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Lets's talk about democracy
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Wednesday, 30 June 2004
Torah gives thumbs up on killing Jews:

Rabbi Avigdor Neventzal of Jerusalem's Old City told a gathering of West Bank settlers on Tuesday: "I am a Torah authority, and it is my role to rule according to my understanding.

"According to Jewish law, anyone who turns over territories that are part of the Land of Israel to non-Jews is subject to Din Rodef (Jew killing Jew), but I hope none of my students carries out an act of this sort," he was quoted by Israeli army radio as saying.

Mr Netanyahu said the remarks incited violence. [He's one to talk]

"This is something that must not be done - we are a law-abiding country and if we make difficult choices from a national standpoint, we accept them in a democratic and law-abiding manner," he told public radio. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3853987.stm

Sounds like Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum who said Jews died in the Holocaust because they were sinners:

More on that...

Is God a mass murderer?

Rejecting the Haredi theodicy.

In light of recent discussion on a number of forums, some readers might regrettably have come to view Orthodox Judaism as a savage religion, one that claims God is a mass-murderer and that views Adolph Hitler as literally doing the work of God in punishing the Jews.

In sadness, one must admit that to a small degree, that view has some validity. Indeed, there are a number of small ultra-Orthodox sects which do have such hate-ridden theologies.

People with such views post on many e-mail forums and bulliten boards; depending on which one of their tracts you read, you will find that they claim that the millions of Jews of Europe deserved to die because:

(a) they supported building a Jewish state in Israel...

(b) Reform Judaism developed and was allowed to exist...

(bc) Reform and Conservative Judaism developed and were allowed to exist...

(c) Jews were not careful to observe the rules pertaining to mezuzot and other ritual acts, etc...

In all of these cases, some people conclude that all the Jews of Europe really were terrible sinners that deserved to die, and thus the Nazis did the work of God.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 3:30 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 30 June 2004 3:33 PM EDT
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Monday, 28 June 2004
The big transfer!

The "big transfer" of power we've all been waiting for has finally arrived. President Bush announced today, "fifteen months after the liberation of Iraq and two days ahead of schedule, the world witnessed the arrival of a full sovereign and free Iraq." (Of course, worries about a big attack to disrupt the turnover had nothing to do with the "two days ahead of schedule.")

Wow! Now, all the violence will end. Wasn't that the deal? Terrorists were trying to prevent Iraqis from being free so they were attacking the Americans? It would get worse on the "run-up" to the turnover and then die down because the Iraqis would be free?

Well, sadly the president says the insurgents are,"going to change their focus now and probably focus on the elections " Oh darn it, so much for that. (He seems to know so much about the insugents and their plans, he ought to tell someone in the pentagon.)

The new Prime Minister Iyad Allawi is ready to start ruling though, you bet, according to the Financial Times: "The handover has prompted speculation that Mr Allawi will use his new powers to declare martial law, curfews, or other measures to deal with the country's security problems." (Let the hand chopping begin!)

Probably to be followed by a gassing of the Kurds and a visit by Donald Rumsfeld talking turkey about an oil pipeline for Bechtel.

Or even better, newly arrived ambassador John Negroponte, who is expected to present formal credentials to Allawi today, could show him how he did the death squad thing in Honduras and what it could do for Iraq.

Strangely, no news from Mr. Bush about the marine being threatened with a beheading by terrorists and no mention either, about the over 800 dead U.S. troops who made this happy day possible. They'll all be coming home now, right? Wrong again!

One happy camper in all this has to be Paul Bremer. I bet he won't be volunteering for anymore neo-con experiments anytime soon. Rummy is happy too; now Iraq is the State Department's problem.

It's time for the greatest defense secretary in history to get back to doing what he does best; testing stress positions on himself and planning new invasions. ("I know where Iran's nukes are, they're north, east, west and south of Tehran somewhat!)I can't wait and neither can they!

Posted by bushmeister0 at 11:59 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 28 June 2004 12:21 PM EDT
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Sunday, 27 June 2004
Indonesia is next on the hit list!
Goss on Moore:

In Michael Moore's new movie Fahrenheit 911, Porter Goss defends the Patriot Act to the hilt and urges anyone who has problem with it to call his 1-800 #.

Problem is, he doesn't really have one, so Moore put his office number on the screen.

According to Goss's staff people were calling from theaters while they were watching the movie to see if it was a real number.

Goss told the local paper in Naples Florida, "I can go along with a good prank as well as everybody else, but we are a nation at war.

And I'm not sure how suitable a forum this is to be playing these kind of games when we've got people out in places like Afghanistan and Iraq and Indonesia and elsewhere putting their lives in harm's way for our freedoms."

Indonesia? We invaded Indonesia and no one told me? Goss is suppossedly in line to take George Tenet's job, so it's good to see we've got another able DOI to provide more slam dunks for the president.

Cheney prepares to deliver "F" bomb.

Cheney told FOX that "I expressed myself rather forcefully, felt better after I had done it.

I think that a lot of my colleagues felt that what I had said badly needed to be said, that it was long overdue.

[His colleagues? At Halliburton?]

Ordinarily I don't express myself in strong terms, but I thought it was appropriate here."

[The senate was the appropiate place for "fuck yourelf?"]

BUsh spreading the love around:

Bush continues his good will tour around the world and in Turkey before he arrived yesterday the love was evident as this AP story relates:

(AP)Saturday, June 26, 2004; 4:01 PM

ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkish police fired tear gas at more than 150 left-wing demonstrators who hurled rocks and tried to smash through a barricade in Ankara on Saturday, just hours before President Bush arrived for a NATO summit.

Police used bomb-detecting dogs to comb the area around the hotel where Bush is expected to stay, and security officials closed streets throughout the capital, part of a massive operation following Thursday bombings in Ankara and Istanbul that killed four people and injured 17.

Also Saturday, supporters of Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said they had kidnapped three Turkish workers in Iraq, Arab TV station al-Jazeera reported.

An al-Jazeera employee told The Associated Press that the group threatened to behead the hostages within 72 hours if Turkish companies did not withdraw from Iraq.

Bush is unpopular in Turkey, where the overwhelming majority of the public opposed the war in neighboring Iraq. If Turkish hostages were executed in Iraq, that could considerably increase tensions.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:49 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 3 July 2004 11:47 PM EDT
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Saturday, 26 June 2004
Bush making a big slash in Ireland.

Summit disrupted by protests:

The EU-US summit is drawing to a close but the protests in Co Clare are just gaining momentum.

Ambush, a protest against the Bush administration in Iraq and his war policies, has gathered outside the 'Peace Camp' at the N18 is making its way to Shannon Airport.

Many detours have been put in place throughout the county, the main road to Shannon has been closed and several check points have been erected.

A press conference due to begin at 1.40pm was delayed as buses carrying about 300 journalists were unable to get past the traffic and protestors.

President Bush was due to leave directly after the press conference, but his flight from Shannon will now also be delayed.


And on to Turkey where the police are already battling protesters in Ankara...


From yesterday:

U.S. Airstrike Kills Up to 25 in Fallujah (Associated Press )

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. jets targeted terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, pounding one of his suspected hideouts Friday in Fallujah in a strike U.S. officials said killed up to 25 people.

Iraqi leaders warned of more insurgent attacks after a wave of bloodshed blamed on al-Zarqawi, and said they were considering drastic measures to combat the violence -- including declaring martial law or a state of emergency in some areas.

"It's the people who want us to take stronger measures," said interim Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan. "We have to be patient. Building democracy requires patience."

[As usual a lack of intelligence is made up for in tonnage of bombs dropped]

A senior administration official acknowledged that intelligence about al-Zarqawi's network was limited.

"I don't think we have, really, any idea how broad it is," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. He added that al-Zarqawi likely has "some kind of command and control" role.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:41 PM EDT
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Warren and me in the school yard.

A letter to Warren Olney of KCRW Santa Monica's "To the Point" radio program on the PRI network:

Dear to the point--

Wednesday's program was entitled "Using 9-11 Fears to Set National Security Policy." I thought, initially, the discussion would be centered on William Greider's Nation article, which was:

"When President Bush called Americans to enlist in his "war on terror," very few citizens could have grasped the all-encompassing consequences of the proposition. The terrifying events of 9/11 were like a blinding flash, benumbing the country with a sudden knowledge of unimagined dangers.

Strong action was recommended, skeptics were silenced and a shallow sense of unity emerged from the shared vulnerabilities. Nearly three years later, the enormity of Bush's summons to open-ended "war" is more obvious.

It overwhelmed the country, in fact deranged society's normal processes and purposes with a brilliantly seductive political message: Terror pre-empts everything else."


What actually occurred, however, couldn't have been further from the provocative lead in. William Greider got several minutes at the beginning of the show to state his position and then, in his own words, was made the "the liberal foil" for a rambling tirade by an American Enterprise Institute flak and some nobody from the Kerry campaign, who wasn't even really speaking for the campaign.

They were allowed the opportunity to make their political points, ad infinitum, without being made to answer the very valid issues that were raised by Mr.Greider.

Almost 50 minutes into the show; the host gave Mr. Greider a chance to confront his critics; who had spent the entire program talking about the same old warmed over issues that you, Warren, me and everybody else has heard a million times before. (And studiously avoiding the very uncomfortable conclusions Greider was coming to.)

To top it all off, despite his protestations to the contrary, (That he didn't use Greider as a foil), Warren Onley gave the AIE shill and Mr. Nobody a rebuttal, to boot!

I am truly disgusted with this pathetic excuse for a supposed radio program claiming to get to the point on the important issues of the day. The moral cowardice displayed by the producers and host of the show is truly distressing.

Please review the description of the topic of the show and compare it to the actual broadcast and tell me what relation it had to the very real and thoughtful issues William Greider has brought to the table.

What a wasted opportunity to debate very serious issues that no one will touch in the "liberal media."

And what a waste of my valuable time.


Warren's response:

Dear Mark,

We tried to relate Greider's brilliant analysis to the political campaign--and particularly the question of whether Kerry offers an alternative to Bush--since the election will provide an opportunity for voters to act on the issues Greider raises. Not all our listeners already know everything there is to know about other points of view.

As Greider pointed out, many conservatives agree with his basic point about the political use of the war on terror--including William Arkin, one of our other guests. Unfortunately, Arkin chose to ignore their agreement and referred to Greider as a "leftist," which offended Greider. Apparently, that's all you were able to hear.

[Well, you listen to the program and you tell me:]


Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:57 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 26 June 2004 3:09 AM EDT
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Friday, 25 June 2004
Dick Cheney is a "big time" asshole.

Yesterday's post about them 'losing it' at the White House doesn't seem so far off now.(See below)

From today's Washington Post:

"Cheney and the 'F-Word:'

At a photo session on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Cheney ran into Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. That sparked an exchange about Cheney's ties to Halliburton and the White House's bare-knuckle tactics on judicial nominees.

Helen Dewar and Dana Milbank write in The Washington Post: "The exchange ended when Cheney offered some crass advice.

'Fuck yourself,' said the man who is a heartbeat from the presidency. . . .

As it happens, the exchange occurred on the same day the Senate passed legislation described as the 'Defense of Decency Act' by 99 to 1."



They bombed another "Zarqawi safe house" in Fallujah today. Next they'll be telling us they're bulldozing houses to find tunnels to Egypt.


The death toll from yesterday's attacks in Iraq is at 100 with 320 wounded. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs told the senate armed services committee today it "appeared" the attacks were coordinated. Appeared?

No wonder we still don't know who is attacking us after a year. These guys are real sharp.

Maybe some more police dogs will do the trick!

Posted by bushmeister0 at 1:45 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 26 June 2004 2:26 AM EDT
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Thursday, 24 June 2004
The new Israelis or Iraqi Tet?

The U.S launched air strikes in Fallujah on June 19 on a supposed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi "safe house" in Fallujah killing 20. They missed him.

Mark Kimmit, the military spokesman claimed "This was not an attack on the people of Fallujah, but against a known safe house... It is standard operating procedure to conduct a detailed collateral damage estimate prior to approval of this type of mission. The collateral damage estimate was within permissible limits, and this operation was within standing rules of engagement."

I'm sure the families of those who were killed will understand and we haven't made a hundred new enemies.

You just can't eat one, though:
June 22, 2004


"The United States launched an air strike Tuesday in Fallujah on a safe house used by followers of Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi-- the second strike against the terror network in three days, the U.S. military said.

"Wherever and whenever we find elements of the Zarqawi network, we will attack them," he said.

Large explosions rocked the restive Sunni Muslim city west of Baghdad. Ambulances raced to the area after the 10:30 p.m. blasts. Wounded and dead were being evacuated, said Iraqi Police Col. Mekky Zeidan.

U.S. officials offered no casualty figures, but Al-Jazeera television reported that three people were killed and six were wounded."

Air strikes in a city of 200,000 civilians! Looks like that training our forces got from Israel in urban warfare is really paying off.


More acts commited by a small group of thugs who hate freedom:

(From A.P.)

BAQOUBA, Iraq - Insurgents launched coordinated attacks against police and government buildings across Iraq on Thursday, less than a week before the handover of sovereignty. The strikes killed 69 people, including three American soldiers, and wounded more than 270 people, Iraqi and U.S. officials said.

The large number of attacks, mostly directed at Iraqi security services, was a clear sign of just how powerful the insurgency in Iraq remains and could be the start of a new push to torpedo Wednesday's transfer of sovereignty to an interim transitional government.

Guerrillas struck in Baquba, Falluja, Ramadi, Mosul and Baghdad, wounding more than 250 people in an intensification of a bloody campaign by Iraqi rebels and foreign militants. Three U.S. soldiers were killed. (Reuters)
Insurgents killed 75 people on Thursday in a wave of attacks across Iraq aimed at sabotaging the handover to Iraqi rule in six days' time.

Fierce clashes raged for two hours in Falluja where U.S. Marines called in air strikes by planes and helicopters on guerrilla targets in the rebellious town west of Baghdad.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 10:49 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 24 June 2004 11:01 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 23 June 2004
More thoughts on North Korea

If there really are four U.S. Navy aircraft carriers deploying to the Taiwan Strait (See previous post), this is a startling development. Just today "U.S. negotiators presented the first detailed American proposal Wednesday on resolving the standoff with North Korea, offering the North energy aid and a security guarantee in exchange for dismantling its nuclear program."(Reuters) (Hardly the stance you'd expect us to be taking if we were planning a preemptive attack.}

This is a reversal from the standing U.S policy of not "rewarding" North Korea by negotiating before they freeze their nuclear program. Now, we're willing to give them food aid, fuel oil and give assurances we won't attack them. It is strangely enlightened and reasonable. Quite a departure from the treatment most "Axis of Evil" countries receive and a long way from Undersecretary of State John Bolten's ham handed bull in a china shop approach. I'm suspicious.

Either the Bush administration has taken Colin Powell's advise, finally, to resume the Clinton administrations policy of engagement or, any back talk from the North will be used as an excuse to end talks and start the war.

Deja vu all over again?

In 2003, during the last crisis with North Korea an article in the Scotsman described what may turn out to be d?j? vu all over again:

"The US military assets now being sent to the region could stage air and missile strikes against the nuclear plant at Yongbyon and other sites where the North may have concealed production facilities for, and stockpiles of, nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

Strikes would also target the production and launching sites of North Korea's growing ballistic missile programme.

But the odds are not good for the US. According to its own estimates, one million casualties could be expected in the first 24 hours of a war.

Even though much of North Korea's hardware is old, its army is nearly a million strong and more than half of its soldiers are deployed within 100 miles of the demilitarised zone with 8,000 artillery pieces. It is estimated that North Korea could fire 300,000 shells an hour on to targets in the south.

In addition, it is believed to have about 5,000 tons of chemical and biological agents, including sarin, anthrax, smallpox and the plague."

The fun bunch

It would be nice to think this bunch in the White House wouldn't be insane enough to even consider such a reckless idea, but we know better, don't we? Forget about four more years, how about no more years!

Additionally, according to Global Security.com (Not to be confused with globalsecurity.org)

"President George W. Bush's increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leader's state of mind.

In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as "enemies of the state."

Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.

"It reminds me of the Nixon days," says a longtime GOP political consultant with contacts in the White House. "Everybody is an enemy; everybody is out to get him. That's the mood over there."


(the article is reminisent of the Weekly World News, so I'm not vouching for the accuracy of the piece)

Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:36 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 24 June 2004 11:10 AM EDT
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The next show is about to begin
Mood:  incredulous
The following is an excerpt of a much larger article from the Asia Times by Craig B Hulet:


Imperial Hubris

Quoting Anonymous the author of a new book on how we're losing the war on terror called "Imperial Hubris:"

The most profound assertion the author made (Anonymous), who published an analysis of al-Qaeda last year called "Through Our Enemies' Eyes", thinks it quite possible that another devastating strike against the US could come during the election campaign, not with the intention of changing the administration, as was the case in the Madrid bombing, but of keeping the same one in place. Bush is good for the Islamists the world over who want to make war on America and the West. Anonymous again:

I'm very sure they can't have a better administration for them than the one they have now. One way to keep the Republicans in power is to mount an attack that would rally the country around the president. In every age ... the ultimate sources of war are the beliefs of those in power: "their idea about what is of most fundamental importance and may therefore ultimately be worth a war." - Evan Luard, International War

Anonymous believes Bush is taking the US in exactly the direction bin Laden wants, towards all-out confrontation with Islam under the banner of spreading democracy.

It's going to take 10,000-15,000 dead Americans before we say to ourselves: "What is going on?"

What's next on the menu?

Monday, February 17, 2003:

US Under Secretary of State John Bolton said in meetings with Israeli officials on Monday that he has no doubt America will attack Iraq, and that it will be necessary to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea afterwards.

Bolton, who is under secretary for arms control and international security, is in Israel for meetings about preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. In a meeting with Bolton on Monday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that Israel is concerned about the security threat posed by Iran.

It's important to deal with Iran even while American attention is turned toward Iraq, Sharon said.

(Source: "US official to Israel: We'll deal with Syria, Iran after Iraq war", Monday, February 17, 2003, by Haaretz correspondents, Haaretz Service and Agencies.)


Add to that that French intelligence services have seen more on the horizon than Americans would:

It has been reliably reported that the American president and his closest military advisors, in conjunction with the highest military commands, have determined that military operations should be prepared for and executed against two main targets.

The first and primary ones are in the Middle East and comprise Iraq and most especially Iran. The secondary object is North Korea. The use of conventional US ground troops is counter-indicated. US ground troops are being withdrawn from South Korea (2nd Infantry Division etc) ostensibly for replacement duties in Iraq, but in fact to remove these units from any collateral damage from projected nuclear attacks on North Korea.

There are insufficient personnel available for either operation at the present time and increasing their size is not politically viable. Therefore, a determination is made for both a show of force and the ability to launch a powerful attack against these targets if and when the commander in chief deems it necessary.

In furtherance of this policy, the United States naval forces will be utilized as the focus of the attack forces. These units will not be subject to counter attacks because they can stand off at a distance and attack their targets with complete impunity. Naval personnel will not be subject to guerrilla warfare in any sense and will supply a very powerful attack force capable of delivering deadly blows against designated targets.
(Source: TBRNEWS -special edition of June 17.)

Given the evidence immediately below, one cannot but admit that Bush and his gruesome crew are going to continue the path they have selected as the chosen elite to administer peace through strength under a new definition.

US naval deployment as of June 15, 2004
USS Enterprise - Atlantic (unknown location - possibly headed for the Middle East)
USS George Washington - en route to the Gulf of Arabia
USS John F Kennedy - Atlantic (unknown location - possibly headed for the Middle East)
USS Roosevelt - Atlantic, heading for the Middle East
USS Harry S Truman - Atlantic
USS Kitty Hawk - normally stationed in Japan, now moving towards China (Korea Operation)
USS Stennis - Pacific - headed for Taiwan (Korea Operation)
USS Carl Vinson - Pacific - headed for Taiwan (Korea Operation)
USS Abraham Lincoln - Pacific (backup-Korea Operation)
USS Ronald Reagan - port visit in Rio De Janiero, Brazil
USS Nimitz - Still in drydock, refueling its reactor
USS Eisenhower - Still in drydock, refueling its reactor

Note: Most ships left port with little notice and were markedly understaffed.

[Tell your friends you heard it here second. Read the rest of the article, it's very scary.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 9:19 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 24 June 2004 11:14 AM EDT
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Rummy feels their pain.
(From TERENCE HUNT, AP White House Correspondent

[According to the secret torture memos the Bush administration released today, Rummy was willing to let suspected terrorists feel his pain:]

In a Pentagon memo, dated Nov. 27, 2002, the Defense Department's chief lawyer, William J. Haynes II, recommended that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld approve the use of 14 interrogation techniques on detainees at Guantanamo Bay, such as yelling at a prisoner during questioning and using "stress positions," like standing, for up to four hours. [Like what he does to the Washington press corps on a regular basis?]

Haynes also recommended approval of one technique among harsher methods requested by U.S. military authorities at Guantanamo: use of "mild, non-injurious physical contact such as grabbing, poking in the chest with the finger and light pushing." [So warm and fuzzy! Good golly!]

Among the techniques that Rumsfeld approved on Dec. 2, 2002, in addition to the grabbing, the yelling and the stress positions:

_ Use of 20-hour interrogations.

_ Removal of all comfort items, including religious items.

_ Removal of clothing.

_ Using detainees' "individual phobias such as fear of dogs to induce stress. [And presumably, his big phobia, truth telling]

Rumsfeld scribbled a note on Haynes' memo that said,

"However, I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours."

[Pansy bastards!]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 1:20 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 23 June 2004 1:38 AM EDT
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