Saturday, January 13, 2007

Fundamentalists Make Poor College Students

From Pharyngula:

"Science magazine has just published a graph of data taken from a general social survey of Americans that quantifies what most of us assume: a well-educated liberal who is not a fundamentalist is much more likely to accept evolution than a conservative fundamentalist with only a high school education. You can see the trend fairly clearly: here we see the percent believing in evolution vs. fundamentalism, amount of education, and self-reported political views:
The percentage of respondents believing in human evolution is plotted simultaneously against political view (conservative, moderate, liberal), education (high school or less, some college, graduate school), and respondent's religious denomination (fundamentalist or not). Belief in evolution rises along with political liberalism, independently of control variables.

It's not surprising that fundamentalism puts such a strong damper on evolution, but it is surprising that political conservatism would do likewise. That, I suspect, is a consequence of the strong association between the religious right and Republicans in this country, and I have to wonder whether conservatives who reject religion completely are as screwed up as this sample indicates, and if conservatives from other countries would do as poorly.
It's utterly unsurprisingly that idiots who think the Earth is 5,000 years old tend not to believe in evolution. What surprised and depressed me more was this mysterious 14% of liberals with graduate school educations who still can't bring themselves believe in evolution. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? The ones with advanced degrees and no religious zealotry who think Yahweh made us out of dust and Magikal Faerie Juice? Let's call them Species Homo Liebermanus.

I guess when the civil war comes, we'll have to keep a close eye on 14% of "our" number... they're secretly brainwashed morons in disguise.

Is Condoleezza Rice a Lesbian?

Answer: I don't really give a shit, but obviously a LOT of Republicans sure seem to think so.

The always hilarious AmericaBlog has a great post up about whether Republicans' fears that Condi might be secretly gay is behind their super-uptight-outrage about a relatively minor comment made in Senate hearings yesterday towards Secretary Rice: "Who pays the price [for Bush's incompetence in Iraq]? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young," Boxer said. "You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families."

Boxer is correct, that neither she nor Condi are going to pay a personal price in Iraq. But for some reason, the White House, and conservatives across the board, have jumped on Boxer's comment and gone ballistic over it. AmericaBlog thinks they know why:

One thing I've learned is that conservatives flip out the most when they think you've found their weak spot. ... The moment an enemy hits close to home, conservatives flip out in order to ensure the enemy never dares go there again.

What that suggests in the case of the Condi uproar is that, I think, the White House and conservative activists like FOX News are deathly afraid of Condi's unmarried status and what it might suggest about her sexual orientation. Condi is a potential future Republican presidential, or VP, candidate. She is a rising star (or at least was until the Iraq fiasco) in a party that has few stars left. And if Condi were to turn out to be a bit light in the Manolos, it wouldn't go over too well with the family values crowd that controls the Republican party. ... And while I tended to be agnostic on the Condi-is-gay rumors up until this point, the bizzarely vicious reaction of the White House and FOX News and Matt Drudge to this episode is starting to make me wonder if they know something I don't.
Ahh, Matt Drudge. Yechh.

I honestly don't give a crap if people are Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered or Magikal Faeire Elves. It's when you pretend that you're not a Magikal Faerie Elf in order to get elected, then turn around and use the Government's powers to enact draconian legislation which legalizes bigotry against your fellow Magikal Faerie Elves that I get mad... it's the hypocrisy of Gay Closeted Republicans like Ken Mehlman, David Drier, Mark Foley, Matt Drudge and Shepard Smith smoking a little pole in their private Log Cabin while making it illegal for other non-rich-non-connected gays to go about their lives that pisses me off.

As for Kinda-Skeezer Rice, I've always disliked her not for any theoretical Lesbian tendencies, but rather for her frigidity, her condescending demeanor, her lecturing schoolmarmish tone of voice and her incredible superpower to consistently tell George Bush whatever he wants to hear rather than what's true or what's likely. Besides, I think she's a 52-year-old childless spinster not because she doesn't crave penis, but rather because she craves only the one which she can't have: George W. Bush, or as she has refferred to him, "My Husband.

### UPDATE ###

Condi Rice has now punched back at evil Barbara Boxer. In an interview in the New York Times,
Ms. Rice suggested that Ms. Boxer had set back feminism by suggesting during the hearing that the childless Ms. Rice had paid no price in the Iraq war: "I thought it was O.K. to be single. I thought it was O.K. to not have children, and I thought you could still make good decisions on behalf of the country if you were single and didn't have children."
First off, since WHEN do Conservatives give a fuck about Feminism? Aren't these the same scumbags who invented the word "Feminazi" to refer to strong career women like Hilary Clinton? You don't get to kick women in the face and then complain when someone walks by and doesn't stop you.

Rice's faux feminism is completely NOT the reason for this comment... read Boxer's original comment again: "Who pays the price [in Iraq]? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families. And I just want to bring us back to that fact."

What part of that can POSSIBLY be misconstrued as an attack on Condi's Feminist Right to have a career? That's a LUDICROUS interpretation.Rush Limbaugh also got into the act:
“Here you have a rich white chick with a huge, big mouth, trying to lynch this, an African-American woman, right before Martin Luther King Day, hitting below the ovaries here,” Mr. Limbaugh said on his radio show.
Once again Limbaugh demonstrates just how BAD his hearing has gotten as a result of his Oxycontin abuse. Boxer's statement CLEARLY had nothing at all to do with RACE. Bringing up the words "African American" and "lynch" and "Martin Luther King Day" is race-baiting of the worst type. Either Limbaugh is being disingenuous, or he's a racist who views all conflict in terms of black-vs-white.

He's in good race-centric-fixation company, though:
Deneen Borelli, a fellow with Project 21, which describes itself as a “leading voice in the African-American community,” said, “I am deeply appalled by Senator Barbara Boxer’s cruel and callous attack on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.”

“The debate should have been about the war in Iraq and not a platform to demean Secretary Rice,” Ms. Borelli said in a statement issued by the organization.
Ms. Borelli neglects to mention (as does the NYT) that Project 21 is a far-right Conservative Fringe group, attempting instead to pretend that it represents the entire Africa-American community, something which they do not. Oh, and I thought it was Conservatives who were always bitching when blacks viewed everything through race-relations glasses? Guess what's good for the goose is NOT good for the gander.

Boxer is CLEARLY saying calling Rice a Chickenhawk: she never served, she doesn't have any children or family members who are serving, yet she's thrilled to throw other people's kids into a pointless meat grinder from the safety of Washington D.C. Moreover, Boxer then says that SHE ALSO has no kids who are serving. Point being, neither one of us two powerful broads is gonna have to bury our kid, but lots of other mothers ARE going to have to bury their dead sons because of what you, Condi Rice, are deciding to do here.

And, y'know, absent a dead kid, there aren't going to BE a lot of real-world consequences for Condoleezza Rice when her boss's SURGE-GASM 2007™ fails to produce victory in Iraq. Bush has already proven incapable of firing her incompetent ass (oooh, I referred to her ass, I must be anti-feminist!), so no matter how badly the war goes, her job is safe until 2008. When Bush's turn in office is over, Condoleezza will either return to academia and warping reality for a new generation of moron conservatives, or return to working for her other old employer, Big Oil (see, you forgot that one, dincha?), or go to some kind of Right Wing Think-Tank and attempt to use her Soviet-era mindset to analyze the modern world (like she does for Bush).
"I thought it was O.K. to be single. I thought it was O.K. to not have children, and I thought you could still make good decisions on behalf of the country if you were single and didn't have children."
It IS okay to be single (albeit a bit suspicious at 52 for a Right-Wing Conservative true-believer...) and it IS okay to not have children (although, y'know, your kind of fundamentalist nutjob supposedly believes that marriage exists exclusively for raising children with standardized gender roles by two parents of the opposite sex). And it IS possible to make good decisions on behalf of the country if you are single and don't have children (though I can't imagine a childless male bachelor getting elected to... well, much of anything in this country, much less President). No, the problem is, Condi, you make HORRIBLE decisions which dreadfully impact this country.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Evil News Roundup

Friday is usually the day on which this White House chooses to dump bad news, unfriendly reports, notices of resignations, etc., all in the hopes that no one in the media or out in the country notices them. Bad news isn't generally dumped on Saturday because it might find its way into the Sunday morning headlines, and NEVER dumped on Sunday because it'll lead off the Monday morning newscasts. But, the theory goes, dump that sucker on Friday and who's going to see it? The newlyweds who stay in watching TV on Friday night? Saturday newspaper readership & tv news viewing are the low mark for the entire week.

So, let's see what President Bush and his lackeys are trying to dump THIS week:

This first story isn't FRIDAY news... it actually came out earlier this week, but not a SINGLE American News Media source has picked up on it. Why? Because it proves that Bush's war IS all about War For Oil after all.

Let's not forget that the very first legal step that Bush took after securing control of Iraq's government was to oil contracts which Iraq had signed with France and Russia. This is the first time since 1972 that Iraq's oil will be open for exploitation by Western firms.

Let's also not forget that one of the key reasons that Saudi government-controlled Wahabi clerics are preaching that foreign fighters should kill Americans and attack Iraq's oil infrastructure is because those Clerics are funded by members of the Saudi Royal Family who don't want to see the price of oil drop when Iraq's oil pumping capacity comes back online.

So Saudi Arabia NEEDS a war to keep the price of oil high... I guess that explains Bush's new SURGE™ of troops to extend our fiasco there.

President Bush Seizes Unilateral Control of All National Guard Units, displacing state Governors. Eh. So much for State's Rights, huh? Well, the President's need to SURGE™ more troops to Iraq outweigh local matters.

Similarly, there's this creepy story where the Pentagon has abandoned the active-duty time limit on National Guardsmen & military reserves. Until now, the Pentagon's policy on the Guard or Reserve was that members' cumulative time on active duty for the Iraq or Afghan wars could not exceed 24 months. That cumulative limit is now lifted; the remaining limit is on the length of any single mobilization, which may not exceed 24 consecutive months, Pace said. Of course, Bush can order the Pentagon to change that any time he likes.

In other words, a citizen-soldier could be mobilized for a 24-month stretch in Iraq or Afghanistan, then demobilized and allowed to return to civilian life, only to be mobilized a second time two weeks later for as much as an additional 24 months. In practice, Pace said, the Pentagon intends to limit all future mobilizations to 12 months.Anyone who signs up for the Guard or Reserves should now consider themselves a permanent active-duty soldier and report to get shipped to Iraq for several years in a row.

One more time, what's the point of calling it an Enlistment Contract if only one party has to keep its word?

Lessee, other Evil Friday News:

Britain, Unlike bullheaded America sees the handwriting on the wall. UK to withdraw 3,000 troops from Iraq. With the Slovaks pulling out, Britain is just about our only ally left in Iraq, except for 100,000+ Mercenary Soldiers Private Military Contractors.

Oh, hey, 774,000 Americans are homeless. But you thought the Economy was doing great? Shut up, you! Incidentally, that's 1 in every 403 people you meet during the day. 1 in 400 in the wealthiest country in the world. Y'know, if we hadn't invaded Iraq, we could have spent that $2 Trillion dollars on homes for the homeless. But who wants homes or schools when we can have Civilian Collateral Damage? YEAH! Killing! U-S-A! We're #1, We're #1...

Keep checking back... often Evil Friday News doesn't surface until Saturday morning (and often not even then... god bless our lazy-ass Mainstream Media).

Lieberman Snuggles Up To Bush Again

After spending two days watching House and Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Armed Services Committee members tear into Condoleeza Rice and treat Robert Gates with the barest civility due to the newest guy at the bottom of the totem pole, it began to amaze me that no one, not a single member of Congress had expressed enthusiastic support for the president's Surge-tastic™ New Way Forward In Iraq©. Even McCain was grimly supporting it as a last final chance for victory. No one, not Democrat nor Republican, was 100% behind George W. Bush. America had finally achieved bipartisan agreement... Congress was united in dismissing George Bush's idiotic Surge™...

And then Joe Lieberman opened his fat mouth.

Yes, a lick-spittle lapdog sycophant toady to his last fiber, Holy Joe stepped forward to be the first volunteer to go up in flames with Bush's Surge™. Holy Joe loves Bush's "correct and courageous" new strategy. "I applaud the president for rejecting the fatalism of failure and pursuing a new course to achieve success in Iraq," Lieberman says. He says that Bush has offered up "a comprehensive program to chart a new course in both winning the military struggle to establish order and in achieving the political and economic objectives to build a more promising future for Iraqis."

What about all those other Senators and Representatives --Democrats and Republicans alike-- who aren't thrilled with the President's new catchy sloganeering? Lieberman has a warning for them, too: "Excessive partisan division and rancor at home only weakens our will to prevail in this war."

Then again, what should we expect from the man who warned all of us that "Democrats need to realize that George Bush is going to be their commander-in-chief for three more years, and to question his leadership is to give aid and comfort to the enemy."

I don't know about other Democrats, but from this side of the aisle, it looks to me like Holy Joe is the one giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Crocodile Tears From A Crocodile Heart

Sorry, I just don't buy it.

Bush cries for Medal of Honor hero
January 12, 2007
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- A young Marine who fell on a hand grenade in Iraq two years ago, giving his life to save comrades, was given the Medal of Honor Thursday by a tearful President Bush, becoming only the second Iraq war recipient. Bush awarded the medal, the nation's highest military decoration, to the late Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham of Scio, N.Y. Dunham's parents accepted on their son's behalf during the somber ceremony in the White House's East Room.

A tear rolled down Bush's cheek during the event, an extraordinary display of emotion by the commander-in-chief.

In 2004, Dunham, a 22-year-old corporal, received a report that a convoy had been ambushed, according to a Marine Corps account. Dunham led his men to the site near Husaybah, halting a convoy of departing cars. An insurgent in one of the vehicles grabbed him by the throat when he went to search the car and the two fought. A grenade was dropped, and Dunham covered the explosive with his Kevlar helmet. He died a few days later.

"I've lost my son but he became a part of history,'' Dunham's mother, Deb, said. ''It still hurts as a parent, but the pride that you have from knowing he did the right thing makes it easier."
That marine threw himself on top of his grenade to save his buddies. He deserves that Medal. He deserves a nation's tears, shed over the pointlessness of his death. But George W. Bush? On Thursday, his minions were crawling all over Capitol Hill repeating "it doesn't matter how we got into Iraq, we need to send more troops and we need to stay there, the President knows best, he's taking the long view." That same Long View that his lying and illegal war cost Corporal Dunham -forever-.

I try not to swear too much on this blog, but considering that this lying scumbag pushed America into a war based entirely on lies and motivated by financial gain for himself, his family, his vice-president, his father, and his financial contributors, he's in exactly the position he deserves to be in.

Bush doesn't get to waltz into a Press Conference a full FIVE fucking years after his wars began and steal America's pity/respect/sympathy by shedding some crocodile-tears in full view of the cameras on the very same day that he's ordered 21,500 more soldiers into the same exact meat-grinder.

I call BULLSHIT on this entire ceremony. It was rigged up by Karl Rove and timed to coincide with Bush's "Where Mistakes Were Made I Am Responsible" non-admission faux-apology the night before, all in order to trick America into thinking that this evil, lying, depraved piece of shit disaster of a President actually has a heart deep down inside his reptile chest and that he feels bad for what he's done.


He doesn't feel ANYTHING. He's a sociopath. He's incapable of genuine feelings. Go ahead, retarded fundamentalist wing-nuts, put your sons in the hands of the crying crocodile... the rest of us have caught on to the act.

A Voice From Gitmo's Darkness

I'm fond of blogging about Gitmo. Oh, sweet Gitmo, apple of Bush's eye... how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways. Gitmo stands as THE premiere example of what's this entire Administration: (1) It's secretive, (2) It's illegal, (3) they know it's illegal, that it breaks multiple laws and treaties and they don't care, (4) They lie about what happens there, (5) Torture happens there, (6) Innocents are imprisoned there and they know it, (7) Children are imprisoned there and they know it, (8) It violates every notion and legal precept that underlies our Constitution; habeus corpus, fast & fair trial, jury of your peees, right to an attorney, protection against self-incrimination, right to a impartial judge, the right not to be tortured and have whatever you blurt out to make the pain stop suddenly held against you in court, the right to face your accuser... the list goes on and on and on about what's wrong with America's Gulag™ at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

I've written about Bush & Cheney's zealous use of waterboarding, dog-baiting (and biting), freezing temperatures, sleep deprivation, stress-positions, loud noises, Koran-defacing (yes, it happened) and more. I've written myself blue in the face. So, let me stop writing for a second and turn this space over to Jumah al-Dossari, a 33-year-old citizen of Bahrain in his own words, excerpted from letters he wrote to his attorneys:

I AM WRITING from the darkness of the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo in the hope that I can make our voices heard by the world. My hand quivers as I hold the pen.

In January 2002, I was picked up in Pakistan, blindfolded, shackled, drugged and loaded onto a plane flown to Cuba. When we got off the plane in Guantanamo, we did not know where we were. They took us to Camp X-Ray and locked us in cages with two buckets — one empty and one filled with water. We were to urinate in one and wash in the other.

At Guantanamo, soldiers have assaulted me, placed me in solitary confinement, threatened to kill me, threatened to kill my daughter and told me I will stay in Cuba for the rest of my life. They have deprived me of sleep, forced me to listen to extremely loud music and shined intense lights in my face. They have placed me in cold rooms for hours without food, drink or the ability to go to the bathroom or wash for prayers. They have wrapped me in the Israeli flag and told me there is a holy war between the Cross and the Star of David on one hand and the Crescent on the other. They have beaten me unconscious.

What I write here is not what my imagination fancies or my insanity dictates. These are verifiable facts witnessed by other detainees, representatives of the Red Cross, interrogators and translators.

During the first few years at Guantanamo, I was interrogated many times. My interrogators told me that they wanted me to admit that I am from Al Qaeda and that I was involved in the terrorist attacks on the United States. I told them that I have no connection to what they described. I am not a member of Al Qaeda. I did not encourage anyone to go fight for Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden have done nothing but kill and denigrate a religion. I never fought, and I never carried a weapon. I like the United States, and I am not an enemy. I have lived in the United States, and I wanted to become a citizen.

I know that the soldiers who did bad things to me represent themselves, not the United States. And I have to say that not all American soldiers stationed in Cuba tortured us or mistreated us. There were soldiers who treated us very humanely. Some even cried when they witnessed our dire conditions. Once, in Camp Delta, a soldier apologized to me and offered me hot chocolate and cookies. When I thanked him, he said, "I do not need you to thank me." I include this because I do not want readers to think that I fault all Americans.

But, why, after five years, is there no conclusion to the situation at Guantanamo? For how long will fathers, mothers, wives, siblings and children cry for their imprisoned loved ones? For how long will my daughter have to ask about my return? The answers can only be found with the fair-minded people of America.

I would rather die than stay here forever, and I have tried to commit suicide many times. The purpose of Guantanamo is to destroy people, and I have been destroyed. I am hopeless because our voices are not heard from the depths of the detention center.

If I die, please remember that there was a human being named Jumah at Guantanamo whose beliefs, dignity and humanity were abused. Please remember that there are hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo suffering the same misfortune. They have not been charged with any crimes. They have not been accused of taking any action against the United States.

Show the world the letters I gave you. Let the world read them. Let the world know the agony of the detainees in Cuba.
This is a Gulag of President Bush's making. The Supreme Court ordered him to unmake it and instead he twisted their rebuke into a sign of assent. The man is just this side of a South American dictator, and the crimes that happen at Guantánamo aren't his alone... they belong also to the 52% of Americans who re-elected him, but most especially to the 32% who still inexplicably support his every action. Jummah might say "I know that the soldiers who did bad things to me represent themselves, not the United States" but he is WRONG. Those soldiers represent the express desires of a stupid, uncaring population of the priviledged and uninformed. Those soldiers and their tortures represent a White House which redefined torture into a state policy. Those soldiers and their waterboarding represent a brutal thug of a President who refuses to admit the lessons that HUNDREDS of years of police work has proven: that beatings and torture produce false confessions and that personal interaction and produce actionable information. Bush doesn't have these people in Gitmo because he thinks they're truly guilty... the military itself has told him repeatedly that this is NOT true.

No, Bush has those people there because he likes torturing people. His personal relationship with God assuages his guilt... but what assuages OURS? Gitmo has been in existence for five years now, with no end in sight. Call your Senators and Congressperson and tell them enough is enough.

Fired Republican Senators To Become Lobbyists

Corrupt Scum lose their elections because of their ties to lobbyists and break down the front door of the building rushing to cash in favors owed to them by other scum. Go figure.

In this case, it's Ex-Senators Conrad Burns and Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum.

Former Sen. Conrad Burns, whose ties to lobbyists helped sink his re-election bid, has landed at a new workplace: a Washington lobbying firm. Burns will work for his former chief of staff, Leo Giacometto, at the firm Gage, which has lobbied for Montana interests and several national technology companies, often making headlines for its connections to Burns and his staff.

Well, at least there Burns will be able to earn more than enough to pay his lawyers as prosecutors investigating the Abramoff scandal grow closer and closer... both Burns and Giacometto are under investigation by the FBI for Burns' earmarking shenanigans.

They can't rot in jail fast enough.

What's a Plan B?

Condoleezza Rice gave America a terrifying insight into the policy-making process in Bush's White House:

"It's bad policy to speculate on what you'll do if a plan fails when you're trying to make a plan work."
Ohhhhh... so THAT'S why everything this White House has tried has failed! Becuase of poor contingency planning! Sweet! Now we know the problem and can move to fix it by FIRING ALL OF THESE STUPID MORONS.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

1/3 of All Americans Are Morons

Why We Can NEVER "Win" In Iraq

We can't "win" in Iraq.

Why? Because ever since World War Two ended, the United States Military has refused to assume the role of government administration of occupied territory. In Vietnam, in Somalia, and now in Iraq, we see a repeating pattern: the United States won't assume control of the country and therefore can't enforce its will.

In 2003, the State Department recommended this exact plan before the war, but Bush is ideologically opposed to taking the advice of the State Department. Before the war, he refused to take State's advice against invading Iraq, directly after the war, he ignored State's existing occupation plan which was based on Nato's experiences in Bosnia. Now he ignores State's advice about regional negotiation.

Instead, Bush's answer was to hold a premature election (something that still hasn't been done to this day in the former Yugoslavia) and award rule of the entire country to the winners, which by sheer dint of numbers was very predictably the majority Shiite tribe. Bush talks a lot of game about going after both Sunni Insurgents and Shiite Death Squads, but in reality, the government of Iraq seems capable of going after only one of those parties... because the Shiites in the Iraqi Government are unwilling to kill their partners.

Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki is the leader of the Dawa Party which was founded by Moqtada Al-Sadr's father, his party's version of George Washington. Expecting for al-Maliki to suddenly turn on the party he's been a member of his entire life, and to betray and attack the son of the man who founded that party, is ridiculous.

As far as America's military force being capable of destroying the insurgency, that's impossible unless they CHOOSE to identify themselves and fight us openly. They did that once in Fallujah and learned their lesson. After America had killed several hundred of them, the rest of the insurgency realized the futility of open combat, laid down their weapons, mingled with the civilians and spread out across the country to concentrate on terror and guerrilla war. The Iraqi population cooperates with the Insurgency, either through ignoring them, collaborating with them, or just not telling the police and Americans where to find them. Why? Because they know that if caught helping the Americans, they or their families will be murdered.

If we wanted to, we could end the insurgency in Iraq tomorrow... history gives us brilliant object lessons in how to do so. The Roman Legions controlled Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa with only 300,000 troops (of which only 100,000 were profession full-time troops). How? By razing entire villages and killing everyone within whenever locals struck out against Roman rule. The Nazis controlled all of Europe with a minimum number of troops because they used the same method. If any German soldier was killed by local partisans, the Nazis would retaliate by killing 10, 20 or 40 locals until all resistance stopped. Despite the scenes from romanticized films, there was very little in the way of open attack on the Nazis by "resistance" forces because of the Nazis' vicious deterrence tactics. As a Democracy, America should not and must not take up these methods

We do not have the patience to govern Iraq ourselves, we don't have the stomach to terrorize the population into turning over the insurgents and terrorists among them, we won't engage with Iraq's neighbors to bring about a political solution, and because of these facts, we cannot win in Iraq.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What a Flaming Turd

I had just finished blogging about my suspicion that Bush has a pathological inability to admit mistakes, when I strolled over to where Sidney Blumenthal confirmed my thoughts:

Informed correspondents of the Washington Post and New York Times related in conversation that Bush furiously called the report "a flaming turd," but his colorful remark was not published. Perhaps it was apocryphal. Nonetheless, it conveyed the intensity of his hostile rejection.

Cheney galvanized his neoconservative allies inside and outside the administration to counter the Iraq Study Group. In order to have their own proposal they put Jack Keane, a former Army vice chief of staff and longtime neocon fellow traveler, in touch with Frederick Kagan, an analyst at the neocon American Enterprise Institute, who urged a massive "surge" of troops into Iraq. Kagan and Keane and a team of neocons at AEI whipped up a PowerPoint presentation, and one week after the ISG report release, on Dec. 11, they were ushered into Bush's presence.

The president had become enraged at the presumption of the Baker-Hamilton Commission even before its members gave him their report. "Although the president was publicly polite," the Washington Post reported, "few of the key Baker-Hamilton recommendations appealed to the administration, which intensified its own deliberations over a new 'way forward' in Iraq. How to look distinctive from the study group became a recurring theme. As described by participants in the administration review, some staff members on the National Security Council became enamored of the idea of sending more troops to Iraq in part because it was not a key feature of Baker-Hamilton."

Donald Rumsfeld had been sacrificed as the secretary of defense, but his replacement, Robert Gates, a former director of the CIA and member of the ISG, turned from skeptic into team player. The Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. John Abizaid, head of Central Command; and Gen. George Casey, commander in Iraq, all opposed the "surge" as no answer. Cheney and the neocons saw their opposition as the opening for purging and blaming them. The Joint Chiefs were ignored and sidelined, and Abizaid and Casey forced into retirement. Their dissent, leaked to the Washington Post for appearance in the paper on the day of Bush's "surge" speech, was an extraordinary gesture by the senior military leaders to distance themselves from impending failure.
So, because the Iraq Study Group's report didn't have any mention of a Surge™, Bush and his lackies seized upon a Surge™ as a way to differentiate themselves from the Baker-Hamilton commission?

That's pretty much what I would expect from a man unwilling to admit that he's made mistakes or that other people might have good ideas for fixing the problems he's made. The simple phrase "The president had become enraged at the presumption of the Baker-Hamilton Commission even before its members gave him their report" speaks volumes about the mindset of this man... petty, vindictive, angry at anyone with the temerity to speak out against him.

What a flaming turd.

That article also contains this brilliant summary of Bush's Surge™ Logic:
When the U.S. military commanders in Iraq and U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad protested against a rush by the Iraqi government to hang Saddam Hussein, Condoleeza Rice overrode their objections and gave the signal to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to proceed.

Maliki's management and subsequent defense of the gruesome circus surrounding Saddam's execution disabused any illusion that he could act in the larger Iraqi national interest rather than as a political representative of Shiite sectarianism. He is to his marrow a creature of the Dawa Party, founded by Muqtada al-Sadr's father, and his alliance with al-Sadr. While the intent of the surge is to revitalize the Maliki government, that government cannot and does not wish to be reformed. The problem is not merely that Maliki is a weak political leader, or that his political coalition wouldn't permit it, or that his Iranian sponsors wouldn't allow repudiation -- all of which are indisputably true. The irreducible reason is that Maliki exists only to achieve Shiite control, and if he did not he would not exist. There is no other Maliki. Nor can Bush invent one.

Bush's "surge," therefore, is a military plan that cannot produce its stated political outcome and will instead further unleash the forces he claims will be controlled. His offensive to subdue the Sunni insurgents, for example, is already accelerating the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad by the Shiite militias, which, rather than being contained, are further empowered.
Yeah... like he said.

Bush has chosen to aid the Shiite militias in their endgoal: the complete elimination of the Sunni minority. I find it highly interesting that this lasst violent two days in Iraq were spent hunting and killing Sunni "insurgents" (which, y'know, some people call old men, women & children) when the Shiite Death Squads outnumber the Sunni Insurgents by a factor of 4 to 1.

Once those Sunni Insurgents are all dead, yes, it WILL be quite peaceful in Iraq... because Iraq will be a graveyard which shames anything that Saddam Hussein could dream up in his most feverish nightmares.

And we will have helped.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bush Speech Surprise: We're Pulling Out of Iraq

Ha ha ha, no, just kidding. THAT would require conceptual thinking and flexibility that this president is sorely lacking.

No, instead, we were presented with a President who STILL can't truly admit errors of his own making.

Astonishingly, President Bush did acknowledge that a mistake was made when a military buildup wasn't ordered last year, back when it could have done some good. What Bush DIDN'T admit was that HE was the guy who made that decision, instead twisting history to seem as if someone else, some rogue element long since fired (coughcoughRumsfeldcough) was the individual who had made any mistakes. Bush's comment? "Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me."

That's a far cry from "The Buck Stops Here." In fact it's a little like saying "If my underlings fucked up, well, I guess I'll be gracious and fake some public contrition for their actions, which -might- have been errors. Maybe."

Read it aloud: "Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me." Not that it doesn't really mean ANYTHING.

Oh, mistakes were made, for sure... they just weren't Bush's mistakes. Making a wholesale confession for any and all mistakes just distances himself from any real responsibility. If Bush had said, "When I said that we were winning the war in Iraq just two months ago, that was not only a mistake, that was a lie," that would be a real admission. So would "I'm sorry, but members of my administration deliberately contorted evidence in order to justify attacking Iraq," that would be a real admission and apology. Those apologies would take genuine backbone and America loves candor paired with courage. That's what they want in a leader. If Bush had followed that up with, "and I pledge to not do that again," it would have cut his enemies off at the knees and large numbers of Americans would rally to support him. But he didn't do any of that.

With public support for the war long eroded and almost totally vanished, Bush is trying to win some back. His message: "OK, I get it. Now get off my back."

Except he DOESN'T get it. The proof of this is Bush's answer to last year's pressing need for more troops in Iraq. How's he going to fix it? Why, he's just gonna SURGE another 21,500 troops into Baghdad.

Never mind the fact that the situation on the ground NOW is drastically different than it was a year ago.

Never mind the fact that toppling Saddam Hussein's Sunni-run regime has rekindled the centuries-old divide between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in the region, suspicions that have grown stronger since Saddam's Dec. 30 sectarian execution.

Never mind the fact that a majority of Iraqis think that American troop presence is making the country LESS stable and that over 80% want America OUT of Iraq.

Never mind that Bush just lost an election where the key issue was ENDING his war.

Never mind that General Petraeus said just a few months ago that concentrated counter-insurgency requires 20 soldiers per 1,000 residents (or 120,000 combat soldiers for Baghdad alone... when we only have 70,000 combat troops in the entire country now).

Never mind the fact that Bush is ordering top military leaders to do something which, at least initiallythey were opposed to, and probably still ARE, but don't want to say anything lest they get demoted.

Never mind the fact that Bush has frequently said commanders on the ground know what is best.

Never mind that just last month he told the Washington Post that "it's important to trust the judgment of the military when they're making military plans."

No, never mind any of that because none of it ever happened for Bush... it slipped down his Memory Hole, just like every other inconvenient fact which contradicts how he's feeling on any given day.

No, the message of the day is SURGE™. We never said STAY THE COURSE, we have always said NEW WAY FORWARD: SURGE™.

War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.

It's not a surprise, I suppose. Admission of mistakes is the opposite of Bush's natural tendency. When he makes a big mistake, the admission seldom comes, and when it does arrive, it's usually reluctantly and belatedly.

Most famously, late in 2004, Bush was asked to name his biggest mistake in office. He struggled to come up with one, eventually castigating the reporter: "I wish you would have given me this written question ahead of time."

That span of time included the September 11th attacks, the entire Iraq War, and all of the whopping lies told to the American people to rally them around the flag, "Wanted Dead or Alive," "Bring 'em On," Abu Ghraib and more... but Bush couldn't think of a single error he'd made.

I used to think that Bush's obstinancy was a show, a front, a cynical way of misleading a gullible public into supporting The Decider (as in "he sticks to his guns! I admire a man who doesn't flip-flop!"). I don't believe that any longer. Lying to the public is one thing (and, IMO, an impeachable thing), but Bush doesn't even seem capable of admitting errors to himself. Instead, he seems insanely confident in his decisions, and worse, he seems completely unaware when he HAS changed his mind.

Take, for example, Bush's evolving qualifications about the U.S. commitment to Iraq. A year ago, he stated that "We will stay until the job is done." Tonight that became "America's commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people - and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people."

So much for staying until the job is done, huh? Wasn't it just a few months ago that Bush's henchmen and their Right-Wing echochamber were chanting that withdrawing from Iraq was Treason? Cut and Run? Oh, right, the never said Cut and Run. More Memory Hole.

I could forgive this President for being a liar and a bungler... what I can't forgive is an insane person who lies to himself and drags his country, the Middle East and the entire planet into a raging war all for... what, exactly?

-NEW- Saddam Films Appear

It's the Story That Won't Die (unlike the Dictator)!

Yes, amazingly, the dummies responsible for filming Saddam Hussein's wacky last moments on Earth ("Moqtada Moqtada Moqtada!") are at it again. This time, though, the new cell-phone footage is of Saddam's Corpse! Wheee! As if watching him plunge to his death wasn't gruesome enough, now we get to see his dead body.

Naturally, it's turned up on the internet, because some really great stuff you just can't keep to yourself and your hateful religious sect, right?

So now Saddam's officially a martyr and we get footage of Moqtada's boys playing with his corpse. How soon until video shows up of them shitting in his dead mouth?

Incidentally, I've been asked why I give a shit how Saddam died and my answer is twofold: first, the cell-phone video revealed the sectarian nature of his execution and will inflame tensions in Iraq. Second, all of these films being released prove one thing: the first film released had been edited to present a propaganda view of a sedate, solemn execution, something we now know was complete bullshit. If we can't believe how they killed Saddam, then why should we believe anything else that comes out of the Maliki government?

Polly Want A Cracker?

A cracker? No, Polly wants to have an English vocabulary of 950 words, to be able to distinguish and use correctly past, present, and future verb tenses, to invent new words when Polly come across concepts she doesn't have words for already, and to tell jokes.

If that talking bird can get subject/verb agreement right, it's already smarter than our President ("Is our children learning?").

When the aliens arrive and realize how many other intelligent lifeforms we're wiping out on this planet (dolphins, whales, parrots, gorillas, etc.), they're going to recognize us as the monsters we are and burn us off the face of the globe.

Fine with me. Let Polly and Koko take over.

Hey Joe, Whaddya Know?

Ooops, nothing, you're still a rotten fascist apologist...

I'm still catching up on all the super-keen news I missed over the weekend (remember the days before all bad news was dumped during the weekend so the public hopefully wouldn't notice it?), and I came across this article and photo of these two worthless Bush Apologists smugging it up together:Ain't it enough to make you want to vomit?

Anyway, McCain-Lieberman (And what a ticket THAT would be! Sign Me Up!) are on some kind of Surge-Fest 2007 this weekend, speaking out about the desperate need for a SURGE of troops to Iraq. Let's do the numbers for a second... Gen. David Petraeus, the new general in charge of Iraq wrote in the Army's new counter-insurgency manual that stamping out insurgents requires a lot of manpower—at minimum, 20 combat troops for every 1,000 people in the area's population. Baghdad has about 6 million people; so clearing, holding, and building it will require about 120,000 combat troops. Petraeus' writings are what got him the new Top Job in Iraq (a promotion he'll someday come to regret, no doubt, when he's unable to provide the Miracle Victory that Reichschancellor Bush dreams is coming). Petraeus' theories about troop levels are ALSO what created this bullshit "SURGE" talk in and around Washington, where it's finally filtered up to The Decider who decided that it sounded better than "I'm sorry, I wasted $2 Trillion of your dollars on a war to hang Saddam Hussein."

Here's the problem with Surge-Fest 2007: right now, the United States has about 70,000 combat troops in all of Iraq (another 60,000 or so are support troops or headquarters personnel). Even an extra 20,000 or even 30,0000 combat troops would leave the force well short of the minimum required, and that's with every soldier and Marine in Iraq moved to Baghdad. Iraqi security forces would have to make up the deficit.

So, yeah, this Urge To Surge is pointless bullshit and the citizens of America know it. So does the Congress and it remains to be seen if they'll play ball with the President or not.

Which brings us back to Senators Holy Joe Lieberman and John "Maverick" McCain ("that's right, Ice. Man. I -AM- dangerous.") and their pro-surge pro-war tour at the American Enterprise Institute. They were there to speak for a Surge Sensation because they believe only a Gushing Surge can win in Iraq. They insisted their Mighty Surge be open-ended rather than temporary, and that it "must be substantial and it must be sustained."

They evidently haven't read the Army's most recent readiness reports. You know, the ones which say 33% of units aren't ready to be deployed to Iraq with a month's notice?

According to McCain, A Surgeaclypse Now would give the Maliki "government" (if a collection of leather-clad thugs shouting "Moqtada Moqtada Moqtada" can be CALLED a government), "a fighting chance to pursue reconciliation."

Erhm... what "reconciliation" is that, Senator? Maybe you didn't see the cell-phone footage of Saddam's Lynching? Because every Sunni sure as hell did.

In his craven op-ed piece in the Washington Post last week, Lieberman quoted some unnamed colonel who told him in private how he and his men fully support the war. At the American Enterprise Institute, Joementum quoted him again, but this time claimed that Colonel Frank Not Fakealoo also supports a surge, saying that “We need some more troops to... fight to a victorious finish." Weird that this detail wasn't in the op-ed piece... it's almost as if Joe's just putting words into his straw-man colonel's mouth.

Lieberman also expressed unflagging confidence in Bush’s boundless wisdom – "The president of the United States gets this." Strangely, McCain didn’t utter Bush's name once. Man, I wonder why not? Incidentally, watching this phony nice-up to the slime who did all that to him, his wife and his kids has blown all respect for John McCain that I ever had.

Speaking of losing respect, Joe Lieberman never had much of mine to begin with (countless condescending lectures about how Great God Is during the 2000 election ruined it forever), but whatever was left circling the bowl was permanently flushed away when I read about Joe's historical references in his speech at the AEI: You see, to Joe, Iraq is just like the Spanish Civil War, a prelude to an even bigger war.

One hates to mock Joe's loose understanding of historical events, but if one MUST, (and as a student of the Spanish Civil War, I kinda MUST), then the main way that Iraq is like the Spanish Civil War is that while the world community turned its back and sat the war out, it also imposed an arms limit on both sides of the war. Meanwhile, a fascist power that wanted to test its military might against a civilian population broke the rules without penalty, supplied one side of the civil war and committed horrible aerial bombardments which left hundreds of thousands of innocents dead.

Hmmm... now who does THAT sound like? Oh, right, Osama Bin Laden!

McCain, on the other hand, went for the liberal traitor's jugulars, discussing how in the 1940's, there was an "incredible" desire in the USA not to be dragged into another European war, and "some of the most respected Americans in our country -- Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford and many others -- were out and out about isolationists."

Isn’t it strange that of all those "many others," (several of whom were powerful Republican Senators, including Senator Prescott Bush) the only isolationists McCain can point to by name were actually Nazi sympathizers? Why, going by that logic, that means anyone against Bush's crazy hijinks in Iraq is probably a Nazi sympathizer, also! Gosh... I'd better shape up!

Oddly, Joe didn't jump in here with a big speech, which he's usually wont to do when Nazis come up.

Oh, but not to fear, Joementum did whip out at least one more nasty piece of hate speech: "If the American people could talk to the American military, as we do regularly, and hear their commitment to this cause, their selfless bravery, their honor, I believe that they would support the troops as we are."

Right. Because Americans don't support Bush's mindless and expensive war, we don't support the troops! Been watching Faux News much, Mister Senator?

In closing, Holy Joe once more threw himself and Congress alike under the treads of Bush's War Machine, demanding that Bush simply ignore Congress if it dares to defy him: "this moment cries out for the kind of courageous leadership that does what can succeed and win in Iraq, not what will command the largest number of political supporters in Congress."

It's not really all that confusing to hear Joe talk this way... after all, he didn't care much that he won the popular vote in 2000 (and Florida besides), so why should we expect the spineless little shitheel to respect the will of America's voters now?

Oh, and one final note... in the transcript of their remarks, John McCain said it all better than anyone else ever could: "On a foreign trip one time, due to the fact we're both losers, Joe described us as a government in exile."

Monday, January 08, 2007

It Was ALWAYS About The Oil

From comes this awesome razor-lined piece:

"And above it all, on his alabaster throne, sits the President, our Supreme Warlord. While even such a scalawag as Lyndon Johnson knew that an unpopular war is a losing hand for a politician to draw, President Bush seems unperturbed by it all. Many columnists have attributed his attitude to intellectual deficiencies, or irrational stubbornness, or megalomania. But if Bush possessed the IQ of Descartes and the wisdom of Aquinas, he could hardly act otherwise.

"As a Texas plutocrat marinated in petroleum, Bush is merely acting out his destiny, and that of his class. Should the reader need reminding, one can always turn to the more iconoclastic foreign press. While the great American dailies are debating whether "we" need 20,000 additional troops or 40,000, or are limning the Napoleonic qualities of the new Iraq commander, General David Petraeus, the London Independent reveals the following:

"'Iraq's massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days.

"'The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalised in 1972.'" [6]

"Was Auschwitz a German government-run death camp? Or was it just one of I.G. Farben's synthetic rubber factories, subject to a high employee turnover? One may also ask whether Iraq is the central front of the war on terrorism, or merely a profit center for corporations like BearingPoint and Exxon-Mobil.

The article starts with a great quote from one of America's most unknown national heroes, Marine General Smedley Butler, who single-handedly stopped a rich-guy industrialist Putsch on Washington D.C. when he refused to lead the 500,000 men the industrialsts were planning to bring together to descend on the Capitol and throw F.D.R. out of the White House in the early days of the New Deal. His brilliant book "War Is a Racket" is available at

"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives."
-General Smedley Butler (1935)
I think that just about sums it up. The Republican Spin Machine managed to convince most of the Mainstream Media to shout down anyone who dares suggest that the invasion Iraq might possibly be about their oil, but only a moron would ever believe that America would spend upwards of $2 Trillion dollars on anything BUT oil. Certainly not on freeing people under despotic rule... especially not if the Despot in question is willing to sell us oil on the cheap. After all, we still use Iranian and Saudi Arabian oil, don't we?

The Path To Hussein's Lynching

The NYT has a lengthy chunk of dictation in-depth report on the long back-door maneuvering between the American government and the Iraqi government in the days leading to the dreadful execution of Saddam Hussein.

Supposedly the U.S., looking to conform to international protocols, wanted to delay Hussein's execution, while the Iraqis, motivated in large part by revenge, wanted to hasten it—a conflict that led to several heated exchanges between the two parties before the U.S. decided to bow to Iraqi sovereignty and hand Hussein over. Right, because we care oh SO much about Iraqi sovereignty. Hey, you think if those soverign Iraqis had acquitted Saddam and wanted to set him free, the Americans would have turned him over so quickly? I mean, y'know, because our respect for Iraqi sovereignty is just sooooo strong?

The best bit in the entire article is a small detail which has never before surfaced: the Americans wanted a written statement from the chief judge of the highest court that the execution was lawful. He refused, so Prime Minister Maliki went instead to a body of Shiite clerics. Because, really, the execution didn’t already look enough like an act of sectarian vengeance.

Still not explained: why Saddam Hussein had to die before his second trial (the one most likely to uncover US collusion in the poison-gassing deaths of 180,000 Kurds) could conclude. We were left with the disgusting spectacle of his judges dropping the case against him. Saddam will go down as officially Not Guilty of what was supposedly his biggest crime against Humanity. Good job, everyone!

Probably Right Before He Kills Them

"Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die."
George W. Bush, speaking with reporters on facing the challenges of war, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006

Click here to see video of Bush's sinister utterance (located at 23:16)

Bush Announces Brilliant New Plan For Iraq

Tonight President Bush pledged a "New Way Forward" for America's troubles in Iraq and vowed to somehow find 20,000 troops that aren't already in Iraq and send them there. This Troop Surge will fix Iraq and we will be victorious!

Oh, wait, that's tomorrow night's news.

No, tonight, we just get to sit around and wait for Bush to wheel out his already-tired-before-he-announces-it scheme for Victory in Iraq. A strategy all but already repudiated by the Democratic Leadership in the House and Senate. This brings to mind the question of "What the Hell is wrong with George Bush?" Why is he so stubborn, so unwilling to change ANYTHING that he does?

In the final paragraph of the New York Times' Jan. 2 story about the impending new Iraq strategy, President Bush is quoted as telling members of the Baker-Hamilton commission that "victory" was still his goal in Iraq: "It's a word the American people understand, and if I start to change it, it will look like I'm beginning to change my policy."

So... does Bush not want to change his policy? Or just not LOOK like he's changing his policy? Either way, Bush's obstinacy portends nothing good. It suggests that any reduction of American troops is impossible while he's in charge. Forget a pullout, forget a reduction, and forget even a simple lowering of American troops' profile, nothing in this realm is on this president's agenda. As Bush warned his commanders, "What I want to hear from you is how we're going to win, not how we're going to leave." Good to see you're open to all options, Mr. President.

Bush's obstinacy also suggests that he believes the American people don't want reductions and pullouts to be on his agenda, and that we don't want him to change his rhetoric or his policy. He's wrong, and the November elections should have proven that to him. I expect public reaction to Bush's Iraq Surge™ to be blisteringly nasty.

Besides, it's not like this is the first time we've heard from Bush that he's got some Secret Plan For Victory™. He wheeled this same exact speech out back in January 2006, remember? And 2006 was a BANNER year for America in Iraq, right? Why on Earth would anyone expect that he'd change his mind now when the facts are so clearly on his side that his team knows what they're doing?

I fully expect Bush to be the last man on Earth to admit that he's been wrong about Iraq from word one. His unwillingness to acknowledge mistakes, however profound or trivial, is legendary. Bush has an unwavering commitment to his beliefs, which can be an admirable trait... or it can be the hallmark of the delusional; it depends on the vision. In Bush's case, we can safely expect him to reiterate a new version of the same old plan that's not winning in Iraq.

What I don't expect tomorrow is for America to continue to follow him headlong over his cliff. Just that bothersome 25% who think he can do no wrong.

Jesus Is Coming... on a Wave of Nuclear Fire!

Born-Again psychotics across the South can rejoice today as news comes that Israel is secretly planning to attack Iran with nuclear weapons.

My initial reaction is to say "So What? The United States has a contingency plan for invasion and/or destruction of every country on Earth, including contingency plans which include first-strike nuclear bombing. Just because Israel has such a plan for a nuclear Iran, doesn't mean they intend to carry it through."

My second reaction is that with this psychotic in the White House, Israel might be stupid enough to carry through on a nuclear first-strike on Iran.

While some might think this is the height of madness, let's not forget what the Israelis have to gain from a rash first-strike using nuclear weapons: erhm... uh... oh, right, nothing but the enmity and disgust of the entire world community.

To be the first country to use nuclear weapons in combat since the US bombed Nagasaki isn't the kind of "We're Number One!" slogan that Israel should want for itself. Firstly, any sort of unprovoked attack of this nature simply gives permission for all of the nuclear Islamic countries in the region (Turkey, Pakistan, probably Saudi Arabia and whomever else over there bought bombs from A.Q. Khan) to nuke the holy fuck out of Israel in retaliation. Secondly, if Israel thinks it has a tough time in the United Nations now, try going it alone without the support of the United States. I have no doubt that American public opinion would be overwhelmingly against ANY nation which used nukes without serious provocation.

Let me reiterate: "Iran -might- build a bomb in two years or so" is NOT serious provocation. Not when Israel has between 100 and 300 nuclear bombs. It's not like the lessons of Mutual Assured Destruction are lost on the Persians... why else do you think they're so eager to build nuclear bombs? To defend themselves against a perceived threat from Israel, of course.

Everyone in the Mainstream Media likes to pretend that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is some sort of crazy person determined to obtain nuclear weapons so he can nuke Israel. He doesn't help deter this kind of thinking when he hosts Holocaust Denial Parties. The fact remains, though, that the Iranian Presidency is primarily a domestic governance position. Ahmadinejad won't ever even SEE one of those nukes. The control of the military, foreign policy, nuclear policy, and Iran's main economic policies are clearly within the power of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

Ahmadinejad's election represented three things: (1) the ascendancy of the Iranian generation who fought the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war (and who therefore hate America for sponsoring Iraq in that war), (2) his campaign promises to increase direct financial aid to the country's poor & working poor residents, and (3) the fact that the Supreme Leader wanted Ahmadinejad to be the next president because he didn't want an equal partner or rival as president. The Iranian presidency was the last holdout of Iran's reformists, and the victory of Ahmadinejad gave total control of Iran's state institutions to hard-liners. Khamenei controls the Parliament, the judiciary, the army, radio and television, and he now controls the presidency as well.

This allows the Supreme Leader to play a subtle game, the same subtle game that Dr. Martin Luther King played in the 60's with Malcolm X: use your enemy's fear of a crazy person to obtain the common-sense things that you -really- want. It's a time-honored tactic of negotiating: Good-Cop-Bad-Cop. The crazier that Ahmedinejad acts, the more that the Supreme Leader seems like a reasonable alternative to bargain with. It's all a matter of shifting perception of Iran from out-of-control country ruled by dictatorial clerics to Iran as a right-of-center country ruled by an out-of-control madman where the clerics are the moderating influence. Israel surely knows this, as do the smarter elements of the US State Department. The question now is will those who understand what's really going on have any influence over the reactionary Right-Wingers who are running things in both countries?

As to the question of whether or not Bush would back an idiotic Israeli nuclear first-strike, it's probably a "Yes." Why? Because this administration -ALWAYS- backs ideology over reality. Bush probably thinks that Americans will rally to him and celebrate his starting a nuclear war in the Middle East. Perhaps some of them will, too... after all, right-wing fundamentalists have flooded Israel with cash over the last eight years in an attempt to influence Israeli domestic and foreign policy, and I'm sure that fundie nutjobs like Pat Robertson are on the phone with Tel Aviv every day assuring them that "America" is behind a nuclear strike.

Why? Because Christian nutjob literalists think that Isreal must stand together as one country in order for Armageddon to come and for Jesus to return to Earth in a fiery battle to the finish with Satan's son, The Beast 666. I'm not going to dignify these stupid Fairy Tale beliefs except to point out that their precious Bible states that The Beast 666 will rise from "The Eternal Sea" which many Bible "scholars" have taken to mean the eternal roiling sea of politics, that The Beast 666 will profess to be a heavily religious person, that he will support Israel at all costs, and that The Beast 666 will rule for Seven Years before his final battle with Jesus happens. I can only think of ONE current world leader who that prediction describes, and his name is George W. Bush.

Have fun in Hell, Christians!

I also feel that Bush would welcome an Israeli nuclear first strike as a testing-ground for using the same technology himself. He's been developing these weapons in secret over the objections of Congress and against long-standing nuclear treaties himself, so no doubt Bush will be eager to see these nuclear bunker-busters tested in real-world situations. It's a win-win for The Bush 666: he gets to test out his battle strategies and the ensuing nuclear war in the Middle East will bring about his final battle with Jesus Christ. Yay!


Yeah, those Iranians won't be mad if we help do this to them. It's not like they're terrified of Earthquakes or anything. Setting off thermonuclear bombs underground certainly couldn't trigger a loose fault line or anything, could it? I'm sure that Bush's planning has considered the world repudiation which would arise from our allies accidentally triggering a massive quake...

Meanwhile for those of us who find nuclear war to be an unappetizing alternative to negotiation, take comfort in the news that our new Bush-sponsored generation of nukes might not even fucking work. Yes, Bush manages to even screw up stupid shit that he WANTS. The NYT reports that America's first new nuclear warhead in over twenty years will likely end up a sort of Frankenbomb hybrid of two competing designs. Instead of choosing between designs submitted by teams at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Reliable Replacement Warhead (TP loves the name) will fuse elements of both designs, an approach that some believe is as likely to result in a dud as a functional weapon. "It's one thing to have all the components working and another to have them all working together," said one Berkeley scientist.

Bush Claims New Power To Open & Read Your Mail

New Postal Law Allows Bush to Snoop Through Your Mail

By James Gordon Meek
New York Daily News

WASHINGTON - President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans’ mail without a judge’s warrant, the New York Daily News has learned.

The president asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a “signing statement” that declared his right to open people’s mail under emergency conditions.

That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it.

Bush’s move came during the winter congressional recess and a year after his secret domestic electronic eavesdropping program was first revealed. It caught Capitol Hill by surprise.

“Despite the president’s statement that he may be able to circumvent a basic privacy protection, the new postal law continues to prohibit the government from snooping into people’s mail without a warrant,” said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the incoming House Government Reform Committee chairman, who co-sponsored the bill.

Experts said the new powers could be easily abused and used to vacuum up large amounts of mail.

“The (Bush) signing statement claims authority to open domestic mail without a warrant, and that would be new and quite alarming,” said Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies in Washington.

“The danger is they’re reading Americans’ mail,” she said.

“You have to be concerned,” agreed a career senior U.S. official who reviewed the legal underpinnings of Bush’s claim. “It takes Executive Branch authority beyond anything we’ve ever known.”

A top Senate Intelligence Committee aide promised, “It’s something we’re going to look into.”

Most of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act deals with mundane reform measures. But it also explicitly reinforced protections of first-class mail from searches without a court’s approval.

Yet in his statement Bush said he will “construe” an exception, “which provides for opening of an item of a class of mail otherwise sealed against inspection in a manner consistent … with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances.”

Bush cited as examples the need to “protect human life and safety against hazardous materials and the need for physical searches specifically authorized by law for foreign intelligence collection.”

White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore denied Bush was claiming any new authority.

“In certain circumstances - such as with the proverbial `ticking bomb’ - the Constitution does not require warrants for reasonable searches,” she said.

Bush, however, cited “exigent circumstances” which could refer to an imminent danger or a longstanding state of emergency.

Critics point out the administration could quickly get a warrant from a criminal court or a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge to search targeted mail, and the Postal Service could block delivery in the meantime.

But the Bush White House appears to be taking no chances on a judge saying no while a terror attack is looming, national security experts agreed.

Martin said that Bush is “using the same legal reasoning to justify warrantless opening of domestic mail” as he did with warrantless eavesdropping.
This is objectionable in the extreme. In response to those government tools who state that nothing has changed, the question is: what does that mean? Has Bush already been opening Americans' mail without a warrant? And if it's not a policy change, the why has Premiere Bush suddenly put this in writing?

I wonder if Joe Average is going to get it now... or if the mainstream news will just cover this up like everything else this fascist presidency attempts to pull off.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

An Army of Undead Zombies

So THIS is the surge that George W. Bush has been talking about... a sustained surge of Undead Zombie Soldiers!

You know, when Showtime's "Masters of Horror" series proposed this very idea in a short film directed by Joe Dante, I laughed and enjoyed. When the Army does it, people's careers need to be ended...

Army asks dead to sign up for another hitch

POSTED: 7:58 p.m. EST, January 6, 2007

WASHINGTON - The Army said Friday it would apologize to the families of about 275 officers killed or wounded in action who were mistakenly sent letters urging them to return to active duty.

The letters were sent a few days after Christmas to more than 5,100 Army officers who had recently left the service. Included were letters to about 75 officers killed in action and about 200 wounded in action. The 75 represent more than one-third of all Army officers who have died in Iraq since the war began.

"Army personnel officials are contacting those officers' families now to personally apologize for erroneously sending the letters," the Army said in a brief news release issued Friday night.

The Army did not say how or when the mistake was discovered. It said the database normally used for such correspondence with former officers had been "thoroughly reviewed" to remove the names of wounded or dead soldiers.

"But an earlier list was used inadvertently for the December mailings," the Army statement said, adding that the Army is apologizing to those officers and families affected and "regrets any confusion."

The total number of Army officers who have died in Iraq since the war began stood at 217 as of Dec. 2, according to the latest available Pentagon statistics. In all, the Army has had 1,552 soldiers — combining officers and enlisted — killed in action in Iraq since the war began in March 2003, plus 409 who died of non-hostile causes.

The number of Army officers wounded in action in Iraq stood at 894 as of Dec. 2, out of an Army total — for both officers and enlisted — of 14,165, according to the latest Pentagon figures.

Altogether, at least 3,006 members of the U.S. military have died in Iraq since the war began, according to an Associated Press count.