Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 26, 2006

OT 06-91

News & views ...

Posted by b on September 26, 2006 at 6:53 UTC | Permalink

Comments

John Robb at http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/>Global Guerrillas sees an impending coup in Pakistan, following sooner or later as NATO bales out of Afghanistan, sooner rather than later. Rack that up with the success of Hezbollah, and the sinkhole in Iraq, and the big ole' war on terror aint lookin so good. Anyway:

As the war in Afghanistan reaches it conclusion, likely sooner rather than later, Musharraf will quickly become the main target. If the global guerrilla playbook is used, these forces will not use direct attacks on Musharraf's person (which have been mounted on numerous occasions in the past). Instead, they will seek to fragment Pakistan's society and economy, which will likely lead to Musharraf's removal from power.

Of course, as we have seen, the best method to begin a process of state fragmentation is through the indirect method of systems disruption. A great example of what is possible was revealed on the 24th of September 2006, when a disruption of power from the Tarbela dam shut down electricity across 75% of Pakistan. All guerrillas need to do to achieve Musharraf's removal, and the destruction of US policy in the region, is to repeat the process that led to this outage again and again and again. It's a rudimentary first step.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 26 2006 8:39 utc | 1

In Lebanon, a War's Lethal Harvest

U.N. officials estimate that the Israeli military fired 90 percent of the bombs during the last 72 hours of the conflict, which began on July 12 after Hezbollah fighters seized two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid and ended with a cease-fire on Aug. 14. As many as 1 million of the bomblets are unexploded, they say, wounding or killing three people a day. The threat of stumbling across a bomblet has paralyzed life in parts of the south that depend on the harvest of tobacco and now-abandoned groves of bananas, olives and citrus.
That was, of course, the Israeli intention.

Posted by: b | Sep 26 2006 8:48 utc | 2

"Don't forget Poland" was one of Bush's most famous comments at the start of the "War on Terror".

Now the operative statement is "forget Pakistan".

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 26 2006 9:27 utc | 3

And the show bizz niz must go on...

Carlyle poised to bid for Libyan oil giant, says son of Gaddafi

US private equity giant Carlyle is in talks to acquire Libya's state-controlled oil refining and marketing operation, Tamoil.

Al-Saadi Gaddafi, the son of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the country's long-time leader, said Carlyle was one of four or five groups involved in an international tender to buy 100 per cent of Tamoil. It is thought the business will fetch close to €3bn (£2bn).

Mr Gaddafi added that the other candidates included groups from Poland, Hungary and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, he said the Italian energy group ERG might have "increased their bid a little bit. So maybe they will come back."

Neither ERG nor Carlyle would comment.

Tamoil was acquired by Oilinvest, Libya's foreign oil investment arm, in 1988. It refines, markets and sells the country's oil, and has around 3,000 petrol stations in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain, with a further 150 in Africa.

The Washington DC-based Carlyle has been known in the past for its links to prominent right-wing US politicians. These include the former US secretary of state James Baker and the former US defense secretary Frank Carlucci, as well as the former British prime minister John Major. None of the men retains positions with the company.


----------------------------
Funny how they don't mention George H.W. Bush, or the Bin Laden family, both principal players in Carlyle.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 26 2006 9:36 utc | 4

"The threat of stumbling across a bomblet has paralyzed life in parts of the south that depend on the harvest of tobacco and now-abandoned groves of bananas, olives and citrus."

Where is the international outrage over the crippling of the Lebanese economy? Perhaps it was an Israeli anti-smoking campaign and the bananas, olives and citrus were unfortunate collateral damage.

There was an ad running on TV for a relief fund for the million(?) Israelis displaced/affected by the violence. Lots of cute and scared looking kids and some damage. Except that the damage seemed minimal when compared to what happened in Lebanon. A row of townhomes was shown and one was shattered (I thought that's the worst they could find?) while in Lebanon, whole blocks are flattened.

Funny, no ads for Lebanese relief, but there are some in heavy rotation on Maritime affiliates that make a career in the armed forces look sexy and not too deadly.

Posted by: gmac | Sep 26 2006 13:34 utc | 5

uncle- h.w. left carlyle in late 2003. or at least the public announcement was that he was retiring as senior advisor.

Posted by: b real | Sep 26 2006 14:26 utc | 6

"America's Army" Boosts Army Recruiting

"This summer, Matt and Doug Stanbro, two brothers from Chelsea, Ala., traded in their game controllers for M-16 rifles," reports Patrik Jonsson. "They're two of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of American teenagers inspired by a 'shoot'em-up' video game to join the Army." The "America's Army" game, first released in 1992, "is proving a potent way to communicate military values directly to the messy bedrooms where teens hang out. ... In a recent informal survey of recruits at Fort Benning, Ga., which was conducted by the Army's video-game development team, about 60 percent of recruits said they've played 'America's Army' more than five times a week. Four out of 100 said they'd joined the Army specifically because of the game. Nationwide, the game counts some 7.5 milion registered users." While Army officials say "a range of recruitment tweaks - including easing up on the tattoo policy and up to $40,000 signing bonuses - have played a role" in boosting 2006 recruitment numbers, "few other ideas have been as effective in galvanizing potential recruits as 'America's Army.'"

Posted by: b real | Sep 26 2006 14:47 utc | 7

b real,

well, we are cetainly prepared to fight the Battle for Middle Earth. Fry those orcs!

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 26 2006 17:02 utc | 8

A Carlyle Story and a question

Carlyle purchased the Hawaii telephone system from Verizon at the beginning of 2006. When the deal was announced in 2005, my hackles rose suspiciously. What would a giant investment firm want with a tiny telephone system in the middle of the Pacific, where, coincidentally, there is an enormous miitary presence, representing every branch of the military services?

Debt profit was the answer offerred. Hawaii Verizon made the mistake of having no debt. Carlyle would introduce some efficiencies, run up the debt, and sell at a profit in a few years, leaving the company with a debt service load for the forseeable future. A standard and legal investment skimming scheme.

Still I wondered what Carlyle knew about running a phone company?

Not enough, it became clear when Carlyle officially took over in March 2006, esp about consumer service. The bill paying system immediately backed up. Due to the "new" Hawaii Telcom's inability to run a timely bill process, customers were rebilled, with penalties, for bills they had previously paid on time.

This billing confusion led to a tie-up of all Hawaii Telcom service lines, as customers tried desperately to straighten out their billing. Customers attempting to disconnect, get new service, or fix broken lines were unable to reach the phone company either. After a couple weeks of maximum congestion, a new Telcom answering message offered, "leave a message and we will call you back," but they never did. I have friends who moved off the island in June and are still trying to stop service and resolve a $400 bill. The hold time seems to have dropped to 15-20 minutes.

Is it paranoid to wonder again what Carlyle's real interest is in a tiny phone company in the middle of the Pacific, which happens to provide telephone services to a remarkable concentration of US military bases? Or should one merely remark upon the hubris that led Carlyle to presume it could operate a phone company with no prior experience?

Posted by: small coke | Sep 26 2006 18:40 utc | 9

I have to respond a bit to Monolycus for his comment on Clinton willing to kill ObL.

I am definitly not a fan of Clinton, but:

1. Clinton didn´t kill him
2. Clinton could have killed him
3. Clinton did not do so, because as the very-right-wing NRO-corner Monolycus links to says, (and Clinton says in his interview on Fox,) the CIA and the FBI could not certify that the Cole bombing was done by OBL's AlQaida.

Without such certification the U.S. military did reject the idea of sending cruise missiles. Clinton did refrain from overruling that decision or screwing up the CIA/FBI reports.

That CIA/FBI certification came only in late January 2000, when Bush was President. He, Bush, did not act on this change.

Now I am no Clinton fan and I would prosecute him for the war on Serbia, but in this case he seems to be an actor who tried and kept to the rules of law.

No match to Bush in any case.

Posted by: b | Sep 26 2006 19:01 utc | 10

Caught Louise Richardson on a BookTV event discussing her book, What Terrorists Want.

WOW! The synopsis she presented at this bookstore chat struck me as being like the momentous announcement and revelation a long-sought antidote to a pernicious, widespead, and deadly virus (ie: Bush-think). Richardson's stunning clarity succinctly explodes the hyterical mythologizing and rank political manipulations (nod to Heir Goering) of Bush & Co. and their GWOT. Her thesis would have predicted and does reinforce this weekend's NIE revelations. Paints Dubya and crew into a corner marked "utterly wrongheaded."

She deserves a bigger microphone and a much wider audience. Future National Security Advisor?

_____________________________

@Uncle $cam

Spent a couple days recently focused on former Senior Counsel (1998-2005) to The Carlyle Group and Bush-family-fixer, James Baker, III.

Started with Palast's reporting on the 323-page report, "Options for Developing a Long Term Sustainable Iraqi Oil Industry," that was jointly authored by the Baker Institute and the Counsel on Foreign Relations -- here [YouTube video], here, and elsewhere. The clear implication in Palast's reporting is that this report and Baker's counsel contributed to the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Another article, Carlyle's Way, begins by painting this very telling picture:

Like everyone else in the United States, the group stood transfixed as the events of September 11 unfolded. Present were former secretary of defense Frank Carlucci, former secretary of state James Baker III, and representatives of the bin Laden family. This was not some underground presidential bunker or Central Intelligence Agency interrogation room. It was the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C., the plush setting for the annual investor conference of one of the most powerful, well-connected, and secretive companies in the world: the Carlyle Group. And since September 11, this little-known company has become unexpectedly important.

Recall, too, that Baker spearheaded the December 2000 "judicial coup d'etat" that enthroned this Boy King in the first place. More from Palast . . .

"I FIXED FLORIDA"


Why is our President so concerned with the wishes of Mr. Baker's clientele? What does Bush owe Baker? Let me count the ways, beginning with the 2000 election.


Just last week Baker said, "I fixed the election in Florida for George Bush." That was the substance of his remarks to an audience of Russian big wigs as reported to me by my somewhat astonished colleagues at BBC television.


It was Baker, as consiglieri to the Bush family, who came up with the strategy of maneuvering the 2000 Florida vote count into a Supreme Court packed with politicos.


Baker's claim to have fixed the election was not a confession; it was a boast. He meant to dazzle current and potential clients about his Big In with the Big Boy in the White House. Baker's firm is already a top player in the Great Game of seizing Caspian Sea oil. (An executive of Exxon-Mobil, one of Baker Botts's clients, has been charged with evading taxes on bribes paid in Kazakhstan.)

_______________________

It's the Oil, Stupid, by Johnny Angel

Liberating Iraq: From Cyrus I to George II, by Joseph Mulligan

It's the Oil, Stupid, by Jason Leopold

Posted by: manonfyre | Sep 26 2006 19:03 utc | 11

To support my upper comment read the transcript of the exchange between BLITZER and BEN-VENISTE here

BEN-VENISTE: It's true, Wolf, we had the opportunity to interview President Bush, along with the vice president, and we spent a few hours doing that in the Oval Office. And one of the questions we had and I specifically had was why President Bush did not respond to the Cole attack. And what he told me was that he did not want to launch a cruise missile attack against bin Laden for fear of missing him and bombing the rubble (ph).

And then I asked him, "Well, what about the Taliban?" The United States had warned the Taliban, indeed threatened the Taliban on at least three occasions, all of which is set out in our 9/11 Commission final report, that if bin Laden, who had refuge in Afghanistan, were to strike against U.S. interests then we would respond against the Taliban.

BLITZER: Now, that was warnings during the Clinton administration...

BEN-VENISTE: That's correct.

BLITZER: ... the final years of the Clinton administration.

BEN-VENISTE: That's correct.

BLITZER: So you the asked the president in the Oval Office -- and the vice president -- why didn't you go after the Taliban in those eight months before 9/11 after he was president. What did he say?

BEN-VENISTE: Well, now that it was established that al Qaeda was responsible for the Cole bombing and the president was briefed in January of 2001, soon after he took office, by George Tenet, head of the CIA, telling him of the finding that al Qaeda was responsible, and I said, "Well, why wouldn't you go after the Taliban in order to get them to kick bin Laden out of Afghanistan?"

Maybe, just maybe, who knows -- we don't know the answer to that question -- but maybe that could have affected the 9/11 plot.

BLITZER: What did he say?

BEN-VENISTE: He said that no one had told him that we had made that threat. And I found that very discouraging and surprising.

Posted by: b | Sep 26 2006 19:06 utc | 12

Can any of our economically literate barflies comment on small cokes' post?

Does that suggest that any well-run reasonably debt-free co. is now prey for the predators. Suck a pile of cash/run up the debt & dump it leaving us the customers to cover it w/sky-rocketing bills?

Posted by: jj | Sep 26 2006 19:33 utc | 13

Does that suggest that any well-run reasonably debt-free co. is now prey for the predators. Suck a pile of cash/run up the debt & dump it leaving us the customers to cover it w/sky-rocketing bills?

That is standard operation procedure all over the world.

Posted by: b | Sep 27 2006 3:26 utc | 14

The Military Commissions Act of 2006
HR 6054
Sec. 8. Retroactive Applicability
"This Act shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply retroactively including--

(1) to any aspect of detention, treatment, or any person detained at any time since September 11, 2001; and

(2) to any claim or cause of action pending on or after the date of the enactment of this Act."

Article 1, section 9 of theU S Constitution

"No Bill of Attainder or Ex Post Facto Law shall be passed."

With all the lawyers we have in Washington, one would think someone would recognize that;
RETROACTIVE APPLICABILITY
is equal to
EX POST FACTO

How did this ever get out of committee?

Posted by: tescht | Sep 27 2006 4:25 utc | 15

"Reality just isn't Amerikan"


Back in the day when it was still acceptable to tell irish jokes in england, polish jokes in amerika and norwegian jokes in sweden, one such hilarious tale went:
"Did you hear about The Irish/Polish/Norwegian bloke who kept hitting himself on the head with a hammer? When asked why he was doing it the irishman/pole/norwegian said "Because it feels so good when I stop".

yeah I know you had to be there, but I was reminded of that ethnocentric little yarn just before, after coming across NYT coverage of the Bushista release of the report on “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States” of the national intelligence estimate into the consequences for amerika of the invasion of Iraq.

The release came after the leaks of a few days ago, when what BushCo claimed was selective parts of the report, which told the world what most already knew that is the illegal, terrorist invasion of Iraq by amerika and it's band of coulda-been, wanna-be and once-were, brown-nosed lackeys has increased the feelings of antipathy toward amerika from most of the world in general and followers of Islam in particular, caused a minor hubbub.

It transpires that this report had been kept classified for a reason, the reason being that this report was a real assessment rather than the bullshit public relations exercise which everything else from the congressional inquiry into 911 or the investigation of conditions at Guantanamo have produced. When BushCo first announced that they were releasing the report in it's entirety (well almost, there have been some redactions, most likely the recommendation that if shrub and co stop poking arabs with a stick, the arabs will probably stop fighting back) it was assumed that by releasing the report in full BushCo would be able to to direct the attention of their ever compliant 'chooks' to the ass-covering pieces traditionally put in heavy-weight reports just in case they fall into the wrong hands. The paragraphs which completely contradict the tenor of the reports findings, in the case of this report most would have expected something about "US military might has delivered success in Iraq and this has discouraged n angry young muslims from reaching for their martyrs' hijab" Obviously untrue but sufficient to cosmetically defuse any leak.

However this report is no "curates egg" (ie Something which is part good, part bad). Whoever made it slipped up badly and now the best that BushCo can direct their hens towards is piece which claims
“Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.”

So the amerikan plan is to keep fighting and dying in the hope that if amerika eventually 'wins', that will discourage 'jihadists' from fighting any more.

See; it's the international equivalent of hitting yerself on the head, just so that when you do stop you will 'feel better'. Not as good as you would have felt if you hadn't started whacking the cerebellum with a ball pein, but better than you felt while you were doing it.

Mind you, considering the implications of this sad truth is nearly as bad as using the steel on yourself anyway.

It was only a week ago shrub">http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3119676.stm">shrub conceeded Saddam Hussein was in no way connected to the WTC murders on 911.

Now a normal inquiring mind would be thinking "OK invading Iraq had nothing to do with fighting the so-called terrorists which amerikans were so hot under the collar about. However if invading Iraq has vastly increased the numbers of people that amerikans consider terrorists, although few if any are in Iraq, ipso facto, the invasion of iraq has been a disasterous strategy."

Yet none of shrubs feathered friends would even consider asking him or any of his offsiders how they reconciled that "dogs balls-like" snippet of the bleeding fucking obvious with their un-wavering belief in the efficacy of them-selves as amerikan civil servants!

Even worse the bulk of amerikans will tune in to "24" or some-such pasteurised pap for a dose of the right kind of reality, the kind where those godamned terrorists get shown just what amerika can do; rather 'deal with' that level of real reality.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 27 2006 4:30 utc | 16

I always wished I had died, and I still wish that, because I could have gotten the whole thing over with.
Andy Warhol


"You never know what your history is going to be like until long after you're gone." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2006

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 27 2006 9:48 utc | 17

Forget about Karl Rove. When it comes to reading the political tea leaves, Rove can't hold a candle to oily Saudis. They keep one hand on the pulse of American markets and the other hand cupped firmly around the balls of American politicians.

When times are good the Saudis cut oil production and prices rise. When they go too far and high energy prices spark economic or political disruptions that threaten their racket, the Saudis "ride to the rescue," by flooding the market with oil and driving the price down - temporarily. [...]

The Saudis pay close attention to all things American. And they didn't like what their hearing and reading lately. The oil-friendly GOP could lose control of one or both Houses of Congress. Americans were dumping their gas guzzlers for hybrids and billions of dollars or R&D money was going into developing vehicles that would only need oil to lubricate their wheel bearings.

Time to pump and dump.

So, enjoy your cheap gas, you petroleum whores out there. Because it won't last. Just as soon at the elections are over, and you change your mind about switching to a hybrid, the Saudis will cut production and gas prices will go back up. And there you'll be, stuck with a GOP House and Senate for two more years, and with a 60-month loan on a brand new gasoline burning albastros aound your neck. Suckers!

I don't know for sure whether the Saudis can pull it off again, but my gut tells me they will [...] That's largely the fault of Democrats for running on a vacuous "vote for us because we're not them," campaign.

Who's Your (Real) Daddy?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 27 2006 11:27 utc | 18

How do you know a Republican is lying? Ask one: If the Republicans can lower gas prices for 60 days before an election, why won't they do it all the time?

Posted by: | Sep 27 2006 11:29 utc | 19

guess i'll stop reading robert dreyfuss now.

There’s no denying that the war in Iraq has had a catastrophic effect on American interests. It has opened a festering wound at the heart of the Middle East, a vortex of violence that threatens to fragment the nation of Iraq and spill over Iraq’s borders into all six of its neighbors. The war has inflamed Arab and Muslim public opinion against the United States. It has alienated America’s allies, particularly in Europe and the Middle East. It has cheered or emboldened America’s adversaries and rivals, including China and Russia. And it has fueled the sort of anti-Americanism articulated by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez at the United Nations last week. [ Beware the NIE]

Posted by: b real | Sep 27 2006 14:55 utc | 20

Firm That Paid Iraq Papers Gets New Deal

A public relations company that participated in a controversial U.S. military program that paid Iraqi newspapers for stories favorable to coalition forces has been awarded another multimillion-dollar media contract with American forces in Iraq.

Washington-based Lincoln Group won a two-year contract to monitor a number of English and Arabic media outlets and produce public relations-type products like talking points or speeches for U.S. forces in Iraq, officials said Tuesday.

...

The contract is worth roughly $6.2 million per year over a two-year period, Johnson said.

The idea is to use the information to "build support" in Iraqi, Arabic, international and U.S. audiences for what the military describes as its goals in Iraq, such as destroying the insurgency and helping Iraqis build a democracy, according to contract documents.

The list of media outlets to be watched includes the New York Times, Fox Television and the satellite channel, Al-Arabiya.

Posted by: b real | Sep 27 2006 15:10 utc | 21

I Was A PR Intern in Iraq

By Willem Marx, Harper's. Posted September 18, 2006.

"I submitted my internship application within days. (Yet by then my cousin's parents had decided she couldn't go to Baghdad and Iraqex had changed its name to Lincoln Group.) .."

excerpt:

R & R and that Jim Sutton had chosen me to be his replacement. Jon quickly sketched out my new I.O. responsibilities. An Army team inside the Al Faw palace, another of Saddam's former residences, would send me news articles they had cobbled together from wire stories and their own reports from the field. It was my job to select the ones that seemed most like Iraqis had written them. I was then to pass these articles along to our Iraqi employees, who would translate the pieces into Arabic and place them in local newspapers. Jon told me that the U.S. Army could hardly carry out this work in their military uniforms, so they hired Lincoln Group, which could operate with far fewer restrictions. It was a bread-and-butter contract, he said, that paid the company about $5 million annually. I asked if the newspapers knew that Lincoln Group or the U.S. military were behind these articles. They did and they didn't, Jon said. The Iraqis working for us posed as freelance journalists, but they also paid editors at the papers to publish the stories -- part of the cost Lincoln Group billed back to the military. "Look," Jon assured me, "it's very straightforward. You just have to keep the military happy."

http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/41479/ >Alternet

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 27 2006 16:11 utc | 22

Some will be familiar but it bears posting again, from Prof. Pollkatz Pool of Polls:

http://tinyurl.com/ok4u9>chart

http://www.pollkatz.homestead.com/ >Pollkatz home

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 27 2006 16:37 utc | 23

No economist me - via xymphora:

“In yesterday’s WSJ in Section C there is a very, very interesting item in the article, Some Investors Lose Their Zest For Commodities.

The article notes that over that past few months, commodity funds have been liquidating commodity holdings. But here’s the stunner: “Consider the Goldman Sachs commodity index, one of the most popular vehicles for betting on raw materials. In July, Goldman Sachs tweaked the index’s content by cutting its exposure to gasoline. Investors tracking the index had to adjust their portfolios accordingly which sent gasoline futures prices tumbling.”

http://www.mdgreens.org/montgomery/blog/2006/09/27/714/ >Montgomery blog


Posted by: Noirette | Sep 27 2006 17:08 utc | 24

Bizarro Conservatism and Its Discontents, by Justin Raimondo


excerpt [emphasis added]:


There was a time . . . when Americans feared the accumulation of power, especially when it accrued to the federal government in Washington: conservatives of the Goldwater stripe (and, further back, the followers of Sen. Robert A. Taft), were especially vigilant against this danger. . . Both Left and Right were joined at the root by the American libertarian consensus – a reflexive distrust of government power rooted in history and reinforced by a rebellious temperament embedded in the American consciousness.

No more: today, the "conservatives" on the Fox "News" channel and the Rush Limbaugh-radio talk show circuit are worshippers at the altar of State Power. No expansion of governmental authority is too vast, too broad, too brazenly contrary to the spirit and letter of the Constitution to evade their enthusiastic endorsement. . .

The ultimate expansion of the "unlawful combatant" definition to include any and all opposition to the War Party, whether military or political, is only a matter of time, and not much time at that. This administration and its allies have long maintained that their critics are "objectively" aiding the terrorist enemy. If Iraq is the main theater of our war on terrorism, then criticism of the war effort, such as organizing an antiwar demonstration, amounts to "material support" for "hostilities against the United States." . . .

For once, I agree with Andrew Sullivan:

"Whatever else this is, it is not a constitutional democracy. It is a thinly-veiled military dictatorship, subject to only one control: the will of the Great Decider. And the war that justifies this astonishing attack on American liberty is permanent, without end. "

I might add, however, that Sullivan is only getting what he asked for. . .

The program of the War Party – perpetual war and the creation of an American empire – had to mean the overthrow of our constitutional republic, and the rise of… something else. Something that has been, so far, alien to America, but is now, sadly, a looming possibility: a dictatorship "legally" empowered by "emergency" measures, such as the one presently before the Senate [.pdf].

Posted by: manonfyre | Sep 27 2006 17:26 utc | 25

Saudi Arabia has said it is pushing ahead with plans to build a 900km fence along its border with Iraq in an attempt to improve security

A lot of work for fencing contractors these days.

Posted by: DM | Sep 27 2006 19:02 utc | 26

"A lot of work for fencing contractors these days."

When will they figure out that fence building and the need for fencing *is* the problem.?

Posted by: pb | Sep 27 2006 19:19 utc | 27

this one for rememberinggiap - judge on gotti trial declares another mistrial, the third mistrial.

Posted by: conchita | Sep 27 2006 21:59 utc | 28

conchita

yes, john gotti the younger is a gangster so mimpoverished he is probably the gangland version of douglas feith or paul wolfowitz

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 27 2006 22:22 utc | 29

7-Eleven drops Citgo gasoline; cites Chavez speech

7-Eleven Inc. will drop Venezuelan-controlled Citgo Petroelum Corp. as its gasoline supplier, the convenience store operator said on Wednesday, a week after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called U.S. President George W. Bush "the devil."

7-Eleven said in a statement it was switching to its own branded gasoline at more than 2,100 company-owned and franchise U.S. stores. Citgo has been 7-Eleven's gasoline supplier for 20 years.

A Citgo spokesman was not immediately available to comment on the 7-Eleven decision.

Dallas-based 7-Eleven expressed sympathy for anger at Chavez due to comments made in a U.N. General Assembly speech last week.

"Regardless of politics, we sympathize with many Americans' concerns over derogatory comments about our country and its leadership recently made by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez," 7-Eleven said in a statement.

and in related news, the CIA is going to stop trafficking cocaine thru ecuador...

Ecuador's top presidential hopeful labels Bush dimwitted

The leftist presidential front-runner in Ecuador said Wednesday that the devil should be insulted by comparisons to U.S. President George W. Bush, whom he called a "dimwitted" leader who has done "great damage" to the world.

Rafael Correa, speaking to Channel 8 television, referred to a U.N. speech last week by his friend, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who caused an uproar in the United States by calling Bush "the devil."

"Calling Bush the devil is offending the devil," said Correa, a U.S. trained economist who leads 12 other candidates in polls ahead of the Oct. 15 election. He said "the devil is evil, but intelligent."

Posted by: b real | Sep 28 2006 4:27 utc | 30

does anyone have access to a link that demonstrates the difference between the original iraqi constitution proposal that was nixed by the US w/regard to their socialized oil revenues and the 'improved 'version that opened it up to privatization?

Posted by: annie | Sep 28 2006 4:53 utc | 31

Lincoln group: U.S. to Gauge Iraqi Support for Operations

The Baghdad command also confirmed yesterday that it has awarded a two-year, $12.4 million contact to handle strategic communications management to the Lincoln Group, the Washington-based public relations company found late last year to have been paying money to place favorable articles in the Iraqi news media.

William Dixon, a spokesman for the Lincoln Group, said yesterday he could not comment on the details of particular contracts and deferred comment to the Baghdad command.

Lincoln was the lowest of seven bidders on what was estimated as a $20 million contract to help military commanders in Baghdad get what they considered the positive side of their operations in the news, according to one of the bidders who was briefed on the contract. The contract calls for providing media strategy such as setting up news conferences and public speeches, media training for Iraqi government officials in addition to military commanders, and monitoring of Middle East and some U.S. news outlets, including The Washington Post, New York Times and major television networks. The monitoring would include creating a database of articles graded as favorable or unfavorable.

Lincoln's practices have attracted controversy, most recently because of a report in the current issue of Harper's Magazine. In it, Willem Marx, an Oxford University student, describes working for Lincoln in Baghdad last summer and using a spreadsheet listing amounts charged by Iraqi newspapers to run articles written by Army personnel, at costs that ran from $50 to $1,500.

At least one of the bidders who lost to Lincoln is considering a challenge to the award based on Lincoln's record.

Lincoln's spokesman dismissed the article's claims. "The former intern's exaggerated and misleading account does not accurately depict the firm's activities in the emerging markets and challenging environments," Dixon said.

Posted by: b | Sep 28 2006 6:41 utc | 32

WHAT THE FUCK!?
Keith Olbermann receives phoney anthrax letter.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 28 2006 6:55 utc | 33

I am a deeply superficial person.
Andy Warhol


"As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself -- not here at the hospital, but in combat with a cedar. I eventually won. The cedar gave me a little scratch. As a matter of fact, the Colonel asked if I needed first aid when she first saw me. I was able to avoid any major surgical operations here, but thanks for your compassion, Colonel." --George W. Bush, after visiting with wounded veterans from the Amputee Care Center of Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 1, 2006

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 28 2006 7:14 utc | 34

WHAT THE FUCK!? Keith Olbermann receives phoney anthrax letter.


Why the fuck did the NY Post put this on the gossip page??? Since when, did an anthrax scare become fodder for the gossip pages? A serious crime has been committed, and these fuck joke about it?

more, here...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 28 2006 7:18 utc | 35

From WaPo, Oct. 23, 2001. White House Mail Machine Has Anthrax "At least some White House personnel were given Cipro six weeks ago. White House officials won't discuss who might be receiving the anthrax-treating antibiotic now.

On the night of the Sept. 11 attacks, the White House Medical Office dispensed Cipro to staff accompanying Vice President Dick Cheney as he was secreted off to the safety of Camp David, and told them it was 'a precaution,' according to one person directly involved."

Judicial Watch article about their FOIA request:(which btw has yet to be answered)

White House Dodges Anthrax Questions: Bush Administration Stonewalls On Production of Documents Concerning Decision to Put Staff on Cipro
Beginning September 11, 2001

All this on the heels of the recent controversial article : FBI is Casting a Wider Net in Anthrax Attacks saying, "The strain of anthrax used in the attacks has turned out to be more common than was initially believed" and wasn't weaponized. Which screams cover-up to me.


Student shootings in the State of Colorado, again, this all sounds like a repeat....fear fear fear!

Is this about Olbermann or the election?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 28 2006 8:23 utc | 36

Addendum

Not to mention the scooter libby bomb scare incident this AM.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 28 2006 8:30 utc | 37

Debs is Dead:
"Even worse the bulk of amerikans will tune in to "24" or some-such pasteurised pap for a dose of the right kind of reality, the kind where those godamned terrorists get shown just what amerika can do; rather 'deal with' that level of real reality."


Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research
Confidence in Iraq Policies Drops to 20% in U.S.
September 28, 2006

Polling Data
How confident are you that U.S. policies in Iraq will be successful?
Sept. 2006 Sept. 2005 Sept. 2004
Confident 20% 23% 29%
Not confident 61% 59% 54%
Not sure 19% 18% 18%


Even if the "bulk" of Americans are watching "24" or similar TV shows, which I doubt, (I have never watched 24 so I don't really know anything about it) such propaganda does not appear to be yielding much confidence with the populace regarding the Iraq War.

What makes you believe (or imply) that the majority of Americans support the War in Iraq? Are these surrealists that you cite nothing but your make believe amerikans? The majority of Americans do not support the War nor the Bush Administration.

Reality is not Debs is Dead's bigotry.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Sep 28 2006 8:31 utc | 38

WIKI HISTORY OF THE AS OF YET UNSOLVED 2001 aNTHRAX ATTACKS ATTACKS

Mark my words, some neothug is going to say something to the effect that the liberals had something to do with this, if only to give them (the liberals) fodder to attack Bush, FURTHER, I wouldn't be suprized if they even come out and say, Olbermann sent it to himself.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 28 2006 8:45 utc | 39

http://www.counterpunch.org/spinney09272006.html>Skullduggery in the pentagons funding crisis, is apparently nothing new, considering Rumsfeld has been the overseer -- in whats called (here) the "autoCarterization" of the pentagons Industrial Complex budget machinations:

Moreover, when considering the nature of the current meltdown, one must also remember the scale of the Pentagon's operations is tiny when compared to earlier wars, like Vietnam or Korea. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, taken together, are very small operations in terms of numbers troops and equipment deployed and activity tempos. A comparison with Vietnam is very telling: if one removes the effects of inflation, the current Defense budget level exceeds that of Vietnam at its peak in 1969, when we had 550,000 troops deployed in the combat theater. And remember, the United States was also engaged in a Cold War, which included preparations for a major conventional war against the Warsaw Pact in Western Europe, as well as all-out nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Those preparations required about a million additional troops forward deployed in West Europe and non-Vietnam East Asia, several million in the states to provide the supporting training and rotation base, and tens of thousands of nuclear warheads in a high-cost hair-trigger alert status, and a very large navy to combat the Soviet Navy while protecting our long sea-based lines of communication. Nothing today compares with that effort. Today, the US is spending more money on defense, yet milcrats like Moseley tell us they must rob the readiness accounts of a much smaller force in time of war to preserve a high-cost modernization program which is a legacy of the last war. Moreover, these decisions to rob the readiness accounts are occurring at a time when some soldiers and Marines are on their third or fourth tours in Iraq/Afghanistan (which was almost unheard of in Vietnam) and the Pentagon is mobilizing reserves, extending combat rotations, and issuing stop loss orders to prevent soldiers from punching out of the not-so-all-volunteer military.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 28 2006 9:23 utc | 40

I suppose, Rick, where the rubber hits the road will be whether that 20% confidence (in the war) translates -- or overcomes in the upcomming elections, the Murdoch induced trance. And is relegated to the annoying but tolerable price of the show must go on.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 28 2006 9:43 utc | 41

Iran: Pentagon study claims U.S. broadcasts to Iran aren't tough enough

In another indication that some in the Bush administration are pushing for a more confrontational policy toward Iran, a Pentagon unit has drafted a report charging that U.S. international broadcasts into Iran aren't tough enough on the Islamic regime.

The report appears to be a gambit by some officials in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's office and elsewhere to gain sway over television and radio broadcasts into Iran, one of the few direct tools the United States has to reach the Iranian people.

McClatchy Newspapers obtained a copy of the report this week, and it also has circulated on Capitol Hill. It accuses the Voice of America's Persian TV service and Radio Farda, a U.S. government Farsi-language broadcast, of taking a soft line toward Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime and not giving adequate time to government critics.

U.S. broadcasting officials and others who've read the report said it's riddled with errors.

They also see it as a thinly veiled attack on the independence of U.S. international broadcasting, which by law is supposed to represent a balanced view of the United States and provide objective news.
...
Three U.S. government officials identified the author of the report as Ladan Archin, a civilian Iran specialist who works for Rumsfeld.

Archin was out of town this week and unavailable for comment. She works in a recently established Pentagon unit known as the Iran directorate.

Lt. Col. Mark Ballesteros, a Pentagon spokesman, said last week that the unit was established this spring as part of a government-wide reorganization aimed at better promoting democracy in Iran. He confirmed Tuesday night that Archin had been asked to prepare the report. "It was meant to be a look at how the program was working and to determine if it was an effective use of taxpayer dollars," Ballesteros said.
...
A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the National Security Council staff recently requested a report on Persian-language broadcasting.

The report was prepared for an inter-agency committee on policy toward Iran called the Iran Steering Group, which is co-chaired by the National Security Council and the State Department.
...
Archin and a State Department official, David Denehy, reportedly traveled to Los Angeles earlier this year to explore the idea of funding commercial satellite TV broadcasts into Iran that are run by members of California's large Iranian-American community, which is generally strongly opposed to Iran's clerical government.

Posted by: b | Sep 28 2006 10:43 utc | 42

Remembering Atlanta's White Race Riots of 1906


A voice which we recognized as that of the son of the grocer with whom we had traded for many years yelled, “That’s where that nigger mail carrier lives! Let’s burn it down! It’s too nice for a nigger to live in!” In the eerie light Father turned his drawn face toward me. In a voice as quiet as though he were asking me to pass him the sugar at the breakfast table, he said, “Son, don’t shoot until the first man puts his foot on the lawn and then—don’t you miss!”
The mob moved toward the lawn. I tried to aim my gun, wondering what it would feel like to kill a man. Suddenly there was a volley of shots. The mob hesitated, stopped. Some friends of my father’s had barricaded themselves in a two-story brick building just below our house. It was they who had fired. Some of the mobsmen, still bloodthirsty, shouted, “Let’s go get the nigger.” Others, afraid now for their safety, held back. Our friends, noting the hesitation, fired another volley. The mob broke and retreated up Houston Street.

In the quiet that followed I put my gun aside and tried to relax. But a tension different from anything I had ever known possessed me. I was gripped by the knowledge of my identity, and in the depths of my soul I was vaguely aware that I was glad of it. I was sick with loathing for the hatred which had flared before me that night and come so close to making me a killer; but I was glad I was not one of those who hated; I was glad I was not one of those made sick and murderous by pride.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Sep 28 2006 11:48 utc | 43

@ b real (#30):

Is Bush Really The Devil?

Satan has better taste in shoes. Is far sexier. Can actually spell 'Venezuela.' I mean, come *on*

...

Here is Lucifer, a massive, thunderous hero, subtle and intelligent and enormously articulate, full of passion and red-hot anarchy, the ultimate rebel. He is often seen reclining in his cavernous, rocky lair, lying on his side, all muscled godlike beauty and ruined glory and deep seduction and heat. He is just terribly, wonderfully alluring.

See? Right there, already we're a galaxy away from Dubya. Bush, of course, has no such magnificence. Bush is small and quivery and eats his vanilla pudding with a fork. While Satan orates and philosophizes at great intellectual length, Dubya can't even sit still during an entire State of the Union address without fidgeting and moving his upper body back and forth like a little metronome, twitching and squirming like a child.

...

Sorry Mr. Chávez, but Bush is no Devil: He is not nearly capable enough, sexy enough, charming enough, debauched or gloriously ruined enough. Bush cannot possibly fill the Devil's gorgeous, tragic Prada shoes. He's far more akin to something to be scraped from the bottom of them.

I'm dropping 7-Eleven. (and thanks for the link JFL)

Posted by: beq | Sep 28 2006 13:22 utc | 44

Strangely finding myself approving of Ah-nold

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation Wednesday setting California on course to reduce the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, a major political victory for the governor and a step that environmental and political leaders predict will have worldwide ramifications.

In a ceremony on San Francisco's Treasure Island with the city's skyline as a backdrop, Schwarzenegger declared the beginning of "a bold new era of environmental protection in California that will change the course of history" as he approved AB 32, which calls for the state to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases by 25 percent by 2020.

The new law, the first of its kind in the nation, could lead to a dizzying array of changes in industry and elsewhere that will be seen in cities, on farms and on freeways.

During the next decade, state regulators could require more public transportation, more densely built housing, a major new investment in projects that tap into the wind and sun to generate electricity, millions of new trees and even new ways for farmers to handle animal waste.

Aides to the governor said he also planned to sign legislation later this week that will prohibit the state's electric utilities from buying electricity from high-polluting out-of-state power plants, a key step toward cleaning up the state's power supply.

Schwarzenegger put his signature on AB 32 a little more than a year after he made international headlines by announcing that the debate over global warming was over and that California should act. The move sets the state on a markedly different path than the federal government -- President Bush has resisted the idea of capping emissions, saying it would ruin the nation's economy.

The president's warnings were echoed this year as major business groups -- many of whom are allies of Schwarzenegger -- suggested that California would send businesses scurrying out of state if it acted alone to limit emissions of greenhouse gases.

But on Wednesday, Schwarzenegger and others insisted that the caps would spur new clean-technology businesses and that other states, and eventually the federal government, would follow California's lead.

"You are showing brilliant leadership that will inspire people around the world,'' said British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who predicted that the new California law would spur a larger global market that allows companies to buy and sell emissions credits. Blair noted the law could encourage similar laws in "states within the United States of America as well, and hopefully in time from the whole of America.''

Blair, whose country is part of the Kyoto Protocol requiring countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, was beamed in via satellite to the morning ceremony, a well-choreographed event that was duplicated in the afternoon in Malibu. With flags from countries around the world on one side of the stage, a vast lighting system and a giant video monitor displaying Blair and images of the other speakers, it was a Hollywood-quality production.

Joining Schwarzenegger was San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome, Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez and New York Gov. George Pataki, who helped instigate an effort by New York and seven other Northeastern states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

California's law makes it the first state in the country to focus on all industries.

...

Despite a contentious legislative battle this year over the bill, the legislation leaves most of the heavy lifting to the state's Air Resources Board, which now is charged with numerous duties in achieving the state's 2020 goal -- a deadline that will occur long after both Schwarzenegger and the lawmakers who voted for AB 32 are out of office.

By January 2008, the board is expected to have developed new rules requiring most industries to report their current greenhouse gas emissions, a key first step. The board also must determine by that time the exact amount of gas that needs to be reduced; experts suggested it will be more than 170 million metric tons of gases.

That's more carbon dioxide than every car in the state combined produces now.

Other deadlines follow that, including creation of a fully spelled-out plan for meeting the target by January 2011 and enforcement beginning in 2012. The board also can consider implementing a so-called cap and trade system, which would allow companies to buy and sell credits for emission reductions, allowing one company that lowers emissions more than required to sell credits to another firm, for example.

Each step will involve public hearings and is likely to feature battles -- and litigation -- among regulators, businesses and environmental groups.

"In many ways, what was done this year was the easy part,'' said Bill Magavern, a lobbyist with the Sierra Club. "The implementation will be the hard part.''

The state had already begun to tackle global warming, and the track record so far illustrates how difficult hitting the reduction target could be.

A law passed before Schwarzenegger took office that requires automakers to reduce tailpipe emissions from cars beginning in 2009, which would account for a major portion of the new law's target, has been held up in court after carmakers sued the state. Trial begins in January.

Posted by: conchita | Sep 28 2006 13:55 utc | 45

They will get rid of Makleki, as soon as the US election is over:
American Commanders Question Political Will Of Iraqi Prime Minister

Posted by: b | Sep 28 2006 14:15 utc | 46

@ conchita - I don't know much about what's going on in California, but is Ah-nold worried about Camejo maybe?

Posted by: beq | Sep 28 2006 15:44 utc | 47

i know exactly the link you want annie and i saw it once so it does exist but i couldn’t find it

here is the old (1925) Iraq constitution, not much help I know

http://www.geocities.com/dagtho/iraqiconst19250321.html>geocities

BEST blogger - scientific - on the anthrax attacks, lots of careful explanations, no hype, last entry 2003:

http://anthrax2001.blogspot.com/>anthrax2001

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 28 2006 16:27 utc | 48

@anna missed #34

Is this a genuine quote? Are there any good psychiatrists among us? What kind of personality pathology is reflected there? Narcissism seems far too kind a label... If Bush really said that, he has just sunk even further -- far further -- in my estimation (which would be really hard to do since he was already skanking around on the bottom of the deepest ocean floor of my regard, scavenging for detritus...)

Posted by: Bea | Sep 28 2006 17:52 utc | 49

Bea,

He said it, and I think that in comparison, the operative word is "deeply" superficial. Sure, ocean level deep.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 28 2006 18:26 utc | 50

noirette #48, i know it exists also, i saw it in a pdf file, the original the iraqi's proposed in 03 (or possibly 04)and the way it was changed by bremmer/cpa before the 'handover'. probably it was here in the comment section.i know the original used the oil for state use, belonged to the people of iraq. i don't know how to find it. i really want to review. appreciate you looking.riverbend posted about it too, possibly not the oil segment tho and she didn't link to it. it also included provisions for 3 separate states, but possibly that came later in summer of 05.

Iraqi Unions Kept Away from Oil Legislation

they are getting massively screwed.

New Oil Minister Dr Hussein Shahrastani recently announced that Iraq’s new Energy Law will be passed by the end of the year. It is widely predicted to advocate for controversial Production Sharing Agreements to be signed with foreign oil majors. Until now, there has been no public consultation involving trade unions or other civil society groups on the country’s energy policy and economic future.

The Union believes that Iraq’s oil industry is the sovereign property of the Iraqi people and that revenue from the sale of oil should be used to rebuild Iraq on terms and conditions democratically agreed by the Iraqi people.

Posted by: annie | Sep 28 2006 18:42 utc | 51

update/correction on that 7 eleven/citgo story i posted earlier
Venezuela’s Citgo Says it Decided to Discontinue 7/11 Contract Two Months Ago

Caracas, Venezuela, September 28, 2006 —Felix Rodriguez, the CEO of Citgo, the Venezuelan-owned gasoline producer and distributor in the U.S., clarified yesterday that it was Citgo that had let expire its contract with the 7-Eleven convenience store chain and not the other way around, as was broadly reported.

According to most press accounts, 7-Eleven spokespersons implied that the discontinuation of the supply contract for its gas stations was at least partially motivated by Chavez’s UN speech, in which he referred to President Bush as the “Devil.”

“[The reports are] a manipulation because ever since the month of July have we announced that we did not intend to renew a contract with [7-Eleven], which was 20-years old and that was part of a bad business deal for Venezuela,” said Rodriguez in a telephone interview with the Venezuelan state TV channel VTV.

Rodriguez went on to explain that the contract forced Citgo to purchase non-Venezuelan crude that it would refine and sell to 7-Eleven at a very low price. “We were losing money,” added Rodriguez.

Headlines in a wide variety of U.S. news outlets reported yesterday and today that the decision to cancel the Citgo contract was made by 7-Eleven.

...

7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris was apparently the main source for creating the impression that it was 7-Eleven’s decision to drop Citgo and not the other way around. Chabris told the Associated Press, “Certainly Chavez's position and statements over the past year or so didn't tempt us to stay with Citgo.”

Citgo CEO Rodriguez announced that his company would demand from 7-Eleven that it clarify its participation in creating the impression that decision to discontinue the sale of Citgo gas was its decision and was politically motivated.

more truth-telling from chris floyd
Twilight Struggle: Finally Standing Up as the Republic Crashes Down

So the New York Times has finally roused itself and laid out the straight facts about the presidential tyranny that has been erected around the pathetic figure of George W. Bush: Rushing Off a Cliff. The Times is to be lauded for this eloquent and powerful depiction of our degraded political state, and you should read it in full. But a few vital points must mitigate our praise of this otherwise remarkable editorial.

First, and most importantly: it comes very, very late in the game – perhaps too late. All of the tyrannical powers enumerated by the editorial were claimed – and put into practice – by Bush and Cheney five years ago.

...

Second, the editorial, as strong as it is, doesn't go far enough: We not looking at "our generation's version of the Alien and Sedition Acts" as the newspaper puts it; things are much farther gone than that. What we are looking at is the death knell of the constitutional republic of the United States. Bush has long claimed dictatorial powers in secret; if Congress writes these liberty-gutting strictures into law, then the fundamental nature of the American state will be transformed. It will not be, in any sense – not even formally – a free country anymore. All of our rights and liberties will be the "gift" of the President, who can bestow them – or revoke them – as he sees fit.

Third, many legal experts note that the language of the laws in question here does not specifically exclude their application to citizens of the United States.

...

The Times has taken a good, strong first step; now they need to march forward boldly and tell the rest of the truth. Bush's "War on Terror" is coming to the Homeland, and its target is the American people. Bush and his handlers want to destroy the ability of anyone to oppose their hard-right – and overwhelmingly unpopular – agenda. It's the only way the Faction can maintain its domination – and avoid prosecution for its many crimes. They're fighting for their freedom – so they'll take ours. They're fighting for their lives – so they'll take ours.

Next time, the NYT should put a piece like this on the front page – and end it with a call for mass marches in the street, exhorting the American people to rally for their liberty and bring down the bloodstained tyrants who have usurped the Republic and dishonored our name.

Posted by: b real | Sep 28 2006 18:45 utc | 52

The creeping US policy foreign take-over by establishment globalists continues to gain momentun. Not only consigliere Baker is at busily at work cobbling together a new consensus, Condi's mentor Shultz is too:

A wide-ranging report released in Washington on Wednesday, the Princeton Project on National Security suggested that the policies pursued by President George W Bush since September 11, 2001, had been simplistic - even counter-productive - for the challenges facing the United States in the 21st century. (...)
The project and its 90-page report, "Forging a World of Liberty Under Law: US National Security in the 21st Century", was co-directed by the head of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and John Ikenberry, a prominent international-relations scholar at the school.
Of greater significance, however, is the high-level and bipartisan cast of its participants. Honorary co-chairs of the project included George Shultz, who served as secretary of state under the late president Ronald Reagan and is considered particularly influential with the current secretary, Condoleezza Rice, and Anthony Lake, national security adviser under president Bill Clinton.(...)
While endorsing Bush's position that "preventive strikes represent a necessary tool in fighting terror networks ... they should be proportionate and based on intelligence that adheres to strict standards". Similarly, the preventive use of force against states "should be very rare, employed only as a last resort and authorized by a multilateral institution - preferably a reformed Security Council".
In addition to calling for greater US effort and balance in promoting an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement and for offering security guarantees to Iran, the report urges Washington to reduce its ambitions in Iraq from full democratization to PAR, to redeploy US troops in ways that would encourage Iraqis to take more responsibility, and, in the event of civil war, to contain its regional impact. At the same time, Washington should promote the construction of regional institutions modeled on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
To combat radicalization in the Islamic world, Washington should also make clear that it is willing to work with "Islamic governments and Islamic/Islamist movements, including fundamentalists, as long as they disavow terrorism".
"It is time to unite our country and our allies, while dividing our enemies - rather than the other way around," said Ikenberry.

To all those still staying up at night fearing the US might nuke Iran: you can go to sleep now. Imagine: uniting our country and allies while dividing our enemies --- what a revolutionary concept!

Posted by: Guthman Bey | Sep 28 2006 22:56 utc | 53

Sex, Drugs, Mind Control, and Gitmo

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 28 2006 22:59 utc | 54

@ #50: I think, deeply shallow.

Posted by: beq | Sep 28 2006 23:44 utc | 55

@ conchita, #45

Does this mean Arnold is going to give up his Hummer and bring back the EV-1?

Posted by: catlady | Sep 29 2006 0:15 utc | 56

one less constitutional protection, one more degree warmer. some more good news:

'One degree and we're done for'

Fred Pearce

27 September 2006 (From New Scientist)


"Further global warming of 1 °C defines a critical threshold. Beyond that we will likely see changes that make Earth a different planet than the one we know."

So says Jim Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. Hansen and colleagues have analysed global temperature records and found that surface temperatures have been increasing by an average of
0.2 °C every decade for the past 30 years. Warming is greatest in the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere, particularly in the sub-Arctic boreal forests of Siberia and North America. Here the melting of ice and snow is
exposing darker surfaces that absorb more sunlight and increase warming, creating a positive feedback.

Earth is already as warm as at any time in the last 10,000 years, and is within 1 °C of being its hottest for a million years, says Hansen's team. Another decade of business-as-usual carbon emissions will probably make it
too late to prevent the ecosystems of the north from triggering runaway climate change, the study concludes (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol 103, p 14288).

The analysis reinforces a series of recent findings on accelerating environmental disruption in Siberia, northern Canada and Alaska, underlining a growing scientific consensus that these regions are pivotal to climate change. Earlier this month, NASA scientists reported that climate
change was speeding up the melting of Arctic sea ice. Permanent sea ice has contracted by 14 per cent in the past two years (Geophysical Research Letters, vol 33, L17501). However, warming and melting have been just as dramatic on
land in the far north.

A meeting on Siberian climate change held in Leicester, UK, last week confirmed that Siberia has become a hotspot of global climate change. Geographer Heiko Balzter, of the University of Leicester, said central Siberia has warmed by almost 2 °C since 1970 - that's three times the global
average.

Meanwhile, Stuart Chapin of the University of Alaska Fairbanks this week reported that air temperatures in the Alaskan interior have risen by 2 °C since 1950, and permafrost temperatures have risen by 2.5 °C (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0606955103).

In Siberia the warming is especially pronounced in winter. "It has caused the onset of spring to advance by as much as one day a year since satellite observations began in 1982," says Balzter. Similarly, Alaskan springs now arrive two weeks earlier than in 1950, according to Chapin.

The Leicester meeting heard that the rising temperatures are causing ecological changes in the forests that ratchet up the warming still further. Vladimir Petko from the Russian Academy of Sciences Forest Research Institute in Krasnoyarsk says warm springs are triggering plagues of
moths. "They can eat the needles of entire forest regions in one summer," he says. The trees die and then usually succumb to forest fires that in turn destroy soil vegetation and accelerate the melting of permafrost, Petko says.

In 2003 Siberia saw a record number of forest fires, losing 40,000 square kilometres according to Balzter, who has analysed remote sensing images of the region. Similar changes are occurring in Alaska. According to Chapin,
warming there has shortened the life cycle of the bark beetle from two years to one, causing huge infestations and subsequent fires, which destroyed huge areas of forest in 2004. "The current boreal forest zone could be so dried
out by 2090 that the trees will die off and be replaced by steppe," says Nadezhda Tchebakova, also at the institute in Krasnoyarsk.

Melting permafrost in the boreal forests and further north in the Arctic tundra is also triggering the release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from thick layers of thawing peat. First reports published exclusively in
New Scientist last year (13 August 2005, p 12) were recently confirmed by US scientists (Nature, vol 443, p 71).

"Large amounts of greenhouse gases are currently locked in the permafrost and if released could accelerate the greenhouse effect," says Balzter. Hansen's paper concludes that the effects of this positive feedback could be
huge. "In past eras, the release of methane from melting permafrost and destabilised sediments on continental shelves has probably been responsible for some of the largest warmings in the Earth's history," he says. "The release of methane from melting permafrost has been responsible for some of the largest warmings in history"

We could be close to unleashing similar events in the 21st century, Hansen argues. Although the feedbacks should remain modest as long as global temperatures remain within the range of recent interglacial periods of the past million years, outside that range - beyond a further warming of about 1°C - the feedbacks could accelerate. Such changes may become inevitable if the world does not begin to curb greenhouse gas emissions within the next decade, Hansen says.

Meanwhile, another new study underlines that the boreal peat bogs, permafrost and pine forests are not just vital to the planet as a whole, they are major economic assets for the countries that host them. A detailed study of the northern boreal forests by environmental consultant Mark
Anielski of Edmonton, Canada, puts the value of their "ecosystem services" at $250 billion a year, or $160 per hectare. "The value of the services this ecosystem performs is more than twice that of the resources taken from the region each year" These benefits include flood control, water purification and pest control provided by forest birds, plus income from wilderness tourism and meat from
wildlife such as caribou. Anielski presented his findings to Canada's National Forest Congress in Gatineau-Ottawa earlier this week.

The value of these ecosystem services is more than twice that of conventional resources taken from the region each year, such as timber, minerals, oil and hydroelectricity, Anielski says. "If they were counted in Canadian inventories of assets, they would amount to roughly 9 per
cent of our gross domestic product - similar in value to our health and social services."

You can add to that figure the value of having such a huge volume of carbon locked away. "The boreal region is like a giant carbon bank account," he says. "At current prices in the European carbon emissions trading system, Canada's stored carbon alone would be worth $3.7 trillion."

And if Hansen is right that the carbon and methane stored in the boreal regions has the potential to transform the world into "another planet", then the boreal region may be worth a great deal more than that.

From issue 2571 of New Scientist magazine, 27 September 2006, page 8-9

Posted by: conchita | Sep 29 2006 0:43 utc | 57

catlady, as said bymedea benjamin: "the polluting, gas-guzzling, menacing Hummer is the quintessential symbol of human arrogance against mother nature." with arrogance being the operative word, i think the chances are slim. besides it's been over four years now since he said he would retrofit one of them to hydropower. if he does though, it will speak volumes.

Posted by: conchita | Sep 29 2006 0:55 utc | 58

I'm listening to Thom Hartman. Verrry Interesting Bit...2 Senators had the capacity to stop the UnPatriot Act - Leahy & Daschle. They were the only 2 Senators to get letter w/Anthrax.

Posted by: jj | Sep 29 2006 1:15 utc | 59

vermont anyone?

VERMONTERS PROCEED WITH SECESSION TALKS
Thursday, September 28, 2006 - FreeMarketNews.com

Vermont wants to secede from the Union – or at least some are embracing this movement. According to an article in the New York Sun, the First North American Secessionist Convention in Burlington, VT, organized by the pro-secession think tank, the Middlebury Institute is making plans for a November meeting.

The story quotes Kirkpatrick Sale, director of the institute, as saying over a dozen secessionist organizations are due to send representatives to the November 3-4 gathering, and noting Vermont as an appropriate for such discussion, given its history as an independent republic between 1777 and 1791, as well as New England's heritage as both revolution founder and radical hotbed. "Vermont has a very strong self-identity," he reportedly says, and secession is "the only principled, moral way to go," with the goal being not the takeover of any national government but to "simply absent ourselves from it."


Posted by: conchita | Sep 29 2006 1:26 utc | 60

ILOVERMONT = "purposefully and materially supporting hostilities against the United States."

Off with their heads!

Posted by: The Queen of Hearts | Sep 29 2006 2:02 utc | 61

americanblackout

Posted by: annie | Sep 29 2006 2:08 utc | 62

Will someone make a bumpersticker saying "We are All Iraqis Now"?

For those concerned that perhaps scientists didn't know enough to create a flu epidemic like 1918 sufficient to put a dent in earth's population, while of course immunizing elites, rest assured that they're getting closer: Scientists uncover why Spanish Flu was so deadly

Posted by: jj | Sep 29 2006 5:46 utc | 63

@jj #63:

Oh, look, it's old news masquerading as new news again! It's been known for some time now that the 1918 flu was so deadly because it caused a disproportionate immune response. I forget which of the popular books on the subject published a year or two back it was, but one of them had a nice full chapter describing the analysis. Among other things, the immune response is why the 1918 flu killed an unusually large number of young adults, who usually have a low mortality from that sort of thing -- they have nice strong immune systems, and effectively ended up choking on their own immune response.

Posted by: The Truth Gets Vicious When You Corner It | Sep 29 2006 6:12 utc | 64

@Truth, thanks for the update. But maybe they've filled in more specifics, or not.

I got my copy of Lovelock's new book. Should be able to read it next week.

Posted by: jj | Sep 29 2006 6:31 utc | 65

@jj:

I received notification that my copy is now available, but I'm really kind of afraid to go pick it up. I've been depressed enough lately. Still, forewarned is forearmed...

Posted by: The Truth Gets Vicious When You Corner It | Sep 29 2006 7:33 utc | 66

Art to me is a humanitarian act and I believe that there is a responsibility that art should somehow be able to effect mankind, to make the word a better place.
-- http://www.xs4all.nl/~exadega/koons/>Jeff Koons*


I believe we ought to love our neighbor like we love ourself, as manifested in public policy through the faith-based initiative where we've unleashed the armies of compassion to help heal people who hurt.
-- George Bush, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004

http://bad.eserver.org/issues/1993/04/baker.html>**It may not be stretching it to say that at heart Koons is a utopian, even a religious, artist.
— San Francisco Examiner (12/11/92)

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 29 2006 8:56 utc | 67

@Truth, Agreed. I'm feeling like a glazed - partially mummified after today. Maybe I'll deviate from non-drinking norm & pick up a superb bottle of wine to go w/it, so I'll have a few enjoyable moments!

Posted by: jj | Sep 29 2006 9:03 utc | 68

@JJ et al...

How bout a slice of pie to go along with that wine ...

How to Make a Schadenfreude Pie

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 29 2006 17:43 utc | 69

before you start eating pie, you might want to consider listening to this radio show about the militarization of food:

Please tune in if you possibly can on the radio (100.1 fm, if you're local) or over the station's website (www.wool.fm) if you are distant.

The show is about the Militarization of Food. My guest is Dr. Bill Deagle, a specialist in environmental and military medicine who has been on my show before. Some of you may have heard him. He has not talked about this "big picture" before but feels it is urgent that we get the word out as plans are being pushed forward and gaining momentum.

Have you puzzled about recent government announcements about: approval of virus sprays on meats; the E coli food poisoning outbreak from spinach; research pointing to fallout from DU munitions used in Iraq and Afghanistan as contributing to a global epidemic of obesity and diabetes 2; the government cutback on finding and tracking of mad
cow disease; the attempt to de-regulate food safety in 50 states (eliminating 4 out of 5 food laws and regulations in one blow); news that genetically modified rice has been on our supermarket shelves for 4 years and we've never known it; the stealth invasion of the entire U.S. food supply with genetically modified wheat and corn so that now it is ubiquitous; health problems of rBGH milk; higher levels of toxic pesticides and other carcinogenic chemicals in commercial food; governments of industrial countries and the global food industry under WTO rewriting all rules covering all foods (Codex). We usually see and react to one issue at a time, but what if these changes add up to nothing less than: the deadly militarization of food. Listen to Dr. Bill Deagle and hear him lay it out for you.

Send me your questions for Dr. Deagle before 11 am on Sunday October 1, and I will bring them to the studio and ask as many of them as I can on the air. Send them to me at: luvalu365 @ yahoo.com.

And let me know what you think of the program.

Thanks,
Luise Light, host of "What to Eat"
Radio that tells it like it is,
WOOL-LP, 100.1 fm. 2-3 pm, Sundays
Bellows Falls, VT

Posted by: conchita | Sep 29 2006 19:19 utc | 70

Twelve Democrats crossed party lines to vote for the bill.

Anyone got their names?

Posted by: DM | Sep 29 2006 23:45 utc | 71

dm, check out john francis lee's comment 33 on ex us lawmaker alleges torture for a headcount.

Posted by: conchita | Sep 29 2006 23:54 utc | 72

this is a chant from a funeral march in iraq he breaks down . this person blogged about the loss of his good friends, 4 of them. scroll just a little.

Posted by: annie | Sep 30 2006 4:00 utc | 73

(annie I’ll go on looking it must exist somewhere...)

From Bangladesh: From the Daily Star, 30 Sept. 2006

More attacks on Power Offices.

Demonstrations by the people demanding uninterrupted power supply continued yesterday in different regions of the country while police filed cases against about 22,100 unidentified persons in the capital for taking part in the violent protests of Wednesday and Thursday.

http://www.thedailystar.net/2006/09/30/d6093001107.htm>link

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 1 2006 12:04 utc | 74

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