Bob's Links and Rants

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Monday, May 02, 2005

So many scandals, so little time...

Between a busy time at work, the start of the soccer season, the solar project, and a couple of minor medical problems, I haven't been able to rant with my usual consistency lately. But rest assured, the world is still falling apart. I'm going to resort to a little meta-blogging here--linking you to a few articles that I've at least read parts of on the latest troubles and scandals.

The endless and growing violence in Iraq: Juan Cole, of course, who also compares 2005 America to pre-civil-war (1991) Algeria in a lengthy post about the Repugs attack on the filibuster.

Ecuador: Michelle links to a Greg Palast article.

Social Security: I'm not really convinced this one is worth fighting over, since I think those promised dollars are likely to be worthless anyway, and no matter what gets changed this year can and probably will be changed again, for better or likely worse, many more times before 2042 or 2075. Still, Paul Krugman points out the sham behind aWol's supposed "progressive" proposal.

Coalition of the Willing: Aznar's already out, Berlusconi's in big trouble, and Brits appear to be actually concerned that Blair clearly lied to them about Iraq. Bob Harris points out that documents have surfaced in the Blair scandal which strongly implicate Bush in out-and-out lying, or would if anyone in the US was paying attention. (Runaway bride, anyone?)

Jeff Gannon: Michelle links to a titillating article about how reporter/prostitute Gannon/Guckert only spent the night at the White House when aWol was at home, that G/G is HIV positive, and that there may be a video out there somewhere documenting what really went on. Sad, really, that rumors of a little gay sex are far more likely to bring the house of Bush crashing down than are allowing the worst terror attack in our history, starting two pointless wars based on lies, bankrupting the treasury, or trashing the Constitution.

Finally, Jerri sends me some links to some articles which suggest that Rummy secretly met with Saddam during his last trip to Iraq, and offered Saddam his freedom in exile in exchange for his making a televised request to the insurgency begging them to stop fighting. This was my response to Jerri:
I kind of doubt that it's true; I'm not sure Rummy is THAT stupid. From a practical standpoint in Iraq, it would just make things worse. I think the insurgency, even the Sunni part, is a lot more about getting the US out than it is about getting Saddam back (or freed into exile). The resistance leaders probably see themselves in charge in the future--not Saddam. And the Shiites would be furious to lose the only good thing they see having come from the invasion.

And from a domestic standpoint? About the only "success" W can claim is "The brutal tyrant is no longer in power." Adding "He's soaking up the rays and counting his oil-for-food money in Barbados" might not go over very well with W's base (although they seem to have an infinite capacity to rationalize anything he says or does). Of course, it would give President Jeb or Frist his own group of Iraqi exiles to feed him lies about the "mullahs" in Baghdad five years from now.

It seems as though all of these articles are based on one source, which may be simply wrong or else deliberate disinformation, perhaps from the resistance. Like I said, suggesting that the US is going soft on Saddam would lose the occupation whatever little support it currently has in Iraq, so this could be just a clever ploy by the "insurgents."

I'll have to check Juan Cole--he'll probably have a good feel for this.
To which I'll add two things: One, Juan Cole doesn't have anything on this, at least yet. And two, I don't think Rummy is THAT stupid, but Bush and Condi are, so maybe they told him to make the offer. Still, it seems like a strategic rumor which was probably placed by the resistance.