DAILY WAR NEWS FOR SATURDAY, November 18, 2006
: Iraqi soldiers shoot from their position on a rooftop in Baqouba, an increasingly violent, mostly Sunni city about 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006. (AP Photo) (See below)
Fierce street fighting between insurgents and U.S. and Iraqi forces was taking place in Baqouba
, an increasingly violent, mostly Sunni city about 60 kilometres northeast of Baghdad, police said. Many residents fled to their homes as the sound of machine gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades rocked the city, police said. No casualty figures were available, and the U.S. command said it had no immediate information about the situation there.
Three Iraqi policemen were killed and three wounded, and one insurgent was killed and two suspected ones detained, the coalition said.OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS
U.S. and Iraqi forces raided a stronghold of a Shiite militia in Baghdad on Saturday
, searching for victims of a mass kidnapping from a government ministry, the U.S. military said. Iraqi soldiers backed up U.S. helicopters swept through the Sadr City section of the capital. "No individuals were killed, injured or detained," the military told The Associated Press. Police 1st Lt. Ziyad Tariq said the raid on two sections of Sadr City began at 2:30 a.m. and that three Iraqi civilians were wounded.
(Friday) Later in the afternoon, mortars fell on a Shiite neighborhood, killing three and injuring 12. The chief engineer at the Ministry of Science and Technology was gunned down with his brother in a drive-by shooting. A former brigadier general in the Iraqi army was also killed.Insurgents killed one guard and wounded another as they attacked the residence of Iraq's science and technology minister
in eastern Baghdad's Zayouna district, police said. It was not clear if the minister was present during the attack.
Gunmen shot dead a man and his wife as they travelled through Baghdad's Yarmouk district.
Police found 20 bodies in different areas of western Baghdad.
(update) The confusion in reports from Iraqi officials
[about the kidnapping of a private security team of four Americans and an Austrian near the Kuwaiti border Friday] apparently grew out of their having been unaware initially of a fresh incident on Friday involving a British security team that had been stopped by Iraqi customs police on the same road where the Crescent Ssecurity team was abducted. Al-Moussawi said that as police checked the papers of the British security men in the lead vehicle, a car drove by at high speed and opened fire, killing one Briton and wounding a second in the car. British officials in Basra confirmed an incident involving security men but would provide no details.
Separately, authorities Saturday accounted for all five private security contractors from a British-based company involved in a convoy "incident" in southeastern Iraq that left one man dead and four others wounded. The four surviving contractors were hospitalized, with two of them undergoing surgery for gunshot wounds, a spokesman for their employer, Securiforce, told CNN.
Gunmen killed Sultan Salman, a tribal leader, in the town of Muwafaqiya
, 25 km (15 miles) south of Kut.
Gunmen attacked alcohol sellers in Kut
, 170 km (105 miles) south of Baghdad, wounding a nine-year-old passerby.
A roadside bomb exploded in the town of Nassiriya in southern Iraq
, killing one child.
A roadside bomb exploded near a police patrol
, killing one civilian and wounding two policemen near the town of Latifiya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad.
Gunmen killed seven people, including tribal leader Asif al-Khazraji, near the town of Ishaqi
, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, on Friday, police said. Khazraji was heading to his hometown of Dujail.
A car bomb wounded 20 people near a restaurant in the town of Tikrit
on Friday, a police source said. The source said U.S soldiers had initially blown up the car after cordoning off the area but the car's fuel tank blew up as fire-fighters attempted to douse the flames.
A suicide car bomber wounded seven Iraqi soldiers when he attacked an army checkpoint on the northern outskirts of Mosul.
, in northern Iraq.
Insurgents blew up a Sunni shrine south of the city of Kirkuk
and in two separate attack in the city , gunmen killed two men.
Gunmen killed Omar al-Falahi, a mosque preacher in Falluja
, on Friday.
Downing Street moved swiftly to play down an apparent admission by British Prime Minister Tony Blair that the invasion of Iraq had been a "disaster,"
labelling his comments a "slip of the tongue."
(…) during Blair's trip to Pakistan for talks with President Pervez Musharraf, the prime minister's official spokesman told reporters: "It was a straightforward slip of the tongue... sometimes he does this when he's half-listening to the question and wants to get on and respond."
The spokesman insisted that Blair did not think Iraq was a disaster.
"But what he does acknowledge is that there are difficulties and he doesn't in any way try to downplay those difficulties," he added.
Earlier, another Downing Street spokesman told AFP that Blair "does not use the word disaster."
Responding to the comments, Sir Menzies Campbell, leader of the Liberal Democrats, Britain's third-biggest political party, lambasted the government over its record in Iraq and demanded that Blair say sorry.
"If the prime minister accepts that it is a 'disaster' then surely parliament and the British people, who were given a flawed prospectus, are entitled to an apology," he said.
A spokesperson for the main opposition Conservatives added that the remarks highlighted the need for an inquiry into how Britain joined the war in Iraq.
Former US secretary of state James Baker
, who co-chairs a bipartisan group examining strategic options in Iraq, has reportedly met several times with Syrian officials to discuss how they might cooperate with the United States.
Citing Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha, The New York Times
said the meetings involved Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem and took place in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria in September.
The twin pipeline which once used to carry more than 1 million barrels of Iraqi crude oil to terminals in Turkey is no longer of any use
, according to Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani.
Repeated rebel attacks and lack of repairs have rendered the pipeline useless, he said.
The pipeline used to carry crude from oil fields of Kirkuk to Turkish ports on the Mediterranean.
But it was also linked to a strategic pipeline which gave the country the flexibility of shipping oil from the northern fields to southern terminals on the Gulf and from southern oil fields to terminals in Turkey via the twin pipeline. (…)
The pipeline's loss means that anti-U.S. rebels have finally succeeded in putting the gigantic oil fields of Kirkuk outside the reach of international markets, and denying the pro-U.S. government in Baghdad an important source of hard cash.
Dutch military interrogators abused 15 Iraqi prisoners in 2003
, dousing them with water to keep them awake and exposing them to loud sounds and strong lights, the government said Friday.
The allegation, first reported by a respected Dutch newspaper, shocked ranking government officials and led one opposition leader to compare it to the U.S. abuse of Iraqi prisoners in the scandal at Abu Ghraib prison.
>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Arab Woman Blues: WELCOME TO HELL...
I can't keep up anymore . I have lost track of the numbers , I have forgotten how to count.
My mind is saturated with figures in the hundreds, thousands ....
I am not even capable of sentences . I just have words zooming in my mind as fast as light
Death squads, killings , kidnapping, abductions , fleeing ,exodus , desertions,torture, disappearances,funerals ...
I can't even look or see only to have flashes , images pop up , blinding me in their intensity.
Hooded heads ,rape , sodomy , bullet holes, debris, rubbles , ruins , acid, drills in skulls, eyes plucked out, bruises, chains, blood, torn flesh, bowels , brains, ears cut off ,genitals electrocuted and hacked ...
And every time I try to inhale , I can only smell burnt flesh , excrements, fumes, dust, sewage, decomposing bodies, rotting corpses...
I can't even listen without hearing sounds of explosions , shootings, bombs , mortar attacks, cries, lamentations, wailing, screeches of agony and screams of pain ...
And everytime I try to swallow , there is that sharp bitter caustic taste in my mouth that consumes me like Fire .
There is nothing but Death , Destruction and Grief around me .
Welcome to Iraq, Welcome to Hell .
Truth About Iraqis: IRAQIS HAVE NOT YET LEARNED
Where are you O Whores of the Green Zone who write so prolifically of your love for the US Soldier?
Where are you Bastards of Baghdad who sell your mothers to the invading armies?
Where are you men of religion hiding under your turbans prostituting your Islam in the mosques of Qum and Mecca?
FORT CAMPBELL, KENTUCKY: One of four U.S. soldiers accused of raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl last spring showed little remorse and even smiled during a confession to charges he conspired to kill her and her family.
Even before the hearing Wednesday to announce a plea agreement, Spc. James P. Barker, 23, slapped hands with other soldiers and grinned as he smoked a cigarette in the rain. A bailiff scolded him. And when he described for the judge the assault in his own words, he gave vivid details of the rape with a deadpan delivery.
"That's pretty much all I have to say," Barker muttered with a shrug after describing raping the screaming girl. (...)
At one point, the military judge presiding over the case, Lt. Col. Richard Anderson, asked Barker why he had decided with other soldiers to commit the rape and murders.
"I hated Iraqis, your honor," Barker answered. "They can smile at you, then shoot you in your face without even thinking about it." Anderson accepted the plea agreement, which calls for Barker to serve life in prison. The judge will decide Thursday in a hearing whether Barker should be allowed to seek parole. (...)
Where are you who celebrated the death sentence of Saddam? Why are you silent now?
Have you no daughters? Have you no wives? Have you no karama
? Have you sold it all for a few dollars?
Have you not been punished enough, has Iraq not been decimated enough?
Have you not learned? Have you not learned that Washington and London will not embrace you? But dispose of you after your charge is fulfilled?
There is more to come. Much more.
read in full...
Norman Solomon: OPERATION LAST RESORT
The American media establishment has launched a major offensive against the option of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.
In the latest media assault, right-wing outfits like Fox News and the Wall Street Journal
editorial page are secondary. The heaviest firepower is now coming from the most valuable square inches of media real estate in the USA -- the front page of the New York Times
The present situation is grimly instructive for anyone who might wonder how the Vietnam War could continue for years while opinion polls showed that most Americans were against it. Now, in the wake of midterm elections widely seen as a rebuke to the Iraq war, powerful media institutions are feverishly spinning against a pullout of U.S. troops. (...)
During the years since the fall of Saddam, countless news stories and commentaries have compared the ongoing disaster in Iraq to the Vietnam War. But those comparisons have rarely illuminated the most troubling parallels between the U.S. media coverage of both wars.
Whether in 1968 or 2006, most of the Washington press corps has been at pains to portray withdrawal of U.S. troops as impractical and unrealistic.
Contrary to myths about media coverage of the Vietnam War, the American press lagged way behind grassroots antiwar sentiment in seriously contemplating a U.S. pullout from Vietnam. The lag time amounted to several years -- and meant the additional deaths of tens of thousands of Americans and perhaps 1 million more Vietnamese people.
A survey by the Boston Globe
, conducted in February 1968, found that out of 39 major daily newspapers in the United States, not one had editorialized for withdrawing American troops from Vietnam. Today -- despite the antiwar tilt of national opinion polls and the recent election -- advocacy of a U.S. pullout from Iraq seems almost as scarce among modern-day media elites.
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The Star: AMERICA BECOMES HOSTAGE TO IRAQ
Before long, the first story about "fragging" in Iraq may appear in the newspapers.
The term comes from the Vietnam War. It's what happens when the morale of ordinary soldiers, or grunts, suddenly plummets as they realize that they are putting their lives at risk for the sake of an unpopular war that's already lost.
In Vietnam, fragging became common as conscripted American soldiers inflicted injuries on their own officers in order to prevent them from taking soldiers out on missions where heavy casualties were a certainty.
In Iraq, where the great majority of the American soldiers are professionals and volunteers, fragging will be rare.
But demoralization and a sense of pointlessness are bound to progressively erode the soldiers' discipline and their willingness to risk their lives for a lost cause.
The issue of an American withdrawal from Iraq has already made the critical transition from the "whether?" stage to the "when?" stage.
That decisive policy shift has been made inevitable by the Democrats' decisive victory in the mid-term elections.
The possibility exists now, though, that the stage beyond may come far more quickly than anyone has supposed. This would be the "why not now?" stage. After it, just one more stage would remain. It's the "cut and run" stage.
Already, the "why not now?" stage is starting to take shape. Comments made by Democrats right after their sweeping, double victory in the Senate and House of Representatives were quite cautious. They talked mostly about purely domestic issues, such as the need for an increase in the minimum wage. (...)
The start of fragging by disillusioned American soldiers would mark the arrival of the moment at which the U.S. military itself ceases to support the war.
This could happen because the proud and formidably efficient American military would risk being destroyed by a war that goes on and on without purpose, exactly as happened in Vietnam.
The cut-and-run stage hasn't yet arrived. But it's close.
As is the ultimate paradox, about the only people who can now prevent it are the Iraqis themselves; the Americans have become their hostages.
read in full...
Left I on the News: MY SIMPLE QUESTION FOR THE MEDIA ABOUT EVENTS IN IRAQ
The past few days have seen mass kidnappings at an Education Ministry in Baghdad, and smaller-scale abductions of contractors in southern Iraq. From multiple new sources I hear (and read) that these were carried out by "people (or militia members) masquerading as members of the security forces." Since the kidnappers haven't been captured, how could they possibly know that? To be specific, how do they know that these kidnappings weren't carried out by the actual security forces rather than people masquerading as them?
At the very least, an "apparently" is warranted in these stories.
The News Blog: HE REFUSES TO UNDERSTAND
What George Bush avoided.....
Vietnam___Bush Draws Iraq Lesson From Vietnam__By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS_Published: November 17, 2006_
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) -- President Bush, on his first visit to a country where America lost a two-decade-long fight against communism, said Friday the Vietnam War's lesson for today's confounding Iraq conflict is that freedom takes time to trump hatred. (...)
''We'll succeed,'' Bush added, ''unless we quit.'' (...)
U.S. Searching for Americans Abducted in Southern Iraq__By EDWARD WONG_Published: November 17, 2006_
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Nov. 17 - American and British military forces scoured farmland in southern Iraq today looking for four American security contractors and their Austrian colleague, who were abducted from a supply convoy on Thursday afternoon at a checkpoint operated by
men in Iraqi police uniforms, American officials said. (...)
The convoy, made up of 43 heavy trucks and six security vehicles, had driven into Iraq from Kuwait when it was stopped at what appeared to be a police checkpoint near Safwan, said Michael McClellan, a spokesman for the American embassy in Baghdad. The armed men kidnapped the four Americans, the Austrian and nine drivers, most of them from south and southeast Asian countries. (...)
See, once you cut out the weasel words, it becomes that much easier to understand.
So when do the Iraqi units attack the Americans? Because that's next. Of course, they'll be wearing police uniforms, because they will be the police.
read in full...
AN EVEN BIGGER BUST OF HO CHI MINH
George Bush decided that Hanoi was the perfect place to talk about applying the lessons of the Vietnam War to Iraq. "We'll succeed unless we quit," he said, suggesting that the US hadn't done enough to destroy the country whose guest he was. Around this time, the Vietnamese must have been sorry they didn't have an even bigger bust of Ho Chi Minh to stick behind him [see photo at link] as a reminder of just who kicked whose butt.
read in full...
Tiny Revolution: THURSDAYS DECLARED "NO MATH" DAY AT WASHINGTON POST
This is from a Washington Post
story published today:
Between 2 percent and 5 percent of Iraq's 27 million people have been killed, wounded or uprooted since the Americans invaded in 2003, calculates Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for International and Strategic Studies.
Then, five sentences later:
Since the war began, 1.6 million Iraqis have sought refuge in neighboring countries; at least 231,530 people have been displaced inside Iraq since February, when Shiite-Sunni violence exploded with the bombing of a Shiite shrine in the northern city of Samarra, according to figures from the United Nations and the U.N.-affiliated International Organization for Migration.
2-5% of 27 million is 540,000-1,350,000. 1.6 million plus 231,530 is 1,831,530.
Thus, Anthony Cordesman calculates the number of Iraqis killed, wounded or uprooted is 540,000-1,350,000. Meanwhile, the U.N. says the number of refugees alone is at least 1.83 million.
There would be nothing wrong with writing a story that contrasts these numbers. However, the Washington Post
presents them as if they don't contradict each other. I think it was the whole "percent" thing that confused them, since percentages are studied around sixth grade, and Post
reporters usually drop out of school by age ten.
AND: The reason I noticed this is because Anthony Cordesman is one of the best think tank denizens in Washington, yet when it comes to this subject he seemingly just makes things up. When the most recent Johns Hopkins study came out, he opined, "They're almost certainly way too high...this is not analysis, this is politics." To understand his reasoning, I read a paper (pdf) he'd just written.
According to Cordesman, one reason the Johns Hopkins study can't be correct is that it would mean "every reporter actually in Iraq is radically wrong."
I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess Cordesman didn't question "every reporter actually in Iraq." In fact, I suspect the total number of reporters he asked is three or under, and the number of Arabic-speaking non-Americans among them is zero.
I can only assume the same amount of analytical rigor went into the number he "calculates" here for the Post
Lenin: IRAQ: "LAST BIG PUSH"
So much for the change of course signalled by the Democrats' election victory. Pentagon officials have 'advised' the Iraq Study Group that a strategy for success must be elaborated including an increase, rather than a drawdown, of troops. 20,000 new troops are to be sent in an effort to - well, do what? Break the insurgency within six months? Do they really think this is what is going to happen?
One curious thing is that this report states that the US will not, under this Pentagon-directed plan, pursue the sectarian partition of Iraq recommended by mainstream liberal intellectuals and politicians like Senator Biden (although not, to his slight credit, Senator Levin), who thinks that the carve-up of Yugoslavia is a model for peace. It is also reported that the State Department has decided against partition. This is being reported as if it hasn't been official US policy to break up Iraq for a couple of years now. Perhaps there is indeed a real change of policy, and this would explain the recent noises about disarming the militias and installing a 'strongman' like Iyad Allawi. But this would involve an even longer term commitment of troops, since it would cause practically every party and interest in Iraq to take up arms against the occupiers.
Chris Floyd: BUSH'S "NEW" IRAQ STRATEGY REVEALED: MORE TROOPS, MORE WAR
US plans last big push in Iraq (Guardian)
Did anyone really imagine it would be any different? The Guardian
reports that Bush has already decided on his "new" strategy for Iraq, ahead of the recommendations of the "Iraq Study Group" he appointed - and ahead of the internal government review of strategy which he ordered only this week. And what is the strategy? More of the same. How could it be otherwise? The Decider-in-Chief cannot admit, not even to himself, that any of his decisions have ever been wrong. How can they be, when they are dictated by his "gut," and his gut is guided by God Almighty?
Yet no man rises to such a position - even with the enormous, endless help of his elitist family and friends - without some animal cunning. Bush knows that he cannot do what he would have to do to "win" the war on his terms: send in hundreds of thousands of more troops in a brutal, no-holds-barred campaign to eradicate all active opposition to the imposition of a docile Iraqi regime and the permanent installation of American bases. He knows there is no political will, even among his own party and most of his "base," to take this route. (Barring, of course, another convenient terrorist attack on American soil, this time blamed on the Iraqi insurgents. Then there would be no limit to Bush's "justifiable retaliation." This scenario, although unlikely at present, is certainly not to be discounted altogether.)
And so he is going to intensify the war as much as politically possible, push the envelope of further brutality and repression as far as he can, for as long as he can, and hope that this will finally do the trick. It won't, of course, but as the Guardian
notes, quoting a former top Bush official, "He is in a state of denial about Iraq. Nobody else is anymore. But he is." He believes that his willfuly ignorant "gut feelings" - formed, of course, out of the malevolent whisperings of his handlers, especially those who most assidiuously flatter his prejudices and his enormous, infantile ego - must be correct and will win through in the end. (...)
The fact is, almost all of the principals involved know that the jig is up in Iraq. They know that this last throw of the dice is almost certain to fail. How can it not, being the same strategy that has already failed so spectacularly? They know that in six months' time, or a year, they will have to admit that this last heave-ho fell short; and then the "phased withdrawals" or some other partial, muddled disengagement will begin, or will begin to be talked about seriously. But by that point, the debacle in Iraq can be written off a bipartisan failure, a noble effort in which we all did our best but simply couldn't prevail against intractable circumstances. (Circumstances which will no doubt include "the inherent barbarity of the Iraqi people, who simply couldn't handle the gift of democracy we gave them." Indeed, this theme is already shopworn among the chickenhawks of the Rightwing echo chamber.) [if it were only those... unfortunately, I keep seeing this "theme" repeated in the comments of "liberal" blogs such as The Huffungton Post and Atrios -- zig]
Knowing all this, the Bushists, backed by the Establishment, will still keep dragging out the war, month after month, year after year, in one form or another. Thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqis will die, hundreds if not thousands more American soldiers will die, Iraq will sink further into chaos, the United States will sink further into bankruptcy. (...)
So that is the plan. This is Bush's answer to the American people's obvious, overwhelming desire for ending the war in Iraq. He is going to spit in America's face. He is going to tell the American people to go to hell, or perhaps borrowing the language that Dick Cheney used in the United States Senate, to go fuck themselves. He is going to say: let your sons and daughters die, you worthless peons: I will never admit I was wrong.
read in full...
Axis of Logic: RESTAGING THE END OF ANOTHER WAR
The clouds of deceit at the beginning and during a war cannot be compared with the size and numbers of the lies that surround the end of a war. But the lies at the end of the war are all dissolved by one simple truth.
All wars end with the defeat and surrender of one side or the other
"Discussions in Washington", conducted by Amy Goodman about withdrawal from Iraq covers an interview with Fmr. Senator George McGovern, Congressman Dennis Kucinich and AEI's Joshua Muravchik. It reminds us of two scenarios during the last days before the fall of the U.S. military in Vietnam:
1. The first scene is one of Henry Kissinger (unbelievably now advising George Walker Bush) in the "Paris Peace Talks" (sic)
Back then we were subjected to daily corporate media coverage of Kissinger and his gibberish about only leaving Vietnam after achieving "Peace with Honor". While he mouthed Peace with Honor - he and his cohorts were desperately trying to find ways to prevent what finally happened to their "exit strategy". Kissinger and company spoke about "peace with honor" as though they were still in a position to negotiate with the Vietnamese. It was a propaganda ploy, buying time while they sought to save face before the Vietnamese military literally ran them out. Now we see the shell game being played by both - the Democrats and Republicans:
• Blaming the puppet government they installed for "not doing enough to establish order".
• Trying to convince the world that they are trying to save Iraq from a civil war (i.e. to "save Iraqis from Iraqis")
• To prevent a base for world terrorism from being established in Iraq.
• To prevent Iraq from falling under the control of Iran and Syria.
Meanwhile, as early as March 17, 2006 the U.S. government has been trying to negotiate with Iran - the same Iran condemned by George W. Bush as a member of the "Axis of Evil" - for their help in getting the U.S. out of Iraq. They are "negotiating" with Iran as though they had a power base from which to negotiate. They have none.
The last great ploy to rescue the U.S. government from itself in Iraq - at the expense of billions of U.S. tax dollars - can be seen in the 2006 midterm elections with "Democrats to the Rescue". We hear Sen. Carl Levin, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, threatening the Iraq "government" with U.S. troop withdrawal for their "not taking responsibility" for the security of Iraq. We hear him fabricating the lie that instead of destroying Iraq, the U.S. government gave Iraqis an opportunity to have better lives:
"America has given the Iraqi people the opportunity to build a new nation at the cost of nearly 3,000 American lives and over twenty thousand wounded. But the American people do not want our valiant troops to get caught in a crossfire between Iraqis if they insist on squandering that opportunity through civil war and sectarian strife."
We hear Levin blame Iraq's US-installed puppet government for not ending "sectarian violence":
"We were momentarily hopeful when the Iraqi leaders signed a four point agreement on October 2nd to end the sectarian violence. That turned out to be another false hope."
We hear him blaming the Iraqis for not "putting their political house in order". We hear Democrat Senator Carl Levin blaming the victim for U.S. atrocities and abrogate all responsibility for U.S. war crimes in Iraq:
"We should put the responsibility for Iraq's future squarely where it belongs - on the Iraqis. We cannot save the Iraqis from themselves."
"We cannot save the Iraqis from themselves" ... The transparency of that statement is so clear that even the casual, "apolitical" reader sees through it like a window pane. This is beyond a cynical lie. This is also psychological projection of the guilt for crimes against humanity, committed by the U.S. government - being projected upon their hirelings. (...)
The Senate passed a $50 Billion funding bill for the war in Iraq with a 97-0 vote for fiscal year 2006. The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments anticipated $94 billion in 2006 and as of April of this year, the U.S. government was spending about $10 billion a month in Iraq and Afghanistan. Earlier this year, The Guardian
(UK) reported the findings of a Nobel prize-winning economist and a Harvard budget expert: the actual cost of the US war in Iraq will be somewhere between $1 trillion and $2 trillion (£1.1 trillion), up to 10 times more than previously thought.
In fact, not a single U.S. senator, neither Republican nor Democrat, has voted against funding the war and occupation of Iraq since the 2003 invasion.
2. The second scene in the last days of the U.S. occupations of Vietnam and Iraq are seen in the words of George McGovern, excerpted from the interview that follows:
"We're not advocating a mad dash to the border, not a stampede or what the critics call "cut and run." We're advocating an orderly withdrawal, not the kind of forced withdrawal that took place in Vietnam so many years ago, where we saw the TV pictures of our last survivors there being airlifted off the roof of the embassy."
Even old George McGovern is doing his best to try to save the face (and the ass) of the U.S. government as it desperately attempts to turn reality into fantasy. As in the last days of Vietnam, the U.S. government is acting as though they still hold some sort of bargaining power in their flight from the hell they created in Iraq.
The U.S. military has been roundly defeated in Iraq. U.S. forces are being pounded by a well-organized resistance army who are defending their country. The corporate media has played the clever game of dripping small numbers of U.S. soldiers killed from week to week over the last 3 ? years. The media did their best for the government. They were able to slow the cumulative effect of those numbers on the U.S. psyche, but could not do so indefinitely. In recent days they have changed tactics, blaming the failure on their latest inventions: the so-called "sectarian war" and foreign-puppet government installed by the U.S.
Bush and company were like casino gamblers, but playing in the currency of human blood. They got addicted and just couldn't stop. They never learned the lesson gamblers have to learn the hard way: Never try to win back your losses by putting more money on the felt. Their markers have been called in. Their morning of defeat has come and they are waking up to one hell of a hangover. (...)
If the U.S. does not retreat from Iraq immediately, those old images at the end of the Vietnam war will be restaged in the very near future: images like helicopters being pushed off the sterns of ships; the "Green Zone" over-run by the conquering Iraqi resistance; U.S./British occupation-collaborators clamoring for rescue by their paid masters and U.S. troops attacked while in retreat - just as George Herbert Walker Bush ordered the slaughter of Iraqi soldiers as they retreated under aerial bombing in his 1991 invasion of the country.
The end-of-war deceptions now manufactured in Washington under the cover of the Democratic Party and promulgated by the corporate media are transparent.
"Withdrawal" is no longer a choice available to the U.S. The U.S. military has been defeated and is now being run out of Iraq under fire.
read in full...
Blah3: IS POPPY CLEANING HOUSE?
It would seem so - because someone is removing Bush's Brain.
The rumors that chief White House political architect Karl Rove will leave sometime next year are being bolstered with new insider reports that his partisan style is a hurdle to President Bush's new push for bipartisanship. A key Bush advisor tells the US News Political Bulletin, "Karl represents the old style and he's got to go if the Democrats are going to believe Bush's talk of getting along." The advisor said a departure might come in "weeks, not months." A Rove ally, however, noted that he has a record of out-witting his critics.
Sheah. Like he outwitted those pre-election polls, right?
A Tiny Revolution: FUNNIEST BLAIR STATEMENT YET
Tony Blair is a funny man:
[Blair] was challenged by Sir David that the Western intervention in Iraq had "so far been pretty much of a disaster".
He replied: "It has, but you see what I say to people is why is it difficult in Iraq?
"It's not difficult because of some accident in planning, it's difficult because there's a deliberate strategy - al-Qaeda with Sunni insurgents on one hand, Iranian-backed elements with Shia militias on the other - to create a situation in which the will of the majority for peace is displaced by the will of the minority for war."
Yes...there are many things you can plan for in war, but one thing for which it is impossible to plan is anyone fighting you.
Whatever It Is I'm Against It: COINCIDENCE?
Last night, at the American Spectator
's annual dinner, Rumsfeld praised Milton Friedman, "who's still going strong." Within hours, Friedman was dead. Coincidence? I think not.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY
: "Bushmonkey won't be satisfied til he makes the 1975 rout of last Americans in Saigon look like an afternoon tea party...Baghdad unders siege with 150,000 troops cut off from supply lines will NOT be a pretty sight to see. But I fear it is coming." -- comment by canardtahiti in "Bush Wants "Last Big Push" In Iraq...More Troops, More Money..." at the Huffington Post