Friday, March 31, 2006
Endorse Joe? So long Obama.
Endorse Joe? So long Obama.
US News reports that:
The U.S. military was trying to send a "little reality jab" to radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr when American and Iraqi troops raided a Shiite community center and shrine over the weekend, says a top U.S. military official.It closes the article with the following:
U.S. officials had been quietly praising Sadr's group in recent weeks because of its calls for calm in the wake of the bombing of a Sunni mosque in Samarra that sparked a wave of sectarian violence.An error on their part - a typo? Or is this the craziness that is going on in Iraq? Battling the Sunnis yesterday, siding with them today.
Stop the insanity! Change this regime so we can have some sane foreign policy established.
I don't think Chavez (Pres of Venezuela) likes W (Mr. Danger). Now before you complain and just ignore Chavez, you really have to watch this and realize that this view of W is very widespread worldwide. At least Chavez and others realize that the United States is not W and his views are not the views of all US citizens (thank the gods on both accounts).
All Pete Seeger has to do is change a few words (VietNam to Iraq) and this can become today's rallying song. Amazing after so many years so little has changed.
FBI Monitored Cars Near War Protest Rally. You never know where Osama may be.
The FBI recorded the license plate numbers of a dozen vehicles spotted "in the vicinity of" a Denver bookstore where anti-war demonstrators gathered before a rally, according to an agency document released by the American Civil Liberties Union Tuesday.Of course - hooded sweat jackets. A tell-tale sign.
"This report raises more questions about the degree to which the FBI is unjustifiably regarding demonstrations and public dissent as potential terrorism," said Mark Silverstein, legal director of the ACLU in Colorado. "Why is the FBI conducting surveillance of a bookstore, monitoring the persons who gather there, and keeping files with lists of license plate numbers?"
The document says a two-hour surveillance of the bookstore showed that at least 40 people "appeared to be involved" in the Revolutionary Anti-War Response demonstration planned later that day in Colorado Springs.
It does not say what led to that conclusion, but it says some of the group "wore all black clothing, including sweat shirts or jackets with hoods."
To save tax dollars I think we should all put peace signs on our car, take a photo of the car and plate and send off to the FBI. Let's make sure they have an up-to-date database of the "enemy."
Iraqis Killed by US Troops is an article from the Sunday Times of London deals more Isahaqi incidents.
According to Iraqi police, 11 bodies were pulled from the wreckage of the house, among them four women and five children aged between six months and five years. An official police report obtained by a US reporter for Knight Ridder newspapers said: “The American forces gathered the family members in one room and executed 11 people.”And today a report of violence in a mosque.
The Abu Sifa deaths on March 15 were first reported last weekend on the day that Time magazine published the results of a 10-week investigation into an incident last November when US marines killed 15 civilians in their homes in the western Iraqi town of Haditha.
The two incidents are being investigated by US authorities, but persistent eyewitness accounts of rampaging attacks by American troops are fuelling human rights activists’ concerns that Pentagon commanders are failing to curb military excesses in Iraq.
At least 16 other Iraqis were killed in a U.S.-backed raid in a Shiite neighborhood of the capital.The Guardian reports that the
Accounts of the raid varied. Aides to the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and Iraqi police both said it took place at a mosque, with police claiming 22 innocent people died and al-Sadr’s aides saying 18 were killed.
The Americans said Iraqi special forces backed by U.S. troops killed 16 “insurgents” in a raid on a community meeting hall after gunmen opened fire on approaching troops.
“No mosques were entered or damaged during this operation,” the military said. It said a non-Western hostage was freed, but no name or nationality was provided.
Associated Press videotape showed a tangle of dead male bodies with gunshot wounds on the floor of what was said by the cameraman to be the imam’s living quarters, attached to the mosque itself.
The tape showed 5.56 mm shell casings scattered about the floor. U.S. forces use that caliber ammunition. A grieving man in white Arab robes stepped among the bodies strewn across the blood-smeared floor.
sudden strikes seemed to put muscle behind a strong warning from the US ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, on Saturday that militias must be brought under control. They had become a bigger threat to Iraq than the insurgency, he said.Starting to unravel? Death squads on the rise? Fighting the insurgents and militia at the same time? Our troops in the middle of a Sunni/Shia fight? Time to call it a wrap?
Isahaqi - Children of Abraham - Death in the Desert is a flash film by Chris Floyd that must be watched.
Is this Iraq's My Lai? We may never know. But look at the gruesome photos, read the accounts, and judge for yourself.
Be prepared to question, be prepared to be outraged, be prepared to be drawn to tears.
Yet every single atrocity of the war - on both sides - and every single death caused by the war, and every act of religious repression perpetrated by the extremist sects empowered by the war, is the direct result of the decision made by George W. Bush three years ago.
Nothing he says can change this fact; nothing he does, or causes to be done, for good or ill, can wash the blood of these children - and the tens of thousands of other innocent civilians killed in the war - from his hands.
And anyone who knows these facts, who sees these facts, and fails to cry out against them - if only in your own heart - will be forever tainted by this same blood.
Pat Buchanan gives us the list of neo-cons abandoning ship:
William Kristol of The Weekly Standard now demands the firing of Donald Rumsfeld. William F. Buckley, whose National Review branded the antiwar Right "unpatriotic conservatives" who "hate" America, now calls upon Bush for an "acknowledgement of defeat."But he points to Fred Barnes, WSJ Exec Editor, as the piece de resistance.
Richard Perle says the administration "got the war right and the aftermath wrong." Self-described "humiliated pundit" Andrew Sullivan confesses to "a sense of shame and sorrow." Michael Ledeen says of Bush's war, "Wrong war, wrong time, wrong way, wrong place."
Frank ("The End of History") Fukuyama concedes that "Iraq has now replaced Afghanistan as a magnet, a training ground and an operational base for jihadists, with plenty of American targets to shoot at.
the piece urges Bush to begin the "rejuvenation of his presidency by shocking the media and political community with a sweeping overhaul of his administration."Love this scenario. This would be the final blows to the "W Holy Empire." Throw out the criminals to install the other criminals led by Condi. Deeper and deeper we plunge.
The purge Barnes recommends would have caused Stalin to recoil.
Barnes calls on Bush to fire press secretary Scott McClellan, chief of staff Andy Card, political adviser Karl Rove, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Treasury Secretary John Snow – and Vice President Richard Cheney.
Barnes urges Bush to appoint Condi vice president and "anoint" her as "presidential successor."
Who would replace Condi at State? Pro-war liberal Joe Lieberman.
This fits in perfectly with Laura Bush's recent statement that (paraphrasing) it is time for a female Prezident as long as she is Repug.
Hmmm - Condi, Laura and W - WAIT! have to get those thoughts out of my head.
WMD camels planned by Saddam - at least that is what recently translated and released docments show.
Saddam Hussein planned to use "camels of mass destruction" as weapons to defend Iraq, loading them with bombs and directing them towards invading forces.Who provided the translation?
The animals were part of a plan to arm and equip foreign insurgents drawn up by the dictator shortly before the American-led invasion three years ago, reveals a 37-page report, captured after the fall of Baghdad and just released by the Pentagon. It is part of a cache of thousands of documents that the United States Department of Defence says it does not have the resources to translate.
"The largest section of the course will be specialised to focus on using the explosive material in the body, in motorcycle, in cars, and in camels". Camels will be "provided by the Directory of General Military Intelligence".
The papers have been translated by Arabic-speaking members of Free Republic, a conservative internet discussion forum that believes the documents will justify British and American claims that Saddam had made Iraq a haven for terrorists.As poll numbers decline and calls to withdraw increase - expect more "translations".
Hmmm - avian flu and Saddam? That sounds like a connection made in heaven.
A simple movie - a powerful message.
So, the Ecologist is saying -- I believe it's you, and together we can make change.Has anyone seen this periodical in U.S. stores? I have to look in Borders - sounds like a good magazine. A magazine that makes us examine our daily habits, our daily choices...
The Ecologist comes back with -- if you want to challenge the corporate state, corporate liberalism doesn't cut the mustard.
You'll have to start questioning both how you live your life -- your driving habits, your coffee drinking habits, your eating habits, your bad political habits -- and the distribution of power.
Salt Lake Tribune reports that ABC is talking about a pre-war document that suddenly has surfaced.
an official representative of Saddam Hussein's government met with Osama bin Laden in Sudan in February 1995, ABC News reported.Ooops. Wrong picture - that's Saddam meeting with a different terrorist.
The document says the meeting was approved by Saddam, ABC said on its Web site. Saddam also agreed to a request at the meeting by bin Laden to broadcast the lectures of a radical Saudi preacher and to carry out ''joint operations against foreign forces'' in Saudi Arabia, ABC said.
The report of the U.S. 9/11 Commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks has already concluded that bin Laden met with an Iraqi intelligence officer in late 1994 or early 1995. The document ABC referenced suggests for the first time that the contacts were personally approved by Saddam, ABC said.
The document is handwritten and has no official seal, ABC said.
Nice timing for this report. A few point bump in the polls?
Globe Staff report on a little item added by W after he signed the Patriot Act.
But after the reporters and guests had left, the White House quietly issued a ''signing statement," an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law.This man is not above the law. He does not create laws. He does not interpret laws. There are two other branches of government who do that.
In the statement, Bush said that he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would ''impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties."
Bush wrote: ''The executive branch shall construe the provisions . . . that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch . . . in a manner consistent with the president's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information . . . "
The statement represented the latest in a string of high-profile instances in which Bush has cited his constitutional authority to bypass a law.
Why is this nation letting him get away with this?
I'm coming very close to declaring: Feingold in 2008. Just one or two others still looking at - but after his recent actions Russ is looking good.
She hasn't been given the chance to ask a question for so long - when she has the chance WATCH OUT!
The new buzzwords - it does not parse.
In linguistics, to divide language into small components that can be analyzed. For example, parsing this sentence would involve dividing it into words and phrases and identifying the type of each component (e.g., verb, adjective, or noun).Yeah, works for me, his speeches never parse.
he would "use military might" if necessary to defend Israel.Let's get this straight. We are protecting a nuclear power Israel from a "maybe-wannabe" nuclear power Iran.
"The threat from Iran is, of course, their stated objective to destroy our strong ally Israel. That's a threat, a serious threat. It's a threat to world peace," the US president said after a speech defending the war in Iraq.
"I made it clear, and I'll make it clear again, that we will use military might to protect our ally Israel," said Bush, who was apparently referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call for the destruction of Israel.
Is this going to be the reason we bomb Iran? We used so many different reasons to invade Iraq, I guess W is building the arsenal of reasons.
Bush V. Thomas : Winner by TKO - Helen
He calls on Helen Thomas, teasing her for her performance at the Gridiron dinner. Thomas: "Your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis...every reason given has turned out not to be true...why did you really want to go war?" Bush: "I think your premise...I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong. No president wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true. My attitude about the defense of this country changed on September the 11th. Our foreign policy changed on that day. We used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy but we realized on 9/11 that killers could destroy innoncent life. And I'm never going to forget it and never going to forget the vow to do everything in my power to prect the American people."Oceans protecting us? Did W ever hear of ICBMes or planes or submarines?
(Thomas tries to cross talk and Bush is not happy with the interruption.)
"I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically...that's why I went to the security council....the world say, disarm, disclose or face serious consequences....therefore, we worked with the world...and when [Saddam] chose not to disclose, then I made a difficult decision to remove him..."
Thanks Helen. At least one reporter has the guts to question insanity.
Sharing the Land of Canaan has some more photos from Saturday's march in New Haven.
Lately there has been some talk about the US looking for a new Saddam - a US-friendly Saddam - to take control of Iraq. Some of the conjecture looks to the Baath Party and its influence, power and control. From Wikipedia:
The Arabic word Ba'th means "resurrection" or "renaissance" as in the party's founder Michel Aflaq's published works "On The Way Of Resurrection". Ba'thist beliefs combine Arab Socialism, nationalism, and Pan-Arabism. The mostly secular ideology often contrasts with that of other Arab governments in the Middle East, which sometimes tend to have leanings towards Islamism and theocracy.Could a Baath leader be the answer to civil war and Iran? Is Allawi the next strong-arm (ex-Baathist) leader? His assessment is spot on:
"We are losing each day an average of 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more," he said. "If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is. Iraq is in the middle of a crisis. Maybe we have not reached the point of no return yet, but we are moving towards this point. We are in a terrible civil conflict now."Install a puppet dictator. Use them. Abuse them. Use them as a pawn against Iran. Then invade them and overthrow them.
We practiced with Saddam. We're pros at this game by now.
"I will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or President who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq, and preventing any future war of aggression, a public position in his or her campaign."PLease sign this pledge today. The polticians will surely take notice.
Just some of the numbers to ponder. And we must not forget the civil war, wiretaps, loss of standing...
Three years - three years too long.
Mouths Wide Open/Army Men Project Images. My offering: Fairfield University. This was taken a few weeks ago during the installation of a peace mandala (posted February 11, 2006).
This speech from Boston Legal is priceless. Why is it that this speech isn't resounding from the halls of Congress? Screenwriters get it - why not our elected representatives?
Mark Fiore with another great one. Thanking the "neoconmen" for all the great things they have brought about.
New security strategy reaffirms Bush's pre-emptive strike policy. W loves to flex our bulging biceps - at the expense of our economy, troops, prestige, future...
Undeterred by an erosion of public support for the war in Iraq, President Bush on Thursday reaffirmed his first-strike policy against terrorists and rogue nations and said Iran may pose the biggest challenge to U.S. security.Wow is that open-ended or what? If we determine that an "enemy" will attack one of our bases twenty years from now - open season today! Wild west justice!
The document stresses, however, that "under long-standing principles of self-defense, we do not rule out the use of force before attacks occur, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack."
The man is nuts, those allowing this to happen are nuts. Someone stop him before he hurts us all - ooops he already has.
On March 16, nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that Rep. Dennis Kucinich's (D-OH) proposal for a cabinet-level Department of Peace and Nonviolence would "[g]et rid of the Department of Defense." In fact, Kucinich's proposed Department of Peace would operate in addition to the Department of Defense to "develop policies that promote national and international conflict prevention, nonviolent intervention, mediation, peaceful resolution of conflict, and structured mediation of conflict."Just a little mistake. He has a lot on his mind.
Now where did I put those pills.
Charles H. Featherstone writes a very cogent and accurate assessment of the COMING WAR!
...it seems at this point that Team Bush will, sometime before the fall (and possibly as soon as the summer), attack Iran. It appears as inevitable as the coming of spring or the raising of the federal debt limit.He also writes about the response of the Dems. Not a pretty picture as some of them are trying to position themselves to the right of W. His closing paragraph says it all when it comes to what our style of democracy has become.
The war, if it comes, will not be fought because Iran is trying to create a euro-denominated spot and futures market for oil. Nor will it come because Iran is allegedly pursuing nuclear weapons, though that will be the excuse given at forums in New York, in salons across Europe, and at angry, hectoring press conferences here in Mordor-on-the-Potomac. No, the real reason the United States will wage war on Iran is because the Bush Jong Il régime will decide the only way to save face and withdraw from Iraq with some "dignity" in fact is to bomb Iran.
...Team Bush is going to decide, soon, that sponsoring Shia-majority government in Iraq was a very bad idea, that Iraq’s Shia (or anyone else’s Shia) should not be allowed anywhere near a ballot box, mainly because they vote for all the wrong people (dour men with turbans, who will never again be allowed on ballots in proper, well-managed duh-mocracies). And the only way out of the mess that has been made is to find some Sunnis willing to play nice with Uncle Sam, with the Kurds and with the well-shaved men and uncovered women of the country, and then back them to hilt. I don’t think this decision has been made yet, but it will be made soon. In fact, if (when?) Iraq slips into open sectarian war, this choice will become the only real logical choice for the idiots at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and their equally incompetent counterparts in the various sub-basements of the Pentagon. The goal will be to create and install a "Saddam With a Human Face," a dictator who can rule with a firm hand but without all the monument building, invading his neighbors and threatening Israel.
At the same time this is all happening, it will be decided that the reason the whole duh-mocracy in Iraq thing failed was because Iran meddled. It’s all Teheran’s fault. The bombing of Iran’s nuclear sites, its governmental installations, the infiltration of commandos to commit acts of terrorism by blowing stuff up and killing people, will all be part of a general war against the Shia of the Middle East. There may also be joint Israeli-American attacks on Hizbullah in Lebanon. The air campaign against Iran will last anywhere from four days to two weeks, and it will go well (from a Pentagon standpoint, not an Iranian or human one). The US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps will lose few planes, and no one will really care how many Iranians get killed.
I don’t expect many US troops to actually cross Iranian borders. In fact, the attack on Iran may be part of a general evacuation of American troops from Iraq, part of the "Iraqization" process and how Team Bush "helps" the Iraqi military cope with the civil war. The goal will not be to unseat the Iranian government. It won’t even be to really eradicate Iran’s nuclear program. It will simply be to show the world that the US of A is still strong, still mighty, still matters, that no one f**ks with the United States of America, that we can still beat up on people who make us mad.
But I’m fairly convinced that, for political reasons, an attack on Iran will be for the Bush people what the invasions of Laos and Cambodia were for the Nixon people – an expansion of the war as political eyewash to cover the defeat and justify a withdrawal.
But at least maybe enough Americans will finally realize the truth – that we the people are not the government, that we have almost no say over anything it does, and that those who make its laws, craft its rules and carry them out care nary a whit for our welfare, security and well-being.I think it is time for some changes.
Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold accused fellow Democrats on Tuesday of cowering rather than joining him on trying to censure President Bush over domestic spying. "Democrats run and hide" when the administration invokes the war on terrorism, Feingold told reporters. Feingold's resolution condemns Bush's "unlawful authorization of wiretaps of Americans within the United States without obtaining the court orders required" by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.So where are the rest? Well at least one more sane person joined up. Sen Harkin of Iowa co-sponsored the resolution.
"In a brief interview, Harkin said, “I think it makes sense. ... Quite frankly, I think we ought to have a full-fledged debate on this.” "When asked if the president violated the Constitution by pressing ahead with the wiretapping effort, Harkin said, “Everything I’ve seen looks that way.”Kudos Russ and Tom.
Sorry Joe - no life vest for you.
Lessons of Iraq War Start With US History is a great piece by Howard Zinn.
On the third anniversary of President Bush's Iraq debacle, it's important to consider why the administration so easily fooled so many people into supporting the war.Let us be students of history and learn from hsitory. So far we are not very good students.
I believe there are two reasons, which go deep into our national culture.
One is an absence of historical perspective. The other is an inability to think outside the boundaries of nationalism.
If we don't know history, then we are ready meat for carnivorous politicians and the intellectuals and journalists who supply the carving knives. But if we know some history, if we know how many times presidents have lied to us, we will not be fooled again.
President Polk lied to the nation about the reason for going to war with Mexico in 1846. It wasn't that Mexico "shed American blood upon the American soil" but that Polk, and the slave-owning aristocracy, coveted half of Mexico.
President McKinley lied in 1898 about the reason for invading Cuba, saying we wanted to liberate the Cubans from Spanish control, but the truth is that he really wanted Spain out of Cuba so that the island could be open to United Fruit and other American corporations. He also lied about the reasons for our war in the Philippines, claiming we only wanted to "civilize" the Filipinos, while the real reason was to own a valuable piece of real estate in the far Pacific, even if we had to kill hundreds of thousands of Filipinos to accomplish that.
President Wilson lied about the reasons for entering the First World War, saying it was a war to "make the world safe for democracy," when it was really a war to make the world safe for the rising American power.
President Truman lied when he said the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima because it was "a military target."
And everyone lied about Vietnam -- President Kennedy about the extent of our involvement, President Johnson about the Gulf of Tonkin and President Nixon about the secret bombing of Cambodia. They all claimed the war was to keep South Vietnam free of communism, but really wanted to keep South Vietnam as an American outpost at the edge of the Asian continent.
President Reagan lied about the invasion of Grenada, claiming falsely that it was a threat to the United States.
The elder Bush lied about the invasion of Panama, leading to the death of thousands of ordinary citizens in that country. And he lied again about the reason for attacking Iraq in 1991 -- hardly to defend the integrity of Kuwait, rather to assert U.S. power in the oil-rich Middle East.
There is an even bigger lie: the arrogant idea that this country is the center of the universe, exceptionally virtuous, admirable, superior.
If our starting point for evaluating the world around us is the firm belief that this nation is somehow endowed by Providence with unique qualities that make it morally superior to every other nation on Earth, then we are not likely to question the president when he says we are sending our troops here or there, or bombing this or that, in order to spread our values -- democracy, liberty, and let's not forget free enterprise -- to some God-forsaken (literally) place in the world.
But we must face some facts that disturb the idea of a uniquely virtuous nation.
We must face our long history of ethnic cleansing, in which the U.S. government drove millions of Indians off their land by means of massacres and forced evacuations.
We must face our long history, still not behind us, of slavery, segregation and racism.
And we must face the lingering memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
It is not a history of which we can be proud.
Our leaders have taken it for granted, and planted the belief in the minds of many people that we are entitled, because of our moral superiority, to dominate the world. Both the Republican and Democratic Parties have embraced this notion.
But what is the idea of our moral superiority based on?
A more honest estimate of ourselves as a nation would prepare us all for the next barrage of lies that will accompany the next proposal to inflict our power on some other part of the world.
It might also inspire us to create a different history for ourselves, by taking our country away from the liars who govern it, and by rejecting nationalist arrogance, so that we can join people around the world in the common cause of peace and justice.
We, as U.S. citizens, are part of the human race. No better than the next. We are all part of Mother Earth. No better than the rest.
US President George W. Bush, stepping up a war of words with Iran, accused Tehran of contributing to ever-deadlier roadside bombs used against US-led forces and civilians in Iraq.Of course we expected this. Next up: Iraq's WMDes in Iran. Saddam transported them to his mortal enemies (the Shia led Iran) right before we invaded.
"Tehran has been responsible for at least some of the increasing lethality of anti-coalition attacks by providing Shia militia with the capability to build improvised explosive devices in Iraq," said the US president.
Bush said that there was evidence that some components in the most powerful IEDs came from Iran, and that coalition forces had "seized IEDs and components that were clearly produced in Iran."
Last week, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld directly accused the Islamic government in Tehran for the first time of sending Iranian Revolutionary Guard into Iraq to make trouble.
Sort of reminds one of the march of accusations before our invasion of Iraq. Will the public be fooled again?
Well they won't if they listen to all the news. From Reuters:
Asked whether the United States has proof that Iran's government was behind these developments, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon briefing, "I do not, sir."But what does he know...Is he questioning W? Aiding and abetting the enemy in the eyes of Frist. He better have his eyes and ears open for that next job with comments like that. Doesn't he know the routine - LIE, LIE, LIE....
I hope these folks just came out of some kind of sensory deprivation tank or frontal lobotomy session. Disgusting!
Also check out the map and watch where they place the pins. If, dear reader, you see nothing wrong with it - head back to elementary school.
These are our fellow citizens. Aren't we proud of them?
Senator Frist has enlightened me. His comments about Senator Feingold's censure motion was quite enlightening. He stated that to criticize our Commander-in-Chief in times of war was aiding and abetting the enemy. He also stated that Iran is watching, listening and reading what is said about our President.
So to the Iranians who are reading this because in the past I have criticized our President, I have one thing to say. I will say it in Farsi to make it easier to understand:
Sorry for the rough translation. There is also supposed to be a carat mark above each of the "a's" Translation provided by Gheyaspour's Farhang.
"Patriot Act - who thought of that name? It kills me what people will let me do to them when they're afraid."
Photo of W and cronies signing the Patriot Act renewal.
For Spying , though I can think of many more reasons.
A liberal Democrat and potential White House contender is proposing censuring President Bush for authorizing domestic eavesdropping, saying the White House misled Americans about its legality.Not as good as impeachment, but it is a step. So what does Frist think?
"The president has broken the law and, in some way, he must be held accountable," Sen. Russ Feingold D-Wis., told The Associated Press in an interview.
A censure resolution, which simply would scold the president, has been used just once in U.S. history — against Andrew Jackson in 1834.
"a crazy political move" that would weaken the U.S. during wartime.Did Congress ever declare war?
Censure and then impeachment will not weaken us, it will save us from insanity.
The note to this clip states:
His every intonation is in imitation of a voice, captured by camera audio equipment, shepherding him.There probably is a simple explanation: either there is some sort of delay in the broadcast and the superimposed voice is W himself, or it is the voice of the interpreter. English speaking people to need help in understanding W.
Come on. You don't think he needs someone to read the speech for him. That would be crazy....wouldn't it?
15-year-old boy whose followers believe he is the reincarnation of Buddha has disappeared after 10 months of meditation in the Nepalese jungle, officials said Saturday.The article mentions that the oficials do not think "communist rebels or robbers" abducted him. Thank goodness this is pushed into the back pages of our papers. If this was bigger news here, our Homeland Security experts would postulate that either he is at a terrorist training camp or taken captive by Osama. I could see the talking heads on FOX devoting hours and hours to his disappearance like they have to the missing female in Aruba.
Followers of Ram Bahadur Banjan reported his disappearance and search parties on Sunday split up in the jungles of Bara, about 100 miles south of the capital, Katmandu, to investigate, said Santaraj Subedi, the chief government official in the district.
Banjan has been sitting cross-legged and motionless with eyes closed in a niche among the roots of a tree in the jungle since May 17, 2005, according to his associates, who claim he has had no food or water during that period.
In recent months, thousands of people have come to glimpse the boy, including many who believe Banjan is a reincarnation of Gautama Siddhartha, who was born not far away in southwestern Nepal around 500 B.C. and later became revered as the Buddha.
Could it be that at 15 he just said "to hell with this" and just walked away?
A senior Iranian intelligence official showed Channel 4 News a letter in Persian purportedly signed by Zalmay Khalilzad, the US ambassador in Baghdad, inviting Iranian representatives to Iraq for talks. Last November Khalilzad — who speaks Persian and dealt with the Iranians during negotiations over Afghanistan — said he had been authorised by President George W Bush to try to engage Iran and that its co-operation was needed to secure long-term peace in Iraq. The Iranian official claimed the invitation was renewed two weeks ago, just as America ratcheted up the rhetoric over Iran’s nuclear programme. A source close to the Iranian government said Tehran was open to a meeting but it would have to be in a neutral country. While the Americans would like to limit discussions to Iraq, the Iranians hoped this might eventually enable them to have a dialogue about the nuclear programme.Is our regime becoming rational? Or is this some big ploy to show how peaceful we are - right before the bombs are dropped? Let's hope it is the former.
Interesting that the piece talks about "peace talks." You have to be at war to have peace talks, don't you? Well I guess we know the answer to the question - Who's next?
Tea inspired by Jerry Garcia? Have you tried it yet? This is the one I am looking for:
Magic Herb Tea (36 Tea Bags) A collaboration of harmonious herbs that thrive on West coast living. Oranges from sunny California and peppermint, which loves the Pacific Northwest, come together to yield a rose-colored brew. This blend has an alluring scent that will leave you feeling mellow.If you tried this or any of the others, let me know what you thought.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of J. Garcia Artisan Teas are donated directly to DrawBridge - www.drawbridge.org, a non-profit organization providing arts programs for homeless children.
Ned Lamont looks good. He gets my vote and support based on his position on Iraq:
While much of this frustration is rooted in his opposition to Bush's war in Iraq, Ned understands that the problems with the Bush administration cut across many issues.And his desire to preserve liberties:
Ned cares deeply about our civil liberties. He will fight to get the federal government out of our private lives and help put an end to illegal domestic spying.And his call for energy conservation:
Ned knows that 'business as usual', and empty promises without financial backing, won't solve our nation's energy problems. He will take on the powerful special interests in Washington to push for energy conservation and alternative fuels development as national priorities, instead of the Bush administration's subsidies for oil companies. He will welcome local participation in the shaping of energy policy.But the best is:
Ned believes that government must respect its citizens and tell them the truth.So this is Lieberman's swan song. The kiss from W or the praises for Hannity won't save you now Joe. Better talk to your buddy about a cabinet post for the next two years. Our next Senator: Ned Lamont.
Newsday.com has an article about a former CIA official Paul Pillar and his comments about Iraq. It seems that even if we pull out we may have to atttack our new friend in a number of years because of the dreaded WMD (we'll probably supply them again as we did before).
In a speech at the Middle East Institute here, Pillar said Iraqis live in "a dangerous neighborhood," with rival countries pursuing weapons of mass destruction. So the CIA had warned that a future Iraqi government would likely want the very weapons Hussein was (wrongly) suspected of hiding, including nuclear weapons, he said. "Iraq may turn once again to ... a WMD program," Pillar, who is retired from the CIA, said Thursday. "And wouldn't that be ironic?"The best lines in the article?
Pillar charges that the administration never sought strategic assessments from the CIA about Iraq. He said in his article that the Bush administration made its decision to go to war and then "cherry-picked" items from intelligence assessments in an effort to justify the decision to the public. The biggest discrepancy between the CIA's intelligence and the administration's line on Iraq was the claim by Bush that there was a relationship between Hussein and al-Qaida, Pillar wrote. There was no intelligence supporting that theory, Pillar said, but the administration wanted to capitalize on "the country's militant post-9/11 mood," he wrote. Pillar wrote that the intelligence community, on its own initiative, warned the administration before the war that there was a significant chance of violent conflict in Iraq and that the war would likely boost radical Islam throughout the Middle East. In his speech, Pillar said Iraq is serving the same purpose that Afghanistan once did, as an inspiration and a base for radical Islam.It appears that W and friends didn't need or want experts' opinions or suggestions. They got the word from God himself as we all know.
And look what that did for us!
This is from our War Department (circa 1947). As we, today, hear about the borders, wiretaps, the Patriot Act, the Muslim fanatics, the enemy, the evil ones, the left....remember this movie. Let's not be split or motivated by fear. Let's not be a nation of suckers. Demand the truth. Fight for truth.
Let's not live this movie in America today.
Love her comments about "bad people doing bad things in Iraq." What the hell is a bad person? Can only "bad" people do "bad" things? Can "good" people do "bad" things as well?
Also never realized that you can only know about "civil war" in Iraq if you visit there. A general or security expert or military expert's opinion is dirt compared to hers if they did not visit Iraq when she did. Hell she is not even a great radio host, how can she be an expert in "civil war."
Also be prepared to listen to the words of wisdom from Hannity (Lieberman's soulmate). He talks about "the hate for Bush" and "undermining the efforts." Hmmm - a little like some of the comments on this blog. I knew you guys listen to Sean.
Hawks Prevail In Preventing U.S. Troop Withdrawal is by Tom Hayden. Missed his talk at Fairfield Univ. on Feb 28. This article states:
The strong possibility that Pentagon commanders might recommend the beginning of American troop withdrawals this week is vanishing, derailed by the Feb. 22 bombing of the Shiite shrine in Samarra as well as the Democratic Party’s default on the war.So the prospect of pullout seems dim, the possibility of our involvement in the bomb is frightening but possible. Are there any rays of hope?
We may never know who blew up the shrine and, with it, the prospects for troop withdrawals. It is assumed that the villains were either deranged Sunnis acting on their own, or al-Zarqawi cadres intent on civil war.
There is another perspective for close observers of dirty wars, the possibility that the bombing was planned and handled by elements of Western counter-terrorism forces. Similar tactics were employed by British agents during the long conflict in Northern Ireland, and heavily-armed British commandos disguised as Arabs were captured in Basra just last year. One of the oldest imperial strategems is to divide and conquer, incite sectarian divisions, and justify military occupation to keep the natives from killing each other. This is precisely the justification for continued war that is heard from those who have admitted the original invasion was a “mistake.”
Bernard Lewis, the leading American “Arabist” authority, himself a former British intelligence officer in the Middle East, and later an advisor to the Democratic hawk Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, has long defended the strategy of dismembering Arab states through violent sectarianism. He calls it “Lebanonization.”
All this is somewhat disorienting for an American peace movement built around the core demand of “out now”. But after three years, the movement continues to make a major contribution, here and abroad, in putting pressure against the key pillars of power. Public opinion supports withdrawal. Thousands of activists continue taking to the streets. Hawkish candidates face huge pressure as they face their constituents. Bush may be facing his “Watergate moment.” Military recruiting is nearing a catastrophic dead-end, and a decision to deploy, rather than reduce, several Army combat brigades will “destroy the all-volunteer Army”, in the words of the CAP report. The “coalition of the willing” has a sagging façade. Establishment heavyweights, not to mention ordinary taxpayers and their congressional representatives, are pondering the trillion-dollar cost of the war recently projected by leading economist Joseph Stiglitz and a team at Harvard.But policies can change - or at least be made to change.
Anything may happen. The power of the superpower is limited and at-risk. But for now it appears that the long war will continue to the bitter end. An exit strategy is available, but the policy remains no exit.
Listen to the angry voices. They don't like you anymore.
The great State of Vermont. MSNBC reports
In five Vermont communities, a centuries-old tradition of residents gathering in town halls to conduct local business became a vehicle to send a message to Washington: Impeach the president.Bernie did say it was "impractical" based on the Repug control of the House. But with elections around the corner, new items about W being brought up, and so many disagreeiong with W - well you never know.
An impeachment article, approved by a paper ballot 121-29 in Newfane Tuesday, calls on Vermont’s lone member of the U.S. House, independent Rep. Bernie Sanders, to file articles of impeachment against President Bush, alleging he misled the nation into the Iraq war and engaged in illegal domestic spying.
“It absolutely affects us locally,” said Newfane select board member Dan DeWalt, who drafted the impeachment article. “It’s our sons and daughters, our mothers and fathers, who are dying” in the war in Iraq.
At least four other Vermont towns, spurred by publicity about Newfane’s resolution, endorsed similar resolutions during Tuesday’s meetings: Brookfield, Dummerston, Marlboro and Putney.
Until then, thank you Vermont.
This photo from Newsweek is interesting. Is this mother who seeeks a peaceful world so dangerous and so violent that three cops need to "escort" her away?
Those we are sitting on and already lit the fuse: Afghanistan and Iraq.
Those we probably lit because of W's recent trip: India and Pakistan (Nuclear gift for one and not the other)
Those we are getting ready to light: Iran and Syria
Those kegs we are watching but can screw up any time we want: Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Cuba, North Korea, China, Russia...
Those that are blowing up already but we don't care: Sudan and any other African nation that doesn't have oil.
So let's have a little bet on the Iran fuse. Give us your best guess as to when the fuse will be lit. The winner will get - well there really isn't a prize. But we can all congratulate the winner as we raise our voices in disgust (for the war machine) and fear (for this world's future).
I think from time to time it is important to listen to Lennon's words.
"I hope some day you'll join us, and the world will be as one."
Bolton played the bad cop and threatened Iran - giving Condi the day off.
Iran faces “tangible and painful consequences” if it continues its nuclear activities and the United States will use “all tools at our disposal” to stop this threat, a senior U.S. official said Sunday, ahead of a crucial international meeting on Iran.How can "defensive measures" lead to "painful consequences?" Come on John. 'Fess up. We all know what you are planning.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, speaking at a convention of Jewish-Americans, said it is too soon for the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Iran but other countries are talking about doing so and Washington is “beefing up defensive measures to cope with the Iranian nuclear threat.”
The problem is that the "painful consequences" of an Iranian adventure will be visited on by the whole world. We think Iraq is bad - we haven't seen anything yet!
George Orwell : prescient?
"In our age, there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia," Orwell wrote. Earlier in the essay he had said, "In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible."Newspeak - the way of our regime.
Withdrawal? It seems...
Two British newspapers reported in their Sunday editions that the pull-out plan followed an acceptance by the two governments that the presence of foreign troops in Iraq was now a large obstacle to securing peace.Hopeful? Think again...
But the Sunday Telegraph, quoting a defense official, said that if civil war were to break out, it would likely cause the withdrawal plan to be put off.If civil war? How about when the leaders recognize that it is already in place. But let's think about this for a second. If W is planning this - where would the troops go? Iran...Syria...?
Wow. Mentioning a broadcaster's name means a visit from Fox shock troops? O'Reilly - you are insane.
Here's Keith's take:
Ten who deserve a "thank you."
Wisconsin's Russ FeingoldBoy, Vermont sure looks great about now.
Vermont's Jim Jeffords
Hawaii's Daniel Akaka
New Mexico's Jeff Bingaman
West Virginia's Robert Byrd
Iowa's Tom Harkin
Vermont's Patrick Leahy
Michigan's Carl Levin
Washington's Patty Murray
Oregon's Ron Wyden.
The Herald reports on our W laying a wreath/throwing petals on a memorial to Ghandi.
If he had a grave, Gandhi would be spinning in it, as President George W Bush steps forward with a wreath at spinning in it, as President George W Bush steps forward with a wreath at Rajghat. Here is an armed-to-the-teeth Christian emperor whose unilateral, unauthorised, pre-emptive invasion of another country has further destabilised an already volatile area. He has used real weapons of mass destruction to create mayhem in his supposed pursuit of non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Supported by our craven prime minister, he has employed "shock and awe" tactics to create terror, while denouncing terrorists. Like emperors before him, he has created a desert and called it "peace". And he has the effrontery to lay down a wreath at the shrine of Mahatma Gandhi.Could not agree more.
Mark Fiore gives us "Long War Inc." War profiteering at its best(?). After Iran, Syria...where will Long War Inc. turn? Venezuela, Cuba, Canada..,?
Rumors are popping up that Sith Lord Cheney will step down after the mid-term elections. Health may be the smokescreen. Rumors are that he wears two different shoes - swelling of one foot.
So who takes over? Some are saying McCain. My money is on Ms. Condi. She's pumping up getting ready for her Prezidential run. A VP slot would be the perfect way for her to try to step in after her God (W).
Have to keep those neo-cons in office.
A video to remind you to attend the upcoming March 18th Anti-war Rally in New Haven.
The late Dennis Weaver was a founder of this
not-for-profit organization that exists to promote the sustainable growth of all peoples and cultures in a manner that promotes economic growth without jeopardizing the capabilities of future generations to have sustainable usage of available natural resources.An essay he wrote for the site closes with:
..we are all living on this one home called Earth, and for the good of all we must learn to share the great bounty that it has lovingly given us in a fair way, in a way that brings peace, productivity and prosperity to all.True words.
Spy Chief tells us what we already know:
A civil war in Iraq could lead to a broader conflict in the Middle East, pitting the region's rival Islamic sects against each another, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said in an unusually frank assessment Tuesday.No Sh*t! What have so many been saying would happen in Iraq? But who are those forces for democracy? Are they U.S. Troops? I really don't see any Iraqi forces there for democracy - survival and freedom - yes, democracy (I don't think so).
"If chaos were to descend upon Iraq or the forces of democracy were to be defeated in that country ... this would have implications for the rest of the Middle East region and, indeed, the world," Negroponte said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global threats.
Sanity on that point but a lttle scary when he states:
On Venezuela, Negroponte said U.S. intelligence expects President Hugo Chavez to deepen his relationship with Cuban President Fidel Castro and "seek closer economic, military and diplomatic ties with Iran and North Korea."Do we have to be at "war" with everyone these days?
Negroponte said the U.S. is concerned about Chavez's arms purchases, using profits from oil production. "I would say that it's clear that he is spending hundreds of millions, if not more, for his very extravagant foreign policy" at the expense of the impoverished Venezuelan population, he said.