Wednesday, April 07, 2004

This is so weird

it couldn't be true. The Iraqi Governing Council is willing to drop the murder charges against al-Sadr and quash the arrest warrant that Bremer's trying to serve on him if al-Sadr agrees to call off his insurgent militia?

But if it's true, what does Bremer do?

I've hardly ever read Forbes

and never cited it, but this story about the massive defection of Bush's counter-terrorism staff is an astoundingly damning piece of evidence that Bush has gone nuts. Nuts. Crazy. Bug-eyed wacko.

Probably not the best authority, but

Pakistan's dictator says that the US investment of troops and materiel in the Iraq conflagration is diminishing the campaign against al-Queda.

Even so, it does support Clarke's assertion--and common sense--that one war is easier to fight than two.

Just like a computer game ...

Where is Raed ?:

"Dear US administration,
Welcome to the next level. Please don't act surprised and what sort of timing is that it: planning to go on a huge attack on the west of Iraq and provoking a group you know very well (I pray to god you knew) that they are trouble makers. "

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Our leaders are idiots

Even I--even before I read this piece from AsiaTimes Online--understood that once the US decided to arrest al-Sadr it was doomed to (1) kill him and create a dead martyr; or (2) arrest him and create a live prisoner.

Every once in a while I wish this blog were read more widely

Such as this observation:

There's a new phenomenon on the airwaves (new to me, anyhoo) called the Video News Release (VNR), which, as I understand it, is a pre-packaged TV piece that's transmitted to broadcasting stations as a news item, and is broadcast to the public as such (it's format and tone appears as such, too), but it's really a really a disguised plug, sometimes for a commercial product, sometimes for something more insidious. For example, a governmental program, supporting (you guessed it) Bush/Cheney.

Now B/C have been caught, however. A woman playing a reporter, "reporting" on the benefits of the prescription drug benefit in the newly-enacted Medicare amendment, wasn't a reporter at all, but rather a part-time actress/publicist of the Bush administration. Using public money to plug the President. Another example of Big Brother Bush, controlling the media, the corporations, the government and the money. It's unlikely this practice will be stopped before the election in November, which is of course B/C's purpose.

If Bush isn't re-elected it will be the biggest triumph of democracy ever. And if he is re-elected, we may not see democracy again in the United States in our (my) lifetime.

an ambitious man

A photomontage of Americans killed in Iraq. This is worth seeing!


Conspiracy theory?

Naomi Klein, whose books on globalism are right-on, reports from Baghdad that the place is a cauldron of craziness. She wonders, even, if Tribune Bremer was acting on political instructions to bring the business with al-Sadr to a head now by seizing his paper and arresting his publicist, and now by chasing down al-Sadr himself. The reason to foment this resistance now, she thinks, might be to give Bush/Cheney a basis for delaying the turnover of sovereignty past June 30, allowing them to continue on in battle.
Maybe. Maybe, however, they've fallen victim to the syndrome of many bullies. When you're beat, keep fighting.
Whatever's behind it all, even if there's nothing behind our current actions, the effects are the same. Bush/Cheney are taking the heat for this latest outrage, as they should be. Iraq was their war, these deaths are their deaths and we can't let anyone forget it.

Bush/Cheney's petard

During the invasion of Iraq a year ago, all cameras were focused on the assaulting troops and the flare of bombs, to the benefit of Bush/Cheney's "war president" image. Both the Bush administration and the television news programs thrived on the drama of the combat.

Now there's a new eruption of violence on at least two fronts and guess what? The Bush/Cheney camp would rather not have the coverage spread all over the airwaves and are downplaying its significance. But the networks, like good capitalists, like money most of all and aren't inclined to pull back its cameras because like good Americans, we viewers love drama and adore watching violence.

Bush/Cheney turned on the war spigot and can't now turn it off.

CNN Reports

Senator Edward Kennedy, in a speech yesterday, apparently called the battle in Iraq "George Bush's Viet Nam." Tribune Bremer promptly called his remark "ridiculous" and "inappropriate."
Wolf Blitzer on CNN was just interviewing a retired Marine Major General (a so-called "military expert") and asked him if Kennedy's comparison was apt.
His reply (paraphrasing): "Well, actually, yes. We're committed to remaining in a situation we can't control, the world is watching and the situation is deteriorating. So, it sure feels like Viet Nam to me--and I served there for seven years."

When you pay your taxes in a few days

Reflect on the fact that over the last years American corporations paid little or none. None.

Bush Says He Lacked Intelligence

Yahoo! News - Bush Says He Lacked Info on Sept. 11:

"Let me just be very clear about this," he said. "Had we had the information that was necessary to stop an attack, I'd have stopped the attack. ... If we'd have known that the enemy was going to fly airplanes into our buildings, we would have done everything in our power to stop it." I had no intelligence before 9/11, no intelligence after 9/11. I just wish folks would stop accusing me of having intelligence. [OK, I added that last part.]

Well friends, it gets weirder and more twisted. Here's an article in my local weekly paper, in which accusations are made that the government was actually complicit in the tragedy on 9/11. Did the Bush administration take a dive? Whoa.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan...

Bush has created a warlord-powered, poppy-driven mess. Had enough?

I don't get it...quite

Tribune Bremer keeps on dictating the laws of Iraq, including this latest "private ownership" decree.

So now, we're fashioning not only a democracy but a capitalist democracy. And will these nation-altering laws remain, or are they merely the last gasps of a declining system?

It's Iraq, stupid

Okay, so some of the employment numbers have turned Bush's way. No problem. Shift to any one of the other outrages of Bush's presidency, most of them centered around his arrogant, mad march to war against Iraq. There's still the Valerie Plame thing, the 9/11 commission (with the concomitant question of Bush's fixation on Iraq), the Joint Committee's report about Iraq intelligence and so forth. Plenty of goodies to bring Bush/Cheney down.

With Tribune Bremer's latest edict to arrest al-Sadr we're assured that we'll still be fighting and dying in Iraq in November. So Kerry's task is to exploit this, to make it's so sore a point that Bush can't explain it away, and indeed to worry the Iraq madness with as many related questions as possible: The deficit, the trade imbalance, the loss of world position, the prevalence of fear in the US and throughout the world. In other words, Bush/Cheney must be painted as monsters, no less. No carping about small questions of policy, Kerry. Huge, powerful condemnations with sweeping, articulate phrasing that will stick to Bush/Cheney and become the mantras of the campaign.

That's what they're doing to you, Kerry. And you've got more ammo on them, more paint to apply.

Sixteen dead soldiers

in April and it's only day five. And now, we're going to try to arrest a Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, whom we contend is behind the violence in the Bagdad suburb of Sadr City. He's "holed up" in a mosque, no doubt surrounded by his followers, so that any attempt to arrest him will lead to a standoff (which will attract TV cameras) and of course more bloodshed--a perfect recruiting tool for anti-coalition Iraqis.

Bush's worst nightmare would be the melding of the Sunni resistance with this Shia resistance. Even if the majority of Iraqis don't join actively, that would be a huge chunk of Iraq's population opposing the US occupation. If the numbers grow big enough by the end of June, or in the months thereafter, it could happen that whoever's in charge of the Iraqi government might order the expulsion of the US military forces.

What a fitting way to bring our soldiers home, driven out by those we "liberated," leaving the country in ruin. How do you spell VietNam?

Class warfare explained

This post in the Bump in the Beltway blog lays out Bush's insidious plan to alter our taxing structure. The cruelest part is that the middle class wage earners are supporting their own demise by blindly backing him.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Baghdad [still] Burning

Riverbend throws some light on the demonstrations in Iraq, and other matters. I wonder when the cheering crowds are scheduled. Ambassador Bremer, is there a logistics problem? Isn't it about time for them to show universal gratitude for libervention?

Today Bremer also announced the fact that we now have an official 'Ministry of Defense'. The irony of the situation wasn't lost on Iraqis- the head of the occupation announcing a "Ministry of Defense". To defend against what? Occupation? Ha, ha… or maybe it's to secure the borders from unwelcome foreigners carrying guns and riding tanks?

Baghdad Burning

Misrble failure to the max

The Sunnis are killing our troops in the triangle, the Shias are killing our troops in Sadr City, the Kurds are biding their time and Islamic extremists are killing Iraqi police in Baghdad.

The "turnover" is imminent. Is it possible Bush has gotten himself into a quagmire that even Rove can't spin him out of?

Take just a moment

to place this event in perspective. Twenty Iraqis killed, hundreds wounded, in a protest. Can you imagine what would happen in the US if twenty people were killed during a protest? Kent State, a protest that sparked national outrage, involved four deaths.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

This is the biggest story of the year

Insiders are saying what we predicted--that invading Iraq would simply create a breeding ground for anti-American sentiment, in essence "a movement" seeded by our warlike behavior.

Democrats can win the presidential election--hands down--in a single stroke

by invoking Robert's Rules of Order in such a way as to wrangle the 9/11 commission into following Condi Rice's bullshit testimony ("We didn't know, couldn't know, about the imminent airplane attack on US skyscrapers") with the directly contradictory evidence of Sibel Edmonds, who translated intelligence documents precisely to the opposite effect.
Why do I think this will turn the tide? Check out the photo of the translator on the above link. She's a knockout (besides being multilingual), and so will appeal even to Bush supporters. What am I saying? Especially to Bush supporters, who define truth by what's prettiest.

Somewhere in Manhattan, there's a janitor who stands to make a cool fifty grand

if he/she tells the complete story of when and how and by whom he/she was ordered to cover up the painting, Guernica by Picasso, that would otherwise have been displayed as the backdrop of Colin Powell's now-discredited speech to the UN Security Council in which he detailed the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in order to justify our invasion?
Wouldn't you pay, even pay-per-view, to follow the exquisite details of the backstage machinations, from the initial order emanating from the White House to its final effectuation?


Check out Revenge of the WarBots on

"We tried to warn you. We protested, we railed and wrote arguments against the war, but you wouldn't listen. Now, those mercs killed in Fallujah were your responsibility. You put them there, with your cakewalking, rosepetal fantasies and ridiculous misconceptions about Iraq. The blood of all the dead from your illegal, unjustified war in Iraq - both 'coalition' and Iraqi - is on your hands. "

Raed on Falluja

Raed in the Middle ... insightful thoughts on the cycle of violence.

Friday, April 02, 2004

The real reason for the invasion of Iraq?

Or just another one?


A perspective on the horror in Fallujah: Juan Cole * Informed Comment * ... was it revenge for the incineration of Yassin by Sharon?


From CNBC this morning: Gateway is closing nearly all (180) of its retail stores, laying off 2,500 workers. (I happened to enter such a store three years ago, newly opened in SB, when I wanted to buy a laptop. I went through my list of desired specs with the salesperson, had my credit card in hand and then was told that the machine would be shipped in three days. The salesperson told me that the store didn't stock computers, but was only an outlet for receiving retail orders. I left the store and bought my laptop--a Compaq--at Circuit City, muttering under my breath that Gateway's retail concept was idiotic. Three years later, apparently, they concurred.)
CNBC also reports that Sun Microsystems is laying off 3,500 jobs.
The Labor Department will issue its report on March job levels ten minutes from now. The concensus of projections is that the unemployment rate will remain constant at 5.6%, and the economy will add 120,000 jobs, about the same numbers as was projected last month, when the eventual figure was 21,000. (Recall, it takes about 150,000 additional jobs each month, on average, to keep up with the growth of the number of persons entering the workforce.)
To be updated very shortly.

Update: The numbers are high: 308,000 new nonfarm jobs in March; upward revision of February's jobs to 46,000 from 21,000, and January's job numbers upwarly revised too. The unemployment rate, however, increased to 5.7% and there's hardly any movement in the net income per worker and there's actually a loss in hours of work. Furthermore, the sectors that grew jobs were not high paying. Retail, services, and so forth. Manufacturing didn't add any jobs.

These figures, however, are fodder for the Bush campaign. If they keep up at this level in the coming months, look forward to four more years with Bush at the helm.

Floor Statement of Sen. Daschle on the Abuse of Government Power

You guys gotta read this. Seriously. Tom Daschle speaks out on the Richard Clarke and Paul O'Neill witch hunts, "the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity as a deep cover CIA agent," and the Abuse of Government Power.

"This is no way to run a government.

The White House and its supporters should not be using the power of government to try to conceal facts from the American people or to reshape history in an effort to portray themselves in the best light."

Thursday, April 01, 2004


Check out this on Blog. The writer posits that the whole theory of installing Jeffersonian democracy with heavy armor is backfiring. Well, yes. ... But look, a new word: liberventionist. Cool.

Let God sort 'em out...

In response to Sound Familiar? ...

Everything about this war is the same evil as every other war. The whole damned thing is a bubbling, seething magma of insanity piped fresh from the irritable bowels of hell. And when I saw those hyenas lynching and cavorting around those crispy corpses, I wanted an Apache helicopter to drop down over the Euphrates and strafe the whole misbegotten crowd. Mow ‘em all down, let God sort ‘em out.

See what war does to the mind? Who should I call about what it's doing to mine?

Dona nobis pacem, fac Dominae. Salva me fac Dominae. …Pacem! … Mir! … Peace!

Just imagine

If the April 1 list of killings and bombings in Iraq were to occur in a comparable area/population of the United States, say Southern California, we'd be calling out the National Guard, right? Well all those killings are happening with the military already in place.
Scroll down the list, pop around the links to see how the numbers flow from bad to bad to bad. You'll be amazed that Bremer can call this place "an evovling democracy." It's an existing hell.

Sound familiar?

Tribune Bremer's announcement that those who defiled the Americans in Fallujah will be "punished" sounds frighteningly like the kind of decrees that issued from the SS during the occupation of Paris, no?


Seems somebody named Eric, who works for Donald Rumsfeld, left some interesting notes on a table in a Washington Starbucks. I imagine they have a shredder next to the table with the half-n-half and Splenda. He shoulda used that on his way out.

[Washington Post, being kinda clueless, requires registration. They don't realize you're defeating the purpose and function of the Internet if people can't link to your content.]