For the last few
weeks, the Twitter account @Homer_Marijuana
has been publishing a bizarre piece of long-form fan fiction about The Simpsons
, family, America's wars in the Middle East, and marijuana, vast amounts of all sorts of marijuana. Now, 5,015 tweets later, Marijuana Simpson has concluded
, and is available to read on an easier-to-follow Scribd document
Searching for Saddam
: how the U.S. military used social networking to capture the Iraqi dictator
Just released: Saddam Hussein Talks to the FBI
. FBI special agents carried out 20 formal interviews and at least 5 "casual conversations" with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein after his capture by U.S. troops in December 2003, according to secret FBI reports released as the result of Freedom of Information Act requests by the National Security Archive.
Via this Washington Post article.
How George Bush became the new Saddam.
"Its strategies shattered, a desperate Washington is reaching out to the late dictator's
henchmen." [Via Firedoglake.]
I am sullied -- no more
. Colonel Ted Westhusing was a soldier's soldier -- a multilingual West Point graduate, tough as nails, who was committed to the ancient Greek warrior's ideal of ἀρετή
("arete," excellence). He volunteered to go to Iraq, where he was commanded by another outstanding
rising-star officer, counterinsurgency expert David Petraeus
. (Westhusing's widow, Michelle, recalls that her husband thought his country was doing "a great thing" there.) After working with one of the shadowy contractors the US has relied on to train Iraqi security forces, USIS
, Westhusing became increasingly despondent. In May 2005, investigators say, he put a 9mm bullet in his brain after writing a note that said, "Reevaluate yourselves, cdrs [commanders]. You are not what you think you are and I
know it." Westhusing died, as was previously discussed here
, and his former "cdr" is now running the war
. Lots of new information in this article from the Texas Observer
Iraq: The Lost Generation.
This 47 minute long documentary was filmed by an anonymous Iraqi journalist. Broadcast on the UK's Channel 4 in November, it tells the stories of several young Iraqis whose lives have been changed by the invasion and occupation of their country.
Saddam"s Iraq and his Execution
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Topics include international press
coverage, how the execution technique was selected, summary executions under Saddam's regime, history of execution pictures, and brief descriptions of several forms of hanging. Also includes background about Saddam's relationship with the United States.
But how did he come to power? Here, a concise history, from beginning to the present
Now they tell us.
Neocon hindsight is 20/20. War architect Richard Perle
on invading Iraq, 2002: "We have no time to lose, and I think the president understands that and it's probably taken too long already, but I don't think it'll be much longer... Support for Saddam, including within his military organization, will collapse at the first whiff of gunpowder.... Now, it isn't going to be over in 24 hours, but it isn't going to be months either
." Four years later: "If I had been delphic, and had seen where we are today, and people had said, 'Should we go into Iraq?,' I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other strategies'... Could we have managed that threat by means other than a direct military intervention? Well, maybe we could have."
The practical future of the country formerly known as Iraq.
[NewsFilter, but a significant acknowledgement of something long-in-coming.]
The War They Wanted, The Lies They Needed.
"The Bush administration invaded Iraq claiming Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellowcake uranium in Niger. As much of Washington knew, and the world soon learned, the charge was false. Worse, it appears to have been the cornerstone of a highly successful 'black propaganda' campaign with links to the White House." (Via Sic Semper Tyrannis.)
is a hometown hero. After "leading" (OK, he doesn't play much anymore) his Pittsburgh Steelers
to Super Bowl XL
in his native Detroit, the locals came out to celebrate the future Hall of Famer. Last week was declared "Jerome Bettis Week" in Detroit and Bettis was awarded the key to the city. The last person to receive such an honor from the city? Saddam Hussein in 1980
Q - Mr. Secretary, on Iraq, how much money do you think the Department of Defense would need to pay for a war with Iraq?
Rumsfeld - Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question.
The estimated cost to US taxpayers of the Iraq war to date is $250 billion and rising, or $100,000 per minute. Total cost of the Bush doctrine of spreading "democracy" since September 11th -- half a trillion dollars
, or nearly the cost of the 13 years of the Vietnam War, adjusted for inflation. What else could we have done with that kind of money
? Also see here
In November 2003, Weekly Standard
writer Stephen Hayes published a report alleging collusion between terrorist agents and Saddam Hussein
which received little attention in the press
. In June of '04, Hayes published another article called "The Connection
" excerpted from his book of the same title. His newest follow-up, with economist Thomas Joscelyn, entitled "The Mother of All Connections
" goes one step further to illustrate the alleged connections, contradicting what the 9/11 Commission & Bush himself have claimed
Ex-Marine Says Public Version of Saddam Capture Fiction
A former U.S. Marine who participated in capturing ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said the public version of his capture was fabricated.
Ex-Sgt. Nadim Abou Rabeh, of Lebanese descent, was quoted in the Saudi daily al-Medina Wednesday as saying Saddam was actually captured Friday, Dec. 12, 2003, and not the day after, as announced by the U.S. Army.
"I was among the 20-man unit, including eight of Arab descent, who searched for Saddam for three days in the area of Dour near Tikrit, and we found him in a modest home in a small village and not in a hole as announced," Abou Rabeh said.
Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling
Documents obtained by CNN reveal the United States knew about, and even condoned, embargo-breaking oil sales by Saddam Hussein's regime, and did so to shore up alliances with Iraq's neighbors.
The oil trade with countries such as Turkey and Jordan appears to have been an open secret inside the U.S. government and the United Nations for years.
What I Heard about Iraq
--from 1992 until today. head-spinning.
Saddam's daughter: I want to go to Iraq
"...My life is a series of collapses," Raghad Saddam Hussein said in an interview in Friday's edition of Sayidaty magazine. "If age is measured by anguish and sadness, I would have been 80 today."...
Several newly declassified documents
have been added to the National Security Archive's Saddam Hussein Sourcebook
, including a State Department cable to special envoy Donald Rumsfeld
(PDF) for his second meeting with Saddam Hussein (months after the infamous handshake meeting
,) in which Rumsfeld conveyed the Reagan administration's undiminished support for Hussein despite their public condemnation of his use of chemical weapons. (It also mentions but seems unconcerned with Hussein's support for Abu Nidhal.) Another document describes Bechtel's intention to do business with Iraq
(PDF) through non-US sources in case of US sanctions. [More analysis at Juan Cole
Saddam Reported Captured
- So what next? A trial at the International Criminal Court
(which the US does not recognise), a trip to Cuba
or a trial in Iraq? And is this finally the decapitation
of the resistance in Iraq?
confirms denies confirms link between Iraq and terrorism! " The regime of Saddam Hussein cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction."
In other news, we're at war with Eastasia. We've always been at war with Eastasia... Food rations have jumped by 10%! Doubleplusgood!
Beliefs about Saddam
-- some Iraqis find it difficult to believe that their former ruler can die. "How can we really be sure he's gone for good?"
asked Hassam Sahar, 45, an engineer. "We can't trust the U.S. and Britain. They left once before." Some believe that Saddam has links to the occult [audio file]
ranging from a djinn kept in a stone to magic practiced by his mother, which are based in folk islam
[google cache 1 2 3
] Western occultists, too, have something to say about Saddam.
The Real Hussein
SADDAM AIDE SURRENDERS
Saddam Hussein's chief weapons adviser has surrendered to the US military.
US officials had described Lieutenant General Amir al-Saadi as the person they most wanted to speak to about Iraq's weapons programmes.
Now we will know about WMD or the integrity and effectiveness of the give-inspections-a -chance folks.
Any bets to be placed?
Dealing With Saddam
What's in the cards for the missing members of the Iraqi high command?
According to Reuters AlertNet
"The United States will soon deliver Iraq's deposed president Saddam Hussein and his inner circle into the hands of its own troops -- as a deck of playing cards...Brigadier General Vincent Brooks held up one of the first examples of the card packs at a Central Command briefing on Friday, explaining that each card depicted a character the United States wanted pursued, killed or captured."
Checking the deck
quite predictably we find that Saddam is portrayed as the Ace of Spades, and his strong-arm younger son Qusay
is tricked out as Ace of Clubs. Ironically, elder-psychopathic progeny Uday, who is said to favor the use of rape
as a weapon of torture
, is imaged as the Ace of Hearts.
An Adobe Acrobat PDF image of the full deck is available at Defense Link.
Is this the the new US military card game, Poke-Iman? "Hey, soldiers...gotta catch 'em all!"
Dictators and their demises:
a miscellany. Saddam and the Destruction of Civil Society in Iraq
is the timely find, and deals with the entire history of Iraq since the Ba'ath party takeover, including a detailed ideological history of the party and the increasingly totalitarian aspects of Saddam's rule in Iraq.
To ask whether democracy, even in a non-Western sense, has a chance in Iraq is to jump one step ahead of the game. The fundamental questions we need to answer first are: What was the nature of Iraqi civil society before the Ba`thist regime destroyed it? How did the Ba`th oliberate it? And can Iraqi civil society be rebuilt after Saddam has left the stage?
While I haven't checked out the videos (which is sans translation anyway), it's interesting to hear
that the Iraqi government has put up their version of the Saddam-Rather interview
from a few weeks back, on their almost blog-like gov't site
. I wish there was an english translation, to see how the other side lobs their spin of propaganda in this new media war.
If Saddam Hussein were to use chemical/biological weapons
in an Iraq conflict, how safe would soldiers in the field be? The Department of the Defense says "no problem"
, but some of the men on the ground seem to believe
otherwise. The gear the soldiers will use to protect themselves and their water supply appears to be old, prone to failure
while the training received in the usage of these tools looks inadequate. It could be the return of "Gulf War Syndrome"
Is Fox News Giving "Aid & Comfort" to Saddam?
Contributing money to the regime they hate so much - without disclosing it - seems to go against the grain of the flag-waving network. I don't think Barbara Streisand ever contributed
any money to Baghdad... (via Electrolite
What if Saddam does have these weapons of mass-destruction?
Hussein's senior bodyguard has fled to Israel with details of Iraq's secret arsenal. His revelations have supported US President George W. Bush's claim there is enough evidence from UN inspectors to justify going to war.
A list of articles
by former weapons inspector Richard Spertzel on current inspections. Also former weapons inspector Bill Tierney says Saddam has nukes
and the French sabotaged U.N. WMD searches
Iraq: How Saddam hides the smoke and the guns
This account is from an Italian paper and appears in an Israeli site that sums up materials pertaining to the Middle East. Of course I am not able to verify its authenticity, nor would anyone, given the "hidden" nature of the man being interviewed. But it does suggest what the Bush administration and many pundits have been saying or implying for some time now.
Rumsfeld helped Saddam during war with Iran,
while they had precise information about daily use of chemical weapons such as mustard gas, nerve gas, anthrax, and sarin. He met Saddam Hussein in Baghdad and passed on the US willingness to help his regime and restore full diplomatic relations, in order to help Iraq win the war. [source: Guardian]
Iraqis welcome war to remove Saddam
A survey (.pdf)
taken inside(!) Iraq says Iraqis would favor a war to topple Saddam. The report itself is more interesting than the Independent piece.
The overall impression...was one of exasperation and even anger after twelve years of uncertainty and international isolation and even more years of warfare, combined with a growing sense that the current regime's days are numbered.
The report is most interesting in the details of Iraqis' expectations: that advanced US technology will somehow anesthetize Iraqi soldiers rather than hurt them, the US will rebuild their country for them, there will be no breakup of Iraq, nor postwar bloodbath, etc.
A fascinating and important portrait of a people at the end of their rope.
saddam makes it tough for reporters to work
, but this two-person US team
gets uncut news out of iraq daily in audio, video, and print.
“President Bush’s case against Saddam Hussein ... relied on a slanted
and sometimes entirely false reading of the available US intelligence, government officials and analysts claimed yesterday.” Another article on the same subject says, “Rumsfeld’s recent remark that the United States has ‘bulletproof’ evidence of links between Al Qaeda and Hussein struck many in the intelligence community as an exaggerated
assessment of the available evidence.” One paper explains the differences this way, “The C.I.A. has to maintain its credibility
for objective estimates. The White House is mobilizing the public and preparing foreign nations for a potential American invasion of Iraq.”
'The guy who tried to kill my dad.'
Setting aside partisan bickering, this description of Saddam Hussein by George W. Bush today sent my mind reeling. Is this in reference to something published in the past that is just escaping my mind? The Reuters
version of the story adds that it is reference to "an Iraqi plot to kill former President George Bush after the 1991 Gulf War." Anyone have a link to that older story?
Gore: Saddam must go
Al Gore has told Iraqi opposition politicians that the United States remains committed to the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein. "There can be no peace for the Middle East so long as Saddam is in a position to brutalise his people and threaten his neighbours" - Al Gore [more inside]
The Mind of a Madman.
PRESIDENT SADDAM HUSSEIN’S ADDRESS ON THE ELEVENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GRAND BATTLE "MOTHER OF ALL BATTLES" JANUARY 16-17, 1991. See also President Saddam Hussein's speech on the occasion of the 14th anniversary of the day of the great victory over Iran and other funny stories
. And now, for the rest of the story.
Saddam Hussein Trained Al Qaeda Fighters - Report
Blair's evidence to convince the Brits that attacking Iraq is going after Saddam is needed because he has been directly involved with Qaeda network.
Does invading Iraq require more than declaring Saddam Hussein "evil"?
The New York Times reports public opposition from people not easily labeled Brie-sucking scared-of-war libyerals -- people like Henry "Bombs Away" Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft. Meanwhile, hawks argue that not
attacking after all Bush's rhetoric would "produce such a collapse of confidence in the president that it would set back the war on terrorism." [registration required]
Doubtful that the US will strike Iraq
by the end of this year, says chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joseph Biden (D-Delaware). "I'm convinced the administration has not made up their mind yet," Biden said. Should we go to Baghdad and topple Saddam, or not? Is Saddam an immediate threat?
Did you forget to send a blue mountain card to Saddam?
I'll just bet you did. And it was his 65th. Still time to send those birthday greetings. It might be the last one he gets to celebrate.