SADDAM CAUGHT..... WAR OVER..... LET'S GO HOME!
Note: Comments (sigh) working again...
Saturday, June 28, 2003
U.S. Death Toll in Iraq Passes 200
By PAUL HAVEN
BAGHDAD ,Iraq (AP) - After days of intense searching by ground and air, U.S. forces on Saturday found the bodies of two soldiers missing north of Baghdad, as the toll of American dead since the start of war topped the grim milestone of 200...
...The deaths bring to at least 63 the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq since major combat was declared over on May 1. The military has confirmed the identities of 138 soldiers killed before that date, while the names of several other casualties have not yet been made available.... link
One wonders if, when the American toll of keeping the "peace" surpasses the number killed in the war, if people and the media will begin to ask the question: "Was it really worth it"?
BUSH DECLARES TATU TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
(WASHINGTON) President Bush today declared the teenaged Russian musical duo Tatu a terrorist organization, after disruptions forced cancellation of their tour in Japan.
According to spokespersons in the White House, Tatu, whose overt lesbian behavior have aroused world wide controversy, are a clear and present danger to American morality and hegemony.
"God and President Bush are united in opposing the homeosexual lifestyle, despite the recent Supreme Court decision," said outgoing Press secretary Ari Fleischer.
Tatu's name is officially spelled t.A.T.u, an abbreviation of the Russian "Ta lyubit Tu," or "This girl loves that one." The group's carefully crafted image is of two teenaged lesbians rebelling against the grown-ups' world.
"We first got the idea of labelling pop groups as terrorist organizations after we were able to deflect American public opinion into scapegoating the Dixie Chicks," Fleischer continued. "Now we plan on labelling everyone we don't like as terrorists," he concluded.
DEMOCRACY: WE DON'T NEED IT IN AMERICA, AND YOU DON'T NEED IT IN IRAQ!
Occupation Forces Halt Elections Throughout Iraq
By William Booth and Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, June 28, 2003; Page A20
SAMARRA, Iraq -- U.S. military commanders have ordered a halt to local elections and self-rule in provincial cities and towns across Iraq, choosing instead to install their own handpicked mayors and administrators, many of whom are former Iraqi military leaders.
The decision to deny Iraqis a direct role in selecting municipal governments is creating anger and resentment among aspiring leaders and ordinary citizens, who say the U.S.-led occupation forces are not making good on their promise to bring greater freedom and democracy...
Well, you see, there's only one problem with elections... sometimes the wrong guy can win, like almost happened in Florida in 2000.
Friday, June 27, 2003
WHY THE RICH NEEDED BUSH FOR TAX RELIEF
Very Richest's Share of Income Grew Even Bigger, Data Show
By DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, NY TIMES
The 400 wealthiest taxpayers accounted for more than 1 percent of all the income in the United States in the year 2000, more than double their share just eight years earlier, according to new data from the Internal Revenue Service. But their tax burden plummeted over the period. LINK
Umm, someone explain it to me?
A SMALL ANALOGY
From Ted Rall:
Thursday, June 26, 2003
DOWNSIZING: ITS GOOD ENOUGH FOR AMERICA, SO ITS GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU!
From Naomi Klein, THE NATION, "Downsizing in Disguise", June 23:
...Paul Bremer, the US-appointed governor of Iraq, has already proved something of a flop in the democracy department in his few weeks there, nixing plans for Iraqis to select their own interim government in favor of his own handpicked team of advisers. But Bremer has proved to have something of a gift when it comes to rolling out the red carpet for US multinationals.
For a few weeks Bremer has been hacking away at Iraq's public sector like former Sunbeam exec "Chainsaw" Al Dunlap in a flak jacket. On May 16 Bremer banned up to 30,000 senior Baath Party officials from government jobs. A week later, he dissolved the army and the information ministry, putting more than 400,000 Iraqis out of work without pensions or re-employment programs.
Of course, if Saddam Hussein's henchmen and propagandists held on to power in Iraq it would be a human rights disaster. "De-Baathification," as the purging of party officials has come to be called, may be the only way to prevent a comeback by Saddam's crew--and the only silver lining of George Bush's illegal war.
But Bremer has gone far beyond purging powerful Baath loyalists and moved into a full-scale assault on the state itself. Doctors who joined the party as children and have no love for Saddam face dismissal, while low-level civil servants with no ties to the party have been fired en masse.
Nuha Najeeb, who ran a Baghdad printing house, told Reuters, "I...had nothing to do with Saddam's media, so why am I sacked?"
As the Bush Administration becomes increasingly open about its plans to privatize Iraq's state industries and parts of the government, Bremer's de-Baathification takes on new meaning. Is he working only to get rid of Baath Party members, or is he also working to shrink the public sector as a whole so that hospitals, schools and even the army are primed for privatization by US firms? Just as reconstruction is the guise for privatization, de-Baathification looks a lot like disguised downsizing.
Similar questions arise from Bremer's chainsaw job on Iraqi companies, already pummeled by almost thirteen years of sanctions and two months of looting. Bremer didn't even wait to get the lights back on in Baghdad, for the dinar to stabilize or for the spare parts to arrive for Iraq's hobbled factories before he declared on May 26 that Iraq was "open for business." Duty-free imported TVs and packaged food flooded across the border, pushing many stressed Iraqi businesses, unable to compete, into bankruptcy. This is how Iraq joined the global "free market": in the dark.... LINK
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
ANOTHER SAUDI AVOIDS FBI QUESTIONING THANKS TO BUSH ADMINISTRATION
Marri's wife, Maha, is a Saudi citizen who was transported out of the United States in November by the Saudi Embassy, angering FBI agents." LINK
Remember Greg Palast reported that over a dozen Bin Ladin family members allowed to leave the US in the days after 9-11, even though all US flights were grounded. What are they covering up?
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
COMEDY AND TRAGEDY IN IRAQI THEATRE OF THE ABSURD
**US troops raid Baghdad theatre, seize 300 ageing machinegun "props"
BAGHDAD (AFP) Jun 21, 2003
US forces scouring Baghdad for illegal weapons have seized around 300 antiquated machineguns in one of the capital's theatres, its director said Saturday, insisting the ageing arms were stage props.
"A convoy of US forces was passing the al-Rashid theatre when they stopped after hearing explosions," theatre director Jabbar Meheweis Majid told AFP, without explaining the source of the blasts.
"The soldiers shot at the front of the theatre where the company was in rehearsals," he said, showing the bullet holes where three rounds had impacted.
"They came into the theatre, searched the place and found 300 weapons which have been used as props in several films and plays."
The weapons, he said, were Czech-manufactured Brno multi-barreled firearms used in Iraq in the struggle against British occupation in the 1920s. LINK
**Soldier: U.S. Army turns away burned children in need of help
DONNA ABU-NASR, Associated Press Writer Monday, June 23, 2003
BALAD, Iraq (AP) -- On a scorching afternoon, while on duty at an Army airfield, Sgt. David J. Borell was approached by an Iraqi who pleaded for help for his three children, burned when they set fire to a bag containing explosive powder left over from war in Iraq.
Borell immediately called for assistance. But the two Army doctors who arrived about an hour later refused to help the children because their injuries were not life-threatening and had not been inflicted by U.S. troops.
Now the two girls and a boy are covered with scabs and the boy cannot use his right leg. And Borell is shattered.
"I have never seen in almost 14 years of Army experience anything that callous," said Borell... LINK
Perhaps he wasn't aware that in the new IraqCo. you need to be a member of an HMO?
Monday, June 23, 2003
"COALITION OF THE BILLING?"
Tired of being a 3rd rate power? Envious of the US? Now you too can have your own hated occupying army, just like the US, AT NO COST TO YOURSELVES! Just Read On:
U.S. Enlists More Countries in Iraq, at Taxpayers' Expense
Bush administration has agreed to pay for several nations' participation in the peacekeeping effort.
By Paul Richter, Times Staff Writer, LA TIMES
WASHINGTON — When the Pentagon proudly announced last week that more and more countries have been signing up to send peacekeeping troops to Iraq, one fact drew little attention: U.S. taxpayers will be paying a fair chunk of the bill.
As it has sought to spread the peacekeeping burden, the Bush administration has agreed to help underwrite the participation of such countries as Poland, Ukraine, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. India, which the United States has asked to provide thousands of troops, has been asking for financial help as well.
These deals, which by one estimate could cost $250 million over the next year, will enable the United States to relieve some of its overworked troops and give more of an international face to the American-led undertaking. But they may also draw criticism that the U.S. partners in the reshaping of Iraq are those whose support can be bought — the "coalition of the billing," as some wags have put it... LINK
Actually, this could be a GOOD THING. In our next war, we can just hire their armies to attack Iran for us!
Sunday, June 22, 2003
WAR IS GOOD BUSINESS, PART LXXXIII
Halliburton Unit Gets Over $800 Million
Fri June 20, 2003 04:23 PM ET, By Sue Pleming
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A unit of Halliburton Co., the Texas oil giant once led by Vice President Dick Cheney, has received more than $800 million in work orders in Iraq so far, according to military figures obtained Friday.
The bulk of the orders are under a military contract awarded in December 2001 to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root that a Democratic lawmaker labeled "obscure and lucrative."
That 2001 contract, called the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program does not have a ceiling. link
No comment needed on this one.