Post American

Can you imagine the shit storm that is coming? Attack Iran? Whew, this is going to be fun. Where are the truck bombs we were promised? Do you think there will be Martial Law during the nookular Dubya Dubya Three? Fuck these American Idiots!

US Prepares Iran Strike
The Bush administration is preparing its NATO allies for a possible military strike against suspected nuclear sites in Iran in the New Year.

At the beginning of the year we saw Bush sworn in for his second term, delivering an inauguration speech that emphasized democratizing foreign nations by force as the new defining characteristic of U.S. foreign policy. Apparently unaware of the wars in Korea and Vietnam, the invasions of Grenada and Panama, the military actions in Lebanon, Iraq and Somalia, the bombings of Libya, Afghanistan, Serbia and Sudan, and dozens of other U.S. interventions in other countries over the last 50 years, Bush claimed, “For a half century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders.” But now, after 9/11, U.S. foreign policy would have to recognize that “the survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.”
The new Iraqi government looks increasingly like a Shi'ite theocracy with close ties to the "axis of evil" regime in Iran. Most Americans now believe they were deliberately misled into the war, that it was a big mistake, and that it is getting time to leave.
Bush's approval ratings have been gloriously low.
Then there was the catastrophic aftermath of Katrina. What could have been a troubling but relatively contained natural disaster was exacerbated first by public management of the levees, which broke, allowing the flooding of New Orleans, and then by the way the feds handled the crisis. They finally responded to the calamity by keeping private charity out, forcing people into makeshift concentration camps such as the Superdome, confiscating firearms and turning the city over to the vagaries of martial law.

It was a year when the United States achieved all of its political goals in Iraq and made major progress in developing the new Iraqi military forces?
Yet as the year ended, America's future prospects there were more clouded and problematic than ever?

U.S. death toll in Iraq for '05 nears '04 level
841 soldiers killed this year

Parents to Pentagon: Stop Flying Dead GIs as Commercial Air Freight

White House will continue to track Net
The White House said Friday its Web site will keep using Internet tracking technologies, deciding that they aren't prohibited after all under 2003 federal privacy guidelines.

White House Denies Calling for Probe

Covert CIA Programs: Renditions, Violate Intl. Treaties, Secret Prisons, Eavesdroping…

In the world of national security, 2005 has been the year of the spy: revelations about government snooping without court warrants, controversial CIA interrogation practices, "renditions" of suspected terrorists into secret prisons and, of course, the continuing investigation into the CIA leak.
With each successive disclosure, Americans have had to confront fundamental questions about how much privacy they are willing to sacrifice in a post-9/11 world.

British, US Spying Draws Us Closer to Orwell's Big Brother
It's not that I'm unpatriotic. The founders of our country did not trust any government -- either that of George III or an uncontrolled democracy. That's why we have the Bill of Rights to protect American citizens from their own government -- by demanding, for example, that ``Congress shall make no law abridging the right of free speech.''
Our property is also protected from illegal search and seizure, and we are not to be put in jail without knowing the charges against us or having the right to confront our accusers in a public trial. Secret courts are inconsistent with the Bill of Rights, the defining document of American freedom.
What's the worst thing that Al-Qaida can do to America? We have probably already seen it. Of course, the government can talk about bigger things, like the use of weapons of mass destruction, to justify its use of totalitarian tactics.
I would much rather live as a free man under the highly improbable threat of another significant Al-Qaida attack than I would as a serf, spied on by an oppressive government that can jail me secretly, without charges. If the Patriot Act defines the term ``patriot,'' then I am certainly not one.
By far, our own government is a bigger threat to our freedom than any possible menace posed by Al-Qaida.

"Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It's classified information."
-- US official quoted in Carl Cameron's Fox News report on the Israeli spy ring and its connections to 9-11.
"on their journey towards infamy and obscurity all dictators ride a wave of arrogance until hurled upon the rocky shores of public dissent..."

It's About A Lot More Than A "Goddamned Piece of Paper"
Bush Remark Reiterates Arrogant Globalist/Neocon "Crazies" Insane Lust For New World Order Prevalence And Power.
Is George WMD Bush afraid of a coup d'tat?

Executive Order: Providing An Order of Succession Within the Department of Defense
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, 5 U.S.C. 3345 et. seq., it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Subject to the provisions of section 3 of this order, the officers named in section 2, in the order listed, shall act as and perform the functions and duties of the office of the Secretary of Defense (Secretary) during any period when the Secretary has died, resigned, or is otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office of Secretary.
Sec. 2. Order of Succession.
(a) Deputy Secretary of Defense;
(b) Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence;
(c) Under Secretary of Defense for Policy;
(d) Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics;
(e) Secretary of the Army;
(f) Secretary of the Air Force;
(g) Secretary of the Navy;
(h) Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller);
(i) Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness;
(j) General Counsel of the Department of Defense, the Assistant Secretaries of Defense, and the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation;
(k) Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Material Readiness and the Director of Defense Research and Engineering;
(l) Under Secretaries of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force; and
(m) Assistant Secretaries of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, and General Counsels of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force.
Sec. 3. Exceptions. (a) No individual who is serving in an office listed in section 2(a)-(m) in an acting capacity shall act as Secretary pursuant to this order.
(b) Precedence among officers designated within the same subsection of section 2 of this order shall be determined by the order in which they have been appointed to such office by the President. Where officers designated within the same subsection of section 2 of this order are appointed on the same date, precedence will be determined by the order in which they have taken the oath to serve in that office.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this order, the President retains discretion, to the extent permitted by law, to depart from this order in designating an acting Secretary.
Sec. 4. Judicial Review. This order is intended to improve the internal management of the executive branch and is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, entities, officers, employees or agents, or any other person.
Sec. 5. Revocation. Executive Order No. 13000 of April 24, 1996, and the President's memorandum of June 2, 2005, entitled: "Order of Succession of Officers to Act as Secretary of Defense," are hereby revoked.
December 22, 2005.

Fear + Confusion = Submission

The USA would have more credibility in putting people on trial for War Crimes including Pre Emptive Invasions and Occupations, Torture, Secret Prisons, Secret Police, and Using Chemical WMD like White Phosporous against Civilians if they were not guilty of all of the same crimes in their terrorist attack on Iraq.

I sent Congresswoman Heather Wilson a letter a few months ago concerning the impeachment of President George WMD Bush. She sent me back a form letter stating her support for the impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton. I replied saying I supported the impeachment of President Clinton because no one is above the law but pointed out that George Bush was the sitting President. The Commander in Cheif ignored warnings before 9/11, he used bad intelligence from the Pentagon's Office Of Special Plans, and he may have commited Treason by leaking the identity of a CIA agent who specialized in the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, in retaliation for someone speaking truth to power about the Presidents lies about Iraq. Click and Download)
Congresswoman Wilson replied that she understood that I didn't like the President, but that is no reason to impeach him!

Spying, the Constitution — and the ‘I-word’
2006 will offer up Nixon-era nastiness and a chorus of calls to impeach Bush

Do you believe President Bush's actions justify impeachment? 1056...10562904#survey
87% - Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial.

4% - No, like any president, he has made a few missteps, but nothing approaching "high crimes and misdemeanors."

8% - No, the man has done absolutely nothing wrong. Impeachment would just be a political lynching.

1% - I don't know.

Is our president a liar?
http:// www.informationclearingho...rticle11349.htm
Was he lying then or is he lying now? Either way he is a liar.

Saddam Hussein accused the White House on Thursday of lying, citing its prewar assertions that Iraq had chemical weapons and its denial of his statement that he had been tortured in American custody.
"The White House lied when it said Iraq had chemical weapons," Saddam said. "I reported all the wounds I got to three medical committees. ... We are not lying, the White house is lying."

"Liars," Saddam tells White House
Prosecutors say Saddam ordered the killings in reprisal for a failed bid to assassinate him in the village in 1982.

Bush calls Saddam 'the guy who tried to kill my dad'
In his speech September 12 to the United Nations on Iraq, Bush mentioned the alleged plot to kill a former U.S. president but did not mention that it was his father. The alleged assassination attempt came when former President Bush visited Kuwait during the Clinton administration. The former president had orchestrated the U.S.-led coalition that pushed the Iraqi army from Kuwait in the Persian Gulf War.

About 100,000 Iraqi civilians - half of them women and children - have died in Iraq since the invasion, mostly as a result of airstrikes by coalition forces!,2763,1338749,00.html
"US General Tommy Franks is widely quoted as saying 'we don't do body counts'," they write, but occupying armies have responsibilities under the Geneva convention."
The Dynamic of a Bush Scandal: How the Spying Story Will Unfold (and Fade)

Here's why: the dynamic of a typical Bush scandal follows familiar contours...
1. POTUS circumvents the law - an impeachable offense.
2. The story breaks (in this case after having been concealed by a news organization until well after Election 2004).
3. The Bush crew floats a number of pushback strategies, settling on one that becomes the mantra of virtually every Republican surrogate. These Republicans face down poorly prepped Dem surrogates and shred them on cable news shows.
4. Rightwing attack dogs on talk radio, blogs, cable nets, and conservative editorial pages maul Bush's critics as traitors for questioning the CIC.
5. The Republican leadership plays defense for Bush, no matter how flagrant the Bush over-reach, no matter how damaging the administration's actions to America's reputation and to the Constitution. A few 'mavericks' like Hagel or Specter risk the inevitable rightwing backlash and meekly suggest that the president should obey the law. John McCain, always the Bush apologist when it really comes down to it, minimizes the scandal.
6. Left-leaning bloggers and online activists go ballistic, expressing their all-too-familiar combination of outrage at Bush and frustration that nothing ever seems to happen with these scandals. Several newspaper editorials echo these sentiments but quickly move on to other issues.
7. A few reliable Dems, Conyers, Boxer, et al, take a stand on principle, giving momentary hope to the progressive grassroots/netroots community. The rest of the Dem leadership is temporarily outraged (adding to that hope), but is chronically incapable of maintaining the sense of high indignation and focus required to reach critical mass and create a wholesale shift in public opinion. For example, just as this mother of all scandals hits Washington, Democrats are still putting out press releases on Iraq, ANWR and a range of other topics, diluting the story and signaling that they have little intention of following through. This allows Bush to use his three favorite weapons: time, America's political apathy, and make-believe 'journalists' who yuck it up with him and ask fluff questions at his frat-boy pressers.
8. Reporters and media outlets obfuscate and equivocate, pretending to ask tough questions but essentially pushing the same narratives they've developed and perfected over the past five years, namely, some variation of "Bush firm, Dems soft." A range of Bush-protecting tactics are put into play, one being to ask ridiculously misleading questions such as "Should Bush have the right to protect Americans or should he cave in to Democratic political pressure?" All the while, the right assaults the "liberal" media for daring to tell anything resembling the truth.
9. Polls will emerge with 'proof' that half the public agrees that Bush should have the right to "protect Americans against terrorists." Again, the issue will be framed to mask the true nature of the malfeasance. The media will use these polls to create a self-fulfilling loop and convince the public that it isn't that bad after all. The president breaks the law. Life goes on.
10. The story starts blending into a long string of administration scandals, and through skillful use of scandal fatigue, Bush weathers the storm and moves on, further demoralizing his opponents and cementing the press narrative about his 'resolve' and toughness. Congressional hearings might revive the issue momentarily, and bloggers will hammer away at it, but the initial hype is all the Democrat leadership and the media can muster, and anyway, it's never as juicy the second time around...
Rinse and repeat.
It's a battle of attrition that Bush and his team have mastered. Short of a major Dem initiative to alter the cycle, to throw a wrench into the system, to go after the media institutionally, this cycle will continue for the foreseeable future.
Fuck You Scott McClellan, I'll see you in Hell!

Q The President has publicly acknowledged that we went to war under false information, mistaken information. Why does he insist on staying there if we were there falsely, and continue to kill Iraqis?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, maybe you missed some of his recent speeches and his remarks, but the President said it was the right decision to remove Saddam Hussein and his regime from power --
Q And a right decision to move in and to tell the people, the American people, that it was all a mistake, and stay there?
MR. McCLELLAN: I don't think he said that. He said that Saddam Hussein was a destabilizing force in a dangerous region of the world --
Q That isn't true. We had a choke-hold on him.
MR. McCLELLAN: It is true. He was a threat. And the threat has been removed.
Q We had sanctions, we had satellites, we were bombing.
MR. McCLELLAN: Let's talk about why it's so important, what we're working to accomplish in Iraq --
Q I want to know why we're still there killing people, when we went in by mistake.
MR. McCLELLAN: We are liberating people and freeing people to live in a democracy. And why we're still there --
Q Do you think we're spreading democracy when you spy and put out disinformation and do all the things that -- secret prisons, and torture?
MR. McCLELLAN: I reject your characterizations wholly. I reject your characterizations wholly. The United States is helping to advance freedom in a dangerous region of the world.
Q -- recognize this kind of --
MR. McCLELLAN: For too long we thought we had stability by ignoring freedom in the Middle East. Well, we showed -- we saw on September 11th --
Q -- 30,000 plus?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Helen, we can have a debate, or you can let me respond to your questions. I think this is an important subject for the American people to talk about. By advancing freedom and democracy in the Middle East we're helping to protect our own security. It's a dangerous region --
Q By killing people in their own country?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I reject that. We're liberating and freeing people and we're targeting the enemy. We're killing the terrorists and we're going after the Saddam loyalists.
Q The President said 30,000, more or less.
MR. McCLELLAN: And you know who is responsible for most of that? It's the terrorists and the Saddam loyalists who want to turn back to the past.
Q We didn't kill anybody there?
MR. McCLELLAN: Our military goes out of the way to minimize civilian casualties. They target the enemy --
Q You admit they kill?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we've got a lot of technology that we can use to target the enemy without going after -- without collateral damage of civilians. And that's what our military does.
Q Are you kidding?
MR. McCLELLAN: Oh, I'm going to stand up for our military. Our military goes out of the way to protect civilians. In fact --
Q Fallujah, we didn't kill any civilians?
MR. McCLELLAN: We freed some 25 million people in Iraq that were living under a brutal regime.
Go ahead.
So What Else Isn’t the NY Times Telling Us?
The Times held on the domestic spying story for over a year before they decided that it was "fit to print!" So what else does the New York Times know that they are not telling us? Do they know about rigged US elections? Do they know about inside complicity into 9/11?

El Presidente
For those Americans who always dreamed of living in a banana republic, your dream is now a reality. Whether you want to call him King George or El Presidente, it's all the same anyway. Since the Bush team loves talking about the American Revolution so much, did they miss the part where America fought back against a king who wanted absolute power over them?

Finally we have a Washington scandal that goes beyond sex, corruption and political intrigue to big issues like security versus liberty and the reasonable bounds of presidential power. President Bush came out swinging on Snoopgate—he made it seem as if those who didn’t agree with him wanted to leave us vulnerable to Al Qaeda—but it will not work. We’re seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator, or in his own mind, no doubt, like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.
No wonder Bush was so desperate that The New York Times not publish its story on the National Security Agency eavesdropping on American citizens without a warrant, in what lawyers outside the administration say is a clear violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story. The Times will not comment on the meeting, but one can only imagine the president’s desperation.
The problem was not that the disclosures would compromise national security, as Bush claimed at his press conference. His comparison to the damaging pre-9/11 revelation of Osama bin Laden’s use of a satellite phone, which caused bin Laden to change tactics, is fallacious; any Americans with ties to Muslim extremists—in fact, all American Muslims, period—have long since suspected that the U.S. government might be listening in to their conversations. Bush claimed that “the fact that we are discussing this program is helping the enemy.” But there is simply no evidence, or even reasonable presumption, that this is so. And rather than the leaking being a “shameful act,” it was the work of a patriot inside the government who was trying to stop a presidential power grab.
No, Bush was desperate to keep the Times from running this important story—which the paper had already inexplicably held for a year—because he knew that it would reveal him as a law-breaker. He insists he had “legal authority derived from the Constitution and congressional resolution authorizing force.” But the Constitution explicitly requires the president to obey the law. And the post 9/11 congressional resolution authorizing “all necessary force” in fighting terrorism was made in clear reference to military intervention. It did not scrap the Constitution and allow the president to do whatever he pleased in any area in the name of fighting terrorism.
Micah Walter / Reuters (left); Alex Wong / Getty Images (right)
Called to the Oval Office: Sulzberger (left) and Keller
What is especially perplexing about this story is that the 1978 law set up a special court to approve eavesdropping in hours, even minutes, if necessary. In fact, the law allows the government to eavesdrop on its own, then retroactively justify it to the court, essentially obtaining a warrant after the fact. Since 1979, the FISA court has approved tens of thousands of eavesdropping requests and rejected only four. There was no indication the existing system was slow—as the president seemed to claim in his press conference—or in any way required extra-constitutional action.
This will all play out eventually in congressional committees and in the United States Supreme Court. If the Democrats regain control of Congress, there may even be articles of impeachment introduced. Similar abuse of power was part of the impeachment charge brought against Richard Nixon in 1974.
In the meantime, it is unlikely that Bush will echo President Kennedy in 1961. After JFK managed to tone down a New York Times story by Tad Szulc on the Bay of Pigs invasion, he confided to Times editor Turner Catledge that he wished the paper had printed the whole story because it might have spared him such a stunning defeat in Cuba.
This time, the president knew publication would cause him great embarrassment and trouble for the rest of his presidency. It was for that reason—and less out of genuine concern about national security—that George W. Bush tried so hard to kill the New York Times story.

Shocking The Conscience Of America: Bush And Cheney Call For The Right To Torture And Are Decisively and Correctly Rebuffed by the House
If the events I am about to describe were taking place in a movie, or novel, I would lose my ability to suspend disbelief: Who could conceive of an American President and Vice President demanding that Congress give them authority to torture anyone, under any circumstances?
Yet that is exactly what happened. Until Congress -- finally -- showed some institutional pride and told Bush and Cheney that it would not tolerate torture.
To place this activity in context, I have been trying to think of a similar "un-American" low point in the American presidency. Possible candidates might include John Adams's approval of the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798, or Abraham Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War.
But neither of these moments strikes me as sufficiently shameful. Indeed, not even Franklin Roosevelt's horrific internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II is, in my view, as low a point as President Bush and Vice President Cheney's call for the unrestricted, unreviewable power to torture. It seems the precedent for Bush and Cheney's thinking resides in the Dark Ages, or Stalin's Russia.
The Bush/Cheney presidency has been pushing the nation toward an atrocity unmatched in the annals of American infamy and ignominy. Thankfully, a few wiser men and women in Washington have saved us from the national disgrace Bush and Cheney insisted upon imposing on the nation.

Bush shows he believes he is above the law,0,3978167.column?coll=ny-news-columnists
Congressional hearings won't be enough. The deferential inquests into Abu Ghraib barely changed detention policies. The Constitution might contemplate impeachment - I have never before uttered the word in relation to Bush - but it will not be brought about by a Republican Congress that has mostly put partisan loyalty ahead of duty. Congressional elections next year that change control of one chamber on Capitol Hill to the Democrats would at least bring stiffer oversight.For now we seem destined to live in a nation that spies on its own people, detains hundreds without charge and maintains secret prisons around the world. This is not the Soviet Union. But it is what we have allowed our union to become.

Time for W to answer for his actions
In his Sunday night speech, Bush once again ran up this tattered rhetorical banner: "I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq." It was the exact same phrase Bush had used earlier in the week.
Had the word "responsible," in all its permutations and declensions, made an occasional appearance in the President's rhetoric, it would not be worth a comment. But it is a theme, a beat, a tick, a flatfooted verbal tautology and a way, really, of deflecting apt criticism. Listen to your President:
"I take responsibility," he said Sept. 13 about the botched Hurricane Katrina relief effort. "I take personal responsibility for everything I say, of course," he said back in 2003. "I also take responsibility for making decisions on war and peace."
"I take responsibility for putting our troops into action," he said a bit earlier in 2003. "I take responsibility for making that decision."
This recitation of the obvious is a bit of clumsy rhetorical strutting, but also a way of ducking the ultimate in responsibility: accountability. This is something Bush will not accept or countenance.

Victims of Creeping Fascism
When a sitting president declares that the constitution is just “A God damned piece of paper,” it reveals much about his inner character; or lack thereof. It reveals dangerous illusions of omnipotence, contempt for the law, and scorn for the people. It was George Bush who uttered those tortured words to Whitehouse aides last week. Easily misled by false idols intoxicated with power and driven by insatiable greed, we are witnessing nothing less astonishing than the demise of the American experiment. Dreams of democracy, justice, peace and hope are receding into the dim recesses of ever more distant memory. We see them morphing into an Orwellian nightmare of monstrous proportions that promises to pursue us to our graves. If we continue on this course of ethical decline, in another decade we will not even be able to recall the forms and texture of those dreams that once held so much promise.

AT THIS point, the policy legacy of George Bush seems pretty well defined by three disparate disasters: Iraq in foreign affairs, Katrina in social welfare, corporate influence over tax, budget and regulatory decisions. As a short-term political consequence, we may avoid another dim-witted Bush in the White House. But what the Bush dynasty has done to presidential campaign science — the protocols by which Americans elect presidents in the modern era — amounts to a political legacy that can haunt the Republic for years to come.
With the right leadership — the kind of flawed, but principled presidents sprinkled through its history — the United States can stop the blood-letting in Iraq, regain its standing in the world, avert the crises in health care and Social Security, and even bring disaster relief to the Gulf Coast.
But that's not simply a matter of keeping Bushes and Bushites, with their impaired civic consciences, out of the White House. The next presidential campaign will show us whether these miscreant patricians have poisoned the well of the presidential campaign system. If so, there's no telling what kind of president we might get.

Iran wins big in Iraq's elections
Soooooooo, let's take a look here. Despite Bush's pointing to the Iraq elections as "proof" the US did the right thing by invading Iraq, the reality is that the US destroyed the only secular government in the region and created in its place yet another fanatical theocracy that hates America and Americans.
Poor George...
It's been a REALLY LONG year for GEORGE DUBYA: Iraq, Plame, Sheehan, Iraq, Katrina, Chavez, Iraq, DeLay, Iraq, Frist, Abramoff, Iraq, Rove, Libby, Iraq, Torture, Miers, Iraq, Rendition, Iraq, NSA, Iraq and now BOLIVIA?!!

What happens when you take his speech, and switch the words "Iraq" and "America".

Well, shockingly, the whole speech sounds more truthful! Eerily so?

Iraq group posts video of U.S. hostage's 'killing'
Timed just right to punctuate Bush's little speech. How convenient.

Bush's Candor on Iraq Draws Praise
There is a difference, Bush said, between "honest critics who recognize what is wrong, and defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right."

‘A shameful act’
Bush assails disclosure of spy program within the U.S., vows to continue eavesdropping.

"Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified."
The actions of the US media are those of traitors to the American people.

The 9/11 WTC Collapses
The Five Dancing Israelis Arrested On 9/11
The 9/11 USAF Stand Down
The Secret Service at Booker Elementary: The Dog That Did Not Bark

It's not about protecting us, it's about protecting them.

Cheney Roars Back on Spying, Torture, Iraq

Let me shift gears. The president has now acknowledged authorizing and reauthorizing, more than 30 times, a program to spy on Americans without any warrant from any court. This is a huge change.
Vice President Dick Cheney: I think that's a slight distortion of what the president said. The president said -- is that we will use all of our power and authority -- the decision we made after 9/11 -- to do everything we can to defend the country. That's our obligation. We take an oath of office to do that.
Moran: That's not in dispute.
Cheney: And that when we have a situation where we have communication between someone inside the U.S. and an acknowledged al Qaeda or terrorist source outside the U.S., that that's something we need to know.
And he has authorized us to look at that. And it is, in fact, consistent with the constitution. It's been reviewed. It's reviewed every 45 days by the president himself, by the attorney general of the U.S., by the president's council, by the director of CIA.
It's been briefed to the Congress over a dozen times. And, in fact, it is a program that is, by every effort we've been able to make, consistent with the statutes and with the law. It's the kind of capability [that], if we'd had before 9/11, might have led us to be able to prevent 9/11.
We had two 9/11 terrorists in San Diego prior to the attack in contact with al Qaeda sources outside the U.S. We didn't know it. The 9/11 Commission talks about it. If we'd had this capability, then we might well have been able to stop it.
Moran: But, Mr. Vice President, this is a program that surveilles people inside the United States. The Constitution--
Cheney: Who are in touch with al Qaeda who are outside the United States.
Moran: Don't you have to have a court give permission for that in any other circumstance -- to eavesdrop on communications in America?
Cheney: Terry, these are communications that involve acknowledged or known terrorists -- dirty numbers, if you will. And in fact, it is consistent with the president's constitutional authority as commander in chief. It's consistent with the resolution that was passed by the Congress after 9/11.
And it has been reviewed repeatedly by the Justice Department every single time it's been renewed, to make certain that it is, in fact, managed in a manner that's fully consistent with the Constitution and with our statutes.
Moran: But that's all the executive branch. The Constitution calls for a court, a co-equal branch of government, as a check on the power of the executive, to give a say-so before an American or someone in America is surveilled, or searched, or spied upon.
Cheney: This has been done, Terry, in a manner that is completely consistent with our obligations and requirements, I can assure you. That's one of the reasons we hold it and watch it so carefully. That's why it has to go the president every 30 days to 45 days, to make absolutely certain we are in compliance with all of the safeguards with respect to individual liberty, and that it is managed in a very conservative fashion, and it is signed up to by the attorney general of the U.S. and reviewed by the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department.
So we spend a lot of time making certain that this is, in fact, safeguarded. And as I say, we've briefed Congress on it -- just a few members, the leadership -- on over a dozen occasions.
Moran: Let me take you up on that. Sen. Graham of Florida, ex-Sen. Graham, who was on the Intelligence Committee at the time this program began, suggested to us that when you briefed him, you misled him, [that] you didn't tell him the full scope of the program. That's his feeling now that he sees it exposed.
Cheney: Well, that's not true.
Moran: He knew.
Cheney: He knew. I sat in my office with Gen. Hayden, who was then the head of NSA, who's now the deputy director of the National Intelligence Directorate, and he was briefed as long as he was chairman of the committee, or ranking member of the committee.
On the Anti-Torture Amendment
Moran: The president has said we do not torture, and Sen. McCain proposed a measure in part to vindicate those values that would ban the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of any person in U.S. custody anywhere in the world. Why did he [Bush] fight so hard against that?
Cheney: Well, we ultimately reached a compromise between the president and Sen. McCain, and it was arrived at just last week. But what I-- Excuse me. The position I took was one that was the position the administration had taken when we signaled to the Congress that we were prepared to veto a bill that went farther than we thought it should, in terms of trying to restrict the prerogatives of the president, and--
Moran: How so, when it comes to cruel, inhuman-- What's the president's prerogative in the cruel treatment of prisoners?
Cheney: There's a definition that's based on prior Supreme Court decisions and prior arguments, and it has to do with the Fourth, Thirteenth, and -- three specific amendments to the Constitution. And the rule is whether or not it shocks the conscience. If it's something that shocks the conscience, the court has agreed that crosses over the line.
Now, you can get into a debate about what shocks the conscience and what is cruel and inhuman. And to some extent, I suppose, that's in the eye of the beholder. But I believe, and we think it's important to remember, that we are in a war against a group of individuals and terrorist organizations that did, in fact, slaughter 3,000 innocent Americans on 9/11, that it's important for us to be able to have effective interrogation of these people when we capture them.
And the debate is over the extent to which we are going to have legislation that restricts or limits that capability. Now, as I say, we've reached a compromise. The president signed on with the McCain amendment. We never had any problem with the McCain amendment. We had problems with trying to extend it as far as he did.
But ultimately, as I say, a compromise was arrived at, and I support the compromise.
Moran: Should American interrogators be staging mock executions [and] waterboarding prisoners? Is that cruel?
Cheney: I am not going to get into specifics here. You're getting into questions about sources and methods, and I don't talk about that, Terry.
Moran: As vice president of the U.S., you can't tell the American people whether...
Cheney: I don't talk about--
Moran: ...or not we would interrogate...
Cheney: I can say that we, in fact, are consistent with the commitments of the United States that we don't engage in torture. And we don't.
Moran: Are you troubled at all that more than 100 people in U.S. custody have died -- 26 of them now being investigated as criminal homicides -- people beaten to death, suffocated to death, died of hypothermia in U.S. custody?
Cheney: No. I won't accept your numbers, Terry. But I guess one of the things I'm concerned about is that as we get farther and farther away from 9/11, and there have been no further attacks against the U.S., there seems to be less and less concern about doing what's necessary in order to defend the country.
I think, for example, the Patriot Act -- this week, the Patriot Act, a vital piece of legislation -- it was, in fact, passed in the aftermath of 9/11. It extended to our ability to operate with respect to the counterterrorist effort.
It gave us authorities that were already used in other areas against drug traffickers and so forth that broke down that wall between law enforcement and intelligence that had prohibited cooperation. ...
And what I'm concerned about, Terry, is that as we get farther and farther from 9/11, we've got -- we seem to have people less and less committed to doing everything that's necessary to defend the country.
The Patriot Act, up for renewal, was filibustered in the Senate this week by the Democrats and blocked from passage. As a result, parts of that are going to expire on Dec. 31. Somehow, I think a lot of people have lost their sense of urgency out there. That's hard for me to do or for the president to do.
We get up every morning, and the first thing we do is an intelligence brief, where we look at the threats to the United States. We do that six days a week. We're well aware that there are still terrorists out there who mean to do evil, that they're trying their best to get their hands on deadlier weapons, biological agents or nuclear weapons, to use against us.
And we need to maintain the capability of this government to be able to defend the nation. And that means we have to take extraordinary measures, but we do do it in a manner that's consistent with the Constitution and consistent with our statutes.
On the Current State of Iraq
Moran: So this is your first trip to Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein?
Cheney: It is.
Moran: What surprised you today? What do you know about Iraq today that you didn't know yesterday?
Cheney: Well, I think, like most people who've looked at it, I've been tremendously impressed with what happened in the election just this past week. I mean, I really think that may be a seminal event in the history of Iraq, that it's such an important part of the process of building a democracy, a viable Iraq, an Iraq that can stand on its own, that the thing that strikes you when you come out is just the mood and the demeanor of the people you talk with -- speaking with Talabani and Jaafri, for example.
I've met with both of them before, but they both, I think, were visibly relieved at how big the turnout was -- that, in fact, the process is working, that there is strong support even in the Sunni areas for participation in the political process.
Moran: But you know, we've had elections before in this country, now, twice before this. There was that moment of hope after the January elections, with the amazing sights that that brought out, and those hopes have been dashed again and again.
What makes you think this time it's going to be different?
Cheney: I disagree with the notion that hopes have been dashed. I don't think that's true.
Moran: Well, the violence has continued.
Cheney: Well, the violence has continued, but I think the key in terms of looking at the elections is that they've made every single milestone that's been set, every single one, from the time we turned over sovereignty in June of '04, to the first elections in January, then writing the constitution, getting the constitution ratified, and now national elections under that new constitution.
They've had three elections this year. Each one's gotten better and stronger and more effective. I do think it's serving to undermine the legitimacy of the insurgency. I think it will make it increasingly difficult for the insurgents to be effective.
We see it, for example, in the volume of tips that we get from the Iraqi people, intelligence information about where to find weapons caches, or who's responsible for some of the terrorist attacks. There's been a quantum leap over the course of the last year in terms of the number of intelligence reports coming in.
The academy is doing better. The Iraqi security services are clearly much, much better now. There's a big change there over the last 18 months. I met today with some of the members and the leader of the 9th Mechanized Iraqi Division. These are men who've signed on to support the new government.
And the benefit of having that election now is we're going to have a government that's a legitimate government of Iraq that nobody can claim lacks legitimacy. It's an Iraqi government elected by Iraqis under a constitution written by Iraqis. And so I think all of that is measurable progress.
And while the level of violence has continued, I do believe that when we look back on this period of time, 2005 will have been the turning point when, in fact, we made sufficient progress both on the political front and the security front, so that we'll see that as the watershed year.
Moran: You talk about undermining the legitimacy of the resistance. Before the war you said Americans would be greeted as liberators here, and yet your own trip here today was undertaken in such secrecy that not even the prime minister of this country knew you were coming, and your movements around are in incredible secrecy and security. Do you ever think about how and why you got it wrong?
Cheney: I don't think I got it wrong. I think the vast majority of the Iraqi people are grateful for what the U.S. did. I think they believe overwhelmingly that they're better off today than they were when Saddam Hussein ruled.
I think the vast majority of them think of us as liberators. And I think your own polls show that, Terry. If you look at the poll that was done just recently by ABC, it shows a great deal of optimism, of hope, on the part of the Iraqi people, that their lives are better and going to get better in the future.
So I really believe the notion that somehow the Iraqi people opposed what we did when we came in and toppled Saddam Hussein, or that a majority of them were against it, is just dead wrong. It's not true. I think a majority of them support it.
Torture Ban May Have a Loophole
George WMD Bush suffered a stinging defeat Thursday when overwhelming congressional support forced him to abandon his opposition to anti-torture legislation and reach an agreement with its sponsor, Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican.

If Bush Claims He Needs the Patriot Act to Fight Terrorism, Why Did He Let 9/11 Happen Despite Being Warned that Al-Qaeda Was Going to Hijack Planes in the U.S.? Whey is He Allowing People to Bring Box Cutters and Knives Back on Airplanes? Why is Usama Still Dead? Why Did He Turn Iraq Into a Haven for Terrorists?

Reading the new reports that the Pentagon is conducting surveillance of peaceful antiwar groups and protests, I feel like I'm having a bad '60s flashback.
Our government lied, cheated, harassed, intimidated, burglarized, vandalized, framed and spread false rumors — to say nothing of keeping voluminous files on everyone from John Lennon to Lucille Ball — in an effort to quash legitimate dissent against the Vietnam War and the racist practices of the South.We can't let it happen again.

Bush Approved Eavesdropping
Bush on Friday refused to discuss whether he had authorized such domestic spying without obtaining warrants from a court, saying that to comment would tie his hands in fighting terrorists.

Bush is taken to task on spying on American citizens to ensure that Republicans maintain power in the United States through spying, rigged elections, thuggery in Congress, intimidation, threats, blackmail, outing CIA operatives, character assassination, torture...Hey, is Stalin or Brezhnev running our country? Sounds like it. Osama just needs to sit back and watch Bush destory America. Al-Qaeda doesn't need to lift a finger. Bush is doing their work for them.

Bush played down the importance of the eavesdropping story. "It's not the main story of the day," Bush told Lehrer. "The main story of the day is the Iraqi elections" for parliament which took place on Thursday.
Neither Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice nor White House press secretary Scott McClellan would confirm or deny the report which said the super-secret NSA had spied on as many as 500 people at any given time since 2002 in this country.

Iraq's Election a 'Victory for Iran'

"But it takes you to hit rock bottom, and see yourself lying in all the ... shit ... excuse me ... faeces around you, it's almost like you're swimming in a toilet full of ... faeces ... and suddenly the stink hits you, and you think, oh my God, I've got to get out of here.",11710,1669258,00.html
She gave up drinking and doing drugs when Aaliyah died, in a plane crash, on the last weekend of August 2001. "She wasn't a close friend. It was just that when I saw her die, that's when I discovered the fact that I'm next. I don't know how or when, but I'm next. I don't know what kind of freak accident they're going to put me in, or what kind of overdose of heroin they're going to sort out, but at the end of the day, I knew I was next. I just thought, I'm scared."

Every government has as much of a duty to avoid war as a ship's captain has to avoid a shipwreck.
Guy de Maupassant
The Fear of Terrorism or the Terrorism of Fear
Terrorism is not a new phenomenon. The fact that the enemies of the west are forced to practice it - is.

Christian Zionism - Terror In Jesus' Name
Christian Zionism, rooted in tradition of the Crusades and a long history of Church triumphalism, is a recipe for global war and Christian imperialism. Moreover, it reflects a total lack of genuine spirituality, seeking to reduce the notion of God into a petty, whimsical and racist dictator who willingly urges the slaughter of innocents in order to protect the expansionist designs of his supposedly 'Chosen People'. Of course, Christian Zionism is hardly unique in its use of religion for such blatantly political ends, but given the immense clout enjoyed by its advocates today, especially in America, it is a much more menacing threat to world peace than is sometimes imagined and cannot be simply dismissed as the ravings of lunatics on the fringe.

A $300 million Pentagon psychological warfare operation includes plans for placing pro-American messages in foreign media outlets without disclosing the U.S. government as the source, one of the military officials in charge of the program says.
The military wants to fight the information war against al-Qaeda through newspapers, websites, radio, television and "novelty items" such as T-shirts and bumper stickers.

What the fuck?

Insurgents 'shot in arms and legs, then drowned'
The summary executions, confirmed by the boy's father and others in the village, come amid anxiety by US and UN officials over widespread reports of rampant torture and killings by freelance death squads and the Shiite militiamen who now dominate Iraq's security forces.
Bush Says Iraq War Was Justified Even Though Intelligence Wrong
Bush said that even though the original rationale for the war turned out to be false -- that Hussein was compiling biological and chemical weapons -- the invasion was critical to the safety of the U.S.

Bush takes blame for Iraq war on bad intelligence,%20December%2014,%202005.%20As%20Iraq%20prepared%20for%20its%20election,%20President%20Bush%20on%20Wednesday%20vowed%20the%20United%20States%20will%20stay%20in%20Iraq%20%22until%20victory%20is%20achieved%22%20and%20he%20defended%20his%20decision%20to%20go%20to%20war.%20Bush%20gave%20the%20fourth%20in%20a%20series%20of%20speeches%20that%20the%20White%20House%20has%20used%20to%20try%20to%20explain%20his%20administration's%20strategy%20amid%20a%20drumbeat%20of%20criticism%20from%20Democrats%20who%20say%20Bush%20does%20not%20have%20a%20plan%20on%20Iraq.%20%20%20%20%20%20REUTERS/Jim%20Young
Bush's new admission was significant in that he rarely admits mistakes, although he has acknowledged failures in U.S. intelligence on Iraq before. His administration touted Iraqi weapons of mass destruction as a reason for going to war in March 2003, but such weapons were never found.

On September the 11th, 2001, our nation awoke to a sudden attack, and we accepted new responsibilities. We are confronting new dangers with firm resolve. We're hunting down the terrorists and their supporters. We will fight this war without wavering _ and we will prevail. In the war on terror, Iraq is now the central front _ and over the last few weeks, I've been discussing our political, economic, and military strategy for victory in that country. A historic election will take place tomorrow in Iraq. And as millions of Iraqis prepare to cast their ballots, I want to talk today about why we went into Iraq, why we stayed in Iraq, and why we cannot _ and will not _ leave Iraq until victory is achieved.

Bush Defends Decision to Go to War in Iraq
The president could use some more good news in Iraq. With the violence showing no sign of waning, most Americans are unhappy with his handling of the war and some lawmakers are questioning how long the troops should stay.

The story of 2005 was told in the faces of human suffering _ people - touched by tragedy at the hands of nature's vicious winds and waters, or by the design of terrorists who set their sights on soldiers, hotels and simple morning commutes. You can mark the days and months of the year by tracing the grief and loss and horror that reached across the world, from far-off Pakistan to Sudan, in the capitals of Amman and London, in remote tornado- ravaged towns in Indiana.
And New Orleans.
Indelibly, the suffering that 2005 brought to so many places was captured by the American catastrophe _ first natural, then humanitarian _ that devastated Louisiana and Mississippi over one wrenching late-summer week, and for years to come.
Beneath it all was the steady drip, drip, drip of U.S. military deaths in Iraq, leaving behind grieving families and a nation increasingly souring on the war. The conflict marked its 1,000th day this year, and its 2,000th fallen soldier.
There were moments when the suffering was reverent:
In April, Archibishop Stanislaw Dziwisz wept as he placed a white silk veil over the face of Pope John Paul II just before his coffin was closed, the world mourning with him as it bid farewell to a man known as the first rock-star pontiff.
And there were moments when it was highly disputed:
We watched grainy video showing the face of a brain-damaged Florida woman named Terri Schiavo, her eyes perhaps following a balloon, or gazing back at her mother. Deprived of a feeding tube, was she dying as her husband insists she asked? Or should she have been kept alive, as her parents demanded?
Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was slain in Iraq, staged an epic summer protest at President Bush's Texas ranch, galvanizing the nation's antiwar movement. Was she an anguished mother demanding answers? Or a publicity hound and lackey of the left exploiting her own child?
At times the suffering seemed inescapable, even like some cruel joke of fate. On July 6, cheers broke out on the London Underground subway as news spread that London had been awarded the 2012 Olympic Games.
"Many people do reckon that London is the greatest city in the whole world at the moment," said Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Not 24 hours later, those same subway cars were filled with smoke and blood and panic. During the morning rush hour, terrorists killed 52 commuters and injured more than 700 in the worst attack on London since World War II.
One particularly jarring picture taken that day showed a man embracing a dazed subway passenger and leading her away from the Edgware Road station. Her face was wrapped entirely in white gauze, her hands pressed to her cheeks, a ghostly image of shock.
"This has been a most terrible and tragic atrocity that has cost many innocent lives," the prime minister said. "This is a very sad day for the British people, but we will hold true to the British way of life."
But nothing _ not the somber, yearlong cleanup from the Asian tsunami, not the devastating earthquake in Pakistan _ captured the nation's attention, and evoked national horror and disbelief, like Hurricane Katrina.
The monster barreled toward New Orleans over a late August weekend, seemingly the storm the bowl-shaped, depressed Big Easy had always feared. Then it jogged to the east, devastating the Mississippi coast. New Orleans, it was said, had dodged a bullet.
But then the levees broke, and the water rose, and the country watched for a week as a great American city descended into a ruinous scene of looting, shooting, fires and bloated corpses floating in the reeking, toxic muck left behind by the storm.
New Orleanians who had opted to ride out the storm _ or simply did not have the means to get out of town _ desperately sought deliverance from the infamous convention center, or the teeming Superdome. Or their own rooftops.
"I don't treat my dog like that," 47-year-old Daniel Edwards said as he pointed at an elderly woman who lay dead in a wheelchair at the convention center three days after Katrina. "I buried my dog."
Bush _ dogged by his remark to Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown that "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" _ made trip after trip to the Gulf Coast, and pledged in the French Quarter: "There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans, and this great city will rise again."
Still, at year's end, the victims of Katrina remained scattered in cities across the nation, unsure when they could return to their homes _ or whether even they wanted to. The death toll stood at more than 1,300.
And the hurricanes kept coming.
Rita followed four weeks later _ at one point it had menacing winds gusting to 185 mph _ and tore through east Texas and west Louisiana. Then Wilma slashed through Florida, leaving 6 million people without electricity.
And then, in a first, they ran out of names. Five new late-season storms were assigned Greek letters, all the way up to Epsilon, which formed in early December, mocking the official end of hurricane season Nov. 30.
The war in Iraq raged for a third year, and the war against terrorism entered its fifth, and the nation pondered the meaning of torture and when, if ever, it was appropriate.
American deaths in Iraq topped 2,100. One of them was Pvt. Christopher Alcozer of Villa Park, Ill., who was 21 and had proposed to his girlfriend _ she said yes _ just weeks before he was killed Nov. 19 by insurgents brandishing small arms and hand grenadres.
His mother, Kathleen Alcozer, said she opposed to the war. "But I was always ready to support my child. And now I have to bury my child," she said. "There's just no words."
It seems ages ago, but a year so defined by tragedy actually began with a bold challenge to end suffering and oppression: President Bush was inaugurated for a second term Jan. 20, and from the Capitol he issued a call for freedom in every nation with the ultimate goal of "ending tyranny in our world."
But then he watched as his administration suffered an interstate pileup of setbacks: The war. The response to Katrina. Soaring gas prices, past $3 per gallon in some places. A stalled effort to revamp Social Security. The Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination.
In October, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, was indicted on charges of lying to a grand jury investigating the outing of a CIA officer. The year ended with the investigation still open, and clouds of uncertainty still surrounding Karl Rove, the president's top adviser.
By November, Bush's approval rating had fallen to 37 percent in an Associated Press-Ipsos poll, the lowest of his presidency. "The war is an overriding issue. Look at the body count on a daily basis," said Tom Rector, a Democrat from Spokane, Wash.
The nation was one year removed from the bruising 2004 campaign, but cultural landmines remained. Advocates of "intelligent design," a notion dismissed by many scientists but embraced by some cultural conservatives, fought for a place in the nation's classrooms, where the theory of evolution has long been taught unchallenged.
And the battle over the future of the Supreme Court _ long anticipated by the left and right _ finally arrived. John Roberts won relatively easy confirmation as chief justice, replacing the late William H. Rehnquist, but the year ended with wrangling over Samuel Alito, Bush's pick to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and rumblings that his confirmation hearings would reignite the unending national debate on abortion.
In other courts, there were trials: Michael Jackson walked out of a California courtroom one June afternoon and returned to his Neverland ranch after being found not guilty on child-molestation charges. His lawyer proclaimed "Justice is done" _ but said the pop star would no longer sleep with children in his bedroom.
Saddam Hussein, brandishing a team of lawyers rather than a rifle, went on trial in Iraq for mass murder and torture, lashing out in theatrical rants about "American rules" and shouting for the five judges to "Go to hell!"
In New York courtrooms, formerly high-flying executives like Bernard Ebbers of WorldCom and Dennis Kozlowski of Tyco were sentenced to up to 25 years in prison apiece for leading the huge frauds at their companies.
Important as they were, these stories sometimes seemed no more than sideshows, distractions from the march of catastrophes that plagued the world this year. At times they seemed so frequent and massive that we were almost numb to their numbers.
Millions went without food in Niger, and epic violence raged in Sudan. An earthquake in Pakistan killed a staggering 87,000. The somber count of victims of the late 2004 tsunami continued all year, the death toll eventually climbing to an incomprehensible 176,000.
And so to truly understand 2005, you have to look at the individual faces.
At the tearful eyes of Tasleem Liaqat, 25, who was trapped under earthquake debris in the Pakistani village of Kialla. She was pulled out by neighbors and two hours later delivered a baby girl, one month early.
Waiting for help, she pulled a plastic sheet over herself and the newborn when it started to rain. Pulled in a cart by her husband and three neighbors, she reached a hospital eight days after the quake.
It was an extreme, gut-churning example of the suffering felt all over the world this tumultuous year.
In the hospital, with her right leg in a metal brace, and holding the baby in her arms, the young mother observed: "I don't remember anything but the pain. So much pain."
Whenever someone speaks the truth, there will be those who feel threatened by it, and they will ask for silence, claiming that the truth is traitorous, hateful, or blasphemous. So, the truth-teller goes silent on this matter, so as not to offend certain quarters, then having made that compromise is more likely to go silent on another matter to not offend another vested interest, then goes silent again and again and again so that this group and that group and the other group will not be offended, and then we are back where we started, with everyone knowing the evils around us, but constrained from speaking out. I won;t go there. This is not a popularity contest here. Everything I say pisses someone off. Do I speak blasphemy? Fluently!

It’s a measure of the imperial nature of the modern American presidency that George W. Bush misstates the truth even as he defends himself against the charge that he misstates the truth.
Facts be damned; the president is not giving up on convincing the American people, contrary to the evidence, that Iraq had something to do with 9/11. He insists on ignoring the self-fulfilling character of his war: it has made Iraq a hotbed of anti-American violence because it has made the U.S. forces an army of occupation. None of this confirms Bush’s position that “they” hate “us” because of our way of life. “They” hated “us” because of a long history of U.S. intervention in the Middle East, and Bush has only given “them” more reason to hate “us” now.

It has been the strangest war. A thousand days ago the US and British armies started a campaign which ended a few weeks later with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
There is no sign yet of the thousand-day war ending. Every month up to a thousand fresh corpses arrive at the mortuary in Baghdad. A new Iraq is emerging but it is already drenched in blood.
Israel Troubled by Bush's Priorities !
The Israelis and their supporters in the U.S. fear that Washington's need for Tehran's cooperation in stabilizing Iraq and thus permitting most U.S. forces there to withdraw over the next year has weakened the administration's leverage to push for stronger action against Iran on the nuclear issue, even as it continues to insist that Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability is "unacceptable."

Should Israel give up its nukes?
IN A SUDDEN ATTACK of common sense, a Pentagon-commissioned study released in mid-November suggests an approach to nuclear nonproliferation in the Middle East that might actually be accepted by the people of the region. What is this breakthrough idea? That U.S. policies begin not with a country that currently lacks nuclear weapons — Iran — but rather with the one that by virtually all accounts already has them — Israel.

Bush calls on UN to step up Syria pressure
Syria was forced to withdraw its troops from Lebanon in April after street demonstrations in Beirut.

I'm surprised those stupid Iraqis' haven't thought of that?

The Pentagon is in the early stages of drafting a wartime request for up to $100 billion more for Iraq and Afghanistan, lawmakers say, a figure that would push spending related to the wars toward a staggering half-trillion dollars.
Analysts say they expect the services to seek a large chunk of money to replace equipment severely battered in Iraq. And, they say, even if large numbers of U.S. troops start returning home, as some administration officials have hinted, a lot of money still would be needed to relocate personnel and equipment.

An Increasingly Aerial Occupation
The political climate at home may force a decrease in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, but the compensatory upswing in air power meant to offset this will be inevitable and will inevitably lead to unexpected problems. Why? Because the Bush administration will still be committed to permanently hanging onto a crucial group of four or five mega-military bases (into which billions of construction and communications dollars have already been poured) along with a massive embassy, directing political and military "traffic" from the heart of Baghdad's Green Zone – and that means an unending occupation of Iraq, something that, air power or no, can only mean endless strife.

A self-described conservative, Bacevich argues that Americans have fallen prey to a "military metaphysic." By that he means all international problems are seen as military problems and the likelihood for finding a solution except through military means is discounted. The result is war as a permanent condition with the only acceptable plan for peace a loaded pistol. One has only to consider the relative weight given to the Pentagon and the State Department to get the point.
As the debate on the Iraq war enters a new phase, those who foisted a crusade theory of warfare on Americans, and those who bought it, have much to answer for. Such a mentality encourages an overreliance on the nation's military, a rush to war, the failure of careful analysis and the erosion of proscriptions against torture and abuse. In moving from a just war ethic to a crusade theory of warfare Americans have lost their way, and some Christian leaders have betrayed their faith. Christian faith ought always to be a check on war's excesses and a challenge to an overreliance on the military, not a cheerleader in war's camp. As a Christian and a soldier, Andrew Bacevich is arguing exactly that.
neither Right or Left

My Photo
Location: Albuquerque, The Homeland

So when do we get invaded to remove the rogue government that spies on its own people, gases its own people during anti War protests, stages "terrorist" attacks, holds crooked elections, attacks other nations without cause, and uses torture on innocent people looking for WMD that don't exist?

200501 / 200502 / 200503 / 200504 / 200505 / 200506 / 200507 / 200508 / 200509 / 200510 / 200511 / 200512 / 200601 / 200602 / 200603 / 200604 / 200605 / 200606 / 200607 / 200608 / 200609 / 200610 / 200702 / 200703 / 200704 / 201004 /

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