Friday, November 17, 2006

Democrats and Withdrawal: Asking Too Much?/Latest O.J. Madness and $$$$

From my "Capital Games" column at

For Democrats, here's the bad news: now that they have won control of Congress, they are expected to not only criticize President Bush's policies in Iraq but to derive a solution to the mess he has created.

On Thursday morning, incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met with several journalists, including yours truly. In his opening remarks, he outlined his plans. He noted that he will compel senators to work longer hours and dramatically expand the Tuesday-through-Thursday-at-noon work week that has become routine in the Senate. He said he would cut back on recess time. The first bill he intends to introduce as majority leader, he declared, would target sleazy campaign tactics, and he pointed to the misleading robocalls and false campaign literature used by Republicans in the final days of the recent congressional elections. He then turned to Iraq and called for some form of a "phased withdrawal."

"What we need to do first of all is implement the laws of the land," Reid said, referring to a resolution passed months ago by Congress calling for 2006 to be a year of significant transition in Iraq. "This law has been ignored," he complained. And he noted that 39 senators did vote for a Democratic amendment--another non-binding resolution--urging the beginning of the redeployment of troops from Iraq (without setting any deadlines for their departure). Reid indicated that he and the Democrats would continue to press for initiating a withdrawal: "We're an occupying force." But Reid also said that the United States had "to do a better job" on counterinsurgency and the training of Iraqi security forces. Pointing out that Baghdad now has less than fours of electricity a day, Reid said, "We need to revitalize reconstruction." He also called for a regional conference to work out a path ahead for Iraq.

But here's the rub: can the United States rebuild Iraq and remake its security forces while intense sectarian conflict is under way? And can it do so while removing troops? I asked Reid if the revitalization of Iraq and the creation of an Iraqi military and police force that is not beholden to sects and militias is at this point "a bridge too far." His reply: "It may be a bridge too far, but at least it's a bridge somewhere....There has to be a plan to get us out of there...This is my plan."

There seems to be a contradiction between the two sides of this plan: disengage (via troop withdrawals) but make reconstruction and training work. Reid noted the recent testimony of General John Abizaid, the head of Central Command, who said that progress needed to happen in Iraq in the next four to five months, and Reid compared this remark to the comment of Senator Carl Levin, the Democrat who will become chairman of the armed services committee, who said that redeployment of US troops should begin in four or five months. He appeared to be suggesting that under a Democratic plan there would be a window of opportunity--four or five months--for the Bush administration and the Iraqi government (such as it is) to work things out before US troops would start to leave. But it isn't realistic to expect significant (and positive) change within this time, especially when the situation in Iraq appears to worsen by the week.

As Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus reported on Friday--in an article headlined, "Violence in Iraq Called Increasingly Complex"--the dynamics of the conflict in Iraq are becoming harder, not easier, to sort out and address. He wrote:

Attacks in Iraq reached a high of approximately 180 a day last month, reflecting an increasingly complicated conflict that includes sectarian clashes of Sunni and Shiite militias on top of continuing strikes by insurgents, criminal gangs and al-Qaeda terrorists, according to the directors of the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

"No single narrative is sufficient to explain all the violence we see in Iraq today," Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the CIA director, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.

Attempting to describe the enemy, Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, the DIA director, listed "Iraqi nationalists, ex-Baathists, former military, angry Sunni, Jihadists, foreign fighters and al-Qaeda," who create an "overlapping, complex and multi-polar Sunni insurgent and terrorist environment." He added that "Shia militias and Shia militants, some Kurdish pesh merga, and extensive criminal activity further contribute to violence, instability and insecurity."

These descriptions suggest an increasingly difficult state of affairs that will not be much improved in four or five months.

And if the president does not heed the Democrats' call to start withdrawing troops by the spring, what will they do? After all, Reid noted that when he met with Bush the previous week he did not sense much "willingness to change." So will he, House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi, who has also advocated a withdrawal of troops, and the Democrats try to choke off funding for the war or attempt to impose legislative mandates upon the commander in chief? "We're not going to back off this," Reid said--without mentioning any specific steps. If Bush stays the course or elects to send more troops to Iraq, Reid said, "We'll speak out loudly." Speaking out loudly, though, will not likely persuade Bush at this stage or lead to any course corrections.

Reid noted that Iraq is "the number-one issue" for the Senate's new Democrats and the war is "hurting our country." He added, "the whole situation [in Iraq] is breaking down." But can Iraq be saved? As Democrats establish their opening position in the coming fight with the White House over Iraq--a battle that will be shaped by whatever former Secretary of State James Baker's Iraq Study Group recommends next month--they are asking for a lot: disengagement from Iraq and a US policy that results in a better Iraq (one with a functioning central government, a revived economy, and effective security forces not under the control or influence of sectarian militias). Redeployment is certainly achievable; making Iraq work may not be. There certainly is no guarantee that the withdrawal will quickly lead to a stable and secure Iraq. Pulling out American troops might remove a possible obstacle to a political accommodation among Iraqi parties that leads to less chaos and violence. The removal of troops, though, could cause the opposite and render it tougher for the Iraqi government (even with much U.S. assistance) to rebuild the nation's infrastructure and to train a worthwhile military and police force--particularly if other nations, including those of the region, do not become more involved in repairing Iraq.

In calling for a phased withdrawal, Reid, Pelosi, and the Democrats need to be careful not to promise that the removal of troops will be accompanied by political, economic, and security improvements. They might have to choose between disengagement and the continuing (though failing) effort to stand up an effective government and Iraqi army. The Democrats also must ponder how oppositional to be should Bush adhere to Vice President Cheney's pre-election vow to go "full speed ahead" with their current Iraq policy.

As the Democrats take over the legislative branch, they are assuming fifty-fifty ownership of one of the most vexing foreign policy challenges in the nation's history: how to undo Bush's war in Iraq. They have to realize that disengagement--even if the correct call--might carry with it ugly consequences and not bolster the prospects for rebuilding and stabilizing Iraq. Sadly, those aims, due to Bush's blunders, may be beyond America's control. So far that has been tough for the Democrats--or Bush--to admit.


At the breakfast meeting with journalists, Reid also said:

* The Senate intelligence committee will finish its so-called Phase II inquiry, which is supposed to evaluate how the Bush administration used the prewar intelligence to garner public support for the invasion of Iraq. A year ago, Reid closed down the Senate to protest the Republican delay in producing this report. "That will be completed now," he said. "It may not help us in the future, but it will give us the historical background of what got us into the war." He added, "We're going to get the answers to that out....We have been jerked around....And we're not going to take it anymore."

* He intends to target tax breaks for the oil industry and the monopoly exemption enjoyed by the insurance industry. "We have to rise up," he said.

* He fully backs Howard Dean as the Democratic Party chairman. "I didn't support his running for the chair of the DNC," Reid said. "I was wrong. He was right....I support his grassroots Democratic Party-building."


NOT ABOUT THE MONEY? I hadn't wanted to bother decrying the latest O.J. madness: his hypothetical confession and the accompanying Fox television interview with his publisher Judith Regan that is designed to sell the book. But I found myself reading Regan's defense of her actions, posted on Matt Drudge's site--an apologia that focuses on her own traumatic past as the victim of spousal violence. She uses her personal history--and her burning desire to win anything akin to a conviction of Simpson--to justify her publication of his book and the television show, conveniently scheduled for sweeps week. She writes:

What I wanted was closure, not money.

Well, there is a simple way to prove this. She notes that she paid no money to Simpson for the book and the television show but to a third party that will pass the funds to Simpson's children. But if this is really not about money, Regan could renounce all profits and ask that her publishing house, HarperCollins, and Fox donate all the revenues from the project (above costs) to either the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman--or to an appropriate charity, if the families did not want to accept such tainted funds. That would make her statement slightly more credible. And she would still have the closure for which she yearns.

Posted by David Corn at November 17, 2006 11:50 AM


O'Reilly said...

Nice to hear Corn and other journalists get to ask direct questions of our govermnet officials. An open policy making process, while extremely difficult, is what we deserve in a democracy. Not secret government making secret decisions and dragging the country into un justified wars. As I said before, what we do next in Iraq is extremely important. We must do what is effective for ourselves and demonstrates our support for the arab and kurd population in the country.

capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

"he pointed to the misleading robocalls and false campaign literature used by Republicans in the final days of the recent congressional elections."

I wish he would be honest and include any sleazy tactics used by some in the Democratic party too. I doubt anybody believes for a moment that the D's are clean as a whistle.

"They have to realize that disengagement--even if the correct call--might carry with it ugly consequences and not bolster the prospects for rebuilding and stabilizing Iraq."

Man, I wish the pols would just read YOUR posts - "Nail on the head" comes to mind. Iraq is a mess of the neocon's making and no amount of well wishing will ever be able to clean it up.

Finishing "Phase II" is music to my (and many others) ears. I hope it is not turned into a whitewash.

On OJ? Well, it is never about the money, the money is just a by-product. Sure, that is surely the truth.

Thanks for all of your work


capt said...


Part 1: The Foreign Agent Factor

In his farewell address in 1796, George Washington warned that America must be constantly awake against "the insidious wiles of foreign influence…since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government."

Today, foreign influence, that most baneful foe of our republican government, has its tentacles entrenched in almost all major decision making and policy producing bodies of the U.S. government machine. It does so not secretly, since its self-serving activities are advocated and legitimized by highly positioned parties that reap the benefits that come in the form of financial gain and positions of power.

Foreign governments and foreign-owned private interests have long sought to influence U.S. public policy. Several have accomplished this goal; those who are able and willing to pay what it takes. Those who buy themselves a few strategic middlemen, commonly known as pimps, while in DC circles referred to as foreign registered agents and lobbyists, who facilitate and bring about desired transactions. These successful foreign entities have mastered the art of ‘covering all the bases’ when it comes to buying influence in Washington DC. They have the required recipe down pat: get yourself a few ‘Dime a Dozen Generals,’ bid high in the ‘former statesmen lobby auction’, and put in your pocket one or two ‘ex-congressmen turned lobbyists’ who know the ropes when it comes to pocketing a few dozen who still serve.

The most important facet of this influence to consider is what happens when the active and powerful foreign entities’ objectives are in direct conflict with our nation’s objectives and its interests and security; and when this is the case, who pays the ultimate price and how. There is no need for assumptions of hypothetical situations to answer these questions, since throughout recent history we have repeatedly faced the dire consequences of the highjacking of our foreign and domestic policies by these so-called foreign agents of foreign influence.

Let’s illustrate this with the most important recent case, the catastrophe endured by our people; the September Eleven terrorist attacks. Let’s observe how certain foreign interests, combined with their U.S. agents and benefactors, overrode the interests and security of the entire nation; how thousands of victims and their loved ones were kicked aside to serve the interests of a few; foreign influence and its agents.


*****end of clip*****

A must read for all.


David B. Benson said...

David Corn --- Next time you get to ask a question, how about something like this?

XX% of the American people want the troops to come home. WHEN are you going to carry out the will of the American people?

I'm not sure what XX% is right now. 87%?

Or is that the percentage of Iraqis who want the occupying force to leave?

capt said...


Bush would not give a flip if the percetage was a full three digits.

Bush has HIS agenda and that is all that matters to him. He thinks HE has made some kind of a concession when others agree with him and he thinks any consideration of another point of view is an expression of weakness.

That is how we got here, eh?


capt said...

US house building at six-year low

The number of new US homes being built fell to a six-year low last month as housing activity slowed significantly, a Commerce Department report has shown.

About 1.48 million houses were started in October, 14% down from the previous month and 27.4% lower than a year ago.

At the same time, the number of permits awarded for future housing projects fell to its lowest level since 1997.

Successive interest rate rises since 2005 have dampened the market, as has a slowdown in the economy, analysts said.

'Soft landing'

The October housing numbers were considerably lower than industry experts had been expecting.

Economists had been hoping the housing market was set for a "soft landing" after the spectacular growth of the past couple of years.

Interest rates have been on hold at 5.25% for the past three months, leaving some analysts to believe borrowing costs may have peaked.

But the Federal Reserve, in the minutes of its latest interest rate meeting, intimated that the risk of inflationary pressures was more pressing than signs of cooling economic growth.

Figures published earlier this week showed that mortgage approvals were at a 10-month peak, while homebuilder confidence had picked up in the past two months.

One economist said the housing data looked "incredibly weak".

"We have seen some signs of manufacturing weakness as well as housing emerging," said David Sloan, an economist with financial analysts 4Cast.

"I think there is a risk that the economy will underperform the Federal Reserve's expectations."


*****end of clip*****

Just another statistic that records the failed policies of this WH (and the many that preceded this WH).

I may have missed something but did any politician speak to the deficit issue, our national debt, the value of our BS fiat currency, our place in the world market of globalized multinationals?

Iraq is bad and needs to be addressed by withdrawal phased or otherwise but the financial issues are going to end up killing many more if not addressed.


capt said...

Countdown sifts through the mud: Our Liberal Media bias on Pelosi…

Yes, Digby-it only was nine days ago. Back to business as usual. The Democrats haven't even taken over yet, but they are divided. Get used to it folks.



Olbermann: Funny, how when Trent Lott defeated Lamar Alexander by one vote for the Senate minority leadership yesterday, it was characterized in the media as a remarkable comeback story, with the random kidding reference to that ironical word "minority." But when Steny Hoyer and Jack Murtha both stood for the House majority leadership today, that was characterized in the media as Democratic infighting, with frequent implications that the Dems were already coming apart at the seams.

Countdown has the transcript


*****end of clip*****

Darn those SCLM folks.


capt said...

The neocons' last stand

They scurried off Bush's sinking ship, but are still trying to stop a reversal of his Middle East policy

Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday November 16, 2006
The Guardian

Even before the electoral repudiation of President Bush, the guardians of the Bush family trust surfaced as the presumptive executive committee of the executive branch. For years, George Bush Sr and his former national-security team have tried to rescue the president from himself - and from the clutches of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their neoconservative centurions. Earlier this year Bush Sr quietly approached a retired four-star general to inquire if he would be willing to replace Rumsfeld, but that premature coup came to naught. Several of the father's associates personally warned Bush Jr before the Iraq war that it would lead to sectarian civil war, only to be dismissed with disdain.

James Baker - the elder Bush's campaign manager and secretary of state, charged for decades with cleaning up family messes - is now chairman of the Iraq Study Group (ISG) and has assumed the aura of a regent. He is burdened with more tasks than those specified in his commission's brief about Iraq. Not only is he developing a whole new US foreign policy, he is trying to salvage whatever can be retrieved from the wreckage of Bush's presidency for its last two years and to prevent the Republican party, having lost the crown jewel of the Congress, from being permanently tainted.

Just before the electoral doom, the neocons scurried off the sinking ship. Richard Perle, former chairman of the defence policy board (DPB), put the onus on Bush in an interview for Vanity Fair: "At the end of the day, you have to hold the president responsible." Kenneth Adelman, another neocon DPB member, who predicted that the invasion of Iraq would be a "cakewalk", said of Bush administration policy makers: "Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional."

Yet the neocons plot to confound Baker. Clifford May, president of the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies, on the advisory panel of the ISG, says the ISG member Edwin Meese will oppose the recommendations.

The neocon logic in favour of the Iraq war was that the road to Jerusalem led through Baghdad: an invasion would install an Iraqi democracy that would force the Palestinians to submit to the Israelis. Now near-unanimity exists on Baker's commission to reverse that formula. The central part of a new policy must be, they believe, that the road to Baghdad leads through Jerusalem.


*****end of clip*****

Sidney has another good one.


capt said...

Approval of Bush Policy on Iraq Declines

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans' approval of President Bush's handling of Iraq has dropped to the lowest level ever, increasing the pressure on the commander in chief to find a way out after nearly four years of war.

The latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found just 31 percent approval for Bush's handling of Iraq, days after voters registered their displeasure at the polls by defeating Republicans and handing control of Congress to the Democrats. The previous low in AP-Ipsos polling was 33 percent in both June and August.

Erosion of support for Bush's Iraq policy was most pronounced among conservatives and Republican men - critical supporters who propelled Bush to the White House and a second term in 2004. A month ago, approval of the president on the issue certain to define his presidency was 36 percent.


*****end of clip*****

I never put much faith in small sample surveys the accuracy of which is really just a projection based on historic data. I put more faith in some of the non-scientific polls that have a huge sample base (50k and up).


David B. Benson said...

David Corn --- Another four or five months is just going to make the withdrawal worse. Time to leave is NOW.

TomDispatch points out that the so-called Iraqi Army is highly one-sided. So, it seems, is the so-called police force. So making a 'stronger' army just increases the scope of the civil war which will occur at the pullout.

But then, another plan is to send in Rummie to be Iraqi dictator...

capt said...


"But then, another plan is to send in Rummie to be Iraqi dictator..."


"There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know."

~ Donald Rumsfeld
U. S. Secretary of Defense (Republican)
U. S. Congressman (Republican, IL)
White House Chief of Staff

Quote Courtesy: Eigen's Political & Historical Quotations.


capt said...

Dark energy dates back to young days of universe

The finding gives astronomers an important new clue to how gravity works

Dark energy, the enigmatic force that is causing the universe to expand, has been present and constant for at least 9 billion years, a finding that eliminates many of the theories developed to explain its mysterious role in the cosmos, astronomers said Thursday.

The finding provides further support for, but does not prove, Albert Einstein's idea that a repulsive form of gravity exists in space.

That theory, called the cosmological constant, was developed by Einstein to explain the balance between the expansion of the universe and the powerful gravitational pull of stars and other matter.

He eventually abandoned it, calling it the "biggest blunder" of his career, and the theory lay dormant until the discovery of dark energy in the late 1990s.

The finding that dark energy was present in the early stages of the universe "is a significant clue in the quest to understand what is probably one of the most, if not the most, pressing problems in physics," said astrophysicist Adam Riess of Johns Hopkins University, who led the team making the announcement.

The research, which will be published in the February issue of Astrophysical Journal, is the latest in a series of discoveries that have "opened up a completely new realm of understanding about how gravity works," said theoretical astronomer Sean Carroll of Caltech, who was not involved in the research.

Dark energy is analogous to dark matter; scientists have extreme difficulty seeing and measuring them directly, inferring their presence primarily by their effects on visible matter. Dark energy accounts for about 70% of the energy in the universe, scientists believe.


*****end of clip*****

Albert was smarter than even he knew.


Gerald said...

Shafting the Vets

Gerald said...

Broken Promises

Gerald said...

Monetarism will not pass away with Milton Friedman, who died Thursday. But it will become a footnote to economic history. The ideas of John Meynard Keynes, which are attracting attention again, will have the more lasting influence. Why? Because of Keynes's fundamental humanism.

Gerald said...


Everyday, we make decisions that affect the future in ways we cannot anticipate. It’s up to us to reason and act to the best of our ability for one simple reason: that is why God put us here.

English historian and philosopher, Arnold Toynbee, had this to say about the choices we make: “Everyone now alive has been charged with a sacred trust. …The making of these choices is a heavy burden for us human beings; at the same time, our power to choose and to decide is an open door for hope. This God-given power is our distinctive human characteristic.

We are not in the hopeless position of ants or bees, whose actions are dictated by built-in instincts. At the price of being responsible, human beings are free. We are free to choose life and good or to choose death and evil.”

In small matters or great ones, always “choose life and good.”

Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying Him, and holding fast to Him. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

Help me to use my mind and my freedom to choose what is good, holy and life-giving, Blessed Trinity.

capt said...


Good posts!

And so true about Milton Friedman vs. Keynes.


Gerald said...

Tote Bags Sown in Love

“Women cry when they get (the tote bags),” says Rita Noland who coordinates services for victims of domestic violence. “They’re so touched that someone who didn’t even know them would care enough to do this.”

Noland is referring to the tote bags, sewn by The Sewing Angels of St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Maggie Valley, South Carolina, which are given to the women to use for their personal belongings. “When a woman comes to the shelter, she usually…has nothing,” says parishioner Clare Danielewski. She might get “a pillowslip or trash bag to keep her belongings in.”

Noland meets victims of domestic violence while they are at a low point in their lives. “They’ve been called names, hit, sexually abused. They don’t feel they deserve anything.”

But the tote bags aren’t just attractive alternatives to trash bags, they are poignant reminders of the power of love – and of the innate worth of every person.

When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord…You are precious in My sight, and honored, and I love you. (Isaiah 43:2-3,4)

May life-long tender respect characterize marriages, Jesus.

Gerald said...

capt, we need money to pay our bills but humanism should override our lust for money.

What Will You Remember?

George E. Waters, who turned 100 in November, 2004, remembers working in the old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel which was torn down in the 1920s and later relocated to Park Avenue.

Waters was night bell captain for only a few years during the Roaring Twenties but the experience made a big impression on him. Perhaps it was because he was a young man from out of town and New York was exciting. Or, maybe it was encountering celebrities and noted personalities.

Whatever the reason, “This is the only job he ever talks about,” says one of his daughters, Barbara Schnaible.

Have you ever wondered what you, or others, will remember about your life should you reach the milestone age of 100?

Now is the time to create fond memories.

In the memory of virtue is immortality. (Wisdom of Solomon 4:1)

May our lives and actions create pleasant memories, Lord of Life.

Saladin said...

"he will compel senators to work longer hours and dramatically expand the Tuesday-through-Thursday-at-noon work week that has become routine in the Senate."
OH MY GOD, ya mean actually WORK??
Capt, the Edmonds essay was a good one. Gagging the truth doesn't make it go away.

Gerald said...

God is all around us. He is in each living being. Love all of God's living beings!!!

God’s Scriptwriter

As a child, Barbara Hall says she was “obsessed with Joan of Arc. She was the girl icon that I identified with.”

When her own daughter came of age, she began to wonder what it would look like if God tried to get the attention of a teen today. “Then I sort of pictured what my daughter would do if God ever talked to her,” Hall explains.

The result was the award-winning and critically-acclaimed television series, Joan of Arcadia.

For this series’ executive producer-writer, the most controversial idea in the show was that God is available to everybody all the time. “This may not be everyone’s idea of God,” Hall said. “But I want to celebrate this idea in the show because I believe it to be true.”

Every day, each of us does meet God – in a person in need or in a loved one’s hug; in bird’s song or in sunrise or sunset.

How do you respond to such encounters?

My heart says, “Seek His face!” Your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide Your face from me.” (Psalm 27:8-9)

Help me to welcome You in Your people, Holy God.

David B. Benson said...

ALL the letters on the topic in today's TNYT espressed an opinion in favor of withdrawal, essentially immediately.

David Corn, when you have a chance as a reporter to ask any congressperson, ask WHY NOT NOW! (Politely, of course. Can't upset congresspersons just because Americans are dying...)

Gerald said...

Unexpected Generosity

Marine Sgt. Joshua Horton was going through one of the darkest periods of his life in the fall of 2004. He’d been wounded by a mortar blast in Iraq. Just four days later, while his wife was giving birth, one of their quintuplets died.

By the time Horton returned to Oswego, Illinois, however, things had begun to look brighter: He found that his family had a brand-new $400,000, six-bedroom home, courtesy of a local builder. Other nearby businesses had donated appliances and furnishings, and a local car dealer had donated a $35,000 van to the family.

“I don’t think ‘thank you’ covers it,” said Horton, “but that’s what comes to mind.”

All of us have the ability to brighten the world of those around us. What can you do for your neighbor?

The righteous are generous. (Psalm 37:21)

Lord, help me recognize opportunities to assist those around me.

Gerald said...

No Barrier to Achievement

Some think of epilepsy, a common neurological disorder, as a debilitating disease that stops one’s life in its tracks. Yet, history tells us that some epilepsy sufferers not only live normal lives, but accomplish wonderful things.

Alfred Nobel, the Swedish chemist who invented dynamite and financed the Nobel Prize had epilepsy.

Poet Alfred Lord Tennyson and mathematician, writer and Anglican deacon Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) also had epilepsy; while the novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky wove his epileptic experiences into the character of Prince Myshkin in The Idiot.

Even Alexander the Great had what was then called “the sacred disease,” because it was believed that those with epilepsy were touched by the gods.

These individuals didn’t allow the challenge of epilepsy to be a barrier to achievement.

How do you react to challenges, difficulties and trials?

God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights. (Habakkuk 3:19)

Blessed Lord, help me see beyond the obstacle in front of me to victory through faith in You.

capt said...


We will hear the truth - someday - the sooner the better. I don't think the politicians have much invested in the truth so they are not likely to seek much in return.

Sure, the politicians will visit the truth if it serves their purposes for the moment but . . .


David B. Benson said...

Well, it might be sorta quiet here, but that is a relief from trying to keeep up with Panda's Thumb, where the uber-troll of all time keeps polluting one thread after another...

403 posts on one minor thread! Crips.

capt said...

CIA Acknowledges Bush Signed Directive

Drip, drip, drip….the facts are coming out…

Unfortunately, the MSM doesn't seem as concerned with the exposure of the truth as much as the lying denials they received from the Bush Administration some months ago, nor question why the CIA didn't make this acknowledgement until after the election.

International Herald Tribune :

The CIA has acknowledged for the first time the existence of two classified documents, including a directive signed by President George W. Bush, that have guided the agency's interrogation and detention of terror suspects.

[..]The contents of the documents were not revealed, but one of them is "a directive signed by President Bush granting the CIA the authority to set up detention facilities outside the United States and outlining interrogation methods that may be used against detainees," the civil liberties union said, based on its review of published accounts.

The second document, according to the group, is a Justice Department legal analysis "specifying interrogation methods that the CIA may use against top Al Qaeda members." Read on…


*****end of clip*****

We have to impeach the SOB - One: it is the only way to actually change course in Iraq and - Two: We KNOW enough crimes have been committed and we all know the real juicy bits and major lies are never exposed until after the SOB is out of office. I shudder to think what we have not even imagined.


capt said...

Pat Leahy wants to investigate Laura Ingraham

Now this would be just a little justice. via email: Pat Leahy at a hearing on voter fraud all but demanded that the Justice Department investigate and even prosecute Laura Ingraham for her election-day call to her listeners to jam the phone lines Democrats set up for reporting voter machine problems and the like.


Media Matters explains:

As the weblog Firedoglake first noted, during the November 7 edition of her nationally syndicated talk radio show, Laura Ingraham urged listeners to jam the phone lines of 1-888-DEM-VOTE, a voter assistance hotline sponsored by the Democratic Party. Ingraham stated: "I want you to call it and I want you tell us what you get when you call 1-888-DEM-VOTE. They're on top of all of the shenanigans at the polling stations. One problem: you can't get through." Minutes later, while talking with a listener who called the hotline, Ingraham said: "Let's keep 'dem' lines ringing."


*****end of clip*****

I have a bad gut feeling about politicians going after journalists[sic] even Laura Ingraham. If clear damages can be proven then damages should be made right but if it is just a swipe at Laura for saying something - then no way.

Even if the phone lines were jammed I think proving it was her audience that caused it is all but impossible to prove.


capt said...

Final numbers in Madrid-Wilson race could come late tonight

The elections chief for Bernalillo County says that she doesn’t expect final numbers in the hotly contested First Congressional District race until late tonight.

County Clerk Mary Herrera says crews are still counting ballots in the largest county in the district and Republican incumbent Heather Wilson’s lead over Democrat Patricia Madrid has fallen a bit to 1,164 votes.

Herrera says election workers continue tallying 1,494 provisional ballots by hand. An additional 71 in-lieu-of ballots also must be hand-counted.

Workers also must review roughly 420 ballots that are considered "suspended," meaning the final decision on whether they are disqualified is pending.

The more ballots that are disqualified, the fewer there are for Madrid to overtake Wilson, who declared victory a week ago.

Madrid has not conceded.


*****end of clip*****

"Fallen a bit"

My calculation says Wilson's lead has been reduced by almost a quarter. I hope Wilson has to eat her declarations of victory. She deserves worse.


capt said...

Analysis: Bush echoes familiar refrain

WASHINGTON — President Bush's words on Iraq sounded familiar: "We'll succeed unless we quit." It's where he said them that might give pause: in the capital of Vietnam, a country the U.S. did quit _ and which now is being hailed as an economic marvel.

Bush was asked by reporters in Hanoi on Friday what lessons Vietnam might have for the present war in Iraq. And his response was the same essential line he's used many times at home.

But it came in a jarring juxtaposition. While arguing anew against leaving Iraq before the job is done, Bush extended olive branches to Vietnam's communist leaders, as did other Asian and Pacific heads of state here for a summit to discuss trade and security.

"Vietnam is an exciting place. It's a place with an enormous future," Bush said. He said he wanted to focus on the future, not the past.

His visit came just over a week after midterm elections robbed Bush's Republican Party of control of both the House and the Senate. He has acknowledged that opposition to the Iraq war was a major factor in the GOP defeat.

Still, while arguing for remaining firm in Iraq, Bush suggested time has healed many of the wounds opened by the Vietnam conflict.


*****end of clip*****

Bush will not change course, anybody that thinks control of either or both houses can make him change course is delusional. Impeach the slug before he starts another front (Iran or NK) in his war on terror.


capt said...

Democrats to tackle the dollar

Last week's sweeping victories for Democrats in the US mid-term elections could prompt significant economic policy changes in the United States over the next 24 months.

Boosting US exports will top the Democrats' economic agenda. In addition to stepped-up efforts aimed at prying export markets open, the 110th Congress may pressure the increasingly pliant administration of President George W Bush to reverse course on exchange-rate policy and encourage the depreciation of the dollar. Intensifying trade disputes, the sliding value of the dollar and

weakening US demand could produce a sharp slowdown in Asia's export and economic growth next year.

With majority positions in the House of Representatives, in the Senate and among state governors, Democrats are now firmly in control of America's legislative initiative, giving the party a unique opportunity to increase its popular support ahead of the 2008 presidential election.

Democrats are unlikely to challenge the incoherent foreign policies of the Bush administration, which have produced an unwinnable war in Iraq and growing instability in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. As in the Republican Party, there is no consensus among Democrats about the future role of the US military in Iraq and the direction of Middle East and other foreign policies. Only a handful of legislators even recognize that Iraq has already become engulfed in civil war.


*****end of clip*****

Seems like most other countries are more concerned about the US economy than even the Democratic party.


capt said...

"A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.": Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

"We must not allow ourselves to become like the system we oppose. We cannot afford to use methods of which we will be ashamed when we look back, when we say, '...we shouldn't have done that.': Desmond Tutu

"The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.": Frederick Douglass - [Frederick Baily] (1818- 1895), Escaped slave, abolitionist, author, editor of the North Star and later the New National Era

"Man's character is his fate.": Heraclitus - (c.540-480 BC) Greek philosopher

Read this newsletter online

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

David B. Benson said...

Wow. What does one DO to get more congresspersons to note that Iraq already is in a civil war?

capt said...


Most of the congress-critters can be bought . . . er . . um . . I mean lobbied.

Six figures and you can get their attention, anything less a signed glossy PR head-shot.


uncledad said...

Interesting "older" article I found about AIPAC! It will be interesting to see who our new congress really believes in.

capt said...

Wilson wins by 879 votes after Bernalillo Co. releases final tally

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - Republican Congresswoman Heather Wilson has retained her seat in the 1st Congressional District.

Wilson won a fifth term in Congress by defeating Democrat Patricia Madrid.

Wilson won New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District after Bernalillo County election officials released their final unofficial tally tonight.

The final unofficial tally was 105,916 votes for Wilson and 105,037 votes for Madrid. That gave Wilson a winning margin of 879 votes.

Roughly 211,000 ballots cast in the race. In getting the win, Wilson overcame election-season sentiment that battered other Republican incumbents nationwide.


*****end of clip*****

I guess crossed fingers and voting wasn't enough.

UGH! Black armbands all around.


erling krange said...

"There are always survivors at a massacre. Among the victors, if nowhere else."
Lois McMaster Bujold, Ethan of Athos, 1986

erling krange said...

"It is better for civilization to be going down the drain than to be coming up it."
Henry Allen

Saladin said...

Capt, that just proves the dems have no more clue about the economy than the average Joe. You can create all the exports in the world, but if they don't face, head on, the true reason for the spiral, which is the Federal Reserve creating mountains of money out of thin air, inflation will doom all of us in the end. Everyone could have 3 jobs and it still wouldn't be enough to close the gap.
uncledad, I have no doubt as to where most politicians loyalties are, you give blind support to Israel, or else.
David B, I wonder when they are going to admit that civil war in Iraq was the ultimate goal all along? You don't build an embassy bigger than the Vatican if you are planning to withdraw. That was NEVER the plan. There are roughly 200 countries in the world and we have bases in about 130 of them. We are the empire building nightmare the founding fathers dreaded all along and we have both the left and right constitution violating politicians to thank for it.

Gerald said...

What they do not mention

Gerald said...

THE IRAQIS DIDN’T DO IT. THOSE POOR IRAQIS WEREN’T THE ONES BEHIND 9/11. We cannot hide that truth by sweeping it under a rug, and we will never be able to hide it. Major media outlets who try to do so jeopardize not just the moral stature but also the safety of every American.

Real journalists would be bringing up this item at every presidential appearance: The Iraqis didn’t do it. They would have told Donald Rumsfeld: The Iraqis didn’t do it. They would tell Rupert Murdoch, not that it would help: The Iraqis didn’t do it. They would tell Condoleezza Rice: The Iraqis didn’t do it. They would tell Dick Cheney: The Iraqis didn’t do it.

Speaking of Cheney, it has been suggested that the Vice President will step down, ostensibly for health reasons, and that Rice is being positioned to replace him. There is a real danger in Rice’s being falsely represented as “a different kind of Republican.” She has been part of the Middle East policy making America attacked around the world, like the neocons, ever since Bush 41. But like Bush 43, Rice was never vetted adequately by the large media outlets.

Gerald said...

Demand Investigations

Gerald said...

Hitler Blair

Gerald said...

Don't Iraq Iran

capt said...

Ideology Has Consequences

Bush rejects the politics of prudence

Many Republicans must feel like that legendary man at the bar on the Titanic. Watching the iceberg slide by outside a porthole, he remarked, "I asked for ice. But this is too much." Republicans voted for a Republican and got George W. Bush, but his Republican Party is unrecognizable as the party we have known.

Recall the Eisenhower Republican Party. Eisenhower, a thoroughgoing realist, was one of the most successful presidents of the 20th century. So was the prudential Reagan, wary of using military force. Nixon would have been a good secretary of state, but emotionally wounded and suspicious, he was not suited to the presidency. Yet he, too, with Henry Kissinger, was a realist. George W. Bush represents a huge swing away from such traditional conservative Republicanism.

But the conservative movement in America has followed him, evacuating prudence and realism for ideology and folly. Left behind has been the experienced realism of James Burnham. Also vacated, the Burkean realism of Willmoore Kendall, who aspired, as he told Leo Strauss, to be the "American Burke." That Burkeanism entailed a sense of the complexity of society and the resistance of cultures to change. Gone, too, has been the individualism of Frank Meyer and the commonsense Western libertarianism of Barry Goldwater.

The post-2000 conservative movement has abandoned all that to back Bush and has followed him over the cliff into our calamity in Iraq. On top of all that, the Bush presidency has been fueled by the moral authoritarianism of the current third evangelical awakening.


*****end of clip*****

Nothing conservative about being radical.


Saladin said...

Capt, Eisenhower gave dire warnings against what he termed "the military industrial complex." He knew what was not just possible but altogether likely if they were allowed to run amok. Observe a prophecy come true. Those who haven't watched the documentary "Why We Fight" really should do so. It is quite the eye opener, as Mr. Butler said, "war is a racket." That's all it ever was or ever will be. And, politicians lie and scam to get us in it and keep it going, that is historical fact.

capt said...

War sucks.

gerald said...

Who is your neighbor?

To see through God's eyes, you must prepare yourself to be surprised. Often, you will find the opposite of what you expected to find.

Jesus came among us as a "revealer" to clarify our misconceptions. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta put it, He "cleanses the doors of our perception."

Jesus shifts our human focus to the Divine. He starts with what His disciples see through human eyes, then introduces them to God's view through eyes of Love.

He gave an example of this change of perspective with these words: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…for if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?" (Matthew 5:43-44,46)

Who is your enemy? Who is your neighbor? Jesus told a famous parable in answer to that question: A man was robbed, beaten and left for dead. Two other travelers saw him and passed by. "But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity." He treated the victim's wounds and brought him to an inn where he saw to it that he would be cared for.

Then Jesus asked his questioner who the neighbor was. His reply, "'The one who showed him mercy.' Jesus said to him, 'Go and do likewise.'" (Luke 10:25-37)

The injured man in the story would have been willing to call anybody who helped him "neighbor"- even a Samaritan whom he would usually look down on. He just wanted somebody to see his great need and do something.

What about the Samaritan? Only when he came near and looked was he filled with compassion. Then he acted. "Compassion is mercy, and mercy is the heart of the law. God is mercy. So compassion reveals God," says John Mikluscak.

What can neighbors do?

Neighbors - people with their eyes wide open - offer God's generous love every day.

* In 1987, Joyce and Pat Clark had been married over twenty years, but the relationship was "dying." Then the Clarks attended a weekend held by Retrouvaille, an organization that helps men and women heal their troubled marriages.

"We're not saying you have to forget, but you do have to forgive for a marriage to be healed," says Mrs. Clark. The Ohio couple now volunteer with the group so others get the same opportunity they had.

* To give homeless people a place to stay warm during Toronto's winters, Out of the Cold was started. Now over twenty churches of various denominations open their doors and serve meals on different nights of the week.

One volunteer is chef Stephen Grainger. He leaves the elegant restaurant where he works to spend one afternoon a week making dinner for people too poor to have a home to call their own. He believes that "Out of the Cold tries to give people back some dignity."

* Edward Babson died in a head on collision caused by a drunk driver. Deana Yakkey pleaded guilty and expressed sorrow. When she appeared for sentencing, someone stood up to ask for mercy: the victim's father. Her sentence requires Deana Yakkey to speak to high school students about the dangers of drinking and driving.

She has already addressed thousands.

"As we went through this, my wife said, 'We've got to get some good out of this. Rather than we lose our son, and she loses her life in jail, can we do something better?'" said Don Babson.

* Los Quixotes are medical professionals, mostly Mexican-Americans, who travel at their own expense every year to Jalalpa El Grande, an overwhelmingly poor barrio in Mexico City. They stay in a convent and put in long days offering free medical care the local people could never get otherwise. The doctors often bring family members to help.

Dr. Ricardo Riojas, a pediatrician, says, "I wanted my children never to take for granted the gifts that God has given them, and I wanted them to see poverty. I wanted to create in them a generous heart by teaching them to give not money but service."

gerald said...


Stop and Ask Yourself:
1. Do I stay informed about important local and national issues?

2. Do I know my national, state and local representatives and their voting records?

3. Do I ever call, write or e-mail officials with well-considered opinions?

4. Do I respect others' right to disagree on political and other matters?

5. Do I offer public servants encouragement in addition to fair criticisms?

6. Do I work for candidates I support, even if none of them is "perfect"?

7. Do I attend meetings, sign - or start - petitions, when issues really matter?

8. Do I encourage those with ideals and competence to seek careers in government?

9. Do I also try to influence others to do their best as citizens?

10. Do I pray for those in public office as well as for my community, country, wo

"Patriotism is not a short frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." - Adlai Stevenson

David B. Benson said...

capt --- Sorry I couldn't keep my fingers crossed enough. The totals are quite close. Doesn't this mean a recount? Or was this the recount?

saladin --- I doubt that civil war was the plan all along. Too sophisticated for those yahoos. They wanted a Middle Eastern country to control, not chaos...

capt said...

Wilson wins by 879 votes after Bernalillo Co. releases final tally

Last Update: 11/18/2006 2:15:50 PM
By: Todd Dukart

Last week, the margin between the two candidates in New Mexico’s First Congressional District was like two footballs on a football field. Now, it’s just over the length of one football.

With the final unofficial tally finished, Heather Wilson has apparently won reelection in the district, beating challenger Patricia Madrid by 879 votes – less than one-half of one percent of the 210,953 votes cast.

It took until late Friday night, ten days after the election, for Bernalillo County to finish counting provisional and "in lieu of" ballots.

With those numbers, Madrid, a Democrat, sliced down Republican Wilson’s lead, but wasn’t apparently able to overcome it.

But it’s still not official. County Clerk Mary Herrera said her office got an extension to the Friday 11:59 p.m. deadline to file final numbers with the Secretary of State. She now has until Monday at 5 p.m. to send in the results, 322 hours after the polls opened.

"A change doesn’t seem possible at this point," Herrera said. "However, we would like some time to go back and verify all the data entry."

With each vote in the district counted, Wilson got 105,916 votes, and Madrid got 105,037 votes. That’s 50.2 percent to 49.8 percent.

The Madrid campaign hasn’t said if it will call for a recount.

Candidates separated by two tablespoons in a bottle of soda

The margin between the candidates is about two tablespoons if all of the votes cast filled a two-liter bottle of soda.

If all of the votes were spread out over the city of Albuquerque, the votes separating Wilson and Madrid would be a little bit more than the surface area of the water in the city limits.

And if a typical cross-section of voters would fill up The Pit, the University of New Mexico’s famed arena, to its 18,018-fan capacity, just 75 fans would separate the candidates, not even enough to get the arena’s lowest group rates for men’s basketball games.


*****end of clip*****

Not a recount yet. Also not official yet.


capt said...

Oil men wanted $100 per barrel oil. The refiners wanted about $25 dollars net profit per barrel.

Chaos, civil war, genocide, death, bombs, etc. whatever it takes - so says the prophet profit.


erling krange said...

Uncledad! Here is a song for you. I don't know how to link it, but the song is: "Still got the blues for you". This might be an old song, but it's sung by Gary Moore. Do you know the guy?


erling krange said...

I'll ad one word: Oil! And: Oil!!!

Saladin said...

David B, the main goal was to divide Iraq into three seperate entities, civil war acomplishes two things, chaos leading to seperation as the only viable option, both requiring the US to remain in occupation. It isn't sophisticated at all, really quite simple. Considering the fact that these plans for occupation have been in the works for years, you don't give these people enough credit. The biggest mistake is to think they are incompetent, I'm sure they want us to think that, while they laugh all the way to the bank.

Michael Ledeen quotes:

“[T]he defense of the country is one of those extreme situations in which a leader is justified in committing evil.” [Ledeen, 2000]

“Stability is an unworthy American mission, and a misleading concept to boot. We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia; we want things to change. The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/4/2002]

“No stages. This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there. All this talk about first we are going to do Afghanistan, then we will do Iraq ... this is entirely the wrong way to go about it. If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don’t try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war ... our children will sing great songs about us years from now.” [American Enterprise Institute, 10/29/2001]

“I think the level of casualties is secondary. I mean, it may sound like an odd thing to say, but all the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people and that we love war. ... What we hate is not casualties but losing. And if the war goes well and if the American public has the conviction that we’re being well-led and that our people are fighting well and that we’re winning, I don’t think casualties are going to be the issue.” [American Enterprise Institute, 3/25/2003]

In his book, Machiavelli on Modern Leadership, neoconservative Michael Ledeen measures modern leaders against Machiavelli’s rules for leadership and concludes that “[e]ven after a half a millennium, Machiavelli’s advice to leaders is as contemporary as tomorrow.” [Ledeen, 2000, pp. 185] He laments that contemporary Western leaders, “like their counterparts in the rest of the world, have fallen short of Machiavelli’s standards.” [Ledeen, 2000, pp. 187] According to Ledeen, “[I]f new and more virtuous leaders do not emerge, it is only a matter of time before we are either dominated by our enemies or sink into a more profound crisis.” [Ledeen, 2000, pp. 187] Such a situation, he explains, would put the US in the “same desperate crisis that drove Machiavelli to call for a new dictator to set things aright.” He adds, “In either case, we need Machiavellian wisdom and leadership.” [Ledeen, 2000, pp. 188]

the US must be “imperious, ruthless, and relentless” against the Muslim world until there has been “total surrender.” Any attempt on the part of the US to be “reasonable” or “evenhanded” will only empower Islamic militants, he asserts. He writes: “We will not be sated until we have had the blood of every miserable little tyrant in the Middle East, until every leader of every cell of the terror network is dead or locked securely away, and every last drooling anti-Semitic and anti-American mullah, imam, sheikh, and ayatollah is either singing the praises of the United States of America, or pumping gasoline, for a dime a gallon, on an American military base near the Arctic Circle.” [National Review, 12/7/2001] The piece is republished in the Jewish World Review four days later. [Jewish World Review, 12/11/2001]

"Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business"
quoted approvingly by National Review Online editor Jonah Goldberg
What a coincidence that all the things he hoped for have come to pass, hardly what I would call the work of a bunch of "yahoos." These people are evil, treacherous and without conscience. They are religious zealots of the Zionist variety who have shown their Trotsky-Strausian roots many times over. Do not underestimate how dangerous they are, look what they have done in less than 6 years to this country. How fortuitous that "New Pearl Harbor" turned out to be.

David B. Benson said...

saladin --- That was scary...

Saladin said...

fuckin A it's scary. This is not a game with these people, they are dead serious, haven't you noticed? My question is, if I and millions of others are hip, where are the dem leaders? How can they possibly not know? This is the end game, do or die.

Saladin said...

Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”

The term “New Middle East” was introduced to the world in June 2006 in Tel Aviv by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was credited by the Western media for coining the term) in replacement of the older and more imposing term, the “Greater Middle East.”

This shift in foreign policy phraseology coincided with the inauguration of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Oil Terminal in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term and conceptualization of the “New Middle East,” was subsequently heralded by the U.S. Secretary of State and the Israeli Prime Minister at the height of the Anglo-American sponsored Israeli siege of Lebanon. Prime Minister Olmert and Secretary Rice had informed the international media that a project for a “New Middle East” was being launched from Lebanon.

This announcement was a confirmation of an Anglo-American-Israeli “military roadmap” in the Middle East. This project, which has been in the planning stages for several years, consists in creating an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan...
This plan has been obvious for some time. The rats on the sinking ship are trying to put the blame for chaos on bush, someone who can barely tie his own shoes, while at the same time the very chaos and instability that they have been planning all along continues. This is no accident and it isn't incompetence, bush is a fool and is being used, anyone with common sense can see that.

Saladin said...

Screw The Palestinians,
Full Steam Ahead
By Kathleen and Billk Christison

At a panel on the defense and foreign policy impact of the midterm election, sponsored two days after the election by Congressional Quarterly, Steven Simon, late of the Clinton administration and still a member of the Democratic, pro-Zionist mainstream at the Council on Foreign Relations, pronounced on prospects for Palestinian-Israeli peace and essentially declared it not worth anyone's effort. Using words, a tone, and a body language that clearly betrayed his own disinterest, he said that Hamas is "there" (exaggerated shrug), that the Israeli government is in turmoil after its Lebanon "contretemps" (dismissive wave of the hand), that both sides are incapable of significant movement, and that therefore there is no incentive for anyone, Democrat or Republican, to intervene (casual frown indicating an unfortunate reality about which serious people need not concern themselves). There is simply no prospect for more unilateral Israeli withdrawals and therefore for any progress toward peace, Simon said in conclusion -- signaling not only a total lack of concern but an utter ignorance of just what it is that might bring progress, as if Israeli unilateralism were truly the ticket to peace.

Thus spake the Democratic oracle.

Eighteen Palestinian innocents in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip were murdered while sleeping in their beds a day before Simon spoke, killed by Israeli shellfire, round after round fired at a residential housing complex -- 16 members of one extended family and two others who came to help them after the first round exploded. The Democrats don't care. Steven Simon considers this not worth a mention.

In the six days preceding this incident, Israel assaulted Beit Hanoun the way it assaulted Jenin and Nablus and other West Bank cities in 2002 -- a murderous assault reminiscent of Nazi sieges or of the Russian siege of Chechnya, in which in these six days 57 Palestinians were killed, to one Israeli soldier. The dead include Palestinian fighters and a large number of civilians, including children and including two women shot down in the street while attempting to lift the Israeli siege of a mosque. The mosque was leveled. The Democrats don't care. Steven Simon considers this not worth a mention.

Gaza, of course, is not the only Palestinian territory being raped and pillaged. Its 1.4 million residents are the most distraught -- living imprisoned in a territory with the highest population density in the world, walled in with no exit except as Israel sporadically allows, being deliberately starved by the official policy of Israel, which dictates to the U.S., which dictates to Europe, vulnerable to constant Israeli assault. But the West Bank's 2.5 million Palestinians are not much better off. They continue to be killed by Israelis and squeezed by Israel's separation wall, by settlement expansion, by movement restrictions, by theft of agricultural land, by diminishing economic opportunity, and by massive Israeli-fostered unemployment. Their death toll is only minimally less than Gaza's.

This obscenity of oppression and murder does not faze the Democrats or any of Israel's Zionist supporters in the U.S. Whatever Israel wants is all right with the Democrats. The 110th Congress will screw the Palestinians just the way the Republican 109th did.

Kathleen Christison is a former CIA political analyst and has worked on Middle East issues for 30 years. She is the author of Perceptions of Palestine and The Wound of Dispossession.

Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served as a National Intelligence Officer and as Director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis. They spent October 2006 in Palestine and on a speaking tour of Ireland sponsored by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
Disgusting bought and paid for whores.

capt said...


Is a damaged Administration less likely to attack Iran, or more?

A month before the November elections, Vice-President Dick Cheney was sitting in on a national-security discussion at the Executive Office Building. The talk took a political turn: what if the Democrats won both the Senate and the House? How would that affect policy toward Iran, which is believed to be on the verge of becoming a nuclear power? At that point, according to someone familiar with the discussion, Cheney began reminiscing about his job as a lineman, in the early nineteen-sixties, for a power company in Wyoming. Copper wire was expensive, and the linemen were instructed to return all unused pieces three feet or longer. No one wanted to deal with the paperwork that resulted, Cheney said, so he and his colleagues found a solution: putting "shorteners" on the wire—that is, cutting it into short pieces and tossing the leftovers at the end of the workday. If the Democrats won on November 7th, the Vice-President said, that victory would not stop the Administration from pursuing a military option with Iran. The White House would put "shorteners" on any legislative restrictions, Cheney said, and thus stop Congress from getting in its way.

The White House’s concern was not that the Democrats would cut off funds for the war in Iraq but that future legislation would prohibit it from financing operations targeted at overthrowing or destabilizing the Iranian government, to keep it from getting the bomb. "They’re afraid that Congress is going to vote a binding resolution to stop a hit on Iran, à la Nicaragua in the Contra war," a former senior intelligence official told me.


*****end of clip*****

Sy Hersh - a must read.


capt said...

CIA analysis finds no Iranian nuclear weapons drive: report

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A classifed draft CIA assessment has found no firm evidence of a secret drive by Iran to develop nuclear weapons, as alleged by the White House, a top US investigative reporter has said.

Seymour Hersh, writing in an article for the November 27 issue of the magazine The New Yorker released in advance, reported on whether the administration of Republican President George W. Bush was more, or less, inclined to attack Iran after Democrats won control of Congress last week.

A month before the November 7 legislative elections, Hersh wrote, Vice President Dick Cheney attended a national-security discussion that touched on the impact of Democratic victory in both chambers on Iran policy.

"If the Democrats won on November 7th, the vice president said, that victory would not stop the administration from pursuing a military option with Iran," Hersh wrote, citing a source familiar with the discussion.


*****end of clip*****

A little bit more on the same subject.


capt said...

Farmers In Dire Straights

BAGHDAD, Nov 16 (IPS) - Despite the Iraqi prime minister's optimism for the agricultural sector, the farmers who are struggling to survive tell another story.

In an address to Iraqi politicians this week, Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki praised his government's performance in agriculture. Maliki highlighted the new state-supported crop prices, through which farmers would receive subsidies and encouragement to continue growing their crops -- but he did not mention how much the price supports would be.

"The prime minister seems not to be aware of the real problems we are facing here," Haji Jassim, a farmer from the rural Al-Jazeera area near Ramadi, told IPS. Speaking from a relative's home in Baghdad, he added, "What he is talking about would have been good if prices were the only problem, but someone should explain to him the other obstacles we are facing."

Jassim said that one of the main problems is lack of manpower, "since most of our young men who were not killed by U.S. and Iraqi troops are in jail or missing."

The frustrated farmer added that obstacles like lack of electricity, fuel and security in the field and "dozens of others, should be known to the man who claims to be our supporter."


Saladin said...

Why We Fight

From ICH

A Must Watch Film.

Saladin said...

By Jackie Frank

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An influential Democratic lawmaker on Sunday called for reinstatement of the draft as a way to boost U.S. troop levels and draw a broader section of the population into the military or public service.

U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, the incoming chairman of the House of Representatives' tax-writing committee, said he would introduce legislation to reinstate the draft as soon as the new, Democratic-controlled Congress convenes in January.

Asked on CBS' "Face the Nation" if he was still serious about the proposal for a universal draft he raised a couple of years ago, he said, "You bet your life. Underscore serious."

Game Console Wars
The video game industry's own clash of the titans reboots this week with the midnight launch of Sony's PlayStation 3 and Sunday's debut of Nintendo's Wii.

Full coverage
"If we're going to challenge Iran and challenge North Korea and then, as some people have asked, to send more troops to Iraq, we can't do that without a draft," he said.

Rangel, who opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, also said he did not think the United States would have invaded Iraq if the children of members of Congress were sent to fight. He has said the U.S. fighting force is comprised disproportionately of people from low-income families and minorities.

"I don't see how anyone can support the war and not support the draft. I think to do so is hypocritical," he said.

The New York Democrat had introduced legislation to reinstate the draft in January 2003 before the Iraq invasion. The Pentagon has said the all-volunteer army is working well and there is no need for a draft, and the idea had no traction in the Republican-led Congress.

Democrats gained control of both the House and Senate for the first time in 12 years in the November 7 election, and a wholesale change in the leadership of Congress is to be made in January. Rangel is to head the House Ways and Means Committee, which is charged with U.S. tax and trade legislation.

The draft was in place from 1948 to 1973, when the United States converted to an all-volunteer army. But almost all men living in the United States - including most male noncitizens - are required to register with the Selective Service upon reaching 18, and federal benefits, including financial aid for college studies, are contingent on registration.

Rangel said his legislation on the draft would also offer the alternative of a couple of years of public service with educational benefits.
I really hope this is a ploy to end all these wars.

Saladin said...

By Carolyn Baker

The United States is not suffering from some collective personality disorder called compassion fatigue. We are suffering from the most well-funded thought-control experiment in history, more sophisticated and deadly by many orders of magnitude than anything contrived by Kim Jong Il—the latest bete noir of American public discourse, and we are suffering from the complicity of journalistic hacks like Judith Miller and the anodyne intellectual narcotics of policy think tanks. It is our empathy that is under attack, because if it is aroused to a point where Iraqis or Afghans or even our own imperial soldiers become real people (and not a yellow-ribbon magnet), the jig is up. So here is a simple reminder. This war is wanton cruelty in our name; there is no rationalization that can mitigate or excuse it; “we” will not win it and somehow transmogrify a swine into a swan … and it is not over.

...we can pick an administration—any administration, Democratic or Republican, since the end of World War II, and despite its rhetoric, it will upon investigation, reveal itself as subservient to the war machine, doing whatever it takes to feed that mechanism, either during the infinite wars it has fueled or in between them.
That is absolutely true. War is all politicians bread and butter, always has been. Eisenhower was correct, the Military Industrial Complex has pretty much engaged in a successful coup against this country and both left and right bow to it. We aren't doomed to repeat history because we forget, we never knew the truth to begin with because it was always wrapped in the American flag and hidden from view.

Gerald said...

Saladin, there will be a return of the military draft so Nazi America can carry out her endless wars.

Nothing changes in Nazi D.C.

Gerald said...

It's geeting to look like a white Thanksgiving as I see the snow fall outside my window.

How Quickly

I truly love Nazi Americans because we are such a transparent people. We are talking about how soon or late should we leave Iraq. How quickly have we forgotten that we should never have gone into war with Iraq? The Iraq war is a wrong and an immoral war. It is a war started by lies and now we can see how many lives have been wasted. Thousands of dead and maimed soldiers and hundreds of thousands dead and maimed Iraqis have been wasted for Hitler Bush’s lies to the Nazi Americans. But, we have quickly forgotten that a low life demonic creature resides in the White House who prowls the world to see how many more dead and aimed persons can he bestow on us. Nazi Americans will never learn that war is an outmoded way to settle our differences.

What is there not to love about a warmongering country like Nazi America?

Gerald said...

Put it back on the table

Gerald said...

No more Mr. Nice Guy for me. I say impeach this bastard (and his evil Veep) so that this world can move on! We cannot wait another 2 years.


Gerald said...

Who shall triumph?

capt said...

"No more Mr. Nice Guy for me. I say impeach this bastard (and his evil Veep) so that this world can move on! We cannot wait another 2 years."

I second that motion!


Gerald said...

CIA Analysis

Gerald said...

Impeach Hitler Bush

David B. Benson said...

Third it!

Gerald said...

Surprise, Surprise!

Gerald said...

Lindsey Graham should send his silly ass to Iraq. BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!!!!!

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he disagreed with Kissinger. Graham told CBS television's "Face the Nation" program that more U.S. troops might be needed to help stem the violence in Iraq.

"We do not have security in Iraq," Graham said. "The only way you'll ever get a political solution to the differences that exist among the Iraqi people is to control the violence.

"I am willing to send more American troops to make that happen. I believe in the Iraqi people. But they can't get it done at this level of violence."

Gerald said...

Yes, we should cut and run

So, I'M a coward! Big deal!

Gerald said...

Daddy's boys will extend the Iraq War

Gerald said...

In the Vietnam era, President Richard M. Nixon went on a well-armed, years-long hunt for something he called "peace with honor." Today, the catchword is finding an "exit strategy" that can "salvage U.S. prestige." What we want, it seems, is peace with "dignity." In Vietnam, there was no honor left, only horror. There is no American dignity to be found in Iraq either, only horror. In a Washington of suddenly lowered expectations, dignity is defined as hanging in there until an Iraqi government that can't even control its own Interior Ministry or the police in the capital gains "stability," until the Sunni insurgency becomes a mild irritation, and until that American embassy, that eighth wonder of the world of security and comfort, becomes an eye-catching landmark on the capital's skyline.

Imagine. That's all we want. That's our dignity. And for that dignity and the imagined imperial stability of the world, our top movers and shakers will proceed to monkey around for months creating and implementing plans that will only ensure further catastrophe (which, in turn, will but breed more rage, more terrorism that spreads disaster to the Middle East and actually lessens American power around the world).

Now, the dreamers, the greatest gamblers in our history, are departing official Washington and the "realists" have hit the corridors of power that they always thought they owned. It wouldn't hurt if they opened their eyes. Even imperial defenders should face reality. Someday, it's something we'll all have to do. In the meantime, call in the Hellfire-missile-armed Predator drones.

Saladin said...

Cut and run is off the table, just like impeachment. What will be different when the dems take charge? The bribes and blackmail will simply shift course, that will be the only difference. Same shit, different color, red+blue equals purple, our new political party. I read that rahm emanuel's father was an irgun terrorist involved with the King David hotel explosion, now he speaks for the dems, who will faithfully proceed to fight for Israel, I will bet money on it. Yes indeedy boys and girls, it will be business just as it has been for 50 long years.

Gerald said...

Hitler Bush is a war criminal

capt said...


I thought the super Dem's were going to save us?



Gerald said...

America under attack

capt said...

People have not been horrified by war to a sufficient extent ... War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige as the warrior does today: John Fitzgerald Kennedy

I was a bombadier in WW 2. When you are up 30,000 feet you do not hear the screams or smell the blood or see those without limbs or eyes. It was not til I read Hersey's Hiroshima that I realized what bomber pilots do: Howard Zinn

Peace is more important than all justice; and was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace: Martin Luther

Mark! where his carnage and his conquests cease, He makes a solitude and calls it--peace! : Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron) -Source: The Bride of Abydos (canto II, st. 20)

"There can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth.": George Jacob Holyoake - (1817-1906) English secularist

Read this newsletter online

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

A terrible legacy of hatred and death

This is the hell we have bequeathed to the Arab peoples of Iraq

So the Ministry of Fear now has a Dowager of Fear, the good Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller who has discovered in the sanctum of MI5 another 30 "terror plots" to terrify us - and an entire generation of plots before the show is over. And how Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara admires her. "I think she is absolutely right that it will last a generation," he announces. Absolutely, indeed. The favourite Blair adverb, always trotted out when he really, truly and of course absolutely believes he is right; which is not the same at all, of course, as actually being right, which needs a lot more than belief to support it.

What is this trash? Accepting - which Blair can't do, can he? - that the risk to us is caused by his pusillanimous, mendacious policies in the Middle East (and that of his lord and master in Washington) would cut this latest bulletin from the Ministry of Fear down to a mere couple of years' worth of terror instead of a generation.

And note the smarmy way that officials in the Ministry of Fear now try to squeeze in a little bit of truth to take the edge off all those lies. According to Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, the war in Iraq is not to blame for the "terror plots" we are facing. No, "it is now clearly the case that although the Iraq war did not create violent jihad, it has become a convenient excuse for violent jihad". Come again, my good Lord? Now, let me get this right. Iraq has nothing to do with the "terror plots" - this, he says, is "clearly" the case ("clearly" being a notch down the road of lies from "absolutely", which might be pushing Lord Carlile's luck on this occasion). So the threats have nothing to do with Iraq but, er, well, yes, he tells us that they have, because the inventors of the "terror plots" lie to us about the real reasons for their deeds.

Note the deceit in this. We are permitted to link Iraq to the "terror threat", providing we do so on the grounds that the perpetrators are lying to us about Iraq. And so what are the real reasons for the plots? Why - Lord Blair again - the answer is they hate our "values", values which Blair cared nothing about when he illegally invaded Iraq. And sometimes, wading through this drivel, I wonder what the Iraqis think of it, those who are paying - in their tens of thousands of lives - for our folly?


*****end of clip*****

Hearts and minds?


capt said...

18 Dead in Baquba Battle; Rice Urges Iraq to be more like Vietnam (???!!)

AP says that Secretary of State Condi Rice asserted Saturday that Iraqis only have a future if they stay within a single state. She pointed to Vietnam's success in reforming its economy and making up with the United States and held it out as a model to Iraq.


Rice surely knows that the way in which Vietnam achieved national unity was . . . for the radical forces to drive out the Americans, overthrow pro-American elements, and conquer the whole country. They only went in for this capitalism thing fairly recently. Rice, a Ph.D. and former Provost of Stanford University, shouldn't be saying silly things like that Iraq should emulate Vietnam. I guess if you hang around with W. long enough, you catch whatever it is that he has.

Speaking of which, UK PM Tony Blair admitted to David Frost on Aljazeera's English channel that Iraq has been a disaster:


*****end of clip*****

Whaaat? Is right.


David B. Benson said...

So Rice is now bonkers too? No surprise there.

But what are we going to call the do-nothing Democrats? Demolishcrats?

Gerald said...

Nazi Israel is losing

Gerald said...

You can always tell evil by their behavior and deeds. Winners do not kill. Only losers kill. Nazi America, Nazi England, and Nazi Israel are losers.

O'Reilly said...

"ELECTIONS may come and go, but Washington remains incorrigible. Not even voters delivering a clear message can topple the town’s conventional wisdom once it has been set in the stone of punditry."

Frank Rich, NYT

O'Reilly said...


O'Reilly said...

Hate merchants: Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Coulter, Beck, Savage, Ingraham and their ilk poison the airwaves and do the GOP's dirty work.

Why are they given a platform by the media? And with so many right-wing liberal-bashers, why do reporters feel the need to pile on?


capt said...

I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.
~ Jack Handy, Deep Thoughts

uncledad said...

When I go, I want all my guitars and amps to go with me. Not only the guitars and amps that I own, all the guitars and amps that I ever wanted. And while your at it dig the hole so some of my favorite cars can rot as well. 1966 fairlane 2 door sedan (post), 1961 impala bubble top, 1969 Plymouth GTX, 440 w/4 speed rock crusher. 1994 corvette LT1. because after all the cars rot underground and so do we!


1963-Gibson EB-3, paid $400.00, worth a lot more now.
1969-fender mustang, paid $500.00, we’ll see, what it’s worth
1971-gibson SG-deluxe, paid $500.00, I’d take $900.00.


1994 chevy corvette: 300hp, flexible flyer, paid 10K, not worth much more. Unless I’m found dead in it. And all my guitars happen to be there too?

O'Reilly said...

Hope you can stick around for a while and enjoy your favorite cars and guitars. Get a new VW and get a new car and guitar. The VR6 engine generates 205hp at 5500 rpm. The vehicles are light and handle great; they have a negative turning radius. Get the sport suspension. Farfegneugen und auf Wiedersehen.

O'Reilly said...

O'Reilly said...

new post on

Hajji Rants said...

Back in town...

Much to talk about.

A couple 2am calls from Cpl.Spanky rattled us somewhat.

A memorial service for Misael Martinez, 24, of Chapel Hill, William S. Jackson II, 29, of Saginaw, Mich.,Angel De Jesus Lucio Ramirez, 22, of Pacoima, Calif. three men his battalion, one, a friend who'd recently been shifted to Bravo Company from his own "Charlie" company one night.

The next bit of news the next night was that one of his squad members was shot through the lower leg. Through and through's heal really well, so he hasn't left the theater and should be back with the squad by Friday.

We'd gone too long since hearing from him (every day is too long) so we, once again, try to mourn with the families of other killed and wounded kids, and keep on worrying for our own.

I'll try and play catch up when I get back from errands.


O'Reilly said...

"A couple 2am calls from Cpl.Spanky rattled us somewhat."

I can understand that. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Cpl. Spanky and the other fine servicemen in his unit.

Saladin said...

Capt, "superdems??" Right, watch Sal hold her breath, be amazed as she turns blue!

O'Reilly said...

RNC strategy? (link) Trivialize and disparage Nancy Pelosi.

Now that you’ve got a heads-up enjoy. You can enjoy it over the next two years.

Saladin said...

Hajji, I don't know how you guys do it. I would be crippled with panic! All our positive energy and prayers are going out to you and Jill for Spanky's safe, sound and PROMPT return home. Everyday, when I think my anger at those monsters in DC has peaked, I find room for more. And to know what they are really over there for makes my blood boil. How I wish I could believe in a literal hell. Or at least that they were literally smack dab in the middle of that radioactive wasteland, defending the psychotic state of Israel and procuring the oil that maintains hegemony. They deserve that at the very least.

capt said...

New thread!