Saturday, October 28, 2006

DAILY WAR NEWS FOR SATURDAY, October 28, 2006 Photo: U.S. soldiers from the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team stand guard at a checkpoint in Baghdad, October 27, 2006. (Thaier al-Sudani/Reuters) Six Iraqis including three women and two children were killed in a U.S. air strike in Ramadi, a doctor at Ramadi hospital said. A police brigadier said five civilians were killed in the attack. There was no immediate comment from the U.S. military several hours after a request for information. Doctor Kamal al-Ani said the bodies of six members of a single family killed in the strike had been brought to Ramadi hospital, before being released to relatives for burial. Police Brigadier Hamid Hamad Shuka confirmed there was an airstrike in the south of the city at dawn. He said five civilians were killed in the strike.
Asked to clarify whether the US military was referring to the same incident as reported by Iraqi officials, a spokeswoman said there were no reports of airstrikes around dawn on Saturday. Asked about the report, the US military said that the troops came under attack several times on Friday and responded with tank fire and "precision munitions" - a phrase commonly associated with air-launched missiles. US forces killed "numerous insurgents", including some waiting in an ambush and gunmen firing at a US outpost, the military said. Residents reported clashes in the streets of Ramadi, and said U.S. troops were using loudspeakers to order people to stay in their homes. U.S. forces were also blocking entrances to the city. "Coalition forces also noted two unexplained explosions that were possible IED and rocket-propelled grenade misfires," it said, adding that it was not able to assess civilian casualties in the incident.
Bring 'em on: One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died Friday from injuries sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province.
98 U.S. GIs killed in Iraq this month
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS Baghdad: One person was killed and 35 wounded when a rocket slammed into an outdoor market in Baghdad's southern neighborhood of Dora. A person was killed and nine were wounded when a bomb went off in a minibus in an eastern Baghdad district. A roadside bomb targeting security forces guarding an oil industry facility wounded two police officers in eastern Baghdad. A total of 12 bodies were recovered throughout Baghdad. Mortar shells killed three Iraqis and wounded five others south of Baghdad. It was not immediately known who fired the shells. (South of) The U.S. military said U.S. troops killed a suspected insurgent who was disguised as a woman and detained 10 more suspects in a raid south of Baghdad on Saturday. Nasiriya: A private security guard from Nepal was wounded when gunmen attacked an electricity power unit in Nasiriya, 375 km (235 miles) south of Baghdad. Kut: Gunmen killed a former member of the Baath Party in the town of Wihda, south of Kut, 170 km (105 miles) southeast of Baghdad. Numaniya: Police retrieved one body with signs of torture and bullet wounds from a river near the town of Numaniya, 120 km (72 miles) south of Baghdad. Suwayra: Police retrieved five bodies with signs of torture and bullet wounds from the Tigris River in the town of Suwaira, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad. Shujeiriya: Iraqi and U.S. forces killed 15 gunmen near Kut. Iraqi and U.S. forces clashed with gunmen in a raid near Kut in southern Iraq on Saturday, Iraqi Major General Hussein Abdul Hadi said. Hadi said a joint U.S. and Iraqi force raided a target in the town of Shujeiriya, north of Kut, and detained eight suspects. Baqubah: Police say they found two bodies in the central district of Baqouba 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. A third body was pulled from a river earlier today. Udhaim: Gunmen have kidnapped 11 Iraqi soldiers travelling in a minibus at a fake checkpoint in a town north of Baghdad, a joint US and Iraqi policing centre said. The soldiers were wearing civilian clothes and were taken out of the bus at gunpoint after the gunmen found their military IDs. The abduction took place in Udhaim, some 50 kilometres north of Baquba Diyala Prv: Unknown militants opened fire at a bus carrying people returning from a funeral in Diyala. Four people were killed and five others were wounded, some of whom with serious injuries. Khalis: Four people were killed on Friday and five wounded when gunmen opened fire on their minibus in the village of Muradiya near the town of Khalis, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad. The minibus was heading back from a funeral in Najaf. Mahdudiya: A roadside bomb exploded near an Iraqi police patrol, killing one policeman and wounding three others. Dujail: A car bomb exploded near a municipal building in Dujail, wounding five people including a policeman in the town, 90 km (55 miles) north of Baghdad. Kirkuk: Police found two bodies dumped near a road between Kirkuk and Hawija. The bodies had signs of torture and bullet wounds, a police source said. Hawija: Gunmen broke into the house of an Iraqi women's rights campaigner and shot her dead in front of her three children, police have said. Captain Imad Khudhir of the Kirkuk police said Saturday 38-year-old Halima Ahmed Hussein al-Juburi was killed late on Friday by 10 unidentified attackers who broke into her home in the northern town of Hawijah. Juburi was the head of the Human Rights organisation of Maternity and Childhood in Hawijah. One Iraqi soldier was killed and three wounded when they raided a house in Hawija, 70 km (43 miles) southwest of Kirkuk, and clashed with gunmen inside. Fallujah: At least two soldiers and one civilian were killed in clashes between Iraqi army and insurgents. Another three civilians were wounded. >> NEWS Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki mended fences with his chief foreign ally, US President George W. Bush, after a fractious week of testy exchanges and diplomatic mis-steps. The embattled leader talked with Bush by video conference from Baghdad and afterwards reaffirmed the countries' joint vision of building stronger Iraqi security forces to fight for a stable, democratic administration. Statements issued in Washington and Baghdad announced the creation of a high-level working group to oversee security comprising Iraqi security ministers, the US military commander in Iraq and the US ambassador. This came after Maliki warned Washington's envoy to Iraq, ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, that "I consider myself a friend of the United States, but I'm not America's man in Iraq", according to a senior aide Saturday. >> REPORTS IRAQI LEAGUE DISCOVERS SIGNIFICANT DETAILS OF THE SITE OF AL-CHALABI DEATH SQUADS - MAPS Translation was kindly provided by Camren Cross, a professional Arabic>English translator: carmen@professionaltranslating.com _-------------------- Al-Hurriya district has been witnessing a series of horrendous crimes perpetrated by squads from Mashtal Awwad (Awwad's Orchard)-which was confiscated by Ahmad Chalabi after the war. This orchard consists of an old house, repaired just last year, with a giant swimming pool, dance and party hall, and, most importantly, iron cages!__One hundred and forty iron cages, large enough for only one person to sit still in, can be found within the area of the orchard. In addition, more than 70 brand new Land Cruisers without license plates were found along with cars used for death and kidnapping. The following makes were among them: six Opals, 9 BMWs, as well as an area where stolen cars were stored after their owners were killed. We turn your attention to the fact that corpses of entire families of There was a corpse of a man who had been crucified on the wall of the orchard on June 13, 2006. Today, he is nothing but a skeleton! If you would like to see for yourself, go and walk near the outer wall of the orchard (al-Mashtal Street) across from the Flour Factory (as on the accompanying maps). Because many of the corpses were found precisely at that wall, their numbers increase and decrease daily due to Chalabi's squads throwing the corpses in garbage heaps around Baghdad. read in full... >> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS Pepe Escobar: IT'S UP TO ANCIENT AND PROUD BAGHDAD TO SPOIL THE PARTY "Stay the course also means don't leave before the job is done. And that's ... we're going to get the job done in Iraq. And it's important that we do get the job done in Iraq." - George W Bush, October 11 Quagmire Iraq is not a 21st-century video game of Arabs playing extras in a slow-motion Armageddon. This is a wrenching story with rivers of real blood and a terrible accumulation of real corpses. The story was engineered in Washington - and the plot would not be advancing were it not for the United States. The US bears all the moral and legal responsibility for the destruction of the fabled former capital of the caliphate and the de facto Western flank of the Arab nation. It is in this context that the current avalanche of Iraq-related newspeak in the US should be placed. The recent bloody holy month of Ramadan in Iraq has reflected the hellish mechanism unleashed by the invasion and occupation - the daily, gruesome banquet of death provoked by state-sponsored terror, counterinsurgency, stoked by sectarian hatred or the total collapse of the social contract. This logic of extermination of a society and culture was inbuilt in the process since March 2003. In fact, the systematic annihilation of 2-3% of the entire Iraqi population, according to a study by The Lancet, not to mention the 1 million people displaced since March 2003, follow the more than 500,000 children who died during the 1990s as victims of United Nations sanctions. Iraq has been systematically destroyed for more than 15 years, non-stop. And it gets worse, because for the Bush administration all this death and destruction is just a minor detail in the "big picture". (...) Vast swaths of the US electorate have now understood how the whole Iraqi adventure has been built on lies: lies about the causes of war, lies about the methodology of war, lies about the terrible consequences of war. Inevitably, the current media-targeted avalanche of Iraq-related newspeak had to be also meaningless. This includes "phased withdrawal", "empowering" the Iraqi government, "putting security ahead of democracy" and "partitioning Iraq". Surrealism in international relations would reach new highs (or lows) with the US ordering by decree that a sovereign nation must dismember itself. Compared with it, the current carnage in Baghdad - which is already divided anyway - would be a Disney flick. There's more: the Shakespearean despair over "Redeploy and Contain" or "Stability First" - newspeak coined by Bush family consegliere James Baker's Iraq Study Group, staffed with plenty of pro-war neo-conservatives. A notorious casualty of the newspeak war seems to be "stay the course" - replaced, according to Press Secretary Tony Snow, by "a study in constant motion". Anyway, the winner - after the mid-term elections - will be "Stability First", which is basically a remix, with a horn section, of "stay the course". How can Americans - and world public opinion - be engaged in serious, meaningful debate when the Iraq tragedy is reduced to a mere catch phrase? This incoherent whirlwind, this "study in constant motion", is the travesty that passes for Iraqi policy debate among educated elites. Another reading is more ominous. It spells the Bush administration and its attached elites losing control - of everything. And that's how they can become even more dangerous. On October 19, Vice President Dick Cheney once again stated that the only way out in Iraq was "total victory". A recent historical parallel is nothing but gloomy. When the US was confronted with defeat in Vietnam, it did not "Redeploy and Contain": on the contrary, death and destruction were extended to Laos and Cambodia. Baker's "Stability First" might contain undisclosed subtexts. "Total victory", in Cheney's world view, means that the Bush administration was not, is not and will never be interested in Iraqi, or Middle Eastern, "democracy". What matters is control of the lightest, sweetest, most profitable crude oil on the planet, 112 billion barrels of it in proven reserves plus 220 billion barrels still to be exploited, at a cost as low as US$1 a barrel; a cluster of sprawling military bases; the largest embassy/fortress-by-the-Tigris in the world; and the indispensable client regime. In sum: a "Coalition of the Drilling" secured by the Pentagon's Long War apparatus. It's up to ancient and proud Baghdad to spoil the party. Baghdad survived and buried Hulagu. Baghdad survived and buried Tamerlan. Baghdad may as well survive and bury George W Bush. read in full... Manuel Valenzuela: INSIDE THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH What strategic defeats such as Vietnam and Iraq do is to plant doubt and uncertainty in the minds of Americans regarding the fictions taught and inculcated from cradle to grave. What wars that are not won and incompetent occupations accomplish is to irrigate the fields of slumbering minds with the enriching fluids of emancipation, if not throughout the population then certainly in the realities of tens of millions, enough for a movement to grow and a momentum to infiltrate into the collective conscious of the American people. Thus, the danger to the Establishment of the Iraq War disaster is that if it is allowed to fester and continue hemorrhaging, just as its momentum dictates that it will continue to do, the American mind may indeed sprout forth the reason and logic and cognitive thinking that has been appropriated for decades by the system, creating the necessary mind shock and thought tempest that might spring in the masses the enlightenment and renaissance that the elite are frightened to death of. (...) For the Iraq War will never be seen as illegal, immoral or as the catastrophe it has become; it will never be seen as a failure created by the Establishment itself, which of course it is. Erased from American reality will be the role the elite and its media whores had in cooking up and serving on a hot plate a war of choice that was always fated to end in disaster. The decision made by America's Establishment will never be given the aura of predestined failure, which it was, but instead will be marketed as a triumphant struggle made all the more difficult by the arrogance and incompetence of a few bad apples that deviated away from the steadfast leadership of the elite. It will be said that the war became what is has turned into not for failure to learn or apply history's lessons but because it was badly managed by who else but by a few bad and seemingly notorious apples who failed to listen to the sage advice of who else but the Establishment. As with any Hollywood production, fall guys and patsies must be and will be sacrificed, and this narrative will offer no divergent plots from any previous incarnation. The Iraqi resistance, or mujahadeen, will never be given the credit objective history will invariably give them, nor the respect earned on the field of battle. They will never receive commendation for outthinking, out-planning, outsmarting and outmaneuvering the occupying forces and its leadership. The American people will never know Iraqi freedom fighters outstrategized the occupying military, though America's future military leaders certainly will, for they will be made to study the tactics, thought processes and strategies of the resistance, only clandestinely acknowledging respect to the mujahadeen by absorbing the lessons it taught America in Iraq. Inside the Ministry of Truth, hard at work implementing the American narrative, Iraq's freedom fighters will have their triumph erased from American memory, their success never given light, its curtain of reality never lifted for the masses to see. Instead, peasants, sons and fathers, the meat of the Iraqi resistance, at one time average people like you and me, most fighting for their nation, their resources, their honor and their way of life, dong what millions of Americans would do if it was invaded and occupied, will always be known inside America as Al-Qaeda, as the terrorists we had to fight over there so we would not have to fight them over here. Of course to the rest of the world the truth will always be known, the resistance will always be acknowledged, its victory will always be real. In America, however, resistance and freedom fighters will have never existed in the cities and towns of Iraq, for to the American narrative, good always triumphs over evil and, since America has the exclusive monopoly over good, then certainly Iraqi resistance must be labeled as evil, though international law and opinion would beg to differ. read in full GEORGE LAKOFF SAYS "THANKS" TO BUSH Commenting on Dubya's recent "stay the course" PR fiasco, George Lakoff at the Rockridge Institute writes:
The Bush administration has finally been caught in its own language trap. "That is not a stay-the-course policy," Tony Snow, the White House press secretary, declared on Monday. The first rule of using negatives is that negating a frame activates the frame. If you tell someone not to think of an elephant, he'll think of an elephant. When Richard Nixon said, "I am not a crook" during Watergate, the nation thought of him as a crook.
I attended the UC Berkeley event last night featuring Lakoff along with Markos of Daily Kos and others, and Lakoff said he was very grateful to Dubya for demonstrating his concept. link BAGHDAD: A DOCTOR'S STORY This video filmed by an Iraqi doctor is a must see. I am amazed that someone could actually film the terrible conditions inside one of Iraq's most dangerous hospitals, Al-Yarmouk Hospital in western Baghdad, in these troubled days. I was struggling to keep my tears from flowing because I was watching it with an American friend 2 days ago. But at one point, when an injured Shi'ite woman lying in an ambulance started screaming at the camera, "Bring Saddam back! It wasn't like this under his rule!" I lost control. This should be on every American tv channel. Go see it. read in full... PLEASE, GEORGE, GIVE US SOME GOOD NEWS Haven't seen much in the blogosphere about Bush's confab with his right wing media buddies, but I did pick this out of the transcript. I wish I knew who the questioner was. Anyone have an idea? (Looks like it might have been Kudlow.) (...)
Q: I want to go on the air - THE PRESIDENT: You want to say, 12 million people voted, or we killed Zarqawi. Q: I want to go on the air tonight, I want some good news. I need some good news, sir. THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I do, too. Q: I really do. THE PRESIDENT: You're talking to Noah about the flood. I do, too. Q: It's a hard thing. THE PRESIDENT: I appreciate that, but - go ahead. Q: You said if we leave Iraq they'll come after us - THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Q: - we've heard you say that quite specifically. So maybe that's a sign of victory, is that they haven't come here.
"Oh, please, George, give us some good news. Just a morsel. Just something to feed to the needy masses who are starving for a ray of hope. Pleeeze!" Jeez. Talk about pathetic grasping at straws. I mean, is that what Bush offers up as good news -- that we killed Zarqawi and that 12 million Iraqis voted? For cryin' out loud, when did those two events happen? Was it even this year? Seriously. That's what he's got? Is he kidding? link TRUTHS OF A LOST WAR (OR WHY BAGHDAD WILL KEEP BURNING) If someone could protect the polls and there were a plebiscite tomorrow, there seems little question what the majority of Iraqis would vote for: The withdrawal of American troops, the end of the occupation. And these are people who know that things could get a lot worse. Like Riverbend, they are there to witness or experience the present bloodbath. Like Riverbend, like most human beings, among their fondest wishes is surely not to die, nor to live without water or electricity, without easy access to fuel in one of the energy-richest lands on the planet; to be secure from car bombs, death squads, assassins, kidnappers, and criminals in a land that is losing its educators, its engineers, its doctors, its middle class, in a land where so much has been deconstructed, where women are being sent home, where ever more extreme theologies are gaining the upper hand, where militias rule the streets, killing grounds dot cities, bodies float in the rivers, and anarchy rules. That is how we have liberated and protected the Iraqi people thus far. In this case, if the history of the last few years is our guide, until we decide that we are at the heart of the problem and begin to draw back and out, things will only get exponentially worse in Iraq. Shoring up Maliki will make no difference. A coup is only likely to destabilize the situation further. Even the return of a Saddam-style Baathist strongman under our aegis would be unlikely to restore order. After all, along with doing more than our fair share of the killing -- only the other day, for instance, four firemen in Falluja mistaken for "insurgents" were gunned down by American troops -- we have also destroyed an intangible of every state that wants to establish some version of law and order: sovereignty. It's gone and, no matter what James Baker's Iraq Study Group or any other group in Washington may suggest, we are incapable of restoring it. Had the United States left Iraq in 2003, the country would certainly have been a mess and there would have been explosive tensions waiting to be relieved, but it's unlikely such a bloodbath as has already happened would have occurred. Time, as I wrote in October of that year, was never on our side. It was always going to get worse as long as American forces remained an occupying power in an alien land. If such things were possible for imperial powers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, they are no longer possible in our world. That is the simplest -- and most truthful -- analogy you can make between the otherwise disparate Iraqi and Vietnamese situations. It seems such an obvious conclusion today. It seemed obvious enough before the invasion of Iraq ever began. It is, after all, a large part of the history of the previous century. The longer we stayed, the worse it was always going to be. When we finally do leave -- one year, two years, five years from now -- it's likely to be even worse, possibly far worse than the "all-out civil war" predicted if we left tomorrow. Here, to my mind, is the deepest truth of the present situation, and the hardest for Americans to grasp: We are part of the problem, not part of the solution. read in full... WHAT'S WRONG WITH "CUT AND RUN"? Imagine this: You're tied to a stake and savages are about to light the logs under your feet. So, class, what do you do? Cut and run! How about this one? Evil-doers have tied you to the railroad tracks and the Teheran Express is bearing down on you. If you have any brains at all, whatcha gonna do? Cut and run! President George Bush has been accusing Democrats of having a reasonable, coherent Iraq policy: getting out alive. "Cut and run" for short. Of course, most Democrats have denied having a "clear-cut" program on Iraq, preferring, "setting a firm date for phased withdrawal." We don't know what that date is, but if it's anything later than Thursday, the policy is a fudge. Sorry, but "gnaw and wiggle" won't do. Cut and run gets the job done. Gets you the heck out of harm's way. When that runaway truck is careening down the jogging track, you don't 'Stay the Course.' Try it yourself: Cut and run can be fun! If pirates tie a boulder to your neck, what should you do, kids? Cut and run! Or, let's say you've got the wires to Dick Cheney's pacemaker in your hand. What should you do? (No, no, no! Be kind.) link IRAQ IS POST-TET You can always count on Thomas Friedman to figure a novel way to shore up support for the neo-con project in Iraq. At the start of this war of choice, Friedman made his position very clear. In his very own words, he was "all for a war for oil." Among other things, the man who started his career as an oil analyst for the New York Times predicted that the "cakewalk" in Mesopotamia would be followed by a decline in crude prices. Sulzberger's foreign policy "guru" was just slightly off the mark. Oil prices have tripled. In the interest of brevity, let's put aside Thomas Fraudulent's economic talents and focus instead on how economical he is with the truth on all matters Middle Eastern. But before we forget some of his many limitations, it's worth keeping in mind that this scribe writes for the same rag and the same publisher that gave Judith Miller a free pass to market the war by disseminating fabricated WMD intelligence. How likely is it that Friedman was not aware of Miller's scam? Is it possible that he had no clue about the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans -- the neo-con canard factory set up by Douglas Feith with the explicit purpose of corrupting WMD intelligence? Which brings us to Friedman's recent comparison of the current situation in Iraq to the 1968 Tet offensive. Tom, we're way post-Tet in Iraq. But it was a nice try, mister Fraudulent. A lot of analysts were surprised that the administration embraced this "Thomas Fraudulent" analysis from the New York Times. Because when the "V" word in Iraq goes from "Victory" to "Vietnam" -- America takes notice that something is not going according to the original plan. Isn't it a bit out of character for a President who can't be bothered to read a newspaper to take immediate notice and make extensive commentary on an article that uses the "V" word -- as in Vietnam? Is it not entirely possible that Friedman is putting on his Judith Miller hat and setting up the stage for yet another neo-con campaign to shore up domestic support for the war? Bush and Friedman have a simple plan -- extend the war and hope for some miraculous change of fortune. If things keep going down hill -- blame the outcome on the weak stomachs of an American public that wasn't up to the challenge of their generation. And while they're at it -- castigate the Iraqis for being ingrates who didn't appreciate all our efforts to "liberate" them. The new rationale for extending the war goes something like this: "The United States militarily defeated the Vietcong and North Vietnam's army in the 1968 Tet offensive -- but the American public lost heart and couldn't stomach the losses and we snatched defeat from the mouth of victory. If Johnson had "stayed the course," like the current lineup of formidable Vietnam-era draft dodgers in the White House, we could have won that war. Victory is still an option in Iraq. The American people have a choice -- Victory or Vietnam." read in full... BUSH'S SHIITE RELATIONSHIP ON THE ROCKS; WHO WILL BE HIS NEXT PARTNER? There's broad agreement Bush is threatening to topple the government he himself created in Baghdad, but the unanswered question is: What will his next creation look like? One immediate reaction to the recent threat is to welcome the boost this gives the opponents of the occupation generally. An editorial in the Egyptian opposition daily Al-Gomhuria says the latest developments are evidence not only of the failures on the military and security levels, but more importantly the failure of the effort in Baghdad to stigmatize all opponents of the occupation as terrorists. This is a great victory for the national resistance, the editorialist says it is also an incentive for the Iraqi population to continue "with all strength and defiance" on the road of resistance, taking care to prioritize national unity at the same time, "lest the occupation be forced out the door of nationalism, only to return by the window of factionalism." But from the other side, the follow-up question has to be: Bush will replace Maliki with what? The Al-Quds al-Arabi editorial today is titled "The days of the Maliki government are numbered" and it says Bush is looking for new interlocutors on the Iraqi scene, now that the honeymoon with the Shiites is over. The editorialist says the "political and possibly military coup" that will oust Maliki is just a matter of "time and timing", adding this could come faster than most people in and outside of Iraq think, because the "situation is has gone beyond what is tolerable for the US, not to mention the Iraqis". But the editorialist doesn't say much about who the new local allies will be, except to note recent intermittent reports about US meetings with armed Sunni resistance groups, leaving that puzzle really unanswered. A columnist in Al-Hayat today (link gone missing) poses an interesting and relevant question in a piece called "Why is the resistance in Iraq limited to the Sunni Triangle?" (Thursday October 26, on the opinion page). He notes that the traditional type of "national resistance" groups, focused on fighting the occupier, are pretty much limited to central Iraq, aka "the Sunni triangle". And he calls attention to what he says is the non-ideological nature of a lot of the Sunni resistance, which he links primarily with the disasterous decision to disband the Iraqi army at the same time that the general security situation was deteriorating, and families were struggling economically. What the Americans did was to create a whole class of people with their backs to the wall economically, and who possessed weapons, knew how to use them, had military training, and had ample reason to hate the occupation. While the Americans tarred all of these groups with the Baathist-Saddamist stigma, this writer cites one group that specifically denied it had any Saddam loyalties. If anything, the writer says, these groups had more Islamists than Saddamists. (With respect to the Shiite south, this writer says immediately after the American invasion, there were signs of Shiite resistance, but this suddenly went silent, and the Shiites under Sistani's leadership devoted themselves to the democratic process. The writer speculates: This could be partly an Iranian strategy to ward off real American pressure on their nuclear program. Putting the matter the other way, he says the fact the US is keeping the Iran-sanctions issue alive could be to make Iran think twice before unleashing Shiite resistance in Iraq.) read in full... >> BEYOND IRAQ THE LESSON OF GERMANY TO BE LEARNED AGAIN Americans always claimed it couldn't happen to them. That they had checks and balances that didn't permit dictatorship. They spoke arrogantly, using this as a way to feel superior to everyone else. Imagining themselves to be above all others because of their constitution. Yet, now, they find themselves in a de facto dictatorship. Shrub has some amazing new powers unheard of in civilized societies. Overturning laws 791 years old that grant people the right from arbitrary arrests. Using torture and hearsay as "evidence". And the American people sleep on. There is no mass demonstrations, there nor are there any complaints that have any meaning. The so called leaders of the free world are nothing more than a sham. Shrub was right in one thing. There is no going back. He has utterly destroyed any and all vestiges of morality that US once claimed. Even when he and his ilk are gone the US is finished as a world power. The entire world has seen the US for what it is - even if the American people refuse to see what is right in front of their eyes. I used to wonder about Nazi Germany and how that was permitted to happen. Now I don't wonder. We have all seen it right before our eyes. A corrupt government leading a population with dreams of Empirehood and the self- justification that comes from feelings of superiority. This is backed by a military who exist only to be self serving. So drunk on power and delusions of self grandeur that they think they can own it all. The lesson of empires is this. They come into being through an over inflated sense of self worth. They come into being through greed and lust of power. And they all fall. The reason they fall is corruption. The become ineffective as they are unable to adjust to the changes around them. There is no going back. America is finished. All that remains is to watch what I believe will be an ugly crash. Followed by a few decades of decline. Remember Americans, you did this to yourselves. Shrub is the natural extension of all that you are. If not him then some other Tyrant would have done it and the result would have been the same. You grew fat and lazy and uneducated as to what was really going on. As in all empires you didn't care because you're oh so superior. But you're not. It was all just a dream. And the nightmare is just beginning. America RIP read in full... QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The significant disadvantage we have in this war [is] the enemy gets to define victory by killing people" -- Bush in an interview eight columnists in the Oval Office, October 25 (See above "Please, George, Give Us Some Good News")


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