Japan Today

Jahdog comments

Posted in: Georgia says Russians pulling out of Gori See in context

Jackson: The neoconservatives surrounding Bush and Cheney touted America as the new "unipower." They scorned the "reality-based community," because as one told Ron Suskind, "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality...We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

Welcome to that new reality...our military is overstretched and depleted; it's short of troops for Afghanistan, much less for taking on the Russians in Georgia. Even neocons like Bill Kristol settle for urging international sanctions, and arms aid to the Georgians. Good luck with enforcing economic sanctions on Russia, Europe's vital source of natural gas and oil. Despite all the loose talk of making Georgia a NATO ally, Georgians are discovering that they are on their own.

Putin, Russia's strongman, has systematically eroded democratic freedoms inside Russia. As oil revenues have improved Russia's fortunes, he has started to reassert pressure on the former republics of the old Soviet Union -- with a particular eye to consolidating Russia's oil economy. He is now taking advantage of America's exhaustion. And he's demonstrating that he, like George Bush, is prepared to trample international law to assert his power.

Once more, innocent civilians will bear the cost of this "demonstration." Once more, lawlessness makes all of us less safe. http://www.suntimes.com/news/jackson/1102553,CST-EDT-jesse12.article

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Posted in: Georgia says Russians pulling out of Gori See in context

Digby: Putin occupied a fractious republic because the US is being bled dry trying to control Iraq/Afghanistan.

Nice job, ("I got a sese of Putin's soul") W. and (Soviet specialist) Condi. Georgians were hoping the US would come to their rescue, and W did everything to encourage them to believe that he would, enticing Saakashvili with weapons, training, and talk of entry into NATO. Of course the Georgians believed that if they got into a firefight with Russia, the Americans would bail them out.

Yglesias adds: 'This highlights the fact that, popular as bluster-based policymaking is on the American right, it can have some extremely high costs'.

Remember the fallout from Gulf War I, when Poppy's promises were met with blank looks during the Shia uprising? It was horrible for the Iraqis. It was a great benefit, however, to the neocons who pimped that story for years as some sort of failure of American honor which led to Gulf War II, or the Greatest Strategic Blunder in US History.

Historians will come to view Aug. 8, 2008, as a turning point no less significant than Nov. 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell.

Russia's attack on sovereign Georgian territory marked the official return of history, indeed to an almost 19th-century style of great-power competition...we will continue to have globalization, economic interdependence, the European Union and other efforts to build a more perfect international order. But these will compete with and at times be overwhelmed by the harsh realities of international life that have endured since time immemorial.

In 1992, Paul Wolfowitz famously wrote a defense document that reemerged as the neocon PNAC manifesto "Rebuilding America's Defenses." That original document contained a plan to repel a Russian military assault on a former republic...

In 2008, W stayed at the Olympics, held up the US flag backwards and generally made a fool of himself, as Russia repossessed Georgia.

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Posted in: House Speaker Pelosi calls Bush 'a total failure' See in context

With his track record in business and as governor of Texas, his near-total ignorance of different cultures and religions, and his arrogance, more people should have known he'd embarrass and degrade the US. That the JesusCampers still love him tells one how well they understand Christ's teachings. Way to s-c-r-e-w the US, and the rest of the world, for the foreseeable future. Bill of Rights? Habeus corpus? Wiretaps, economic depression, heightened threat of terrorism, etc.

When he was elected, it was as if the kid who got left back (and became a bully) replaced the teacher at the head of the classroom, out for revenge...like the JesusCampers, who want to take us back to 1950...or 1850...or AD 850

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Posted in: Bush says Democrats keep blocking his energy plans See in context

KoolAid, you asked about Bush's oil buddies. There's Cheney, for one.

The son of Prescott Bush, who was forced by the Trading With the Enemy Act to cut all ties with Hitler and the Nazis in 1942, was so involved with Saudi Arabia that no matter how hostile, no matter how many human rights violations, he still glad-handed the nation because of the money and favors it bestowed upon him and, of course, his buddies. The grandson, Junior, has been in the pocket of Big Oil since he was barely a shrub... http://www.thespectrum.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080621/OPINION/806210327

Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company — along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields, according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American diplomat...The no-bid contracts are unusual for the industry, and the offers prevailed over others by more than 40 companies, including companies in Russia, China and India...

Sensitive to the appearance that they were profiting from the war and already under pressure because of record high oil prices, senior officials of two of the companies, speaking only on the condition that they not be identified, said they were helping Iraq rebuild its decrepit oil industry. http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15929.html

...executives Stephen Simon of Exxon Mobil, John Hofmeister of Shell Oil, Peter Robertson of Chevron, John Lowe of ConocoPhillips, and Robert Malone of BP America.

Sam Nunn joined Chevron’s board in 1997 (Condi Rice 1991-2001). Richard Armitage and fmr. Asst Secretary of State J. Stapleton Roy are Conoco directors http://news.muckety.com/2008/04/02/sam-nunn-should-share-chevrons-hot-seat/1722?rLink

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Posted in: Bush says Democrats keep blocking his energy plans See in context

KoolAid, you are a caricature. These Democrats you speak of are against freedom of choice?! Wow, how did they manipulate W into shredding the Bill of Rights when the GOP had a majority in both houses?

Ditto, chardk1: it does America no service to declare half the population traitors and criminals. But criminals in high places do need to be called out.

In a speech to the United States Chamber of Commerce last week, Vice President Dick Cheney said, “We should hear no more complaining” from opponents of domestic drilling, whom he called “part of the problem.”

After President Bush’s remarks on Wednesday, Mr. Reid said: “The facts are clear. Oil companies have already had ample opportunity to increase supply, but they have sat on their hands. They aren’t even using more than half of the public lands they already have leased for drilling. And despite the huge tax breaks President Bush and Republican Congresses have given oil and gas companies to invest in refineries, domestic production has actually dropped.” And the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said, “The president’s proposal sounds like another page from the administration’s energy policy that was literally written by the oil industry: give away more public resources to the very same oil companies that are sitting on 68 million acres of federal lands they’ve already leased.” http://www.finfacts.com/irishfinancenews/article_1013961.shtml

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Posted in: Cyd Charisse, dancer and star of MGM musicals, dies at 86 See in context

Whoa! Didn't connect the name with the amazing dancer who, for that sequence in "Singin' in the Rain" alone, is immortalized. Don't miss this http://www.huffingtonpost.com/danny-miller/cyd-charisses-legs_b_107886.html

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Posted in: McClellan: Bush must blame himself for mistrust See in context

While questioning McClellan, GOP stooge Steve King takes the cake with this gem: “Couldn’t you have taken this to the grave with you and done this country a favor?”

You see, in bizarro Republican world, staying silent and allowing your fellow citizens to remain clueless about how their leaders lie to them is the right, patriotic thing to do. Only traitors speak up about how their country is being flushed down the toilet when there’s still time to actually do something about it. http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/06/20/rep-steve-king-r-ia-to-mcclellan-why-couldnt-you-just-shut-up/

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Posted in: McClellan: Bush must blame himself for mistrust See in context

"the image the MSM created"?! Funny but, as you must remember from 2000 onward: ...there are those carefully programmed stunts to create photo opts for Mr. Bush. You remember them because they are always quite spectacular. The appearance at Ground Zero while the smoke of the attack was swirling around his head, the landing on the aircraft carrier in a fighter jet to proclaim a victory in the war in Iraq (when in fact the conflict was only just started), the Thanksgiving Day visit to troops under siege in Baghdad, and now the John F. Kennedy style announcement that we are launching a new campaign to send men back to the Moon and beyond.

Everything Mr. Bush is observed doing is carefully staged. Everything he says is carefully programmed. It is all designed to portray him as a great leader of a nation under duress...one of the more sickening tricks, and most obvious, are the pictures emanating from the president's public relations office. Some of them are portrayed on this page for the readers to inspect. If you look at them closely, you realize that they are not accidental. They are staged and Mr. Bush is posing for them. http://perdurabo10.tripod.com/themindofjamesdonahue/id580.html

As you must know, Roger Ailes was an image-maker for Republicans from Nixon to Bush, before he went to Fox, which has done much to make the media "hopelessly biased" by pushing a rightwing ideology http://www.salon.com/books/int/2008/06/17/ailes/

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Posted in: 17 Massachusetts girls may have made pact to get pregnant See in context

Gloucester — a heavily Roman Catholic town...Just last month, two officials at the high school health center resigned to protest the local hospital’s refusal to support a proposal to distribute contraceptives to youngsters at the school without parental consent. The hospital controls the clinic’s funding..."absent the support and the guidance, it can become almost a default option for some to become a mom,” and then there's "the nation’s Hollywood-obsessed culture, in which stories about pregnant celebrities abound."

W's faith-based, abstinence-only programs--they're working! http://www.jesuscampthemovie.com/ Check this part where everyone starts speaking in tongues (does "some warfare over him"?) to bless a cardboard cutout of W: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PUQATCcQ0A

"young libs are propagating their kind"? Dude, first, not everyone in MA is a liberal; second, "their kind"?

Gloucester ("Glosta") has undergone what other cities in the US have experienced since Reagan: retreat to religion, and retreat from rationality, after a factory or industry dies, welfare programs have been cut.

The W administration is the most conservative regime of the past century, during which federal consumer, environmental and worker protection laws and have been dismantled, programs for the poor have been cut. Meanwhile, there's been an increase in crony capitalism, corporate scandals, tax breaks for the wealthy, and the merging of Church and State--it's like the Anti-American Way or something, and W, portrayed as some kind of haloed leader in the run-up to the '04 election, he's the anti...the antithesis of truth, justice and the American way. Look at this www.merriam-webster.com definition of blasphemy http://www.abde.net/images/unmedia/bush-lord.jpg

"A carefully constructed news item is released to the media knowing full well the pictures the TV outlets will run with it." http://perdurabo10.tripod.com/themindofjamesdonahue/id580.html

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Posted in: McClellan: Bush must blame himself for mistrust See in context

Or should I say, "Snort!"

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Posted in: McClellan: Bush must blame himself for mistrust See in context

McClellan recounts hearing Bush on the telephone telling a supporter that “I honestly don’t remember whether I tried [cocaine] or not.” Har-de-har-har-har.

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Posted in: Obama rebukes McCain; says bin Laden free due to GOP tactics See in context

Who attacked us: a bunch of Muslims w/blessings of OBL, in response to US bases in Saudi Arabia, perceived US support for Israel belying the stated policy of neutrality, and all the Iraqi civilians who died from Gulf War I sanctions (what OBL said after 9.11)

Righties like to talk about terrorists being wackos, but I think most of us would get a bit whacked if we all had relatives and friends who died as a direct or indirect result of an occupying force which was also supporting our regional enemy.

Back on topic: Bush/Cheney have proven to be virtual Manchurian candidates in terms of hurting the US and thus strengthening its rivals--and ignoring the intel on impending 9/11 attack, AND letting OBL get away at Tora Bora! (yes, Clinton should have had him taken out earlier, but 9/11 happened 9 months into W's watch. How can the righties...? whatever).

McCain might really be a Manchurian candidate! but whatever the case, will likely continue playing into OBL's strategy:

Why would OBL go out of his way to challenge that superpower with its awesome array of resources and weapons, deliberately provoking it into declaring war to the death upon him and his organization? The enormous risks are obvious. What were the potential gains?

Any serious and unemotional consideration of this question makes it apparent that the answer “He hates America and wants to destroy it” will not do. If that were his concrete strategy and end, that would make him a fool, which he is not. Any fairly intelligent person would know that an attack like that of 9/11, or even ten such attacks, would not suffice to defeat the United States or make it give up the struggle against terrorism and accept the unhindered spread of radical revolutionary Islam in the world. Any intelligent person would instead expect the attack on the American homeland to have precisely the political, psychological, and military effects it actually had—to mobilize the government, the American public, and many of its allies around the globe for an all-out struggle against al-Qaeda and international terrorism. Anyone with intelligence would also have anticipated the huge risks to himself and his organization from the inevitable counterattack—a military campaign by an overwhelmingly superior foe against his political base and secret camps in Afghanistan, blows to his cells wherever they could be found, international police, intelligence, and financial measures against his organization on a vastly increased scale, heavy pressure on regimes that had secretly supported or tolerated his activities to crack down on them, the imprisonment or death of anyone in al-Qaeda’s ranks from bottom to top—in short, all the measures that the Bush administration carried out and has trumpeted as successes in the War on Terror. Why would bin Laden knowingly risk all this for the sake of an attack, however spectacular, that he knew would not seriously damage the United States as a nation? ... The only sensible answer, once the foolish and inadequate ones are discarded, is that OBL anticipated the American reaction and wanted it. His purpose in attacking the US directly in its homeland was to get the American government to do what it had not done in response to his previous attacks: to declare an all-out war against him and al-Qaeda and a worldwide War on Terror led and organized by the United States, with every other country in the world summoned to follow and support or be considered an enemy...

Deliberately provoking the United States into open, declared war against him, his forces, radical Islamism, and worldwide terrorism was bin Laden’s way of expanding a struggle he was already waging but losing, one he could not win on account of its insoluble contradictions, into a larger war free from internal contradictions that he could hope ultimately to win. To put it in a nutshell, OBL needed the US as a declared enemy to enable him to win his war against his primary enemies (secular Muslim governments) and thus achieve his goals. http://www.amconmag.com/2004_10_25/feature.html

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Posted in: Bush urges Congress to lift ban on offshore oil drilling See in context

References: How Many Oil Drilling Permits Have Been Given in the USA? Oil Permits Requests To Drill Are Way Up Over The Last 5 Years. ... purchase and hold on to leases to claim them as an asset to boost stock prices. ... forums.therandirhodesshow.com/index.php?showtopic=2816

Marketplace: Why aren't oil execs drilling in the U.S.? 23 May 2008 ... This week in Congress, executives from big oil companies have been ... can't keep up with the government drilling permits they already have. ... marketplace.publicradio.org/ display/web/2008/05/23/untapped_us_oil

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Posted in: Bush urges Congress to lift ban on offshore oil drilling See in context

"If there were more oil drilling would there be a guarantee of cheaper oil? Or would it just amount to more profits for the crooked oil companies?" As you imply, the latter. They're already sitting on lots of places they could be drilling, but would rather wait until the price of oil goes wa-ay up. W/Cheney selling the country to their oily friends.

WASHINGTON (May 29, 2008) – More than 44 million acres of public lands are leased for oil and gas development, according to a new Wilderness Society analysis of Interior Department data. The analysis points to an explosion of drilling on federal lands, with 7,124 drilling permits (APDs) issued in 2007, a new record for the Bush Administration. Nationwide, the leasing is outstripping the oil and gas industry’s capacity to drill, as industry is drilling on only a quarter of the leases they hold.

“We are seeing gas drilling on public lands at a magnitude greater than anything we’ve experienced, and it threatens to forever damage many of our most treasured Western places if not done carefully,” said Dave Alberswerth of The Wilderness Society. “Oil and gas development is a legitimate and important use of our public lands, but it is equally important to have oil and gas program that is balanced with other uses of those lands, such as protecting fish and wildlife, cultural values, and the air we breathe and the water we drink.”

Summary: Applications for Permits to Drill (APDs) Approved by BLM, 2001-2007

Colorado: ...... 2,909 Montana: ...... 843 New Mexico: .. 7,606 Utah: ........... 2,955 Wyoming: ..... 18,613 Rocky Mtns: .. 32,926 Nation-wide: .. 35,106

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Posted in: Obama rebukes McCain; says bin Laden free due to GOP tactics See in context

I mean Iran's greatly increased influence in the region, amounting to a Shiite Crescent: the possibility of Iranian domination of a weak and divided Shi'a-dominated Iraq. In a recent visit to the region, in fact, I found a dominant concern in the Gulf countries to be the possibility that the United States, by intervening as we did in Iraq, may inadvertently be creating a Shi'a crescent in the northern tier of the Arab world, which could offer Iran unique opportunities that it has not had for many years, to exercise a dominant role, and to exercise that role in ways that may be destabilizing to others. http://www.mepc.org/forums_chcs/41.asp

You know, the stuff the CIA and State Dept warned W about before the invasion?

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Posted in: Obama rebukes McCain; says bin Laden free due to GOP tactics See in context

SuperLib: in his post-9/11 speech, OBL listed the stationing of US troops in Saudi Arabia (by GHW Bush) as one of the reasons for Muslim outrage. (Sadly, W let him get away at Tora Bora, and now he's achieved prophet status)

Btw, do you acknowledge that W/neocons were duped by Iranian intelligence into invading Iraq, to Iran's gain and US losses?

Madverts, thanks for the comments. There's no arguing with Wingers. You know Eric Superlib's other handles? And thanks for the Sgt.Davy memo, which was f'n classic.

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Posted in: Obama rebukes McCain; says bin Laden free due to GOP tactics See in context

This Iraqi vet on YouTube is talking about how he got to Iraq in January '03; how, at the time, if they were fired on, they'd hunker down and ask for orders over the radio. By April, when they'd lost 135 guys, the procedure became: when fired upon in a crowded area, kill everybody because they're letting the shooter(s) attack by being there--the strategy being, if we kill enough innocent people, the rest of the innocent people will stop the terrorists from attacking, the flaw being that the shooter was often someone who's own family member had been killed by the US. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j87nLOdYXY4

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Posted in: Obama rebukes McCain; says bin Laden free due to GOP tactics See in context

Superlib: creating a terrorist, as far as the US is concerned, is as easy as injuring or killing someone's extended family member (which, if you're a devout Muslim, includes a billion people) after you've invaded their country. But you knew that.

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Posted in: Iraqi violence down See in context

WH......you're not really as d__b as you appear, are you? You know about information warfare, psyops by a government on its population, right? It's very old news, but: the administration promotes the talking point of the day, and the media duly report it. The "liberal" mainstream media is owned by ultra-conservatives billionaires. It must be hard to question what the TV and your favorite websites tell you when the message is reassuring and the logic self-serving, but educate yourself http://www.consortiumnews.com/2002/123102a.html

By the way, how many times do you think Robert H. Reid of the AP has walked around outside the Green Zone?

Once again: Good news that the violence is down and everyone is planning to vote, but a bit early for everyone to sing Kumbaya.

But regarding the propaganda arms of the administration (remember the OSP?) the Pentagon information apparatus has used analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the Iraq invasion, beginning with the buildup to the Iraq war and continuing to this day. Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.

Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves. But collectively, several dozen military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants. The companies include defense heavyweights, but also scores of smaller companies, all part of a vast assemblage of contractors scrambling for hundreds of billions in military business generated by the administration’s war on terror. It is a furious competition, one in which inside information and easy access to senior officials are highly prized.

Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse — an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks...[analysts] have echoed administration talking points, sometimes even when they suspected the information was false or inflated. Some analysts acknowledge they suppressed doubts because they feared jeopardizing their access.

A few expressed regret for participating in what they regarded as an effort to dupe the American public with propaganda dressed as independent military analysis. Kenneth Allard, a former NBC military analyst who has taught information warfare at the National Defense University, said the campaign amounted to a sophisticated information operation. “This was a coherent, active policy,” he said. As conditions in Iraq deteriorated, Mr. Allard recalled, he saw a yawning gap between what analysts were told in private briefings and what subsequent inquiries and books later revealed. “Night and day,” Mr. Allard said, “I felt we’d been hosed.” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/washington/20generals.html?pagewanted=all

Then there's this: The document, which has been verified, is official US Special Forces doctrine. It directly advocates training paramilitaries, pervasive surveillance, censorship, press control and restrictions on labor unions & political parties. It directly advocates warrantless searches, detainment without charge and the suspension of habeas corpus. It directly advocates bribery, employing terrorists, false flag operations and concealing human rights abuses from journalists. And it directly advocates the extensive use of "psychological operations" (propaganda) to make these and other "population & resource control" measures more palatable.

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Posted in: Iraqi violence down See in context

"Corner turned! Mission Accomplished!" say the Wingnuts. Yeah. Right.

Ditto, yabits: "The question is whether any decline (or increase) is indictive of a sustainable trend." The Wingnuts won't even address the fact that W's administration was duped by Iranian intelligence (in a word, Chalabi) into greatly increasing Iran's influence and radicalizing the whole Muslim world.

BAGHDAD - A car bomb ripped through a busy commercial street in a Shiite area of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 51 people and wounding scores more in the deadliest blast in the capital in more than three months. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080617/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq

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Posted in: 2,500 protest against Bush in London See in context

adaydream, thanks for the info not mentioned in the article. I was thinking "Only 2500?" but of course that's because they were told they'd be arrested.

"Protesters need permission to march near parliament and the police have told the campaigners that their march will not be allowed. A Stop the War spokesman said: 'It seems that when George Bush visits this country, traditional rights of assembly and movement are removed from the people.'" http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/jun/10/foreignpolicy.iraq

When "free speech zones" are the rule, the country is no longer free. W has made them more common than during the height of the Vietnam War protests. W's legacy will be the erosion of US leadership strengthening of Iran and radical Islam (and numerous other negatives, from the perspective of US citizens).

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Posted in: Afhhan, int'l troops hunt 1,100 after Taliban jail breakout See in context

Bush/Cheney strategy: lose.

The outgoing top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan said Friday that attacks increased 50 percent in April in the country's eastern region, where U.S. troops primarily operate, as a spreading Taliban insurgency across the border in Pakistan fueled a surge in violence.

In a sober assessment, Gen. Dan K. McNeill, who departed June 3 after 16 months commanding NATO's International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, said that although record levels of foreign and Afghan troops have constrained repeated Taliban offensives, stabilizing Afghanistan will be impossible without a more robust military campaign against insurgent havens in Pakistan...

McNeill declined to endorse a U.S.-funded program to train and equip Pakistan's Frontier Corps, which guards the border, questioning the effectiveness and loyalty of the tribally recruited guards...McNeill raised two instances in which the guards have shot and killed U.S. soldiers...

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Posted in: Anti-Americanism at record levels worldwide, report shows See in context

"Most teachers, like most journalists, are left-of-center." Hey, that explains how all the major media hired former generals who were working for Rumsfeld and weapons makers to hype the invasion! because they're owned by leftists! ...and, uh, they wanted to discredit movement conservatism by getting the public to support neoconservative policies that subvert the Constitution and bring America to its knees, economically and politically, so that people would repudiate the current administration and all it represents. Those devious lefties....

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Posted in: Bush tries to tighten squeeze on Iran See in context

The reason the White House is so hell-bent on signing a long-term Status Of Forces Agreement: it would seemingly allow the U.S. to brand Iran as an enemy of Iraq and attack Iran in the name of defending Iraq pursuant a legal obligation under the status of forces agreement. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/40372.html

Other details from press accounts confirm that the Bush administration has one eye on Iran in the course of its negotiations with Iraqis. The Washington Post explains that the administration is seeking “the prerogative for U.S. forces to conduct operations without approval from the Iraqi government.”

The American negotiators also called for continued control over Iraqi airspace and the right to refuel planes in the air, adding to concerns that the United States was preparing to use Iraq as a base to attack Iran.

Since the administration is unlikely to get an Iran war authorized through Congress, it’s instead trying to sneak it through the Iraqi parliament. http://thinkprogress.org/2008/06/11/iran-war-iraq-sofa/

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Posted in: Iraq's prime minister visits Iran See in context

Full-circle: Righties proclaim they are happy that the US was duped into strengthening Iran...

Diplomats, counterterror analysts and a former top military commander agree that President Bush's attempt to secure Baghdad will only succeed in dragging out the conflict, creating something far beyond any Vietnam-style "quagmire." The surge won't bring an end to the sectarian cleansing that has ravaged Iraq, as the newly empowered Shiite majority seeks to settle scores built up during centuries of oppressive rule by the Sunni minority. It will do nothing to defuse the powder keg that an independence-minded Kurdistan, in Iraq's northern provinces, poses to the governments of Turkey, Syria and Iran, which have long brutalized their own Kurdish separatists. And it will only worsen the global war on terror.

"Our invasion and occupation has created a cauldron that will continue to draw in the players in the Middle East for the foreseeable future," says Michael Scheuer, who led the CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden. "By taking out Saddam, we have allowed the jihad to move 1,000 kilometers west, where it can project its power, its organizers, its theology into Turkey-- and from Turkey into Europe."

How bad will things get in Iraq--and what price will the world ultimately pay for the president's decision to prolong the war? http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/13710030/leaving_iraq_the_grim_truth/print

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Posted in: McCain, Obama both say Iran is other's weakness See in context

McCain: the one who wants to continue the policy of the President who was duped into strengthening Iran (fmr 3rd-rate power, w/whom US now plays zero-sum game)

Iran, which was a mortal enemy of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and fought a bloody eight-year war with Iraq during his reign, has been the primary beneficiary of U.S. policy in Iraq, where Iranian-backed groups now run much of the government and the security forces. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/40080.html

Nice going, righties. When the neocons gained control of Washington, full of hubris, they ignored or ousted any career intelligence people, or military, who contradicted the strategy derived from their self-serving ideology; the US then made a huge strategic blunder. W/McSame-supporters are really appreciated in Tehran.

As for the nukes, the immediate threat is the loose nukes in Qaeda hands, esp. from the fmr. Soviet Union, but also North Korea (2000: Donald Rumsfeld sat on the board of a company which sold two light water nuclear reactors to North Korea. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/may/09/nuclear.northkorea)

"I think Iraq is finished. We'll just find a way to get out. I frankly don’t think we ever intended to win there. We certainly didn't send enough troops to close borders, to control the country. Rumsfeld was obsessed, apparently with his new, lighter, faster military. The inflow of fighters is growing. The pace of the insurgency, both there and in Afghanistan, is increasing. I don't hold much of a brief for Sen. John McCain, but he’s right, in an unpalatable way: Unless we greatly increase the number of troops we have in Iraq, we're going to have to leave. I think the question is how do we leave? Do we leave with some dignity, or do we leave by flying off the top of the embassy as we did in Saigon?" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Scheuer

Righties: still fighting the Vietnam War--any Vietnam War.

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Posted in: Obama says Iraq war makes Iran stronger, but U.S. and Israel less secure See in context

Of course the Iraq war has made Iran stronger--Iran tricked neocons into it. Remember Ahmed Chalabi?

WASHINGTON — Defense Department counterintelligence investigators suspected that a small group of Pentagon officials who'd collected dubious intelligence on Iraq and Iran from Iranian exiles might have "been used as agents of a foreign intelligence service . . . to reach into and influence the highest levels of the U.S. government," a Senate Intelligence Committee report said Thursday.

A top aide to then-secretary of defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, however, shut down the 2003 investigation into the group's activities after only a month, and Pentagon officials never followed up on investigators' recommendation for a more thorough investigation, the Senate report said.

The revelation raises questions about whether Iran may have used a small cabal of officials in the Pentagon and in Vice President Dick Cheney's office to feed bogus intelligence on Iraq and Iran to senior policymakers in the Bush administration who were eager to oust the Iraqi dictator.

Iran, which was a mortal enemy of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and fought a bloody eight-year war with Iraq during his reign, has been the primary beneficiary of U.S. policy in Iraq, where Iranian-backed groups now run much of the government and the security forces. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/40080.html

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Posted in: Obama says Iraq war makes Iran stronger, but U.S. and Israel less secure See in context

An utterly false statement by W: "I’m credible because I read the intelligence...All of the intelligence I looked at…the Congress looked at, said the same thing,” Bush said in 2004. Unfortunately, it seems that Bush only selectively “looked at” the intelligence:

Today, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee released the final two sections of its pre-war intelligence report. As Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) said, the report concludes “that the Administration made significant claims that were not supported by the intelligence.”

In today’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino was dismissive of the report, explaining that President Bush made false statements before the Iraq war simply because he was kept in the dark:

PERINO: That dissent amongst experts within the intelligence community at some level did not reach the president.

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Posted in: McClellan: Bush should have fired Rove over CIA leak See in context

Ditto that, Taka313. Liked your 3rd June post, usaexpat. As someone who abhors what W/Cheney/Rummy/neocons have wrought, I came the closest to having sympathy for the administration when listening to McClellan's interview with BillO: http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/06/03/oreilly-goes-ballistic-on-scott-mcclellan/

McClellan: Let's look at the record. There's the question of how the intelligence was used to make the case for preemptive invasion. It was packaged to make the case seem more grave than it was.

The nuke threat: high-confidence and medium/low- intelligence was cherry-picked and stove-piped. With the nuke intelligence there was not high confidence.

Colin Powell's UN presentation re anthrax did not justify saying that Iraq constituted a grave and gathering threat to the US.

Do you think we were about to be attacked by Iraq? It may have been a justifiable mistake to invade, and can be so argued on other grounds, but do you think it was a mistake? It was not necessary.

The central theme of McClellan's book is that the permanent campaign culture of Washington DC must change. That culture was a main cause of the Iraq war.

There were many dissenters within the CIA and State, Dept. (not to mention poeple like Gen. Shinseki, who was forced out for advising the necessary minimum number of troops to carry out the postwar reconstruction of Iraq), who said "We don't believe this allows us to make a judgment" whether or not Saddam's reconstituting his nuke program (these people were shut out of the process and eased out of their jobs). The false question of whether or not Saddam had nukes put it over the top to sell the war, make the case.

The mainstream media did not do its job (ie, journalism).

Good people got caught up in the campaign culture of DC. The specific purpose of the White House Iraq Group was to sell the war--it was a marketing arm of the White House.

W had an overriding motivation to transform the ME (convinced that he was a Christian God's warrior agent, on Earth for that purpose--a fervent hope to which he clings). That, too, became part of the propaganda when it was packaged and distributed through the media (ie, pics of a "haloed" W in a church, along with the "cowboy" images), overstated, repeatedly hammered into people's brains through mainstream media.

On Valerie Plame: Rove denied "telling anyone about her," a distinction without a difference, as he did SAY her name to Matt Cooper and others in a context that revealed her secret status as a CIA agent. He revealed her identity.

W said in SOTU address that Saddam sent emissaries to Niger to acquire yellowcake uranium ("the British gov't has learned that Saddam recently sought significant quantities of uranium...") but the CIA didn't stand by that because it was based on forged documents (reiterated publicly by Joe Wilson) had no evidence that he had actually acquired any. (Saddam even told his own generals that he had nukes when he didn't)

The CIA told the White House three months before SOTU not to use that claim in any of W's speeches. Yet it was used in the SOTU address to sell the war to enough Americans to give W the political clout to launch it.

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Posted in: Suicide bomber kills 10 at police checkpoint in Iraq See in context

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the man who led American ground forces in Iraq from 2003-2004 (that's bargain-basement anti-American to you, SuperLib)

"Wiser in Battle: A Soldier’s Story" takes aim at the Bush administration with some of the strongest criticism to date from a former Iraq commander.

"In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I watched helplessly as the Bush administration led America into a strategic blunder of historic proportions. It became painfully obvious that the executive branch of our government did not trust its military. It relied instead on a neoconservative ideology developed by men and women with little, if any, military experience. Some senior military leaders did not challenge civilian decision makers at the appropriate times, and the courageous few who did take a stand were subsequently forced out of the service..."

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