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War, politics, religion... & other stuff you shouldn't talk about over dinner...

Dedicated to the proposition that GW Bush and Saddam Hussein are figments of our unconscious minds

Cost of the War in Iraq
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According to Amnesty International, Iraq executes "scores" of political prisoners every year, at least 31 confirmed last year. How long would it have taken Saddam to execute the 6000+ Iraqi civilians we've killed this year? Figure it out.

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LEAGUE OF LIBERALS

 


SADDAM CAUGHT..... WAR OVER..... LET'S GO HOME!

Note: Comments (sigh) working again...

Saturday, May 10, 2003


 
TED RALL HAS GOT IT RIGHT

IT'S THE FEROCITY, STUPID

How Democrats Can Beat Bush in 2004
Ted Rall, 5-9-03

NEW YORK--Michael S. Dukakis served with honor in the U.S. Army for
two years. Three decades later, he was ridiculed for riding in a tank
while wearing a helmet and a goofy grin. George W. Bush, a
simian-faced draft dodger, hitches a ride to an aircraft carrier decked
out in full "Top Gun" regalia and CNN calls dubs him our "warrior
president."

Life isn't fair to the Democrats. No matter how much they suck up to
corporate CEOs, they can't compete for contributions with Republicans
who invite their backers to write legislation. Most registered voters are
Democrats, but too many are disloyal swing voters and apathetic
no-shows to assure victory. And even when Dems do win the most
votes, cheating Republicans bully their way into office.

As things stand, Dems seem poised to get their collective ass kicked
in '04. While unified Republicans aren't even bothering to hold
presidential primaries next year, nine small-time Democrats are vying
for the chance to take on a ruthless incumbent with bottomless
pockets. Democratic frontrunners include Joe Lieberman, a wet-lipped
whiner, right-wing even by Republican standards; John Kerry, a
wild-eyed, helmet-haired war waffler doomed to Dukakian disaster in
November; and John Edwards, a rich southerner capable of beating
Bush if DNC insiders could see past his dark trial lawyer past. But it's
still early. Hard as it is to believe now, one of these guys could win.
After all, Bill Clinton emerged from a similar clutch--the "seven
dwarves"--in 1992.

Here's how.

Post-attack America is feeling mean. We've used our pain as
justification to kill thousands of Afghans and Iraqis, but we still
haven't touched the bastards who hit us on 9/11. The recession has
killed off millions of jobs, and no one seriously believes that Bush's
tax cuts will bring them back any time soon. Liberals watch with
dismay as the Bush Administration guts social programs,
environmental laws and civil liberties; conservatives beat on lefties for
expressing disunity during a time of crisis. And Americans of all
political flavors feel besieged in a world where most view us as
ignorant and bellicose. Kinder and gentler this ain't. The only way
Democrats can appeal to a divided and anxious electorate is by
playing mean.

Politics isn't a tea party--it's a bar brawl. The standard Democratic
strategy of politely giving the Republicans what they want in the hope
that it will later blow up in their faces usually fails; voters blame both
parties when disaster strikes. This time around, the Bushies have
done Democrats a big favor by marginalizing them. Calling Tom
Daschle a traitor was as much a low-water mark as "Have you no
sense of decency, sir?" was for McCarthyism. Democrats didn't fight
back then. Next year is payback time.

In theory Democrats should be able to beat Bush on the economy,
but they won't. Like Bush, President Reagan ran up staggering
deficits during his first term. He likewise refused to create jobs or to
stimulate the economy during a deepening recession. But thanks to
the pageantry of incumbency and a few sound bytes, he won a
landslide reelection over the decent but dull Walter Mondale.

Democrats should beat Bush on his wars, but they won't. Few
Americans are aware that Bush gave up on Afghanistan a few months
after the U.S. invasion or that the Taliban and Al Qaeda are doing
great--and those who know the truth don't like to think about it.
We've transformed Iraq from the Arab world's most secular state to a
hotbed of revolutionary Islamism. What matters to most voters,
however, is that Bushus Caesar led our armies to victory against two
adversaries in under a month each. Who cares that neither nation
had an air force? People frazzled by the looming specter of terrorism
want to think they're winning. "Sure, Bush is a prick," a liberal friend
tells me. "But he's our prick."

The lesson: besieged Americans want to be led by ass-kicking
meanies, not mild-mannered milquetoast moderates.

Democratic leaders ought to select their nominee in a smoke-filled
room, call off the expensive and divisive primary process and order
all other comers to stand down. Forget the union rallies, the badges
and the buttons--whoever wins the nomination should invest every
dime he can raise on the cruelest TV attack ads this country has ever
seen.

Go after Bush's ultimate Achilles' heel: run countless loops of the
inarticulate Resident's clashes with the English language. "Too dumb
to talk," a sinister voiceover reads. "Too stupid to trust." Use
time-proven Republican methods, like name-calling: Extremist. Out
of touch. Tax and spender. Hates workers. Racist. Homophobe.
Corrupt CEO coddler. Idiot. Drunk. Cut to the post-pretzel-incident
photo: "America needs a sober president."

Forget ideas--voters respond to the personal stuff. Dwell on the two
years Bush went AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard. "Brave
Americans gave their lives in Vietnam," a 30-second spot should
intone as the camera pans over names of the fallen on the black wall
in Washington. "Rich kid George W. Bush deserted. This coward
snorted coke and drove drunk while other kids died." Who doubts
that if Gore had played up Bush's DUI arrest, he would have picked
up an extra 500 votes in Florida?...
LINK

This is about as right as it can get, starting with John Edwards. The alternative? 4 more years of Bush and probably the end of democracy as we know it.


 
Comic Relief

Me and S. Knox Bubba love cruising Newsmax for laughs. But even Bubba probably doesn't check out the ads, like this one:

Dr. William Campbell Douglass' REAL HEALTH:

Everywhere you turn today, everyone keeps hollering at you:

'You're not eating enough VEGETABLES! 'You're not getting enough EXERCISE' 'Give up MEAT! Give up COFFEE!' 'Get out of the SUN!' 'While you're at it, GIVE UP EVERYTHING!'

Nag, nag, nag! They never let up! But I've got great news...


My Dear Besieged Friend:

Even though everyone else is giving up coffee, alcohol, meat, eggs, fatty foods, sunshine and all things that
make life livable...

Even though they're exercising like maniacs, sweating like horses and scolding YOU for not joining
them...

Please don't submit to this self-denial because...

It's just JUNK MEDICINE ...
link (actually, don't click on it, it won't let you out or click back, just like a porno site.)

I think it's great - maybe all the rightwingers will coke up on red meat, coffee and cigarettes and just croak...


 
GOP Leaders Try to Create Constitutional Cover for Illegitimate Power Play

PFAW-People for the American Way 5-6-03

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights Subcommittee is holding a hearing today “to examine judicial nominations, filibusters, and the Constitution, focusing on when a majority is denied its right to consent.”

It appears that the hearing is an effort to create the illusion of legitimacy for an outrageous scheme to eliminate an important check and balance on the administration’s court-packing efforts in advance of future vacancies on the Supreme Court.

Republican threats to “go nuclear” and put an end to long-established Senate practice, rules, and precedents are extraordinary in light of the success that President Bush has already had in making his mark on the federal judiciary. In the two years since President Bush named his first nominees to the federal bench, the U.S. Senate has confirmed 120 Bush judges, including 100 who were confirmed with the Senate and the Judiciary Committee under Democratic control.

Since Republicans regained control of the Senate this year, Democrats have used the filibuster – a longstanding Senate procedure requiring a supermajority to cut off debate on important topics – to block only two controversial appeals court nominees, while a number of other nominees have been permitted a full floor vote in spite of intense opposition.

Amidst the talk of crisis and a broken system, one important fact is being overlooked: there are currently only 49 vacancies in the federal judiciary, less than half of the 111 vacancies that existed when the Democrats took control of the Senate in July 2001.

In spite of the rapid approval rate for Bush’s judicial nominees, Republican leaders’ fury that even two nominees have been stopped by Democratic filibusters has led to a series of remarkable efforts to unilaterally change longstanding rules and to abrogate bipartisan agreements in order to undermine the ability of the minority party to provide any real check on the administration’s efforts to create a federal judiciary dominated by committed right-wing ideologues.

Perhaps the most potentially far-reaching is the effort to declare the use of the filibuster to be unconstitutional when applied to judicial nominees.

The astonishing claim that the use of the filibuster is unconstitutional – although it has been used by Republicans and Democrats alike for decades – is a short-sighted strategy for undermining the Senate’s traditional role as the more deliberative House of Congress and for removing one of the only checks on the abuse of power by the majority Party, with respect to the issue of judicial nominations.
LINK

OUTRAGEOUS -- IF IT HASN'T BEEN OBVIOUS ALREADY, DEMOCRACY ENDED IN AMERICA IN DECEMBER 2000.


 
US MILITARY OUTSPENDS THE NEXT 20 COUNTRIES COMBINED

...Chris Hellman of the Center for Defense Information in Washington has compiled a ranking of the biggest militaries in the world. And it's a long, long way from No. 1 to No. 2, which is Russia.

Using President Bush's budget increase requests for fiscal 2004, Hellman puts the U.S. military price tag at $399.1 billion, which includes $19.3 billion for the nuclear operation in the Department of Energy.

That's not as high as it was in peak years half a century ago, but it's more than six times as much as Russia, at $65 billion. And that's not even the most remarkable aspect of this list. The U.S. military budget would be the size of the next 21 largest militaries in the world combined.

Iraq, world menace, didn't even crack the top 21. It ranked 39th at $1.4 billion....
LINK



Friday, May 09, 2003


 
God Helps the Unemployed
FEDERAL FUNDING FOR BIBLE USE


The Bush administration has quietly altered regulations for the nation's leading job training program to allow faith-based organizations to use ''sacred literature,'' such as Bibles, in their federally funded programs. Civil liberties activists say the new rules blur the line between religion and government.


-Boston Globe via agonist.org

God is my Co-pilot: Maybe we should let them use Bibles in the DMV and in flight schools. After all, the Quran worked so many wonders for Osama.


 
Bin Laden resurgent in Saudi Arabia?
Jane's Defense Weekly

The insistent claim of traditionally secretive Saudi authorities that a series of violent incidents across the Kingdom in recent months was the work of criminal gangs is becoming extremely threadbare.

With the assassination of a district police chief in the northern province of al-Jawf, a hotbed of Islamic opposition to the monarchy, on 20 April it seems to be increasingly clear that the violence is politically motivated, in all likelihood by supporters of Osama bin Laden.
MORE

But remember we are WINNING the war on terror.

Except in Afganistan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia


 
Hiring Looters

To restore peace, US hires Iraqi looters
The experiment in east Baghdad virtually eliminates looting at a power company.
By Warren Richey | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

BAGHDAD – US Army officials in the eastern part of the Iraqi capital are taking a novel approach to stop looters - offering some of them a job that pays better than stealing government property.

In the three days since the experiment began, the number of looters in a massive multiacre warehouse and industrial stockyard run by the Iraqi power company has dropped from several hundred to zero.
LINK

This is of course is similar to what we do with our corporate looters, like Sen Henry Hyde. We send them to Congress.


 
YOU THINK OUR GAS LINES WERE LONG


Source: antiwar.com


Iraqis battle long lines in gas search
By ALEXANDRA ZAVIS, Associated Press, Posted on Thu, May. 08, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq - When Salah Alwiha got to the gas station, the line snaked around the block. Seven hours later, when he finally pushed his car to the front, the news was enough to make him scream: The pumps were empty.
LINK



Thursday, May 08, 2003


 
Showdown at the FCC

By Jeffrey Chester and Don Hazen, AlterNet, May 1, 2003

The Bush Administration will soon hand the nation's biggest media conglomerates a new give-away that will concentrate media ownership in fewer hands. On June 2, the Federal Communications Commission, run by Michael Powell (son of Colin), plans to end long-standing federal checks and balances on corporate media power.

Companies behind the measure include the powerhouses of corporate media power: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp/Fox., General Electric/NBC, Viacom/CBS, Disney/ABC, Tribune Corp and Clear Channel. Once the rules are swept away, expect to see more mergers and buy-outs of radio and TV stations, major papers and even TV networks. It will then soon be possible for a single conglomerate to control most of a community's major media outlets, including cable systems and broadband Internet service providers. There will be fewer owners nationally of all major media outlets of communications.
MORE

As Conan O'Brien joked: " The Chinese government just launched its first 24-hour cable news service. Since the news has to be reported favoring the ruling party, the channel has been named Fox News."

Except it will be all Fox, all the time.


 
Bush Borrows Publicity stunt from Putin



Putin has shown remarkable skill at sidestepping controversy and potentially unpopular decisions, and has craftily avoided taking sides. ...

[But] Russian voters could soon tire of watching Putin "play the president" by riding in a fighter jet or launching an intercontinental ballistic missiles from a nuclear submarine, and demand "actions of a president" that would address their daily concerns.


Source: ABC News (March 2000) via Media Whores Online today.

If it doesn't work we can always attack Syria.


 
THERE'S A SUCKER BORN EVERY MINUTE

Buzzflash asks, "If This Mobile Lab Is Supposed to Have Processed Chemical or Biological Weapons, How Come the Soldier Standing Within a Few Yards of the Truck is Not Wearing Protective Gear? Just Asking."


Members of a mobile exploitation team examining a suspected mobile biological weapons facility that was recovered by US Forces in northern Iraq... source

And they know who the suckers are: Us!


 
MUST READ: SMOKING GUN ON 9-11?

Prez Wannabe Graham Eyeing Evidence That Bush Blew 9/11
Wednesday, May 7, 2003 12:02 a.m. EDT, NEWSMAX.COM

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bob Graham is reportedly sitting on damaging evidence that the Bush administration could have prevented the Sept. 11 attacks - but he hasn't released the information yet because it's classified.

"I think Bob Graham has a smoking pistol on the Bush administration,"
Congressional Quarterly's Craig Crawford told WABC Radio's John Batchelor and Paul Alexander late Tuesday. MORE

ANALYSIS: There is more to this than meets the eye. This is published in Newsmax an extreme conservative website. The article goes on to state that Graham is "looking for a way to release the material." This is a joke. There is an easy way for insiders to release material -- it's called leaking. In fact, this article is probably just that -- a leak by an insider who wants to prevent Graham from leaking himself. The article goes on to remark that "it is ironic, because the Bush administration has shown such restraint in refraining from blaming Clinton for Osama Bin Ladin." This is a double canard, because not only has the Bush administration repeated that charge ad nauseum, but the article manages to do it one more time.

Still, count on the fact that there IS a smoking gun on this one. Otherwise, they wouldn't go to the trouble.

ADDENDUM: Couple folks have asked me what the smoking gun is. My guess is it relates to the August 9 briefing Bush had. Repeat after me: "What did he know and when did he know it?"

UPDATE - 5/9:

WASHINGTON --(AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bob Graham accused the Bush administration Thursday of stonewalling on the public release of a congressional report on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"The only reason that delay has occurred is because the administration does not want our report to be available to the American people," said Graham, Florida's senior senator and former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

After months of investigation and a series of congressional hearings last year, the House and Senate intelligence panels wrapped up their report Dec. 20 and released a summary. The full classified report is still under review at the FBI and CIA, which are trying to determine whether any disclosure of information might pose a risk to national security and should remain secret.

Graham, who chaired the committee at the time the report was completed, said he thinks the White House is behind the delay.

"They don't want this report to come out," he said
. LINK


 
A MUST READ

Karl Rove: Counting Votes While the Bombs Drop
By James C. Moore {James C. Moore is the co-author of "Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential" (John Wiley and Sons Inc., 2003)}.

May 7, 2003

Karl Rove led the nation to war to improve the political prospects of George W. Bush. I know how surreal that sounds. But I also know it is true.
Rove is probably the most powerful unelected person in American history.

The cause of the war in Iraq was not just about Saddam Hussein or weapons of mass destruction or Al Qaeda links to Iraq. Those may have been the stated causes, but every good lie should have a germ of truth. No, this was mostly a product of Rove's usual prescience. He looked around and saw that the economy was anemic and people were complaining about the president's inability to find Osama bin Laden. In another corner, the neoconservatives in the Cabinet were itching to launch ships and planes to the Mideast and take control of Iraq. Rove converged the dynamics of the times. He convinced the president to connect Hussein to Bin Laden, even if the CIA could not.

This misdirection worked. A Pew survey taken during the war showed 61% of Americans believe that Hussein and Bin Laden were confederates in the 9/11 attacks.

And now, Rove needs the conflict to continue ...
MORE

And he should know.



Wednesday, May 07, 2003


 
Laughable

U.S. judge finds Iraq link to 9/11

By Gail Appleson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge says that families of two victims killed in the September 11, 2001, attacks on America are able to show a tenuous link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden...

... [Former CIA head] Woolsey said non-Iraqi fundamentalists were trained in airplane hijacking and other forms of terrorism in Iraq and he cited an alleged April 2001 meeting between one of the attack's masterminds and an Iraqi intelligence agent.

The judge said the plaintiffs also relied on a regional Iraqi newspaper report in July 2001 that said bin Laden would try to bomb the Pentagon after he bombed the White House...
link

If THAT's the standard of proof then I can definitely say that Bush was behind 9-11.


 
Top Ten President Bush Excuses For Not Finding Weapons of Mass Destruction
from Letterman:

10. "We've only looked through 99% of the country"
9. "We spent entire budget making those playing cards"
8. "Containers are labeled in some crazy language"
7. "They must have been stolen by some of them evil X-Men mutants"
6. "Did I say Iraq has weapons of mass destruction? I meant they have goats"
5. "How are we supposed to find weapons of mass destruction when we can't even find Cheney?"
4. "Still screwed up because of Daylight Savings Time"
3. "When you're trying to find something, it's always in the last place you look, am I right, people?"
2. "Let's face it -- I ain't exactly a genius"
1. "Geraldo took them"

SOURCE


 
Ashton & the Bush Twins Party On!

May 06, 2003 ET online

...For the May 29th issue of the mag, on stands Friday, May 9th, Ashton shares tidbits from his sometimes loco life -- including an unforgettable party with the Bush gals. He tells Rolling Stone: "So we're hanging out ... The Bushes were underage drinking at my house. When I checked outside, one of the Secret Service guys asked me if they'd be spending the night. I said no. And then I go upstairs to see another friend and I can smell the green wafting out under his door. I open the door, and there he is smoking out the Bush twins on his hookah." (link above)


 
God Hates Our Planet, Supports Environmental Destruction
(according to Religious Right)

Religious Wrong
A Higher Power Informs the Republican Assault on the Environment
By Glenn Scherer, Emagazine

...In 2002, the second hottest year on record, scientists saw Arctic Ocean ice coverage shrink by more than at any time since satellite measurements were first made a quarter century ago. And, they say, continued melting could leave the Arctic nearly ice-free by summer 2050...

...[But] Schiller confidently declared, “You know, the more I look, the more it is just as it says in the Bible.” The Book of Daniel, he told Leggett, predicts that increased earthly devastation will mark the “End Time” and return of Christ. Paradoxically, Leggett notes, many fundamentalists see dying coral reefs, melting ice caps and other environmental destruction not as an urgent call to action, but as God’s will. Within the religious right worldview, the wreck of the Earth can be seen as Good News! ...


Read more here and barf.

(Need I also add that from that perspective global Nuclear war is also "Good News"?)


 
US troops 'encouraged' Iraqi looters
by Jonathan Duffy
BBC News Online, in Nasiriya

General Tommy Franks is threatened with a Belgian war crimes trial alleging US troops failed to prevent looting in Iraq. BBC News Online uncovers evidence suggesting his soldiers even egged on some looters.
(Link above)

Guess my joke was prophetic as usual. Chalk one up for the Big Iguana in the Sky.


 
DOING WELL BY DOING WAR

Report Details Pentagon Aide's Briefing
By Associated Press, May 7, 2003, 10:26 AM EDT

LOS ANGELES -- Pentagon adviser Richard Perle briefed an investment seminar on ways to profit from conflicts in Iraq and North Korea just weeks after he received a top-secret government briefing on the crises in the two countries, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Perle, who until March was chairman of the Defense Policy Board, a group of outside advisers to the Pentagon, also serves on the board of several defense contractors. The revelation raises concerns about conflicts of interest.
LINK

Well, what's a war for, if you can't make money off of it? Ask Dick Cheney and Halliburton Co., or Bush Sr. and Carlyle Group.

PS:
HALLIBURTON'S ROLE LARGER THAN DISCLOSED

Lawmaker Decries Halliburton's Iraq Deal,
By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Halliburton Co.'s emergency, no-bid contract to work on Iraq's oil wells must be fully disclosed, a Democratic lawmaker says, pointing to the Army's admission that the company has a far more lucrative role than originally believed.
link


 

Ashcroft Defends His Cannibalism



(Washington DC) US Attorney General John Ashcroft defended his cannibalism today against charges of moral hypocrisy, by pointing out he had never publicly criticized that behavior. Ashcroft, who recently revealed he has eaten over 2000 pounds of dead babies, kittens and puppies, claimed his moralistic stances against abortion, homosexuality, pot smoking and other vices was not compromised by his behavior.

"I didn't kill those babies, so it wasn't abortion or murder. All of them died natural deaths, including the puppies and kittens. I ate them after they were dead, which is not illegal either."

The revelation followed by days the disclosure that Book of Virtues author William Bennett had lost over $8 million in gambling over the last decade. Bennett had similarly defended his behavior by stating he'd never specifically criticized gambling as a vice. Later, however, under pressure from his peers and the media, he promised to quit gambling.

Ashcroft, who defended Bennett as "a good moral American," reacted defensively to critics who accused him of being a "hypocrite" and "disgusting."

"I'm the Attorney General and I decide what is right and what is wrong, based on the Gospels and not on what people think, or what's written in the Constitution."

Ashcroft has previously been rapped for detaining hundred of terrorism suspects without trial or access to attorneys, and for draping nude statutes in Washington with curtains but this is the first time his personal behavior has publicly been criticized.

Ashcroft concluded by stating that even though his behavior was perfectly fine, he would cut down his consumption of babies and puppies immediately.



Tuesday, May 06, 2003


 
Report that Saddam's Son Stole Billions is False

Iraq bank manager: Thieves, not Qusay

By Ghassan al-Kadi, UPI, From the International Desk, Published 5/6/2003 3:05 PM

BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 6 (UPI) -- A top Iraqi banker Tuesday denied a news report that accused Saddam Hussein's younger son, Qusay, of taking $1 billion in cash from Iraq's Central Bank a day before the United States launched its war against the Arab nation. He said the money was looted by professional thieves.

Diyaa Habib al-Khayoun, general manager of al-Rafidain Bank, told United Press International that some $250 million and 18 billion Iraqi dinars were stolen from the bank, but Qusay had nothing to do with it.

"No money has been withdrawn from the bank's main headquarters or branches" by any official of the former regime, including Qusay, al-Khayoun said.
LINK

Proof only that the disinformation campaign against Saddam goes onward. Didn't he do enough bad things that they don't have to fake them?


 
THEY WANT US TO BE ATTACKED!

(This is a BIG stinking outrage so I am reposting it!)

Buzzflash comments: Betrayal of Everything the War Was Supposed to be About: Bush Cartel Left Iraqi Nuclear Facility Uninspected for a Month!

Iraqi Nuclear Site Looted

NEAR KUT, Iraq, May 3 -- A specially trained Defense Department team, dispatched after a month of official indecision [me: Duh, what was there to decide? OR was it deliberate?] to survey a major Iraqi radioactive waste repository, today found the site heavily looted and said it was impossible to tell whether nuclear materials were missing. MORE

When combined with the Bush Administration's refusal to fund Homeland Security, one can only come to the conclusion that they WANT us to be attacked again.

MORE OF THE SAME:
US let bioweapons on to market: LINK

Repubs want to LOWER Uranium restrictions: LINK

CONCLUSION:
I am telling you: they WANT us to be attacked.

ADDENDUM:

Nuclear Looting Much Worse Than Reported

A Radioactive Mess

By Jalal Ghazi, Pacific News Service
May 6, 2003

While American experts say there is no telling what may have been looted from a nuclear research facility in Baghdad, an Iraqi nuclear engineer who was one of the founders of the facility says he has witnessed the spread of nuclear contamination firsthand....

...Al-Bah'ly entered the center soon after the looting and saw chilling scenes. Some of the radioactive material had been taken out of the center, and other materials had been dumped on the floor by looters. Some of the radioactive material was in powder form and had probably dispersed into the air through broken windows, Al-Bah'ly said.

Some of the looters stole big containers that could potentially hold anywhere between 300-400 kilograms of radioactive uranium. Some of the containers were empty but others were not. Al-Bah'ly says he thinks the river has been contaminated by people washing out the containers.
LINK


 
US N. Korea Policy Fails
US 'shifts stance' on North Korean arms

Julian Borger in Washington, Tuesday May 6, 2003, The Guardian

The Bush administration has accepted it might not be able to stop North Korea developing nuclear weapons and has shifted its policy towards preventing it selling them abroad, it was reported yesterday.

Any such change would be a significant retreat for the administration, which had told North Korea not to pursue its nuclear programme.

"A nuclear North Korea is a setback of the first order for the international effort to control weapons of mass destruction," said Ashton Carter, a Clinton-era national security expert.
MORE

It's called calling our bluff. Clinton's so-called "appeasement" worked at keeping N.Korea non-nuclear for nearly decade. Bush's bluster backfired. Thanks a lot.


 
WAS ASHLEIGH BANFIELD CENSORED FOR CRITICIZING WAR REPORTING?

Ashleigh Banfield's Career No Longer Seems to Shine as Bright
By JIM RUTENBERG, NY TIMES

Winter 2002. Ashleigh Banfield is in Ramallah, the West Bank, interviewing Yasir Arafat. At 34, she is the anchor of her own prime-time program on MSNBC, the cable news network owned by NBC and Microsoft.

Spring 2003. Ashleigh Banfield is on Tennessee State Route 374, interviewing people at a sparsely attended Saturday afternoon support-the-troops rally 6,700 miles away from the action in Iraq. She is just another NBC News correspondent fighting for face time....


...Ms. Banfield, so recently promoted as one of cable news's most promising young stars, has faded into the back bench of NBC News, a sudden change that has surprised people throughout the industry....

...she angered top NBC management April 25 by giving a speech that it believed was critical of its war coverage. NBC News publicly rebuked Ms. Banfield, whose contract runs out early next year.
more

Of course not, things like THIS don't happen in America.


 
MEET THE NEW BOSS, SAME AS THE OLD BOSS
Iraq: US restructuring Baath units

05.05.2003, By Ravil Musin

TEHERAN, May 5 (Itar-Tass) - Americans are restructuring special paramilitary units of the former Baath Party of Iraq, intending to use them for suppressing possible protest actions of the Iraqi population. The military intelligence of the U.S. Army, FBI and CIA agents are working on the creation of the new special units, the IRNA news agency reported with reference to reliable sources.

The task of the new Iraqi units will be to find out who of the civilians opposes the U.S. invasion of Iraq, as well as to take part in suppressing anti-American actions in the country. The sources stress that Americans explain the prolongation of their presence in Iraq by a possibility of the resumption of armed actions on the part of the forces, which continue to be loyal to Saddam Hussein.
LINK


 
White House Still Stonewalling

White House refuses to release Sept. 11 info
By FRANK DAVIES, Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration and the nation's intelligence agencies are blocking the release of sensitive information about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, delaying publication of a 900-page congressional report on how the terrorist assault happened.

Intelligence officials insist the information must be kept secret for national security reasons. But some of the information is already broadly available on the Internet or has been revealed in interim reports on the investigation, leading to charges that the administration is simply trying to avoid enshrining embarrassing details in the report.

Disputed information includes a well publicized warning from an FBI agent that al-Qaida supporters might be training in U.S. flight schools and the names of the president and his national security adviser as people who may have received warnings that a terrorist attack was possible before Sept. 11, one official said.
LINK

Meanwhile in Iraq:

In the early days, after the first battle of the war was won and the sporadic resistance subdued, many of Umm Qasr's residents came out of their mud-brick houses to welcome the invaders. Now they throw stones at the military.More

So what's it going to take to get the truth about 9-11? Americans throwing stones in the streets of Washington? Probably.


 
Triumph of Freedom in Iraq, Bennett vs. Saddam

Iraqi prostitute revels in freedom to ply trade
Saddam jailed, executed streetwalkers

`Not a job I want forever,' says woman...


from Toronto Star via Hesiod, who wonders what William Bennett, he of Book of Virtues and $8 million in gambling losses, would have thought.

When I think of it though, I think Saddam and Bennett might have gotten along fine. Both are against prostitution and homosexuality. Both are Pro-Faith. In fact, it would be fun to see how they stack up. Here are Bennett's virtues: (scroll way down)

























































VIRTUE BENNETT

SADDAM

Self-Discipline

Low - gambling addict

Some- Military Background

Compassion

Very Little- hates "bleeding hearts", homosexuals,
liberals

Even less -  tortures enemies

Responsibility

Some- but gambles too much

High -Had to run entire country

Friendship

Unknown

High- Gave Plum jobs to all his buddies

Work

Presumably worked hard

Very high-Worked his way up to dictator before age
40

Courage

Low- No military record

Very high - faced off with world's only Superpower,
not once but twice

Perseverance

high- wrote several books

Very high- see previous two

Honesty

unknown - he says he is

low- stole entire country of Kuwait

Loyalty

unknown- he says he is

medium - see friends, but occaisionally knocks
them off

Faith

medium - believes in Jesus, but doesn't trust that
liberals could be part of the divine plan

High- says Allah will kick out invaders




Monday, May 05, 2003


 
Bush Targets Castro

Nervous Castro fears he is next on the Bush hit list

Cuba cracks down on dissidents and accuses the US of fomenting unrest, reports James Pringle in Havana...

...The Cubans say the [US] Interests Section mission is 'a hotbed of CIA activity' and it is true that from it the Americans have had contact with Cuba's small but growing dissident community. Since last September, when James Cason took over as head of mission, these contacts have been stepped up as US President George W Bush's administration pushes harder for political change in the only socialist state in the Americas.

Cason, acting in what some diplomats say is a 'needlessly provocative manner', has attended dissidents' meetings, hailing the activists as Cuba's future leaders. He even opened his office and residence to them, causing an angry Castro to call him a 'bully with diplomatic immunity' and threatening to close what he called 'an incubator of counter-revolution'....
(link above)

You know know what I'm thinking? THAT is exactly what we need here. Maybe Mr. Jacques Chirac could send us some outside agitators to overthrow OUR unelected dictator...


 
Vladislav Tamarov on Afghanistan

Vladislav Tamarov, author of Afghanistan: A Russian Soldier's Story told me last year that the fight for Afghanistan had just begun.

He stated that Russia had conquered Afganistan in one day, and didn't lose a single soldier until the following year when warlords began offering a bounty to kill Russian soldiers. That circumstance was replicated last year when the warlords offered a $1000 bounty for killing Americans. Since the only economy of Afganistan is smuggling and drugs, its a powerful incentive.

As the article below illustrates, its why more Americans are being killed now than during the invasion.

Check out his book, too.


 
MORE LOOTING IN BAGHDAD

US troops stand by as another historical site, the Baghdad Academy Library was looted on Friday:

Anger grows after Baghdad academy looted
U.S. had reportedly promised security
By Tom Hundley, Tribune foreign correspondent, Published May 4, 2003

BAGHDAD -- Early in the last century, the British placed their imperial stamp next to the 800-year-old Abbasid Palace along the Tigris River: an elegant government complex of graceful archways, long vaulted corridors, lush gardens and a fine view of the river.

Later the buildings would serve as Iraq's first parliament building and King Faisal I's offices.

After the monarchy was toppled in 1958, the offices were converted into courtrooms. In recent years, much of the complex was taken over by the Beit al-Hikma--House of Wisdom--a kind of academy for Iraq's most distinguished academics.

On Friday it was looted in broad daylight, apparently under the noses of U.S. troops.
MORE


 
Florida Disenfranchisement Firm Now Hired to Target Hispanics
The same firm that gave the 2000 election to Bush by falsely disenfranchising tens of thousands of Africans as felons, has now been given the job of disenfranchising Hispanics as aliens, and is breaking the law while doing so:

Firm in Florida election fiasco earns millions from files on foreigners

Oliver Burkeman in Washington and Jo Tuckman in Mexico City
Monday May 5, 2003, The Guardian,

A data-gathering company that was embroiled in the Florida 2000 election fiasco is being paid millions of dollars by the Bush administration to collect detailed personal information on the populations of foreign countries, enraging several governments who say the records may have been illegally obtained.
MORE


 
More on on the Saving Private Jessica Myth

"The most important thing to know is that the Iraqi soldiers and commanders had left the hospital almost two days earlier," Houssona said. "The night they left, a few of the senior medical staff tried to give Jessica back. We carefully moved her out of intensive care and into an ambulance and began to drive to the Americans, who were just one kilometre away. But when the ambulance got within 300 metres, they began to shoot. There wasn't even a chance to tell them `We have Jessica. Take her.'"
MORE



Sunday, May 04, 2003


 
No End to Their Chutzpah

Enron wants tax refund
Saturday May 03, 2003

Enron wants a tax refund:

"Some of the big companies caught up in allegations of accounting fraud have a simple request for the government: Since their taxes rose when they reported inflated profits, they should now get a tax refund."

What about shareholders and pension funds who lost money because of inflated profit reports. Shouldn't they get refunds from Enron?


[Link] Sat May 03 06:36 by SK Bubba

And I'll bet they get those tax refunds.


 
Soldiers fear 'Afghan Vietnam'

IAN MATHER, THE SCOTSMAN

THE war may be over but the battle is far from won. Declaring an end to major combat activity in Afghanistan, US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld has promised a new era of "stabilisation".

But while the message he delivered in Kabul last week may have gladdened the war-weary American public, it has been met with disbelief by the US military.

Although Operation Enduring Freedom - launched 18 months ago in the wake of the devastating September 11 attacks in the US - has come to a close, the American death toll from the conflict shows no sign of abating.

Despite the toppling of the Taliban, killings, explosions, shootings and targeted attacks on US forces are a daily occurrence.

The number of American service personnel who have died in Afghanistan since operation Enduring Freedom began in October 2001 is now 30. But not a single soldier was killed as the result of hostile action in the first three months of the main offensive. Recently the frequency of casualties has risen ominously, and in April alone four soldiers were killed.

In private, US special forces officers are now saying that Afghanistan is in danger of developing into another Vietnam. They see ominous parallels between the heavy-handed attempts at "pacification" which are alienating Afghan villagers and similar ham-fisted actions that turned the Vietnamese against the Americans. MORE

OK then 2 new Vietnams.


 
Trouble Brewing in Iraq

Fears over move by Shias based in Iran
By Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Qom Published: May 3 2003 5:00pm

Thousands of Iranian-backed Iraqi Shia forces have crossed into Iraq from Iran after about 20 years of exile, in a move that could increase US worries about Iranian interference in postwar Iraq.

The Badr brigade, estimated to number between 12,000 and 15,000 in Iran, is the armed wing of the main Shia opposition group, the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri), under the command of Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim.
LINK

Kids, can you say Vi-et-nam?


 
More Good Judgement

U.S. Hires Christian Extremists to Produce Arabic News
Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, AlterNet
May 1, 2003

The U.S. government this week launched its Arabic language satellite TV news station for mostly Muslim Iraq. It is being produced in a studio -- Grace Digital Media -- controlled by fundamentalist Christians who are rabidly pro-Israel. That's grace as in "by the grace of God."

Grace Digital Media is controlled by a fundamentalist Christian millionaire, Cheryl Reagan, who last year wrested control of Federal News Service, a transcription news service, from its former owner, Cortes Randell. Randell says he met Reagan at a prayer meeting, brought her in as an investor in Federal News Service, and then she forced him out of his own company.
LINK

Now THAT'S a good Christian for you. And someone who will win the hearts and minds of Muslims through out Iraq, definitely!





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