- Given Saddam Hussein's central place in the American Consciousness over the last couple decades and particularly in recent years, I found 60 minutes' interview with FBI interrogator
George Piro pretty fascinating.
Famed Arabic calligrapher Khalil al-Zahawi murdered.
(Arabic: خليل الزهاوي; 1946 - 25 May 2007) Khalil al-Zahawi
was the most famous practitioner in Iraq of the art of writing classical Arabic script
. He was shot to death Friday
as he left his home.
"The story of how high officials misled the country has been told. But they couldn't have done it on their own; they needed a compliant press, to pass on their propaganda as news and cheer them on."
Bill Moyers returned to PBS last night with this documentary
) examining the mainstream media's role in the run-up to the US-led invasion of Iraq.
"Misunderstood" joke gets Kerry into trouble (youtube):
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
that he was referring to Bush, not the troops, in Monday's speech at a Pasadena, CA university, and that he won't apologize
for his remarks. Some Democrats
are distancing themselves after his remarks, in fear that public backlash might affect the upcoming elections.
Smilin' Savior not winning hearts and minds.
Suprisingly, in a Muslim nation where the thumbs-up sign is considered obscene, "Buddy Jesus" fails to amuse after a woman and girl are left dead in a firefight.
Newsfilter: CIA director Porter Goss resigns.
After taking some of the
heat for bad intelligence in the months before 9/11, Cheney's "cat's paw"
finally gets out of the kitchen.
Adieu, Abu Ghraib
-- we hardly
knew ye (classified, ya know.) In the wake of a damning Amnesty International report
, military spokesperson Keir-Kevin Curry says the infamous Baghdad prison
will be closed within three months, its occupants transferred to other facilities in Iraq, including Camp Cropper (and don't ask what's happening there
, or the terrorists win.) Or is Curry's statement premature
? And would the closing of Abu Ghraib represent a change of policy, or merely rebranding the same old same old
to avoid bad associations
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
"Hi, Mom? Hi, I'm just calling to say I'm on my way to Baghdad."
In which a Floridian teen decides he wants to see what's going on in Iraq. So he, you know, goes. "It was mid-afternoon Tuesday, after his second night in Baghdad, that he sought out editors at The Associated Press and announced he was in Iraq to do research and humanitarian work. AP staffers had never seen an unaccompanied teenage American walk into their war zone office. ("I would have been less surprised if little green men had walked in," said editor Patrick Quinn.)"
Bush in the Bubble. Newsweek's
analysis of the man who is possibly "the most isolated president in modern history."
Military Ethic's "War is the hardest place to make moral judgments." Col. Ted Westhusing, a military ethicist who volunteered to go to Iraq, was upset by what he saw. His apparent suicide raises questions (L.A. Times)
When the military's own moral compass gives up, should we continue?
Don't Bomb Us.
In response to credible reports that Bush wanted to bomb al-Jazeera's HQ in allied Qatar
on MeFi), Al Jazeera staffers start their own English-language blog. Their site contains remembrances of their fallen colleagues
, firsthand accounts of US attacks
on their offices, links to relevant reports
on the controversy
, Flickr photosets
of protests calling for an official investigation
, and al Jazeera's code of ethics
. Also, a quick note to Tony Blair: " P.S. Thanks for talking Mr. Bush out of bombing our offices!
" Not surprisingly, their blog is generating some comments
In 2001 America destroyed
the Kabul offices of al-Jazeera with two smartbombs; officials said it was an accident. In 2003 America destroyed
the Baghdad offices of al-Jazeera with missiles; officials said it was an accident. Now, two British civil servants are on trial for leaking a memo revealing that Bush intended to bomb al-Jazeera... at their headquarters in allied Qatar
Precious Pet or Tax-Payers' Property?
Severely wounded in Iraq, sergeant wants to take $18,000 of Air Force equipment home on leash.
"A flawed policy wrapped in an illusion."
Thus Congressman John Murtha
(D-PA) attacked the Bush administration's handing of the war in Iraq. Described by the AP as an "influential House Democrat who voted for the Iraq war," Murtha did indeed support H. J. RES. 114
of October 10, 2002. Today Murtha, a combat veteran of the Vietnam war and retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel, concludes the war resolution was the result of "a U.S. intelligence failure and the way that intelligence was misused." Murtha's comments come the day after Vice President Dick Cheney fought back at his critics:
"The President and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone – but we’re not going to sit by and let them rewrite history." Murtha appears ready to stand by his claim that he, and Congress, were misled.
News Filter: Senate in closed session.
Looks like Senate is now in close session, after Harry Reid invoked Rule 21
and asked for an investigation into the lead-up to the war
. Does it sound like a major deal or is it political maneuvering?
"We are here to hand over to you the power in order to avoid bloodshed." Today
is the thirtieth anniversary
of the Fall
A secret plan
to end the war. After the rewarding the Vietnam war's technocratic architect
with the Presidency of the World Bank
, after the twin failures of President Nixon's "madman plan",
to scare the Soviet Union
into concessions over Vietnam out of fear of Nixon's insanity, and of "Vietnamization"
, turning over responsibility for the war
to the South Vietnamese
, the North nevertheless won the war.
. Operation Frequent Wind
, the chaotic evacuation
of the American Embassy
, brought to a close
of American hubris
. Karl Marx, who got little else right, observed "History repeats itself, the first as tragedy
, then as farce
British soldiers in new Iraq torture photos.
Brutal photos and story in today's Daily Mirror.
No Iraq link to al-Qaida
"The report of the joint congressional inquiry into the suicide hijackings on Sept. 11, 2001, to be published Thursday, reveals U.S. intelligence had no evidence that the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks, or that it had supported al-Qaida, United Press International has learned." [more inside]
Some Friday fun. Mr. Cranky
, hollywood's surliest film critic, takes a stab at the war news coverage
. I thought I was the only one disturbed by the perma-smile on Lester Holt's face. Tongue in cheek, but as Homer J. Simpson would say, It's funny because it's true.
We will not fly our flags in their country
The finest speech
so far in the whole war thing. Good luck boys!
The "Axis of Evil" v. the "Forces of Evil."
Saddam Hussein warns the US that any attack on Iraq is "doomed to failure." While the Bush Administration claims that there are no firm plans to invade Iraq, the rhetoric on both sides is intensifying. Are the Hawks on both sides gunning for a showdown? Can a diplomatic solution be reached? If the Bush Administration's goal is to oust Saddam, have we foreclosed any hope of a meaningful "dialogue"? Reportedly, even some generals are wary of invading Iraq. I think containment of Saddam is a much better option than war. Does anyone disagree? What are the alternatives?