Big up to the thoughtful and crazy Farris Hassan

It's all very poetic, even though crazy. I mean, you're 16 dude. Chill.

Maybe it was the time the taxi dumped him at the Iraq-Kuwait border, leaving him alone in the middle of the desert. Or when he drew a crowd at a Baghdad food stand after using an Arabic phrase book to order. Or the moment a Kuwaiti cab driver almost punched him in the face when he balked at the $100 fare. But at some point, Farris Hassan, a 16-year-old from Florida, realized that traveling to Iraq by himself was not the safest thing he could have done with his Christmas vacation.

And he didn't even tell his parents.

Immanuel Wallerstein: The U.S. has lost the Iraq war

Yale geopolitical guru, Immanuel Wallerstein, registered this opinion back in August of this year. I missed it completely, so I'm posting it in its entirety now. Following his August opinion is another short commentary piece from a couple weeks ago.

Commentary No. 167, Aug. 15, 2005

"The U.S. Has Lost the Iraq War"

It's over. For the U.S. to win the Iraq war requires three things: defeating the Iraqi resistance; establishing a stable government in Iraq that is friendly to the U.S.; maintaining the support of the American people while the first two are being done. None of these three seem any longer possible. First, the U.S. military itself no longer believes it can defeat the resistance. Secondly, the likelihood that the Iraqi politicians can agree on a constitution is almost nil, and therefore the likelihood of a minimally stable central government is almost nil. Thirdly, the U.S. public is turning against the war because it sees no "light at the end of the tunnel."

As a result, the Bush regime is in an impossible position. It would like to withdraw in a dignified manner, asserting some semblance of victory. But, if it tries to do this, it will face ferocious anger and deception on the part of the war party at home. And if it does not, it will face ferocious anger on the part of the withdrawal party. It will end up satisfying neither, lose face precipitously, and be remembered in ignominy.

Let us see what is happening. This month, Gen. George Casey, the U.S. commanding general in Iraq, suggested that it may be possible to reduce U.S. troops in Iraq next year by 30,000, given improvements in the ability of the Iraqi government's armed forces to handle the situation. Almost immediately, this position came under attack from the war party, and the Pentagon amended this statement to suggest that maybe this wouldn't happen, since maybe the Iraqi forces were not yet ready to handle the situation, which is surely so. At the same time, stories appeared in the leading newspapers suggesting that the level of military sophistication of the insurgent forces has been growing steadily and remarkably. And the increased rate of killings of U.S. soldiers certainly bears this out.

In the debate on the Iraqi constitution, there are two major problems. One is the degree to which the constitution will institutionalize Islamic law. It is conceivable that, given enough time and trust, there could be a compromise on this issue that would more or less satisfy most sides. But the second issue is more intractable. The Kurds, who still really want an independent state, will not settle for less than a federal structure that will guarantee their autonomy, the maintenance of their militia, and control of Kirkuk as their capital and its oil resources as their booty. The Shiites are currently divided between those who feel like the Kurds and want a federal structure, and those who prefer a strong central government provided they can control it and its resources, and provided that it will have an Islamic flavor. And the Sunnis are desperate to maintain a united state, one in which they will minimally get their fair share, and certainly don't want a state governed by Shia interpretations of Islam.

The U.S. has been trying to encourage some compromise, but it is hard to see what this might be. So, two possibilities are before us right now. The Iraqis paper over the differences in some way that will not last long. Or there is a more immediate breakdown in negotiations. Neither of these meets the needs of the U.S. Of course, there is one solution that might end the deadlock. The Iraqi politicians could join the resisters in a nationalist anti-American thrust, and thereby unite at least the non-Kurd part of the population. This development is not to be ruled out, and of course is a nightmare from the U.S. point of view.

But, for the Bush regime, the worst picture of all is on the home front. Approval rating of Bush for the conduct of the Iraqi war has gone down to 36 percent. The figures have been going steadily down for some time and should continue to do so. For poor George Bush is now faced with the vigil of Cindy Sheehan. She is a 48-year-old mother of a soldier who was killed in Iraq a year ago. Incensed by Bush's statement that the U.S. soldiers died in a "noble cause," she decided to go to Crawford, Texas, and ask to see the president so that he could explain to her for what "noble cause" her son died.

Of course, George W. Bush hasn't had the courage to see her. He sent out emissaries. She said this wasn't enough, that she wanted to see Bush personally. She has now said that she will maintain a vigil outside Bush's home until either he sees her or she is arrested. At first, the press ignored her. But now, other mothers of soldiers in Iraq have come to join her. She is getting moral support from more and more people who had previously supported the war. And the national press now has turned her into a major celebrity, some comparing her to Rosa Parks, the Black woman whose refusal to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama a half-century ago was the spark that transformed the struggle for Black rights into a mainstream cause.

Bush won't see her because he knows there is nothing that he can say to her. Seeing her is a losing proposition. But so is not seeing her. The pressure to withdraw from Iraq is now becoming mainstream. It is not because the U.S. public shares the view that the U.S. is an imperialist power in Iraq. It is because there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Or rather there is a light, the light an acerbic Canadian cartoonist for the Calgary Sun drew recently. He shows a U.S. soldier in a dark tunnel approaching someone to whose body is attached an array of explosives. The light comes from the match he is holding to the wick that will cause them to explode. In the month following the attacks in London and the high level of U.S. deaths in Iraq, this is the light that the U.S. public is beginning to see. They want out. Bush is caught in an insoluble dilemma. The war is lost.

by Immanuel Wallerstein

[Copyright by Immanuel Wallerstein. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to download, forward electronically or e-mail to others and to post this text on non-commercial community Internet sites, provided the essay remains intact and the copyright note is displayed. To translate this text, publish it in printed and/or other forms, including commercial Internet sites and excerpts, contact the author at immanuel.wallerstein@yale.edu; fax: 1-203-432-6976.

These commentaries, published twice monthly, are intended to be reflections on the contemporary world scene, as seen from the perspective not of the immediate headlines but of the long term.]

Here's the more recent commentary from Wallerstein. You can find many other short pieces written by him in the last 7 years right here. They are translated into 31, yes thirty one, languages.

Commentary No. 175, Dec. 15, 2005

"Losing One's Nerve in Iraq"

In response to the ever-growing sense that the United States is doing poorly in Iraq, indeed in the view of many is actually losing the war, the U.S. government has launched a campaign to persuade everyone that this is not so. In November, 2005, the U.S. National Security Council published, with great fanfare, a document entitled "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq." And President Bush has been pushing its line vociferously in public speeches.

What this document argues is that victory is occurring, but occurring in stages, that victory is a vital U.S. interest, that the U.S. has a quite clear strategy for victory, but that this victory will take time. The key sentence in this wordy document, which evades all concrete analysis of what is actually going on, is a quote from President Bush's speech on Oct. 6, 2005: "In Iraq, there is no peace without victory. We will keep our nerve, and we will win that victory."

We will keep our nerve, says Bush. But his Rasputin, Vice-President Cheney, is not so sure, since he constantly asserts that U.S. critics of the Bush administration, however mild their criticism, are undermining this "nerve" and risk making the U.S. lose its resolve. The number of Republican Congressmen and Senators who are worried that the voters have already lost their "nerve" and might vote against them seems to be increasing at a very rapid pace, and seems to be having a great impact on the "nerve" of these Republican politicians.

When Rep. John Murtha, ex-Marine and longtime stalwart hawk, called for pulling out of Iraq, most commentators felt he was the unofficial voice of large numbers of senior military officers who were unable to voice their concerns publicly. Is this loss of their nerve? Neither Murtha nor the hidden senior military officers would define it this way. They see a situation in which the U.S. will not at all be able to win the kind of victory Bush is talking about, and by staying in Iraq they believe that the U.S. armed forces are being weakened as a military force able to do its work elsewhere in the world. They want to cut their losses before the U.S. armed forces lose even more.

It seems clear now that virtually every member of the U.S. coalition that has military forces in Iraq intends to reduce its number, if not fully withdraw them, in 2006. It seems fairly clear that the U.S. itself will do this. Nobody of course admits to losing their nerve, but public opinion at home and impending elections are taking their toll.

What about the Iraqis? There are two main groups of Iraqis - those who are energetically fighting the U.S. forces and any Iraqis thought to be cooperating with them, and the others. Those who are energetically fighting the U.S. are said, in this U.S. document, to be composed of three groups: rejectionists (Sunni Arabs who have not "embraced" the changes); Saddamists (who wish to restore the old regime), and terrorists affiliated with or inspired by Al Qaeda. The U.S., according to this document, has more or less given up on the latter two categories but hopes to persuade "many" of the first group to reduce their opposition. There does not however seem to be much evidence that this is happening. In short, those whom the U.S. calls its "enemies" do not seem to have lost their nerve, or their competence in fighting.

But what about the other Iraqis? Here the U.S. seems to be counting on the new Iraqi security forces, presumably under the authority of the new Iraqi government. I say presumably because it is obvious that these security forces are deeply infiltrated both by the "enemies" of the U.S. and by various militias - two kinds of Kurdish militias, and at least three kinds of Shi'a militias - who are pursuing their own objectives under the cover of being the national army. The U.S. says it is counting on these security forces to take over its task of fighting the "enemy" - that is, those who reject all legitimacy to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

But is the objective of those who control various parts of the new security forces really the same as those of the Bush regime? Do they intend to be "a full partner in the global war on terrorism" - the longer-term goal of the U.S. according to this document? Is this credible over the longer run? Even if those who are in the new government now are still there two years from now (itself a dubious proposition), why would they want to play this role when it can only make it more difficult to create even a moderately stable political situation in Iraq?

And finally, among winners and losers, more attention is being paid by observers today to the possibility that the big winner will be Iran. It is not that even a Shia-dominated government in Iraq will be in any sense a stooge of the Iranians. It is simply that they will not in any way want to play a role of being hostile to Iran, and therefore could not, will not, be sympathetic to U.S. objectives vis-a-vis Iran.

Do not ask for whom the bell tolls in Iraq. They toll for George W. Bush, and the United States. Bush claimed the U.S. went into Iraq so that it would not have to fight this "war" on U.S. soil. But the contrary is happening. The turmoil is coming to U.S. soil with a vengeance. One of the claims as to why the U.S. should not immediately withdraw from Iraq is that it might result in an Iraqi civil war. But no one discusses what kind of civil war might be in the process of developing in the United States.

by Immanuel Wallerstein

[Copyright by Immanuel Wallerstein, distributed by Agence Global. For rights and permissions, including translations and posting to non-commercial sites, and contact: rights@agenceglobal.com, 1.336.686.9002 or 1.336.286.6606. Permission is granted to download, forward electronically, or e-mail to others, provided the essay remains intact and the copyright note is displayed. To contact author, write: immanuel.wallerstein@yale.edu.

These commentaries, published twice monthly, are intended to be reflections on the contemporary world scene, as seen from the perspective not of the immediate headlines but of the long term.]

Another Christmas...and Jesus is stifled once more.

Merry Christmas to you!

IF you celebrate it for the right reasons! Some of the wrong reasons are illustrated in this video quite eloquently. I left town and forgot my charger, so I couldn't send my well wishes on time.

Not that I'm an authority on anything religious, but I think there needs to be a movement to focus Christianity on the humanity of Jesus. This is the essence of the Nestorian faith, which my family follows. And on that note, sometimes I wish even members of my family would re-calibrate their focus on this exact thing...so I'm not just complaining aboutsome lunatic evangelicals.

Hallelujah Links:

Wizard of Oil: a short play-spoof with pictures
Best of the Chappelle Show & another place to find the videos.
Black Bush: my favorite Chappelle Show skit
Shock, awe and Hobbes have backfired on America's neocons

But seriously...

The alarm is sounding. The game is over. Iraq is disintegrating.

Iraq a religious state...or for you'z who are caught up in details, Iraq as a state run by de facto religious edict. Iraq has become ironically like America. And America more like Iraq, one could argue.

So, Iraq as a religious state...for a while at least. How depressing.

And imagine, I was hoping Allawi the Unjust would win. But King George has indeed lost his grip on Iraq...which is why he has renounced defeating nationalist Iraqis having nothing to do with terrorists. What he's done is become a self-fulfilling prophecy by making Iraq into this hellish fundamentalist nightmare. And that's all he seems to know, fundamentalism. Like I said many times before...these two groups supposidly fighting each other, are really just helping one another radicalize their respective populations.

Bush will only be remembered in history for creating the second Islamic republic in the region. The Islamic Republic of Iraq.

I voted for Charles Darwin

That's right. In America I voted for Charles Darwin and in Iraq's election I did the same.

Why? Because here's a list of the Iraqi academics murdered in frigid blood since the war began.

Who said it? "Darwin was the most important person to live on earth."

Who said it? "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier...just as long as I'm the dictator."

Who said it? "I take an oath of office to the Constitution. I don't take an oath of office to the vice president, a president or a political party. My obligation and responsibility are to the people I represent and the country I serve. I do what I think is right for the people I represent and the country I serve." [user id/password= dailykos/dailykos]

Who wrote it?
"While U.S. President George W. Bush continued to claim a strategy for "victory" in Iraq in recent speeches, his administration has quietly renounced the goal of defeating the non-al Qaeda Sunni armed organisations there.

The administration is evidently preparing for serious negotiations with the Sunni insurgents, whom it has started referring to as "nationalists", emphasising their opposition to al Qaeda's objectives.

The new policy has thus far gone unnoticed in the media, partly because it has only been articulated by U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and the spokesman for the U.S. command in Baghdad.

The White House clearly recognises that the shift could cause serious political problems if and when it becomes widely understood. The Republican Party has just unveiled a new television ad attacking Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean for suggesting that the war in Iraq cannot be won.

Renouncing victory over the Sunni insurgents therefore undercuts the president's political strategy of portraying his policy as one of "staying the course" and attacking the democrats for "cutting and running".

good website: http://www.infidels.org/

read charles darwin online now

and vote for him in your next election.

darwin help us all.

King George, we want some congressional hearings. Your attendance is required.

We thought you had changed for a split second by admitting the Iraq war was based on faulty intelligence (well, not really). But you hadn't. What's more, you summoned the editor and publisher of the NY Times (pictured below) to the Oval Office to try to talk them out of running the NSA spying program story! And why oh why were those punks at the Times holding on to this story for a whole year?

How can you claim to be establishing a constitutional democracy in Iraq when you do not even respect the constitutional democracy of which you are supposidly the commander-in-chief of?

Why do you reject the fact you have circumvented the constitution and claimed such supreme authority over all Americans by virtue of your NSA spying program?

You are operating above the lawKing George. This is why Arlen Specter and I want some congressional hearings. You cannot camoflauge this any longer with your script writers at the Times and the Post. BTW have you ever even read 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillence Act? Get somebody to make you an mp3 and stick it in your rotation of the Geneva Convention and the Bill of Rights...right there on your iPOD.

Update: Now there are reports that a member of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court resigns amid worry that Bush-authorized domestic surveillance program would taint court's efforts. I bet you anything he's immensely pissed off.

Listen to this in an article just published by the Post (by a journalist who is presumably not a Woodward. Because Bobby "Big Bucks" would never write hurtfully about our Great King).

Two associates familiar with his decision said yesterday that Robertson privately expressed deep concern that the warrantless surveillance program authorized by the president in 2001 was legally questionable and may have tainted the FISA court's work.

Ok, any person with at least, and i mean at least, three brain cells would know that"...privately expressed deep concern..." are code words for "furious with the rage of everything that is holy"...or something to that effect. If you have only two, I'm afraid this will make no sense to you.

Chomsky on Iraq: An interview by Andy Clark

A very good way to spend an hour receiving a reality-check.

Iraq on the Record: Cataloguing the lies...

...on the quest to control the world's energy sources.

Iraq on the Record is exactly the starting point one needs to bring greater perspective on most (if not all) the bald-faced lies told by members of the current administration to America and the world.

Thanks to Keld and LBird for the link.

TUrkish gENocIDe = ARmeNiaN HoLocAUsT: learn history punks

oh ok sure so you say something which is historic fact, that one and a half million armenians and thousands of others from various ethnic groups were killed and dont forget scores of thousands more persecuted out of modern turkey into various periphery areas (including northern iraq), and you're told you're going to jail. animals. this by a turkish government whose human rights record rivals the worst of modern man...and this by a turkish government who wants to enter the EU. GRRRRR, free up your speech and make us think you really want it baby. get fit with the right to say whatever you like you bloody wankers. speech crime in the EU? what are we in frickin saddam's iraq? mubarak's egypt? america circa 2003?

this is a future nobel peace prize winner to boot. yea, go for the gold ottoman kumquats for brains.

The Dick is defeated: torture legislation passed

It's hard to believe, but Dick Cheney and his underlings have been soundly defeated as John McCain's torture legislation banning the use of torture passed in the US Congress. Bush obviously can't afford to thumb his nose at the world any more. He ran out of that specific sort of "political capital" a while back.

What I don't like is when they had the press conference to confirm its passage, McCain was behaving as if the ban was in place since the war on a concept (which is terror) began. So lets be clear as McCain says:

We've sent a message to the world that the United States is not like the terrorists

Ok. If we believe Senator McCain, before today the United States was precisely like the terrorists because they did, in fact, torture people. Don't get me wrong, though, this is a necessary step and I commend Mr. Captured and Tortured in Vietnam While Bush and Cheney Chickened-out for forcing the Cheney hand. Thankfully the political climate allowed for an easy passage of the measure.

You GOT, No where to run to...No where to hide....lalala

On a more collectively locked-down note, the elections appear to be going swimmingly. And people have been able to walk down their street for the first time since the last couple votes. But seriously, I suggest we have one election per week to give Iraqis one sorely deserved break per week while living-in and dealing-with the daily violence. Also, I'll find out how my family voted, but I suspect they have laid it down for Allawi or some secular party that won't win. You know, an Iraqi Ralph Nader I guess. I wonder who the equivalent would be. I've been unable to read up on the more obscure candidates because of my studies.

I will have a longer post on the elections l8r on.


Bush to his base: "You might not have a job or insurance, but I'll make sure those gay people don't marry for you. Because I am the conduit of God."

...the Bush version, the rich again provide the cash and religious conservatives provide the votes. The wealthy have been rewarded with tax cuts, the evangelicals with hard-line conservative policies on abortion, gay rights and a school prayer.

Because the universe of Bush the younger would not be possible without evangelicals. Then we may conclude the fact that some people are so ignorant and narrow-minded in America is the reason why Bush/Cheney are still in power. How everybody, the rich industrialist and the usually poor evangelical, thinks they are really being rewarded in this is beyond me.

This is why I am suspect as to whether it is indeed true that Bush is left in a separate religious world as some people associated with the white house have claimed. But if the previous conclusion is true, then Bush gets the best of both worlds. He gets to be ignorant and make money.

And that's simply unacceptable for any commander in chief to use his clout to enrich himself and his friends while spreading ignorance. Is that what the so inextricably honorable office of the White House is for? And Bush wanted to bring values back into the WH? All he's brought is an unhealthy dose of CRAZY to the world while proving the White House is only a mechanism by which to make his friends richer and the poor poorer through spreading intolerance and ignorance.

Here are some others' thoughts about his first 5 years.

Richard Pryor RIP

One of my absolute favorite comics of all times...


Leiberman founds new political party

Some rumors have been floating around since Ariel Sharon split off from the Likud Party to form a more centrist party in the 51st state of Israel. They're having to do with Joseph Leiberman splitting off the Democratic Party to form a more hardline conservative party. Sources say he wants to call it the Bushkud Party. The only prerequisite will be that you must agree with everything Bush says about Iraq. Famous for doing this, Leiberman is finding himself isolated with about 99.9 percent of his current party. Many of these members think he already switched sides and was (and perhaps still is) actually a spy for the influential Neoconservative cult, in the off-chance they would not have been able to steal the 2000 elections. And most inside the beltway know that the Neocons are all spys for Likud. So, it's a curious step creating the new Bushkud party.

Nobel Prize acceptance video: Harold Pinter speaketh

Must see/read: Harold Pinter's Nobel Lecture on December 7, 2005 given in Börssalen at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm. Click for high bandwidth, low bandwidth.

Update: This link works if you want to watch the video now! Thanks Merry!

Various articles of interest and some rumination

Of course the bombshell is Seymour Hersh writing in the New Yorker that US Commanders in Iraq believe the insurgency is spinning hopelessly out of control and will slowly disintegrate into the inevitable violence of an air campaign. This is the cue that the White House has its tail between its legs. And you need not look too closely, but they're cutting and running. Of course, few might say, "No they aren't. They're gonna bomb the hell out of Iraq from 30,000 feet once the troops begin to withdraw. That's not cutting and running." But the plain truth is that this WH, this incompetent government has lost this one miserably. And it seems more and more apparent that there's collusion between American and Iranian interests to tame the flames ignited by the occupation. There is no other choice. This was a war of choice...and now notice the irony of there being no choice on the part of the Crazies' cabal but accept the fundementalists in Iran (and elsewhere) taking control of most if not all Iraqi institutions. It makes me wonder, though, isn't that what they wanted all along? To remove Saddam, set up a confrontation with Iran, and try to pressure Syria into reducing itself to a Chalabified hallucination/vision of the currently secular regime of Bashar Al-Assad (who I'm not a fan of) which happens to support groups like Hizbullah and has close connections with Iran. I mean it seems as though the planning for the Iran war has continued. Because imagine once America acheives a posture whereby they know most in the world realize that A) Iraq has become a proxy for the Ayatollahs in Iran B) Iran is closer than it already is to getting a nuclear weapon...they can then possibly try to start another war with Iran by saying (or hearing) all the same or similar lies that Chalabi and Co. funnelled to the mentally challenged in the WH in the lead-up to the most recent war. And the signal and perhaps even the synthesis of Americans and Iranians working together to set out on this path might be seen if and when Chalabi joins the Allawi coalition before the December 15 elections. Previously, Chalabi and Allawi have been bitter rival puppets. THE irony thickens quickly, don't it?

And this is only one of many possibilities I've pondered. I am sometimes operating under the assumption that the chaos is so unexhaustably terrible it can't be random.

And screw irony...I've had enough of it, really. I'm sick of seeing all these scenarios in my head which could possibly play out. I'm a lot more optimistic than some, though. But I'm still hung up on matters like the constitution granting women and minorities too few rights to pay to close attention to other shocking discoveries of videos of private contractors shooting civilians for fun, WMDs used by Americans, and the unabating violence caused by the confrontations between disparate sides. All this blood for nothing as we head back towards the dark ages

Moving on and on a related note... Professor Cole writes on related matters in his recent article at a new website TruthDig: How Bush created a theocracy in Iraq. It's a clever little rundown about the history of this event. Go check it out if your facts are fuzzy.

On a different note, here's a concise article about the commercialization of all things Shaolin. Bad or good? I believe adaptation and its role in advancing innovation and wisdom was roundly ignored in eons past and that it is vitally important to rescue certain art forms from extinction. And if using modern tools of communication is what it takes to accomplish this, then so be it!

I've had some very bad news from back in Lebanon recently. And I'm yet again behind in school. It's so cold outside. And I don't feel like doing anything.

Iraqi Rebel: Taxi Conversation somewhere in Iraq

Thanks to Najma for getting me familiar with another interesting new blog: Iraqi Rebel.

Taxi driver: Wow. Look at all these posters. They must have spent fortunes on all this
Me: (Thinking *Oh, not again*)
Taxi driver: What do they get in return once they're in?
Me: (resigning to my fate) Well, the pension is more than worth it. A retired parliament
member gets $5000 a month for the rest of his life.
T.d.: (whistles) That's a lot of money.
M: It is.

*long pause*

T.d: So you're gonna vote or what?
M: depends.
T.d: Oh, I see.

*another pause*

T.d: So who do you think would be best?
M: (not falling for it) depends on how you see things.
T.d.: I know. I think we should vote for the secular lists.
M (shrugging)
T.d: (Probably thinking I might get him wrong) Look, I have all the respect for sayyids but
I don't think that's what we need at this moment.
M (nod)
T.d: (gesturing at a nearby poster) You know. I think Mithal al Alusi is a good choice. I
mean he has the courage to say the truth. No complimenting and all that.
M: (more interested in reading car registration numbers than the conversation) true.

to continue reading...

Liberating the Universe

America wants to liberate space according to former Canadian Defence Minister. He states,

"I'm so concerned about what the consequences might be of starting an intergalactic war, that I just think I had to say something."

Hellyer revealed, "The secrecy involved in all matters pertaining to the Roswell incident was unparalled. The classification was, from the outset, above top secret, so the vast majority of U.S. officials and politicians, let alone a mere allied minister of defence, were never in-the-loop."

Hellyer warned, "The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning. He stated, "The Bush administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they so decide."

I'll try to follow up on this story. Weaponizing space is perhaps one of the scariest things for the next generation. Liberating space from extraterestrials is altogether another matter we'll leave up to Christian Fundamentalists and their Zionist masters. Since they've done so profoundly well with the terrestrial project in Iraq, I'm sure they'd have no trouble with the rest of the Universe. Though I'm secretly hoping the Aliens come to save us from ourselves.

Lord Goldsmith: You can't handle the truth!

Coming close to doing something possibly similar to what Saddam would have done...and did, most literally.

Bomb the media that doesn't say what you want to hear! Rub out the journalists that don't follow the script...

But lets not forget Tariq Ayoub being killed in Baghdad by a US air striike, which, btw, seems to be a precociously intentional act. So, in effect, it was done on a smaller scale. Taking out the headquarters of Al Jazeera in Qatar verges upon insanity in ways we haven't seen in the entire lifespan of the unfolding Iraqi tragedies.

And so it only begs the question to be answered truthfully; were the bombings of the Al Jazeera offices in Baghdad and Afghanistan deliberate?

Inquiring minds wanna know.

Britain has warned media organizations they are breaking the law if they publish details of a leaked document said to show U.S. President George W. Bush wanted to bomb Arabic television station Al Jazeera.

The government's top lawyer warned editors in a note after the Daily Mirror newspaper reported on Tuesday that a secret British government memo said British Prime Minister Tony Blair had talked Bush out of bombing the broadcaster in April last year.

And I can't help but ask the simplest of questions...

If the story has no merit, why would the Brittish government threaten newspapers with prosecution under the Official Secrets Act?

Or better yet...

Why is Blair (via Lord Goldsmith) saving Bush&Co's face after being shit upon so royally?

Too bad truth has no currency in the current conflict.

Dept of WTF: Dick the dangerous illusionist allows others to entertain "illusions"

"You can express your opinion now that we've done gone and destroyed the place and turned it over to the jihadis." -Shrub's essence

After several years of arrogance, blood, and 220 billion dollars and counting, we've been given permission by Bush and Dick to criticize their lunacy. One thing i've noticed when examining the veep's words is that most terms he used like "corrupt and shameless" and "dangerous illusion" are terms that I and many others could easily deploy upon him in a variety of ways.

This clearly shows a strategy change on the part of the chicken-hawk ok corral cabal of crazies. (In the words of Vietnam Veteran John Murtha: "I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done. I resent the fact, on Veterans Day, he [Bush] criticized Democrats for criticizing them.")

Mr Cheney said calls for a quick withdrawal were built on a "dangerous illusion" that it would satisfy the US's jihadist enemies.

Yo Dick! I'm afraid you already satisfied the jihadis by invading Iraq to begin with...and becoming a veritable al-qaeda recruitment officer.

So, brilliant job you've done. Really. And nice back-pedal, but make it more believable next time.

The destruction of Iraq was purely deliberate and orchestrated to steal the oil of Iraqis amid the chaos and to gain a foothold in the region to stage further attacks (Iran & Syria). Instead, all it has done is sow hatred and misery. American "foreign policy" is a complete and utter failure. In the tiniest nutshell...this is how many Iraqis are feeling at the moment.

See...Iraq's Oil: The Spoils of War, by Philip Thornton in the London Independent

Iraqis face the dire prospect of losing up to $200bn (£116bn) of the wealth of their country if an American-inspired plan to hand over development of its oil reserves to US and British multinationals comes into force next year. A report produced by American and British pressure groups warns Iraq will be caught in an "old colonial trap" if it allows foreign companies to take a share of its vast energy reserves. The report is certain to reawaken fears that the real purpose of the 2003 war on Iraq was to ensure its oil came under Western control.

Yes...caught in an old colonial trap indeed. Used and abused. An arena for other peoples' wars is what I envision it becoming. Much like Lebanon on a grander scale...

And just now we have been afforded the right to point out the fallacies? Oh, splendid... golly gee thanks. I recall the likes of Delay and Cheney equating people against the war with terrorists as recent as the last few months. Now Delay & Libby have been indicted, Frist will be soon (if he hasn't been already), and Cheney's on deck with Rove.

The more attention drawn towards the Plame affair, the better. The spin might not even matter. Now that the ranks of the anti-war have been thickening, the enemies are many more for this administration (even Republicans are outraged)...so undergoing some damage control is the order of the day.

Net result: The WH's recent strategy of attacking detractors has backfired (see Schmidt the Retard) and they've been forced back on the defensive. And I'm still laughing and crying. Status quo is sOOOO 2003. At least some things have changed, though.

The good professor's magnificent insolence

Taken from The Angry Arab News Service

Monday, November 14, 2005

Ahmad Chalabi's Advise on Syria. Ahmad Chalabi has been making the rounds in DC. He met with Rumsfeld and Rice. Mostly, he was asked for his opinions of Syria. Ahmad Chalabi gave the most sober and rational analysis of Syrian politics. He advocated a US invasion of Syria because he believes that Syrian WMDs are dangerous to world stability. He said that Judith Millers will be writing about Syrian WMDs soon once she finds a newspaper to write for. But he assured US officials that the Syrians would not resist US occupation forces, and that they would in fact welcome them with "sweets and flowers" (he even identified the sweet: the Syrian cookie known as Barazi', a sesame cookie). Only a small number of US troops would be needed for the job, he insisted, and Bush would be able to give a "mission accomplished" speech within weeks after the start of the invasion. When asked about the Washington, DC-based Syrian opposition groups, he assured them that they would be hugely popular in Syria, and that the secular liberal and pro-American Syrians would run the place, and that religion and clerics would disappear from Syrian life. Chalabi went even further: he said that Syria would emerge as a democratic and liberal model, and that Arabs would rush to emulate it, and that the invasion would produce a domino effect in the region. He dismissed reports that a resistance movement would emerge under an American invasion of Syria. Having listened to his evaluation of Syrian politics, US officials felt very optimistic.

the slow growing rumble...

...can be heard in the background... even in good ol' knoxville, tennessee.

The slow growing rumble has many a sound...

The slow growing rumble can force you downtown
to be indicted and tried for the casus belli of war crime(s)

The slow growing rumble can make the shallow lies used to cover up the deep lies
run away in relevency like waning of high tide.

The slow growing rumble says its high time for the facade of deciet to crumble
beneath the twisting and reaping tendrils of popular justice's conundrum.

Once this same popular opinion was wishing the war upon the world because it's existence was threatened by its very own government...with nuclear weapons that didn't exist. Imagine a government threatening its own

The hollow confidence captured by that captivated audience marched the world to war too quickly when the democrats in congress backed the (vice) president's malfeasance.

But can the slow growing rumble make the deck of cards tumble?

If it does, I will be humbled to have taken part in...

the slow growing rumble.

(((i did this too quickly, but i wanna go ahead and put it up)))



Speeches for Zionism: Chalabi speaks at the American Enterprise Institute

Arriana Huffington once linked me from her blog...albeit incorrectly (because the link was dead), she did include me on a short list of Iraqi bloggers to check out. I appreciated the sentiment and have recognized her increased astuteness regarding Iraq and Middle Eastern politics by dropping one of her latest articles here:

Ahmad Does D.C.: An Alternative Chalabi Itinerary
by Arianna Huffington

Fresh off this past weekend’s return trip to Tehran, neocon darling Ahmad Chalabi hits Washington today -- his first visit to the nation’s capital in over two years.

He’s got a very busy schedule planned, including meetings with Condi Rice, Treasury Secretary John Snow, and national security advisor Stephen Hadley.

There is also talk of a possible private meeting with his longtime champion, Dick Cheney.

No word on where the Cheney/Chalabi reunion might take place. Perhaps at one of the Veep’s undisclosed locations. Or maybe the St. Regis. I hear they have a nice breakfast.

According to administration sources, Chalabi won’t be meeting with President Bush. Not because he deliberately and repeatedly provided the U.S. government with false intel, convinced Cheney our troops would be greeted as liberators, tried to sabotage the UN’s efforts to put an interim government in place, and was accused by the Bush administration of spying for Iran. No, all that has apparently been forgiven. Bush just doesn’t want to appear to be playing favorites by meeting with any Iraqi candidates until the December 15 election is over. I guess the meetings with Bush’s cabinet members -- and the $340,000 a month the White House gave to Chalabi in the lead up to the war -- is endorsement enough.

But Chalabi’s trip won’t just consist of cozy tête-à-têtes with administration big-shots. He’ll also deliver a speech to the American Enterprise Institute -- an organization, according to its mission statement “dedicated to preserving and strengthening the foundations of freedom”. No, the topic of his talk isn’t “The Rebirth of Irony”. It’s “An Insider’s View: Democratic Politics at Work in Iraq”. On second thought, maybe it is on the rebirth of irony after all. Among the questions Chalabi will be addressing: “Will the constitution provide the foundation for a democratic system that can be a model for the Middle East?” According to Matthew Yglesias: “That’s easy. The answer is no.”

So it looks like Chalabi is pretty booked up. But, with all due respect, I’d like to suggest some additions to Mr. Chalabi’s D.C. itinerary.

1. FBI Headquarters. Chalabi is currently under investigation, suspected of telling the Iranian government that America had broken the code it used for secret communications -- an offense the administration said could “get people killed”. When this information came to light 17 months ago, Condi Rice promised a criminal investigation of the charges. But close to a year and a half later, the FBI has still not questioned Chalabi. Now seems like a perfect time. Condi can walk him over to the Hoover Building after their meeting and make all the necessary introductions.

2. United States Congress. I’m sure the Senate intelligence committee (or at least its Democratic members) would like to speak to Chalabi as part of the Phase II investigation into the Bush administration’s use of false and misleading intelligence to help sell the war -- false and misleading intelligence that Chalabi, after all, played a central role in supplying. I’d love to see Dick Durbin grill Chalabi under oath about his relationship with the White House Iraq Group, his relationship with Curveball, and his predictions of a problem-free occupation. Members of the House, including John Conyers, are also very interested in talking to him. It might be very useful for the Deputy Prime Minister (and wanna-be PM) to get “An Insider’s View of Democratic Politics at Work in America”.

3. New York Times Washington Bureau. I’m sure that Bill Keller and Jill Abramson would fly to down for the chance to talk to Chalabi about his relationship with Judy Miller and find out exactly how he managed to convince her to write utterly bogus front page stories like the one about the engineer who swore he had personally seen 20 different WMD sites (Miller’s story on the engineer, whom Miller deemed “reliable” and “credible”, came just three days after he had failed a CIA lie detector test). (Note to Chalabi: don’t be surprised it Pinch Sulzberger declines to fly down for the meeting).

4. Arlington National Cemetery. And finally, how about a quick meet and greet with the families of the over 17,000 U.S. soldiers killed or wounded in a war Mr. Chalabi was central in selling to our leaders? Maybe he can reminisce about the Pentagon meeting held a week after 9/11 during which he made the case for taking on Iraq. He can also explain what he meant in 2004 when he shrugged off charges he had deliberately trumped up claims about Saddam’s WMD by saying, “We are heroes in error”. He can then lead a discussion about who are the bigger heroes, Chalabi or the 2,057 American soldiers who have died in Iraq.

So what do you say, Ahmad? You up for a little detour from your planned comeback tour? I’ve got a feeling it would prove very educational -- if not for you, then certainly for the American public.

Chalabi is the "missing link" in several of the scandals currently brewing. I'd say he's perhaps the "missing link" in the grand scheme of evolution as well. Not to say Homo Erectus was less civilized than him.

Professor Cole also wrote something related.


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Office of "Special" Plans

Let's cast some intensified light upon Feith and his Libbified ilk.

Then there are those chemical weapons occupation soldiers used on Iraqis. Ah yes! I think they finally found the WMD! They were using them on Fallujans. White phosphorous! Essentially, NAPALM. Well, at least we know the truth now. TOO BAD THE TRUTH CAN'T BRING SECURITY OR ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO IRAQIS IN NEED.

And those secret gulags in Eastern Europe...aint that a thang?

more soon...

Rosa Parks Rest in Peace

While Iraqis struggle under one of the ultimate violations of basic human rights--an occupation--Rosa Parks has died. She was the spark that ignited a sweeping civil rights movement in America. She was and still is a symbol of everything that makes America good. Unfortunately, a few bad apples high up the food chain in Washington are hijacking the entire country into policies that make peace-loving people like Rosa Parks cringe and sigh in disbelief and disgust.

Thank you for everything Mrs. Parks. Your spirit moves mountains.


Bush free fall

Entertainment for the entire family...

The architects of defeat must be held responsible.

The Blame Game

By Stephen M. Walt

Foreign Policy: November/December 2005

Who will be blamed for Iraq? It’s easy for politicians to point fingers at each other. But ultimately, the buck stops at the Oval Office.

The United States’ involvement in Iraq just keeps getting messier every day. The insurgency is as potent as ever, and U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians are dying at a higher rate than they were a year ago. Efforts to reconcile Iraq’s ethnic and religious divisions have failed, and progress on building competent security forces has been painfully slow. A series of supposedly decisive “turning points” have come and gone—including the transfer of sovereignty in June 2004, national elections in January 2005, and the drafting of a new constitution in August 2005—but the country is no closer to stability. Public support for the war is plummeting in the United States, and current U.S. troop levels cannot be sustained without breaking the Army, the Reserves, and the National Guard. Once U.S. forces withdraw, a full-blown civil war is likely. Although our armed forces have fought with dedication and courage, this war will ultimately cost us more than $1 trillion, not to mention thousands of lives. And what will the United States have achieved? Remarkably, we will probably leave Iraq in even worse shape than it was under Saddam Hussein.

“Victory has a hundred fathers, but defeat is an orphan.” Those famous words penned long ago have a special resonance today. If the United States loses the war in Iraq, there will inevitably be a bitter debate over who is responsible. With prospects for victory fading, the people who led us into this bastard conflict are already devising various rationales to explain the failure and deny their paternity. As the debate over “who’s losing Iraq” heats up, the American people should not be hoodwinked by these after-the-fact alibis. The architects of defeat must be held responsible.

Moderates who backed the war, including a number of prominent Democrats, now argue that they did so only because they were misled by the cia’s faulty intelligence and deliberately deceived by President George W. Bush’s administration. This line of reasoning was Sen. John Kerry’s defense during the 2004 presidential campaign. Similar explanations have been offered by other pro-war Democrats and repentant pundits such as the Brookings Institution’s Kenneth Pollack, whose prewar book The Threatening Storm made the moderates’ case for war. The problem with this alibi, however, is that there was already plenty of evidence that cast doubt on the administration’s case, information that was publicly available before the fighting started. Invading Iraq was not their idea, but the moderates who went along deserve no credit for being so gullible.

Pro-war hawks offer a different set of excuses. Some assert that going to war was the right idea, but the operation was bungled by incompetent leadership in the Pentagon. William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, wants Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to resign, yet the pundit simultaneously claims that the debacle in Iraq vindicates his earlier call for vast increases in U.S. defense spending. In this view, we are losing because we don’t have a big enough army to run an empire and because civilians at the top were never serious about winning.

This excuse suffers from two glaring weaknesses. First, the war may not have been winnable no matter what we did, because Iraq was a deeply divided society from the onset, and occupying powers almost always face fierce resistance. That the occupation was badly executed is indisputable, but it is by no means clear that any occupation would have succeeded. Second, if hawks such as Kristol thought we needed a bigger military to perform a global imperial role, they should have withheld their support until adequate forces were available. Instead, they did everything they could to get us into the regime-changing business as quickly as possible.

For their part, Secretary Rumsfeld and other administration officials blame our problems on Baathist “dead-enders” and radical jihadis, aided and abetted by Syria and Iran. It’s not the Bush administration’s fault we’re losing, we are told; it’s our enemies’ fault. That is no defense at all, of course, because it merely reminds us that the Bush team failed to anticipate what would happen once Saddam was gone and we “owned” Iraq. And given that the Bush administration has repeatedly threatened Syria and Iran with regime change, it is hardly surprising that these regimes are now happy to see us bogged down in Baghdad. U.S. leaders should have considered these possibilities before they went to war, and their failure to do so is hardly a reason to excuse them now.

The most scurrilous alibi, however, blames our difficulties on eroding public support at home. Grieving antiwar mother Cindy Sheehan gets pilloried by right-wing commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, and President Bush declares that Americans who favor withdrawing “are advocating a policy that would weaken the United States.” Similarly, neoconservative pundit Max Boot recently maintained that Iraqi democracy would survive its birth pangs only “if we don’t cut and run prematurely.” So, we are told, “staying the course” will work, unless we are forced to pull out by weak-willed critics back home.

This argument is a clever bit of political jujitsu, because it in effect blames any future defeat on the people who have long contended that the war was unnecessary and unwise. But it is also a bogus excuse. In a democracy, a commander in chief who wants to go to war is responsible for building and maintaining public support for sending our sons and daughters into harm’s way. President Bush sold the war brilliantly before the fighting started, but his sales pitch could not survive the failure to find weapons of mass destruction, the embarrassing revelations of torture at Abu Ghraib, the bungled occupation, the mounting list of dead and wounded, and the rising economic toll. Most of all, this rationale highlights the conspicuous lack of a plausible theory of victory now. We are not losing because our troops lack public support. The war lacks support because we are losing.

If our Iraq adventure ends badly, there will be ample blame to go around. But the buck should stop, as President Harry Truman famously said, in the Oval Office. President Bush was quick to claim credit when things were going well, and he cannot escape blame when things turn ugly. This is President Bush’s war, and America’s failure will be his legacy.

Stephen M. Walt is academic dean at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. His latest book is Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy (New York: Norton, 2005).

Why Iraq could get more Iranian

[T]he final and most important amendment, setting up a Parliamentary committee to suggest a one-time set of changes or amendments to the Constitution after the elections in December, will likely not bring any of the changes to the Constitution Sunnis are demanding. Even if every eligible Sunni voter had voted on Saturday and in the parliamentary elections scheduled for December, they will remain too small a minority to change the Constitution in a manner that would shift significant resources, revenues or political power away from Kurds and Shiites and to their communities.
Mark LeVine re-states what I think quite clearly. So, we've given the puppets a chance to fashion Iraq into more of an Islamic state than it already is becoming with the Iranian Iraqis at the helm.

There's so much more to this, but I can't take it anymore. I'm beat.

The Nineveh vote was rigged.

I'd like somebody to prove to me otherwise.

IIP is not popular in Mosul. It has a mere fraction of support from people. So, please...

American law outside of America and inside of Iraq (i.e., occupation law) is shoot to kill, torture aimlessly, and guilty until proven innocent if you're brown and beautiful. So I'm not surprised we are staring in the face of implausible results in Nineveh which will only increase the levels of violence...as the neocon lunatics would prefer! They don't want Iraq to get better, even now. Yes, I argue yet again they don't mind if things get worse. And now you have the exact result that will allow for the situation to deteriorate. I'm not going to sit here and pretend even in the slightest bit anymore because, for instance, I'm worried about affecting the mind-state of those of my family and friends inside Iraq. How much more depressing can things possibly get? Sure, it's important to be hopeful and compassionate about matters, but we need to prepare ourselves. Put the support systems in place. Things are going to get much much worse now before it gets any better. I hope I'm wrong, though.

Bringing democracy to Iraq via an occupation and a corrupt puppet oligarchy switching ballot boxes!

Just one question: If the vote is indeed rigged...what did the fools who rigged it think they could gain from doing so? Lets think about that for a minute and discuss later.

Rove, the constitutional referendum, Kanaan & Lebnaan, and natural disasters

Hey, how's it going? I've been in patchy internetting this past month because of my drive frying and lack of an internet connection for a few weeks. Now everything seems to be working, but I have about 6 hours of studying a day...outside of class. The mild suffering pays dividends, though. I only managed to blog when at a friend's place. I noticed I'm not as addicted to it as before, but as you know the itch comes in waves.

I fixed my television...perhaps I should have left it broken. For some time I had no TV and no internet. What a peaceful and unrealistic existence. The news, as usual, makes me more and more angry and depressed. The whole hulaballoo surrounding the constitution is sickening. Those in my family outside Iraq and I were not allowed to voice our opinion concerning it. We were not allowed to vote because the 4-5 million Iraqis living outside of Iraq would have decidedly voted against the constitution. They know this, so they deliberately prevented Iraqis outside from voting.

Moving on to more slimy creatures...

Karl Rove is being grinded for the 4th time in court. It was a 4 hour session. This indicates something's afoot. Libby hasn't been called back, so...perhaps he's in better shape than Herr Karl. It will be interesting to see if the law works in America when the dust settles on this very serious matter. Iiiiiiiit's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in jail for Mr. Rove. (UPDATE: Libby is hardly out of hot water. )

Lebanon gears up for the release of the Hariri report as the criminal, Ghazi Kanaan, (supposedly) ends his life. The political drama continues... And I cannot wait to read the report. I'll be sure to have links to it as soon as it goes up. Be sure to check out our new look at Lebanese Blogger Forum!

Hurricaines & earthquakes...God must be angry. Here's conspiracy theory for you religious wing nuts. The Almighty strikes Kashmir because Bin Laden is hiding there. And Lord hits America because...well, lets just say it was a decision based on an aggregate of sins.

Do you ever wonder what God's axis of evil would be?

For some odd reason, I think it would be different than Shrub's.

Fixate on this you creeps

First off, it's not that I'm particularly fixated upon letters and whatever other bullshit comes out of these invisible (and perhaps non-existant) pricks. But I must say that this is especially interesting. I've always thought that America or whomever else would have an almost impossible time fabricating things Iraqi. And here's an example having nothing to do with real Iraqis (Zawahiri is egyptian and zarqawi is jordanian), which illustrates the real possibility of this simply being an American black-ops project. Professor Cole calls it out, and I second the motion. In fact, this is more obvious than figuring out where shit blows when directed into a fan. Follow the smell morons. And stop shitting in the fan. OF COURSE IT'S UNCLE SAM PSY-OPs or Iran Dr. Cole! And yes, it could also perhaps be a Shia group trying to manipulate America! OOOOOOO ooooo, that's such the surprising possibility! But I'm afraid as long as the corporate media (that banks on the "war on terror") picks this fan-shitting up, it doesn't matter what is fact or fiction.

Take your freakin pick. It doesn't matter to Iraqis suffering on a daily basis. If America thinks it is the ultimate manipulator, and continues to think it can play God in Iraq...wait, just wait until it steps into this new reality. In fact, the west and America is in sincere danger of tanking morally and economically (in fact it's been over for some time if you listened to Wallerstein) while completely illegitimizing itself in the Arab world. No, nevermind that sort of talk. It's already done. If it weren't for Hollywood, there would perhaps not be the generally widespread notion of American perception in the East. And you know how much I adore the box office.

My gut tells me that the letter is a forgery. Most likely it is a black psy-ops operation of the US. But it could also come from Iran, since the mistakes are those a Shiite might make when pretending to be a Sunni. Or it could come from an Iraqi Shiite group attempting to manipulate the United States. Hmmm.

Colby Buzzell : My War

Colby's book is out. I recommend to go buy and read it.

Here's Vonnegut's take on the book.

"My War by Colby Buzzell is nothing less than the soul of an extremely interesting human being at war on our behalf in Iraq."

How cool is that? Imagine Kurt Vonnegut complimenting your writing. Respect yo.

The constitution is a pile of BS

But thank you's should go out to American & UK bombs and soldiers for helping bring Iraqis closer to the mindlessness of an Islamic republic.

We couldn't have dreamed of getting closer to such a unenviable destiny as quickly as you have allowed us to wisp away (AND BE BLOWN to bits) into the nightmare of it all.

So, again, thank you for your dedication in helping incinerate parts of our collective memory and history like the Baghdad Library. Oh, but there were WMD in those ancient books you thought! You asked, "where would I hide myself if I were the WMD?" And of course, your answer was, "the oldest library on earth! That's the last place anybody would look, so lets just destroy it!" So, yes, thank you thank you...Without such acts of complete stupidity, we could not articulate our disgust with such force.

You want the oil under our sand.
You don't want Iraqis to be free.
You think you can take our land.
But what you don't know is more than what you don't see.

If I could find some fresh dung to fertilize my orchard I would use it. In lieu of such an effective form of vitamin enrichment of my soil, I shall use my Iraqi constitution.

First I will defecate on my copy to speed up the fertilizing process. Because we all know the process of Iraqi "democracy" takes a long, long, long time and involves lots and lots of Iraqis being killed by American assaults and a bunch of retards with suicide bombs.

Truth about Iraqis: Merci beaucoup!

I love it when a fellow Iraqi blogger takes the words out of my mouth and confronts other Iraqi bloggers. Doing one is quite satisfying...doing both is poetry. And Truth About Iraqis manages to do the former many times over. Go check it.
I wonder how long it will take for the Iraqi bloggers who continue to praise the US presence in Iraq to realise that their homes have been stolen from them; that the lives they built for generations amount to naught; that the country which nurtured them is a battlefield created and sustained by a merciless campaign of deceit and false bravado?

Not one American media outlet has reported this. Why? Because it says either 1) the US has been working in collusion with the Iranians or 2) the US has created a catastrophe in the Middle East which will be felt for the next 100 years.

You can blog about music. You can blog about how life was in 1956. You can blog about how sorry you are for the bombings in London, the attacks on Zanzibar. You can blog about being a mistress in Iraq or about how your husband works in the Green Zone.

At the end, that's all you will have, a blog.

Iraqis wake up.

New War Lens, Katrina, and Rita

Since when did Mother Nature turn ironic?

The war on human error should be launched instead of the metaphorical war on terror.

Who are these idiots running shit?

A thousand words

And the real dirt about the 2 undercover agents in Basra and this whole jailbreak disaster has yet to come out. I bet the plot thickens faster than Monosodium Glutamate on water.

When Iraqi police are turning on Occupation soldiers and vice versa, we are ripe for a...

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right
Ah ...
It was at that point that the British tanks rolled against the jail.

In freeing the two Britons, they inadvertently let 150 other prisoners escape, presumably some of them involved in the guerrilla movement. Two Iraqis were killed in related violence.

Then crowds attacked British military vehicles, setting 2 afire with Molotov cocktails.

The entire episode reeks of "dual sovereignty," in which there are two distinct sources of government authority. Social historian Charles Tilly says that dual sovereignty signals a revolutionary situation.

Doo doo, doo doo Doo doo, doo doo...doo'deh doooo...You are now entering the twilight zone. This is not 1920... Yet it is. [high E trumpet wail] But in reality it is 85 years later...what is really a sliver of a speck of time on the reflexively doting psyche of the universe. The womb of civilization is a carcinogenic placenta.

Angry Iraqis Denounce British 'Agression'

Does this make any sense to you? I'm tempted to piece together the puzzle myself. Instead, I'll head over to my fellow Iraqi bloggers to find out more.

Kristoffed: America, Cuba, Iran, Zimbabwe, and Syria agree on Genocide.

This month the Bush administration joined with Cuba, Zimbabwe, Iran, Syria and Venezuela to eviscerate a U.N. statement against genocide.

Kurt Vonnegut: A Lesson in Democracy

Vonnegut with wise words on democracy on The Daily Show.
In democracy after a hundred years you have to let your slaves go. After 150 years you have to let your women vote. And at the beginning of democracy there's quite a bit of genocide and ethnic cleansing is quite ok. And that's what's going on now.

Idiots Rule

Maureen gives a short history of the disaster in the disaster, Michael Brown.

It sounds more like a Vince Vaughn-Owen Wilson flick than the story of a man who was to be responsible for the fate of the Republic during the biggest natural disaster in our history. Brownie was a failed former lawyer with a degree from a semiaccredited law school, as The New Republic put it, when he moved to Colorado in 1991 to judge horse judges for the Arabian Horse Association.

He was put out to pasture under pressure in 2001, leaving him free to join his pal Mr. Allbaugh at an eviscerated FEMA. Mr. Allbaugh decided to leave the top job at FEMA and become a lobbyist with clients like Halliburton when the agency was reorganized under Homeland Security, stripping it of authority. Why not, Mr. Allbaugh thought, just pass this obscure sinecure to his homeboy?

Time magazine reported that Brownie's official bio described his only stint in emergency management as "assistant city manager" in Edmond, Okla. But a city official told Time that the FEMA chief had been "an assistant to the city manager," which was "more like an intern."

Pathetic considering there are actually people out there qualified to perform such jobs. But again, as its the rule more than the exception in the Cheney administration...you musn't be qualified. You must only be a friend, or a friend of a friend in the case of "Brownie".

Whoring out responsibilities of the state to witless lackeys like Brownie is hallmark of the current administration. So, not only if you fail do you receive medals and promotions...but you don't even need half a serving of credentials when serving in a position of prominence.

It's like appointing Elliot Abrams to be the Pentagon policy chief on the Middle East...

Oh, they've actually done that too.

Musical reference:

Jane's Addiction: Idiots Rule (mp3 up later, when my comp. recovery is complete)

Barbara Bush: "What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas"

Another sign there is no sense in the House of Bush.

Barbara Bush Calls Evacuees Better Off

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 - As President Bush battled criticism over the response to Hurricane Katrina, his mother declared it a success for evacuees who "were underprivileged anyway," saying on Monday that many of the poor people she had seen while touring a Houston relocation site were faring better than before the storm hit.

"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas," Barbara Bush said in an interview on Monday with the radio program "Marketplace." "Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality."

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway," she said, "so this is working very well for them."

Mrs. Bush toured the Astrodome complex with her husband, former President George Bush, as part of an administration campaign throughout the Gulf Coast region to counter criticism of the response to the storm. Former President Bush and former President Bill Clinton are helping raise money for the rebuilding effort.

White House officials did not respond on Tuesday to calls for comment on Mrs. Bush's remarks.


Saddam Mubarak wins more dictatorship for Egypt

By making sure the polling stations are geared toward making sure votes would be cast for him instead of his challenger, Saddam Mubarak has assured he would win by an unusually weak margin of 88%. This would secure his dictatorship over the Egyptian people for many more years to come.

...polling stations in Cairo visited by Western reporters yesterday were evidently geared towards ensuring voters cast ballots only for President Mubarak rather than Ayman Nour, the liberal lawyer who is the leading opposition candidate.

While supporting dictators has become less popular in the twisted muckery of global politics, Saddam Mubarak has defied the odds of survival and continues to collect bribery from the American government in order to serve at their behest in the name of all those fancy democratic standards this same government purports to stand for.

This Jedi-mind-trick of a dictatorship has baffled the Islamists in Egypt, stifling their rise to power. Ironically enough, these people that claim to be stifling the power of Islamists are also making them stronger, while the moderate Egyptian voices slowly get drowned in the feces of an oppressive regime.

Resurrect Cyrus the Great

When Persian forces overran Babylonia in 539BC, the inhabitants surrendered peacefully. According to contemporary accounts, Cyrus was greeted as a liberator because of his just policies - and tough attitude to terrorists.

"When I entered Babylon I did not allow anyone to terrorise the land," a text known as the Cyrus Cylinder quotes him as saying. "I strove for peace in Babylon and all other sacred cities. I put an end to the inhabitants' misfortune."

Candid America

My tv's been out for over a month now and I have been uninterested in fixing it. I have, however, been paying attention to certain video clips online of Americans in New Orleans being candid with their thoughts. And now, the truth assault is bearing down on Bush. His incompetence has never been clearer to Americans and citizens of the world. Iraq has been forgotten more completely than when Katrina hit the gulf coast. And it's difficult not to make certain correlations between disaster-Iraq and disaster-New Orleans.

The beautiful black people of New Orleans, the beautiful brown people of Iraq...

...being treated like animals easily sacrificed. Lives that don't matter...


You racist bastards.


Response to the response

He would have noticed if the majority of these stricken folks had been white and prosperous. But they weren't. Most were black and poor, and thus, to the George W. Bush administration, still invisible.


Back it up

Remember when I wrote my computer was slow and my hard drive full? Well, my computer died and I lost a few months of data.

So a lesson to the wise: Back up monthly, if not weekly.

Anyway...trying to take it in stride. The last time it happened to me it was much worse.


Fukuyama: There is everything to be regretted...

The famous Francis Fukuyama shames American foreign policy in the 'paper of record'.
We do not know what outcome we will face in Iraq. We do know that four years after 9/11, our whole foreign policy seems destined to rise or fall on the outcome of a war only marginally related to the source of what befell us on that day. There was nothing inevitable about this. There is everything to be regretted about it.

Bush & Co are great teachers...at the barrel of a gun.

Bush said in his radio speech to the nation,

Like our own nation's founders over two centuries ago, the Iraqis are grappling with difficult issues, such as the role of the federal government. What is important is that Iraqis are now addressing these issues through debate and discussion -- not at the barrel of a gun.

Ex-squeeze me, what?

So, you invade Iraq and at the barrel of the gun you're trying to promote democracy...and now, Iraq is falling apart thanks to your foolish crew of misfits, yet you have reached new heights of absurdity by claiming this in your weekly audio speech to Americans.

You fool.

You're all fools for continuing to spin sunshine from a dark and grim situation. The world and Americans deserve the truth. THey DESERVE A DOSE OF FRICKIN REALITY. The image I have in my head is one of Bush on a ship. One hole opens up in the bow and water rushes in...he plugs it up with his bullshit. Then another hole and another hole, until he runs out of bs. The ship sinks from unsuccessful bullshit asphyxiation and the sheer force of nature.

And if you wingnuts on the right think you could trample the insurgency like the British did with Malay, you're so sorely mistaken. I'd like to see some wet-behind-the-ears DIA agent in Baghdad learn the numerous Iraqi dialects in 2 years...even 4 years, hell 10 years. I'm sure there are so many capable Americans that could really figure out Iraqi culture and this insurgency... ...in 30-50 years perhaps.

I'm just realistic.

Hope lies in YOU my Iraqi brothers and sisters inside Iraq that are working hard for peace and justice. Not with the fantasy seekers in Washington.

I'm being very very realistic.

Wholesale linkage: Isn't in Iranic, don't you think?

Criticize our war profiteering and you shall be demoted.
Dept. of WTF: JFK was contemplating using nukes on China if it attacked India again in the sixties.

One of my favorite punk rockers: Billy Childish, a profile

Larry Johnson, former CIA dude interview

Welcome to White America you brown intruders. Again, get demoted for telling the truth. Par for course and simply symptomatic of American unreality. Get promoted and awarded for lying through your teeth, get your life destroyed and get demoted for telling the truth and living in reality.

Eric Lichtblau reported in The Times this week that the administration was dumping the highly respected Lawrence Greenfeld, appointed by President Bush in 2001 to head the Bureau of Justice Statistics, because he refused superiors' orders to delete from a press release an account of how black and Hispanic drivers were treated more aggressively by the police after traffic stops. The Justice Department study showed markedly higher rates of searches and use of force for black and Hispanic drivers, compared with white drivers.

Fearing that the survey would give ammunition to members of Congress who object to using racial and ethnic data in terrorism and law enforcement investigations, Mr. Greenfeld's supervisors buried it online with no press release or briefing for Congress.

Mr. Lichtblau wrote that when Mr. Greenfeld sent the planned press release to the office of his supervisor, Tracy Henke, then an acting assistant attorney general, the section on the treatment of black and Hispanic drivers was crossed out with a notation: "Do we need this?" Ms. Henke herself had added a note: "Make the changes."

Inching toward civil war?

It's Frank Rich's Sunday editorial: Iraq, The Vietnam Echo Chamber

Henry Kiss"Um"inger talks Iraq exit strategy

What America doesn't want you to see: A photo gallery and the story.

Timothy M. Phelps: For Basra's Christians, Hussein era the good old days
Shiite-dominated city's minorities say repression on rise It makes me sick to even fathom this topic...that we have made no progress, that women are less free, that smaller minorities such as my family shall remain unprotected by any law, that we should only expect things to worsen for us in Iraq after the constitutional folly of the past week or so. It is ironic, or Iranic I should say, that Iraq has been handed on a platter to Iran by America. Sick, I tell ya, I'm sick.

So sick that I'll actually play hipster bingo.

Welcome to the Jungle

It's official now. Iraq is occupied and an operating system of law supposedly put in place by ineffectual puppet appointees does not even remotely apply any longer.

Iraq is the jungle.


Oh, but does it really matter the rule of law has been terminally vexed when people cannot take a stroll in broad daylight without fear of death, air-condition their 50 degree celsius sweat pools, or refrigerate their food?

Nah...so forget about it already.

Liberation is a glorious thing, ain't it?

Bush ally is complete lunatic, not a Christian

When you start telling a televised audience that the government needs to assassinate the leader of another country, it immediately qualifies you as a few things. A couple of them,

1) American Taliban Nutcase 2) Not a Jesus loving Christian

But hey, who am I to judge? Judge yourself.

Hand of Diego

As if we needed his confirmation...

Personally, I think it was a brilliant goal regardless. It's the classic exception to the rule for gamemanship, Maradona-style.

MPG video of the goal

Woot Woot, Wooster Collective


Let's reconstruct the reconstruction

Because it looks like by October we'll be back to square one. Oh, but we've come so far...

Really? We've made negative progress. Sure, change is painful. In Iraq, though, it's been more than painful. At times, so many things--terrible things--have been happening that I could not begin to fathom the amount and sick quality of death and destruction being visited upon by so many innocent Iraqis. Ordinary Iraqis caught up in a gail storm of gluttonous violence.

So, what next?

Let's reconstruct the reconstruction. Abort the process. Oh, but we can't, you say? Why not? Scrap the whole damn thing, I say. We need more voices heard. Reasonable voices across the spectrum of Iraqi society speaking about realistic and substantive changes being made to the current process which will usher in a gloriously spick-and-span version of the constitution whereby all needs of all parties are satisfied somehow, miraculously. The immaculate conception of Iraqi democracy.

That's what should be next.

Useful links:

Iraq reconstruction and occupation page on Global Security.
10,000 years of history in an Archeological Paradise (don't make you into democrats and republicans)

Bush & Co. help create an Islamic Republic one step at a time

Because it's a process, you know.

And the Cheney administration is not creating any ordinary Islamic state. They're creating one fraught with deadly militias, just so you know this step in the process better.

Across northern Iraq, Kurdish parties have employed a previously undisclosed network of at least five detention facilities to incarcerate hundreds of Sunni Arabs, Turkmens and other minorities abducted and secretly transferred from Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, and from territories stretching to the Iranian border, according to political leaders and detainees' families. Nominally under the authority of the U.S.-backed Iraqi army, the militias have beaten up and threatened government officials and political leaders deemed to be working against Kurdish interests; one bloodied official was paraded through a town in a pickup truck, witnesses said.

"I don't see any difference between Saddam and the way the Kurds are running things here," said Nahrain Toma, who heads a human rights organization, Bethnahrain, which has offices in northern Iraq and has faced several death threats.

Blog revival alert: The Religious Policemen is baaaaaaack

Run quickly

Iraq war veteran, aspiring politician, Paul Hackett has tapdancing charisma

As evidenced here

Former CIA anti-terrorism expert, Michael Scheuer, castrates and castigates...

...with this short conclusion on Hardball.

Love people, not places. Create together, don't destroy each other.

What we should be doing, instead of fussin' and a fightin'.

Bush will not meet with a mother of a fallen soldier

He will not look failure in its eyes. He will not try to reason the unreasonable to the heart of all reason--the love of a mother. He will not bring comfort to greiving mother Cindy Sheehan, who asks questions almost every mother of a fallen soldier has asked. Why? Why did my son die? What did he die for? There were no WMD, so what did he die for?

And why won't he meet with her? Because he's on vacation...for five weeks. Do you know the average American gets 7 days of vacation? Oh, but the preznit deserves this vacation because of all the successes he's commandeered this last year. With Iraq going so well, he might as well take the whole year off.

I stand by you Ms. Sheehan and all participators in the 1,600 vigils being held across America. I ask the same questions you ask. And I will continue to ask them, no matter how futile the effort may seem.

America and the world owes you a great debt for starting a conversation about the war that I thought would be difficult, if not impossible, to re-ignite so quickly.

You have single-handedly accomplished what troves of protestors could not. And so, I commend you deeply.


Cindy Sheehan's mother has had a stroke, so she has left Crawford. There are still hundreds of mothers there and more vigils are planned to happen simultaneously across the country on Saturday.

For more on the happenings in Texas where Ms. Sheehan has been having her vigil, please go here and here. Here are some messages for Cindy at EI.

My thoughts are with you and your mother in this difficult time.

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