Saturday, December 10, 2005

A single mother of a 13 year old son is being deployed to Iraq.

If they'll lie to get you're family to go to war why would this bother the cult of the neocon.
While most of her friends and neighbors are amusing themselves with Christmas decorations and holiday gifts, Patricia Arndt is fretting over far more serious matters.

The single mother from Medford has been unexpectedly pulled from the inactive Army reserve and ordered to report for active duty by Feb. 5.

Who will volunteer to take her place? Glenn Reynolds..nope, Jonah Goldberg...nope, says he has a family. How about those moss covered patriot wannabes at LGF or Freeperville....no probably too bust getting the yearly rabies shoot. College Republicans....Yellow is their favorite color so they won't be going. Victor David Hansen ?....nope, all talk no action.

I was trying not to pile on Sen. Joe Lieberman, he did a heck of a job on defending Social Security but then I saw this at Kos Lieberman: Hypocrite
In our democracy, a president does not rule, he governs. He remains always answerable to us, the people....

Read the rest you'll see what I mean.

Via Talking Dog Richard Pryor dies at 65 and Eugene McCarthy
Spike Lee on Pryor:
"For me, Richard was a great. He was an innovator. He was a trailblazer, and the way he showed social commentary in his humor opened up a universe for other comics to follow in his footsteps," Lee said.

Pam found these quotes from McCarthy,
Although he supported the Korean War, McCarthy said he opposed the Vietnam War because "as it went on, you could tell the people running it didn't know what was going on."

...In an interview a month before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, McCarthy compared the Bush administration with the characters in the William Golding novel "Lord of the Flies," in which a group of boys stranded on an island turn to savagery.

"The bullies are running it," McCarthy said. "Bush is bullying everything."

Why is Bush always hiding information from Congress and America

Bid for Prewar Iraq Files Raises Political Heat
WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 - Democrats pressed their demand on Thursday for White House documents on prewar intelligence on Iraq in the House Committee on International Relations, with one member only slightly outdoing his colleagues by repeatedly accusing President Bush and his top aides of lying about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

They did lie and they use every trick in the book to cover that fact. If it wasn't for political pressure we never would have had the 9-11 Commission. It turned out to be a little bit of a whitewash, but the Bushies were embarrassed by it. From the Downing Street memo to the desire to bomb allied countries we keep getting glimpses of how crazy these people are. How long will thet be able to hide behind their fake patriotism and the unfocused "war on terror". My bet is this resolution will be killed by people that plainly anti-democracy. They show contempt for the republic with nearly every word.

Bush to invade China

20 Reported Killed as Chinese Unrest Escalates , they're terrorizing people, they have WMD, we'd be spreading democracy to a billion people, and we might just get the Yellow Elephant College Republicans to enlist.
SHANGHAI, Dec. 9 - Residents of a fishing village near Hong Kong said that as many as 20 people had been killed by paramilitary police in an unusually violent clash that marked an escalation in the widespread social protests that have roiled the Chinese countryside. Villagers said that as many as 50 other residents remain unaccounted for since the shooting. It is the largest known use of force by security forces against ordinary citizens since the killings around Tiananmen Square in 1989. That death toll remains unknown, but is estimated to be in the hundreds.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Merry Christmas in 100 languages, which leaves the war on Christmas as an English only construct. Merry Bill of Rights Bill
Your hate bravado, however, is something that requires a whole new category, and Fox News selling this filth only illustrates what I have always believed to be true about corruption and greed: Namely, both matter more than Christian values and both have no nationality.

The Choir is just a little bigger. Or as Atrios calls it the, Wankosphere
But the liberal blogosphere is a much greater value added for our side because we have such a shitty media infrastructure. If all the wingnut blogs disappeared tomorrow it really wouldn't have any impact on the national discourse. Sure they're there and the Right is better at using them but they don't really *need* them. They have plenty of other ways to launder their horseshit.

To me its that the right-wing chorus has just another chamber to promulgate the noise machine. As Atrios points out, if all the right-wing bloggers stopped tomorrow it wouldn't make much difference. One Rightie blog thinks the E&P piece is slanted left because they fail to note the righties splits over torture and Harriet Miers. That's not exactly a split, pro-torture versus I-Don't-Like-torture but since Bush likes it I won't say anything. Harriet Miers versus Alito is like orange kool-aid versus lime kool-aid, they're both in the acidic acid family. Its not quite if you've read one right-wing blog you're read them all. I 've come across a CIA focused blog that thinks the CIA has gone renegade and is out to get Bush and other rightie blogs that think the CIA can do no wrong. Yes you can always find a wing-nut that doesn't care too much for the religious right, but when it comes to party politics they wouldn't dream of alienating them and losing votes. Liberal blogs are to their credit in general more wonkish. Liberals are more concerned with the challenges of fitting all the pieces together in a modern democracy- economics, education, the environment, social justice, foreign policy. Iraq is a fair example of how conservatives failed to consider how all the pieces fit together. Their predictions of how it would democratize the middle-east have missed the mark with Iraq headed toward being a fundamentalist satelite of Iran, its a huge drain on the domestic economy and the military may not be broken, but its beat up pretty bad. There simply is no place in the mainstream media where you can hear the ideas generated by liberal blogs. The net is THE liberal outlet for now.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Maybe Bush suffers from lying diarreia

He opens his mouth and they just flow out uncontrollably, great brown clumps of lies. maybe even more disgusting are the people who apparently fell that its their job to both swallow the lies and spin them for everyone else. If the right-wing extremists want us to at least respect Bush, its easy, just get him and the cabal of congressional wing-nut clones to learn a little something about patriotism and love of country. "Conservatism" is much like a parent that beats their child black and blue and swears to the suspicious doctors in the mergency romm that they love their child.

President's Accounts of Gains Depict Only Part of the Picture
Only last Sunday, Ayad Allawi, the Iraqi prime minister who asked the American military to roust the militia from Najaf in 2003, was pelted with sticks and stones during his visit to the Imam Ali mosque in Najaf. Local security forces did nothing to stop the attack, almost certainly because they, like the mob outside the mosque, were loyal to the rebellious Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr. It was Mr. Sadr's militia that the Americans battled in Najaf in 2004.

The hospital, named after Mr. Sadr's father, is an example of the slow pace of rebuilding. Wayne White, a former State Department official whose responsibilities included Iraq from 2003 to 2005, and who is now at the Middle East Institute, a research organization, said the American mission in Iraq was often undermined by that slow pace.

"Not only does it run far behind Iraqi expectations, but in some areas we have not even recovered to what Iraq was before the invasion," Mr. White said.

He noted that some industries, including those involving metals and chemical production, still had not recovered from the invasion and the aftermath of looting, either.

A major problem with assessing the progress in Iraq is that it is too dangerous to allow visitors to visit the projects freely, said Rick Barton of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Much of the necessary rebuilding is a result of the initial "shock and awe" after which Bush declared victory. The troops deserve credit for the rebuilding that has taken place under the worse of conditions, while Bush and his Incompetence Inc. administration deserve none. The average American tax payer deserves credit for being so patient for not demanding an investigation into how Bush and Rummy squandered victory from the safety of their ivory tower of lies.

Torture works when the tortured tell you what you want to hear

by way of Jim in Chicago at Daily Kos Qaeda-Iraq Link U.S. Cited Is Tied to Coercion Claim
WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 - The Bush administration based a crucial prewar assertion about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda on detailed statements made by a prisoner while in Egyptian custody who later said he had fabricated them to escape harsh treatment, according to current and former government officials.

The officials said the captive, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, provided his most specific and elaborate accounts about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda only after he was secretly handed over to Egypt by the United States in January 2002, in a process known as rendition.

This is one of the major reasons why, even under the nearly non-existant ticking bomb scenario, torture can't be justified. Well it can be justified if you just like hurting people, if you like projecting an image of toughness. the image projection doen't really work either, because how tough do you have to be to inflect pain on someone in handcuffs. Sure its hard to feel sumpathy for those individuals that are known for a fact to have cold bloodedly hurt others, but whoever said that all are moral choices would be easy. What Is Torture? An interactive primer on American interrogation.

87 and Still fiesty

At 87, Wallace still tells it like it is
Q. President George W. Bush has declined to be interviewed by you. What would you ask him if you had the chance?

A. What in the world prepared you to be the commander in chief of the largest superpower in the world? In your background, Mr. President, you apparently were incurious. You didn't want to travel. You knew very little about the military. . . . The governor of Texas doesn't have the kind of power that some governors have. . . . Why do you think they nominated you? . . . Do you think that has anything to do with the fact that the country is so [expletive] up?

Too bad his son Chris who works at Faux doesn't have the quite the same interest in getting at the truth of things the way his dad did.

Spare us the Able Danger BS

update DoD Discusses ‘Able Danger’ Findings


DoD officials have searched documents from all organizations involved with Able Danger, in addition to all the documents sent to the 9/11 commission, Downs said. They found a chart similar to the one described by the five people, but it did not contain a photo or a reference to Atta, she said.

The interviews were conducted with people who were involved both integrally and peripherally with Able Danger, said Navy Cmdr. Christopher Chope, of SOCOM’s Center for Special Operations. These interviews have not been completed, and some people are being re-interviewed as more information is discovered, Downs said.

There is a possibility that such a chart could have been destroyed, because during Able Danger, strict regulations about destruction of documents containing information about U.S. persons were followed, Gandy said. However, the officials found no indication that legal advice was given to anyone involved with the program to destroy documents, Chope said.

There is good news for the worshippers of tin-foil theories, in 2004 a poll showed:
The survey found that 72 percent of Bush supporters believe either that Iraq had actual WMD (47 percent) or a major program for producing them (25 percent).

Seventy-five percent of Bush supporters said they believed that Iraq was providing "substantial" support to al Qaeda, with 20 percent asserting that Iraq was directly involved in the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon. Sixty-three percent of Bush supporters even believe that clear evidence of such support has actually been found, and 60 percent believe that "most experts" have reached the same conclusion.

Good tin-foil never gies, it lives forever in the minds of Bush supporters. Disclaimer, "Bush supporters are made
in non-union factories and are prone to shrinkage."

Tin-foil paradise lives at The Strata-Sphere:
where
That is clear as it gets folks. Able Danger was working to identify Al Qaeda and had struck gold with the Hamburg cell. But the same technology and group, working on a completely independent study implicates the Clinton administration so all the data, China and Al Qaeda targets, is destroyed in a moment of political panic.

It is now highly possible 9-11 happened because the Clinton administration was afraid of bad PR.

Please spare anyone with an IQ over 60 this BS. How about some simple facts, for those looking for incompetent and irresponsible behavior..
Did You Get - Or Read - That Memo?
RICE RECEIVED MEMO ABOUT BIN LADEN ATTACK BEFORE 9/11, AND DID NOTHING:

Rice claimed that the Administration had no warning about an imminent Al Qaeda attack before 9/11, but then acknowledged receiving a memo in August 2001 which was titled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States." She had also received “a stream of other alarming reports on al Qaeda’s intentions.” She claimed that these memos “were focused primarily on threats to U.S. interests” but sources have made clear that the memos “were focused on attacks within the United States.”
- Rice 9/11 Testimony, 4/8/04; Washington Post, 4/13/04 & 5/19/02

Our boy at Strata does something that is typical of far right blogs, he links to an opinion piece written by another guy with infected with tin-foil brain disease Who is featured in this opinion piece? Our favorite wombat, Curt Wheldon. Curt has been caught playing musical chairs (charts) with Attas' name on it at one point, but not before. WELDON'S CHART
In a particularly dramatic scene in Weldon’s book, Countdown to Terror, the Pennsylvania Republican described personally handing to then-Deputy National Security Adviser Steve Hadley, just after Sept. 11, an Able Danger chart produced in 1999 identifying Atta. But Weldon told Time he’s no longer certain Atta’s name was on that original document. The congressman says he handed Hadley his only copy. Still, last week he referred reporters to a recently reconstructed version of the chart in his office where, among dozens of names and photos of terrorists from around the world, there was a color mug shot of Mohammad Atta, circled in black marker.

As Kevin Drum asks, What's more, if Atta's name wasn't on the chart in 2001, 2002, 2003, or 2004, why did the chart suddenly have a color mug shot of Atta in 2005? Hmmm?
It looks like Wheldon added the name later and to this day has never produced an original. Strata bot also overlooks the most obvious question, even in some grand liberal conspracy by the Clinton adminstration, what would keep military intelligence from passing along what they knew. Atta and that meeting comes up again, come on guys, try and keep up with the news. Is Starta and his fans the kind of people that just refuse to face facts because their heads might explode?
Tim Russert questioning Vice President Dick Cheney on “Meet the Press” September 14, 2003:

Vice President Dick Cheney: With respect to 9/11, of course, we’ve had the story that’s been public out there. The Czechs alleged that Mohamed Atta, the lead attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five months before the attack, but we’ve never been able to develop anymore of that yet either in terms of confirming it or discrediting it. We just don’t know.


This story came shortly after 9/11, when Czech intelligence officials did say they had a report from a source--a single source--that Atta had met with an Iraqi intelligence official in April 2001. Subsequent media reports in the United States revealed that the source was actually an Arab student who was not considered particularly reliable. The FBI investigated and found nothing to substantiate the report of the meeting. In fact, the FBI concluded that Atta was most likely in Florida at the time of the supposed meeting, and the CIA questioned the existence of this meeting.

Also, on October 21, 2002, The New York Times reported that Czech President Vaclav Havel "quietly told the White House he has concluded that there is no evidence to confirm earlier reports" of the meeting. And it seemed that Atta had gone to Prague in June 2000, not April 2001.

Cheney did not mention any of this on "Meet the Press". Nor did he note that U.S. forces had nabbed this Iraqi intelligence official in July and that there has been no word -- no leaks -- about him confirming the supposed meeting.

That grand old windbag of wing-nut conspiracy theories William Safire’ even gave up on the Atta-Iraq-9-11 connectiom, not explicitly, but by default, after the 9-11 Commission Report, Safire, with his rather large soapbox sulked off the Atta-Iraq-9-11 Neverland. A man of integrity would have at least wrote a final column apologizing to his readers for misleading them'

Spin Some, Screw Some
When word came out over the summer that the 9-11 commission’s preliminary staff report had debunked the connection between Atta and Iraq, Safire blasted the “runaway” staff and its director, Philip Zelikow, a member of the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, for manipulating the (apparently highly suggestible) collection of former senators, representatives, a former governor, and other high-level officials that made up the commission.

When the final report was released, with the unanimous support of the bipartisan commission, it agreed with the staff finding that there was no evidence of a collaborative relationship of any sort between Iraq and al-Qaeda, much less a specific connection between Iraq the 9-11 hijackings. The words “Prague” and “Atta” never appeared in a Safire column again. No explanation. No apology. Just straight down the memory hole.

Safire’s disregard for the truth was never more in evidence than in his treatment of Bill and Hillary Clinton. No charge was too wild to find its way into the pages of the Times via Safire’s column.

Did Clinton, while governor of Arkansas, accept $7,000 in stolen cash from two bankers seeking political favors? Safire was happy to throw the question out there.

Did Chinese spies penetrate the Clinton White House? Safire said so.

If a fellow with so little respect for the truth is going to work at a newspaper, the op-ed page is probably the best spot for him, as it provides a bit of insulation from the news pages, where real journalism is supposed to appear.


My bet is that The Strata-Sphere will take the Safire route, smear, conjecture, and doublespeak. but never retract. As for Curt Wheldon, well the guy is just pathetic, no doubt Curt loves his country, but he's still delusional and useless.

Curt Weldon's Deep Throat
“Dear Curt,” reads one memo excerpt from “Ali” published by Weldon. “An attack against an atomic plant by a plane, the name mentioned, but not clear it begins with ‘SEA’ … [Seattle?].” Another reads: “Dear Curt: … I confirm again a terrorist attack within the United States is planned before the American elections."

But in an exclusive interview with The American Prospect, Weldon's "Ali" -- who was identified in an April article by me and Jeet Heer as Fereidoun Mahdavi, a frail, elderly former minister of commerce in the shah’s government and a longtime business associate of Iran-Contra arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar -- said he was stunned and perplexed to learn that Weldon had used his information to write a book, emphasizing that Weldon never even told him about the book.

Mahdavi also said that the bulk of the information that he had provided to Weldon was originally sourced from none other than Ghorbanifar, the subject of a rare CIA “burn notice” after the agency found him to be a "fabricator" more than two decades ago during the Iran-Contra affair.

“Many information that I have given to Weldon is coming from Ghorbanifar,” said Mahdavi, who was reached in Paris by telephone on June 6. “Because Ghorbanifar used me, in fact, to pass that stuff because I know he has problems in Washington.”

The former minister continued: “I am well-known in Tehran. How can I call Tehran? But Ghorbanifar is something else. He has all the contacts within Iran. Nobody has so many information and contacts that he has. Now if he is using that information through me to try to buy power indirectly, that is his business. I do it because I have known him for many years.”

Several Iranian exile associates of the pair have told the Prospect that Mahdavi, living in reduced circumstances and caring for his cancer-stricken wife, is in fact financially dependent on Ghorbanifar. They have been involved in various businesses together, from petroleum shipping to arms dealing to (more recently) intelligence peddling, since both washed up in Paris after the Iranian revolution in 1979.

My apologies to Laura Rozen for using such a big clip of her work, there are more details at the link. Laura writes a tremendous blog at War and Piece . Unlike me, she is a professional who has also written for The Nation and American Prospect.
Regardless of Strata boy or Curt Failure, Bush was determined to go invade Iraq anyway ( Smoking Gun Memo?) so all this tin-foil conspiracy stuff is just a feeble attempt to rationalize getting American troops bogged down in Iraq, exploiting America's fears post 9-11; all for power and politics, not for God and country.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The near Daily Cronyism Report

Governor's Relative Is Big Contract Winner
Rosemary Barbour happens to be married to a nephew of Mississippi's governor, Haley Barbour. Since the Reagan administration, when Mrs. Barbour worked as a White House volunteer as a college student, she has been active in the Republican Party.

snip
Federal records show that the company has won at least 10 separate contracts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the General Services Administration to install and maintain showers for relief workers and evacuees, to deliver tents, and to provide laundry equipment. The most valuable were awarded in September and October without competitive bidding, the records show.

According to a review of federal contracts awarded since Hurricane Katrina, her company ranks seventh in total contracts out of 88 Mississippi-based concerns that have received deals worth $100,000 or more.

Mississippi is red state. Louisiana is too, though New Orleans is blue. Bush's Attention Wanders From Katrina as Reconstruction Lags
, since its not on heavy rotation in the news cycle and the opportunity for another Potemlin moment hasn't presented itself, for President Attention Deficit Bush the problem is being taken care of. There may be something to the argument that America shouldn't try and recreate the new Orleans that was, but there still is a new Orleans and other Gulf Coast towns and citizens that need help. Where's the leadership. Crony federal contracts are not leadership, cronyism is not a vision for the future. I'm sure it great for a few people in the short term, but what about the majority of people in the long term. Tax paying hard working Americans that care about their country should be and most probably are that the huge sucking sound they hear is their tax money going down the drain for scatter gun approach to real and enduring problems in the Gulf Coast.
While state and local officials say Congress shares much of the blame for lagging reconstruction aid, resentment may be building in the region toward Bush, who created an expectation that the government would focus its resources on recovery.

``Folks are starting to be cynical and thinking that the White House has counted the votes and decided that mad Mississippians and Louisianans can't do much damage politically,'' said Marty Wiseman, a professor of government at Mississippi State University in Starkville.

``The president needs to reconnect with southeast Louisiana and remember that there're Americans who are down here who need his attention and his help,'' said Joey DiFatta, the council chairman of St. Bernard Parish, east of New Orleans.

Will Katrina and Iraq be the ghosts that haunt conservatives in 2006.

Osama Bin O'Reilly needs a rabies shot

O'Reilly promised to "bring horror" to alleged "anti-Christian forces" who oppose Christmas
"I am not going to let oppressive, totalitarian, anti-Christian forces in this country diminish and denigrate the holiday and the celebration. I am not going to let it happen. I'm gonna use all the power that I have on radio and television to bring horror into the world of people who are trying to do that. And we have succeeded. You know we've succeeded. They are on the run in corporations, in the media, everywhere. They are on the run, because I will put their face and their name on television, and I will talk about them on the radio if they do it. There is no reason on this earth that all of us cannot celebrate a public holiday devoted to generosity, peace, and love together."

Bold emphasis is mine. Bring "hooror" in order to celebrate a Christian holiday devoied to the celebration of Jesus Christ who said,
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Text of Fatwah by Osama Bin Laden urging Jihad Against Americans
Praise be to God, who revealed the Book, controls the clouds, defeats factionalism, and says in His Book "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)"; and peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammad Bin-'Abdallah, who said "I have been sent with the sword between my hands to ensure that no one but God is worshipped, God who put my livelihood under the shadow of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who disobey my orders."

That's the first thing that struck me, that Osama O'Reilly sounds more like a student of Osama Bin Laden then he does of Jesus Christ. Though I would not in the least want old Bikk to be removed from the air-waves. Please Bill continue your insane rants so America can see how utterly morally bankrupt you are.
One last thing, these" oppressive, totalitarian" that Bill seems to hear only exist in his imagination, he's created a strawman that doesn't exist to do battle with. A strawman is the worthy opponent of a coward like Bill, its the only one he can win against. Somehow Bill's crazed rabid mind has morphed tolerance and inclusiveness which are the hallmarks of American idealism into denigrating a holiday; that's quite a pretzel that Bill has twisted things into.

This story just hit the news, Bin Laden is 'alive and fighting'
Osama Bin Laden is still alive and leading a "holy war" against the West, according to a videotaped statement by his right-hand man.
Ayman al-Zawahri was speaking in a message posted on the internet and then broadcast by al-Jazeera.

Too bad if this is really him, I was hoping he bought it in the earthquake.

Which side is Bush on ?

How Bush Created a Theocracy in Iraq
The Bush administration naively believed that Iraq was a blank slate on which it could inscribe its vision for a remake of the Arab world. Iraq, however, was a witches’ brew of dynamic social and religious movements, a veritable pressure cooker. When George W. Bush invaded, he blew off the lid.

That about sums it up, the administration of beliefs. Gathering facts, listening to dissenting views, the voices of people more knowledgable got bulldozed by the messianic beliefs of the zealots in the Whitehouse. This reliance on beliefs in spite of any new evidence to the contrary goes a long way in explaining their incompetence, whether its the response to Katrina or how to wage a war or how to grow and protect America's middle class . At some point incompetence becomes maliciousness. So if not the worse president ever, certainly the most malicious.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Kerry Responds To Right Wing Attacks

This is a very apt passage from the post at the Democratic Daily blog
Update: Some of the right wing sites are comparing this statement to Kerry’s Vietnam testimony. There is a connection here. They are continuing to lie about what Kerry said back then just as they are lying about what Kerry said this week. If they hate Kerry so much you would think they would come up with something Kerry really said to attack him for rather than continuing to make up stuff to attack him for.

They can't seem to have an honest debate about the issues so they just assign whatever meaning they like to what is said. Dishonesty is number one of the list of things the far right considers a value, that is truly unamerican.

Is Ann Coulter a bitch or a cunt or both ?

Why Ann Coulter Is a Cunt, Part 3507:
She even drags out the corpse of the dead connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda and Niger uranium: "As we now know, Saddam Hussein was working with al-Qaida and was trying to acquire long-range missiles from North Korea and enriched uranium from Niger." You may do a double take and think, "Um, forged documents? No real contact?" But you'd be caught then in the web of inference and bugfuck nuttery that is the cuntistry of Ann Coulter. However, shit, since Coulter is the same kind of whoredog for the Bush administration as Bob Woodward and Judith Miller (it's a question of presentation, not degree), here's Donald Rumsfeld to Wolf Blitzer's question about the alleged nexus of swarthy eeevil: "Zarqawi was physically in Baghdad." It's like saying that because you have a toothbrush at your girlfriend's place, you wanna move in. In other words, really, and, c'mon, is that the best you got?

But Coulter's bizarre rah-rahing, like the cheerleader of the damned, continues. She shakes her little pom-poms for all the elections and, in general, behaves as if Iraq is just a car bomb or two away from gettin' all that nasty resistance out of its lil' ol' system.

Victory is just around the corner, haven't we been hearing that for two years. Ann probably has some Faustian accountant to get her out of paying her share, but the rest of us, own Iraq. Iraq is the new 51st state. It has to be, we're pumping about a billion dolars a week into that WMD-less sandbox, hope the Ann and grand kids enjoy it.

Coulter has observed that Rep. Randy Cunningham, R-Calif os a war hero and the left hasn't given him his due. Ann doesn't realize that that just makes it all the more sad, a good man that sold his soul for silver. Randy didn't use a gun to steal, he used the trust of the American people. He took payoffs directly related to providing national security services of dubious value. If he was a Democrat, Coulter would be asking what day the hanging would take place, who cares about his military record. So, You stupid, stupid bitch

Cunningham and North both committed crimes you greasy-haired fucking bone sack. (North was, if you take anything he says at face value, actually a fucking traitor.) Not only did they commit them, but those crimes were, in their own respective ways, directly connected to their service. They tainted not only their own pasts by their actions, but the military service in total. Yes, I give you that they acted heroically at one time, but their slides into disrepute beg the question "What went wrong? How did two former Naval officers decide to spit on everything they once took oaths to uphold?"

All Murtha did was disagree with the President and agree with about 2/3 of the American public and an even larger percent of the Iraqi people.

Time after time these fascist-lite talking heads declare that its they who are America and what constitutes being an American. news flash Ann and Company, democracy is a liberal invention, which makes it possible for pieces of walkng rot like you to impune the intigrity of everyone that stands up for our liberal heritage.
Locke's views attacked the theory of divine right of kings and the nature of the state as conceived by the English philosopher and political theorist, Thomas Hobbes. He believed that sovereignty did not reside in the state but with the people, guaranteeing freedom, equality and property through reciprocal restrictions. The character of the state was one of people's sovereignty and neither patriarchal nor absolute forms of governments may be recognized. Locke further held that revolution was not only a right but often an obligation, and he advocated a system of checks and balances in government.
With his publication entitled "Two Treatises of Government" (1690), Locke became the founder of liberal political philosophy, which was to have a great impact on history both in England and in the United States of America

Like all modern conservatives, Coulter believes in the divine right of a certain class of people to rule. Her and her ilk don't just want to push the USA back to some idealized past that never existed before The New Deal, but to a time before Locke.
Ann, Bush, Cheney, and everyone that decides on the agenda of the Republican Party has declared war on that system of checks and balances in favor of the rule of mobs and special interests factions, held up by the twin pillars of trust me and we know better .
We report, you decide what Coulter and her ideological clones are.

Michael Reagan calls for Howard Dean to be killed

Democracy takes a beating in Ohio

Via The Booman Tribune and the Columbus Free Press
HB3's most publicized provision will require positive identification before casting a vote. But it also opens voter registration activists to partisan prosecution, exempts electronic voting machines from public scrutiny, quintuples the cost of citizen-requested statewide recounts and makes it illegal to challenge a presidential vote count or, indeed, any federal election result in Ohio. When added to the recently passed HB1, which allows campaign financing to be dominated by the wealthy and by corporations, and along with a Rovian wish list of GOP attacks on the ballot box, democracy in Ohio could be all but over.

The GOP is ramming similar bills through state legislatures around the US, starting with Georgia and Indiana.

Snuffing out democracy a little bit at a time hoping no one will notice.

The Right continues to Swift-boat John Kerry

There is so much wrong both in fact and malicious intentions to this story, its difficult to decide where to begin examining the insidous right-winger that we'll call Captain Propagandista. Captain Propagandista, titles his post: John Kerry: American Soldiers Are Terrorists. I'm not linking to him I found the post referenced on Blogniscient. This is the part of the transcript from FACE THE NATION, Sunday, December 4, 2005.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Let me shift to another point of view, and it comes from another Democrat, Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. He takes a very different view. He says basically we should stay the course
because, he says, real progress is being made. He said this is a war between 27 million Iraqis who want freedom and 10,000 terrorists. He says we're in a watershed transformation. What about that?

Sen. KERRY: Let me--I--first of all, there is so much more that unites Democrats than divides us. And Democrats have much more in common with each other than they do with George Bush's policy right now.
Now Joe Lieberman, I believe, also voted for the resolution which said the president needs to make more clear what he's doing and set out benchmarks, and that the policy hasn't been working. We all believe him when you say, `Stay the course.' That's the president's policy, which hasn't been changing, which is a policy of failure. I don't agree with that. But I think what we need to do is recognize what we all agree on, which is you've got to begin to set benchmarks for accomplishment. You've got to begin to transfer authority to the Iraqis. And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the--of--the historical customs, religious customs. Whether you like it or not...

SCHIEFFER: Yeah.

Sen. KERRY: ...Iraqis should be doing that. And after all of these two and a half years, with all of the talk of 210,000 people trained, there just is no excuse for not transferring more of that authority.

( Oliver Willis provides his take on Captain Props here )
I would have worded it differently, but all Senator Kerry said was that women and children have felt terrorized by the troops entering their homes. That does at least leave it to Captain Propagandista to make the two cases, that the Senator was calling the troops terrorists or was simply stateing that the actions of the troopsterrorized or produced profound fear in the women and children whose homes were entered. The second case Captain Propagandista would have to make is that it has never been the case that the women and children of the homes that were entered never felt terror or its synonym, profound or deep fear. Cap says that John Kerry called the troops terrorist: Terrorist
is defined by the US Department of Defense as "the unlawful use of -- or threatened use of -- force or violence against individuals or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives."
It seems for then a lttle far fetched for a rational person to believe that Senator Kerry was calling American troops terrorists based on the DoD defintion. So as far as semantics go Captain Propagandista has sunk to tabloid levels of reporting, puffing up the head-line about proported two=headed aliens that do not in fact exist, though judging from some of the comments found on his site, it seems he tells the boys the choir what they want to hear. The word " traitor " drops easily from the hypocrits that were recently making excuses for Scooter Libby.
So that leaves enquiring minds with one question left, or at least one. Have ay anytime, Iraqi women or children been , terrorized, frightened, or fearful of American troops?
Let me step first to a not unimportant side issue. In urban warfare house to house searches are standard operating procedure. They are a neccessary too; in fighting the insurgency and finding foreign fighters (ie. terrorists). I believe that it is far from the deliberate intention of the troops to terrorize innocent people. The fact is most of the US forces in Iraq have little previous combat experience, they are under tremendous stress. U.S. Military: Good Morning, Baghdad!
During these interviews, I could clearly see signs of the internal struggle these soldiers are going through, especially when seeing their comrades injured or killed during ambushes by Iraqi resistance.

Many U.S. soldiers told me they are proud to have come to liberate Iraq from Saddam, and restore social order. But acknowledged that many Iraqis do not like them. Anthony Parrish is from task force 1st Battalion, 37th Armored Division and he says daily attacks in Iraq against U.S. soldiers are common. Parrish is a native of England who migrated to the United States, joined the army and became a tank driver. He came to Iraq from Germany in May. He says about his first couple of days in the base: "we got shot, we got rounds coming at us, every time we went out, there's somebody yelling [at us], everywhere people hanging chicken wire across the street, dropping grenades off the bridges, shooting at you, even children. We saw thirteen, fourteen-year-old children with weapons - AK-47s, rifles, handguns."

Parrish recalls two of his friends from the base who were killed recently, "The soldiers who died … two people from the 1/36 [Armored Division] … one was in Charlie company driving a Humvee and other one was a scout ... and both got killed two weeks apart, and it was from ambushes and sniper fire ... there's nothing we can do about that … I mean, we miss them, they were good soldiers, both of them. But, that was part of the job when you sign up."


Back to the question at hand, have any Iraqi women or children ever felt fear or terror because of these necessary house to house sweeps/searches: Riot Chases Troops Out of Iraqi Town

‘They were terrifying the women and children,' one protester says after U.S. soldiers search homes for weapons.

In the third straight day of Iraqi violence against the U.S. military occupation of the country, residents of Hit, Iraq enraged over house-to-house searches in this western town ransacked the police station, stoned U.S. armored military vehicles and set police cars on fire Wednesday.

This situation may well have been and probably was unavoidable for US forces who's intent was to both root out insurgents and to secure this area. The troops intentions are not in question, its just a fact that some Iraqis felt "terrorized" by these events.
Residents here said U.S. troops had provoked anger Tuesday when they searched houses in an outlying neighborhood and arrived shortly after dawn Wednesday to set up a checkpoint at the entrance to the town. They then began searching homes with the help of local police.

When the searches continued despite what residents called a peaceful protest, a second, angrier, protest formed in the late afternoon that quickly turned violent. Both the U.S. troops and the police immediately withdrew from the town once the riot started, residents said.

"They forced women and children to leave their houses!" shouted Esmael Rabee, a construction worker who made his voice heard above the shouts of those who had crowded around the lone foreign reporter on the scene. "They violated the dignity and honor of our women. We won't accept this violation.

Any military personnel that have been stationed in Saudi Arabia will be happy to tell the Captain about the cultural sensitivity training that had to undergo. It considered immoral for Muslim man to touch a woman not of hos family, and yes they consider it especially humiliating for a foreigner to do body searches. What did Senator Kerry refer to, " women, breaking sort of the customs of the--of--the historical customs, religious customs". These searches may very well be called for, for security reasons, nevertheless the local population, according to their customs have very strong feelings about it, up to and including feeling terror-extreme fear.
"The people will do more of this if the Americans come in here again," he added, shaking his fist as those around him shouted approval. "They showed no respect for our way of life." Taxi driver Jumaa Khalif declared: "They were terrifying the women and children." Hit, a town of about 20,000, is 100 miles west of Baghdad in an area whose inhabitants are mainly conservative Sunni Muslims.

Mahmoud Saleh an Iraqi civil servant has said in an Associated Press report, “We are terrified by the violent approach used by the Americans to subdue the city. My wife and children are scared to death and they have not been able to sleep since last night. I hope the fighting ends as soon as possible.” Rahim Abdul-Karim, a retired schoolteacher, commented to the Independent: “There has been a lot of deaths, and they have been of ordinary people... They are killing us to save us.”
I think Mr. Saleh is mistaken in asserting these intentions or motivations to coalition troops, but one can understand where there is a langauge and cultural gap, some Iraqis might fill the gap with their perceptions. If someone is firing a gun in your direction they might be aiming at the criminal next to you, that doesn't mean you don't feel the fear that its you or your family might be hit. This report from Global Security foes a good job of describing the scope of one operation:
Task Force 1-15 and Iraqi soldiers went door to door looking for weapons and known terrorists, as well as explaining to the residents that the search was related to recent attacks by terrorists. More than 30 attacks against coalition forces have been reported in the area during the past two months, officials said.

Many residents willingly turned over weapons to help facilitate the search. An overnight curfew in the city was met with little resistance. Shops and businesses voluntarily closed, which officials said helped accelerate the operation. By Nov. 15, the mission was completed and the units returned to Forward Operating Base Wilson. In another operation, Iraqi and U.S. forces detained dozens of terror suspects during searches in south Baghdad to clear neighborhoods of terrorist activity.

"Operation Clean Sweep was intended to clean out an area that was known to be used as a way for terrorists to come towards Baghdad from the south, as well as an area that a lot of vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and IEDs were coming from," said Lt. Col. Everett Knapp, commander of 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment.

In anticipation of the Dec. 15 nationwide elections, the battalion's soldiers, as well as Iraqi forces from the 4th Public Order Brigade and 1st Commando Brigade, raided about 350 homes and detained 49 suspected terrorists. Military officials said 10 of the suspects were forwarded to detention facilities.

This swept obviously produced some good results and they tried to explain the situation to residents. John kerry in his interview did not assign notorious motivations to the troops, only that these things happen and that it is another unfortunate consequence of war, no matter how noble the intent. Sometimes things don't turn out as well as that swept in Baghdad.

Confusion Reigns as U.S. Raid Misses Target in Iraq November 23, 2004 by Reuters
It began with U.S. troops busting through the doors of the wrong house.

Dozens of soldiers rammed the white gates of a well-to-do home in central Mosul early on Tuesday, detaining three Iraqi men, only to discover their target was a house with black gates.

"Four houses down," said the elderly homeowner patiently, his hands bound behind his back by yellow plastic cuffs.

"You've got the wrong people," he told the officer leading the operation in good English, his wife, daughter and two pajama-clad grandchildren cowering alongside him, trying to avoid the glare from the spotlights on the soldiers' guns.

For the past 19 months, U.S. forces have carried out raids across Iraq, sometimes netting big targets and gathering key intelligence to help them combat the sort of mounting insurgency that swept through Mosul this month, routing the police force.

But Iraqis say the targets are often wrong, and heavy-handed tactics have created resentment and alienated ordinary people.

"Squad Two, get to the house three doors down with the black gates," Captain Robert Lackey ordered over the radio. Several heavily armed men with night-vision scopes attached to their helmets trotted out into the rain.

At the wrong house, the search went on, with soldiers overturning every room for evidence to link the family to Iraq's insurgency.

They turned up at least one AK-47 assault rifle -- common to nearly all Iraqi homes and generally permitted by U.S. forces -- and around $3,000, according to a U.S. investigator.

"That's a lot of money right there," he said, shaking his head, although wealthy Iraqis often keep sums of much more than $3,000 at home because banks are not trusted.


Down the road, soldiers were ramming open the gates of an upscale house. They were about to burst through the door when it opened. Inside were seven young women and six dazed children.

The men of the house were in a village outside Mosul for a few days, one of the women said in fluent English. The soldiers were looking for her father, a Mosul university professor.

"Is he a member of the Baath party?" Lackey asked her. "The Baath party that still exists?"

She replied that he wasn't any more, "that was ages ago." She pointed out her father was detained by U.S. troops in a previous raid and held for five months without charge.

The fact that these kinds of incidents are reported, that many patriotic Americans like decorated veteran John Kerry are concerned about them and the efectts that thses incidents have on our troops is not a liberal bias, it a matter of facts and the very understandable feelings that follow.
Witnesses Say U.S. Forces Killed Unarmed Civilians
Allegations of widespread abuse by US forces in Fallujah, including the killing of unarmed civilians and the targeting of a hospital in an attack, have been made by people who have escaped from the city.

They said, in interviews with The Independent, that as well as deaths from bombs and artillery shells, a large number of people including children were killed by American snipers. US forces refused repeated calls for medical aid for injured civilians, they said.

Some of the killings took place in the build-up to the assault on the rebel stronghold, and at least in one case - that of the death of a family of seven, including a three-month baby - the American authorities have admitted responsibility and offered compensation.

The refugees from Fallujah describe a situation of extreme violence in which remaining civilians in the city, who have been told by the Americans to leave, appeared to have been seen as complicit in the insurgency. Men of military age were particularly vulnerable. But there are accounts of children as young as four, and women and old men being killed.

The American authorities have accused militant sympathizers of spreading disinformation, and have also claimed that people in Fallujah have exaggerated the number of casualties and the level of damage in the air campaign that preceded the assault.

Two hard truths, something that Captain Propagandista and company would probably have a difficult time digesting all at once, if at all. Its true that innocent people were killed by the military and its also probably true that militants exagerate these events for their own purposes.
Sadly America and the world will never forget Abu Ghraib, about which Republican Senator Lindsay Graham said,
"The American public needs to understand, we're talking about rape and murder here. We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience. We're talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges."

and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld:
"First, beyond abuse of prisoners, there are other photos that depict incidents of physical violence toward prisoners, acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel, and inhuman."

I include the quotes about Abu Ghraib because I think its important to understand how the Iraqi people see us, by us I mean the troops. The Iraqi people are aware of Abu Ghraib, they are aware of the lotting by their own people, they're aware of the house to house searchers in which militants have been found and in which innocent people have dissappeared, they have seen the troops risk their lives to hand out school supplies, candy,water, and food to children. They see the good and the bad. I was going to "borrow" some pictures from Kos, but I'll link to them instead, that's probably the best as far as blogtopia protocol. Bloodied Faces Of Iraqi Children
The 3rd picture down has a picture of a "terrorified" Iraqi child with a soldier standing nearby, I see him almost as much of a victim as the child. The child has just lost the center of his/her world, while the soldier is probably cursed to have dreams of that child for the rest of his life. The fifth picture down a soldier is tending to the wounds of a boy. The boy terrorized despite the soldiers' best intentions. I think its the 8th picture down is a soldier helping carry one child to an emergency room.
When John Kerry talks about letting the Iraqis take over the swepts and security as much as possible he's also talking about taking some of the weight and pain off the backs of our troops, bring in respect for the local cultural norms, and lessons the opportunity for militants to manufacture more disinformation. That to me seems like true patriotism.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Interview at Main and Central with an Iraq vet

20 questions with an Iraq War veteran
8. Is there a feeling among the troops on the ground over there that the administration really cares about them? How do 'stop-loss' orders and the unwillingness of folks to enlist affect morale, if at all?
V: The troops on the ground don't feel like the Administration cares at all. The stop loss doesn't affect the troops in a sense of doing the job ... it affects them in the sense of re-enlistments and the willingness of assisting on recruiting.

This interview is also available at The Bulldog Says
Both of these sites are run by veterans, and they're proud of their progressive politics. So much for the wing-nut conventional wisdom, that patriots don't care about the military. Get used to it, Iraq is producing a lot of progressive to liberal Democrats.

Statement of DNC Communications Director Karen Finney:
"The American people do want change because the truth is they've been shortchanged by the Washington Republican agenda of corruption, cronyism and incompetence. Republicans in Washington have forgotten that they are here to serve the American people, not line their pockets and cater to the special interests. Americans overwhelmingly realize that what the Republicans are offering is a divided America, not a better America. They are tired of the divisiveness, the distractions and the distortions. They are tired of the culture of corruption that Republicans have brought to Washington, D.C. They are tired of a White House that refuses to be honest about important questions of national security, and they are tired of a Republican Congress that steadfastly refuses to hold President Bush's administration accountable and that simply ignores Americans' true priorities of real national security, jobs, healthcare and education. And, as we saw in this week's elections, Americans are tired of the Bush-Rove politics of division.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Mark Steyn owes America an apology

Even a newspaper opinion writer should not be selling America his views based on doublespeak, distortions and lies. The best opinions are based on facts or so I've heard. After reading, or rather wading through the muck of Dems determined to ignore progress in Iraq, Steyn owes America an apology.
Jack Murtha, whose carefully nuanced position on Iraq is: We're all doomed unless we pull out by next Tuesday! (I quote from memory.)

Quite a memory Mark since Congressman Murtha said no such thing. He advocated that as soon as was tactically possible that American troops be moved to northern Iraq and Kuwait, to let the Iraqis,the majority of which don't want us there can start the process of sorting things out for themselves. Steyn sitting safely behind his chickenhawk desk writes:
It's just about acceptable in polite society to disagree with Murtha, but only if you do it after a big 20-minute tongue

Mark displays two wierd obsessions of the far right goon squad, a predilition for soft porn similies and the Swift-boating of veterans who don't tow the idelogical line.
When all else fails create a strawman Democrat to argue with, that way you always win. :
These sad hollow men may yet get their way -- which is to say they may succeed in persuading the American people that a remarkable victory in the Middle East is in fact a humiliating defeat.

Mark having emerged from his cave spouting nonsense about a "tongue bath" might want to pick up a copy of some newspaper , any newspaper that he likes and read it, if he's capable. Also he might find the internet and some expert opinion helpful, but only if he pulls his head out of the sand , removes his hands from his ears, and stops drinking the kool-aid. Based on some trumped up intelligence that Bush would not the Senate or Congress see the neocons sent Americans off to die, over 2,000 so far, over 10,000 wounded, not to mention at least 60,000 dead Iraqis.

Sunni Candidates in Iraq Find Enemies on All Sides
Many Sunni Arabs, who ruled Iraq for decades, boycotted the vote last January for a transitional National Assembly, but say they now regret that because they ceded too much power to the Shiites and Kurds.

The Shiite Arabs, who make up at least 60 percent of the population, see the coming election as their chance to enshrine majority rule of the country, denied them since Iraq was formed by colonial powers during the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire.

The Kurds, one-fifth of Iraq, want enough say in the new government to protect the autonomous status of their northern homeland, and to stem the growing religious influence of the Iranian-backed Shiite parties.



Guerrillas near the town of Adhaim, northeast of Baghdad, mounted a coordinated ambush of Iraqi troops on Saturday, killing 19 and wounding 4. The Bush administration ties US troop withdrawals from Iraq to the ability of the new Iraqi army to deal with the guerrillas itself. More details emerged regarding the killing of 10 US Marines at Amiriyat al-Fallujah just before the weekend. An eleventh appears to have died of his wounds and 3 more GIs died in a vehicle accident near Balad. "Accidents" in Iraq are often not unconnected to the guerrilla war. There was a new outbreak of fighting in Samarra, a Sunni Arab city north of Baghdad. Fighting continued in the Ramadi area.

Mark may be surprised to learn that his glorious Iraq constitution and those with a tremendous influence in Iraq are making it inti a theocratic state allied with Iran. Secretive Iraqi cleric launches campaign

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's most powerful politician, a secretive cleric who once led a militia based in Iran, launched the campaign Saturday of a Shiite alliance set to win the biggest number of seats in this month's parliamentary vote.

Two years after appearing on Iraq's murky political scene, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim remains difficult to read - a soft-spoken man with a reputation for ruthlessness and a preference for pulling strings behind the scenes.

Although a member of parliament, al-Hakim rarely attends sessions. Still, there is little question that al-Hakim is the most influential figure within the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance, which also includes Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

Yet Steyn insists, "They're building the freest society in the region". Well maybe, maybe not. Saudi Arabia's royal family is pro-western cash, they're really only marginally Muslim and they make damn sure the public is under control, much in the way that Bush and the American Taliban are marginally Christian. Egypt is a strange case, many would argue that they've become moderate and pro western because they are paid huge sums by the US to be so. That if Egypt didn't have laws that surpressed fundamentalists Muslim groups, they too would be a theocracy. What democracy there is in the middle-east is fragile at best, and order is kept with money and guns. There are degrees of religious extremism and most nations of the Arab world are in at least political conflict with them regularly, human rights are frequently compromised to placate fundamentalists. Democracy as we know it on Main Street America is unheard of in the middle-east. When the righties hail the glorious spread of democracy, take it with a grain of salt.
Steyn says, "Toppling Saddam was worth doing in and of itself." Well Mark, America never got to have that discussion, speaking of democracy. We got chicken-little stories about "urgent" threats and "mushroom clouds". Saddam was a bad guy, as are some other goverments around the world. Lets take a moment to point out the glaring hypocrisy of the human rights rationale for invading Iraq. Since Bush has taken office over 350,000 people have died in the Sudan. Why aren't those people worthy of military intervention. Could it be that they don't have enough oil. Why, id Bush is the emissary of the new American morality is he dissappearing people.
The following lists includes all countries and related territories which have been rated Not Free by the democracy watchdog, Freedom House. (for space reasons I'm not listing them all)

List One: the most repressive nations and territories
- Burma
- Chechnya, a disputed territory controlled by Russia
- Cuba
- Libya
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- Sudan
- Syria
- Tibet, a disputed territory controlled by China
- Turkmenistan


List Two: all other nations and territories judged not free
- Abkhazia, a disputed territory controlled by Georgia
- Afghanistan
- Algeria
- Angola
- Azerbaijan
- Belarus
- Bhutan
- Brunei
- Cambodia
- Cameroon
- Central African Republic
- Chad
- China

Note that last entry Mark, and several others for that matter, very repressive regimes that your conservative pals on Wall Street are falling all over themselves to do business with, no human rights strings attached. Obsession with the evil of communism ( defeated by sanctions and political pressure by the way) has been replaced with the new kool obsession with Islamic fundamentalism. What was evil yesterday becomes part of Mark's growth formula for his mutual fund. Spare me the outrage from these simplistic right-wings hacks who live inside a little bubble where G.W. Bush is the Messiah that can do no wrong. Mark doesn't use the forum he has in the Chicago-Sun Times to inform the American people about the real world, and for that he owes America and those fighting because of Bush's lies, an apology.

There's a degree of hyberbole here, never the less, for those that think Bush is "transforming the middle-east", its a reality check. U.S. Occupation Comparable to Hussein Regime
"[Authorities] are doing the same as [in] Saddam's time and worse," former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi told the London Observer, of human-rights abuses by the U.S.-backed Iraqi government. "It is an appropriate comparison. People are remembering the days of Saddam. These were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam and now we are seeing the same things." Allawi, one of Hussein's victims, became a trusted CIA asset and later was handpicked by the United States to be the leader of the new Iraq. He now is the leading secular alternative to the Shiite theocrats expected to win the Dec. 15 election.
What Allawi decries is the brutal behavior of new security forces empowered by the U.S. invasion but beholden, according to most reports, to Shiite religious parties intent on controlling Iraq. To accomplish their mission, they're using the kind of "ethnic cleansing" terror seen so recently in Rwanda and the Balkans.

Its not the US military's fault its the can of worms that Bush opened with his bizarre messianic vision of Iraq.

update: US Army admits Iraqis outnumber foreign fighters as its main enemy
Iraqis, rather than foreign fighters, now form the vast majority of the insurgents who are waging a ferocious guerrilla war against United States forces in Sunni western Iraq, American commanders have revealed.

Their conclusion, disclosed to the Sunday Telegraph in interviews over 10 days in battle-torn Anbar province, contradicts the White House message that outsiders are the principal enemy in Iraq.

How can BushCo have a plan to win if they're not even aware of who they are fighting or why. If not the worse administration this century, certainly the most incompetent.