SADDAM CAUGHT..... WAR OVER..... LET'S GO HOME!
Note: Comments (sigh) working again...
Saturday, May 24, 2003
ONE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM
"Television brings forth this new kind of public
space... not of educated citizens in a republic, but of
the electropeasantry in the State of Entertainment."
William Irwin Thompson, 1991
Which explains why 34.5 million people watched American Idol this week. And why dumb Bush tricks like landing on an aircraft carrier work (at least temporarily). Actually, Bush's entire Presidency is centered on two strategies both based on the ignorance of the public: fool 'em and scare 'em.
ITS ABOUT TIME: 9/11 COVERUP QUESTIONED
New Panel, Independent of 9/11 Commission, Is Sought
By Dan Eggen and Sara Kehaulani Goo, Washington Post Staff Writers, Friday, May 23, 2003; Page A06
Several prominent lawmakers, including two Democratic presidential contenders, yesterday urged an independent commission to forcefully investigate government shortcomings prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, including an aviation security system experts described as riddled with holes.
Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), who are seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, also joined other lawmakers in accusing the Bush administration of seeking to obstruct the work of the six-month-old Sept. 11 commission, which has been beset by delays and is only now beginning to examine classified material related to the terrorist attacks. link
Blix casts doubt on WMDs
Agencies, THE GUARDIAN, Friday May 23, 2003
The chief UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix, said he was starting to suspect Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction in advance of the war on Iraq, a German newspaper reported today.
"I am obviously very interested in the question of whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction, and I am beginning to suspect there possibly were none," Mr Blix told the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel.
If that were the case, he said, Iraq's evasive behaviour in recent years could be due to Saddam Hussein's fixation with Iraqi honour and a wish to dictate the conditions under which people could enter the country.
"For that reason, he said 'no' in many situations and gave the impression he was hiding something," he said.
Mr Blix pointed to statements by Lt Gen Amer al-Saadi, who officials say led Iraq's unconventional weapons programmes and surrendered to US-led forces last month.
"The fact that al-Saadi surrendered and said there were no weapons of mass destruction has led to me to ask myself whether there actually were any," Mr Blix told the paper. "I don't see why he would still be afraid of the regime, and other leading figures have said the same." link
US army chief says Iraqi troops took bribes to surrender
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
24 May 2003
Senior Iraqi officers who commanded troops crucial to the defence of key Iraqi cities were bribed not to fight by American special forces, the US general in charge of the war has confirmed.
Well before hostilities started, special forces troops and intelligence agents paid sums of money to a number of Iraqi officers, whose support was deemed important to a swift, low-casualty victory.
General Tommy Franks, the US army commander for the war, said these Iraqi officers had acknowledged their loyalties were no longer with the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, but with their American paymasters. As a result, many officers chose not to defend their positions as American and British forces pushed north from Kuwait."I had letters from Iraqi generals saying: 'I now work for you'," General Franks said. LINK
U.S. May Let Kurds Keep Arms, Angering Shiites
By PATRICK E. TYLER 10:27 PM ET, NY TIMES
The U.S. will allow Kurdish fighters to keep their heavy weapons, but require Shiite Muslim to surrender theirs, according to a draft directive. LINK
It appears we've decided who the next enemy is or will be.
Friday, May 23, 2003
OR Maybe Bush is the Anti-Christ?
Just a few thoughts here to try and keep an overview:
We are living in a time when Bush has attacked a country that didn't threaten us, the budget is going up because of his wars, but Bush is cutting taxes yearly in the hopes of bankrupting the government so he can privatize Social Security. He's refusing to fund homeland security or first-responders, in order to ensure there is another terrorist attack and that its worse than the previous one. He based his attack of the threat of WMDs, but once he conquered Iraq, he couldn't be bothered to protect the nuclear sites.
None of Bush's policies have made any sense.
You've all probably seen the Bush Resume (If you haven't, you'd better). But stupid as he may be, he wins elections thanks to Karl Rove and the corruption of the US Media.
None of Bush's policies, I have asserted, are even worth arguing about. They are absurd on their face, and should be laughed at and ridiculed. But one thing remains to do, before his brain-dead, "faith-based" constituency can see the light. He must be identified for who he really is! The Anti-Christ, that is. More Proof here.
This may be the only way we can convince the 46% of the electorate who are born again. We MUST show them the light.
ADDENDUM: None of Bush's policies make sense if you are concerned about the good of the country. They make perfect sense if you are utterly and cynically, immorally in pursuit of power, no matter what the cost. In other words, EVIL! Ergo, Bush IS the Anti-Christ.
DON'T CONFUSE ME WITH THE FACTS, MA'AM, I HEAR Y'ALL TRYIN' TO GET AN ABORTION!
From LA TIMES via Liquid List:
HOUSTON -- Texas approved one of the nation's most sweeping abortion counseling laws Wednesday, requiring doctors, among other things, to warn women that abortion might lead to breast cancer.
That link, however, does not exist, according to the American Cancer Society and federal government researchers, and critics say the law is a thinly veiled attempt to intimidate, frighten and shame women who are seeking an abortion. MORE
PUNISHMENT BY ANY OTHER NAME
Powell: U.S. Still Disappointed in France
AP - 2 minutes ago
The United States does not intend to punish France for its opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, but would review joint cooperation "in the light of changed circumstances," Secretary of State Colin Powell said. LINK
THOSE REPUBLICAN SUCKERS SURE CAN SPEND!
Federal Deficit 3 Times Higher Than 2002
Tue May 20, 3:41 PM ET
By JEANNINE AVERSA, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - The government ran up a deficit of $201.6 billion in the first seven months of the 2003 budget year, more than three times the total for the corresponding period a year earlier. LINK
Buzzflash has some theories on why Bush's pants bulged on the aircraft carrier, but I just think wars give him a boner.
Felons hired to screen airport passengers, luggage
May 21, 2003, 07:03, CAPITOL HILL BLUE
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge acknowledged Tuesday that "sloppiness" in the recruitment of passenger screeners for airports allowed many with criminal records to pass background checks designed to weed them out.
He said that faced with time constraints imposed by Congress -- which gave a strict deadline for the new federalized screener system to be in place -- the Department of Homeland Security turned to the private sector to get the background checks completed on time. LINK
Those capitalists just can't seem to get it together. Remember when we thought the Government was inefficient?
IRAQI WAR WORST FOR CIVILIANS SINCE 'NAM
Christian Science Monitor via Agonist:
Evidence is mounting to suggest that between 5,000 and 10,000 Iraqi civilians may have died during the recent war, according to researchers involved in independent surveys of the country.
None of the local and foreign researchers were willing to speak for the record, however, until their tallies are complete.
Such a range would make the Iraq war the deadliest campaign for noncombatants that US forces have fought since Vietnam.
I guess this will help set us up for Iraq being the 21st century Viet Nam.
5,500 Brits to Reinforce US Troops Losing Control of Baghdad
BRITISH TROOPS STEP IN TO BAIL OUT YANKS
EXCLUSIVE 5,500 Paras ready to take control of Iraqi capital
By Tom Newton Dunn Defence Correspondent, May 22 2003, THE MIRROR
COALITION chiefs plan to send 5,500 British Paras to Baghdad to save US troops from losing control of the Iraqi capital. Central Command top brass are terrified that war-weary American soldiers in Saddam Hussein's former power base have turned the population against them. Little if any peace keeping experience and only minimal training have been blamed for the growing disaster and continuing violence. MORE
UPDATE: NY TIMES reports today that London has scuttled the plans due to concerns about morale: " The development was a setback for allied military commanders, who are striving to put an end to the robberies, looting and paramilitary attacks that plague the city..." LINK
I GUESS THEY THINK WE ARE STUPID
U.S. calls looting from nuke site no risk
By Paul Martin, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
BAGHDAD — U.S. military inspection teams have concluded that material looted from Iraq's main nuclear facility at Tuwaitha poses little or no danger to the people who stole it and cannot be converted into an effective "dirty bomb." link
I know they think we're stupid -- we bought their war, didn't we?
Thursday, May 22, 2003
ENRON STYLE TAX CUT ACCOUNTING WILL COST US $800 BILLION
A Tax Cut Without End
By DAVID E. ROSENBAUM 10:37 PM ET, NY TIMES
A hard look at various elements of the $318 billion tax bill that is speeding toward approval shows a plan that could lose $800 billion in tax revenues over 10 years.
...the $320 billion figure, which was approved today by a House-Senate conference committee and is expected to clear Congress before the week is out, is artificial. No one expects that tax breaks for married couples and a bigger tax credit for children, popular features of the bill, will be allowed to expire after next year. This is what lawmakers call a sunset. It was put into the measure to hold down the 10-year cost.
... Nor, barring a political upheaval that puts Democrats in the White House and in control of Congress, is it likely that the lower tax rates on dividends and capital gains will be allowed to expire after 2008, another sunset in the bill.
If these elements of the tax cut are calculated on a 10-year basis, the cost in lost revenue stands to be over $800 billion, more than what the president proposed, according to the first analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priority, a liberal research institute.
More important, the tax reduction this year and next year under the Congressional agreement is significantly larger than what the president originally proposed.
RADIATION FROM DEPLETED URANIUM FILLING AFGHANISTAN?
from BBC via Dystopia:
Afghans' Uranium Levels Spark Alert
Research being done in Afghanistan by the Uranium Medical Research Center turned up some horrifying results. They've found no evidence of DU so far, but the levels of uranium contamination in humans suggest that we used radioactive uranium in some of the bombs we dropped over there. From BBC News:
"Without exception, every person donating urine specimens tested positive for uranium internal contamination.
"The results were astounding: the donors presented concentrations of toxic and radioactive uranium isotopes between 100 and 400 times greater than in the Gulf veterans tested in 1999.
"If UMRC's Nangarhar findings are corroborated in other communities across Afghanistan, the country faces a severe public health disaster... Every subsequent generation is at risk."
Any troops who fought in Afghanistan and aid workers based there since the war would also appear to be at risk of radioactive contamination. Is anyone testing them?
ANSWER: Probably not. And wait till the results come in from Iraq, with twice as much bombing and all the looted nuke sites.
TEXAS GOVT DESTROYS EVIDENCE IN "KILLER Ds" CASE
So it turns out that the Texas Department of Public Safety -- the agency that tried to track down the runaway Dems on the order of Speaker Tom Craddick and even pulled in the Department of Homeland Security -- destroyed the records of the search because of their extreme civil liberties scrupulosity.
So says the DPS at least...
... For the moment I'd say that what we have here is, at a minimum, an uncharacteristically rapid and total effort to safeguard the runaway Dems' civil liberties. But the first thing I'm curious to know is whether such a regulation -- applied in anything like the way we see here -- even exists. Or, is it something they just made up on the spot to explain what looks very much like an attempt to cover their tracks. LINK
Folks, this is Texas Justice again. Remember, this is the state where they forged the Enron Suicide Note. Read it if you haven't.
Indonesia will intern civilians in war against Aceh rebels
By Tim Johnston, TIMES ONLINE
...The Government has said that up to 200,000 people are to be taken from their homes and put into tented camps guarded by soldiers to prevent ordinary Acehnese from being caught in the crossfire. Bachtiar Chamsyah, Indonesia’s Minister of Social Affairs, said: “We are waiting for an order from the military administration. Should they want to comb a certain area, we will move people from their homes.”... LINK
It's for their own good, right?
Soros calls for oversight in Iraq
Reuters News Service
UNITED NATIONS -- Billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros said Tuesday he was setting up a watchdog group to guard against any abuses in how the United States manages Iraq's oil resources while it occupies Baghdad.
Soros, at a news conference at U.N. headquarters, also said he hopes Iraq will not repay all of its foreign debt stemming from Saddam Hussein's years in power, in order to discourage the practice of lending money to dictators.
Citing reports that a handful of U.S. corporations were winning huge reconstruction contracts from Washington without competitive bidding, Soros said many people around the world feared the United States might abuse its authority while it and close ally Britain occupy postwar Iraq.
"It is very much in the interest of the United States to allay these fears, and we want to help," he said. SOURCE
He's one cool guy. for a rich dude.
Afghan opium production soars, country top producer
By Jon Boyle
PARIS, May 21 (Reuters) - Three years after the Taliban stamped out opium growing in Afghanistan, a U.N. expert said on Wednesday the country had reclaimed its spot as the world's biggest opium producer.
Afghanistan now produces about 3,400 tonnes a year, some 75 percent of global production, said Sandeep Chawla, head of research at the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.
"As a proportion of GDP the figures are frightening, because trafficking profits come to nearly 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in Afghanistan," Chawla told the two-day conference in Paris attended by experts from more than 50 countries. LINK
Hey, it's what we're into... opening up markets!
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
IT'S THE GREED, STUPID!
'GOP Eyes Tax Cuts as Annual Events
By Dana Milbank and Dan Balz, Washington Post Staff Writers, Sunday, May 11, 2003; Page A01
With the House's passage of a $550 billion tax cut plan, Congress is moving toward the third tax reduction in as many years for President Bush -- the same number passed in an entire generation before he came to office.
Yet the impressive trio of reductions is but a small step toward the administration's goal: nonstop tax cuts. LINK
Democrats need to address the insane stupidity and greed of the Ruling Party that is destroying the nation's infrastructure, risking our safety, and mortgaging our future in order to line their own and their friends pockets. This should not even be anything to argue about. It is absurd on its face, and should be ridiculed at every opportunity.
Russians Who Fled Brezhnev To Gain Free Speech Find Bush Not Much Better
Brezhnev, Bush and Baghdad
by Nina Khrushcheva, THE NATION
Many Russians who fled Brezhnev's USSR because they could not speak freely are in a state of shock in today's America. One is Roman Kaplan, an intellectual from Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and the owner of the "Russian Samovar," a famous New York City restaurant for Russians and East Europeans (visitors and immigrants alike), which he opened in 1986 together with two icons of the Soviet immigration, the late poet Joseph Brodsky and the dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. "America was our dreamland, the last frontier of freedom," Kaplan said. "Where do we go now? I can't believe I left the Soviets thirty years ago to end up in Brezhnevland here!"
In 1991 I too left the Soviet Union to embrace America's freedom (not so much political--Gorbachev's glasnost was in full bloom then), but a freedom to be myself regardless of politics. Today I ask myself the same question, "Where do we go now?" LINK
Actually its much worse: It's the Republican Matrix:
(See the whole cartoon here)
from National Review via El Gato Bloggo:
State Department trips to the Moonlight Bunny Ranch, a brothel, in Nevada: "Seems that State was entertaining some international visitors and took them to the brothel, OK fine, whorehouse, to hear lectures on legalized prostitution."
They explained that historically Nevada was a state with many men who needed a sexual outlet.
That's true. I've noticed that about Nevada, as opposed to say Washington, DC.
$100K SUV DEDUCTION PART OF NEW TAX BILL
SUV tax cut
OPINION:SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD
Today might be a good day to buy a new car. Perhaps one of those sporty red ones, just something to zip around town on a few gallons of gasoline.
Nah. Forget the little Cooper. Think big. Ogle a truck, an SUV, even a Hummer II.
How much would that vehicle cost? Say, up to $100,000.
But the price doesn't matter as much because if you buy the right vehicle -- a truck or SUV weighing at least 6,000 pounds -- the federal government will make it affordable.
Under current tax law, it's permissible to write off $25,000 from your taxes in the first year after the purchase of a 6,000-pound truck or SUV. (Then there's the gravy of 20 percent a year after that.)
But the Senate bill increases the tax deduction to $100,000.
Who did it? We don't even know, yet. There are no fingerprints on the amendment -- legislation was going back and forth so fast Thursday night that this little gem slipped in quietly... Fortunately this bill is not law yet -- but the House version has a similar proposal. .... LINK
Normally, I'd add a cynical comment, but I'm off now to buy my new Hummer. America IS an SUV!
Reports of terror crimes inflated
By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the first two months of this year, the Justice Department filed charges against 56 people, labeling all the cases as "terrorism."
But an Inquirer investigation has found that at least 41 of them had nothing to do with terrorism - a point that prosecutors of the cases themselves acknowledge.
Among the cases:
28 Latinos charged with working illegally at the airport in Austin, Texas, most of them using phony Social Security numbers.
Eight Puerto Ricans charged with trespassing on Navy property on the island of Vieques, long a site of civil protests of ordnance testing.
A Middle Eastern man indicted in Detroit for allegedly passing bad checks who has the same name as a Hezbollah leader.
A Middle Eastern college student charged in Trenton with paying a stand-in to take his college English-proficiency tests. He received a one-month jail sentence after pleading guilty. LINK
Looters cart away Basra University
Allied forces are blamed for failing to stop the vandals
Marc Santora NYT, Tuesday, May 20, 2003
BASRA, Iraq Every morning, the professors and students come to Basra University and watch one more donkey pull one more load of loot from the place. Every morning, they stand around and look at the wreckage of what was once one of Iraq's premier institutions of higher learning and ask: How? Why?
How, they ask, could allied forces have allowed criminals to violate Basra University, picking it apart book by book, chair by chair, brick by brick?
Why, they ask, has no one, in the weeks since the fighting stopped, come to help them put the pieces back together or at least provided the security for them to do it themselves? LINK
Buzzflash comments: "The Bush Legacy: Looters Cart Away Basra University. Remember that the More of Iraq that is Looted and Destroyed, the More Money is Awarded to Bush Cartel Companies for Contracts to "Rebuild" Iraq. Then, More Money Donated to the GOP by Those Companies."
Elvis Costello said it best: I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused.
NOW THAT SEVEN NUKE SITES ARE LOOTED, LET'S LET THE UN BACK IN
Allies May Accept UN Help at Iraqi Nuclear Sites, Rumsfeld Says
Sydney, May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Allied forces have ``no problem'' with teams from the United Nations nuclear agency helping assess Iraq's nuclear sites, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said. link
You'll recall that a month ago they refused UN help.
NOT ALL MILLIONAIRES ARE THAT DOPEY
MSGOP Prime Time anchors responded with shock last night to news that billionaires George Soros and Warren Buffet had come out against Bush's dividend tax cut. However, Gloria Borger hastened to assure her co-host and the audience that "I'm sure not ALL billionaires feel that way... I think most support President Bush's plan."
Boy, that liberal media bias is sure irritating!
Afghan soldiers 'shot by mistake'
The US embassy is opposite an Afghan garrison
American troops have shot dead four Afghan soldiers outside the US embassy in Kabul. Senior military sources told the BBC that there had been an exchange of fire involving Afghan soldiers and the embassy guards.
A senior Afghan official described the incident as a misunderstanding....
"American soldiers guarding the entrance to the US embassy opened fire by mistake on a group of Afghan soldiers who were unloading some material from the other side of the road, in front of an Afghan security agency building," Mr Salangi told French news agency AFP. LINK
Someone is getting a little jumpy...
U.S. plans to keep control of Iraq oil
By Evelyn Leopold
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - In hopes of getting strong U.N. support, the United States has made concessions in its quest to lift 13-year-old trade sanctions against Iraq, opening the door for the return of U.N. arms inspectors.
But the resolution, expected to be adopted by Friday, still gives the United States and Britain wide-ranging powers to run Iraq and control its oil industry until a permanent government is established, which could take years. LiNK
No rush, make a few bucks, hey?
MAD COW IN N. AMERICA
Canada reports case of mad cow
MSNBC NEWS SERVICES
TORONTO, May 20 — A cow in Alberta has been diagnosed with mad cow disease, Canadian officials announced Tuesday — the first known case in North America in a decade. U.S. health officials immediately banned imports of cattle, beef, beef-based products and animal feed from Canada, the Food and Drug Administration said....
...TRANSMISSION TO HUMANS UNLIKELY
The discovery raised concern because Canada and the United States had put in place feeding practices that authorities thought would prevent the infection from spreading in North America. Still, officials stressed it was an isolated case.
“Information suggests that risk to human health and the possibility of transmission to animals in the United States is very low,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said in a statement.... link
Like nuclear power, American beef is PERFECTLY SAFE. Yep.
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Patriotism? No, just more pop-ups
By Bob Sullivan, MSNBC
It sounds innocent enough, even patriotic. "Show your support for our troops by downloading our free cursors!" says MyFreeCursors.com. One click, and your mouse pointer is an American flag. But that click will cost you. It gives the company behind the Web site, publicly traded eUniverse Inc., the right to watch your every move on the Internet.
"IT'S DIABOLICAL, and you can quote me on that," said Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. A Web user complained to Givens after her child was almost tricked into downloading software from MyFreeCursors.com, software Givens called spyware.
"They are using patriotism as the draw ... People come to this Web site with good intentions. Little do they know they're being set up for a spyware attack."
Those who are induced by the offer to "Remember our men and women in uniform" might not think to click on the tiny "Privacy" link at the bottom of the site. But it's essential reading. By downloading the software from MyFreeCursors, users also agree to install three other programs, including "KeenValue," which is made by eUniverse.
EUniverse spokesperson Todd Smith said KeenValue wasn't spyware, but simply marketing software that users choose to install.
"EUniverse is not in the spyware business," he said via e-mail.... LINK
No, and we AREN'T in Iraq for the oil! Serves them right, the patriotic suckers! "Please hold for the Total Information Awareness Office..."
ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE FOXNEWS OR ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE YOUR LYING EYES?
Embed Catches Heat
TV Sanitized the Iraq Conflict, But a Paper Gets the Hate Mail
By Ron Martz, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER ONLINE
There must have been two wars in Iraq. There was the war I saw and wrote about as a print journalist embedded with a tank company of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized). Then there was the war that many Americans saw, or wanted to see, on TV.
That is the only conclusion I can draw while going through the e-mail messages I have received from irate readers whose view of the televised war from the warm comfort of their living rooms did not match the war I reported on. "Do us a favor, stay in Iraq. We don't need reporters who are un-American," urged one man....
...When I wrote in one story about "bloody street fighting in Baghdad," it appeared the morning TV viewers were seeing jubilant Marines and Iraqi civilians tearing down statues of Saddam Hussein on the eastern side of the Tigris River. Some readers, believing all of Baghdad was like that, were livid. They did not grasp the fact that, on the western side of the river, pitched battles were still taking place. Because they did not see it on TV, it was not happening. And it did not fit their view of the war.
Many who wrote me questioned not only my patriotism but my ancestry and my sexual orientation. Many fell back on the old canard that all media are left-wingers.
"Ron, if it's going so badly, why don't you just join the other side and cheer for them instead?" wrote one.
"Millions of patriotic Americans are just sick and tried of the constant hate the military, hate Bush, hate America drivel you spew forth masquerading as 'good' journalism," wrote another...
...I thought embedded print journalists were doing the public a service by giving them a close-up, personal view of the war without it being filtered through military minders and censors. Apparently, the public, at least that part of the public that prefers to get its news from TV, does not want that. What they seemed to want from this war was for the coverage to fit their own biases and preconceived notions. No other views were tolerated. And TV seems in large part to have given them exactly what they wanted.... LINK
GOOD NEWS? OR WISHFUL THINKING?
Thom Hartmann at commondreams.org thinks the time is up for the right wing media. He writes today that the untapped market of 51% who voted for Gore and Nader will be better served after June 2. As Hartmann notes, the market is saturated with right wingers particularly on radio. A number of outlets including media behemoth Clear Channel have spoken about addressing this audience.
Hartmann believes that this market has gone untapped because big media has been afraid to alienate the Bush administration while FCC rules allowing more mergers arre being debated. This hearing is scheduled for June 2. Hartman suggests that had Gore been elected, even he would have been "bulletproof" while media fawned over the new rules. LINK.
His point is that in the long run economics will triumph over politics, and that is usually true. On the other hand, most of these media behemoths get other economic paybacks besides market share. These include tax cuts, subsidies, regulatory relief and all the access they require. I hope Hartmann is right, but I'm not convinced. Certainly it doesn't account for the brutal way Gore was treated by the media in 2000. Still, even SOME movement in that direction would be a good step.
YOUR DEFENSE DOLLARS AT WORK (plu$ or minu$ a Trillion or so)
Military waste under fire
$1 trillion missing -- Bush plan targets Pentagon accounting
Tom Abate, Chronicle Staff Writer Sunday, May 18, 2003
The Department of Defense, already infamous for spending $640 for a toilet seat, once again finds itself under intense scrutiny, only this time because it couldn't account for more than a trillion dollars in financial transactions, not to mention dozens of tanks, missiles and planes.
Iraq Nuclear, Oilfield Chaos Confront U.S. Rulers
Mon May 19, 2003 01:04 PM ET , By Nadim Ladki
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Lawlessness in oilfields and a warning of a possible nuclear emergency reared up to confront Iraq's U.S. administration as thousands of Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad Monday to demand their own government.
The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency said it was alarmed by almost daily reports of looting and destruction at nuclear sites, warning that the theft of radioactive material posed a security threat and a danger to health. Oil officials said the looting and lack of security were also hampering efforts to restore oil output, vital for the devastated country's economic recovery after the U.S.-led war to oust Saddam Hussein's government. LINK
New White House spokesperson Harold Pangloss, said in comment that, "Despite appearances, everything in Iraq is going according to plan, in fact, it's the best of all possible scenarios."
3RD GULF WAR COMING NEXT YEAR?
IRAN, SAUDIS AGREE TO FINANCE SYRIAN MODERNIZATION
ABU DHABI [MENL] -- Iran and Saudi Arabia are said to have agreed to finance an ambitious program to modernize Syria's military.
Gulf industry and Russian sources said Riyad and Teheran have pledged several hundreds of millions of dollars over the next five years for the upgrade of land-based systems in Syria's military. They said the money would also be used to help finance advanced Russian anti-aircraft systems.
Since 1997, the regime of President Bashar Assad has pressed Saudi Arabia for financial aid to modernize Syria's military. But for most of that time Riyad, plagued by a severe budget shortfall, refused to commit itself.
Russian sources said Saudi Arabia changed its tune earlier this year. They said Iran and Saudi Arabia discussed a joint investment to help Syria purchase Russian upgrades and new equipment. LINK
They know, as Rumsfeld knows, our next war is scheduled for Sept 2004. (Dates may be altered to reflect political exigencies).
OUTRAGEOUS! PROTEST = TERRORISM
State monitored war protesters
Intelligence agency does not distinguish between terrorism and peace activism
By Ian Hoffman, Sean Holstege and Josh Richman, STAFF WRITERS, OAKLAND TRIBUNE
Days before firing wooden slugs at anti-war protesters, Oakland police were warned of potential violence at the Port of Oakland by California's anti-terrorism intelligence center, which admits blurring the line between terrorism and political dissent.
The April 2 bulletin from the California Anti-Terrorism Information Center (CATIC) arguably offered more innuendo than actual evidence of protesters' intent to "shut down" the port and possibly act violently.
CATIC spokesman Mike Van Winkle said such evidence wasn't needed to issue warnings on war protesters.
"You can make an easy kind of a link that, if you have a protest group protesting a war where the cause that's being fought against is international terrorism, you might have terrorism at that (protest)," said Van Winkle, of the state Justice Department. "You can almost argue that a protest against that is a terrorist act." LINK
Yes, and you can almost argue that shooting protesters is Fascism.
Monday, May 19, 2003
THE SEARCH FOR WMDs:
...U.S. intelligence called this place "Possible SSO Facility Al Hayat," after the Special Security Organization of President Saddam Hussein. It ranked No. 26 on a U.S. Central Command priority search list. Allison's team pulled up in six Humvees, not long before noon on May 1, to scout for biological and chemical arms...
...Smashing padlocks and deadbolts, the men checked for booby traps as they felt their way by flashlight from room to room. They reached a murky stone passage, smelling of mold. Cement covered its windows. Steel doors, a dull orange, lined the hall.
Interrogation cells? Munitions vaults?
One last bolt snapped. The door creaked open and Deal stepped through. There, in the innermost chamber, he found a cache of vacuum cleaners.... link
Hmm. It seems like I saw this movie... Wasn't it Graham Greene's "Our Man in Havana" with Alec Guiness as the vacuum cleaner salesman who sketches vacuums and sells them to British Intelligence as nuclear sites? Maybe that's where Bush and Blair got their secret intelligence about Saddam's WMDs!
DISGUSTING: GOP Invokes Laci Case to Push Fetus Bill
Sun May 18, 7:23 PM ET By DAVID CRARY, AP National Writer
Adding fuel to the already fierce debate over abortion, Republicans in Congress are invoking the Laci Peterson murder case as they try to enact the first federal law to endow a fetus with legal rights separate from the expectant mother. link
Of course, such bottom feeding should come as no surprise. Remember when they blamed Susan Smith's murder of her children on liberalism?
SHIITES RALLY, DOLLAR FALLS
Iraqis Rally Against U.S.
NY TIMES: Thousands of Shiites in Baghdad today staged the largest protest against America's presence in Iraq since the war's end with a noisy but peaceful rally.
Stocks tumble as dollar slides
MSNBC: Stocks tumbled Monday, as traders took profits from the market's two-month rally amid nervousness that a sliding dollar would dampen foreign investment in the United States and hurt corporate earnings.
SADDAM HAS LAST LAUGH:
DINAR BEATS DOLLAR IN IRAQI ECONOMY
...The 'Saddam dinar' ....has beaten the dollar hands down as the currency of choice in Iraq.
So what's all the fuss? Well, the US military has been acting as a de facto Federal Reserve in Iraq, first by paying thousands of Iraqis twenty U.S dollars and by further insisting on paying another million workers upwards of $575/month. All of this in the hope of displacing the Iraqi currency for the US dollar. To the military's surprise, the inexorable laws of economics have dropped the equivalent of a bunker-buster on the U.S. plan. David Hume explains:
"All augmentation [of gold and silver] has no other effect than to heighten the price of labour and commodities; and even this variation is little more than that of a name...Money having chiefly a fictitious value, the greater or less plenty of it is of no consequence if we consider a nation within itself." (1)
An Iraqi trader agrees:
"If you have one million pensioners getting $40 apiece, that's $40 million coming onto the streets," said Ahmed Muhammad Ali, a trader on Kifah Street. "What did you expect would happen?" .... LINK
Sunday, May 18, 2003
ADMITTING IT: IRAQ WILL MAKE TERRORISM WORSE
Administration on the defensive concerning terrorism
By BILL STRAUB, Scripps Howard News Service, May 15, 2003
...Charles Pena, director of defense policy studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, said it has become increasingly clear that Iraq "was not a hotbed for al Qaeda operations."
"The war was a brilliant military victory that demonstrated unrivaled U.S. capabilities," Pena said. "And the Iraqi people were liberated from a brutal dictator. But the hard truth is that victory in Iraq has little to do with winning the war on terrorism. In fact, it may have made the problem worse." link
Case proven - war does not eradicate terrorism
The Saudi bombs are being attributed to the al-Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden. If so, we might reasonably ask for an inquiry into why two colossally expensive and destructive wars were fought by the West yet left unscathed the architect of all this woe.
Simon Jenkins, 05/16/03: (The Times)
The bombs in Riyadh show that the threat of September 11 is not over. That much is clear. Equally clear is that the present danger is not from rogue states or weapons of mass destruction, but from murderous gangs with dynamite and cars. As Afghanistan was followed by Bali, so Iraq is followed by Riyadh. After waiting out the razzmatazz of war, reality terrorism is back in business. ... MORE
New Torture Technique
Psyop: The Love’s Not Mutual
The U.S. military is using Metallica and the ‘Barney’ theme song as instruments of coercion in Iraq
NEWSWEEK, May 26 issue —
Your parents aren’t the only ones who hate your music—some Iraqis hate it, too. U.S. military units have been breaking Saddam supporters with long sessions in which they’re forced to listen to heavy-metal and children’s songs. “Trust me, it works,” says one U.S. operative. LINK
Torture by music. It could be worse -- they could've forced them to listen to translations of Bush's speeches!