Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Iraq's Reality Bandwagon

My latest "Loyal Opposition" column from

Iraq's Reality Bandwagon
David Corn
November 22, 2006

We're screwed.

That's the inescapable conclusion drawn from reading The New Republic's recent special mea culpa issue that combines an apology for its "early support" of the Iraq war with a colloquium on what to do now in Iraq. Sixteen foreign policy thinkers were asked to provide a roadmap out of this debacle. No surprise, the magazine received assorted and contradictory advice. Taken together, it's a mind-bending maze of an obstacle course.
New Yorker writer George Packer calls the war "lost" and counsels helping Iraqis who have worked with Americans to obtain visas so they can flee when US troops inevitably withdraw. Former White House counterterrorism aide Richard Clarke urges initiating a 18-month-long pull-out right away. Author David Rieff bluntly advises, "It is time to put the fucking troops on the fucking planes. Now! Before any more of our children die for their country's hubris." Neocon stalwart Robert Kagan argues that "clever plans" are not needed in Iraq; more troops are necessary "to provide the stability necessary so that eventual withdrawal will not produce chaos and the implosion of the Iraqi state." Former US ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith wants to partition Iraq. Reza Aslan, a CBS News analyst, maintains carving up Iraq will be a disaster. Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School advises the U.S. to threaten a precipitous retreat "unless all parties within and outside Iraq come to the table and hammer out an enforceable peace settlement." Stanford University professor Josef Joffe says the Bush administration should cut a deal with the Sunnis. Swarthmore professor James Kurth argues the U.S. military must crush the Sunni insurgency before leaving Iraq. New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier acknowledges the logic of withdrawal but then suggests doing "anything and everything." And so on.

somewhat parallel what the Iraq Study Group--the bipartisan commission chaired by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Rep. Lee Hamilton--is going through. That panel has interviewed hundreds and has several working groups composed of dozens of supposed experts. And somehow it's supposed to craft a consensus get-us-out-of-there plan. Good luck. It's not that there are no options in Iraq; there are no good options. And Democrats counseling withdrawal have to recognize the possibility that the removal of U.S. troops--as justified and appropriate as that might be at this stage--could have ugly side-consequences: more intense civil strife and sectarian violence in Iraq. (I explored this matter here.)

By creating such a vexing dilemma Bush has afforded himself a measure of political protection (yet only a small measure, as the recent election results indicated). No critic of the war can concoct a plan that convincingly promises progress in Iraq. Put in Bushian terms, "Hey, got something better than our plan for victory?" A reader of the assorted New Republic proposals can say of each, "Yeah, maybe. Probably not. Who knows?" It's increasingly possible--especially as the situation in Iraq deteriorates by the week (more bodies, more conflict, more despair)--that the wise men (and one woman) of the Baker Commission will not be able to improve upon The New Republic's grab-bag.

The Baker Commission is unlikely to promote what might be called the Cry for Help Plan. As I suggested previously, Bush's only chance at preventing Iraq from descending further into hell may depend on his ability to admit he, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and the rest really, really messed up big-time. He ought to acknowledge the errors of his ways and explicitly ask the rest of the world to assist him in finding a path out. It seems clear nothing resembling a resolution in Iraq can be forged without pressure from the outside--and that means pressure from states within the region and from states with ties and interests in the area. It may be impossible to obtain sufficient assistance from other nations--such as Iran and Syria--but trying to do so is necessary. The goal: to bring some degree of stability to Iraq, as the United States disengages.

Yet for Bush to achieve such a breakthrough he will have to break with his past practices of denying the harsh realities of post-invasion Iraq, of claiming progress when the opposite is occurring, and of declaring that he has a strategy for victory and it's called winning. (Or is it a strategy for winning that's called victory?) He can do this by fully acknowledging he has mismanaged a war that might have been unmanageable from the start.†

This will be tough for the Texan in the White House. But Tony Blair recently conceded Iraq was a "disaster" (and he has in the past also said that de-Baathification was a mighty blunder). Henry Kissinger has already admitted that full victory in Iraq is a goner. And The New Republic noted it "deeply regrets" its backing for the war: "The past three years have complicated our idealism and reminded us of the limits of American power and our own wisdom."

Not everyone is jumping on the reality bandwagon. The neoconservatives continue to duck responsibility for the war. Don't blame me, says Richard Perle: I only advocated the war, the fault is with the folks who executed it. Kenneth Adelman, a former Reagan administration official who in 2002 declared a war in Iraq would be a "cakewalk," points an accusatory finger at his old friends, Rumsfeld and Cheney, for having bungled the war. (He holds Bush accountable, as well.) None of these war advocates are willing to say that the very notion of invading Iraq to create a pro-West, pro-Israel haven of democracy--via the efforts of exile leader Ahmad Chalabi--was flawed at creation.

For many who opposed this elective war at the start, a critical obstacle was the Bush crowd's lack of seriousness regarding what would happen after the initial military campaign. Bush, his aides and their pro-war allies offered no plan. They dismissed or ignored experts who raised the obvious concerns about the post-invasion period. Sectarian violence? Security challenges? Economic dislocation? They prepared for none of that-and eschewed those who wanted to--including General Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, who said it would take several hundred thousand troops to secure the country after an invasion. It was no secret in Washington in the months before the invasion that the White House reached out to virtually none of the town's Middle East experts to discuss what might occur in Iraq after the invasion. I don't recall any neocons at the time raising red flags about the lack of planning. Perle even told me before the war that Iraq could be taken easily and transformed by a small invasion force of 40,000 troops.

Yet the neocons are not the problem now (unless they succeed in whipping up support for attacking Iran). Bush is the main man. He is increasingly isolated. Congressional Republicans are not rushing to endorse his present course in Iraq. Democrats are ratcheting up pressure for troops withdrawal. Some conservatives, like Sen. John McCain, are calling on him to send in more soldiers. And Washington is generally more concerned with what Baker is cooking up than with anything the president has to say to defend his Iraq policy.

Still, at the end of the day--despite whatever Baker devises, despite whatever any foreign policy experts suggest--it is Bush who has the big decision to make. Does he change his fundamental muddled approach? He might be able to use the Baker report as cover for a course correction.†Then again, he and Cheney could chuck its recommendations and continue, as Cheney said before the election, "full speed ahead." To where? They don't seem to know. (Recent news indicates their they-stand-up/we-stand-down training program is a farce.) But it remains their war. The absence of good options is their fault. Bush, Cheney, the neocons and the other war backers placed the United States--and Iraq--in this awful spot. They created a heckuva problem for which there is no good and pain-free solution. They will bear responsibility for the consequences of whatever comes next.

Posted by David Corn at November 22, 2006 11:35 AM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

I have always thought we needed to impeach the slug. He will never change his stripes. Bush will stick by his initial notions because he still thinks he is not wrong.

Thanks for all of your work.


capt said...

Bush’s Defeated Foe: US Civil Liberty

George Orwell warned us, but what American would have expected that in the opening years of the 21st century the United States would become a country in which lies and deception by the President and Vice President were the basis for a foreign policy of war and aggression, and in which indefinite detention without charges, torture, and spying on citizens without warrants have displaced the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution?

If anyone had predicted that the election of George W. Bush to the presidency would result in an American police state and illegal wars of aggression, he would have been dismissed as a lunatic.

What American ever would have thought that any US president and attorney general would defend torture or that a Republican Congress would pass a bill legalizing torture by the executive branch and exempting the executive branch from the Geneva Conventions?

What American ever would have expected the US Congress to accept the president’s claim that he is above the law?

What American could have imagined that if such crimes and travesties occurred, nothing would be done about them and that the media and opposition party would be largely silent?

Except for a few columnists, who are denounced by "conservatives" as traitors for defending the Bill of Rights, the defense of US civil liberty has been limited to the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. The few federal judges who have refused to genuflect before the Bush police state are denounced by attorney general Alberto Gonzales as a "grave threat" to US security. Vice president Richard Cheney called a federal judge’s ruling against the Bush regime’s illegal and unconstitutional warrantless surveillance program "an indefensible act of judicial overreaching."

Brainwashed "conservatives" are so accustomed to denouncing federal judges for "judicial activism" that Cheney’s charge of overreach goes down smoothly. Vast percentages of the American public are simply unconcerned that their liberty can be revoked at the discretion of a police or military officer and that they can be held without evidence, trial or access to attorney and tortured until they confess to whatever charge their torturers wish to impose.

Americans believe that such things can only happen to "real terrorists," despite the overwhelming evidence that most of the Bush regime’s detainees have no connections to terrorism.

When these points are made to fellow citizens, the reply is usually that "I’m doing nothing wrong. I have nothing to fear."

Why, then, did the Founding Fathers write the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

American liberties are the result of an 800 year struggle by the English people to make law a shield of the people instead of a weapon in the hands of government. For centuries English speaking peoples have understood that governments cannot be trusted with unaccountable power. If the Founding Fathers believed it was necessary to tie down a very weak and limited central government with the Constitution and Bill of Rights, these protections are certainly more necessary now that our government has grown in size, scope and power beyond the imagination of the Founding Fathers.

But, alas, "law and order conservatives" have been brainwashed for decades that civil liberties are unnecessary interferences with the ability of police to protect us from criminals. Americans have forgotten that we need protection from government more than we need protection from criminals. Once we cut down civil liberty so that police may better pursue criminals and terrorists, where do we stand when government turns on us?

This is the famous question asked by Sir Thomas More in the play, A Man for All Seasons. The answer is that we stand naked, unprotected by law. It is an act of the utmost ignorance and stupidity to assume that only criminals and terrorists will stand unprotected.

Americans should be roused to fury that attorney general Alberto Gonzales and vice president Cheney have condemned the defense of American civil liberty as "a grave threat to US security." This blatant use of an orchestrated and propagandistic fear to create a "national security" wedge against the Bill of Rights is an impeachable offense.

Mark my words, the future of civil liberty in the US depends on the impeachment and conviction of Bush, Cheney, and Gonzales.


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

No impeachment = no justice and likely more war.

I know what I would choose to do.


David B. Benson said...

I'll take either order. (1) Impeach and remove from office, followed by cut-n-run. (2) Cut-n-run NOW, followed by impeach and remove from office.

Maybe (2) is a little better...

O'Reilly said...

"Advocating war is easier when you and your family are not endangered by it. I've reached a Rangel-like breaking point with my TV pundit colleagues who championed the Iraq war and now say we can't leave even if we went there for the wrong reasons. For every one of them, I have a simple question: Why aren't you in Iraq? Or why did you avoid combat in your generation's war? The one unifying characteristic that all of us men in make-up on political chat shows share is fear of combat. Every one of us has done everything we can to avoid combat or even being fitted for a military uniform. Just like George Bush, Bill Clinton, and Dick Cheney, we are all combat cowards. It takes a very special kind of combat coward to advocate combat for others. It's the kind of thing that can get you as angry as Charlie Rangel."

- Lawrence O'Donnell

capt said...


O'Reilly said...

AIDS Rises With Abstinence Push

HIV infection rates were dropping for a decade in Uganda until that country began emphasizing abstinence over condom use—like in Bush & Co.’s Bible-based, sexually prudish mandates. HIV rates are now on the rise again.

Don’t bother Bush with facts; his mind is made up.


O'Reilly said...

MIDTERM MYTHS....Via Greg Sargent, I see that Time magazine ran an article a couple of days ago putting a stake through some of the enduring myths of the midterm election:

MYTH: Joe Lieberman's victory proves the netroots don't matter.
REALITY: The netroots had some key victories.

MYTH: Democrats won because they carefully recruited more conservative candidates.
REALITY: Democrats won because their candidates were conservative about their message.

MYTH: The losses Republicans sufferend this election were no different than what you usually see in a President's sixth year in office.
REALITY: Redistricting minimized what might have been a truly historic shellacking.

MYTH: The election was all about the war.
REALITY: It's the dishonesty, stupid.

MYTH: Republicans lost their base.
REALITY: The base turned out, they just got beat.


David B. Benson said...

The Nov 20Th issue of The Nation has two, count them, two excellent articles on Iran. The first, by Scott Ritter, was quite an eye-opener for me.

Too bad Bush doesn't read. He might learn something useful regarding U.S. policy on Iran...

capt said...

Liar. 'Liar?'

Once upon a time, only people with bad manners took note of the fact that George W. Bush was an inveterate liar. One such person, pundit Michael Kinsley, observed back in April 2002, "Bush II administration lies are often so laughably obvious that you wonder why they bother." Back then it was undeniable but all but unsayable in the mainstream media. Even when addressing himself to the very topic of Bush's myriad lies six months later, Washington Post scribe Dana Milbank combed his thesaurus and came up with "embroidering," "taken some flights of fancy," "taken some liberties," "omitted qualifiers," etc. But even this artful linguistic circumlocution so infuriated Karl Rove & Co. that the White House pressured the Post to reassign the reporter. When asked to comment on an incontrovertible, unarguable, prime-time presidential lie--Bush publicly claimed that Iraq would not allow inspections, when in fact the UN inspectors had to be kicked out for his war to begin--on CNN's Reliable Sources program, Milbank said, "I think what people basically decided was this is just the President being the President." What, after all, is the big deal about lying about why you started a war?

Bush had been lying right from the start, of course, but just for fun, one assumes, he recently decided to double-down on his bet. On the day after the election, Bush explained to the media that the discrepancy between his insistence just a few days earlier to reporters that Donald Rumsfeld would stay in his job come hell or high water while, in fact, he had already started the process to replace Rumsfeld with Robert Gates could be explained by... well, heck, Bush just felt like lying about it. His exact words: "I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign. And so the only way to answer that question, and to get you on to another question, was to give you that answer."

Bush's bald admission proved a breathtaking break with presidential precedent. After all, presidential lying is nothing new, but on virtually every occasion I studied for my book on the topic, When Presidents Lie: A History of Official Deception and Its Consequences, presidential lies were said to rest, somehow, on national security needs. (The obvious exception was Bill Clinton's blowjob lie, which he attributed--compellingly in my view--to his constitutional right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment.)


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

"Untruths" is the weasel word that makes me crazy. The word itself is a lie about lies.


capt said...

The Case for Engagement

The distance between the northern suburbs of the Iranian capital of Tehran and the nuclear enrichment facility of Natanz is roughly 180 miles. What transpires on the ground between these two geographical points has seized the attention of the international community, and in particular the government of the United States, as the world wrestles with how best to respond to the issues surrounding Iran's decision to pursue indigenous enrichment of uranium in defiance of the United Nations Security Council's resolution demanding that all such activity cease.

I recently returned from a trip to Iran, where over the course of a week I made the journey from the northern suburbs of Tehran to the gates of the Natanz enrichment facility, and in doing so had my eyes opened. The Iran that I witnessed was far removed from the one caricatured in the US media. I left with the frustrating realization that, as had been the case with Iraq, America was stumbling toward a conflict, blinded by the prejudice and fear born of our collective ignorance.

The first thing that becomes apparent upon arrival in Tehran is that Iran is nothing like Iraq. I spent more than seven years in Iraq and know firsthand what a totalitarian dictatorship looks and acts like. Iran is not such a nation. Once I cleared passport control, I was thrust into a vibrant society that operates free of an oppressive security apparatus such as the one that dominated Iraqi daily life in the time of Saddam Hussein. This does not mean there is no internal security apparatus in Iran--far from it. A visit to the cable cars operating in the mountains north of Tehran puts you next to a major communications station of the ministry, where cellphone conversations can be monitored using advanced software procured from the United States. Iran has a functioning domestic security apparatus, but it most definitely is not an all-seeing, all-controlling police state, any more than the United States is in the post-9/11 era, when the FBI and the National Security Agency use similar software to selectively monitor the conversations of American citizens.


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

A very good piece indeed.

h/t DB


capt said...

What's Left of Reform


I asked what was perhaps an obvious question--or at least the question everyone has tended to ask since the last election: Had their work changed at all in the past year? Bita, a young leftist among the assembled, answered me with an analogy:

"We are back to the time of the revolution. America is once again the devil. This is pounded into us. And so, like the early years after the revolution, being a feminist--what we do--is targeted as something foreign, American, not from here. Even working at an NGO means you are not loyal, that you're working for foreigners and you are against your own country."

Less than three months before, on March 8, International Women's Day, this group was among hundreds roughed up in a downtown park. As one woman read the organizers' manifesto, she and others encountered electric batons and tear gas wielded by Revolutionary Guards, members of the Basij (a paramilitary branch of the guards) and plainclothes vigilantes. Ahmadinejad's second revolution seemed to be taking form.

"We weren't surprised," Leila, among the organizers of the Women's Day event, told me about the attack. "And we're prepared to take it again."

Less than two weeks later, I woke to receive e-mails and text messages announcing that a downtown demonstration had been broken up even before it had the chance to begin. The young women I had just sat with were among at least seventy rounded up and held at various locations throughout the city. I thought of Leila's marked nonchalance and wondered if I was in fact the only one taken aback by the news. They seemed to have known that for their generation, many of them too young to remember the revolution their parents once fought for, the battle has only just begun.


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

Not sure this is the other article DB mentioned but it is an interesting read.


Saladin said...

"It is time to put the fucking troops on the fucking planes. NOW!"
David B, either order you mentioned is fine and dandy with me!

capt said...

October Deadliest Month Ever in Iraq

At least 101 Iraqis died in the country's unending sectarian slaughter Wednesday, and the U.N. reported that 3,709 Iraqi civilians were killed in October, the highest monthly toll of the war and one that is sure to be eclipsed when November's dead are counted.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq also said citizens were fleeing the country at a pace of 100,000 each month, and that at least 1.6 million Iraqis have left since the war began in March 2003.

Life for Iraqis, especially in Baghdad and cities and towns in the center of the country, has become increasingly untenable. Many schools failed to open at all in September, and professionals — especially professors, physicians, politicians and journalists — are falling to sectarian killers at a stunning pace.

Lynchings have been reported as Sunnis and Shiites conduct a merciless campaign of revenge killings. Some Shiite residents in the north Baghdad neighborhood of Hurriyah claim that militiamen and death squads are holding Sunni captives in warehouses, then slaughtering them at the funerals of Shiites killed in the tit-for-tat murders.


David B. Benson said...

Juan Cole, or maybe somebody else, posted a survey in which 58% of the surveyed Iraqis thought that the sectarian violence would cease (or at leaast slow) if THE AMERICANS WOULD LEAVE!

Out, out, out!

capt said...

The essence of immorality is the tendency to make an exception of myself: Jane Addams

Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere: Martin Luther King, Jr. : 1929-1968

There are particular moments in public affairs when the people, stimulated by some irregular passion, or some illicit advantage, or misled by the artful misrepresentations of interested men, may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be most ready to lament and condemn. In these critical moments, how salutary will be the interference of some temperate and respectable body of citizens, in order to check the misguided career and to suspend the blow meditated by the people against themselves, until reason, justice and truth can regain their authority over the public mind: James Madison. Federalist No. 63.

The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny." James Madison. Federalist 47.

Read this newsletter online

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

David B. Benson said...

Maybe the veep could read the Federalist papers out loud to the prez?

O'Reilly said...

In The March of Folly, Barbara Tuchman documented repeated instances when leaders persisted in disastrous policies well after they knew that success was no longer an available outcome. They did so because the personal consequences of admitting failure would be very high. So they postponed the disastrous end to their policy adventures, hoping for a deus ex machina or to eventually shift the blame. There is no need to do that now. Everyone already knows who is to blame. It is time to stop the adventure, lower our sights, and focus on America's core interests. And that means withdrawal of major combat units.

-Richard Clarke on Iraq

O'Reilly said...

Vatican may allow use of condoms to combat Aids

By Peter Popham in Rome
Published: 23 November 2006

Strong hints have emerged that the Vatican is preparing to change its policy on the use of condoms in the fight against Aids, after a 200-page study on the question, commissioned by the Pope, was passed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for consideration.

"This is something that worries the Pope a lot," said Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, the head of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, which compiled the study.

The report's completion coincides with the news that 2.9 million people died of Aids-related illnesses this year and 4.3 million more became infected. By next February, when it is predicted that Pope Benedict XVI will pronounce on the question, another 806,000 people will have become infected.

Don't worry. BushCo will 'stay the course' by keeping abstinence as the sole official policy and a requirement for receiving foriegn aid.

BushCo, religious, morally bankrupt, idelogically-driven, ignorant of the facts and staying the course.

Saladin said...

Brace yourselves everyone, but I want to wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of love and cheer to spare! I know that is unusually optimistic of me but that is the beauty of surprise. Capt, I want to thank you again for this emotional outlet, without it I would have no one to make smartass political comments to!! EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY! Or, whatever.

uncledad said...

"It is time to put the fucking troops on the fucking planes. NOW!"

My hope is that it won't be so big.
"It is time to put the fucking troops on the fucking planes " We should let the weak fall, and our troops should board the planes as they left them. Alive and willing. But what happened to our feedom?
What happened to What happened to the captain?

Brace yourselves everyone, but I want to wish all of you a wonderful tommorrow

erling krange said...

More Marines May Be Needed in Terror War
Thursday November 23, 2006 9:31 AM
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Marine Corps may need to increase in size to sustain deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan without sacrificing needed training or putting undue stress on the corps, the new Marine commandant said Wednesday.
At a breakfast meeting with reporters, Gen. James Conway also warned that it could take years to adequately train and equip the Iraqi security forces - longer, perhaps, ``than the timeline that we probably feel ... our country will support.'' ``This is tough work, it doesn't happen overnight,'' and patience by the American people will be needed, he said. On the plus side, he said Marines he's talked to in recent days are encouraged by the progress they are seeing among Iraqi forces. Conway said the current pace of Marine rotations to Iraq - seven months there and seven-to-nine months at home - is limiting other types of training that units can receive and could eventually prompt Marines to leave the service.


RicK said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

capt said...

A very Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Remember the homeless and the hungry.


capt said...

Halberstam Finds Key Links in Iraq and Vietnam Coverage

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. Pulitzer-prize winning war correspondent David Halberstam said Monday that government criticism of news reporters in Iraq reminds him of the way he was treated while covering the war in Vietnam.

"The crueler the war gets, the crueler the attacks get on anybody who doesn't salute or play the game," he said. "And then one day, the people who are doing the attacking look around and they've used up their credibility."

Halberstam, who wrote about Vietnam for The New York Times, joined combat reporters from The Associated Press and other news outlets at a conference at Middle Tennessee State University.

Independent-minded reporters wrote that the war in Vietnam was not going as policymakers in Washington had hoped -- and they paid a price for angering the administration.

"The attacks on us were very, very unpleasant," Halberstam said. "There was an attack on our manhood, on our politics. We were portrayed as being communists and weak."

But reporters are often vindicated over time, he said.

"I think the truth will always out," Halberstam said. "The people who attacked us are mostly forgotten; most of them have apologized."

Robert H. Reid, an AP correspondent who has focused on Iraq for the past three years, described a deteriorating security environment there that makes it difficult for reporters to cover news outside their compound.

"The situation in Baghdad began to unravel in the summer of 2004 ... The press card guaranteed no immunity," Reid said.

News organizations are forced to rely heavily on Iraqi reporters who also face dangers amid the sectarian and tribal conflicts there.

"We're asking them to do a much heavier degree of onsite reporting than their counterparts in Vietnam and other conflicts were ever asked to do," he said.

George Esper, a former AP Saigon bureau chief, wrote more words on the war than anyother reporter and called reporting in Vietnam "journalism's finest hour, certainly AP's finest hour."

Esper, who spent 10 years in Southeast Asia, said there were several reasons why the Vietnam war was best assignment he ever had: "Excitement, adventure, being on Page 1 every day, autonomy, no routine, the camaraderie and being a member of an exclusive club of combat corespondents."

But reporters had better access to the war zone in Vietnam than in the first Gulf War, Esper said. In the current Iraq war, reporters were tethered to the units they were embedded with.

George C. Wilson, former chief military correspondent for The Washington Post,likened that experience to being "the second dog in the dogsled team."

"I could see an awful lot of that ... dog up in front of me, and a little bit to the left and right, but I couldn't break off the dogsled team and interview people," he said.

Wilson later broke off from his military unit to travel with an independent group of doctors treating the sick and wounded.

Halberstam said the country's experience in Vietnam should have alerted policymakers to the pitfalls in Iraq. Following the invasion of the country, Iraqis "have very predictably gone on and done what is important to them, not what is important to us," he said.

"I don't think there are any great surprises," he said.

Halberstam recalled being a young reporter willing to take risks while covering the war in Vietnam.

"In effect I was rolling the dice on my career in risk of my life. It's like placing a bet on yourself," Halberstam said.

Halberstam called reporters covering Iraq today "the bravest correspondents that we have ever sent out to cover a war, because it's infinitely more dangerous there than it was in Vietnam.

"In the old days, if you were in Vietnam, you could sort of rest in Saigon," Halberstam said. "There's no safe zone in Iraq."


erling krange said...

Curfew imposed after Baghdad blasts kill 150
Thursday November 23, 2006
Guardian Unlimited

The Iraqi government today imposed an indefinite curfew in Baghdad after one of the worst days of violence since the US-led invasion.
The interior ministry ordered people and cars off the streets after a series of car bombs exploded in the predominantly Shia district of Sadr City, killing 150 people and wounding 238. The blasts were followed by a mortar barrage aimed at a nearby Sunni enclave, and came as gunmen attacked the Shia-run health ministry. Iraq's health minister warned that the death toll from the bombings could rise. "Many of the dead have been reduced to scattered body parts and are not counted yet," Ali al-Shemari said.


Nobody with a common sence think that there is no civil war going on. There is no doubt any longer that this is a secterial and political CIVIL WAR!

Gerald said...

Thanksgiving 2006

Gerald said...

Don't forget the mashed potatoes

Gerald said...


Wow is a must read article!!!

capt said...

Wow, that is a good piece.


Gerald said...

Iraq's white-collar crime

Gerald said...

Nazi America has not just destroyed a country but an entire civilization.

But within Iraq, the incident is yet more evidence of the pressures on the country's secular elite and professional class, and the disintegration of the institutions they used to run. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees recently estimated that as many as 3,000 Iraqis, largely Sunnis and Christians, emigrate to Jordan and Syria every day to escape the killings and kidnappings. Those who can most easily afford to leave are middle-class workers and professionals, and medical care and education are suffering as a result. Louise Roug of the Los Angeles Times reported last week that the Iraqi health system is collapsing, with a lack of physicians among the major problems. Without its professional class, Iraq has little hope of long-term recovery.

Gerald said...

I have tried to look for the author and the article but I could not locate.

The author wrote that he has lived in the Middle East and when he was in Iraq, he felt that their was a dictatorship but he did not feel that way in Iran. We, in America, are receiving false images of Iran from our reichwing reporters.

Nazi America will attack Iran for no reason. Iran has never used a nuclear bomb against any nation. Only Nazi America has that horrible distinction.

Edward said...

Mr. Corn,

"They will bear responsibility for the consequences of whatever comes next."

You say this, but you also say that these crooks shouldn't be impeached and thrown behind bars. Saddam the rotten dictator is facing the consequences of his vile deeds; here in America leaders don't have to be held accountable for their criminal incompetence and unmitigated greed. They can fuck up everything they touch and never get in trouble. That's a positive message to send to the world: "Yeah, we know they're villians, we just don't care."

Bah! Part of the solution to the mess in Iraq is to remove these creeps from power and systematically restore the freedoms taken from us. Until these two things happen, there will be no progress for Iraq nor for America.

capt said...


Is right on the money.


capt said...

Contemporary American children, if they are old enough to grasp the concept of Santa Claus by Thanksgiving, are able to see through it by December 15th.
~ Roy Blount Jr.

capt said...

The Puritans gave thanks for being preserved from the Indians, and we give thanks for being preserved from the Puritans.
~ Finley Peter Dunne (1867 - 1936)

capt said...

A two-pound turkey and a fifty-pound cranberry - that's Thanksgiving dinner at Three-Mile Island.
~ Johnny Carson (1925 - 2005)

capt said...

On Thanksgiving Day all over America, families sit down to dinner at the same moment - halftime.
~ Unknown

capt said...

Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.
~ Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)

capt said...

God has two dwellings: one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.
~ Izaak Walton (1593 - 1683)

capt said...

If you can read this, thank a teacher.
~ Anonymous teacher

capt said...

In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.
~ H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

capt said...

Dear Lord, I've been asked, nay commanded, to thank Thee for the Christmas turkey before us... a turkey which was no doubt a lively, intelligent bird... a social being... capable of actual affection... nuzzling its young with almost human- like compassion. Anyway, it's dead and we're gonna eat it. Please give our respects to its family...
~ Berke Breathed, Bloom County Babylon

capt said...

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
~ Albert Schweitzer (1875 - 1965)

Pat said...

Gerald, That WOW article you posted at 12:54 is great. May I add that phoning, e-mailing and letter writing to our congress critters must be a follow-up to the election. They know we're paying attention and let's tell them how WE want them to proceed. No more of this catering only to the monied crowd. ... I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Let's carry on with Hope for a better next year.

Saladin said...

Capt, I can hardly do anything witout thinking of the horrid suffering we have brought to the innocent people of the middle east and elsewhere. One former poster said that it was people like me that were part of this country's problem, but my god, how can so many have their heads buried so far in the sand that they can't see what motivates our leaders? It is corporate money, it always has been and always will be because of the ignorance or outright refusal to face reality that afflicts the people. Edward wants to know why they don't have to face justice or why the media doesn't seriously call them on their crimes, just follow the money, it always leads back to the same rotten pit. Left or right, it doesn't matter, the money is what matters. Money is power, and power corrupts.

erling krange said...

Norway fourth best democracy
Norway and the Nordic region are very highly ranked by the latest ratings from the Economist Intelligence Unit Index of Democracy.
Best functioning democracies
1. Sweden 9,88
2. Iceland 9,71
3. Netherlands 9.66
4. Norway 9,55
5. Denmark 9,52
6. Finland 9,25
7. Luxembourg 9,10
8. Australia 9,09
9. Canada 9.02
10. Switzerland 9.02
The Netherlands and the Nordic countries took the top six places in the study, which considers 60 factors divided over five general categories; free and fair election process, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture. The study examined the state of democracy in 167 countries, with governments grouped in four categories, ranging from full democracies to authoritarian regimes. Norway scored top marks of 10 in three categories, 9.64 in functioning government, and lost a higher ranking by only scoring 8.13 in political culture (factors like a lack of apathy and peaceful transfer of power). The reports singled out the USA (17th) and Britain's (23rd) poor results, partly to blame on measures adopted to fight terrorism.
"The United States and Britain are near the bottom of the full democracy category, but for somewhat different reasons. America falls down on some aspects of governance and civil liberties. Despite low election turnouts, political participation in the United States is comparatively high," the report said. "In Britain low political participation (the lowest in the developed world) is a major problem, and to a lesser extent, for now, so are eroding civil liberties," the report said. The lowest scores on the scale of ten were seen in Myanmar (1.77), Togo (1.75), Chad (1.65), Central Africa (1.61) and North Korea (1.03).
Aftenposten's Norwegian reporter
Morten Andersen

erling krange said...

Roomiest lives in Europe
Norwegians have the most elbow room at home, and twice as much living space as some of their newer European neighbors.
Norwegians and Danes have the largest homes in Europe according to figures from the Danish Ministry of Social Affairs and Statistics Norway (SSB).
Norwegians and Danes have an average of 55 square meters (592 square feet) at home, with Norwegians having slightly larger residences on average, but with a slightly higher average number of persons per home. Swedes and Britons also have plenty of space, with just over 40 square meters (430.5 square feet) per person, while residents of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have to make do with 20 square meters (215.3 square feet). According to an SSB living conditions survey from 2004, 22 percent of Norwegians had four rooms at their disposition, and only four percent of those interviewed lived in a single room. The survey indicates that the trend is for Norwegians to have increasingly more living space. But new residences are growing steadily smaller. Last week construction firm Selvaagbygg told Aftenposten's evening edition that the typical three-room apartment now being built is between 55-70 square meters, compared to 85-90 square meters as a standard 20 years ago.
Aftenposten's Norwegian reporter
Stine Barstad


I know this is bragging, but I just can't help it!

erling krange said...

Revealed: how food giants use 'dirty tricks' to target children
By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent
Published: 24 November 2006
Big companies stand accused of selling junk food to children behind their parents' backs with a variety of "underhand" tricks, despite claiming only to use responsible marketing methods.
A report yesterday from the consumer organisation Which? found that a dozen multinationals had been using up to 20 different marketing ploys to push unhealthy products. Some companies bypassed parental control by using new technology such as viral marketing campaigns which encourage children to e-mail each other cartoons or spoof adverts with a brand message. Others offered free toys or ran promotional tie-ins with popular children's films.


erling krange said...

Ecuador's Leftist Candidate Slams Bush
Friday November 24, 2006
Associated Press Writer

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) - Leftist economist Rafael Correa, in a tight race to win Sunday's presidential runoff, criticized President Bush Thursday for the Iraq invasion and claimed his policies led to the Republicans' congressional defeat. ``The American people have been the first to speak their minds in an overwhelming fashion on the errors committed by the Bush administration, above all in Iraq,'' he said. ``I think all citizens of the world have a right to express ourselves about that mistake, which put world peace in danger.'' Correa, 43, has promised radical political reforms if elected and is an admirer of Venezuela's firebrand President Hugo Chavez. He faces pro-U.S. populist Alvaro Noboa, 56, Ecuador's wealthiest man, in Sunday's runoff.


Saladin said...

Public Service Announcement:

History on Book TV CSPAN
On Friday, November 24 at 4:00 pm and Saturday, November 25 at 3:30 am and at 10:00 pm

9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out

David Ray Griffin, Peter Dale Scott, Peter Phillips, Kevin Ryan, Ray McGovern

Description: Editors and contributors to the book, "9/11 and American Empire," assess the Bush administration's responsibility for the attacks on 9/11, arguing that key administration officials either purposefully ignored the threats leading up to the attacks or were complicit in the planning them. The panelists say that the administration has used the attacks to enact long established plans to expand American empire. The participants are: David Ray Griffin (co-editor/contributor), Peter Dale Scott (co-editor/contributor), Peter Phillips (contributor) and Kevin Ryan (contributor). Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern moderates the discussion. The event was hosted by Berkeley, California-based Pacifica radio station KPFA http://(

Author Bio: David Ray Griffin, professor emeritus of philosophy and theology at the Claremont School of Theology, is the author of "The New Pearl Harbor" and "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions." Peter Dale Scott, former Canadian diplomat and former professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of "Deep Politics and the Death of JFK" and "Drugs, Oil, and War." Peter Phillips, professor of sociology at Sonoma State University and director of the Project Censored media research program, is most recently the co-editor of "Censored 2007: The Top 25 Censored Stories" and "Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney." Kevin Ryan is a former site manager with Environmental Health Laboratories. Ray McGovern, a 27-year veteran of the CIA, is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) and a contributor to the book "Neo-CONNED! Again."

capt said...

Dollar loses ground against euro

The dollar has plunged to its lowest level against the euro since April 2005 amid concerns for the US economy.

The euro surged to $1.3086 against the dollar, with many other currencies following suit.

Sterling rose almost 1% to $1.93, the yen hit a two-month high and Russia's rouble rose to a seven-year high.

Analysts have voiced concerns about the US economy after the White House downgraded its growth forecasts amid a sharp slowdown in the housing market.


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

I hope this is just a bump in the road.


capt said...

Danish ad makes road safety sexy

Danish road safety officials have come up with a novel way of warning motorists about the dangers of speeding - by using topless blonde women.

They have produced a spoof news report where the blondes carry road signs showing the Danish speed limit: 50km/h.

The video - posted on the web - is aimed at grabbing the attention of young male drivers, but feminists say they hate it.

Speeding has been blamed for 25% of road deaths in Denmark.

Julia Pauli of the Danish road safety council told the BBC that the reaction to the Speedbandits video had been mostly positive.

"If you want to reach the young people, you have to communicate on their conditions... So, topless women are working," she said.


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

I think the Danish have captured some bragging rights.


capt said...

Russia ships Iran arms

Russia shipped air-defense missile systems to Iran.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesmen on Friday confirmed the delivery of 29 Tor-M1 systems, The Associated Press reported. The sale went ahead despite calls by the United States to suspend arms sales to Iran as long as it does not comply with international demands to stop enriching uranium, a necessary step toward building a nuclear weapon. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful.

The contract for the systems, which can fire simultaneously at two targets at heights of up to 20,000 feet, is worth $700 million.


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

I wonder what Crusader Bunnypants' would see if he gazed into Vlad's eye's now?


Gerald said...

A National Conscience

A great article!

Gerald said...

Thanksgiving at Camp David

Here is what our national goons and thugs have to be thankful for this 2006 Thanksgiving.

Gerald said...

When Votes Disappear

Gerald said...

Iraq Is Broke Beyond Repair

Gerald said...

Thanksgiving Day Massacre

Saladin said...

The fact that you could kill someone speeding isn't enough deterrent, but topless women are?? That says more about the men then anything!

capt said...

"That says more about the men then anything"

Men and bi (women), bi-curious and gay women too!


I am certain a bare breast would cause a bunch of fender benders here in the USA just look at the problems caused by Janet Jackson and women breast feeding in public locations.


capt said...

Why I hate, rather than dislike, the Bush movement


So, to recap: when insurgents engage in violence before the elections, that's the fault of Democrats because it's done to help them win (and credit to Republicans because it shows how tough they are on The Terrorists). When the insurgents engage in violence after the elections, that's also the fault of Democrats because they are excited by the Democrats' success (and credit to Republicans because Republicans want to stay forever, which makes the insurgents sad and listless). And when there is no violence, all credit to Republicans because it shows how great their war plan is.

Put another way, no matter what happens in Iraq (violence increases, violence decreases), and no matter when it happens (before the election, after the election), it is the fault of Democrats and it reflects well on the Republicans. Isn't it fair to say that that's the very definition of the mindset of a cultist?


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

Glenn Greenwald is always a good read!


capt said...

Iraq's Medical System Becomes Sickening

BAGHDAD - After three and a half years of occupation, Iraq's medical system has sunk to levels lower than seen during the economic sanctions imposed after the first Gulf war in 1990.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said Iraqis are now extremely vulnerable in their health needs.

"Several wars and 13 years of economic sanctions left a heavy toll on the nutrition of the population, on the social structure, on the economy and on the health infrastructure and services," according to a statement on the WHO website.

"This is well depicted in the morbidity and mortality rates of the population of Iraq, particularly of infants, children and mothers. The majority of Iraqis completely depend on the food Public Distribution System for their nutritional requirements."

The health situation in Iraq has been in constant decline since the beginning of the U.S.-backed UN-imposed sanctions in 1990. Iraqi doctors were reputed to be the best in the Middle East during the 1980's, but now they are short of medicines, medical equipment and funding to maintain the hospitals.


capt said...

David B. Benson said...

David Corn --- Please send a note to Bush, Gates & Co. stating "GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!" Thank you...

capt said...

The Evil Abstraction

posted November 9, 2006 (October 28, 1991 issue)

For decades the C.I.A. "approached the Soviet Union as a kind of abstraction--the enemy, a nuclear threat, the moral antithesis. We hadn't really approached it as a society. And therefore, I think we were really not deal with the reactions when finally the lid did come up." This revealing estimate was not produced by one of the agency analysts who came forward during the Robert Gates confirmation hearings to charge that Gates forced intelligence reports to conform to a tough anti-Soviet line. Rather, it was provided by Douglas MacEachin, a Gates loyalist who headed the C.I.A.'s Office of Soviet Analysis in the 1980s. For days, witnesses, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Gates himself quarreled about the intelligence-production process at the agency. Two former analysts credibly maintained that Gates blocked reports that challenged the hard-line view and that he promoted shoddy intelligence that supported the Russians-are-coming position, such as a paper that argued that the Soviet Union backed the 1981 assassination attempt against the Pope.

The hearings disclosed that within the C.I.A., analysts who strayed from the reigning dogma worried about being labeled Communist apologists. Despite this repressive atmosphere, the agency sometimes did produce material inconvenient for the Soviet-bashers of the Reagan Administration that never informed public debate. According to MacEachin, just when President Reagan was urging Congress to fund a new chemical weapons program, C.I.A. analysts reported that the Russians were unlikely to initiate chemical weapons use in a war against NATO. MacEachin also noted that the C.I.A. found that Soviet military spending in the early 1980s was leveling off--a notion contrary to the dire warnings issued by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and others. Harold Ford, a senior analyst, testified that a 1981 national Intelligence estimate, much to Director William Casey's chagrin, said that there was no proof that Moscow was masterminding terrorism around the world. Lawrence Gershwin, another Gates defender in the C.I.A., divulged that one Reagan-era estimate concluding that Soviet missiles were not as accurate as previously thought "caused a lot of grief" since it implied a "reduced Soviet threat."

The real politicization, though, is evidenced in the agency's cast-in-concrete, overarching conception of the Soviet Union as an immutable (and somewhat evil) empire. In March 1986, Senator Bill Bradley asked Gates whether the C.I.A. was examining the prospects for fundamental change in the Soviet Union. Gates said there was no hint that any such transformation was occurring and that "my resources do not permit me to idly speculate." After Bradley mentioned this at the confirmation hearings, some clerk at Langley dug up a memo written by Gates in October 1986 that noted that the agency might be overlooking "significant change" in the Soviet Union. But when Bradley then asked Gates what he had done to insure that C.I.A. reports detected such change, Gates could not recall taking any steps. And a month after penning that 1986 memo, Gates delivered a blistering speech accusing Moscow of plotting to obtain control of the oilfields of the Middle East, Panama and the canal, and the mineral wealth of Southern Africa. In response to Bradley at the recent hearings, he admitted that he had no data back up those "personal views." Moreover, MacEachin recalled that "we never looked at the Soviet Union as a political entity" with internal elements that could spur wide reform. Had such a view existed, he confessed, "we never would have been able to publish it."

The real sins of Gates & Company were a lack of imagination and a profound attachment to career-boosting assumptions--which, by the way, provided the justification for the spending of billions on troops and weapons that now have little use.

Trust But Verify

Complicit in this costly intellectual crime are the supposed overseers in Congress. Most telling was the way senators responded to the allegations of politicization. For some, it seemed as if they were considering the issue for the very first time. Throughout the hearings, David Boren, the windbag chair, pontificated about the relationship of trust established in recent years between the committee and the C.I.A. But not all members are confident they are fully informed of the agency's doings. Dennis DeConcini dares to confirm the obvious: "Committees get captured by the agency they oversee. You spend so much time with them, you start believing them. You start defending them." When he and Howard Metzenbaum inquired into the rent the agency intends to pay for a few new buildings, their effort to obtain that less-than-sensitive information turned into a battle royal. What should be done to improve oversight? "You need new independent leadership," says Metzenbaum, without mentioning Boren.

The Gates hearings demonstrated that there is no good reason to exempt the agency from routine public scrutiny. With pride, Boren noted that the Gates sessions marked the only instances of the committee examining intelligence budget priorities and the analytical process out in the open. But why could they not have been discussed before? Life-and-death secrets were not revealed. Only intelligence estimates of the past were revealed, allowing citizens the opportunity to judge just how well their taxes are being used. Certainly, open hearings can be structured to examine at least the generalities of the agency's performance. Perhaps Congress should hold annual public appropriations hearings for the agency.

But secrecy remains reflexive. For example, discussion of whether Gates knew about intelligence intercepts of conversations between members of Congress and Sandinista officials was referred to a closed-door session. And not all senators were pleased to see the agency probed in front of television cameras. Outside the hearing room, Warrren Rudman, with his usual bluster, roared that "a lot of people will be very happy with these hearings and none of them are America's friends." Who these enemies are--those who rub their hands in glee as the agency's efficacy is evaluated--the good Senator did not say. They remain an abstraction.


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

A trip in the way-back machine.


Saladin said...

Sen. Russ Feingold does not support impeachment even though he believes 'the president has probably committed an impeachable offense'

La Crosse Tribune

About 50 people listened as Feingold answered audience questions that ranged from fixing Medicare Part D to freeing up money for a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office in La Crosse County.

And, of course, there were questions and praise for Feingold about his positions on Iraq and the Patriot Act.

“I’m not anti-war ... I think we need to be very, very tough on those who have attacked us,” Feingold said. “But this war was one of the dumbest decisions in the history of the United States of America.”

“I’m a very close friend to (U.S. Sen.) John McCain, but I couldn’t disagree more with his attitude about ‘Let’s send in 100,000 more troops.’ It is an unwinnable situation,” Feingold said. “We need to turn this thing around.”

“I don’t support impeachment, and I don’t support impeachment hearings, even though I think the president has probably committed an impeachable offense,” Feingold said in response to a question from Al Schulz of La Crosse.

“We are not required to impeach the president simply because he’s committed an impeachable offense, which I think he did with the illegal wiretapping. We have to decide whether it’s in the best interest of the country to go through that process.”

A few audience members asked Feingold to sponsor or co-sponsor bills. He said he generally doesn’t co-sponsor bills unless they state where the money will come from for spending.
How ironic, since when do politicians worry about where the money will come from? Did they wonder about that when they launched this illegal, empire building war on an innocent people? Oh, I forgot, we need only bring decimation and the Iraqi people's oil would pay to rebuild, silly me! So A, he perpetuates that bullshit 9/11 lie and B, doesn't want to impeach. Good thing I'm not holding my breath. The sad truth about these people is they have to go where the money is, every one of them relies on the corporate bucks to maintain their careers, ethics and common sense have nothing to do with it. You either take the money and don't make waves, or find another career. There really is no middle ground, when are the people going to snap out of this blind political label bullshit?? How much more do we have to put up with anyway?

David B. Benson said...

Saladin --- A LOT of more...

capt said...

The powerful have invoked God at their side in this war, so that we will accept their power and our weakness as something that has been established by divine plan. But there is no god behind this war other than the god of money, nor any right other than the desire for death and destruction. Today there is a "NO" which shall weaken the powerful and strengthen the weak: the "NO" to war: Subcomandante Marcos - Source: No to war, 2/16/03

Each of the Iraqi children killed by the United States was our child. Each of the prisoners tortured in Abu Ghraib was our comrade. Each of their screams was ours. When they were humiliated, we were humiliated. The U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq - mostly volunteers in a poverty draft from small towns and poor urban neighborhoods - are victims just as much as the Iraqis of the same horrendous process, which asks them to die for a victory that will never be theirs: Arundhati Roy - Source: Arundhati Roy, "Tide? Or Ivory Snow? Public Power in the Age of Empire," 8/24/04

"No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue." -- George Mason. (1725-1792), drafted the Virgina Declaration of Rights, ally of James Madison and George Washington

Think truly, and thy thoughts Shall the world's famine feed. Speak truly, and each word of thine Shall be a fruitful seed. Live truly, and thy life shall be a great and noble creed: Horatius Bonar, D.D.

Read this newsletter online

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

kathleen said...

David Corn "Yet the neocons are not the problem now (unless they succeed in whipping up support for attacking Iran).

Geez David it almost sounds like you are trying to provide cover for these psychopathic liar/Iraqi killers. The "cakewalkers" Perle, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Ledeen, Bolton, Feith, Wurmser, Fleitz, Hannah, Rhode, they all need to go to jail for cooking up the pre-war intelligence or be dropped down in the middle of Baghdad in the middle of the quagmire that they helped create.

What do you mean when you said that "they are not the problem now"! These people belong in jail and held accountable for the 650,ooo Iraqi lives that they helped kill through their push for this war. They should not be running free trying to build support for another illegal military strike in Iran all for Israel!


capt said...

Peace Takes Courage

capt said...

Dollar Bears May Be Overreaching

A run on the dollar is under way. While momentum suggests there is scope for additional near-term losses, the risk is the dollar bears are getting ahead of themselves.

Rather than jump aboard what appears to be a southbound dollar express, traders might be better advised to take some profits and wait for the next train.

In London trading, the dollar was recently trading at 115.75 yen vs. 116.30 yen late Thursday, while the euro traded above $1.30 for the first time since April 2005 and was recently at $1.3088.

The dollar's selloff is taking place in relative thin market conditions and there is reason to suspect that as full liquidity returns, the bears will have a more difficult time. The move already is extreme. Consider, for example, that the major foreign currencies (euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Japanese yen) rarely move more than two standard deviations away from their 20-day moving average. The European currencies are currently trading at more than three standard deviations from their 20-day moving average while the yen is just shy of the three-standard-deviation mark, which comes in near 115.48 yen to the dollar.


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

Could be trouble for some folks, eh?


Saladin said...

Kathleen, are you really surprised? The game is on, don't get fooled again.

erling krange said...

The Danes have more than that to brag about. A pint of beer cost half of the price in Norway (approx. 4 US$ in Denmark, 8 US$ in Norway). A bottle of Scotch in the store, is 1/3 of what it cost here.( 16 US$ in Denmark, allmost 50 US$ in Norway!) In Denmark you can buy wine and booze in every store, even in small kiosks and gas stations. In Norway we can only buy it in state owned liqeur stores. I'm lucky that I live only a short ferry trip from that heavenly country, Denmark! The wages is about the same in both countries.


Gerald's Blog said...

War, n: A time-tested political tactic guaranteed to raise a president’s popularity rating by at least 30 points. It is especially useful during election years and economic downturns.
– Chaz Bufe

kathleen said...

Erling Krange..thanks for the piece about Democracies. When the question is asked why the U.s. is unable to implement some of the strategies used to create more access to justice, education and health care in the Scandanavian countries. The excuse is always that Norway etc. are not ethnically diverse and are very small! Excuses excuses for unbridled greed

Capt the run-up to this illegal an immoral war was stunning! In reference to the lies repeated about Iraq's WMD's! We heard everyone in the Bush administration say Hussein, absolutely had, wanted, might, could, had plans to, desired, moved, was hiding ,dreamed etc about WMD's. Not once did we hear anyone in the MSM use the word LIES!

The majority of individuals in the MSM were complete and utter chickenshits!
What Bob Woodward referred to as the "groupthink" that took place before the illegal invasion of Iraq. Woodward should know he was one of the leaders of the "groupthinkers" that have Iraqi blood on their hands, minds and souls. (if they have any conscience at all)

Saladin.. I am with you I can't escape thinking about the Iraqi people and the death and destruction that my country has caused in Iraq.

My three daughters came home for Thanksgiving and we spent part of the time with my siblings and 12 nieces and nephews outside of Dayton Ohio in Centerville Ohio. My three siblings live in upper middle class homes (one with 6 T.V.'s). Our three daughters were brought up without T.V. ( only because we thought there would be too many arguments about what could and could not be watched) The suburbs around Dayton, Bellbrook, Centerville are filled with malls, and people who spend a great deal of time in them. When my daughters are exposed to the amount of holiday commercials filled with buy buy buy buy, desire, consume, buy, buy, buy we are still stunned by the greed that is promoted in this country! The 1950's holiday music that seeps through the airspace in these malls (much of this music was written to promote buying),
as Americans buy and steal endless items made of plastic, clothing made in sweat shops, things they do not need.

It all seems so surreal, so disgusting, so out of touch with what is taking place in Iraq and around the world.

These are times I curse my Catholic upbringing. (12 years of Catholic schools) My parents the Notre Dame nuns practiced, repeated , trained us to think about others, to aspire to being loving, compassionate, empathetic people! To work at developing that part of ourselves that exist in all humans to rise above any superficial differences that are often exploited by marketing people, the military industrial complex/governments. To rise above those created and exploited differences and reach out and help someone, not kill them!

If there ever was a Jesus and he actually promoted love, peace, kindness, compassion, empathy,truth, justice! He would be turning over tables in malls, he would be appalled by the expensive and decadent lifestyles of the Catholic hierarchy. He would be shocked, disgusted with the apathy and complacency that is rampant in our country.
Jesus would be especially enraged by the Israeli governments actions in the middle east, and the horrid treatment of the Palestinians by the Israeli military that so enrages many countries in the middle east.

While the Iraqi people are dealing with hell on earth! A hell that the Bush administration created, where Iraqi people are being burned alive bombed into body parts Americans are encouraged to go shopping and they seem more than happy to do so!

Gerald's Blog said...

Iraq, the Glorious War

Gerald's Blog said...


In today's newspaper I read this story.

Although India is still the country of choice, more outsourcing of jobs are going to the Philipines. Nazi Americans are only cannon fodder to be killed and maimed in endless wars.

Enlist, go to war, and when you return you will have no job!!!!!

Don't you just love this country you stupid Nazi Americans?

kathleen said...

Just read David Corn's "Pelosi's next big problem". He sure makes a convincing argument for Rush Holt becoming the next Chairman of the House Intelligence committee.

Corn politely rips into why Hastings should not be chosen. Yet skips over why Harman should not be chosen. I looked through Corn's archives but could not find as detailed "polite rips" on why Harman should not be recommended for this critical position.

Harman is 'allegedly" being investigated by the F.B.I. for questionable dealings with AIPAC! She did not aggressively push for thorough investigations of the pre-war intelligence.

Harman should not be appointed to this position no matter how much AIPAC pressures Pelosi.

Rush Holt sounds sure sounds like the right person for the job if David is right about his ability to rise above the fray!

David do you plan to "politely rip up" Harman?

Gerald's Blog said...

Impeach the low life beast

kathleen said...

I probably missed it, but can someone explain why David has not re-created his comments section?

Was there any way to find out who attacked his post?

Gerald's Blog said...

The truth is Americans CAN handle another impeachment. They CAN handle the truth. In fact, if Americans don't bring Bush and Cheney to justice after the atrocities they've committed, this nation will never reclaim its moral authority. And the people of this nation will be despised for unleashing these dangerous men on the world.

So true!!!

Gerald's Blog said...

kathleen, we have Alternate Reality. capt gives us David Corn's words and we can comment on Alternate Reality.

Gerald's Blog said...

From the Wow article!

Investigate, investigate, investigate and follow up with whatever legal mandates the investigations lead to, including impeachment.

-Pass a lot of legislation. Show that a congress can get things done, not just posture on wedge issues like gay marriage and flag burning.

kathleen said...

I agree Gerald Americans can handle the truth about this illegal war. The bigger question is can our Reps? Or will 2008 be a mandate on both parties? It is there decision. The whole world is watching and waiting for justice in regard to this war of choice.

The President's Decision to Resubmit Five Highly Controversial Judicial Nominees: Why It's a Mistake, and How to Fix the Broken Confirmation Process
Friday, Nov. 17, 2006

Despite the "thumpin'" he acknowledges Republicans took on Election Day 2006, President Bush has resubmitted five of his most controversial lower federal court nominees (and a sixth who is not controversial) to the Senate for confirmation.

The timing was not under Bush's control: Under the Senate Rules, the President had to do this after the extended Congressional break for the 2006 midterm elections, or the nominations would have been considered withdrawn. But the decision itself was, of course, all Bush's -- and it's a grave mistake.

A Filibuster Is Certain - so the President Can Only Prevail with the "Nuclear Option"

With this action, it appears that, despite promises to work with the Democrats, Bush is going to push the envelope with the lame-duck Congress, and try to jam these contentious nominees through the Senate while the GOP still has a majority, and control. (Carl Tobias proposes improvements to the federal judiciary that he argues should have bipartisan support in his guest column for this site today.)

John Dean findlaw

Saladin said...

Internecine Squabble Between Neolibs and Neocons Over Lebanon Makes for Turgid Reading in the Los Angeles Times
Kurt Nimmo

Kathleen, I think you in particular would be interested in this article.

“A collapse of the Lebanese government would mark a further expansion in the influence of Hezbollah—and of Syria and Iran, which back the Shiite Muslim militant group—many of the analysts said,” the Times reports. “It would be a setback to the U.S. goal of uniting the country around a stronger central government, and to hopes that an expanded Lebanese army could protect Israel from Hezbollah attacks.”

Of course, this is precisely the plan—to reduce Lebanon, and the rest of the Arab and Islamic Middle East, into a cauldron of simmering ethnic and religious violence, thus realizing the neocon “Clean Break” and Oded Yinon’s plan for balkanization.

In fact, the average grunt in the Lebanese army realizes Hezbollah was organized as a response to the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon and it is now the only force capable of keeping Israel out of the country, as the result of Israel’s invasion last summer amply demonstrates. Moreover, it is apparently too much to ask the “liberal” Los Angeles Times, an indefatigable apologist for Israeli brutality and war crimes, to set the record straight—the invasion began after Israeli soldiers were captured in the town of Aitaa al-Chaab, inside Lebanon, a fact reported by Forbes, the Hindustan Times, AFP, Asia Times, and others, but later swept down the memory hole.

“Some analysts argue that, rather than the democratic ascendancy Bush foresaw in early 2005, Lebanon represents a trend that will bring instability and spell a sharp decline in U.S. influence in the region,” the Times concludes. “That trend is marked by the rise in influence of Hezbollah and Iran, the increase in the influence of fundamentalist Islam, the growth of sectarian militias, higher oil prices and the stagnation of efforts to find an Israeli-Palestinian peace, said Richard N. Haass, a top State Department official during Bush’s first term and now the president of the Council on Foreign Relations.”

Haass and his CFR cronies may feign consternation for the sake of public consumption, but in fact the neolib plan for the Middle East is moving forward swimmingly. It should be noted that Richard Haass is the president of the CFR and as VP and director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution and he brings together the neolib and neocon factions (while Brookings, at first glance, is a “liberal” think tank, with such luminaries as Strobe Talbott, Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State, and Teresa Heinz, the billionaire philanthropic wife of John Kerry, it is in fact yet another reactionary criminal organization funded by the likes of the John M. Olin Foundation, and connected at the hip to the American Enterprise Institute, where Bush gets his “minds”). Call it a tag team effort between kissing cousins.

Like the classic shell game or confidence trick, the neolibs are attempting to shift blame for the “failure” of Bushian “democracy” in the Middle East on the neocons, who are to be set-up as fall guys. Increasingly, we are sold on the idea that the “adults,” in the guise of James Baker and the Iraq Study Group, are now in control and a new path will be forged in the untamed wilderness that has sprouted up around the neocon effort to democratize benighted Arabs through shock and awe.

In fact, there is very little difference between the neocon and neolib versions of reality in the Middle East, as both will result in more violence and misery. If the Baker Boys accomplish anything, it will be a marginalization of the Israeli effort to create a Greater Middle East, rolling the outlaw settler state back to the status of a junior partner, while emphasizing the World Bank and IMF component designed to return fantastic profit and inflict untold hardship on the people of the Middle East in the process, as they victimize millions around the world.
So, we are supposed to believe the new and improved congress is going to put a stop to this? They might change tactics but the destruction will continue.

kathleen said...

What was that David Corn said "that the neocons are not the problem now". Come on, they were and continue to be a push for more violence in Iraq and elsewhere in the middle east.

This article at Weekly Standard where Bill Kristol and Kagan continue to put their "big footprints" in their lying mouths!

Time for a Heavier Footprint
More American troops are needed to break the cycle of violence in Iraq.
by Frederick W. Kagan & William Kristol

General John Abizaid, the commander of U.S. Central Command and the man with overall statutory responsibility for conducting the war in Iraq, testified last week in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Before coming to Washington, Abizaid had spent several days in Iraq, consulting with the military commanders on the ground. Considering the importance of this testimony and the effort Abizaid made to prepare for it, it is unfortunate that he offered an inadequate proposal for change in response to the deteriorating situation in Iraq.

Abizaid has been in command of this war for three years. General George Casey, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Abizaid's direct subordinate, has had his command since mid-2004. Both men remember the war in Iraq at its lowest point--when the Sunni Arab insurgency raged unchecked, insurgents controlled Falluja, Shiite troops under Moktada al-Sadr seized Najaf, and Shiites in Sadr City rose. They watched Iraqi troops flee battlefields and refuse to fight. They watched as U.S. Marines engaged in clearing Falluja were forced to desist because of political pressure from a weak Iraqi government. All of that happened in 2004.

Since then, they have seen improvements. Falluja was cleared in late 2004 and has been held. Tal Afar, cleared unsuccessfully twice before, was finally cleared and effective government established in 2005. Mosul soon followed. The Iraqi military that failed in 2004 was disbanded and replaced by Iraqi units that have subsequently fought well in Tal Afar, Ramadi, Baghdad, and elsewhere. No major Iraqi cities are under
the control of insurgents as Falluja and Tal Afar once were. The Iraqi government has supported a number of clear-and-hold efforts around the country, including in many neighborhoods in Baghdad. All these developments are important and even heartening judged against the calamitous situation

t Weekly Standard!

Lawrence O' Donnel said it best "It takes a very special kind of combat coward to advocate combat for others".

Yes it does Mr. O'Donnel cowards with no shame or conscience! Kagan and Kristol fit the bill!

Kristol and Kagan should put on their uniforms or shut up!

kathleen said...

David Corn "Yet the neocons are not the problem now (unless they succeed in whipping up support for attacking Iran)"

The American people should not rest until all of those responsible for the war in Iraq and all of the lies and false intelligence that was used to manuipulate much of the press (the willing fools) and the american people are HELD ACCOUNTABLE (go Senator Reid, Phase II of the SSCI...)

Until they are held accountable for the quagmire and crimes in Iraq they are free to lie about Iran!

US Could Bomb Iran Nuclear Sites in 2007
Agence France-Presse

Tuesday 21 November 2006

Washington - President George W. Bush could choose military action over diplomacy and bomb Iran's nuclear facilities next year, political analysts in Washington agree.

"I think he is going to do it," John Pike, director of, a military issues think tank, told AFP.

"They are going to bomb WMD facilities next summer," he added, referring to nuclear facilities Iran says are for peaceful uses and Washington insists are really intended to make nuclear bombs, or weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

"It would be a limited military action to destroy their WMD capabilities" added the analyst, believing a US military invasion of Iran is not on the table.

US journalist Seymour Hersh also said at the weekend that White House hawks led by Vice President Dick Cheney were intent on attacking Iran with or without the approval of the US Congress, both houses of which switch from Republican to Democratic control in January after the November 7 legislative elections.

The New Yorker weekly published an article by Hersh saying that one month before the elections, Cheney held a meeting on Iran in which he said the military option would never be discarded.

The White House promptly issued a statement saying the article was "riddled with inaccuracies."

Joseph Cirincione, Senior Vice President for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress, a Democrat-friendly think tank, also believes the US government could decide to attack Iran.

at Truthout

capt said...

"Kagan and Kristol fit the bill!"

And then some.


capt said...

From C&L:

This Modern World: When so-called conservatives ask, "If lraq is such a disaster, what's your solution?"…here's the answer

Prairie Weather: The authorization of war crimes, torture, and illegal wire-tapping by this administration needs to be thoroughly investigated in order to hold more than a few scapegoat grunts responsible. The question of how far political leaders will go to protect themselves brought to mind the death of Alexander Litvinenko. Might be time to take another look into Putin's soul Western Muslim opinion of the war in Iraq

The Orstrahyun: One of Australia's most respected SAS officers has revealed that teams searching for Saddam's WMDs' regarded their mission as a "standing joke." He said the Government had broken a moral contract with its defense force in sending it to an "immoral war".

Dept Of Homeland Conspiracy: Shut Up & Buy!!!

The Lebanese Bloggers: To hell in a handbasket

Media Bloodhound: Interview with Larry Cox, Director of Amnesty international

capt said...

While Signals Keep Firing, Memories Hold Still in the Brain

Making memories seems like a difficult proposition given that our synapses are constantly in action. These connections between nerve cells in our brain, which are regularly passing chemical messages back and forth, also supposedly have our memories distributed across them. Yet, regardless of the perpetual exchange of molecules, our memories remain stable. According to a pair of researchers at the University of Utah, it is the presence of scaffolding proteins in the synapses that anchor our life lessons within the chaos of brain activity.

Researchers have come to a consensus that on a timescale of hours to a few days synapses change chemically through one of two processes: long-term potentiation (LTP), the strengthening of a synapse; or long-term depression (LDP), the weakening of a synapse. There is debate, however, over what determines how this strength changes. One of the keys to the process appears to be the number of AMPA receptor proteins, which bind glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter that is believed to be involved in learning and memory. Researchers have observed AMPA traveling from the inside of a neuron to the downstream end of a synapse, but they remain uncertain as to whether the migration into and out of the synapse is the major component in determining synaptic strength. "There's a lot of data out there that actually measures over time how the strength of a synapse varies during LTP/LTD," says Paul Bressloff, a theoretical neuroscientist, who used a system of differential equations to model AMPA receptors' movements. "They know these things happen, and they make hypotheses about how things could fit together, but they don't do any quantitative study to see if it could really work. And that's what we've basically done."


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

Interesting stuff.


kathleen said...

Hold the radical warmongers accountable so they are not so free to continue their push for a pre-emptive military strike on Iran. Neo-cons gone mad and wild!

Hersh: Bush, Cheney Stovepiping Intelligence On Iran, Hiding Information From CIA
On CNN, New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh reported that a new CIA assessment concludes that “there’s no evidence Iran is doing anything that puts them close to a bomb.” Despite the intelligence agency’s conclusion, Hersh reports that the White House is still aggressively moving ahead with preparations for a military conflict with Iran.

As part of the White House’s preparations for Iran, Hersh says President Bush and Vice President Cheney are “stovepiping” intelligence and keeping information provided by the Israelis hidden from the CIA.

The Israelis are telling the White House, according to Hersh’s new article “The Next Act,” that they have a reliable agent inside Iran who reports that the nation is working on a trigger for a bomb. “Of course the people in the CIA want to know who [the agent] is, obviously,” Hersh said. “They certainly want to know what other evidence he has of actual making of a warhead. This is the internecine fight that’s going on — the same fight, by the way, that we had before Iraq.” Watch it:

Prior to the Iraq war, the White House set up intelligence stovepipes to “get information they wanted directly to the top leadership.” Cheney and company relied on information provided by the Iraqi National Congress, an exile group headed by Ahmad Chalabi. “Chalabi’s defector reports were…flowing from the Pentagon directly to the Vice-President’s office, and then on to the President, with little prior evaluation by intelligence professionals.”

State Dept. intelligence expert Greg Thielmann said that prior to the Iraq war that “garbage was being shoved straight to the President.” A U.S. official confirmed that defectors from Chalabi’s organization “had provided suspect information to numerous Western intelligence agencies. ‘It’s safe to say he tried to game the system,’ the official said.”

Hersh’s article suggests a similar breakdown in the intelligence process is happening with regards to Iran and may open to door to possible intelligence manipulation.

Full transcript:

HERSH: We can’t find, the new assessment says, we cannot find — the CIA says there’s no evidence that Iran is doing anything that puts them close to a bomb. There’s no secret program of significant bomb making.

BLITZER: The Israelis have a different assessment.

HERSH: Absolutely.

BLITZER: They think the Iranians may be within a year of getting to the threshold of having a point of no return, if you will, from having a bomb. When I was there in July, I had briefings. That’s what they suggested.

HERSH: They’ve been saying for, as you know, for five or ten years. The fact is Israelis have coming up with new human intelligence, sort of the counter CIA assessment, they’ve come up with an agent inside Iran. They have more than one. And this agent is — who’s been reliable so the Israelis claim in the past — who now says the Iranians are secretly working on making an actual trigger for a bomb. Even though they may not — we don’t have any specific evidence of a facility where they’re doing this work, the Israelis say yes they are, they’re getting ready to start detonating a weapon. Once they get the fissile material, the enriched material. Now, that information is being handled pretty much by the white house and various offices in the pentagon. And the CIA isn’t getting a good look at the Israeli intelligence. It’s the old word stovepiping. It’s the President and the Vice President, it’s pretty much being kept in the White House.

BLITZER: They’d like to get more access to this Israeli agent, is that what you’re saying?

HERSH: Of course, the people in the CIA want to know who he is, obviously. They certainly want to know what other evidence he has of actual making a warhead. This is the internecine fight that’s going on — the same fight, by the way, that we had before Iraq.

At Think Progress really worth reading

Gerald's Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gerald's Blog said...

Three Areas of Concern

I have three areas of concern. These three areas are rigged elections, reinstatement of the military draft, and our politically motivated U.S. Supreme Court. Unless Americans feel that their votes count, we will have less confidence in our federal government and we will lose hope in any future for our country. If the military draft is reinstated, our politicians will carry out endless wars and Americans will be only cannon fodder for these wars with no future for a real life. Since our Supreme Court is more politically motivated, they have no concern or use for the U.S. Constitution. Failure to respect the U.S. Constitution will lead to Americans revealing no respect for our constitution and laws. A lawless society in America will enhance the demise of the United States of America. Personally, I believe that the U.S. Supreme Court is unnecessary because our states have their own Supreme Courts that are closer to the needs of their citizens. Our politically motivated U.S. Supreme Court is more concerned with the desires of the rich and corporate America to be of any help the poor and middle class of America.

kathleen said...

Seymour Hersch, Un weapons inspectors Scott Ritter, Hans Blix, David Kay, Iaea's Mr. El Baradei, all on the "Iran Reality Bandwagon".

Is a damaged Administration less likely to attack Iran, or more?
Issue of 2006-11-27 The New Yorker

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.

In late 1982, Edward P. Boland, a Democratic representative, introduced the first in a series of “Boland amendments,” which limited the Reagan Administration’s ability to support the Contras, who were working to overthrow Nicaragua’s left-wing Sandinista government. The Boland restrictions led White House officials to orchestrate illegal fund-raising activities for the Contras, including the sale of American weapons, via Israel, to Iran. The result was the Iran-Contra scandal of the mid-eighties. Cheney’s story, according to the source, was his way of saying that, whatever a Democratic Congress might do next year to limit the President’s authority, the Administration would find a way to work around it. (In response to a request for comment, the Vice-President’s office said that it had no record of the discussion.)

In interviews, current and former Administration officials returned to one question: whether Cheney would be as influential in the last two years of George W. Bush’s Presidency as he was in its first six. Cheney is emphatic about Iraq. In late October, he told Time, “I know what the President thinks,” about Iraq. “I know what I think. And we’re not looking for an exit strategy. We’re looking for victory.” He is equally clear that the Administration would, if necessary, use force against Iran. “The United States is keeping all options on the table in addressing the irresponsible conduct of the regime,” he told an Israeli lobbying group early this year. “And we join other nations in sending that regime a clear message: we will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”

On November 8th, the day after the Republicans lost both the House and the Senate, Bush announced the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and the nomination of his successor, Robert Gates, a former director of Central Intelligence. The move was widely seen as an acknowledgment that the Administration was paying a political price for the debacle in Iraq. Gates was a member of the Iraq Study Group—headed by former Secretary of State James Baker and Lee Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman—which has been charged with examining new approaches to Iraq, and he has publicly urged for more than a year that the U.S. begin direct talks with Iran. President Bush’s decision to turn to Gates was a sign of the White House’s “desperation,” a former high-level C.I.A. official, who worked with the White House after September 11th, told me. Cheney’s relationship with Rumsfeld was among the closest inside the Administration, and Gates’s nomination was seen by some Republicans as a clear signal that the Vice-President’s influence in the White House could be challenged. The only reason Gates would take the job, after turning down an earlier offer to serve as the new Director of National Intelligence, the former high-level C.I.A. official said, was that “the President’s father, Brent Scowcroft, and James Baker”—former aides of the first President Bush—“piled on, and the President finally had to accept adult supervision.”

Critical decisions will be made in the next few months, the former C.I.A. official said. “Bush has followed Cheney’s advice for six years, and the story line will be: ‘Will he continue to choose Cheney over his father?’ We’ll know soon.” (The White House and the Pentagon declined to respond to detailed requests for comment about this article, other than to say that there were unspecified inaccuracies.)

A retired four-star general who worked closely with the first Bush Administration told me that the Gates nomination means that Scowcroft, Baker, the elder Bush, and his son “are saying that winning the election in 2008 is more important than the individual. The issue for them is how to preserve the Republican agenda. The Old Guard wants to isolate Cheney and give their girl, Condoleezza Rice”—the Secretary of State—“a chance to perform.” The combination of Scowcroft, Baker, and the senior Bush working together is, the general added, “tough enough to take on Cheney. One guy can’t do it.”

Richard Armitage, the Deputy Secretary of State in Bush’s first term, told me that he believed the Democratic election victory, followed by Rumsfeld’s dismissal, meant that the Administration “has backed off,” in terms of the pace of its planning for a military campaign against Iran. Gates and other decision-makers would now have more time to push for a diplomatic solution in Iran and deal with other, arguably more immediate issues. “Iraq is as bad as it looks, and Afghanistan is worse than it looks,” Armitage said. “A year ago, the Taliban were fighting us in units of eight to twelve, and now they’re sometimes in company-size, and even larger.” Bombing Iran and expecting the Iranian public “to rise up” and overthrow the government, as some in the White House believe, Armitage added, “is a fool’s errand.”

“Iraq is the disaster we have to get rid of, and Iran is the disaster we have to avoid,” Joseph Cirincione, the vice-president for national security at the liberal Center for American Progress, said. “Gates will be in favor of talking to Iran and listening to the advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but the neoconservatives are still there”—in the White House—“and still believe that chaos would be a small price for getting rid of the threat. The danger is that Gates could be the new Colin Powell—the one who opposes the policy but ends up briefing the Congress and publicly supporting it.”

Always Seymour Hersch is a must!

David B. Benson said...

kathleen --- That's great. Keep it going...

O'Reilly said...

"US journalist Seymour Hersh also said at the weekend that White House hawks led by Vice President Dick Cheney were intent on attacking Iran with or without the approval of the US Congress, both houses of which switch from Republican to Democratic control in January after the November 7 legislative elections."

IS THAT what Cheney is doing in Saudi Arabia, giving our allies a head up? Next Wednesday Bush is visitng Jordan. They don't even trust their own state department.

Haven't they fucked up the middle east enough already?

If the USA attacks the people in the country will go balistic and congress will impeach.

The only way forward in the middle east is nuke-free. That means Israel gives them up and Iran agrees to stop pursuing them.

Saladin said...

o'reilly, it isn't fucked up at all, not according to the PNAC plan, long in the works, in fact, things are going exactly as planned, from the "NEW" Pearl Harbor to the current cauldron, just ask michael ledeen.

Gerald said...

kathleen, Seymour Hersh seems to have the information and perception in his articles to give us great insight into Hitler Bush and his Nazi cabal's stinking thinking. I am saddened that Nazi America will nuke Iran. That decision is etched in stone.

Gerald said...

The decision to nuke Iran will glorify Nazi Americans and the bloodsuckers who embrace the dismemberment of human body parts.

Gerald said...

The soul of Nazi America is damned for all eternity.

Gerald said...

No Bravery

All we can do now is pray for the true God's mercy for the damned Nazi American souls.

Gerald said...

The face of a madman

Gerald said...

Hitler Bush's Cruel and Degrading Presidency

Gerald said...

And don’t bother defending that phony McCain and his cadres of far-right toadies jousting with Bush on “secret evidence”. What a joke. McCain never saw a war he didn’t like. He’s chairman of the International Republican Party, a slick-sounding NGO that topples foreign governments (like Hugo Chavez) who don’t believe that every nickel of the world’s wealth should go to the upper 1%. Even his fight against “secret evidence” is pure fiction. If McCain “the maverick” wins, American-held prisoners will still not have the right to challenge their case in federal court or sue for damages in the case of unlawful arrest. McCain, Warner and Graham, have removed habeas corpus (the foundation of American jurisprudence dating back 800 years into English law) as a fundamental human right. The only rights that prisoners will have are the right to appear before 3 of Rumsfeld’s hand-picked stooges to plead for mercy. It is an utter travesty.

Gerald said...

Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be soldiers

Gerald said...

The shame of being an American

There will be more shame when we nuke Iran and see those bodies of children and babies. But, Nazi America will still feel glorified by massive murders and massive war crimes.

Gerald said...

War Criminal Nation

Gerald said...

America the pitiful

Gerald said...

America's Moral Decline

Moral demise precedes the ultimate demise.

Nazi America is faced with her ultimate demise.

Gerald said...

Brothers and Sisters Awake

O'Reilly said...

Sad Sunday: Iraq War Longer Than World War Two. JFK Was Right, George Bush Is Wrong
by Brent Budowsky

The tragic milestone has arrived, the Iraq War lasted longer than the Second World War, with the President telling us that many more days are left in his tragedy drenched in blood..

In 1957 Senator John F. Kennedy gave a major address opposing European colonial policies and the French colonial dominance of Algeria. JFK warned that these policies and practices gave aid, comfort and strength to Soviet communists who prayed on misery, exploitation and corruption.

Sound familiar?

One can reread JFK's speeches between 1957 and Algerian independence after he became President, and substitute "terrorists" for "Soviet communists." It is eerie. It is true. It is a hard lesson for President Bush and the country he so wrongly and disastrously pushed to war, through the politics of fear, and the obsession of ideology.

In a just world, President Bush will take this sad Sunday and apologize to the people of America and the people of Iraq, accept his responsibility, discuss what lessons he has learned, and move to set things right.

That is what JFK did after the Bay of Pigs; he accepted responsibility, grew from his mistakes, and saved the world from nuclear war when he removed the Soviet missiles from Cuba. That is what the President should do.

He will not. George W. Bush is no JFK, nor is he Reagan, nor is he George Herbert Walker Bush, nor is he even Nixon.

I have written here and elsewhere recently of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Robert Kennedy and would simply state again that what America needs, what the world needs, is the kind of aspirational leadership that Jack and Bobby provided.

It is a time, on this sad Sunday, to revisit Jack Kennedy's criticism of European colonialism in the Third World during the 1950's. George W. Bush speaks of democracy but his war policy is the lineal descendant of the colonial practices that John Kennedy so wisely spoke against.

It was not democracy to seek to install Mr. Chalabi as leader of Iraq after an American invasion. Mr. Chalabi's relationship to freedom and democracy in Iraq was zero. He would have been a leader in Iraq with no support within Iraq, installed by Americans, with the result that would only help the Iranian mullahs.

It was not democracy to raise false fears to drive America to war and spy on Americans who opposed those policies.

It was not democracy to establish an Iraq Reconstruction Authority that was run by an American with the attitude of a Roman Proconsul.

It was not democracy to install political hacks in key reconstruction positions, then allow some of the greatest greed, corruption and incompetence in the history of capitalism.

It was not democracy to steal and waste money that was meant to build hospitals and schools, so some made fortunes, while troops gave their lives and Iraqis suffered unendurable misery.

It was not democracy to peddle lies to promote fear to push for war that corrupted even the front page of the New York Times. It was not democracy to promote propaganda to peddle war that corrupted the intolerant editorial pages of the Washington Post. Nor was it democracy to accuse newspapers of treason when they belatedly printed truth.

It was not democracy to have a Vice President almost universally seen as the free world's leading advocate for torture. It was not democracy to try to keep this torture secret.

It was not democracy force out the Chief of Staff of the Army for daring to speak the truth and it was not democracy to force out the Navy lawyer who won a historic case for justice before the United States Supreme Court.

It was not democracy to hold secret White House meetings with oil company lobbyists where insiders passed around maps of Iraqi oil fields.

This whole project of an invasion, to install an American-imposed shill who only helped Iranians,to install a Proconsul-like American over the people of Iraq, to surround him with corrupt henchmen and cronies who misused money intended for schools and hospitals to help the children and suffering of Iraq was not democracy.

It was rooted in the colonial abuses and executed with the same catastrophic results.

JFK warned about this in the 1950's; saying correctly such practices only helped communist enemies and George Bush was warned about his policies that would only help our enemies in Iraq, Iran.Al Qaeda and elsewhere.

It is time to bring back the American foreign and security policies of John and Robert Kennedy rooted in American purpose and aspirational ideals that offer the hope of a better life, not endless war.

It is time for the United States to once again offer comprehensive plans for peace in the Middle East, a subject I will return to soon, while we rebuil the military from the damage that these catastrophic policies caused.

It is time to recognize that the Project for the New American Century was deadly wrong, catastrophically wrong, historically wrong. The world does not want endless preemptive wars, occupations, proconsuls, and shills surrounded by crony corruption.

Now we know: at this sad time the war in Iraq is longer than the Second World War, so:

On the matter of George W. Bush, Richard B. Cheney, neoconservative fantasists and their partisans and profiteers we should throw out the baby, throw out the bathwater, and throw out whole damn thing.

We should say with finality: George W. Bush was wrong, and John F. Kennedy was right,


O'Reilly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
capt said...

"throw out the bathwater, and throw out whole damn thing."

Great line and a very good post!


Saladin said...

Democrats Blame Iraqis for U.S. Induced Misery

November 25, 2006

Steny Hoyer, nicknamed "boy wonder," is speaking tough to the besieged Iraqis.

Hoyer, as incoming House Majority Leader, wants the Iraqis to understand they only have themselves to blame for all the murder and misery in their country. "In the days ahead, the Iraqis must make the tough decisions and accept responsibility for their future," said Hoyer during the weekly Democratic radio address. "And the Iraqis must know: Our commitment, while great, is not unending."

"Once in power, Hoyer said, the Democrats hope to work with Republicans and the Bush administration to change direction in Iraq war plans," reports ABC News.

Please note: Hoyer didn’t say the Democrats will end the "war" in Iraq. He said they will work with the Bush administration, that is to say the perfidious neocons.

All of this should be nothing new. Democrats have repeatedly expressed their approval of decimating Iraq and reducing it to a depleted uranium wasteland where, one day, the living will envy the dead. Last November, for instance, the Democrats voted their approval, by a 37 to 6 margin, for a Republican amendment in support of the neocon policy on the Iraq war. Not surprisingly, they also voted to support the illegal torture and internment of dirt farmers and hapless Muslims at Guantánamo.

"The passage of this measure was portrayed by Democrats and sections of the media as a rebuff to the Bush administration’s conduct of the war," Patrick Martin wrote at the time. "It actually represents the watering-down of an already weak amendment offered by Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan containing the same language about a ’successful completion’ of the US 'mission’ in Iraq," in other words, some things never change, and you can’t tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans, even if you turn them upside down.

No difference in the lot. Take as an example Tom Lantos, pegged to take over the House International Relations Committee. "A Holocaust survivor and strong supporter of Israel, Lantos is a hardliner on the Middle East—he has supported going to war in Iraq, sealing Syria’s borders with Lebanon, and getting tough on Iran," writes James Ridgeway for Mother Jones. It should be remembered, as well, that Lantos held the forum responsible for launching the propaganda blitz in preparation for the first Gulf War. Lantos "held a hearing that starred a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl known only as Nayirah, who tearfully testified about the brutality of the Iraqi soldiers who pillaged her country," but after the war had commenced, it turned out this girl "was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S. and had been recruited by the PR firm Hill and Knowlton to sell an Iraq intervention to the American public

Some things never change...
Oh dear, are these the "super duper Democrats" everyone is so convinced deserve a chance? HAHAHA! Some people never learn, they don't even have 20/20 hindsight because they refuse to remove the blinders where their own corrupt party is concerned. Does that sound WAY too negative? TOO BAD!! This is what they SHOULD be doing, from the above article:

"The Democrats must thunder from the pulpit, threatening to rain down hellfire, hail and brimstone on Republicans who want to stay the course—while scrutinizing every Pentagon budget request and holding investigative hearings into war crimes, abuses, cost overruns and mismanagement."
Still holding your breath? Gerald mentions our moral demise, well, DC is WAY past that and well on the way to hell.

kathleen said...

Saladin read the neolib/neocon article. If the lib/cons agendas are one and the same "The Clean(fucking bloody) Break", Iran and Syria gaining more power and influence does not fit into the plan!

I continue to find the bloody hell taking place for the Iraqi people so surreal as Americans go shop shop shopping!

Beam me up Scotty!

O'Reilly said...

."Scalia has long been regarded as an administration favorite. Bush suggested during the 2000 campaign that Scalia was his idea of a model justice. In the court’s Bush v. Gore decision, which brought that campaign to an end, Scalia ventured the opaque claim that candidate Bush would experience “irreparable harm” if the recount continued in Florida. Not long after, the justice’s son was appointed by the president to a top position in the Labor Department. In January 2004, Scalia took a free ride on Vice President Cheney’s plane to go duck hunting with him; later he refused to step aside in a major case involving Cheney."

- Turow, NYT


capt said...

Blinded by the St. McCain/Holy Joe War


MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, firstly, let me say, perhaps it's easier to deny that this is a civil war, when essentially you live in the most heavily fortified place in the country within the Green Zone, which is true of both the prime minister, the national security adviser for Iraq and, of course, the top U.S. military commanders. However, for the people living on the streets, for Iraqis in their homes, if this is not civil war, or a form of it, then they do not want to see what one really looks like.

This is what we're talking about. We're talking about Sunni neighborhoods shelling Shia neighborhoods, and Shia neighborhoods shelling back.

We're having Sunni communities dig fighting positions to protect their streets. We're seeing Sunni extremists plunging car bombs into heavily-populated Shia marketplaces. We're seeing institutionalized Shia death squads in legitimate police and national police commando uniforms going in, systematically, to Sunni homes in the middle of the night and dragging them out, never to be seen again.

I mean, if this is not civil war, where there is, on average, 40 to 50 tortured, mutilated, executed bodies showing up on the capital streets each morning, where we have thousands of unaccounted for dead bodies mounting up every month, and where the list of those who have simply disappeared for the sake of the fact that they have the wrong name, a name that is either Sunni or Shia, so much so that we have people getting dual identity cards, where parents cannot send their children to school, because they have to cross a sectarian line, then, goodness, me, I don't want to see what a civil war looks like either if this isn't one.


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

I really hope to hear more about getting our troops out of the hell-hole Bush made.


O'Reilly said...

"Oh dear, are these the "super duper Democrats" everyone is so convinced deserve a chance? HAHAHA! Some people never learn,..."

First of all, your post is dripping with sarcam and implied contempt for the opinions of those who disagree with you.

Second, let's get your thesis straight: The people who "never learn" are the people who think the democrats "deserve a chance." They are also the people who disagree with your view that the our two party system is corrupt beyond hope.... all is lost, the world is shit, despair is all, might as well call it a life, nothing good will ever happen. HAHAHA! You're more brain dead than Terri Schiavo.

This will cheer you up...How many NEOCONs does it take to start a war?

It's one thing to have a world view marked by hopelessness. Its another to mock those who hold out hope for change that will bring improvement.

Gerald's Blog said...

Steny Hoyer is an asshole!!!!! If Hitler Bush had not started this wrong and immoral war, both Nazi Americans and the Iraqis would not have such misery. The true issue is that Hitler Bush, a well known terrorist, started this mess. Never forget that fact!!!!!

kathleen said...

Watched my traditional one and a half hours of Sunday News programs this morning. One of the more interesting people on "This Week" with George Stephanapolous was King Abdullah II of Jordan.( go listen for yourself)

Abdullah repeated numerous times that if the International community does not step up to the plate and solve the core issue in the middle east the "Israeli Palestinian conflict" that he sees three cival wars taking place in the middle east. The first being the I/P conflict, the second being the potential Lebanese cival war, and third the Iraqi war.

He stated that if the "core" issue in the middle east is not dealt with in the next six months all conflicts will escalate.

During the roundtable discussion on "This Week" as they were discussing who Pelosi will be choosing for the head of the INtelligence committee. It was discussed why Hastings was an inappropriate candidate given his "alleged" history with corruption and the Democrats hammering on the Republican's "Culture of Corruption" in the recent elections

Not one person on the round table discussed or brought up the investigation of Harman by the F.B.I. and that she had not been assertive or demanding in regard to holding anyone accountable for the false pre-war intelligence

It reminded me of David Corn's recent article where he politely rips into the specific reasons Hastings is not an appropriate candidate, talks about why Rush Holt is a good candidate, but does not address why Harman is being pushed to the side by Pelosi.

Why not talk about why Harman is not being considered, what Pelosi has against her and the investigation into Harman's "allegedly" inappropriate conduct with AIPAC?

Why not discuss this issue? Is it because there is an ongoing investigation of Harman? Or more of everyone being afraid to address the "alleged" efforts by AIPAC to influence Harman's responsibility on the intelligence committee?

Is this yet one more example in the MSM of everyone being chicken shit and not being willing to address the special status and influence of AIPAC head on?

Does anyone here get this, or have an opinion as to why Harman being pushed aside is not being discussed on national airwaves?

Gerald's Blog said...

Let Go, Let God

I would like to share with you an experience. About 45+ years ago, I went on a religious retreat to the Monastery at Gethsemani near Bardstown, Kentucky. I was probably there when Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk at the monastery. At the retreat I found a bookmark with the phrase, Let Go, Let God. For years I wanted to have the faith to just Let God direct my life to be the light, the truth , and the way. Since I am a sinner, I had a difficult time to Let Go and Let God take hold of my life.

Even today, I try to Let Go and Let God do His work. All the world would be wise to Let Go, Let God lead us toward the light, the truth, and the way.

I believe truly that God is the answer to ease a troubled world. People will talk a good talk about God but the words are not matched with deeds. Both words and deeds would go a long way to a more stable life for our human population.

My counsel to the world is that we Let Go, Let God direct and lead us to eternal salvation.

Gerald's Blog said...

Let Go, Let God

I would like to share with you an experience. About 45+ years ago, I went on a religious retreat to the Monastery at Gethsemani near Bardstown, Kentucky. I was probably there when Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk at the monastery. At the retreat I found a bookmark with the phrase, Let Go, Let God. For years I wanted to have the faith to just Let God direct my life to be the light, the truth , and the way. Since I am a sinner, I had a difficult time to Let Go and Let God take hold of my life.

Even today, I try to Let Go and Let God do His work. All the world would be wise to Let Go, Let God lead us toward the light, the truth, and the way.

I believe truly that God is the answer to ease a troubled world. People will talk a good talk about God but the words are not matched with deeds. Both words and deeds would go a long way to a more stable life for our human population.

My counsel to the world is that we Let Go, Let God direct and lead us to eternal salvation.

Gerald's Blog said...

Are all politicians horseshit???

capt said...

From what I have read Harman is being pushed aside because she does not get along with Pelosi.

This is tough call for Pelosi. The current senior Democrat on the committee is Representative Jane Harman from California, and Pelosi wants her out. There has long been bad blood between Harman and Pelosi, who preceded Harman as the top Democrat on the panel. Pelosi, according to several Capitol Hill sources, has been upset with Harman's performance on the committee and has faulted Harman for not sufficiently confronting the Republicans and the White House. Next in line for the Democrats on the committee is Hastings. But he, too, poses a problem. In the late 1980s, Hastings, then a federal judge, was impeached by the Democratic-controlled House on bribery and perjury charges and removed from office by the Democratic-led Senate. He was later elected to the House and subsequently joined the intelligence committee.

The above from Mr. Corn's last post?


Gerald's Blog said...

The stench from the politicians is nasty.

capt said...

The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too.
~ Oscar Levant (1906 - 1972)

Gerald's Blog said...

To be a politician you have to be crooked, stupid, child-like in holding grudges, an egomaniac, and/or wreak from shit.

Gerald's Blog said...

capt, when it comes to corruption, the Democrats are an equal opportunity employer. The Nazis or Republicans select only the rich to be corrupt.

The rich are naturally corrupt so they fit in well with the Nazi Party.

O'Reilly said...

Is New York City now the safest city in the country?

Gerald's Blog said...

Nothing good can come from this

Gerald's Blog said...

Rumsfeld's abuses must be investigated

O'Reilly said...

Pelosi May Bypass Both Harman and Hastings
By Jeralyn

Nancy Pelosi's pick for House Intelligence Chair has generated a lot of discussion. The two front-runners were Jane Harman and Alcee Hastings.

Michael Isikoff of Newsweek reports today that Pelosi is now considering two others for the position:

One is Rep. Norm Dicks, a onetime strong Iraq-war backer who has since joined ranks with Murtha and now wants a phased troop withdrawal. The other is Rep. Silvestre Reyes, a quiet Texas lawmaker and former Border Patrol official who opposed the Iraq war from the outset. The aforementioned leadership aide notes that Reyes may now have the upper hand for "political" reasons: the Hispanic Caucus is angry because it has no members in the new House leadership or chairing major committees. Pelosi appears to be "leaning toward" Reyes, the aide says, but "the truth is, nobody knows what she is going to do."

= = = =
This in interesting Kathleen. Isakoff reports Pelosi is looking at Dicks an Reyes as chair of the Intelligence Committee. (Isakoff and Corn co-wrote Hubris so we know they talk.) Isakoff does not mention that Harmen is looking at Holt, who Corn suggested.

I don;t know why the Sunday talking heads did not discuss Harman's "complications." Have they been reported in the MSM or Roll Call, or is it only in the blogosphere so far? Anyway, I thought you'd be happy to hear Pelosi is looking at others in addition to (or as opposed to) Harman.

O'Reilly said...

Josh Marshall echoes David Corn on Rush Holt for Intelligence Chair

Saladin said...

o'reilly, you have missed my point completely! I am far from hopeless, but the history of these politicians is written for anyone to see. What makes you think they will change their stripes now that they are the majority?

"First of all, your post is dripping with sarcam and implied contempt for the opinions of those who disagree with you."

Yes, it IS dripping with sarcasm because I don't understand how the left can simply write off what their reps say and do when it is apparent that the only difference with these career politicians is tactics not policy. I don't care if people disagree with my politics, but you can't disagree with facts on the ground. Next you resort to a personal attack, o'reilly that is not like you. My opinion that our duopoly known as a "two party system" is corrupt is certainly backed up by mountains of evidence, facts, historical writings and the past actions of both sides. I don't think the dems are not deserving of a chance, I just think it is time for the people to reassess what they want and stop voting for the same assholes over and over again then wondering why nothing ever changes. You may also recall that plenty of dems, a majority in fact, enabled the neocons to start this war, plus they ALL voted for that bullshit patriot act without even reading it, and most of them are still rattling the swords. How many do you think have taken the time to read it in the past 6 years in an attempt to correct the mistake they made? Any? Have you read any of the statements I have posted with regards to these very issues? Is this stupid war on terror going to be less evil with the dems in charge? Is my wish for REAL change and progress the result of "a world view marked by hopelessness?" If that's what you think then you haven't really understood anything I have been trying to say. I guess that makes me more brain dead then Terri. Maybe someone should pull my plug.

O'Reilly said...

November 24, 2006 -- 09:56 AM EDT // link )

Senate Judiciary Committee Soon-to-be Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) also has oversight fever -- which means the days of the Justice Department simply ignoring his requests will soon be over. That and other news of the day in today's Daily Muck.

O'Reilly said...

(November 23, 2006 -- 08:09 PM EDT // link)

Incoming Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) promises oversight on warrantless wiretapping and the CIA's secret prison system.

-- David Kurtz

Gerald said...

Amen, brothers and sisters

kathleen said...

O'Reilly yes! On the Sunday morning programs they discussed Holt and he does sound like one of the most logical people for the position.

I just find it odd that David Corn and the Sunday morning news programs do not discuss why Harman has some problems.

O'Reilly said...

My Terry Schivo comment was rude and innapropriate. I appologize.

I was reacting to your mocking tone toward those who see reason to feel hope for improvement and to those who have faith in their party to make improvement.

Oh dear, are these the "super duper Democrats" everyone is so convinced deserve a chance? HAHAHA! Some people never learn, they don't even have 20/20 hindsight because they refuse to remove the blinders where their own corrupt party is concerned. Does that sound WAY too negative? TOO BAD!!

I see reason to feel hope for improvement.

Saladin said...

Here are the top three contributers for Mr. Reyes.

1 Lawyers/Law Firms $39,250
2 Defense Aerospace $35,500
3 Defense Electronics $31,200

And for Mr. Dicks
1 Lobbyists $74,683
2 Lawyers/Law Firms $46,800
3 Defense Electronics $39,250

From Source Watch

The reason I am posting this info. is because I think it is very important to know who is supporting these people. It is also how I determine ballot measures. The backers are a very big clue.

Gerald said...

Should Christians Support Slavery?

kathleen said...

Will we witness (D)Senator Jay Rockerfeller the new chair of the Senate Select Committee on INtelligence follow through and complete Phase II of the SSCI?

Will Douglas Feith, Micheal Ledeen, Rhode, Wurmser, Bolton, Cheney's balls get squeezed? Will they become members of the "castrati"?

If I had any control I would give the warmongers a choice

1. off with your balls...OR

2. dropped down in the middle of Baghdad naked...

your choice?

I sure hope so
Will we witness those responsible for the false pre-war intelligence held accountable?

Or will we continue to witness this same group of radicals keep stirring up the pot with repeated claims about Iran's "alleged" nuclear weapons program?

O'Reilly said...

"The treatment of his war minister connotes something deeply wrong with George W. Bush's presidency in its sixth year. Apart from Rumsfeld's failures in personal relations, he never has been anything short of loyal in executing the president's wishes. But loyalty appears to be a one-way street for Bush. His shrouded decision to sack Rumsfeld after declaring that he would serve out the second term fits the pattern of a president who is secretive and impersonal."

- Novak

Take issue with how Rumsfeld's termination was handled but why claim Rumsfeld's loyalty should be sufficient measure of his success?


Gerald said...

Should Christians support slavery in the form of military conscription? Of course not. The draft, whether into the military or into some form of "national service," is about serving the state. Of all people, Christians should vehemently oppose serving what has historically been the enemy of real Christianity.

The only ones who "owe it" to the country to fight in unconstitutional, unjust, immoral, and unnecessary wars of aggression are the pathetic chickenhawks, the diehard armchair warriors, the "conservative" apologists for President Bush, the Republican Party loyalists, the writers for National Review, the unholy Christian warmongers, and anyone else calling for more money to be spent and more troops to be sent to fight the terrible waste of money and lives that is the war in Iraq.

Saladin said...

o'reilly, I hope for improvement as well, but not from the same crew that got us where we are. Some very bad shit is coming down the economic turnpike, if they won't even acknowledge it how can they hope to improve upon it? By raising the minimum wage? Like I said, crumbs for us peasants, but my real hope is in the peasants themselves to finally stand up to these multi-millionaire politicians and say ENOUGH!! We've had alls we can stands, and we can't stands no more!!

O'Reilly said...

If you think Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer would make good foreign policy advisors, then McCain is your man. However, if you're not insane, that prospect will scare the hell out of you. As it should. link

O'Reilly said...

The indefatigable Molly Ivins

kathleen said...

Now this is fascinating. I just made a comment on what King Abdullah II of Jordan had to say this morning on "This Week" over at the Huffington Post on the Abdullah comment section. And "Rove the terroist" had posted that the JINSA website (which I used to go to once in a while) has been taken down, and indeed it has!

Gerald said...

I am a soldier of Christ and it is not permissible for me to fight. St Martin of Tours

kathleen said...

Saladin/O'Reilly. If the Democrats do not hold anyone accountable for the false pre-war intelligence and we do not see any justice in the Plame leak (Fitzgerald's investigation) or the Aipac case, then I am with Saladin!

They are all drowning in the Iraqi peoples blood!

Gerald said...

Put away your sword, for those who live by the swords will die by the sword. Matthew 26:52

capt said...


There are over a half-million foreign students at American colleges and universities; the U.S. borders, for all practical purposes, remain wide open; only 6 percent of the shipping containers are checked; and there is still a generous number of legal immigrants admitted.

I offer this as an antidote to the Bush administration's boogeyman stories about the threat of terrorism. There is a threat, of course, but it is far less than the administration would have you believe. Americans are much more likely to die in automobile crashes or from falls or at the hands of a 100 percent American criminal than they are from a terrorist attack.

The most active terrorist organizations in America, according to FBI testimony, are the animal-rights activists. For some reason, you never see terrorism "experts" from the network Rolodex files talking about animal-rights activists.

The Bush administration greatly inflated the number of terrorist acts by including every attack in Iraq, whether it's sectarian violence, revenge killings, common criminals or Iraqi insurgents who just don't want us occupying their country. The claim that if "we weren't fighting them in Iraq we'd be fighting them in the U.S." is childish nonsense.

It seems clearer every day that the original purpose of the Iraqi invasion was not the elimination of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction or the installation of democracy – which has been a failure – but simply an excuse to squat militarily on the second-largest oil reserves in the world.


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

I have always thought Charley should use the "Reese's Pieces" byline - that is what I think of when I read one of Reese's pieces.


Gerald said...

On my knees I beg you to turn away from the paths of violence and return to the ways of peace. Pope John Paul II

capt said...

I am concerned that if nobody stops the insane monkey-boy he will screw more things up and make the bad even worse.

He will give lip service to any issue but he can avoid anything (maybe even impeachment) for 24 months.



capt said...

Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.

The only alternative to coexistence is codestruction.

Both ~ Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 - 1964)

capt said...

Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.
~ Baruch Spinoza (1632 - 1677)

Peace has never come from dropping bombs. Real peace comes from enlightenment and educating people to behave more in a divine manner.
~ Carlos Santana, Associated Press interview, September 1, 2004

kathleen said...

Has David Corn addressed the issue of why Harman is not right for the job,or just why Hastings is not right for the head of the intelligence committee?

Friday, Oct. 20, 2006
Exclusive: Feds Probe a Top Democrat's Relationship with AIPAC
The Department of Justice is investigating whether Rep. Jane Harman and the pro-Israel group worked together to get her reappointed as the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee
Did a Democratic member of Congress improperly enlist the support of a major pro-Israel lobbying group to try to win a top committee assignment? That's the question at the heart of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors, who are examining whether Rep. Jane Harman of California and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) may have violated the law in a scheme to get Harman reappointed as the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, according to knowledgeable sources in and out of the U.S. government.

The sources tell TIME that the investigation by Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has simmered out of sight since about the middle of last year, is examining whether Harman and AIPAC arranged for wealthy supporters to lobby House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Harman's behalf. Harman said Thursday in a voicemail message that any investigation of — or allegation of improper conduct by — her would be "irresponsible, laughable and scurrilous." On Friday, Washington GOP super lawyer Ted Olson left voicemail messages underscoring that Harman has no knowledge of any investigation. "Congresswoman Harman has asked me to follow up on calls you've had," Olson said. "She is not aware of any such investigation, does not believe that it is occurring, and wanted to make sure that you and your editors knew that as far as she knows, that's not true... . No one from the Justice Department has contacted her." It is not, however, a given that Harman would know that she is under investigation. In a follow-up phone call from California, Olson said Harman hired him this morning because she takes seriously the possibility of a media report about an investigation of her, even though she does not believe it herself.

A spokesman for AIPAC, a powerful Washington-based organization with more than 100,000 members across the U.S., denied any wrongdoing by the group and stressed that it is not taking sides in regards to the committee assignment. Spokespersons for Justice and the FBI declined to comment. The case is a spin-off of a probe that has already led to charges under the Espionage Act against two AIPAC lobbyists, whose case is still pending, and to a 12-and-a-half-year prison sentence for former Defense Intelligence Agency official Lawrence A. Franklin. Franklin pleaded guilty a year ago to three felony counts involving improper disclosure and handling of classified information about the Middle East and terrorism to the two lobbyists, who in turn are accused of passing it on to a journalist and a foreign government, widely believed to be Israel. The two lobbyists, who have denied any wrongdoing but were dismissed by AIPAC in April of 2005, were indicted on felony counts of conspiring with government officials to receive classified information they were not authorized to have access to and providing national defense information to people not entitled to receive it.

Around mid-2005, the investigation expanded to cover aspects of Harman's quiet but aggressive campaign to persuade House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to reappoint her to the prestigious position on the House intel panel. The alleged campaign to support Harman for the leadership post came amid media reports that Pelosi had soured on her California colleague and might name Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida, himself a major supporter of Israel, to succeed Harman.

The sources say the probe also involves whether, in exchange for the help from AIPAC, Harman agreed to help try to persuade the Administration to go lighter on the AIPAC officials caught up in the ongoing investigation. If that happened, it might be construed as an illegal quid pro quo, depending on the context of the situation. But the sources caution that there has been no decision to charge anyone and that it is unclear whether Harman and AIPAC acted on the idea.

AIPAC spokesman Patrick Dorton denies that the organization has engaged in any improper conduct. "Both Congressman Hastings and Congresswoman Harman are strong leaders on issues of importance to the pro-Israel community and would be exemplary Democratic leaders for the House intelligence committee," Dorton said. "AIPAC would never engage in a quid pro quo in relation to a federal investigation or any federal matter and the notion that it would do so is preposterous. AIPAC is not aware that the Justice Department is looking into issues involving the intelligence committee, and has not been asked any questions or contacted by the government on this matter, but certainly would cooperate with any inquiry." Dorton added that AIPAC has previously been assured that the organization and its current employees are not being investigated. In this same investigation, the Justice Department has previously suggested that AIPAC had questionable motives in trying to help a valued government contact remain in a sensitive national security post. The Justice Department alleges in its indictment of Franklin that he asked one of the two AIPAC lobbyists to "put in a good word" for him in seeking assignment to the National Security Council. The document says the AIPAC official noted that such a job would put Franklin "by the elbow of the President" and said he would "do what I can."

AIPAC lists praise from Pelosi among a series of quotes from world leaders on its website: "The special relationship between the United States and Israel is as strong as it is because of your [AIPAC's] fidelity to that partnership..." But congressional sources say Pelosi has been infuriated by pressure from some major donors lobbying on behalf of Harman. In a story touching on tensions between Pelosi and Harman, an alternative California publication, LA Weekly, reported in May that Harman "had some major contributors call Pelosi to impress upon her the importance of keeping Jane in place. According to these members, this tactic, too, hasn't endeared Harman to Pelosi."

A congressional source tells TIME that the lobbbying for Harman has included a phone call several months ago from entertainment industry billionaire and major Democratic party contributor Haim Saban. A Saban spokeswoman said he could not be reached for comment. A phone call pushing for a particular member's committee assignment might be unwelcome, but it would not normally be illegal on its own. And it is unclear whether Saban — who made much of his fortune with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers children's franchise — knew that lobbying Pelosi might be viewed by others as part of a larger alleged plan.

Saban has donated at least $3,000 to Harman's campaign, according to Federal Election Commission records, and the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, which he sponsors at the prestigious Brookings Institution, boasts Harman among its biggest fans. "When the Saban Center talks, I listen," Harman said at a Saban Center briefing in February on U.S. strategy in Iraq. Harman quipped that, in order to attend the session at Brookings, she had to "blow off" a senior intelligence official's appearance before a House committee.

Copyright © 2006 Time Inc. All

kathleen said...

Reuel Marc Gerecht repeating the unsubstantiated claims about Iran's "alleged" nuclear weapons program in his most recent article at Weekly Standard "Why a Regional conference won't solve our Iraq Problem". Gerecht is a fucking zionist racist!

"Tied down and fearful in Iraq, the Iranians now gleefully note, the Americans will continue to lose spirit and be unable to challenge the mullahs' nuclear-weapons program and their designs in the Middle East."

And David Corn says "Yet the neo-cons are not the problem now" Come on David these radicals are hard at repeating thier lies!

kathleen said...

Bartering with Nothing
Why a regional conference won't solve our Iraq problem.
by Reuel Marc Gerecht

COULD A REGIONAL conference, drawing in all of Iraq's neighbors, help save us and the Iraqis from a massive civil war in Mesopotamia? It is difficult to think what the United States might offer at the negotiating table that would cause Iraq's neighbors to stop seeing it in their interest to foment trouble there. Nevertheless, the idea of a regional conference has gained currency in Washington, notably inside the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group.

The advocates, like former ambassador and ISG adviser James Dobbins of the Rand Institute, argue that even if such a conference failed to make any difference, it couldn't make the Iraq imbroglio any worse. For other participants, the desirability of regional talk is an article of faith. Former U.S. ambassador to Syria Edward Djerejian, who runs the Baker Institute in Houston and will likely be the primary drafter of the ISG's report, has long advocated closer contact between Washington and Damascus. Secretary of Defense designate Robert Gates in 2004 co-chaired a Council on Foreign Relations study of Iran with President Carter's national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, which concluded that a sustained conversation with the mullahs was long overdue. And former secretary of state James Baker and former congressman Lee Hamilton have at times expressed similar views. With the ISG report imminent, it is worth asking, Are discussions with Iraq's neighbors a good idea? Could a regional conference possibly help? Would we be worse off for trying?

at Weekly Standard

capt said...

"Could a regional conference possibly help?"

I hope so.

"Would we be worse off for trying?

I cannot imagine being worse off.

Iraq is the mess everybody (well some) warned about before we went in to secure those WMD's.

It is important that the countries effected and stressed by occupation talk and find solutions. The foreign occupiers seem to make things worse not better.

Nobody ever "won" an occupation. The USA is not an exception.


kathleen said...

I have heard Gerecht lie and make unsubstantiated claims about Iraq and Iran here in Athens, on C-span, the Diane Rehm show.

He is an anti-arab/semite racist!

Saladin said...

I would like to challenge everyone who has accused me of hopeless negativity where the two political parties are concerned to read Jim Hightower's book "If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote, They Would Have Given Us Candidates." All those who still think we should have hope in this plutocracy posing as a demockracy while whoring for the biggest coporate bucks, after reading this book, can then come back and rail against my politics. If you don't want to read it then you are really in no position to criticize me when you have chosen naivete over knowledge. Jim Hightower is a true progressive populist and doesn't pull any punches where these money grubbing political elites of the left and right are concerned. Hope is a good thing, blindly following the pack has led us to where we are today. That has got to stop, big money calling the shots has got to stop, violating campaign laws, which clinton perfected, has got to stop. We the people have to reign in this train before the inevitable wreck, it is getting awfully close to "too late." I want change, real, meaningful change, not this bullshit "purple" politics as usual.

capt said...

"The right to revolt has sources deep in our history." -- William O. Douglas - (1898-1980), U. S. Supreme Court Justice Source: An Almanac of Liberty, 1954

"Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels -- men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, we may never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower - (1890-1969), 34th US President, WWII General Source: Speech, Columbia University, 1954

"Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit." -- Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989) Activist

"It is better to die standing than to live on your knees." --Ernesto "Che" Guevara

Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty: George Washington

War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man: Napoleon Hill

Read this newsletter online

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

kathleen said...

Saladin I do not find your attitudes "hopelessly negative" just filled with harsh reality. Many people can not take your honesty and focus on the harsh reality of our twisted and dishonest system.

I think you are a realist, even though I do not agree with you all of the time.

kathleen said...

Would someone mind linking this conversation between Henry Kissenger and Zbigniew Brzezinski for me from Think is a winner! Henry Kissenger ate marble for breakfast again!

Today on CNN, Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski issued a strong, preemptive criticism of the Baker Commission studying alternatives for Iraq. Brzezinski said that while the commission “will probably come out with some sound advice on dealing with the neighborhood,” it essentially “will offer some procrastination ideas for dealing with the crisis.”

Brzezinski added that “This is a mistaken, absolutely historically wrong undertaking. The costs are prohibitive. If we get out sooner, there will be a messy follow-up after we leave. It will be messy, but will not be as messy as if we stay.” Watch it:

kathleen said...

Karen (an incredibly brave woman) rips Rumsfeld at Military Week.Without Reservation

by Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D., Lt. Col. USAF (ret.)

posted 10 Nov 06

Rumsfeld’s Legacy

Like many in and out of uniform, I’ve often criticized the now former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Finally, following the Democratic sweep in the 2006 mid-term elections, the anticipated moment has arrived. It is time to address the Rumsfeld legacy.

Surprisingly, it isn’t the Iraq fiasco – this is the criminal legacy of neoconservative advisors in and out of the White House, pro-Likud factions in and out of government, the utterly spineless and incredibly stupid Congress in 2002, and the appalling non-investigatory investigative reporting of major U.S. news corporations.

While he certainly propagandized the 2003 invasion, and glossed over the facts on the ground, I think Rumsfeld was far more honest and forthright with the public and presumably his bosses than either deputy Secretary of Defense Paul “The war will cost $1.5 billion and be paid entirely from Iraqi oil revenues” Wolfowitz or his old friend Veep Dick “Fire-Aim-Ready” Cheney.

Rumsfeld’s legacy will also not be the transformation of the Department of Defense, unless future U.S. historians carelessly use “transform” instead of the more accurate “demolish,” “destroy,” “demoralize, “defang” and “obliterate.”

In early 2001, while serving in the the Pentagon I remember many of us hoped very much that Rumsfeld’s can-do attitude and political history would allow him to accomplish what cautious Clinton era cost-cutting failed to do – shake up the military-industrial establishment and guide it towards faithful service in a truly post-Cold War world.

Instead, Rumsfeld played pivotal role ensuring that neoconservative conspirers of the Reagan era could re-establish a new Cold War by fighting fake wars, offering fake security advice and playing dump-the-dictator games in vulnerable countries around the world. The Bush War on Terror, while unsophisticated, illogical, and end-times-ish, has become a bellyfeeling and bank-account-filling New Cold War.

The Rumsfeld legacy will not be one of shame, even though we should be ashamed. When I heard that Saddam Hussein would be hanged soon, my first thought was how relieved Mr. Rumsfeld must be. In terms of real legacies, that famous Rummy-Saddam handshake and the secret deals the United States pushed and pursued in an effort to destabilize Iran in the 1980s are probably the most interesting. This dishonorable history is part of Rumsfeld’s most important legacy – that of the ultimate insider, playing the powerful hand of the world’s greatest democracy, in the name of American people who were absolutely kept in the dark.

When we think of Donald Rumsfeld, we won’t really remember the Iraq fiasco, the destruction of both quality and confidence of the United States military, the purgings and the sparrings, or even the 100,000 and counting damaged bodies and souls of young Americans returning from a pointless and irrational Iraqi occupation. They won’t name any of the great American bases in Iraq after Rumsfeld. This former Naval aviator won’t even get a carrier.

I think that we will best remember Rumsfeld for his succinct set of favored quotations, known as “Rumsfeld’s Rules.”

The original version was prepared in 1974 – and one regrets that these nuggets of pith weren’t finalized then and there, that Rumsfeld had not been content to simply push artificial sweeteners through the FDA, and make boatloads of money.

There are many great quotes in “Rumsfeld’s Rules,” and Rumsfeld aspired to apply them liberally.

at Military Week

kathleen said...

Back at one of the Corn comment sections doing some reading. Where is Jeanne, Micki,etc???

This was a great comment!

"Would someone give Bush a blowjob so we could have him impeached"!

O'Reilly said...

Thank You

Thanks for Abramoff and
the corruption he spread.

For Enron, Skilling,
and Lay, though he's dead.

Thanks for the hubris,
the lies and dissention.

Terry Shiavo, gay marriage
and misdirected attention.

Thanks for DeLay, Foley,
Cunningham and Noe.

All them sonsabitches just
had to go.

Thank you for George, Laura
and their two tramps.

The chemical infused turkey
that'll give me the cramps.



Saladin said...

Kathleen, I don't want agreement, I want people to think! If I am wrong, good, show me! If you hate what I say, tell me why and back it up with facts, if you really want political change, don't do the same thing over and over again and expect it to come out smelling like roses, because it never will. Read Capt's quotes, he spends considerable time bringing them to us, they aren't just empty words written by idiots, they are sage advice, brought to us by hard experience. The big money people who finance our politicians don't give a damn about our concerns, they don't care about the pollution spewed out of the factory next door to the school, they couldn't care less about how hard John Q. Public works at 3 jobs to support his family. They have no idea what it takes to pay the mortgage, utility and food bills, they never even have to think about it, how can you ever believe they have the common peoples interests at heart when they have never been there??? You think I am negative?? FUCKIN A I AM! Why aren't you? Are you happy with the status quo? I'm not. We are in really bad trouble here, but all the people can say is, "oh gosh, let's give these same thieves a chance." While both left and right are being wined and dined by the very same corporations they are laughing at you! No matter who wins they have a party in DC. AAAARRRRGGGG!!!

O'Reilly said...

"He who cannot agree with his enemies is controlled by them." Chinese Proverb

O'Reilly said...

"All crows in the world are black"

O'Reilly said...

"Only when there is no road left does one finally feel despair. "

capt said...

Brzezinski: The Baker Commission ‘Will Offer Some Procrastination Ideas For Dealing With The Crisis’

Today on CNN, former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski issued a strong, preemptive criticism of the Baker Commission studying alternatives for Iraq. Brzezinski said that while the commission "will probably come out with some sound advice on dealing with the neighborhood," it essentially "will offer some procrastination ideas for dealing with the crisis."

Brzezinski added that the Iraq war "is a mistaken, absolutely historically wrong undertaking. The costs are prohibitive. If we get out sooner, there will be a messy follow-up after we leave. It will be messy, but will not be as messy as if we stay." Watch it:

Henry Kissinger, appearing on CNN with Brzezinski, said that "my attitude will be to support any bipartisan conclusion that would be arrived at" by the Baker commission. Brzenzinski countered "And I’ve been arguing this on your program with Henry for the last three years. And I invite viewers to go on the Internet and look what we have been saying, respectively."

American Progress has a plan to stop procrastinating Iraq, Strategic Redeployment.


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

Would someone mind linking this conversation between Henry Kissenger and Zbigniew Brzezinski for me from Think Progress

There you go!


capt said...

Pakistan Gets Approval For New Nuclear Plant

The global atomic watchdog has approved an agreement with Pakistan for its second nuclear power plant, being built with Chinese assistance, the foreign ministry said Saturday. The 35-member Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Thursday unanimously approved the safeguards agreement for Pakistan's Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit-2, the ministry said in a statement.

"The approval of the agreement is a success for Pakistan and recognition of its non-proliferation commitments," it said and added that a similar safeguards agreement was also in place for Chashma-1 in the central Punjab province.


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

This makes me a little uneasy. The ISI and anti-Pervez contingents are a scary bunch of Taliban loving crazy thinking religious extremists. I might be assuming too much but there are some prickly issues inside the Pakistani government and military.


capt said...

Democrats' Victory Is Felt On K Street

Access is tantamount to influence in Congress. Individuals and organizations with entree to lawmakers in the majority are the ones with the best chance of getting things done. In January, when the 110th Congress convenes, Democrats will control that inside track for the first time since Republicans began their reign on Capitol Hill a dozen years ago.

Companies caught in the Democrats' cross hairs, such as oil and drug firms, are hiring Democratic lobbyists, but they're holding on to their Republican lobbyists. They reason that they will need to persuade Republican lawmakers to block bills they dislike in the Senate, where 60 out of 100 votes are required to pass anything of consequence. Democrats hold only a 51 to 49 majority.

In addition, in a move that is raising ethical questions, some Democratic lobbyists are planning to take congressional staff jobs, attracted by the chance to wield real clout.

Despite this focus on gaining access to authority, Democratic congressional leaders have expressed disdain for their predecessors' fealty to "special interests." That is why they are planning an elaborate assault on lobbyists during their first week in session. Through changes in laws and in House rules, Democrats hope to ban lobbyist-provided gifts and travel to lawmakers and to create an Office of Public Integrity to oversee the disclosures that lobbyists must make about clients and fees.

Yet the biggest change in downtown Washington since the midterm elections Nov. 7 has been the rush of companies and trade associations to retain Democrats. "There are more opportunities for Democrats than there have been in many years," said Anthony T. Podesta, a prominent Democratic lobbyist.


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

65 lobbyists for every congress critter HERE and trillions of dollars buying and selling influence.

It is the money that runs everything in DC now and I do not see that changing one iota, I expect it to get worse. We "citizens" have been raped and pillaged and many are asking "please sir may I have another?" as our government converts our tax dollars into tax incentives for corporations who then return a portion as "political donations" and get more tax cuts in return.

THIS is not done by just the GOP. I'm not sure holding the Democratic party politicians collective feet to the fire will actually do any good but I will not give them any slack - not one bit.

The 110th congress is not in legislative session but the committee chairs ARE being assigned and the leadership and midterm strategies are being created.

By the time congress is in session the newbies will have their seats assigned the rest of the infrastructure will be in place.

Waiting until January is not only a poor straw-man argument it ignores the power plays that will be completed BEFORE the 110th starts its first legislative session.

It also ignores the voting record of every spineless Democrat that voted for crud like the "patriot act", authorization for war and some that intend to vote for more war and fewer civil rights and liberties.

Anybody that might think the Democratic party is going to save us from the systemic and institutional problems created by government (i.e. wars, debt, etc.) is delusional.

Keep in mind half of the money our government spends is on military and defense industries and that insane amount of money does not get our troops the armor and equipment they need, that mountain of money is lining the pockets of revolving-door DC insiders and greasing the filthy palms of corrupt politicians from all parties and places.

I am convinced the system is broken and changing the name of the party that screws stuff up will never fix anything. Waiting for January for a changing of the guard is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

I have always - make that ALWAYS asserted that IF Gore had won in 2000 or Kerry in 2004 they would have done a bunch of stuff differently (maybe better) but they would also have screwed the pooch (at our expense) in other ways and I would be on them like white on rice.

The idea that we should not be challenging the Democratic politicians until January sounds as partisan as anything I have ever heard from the Reich-wingnuts.

The Democratic leadership[sic] will not have much influence on the Busheney agenda.

I think the "no impeachment" and all of the blather about Iraq is already a betrayal of the Democratic constituency.

The Democratic party has a small chance to retake/reestablish the power of the house and senate against the "unitary president" but the neocon's will not give it up willingly. The neocon-men have elevated the executive over what was suppose to be co-equal parts. I do not see a return to sanity, not yet and not by a long shot.

But what do I know, eh?


capt said...

Beware the lure of 'phased withdrawal'

Nixon tried it in Vietnam, once most agreed the war was lost, and it cost 20,000 U.S. lives


In the recent elections, the voters expressed their intense opposition to the Iraq war. But we can discern how those hopes are being betrayed. From the Pentagon, we're hearing about a "surge" in troop numbers before reductions can occur, and critics who style themselves as "realists" speak of a "phased withdrawal." But, as happened in Vietnam, this can translate into a prolonged military presence in which a futile battle continues. During three years of occupation, the situation in Iraq has continued to roll downhill. If 140,000 U.S. troops have failed to defeat the insurgents, halt sectarian violence or create an Iraqi military able to restore security, what reason is there to suppose some smaller number will achieve these ends?

Senate Democrats are moving with a vague plan to pull back some unspecified cohort of U.S. troops in four to six months. Their rationale, as articulated by new chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin, is the looming departure of that first increment will jolt the Iraqi government into effectiveness. But evidence suggests the Iraqi government is paralyzed by factions and has no greater ability to implement an American agenda than Americans. And this approach does not address the ways U.S. activities have antagonized the populace, deepened divisions and damaged the economy.

Sensible people recognize it will take time to remove U.S. troops and put in place mechanisms that might minimize violence. One impediment is determination in Washington to impose ideas on a foreign nation. This month, voters delivered their verdict on a stubborn president who cannot acknowledge this war is lost. But we need to beware of "realists" who will keep other people's children dying for a middle ground that cannot be found.


erling krange said...

Blix vs Blair (but this time it is over our weapons of mass destruction)
By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor, The Independent UK
Published: 27 November 2006

Dr Hans Blix, the former UN weapons inspector, will launch a new attack on Tony Blair today, warning that the decision to press ahead with a full replacement for Trident will make it more difficult to stop Iran acquiring the bomb.

The respected chairman of the Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction will use a speech in London to renew hostilities with Mr Blair. He will say that modernising Britain's arsenal puts the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) under "strain" and increases the feeling among non-nuclear states, such as Iran, that they are being "cheated" by the nuclear states.

Dr Blix will take Britain and the other permanent members of the UN Security Council - America, China, Russia and France - to task for failing to comply with their obligations under the NPT by failing to do more to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. He will point out "the strong feelings of frustration" at the way nuclear nations "are in the process" of developing new types of weapons rather than examining how they could manage defence needs with non-nuclear weaponry.



This is very interesting!

erling krange said...

Rogue rockets fail to shatter Gaza ceasefire deal
· Cautious hopes for return to peace negotiations
· Israel vows restraint after shaky start to truce
Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem
Monday November 27, 2006
The Guardian

A surprise ceasefire between Palestinian militants in Gaza and the Israeli military appeared to hold for its opening day yesterday, raising the first hopes for months of a return to peace negotiations. The dawn truce got off to a shaky start as some militants fired several of their crude rockets into southern Israel in the early morning. But Israeli troops did not respond, and Palestinian officials said later they believed the ceasefire was still intact. The agreement, brokered by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and offered to the Israelis in a late-night telephone call on Saturday, may bring to an end five months of violence in Gaza that came at huge cost. Israeli troops withdrew from Gaza overnight, and Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister, suggested yesterday that he did not intend to retaliate against the initial ceasefire violations. "We will show the necessary restraint and patience - certainly in the coming days," he said. Later, he held out the possibility that the ceasefire could lead to a change of direction in the worsening relationship between Israel and the Palestinians.


erling krange said...

Bush to Press Allies on Defense Spending
Monday November 27, 2006 8:16 AM
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush's agenda at a NATO summit this week will include pressing alliance members to increase defense spending. Aides say many U.S. allies are ill-equipped for modern military operations. The defense outlays of some NATO partners are less than half those of the United States as a percentage of gross domestic product. Bush is set to leave Monday to visit Estonia, a NATO member, ahead of the two-day NATO summit in Riga, Latvia. He then heads to Amman, Jordan, for talks Wednesday and Thursday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.



How stupid can this man get?! How much does it take to make this idiot understand that we, most of the people in this troubled world, are sick and tired of war and imposed "democracy". I, for one, am not at all interested in the way the US are "defending democracy". I want peace and prosperity to ALL. This might look like a dream to many, but if we give up our dreams, what the hell do we have left?

erling krange said...

FBI scrutinizing anti-war protesters
Bureau wants anti-terror units to review suspicious activities
Eric Lichtblau, New York Times
Sunday, November 23, 2003

The FBI has collected extensive information on the tactics, training and organization of antiwar demonstrators and has advised local law enforcement officials to report any suspicious activity at protests to its counterterrorism squads, according to interviews and a confidential bureau memorandum. The memorandum, which the bureau sent to local law enforcement agencies last month in advance of antiwar demonstrations in Washington and San Francisco, detailed how protesters have sometimes used "training camps" to rehearse for demonstrations, the Internet to raise money, and gas masks to defend against tear gas. The memorandum analyzed lawful activities such as recruiting demonstrators, as well as illegal activities such as using fake documentation to get into a secured site. FBI officials said in interviews that the intelligence-gathering effort was aimed at identifying anarchists and "extremist elements" plotting violence, not at monitoring the political speech of law-abiding protesters. In San Francisco -- site of some of the nation's largest protests against the war in Iraq -- a source in the police department told The Chronicle on Saturday he had no knowledge of such a memo. But in March, San Francisco police acknowledged conducting undercover surveillance of protesters, including videotaping by plainclothes officers at three demonstrations, and said the practice was commonplace, especially if there were a possibility of violence.
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer issued guidelines in July specifying that state and local law enforcement agencies shouldn't spy on political protesters without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. He said the guidelines were needed after U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft authorized federal agents to monitor political and religious groups without evidence of criminal activity, something Lockyer said is prohibited by California's constitution.



Police state?

erling krange said...

The Times November 27, 2006 UK
War and failing confidence abroad weaken Iraqi leader
Ned Parker, Baghdad and Tom Baldwin, Washington
Plea to politicians for end to feuding
Baghdad braced for new rampage

The Iraqi Prime Minister was looking increasingly precarious last night as domestic factions worked to undermine him and Washington leaders came close to writing him off. Nouri al-Maliki went on television to urge rival politicians to stop feuding and to plead with Iraqis to halt their country’s slide towards civil war.
There were fears, however, that armed Sunni and Shia groups would go on the rampage today when a three-day ban on Baghdad traffic is lifted. Mr al-Maliki announced that new measures would be taken to impose order, but did not give any details. Despite his appeals and several public appearances by Sunni, Shia and Kurdish leaders over the past three days, some government factions worked to promote a sectarian message.


Hajji Rants said...

Sorry that I missed the "Sunday Window" to post another one by my pal Dennis. PASTOR TO BASTARD was posted on WHR. I think Mike R. has become a Dennis fan.

kathleen said...

Saladin "Think" indeed!

Just reread Corn's latest piece. The first sentence really hit me, "We're screwed". No Americans keep floating in the bubble along with Bush as tens of thousands of Iraqi people are screwed, bombed to bits, burned alive, tortured etc.etc. The Iraqi people are "Screwed" and we "screwed" them!

Has anyone noticed how the recent John Hopkins "Lancet report" was swept under the rug, undermined, dismissed, ripped apart almost as fast as the report that came out over two years ago! Now in the MSM the figure 50,000 Iraqi dead is used over and over again now. The 650,000 has been tossed aside.

Well at least the Diane Rehm show did a one hour program on this report. The last report she allowed to go by as well as the rest of the MSM (although some of us begged her and her producers to do a one hour program two years ago)

I wonder if we will be able to convince Diane and her producers to actually do a one hour program on Phase I of the Senate Select committee on Intelligence. I have been pollitely begging her to do a show on this topic for almost three years! Please join me in writing her about doing such a program on this topic. Senator Jay Rockerfeller who is not the head of that committee would be a great guest. I am sure that the previous chair Republican Senator Pat Roberts who did everything to undermine the investigation would refuse to come on the program!

Please write Diane and ask her to do a show on PHASE II of the SSCI and the OFFICE OF SPECIAL PLANS

Saladin said...

o'reilly, you are confusing exasperation with despair. If and when I reach the despair phase that is when I pack my bags and get the hell out of this psychotic country. Until then I will continue to rage against this machine and it's murderous machinations!

kathleen said...

Saladin I am actively(on line) looking at land with a group of people in Costa Rica. We do own a 100 acre piece in Belize that we bought 18 years ago that is being used as a study sight called the Belize agro-forestry Co-op (BARC), but this is a piece that the group of 12 people have agreed that we will never live on full time!

So part of that same group are actively looking for land to live on in Costa Rica!


Saladin said...

Dems Rebut Carter on Israeli 'Apartheid'
Michael F. Brown

The Nation

Neither Democrats nor Republicans are prepared to say a word in opposition to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's decision to add far-right Knesset member Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beiteinu party to Israel's governing coalition.

Instead, Democrats are shoring up their pro-Israel bona fides. They are strikingly anxious because of a courageous new book by President Jimmy Carter that hit American bookstores in mid-November, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. It is an extraordinarily bold--and apt--title.

Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, among others, forcefully criticized the book. "It is wrong," she declared, "to suggest that the Jewish people would support a government in Israel or anywhere else that institutionalizes ethnically based oppression, and Democrats reject that allegation vigorously."
Kathleen, we are still in the same boat, it just has a different crew. Nothing that even remotely shines a light on the doings of war mongerers both here and in Israel will ever be done. They will talk the talk and they will go through the motions and drag it out, but in the end they will all probably get away with it. Israel and it's neocons are safe and secure with the dems in charge. Mr. Carter will probably suffer for his courage.

Saladin said...

Kathleen, we have good friends in Chile who also do a lot of business there. I like the sound of Costa Rica but wonder if it is far enough away from US talons? Have you checked into the various tax and other agreements they have with this country? Also, bank transfers can be quite the hassle, make sure to do the research, I have been and it isn't as easy as we might think it should be!

capt said...

From Pastor to Bastard

Or at least that is what some would conclude is the result of the route my religious experience has taken me. But, of course, from my perspective, the trip through the Christian, organized and corporate church has brought me a freedom that those who speak of "freedom" and "grace" within the crazy world of disorganized religion could never know. Experience is the best teacher and may be only one that leave you with any depth of conviction.

Having been a devotee from my youth through middle age to a literalist view of Christianity as both a lay member and then on into the ministry, and then, slapped awake by reckless religious change, I have become an expert in what I don't believe anymore. I can explain well why inerrancy is a mistaken view of scripture. I can explain Christian origins and the violent history of the so called Christ-like church. I can well explain the misery a literalist view of Christianity can inflict upon a soul, a marriage or a family, and how well any system of rigid, "we are the true people and we have the true perspectives" keeps one from one from every being truly free to think.

But being an expert in what I don't believe is not satisfying personally of course. A journey should lead somewhere and growing up should provide a positive result from past experiences. Throwing Jonah off the ship did indeed stop the storm, but being swallowed by a sea beasty is not the most pleasant experience either. At least after being puked up on shore, we can hope that we can draw a few conclusions from the whole ordeal. It's those conclusions, for me, that I would like to share with the hope that those who experience a similiar awakening thru disillusionment with the organized Church, of any denomination, can identify with.

First of all, while many will say, "well you just had a bad experience with THAT church," this is not really so. This is usally followed by my needing to come to their church and see the difference. While my personal experience was a combination of sincere searching and wonderful friends, the end result has been a spiritual disaster for many, of whom I am only one. I say "disaster" but in the long run, it was a case of what's "bad" turning out for the good. The issue is no longer finding the "right" church or a nicer group of really really spirit led people. The issue has become the cover up in Christian origins and history that many pastors of many denominations tell me, "well, I know that is so, but if I say that, I'll lose my job."

The average person in the pews is a follower and a conformer and not a reformer. They are way too trusting that the minister is telling them everything he knows. They need to know that most only tell you what they think you can handle. That is, of course if he has a valid theological education. The self appointed types are never going to do enough study to put them out of the religious racket that rewards their efforts so well. The less informed the man, the louder he will yell and the more angry for God he will appear to be in an effort to hold on to his turf. He will also be generally sincere, but sincerely wrong. Remember, sanctified ignorance is still ignorance.

So what do I believe? What conclusions have I come to that work for me, albeit not for those who have yet to walk this path?

I no longer need to attend a corporate church or belong to a religious organization to feel safe and informed. My experience was neither one that provided safety nor information anyway. I'll take a quiet seat next to the river anytime. Once you get into the corporate church, you better get ready to kiss your money, personal energy, time and freedom of thought goodbye. In far too many places, you really do check your brain at the door.

I don't need to listen to a man try, every week to convince me the Bible is the inerrant word of a never really here, ever present God. It is not. Most ministers I know only tell the congregation what they can handle, which is precious little and certainly nothing new from what mommy and daddy taught them. Many people attend church out of fear of tribal (family) retribution if they stopped. They don't want to attend. They don't get anything from it. They disagree with it. It is boring. It is repetitive and manipulative. They'd rather stay home and rest,'s what I/we are expected to do and darn it, what I want to do never counted for much anyhow.

I no longer need or want any organization to plan my life's time to suit their needs or give them the illusion of work being accomplished. Ministers are notorious for making their own work. Some spend the sermon offending and scaring everyone so they can spend all week visiting for damage control. Many plan so many things to do for the members during the week, that they seem to forget that most real people have a life of work and family. Many judge your spirituality by your attendance at these events while saying that you really don't have to attend, but you do. Ministers often construct the Church in such a way as to create a full week of work for themselves. This work is not necessarily real work, but it keeps him "busy". If you are in such a church, one that seems to invade not only your weekend, but most of your week, just withdraw to a more simple life of just church attendance and I bet you get a visit or some sideways comment from the pulpit not to forsake the assembling of yourselves together as is the custom of some...namely YOU.

A church can make you feel really really guilty for not "serving the brethren", but resist that and serve yourself first. Just say no. Then love the ones you can quiety behind the scenes to their good. What you'll find is others saying "brother, I wish I could do what you are doing, but..." The bottom line is they are afraid of what others will think of them. Get over it.

I no longer give my money to churches. A real God doesn't need my money. I gave them enough and they mispent it, plain and simple. Approximagely $75,000 worth of giving and I was the darn Pastor! Along with that, they wouldn't save social security because you don't have to with a pastor's income, and then broke a promise for retirement pay. Spiritual bastards all...

Most churches teach the Old Testament tithing as if Jesus himself set it up for the New Testament Church to prosper under. Jesus could not care less about tithing even in his own day. Of course he wasn't anticipating all that would follow and be done in his name either. One prominent Church Father went so far as to note "what profit this myth of Jesus has brought us." Yikes, yet true.

Tithing is one of those convenient things that doesn't come under the New Covenant, but is still God's will for our financial well being. Or so one is told. Eat all the mice, snakes, dogs, pigs and rabbits you want, but God loves a cheerful tither. In fact, it is how your prove God exists as the promise is to try it out and see if the windows of heaven won't open for YOU. They won't no matter what Malachi says in the Old Testament. If you complain, the minister will tell you something like, "you have air don't you?" or "you have a job don't you, and wonderful children?" You can't win. Churches that rely on cheerful giving only will never be able to buid a church that can be mistaken for a mall with spires. Nope, it's tithing, of course from your heart, but it darn well better still be ten percent of your GROSS, not NET income!

I no longer abide the teachings of the lone Guru and Grand Poopa types in religion. The ranters, healers, teachers and showman of Jesus Land add precious little to a thinking person's spirituality. Too many are clowns in the area of religion and while entertaining, generally are consumed with securing their next fix of narcissistic supply and bucks. Many are sincere, but not critical money in that.

The scary part is that they can spew utter stupidity of both scripture and common human sense, and we are supppose to care what they think. I don't and you should think it through if you do. We let these men get by with BS far too often. If we keep it up, we will regret the day we let God's men of faith and power mix their religion with our government. We already are coming to regret how some in government confuse their own religious perspectives with governing. Any man that can lead one to believe obsurdities, as they say, can lead you to commit atrocities.

I don't need to find God in a glass, mahogany, teak, gold, silver or platinum Cathedral, Church or Worship Center. I once attended a place where the building was dedicated as the "House for God." It cost millions and most of the people who paid for it, never set foot in it...a TV ministry. But then the place was sold and God was evicted. Good thing the Book says he wasn't living there anyhow. Any real God lives within the human anyhow, a place most humans would never think to look. No literalist church wants you to discover you don't need the church after all to be a content and grounded human being. They certainly don't want you to think you were born right the FIRST time.

When people ask what church I attend, as they are wont to do here in the south because they can't fathom that you wouldn't, I tell them the "Non-Condemnational Church of God." They look at me and just say "oh"....and then "I get it". But they don't.

Life is experiences and experiences are for learning. I haven't really gone from Pastor to Bastard. Well, ok for some I have. But I am free, and while it's true the truth can set you free after pissing you off, there is more deeply spiritual truth to be learned outside of organized religion, mall size churches and from men who are given far too much attention as if they knew. It's within you.....It's within YOU.

Article Source:


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

I was having trouble getting this piece so here is the whole thing.

Thanks Hajji


capt said...

I threw up a new post as Hajji tells me the other is getting to be a long load.

Mr. Corn will likely have something new up soon but until then a quicker load (at least that is my hope)


Saladin said...

Hajji, I saw your friends essay yesterday, excellent! He is really a great writer.

Saladin said...

Contracting “Clean Break” Chaos in Iraq
Kurt Nimmo
Another Day In The Empire


SHADOW COMPANY (about a former “security contractor’s” book)…

Excerpt only…

According to Robert Young Pelton’s upcoming book Licensed To Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror, there are now over 70,000 armed men working as security contractors in Iraq.
(Book also reviewed by Amazon)…


The above revelation by Pelton leads to this VALID QUESTION: Have any of the Pentagon’s 70,000 (Civilian) “Hired Guns” (AND Israeli IDF assassination experts) been “provoking violence” in Iraq (disguised as Iraqis), remotely detonating car bombs and indiscriminately murdering both Shias and Sunnis - to create a U.S./Israeli planned civil war that dismembers the nation?
LA Times’ William Arkin wrote that “Provoking Violence” globally has been the Cheney/Rumsfeld plan since 2002 as described in the following…

More strong evidence that the chaos and civil war in Iraq is not incompetence but by design.

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