Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 14, 2005

Iraq Thread

Insurgents step up sectarian violence in Iraq (FT - front page)

Iraq New Terror Breeding Ground - War Created Haven, CIA Advisers Report (Washington Post)

Former Secretary of State James Baker (under Bush I) urges phased exit of U.S. troops from Iraq. (ABC News)

US 'erodes' global human rights (BBC)

"We will leave when the job is done"

Get_the_job_done_1

Iraq New Terror Breeding Ground - War Created Haven, CIA Advisers Report (Washington Post)

Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of "professionalized" terrorists, according to a report released yesterday by the National Intelligence Council, the CIA director's think tank.

Iraq provides terrorists with "a training ground, a recruitment ground, the opportunity for enhancing technical skills," said David B. Low, the national intelligence officer for transnational threats. "There is even, under the best scenario, over time, the likelihood that some of the jihadists who are not killed there will, in a sense, go home, wherever home is, and will therefore disperse to various other countries."

Insurgents step up sectarian violence in Iraq

A senior aide to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Iraq's top Shia cleric, was assassinated yesterday as insurgents stepped up their violent campaign to disrupt the January 30 elections by provoking sectarian tensions.

Mahmoud al-Madaeni, Mr Sistani's representative in the mixed Sunni-Shia region of Salman Pak, was attacked on his way home from evening prayers along with his son and two others.

Serious Sunni-Shia violence has been avoided until now, largely due to the Grand Ayatollah's insistence that Shias refrain from reprisals that could trigger a civil war.

(snip)

* The Iraq war cost $102bn to the end of September 2004, with monthly spending averaging $4.8bn, according to the latest Pentagon figures released yesterday. Experts say the total will be considerably higher once replacement costs for vehicles are added.

Former Secretary of State James Baker (under Bush I) urges phased exit of U.S. troops from Iraq.

A protracted U.S. military presence in Iraq is probably unavoidable since attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces and on Iraqi security forces are likely to continue, Baker said Tuesday in a speech at Rice University in Houston.

"Even under the best of circumstances, the new Iraqi government will remain extremely vulnerable to internal divisions and external meddling," he said.

Still, former President George H.W. Bush's secretary of state said, "any appearance of a permanent occupation will both undermine domestic support here in the United States and play directly into the hands of those in the Middle East who however wrongly suspect us of imperial design."

US 'erodes' global human rights

In its annual report, Human Rights Watch says that when a country as dominant as the US openly defies the law, it invites others to do the same.

It says an independent US commission should look into prisoner abuse at Iraq's US-run Abu Ghraib jail.

According to the New-York based group, abuses committed by the US have significantly weakened the world's ability to protect human rights.

"The US government is less and less able to push for justice abroad, because it's unwilling to see justice done at home," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of HRW.

"They should be grateful"

Grateful

Posted by Jérôme à Paris on January 14, 2005 at 16:54 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Good post Jerome. Murdoch did Blair a favour yesterday with Harry the Nazi, I expect a snap election being called soon before British troops leave Basra with their tails between their legs.

Never heard of this place before, but I expect it in the news soon

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 14 2005 17:08 utc | 1

From the Financial Times:

US ignored warning on Iraqi oil smuggling

For months, the US Congress has been investigating activities that violated the United Nations oil-for-food programme and helped Saddam Hussein build secret funds to acquire arms and buy influence.


President George W. Bush has linked future US funding of the international body to a clear account of what went on under the multi-billion dollar programme.

But a joint investigation by the Financial Times and Il Sole 24 Ore, the Italian business daily, shows that the single largest and boldest smuggling operation in the oil-for-food programme was conducted with the knowledge of the US government.

“Although the financial beneficiaries were Iraqis and Jordanians, the fact remains that the US government participated in a major conspiracy that violated sanctions and enriched Saddam's cronies,” a former UN official said. “That is exactly what many in the US are now accusing other countries of having done. I think it's pretty ironic.”


Posted by: Fran | Jan 14 2005 17:20 utc | 2

Yeah, Fran, I saw that one also.

These people just do so much, and nobody seems to care (or, more precisely, those that care cannot do anything, and those that could do something don't care or don't dare). Pity us, we will pay for it.

Posted by: Jérôme | Jan 14 2005 17:23 utc | 3

Perhaps pat and others can shed light on what post-election conditions are required in Iraq to assure longterm U.S. military presence? This, along with development of oil, is the principle objective of OIF, right? So many obvious clues, including the recent and costly http://www.nysun.com/article/7680>installation of microwave communications system.

Can such military occupation endure civil war? Longterm insurgency?

This is why I think partition might be useful to u.s.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 14 2005 17:36 utc | 4

Somebody's got somebody right where they want him, it would appear.

I'm going back to the fuhrer bunker now.

Posted by: Heinz G. | Jan 14 2005 17:40 utc | 5

"Even under the best of circumstances, the new Iraqi government will remain extremely vulnerable to internal divisions and external meddling," he said.
My my.

Posted by: | Jan 14 2005 17:51 utc | 6

Fran, doesn't that sound like Marc Rich to you?

Posted by: alabama | Jan 14 2005 17:52 utc | 7

Why are we still talking about this? Prince George is being crowned in a just a few days time: I want to talk frocks.

Posted by: Colman | Jan 14 2005 17:57 utc | 8

some think that the mischievous young Prince's stunt was ra-ther neatly timed to distract attention from the Thatcher lad's disgrace... tinfoil stuff maybe, but I notice which is getting the greater headline-share.

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 14 2005 18:02 utc | 9

more http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/reynolds.asp>desperate spin control

it's hard to pick the most outragous statement from this list of lies and spun half-truths. I think perhaps my favourite is the assertion that Iraqi children are now being taught to wash their hands -- as if this advanced, industrial, nearly first-world society (prior to Bush Wars I and II) were a lot of Ignorant Heathen requiring instruction in the most basic practises of hygiene. the second most outrageous might be the assertion that "girls are now going to school" -- Iraq before its demolition by the US had, iirc, the highest proportion of college-educated women, female teachers and other professionals, of any country in the ME. if anything, the probable ascendancy of the revanchist Shi'a indicates a bleak future for women in Iraq -- thanks to the US.

what a lovely bit of "viral marketing" agitprop. somewhat satisfying that it appears on Snopes' Urban Legends, but you can bet that millions of Americans who have never heard of Snopes and are emotionally prepared and inclined to despise all persons with darker skins than their own, will be eagerly believing every word of it and denouncing the "lying Librul Media" for telling them any bad news about the Occupation. the quaint, C19 flavour of the fantasy is remarkable... but it seems to fit with the general C19 flavour of the cultural/theocratic backlash in US society.

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 14 2005 18:21 utc | 10

DeAnander,

here some material for the tinfoil hat.

THATCHER HEADS TO STATES

The 51-year-old businessman is expected to join his American wife Diane and Michael, 15, and Amanda, 11, in Dallas, Texas.

Guess thats not to far from Crawford?

Alabama, maybe we can even fit Marc Rich in this. My guess is that would be the kind of scheme he would be involved too, as well as the oil smuggling.

Posted by: Fran | Jan 14 2005 18:22 utc | 11

echo to Fran’s post:

Oil-for-food was a new way to control and regulate trade, under UN auspices... Neither the WTO, the IMF, others, would have countenanced such control in their official framework.

Under it, the weak lost out, the powerful traded under the table.

Numba' one trader was the US, hiding behind front companies. Not because they were the most 'evil' or the biggest violaters of their own sanctions (neighboring countries continued to trade massively and were not punished, as outlined and accepted in US reports) but simply because the US is large and gas-guzzling.

Saddam obtained a lot of money...but who paid him? One example (many other texts will have a different slant):

"Halliburton and its subsidiaries were one of several American and foreign oil supply companies that helped Iraq increase its crude exports from $4 billion in 1997 to nearly $18 billion in 2000 by skirting U.S. laws and selling Iraq spare parts so it could repair its oil fields and pump more oil. Since the oil-for-food program began, Iraq has sold $40 billion worth of oil. U.S. and European officials have long argued that the increase in Iraq's oil production also expanded Saddam's ability to use some of that money for weapons, luxury goods and palaces. Security Council diplomats estimate that Iraq was skimming off as much as 10 percent of the proceeds from the oil-for-food program thanks to companies like Halliburton and former executives such as Cheney."

http://progressivetrail.org/articles/041011Leopold.shtml>Link

Muddy, viscuous, issues - maybe Jerome can inform more precisely.

Posted by: Blackie | Jan 14 2005 18:36 utc | 12

So, surprise surprise, Sharon has done what was expected because of what was expected

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 14 2005 19:28 utc | 13

U.S. military has discharged 26 Gay linguists

The glorious U.S. armed forces obviously couldn't trust what those types might get up to with a foreign tongue, eh? Clearly it's all a matter of (macho) priorities.

Posted by: Sic transit gloria USA | Jan 14 2005 19:29 utc | 14

This election could plunge Iraq further into the abyss

Posted by: Sic transit gloria USA | Jan 14 2005 19:33 utc | 15

Bring 'em on

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 14 2005 19:37 utc | 16

oh, it just gets better and better. Spiegel reports the costume party at which our young Prince Hal was naughty enough to dress up as a Nazi, had a theme: the theme was 'Colonials and Natives.' I'm either paralysed with disgust or ROTFL, not sure which... what could be more relevant?

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 14 2005 20:40 utc | 17

'Freedom' - Iraqis despair at struggle of their daily lives

Posted by: Sic transit gloria USA | Jan 14 2005 20:43 utc | 18

Speaking to the BBC, Tom Ridge said the US did not condone the use of torture to extract information from terrorists.

But he said that "under an extreme set of circumstances" such as the threat of a nuclear attack, "it could happen".

Posted by: kat | Jan 14 2005 20:49 utc | 19

kat, does this mean we have been under a nuclear threat all this time? And they didn't tell us - amazing, considering the fear factor involved.

Posted by: Fran | Jan 14 2005 20:57 utc | 20

Very good article cited there by STG @343.

Everyone ought to read it.

Posted by: FlashHarry | Jan 14 2005 21:21 utc | 21

The greatest crime.

No one has been held accountable for the Iraq mistake


Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 14 2005 21:32 utc | 22


TORTURE LAWS

Lawmakers deleted the restrictions on extreme interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects after the White House opposed the limits.

The Senate had approved the restrictions, by a 96-2 vote, as part of the intelligence reform legislation. The restrictions would have explicitly extended to intelligence officers a prohibition against the use of torture or inhumane treatment, and it would have required the CIA as well as the Pentagon to report to Congress about the methods it was using.

But in closed-door negotiations, according to congressional officials, four senior lawmakers from the House and Senate deleted the restrictions from the final bill, after the White House expressed opposition to the measure.


Posted by: fauxreal | Jan 14 2005 21:43 utc | 23

annie

b or Bernhard......... posted this a weeked ago.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 14 2005 22:06 utc | 25

annie, I have read this before and everytime I have been wondering how this works. Will the US soldiers be vaccinated against this 'aphrodisiac'. On the other hand I have this image of all soldiers turning sexually irrestistble to each other - would be an interesting kind of battle or what ever the result would be. Just wondering if Fox would be reporting it.

Well, what ever, joking aside, I think these are really crazy and sick minds behind those ideas.

Posted by: Fran | Jan 14 2005 22:06 utc | 26

Ok. last one for today. The Guardian on Abu Ghraib. I am not finding any words for a fitting comment, so I just leave it and say good night.

Jury Told Abu Ghraib Abuse Was for Laughs


Posted by: Fran | Jan 14 2005 22:25 utc | 27

@Fran:

Given our propensities for friendly fire, there would have to be a vaccine.


Posted by: FlashHarry | Jan 14 2005 22:26 utc | 28

What is most interesting about that homo-chemical weapon report is the beliefs that are imbedded in it.

Females are stupid to fuck men who are homophobic. I bet they're all lousy in the sack anyway, and especially deficient as cunning linguists.

Anyway, the thought of republican rutting...think Lynne and Dick...would be the antidote to any such weapon.

Posted by: fauxreal | Jan 14 2005 22:36 utc | 29

@Fran, http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000753452>yeah, 'really cool stuff'

Included were new photographs Graner had sent to friends and family, including his young children.

One message referred to Take Your Children to Work Day with the comment, "how about send a bastard to hell day?" Attached was a photograph of a detainee's head bloodied beyond recognition.

I just love to see Family Values in action.

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 14 2005 22:56 utc | 30

fran & deanander

what a sad sad world we live in

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 14 2005 23:13 utc | 31

@Fran, DeA, and RG:

That Graner's a real piece of work, isn't he?

@Faux:

Submitted my budget for the Cuba trip to Jerome today for approval.
hope to get the go-ahead soon.

Posted by: FlashHarry | Jan 15 2005 0:02 utc | 33

sic transit gloria usa

you do so much work for us here but if i can be impertinent i like your voice when you speak . you do it so little & do not know if that is a position of principle or not. but the post of yours that were other than links were extremely useful to me & i magine to others

forgive me my impertinence

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 15 2005 0:26 utc | 34

b

Censor interuption

Metathreads

I read the thread. Can somebody clue me in about the 'desaster' of the 'meta' criticism?

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 15 2005 1:04 utc | 35

dear comrade slothrop, I think b may be right. metacomment aka nitpicking, can be deadly. when it starts to happen w/in a relationship ("eee-yew, I can't stand the way you eat spaghetti") it usually signals the beginning of the end... btw I have been enjoying many of your posts the last month or two, thanks for your lefty erudition which clearly surpasses my own by several miles.

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 15 2005 1:11 utc | 36

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0114-25.htm

extremely fine article on falluja by charles schwartz

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 15 2005 1:12 utc | 37

LOL @ Fran!

@ Cloned; who's being delt with harshly now Commander Dumb Ass?

Posted by: stoy | Jan 15 2005 3:02 utc | 38

Uh, sorry I hadn't refreshed the page in a while and was a little behind. I was laughing at Fran's torture/ongoing nuke threat comment, not Graner.

Posted by: stoy | Jan 15 2005 3:07 utc | 39

U.S. military caused substantial damge to ancient Babylon


As well as detroying thousands of homes, devastating bridges, factories, railways, mosques, schools, libraries, shops, offices, orchards, crops, flocks, vehicles, utilities, villages, farmsteads and lives of more recent vintage.

Posted by: Sic transit gloria USA | Jan 15 2005 3:22 utc | 40

Bombs a'gay! What I want to know is what would this chemical weapon do to people who are already homosexual? Would it be sorta like in "Being John Malkovich" when Malkovich enters his own portal? Would it be meta-gay? Someone should really follow through with that idea, because I tell you I can think of quite a few places I'd like to set one off and give some people who deperately need it a taste of the the love that dare not speak its name. Can you begin to imagine the recreational uses and pranks that could be pulled?

Posted by: stoy | Jan 15 2005 3:28 utc | 41

Babylon, thats like a sci-fi show with Richard Dean Anderson, right?

We really should just give the Statue of Liberty back.

Posted by: stoy | Jan 15 2005 3:33 utc | 42

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/image-details.cfm?imageID=1301>Amazing humans.

A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.- Sirens of Titan

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 15 2005 3:38 utc | 43

rgiap

The schwartz article is scary.

Some clouds don't
have a silver lining.
--Fred Frith

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 15 2005 3:42 utc | 44

This was the second to last sentence of the Schwartz article, after his lengthy discription of the destruction wrought, rough estimate of money needed to rebuild and the inablity and demonstrated unwillingness of the U.S. & Iraqi government to do it.

Derrick Anthony, a 21 year-old Navy Corpsman surveyed the desolate Falluja landscape and commented, "It's kind of bad we destroyed everything, but at least we gave them a chance for a new start."

What a combination of ignorance and arrogance! But then that just sums it all up doesn't it.

Posted by: stoy | Jan 15 2005 6:42 utc | 45

Toronto Star:
Empty hands in Iraq

They were wrong. America was spooked to war on an untruth.

What fascinated me more, than the contents of this article, which reveals nothing new, was the word untruth. What is it that makes even a Canadian News paper use an euphemism (hope thats the right word). Why is it, that the word LIE is not used? I mean, whenever someone in this government opens the mouth - out come lies!!! And they are not being called on it, or phrasings and words looking like 'pretzels' are used.

Posted by: Fran | Jan 15 2005 7:45 utc | 46

a wierd aspect of the aprodisiac for enemies article was the idea that the military was toying with sexual humiliation as a tool back in 96. it's a theme i wasn't aware of until the recent prison torture scandels.
sorry i reposted it CP, i must have missed it earlier

Posted by: annie | Jan 15 2005 9:55 utc | 47

Once I gave a talk on my artwork at Oklahoma State Univ. in Stillwater, and preceding me in the hall was an AIM Native American activist. Aside from being a disconcerting act to follow, I remember his talk (more than mine) in that it was a fascinating account of early pioneer times, as ruminated from the native perspective. "Incompetent clodhoppers" was his generic term for the (revered) pioneers of American myth, and their ignorance of both the land and the native cultures themselves, was portrayed as a kind of joke gone sick coupled as it was, with broken treaties, death marches, the boarding of children, banning of cultural and religious expression, and all the rest. The American press depicted the natives as ignorant and heathin savages givin to acts of unspeakable brutality and atrocity in need of (re)education and (christanity) enlightenment. Those resisting this benevolence were delt with by the heoric and courageous cavalry, the protector of the innocent and victimized settler.

This differential in perspective, among other things, would indicate a non-objective and willfull ignorance necessary to advance an agenda that is otherwise irreconcilable with the stated moral and ethical standards of the perpetrator. The fact that such an obscurant exists within those standards can only mean that that denial exists within those standards in spite of the fact that they are not acknowledged or reflected upon (by the media). In this case the "facts on the ground" are the more accurate indice of the "true intention" -- givin the disconnect between actions and statements of intentions.

I don't know if this makes us a nation of liers, or a nation complicit to being lied to, but, when married to a predilection for faith and loyality over objective discernment, denial must fill the void -- and like they say, denial stops only at the bottom.

Posted by: anna missed | Jan 15 2005 11:23 utc | 48

Playing cowboys and indians

Playing good guys and bad guys

Posted by: anna missed | Jan 15 2005 11:38 utc | 49

LONDON (AFP) - US-led forces in Iraq have caused irreparable damage to the site of the ancient city of Babylon, contaminating the soil and destroying archaeological evidence, according to a damning report by the British Museum.

According to John Curtis, curator of the museum's Ancient Near East department, the site has suffered "substantial damage" while being used as a military depot by American and Polish forces for the past two years.

"This is tantamount to establishing a military camp around the Great Pyramid in Egypt or around Stonehenge in Britain," Curtis charged in his report.

"The status of future information about these areas will therefore be seriously compromised," he warned in comments that were published by Saturday's edition of the Guardian newspaper.

Curtis has called for an international investigation to be carried out by archaeologists chosen by the Iraqi authorities, to compile a full inventory of damage sustained at the site, 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Baghdad.

The British Museum report follows an assessment mission carried out in Iraq in December at the request of a group of Iraqi antiquities experts.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 15 2005 12:28 utc | 50

Pass it on

Posted by: Sic transit gloria USA | Jan 15 2005 15:12 utc | 51


oh, it just gets better and better. Spiegel reports the costume party at which our young Prince Hal was naughty enough to dress up as a Nazi, had a theme: the theme was 'Colonials and Natives.' I'm either paralysed with disgust or ROTFL, not sure which... what could be more relevant?

Posted by: DeAnander | January 14, 2005 03:40 PM

Given that theme, wasn´t it showing an (for a royal) extraordinary grasp of connections in history to show up as a nazi rather than as queen victoria? I think Prince Harry should be congratulated on seeing through tons of propaganda and reach the conclusion that the nazis really were not to different from other colonial masters to fit into the theme.

@ Faux:

good one :)

I can see the use of the homo-chemical weapon mainly against manly homophobic institutions like (insert your favourite target).

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | Jan 15 2005 15:59 utc | 53

@STG

"According to newly released Pentagon records, at least 73 language specialists were discharged between 1998 and 2004 because of the military's "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy that prevents openly gay individuals from serving. Of those, 20 were Arabic linguists, 16 were trained in Korean and six were Farsi speakers."

http://www.gay.com/news/article.html?2005/01/13/1>Gaynews

Critising rigged elections (procedure) is meaningless when candidates are killed, or their children are killed (mayhem unrelated to Western illusions and propaganda). Ex:

Female Iraqi candidates risk lives to run for office -- U.S. lawmakers trade lesson in politics for one in democracy.

"The biggest challenge Iraqi candidates face: how to avoid getting killed."

http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20050113/a_iraqwomen13.art.htm>USA today

As for the price of onions, soft news that all Western consumers can relate to, it may be useful. Giving birth at home without clean water, heat in the winter, is a whole other experience.

@Annie and all

On targetting particular groups with bio/chem weapons:

US Army Secrecy Challenged by Watchdogs - Dispute Over Report on the Effects of Chemical Weapons on Ethnic Groups .. Call for ..

"Watchdogs are appealing the US Army's refusal to release a study that compared the effects of different chemical, and possibly biological, weapons on different ethnic, gender, and age groups. The US Army has refused to release a single page of the study, which was conducted in 1999 by the US Army Dugway Proving Ground in Utah."

http://www.sunshine-project.org/publications/pr/pr130105.html>Sunshine

Posted by: Blackie | Jan 15 2005 18:59 utc | 54

http://www.counterpunch.org/whitney01152005.html>This Counterpunch article is typical of the narrow left view of the scope of the insurgency. Here's the rub: If the prospect of civil war is merely wishful thinking, then the atrocities of the Hakim assasination, etc. must have been engineered by the occupation. I have a hard time believing this argument. It's possible, I suppose. But, against such speculation is the demonstrable legacy of sunni oppression of a shia majority. Still seems to me u.s. is merely exploiting this historic animus.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 15 2005 19:42 utc | 56

Giving birth at home is not necessarily a problem; my wife's career is based on helping women give birth at home. Whereas lack of clean water and heat during cold periods is a problem no matter what activity you are doing.

Posted by: stoy | Jan 15 2005 19:44 utc | 57

The insurgency is not a group to be cheered any more than "our boys and girls" (and generals). I am sure, especially in towns that have been directly under seige from the U.S. military, the insurgency has some average Iraqis defending their homes and country, but for the most part we are talking fundie Muslims who want theocratic or thugocratic rule and probably don't have much of a plan for establishing either. Basically, they are the Muslim equivelant of Bush's base, our fundie conservative "christian" "friends". They fucking deserve each other. The real shame is that our war supporters are safe on the sidelines while average Iraqis just trying to survive are in the shit. If only they could trade places maybe some justice will have been done.

Posted by: stoy | Jan 15 2005 19:51 utc | 58

stoy

Ex-military obviously leading insurgency. Look how well coordinated sunni fighters appear to be as opposed the shia fighters in sadr city/najaf.

I continue to believe partition is the way things will go, given what I presently believe to be the constitution of "insurgency" and unlikelihood of national liberation war.

I'm aware of reports to contrary. But, nothing convincingly definitive.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 15 2005 20:00 utc | 59

The Ground Truth: The Human Cost of War

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 15 2005 20:02 utc | 60

slothrop

don't be too sure. i know at the moment - - what appears to be the pure chaos of the resistance is not only not chaos but a fleshing out of what may constitute a popular front - we have few precedents of this exact situation but i would think that the resistance in russia in the first year had elements of the same level of chaos - & the direction was found in the bloody slaughter itself - one can say right up to the attempt atr moscow - it was plain sailinf for the germans because - for many many reasons including stalin's purges & his fantastic belief that russia would not be attacked - did not allow local resistance to work

& while the enormous battles - for they were the largest humanity has ever conceived - the role of local resistance was of a primary importance

i instinct from robet fusks writing that what we are seeing is a war of liberation being conceived in the utterly imbecile strategies of the united states

i'd want to be prudent in my assesment - but it is sure the catastrophe will become even more exaggerated this year

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 15 2005 20:26 utc | 61

"It is an unusual case," Hofmann said. "The political dimension is huge. Under German law, we can charge a person with kidnapping, but not a country. Countries cannot kidnap people."

More coverage of el-Masri:

Miss CIA regrets

Posted by: biklett | Jan 15 2005 20:32 utc | 62

Biklett, why don't you email the terms of the Geneva Convention to Mr/Ms Hoffman?

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 15 2005 21:07 utc | 63

via Xymphora......


Here is Genesis 15:18 from the Jewish Bible:

"In that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: 'Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates;'"

and 1 Kings 5:1 (the 'River' is the Euphrates):

"And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt; they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life."


I am not anti-semetic, but I am anti Fundie.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 15 2005 22:36 utc | 64

OT, but has anyone heard anything more about this:

"1530 GMT - Forty-six members of the Palestinian election commission resigned Jan. 15, saying they were pressured by the campaign of Mahmoud Abbas and intelligence officials to abruptly change voting procedures during the Jan. 9 election, Associated Press reports."...

posted today at STRATFOR?

Posted by: esme | Jan 15 2005 23:14 utc | 65

slothrop

there is an essay - a long essay - written by lin piao - in the early seventies before his literal fall from grâce - & some commentators have thought it was at least one cause of his fall - ultraleftism - was an essay called 'long live the victory of people's war' - it is also sometimes calle in english french & german - 'the field & the city'

in this essay - which is essentially an essay on military strategy - explains in some detail - the machionery of wars of national liberation - & under his context - which admittedly accepted in the west - a notion of 'affinity groups' - which gave political legitimacy to the red brigades, red army fraktion, japanese red army weather underground - stating in effect in the first world - the city - it was the duty of all revolutionaries to attack the beast frontally therefore taking pressure off the field - third world countries

i'm remembering this essay - fast & furiouslly - but i rememeber - he conceived of conditions that were not unlike iraq today

all i'm suggesting - is that normally we associate a war of liberation either with popular uprising or with vanguard organisations. what i think you have in iraq is something that transcends both & is potentially more explosive

you presume also that the u s is capapble of controlling the contradictions to serve their purpose - i am not so sure - look at the links of - transit glori etc - & they seem to confirm the contrary - that even those who would for their own self interest support the americans are not doing so

why not ? i think for two reasons. the amazing brutality of the occupation has crossed tribal & sectarian lines & the americans can offer no real guarantee of security that means anything on a day to day level & this lack of security - lack of guarantee will create necessary alliances with groups who naturally do not see eye to eye but who will make alliances. the second reason - is that like the mau mau & other groups the resistance has created a very real state of siege - if you like of menace - of threat - & it would be a very reckless fellow to support the americans in villages & small towns. robert fisk suggest this is even true in baghdad in his latest article

partition will only multiply the contradictions & that is without any interference from either iran or turkey & that is not going to happen

no, for me the situation is more explosive by the hour & as fisk infers - a civil war might benefit the americans in the first instance but like all their other policies it would return against them very quickly

this is going to be very spectacular form of war - not in the sense of awe & thunder but of a slow & deliberate tearing apart of the american army piece by piece - i would think militarily it has no other option but to leave. it has already lost. the question now is how catastrophic that loss

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 16 2005 0:01 utc | 66

I prefer withdrawal as opposed to "slow & deliberate tearing apart" part.

But, no doubt, the stakes are high, but limited to control of oil production and "enduring bases" by U.S.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 16 2005 0:56 utc | 67

slothrop

it is not my preference - but there is a part of me that says imperialism only understand its lesson when they are taught through humiliation. there is no reason nor is there logic. in the current circumstance that would be too much to hope for

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 16 2005 1:01 utc | 68

Slothrop, even if there are a lot of former Iraqi soldiers in the insurgency, I doubt that they uniformly make up the brains of what organization there is. The Iraqi army, saving maybe the Republican Guard (oh the irony) knew little more than how to fire their weapons and follow the orders of supperiors, of which the superiors were not trained to think independently but to take orders from the top. I think the leadership of the insurgency comes from Al Qaeda trained people and natural leaders that have risen to the occasion, like Ayman al-Zawahari.

Rgaip, I certainly sypathise with your passion for a humiliating U.S. defeat, I fight that feeling in me. The people who have solen power in my country obviously did not learn from Vietnam and I believe that most of them will go to their graves denying they made any mistakes save trusting in people who failed them and claiming that unforseen conditions and ignorant and melicious opponents at home created obstacles that hindered the success that should have come from their efforts.

Remember, they lack a connection to reality, so common sense and historic lessons do not register. Its madness, and the only cure for madness is reason and patience. Heaven help us.

Posted by: stoy | Jan 16 2005 6:02 utc | 69

@rgiap my feelings on a humiliating US defeat go this way and that. There is the question of whether the Amis are actually capable of learning anything from another fiasco, and the possibility that with defeat imminent their leadership will go even crazier than it already is, and deploy a nuke or two (or some ghastly chem or bio weapon) in a fit of vengefulness, spite, mad rage...? The current administration is disturbingly Strangeloveian. I honestly cannot guess what they are capable of, or more accurately I cannot guess what, if anything, they are incapable of. The US has so many weapons -- enough to kill everyone on Earth 15 times over, iirc. When I consider the fit of childish insanity that has resulted from the 9/11 incident, what might be the result of a humiliation in Iraq?

I wish that they would be taught an historical lesson (though humanity in general seems pretty slow on the uptake, kind of a learning disability here), but I hope that their response to that lesson will not be yet another hissy, teppischfressing tantrum and more hundreds of thousands dead...

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 16 2005 6:27 utc | 70

Recently I said something along the lines that hopefully or I predict that following Bush's retaking of the Presidency the power players within the Bushco sphere of influence would probably start going after each other.

Well, this article
by Jim Lobe on Common Dreams reports that serious splits and in-fighting have already started.

Jubilant over President George W. Bush's re-election victory just two months ago, neo-conservatives who played a leading role in shaping the radical trajectory of U.S. foreign policy after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks appear increasingly divided on key issues and uncertain of their position in Bush's second term. ...

The article also mentions in a matter of fact way, and really, why should I be surprised, that some of the hard core neocons want Bush to "take out" Tehran's nuke program without any attempt at talks. Yeah, good idea, seeing as how they can look to a dozen tank battalions to spring combat ready from Dick Cheney's wrinkled ass.

Posted by: stoy | Jan 16 2005 6:39 utc | 71

Paxton asserts that one of the hallmarks of fascism is a high degree of chaos and infighting in government, due to (a) the fascist tendency to create shadow institutions and (b) the tension of the necessary coalition between the ultras and the fellow travellers (conservatives who play footsie with the fascists in order to stomp their mutual enemy the progressive or leftist element). "Shadow institutions", of course, is a phrase that immediately for me evokes Rummie's private intelligence corps and the small private armies (contractors and mercs) parallelling the State intelligence agencies and regular armed forces.

I wish someone else at Moon would read The Anatomy of Fascism in the next few weeks 'cos I would really like to discuss it...

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 16 2005 6:49 utc | 72

Ok, DeAnander, I shouldn't have but I just bought a used copy from Amazon. I'll let you know when I get it. We can dicuss it at LeSpeakeasy if you want to do it in public.

Posted by: stoy | Jan 16 2005 7:12 utc | 73

Just came across the new Riverbend posting this morning. Hard to imagine having to live this why. I can really understand why people become members of the resistance - I guess under those circumstances I would become one too.

The Phantom Weapons...


The phone hasn't been working for almost a week now. We just got the line back today. For the last six days, I'd pick up the phone and hear... silence. Nothing. This vast nothingness would be followed by a few futile 'hellos' and a forceful punching of some random numbers with my index finger. It isn't always like this, of course. On some days, you can pick up the telephone and hear a bunch of other people screaming "allooo? Allooo?" E. once struck up a conversation with a complete stranger over the phone because they were both waiting for a line. E. wanted to call our uncle and the woman was trying to call her grandson.
...
It feels like just about everyone who can is going to leave the country before the elections. They say the borders between Syria and Jordan might be closed a week before elections so people are rushing to get packed and get out. Many families are simply waiting for their school-age children to finish mid-year finals or college exams so they can leave.
...
Why does this not surprise me? Does it surprise anyone? I always had the feeling that the only people who actually believed this war was about weapons of mass destruction were either paranoid Americans or deluded expatriate Iraqis- or a combination of both. I wonder now, after hundreds and hundreds of Americans actually died on Iraqi soil and over a hundred-thousand Iraqis are dead, how Americans view the current situation. I have another question- the article mentions a "Duelfer Report" stating the weapons never existed and all the intelligence was wrong. This report was supposedly published in October 2004. The question is this: was this report made public before the elections? Did Americans actually vote for Bush with this knowledge?
...
Zarqawi is so much better than WMD. He's small, compact and mobile. He can travel from Falloojeh to Baghdad to Najaf to Mosul… whichever province or city really needs to be oppressed. Also, conveniently, he looks like the typical Iraqi male- dark hair, dark eyes, olive skin, medium build. I wonder how long it will take the average American to figure out that he's about as substantial as our previously alleged WMD.
...
I hope Americans feel good about taking their war on terror to foreign soil. For bringing the terrorists to Iraq- Chalabi, Allawi, Zarqawi, the Hakeems… How is our current situation going to secure America? How is a complete generation that is growing up in fear and chaos going to view Americans ten years from now? Does anyone ask that? After September 11, because of what a few fanatics did, Americans decided to become infected with a collective case of xenophobia… Yet after all Iraqis have been through under the occupation, we're expected to be tolerant and grateful. Why? Because we get more wheat in our diets?

She really is on a roll. The following question she is asking jumped at my eyes - it is something I have not seen much about at all.

A question poses it self at this point- why don't they let the scientists go if the weapons don't exist? Why do they have Iraqi scientists like Huda Ammash, Rihab Taha and Amir Al Saadi still in prison? Perhaps they are waiting for those scientists to conveniently die in prison? That way- they won't be able to talk about the various torture techniques and interrogation tactics...

Well, the whole thing is worth reading as usually.


Posted by: Fran | Jan 16 2005 7:38 utc | 74

Just went to the site Riverbend gave the link to - Free Iraq, good site, really worthwhile reading it.

Posted by: Fran | Jan 16 2005 7:56 utc | 75

And then there is this (last week) fromAtrios/Digby:

Ben Wikler provides us with a choice excerpt from the Nelson report, a long running insider tipsheet generally considered to be quite reliable:

There is rising concern amongst senior officials that President Bush does not grasp the increasingly grim reality of the security situation in Iraq because he refuses to listen to that type of information. Our sources say that attempts to brief Bush on various grim realities have been personally rebuffed by the President, who actually says that he does not want to hear "bad news."
Rather, Bush makes clear that all he wants are progress reports, where they exist, and those facts which seem to support his declared mission in Iraq...building democracy. "That's all he wants to hear about," we have been told. So "in" are the latest totals on school openings, and "out" are reports from senior US military commanders (and those intelligence experts still on the job) that they see an insurgency becoming increasingly effective, and their projection that "it will just get worse."
Our sources are firm in that they conclude this "good news only" directive comes from Bush himself; that is, it is not a trap or cocoon thrown around the President by National Security Advisor Rice, Vice President Cheney, and DOD Secretary Rumsfeld. In any event, whether self-imposed, or due to manipulation by irresponsible subordinates, the information/intelligence vacuum at the highest levels of the White House increasingly frightens those officials interested in objective assessment, and not just selling a political message.

Digby then notes:
I am not surprised. In fact a couple of weeks ago I wrote:

This is the big story of the second term. Bush himself is now completely in charge. He did what his old man couldn't do. He has been freed of all constraints, all humility and all sense of proportion. Nobody can run him, not Cheney, not Condi, not Card. He has a sense of his power that he didn't have before. You can see it. From now on nobody can tell him nothin. It makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, doesn't it?
They can't control him.

I'd pretty much go along with this assessment of the brain dead level of denial
currently in the whitehouse. Initially, public denial, is an essential ingredient in an imperial endeavor like Iraq -- we can't very well say we want to destroy your culture and steal all your stuff, no it has to be packaged as an act of benevolence, like "freeing 60 million Iraqis" or "winning the peace". So, now that (after almost 2 years) the facts on the ground have come to belie any such benevolence, and have created instead a raging resistance that grows like a fire on a block of woodframe buildings, can we expect the former alcoholic in charge to give it up with the addiction, like he did with the drink? I kind of fucking doubt it. First, after all, the public denial so essential to the project in the first place cannot be so easily cast off, thus revealing that nasty underbelly of the true intentions, this would in effect double the failure, by laying all bare. Secondly, it is in some sense, denial itself that has come to embody the man himself. Of course it's not called "denial" but rather the adjective operatives like steadfast, unwavering, will not wilt, means what he says, bla bla bla. And like Digby notes, the election results have only augmented, like only millions of affirmative drinking buddies could, the illusion of success in delirium. In Iraq, this all means continuing degeneration, through making all the wrong choices, which only hastens the process. Any chance of reasonable(under the circumstances)policy choices, will no doubt be impossible as both the level of denial and chaos accelerate through the political clevage generated by those radicalized in loyality and those that are increasingly alarmed. In this scenario, slothrops notion of partitioning the country, in another short term tactic to hang on, becomes plausable if not actively sought after (by increasing sectarian strife). I would also agree with rememgiap that this would in the end draw in other influences and widen the conflict throught the region. And, all this inability to change course, compromise, or otherwise do anything right, and continually allowing the pressure to ever increase also increases proportionally an end
game blowout -- for better or worse.

Posted by: anna missed | Jan 16 2005 9:24 utc | 76

DeA-, I rec'd copy for Christmas but haven't gotten to it quite yet. W/in next few wks. sounds good. This wk. I'm tuning out & curling up w/Margaret Atwood. Seems more real than fantasy-based spectacle unfolding outside. (Though I do wish protesters on East Coast would gather on the Beaches, renaming them Normandy, Juno, Gold, etc. on 1/20.)
I 2nd Stoy's suggestion of thread i can contribute to later on Speakeasy.

Right now I'm reading Emmanuel Todd's After Fall of the Am. Order. He gives us a Most Helpful term to describe xAm. He said it has become a "predator nation."

While I look forward to reading Paxton, things have changed significantly since the '30's. Maybe Neo-Feudal Police State is better term for current direction. Though I did find it Very Interesting that Eng. Royal Boy just costumed up as Nazi.

Posted by: jj | Jan 16 2005 9:42 utc | 77

See this image of the death count in Iraq since January 1.

Posted by: b | Jan 16 2005 11:27 utc | 78

the red army was 'torn apart' in afghanistan by an enemy that was far less coherent than the americans are facing in iraq

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 16 2005 14:09 utc | 79

o also agree with anna missed that the american forces & the administration of the feuhrer bush - do not react to 'real' situations - militarily. they respond chaotically to chaotic situations. i don't know where all the money goes at places like west point & the citadel let alone the international politics department at georgetown university. better to piss that money against a wal, i think

yes. not only do you sense the resistance being forced by circumstance to coalesce - & make a programme of unity - you sense the utter chaos in the response of the yankees. therefore that is the reason they bring out every won out failed strategy from before - like the salvador option

perhasp, some are correct here, & i have a taste of the apocalyptic but i cannot conceive of how this situation can be controlled by the americans outside of a massive increase of their systematic murde of the iraqui population

i think events are going so fast here that some posters forget, the disaster of garner, the occupancy of bremer & chalabi - the entire mess of all that - messy, incoherent, dangerously stupid - not only for iraq - but for americans relations elsewhere. we forget that it is far from clear that falluja has been beaten & yes there are hints of stalingrad & the german response to it - obviouslly the order is not the same - but the form is

as anna missed suggests we are at the beginning of a real endgame - it is just the perameters that are being defined

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 16 2005 14:22 utc | 80

Robert Fisk - How a Flying Carpet Took Me Back in Time - Until I Landed in Baghdad


I tried out the new Beirut-Baghdad air service this week. It's a sleek little 20-seater with two propellers, a Lebanese-Canadian pilot and a name to take you aback. It's called "Flying Carpet Airlines". As Commander Queeg said in The Caine Mutiny, "I kid thee not." It says "Flying Carpet" on the little blue boarding cards, below the captain's cabin and on the passenger headrest covers where the aircraft can be seen gliding through the sky on a high-pile carpet.

And it's an odd little flight, too. You arrive at Beirut's swish new glass and steel airport where you are told to meet your check-in desk handler in front of the post office in the arrivals lounge. There are a group of disconsolate Americans - "contractors" who've been passing the weekend in the fleshpots - and fearful Lebanese businessmen and, well, you've guessed it, The Independent's equally fearful correspondent.
...
Of course, the moment you arrive at the scene of Bush's great new experiment in democracy - and we are all looking forward to the elections in Baghdad with the same kind of enthusiasm that the people of Dresden showed when the first Lancasters flew down the Elbe - it all looks very different. Baghdad airport is crowded with heavily armed mercenaries and friendly, but equally armed, Gurkhas. And there's a big poster not far from the terminal with a massive colour photograph of the aftermath of a Baghdad car bombing, complete with the body of a half-naked woman in the lower right-hand corner.

...
All in all, then, a mighty mess to contemplate after the 30 January elections. The brush fires are already being lit but fear not, Bush and Blair will tell us that they always knew things would get violent on polling day - which will make it all right, I suppose - and that, if the violence gets worse, it all goes to show how successful those elections were because they made the killers and looters and "dogs" angry. A bunch of insidious terrorist cowards are not going to change the foreign policy of the United States. Well, we shall see. Meanwhile, I'm checking the flight schedules to see if my magic carpet can take me back to Beirut after 30 January.


Posted by: Fran | Jan 16 2005 15:26 utc | 81

[...]

These zombies are at it again. As if all the murders and mass graves of the past are not enough they continue their orgy of killing and torture under the very nose of the MNF and the Iraqi security forces who are themselves victims of the most atrocious massacres. Any assumption that we are dealing with human beings is completely wrong. These are monsters and must be dealt with as such.

As for the elections, they are doing their best to intimidate and threaten people. What can be more abominable than this; openly intimidating people from participating in the first truly free elections in the history of not only Iraq but also probably the entire region. And what lame excuses they give! The security situation? But it is you gentlemen who are responsible for the havoc. And; what guarantee can there be if the elections are postponed that the situation will not get worse? In fact, we all know that you will do your damn best to aggravate it further in the vane hope that you might achieve your vile objectives. Fair elections cannot be held under occupation! : As if we ever saw any fair elections when there was no “occupation” for almost a whole century when your minority clan was lording over the people. Besides, Palestinian elections were recently held under Israeli occupation, and we did not see anybody objecting. You are not telling us that the Israeli occupation is better than the presence of the MNF who have liberated the country from your tyranny. Oh, and they want a precise timetable for the MNF to leave. That, we assure you does not stem from any patriotic sentiment. You can be certain that within few hours from the departure of the last American soldier, the old Saddam military and security apparatus will reemerge from their holes, reinforced this time with the vampires of the Bin Laden clan and their likes. The pogrom that would ensue then would be a horror unparalleled in the entire history of genocide and mass murder. In fact, it would be merciful, if our American friends “nuke” the whole place before leaving (to use the cute expression I have read somewhere). That would eliminate the scum while giving the rest of the population a quick death, which is better than the horrible torture that could await them; a kind of mercy killing, you might say: Euthanasia.

[...]

Salaam


# posted by Alaa : 8:46 AM

Posted by: Pat | Jan 16 2005 17:20 utc | 82

dans les veines célestes, léclair lance sa charge
il épanche l'abîme de l'univers
et trace au coeur de la nuit la face du néant
laissant derrière lui une ombre bleue
eparse comme l'écho

mahmoud al-brikan l'éclair bassora, irak (born 1931)

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 16 2005 18:06 utc | 83

Pat, I'm impressed with the fact that the architects of OIF never took notice of Saddam's achievements in the instituting of a civilian government, a military force and a police force--all of them well trained, equipped and experienced (and all of them speaking, one assumes, the common tongue of Arabic, which they surely continue to speak, and which we ourselves don't speak very well). True believers, we Americans! And just what do apparently believe? Exactly this: that if you drive through town in a tank, then "all that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind"....

Posted by: alabama | Jan 16 2005 18:30 utc | 84

After months of arguing that they had the situation under control, senior US commanders have finally conceded that they are not facing a bunch of "dead-enders" and fanatics but a highly trained and motivated resistance movement of around a quarter of a million fighters who are capable of mounting "spectacular" attacks ahead in the fortnight before the election.

One high-ranking army officer was even moved to admit that the coalition is losing the fight and told the Sunday Herald that the battle might never be won.

"The truth is that we are containing the problem but we are in no condition to crack it," he said. "It's bound to be an imperfect exercise for the simple reason that in many parts of the country we have failed to impose our authority and failed to win the trust of the local people. Instead, they have turned to the insurgents as their best bet."

trevor doyle sunday herald (scotland) -commondreams

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 16 2005 18:57 utc | 85

"this lack of security - lack of guarantee will create necessary alliances with groups who naturally do not see eye to eye but who will make alliances"

This would require that those most distressed by the security situation (ordinary Sunnis residing in the Triangle of Death among them) actively ally themselves with those very groups that are sowing insecurity where they live and work. This would require, in other words, that the terrorized join forces with their terrorizers, which is yet more of a stretch than the emergence of a truly popular (Sunni/Shiite) insurrection.

Posted by: Pat | Jan 16 2005 19:04 utc | 86

Pat, one could also argue that many Sunni are feeling that their terrorizers are not the resistance fighters but the ones who reduced Fallujah to rubble and bombed and raided thousands of homes.
This report (which I already posted in another thread) by a German journalist who travelled from Amman to Baghdad claims that this is the way not only many Sunni, but many other Iraqi as well seem to think and feel in general. Not sure about the proportions here, but the news coming out of Iraq seem to imply quite a high percentage of people who sympathize with the resistance.

Posted by: teuton | Jan 16 2005 19:22 utc | 87

At this stage of the game, Bush has few options left. He can choose to stay in Iraq and confront a vigorous insurgency without a glint of light at the end of the tunnel – at a cost of $5 billion a month and mounting casualties. His second option is to just declare victory and leave Iraq in a state of chaos – a failed state that might become fertile ground for the recruitment and training of the very terrorists he supposedly came to vanquish. All indications are that he has chosen a third way - by opting to swallow the bitter fruit of his neocon follies and leaving Iraq in the hands of Iran. Even if this last option results in civil war – Bush is counting on Tehran’s Iraqi allies to prevail and contain the conflict from spreading to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. If the civil war results in partition, the United States will avoid direct blame - leaving Iran to take the fall for the breakup. The Turks and Iranians will then be left to pick up the pieces.

This is hardly the outcome that was expected by the neo-con wizards. But, no worries. George Bush has his spin teams hard at work. As his occupation army evacuates the Green Zone and hands over the keys of Abu Ghraib and as Marine helicopters make one last reconnaissance flight over the ruins of Fallujah, Bush will declare that the United States has fought the good fight to bring democracy to Iraq. He can count on most Americans to buy that line. A good percentage of them continue to believe that WMDs have already been found and that Saddam was personally responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

Like most gamblers, George Bush is not one to publicly admit his losses. It all brings to mind Gary Allan’s lyrics “I’ve been a wildcatter - and a go-go getter Been an s.o.b. right down to the letter - I’ve had misadventures - I’ve even got pictures - I’m even more than I can stand - But startin` today, all I’m gonna be is her man.” For Bush, the pictures are of Abu Ghraib and Fallujah and the lady in this song is Iran.

Link

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 16 2005 20:09 utc | 88

Pat

You're right.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 16 2005 20:13 utc | 89

slothrop

the prrof of the pudding is in the eating

regard iraq 1 month after these macabre 'election(s)'

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 16 2005 20:20 utc | 90

Dying at work in Manhattan because terrorists flew a plane into your
office tower: $1,821,886.00

Dying at home in Baghdad because a USAF satellite photo analyst mistook
your back yard swimming pool for a seren gas distillery: $5,000.00

Watching your wife burn to death when a ferrite missile warhead
explodes in your living room, and having to line up for weeks to get
that $5,000.00:

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 16 2005 20:36 utc | 91


Link to above

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 16 2005 20:38 utc | 92

FlashHarry sez- Submitted my budget for the Cuba trip to Jerome today for approval.
hope to get the go-ahead soon.

great. I'll have to go see what kind of Bettie I am to know what to pack. What if it says I'm Betty Ford?!?! ...and would that be pre- or post-detox? Or what if I get Bette Davis-ed? Would you have to be Joan Crawford? Does Cuba have wire coathangers?

pardons to all who are annoyed by useless and unsubstantial posts. I feel fairly unsubstantial these days.

Posted by: fauxreal | Jan 16 2005 22:08 utc | 93

http://www.commondreams.org/news2005/0112-12.htm>and then the war comes home...

Combat veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and the Global War on Terror who need help -- from mental health programs to housing, employment training and job placement assistance -- are beginning to trickle into the nation's community-based homeless veteran service provider organizations. Already stressed by an increasing need for assistance by post-Vietnam era veterans and strained budgets, homeless service providers are deeply concerned about the inevitable rising tide of combat veterans who will soon be requesting their support.

A recent survey conducted by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) in Washington, D.C., shows combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are, indeed, beginning to request help from homeless veteran service providers. The survey was in response to a growing number of inquiries by media and government officials involved in veterans and budgetary affairs.

There currently is no reliable, scientific data available to accurately calculate how America's wartime mobilization is going to impact the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and community homeless service providers -- it is too early. But there are enough studies, historical data and present-day indicators to conclude the nation is woefully unprepared for the increased demand for homeless veteran services the "War on Terror" will generate.

The gratitude of princes, boys and girls...

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 17 2005 4:53 utc | 94

I learnt this morning from Al-Sabah newspaper (that published more detailed information) that there will be also a curfew from 9 pm to 5 am starting from the 27th of Jan. and traveling among provinces will be prohibited as well.
And considering that terrorists might use bombs hidden in bags or briefcases (like what happened in the Kerbala and Baghdad massacres near the shrines last year), the plan also included that no bags will be allowed on the streets and walking nearby the voting centers will be monitored and restricted too.

Meanwhile, posters and signs for the political parties and individual candidates are covering almost every single wall on the streets of Baghdad, leaving no place for the terrorists to write their hatred messages (which are by the way full of stupid typos! from which you can tell what kind of ignorants those criminals are) and the elections posters have become so numerous that the terrorists would need to spend a decade rearing them off to find a spot for their ugly slogans.

The voice of elections and democracy is now much louder than that of terror.
We have passed the hardest part and it's now less than 14 days to go my friends, let's hope this works out.

- posted by Omar @ 22:46

Yes indeed, let's hope.

Posted by: Pat | Jan 17 2005 5:22 utc | 95

Pat- where are you getting these reports?

Posted by: fauxreal | Jan 17 2005 15:30 utc | 96

The situation really must be improving!

Iraq may ban driving to stop car bombs

Posted by: Fran | Jan 17 2005 16:44 utc | 97

@fauxreal

The first is from The Mesopotamian at blogspot.com, the second from Iraq the Model.

Posted by: Pat | Jan 17 2005 17:51 utc | 98

Link to ACLU

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 17 2005 19:05 utc | 99

In past wars, troops had some warning as to how close to front lines they were. But in Iraq, the front lines are everywhere, and they change moment by moment. Dr. Brewer says the sheer terror of that is compounding physical injuries. The busiest docs in the field, he says, are the psychiatrists and psychologists.

Link

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 17 2005 19:07 utc | 100

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