Bob's Links and Rants
Friday, September 19, 2003
So what really happened?
Yesterday, there were reports of as many as eight US soldiers killed near Ramadi in Iraq. Robert Fisk's description of the incident seems to suggest that the total of dead and wounded was at least eight. But Centcom's report says three dead, two wounded. And the US media seem to have dropped the story altogether. These are real people who were killed or wounded in a war based on lies, and the press hardly seems to care.
Clark again
I already said we should forget about Clark, but Billmon has a bunch of reasons for forgetting about... about...

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Good anti-sprawl commentary
From Scott McElrath in the Ann Arbor News. Excerpt:

Results? We become more dependent on cars and commuting because we continue to desire to live away from it all in search of our little slice of America. Ahh, the American dream. But the dream has diminishing returns as we spend more time and money commuting than we do actually fulfilling any real pursuit of happiness. Why are we chasing this evaporative dream as it leads us farther and farther away from where we work and play? Until the public becomes more discriminating and says, "We don't want to live in anonymous cardboard box houses posing as McMansions in curving streets where there is no reason to curve the streets because it used to be a cornfield."

People are dying in Iraq to keep gas cheap so Americans can continue to move to these places. Enough already!

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Saudis Want Nukes
The country with all sorts of links to 9/11 and the Bush administration is considering joining the nuclear club.

Billmon has plenty on this, along with lots of interesting comments.

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From Mark Streeter.
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Welcome to Vietnam, Mr. President. Sorry you didn't go when you had the chance.

Former Georgia senator and triple-amputee Vietnam vet Max Cleland rips Bush, compares Iraq to Vietnam.

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Forget Clark
He says he probably would have voted for the war. We've already got plenty of those in the race.

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War was a fraud made up in Texas: Ted Kennedy
"There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud." -- Senator Edward Kennedy

He said Bush officials employed "distortion, misrepresentation, a selection of intelligence" to justify the war.

As for the administration's current policy in Iraq, Kennedy called it "adrift." He said Bush officials had failed to account for $1.5 billion of the $4 billion the war costs each month, citing a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office. "My belief is this money is being shuffled all around to these political leaders in all parts of the world, bribing them to send in troops," he told the AP.

The Republican response?
"The senator's comments reflect the tired old soft-on-defense attitude of the Democratic Party," the Republican official told CNN, speaking on condition of anonymity. "And the American people are thankful for a strong and decisive leader in President Bush who isn't afraid to make tough decisions."

Or really, really bad ones. Of course, we can probably expect a stronger attack on Kennedy from Republicrats like Daschle, Biden and Lieberman. Why does it seem that the only real backbone in the Senate comes from the senior citizens: 71-year-old Kennedy, 81-year-old Hollings, and 85-year-old Byrd?

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Arrogance of the Rich Leads to Solidarity of the Poor at the WTO
George Monbiot thinks the "failure" of the WTO talks in Cancun may lead to a major change in how things are done in the world.
Thursday, September 18, 2003
Promise Kept

Tom Tomorrow linked to my blog today. I promised him I'd buy two of his books if he did. (I would have bought them anyway--Tom's cartoons and blog introduced me to lots of issues that I never paid much attention to before.)

BTW, the T-shirt I am modeling, the World's Largest Human Peace Sign, may be purchased through the Ann Arbor Area Committee for Peace. Contact Mitch Abrams if you'd like to buy one! There were approximately 2500 people in that peace sign on February 8 on the University of Michigan diag in 15-degree weather. And, BTW, WE WERE RIGHT!

At least three US soldiers killed in Iraq
According to the BBC. US sources like CNN are only reporting what the military tells them, which is that "at least two soldiers were wounded" in the combined mine/small-arms-fire attack. The Guardian reports at least EIGHT soldiers killed.
More on Powell at Halabja
Colin Powell's visit to Halabja, the infamous location where "Saddam gassed his own people," was a masterpiece of hypocrisy, as I've mentioned here and here. But according to the Mahablog, I didn't know the half of it. Some excerpts:

[addressing Powell]:
Let's not talk about "the world's" reaction to this tragedy, Mr. Secretary. Let's talk about your reaction. In 1988 then senators Claiborne Pell, Al Gore, and Jesse Helms introduced a bill to impose economic sanctions on Iraq in response to its use of chemical weapons. The Reagan White House blocked that bill. You were part of the Reagan White House, Mr. Secretary.
The truth is, 15 years ago the dead of Halabja were an inconvenience. You and others in the Reagan-Bush White House made sure those deaths didn't get in the way of your foreign policy agenda. But when the agenda became an invasion of Iraq, you shamelessly dug up the Halabja corpses and put them on display for your own purposes. Suddenly, you really, really cared about them.

Mahablog also cites a 1993 LA Times article. Here's an excerpt ("Bush" refers, of course, to Bush senior):

Getting new aid from Washington was critical for Iraq in the waning months of 1989 and the early months of 1990 because international bankers had cut off virtually all loans to Baghdad. They were alarmed that it was falling behind in repaying its debts but continuing to pour millions of dollars into arms purchases, even though the Iran-Iraq War had ended in the summer of 1988.

In addition to clearing the way for new financial aid, senior Bush aides as late as the spring of 1990 overrode concern among other government officials and insisted that Hussein continue to be allowed to buy so-called "dual use" technology -- advanced equipment that could be used for both civilian and military purposes. The Iraqis were given continued access to such equipment, despite emerging evidence that they were working on nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction. ...

And the pressure in 1989 and 1990 to give Hussein crucial financial assistance and maintain his access to sophisticated U.S. technology were not isolated incidents.

Rather, classified documents obtained by The Times show, they reflected a long-secret pattern of personal efforts by Bush -- both as President and as vice president -- to support and placate the Iraqi dictator. Repeatedly, when serious objections to helping Hussein arose within the government, Bush and aides following his directives intervened to suppress the resistance.

Powell was national security advisor from '87 to '89, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from '89 to '93. He was aware of and involved in these policies of the Reagan and Bush administrations. If he thinks the world should have acted earlier, he was in positions to do something about it. And he did. He helped Saddam Hussein.

We report, you decide...
The operation in Iraq will also serve as a launching pad for further diplomatic overtures, pressures and even military actions against others in the region who have supported terrorism and garnered weapons of mass destruction. Don’t look for stability as a Western goal. Governments in Syria and Iran will be put on notice — indeed, may have been already — that they are “next” if they fail to comply with Washington’s concerns.
As for the political leaders themselves, President Bush and Tony Blair should be proud of their resolve in the face of so much doubt.
-- Gen. Wesley Clark, April 10, 2003
Byrd flies again!
Remember that that $87 billion is just for 2004 alone. Does anyone really believe that it will be the last request for Iraq?

The President asked America for a generation of "sacrifice," but that noble sounding word does not reveal the true nature of what this President demands from the American people. He asks them to supply the fighting men and women to prosecute his war. He implores our people to sacrifice adequate health care; he asks them to settle for less than the best education for their children; he asks them to sacrifice medical research that could prolong and save lives; he asks them to put up with unsafe highways and dangerous bridges; he asks them to live with substandard housing and foul water; he asks them to forego better public transportation, and not just for now, for generations, and all of it for his folly in Iraq. Most puzzling to this Senator is this President's stubborn refusal to guard against the terror threat here at home by adequately funding Homeland Security. Is he asking us all to risk the safety of our homeland, too?
Senator Robert Byrd.

"The Kooch" 4 Prez!
I got mentioned on Tom Tomorrow's blog!
This would mean I've reached the bigtime, except for the fact that I'm bragging about it, which a real big-time blogger would never do. That, and I sent him an e-mail promising to buy two of his books if he posted my comment.
Bush says there's no evidence of an Iraq-9/11 link
Busy, Busy, Busy has the transcript of Bush's interview with John King on CNN yesterday. CNN still mentions it on their home page; nothing to be seen on the home pages of the NY Times and Washington Post.

Tom Tomorrow asks why the Bushies are all of a sudden coming clean on this issue. I'd suggest that the arrival of Isabel on the east coast made the timing even better than a Friday afternoon--the hurricane has already blown the issue off the front pages. A more interesting possibility is the O'Neill family lawsuit against Iraq that I mentioned yesterday. With the administration denying the link, that lawsuit won't have much traction, and the Bushies won't have to worry about any 9/11 families getting any of their hard-stolen Iraqi oil revenues.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
"For the last six months I have participated in what I believe to be the great modern lie: Operation Iraqi Freedom."
First line in a commentary written by a US soldier in Iraq, printed in today's LA Times.
Florida families demand that troops be brought home

We are determined to continue on this campaign to the end. If necessary, a group of mothers will go on an indefinite hunger strike. You will not only be responsible for the lives of our soldiers, but for that of their mothers. We shall not accept political apologies. Lack of governmental will by President Bush to work together with the United Nations and to restore the power to the Iraqis is the reason why the participation of an international force comprised by big nations is not possible. The coalition we are being told about does not really exist. It is our troops that carry the load of this war. It is our children who are being sacrificed due to an arrogant and unfair attitude.

For this and for other reasons, we demand the return of our soldiers now!! We shall not abandon our loved ones; we shall not abandon our troops. We shall continue demanding their return day-by-day, street-by-street, door-to-door. We will ask the world to join us. We will not abandon our fight until our soldiers are back in our homes.

I wonder if these papers deliver to undisclosed locations?
Several newspapers had blistering editorials about Useless Dick Cheney's lie-a-thon on Meet the Press Sunday. (Me too.)
I wish William Safire were right on more issues!
Because when it comes to protecting civil liberties and blocking media consolidation, he's great! If he only understood what George Orwell and James Madison and Abraham Lincoln did, that wars (on terror, of liberation, for oil, whatever) are shortcuts to tyranny.


From Mike Thompson.
O'Neill's family files $1 billion lawsuit against Iraq for 9/11
At first viewing, this story evokes scorn or pity--the grieving relatives of former FBI terrorist-chaser John O'Neill, who died in the WTC on 9/11/01, have been duped into believing that Iraq was somehow behind 9/11. O'Neill, of all people, was aware of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda--he'd been chasing them for years, investigating the African embassy bombings and the Cole attack, among others. The lack of support he was getting at the FBI (which is a part of Ashcroft's Justice Department) had finally driven O'Neill to resign and take the job as head of security for the WTC. He'd been there less than two weeks when the planes hit. Surely his family would have known that OBL was the chief suspect to have been the mastermind, not Saddam. If not, it was all over the news back then, anyway. So how could they be so duped?

But then, think about it. Who's running Iraq now? A judgment against Iraq might come out of Halliburton's profits. So right away, the Bush administration becomes the DEFENDANT in the case, and will be tempted to defend Saddam against the charges. This poses all sorts of problems for them (which is a very good thing). Not only will they be testifying in court, under oath, that their evidence tying Saddam and al Qaeda is mostly bunk. They will also be forced to discuss details of what little truth there may be about the connection. And most of that would go back to the late '80's and early '90's, when the US was supporting both the mujahadeen in Afghanistan (the proto-al Qaeda) and Iraq. It would also likely run heavily through Saudi Arabia and the many Bush-family ties to that corrupt and brutal regime.

So O'Neill's family and their lawyer may be on to something big. Either they get a big showy trial which uncovers, under oath, most of the deception and lies that the Bushies have been telling for over two years, or, more likely, they get a huge settlement to shut up about it.
Clark is Anti-War? A General Misconception

While recent coverage of Clark often claims that he opposed the war with Iraq, the various opinions he has expressed on the issue suggest the media's "anti-war" label is inaccurate.
A review of his statements before, during and after the war reveals that Clark has taken a range of positions-- from expressing doubts about diplomatic and military strategies early on, to celebrating the U.S. "victory" in a column declaring that George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair "should be proud of their resolve in the face of so much doubt" (London Times, 4/10/03).
-- from FAIR, which has a bunch of other Clark quotes in the article.

So forget what I said about Clark before. Just another Dean.
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Buzzflash brings you
this cool excerpt from Al Franken's book!


Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday he had no reason to believe that Iraq's Saddam Hussein had a hand in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

At a Pentagon news conference, Rumsfeld was asked about a poll that indicated nearly 70 percent of respondents believed the Iraqi leader probably was personally involved.

I've not seen any indication that would lead me to believe that I could say that,'' Rumsfeld said.

Pick your comment:

This was on CNN; I doubt if it makes Fox News. It should be headline news everywhere. You and I and Rummy have known it all along, but Bush and Cheney and Rice and Ari and all the other liars, including Rumsfeld, have hinted at the connection for so long that 70% of Americans apparently believed there was some connection.

I believe a lot of the stuff in the so-called conspiracy theories, but they're unnecessary. There's plenty of grounds for impeaching pretty much the entire Bush administration based on their own words in the public record.

Getting Along at the UN:
Since extending the kind offer to old Europe and the rest of the UN to join in the expenditure of lives and treasure known as Operation Enduring Iraqi Occupation, the Bushies have decided that casting a veto and only no vote in the UN Security Council on a resolution calling on Israel not to expell Yasser Arafat would be their next attempt at reconciliation.

I mentioned the Detroit Tigers below. They've got a pitcher who has lost 20 games, the first one to do so in over 20 years in major league baseball. A pitcher can't lose 20 games on his own. He has to be on a team which supports this effort, through weak hitting, poor defense, a bad bullpen, and the lack of anybody better to replace him. George W. Bush has a similar support structure. If a president 30 or 40 years ago had been this bad, he wouldn't have been able to do nearly this much damage. A less corrupt congress, a more independent media, and a better informed public would have quickly stopped playing along. Bush's success at destroying so much both abroad and at home is possible only through an almost totally bought-off congress, consolidated and coordinated media, and probably the dumbest public ever anywhere.

At a time when hatred for America is reaching an all-time high, this further abandonment of the Palestinians is sure to have very nasty repercussions.
Dave Barry on Dean:
As I write these words, the front-running Democrat is a surprise newcomer named Howard Dean, who is the mayor of Rhode Island or something. It doesn't matter. The important thing is: He's new! He's hot! He's on the Internet! He's got Martin Sheen! Above all, he's not ''Dick'' Gephardt! We in the news media currently love Howard, and we will actively promote his candidacy until we receive word from News Media Conspiracy Headquarters that it's time to crush him like an ant.
Respect and the Detroit Tigers:
The Tigers lost their third in a row after winning the series opener. "A win is a win, even against them," Kansas City manager Tony Pena said. -- ESPN

Bush talks baseball, TV with God
Particularly disturbing was the revelation that, during his discussions with God, Bush forgot to ask key questions such as, "Where's Osama bin Laden?," "Is Saddam Hussein still alive?," and "What's the deal with Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction?" Instead, he said, "we often discussed Gilligan's Island."

"God was angry about the Mary Anne/Ginger debate," said Bush. "He said people who were focused on which girl they liked best were missing the point."

Orwell's Estate to Sue Bush Administration for Copyright Infringement

Opinions You Should Have
A hilarious blog! Almost as funny as this one, but more modest.
Lucky OBL
Harley Sorensen says that Osama bin Laden is the luckiest man in the world:
It seems quite possible that the absence of follow-up attacks on America can be explained by a lack of necessity for them. From bin Laden's point of view, everything in America is happening just the way he likes it. We are becoming more and more like a Middle Eastern emirate and less and less like the world's foremost democracy.

Why should bin Laden attack us again and rock the boat? Mr. Bush is doing his work for him.

Will there ever be another terrorist attack here? The experts say yes, and they're most likely right. When will it be? My guess: sometime next year, timed to draw the fearful closer to Mr. Bush and assure his re-election.

The best the lucky bin Laden could possibly hope for is four more years of George W. Bush.

You've probably noticed that I sometimes lack the tact to refrain from saying "I said that a long time ago!" This is one of those times. Except whereas Sorensen thinks Osama was just lucky to have Bush as an ally, I think Osama recognized opportunity when it came knocking. Here's a cartoon I made in July 2002:

Senate votes against FCC rule change!
The Senate voted 55 to 40 today to wipe out all of the Federal Communication Commission's controversial new media rules, employing a little used legislative tool for overturning agency regulations.

The resolution of disapproval, sponsored by Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), is now put on the House calendar, where a tougher vote is expected. Even if passed by the House, the White House has promised a veto.
-- WaPo.

Of course it does. Even Trent Lott is on the right side of some issues, like this one. George W. Bush is on the wrong side of EVERY issue.
Clark's In
Gen. Wesley Clark will run for president, according to AP.

I still wish Clark had decided he was a Republican and taken on Bush for that nomination. Wouldn't it be great next November if he was the worst we could do instead of being our only hope? But still, I'm glad he's in. Either he throws the whole thing wide open, giving Kucinich a better chance, or he takes over the lead from Dean. I still think Kucinich is the best candidate, but from what I've seen Clark is probably my second choice (the "electable" thing unfortunately given some consideration).

(Warning: Tongue firmly in cheek from here on...)
To give his ticket a more liberal image, I suggest that he get Ramsey Clark to be his VP candidate: "Clark/Clark '04" has a nice ring to it! If he feels he has to appeal to the wingnuts, he could get former Pentagon spokesperson Victoria Clarke instead. (She may not be eligible, as her planet of birth is unknown.) Or maybe he can get Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) as his running mate: "Clark/Kent '04!" sends a pretty strong subliminal message, I think!

Doing His Duty
Democratic Veteran writes about a Republican Missouri state senator, Jon Dolan, who is also a member of the Army National Guard. He was called up and assigned guard duty at Guantanamo Bay, but two weeks later he asked for and got "special leave" to go back to Missouri and break a veto on an attempted gun-control bill.

Some national guard members have been stationed in Iraq for months, called away from jobs, school and family, and many facing personal problems such as breakups and divorces. No trips home for them. But when Missourians are faced with the prospect of not being able to carry as many weapons as they want, now THAT's important!

I'll bet former Missouri governor and senator John Ashcrotch had something to do with this.
Now and Then
Recently, Bushies have been blaming some of the chaos in Iraq on prisoners that Saddam released last fall (that is, when they're not trying to claim that the US "liberators" emptied the prisons). This is certainly in keeping with their generally policy of blaming everything everywhere on previous administrations, but it might be helpful to recall the Bushies reaction to the prisoners being released when it happened:

QUESTION: After all these years, the Iraqis not only released all their political prisoners, but also shipped back several truckloads of documents that had been stolen from Kuwait. After all this time, to do two of those things in the course of two or three days, what do you make of this?

MR. FLEISCHER: Well, as Secretary Powell said, the release of the prisoners appears to be a political ploy. But it's hard to know what to make of all of this. Saddam Hussein does not often act in a way that is clear or that is rational or even that is open and conclusive. That's why I indicated earlier that nobody knows how many prisoners have really been released. Nobody knows how many he had.
-- White House Press Briefing, 10/21/02

"Do you really think, if these people are dangerous to the regime, that they're going to be allowed out and stay out? Or are they going to be back in jail in about three days' time?" Powell asked. -- AFP, 10/21/02

So last fall, these people were neither numerous nor dangerous, and now they're the reason the Bushies can't control the country.
Chaos in Iraq
"In July this year alone, we got 780 deaths, with 460 of them due to gunshot wounds. That's the equivalent in one month of deaths due to gunfire that we would normally get in a year and a half," says Faik Amin Bakr, the head of Baghdad's Medical-Legal Institute. -- AFP

Someone please explain!

I'm a big fan of Ted Rall's. I admire his courage. But I'm struggling to understand this cartoon. As Rall frequently does, he couches an issue in an allegory with even more emotionally-charged issues (rape, Afghanistan). I can't really tell if he's taking the side of the real RIAA (the Recording Industry Association of America) or the teenagers and others who share copyrighted music over the Internet. Knowing Rall's work, I would suspect that he would come down on the side of the teenagers. But this cartoon seems to suggest that the issue would be clearer if the crime were more serious. Or maybe that the RIAA is blowing it out of proportion. Let me know what you think! Recording Industry or teenagers? Which side is Ted Rall supporting?
Stupid Worthless Democrats!!!
David Helfert, a spokesman for Congressman David Obey, D-Wisconsin, who criticized the White House for relying too heavily on murky intelligence to get support for the war, said Friday that Congressional Democrats would no longer pursue hearings on the intelligence matter.

"We’re past that," Helfert said, referring to the intelligence issue. "Those questions were eclipsed by the supplemental request by President Bush for $87 billion" to fund the Iraq war. "Congress if focusing on asking questions about the $87 billion, what it will be used for and whether it’s worth it. It would be a good characterization to say that the intelligence questions on Iraq and how the President came to believe that it had weapons of mass destruction are no longer an issue."

So by making an absolutely absurd request for an enormous amount of money to continue the brutal occupation that his illegal war caused, Bush gets off the hook for the lies that led to that war? We can't stand for this! Call Congress, insist on an investigation. We're not "past that," and don't let Congress think we are. They should ignore each and every request from the Liar in Chief until he is uninstalled by impeachment or a fair election.

Independent Media? Hardly.
I think the press was muzzled, and I think the press self-muzzled. I'm sorry to say, but certainly television and, perhaps, to a certain extent, my station was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News. And it did, in fact, put a climate of fear and self-censorship, in my view, in terms of the kind of broadcast work we did. -- CNN's Christiane Amanpour

Does Fox News deny the charge? No way.

Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti said of Amanpour's comments: "Given the choice, it's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda."

How about being an objective journalist? And al-Qaeda? Fox is still pushing that nonsense about Iraq? At least get your ridiculous insults straight and call Christiane a "spokeswoman for Saddam." Idiot!

[Update]: Tom Burka says the spokeswoman for al-Qaeda job is still open.
Monday, September 15, 2003
Update on Powell in Halabja
Maybe Colin was in the right place after all:

While past error is no indication of future action, the Kurds have not forgotten that Secretary of State Colin Powell was then the national security adviser who orchestrated Ronald Reagan's decision to give Hussein a pass for gassing the Kurds. -- Boston Globe, 12/15/02, via Atrios.

In my post below, I suggested that Colin Powell was in part responsible for the "highway of death" massacres at the end of the first Gulf War. Well, he was in part responsible for Halabja, too. It's amazing that he had the chutzpah to go there and complain about his old friend Saddam.

Powell told the people of Halabja: "I cannot tell you that the world should have acted sooner. You know that. What I can tell you is that what happened here in 1988 is never going to happen again."

Right, Colin. The world should have acted sooner. You should have told Nancy's astrologer to tell Nancy to tell Don Regan to tell Reagan not to give Saddam any more support as long as he was gassing people. Except you didn't care for the people of Iraq then any more than you do now. The criminal returning to the scene of the crime. Next stop: My Lai!
Recall Recalled
LOS ANGELES - A federal appeals court postponed the Oct. 7 recall election Monday in a decision that threw an already chaotic campaign into utter turmoil.
Kucinich on Israel/Palestine
Here's what Dennis Kucinich said in Congress last year:
The same humanity that requires us to acknowledge with profound concerns the pain and suffering of the people of Israel requires a similar expression for the pain and suffering of the Palestinians. When our brothers and sisters are fighting to the death, instead of declaring solidarity with one against the other, should we not declare solidarity with both for peace, so that both may live in security and freedom?

If we seek to require the Palestinians, who do not have their own state, to adhere to a higher standard of conduct, should we not also ask Israel, with over a half century experience with statehood, to adhere to the basic standard of conduct, including meeting the requirements of international law?

So Dean says just a little bit of this, "don't take sides," and makes front-page news, while Kucinich has been saying it for over a year. C'mon Lieberman, Kerry, Pelosi: Bring 'em on!
Some war criminals have some common sense...
Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in ‘mission creep,’ and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, there was no viable ‘exit strategy’ we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome. -- George H. W. Poppy Read My Lips 41 Bush, cited by William Rivers Pitt.
Investigations Over, Nothing Found, Wars Continue...
One of the things this points out that’s important for us to understand—so there’s this great temptation to look at these events as discreet events. We got hit on 9/11. So we can go and investigate it. It’s over with now. It’s done. It’s history and put it behind us. -- Cheney on Meet the Press

After failing to get any evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the US and Britain have decided to delay indefinitely the publication of a full report on the controversial issue, media reported today. -- Tom Tomorrow citing a link which doesn't work anymore.
Powell visits mass grave
The one in Halabja where Saddam "gassed his own people." Why don't you go to this mass grave next, Colin?

That's where the forces under Powell's command mercilessly bombed Iraqis retreating from Kuwait. Go here to see many more pictures from the first Gulf War.
Sunday, September 14, 2003
Veep from the Deep Surfaces to Discharge Sewage
Useless Dick was on Meet the Press this morning, his pacemaker set, as usual, on LIE:

"[$87 Billion is] all that we think we'll need for the foreseeable future, for this year," Mr. Cheney said. He did not rule out the possibility of subsequent requests for more funds.

So kiss your social security and low interest rates and pretty much the foreseeable future of this country--all the money's going to be flushed down the Iraqi toilet.

Mr. Cheney conceded that he had misspoken when, during a television interview last spring, he said Iraq had "reconstituted nuclear weapons," but he expressed confidence that evidence that Mr. Hussein had a program for unconventional weapons would be uncovered. He also said he had played no role in obtaining contracts for the Halliburton Company, which he once led, for projects in postwar Iraq.

The defendant claimed that he had misspoken when he yelled "Fire!" in the crowded theater, which led to the deaths of thousands. He expressed confidence that the mean looking guy in the third row was thinking about buying a cigarette lighter, and who knows what he might have done with it? And that part about nuclear weapons was critical to getting the war which made Halliburton's contracts possible, so chalk up another lie for UD.

Mr. Cheney stood by his previous comments that the people of Iraq would greet the American-led forces as liberators, and not as enemies and occupiers, saying, (a)"I think the majority of Iraqis are thankful for the fact that the United States is there, that we came and we took down the Saddam Hussein government."

(b)And then the Great Pumpkin rose from the pumpkin patch and said to the tooth fairy, "Let's go see how Santa and the Easter bunny are doing." (If you believe sentence a, you should have no trouble believing sentence b.)

Mr. Cheney also echoed President Bush's recent language casting success in Iraq in its broadest terms, as important not only for the Iraqi people but for peace throughout the Middle East and for American national security. "And whatever the cost is, in terms of casualties or financial resources, it's a whale of a lot less than trying to recover from the next attack in the United States," Mr. Cheney said.

Great. Chances are pretty good we'll have to pay for both. Occupations breed terrorism. Wars breed terrorism. The first Gulf War gave us the eternal hatred of our former ally Osama bin Laden, and helped to turn US soldiers Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and John Alan Mohammed into terrorists. It's hard to rank these awful lies Cheney tells, but this one may be the worst.

UD then goes on to give the "flypaper" theory official sanction:

"So what we do on the ground in Iraq, our capabilities here are being tested in no small measure, but this is the place where we want to take on the terrorists," Mr. Cheney said. "This is the place where we want to take on those elements that have come against the United States, and it's far more appropriate for us to do it there and far better for us to do it there than it is here at home."

From what I've read on other blogs, the "flypaper" theory (get all the terrorists into Iraq so you can kill them there) was pretty much an invention of wing-nut bloggers like Andrew Sullivan. It's apparently now an official member of the excuse-of-the-week club.

Of course, Olde Europe is going to come to our rescue. That is, if you don't ask Rummy:

Mr. Rumsfeld, in his appearance, rejected a characterization that he was stubborn in refusing to send additional American troops to Iraq to help halt the violence, saying he was acting on the best military judgment of commanders on the ground. But he held out little optimism that another United Nations resolution would inspire wavering nations to contribute significant numbers of additional peacekeepers for Iraq.

Although a number of foreign capitals have said they would not send troops to Iraq without United Nations blessing for the mission, Mr. Rumsfeld said that even with another resolution, "My guess is the most we could hope to get for by way of additional international troops would be something between zero or 10,000 and 15,000 — one division."

So Rummy stubbornly refuses to admit he's stubborn, eh?

WTO talks collapse in Cancun

Let's hope this is the beginning of the end for the WTO and all other secret, corrupt "free trade" thieves' organizations.
6000 US Casualties?
While the NY Times and others tend to report only "deaths directly attributable to enemy action from the time the president lied about 'mission accomplished' on May 1 until the time he lied about 'progress being made' on September 7," or similar nonsense, the Guardian reports that total US military personnel who have left Iraq because of death (over 300), wounds (over 1500), and other medical causes now totals around 6000.
A Modest Proposal
These are the seven elements of a proposal for getting out of Iraq, made by someone supposedly working in the Pentagon. See here for all the details.

1. Clean house at the Pentagon.
2. Rescind the reconstruction contracts of Halliburton, Bechtel and the other corporate welfare clients.
3. Give GEN Sanchez an ultimatum: "Kill Saddam Hussein by 31 December 2003 or you are commanding a radar site on Adak."
4. Set a date of 31 December for withdrawal.
5. Repair the damage to our military personnel.
6. Appoint a special prosecutor.
7. Begin the greatest untangling operation since Watergate.

From Boondocks.

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