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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, October 25, 2003


 
PLAYSTATION IRAQ?

Why Iraq's buying up Sony PlayStation 2s: Intelligence experts fear games bundled for military applications

By Joseph Farah, © 2000 WorldNetDaily.com

Many American kids may be disappointed on Christmas morning because the Sony PlayStation 2 they wanted wound up in Iraq.

Both the U.S. Customs Service and the FBI are investigating the apparent transfer of large numbers of Sony PlayStation 2s to Iraq, according to military intelligence sources.

A secret Defense Intelligence Agency report states that as many as 4,000 of the popular video game units have been purchased in the United States and shipped to Iraq in the last two to three months....

Two government agencies are investigating the purchases because the PlayStations can be bundled together into a sort of crude super-computer and used for a variety of military applications, say intelligence sources.

"Most Americans don't realize that each PlayStation unit contains a CPU -- every bit as powerful as the processor found in most desktop and laptop computers," said one military intelligence officer who declined to be identified. "Beyond that, the graphics capabilities of a PlayStation are staggering -- five times more powerful than that of a typical graphics workstation, and roughly 15 times more powerful than the graphics cards found in most PCs."...

...What could Iraq do with such a primitive super-computer constructed with Sony PlayStation 2s?

"Applications for this system are potentially frightening," said an intelligence source. "One expert I spoke with estimated that an integrated bundle of 12-15 PlayStations could provide enough computer power to control an Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV -- a pilotless aircraft."...
LINK


 
WELCOME TO IRAQ, WOLFIE

Rockets Hit Baghdad Hotel Where Wolfowitz Staying

YAHOO NEWS, 20 minutes ago

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Anti-American guerrillas attacked the Baghdad hotel where U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was staying on Sunday with a barrage of rockets, but the Cabinet member survived the blasts, U.S. officials said.

At least three people were wounded -- two of whom were carried away on stretchers -- said a Reuters journalist at the Rashid Hotel, where the attack occurred at about 6 a.m. local time (11 p.m. EDT Saturday).

LINK

So why doesn't the media focus on the GOOD news?


 
Bureaucracy bogs down Baghdad

Blocked at every turn: Traffic mimics the flow of official data

by Lawrence Smallman in Baghdad, AL JAZEERA, Monday 20 October 2003 11:23 AM GMT

How many people does it take to run a ministry?

In Baghdad, it seems, one to make a decision - and a thousand to prevent anyone else from finding out what it is.

The same goes for traffic.

Despite having the luxury of four traffic police at one junction, one decides what should happen and the other three confuse the situation. All four directions can and do proceed at the same time.

Searching out some basic information like how much electricity was required in Iraq, and how much was produced, is no less an ordeal - if you make it through the traffic.

Ministry of Electricity

Sitting in a flyblown office with tobacco-stained walls, Ahmad Sabah was clearly a seasoned red-taper.

"You can't see the minister or any other official unless you have permission from the Governing Council. No, I cannot ask him if he will spare you five minutes, I have written orders."

Sabah produced a handwritten note from his pocket, sweat-stained and in illegible letters.

"No, the ministry cannot produce figures about electricity production unless you have a signed note from the Governing Council. Get that and come back tomorrow."

It was just as well he said tomorrow Crossing Baghdad's central Sahat al-Tayran takes two hours. People just abandon their cars in the middle of the street to do their shopping while they wait for the traffic to move.

Some scream and shout, others read, but most shop as they wait for any sign of movement.
more



Friday, October 24, 2003


 
FELLOW CRUSADERS...FELLOW JIHADISTS... TAKE THE WHO'S GOD IS MORE VICIOUS QUIZ!

Let's face it - you can't start a Holy War, Crusade or Jihad unless you know your Deity kicks MORE BUTT than theirs... Right, Gen. Boykin?

So be sure to take the fun-for-the-whole-family Whose God is More Vicious Quiz Today. Right here.



 
HOW (NOT) TO WIN THE WAR ON TERROR

Syria, Long Ruthlessly Secular, Sees Fervent Islamic Resurgence

By NEIL MacFARQUHAR, NY TIMES, October 24, 2003

ALEPPO, Syria, Oct. 19 — Two decades after Syria ruthlessly uprooted militant Islam, killing an estimated 10,000 people, this most secular of Arab states is experiencing a dramatic religious resurgence.

Friday Prayers draw overflowing crowds. More heavily veiled women and bearded men jostle unharried among city pedestrians. Family restaurants on the outskirts of Damascus do not serve alcohol, and one fashionable boutique even sports a sign advertising Islamically modest bathing suits.

Syrian experts on religious matters and others attribute the phenomenon — more creeping than confrontational — to various factors. Islam is proving appealing through much of the Arab world, including Syria, as a means to protest corrupt, incompetent and oppressive governments.

The widespread sense that the faith is being singled out for attack by Washington has invigorated that appeal, at a time when the violence fomented by radicals had tarnished political Islam....
LINK

-So... we invade one secular Arab state (Iraq) and provoke their Shi'ite majority, we threaten a similar state (Syria) and help stimulate an Islamic resurgence.... Are we stupid, or is this some master plan to give Halliburton work for generations to come?


 
GUESS WHAT MOM, WE CAPTURED A WHOLE VILLAGE

AP: U.S. Raid Nets Whole Iraqi Village

By HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press, Thu Oct 23, 3:29 PM ET

HABBARIYAH, Iraq - American troops in helicopters swooped down on this remote sheepherding village in the desert and detained nearly all the men, one as old as 81, one as young as 13. A month after the raid, apparently aimed at preventing terrorists from slipping across the border from Saudi Arabia, only two of the 79 captives have been freed...
LINK

I really hate those 81 year old terrorists, don't you?



Thursday, October 23, 2003


 
REMEMBER HOW CANADA'S "SOCIALIZED MEDICINE" WAS SUPPOSEDLY BANKRUPTING THE COUNTRY?

Federal surplus $7 billion last year: Manley

Wed, 22 Oct 2003, CBC NEWS

OTTAWA - The federal government's coffers brimmed with a surplus of $7 billion for the last fiscal year, Finance Minister John Manley reported Wednesday. The entire surplus will go to pay down the national debt.

The surplus for the 2002-2003 fiscal year, which ended on March 31 was the sixth straight year that Ottawa's books have been in the black.

On Tuesday in the House of Commons, Manley said the country has not had six consecutive budget surpluses in 50 years.

"Canada was the only Group of Seven country to record a surplus in the most recent fiscal year," John Manley said in his statement.
LINK


 
HALLIBURTON RIPPING OFF IRAQ AND HUMANITARIAN NGOs ON OIL

New Information May Bolster Questions on Halliburton
By NEELA BANERJEE, NY TIMES

The head of an Iraqi oil agency said yesterday that his group had been trucking in gasoline and other fuel to Iraq for considerably less money than Halliburton, which has so far received more than $700 million from the Army Corps of Engineers to stave off shortages there.

Separately, a report earlier this month by the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan public policy research arm, warned that the Corps of Engineers might be paying too much to import fuel.

The disclosures support assertions by two senior House Democrats, Representatives Henry A. Waxman of California and John D. Dingell of Michigan, that Halliburton may be overcharging American taxpayers and Iraqis. The lawmakers sent a letter to the head of the Corps of Engineers yesterday asking it to look into the price disparity between the Iraqi agency's imports and Halliburton's.

The letter also noted new information released by the corps that most of the money to buy the fuel had come from a fund established by the United Nations meant to provide humanitarian aid to Iraq. The fund is under American control.

"Although it initially appeared that Halliburton was gouging only American taxpayers," the lawmakers said in the letter to Lt. Gen. Robert B. Flowers, head of the Corps of Engineers, "it now seems that the company is overcharging the humanitarian Oil for Food program and the Iraqi people as well. This significantly compounds the implications of Halliburton's actions."
LINK

We've already seen what happens when people "run a country like they would a business," now we can see what happens when they run their company like its a nation.


 
WE WOULD NEVER DO A THING LIKE THAT

-Or would we? Thats what I was thinking when I read about the US POW/MIAs in N Korea below... BUT:

Amnesty highlights plight of Grenada detainees

By Gideon Long

LONDON (Reuters) - On the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Grenada, Amnesty International is urging the authorities on the Caribbean island to either free 17 prisoners held for two decades or allow a judicial review of their cases.

In a statement on Thursday, the human rights group said "the Grenada 17" were subjected to the same human rights abuses 20 years ago as detainees now being held in Guantanamo Bay.

It said there were "very strong" similarities between the ad-hoc courts used to convict the prisoners in the 1980s and the military tribunals which will start to hear the cases next year of detainees from Washington's "war on terror" in Afghanistan.

"Amnesty International believes that the Grenada 17 cannot continue to be incarcerated on the grounds of a conviction that was obtained via a process that was in gross violation of international standards governing fair trials," Amnesty said.

Amnesty researcher Piers Bannister said the conditions in which the prisoners were held in Grenada in 1983 were similar to those now at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where around 600 terror suspects are being held.

"They're similar in the sense that they are both appalling," he told Reuters...
link


 
BUSHCO OPENS IRAQ SUBSIDIARY

Iraq tells investors it's open for business

AFP- Iraq appealed to the international business community to invest in the war-shattered country, stressing it was very much open for business despite lingering fears over the security situation.

"The new Iraq will be above all a market-oriented economy," interim trade minister Ali Allawi told a meeting of some 300 private sector companies on the sidelines of an international conference seeking funds for the rebuilding of Iraq...

..."No sector of the economy will be closed to foreign investment with the exception of the oil sector," which will have its own special regime, he said.

The fact that the oil sector falls within the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority's (CPA) ambit is a source of concern to countries who did not back the US-led occupation of the country, which sits on the world's second-largest known oil reserves...






 
KOREAN WAR POW/MIAs DISCLOSED

North Korean officer saw westerners at prison camp

AFP - A former top North Korean army officer told how he had seen seven westerners he believed to be prisoners from the 1950-53 Korean War while an inmate in one of the country's notorious "slave" camps.

Kim Yong, who was a lieutenant colonel in the Korean People's Army before he was arrested in 1993, said he saw the seven, who could have been American or British, at the so-called Camp 18 at Deukchang in South Pyongan province in 1996.

He said he had also seen a Japanese woman at the camp.

The men were all aged between 70 and 75 and were working on road building with other inmates, Kim told a Washington news conference to launch a report by a US rights group on prison camps in the Stalinist state.

"I saw seven people who I presume were westerners or Caucasians," Kim said.

He said another former high ranking official from the ruling Workers Party detained at the same camp told him the men were believed to be American or British prisoners from the Korean War...
LINK


 
$4bn Iraq cash has vanished, claims charity

GETHIN CHAMBERLAIN, DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT

REPRESENTATIVES from more than 70 countries were gathering in Madrid today to discuss funding of post-war Iraq amid accusations that the coalition authority in the country has failed to account for billions of dollars of oil and aid revenues.

A Christian charity claimed yesterday that failure of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) to set up an independent auditing board to oversee spending had left a question mark over what had happened to up to $4 billion (£2.4 billion) that should have been spent on rebuilding the country.


You know the saying: a billion here a billion there, pretty soon you're talking REAL money...



Wednesday, October 22, 2003


 
I GET IT, HE'S USING REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY

Rumsfeld Challenges Progress in War on Terror

Wed Oct 22, 6:24 PM ET, By Charles Aldinger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon and White House on Wednesday defended a memorandum from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to top defense officials questioning progress in the war on terrorism and warning that the United States faced "a long, hard slog" in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sharply diverging from more upbeat public comments, Rumsfeld wrote it was not possible to transform the Defense Department quickly enough to effectively fight the anti-terrorism war.
LINK


POSSIBLE REASONS:

1. Lowering expectations so if it turns out to be only a partial fiasco, it'll look good

2. He's hoping we will say, "No, Donald you're doing just fine.."

3. He's positioning himself for a slot in the President Clark White House.



 
SATIRE- BUT KINDA TRUE

Washington press longs for Clinton years when presidential scandal was easy pickins

Bush scandals, by contrast, are a tangled web of corruption and deceit requiring actual work.

The recent barrage of Iraq-related controversies leveled at the White House has the Washington press corps nostalgic for the eight unrelenting years that it hounded ex-President Bill Clinton.

Avery Rutledge of U.S. News & World Report, sighed as he remembered the simplicity of the Clinton years. “It was so much easier writing about Clinton’s blowjob than trying to explain the multi-leveled nepotism and corruption of the Bush Administration.”

LOL. From Freepressed, thanks to TPRS and WTF


 
9-11 COMMISSION STARTS SUBPOENA-ING GOVT AGENCIES

9/11 commission gets tough

October 21, 2003

AFTER TRYING since May to get documents from the Federal Aviation Administration, the independent commission that is investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks took the unusual step of subpoenaing the records. The commission didn't cry obstructionism, but it came close.

The data the commission seeks deal with the critical 29 minutes between the time the FAA knew the commercial flight that eventually hit the Pentagon had been diverted and notification of the North American air defense command. Details were not forthcoming, but apparently the FAA isn't the only agency dragging its feet.

Commission chairman Thomas Kean said he hoped the subpoena "will tell other agencies that haven't complied with our requests to get on the stick and do so." ...
LINK


 
JOHN EDWARDS KICKS ASS, TOO

Getting Personal: John Edwards Tries to Rally His Bid by Going One on One

By Mark Leibovich, Washington Post, Wednesday, October 22

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa: This is John Edwards doing rage:

"George Bush goes down to that big ranch of his, with that big belt buckle," he says. "He pretends to know what it's like for you and me." Edwards's voice eases to a slow, dripping disdain. One imagines him in his previous career as a plaintiff's lawyer, representing, he says, "ordinary people who play by the rules." He is indignant, theatrical and successful -- in courtrooms as on the stump. He draws big applause from a weekday crowd of 200 at a small community center here. He has 5-year-old girls booing pharmaceutical lobbyists.

One of the striking things about seeing Edwards up close is the degree of raw anger he evinces in his speeches -- and the level of anger he elicits from his audiences toward the president. It's not uncommon for presidential candidates such as Howard Dean, Dick Gephardt or John Kerry to attack Bush's performance with contempt and ridicule.

But Edwards's anger seems more stomach-level. He is prone to attack Bush not just for what he has done in office, but for who he is and where he comes from. Several times a day, Edwards will dismiss the president as "a man who only values wealth and money." ...
MORE


 
REPOST: ALIENS FIND WMDs

In case you missed it and/ or if you've forgotten the zeitgeist of those heady days:

ALIENS LEAD U.S. SOLDIERS TO IRAQI WMDS

(Baghdad, April 23) General Tommy Franks announced today that US troops discovered huge stockpiles of Iraqi chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in the desert outside Baghdad, after being led to the site by a UFO.

"It was certainly fortuitous," Franks commented with a weary grin, "We had just about given up hope when a marine looked up in the sky, and saw a glowing, flying saucer." By following that saucer, he apparently was led to a large weapons cache that contained biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, all clearly marked "For use in the USA."

"That certainly was the 'smoking gun' we were looking for," Franks added. "Now the world knows we were justified in invading Iraq."

Franks also noted that the aliens telepathically communicated to him that Saddam Hussein had been aiding Osama Bin Ladin.

ADDENDUM: If you substitute "Unnamed Iraqi Scientist" for alien, you pretty much have Fox's TV coverage for the last couple days. Convenient that they can't name or show him. Maybe he IS an alien!


- 10/22/03 - That Fox coverage then was intense, I remember almost believing they HAD found WMDs for a few minutes. That's why I posted it.


 
SOME NEW LINKS

Kevin Sites blogging from Iraq (should've added him months ago)

DDjangoWiRE

Hell For Halliburton This one is in the TTLB new blog contest. Joe Bob sez- Check 'em out.


 
MTBE BAILOUT IS PART OF NEW ENERGY BILL

Ralph Nader is reporting that a $30 Billion bailout for toxic additive MTBE producers is part of the new energy bill. MTBE is a toxic waste that was added to fuel as an "oxygenate" under the pressure of the oil and chemical industries as a cheaper alternative to ethanol for reducing air pollution. Only thing is MTBE turned out to be one of the most vicious water pollutants ever discovered.

As thousands of streams and wells have become tainted with MTBE, industry is running to Mama for a bailout against lawsuits. This despite the fact that they knew it was a danger because they'd had to pay to dispose of it as a toxic waste for years before it became a fuel additive. [Sources: Nader, SF Chronicle, summary ]


 
PROGRESS, FOR ONCE

UPI reports this update to the earlier story:

Doctors, dollars rushed to Fort Stewart

By Mark Benjamin, UPI Investigations Editor,Published 10/20/2003 9:39 PM


WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- The Army said Monday it is sending doctors to Fort Stewart, Ga., to help hundreds of sick and injured soldiers, including Iraq veterans, who say they are waiting weeks and months for proper medical help.

Many of the Army Reserve and National Guard personnel in "medical hold" at the base are living in steamy cement training barracks that they say are unacceptable for sick and injured soldiers.

The Army said in its statement that it would spend money to improve those living conditions and is dispatching a team to look into the soldiers' complaints.

"The Army does acknowledge that medical hold challenges exist -- across the Army as well as Fort Stewart," according to the statement. The Army "is absolutely committed to taking care of our people."

At the Pentagon, Army Public Affairs Specialist Steven Stover said officials would try to use findings about the problems at Fort Stewart to improve conditions in the future.

"Is this happening? Yes, it is," said Stover. "What we learn from this incident is going to help the Army when we have other major units returning" from Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Stover said Director of the Army Staff Lt. Gen. James L. Lovelace Jr. dispatched the "assessment team" after a series of meetings among high-level Army officials on Friday, Saturday and Monday.

On Friday, United Press International reported that the soldiers were languishing in hot cement barracks here while they wait -- sometimes for months -- to see doctors. They have to walk to a nearby latrine...

LINK



Tuesday, October 21, 2003


 
N. Korea says U.S. offer laughable

By Martin Nesirky and Kim Kyoung-wha

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has dismissed as laughable a U.S. offer to provide multilateral security guarantees in exchange for Pyongyang ending its nuclear weapons programme, saying it was not worth even considering.

In a commentary published late on Tuesday, the North's official KCNA news agency said Pyongyang wanted a bilateral treaty with the United States -- a reference to its desire for a non-aggression pact that Washington has ruled out...


Is it possible they learned a lesson from Iraq? Destroy your weapons and get invaded, or keep em and stay safe?


 
BUSH TO RETARDED: PROVE YOU'RE WORTH IT OR LOSE YOUR JOB

WPOST: ...one small example of Bush's "competitive sourcing" initiative, which requires hundreds of thousands of civil servants in the government to prove that they can do their work better and more cheaply than a private contractor, or risk seeing the work go to the contractor.

But in one way, the 21 workers in the hospital scullery are different: All are mentally disabled, and beneficiaries of federal policies that promote the employment of people with disabilities....

... "I live in a group home, and I have to pay the rent there," said Shapiro. "And I have to work, or else they'll ask me to leave. I don't want to leave my friends. I don't want to leave my house. It's too nice."

The work isn't easy. The employees remove trash and utensils from used trays as they navigate across a water-slicked red-tile floor. Many wear earplugs to block out the drone of the industrial dishwasher that cleans the dishes and trays that pass through it on a conveyer belt before the workers retrieve and stack them in neat piles. Shifts begin at 5:30 a.m. and end as late as 7 p.m.
LINK

Tough luck, Dopey! You should have thought of that when you decided to be retarded. Now we'll lay you off and hire some high-turnover teenagers.


 
PAKI TRIBES P.O.'d AT U.S. AND BUSH "SAHIB"

Tribes inflamed by Qaeda hunt

Waziristan is notoriously independent and shares an ideological bond with Osama bin Laden.

By Owais Tohid, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

..."It is a political game between the authorities and tribal chiefs," says Waziristan-based writer and sociologist Sailab Meshud. "The authorities are pressuring the tribesmen, and the tribal chiefs are buying time [for] Al Qaeda fighters and their local agents to slip away and prevent clashes between the tribesmen and the Pakistan Army," Mr. Meshud says.

But the tribesmen are enraged, and accuse President Pervez Musharraf of conspiring against the tribesmen at the behest of Washington.

"It is an order of Bush Sahib [President Bush] that doesn't spare tribesmen, and Musharraf is a yes man," says Farid Khan, while cleaning the barrel of his Kalashnikov. "We will defend ourselves," he says.

MORE

I like that: Bush Sahib. It has just the right colonialist feel to it.


 
REPORT SLAMS U.S. ON IRAQI CIVILIAN CASUALTIES

Chicago Tribune:

...The report, which examined deaths that occurred since President Bush declared the end of major combat in Iraq on May 1, charges that the U.S.-led military coalition is often reluctant to investigate civilian deaths, is not careful enough to prevent them and has failed to provide an accounting of the casualties. The human-rights group alleges that many of the deaths were caused by overly aggressive U.S. military actions.

Despite being provided a copy of the 56-page report before publication, the U.S.-led coalition said through its military spokesman that it has not read it and would not comment on its contents.

Human Rights Watch alleges that a detailed review of the cases "reveals a pattern by U.S. forces of overaggressive tactics, indiscriminate shooting in residential areas and a quick reliance on lethal force."

Very few civilian deaths by U.S. fire are investigated, Human Rights Watch says, and no one has an accurate count of civilian casualties. The U.S.-led coalition counters that the figures are "unknowable."

In Baghdad alone, the report estimates that there have been at least 94 Iraqi deaths under "questionable legal circumstances that merit investigation." Hundreds of innocent Iraqis have been killed at checkpoints or caught in the crossfire in clashes outside the capital, human-rights advocates say.

"Just the fact that the U.S. military doesn't track civilian deaths indicates that they do not seem to care," said Joe Stork, acting executive director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch....

LINK


 
MUST READ: "I'VE NEVER SEEN A GOVERNMENT LIKE THIS" - THE IRAQ WMD DECEPTION

THE STOVEPIPE

by SEYMOUR M. HERSH, THE NEW YORKER

How conflicts between the Bush Administration and the intelligence community marred the reporting on Iraq’s weapons.

...Kenneth Pollack, a former National Security Council expert on Iraq, whose book “The Threatening Storm” generally supported the use of force to remove Saddam Hussein, told me that what the Bush people did was “dismantle the existing filtering process that for fifty years had been preventing the policymakers from getting bad information. They created stovepipes to get the information they wanted directly to the top leadership. Their position is that the professional bureaucracy is deliberately and maliciously keeping information from them.

“They always had information to back up their public claims, but it was often very bad information,” Pollack continued. “They were forcing the intelligence community to defend its good information and good analysis so aggressively that the intelligence analysts didn’t have the time or the energy to go after the bad information.”

The Administration eventually got its way, a former C.I.A. official said. “The analysts at the C.I.A. were beaten down defending their assessments. And they blame George Tenet”—the C.I.A. director—“for not protecting them. I’ve never seen a government like this.”...
LINK


 
LESSONS OF VIETNAM?

Curtains Ordered for Media Coverage of Returning Coffins

By Dana Milbank, NY TIMES, Tuesday, October 21, 2003; Page A23

Since the end of the Vietnam War, presidents have worried that their military actions would lose support once the public glimpsed the remains of U.S. soldiers arriving at air bases in flag-draped caskets.

To this problem, the Bush administration has found a simple solution: It has ended the public dissemination of such images by banning news coverage and photography of dead soldiers' homecomings on all military bases.
LINK

There's no problem that BushCo can't solve by more secrecy or more tax cuts. Ban the bad news! Buy more stuff!

Maybe a better lesson would be: Get out of Iraq...


 
THE SPY GAME IS WINNER IN TTLB NEW BLOG CONTEST

The perversion of intelligence production by policy makers has always been a danger, but has been raised to unprecendented levels by the current administrations in the UK and here.

Secrecy and deception of enemies are sometimes justified in the defense of the nation, but to deceive the American public in the launching of an aggressive and unnecessary war is certainly unpardonable.


(The Spy Game is also by manis2society)



Monday, October 20, 2003


 
SYRIA KNOWS WHICH SIDE AMERICA'S BREAD IS BUTTERED ON

Arab boycott lifts major US companies from blacklist

ASSOCIATED PRESS Oct. 20, 2003

The Syrian-based Arab boycott of Israel office has taken US Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, Halliburton, and Citigroup off its blacklist.

The Central Boycott Office's report, which was made available to The Associated Press on Monday, said four branches of U.S. steelmaker, The Timken Co., in France, Italy, Romania and Poland have also been removed from the list.

The Cairo-based Arab League has received a copy of the report. The boycott office said the companies had "settled" outstanding issues. It did not elaborate.


Hell For Halliburton comments:

ONE WAY TO KEEP THE USA FROM ATTACK IS TO LIFT A HALLIBURTON BOYCOTT - what kind of dealing went on here?

The Syrian-based Arab boycott of Israel office has taken US Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, Halliburton, off its blacklist. Is Syria paying Cheneyburton so the USA won't attack?


Sure looks like it, I'd say. Think of Halliburton as the 21st century British East India Company. Complete with its own army - US!


 
43 ATTACKS: A TYPICAL DAY IN IRAQ?

...The attack occurred about 20 yards from the main bridge leading into Fallujah from Baghdad, 35 miles to the east, when about 30 soldiers on foot, accompanied by five Humvees, were on patrol along the highway.

It was one of 43 attacks on Americans all over Iraq on Monday, reports CBS News Correspondent Kimberly Dozier.
LINK

Left out of the article was the televised comment by an administration official that it was just a typical day in Iraq.


 
PLAME & SPANN QUESTIONS ANSWERED

I have answers to questions about the relationship of the Johnny Spann case to the Plame Affair over at The Spy Game.

If you are not up to speed on the connection between them, here is the background.


 
WHY BLAIR JOINED BUSH'S CRUSADE

Why "faith based" intelligence triumphed over reality - from Jang:

Blair’s Evangelical belief sent Britain to Iraq war: Cook

LONDON: The "evangelical" belief of British Prime Minister Tony Blair that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction pushed the country into war for false reasons, Blair’s former foreign secretary revealed on Sunday.

"Blair himself passionately believed in the case for war," said Robin Cook, who resigned from the government due to his opposition to the war to remove Saddam Hussein.

"The prime minister and fellow government members needed to believe that Saddam was a threat," Cook told BBC television’s Breakfast with Frost programme.

"If they had not been so evangelical about their certainty, I think they could have seen that the intelligence before them was too thin to justify war," said Cook, who served as foreign secretary from 1997 to 2001.
LINK

This is a coded reference to what many in England know, but is not well known here. That Blair is an evangelic Christian and that is his bond with Bush:

From the Guardian:

...recently it has been revealed that - long before September 11 - Blair was a keen student of the Koran as well as a Bible reader since his teens, a fact little known to friends of the long-haired rock singer and chaser of girls at Oxford in the hedonistic 70s. During his meteoric rise, Labour atheists were sometimes surprised when Blair asked for the nearest church. Those who know him best do not doubt his sincerity. "Religion is what moves him," says one. So whatever his faith, it matters. Though other premiers have been quietly pious - Baldwin, Macmillan, Douglas-Home - he is the most visibly Christian tenant of No 10 since William Gladstone confidently railed against Papal Infallibility and the Turkish massacres a century ago. link

And from Canadian Andy Knight:

It would appear that there is a genuine meeting of hearts between these two leaders that is linked to strongly held Christian religious beliefs. In other words, both Blair and Bush appear to be on a righteous campaign that pits fundamentalist Christianity and so-called western civilization against extremist Islam.

He concludes:

More than anything else, this unites the two leaders. And one should not be too surprised if this 'like-minded' crusading spirit causes both Bush and Blair to suffer the same fate at the hands of their respective electorates, should things go badly in Iraq. link


 
TWENTIETH HIJACKER ... WASN'T?

from TIME Magazine:

... from the start, the government's case against Moussaoui was utterly circumstantial, and the connection between the hijackers and him was mainly inferred from their similar profiles. In fact, sources tell Time, the FBI has long believed that Moussaoui played no part in the 9/11 scheme and was only a minor player in al-Qaeda. Still, the Justice Department's December 2001 indictment laid out in chilling detail the 19 hijackers' activities in the months leading up to Sept. 11, alongside Moussaoui's doings over a similar time frame. Their tracks were roughly parallel, but direct contact between Moussaoui and the 19 was never alleged.... LINK


 
ANOTHER REASON WE WENT TO WAR

U.S. COULD USE GCC PRESENCE TO SELL AIRCRAFT

ABU DHABI [MENL] -- The United States is expected to use its military presence in the Persian Gulf to market civilian and military aircraft to allies in the region.

Industry sources said Washington could achieve aircraft sales to Gulf Cooperation Council states as early as 2004. The sources said the United States has approached all six GCC states in an effort to conclude deals for a range of civilian and military jets.

The leading targets of the U.S. effort, the sources said, are Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They said the competition appears strongest in Qatar, where French aircraft manufacturers have a significant presence.

The main rivalry appears to be between Europe's Airbus and the U.S. Boeing. In June, Airbus won most of the orders for civilian aircraft for Qatar and the United Arab Emirates at the Paris Air Show. In all, Airbus won orders of 52 passenger jets in a deal worth $18.9 billion.
LINK



Sunday, October 19, 2003


 
Bush's "spirit" cursed with black magic, tossed into Thai river

Bangkok (AFP) - pResident Evil has been trapped in a clay pot and tossed into a river in northern Thailand -- or at least his spirit has after being cursed by hundreds of farmers protesting US agriculture policy.

A photograph of the US leader was sealed inside a pot amid black magic mantra chants, then tossed into the Ping River Friday by demonstrators after they rallied at the US consulate in Chiang Mai, a farm group leader said.

"This is a traditional northern Thai ceremony aimed at keeping his spirit down on the riverbed so he could not come and exploit our natural resources or suppress our (farming) brothers with his superior influence," Weerasak Wan-ubol, an executive of the Northern Farmers Alliance, told AFP Saturday.
AFP via Maruthecrankpot

Now THAT's what I call direct ACTION!


 
CHENEY GETS TO KEEP HIS HALLIBURTON MONEY

Senate won't oblige Cheney to refuse Halliburton money

By TED MONOSON Washington bureau
www.onewest.net

WASHINGTON -- The Senate rejected efforts on Tuesday to keep Vice President Dick Cheney from collecting $500,000 that he is scheduled to receive from Halliburton Corp. this year.
LINK

He also gets to keep any countries we invade.


 
TURKEY MAY BACK OUT OF IRAQ COMMITMENT

Turkey cools towards Iraq role

BBC: Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he may reverse a decision to send troops to Iraq if Iraqis continue to oppose the idea.

Turkey's parliament had voted in favour of sending troops to Iraq at the request of the US, but the Iraqi Governing Council responded with firm opposition to the presence of troops from surrounding nations.

"If the Iraqi people say: 'We don't want anybody,' then there's nothing else we can do. If wanted, we'll go, if not wanted, we won't go. We haven't made a definite decision," Mr Erdogan said on Saturday...

..."We aren't longing to send soldiers to Iraq. There was a request from the United States and we're evaluating it," he said...
LINK

So much for that much-ballyhooed commitment.


 
THE INDIGENOUS RESURGENCE IN S. AMERICA

LA TIMES:

...The Indian-led movement that brought down Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada last week was only the most recent and startling expression of a growing militancy and political assertiveness among the native peoples of the Americas.

In Ecuador and in Guatemala, indigenous leaders arguably wield more influence in local and national affairs than in any time since the Spanish conquest. And in Chile and Mexico, resistance to the changes brought by the global economy are helping to feed a renaissance of indigenous organizations.

"Everyone thought that globalization would wipe out local identities and cultures," said Alejandro Herrera, a professor at the University of the Frontier in Temuco, in south-central Chile.

"Instead, the opposite has happened. People are embracing their indigenous identities against these outside threats."...


Worth reading.


 
FANTASY TERRORISM LEAGUE

Hey, its the funniest thing since Poindexter's Terrorist futures market, and no doubt inspired BY it.

See how many virgins you can earn by YOUR terrorist act. Joe Bob Iguana sez, "CHECK IT OUT! (Courtesy: Quinnell)




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