"...relatives and fans of the shoe-throwing journalist, who has become a national hero, have staged a sit-in in a park adjacent to the Green Zone
, and their numbers are growing. Army tanks and helicopters surrounded the 400 protesters and demanded they disband, but authorities were apparently persuaded that Iraq didn't need its own Tiananmen Square massacre, so the protest continues. Indeed, al-Zeidi has become a unifying figure
for an Iraq split along a deep sectarian divide, with Sunnis from Samarra reportedly joining the predominantly Shi'ite supporters of the shoe-thrower. At last report, the two groups were sitting side by side eating lamb and vegetables, with the soldiers guarding them joining in." Via [more inside]
The annotated G.W. Bush
A little over a week ago, we discussed
the Institute for the Future of the Book
and their publication of the Iraq Study Group Report
in a profoundly innovative new format designed to elicit, y'know, democracy
: reasoned deliberation on issues of importance on the part of the governed. At the time, I expressed my opinion that the publication set a new standard for the release of public documents in a democracy. Well, they've done it again, with this rapid-turnaround publication of our preznit's most recent address to the nation, outlining his new strategy for Iraq
. Interested members of the public are invited to append their "comments, criticisms and clarifications."
US deaths in Iraq exceed 9/11 deaths today
but of course the Iraqi deaths crossed that line long ago
BBC confirms the story
That box on his back, that earpiece? He's never said exactly how God talks to him, only that He does ....
A surprise from Al Gore:
I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse . I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions.
How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered "an alternate universe"?
I thought maybe it was an aberration when three-quarters of Americans said they believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on September 11, 2001. But more than four years later, between a third and a half still believe Saddam was personally responsible for planning and supporting the attack.
What if Bush has been right about Iraq all along?
[...]By now, you might have even voted against George Bush -- a second time -- to register your disapproval.
But after watching Sunday's election in Iraq and seeing the first clear sign that freedom really may mean something to the Iraqi people, you have to be asking yourself: What if it turns out Bush was right, and we were wrong?
It's hard to swallow, isn't it?[...]
Medals of Freedom awarded
and I'd like to make some smart comment about current Iraqi conditions and the award and the presenter, but why bother - make your own.
LAWs instructions for starting criminal procedures against Bush
Today in Vancouver, Lawyers Against the War filed torture charges against George W. Bush under the Canadian Criminal Code. The charges were laid by Gail Davidson, co-chair of Lawyers against the War--LAW, under provisions enacted pursuant to the U.N. Torture Convention, ratified by both Canada and the United States. The charges concern the well known abuses of prisoners held by US Armed Forces in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. The charges were accepted by the Justice of the Peace and referred for a hearing to decide whether Bush should be required to appear for trial. The Attorney General of Canada's consent is required within eight days for proceedings to continue, and the question of Bush's diplomatic immunity will have to be resolved by the court.
The Road To Abu Ghraib A generation from now, historians may look back to April 28, 2004, as the day the United States lost the war in Iraq... It was a direct—and predictable—consequence of a policy, hatched at the highest levels of the administration, by senior White House officials and lawyers, in the weeks and months after 9/11. Yet the administration has largely managed to escape responsibility for those decisions; a month from election day, almost no one in the press or the political class is talking about what is, without question, the worst scandal to emerge from President Bush's nearly four years in office... Given the particular conditions faced by the president and his deputies after 9/11—a war against terrorists, in which the need to extract intelligence via interrogations was intensely pressing, but the limits placed by international law on interrogation techniques were very constricting—did those leaders have better alternatives than the one they chose? The answer is that they did. And we will be living with the consequences of the choices they made for years to come.
Mr. Bush and His 10 Ever-Changing Different Positions on Iraq: "A flip and a flop and now just a flop."
Delightful Moore (to those who like what he does), and a few links to backup his reasoning for those who don't.
Sleeping with the president is not a good idea.
Bush had no answers to big questions, such as 'what happens on the morning after.' The Daily Telegraph reports that documents show Prime Minister Tony Blair signed up to the U.S. policy of regime change in March 2002, a year before the conflict started... after he was warned that postwar stability would be difficult and the U.S. had few answers. Oh, no problem. This week, Bush said he is 'pleased with the progress' in Iraq.'
Prosser High School
teacher sees 15 year old student's war artwork depicting President Bush as a devil and another decapitated. Captions include calling an end to the war, and support for Ralph Nadar. Teacher hands artwork over to school administrators, who in turn bring in the Secret Service. Because
that's what you do when you've handed out an assignment to kids "to keep a notebook of drawings depicting the war in Iraq".
The coffins that George Bush doesn't want you to see.
The Memory Hole
filed a Freedom of Information Act request for photographs of American servicemen and women who died in Iraq. After an initial refusal, the request was granted. Over a hundred US troops
have been killed in action in the last month alone.
FORMER WHITE HOUSE TERRORISM ADVISOR: BUSH ADMIN WAS DISCUSSING BOMBING IRAQ FOR 9/11 DESPITE KNOWING AL QAEDA WAS TO BLAME
Former White House terrorism advisor Richard Clarke tells Lesley Stahl that on September 11, 2001 and the day after - when it was clear Al Qaeda had carried out the terrorist attacks - the Bush administration was considering bombing Iraq in retaliation. Clarke's exclusive interview will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday March 21 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Clarke was surprised that the attention of administration officials was turning toward Iraq when he expected the focus to be on Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. "They were talking about Iraq on 9/11. They were talking about it on 9/12," says Clarke
Bush's Speech on the Spreading of Democracy This is a massive and difficult undertaking -- it is worth our effort, it is worth our sacrifice, because we know the stakes. The failure of Iraqi democracy would embolden terrorists around the world, increase dangers to the American people, and extinguish the hopes of millions in the region. Iraqi democracy will succeed -- and that success will send forth the news, from Damascus to Teheran -- that freedom can be the future of every nation. (Applause.) The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution.
Since this speech
was posted earlier, I just thought it would be good if we are exposed to ideas from both sides.
"Now we know that no other President of the United States has ever lied so baldly and so often and so demonstrably...
The presumption now has to be that he's lying any time that he's saying anything." So says Ray McGovern, who worked as a CIA analyst for 27 years. Now, who still believes the P(L)OTUS?
GOP Warns TV Stations Not to Air Ad Alleging Bush Mislead the Nation Over Iraq
They claim that the ad itself
is dishonest, and cite the obligation of broadcast outlets to be free of misleading information. “Such obligations must be taken seriously. This letter puts you on notice that the information contained in the above-cited advertisement is false and misleading; therefore, you are obligated to refrain from airing this advertisement.”
Despite the implicit threats, only one station has refused to run the ad, a Fox station.
writes that the Bush administration will fight a "khaki election" next year, taking advantage of the general good feeling after the Iraq war. The original khaki election was the British election of 1900, contested during the Boer War. Our armed forces don't really wear khaki so much anymore and I think we need a new term. I suggest calling 2004 the "Camo Election." Any better suggestions?
Remember the outrage of the US Govt. as the Iraqi's paraded POWs before television cameras - a pretty clear-cut breach of the Geneva Convention?
It appears the US Govt. isn't so concerned about what behaviour breaches the convention, anymore.
"The International Committee of the Red Cross so far has been denied access to what the organisation believes could be as many as 3,000 prisoners held in searing heat [near Baghdad airport.] All other requests to inspect conditions under which prisoners are being held have been met with silence or been turned down."
Operation: Cover George's butt?
As the backpeddling and fingerpointing
over "cakewalk" predictions continues, Talking Points Memo notes a recent article
in the Charlotte Observer that quotes "senior administration officials" in saying that "dissenting views [about the war plan]' were not fully or energetically communicated to the president.'" Sounds like someones taking out an insurance policy, don't it?
Richard Perle resigns the Defense Policy Board chairmanship.
Richard Perle, after being accused of profiteering
and conflict of interest
, has resigned as chairman of the Defense Policy Board. Was this the real reason he resigned, or is the administration distancing itself from Perle due to his claims the Iraqis would be "dancing in the streets"
after a US invasion, his links to an advocate for invading Saudi Arabia
, or perhaps his call in the British press to get rid of the UN
Don't start missing him yet, however. Perle will still remain on the Defense Policy board at Donald Rumsfeld's request.
Stan Goff puts it best in his anti-war article entitled "The Idiot Prince will have his war
", outlining many of the logistical issues involved with waging war in Iraq, pointing a finger at a problem facing the United States that runs far deeper than the need for oil or the opposition of the United Nations.
A fascinating and very chilling read.
Is the currency that oil is denominated in the real reason for the Iraq War?
"The Federal Reserve's greatest nightmare is that OPEC will switch its international transactions from a dollar standard to a euro standard. Iraq actually made this switch in Nov. 2000 (when the euro was worth around 80 cents), and has actually made off like a bandit considering the dollar's steady depreciation against the euro. (Note: the dollar declined 17% against the euro in 2002.)"
Bush is soft on tobacco
Just say No! Unless you are in cahoots with Big Tobacco. On issues such as this, I do not hold Bush or his party solely guilty but instead view it as The American Way--lobby groups, gifts, elections handouts--all of which blur party lines.
President Bush is pressuring Iraq because he says
that they support terror (there is some evidence of that
). So what about Saudi Arabia
? "Sources familiar with the evidence say the payments—amounting to about $3,500 a month—came from an account at Washington’s Riggs Bank in the name of Princess Haifa Al-Faisal, the wife of Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and the daughter of the late Saudi King Faisal." And why were CIA/FBI investigations of the Saudi connection reigned in
? When Bush met that very same Prince Bandar
in August, somehow the issue never came up. Don't want to step on Dad's toes
, you know.
A European voice makes good case for Bush.
Being ambivalent about Iraq, I found this to be one of the more thoughtful cases for Bush. Maybe if Dubya was making it this eloquently instead of lying and stonewalling people would be more supportive.
'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?
In the new LRB
, a pretty good attempt to answer the pressing question - why do the Bush people want to attack Iraq so much?
Here's a transcript of the president's speech
to the UN General Assembly this morning, for those who missed it. The White House has also provided a 21 page document
[pdf link] detailing Iraq's history of defiance and disorder over the past decade.
U.S. Stops Iraq-Al Qaeda Talk
From the Washington Post. Beyond the superficial significance of administration back-tracking, in regards to intelligence there seems to be two key aspects to this story: 1) The article talks about how the CIA was unable to "validate two prominent allegations made by high-ranking administration officials," implying that Bush/Cheney/etc. have been making baseless assumptions about Iraq in their pro-war arguments, and 2) it brings into question whether we know anything at all about Iraq, anyway. What if the same can be said of Hussein's nuclear plans?
Administration Says It Can Attack Iraq without Congressional Approval
Not a new story, per se, but this Post article lays out pretty well the arguments behind the administration's case, one being simply Bush's role as commander-in-chief. It's strange how closely this issue reflects earlier attempts by the administration to avoid Congressional and/or public scrutiny (Cheney's Enron meetings, for example). Why this aversion, and why fight so hard? And I have a sneaking fear that Bush will seek Congressional approval only after invading, and he will bully votes by claiming that reps have a patriotic duty to support a president in a time of war.
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]
? Bush vs. Saddam. Prequel to Desert Storm II.
While W is off building the case
for a war against Saddam, senior military officials have serious doubts
about the wisdom of a US invasion of Iraq. But they're keeping quiet because "they fear they would come out on the wrong side of Bush's eventual decision." Can you blame 'em?
Where Is This Evil Axis Bush Speaks Of?
By any common usage, it denotes an alliance. The relationship between Iran, Iraq and North Korea meets neither qualification.