You Too Can Profit From The War on Terra "You’d think with both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars well under way and with the war on terrorism being more than two years old that the share price of any bullet proof vest manufacturer would be fully valued. Not so! The company that manufactures the amazing life saving bullet proof vests that Sgt. Travis L. McKinney wrote to from the Iraq front line is not only undervalued but is a screaming takeover candidate that is poised to enjoy an up to 450% increase in its stock price." Operators are standing by...
Did America Walk Into A Trap? In stories reported by Newsweek and Fox News it appears possible that the armed resistance now being encountered by US/British forces was part of Saddam Hussein's plan all along. The documents that have been found essentially say that should Baghdad fall, the Baath party loyalists should fade into society and extract vengeance on the occupying soldiers bit by bit. The nightmare scenario before the war was urban combat, Mogadishu style. But now it appears that Hussein may have upped the ante with this "guerrilla-type campaign".
'No real planning for postwar Iraq' "The officials didn't develop any real postwar plans because they believed that Iraqis would welcome U.S. troops with open arms and Washington could install a favored Iraqi exile leader as the country's leader. The Pentagon civilians ignored CIA and State Department experts who disputed them, resisted White House pressure to back off from their favored exile leader and when their scenario collapsed amid increasing violence and disorder, they had no backup plan. Today, American forces face instability in Iraq, where they are losing soldiers almost daily to escalating guerrilla attacks, the cost of occupation is exploding to almost $4 billion a month and withdrawal appears untold years away." Bring 'Em On!
The First Casualty. The New Republic is one of the few left-leaning political journals who supported the war on Iraq. Now it seems like they've come to their senses and have written a very exhaustive story on how exactly Team Bush manipulated evidence to support the war on Iraq: "Rather, interviews with current and former intelligence officials and other experts reveal that the Bush administration culled from U.S. intelligence those assessments that supported its position and omitted those that did not. The administration ignored, and even suppressed, disagreement within the intelligence agencies and pressured the CIA to reaffirm its preferred version of the Iraqi threat. Similarly, it stonewalled, and sought to discredit, international weapons inspectors when their findings threatened to undermine the case for war."
U.S. Insiders Say Iraq Intel Deliberately Skewed "Vince Cannistraro, a former chief of Central Intelligence Agency counterterrorist operations, said he knew of serving intelligence officers who blame the Pentagon for playing up "fraudulent" intelligence, "a lot of it sourced from the Iraqi National Congress of Ahmad Chalabi." The marines are looking, but they can't find a damn thing. So... were Bush and company played by the INC, or were the American people played by Team Bush?
Not All Iraqis Dancing in the Streets. To watch the
neutered embedded reporters, you would think that every Iraqi is overjoyed to see America in his or her country. But the reality seems to be quite different: "Why are you here in this country? Are you trying to take over? Are you going to take our country forever? Are the Israelis coming next? Are you here to steal our oil? When are you going to get out?"
Iraq Body Count is a web "button" that can be cut and pasted to a website showing an updated tally of civilian casualties in the upcoming Iraqi war. Their methodology is to survey a broad swath of news sites and come up with a "high" and "low" number. They're probably more credible than Saddam's government or the Pentagon. (via TalkLeft)
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" (PDF).
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)
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.
Agency disavows report on Iraq arms "The International Atomic Energy Agency says that a report cited by President Bush as evidence that Iraq in 1998 was 'six months away' from developing a nuclear weapon does not exist. 'There's never been a report like that issued from this agency,' Mark Gwozdecky, the IAEA's chief spokesman, said yesterday in a telephone interview from the agency's headquarters in Vienna, Austria."
How many Saddams are there? "A German television network said on Thursday it had made a scientific study of 450 photographs of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and concluded there are at least three doubles posing as the Iraqi president."
Daschle Accuses Bush of Politicizing Iraq Debate "You tell those who fought in Vietnam and World War II they are not interested in the security of the American people" because they are Democrats, Daschle said. "That is outrageous. Outrageous." The full text of Daschle's comments. Do we finally have an opposition party?
On Iraq, Where Are The Democrats? "Oh, the party's leaders speak: They appear on talk shows; they write op-eds; they convene congressional hearings. But most of what they say is best understood as highly articulate evasiveness. They have devised a series of formulations designed to make the party appear to be offering a clear response to the president's proposed war, when it is actually doing the opposite.". But now some are willing to outright question the timing of our newfound desire to eliminate Hussein: "It's hard not to notice that the sudden urgency of war with Iraq has coincided precisely with the emergence of the corporate scandal story, with the flip in the congressional [poll] numbers and with the decline in the Republicans' prospects for retaking the Senate majority"
A Blast from the Past. In 1998, George Bush, Sr. explains why Saddam was not removed in the Gulf War: "Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome."
Post-Saddam Iraq? Not Our Problem. "President Bush Monday told world leaders it will be the responsibility of the whole international community, rather than the United States, to determine what kind of regime should replace Iraqi President Saddam Hussein if his government is toppled by U.S. military action, European diplomats told United Press International." How's your shining beacon of democracy doing today?
Plans For Iraq Attack Began On 9/11 "CBS News has learned that barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq — even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks." Rumsfeld: "Go massive ... Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
How Al Qaeda Slipped Away "American officials concede that there was a mass escape from Tora Bora—as well as a broader exodus by various routes into Pakistan and Iran—but insist that Al Qaeda now is crippled and too busy running to do much damage. “Perhaps we could have got them wholesale,” says one senior Defense official. “Now we’re doing it retail. In the end, it doesn’t make much difference. We’re getting them.”" We might want to take care of this before we "invade" Iraq.
Is this Saddam's work? CBS News: "United States has received an intelligence report that Mohammed Atta, the hijacker who is named as the pilot of the first plane to strike the World Trade Centers, met early this year somewhere in Europe with the head of the Iraqi intelligence service." CNN is reporting it too.
Cheney caught in lie. "According to oil industry executives and confidential United Nations records, however, Halliburton held stakes in two firms that signed contracts to sell more than $73 million in oil production equipment and spare parts to Iraq while Cheney was chairman and chief executive officer of the Dallas-based company."
That would be the same Iraq Cheney/Bush blew to smithereens for his oil buddies.
That would be the same Iraq Cheney/Bush blew to smithereens for his oil buddies.