Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ain't that the truth

Will Cheney Ever Sleep on a Concrete Bed?
By Missy Compley Beattie
These monsters of war, whose catastrophic damage has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and more than 4,300 coalition troops, are the real proprietors of weapons of mass destruction.
By Lew Rockwell
Terrible rumors from Russia continue to swirl around the Middle East that the Cheney-Bush junta has decided to bomb Iran on April 4th or 6th, targeting not only nuclear-power research facilities but ships, planes, antiaircraft installations, and the Iranian pentagon.
By RIA Novosti"
The latest military intelligence data point to heightened U.S. military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran," the official said, adding that the Pentagon has probably not yet made a final decision as to when an attack will be launched.

'Your Turn Is Next,'

Gadhafi warns Arab leaders after US toppling of Saddam
By The Associated Press
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi poured contempt on fellow Arab leaders at a summit Saturday and warned that they might be overthrown like former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

The Hillary Deathwatch

Hillary Clinton is as good as dead. This became the consensus over the past week, when the media awoke en masse to the dual reality that 1) Clinton can't close the pledged-delegate gap and 2) Obama has her beat in the popular vote. But the Clinton campaign shows no signs of slowing—she said herself she's prepared to compete for at least three more months. So the question now is not just "How dead is she?" but "When will she realize it?"
In the tradition of Slate's Saddameter (gauging the likelihood of invading Iraq), the Clintometer (measuring the chances of a Lewinsky-related ousting), and the Gonzo-meter (charting the attorney general's demise), we bring you the Hillary Deathwatch, a daily update on Hillary Clinton's dwindling chances of winning the Democratic nomination.

McCain Guru Linked To Subprime Crisis

Phil Gramm stood by John McCain in his worst days last summer when his campaign went broke and his candidacy was all but written off by political observers.
Photo: AP

The general co-chairman of John McCain’s presidential campaign, former Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), led the charge in 1999 to repeal a Depression-era banking regulation law that Democrat Barack Obama claimed on Thursday contributed significantly to today’s economic turmoil. “A regulatory structure set up for banks in the 1930s needed to change because the nature of business had changed,” the Illinois senator running for president said in a New York economic speech. “But by the time [it] was repealed in 1999, the $300 million lobbying effort that drove deregulation was more about facilitating mergers than creating an efficient regulatory framework.” Gramm’s role in the swift and dramatic recent restructuring of the nation’s investment houses and practices didn’t stop there.

Don't worry the surge is working, after all Georgie told us so didn't he?

Dick Cheney - ... So ..

Silenced Majority Portal
"2/3 of Americans say it's not worth fighting..." says the reporter, a few days ago.
"So .." says Cheney
& look how he flip flopped:
Cheney, said, in 1992:
"I would guess if we had gone in there, I would still have forces in Baghdad today. We'd be running the country. We would not have been able to get everybody out and bring everybody home...."
"And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam (Hussein) worth? And the answer is not that damned many. So, I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we'd achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq."
Always out for himself ..

Rice calls Obama's landmark speech on race in America 'important'

"It's not a pretty reality, That your lies helped Georgie perpertrate the illegal war and occupation of Iraq Lady"

"Africans and Europeans came here and founded this country together - Europeans by choice and Africans in chains," Rice told the Washington Times. "That's not a very pretty reality of our founding."

Earth Hour: 8-9 PM tonight, wherever you are.

Silenced Majority Portal
Google in the US "turned the lights out" on the Google.com homepage to raise awareness of a worldwide energy conservation effort called Earth Hour. On Saturday, March 29, 2008, Earth Hour invites people around the world to turn off their lights for one hour – from 8:00pm to 9:00pm in their local time zone. Cities around the world, including Copenhagen, Chicago, Melbourne, Dubai, and Tel Aviv, will hold events to acknowledge their commitment to energy conservation.

Sydney goes dark for Earth Hour

This combination of two images of the Sydney skyline were photographed at 8:20pm on March 28, 2008 (top) and during earth hour at 8:20pm on March 29, 2008. Thousands of lights that illuminate office buildings, public structures and monuments were switched off Saturday evening, darkening the city's iconic skyline for one hour, in an effort to publicise the effects of climate change.REUTERS/Tim Wimborne (AUSTRALIA)

Worried Yet? Saudis Prepare for "Sudden Nuclear Hazards" After Cheney Visit

by Richard Clark, you know the one running around Washington, with his hair on fire before Sept 9 / 11
Bush sends nuclear sub and more warships to the GulfAccording to Chris Floyd at the Empire Burlesque web site:
The Saudi government is now preparing plans to deal with "any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards" that may arise from an attack on Iran's nuclear reactors. This was reported by a top Saudi newspaper, Okaz, and relayed by a leading German news service, DPA -- one day after Dick Cheney paid a visit to the kingdom. As we noted, no one knows exactly what was said at that confab of allied authoritarians -- but something sure lit a fire under the Saudis, and convinced them that urgent action is needed to brace for the lethal overspill from a strike on Iran.
Floyd points out that nothing in Saudi Arabia becomes the top news story without government approval. That such a story should be released the day after Cheney's visit, sends a message to everyone about what’s on Cheney's mind.
This, combined with the dismissal of Centcom chief, Admiral Fallon, Petreus' claim to have evidence (which he doesn't produce) that Iran was responsible for the recent shelling of the Green Zone,
. . and the Egyptian report that a nuclear sub has been ordered by Bush into the Gulf, the bleak picture in both Pakistan and Afghanistan (accelerating collapse of Musharraf's power and strategy, the coming spring offensive in the Taliban's announced drive for Kabu),
. . plus the oft-stated desire of Bush and Cheney to attack Iran, and, as noted by former mideast policy official William K. Polk at Juan Cole's site just a few days ago, the last time Cheney visited the nations he visited this time was right before the Iraq attack,
. . then only a moron would deny that Bush and Dick have nothing but contempt for the will of the people, congress and the courts, and that they crave war like a junkie craves his fix.

Siegelman is out.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Former Governor Don Siegelman of Alabama, released from prison today on bond in a bribery case, said he was as convinced as ever that politics played a leading role in his prosecution.
In a telephone interview shortly after he walked out of a federal prison in Oakdale, La., Mr. Siegelman said there had been “abuse of power” in his case, and repeatedly cited the influence of Karl Rove, the former White House political director.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Back in Time...or the making of Hero.

Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
Yesterday, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, as I was applying my kohl... I looked and saw that I have aged 10 years. No, 100 years. No 1000 years... I pushed the years forth....another 7'000 years I said to myself. Now push them back another 7'000 years... And I saw Gilgamesh appear in the mirror's reflection...And as I looked into the mirror, applying my khol, putting on my daily mask, hiding behind a face that no longer belongs to me...seeing Gilgamesh appear, I thought of Heroes and Heroines from Uruk and Nineveh, and how our lives have turned into a film... A film that you watch daily , or that you may have stopped watching for its repetitiveness... You're probably thinking to yourself, when will the real Hero or Heroine appear and fight the beast and the fake angry Gods, like Gilgamesh did ? Did it ever occur to you that the Hero may have died at the beginning of the film ? Ashurbanipal did not foresee that, nor did Gilgamesh...but you --the truthful ones amongst you did-- and so did I. The rest is just a trailer of more to come. Or maybe the hero has turned into millions of heroes and heroines quietly leading.... continua / continued

Americans in Green Zone under siege

Fighting between militants and the Iraqi government has threatened what was once the best-secured district in Baghdad.
Sarah is not the type of woman who loses her cool very easily. As an employee of the U.S. State Department, she has seen too much for that. Her superiors in Washington have repeatedly sent her to the world's hot spots. Now Sarah works as a "special agent" in the personal protection unit of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, where she is responsible for the security of high-ranking guests. Since Tuesday, it has been Sarah's job to look after German politician Elke Hoff. And, since Wednesday afternoon, Sarah has occasionally had to address her charge -- "Sorry about that, ma'am!" -- more forcefully than usual: "Hurry up! We have to duck and cover."... continua / continued

Iraqi police in Basra shed their uniforms, kept their rifles and switched sides

James Hider, Times
Abu Iman barely flinched when the Iraqi Government ordered his unit of special police to move against al-Mahdi Army fighters in Basra. His response, while swift, was not what British and US military trainers who have spent the past five years schooling the Iraqi security forces would have hoped for. He and 15 of his comrades took off their uniforms, kept their government-issued rifles and went over to the other side without a second thought....
continua / continued
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's hopes of forcing Shiite militiamen to hand in their weapons has fallen flat, so he has extended a disarmament deadline and sweetened the deal by offering money in exchange for guns. A spokesman for the government's Interior Ministry, Abdul Kareem Khalaf, acknowledged today that not a single weapon had been turned in since Maliki ordered the disarmament Wednesday and gave fighters a three-day deadline...

No Justice

Justice for the innocent of Iraq, soon the charges will be dropped on all of them, and no one will face the consequences of their actions, only the families left behind to grieve
Charges dropped against US Marine over Iraq massacre
ABC News
March 28, 2008Military prosecutors have dropped all charges against a United States Marine accused of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault in the 2005 shooting deaths of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians at Haditha.The charges against Lance Corporal Stephen B Tatum, 26, were dismissed "in order to continue to pursue the truth seeking process into the Haditha incident," the Marines said in a statement.A Marine spokesman declined to elaborate on the decision, which was not announced in open court."To ensure the remaining cases are brought to closure in a fair and just manner, further discussion of this case is inappropriate at this time," Lieutenant Colonel Sean Gibson said.Lance Corporal Tatum was one of eight Marines charged in the November 19, 2005, killing of 24 men, women and children at Haditha that triggered international condemnation of US forces.He faced 19 years in prison if convicted on all on all charges.Iraqi witnesses say angry Marines massacred unarmed civilians after a popular comrade, Lance Corporal Miguel "TJ" Terrazas, was ripped in half by a roadside bomb.Defence attorneys maintain that the civilians were killed during a pitched battle with insurgents in and around Haditha.Prosecutors have dropped charges against four other Marines in the case.- Reuters

Iraq assembly holds emergency session amid curfew

Flashback: Wright's Letter To NYT About Obama

In March 2007, New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor published a brief story about how Rev. Jeremiah Wright had been uninvited from delivering the invocation before Barack Obama's official presidential announcement.
Wright responded by writing the following letter:
March 11, 2007
Jodi KantorThe New York Times9 West 43rd StreetNew York,New York 10036-3959
Dear Jodi:
Thank you for engaging in one of the biggest misrepresentations of the truth I have ever seen in sixty-five years. You sat and shared with me for two hours. You told me you were doing a "Spiritual Biography" of Senator Barack Obama. For two hours, I shared with you how I thought he was the most principled individual in public service that I have ever met.
For two hours, I talked with you about how idealistic he was. For two hours I shared with you what a genuine human being he was. I told you how incredible he was as a man who was an African American in public service, and as a man who refused to announce his candidacy for President until Carol Moseley Braun indicated one way or the other whether or not she was going to run.
I told you what a dreamer he was. I told you how idealistic he was. We talked about how refreshing it would be for someone who knew about Islam to be in the Oval Office. Your own question to me was, Didn't I think it would be incredible to have somebody in the Oval Office who not only knew about Muslims, but had living and breathing Muslims in his own family? I told you how important it would be to have a man who not only knew the difference between Shiites and Sunnis prior to 9/11/01 in the Oval Office, but also how important it would be to have a man who knew what Sufism was; a man who understood that there were different branches of Judaism; a man who knew the difference between Hasidic Jews, Orthodox Jews, Conservative Jews and Reformed Jews; and a man who was a devout Christian, but who did not prejudge others because they believed something other than what he believed.
I talked about how rare it was to meet a man whose Christianity was not just "in word only." I talked about Barack being a person who lived his faith and did not argue his faith. I talked about Barack as a person who did not draw doctrinal lines in the sand nor consign other people to hell if they did not believe what he believed. >>>cont
Link Here

Bear Stearns CEO Sells His Holdings For $61.3M

NEW YORK — Bear Stearns Cos. Chairman James Cayne on Thursday sold his holdings in the embattled investment bank ahead of its expected acquisition by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Cayne sold 5.66 million shares for exactly $10.84 a share for $61.3 million. However, it was not known if those shares were dumped into the open market or if Cayne sold them to another party.
A spokesman for Bear Stearns would not comment on the sale.

And Karl Wouldn't Lie, Now Would He?

CNN update on Gov Seligman. Karl Rove says any allegation of his involvement is "false and foolish".
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A federal appeals court Thursday ordered former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman released from prison on bond pending his appeal, saying he is not a flight risk and has shown his appeal will raise "substantial questions of law or fact."
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made the ruling on the same day a House Judiciary Committee spokesman said the committee would ask that Siegelman be briefly released from prison in Louisiana so he can testify in its inquiry into selective prosecutions.
"It's been a lot of work," said Hiram Eastland of Greenwood, Mississippi, lead counsel for Siegelman. "This is really huge, and we're gratified."
He said he had not spoken to the former governor yet and wasn't sure if he knew of his impending release, which Eastland said would likely happen Thursday evening.
Siegelman's appeal is pending before the 11th Circuit, Eastland said, adding it involves "profound issues that should concern every American, Republican or Democrat" regarding political expression through campaign contributions.
Earlier, another Siegelman attorney, David McDonald, said his client is "emphatically" eager to appear before the House committee.
"We welcome the inquiry," said McDonald, of Mobile, Alabama. "We will continue to cooperate in every way to the extent that it does not interfere with the governor's appeal." But he said he did not expect it to affect Siegelman's legal fight negatively.
Siegelman began serving a sentence of more than seven years in prison in June 2007, after he was convicted of corruption charges stemming from his time in office.
Critics of the prosecution say Siegelman was the target of a smear campaign by President Bush's long-time strategist, Karl Rove.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hagel: Bush Administration 'Certainly Misrepresented' Facts On Run-Up To War

Over the past year, Senator Chuck Hagel has not been shy about expressing his disillusionment with his own party. Having announced that he'll be foregoing a third term in the Senate, Hagel has been slow to support GOP nominee John McCain, and has recently penned a book titled America: Our Next Chapter, in which he espouses the idea of "an independent candidate for the presidency, or a bipartisan unity ticket."
On last night's edition of Hannity And Colmes Hagel allowed himself to express the full measure of his disaffection with the Republican Party without giving an inch on his conservative principles. His votes against the prescription drug bill and the No Child Left Behind act, he maintained were votes "against the real big government type programs." But it was his criticism of the Bush administration's war strategy that drew the harshest critique from Hagel. While Hagel remains unwilling to characterize Bush's pre-war positioning with the word "lie," it was clear that Hagel was familiar with many, many synonyms for that word:
COLMES: Senator, when the president said he would let the IAEA finish and didn't, did he lie to you?
HAGEL: Well, lie is a tough word. I have always tried to be responsible with my language. And I have never accused the president of lying. I would say this, that his administration certainly misrepresented, starting with the fact when we were told, many of us, including me, that this administration had not made a decision to go to war. At the time of the resolution vote in October of 2002, in fact, now we know that that is just not true.
COLMES: You don't want to use the word lie, that is a strong word. But that's what you are implying?
HAGEL: You can take any meaning out of that that you want, but I think -- almost six years now after this, we have a pretty clear record of what they said and what they didn't say.
Hagel saved his most unsparing language for Vice President Dick Cheney:
COLMES: You also say in the book that Dick Cheney cherry picked intelligence and used fear to promote war sloganeering. That's a pretty strong charge against him.
HAGEL: Well, he did. And if you recall the war speech that he gave the National VFW Convention in August of 2002, the day after that speech I called Colin Powell and I said to Colin Powell, what's going on? You are going to war? Powell said no, the president has made no decisions. I said that war speech that Cheney gave is very, very clear. Cheney was doing that all the lead up to the invasion.
Hagel concluded: "I don't think that they were direct and honest at all with what they were telling us versus the planning that was going on."

Didn't ya know?

Bush: Spiraling Iraq Violence "A Very Positive Moment"
Violence continues across southern Iraq today, as radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is threatening to end his crucial cease-fire by calling for the “downfall of the U.S.-backed government.”
In response, the administration has gone on a desperate PR blitz to label renewed violence in Iraq as “byproduct of the success of the surge.” “It’s “what critics have wanted to see,” said White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, calling it a struggle led by Iraqi security forces.
Today — as rockets rain down on the Green Zone and two American soldiers died — Bush cast the activity as a “very positive moment” in an interview with the Times of U.K.:
[Bush] backed the Iraqi Government’s decision to “respond forcefully” to the spiralling violence by “criminal elements” and Shia extremists in Basra. “It was a very positive moment in the development of a sovereign nation that is willing to take on elements that believe they are beyond the law,” the President said.
It’s hard to see what Bush sees as positive. The explosion that burst an oil pipeline in Basra today? Tens of thousands of Shiite protesters in Baghad? A kidnapped “civilian spokesman for the Baghdad security operation?”
In reality, the violence is undoing the very goals of Bush’s surge. Iraqi forces aren’t trying to restore “the law,” as Bush thinks, but are trying to do the opposite — suppress its political enemies before the October elections, historian Reidar Vissar noted. Most ironically, if U.S.-backed efforts “succeed,” Iran’s hand in Iraq will be strengthened. IPS’ Gareth Porter explains:
The Badr Organisation and the ISCI had always been and remained the most pro-Iranian political-military forces in Iraq, having been established, trained and funded by the [Iranian Revolutionary Guard] from Shiite exiles in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war.
Bush’s comments are reminiscent of former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow’s remarks last June, casting skyrocketing violence across Iraq as “things moving towards success…signs of success.”
UPDATE: Bush today: “It also shows the progress the Iraqi security forces have made during the surge.”

22-Year-Old Given $300M Defense Contract To Arm Afghan Forces

No wonder anything, this loser in the White House touches, turns into a nightmare of gigantic proportions
Published: March 27, 2008
Since 2006, when the insurgency in Afghanistan sharply intensified, the Afghan government has been dependent on American logistics and military support in the war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
But to arm the Afghan forces that it hopes will lead this fight, the American military has relied since early last year on a fledgling company led by a 22-year-old man whose vice president was a licensed masseur.
With the award last January of a federal contract worth as much as nearly $300 million, the company, AEY Inc., which operates out of an unmarked office in Miami Beach, became the main supplier of munitions to Afghanistan’s army and police forces.
Since then, the company has provided ammunition that is more than 40 years old and in decomposing packaging, according to an examination of the munitions by The New York Times and interviews with American and Afghan officials. Much of the ammunition comes from the aging stockpiles of the old Communist bloc, including stockpiles that the State Department and NATO have determined to be unreliable and obsolete, and have spent millions of dollars to have destroyed.
In purchasing munitions, the contractor has also worked with middlemen and a shell company on a federal list of entities suspected of illegal arms trafficking.
Moreover, tens of millions of the rifle and machine-gun cartridges were manufactured in China, making their procurement a possible violation of American law. The company’s president, Efraim E. Diveroli, was also secretly recorded in a conversation that suggested corruption in his company’s purchase of more than 100 million aging rounds in Albania, according to audio files of the conversation.
This week, after repeated inquiries about AEY’s performance by The Times, the Army suspended the company from any future federal contracting, citing shipments of Chinese ammunition and claiming that Mr. Diveroli misled the Army by saying the munitions were Hungarian.


Not too long ago, seemingly out of the blue, I was suddenly bombarded by forwarded emails. We all know the type. Patriotic themed and usually opening with a Mexican 'joke'. All of them had buzzwords in them like 'Freedom' and some even threw in Jesus for no apparent reason at all. In one such email, I was 'reminded' that 'only Jesus and US Soldiers were ever willing to die for me'.
I remember staring at that line for a long time, thinking nothing, trying to think nothing. The words just sat there in front of me, and without meaning too, I started thinking about its meaning. I started thinking about what the sender wanted it to mean to me. I started asking myself had I ever known anyone else willing to 'die for me'?

I remembered a Mexican who once loved me, and yes, I had no doubt he would have lay down his life for me, had he been asked. My mother, certainly typical of 'mothers' would die for me. My lover, a good and honest man, him too, if it came to the ultimate sacrifice to be made in my name, I have no doubts he would volunteer to lay down his life for me. For any of those 3 and for my own children, I also would gladly face death so that any one of them could live.

And yet the words still sat there, telling me only Jesus and U.S. Soldiers were ever willing to die FOR ME.

Now, I get the Jesus thing. Even if it only makes sense in a religious context, that is how religion works. Believe it anyway, even if it seems somewhat conflated. I wasn't around to commit any sins, so saying He died for my sins may seem like hubris, but I guess it all depends on your own personal theology.

Which leaves us with the part about US soldiers dying for me. Let's stop here for a moment, as we examine the conflicts my nation’s soldiers have been involved in since my birth during the final stages of the Vietnam War. Much of my early life was shaped by that distant conflict. The politics of it, the freshness of the wounds and pain. The confusion. The lies. Our population had to grapple with a military loss, handed to them by an unlikely enemy.

As I sat there and looked at that email, I could not help but ask myself did any of the soldiers who died there, actually die 'for me'? As far as I know, not a single Vietnamese could have affected my freedom, or threatened my life, or even the lives of those around me. My nation’s soldiers killed over 3 million people in that conflict, and for the life of me, I can not think of a single benefit to myself or anyone I love or even know that was gained by their sacrifice. All I ever saw of it was a bunch of dead people, who died for no damn reason, except to fill the coffers of war profiteers. As far as I can see, no one except war profiteers gained anything from it at all.

And yet, for all my life, I was told even by the smartest of people, that the U.S. Soldiers who died there, 'were dying for me'. At what point does a talking point become an insidious lie?

And now here we are, in yet another distant conflict that was started with the most bold and obvious lies possible. Once again we are killing foreign people in foreign lands. Our soldiers die, their people are dying, for no rational explanation at all. Our nation has gained nothing but scorn and bankruptcy for it, yet still the killing goes on. We have become known torturers, and I suppose there are those who will still insist we had to torture people, because they are being tortured for me. As if my life is somehow better for it.

I am fully aware that many people who read this will say 'How dare she!?' How dare I suggest they are NOT dying for me? Because they are not. I would never sacrifice my nation’s soldiers so callously and for no gains. Some will claim I have no love for our soldiers. What I want to know is how they can claim to love our soldiers while justifying sacrificing them for lies and talking points? The ones that claim to be the most patriotic among us, have no qualms about sending these men and women to die for lies, yet they will question my patriotism for suggesting they are not dying for me. That I gain nothing for it, they can not hear. They will not hear it. Their lie is exposed when I say no Iraqi could have ever been a threat to me or anything I know.

If U.S. Soldiers are not dying for me...Then what the hell are they dying for? That is a much better question than to wonder about my own desire for them to live to fight another day.

As I sat there and looked at that email, I decided it would be the last lie I would be told. It is the Last Great Lie. An All American Lie. A lie calculated to make us feel too guilty to question its truthfulness. If they are dying 'for me' then I must be grateful, right? We all must be, because to question it makes us 'unpatriotic '… ungrateful…UnAmerican.'

Which is strange, because killing and torturing people for no reason at all except the greed of war profiteers is what I would say is the very definition of 'UnAmerican'.

For the rest of my life, this lie will never again go unchallenged. The blood of my nation’s soldiers will not be thrown onto my conscience in order to ease the minds of others who also can not fully explain what our soldiers are dying for.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Barack Obama - The Tide Is Turning

The Tide Is Turning

I have no idea who Roger Waters is supporting in this thing (and I hasten to note that this video was created without his permission), but when I heard Senator Obama's historical Philadelphia address last week, this song, "The Tide Is Turning," from Waters' underrated 1987 album Radio KAOS kept running on a loop in my head.
The song and the speech compelled me to take a break from the snark to assemble this mash-up as a tribute to everyone who has endured this seven-year-long dark ride; and to everyone who hopes that America can and will change for the better.
Until recently, I honestly didn't think it was possible. And even though it's only the beginning, Senator Obama's campaign is clearly our best shot to, at the very least, turn the tide against this seemingly interminable darkness.

Bush Spins Iraq. The Dems go A.W.O.L.
Only the terminally tone-deaf could fail to be astonished by the juxtaposition of last week’s two major speeches – President Bush’s address marking the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war, and Barack Obama’s remarks on race in America.
Because they speak volumes about the profound differences between the two men who delivered them. One came from a man who is either a serial liar, a foreign affairs ignoramus, or a terminal victim of historical amnesia. The other came from a man willing risk his political future on planting both feet on the most divisive Third Rail in American life: Race.
Millions of words have already been written and spoken about the Obama oration, and I will spare you yet another assessment. Except to note that the senator from Illinois seemed to be trying to achieve three objectives: First, putting the incendiary sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright behind him; second, winning support from the so-called Reagan Democrats in Pennsylvania and beyond; and third, encouraging all of us to begin a serious national dialogue to help our country understand and accommodate the realities of racial diversity.
My guess is that he probably isn’t going to make much of a dent in the first two of these objectives. And the jury will be out for years on whether the American people are ready to help him achieve his third objective.

Holding McCain Accountable For Campaign Finance Violations

FireDogLake's Jane Hamsher Delivers McCain FEC Complaint

“John McCain is a campaign finance criminal who is flouting the very regulations he championed,” Jane Hamsher commented while delivering the complaint. “He believes the law is for someone else, not him. It's the height of hypocrisy.”

I won't hold my breath waiting.

It is becoming apparent to many Democratic party leaders that the Clintons will stop at nothing to regain the White House in November ~ even at the expense of the party itself. As such, prominent party leaders, already starting with Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson, will announce their support for Obama which will force the Clintons to concede ~ even before the Pennsylvania primary on April 22nd : Allen L Roland
Bill Richardson's strong endorsement of Barack Obama was a shot across the bow of the Clinton camp that their continued gutter tactics and Obama sniping are putting the possibility of a united Democratic party going into the November election at severe risk.

Put that in the context of a recent statement ( as reported by Jake Tapper, ABC News) by a Democratic party official, who asked for anonymity so as to speak candidly, who said we in the media are all missing the point of this Democratic fight.
" The question was what will Hillary have to do to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, in order to eke out her improbable victory?
She will have to "break his back," the official said. She will have to destroy Obama, make Obama completely unacceptable.
"Her securing the nomination is certainly possible - but it will require exercising the " Tonya Harding " option.'" the official said. "Is that really what we Democrats want?"
It implies that Clinton is so set on ensuring that Obama doesn't get the nomination, not only is she willing to take extra-ruthless steps, but in the end neither she nor Obama will win the gold."
Let me unequivocally tell you that is not what the Democratic party leadership wants ~ particularly in light of the high possibility of a huge increase in Democratic office holders in the November elections.
As such, the Clintons will be stopped when a succession of high profile Democratic leaders ( all superdelegates ) endorse Obama, one by one, right up to the Pennsylvania primary on April 22nd.
Chris Dodd was the first and Bill Richardson was the second. They will soon be followed by John Edwards, Jimmy Carter and finally Al Gore.
When it becomes obvious that the vast majority of the super delegates are going for Obama and with the probability of a looming and embarrassing defeat ~ Hillary will bow out and the Democratic party leadership will heave a sigh of relief. If she doesn't ~ the Clintons could selfishly take the Democratic party down with them ensuring that neither herself or Obama will win in November .
David Brooks, New York Times, writes today about the impersonal Clinton political machine ~ " No wonder her campaign feels so impersonal. It's like a machine for the production of politics. It plows ahead from event to event following its own iron logic. The only question is whether Clinton herself can step outside the apparatus long enough to turn it off and withdraw voluntarily or whether she will force the rest of her party to intervene and jam the gears ".
The Clinton's time has come and gone ~ Barack Obama is the present and the future of a party which just may finally make a difference.

Senior Coupon-Cutting Brigade Comes to Military's Aid

Sandy Sand:
Wheelchairs, walkers, damnable arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome pain don’t stop this cadre of little old ladies around the country from showing up at American Legion posts across the country to clip coupons to box up and send to service men and women serving in the Middle-East and elsewhere around the world.
What these women are doing to show support for those serving in far off places is more than commendable.
But the fact that they or anybody has to send coupons that are redeemable at post exchanges up to six months after their expiration dates is deplorable, criminal neglect on the part of the government that sent them there in the first place.
It’s a sure thing that private contractors raking in huge per diem salaries, and working side-by-side with enlistees don’t need coupons for toothpaste or any necessity unless they’re extraordinary cheapskates.
For the complete story, link to: click here

Terrorism and Environmental Destruction are both being assisted and manipulated to serve elite interests.

The Obama Phenomenon

Most Americans remain in a state of zombie-like denial of what this country continues to do.

by Rabbi Michael Lerner Page 1 of 3 page(s)
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The Phenomenon is not Barack Obama. Senator Obama is a masterful organizer and teacher. But this editorial is not about Obama as much as about what he elicits in others, and should not be read as an endorsement of him.The energy, hopefulness, and excitement that manifests in Obama's campaign has shown up before in the last fifty years, only to quickly be crushed. It was there in the 1960s and 1970s in the Civil Rights movement, the anti-war movement, the women's movement, the environmental movement, and the movement for gay liberation. One felt it flowing at rallies and demonstrations at which Robert Kennedy, Cesar Chavez, Betty Friedan, Isaac Deutscher, Joan Baez, and Martin Luther King, Jr. articulated their visions. It was there again in Earth Day, in the anti-nuclear movement, and in the movement against the war with the Contras. It was there during the campaign of Jesse Jackson in 1988 and the Clintons' campaign in 1992. And it has been there-dare we say it-in the growth of the religious right and the Campus Crusade for Christ.
What is that energy and excitement, and why does it touch people so deeply?

It's a Number

William Rivers Pitt, writing for Truthout, says: "White House press secretary Tony Snow, the third man to hold that post in the Bush administration since 2001, began the June 15, 2006, noon press briefing with a few prepared remarks before opening the floor to questions from the assembled crowd of reporters. The first to speak noted, 'American deaths in Iraq have reached 2,500,' before asking, 'Is there any response or reaction from the president on that?' 'It's a number,' replied Snow, 'and every time there's one of these 500 benchmarks people want something.'"

Supreme Court Rules

Saying he does not have "unilateral authority" to force states to comply with an international treaty, justices vote 6-3 to reject presidential order to reopen cases of foreign nationals.
How the war began and how ist has been fought, both on the ground and deep within the government

Mahdi Army arrested 17 American soldiers

By Roads To Iraq The situation right now is nothing to do with “Iraqi government” or “Iraqi Army”, it is a Shiite-Shiite war, Mahdi Army with primitive arms and “Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution” [formed by Iran] with an army and supported by the Americans.

PA County Officials Say Several Crossovers to the Democratic Party Hope Their Switch Will Help McCain This Fall

Republican crossovers are a key factor in record-level voter registrations for the Pennsylvania Democratic presidential primary, officials say.
State Democratic party officials touted a record-level four million registered Democratic voters in anticipation of the upcoming primary on April 22. The Philadelphia suburbs and the state's central region, including counties where Republicans still outnumber Democrats, had some of highest proportions of party-switchers.
Bill Meck, a resident of a Philadelphia suburb, remarked that after 41 years of voting Republican, he recently registered with the Democratic party. "I wanted to be a part of the choice," said Meck.
While many of the new Democrats appear to be moderates or independents who simply want to be a part of the process, county voter registration officials in central Pennsylvania told ABCNews.com that many new registrants spoke openly about changing their party affiliation to give McCain "a better shot in November."
Officials in Perry and Northumberland counties in central Pennsylvania told ABCNews.com that quite a few new registrants said they were switching to help the Republican party in the fall. Both counties are historically conservative, having voted for Bush in 2004 in wide margins, but the number of voters changing their party affiliation to Democrat this year is proportionally large, said the officials. LinkHere

The GOP attack plan for Hillary Clinton

If Clinton beats the odds and wins the Democratic nomination, Republicans will say she stole it. And then they'll try to give voters a 1990s flashback.
By Mike MaddenMarch 26, 2008 WASHINGTON -- There was a time when simply hearing the phrase "Hillary Clinton" was enough to drive conservative Republicans more than a little mad. Think of former GOP Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana, shooting pumpkins in his backyard to prove Vince Foster was murdered by White House hit men. Or the $50 million Whitewater investigation, which dragged the country through six years of political turmoil but never produced enough evidence to file criminal charges. Or former Sen. Trent Lott, musing publicly that "maybe lightning will strike" Clinton before she could be sworn in to the Senate in 2001. Of course, these days, with the delegate math in the Democratic presidential race tilted heavily in Barack Obama's favor, Clinton has drifted out of the GOP cross hairs. Republicans are digging deep into Obama's past now, ready to chip away at any warm feelings about him voters may still retain after a bruising primary. But a Clinton nomination, while a long shot, is still a possibility, and it wouldn't necessarily disappoint the people the woman herself dubbed, 10 years ago, the "vast right-wing conspiracy." The script for a John McCain-Hillary Clinton race is already written. The Republicans have been reading from it for more than a decade. All it would require for the 2008 contest is a little updating. Hint: They may never have to utter the word "Whitewater."
Republicans look at Obama and see someone who would be open to attacks because voters don't know him well enough. So do Clinton aides, who repeat over and over again on their daily press conference calls that Obama hasn't been vetted the way she has. But even in politics, there is such a thing as overexposure. Clinton may have precisely the opposite problem that Obama has.
"Hillary's very polarizing," one Republican consultant said. "There's no middle ground there." For 16 years, Clinton has been at the dead center of some of the country's most strident political battles, and most people seem to either love her or hate her. Stretching back a decade, her favorable ratings among voters nationwide have wobbled between the high 40s and the high 50s, while her unfavorable rating has hovered in the 40s since 2000. Republicans don't have much distance to cover to push that unfavorable figure above 50. Asked where Clinton might be vulnerable in the general election, GOP pollster Glen Bolger joked, "With voters."
Pretty Dumb
OK, this is pretty dumb. Hillary Clinton wants a high-level commission to analyze ways to resolve the mortgage crisis — including Alan Greenspan.
Yes, I know people still listen when Greenspan speaks — and John McCain once joked about taking Greenspan’s advice even if he’s dead. But for those in the know, AG is a key villain in the whole affair.
I mean, why not add Charles Prince, Stanley O’Neal, and Angelo Mozilo to the commission?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Meltdown ... A chunk of ice bigger than the Gold Coast has fallen from an ice shelf in the Antarctic, satellite images show. Picture courtesy of the National Snow and Ice Data Centre/NASA

It's called Georgies Liberation of Iraq? You Decide

..Fallujah has been turned into a prison; isolated from the rest of Iraq, and divided into nine walled-off security zones called "gated communities". Just to travel across the city, people have to go through choke-points where mercenaries -- former insurgents now making $180 a month each for work with the Iraqi-American "security services" -- check every car and register every visitor...

Iraqi forces fight Mehdi Army in Basra

Aref Mohammed, Reuters
Iraqi security forces battled the Mehdi Army militia in Basra on Tuesday in a drive to win control of the southern oil city, but violence and unrest spread to Baghdad and other cities. Police and health workers said at least 12 people were killed in the fighting in districts of central and northern Basra where Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army has a strong presence. In a statement read out by a senior aide on Tuesday, Sadr called on Iraqis to stage sit-ins all over Iraq and said he would declare a "civil revolt" if attacks by U.S. and Iraqi security forces continued. He also threatened a "third step", but said it was too early to announce what it would be...
Iraqi security forces imposed a curfew on Basra and suspended studying until further notice, while Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki asserted that the city is facing pressures on its security and stability. "The National Defense Center decided to impose a curfew as of today until further notice and to impose a vehicle ban throughout the province as well as suspend studying in the Basra schools," a statement released by the National Defense Center and read by Maj. General Abdul Karim Khalaf highlighted. Meanwhile, Prime Minsiter Nouri al-Maliki said in a statement aired by the state-run al-Iraqia satellite television, "Basra faces many internal and foreign pressures against its security and stability through targeting its religious, scientific, and social figures and this is being accompanied by smuggling oil, weapons, and drugs."...
By Roads To Iraq The situation right now is nothing to do with “Iraqi government” or “Iraqi Army”, it is a Shiite-Shiite war, Mahdi Army with primitive arms and “Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution” [formed by Iran] with an army and supported by the Americans.

Found: 3 More Bodies of Kidnapped American Contractors

The remains of three American contractors kidnapped in southern Iraq have been recovered, according to U.S. officials, confirming ransom negotiation experts' predictions that the contractors were executed. "Their chances of survival were slim to none because we were not hearing from the kidnappers," said Jack Cloonan, a former FBI agent, who now heads a crisis management firm that has handled ransom negotiations in Iraq... continua / continued

Pakistani Prime Minister Frees Judges

Matthew Pennington reports for The Associated Press, "The deposed chief justice emerged from house arrest Monday after Pakistan's new prime minister ordered police to pull back razor-wire barricades and release judges ousted last year by President Pervez Musharraf."

Saudis Prepare for Nuclear Fallout from Iran

Saudis Prepare for Nuclear Fallout from Iran The Smirking ChimpSaudis Prepare for Nuclear Fallout from Iran ... This "story" is just a press release concocted by Cheney for the Saudis to read out loud. ...
Daily Kos: Saudi Paper: Prepare for radioactive fallout. Now.the Saudi government is now preparing plans to deal with "any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards" that may arise from an attack on Iran's nuclear ...
McCain On Iraq: "We're Succeeding.I Don't Care What Anybody Says"

Critical Iraq Cease Fire Appears To Be Unraveling

Sadr army seizes Iraq checkpoints

Cleric's army stockpiles rifles, rocket launchers as militia seize checkpoints.

(Iraq) Sadrists expand civil disobedience to all provinces

Source: Voice of IraqBaghdad, Mar 25, (VOI) - Sadrists expanded the civil disobedience they started to include all provinces, the spokesman for the Sadrist bloc said on Tuesday."The Sadrist bloc announced the expansion of the civil disobedience to include all provinces in Iraq," Nassar al-Rubaei said at a press conference held in Baghdad.He called on citizens to support this disobedience, demanding that the government implement the Sadrists' demands.Sadrist officials called on Monday for an open-ended civil disobedience, which has already begun in the western Baghdad neighborhoods of al-Shurta, al-Bayya, al-Amil, and al-Risala.The VOI correspondent said life came to a standstill in those neighborhoods, where stores closed and traffic stopped after barricades believed to belong to the Sadrists were erected.

4000 dead.

The Long Defeat

When you step back and think about it, she is amazing. She possesses the audacity of hopelessness.
By DAVID BROOKSPublished: March 25, 2008Hillary Clinton may not realize it yet, but she’s just endured one of the worst weeks of her campaign.
First, Barack Obama weathered the Rev. Jeremiah Wright affair without serious damage to his nomination prospects. Obama still holds a tiny lead among Democrats nationally in the Gallup tracking poll, just as he did before this whole affair blew up.
Second, Obama’s lawyers successfully prevented re-votes in Florida and Michigan. That means it would be virtually impossible for Clinton to take a lead in either elected delegates or total primary votes.
Third, as Noam Scheiber of The New Republic has reported, most superdelegates have accepted Nancy Pelosi’s judgment that the winner of the elected delegates should get the nomination. Instead of lining up behind Clinton, they’re drifting away. Her lead among them has shrunk by about 60 in the past month, according to Avi Zenilman of Politico.com.
In short, Hillary Clinton’s presidential prospects continue to dim. The door is closing. Night is coming. The end, however, is not near.

Monday, March 24, 2008

There you have it, the fact's straight from the Senate Record.

not my president: said
Senator Clinton, who has served only one full term - 6yrs. - and another year campaigning, has managed to author and pass into law - 20 - twenty pieces of legislation in her first six years.
These bills can be found on the website of the Library of Congress thomas.loc.gov , but to save you trouble, I'll post them here for you.
1. Establish the Kate Mullany National Historic Site.
2. Support the goals and ideals of Better Hearing and Speech Month.
3. Recognize the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
4. Name courthouse after Thurgood Marshall.
5. Name courthouse after James L. Watson.
6. Name post office after Jonn A. O'Shea.
7. Designate Aug. 7, 2003, as National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
8. Support the goals and ideals of National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
9. Honor the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton on the bicentennial of his death.
10. Congratulate the Syracuse Univ. Orange Men's Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
11. Congratulate the Le Moyne College Dolphins Men's Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
12. Establish the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution Commemorative Program.
13. Name post office after Sergeant Riayan A. Tejeda.
14. Honor Shirley Chisholm for her service to the nation and express condolences on her death.
15. Honor John J. Downing, Brian Fahey, and Harry Ford, firefighters who lost their lives on duty. Only five of Clinton's bills are, more substantive.
16. Extend period of unemployment assistance to victims of 9/11.
17. Pay for city projects in response to 9/11
18. Assist landmine victims in other countries.
19. Assist family caregivers in accessing affordable respite care.
20. Designate part of the National Forest System in Puerto Rico as protected in the wilderness preservation system.
There you have it, the fact's straight from the Senate Record.
During the first - 8 - eight years of his elected service he sponsored over 820 bills. He introduced
233 regarding healthcare reform, 125 on poverty and public assistance, 112 crime fighting bills, 97 economic bills, 60 human rights and anti-discrimination bills, 21 ethics reform bills, 15 gun control, 6 veterans affairs and many others.

NY TImes Obama's record in the Illinois Senate

His first year in the U.S. Senate, he authored 152 bills and co- sponsored another 427. These included:
1. The Coburn-Obama Government Transparency Act of 2006 - became law,
2. The Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act, - became law,
3. The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, passed the Senate,
4. The 2007 Government Ethics Bill, - became law,
5. The Protection Against Excessive Executive Compensation Bill, In committee, and many more.
In all, since entering the U.S. Senate, Senator Obama has written 890 bills and co-sponsored another 1096.
An impressive record, for someone who supposedly has no record according to some who would prefer that this comparison not be made public.

Pentagon report finds no evidence of Saddam attempt to assassinate Bush

Nick JulianoPublished:
Monday March 24, 2008
In President Bush's view, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was many things -- a developer of weapons of mass destruction, an ally of al Qaeda and "a guy that tried to kill my dad."
Recent intelligence reports have already shot down those first two notions. No WMD stockpiles were found in Iraq after the US invasion, and a just-released Pentagon assessment failed to find any "smoking gun" link between Saddam and the terror group that plotted the 9/11 attacks.
Now skepticism is newly enveloping allegations of an Iraqi plot to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush during a trip to Kuwait in 1993. Newsweek's Michael Isikoff reports that the same Pentagon report that has essentially disproved an Iraq-al Qaeda link also calls into question the 1993 plot that spurred former President Bill Clinton to launch a Tomahawk cruise-missle strike against Saddam's Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS). Isikoff writes:
The review, conducted for the Pentagon's Joint Forces Command, combed through 600,000 pages of Iraqi intelligence documents seized after the fall of Baghdad, as well as thousands of hours of audio- and videotapes of Saddam's conversations with his ministers and top aides. The study found that the IIS kept remarkably detailed records of virtually every operation it planned, including plots to assassinate Iraqi exiles and to supply explosives and booby-trapped suitcases to Iraqi embassies. But the Pentagon researchers found no documents that referred to a plan to kill Bush. The absence was conspicuous because researchers, aware of its potential significance, were looking for such evidence. "It was surprising," said one source familiar with the preparation of the report (who under Pentagon ground rules was not permitted to speak on the record). Given how much the Iraqis did document, "you would have thought there would have been some veiled reference to something about [the plot]."
Isikoff notes that the absence of evidence does not prove the Iraqis weren't planning to assassinate the former question (just as Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld famously said about Iraq WMD never found, that "the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"), but his latest report adds to questions that have been raised about the alleged plot since the months before and after the missile strike it inspired.

Out of the Arab Equation - Part I

Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
...Namely that in the 1990's (and well before that in my opinion), the CIA, Pentagon, Israeli and British intelligence, when they concocted the plan for the invasion of Iraq, they knew EXACTLY who this "Iraqi" opposition was and where it came from and where it's ultimate loyalties lied. In other words when delegation after delegation from the INC met in London and Washington, the Americans knew very well, that the SCII, that al-Dawa party (of which Maliki the current "Iraqi" PM is a member), that the highest Shia marjaiya all had their loyalties to Iran. After all this is where they came from to attend these meetings. When the Americans on behalf of the Zionist lobby drew up the sectarian and ethnic division of Iraq, they knew very well where the majority of the shia's allegiance is. They had prepared the grounds for it since Gulf War 1 and Iran capitalized on it... continua / continued

With friends like these

Gideon Levy
The amount of support being shown for Israel these days is almost embarrassing. The parade of highly-placed foreign guests and the warm reception received by Israeli statesmen abroad have not been seen for quite some time. Who hasn't come to visit lately? From the German chancellor to the leading frontrunner for the American presidency. And the secretary-general of the United Nations is on his way. A visit to Israel has become de rigueur for foreign pols. If you haven't been here, you're nowhere. The visitors are taken, of course, to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, the Western Wall and now to Sderot as well - the new national pilgrimage site. A few also pay a perfunctory visit to Ramallah; no one goes to the Gaza Strip, and they all have nothing but praise for Israel. Not a word of criticism on the occupation, on Israel's violent operations in the territories, on the siege and the starving - with the exception of a few vague remarks on the need for a solution. Israel squeezes the Sderot "informational" lemon for all it's worth... continua / continued

A book on the Trial of Saddam - by a close friend

Imad Khadduri, Free Iraq

The aim of the book is to present a clear analysis with emphasise on illegality of the trial of Saddam Hussain briefly covering the background to the invasion, the setting up of the tribunal and ending with analysis of the trial procedures. The book is necessary because it is the first time since the UN was created that a sovereign state has been invaded, the system changed and its head of state has been put on trial by an occupying power. It is very important to assess the dangers of such a precedent... continua / continued

Iraq war batters US economy

Adla Massoud, Aljazeera.net
Five years since the the US began its invasion of Iraq, the world's largest economy is struggling to cope with the cost - estimated to be at least $500 billion and rising. Two prominent US economists say the Iraq war and the US economy are now inextricably linked. Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel-prize winning economist, and Linda Bilmes, authors of "The Three Trillion Dollar War," argue that the Iraq war will cost the US at least $3 trillion and possibly as much as $5 trillion... continua / continued

Iraq's displaced living in dumps

Shaista Aziz, Aljazeera.net
The Qawala camp, located on the outskirts of Sulaimaniya, is a bleak and depressing place, home to 3,000 internally displaced people from across Iraq. During the rainy winter months, Qawala, which was built on a landfill, resembles a bog. Stray dogs scavenge through the thick layers of mud that coat everything and the stench of sewage hangs in the cold winter air. Children play among the many discarded refrigerators that have been dumped on the site, which now houses the fragments of people’s broken lives - a warm winter blanket, a cooking pot, a ration card. Sulaimaniya, a city in northern Iraq, is home to an estimated 60,000 displaced Iraqis, many of whom have fled to escape sectarian violence and killings further south. The vast majority of the displaced come from Baghdad, Diyala and Mosul... continua / continued

Welcome To Georgies Liberation of Iraq.

God Forgive Us!!!!!!!
Clips of Liberation
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
March 24, 2008
This is your fucking Freedom and your fucking Liberation. You think am vulgar ? Good.
But --nothing matches your vulgarity, hypocrisy, racism, hatred and sheer evilness... Watch this and see what a despicable, depraved, repugnant lot you are.
To hell with you America -- to the farthest pits of Hell.

Happy Anniversary America. How Lethally Stupid Can One Country Be?

David Michael Green
Watching George W. Bush in operation these last couple of weeks is like having an out-of-body experience. On acid. During a nightmare. In a different galaxy. As he presides over the latest disaster of his administration (No, it’s not a terrorist attack – that was 2001! No, it’s not a catastrophic war – that was 2003! No, it’s not a drowning city – that was 2005! This one is an economic meltdown, ladies and gentlemen!) bringing to it the same blithe disengagement with which he’s attended the previous ones, you cannot but stop and gaze in stark comedic awe, realizing that the most powerful polity that ever existed on the planet twice picked this imbecilic buffoon as its leader, from among 300 million other choices.... continua / continued

"We are living through another Hiroshima," Iraqi doctor says

Sherwood Ross
The U.S., Great Britain and Israel are turning portions of the Middle East into a slice of radioactive hell. They are achieving this by firing what they call "depleted uranium" (DU) ammunition but which is, in fact, radioactive ammunition and it is perhaps the deadliest kind of tactical ammo ever devised in the warped mind of man (...) Now let's hear it from Iraqi doctors: Oncologist Dr. Jawad Al-Ali of Basra Hospital and Professor Husam al-Jarmokly of Baghdad University "showed a rapidly increasing death toll in Iraq since 1991 due to cancer and leukemia caused by U.S. radiological warfare," Scherrer writes, based on their presentation of December 1, 2002 at the Peace Memorial Hall in Hiroshima. Al-Ali, who is also a member of England's Royal Society of Physicians, is quoted in Feb. 5, 2001, "CounterPunch" as stating, "The desert dust carries death. Our studies indicate that more than 40% of the population around Basra will get cancer. We are living through another Hiroshima." (Basra is a city of 1.7 million. Does that mean 680,000 people will be stricken? That toll alone would be more than Hiroshima and Nagasaki's casualties.)... continua / continued

A Do-Over Undone

By Dan BalzEd Rendell and Jon Corzine have done Hillary Clinton no favors in her fight for the Democratic nomination. The neighboring governors (Rendell of Pennsylvania, Corzine of New Jersey) set out to eliminate one obstacle to do-over votes in Florida and Michigan. Instead they ended up creating one.
When officials in Florida and Michigan first started talking about how to set up new primaries to assure that their delegations will be seated at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, they were understandably insistent that taxpayers not be stuck with the bill. Taxpayers had funded their January primaries; somebody else should pay for do-overs.
Because they were in a dispute with the Democratic National Committee, officials in both states looked to the DNC to bear the cost of new contests. DNC chairman Howard Dean, who has taken a hard line in his dealings with the two states, promptly rejected their entreaties. The national committee, he said, needed every available dollar it could raise to wage a general election campaign in the fall. The states would have to look elsewhere.
Dean was not entirely unhelpful, however. He reminded state officials that, while the national committee is barred from raising soft money (large, non-federally regulated contributions), state parties were not. Rendell and Corzine brashly decided to take matters into their own hands.

The Surge Is Working? You Decide!!!!!!! This Weeks Numbers Of Dead And Wounded.

Monday: 10 Iraqis Killed, 21 Wounded

25 Killed in Two Weeks; More Significant Number than 4,000
American forces have just experienced the most violent two-week period in Iraq since September 2007. Unfortunately, I'm afraid this fact will be lost in the media coverage over the number 4,000 during the next several days. Of the two significant numbers this week--4,000 killed during war and 25 in the last two weeks--the latter figure is far more significant with regard to the curren situation on the ground. We hear talk of attacks against Americans "ebbing," ceasefires holding, and of the situation in Iraq being "not that fragile," but this is all a bunch of happy-talk nonsense. Between March 10 and March 23, 25 American soldiers were killed in Iraq. The last two-week period in which U.S. forces sustained similar losses was between September 14 and September 27, when 26 were killed--a period that capped off the bloodiest summer of the war.... continua / continued
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