SADDAM CAUGHT..... WAR OVER..... LET'S GO HOME!
Note: Comments (sigh) working again...
Saturday, September 13, 2003
ABC EXPOSES SECURITY FLAWS, GOVT. CALLS THEM CRIMINALS
ABC says it shipped uranium as safety test
By Howard Kurtz, Washington Post, 9/12/2003
WASHINGTON -- ABC News says it has exposed a crucial weakness in the nation's port security system by shipping depleted uranium from Jakarta, Indonesia, to Los Angeles. Federal officials say the network seems to have committed a crime...
... [An ABC] report by ABC's Brian Ross, which was to air last night on "Primetime Thursday," shows how 15 pounds of lead-encased uranium were put in a teak trunk along with other furniture in Jakarta, a terrorist hot spot.
Shipping depleted uranium, which cannot be converted to weapons use, is legal. But Murphy said the network "failed to disclose the contents accurately, which is a false declaration."
[ABC's] Schneider countered: "Do you think terrorists are going to fill out a form saying they're shipping uranium? That's the point of the test.".... SOURCE
SADDAM WAS MORE HONEST THAN BUSH
Saddam didn't lie; there are no WMDs, UN inspectors say
Araminta Wordsworth, National Post, Wednesday, September 10, 2003
The UN's senior weapons inspectors now say they believe Saddam Hussein was telling the truth when he claimed he had no weapons of mass destruction.
In addition, the Iraqi nuclear program was in such a shambles it was unlikely to be able to produce atomic weapons any time soon.
The revelations undercut the rationale for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which was predicated on the country's possession of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
Iraq's 12,000-page dossier on the subject, presented to the Security Council on Dec. 7 last year, was universally dismissed as incomplete and misleading.
Those charges were later used by Washington and London to justify the invasion of Iraq in late March.
Speaking on CNN, Hans Blix said the facts presented by Iraq in the dossier may have been accurate. "With this long period, I'm inclined to think that the Iraqi statement that they destroyed all the biological and chemical weapons, which they had in the summer of 1991, may well be the truth," he said. MORE
Friday, September 12, 2003
NOT SUITABLE FOR PRIME TIME?
Counterspin has this AP footage of the Fallujah firefight aftermath.
Note the Iraqi burning a makeshift stars and stripes in the flaming husk of what appears to be a U.S. Humvee. He lights up the small flag like he was roasting a marshmallow at Summer camp.
Note the Iraqis cheering the destruction. (source)
This apparently follows the death of 2 US soldiers in the firefight today. I watched the news on 3 channels tonight and did not see this footage anywhere. I guess it's considered not suitable for propaganda purposes.
I also guess we haven't won over these Iraqis hearts or minds.
LBJ/ BUSH Parallels are sprouting up like Texas Stinkweed:
AMERICANS WAKING UP TO REALITY
Americans think Bush aggravates terrorists
By Edward Alden in Washington, September 10 2003, Financial Times
Most Americans think the US administration's aggressive military pursuit of the war on terrorism has made further terrorist attacks more rather than less likely, according to polls released this week before Thursday's second anniversary of the September 11 2001 attacks.
Sixty-four per cent of respondents said that the US military presence in the Middle East increased the likelihood of terrorism, 77 per cent thought there were widespread negative feelings towards the US in the Islamic world that enhanced terrorist recruiting, and 54 per cent thought the US had been too assertive in its foreign policies.
In addition, 81 per cent thought a key lesson of September 11 was that the US needed to work more closely with other countries to fight terrorism, up from 61 per cent in a similar poll more than a year ago.
The findings were part of a comprehensive survey of US foreign policy attitudes released this week by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (Pipa) at the University of Maryland. link
ARG! WOUNDED G.I.s BILLED FOR FOOD
It's not Bush's fault but under a bill signed by Pres. Reagan and passed by a divided Congress in 1981, wounded GIs have to reimburse the military for meals while hospitalized. Check it out for an example of govt. cluelessness: LINK
U.S. KEEPS DISAPPEARING IRAQIS
Why Are So Many Citizens Arrested and Detained by the American Occupying Force?
Story by Rich Miller, Article Posted Wednesday, September 10 2003 ~ 10:01am
The American soldiers smashed through 68-year-old Ali Ahmed’s door at 2:30 in the morning.
According to Ali, the Americans roughed up one of his four sons who had gone downstairs to see what all the commotion was about. Then they handcuffed everyone except his wife and 12-year-old boy.
The soldiers ransacked their tiny apartment, took what little money they had, and finally hauled Ali and three of his sons off to what was formerly known as Saddam Hussein’s presidential palace, a sprawling compound not far from Ali’s home.
For the next month, Ali essentially disappeared from the face of the earth. His wife and young son, Hassan, tried desperately to find him, but without success. There were no phone calls, no letters, no hints of whether he was alive or dead or would ever be returning home...
... According to numerous aid workers and local and international activists, Ali’s abduction story is far from rare. The Americans, criticized throughout the world for not providing enough security for the people of Iraq, have detained thousands of people without formally charging them, at least hundreds for undefined political crimes.
“What they’re doing is completely stupid,” snapped one experienced private security worker recently. “They don’t provide enough security generally, and the few times they do they go all the way overboard.”
“They’ve occupied all of Saddam’s palaces, so maybe that has caused them to act like him,” suggested one Iraqi, who pointed out that the ousted dictator regularly arrested people in the middle of the night and whisked them away without informing anyone why they were detained, where they were, or if they were ever coming home again....
Another link in the chain of winning Iraqi hearts and minds...
COL. DAVID HACKWORTH SEES THE BUSH/LBJ PARALLEL
Deja vu all over again
Defending America: (WND Exclusive Commentary)
Posted: September 9, 2003, © 2003 David H. Hackworth
While on vacation in Crawford, Texas, Commander in Chief George W. Bush must have been drinking from the same well as Lyndon B. Johnson when LBJ got American boots stuck in Southeast Asia's unforgiving swamps.
In April 1965, as he was secretly signing off on the Vietnam troop buildup that would eventually grow to more than 500,000 American soldiers, LBJ said, "Let no one think for a moment that retreat from Vietnam would bring an end to conflict."
Bush's assertion that our battered, overstretched combat troops in Iraq would "never retreat" was a major deja vu moment. And the similarities don't stop there. Both presidents got into deep doo-doo because they listened to their arrogant defense secretaries and an all-knowing coterie of civilian and uniformed go-along types running the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff rather than some smart, straight-shooting field generals. LINK
They are also both from Texas. Nuff said!
Hackworth's column appears in the right-wing World Net Daily. He also co-authored the Vietnam Primer "the fighting man's bible for guerrilla warfare in Vietnam which was published by the Pentagon and used as a training manual during the Vietnam War." Looks like the non-brain-dead conservatives are also getting the message.
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION?
Smoking 'killed 5 million' in 2000
LONDON, England (Reuters) --Smoking killed nearly five million people in 2000, accounting for almost equal numbers in the developed and developing nations and painting a bleak picture for the future, scientists have said. LINK
That compares with 3 million who died of AIDS in 2001 (source).
Maybe we should bomb Virginia? Or maybe we should accept that smoking is God's wrath against sinners?
Thursday, September 11, 2003
SAD DAY MADE SADDER BY LIES
What better recruiting tool for terrorists can we provide?
As the second anniversary of 9-11 rolls around, it is interesting to step back and think whether anyone could have predicted we would be where we are now: Osama still free, Afganistan a barely propped up US puppet regime (although with a decent leader) and an unpopular Vietnam style occupation in Iraq.
To add insult to injury our "beloved" president chose to make his recent 9-11 week remarks to defend the Iraq invasion instead of commemorating the dead.
Peaceful Tommorrows a group of 9-11 families made the following statement:
Statement On the Second Anniversary of 9/11
Two years ago today our loved ones were tragically murdered in an act of terror that shook the United States and the world. In the time since their deaths, as we continue our personal paths of grieving, we are comforted by the thoughtful and compassionate response of people all over the world who have offered sympathy and support to the victims of these terrible attacks. But much about the US government’s approach to responding to our loved ones’ deaths stands in stark contrast to the common sense words and comforting actions of ordinary people. On this two-year anniversary, we stop to reflect on the dangerous course of current policies and to call for a new approach to 9/11 that is focused on bringing about true security and justice...
... Shortly after 9/11/01, the US congress passed the USA Patriot act, ostensibly to improve security in the United States, with little time for examination of its consequences. In this climate of fear and panic, the Patriot Act and other measures have eroded basic American civil liberties and threatened our immigrant populations in particular. Today, unnamed people languish in unidentified locations on unknown charges under the guise of American justice. Yet there is no evidence that these measures have made us any safer. At the same time, the administration stalls on efforts to provide an open and honest investigation of the events of 9/11.
Last year at this time, President Bush used the occasion of the one year commemoration of our loved ones' deaths to begin a marketing campaign to sell the war against Iraq. Despite the lack of a link between Saddam Hussein and the events of 9/11, the Bush Administration's insinuations of a connection played upon the public’s fears of 9/11 and led the country into an unnecessary war in Iraq, invoking our loved ones' deaths as justification. While the deceptions behind the stated reasons for going to war are coming to light, ordinary Iraqis and US soldiers in Iraq continue to suffer, with the death toll mounting every day. Today we pause to mourn the Iraqi dead and all the casualties of the war, and to call upon our leaders to bring our troops, who have put their lives on the line, safely home from this misguided mission and to turn control of Iraq’s rebuilding to the authority of the United Nations....
...After 9/11 America had the sympathy of the entire world. Since war with Iraq, international sympathy and support has turned to hatred and despair. Anti-American sentiment is on the rise all around the world—what better recruiting tool for terrorists can we provide? more
LIES OUR PRESIDENT TOLD US (AND KEEPS TELLING US)
This is the best summary yet of the propaganda campaign waged by BushCo on the American people:
10 September, 2003, PINR
A poll conducted in early August by the Washington Post revealed that 68 percent of Americans believe that Saddam Hussein played a role in the September 11 attacks despite a continuing lack of evidence of such direct involvement or of even a vaguer relationship between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden or al-Qaeda.
Such a discrepancy between available facts, evidence and public perception should elicit at least mild interest from those concerned with the continued functioning of a well-oiled, self critical democracy based upon an informed citizenry in the United States.
This poll raises two pressing and critical questions:
# Why do seven out of ten Americans believe what the Post itself called an "apparently groundless belief"?
The Post essentially answers this question in its own analysis but is hesitant to draw what seems like a painstakingly obvious conclusion: that this widely held misbelief is a direct result of the speeches and statements made by various members of the Bush administration including the president himself, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Colin Powell.
A plethora of such statements are readily available from a large pool of sources and their further documentation here serves no real purpose, but some of the more telling ones are worth mentioning.
The Post asserts that this notion is "without prompting from Washington" yet goes on to document a litany of statements from the Bush administration that directly contradict this. For example, in the months following September 11, Dick Cheney said that it was "pretty well confirmed" that Mohammad Atta and Iraqi intelligence operatives had meetings before the terrorist attacks took place.
In one of President Bush's most talked about statements, he said, "The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 -- and still goes on." In the same speech he added, "We've removed an ally of al-Qaeda." In his most recent speech, the U.S. President called Iraq the new battlefield in the "war on terrorism."
These are two from among literally dozens of statements in which Bush explicitly links September 11 with Saddam Hussein and Iraq by referring to the efforts to bring to justice those complicit in the hijackings and the U.S.' most recent war in Iraq as both being part of the "war on terrorism." When the first statement is stripped of its linguistic fat, Bush is saying that the war with Iraq began on September 11. Afghanistan is very rarely mentioned in these statements.... MORE
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
VACATION ENDS FOR US TROOPS
After 8 days without a fatality, a US soldier was killed while driving a petroleum tanker. Although some were quick to point to the gap as evidence of "light at the end of the tunnel", I'm afraid that is naive. If you don't think so , look at Afganistan, where our troops are still being shot at nearly 2 years after our invasion, and where Hamid Karzai, a good man and a worthy ally of ours, is a President without a country, isolated in his capital.
Tuesday, September 09, 2003
It's been said that Clinton wanted to be Kennedy, but ended up as Eisenhower. As I watched Bush speech Sunday night, I realized Bush wanted to be Reagan, but turned into Lyndon Johnson.
Marx once said, "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.." I don't know if its relevant, but Iraq is nothing if not a tragic farce...
Monday, September 08, 2003
US, Iraqi militias headed for showdown
Sunday, 07-Sep-2003 11:20AM Story from AFP / Steve Kirby
Copyright 2003 by Agence France-Presse (via ClariNet)
NAJAF, Iraq, Sept 7 (AFP) - The US-led coalition appeared Sunday headed for a showdown with Iraqi militias after giving them an ultimatum to lay down their arms that was immediately rejected by a leading anti-US firebrand.
Captain Edward Lofland, spokesman for the US Marines in this holy Shiite city, said coalition forces had given unauthorised militias until Saturday to disarm or have their weapons confiscated and face possible arrest.
A leading Shiite group, whose head was among 83 people killed in a massive car bombing nine days ago, gave qualified backing to the disarmament drive. But an aide to the militant cleric Moqtada Sadr dismissed it categorically.
"We obey only God and our religious leaders. We don't care about what the Americans say," said Sheikh Juad al-Issawi, a member of Sadr's office.
The presence of heavily-armed militia in Najaf and elsewhere has become a key issue in efforts to stabilise Iraq, which has been plagued by violence and lawlessness since the ouster of Saddam Hussein in April.
Lofland said the deployment by the two largest Shiite factions on the streets of Najaf and nearby Kufah since the car bombing here was a clear violation of the ban on militia imposed by the coalition in June.
He said they had until Saturday to to surrender their weapons. "After that, we will take their arms away and, if they resist, we will arrest them and put them in jail," Lofland told AFP. MORE
New poll shows Bush approval rate slipping
UTICA, N.Y., Sept. 7 (UPI) -- The latest Zogby America poll indicates President Bush's performance rating is at its lowest point since his pre-Inauguration days.
Bush's popularity has been on a steady decline since a post-Sept. 11 peak, Zogby America said on its Web site.
In last week's poll of 1,013 likely voters, only 45 percent rated Bush's job performance good or excellent, Zogby said.
Fifty-four percent of the respondents rated Bush's performance as fair or poor and only 40 percent said he deserved to be re-elected.
That compares to the August poll, in which Bush scored 52 percent positive and 48 percent negative, Zogby said.
The latest poll, released on the eve of Bush's televised remarks to the nation, marked the first time a majority of respondents had given him an unfavorable job performance rating since he took office. SOURCE
But don't be surprised if there is "suddenly" another terrorist attack...
Sunday, September 07, 2003
BUSH STILL LYING ABOUT IRAQ
Bush's speech: '...And we acted in Iraq, where the former regime sponsored terror, possessed and used weapons of mass destruction..." [transcript]
Of course, he would say he was not lying, Iraq sponsored Abu Nidal who retired in 1991 and died in 2002, Iraq possessed chemical weapons until 1992 and used them in 1988, BUT NONE OF THESE THINGS WERE REASONS TO INVADE IN 2003.
What Bush is still trying to do in 2003 is the same thing he was doing last year, to trick the public into thinking Saddam was behind 9-11 and had WMDs.
And it has worked. According to the Observer: "Seven in 10 Americans continue to believe that Iraq's Saddam Hussein had a role in the 11 September 2001 attacks, even though the Bush administration and congressional investigators say they have no evidence of this. " (LINK) Just as bad, as reported last June, over 30% of Americans believe we actually FOUND WMDs in Iraq (LINK)
Pollsters have been amazed at these results. But speeches like tonight's are the reason ... they are nothing less than brazen attempts to mislead the public, no less than Bush's disingenuous claim that British Intelligence had confirmed that Saddam was trying to buy uranium in Africa.
If Bush were Pinocchio, his nose would reach to China.
EXISTENCE CONFIRMED OF A REPUBLICAN DISORDER!
Stranger Than Fiction Dept:
Three months ago I shocked the world by suggesting our President was victim of a Mental Illness which I titled Republican Affective Disorder. It was satire, but in my heart I knew it was also true. Now proof has come from the scientific community. To wit:
It's official: conservatives are seriously ill
THE AGE, September 5, 2003
In the early 1900s Gilbert, of Gilbert & Sullivan fame, wrote a lyric that ran, "Ever-y-one is a little lib-er-al or a little con-serv-a-tyve". Around the same time George Bernard Shaw observed that: "It is always the Conservatives who stop behaving like gentlemen first."
Scientific studies conducted a century later have further defined the said affliction of conservatism. An American journal, Psychological Bulletin, recently published an intriguing study of a trio of figures belonging to the far right of the political spectrum: Hitler, Mussolini and Ronald Reagan.
It reported the findings of a group of distinguished psychological researchers after probing the emotional and cognitive functioning of their gang of three. They found that "conservatism emerges as a set of neuroses nourished by aggression, dogmatism and an intolerance of ambiguity".
All three shared a propensity for "moral certainty and a dislike of nuance". They were, in short, fundamentalists. They proselytised for "a return to an idealised past and condoned inequality"....
BUSH AND BLAIR TRY TO REWRITE HISTORY AS THEY CHANGE THEIR RATIONALE FOR THE WAR
Britain and US will back down over WMDs
By Andy McSmith, Raymond Whitaker and Geoffrey Lean, 07 September 2003
Britain and the US have combined to come up with entirely new explanations of why they went to war in Iraq as inspectors on the ground prepare to report that there are no weapons of mass destruction there.
The "current and serious" threat of Iraq's WMD was the reason Tony Blair gave for going to war, but last week the Prime Minister delivered a justification which did not mention the weapons at all. On the same day John Bolton, US Under-Secretary of State for arms control, said that whether Saddam Hussein's regime actually possessed WMD "isn't really the issue".
The 1,400-strong Iraq Survey Group, sent out in May to begin an intensive hunt for the elusive weapons, is expected to report this week that it has found no WMD hardware, nor even any sign of active programmes. The inspectors, headed by David Kay, a close associate of President George Bush, are likely to say the only evidence it has found is that the Iraqi government had retained a group of scientists who had the expertise to restart the weapons programme at any time.
Gee, what I remember is that we had to go to war RIGHT NOW (in March) because if we waited for the UN to act it might be too late.
First Bush said Iraq had WMDs. Later (right after the war) they said that even though they didn't have WMDs they had a WMD program. NOW they're not even saying that. They're saying they had scientists who could SOMEDAY start a WMD program. First they have to start a program , then they have succeed at it. We are talking YEARS here. How many countries would have been eligible for attack under that criteria? Probably even Mexico... Isn't anyone paying attention?
Well, I guess if the Commies used to rewite history all the time, why can't we?
BUSH MIDEAST PLAN IN TATTERS AS ABBAS RESIGNS PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
Peace plan in turmoil as Palestinian PM resigns and Israel attacks Gaza City
By Donald Macintyre in Ramallah, 07 September 2003
The Palestinian Prime Minister, Mahmoud Abbas, plunged the already tottering Middle East peace process into fresh turmoil yesterday by handing in his resignation to Yasser Arafat after weeks of conflict with the Palestinian Authority President. MORE
With Iraq descending into chaos, Bush's attempt to isolate Yassir Arafat from the the Palestinian leadership was his one true (though tenuous) success. Now that Abbas has resigned, leaving Arafat back in charge, Bush is worse off than ever having completely alienated Arafat and with minimal credibility among moderate Palestinians. Prepare for the worst here, too.