Pic thanks to the Cheezburger. Click to embiggen.
Dr. Attaturk explains.
Iraq is a crime scene --Bush's crime scene where the evidence against him is found. A war of naked aggression, what Bush did to Iraq is a capital crime under US Codes, prohibited by the Nuremberg Principles which loom like a specter over his criminal administration. Nuremberg remains the most effective and damning indictment of anyone who would hijack the apparatus of state to wage wars of aggression or to perpetrate mass murder and/or torture under the cover of a national sovereignty.
Dear Mr President (Bush)
Many of us citizens of the Middle East are fed up with the unbearable, crazy, absurd, ridiculous, bizarre situation in our region ...
Us, Mr President are practical dreamers from every corner of the Middle East that are doing everything they can, and are using every mean[s] available to create some kind of a peaceful environment ...
In his Iraq speech last night, President Bush took a moment to thank “the 36 nations who have troops on the ground in Iraq.” TPMmuckraker’s Spencer Ackerman has been counting coalition members with troops on the ground and has been able to find only 34 — many of whom have just a minor presence in Iraq. In his search, Ackerman discovered that the total is about to drop to 33: Next month, Iceland is pulling out its one lone soldier.
After she became secretary of state, she came to a party at Blacker's house, kicked off her shoes, and began dancing through the night to rock and and roll. Blacker, who is gay, wanted to show his partner how tight her behind is; he postulated that if he aimed a quarter at her butt, it would bounce off like a rocket. He was right. Rice, who was dancing, didn't realize what he had done until everyone began laughing hysterically. She was flattered -- and proud.
And on and on. Everything they said in unison was completely false. And they do not even have the defense that it was difficult back then to see that it was false. Go read what virtually every blogger was saying back in May and it was painfully obvious that the Establishment was both deceiving itself and deceiving the country yet again. What they fear and hate more than anything is withdrawal from Iraq because staying at least allows them to avoid their own Day of Reckoning: when they are forced to accept how disastrous was the war that they all enabled. [my em]
To understand what’s really happening in Iraq, follow the oil money, which already knows that the surge has failed.
Now here’s the thing: Ray L. Hunt, the chief executive and president of Hunt Oil, is a close political ally of Mr. Bush. More than that, Mr. Hunt is a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a key oversight body.
Some commentators have expressed surprise at the fact that a businessman with very close ties to the White House is undermining U.S. policy. But that isn’t all that surprising, given this administration’s history. Remember, Halliburton was still signing business deals with Iran years after Mr. Bush declared Iran a member of the “axis of evil.”
No, what’s interesting about this deal is the fact that Mr. Hunt, thanks to his policy position, is presumably as well-informed about the actual state of affairs in Iraq as anyone in the business world can be. By putting his money into a deal with the Kurds, despite Baghdad’s disapproval, he’s essentially betting that the Iraqi government — which hasn’t met a single one of the major benchmarks Mr. Bush laid out in January — won’t get its act together. Indeed, he’s effectively betting against the survival of Iraq as a nation in any meaningful sense of the term.
The smart money, then, knows that the surge has failed, that the war is lost, and that Iraq is going the way of Yugoslavia. And I suspect that most people in the Bush administration — maybe even Mr. Bush himself — know this, too.
Here’s how I see it: At this point, Mr. Bush is looking forward to replaying the political aftermath of Vietnam, in which the right wing eventually achieved a rewriting of history that would have made George Orwell proud, convincing millions of Americans that our soldiers had victory in their grasp but were stabbed in the back by the peaceniks back home.
What all this means is that the next president, even as he or she tries to extricate us from Iraq — and prevent the country’s breakup from turning into a regional war — will have to deal with constant sniping from the people who lied us into an unnecessary war, then lost the war they started, but will never, ever, take responsibility for their failures.
BAGHDAD, Sept. 12 — A carefully constructed compromise on a draft law governing Iraq’s rich oil fields, agreed to in February after months of arduous talks among Iraqi political groups, appears to have collapsed. The apparent breakdown comes just as Congress and the White House are struggling to find evidence that there is progress toward reconciliation and a functioning government here.
The oil law — which would govern how oil fields are developed and managed — is one of several benchmarks that the Bush administration has been pressing the Iraqis to meet as a sign that they are making headway toward creating an effective government.
Remember that unrehearsed flash of candor where Gen. Petraeus said he didn't know whether being in Iraq was making America safer? And then later he 'set the record straight'?
Joe Klein told Chris Matthews that he thought that during the recess in testimony Petraeus got an angry call from the White House telling him to set the record straight. Take a look ...
It sounds like this was an inference on Klein's part. But it sounds like a sound one.
I'm going to be blunt. By buying into the libislamunistfascist spin about Larry Craig being a homosexual, you are destroying the party's ability to retake the Senate for decades to come. Larry Craig is not a homosexual. He's told us that. He's just as heterosexual as you and Lindsey Graham. You shouldn't have tried to force him to resign. He deserved to be treated the same way you treated Sen. Vitter, who admitted to breaking the law by paying a harlot to change his diaper--that is to say, you should have given Sen. Craig your full support.
I understand that after hearing stories about Sen. Craig sucking anonymous little soldiers in restrooms across this great nation, it's easy to jump to the conclusion that he might be dancing with Dorothy. But think about it. Isn't it just as likely that this very heterosexual married man was looking for something his wife was unable to provide for him: a hot, throbbing slab of hard salami to swallow? We've all been there haven't we? We want something that our wives can't give, so we exercise our patriarchal privilege to get it elsewhere.
But now that you've adopted the Democratic frame that such behavior is homosexual in nature, you've jeopardized the careers of a lot of good, anti-homosexual politicians who are also rumored to be looking outside their marriage for a little sausage slurping action, good men like Sen. Lindsey Graham, Representatives David Dreier and Patrick McHenry, and even yourself.
In January, President Bush replaced Abizaid and Casey, who were “surge” skeptics, with Adm. William Fallon and Gen. David Petraeus. This week, Petraeus — in the first public hearings since taking on his new role — delivered his Iraq assessment to great media fanfare. But where was his boss, Admiral Fallon? Inter-Press Service suggests animosity between the two might be one reason for Fallon’s absence:
Fallon told Petraeus [in March] that he considered him to be “an ass-kissing little chickensh*t” and added, “I hate people like that”, the sources say. That remark reportedly came after Petraeus began the meeting by making remarks that Fallon interpreted as trying to ingratiate himself with a superior.
The Washington Post reported this weekend that there is an internal military debate, described as “Armageddon,” brewing between Petraeus and Fallon because the two men have “profoundly different views of the U.S. role in Iraq.”
Let me put it this way. While countrywide disgust with Bush, Bushism, and the low-brow pandering of Republican shtick is, perhaps, at an all-time high, one should never misunderestimate the Democrats' remarkable skill at pulling the rabbit of defeat out of the most victorious of hats (or something like that).
... If Olson is indeed the nominee, how he fares should be considered a decent harbinger for 2008. If they confirm him, hang on to that hat: It means that the top Dems have learned nothing and '08 is seriously up for grabs. But if the Dems can manage not merely to defeat Olson, but expose the extremism that he - and by extension, the Republican Party - embodies, well, that's a different story ...
The First World War was, of course, famous for trench warfare. A protracted stalemate rather than a series of decisive battles. The politicians and monarchs were mostly content to "let it bleed" rather than be innovate enough to bring the war to a military or diplomatic end.
We are once again in trench warfare.
Since the president's troop surge in Iraq began this past February, we have all waited like gimps in an infirmary for General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker to descend from Mount Iraq. Toting, we hoped, stone tablets with directives with which to lead us to the Promised Land.
No such luck.
Well, our men and women in uniform remain stuck in their trenches.
Petraeus says the 30,000 "surge" troops should stay in place until at least next July. Nearly 120,000 will remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future.
The foreseeable future being the next decade.
And the war goes on.
Settle in, folks. It's likely to be quite the wait before our Armistice day.
To grasp the Petraeus moment, you really have to re-imagine official Washington as a set of drunks behind the wheels of so many SUVs tearing down a well-populated city avenue -- and all of them are on their cell phones. They hardly notice the bodies bouncing off the fenders. For them, the world is Washington-centered; all interests that matter are American ones. Nothing else exists, not really. Think of this as a form of imperial autism and the Petraeus moment as the way in which the White House and official Washington have, for a brief time, blotted out the world.
Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and his fellow witness, Ambassador Ryan Crocker, did their best all day and yesterday to put the most hopeful face on the grimness before them. But, to their credit, they stopped short of lying (my em).
Republican Sen. John McCain, one of the committee's more hawkish members, asked Crocker what degree of confidence he had that the leaders of the Iraqi government will take the steps toward political reconciliation that they've promised to take.
Crocker hesitated, then replied, "My level of confidence is under control."
In one sense, today's hearings dealt President George W. Bush a harsh blow. Many of the senators' questions dealt with strategic issues, which Petraeus and Crocker—through no fault of their own—could not really answer to anyone's full satisfaction. Even the vast majority of Republican senators at least cocked their eyebrows.
Nearly all the senators seemed to recognize that the few, much-vaunted successes—especially in Anbar province, where Sunni tribes have joined with U.S. forces to defeat al-Qaida terrorists—have little to do with the main issues of this war: sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites and the failure of the central government to mediate, much less settle, those conflicts. As Richard Lugar, the foreign relations committee's ranking Republican put it, "The progress may be beside the point." The U.S. troops may be "like a farmer planting crops on flood plains."
As it turned out, there was some educational value in Gen. David Petraeus' testimony before Congress and the American people after all.
It seems he doesn't believe in his mission.
When asked yesterday by Republican Sen. John Warner if all the expense in American lives and treasure is "making America safer" -- which is, of course, presupposed as the objective of any military mission -- the general first hummed, hawed and outright dodged the question by musing about his current focus on "achiev[ing] our objectives in Iraq."
Undeterred, the senator put it to the general again: But is it making America safer?
To which the general said: "Sir, I don't know, actually."
With that, Petraeus not only wandered off the reservation, he bolted. One could almost hear the sundry and panicked hearts being clutched in the White House. The mask was off their #1 guy; their p.r. extravaganza was now a bare-faced debacle.
Did General David Petraeus today suggest that the war in Iraq may not make the United States safer?
Petraeus replied, "I don't know, actually. I have not sat down and sorted in my own mind."
Don't know? Is it possible that the war is not making the United States safer? Petraeus went on to note that he has "taken into account" the war's impact on the U.S. military and that it's his job to recommend to the president the best course for reaching "the objectives of the policy" in Iraq. Yet he did not say that the Iraq war is essential to the national security of the United States. Warner did not press the general any further on this point. The senator's time was up.
That was quite a statement from the fellow who is supposed to save Bush's war. He advocates pursuing Bush's course of action in Iraq but he cannot attest that this effort is crucial for America's safety. Is that being a good soldier?
Mrs. F's company pays $2.6 mil per floor (they occupy the top two of the Merrill Lynch Building) per year in rent. Some of the rents in WTC were twice that. That's why we're gonna have the Freedom Tower soon enough. - Fixer in comments on yesterday's post
It's all there at the construction site. Tourists peer through the fence, but it's hard to understand what they think they're seeing. Everything that once spoke of the magnitude of the events of September 11 is gone. As much as its jagged smoking ruins were once a symbol for unparalleled disaster, now its bland expanse is a symbol of how narrow and parsimonious the long-term response has been. It's business as usual there, except for one small section of the fence with a listing of the names of those who died in letters so small that you almost have to squint to read them. Remember how we said we would never forget them? We forgot them. If the spirit of the day had prevailed, the sense that this was a moment like no other and demanded a gesture in kind, someone would have had the guts to leave this national graveyard solemn, empty and still. Instead there is a sign there that says that the job now is "to recover the 10 million-sq. feet of commercial space lost in the attacks." How American. It's all about the real estate.
Stevens and Lieberman and Craig are all pretty sterling arguments for senatorial term limits if you ask me. Letting those old farts moulder in place for thirty-plus years hasn’t done them or the nation any goddamn good at all, frankly. And if we can’t get term limits, can we at least get a minimum competency test? Ugly and old is fine for a Senate position, but I think we can all agree that “senile, belligerent, and delusional” should disqualify them from higher office.
A new proposal from the mayor of Amsterdam is sure to be considered a bummer by certain visitors to the Dutch city: a three-day waiting period to buy hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Mayor Job Cohen wants to require the wait period to allow mushroom buyers to fully understand exactly what it is they are purchasing, ANP news agency reported Tuesday.
On November 9, 2001, when you could still choke on the dust in the air near Ground Zero, BBC Television received a call in London from a top-level US intelligence agent. He was not happy. Shortly after George W. Bush took office, he told us reluctantly, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the FBI, “were told to back off the Saudis.”
Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, let me tell you that we found no evidence — none, zero, no kidding — that George Bush knew about Al Qaeda’s plan to attack on September 11. Indeed, the grim joke at BBC is that anyone accusing George Bush of knowing anything at all must have solid evidence (my em). This is not a story of what George Bush knew but rather of his very-unfunny ignorance. And it was not stupidity, but policy: no asking Saudis uncomfortable questions about their paying off roving packs of killers, especially when those Saudis are so generous to Bush family businesses.
Yes, Bill Clinton was also a bit too tender toward the oil men of Arabia. But this you should know: In his last year in office, Clinton sent two delegations to the Gulf to suggest that the Royal family crack down on “charitable donations” from their kingdom to the guys who blew up our embassies.
But when a failed Texas oil man took over the White House in January 2001, demands on the Saudis to cut off terror funding simply stopped.
Why now this belated move on the bin Laden’s former operation? Why not right after the September 11 attack? This year’s FBI raid occurred just days after an Islamist terror assault in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Apparently, messin’ with the oil sheiks gets this Administration’s attention. Falling towers in New York are only for Republican convention photo ops.
The 199-I memo was passed to BBC television by the gumshoes at the National Security News Service in Washington. We authenticated it, added in our own sleuthing, then gave the FBI its say, expecting the usual, “It’s baloney, a fake.” But we didn’t get the usual response. Rather, FBI headquarters said, “There are lots of things the intelligence community knows and other people ought not to know.”
Ought not to know?
What else ought we not to know, Mr. President? And when are we supposed to forget it?
"Swear Him In"
That's all I said in the unusual silence on Monday afternoon as first aid was being administered to Gen. David Petraeus's microphone before he spoke before the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees.
It had dawned on me when House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Missouri) invited Gen. Petraeus to make his presentation, Skelton forgot to ask him to take the customary oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I had no idea my suggestion would be enough to get me thrown out of he hearing.
Bottom line: The public appears to have decided that Petraeus won't tell them the truth about Iraq, that they want out of Iraq no matter what he says, and that the President won't change course in the wake of his testimony. Clever public.
Let’s frame this in a way
That’s easy to remember:
What the general means is
Spring is the new September.
The next six months in Iraq are crucial -- and always will be. [...]
It is actually amazing to watch media coverage of Gen. Petraeus' testimony depict him as though he has just risen from the apolitical ether as the objective and trustworthy source with regard to the war. The White House is desperate for that image to be maintained because the nation no longer trusts George Bush or Dick Cheney or other Republican office-holders, precisely because they have heard from those individuals over the last several years countless assurances of "progress," only for events repeatedly to prove those claims to be untrue.
From Bush to Brooks, Osama bin Laden knows how to play his useful idiots.
Just as Sylvester and Tweety Bird achieved lasting Hollywood fame from their comical cartoon chases, the less amusing duo of George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden continue to benefit each other by reviving their long-distance rivalry, one posturing against the other in a way that helps them both.
“The vast majority of you [Americans] want it [the Iraq War] stopped,” bin Laden said. “Thus you elected the Democratic Party for this purpose, but the Democrats haven't made a move worth mentioning.”
That means if the Democrats do renew their efforts toward forcing American troop withdrawals, Bush and his supporters can simply accuse the Democrats of following bin Laden’s orders or playing into bin Laden’s hands.
The reality may be the opposite, but a few Republican floor speeches and a couple of well-placed op-eds should be enough to spook the already nervous Democrats.
In other words, any similarity in language between bin Laden and what many Americans say in common conversations will be used to discredit them. They will become bin Laden’s fellow travelers.
All the better to get Bush and bin Laden what they both really want: a prolonged war in Iraq – and possibly a U.S. attack on the Shiite government of Iran.
Janis Martin, a teenage rockabilly sensation of the 1950s who was billed as "the female Elvis," died Sept. 3 of cancer at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. She was 67.
In a simple experiment reported todayin the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists at New York University and UCLA show that political orientation is related to differences in how the brain processes information.
Previous psychological studies have found that conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments whereas liberals are more open to new experiences. The latest study found those traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions.
The results show "there are two cognitive styles -- a liberal style and a conservative style," said UCLA neurologist Dr. Marco Iacoboni, who was not connected to the latest research.
Analyzing the data, Sulloway said liberals were 4.9 times as likely as conservatives to show activity in the brain circuits (coulda ended that sentence right there - G) that deal with conflicts, and 2.2 times as likely to score in the top half of the distribution for accuracy.
Based on the results, he said, liberals could be expected to more readily accept new social, scientific or religious ideas.
After mysteriously disappearing from public sight 2 days ago, Karl Rove has succeeded in eluding angry Democratic Congressional leaders, and flocks of bloggers with cell phone cameras. Now, there have been 3 spottings of Rove in a remote part of Paraguay.
It has been widely reported on the Internet, that George Bush purchased 99,000 acres of land in Paraguay shortly before last Fall's election, which swept away Rove's dream of a permanent Republican majority in Congress. Paraguay is in a region of the World which is traditionally safe for War Criminals.
I assume they thought this was very clever, having a blond American woman [Fran Townsend] insult bin Laden's manhood. (She might as well have held her thumb and forefinger up like she was measuring an inch while she said it.) I'll bet Bush snorted and snickered all afternoon. But sadly, it's probably true that some of bin Laden's followers are just as insecure about their manhood as Townsend's boss is and some poor schmoe in Afghanistan or Iraq or somewhere else willpay the ultimate price for her little taunt.
It will be all 9/11 all the time this week, as the White House yet again synchronizes its drumbeating for the Iraq war with the anniversary of an attack that had nothing to do with Iraq. Ignore that fog and focus instead on another date whose anniversary passed yesterday without notice: Sept. 8, 2002. What happened on that Sunday five years ago is the Rosetta Stone for the administration's latest scam.
That was the morning when the Bush White House officially rolled out its fraudulent case for the war. [...]
What followed was an epic propaganda onslaught of distorted intelligence, fake news, credulous and erroneous reporting by bona fide journalists, presidential playacting and Congressional fecklessness. Much of it had been plotted that summer of 2002 by the then-secret White House Iraq Group (WHIG), a small task force of administration brass charged with the Iraq con job.
Today the spirit of WHIG lives. In the stay-the-surge propaganda offensive that crests with this week's Congressional testimony of Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, history is repeating itself in almost every particular. Even the specter of imminent "nuclear holocaust" has been rebooted in President Bush's arsenal of rhetorical scare tactics.
As always with this White House, telegenic artificial realities are paramount. Exhibit A, of course, was last weekend's precisely timed "surprise" presidential junket: Mr. Bush took the measure of success "on the ground here in Anbar" (as he put it) without ever leaving a heavily fortified American base.
When the line separating spin from reality is so effectively blurred, the White House's propaganda mission has once more been accomplished. No wonder President Bush is cocky again. Stopping in Sydney for the economic summit after last weekend's photo op in Iraq, he reportedly told Australia's deputy prime minister that "we're kicking ass." This war has now gone on so long that perhaps he has forgotten the price our troops paid the last time he taunted our adversaries to bring it on, some four years and 3,500 American military fatalities ago.