They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Iraq: Troops kill and die for nothing

Democracy Now! Interview with Nir Rosen [excerpt below - read/watch in full here]

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Nir Rosen, in speaking with people, in speaking with many Iraqis and living there, what you think needs to be the solution right now.

NIR ROSEN: There is no solution. We've destroyed Iraq and we've destroyed the region, and Americans need to know this. This isn't Rwanda where we can just sit back and watch the Hutus and Tutsis kill each other, and be like wow this is terrible should we do something? We destroyed Iraq. There was no civil war in Iraq until we got there. And there was no civil war in Iraq, until we took certain steps to pit Sunnis against Shias. And now it is just too late. But, we need to know we are responsible for what's happening in Iraq today. I don't think Americans are aware of this. We've managed to make Saddam Hussein look good even to Shias at this point. And what we've managed to do is not only destabilize Iraq, but destabilize Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran. This is going to spread for decades, the region won't recover from this, I think for decades. And Americans are responsible .

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think troop withdrawal now, if not an answer, a necessity?

NIR ROSEN: Troop withdrawal, if I was an American, then I would want troop withdrawal, because why are Americans dying in Iraq? Every single American who dies in Iraq, who is injured in Iraq, dies for nothing. He didn't die for freedom, he didn't die to defend his country, he died to occupy Iraq. And if withdrawal the troops you'll have less Americans killing Iraqis. Everyday the Americans are there they kill innocent Iraqis, they torture innocent Iraqis, and the occupy Iraqis and terrorize Iraqis. They should leave today.

BBC News

Five young girls have been killed in Iraq during a clash between US marines and insurgents in the western city of Ramadi, the US has said.
A US military statement said militants on the roof of a house had fired on its forces, who responded with tank fire.

It said soldiers searching the building found the bodies of one man and the five girls, one of whom was an infant.

Ramadi, 115km (70 miles) west of Baghdad, is located in Anbar province, a stronghold for Sunni Arab militants.

The youngest female casualty was six-months-old and the eldest was aged 10. Another female at the scene was injured but refused treatment, the statement said. Link

db: The BBC goes on to quote the esteemed US Major General Hans-Karl von Scheele of the 208th Infantry Division : "the insurgents' actions are felt by all" ....."efforts are under way to offer available assistance to surviving family members."

US/Iraq message to Iran

US President George Bush: "One thing Iraq would like to see is for the Iranians to leave them alone."

Iraq President Jalal Talabani: "We are in dire need of Iran's help in establishing security and stability in Iraq." Link

Saturday, November 25, 2006

US helicopter shoots up Sadr City mourners


A U.S. helicopter fired on a funeral party in Baghdad, one of dozens taking place after Thursday's devastating bombings in Sadr City, in response to ritual shooting, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said.

A ministry official said two people were wounded in Friday's air strike, which came after mourners fired into the air.A U.S. helicopter fired on a funeral party in Baghdad, one of dozens taking place after Thursday's devastating bombings in Sadr City, in response to ritual shooting, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said. Earlier, some residents and a Shi'ite lawmaker reported clashes between gunmen and U.S.-led forces in Sadr City, a stronghold of the Mehdi Army militia in the Iraqi capital. A U.S. military spokesman said he could not comment on specific operations but U.S. forces were helping Iraqi army and police enforce a curfew imposed after the Sadr City attacks on Thursday which killed more than 200 people. Link

db: Even US military boneheads can't have escaped the knowledge that folks in Iraq fire guns into the air at funerals on occasion.

This is how the US 'mitigates risks to civilians'.

Dead Palestinian kid, only

Move on
Nothing for you here
Just another
Dead Palestinian kid

Mitigate Truth

"Coalition [US] forces strive to mitigate risks to civilians while in pursuit of terrorists. It is always a shame when terrorists hide among civilian women and children, putting them in harm's way," the U.S. military said Link

Muqtada al-Sadr to leave government if al-Maliki meets Bush

Gulf Times

The political group of radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr yesterday threatened to pull out of Iraq's national unity government if Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has a scheduled meeting with US President George W Bush in Jordan next week.

"We will withdraw from the government and parliament if the prime minister meets Bush in Jordan," a statement from the group said, adding that it would also withdraw if the security situation did not improve.

Bush and Maliki are due in Jordan on November 29 for talks on the situation in Iraq.

The group, which has 30 MPs in the 275-member parliament, is a major supporter of Maliki's Shia-led government and was key to his appointment as prime minister over the choices of other Shia parties.

The group demanded that the government "specify the nature of its relations with the occupation forces", and once again demanded a timetable for the withdrawal of US-led troops from Iraq. Link

Hamas offers peace via '67 borders or 3rd Intifada


Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal said Saturday his group was willing to give peace negotiations six months to reach an agreement for a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, but threatened a new uprising if talks fail.

Mashaal was meeting with Egyptian officials who have been acting as intermediaries on the crisis over Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit and the formation of a Palestinian unity government by Hamas and its rival Fatah party.

"We give six months to open real political horizons ... we agreed on the national accord to establish a Palestinian state, with the June 4, 1967 borders," he said. "They have to seize this opportunity.

He warned that if an agreement is not reached within that time, "Hamas will become stronger and the resistance will resume ... and will go on with a third uprising." Link

Thursday, November 23, 2006

It's Trident or NHS prescription drugs for your granny

Mick Smith Weblog

The Travesty of a Trident Debate

The cabinet had its first sight of the White Paper produced to justify continuing with a submarine-based nuclear deterrent on Thutsday ahead of its official unveiling in Parliament in all probability next week. Tony Blair has promised MPs a full debate on the issue sometime early next year and reportedly told last week's cabinet meeting that he wants to launch the debate very quickly "because a decision needs to be made". OIt's a good quote that isn't it? You can actually hear him saying it, with that little bit of irritation that we just don't get it in his voice. The truth is that a decision doesn'’t need to be made now at all. But whether it does or not is irrelevant, because the key decisions have already been made. So MPs from whatever side of the house can go whistle, what they say will not change a thing. Is this what passes for democracy under President Blair? I'm afraid it is and the sooner we get rid of it the better.

There are three parts to the Trident system, the 58 missiles themselves, American-owned and loaned to us each time we use them at exorbitant cost; the 192 warheads, which are at least British-made and owned; and the four British Vanguard-class submarines that fire the missile. According to the spin, it is the last part of the equation, the submarines, which make it essential to decide now.

The Prime Minister and his supporters say the procurement process is so slow and cumbersome that it is imperative that we order new submarines now. It is total codswallop. You, I and every gatepost across Britain know that the key issues here are that a) Blair sold his soul to the neo-cons and part of the deal was that Britain continued to have a nuclear deterrent, and b) he sees it as part of his legacy to leave Britain with a powerful nuclear deterrent -– evidence that the old nuke-hating Labour is no more. Read more

db: 25,000,000,000 quid is not insignificant - and that's the minimum Blair's nukes will cost us. It's about 3 times the cost of NHS therapeutic drugs dispensed in England during the whole of 2005, which was 7,936,564,000 quid. Next time you hear of 'NICE' withdrawing/banning NHS use of certain drugs - because of the expense - think about Trident .... and the Bush-poodle-bitch.

Drug ban will force Alzheimer's patients to take 'dangerous' alternatives

Alzheimer's patients with behavioural problems will be forced to take dangerous medication after a ban comes into effect next month on Ebixa.

Psychiatrists will have to fall back on antipsychotic drugs which trigger serious side effects such as strokes, heart disease and falls.

NHS funding for the drug Ebixa is set to be withdrawn after campaigners lost an appeal to the Government's 'rationing' body, NICE, which ruled it was too expensive.

Blair's Nuclear Proliferation Bounces Cabinet


Tony Blair has been accused of "bouncing" the Cabinet and Labour MPs into a decision to renew Britain's Trident nuclear weapons system at a cost of up to 25bn pounds.

Cabinet ministers who will today demand a public debate on the various options, believe the Prime Minister will railroad through the scheme without a proper discussion to ensure that part of his legacy when he stands down next year is to keep Britain in the nuclear club.

Mr Blair will also brush aside legal doubts about renewing Trident. The international lawyer Philippe Sands, a QC in the Matrix chambers co-founded by Cherie Blair, has produced a legal opinion for Greenpeace saying that the move would breach the Nuclear Non-Profileration Treaty. It has been sent to the Prime Minister and Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General.

Dominick Jenkins, Greenpeace's disarmament campaigner, said: "While Tony Blair rattles his sabre and waves treaties at foreigners, he's agitating for Britain to break those same treaties. Building a new nuclear weapon is against international law and threatens to unravel the global non-proliferation system." Read more

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

UN: Israel guilty of war crimes in Lebanon

Reuters Alertnet

A U.N. mission of inquiry on Tuesday accused Israel of committing "flagrant violations" of international human rights law in its month-long war with Hezbollah Islamist fighters in Lebanon.

A team of three legal experts sent to Lebanon by the United Nations' top human rights body, the Human Rights Council, said Israel was guilty of "excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force" in the conflict.

Israel failed to give adequate warning to Lebanese civilians of attacks, had not limited assaults to military targets and had made excessive use of cluster bombs, which take a heavy toll on civilians and their property, they said.

"The commission has formed a clear view that, cumulatively, the deliberate and lethal attacks by the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) on civilians and civilian objects amounted to collective punishment," read their report on the Council's Web site

Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions collective punishments are a war crime. Article 33 states: "No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed," and "collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited." Wikipedia

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Robert Fisk: A terrible legacy of hatred and death


This is the hell we have bequeathed to the Arab peoples of Iraq

So the Ministry of Fear now has a Dowager of Fear, the good Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller who has discovered in the sanctum of MI5 another 30 "terror plots" to terrify us - and an entire generation of plots before the show is over. And how Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara admires her. "I think she is absolutely right that it will last a generation," he announces. Absolutely, indeed. The favourite Blair adverb, always trotted out when he really, truly and of course absolutely believes he is right; which is not the same at all, of course, as actually being right, which needs a lot more than belief to support it.

What is this trash? Accepting - which Blair can't do, can he? - that the risk to us is caused by his pusillanimous, mendacious policies in the Middle East (and that of his lord and master in Washington) would cut this latest bulletin from the Ministry of Fear down to a mere couple of years' worth of terror instead of a generation.

And note the smarmy way that officials in the Ministry of Fear now try to squeeze in a little bit of truth to take the edge off all those lies. According to Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, the war in Iraq is not to blame for the "terror plots" we are facing. No, "it is now clearly the case that although the Iraq war did not create violent jihad, it has become a convenient excuse for violent jihad". Come again, my good Lord? Now, let me get this right. Iraq has nothing to do with the "terror plots" - this, he says, is "clearly" the case ("clearly" being a notch down the road of lies from "absolutely", which might be pushing Lord Carlile's luck on this occasion). So the threats have nothing to do with Iraq but, er, well, yes, he tells us that they have, because the inventors of the "terror plots" lie to us about the real reasons for their deeds.

Note the deceit in this. We are permitted to link Iraq to the "terror threat", providing we do so on the grounds that the perpetrators are lying to us about Iraq. And so what are the real reasons for the plots? Why - Lord Blair again - the answer is they hate our "values", values which Blair cared nothing about when he illegally invaded Iraq. And sometimes, wading through this drivel, I wonder what the Iraqis think of it, those who are paying - in their tens of thousands of lives - for our folly?

I am thinking of some real terror in Baghdad, the terror that comes through the letter box or is stuck on to walls. Now here are real terror plots for the Dowager of Fear to get her teeth into, plots to massacre and "cleanse" whole communities from their homes and cities on the grounds of their religious sect. And so let's take a look at some really ferocious terror, collected on the streets of Baghdad and from the front doors of those who are indeed facing a generation of threats, many of them scrupulously collected by local UN officials and put together by my Italian colleague, Mario Portanova, of the Milan magazine Diario. They are printed, not handwritten, and they are poisonous.

"To the ignoble rejectionists, who sold their religion and community for worldly rewards," begins one note from a Sunni group about its Shia Muslim countrymen. "It is clear that you must be classified among those who have betrayed the covenant of Allah and his Prophet, and are intellectually and actively involved in fighting against the mujahideen [holy warriors]. Therefore we grant you 24 hours to vacate this righteous [sic] district, otherwise punishment and retribution shall be your fate. Allah is greater. Praise and grace be to Allah [signed] The Islamist Army in Iraq."

It should be noted that many of these terrible notices of intent to murder are preceded by the first words of the Koran: "In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful." Now here's another threat from the "Day of Atonement Brigades", a Shia group: "To the disloyal Palestinians, declared enemies and Saddamist Baathists, specifically those who reside in the al-Shououn district (of Baghdad). This is a warning that you will be liquidated if you do not move completely away from this district within a 10-day period. Let this be a warning to all, without exception."

And here's the literary work of the "Allahu Akbar Brigades", who are probably Sunnis, which specifically targets schoolgirls: "Death, crucifixion, amputation of hands and feet ... will be the retribution against those who defy Allah ... To all lascivious women who due to their mode of dress encourage sexual titillation, beware this will lead to worldly damnation. Bullets and the cudgel will be the punishment for those who have no morals, and those who persist in wearing short, provocative clothes. We are fully aware of what takes place after noontime in the school halls on Museum Road and elsewhere. We know about the ... secret meetings that are taking place. We are present among you and know all there is to know ..."

And now for the work of an al-Qa'ida affiliate, directed at Shia: "In view of the sectarian criminal acts which are being perpetrated by the so-called infamous Mehdi Army and the deceitful Badr Forces, including killing, abduction, deportation and displacement of the Sunni community in Mahmudiyah, Rashidiya, al-Shaab, al-Shattah and al-Hurriyah ... this formation has decided to respond twofold to each attack ... an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth ... accordingly it has been decreed that you (Shias) must leave the Sunni community areas, including al-Ghaziyah, within 24 hours, otherwise we will chop off your heads as the militias have been doing to the sons of the Sunni community."

There are many other pages. One calls on Shias to "leave their burrows" in Baghdad within two days or "taste the fire". Another warns Shias not to visit their local mosque. "To those who pray at al-Sajad mosque, a horrendous death shall be your fate should you come within close proximity of this mosque ... Cursed are the agents of the occupiers."

This, of course, is the hell we have bequeathed to all the Arab peoples of Iraq, this nightmare of genocidal threat and murder. All for non-existent weapons of mass destruction. And yet there is the Dowager of Fear trying to frighten us. That there may be "plots" I don't doubt. But given the hell-disaster we have helped to unleash in Iraq, is it any surprise? Link

Crowds Force Israel to Cancel Airstrikes


Israel called off airstrikes on the homes of two militants Sunday after hundreds of Palestinians crowded around the buildings forming human shields, a new tactic that forced the Israelis to re-evaluate their aerial campaign in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians began to gather around the homes shortly after the Israeli army ordered occupants out of them. Israel routinely issues such warnings before attacking buildings that it says are used to store weapons, saying it wants to avoid casualties.

Instead of leaving the buildings, the homeowners remained inside and were quickly joined by crowds of supporters who gathered on balconies, rooftops and in the streets outside.

"Death to Israel. Death to America," the crowds chanted. Local mosques and Palestinian TV and radio stations also mobilized supporters. It was the first time Palestinians have formed human shields to prevent an airstrike. Link

Iraq definitely not a disaster

John Howards assertion that those who consider the Iraq adventure to be a disaster "have no idea what a disaster represents" is not completely without foundation, although the only sense in which the word 'disaster' does not apply to Iraq is an obsolete definition: 'an unfavorable aspect of a star or planet'.

On the other hand the following def dictionary definition seems broadly correct: A total fucking failure

Iraq - no way a disaster

We're pleased to report that Blair's advisors are setting the record straight by making it known that the Bush-poodle-bitch's tongue 'slipped' when he said that Iraq was 'a disaster'

In case there were any doubt, the world's greatest Australian - Prime minister John Howard - has firmly squelched the notion by stating :

"If people call that a disaster then they have no idea what a disaster represents,"

db: Python rules

Blair: slippery of tongue

"Sometimes he does this when he's half-listening to the question and wants to get on and respond." Read more

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Iraq: Dying for Blair

Mick Smith Weblog

Are They Really Dying for Their Country?

The spin doctors have done pretty well by Tony Blair over the last few days. The deaths of four servicemen and women on the Shatt al-Arab was neatly edged off the top of the BBC newscasts by the news that the prime minister was going to push for talks with Syria and Iran - actually reported before their dreadful deaths but regurgitated by the BBC's reliable idiots as if it was somehow new and more important than the loss of four lives in a totally unnecessary fashion. Thereafter their deaths fell swiftly down the bulletins, apparently less important than a series of meaningless government announcements that it was going to do this or that. We shouldn't of course be surprised. It is all we should expect from the dreadful post-Hutton BBC. They are frankly not alone. The scandal that is the continuing loss of British lives in Iraq is the story that no-one seems able to confront. Read more

Lieberman: Kill them all

Deputy prime minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, said today:

Israel [also] needs to get tougher with the Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups, particularly their leaders, "I see the entire leadership of Hamas and Jihad walking around freely, and it's continuing to incite," he told the radio. "They ... have to disappear, to go to paradise, all of them, and there can't be any compromise."Link

Friday, November 17, 2006

Iraq: Blair blames 'outsiders'

Tony Blar was talking to David Frost on Al Jazeera [English] TV about the Middle East - and how someone had a strategy in Iraq but it wasn't him.
"What I say to people is .... why it is difficult in Iraq, it's not difficult because of some accident in planning [huh?], it's difficult because there is a deliberate strategy** - Al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents on the one hand, Iranian backed elements with Shia militia on the other, to create a situation in which the will of the majority of Iraqis, which is for peace, is displaced by the will of the minority for war.

[i'ts] "driven by outside elements which are the same outside elements fuelling extremism everywhere".
**They had a strategy - boo hoo!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Eliza is the Fairest Queen

Eliza is the fairest Queen
That ever trod upon the green.
Eliza's eyes are blessed stars,
Inducing peace, subduing wars.
O blessed be each day and hour
Where sweet Eliza builds her bower.

Eliza's hand is crystal bright,
er words are balm, her looks are light.
Eliza's breast is that fair hill,
Where virtue dwells, and sacred skill.
O blessed be each day and hour
Where sweet Eliza builds her bower**.

Edward Johnson 1572-1601

**1.A shaded, leafy recess; an arbor.
2. A woman's private chamber in a medieval castle; a boudoir.
3. A rustic cottage; a country retreat.

Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller has given a stark warning of the terror threat facing the UK
Brown backs 90-day detention for terror suspects

Sunday, November 12, 2006

US double standards - spineless UK government


A British government minister has criticized the US military for failing to co-operate with inquests into the deaths of British soldiers in Iraq.

Constitutional affairs minister Harriet Harman said US authorities' failure to send troops or experts as witnesses was "not acceptable."

"We have got an expectation that they should come, so that the bereaved relatives of the deceased servicemen can actually ask questions of what happened," she said in comments broadcast on British television's "GMTV Sunday" program.

"When they don't come that's not acceptable and we are prepared to say that's not acceptable."

Harman said she was seeking a meeting with senior US officials to discuss the issue.

"We are their ally but if they don't do anything that we think is necessary for the British interest then we are prepared to say so and say it is not acceptable," Harman said.

Last month, a coroner investigating the death of British television journalist Terry Lloyd - shot by US troops in Iraq in March 2003 - criticised US authorities for failing to name or provide access to the marines involved in the incident.

Oxfordshire assistant deputy coroner Andrew Walker ruled that Lloyd had been unlawfully killed and asked the attorney general to take steps to bring those responsible to justice. Link

db: The 'constitutional affairs' minister, Harriet Harman, 'slams' the US - which must be like a savaging from a dead sheep. And Blair - what does he have to say? Probably "it's clearly a matter for the United States".

The US - with the apparent cooperation of our spineless government has a different way of dealing with these issues - when the boot is on the other foot:

Undercover American agents are staging secret 'sting' operations in Britain against criminal and terrorist suspects they want to extradite to the US.

In a recent operation, agents from America's Department of Homeland Security set up a suspect by posing as dealers wanting to illegally sell night-vision goggles for export to Iran.

The spies arranged a series of clandestine meetings in London hotels, which they secretly filmed as evidence. It is thought to be the first time American agents have been caught using such sting tactics in Britain.

Urgent questions were being asked about whether the British Government had been aware of the operation. If so, it raises issues of the State collaborating with foreign agencies to entrap suspects - and if not it raises the spectre of American spies working unchecked on British soil. Link

Arab diplomats mull token response to Israel's Gaza attacks


Top Arab diplomats began discussions Sunday to try to hammer out a response to the Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip, which saw more than 50 people killed over a few days last week.

The meeting was overshadowed by a U.S. veto Saturday of a U.N. Security Council draft resolution that condemns the Israeli military offensive and demands that Israeli troops pull out of the territory. Sunday's discussions were attended by 11 Arab foreign ministers and other senior officials and diplomats at the Cairo headquarters of the Arab League.

"There should be a unified Arab stance in support of the Palestinians against what Israeli is doing," said the League's Undersecretary General Mohammed Sobeih, a Palestinian diplomat. Read more

db: It's a clear choice the 'top' Arab diplomats have here in 'hammering out' a response to deal with the criminal Israeli actions against the population of Gaza. It will be comprised of either a. Nothing or b. Next to nothing. Option b carries with it a level of risk, hence a is more likely.

Remembering the Iraq Lies

In Iraq, troops fight on as those who sent them beat an ignoble retreat

Then (September 2002)
What I believe the assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt is that Saddam has continued to produce chemical and biological weapons.

Now (July 2004)

I have to accept that we have not found them and we may not find them. He [Saddam] may have removed or hidden or even destroyed those weapons.
Tony Blair, BRITISH PM

Then (May 2003)
Major combat operations in Iraq have ended ... the United States and our allies have prevailed. And Now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.

Now (October 2006)
We cannot allow our dissatisfaction to turn into disillusionment about our purpose in this war.

Then (March 2003)
We go to liberate, not to conquer. We will not fly our flags in their country. We are entering Iraq to free a people ... show respect for them.

Now (October 2006)
Three years into the occupation, with no real improvement, it is time to admit failure ... British failure in Iraq may be seen by history as "ill-conceived and without enough effort".

Then (July 2002)
Support for Saddam including within his military will collapse at the first whiff of gunpowder. It isn't going to be over in 24 hours, but it isn't going to be months either.

Now (November 2006)
If I had ... seen where we are today ... I probably would have said, "Let's consider strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most, Saddam supplying WMD to terrorists".

Then (March 2003)
It will mean enforcement of the will of the UN ... to make the world a better place for the removal of Saddam Hussein and ... make the world better for the Iraqis he oppresses.

Now (November 2006)
The thing was a disaster from the moment we invaded ... we need to understand why, why, why we were so mad as to attack without working out the consequences.

Then (March 2003)
Iraqi lives saved by this military action will far exceed the number who, sadly, will be killed. It is a terrible calculation ... but one you have to make if there is to be a proper justification for military action.

Now (September 2006)
The current situation is dire. I think many mistakes were made after the military action - there is no question about it - by the US administration.

Then (August 2004)
Mr Blair has 18 months to show that Iraq is a success. If Iraq in 2006 looks very little better than under Saddam, Then the whole thing was a waste of lives, money and effort.

Now (October 2006)
There are only bad options for the coalition from Now on ... I never thought we would have produced the kind of mess in the post-invasion phase that has Now transpired.
Sir Jeremy Greenstock EX-AMBASSADOR TO UN

Then (March 2003)
From the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is that we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.

Now (October 2006)
It's been a little over three years Now since we went into Iraq, so I don't think it's surprising that people are concerned ... It's still very, very difficult, very tough.

Then (March 2003)
There is no doubt that the regime ... has weapons of mass destruction ... those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.

Now (December 2005)
No one was more surprised than I that we didn't find them. I suspect that the President of the United States probably had the same reaction that I did.

Then (March 2003)
Tony Blair has taken a brave decision, that the only hope of influencing American behaviour is to share in American actions.

Now (November 2006)
President Bush's achievement has been to convert an almost impregnable American position in the world after 9/11 into a grievously damaged one today.

Then (January 2003)
Weapons of mass destruction have been a central pillar of Saddam's dictatorship since the 1980s. Iraq was found guilty 12 years ago. Yet they lied and lied again.

Now (January 2005)
Following the conclusions of the comprehensive report ... the Iraq Survey Group is no longer conducting an active programme of field investigations into weapons of mass destruction..

Then (December 2002)
The goal is disarmament - the elimination of Iraq's [weapons] programmes... Disarming Saddam and fighting the war on terror are not merely related: the first is part of the second.

Now (June 2003)
The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the US government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on, which was WMD as the core reason.

Then (August 2002)
I will be blunt: demolishing Saddam's power and liberating Iraq militarily would be a cakewalk.

Now (October 2006)
What I would have said: that Bush's arguments are right, but ... you have to put them in the drawer marked "can't do" ... that's very different from "let's go" ... We're losing in Iraq.
Kenneth Adelman LEADING US HAWK


Saturday, November 11, 2006

US Tired of Losing


I doubt there is guilt

Sadly, little coming from America's politics can fire my enthusiasm. During my lifetime, America has busied itself with the task of burying liberalism, reminding one of October's frenetic squirrels hunting and burying acorns.

The nation is pretty much at ease with ugly imperial government. Liberalism, and I mean liberalism in the broadest, richest sense of the word, is a topic of bathroom humor.

We read and hear a great deal about the Democrats' sizable victory in mid-term elections, and I suppose after six years of Bush's near-insanity, people have a right to a little excitement, although one is sobered by the recollection that the same people returned him to office just two years ago. At least, the world can be grateful that Bush has been hobbled for his last two years.

The Democratic Party has been all but dead for years as a meaningful national alternative. The party has no recognized national leader. It has no cause, no fire in the belly. It has been largely silent for six years while Bush rampaged through the world and literally peed on American liberties like a grotesquely-smirking, small-town sheriff. No President in history has shown so little respect for human rights, and with so little excuse, yet all the would-be defenders of the Republic, whether Congressmen or the Don't-Tread-on-Me crowd, have been no where to be seen. And Democrats like Lieberman or Kerry can hardly be distinguished from Republicans.

The Democrats have been elected because Americans are now sick of Iraq. Their enthusiasms die quickly. American expectations for the wars they start are perfectly captured by the image of Bush landing on an aircraft carrier with a big banner behind him saying Mission Accomplished. It's a blockbuster version of the Homecoming Game with guys in uniforms and cheerleaders and flags, and there is no hint of death or decay. Anything beyond that kind of performance is welcomed like the kid who couldn't make the team.

I doubt there is widespread concern that Iraqis still huddle in homes with no reliable electricity or clean water, no jobs, and fearful to step into murderous streets. I doubt there is much guilt over having killed half a million of them. I doubt there is guilt about running a secret gulag and torturing helpless captives. I doubt there is guilt about blood-spattered holes like Abu Ghraib. Because if there were such guilt, there would have been a revolt against Bush's criminal government.

The American tendency to quickly tire of things is mightily reinforced by the depressing consciousness of having lost. Americans are conditioned in the great booming engine of Social Darwinism they call society that there is no substitute for winning, and winning in a chest-thumping way. Losing is for losers, and loser is a favorite American expression of contempt for others. They hate losing, and yet the simple fact is that many of the conflicts into which they thoughtlessly are led end up lost.

I am sure Americans are tired of images and commentary about Iraq on television, tame as they have been deliberately kept. They're tired of knowing that cute little Steve and Susie graduating high school this year can't just join up to have their college paid and be heroes in uniform without risking their health.

The greatest horror Bush has inflicted on humanity, the suppurating body of Iraq, is unlikely to be attended by Democrats. They want the White House in two years, and they do not want to be left holding Bush's "tarbaby." Instead, they will scrutinize and highlight every twist and turn of Bush's bumbling, murderous efforts as he struggles to leave Iraq. American politics are just that brutal. No wonder there are so many wars. Link

US vetoes UNSC resolution condemning Israel


The United States vetoed on Saturday a U.N. Security Council resolution urging an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza and condemning an Israeli attack there that killed 19 Palestinian civilians.

Nine of the council's 15 members voted for the measure, while four abstained: Britain, Denmark, Japan and Slovakia.

But the "no" vote cast by U.S. Ambassador John Bolton -- his second since he arrived at U.N. headquarters in August 2005 -- was enough to kill the resolution.

The Hamas-led Palestinian government said the veto showed that the United States backed Israel's action. Read more

db: John Bolton is unlikely to find his position as UN ambassador confirmed with the 'new political paradigm' in the US - but no doubt his replacement will continue to back Israel - whatever Israel's crimes. Under Clinton the Democrats were as bad as the Republicans are today. Britain will continue to abstain, and the Arab world will observe - and draw its own conclusions. For an idea of how this plays in the Middle East see Link TV reports here

Neo-Labour misses the point

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

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

"The Welsh, Scottish and local elections next year are our midterms," said Hazel Blears, Labour's chair. "It has to be done differently for us to carry on being successful ... We're looking at how [the Democrats] have upped their game." Read more

db: Duh! They never 'upped their game' - it was Iraq - and Blair is as culpable as Bush.

Vote for anyone but Neo-Labour.

Olmert: Please don't go


For the first time yesterday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert addressed in public the possibility that the United States may withdraw its forces from Iraq following the victory of the Democratic Party in the mid-term congressional elections. Olmert warned against a hasty withdrawal that may undermine the balance of power in the Middle East and endanger the moderate regimes in the region.

"From our point of view every withdrawal needs to be carefully planned," Olmert said, "in order not to undermine the very delicate balance of moderate countries and emirates in the Middle East. This is the main consideration, and America will be very careful before it makes a step that will endanger the very delicate balance in this region of the world - which is important to the stability of much larger regions of the world." Read more

Dead Terrorists

The only good terrorists are dead terrorists and Angry As'ad AbuKhalil has got two of them here

Discredited Blair seeks US-Middle East influence

Tony Blair is to urge the US administration next week to open talks with its great adversaries Syria and Iran, as a way to break the impasse in Iraq and the wider middle east.

He is due to give video link-up evidence to the independent bipartisan panel in Washington headed by James Baker, seen as the vehicle whereby George Bush can change course on Iraq. The evidence, on Tuesday, is regarded as a vital opportunity for the prime minister to influence thinking in Washington at a rare time of flux.

Mr Blair will not call for rapid withdrawal of coalition troops, but believes that Mr Bush is genuinely open to a change of strategy and tone following the US president's reverses in the midterm elections, a UK government official said. Link

db: Lord Blair wants to influence US policy now the Bush policy to which he signed up with enthusiasm has been trashed. He will also ask for a "re-energised push for peace in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict" - is there anybody left who is still buying this nonsense - apart from Neo-Labour party careerists? The man is a fraud.

Germans probe Custer Battles con-men

More news today in the probe into a Middletown-based war contractor accused of defrauding the government, Custer Battles.

German authorities say they're getting help from the U-S Justice Department on a probe into one-point-seven (m) million dollars deposited in German banks by the wife of Mike Battles, who cofounded the firm.

The Justice Department won't comment.

German authorities have seized nearly two (m) million dollars from Jacqueline Battles. They've also put her on an electronic monitor and ordered her to remain in Germany.

Last March, a jury in Virginia found Custer Battles defrauded the U-S government. It ordered the company to pay ten (m) million dollars in a whistleblower lawsuit later overturned on a legal technicality.

A lawyer for Custer Battles says German authorities may not understand that the whistleblower lawsuit was not a criminal case. Link

db: Previously on def brain

Gaza deaths: Puppet Speak

Church and development groups are expressing deep concern as the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip continues to escalate. In the past week alone 86 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli military operations, and critics are raising fresh question about the legaility of their actions.

In response UK foreign secretary Margaret Beckett has called on Israelis and Palestinians to "meet their obligations under international humanitarian law". Link

db: Excellent call oh great foreign secratary glove puppet - those 18 dead Palestinian women and kids were flouting international law - I thought it was only me who spotted it.

John Bolton - 'Bob' and 'No' Hope

Savour this:

The beleaguered George Bush looks certain to lose another senior appointment - his controversial envoy to the United Nations, John Bolton.

The administration's only real hope of reconfirming Ambassador Bolton lay in securing the support of the Republican senator Lincoln Chafee, a moderate from Rhode Island who lost his seat on Tuesday and will stand down at the end of the year. But Mr Chafee has said he will not support Mr Bolton's appointment.

Mr Chafee said he believed that the American public had sent a clear message and that he was obliged to listen. "To confirm Mr Bolton to the position of UN ambassador would fly in the face of the clear consensus of the country that a new direction is called for. I have long believed that the go-it-alone philosophy that has driven this administration's approach to international relations has damaged our leadership position in the world," he said. Link

Friday, November 10, 2006

Not all brains have tripled in size over the last five million years.

Sixteen people were arrested after neo-Nazis, some shouting "Sieg Heil", rampaged through a Germany city and destroyed wreaths placed to mark the anniversary of the 1938 Nazi pogrom against the Jews.

British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin has been cleared for the second time this year of inciting racial hatred.

He emerged from court on Friday to football-style chants of "freedom" from flag-waving supporters and noisy protests from a smaller group of opponents.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Glove Puppet Beckett awaits new orders from US

In the meantime she rattles off the same old claptrap:

Iraq faces greater bloodshed and instability if British troops are withdrawn too early, Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett has said.

Iraqi authorities would be unable to stop the country, already "dangerous and volatile", being turned into a base for terrorism, she told a conference.

"We must not let that happen. In both Afghanistan and Iraq we have to have the courage of our convictions."Link
db: Who, exactly, must have C O U R A G E to attempt to execute a failed foreign policy when even its US architects are rapidly tossing it in the trash? Surely not Mrs Beckett!

Saddam: Now Let's charge the accomplices

by John Pilger

In a show trial whose theatrical climax was clearly timed to promote George W Bush in the American midterm elections, Saddam Hussein was convicted and sentenced to hang. Drivel about "end of an era" and "a new start for Iraq" was promoted by the usual false moral accountants, who uttered not a word about bringing the tyrant's accomplices to justice. Why are these accomplices not being charged with aiding and abetting crimes against humanity?

Why isn't George Bush Snr being charged? In 1992, a congressional inquiry found that Bush as president had ordered a cover-up to conceal his secret support for Saddam and the illegal arms shipments being sent to Iraq via third countries. Missile technology was shipped to South Africa and Chile, then "on sold" to Iraq, while US Commerce Department records were falsified. Congressman Henry Gonzalez, chairman of the House of Representatives Banking Com mittee, said: "[We found that] Bush and his advisers financed, equipped and succoured the monster..."

Why isn't Douglas Hurd being charged? In 1981, as Foreign Office minister, Hurd travelled to Baghdad to sell Saddam a British Aerospace missile system and to "celebrate" the anniversary of Saddam's blood-soaked ascent to power. Why isn't his former cabinet colleague, Tony Newton, being charged? As Thatcher's trade secretary, Newton, within a month of Saddam gassing 5,000 Kurds at Halabja (news of which the Foreign Office tried to suppress), offered the mass murderer 340m pounds in export credits.

Why isn't Donald Rumsfeld being charged? In December 1983, Rumsfeld was in Baghdad to signal America's approval of Iraq's aggression against Iran. Rumsfeld was back in Baghdad on 24 March 1984, the day that the United Nations reported that Iraq had used mustard gas laced with a nerve agent against Iranian soldiers. Rumsfeld said nothing. A subsequent Senate report documented the transfer of the ingredients of biological weapons from a company in Maryland, licensed by the Commerce Department and approved by the State Department.

Why isn't Madeleine Albright being charged? As President Clinton's secretary of state, Albright enforced an unrelenting embargo on Iraq which caused half a million "excess deaths" of children under the age of five. When asked on television if the children's deaths were a price worth paying, she replied: "We think the price is worth it."

Why isn't Peter Hain being charged? In 2001, as Foreign Office minister, Hain described as "gratuitous" the suggestion that he, along with other British politicians outspoken in their support of the deadly siege of Iraq, might find themselves summoned before the International Criminal Court. A report for the UN secretary general by a world authority on international law describes the embargo on Iraq in the 1990s as "unequivocally illegal under existing human rights law", a crime that "could raise questions under the Genocide Convention". Indeed, two past heads of the UN humanitarian mission in Iraq, both of them assistant secretary generals, resigned because the embargo was indeed genocidal. As of July 2002, more than $5bn-worth of humanitarian supplies, approved by the UN Sanctions Committee and paid for by Iraq, were blocked by the Bush administration, backed by the Blair and Hain government. These included items related to food, health, water and sanitation.

Above all, why aren't Blair and Bush Jnr being charged with "the paramount war crime", to quote the judges at Nuremberg and, recently, the chief American prosecutor - that is, unprovoked aggression against a defenceless country?

And why aren't those who spread and amplified propaganda that led to such epic suffering being charged? The New York Times reported as fact fabrications fed to its reporter by Iraqi exiles. These gave credibility to the White House's lies, and doubtless helped soften up public opinion to support an invasion. Over here, the BBC all but celebrated the invasion with its man in Downing Street congratulating Blair on being "conclusively right" on his assertion that he and Bush "would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath". The invasion, it is reliably estimated, has caused 655,000 "excess deaths", overwhelmingly civilians.

If none of these important people are called to account, there is clearly only justice for the victims of accredited "monsters".

Is that real or fake justice?


ICH - This article first appeared in the New Statesman.

'Bush the Great Loser - especially his foreign policy'


European politicians who opposed the U.S.-led war in Iraq say they feel vindicated by the Democrats' victory in U.S. mid-term elections and the resignation of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The reaction across the continent ranged from unrestrained gloating to diplomatic tiptoeing. But the bottom-line message to President George W. Bush over his Iraq campaign was: "We told you so".

"The king has no clothes," said Pino Sgobio, lower house whip of a communist party in Prime Minister Romano Prodi's centre-left coalition. "These elections have certified the failure of six years of (U.S.) foreign and military policy."

European governments, some of whom felt their views were ignored in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, expressed hopes for a new era of open dialogue on a more equal footing with Washington.

Prodi, who came to power last May on an anti-war platform and has vowed to withdraw Italian troops from Iraq by the end of the year, said he hoped U.S.-European relations would have "less friction and more collaboration".

His foreign minister, Massimo D'Alema, was far more direct.

"The cycle of preventative wars, of unilateralism, has ended in a great failure that even the American public has acknowledged," he said.

France, perhaps Europe's fiercest opponent of the war, said Bush and Rumsfeld had been forced to read the writing on the wall.

"We always said what we thought about this action. It's up to them to analyse the situation and draw conclusions from that analysis," said French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie.


The ruling Socialist Party of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, who pulled Madrid's troops out of Iraq after his surprise election victory in March 2004, said the vote was a thumbs-down to Washington's strategy on the war on terrorism.

"The great loser is U.S. President George W. Bush, and, especially, his foreign policy," Jose Blanco, the party's Organisation Secretary, said on a blog.

"(Americans now) realise that invasions like that of Iraq don't get rid of the radicals, but have precisely the opposite effect." Link

db: We can worry about the Democrats later - but for now -Thanks America - you may have made the world a safer place.

Democrats 'take control of both chambers'

The Democrats have now taken control of both chambers of congress, the American media reported late last night. Read more

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Losing war lost election

Informed Comment

... In my view the real significance of the Democratic victory is four-fold.

First, it demonstrates once again that the American public simply will not put up with a return to the age of colonialism and does not want to occupy Asian countries militarily. Do you think that Abu Ghraib and American torture-pornography, the daily grind of violence, the stupid mistakes, have passed them by so that they didn't notice? They might swallow all this reluctantly but they want light at the end of the tunnel. There is not any in Iraq...

Second, Bush is not going to be able to put any more Scalia types on the Federal benches or the Supreme Court.

Third, a Bush administration war on Iran now seems highly unlikely. A major initiative of that sort would need funding, and I don't think Congress will grant it. The Democrats don't want an Iran with a nuclear weapon any more than the Republicans do. But they are more likely to recognize that there is no good evidence that Iran even has a nuclear weapons program, and have been chastened by Iraq enough to distrust purely military solutions to such crises.

Fourth, there will now finally be accountability. It is obvious to me that the Bush administration has been engaged in large-scale crimes and corruption, and has gotten away with it because the Republican heads of the relevant committees have refused to investigate these crimes. Democratic committee heads with subpoena power will finally be able to force the Pentagon and other institutions to fork over the smoking gun documents, and then will be in a position to prosecute. Read more

db: So what did it? What brought abour this 'popular revolution', as Juan Cole put it? 600,000 dead Iraqis or the 2800+ US dead? The military-Industrial complex? Corruption, wars of aggression, Abu Ghraib? Maybe the Israel lobby, or secret prisons or renditions?

None of the above. It's the LOSING that hurts.

UK's Iraq policy 'a rank disaster'


British policy in Iraq has been a "rank disaster", a former diplomat told MPs on Wednesday as he pledged to reveal secret evidence about the war.

Carne Ross - who quit the Foreign Office in protest at the war - said foreign policy should be measured on its effectiveness at relieving suffering.

"If that's your measure of policy it has been a rank disaster in terms of bloodshed," he told the foreign affairs select committee.

"By that measure, the invasion has been a much greater disaster even than Suez."

Mr Ross, who was based in the US in the years leading up to the invasion, left the Foreign Office after giving evidence to Lord Butler's inquiry.

And he told the committee that despite legal advice that it could leave him in breach of the Official Secrets Act, he would provide it with the evidence he gave.

He was giving evidence as part of the committee's examination of the Foreign Office's strategy paper.

The MPs also heard from senior ex-diplomats including Sir Jeremy Greenstock, who was the UK's ambassador to the United Nations and then Tony Blair's special envoy in Iraq.

He said Iraq had become a "great cause" that had helped terrorist groups to recruit fresh members and said the world was "not yet safer from terrorism" as a result of the invasion.

"Because of the security deficit in Iraq, terrorists are able to to operate there as they might not have done under Saddam Hussein," Sir Jeremy said. "If the situation continues or deteriorates further, there will be a longer-term opportunity for al Qaida to commit terrorist attacks in Iraq...and harden their people in battle." Read more

Iraq MPs welcome Rumsfeld departure

Iraqi lawmakers welcomed the resignation of US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld overnight, saying they held him responsible for many of the war-torn country's ongoing woes.

Politicians were unanimous in their pleasure at seeing the controversial American politician, one of the architects of the US-led invasion of Iraq, move on.

"The resignation came late," said venerable Shiite politician Mahmud Othman. "He should have made it right after the scandal of Abu Ghraib in the Spring of 2004.

"He should have been held responsible back then because he was the number one man in charge of Iraq, and it might have been better if he'd handed in his resignation earlier," he added.

For nationalist Sunni Arab politician Saleh al-Mutlak, a vocal opponent of the US-led invasion, the resignation represents an "awakening of the American conscious".

"Everything that Rumsfeld and his rule did in Iraq was against ethics and against humanitarian attitudes, and it does not reflect the policies of a civilized country like the United States," he said from Dubai. Read more

Police contact Gordon Brown in funding probe


Police probing allegations political parties awarded state honours in return for cash have contacted a host of senior government ministers, fuelling speculation Prime Minister Tony Blair may be questioned soon.

Police sent letters to most members of Blair's 2005 cabinet, including Chancellor Gordon Brown, requesting evidence in their probe, ministers' aides and a government source said on Wednesday.

Detectives want to know if ministers were aware that four rich businessmen who helped bankroll the ruling Labour Party's 2005 election campaign had been nominated by Blair for seats in parliament's unelected upper house.

The slew of police contacts has heightened long-standing speculation that Blair will eventually be quizzed. The prime minister's office said he had not been contacted.

When the cash-for-honours row flared in March this year, Blair said he knew about the undeclared loans from individuals who were later nominated for Lords seats, also known as peerages, but denied there was any link.

If questioned, Blair would become the first prime minister since Lloyd George in the 1920s to be interviewed by police in a cash-for-honours probe. That probe resulted in a 1925 law making it illegal to sell state honours.

The furore has led to demands for reform of political party funding in Britain and heaped pressure on Blair to step down. Read more

Israeli shells kill 18 women and children in Gaza

AP/The Age

Israeli tank shells landed in a residential neighbourhood north of Beit Hanoun early yesterday, killing at least 18 people, including eight children, in their sleep, according to witnesses.

Khaled Radi, a Health Ministry official, said of the 18 dead, 13 were from the same family. He said at least 40 more were wounded, all civilians.

According to witnesses, all those killed were women and children. Four hospitals were treating the wounded across Gaza.

Palestinian security officials said that five tank shells landed in the area within 15 minutes. Most the casualties were caused to a row of homes belonging to members of one family.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack. "This is a horrible, ugly massacre committed by the occupation against our children, our women and elderly in Beit Hanoun," he said.

"We urge and call the (UN) Security Council to convene immediately to stop the massacres committed against our people."

In a huge demonstration outside the morgue at the Kamal Adwan hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, thousands called for revenge.

"We are going to launch our rockets, our martyrs are going to sacrifice their lives in the depths of our occupied land," said Nizar Rayan, a Hamas leader in northern Gaza.

Thousands gathered outside hospitals weeping as the bodies arrived. Witnesses said that many of the dead arrived in sleeping clothes.

The shelling came after Israeli attacks in Gaza and the West Bank killed at least 15 people following a pull-out from the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun at the end of a bloody week-long sweep. Link

Monday, November 06, 2006

Robert Fisk: This was a guilty verdict on America as well


So America's one-time ally has been sentenced to death for war crimes he committed when he was Washington's best friend in the Arab world. America knew all about his atrocities and even supplied the gas - along with the British, of course - yet there we were yesterday declaring it to be, in the White House's words, another "great day for Iraq". That's what Tony Blair announced when Saddam Hussein was pulled from his hole in the ground on 13 December 2003. And now we're going to string him up, and it's another great day. Read more

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Bush's Dirty Secrets

Washington Post

The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods" that their captors used to get them to talk.

The government says in new court filings that those interrogation methods are now among the nation's most sensitive national security secrets and that their release -- even to the detainees' own attorneys -- "could reasonably be expected to cause extremely grave damage." Read more

Israeli sniper kills 12-year old girl

The Hindu/AP

Israeli troops killed seven Hamas militants, including a top rocketmaker, and two other Palestinians, including a girl, died Saturday, the fourth day of an Israeli offensive against Palestinian rocket squads in and around the northern Gaza border town of Beit Hanoun.

A municipal official said the town's electricity was cut and water was in short supply. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appealed for United Nations intervention to stop the Israeli operation.

In the latest incident, a 12-year-old girl was shot in the head and killed by an Israeli sniper, Palestinian officials said. The Israeli military said the sniper was aiming at an armed militant and hit the girl by mistake. The military expressed regret. Link

db: Regret? Why for you regret oh great IDF warriors? It was another legendary success! Kill them all - women, kids, the 'top rocket makers', their friends, family, anyone standing nearby - then maybe you will once more be feared - like you were before Hezbollah drove you from Lebanon with your tails between your legs.

The Power of Israel in the United States - Audio

Information Clearing House:

An interview with James Petras, author, "The Power of Israel in the United States"

Beelzebub Rocks US Evangelicals

Washington Post

The Rev. Ted Haggard**, the Colorado minister who resigned Thursday as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, admitted yesterday that he bought methamphetamine and received a massage from a male prostitute.

But Haggard told reporters outside his home in Colorado Springs that the massage was arranged by a Denver hotel and was not sexual. He also said he threw the drugs away. "I never kept it very long, because it's -- it was wrong. I was tempted. I bought it, but I never used it," he said. Read more

db: A Beautiful thing

**Pastor Ted Haggard is the president of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), the largest evangelical group in America. He is also founder and senior pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He formed and serves as the president of both the Association of Life-Giving Churches, a network of local churches, and, the only real-time global prayer network.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Israeli forces kill unarmed women


Israeli forces fired on a crowd of Palestinian women trying to protect gunmen hiding in a Gaza mosque, killing at least two of them and wounded several others.

Hundreds of women came to the mosque, located in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, and were urged to form a ring around the building by Hamas radio.

"Palestinian gunmen had holed up inside of this mosque," said CTV's Middle East Bureau Chief Janis Mackey Frayer, reporting from Jerusalem.

"It had been a number of hours of a standoff, and so a call to women was broadcast over the radio, which is very rare. Women responded in droves. They started to head to the mosque and that's when Israeli troops opened fire."

Hospital officials said the two killed women were both aged 40. One of the wounded, a 36-year-old housewife named Tahrir Shahin, told The Associated Press she had felt compelled to come to the mosque.

A bullet struck her leg, which doctors were forced to amputate above the knee. She has seven children.

"I was so upset about what was happening, so I answered their call," she said in hospital.

Between one dozen and three dozen gunmen had been hiding out in the mosque since Thursday, reportedly seeking refuge from Israeli troops. The militants were thought to be armed members of the ruling Hamas party's military wing.

The Israeli army said they fired into the crowd after noticing two of the militants hiding among the women. Read more

db: Those were brave women - that I am sure. Israeli forces sank to a 'new' low. Sky News showed the action - it was difficult to watch - and hard not to get a little angry. This sort of thing would not be happening if there was a genuine desire to eradicate 'terrorism'. It seems however that there is a desire to provoke it.

How could one be a Palestinian of fighting age and not wish for revenge. To carry a gun, and point it at the IDF, means becoming a 'terrorist'. But you would wouldn't you?

Dead Pakistanis were guilty of 'running in a circle'

New details begin to emerge which cast light upon the motives behind US/Pakistan[?] bombing of Islamic school - which killed 80, including children.

AP: Late Thursday, state-run Pakistan Television broadcast an aerial surveillance video that the government said showed men receiving militant training before the attack. The poor-quality footage, shot with an infrared camera, showed people doing simple physical exercises, such as leg stretches and running in a circle. No weapons were visible. Read more

Our friend Editor had this to say ealier via comments on a previous post:

This was a US operation. The US has been pissed off that Pakistan struck a peace deal with these tribal areas and talks were ongoing in this area the night before.

The Pakistani government are not stupid enoigh to sign their own death warrants by attacking a location like this but we know who is! (The US).

There is now no chance of any further peace deal in these tribal areas which will simply lead to more fighting, more US soldiers killed, more support for the Taliban and more attacks in Pakistan.

Seems our good old government and the dogs in the CIA have still learned nothing from the FIASCO that has been 5 YEARS of bringing peace to Afghanistan (where's the peace?) and the total clusterfuck that Iraq now is!

British see Bush as bigger threat than Kim Jong Il or Iran


British voters see US President Bush as a greater threat to world peace than either the North Korean leader or the Iranian president, according to a poll.

The international survey by ICM for the Guardian newspaper in Britain and publications and newspapers in Israel, Canada and Mexico, exposes high levels of distrust in US policy.

In Britain 69% of those questioned believed US policy had made the world less safe since 2001, with only 7% thinking action in Iraq and Afghanistan had increased global security.

Results also showed opinion against the Iraq war has hardened strongly since a similar survey before the US presidential election in 2004.

In Britain 71% of voters said the invasion was unjustified, a view shared by 89% of Mexicans and 73% of Canadians.

The poll also ranked President Bush with some of his bitterest enemies as a cause of global anxiety.

The US leader is outranked by Osama Bin Laden in all four countries, but the results are close in Britain, where 87% of those questioned think the al Qaida leader is a great or moderate danger to peace compared to 75% who think the same of President Bush.

The US president is also seen as a more dangerous man than Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, President of Iran, who 62% of voters think is a risk, the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il (69%) and the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah (65%).

Only 10% of British voters think President Bush poses no danger at all.

ICM interviewed a random sample of 1,010 adults in the UK by telephone between October 27 and 30 as part of the survey. Read more

db: I had a patriotic moment there. But I feel better now.