More on Bush’s Not-so-New Plan for Iraq

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There is a lot of criticism on the political right and left of the Iraq Study Group report — but all in all, the report does a very good job suggesting that Iraq’s internal problems cannot be addressed without addressing the absence of regional equilibrium.
And while there is debate about what formula might work to address the internal dynamics inside Iraq, the fact is that the American presence is one of the primary drivers of the Sunni insurgency.
Bush will offer a billion dollar jobs plan Wednesday night — small change actually given the employment problem in Iraq — in addition to an escalation of America’s troop presence focused on stabilizing Baghdad. And he has all sorts of glitzy personnel changes to announce that are really just shuffling chairs around on a sinking ship.
In this short piece that appeared in the Financial Times, Trita Parsi makes clear why it’s important to start negotiations with Iran before things fly further out of control. I don’t agree with everything in Parsi’s short essay — but his articulation of an Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy war in Iraq is chilling, and possible.
My sense so far is that the Bush plan continues to neglect the political realities in the region — and inside Iraq. And by firing General John Abizaid, he is continuing the Rumsfeld practice of elevating and rewarding those generals who agree with him and will support his broken strategy — and fire those who have been privately telling him the truth that America needs out of this mess.
For the zinger op-ed advocating a “diplomacy surge,” read General Wesley Clark’s superb piece in the Washington Post. I need to get him to do a guest blog here.
More later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

92 comments on “More on Bush’s Not-so-New Plan for Iraq

  1. Den Valdron says:

    Typical. Unimaginative. Uninteresting. A tedious little nobody, crawling around telling lies, exhibiting the emotional maturity of a twelve year old.

    Reply

  2. Winnipeger says:

    den and poa make a cute couple 🙂

    Reply

  3. Pissed Off American says:

    Yeah, I see what you mean Den. That last intellectual ass-tearing you gave him seems to have obliterated the topic, in his mind, at least.Poof, there went his “facts”. Whats amazing to me is how little is left after the false “facts” are gone.

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  4. Den Valdron says:

    See what I mean?
    He’s entirely abandoned any discussion of issues. There’s no more assertions that ‘everyone believed Saddam had wmds’, ‘remember halabja’, ‘everyone was sure that we’d find stockpiles of chemical weapons’, ‘Russia and France were clients of Iraq’, ‘remember halabja’, ‘aluminum tubes aren’t significant’, et al.
    That discussion is over. He’s beaten and he knows it. Not that he’ll concede, because its his ‘opinion’ that Saddam really had wmds, or ought to have had wmds, and it was all an honest mistake, and the fact that there weren’t was all part of a conspiracy, and the people who didn’t believe in wmds don’t count, et al.
    But he knows, due to my sneaky and traitorous use of facts and logic that he can’t seem to win the discussion, and I’m being mean to him by insisting on the truth. So he’s not going to play that game any more.
    Instead, he’ll take it personal, and he’ll play the victim. Basic issues of fact are superseded by his superiority as a person, and by the fact that I’m a big old mean bully.
    Like I said, its paint by numbers.

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  5. Winnipeger says:

    “Failing that, the one of the last refuges is sarcasm and condescension. The assertion of a personal superiority that stands, even if your argument fails.”
    “sarcasm,” “condescension,” and “personal superiority,” huh?
    you and POA have never exhibited these characteristics, right den?
    oh, the hypocrisy!

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  6. Den Valdron says:

    Nah, this is all standard stuff. Paint by numbers.
    – First there’s the ‘big lie’.
    – Big lie gets challenged, respond with more ‘big lies.’
    – Those get kicked around, make up some ‘facts.’
    – That don’t work try and evade the real facts with spurious logic. Like trying to redefine ‘wmds’ as not including nuclear weapons.
    – When that doesn’t work, get huffy and assert your right to have an opinion, generaously conceding my right to an opinion of my own. If its all ‘opinions’ then truth and lies are irrelevant, its all just a point of view.
    – Failing that, the one of the last refuges is sarcasm and condescension. The assertion of a personal superiority that stands, even if your argument fails.
    – The next step, I suppose, would be to call me a pigfucker or traitor or some such nonsense. Or go all the way to some cheesy quasi ‘death threat.’
    What’s remarkable is how rigidly formulaic and unimaginative it all is. I don’t know why. Maybe they teach it in wingnut schools or something. Whatever it is, its actually a pretty limited bag of tricks, and a pretty automatic progression in their use.
    But then, wingnutland is mostly all like this. Dull and unimaginative, without flair. Sometimes I wonder how Jonah Goldberg dares to collect a paycheque. Setting aside the (nonexistent) quality of his work, I would have assumed shame would be an obstacle. Apparently not.

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  7. Pissed Off American says:

    “Your way of conceding that you don’t have anything left? Some pose of mocking superiority? As if a bit of ‘tude’ will change the facts. ROTFL.”
    Posted by Den Valdron
    I don’t know Den. You think he came up with the letter count by counting each one, or did he just weigh how big an ass you made out of him?

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  8. Den Valdron says:

    LOL. Intense, moi? Not really. I just can’t stand to see a lie foisted about. I suppose insisting on the truth is some sort of character flaw in your world. Much easier to have ‘opinions’ and not worry about truth.
    Your way of conceding that you don’t have anything left? Some pose of mocking superiority? As if a bit of ‘tude’ will change the facts. ROTFL.

    Reply

  9. Winnipeger says:

    i don’t want to talk to you, but i’m going to type 2,500 words to you anyway 😉
    busy, huh?
    don’t worry, i’m sure your “audience” appreciates your effort LOL
    but seriously, den, you’re a pretty intense guy, huh? stop hyperventilating. your outrage isn’t good for you and, dare i say, you’re wasting vital energy here.
    cheers.

    Reply

  10. comnet says:

    The National Interest had a good analysis the other day on Bush’s plan, by General Boyd and Amitai Etzioni. It’s here:
    http://www.nationalinterest.org/Article.aspx?id=13414

    Reply

  11. Den Valdron says:

    I don’t particularly want to talk to you, but you persist in dragging the matter on.
    I’m amused by your dismissal of France and Russia’s position, and the use of a bankrupt right wing talking point to make this claim.
    What exactly is your foundation for claiming that Iraq was France and Russia’s client? And in fact, whose client was Iraq? France or Russia’s? Can you point to a ‘peace and friendship treaty’ between Russia and Iraq, a mutual defense treaty between France and Iraq, is there a free trade agreement between Russia and Iraq, was France providing military aid, loans, equipment or training to Iraq.
    Let me make it simple for you. Zip. Zilch. Nada. There was no foundation to claim that Iraq was a client state of either country. The sole basis for your assertion is that these countries had the temerity to disagree with the fabricated American evidence. They trusted their own ‘lying eyes.’
    Your position on Russia and France is ultimately founded in paranoia. Yes, they secretly hated the United States and were out to thwart it in any way they could. They were in league with Saddam. That’s why they made up lies about Saddam not having any wmd’s, not because it was actually true, but because they were opposing America for their own nefarious reasons.
    Notwithstanding that both Russia and France had supported the original Gulf War, notwithstanding the fact that both Russia and France in the UN had voted for sanctions resolutions, and notwithstanding the fact that neither Russia nor France ever used or were going to use their veto in the UN security council. Oh, but they were still plotting against America.
    Rubbish, and we both know it. It’s nothing. It’s an excuse you’ve got. It’s an evasion. It’s not a real argument. The truth is that both of these countries had intelligence services and capacities that penetrated the middle east. Both of these countries had their own independent sources of intelligence in the middle east. Both of these countries had sophisticated intelligence analysis. They could assess America’s claims both on the merit of those claims, and they could compare those claims with the information that they themselves gathered… and in both cases, America came up wanting.
    As for Canada, the capabilities of CSIS were straightforward. They were not obviously stupid. They do not have intelligence gather capabilities in the middle east. What they did have was the capability to analytically assess the credibility of American and British claims. They found these claims not credible. In the end, CSIS found that the United States had not made a credible case for wmds.
    And that’s the end of story for CSIS. Empty mockery does not make a compelling argument. The truth is that they did their job, they did their job properly, and their conclusions were supported by the outcome.
    I reference Canada because I am Canadian, and therefore had direct experience of the discussions of wmd claims in Newspapers, among opinion leaders, policy makers, media, politicians and ultimately intelligence. The case was found wanting in all particulars.
    Likely if I was a German or Ukrainian or Japanese, I could report on the wmd discussion in those countries and report similar conclusions and discussions. But I’m a Canadian, so I can speak for Canada.
    Canada’s position means that your claim that ‘everyone believed that Saddam had wmd’s’ is fundamentally false. Your follow up that ‘everyone expected chemical and biological weapons to be found’ is also fundamentally false.
    In fact, this position was not restricted to Canada, but shared by many nations.
    You’ve made a great sweeping statement, and having had it exploded on you, you are now trying to redefine ‘everyone’ so as not to include Canada and Russia and France, just as earlier, you’ve tried to redefine wmd’s so as not to include nuclear weapons. Why should I cater to rhetorical dishonesty or offer it any respect at all?
    You seem to want to retreat, arguing that I can’t change your mind and you can’t change mind. This suggests that you view it all as a difference of ‘opinion’, and that one ‘opinion’ is as good as another. Sorry.
    Did Saddam have wmd’s? Ooh, that’s a matter of ‘opinion’! Again, sorry, but that’s not the case.
    There is truth, and there are lies, and never the twain shall meet. You can’t dress up a lie as opinion and expect me to take it seriously.
    The truth is that Saddam did not have wmds. Everyone admits that, even you.
    The truth is that the claims that Saddam had wmds were lies, and obvious lies at that. You seem prepared to admit this with respect to nuclear weapons and al quaeda connections. For reasons which are not obvious and despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, you persist in disputing it.
    Therefore, although the truth is that claims of chemical and biological weapons were lies, but you have an ‘opinion’ that these claims were not lies but… something else. Sorry, that’s just not credible.
    ‘Everyone believed Saddam had wmd’s’? That’s provably not true on just about every level. But you persist in saying it because, despite France, Canada, Russia; despite Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice prior to 9/11; despite Scott Ritter, UN Weapons Inspectors and the International Atomic Energy Commission; despite Joe Wilson and American intelligence professionals… it’s your ‘opinion’ that it is true and all the contrary evidence doesn’t count for one reason or another.
    No, sorry. Contrary evidence means its not true. Maintaining that opinion in the face of contrary evidence means its a ‘lie.’ I don’t respect that.
    This is not a contest. I recognize that there is no changing your mind.
    But I simply will not sit by and allow lies to go unchallenged. It’s as simple as that. Feel free to lie to yourself and to believe any piece of nonsense that makes you happy. I uphold and defend your right to delude yourself.
    But there are other people reading this exchange. That’s who I write for. In these disputes, that’s who I always write for, the audience. Discussion is the marketplace of ideas. I will not stand by and allow lies to be put forward as truth.

    Reply

  12. Pissed Off American says:

    It always cracks me up to see someone denigrate the world leaders that were RIGHT about Saddam’s lack of WMDs. As if the superior and honest representations of Saddam’s capabilities that they presented to the world were somehow just blind luck or based on nefarious motives. “Yeah, they mighta been right, but….blahblahblah.”
    Whenever I get into a debate about whether or not Bush himself lied to us, I always cite the IAEA report that Bush quoted in a speech. Because, as it turned out, no such IAEA report existed. It was a blatant and flagrant lie. Of course, many Americans, including myself, and many world leaders, saw much of what Bush was feeding us were blatant and flagrant lies. But they were demonized and branded for their fact based perception of reality. “Anti-American”, “terrorist sympathizer”, “traitors”, the list of denegrative insults and accusations is endless. In short, we were early victims of Rove’s strategy of swiftboating. And still, as you see above, the denigration continues with accusations of nefarious motives. In Bushworld, competence and truth are cast aside, an obstacle to their self-imagined future legacy.
    Anyone that cannot see the massive deception that was waged on the American people by the Bush Administration and Israel is a brainless idiot. And anyone that sees it, yet still continues to deny it, is a human with a wasted brain, and little or no character.
    And anyone that denigrates the leaders that stood fast and gave the world honesty in the face of such a massive deception is no better than those who composed the deception. They aren’t fools, they are devils.

    Reply

  13. winnipeger says:

    den,
    so the views of chirac and putin prove your point? c’mon, friend. france and russia had their own motivation for protecting their client state, iraq.
    and the capability of the CSIS?! i won’t touch that one with a ten foot pole.
    i might add that this is not a contest, den, nor is the goal to “slice and dice” each other. there are many issues on which we don’t agree. it’s not your job to change my mind and vice versa.

    Reply

  14. winnipeger says:

    Den said……..
    “Slicing and dicing trolls is an art form, POA.”
    As you can see, those words came from an expert.
    Enough said.
    Posted by Pissed Off American at January 12, 2007 07:03 AM
    another great contribution, POA. and please, save the defensiveness for steve. i’ve already admitted to the fact that i stooped to your level in a previous thread and i regret that.
    but the fact remains that *no contributor on this blog* is as consistently offensive as you. so, i insulted your profession? awww… you’ve spent the last many months insulting every aspect of my character and intelligence. it doesn’t feel good, does it?
    and as far as you getting “banned” from this site, i haven’t asked for it. as the proprietor of this blog, it is up to steve to “handle” you how he sees fit.
    i do find it interesting and informative, however, that you think he may take this action. guilty conscience, huh? even you know that you might deserve it.

    Reply

  15. Den Valdron says:

    I have to concurr with Marky on this. There is a gulf between nuclear weapons and any other kind of weapon. Chemical or biological weapons are generally area affect, tactical weapons confined to battlefield environments. I would refer you to the writings of Gwynne Dyer on the substantial gulf between nuclear and other ‘wmd’ and the political significance of such conflation.
    But its merely a point. The evidence is clear for falsification all up and down the line on just about every category of weaponry.
    It comes down to a simple fact: Bush lied to the American people.
    It’s not a defense to say that they were good and credible lies. They weren’t. It’s not a defense to say that Bush believed his own lies. He clearly didn’t. It’s not a defense to say that other people believed those lies too. That still doesn’t make them true. And its certainly not a defense to assert that you still believe those lies. That’s just embarrassing.

    Reply

  16. Pissed Off American says:

    Den said……..
    “Slicing and dicing trolls is an art form, POA.”
    As you can see, those words came from an expert.
    Enough said.

    Reply

  17. marky says:

    Uh, you can’t just slide by the nuclear question, WPG.
    The supposed nuclear threat from Iraq was the single reason that the Bush succeeded in getting support for the Iraq war from republicans. There is polling to back me up on this—if you want, I will dig it up.
    Furthermore, the whole WMD formulation, as presented by the White House, was a lie in itself. Mustard gas is NOT a weapon of mass destruction commensurate with a nuclear weapon. The conflation of vastly disparate threats into one category was a lie in itself, one willingly and criminally abetted by the DC punditocracy

    Reply

  18. Pissed Off American says:

    Masterfully done!

    Reply

  19. Den Valdron says:

    Much as I’m loathe to get into a discussion, but what exactly is your point?
    Chirac’s and Putin’s comments are on the record in interviews from prior to 9/11. They conclusively negatived any potential nuclear threat and their assessment of chemical or biological weapons was only that it was possible there were some marginal leftovers. That’s it. Canada’s position was also well established. This is not up for debate, its a simple fact.
    You asserted that ‘everyone believed Saddam had wmd’s’ or something to that effect. You made the assertion. I’ve given three cases that proves it false. Three cases involving countries with reasonable and professional intelligence agencies and intelligence gathering and analysis capacities. In short, your point is bunk.
    I have no obligation to go through the list from Albania to Zambia to examine each countries views. I didn’t make the assertion that ‘everyone thought Saddam had wmd’s.’ You made a blanket statement which is shown to be worthless.
    You compound this by misrepresenting my statements, and then following it up with another worthless blanket statement. “The entire world expected…” Do you have *anything* to back that up? Can you direct us to an interview post-Invasion where Chirac, or Putin, or Chretien or anyone credible made such an assertion? Was this Iran’s position? China’s? India’s? Germany? Bunk.
    You’ve conceded that the nuclear and al quaeda aspects were clearly ‘bogus.’ I take it that you concede these allegations were fraudulent.
    This poses a problem for you. Given that the evidence on nuclear and al quaeda aspects was obviously falsified and fraudulent – the Czech meeting never happened, the Niger uranium was a scam, the IAEC report was fiction, the aluminum tubes were a dodge… given that this was fraudulent, on what basis should or could anyone trust the rest of it.
    Come on, was the rest of it more credible? 45 minute launch windows, secret armies of drone planes, mobile chemical weapons laboratories for which the only evidence was Colin Powell’s cartoon drawings, bullshit cell phone calls? Did any of that ‘evidence’ really stand up to a first glance, much less a second? And why couldn’t the inspectors find anything where the CIA pointed them? Why didn’t they find anything at all? Why the rush to invade?
    Here’s the thing, if I catch a man in two great big whoppers, and he goes on and makes two more statements that have all sorts of holes… well, they’re probably whoppers too.
    The evidence, none of it, was ever there. It was never persuasive. It was never substantiated. That in itself should have been fatal.
    But when you lump it in to an obvious trail of related falsehoods. Well, its all just crap.
    I care when someone spews obvious untruths. The Holocaust really happened, the Civil War was about slavery, the Great War was tragic idiocy, let us not wrongly ennoble scoundrels with lies.

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  20. Pissed Off American says:

    Don’t just threaten, do it, and Steve and I will spend some email time as well. That is, if I’m not building a “stool”.
    Look, just leave my opinions, my proffession, my age, and everything else about me OUT of your sick little game. You have no reason whatsoever to engage me in cyber conversation, or administer admonissions at me, nor should I be expected to just forget that immature and remarkably insulting shit you threw at me about my age and proffession. You are a distinctly irritating, hypocritical, AND disingenuous individual, and if you truly want to end this kind of exchange you will just leave me out of your slimey little games.
    And if YOU succeed in getting ME banned from this site Steve isn’t paying attention, and has failed to found his decision on research.

    Reply

  21. Winnipeger says:

    sorry, den, and not that you care, but i disagree with the premise of your argument: that all the policy-makers and intelligence agencies around the world didn’t really believe that saddam possesed stockpiles of chemical weapons. granted, the nuclear and al quaeda angle was always clearly bogus, but not so the WMD. the entire world expected us to find chemical stockpiles and at least some evidence of biological weapons.

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  22. Den Valdron says:

    To reiterate, the case for wmd’s was largely composed of lies promoted by the Bush administration for the purpose of getting their war.
    The Bush administration itself had no realistic belief that there were wmd’s. Nor, I would argue, was this belief ever genuinely held by Sharon’s administration in Israel, nor Blair’s administration in England.
    A great many American people, fed a steady stream of lies big and small, and corrupted by a ceaseless media drumbeat of war propaganda came to believe in wmd’s, despite any number of obvious problems. These people were stupid. They were fools. I wish that there were better words, but there are not. This was the case, no more, no less.
    Americans were hustled and bamboozled by hucksters and fraud artists, the same as any town of rural marks at a crooked game of three card monte by bunko men.
    There’s nothing to be proud of there, and certainly the fact that people got took is not a defense, it is a shameful admission.
    And it is happening again, as we see with pretty much identical propaganda being brought against Iran.

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  23. Winnipeger says:

    i agree with den’s comment above.
    has anyone ever seen our president look as chastened as he did last night?
    ‘ya think he’s started talking to the paintings yet?

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  24. Winnipeger says:

    marky,
    you’re right. not *everyone* believed saddam had some WMD, but at the same time, *many* people did.
    not that it matters now; hindsight is 20/20. the fact is, anyone who thought he possessed WMD was wrong. anyone who thought it was prudent to invade and occupy iraq was wrong.
    myth killed?

    Reply

  25. Den Valdron says:

    I’d argue that Bush’s adventures in Iraq are primarily motivated by fantasies of a thousand year reich… Or more accurately a ‘new American Century’ of perpetual American hyper-power, dominating and overwhelming all rivals through demonstrations of crushing military superiority and control of key strategic resources. Basically, its megalomaniac world domination for fun and profit.
    Israelphilia is just a bonus. It’s the cherry on top of the ‘King of the World’ sundae.
    As for Bush’s troop surge… the reality is that its going to break the US army rather than Iraq. It’s a joke that’s going to get a lot of people killed. It has no military use or utility.
    The purpose of the surge is to buy George W. Bush another six months, and then another, and then another until finally he’s out of office and he can blame a Democratic President.

    Reply

  26. Marky says:

    Wpger,
    Will you admit that your point 1) was flat wrong?
    “Everyone” did not believe Saddam had a WMD threat. Many experts did not believe it, as several commenters have demonstrated.
    This myth deserves to die. Why don’t you help put it to rest?

    Reply

  27. Winnipeger says:

    “don’t disparage or denigrate my character because you disagree with my opinions.”
    I don’t need to. You have managed that task quite well yourself. Just ask most people on this blog.
    BTW, I am STILL a cabinet maker, and STILL 53.
    “1. everyone thought they had proof that saddam had wmd’s”
    Bullshit. And, those that DId believe Bush, (and Israel), had beliefs that were founded on purposefully manipulated intelligence. The naysayers were simply ignored and demonized. Rememember Ritter?
    “2. these weren’t lies, but ignorance.”
    Whats the opposite of ignorance? Intelligence. And thats EXACTLY what Bush and Israel said they had that PROVED Saddam had WMD’s. Why has that “proof” never been shown? And, someone with an honest opinion about that has GOT TO wonder why Roberts never allowed a Phase Two report.
    “4. one stupid quote from one stupid politican does not define the policy of a country and system as vast as israels. dare i say that there is a more “robust” political debate in israel than there is in america.”
    Go look at the AIPAC website. Then natter some horseshit about “one stupid quote from one stupid politican”.
    And in the future, winnipeger, please refrain from casting hypocritical admonisions in my direction. I neither care what you think, nor do I intend to support your false pretensions.
    Posted by Pissed Off American at January 11, 2007 10:36 AM
    i’m going to forward this to steve and see what he thinks of POA’s continual verbal abuse.

    Reply

  28. pauline says:

    Den wrote:
    “. . .But I don’t think that making the world safe for Israel, in the most cock-busted way, is at the top of Bush’s agenda in Iraq or Iran. At best, its an important factor, but not the sole nor the determining factor.”
    Years ago, President Carter made ME peace, even though Bush Sr. and his CIA buddies helped ouster Carter by making the arms-for-hostages deal with Iran.
    Are you looking for an Iraq solution? An Iran solution? A ME solution? Have you read Carter’s book?
    Carter’s book re-emphasizes the FACT that he understands the ME and has a solution for peace.
    So, Den, why is Bush really spending American lives and hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in Iraq? What exactly is his “biggest” reason?
    From last night’s speech, President Bush is right to recognize that U.S strategy in Iraq is not working. I concede that. His new plan envisions new missions and dangers for U.S. troops and counts on unprecedented military and political steps by the Iraqi government, which is a puppet government fighting it’s own civil war. The plan is likely to cause a spike in U.S. casualties with an end result that is risky at best. Bush appears prepared to embrace this approach despite strong opposition from Congress, much of the top military and the public — setting up a political and social conflict that in itself could unravel this great experiment we call the United States.
    If only Jimmy Carter were President again, leading the way to a long and lasting peace. Both Israel and the neo-con war party don’t want any part of that.
    imo, Paul Craig Robert’s analysis is so on-the-mark —
    “One can add to Carter’s bottom line that the Bush administration, American neoconservatives, and the Olmert Israeli government believe that the solution lies in the use of military force to smash Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah and to inflict cultural genocide on Muslims by deracinating Islam. This is the path on which Bush with deceit and treachery is leading America.”
    Is Bush’s “surge” anything more than more “smashing” of Iraq?

    Reply

  29. Den Valdron says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot about the IAEA stuff.
    One of the creepy things about some of the lies was the brutal brazenness of them.
    It was like walking into a room to find your dad raping your sister and he simply lies about it as you watch.
    It was a sign of the Bush administration’s contempt for the political process, contempt for Democrats and the media, and ultimately contempt for Americans that they would tell such obvious lies with such utter indifference.
    And indeed, they reacted ferociously when anyone dared to challenge. Consider the treatment accorded to Scott Ritter and Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame respectively.
    The administration was perfectly willing to burn an undercover CIA operative, burn a CIA front operation, destroy an entire CIA program to monitor wmd in the middle east, and kill dozens of Plame’s international contacts… just to make an example of Joe Wilson.
    I suppose the lesson took. Which is why the media and the Democrats continue to go along with the charade.
    And why gullible fools continue to believe.

    Reply

  30. John says:

    “everyone thought they had proof that saddam had wmd’s” But only because they wanted to believe it and desperately wanted us to believe it.
    I saved a New York Times article dated January, 2003 about US intelligence officials who voiced skepticism about WMD claims. Prior to that there was conclusive proof that Bush was lying about WMDs, attributing statements to the IAEA that they never made.

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  31. Den Valdron says:

    I’ll note that I am not attempting to provoke a fight. Thread topics naturally wander around all over the place, but Pauline’s contribution, focusing on Carter and his book, does seem a bit left field.
    The notion that some in Israel feel their security is enhanced by America dismantling every muslim statein the neighborhood may have something to it. But I don’t think that making the world safe for Israel, in the most cock-busted way, is at the top of Bush’s agenda in Iraq or Iran. At best, its an important factor, but not the sole nor the determining factor.
    In any case, Israeli’s who believe that in the long run, a bunch of busted up Muslim states surrounding them is a good thing for their security are on crack. The best they get is a superiority which may be fleeting in a sea of antagonized dysfunctional states that are breeding grounds for guerillas. Israel gets a kind of permanent low-level intifada, and eventual demographic and economic disintegration. Hardly sounds like fun.
    But at this point, I’d much rather that we stick to the main issue in this thread, however tangentially, which is Iraq.
    Continued screaming about Israel destroys too many threads that were focused on other topics and draws trolls like flies.

    Reply

  32. Den Valdron says:

    Acknowledging that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied territories is inhumane and unjust… this has what to do with Iraq?

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  33. pauline says:

    January 11, 2007
    Jimmy Carter Speaks Truth to Propaganda
    by Paul Craig Roberts
    Jimmy Carter, probably the most decent man to occupy the White House, received a lot of grief during his term in office, most of it undeserved. His latest book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid has brought him even more grief, none of it deserved.
    My own appreciation of Jimmy Carter is new found. It began with his previous book, Our Endangered Values, in which Carter criticized the direction in which George W. Bush was taking America with his assaults on the Constitution and international law. His latest book, currently a best seller, shows that Carter has the courage to match his decency and commitment to peace in the Middle East.
    A case can be made that while other US presidents focused on the Soviet or communist threat, Carter perceived that the greater threat to world peace and US interests was in the Middle East. With America’s backing Israel was a rising military power whose policies and existence were viewed as a threat by Arab countries. After Israel’s military successes and Carter’s success in arranging peace between Egypt and Israel, new Arab-Israeli tensions arose from Israel’s refusal to leave occupied Palestine and return to its own borders.
    Over time the occupied lands have been appropriated by Israeli settlements and now by a massive wall and special roads on which no Palestinian can travel. Palestinian villages have been cut off from water, from their fields and groves, from schools and hospitals, and from one another. Essentially, what was once Palestine has become isolated ghettos in which the Palestinian inhabitants cannot enter or depart without Israeli permission.
    Israel’s policy is to turn Palestinians into refugees and to incorporate the West Bank into Israel. Slowly over time the policy has been implemented in the name of fighting terrorism and protecting Israel. Had Israel tried to achieve this all at once, opposition would have been great and the crime too large for the world to accept. Today Israel�s gradual destruction of Palestine has become part of the fabric of everyday affairs.
    Many people, including intelligent Israelis, believe that peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved through military coercion and that peace requires Israel to abandon its policy of stealing Palestine from Palestinians. Jimmy Carter, whose long involvement with the issue makes him very knowledgeable and credible, is one of these people.
    The reason that Israel has been able to appropriate Palestine unto itself with American aid and support is that Israel controls the explanation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At least 90% of Americans, if they know anything at all of the issue, know only the Israeli propaganda line. Israel has been able to control the explanation, because the powerful Israel Lobby brands every critic of Israeli policy as an anti-Semite who favors a second holocaust of the Jews.
    In Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, Jimmy Carter takes the risk of speaking truth to propaganda. Predictably, the Israel Lobby and its shills ranging from the “conservative” National Review to “liberal” media and commentators have attempted to banish Carter by labeling him an “anti-Semite.”
    We must not let the Israel Lobby get away with demonizing an American president who dares to stand up to their lies.
    Carter’s book is a readable and factual history of the Israeli-Palestinian issue and its various turnings. The most powerful chapter is the penultimate, “The Wall as a Prison.”
    Carter makes clear that the wall has little to do with Israeli security and a lot to do with dispossession of the Palestinians. Carter writes:
    “It is obvious that the Palestinians will be left with no territory in which to establish a viable state, but completely enclosed within the barrier and the occupied Jordan River valley. The Palestinians will have a future impossible for them or any responsible portion of the international community to accept, and Israel’s permanent status will be increasingly troubled and uncertain as deprived people fight oppression and the relative number of Jewish citizens decreases demographically (compared to Arabs) both within Israel and in Palestine. This prospect is clear to most Israelis, who also view it as a distortion of their values. Recent events involving Gaza and Lebanon demonstrate the inevitable escalation in tension and violence within Palestine and stronger resentment and animosity from the world community against both Israel and America.”
    Zionists and American neoconservatives could care less about what the world community thinks. They are concerned only with Israeli hegemony in the Middle East. They realize that this goal can only be obtained with military coercion and have discarded any reliance on negotiation and compromise. Bush, for example, has refused the unanimous recommendation of the Iraq Study Group to talk with Iran and Syria. The US and Israeli electorates have proven to be powerless, while a handful of neoconservatives and Zionist settlers drive Middle East policy.
    Carter is well aware that the “Roadmap for Peace” has been turned into a propaganda device. Carter writes that Israel uses the roadmap “as a delaying tactic with an endless series of preconditions that can never be met while proceeding with plans to implement its unilateral goals,” and that the US uses it “to give the impression of positive engagement in a peace process, which President Bush has announced will not be fulfilled during his time in office.”
    The Israel Lobby and its bought-and-paid-for minions tried to demonize Carter for using the word “apartheid” to describe the Palestinian ghettos that Israel has created. The word calls to mind the former South African government’s policy of racial separation, which was mild compared to the restrictions and dispossessions Israel has imposed on Palestinians. A number of commentators have come to Carter’s defense, including Jewish scholar Norman Finkelstein and former Israeli Minister of Education Shulamit Aloni (Yediot Acharonot, Israel’s largest circulating newspaper). They point out that within Israel itself Israel’s policy is commonly called apartheid.
    If Americans could read the frank discussion in the Israeli press about Israel’s inhuman treatment of Palestinians they would wonder how they, as Americans with a “free press”, became so totally brainwashed.
    In an act of honest statesmanship that is rarely witnessed, Carter concludes his book:
    “The bottom line is this: Peace will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with international law, with the Roadmap for Peace, with official American policy, with the wishes of a majority of its own citizens — and honor its own previous commitments — by accepting its legal borders. All Arab neighbors must pledge to honor Israel’s right to live in peace under these conditions. The United States is squandering international prestige and goodwill and intensifying global anti-American terrorism by unofficially condoning or abetting the Israeli confiscation and colonization of Palestinian territories. It will be a tragedy — for the Israelis, the Palestinians, and the world — if peace is rejected and a system of oppression, apartheid and sustained violence is permitted to prevail.”
    One can add to Carter’s bottom line that the Bush administration, American neoconservatives, and the Olmert Israeli government believe that the solution lies in the use of military force to smash Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah and to inflict cultural genocide on Muslims by deracinating Islam. This is the path on which Bush with deceit and treachery is leading America.

    Reply

  34. Den Valdron says:

    And for the record, Israel’s claims prior to the Iraq War about Iraq’s wmd’s have clearly been proven false.
    The only question remaining about such claims is whether they were knowingly or mistakenly false.
    Notwithstanding the immense failures of Mossad in the most recent Lebanese conflict, overall, Mossad has had a very good reputation for intelligence sorting, up to and including covert operations and targeted assassinations. I therefore find it hard to believe that such an organization could so easily make such an egregious blunder.
    Simply put, there were no wmd’s, it turns out. Mossad at best, could only have had suspicions. There were no certainties for it to present.
    However, Mossad, like other intelligence agencies, has a long history of lying. And it was deemed to be in Israel’s interests for the US to attack Iraq.
    While I don’t consider Israel to be a determining factor in the American decision to attack and occupy Iraq, they (the Sharon government) were certainly cheerleaders who saw advantages for themselves.

    Reply

  35. Den Valdron says:

    “Everyone believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.”
    Not true at all. This is merely right wing apologism.
    The usual form of this nonsense is the breathless assertion that ‘Russia, France, England and Israel’ (and occasionally other countries) all believed Iraq had wmd’s. Unfortunately, this breaks down utterly upon examination.
    For instance, there are published interviews with both Chirac of France and Putin of Russia prior to the invasion of Iraq where both stated their countries conclusions that Iraq had no nuclear program, much less an active nuclear weapons program, and no ongoing chemical weapons program. Their nuanced positions were that possibly there might be some leftover chemical weapons from the pre-gulf war era, but that was it. Hardly a ringing endorsement of wmd’s in Iraq. Canada, notably, declined to support the coalition of the willing stating explicitly that the evidence for wmd’s was clearly insufficient to justify military action.
    Even within the United States there were a number of people who claimed that Iraq had no wmd’s, including former weapons inspectors. Among those people making these sorts of claims were Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell (prior to 9/11).
    Let us turn now to the question of whether the wmd hysteria was based in ignorance or lies. I think that any honest answer is that it was lies, lies and nothing but lies. If we look to the actual evidence being presented it fits into several categories.
    *Obvious falsehoods* Front and centre here would the Niger Uranium claims, based on documents that were instantly debunked as crude forgeries. This was nothing more than an obvious lie. It was bunk rejected by Italian tabloid journalists. It was debunked by the CIA, debunked again by American embassy officials in the region, debunked again by Joe Wilson. And yet, after all that, it was part of the Presidents case in his state of the Union Address. The exposure of that lie resulted in a campaign of revenge against Wilson and his wife.
    Another obvious falsehood, repeatedly debunked yet imbued with a pernicious life and repeated by Dick Cheney even after it was discredited, was the allegation of a meeting between Al Quaeda and Iraqi officials in Czechoslovakia. While not directly related to wmd’s, it certainly formed part of the drumbeat for the war, and highlights the culture of dishonesty.
    Dishonesty also permeated the fabled British Dossier on Iraq wmd’s, which was quickly discovered to have been plagiarized from a 10 year old grad student paper, complete with mispellings intact. The obvious bankruptcy implicit in such plagiarism implies that there’s no point in discussing its contents at all. Rather, it highlights the utter dishonesty and lying in the intelligence process. This was 10 year old students material, and yet it was shined up and presented as contemporary ‘breaking’ information.
    Also noteworthy in terms of dishonesty was the use of testimony from an Iraqi defector to support the wmd charges, carefully excluding the parts of his testimony confirming that all the wmd’s had been destroyed. This sort of creative editing is, in simpler lands, a variety of lying. Lies by cherry picking omissions.
    *Ridiculous Claims* Notably that Saddam had a fleet of drone aircraft ready to spray chemical weapons on the American seaboard… a level of technology that exists only in James Bond fantasies. Equally fantastic were mobile chemical and biological weapons labs, the problems with which are obvious from a moments throught. And then there was the ridiculous 45 minute launch window touted by British officials. The point is that, almost as much as proven dishonesty of which there are many examples, ridiculous claims themselves are incredible and drag down the case.
    *Hyper-Detailed Claims* Any con man knows that a lie is more easily believed the more concrete it is. A specific number implies knowledge and is more easily swallowed than some generality. So most con jobs swarm with facts and figures, numbers and propositions. If you work your way through it, you’ll find the flaws, but most people simply take it at face value.
    The world of real intelligence, however, is often more ambiguous. When people are out to keep secrets and other people are out to find those secrets, no one can ever be quite sure what there is or isn’t. So, rather than precise numbers, real intelligence is given to estimates or guesstimates, ranges, approximations.
    The promotion of the Iraq war, however, featured claims of specific amounts of Sarin, Mustard, Nerve Gas, and even Anthrax and Botulism, down to the kilogram and litre. Don Rumsfeld and others repeated over and over again that they knew exactly where Iraq’s wmd’s were located. Now, the only way to come up with such precise numbers is to have incredibly good intelligence… or to simply be making them up.
    *Failure to Verify* A word here has to be given to Colin Powell’s excruciatingly bad presentation to the UN where, instead of evidence, he was forced to tender cartoon drawings of mobile chemical weapons labs and ambiguous cell phone conversations that might have been about wmd, a drug deal, or something else. When the time came to put concrete evidence forward, there is an obligation to put forward your very best evidence. If this was Powell’s best…
    More to the point, however, when inspections resumed, weapons inspectors were utterly unable to find any wmd’s.
    Most devastatingly, when weapons inspectors attempted to verify locations and information that the CIA had given them, it came up empty. This was a big red sign that the CIA’s intelligence was fatally flawed. At this point the case for wmd’s should have come crashing down.
    *Subsequent Conduct* Instead of the weapons inspections stopping or slowing the march to war, it actually accelerated Bush’s timetable. The only explanation for this conduct is that the United States knew its case was fraudulent and needed to commence the invasion before the case fell apart completely. I’m sorry, but there it is.
    Another key that tells us that the United States government was well aware that the wmd claims were fraudulent was in the massive ongoing failure to secure any site. Look, its pretty simple. If you believe that there are dangerous wmd’s around, you find them and you secure them. You secure collateral sites. Instead, Baghdad’s centre for disease control was left up to looters. Militar stockpiles were ignored and left for looters. Even the remains of Iraq’s nuclear energy program, under UN seal since 1992, was broken into and then ignored, left for looters. Radioactive scrap metal from these sites eventually showed up at scrap metal dealers in Holland.
    In terms of the question as to whether belief in wmd’s was an ignorant mistake or a deliberate lie, there’s no question at all but that it was all lies. Even American intelligence acknowledges this. The real question is, who was lying.
    The official position is that the lies came from Ahmad Chalabi, from Allawi, from guys like ‘Curveball’ in Germany, from a hundred unidentified intelligence sources, bottom feeders, arms dealers, exiles and renegades. Bunk.
    These gentlemen may have been lying, of course. In fact, they certainly were lying. But what we are expected to believe is that George W. Bush and the American government got taken… that they gullibly, naively and innocently swallowed these lies. That they got snookered like the rest of us.
    And so they believed claims which were disproved and obviously false, and they believed those claims even after they were disproven, they accidentally deleted contrary information, they accidentally incorporated decade old plagiarized material as fresh, they swallowed wholeheartedly the most ridiculous and offensive notions, never gave a second look to numbers and claims that were far too specific, never wondered why none of this panned out when the weapons inspectors were there, were in such terror that they had to invade before the inspectors could finish, but were not concerned enough to bother securing any potential site.
    Bullshit. The ‘innocents abroad’ is a polite fiction that Americans tell each other to avoid having to face up to the fact that Bush should be impeached for colossal fraud.
    But the truth is that it was all lies, the American government knew it was lies, and that 650,000 people have died for lies.

    Reply

  36. Pissed Off American says:

    “don’t disparage or denigrate my character because you disagree with my opinions.”
    I don’t need to. You have managed that task quite well yourself. Just ask most people on this blog.
    BTW, I am STILL a cabinet maker, and STILL 53.
    “1. everyone thought they had proof that saddam had wmd’s”
    Bullshit. And, those that DId believe Bush, (and Israel), had beliefs that were founded on purposefully manipulated intelligence. The naysayers were simply ignored and demonized. Rememember Ritter?
    “2. these weren’t lies, but ignorance.”
    Whats the opposite of ignorance? Intelligence. And thats EXACTLY what Bush and Israel said they had that PROVED Saddam had WMD’s. Why has that “proof” never been shown? And, someone with an honest opinion about that has GOT TO wonder why Roberts never allowed a Phase Two report.
    “4. one stupid quote from one stupid politican does not define the policy of a country and system as vast as israels. dare i say that there is a more “robust” political debate in israel than there is in america.”
    Go look at the AIPAC website. Then natter some horseshit about “one stupid quote from one stupid politican”.
    And in the future, winnipeger, please refrain from casting hypocritical admonisions in my direction. I neither care what you think, nor do I intend to support your false pretensions.

    Reply

  37. bAkho says:

    I think Congress should register its unhappiness with Bush Iraq policy by attaching a tax increase to the Iraq Supplemental. Specifically, they should return the top income tax rate to 39% and attach it directly to the Supplemental to pay for the Bush occupation. This would help drive home the cost of the failed Bush policy to Bush and his most loyal supporters. Plus it would give Congress money to deal with the deficit and neglected social programs.
    Bush is trying to disguise that fact that his policy is still “stay the course”. By adding a few more troops Bush is shifting debate from “stay the course” to “the surge”. This is so pathetic.

    Reply

  38. Winnipeger says:

    marky,
    “definately” not true? that’s a pretty definitive statement. the minor detail about centrifuge material does not disprove anything. need i remind you that WMD are NOT limited to nuclear? rememebr halbja?
    further, i’m not sure why my point about netanyahu bolsters a case against AIPAC. i was merely responding to POA who took one reckless quote from one marginzalized (and in my opinion, idiotic) politican and made a sweeping generalization about israeli intent.
    as i wrote earlier in this thread, i believe that an attack on iran would be catastrophic to u.s. and israeli interests and opinion polls show that the majority of israelis agree. netanyahu should be taken for what he is: a right-wing, reactionary. he does not speak for the vast majority of israelis or israeli policy-makers

    Reply

  39. bob h says:

    Presumably it is the job of the National Security Adviser to help the President see clearly through all of this. But in Steven Hadley we evidently have a weak figure, as inadequate as his predecessor.

    Reply

  40. ET says:

    Here, a timeline of how the aluminum tubing allegation became a lynchpin in the case against Saddam Hussein — and how that claim ultimately unraveled.
    http://www.motherjones.com/news/update/2003/07/we_489_01.html

    Reply

  41. Marky says:

    Winnipeger,
    Your point 1) is a canard—definitely not true.
    point 2): Definitely incorrect. The most egregious example of lying was perhaps the repeated statement that the aluminum tubes Saddam was purchasing could only be for uranium centrifuges. Wrong kind of aluminum, and we already new from many years before that he used exactly those specs of tubes for rocket launchers.
    Your 3) I agree with.
    Point 4) Actually bolsters the case against the Israel lobby. One cannot have a robust discussion of anything involving Israel because of the power of various Israeli/Jewish groups to get politicians ostracized. That’s my take on it.

    Reply

  42. ET says:

    POA, Code Sonic. Love, ET

    Reply

  43. Winnipeger says:

    POA:
    can we please do what steve requested and try to keep this a debate of ideas and not personalities? we certainly have a horrible track record when it comes to this, but this is steve’s blog and he has already said what he thinks about the personal nature of this debate. stop it. don’t disparage or denigrate my character because you disagree with my opinions. thank you.
    here’s what i believe on thissue of the run-up of the iraq war:
    1. everyone thought they had proof that saddam had wmd’s
    2. these weren’t lies, but ignorance.
    3. i don’t believe that there is uniformity of opinion in israel or with jewish americans.
    4. one stupid quote from one stupid politican does not define the policy of a country and system as vast as israels. dare i say that there is a more “robust” political debate in israel than there is in america.
    instead of spending so much time and energy trying to “dismantle” other contributor’s opinions, why don’t you stick to discussing yours?
    i believe that steve asked nicely…

    Reply

  44. ET says:

    Daniel Ellsberg of “Pentagon Papers” fame, along with John Nichols, author of The Genius of Impeachment, were among the riveting speakers at an event at the National Press Club, in Washington, D.C., held on Jan. 4, 2007 entitled, “Voices of Impeachment.”
    Videos of the event may be viewed online and are linked at:
    http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/ticia/2007/jan/10/voices_of_impeachment

    Reply

  45. ET says:

    Daniel Ellsberg of “Pentagon Papers” fame, along with John Nichols, author of The Genius of Impeachment, were among the riveting speakers at an event at the National Press Club, in Washington, D.C., held on Jan. 4, 2007 entitled, “Voices of Impeachment.”
    Videos of the event may be viewed online and are linked at: http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/ticia/2007/jan/10/voices_of_impeachment

    Reply

  46. Pissed Off American says:

    MP wrote:
    “Do you know if AIPAC and ASPEN are the only two exceptions to this rule? Or are there others?”
    Kinda lends the lie to this “AIPAC is like any other lobby” horseshit, doesn’t it, MP?

    Reply

  47. Pissed Off American says:

    Fact is, on another thread, I quoted one of the official Israeli statements leading up to the Iraq war. In it were included the same kind of LIES that we were been fed by the Bush Administration; about Israeli intelligence knowing EXACTLY where Saddam’s WMDs were.
    It is only because of the passage of time that that “people” such as winnipeger feel confident denying Israel’s part in cheerleading this nation to war. The Israeli’s lied too. And to disregard the ties to Israel that so many of Bush’s advisers and cabinet members held is dishonest and unrealistic. Fieth, Zakheim, Perle, Kristol, Wolfowitz, the list goes on and on.
    Then you have the current rhetoric coming out of Israel about Iran. The same kind of twisted intelligence. The implied certainties where there are no certainties. And the DIRECT QUOTES from Israeli officials heralding an effort to involve the United States in war with Iran.
    Of course, those of winnipeger’ ilk, (or MP’s for that matter), can’t deny the current rhetoric coming out of Israel about Iran, nor can they deny the active lobbying that is being done on AIPAC’s website advocating a military option against Iran.
    So, instead, winnipeger and those sharing his bias, and willingness to obscure or hide the truth, will natter denials at us, despite the volume of evidence that completely dismantles their argument.
    Were other motives involved which prompted this embarrassing asshole Bush and his crew of Isreali firsters and neo-con vultures to lie this nation into the invasion of Iraq? Of course. But that doesn’t erase Israel’s part in this.

    Reply

  48. Winnipeger says:

    Deep shit, I’m telling you. These people need to be REMOVED from power, and someone needs to tell Israel we are through dying for them.
    Posted by: Pissed Off American at January 10, 2007 10:54 AM
    i agree with den, that it is incorrect to blame our iraqi imbroglio on israel.
    certainly they initially supported the war… but so did 55%-65% of this country.
    GWB and his neocon-cabal had their own motivation for pursuing war, irrespective of israel’s interests; namely greed and delusions of grander.
    yet another icarus story.

    Reply

  49. pauline says:

    MP wrote:
    “Do you know if AIPAC and ASPEN are the only two exceptions to this rule? Or are there others?”
    Can you think of any more “influential” parties than these two who would be excepted, and really, who cares? There’s certainly more than one way for congressional rules/exceptions to hide the true essence of the matter.
    Other firms, being very small exceptions, may be made to make the exception list just to appear that this is a list of many.
    From the RAW STORY news account, “According to an AIPAC spokesperson, AIPAC benefits from these exemptions because it is affiliated with a 501(c)(3) organization called the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), which funds educational trips for private citizens and public officials. Organizations with that designation do not conduct lobbying directly and therefore are allowed to fund travel for members. According to a study by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI), the group spent nearly one-million dollars on congressional travel from January 2000 through mid-2005. The Aspen Institute, on the other hand spent more than $3.5 million on member travel during the same period. According to the CPI, no other sponsor’s spending came close.
    AIPAC, through AIEF, also pays for educational trips for journalists, though the group does not ask reporters to write about their experiences. Jacob Weisberg, the editor of the online magazine Slate, recently disclosed — in a story defending President Bush against charges of complicity in last summer’s Israel-Lebanon war — that he’d traveled to Israel with AIPAC.”

    Reply

  50. MP says:

    John: Do you know if AIPAC and ASPEN are the only two exceptions to this rule? Or are there others?

    Reply

  51. John says:

    The Aspen Strategy Institute membership reads like an American Foreign Policy Mafia. Check it out:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspen_Strategy_Group
    Judith Miller, one of its more illlustrious emeritus members, along with Cheney, Condi, Zoellick, Wolfowitz, and Zelikow. I’m surprised Lee Raymond (former Exxon CEO) didn’t make the list. It does manage to include a couple voices who may occasionally propose alternative means for securing those unspecified strategic interests that we hear so much about.

    Reply

  52. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “Louise Slaughter should be supported and we need to know who those are who pushed for the exemption for AIPAC and Aspen…no doubt they are the same ones who will back Bush’s “surge”.”
    Yes, indeed.

    Reply

  53. Carroll says:

    Get rid of this MAFIA goverment.
    “Speaker Pelosi also confirmed what Bob Cesca wrote in Tuesday’s Huffington Post: That one of the conditions being placed on the Iraqi government by the White House is that American oil companies be given first shot at Iraqi oil and be allowed to keep 75 percent of the profits.
    “In the president’s proposal, one of the standards that he’s setting for them to meet is that 75 percent of the oil production goes to U.S. companies,” she said. “This is stunning — 75 percent of the production goes to the U.S. Is this what our kids are over there for?”
    Current Plan:
    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2132569.ece
    Neo’s Plan:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/4354269.stm
    The Israeli Factor:
    http://www.janes.com/regional_news/africa_middle_east/news/fr/fr030416_1_n.shtml
    US efforts to get Iraqi oil to Israel are not surprising. Under a 1975 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the US guaranteed all Israel’s oil needs in the event of a crisis. The MoU, which has been quietly renewed every five years, also committed the USA to construct and stock a supplementary strategic reserve for Israel, equivalent to some US$3bn in 2002. Special legislation was enacted to exempt Israel from restrictions on oil exports from the USA.
    Moreover, the USA agreed to divert oil from its home market, even if that entailed domestic shortages, and guaranteed delivery of the promised oil in its own tankers if commercial shippers were unwilling or not available to carry the crude to Israel. All of this adds up to a potentially massive financial commitment.
    The USA has another reason for supporting Paritzky’s project: a land route for Iraqi oil direct to the Mediterranean would lessen US dependence on Gulf oil supplies. Direct access to the world’s second-largest oil reserves (with the possibility of expansion through so-far untapped deposits) is an important strategic objective

    Reply

  54. Carroll says:

    Louise Slaughter should be supported and we need to know who those are who pushed for the exemption for AIPAC and Aspen…no doubt they are the same ones who will back Bush’s “surge”.
    Democrats’ own Rules Commmittee chair criticizes exemption, bill architecture
    WASHINGTON — A major loophole in the Democrats’ recently unveiled ethics package will allow non-profit arms of controversial lobbying organizations to fund travel excursions for members of Congress.
    Though tasked with authoring the legislation, Rules Committee Chair Louise Slaughter (D-NY) said she disagreed with the exemption in an exclusive interview.
    “I would’ve done it straight out,” Slaughter said, noting that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Aspen Institute are exempt from many of its harshest restrictions.
    Slaughter didn’t say who, if anyone, had pushed for the exemption. As chair, the New York Democrat was responsible for pulling together the ethics reform package, which was hammered out between members of the Democratic caucus.
    A Democratic staffer close to the bill says Slaughter has singled out AIPAC and the Aspen Institute in conversations with other reporters.
    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declined to comment.”

    Reply

  55. Dennis says:

    Inspite of all the decention from Republicans, tonight they will all jump up and down like they are supposed to do, like the puppets they are, when Bush speaks.
    You don’t have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.

    Reply

  56. Carroll says:

    New boss, same as old boss. At least the two ruling MAFIA families agree on one thing…no real change in lobbying.
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/1/10/1239/47754

    Reply

  57. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “MAFIA USA….get rid of this goverment. 8.8 billion gone without a trace. I know and you know it was stolen. I know and you know we could find out who stole it if we wanted too.”
    In fact, if I recall correctly, didn’t Bush just fire the Inspector General for the Iraq mission…someone named…I’m going to get it wrong…something like Bowers?
    If I recall correctly, he was the one who uncovered all the corruption and the disappearing funds. Or maybe those were the funds that the US had put into Iraq, not the funds from the oil.

    Reply

  58. Carroll says:

    MAFIA USA….get rid of this goverment. 8.8 billion gone without a trace. I know and you know it was stolen. I know and you know we could find out who stole it if we wanted too.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6621523/
    By Lisa Myers & the NBC investigative unit
    NBC News
    Updated: 4:17 p.m. ET Feb 17, 2005
    After the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the United States took control of all of the Iraqi government’s bank accounts, including the income from oil sales. The United Nations approved the financial takeover, and President Bush vowed to spend Iraq’s money wisely. But now critics are raising serious questions about how well the United States handled billions of dollars in Iraqi oil funds.
    Iraq’s U.S. administrator, Paul Bremer, pledged last year to hire a certified public accounting firm to ensure proper controls. But the United States gave the contract not to an accounting firm but to a tiny consulting company, Northstar — which NBC News found is headquartered at a private home near San Diego.
    “They violated the rules. They picked a contractor who didn’t meet their requirements,” says Paul Light, a government contracting expert and professor at New York University.
    Northstar’s president says the Pentagon knew Northstar was not a certified public accounting firm and that four experienced employees went to Iraq and did a good job. However, one audit notes that a single Northstar employee maintained spreadsheets tracking billions of dollars.”

    Reply

  59. Pissed Off American says:

    Note, on the following blurb from a piece on AIPAC’s website, how AIPAC presents Iran’s nuclear intentions to us. As far as actual evidence goes, Israel is LYING to us through AIPAC.
    ———
    “U.S. Sanctions Pending for Bank Tied to Iran’s Arms Program”
    “The Treasury Department is expected to announce sanctions against Iran’s oldest bank on Tuesday, continuing a major U.S. effort to economically isolate Tehran for its pursuit of nuclear arms and other illicit weapons, Reuters reported.”
    ——-
    And, what, exactly, is an “illicit weapon”??
    Israel was highly instrumental in rattling the war drums towards Iraq, and look where THAT got us. Now, we see the EXACT SAME THING happening in regards to Iran. An inflated rhetoric of threat, and the twisting of intelligence to fit an agenda. All amplified by AIPAC’s shrill voice, calling more more American men and women to die for Israel’s security.
    And the real irony is that the situation in Iraq speaks about the competence of our current Executive Administration to wage war. Look at the mess we have from invading a country that was crippled from sanctions, and had an army unwilling to fight. Can you imagine the mess we will have if we actually take on a modern army with the will to fight, with these incompetent assholes, Bush and Cheney, as the leaders of such an effort??? You better believe nukes will fly, because both of these two maniacs will see that as the straight line to victory, and, as we know, we simply do not have the troops to commit to a ground war in Iran.
    Deep shit, I’m telling you. These people need to be REMOVED from power, and someone needs to tell Israel we are through dying for them.

    Reply

  60. Pissed Off American says:

    http://www.antiwar.com/roberts/?articleid=10298
    January 10, 2007
    Distracting Congress from the Real War Plan: Iran
    by Paul Craig Roberts
    Is the surge an orchestrated distraction from the real war plan?
    A good case can be made that it is. The US Congress and media are focused on President Bush’s proposal for an increase of 20,000 US troops in Iraq, while Israel and its American neoconservative allies prepare an assault on Iran.
    Commentators have expressed puzzlement over President Bush’s appointment of a US Navy admiral as commander in charge of the ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The appointment makes sense only if the administration’s attention has shifted from the insurgencies to an attack on Iran.
    The Bush administration has recently doubled its aircraft carrier forces and air power in the Persian Gulf. According to credible news reports, the Israeli air force has been making practice runs in preparation for an attack on Iran.
    Recently, Israeli military and political leaders have described Israeli machinations to manipulate the American public and their representatives into supporting or joining an Israeli assault on Iran.
    Two US carrier task forces or strike groups will certainly congest the Persian Gulf. On January 9, a US nuclear sub collided with a Japanese tanker in the Persian Gulf. Two carrier groups will have scant room for maneuver. Their purpose is either to provide the means for a hard hit on Iran or to serve as sitting ducks for a new Pearl Harbor that would rally Americans behind the new war.
    Whether our ships are hit by Iran in retaliation to an attack from Israel or suffer an orchestrated attack by Israel that is blamed on the Iranians, there are certainly far more US naval forces in the Persian Gulf than prudence demands.
    Bush’s proposed surge appears to have no real military purpose. The US military opposes it as militarily pointless and as damaging to the US Army and Marine Corps. The surge can only be accomplished by keeping troops deployed after the arrival of their replacements. Moreover, the increase in numbers that can be achieved in this way are far short of the numbers required to put down the insurgency and civil war.
    The only purpose of the surge is to distract Congress while plans are implemented to widen the war.
    Weapons inspectors have failed to find a nuclear weapons program in Iran. Most experts say it would be years before Iran could make a weapon even if the Iranian government is actively working on a weapons program. Since the danger, if any, is years away, why is Israel so determined to attack Iran now?
    The answer might be that Israel has the chance now. The Bush administration is in its pocket. The White House is working with neoconservatives, not with the American foreign policy community represented by the Iraq Study Group. Neoconservative propagandists are in influential positions in the media. The US Congress is intimidated by AIPAC. The correlation of forces are heavily in Israel’s favor.
    Part of the Israeli/neoconservative plan has already been achieved with the destruction of civilian infrastructure and spread of sectarian strife in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon. If Iran can be taken out with a powerful air attack that might involve nuclear weapons, Syria would be isolated and Hezbollah would be cut off from Iranian supplies.
    Israel has two years remaining to use its American resources to achieve its aims in the Middle East. How influential will Israel and the neoconservatives be with the next president in the wake of a US defeat in Iraq and Israeli defeat in Lebanon? If the US withdraws its troops from Iraq, as the US military and foreign policy community recommend and as polls show the American public wants, the only effect of Bush’s Iraq invasion will have been to radicalize Muslims against Israel, the US, and US puppet governments in the Middle East. Extremist elements will tout their victory over the US, and the pressures on Israel to accept a realistic accommodation with Palestinians will be overpowering.
    Now is the chance – the only chance – for Israel and the neoconservatives to achieve their goal of bringing Muslims to heel, a goal that they have been writing about and working to achieve for a decade.
    This goal requires the war to be widened by whatever deceit and treachery necessary to bring the American public along.
    The US Congress must immediately refocus its attention from the surge to Iran, the real target of Bush administration aggression.

    Reply

  61. liz says:

    It’s all the things Bush leaves out that make the American people know and understand we are on the ?last ride of our lives. What else can he tear up at home while creating a country without a military available to take care of the southern invasion he is ignoring.
    He has done away with education, health services, working on medicines. He has done away with the middle class. He has done away with the need for science because he knows more than any of them. What else can he do at home is far more worrisome and never addressed by his critics.
    When people wake up in America, they will realize all that Bush has really damaged. Americans will gladly label him the worst president ever in the USA if there still is a USA when he finishes.

    Reply

  62. MP says:

    … writes: “what fascinates me about us politics is how instead of voting yes or no on one thing at a time, voting is done on a number of questions, with only 1 yes or no vote to them all… it seems very crooked, which is probably why most folks don’t trust politicians or the political system.. why not just say, are you in favour of this – yes or no – instead of a wide assortment of things not having any relationship to each other oftentimes..”
    Getting rid of this MO would be an important reform.

    Reply

  63. bob h says:

    Bush will offer a billion dollar jobs plan Wednesday night
    How much of that will stick to the fingers of the Beltway Bandits in DC?

    Reply

  64. Marcia says:

    Take a look at the recent post:
    “We May Need a Huge March on Washington..” at:
    “http://velvelonnationalaffairs.blogspot.com/”
    You can also see the “Conference on Presidential Power” on Google..Video..Presidential Power.

    Reply

  65. Dennis says:

    Political party aside, the more this week that I have watched and read about Congress as a whole, it’s not that they are interested in stopping the war, but how to continue it.
    I am not impressed. This is a pathetic bunch. The American people are poorly served.
    You don’t have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.

    Reply

  66. ET says:

    David Lindorff, co-author of Case for Impeachment has an op ed out today. Following is an excerpt which might be of interest:
    “Instead of grumbling about violations of the First, Fourth, Fifth and other Amendments, as Democrats have been doing so ineffectively now for five years, they could simply vote to revoke the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, approved almost without objection by both houses of Congress back in September 2001 (resolutions are not subject to veto). It is that resolution which Bush and his mob attorneys in the White House and the “Justice” Department have been citing as justification for the president’s assumption of dictatorial powers, such as the power to revoke habeas corpus rights of American citizens, the power to authorize torture and detention without trial, the power to kidnap and render people, the power to declare American citizens to be “unlawful combatants” devoid of citizenship rights, the power to invalidate duly passed acts of Congress, and the power to ignore federal laws like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Revoke the 2001 AUMF and the president would have no grounds, fraudulent and unconstitutional as they in any case are, to claim that the nation is in a state of war and that he, as commander in chief, is no longer constrained by the Constitution…”
    http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/ticia/2007/jan/09/tuesday_impeachment_briefing

    Reply

  67. ET says:

    David Lindorff, co-author of Case for Impeachment, has an op ed out today. Following is an excerpt which might be of interest:
    “Instead of grumbling about violations of the First, Fourth, Fifth and other Amendments, as Democrats have been doing so ineffectively now for five years, they could simply vote to revoke the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, approved almost without objection by both houses of Congress back in September 2001 (resolutions are not subject to veto). It is that resolution which Bush and his mob attorneys in the White House and the “Justice” Department have been citing as justification for the president’s assumption of dictatorial powers, such as the power to revoke habeas corpus rights of American citizens, the power to authorize torture and detention without trial, the power to kidnap and render people, the power to declare American citizens to be “unlawful combatants” devoid of citizenship rights, the power to invalidate duly passed acts of Congress, and the power to ignore federal laws like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Revoke the 2001 AUMF and the president would have no grounds, fraudulent and unconstitutional as they in any case are, to claim that the nation is in a state of war and that he, as commander in chief, is no longer constrained by the Constitution…”
    http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/ticia/2007/jan/09/tuesday_impeachment_briefing

    Reply

  68. Arun says:

    Four years and no plan. Think about that. Four years without any idea, unless you include the bad ones starting with a flawed concept of invasion.
    Think about it. You and me, we RE-elected him. Not you or me personally. But us collectively. Well into the four year period of no plan. No point in blaming cowardly leaders, etc., etc. before first acknowledging that it is our fault, nobody can absolve us of that responsibility.

    Reply

  69. Carroll says:

    Everyone has made such good…and true..comments on here I have nothing to say.
    Except that I am tired of the talk. Someone has to take action if this country is to be saved, Bloody or bloodless coup, I don’t care, enough talk, just do it.

    Reply

  70. Marky says:

    POA,
    The Bush administration has been masterful at playing on the various levels of cowardice of Congress—both GOP and DEM—and the media.
    With the media, the main technique is the HUGE lie. The media will always shy away from calling Bush on the biggest lies, as we’ve seen, and this only emboldens the White House further.
    With Congress, it’s playing on the fear of appearing weak on defense.
    There is no Iraq strategy, and there never was. There has only been a strategy for keeping the “troops” in line at home.

    Reply

  71. Pissed Off American says:

    We have already poured 400 billion into Iraq. Early on we were told our money was being used for exactly what this “new plan” 100 billion is going to be used for. We now know that billions of dollars have been squandered, lost, and stolen, forked into the pockets of Haliburton, Bechtel, the rat Chalabi’s INC, and many other entities that misused untold billions of dollars.
    Then on top of it, we are told these new troops will be conducting door to door sweeps. HELLO??? Have we already forgotten that the early door to door sweeps were one of the major contributers to the Iraqi’s animous towards our soldiers? Women being frisked, boots tromping through households that are supposed to have shoes removed before you enter, children terrorized. That worked real well at “winning their hearts and minds”, didn’t it?
    I can think of no reason, no logical explanation, for a country allowing its leaders to continue to form policy when they have proven irrefutably that they are incompetent to form policy.
    This country is in deep shit, and who knows what lengths this satanical Cheney, and his sidekick, the idiot Bush, will go to to salvage their egos?

    Reply

  72. John says:

    …–
    I tried to corner my representative on this very issue last year. He supposedly opposes the war but never fails to support all the supplementals that fund it. He says that he voted for the last one because he wanted to support Katrina relief and bird flu research. I pointed out to him that supplemntals are done on an “emergency” basis, so that hearings and spending details are dispensed with. He was endorsing a blank check. I tried to impress upon him that the money was all being poured down a rat hole–Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, everything–and that I didn’t understand how he could vote for something without having a clue as to how the money was going to be spent.
    You’re right, they all have this game where there is always something in every bill that they can support. And that something often turns out to depend on the group they’re talking to at the moment.

    Reply

  73. ... says:

    dan kervick quote >>What Bush is apparently hoping to do is attract some Democratic support by proposing meaningless initiatives that appeal to some of the usual liberal soft spots.<<
    what fascinates me about us politics is how instead of voting yes or no on one thing at a time, voting is done on a number of questions, with only 1 yes or no vote to them all… it seems very crooked, which is probably why most folks don’t trust politicians or the political system.. why not just say, are you in favour of this – yes or no – instead of a wide assortment of things not having any relationship to each other oftentimes..

    Reply

  74. Dennis says:

    Watch the democrats cave-in on sending more troops to Iraq, the costs, and the time they remain.
    This is a pathetic Congress.
    And “exceptions” are already being made for “ethics reform”.
    You don’t have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.

    Reply

  75. Homer says:

    Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy war in Iraq is chilling, and possible.
    How about probable or even `now occuring’?
    Iran is balls deep in Iraq vis-a-vis the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution of Iraq (Al-Hakim) and the Al Dawa (Al-Maliki) party.
    Bush seems quite serious about empowering Iran: What a dumb ass!!
    Why would Bush or anyone else think that the SCIRI and Al-Dawa would stab Iran and Syria in the back and then turn and embrace the USA?
    When SH was murdering Shiites left and right, the US did nothing whereas Syria and Iran provided support and refuge to the likes of Al Hakim and Al-Maliki.

    Reply

  76. Punchy says:

    Mr. Clemons states:
    “Trita Parsi makes clear why it’s important to start negotiations with Iran before things fly further out of control.”
    If by “negotiations with Iran”, you mean have Israel start our Iran War By Proxy, you and Trita are dead-on.

    Reply

  77. FB says:

    I am surprized that there has been little or no US press or blog coverage of the Iraq plan proposed by Ali Allawi, former Iraqi defense and finance minister, in The Independent on Friday. The Independent ran four pieces January 5-6, including the orginal proposal by Allawi, commentary by Patrick Cockburn, the receptive unofficial British reaction, and a short summary.
    This appears to be a substantial and credible indigenous proposal, and among other things calls for Iraq’s neighbors to make mutual security agreements, develops regional protections for minorities, and replaces coalition forces with an international force within 12-18 months. I think this is a federal plan and may countenance some ethnic regionalization, but it also appears committed to Iraqi unity.
    Why is this not getting any attention?? Given the bleak prospects for the “new way forward” about to be announced by Mr. Bush, and the growing sentiment that success is far more likely to come out of the political realm, doesn’t this proposal deserve a full public discussion in the United States?
    Here are some links. My apologies of the formatting is not wuite right.
    Allawi’s Blueprint http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2125419.ece
    Patrick Cockburn http://comment.independent.co.uk/commentators/article2125377.ece
    Support Grows http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2129987.ece
    Short Summary http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2129988.ece
    FB

    Reply

  78. rich says:

    It’s pretty clear that a Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy war is much further along than anyone’s been wiling or able to recognize.
    Euphemistic references to al Quaeda, or to Sunni jihadists, or even to “the insurgents” bear little resemblance to the explicit and detailed dynamics. With impossible-to-seal borders, and a flood of oil money flowing in from Saudi Arabia and other western channels, to say nothing of Iranian influence–that proxy war was already underway many months ago.
    And NO one really standing up for or standing with the locals, Iraqi nationalists. The US sure as hell has no ground left to stand on. Oops.

    Reply

  79. TonyForesta says:

    Forgive the double post, – it just spills out, – but for clarity – the question is: –
    {…when does *”neglecting” the political realities in the region — and inside Iraq. And by firing General John Abizaid, he is continuing the Rumsfeld practice of elevating and rewarding those generals who agree with him and will support his broken strategy — and fire those who have been privately telling him the truth that America needs out of this mess.* (extend) beyond mere policy discourse, and (bleed or reach) into the reckless, heartless, wanton, and possibly criminal WASTE of blood and treasure for the singular economic profits, and political gain of the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government!!!!!!?

    Reply

  80. TonyForesta says:

    Trita Parsi’s essay is “chilling” indeed.
    But I must ask you Steve, as a realist, and socalled expert in these matters, and with all sincerity as a freedom loving and patriotic American, truly seeking peace on earth and good will towards men, – when does *”neglecting” the political realities in the region — and inside Iraq. And by firing General John Abizaid, he is continuing the Rumsfeld practice of elevating and rewarding those generals who agree with him and will support his broken strategy — and fire those who have been privately telling him the truth that America needs out of this mess.* exend beyond mere policy discourse, and bleed reach or bleed into the reckless, heartless, wanton, and possibly criminal WASTE of blood and treasure for the singular economic profits, and political gain of the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government!!!!!!?
    I truly sincerely and with all honesty and good intentions desire an answer to this question?
    When is the rhetoric no longer capable of cloaking the CRIMES!!!!!?

    Reply

  81. ... says:

    A U.S. Air Force gunship has conducted a strike against suspected members of al Qaeda in Somalia.. just put ‘suspected’ and ‘al qaeda’ in the same sentence and you have the present usa justice system at work overseas as standard pretext for making war anywhere they want..

    Reply

  82. John says:

    I forgot to mention that new documents show that the CIA was involved in setting up Papi Bush’s oil company. http://realnews.org/rn/content/zapata.html
    Anyone still think that US foreign and military policy in the Persian Gulf and Caspian Basin is anything but a wholly owned enterprise of the oil industry, or at least a joint venture? No mystery here why the Secretary of State has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.

    Reply

  83. John says:

    The Independent ran a series of articles about Houston’s grab for Iraqi oil:
    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2132569.ece,
    America’s corporate media and commentators, hired pens all, conveniently ignore this development, as do the national security elites, hired rationale providers all.
    Anyway, the new petroleum law is ready. Apparently it’s been approved by the oil industry and by the former oil executives who are occupying the White House. They’re drooling so much that they’re in danger of being electrocuted by the microphones they speak into. The law will guarantee oil industry profits (and global warming) for the next 30 years.
    Only problem is that the Iraqi parliament can’t get a quorum because Moqtada won’t cooperate. Of course, if they could meet, then rubber stamping the law would be a slam dunk, as someone once said.
    So, BuSh has to send in 20,000 troops, drag Moqtada in, dead or alive, and make sure he raises his hand, conscious or unconscious, in approval of the new law.
    It’ll take a whole lot more than a US Congress to stop BuSh and his cronies when they’re so close to grabbing the prize and accomplishing their real mission. As the Arabs say, “the caravan passes, dogs bark.”

    Reply

  84. Nick Dupree says:

    Like the Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire,
    Bush’s “new Iraqi strategy” is not new, nor Iraqi, nor a strategy….

    Reply

  85. Dan Kervick says:

    Bush will offer a billion dollar jobs plan Wednesday night — small change actually given the employment problem in Iraq — in addition to an escalation of America’s troop presence focused on stabilizing Baghdad.
    What Bush is apparently hoping to do is attract some Democratic support by proposing meaningless initiatives that appeal to some of the usual liberal soft spots. After all, what true blue Democrat could possibly oppose a *jobs program*? Bush wants to “sell the surge” by coupling it with feel good spending of other kinds. Along these lines, here are some other suggestions for the Great Leader as he attempts to connect on a visceral level with the liberal brain stem:
    1. Propose to increase the Iraqi MINIMUM WAGE to $35 American an hour. The surge will be needed to contain the chaos that will be caused by the massive and frenzied uptick in consumer spending expected at Iraq’s malls, boutiques, falafel stands and video stores.
    2. Release funding for EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH in Iraq’s hospitals. (Maybe the doctors can squeeze in the research when there is a lull in amputations and emergency brain surgeries.) The surge will consist in part of Army doctors and medics who will help conduct the research – the best Hawkeye Pierces America has to offer.
    3. Announce US support for GAY MARRIAGES between Shiite and Sunni men from different tribes. What better means of fostering national unity than linking Salafist and Sadrist street fighters in the bonds of holy matrimony? Clearly a surge is needed so that more Army and Marine chaplains will be available to perform the ceremonies.
    4. Claim that a surge is needed to increase force protection around Iraq’s ABORTION CLINICS and PLANNED PARENTHOOD offices. Some of these clinics and offices happen to get blown up by accident when insurgents are car-bombing nearby police stations, mosques and recruiting offices. More soldiers are needed to protect a woman’s right to choose.
    5. Make it clear that a surge is needed so that US soldiers can personally deliver STUDENT LOAN AWARDS to young Iraqis – because a mind is a terrible thing to blow up … er .. waste.
    6. Insurgents and ethnic cleansers in the field are often required by the hazards of their work to give and receive emergency blood transfusions. Needles used in this procedure can frequently be dirty and unsafe. A surge in the US troop presence is needed for the NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM now being organized by American commanders. Our troops will deliver clean and sterlie needles and blood bags to these Iraqis in need. Because the soldiers intend to blow large holes in many of these Iraqis in the course of delivering the supplies, the need will be great, and the surge must be both significant and sustained.
    7. Pass a spending bill to improve SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAMS at Iraq’s elementary schools. Unfortuanately, a surge will be needed for this, because due to adverse security conditions on the ground, the school lunches will initially have to be delivered via airdrop from warplanes and attack helicopters. Efficiencies can be achieved by combining lunch drops with bombing runs and air support missions.
    8. Announce a bold initiative to attack GLOBAL WARMING in Iraq. Following several unusually hot Iraqi summers (with temperatures climbing from an average of 122 F to 126 F) US scientists have accepted the inconvenient truth that global warming is the culprit, and that the best way to curb fossil fuel emissions in Iraq is to *shoot more Iraqis* and blow up their polluting vehicles. This is a scientific mission for which US troops are uniquely well-equipped. Can anyone say “surge”?
    9. During the recently begun Eid, Sunni and Shiite religious fanatics have been found erecting Muslim religious displays on public lands. A surge is needed to provide the soldiers necessary to support the principle of the SEPARATION OF CHURCH (or mosque or whatever) AND STATE. They will dismantle these flagrantly religious displays, and then dismantle some of the Iraqi humans who erected them.
    10. More soldiers are needed to protect the sprawling fields of MEDICAL MARAJUANA which is rapidly becoming Iraq’s number one cash crop, and is the key to its future development.

    Reply

  86. phil says:

    The fact remains that our cowardly leaders will hide behind anyspin they can muster. So many thousands have fought and died for the very freedoms and tenets of democracy and justice.
    How is it that in just a few short years we as a nation have been reduced to nothing. A nation of no character; a nation that would give up its ability to stand up and say to the world “This is not the Australian way!” A nation with so little character that it would follow in the steps of an illegal invasion of another country. A nation where its cowardly leaders don’t even have the character and humanity to condemn atrocities committed by its allies (partners in war crimes). A nation where its leaders promote racism, turn away and/or imprison others who beg for help and where the almighty dollar means everything. A nation where its cowardly leaders don’t even have the courage to express remorse, sorrow or even pity for the hundreds of thousands of people who have died, lost their homes and families etc. The treatment of Mr. Hicks, sadly, is entirely predictable.
    We were once a proud nation.
    Posted by: Phil

    Reply

  87. Donna _Z says:

    Four years and no plan. Think about that. Four years without any idea, unless you include the bad ones starting with a flawed concept of invasion.
    Wes Clark blogging here would great, and even greater if the Democratic insiders would start taking note of him.
    Take a minute, write to bush…it’s easy:
    http://ga4.org/campaign/stopthesurge
    Bush doesn’t listen, but we all need to try and stop the surge.

    Reply

  88. rex says:

    As an American citizen – I say NO! No more troops UNLESS every member of Bush’s family that is “OF AGE” male & female GO Join the military, and is on the “Fighting Line” in IRAQ..otherwise catagorically NO NO NO!!!!
    Rex, Deptford NJ USA

    Reply

  89. Darryl Mason says:

    It’s remarkable how little mention is made in the mainstream media today, following the removal by Bush of anti-surge critics in the military, of the 2005 and early 2006 ‘Revolt Of The Generals’.
    Clearly, the anger and resentment towards Bush inside the US military has spread far and wide, and with recent surveys stating that large numbers of US troops already in Iraq don’t believe the war can be won, boiling point is getting closer and closer.
    Bush can ignore Congress and demand his military send in tens of thousands more troops. But what if the Army and the National Guard refuse Bush’s orders? What if the senior ranks of the Army and NT quietly tell their soldiers to ignore the Bush order and not turn up on the day they’re due to ship out?
    A few military resisters can be prosecuted for refusing orders to deploy, but what about 10,000 or 20,000 Army and National guard soldiers all refusing their Commander in Chief at the same time?
    What then?
    As an Australian, watching from afar, this unfolding drama is truly remarkable. And disturbing.
    How close is Bush to facing a military wide mutiny? Or a coup, if it got that crazy?
    The Australian prime minister has flat out refused to increase the number of Australian troops in Iraq, and the rumours are widespread that he will bring the majority of the 800 or so Aussies home before the November, 2007, federal elections.
    Even our foreign minister is now saying that Bush must listen to what his senior commanders say about the need for more troops in Iraq. Which seems to be, “Don’t Send Any More!”
    Incredible stuff.
    I had a dream earlier this year that President Bush becomes the first US president to commit suicide in office. Perhaps, instead, he will be the first to face a military coup.
    http://www.lastdaysofpresidentbush.blogpsot.com

    Reply

  90. Dennis says:

    At the beginning of the Iraq crisis, democrats, just like republicans, voted for an invasion because they were afraid not to – afraid of being called “unpatriotic” and afraid of not being re-elected. Neither party listened to the ney sayers and now those politicians who have re-elections coming up are trying to weasel out of their vote by saying “IF we knew then what we know now.” They knew it.
    They don’t deserve re-election.
    Or if they do, then what are they waiting for; why aren’t members of both parties coming out in droves before any upcoming presidential speech and saying that Iraq is over? Granted Iraq doesn’t have a government in place that is strong enough to stand on its own, but isn’t that what the Bush regime has touted (and blown the opportunity)its horn about for the past years since Saddam was captured?
    Even the right-wing conservative Oliver North has said “enough”!
    What is it that has these two bodies of elected officials so cowed?
    You don’t have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.

    Reply

  91. kenj says:

    The Military Commissions Act 2006 allows the US President to arrest ANY person at all whom he designates a terrorist suspect. They can be jailed indefinitely; they are not allowed to see a lawyer; they cannot demand to go before a court; they cannot demand to know the charges against them or to see any evidence as to why they have been detained; they can be tortured by any means the US President approves of; and anyone who carries out these orders on his behalf has full legal immunity.
    Now isn’t that hunky dory? Habeas corpus is a legal entitlement under English speaking law that goes back 800 years to the Magna Carta. But Bush has thrown it out, and our own terrorist suspect laws may follow along the same path. Is that where people want to go? This is why we should demand that Hicks be released or brought before a real court of law. And if people truly believe in the rule of law then they should be demanding that John Howard be charged with war crimes under the Geneva Convention because both the law and the facts support such a claim.
    The principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal (1950) are also worth noting here, especially Principal 3: “The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible Government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.” http://deoxy.org/wc/wc-nurem.htm
    We have a lot more to fear from state-sponsored terrorism than we ever did from David Hicks.
    Posted by: kenj

    Reply

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