Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Militias intensify rein of terror in Baghdad

Salah Salman, Azzaman

Heavily armed militias riding in cars with Interior Ministry marks have intensified their attacks on residential areas. It is now extremely difficult in Baghdad to distinguish between vehicles government forces use and those the city’s murderous militias deploy. Residents say the line separating marauding militias from government police and military forces is so blurred. Many now say the militias’ brutal activities are being carried out in cahoots with government forces. Last week gangs of factional militias belonging to groups which are part of the current coalition government attacked two Sunni mosques in Baghdad, killing four and injuring 18. Eyewitnesses said the gangs, wearing government army uniforms were openly assisted by Interior Ministry commandos in their attacks...

continua / continued

"Helping" Iraqis...to an early grave

Eli Stephens, Left I on the News

Today, the Los Angeles Times carries an article which sheds some light on the state of health care in Iraq Thousands of Iraqis are believed to have died from shortages of medicine, vital equipment and qualified doctors, despite an infusion of nearly half a billion dollars from U.S. coffers into this country's healthcare system, Iraqi officials and American observers say. My only argument with this article is the reference to "neglect by former President Saddam Hussein." The fact that medicine and hospital care were free, and that an excellent public education system was producing well-educated doctors (and other professionals), were a direct result of the semi-socialist policies of Saddam Hussein and the Ba'ath party. It was the "United Nations" (in reality, U.S./U.K.) sanctions which forced the alleged "neglect."...

continua / continued

Cheney’s Revenge


When Dick Cheney woke up on Wednesday mourning, his entire world had changed. The House and Senate was in control of the Democrats, Bush Senior’s buddy Robert Gates had taken over at the Pentagon, and his most-trusted ally, Don Rumsfeld, had been thrown overboard. Cheney knows that the story about a "Democratic sweep" is utter nonsense. He knows who operates the voting machines and how get the results he wants. The normal procedures for rigging the election were simply put on hold. He also knows that the Justice Dept had sent out over 80 attorneys to various parts of the country where the Republicans anticipated legal challenges after the elections, but there were no legal challenges. Someone decided that there would be no fight at all, even in the close senatorial races where recounts might have made a difference. Why? Is anyone gullible enough to believe that Republican big-wigs have given up cheating as a vital part of their strategy for winning elections?...

continua / continued

UN to let the slaughter in Palestine continue

Eli Stephens, Left I on the News

Hold your shock - the United States has vetoed yet another U.N. resolution condemning Israeli actions in Palestine (specifically Gaza in this instance). How far will the U.S. go to "protect" its clients in Israel? This particular resolution also "would have called on the Palestinian Authority to 'take immediate and sustained action to bring an end to violence, including the firing of rockets on Israeli territory.'" Even that wasn't good enough for the U.S., though...

continua / continued

When All Else Fails...

Reposted because it needs to be told
Baghdad Burning

... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...

Execute the dictator. It’s that simple. When American troops are being killed by the dozen, when the country you are occupying is threatening to break up into smaller countries, when you have militias and death squads roaming the streets and you’ve put a group of Mullahs in power- execute the dictator.

Everyone expected this verdict from the very first day of the trial. There was a brief interlude when, with the first judge, it was thought that it might actually be a coherent trial where Iraqis could hear explanations and see what happened. That was soon over with the prosecution’s first false witness. Events that followed were so ridiculous; it’s difficult to believe them even now.

The sound would suddenly disappear when the defense or one of the defendants got up to speak. We would hear the witnesses but no one could see them- hidden behind a curtain, their voices were changed. People who were supposed to have been dead in the Dujail incident were found to be very alive.

Judge after judge was brought in because the ones in court were seen as too fair. They didn’t instantly condemn the defendants (even if only for the sake of the media). The piece de resistance was the final judge they brought in. His reputation vies only that of Chalabi- a well-known thief and murderer who ran away to Iran to escape not political condemnation, but his father’s wrath after he stole from the restaurant his father ran.

So we all knew the outcome upfront (Maliki was on television 24 hours before the verdict telling people not to ‘rejoice too much’). I think what surprises me right now is the utter stupidity of the current Iraqi government. The timing is ridiculous- immediately before the congressional elections? How very convenient for Bush. Iraq, today, is at its very worst since the invasion and the beginning occupation. April 2003 is looking like a honeymoon month today. Is it really the time to execute Saddam?

I’m more than a little worried. This is Bush’s final card. The elections came and went and a group of extremists and thieves were put into power (no, no- I meant in Baghdad, not Washington). The constitution which seems to have drowned in the river of Iraqi blood since its elections has been forgotten. It is only dug up when one of the Puppets wants to break apart the country. Reconstruction is an aspiration from another lifetime: I swear we no longer want buildings and bridges, security and an undivided Iraq are more than enough. Things must be deteriorating beyond imagination if Bush needs to use the ‘Execute the Dictator’ card.

Iraq has not been this bad in decades. The occupation is a failure. The various pro-American, pro-Iranian Iraqi governments are failures. The new Iraqi army is a deadly joke. Is it really time to turn Saddam into a martyr? Things are so bad that even pro-occupation Iraqis are going back on their initial ‘WE LOVE AMERICA’ frenzy. Laith Kubba (a.k.a. Mr. Catfish for his big mouth and constant look of stupidity) was recently on the BBC saying that this was just the beginning of justice, that people responsible for the taking of lives today should also be brought to justice. He seems to have forgotten he was one of the supporters of the war and occupation, and an important member of one of the murderous pro-American governments. But history shall not forget Mr. Kubba.

Iraq saw demonstrations against and for the verdict. The pro-Saddam demonstrators were attacked by the Iraqi army. This is how free our media is today: the channels that were showing the pro-Saddam demonstrations have been shut down. Iraqi security forces promptly raided them.Welcome to the new Iraq. Here are some images from the Salahiddin and Zawra channels:

Zawra channel. The subtitle says: Baghdad: Zawra satellite channel has stopped broadcasting by order of the government.

Salahiddin's green screen which appeared suddenly says: Salahiddin Satellite Channel

Sharqiya channel announcing breaking news: Two channels, Salahiddin and Zawra, shut down. Security forces raid the offices of the channels.

It’s not about the man- presidents come and go, governments come and go. It’s the frustration of feeling like the whole country and every single Iraqi inside and outside of Iraq is at the mercy of American politics. It is the rage of feeling like a mere chess piece to be moved back and forth at will. It is the aggravation of having a government so blind and uncaring about their peoples needs that they don’t even feel like it’s necessary to go through the motions or put up an act. And it's the deaths. The thousands of dead and dying, with Bush sitting there smirking and lying about progress and winning in a country where every single Iraqi outside of the Green Zone is losing.

Once again… The timing of all of this is impeccable- two days before congressional elections. And if you don’t see it, then I’m sorry, you’re stupid. Let’s see how many times Bush milks this as a ‘success’ in his coming speeches.

A final note. I just read somewhere that some of the families of dead American soldiers are visiting the Iraqi north to see ‘what their sons and daughters died for’. If that’s the goal of the visit, then, “Ladies and gentlemen- to your right is the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, to your left is the Dawry refinery… Each of you get this, a gift bag containing a 3 by 3 color poster of Al Sayid Muqtada Al Sadr (Long May He Live And Prosper), an Ayatollah Sistani t-shirt and a map of Iran, to scale, redrawn with the Islamic Republic of South Iraq. Also… Hey you! You- the female in the back- is that a lock of hair I see? Cover it up or stay home.”

And that is what they died for.

- posted by river @ 8:25 PM

Rove surprised by corruption effect

After maintaining a relentless optimism in the face of ominous polls, Karl Rove tells TIME why Republicans wound up taking a bath on Election Night.

Tony Blair's Wife Forced To Cancel Tour Over Poor Ticket Sales...

Daily Mail November 11, 2006 08:02 PM

Cherie Blair's lecture tour of India has been scrapped.

The Prime Minister's wife had been due to speak alongside former US President Bill Clinton in Delhi, Bangalore and Bombay in a fortnight's time. Marketing for the speeches had claimed it was a 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity' for senior executives to hear 'political visionaries', and tickets were priced at up to £1,300.


Gates Was “Distraught Over The Incompetence Of How The Iraq Operation Had Been Run” On Summer Baghdad Visit...

Times Of London Sarah Baxter November 11, 2006 07:53 PM

IF Robert Gates had any illusions about the scale of violence in Iraq, they were dispelled when he flew into Baghdad last summer...

...Once there, Gates met the key players from the American ambassador and US generals to Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq's beleaguered prime minister. A close associate described him as "distraught over the incompetence of how the Iraq operation had been run".


Bush Sr.'s “Inner Circle...Riding To The Rescue Of The Son” Once Again...

Times Of London Tom Baldwin November 11, 2006 08:46 PM

But Bush Sr has always been there when times are bad. And the father's inner circle from his White House years now appears to be riding to the rescue of the son. The appointment this week of Robert Gates as Defence Secretary, together with the looming report from James Baker's commission, are together supposed to be signalling a new direction for the Iraq war.

It was ever thus. When the attempts of Bush Jr to follow his father into the oil business were floundering, it was the friends of Bush Sr who bailed him out. In 1986 Harken Oil & Gas bought out Bush Jr's holding in Spectrum oil in an over-the-odds deal, an apparent favour to the son of the Vice-President's son. "His name was George Bush," said Phil Kendrick, Harken's founder, and "that was worth the money they paid him."


100-Hour Legislative Blitz...

Washington Post Jonathan Weisman November 11, 2006 09:44 PM

Democrats preparing to take control of Congress for the first time in over a decade are looking to the Republican takeover in 1995 as an object lesson of what to emulate and what to avoid. They hope to match the legislative energy of the Newt Gingrich era while avoiding at all costs the partisan pitfalls that eventually soured voters on the GOP.

The majority party that takes control of the House and Senate in January will look significantly different from the party that was swept from power in the 1994 elections. The old-guard liberals and staunch union supporters in control then are giving way to a new generation of moderates with more temperate legislative ambitions.


Bush's Belated Accountability Moment

Over the past six years, George W. Bush has rejected the idea of outside oversight of his administration. Two years ago, he asserted that Election 2004 was his "accountability moment," even though government secrecy was shielding many of his official actions from the view of American voters. Now, with the Democratic congressional victories, Bush may get a taste of what real oversight and meaningful accountability actually mean. November 12, 2006


FOCUS | Waxman Set to Probe Areas of Bush Administration

The Democratic congressman who will investigate the Bush administration's running of the government says there are so many areas of possible wrongdoing, his biggest problem will be deciding which ones to pursue.


Requiem for Fallen Fighters

On the first Monday of every month, the Reverend Robert H. Malm stands before his congregation at a special requiem service and reads the name and rank of every US serviceman or woman who was killed in Iraq or Afghanistan the previous month. The first thing he notices is that most of the casualties are enlisted men. The officers and the women, those names jump out ... The majority are younger than 24.


Reenacting War: Reflections on a Country Losing Its Humanity

By Doug Troutman

Friday 10 November 2006

I've never dealt well with Veterans Day. Perhaps it's because I knew too many men whose names appear on a black wall in Washington D.C.

In Vietnam, letters often took weeks to arrive from home, but technology has changed much about war. My son could telephone or email me instantaneously from Baghdad.

When he came home on leave, we compared experiences, sometimes laughing about things that caused his mother to leave the room. When he came home, we sometimes spoke softly under a night sky, the Milky Way above, about how small and ignorant we humans really are.

I do not believe people should "play" war. I am upset by children with toy guns or sticks - or adults with real guns and mock uniforms who "pretend."

I've looked out across the revetments at Yorktown and can visualize more than the parade and surrender there that marked the end of the Revolutionary War. I can see the smoke, fire, and death that preceded "victory."

I've looked out across a sagebrush and rock-covered landscape in a remote desert of eastern Oregon where "bad spirits" are still in residence, because 10,000 years ago this was a place where men killed each other.

I stood before the Alamo, where Mexican General Santa Ana gathered a huge army to wage war on a small band of "rebels", and wondered: What were those fools up to? I stood on Montebello Bluffs, where a man named Pio Pico kicked Santa Ana's butt. From those bluffs he waited for the general's army, just as Sitting Bull did for Custer's troopers, then fired down on them, bloodying the rock and sand of the riverbed below.

Custer's game plan was to ride into a trap, while "all the Indians in the world" rode down on him. Santa Ana made the same gross mistake. He did not "remember the Alamo"!

I've walked the trails around Fredericksburg, stood behind the very trees where Confederate sharpshooters picked off General Burnside's bluecoats. The contours of the land and the way the trees were scattered told me the story, which I would relive a century after those guns in Virginia fell silent in another, faraway land.

The "claymore" mine that worked so effectively as a booby trap in Vietnam was named not for a person, but for a sword that, back insixteenth century Scotland, was designed and used literally to cut a man in half, top to bottom.

At Vietnam's Mang Yang Pass, I stood at the edge of a narrow, winding mountain road and looked down on those crosses in the jungle below that marked the spot where French soldiers died en masse in the war before mine. The military term was "defeat"; the reality was "slaughter."

Just a few kilometers away on the same road, I would barely escape a similar, smaller ambush. The times, they weren't a changin'.

We should not put crosses in cemeteries; we should scatter them - just as they did at Little Big Horn and Mang Yang Pass - on old battlefields where people actually fell.

The grassy fields at Gettysburg and Yorktown are too clean, too pure, too easy on the eye. An open meadow, brush field, forest, or jungle littered with crosses, or even simple white stones large enough to be seen, would tell the necessary story so much better. Maybe the crosses or the stones should be red. Blood red.

The most impressive "interpretive site" I ever saw was at Andersonville, Georgia, where the old Confederate prison (officially named Camp Sumter) once stood. There, a row of simple stakes marked the "dead line" inside its walls across which no prisoner could step without being shot down by the guards. Some POWs were pushed across that line as punishment by their peers. Others deliberately crossed to "escape" from the starvation and misery of prison life. The stockade was designed to hold 10,000 prisoners. At one time, maximum occupancy reached 32,899 and 12,919 men died there. The stench was so terrible that many prisoners began retching and vomiting as soon as they entered the gates.

Man's inhumanity to man does not end on the battlefield - or withthe battle.

America has lost its way. The proof of that lies in the Military Commissions Act of 2006. The United States has essentially declared that it will not honor the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war. The Act basically allows the President to decide for himself who is an "enemy" or "terrorist" and how they will be treated. That applies to both physical and psychological torture. My son has been through SERE (Survive Evade Resist Escape) school. He knows what waterboarding is like, when you're reasonably sure the "torturers" do not intend to kill you.

One does not want to be waterboarded when the captor is not concerned with your survival.

The brain is a terrible thing to waste - or wash. I had personal experience with that in Vietnam where, despite the efforts of some troops to obey the Geneva Conventions. the rules weren't always followed. When that happens and we throw away even the limited constraints that the Conventions enforce, we are no longer human.

Our troops, including my son, travel to many counties with "blood chits" in their pockets. These small documents say that, if captured, their captors will be rewarded for their safe return. The Military Commissions Act may just have rendered those chits worthless.

Back in 2001, Congress began handing a rather insane little man proof that we had learned nothing from Yorktown, the Alamo, Montebello Bluffs, Fredericksburg, Andersonville, Mang Yang, or the "Hanoi Hilton." Once again, we rode blindly to our fate, like Santa Ana or Custer, overconfident that we held power, that we were "right." And our most recent ride hasn't ended yet.

Like me, my son is now a veteran. The men and women, who hate war most, are those who were good at it. Veterans - combat veterans - recognize something that no one without personal experience can ever begin to put a "handle" on.

We should neither repeat, nor reenact and glorify, error.


Doug Troutman was with the First Cavalry Division in Vietnam in 1966/67. He was later a Park Ranger in Yosemite National Park and then a Wilderness Specialist and Outdoor Recreation Planner with the Bureau of Land Management. He lives in a small town in eastern Oregon away from the madding crowd.

Wellllll,I guess thats telling me, Sorry Soldier Boy, can't oblige while the diviate is in office.

Bob Cesca: “Roll Call Of People Who Must Officially Shut The F*** Up” Now That Dems Control Congress…

Well, let's talk about it, over a nice cup of coffee, huh?Have one on me... --Posted by Serr8d to ReBelle Nation at 11/11/2006 08:01:51 PM

Eight Dead as Bombs Hit Baghdad

More than 100 people have been killed in Iraq in the past four days as Baghdad and other parts of Iraq suffered renewed violence after a curfew imposed for the sentencing of Saddam Hussein was lifted.


An Open Letter to Carl Levin: No Free Pass to Gates

"Dear Senator Levin," writes Ray McGovern, "the humiliation you felt was palpable when, as the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, you were unceremoniously diddled by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputies Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, chief architects of the fiasco in Iraq. They all but thumbed their noses at you, and you often complained about their 'lack of candor.' In two short months, you will chair Armed Services and will no longer have to tolerate such behavior. Indeed, you can start practicing now by not letting the nomination of Robert Gates be a 'slam dunk.'"


Wartime mystery

Wartime mystery ... A shipwreck hunter says will find the wreck of the HMAS Sydney, which sunk during during anaval battle off the coast of Western Australia in November, 1941 More

“Americans will speak of the battles like Fallujah

Two weeks ago someone was allowed into Fallujah by the military to help bury bodies. They were allowed to take photographs of 75 bodies, in order to show pictures to relatives so that they might be identified before they were buried.

These pictures are from a book of photos. They are being circulated publicly around small villages near Fallujah where many refugees are staying.

The man who took them was only allowed to take photos and bury bodies in one small area of Fallujah. He was not allowed to visit anywhere else. Keep in mind there are at least 1,925 other bodies that were not allowed to be seen.Information with some of the photos is from those identified by family members already.

One of the family members who was looking for dead relatives, shared these photos which were taken from that book.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he told of what he saw in his village during the last few weeks.

“The Americans shot every boat on the river because people were trying to escape Fallujah by the river. They shot all the sheep, any animal people owned was shot. Helicopters shot all the animals and anything that moved in all the villages surrounding Fallujah during the fighting.”

He said that none of the roads into Fallujah, or around Fallujah were passable because anyone on them was shot. “I know one family that were all killed. There are no signs on these roads that tell people not to use them-so people don’t know they aren’t supposed to use them. No signs in English or Arabic!”
Bush The friking delusional deviate
with the same awe and reverence that we now give to Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima.” — President Bush, 11/10/06

Fallujah remains beset by violence
Residents, police complain that little in city has changed two years after U.S. ground assault.

By Jay Price, Mohammed al Dulaimy
Wednesday, November 08, 2006

FALLUJAH, Iraq — When gunmen hid a bomb in front of his house a few days ago, intending to use it against American or Iraqi troops, Majeed al-Rawi had only one option: move out.

"If I report it to the Americans, I will be killed by the men who put it there, and if I don't, my family will be killed either by the explosion or the Americans," the car dealer said. "This is not a way to live; this is a way to hate life."

Two years after American troops launched a devastating ground assault aimed at purging the heart of the Iraqi insurgency, Fallujah once again is a violent place.

In recent months, insurgents have filtered back into the city, despite tight controls that limit access to only six checkpoints. Residents must submit to an extraordinary identification system that includes fingerprinting, retina scans and bar-coded identification cards.

An insurgent campaign has killed two city council members and at least 30 police officers. The campaign has been so effective that police patrols have all but stopped, because officers fear to walk the streets.

Link Here

WMR receives additional evidence that neo-con operatives in France and U.S. were behind French riots blamed on French Muslim intifadists.

November 10/11/12, 2006 -- WMR has obtained purposely cryptic e-mail sent by U.S. intelligence assets to a French government official in July 2005 accurately warning of the infiltration of French immigrant groups by neo-con intelligence assets trained in the United States to foment rioting in the largely Muslim immigrant banlieus of Paris in November 2005. WMR has previously reported on the involvement of elements controlled by French Interior Minister and presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy in triggering the rioting. WMR has also reported that the rioting in France also involved, according to information presented in a new book in Germany, elements of Mossad's special warfare Metsada and LAP (psyops) units.

Fri, Jul 8, 2005 12:08 am

Perhaps your people would be interested in something which is in development here (for the past nine months.) A training program for recruiting, across your region, persons from sensitive positions (and those in the national forces which you used to work with) is being finalized. It's aim is to increase the "control" and "vision" within your system and related systems by those interested parties here. This program is based on training programs which have been used in certain "hotspots", but is being specially redesigned to function in your "neighborhood." They intend to roll out or begin this program this fall. Their hopes are high to have a full "viewing" capability within your (and neighboring states) agencies within one year. The designers of this program and their actual systems are available for your side to "monitor" and learn in advance if your side is interested.

Further, a program is being developed to give a greater understanding of the "reactions" observed and their statistical occurrence during "questioning" and other investigative "techniques." This is also a program which can be "observed" if you side has an interest.

The first program I mentioned here is very directly aimed at yourselves and your networks. Their intentions are to carryout infiltrations which will give control by their planners of your systems, after they have that "viewing and human component" under control. They will begin training for this by fall in large numbers, pilot programs exist and are being used to give feedback to the program designers currently. If you can understand this subject matter then you should also understand that your side's ability to "know" and "recognize" these "recruiting methods" would give you a considerable advantage. Having access to those who are designing this program would give you an ability to turn the use of this program to your own side's advantage.

Perhaps we should discuss this matter to assure that you understand the implications.

Intelligence insiders warn that French Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal remains somewhat naive to the threat posed by Sarkozy and his forces in engaging in false flag operations and unprecedented use of French technical surveillance means to spy on Royal, her live-in boyfriend (the French Socialist Party General Secretary), and her supporters.

WMR receives additional evidence that neo-con operatives in France and U.S. were behind French riots blamed on French Muslim intifadists.

The above e-mail was followed by another May 2006 exchange, which has been edited to remove personal information, between the U.S. interlocutors and a member of the French government about the false flag rioting: >>>cont


Cheney is next on the chopping block.

November 10/11/12, 2006 -- According to Washington insiders, there are moves afoot to dump Vice President Dick Cheney and replace him with either John McCain or Rudolph Giuliani prior to the 2008 presidential election. Whoever succeeds Cheney will be able to campaign for the presidency with the perks that come with being an incumbent Vice President.

Since the increasingly-besieged Cheney has signaled he has no intention of voluntarily stepping down, the strategy by the Bush camp may be to force him out by presenting evidence before Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald that it was Cheney who was responsible for the compromise of CIA non-proliferation covert officer Valerie Plame Wilson and her Brewster Jennings & Associates cover firm.

Observers note the unusual professional relationship between Fitzgerald and Karl Rove's defense attorney Robert Luskin. Insiders believe that Fitzgerald may be proffered a carefully crafted deal by Luskin whereby Rove will testify to Cheney's primary role in the outing of Mrs. Wilson and her firm. The sealed indictment of Rove will then be retired permanently. If such a deal is worked out, Fitzgerald may then offer a deal to Lewis I. "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's former Chief of Staff, to also testify against Cheney. With such double-barreled testimony, President Bush will then be compelled to ask Cheney for his resignation or face a very nasty and public indictment.

Cheney is next on the chopping block.

The game plan appears to be what DC insider Sally Quinn foresaw in her Washington Post op-ed last month, an article that suggested she has spoken extensively to a Donald Rumsfeld who was aware of his impending firing. The op-ed stated that Rumsfeld would not be the scapegoat for Iraq and planned to resign shortly after the election. Quinn, seemingly channeling Rumsfeld, stated that after Rumsfeld left, there will be only two scapegoats left: Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. The article concluded by asking which person would be served up as the official scapegoat for Iraq.

This editor wrote, "based on the arrival of James Baker and a coterie of George H. W. Bush old hands on the scene to bail out Dubya, it is clear that the Bush family does not intend to allow one of its own to be declared scapegoat."

With word from White House sources that Cheney was opposed to the sacking of his old mentor Rumsfeld and even more resistant to the naming of Bush family loyalist Robert Gates to take his place, it is clear that Cheney doesnot want to be placed in a position of exposure. However, even Cheney neo-con allies like Richard Perle and Ken Adelman, sensing that Cheney is the designated scapegoat, have bellowed about the Iraq war being a mistake and are now distancing themselves from the Cheney group, once the most powerful operating cell within the Bush administration.

Wayne Madsen Report

Assad off the hook on Hariri assassination probe as a result of new Bush administration "realpolitik" on Iraq extrication.

November 10/11/12, 2006 -- The impending partial purge of the Bush 43 neo-cons by the incoming cadre of Bush 41 officials is already having an effect on U.S.-Syrian relations. Intelligence sources report that the Bush 41 team, still grateful for Syrian President Hafez al Assad's support for Operation Desert Storm, is working to exonerate Bashar Assad, Assad's son, for his government's alleged role in the February 2005 car bomb assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. WMR has previously reported that Hariri's assassination was ordered by neo-cons in Israel and the United States who wanted to implement their "Clean Break" policy in order to drive Syrian occupation troops out of Lebanon and then engineer wars with the Lebanese Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran. With the Iraq Study Group led by Bush 41 Secretary of State James Baker and including Defense Secretary-designate Robert Gates engaged in negotiations with Syria to work out an American military withdrawal from Iraq, the neo-con charges against Syria for the Hariri assassination are being cast aside, according to U.S. intelligence sources.

Assad off the hook on Hariri assassination probe as a result of new Bush administration "realpolitik" on Iraq extrication.

The behind-the-scenes negotiations with Damascus reportedly will curtail moves by chief UN investigator Serge Brammertz to convene a UN "Lebanon Special Tribunal" to try members of the Lebanese and Syrian governments for the Hariri assassination. In fact, the incoming "realpolitik" advisers to the Bush administration are already taking steps to lay blame for the assassination on operatives linked to notorious Russian-Israeli Mafia weapons smuggler and Defense Department air transport contractor Viktor Bout. Such an assignment of blame is designed to send a friendly signal to Damascus while signaling to Jerusalem that the blame for the Hariri assassination is being laid very close but not actually on the doorstep of Israel's Mossad and their neo-con allies in the Bush administration. Not only has Bout enjoyed the largesse of Pentagon logistics contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan but when she was National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice rejected a Sharjah police offer to arrest Bout at Sharjah International Airport. Rice told U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies that when it came to Bout they should "look but don't touch."

Brammertz's proposed tribunal has had the strong backing of unconfirmed, recess appointed US ambassador to the UN John Bolton and Secretary of State Rice but with the Bush 41 group taking over the reins at the Pentagon with a mandate to purge most of the neo-con elements nested there, the State Department will soon find its plans for the Lebanon tribunal spiked by Iraq Study Group members determined to patch up relations with Syria and pro-Syrian Lebanese President Emile Lahoud in return for their help in extricating the United States from the Iraq quagmire. Attempts by Bush to push through Bolton's permanent nomination as UN ambassador in the lame duck Senate are reportedly "dead on arrival."

The detente with Syria and its Lebanese allies is sure to irritate the neo-cons loyal to Vice President Dick Cheney but as the article below suggests, Cheney's days as well as those of his allies may be numbered. With Cheney's mentor Rumsfeld now out of the Pentagon, the Cheney wing of the administration is extremely vulnerable

Wayne Madsen Report

Lebanese Government Breaking Apart

Prime Minister Rejects Resignations From Hezbollah Cabinet Members
BEIRUT, Lebanon, Nov. 11, 2006

(AP) Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora on Saturday rejected the resignation of Hezbollah and Amal Cabinet ministers from his government, hours after the five Shiite Muslim members broke away in protest.

Saniora "rejects the resignation of the colleagues representing Hezbollah even if he receives the formal written resignations," said a statement issued by his office.

The premier's rejection meant the five ministers were still legally part of the Lebanese government late Saturday, and the Cabinet of Western-backed Saniora remained in office.

But the resignations threw the country's political landscape into chaos hours after rival politicians failed to agree on Hezbollah's demand to form a national unity government.

They removed considerable political backing from Shiite Muslims, the country's main sect, and make it difficult for Saniora to govern. More than eight Cabinet ministers would need to resign before Saniora's government would be dissolved. >>>cont



READ MORE: Iraq, 2006, Bill Clinton, Tennessee Senate Race, George W. Bush

Look how easily the media manipulates everyone's perceptions, including our own. An hour of vote tabulation reveals a stunning fact: Democrats won the popular vote for the Senate by an overwhelming 12.6% margin - 55%/42.4%. "Bipartisanship" and "compromise" are today's buzzwords, when the phrase on everybody's lips should be "mandate for dramatic change" - especially in Iraq.

Contrast the media's performance this week with its reaction to the 2004 election results. The overwhelming catchphrase that November was "political capital." Bush had squeaked through with the tiniest popular vote margin of any postwar President, yet was hailed as a leader with a popular mandate to continue his extremist policies.

(For Bush and the media, apparently not actually losing before being appointed was exciting enough.)

What a short road from "political capital" to "need for bipartisanship." Nobody lectured the Bush team in '04 about the need to act in a bipartisan manner - even though, as I pointed out then, the Democratic popular vote mandate in the Senate was as great as Bush's. (Only the Senate's highly unrepresentative form of democracy resulted in a GOP victory that year.) >>>CONT


Veteran's Day Message To Karl Rove: Take Your Terror Scares and Shove Them Up Your Ass!

READ MORE: Dick Cheney, 2006, Fox News, Karl Rove, George W. Bush
I was honored to spend most of Veteran's Day at the Vietnam Memorial with a rally and ceremony honoring heroes of America from every branch of the service, and their families, immediate and extended.

On their behalf, talking to leaders of veterans groups and a large number of veterans, one message I heard often was the need for mandatory coverage and adequate financing of veterans health care programs through the Veterans Administration.

I did write a Veterans Day memo this morning
to one of the highest ranking Democrats in the
Senate and will reiterate this and others points
very soon.

What follows is a point that hit me when I returned home, and within 15 seconds Fox News had a banner headline: Holiday Terror Horror! Presumably Osama Bin Laden will have a bomb under our holiday tree and we should, again, be afraid.

Here is my reaction to Fox, to Rove, to Bush, to Cheney and anyone else who has been peddling the politics of fear: kiss my ass.

If there is one thing we are going to kill, bury, and put away forever it is this politics of fear. This sad, pathetic, exploitive wimpy view of America that we are a nation of cowards and that we can be intimidated by fear.

Maybe Bush, Cheney, Rove, and Fox News can be intimidated by fear.

We are not.

The American are not.

This politics was kicked out the door, by we the people of the United States, on November 7, 2006.

Message to Fox: keep your fear media and your fear politics to yourselves.

It was so jarring to spend the day with great heroes in a spirit of togetherness with veterans and families from everywhere, then turn on the television and see that some people have not learned a thing from the election returns.

We do have a terrorist threat.

There are real dangers.

They have to be dealt with.

And we will deal with them.

This is not the time or place to revisit the election issues. The election is won. The politics of fear has been defeated. The Congress is Democratic. It is now time to lead and do what needs to be done.

I would much rather spend my day with heroes celebrating courage, unity and patriotism.

To those who even today, broadcast this fear television, and fear politics, all I can say to you at Fox and elsewhere is: we are not a nation of cowards, we will not be intimidated by fear, and you can your brand of fearmongering partisanship and shove it right up your ass.

We won.

You lost.

America moves on.

Deal with it.


US Vetoes Security Council Resolution Condemning Israeli Attacks...


The New York Times Warren Hoge November 11, 2006 04:17 PM

The United States vetoed a Security Council resolution on Saturday that condemned Israel for its military actions in Gaza and called for an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from the area.

The United States ambassador, John R. Bolton, told the Council that the resolution "does not display an even-handed characterization of the recent events in Gaza, nor does it advance the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace."


Labour Party Recruits Howard Dean As Adviser For UK May Elections...

The Guardian Tania Branigan and Julian Borger November 11, 2006 03:34 PM

Labour has enlisted one of the engineers of this week's Democratic victory in the US midterm elections in an attempt to boost its flagging fortunes before the local elections in May.

Howard Dean, the former presidential candidate and one of the men credited with masterminding the trouncing of the Republicans, will visit the UK next month to brief party officials about his pioneering campaigning techniques.


First Meet The Press After Midterm Election Sweep To Feature Pro-Iraq Non-Dems...

Eat The Press Rachel Sklar November 11, 2006 03:10 PM

Tomorrow will be the first "Meet The Press" since the Democrats swept both the House and the Senate in the midterm elections, and ThinkProgress and HuffPo's own Stephen Kaus point out something interesting: Special guests Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman were not part of the aforementioned Democratic sweeping of the House and Senate. While both are obviously experienced and no doubt chatty (we know this from McCain's regular appearances on the show), it's interesting to note what they were invited on the program to discuss: "The midterm election results, the Iraq war, the Gates nomination and setting the stage for 2008." Considering both McCain and Lieberman's traditional support for the war, it seems an oddly exclusive choice, not inviting any Democratic candidate who ran -- and won -- on an anti-war platform to the table (no doubt they were all busy; Russert fan favorite Nancy Pelosi hasn't been doing much press). While Joe Lieberman has reaffirmed his party identification as a Democrat, his electoral experience was an unusual one and not one generally held up as emblematic of the overarching trends in this election (see Claire McCaskill; Jon Tester; Sherrod Brown; and -- thank God, that was a close one -- Jim Webb).

75 US Soldiers Become Citizens During Veteran's Day Ceremony In Baghdad...

Hope they survive long enough to enjoy their citizenship
Agence France-Presse November 11, 2006 04:32 PM

At the end of the brutal eight-year long Iran-Iraq war, Mehdi Ostadhashemi's mother fled with him to the United States to make a new life.

Now, 18 years later and a soldier in the US army, in a palace built bySaddam Hussein to commemorate his "victory" over Iran all those years ago, Ostadhashemi received his American citizenship on Saturday, Veterans' Day, together with 74 others.


Massive Support For Much Of The Democratic Agenda…

Newsweek Marcus Mabry November 11, 2006 02:49 PM

President George W. Bush's response was swift and decisive--if a little late. After voters gave Republicans "a thumpin'" at the polls, handing Democrats control of both houses of Congress, Bush banished his contentious defense secretary; invited the presumptive leaders of the new House and Senate to lunch (would-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had pasta; the president ate crow, a Bush aide joked); and suffered through two pained photo-ops with Pelosi and Harry Reid, the Nevada Senator expected to become Majority Leader. And what did the president get for listening to the voice of the American people? The worst approval rating of his presidency.


Treacherous Road to Oslo Begins Here

Ramzy Baroud

Attempts to coerce Palestinians into submission have not always manifested themselves in the crude form of a tank, a bullet, the withholding of aid or the denial of freedom of movement. These efforts were at times more imaginative and shrewd, through the sponsoring and espousing of factionalism, the purchasing of the integrity of a politician, pressing Palestinians themselves to promote foreign agendas, whether knowingly or unwittingly. Coupled with the collective punishment endowed on Palestinians by the ever-indifferent international community - i.e. Israel’s friends in the West and a few Arab and Muslim allies - such creative methods often reaped the desired results, albeit for a little while. I became familiar with one of these attempts recently in London...

continua / continued

AIPAC Eats New Congress Critters for Lunch

Kurt Nimmo

Lest we forget who runs Congress, consider the following "briefing" posted on the AIPAC website yesterday: AIPAC Builds Ties With New LawmakersAIPAC reached nearly every lawmaker elected in Tuesday’s mid-term congressional elections as part of its effort to educate political candidates on the value of the U.S.-Israel relationship. During the campaign that ended Tuesday, nearly every viable candidate met with AIPAC professional staff members and submitted a position paper summarizing his or her views on U.S. Middle East policy. A non-partisan organization, AIPAC has for decades worked with Republican and Democratic members of Congress to strengthen the ties between the United States and Israel. Translation: Nearly every lawmaker, except the few stragglers hiding out in bathroom stalls or the cloakroom, was told he or she best tow the AIPAC-Israel line, or suffer short tenure in Congress...

continua / continued

Pelosi’s support for Israel is heartfelt, supporters say


Before a packed meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee three years ago, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) connected her political support for the Jewish state with her personal life. "My daughter is Catholic. My son-in-law is Jewish," she said. "Last week I celebrated my birthday and my grandchildren — ages 4 and 6 — called to sing 'Happy Birthday.’ And the surprise, the real gift, was that they sang it in Hebrew." Now that the Democrats have taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives, the party is expected to install Pelosi, 66, as speaker, making her the first woman to hold the position that is two heartbeats away from the presidency...

continua / continued

Uranium Weapons Causing Cancer in Iraq



There are claims that the cancer rate in Iraq has increased tenfold, and the number of birth defects has multiplied fivefold times since the 1991 war, and the increase is believed to be caused by depleted uranium. There are people who want to investigate these events, but the United States is quite uneasy about the attempts to inspect the aftermath of the war. The United States was also criticized due to its unwillingness to cooperate with the United Nations on the issue. A girl who appeared in a famous photograph taken in 2003 in Fallujah was suffering from leukemia while soldiers and scientists were discussing depleted uranium....

continua / continued


Malcom Lagauche

There is a God. Camelot is just around the corner. Bush lost the House of Representatives and the Senate. Rumsfeld resigned. The U.S. is pulling its troops out of Iraq. Happy days are here again. Bullshit! Fairy tales are for kids. The left press and its supporters have gone berserk. For months, we have been told that a change in the makeup of the U.S. Congress will turn this country around and we all can look to many different policies. Today, they are in a jubilant mood. Six months from now, however, they will be just as gloomy as they were during the Bush days; maybe even more so. The big issue was the Iraq war. Most voters were conned into believing that a Democratic victory would begin an exit from Iraq. I only wish I could find some of the hallucinatory stuff they are smoking. First of all, 14 permanent U.S. military bases are being built in Iraq by around-the-clock workforces. They will not be turned into Disney parks or mini golf courses. Four of them are super-bases that will be able to house thousands of troops. Just down the road in Baghdad’s "Green Zone," the largest embassy in the history of the world is being built...

continua / continued

My wife’s first and last videoblog; Beit Hanoun Massacre!

Sabbah's blog

November 10, 2006

My wife recorded this for my blog a couple of days ago. Since then, she won’t even look at the news. Guess why?

This is what Israel don’t want you to see!

Copy also available at:




Ibrahim Ebeid, Al-Moharer

...Ending the war must take a priority for the sake of America and for the sake of peace in the United States and abroad. If the Democrats are really concerned about ending terror and want to live in harmony with the rest of the world then we have to start from within. We have to clean our house first before we accuse other nations as terrorists or "axis of evil" members. We have to admit that we and our allies are the "axis of evil," not Iraq or other states that do not agree with us or refuse to be under our domination. We are the ones who attacked Iraq and destroyed it and the Democrats gave their full support to the war. The war against Iraq was not the war of the Republicans or Bush only, but the War of Democrats as well. If the Democrats are really sincere in their call for a new direction, we hope that the direction will be in admitting that they were wrong in supporting this horrible war and mass killing of Iraqis and young American men and women in uniform. Because the war of aggression was launched against Iraq with false and fabricated intentions, we should recognize the Iraqi Resistance and not those who were installed by the Bush administration...

continua / continued

Al-Duri calls for an "open front" in the war against the occupation; more signs of political collapse


Al-Quds al-Arabi publishes a summary of a statement by Baath resistance leaderIzzat Ibrahim al-Duri denouncing the recent AP-originated story about laying down their arms, and attributing it to the occuption's disinformation campaign. Al-Duri writes: "Let the dogs of Rome (meaning the empire), and before them the Safavid dogs of Persia know, crouched in their Green Zone fortress, that the coming days will be darker for them than a moonless night..." which is his way of saying they haven't laid down their arms. Moreover, Al-Duri goes out of his way to deny that there are any contacts at all between the Baath resistance and the Americans, in Amman or anywhere else (...) In another report on the same page, Al-Quds cites remarks by Sheikh Ali al-Abeidi, head of the Abeid tribe in central Iraq, who said: "The leaders of the Abeid tribe understand that the American occupation and the Maliki government have ignored their demands". And the reporter quotes Fawaz al-Dulaimi, representative of the leaders of the Dulaim tribe in al-Anbar, who said: "Let the dogs of Rome in the White House know that the execution of Saddam will cause a reaction in Iraq in general, and in al-Anbar in particular, involving more death for the soldiers of the aggression"...

continua / continued

Unforgettable Week


Treasure of Baghdad

It has been almost two weeks since I talked to Ahmed, one of my best friends, who lives in my neighborhood. I received an email from him. To be honest, I don’t know whether I should be happy or sad after reading this email. On one hand I am happy because he is alive and on the other I am sad because of the content of this email that broke my heart. His email was all about what he went through for the last week. He is left alone with no friends around him. All of us left and now he is just so miserable living in the most dangerous spot on earth. His words broke my heart especially the part where he said he had to sit in the garden by himself where we all used to gather. The situation in my neighborhood is deteriorating, he said. The Mahdi army and the armed men are the only controlling power there. Iraqi Police and army are just names they hear about and have never seen there to protect the neighborhood and its people...

continua / continued

Baghdad’s new statue

Roads to Iraq

Still remember this story? A year ago, US or Iranian terrorists destroyed the statue of Baghdad builder, Jaafar al Mansou. Now a report that a new statue will be erected in the it’s place, but guess for who? Sistani...

continua / continued

Military service linked to Lou Gehrig's disease (Gulf War Double Risk)

Major U.S. report suggests Gulf War vets face double the risk

Military service, particularly in the Gulf War, may be linked to development of Lou Gehrig’s disease, the Institute of Medicine said Friday.

The evidence, however, is limited and inconsistent, the Institute said.

The degenerative nerve disease, formally known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, gradually destroys the ability to control movement. Patients lose their ability to move or speak, but their minds remain unaffected. Most victims die of respiratory failure within a few years.

According to the report, released as Veterans Day was being observed, five studies have been done on the subject.

Three indicated a higher rate of ALS among veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf War, one found a link to veterans who served prior to that war and one found no link at all.


Study: Gulf war syndrome doesn't exist
Agent Orange study ends, no cancer link

Global growth in carbon emissions is 'out of control'

The growth in global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels over the past five years was four times greater than for the preceding 10 years, according to a study that exposes critical flaws in the attempts to avert damaging climate change.

Data on carbon dioxide emissions shows that the global growth rate was 3.2 per cent in the five years to 2005 compared with 0.8 per cent from 1990 to 1999, despite efforts to reduce carbon pollution through the Kyoto agreement.

Much of the increase is probably due to the expansion of the Chinese economy, which has relied heavily on burning coal and other fossil fuels for its energy.

Dr Mike Raupach, chair of the Global Carbon Project, an international collaboration of researchers who compiled the latest figures, warned yesterday that emissions were spiralling out of control.


Zogby 'Exit Poll' of San Diego's CA50 Busby/Bilbray Election Suggests 6-Point Distortion in Announced 'Results'

Election Attorney Paul Lehto Blames Registrar Mikel Haas's Administration of Election, Refusal to Properly Count Paper Ballots for Discrepancy

Says, 'Abuse of Discretion' Improperly Delayed Count of Paper Ballots, Creates 'Second Class Ballots, Voters'

Corporate bankruptcies are expected to rise

According to a recent report, the next wave of corporate bankruptcies is expected to occur within six to 18 months.

A Staggering New Bill For Iraq?

Jessica Holzer and Matthew Swibel 11.09.06, 6:00 AM

The U.S. armed services have requested a $160 billion supplemental appropriation to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the remainder of fiscal year 2007--a staggering amount that, if approved by the Defense Department, may hasten the showdown between resurgent congressional Democrats and the Bush administration over the budget-busting War on Terror.

The request--which will likely include all costs related to the war on terrorism--far surpasses the $94 billion supplemental authorized earlier this year to fund the ongoing wars as well as hurricane recovery in the Gulf and is nearly double the $82 billion Iraq war supplemental outlay of 2005. It comes within days of Republicans' stunning losses in the midterm elections and the resignation of embattled Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who was set to decide on the request Nov. 15.

President Bush said Wednesday that he would nominate as Rumsfeld's replacement Robert Gates, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency under the presidency of his father, George H.W. Bush.

While House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has vowed not to undercut the troops in the field, defense experts said that she and other Democratic leaders probably hadn't anticipated the massive request.

"I'm not sure they've grasped the potential size of this forthcoming supplemental request. We'll just have to see whether they can choke down that amount of dough," said Tom Donnelly, a defense expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Bush said in a White House news conference Wednesday morning that he had reached out to the Democratic leadership of the new Congress and hopes to work closely with them. He made no mention of this supplemental appropriation for the War on Terror.

While a good chunk of the $160 billion request will be used to replace worn equipment, it also covers additional systems, armor and weaponry and thus is a blueprint for pressing on with the current troop levels in Iraq and strategy in the War on Terror.

"It's not just going to be 'I broke my tank, and I want to fix it,'" Donnelly said. >>>cont


Editor Found Dead in Mexican Hotel Room

Today: November 11, 2006 at 0:5:14 PST


ZIHUATANEJO, Mexico (AP) - A newspaper editor was found dead in a hotel room in this Pacific resort city, a day after running stories about organized crime and corruption in the city government.

Misael Tamayo Hernandez, editor of El Despertar de la Costa, was found early Friday nearly naked, with his hands tied behind his back, in a room at the Venus Motel, Zihuatanejo police officials said.

He was lying on a bed, covered only with a sheet, and investigators found three puncture marks on his body, one in his right hand and two others in a forearm. The cause of death was a heart attack, forensic investigators said.

Tamayo Hernandez, who was well-respected in the local journalism community, published a story on Thursday alleging that city officials gave illegal discounts on water services to individuals and businesses. The same edition also contained stories on organized crime.

Workers at the motel said they saw the editor arrive in a gray Volkswagen Jetta about 1:25 a.m. local time Friday, and that the car left at 2:30 a.m. Tamayo Hernandez's body was found at about 7:30 a.m., District Attorney Raciel Gonzalez said.

Numerous journalists have been attacked or killed in recent years in Mexico, presumably as revenge for unfavorable reports on criminals, including drug traffickers and corrupt government officials.


Iraq Gunmen Kill 10, Abduct 50 on Buses

Nov 11, 2:12 PM (ET)

(AP) Sergeant Christian Ramos, 22, from Elizabeth, NJ, a US soldier from 1st Battalion, BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Gunmen ambushed minibuses south of Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least 10 passengers and kidnapping about 50 others, police reported.

The abductions took place at around 7:30 p.m. (1630 GMT) nearly the highly volatile city of Latifiyah, said an officer who asked that his name not be used for fear of reprisals.

Gunmen believed to be local Sunnis set up a false security checkpoint to stop the passengers, occupants of several minibuses. Latifiyah lies in the so-called Sunni Triangle of Death, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad, where Shiites and U.S. and Iraqi security forces have been repeatedly targeted.


Feeling Blue? Can They Work Together? Pelosi has 34 percent approval ratings, slightly better than Bush's 31 percent

A Democratic sweep of Congress, President Bush's approval reaches a new low. But voters want Democrats to chart a moderate course.

While we are waiting for the Power shift - Will someone Save Darfur Now?

READ MORE: Iraq, George W. Bush

The lame duck Congress starts next week.

There are a few things the Democrats might be able to agree to that will signal a willingness to work with the President - since that is what they believe the voters want. They could pass the Vietnam normalization legisaltion opening up trade and economic relations with Vietnam.

That's important. They could pass the treaty to conduct talks with India on nuclear proliferation. That's important. But the Dems will stiff the Republicans on the other things the President wants like the budget, energy and legislaiton to legalize the Bush Admin's interrogation program. And the smart and substantive proactive agenda laid out by incoming Speaker Pelosi can't begin until they control the House (and Senate) floor.

What about Iraq? That's what the voters want. Well, the Dems will be hampered by timing from getting too agressive about Iraq, though they will roar a bit at Bob Gates during his confirmation hearing. The Defense Appropriations Bill has already passed for the year and messing with a supplemental is too risky. As a practical matter, there won't be much change in Iraq until Gates gets in, the Baker Commission reports and Congress comes back under Democratic control in late January and starts conducting some oversight hearings.

So while Congress is convening next week and plotting their organizing, perhaps they can join together on one issue that they say they agree on but the Republican leaders to date haven't done anything about - DARFUR. Don't make the people of the Sudan wait any longer. Who will take this on?


Bush Calls Nominee Gates An “Agent Of Change” For Iraq...

Reuters Claudia Parsons November 11, 2006 10:57 AM

President Bush said on Saturday his chosen new defense secretary was an "agent of change" in a sign of the growing momentum for a new direction inIraq policy after election defeat for Bush's Republicans.

Two car bombs in a Baghdad market killed eight people and Iraqi security forces were the target of several attacks around the country on Saturday as insurgents and sectarian groups kept up the pressure on the Iraqi government and its U.S. backers.


Warrantless Wiretaps Unlikely To Be OKed...

Associated Press LAURIE KELLMAN November 11, 2006 08:58 AM

Legislation aimed at President Bush's once-secret program for wiretapping U.S.-foreign phone calls and computer traffic of suspected terrorists without warrants shows all the signs of not moving ahead, notwithstanding President Bush's request this week that a lame-duck Congress give it to him.

Senate Democrats, emboldened by Election Day wins that put them in control of Congress as of January, say they would rather wait until next year to look at the issue. "I can't say that we won't do it, but there's no guarantee that we're going spend a lot of time on controversial measures," Democratic Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois said Thursday.


Navy To Tow USS Intrepid Out Of Mud In Hudson River...

Associated Press November 11, 2006 12:33 PM

The Navy will help move the historic aircraft carrier USS Intrepid from its muddy berth in the Hudson River to New Jersey for repairs, officials said Saturday.

The agreement comes after the floating carrier museum refused to budge Monday despite tugboats' attempts to pull it from the mud at its Manhattan pier. The ship has rested in the spot for 24 years.


“God Gap” In Politics Has Narrowed Substantially...

Washington Post Alan Cooperman November 11, 2006 08:58 AM

As the results of the midterm elections sank in this week, religious leaders across the ideological spectrum found something they could agree on: The "God gap" in American politics has narrowed substantially.

Religious liberals contended that a concerted effort by Democrats since 2004 to appeal to people of faith had worked minor wonders, if not electoral miracles, in races across the country.


US Office In Iraq Attacked By Mortar Fire...

Associated Press November 11, 2006 09:38 AM

Earlier Saturday, police said mortar fire hit the U.S. government's representative office in Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad. Capt. Muthanna Khalid Ali said part of the compound was set ablaze, although there was no immediate word on damage or casualties in the attack -- at least the second on the office in recent weeks.

Inaccurate but highly mobile, the mortar is growing increasingly popular among Iraqi fighters because it can be fired from a secure location several miles from a target and then hauled away or hidden. Some insurgent groups mount the weapons on pickup trucks, remaining in constant motion except when firing.

Read the whole story here.

3rd Son From Wash. Family Sent to Iraq

Nov 11, 7:02 AM EST

3rd Son From Wash. Family Sent to Iraq

Associated Press Writer

SEATTLE (AP) -- Growing up, Charlie Parsons played sports, liked to travel and enjoyed learning other languages - just like his older twin brothers. When they went off to West Point, Parsons soon followed. Now, four months after Capt. Bill Parsons and Capt. Huber Parsons III deployed to Iraq, younger brother Charlie Parsons is again following their lead.

"I didn't really look at it as following in their footsteps. We just have similar interests," said Charlie Parsons, a second lieutenant from Miami, who also has a twin sister, Christine, a teacher in Jackson, Miss.

All three brothers are members of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, a Stryker Brigade Combat Team from the Army's Fort Lewis, south of Seattle. When Charlie Parsons leaves for Baghdad on Monday, he and his brothers will join an unknown number of siblings serving together in the military.

The Army doesn't maintain a database of family members serving at the same time.


FOCUS | Nat'l Guard Units to Be Sent Back to Battle in Iraq Again

The Pentagon is developing plans that for the first time would send entire National Guard combat brigades back to Iraq for a second tour, the Guard's top general said in the latest sign of how thinly stretched the military has become. The move - which could include brigades from North Carolina, Florida, Arkansas and Indiana - would force the Pentagon to make the first large-scale departure from its previous decision not to deploy reserves for more than a cumulative 24 months in Iraq.


Outcome Uncertain in Eight House Races

Eight House races remain without winners after Tuesday's election, with Republican incumbents in tight contests to keep their seats and state officials not rushing to end the disputes.


Western Iowa Republican Meltdown - This is BIG!

DU9598 (1000+ posts) Thu Nov-09-06 04:08 PM
Original message

Western Iowa Republican Meltdown - This is BIG!

I posted the following in the Iowa room, but this is big news for national discussion as well. As background, western Iowa is the base of the Iowa Republican party and the home of right wing Congressman Steve King. The split in their leadership could mean a third party or decreasing participation of large parts of the republican's base. Is this occuring in other areas?

A day after the Democratic sweep of the midterm elections, Woodbury County Republican Chairman Steve Salem had harsh words for his own party, lambasting the influence of the conservative Christian right wing. Salem said he coined a new phase: "You've heard of IslamaFascists -- I think we now have Christian fascists. What is the definition of a fascist? Not only do they want to beat you, but they want to destroy you in the process."

Salem said "if things keep going the way things are going locally and statewide, it is going to be more and more difficult for Republicans to recruit candidates. We have elements of the party who are moral absolutists, who take the approach that if you don't take my position every step of the way, not only will I not support you, but I will destroy you."

Continued Salem, "We have a number of factions within the Republican Party who are putting their own personal agenda ahead of what is best for the party." He said he tried to hit the topic head-on in the last Woodbury County Republican Party Central Committee meeting, to bring the sides together, but said it didn't get resolved. He said Republican volunteers were "having (their) arms twisted to make calls for Blanchard. The local approach seemed to be to do everything you can to help Blanchard."

This follow up comment says so much about what lies ahead for the R's in Iowa:

Duane Brown wrote on November 09, 2006 12:20 PM:

"There is that old tale of the emperor who wore no clothes. The problems cited by Stephen Salem are just as obvious. Mr. Hoffman, in stating that he was " …‘surprised’ by Salem's schism comments…” is either blind or in complete denial. Stephen Salem is dead on right. He was actually overly polite in his description of self serving factions in the Woodbury County Republican Party. As a member of the Woodbury County Republican Party Central Committee, I have plenty of first hand experience. One particular organization is trying to hijack the Republican Party of Iowa. If you don't agree with them 100% on every issue, they not only refuse to support you; they take active steps to destroy you including the use of innuendo and outright lies. When confronted, they will not debate openly. They will not debate and discuss issues with any opponent. They only throw bombs, often in the form of literature that does not identify, or falsely identifies the author(s). The problem with bombs is that they can destroy everything with their fallout, as was done in this campaign. "

Bush 'not welcome in Indonesia'

From correspondents in Jakarta
November 11, 2006 09:29pm

US President George W. Bush is not welcome to visit Jakarta later this month because his policies have hurt Muslims, a body representing Islamic clerics in Indonesia has said.

Mr Bush will visit Indonesia, the world's most populous Islamic nation, on November 20 on a brief stopover after attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam.

"We are aware of the tradition that guests should be honoured and welcomed, but we would prefer if the government did not invite people who have hurt Muslims around the world," said Ma'ruf Amin, deputy chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI), quoted by the state Antara news agency.

"The resentment is natural, given Bush's actions, such as the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and his support for Israel which has killed Palestinians and Lebanese."

Mr Bush is due to meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the summer palace in Bogor, located inside the 87ha Bogor Botanical Gardens, south of the capital.

Media and the opposition have decried the cost of the visit.

Around 18,000 security personnel will be deployed during the trip and mobile phone networks will be out of action for several hours as part of the security clampdown, the media has reported.

The construction of a helipad in the botanical gardens for the visit has also been criticised.

Despite differences over Middle East policy and occasional rowdy anti-American demonstrations in Indonesia, Jakarta and Washington have generally good relations, and the Southeast Asian nation is considered a key ally in US anti-terrorism efforts.


Iraq: the new cover-up

Martin Bright, New Statesman

The government is withholding a secret draft of the Iraq WMD dossier that was never disclosed to the Hutton inquiry, the New Statesman can reveal. In a development that will stoke demands for a full parliamentary inquiry into the events that led up to the war, we can confirm that the draft was written not by the intelligence services, which had responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained in the dossier, but by a senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office press officer, whose name has previously featured only on the fringes of the controversy over Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. It raises the possibility that the dossier originated with the government's spin machine rather than the intelligence services. This secret draft may even turn out to be the foundation of the government's ill-fated presentation of the threat from Saddam's WMD, which Tony Blair used to persuade parliament of the case for war...

continua / continued
free hit counter