Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 20, 2006

OT 06-54

A short update. I took over a consulting job for a project run wild.

The last days I was busy to pic up the bits and pieces of an exploded IT development and tried to reconfigure and motivate the teams involved.

It's a bit like babysitting a horde of preschoolers while getting them to rebuild a crumbled pyramid.

As it will take a few more days to reset the program, I am short of sleep and blogging time. May be some of the regulars or not so regulars can write something up to post.

Thanks for leaving so many good links and thoughts in the Open Threads. Treasure troves these are.

Posted by b on June 20, 2006 at 09:00 AM | Permalink

Comments

On Jared Diamond's recommendation, I'm dragging this up from the bottom of the last thread:

Ron Suskind's

The One Percent Doctrine

In "The One Percent Doctrine," Mr. Suskind discloses that First Data Corporation — one of the world's largest processors of credit card transactions and the parent company of Western Union — began cooperating with the F.B.I. in the wake of 9/11, providing information on financial transactions and wire transfers from around the world. The huge data-gathering operation in some respects complemented the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program (secretly authorized by Mr. Bush months after the Sept. 11 attacks), which monitored specific conversations as well as combed through large volumes of phone and Internet traffic in search of patterns that might lead to terrorism suspects.
Despite initial misgivings on the part of Western Union executives, Mr. Suskind reports, the company also worked with the C.I.A. and provided real-time information on financial transactions as they occurred.

...

Just as disturbing as Al Qaeda's plans and capabilities are the descriptions of the Bush administration's handling of the war on terror and its willful determination to go to war against Iraq. That war, according to the author's sources who attended National Security Council briefings in 2002, was primarily waged "to make an example" of Saddam Hussein, to "create a demonstration model to guide the behavior of anyone with the temerity to acquire destructive weapons or, in any way, flout the authority of the United States."

What does this "demonstration model" prove to those already in possession of such weapons - those who have already flouted "the authority of the United States" other than the US is willing to step into the tar pits in order to shock and awe.

It's what Dan Froomkin calls "The Cheney Supremacy".

The part of Ron Suskind's new book that's getting all the attention this morning is his chilling disclosure that al-Qaeda apparently planned, then called off, a hydrogen cyanide gas attack in New York's subway in 2003.

But the longer-term significance of Suskind's new book -- his second major expose of the Bush White House in three years -- will likely be how it documents Vice President Cheney's singularly dominant role in the foreign policy and national security decisions typically attributed to President Bush.

Where other journalists smarmily imply that Cheney is in charge, or credulously relate White House assurances that he's not, Suskind appears to have gotten people with first-hand experience to actually describe how Cheney operates -- and what he has wrought.

...

In an appearance on NBC's Today Show this morning, Suskind had this to say about the "one percent doctrine" -- which he also calls the "Cheney doctrine": "What it does is it embraces suspicions as a threshold for action."

Matt Lauer: "You think there are grave dangers in this type of policy. Why?"

Suskind: "The fact is for us as the most powerful nation in the world, what it does is it sends us into a kind of tactical ferocity where we're following everything, where we can't even have a one percent chance not be handled with the full force of the U.S. The difficulty is there is backlash when you act that way. . . . "

Lauer: "Are you suggesting that Dick Cheney drives the policy of the administration?"

Suskind: "The evidence is that Cheney is the global thinker. Bush is an action-based man, but he operates within a framework that Cheney largely designed."

And PBS's Frontline "The Dark Side" airs tonight, no?

Posted by: Hamburger | Jun 20, 2006 10:52:58 AM | 1

I know the name of that tune, B.

Good luck with your projects.

My marmoset will keep order while the folks mill in.

I'm going to crash for a couple days, hopefully dreaming of Jeannie, Xanadu, and Annie Lennox.

The old black smoke be kicking in now Mullah. Put my pipe in a safe place.

Sweet dreams be made of these.

Posted by: Dr. Fu Manchu | Jun 20, 2006 10:54:05 AM | 2

Stay cool, b.

Posted by: beq | Jun 20, 2006 11:22:49 AM | 3

uncle, re happiness from the last thread. the framework of discussing happiness in the workplace syncs w/ finding pleasure in a torture chamber.
what a waste. from your other link

With regard to the related issue of their location, pleasure is situated in the sense organs, while joy and happiness are states of the "heart-mind," a beautiful and useful phrase that I borrow from Confucianism. Too many Western philosophers have tried to incite a war between the mind, our bodies, and our emotions.

But there is something Zen-like about happiness: if I aim for it, I cannot have it. There is no specific stimulus for happiness; one cannot turn it off and on; rather, one must develop the life of virtue that brings it about ineluctably.

re virtue /artistotle etc drags morality into the mix. the question i have, is it possible for a moral person to have happiness if other people are suffering in the world? i posit one can because happiness, while being all consuming when one is experiencing it, does not have to be all inclusive all the time. it is not limited to 'a happy life' it can be , and usually is experienced in the instance, instances that does not lend itself to analyzation, forethough (i'm going to try to be happy today),or duration. isn't it natural to experience happiness in the by and by, and the acumulation of these experiences on reflection it occurs to one to think, i am a happy person, or in general, my life is happy, without actually being 'in happiness' at that time. similair to love, we love someone, yet we are not perahps feeling 'in love' at all times.


Those only are happy who have their minds fixed . . . on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way.

--John Stuart Mill

in other words, going about one's life we experience moments of fullfillment, often by surprise. similiar to lennon's life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans

w/regards to happiness, if one is not aiming for it, experiences it, and is not virturous, or does not consider others happiness along w/their own, there is something immoral about this? is there?

Posted by: annie | Jun 20, 2006 12:30:07 PM | 4

Soldiers found dead.

Posted by: beq | Jun 20, 2006 1:18:26 PM | 5

Froomkin today again on the new Susking book on Cheney/Bush.

The new book, by Ron Suskind, is called "The One Percent Doctrine." I wrote about it at some length already in yesterday's column . It takes its title from Vice President Cheney's assertion that if there's even a one percent threat of a "high-impact" terrorist event, then the government should respond as if it were a certainty. That assertion, Suskind writes, became an unspoken but momentous new guiding principle for the Bush administration's national security policy.

I think this is a simple excuse for Cheney's behaviour and political and imperial aims. Cheney would not be a bit less belingerent if 9/11 did not happen. 9/11 didn´t change his view on (useless) pipeline routes through Afghanistan or controlling the worlds oil reserves. May be he did use that argument to puppet play Bush, but looking at his career, I don´t think it is his real convinction.

This seems more serious:

Barton Gelman writes in a Washington Post book review that Suskind "tells some jaw-dropping stories we haven't heard before." Among them, the story of the capture of Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in March 2002. Described as al-Qaeda's chief of operations, he turned out to be mentally ill and nothing like the pivotal figure he was alleged to be.

Writes Gelman: "Abu Zubaydah also appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations; rather, he was al-Qaeda's go-to guy for minor logistics -- travel for wives and children and the like. That judgment was 'echoed at the top of CIA and was, of course, briefed to the President and Vice President,' Suskind writes. And yet somehow, in a speech delivered two weeks later, President Bush portrayed Abu Zubaydah as 'one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States.' And over the months to come, under White House and Justice Department direction, the CIA would make him its first test subject for harsh interrogation techniques. . . .

" 'I said he was important,' Bush reportedly told [then-CIA director George] Tenet at one of their daily meetings. 'You're not going to let me lose face on this, are you?' 'No sir, Mr. President,' Tenet replied. Bush 'was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth,' Suskind writes, and he asked one briefer, 'Do some of these harsh methods really work?' Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep. Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety -- against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, 'thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each . . . target.' And so, Suskind writes, 'the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered.' "

Gelman asks the right question: "How could this have happened?

Posted by: b | Jun 20, 2006 2:41:10 PM | 6

the 2 u.s. soldiers were "barbarically tortured." we did this. i wonder now if the chicken hawks will rethink their gitmo and abu grahib, etc. strategies. or will it just fuel the revenge cycle.

Posted by: conchita | Jun 20, 2006 4:13:22 PM | 7

Song

Majida Al-Roumi - Matra7ak bi albi

Posted by: n/a | Jun 20, 2006 4:18:52 PM | 8

Khaled & Noa - Imagine

Posted by: n/a | Jun 20, 2006 4:27:07 PM | 9

Cameron Cartio & Khaled - Henna

Posted by: n/a | Jun 20, 2006 4:29:01 PM | 10

Faudel, Khaled & Rachid Taha

Posted by: n/a | Jun 20, 2006 4:32:41 PM | 11

Fairouz - Bayti zghir bi Canada

Posted by: n/a | Jun 20, 2006 4:34:57 PM | 12

@conchita - the 2 u.s. soldiers were "barbarically tortured." we did this. i wonder now if the chicken hawks will rethink their gitmo and abu grahib, etc. strategies. or will it just fuel the revenge cycle.

1. I wouldn´t trust the torture claim until there is some proof.
2. The chicken hawks will of course say that the U.S. military needs to be "tougher".

Posted by: b | Jun 20, 2006 4:36:53 PM | 13

Mika - 3ady fel ma3adi

Posted by: n/a | Jun 20, 2006 4:38:08 PM | 14

read it on kos, but came off yahoo news. what do you think?

Posted by: conchita | Jun 20, 2006 4:39:44 PM | 15

Ilham al Madfa3i - La Laila Wala Youm

Posted by: n/a | Jun 20, 2006 4:41:34 PM | 16

Rachid Taha - Rock El Casbah

Posted by: n/a | Jun 20, 2006 4:46:05 PM | 17

Grace Deeb - 7elwa Ya Baladi

Posted by: n/a | Jun 20, 2006 4:49:26 PM | 18

marat el hawa bihib el hawa haik
ma baaref keef ma baaref laish
marat el hawa bikoon el hawa bi eedaik
mabtesealni wala adait

yemkin ehsasi eny ikhsertik eny li akher mara ebshoofak
kheft 3alaik
tofl ely etaawad teseal 3ano wala mara eb temroa meno byerkhodh laik
men youm ely enta zaaelt w reht w falait
ana habait
ana habait

la ablak hada la baadak hada la
fey ablak omr fey baadak lail
dhayaatak ana habaitak ana la
habait el omr khawafni elaik

ana kent el kenz bi kent el ghorbi
tofl w rakeb khalf el laabi
ablak kent
kabarni el jafa ya albi ektafa
ya nar el mata be nar entafa
narak ent
kheft men oyouni w jowa oyouni etkhabait
ana habait
ana habait

shaar el hawa 3am yoaasef jowa oyoun el hawa
bhebak ana dayba el hana ya omri erjaa
erjaali bas la eteali el madhi entaha wendhawa
bkhaf yedheeaa el hawa men albi hobak dhaa
bkhaf yedheeaa el hawa men albi hobak dhaa

marat el hawa bihib el hawa haik
ma baaref keef ma baaref laish
marat el hawa bikoon el hawa bi eedaik
mabtesealni wala adait

yemkin ehsasi eny ikhsertik eny li akher mara ebshoofak
kheft 3alaik
tofl ely etaawad teseal 3ano wala mara eb temroa meno byerkhodh laik
men youm ely enta zaaelt w reht w falait

ana habait

ana habait

ana habait


Grace Deeb - Ana 7abait

Posted by: n/a | Jun 20, 2006 4:59:17 PM | 19

what do you think?
that picture w/ the article is almost romantic. like b said, wait til more info comes out. it's guaranteed that the perception mgmt teams are working overtime on this. be interesting to hear what the soldiers are being told.

Posted by: b real | Jun 20, 2006 5:25:15 PM | 20

n/a,

Until the earth encloses me, my heart is yours. Thank you.

Posted by: Amurra | Jun 20, 2006 5:40:55 PM | 21

the magisterial naseer shamma

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 20, 2006 6:42:39 PM | 22

b be good

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 20, 2006 6:51:41 PM | 23

Lest ye forget...

The Pentagon’s War on the Internet

The Pentagon has developed a comprehensive strategy for taking over the internet and controlling the free flow of information. The plan appears in a recently declassified document, "The Information Operations Roadmap", which was provided under the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and revealed in an article by the BBC.

The Pentagon sees the internet in terms of a military adversary that poses a vital threat to its stated mission of global domination. This explains the confrontational language in the document which speaks of "fighting the net"; implying that the internet is the equivalent of "an enemy weapons system."

Perhaps, this explains the recent complications to blogger, typepad, 001 Broken pipe errors and others on many other blogs I visit. . .

I think it was TTGVWYCI (the truth gets vicious when you cornner it), whom said the following,

As for "fighting it" -- when the loss occurs, it will be done in such a way that it will be hard to prove it has happened, or that it is deliberate. Just as an example: a few years back, an acquaintance of mine attended a technical conference to which a bunch of teenagers had been attended. The teenagers kept eating up all the bandwidth to play games, so the technical wonks set up a scheme whereby the routers would still allow game-related traffic, but at a vastly reduced scale and speed. The teenagers were still getting through to the servers, but in such a way that they could not, in fact, play games. When they asked about it, they were merely told that there was insufficient bandwidth -- technically true, but not the whole truth by any means.

I'm sure there will be a friendly face on it.

that does seem to be the case, as I have gotten more Internal Server Error's this month than any previous that I can remember.

Finally, too many people fail to recognize that the NAPs are overseen by the USG, so they could be shut down at any time.

This is no surpise to the network-oriented. --b, care to jump in here?--

I found this Cryptome doc today and read about half of it:

http://cryptome.org/io-roadmap.htm

Interesting they openly acknowledge PSYOP, among other things. what are the alternatives? Are other countries building pipes? I have always been impressed with the brilliance of the best minds on the net as long as I have been on it--I wonder what they're doing about this? And how can I help?

However, the above pdf is soon to be redated I'm sure...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 20, 2006 7:09:49 PM | 24

Please go over and help Robert Parry

Parry's very deserving of support. He's one of the few, and best, professional parapolitical journalists in America.

Parry is truly the best journo on the internet imo. He's in trouble. If we lose him, we've lost an invaluable resource.
Go over and do what you can.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 20, 2006 7:19:18 PM | 25

There are a couple of important reasons for reading this article by the BBC on their website today.

The piece details a horror inflicted upon children in one of the most already horrible places in the Northern hemisphere the open air prison known as the Gaza Strip.

We need to make ourselves absorb the details of these tragic war crimes firstly to bear witness and secondly to ensure that those we come in contact with either personally or by dint of hearing their platitudinal pap don't succeed in diverting us from these daily delictum (poss plural delictia) and convince us that things are fine in the death-by-inches-camp.

The other reason to look at this article rather than one by another medium on the same subject is that this particular article demonstrates the success of the Bliar perversion of the BBC:

Gaza air strike 'kills children'
An Israeli air strike on a car in the Gaza Strip has killed two children and a teenager, Palestinian officials say.

The occupants of the car leapt out before the blast in a crowded street in the Jabaliya refugee camp, witnesses say. Fourteen people were wounded.

The Israeli military confirmed it had attacked the vehicle.

Israel has repeatedly struck at targets Gaza in response to rocket attacks by militants, who have fired dozens of volleys into Israel in recent days. . .

Deconstruct this article just a little, and what do we see. Firsly the impact of the deaths of these kids has been deliberately reduced by putting apostrophes around the words kills children in the headline. Why? There is no doubt that these three kids died because this reuters article gives the story in slightly less equivocal language. Who knows why? Reuters of late has been just as capable as any other corporate media outlet of casting the atrocities inflicted upon Palestinians in as bland a tone as possible.

The BBC of course isn't meant to be a corporate media outlet. It's charter directs it to inform as a public service. Since 'money' isn't supposed to enter into the equation, bbc 'lightening up' of a story can only be a deliberate political act.

Apart from the apostrophes, the article leads with the Israeli excuse for the act before it informs us fully of the crime itself, thereby attempting to prevent any readers from becoming 'too' outraged.

The article also seeks to cast doubt on the actual incident by using phrases such as "Palestinian officials say". There can be no doubt that this event took place, there were a lot of independent witnesses, therefore an honest write up would have described it as such.

One of the many other attempts by the BBC to distort the public reaction to this crime is the insinuation on the BBC TV coverage of this atrocity that the children were occupants of the vehicle and therefore somehow legitimate targets.

Comparing the spoken news to that written is a worthwhile exercise for those with sufficient time. The ephemeral nature of electronic media encourages small distortions which may have a large unconscious effect.

In fact as well as the three dead children there were 9 other children walking down the crowded street where the car was attacked who were wounded.

Imagine the headlines if the Palestinians had done this to Israeli children! The US would declare a national day of mourning. World leaders would be sending their condolences. One of the many reasons that this story is so easily skipped past is that Palestinian children are killed and maimed so often the world has become numb to the horror.

If anyone who has any standing in the UK eg citizen or voter is also appalled at this bbc spin chose to lodge a complaint through 'the proper channels' which state owned enterprises have for citizens to vent their wrath upon (politicians personal integrity, for the purpose of protecting), they may be surprised to find that their effort 'can make a difference'.

The writer has done this from time to time and as long as the protest is lodged 'correctly' (research the process beforehand), isn't overly emotive and the complainant hasn't got a reputation for being a 'frequent flyer' of these processes, the odds are about 50/50 the organisation will be told to 'pull it's head in'.

Posted by: | Jun 20, 2006 8:06:13 PM | 26

uncle - thanks for the heads up on robert parry. made my small contribution.

Posted by: conchita | Jun 20, 2006 8:15:43 PM | 27

debs

the degradation in the bbc palpable especially since thatcher - its pretended 'objectivity' i find obscene in the extreme - they are a comedy show with a gag that is no longer worth telling

luckily i do not possess a tv & see cable very irregularly but each time i feel as if i have watched some sordid pornographic film full of orifices & batons but no breath

it is all i can do not to search for a pump action & direct it at the screen

they should have done with it & have that clown jermemy clarkson do everything 24/24 - then there would be no illusion that this particular media is nothing other than the last sordid remnants of an empire that has been blown like dust into the wind

fuck them now & forever

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 20, 2006 8:28:00 PM | 28

"It's a bit like babysitting a horde of preschoolers while getting them to rebuild a crumbled pyramid."

Damn. B's in Iraq?!?

Posted by: Rowan | Jun 20, 2006 9:10:06 PM | 29

@Uncle Scam:

Re:Bob Parry Most infantile whine I ever did see. RGiap's on a roll here. Perhaps he can set this tragic story to music.

@Conchita:

uncle - thanks for the heads up on robert parry. made my small contribution.

Please: Don't Put another dime in the juke box, I don't want to hear that song no more.

Parry could of course call Warren Buffett in Omaha, Bill Gates Sr, Perhaps Billy Gates, or poerhaps the evil genius George Soros. NEXT YEAR.


@Rowan:

Naw I think B was very busy last week:

Extracting a big satellite disk from Eric Cartman's anus and inserting a much smaller one in Robert Parry's butt. Both required a big Liebherr crane. Think B's an engineer.

And a radio signal will broadcast the pleas throughout the galaxy: Farm Aid, please add blog-aid to your Farm-Roll.
Something like that.

Best advice I can give Parry at this late date is to max out his credit card and then develop a serious plan.

Gotta go.

Posted by: Felix Rohatyn | Jun 20, 2006 10:13:09 PM | 30

@Rowan:

Nah, a certain large company has called him in to kick-start a stagnating project. I think both "crumbling" and "pyramid" are valid terms...</snark>

Posted by: The Truth Gets Vicious When You Corner It | Jun 20, 2006 10:19:15 PM | 31

@giap The BBC was dreadful under Thatcher when covering UK domestic issues although the Palestinians didn't get butt fucked quite so regularly the Argentinians certainly did, generally their global network of reporters could give a reasonably objective account of most events occuring on their beat.

There have always been exceptions to this. African correspondents most notably those on the Zimbabwe 'beat' have considered themselves to be still carrying the white man's burden which made Mugabe's task of exiling them from Zimbabwe far easier than it should have been.

Most of the beats where beeb reporters have lost objectivity are generally a reflection of deep seated english prejudices. For example they rarely cover a story of more than 30 seconds about australia which doesn't mention convicts or 'larrikan' behaviour on the cricket pitch. The US normally suffers a similar fate, the popular jibe is often "they love our royal family more than we do" or somesuch.

The thing about this coverage of Palestine is that it isn't domestic, the english are not at war with the Palestinians as they were with the Argentinians, and the attitudes expressed are not reflective of english prejudice, they are a lame attempt to shape those prejudices.

It is this divergence from the norm of bbc subjectivity which is both notable and likely to result in success for some halfway literate brit who shakes the correctly selected tree of bbc governance.

Posted by: | Jun 21, 2006 12:22:14 AM | 32

A year on, Ahmadinejad's popularity is soaring

Attributing his success to his populist style and fortnightly meet-the-people tours of the country, the sources said that as matters stood, Mr Ahmadinejad was the clear favourite to win a second term in 2009. The perception that the president was standing up to the US on the nuclear issue was also boosting his standing.

"He's more popular now than a year ago. He's on the rise," said Nasser Hadian-Jazy, a professor of political science at Tehran University. "I guess he has a 70% approval rating right now. He portrays himself as a simple man doing an honest job. He's comfortable communicating with ordinary people."
...
Independent Iranian sources said many people were surprised that Mr Ahmadinejad had not turned out to be as socially conservative as many expected. His attacks on the privileges enjoyed by some of Iran's ruling clerical elite and his recent unsuccessful attempt to allow women to attend football matches had made a big impact.

Mr Ahmadinejad's rising fortunes run counter to US attempts to isolate Iran, which it brands a rogue state. US officials have described the Iranian president as a threat to world peace and claim that he faces a popular insurrection at home.

Posted by: b | Jun 21, 2006 1:32:44 AM | 33

A retired CIA case officer gives some gratuitous and unsolicited advice to General Hayden (Foreign Policy Research Inststitute)

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 21, 2006 1:53:49 AM | 34

i first discovered NOA in 1996 the album entitled calling.it was put out by geffen and is just beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.its in english and i recommend it highly.would link if i could still can't seem to get any of my links to work,but do check it out.

Posted by: onzaga | Jun 21, 2006 5:38:17 AM | 35

hahahahaha!
Which one are you? :-p

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 21, 2006 5:59:43 AM | 36

Uncle:

The Robert Parry note is evidence that right wing foundations exist to take and hold power, left wing foundations exist to waste money.

Posted by: citizen k | Jun 21, 2006 9:03:15 AM | 37

The Robert Parry note is evidence that right wing foundations exist to take and hold power, left wing foundations exist to waste money.

Whats the difference?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 21, 2006 9:31:10 AM | 38

they forgot the banned for mentioning 9/11 conspiracy theories.

Posted by: conchita | Jun 21, 2006 12:44:37 PM | 39

we've gotten a few warnings from dr fu

about the power point presentation. did we miss this? am i the only one gullible enough to have expectations? maybe i'm off on my gmt calcualtions.

Posted by: annie | Jun 21, 2006 1:51:50 PM | 40

uncle, love the link ! weren't election fraud people put on the back burner also?
maybe it was just frowned upon not banned. but 9/11 is loud and clear in the FAC, 'you will be banned' they have even threatened to ban people who recommend the 9/11"conspiracy" diaries.

Posted by: annie | Jun 21, 2006 1:56:14 PM | 41

BBC far worse than CNN (CNN Europe that is, not the same as what you see in the US.) More blatant and more subtle, in a nice combi mix, heh, all that olde EU culture and sophistication. Wrapped up in all that culture in 'shows' about antiques for the geriatrics, Brit comedy (a bit stale to me but who knows), flowers and gardens, the regular stuff you’d expect. I speak of BBC World and BBC Prime, beamed to the four corners.

They are using every single trick in the book.

Muslims are poor, putrid, disgusting, culturally backward, vicious, fundamentalist, diseased, hate women; are torturers, killers, terrorists, don't understand governance, can't do business, abuse girl children, are "suspected" of pedophilia, etc.

They wear dirty socks and overdecorate their homes. There you have it!

Posted by: Noisette | Jun 21, 2006 2:51:49 PM | 42

Ms. Annie:

The DOCTOR is still sleeping.

He often sleeps for days even.

I am in charge of all SiFan operations in the DOCTOR'S absence.

Having trouble with Aer Lingus and Cunard Line peak rate fares.

The DOCTOR does not like to waste money, although he has plenty.

The DOCTOR woke up briefly and said we can just wait the two weeks.

You seem a bit edgy. I will let you borrow the DOCTOR'S pipe if you wish.

Some expressed apprehension that the PARADISE OF FU might somehow resemble a Stalinist Gulag.

Each day in PARADISE is a 10 hour workday of intensely interesting work, mostly scientific, that benefits mankind--WORK BECOMES PLAY. After work, a delicious supper, some dope or booze, a good cigar, and probably a little sport fucking, with no children to get in the way. Breakfast and lunch are nice too.

And, of course, you possess eternal life.


As you might have already guessed,
I am a somewhat liberal-minded theologian.


END OF REVELATION PART ONE!

MORE TO FOLLOW SHORTLY!

THIS WAS NOT A WARNING!

Posted by: MULLAH MARMOSET | Jun 21, 2006 3:09:11 PM | 43

I know that I have not answered all your questions.

I will be happy to answer any questions that you may have about the PARADISE OF FU for the next 24 hours.

RULES:

1. Limit your question to 25 words or less, and write the question in language you think I can understand.

2.I will try to answer in less than that.

3.The question should involve only this PARADISE.

4. If the question does not conform to rules 1,2, and 3, I will reject the question, or ask you to rephrase it.

END OF REVELATION PART II!

THIS WAS NOT A WARNING!

Posted by: MULLAH MARMOSET | Jun 21, 2006 3:56:11 PM | 44

so far i only have one question for you mullah, (whispering in your ear, very private of course)..is sport fucking the only fucking available in paradise?

Posted by: annie | Jun 21, 2006 4:09:56 PM | 45

No. No. Committed relationships develop over time, generally.And this question is an amusing one, so I'll go over 25.

THE DOCTOR acquired the services of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson a year ago or more. It's a different woman/women every night, booze and drugs out the wazoo. The DOCTOR has concluded that this may be HST's life work, and is more amused than annoyed, but hopes he will eventually reform.

Meanwhile, Thompson's work on THE POWERPOINTS OF SALVATION goes very slowly.

Posted by: MM | Jun 21, 2006 4:33:55 PM | 46

n/a,

Why won't you speak to me? What have I done?

Posted by: Amurra | Jun 21, 2006 6:50:52 PM | 47

O, but I understand no answer is an answer.

Posted by: | Jun 21, 2006 6:55:02 PM | 48

This thread--which was meant to be only minorly provocative--is dying for lack of vigorous analysis.

My own Gypsies Tramps and Thieves, might prove soothing. As well as most any music by St. Joan(Baez)

Posted by: Cher and MM | Jun 21, 2006 7:52:15 PM | 49

But anon, don't you see? What Mullah al anthropoid is saying is that, "the answers can't be given, they can only be received."

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 21, 2006 8:06:09 PM | 50

I might add, Annie, we have not seen this HST phenomenon much, in our PARADISE.

Genuinely useful work, takes much of the psychic need for"Play and Circuses" out of the picture.

Posted by: MM | Jun 21, 2006 8:33:53 PM | 51

An enormous http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHTdc36627k&search=ornette>culture error. Uncle Milty introduces Prime Time.

now ... to find the one where donnie and marie introduce motorhead. i'm sure it's out there.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 21, 2006 9:13:16 PM | 52

have a radical summer solstice

Posted by: b real | Jun 21, 2006 11:22:55 PM | 53

Muslims are poor, putrid, disgusting, culturally backward, vicious, fundamentalist, diseased, hate women; are torturers, killers, terrorists, don't understand governance, can't do business, abuse girl children, are "suspected" of pedophilia, etc.

In other words: Muslims are like every other group of humans on this planet of misery.


Posted by: citizen k | Jun 21, 2006 11:33:28 PM | 54

These two videos are special for their own reasons. One is very long and contains images and sounds from NOAM FUCKING CHOMSKY GIVING A TALK TO THE FREAKING GRADUATING CLASS OF FRIKKING WEST POINT FRIGGING ACADEMY Seriously. I just think the existence of such a video is awesome. Don't even bother watching it, just marvel at it's fugging awesomeness.

Second, this short little demonstration of the wit of non-Western folks when it comes to delivering high quality entertainment from otherwise tried and true I hope you shit your pants with delight at both of these fokkers.

btw, if Bush is listening use big words!
And folk the government!

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 22, 2006 12:02:29 AM | 55

uh...Candid Camera Type Situational Reality Comedy.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 22, 2006 12:08:52 AM | 56

Unca, you should check booktv.org every Fri. eve/Sat am for their wkend sched. (It used to be better, but radical right is cranking out more shit now, so they're playing the "fair & balanced" crap, and there's very little left - like everywhere else!) That was on a few wks. ago. He only got 30mins. but it was fun...The problem is that the poor kids got the idea that they were being shipped over to Iraq to defend his freedom to speak @West Point!!

Posted by: jj | Jun 22, 2006 12:28:30 AM | 57

Speaking of Chomsky, I just found an online a/v Treasure Trove of his speeches. Happily they came up when I chose the section "liberal politics"! A rare somebody doesn't have their head up their ass. If you poke around this site, you'll find for yr. Amusement, Dickie Nixon's Farewell Speech.

Posted by: jj | Jun 22, 2006 12:45:50 AM | 58

Thanks jj, I use to love booktv, then as you say it was 'fair and balanced'
so I lost interest....

Nice find on "I am not a crook" other dick.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 22, 2006 1:04:58 AM | 59

A man walks into a talent agent's office, and says, "We're a political music act, and we'd like you to represent us."

The talent agent says, "Sorry, I don't represent political music acts. They're a little too bland."

The man says, "But, this is really special." The agent says, "Okay, well what's the act?"

"We let old ladies die in their wheelchairs and just bask in the mid-day sun after a disastrous flood, and little kids who are flood refugees go without food in a stifling, shit-filled stadium for days, without even realizing they are there. But we still have time to pick up a guitar in front of the cameras!

We let our First Lady tell jokes in public about the President masturbating a stallion!

We've got this cute bald manwhore who is eight and a half inches cut, and we let him pretend to be a journalist and go in and out (get it?) of the White House zillions of times!

We pile up naked Iraqi prisoners in a pyramid, and take cool pictures of them! We make them masturbate each other in front of us, and then we let the dogs go really wild near their genitals!

The man looks at the agent and says, "Well, that's the act. What do you think?"

The talent agent just sits in silence for a long time. Finally, he manages to say, "That's a hell of an act. What do you call yourselves?"

"The Compassionates!"

White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten plays bass guitar with his band "The Compassionates" at the White House Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House, June 15, 2006.

Oh, and their debut album ?

It's entitled:

Gentrification

get while it's hot! Hot as a snake on the asphalt of a nawlins' mid summer day.

All New Orleans Public School Teachers Fired, Millions in Federal Aid Channeled to Private Charter Schools

and

Thousands of New Orleans Public Housing Units to be Destroyed as 200,000+ Low-Income Residents Remain Displaced


Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 22, 2006 2:52:55 AM | 60

LA Times censors newsroom Internet feed


Peacefire, an anti-censorware site, says that journalists at the LA Times have told them that the LA Times has begun to censor the Internet feed in its newsroom. LA Observed says that the Times told them it uses Websense to restrict reporters' access to the Internet, and that peacefire.org is blocked in the newsroom, along with many other sites.
This is the first example I've heard of a Western newspaper censoring its reporters' Internet feeds. The companies that sell censorware services deliver a notoriously biased and Orwellian system. For example, sites like Peacefire and Boing Boing, which report on the bad judgement in these services and expose their technical failings, are classed as "proxy avoidance."

Once you start writing checks to these companies, they stop letting you see the sites that tell you why you should stop.

Some of these companies also provide censorship services to repressive governments, like those in China and Syria. A company called SmartFilter provides such services to several governments; they offered to stop censoring Boing Boing if we would accept a secret deal to restructure our site to make it easier for them to block parts of it.

The LA Times has previously reported favorably on Peacefire's groundbreaking efforts to expose the corruption and bias in censorware companies. Now that the Times's reporters can no longer visit Peacefire's website, I suppose we shouldn't expect more articles on those lines.

Reporters working in the L.A . Times have informed me that Internet access in their newsrooms is filtered, although we haven't determined what program they're using. In the L.A. bureau, reporters can't access sites like Playboy.com and are also blocked from accessing Peacefire.org, and I had to give a reporter the address of a Circumventor site so that he could get to our home page. In the San Francisco bureau, the filtering is apparently less restrictive, since Peacefire.org and Playboy.com are accessible, but the more hard-core Penthouse.com is not.
It's the first time I've heard of blocking software being used in the newsroom of a major newspaper, so I wanted to tell the reporters on this list -- except that, you know what would be, like, really funny, is that we should keep it secret from the idealistic young high school newspaper reporter who is dreaming of the day she'll escape from the censorious clutches of her school, and get a job as a real reporter for the L.A. Times.

Update: An informant notes, "The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation uses Websense to filter internet access. It even prevents the playing of YouTube videos because its streaming server is blocked under 'Hacking.'"

Update 2: A reader writes, "I work for a local CBS affiliate in Michigan and our newsroom has the Internet censored too. The IT guys have installed surfcontrol as per corporate policy. Sadly funny, because the station is owned by Freedom Broadcasting. My news director (head news guy) didn't even know about it until I brought it to his attention. He made a fuss and was quietly shut down by upper management. They justify it by saying people were messing around playing games at work. A few months ago we were looking for background on a neo-Nazi group that was holding demonstrations at the capitol. We couldn't get to any of their sites for information. To top it off, the censorware is stupid! Just last night I was looking up some info on praying mantids and one of the sites was blocked. It happens all the time for totally innocuous things."

Update 3: A reader writes, "I work for a news/broadcasting organisation and it uses Smartfilter in a rather better way than these corporations use WebSense. If you go to a blocked site, you get a warning page but you can still continue. Your supervisor gets a report. It's annoying but at least if you're doing a piece on gambling, porn, or Nazis you can still get your damn work done."


Also see:

Families to receive free Internet filter

The Federal Government has announced it will provide every Australian family with a free Internet filter to block pornography.

The plan is part of a new package, called Protecting Australian Families Online, that will cost almost $120 million.

Communications Minister Senator Helen Coonan says the filters will let parents set access limits based on what they think is appropriate.

"This is the single biggest commitment to protecting families online in the history of the Internet in Australia," Senator Coonan said in a statement.

The filters will not be compulsory for home users. ...

---

Haven't found word on who will be the software provider.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 22, 2006 3:15:51 AM | 61

huh synchronicity. been offline fer hours parenting and writing this post on a text editor wasn't sure whether to post it but it sorta fits:

I don't disagree with noisette's description of the current bbc attitude toward Islam, but the attitude is quite a new phenomenon.

While the bbc is creating ethno-cultural stereotypes, I shall as well and point out that those characteristics which noisette informs the bbc portray muslims having may not have changed, what has changed is the arabists at the bbc who preferred to see such traits as virtues have been replaced by more conventional presbyterian types in the mould of the Bliar types who see these attributes as being disreputable, even evil, boring farts that they are.

The English who have chosen to spend time in the Islam culture have been unconventional in that perverse english way that on the face of it should be harmless but because it depends so heavily on deceit, in the form of reaping the 'benefits' of conventionality, then using those benefits to take advantage of others less fortunate or more conventional, is truly nasty.

Richard Burton (no not the welsh coalminer's son), the first englishman into Mecca typified those who came later.

I suppose it may be more correct to say his reputed persona typified those who came later, since it is likely that many of the tales of Burton's debauchery were exaggerated, although the same cannot be said for others.

it is impossible to tell from this distance what TE Lawrence's genuine intent was when he served as a conduit between arab nationalism and english imperialism as he appeared to be equally uncomfortably at home in both cultures; that is somewhat depressed when rubbing shoulders with Lady Astor but a seemingly willing party to the betrayal of his Palestinian friends.

That's just the famous ones. Thirty odd years ago I became friendly with a bloke who had most of the attributes of the classic 'englishman' of a former time.

He had attended the establishment schools and university although I'm pretty sure he managed to avoid any military experience he had spent considerable time in the bbc before adventure or scandal or both sent him out to the mid to far east about 50 years too late. Some crisis towards the end of english colonial rule had enabled him to become a dollar millionaire when he bought or chartered a couple of old oil tankers and began 'sanctions busting running oil out (biafra?) and maybe (he never said) guns in.

Anyway being the sort of bloke he was the money didn't last more than a couple of years or so and he was washed up onto the beaches of Northern Australia as the 60's ended. There may have been some Indochinese adventures but I don't remember. As he did have a preference for the Islamic former colonies (Malaysia southern Philippines) he may have skipped Indochina and picked up his affection for pipes and such in Penang, the largely Chinese dominated malayan island.

Anyway by pulling a few strings with ex-BBC friends now working for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation he jagged a gig on the local ABC radio station which despite the best efforts of local management morphed into newsreader on ABC-TV.

I hadn't been in town long when I met him, he stumbled into my 22nd birthday party and whilst some (especially the rednecks) seemed rather unhappy to see him, he was a bloke who had a genuine spark about him and was easy to have long rambling dialogues which ranged across the spectrum of human endeavour. So natch we had a bit of a rant and became reasonably good acquaintances. He was always a loner as the local gay community didn't want a bar of him. He was too 'out there' for the old timers and far too conservative politically for the younger liberationists. Very probably like many of us his debauches made sexual activity a bit of a side issue.

We had a really great, big old tropical house by the water, which we had managed to lease for next to nix as it was going to be torn down to make way for a Sheraton. It was in town a couple of hundred metres from broadcasting house.

The decadent old Pom would drop in about 5.00pm to get suitably wasted to read the 6 o'clock news. Some afternoons we'd be practically dragging him up there and pushing him through the doors before rushing back to watch him try and bluff his way thru a script sight unseen nodding like one of those toys they used to have in car windows and scratching like a tick infested cattledog.

Of course even in a town as loose as this one was, that sort of behaviour only had one possible conclusion. It lasted longer than most of us would have suspected and it would've have been with a whimper if our friend hadn't been determined to make a loud bang.

He eventually got shunted sideways out of TV newsreading after one too many blown shifts ("The Man" was never noted for his punctuality, hence the songs about waiting for him) and into a late night radio slot. Since this was way before strait jackets like 'playlists' were mandatory he built up a bit of a cult following for his 'interesting' selection of music.

Eventually he fell foul of some petty bureaucrat and not even his Sydney contacts could save him. I've an idea he may have played a certain sex pistols track in commemoration of some royal occasion or another. Since this was in the Malcolm Fraser era, the monarchists were nearly as influential in Australian federal politics as they are now. His Sydney contacts would almost certainly been staunch monarchists to boot, so they may have decided to abandon him to the wolves. Interestingly enough, by this time he had become a bit of an under-dog in the eyes of the local community. Since even conservative red-necks in Oz have a secret admiration for the underdog he had some local support. On his heavily publicised 'last performance' he barricaded himself in the studio with sufficient nourishment and chemicals to stay a while. The police were incredibly reluctant to assist the weirdo ABC southerners in ousting our friend who by this time had become a 'local'. Eventually after about 10 hours, by which time the police commissioner had copped one too many calls from joe churchgoer about the blaspheming and obscenities coming out of their radio, the sergeant who evicted him refused to even confiscate the remainder of the materiel.

Since their was no longer much to keep him in town, in his view a job that paid enough money to keep him for months at a time in the fleshpots of SE Asia which were close by, as soon as he connived a huge 'redundancy' payout from the Oz govt he left for his favourite haunts.

I bumped into him a couple of years later in a bar on Mindanao the large island in the southern Philippines. He was extremely drunk in charge of a shoeshine boy and complaining about how the islamofascists had 'ruined' malaya.

At that time, (the early 80's) Mindanao freedom fighters were still 'communist' and didn't get tarred with the fundie brush until the 90's, presumably after the fall of the Soviet union. Even so most of us had decided a few years before that drinking in an Islamic community was a crass behaviour, although since sex tourism was still acceptable in most of south east Asia none of us paid particular attention to his purchasing of the locals. It may have been because it was for gay sex, maybe we considered for some particularly ethno-centric reason that since he was buying gay sex that was cool whereas buying hetero sex would have been considered a particularly colonialist redneck thing to do.

Whatever we thought; it seems that his exploitation of the locals was what got him killed. Well exploitation may be a bit harsh since he was one of the most good hearted, witty and generous blokes I have ever met. Eventually his outrageous behaviour outweighed any benefit his presence brought the impoverished community he had withdrawn into , and it wasn't that many months after we got back to Oz, that we heard he had been sliced up and robbed in the same town we bumped into him.

Although my late friend's character was a pretty extreme example that was the archetypical middle class englishman who was attracted to the Islamic culture.

Why? The easy answer I guess would have to be that the Islamic culture is so antithetical to their lifestyle, maybe they are motivated by a type of contrarianism that is best fulfilled within a society that is even more conservative than their own.

Equally that could be far too deep, maybe the men looked good and like the beer came cheap.

Posted by: | Jun 22, 2006 4:46:58 AM | 62


Same old theme of the new era...

David Lazarus
AT&T rewrites rules: Your data isn't yours
06/21/2006

AT&T has issued an updated privacy policy that takes effect Friday. The changes are significant because they appear to give the telecom giant more latitude when it comes to sharing customers' personal data with government officials.

The new policy says that AT&T -- not customers -- owns customers' confidential info and can use it "to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process."

The policy also indicates that AT&T will track the viewing habits of customers of its new video service -- something that cable and satellite providers are prohibited from doing.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jun 22, 2006 7:10:47 AM | 63

Thanks, debs.

Behold, All My Dirty Secrets Morford alert.

"...But the bottom line is, I am but one of millions and millions of U.S. citizens, from senator to lawyer, priest to college student, right-wing nutball to liberal protester, who has gobs of such revealing material on his PC. Hell, show me a well-used computer not packed to the RAM with any sort of deviant habit or revealing penchant, and I'll show you, well, the Pope. And even he has a cute little Prada fetish."

snip

"But through it all, there seems to exist this one general rule: If you have that much to hide, if you are living some sort of secret and embarrassing and family-endangering double life, if you are constantly burying images and hiding data or altering your persona to the point of endangering your work, if you cannot let someone, say, cruise through your personal sex-toy box without massive blushing and fainting and humiliation, perhaps you're living the wrong kind of life. You think?"


Posted by: beq | Jun 22, 2006 10:04:48 AM | 64

pr watch: Benador Asks: Are You With the Fabricators or the Terrorists?

Source: The Nation, June 14, 2006

"Who needs Hill & Knowlton when you've got Benador Associates?" asks Larry Cohler-Esses in The Nation. Cohler-Esses examines a rapidly-debunked May 2006 story in Canada's National Post, which claimed that Iran's government was requiring Jewish residents to wear a yellow insignia. That story was planted by the PR firm Benador Associates,, according to its president, Eleana Benador. The firm's "stable of writers and activists" reads like "a Who's Who of the neocon movement," including Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, Frank Gaffney and Amir Taheri, an Iranian exile who wrote the false story. Cohler-Esses notes that Taheri's 1989 book, Nest of Spies, was also debunked for citing "nonexistent sources," fabricating "nonexistent substance in cases where the sources existed," and distorting the facts "beyond recognition." Last year, Taheri falsely claimed that Iran's current ambassador to the United Nations took part in the 1979 hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Yet, Taheri was part of an "Iraq experts" briefing of President Bush last month. "My major concern is the large picture," Benador told Cohler-Esses. "As much as being accurate is important, in the end it's important to side with what's right. What's wrong is siding with the terrorists."

Posted by: b real | Jun 22, 2006 10:35:28 AM | 65

Debs:

You have had some really brilliant analyses the last several days.

If you don't like did anymore you could perhaps become DMD(Demented Maouri Dingbat).And I have the greatest respect for you. Wear that handle with pride.

MI-6 has known for a month or so that one of our pawns in The Great Game, Hitchens Sahib, died in a nasty knife fight out East there.

But thanks for the confirmation.

Posted by: Raja Brooke | Jun 22, 2006 10:39:28 AM | 66

william blum: Great Moments in the History of Imperialism

National Public Radio foreign correspondent Loren Jenkins, serving in NPR's Baghdad bureau, met earlier this month with a senior Shiite cleric, a man who was described in the NPR report as "a moderate" and as a person trying to lead his Shiite followers into practicing peace and reconciliation. He had been jailed by Saddam Hussein and forced into exile. Jenkins asked him: "What would you think if you had to go back to Saddam Hussein?" The cleric replied that he'd "rather see Iraq under Saddam Hussein than the way it is now."

When one considers what the people of Iraq have experienced as a result of the American bombings, invasion, regime change, and occupation since 2003, should this attitude be surprising, even from such an individual? I was moved to compile a list of the many kinds of misfortune which have fallen upon the heads of the Iraqi people as a result of the American liberation of their homeland. It's depressing reading, and you may not want to read it all, but I think it's important to have it summarized in one place.

Loss of a functioning educational system. A 2005 UN study revealed that 84% of the higher education establishments have been "destroyed, damaged and robbed".

The intellectual stock has been further depleted as many thousands of academics and other professionals have fled abroad or have been mysteriously kidnapped or assassinated in Iraq; hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million, other Iraqis, most of them from the vital, educated middle class, have left for Jordan, Syria or Egypt, many after receiving death threats. "Now I am isolated," said a middle-class Sunni Arab, who decided to leave. "I have no government. I have no protection from the government. Anyone can come to my house, take me, kill me and throw me in the trash."

Loss of a functioning health care system. And loss of the public's health. Deadly infections including typhoid and tuberculosis are rampaging through the country. Iraq's network of hospitals and health centers, once admired throughout the Middle East, has been severely damaged by the war and looting.

The UN's World Food Program reported that 400,000 Iraqi children were suffering from "dangerous deficiencies of protein". Deaths from malnutrition and preventable diseases, particularly amongst children, already a problem because of the 12 years of US-imposed sanctions, have increased as poverty and disorder have made access to a proper diet and medicines ever more difficult.

Thousands of Iraqis have lost an arm or a leg, frequently from unexploded US cluster bombs, which became land mines; cluster bombs are a class of weapons denounced by human rights groups as a cruelly random scourge on civilians, particularly children.

Depleted uranium particles, from exploded US ordnance, float in the Iraqi air, to be breathed into human bodies and to radiate forever, and infect the water, the soil, the blood, the genes, producing malformed babies. During the few weeks of war in spring 2003, A10 "tankbuster" planes, which use munitions containing depleted uranium, fired 300,000 rounds.

And the use of napalm as well. And white phosphorous.

The American military has attacked hospitals to prevent them from giving out casualty figures of US attacks that contradicted official US figures, which the hospitals had been in the habit of doing.

Numerous homes have been broken into by US forces, the men taken away, the women humiliated, the children traumatized; on many occasions, the family has said that the American soldiers helped themselves to some of the family's money. Iraq has had to submit to a degrading national strip search.

Destruction and looting of the country's ancient heritage, perhaps the world's greatest archive of the human past, left unprotected by the US military, busy protecting oil facilities.

A nearly lawless society: Iraq's legal system, outside of the political sphere, was once one of the most impressive and secular in the Middle East; it is now a shambles; religious law more and more prevails.

Women's rights previously enjoyed are now in great and growing danger under harsh Islamic law, to one extent or another in various areas. There is today a Shiite religious ruling class in Iraq, which tolerates physical attacks on women for showing a bare arm or for picnicking with a male friend. Men can be harassed for wearing shorts in public, as can children playing outside in shorts.

Sex trafficking, virtually nonexistent previously, has become a serious issue.

Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims have lost much of the security they had enjoyed in Saddam's secular society; many have emigrated.

A gulag of prisons run by the US and the new Iraqi government feature a wide variety of torture and abuse -- physical, psychological, emotional; painful, degrading, humiliating; leading to mental breakdown, death, suicide; a human-rights disaster area.

Over 50,000 Iraqis have been imprisoned by US forces since the invasion, but only a very tiny portion of them have been convicted of any crime.

US authorities have recruited members of Saddam Hussein's feared security service to expand intelligence gathering and root out the resistance.

Unemployment is estimated to be around fifty percent. Massive layoffs of hundreds of thousands of Baathist government workers and soldiers by the American occupation authority set the process in motion early on. Later, many, desperate for work, took positions tainted by a connection to the occupation, placing themselves in grave danger of being kidnapped or murdered.

The cost of living has skyrocketed. Income levels have plummeted.

The Kurds of Northern Iraq evict Arabs from their homes. Arabs evict Kurds in other parts of the country.

Many people were evicted from their homes because they were Baathist. US troops took part in some of the evictions. They have also demolished homes in fits of rage over the killing of one of their buddies.

When US troops don't find who they're looking for, they take who's there; wives have been held until the husband turns himself in, a practice which Hollywood films stamped in the American mind as being a particular evil of the Nazis; it's also collective punishment of civilians and is forbidden under the Geneva Convention.

Continual bombing assaults on neighborhoods has left an uncountable number of destroyed homes, workplaces, mosques, bridges, roads, and everything else that goes into the making of modern civilized life.

Hafitha, Fallujah, Samarra, Ramadi ... names that will live in infamy for the wanton destruction, murder, and assaults upon human beings and human rights carried out in those places by US forces.

The supply of safe drinking water, effective sewage disposal, and reliable electricity have all generally been below pre-invasion levels, producing constant hardship for the public, in temperatures reaching 115 degrees. To add to the misery, people wait all day in the heat to purchase gasoline, due in part to oil production, the country's chief source of revenue, being less than half its previous level.

The water and sewage system and other elements of the infrastructure had been purposely (sic) destroyed by US bombing in the first Gulf War of 1991. By 2003, the Iraqis had made great strides in repairing the most essential parts of it. Then came Washington's renewed bombing.

Civil war, death squads, kidnaping, car bombs, rape, each and every day ... Iraq has become the most dangerous place on earth. American soldiers and private security companies regularly kill people and leave the bodies lying in the street; US-trained Iraqi military and police forces kill even more, as does the insurgency. An entire new generation is growing up on violence and sectarian ethics; this will poison the Iraqi psyche for many years to come.

US intelligence and military police officers often free dangerous criminals in return for a promise to spy on insurgents.

Protesters of various kinds have been shot by US forces on several occasions.

At various times, the US has killed, wounded and jailed reporters from Al Jazeera television, closed the station's office, and banned it from certain areas because occupation officials didn't like the news the station was reporting. Newspapers have been closed for what they have printed. The Pentagon has planted paid-for news articles in the Iraqi press to serve propaganda purposes.

But freedom has indeed reigned -- for the great multinationals to extract everything they can from Iraq's resources and labor without the hindrance of public interest laws, environmental regulations or worker protections. The orders of the day have been privatization, deregulation, and laissez faire for Halliburton and other Western corporations. Iraqi businesses have been almost entirely shut out though they are not without abilities, as reflected in the infrastructure rebuilding effort following the US bombing of 1991.


Yet, despite the fact that it would be difficult to name a single area of Iraqi life which has improved as a result of the American actions, when the subject is Iraq and the person I'm having a discussion with has no other argument left to defend US policy there, at least at the moment, I may be asked:

"Just tell me one thing, are you glad that Saddam Hussein is out of power?"

And I say: "No".

And the person says: "No?"

And I say: "No. Tell me, if you went into surgery to correct a knee problem and the surgeon mistakenly amputated your entire leg, what would you think if someone then asked you: Are you glad that you no longer have a knee problem? The people of Iraq no longer have a Saddam problem."

And many Iraqis actually supported him.

Posted by: b real | Jun 22, 2006 11:26:54 AM | 67

thanks, b real, the blum was powerful, overwhelming in its comprehensiveness. as i read it, i kept thinking how can we be allowing something so viscerally wrong to happen. and yet we are. and selfish as it may sound, i could not help making comparisons in the back of my mind to what is happening here. in some ways it could be considered comparable to how the underlying racism in the u.s. is not as in your face as south african apartheid was but exists nevertheless. we are allowing corporations to loot our environment and, worse, we ourselves in our complacency are complicit. we are sacrificing our infrastructure and our educational systems to support a barbaric, illegal occupation. we have elected representatives who give themselves a pay raise but deny an increase in the minimum wage. and while our fundies may not dictating attire they are perhaps more insidious as they chip away at our healthcare choices and infiltrate public education curriculi. the police are no longer required to knock and wait 10 seconds before entering your home. the creeping fascism. is it really only creeping. i live two blocks from madison square garden and i saw my neighborhood become a police state over night in 2004. last week on my block some drunk guy was beaten by a group of guys - allegedly because he threatened to cut one of them. someone called 9-11 and within 5 minutes in a blaze of sirens there were no less than 6 police vehicles there and uniforms running up and down the street. not one asked what happened to the guy who was beaten - he'd stumbled down the street as they were running past him. there are unmarked police vehicles of all kinds all over the streets of new york. i don't mean to disrepect iraq and the iraqis in this comment - what we have done there is grievously wrong, but sadly, it is happening here as well, just more slowly.

Posted by: conchita | Jun 22, 2006 12:13:59 PM | 68

Same here, b real. And for posting all of it. There are so many good links and so little time to read all of them. This is powerful and I'm sending it.

Posted by: beq | Jun 22, 2006 12:23:58 PM | 69

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters urges Israel to 'tear down the wall'

"It's a horrific edifice, this thing," Waters told reporters as he stood beside a section of the barrier in Bethlehem.

"I've seen pictures of it, I've heard a lot about it but without being here you can't imagine how extraordinarily oppressive it is and how sad it is to see these people coming through these little holes," he added. "It's craziness."

Posted by: b | Jun 22, 2006 1:21:32 PM | 70

does anyone here know what has become of TAI otherwise known astruthaboutiraqis

his last post before exit "iraq democracy takes root" seems a departure from the usual. the comments have been turned off. it is excrutiating for a voice like his to simple disappear in this climate of war. very unlike the silence of other bloggers which we can simply chalk up as 'breathing room, off the meds, too busy, fed up w/us...'. do you suppose there will be a crack down on iraqi bloggers, will they too start disappearing. i worry. if anyone knows anything, please.

Posted by: annie | Jun 22, 2006 1:22:06 PM | 71

I just received the following EMail from Wes Clark, and am more than a little angered.


I didn't know such twisted little shits as John Aravosis existed on the left or within the Democratic Party.


Can understand now why JJ despises Mr. Aravosis so much.


Text of Clark's EMail to me follows:


DearJoe,


When John Aravosis purchased my cell phone records from an online data broker in January and then wrote about it on his AMERICAblog, he demonstrated to me and millions of other
Americans how vulnerable our personal information is to thieves and hackers.


Well this week we learned the problem is even worse than we first thought.On Tuesday, the Associated Press revealed that federal and local law enforcement agencies "bypassed subpoenas and warrants designed to protect civil liberties and gathered Americans' personal telephone records from private-sector data brokers" -- the same data brokers who sold my personal cell phone records to John for less than a hundred dollars in January.Unscrupulous data vendors are bad enough. But the government using these brokers to access our personal telephone records without getting necessary warrants? Government can't make laws and then break them. That constitutes a real abuse of power, and it's illegal. These actions remind me of the actions taken by other governments that would cynically make laws that they knew they would break. We called such governments undemocratic and anti-American. We said that they didn't respect the freedom and dignity of every individual.


I need your help to stop this abuse.Thank you for taking action on this issue when it first surfaced in January. I urge you to forward this message to your friends so they can urge their Senators to pass "The Consumer Telephone Records Act of 2006" and outlaw the sale of personal telephone records now!

In January, I was proud to join Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) to endorse a bipartisan bill to protect our private phone records.Their bill, "The Consumer Telephone Records Act of 2006" (S. 2178), would make the stealing and selling of telephone records a criminal offense -- punishing individuals who impersonate customers or fraudulently access online accounts, as well as the employees of phone companies who sell this private information.This is common sense legislation that is desperately needed; yet Majority Leader Frist has refused to move the bill forward. After this week's shocking revelation, it's clearly time for Congress to act.


Forward this message to your friends so they can urge their Senators to support S. 2178, the Schumer/Specter bill, today!Thanks to the Associated Press, now we've discovered that the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the US Marshal's Service used these unscrupulous data brokers to bypass subpoenas and warrants and circumvent the Constitution.According to the AP, the "U.S. government spent $30 million last year buying personal data from private brokers. But that number likely understates the breadth of transactions, since brokers said they rarely charge law enforcement agencies any price." Every American should be outraged.If governmental agencies need this data for their law enforcement efforts, there is a process to obtain these records. It's the U.S. court system. And by patronizing these companies, the government is not only condoning but encouraging illegal behavior.

Congress can't let the Bush Administration abuse the constitutional rights of American citizens. It is time for Congress to fulfill its constitutional role as a co-equal branch of government and tell the Bush Administration, "Enough is Enough!"Ask your friends to urge their Senators to restore the privacy of our phone records -- forward them an email today!Thank you for acting today on this urgent matter.


Sincerely,

Wes Clark

Posted by: Raja Brooke | Jun 22, 2006 1:44:11 PM | 72

raja brooke, i believe john bought wes clark's tel records to illustrate a point. however, such shits do exist on the left as demonstrated by the recent controversy on dkos with armando and other "outings."

Posted by: conchita | Jun 22, 2006 2:14:40 PM | 73

hey, a little show and tell. my friend anita has started a blog called streets of ours. she told me about it last night at a little solstice gathering. some excellent images and verse of our seattle homeless. i also sent her the moa link. she is so new to blogging she is not familiar w/political blogs but says she reads truthout. i showed her how to link.

Posted by: annie | Jun 22, 2006 2:14:49 PM | 74

this just came over in my email. i generally take wayne madsen with a grain of salt, but there is an interesting twist to this one:

June 21, 2006 -- Merrill death ruled suicide; Body
found in water weighed down by an anchor; Merrill shot
through head in a replay of 1978 "suicide" of CIA
Deputy Director John Paisley.

The body of Maryland publisher Philip Merrill was
discovered Monday in the Chesapeake Bay near Poplar
Island with a gunshot wound to the head and weighed
down with an anchor. Merrill's body was discovered 11
miles from where his boat was found last week. As with
Paisley, investigators concluded Merrill committed
suicide by shooting himself in the head with a
shotgun. Investigators ruled Merrill's death a suicide
even before an autopsy was performed, An experienced
medical examiner told WMR that bodies found in the
water rapidly lose toxicological and other critical
evidence, including the presence of drugs in the
bloodstream.

WMR was the first to speculate that Merrill's death
was more than an accident, as reported last week by
the mainstream media. WMR learned that while Merrill,
a close friend of Vice President Dick Cheney and
financial backer of a number of neo-conservative
organizations, was the head of the U.S. Export-Import
Bank, the bank made a number of dubious loans to the
U.S.-run Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq
and a successor agency known as the Trade Bank of
Iraq. In November 2003, $500 million in credit was
extended to the Trade Bank of Iraq by the US
Export-Import Bank. Much of the money was used to
facilitate U.S. "exports" to Iraq, which was actually
used to pay major U.S. contractors operating in the
occupied country. A 2005 audit report by the Office of
the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction
concluded that "the CPA did not establish or implement
sufficient managerial, financial and contractual
controls to ensure that funds were used in a
transparent manner." The report stated that $8.8
billion allocated to the CPA was unaccounted for.

http://www.waynemadsenreport.com

Posted by: conchita | Jun 22, 2006 2:15:57 PM | 75

@conchita - you will need kilos of salt for WMR ...
---
@Raja Brooke - that John Aravosis action with Wes Clark was a nice thing to do. John seems to be good at actions that relly penetrate his personal range, Before he bought Clark's phonerecords (he never published them) he had the Gannon stuff and some other thinks.

But his general political opinion and leaning is downright republican. Just another logcabbin guy. I don´t understand why anyone thinks he is a "left" sider.

Posted by: b | Jun 22, 2006 2:29:49 PM | 76

i believe (sorry can't link to sources) that it has come out very recently that he was a lob cabin member but jumped ship in the last couple of years. i will try to find source.

Posted by: conchita | Jun 22, 2006 2:32:22 PM | 77

i should also add that many are questioning why the americablog has advertising against net neutrality on it.

Posted by: conchita | Jun 22, 2006 2:37:27 PM | 78

i should also add that many are questioning why the americablog has advertising against net neutrality on it.echaton had that too as had others and they explained it.

It is the general tone I find offensive. To lazy to link to examples right now, but there are plenty.

Posted by: b | Jun 22, 2006 2:52:37 PM | 79

i stopped reading duncan back in november 2004 and haven't felt a need to go back. i don't miss friday afternoon cat blogging at all.

i have read the rationale for increased speed, separate voip lines, etc., but imho it doesn't seem like the trade-off of paying more money and giving up control to the telecoms is worth it. you are the it man, b, what's your take?

Posted by: conchita | Jun 22, 2006 2:57:24 PM | 80

i have read the rationale for increased speed, separate voip lines, etc., but imho it doesn't seem like the trade-off of paying more money and giving up control to the telecoms is worth it

Hmm - sorry don´t get what yo`re saying?

Net neutrality: ANYTHING that allows netproviders to differentiate network traffic, for any other but a pure technical reason (and therby without extra pay), is "I want this monopol to get your money".

If they even think about it (and they do) stop them immediately by any legal means.

((From a guy who's done the net since the early 1990s, who knows the depth of all but the most unused IP sub-protocols, and who for some years controlled a quite decent chunk of all US-EU net-capacity.))

Posted by: b | Jun 22, 2006 3:15:25 PM | 81

there was some issue john came out against, can't remember which, perhaps he was in support of alito or something. so radically wrong i quit reading him. duncan, i used to read him but i don't have time to read them all and why ever bother w/the comment sections really

Posted by: annie | Jun 22, 2006 3:17:25 PM | 82

b, maybe i misunderstood. looked on atrios for an explanation of why he is allowing the ad but did not see anything. i did see a post in support of net neutrality though. i wasn't able to get audio on the ad posted on atrios and americablog but the visuals are clearly against net neutrality. just wondering what their rationale would be for selling space to an ad against net neutrality. equal representation?

Posted by: conchita | Jun 22, 2006 3:32:25 PM | 83

Well said conchita, your 68 post is dead on, I have sd, from the begining this war encompasses a two pronged approach, both domestic and abroad, meaning the American people are just as much the enemy to these jackels as the Iraqi citizen. While here the assault is on our way of life while over there the assault is on there very lives. I rarely ever shed tears, however, I was overwhelmed by b real's blum article and swallowed hard many times. And I fear this theater of cruelty both in the M.E. and here will get much worse before it's over.

I'm reminded of the words to Robbie Robertson & The Red Road Ensemble,

Crow has brought the message
To the children of the sun
For the return of the buffalo
And for a better day to come

You can kill my body
You can damn my soul
For not believing in your god
And some world down below

(chorus)
You don't stand a chance against my prayers
You don't stand a chance against my love
They outlawed the Ghost Dance
But we shall live again, we shall live again

My sister above
She has red paint
She died at Wounded Knee
Like a latter day saint

You got the big drum in the distance
Blackbird in the sky
That's the sound that you hear
When the buffalo cry

(chorus)

Crazy Horse was a mystic
He knew the secret of the trance
And Sitting Bull the great apostle
Of the Ghost Dance

Come on Comanche
Come on Blackfoot
Come on Shoshone
Come on Cheyenne

We shall live again

Come on Arapaho
Come on Cherokee
Come on Paiute
Come on Sioux

We shall live again

Track title: Ghost Dance

This whole album/cd is beyond words every tack on it has a profound and deep meaning, I would reconmend it highly.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 22, 2006 3:35:46 PM | 84

yes, the blum piece moved me, i have linked it to an iraqi site earlier this morning. very moving, the leg , at the end...

Posted by: annie | Jun 22, 2006 3:44:38 PM | 85

don't mean to be hogging the blog today, but just read this at the blog everyone likes to trash and thought it meshed with the topic.

This Arab-American Woman is Proud and Angry
by leilasab
Thu Jun 22, 2006 at 01:25:08 PM EDT

I'm an Arab-American woman in my forties. If it matters, which it shouldn't, my Arab ancestors have been Christians since before the Church of Rome. But I have a funny last name and lots of dark-skinned cousins. Therefore I have an insider's view into anti-Arab racism in this country. This latest slur against Helen Thomas has me steaming mad.

When some right-winger slurs Helen Thomas and links her to Arabs, or Islamic extremists, he/she/it is attacking those of us Americans who have any Arab blood in us at all. This is not about anti-Islamic or anti-Muslim sentiments post 9/11. This is about racism.

Helen Thomas is indeed an "old Arab" as Ann Coulter so famously labeled her. She is also a Catholic born in Kentucky. And she is eighty-five years old. Now if she were a Muslim born in New York City, she still wouldn't deserve to be the brunt of ad hominem attacks.

Let me be clear. Ms. Thomas' religion (and mine) should not be the story here. Sixty percent of Arab-Americans are Christians. When people like Rep. King or Miss Coulter attack us for our Arab ancestry, conflating our ethnic origins with a religion not our own, we tend to roll our eyes and shrug our shoulders. We don't have anything to do with Osama Ben Laden, any more than somebody named O'Connor or O'Malley would. But we are Arabs and we know that this bashing includes us. Most Arab-Americans I know tend not to say - don't pick on me, I'm a Christian - because this would be unseemly and unfair to Muslim-Americans.

The nature of the recent remarks just exposes the ugly, racist, bigoted nature of anti-Arab discourse in this country.

These slurs don't really arise from fear of religious extremism. My Lebanese Christian family suffered murder and mayhem at the hands of extremists during the Lebanese civil war. I am personally concerned with and affected by extremist violence.

No, the remarks of Rep. King and Miss Coulter are simply the hateful Arab-bashing of moronic demagogues seeking to gain points with their sheep-like audience at the expense of a minority group that has little power in this country.

If you are Jewish you should be concerned about this in particular. You think all those Arab-bashers like Jews any better? Not likely. If you are Italian, Greek, Irish, Latino, or Asian, you should be paying close attention. (If you are African-American you get it already, I'm quite certain.)

Trashing one "old Arab" woman makes this country less safe for all "old women" of color/ethnicity.

I am proud of Helen Thomas for blazing a trail for women and for Arab-American writers. I am angry at the continued attacks on her for her looks, her age and her ancestry. As an Arab-American woman in middle age, I stand up and shout - I'm here, I'm an Arab woman, I'm proud of it, get used to it.

uncle scam, the robbie robertson is brilliant.

Posted by: conchita | Jun 22, 2006 4:28:36 PM | 86

uncle- the ghost dance is very interesting. i have not researched it in depth, but many people - indians and non-indians, both - point out the direct influence of christian millenarianism on this particular movement. for instance, in his moving book bury my heart at wounded knee dee brown tells the story as such, of how the people would recognize the new messiah by the wounds in his hands and side. wakova's vision was that jesus would return - may have already returned - as an indian, since the whites had so betrayed his legacy, and was going to rapture the indians into the sky while the land was rolled back, restoring it to the state that it was before the whites set foot on turtle island. as the chosen people, these indians would be saved & reunited w/ all their relatives - both human & nonhuman - who had died/disappeared before. the continuous dancing & singing into delerium is not much different than what occured in other religious movements, like the shakers & such in the first couple great awakenings on this soil.

while robbie robertson's lyrics pen sitting bull as "the great apostle of the Ghost Dance," what i've read in multiple accounts is that he was always skeptical of this movement. however, he didn't see any danger in it and thus agreed to letting kicking bear & short bull teach the ghost dance at the standing rock reservation.

the ghost dance really scared the white people b/c (1) it challenged their core of their religious ideas (and belief in being the chosen people), and (2) the ever-growing numbers of dancers - dancing & singing estatically for days on end (when they were supposed to be suffering from the hurt the whites were putting on them) - really made them nervous & fearful of an uprising on the reservation. requesting military backup, the agents at standing rock laid all blame for the ghost dance on sitting bull. he was accused of being a proponent of a more militant ghost dance & an order was given for his arrest, during which he was assassinated (or killed in the crossfire of a firefight, depending on whose version you read.)

sitting bull was a giant, but i don't think it's correct for robertson to say that he was "the great apostle of the ghost dance."

Posted by: b real | Jun 22, 2006 4:42:57 PM | 87

nice character study, debs. maybe the man was "the other" no matter where he was - and being "the other" in another culture gave him a false sense that he actually "belonged" somewhere else -- or else the distance made his otherness tolerable.

Posted by: | Jun 22, 2006 6:07:57 PM | 88

@ beq

The Mark Morford piece summed up neatly the way that we should use our computers if they are to remain tools by which we access ideas/places/things not within our physical grasp.

I'm sure we've all (well I have, a while ago when a 800meg drive was considered big) experimented with 'wiping', 128 bit encryption or any of the other methods of feeling secure when coming off that extra blast of espresso, and found them to be far too much hassle to permit free internet roaming, reading and writing.

Yep it is true if everyone used encryption on their emails, then it would be far harder for bored or malicious state-sponsored sticky beaks to do their job.

Yet none of us are going to because apart from the hassle the whole thing becomes reminiscent of youthful telephone calls where items had rather unusual units of measurement.

"Whaddaya mean you don't have six pairs of jeans?" . . .

"When I saw you this morn you swore that you would have the weight by this afternoon.". . .

"you're telling be to keep it cool?" blah blah blah

This is without even considering those of us that enjoy wallowing in the detritus of our net meanderings.

I finally managed to crash eudora on Monday. It just couldn't cope with loading all the headers that have accumulated in my outbox since arriving in NZ 10 years ago. A drag because tracking down exactly what I said to whom is important approx bi-annually when debating with a utility about whose turn it is to read the meter.

So for those of us that hang on to everything just it case it may one day be 'useful' the notion of data clearing is ludicrous.

It also seems that the mainstream media habit of tagging a 'story' with a nom de guerre which rapidly becomes a cliche may have some of us talking at cross purposes.

As most of us are aware politicians like to identify their legislation with entiothingummyjig titles.

So a caboodle of legislation aimed to destroy the US constitution becomes The Patriot Act. There are millions of em, the latest to feature on this board is 'net neutrality'.

Bernhard supposes that net neutrality is the term, reputedly first coined by Tim Wu, to describe keeping all of the internet; its switches, hubs, routers and carriers neutral. That is they don't discriminate against particular data on the basis of where it comes from, or it's format, or it's potential application (eg most web based services are on TCP port 80, usenet 119, email 25) or by prioritising some and delaying other packets of data. The only permissible discrimination would be bandwidth or the quality of the service (latency, reliability etc)

Some clammy fingered US legislator, eager to build up his "war chest" for the coming election has taken that term and attached it to legislation encouraging big telecommunications corporations to turn the internet into a series of fiefdoms, thereby ensuring that anyone wanting to continue full access to 'it all' would have to have a number of over-priced subscriptions to a number of extortionate providers. Most of the debate I have seen has centred more around what is permissible discrimination and what isn't, rather than on the obvious 'no discrimination'.

Since the whole subject has been deliberately muddied by those eager to confuse their enemies, it would be wise to try and discover exactly what someone means by net neutrality before excoriating them for their stance.

Once more; for me anonymity in here was never about concealing my identity, it was a failed effort to reduce the number of attempts to assassinate the messenger instead of debating the issues. It has been heartening from time to time to see others do the same whatever their motive. It certainly beats pretending to be someone different by adopting an even sillier handle than the 'real' one.

Posted by: | Jun 22, 2006 7:51:34 PM | 89

That't why we love you so here DEBs, you are such obnoxious motherfucker.

Posted by: | Jun 22, 2006 8:34:05 PM | 90

Re Merrill:

At the time of his death, he was no longer the Pres of the Im-ex bank. The Provisional authority was corrupt as heck but does that necessarily make one of its lender banks party to the corruption? ANd even if so, don't corrupted Bush admin officials usually get medals of freedon rather than slaps on the wrist? Or was he facing some sort of inquiry or scapegoating rather than a medal?

Or is Madsen saying that it was foul play rather than suicide? The 'Aspens are turning' and all that?

Merrill's story has got the ingredients for a great novel or movie thriller, that much is certain.

Posted by: gylangirl | Jun 22, 2006 10:42:00 PM | 91

debs, you may excoriate me for asking this, and i do agree it is a silly question but do you consider yourself typical of kiwi? one of the dearest people in my life is from wellington and his writing and ideas bear a remarkable resemblance to yours. can't help but wonder if it is a national trait - ascerbic wit and keen analysis coupled with extreme contrarianism - or perhaps you are acquainted. he tells me nz is too small and too cold for him to live there again, but i wonder if you know his family - the poyntons of wellington? i believe his grandfather founded the socialist party in nz. the character study you wrote earlier reminded me a great deal of a story he told me about his dad, a transvestite (reputed to have been nz's first), and wellington politics. seems as if you have your share of lovable, odd ducks down under. yes, i know this is a moronic question, but had to ask. my email's attached if you prefer to write to me directly.

Posted by: conchita | Jun 23, 2006 12:16:37 AM | 92

Looks like the Madguys have capitulated on Iran & the military option is off the table - if this analysis from ATimes is spot on. Break Out the Champagne...

Iran: US opts for regime change, not force
By Gareth Porter

WASHINGTON - In every statement on Iran, officials of the Bush administration routinely repeat the party line that "the president never takes any option off the table".

Despite the constant invocation of a possible military attack on Iran, however, a little-noticed section of the administration's official national-security strategy indicates that President George W Bush has already decided that he will not use military force to try to prevent Iran from going nuclear.

Instead, the administration has shifted its aim to pressing Iran to make internal political changes, based on the dubious theory that it would lead to a change in Iranian nuclear policy.

News coverage of the US National Security Strategy (NSS) issued on March 16 emphasized its reference to the doctrine of


preemption. But a careful reading of the document reveals that its real message - ignored by the media - was that Iran would not alter its nuclear policy until after regime change had taken place.

The NSS takes pains to reduce the significance of Iran's obtaining a nuclear capability. "As important as are these nuclear issues," it says, "the United States has broader concerns regarding Iran. The Iranian regime sponsors terrorism; threatens Israel; seeks to thwart Middle East peace; disrupts democracy in Iraq; and denies the aspirations of its people for freedom."

Then the NSS states, "The nuclear issue and our other concerns can ultimately be resolved only if the Iranian regime makes the strategic decision to change these policies, open up its political system, and afford freedom to its people. This is the ultimate goal of US policy."

This carefully worded statement thus explicitly makes regime change - not stopping Iran's progress toward a nuclear capability - the goal of US policy toward Iran.

National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, speaking at the US Institute of Peace the same day the NSS was released, invoked the document's formulation on Iran policy and suggested that implementation would be guided by whether any particular action would contribute to broader political changes in Iran. Iran: US opts for regime change, not force

Posted by: jj | Jun 23, 2006 12:29:10 AM | 93

@gylangirl et al...

b, says take WMR with keilo of salt, I'd like to point out yes do that but also do not fully discount hir either, bare with me here...

With regards to the WMR (Wayne Madsen Report) and all others like hir, I suggest following Robert anton Wilson's way of thinking, in that don't believe in anything fully, always put what anyone says, or writes/reports (even yourself) on a scale of probabilities --this is a form of maybe logic--"Don't believe totally and completely in anybody's B.S." (read belief system) and especially "Don't believe totally or completely in your own B.S." wilson writes. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of it's existence. The more certitude one assumes, the less there is left to think about it.

"Reality" is a word in the English language which happens to be (a) a noun and (b) singular. Thinking in the English language (and in cognate Indo-European languages) therefore subliminally programs us to conceptualize "reality" as one block-like entity, sort of like a huge New York skyscraper, in which every part is just another "room" within the same building. This linguistic program is so pervasive that most people cannot "think" outside it at all, and when one tries to offer a different perspective they imagine one is talking gibberish.

Finally, and I really do try to live by this, Wilson writes, "don't believe anything. Regard things on a scale of probabilities. The things that seem most absurd, put under 'Low Probability', and the things that seem most plausible, you put under 'High Probability'. Never believe anything. Once you believe anything, you stop thinking about it. The more things you believe, the less mental activity. If you believe something, and have an opinion on every subject, then your brain activity stops entirely, which is clinically considered a sign of death, nowadays in medical practice. So put things on a scale or probability, and never believe or disbelieve anything entirely."

That's my .02 and it works splendidly for me.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 23, 2006 12:44:15 AM | 94

Little Big Horn 1309th anniversary:

The Battle of the Little Big Horn was the Indians' greatest victory and the army's worst defeat in the long and bloody Plains Indian War. The Indians were not allowed to revel in the victory for long, however. The massacre of Custer and his 7th Cavalry outraged many Americans and only confirmed the image of the bloodthirsty Indians in their minds, and the government became more determined to destroy or tame the hostile Indians.

damned if you do; damned if you don't.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 25, 2006 11:01:32 AM | 95

@slothrop

I shit you not, but not more than 5000 feet from me at the Mlsa, Southgate Mall the National Guard are putting on a Lewis and Clark celebration complete w/ kiddie rides, Native American TP's --without a Native American in sight-- NASA Space trailer, and the latest 5 ton truck hardware as exhibit's music, face painting and the works a table w/Guard Posters & Paplets for the older kids. A good time had by all.
hu hah!

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 25, 2006 11:35:12 AM | 96

and anyway, the indian savages were terrorists. and they were gay.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 25, 2006 11:52:22 AM | 97

Speaking of gay terrorists, the Pashtun freckle-punchers are on a roll.

It seems that while the world has been absorbed by the offer of coitus interuptus by the rapists of Iraq, the Pashtuns feel they have obtained sufficient victory in North Waziristan to offer Musharrif an opportunity to slink off under the same terms as he did for the South Waziristan surrender.

The Pashtun leadership propose a month long cease-fire under the same terms as obtained in the South last summer.

That is "a withdrawal of army troops from the region within a month, and the removal of all new check posts from North Waziristan" . . ."the restoration of salaries and jobs and other incentives for local tribes and the release of tribesmen arrested during military operations against al-Qaeda and Taleban fighters in the region". . .

Tellingly this offer hasn't been spurned out of hand by 'the authorities'

" . . .The governor of North Western Frontier Province, Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai, said a decision on these conditions would be taken in talks with the militants.

He promised to reciprocate with a goodwill gesture but did not elaborate." . . .

The USuk response has been to raise the spectre of Emmanual Goldstein by dubbing the same Pashtun freedom fighters that have unfailangly beaten USuk or UKus forces like a threadbare rug for centuries as "Pakistani Taleban".

Posted by: | Jun 25, 2006 6:56:02 PM | 98

The comments to this entry are closed.

 

Site Meter