Thursday, January 4, 2007

Another Absurd Turn

George W. Bush is about to call for sending more American troops to Iraq in a desperate stab at achieving stability and security there. The Iraqi prime minister tells The Wall Street Journal that he wants to quit his own government and that he would "like to serve my people from outside the circle of senior officials." What's wrong with this picture?

Posted by David Corn at January 4, 2007 04:36 AM


Saladin said...

Maybe he has seen the light?

Doubling Down on the Imperial Mission in 2007
by Tom Engelhardt


....Expand the Mission

Of course, to get those new "volunteer" officers and men, who have generally been none too eager to volunteer for the Army and the Marines in the midst of a disastrous, faraway, increasingly incomprehensible set of double wars, you'll have to pay even more kids more money to go to no-commitment summer camp; and, while you're at it, you'll have to lower standards for the military radically. You'll have to let in even more volunteers without high-school diplomas but with "moral" and medical "waivers" for criminal records and mental problems. You'll have to fast-track even more new immigrants willing to join for the benefits of quick citizenship; you'll have to ramp up already high cash bonuses of all sorts; you'll have to push the top-notch ad agency recently hired on a five-year contract for a cool billion dollars to rev up its new "Army Strong" recruitment drive even higher; you'll certainly have to jack up the numbers of military recruiters radically, to the tune of perhaps a couple of hundred million more dollars; and maybe just for the heck of it, you better start planning for the possibility of recruiting significant numbers of potential immigrants before they even think to leave their own countries. After all, it's darn romantic to imagine a future American all-volunteer force that will look more like the old French Foreign Legion – or an army of mercenaries anyway. All in all, you'll have to commit to the fact that your future soldier in your basic future war will cost staggering sums of money to hire and even more staggering sums to retain after he or she has had a taste of what "leadership potential" really entails.
And the dems will assure us it is only a "temporary" surge, besides, minimum wage will increase and college loan rates will decrease, what more could you whiners ask for?

capt said...

What's wrong with this picture?

(I can't resist)

We have an insane crazy person ruining the country, sending our troops into a meat-grinder by the tens of thousands and nobody will make him stop.

There are even some clear thinking people that think impeachment is too much trouble or might not bode well for the next election cycle.

How much trouble does it take to make impeachment for blatant crimes worth it? 20,000, 50,000 100,000?

What number is large enough to take this coward in Crawford to task?


Saladin said...

299 million?

Gerald said...

Hitler Bush is a butcher!

Gerald said...

Advances in military technology are keeping the death rate much lower than during the Vietnam War and World War Two, Dr. Col. Vito Imbascini, an urologist and state surgeon with the California Army National Guard, told IPS, but soldiers who survive attacks are often severely disabled for life.

"If you lost an arm or a leg in Vietnam, you were also tremendously injured in your chest and abdomen, which were not protected by the armor plates back then," he said. "Now, your heart and chest and lungs and heart are protected by armor, leaving only your extremities exposed."

Dr. Imbascini just returned from a four-month deployment to Germany, where he treated the worst of the U.S. war wounded. He said that an extremely high number of wounded soldiers are coming home with their arms or legs amputated. Imbascini said he amputated the genitals of one or two men every day.

"I walk into the operating room and the general surgeons are doing their work and there is the body of this Navy SEAL, which is a physical specimen to behold," he told IPS. "And his abdomen is open, they're exploring both intestines. He's missing both legs below the knee, one arm is blown off, he's got incisions on his thighs to relieve the pressure on the parts of the legs that are hopefully gonna survive and there's genital injuries, and you just want to cry."

Isn't the maiming of human beings a glorious love affair for Nazi Americans? Yes, it is!!!!!

O'Reilly said...

Somehow it would be more assuring is al-Maliki was calling for more troops to quell the violence and Bush wanted to step down to serve his country outside of government.

O'Reilly said...

The plan is being called surge and accelerate: take control over violence in Baghdad, then speed up the handover of territory to Iraqi forces.

The plan would also turn over more money to Iraq for reconstruction and a jobs program.

To me, it looks like ESCALATE and throw good money after bad.

What about a jobs program for the 4.5% unemployed Americans?

What about effective reconstruction of the New Orleans levies and the land hit by Katrina?

How many more lives and billions of dollars are we willing to expend AND FOR WHAT?

O'Reilly said...

For what?

capt said...

"For what?"

Bush is bound and determined to prove he was right all along no matter how many are killed or how much it costs.

The term "megalomania" sums him up nicely, eh?


capt said...

Bush might as well say the "surge" is to look for those missing WMD's.


capt said...

Bush To Increase Funding For Hope-Based Initiatives

WASHINGTON— President Bush announced today that he will sign a bill providing an additional $2.8 billion for private organizations that emphasize the importance of hoping for change.

"This bill acknowledges the immeasurable role of hope in envisioning a better world for everyone," Bush said during a press conference. "Starting today, I ask all Americans to hope together as one nation that the difficult problems that grip our nation will go away someday."

The president's move will help direct federal funds to such groups as the National Hope Foundation, which has been hoping for a cure for cancer for nearly two decades.

"There are many in our country who are without hope," Bush said. "Yet there are many respected organizations in America that are actively hoping things get better. This program will assist these organizations in obtaining government grants, which will allow them to continue the important hoping that must be done."

Among the programs likely to receive funding is Project Hope You Don't Get Sick, a non-profit organization hoping that over 45 million Americans receive the proper health care they need.

Dream Job United, another likely recipient, is a widely acclaimed program in which the ill-prepared and uneducated are trained to hope for job interviews at top companies.

Another project slated for assistance in is a Louisiana-based teen-pregnancy reduction program, in which volunteers hope teens abstain from intercourse.

Under the bill, wish-based initiatives will also be eligible for increased funding. Dozens of independent wishful-thinking foundations, such as America Wishes Things Were Better, expect to receive grants to fund distribution of pennies, wishbones, and birthday candles.

Those with wishes and hopes applauded the president's move, saying that faith alone cannot rectify the nation's social ills.

"Faith-based problem-solving is noble, but we should not discount the power of hope," said veteran hoper Howard Thorndike, who heads the Please Oh Please Institute, a Houston-based wish tank. "'Hail Mary' strategies, for example, are a part of the fabric of our nation, from the football field to the boardroom, and our government ignores such traditions at its peril."

Bush echoed Thorndike's sentiments. "As your president, I have seen firsthand what hoping can do," he said. "I have heard stories of decent people trapped under piles of rubble, and I have hoped that they would be rescued. And eventually, many were. Recently, powerful storms and destructive hurricanes ravaged some of our great cities. I hope that you will join me in wishing that we do not get hit by any more of those."

Bush added: "Laura and I hope every night that good things will happen for our great country. My fellow Americans, I call on you to do the same."


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

When an excellent satirical publication makes as much sense as the numb-skull shining the seat in the oval office the kabuki theater of the absurd is complete.


kathleen said...

Senator Levin has indicated that he would be open to a "temporary surge" if it is linked to a withdrawal plan.

If the Democrats continue to roll over so easily I predict they will open the doors to the Indepedent Party movement like they have never seen before.

At the Senate this morning Senator Reid said " we are not going to discuss what has taken place over the last 6 years.".

Holy hogwash..are they going to continue to refuse to get it? The 2006 mid-term election was about ACCOUNTABILITY IN REGARD TO THE LIES THAT TOOK US INTO IRAQ!

Will this 110th congress accept the responsibility of congressional oversight? Will they hold those responsible for this " war of choice"? Or will they wait for another blowjob to investigate?


Will the Democrats show some spine, step up to the plate, or roll over and sing the bi-partisan theme song "Let's get together Yeah yeah Yeah".

The choice is theirs. If they do not 2008 is not far away.


kathleen said...

Where is Rove...did Fitzgerald get to him?

Will Cheney resign?

Will the Neo-cons destroy our nation with their agenda?

kathleen said...


Thursday, January 4

• New York Times Considers Dropping Ombudsman Postition

• Dry Bones on Carter

• Pubishers Weekly Writes About CAMERA Vs. Carter

December 6, 2006

Roundup of Commentary on Jimmy Carter’s Book

Jimmy Carter's new book is being widely criticized. The critics include people from across the political spectrum, including some who in the past had worked with or for Jimmy Carter. Here is a roundup of some of that criticism.

Links to CAMERA Articles:
• Jimmy Carter Distorts Facts, Demonizes Israel in New Book

One gets the feeling after reading just a few pages that if [Carter] could have blamed Hurricane Katrina on Israel, he would have.

• NPR's Fresh Air Allows Carter to Revise History While Smearing Israel

... Terry Gross, host of "Fresh Air," interviewed Carter and allowed all his falsehoods to pass unchallenged, one-by-one. The broadcast was also filled with incendiary language and misleading charges.

• Time Inc. Turns to Propagandist for Book Intro

It is wrong to treat a partisan activist—especially one whose views are on the extreme end of the spectrum of a contentious debate—as a credible and objective expert. Yet Time Inc. turned to Jimmy Carter for its book on the Middle East.

• Historian Severs Association with Carter Center Over Distorted Book

Professor Kenneth Stein of Emory University denies having anything to do with "the research, preparation, writing, or review of President Carter's recent publication," which he charges is "replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments" and resigns his 23-year association with the Carter Center.

• Carter Admits to Ignoring Key Source

Not only did Carter ignore the authoritative source on what transpired at the Camp David negotiations, he apparently also didn't bother to consult news reports from the era.

• On CNN, Many More Carter Fabrications

The sheer number of factual errors in these two CNN appearances suggests that Carter either has scant knowledge of the facts, or little desire to truthfully discuss those facts.

• Another Emory Professor Denounces Carter

Professor Melvin Konner declined an advisory position at the Carter Center, and wrote of the former president that "Something has happened to his judgment. I don't understand what it is, but I know it is very dangerous. At a minimum, his legacy is irrevocably tarnished ..."

Links to Book Reviews and Opinion Columns:
• The Washington Post, Jeffery Goldberg, "What would Jimmy do?":

... Carter makes it clear in this polemical book that, in excoriating Israel for its sins -- and he blames Israel almost entirely for perpetuating the hundred-year war between Arab and Jew -- he is on a mission from God. ...

Carter, not unlike God, has long been disproportionately interested in the sins of the Chosen People. He is famously a partisan of the Palestinians, and in recent months he has offered a notably benign view of Hamas, the Islamist terrorist organization that took power in the Palestinian territories after winning a January round of parliamentary elections.

There are differences, however, between Carter's understanding of Jewish sin and God's. God, according to the Jewish Bible, tends to forgive the Jews their sins. And God, unlike Carter, does not manufacture sins to hang around the necks of Jews when no sins have actually been committed.

• Washington Jewish Week, Ira Forman, "Carter damages Israel’s and his own image":

Ira Forman served as the Ohio field director for the Carter-Mondale campaign.

As someone who once worked for Jimmy Carter, it brings me no pleasure to criticize the former president. His commitment to such praiseworthy projects as Habitat for Humanity brings much credit to his post-White House years. No one disputes his right to criticize Israel. Few pro-Israel activists will argue that Israel is always right.

But his ongoing, deeply biased commentary on the Arab-Israeli conflict does a great deal of damage to the truth. Democrats, as well as others, have an obligation to rebut his charges.

• The American Thinker, Rich Richman, "The world according to Jimmy Carter":

The anti-Israel bias is so clear, the credulous description of Arab positions so cringe-producing, the key 'facts' on which Carter relies so easily refuted by public documents, that the book is an embarrassment to Carter, the Democrats, the presidency and Americans.

• The New Republic Online, Marty Peretz, "Jimmy Carter’s latest":

It is a tendentious, dishonest and stupid book.

• Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cedric L. Suzman, "‘Apartheid’ label doesn't fit Mideast":

Rightly or wrongly, Israel has concluded that while it tries to negotiate a settlement of the conflict, it has to ensure its survival and safety through its military strength and superiority. This context in no way resembles the situation in which apartheid was developed as an ideology and social system in South Africa.

• Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Michael Jacobs, "Carter's book a distorted view of Israel":

For Carter, Israel is the cause of all the problems in the Holy Land and beyond, including "terrorist activity throughout the Middle East and the Islamic world."

If Israel would just do what is right, he implies, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, al-Qaida, etc., would lay down their explosive belts, give up their improvised explosive devices, dismantle their rockets, forget nuclear bombs and live in peace and harmony for all time.

In reality, Palestinians, Arab nations and Iran remain intent on Israel's destruction.

• U.S. News and World Report, David Makovsky, "Analysis: Carter's book is a disservice to peace":

Instead of dispelling the myths that enable them to avoid making key decisions and moving forward, Carter perpetuates the fictions that have helped create the current state of affairs: demonization of Israel, distortion of history, and an overall sense of victimhood that puts no premium on Palestinian accountability.

• Rocky Mountain News, Vincent Carroll, "Carter tips his hand":

My critique mentioned only Carter's public statements, which reach far more people than his book ever will. And those statements almost uniformly shovel virtually all blame onto Israel.

As if to prove my point, Carter appeared a week later on Denver's KHOW radio, in an exchange as revealing as it is incredible. You can listen to the full interview on KHOW's Web site, but here are two segments in which Carter tips his hand.

KHOW's Craig Silverman: "Didn't the head of Hamas, the elected leader of the Palestinians, go to Tehran last week and say 'We will never recognize the usurper Zionist government?' "

Carter: "No, he didn't."

• The Jerusalem Post, David J. Forman, "Jimmy Carter, go back to your peanut farm":

David J. Forman is a founder of Rabbis for Human Rights

What a warped sense of history, past and present; what a blatant abuse of our sensibilities. ... [W]ould it not have been far more appropriate had Carter, instead of superimposing his own humble presence over the wall, superimposed a replica of the hundreds of memorial plaques that dot Israeli bus stops, restaurants, supermarkets, malls and synagogues where Palestinian suicide bombers carried out their acts of murder?

The security fence did not come about in a vacuum. Would any country in the world do differently if going out of the house meant that its citizens played Russian roulette with their lives? ...

The barrier is a necessary evil, which unfairly impinges on some of the elemental rights of the Palestinians. But that is a far cry from endorsing apartheid.

• The Jerusalem Post, David A. Harris, "Carter's compromised statesmanship":

Carter leaves out what any reasonable observer, even those that share his basic views of the conflict, would consider obvious facts, but does include stunning distortions.

• The New York Sun, Alan Dershowitz, "The world according to Carter":

Mr. Carter's book is so filled with simple mistakes of fact and deliberate omissions that were it a brief filed in a court of law, it would be struck and its author sanctioned for misleading the court. Mr. Carter too is guilty of misleading the court of public opinion. A mere listing of all of Mr. Carter's mistakes and omissions would fill a volume the size of his book. Here are just a few of the most egregious ...

• The Jewish Press, Jason Maoz, "Jimmy Carter’s Jewish problem":

Former New York mayor Ed Koch, in his 1984 bestseller Mayor, recounted a conversation he had shortly before the 1980 election with Cyrus Vance, who'd recently resigned as Carter's secretary of state. Koch told Vance that many Jews would not be voting for Carter because they feared "that if he is reelected he will sell them out."

"Vance," recalled Koch, "nodded and said, 'He will.'"

• The Day (New London), Tom Teepen, "Ancient animosities at the heart of Mideast problems":

[Carter] hurled the charge of apartheid at Israel just to liven things up ...

• New Jersey Jewish Standard, Abraham Foxman, "Judging a book by its cover and its contents":

In order to reach such a simplistic and distorted view of the region, Carter has to ignore or downplay the continuing examples of Palestinian rejection of Israel and terrorism, which have been part of the equation from the beginning and which are strong as ever today. He has to minimize or condemn all the instances of Israel’s peace offers and withdrawals ... . And he has to frame every example of Palestinian distress as simply the product of Israeli repression ...

• The Huffington Post, Alan Dershowitz, "The world according to Jimmy Carter":

I like Jimmy Carter. I have known him since he began his run for president in early 1976. I worked hard for his election, and I have admired the work of the Carter Center throughout the world. That's why it troubles me so much that this decent man has written such an indecent book about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

• Jewish Current Issues, Rick Richman, "Carter's maps: worse than plagiarism":

Carter’s maps are worse than plagiarism -- they are placed together in a way that dramatically distorts history, misinforms the reader, and assists Carter in his book-length attempt to absolve the Palestinians from their rejection of peace in 2000 in favor of a barbaric war.
• The Boston Globe, Alan Dershowitz, "Why won't Carter debate his book?":

Carter's refusal to debate wouldn't be so strange if it weren't for the fact that he claims that he wrote the book precisely so as to start debate over the issue of the Israel-Palestine peace process. If that were really true, Carter would be thrilled to have the opportunity to debate. Authors should be accountable for their ideas and their facts. Books shouldn't be like chapel, delivered from on high and believed on faith.

• The Washington Times, Rachel Ehrenfeld, "Carter's Arab financiers":

To understand what feeds former president Jimmy Carter's anti-Israeli frenzy, look at his early links to Arab business.

• Front Page Mag, Jacob Laksin, "Jimmy Carter and the Arab lobby":

... applying Carter’s own standard, his extensive contacts with the Saudi elite must make his views on the Middle East suspect.

• History News Network, Gil Troy, "On Carter's false Apartheid analogy":

Carter and his comrades use “Apartheid” as shorthand to condemn some of the security measures improvised recently, especially since Carter’s late friend Yasir Arafat unleashed the latest wave of terrorism in September 2000. Israel built a security fence to protect its citizens and separate Palestinian enclaves from Israeli cities. ...

Applying the Apartheid label tries to ostracize Israel by misrepresenting some of the difficult decisions Israel has felt forced to make in fighting Palestinian terror. Israel’s opponents are trying to transfer onto Israel the civilized world’s justifiable contempt for South African oppression.

© CAMERA • 2007 • All rights reserved
Media Analyses / Corrections / About CAMERA / Contact Us / Contribute

kathleen said...

If Al Maliki is out in Iraq will Chalabi be next appointment?

Carey said...

"Surge" = escalation. But there are too many syllables in that word for Bush to handle.


From the last thread, don't forget how the union of science teachers refused the offer of free showings of An Inconvenient Truth to all classrooms because EXXON is one of their key sponsors. An example of just how cunning infiltration can be.

Russ Feingold is introducting legislation to redeploy Iraq troops within six months. He seeks public sponsors. You've might have already received this in your email from Feingold or me, but just to cover all the bases.


Gerald said...

I had a chance to listen to most of Nancy Pelosi's speech. It was a moving speech.


I was moved when she mentioned a portion of St. Francis of Assisi's prayer.

Here is the full prayer.

St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

capt said...

Thank you for taking action on Russ's Resolution to Redeploy Our
Troops Out of Iraq on behalf of Progressive Patriots Fund.

I hope you'll consider making a contribution to help our efforts
to promote a sensible foreign policy in the future by going to

Thank you once again for your support.

Russ Feingold
U.S. Senator


Thanks to Carey!


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

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.
Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 - 1964)

You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.
Malcolm X (1925 - 1965), Malcolm X Speaks, 1965

If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.
Moshe Dayan (1915 - 1981)

Gerald said...

People continue to rip Carter for his word of apartheid. We must remember that Israel, England, and America want to kill and destroy Arabs, Muslims, and their land. Carter was too kind when he used the word, apartheid. The correct and true word is genocide. Israel, England, and America will genocide all the people of the Middle East.

Gerald said...

At the near end of Nancy Pelosi's speech she invited the children to come forward and be with the new Speaker of the House. It was a moving moment for a woman who has five children and many grandchildren. Yes, we need few billion women like Nancy Pelosi!!!!!

Gerald said...

Fox News says Nancy Pelosi does not fit the mold of a fair and balanced woman. Yet, the purveyors of lies continue to say that they are fair and balanced and you may wonder why I puke so often when I see and hear the purveyors of hate.


May God bless all the women of the world!!!!!

Gerald said...

Will the new sheriff hog-tie the outlaw cowboy and haul him off to jail?

Gerald said...

The real cost of the Iraq war

Gerald said...

From those sources, we can count U.S. military occupation forces casualties as more than 50,371 as of Dec. 27. The total (as above) includes 2,400 killed and 22,565 wounded (which includes both severely and less severely wounded) by what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes. By that date, another 583 military personnel had died from "non hostile" causes such as accidents, suicides (there were 99 "self inflicted fatalities") and illness and, as of Dec. 2, another 24,823 had been injured or become ill seriously enough to require medical evacuation. According the excellent siteIraq Coalition Casualty Count, another 147 U.S. "contractors" have also been killed since they invaded Iraq.

Gerald said...

A Must Read Article

kathleen said...

Today we have heard the Democrats tell us how they plan to restore the American publics faith in our congress and system.

They need to keep it in mind that Americans spoke loud and clear and sent them a clear warning.



Gerald said...

Fox News makes me puke!

Gerald said...

When the Nazis were in power, Bush and his Nazi cabal gave the Democrats the birdie!!!!!

Gerald said...

John Murtha is calling for extensive hearings on Iraq. I hope these hearings are to investigate Bush's lies and not a pretense for the reinstatement of the draft!!!!!

I will be recommending to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense that we begin extensive hearings starting on January 17, 2007 that will address accountability, military readiness, intelligence oversight and the activities of private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We will be demanding substantive answers to questions that have gone unanswered for far too long.

The war in Iraq and its effect on our military and our nation's future remains the most crucial issue facing the new Congress. I will be recommending an aggressive pursuit of action that will allow us to reduce our military presence in Iraq at the soonest practicable date.

Gerald said...

Sad to say but Bush/Cheney will be given one more chance

I disagree but fickle Nazi Americans do not know what to do about Iraq: shit, piss, or cry.

Nazi Americans are looking forward to the nuclear holocaust of Iran!!!!!

Gerald said...

2007 - Five Challenges

Gerald said...

Since the Reagan era, Conservatism has been the dominant US political philosophy. After twenty-five years, it's clear that it works only for the benefit of the rich and powerful. Conservatism has damaged our economy, jeopardized US national security, and shoved America down the road to plutocracy. To turn the tide and begin to address the ghastly damage that Conservatism has wrought, Democrats need to do more than propose new policies. They need to identify America's fundamental challenges and devise systemic alternatives.

Gerald said...

Paul Wellstone

Gerald said...

Thanks Paul, we miss you so much, but we remember you so well, and because we do, we are all a little bit better.

Gerald said...

capt, BuzzFlash has an article, "The Reemergence of the Discredited, Failed Neo-Cons and Their Psychologicallt Disabled Puppet, Bush." I cannot call it up and link the article. Are you able to do it and share this article with us or paragraphs from the article? Thank you for any help!

capt said...

Old guard back on Iraq policy

An influential faction of neoconservatives is behind Bush's expected call for more troops.

WASHINGTON — Ever since Iraq began spiraling toward chaos, the war's intellectual architects — the so-called neoconservatives — have found themselves under attack in Washington policy salons and, more important, within the Bush administration.

Eventually, Paul D. Wolfowitz, the Defense department's most senior neocon, went to the World Bank. His Pentagon colleague Douglas J. Feith departed for academia. John R. Bolton left the State Department for a stint at the United Nations.

But now, a small but increasingly influential group of neocons are again helping steer Iraq policy. A key part of the new Iraq plan that President Bush is expected to announce next week — a surge in U.S. troops coupled with a more focused counterinsurgency effort — has been one of the chief recommendations of these neocons since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

This group — which includes William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard magazine, and Frederick W. Kagan, a military analyst at a prominent think tank, the American Enterprise Institute — was expressing concerns about the administration's blueprint for Iraq even before the invasion almost four years ago.

In their view, not enough troops were being set aside to stabilize the country. They also worried that the Pentagon had formulated a plan that concentrated too heavily on killing insurgents rather than securing law and order for Iraqi citizens.

These neoconservative thinkers have long advocated for a more classic counterinsurgency campaign: a manpower-heavy operation that would take U.S. soldiers out of their large bases dotted across the country and push them into small outposts in troubled towns and neighborhoods to interact with ordinary Iraqis and earn their trust.

But until now, it was an argument that fell on deaf ears.

"We have been pretty consistently in this direction from the outset," said Kagan, whose December study detailing his strategy is influencing the administration's current thinking. "I started making this argument even before the war began, because I watched in dismay as we messed up Afghanistan and then heard with dismay the rumors that we would apply some sort of Afghan model to Iraq."

If Bush goes ahead with the surge idea, along with a shift to a more aggressive counterinsurgency, it would in many ways represent a wholesale repudiation of the outgoing Pentagon leadership.

These leaders — particularly former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, the departing Middle East commander — strongly resisted more U.S. troops and a larger push into troubled neighborhoods out of fear it would prevent Iraqis from taking over the job themselves and exacerbate the image of America as an occupying power.

The plan the administration appears moving toward envisions an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 troops, the majority of whom would be sent to Baghdad. The increase would be achieved by delaying the departure of Marine units already in Iraq and speeding the departure of Army brigades due to deploy this spring.

The neoconservative group had been the driving force in Washington behind a move against Iraq, even before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. They saw Hussein as a lingering threat to world security — a view bolstered within the administration following 9/11. And they argued that transforming Iraq into a democracy could serve as a model to remake the Middle East's political dynamics.

The problems with the war gradually undermined the clout they had wielded. But perhaps the more important hurdle to their views being heeded — especially on military matters — was the White House's refusal to see its Iraq policy as a failure.

That changed this summer, when the spike in sectarian violence and the failure of an offensive to secure Baghdad created what one Pentagon advisor called a "psychological break" within the administration. Until then, neoconservatives argued, the administration saw little proof that Abizaid's plan, which was backed by Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the military commander in Iraq, was failing.

The main reason for the new ascendancy of the neocon recommendations, said Kristol, is that "the Rumsfeld-Abizaid-Casey theory was tried and was found wanting…. Some of us challenged it very early on, but, of course, then we were just challenging it as a competing theory."

Although Kristol, Kagan and their intellectual allies have pushed hard for their policy change for more than three years, they bristle at the notion that the idea of a larger troop presence in Iraq and a different approach to securing the country is wholly a neoconservative idea.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a leading Republican presidential contender, has been pushing for more troops and a different security strategy for nearly as long as Kristol and Kagan. Recently, support for a revised counterinsurgency plan also has gained support among military officers, active and retired. Perhaps most notable among this group is retired Army Gen. Jack Keane, a former Army chief of staff who signed on to Kagan's plan last month.

The case for change has been bolstered by actions the military has taken, including a successful 2005 Army offensive in the northern Iraqi city of Tall Afar, where midlevel officers used counterinsurgency tactics to suppress sectarian violence. In addition, the Pentagon released a new counterinsurgency field manual last month that largely echoed Kagan's thinking.

Some leading neoconservatives do not embrace the troop surge proposal.

Wolfowitz, for instance, ridiculed the notion that more troops would be needed to secure Iraq than were used in the invasion.

And Richard N. Perle, a former top advisor to the Pentagon who also advocated for smaller troop numbers at the time of the invasion, is known to be skeptical of the idea of a surge.

The plan's advocates acknowledge the split.

"Before the war, I was arguing for a quarter of a million troops in expectations we'd be there five or 10 years," said Gary J. Schmitt, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute who has worked closely with Kristol and Kagan. "Richard Perle, obviously somebody else who's thought of as a neocon, thought we should go in" with far fewer U.S. forces.

The neocons calling for more troops in Iraq and different tactics have pressed their proposals in public writings and speeches and in more private conversations within the administration.

Kenneth L. Adelman, another leading neoconservative thinker, recalled a meeting a year ago of the Defense Policy Board, a group of outside advisors to the Pentagon, where he pressed Rumsfeld — a longtime friend — to implement more traditional counterinsurgency ideas, such as keeping soldiers longer in their deployed areas so they could get to know the local population.

"What you need for counterinsurgency has been pretty clear for some time: You need to protect the population and get the population to fight the insurgents with you, or at least inform on them," Adelman said. "The fight is over the population, it's not over getting the enemy."

And much like they did when advocating for the invasion, these neocons have promoted their military strategy even at times when it was seen as politically unpalatable.

"What you can say about Fred Kagan and Bill Kristol, whatever else you want to say, is they've been constant in sounding this theme," said Eliot A. Cohen, a military analyst at Johns Hopkins University's international studies school in Washington who has advised the administration on Iraq policy. "You've had other people who have dropped in and out of this."


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

Here's the whole thing.

Registration at the LA Times is free - I am fairly certain that is why you had trouble getting to the link.


capt said...

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:

Source: Arundhati Roy, "Tide? Or Ivory Snow? Public Power in the Age of Empire,"

"If a country develops an economic system that is based on how to pay for the war, and if the amounts of fixed capital investment that are apparent are tied up in armaments, and if that country is a major exporter of arms, and its industrial fabric is dependent on them, then it would be in that country's interests to ensure that it always had a market. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is clearly in the interests of the world's leading arms exporters to make sure that there is always a war going on somewhere.": Marilyn Waring - Source: Documentary 'Who's Counting', based on her book 'Counting for Nothing'.

Evil when we are in its power is not felt as evil but as a necessity, or even a duty: Simone Weil

Anyone who has proclaimed violence his method inexorably must choose lying as his principle: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


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Hajji said...


A Chance To Change The Game

By Barack Obama
Thursday, January 4, 2007; Page A17

This past Election Day, the American people sent a clear message to Washington: Clean up your act.

After a year in which too many scandals revealed the influence special interests wield over Washington, it's no surprise that so many incumbents were defeated and that polls said "corruption" was the grievance cited most frequently by the voters.

It would be a mistake, however, to conclude that this message was intended for only one party or politician. The votes hadn't even been counted in November before we heard reports that corporations were already recruiting lobbyists with Democratic connections to carry their water in the next Congress.

That's why it's not enough to just change the players. We have to change the game.

Americans put their faith in Democrats because they want us to restore their faith in government -- and that means more than window dressing when it comes to ethics reform.

Last year, I was hopeful that scandals would finally shame Congress into meaningful ethics legislation. But after the headlines faded, so did the enthusiasm for reform. In the end, I found myself voting against the final ethics bill because it was too weak and unresponsive to the obvious need for comprehensive reform.

This time around, we must do more.

We must stop any and all practices that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a public servant has become indebted to a lobbyist. That means a full ban on gifts and meals. It means no free travel or subsidized travel on private jets. And it means closing the revolving door to ensure that Capitol Hill service -- whether as a member of Congress or as a staffer -- isn't all about lining up a high-paying lobbying job. We should no longer tolerate a House committee chairman shepherding the Medicare prescription drug bill through Congress at the same time he's negotiating for a job as the pharmaceutical industry's top lobbyist.

But real reform also means real enforcement. We need to finally take the politics and the partisanship out of ethics investigations. Whether or not the House ethics committee has been covering for its colleagues, the secrecy with which its members have operated has led people to question why legislators who are serving jail time were not caught and stopped by the committee in the first place. It's led people to wonder why Congress cannot seem to police itself.

I have long proposed a nonpartisan, independent ethics commission that would act as the American people's public watchdog over Congress. The commission would be staffed with former judges and former members of Congress from both parties, and it would allow any citizen to report possible ethics violations by lawmakers, staff members or lobbyists. Once a potential violation is reported, the commission would have the authority to conduct investigations, issue subpoenas, gather records, call witnesses, and provide a report to the Justice Department or the House and Senate ethics committees that -- unlike current ethics committee reports -- is available for all citizens to read.

This would improve the current process in two ways. First, it would take politics out of the fact-finding phase of ethics investigations. Second, it would exert greater public pressure on Congress to punish wrongdoing quickly and severely. Others have proposed similar good ideas on enforcement, and I am open to all options. We must restore the American people's confidence in the ethics process by ensuring that political self-interest can no longer prevent politicians from enforcing ethics rules.

The truth is, we cannot change the way Washington works unless we first change the way Congress works. On Nov. 7, voters gave Democrats the chance to do this. But if we miss this opportunity to clean up our act and restore this country's faith in government, the American people might not give us another one.


Now let's see if he'll WALK THE WALK!


kathleen said...

Today the Democrats repeated how they plan to restore the faith of the American people in the congress. Many of the them were singing different versions of the same theme song. " Let's get together yeah yeah yeah" or "Come together right now" Aud nauseum.

If the Democrats did not hear the demand INVESTIGATE....DE-ESCALATE..

Pandemoniac said...

Hullo. Is this thing working? Good. Let's get the show on the road. S.H.I.T. baybeee!

"Big changes in Washington. ... Earlier today, new Secretary of Defense Robert Gates flew to Iraq to get a first-hand look of the situation over there. After surveying the situation, Gates was quoted as saying, 'Uh oh.'"
--Conan O'Brien

"Yesterday, President Bush delivered his annual Kwanzaa message. The president said let's remember that Kwanzaa only exists because a guy named Kwan died for our sins."
--Conan O'Brien

"Saddam Hussein was executed last week by hanging. Or, as they call that in Iraq, death by natural causes."
--Jay Leno

"How many folks were in Times Square for the New Year's Eve celebration? ... Here in the United States they celebrate by dropping a ball off a roof. In Iraq they celebrate by dropping the dictator through the floor."
--David Letterman

They executed Saddam Hussein. I guess that means that whole Iraqi thing is over. We can all go home now."
--David Letterman

"A cell phone video has surfaced of Saddam Hussein's hanging and officials are trying to figure out who shot the video. People who were at the hanging say it was probably the guy who kept yelling, 'Hey, keep it down. I'm on the phone here.'"
--Conan O'Brien

"Earlier today in Washington, funeral services were held for former President Gerald Ford and all the living presidents were there. That doesn't happen often. They all got together. President Carter called Ford a wonderful man. Bill Clinton called Ford a true American. And President Bush called Ford the guy who invented the automobile."
--Conan O'Brien

"Today was the funeral for President Gerald Ford. He passed away at 93. A very nice man. ... Ford was the only person to become president without winning an election ... besides President Bush."
--Jay Leno

"The holidays are over. Last night I see people taking down their lights they hung and the ornaments they hung. Iraq is taking down the Saddam they hung." --Jay Leno

"The latest reports out of Washington say President Bush is planning to send more troops to Iraq, but the White House wants to call it a surge instead of an escalation. Well, duh. A one-syllable word versus a four-syllable word. I wonder which one President Bush would pick."
--Jay Leno

"In presidential news, somebody leaked Rudy Giuliani's entire 140-page campaign plan to the press. Giuliani is calling it a dirty trick. He said it was stolen while he was in Florida. Which is not the first time a presidential race has been stolen in Florida."
--Jay Leno

"A new poll shows Hillary Clinton coming in fourth among Democratic hopefuls in Iowa. Fourth? I don't want to say that's bad news for Hillary, but her new Secret Service code name is 'NBC.'"
--Jay Leno

"All our best to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He broke his leg while skiing in Idaho. Arnold tried to act like it didn't hurt, but you know Arnold can't act."
--Jay Leno

"California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is being criticized after he announced he's going to have a two-day inauguration ceremony. ... Apparently, the ceremony is two days long because it takes Arnold two days to say the word 'inauguration.'"
--Conan O'Brien

"Earlier this evening at the White House, President Bush welcomed new members of Congress with what's being referred to as 'a bicameral, bipartisan reception.' Or as Bush calls it, 'a bi-bi.'"
--Conan O'Brien

Hajji said...


Pandemoniac said...

Wow. Congratulations on replicating the Cornblog, Capt. I even got an "Error Performing your Request" message (while still posting my comments) JUST like the REAL CornBlog used to do.

Hola to all the Reglars (and the irreglars, too -- don't want to cause anyone to feel left out). For the first time in a decade, I have a Dem. Representative in Congress (Ciro Rodriguez). I dropped off the blogging scene to watch the action up close in the special election the was convened in my district -- after Tom DeLay's redistricting plan was killed by a judge. Political campaigns are an endless Series of Unfortunate Events.

The experience was a laugh riot (in retrospect). At the time, the goofs and missteps were more than a little worrisome. When the DCCC brought in Big Dawg to campaign for Ciro, that pretty much killed any chance that Bonilla had of keeping his seat. Voting in my district is usually a HUGE headache because of the lines. In this election nobody but us Texicans showed up. I knew then and there that it was a done deal.

Was that Barney Frank running the show on the floor in the House? With the Reds in power for the last 12 years, there must've been an instance or two of a homosexual leading the proceedings (Foley, Kohl, somebody else?) ; but an out-of-the-closet Gayperson banging the gavel and telling the Reds to shut their fucking pieholes was a sight to behold.

The Reds are out on the floor bemoaning the fact that the mean ol' spineless Dems aren't playing fair and are cramming legislation down their gullets. They've asked for a Minority Bill o' Rights. Funny how now that they're in the Minority, they're all full of tears and empathy for protecting minorities. Trent Lott is Minority Whip. The Reds named a known racist "minority whip." Nobody can say they don't have a wicked sense of humor. Humor abounds.

I'll be around.

And I ain't picking one blog. I have too many friends on both blogs to pick one over the other.

Hasta Luego,

Hajji, you have mail!

Hajji said...


There's ANOTHER blog?



capt said...



I hear there are a gazzillion blogs on this here internets, I never thought any were mutually exclusive. One would have to be crazy to think such a thing. I mean who thinks like that?

I have been caught quoting on Glenn Greewalds and didn't have to pay a fine or anything!

I still hope Mr. Corn will put up a comments section soon but he too grew weary of the personal attacks and Ad Hominem and the "denial of service stuff".

Always good to read your type of type. If you are soming from "redstate" of LGF just wipe your feet on the way in! (kidding)


Pandemoniac said...

Hajji, there's this one blog that is eerily similar to Capt's blog. It's like a parallel universe --where a bunch of the other CornBloggeros frolic.

Capt, I got plonked at Redstate and the semiliterate ravings of the Little Green Freaks are incomprehensible. I like reading the InstaPendejo (for laughs). And I like Andrew Sullivan to read all the Conservatives that regularly stomp on the idiotic notions of the current dysministration.

Speaking of stomping on the Reds, check out Mr. Corn's blog at the Nation and you'll see Hajji coming down on the Bushbots like a Bunkerbuster on a tin can. Brought tears to this Texican's eyes.


capt said...

Mobius is a Dick.



Hajji said...

...Speaking of stomping on the Reds, check out Mr. Corn's blog at the Nation and you'll see Hajji coming down on the Bushbots like a Bunkerbuster on a tin can. Brought tears to this Texican's eyes.

Must be the onions, Pande, I've got little more than anger, lately.

Sometimes a driving factor, but sure does get in the way of finess.

...and of course, nothing compared the the "Great Brown Snark"!


Saladin said...

Kathleen, gore as an indy is a leopard with the same spots. When are people going to realize the presidents are pre-selected? If you won't play the game you can just forget it. That is why nothing changes, no matter who we "elect" they get what they want, they make sure of it. Integrity has absolutely NOTHING to do with it!
Gerald, Nancy Pelosi? Oh God help us.
Pan and Hajji, where ya been? The other corn bloggers found us way too negative, go figure. I myself am growing more weary by the day. These politicians are wearing me out, say one thing do another, but throw the peasants a few more cents will ya? They can spend the next two years blaming each other while thousands more die due to our "temporary" surge. Yeh, that's the ticket. I will say right here and now, anyone who dies from this day forward is on the dems. They now have the power to put a stop to the death and destruction, I'm waiting. But I will bet nothing changes, will the people get a clue? Maybe they like throwing money down a bottomless pit, or, maybe it is the people who are in denial, not bushco. At least they know it's a scam.

capt said...


And they wandered in
From the city of St. John
Without a dime
Wearing coats that shined
Both red and green
Colors from their sunny island
From their boats of iron
They looked upon the promised land
Where surely life was sweet
On the rising tide
To New York City
Did they ride into the street
See the glory
Of the royal scam

They are hounded down
To the bottom of a bad town
Amid the ruins
Where they learn to fear
An angry race of fallen kings
Their dark companions
While the memory of
Their southern sky was clouded by
A savage winter
Every patron saint
Hung on the wall, shared the room
With twenty sinners

See the glory
Of the royal scam

By the blackened wall
He does it all
He thinks he's died and gone to heaven
Now the tale is told
By the old man back home
He reads the letter
How they are paid in gold
Just to babble in the back room
All night and waste their time
And they wandered in
From the city of St. John without a dime

See the glory
Of the royal scam

Steely Dan THE ROYAL SCAM (1976)


When I read the word "scam" I always get this song going in my head.


capt said...

Black hole dines in ancient lair

A black hole has been found inside a compact group of ancient stars known as a globular cluster.

Astronomers say the discovery is interesting because many doubted black holes could exist in such locations.

Some computer simulations had suggested a newly formed black hole would simply be ejected from the cluster as a result of gravitational interactions.

Tom Maccarone, of the University of Southampton (UK), and colleagues report the finding in the journal Nature.

It was made using the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton satellite, with follow-up observations on the US space agency's Chandra Space Telescope - both are sensitive to the X-ray light that is emitted when gas consumed by a black hole is torn apart.

The international team says its work provides the first convincing evidence that some black holes might not only survive but grow and flourish in globular clusters.


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

Black holes are too kewl.


Mookie said...

This should be no surprise:

capt said...

Former Chief Justice was delusional drug addict

The late U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist was dependent on a powerful sedative during his first decade on the Supreme Court and became delusional when he stopped taking the drug in 1981, The Washington Post reported on Friday, citing newly released FBI files.

The fact that Rehnquist checked into a hospital for a week in late December 1981 to be treated for back pain and dependence on a prescription drug was previously known, the Post said.

The 1,561 pages from the FBI files on Rehnquist released this week reveal new details about the length and intensity of the addiction, the newspaper reported.

Rehnquist was appointed to the court by President Richard Nixon in 1971 and nominated as chief justice by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. He died in September 2005.

The Post reported that the FBI concluded during its 1986 investigation that Rehnquist began taking the drug Placidyl for insomnia after back surgery in 1971 and was, by 1981, taking apparently three times the usual starting dose each night.

Doctors interviewed by the FBI told agents that when Rehnquist stopped taking the drug, he suffered paranoid delusions, including imagining "a CIA plot against him," the newspaper reported.

The FBI files also show that during both of Rehnquist's confirmation battles, the Justice Department asked the FBI to find out what witnesses lined up by Senate Democrats were prepared to say, the newspaper reported.

Then-assistant attorney general John Bolton, who recently stepped down as ambassador to the United Nations, approved enlisting the FBI and wrote that he "would accept responsibility should concerns be raised about the role of the FBI," the newspaper said.

Bolton told The Washington Post that there was no political bias in the investigation, because the request for the FBI to interview witnesses actually came from Senate Democrats.


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

Well what a surprise. (not)


capt said...

Confronting the Empire

It's time …

How it is that, having lost an election widely viewed as a referendum on the war, the Bush administration has the temerity to announce a "surge" in American forces engaged in active combat in Iraq? The answer was given by incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Carl Levin (D- Michigan):

"'There are a lot of ways you could have a surge, it's not just 'surge versus non-surge,'' Levin said. ‘If a temporary surge is part of a reduction of U.S. forces in four to six months with political milestones to achieving a political solution agreed upon by Iraqis' then he would be on board."

Get on board the Middle East war-escalator – Republicans, Democrats, one and all! Screw the American people and the recent election results – that was then, this is now. Democrats in the know are sitting back and enjoying the tax-funded orgy known as Pelosi-palooza!, raking in the campaign cash from lobbyists and special interests – and letting the good times roll!

We're exporting "democracy" to the four corners of the globe, but what about right here in our own country, where the people not only have no voice, but exercise what amounts to negative control over U.S. foreign policy? After all, they just voted massively to curtail George W. Bush's Middle Eastern crusade, and, barely a month later, that effort is about to go into overdrive as the President gets ready to announce a "surge" of 40,000 more troops – with the full complicity of the "opposition" party. It's Bizarro World-style democracy, where the will of the people is studiously and pointedly ignored.

In spite of using the war issue to take control of the House and the Senate, Democrats for the most part oppose any kind of timetable for withdrawing our troops from Iraq. Levin's is, unfortunately, one of the more antiwar voices in Washington – the others make him look positively dovish. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic party's leading presidential candidate, flat out opposes withdrawal – which is about the only consistent aspect of her always-evolving position. You'll remember that it was Hillary who first started talking about a surge, albeit not in those precise words, two years ago, loudly insisting that we need "more troops," and certainly not less, in our pursuit of "success." Now she's talking about "phased redeployment," in tune with the Democratic caucus majority and the public mood, but she can rightly claim at least co-authorship (along with John McCain) of the basic "surge" concept.


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

" the will of the people is studiously and pointedly ignored"

The politicians cannot see past the mountains of money buying corporate influence. Green-backs millions deep and is all they can see for miles.

We "the people" are not ignored. We are not even in the equation. We "the people" are a consumer based statistic. We pay the consequences for poor policies and mismanagement as the government shrouds itself in secrecy while taking our right to privacy. All without any real fear of consequence to the institutions of government.

I don't hold out any great hope for real meaningful action from the Democratic majorities they are all politicians.

I won't be disappointed when they do dumb stuff (and they will). I might even be uplifted when they do some good (there will be some good too).

Not so much ignored but factored in.


Saladin said...

Capt, they can't even SEE us because we are buried under all those miles and mountains of cash! We're invisible until the controlled stampede known as election day arrives, then they have to at least pretend they can see us. The new congress will end this crusade or they will be complicit, it's as simple as that. We know it's all bogus, based on lies and minipulation, the whole thing was false from day one, which was 9/11. It is WAY past time to put things right, though for the families of the dead it will never be right again. When I see anyone praising pelosi or any of the war mongerers I could just scream! She might be a good talker but she is a liar and a traitor to our troops and constitution. The people have spoken, BRING THEM HOME! No redeployments, but home, and America, mind your own business, leave Israel to fight the battles she provokes, and take care of your own household, it is in dire straights! I would like to know where they think they will get the money to keep sending our kids into the meat grinder? The dems apparently are as clueless as bushco about the fact that the US is insolvent, with a combined debt, including future entitlement payments, of 50 TRILLION dollars, at LEAST! Do they know what that means? Or do they expect the money to just fall out of the sky? They think they can fix SS and medicare? What a fucking joke. They are either complete morons or the most dispicable liars. Raising the minimum wage will not help one bit, it will be swallowed by inflation, an indirect and voracious tax on all of us, and the IRS thugs. UGH UGH UGH UGH!!

Saladin said...

Guardsmen overrun at the Border
12 News
Jan. 4, 2007 02:44 PM

National Guard unit stormed while patroling the border
Border attack raises security concerns

A U.S. Border Patrol entry Identification Team site was overrun Wednesday night along Arizona's border with Mexico.

According to the Border Patrol, an unknown number of gunmen attacked the site in the state's West Desert Region around 11 p.m. The site is manned by National Guardsmen. Those guardsmen were forced to retreat.

The Border Patrol will not say whether shots were fired. However, no Guardsmen were injured in the incident.

The Border Patrol says the incident occurred somewhere along the 120 mile section of the border between Nogales and Lukeville. The area is known as a drug corridor. Last year, 124-thousand pounds of illegal drugs were confiscated in this area.

The Border patrol says the attackers quickly retreated back into Mexico.
You can see that bushco's concern about terrorism is at record levels, low levels that is. If we can't even stop drug runners from crossing the border with NG troops, we are in worse trouble than I thought.

Saladin said...

U.S. to give Abbas forces $86 mln amid power struggle
The Bush administration will provide $86 million to help security forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, expanding U.S. involvement in his struggle with Hamas, according to documents seen on Friday.
Hamas lawmaker Mushir al-Masri accused Washington of helping to mount a "coup" against the Hamas-led government. "We demand that President Abbas reject this American policy, which feeds the culture of divisions among the Palestinian people," he said.
Looks like the poor Palestinians are stuck with the same kind of demockracy we have, vote all you want, if the powers that be don't like it they will crush it.

Saladin said...

I read that the new congress intends to pass roughly 400 pages of legislation without even reading it. Has anyone seen the fine print hidden in the so-called lobby reform legislation? What about the "hate bill" happy crappy? If this is what we can expect, it may actually get worse rather than not change at all, which was the best I was hoping for.

O'Reilly said...

Purge of the Unbelievers

By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Friday, January 5, 2007; 12:18 PM

What to make of the sudden spate of personnel convulsions emanating from the White House?

I see a possible theme: A purge of the unbelievers.

Harriet Miers, a longtime companion of the president but never a true believer in Vice President Cheney's views of a nearly unrestrained executive branch, is out as White House counsel -- likely to be replaced by someone in the more ferocious model of Cheney chief of staff David S. Addington.

Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalizad, considered by Cheney to be too soft on the Sunnis, is kicked upstairs to the United Nations, to be replaced by Ryan Crocker, who presumably does not share his squeamishness.

John Negroponte, not alarmist enough about the Iranian nuclear threat in his role as Director of National Intelligence, is shifted over to the State Department, the Bush administration's safehouse for the insufficiently neocon. Cheney, who likes to pick his own intelligence, thank you, personally intervenes to get his old friend Mike McConnell to take Negroponte's job.

And George Casey and John Abizaid -- the generals who so loyally served as cheerleaders for the White House's "stay the course" approach during the mid-term election campaigns -- are jettisoned for having shown a little backbone in their opposition to Cheney and Bush's politically-motivated insistence on throwing more troops into the Iraqi conflagration.

capt said...

Mass Media Caught Lying About Iraq

January 5, 2007: The Associated Press has again put out an Iraq story detailing events that did not happen. This time, it involves an airstrike that, " killed a family of four during a firefight." However, according to the press desk of Multi-National Forces-Iraq, no air strike happened during that firefight, and MNF-I also reported that which six insurgents were killed by American troops in Baghdad on January 1. This is the second time in roughly six weeks that the AP has been caught fabricating events.

In November, the AP's report of six people being burned by in an attack on a mosque, cited a Captain Jemil Hussein of the Iraqi police. This report was challenged by Central Command and the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior, who pointed out that they had no record of a Jemil Hussein in their initial searches. The AP has stood by the story, yet this questionable Iraqi police official has not been quoted once since the story was questioned – despite being used in dozens of stories prior to the controversy. After several weeks of investigating, several blogs, including Flopping Aces, found very little evidence that Captain Hussein existed – until the AP reported that an arrest warrant was issued by the Ministry of the Interior for Hussein, whose phone has conveniently been turned off.

This is the latest media scandal involving phony news. In August, Reuters had to pull photographs that had been doctored to create the appearance that Israeli air strikes in Lebanon were doing more damage. Other photos taken during the summer fighting were discovered to have been staged by Hezbollah. In 2005, media reports that guards at Guantanamo Bay had flushed a Koran turned out to have no basis in fact (the actual flushing was done by detainees).

This pattern of misreporting is being noticed by blogs, most notably Flopping Aces ( One of the Iraqi reporters for the AP, Quais Abdul Raazzaq was recently interviewed, and made statements that appeared to be biased. Other blogs have been digging deeper into some of the reporting. And the skepticism about media reporting about Iraq seems to be increasing. In December, the Gallup Poll reported that 56 percent of Americans believe the mainstream media's reporting of the situation in Iraq is inaccurate.

The continued stonewalling by the Associated Press is only going to make matters worse for them. Not only are bloggers sniffing around and posting their findings, but the call for an investigation is growing louder. With the AP now making up an air strike, it seems the case of Jemil Hussein was not isolated, but instead part of a pattern of misreporting and a focus on milestone casualties (the United States recently suffered its 3000th casualty) rather than signs of progress. Reports from the AP regarding Iraq clearly cannot not be trusted. For accurate information, people can turn to the newsrooms of Multi-National Force-Iraq ( and Central Command ( – Harold C. Hutchison (


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

The MSM and AP (and others) are just plain lame.


Hajji said...

Holy Cyclones Batman!

A tornado just flipped a bunch of cars at a local elementary school!
(10 minutes before the kids would've been let out!)

9 people being treated at local Hospitals...(I've got the day off!)

Another twister sighted just north of here near Cleveland, SC.

Wind and hail damage south and east, too!

All that in January...JANUARY!!???


uncledad said...

I was just watching a report on that great liberal (owned by G.E. and Microsoft) network: MSNBC. It was about the cost of the Iraq war. Apparently we are now pissing away 250 million dollars a day. That's $250,000,000.00. What the fuck! That’s a little more than 10.4 million an hour! We have around 150,000 troops over there, so in one year we are spending approximately $608,000.00 per troop per year. I got out of the Army in 1984 as an E-5 buck Sergeant, I think my salary was around $16,000 a year. The current pay for the highest enlisted E-9 is around 64,000 if you have over 25 years of service. So even if one assumes every one over there is a master sergeant with over 25 years of service only 10.5% of the cash we are spending is going to military pay (remember that's if all 150,000 troops were E-9 master sergeants w/ 25 years of service), again what the fuck is going on. Oh by the way we pissed away another 2 million dollars in the time it took me to write this post. Wow. We’ll I quess we got to support the troops, and whoever the hell else is getting all that cash over there!

capt said...


That sounds WILD - stay safe.


It is the private contractors (read: private army) and security (read: bribes) - combine those numbers with the $9 billion of Iraqis money that just went missing and Saddams two to five billion.

I dare say someone is making out nicely.


capt said...

"No power but Congress can declare war, but what is the value of this constitutional provision, if the President of his own authority may make such military movements as must bring on war?" Daniel Webster - (1782-1852), US Senator 1846

"Until we go through it ourselves, until our people cower in the shelters of New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles and elsewhere while the buildings collapse overhead and burst into flames, and dead bodies hurtle about and, when it is over for the day or the night, emerge in the rubble to find some of their dear ones mangled, their homes gone, their hospitals, churches, schools demolished - only after that gruesome experience will we realize what we are inflicting on the people of Indochina..." : William Shirer author 1973

"I hated my part in the charade of murder and horror. My efforts were contributing to the deaths, to the burning alive of children - especially the children. The photographs of young Vietnamese children burned by napalm destroyed me." : Ralph McGehee former CIA intelligence analyst

You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it: Malcolm X


Read this newsletter online

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

Micki said...

The MSM and AP (and others) are just plain lame.

Maybe so in some instances, but your comment gives the appearance that you are promoting this story as fact.

Whatever happened to responsibility in blogging?

Saladin said...

micki, do you just appear to criticize? I know your preference is for the "dinosaurs" as you put it some time ago, as far as news goes, but if spin is what you want, go for it. Capt's blog is as honest and forthright as it gets, as is DEN'S. The dinosaurs can rot in hell where they belong.

capt said...

Sounds like just more negativity to me.

capt said...


Just as a number of bloggers and journalists, including Michelle Malkin, were heading over to Iraq to find the mysterious police captain Jamil Hussein, lo and behold, his existence has been confirmed. Kind of. For the moment there seems to be no explanation as to where he has been all this time and why he has been whisked into arrest immediately on being found.

Nor is there any explanation as to what really happened in Hurriyah (there is still no real evidence for the story Jamil Hussein is supposed to have produced) or why none of the stories AP sourced from him have been confirmed by any other news outlet. Not just the odd one but none. Confederate Yankee, as ever, follows the story and the astonishing appearance of comments from left-wing bloggers who have, until now ignored it all.

And, of course, now there will be no need for Michelle and others to go to Iraq to see what AP is really up to. Isn't that convenient?


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

A bit more on the subject.

" Get the facts, or the facts will get you. And when you get them, get them right, or they will get you wrong."
~ Dr. Thomas Fuller (1654 - 1734), Gnomologia, 1732


capt said...

Perception or Deception?

According to AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll, Iraqi Police Captain Jamil Hussein is a well-known source that they have had a relationship with for two years.

According to Curt at Flopping Aces, Hussein was cited in Associated Press reports by name 61 times between April 24th and November 26th of this year. No other news organization other than the Associated Press seems to have evern been in contact with Jamil Hussein. It is not known if Hussein may have been cited as an anonymous source, if at all, in addition to the 61 times he was cited as an official source by AP.

During the first months (April and May) he was used as a source, Hussein was cited 24 times in stories by no fewer than 7 different AP reporters (Thomas Wagner, Lee Keath, Robert H. Reid, Sinan Salaheddin, Qassim Abdul-Zahra, Tarek El-Tablawy, and Patrick Quinn).

In June and July, Hussein was cited as a source 19 times by at least 9 AP reporters (Sinan Salaheddin, Ryan Lenz, Steven R. Hurst, Bassem Mroue, Qais al-Bashir, Sameer N. Yacoub, Qassim Abdul-Zahra, Bushra Juhi, and Kim Gamel), eight of which had not written using Hussein in the months before (only Sinan Salaheddin carried over from the previous months).

In August and September Hussein was uncharacteristically quiet, being used as a source just nine times in total, and five of those stories coming on a single day (September 20). Sinan Salaheddin, Robert H. Reid, Bushra Juhi, and Qais al-Bashir used Hussein again, Rawya Rageh used him for the first time, and David Rising used him as a source for four stories on the first and only day he cited Hussein.


capt said...

The "credibility" of the right-wing blogosphere

Following up my post about Malkin's black eye on the AP witch hunt, Glenn Greenwald echos my sentiments exactly:

These right-wing bloggers love to piously masquerade around as "media watchdogs," keeping a watchful eye on the "MSM" and compelling them to adhere to facts. But they are nothing of the sort. Nobody is less interested in media accuracy than they are. Correcting media mistakes is so plainly not their agenda. They are nothing more than hyper-partisan hysterics who jump on any innuendo or rumor or whispered suspicion as long as it promotes their rigid ideological views and political loyalties and hatreds. They have a long, shameful and really quite pitiful history of incidents filled with ones like this Jamil Hussein debacle, including…read on

Bob Geiger writes about it also—along with the NitpickerDavid NeiwertAlterNet Sadly, No! Jesus General Booman Tribune Firedoglake Lindsay Beyerstein and Oliver Willis

Daily Kos:

That they are always wrong is a feature, not a bug. This is my favorite:

Michelle Malkin going on Fox News the night of the midterm elections to announce that blogger Dan Riehl has "called the race for George Allen," prompting a smirking, condescending Brit Hume to observe — correctly — that when you have a blog, you can say whatever you want, and that it doesn't matter if you're right or wrong. Hume didn't know how insightful that observation was, or how perfectly chosen was the receipient of his observation.

Nice one Michelle. Dan Riehl calls it for "Macaca Allen. I couldn't stop laughing when I read that.

Update: AP executive editor rips into bloggers who have now endangered Jamil Hussein's life.


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

One must address the specifics (if able).


capt said...

How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881), Speech at the House of Commons, January 24, 1860

When we criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical.
Richard Carlson, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.
Noam Chomsky (1928 - )

Make it your habit not to be critical about small things
Edward Everett (1794 - 1865)

Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious. Great speech is impassioned, small speech cantankerous.
Chuang-tzu (369 BC - 286 BC), On Leveling All Things

Thanks to:

O'Reilly said...

Biden: White House Has Concluded Iraq War Is Lost

By Greg Sargent

Joe Biden said in an interview yesterday that he believes key White House officials have privately concluded that the Iraq war is lost and that they're simply trying to postpone disaster so President Bush won't "be the guy landing helicopters inside the Green Zone, taking people off the roof" in a scene reminiscent of Vietnam. Biden made the comments in an interview with Washington Post.

"I have reached the tentative conclusion that a significant portion of this administration, maybe even including the vice president, believes Iraq is lost," Biden told the paper. "Therefore, the best thing to do is keep it from totally collapsing on your watch and hand it off to the next guy -- literally, not figuratively."

Biden -- somewhat surprisingly, given his "hawkish" credentials -- has been one of the more outspoken Dems opposing plans for an escalation of the Iraq conflict. And in what appears to be at least partly a bid to boost his profile among Dem primary voters, Biden plans to use his position as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to hold a series of hearings on every aspect of Iraq policy.

Saladin said...

Capt, it seems to me a kind of civil war broke out in our little corn world when a perceived insult blew out of proportion. Some are allowed to fling negative insults, but others are not. Maybe the upcoming hate laws can be called into action, we should not risk anyone's feelings by expressing opinions, unless of course the expresser is perceived as the victim, then all the rules are flipped upside down. Negativity may be in the eye of the beholder, or, maybe it is what some view as reality, who is to say? All I know is that double standards suck, practice what you preach, or prepare to be called on hypocrisy. We have all the double standards we can take in politics.

O'Reilly said...

The Adults take Charge
The Reality Based Community Strikes Back in Iraq
by Juan Cole

The professionals take charge. Bush is bringing in Ryan Crocker, a distinguished career foreign service officer, as the new US ambassador to Iraq. And Gen. David Petraeus will replace Gen. Casey as top ground commander in Iraq. Zalmay Khalilzad, the outgoing ambassador to Iraq, will go as ambassador to the United Nations, replacing the lying blowhard John Bolton.

I'm stricken with a case of the "what ifs" and "if onlys"! What if Gates had been at the Pentagon in 2003 and Petraeus had been in charge of the US military in Iraq and Crocker had been there instead of Paul Bremer? These are competent professionals who know what they are doing. Gates is clear-sighted enough to tell Congress that the US is not winning in Iraq, unlike his smooth-talking, arrogant and flighty predecessor. Petraeus is among the real experts on counter-insurgency, and did a fine job of making friends and mending fences when he was in charge of Mosul. Crocker has been ambassador to Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon and Pakistan, and knows the region intimately (as does Khalilzad). Bremer had been ambassador to . . . Holland. Despite all the talk of the resurgence of the Neoconservatives with their "surge" (actually ramped up occupation) plan, this team is the farthest from Neoconservative desires that you could possibly get.


uncledad said...

I know that nobody asked, but If you where wondering why uncledad shut down his blog. I feel I should fess up. I gave Corn alot of shit for shutting down his site, and I still feel someone of his stature should be able to cope with the endless web attacks. That being said I "Uncledad" felt forced to shut my blog down because it was being attacked and used as a bounce point for less than reputable websites. If anyone gives a shit here is the latest attack IP. I must say this IP only downloaded everything on my website today, but in the past this IP has left less that positive posts on my formally thought of thoughtful blog.

OrgName: Verizon Internet Services Inc.
Address: 1880 Campus Commons Dr
City: Reston
StateProv: VA
PostalCode: 20191
Country: US

NetRange: -
NetName: VIS-71-96
NetHandle: NET-71-96-0-0-1
Parent: NET-71-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Allocation
RegDate: 2005-01-18
Updated: 2005-08-15

OrgAbuseHandle: VISAB-ARIN
OrgAbuseName: VIS Abuse
OrgAbusePhone: +1-214-513-6711

OrgTechHandle: ZV20-ARIN
OrgTechName: Verizon Internet Services
OrgTechPhone: +1-703-295-4583

# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2007-01-05 19:10
# Enter ? for additional hints on searching ARIN's WHOIS database.

uncledad said...

And you thought they where only: listening to phone calls, opening mail, tracking your cell phone, etc.

uncledad said...

This is where they live! I am not afraid, open my mail, listen to everything I have to say!

kathleen said...

Last letter received from friend Art Gish who has been with the Christian Peace Maker Team (CPT) for years. I believe this is his 14th trip to Israel and Palestine.

Dear family and friends,

This has been a good ten days for me.

I participated in a demonstration against the Wall and a new Israeli
bypass road that would take another huge piece of Palestinian farm
land. Why is the Israeli government investing huge amounts of money
in areas they say they will return to the Palestinians? Again,
Israelis and Palestinians came and stood together. I was especially
moved by one of the Israeli speakers who said that when his daughter
was killed by a suicide bomber, he had the choice to either seek
revenge or seek peace. He chose to seek peace.

The most exciting event in our area is our receiving two and a half
inches of rain, the first real rain in two years.

Again this year, I spent Christmas in At-Tuwani, the real Bethlehem.
Our team had our Christmas morning worship in a cave in the village.
As we read the Christmas story, we reflected on the meaning of
occupation, be it Roman, Israeli, or American, and how during times
of occupation, signs of hope and new life are given.

We continue our morning and afternoon monotoring of the school
children as they walk past the Ma'on settlement. One cold morning
the soldiers did not show up, so we decided to walk past the Ma'on
settlement to reach the cold children. That woke up the settlers
who called the soldiers, who quickly arrived. One of the settlers
was pretty upset with us and had the Israeli soldiers prevent us
from going back to the village. We did a long walk away from the
settlement and around the mountains to get back home.

When I first got to At-Tuwani three weeks ago, the village was
receiving harassment every night from Israeli soldiers. As a result
of Israeli peace activists spending four nights in the village, calls
to embassies, and an article in the Israeli Ha'aretz newspaper, all
harassment has stopped and life in the village has been quiet the
past week. This victory was achieved by people coming together from
across national and religious barriers.

About ten days ago, a camel apppeared in At-Tuwani, a gift to the
village from someone for Eid al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice).
Butchering the camel was a big event for the whole village. I felt
really sorry for the camel.

I attended prayers in the local mosque the morning of the Eid, the
morning when Saddam Hussein was executed. The sermon was a harsh
attack on Bush for killing Saddam on the most important day of the
Muslim year. I was the only American in the mosque, but everyone
greeted me warmly after the prayers. This is the big topic of
conversation everywhere I go.

Thank you for your love and prayers.

Art Gish

kathleen said...

This is Peggy Gish's last letter from Iraq. Peggy has been to Iraq 10 times over the last 5 years. She was there before the invasion and has spent most of her time with Iraqi families.

Art and Peggy are the closest Christians to living a life that Jesus "allegedly" lived. They really have no or very little ego. And keep on giving giving and loving loving loving. Few of these on the planet!

31 December, 2006
Christmas and New Years in Suleimaniya
By Peggy Gish

Shoppers swarmed into downtown Suleimaniya over the past
two weeks. Shops displayed artificial Christmas trees and
decorations, as well as felt Santa hats with lights that flash on and
off. Here Santa in known as “Papa Noel” and is also connected with
New Years Day. Such trappings are for the small local population of
Christians, as well as for more modern Muslims. Shoppers bought gifts
for New Years and the feast days
(Eid), Saturday and Sunday, and next week in connection with the Hajj
pilgrimages to Mecca.
Many friends here wished us a Merry Christmas. One
brought us a card and another, a cake. On Christmas Eve, a Kurdish
family living in Florida, but spending time reconnecting with family
and friends here, invited us to their home. On Christmas Day we went
to a supper party with European members of an NGO which works with
street children.
Earlier that morning we attended Christmas services at
one of the two Christian churches in Suleimaniya. Peace was the major
theme of the sermon -- peace
for Iraq and other troubled areas of the world. The priest spoke of
the promised one, Emanuel, which means “God with us.”
Most of us have a hard time keeping continual awareness
of the presence of God. Many have a hard time believing that it has
much meaning, considering the escalation of violence and the way that
corrupt governments and leaders are able to maintain their power. So
many things here (and elsewhere) have not turned out the way I have
thought God would have wanted them to. Yet I have also experienced
many times when I knew that God was with me and others, strengthening
and caring for us, bringing good news of reconciliation and hope.
Now it is approaching midnight on New Year’s Eve. Since
Christmas Day we made a trip to Erbil to work on registering as an
NGO and meeting with a Kurdish Parlimentarian concerning prison
issues. It snowed on the day we moved from the hotel to an apartment.
We woke up yesterday, the first day of Eid, to see the news that
Saddam Hussein had been executed early that morning. Tonight we talk
and write by candlelight since we have only about 1-2 hours of
electricity a day here. Our New Year’s treat tonight is some Fair
Trade chocolate that Doug Pritchard, who just arrived today, brought
as a gift for us
Tonight I think about what the new year may bring.
Iraqis, as well as other peoples experiencing the brunt of war, cry
out for some new breakthrough for peace. I don’t believe that killing
Saddam, or more U.S. troops and continued US control in Iraq, will
bring that. But we must hope for new beginnings in our own lives just
as we dare to hope that those seeking to exploit the people of Iraq,
Sudan, or Colombia can turn around and chart new and just policies.
When we dare to hope, we can dare to act.

kathleen said...

"When we dare to hope, we can dare to act" Peggy Gish.

Uncledad ..while I know it was very gracious of David Corn to provide space for the peasants to voice their opinions and share information, I too was very dissapointed that he did not put his comment section back up. I wondered if he was catching grief from the right wing radical Israeli firster groups (Camera, Jinsa, Aipac, Anti defamation league (ADL)...) due to some of the honest dialogue taking place on his comment section. These groups attack any healthy honest dialogue about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I am fully aware of this. I have attended three conferences on this topic that were attacked in vicious ways by some of these groups.

I appreciate Capt and Den for providing this space. But.. I do believe the attacks that the Corn site was receiving was partially from radical Israeli firsters.

Corns comment section was also receiving lots of hits from readers.

kathleen said...

O'Reilly thank you for linking Juan Cole's article. I have not been to his site lately. His slightly hopeful words about the new appointments is a bit uplifting.

Juan Cole was on "Democracy Now" a while back. Also Congressman Kucinich put together a panel briefing (that was not covered by the MSM) with Juan Cole, and two of the people who put the Lancet report in regard to how many Iraqi people have died in Iraq. This panel discussion was aired on C-Span

Juan is a truth seeker and speaker!

capt said...

When an individual or a even a group make comments like: "You guy sound too negative" they are trying to change both the content and the tone of the blog.

What should we do? Change what we post to please Their taste or their sensibility? Should we submit our posts to that person or group for their approval? I think NOT ON YOUR LIFE!

People will post wherever they choose. I just hope they understand that what they want and what they get will seldom be the same.

Saladin and I have been here for a very long time and nobody will ever effect the content of this blog because it does not meet their expectation(s).

I was called a censor, and authoritarian, etc. I only changed the blog to no longer allow anonymous posters because of abuse.

I have never censored a post nor any poster.

All and any can post here. Anybody that chooses not to post here is just one in many millions that post elsewhere - more power to them.

I would point out the personal attacks did stop (I hope they do not return).

To the personal attackers that have nothing to post except a criticism of other posters here - I thank them for their continued absence.

Let's post about issues and stuff and not about other posters or the overall tone of the blog be it negative or positive. This is not a soap opera and the people that post here are not a target for others insults, Ad Hominem or personal attacks.

You can always tell when a poster cannot address specifics and drifts into broad strokes the facts are seldom within their grasp and addressing them is frivolous. There will always be people that come here to stir up trouble, best to ignore them and address an issue.

Let's lead by example - maybe they will catch on.



capt said...

Stop This War, Now!

The president of the United States does not have the sense God gave a duck—so it’s up to us. You and me, Bubba.

I don’t know why Bush is just standing there like a frozen rabbit, but it’s time we found out. The fact is we have to do something about it. This country is being torn apart by an evil and unnecessary war, and it has to be stopped now.

This war is being prosecuted in our names, with our money, with our blood, against our will. Polls consistently show that less than 30 percent of the people want to maintain current troop levels. It is obscene and wrong for the president to go against the people in this fashion. And it’s doubly wrong for him to send 20,0000 more soldiers into this hellhole, as he reportedly will announce next week.

What happened to the nation that never tortured? The nation that wasn’t supposed to start wars of choice? The nation that respected human rights and life? A nation that from the beginning was against tyranny? Where have we gone? How did we let these people take us there? How did we let them fool us?

It’s a monstrous idea to put people in prison and keep them there. Since 1215, civil authorities have been obligated to tell people with what they are charged if they’re arrested. This administration has done away with rights first enshrined in the Magna Carta nearly 800 years ago, and we’ve let them do it.

This will be a regular feature of mine, like an old-fashioned newspaper campaign. Every column, I’ll write about this war until we find some way to end it. STOP IT NOW. BAM! Every day, we will review some factor we should have gotten right.


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

As always Molly ROCKS!


capt said...

Chirac: Iraq War Destabilized Mideast

PARIS (AP) - French President Jacques Chirac gave a tough critique of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and its fallout on Friday, saying the war destabilized the entire Middle East and allowed terrorism to spread.

In a speech to ambassadors, Chirac also renewed his call for an international conference on the Middle East, saying he was deeply concerned by the growing number of crises there.

``At Europe's gate, the Middle East has become an epicenter of international tensions,'' Chirac said. ``Crises are building up and spreading.''

On Iraq, Chirac suggested the problems there today justified France's strong opposition to the invasion in 2003.

``As France foresaw and feared, the war in Iraq caused upheavals whose effects have not yet finished unraveling,'' he said.

``The venture exacerbated the divisions between (Iraqi) communities and undermined the very integrity of Iraq,'' he said. ``It weakened the stability of the region, where every country is now worried about its security and independence. It gave terrorism new terrain for expansion.''


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

Every country had the same intelligence, some did see through the lies of George Bush (maybe they read a book with a similar name?)


capt said...

Gay rams go straight for ewe

AN AMERICAN university is trying to "cure" gay sheep of their homosexuality.

Researchers at Ohio State University have discovered that 8 per cent of rams are gay and another 8 per cent are sexually ambivalent.

After hormone treatment, some of the gay sheep began showing interest in ewes, The Sunday Times in Britain reported.

The researchers found that gay sheep had a smaller bundle of neurones in a certain area of their hypothalamus, a part of the brain known to control sexuality, than heterosexual sheep.

The discovery was evidence suggesting that homosexuality had a biological basis, said the research group's leader, Charles Roselli.

The campaign manager of the New Zealand group Save Animals From Exploitation, Hans Kriek, said that if animals were naturally homosexual, they should be left alone.


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

Mother nature is a wonderful wonder of wonders, eh?


capt said...

Nature is just enough; but men and women must comprehend and accept her suggestions.
Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825 - 1921)

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC), Parts of Animals

Nature does nothing uselessly.
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC), Politics

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.
E. B. White (1899 - 1985)

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.
Frank Lloyd Wright (1869 - 1959)


Saladin said...

Dear Molly, the dems now have the power to end it, all they have to do is cut the funding, easy as pie. Use what funds are available to bring our people back home and then start on a new path of healing. That is the only TRUE way we can support the troops. Dumping more gas on this conflagration and calling it support is sick and twisted. The dems are out of excuses, time to put up or get the boot. We do have third party options, they need to be reminded of that fact, daily!
Kathleen, I saw a certain poster at DWF's claim that she would not comment on the Israeli/Palestinian issue except to say that it wasn't one sided, or something like that. What an odd thing to say, unless she really is clueless. I have been reading my good friend Carey's comments about Israel and their murderous policies, as well as yours and a couple others who are not afraid to call a spade a spade, DEN being included in this group. But never have I seen the accusations and remarks leveled at them that I received for saying the exact same things, including being called anti-semite by several ex-Corn posters, said clueless one a leader of this pack. I agree with Capt, if they can't keep the commentary civil I don't miss them either. Disagreements and debate are to be expected and welcomed, it is a large part of growing, but personal attacks add nothing but rather detract. I don't miss the idiot trolls whose only mission was provocation either! I like the peacefulness of simple conversation, whether we agree or not.

Saladin said...

To whom it may concern, we of the "certain blogs" may not be "transparently" right wing, but you are as transparent as can be. Why beat around the bush? Pitiful. Right wing, that's us all right.

capt said...

ad hominem

ad hominem[1,adjective]ad hominem[2,adverb]

Main Entry: 1ad ho·mi·nem
Pronunciation: (')ad-'hä-m&-"nem, -n&m

Function: adjective
Etymology: New Latin, literally, to the person

1 : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect

2 : marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made


capt said...

Discourtesy does not spring merely from one bad quality, but from several--from foolish vanity, from ignorance of what is due to others, from indolence, from stupidity, from distraction of thought, from contempt of others, from jealousy.
~ Jean de la Bruyere (1645 - 1696)

capt said...

Democrats warn Bush against Iraq buildup

No final decision made on surge, White House says

WASHINGTON -- With President Bush just days from announcing "a new way forward" in Iraq, the Democratic congressional leaders emphatically urged the president on Friday to reject the surge of additional U.S. military forces that the White House is considering.

The president, who plans to address the nation next week about a new war strategy, has not made a final decision about any deployment of more U.S. forces, according to the White House. Yet he has spoken with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki about the importance of "sufficient force" to restore order in Baghdad.


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

Bunnypants will do what the voices in his head tell him to do. It has worked so well for him so far . . .


capt said...

Dark cloud over good works of Gates Foundation

The world's largest philanthropy pours money into investments that are hurting many of the people its grants aim to help.


Like most philanthropies, the Gates Foundation gives away at least 5% of its worth every year, to avoid paying most taxes. In 2005, it granted nearly $1.4 billion. It awards grants mainly in support of global health initiatives, for efforts to improve public education in the United States, and for social welfare programs in the Pacific Northwest.

It invests the other 95% of its worth. This endowment is managed by Bill Gates Investments, which handles Gates' personal fortune. Monica Harrington, a senior policy officer at the foundation, said the investment managers had one goal: returns "that will allow for the continued funding of foundation programs and grant making." Bill and Melinda Gates require the managers to keep a highly diversified portfolio, but make no specific directives.

By comparing these investments with information from for-profit services that analyze corporate behavior for mutual funds, pension managers, government agencies and other foundations, The Times found that the Gates Foundation has holdings in many companies that have failed tests of social responsibility because of environmental lapses, employment discrimination, disregard for worker rights, or unethical practices.

One of these investment rating services, Calvert Group Ltd., for example, endorses 52 of the largest 100 U.S. companies based on market capitalization, but flags the other 48 for transgressions against social responsibility. Microsoft Corp., which Bill Gates leads as board chairman, is rated highly for its overall business practices, despite its history of antitrust problems.

In addition, The Times found the Gates Foundation endowment had major holdings in:

Companies ranked among the worst U.S. and Canadian polluters, including ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical Co. and Tyco International Ltd.

Many of the world's other major polluters, including companies that own an oil refinery and one that owns a paper mill, which a study shows sicken children while the foundation tries to save their parents from AIDS.


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

So the "good works" money comes from the biggest polluters on the planet? That kind of makes sense in this topsy-turvy bass ackwards world, eh?


capt said...

Liasson: Bush is now "going to put his own imprint" on Iraq policy

Summary: On Fox News, Mara Liasson claimed that President Bush is "trying to take control of his Iraq policy, and he's going to put his own imprint on it." But Bush is commander in chief of the armed forces and has famously declared that he is "the decider."

On the "All-Star Panel" segment of the January 4 edition of Fox News' Special Report, National Public Radio national correspondent Mara Liasson claimed that recent personnel shifts in the Bush administration show that President Bush is "trying to take control of his Iraq policy, and he's going to put his own imprint on it." She later said that, based on these personnel moves, "it sounds like the president is moving to ... really, in a hands-on way, take control." Liasson did not explain who she thought had previously been making the decisions about U.S. policy in Iraq. As president, Bush is "commander in chief" of the armed forces. Bush has stated that the war in Iraq itself was ultimately "my decision," and famously declared that he is "the decider."

He made the declaration on April 18, 2006, when rejecting calls from several retired generals that he fire then-Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. Asked by a reporter to respond to "critics" of Rumsfeld "who say that there needs to be a change," Bush declared:

BUSH: I say, I listen to all voices, but mine is the final decision. And Don Rumsfeld is doing a fine job. He's not only transforming the military, he's fighting a war on terror. He's helping us fight a war on terror. I have strong confidence in Don Rumsfeld. I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation. But I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense.

Indeed, Bush has often said the decision to invade Iraq was his decision. For example, November 11, 2005: "I made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power"; December 14, 2005: "As president, I'm responsible for the decision to go into Iraq. ... Given Saddam's history and the lessons of September the 11th, my decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision"; and March 19, 2003: "On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war. These are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign."

In addition, as Media Matters for America has noted, in a December 21 article, The Washington Post reported that, although "Bush has traditionally paid public deference to the generals, saying any decisions on moving U.S. forces in the region would depend on their views," an unnamed Bush "senior aide" said that Bush has "never left the decision to commanders. ... He is the commander in chief."

Finally, on November 30, 2005, Bush released his "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq." Liasson did not mention that document or distinguish it from his forthcoming plan, which she said will bear his imprint.

From the January 4 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

BRIT HUME (host): So, what does all this portend? And [Director of National Intelligence John] Negroponte moving on, that's interesting.

LIASSON: Look, I think that it's interesting that [Sen. John D.] Rockefeller [D-WV] said this is not the way to start the new year. Actually, it's exactly the way to start the new year because the president is trying to take control of his Iraq policy, and he's going to put his own imprint on it --

HUME: And redirect it to some extent.

LIASSON: -- and redirect it, and he's going to put his own imprint on it. And it sounds like what he wants is a different direction, both militarily and diplomatically. I mean, moving Negroponte to the State Department, he is a seasoned diplomat. Whatever you might say about what he was not able to accomplish in the intelligence area, he is going to be -- he is a very strong diplomatic person.

HUME: It's someone they all -- members of this administration like Negroponte.


HUME: He's in good standing.

LIASSON: And in terms of the military change, looks like the generals who are leaving are the ones who resisted this idea of more troops. [Lieutenant General David H.] Petraeus has a reputation of somebody who's very effective in terms of melding the kind of military and --

HUME: Well, he's a troop trainer guy, wasn't he? He's the guy --

LIASSON: -- and also -- and also understood how you had to do all these different things in Iraq at the same time, both train the troops and do this kind of reconstruction and deal with --

HUME: The security crisis.

LIASSON: -- the security crisis. So, it sounds like the president is moving to -- to, really, in a hands-on way, take control.


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

Victory has a thousand fathers; defeat is an orphan.
John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963), "A Thousand Days," by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr [1965]., p289. Comment made by JFK in the aftermath of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, 1961.

As long as his policies are abject failures Bush will never accept his responsibility. Typical, eh?


capt said...

US Army urges dead to re-enlist

The US Army is to apologize to the families of officers killed or wounded in action who were sent letters urging them to return to active duty.

The letters were sent to more than 5,100 Army officers listed as recently having left the military.

But this figure included about 75 officers killed in action and about 200 wounded in action.

More than 3,000 members of the US military have died in Iraq since the war began.

Casualties have also been suffered in Afghanistan since the US invasion.

"Army personnel officials are contacting those officers' families now to personally apologize for erroneously sending the letters," the army said in a statement.

It said the database normally used for such correspondence with former officers had been "thoroughly reviewed" to remove the names of dead and wounded soldiers.

"But an earlier list was used inadvertently for the December mailings," it added.


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

The families should be outraged.


capt said...

Marching in Step with Bush’s Folly

Guy Raz at NPR’s All Things Considered suggests we all read a study on Iraq strategy written by Frederick Kagan and retired U.S. Army Gen. Jack Keane at the American Enterprise Institute. Keane and Kagan explained their recommendations to a group including Sens. John McCain and Joseph Lieberman yesterday.

Our Commander in Chief has left entire world on tenterhooks for the better part of two months as we await his supposed reappraisal of the heretofore failed and disastrous war he started. The White House has assured one and all that GWB is seriously considering all points of view. "I’m in the process of making up my final decision as to what to recommend, what recommendations to accept," Bush said.

The Chief has let this much be known: "One thing is for certain, I will want to make sure that the mission is clear and specific and can be accomplished." (What a great idea!)

Raz says in his NPR report that the AEI has turned into the White House’s policy shop on Iraq and that he suspects that whenever GWB unveils his new stategy, it’s going to look a lot like the AEI report.

There is a chance that the new strategy will doom McCain’s chances or the presidency. When it looked like he was the guy who’s been calling for more troops all along, he kept calling for more troops. It made him look good. Especially since no one actually believed that the President would be foolish enough to do such a thing. Then McCain could have claimed we would have won had we listened to him.

It now appears, however, that McCain will get his supposed wish for more troops. Another 10 to 25 thousand U.S. servicemen and women are to be poured into the grinder despite warnings from the military establishment and many in his own party who are starting to call this war "Bush’s Folly" because they think a "surge" is a ludicrous idea.

If Bush intends to prolong the war just long enough so it’s the next president will have to take the consequences, that can’t be good for McCain.

What’s he going to do a year from now when the death toll is up and the situation is unchanged? Call for even more troops?


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

Too bad Bunnypants didn't bother with a clear mission in the first place.


O'Reilly said...

Greenwald calls out Neocon pundits on their tragically wrong and dishonest pre-war claims in The American Conservative:

Selective Amnesia
The pundits who sold the Iraq War change their tune and bury their records.

by Glenn Greenwald

When political leaders make drastic mistakes, accountability is delivered in the form of elections. […]

… leading that charge was a stable of pundits and media analysts who glorified President Bush’s policies and disseminated all sorts of false information and baseless assurances.
Yet there seems to be no accountability for these pro-war pundits. On the contrary, they continue to pose as wise, responsible experts and have suffered no lost credibility, prominence, or influence. They have accomplished this feat largely by evading responsibility for their prior opinions, pretending that they were right all along or, in the most extreme cases, denying that they ever supported the war.

Michael Ledeen, a Freedom Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a contributing editor to National Review, chose the boldest option [DENIAL]. Writing on National Review’s blog, The Corner, Ledeen claimed, “I do not feel ‘remorseful,’ since I had and have no involvement with our Iraq policy. I opposed the military invasion of Iraq before it took place.”

While it is difficult to be more dishonest than Ledeen, it is difficult to be more wrong than Charles Krauthammer. Prior to the invasion, Krauthammer used his various media platforms—his column at the Washington Post and his almost daily appearances on Fox News—to warn that Iraq was rapidly building up its WMD capabilities and that the U.S. risked running out of time if it did not invade immediately. He assured Americans that the war would pay for itself with oil revenues and that Iraqis would greet Americans as liberators. […]

Now, as the war he demanded lies in ruins, Krauthammer uses his Post column to revise his record: “Our objectives in Iraq were twofold and always simple: Depose Saddam Hussein and replace his murderous regime with a self-sustaining, democratic government.” His hysterical obsession with WMD has been whitewashed from his pundit history, and in its place is a goal that Krauthammer barely mentioned prior to the war. […]

Ever since the U.S. invaded, those who pointed out that we were achieving little more than mass death, destruction of American credibility, conversions of moderate Muslims into extremists, and a serious weakening of our military were vilified as America-hating terrorist allies who wanted us to lose. Those who simply pointed out that the war effort wasn’t going according to promise were derided as cut-and-run “defeatocrats” who lacked the intestinal fortitude to fight.
Yet pundits who equated dissent with treason are now declaring the war to be a failure and are advocating withdrawal without bothering to reconcile their current views with their previous allegations.


capt said...

The more things change, the more they stay the same

The new Democratic House of Representatives' quick action banning trips paid for by lobbyists or other special interest shows the new leadership of Congress is serious about reforming the corruption that control Congress.

Or does it?

Among the many celebrations thrown by the Democrats this past week as part of their resumption of power on Capitol Hill was a high-dollar fund raising event where they collected fat checks from the very special interest groups they claim they want to put out of business. Cost of admission: $1,000 a person.

Republicans did the same thing when they took over control of Congress in 1995.

David Donnelly, an ethics reform advocate with Public Action Campaign Fund, calls Democratic policy of talk reform during the day and take special interest money at night a hypocritical action at best.

"It sends a very mixed message to be on the one hand saying they're clamping down on lobbyists, but then raising money from those very same lobbyists that they say are pat of the problem," Donnelly says.

The House action bans members from taking any gifts, meals or trips from lobbyists but those same members can still take money for campaign purposes, take trips and call them "political" or find other ways to live large at someone else's expense.

Paul Miller, president of The American League of Lobbyists, doesn't like the Democrats' hypocrisy.

"If you want to bash me in the press, bash me in the press, but don't call me the next day and ask for money," Miller told Lisa Meyers of NBC News.

A spokesman for Pelosi said "only about 200 lobbyists" attended the Democratic event Thursday night (which means the Dems raised $200,000) and that the new speaker would still preside over "the most open, honest Congress ever."

Maybe so but even some Democrats are questioning whether or not Pelosi is living up to her promises.

Writing in The Washington Post, Greg Craig, a D.C. lawyer who worked in the Clinton administration, says he doesn't see that much change:

Forgive the early criticism, Speaker Pelosi, but if you were serious about introducing and fostering a new atmosphere of bipartisanship in Washington, you might have waited a decent interval before shoving legislation down the throats of the minority party. You might have been more willing to give Republicans warning about what they would be voting on, and you might even have been willing to consult with them about the substance of those bills. Much of the country agreed with the Democrats' criticism of the highhanded way the Republicans ran the House, and much of the country voted for Democratic candidates in the hope that Democrats would make the legislative process fair and transparent.

Your plan to force members to vote with no opportunity to offer amendments is inconsistent with what Democrats said they would do and what American voters hoped they would do. This is a blindness that will come back to haunt you.

Meanwhile, the Senate is getting into the ethics act as well.

Reports Jim Abrahams of The Associated Press:

On the heels of new ethics rules adopted this week in the House, Senate Democrats mapped plans Friday for changing federal law to address the ethical lapses of lawmakers and their ties with lobbyists that helped bring the downfall of Republicans in the November elections.

Their starting point doesn't include the House's newly passed prohibition on lawmakers' use of corporate jets. But Senate leaders said they expect an effort to add that ban to the package during a debate on amendments of up to two weeks opening Monday.

As a starting point for their first debate of the 110th Congress, Senate Democrats will use a bill co-sponsored by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and identical to legislation that the Senate passed last March. It faltered later because of differences with the GOP-led House, which insisted on a provision that would have limited contributions to independent political groups known as 527s that in the past have tended to favor Democrats.

New Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said last year's bill would have provided "the most significant reform since Watergate in lobbying and ethics."

"We will improve that legislation," the Nevada Democrat said this week, an acknowledgment of several senators' desire to go far beyond last year's bill and the House rules in restricting what lawmakers can accept from lobbyists and others outside the Congress.


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

And the party is just getting started.


capt said...


Saladin said...

Check out the rest of that bill, hidden agendas.

capt said...

Hanging Will Haunt Bush

HYDERBAD, India -- I am taken aback by the reaction in India to Saddam Hussein's hanging. The anger cuts across religious and political divides.

This secular nation of 1.2 billion – the world's largest democracy and emerging economic powerhouse – has as many Muslims as Muslim Pakistan, at about 145 million. But its majority is Hindu and it has significant pockets of Christians, Sikhs, Zoroastrians and others. Yet the condemnation has been near universal.

More tellingly, there has been little or no echo here of the Iraqi sectarian divide, with the Shiites there celebrating Sunni Saddam's death.

There is even criticism, from both the right and the left, of the Indian government's muted response to the execution, New Delhi's stance dictated by the increasingly close relations with the U.S., exemplified by the controversial nuclear co-operation agreement.

If India is a key barometer of the non-Western world, and it often is, Saddam's hanging will come to haunt George W. Bush.

Far from being "an important milestone in Iraq becoming a democracy," as he so brazenly put it, the hanging is widely seen as an occupying power's jungle justice against a tyrant whose worst crimes were committed when he was an American ally but who was condemned only after he went against his benefactors.

He was responsible for killing 1 million Iranians in the 1980-'88 war and murdering and gassing tens of thousands of his own Shiite and Kurdish populations – war crimes whose details, and with them the West's complicity, went to the grave with him.

The lesson, said an editorial in the Deccan Chronicle, the regional English daily, is that "the U.S. will not tolerate leaders who do not follow its diktat."

The hanging has been the topic of conversation in both the public and private spheres. You can't escape it in any gathering.


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

I'm sure it is true I just don't think Busheney gives a darn what anybody thinks. They will continue to be the most threatening force of evil and destruction on this planet until they are stopped.

If stopped they will be replaced with another figurehead that will serve the enery oligarch masters. The war must go on.


capt said...

Israeli Experts Say Middle East Was Safer With Saddam in Iraq

Jerusalem - Although few tears were shed in Israel over Saddam Hussein’s death last week, a small but growing chorus — including government officials, academics and Iraqi émigrés — is warning that Israel could find itself in more danger with him gone, and that it might even regret having welcomed his toppling.

"If I knew then what I know today, I would not have recommended going to war, because Saddam was far less dangerous than I thought," said Haifa University political scientist Amatzia Baram, one of Israel’s leading Iraq experts.

Saddam was feared and reviled in Israel, both as a tyrant and as an enemy of the Jewish state. He demonstratively supported Palestinian terrorists, and few have forgiven his bombarding of Israel with Scud missiles during the 1991 Gulf War.

"Retrospectively, justice has been done," Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh told Israel Radio this week. Still, he cautioned, Israel must now be concerned "about what is liable to happen in the future."

Saddam’s death, Sneh warned, could lead to "a reinforcement of Iranian influence in Iraq." He said that Iraq had turned into a "volcano of terror" following the war, with "destructive energies" that could spill over into Jordan and Israel.


capt said...

3000 American Deaths in Iraq


The election is over and Americans have spoken. Enough is enough! They want the war ended and our troops brought home. But the opposite likely will occur, with bipartisan support. Up to 50,000 more troops will be sent. The goal no longer is to win, but simply to secure Baghdad! So much has been spent with so little to show for it.

Who possibly benefits from escalating chaos in Iraq? Neoconservatives unabashedly have written about how chaos presents opportunities for promoting their goals. Certainly Osama bin Laden has benefited from the turmoil in Iraq, as have the Iranian Shiites who now are better positioned to take control of southern Iraq.

Yes, Saddam Hussein is dead, and only the Sunnis mourn. The Shiites and Kurds celebrate his death, as do the Iranians and especially bin Laden – all enemies of Saddam Hussein. We have performed a tremendous service for both bin Laden and Ahmadinejad, and it will cost us plenty. The violent reaction to our complicity in the execution of Saddam Hussein is yet to come.

Three thousand American military personnel are dead, more than 22,000 are wounded, and tens of thousands will be psychologically traumatized by their tours of duty in Iraq. Little concern is given to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed in this war. We’ve spent $400 billion so far, with no end in sight.

This is money we don’t have. It is all borrowed from countries like China, that increasingly succeed in the global economy while we drain wealth from our citizens through heavy taxation and insidious inflation. Our manufacturing base is now nearly extinct.


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

Is there a single voice from the other side of the aisle that is as clear and unequivocal?


capt said...

Untangling the Mystery of the Inca

The ancient Andean empire built great cities but left no written records – except perhaps in mysterious knotted strings called khipu. Can an anthropologist and some mathematicians crack the code?

Incan civilization was a technological marvel. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1532, they found an empire that spanned nearly 3,000 miles, from present-day Ecuador to Chile, all served by a high-altitude road system that included 200-foot suspension bridges built of woven reeds. It was the Inca who constructed Machu Picchu, a cloud city terraced into a precarious stretch of earth hanging between two Andean peaks. They even put together a kind of Bronze Age Internet, a system of messenger posts along the major roads. In one day, Incan runners amped on coca leaves could relay news some 150 miles down the network.

Yet, if centuries of scholarship are to be believed, the Inca, whose rule began 2,000 years after Homer, never figured out how to write. It's an enigma known as the Inca paradox, and for nearly 500 years it has stood as one of the great historical puzzles of the Americas. But now a Harvard anthropologist named Gary Urton may be close to untangling the mystery.

His quest revolves around strange, once-colorful bundles of knotted strings called khipu (pronounced KEY-poo). The Spanish invaders noticed the khipu soon after arriving but never understood their significance – or how they worked.


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

via - Lew Rockwell too. Good nerdy stuff.


kathleen said...

great links Capt

Saladin some people define addressing issue in an honest and factual way "negativity" that is their problem.

I don't miss the personal attacks either. You were picked on at times in a persoanl way,( I really did try to stick up for folks when it became personal instead of about an opinion or information) but thank goodness that is over.

Stay on the Israeli/Palestinian issue. The awareness, the facts about what has been and is happening in the I/P conflict has been getting more attention in the last 5 years than ever before. (At least during the last 25 years that I have been far more informed about the truth there).

Encourage folks to read Carters book and bring Carter to their campus! Watch for Campus Watch antics.

Saladin said...

Kathleen, being picked on was never the problem, what I seriously objected to was the slanderous accusations of anti-semitism that were constantly being hurled at me. I can put up with most anything, juvenile name calling is a reflection on the poster, not on the recipient. But accusing me of any kind of racism or hate mongering I will not sit still for. It is a blatant lie and I will call out anyone who does it. I give 100% support to the poor people of Palestine, semites all. Calling me anti-semite is like calling those who protested with truth against the old apartheid regime of South Africa anti-black! The statement that it isn't one sided can also be said of the US-Iraq conflict, but who is the aggressor and who is the victim? I suppose if the Palestinian people had just walked away from it all 60 years ago there would be no conflict. Israel's borders would be exactly how they wanted with no bloodshed, and the only losers would have been the actual semites! What WERE they thinking defending their own homes? SHEESH!

capt said...

The whole bloody thing was obscene

Butchery was supposed to have been presented as a solemn execution

The lynching of Saddam Hussein - for that is what we are talking about - will turn out to be one of the determining moments in the whole shameful crusade upon which the West embarked in March of 2003. Only the president-governor George Bush and Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara could have devised a militia administration in Iraq so murderous and so immoral that the most ruthless mass murderer in the Middle East could end his days on the gallows as a figure of nobility, scalding his hooded killers for their lack of manhood and - in his last seconds - reminding the thug who told him to "go to hell" that the hell was now Iraq.

"Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it," Malcolm reported of the execution of the treacherous Thane of Cawdor in Macbeth. Or, as a good friend of mine in Ballymena said to me on the phone a few hours later, "The whole bloody thing was obscene." Quite so. On this occasion, I'll go along with the voice of Protestant Ulster.

Of course, Saddam gave his victims no trial; his enemies had no opportunity to hear the evidence against them; they were mown down into mass graves, not handed a black scarf to prevent the hangman's noose from burning their neck as it broke their spine. Justice was "done", even if a trifle cruelly. But this is not the point. Regime change was done in our name and Saddam's execution was a direct result of our crusade for a "new" Middle East. To watch a uniformed American general - despite the indiscipline of more and more US troops in Iraq - wheedling and whining at a press conference that his men were very courteous to Saddam until the very moment of handover to Muqtada al-Sadr's killers could only be appreciated with the blackest of humour.


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

Institutional murder is still murder even if done with all the respect and solemnity in the world. America is in company with the very worst oppressive regimes on the planet with regard to the death penalty.

Life in prison is a true penalty, death would represent the end of any penalty here in the real physical world.


capt said...

"The idea of creating systems designed to threaten, coerce, and kill, and to imbue such agencies with principled legitimacy, and not expect them to lead to wars, genocides, and other tyrannical practices, expresses an innocence we can no longer afford to indulge." - Butler D. Shaffer Professor, Southwestern University School of Law June 9, 2003

If a war be undertaken for the most righteous end, before the resources of peace have been tried and proved vain to secure it, that war has no defense, it is a national crime.": Charles Eliot Norton - (1827-1908) American educator, writer, and editor who founded the Nation (1865)

"To act without clear understanding, to form habits without investigation, to follow a path all one's life without knowing where it really leads -- such is the behavior of the multitude.": - Mencius - [Mengzi Meng-tse] (c.371 - c.288 B.C.) Chinese Confucian philosopher

"Tolerance implies a respect for another person, not because he is wrong or even because he is right, but because he is human." - John Cogley Source: Commonwealth, 24 April 1959

"Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Not to forgive is to yield oneself to another's control... to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past. Forgiveness frees the forgiver. It extracts the forgiver from someone else's nightmare.": - Lance Morrow


Read this newsletter online

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

Ancient global warming was jarring, not subtle, study finds

Foreshadowing potential climate chaos to come, early global warming caused unexpectedly severe and erratic temperature swings as rising levels of greenhouse gases helped transform Earth, a team led by researchers at UC Davis said Thursday.

The global transition from ice age to greenhouse 300 million years ago was marked by repeated dips and rises in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and wild swings in temperature, with drastic effects on forests and vegetation, the researchers reported in the journal Science.

"It was a real yo-yo," said UC Davis geochemist Isabel Montanez, who led researchers from five universities and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in a project funded by the National Science Foundation. "Should we expect similar but faster climate behavior in the future? One has to question whether that is where we are headed."

The provocative insight into planetary climate change counters the traditional view that global warming could be gradual and its regional effects easily anticipated.

Over several million years, carbon dioxide in the ancient atmosphere increased from about 280 parts per million to 2,000 ppm, the same increase that experts expect by the end of this century as remaining reserves of fossil fuels are burned.

No one knows the reason for so much variation in carbon dioxide levels 300 million years ago, but as modern industrial activity continues to pump greenhouse gases into the air at rapid rates, the unpredictable climate changes that took millions of years to unfold naturally could be compressed into a few centuries or less today, several experts said.


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

An interesting piece that jibes with a show I saw on NGC (National Geographic Channel). I think it was named "Big Freeze" and was based on ice core samples from as much as 2 miles under the arctic sheet. The conclusion was huge shifts in temperature have been not only more common than stable temps but also changes can occur in as little as a decade not hundreds or thousands of years.


capt said...

Revealed: Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran

ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.
Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear "bunker-busters", according to several Israeli military sources.

The attack would be the first with nuclear weapons since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Israeli weapons would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb.

Under the plans, conventional laser-guided bombs would open "tunnels" into the targets. "Mini-nukes" would then immediately be fired into a plant at Natanz, exploding deep underground to reduce the risk of radioactive fallout.

"As soon as the green light is given, it will be one mission, one strike and the Iranian nuclear project will be demolished," said one of the sources.

The plans, disclosed to The Sunday Times last week, have been prompted in part by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad’s assessment that Iran is on the verge of producing enough enriched uranium to make nuclear weapons within two years.

Israeli military commanders believe conventional strikes may no longer be enough to annihilate increasingly well-defended enrichment facilities. Several have been built beneath at least 70ft of concrete and rock. However, the nuclear-tipped bunker-busters would be used only if a conventional attack was ruled out and if the United States declined to intervene, senior sources said.

Israeli and American officials have met several times to consider military action. Military analysts said the disclosure of the plans could be intended to put pressure on Tehran to halt enrichment, cajole America into action or soften up world opinion in advance of an Israeli attack.

Some analysts warned that Iranian retaliation for such a strike could range from disruption of oil supplies to the West to terrorist attacks against Jewish targets around the world.


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

This is not good news - not by a long shot.


capt said...

Holding Intelligence Liars Accountable


On May 29, President George W. Bush, visiting Poland, proudly announced on Polish TV, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction." [For's contemporaneous challenge to the mobile-lab report, see "America's Matrix."]

When the State Department's Intelligence and Research (INR) analysts realized that this was not some kind of Polish joke, they "went ballistic," according to Ford, who immediately warned Colin Powell that there was a problem.

Tenet must have learned of this quickly, for he called Ford on the carpet, literally, the following day. No shrinking violet, Ford held his ground. He told Tenet and McLaughlin, "That report is one of the worst intelligence assessments I’ve ever read."

This vignette—and several like it—are found HUBRIS: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, who say Ford is still angry over the fraudulent paper. Ford told the authors:


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

A good piece with a mention of Hubris - what's not to like?


capt said...

Pipe Dream

This morning, I spent a few hours channel surfing, curious about the tone that would be adopted by our major "news" networks in covering this first day of the Democratically-controlled 110th Congress. Surely, I told myself with naive anticipation, the interchangeable on-air automatons who gushed and cooed and positively fawned over Republican electoral victories in past years, would afford the same courtesy to this historic shift in Legislative power.

A guy can dream, can't he?

I mean, today is the day that officially puts into effect the demands of American voters that were handed down two months ago. You remember, don't you? That loud, angry, overwhelming repudiation of the "course" on which Republicans have kept this nation for six disastrous years. So, hey, if these same, influential TV "journalists" were so quick to describe Bush's squeaker in '04 as a "mandate," then I certainly expected to hear the word "tsunami" repeated this time around - if only to keep things fair and balanced.


I just hoped that, for example, digby wouldn't remain the only source of consistent, factual reporting on Republican incompetence. That kos and David Corn wouldn't seem to be the lone voices still decrying election fraud. That riverbend or Juan Cole wouldn't be the primary trove of accurate information about the real Iraq. That Glenn Greenwald wouldn't have to tirelessly expose the Right's stranglehold on the press.

Because that stranglehold would no longer exist.


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

Another good read (Gerald might have posted this before I)


Saladin said...

Capt, the earth is a power unto itself. That humans think they effect it in the slightest is the height of hubris. We can do damage, but the damage that nature does makes us pale in comparison. The difference is that we know what we do, and can limit the impact, the question is, will we? Global warming, global cooling, they happen, we have to live with it, just like all life before us, can we adapt? I don't know, I can only hope we gain some respect and wisdom over what we CAN control.

capt said...

Starving Afghans sell girls of eight as brides

Villagers whose crops have failed after a second devastating drought are giving their young daughters in marriage to raise money for food

Azizgul is 10 years old, from the village of Houscha in western Afghanistan. This year the wheat crop failed again following a devastating drought. Her family was hungry. So, a little before Christmas, Azizgul's mother 'sold' her to be married to a 13-year-old boy.

'I need to sell my daughters because of the drought,' said her mother Sahatgul, 30. 'We don't have enough food and the bride price will enable us to buy food. Three months ago my 15-year-old daughter married.

'We were not so desperate before. Now I have to marry them younger. And all five of them will have to get married if the drought becomes worse. The bride price is 200,000 afghanis [£2,000]. His father came to our house to arrange it. The boy pays in instalments. First he paid us 5,000 afghanis, which I used to buy food.'

Azizgul is not unique. Hers is one of a number of interviews and case studies collected by the charity Christian Aid - all of them young girls sold by their families to cope with the second ruinous drought to hit Afghanistan within three years.

While the world has focused on the war against the Taliban, the suffering of the drought-stricken villagers, almost 2.5 million of them, has largely gone unnoticed. And where once droughts would afflict Afganistan once every couple of decades, this drought has come hard on the heels of the last one, from which the villagers were barely able to recover.

While prohibited by both Afghan civil and Islamic law, arranged marriages have long been a feature of Afghan life, particularly in rural areas. What is unusual is the age of some of the girls. And the reason: to buy food to survive.

'Many families are doing this because of the drought,' Sahatgul said. 'Our daughters are our only economic asset. We will have the marriage ceremony at puberty. The groom, Rahim, has gone to Iran with his brothers to earn the money. He is working on a building site. He will come back with the rest of the money that he has earned or borrowed. He calls us every month to make sure that Azizgul is still his.'


capt said...

Nature is just enough; but men and women must comprehend and accept her suggestions.
~ Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825 - 1921)

Saladin said...

Democrats: Nuclear Iran unacceptable

Iran with nuclear weapons is unacceptable, new House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told The Jerusalem Post hours after entering the party leadership position.

The Maryland Democrat said the view is shared by his party, rejecting assertions that the Democrats would be weaker than the Republicans on Iran.

He also said that the use of force against Teheran remained an option.

Hoyer, second only in the hierarchy of the House of Representatives to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is charged with articulating and strategizing on party policy.

He spoke to the Post on Thursday, the opening day of the 110th Congress, after making an appearance at the National Jewish Democratic Council reception honoring the six new Jewish members of Congress.

The council gathering was one of scores of events on Capitol Hill held to celebrate the start of the new session.

Hoyer is considered close to the Jewish community and many Israel supporters have hailed his elevation in the House.

He was one of the few non-Jewish lawmakers to attend the council reception.

Hoyer said the Democrats' position, like that of the Bush administration, was that preventing a nuclear-armed Iran had to be done through "discussions, negotiations, sanctions." Hoyer added that the US needed to work with the international community to block Teheran's nuclear ambitions.

At the same time, Hoyer said the use of force hadn't been taken off the table.

"I've not ruled that out," he said, but added, "It's not an option we want to consider until we know there is no other option."
I bet he's been hailed, another Israel firster in the ranks. Isn't this exactly what bushco said about Iraq? Maybe this is what they mean when talking of redeployment. Like I said, new boss, same as the old boss. However, this time around, Russia and China will have something to say. And Iran hasn't been crippled by 10 years of sanctions.

Saladin said...

Your Tax Dollars In Action
WARNING, these photos are absolutely horrendous. The results of DU on newborns. If you can't look, at least scroll to the bottom and click on the link that allows you to buy this book or make any kind of donation. We are ALL responsible in some way for this.

Gerald said...

America chooses hell before God

Gerald said...


Gerald said...

They've never served in the Armed Forces, but have no problem supporting the President's wish to sacrifice more kids...except their own.

Gerald said...

I sense a torrent of puke will soon be flowing

Gerald said...


New Bush Iraq Plan Presented by Neocon Think-Tank Friday. Troop Boost will be "Long and Lasting," not a "Surge"
Submitted by BuzzFlash on Fri, 01/05/2007 - 11:33am. Alerts

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) - the think-tank at the heart of the Neocon movement - held a presentation Friday on what should be the foundation of the new Iraq strategy President Bush is expected to unveil next week. Sens. Joe Lieberman and John McCain will also speak at the event on the topic.

Basically, this is the whole "surge" thing we've been hearing about. The only problem is that it is not a surge at all; it's a lengthy boost. Frederick Kagan and Jack Keane, the authors of the AEI report, actually wrote an article last month explaining that "any troop increase must be large and lasting" (a short surge, of course, would "play into the enemy's hands" and "virtually ensure defeat").

Looking deeper into the study, the Kagan/Keane strategy is not a plan to move forward so we can leave, it's a plan to start all over again from scratch. They actually advocate abandoning political development and Iraqi forces training to focus solely on what they call "clear and hold" by American forces of "critical terrain." Only then, they say, can we start thinking about transferring control to Iraqis.

Solely under this plan will the 3000+ American and countless Iraqi deaths thus far have been completely in vain. Worse, even more people will die. Even Kagan and Keane predict in their study "increasing casualties to levels higher than before the start of security operations" - and that's in response to the fourth and final phase of their approach! Ironically, they even use the word "surge" to describe the rise in deadly violence they predict by extremists in the other phases. Those looking for Vietnam comparisons will find the prediction of an insurgent "Tet Offensive" on page 31 of the draft report.

The insanity of Bush's acceptance of these ideas is that they are coming from the very people he listened to from the beginning that got us into this quagmire. After their predictable failure, nearly everyone else in the world - including even many conservative Republicans - knows we need to finally redeploy our combat forces. Yet Bush is giving the AEI Neocons a mulligan they sorely do not deserve and the voters resoundingly rejected last November.

Gerald said...

Do the Democrats have the cajones?

Gerald said...

Dear Linda: Finally the End Time and the Rapture Are Near

Gerald said...

Mr. Lieberman has four children. Why didn't the press ask Senator Lieberman which of HIS children will be going to fight HIS war. Conscription into military service is mandatory in Israel at eighteen years old. Mr. Lieberman certainly wouldn't object to his children being in the service if they resided in Israel. So, following that reasoning, why wouldn't it be okay for Mr. Lieberman's children to be in service in the United States?

MEDIA, ASK THE WARHAWKS THIS QUESTION! If you can ask about their support for the war, then you can question their investment in it!!

Gerald said...

Yes, Reality Posters, the glorious end time and the gleeful rapture are near!!!!!

Gerald said...

I can see those beautiful dismembered bodies parting from the torso and the heads rolling down the streets like bowling balls. The Nazis must truly be excited at the sight.

Gerald said...

The Man Who Let A Boil On His Ass Keep Him Out Of Vietnam
Now Puts His Balls On The Line For America...
Rush Limbaugh.

capt said...

Gerald is ROCKING the house!

Great stuff!


Gerald said...

Madison Avenue couldn't do a better job of selling the war or advertising. It's also an instant cure for diminishing ratings at Fox News. Forget embedding reporters. Embed talk show hosts. Put them in uniforms. Not to play soldier in the Green Zone. But with rifle in hand, going house to house. Getting blown up by roadside bombs. Coming home in a box...that their fans wouldn't be allowed to see.

In Life, A $5 Million A Year Voice.
In Death, A Red, White and Blue Marketing Tool...
Sean Hannity

It's really a win-win scenario. Even if one of them should be wounded, lost limbs, became brain damaged or a vegetable for the rest of their life, they'd not only show they're real patriots, but they (or their caretakers) could become a voice for how well veterans benefit from VA cutbacks.

Bill O'Reilly...
Shooting Off His Mouth While They Shoot Off A Good Part Of His Torso

Gerald said...

capt, at times I need to rest before I SURGE!!!

Gerald said...

Suzanne Swift Support Rally
We welcome Spec. Swift's scheduled release on
Wednesday, Januray 3rd and join the call for an
immediate medical discharge with full benefits. We
will gather at Ground Zero near the main gates of
Bangor Naval Base and then line the streets with
signs supporting Spec. Swift and other women
soldiers as they face double danger in the military.
Please remember that our message on January 3rd
is about sexual assault in the military and support of
Spec. Swift, not about the war.

Gerald said...

Spc. Swift, facing a
redeployment to Iraq
while serving under the
command of the same
individuals that allowed
her to be raped and
sexual harassed,
suffered a breakdown
due to Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder, and
went absent without
leave rather than
subject herself to the
horrors she experienced
during her first tour of

We should covet the patriotism of women and not rape them in order to satisfy our primal instincts.

Women are to be hugged and loved and not raped.

Women are so beautiful. Let me give you an example of how precious they are. My second cousin is expecting to deliver a baby soon. She has diabetes from the pregnancy and he legs are swelling. I asked my wife about this condition and she said it could be very serious and possibly cost a person her life. It is not as common now but in past generations it was a problem. Women sacrifice much for love. Let us cherish them and their sacrifices!!!

Gerald said...

Women are so beautiful! Don't you just want to hug, kiss, and squeeze them???

Gerald said...


capt said...

Hubble makes 3D dark matter map

Astronomers have mapped the cosmic "scaffold" of dark matter upon which stars and galaxies are assembled.

Dark matter does not reflect or emit detectable light, yet it accounts for most of the mass in the Universe.

The study, published in Nature journal, provides the best evidence yet that the distribution of galaxies follows the distribution of dark matter.

This is because dark matter attracts "ordinary" matter through its gravitational pull.

Scientists presented details of their research during a news conference here at the 209th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Seattle, Washington.


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

Another GREAT piece for us nerds. The pictures alone are worth the trip!


capt said...

Saddam lawyers claim his body was abused

Lawyers of deposed Iraqi leader say they will sue Iraqi government at International Court of Justice over abuses by executioners during and after execution

A member of Saddam Hussein's legal team said Sunday that she intends on suing the Iraqi government at the International Court of Justice over the taunting of the former leader by executioners on the gallows.

Bushra al-Khalil told the Saudi daily al-Watan that she will sue the Iraqi authorities for allowing two of Saddam's personal foes to attend the execution and over reports that executioners had abused the dead body of the former leader.


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

Just when I thought it couldn't get worse?


Pandemoniac said...

Republicans have been caterwauling about getting legislation stuffed down their throats. They say they haven't had a chance to read any of the new Bills and that they want a new Minority (members of Congress) Bill of Rights.

According to the Dem leadership, that's all a big stinking pile of BS. The Ethics reform Bill is essentially the same bill that was introduced (and identical to others {pdf-watch out}that were shunned) last year by the Republicans. It is essentially the same idea that Russ Feingold was fighting for back in 2005. Read the 3 and compare them. There isn't a substantive difference between the current and previous versions. The vote was fairly party line. I think Ron Paul, Walter Jones, And Shays were the only Reds to cross the line.

I watched this lady Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Tweety's show stomping on a Red Lady-Rep from Texas (Granger?). She pointed out that each of these Bills that is getting fast-tracked through Congress was introduced many months ago. Republicans have had every opportunity to examine, accept, amend and then eventually shoot down the proposals.

For these whiny titty-babies to come crying to the press that the Spineless Dems™ have taken to blindsiding them with legislation is more than a little dishonest.

As for the Minority Bill of Rights, I read about the exchange between Mr. Dreier (Red) of California and Ms. Slaughter (Blue) of New York on DKos and on HUffPost; then I watched it on Friday as it was replayed on CSPAN. Neither the blogs nor the papers managed to capture the viciousness of the takedown and stranglehold that Slaughter put on Dreier. It was beautiful. That lady (Slaughter) had to be physically and Parliamentarily restrained to keep from throttling Dreier. "We have no intention of keeping our foot on your necks the way you did to us," Slaughter told Dreier on the House floor. He kept interrupting her; and she kept taunting him for daring to bring up the Minority Bill of Rights since he was the leader of a group of Republicans that shot down the idea when Democrats brought it up. She shamed him into basically admitting that he wasn't interested in reclaiming rights for minorities. in each case (when he was for, then against the Bill), he was merely interested in augmenting his party's political power. Shameful doesn't begin to cover his behavior.

capt said...

Bob Geiger has the ROCKIN' cartoon round-up!

Saladin said...

Hey Capt, this thread is getting mighty slow, would you mind putting up a fresh one?

Carey said...

Before you do put up a fresh post let me write this. Regarding your post Capt, on the lameness of the mass media and the AP, I thought you might want to check out Glenn Greenwald from January 5. Same goes for you Saladin. You two were too quick to jump on Micki on this. This has been a major story this week. We've discussed it on Dancing With Fools somewhat.

The gist of his column and others that have written on this subject is the AP got it right.

About the controversy over whether there was a air bombing is still very much up in the air. It has not in the least bit been resolved. I'm surprised you jumped at that. You usually are much more suspicious of certain denials.

The "credibility" of the right-wing blogosphere

(Updated below - Update II - Update III - Update IV - Update V - Update VI - Update VII - Update VIII - AND:

Update IX - To cap everything off perfectly)

Packs of right-wing bloggers spent the last several weeks trying to destroy the credibility of Associated Press's war reporting by claiming that one of its sources, an Iraqi policeman named Jamil Hussein, does not exist, that AP simply invented him. As it turns out -- and as AP itself had the great pleasure of reporting (and then rubbing in the face of its irresponsible, taunting accusers) -- the Iraqi Government, which previously denied it, now acknowledges that Jamil Hussein does exist and he is a police officer in Iraq, just as AP reported accurately.

Eric Boehlert has written extensively about the right-wing blogosphere's attempt to destroy the credibility of AP's war reporting by insisting that their source was non-existent (and, needless to say, then became the immediate target of a campaign of personal attacks, assaults on his integrity, and childish name-calling).

And within the last twelve hours, multiple people have written comprehensively about the profound and long overdue humiliation which these right-wing bloggers just suffered. Greg Sargent re-caps how this incident exposes - yet again - the complete lack of credibility of the reckless, truth-free lynch mobs that compose the "right-wing blogosphere" and which hilariously see themselves as watchdogs over the media even though they traffic in the most reckless innuendo, gossip, and rank, error-plagued speculation that exists.

Here, Dave Neiwert documents but a fraction of the false accusations they made against AP, and during the controversy itself, he made the excellent point that this whole "controversy" was based on denials by the "Iraqi Government" and the U.S. military of Jamil Hussein's authenticity -- military and government denials which they mindlessly ingested and accepted as True like the good little authoritarians that they are.

To this superb commentary I want to add but one point -- there is nothing new, unique or surprising about this incident. Exactly this has happened repeatedly, time and again. This is what the right-wing blogosphere does. It is who they are and how they function. The only difference here is that they were so shrill and relentless in their attacks on AP, having prattled on about it for weeks without pause, that they actually pushed their accusations against AP into the national media.

And, to their great credit, AP -- which continues to aggressively defend its imprisoned-without- charges Iraqi photojournalist Bilal Hussein (whom right-wing bloggers repeatedly accused of being a Terrorist) -- fought back against these accusations. And now the right-wing blogosphere stands revealed as what they are -- a pack of gossip-mongering hysterics who routinely attack any press reports that reflect poorly on their Leader or his policies, with rank innuendo, Internet gossip, base speculation, and wholesale error as their most frequent tools of the trade. They operate in packs, constantly repeating each other's innuendo and expanding on it incrementally, and they then cite to each other endlessly in one self-feeding, self-affirming orgy of links, as though that constitutes proof.

And they are wrong over and over and over -- and not just in error, but embarrassingly so, because so frequently their claims are transparently, laughably absurd, and they spew the most righteous accusations without any sort of evidence at all. The New Republic has its Stephen Glass and The New York Times has its Jayson Blair. But those are one-off incidents. The right-wing blogosphere is driven by Jayson Blairs. They are exposed as frauds and gossip-mongerers on an almost weekly basis. The only thing that can compete with the consistency of their errors is the viciousness of their accusations and their pompous self-regard as "citizen journalists."

As Terry Welch points out on his Nitpicker blog, Glenn Reynolds told Christian Science Monitor in its article about the "watchdog" role of blogs:

The check on blogs is other blogs . . . . Because blogs operate in a reputation-based environment, nobody minds a bias. But they expect you to be honest about your facts. And if you get a reputation for not being honest about your facts, people pay lots of attention to you.

These right-wing bloggers love to piously masquerade around as "media watchdogs," keeping a watchful eye on the "MSM" and compelling them to adhere to facts. And ever since their involvement in the use by Dan Rather of fraudulent documents, and then heightened by Charles Johnson's oh-so-monumental observation that a Reuters photograph of Lebanon had been photoshopped to give the appearance of more smoke during an Israeli air strike on Beirut, the media has largely recited this storyline.

But they are nothing of the sort. Nobody is less interested in media accuracy than they are. Correcting media mistakes is so plainly not their agenda. They are nothing more than hyper-partisan hysterics who jump on any innuendo or rumor or whispered suspicion as long as it promotes their rigid ideological views and political loyalties and hatreds. They have a long, shameful and really quite pitiful history of incidents filled with ones like this Jamil Hussein debacle, including:

accusing AP photographer Bilal Hussein of abetting terrorism on the ground that he photographed a hostage in Iraq immediately prior to his execution and also after, even though the photograph in question only showed the corpse of the hostage;

accusing Bilal Hussein of photographing an ongoing execution on the streets of Baghdad, even though he had nothing to do with those photographs;

accusing The New York Times travel section of jeopardizing the lives of Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld by including photos of their vacation homes even though: (a) the Times photographer sought and obtained permission to take the photos beforehand, (b) other media outlets, including right-wing ones (such as Newsmax and Fox), had published the same information long before and (c) the whole notion that such photographs could jeopardize the security of the most-well-guarded officials in the world was beneath the level of judgment of which an average 8-year-old is capable;

accusing Democrats of inventing or forging -- and the media of touting -- a fake RNC memo regarding the Schiavo controversy, even though the memo was entirely accurate and was authored by Republicans (accusations repeated by, among others, the always gullible, right-wing-blog-fan Howard Kurtz);

insisting that the Iranian legislature enacted a law requiring Jews and other religious minorities to wear color-designated clothing identifying them as such, and continuing to repeat the claim after the story was revealed as a total hoax;

repeatedly claiming -- from the mouth of Glenn Reynolds -- that we have not taken military action against Iran because they are blackmailing us with the nuclear weapons they already secretly possess, a claim repeated by Reynolds as recently as yesterday;

Michelle Malkin going on Fox News the night of the midterm elections to announce that blogger Dan Riehl has "called the race for George Allen," prompting a smirking, condescending Brit Hume to observe -- correctly -- that when you have a blog, you can say whatever you want, and that it doesn't matter if you're right or wrong. Hume didn't know how insightful that observation was, or how perfectly chosen was the receipient of his observation.

These right-wing bloggers operate at a level several beneath the National Enquirer, literally. They simply fabricate facts and recklessly and maliciously launch serious accusations against the media whenever doing so advances their political agenda.

They leap on any innuendo or gossip from the Internet swamps and tout it as fact whenever doing so bolsters their ideological view or can be enlisted to destroy the credibility of a journalist who reports unpleasant facts. They desperately seek out any basis for attacking media reports that cast doubt on their Leader and his policies. They repeat government and military claims as fact and then accuse the media of "lying" whenever their reporting contradicts Official Statements from Our Leaders.

They operate in a credibility-free zone where there are never any consequences for their mistakes because the partisans who read them will always dismiss every one of these unfair smears on the media as well-intentioned (one of the bloggers on Malkin's Hot Air site emphasized last night in defending himself how "well founded and well intended our suspicions were"). That led Malkin herself to add: "Just to clarify, I’m not apologizing for anything."

None of this is to mention the more general attacks over the last several years on media credibility in order to prevent the truth about their Leader and their War from emerging, as illustrated by several years (and ongoing) of posts from Glenn Reynolds and Charles Johnson, among others, claiming that the Media is On The Side Of Terrorists because they keep lying that the Glorious, Successful War in Iraq is not going well and that the Peaceful, Democratic Nirvana we created there is violent and chaotic.

In order to discredit the media and stories reflecting poorly on their political movement, they even go so far as to insist that it is the media that is our "enemy," post satellite photographs of the homes of prominent publishers, accuse the media of being on the side of Terrorists, and even assert that they are legitimate war targets who deserve to be attacked.

It is not exactly difficult to discern the real motive behind this sudden, intense, oh-so-earnest interest in whether a single story about 6 Iraqis victims of a burning is accurate. Discrediting this single story of this single episode of violence is intended to fuel their ongoing claims that it is the media -- rather than their Leader -- who is responsible for the loss of the war in Iraq, and that the media has continuously exaggerated the violence there and underplayed all the Great Successes which the Leader has enjoyed.

That media inaccuracy is not their concern is about as glaring and obvious a fact as one can discover. They don't seem to have noticed that this entire war was based upon inaccurate reporting -- a whole series of false claims about Saddam Hussein, the state of the Iraqi weapons program, its relationship to Al Qaeda, its involvement in the 9/11 attacks, the cost of our invasion, the consequences of it.

But there, "inaccurate reporting" generated what they craved -- some nice, bloody war in the Islamic world, so it didn't bother them at all, and still doesn't. I have read more right-wing blogs than I can count, with a depressing frequency, and I don't think I have ever seen a single post written by any of them examining or decrying the sloppy, inaccurate reporting of the "MSM" which endorsed every false claim by the Bush administration which drove the country to invade Iraq.

Someone who stands outside of a store and repeatedly lets burglars in -- and who even themselves frequently runs into the building to steal some nice merchandise -- isn't a "watchdog" in any meaningful sense of the term, even if they wear the uniform.

They are dishonest hacks with an agenda that is the opposite of what they claim. This Jamil Hussein humiliation would be rather compelling evidence, standing alone, to demonstrate how they operate. But this incident has plenty of company. At some point, isn't their total lack of credibility, the endless stream of irresponsible, false accusations, and the reckless disregard for facts that drives them going to be so apparent that it becomes undeniable to everyone but them? We have long ago reached the point where that ought to be the case.

UPDATE : Just to be clear, the list of examples above of the irresponsible spewing of false accusations by the right-wing blogosphere is very partial, only the ones I recalled. There are scores of others. As Blue Texan reminds me in Comments, just two weeks ago the right-wing blogosphere was hysterically alleging that Bill and Hillary Clinton had illegally tape-recorded the conversations of Princess Diana for all sorts of nefarious purposes -- yet another total hoax they propagated. The list is literally endless.

UPDATE II: For the right-wing bloggers who claim that they were merely intrested in holding AP to accurate reporting without any broader agenda to discredit the "negative" press accounts about the war in Iraq, see Glenn Reynolds:

MORE REPORTS OF BOGUS IRAQ STORIES FROM A.P.: Kind of makes you wonder about the reporting from Iraq. Okay, it's more like "confirms your suspicions" than "makes you wonder," really.

As Reynolds unwittingly revealed, that was the real point of the Jamil Hussein rants -- to call into question media reporting generally on Iraq, in order, in turn, to suggest that things are not actually going badly there. Or, as Reynolds put it just recently: "What if we are winning"?

UPDATE III: Richard Blair at All Spin Zone also has a superb recounting and analysis of this whole sorry affair. As he notes, much of it was fueled when the U.S. military issued a statement responding to the AP story which stated: "We can tell you definitively that the primary source of this story, police Capt. Jamil Hussein, is not a Baghdad police officer or an MOI employee." He then demanded, on that basis, that AP issue a retraction or correction. Since the U.S. military never errs or issues false, self-serving statements, that was clear proof that the AP had invented its source.

UPDATE IV: This Tom Tomorrow cartoon captures rather perfectly the dynamic between the national media and media-hating right-wing blogs (and if you are a fan of his cartoons and live in the New York area, see this).

UPDATE V: E&P reports on the response to all of this from AP's top Editor, Kathleen Carroll, who says, among other things: "I think a little perspective is warranted here. While this has been going on, hundreds if not thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed and hundreds of serviceman have died."

She also questions why, after first denying that Jamil Hussein existed, it took the U.S. military and Iraqi Government six weeks to admit that he did -- all the while ensuring that the focus remained on this "AP scandal" rather than, say . . . . the fact that "while this has been going on, hundreds if not thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed and hundreds of serviceman have died." As Glenn Reynolds says: "What if we're winning"?

UPDATE VI: Brit Hume, whose show now frequently repeats innuendo from the right-wing blogosphere, "reported" on the false AP accusations last night on Fox. Any Fox viewer who trusts Hume would assume from the content and tone of his report that AP had simply invented a fake source in order to publish what Hume called "stories that are often critical of the U.S."

UPDATE VII: The Brit Hume video in the above update -- touting the AP accusations -- was broadcast on January 2. Last night, Hume was forced to acknowledge what is painfully obvious: "the AP, it appears, has been vindicated on this." That such a conclusion is painfully obvious has not, needless to say, been even a small impediment in the attempted continuation today by right-wing bloggers of this "scandal."

UPDATE VIII: Eric Bohelert sent me an e-mail with the subject "Unintended howler" -- which, as it turns out, was an understatement. Eric's e-mail consists of an excerpt from this post from Instapundit yesterday:

JAMIL HUSSEIN: IS HE OR ISN'T HE? Bob Owens has some thoughts. . . . I'm expecting Michelle Malkin to get to the bottom of this.

It's honestly hard to believe that someone could say that without sarcasm, but Reynolds is being very earnest here. He would never joke about something as sacrosanct as Michelle Malkin's investigative skills.

And Greg Sargent thoroughly debunks yet another fraud from the right-wing blogosphere -- the "John Kerry dines alone" idiocy from last week. That "story," which sent scores of right-wing bloggers into a serious frenzy, was so patently inane from the beginning that I paid little attention to it, but as Greg documents, it was as fact-free as most of their controversies.

UPDATE IX: The entity that calls itself "Pajamas Media" thought it had scored some sort of great coup when it landed Michael Ledeen of National Review and the American Enterprise Institute -- who has devoted his life to insisting that the U.S. change the regime in Iran -- as a Pajamas Media commentator.

And yesterday, Pajamas thought the prestigious "signing" had begun to yield big, big dividends, when they announced, based on Ledeen's "source close to Pajamas Media," that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had died -- a "fact" which nobody else had reported. And a day later, still nobody else has. Ledeen yesterday wrote: "Breaking News. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, is dead." Pajamas itself touted it as its breaking story.

As Malkin's Hot Air said: "This is either going to be a two-ton feather in Pajamas’s cap or a major embarrassment." A day later, nobody else has reported this. Today, Iran denied the "Internet rumor," and as James Wolcott notes (read his whole post for the real story), Pajamas Media is backing away as fast as their little rumor-mongering legs can carry them. As Wolcott says, comparing this to the Jamil Hussein debacle: "there's another potential fiasco belching in the furnace of the right blogosphere perhaps birthing an even bigger embarrassment of riches."

Meanwhile, Malkin's Hot Air site -- in response to Greg Sargent's fact reporting -- has retracted its claims about John Kerry based on its "lonely diner" hysteria from last week. So, just to re-cap the week in Right-Wing Blogosphere Credibility:

* they suffered a complete humiliation on their Jamil Hussein "scandal"

* they are forced to retract their John Kerry "dining alone" story in Iraq

* there is a possible, pending humiliation over its Michael Ledeen "scoop" about the death of the Iranian leader

These are the people who have anointed themselves as the "citizen journalist watchdogs" over the "MSM," because the "MSM" is unreliable and only reports events in a way that promotes their political agenda. By contrast, the right-wing blogosphere is here to crusade for accuracy and agenda-free reporting.

UPDATE X (a new record): Right-wing bloggers are not, of course, the only ones plagued by reckless commentary and an endless string of errors. I have an article in the current edition of American Conservative Magazine concerning the dishonesty of pro-war and pro-Bush pundits generally, specifically the way in which they simply ignore or outright lie about their history of false and misleading claims. The article features the illustrative examples of Michael Ledeen, Charles Krauthammer, Peggy Noonan, and Ralph Peters.

posted by Glenn Greenwald

*my bold italics

capt said...

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget. "

- Arundhati Roy


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