Thursday, March 09, 2006

DAILY WAR NEWS FOR THURSDAY, March 9, 2006 Bring 'em on: Two U.S. Marines killed in Anbar province, March 7 and 8. OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS Baghdad: Car bomb kills at least nine people and wounds six all of them passers-by. Car bomb targeting Iraqi army patrol explodes outside one of Baghdad's main hospitals, killing two people and wounding 14. Two military vehicles reported to be on fire. Bodies of two Iraqi accountants who worked at the Green Zone found in house in Al-Mansour district. Kirkuk: Explosion in industrial area, killing two Iraqi civilians. Explosion in western Kirkuk targeting US patrol, injuring two civilians. Unidentified armed men open fire against student near the traffic directorate in Kirkuk, who dies on his way to hospital. Explosion in central Kirkuk targeting police patrol, police commissioner injured. Fallujah: Three bodies of unidentified civilians with gunshot wounds to the head, chest and limbs found in a village south of Falluja. Updates: Oil Ministry official says three of the 18 men found bound and strangled on Tuesday were employees of the state oil pipeline company in Dora in the south of the capital. There was still no information on the other 15 bodies. IRAQ NEWS 13 "insurgents" hanged in Iraq, marking the first time militants have been executed in the country since the U.S.-led invasion ousted Saddam Hussein. Iraqi parties agree that new parliament must convene at latest on Sunday, but the Shi'ite alliance which won the election has yet to agree to attend the session. Official says Shiite party suppressed body count: Days after the bombing of a Shiite shrine unleashed a wave of retaliatory killings of Sunnis, the leading Shiite party in Iraq's governing coalition directed the Health Ministry to stop tabulating execution-style shootings, according to a ministry official familiar with the recording of deaths. The official, who spoke on the condition that he not be named because he feared for his safety, said a representative of the Shiite party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, ordered that government hospitals and morgues catalogue deaths caused by bombings or clashes with insurgents, but not by execution-style shootings. A statement this week by the U.N. human rights department in Baghdad appeared to support the account of the Health Ministry official. The agency said it had received information about Baghdad's main morgue -- where victims of fatal shootings are taken -- that indicated "the current acting director is under pressure by the Interior Ministry in order not to reveal such information and to minimize the number of casualties." The U.N. office said it had not confirmed the information about the morgue and had been unable so far to obtain an accounting of the toll from Iraqi authorities. Spokesmen for the Health Ministry and the Supreme Council -- commonly known by its initials, SCIRI -- denied that any order to alter the tabulation of deaths had been issued. U.S. to close Abu Ghraib, probably within three months, and transfer some 4,500 prisoners to other jails in Iraq, a military spokesman said on Thursday. "We will transfer operations from Abu Ghraib to the new Camp Cropper once construction is completed there," Lieutenant Colonel Keir-Kevin Curry told Reuters. Dust storm driven by howling wind envelops Baghdad. Three Iraq-returned Japanese troops commit suicide: Although officials were uncertain whether the suicides, reported since early 2004, were related to their service in Iraq, the rate is higher than the number of suicides by troops not despatched to Iraq. About 2,800 Japanese troops have returned home since completing their humanitarian and reconstruction mission in the southern Iraqi city of Samawah, Kyodo News Agency reported, quoting agency officials. Japan has 600 troops still serving in Samawah. Antiwar Activists detained at House Appropriations Committee hearing: Two activists were arrested today after disrupting the hearing of the House Appropriations Committee. The Committee is considering approving nearly $65 billion in supplemental spending to fund the war in Iraq. The two activists were arrested after they read the names of Iraqi citizens and U.S. soldiers who have died in this war. The action was part of the "Winter of Our Discontent" actions organized by Voices for Creative Nonviolence. "We act today to stop the death and suffering this war is causing in Iraq, and to urge others in the peace movement to raise the ante" said Mike Ferner, a member of Veterans for Peace and Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and a former member of Toledo City Council. "Over 2300 U.S. soldiers and well over 100,000 Iraqi citizens have died in this war. It is time to end the occupation; to bring our troops home; and to pay so that Iraqis can rebuild their country after 15 years of brutal economic and military warfare waged by the U.S." Since February 15, VCNV members have participated in a liquids-only fast and vigil at the U.S. Capitol. Four have gone without food as an act of solidarity with Iraqi citizens and as a call to the U.S. government and citizens to end the war against Iraq. This action is the second action of civil resistance carried out during the Winter of Our Discontent campaign. The first occurred on February 27 in which 7 people were arrested at the White House. Jimmy Carter criticizes war, urges troop drawdown: "It was a completely unnecessary war. It was an unjust war," said Carter, the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner. "It was initiated on the basis of false pretenses. All of those are true, but we can't just pre-emptively withdraw." He urged the Bush administration to bring home as many troops as possible within the next 12 months. Rummy and Condi heckled while defending massive spending in Iraq: President George W. Bush's defense and foreign policy chiefs defended massive U.S. spending in Iraq on Thursday to lawmakers wanting to know when U.S. troops can come home and how much the war will cost. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice kicked off testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee and was briefly interrupted by a protester who shouted "blood is on your hands" and "how many of you have children going to war?" before he was led out. Another protester then interrupted, saying, "Fire Rumsfeld. Fire Rumsfeld. This is an illegal and immoral war," referring to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who was sitting alongside Rice. The White House is asking Congress for $70 billion in new emergency funds for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and will seek an additional $50 billion for those wars early in fiscal 2007. REPORTS Gunmen killed some 182 Iraqi university professors and academics since U.S. invasion and a group representing Iraqi academia said on Thursday the killings constituted a war crime. Cries in mainstream media of civil war fall on deaf ears of many Iraqis: "From the first day of the occupation, because the US government made meetings only with Shi'ites and Kurds in London and they had an agreement with each other, but without Sunnis, this was the beginning of the problem," said Mohammed Kareem, a 37-year-old security guard in Baghdad. Those responsible for the Samarra bombing have yet to be located, but names of suspects abound. The US and Iraq's current governing council have made it clear they believe al-Qaeda was involved. Some reports blame others. It has been revealed that Iraq's minister for national security received reports in advance of the bombing that Shi'ite shrines were being considered for terrorist attacks. Last week, Mithal al-Alusi, a Sunni independent, called for "a political-judicial committee to be established immediately to check out these reports". It was largely the failure to investigate attacks that followed the Samarra bombing that led media around the world to declare that Iraq was on the brink of a civil war. Some parties may have their own reasons for projecting a civil war in Iraq. "Some of the Shi'ite leaders in Iraq, especially those who came from Iran after the war, want to split Iraq and take the southern part for them," Kareem said. "The Kurds also want this, their purpose is to take the northern part from Iraq. Also, the Iranian government wants this and they support the civil war in Iraq more than any other side. They need the US troops to be busy in Iraq to leave Iran safe because they expect that the US troops will invade Iran after Iraq." Ex-Iraq ambassador predicts civil war, condemns occupation: A former Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations has said his country was headed for civil war and blamed the occupation forces for the sectarian violence. In an interview with CNN, Mohamed Aldouri, Saddam Hussein's representative at the world body, said the occupation forces were acting as a magnet for extremists bent on preventing Iraq from developing into a full democracy. "I think the occupation plays on the sectarianism problems of Iraq right now," Aldouri said on Wednesday from the United Arab Emirates, where he has been living since the fall of Saddam. Asked if he thought that civil war could break out in Iraq, he said: "It's very, very likely ... I think that the main problem for Iraq now is the occupation itself. I am against the occupation. I am against those who are working with the occupation." He said he thought that Iraq was "very, very capable of governing itself" and that when the occupation forces pulled out, the people who had arrived at the same time would go home too. He said Iraqis were a "very rational" people and that there might be some trouble from the Kurdish population in the north, but "the other part of Iraq [Sunni and Shia], I think they will stick to their unity. I think this is ... their hope". Aldouri said the Iraqis were now pinning their hope on "the national resistance, who resist the occupation, who resist the foreign armies". While he did not condone Iraqi insurgents attacking fellow Iraqis, Aldouri said the attacks against the US-led occupation forces were justified. "This is legal ... to resist foreigners, the occupation," he said. With similar reasoning, Aldouri considered Saddam's incarceration and prosecution unjustified. "It is illegal ... because, you know, he was captured under the occupation ... So [under] international law, he should not [be jailed]." Neocon rats leaving Bush ship: These are the right-wing intellectuals who demanded George Bush invade Iraq. Now they admit they got it wrong. Are you listening, Mr President? William Buckley Jnr - influential conservative columnist and TV pundit
'One can't doubt the objective in Iraq has failed ... Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an army of 130,000 Americans. Different plans have to be made. And the kernel here is the acknowledgement of defeat.'
Francis Fukuyama - author and long-term advocate of toppling Saddam
'By invading Iraq, the Bush administration created a self-fulfilling prophecy: Iraq has now replaced Afghanistan as a magnet, a training ground and an operational base for jihadists, with plenty of American targets to shoot at.'
Richard Perle - arch-warmonger and pivotal Republican hawk
'The military campaign and its political aftermath were both passionately debated within the Bush administration. It got the war right and the aftermath wrong We should have understood that we needed Iraqi partners.'
Two-thirds of Americans say Iraqis better off now than under Saddam: On the question of how Iraqis are doing, a slight majority of Britons, 52 percent, and Canadians, 51 percent, said the Iraqis are better off. Just over four in 10 Italians, 43 percent, felt that way, according to the poll of about 1,000 adults in each of eight countries and 1,600 in a poll conducted in person in Mexico. They were conducted from Feb. 10-19 and had a margin of error of about plus or minus 3 percentage points. In Mexico, South Korea and Spain, people were pessimistic about the plight of Iraqis, while in Germany and France - two countries that strongly opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq - people were about evenly divided. "Iraq is in a worse situation now," said Michael Degrange, a student interviewed in Paris. "Under Saddam's control... there was an order, even if it was had by brutal force." TV ads push Iraq war support: In an early sign of the imagery that may flood the nation's television screens as congressional elections approach this fall, a conservative political group closely aligned with the Bush administration has launched a blitz of television ads to shore up sagging public support for the war in Iraq. The television commercials feature vivid portraits of smoke pouring from the World Trade Center and the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Madrid and London as veterans of the Iraq war and parents of fallen soldiers make the case for continuing the U.S. military campaign in Iraq. In what appears to be a test before the advertising campaign is rolled out to a broader audience, the political group Progress for America spent more than $1 million to air the commercials in Minnesota over a two-week period, according to a source familiar with the ad buy. Progress for America spokesman Stuart Roy said the group purchased "a saturation buy" in which the average Minnesota television viewer saw two pro-war commercials a combined total of 22 times between Feb. 9 and 22. The commercials feature testimonials from members of Families United in Support of Our Troops and Their Mission, an advocacy group of Iraq veterans and their families founded by Chuck Larson, a Iowa legislator and former state Republican party chairman who served in Iraq as an Army reservist. Though the ads feature the words of veterans and family members, their messages match familiar White House talking points on the war: that the nation must be in Iraq to fight terrorists who would otherwise attack America at home and that the effort is progressing well. One of the ads includes complaints that the media coverage of the war has been misleading. "You'd never know it from the news reports, but our enemy in Iraq is Al Qaeda, the same terrorists who killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11," the ad says. Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Wednesday, 8 March 2006 (excerpt): Forty-nine mercenary security contract workers abducted by men wearing puppet "Shock Troop" uniforms early Wednesday afternoon. In a dispatch posted at 7:50pm Mecca time Wednesday evening, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that a group of armed men wearing uniforms of the puppet "Interior Ministry Shock Troops (Maghawir)" stormed into the offices of a mercenary security company working under contract with the US occupation forces in the az-Zuyunah neighborhood of the ar-Rusafah district of Baghdad and abducted 49 employees. The raid took place at about 1pm local time Wednesday afternoon. Al-Jazeera satellite TV reported the name of the mercenary company as Sharikat Rawafid al-'Iraq al-Amniyah ("The Pillars of Iraq Security Company"). Al-Jazeera reported that 30 men armed with heavy machine guns showed up in 15 cars and raided the company. They led some 50 employees away - all the staff in the office apart from three guards who were not abducted. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam, who went to the scene of the abduction, reported money changers who operate shops opposite the security company as saying that between 13 and 15 men wearing uniforms of the 3rd Brigade of the puppet "Shock Troops" stormed into the security company and abducted or "arrested" all those inside at gunpoint. One of the sources told Mafkart al-Islam that the company, which is one of the well-known mercenary security companies in Baghdad, is always under heavy protection and armed guard - a fact that raises many questions about the raid. Ra'fat al-Bayyati, a journalist who spoke to al-Jazeera, said that the armed raiders confiscated the weapons they found in the security office and also took their safe. A captain in the puppet "Iraqi Ministry of Defense" told Mafkarat al-Islam that the attack still remains mysterious, since at the time of writing, neither the puppet "Ministry of Defense" nor the puppet "Interior Ministry," whose forces supposedly carried out the raid, had made any comment on the incident. In its dispatch on the incident, al-Jazeera reported that the puppet "Interior Ministry" announced that it did not carry out raids in that part of Baghdad. COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS ’We killed their families and then denied them the right to come to the United States to tell what the U.S. had done to their families‘: This weekend, seven Iraqi women arrived in New York City, or at least were supposed to, to begin a speaking tour to educate Americans about the reality in Iraq and meet with UN and U.S. officials to call for a peace plan. We will be joined by two of them, but before we go to them, I wanted to turn to Medea Benjamin, who is organizing this tour around the country, founder of Code Pink Women for Peace. Medea, I said seven women came into the country or were supposed to, because, in fact, only five made it."
MEDEA BENJAMIN: "Two of the women who we wanted to bring here were women whose entire families were killed by the U.S. military. As they were driving in their cars to get away from the violence, the tanks came and shot into their cars. One woman talks about her little boy on her lap and seeing the bullet go right through his forehead, her other two children killed, her husband killed, and her left in the car with the bloody bodies. We thought it was important to bring these women to meet with Cindy Sheehan, other U.S. mothers who have lost their children. And yet, when these women went to apply for their visas, they were denied. When I called the State Department to find out why, they said they had no compelling family ties left in Iraq that would ensure that they would return home, so they were at risk of staying in the United States." AMY GOODMAN: "So, they were denied entry into the United States because the U.S. military had killed their families?" MEDEA BENJAMIN: "They could not prove that they would want to go home. So, yes, we killed their families and then denied them the right to come to the United States to tell what the U.S. had done to their families."
Question: Back in October 2004, Hammorabi [Iraqi blogger] posted graphic images of children killed by a "Zarqawi" bombing in Baghdad. Funny thing about that: a Reuters crew filmed their "identical twins, who died that same day after a US airstrike in Fallujah." Why would "Sam" lift photos of children killed by US bombs and apply the atrocity to another "foreign fighter"? Gen. William Odom: Iraq through the prism of Vietnam: The Vietnam War experience can't tell us anything about the war in Iraq - or so it is said. If you believe that, trying looking through this lens, and you may change your mind. The Vietnam War had three phases. The War in Iraq has already completed an analogous first phase, is approaching the end of the second phase, and shows signs of entering the third. Phase One in Vietnam lasted from 1961 until the Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution in March 1965, authorizing deployment of large U.S. combat forces in South Vietnam. It began with hesitation and a gross misreading of American strategic interests. It concluded with the U.S. use of phony intelligence that made it seem that North Vietnamese patrol boats had attacked U.S. ships in the Tonkin Gulf without provocation. The Johnson Administration used an apparent North Vietnamese attack on U.S. ships in the Gulf of Tonkin on the coast of North Vietnam in the spring of 1965 to persuade Congress to support the introduction of major U.S. ground forces in South Vietnam. We now know that U.S. special operations - incursions into North Vietnam by Navy Seals - played a role in prompting North Vietnamese gun boat actions that became the casus belli for President Johnson. Thus, a misleading interpretation of the known facts, i.e., the intelligence assessment of these events, became the critical factor in making it America's war, not just Saigon's war. Phase One in Iraq, the run-up to the invasion, looks remarkably similar. Broodings about the "necessity" to overthrow Saddam's regime were heard earlier, but signs of action appeared in January 2002, when President Bush proclaimed his "axis of evil" thesis about Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, countries he accused of acquiring "weapons of mass destruction" and supporting terrorists against the United States. This became the cornerstone of his rationale for invading Iraq, and it was no less ill-conceived than the strategic purpose for President Johnson's war in Vietnam. It better served the interests of Iran and Osama bin Laden. Phase Two in Vietnam was marked by a refusal to reconsider the war's "strategic" rationale. Rather, debate focused only on "tactical" issues as the war went sour. By 1965 things had begun going badly for U.S. military operations. By the end of March 1968, public opinion was turning against the war and Johnson chose not to run for re-election. His own party in Congress was breaking with him, and the pro-war New York Times reversed itself that summer. During this phase, no major leader or opinion maker in the United States dared revisit the key strategic judgment: did the U.S. war aim of containing China make sense? Instead, debate focused on how the war was being fought: on search-and-destroy operations, on body counts, and pacification efforts. This obsession with tactical issues made it easier to ignore the strategic error. As time passed, costs went up, casualties increased, and public support fell. We could not afford to "cut and run," it was argued. "The Viet Cong would carry out an awful blood-letting." Supporters of the war expected no honest answer when they asked "How can we get out?" Eventually Senator Aiken of Vermont gave them one: "In boats." Phase Two in Iraq reveals that the same kind of strategic denial error prevails today. Since 2003, public discourse has focused on how the war is being fought. Reconstruction is inadequate. Not enough troops are available. We should not have dismantled the Iraqi military. Elections will save the day. The insurgency is in its "last throes." And so on. Some of these criticisms are valid, but they fail to address the fundamental issue, the validity of U.S. strategic purpose. Phase Three in Vietnam was marked by "Vietnamization" and "make-believe diplomacy" in Paris, policies still ignoring the strategic realities at the war's beginning. The wind-down in Vietnam actually started in Johnson's last year in office, but Richard Nixon implemented it (taking his time doing so). Rather than a rapid pullout, he pursued two tactics. The first was turning the war over to South Vietnam's military so that U.S. forces could withdraw. By 1972 most of them were gone. Second, negotiations in Paris through Soviet intermediaries with the North Vietnamese began. Both were based on transparently false assumptions. Phase Three in Iraq is only beginning. Early signs were apparent in the presidential election campaign of 2004. Both Bush and Kerry put full confidence in "Iraqization." U.S. forces will "stand down" as Iraqi forces "stand up." They differed only on who could train more Iraqis faster. Nor would they acknowledge that "political consolidation" had to come before "military consolidation," as the Vietnam experience demonstrated. Will Phase Three in Iraq end with helicopters flying out of the "green zone" in Baghdad? It all sounds so familiar. A high-level leak has revealed that God is "furious" at Tony Blair's attempts to implicate him in the bombing of Iraq: Sources close to the archangel Gabriel report him as describing the Almighty as "hopping mad ... with sanctimonious yet unscrupulous politicians claiming He would condone their bestial activities when He has no way of going public Himself, owing to the MMW agreement" (a reference to the long-established Moving in Mysterious Ways concordat). Mr Blair went public about God on Michael Parkinson's TV show. "If you have faith about these things," he said, "then you realise that judgment is made by other people. If you believe in God, it's made by God as well." As is customary with Mr Blair's statements, it's rather hard to tease out what he is actually saying; but the gist is clearly that if God didn't actually tell him to bomb Iraq, then the Almighty would certainly agree it was the right thing to do. "If Tony Blair thinks his friendship with George W Bush is worth rubbing out a couple of hundred thousand Iraqi men, women and children, then that's something he can talk over with me later," said God. "But when he starts publicly claiming that's the way I do the arithmetic too, it's time I put my foot down!" It is well known that God has a very big foot. A source says Gabriel has spent days trying to dissuade the Almighty from loosing a plague of toads upon the Blair family. Gabriel reminded God that Cherie and the children had nothing to do with Tony's decisions. God's response, it is reliably reported, was: "Blair says the Iraqis are lucky to have got bombed, so how can he complain if his family gets a few toads in the bath?" · Terry Jones is a film director, actor and Python How to be welcomed in Iraq with rice and flowers :
Can you truly understand what it feels like to watch in the darkness as your husband, loaded with weapons, chemical antidotes and somber anticipation, boards a bus to an airfield where he will board a plane that will take him to war? For those of you who have never been there - please don't say you understand. You never will."
Monica Benderman wrote these words about her husband Kevin who served one tour of duty in Iraq before declaring himself a conscientious objector. Sgt. Benderman is now serving a 15-month sentence at the Ft. Lewis, WA stockade for seeking CO status and refusing to return to Iraq. As I read Monica's account of watching her husband board a military bus, I remembered what it was like for me each time I got ready to go to Iraq. I remembered what I carried and how I felt when the plane finally lifted and I knew I was on my way. Mostly I felt elated, so elated I would spend hour after hour not reading or watching in flight movies but rather taking great pleasure in imagining what lay ahead. Unlike Sgt. Benderman, I wasn't going to war. I was returning to a land and a people I had come to honor, to cherish, and to love. More importantly, I was returning to my family - not my family of origin but to a web of relationships of which I had become an integral part. And I knew, the way Sgt. Benderman and every other American soldier could never know, that when I arrived in Baghdad I would be truly welcomed as a friend, as a brother, as part of the family. It took the better part of five years to find my place, to "win the hearts and minds" of people with whom I could scarcely communicate, at least in the early stages of our relationship. But through the course of 9 visits to Iraq, from 1997 to 2002, I did much more than win hearts and minds. I created bonds of love and understanding that will sustain me for the rest of my life. And I pray these same bonds will also sustain my Iraqi family. Of course, no amount of turmoil in my own life can compare to what they must endure every day as a result of the bloodshed and anarchy Mr. Bush and his enablers have visited upon their homeland. My family knows all too well that the universal ideals of freedom and democracy are so far only words wielded by cruel, wanton leaders whose true intent - to control in perpetuity Iraq's oil reserves, "a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in history" - remains hidden behind their shining lies about America's concern for the people of Iraq. Our troops were led to believe they would be greeted as liberators and showered with rice and flowers as they marched in triumph through the cities and villages of Iraq. Nobody told them about the roadside bombs, the ambushes, the RPGs, or the suicide bombers that would soon take the place of their short-lived welcome. Nobody prepared them for the hostility their presence, to say nothing of their actions, would generate. And nobody warned them that once their mission was "accomplished" the fighting would go on, the fallen would return home in secret transport planes, and the wounded in body and soul would disappear into forgotten hospital wards or end up on the streets of our cities, homeless, poor, and alone. No rice, no flowers, no thanks for toppling the regime, killing tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis, and wrecking what was left of the country after two previous wars, twelve years of sanctions, and decades of dictatorship. Rice and flowers are such simple gifts. It doesn't take an army to acquire them. An open heart, an outstretched hand, a humble recognition of oneself in the other - that's enough. Like many peace workers who traveled to Iraq, I've received my share of rice and flowers, and for these things I will be forever grateful. Suha, one of my sisters, is an excellent cook. Before the invasion, whenever I went to her home in Baghdad, she prepared my favorite rice dish - dolma, which she makes by stuffing vegetables with seasoned rice and currants. Even now, despite our three-year separation and the violence that presses down on her and her family on all sides, she sends me batches of home baked Iraqi cookies at least twice a year. Her husband Saad, who has become seriously ill, too ill to work, used to pick a yellow rose from his garden and give it to me every time I came to visit. A man who enjoys a good laugh, he loved to call me "Sheik George" and to remind me time and again that "my house is your house." Saad would insist on having me wear his sandals, sit in his favorite seat, and even dress in one of his long Iraqi-style shirts. Every time we talk on the phone, he recalls with fondness the winter when I came to stay with him and his family. I lived in his home for a week - the home of a working class Shia family in central Baghdad. I slept on the floor with their four boys, whom I entertained at bedtime by making up tunes on my harmonica or telling Arabic folktales. And during meals, we gathered together in the living room and ate from bowls set out on a large metal tray. "I think now you are Iraqi," one of the boys once said as we ate. And so I am, at least in the sense of recognizing the injustices the Iraqi people have suffered first under their own government and now under ours, and in believing, as an American citizen, that I have to do what I can to end the bloodshed and let justice prevail. BEYOND IRAQ U.S. military chopper crashes in remote mountainous area of Afghanistan. The Bubble-boy's October surprise: Thus, if an attack [on Iran] occurs, it probably will be limited to missile strikes and bomb drops on selected nuclear facilities. And if the attack occurs before or during October, you can bet it's because Karl Rove has persuaded the Bubble-boy that measures greater than heated rhetoric and threats of war are required to prevent the Democrats from taking control of the House of Representatives after November's mid-term elections. Republicans will use the threat of war, or war itself, to deflect attention from the Bubble-boy's "high Crimes and Misdemeanors," as well as his string of abysmal failures. Such failures increasingly penetrate the minds of even the most politically obtuse of Americans and, thus, jeopardize continued Republican control of the House. Simply consider Bubble-boy's record: (1) failure to prevent the terrorist attacks of 9/11, (2) lies and deceit about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and links to al Qaeda to scare gullible Americans into supporting an illegal, immoral preventive war, (3) gross incompetence in conducting America's post-invasion occupation, (4) war crimes committed at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo (5) criminal neglect while Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, (6) illegal eavesdropping on innocent Americans in willful violation of his oath to uphold the Constitution. Had such evil and incompetence occurred in Japan, where people truly understand shame and honor, the whole administration might have committed seppuku. But this is twenty-first century America, teeming with unshakable Bush supporters - abetted by FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the Washington Times and neoconservative "dead-enders" at The Weekly Standard -- who understand neither shame nor honor, just the inflating Bubble-boy's bubble. Which is why honorable Americans have no recourse but to impeach, convict and remove Bush/Cheney from office -- as a prelude to their criminal indictments, trials and probable convictions. Sentiment to impeach has gathered steam. In November 2005 a Zogby poll indicated that 51% of Americans supported the impeachment of Bush, were it proved that he lied to them in order to invade Iraq. On March 1st, Garrison Keillor called for Bush's impeachment, as did the esteemed Lewis Lapham, in the March 2006 issue of Harper's. Thus, it was no accident that the 8 March 2006 issue of the Wall Street Journal raised the issue of impeachment. Yet the thrust of the Journal article was that Democrats are wary about pursuing impeachment, having seen how swing-voting Americans rebuked Republicans at the polls for having impeached President Clinton. Although the Journal raises a legitimate question, when it asks whether Democrats can achieve a majority in the House of Representatives by campaigning for Bubble-boy's impeachment; the entire tenor of the article would have changed, had it acknowledged the obvious: that lying to conceal a "blow job" is profoundly less impeachable than lying to invade another country. Judging by the rhetoric of officials in Bubble-boy's administration, however, they're not counting on help from the Wall Street Journal. Instead, they appear ready to risk spreading religious war across the entire Middle East, causing an untold number of deaths and bringing forth near universal condemnation by launching a preemptive strike on Iran. Thus, although the pretext will be one of preventing Iran from getting the bomb, you can bet the farm that if the bombs cause an October surprise - they will have been dropped to prevent any possibility of Bubble-boy's impeachment. Jesus as the ultimate WMD: One of the American elite's (amongst whom I include their complicit disseminators of propaganda in the mainstream media) most repulsive means of grabbing and maintaining power has been its shameless use of spiritual manipulation, a heinous form of psychological abuse. Preying on fear, insecurity, and ignorance, they have perverted true Christianity to the extent that a third of those voting for George Bush, a man as morally repugnant as Dorian Gray, were a part of the radical Religious Right. Just as some Islamic fundamentalists wield religion as a weapon, the morally bankrupt aristocracy of the United States utilizes religion as a tool of war. Employing the power of spiritual manipulation to muster the support of their minions of extremist Christians, the authors of the Project for the New American Century mobilized enough popular support to invade a nation which had not harmed the United States, to eradicate the poor in New Orleans through passive mass murder and a Diaspora, to sell our children's future by committing to $8 trillion worth of debt to power their war machine, to cut taxes on the rich, and to increase war spending while cutting spending on programs which benefit humanity. I hate to burst the bubble of those still deluded enough to accept the false premise (advanced by the Bush Regime) that we are a Christian nation embroiled in a modern day crusade against the followers of an Islamic religion which teaches them to hate democracy and brutally violate human rights. Here is a dose of reality. Over the last century, this "good Christian nation" and our friends in Israel have slaughtered, murdered, and tortured millions of Islamic people, both directly and indirectly (through proxy dictators). In contrast, Islamic murders of Americans, Christians and Jews are a relative drop in the bucket. Rather than "spreading freedom and democracy", Bush has the United States spreading imperialism, torture, and murder of innocent civilians. Saddam Hussein's removal from power was a mere sideshow. If the United States was so concerned with its moral obligation to remove a ruthless dictator from power, there were many others they could have targeted. It was oil, power, and increased security for our terrorist proxy occupying Palestine that motivated the United States to invade Iraq. Please excuse my use of profanity above, but it felt so good to echo Cheney's choice sentiments back to him and his unwholesome cohorts. Meanwhile, send Satan a postcard on his vacation. Our imperialistic rulers do not need him to perpetrate their acts of profound moral depravity. They glide on the momentum generated by fanatical followers who believe they have the market cornered on morality and that Jesus will soon return to Earth as the ultimate WMD. The essence of intellectual terrorism is to: demonise the enemy, and concurrently silence them. Usually it is a precursor to genocide or mass murder e.g. the Nazi's in Germany . Dehumanising the enemy makes it easier to commit such acts, as one can wash the blood stained hands with previously issued excuses, but not the stains from a guilty mind. Apart from hurling abuse, intellectual terrorists also hide behind promoting ideals like, peace, human rights, freedom etc. In the name of peace they initiate war; they lecture about human rights while engaged in inhuman tortures; they crave for freedom by taking the freedom of others, by bombing them to incineration. Democracies project intellectual terrorism as an exercise of free speech; many of the fanatical liberals go further to claim it as a prerequisite of free speech. Therefore, the crux of their argument is: if you cannot terrorise ethnic communities like the Muslims, then you are not free; and you are unable to exercise free speech! So Muslims, please line up to endure further abuse, because the Western Liberals and their journalists need to do this like a drug addict needs a fix, in order to maintain their conviction that they are free souls capable of exercising free speech. After all, what could be more important than the freedom of these pen-pushers? It goes further, Western democracies not only demonise and gag the Muslims simultaneously in the name of free speech, but they even claim to do it on their behalf. That is like telling the inmates at Camp-X-Ray that their incarceration is in fact a gift from the benevolent US to educate them about human rights! As Bush said and demonstrated in Iraq, dead or alive it does not matter; they waved the victory flag of 'freedom' over the dead carcasses of people who have permanently lost their freedom. But never mind, it was for their benefit! Intellectual terrorism is also used to turn the victim into the perpetrator. For example, Salman Rushdie [1] and most of the Western Liberals view the protests from the Muslims over the Danish cartoon as a manifestation of Islamic "totalitarianism". Did the Muslims suddenly decided to proactively demonstrate or did they RESPOND to reject secular totalitarianism in the guise of cheap insults? The logic behind blaming the Muslims instead of the cartoonists is like saying; - unless I can punch you in the face, I do not have the freedom and you should not restrict my freedom to punch your face and not react. This implies that we as Muslims should accept to be punched otherwise we are restricting the freedom of the cartoonists, and imposing our values on them. I suppose a serial killer could also make the same accusations against those who oppose his activity! Rushdie advocates the need to resist religious totalitarianism but would he use that principle to fight the Hindu extremists in India or the militant Jews in Israel and the US? Fat chance! We know it does not take any courage or conviction to go with current fad of Muslim bashing in the West, for personal gains. Attacking the Muslims or any group that has been made voiceless is very easy. Like attacking a country after it has been stripped of all its weapons (nudge, nudge, wink, wink Bush and Blair). In reality, the so-called fight against religious totalitarianism is nothing more than a fig leaf to impose secular totalitarianism upon the Muslims. The intellectual terrorists are telling the wider Arab/Islamic world that you are free to choose whatever system you like, as long as it is a democracy, and then only if the winning party is not an Islamic party and that must be approved by them. You can exercise free speech as long you use it to abuse Islam and the Muslims and respect the Jews. Similarly, the Western Liberals continue to scream at Muslims to abide by free speech, while they hide under the umbrella of anti-Semitism, refusing to comply with the notion of free speech. Free means free like an apple means apple. Curtailing it in any way means it ceases to be free but they appear dim witted on this point. Those intellectual terrorists who demonise others using free speech are the ones trying to limit free speech, because they are unable to cope, when they are on the receiving end of someone else's free speech.


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