Tuesday, October 31, 2006
We're #48, are we trying harder?
We're #48, are we trying harder?
Okay - now we really need voices to be raised.
Howard Dean basically burst several bubbles.
Even if Democrats win control of Congress in elections next week, an immediate change of course in Iraq policy is unlikely, the party's chairman said on Sunday.Let us just hope that these words are to just pacify some but after January a push will be on to end this fiasco. If not - time for a change in both parties.
Countering Republican campaign charges that Democrats would "cut and run" from Iraq, chairman Howard Dean said the party did not believe there should be a sudden pullout of all U.S. troops.
"The president will still be in charge of foreign policy and the military ... I don't imagine we're going to be able to force the president to reverse his course," he told the CBS "Face the Nation" program.
"But we will put some pressure on him to have some benchmarks, some timetables and a real plan other than stay the course," he added.
Remember the pledge.
"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."And if they back off on their position once in office - let them hear and know your disgust.
War games designed to intercept ships carrying weapons of mass destruction will take place for the first time today in the Gulf opposite Iran.Please - no slip ups. No mistakes. No inadvertent firing on an Iranian ship.
The naval exercise – organised under the US’s 2003 Proliferation Security Initiative – will include Bahrain, one of the regional states and host to a US naval base.
Although the US says the move is not specifically aimed at Iran, the PSI exercise comes amid heightened concerns over Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Unless we want to provoke something.
Lie By Lie is the second part of Mother Jones' Timeline for the Iraq War.
In this timeline, we've assembled the history of the Iraq War to create a resource we hope will help resolve open questions of the Bush era. What did our leaders know and when did they know it? And, perhaps just as important, what red flags did we miss, and how could we have missed them? This is the second installment of the timeline, with a focus on how the war was lost in the first 100 days.It takes us into June 2003. What will the next installment be titled?
U.S. media sourcess seem too busy with Foley, Madonna, entertainment news, etc. to focus on Iraq/Iran, let alone Afghanistan. So we turn to the Guardian and the BBC for coverage.
The Taliban are planning a major winter offensive combining their diverse factions in a push on the Afghan capital, Kabul, intelligence analysts and sources among the militia have revealed.We supported them when they were fighting against the USSR. We fought them in 2002. We are fighting them again.
The thrust will involve a concerted attempt to take control of surrounding provinces, a bid to cut the key commercial highway linking the capital with the eastern city of Jalalabad, and operations designed to tie down British and other Nato troops in the south.
A political party linked to the Taliban is in power in the two most western provinces of Pakistan. There are powerful commercial lobbies tied to smuggling of drugs and other commodities, while mainstream businesses such as timber and textiles provide vast amounts of cash which can be funnelled into military operations. 'The problem for the Nato planners is that the Taliban have a safe rear area, cash, arms supplies and the support of much of the population,' said a Western diplomat in Islamabad. 'That's all a successful guerrilla army needs.'
Western soldiers and political leaders insist on the need to win over hearts and minds, but many local observers believe that, at least in the south of Afghanistan, the opportunity offered by the defeat of the Taliban in 2002 to bring security and development to this strategically critical and opium-rich area has been missed.
The BBC has a clip of this new breed of Taliban
...a rough alliance of Islamist zealots, teenagers seeking adventure, disgruntled villagers led by tribal elders alienated from the government, drug dealers and smugglers.Another war which didn't succeed - like any really do!
NBC won't air the ad because it's too disparaging of the president. So we MUST!
The perfect costume to scare the neighborhood this Halloween.
Hell even without the moustache and insignia, the man scares the majority of the world's population.
Photo can be found here.
Cheney has said it: He loves waterboarding!
Vice President Dick Cheney has confirmed that U.S. interrogators subjected captured senior al-Qaida suspects to a controversial interrogation technique called "water-boarding," which creates a sensation of drowning.If that's not torture....I wonder if he and Lynn waterboard each other on weekends?
Cheney indicated that the Bush administration doesn't regard water-boarding as torture and allows the CIA to use it. "It's a no-brainer for me," Cheney said at one point in an interview.
Water-boarding means holding a person's head under water or pouring water on cloth or cellophane placed over the nose and mouth to simulate drowning until the subject agrees to talk or confess.
From "I Saw Earthlings":
Since we all inhabit the earth, all of us are considered earthlings. There is no sexism, no racism or speciesism in the term earthling. It encompasses each and every one of us: warm or cold blooded, mammal, vertebrate or invertebrate, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, and human alike. Humans, therefore, being not the only species on the planet, share this world with millions of other living creatures, as we all evolve here together.While a movie primarily about our mistreatment of animals, it says much about our treatmment of fellow humans.
However, it is the human earthling who tends to dominate the earth, often times treating other fellow earthlings and living beings as mere objects. This is what is meant by speciesism.
Three primary life forces exist on this planet: Nature, Animals and Humankind. We are the Earthlings. Make the connection.
Bush tells US - I’m not happy with Iraq - and neither are we!
Okay, I just loved the headline. He still loves the war!
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki lashed out at the United States Wednesday, saying his popularly elected government would not bend to U.S.-imposed benchmarks and timelines and criticizing a U.S. and Iraqi military operation in a Shiite slum of Baghdad that left at least five people dead and 20 wounded.I think he heard about our involvement in the coup plans?
The above video shows the attack on the base. So what really happened?
From Jihad Unspun we have very different picture from the Defense Department who report no casualties.
We all recall that late on the evening of October 10, 2006, Iraqi resistance groups lobbed mortar and rocket rounds into the immense Falcon Forward Base, the largest American military base in Iraq, located 13 km south of the Green Zone in Baghdad. In addition to intense mortar fire, Grad and Katyusha rockets were also used in the attack.Sure the regime will call the video and these reports of casualties "just propoganda." What else would you call a report that, if true, could turn the remaining 40% of the population against this war? (Okay so maybe there will still be 1% who agree with the war - Bush, Cheney, Rummy and Rice have some family and friends you know.) The truth may come out eventually - when Congress has the balls to investigate this mess and make this regime "fess up".
Now it has been learned that over 300 American troops including US Army and Marines, CIA agents and US translators were among the casualties and there also were 165 seriously injured requiring major medical attention and 39 suffering lesser injuries. In addition, 122 members of the Iraqi armed forces were killed and 90 seriously injured who were also evacuated to the U.S. military hospital at al-Habbaniyah located some 70km west of Baghdad.’
Sure the Iraqi voted. Sure we talk about the new Iraq being formed. But hey, a few bumps occur - right?
Sure the bumps in the road for Maliki have been pretty big:
He has failed to disarm the militias. And he has failed to bring about economic reforms, in addition to being unable to combat unemployment or prevent the immigration of Iraqi youth. The Ministry of Interior under Maliki is swarming with armed Shi'ite militias, just as it was under his predecessor, Ibrahim al-Jaafari.Hell, we still like him - right?
Despite the horrendous state of the country, US President George W Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have been full of praise for Maliki.Yeah, we love him at least until the new leaders come forward.
Iraqi army officers are reportedly planning to stage a military coup with U.S. help to oust the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.As I have always stated - today's friend may become tomorrow's enemy. But there usually is some lag time. Seems like we are talking out of both sides of our mouths in regard to Maliki. That is a feat only the most evil can perform.
Cairo-based Iraqi and Arab sources said Monday several officers visited Washington recently for talks with U.S. officials on plans for replacing Maliki's administration by a "national salvation" government with the mission to re-establish security and stability in Iraq.
One Iraqi source told United Press International that the Iraqi army officers' visit to the United States was aimed at coordinating the military coup in case the efforts of Maliki's government to restore order reached a dead end.
He said among the prominent officers were the deputy chief of staff, a Muslim Shiite, the intelligence chief, a Sunni, and the commander of the air force, a Kurd. It is believed the three would constitute the nucleus of the next government after the army takes over power.
The proposed plan, according to the source, stipulates that the new Iraqi army, with the assistance of U.S. forces, will take control of power, suspend the constitution, dissolve parliament and form a new government. The military will also take direct control of the various provinces and the administration after imposing a state of emergency.
Modern Freak has a great movie on my "favorite" fair and balanced Faux News Show. The voices may not be spot on but everything else is perfect - including Colmes concluding comment.
There are more clips at Ebolaworld for your education.
the war in Iraq is going "remarkably well."
"right now it's tough" for American forces in Iraq.
Come on guys. You use to talk with one voice. Having a little difference of opinion here?
Aftter listening to this there is nothing to say except - So True!!!
Tom Engelhardt in The Nation writes about a "November Surprise (?)".
The US-backed special tribunal in Baghdad signalled Monday that it will likely delay a verdict in the first trial of Saddam Hussein to November 5. Why hasn't the mainstream media connected the dots between the Saddam's judgment day and the midterm elections?Brilliant. I hate it but you have to hand it to them - brilliant.
Here's how the story was reported pretty much everywhere: "An Iraqi court trying Saddam Hussein for the killing of Shi'ite villagers in the 1980s could deliver a verdict on November 5, officials said, a ruling which could send the ousted leader to the gallows…"
A possible death-sentence for Saddam and his top lieutenants on November 5? Now, shouldn't that raise a few eyebrows somewhere? If you happen to have a calendar close at hand, pull it over and take a quick look. That verdict would then come, curiously enough, just two days before the midterm elections. It's the sort of thing that--you would think--that any reporter with knowledge of the US election cycle (no less of how Karl Rove has worked these last years) would at least note in an article. But no, you can search high and low without finding a reference to this in the mainstream media.
Just wish voters would not be so easily fooled.
At least someone is warning us about the warfooting we seem to be on.
Truthout.org has a great clip. View it and raise your voices.
Maybe not in October - but soon - though N. Korea is throwing W and his plans a curve,
Korea Times reports:
The United States is mapping out a new theater war plan on the Korean Peninsula aimed at striking weapons of mass destruction in North Korea, reports said yesterday, citing an unidentified Chinese defense expert in Canada.But gee daddy W, what will happen to Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan? And where will we find the troops?
Under the envisaged plan, U.S. combat aircraft and bombers, such as F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighters and F-15Es, would conduct ``surgical strikes'' on major weapons of mass destruction (WMD) facilities, training sites, and intelligence and communication facilities in the North instead of ground forces advancing into the North, the report said.
Washington is reportedly committed to dispatching some 690,000 troops with 1,600 aircraft and 160 ships to the peninsula within 90 days after a war breaks out under OPLAN 5027.
Bill McKibben is the author of "The End of Nature." This article is an interview of McKibben that deals with his views of global warming:
...climate change arises from the use of fossil fuels, which are at the heart of pretty much every part of modern life. A problem of this size can be tackled only with enormous changes in technology, in the economy, in our behavior, and in our very idea of who we are. That challenge is too big for the Sierra Club to handle. Any eﬀort to solve the problem will have to involve every aspect of human society: churches, businesses, education.And this administration's response:
The rest of the world is far more concerned about global warming than our government is. Even the Chinese government at least purports to take the matter seriously. It’s shameful. We used to lead the world in environmental concern. We wrote the Clean Air Act, and then everyone else wrote their own Clean Air Act. We developed the catalytic converter, and then everyone else put them on cars, too. We created national parks, and everyone else followed our lead. Now we’re not even the caboose on the train of environmental progress. We’re trying to bring the whole thing skidding to a halt.We are not even the caboose.
The mistake that history will hold the current Bush administration most responsible for is not the war in Iraq, which is terrible. No, the biggest mistake is that the White House made no eﬀort to aﬀect China’s and India’s energy policies during those countries’ industrial expansion over the last six or seven years. It would have taken a real commitment of money and resources and time to nudge them in a diﬀerent direction, but if we had, it would have brought huge beneﬁts ﬁfty years from now. Instead we’ve just served as their enablers, and they as ours.
Our administration has to change. Our consumer attitude has to change.
...we're long past the point where more is doing us any good.
Breaking the Silence of the Night by Ron Kovic, is a moving piece that says so much about our psyche...
It all begins somewhere, the questioning, the doubting, the feeling that something’s not right; like that day the captain set fire to the Vietnamese woman’s hooch, or the night we shot those women and children by mistake. It’s all got to start somewhere. For them it might have been the innocent civilians killed that day at the checkpoint just north of Baghdad or the dead children lying in the road in Kirkuk, or that night in Nasiriyah when they kicked in the front door of that house, screaming and cursing at the children as they threw their father to the floor, tying his hands behind his back and putting a hood over his head, but you remain silent, you say nothing. You’ve been taught to follow orders, to obey and not question, to go along with the program and do exactly what you’re told. You learned that in boot camp....to one man's journey...
There would be Kent State and my first demonstration against the war in Washington, D.C, the VVAW (Vietnam Veterans Against the War), arrests, tapped phones, undercover agents, and many more speeches in the months and years that were to follow as my political awakening continued and I began to discover an America far different than the one I had once believed in as a boy. There were the trials and days and nights I spent in jail in my wheelchair feeling more like a criminal than someone who had risked his life for his country, but I continued to speak.It closes with an assessment and questioning of today...
Perhaps it was survivor’s guilt, or my own desperate need to be forgiven and keep others from having to come back like me, but as I sat before those crowds I began to open up my heart in a way that I had never done before, sharing everything, all the horrors and nightmares, all the things I had locked deep inside of me and had for so long been afraid to say. In many ways I was confessing the sins of America.
For the past three and a half years I have watched in horror the mirror image of another Vietnam unfolding in Iraq. As of this writing over 2,700 Americans have died and nearly 20,000 have been wounded while tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, many of them women and children, have been killed. Refusing to learn from the lessons of Vietnam, our government continues to pursue a policy of deception, distortion, manipulation and denial, doing everything it can to hide from the American people its true intentions in Iraq. Sadly, the “War on Terror” has become a war of terror. Never before has this government through its outrageous provocations and violent aggressions placed the citizens of this country in such grave danger. Never have the people of this country been so threatened, never before has life and liberty been in such great peril; not in the two hundred and thirty years since our revolution have we as a people and a nation been at such a crucial turning point. These are dangerous times. A century of arrogance, brutality and aggression has come back to haunt us all. September 11th has happened. The mask has been ripped away. The lie has been exposed and this criminal government now stands naked before the world! These are provocative words, and the truth may be deeply unsettling but when will we speak the truth? When will we end this silence? How much longer will we wait before we are ready to finally admit that the murderer lives in our own house, that this government that we entrusted long ago with the sacred task of protecting life and liberty now, by it’s every reckless, unjust and immoral action threatens the lives and liberty of us all?Ron Kovic doesn't need Tom Cruise to play him anymore, doesn't need a great movie to get his point across...he has a great voice and he has a sense of reality.
Have we become so complacent, so coward and intimidated by this government that we have forgotten our own revolutionary birthright of rebellion and dissent? Have we become so paralyzed by the eleventh of September that we would give up our liberty and freedom for the promise of a security that does not exist by a government that now threatens our very lives? What will it take before we finally realize the true reality of this crisis? How many more terrorist attacks, senseless wars, flag draped caskets, grieving mothers, paraplegics, amputees, stressed out sons and daughters before we finally begin to break the silence of this shameful night? Let us open up our hearts and speak in a way we have never spoken before knowing that lives now depend on it, and the very survival of our nation is now at stake. Let not our silence in this crucial moment betray us from our destiny.
Al Gore was in France to show "An Inconvenient Truth" to France's National Assembly.
After seeing the film, Parliamentary President Jean-Louis Debre RealVideo said, "This movie must be the starting point for a new awareness regarding the seriousness of global warming, including for French politicians."Some polticians get it. Why can't W?
While welcoming the former U.S. Vice President, Jean-Louis Debre warned, "To affect public opinion is one thing, but to convince decision-makers is another." And if Debre really wants to convince his colleagues and friendly political leaders about the dangers of global warming, he certainly has a difficult job ahead. Thanks to Al Gore's film and his visit to the Assembly, Debre will seek to implement a carbon compensation measure. This consists in compensating for CO2 emissions by financing projects that release far lower levels of CO2 (a novel and difficult task for a place as ossified as the Assembly).
Blind Man Project has a great PSA (click on "The Spot").
Why we did it?A brilliant PSA that really touches on today's society. Blind to violence, lies, suffering...
In our consumer societies, where over-commercialization of needs and desires is routine, most people do not actively think about what is happening in the world around them, where many struggle with issues far more basic and serious than theirs. Think of Africa or Near East, for example, where thousands of people die everyday as a result of hunger or disease. Think of Bosnia and Rwanda where ethnic intolerance and civil war has claimed the lives of numerous innocent civilians. Are these problems so distant that they do not touch us at all? Maybe. But it should not be like that as we believe that the future of our planet is directly related to the way we treat each other.
Our story, the Blind Man, will contribute to the fight against apathy by encouraging people to think about and react to issues such as hunger, poverty and violence in the world.
Encouraging Japan to build nuclear weapons, shipping food aid via submarines, and running secret sabotage operations inside North Korea's borders are among a raft of policy prescriptions pushed by prominent U.S. neo-conservatives in the wake of Pyongyang's nuclear test. Writing in publications from National Review Online (NRO) to the New York Times, neo-conservatives claim, contrary to the lessons drawn by "realist" and other critics of the George W. Bush administration, that Monday's test vindicates their long-held view that negotiations with "rogue" states like North Korea are useless and that "regime change" -- by military means, if necessary -- is the only answer. "With our intelligence on North Korea so uneven, the doctrine of pre-emption must return to the fore," wrote Dan Blumenthal, an Asia specialist at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) who worked for Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld during Bush's first term, in the NRO Tuesday. "Any talk of renewed six-party talks [involving China, Japan, Russia, the U.S. and the two Koreas] must be resisted." Like his fellow-neo-conservatives, Frank Gaffney, the president of the Centre for Security Policy, called for accelerated development and deployment of Washington's embryonic but extraordinarily costly missile defence system, including a ship-launched system that can shoot down ballistic missiles of various ranges "whether launched from places like North Korea or from tramp steamers off our coasts." He also urged Washington to resume periodic underground nuclear tests of its own, ending a moratorium on such testing announced by former President George H.W. Bush in 1992.Don't you love this:
But retired US Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney thinks otherwise. There is a good military solution to Iran's nukes but it requires courage and determination to act Mcinerney told Ynet in an interview. McInerney served as a pilot and a strategic commander in the US Air Force for 35 years. Following his retirement in 1994 he served as a commentator for Fox News. McInerney said Iran should be attacked by fall 2007 if diplomacy fails. He added that an aerial attack should be backed by a secret land operation aimed at deposing the Ayatollahs. McInerney said a military operation against Iran should aim at destroying 1,500 targets within 24 to 36 hours, which would delay Iran's nuclear ambitions by at least five years. He added that paralyzing the Iranian air force and the Shihab 3 missiles aimed at Israel would be among the goals of a US military offensive against Iran. He said the Iranian Navy should also be destroyed to prevent Tehran from blocking the Persian Gulf.Two points about this interview:
President George W. Bush said on Wednesday he was open to adjusting U.S. strategy on Iraq after two senior Republicans suggested there were alternatives to his policy, described by critics as "stay-the-course."A change of course? Withdrawal? Come on, we're talking about W. Change of course means more troops. More weapons. More death.
For those folks saying make sure there's flexibility, I couldn't agree more with you," Bush said at a news conference in the White House Rose Garden.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health came out with a bombshell.
As many as 654,965 more Iraqis may have died since hostilities began in Iraq in March 2003 than would have been expected under pre-war conditions, according to a survey conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. The deaths from all causes—violent and non-violent—are over and above the estimated 143,000 deaths per year that occurred from all causes prior to the March 2003 invasion.Devastating!
Key points of the study include:
• Estimated 654,965 additional deaths in Iraq between March 2003 and July 2006
• Majority of the additional deaths (91.8 percent) caused by violence
• Males aged 15-44 years accounted for 59 percent of post-invasion violent deaths
• About half of the households surveyed were uncertain who was responsible for the death of a household member
• The proportion of deaths attributed to coalition forces diminished in 2006 to 26 percent. Between March 2003 and July 2006, households attributed 31 percent of deaths to the coalition
• Mortality data from the 2006 study reaffirms 2004 estimates by Hopkins researchers and mirrors upward trends measured by other organizations
• Researchers recommend establishment of an international body to calculate mortality and monitor health of people living in all regions affected by conflict
According to the researchers, the overall rate of mortality in Iraq since March 2003 is 13.3 deaths per 1,000 persons per year compared to 5.5 deaths per 1,000 persons per year prior to March 2003. This amounts to about 2.5 percent of Iraqi’s population having died as a consequence of the war. To put the 654,000 deaths in context with other conflicts, the authors note that during the Vietnam War an estimated 3 million civilians died overall; the Congo conflict was responsible for 3.8 million deaths; and recent estimates are that 200,000 have died in Darfur over the past 31 months.
Slate has a guide to Woodward's "State of Denial." Some of the juicier tidbits:
Page 316: In an assessment of post-Iraq planning and execution problems, Rumsfeld's friend compares his "style of operation" to the "Haldeman model," referring to Nixon's White House chief of staff. That's like comparing a woman's skills as a mother to the Joan Crawford model.Nixon ghosts, father-son conflicts, lies, errors, lies, lies, lies..... Wonder how Woodward got these guys to talk to him? They must have realized he was writing a non-fiction book,
Pages 114-15: At the Alfalfa Club dinner in Washington, Barbara Bush reached out to an old family friend, David Boren, the Democratic former senator from Oklahoma. Was an invasion of Iraq a bad idea? Boren said yes. The former first lady reported that her husband was losing sleep over the idea but wouldn't bring it up with his son.
Page 237: David Kay, the chief U.S. weapons inspector, visited the Oval Office to brief the president about the lack of WMD and was "shocked at Bush's lack of inquisitiveness."
Page 192: Col. Steve Rotkoff haiku: Where is WMD? What a kick if he has none Sorry about that
Page 471: Charts and graphs from a Joint Chiefs of Staff intelligence assessment from May 2006 paint a grim picture of the ground truth in Iraq. Terrorist attacks were increasing, and the insurgents were gaining even after the Iraqi elections, the formation of a government, and a constitution. "Insurgents and terrorists retain the resources and capabilities to sustain and even increase current level of violence through the next year," says the secret Pentagon assessment sent to the White House. The forecast of a more violent 2007 in Iraq contradicted the repeated optimistic statements of President Bush, including one, two days earlier, when he said the country was at a "turning point" that history would mark as the time "the forces of terror began their long retreat."
That's the year that our troops will stay!
The U.S. Army has plans to keep the current level of soldiers in Iraq through 2010, the top Army officer said Wednesday, a later date than any Bush administration or Pentagon officials have mentioned thus far.Of course there was some dancing...
The Army chief of staff, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, cautioned against reading too much into the planning, saying it is easier to pull back forces than to prepare and deploy units at the last minute.Gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling? Peeing or crapping in your pants gives you that same feeling also. I'd rather have the latter.
"This is not a prediction that things are going poorly or better," Schoomaker told reporters. "It's just that I have to have enough ammo in the magazine that I can continue to shoot as long as they want us to shoot."
Robin Williams new movie "Man of The Year" synopsis:
Acerbic performer Tom Dobbs (Robin Williams) has made his career out of skewering politicians and speaking the mind of the exasperated nation on his talk show. He cracked scathing jokes at a fractured system night after night...until he came up with a really funny idea: why not run for president himself? After a flip comment, Dobbs ignites a grassroots movement that puts him on the ballot. Hot on the campaign trail, he debates elected drones and says exactly what frustrated voters have often thought. Nov. 2nd later, the muckraker wins-only to learn that a computer voting error gave him the victory. With time ticking on the inaugural clock, Dobbs has a big decision to make: should he go back behind the mike or stay in the Oval Office?With just a few changes, this could be a documentary about W.
A walking-talking joke (George W. Bush) has made his career out of skewering words, policies and people and speaking the mind of the corporations he is beholden to. He is a joke and on the road to being addicted to crack...until he came up with a really funny idea: why not run for president himself? After getting the backing of Uncle Dick Cheney and his minions, W ignites a pseudo-grassroots movement that puts him on the ballot. Hot on the campaign trail, he stumbles through debates and says exactly what his corporate backers have scripted for him. Nov. 2nd later, the clown wins-only to learn that a computer vote-stealing program engineered by his team gave him the victory. With time ticking on the inaugural clock, W has a big decision to make: should he go back to Texas, drugs, beer and baseball or stay in the Oval Office?
Billy Jack brings us The Bush Doctrine of World Domination Through Military Force.
The first anyone knew of the Doctrine was on March 7, 1992 when the New York Times published a secret classified document revealing that the then Bush Sr. Administration intended to pursue a strategy to dominate the earth and to “maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.” The explosive 46-page Department of Defense policy document presented a concept of “a new world order” that will be achieved by “first, the US must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they may not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.”For most this is old news. We have all been commenting about this for awhile. But I bring this citing up today because I wonder: In a fight, would W stand a chance against Billy Jack?
Created by then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, the classified report was known as “Defense Planning Guidance for Fiscal Years 1994-1999,” and went on to say that the second step is, “second, in the non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interest of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order …”.
The classified document makes the case for a world dominated by one superpower whose position will be perpetuated by sufficient military might to deter any nation, or group of nations, from challenging American policy. Included in the areas to be put under American domination and control are Europe, Asia and the Middle East, but also the document remarks that the US has “important interests at stake in Latin America, Oceania, and Sub-Saharan Africa … where the US will be concerned with preventing the domination of key regions by a hostile power.”
Among the key issues of concern to US policy makers will be “access to vital raw materials, primarily Persian Gulf oil …”. In all of these regions it is imperative that the US “maintain our status as a military power of the first magnitude,” so as to “prevent the emergence of a vacuum or the development of a nation with regional influence.”
David Lindorff weighs in with some breaking news:
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Eisenhower and its accompanying strike force of cruiser, destroyer and attack submarine slipped their moorings and headed off for the Persian Gulf region on Oct. 2, as I had predicted in a piece in The Nation magazine a few weeks back.Here we go. The October surprise?
The Eisenhower strike force, according to my sources, is scheduled to arrive in the vicinity of Iran around October 21, at the same time as a second flotilla of minesweepers and other ships.
This build-up of naval power around the coast of Iran, according to some military sources, is in preparation for an air attack on Iran that would target not just Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities, but its entire military command and control system.
While such an attack could be expected to unleash a wave of military violence all over Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and elsewhere against American forces and interests and against oil wells, pipelines and loading vacilities, as well as a mining of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, with a resulting skyrocketing of global oil prices, the real goal of this new war by the U.S. would be ensuring Republican control of the House and Senate.
Unembedded is a site whose galleries must be explored.
Unembedded is a book and photo exhibit by four independent photojournalists on the war in Iraq.See what we have wrought. See the impact on lives.
Kael Alford, Thorne Anderson, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad and Rita Leistner have produced a more in-depth, ground level visual portrayal of the war in Iraq than is available in most daily news reporting.
Freepublic is not my normal read (wait until you read the article's comments), but this story about Jeb and protesters caught my eye.
Protesters greeted Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on his way to a campaign event for a Pennsylvania senator, and he briefly took refuge in a subway station supply closet to avoid the anti-Republican demonstrators. The president's brother encountered protesters on their way to join a demonstration outside the exclusive Duquesne Club, where Sen. Rick Santorum (news, bio, voting record), a Republican, was holding a fundraiser Friday. Officers used stun guns to subdue two protesters, saying they disobeyed orders to disperse, said Bob Grove, a Port Authority spokesman. "It was a very tense situation. They were very close to the governor and shouting on top of him," Grove said. Bush was not injured. The protesters, made up of members of the United Steelworkers union and the anti-war group Uprise Counter Recruitment, chanted, "Jeb go home," and said Bush blew them a kiss. Bush, accompanied by a security guard and an aide, retreated into a nearby subway station and was followed by about 50 picketers, said Bob Grove, a Port Authority spokesman. "(Bush) was quickly getting out of the way and not wanting to engage us," said Jon Vandenburgh, a protester and a researcher for the United Steelworkers. As a precaution, Bush was ushered into a station supply closet and stayed there until the crowd left.Shouting makes a situation tense? I think stumping for crazy Santorum would make one tense.
Why a blown kiss if the situation was so tense he had to be escorted to a closet and stun guns used? Doesn't sound like an action a sane man in a tense....OOOPS...I forgot he is a Bush. No sanity in that crew.
The Nuclear-armed Planet is from MSNBC and offers a brief summary of the Nine and the wannabe's.
The Band of 8 are up in arms over North Korea. I guess they wanted to keep the list to 8. Have to buy a bigger table for those family dinners.
The way I look at it, this club has nine too many members.
Mother Jones has an article highlighting the characters leading the pack in calling for an Iranian adventure.
Exiles peddling back-channel intelligence, upstart advocacy groups pressing for regime change, administration hawks intent on remaking the Middle East—the scene in Washington is looking eerily familiar as the Iran standoff grows more tense. Instead of Ahmad Chalabi, we have the likes of Iran-Contra arms-dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar. A new Iran directorate inside the Pentagon features some of the same people who brought you the Iraq intel-cherrypicking operation at the Office of Special Plans. Whether calling for outright regime change or pushing “democracy promotion” initiatives to undermine the Iranian government, an expanding cast of characters has emerged to promote confrontation between the U.S. and Iran.How about this one:
Elizabeth CheneyI guess the expression of "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" is ture. Warmongers beget warmongers!
The vice president’s eldest daughter’s official title is Vice Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs; in that capacity, Cheney until her maternity leave earlier this year oversaw the State Department’s Iran-Syria Operations Group, whose mission is to aggressively push democracy promotion campaigns. Sometimes referred to as the agency’s “democracy czar,” Cheney had no Middle East assignments before being appointed to her current post, which involves launching a $85 million democracy promotion/propaganda campaign targeting Iran. At Foggy Bottom, she “has not shied away from throwing her weight around,” according to the American Prospect, and has been said to operate a “shadow Middle East policy.” She rarely speaks publicly or grants interviews; in an appearance at the Foreign Policy Association in 2005, she called Iran “the world’s leading sponsor of terror. No word on when and in what capacity Cheney will return from her leave.
The Syrian military is preparing for war with Israel, Syria's President Bashar Assad told the Quwaiti newspaper Al-Anba on Saturday.Let's see. An attack, by our "ally" on Syria before our November elections. Tension builds. Talks of Iran becoming involved. Actions against Iran. The fear builds....
In an interview widely quoted by Syrian news agencies, Assad said Israel could attack Syria "at any moment."
"We must remain ready at all times," said Assad. "We have begun preparations within the framework of our options."
Syrian Information Minister Muhsen Bilal also said Saturday that his country is preparing for war with Israel, but added that Syria is interested in peace.
According to Bilal, Israel intended to "crush Hezbollah" and impose its control in Lebanon, but failed to do so.
"The crisis which Israel finds itself in today, following its failure in Lebanon, could lead it to attack Syria," said Bilal.
Of course many will believe that we need to keep the Repugs in office. Voters will look beyond scandals and lies when fear tales over.
Fantasy? Or the October surprise?
From the start, this blog talked about our troops being in the center of a civil war- between the Kurds, Sunnis and Shia. Looking at the situation now, that may have been too simple. There is no center.
In all, at least 57 people died and 17 were injured in the violence that day, Sept. 18.Our troops were sent to a war based on lies. They now find themselves with targets on their backs - everyone wants to target them. There is no end in sight. There is no immediate solution.
They were all killed in the same country, but not in the same war. The fighting in Iraq is not a single conflict, but an overlapping set of conflicts, fought on multiple battlegrounds, with different combatants. Increasingly, American troops are caught between the competing forces.
In western Iraq's deserts, Sunni Arab insurgent groups, some homegrown and others dominated by foreign fighters, attack Iraqi government forces and the U.S. troops who back them up. In Baghdad and surrounding provinces, Sunni and Shiite fighters attack each other and their rivals' civilians in a burgeoning civil war that U.S. troops have tried to quell.
In southern Iraq, the Shiites dominate. But they are divided, with rival militias fighting over oil and commerce. And in the north of the country, Arabs and Kurds battle for control.
Often during the last three years, the U.S. military has shifted troops to try to tamp down one of these conflicts, only to see another escalate. Now, many American officials worry that with the proliferation of armed actors in Iraq's multiple conflicts, the original U.S. counterinsurgency mission has become something else — an operation aimed at quelling civil war, which is a much more ambiguous and politically fraught objective.
American troops find themselves in the crossfire, caught among foreign militants, Sunni Muslim nationalist rebels, Shiite Muslim militiamen and other armed groups — all fighting each other.
When you are down on your own 20 and it's fourth down with 15 to go what do you do? Punt of course.
It's time we punt our asses out of Iraq!
North Korean nuclear test would be 'incendiary' according to our regime.
"I'm not going to comment on any of our intelligence," White House deputy spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters.While at the same time, our bomb making/testing activities could set off an accidental atomic war.
"The international community has joined us in sending a clear signal to the North Koreans that any such test of a nuclear device would be unacceptable," Perino said.
"And this hostile act would be most incendiary and threatening to North Korea's immediate neighbors," she said.
"It would be destabilizing to the region and could lead to further escalation of tensions. And a test, by its very nature, could advance the North Koreans' capabilities," the spokeswoman added.
A Pentagon project to modify its deadliest nuclear missile for use as a conventional weapon against targets such as North Korea and Iran could unwittingly spark an atomic war, two weapons experts warned Thursday.Don't you just love when children play with their toys?
Russian military officers might misconstrue a submarine-launched conventional D5 intercontinental ballistic missile and conclude that Russia is under nuclear attack, said Ted Postol, a physicist and professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Pavel Podvig, a physicist and weapons specialist at Stanford.
"Any launch of a long-range nonnuclear armed sea or land ballistic missile will cause an automated alert of the Russian early warning system," Postol told reporters.
The triggering of an alert wouldn't necessarily precipitate a retaliatory hail of Russian nuclear missiles, Postol said. Nevertheless, he said, "there can be no doubt that such an alert will greatly increase the chances of a nuclear accident involving strategic nuclear forces."
Podvig said launching conventional versions of a missile from a submarine that normally carries nuclear ICBMs "expands the possibility for a misunderstanding so widely that it is hard to contemplate."
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I thought the expression was "cream rises to the top?"
Who has controlled the Middle East over the course of history? Pretty much everyone. Egyptians, Turks, Jews, Romans, Arabs, Greeks, Persians, Europeans...the list goes on. Who will control the Middle East today? That is a much bigger question.Maps of War.
For Scandals, Iraq War Outpaces Foley states about our friend:
He's not as big a deal as the 24 American soldiers killed in an immoral war in Iraq since Saturday.It is important and will have an impact on the election, but let us not lose sight as to the real reasons this regime and its backers have to go!
There's something about burgeoning sex scandals that cause even veteran journalists to lose perspective for a few days. The resources put into investigating Mr. Foley at the exclusion of the more pressing business of war and death in Iraq is shameful.
43 years ago but so timely today.
"What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children - not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women - not merely peace in our time but peace for all time." -- President John F. Kennedy at American University 10 June 1963
Go to Move On to sign up for a screening and to make those important calls to take back our nation.
The Washington Times (not my choice of reality news) comes out to ask for the wrestler's resignation. Pretty devastating for this Rev. Moon paper to come out against one of their kin.
The facts of the disgrace of Mark Foley, who was a Republican member of the House from a Florida district until he resigned last week, constitute a disgrace for every Republican member of Congress. Red flags emerged in late 2005, perhaps even earlier, in suggestive and wholly inappropriate e-mail messages to underage congressional pages. His aberrant, predatory -- and possibly criminal -- behavior was an open secret among the pages who were his prey. The evidence was strong enough long enough ago that the speaker should have relieved Mr. Foley of his committee responsibilities contingent on a full investigation to learn what had taken place, whether any laws had been violated and what action, up to and including prosecution, were warranted by the facts. This never happened.Other repugs also have issued similar feelings.
I love it when they feed on their own.
.But get ready for the spin. Denny was on Sean's radio show today. Both want to know (in their minds: which dems)who had this information and withheld it until election time. I ask, why did you, Denny, and others not want this disclosed.
LET THE FEEDING FRENZY CONTINUE.
Sure some will say "Who Cares!" But I think after reading this article, 'Time to 'Drive the Nails' Into 'Dream of Empire's Coffin' from Pakistan, we should all consider how this nation's actions are viewed by others and the repercussions of our "ugliness."
Bring out the nails to be hammered into the coffin. Waning badly from trying to create outposts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the death of America's dream of Empire is fast approaching. Bring out the nails.Time to take back our nation. Time to become part of the world again.
Bring out the nails. In the first neoconservative neo-colony of Afghanistan, the Taliban are on the rise like the fabled phoenix rising from the ashes. Once again they openly control most of southern Afghanistan, setting up a shadow administration. Coalition forces are getting the beating of their lives from the rag tag Taliban. The whining and griping among coalition troops over their looming defeat increases with every passing day. Meanwhile on the Pakistani side of the frontier, rather than trying to reinforce failure, General Musharraf has beaten a hasty retreat from bordering Waziristan. Bring out the nails.
Bring out the nails. According to Woodward, the President and Vice President have begun to regularly consult with Henry Kissinger, the war criminal and author of the Cambodian Bombing campaign which contributed so much to the civil war in that country. Kissinger thinks that in Iraq "victory is the only meaningful exit strategy" and that "the problem in Vietnam was that we lost our will." Bring out the nails.
Bring out the nails to hammer into the coffin of the Empire-builder's dream, but keep a silver bullet handy should the monster make a last-ditch attempt to escape from its eternal grave.
Bring out the nails.
Bush administration plotting to kill him, Chavez says he has White House informant.
Venezuela President Hugo Chavez said Sunday he has received warnings from within the White House that the Bush administration is plotting to assassinate him or topple his left-leaning government.This shouldn't come as a surpise to anyone. We tried it with Castro, we'll try it with Hugo.
Citing what he said were warnings from an alleged White House informant, Chavez told thousands of supporters at a campaign rally that President Bush has ordered him to be killed before he leaves office in 2008.
Bush "has said that before he goes, Hugo Chavez shouldn't be the president of Venezuela," Chavez told the crowd. "The president of the United States has said it, especially in recent days. What he doesn't know is that I have friends in the White House."
Amazing that this nation's leaders can always talk about (and attempt) assassination of others but when a Canadian film is made about a fictional assassination...damn the producers to hell.
Mark Fiore looks at W's energy policies.
"Conservation? Whatever Mr. Hippy Dippy." When W's clean coal emits those butterflies - the world will be greener (as in cash for friends).
US President George W. Bush called for fighting America's enemies "across the world" as he stepped up his counteroffensive following charges that his policies were breeding a new generation of Islamic terrorists.Cornered by criticism, reports, Woodward's book - the cornered rodent lashes out.
The call, delivered in his weekly radio address, was aimed at countering a rash of accusations that the Bush administration had seriously mishandled the war in Iraq and created fertile ground for Islamic extremism.
Interesting idea offered by staff rodent Condi:
...US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in an interview published Saturday, offered a different rationale for continued US military presence in Iraq, saying it was needed to counter the growing influence of neighboring Iran.Beware Iran...beware Pakistan...beware Australia...
"We just have to fight tooth and nail for the victory of the Iraqis who do not want Iranian influence in their daily lives," she told The Wall Street Journal. "We've got a chance to resist the Iranian push into the region, but we'd better get about it."