizing the total Southeast Asia situation."

-January 22, 1964, the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense Robert Strange [Love] McNamara.

Election day in Iraq.

Bush and Co., of course, have taken full credit for the election. Another mandate! Peter Baker and Robin Wright say in the Post:

"Whatever happens next, the pictures of Iraqi voters streaming to the polls and holding up ink-stained fingers to show they had cast their ballots will go down as one of the defining images of his ambitious project to introduce democracy to the Middle East."

[If only we knew what actually happened that might be true.]

A.P. reports "Three days after the balloting, the Iraqi election commission has still not released any results or turnout figures, promising them with a week." [I'll hold my breath.]

The WaPo reported:

"As U.S. officials toured the city Sunday, several privately asked colleagues how different the last two years in Iraq might have been if the invasion force had been able to secure Baghdad after taking it.

"Yeah," said one U.S. official, "maybe they wouldn't have looted the whole [expletive] place, not to put too fine a point on it."

"I'm always attracted to the statement of [Winston] Churchill's that you can always count on the Americans to do the right thing -- after they try everything else," the official said."

Of course, we all know the insurgents are defeated and this is another one of those "turning points," like the capture of Saddam and the "transfer of power," so it is no wonder we had..."

"...To put every possible uniform on the street, the interim government canceled all leaves for police officers and soldiers and offered the police extra pay to stick around.

U.S. forces stockpiled supplies at the dozens of American bases around the country, to deny insurgents the easy targets of convoys on election day.

Aircraft were deployed en masse. The skies over the capital buzzed with U.S. Army OH-58 Kiowa and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and F-18A fighter jets..."

[Was this Baghdad or D.C?]

"As a final touch, Iraq's new army rolled out its armor. On election day, Soviet-era T-55 tanks and armored personnel carriers were stationed on squares in Baghdad.

Apparently the only bits of Iraqi armor not destroyed in the invasion, a U.S. official said, were reclaimed from the Mujaheddin-e Khalq, an Iranian opposition militia that Hussein had armed and used as a surrogate force inside Iraq. [I'm sure they have much better tanks now that they are doing the same job for us in Iran.]

"The security plan is perfect," interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi announced after casting his vote." [Except for the dead and wounded.]

Stephen Hadley, the new National Security Advisor, you remember, the one who took the bullet for Condi over the "16-words" about uranium in Niger, said of the election...

"It ought to give heart to the American people that the effort we've made to help the Iraqi people get to this day was well worth it -- that the Iraqi people have justified the faith we put in them..."

And the Iraqi security forces, with 150,000 U.S. troops right behind them to keep them from running away?

"By and large, they performed exceedingly well."

The turn out?

Howard Kurtz writes on spinning the election:

"When an Iraqi official estimated a 72 percent turnout rate early Sunday, the figure was repeatedly cited by anchors and correspondents, although a few noted that it sounded unrealistically high. It turned out to be as accurate as the American exit polls in November.

But although the official number was later downgraded to 60 percent, that may not be accurate, either. "It's an amazing media error, a huge blunder," said Clinton White House veteran Robert Weiner. "I'm sure the Bush administration is thrilled by this spin."

The 60 percent figure is based on the notion that 8 million of 14 million eligible Iraqis turned out. But the 14 million figure is the number of registered Iraqis, while turnout is usually calculated using the number of eligible voters.

The number of adults in Iraq is probably closer to 18 million, which would lower the turnout figure. And the registration figure itself is questionable.

Anyone who received a ration card was deemed registered [That was the original idea Bremer rejected.], and there was no effort to remove duplicate names or those who sought extra food rations.

Election officials concede they did not have a reliable baseline on which to calculate turnout."

South Vietnamese turn out in large numbers despite threat of violence from insurgents.

The problem with all the positive hype about the U.S. sponsored election in 1966, which was supposedly to form an assembly to draft a constitution (sound familiar?), was it prompted some in congress to question our continued presence in Vietnam.

Look for Bush not to paint too much of a rosy picture in his State of the Union speech tonight, to avoid the same trap.

Edward S. Herman writes of other elections we've sponsored in the spread of democracy around the world.

"In the case of Vietnam in 1966 and 1967, the United States was fighting the NLF, which was admitted by U.S. officials to be the only mass-based party in South Vietnam, so its exclusion was obvious and essential for U.S. purposes, but clearly made the election meaningless.

The United States also warred against and seriously weakened the Buddhist church movement, the second largest constituency organization in the South.

Under U.S. direction two dissidents who might have drawn substantial votes were excluded from candidacy, assuring that the military leaders of U.S. choice would win the election.

These gross violations of the basics of a free election-and there were others-did not cause the New York Times (etc.) to call the election a sham. The media were impressed by the eagerness of the Vietnamese peasants to cast their vote for the U. S. -chosen military leaders."

Mayor Anthony Williams not being niggardly about Bush's inauguration.

"It really pisses me off that people are so selfish that they can't give him this one day."

-----Referring to the protesters, quoted in the Post

Yeah mayor bow tie, we'll just forget you're running a city which went 90% for Kerry and that W stuck with a 19 million dollar bill for the big party.

Nice work idiot.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 8:13 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 2 February 2005 8:20 PM EST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Monday, 31 January 2005
Bush declares victory!

This is the update I kept seeing on the CNN news trackers yesterday.

How is this a victory for him? If anything the Iraqis that did vote want an elected government that will ask us to leave.

In any case, who is to say how many voted, who they voted for and what this all really means? It seems a little bit early to start beating our chest about an earthquake of freedom in the middle east quite yet.

Juan Cole as usual puts some things in perspective:

"First they were going to turn Iraq over to Chalabi within six months. Then Bremer was going to be MacArthur in Baghdad for years. Then on November 15, 2003, Bremer announced a plan to have council-based elections in May of 2004.

The US and the UK had somehow massaged into being provincial and municipal governing councils, the members of which were pro-American. Bremer was going to restrict the electorate to this small, elite group.

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani immediately gave a fatwa denouncing this plan and demanding free elections mandated by a UN Security Council resolution. Bush was reportedly "extremely offended" at these two demands and opposed Sistani.

Bremer got his appointed Interim Governing Council to go along in fighting Sistani. Sistani then brought thousands of protesters into the streets in January of 2004, demanding free elections. Soon thereafter, Bush caved and gave the ayatollah everything he demanded."

Fallujah freedom?
Condi Rice was on FOX yesterday fielding those hard hitting questions. Accroding to her, they're voting in droves in Fallujah.

Cole says:

"The idea, mentioned by Condoleeza Rice on Sunday, that any significant number of Fallujans voted, is absurd and insulting. Most of the 250,000 Fallujans are still in exile, and the city is still occasionally the scene of fighting.

There are reports of some voting in refugee camps outside the city. It is almost certainly motivated by a desire to have a legitimate, elected government that could effectively demand a US withdrawal. "

Condi says it went "better than expected."

Compared to a normal day in most of Iraq, I guess that's right.

Only 44 civilians dead and 70 injured in over 170 attcks around the country. Oh, and one British C-130 transport plane shot down.

AFP says:

LONDON (AFP) - Britain said that 10 military personnel died in the crash of a military transport plane in Iraq but that it was too early to comment on claims it was shot down by Islamic militants.

British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said in a statement "we are aware of reports that the aircraft may have been shot down, but we are not in a position to come to any conclusions until the investigation is complete."

Hoon said that nine Royal Air Force personnel and one soldier were missing believed dead following the crash of the RAF C-130 Hercules northwest of Baghdad.

However, al-Jazeera reports:

"al-Jazeera has aired a video showing a purported Iraqi group firing missiles at the British C-130 transport plane which crashed on Sunday afternoon northwest of Baghdad.

The video, issued by the military wing of the 1920 Revolution Brigades, also showed an explosion at a distance and what appeared to be the debris of a plane on the ground.

Aljazeera said on Monday it had received a copy of the tape from the group."

Allawi's message to insurgents.

UPI reports the march of freedom might be a little bumpy if the mainstream media ever picks up this story.

Baghdad, Iraq, Jul. 16 (UPI) -- Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi killed six suspected insurgents just days before he was handed power, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The report cites two witnesses to the killing who say Allawi fatally shot the prisoners, who were handcuffed, blindfolded and lined up against a wall in a courtyard near the maximum-security facility at al-Amariyah security centre near Baghdad. They quoted Allawi as saying the men "deserved worse than death" because each had killed some 50 Iraqis.

The newspaper added the killings were seen by about a dozen Iraqi police and four Americans from Allawi's security team. Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib, another alleged witness, is said to have congratulated Allawi.

The newspaper quoted witnesses as saying Allwai told those present he wanted to send a clear message to police on how to deal with insurgents."

Posted by bushmeister0 at 5:27 PM EST
Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 29 January 2005
Rummy's unruhe.

As I noted on the 16th of Dec., and the WaPo is just getting around to reporting, Rummy is having second thoughts about going to Germany for a major security conference in Munich.

The belated report in today's edition says:

"Will Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld skip a major security affairs conference in Germany next month or won't he?

Two weeks ago, he sent word to organizers of the annual event not to expect him, saying he would be traveling elsewhere in mid-February.

The news, reported in Germany but not announced here, prompted complaints that Rumsfeld was snubbing Europe and speculation that his move was in reaction to a legal complaint filed against him in Germany.

By late yesterday, however, the Pentagon's chief spokesman, Lawrence T. Di Rita, was waffling on the secretary's plans. He said Rumsfeld is weighing a number of "competing scheduling priorities," including other possible travel and preparation for congressional testimony on the defense budget. Di Rita left open the possibility Rumsfeld will attend the conference.

"I just don't know who will end up representing the Department of Defense," Di Rita said in a phone interview. [Sounds like they're a little off message.]

The German press agency Deutsche Presse Agentur first reported last week that Rumsfeld had decided not to go to Munich. The agency said the decision was prompted by a criminal complaint, filed Nov. 30 with the federal prosecutor's office in Germany, accusing him of war crimes in connection with detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

The 160-page complaint was brought by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, a group of lawyers representing four Iraqis who say they were mistreated at the prison outside Baghdad.

In addition to Rumsfeld, the complaint singles out eight other high-ranking U.S. military authorities and former CIA director George J. Tenet.

It is based on a German law, enacted in 2002, that gives the Karlsruhe Court "universal jurisdiction" in cases involving alleged war crimes. A prosecutor is obligated to investigate the claims but does not have to act on them further.

So far, German authorities have said that the complaint against Rumsfeld and the others is being studied.

Rumsfeld is known to have fumed privately with aides about the case. But Di Rita said it has had "nothing to do" with the secretary's deliberations over whether to attend the conference..." [Yeah, right.]

"Geneva Conventions? Obsolete rubbish."

Michael Ratner, the lawyer leading this case said on Democracynow.org yesterday about this issue:

"There was an article in the Washington Post today that said that the Pentagon denies that he isn't going because of the lawsuit. What I think is really happened here is floated a - it's not a rumor, it may be true he's not going - but floated it as a way of putting pressure on the German government to say: "Get rid of this lawsuit."

This is serious business, we're considering not sending Rumsfeld there. But on the high -- on the level of calling them, "No, no, no, this isn't what this is about." And I think what the conferences February 11 and 12, it is the major security conference for Europe, the Secretary of Defense has been going for 40-some years.

My view is we're reaching a point in this lawsuit in Germany where something is going to give.

We're filing major new papers, actually, today and Monday. One of them, of course, names Alberto Gonzales now as an additional defendant in the case."

One of the key people, Keitel,(Wilhelm Keitel) who got a death sentence in Germany was the man who scrawled on a memo to the high command about Russian soldiers that said, "Geneva Conventions? Obsolete rubbish."

Remember the word that Gonzales used to describe Geneva, "obsolete". And when they sentenced Keitel to death, what they said was one of the reasons we're giving you the death penalty is for basically saying the Geneva Conventions are obsolete."

Yes, that Alberto Gonzales is a real piece of work. Turns out the dems in the senate want to have more debate on the nomination before they're ready to vote.

Gosh, it looked so easy for Bush and Co. before the inauguration didn't it? Condi would be confirmed as W was being sworn in and Alberto (Waterboard boy) would be right after.

That pesky torture memo and his lies and distortions in his oral and written testimony are making even some republicans queasy. Do we have another Bernard Kerik here?

The Bushies seems very off balance here the past few days. They've swallowed the Koolaid and they believe their own hype and I think all this opposition is knocking them for a loop.

Voting holiday in Iraq.

That's what their calling the lock down of Iraq, a "holiday!" That's rich.

On the first day of the holiday, insurgents pierced the green zone and killed two Americans on the grounds of the embassy. If we can't protect the green zone, how can we protect anything there?

A.P. reports:

"BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents hit the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad with a rocket Saturday, killing two Americans.

Militants also set off explosions that killed eight Iraqis and a U.S. soldier and blasted polling places across the country Saturday as Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's government urged Iraqis to overcome their fear of violence and vote in landmark elections.

Seven American soldiers were killed Friday in the Baghdad area, including two pilots who died in the crash of their OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter. [Two helicopters and 44 soldiers dead in two days.]

Attacks on polling stations were reported in at least eight cities from Dohuk in the far north to Basra in the south.

In Basra...hundreds of Iraqi police uniforms have gone missing in Iraq's second largest city and may be in the hands of insurgents to help them slip through checkpoints, according to a report by the British media pool.

Four police vehicles were stolen by insurgents from a prison at Umm Qasr south if Basra, British authorities said, raising fears the cars could be used in suicide attacks."

Have no fear,though, our naked emperor said in his Saturday radio address that:

"As democracy takes hold in Iraq, America's mission there will continue. Our military forces, diplomats and civilian personnel will help the newly elected government of Iraq establish security and train Iraqi military police and other forces.

Terrorist violence will not end with the election. [Now, he tells us!] Yet the terrorists will fail because the Iraqi people reject their ideology of murder."

Or maybe the Iraqis, our puppets and the insurgents, will just force us out altogether.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:04 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 29 January 2005 4:05 PM EST
Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 28 January 2005
Plausible denial of everything for W.

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to do this thing these days so I missed a bunch of stuff I'd like to make snarky comments about, but can I just say that inauguration was a total sham.

I mean, look at the amount of security around bush going down Pennsylvania Ave. My God, it looked like we were invading Baghdad again. Did anyone notice the 10 lines of police in front of the protest pen at John Marshall park?

What did they think they were going to do? There were obviously many dangerous people like Michael Berg and that crazy Sue Niederer! Quick, call out Delta Force!

The Washington Post reported that despite the ring of steel around the motorcade someone managed to hit the M1 limo with an orange at 13th and Penn.

Condi, uniquely unqualified.

Condi Rice showed her usual lack of respect for the truth and the congress with her testimony at her confirmation hearing. Thank God for Barbara Boxer.

Can you believe Diane Feinstein? What is her deal?
Has she forgotten about Harvey Milk and where she came from and what she fought for? Disgusting!

One thing no one brought up was Rice's insistence that nobody could have known Al-Qaeda would use planes as weapons.

As I wrote last year:

"In her Op-ED "9/11: For The Record" [March,22] Condoleezza Rice continues to claim "Despite what some have suggested, we received no intelligence that terrorists were preparing to attack the homeland using airplanes as missiles." There is, however, ample evidence to the contrary.

An article in the Washington Post by Steve Fainaru [Clues pointed to changing terrorist tactics, May 19 2002] reported that Abdul Hakim Murad, a Pakistani national, told Philippine authorities in the mid-nineties he would "crash a light aircraft loaded with explosives into CIA headquarters at Langley."

The article also says that during the Genoa summit in July of 2001 "...the Italian government closed airspace over Genoa and mounted antiaircraft batteries based on information that Islamic extremists were planning to use an airplane to kill President Bush."

Other examples of terrorist plots employing airplanes as missiles that should have been known to Ms. Rice have been cited to the National Commission on Terrorism Attacks Upon the United States."

Before she testified at the 9/11 commission, which she said on 60 minutes she would never do to preserve a "very important principle," she said she had "misspoke" and that she did know about planes being used as weapons.

Here is a record of her Misstatements on this subject.

To me, lying to the American people and the families of the 9/11 attacks is much more of an issue and should have disqualified her for such a high office.

How about that "Iraqi Stabilization Group" that Bush appointed her to lead, by the way? How's that going?
Remember, she was supposed to go in there and cut through the BS and get it done? What happened?

[Washington, 8 October 2003 (RFE/RL--

At a news conference in Washington on 6 October, U.S. President George W. Bush expressed confidence that all is going well in Iraq.

"The situation is improving on a daily basis inside Iraq. People are freer, the security situation is getting better, the infrastructure is getting better, the schools are opening, the hospitals are being modernized," Bush said.

During the same appearance, however, Bush appeared to contradict that conclusion by discussing the creation of the Iraq Stabilization Group, under which the ultimate oversight of Iraqi reconstruction will no longer rest with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld but with national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and the White House National Security Council.]

I really can't think of anyone less qualified for the job of Secretary of State. She is just a travesty.

But, don't say anything, she like Alberto "waterboard" Gonzales, are great American success stories. Is this the republican version of Affirmative action?

37 killed yesterday, defending freedom.

We lost a lot of good people yesterday, so its good that the president came right out and said he was sorry. Oh, he didn't? He had to be asked about it?

What did he say about it?

"The story today is going to be very discouraging to the American people. I understand that. We value life. And we weep and mourn when soldiers lose their life.

But it is the long-term objective that is vital, and that is to spread freedom.

I though it was mushroom clouds and WMD that they were dying for. I hope the parents and family members of those who died realize it's for the freedom of the world they died for.

Remember, Iran is next.

Since W didn't read Seymour Hersh's article, or the Washington Post story on secret pentagon teams going around the world doing god knows what in our name, he can't comment. Seems like everything the White House does is designed to be plausibly denied.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:28 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 29 January 2005 4:19 PM EST
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Friday, 21 January 2005
It's all about freedom...

The media is falling over itself to figure out what the hell Bush meant in his inaugural speech.

"All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."

Does he really mean it? Are we going into the world building biz? This from a president who accused Clinton of too much nation building?

The truth is, this is all about laying the groundwork for attacking Iran. They're tyrants right? Somehow we'll find some Iranians somewhere who are hell bent on us bombing the crap out of them.

Remember the tearjerking congressional testimony of the Kuwaiti girl relating the baby being taken out of the incubators story, which was totally bogus? The girl who later turned out to be the daughter of a Kuwaiti diplomat?

The Shah's son lives in Potomic, a very snooty rich part of DC, and he's got a lot of money to throw around. Maybe, we set him up after we "liberate" the Iranians.

If we don't do it Israel will!!!!

While everyone was scratchig their heads over Bush's new plan for world freedom Cheney was scaring everyone. (As usual.)

According to the Jerusalem Post:

"If the Israelis became convinced the Iranians had significant nuclear capability, given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards," Cheney said.

Senior Israeli officials said Cheney's comment was more a warning to the Europeans and the international community that they have to take a more concerted action to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear power, than a warning to Israel not to act."

In other words, blackmailing the world with Israel's nukes again.

"One official, who said that Cheney "never misspeaks," said it was telling that the first part of Cheney's statement gave a justification for Israeli action, since he said that Iran's has as a stated objective the elimination of Israel.

"The point of his comments is that he is telling the world that unless they act, there is no telling what Israel would do. And then who knows what the consequence may be," the official said. "His point is that the world should act now, rather than have to deal with a much more difficult situation later."

Of course, it's all about Israel.

Condi Rice also weighed in on the Iranian situation as relates to Israel in her testimony to the senate foreign relations commitee. She told Senator Chefee:

"It's really hard to find common ground with a government that thinks Israel should be extinguished.

It's difficult to find common ground with a government that is supporting Hezbollah and terrorist organizations that are determined to undermine the Middle East peace that we seek."

I should think Ariel Sharon was more of an inpedimrnt, but what do I know? She's going to be the new Secretary of State, right? And she's so well qualified.

She's a good liar anyway.

She went on...

"...a theocratic government that has a view that the mullahs ought to rule, that has no rights -- or has a human rights record that is really appalling and that treats its citizens, its women in that way, is not a regime with which I think we have very much common ground, particularly given the way that we would like to see the Middle East develop."

Was she taling about Iran or Saudi Arabia?

According to the NY Times:

"In a rare public display, the Saudi government announced on Tuesday that a religious court had sentenced 15 demonstrators, including one woman, to public lashings and prison terms for taking part in demonstrations against the government..."

We don't have any problems finding common ground with 14th century mullahs who have lots of oil.

Neocons gone wild.

The point of this whole thing, which the media is missing out on, is that the neocons have totally taken over the White House. Cheney and Rummy are firmly in control.

They have seen no downside to their egregious mistakes so far, in fact they've gotten medals, so they are on to their next disaster.

Anyone who thinks they've learned their lesson in Iraq is dreaming.

Iraq is a great success! They're moving on.

Read the "March of Folly" by Barbara Tuchman!

Cassandra is at Gitmo!

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:46 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 28 January 2005 3:56 PM EST
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Tuesday, 18 January 2005
News flash! President: "Bin Laden is hiding."

It appears now that the president has had his "accountability moment" and decided the people want him to continue the good job he's doing in Iraq. According to the WaPo in an extensive interview he said :

"We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections,"

"The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me."

Well, that's that.

See David Frommkin's Washington briefing which says to the contrary that:

"...when it comes to Iraq, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that "58 percent disapprove of his handling of the situation to 40 percent who approve, and 44 percent said the war was worth fighting."

It doesn't matter what the facts may be, the president isn't a fact checker, remember?

And he doesn't read papers. We're all viewing things through the "filter."

On to Iran...

Seymour Hersh is at it again, he says in a New Yorker article we've got troops in Iran and we're getting ready for a big strike there.

"In my interviews, I was repeatedly told that the next strategic target was Iran. "Everyone is saying, `You can't be serious about targeting Iran. Look at Iraq,'" the former intelligence official told me.

"But they say, `We've got some lessons learned--not militarily, but how we did it politically. We're not going to rely on agency pissants.' No loose ends, and that's why the C.I.A. is out of there."

Hear an interview at democracynow.

The pentagon is naturally poo pooing the notion but they haven't denied it.

Where's Osama?

In case you were wondering what ever happened to Osama, by the way...

Asked why Bin Laden hadn't been found yet, you remember him, the one who actually attacked us?

Bush answers "Because he's hiding."

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:39 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 29 January 2005 4:24 PM EST
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Wednesday, 29 December 2004
Cheap bastards!

The U.S. first announced they would give $15 million in disaster relief for the Southeast Asia's Tsunami victoms.

But when some questioned the level of the commitment of the U.S., the administration got touchy.


WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 - Rejecting a United Nations official's suggestion that it had been a "stingy" aid donor, the Bush administration on Tuesday announced another $20 million in relief for victims of the Asian earthquake and tsunamis and dispatched an aircraft carrier and other ships to the region for possible relief operations. [They meant to do that all along, I'm sure.]

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, displaying irritation with the suggestion of American stinginess, said the United States had been the most generous of aid donors in recent years and that, in any case, the sums announced so far were "just a start" of a larger sustained effort.

According to the Congressional Research Service, an independent agency, the United States is the largest aid donor in terms of dollars, but its record of donating two-tenths of 1 percent of its national economy for foreign aid makes it among the smallest donors as a proportion of what it could theoretically afford.

Countering that argument, the State Department acknowledges on an official Web site that its direct economic aid is "the smallest among government foreign assistance programs" but that the "true measure" of American generosity should include private money.

80 Billion more for Iraq:

If we could have only bombed the crap out of that damn tidal wave...


US President George W. Bush is expected to seek authorisation for spending of an additional 80 billion dollars in Iraq , the head of a visiting congressional delegation said.

"In early February, there will be ... a supplemental appropriation in addition to the 2006 budget for defence submitted to Congress," Jim Kolbe, Republican congressman from Arizona, told reporters.
He estimated the extra funding to range between 75 to 80 billion dollars.

If we only had to money to lend, really we would, but...

Currently Iraq has cost us somewhere in the range of...


Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:55 PM EST
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Tuesday, 21 December 2004
Torture A-okay.
At his year end press conference Bush waxed poetic on Rummy and his love for the troops...

"I know Secretary Rumsfeld's heart," Bush said..."Sometimes, perhaps, his demeanor is rough and gruff, but beneath that rough and gruff, no-nonsense demeanor is a good human being who cares deeply about the military, and deeply about the grief that war causes," Bush said.

Right, grumpy old grandpa just doesn't care too much about human rights or the rule of law.

The NYT reports today:

"...documents, released Monday in connection with a lawsuit accusing the government of being complicit in torture, also include accounts by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents who said they had seen detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, being chained in uncomfortable positions for up to 24 hours and left to urinate and defecate on themselves.

An agent wrote that in one case a detainee who was nearly unconscious had pulled out much of his hair during the night.

One of the memorandums released Monday was addressed to Robert S. Mueller III, the F.B.I. director, and other senior bureau officials, and it provided the account of someone "who observed serious physical abuses of civilian detainees" in Iraq.

The memorandum, dated June 24 this year, was an "Urgent Report," meaning that the sender regarded it as a priority. It said the witness "described that such abuses included strangulation, beatings, placement of lit cigarettes into the detainees' ear openings and unauthorized interrogations."

But it's all okay because the Wall Street Journal says:

Bush administration lawyers contended last year that the president wasn't bound by laws prohibiting torture and that government agents who might torture prisoners at his direction couldn't be prosecuted by the Justice Department.

The advice was part of a classified report on interrogation methods prepared for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after commanders at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, complained in late 2002 that with conventional methods they weren't getting enough information from prisoners.

The president, despite domestic and international laws constraining the use of torture, has the authority as commander in chief to approve almost any physical or psychological actions during interrogation, up to and including torture, the report argued.

The Sgt. Schultz defense

Civilian or military personnel accused of torture or other war crimes have several potential defenses, including the "necessity" of using such methods to extract information to head off an attack, or "superior orders," sometimes known as the Nuremberg defense: namely that the accused was acting pursuant to an order and, as the Nuremberg tribunal put it, no "moral choice was in fact possible."

Evidence abtained by torture a-okay too

Evidence gained by torture can be used by the U.S. military in deciding whether to imprison a foreigner indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as an enemy combatant, the government says.

Statements produced under torture have been inadmissible in U.S. courts for about 70 years. But the U.S. military panels reviewing the detention of 550 foreigners as enemy combatants at the U.S. naval base in Cuba are allowed to use such evidence, Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Brian Boyle acknowledged at a U.S. District Court hearing Thursday.

About 70 years ago, the Supreme Court stopped the use of evidence produced by third-degree tactics largely on the theory that it was totally unreliable," Harvard Law Professor Philip B. Heymann, a former deputy U.S. attorney general, said in an interview. Subsequent high court rulings were based on revulsion at "the unfairness and brutality of it and later on the idea that confessions ought to be free and uncompelled."

Leon asked whether U.S. courts could review detentions based on evidence from torture conducted by U.S. personnel.

Boyle said torture was against U.S. policy and any allegations of it would be "forwarded through command channels for military discipline." He added, "I don't think anything remotely like torture has occurred at Guantanamo" but noted that some U.S. soldiers there had been disciplined for misconduct...

Of course, always the lowly soldier never the 'Gruff" old secretary of defence.

Meanwhile at our closest ally's own gitmo.

The British Law Lords ruled indefinite detentions are more dangerous than terrorists.


Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, in his ruling, said: "Indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial is anathema in any country which observes the rule of law.

"It deprives the detained person of the protection a criminal trial is intended to afford."

In a blow to the government's anti-terror measures, the House of Lords ruled by an eight to one majority in favour of appeals by nine detainees.

The Law Lords said the measures were incompatible with European human rights laws..." [That must be old Europe.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:41 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 29 December 2004 4:20 PM EST
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Saturday, 18 December 2004
Iraqi borders secure, security forces in control.

What was Bush thinking with the Bernard Kerik nomination for Homeland [Die Heimat!] security?

NYT reports today:

"Mr. Kerik, Republicans said, was just the kind of plain-talking law-and-order man held in awe by the president.

"The president loves cops," said a Republican close to the White House who insisted on anonymity because he did not want the president and his advisers to know he was talking about an embarrassing blow-up of a cabinet nomination.

"They're not pretentious, they do a hard job, they don't get paid a lot of money [Just like Bush!], they're real people and they live in a world that is fairly black and white, with good guys and bad guys. And that's the way President Bush looks at the world."

Mr. Bush was especially grateful, White House officials said, that Mr. Kerik agreed to train a police force in Iraq in the summer of 2003..."

Yeah, that went well. He said at the time "I will be there at least six months - until the job is done," but left just three months later. Soon after, the UN compound was blown up. Mission Accomplished.

Read Sidney Blumenthal's take on this issue. It's hillarious. This guy has got his head so far up his tuchus...oy! Unglaub'

Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:28 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 18 December 2004 2:33 PM EST
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