- Peace Garden: 2008

I want to move to Texas

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

As if Things Weren't Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.
For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument -- that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. -- very seriously. Now he's found an eager audience: Russian state media.
He based the forecast on classified data supplied to him by FAPSI analysts, he says. He predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in. California will form the nucleus of what he calls "The Californian Republic," and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of "The Texas Republic," a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an "Atlantic America" that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls "The Central North American Republic." Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia.
I think I would rather be a part of Mexico than the EU. And I always thought that the West Coast would split off as in "Ecotopia."

This guy has been talking about this for quite a while. Russian media taking notice - and now the Wall Street Journal.

W instilled in us a fear of terrorists. But maybe we should fear our own selves instead. It really is like Pogo said - "We have met the enemy...and he is us."

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Happy Old Year

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Obama on Gaza: ‘No Comment’

There was no immediate comment on the Israeli air strikes on Gaza from Obama, who is vacationing with his family in Hawaii, or his staff."
This is how our incoming President has reacted to the worst attack on the Palestinian people in 20 years – by not reacting at all.
The Bush White House, of course, has responded as we all know they would: Israel-has-the-right-to-defend itself, let the killing begin, etc., ad nauseum.
And don’t expect much better from the Obama camp. Remember how he scolded the UN for daring to even discuss the Gaza situation?
Hundreds dead...
The attack, dubbed “Operation Cast Lead” by the Israeli military after a Hanukkah poem, targeted police stations across the strip, killing Hamas security officials (reportedly including police chief Major-General Tawfik Jaber) and nearby civilians. The toll at present count was 205 killed and 300 wounded, according to a Hamas spokesman.
...and no comment

More of the same policy? So much for hope in 2009.

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Munitions dealer nation

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mixed Signals From India On War Prospects
“Nobody wants war.” That was the message of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh just a day after his foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee threatened to take “all measures necessary” in response to last month’s Mumbai terrorist attack and Pakistan put its own air force on high alert.
But the Singh Administration’s dismissal of “war hysteria” is likely to be tempered somewhat by news that the Indian Defense Ministry is asking the United States to fast track its previous order of $375 million worth of cluster bombs.
The purchases will keep many war machine leaders in the money. Santa USA.

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Third Party Time

Obama Wants Bush Pentagon Appointees to Stay
If President-elect Barack Obama’s decision to keep Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in his position raised red flags about the sincerity of the former’s mantra of change, those flags have surely given way to blaring alarms today with the announcement that the new administration will retain hundreds of Bush appointees in the Pentagon.
In a move confirmed by Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell, Secretary Gates is asking, on behalf of the new administration, that “all willing political appointees” remain in their positions beyond the inauguration. Morrell says virtually all secretaries and undersecretaries will remain in their positions, until President-elect chooses to replace them. If the President-elect chooses to replace them.
The move is being presented, of course, as an effort to ensure continuity for a wartime transition of power. Yet given Obama’s national security team itself consisted entirely of hawks, they would seem to be at home with the idea of a Pentagon not just modeled after the Bush Administration’s, but consisting more or less entirely of Bush appointees. It may sit well with them, but how will it sit with millions of Obama voters who cast their ballot on the assumption that it would bring about genuine change?
Sit well? In fact it sucks!

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Another Xmas at war

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Looks like I'll post this again next year too - more of the same!

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Our Xmas gift?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Obama to follow Bush foreign policy
Barack Obama might have little option but to follow George W. Bush’s approach on a range of foreign policy issues, including Iran, said Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state. Ms Rice told the Financial Times the new administration was likely to follow Mr Bush’s lead in the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme. During the president’s second term, the US has co-ordinated its approach with the European Union, Russia and China.
Is she nuts, prophetic or part of an inner circle? More and more it looks like Same Old Shit - may be a little smaller pile but still all the same.

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Finally a good choice or two

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rep. Hilda Solis Obama's Pick For Labor Secretary

...this is the nation's gain, as she will be a phenomenal champion for labor in President Obama's cabinet. Just to give you a taste of Solis's record -- and hence Barack Obama's commitment to labor by picking her -- according to Project Vote Smart, in 2007 Solis had 100% voting records with the interests of the AFL-CIO, SEIU, United Auto Workers and the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, to name just a few.
She, along with Richardson, make me have hope.

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Senator Franken

Al Franken Projected to Win Minnesota's Senate Seat

Democratic challenger Al Franken finds himself on the cusp of winning a seat in the United States Senate after Minnesota's canvassing board awarded him a host of challenged votes during deliberations on Thursday.
As of 8PM ET, the Minneapolis Star Tribune projected that Franken would finish the recount process with a lead of 89 votes, positioning him to become the 59th Democratic senator in the upcoming Congress.
Yeah!

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Tell us to leave too

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Iraq Wants All Non-US Troops Out by July
Hummam Hammudi, the chairman of Iraq’s Foreign Affairs Committee, says the cabinet has approved draft legislation which would provide a timetable for the pullout of all non-US foreign troops. If approved by parliament, all non-US foreign troops would have to leave the country by the end of July.
Tell us to leave too. That may be the only way we ever get out - with Obama listening to Gates.

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The Lorax - One of my faves

Monday, December 15, 2008

New Popularity for Dr. Seuss' 'The Lorax'
The little kids understand. My 6-year-old son, Emmett, reads Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax" at least once a week and can explain the message of the book succinctly. "It's about ruining God's creations, that money's not more important than nature." Published in 1971, at a time when Earth Day and the ecology movement were gaining counterculture traction, "The Lorax" addressed then-unconventional issues such as deforestation, pollution and greed. It was "An Inconvenient Truth" for children. " 'The Lorax' was very overt, very political," says William Dreyer, curator of the Art of Dr. Seuss Collection. "It was a statement on conservation and corporate responsibility. He did an amazing job of simplifying issues into a story that can be appreciated and grasped by kids and adults."

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Should have hit him

Thousands Demand Release of Iraqi Journalist Who Threw Shoes at George W Bush
Arabs across the Middle East hailed the journalist a hero and praised his insult as a proper send-off to the unpopular U.S. president. [A shoe is raised during a protest against the visit to Iraq of US President George W. Bush, in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday. Dec. 15, 2008. Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi threw his shoes at President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad on Sunday, while yelling in Arabic: 'This is a farewell kiss, you dog, this is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.' (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)]A shoe is raised during a protest against the visit to Iraq of US President George W. Bush, in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday. Dec. 15, 2008. Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi threw his shoes at President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad on Sunday, while yelling in Arabic: 'This is a farewell kiss, you dog, this is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.' (AP Photo/Karim Kadim) Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who was kidnapped by Shiite militants last year, was being held by Iraqi security today and interrogated about whether anybody paid him to protest during the press conference. He was also being tested for alcohol and drugs, and his shoes were being held as evidence. Showing the sole of your shoe to someone in the Arab world is a sign of extreme disrespect, and throwing your shoes is even worse. In Baghdad's Shiite slum of Sadr City, thousands of supporters of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr burned American flags to protest against Bush and called for the release of al-Zeidi. "Bush, Bush, listen well – Two shoes on your head," the protesters chanted in unison.
And our "great one" laughs about "size 10" rather than dealing with the protest - dealing with the reasons for the anger and frustration. Instead the smirk and wink.

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An Axis of Evil?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cluster Bomb Treaty and The World's Unfinished Business
The United States, Russia and China are sending a terrible message to the rest of the world by refusing to take part in the historic signing of a treaty that bans the production and use of cluster bombs. In a world that is plagued by war, military occupation and terrorism, the involvement of the great military powers in signing and ratifying the agreement would have signaled - if even symbolically - the willingness of these countries to spare civilians' unjustifiable deaths and the lasting scars of war.
Nonetheless, the incessant activism of many conscientious individuals and organizations came to fruition on December 3-4 when ninety-three countries signed a treaty in Oslo, Norway that bans the weapon, which has killed and maimed many thousands of civilians.
The accord was negotiated in May, and should go into effect in six months, once it is ratified by 30 countries. There is little doubt that the treaty will be ratified; in fact, many are eager to be a member of the elite group of 30. Unfortunately, albeit unsurprisingly, the US, Russia, China, Israel, India and Pakistan - a group that includes the biggest makers and users of the weapon - neither attended the Ireland negotiations, nor did they show any interest in signing the agreement.
All because of the mighty dollar?

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Another hope squashed

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Obama to Offer “Nuclear Umbrella” to Israel

President-elect Barack Obama reportedly intends to offer a strategic pact to Israel promising a “devastating US nuclear response” against Iran in the event Iran launches a nuclear attack on Israel. The move would be designed ostensibly to increase the deterrent factor against an attack on Israel.

It seems hard to imagine what positive effects an Obama promise would have in deterring a nuclear first-strike by a nation with neither a nuclear arsenal nor any seeming inclination toward a first strike. It may further throw the hopes of reconciliation between the two nations into doubt, however.

One question: WHY?

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Still there?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

US Bombs Afghan Police Station, Killing Seven
Police in the Afghan city of Qalat fired on American special forces during a raid on an opposition commander. American planes responded with an air strike on the police station, killing six policemen and a civilian whose nearby house was also hit. The commander of the police post was among the dead. At least 13 others were wounded in the attack. The US forces described it as “tragic case of mistaken identity on both parts.”
Shoot first and ask questions later? Does that make sense?

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Center equals status quo

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Never liked the center or the right...

Liberals Voice Concerns About Obama

Liberals are growing increasingly nervous - and some just flat-out angry - that President-elect Barack Obama seems to be stiffing them on Cabinet jobs and policy choices.
Obama has reversed pledges to immediately repeal tax cuts for the wealthy and take on Big Oil. He's hedged his call for a quick drawdown in Iraq. And he's stocking his White House with anything but stalwarts of the left.
Now some are shedding a reluctance to puncture the liberal euphoria at being rid of President George W. Bush to say, in effect, that the new boss looks like the old boss.
"He has confirmed what our suspicions were by surrounding himself with a centrist to right cabinet. But we do hope that before it's all over we can get at least one authentic progressive appointment," said Tim Carpenter, national director of the Progressive Democrats of America.
OpenLeft blogger Chris Bowers went so far as to issue this plaintive plea: "Isn't there ever a point when we can get an actual Democratic administration?"
As The Who, in "Won't get fooled again" sing:
Meet the new boss

Same as the old boss

Let's hope there is a difference - let's hope the difference emerges soon.

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Follow the money...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Want to know why the wars will never end? Follow the trail of dollar bills.

One thriving sector: The business of war

Across the nation, companies are lopping off hundreds of thousands of jobs, retailers are shuttering stores, and automakers are tottering on the edge of bankruptcy.
But here in the Merrimack River Valley, and over the state line at several industrial sites around Massachusetts, defense contractor BAE Systems is hoisting "Help Wanted" signs.
BAE develops technology in fields like electronic warfare and cybersecurity, sophisticated systems that are key to combating a new wave of threats around the globe. At a time when 1.7 million jobs have been lost in the United States this year, the company is hiring 200 engineers and manufacturing workers in Nashua, Hudson, and Merrimack, N.H., and Burlington, Lexington, and Marlborough, Mass.
Other defense electronics contractors, such as Waltham's Raytheon Co. and General Dynamics Corp.'s communications systems center in Taunton, also continue to ramp up. Such companies remain awash in orders from the Pentagon and American allies increasingly worried about terrorism and missile proliferation.

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Depressed yet?

Analysis: Obama defense agenda resembles Gates'
For a Democrat whose opposition to the Iraq war was a campaign centerpiece, President-elect Barack Obama is remarkably in sync with Defense Secretary Robert Gates on many core defense and national security issues — even Iraq.
The list of similarities suggests the early focus of Obama's Pentagon may not change dramatically from President George W. Bush's.
Given that Obama made the unprecedented decision to keep the incumbent Republican defense secretary, it would seem natural to expect that they see eye to eye on at least some major defense issues. But the extent of their shared priorities is surprising, given Obama's campaign criticisms of Bush's defense policies.
So much for "change" in Iraq.

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Time for civic action?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

In light of the disappointment I am feeling with the Cabinet post assignments, the "retreat" about ending the war...I think it might be time to follow some of  Naomi Wolf's 32 civic action she noted in "Give Me Liberty."  Some good ones:

15. Stage a boycott

16. Organize a protest or rally

19. Exercise your right to Free Speech

27. Organize a national hearing

29. Remake US foreign Policy by putting pressure on shareholders & elected officials, and demanding socially responsible investing

It seems like our work is not over.

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Duped

Campaign Promises on Ending the War in Iraq Now Muted by Reality
On the campaign trail, Senator Barack Obama offered a pledge that electrified and motivated his liberal base, vowing to “end the war” in Iraq.
But as he moves closer to the White House, President-elect Obama is making clearer than ever that tens of thousands of American troops will be left behind in Iraq, even if he can make good on his campaign promise to pull all combat forces out within 16 months.
End it responsibly? More like - we are responsible so END IT!

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The End of America?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


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Wishing Obama would follow this lead

Monday, December 01, 2008

Sounds like a great first two weeks in the Oval Office.

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Not too early...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Where Is the Change?
Is it too early to criticize Barack Obama for his program, his appointments, and his policies? He is not yet president but he is dominating the news and influencing markets and foreign-policy as though he had already been inaugurated. At the same time, he tells us that we have only one president at a time and that president is George W. Bush.
Personnel indicates policy, often determines policy, and Obama's appointments are from the establishment on both domestic and foreign affairs. Yet Obama's prime message during his meteoric rise to power was "change". How can establishment figures from both parties install significant change?
Obama's foreign and military policies will be developed by four power centers: Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and National Security Adviser, Marine General James Jones. All supported the invasion of Iraq; none advocate immediate withdrawal from that country or revision of US world-wide military involvement.
Let's hope his recent statements that he is the decision maker ring true.

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Invade India?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Intelligence chiefs were expecting Al-Qaeda spectacular

Western intelligence services have been expecting an al-Qaeda spectacular terrorist attack in this crucial period between the end of President George Bush’s administration and the succession of Barack Obama.

Signals intelligence “chatter” in recent weeks indicated that Osama bin Laden’s terrorist organisation might be plotting an attack “to grab the headlines” before Mr Obama takes over in the White House on January 20.

Counter-terrorist experts last night said that India would have been selected for the latest spectacular “probably because that’s where al-Qaeda has sufficient resources to carry out an attack on this scale. They don’t choose for the sake of it, they look to see where they have the greatest capability and then order an attack,” a counter-terror expert told The Times.

So why are we hearing about the potential attacks on subways, the LIRR, Amtrak. Seems the "experts" cannot agree on the "soft targets" versus "targets." Or is it just fear?

But who really is al-Qaeda?

Although an unknown group claimed responsibility last night, the taking of Western hostages and the deliberate seeking out of American and British citizens indicated a “typical al-Qaeda-style activity”, according to security sources. Other sources said India was the home of a complicated network of terrorists and it might be too early to jump to the conclusion that it was an al-Qaeda operation. “It seems to be a highly opportunistic attack,” one source said.
Rather than pointing the finger at one group or the other, shouldn't we focus on the root causes of the anger?

Now if we begin hearing that India is a hotbed of terror cells - is India the next target for drone missiles?

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Afghan 1,000 Year War?

Karzai Wishes He Could Shoot Down US Planes

But today the Afghan President took his complaints to a new level, publicly lamenting that he was unable to shoot down the US planes which have been bombarding Afghan villages. Karzai added that if he had a rock attached to a piece of string, he’d use it to try to down the planes, “but that’s not in my hands.”
Hitting out at the war on terror as “unclear,” Karzai criticized “a war which is unclear what it is for, and what we are doing.” Addressing the media after today’s meeting with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer he called for a firm timeline for withdrawal, insisting “this war cannot be endless and forever and the Afghan nation cannot burn in a war of which the end is not clear,” and adding “we did not welcome the international community in Afghanistan so that our lives get worse.”
Karzai touches on a major issue - what really is our goal in Afghanistan. After 9-11 we heard that we must invade to rid the world of al-Qaeda/bin Laden. Then we shifted focus to Iraq. Now back to Afghanistan & Pakistan. But is it because of al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Shiites, radical muslims?

This lack of clarity has annoyed our own puppet Karzai. Let us step back and think what it (and our military presence) does to the common citizen who is just trying to survive day to day.

So many other invaders found their Afghan adventures fail (think Soviet Union). Shouldn't we be learn from history?

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Disappointing

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Officials: Obama asks Gates to stay at Pentagon
Seeking experience in a time of war, President-elect Barack Obama will keep Defense Secretary Robert Gates in that job — if only temporarily — and he has chosen a retired Marine general to be his national security adviser, officials said Tuesday. Gates and retired Gen. James Jones bring years of experience to the Cabinet of a 47-year-old commander in chief with a relatively thin foreign policy resume.
Obama, who rolled out the key components of his economic team this week, plans to announce his foreign policy braintrust after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Gates, who has served as President George W. Bush's defense chief for two years, will remain in the Cabinet for some time, probably a year, according to an official familiar with discussions between the two men. A Democratic official said Jones was Obama's pick to head the National Security Council, the part of the White House structure that deals with foreign policy.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Obama has not authorized anybody to discuss the deliberations.
Along with the expected selection of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to head the State Department, Obama's latest moves solidify a national security team with star power, but also strong centrist and establishment ties that run counter to his campaign calls for change and a speedy withdrawal from Iraq.
So it looks like we will be blogging and ranting about our wars for a long time. Definitely time for the streets it seems.

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Too high a price

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hillary plays hardball

Before Hillary Clinton has been formally offered the job as Secretary of State, a purge of Barack Obama's top foreign policy team has begun. The advisers who helped trash the former First Lady's foreign policy credentials on the campaign trail are being brutally shunted aside, as the price of her accepting the job of being the public face of America to the world. In negotiations with Mr Obama this week before agreeing to take the job, she demanded and received assurances that she alone should appoint staff to the State Department. She also got assurances that she will have direct access to the President and will not have to go through his foreign policy advisers on the National Security Council, which is where many of her critics in the Obama team are expected to end up.
Her Iraq stand was troubling during the campaign. With this price, it may come back to bite us again.

Oh those pre-election hopes are slowing dimming as each Clintonite is announced.

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Circle jerk...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

CIA steps up drone hits on Pakistan
Strikes by Predator drones in recent months have been concentrated on the North and South Waziristan tribal agencies. Attacking targets well outside the tribal areas marks an escalation of the US assault.
Okay, I hear the calls: National Security, get the rats who perpetrated WTC.... But how many of the Five in North Wazirstan were involved?
US drones have struck again, this time hitting a house in North Waziristan, killing five and injuring at least six others. The attack consisted of two or three missiles and struck in a small village called Ali Khel. Among those reportedly killed was a British citizen named Rashid Rauf, who was arrested in Pakistan in 2006 in connection with the infamous “liquid explosives” plot in Britain. Some reports also suggest that an al-Qaeda operative was among the dead.
So everyone should cheer the report that this bastard was "droned". right... Pakistan Army Practices Shooting Drone Aircraft
Today, they successfully tested a short-range surface-to-air missile capable of downing the drones as part of a broader military exercise in central Punjab for the Army Air Defence.
Ah yes, the big Circle Jerk. We bomb you, you bomb us, we bomb you back... So what if a few friends or innocents are killed, or international laws broken. It's war (undeclared war but war)!

Time to outlaw war!

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Next Iraq War?

Latest Anti-Pact Protest Prompts Warnings of New Insurgency

Thousands of Shi’ites took to the streets of Baghdad today in the latest public expressing of opposition to the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the United States and Iraq, presently the subject of contentious (and occasionally violent) debate in Iraq’s parliament.
In one particularly dramatic moment, an effigy of President Bush was hoisted onto the parapet that was once the home of a Saddam Hussein statue infamously toppled in a scripted “spontaneous” action during the 2003 invasion. The crowd pelted the effigy with shoes and water bottles, before it tumbled into the crowd and was set ablaze.
But beside being one in a long series of anti-SOFA protests organized by influential Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, comments at the rally by Mahdi Army veterans may portend a return to a violent insurgency against the US occupation if and when the SOFA finally does get out of parliament.
Brings back the image of those shoes hitting the toppled statue of Saddam. Solution: Don't waste time on effigies, come and use your shoes on our own little despot.

Now for the threat... Solution: It is simple - We Leave Now!

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Iraq, Please Don't Sign!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

US Official: GIs to Leave if Iraq Won’t Sign Pact

The Iraqi parliament continues to debate the contentious Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States which would govern the operation of US forces in Iraq when the current UN mandate expires at the end of the year. Both the Iraqi and US governments had previously been reported to be exploring approaching the UN Security Council to extend the mandate if the SOFA was not agreed to in time. Now, the US seems to be taking that option entirely off the table, in a sign they are putting even more pressure on Iraq’s parliament to OK the SOFA as presently worded.

State Department adviser David Satterfield is quoted in the Iraqi press as saying the United States not only isn’t exploring an extension, they would reject the extension of the UN mandate and would withdraw all troops from Iraq if the Iraqis don’t approve the SOFA.

I don't believe Satterfield but wouldn't it be great if this is how it all ends? End of year present.

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Iraqis Decide Our Future

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Iraqi Cabinet approves security pact with US
Iraq's Cabinet on Sunday approved a security pact with the United States that will allow American forces to stay in Iraq for three years after their U.N. mandate expires at the end of the year, the government said.
But we want them out now. When do we citizens decide? In theory it is on election day, but the "war-hungry" always seem to win.

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Dirty diapers

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A great 'toon from John Waski.

So what do we do with those loads? How much detergent will get those diapers clean?

I wouldn't put those in my compost pile. Those stunk up the world - my little garden can't work with those.

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Say it ain't so O

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Obama Mulls Keeping Gates on Board
As Obama’s aides continue to try to stifle hopes for the radical policy changes that were a cornerstone of his sweeping electoral victory, the surest sign thus far that little is going to change after the January 20 inauguration is swirling reports that he may ask Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to remain in his position.
Clinton retreads, now Gates? Am I dreaming? If I am, it's starting to look like a nightmare.

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Sobering thoughts

Don't Let Barack Obama Break Your Heart

On the day that Americans turned out in near record numbers to vote, a record was set halfway around the world. In Afghanistan, a U.S. Air Force strike wiped out about 40 people in a wedding party. This represented at least the sixth wedding party eradicated by American air power in Afghanistan and Iraq since December 2001.

And while the new president turns to domestic matters, it's quite possible that significant parts of his foreign policy could be left to the oversight of Vice President Joe Biden who, in case anyone has forgotten, proposed a plan for Iraq back in 2007 so filled with imperial hubris that it still startles. In a Caesarian moment, he recommended that the U.S. -- not Iraqis -- functionally divide the country into three parts. Although he preferred to call it a "federal system," it was, for all intents and purposes, a de facto partition plan.

f Iraq remains a sorry tale of American destruction and dysfunction without, as yet, a discernable end in sight, Afghanistan may prove Iraq squared. And there, candidate Obama expressed no desire to wind the war down and withdraw American troops. Quite the opposite, during the election campaign he plunked hard for escalation, something our NATO allies are sure not to be too enthusiastic about.

Finally, President-elect Obama accepted the overall framework of a "Global War on Terror" during his presidential campaign.

What to do?
...pitch your own tent on the public commons and make some noise. Let him know that Washington's isn't the only consensus around, that Americans really do want our troops to come home, that we actually are looking for "change we can believe in," which would include a less weaponized, less imperial American world, based on a reinvigorated idea of defense, not aggression, and on the Constitution, not leftover Rumsfeld rules or a bogus Global War on Terror.

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End It!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

US Military Admits to Afghan Civilian Killings
While stressing their allegations of Taliban complicity in the deaths, the US military admitted yesterday that it had killed 37 civilians in an air strike on a wedding party in Kandahar Province early last week.
Tip of the iceberg.

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Let's convince Obama

Transforming Obama's Campaign into a Movement for Change

For the first time in history, Americans elected a former community organizer as their President. Barack Obama is going to need all those organizing skills to be an effective leader. To achieve a progressive agenda, Obama will have to win over some reluctant Democrats and a few moderate Republicans. Like Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, Obama can use his bully pulpit to inspire and educate Americans to help move the country in a new direction. But like those two transformational presidents, Obama will also need to get the ground troops mobilized, in key states and Congressional districts, to put pressure on members who might otherwise sit on the fence.

Obama can learn valuable lessons from FDR, who recognized that his ability to push New Deal legislation through Congress depended on the pressure generated by protestors and organizers. He once told a group of activists who sought his support for legislation, "You've convinced me. Now go out and make me do it."

Let's hope the folks he is bringing in, or rumored to be bringing in, will not just try to bring about Clintonian-era policies (not a fan of all). Let's make sure we "make him do" the things he promised" end the wars, create a new foreign policy based on diplomacy, move to green us all...

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The Task Ahead

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Transformational Moment - Progressive Democrats of America
Our job, now, will be to work with Obama, to transform the transformational man into a true progressive: to help him see that we will never have a workable health care policy until we remove the insurance companies from the equation; to remind him that another quagmire awaits us in Afghanistan, and to support his declarations that diplomacy can be more effective than military action; to convince him that no meaningful environmental policy can include any amount of nuclear or fossil fuel, no matter how "clean." As FDR's Works Projects Administration jump-started America out of the Depression, President Obama may find that a totally green Apollo-like project for energy may be the jobs program that saves our economy--and our planet.

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Fight on!

Cindy Sheehan: I Will Never Concede Defeat

We will still have to fight the establishment with everything we have.

This is not the time to give up and give in to the politics of blinding amounts of money shrouded in "hope."

On November 5th, we still have millions of people sleeping on our streets and without jobs and health care. We still have our troops mired in two unconscionable wars that Obama has not promised to end. Our economy is still on a very precarious footing and oil, the lifeblood of the elite, is running out. There are many people in this world, and yes, this country that are food insecure and the next resource wars may be over water.

There are still many "fights" and "races" ahead. Take a few days to celebrate, mourn, reflect and then jump back in with both feet into the struggle for peace and justice.

It is not the end - only the beginning. End the wars!

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The Work Ahead....

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

From Progressive Democrats of America

Now we have work to do, to assure the Obama administration listens to his "better angels" and adheres to his progressive record--and PDA will need your help in this effort.

“Our long national nightmare is over”--so declared Gerald Ford upon taking over the presidency after Richard Nixon's resignation (Nixon choosing that disgrace over imminent impeachment--there's a lesson there.)

Would that our current crisis be awakened from as easily.

But we ring in change and dare to hope.

At least we know, for the first time in eight years, the person on whom so much planetary security depends has a solid intellect. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell called Obama, "a transformational figure." We may need no less than that to address the challenges ahead. If tremendous damage has been done to America's reputation, tremendous healing may come from having as president a man who extolled the need to engage even with one's enemies, whose extraordinary, world-wide upbringing embodies the maxim “think globally, act locally," and will present a new face to a planet that has become wary of the nation which not long ago was its ideal.

PDA can have a huge role in what is to come. At this year's annual PDA conference, we were particularly struck to hear John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation, describe Franklin Roosevelt's less-than-progressive roots, and the degree to which FDR was swayed by the great Fiorello La Guardia and other progressives. This should give us plenty of hope about what is possible in moving an entire administration.

Our job, now, will be to work with Obama, to transform the transformational man into a true progressive: to help him see that we will never have a workable health care policy until we remove the insurance companies from the equation; to remind him that another quagmire awaits us in Afghanistan, and to support his declarations that diplomacy can be more effective than military action; to convince him that no meaningful environmental policy can include any amount of nuclear or fossil fuel, no matter how "clean." As FDR's Works Projects Administration jump-started America out of the Depression, President Obama may find that a totally green Apollo-like project for energy may be the jobs program that saves our economy--and our planet.

Now the work must begin. Let us hope that his picks for cabinet and administration posts are the right ones. A few I have heard are not too encouraging, in my opinion. Time will tell, but we don't have too much time.

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The Palin Mob

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Imagine these guys running our nation.

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Looking back to 2005

A 'New' New Deal is an article from 2005 (post-Katrina).
The catastrophe, as many seem to grasp, is one of those big moments that jolt public consciousness and alter the course of national history. I would go further and describe it as an exclamation point that marks a dramatic breakdown for the reigning right-wing orthodoxy, the beginning of its retreat and eventual demise. This by no means insures the restoration of progressive alternatives, but events have at least reopened the argument conservatives thought they had won.

A profound political question is suddenly on the table: Must the country continue to give precedence to private financial gain and market determinism over human lives and broad public values? Or shall we now undertake a radical restoration on behalf of society and people? New Orleans, strange exception though it seems, is actually an extreme microcosm of the nation's general afflictions and social inequities. It's the place where reform politics can launch its long-deferred counteroffensive.

The conservative mindset is flummoxed by these tragic new circumstances. Republican ideologues acquired governing power by promising to liberate Americans from the government's intrusive powers, but they succeeded all too well. If "market forces" are allowed to design the recovery program, much of New Orleans and environs will be plowed up (think no-bid contracts for Halliburton and Bechtel) and reduced to a theme park for hot jazz, good restaurants and grubby jobs.

Newt Gingrich, always a reliable bellwether for the right-wing zeitgeist, is preaching that the right must change its tune "quickly" or face big losses. The old politics--provoking culture wars about "moral values"--will no longer suffice, he explained in a memo circulated among Republicans and the press. The new politics is about "performance," in which GOP government has to deliver. But while Gingrich's rhetoric is different, his ideas are the same old, same old. He urges George W. Bush to create a huge tax-free zone along the Gulf Coast where business enterprise will be subsidized and the oil industry relieved of meddlesome environmental regulation. The President's first noble gesture after the flood was to cut wages for construction workers on public projects.

More encouraging evidence of changed politics comes from the left. Some bold Democrats are doing what they haven't dared to do for many years, even decades: They are invoking their New Deal legacy and applying its liberal operating assumptions to the present crisis. In the totality of the Gulf Coast destruction, the economy and the society have been collapsed. As New Dealers understood, you cannot fix one without fixing the other. And only the federal government has the resources and authority to lead such a complex undertaking.

A New New Deal is what we need now. It has been invoked in this election - let us hope it becomes a reality.
This new ferment is only just beginning, but the crisis is young, and the hunger for big reform is rapidly gaining momentum. The media haven't paid much attention so far because the New Deal proposals probably sound like historic relics. But the aptness of the ideas--aggressive government intervention, integrated across many fronts--will become clearer to people if Democrats re-educate the electorate. That re-education can begin if progressives first provoke a big argument among Democrats themselves. What do they now believe about government's obligations to society? This is a good fight to have and, besides, intramural political spats are always newsworthy. This one will be substantive as well. Terrible events have handed Democrats the material for a strong and enduring governing agenda.

George Bush, meet "Dr. New Deal." Reactionary Republicans loathed FDR and sneered at his corny slogans, while he wickedly ridiculed them in return. The voters understood his spirit and forgave the mistakes. They laughed with him and loved him for caring.

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Admitting we are at war with Iran

This one clip should be all that is needed to keep her as far away from the Oval Office as possible. As a matter of fact, Alaska may even be too close.

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At war with Syria

Monday, October 27, 2008

Syria Condemns US Attack as “Serious Aggression”

An unnamed US military official has confirmed the attack on the Syrian border town of al-Sukkariya earlier this evening, which killed at least eight and wounded 14 others. He said the attack targeted “elements of a robust foreign fighter logistics network” and that the US had decided to take matters “into our own hands.” US Marines Major General John Kelly had recently expressed discontent with Syria’s slow progress on constructing a physical barrier at the border, though as recently as Thursday he described security incidents in the border province as so uncommon as to be “almost meaningless,” making the timing of the attack puzzling.
Syria summoned the Charges d’Affaires of both the United States and Iraq to protest the attack, which it condemned as “serious aggression.” In a statement released through their state media they called on the Iraqi government to “assume its responsibilities and make an immediate investigation into the dangerous violation and prevent using the Iraqi lands from launching aggression on Syria.”
Rather than begin winding down because of the touted "surge success", our regime is expanding the war beyond the borders of Iraq.

In the past I have written about whether Syria or Iran were our next targets. I have not written that question in quite a while - I thought Syria was off the radar. Oops, wrong!

Now the question is, how soon into Iran? Before election day? Have to either keep W in office because of an international catastrophe (martial law here we come) or have a war so another war-monger (hint - "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran John") will unexpectedly win.

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Obama, Please listen to him...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Imran Khan Warns Against US 'Surge' in Afghanistan
Pakistan ex-cricket star turned politician Imran Khan warned against any Iraq-style surge to tackle violent militancy in Afghanistan, telling AFP the two situations were "completely different".
While stressing his support for US Democratic White House hopefuls Barack Obama and Joe Biden, he said in an interview Thursday that any move to increase the US military presence would be a bad move.
"Most American politicians haven't a clue," the chair of the Pakistan Movement for Justice said during a visit to London.
"So it's very easy, they say, you know a surge, but do they understand a surge in Afghanistan and Pakistan is completely different to urban centres in Iraq?
Let us not follow up the mistakes of W with more mistakes. You have talked about diplomacy as a better weapon. Please follow through.

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Expanding the success of Iraq?

US Helicopters, Commandos Attack Syrian Border Town Killing Eight

In a report from local witnesses later confirmed by a Syrian government spokesman, Two US helicopters landed in the Syrian border town of Al-Sukkariya while others remained in the air and eight American soldiers exited. The soldiers killed at least eight people in the attack, and wounded 14 others before reboarding the helicopters and returning to Iraqi territory.
The US military has yet to officially confirm the strike, the first US strike on Syrian soil, but an unnamed US official confirmed the strike, saying that due to Syrian inaction they were now “taking matters into our own hands” with regards to foreign fighters.
As the last days of the current regime are in sight, and the chances of continuing the regime with McCain being slim, last ditch efforts to expand the conflict arise.
Next plan - Iran?

Bring them all home NOW!

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The New Red Menace?

Comrade Obama?

Wait, I like mustard sandwiches! What's so wrong with them?

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Surge Success?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Iraq: Did the Surge Work?
"My thesis," wrote (Juan) Cole, "would be that the U.S. inadvertently allowed the chasing of hundreds of thousands of Sunni Arabs out of Baghdad (and many of them had to go all the way to Syria for refuge). Rates of violence declined once the ethnic cleansing was far advanced, just because there were fewer mixed neighborhoods."
Cole's thesis has received important confirmation. According to Bob Woodward, in his new book The War Within (Simon & Schuster, 2008), the biggest factor behind the reduced violence in Iraq was "very possibly" not the Surge, but a resort to Death Squads. A "Top Secret" memo viewed by Woodward indicates that the Sunnis were systematically targeted and assassinated. What took place was reminiscent of the infamous Phoenix Program instituted by the U.S. in Vietnam. It was a strategy of summary executions.
Yet another confirmation appeared in a recent study conducted by scientists at the University of California. Based on an examination of satellite photos across Baghdad, the study observed that Sunni neighborhoods, which showed a dramatic decrease of nighttime light in Sunni neighborhoods, had been abandoned by their inhabitants. The surge, the study concluded, "has had no observable effect." The study attributed the tremendous decline in Baghdad's Sunni population to relocations and ethnic cleansing.
Tom Hayden raises some disturbing questions. "Why were the targets killed instead of being detained? How many targeted individuals were killed or made to disappear? . . . How are the operations consistent with US constitutional law and international human rights standards?" Why has thee been no congressional investigation?
And so many praise the Surge and hope to take the same to Afghanistan. Death Squads - our nation has know and supported them in the past (think Central America). Let's hope the next President won't.

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Remember Morton Downey, Jr.?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Police Declare 'Mutilation' of McCain Worker in Pittsburgh a Hoax -- After Media Raise Doubts
It started yesterday afternoon with Matt Drudge screaming at the top of his site in red type -- but no siren -- that a Pittsburgh campaign worker for McCain, age 20, had been viciously attacked and the letter "B" carved into her face, presumably by a Barack Obama fan. Her name, it soon emerged, was Ashley Todd and she had come to Pittsburgh from College Station, Texas, to help out. It started to appear overblown (Drudge downgraded it to smaller, black type) as the police noted that it seemed to be a robbery ($60) and she did not seek medical attention. But later press reports said she would visit a hospital, Sarah Palin and maybe John McCain had called her and Obama camp had condemned, although McCain/Obama angle to story not yet confirmed. Still later, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, and some others, grew skeptical. For one thing, the "B" was carved a little too lightly and perfectly -- and backward, as if done using a mirror. Smoking Gun probed a too-pat "Twitter" angle and Gawker looked at her MySpace page.
Malkin didn't bite on this one and go to town with the story? The world may be coming to an end when Michelle displays some sanity.

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To my Friend...

... who spouted about the "success" in Iraq. Some more exmaples of how wrong the use of the word "success" is:
What the Good News from Iraq Really Means
Today, however, success in Iraq seems as elusive as ever for the President. The Iraqi cabinet is now refusing, without further amendment, to pass on to Parliament the status of forces agreement for stationing US troops in the country that it's taken so many months for American and Iraqi negotiators to sort out. Key objections, as Juan Cole points out at his Informed Comment blog, have come from the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, which is [Prime Minister Nouri] al-Maliki's chief political partner, the support of which he would need to get the draft through parliament." That party, Cole adds tellingly, "is close to Tehran, which objects to the agreement." The Iranian veto? Hmmm? Among Iraqis, according to the Dreyfuss Report, only the Kurds, whose territories house no significant US forces, remain unequivocally in favor of the agreement as written. Frustrated American officials, including Ambassador Ryan Crocker ("Without legal authority to operate, we do not operate? That means no security operations, no logistics, no training, no support for Iraqis on the borders, no nothing?"), Secretary of Defense Robert Gates ("Without a new legal agreement,'we basically stop doing anything' in the country?"), and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen ("We are clearly running out of time?") are huffing and puffing, and threatening – if the agreement is not passed as is – to blow the house down.
Even if Washington prefers to ignore Iraqi realities, military officials working close to the ground know that the country's state of disrepair, and an inability to deal with it in any reasonably prompt way, leaves a population in steaming discontent. At any moment, this could explode in further sectarian violence or yet another violent effort to expel the US forces from the country.
We went in, destroyed, pitted one against another, failed to rebuild... and we wonder why people don't like our policies.

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He lied...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Powell’s Endorsement Puts Spotlight on His Legacy
Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell’s endorsement of Senator Barack Obama on Sunday represented his own transformative moment in a lifelong journey through war and politics.
It was not only an embrace of a presidential candidate from the other party, but also an effort to reshape a legacy that he himself considers tainted by his service under President Bush.
Cannot forget or forgive his lies that led us to war. The photos, charts and props...all lies.

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All the news fit to ignore....

2,000 Days Since "Mission Accomplished"

Now the war barely merits an above the fold headline. It sits smothered by election silliness. When we should be having a great national debate, we're bogged down in lip-sticked pigs, one group crying terrorist at every corner and a shadowy group of election 'officials' poised to steal yet another election.
Keep it out of our view - keep it going below our radar. Or at least the radar many hope we have - you know the Madonna Divorce is Huge News radar!

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Ban them all

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Georgia Used Cluster Bombs in August War, Too (
Separating fact from fiction isn't easy, in wartime. Take Human Rights Watch's recent "discovery" that Russia used cluster bombs during its Georgia campaign. Much was made of this by some media types who took it as evidence for a black-and-white situation of evil Russians versus righteous Georgians. But it turns out the Russians were not the only ones using cluster bombs. Human Rights Watch is still sticking by its identification of Russian PTAB submunitions (pictured). But now, the group has issued a clarification on a second type of munition used in Georgia:
...The Georgian government said it used cluster munitions during the August 2008 armed conflict with Russia, Human Rights Watch said today. In a letter to Human Rights Watch, the Georgian Defense Ministry stated that cluster rockets were “used against Russian military equipment and armament marching from Roki tunnel to Dzara road [sic],” but that they “were never used against civilians, civilian targets and civilian populated or nearby areas.”
Sure - no civilians were killed or injured in making this movie...

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Today's enemy is tomorrow's...

Moving Towards a 'Grand Bargain' in Afghanistan
Increasingly frustrated by the "downward spiral" that the U.S. intelligence community sees in Afghanistan, the Pentagon appears to be moving in support of engaging leaders of the resurgent Taliban who are prepared to disassociate themselves from al Qaeda. While the seeds for that strategy are being planted now, the next U.S. president – be it the current front-runner, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, or his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain – will likely be advised by Pentagon chief Robert Gates and the new chief of the U.S. Central Command (Centcom), Gen. David Petraeus, to support such an effort as the most effective way to stabilize Afghanistan where the "global war on terror" first began seven years ago.
And then in three years we'll be back fighting these guys. It never ends - the insanity that is.

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Our Next President - God NO!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

For some, a dream come true. For others, a living nightmare. Explore this twisted vision of a Palinesque Presidency!
Mouse click around and see what Sarah is up to. Open the door three times - poor Bambi. Just don't pick up that ringing red phone!

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Perpetual War or Search for Peace?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is US fighting force big enough?

American's armed forces are growing bigger to reduce the strains from seven years of war, but if the US is confronting an era of "persistent conflict," as some experts believe, it will need an even bigger military.
A larger military could more easily conduct military and nation-building operations around the world. But whether the American public has the appetite to pursue and pay for such a foreign-policy agenda, especially after more than five years of an unpopular war in Iraq, is far from clear.
Last week, the Army released a new manual on "stability operations" that outlines for the Army a prominent global role as a nation-builder. The service will maintain its ability to fight conventional land wars, but the manual's release signals that it expects future conflicts to look more like Iraq or Afghanistan than World War II. While Defense Secretary Robert Gates has not publicly supported expanding the force beyond what is already planned, he has said the United States must prepare for more counterinsurgency wars like the ones it is fighting now – a hint that a larger military may be necessary.
As stated before - time to shift our thinking. Why must it be perpetual war? Why must our "face" in foreign nations be behind a gun? Isn't it time for diplomacy? Isn't it a time to shift our focus? Haven't we learned from our mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan and every other conflict we have been involved in?

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IDentify with peace

Monday, October 13, 2008

 
Came across these three designs at Spark Ink.

I particularly love the idea behind the black t-shirt:

Think peace challenges the status quo with its innovative graphic.
Definitely is time to change the culture - think peace, think green...

(No - this is not my company, I am not a salesperson for it, I do not receive a commission. Just a great shirt I found.)

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And I was just going to move to Mexico!

Tina Fey ‘leaving Earth’ if Palin wins

“We're gonna take it week by week. If she wins, I'm done,” Fey tells TV Guide in the Oct. 20 issue. “I can't do that for four years. And by ‘I'm done,’ I mean I'm leaving Earth.”

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Grow your own!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

An Open Letter to the Next Farmer in Chief - Michael Pollan - NYTimes.com
It may surprise you to learn that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food. Food policy is not something American presidents have had to give much thought to, at least since the Nixon administration — the last time high food prices presented a serious political peril. Since then, federal policies to promote maximum production of the commodity crops (corn, soybeans, wheat and rice) from which most of our supermarket foods are derived have succeeded impressively in keeping prices low and food more or less off the national political agenda. But with a suddenness that has taken us all by surprise, the era of cheap and abundant food appears to be drawing to a close. What this means is that you, like so many other leaders through history, will find yourself confronting the fact — so easy to overlook these past few years — that the health of a nation’s food system is a critical issue of national security. Food is about to demand your attention.
Not only quality but its impact on global warming.
After cars, the food system uses more fossil fuel than any other sector of the economy — 19 percent. And while the experts disagree about the exact amount, the way we feed ourselves contributes more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than anything else we do — as much as 37 percent, according to one study. Whenever farmers clear land for crops and till the soil, large quantities of carbon are released into the air. But the 20th-century industrialization of agriculture has increased the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the food system by an order of magnitude; chemical fertilizers (made from natural gas), pesticides (made from petroleum), farm machinery, modern food processing and packaging and transportation have together transformed a system that in 1940 produced 2.3 calories of food energy for every calorie of fossil-fuel energy it used into one that now takes 10 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce a single calorie of modern supermarket food. Put another way, when we eat from the industrial-food system, we are eating oil and spewing greenhouse gases.
Pollan, in a lengthy piece (but worth the read) offers many ideas - from change in policy to change in culture. My favorite idea...
The president should throw his support behind a new Victory Garden movement, this one seeking “victory” over three critical challenges we face today: high food prices, poor diets and a sedentary population. Eating from this, the shortest food chain of all, offers anyone with a patch of land a way to reduce their fossil-fuel consumption and help fight climate change. (We should offer grants to cities to build allotment gardens for people without access to land.) Just as important, Victory Gardens offer a way to enlist Americans, in body as well as mind, in the work of feeding themselves and changing the food system — something more ennobling, surely, than merely asking them to shop a little differently.
A fight worthy of enlistment - a war (a "green" war for real food) I can finally support.

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One way to boost the economy?

Evidence grows that Israel, with U.S. aid, is preparing to attack Iran
Month after month, the nation's attention seems to ping-pong back and forth between the world's two egregious nuclear malefactors, North Korea and Iran.
In fact several recent developments leave the strong suggestion that Israel is preparing to attack Iran - with significant help from the United States. You may remember that Israel carried out a major military exercise involving more than 100 F-16 and F-15 fighter jets over the Eastern Mediterranean last June. At the time, American officials said the exercise appeared to be a rehearsal for a bombing attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. And Shaul Mofaz, an Iranian-born former army chief of staff and defense minister, warned that "if Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack" - just as Israel bombed a suspected nuclear site in Syria last year. The likelihood of an American attack has diminished. American commanders "think it would complicate the situation in Iraq and the region," John Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador, told me. He favors an attack but says "the Bush administration was much more inclined to do it a few years ago." Secretaries Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates, at State and Defense - relative moderates within the Bush administration - now dominate discussion of issues like this.
And there's more: Just last week came the news that the United States has deployed an advanced early-warning radar system in Israel for detecting incoming missiles. It is so sophisticated that, for now, U.S. Army crews will be stationed there to operate it.
We always have heard that the best boost for an economy is a war - defense production up - eyes off the real problems... But there is also an added benefit to an Israeli attack - a chance for either W to step up and declare martial law or a chance for McCain to win. The only downside? Nuclear war! That's a price the neo-cons may be willing to pay.

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Whose fault is it?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

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Getting ready...

Is Posse Comitatus Dead? US Troops on US Streets

In a barely noticed development, a US Army unit is now training for domestic operations under the control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. An initial news report in the Army Times newspaper last month noted that in addition to emergency response the force “may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control.” The military has since claimed the force will not be used for civil unrest, but questions remain.
The timing of this before the elections, as the financial market dies, as people realize that the governments is not there to help us...scary thought.

Tanks on Wall Street? Tanks on Main Street? I am sure the "terror threat" will be used. Let's hope we all see through the lies.

We may be very close to taking it to the streets. The regime seems ready to strike the first blow.

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Three year old terrorists?

Monday, October 06, 2008

US Raid Kills 11 Members of Mosul Family
US forces conducted a dawn raid on a house in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in which they believed a “suspected insurgent” was hiding. When the clash was over, 11 members of a single Iraqi family were dead. The US wasn’t specific about the nature of the deaths, citing only someone with a suicide vest. However, an Iraqi security source said the US troops killed all 11. An Iraqi medic said the dead were five men, three women, and three children. The US report said five “terrorists,” three women, and three children. Surviving the raid were a three year old child and a three month old infant. The child is in Iraqi army custody, while Iraqi police are tending to the infant.
Incredible?
Likewise, it is unclear how the coalition forces determined that every single adult man killed in the building was a “terrorist” when the raid was completed.
Wait until they determine that the children were also involved. Gitmo, get the cribs ready.

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Prince Charlie - humanitarian?

Charles Targets GM Crop Giants in Fiercest Attack Yet

"The reason I keep sticking my 60-year-old head above an increasingly dangerous parapet is not because it is good for my health," he said " but precisely because I believe fundamentally that unless we work with nature, we will fail to restore the equilibrium we need in order to survive on this planet."
True to his word, he plunged straight into the most controversial and emotive of all the debates over GM crops and foods by highlighting the suicides of small farmers. Tens of thousands killed themselves in India after getting into debt. The suicides were occurring long before GM crops were introduced, but campaigners say that the technology has made things worse because the seeds are more expensive and have not increased yields to match.
Broadening his offensive, he said that "any GM crop will inevitably contaminate neighbouring fields", making it impossible to maintain the integrity of organic and conventional crops. For the first time in history this would lead to "one man's system of farming effectively destroying the choice of another man's" and "turn the whole issue into a global moral question." He quoted Mahatma Gandhi who condemned "commerce without morality" and "science without humanity".
Commerce without morality? Capitalism leading to a sustainable environment? An economy for the benefit of all?

Shouldn't that be the goal? Shouldn't that have been the litmus test for the "bailout?"

And so many have made fun of Charles. Seems pretty sane and sensible to me.

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Bailout - Robbery?

Dennis Kucinich on the Democrats’ Bailout Betrayal
"This was the largest single act of class warfare in the modern history of this country," Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, who led the fight in the House against the bailout, told me by phone from Cleveland. "It is a direct attack on the American people's ability to be able to stabilize their homes and their neighborhoods. This single vote will define the careers of everyone. We are back to taxation without representation, to markets that are openly rigged."
"We buried the New Deal," he said of the vote. "Instead of Democrats going back to classic New Deal economics where we prime the pump of the economy and start money circulating among the population through saving homes, creating jobs and building a new infrastructure, our leaders chose to accelerate the wealth of the nation upwards. They did so in a way that was destructive of free-market principles. They ripped away all the familiar moorings. We are in an uncharted sea where the traditional roles of the political parties are being switched. The Democrats have unfortunately become so enamored and beholden to Wall Street that we are not functioning to defend the economic interest of the broad base of the American people. It was up to the Republicans to protect not just a so-called free market but the American taxpayer and attempt to block this. This is an outrage. This was democracy's Black Friday."
"We face a perfect financial storm," Kucinich warned. "The elements are the deficit spending for the war of 3 to 4 trillion dollars, the trillion and more tax cuts, the war itself and the lack of serious investment in the country. We are being hollowed out. We are going to see more unemployment and more people losing their homes. With $700 billion we could have made a real investment in the country, in jobs, in infrastructure and in homes. Instead, we got robbed."
Both parties sold us down the river all to line the pockets of a few. After today's market, it looks like the bailout plan is being seen for the robbery it is.

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You Betcha!

Friday, October 03, 2008

 

After watching the debate last night two questions come up:
(1) How in the world can anyone think she won the debate?
(2)Margie and Sarah - twins?

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He's ba-ack!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Wolfowitz Up to More Mischief?
Just 15 months after being forced to resign as president of the World Bank over a conflict of interest regarding his professional and personal relationships with his girlfriend, former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz may be involved in another, far more geo-strategic conflict of interest involving his dual roles as chairman of the State Department's International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) and chairman of the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council, among whose U.S. members are military contractors who have been dying to get the Bush administration's approval to sell about 11 billion dollars worth of arms to the island to protect it against the threat of an attack by the mainland.
...Wolfowitz's ISAB may be trying to gin up tensions with China, acting as a new "Team B" in persuading policymakers and the public at large that Beijing's military modernization, especially its missile program, is more threatening to the U.S. than, in Gertz's words, "many current government and private-sector analyses" have depicted it.
...the report, the product of a task force headed by Joseph, recommends that the U.S. "should undertake the development of new weapons, sensors, communications, and other programs and tactics to convince China that it will not be able to overcome the U.S. militarily" and specifically that it obtain, in Gertz's words, "new offensive space and cyber warfare capabilities and missile defenses as well as ‘more robust sea- and space-based capabilities' to deter any crisis over Taiwan."
He's back and ready to fill his pals' wallets again.

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End them all and start anew

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

British Envoy says Mission in Afghanistan Is Doomed, According to Leaked Memo
The official version of the US-led campaign in Afghanistan received a blow today with a leaked report that the British Ambassador in Kabul believes that US strategy is wrong and the war is as good as lost.
"The current situation is bad. The security situation is getting worse. So is corruption and the Government has lost all trust. Our public statements should not delude us over the fact that the insurrection, while incapable of winning a military victory, nevertheless has the capacity to make life increasingly difficult, including in the capital. "The presence - especially the military presence - of the coalition is part of the problem, not the solution. The foreign forces are ensuring the survival of a regime which would collapse without them. In doing so, they are slowing down and complicating an eventual exit from the crisis (which, moreover, will probably be dramatic)."
Who really wins a war besides the arms makers and coffin builders?

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Coup averted or just delayed?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Congratulations, Corporate Crime Fighters! Coup Averted for Three Days! ...From Michael Moore
The Corporate Crime of the Century was halted by a vote of 228 to 205. It was rare and historic; no one could remember a time when a bill supported by the president and the leadership of both parties went down in defeat. That just never happens.
The 95 brave Dems who broke with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd were the real heroes, just like those few who stood up and voted against the war in October of 2002. Watch the remarks from yesterday of Reps. Marcy Kaptur, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Dennis Kucinich. They spoke the truth. The Dems who voted for the giveaway did so mostly because they were scared by the threats of Wall Street, that if the rich didn't get their handout, the market would go nuts and then it's bye-bye stock-based pension and retirement funds.
Speaking of Dennis he said:
The $700 billion bailout for Wall Street, is driven by fear not fact. This is too much money in too a short a time going to too few people while too many questions remain unanswered. Why aren't we having hearings on the plan we have just received? Why aren't we questioning the underlying premise of the need for a bailout with taxpayers' money? Why have we not considered any alternatives other than to give $700 billion to Wall Street? Why aren't we asking Wall Street to clean up its own mess? Why aren't we passing new laws to stop the speculation, which triggered this? Why aren't we putting up new regulatory structures to protect investors? How do we even value the $700 billion in toxic assets?
Why aren't we helping homeowners directly with their debt burden? Why aren't we helping American families faced with bankruptcy. Why aren't we reducing debt for Main Street instead of Wall Street? Isn't it time for fundamental change in our debt based monetary system, so we can free ourselves from the manipulation of the Federal Reserve and the banks? Is this the United States Congress or the board of directors of Goldman Sachs? Wall Street is a place of bears and bulls. It is not smart to force taxpayers to dance with bears or to follow closely behind the bulls.
But is it really averted? Or are the fat cats strong and ready with another bill that will be just as friendly to them?

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Banana Republic

Monday, September 29, 2008

Paul Krugman - speaking truth.
So what we now have is non-functional government in the face of a major crisis, because Congress includes a quorum of crazies and nobody trusts the White House an inch. As a friend said last night, we’ve become a banana republic with nukes.

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Let's prove him wrong!

Gates: Election Won’t Bring GIs Home

During a speech at the National Defense University, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates cautions that “no matter who is elected president in November” the troops will remain in some capacity “for years to come.”
Whem Obama wins let's make sure we hold his feet to the fire to END THE WARS!

Love to prove Gates wrong.

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Turning back time

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Great song and great claymation video. Maybe if we can turn back the clock we can change a few things (okay alot of things) so we wouldn't have to be in all the mess we find ourselves today.

Step one - count al;l the votes in Florida eight years ago.

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Whose October surprise?

US steps up Pakistan raids to thwart al-Qaeda 'October surprise' plot
US secret forces are intensifying their cross-border raids into Pakistani tribal areas because of fears of a high-profile al-Qaeda attack during the American election campaign, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.
Any attack in the weeks before the Nov 4 election - what is known in American political circles as an "October surprise" - would almost certainly give a decisive boost to John McCain, the Republican candidate who already holds a commanding lead on questions of national security.
So either we know who al-Qaeda supports or our own regime is "preparing" us for a homegrown "attack." Some of those sepcial ops could "accidently" trigger a minor explosion and then point the finger towards others. The calls for a tough military leader will be heard (or my own bet of martial law declared).
Would our own regime do this? You bet they would.

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Addicted

Saturday, September 27, 2008

 

Our "culture" is addicted. Look at the cars we drive, look at the bags we use, look at the toys our kids play with, look at the food we eat. Time to change the mindset, change the "culture."

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Another War?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

U.S. and Pakistan Exchange Fire
There are at least three differing accounts of exactly what happened on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border Thursday, but most agree that U.S. and Pakistani forces shot at each other. Cross border raids into Pakistan’s territory have inflamed relations between the two countries.
Is there no end to our madness?

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Postpone the debates?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain Stalls

Republican John McCain said Wednesday he is directing his staff to work with Democrat Barack Obama's campaign and the presidential debate commission to delay Friday's debate because of the economic crisis.
Obama's campaign says he is inclined to go ahead with Friday's presidential debate, even though his rival is calling for a delay.
In a statement, McCain said he will stop campaigning after addressing former President Clinton's Global Initiative session on Thursday and return to Washington to focus on the nation's financial problems.
Is this also giving up? Or is this the beginning of the calls to "postpone" the elections and have W serve a few more months? Martial law? October surprise?

It is time for revolution!

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Deeper in debt

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Now Is the Time to Resist Wall Street's Shock Doctrine
I wrote The Shock Doctrine in the hopes that it would make us all better prepared for the next big shock. Well, that shock has certainly arrived, along with gloves-off attempts to use it to push through radical pro-corporate policies (which of course will further enrich the very players who created the market crisis in the first place...).
The best summary of how the right plans to use the economic crisis to push through their policy wish list comes from Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich. On Sunday, Gingrich laid out 18 policy prescriptions for Congress to take in order to "return to a Reagan-Thatcher policy of economic growth through fundamental reforms." In the midst of this economic crisis, he is actually demanding the repeal of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which would lead to further deregulation of the financial industry. Gingrich is also calling for reforming the education system to allow "competition" (a.k.a. vouchers), strengthening border enforcement, cutting corporate taxes and his signature move: allowing offshore drilling.
So let's be absolutely clear: there are no saviors who are going to look out for us in this crisis. Certainly not Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of the companies that will benefit most from his proposed bailout (which is actually a stick up). The only hope of preventing another dose of shock politics is loud, organized grassroots pressure on all political parties: they have to know right now that after seven years of Bush, Americans are becoming shock resistant
Quick solution #1: End the wars - just think of all those dollars that could be spent here at home. Solution #2: Tax the golden parachutes the Wall Streeter's are getting at ....how about 99%.

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King W and our economy

Sunday, September 21, 2008

'Taxpayer Ripoff': Many Economists Skeptical of Bailout

Many of the same economists and opinion-makers who'd provided a bipartisan sheen of consensus to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's previous moves have quickly begun casting doubts on the wisdom of a policy that would allow Treasury to purchase without oversight hundreds of billions of dollars of difficult-to-price assets from financial institutions.
President Bush is “asking for a huge amount of power,” said Nouriel Roubini, an economist at New York University who was among the first to predict the crisis. “He's saying, ‘Trust me, I'm going to do it right if you give me absolute control.' This is not a monarchy.”
Here I always thought that a war would lead W to declare martial law and have Cardinal Dick declare him as King. It looks like the economic slide, helped along by W's policies and war spending, may just be a suitable replacement for the war scenario.

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Just change the focus

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pentagon boss slams Russia but plays down threat
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates accused Moscow on Friday of "mauling and menacing small democracies" but said today's Russia did not pose a threat to the world like the Soviet Union.
Gates also said Russia's recent military action in Georgia was a Pyrrhic victory -- costing Moscow far more in the long term than any short-term gains it achieved.
"The Russian leadership might seek to exorcise past humiliations and aspire to recapture past glory along with past territory," he said. "But mauling and menacing small democracies does not a great power make."
Take a cue from us. Maul and menace all nations, do not limit yourself to small democracies.

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America wrecked

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Ripe Moment
It turns out the real hurricane blew through Wall Street last week, not Galveston. This morning, Manhattan is strewn chest-deep with the debris of banking and at this hour (seven a.m.) nobody knows how far, deep, and wide the damage will spread. The fear, of course, is that we are witnessing a classic "house-of-cards" or "dominos-in-a-row," situation, and that the death of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch will cascade into a generalized collapse of the entire consensus of value that supports mediums of exchange. At least one thing ought to be clear: this has happened due to the negligence and misfeasance of the regulating authorities, namely the Republican Party, and that now all the hoopla surrounding Sarah Palin can be swept away revealing that group to be what they actually are: the party that wrecked America.
As Kunstler writes:
I urge readers of this blog to identify the Republican Party by its new brand-name: the party that wrecked America. At least, then, we can reinstate one cardinal value into the juddering structure of what we claim to believe: that actions have consequences, that you can't just swindle and loot a society and walk away with the swag.

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War Pigs Profit

Sunday, September 14, 2008

War in Iraq. War in Afghanistan. War in Iran. Now talk of war with Russia.

As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds, oh lord yeah!
Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor
Let's check who is really pulling all the strings. Follow the bucks.

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Invade everyone

Palin Would Support War With Russia
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, emerging from media silence for her first serious interview as the GOP vice presidential pick, said Thursday that the United States might have to go to war if Russia were to invade Georgia again.
Palin said she had insights into U.S. relations with Russia because "they're our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska ... from an island in Alaska."
Better watch out Canada and Mexico. We see you too. Sarah knows about you guys too. Tanks may roll soon.

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Another history lessen ignored

Quagmire, Phase 2: The Invasion of Pakistan

The United States has just invaded Cambodia. The name of Cambodia this time is Pakistan, but otherwise it's the same story as in Indochina in 1970. An American army, deeply frustrated by its inability to defeat an anti-American insurgent movement despite years of struggle, decides that the key to victory lies in a neighboring country. In 1970, the problem was the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Cambodia. Today it is Taliban and al-Qaida bases inside Pakistan, which the United States has been attacking from the air for some time, with controversial "collateral damage." George W. Bush has now authorized independent ground assaults on Taliban and al-Qaida targets in Pakistan's Tribal Territories, without consultation with Pakistan authorities. These already have begun.
This follows a period of tension, with some armed clashes, between American and Pakistani military units, the latter defending "Pakistan's national sovereignty." Pakistan public opinion seems largely against "America's war" being fought inside Pakistan. Washington's decision was made known just in time for the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that opened the first phase of the "war on terror," after which "nothing could ever be the same." We no doubt have now begun phase two.
The eventual outcome of the American intervention in Cambodia in 1970 was Communist overthrow of the American-sponsored military government in that country, followed by genocide. The future consequences in (nuclear-armed) Pakistan await.
Will we ever learn the lesson's from history? Based on the rhetoric and actions of our polticians - I don't think so.

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Invasion help from friends

U.S. to sell Israel Air Force new bunker-buster bombs

Despite reservations in Washington regarding a possible Israeli strike on Iran, the American administration will supply Israel with sophisticated weapons for heavily fortified targets, the U.S. administration announced.
The Pentagon's announcement, which came on Friday, said the U.S. will provide Israel with 1,000 units of Guided Bomb Unit-39 (GBU-39) - a special weapon developed for penetrating fortified facilities located deep underground. The $77 million shipment, which includes launchers and appurtenances, will allow the IAF to hit many more bunkers than currently possible.
The Pentagon's announcement also said that the U.S. would help upgrade the Israel Defense Forces' patriot anti-aircraft missiles - which Israel uses as part of its missile-interception array. Israel will also receive 28,000 LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon) tube launchers for land forces.
Gee I wonder what they plan to do with this shipment?

The first line is puzzling. Just who has reservations? Surely not McCain-Palin. Sarah may that quite clear to Charlie the other day - full speed ahead to bomb, bomb, bomb.

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Thank you Dennis

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Impeach President Bush Now, says Dennis Kucinich
One day before the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Rep. Dennis Kucinich is presenting a petition to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with 50,000 signatures urging the impeachment of President Bush -- adding to the 100,000 he has already filed. Calling the Bush administration's military response to 9/11 "errant retributive justice," the Ohio Democrat called for a Commission on Truth and Reconciliation to "compel testimony and gather official documents" on why the Bush administration went to war in Iraq.

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