Saturday, June 11, 2005

Freeway blogger

This site--especially for me, an inveterate sign-displayer--is inspiring. And fuuunny.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Lehrer sucks

I just watched PBS Friday night news with Jim Lehrer. He gave the shortest possible shrift to the Downing Street memo and its significance. When a transcript of the show is made available I'll post it. Amazing. We are really being isolated, even by the "liberal" media.

More about suicide bombers

Here's an elucidation of the study of suicide bombers that I referred to in a previous post. It's important for Americans to understand what we're fighting, and how they're fighting us. It's brutal, all of it, but are we less--or more--brutal than they? In answering, remember, we invaded their country and presently occupy it. If they invaded ours, and you were powerless against their overwhelmingly powerful force, what would you do?

This is absolutely delicious

Private contractors from the US, working in Iraq and armed to the teeth (and immune from suit by reason of Tribune Bremer's previous decree), have fired on civilian Iraqis and US soldiers, causing deaths and injuries. Now, the Iraqi Interior Ministry, with the blessing of the US military, want to impose controls on these contractors, whose impunity and huge salaries are envied by our poorly paid grunts.

Could we be talking about a civil war in Iraq between American troops and American contractors?

Winning their hearts and minds

Ah, This'll do it, no doubt. The Pentagon has decided to outsource to private PR firms its propaganda effort directed at foreigners. (The military is forbidden by law from spreading propaganda among US citizens--oh right!) .

I love this part:

"The contract calls for the firms to produce print articles, video and audio
broadcasts, Internet sites and novelty items, like T-shirts and bumper stickers,
for foreign audiences."

Bumperstickers? T-shirts? What slogans? "They dropped clusterbombs on my village, but all I got was this lousy T-shirt"?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

It's Iraq, stupid

I can't believe that those in charge of the Democrats' positions can read the tea leaves, or even the polls. This nation hates this madness in Iraq, and the Left must jump on it. Now, tomorrow and until the Right dies from loss of blood.

The responsibilities and lawfulness of occupation

Look, there's no mystery to this. We've occupied countries before. Germany, Japan and Italy after WWII to name three. We are now occupiers of Iraq after a war in which we prevailed. No mystery there. So our obligations are fixed by well-settled international law. We must follow due process of law with regard to prisoners, just as the UN dictates.

So, if you have any doubts that the US is capable of being as vicious a conqueror as Nazi Germany in France during WWII, just compare our treatment of those who resist our occupation with the French who resisted the Nazi's. I submit that the only difference is that Bush doesn't have a moustache.

Wrongfooting Saddam

This memo, another from a growing collection of British prewar documents, tells of a meeting between a UK official and Paul Wolfowitz, then with the Pentagon. In it, the Brit shows what a charade our prewar machinations were, as we tried to trick Saddam into some mistake that would give support to our invasion of Iraq.

It was apparent to me in the weeks before the invasion that all of the public relations, from Bush's speeches to Colin Powell's dog and pony show before the UN, that war was inevitable (to borrow a word from the Downing Street Minutes). We were bombing strategic targets in the north and south of Iraq, we were obfuscating on the subject of WMD, not presenting the weapons inspectors with our claimed sightings of caches of weapons, and then, when finally some information was given to the UN inspectors it turned out to be "garbage on garbage."

I just watched a PBS interview with an important journalist who believes the quiet about the Downing Street Minutes (which is no longer quite so quiet) is the calm before the storm, that some major news organization will put all (or most) of the pieces together and publish a definitive proof that Bush/Cheney/Rummie and the gang weren't serious in any attempt to "solve Iraq" except by invasion. The evidence--not just documents and observations by insiders, but their conduct too--is inconsistent with any other conclusion.

Update: As to the legitimacy of the "wrongfooting Saddam" memo, check out this Guardian article about the memo, published almost a year ago. There's no doubt about its authenticity.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse

Now we learn about the massive underfunding of pensions for employees of major corporations, and the insolvency of the federal agency that supposedly insures against just that.

(If you think you just heard the death knell for Bush's "privatization plan" for Social Security, you're right.)

Suicide bombers explained

It's not about Islamic fundamentalism. It's not lunacy, or the product of misfits in their culture. Those who commit suicide by detonating explosives to cause damage to the enemy do so to get the enemy the hell out of their country.

Call me crazy

but I think this story about the Pentagon's corruption (with the complicity of Bush administration officials, including Andrew Card, the President's Chief of Staff), the the aborted sale/leaseback of Boeing transports will become the first significant scandal to touch Bush. Because John McCain was the driving force to squelch the deal, he's in the driver's seat. He could ride this scandal to the White House.

For background on the deal, a story appearing in WaPo before the sale/leaseback arrangement was killed, go here. As you can see, this was politics at its slimy worst.

BBC, Thanks

A new feature on the BBC website will follow events in Iraq, including comments and details as they occur, on a daily basis. Think any of our networks will follow suit?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Under the radar

There are so many stories that go unreported by the MSM that it's difficult to list them all, but here's one that's so far under the radar that even sonar doesn't reach it: The charges against two lobbyists for AIPAC, a group supporting the Israeli interests in the Middle East, of obtaining secret documents from a Defense Department official, Larry Franklin, and Franklin's connection to high officials in the Bush administration. For details, check out the invaluable online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Viva Chavez

You just gotta love this guy. Not just spot on, but cheeky too.

What a fine kettle of fish

Spreading democracy? Free and fair elections throughout the Middle East, throughout the world? Well, Bush, be careful what you pray for because now, in southern Lebanon, you've got it.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Dictator watch

My third watch, following the Fascism Watch and the Orwell Watch, probably merely a supplement to each, is my just-launched Dictator Watch, that reports most recently on Time magazine's revelation the the CIA is no longer automatically included in Bush's briefings and discussions of national security. We can't have any of those pesky independent agencies listening in on the neocons' plans, can we?

Marla Ruzicka

Remember her? The young American woman who worked in Baghdad, trying to get a count of civilian Iraqi war dead, and was killed in a suicide blast a few months ago? Well, here's a revealing, well-written piece about her life and last days.