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.
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'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.
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.
Inching toward civil war?
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."
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.
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?
1) American Taliban Nutcase 2) Not a Jesus loving Christian
But hey, who am I to judge? Judge yourself.
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.
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)
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.
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.
Satterfield is not famous for being completely pro-Israeli, but he does have long and close ties with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy...an AIPAC-backed Israeli think tank pushing Israeli policies in Washington.
If he is leaking classified information from the US government to Israel, he could potentially be leaking to Israel from Baghdad. And this will not make Iraqis happy at all.
Lion in a sheep's clothing?
And on the other side of the sinister spy game divide is Iran and its obvious victory in Iraq handed to it by Bush Co. The thick of it is explained in detail in this article in Time.
Is Iraq becoming another Lebanon? Another arena for other peoples' wars?
The real question is...
Hasn't it already become this?
In Real Iraq, it makes no difference. For the "street", Saddam is history, there is no reconstruction and the filth of Abu Ghraib causes no great surprise - because most Iraqis knew all about it months before the West opened its horrified eyes to the pictures.
As for the constitution, I asked an old Iraqi friend what he thought yesterday. "Sure, it’s important," he said. "But my family lives in fear of kidnapping, I’m too afraid to tell my father I work for journalists, and we only have one hour in six of electricity and we can’t even keep our food from going bad in the fridge. Federalism? You can’t eat federalism and you can’t use it to fuel your car and it doesn’t make my fridge work."
' It is remarkable how the "experts" on Iraq ignore the most important section of Iraqi society: the non-tribal millions centred in Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Kirkuk and some other large cities. These may well belong to tribes and may even be religious, but are totally independent. They regard their Sheikhs [tribal leaders], if they know who they are, almost as a lower cast: Asha'ir (Tribal people) who are considered clumsy, thuggish, and worst of all obeying the tribes rather than following their principles or the country's institutions.
Until the 1980's Iraq enjoyed the best health, education and other governement service, while the tribal areas were, and still are, quite backward and even primitive, while the cities were as advanced as south western Europe. The non-tribal Iraqis, call them Nationalist if you like, have had no place in Bush's Iraq because the Americans promoted tribalism from day one in the hope of controlling Iraq by buying its Sheiks and Mullahs. This policy worked in Afghanistan and Kurdistan
because these are collections of self-ruled tribal areas, and not real countries, but have failed in Iraq's large cities with their complex relationships and mobile population.
These urban Iraqis are critical for the future of Iraq because of their skills and patriotism - do not confuse them with the corrupt Ba'athists though. The Iraqi ministries now are paralysed by the corrupt and incomptent relatives and friends appointed by the Mullahs and Sheikhs who now rule Iraq, which is being transormed into a failed state. The militias and terrorists decide what happens to the people of Iraq. The Constitution and state Institutions are irrelevant no matter how much fuss is made about them.
The Nationalists, who are more likely to be highly educated professionals do not have militias, but can leave the country in droves. Thousands already have, and the country can not function without them regardless of who is in power. The bizzare collection of "Iraq Leaders" today are fighting over spoils that do not exist. The Oil money is not enough even for basic needs, and the failed economy and services will sooner or later trigger national revolt. Unlike other nations, millions of ordinary civilians have AK47s in their homes, and plenty of military training. '
I'm desperately busy these days. My studies have become exponentially more difficult. Also, I've gained a number of new responsibilities and I haven't been able to deliver the goods on time. I've had some more problems with my internet connection, but now everything seems to be running soundly. I need to clean up my computer from a number of files not belonging here, too. It continues to be a bumpy ride online due to a packed hard drive. The net result of all these things has been falling more and more behind on everything going on. I'm going to try to catch up in the next couple of days because the weather is pretty nasty out.
One of my priorities is to address Khalid's imprisonment and what we'll work on accomplishing as a result of one of our very own spending time in the terrible conditions of Iraqi prisons. Of course, I am extremely unhappy Khalid and the Jarrars had to go through such a scary time. But I suggest this moment be seized as a blessing in disguise. We might be able to help many others who have been wrongly accused. We need to brainstorm about this in the coming days and weeks. And we need to continue writing those emails, letters, and making those phone calls.
Meanwhile, check out Siggraph's cyber fashion show.
Increase the peace,
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