Wednesday, December 13, 2006
WAR NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2006
Gunmen stormed the house of a Shi'ite family and killed nine people, four men, two women and three children, in al-Hesna village, 35 km south of
A car bomb exploded near a crowded bus stop in eastern
Two cars loaded with explosives were detonated in quick succession along a commercial street in the New Baghdad district of eastern
Police found the bodies of four people, shot and tortured, near the Sunni stronghold of Falluja.
A mortar round killed one person and wounded three others on Tuesday in Iskandariya, 40 km south of
Police found a body with gunshot wounds in
Police found the bodies of two people, shot and bound, in the town of
A cameraman working for The Associated Press was shot to death by insurgents while covering clashes Tuesday in the northern city of
Nine Iraqi soldiers were killed and 10 others wounded when two suicide bombers rammed their trucks into an Iraqi military base housing a unit that protects
Marine Maj. Megan M. McClung, of
A roadside bomb killed three people on Tuesday travelling in a car in Tikrit.
At least 59 other Iraqis were also killed or found dead.
Another milestone: With four more deaths reported today, at least 2,939 members of the
Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi accused the government of not doing enough to deal with militia attacks and said he was especially concerned about
Hashemi, one of two vice presidents, has been a sharp critic of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government. He recently has been joined by senior Kurdish and Shi'a politicians, some from within the ruling coalition, in what is by far the most intense anti-government campaign since Maliki took office in May.
US out of
The official quoted in the article, Mouwafak al-Rubaie, Iraq's national security adviser, was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday morning, but U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Garver said American and Iraqi officials have been weighing proposals about the transfer of power over security in Iraq for several months.
Speaking of pacified cities…: While their weapons were ready, this was a mission about charity. The US Marines weren't entering a hospital in downtown Fallujah to root out insurgents, they were going there simply to help.
But any interaction with American forces can prove deadly for Iraqis, and these marines received an uneasy welcome.
Death threats - and increasingly murder - are common against anyone seen to be cooperating with the
The wariness that greeted this civil affairs unit two weeks ago points to the difficulty faced by US forces as they search for a balance between rebuilding and bringing security to a city where insurgent attacks are on the rise.
Iraqi And Regional Politics
More stresses in the government: With 30 lawmakers and five Cabinet ministers loyal to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr boycotting the government and parliament for nearly two weeks, Parliament Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani added to Maliki's troubles yesterday.
A Sunni Arab and a sharp government critic, Mashhadani suspended his membership in a top-level state policy council. He walked out of a council meeting yesterday after a heated argument with President Jalal Talabani over the Iraq Study Group report, according to the speaker's spokesman, Mohannad Abdul-Jabar. The specifics of their disagreement were not disclosed.
This might not be so easy: Iraqi politicians are discussing the formation of a new alliance designed to isolate the radical young Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr.
The alliance would bring together some of the main Shia, Kurdish and Sunni groups, but the party of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has not decided whether to join.
One of the central, and most difficult, questions in Iraqi politics is what to do about Moqtada Sadr and his powerful militia, the Mehdi Army.
Sunni Arabs accuse the militia of carrying out sectarian attacks, and the Americans have long been pressing Prime Minister Maliki to dismantle it.
There’s also the problem that Sadr doesn’t necessarily fully control his own forces: The day seemed tranquil at Muqtada al Sadr's headquarters for western
But calm is always fleeting in
Sadr's Mahdi Army militiamen responded immediately, drawing automatic rifles and pistols from under their winter coats and gathering in a cluster to face the unidentified gunmen. The assailants closed ranks, brandishing shiny revolvers and battered machine guns.
The groups walked toward each other as if in a high-noon duel. A voice from the crowd called for blessings in the name of Islam's Prophet Mohammed. Sadr's soldiers shouted age-old prayers for the prophet and his descendants, then added the Sadr camp's innovation: ``Bring salvation soon, and damn their enemies!''
With the air filled with the clicking sound of weapons being prepared, visiting McClatchy journalists fled.
The sudden intrusion of the gunmen into one of Sadr's most secure strongholds exposed a paradox that dogs the Sadr movement and contributes to the daily bloodletting here: The Mahdi Army is growing larger and more sophisticated, with politicians in the government and a vast social-services network that serves thousands of poor Shiites, but the anarchy of the streets makes it hard for the militia's commanders to rein in their men, much less prevent attacks from rival factions.
But that promise might not hold if
The George W. Bush Dog And Pony Show
It’s all PR: President Bush, eager to show he can take advice on
Preparing for a major speech on the war's future, Bush took the short trip to the State Department to review options with advisers there, then hosted a handful of experts on
"Like most Americans, this administration wants to succeed in
The White House remained tightlipped on how Bush is likely to change strategy, saying the president is awaiting reports from his national security team before announcing a plan to the nation. That is expected to happen before Christmas.
It sounds like he’s hearing something new but nothing will change: President Bush heard a blunt and dismal assessment of his handling of Iraq from a group of military experts yesterday, but the advisers shared the White House's skeptical view of the recommendations made last week by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, sources said.
The three retired generals and two academics disagreed in particular with the study group's plans to reduce the number of U.S. combat troops in Iraq and to reach out for help to Iran and Syria, according to sources familiar with the meeting, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the session was private.
The White House gathering was part of a series of high-profile meetings Bush is holding to search for "a new way forward" amid the increasing chaos and carnage in
He'll waste some time, wait for people to be distracted by the holidays: President Bush, facing intense pressure to craft a new blueprint for the
Bush gave no hints of a change in direction after a meeting with
"Our objective is to help the Iraqi government deal with the extremists and the killers, and support the vast majority of Iraqis who are reasonable, who want peace," Bush said.
"We want to help your government be effective," he said. "We want your government to live up to its words and ideals."
Sending more troops is a policy shift? More smoke and mirrors: CNN’s John King reported this afternoon that President Bush is planning a “substantial policy shift” on Iraq and is “very seriously considering…agreeing with Sen. John McCain and increasing U.S. troop levels in the short-term.”
King said the White House has postponed the announcement of the policy shift to January because Bush “has asked for more advice about” how he could send 20,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq, and administration officials “need more time to put all that on the table.”
King said the White House sees a political benefit to delaying the announcement. “If you are going to disagree with the Iraq Study Group and not accept its major recommendations, then let some time go by, let the American people forget about that a little bit” and “buy some time for critics” to attack the ISG.
The real message is no withdrawal: President Bush has decided the general direction he wants to take
Military commanders who met Tuesday with Bush sought more advisers to train the Iraqis, not more
Gen. John Abizaid, top
Abizaid has told the Senate Armed Services Committee that troop levels in
The message to Bush, the defense specialist said, is that the
Cynical and oh so true: Ask to explain the delay, until at least January, of the president’s new plan for
NY Times Editorial: The claims of calm deliberation emerging from the White House this week are maddening. The search for a new plan for
To top it off, White House aides told reporters that — despite earlier promises of a pre-Christmas speech by Mr. Bush — the country now should not expect any announcement of a new strategy until early next year. The president’s spokesman, Tony Snow, said that “it’s a complex business, and there are a lot of things to take into account,” adding that Mr. Bush “wants to make sure it’s done right.”
We are more than eager for this White House to finally get something right on
But look! A New Way Forward ™!: As
Members of a small Pentagon task force have gone to the most dangerous areas of Iraq over the past six months to bring life to nearly 200 state-owned factories abandoned by the Coalition Provisional Authority after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Their goal is to employ tens of thousands of Iraqis in coming months, part of a plan to reduce soaring unemployment and lessen the violence that has crippled progress.
Defense officials and military commanders say that festering unemployment -- at 70 percent in some areas -- is leading Iraqi men to take cash from insurgents to place bombs on roads or take shots at
Army Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the top
Born of desperation – he got that right. -m
But don’t go thinking there isn’t a plan: As George W. Bush agonises over which bits of last week’s Baker-Hamilton report to adopt for his forthcoming “new way forward in Iraq” announcement, another consensus is emerging in Washington on how to handle the situation: blame the Iraqis.
Although informed observers say that the writ of the Iraqi government stops at the perimeter of the Green Zone – the heavily fortified enclave in the centre of
It is a consensus that was crystallised last week by the Iraq Study Group, which called on Mr Bush to withhold
“You could call it ‘blame and run’,” said Zbigniew Bzrezinski, a former national security adviser now at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. “It is based on a pervasive illusion that there is such a thing as an Iraqi government. The more we blame it for doing things it cannot do, the more impotent it will become. ‘Blame and run’ is self-fulfilling.”
Now He Tells Us
Screw you, Don: In a new interview posted on Townhall.com, conservative columnist Cal Thomas asks outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, “With what you know now, what might you have done differently in Iraq?” Rumsfeld offers a remarkable response:
“I don’t think I would have called it the war on terror. I don’t mean to be critical of those who have. Certainly, I have used the phrase frequently. Why do I say that? Because the word ‘war’ conjures up World War II more than it does the Cold War. It creates a level of expectation of victory and an ending within 30 or 60 minutes of a soap opera. It isn’t going to happen that way. Furthermore, it is not a ‘war on terror.’ Terror is a weapon of choice for extremists who are trying to destabilize regimes and (through) a small group of clerics, impose their dark vision on all the people they can control. So ‘war on terror’ is a problem for me.”
Rumsfeld not only used the phrase ‘war on the terror’; he repeatedly criticized anyone who questioned the validity of it.
Don’t hold your breath: Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told cheering supporters Saturday that Democrats would move the nation in "a new direction ... for all Americans, not just the chosen few,'' and pledged an ambitious agenda on subjects ranging from House ethics to foreign policy.
Speaking in San Francisco the day after adjournment of the Republican-controlled 2005-06 Congress, Pelosi declared -- as she had throughout her party's successful November election campaign -- that "my highest priority, immediately, is to stop the war in Iraq.''
In that effort, she added, "We extend a hand of friendship and cooperation to the president. We hope we can work together."
Those Who Sacrifice
PTSD: Nothing was stranger for Mary Jane Fernandez than the events of last Christmas, which had her 24-year-old son, newly returned from the war in
Despite being diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder and rated 70 percent disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Damian Fernandez has been called back to duty and told to prepare for another deployment to
Show support for our wounded veterans…: Can you help out and bring some holiday cheer to
Working Assets, Veterans for Peace, CODEPINK, Iraq Veterans Against The War, and Gold Star Families for Peace are teaming up to deliver phone cards to vets stuck at Veterans Administration hospitals, so they can call their loved ones over the holidays. (The VA generally doesn't cover the cost of these calls.)
First, please consider a gift to support this project. Even just a few dollars will go a long way towards helping vets reconnect with their families over the holidays.
But second, can you help deliver the phone cards to a Veterans Administration hospital near you? Please click on the appropriate link to the right, and sign up to be a part of the small group that delivers the cards on December 18th. Your local coordinator will contact you with specific instructions on where & when to meet for the visit.
Because some of the people we are paying to support them could give a fat rat’s ass: Honorable Dan Cooper, Presidential Appointee “[attending Bible Study is] more important than doing the job. The job’s gonna be there whether I’m there or not.”
Dan Cooper, Dan Cooper… Well, Our Dan directs the Veterans Benefit Administration.
The Lies That Led Us To War And The Battles To Expose Them
Plamegate: A federal judge all but resolved the protracted legal fight over classified information in the CIA leak case Monday, helping ensure the dispute would not derail former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's perjury and obstruction trial.
Libby is accused of lying to investigators about his conversations with reporters regarding a CIA operative. He says he had more pressing issues on his mind and wants to discuss classified intelligence about terrorist threats and foreign nuclear programs to bolster that argument.
Prosecutors had accused Libby of demanding so much sensitive information that the government could not safely release it _ leading to a dismissal _ but U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton appears to have resolved that dispute.
Walton, who rankled Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald last month by ruling that Libby must be allowed to discuss intelligence on Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, terrorism and other issues at trial, accepted Fitzgerald's proposal to limit the details Libby and his attorneys can discuss.
The details of those limitations are sealed but, because it was Fitzgerald's proposal, it's unlikely he would come back to court later this month and argue that the limitations did not go far enough to protect government secrecy.
British judges say no public inquiry: The mothers of two soldiers killed in
Grieving Rose Gentle and Beverley Clarke won only sympathy from judges yesterday as their attempt to force a probe into the legality of the war was dismissed.
Master of the Rolls Sir Anthony Clarke said the mothers' suffering over the deaths of their sons "must be unbearable".
But, sitting with two other judges, he ruled their grief was not enough to justify a public inquiry into the March 2003 invasion.
You Can’t Fool All The People All The Time
CBS poll: Americans believe the war in Iraq is going badly and getting worse, and think it's time for the U.S. either to change its strategy or start getting out, according to a CBS News poll.
Forty-three percent say the U.S. should keep fighting, but with new tactics, while 50 percent say the U.S. should begin to end its involvement altogether. Only 4 percent say the
Just 21 percent approve of President Bush's handling of the war, the lowest number he's ever received, and an 8-point drop from just a month ago. Most of that drop has been among Republicans and conservatives. Three-quarters of Americans disapprove of how the president is handling
USA Today/Gallup poll: As President Bush weighs options for changing course in
More than half of the respondents, or 55 percent, want most
Can’t Keep Up
We know the feeling: The toll of war is measured here on an acre of Pacific sand, where each Sunday volunteers array handmade wooden crosses in regimental columns to honor
The white crosses -- each with a small American flag at its base, some decorated with photographs of the fallen -- recall the gravestones of
Now, as the nation approaches the grim milestone of 3,000 war fatalities, the seaside memorial in one of
The group of veterans that organizes the weekly tribute has decided to stop adding crosses because it is struggling to keep pace with the tally of death.
In this post I’ve noted the rising
But what it has done to the people of
Refugees: Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003 as many as two million civilians searching for sanctuary have fled into neighbouring countries like
They are ill-equipped to cope. The pressure group Refugees International calls it the fastest growing humanitarian crisis in the world.
Just up the road from the stranded Palestinians, the Syrian border crossing at al-Tanaf feels like a safe haven for Iraqis who make it this far.
Cars and trucks are packed with possessions. But for most people, escaping into exile, the future is uncertain.
"I'll find a place to stay, anywhere I can afford," Mohammed Abu Muhy says. "Everyone is leaving
And they bring everything they can carry. Expressionless faces look on as border guards rummage through their worldly goods.
The numbers are staggering - at least three quarters of a million Iraqis have fled to
The richest nation in the world, the one that created the crisis, will take…500: Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have fled their homeland are likely to seek refugee status in the United States, humanitarian groups said, putting intense pressure on the Bush administration to reexamine a policy that authorizes only 500 Iraqis to be resettled here next year.
A legacy of maiming and death: In just one week in October, a series of bomb scares swept across
The bombs hadn’t been planted by terrorists, and they weren’t the opening salvos of the next war. The culprit was unexploded ordnance left over from a war fought more than 60 years ago. “We’ll have enough work to keep us busy for the next 100 to 120 years,” the owner of a bomb-defusing company told the New York Times.
The submunitions dispersed by cluster bombs are a lot smaller than 500 pounds, but their use in every major conflict since World War II ensures that bomb clearers the world over will have work for decades—even centuries—to come. From
Where feeding your family is Russian roulette: Workers know a trip to the square could mean death, and still they go.
Every day, laborers crowd downtown
They faced their latest challenge Tuesday when attackers staged a suicide attack that left at least 76 people dead and more than 200 injured, the Interior Ministry reported. The nation's leaders condemned the attack and promised to investigate, but workers complain that the government offers little relief from a cycle of poverty and violence that is pushing them toward extremism.
Ali Naji, 32, avoided the square as long as he could. He returned Tuesday because he desperately needed the money. One of the car bombs exploded as he watched a group of fellow laborers eating breakfast.
``I saw their flesh shattered,'' Naji said.
Congressional Hearing on Civilian Casualties in
Commentary, Analysis and Opinion
Blair, increasingly known around
It is hard to dispute British claims that the relationship between our two countries entails
The relationship between the
William Bennett Turner: Unlike in
Nor is government propaganda healthy for a free press or the citizenry. The Bush administration did not advance press freedom by producing and canning favorable "news" stories with fake reporters and peddling them to television stations, or by clandestinely paying friendly columnists for publishing opinions supporting administration policies.
The campaign may initially have been aimed at Howard Stern, but it puts at risk serious programming like a CBS documentary on 9/11 in which strong language escapes from the lips of firefighters and others in the inferno, "Saving Private Ryan" and even Masterpiece Theater's "Prime Suspect." Other countries like
The press is free in countries that trust the people to make wise decisions when they're fully informed, countries that remain willing to take the risks of dissent, rude discourse, instability and some insecurity, that tolerate eccentricity and unorthodox ideas. The erosion of press freedom in the
It is hard to stomach the hypocrisy of claiming to spread democracy abroad while restricting at home the very freedoms that make democracy possible.
Bill Berkowitz: In the information age, psyops, or the effective manipulating of information or spinning stories for political gain knows no borders. A Defense Department document titled "Information Operations Roundup," approved in 2003, acknowledged that "information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and PSYOP, increasingly is consumed by our domestic audience and vice-versa. PSYOP messages disseminated to any audience ... will often be replayed by the news media for much larger audiences, including the American public."
"Some $400 million in media consulting contracts has been awarded during the past few years by the Pentagon, for the purpose of helping 'to effectively communicate Iraqi government and Coalition goals with strategic audiences,'" Alvin Snyder pointed out. "Thus far both the Pentagon and its contract psy-op journalists have experienced a painful learning curve, but the most recent contract award will show how much each has learned. The outlook is not promising."
"A practical question is whether psy-ops journalism can work at all. It is a cross between what is accepted as the mainstream journalism of print and TV (and many journalists now blog) and what is known as psy-ops, or psychological operations, those engaged in mind control warfare, to gain military advantage by fooling the enemy."
Over the past three-plus years, the Pentagon has initiated an endless stream of public relations efforts aimed at stemming the tide of negative news from
Many observers appear to agree with Alvin Snyder's assertion that the millions spent by the Pentagon have basically come to naught. It hasn't won the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, it has failed to win support abroad for the Bush Administration's
Antonia Juhasz: The Iraq Study Group Report offers a few important recommendations that will help address problems with the
The Report correctly notes that basic services in
The Report also correctly cites the Bush administration’s decision—executed by L. Paul Bremer, head of the former Coalition Provisional Authority in
After firing Iraq’s senior bureaucrats, Bremer’s next law in Iraq allowed for, among other things, the privatization of Iraq's state-owned enterprises—excluding oil—and for American companies to receive preferential treatment over Iraqis in the awarding of reconstruction contracts. These laws were part of a series of economic policies implemented by Bremer, virtually all of which remain in place today, to "transition [
What followed was a
Bernard Weiner: This isn't even a lame-duck presidency. It's on artificial life-support and there is no guarantee it can last through the next two years without infecting the entire body politic with its dangerous dementia. It may be time for the powers-that-be in the Republican party elite to contact political hospice. If they don't want the entire party, economy, reputation in the world, and ability to control the agenda domestically to go down with Bush and Cheney, a major intervention is in order. Since Bush will never resign -- to him, it would be the equivalent of ego suicide -- that means the economic and political forces behind his administration will encourage the Democrats to finish him off, perhaps through impeachment. This would give the Republican string-pullers some time to resurrect the image of the party and locate another, more popular front man to run for President in 2008. As a temporary stop-gap measure, it's possible that the Republican heavies might lean on Cheney to resign ("for health reasons") in the near-future, so that a more acceptable person might be appointed that could be groomed for 2008. If both Bush and Cheney serve out their terms into January 2009, given the political carnage they could cause in the interim, the Republicans might have to deal with Democrats in the White House and in charge of Congress for the next eight years and perhaps even beyond. True, it's possible for the forces of deep-pocket commerce to greatly influence Democrats, but it's a bit more difficult and it's hard work, with few guarantees that, if the country goes more populist or progressive, that the relationship would stick. No, better for the Republican powers-that-be to have their "wise men" visit the White House in the very near future and urge a resignation or, if that doesn't work, to somehow engineer a pre-2008 transition to more able and intelligent GOP leadership. And what should or will the Democrats do in the next two years, as they move into control of Congress? With a modicum amount of courage, they could effectively veto Bush's wildest domestic schemes and, through the investigatory and funding processes, somewhat rein in the Administration's penchant for reckless foreign adventurism. The Democrats won't be able to get everything they want, but they can at least start to limit, and even reverse, the immense damage of the past five years.
Jonathan Chait: Consider a story in the latest Time magazine, recounting the efforts - before the commission was approved by Congress - of three supporters to enlist Condoleezza Rice to win the administration's approval for the panel. Here is how Time reports it:
"As the trio departed, a Rice aide asked one of her suitors not to inform anyone at the Pentagon that chairmen had been chosen and the study group was moving forward. If Rumsfeld was alerted to the study group's potential impact, the aide said, he would quickly tell Cheney, who could, with a few words, scuttle the whole thing. Rice got through to Bush the next day, arguing that the thing was going to happen anyway, so he might as well get on board. To his credit, the President agreed."
The article treats this exchange in a matter-of-fact way, but, what it suggests is completely horrifying. Rice apparently believed that Bush would simply follow the advice of whoever he spoke with. Therefore the one factor determining whether Bush would support the commission was whether Cheney or Rice managed to get to him first.
And now that the Baker-Hamilton report is out, the commissioners are carefully patronizing the commander in chief. As this newspaper reported, "Members of the commission said they were pleased that Bush gave them as much attention as he did, a full hour's worth. 'He could have scheduled us for 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for the cameras,' said former Atty. Gen. Edwin M. Meese III." Wow, a commission devoted hundreds or thousands of man-hours to addressing the central conundrum of
Thomas M. DeFrank: For a wounded President locked in a lethal downward spiral ever since his reelection, it was the cruelest week of all.
Not since Bill Clinton forlornly insisted that "the President is still relevant" after being trounced in the 1994 mid-term elections has a President struggled so hard to salvage his political traction.
In 72 hours last week, a bipartisan commission harshly repudiated Bush's
For good measure, a new poll found only 27% of Americans back his
"He'll be fine but he can't be doing very good," said a well-placed Bush source who talks with the President often. "It's been a terrible year, and it keeps getting worse."
Yet Bush is described by another recent visitor as still resolutely defiant, convinced history will ultimately vindicate him.
"I'll be dead when they get it right," he said during an Oval Office meeting last week.
Geov Parrish: Okay, so
But then, their report is a disaster, too.
Why? Because it's a political document, one designed to get a delusional president to take a few baby steps (which he has already dismissed out of hand) to try to mitigate the disaster. The Iraq Study Group (ISG)'s understanding of the scope of the disaster is understated compared to how it really is playing out in
The decisions on the future of
Greg Mitchell: In the wake of the November elections, the release of the Baker-Hamilton report, and the latest surge in American fatalities in
…How many will die from now until the last American perishes in
Damn, lost the link. Sorry. It's at Editor and Publishers somewhere... -m
Digby: This is why accountability is so important. It is the epitome of injustice that allows war criminals and sociopaths like Pinochet to go unpunished for their deeds, allowing detestable apologists like Fred Hiatt to rationalize away the horrors he inflicted on his own people in the name of this abstract godhead "free-markets."
Just as it is wrong to have allowed Pinochet to die a free old man, the leadership of this country should not be allowed to continue their comfortable lives without suffering any consequences in the here and now for their ongoing rationalization of American perfidy in
Josh Marshall: Many readers have written in to say that there's just no way we're going to let ourselves take sides in what would likely be at least a borderline genocidal civil war between Iraq's Sunni minority and Shi'a majority. To which, I can only say, why not? Is there anything we've seen in the last six years that makes you think we wouldn't pull the trigger on a ridiculously foolish new plan? I don't just mean that as trash talk. I think it's the only sensible way to approach the case at hand.
The main mistakes I've made thinking about foreign policy over the last half decade were, I think, all cases where there were certain outcomes I just didn't find credible because they were just too stupid and dangerous for anybody in a position of power to try. Good luck on that.
Another point, and one I'm not sure is widely appreciated. The folks who brought you the Iraq War have always been weak in the knees for a really whacked-out vision of a Shi'a-US alliance in the
Now, you might think this involves a fair amount of wishful and delusional thinking. But this was the thinking of a lot of neocons going into the war. And I don't doubt it's still the thinking of quite a few of them. They still want to run the table. And even more now that it's double-down. I don't know what these guys are planning now. But there's plenty of reason to be worried.
A. Alexander: George W. Bush is a disaster on a scale never before known to an American Presidency. The President has willfully undermined the freedoms and liberties of the American people; he has abused the Constitution; he is dismissive of the will of the people; he floundered pitifully while New Orleans literally dissolved; through utter incompetence and stupidity, he bungled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; he has mismanaged and lost two wars; he has undermined American democracy; and both he and his administration have bankrupted -- morally and financially -- the peoples' government. It is time now, either for George W. Bush and his administration to resign or Congress to act. All of this, of course, says nothing of the hell and chaos that he has unleashed upon an unsuspecting and undeserving planet. George W. Bush's asinine refusal to address global warming has endangered the world; his ignorance, dishonesty, and stubbornness have thrown the entire Middle East into a bloody fit of death, destruction, and constant turmoil; his obsessive preoccupation with "bringing freedom" to the Middle East -- code for securing the oil -- has allowed Africa, most specifically Somalia, to grow into a tinderbox on the brink of erupting into an inferno, i.e. the entire Horn of Africa is about to explode into conflict; and the President's policies have ensured that no citizen of the world, not even Americans, are beyond the reach of his global network of secret prisons and torture . It has moved well beyond the obvious - George W. Bush and his entire administration must either leave office or be removed from power.
Pfc. Ross McGinnis, of
The military said McGinnis, 19, was in the gunner's hatch of a Humvee when a grenade sailed past him and into the truck, where four other soldiers sat during a mission in
Pomp, pageantry and a grateful nation had to patiently wait in a parking lot on a cloudy Tuesday, while emotional family, friends and neighbors said goodbye to Sgt. Dustin Adkins.
An inquest resumes today into the death of a retired Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer in
Flags will be at half-staff on Wednesday for the funeral service of an
A 2004 graduate of
Hundreds of friends, fellow church members and supporters packed into the Life Church of Mobile on Tuesday for the funeral of 32-year-old Army Cpl. Chris Mason, who was remembered as "a patriot" and "a soldier's soldier," as well as "a great Christian." Mason -- a member of the famed 82nd Airborne Division -- was killed Nov. 28 while on patrol with his unit in
On July 3, Paul Pabla was killed by a sniper in
Photos of a Greenfield Marine killed in
Within hours of hearing her love had been killed in
On Saturday, December 2nd, Sergeant Keith Fiscus was killed near
Under a bitter sky, Renee McDonough accepted the flag from her son's casket. The moment was too much for most to bear. Sobs engulfed those mourning Bryan McDonough, the 22-year-old Minnesota National Guard specialist who was killed Dec. 2 in
A somber service for a local Marine killed in
Marine Pvt. Heath D. Warner, lauded for his dedication to America, was laid to rest amid the sounds of Marine riflemen firing volleys and a bugler playing "Taps" at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday. Warner was praised as a man who loved God, his family and country during the interment attended by about 30 family members and friends, including his parents, Scott and Melissa Warner, and his brothers,
A soldier from
The salutes began before the