Saturday, May 15, 2004

Rummie's in deep poopie

A new article by Seymour Hersh spells doom for our Secretary of Defense, who, according to Hersh, informed the president. We'll hear the standard nondenials from DOD, but over time the truth will dribble out. Like maple or chocolate syrup, or honey. Delicious.

A Tangled Web

All this talk about "If the Iraqis ask us to leave, we'll leave": Pure BS. According to this Wall Street Journal article (a newspaper I rarely cite, I trust you've noticed), Tribune Bremer, over the last few months, has entered a series of decrees that completely eliminate the power of the interim governmental body to do anything, to decide anything, to appoint or fire anybody, or to pass any laws. For example, Bremer just entered an edict appointing a set of administrators (controlling the media and commmerce and the military) to five year terms, that may not be altered.
So much for democracy in the Middle East.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Fascinating possibilities

Okay, now that Tribune Bremer and Softie Colin Powell have both said that if Iraq's interim government asks our troops to leave, we'll leave, the following possibility emerges:

Bush, losing in the polls prior to the election, directs his minions manipulate an Iraqi "request" to leave so that the boys can come home in October, thus delivering Bush a "victory" and leaving Kerry with nothing to campaign on. I don't put it past Bush to declare such a victory, thus to gain re-election, only to declare a follow-up emergency and re-insert our troops within weeks after the election.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

how many posts will it take 'til we know...

Just a quick note to note that All That Arises consists of 773 posts by Erik and myself. I just noticed that. In about a year, we've published into the void almost 800 times. Wow. Most of that's Erik's work; he's kickin' ass and takin' names. Cool.

Rummie's photo op

Today Rumsfeld flew off to Iraq (more pleasant there for him nowadays than here) to "host a town hall" with the troops. I'm watching it live on CNN right now. My observations:
1. He thanked the troops for their efforts rebuilding schools, playgrounds, roads, bridges. My question: Why are our soldiers doing those tasks? Isn't that what we're paying Halliburton for?
2. Rummie quipped that he's stopped reading the papers back home. I understand why--but it's a dangerous notion.
3. Rummie appeared almost catatonic.
4. Joint Chiefs Chairman General Richard Meyers accompanied him. A complete stooge. Both he and Rummie kept using the phrase "the few" to describe the soldiers who are involved in the prisoner-abuse incidents. He had the gall to state the these soldiers were equal to "the greatest generation" of World War Two. Maybe the troops are. But the leadership? Not hardly.
5. A female soldier, I believe a "regular army" member, asked the first question: It was near-inaudible, but it wasn't a pleasant one for Rummie. Essentially, "when do we go home?" Rummie was obviously displeased and tap-danced around it. She also asked whether, since the prison-abusers were largely reservists, would fewer of them be deployed hereafter? Rummie said no.
6. Questions about equipment and armament arose. Meyers said they had the money, just couldn't produce the equipment fast enough. One soldier asked what the Pentagon policy was about arming US civilians who were placed "in harm's way" (such as that truck-driver who recently "escaped from captivity"). Remarkably, no one--Rummie, Meyers, even Sanchez, the Army commander--knew the answer. How could that be?
All in all, it was a nonevent although I imagine Faux news will make it a lead story.

Conspiracy theory

to the max.
I apologize in advance to my coblogger, Kyle. I'm sure he doesn't subscribe to the following, which I concede is the product of my personal dementia. My only defense is that Rove and his henchmen have shown themselves to be capable of anything and so I wonder...
1. Berg was held for thirteen days by Iraqi police, who were under the dominion of US forces, during which time the FBI visited Berg's parents twice, asking about Berg's activities. He was an American citizen, known by us to be so, so that the FBI's claim that the US didn't have custody of him is plainly, and legally, false.
2. He was released the day after the parents sued the Department of Defense, but then he "disappeared." His body was "found," decapitated, a few days later. The video of the beheading was shown on an Arabic-language website a day or two later.
3. He emailed his friends and parents after his release and was seen by friends in Iraq before he disappeared. In these emails he apparently told them he wanted to leave Iraq as soon as possible. The FBI, however, is claiming that they offered Berg "free passage" out of Iraq, but that he refused.
4. The website, in Arabic, stated that al-Zarqawi, an al Qaida leader, executed Berg. But al-Zarqawi is a Jordanian and is missing one of his legs; whereas the speaker on the video and the knife-wielder spoke Arabic with an Iraqi accent and was not apparently handicapped.
5. The Berg family was Jewish, the father was on a conservative watch-list because of his antiwar activities and was listed as an officer of his son's company.
6. Other questionsare raised about the authenticity of the video, not all of which I subscribe to, but I nevertheless ask, who benefits from the display of Berg's "execution" in such a heinous way, just as Bush's poll numbers were declining due to the photos of US prisoner abuse?
I warned you I was becoming demented, but still...

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The next shoe to drop?

This lengthy piece by Justin Raimondo penetrates the testimony given by General Taguba, setting out the possibility that immersed in the photographed torture/abuse activities were civilians from an unidentified foreign nation, which Justin takes to be Israel. Recall, stories were circulating some months ago that the CIA had asked Israel's intelligence service to advise them on interrogation of prisoners.
What a bombshell that would be--and on a CNN report this morning, it's being said that the woman Pfc. named London is claiming that she was instructed by outsiders specifically how to gesture and point at the prisoners as shown in the photos.
The Republicans'contention that these abusive practices, occurring at two different prisons in Iraq, at least, are the product of only a few low-ranking "bad apples" isn't going to survive the week.

Pat Buchanan for President?

Okay, I'm kidding. But his ideas for future US actions in Iraq, the Middle East and througout the world are more aligned with mine than Kerry's.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Ugly, ugly

So now what? We torture them, they behead us. This is madness. Worse than anything we've undergone before during wartime because we're witness to its abiding ugliness. One thing: They're more brutal than we are. Another thing: If this becomes a battle of brutality, we lose.

Prisoners of their own prison

The Senate hearings into the prison scandals are as politicized as any hearings I've seen. Republicans trying to "limit the damage" to the general (a woman named Karpinski) who was in charge of the central Iraq prison system; the Democrats trying to expand it up and out. The effect will be to drag the proceedings out for months. This, plus the drip-drip of further evidence, is going to enliven our summer bigtime.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Today in Iraq

This is a fabulous day-by-day recital of events in Iraq, from an Iraqi blogger. Check it out.

Read it and weep

Here are portions of the Red Cross report on prisoner abuse. No wonder we never heard about it. Recall, readers, that we invaded this country (think Germany invading France) and rounded up those who wouldn't lie down for us (or those who we thought didn't lie down quick enough), and determined to find out stuff about the resistance. Recall, too, that as invaders we were all the while, including now, bound by the Geneva Convention, which prohibits all of this. Even Rummie, the fascist, has conceded that the Geneva Convention applies to these prisoners, as opposed to those whom Bush has deemed "enemy combatants." In other words, all of what is described is illegal under international law, under treaties that are the supreme law of the land (of the United States and of any nation that has ratified same) violation of which are war crimes.

We have acted with the very evil that we've vowed to defeat. We are the enemy now.

So far so good

Bush has just appeared on television after "visiting the Pentagon for a briefing" about the Iraq war. He gave a five-minute pre-written statement supporting Rumsfeld, preaching about the rightness of our cause, blathering about the "abuse issue," and, if I may be so bold, his speech sounded (complete with Texas accent) just like LBJ's ramblings as the Viet Nam conflict ground on in the sixties.

This is terrific. Nothing new, nothing significant, and the newscasters and analysts are already jumping on the story. Blood is in the water, the Chinese water torture has begun, the dike has a hole in it. Pick your trite metaphor.

One pissed off lady

Riverbend, author of the Baghdad Burning blog, is outraged by these latest revelations about torture and abuse at the Baghdad prison. She--a relatively moderate Iraqi--wants us out. Now!

Let the Games Begin

Let's face it folks: When someone like Rumsfeld says he's taking full responsibility for a FUBAR operation like Abu Ghraib, what he really means is that he'll make sure that appropriate scapegoats take the fall.

We all know that command is just as responsible as rank and file in this deal, but a few Courts Martial will make for good copy, and in the end, everything will be business as usual at Bush Co. Cynical? Naw it was ever thus, that's all.