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The government has completely abandoned us 31 May 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Culture of Death, DC Politics, WAR!.
136 comments

Haifa Street Baghdad Jan 9, 2007

In case any of the many signals for years were missed.  The name is Lieberman, but it does not matter, nor does the party:

McClatchy:

The night before, 30 other soldiers crowded around him with questions for the senator.

He wrote them all down. At the top of his note card was the question he got from nearly every one of his fellow soldiers:

“When are we going to get out of here?”

The rest was a laundry list. When would they have upgraded Humvees that could withstand the armor-penetrating weapons that U.S. officials claim are from Iran? When could they have body armor that was better in hot weather?

Williams missed six months of his girlfriend’s pregnancy when he was given six days’ notice to return to Iraq for his second tour. He also missed his baby boy’s birth. Three weeks ago, he went home and saw his first child.

“He looks just like me,” he said. “I didn’t want to come back. . . .

We’re waiting to get blown up.”

Ah but Lieberman, Clinton, Specter, Levin, Warner, McCain, Reid, Reed, you name the war stooge, they are not ”waiting to get blown up”.  All that matters to them.

Next to him, Spc. Will Hedin, 21, of Chester, Conn., thought about what he was going to say.

“We’re not making any progress,” Hedin said, as he recalled a comrade who was shot by a sniper last week. “It just seems like we drive around and wait to get shot at.”

But as he waited two chairs down from where Lieberman would sit, Hedin said he’d never voice his true feelings to the senator.

“I think I’d be a private if I did,” he joked. “It’s just more troops, more targets.”

NYT magazine, yes, Gerth and Van Atta …

She could have done the reading herself. Senators were able to access the N.I.E. at two secure locations in the Capitol complex. Nonetheless, only six senators personally read the report, according to a 2005 television interview with Senator Jay Rockefeller, Democrat of West Virginia and then the vice chairman of the intelligence panel.

Earlier this year, on the presidential campaign trail in New Hampshire, Clinton was confronted by a woman who had traveled from New York to ask her if she had read the intelligence report. According to Eloise Harper of ABC News, Clinton responded that she had been briefed on it.

“Did you read it?” the woman screamed.

Clinton replied that she had been briefed, though she did not say by whom.

The question of whether Clinton took the time to read the N.I.E. report is critically important. Indeed, one of Clinton’s Democratic colleagues, Bob Graham, the Florida senator who was then the chairman of the intelligence committee, said he voted against the resolution on the war, in part, because he had read the complete N.I.E. report.

Graham said he found that it did not persuade him that Iraq possessed W.M.D. As a result, he listened to Bush’s claims more skeptically. “I was able to apply caveat emptor,” Graham, who has since left the Senate, observed in 2005.

He added regretfully, “Most of my colleagues could not.”

On Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2002, Senate Democrats, including Clinton, held a caucus over lunch on the second floor of the Capitol. There, Graham says he “forcefully” urged his colleagues to read the complete 90-page N.I.E. before casting such a monumental vote.

In her own remarks on the Senate floor on Oct. 10, 2002, Clinton noted the existence of “differing opinions within this body.” Then she went on to offer a lengthy catalog of Saddam Hussein’s crimes.

She cited unnamed “intelligence reports” showing that between 1998 and 2002 “Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile-delivery capability and his nuclear program.”

 Both the public and secret intelligence estimates on Iraq contained such analysis, but the complete N.I.E. report also included other views. A dissent by the State Department’s intelligence arm concluded — correctly, as it turned out — that Iraq was not rebuilding its nuclear program.

Clinton continued, accusing Iraq’s leader of giving “aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members.” This statement fit squarely within the ominous warning she issued the day after Sept. 11.

Not fit to be president.  Not fit to run.

Lieberman in Baghdad:

“I think it’s important we don’t lose our will,” he said. “To pull out would be a disaster.”

The soldiers smiled and greeted him, stood with him for pictures and sat down to a lunch of roast beef and turkey sandwiches. It was unclear if they ever asked their questions.

As Lieberman walked out, he said that congressionally mandated withdrawal would be a “victory for al-Qaida and a victory for Iran.”

And it would be what for America?  What for Israel? (As we know this is a key factor, in selling and assessment.)

A win?

As she explained her vote on the Senate floor, Clinton noted,

 “Perhaps my decision is influenced by my eight years of experience on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, in the White House, watching my husband deal with serious challenges to our nation.”

It was not a coincidence that Clinton invoked her time in the White House, or her husband’s record. Bill Clinton served as her main counsel on the Iraq war vote, longtime associates of theirs told us. He had much personal experience to offer:   while he was president in 1998, the United States, assisted by Britain, launched more than 400 cruise missiles and flew 650 air attacks against suspected weapons-of-mass-destruction sites in Iraq after Saddam Hussein refused to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors.

“Mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction,” President Clinton had said at the time. “He will deploy them, and he will use them.”

None of them is fit.  Not in my view.  We have been sold out, scammed, lectured, pontificated at, lied to, expected to accept smarmy political apologies, political equivocations, told MORE LIES -

and we have been forgotten. 

They call us to patriotism, values, religion, family (theirs not ours, we are asked to attend at their illnesses – while single payer is verboten, by THEM ALL).   Respect, civility, obedience even, they use all of that to call us to VOTE.

For them.

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UPDATE, 1:57 pm

This was part of a commencement speech Mark Danner gave recently to the Dept of Rhetoric at UC Berkeley:

“We were asked to send the next of kin to whom the remains of my nephew, killed on Monday in a horrific explosion downtown, can be handed over…”So we went, his mum, his other aunt and I…

“When we got there, we were given his remains. And remains they were. From the waist down was all they could give us. ‘We identified him by the cell phone in his pants’ pocket. If you want the rest, you will just have to look for yourselves. We don’t know what he looks like.’

“…We were led away, and before long a foul stench clogged my nose and I retched. With no more warning we came to a clearing that was probably an inside garden at one time; all round it were patios and rooms with large-pane windows to catch the evening breeze Baghdad is renowned for. But now it had become a slaughterhouse, only instead of cattle, all around were human bodies. On this side; complete bodies; on that side halves; and everywhere body parts.

“We were asked what we were looking for; ‘upper half’ replied my companion, for I was rendered speechless. ‘Over there.’ We looked for our boy’s broken body between tens of other boys’ remains; with our bare hands sifting them and turning them.

“Millennia later we found him, took both parts home, and began the mourning ceremony.”

     morgue baghdad march 2007 

2:18 pm:

I am just hearing on K-CBS News that Odierno is saying

 there “may  not be a surge assessment available in September”.

What a shock…

Boxer is saying, according to the report, that the Democrats “expected one”.

Well, stop lying to us and stop presenting yourselves as suckers.

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Blood Storm: Re-making Babel 30 May 2007

Posted by marisacat in Beirut, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, WAR!.
108 comments

  Hillah Iraq, 2007

Bush’s New Middle East

[F]atah al-Islam is comprised of Sunni radicals who were recruited from the other Gulf States to counterbalance Hezbollah. Now, it appears, they have outlived their usefulness and the Lebanese warlords have decided to eliminate them.

According to independent journalist Franklin Lamb, who is reporting from the battered Bedawi refugee camp, the charges against the group are purely fabricated. “There was no bank robbery” and “no heads were cut off”. The allegations in the western press were merely a pretext for restarting the fighting. The siege of Nahr al-Bared is probably just Phase 2 of Israel’s 34 Day War— a conflict in which “Israel’s air force, armed with U.S.-manufactured and -fueled F-16s, went on a rampage with more than 14 combat missions every single hour of the war, destroying, among other things, 73 bridges, 400 miles of roads, 25 gas stations, 900 commercial structures, two hospitals, 350 schools and 15,000 Lebanese homes.” (Dahr Jamail)

The US-Israeli goals in Lebanon have never really changed. Israel wants a reliable client to its North and access to Lebanon’s water supplies. They also want to crush their main enemy, Hezbollah, the Shiite resistance organization which has routed the IDF twice in the last 15 years.

Bush, on the other hand, is trying to destabilize the entire region using the madcap neocon strategy of “creative destruction”. He thinks that if he can erase the traditional borders and create a fragmented Middle East, the transnational corporations will be able to control the region’s vast resources.

Washington’s allies in Beirut like the idea, too. Walid Jumblat, Sa’ad Hariri and Prime Minister Fuad Siniora”all believe that the outbreak of violence will only strengthen them politically.

More:

According to the Lebanese newspaper Al-Diyar:

“NATO has decided to join the Lebanese territories to North-African & African coast military region, to establish Military airbases”. … .

“American-German-Turkish military delegation toured and surveyed Akkar region, reported to the NATO headquarter in Brussels, mentioning that the military bases will contribute to the development and the economic recovery in the region, advising the government to focus on the financial aspect and positive reflection on the population of the region, giving the bases a name “Lebanese Army and Security training centre”.

So, it looks like northern Lebanon has been chosen as the site for further NATO expansion in the Middle East. That means that NATO-planners must have agreed on a credible justification for evacuating the people who presently occupy the land. That’s where Fatah al Islam comes in.

The hobgoblin of terrorism always provides the perfect excuse for state sanctioned violence—in this case the group is being used to conceal a massive ethnic cleansing operation.

Somewhere in the middle of the article Whitney includes these lines:

“If you want to reconstruct a country, you need to eliminate its people and start anew right?

Like restoring the virginity to the land so you can build better and stronger fortresses. A brand new Iraq with a brand new population. A total Babel makeover.

You know, like the ones you see on these American TV reality shows. Revamped, relooked, redone…beyond recognition”.

(Layla Anwar, “Aliens in Babel” An Arab Woman’s Blues)

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Counterpunch has the Franklin Lamb article mentioned in the Whitney piece above, as well… he is unsure the camp will be fully destroyed, but really, does it matter:

[W]ho will not benefit from the building boom will be the 40,000+ Palestinians from Nahr al-Bared which is literally next door to the anticipated project These refugees, who were driven from their homes a in Palestine in 1948 and 1967, from Telezatter by the Phalanges in 1975, and others who came as a result of Israeli attacks on Lebanon in 1978, 1982, 1993, 1996, and 2006, will gain no work from Kleiaat.

The reason is that the 70 top trades and professions in Lebanon are denied to the Palestinians under Lebanese law.

Even if the 20,000 Palestinians displaced by the current conflict with Fatah al-Islam are allowed to return, which I expect will be the case, and even if Palestinian fears that the Camps will be demolished are unrealized, as I believe, they will remain destitute, according to UNWRA who considers 10,000 of them ‘special hardship cases”.

As reported by the NATO headquarters in Brussels, as well as by residents in Bibnin Akkar on May 28, 2007, an American-German-Turkish military delegation toured and surveyed Akkar region. US Embassy ‘staff’ have reportedly visited Kleiaat airport earlier this year to look over the site. David Welch also had a quick look at the site during his recent visit.

A Lebanese journalist who opposes the base commented on May 28, 2007,

The Bush administration has been warning Lebanon about the presence of Al Qaeda teams in northern Lebanon. And the base is needed to deal with this threat. Low and behold, a new “terrorist group” called Fatah al-Islam appears near Kleiaat at al-Bared camp“.

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Life is a slice… 29 May 2007

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
120 comments

    luis pereiro - spain - for irancartoon.com
        Luis Pereiro – Spain, for Iran Cartoon

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Poppies for “remembrance”…. just keep digging the graves 28 May 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Iraq War, WAR!.
141 comments

   baquba 2005 grieving woman

LAT:

Progress in Iraq likely to miss target

Military officers doubt any of the three top goals will be achieved before the September assessment.

By Julian E. Barnes, Times Staff Writers
6:08 PM PDT, May 28, 2007 

BAGHDAD — U.S. military leaders in Iraq are increasingly convinced that most of the broad political goals President Bush laid out early this year in his announcement of a troop buildup will not be met this summer and are seeking ways to redefine success.

In September, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, is scheduled to present Congress with an assessment of progress in Iraq. Military officers in Baghdad and outside advisors working with Petraeus doubt that the three major goals set by U.S. officials for the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki will be achieved by then.

Enactment of a new law to share Iraq’s oil revenue among Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish regions is the only goal they think might possibly be achieved in time, and even that is considered a long shot. The two other key benchmarks are provincial elections and a deal to allow more Sunni Arabs into government jobs.

With overhauls by the central government stalled and with security in Baghdad still a distant goal, Petraeus’ advisors hope to focus on smaller achievements that they see as signs of progress, including deals among Iraq’s rival factions to establish areas of peace in some provincial cities.

“Some of it will be infrastructure that is being worked, some of it is local security for neighborhoods, some of it is markets reopening,” said a senior military official in Baghdad who spoke on condition of anonymity in discussing military tactics.  [snip]

In a side link, a “related” article at LAT, it says the meetings iwth Iran were “business like and positive”.  The ABC World News tonight presented the meetings as a breakthru that will “save lives”.  Scraping at the bottom of the barrel….

However, this is scraping at the rotted wood of the barrel:

“If the nature of the problem is to terminate a communal struggle, then the only way to do that is to strong-arm the parties into a cease-fire agreement,” Biddle said. “There are all kinds of downsides to using military force as a source of sticks and carrots for this purpose. It could easily fail. But if we don’t try it, I am confident we will fail.”

A five year war… and no end in sight.  Never has been in sight.

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Via Angry Arab:

“One of the Muslim world’s leading calligraphers has been shot dead by gunmen in Baghdad. Khalil al-Zahawi was the most famous practitioner in Iraq of the art of writing classical Arabic script.” (thanks May)

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Oh… it’s good to see there are other sane people… 28 May 2007

Posted by marisacat in Abortion Rights, Sex / Reproductive Health.
106 comments

The Abortion Issue: Who Decides? (5 Letters) Published: May 28, 2007

 *** The letters were in response to this NYT article  ***

To the Editor:

Re “Abortion Foes See Validation for New Tactic” (front page, May 22):

Finally there is something for women on the opposite sides of the abortion question to agree on: that it is insulting and degrading to women, and a dangerous erosion of their rights, to assume that women cannot understand the consequences of their actions.

As a judge, I am extremely disheartened that our Supreme Court would adopt the patronizing and backward language in the Gonzales case, which upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

Admittedly with no reliable data to support it, the majority court speculated that doctors misinform their patients of the details of the procedure to spare their feelings, leading the women to later regret their choice and suffer “severe depression and loss of esteem.” This attitude harkens back to the old vision of women as helpless, delicate flowers who must be protected from themselves.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg put it succinctly in her dissent: “This way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women’s place in the family and under the Constitution — ideas that have long since been discredited.”

My friends may be more liberal than I on the abortion question, but we stand together on the question of whether women are capable of knowing their own minds.

Elizabeth Doyle
Hollidaysburg, Pa., May 22, 2007

To the Editor:

I had an abortion when I was 21 years old. I am now 48, and not once have I regretted my choice.

Every choice we make contributes to our present reality. Mine includes two beautiful girls, a wonderful husband and a life rich with art, community service and lots of joy.

I cannot imagine what path my life would have taken had I carried my first pregnancy to term. I do know that it would have led to somewhere very different.

Perhaps groups like the Justice Foundation, which has collected stories from women who see themselves as victims of abortion, should add stories from people like me. I am sure we are in the majority.

Jessica Sporn
Glen Ridge, N.J., May 22, 2007

To the Editor:

Your article about the strategy of anti-abortion activists reveals their new claim that by pushing for mandatory counseling about abortion’s alleged psychological and physical risks, they’re working in the interests of women.

The Supreme Court narrowly endorsed that claim when it upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, substituting political propaganda for medical science.

But meticulous research shows that there is no causal relationship between abortions and mental illnesses. Women’s mental health is jeopardized when laws require doctors to mislead them and is best served when women make their own decisions. That’s why the American Psychiatric Association stands in favor of women’s access to reproductive health care.

Anti-abortion activists have even made up a mental disease: “abortion trauma syndrome.” Recently I told Congress that the association recognizes no such disorder.

Doctors take an oath to work in the best interest of patients. Anti-choice activists merely claim that mantle as their tactic du jour.

Nada L. Stotland, M.D.
Chicago, May 22, 2007
The writer is president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association.

To the Editor:

It is normal for people to feel depressed about life’s difficult events, including divorce, moving to a new city, job change, birth of a first child and, yes, abortion. Uncomfortable feelings are not the province solely of women who have had an abortion.

These feelings are an expected and healthy expression of a loss — just as a new puppy, child’s refrigerator drawing or marriage might elicit the normal emotions of joy.

Complex and varying emotions are part of being human. To be protected from them is to be robbed of the richness of an authentic life.

After writing a book on the emotional recovery from abortion, my co-author and I have found, from thousands of letters and e-mail messages over 10 years, that very few women feel serious distress after an abortion.

Most often they tell us that if they do feel regret, it is because they had to go through such a tough decision.

Candace De Puy
Los Angeles, May 22, 2007

To the Editor:

As a bioethicist who supports robust informed consent throughout the health care system, I am outraged by pro-life strategists who have hijacked and misused this important concept.

The point of informed consent is to offer the consumer the best medical facts about her condition, so that she can plug those facts into her value system and her life circumstances and make the best choice for her.

If there is good evidence that a significant number of women suffer emotional distress after abortion, that is important information women should know.

They should also be informed of the physical risks of carrying a pregnancy to term, the proportion of women who suffer postpartum depression and the emotional consequences of giving a baby up for adoption.

Dena S. Davis
Cleveland, May 23, 2007
The writer is a professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

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Of course, on the other side is… …  …

   il papa benedetto XVI

Love how the “sacrificial” lamb is clearly complicit… in fact, loaded with come-hither entrapment   ;)

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Oh right… WRONG war, WRONG dead and WRONG memorial… 26 May 2007

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, WAR!.
102 comments

As if it matters.  And we most certainly took sides.  Not Iran’s, either.  Let us not forget, “he gassed his own people!” (Halabja) was a rallying cry in the build up to the current war. 

As if we cared.

  Iran-Iraq War 1980 - 88

This certainly is a blood soaked picture… looks to be nearly WW I trench warfare. 

Here is the monument.  What is the fighting and dying for, if there are no monuments…

   Martyr's Monument

Baghdad, Iraq (Nov. 30, 2003) – An HH-60H helicopter assigned to the “Firehawks” of Helicopter Combat Search and Rescue Squadron/Special Warfare Support Special Squadron Five (HCS-5) flies over the Martyr’s Memorial in Baghdad while returning from a combat mission. HCS-5 is deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Aviation Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Rex Sackett. Source: www.navy.mil

… yes, we occupy the land, the trenches, the cities, towns and villages, the infrastructure, the air space, the people of Iraq - and the War Monuments.

A couple of years ago I caught a segment on CNN International.  A last moment to commemorate WW I… at a field, or grave site, war monument or near a village where people stood or fell (not a lot of choice) – or a cemetery where the living buried the dead.   They had brought together two remaining infantry men, one from each side, Great Britain and Germany.  Very elderly, frail, both in wheelchairs… the handlers wheeled them to be beside each other.  They held hands in the cold air, there were tears.  Finally, one said to the other,

Why did they make us fight each other.

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Coo Coo Coo… Coup? Anyone? 25 May 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Israel/AIPAC.
124 comments

   San Anselmo protest to the (re)election 2004
San Anselmo in No California, in protest of the 2004 (re)election of W

Well, Clemons is entirely too cute here, “end run around the president”…  a helpful commenter fills in,

Would that not be a coup?

Another says,

argument in the Bush administration?? it’s like choosing  between the cannibal serial killers and the paedophile serial killers…

However, now that the sun does not set on our Empire… it seems the coup was a while ago and the news is just now being read at home…

But, still a good read.  Tho SC is entirely unconvincing that there is anything like consensus on the State and Diplo side of the Bush bed.  (ew…)

It is a very good thread, with this as the last comment:

The Problem is not so much Cheney, Bush, etc but who will come after them. All the crimes commited now will set a precedent for future presidents, who grab ever more power with an amazingly shrinking constitution.

Bush is not the devil, he is just opening the door for the next tyrant. Already now he has enough power to rule without congress, but not enough for the end-game: an unlimited term, plus a heredetary throne. Watch out for Bush III.

Sorry my spelling, english is not my language.

Posted by: nobody at May 25, 2007 09:30 PM

oh raise a top notch top shelf Margarita - or your favorite poison - to our cloudy future… more blood soup no doubt, with humans as croutons. 

If only there were a god and hell for eternity.  Someone other than the dead, the dying, the suffering and the dispossesed, might pay.

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UPDATE, 5:49 am

Spotted this at Counterpunch, from the 22nd

Democratic Disconnect

A Widening Chasm on Impeachment

By DAVE LINDORFF

The divide between Democratic leaders contemplating their re-election prospects in 2008 and rank-and-file Democrats is becoming a chasm–one so wide that Congressional Democrats may soon find it hard to straddle it.

The issue is impeachment.

So far, Democrats in Congress and at the top of the party hierarchy, out of touch with public sentiment and worried that impeachment could hurt them with “independents”–whom they mistakenly consider to stand somehow “in between” Democrats and Republicans–have been following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s vow that for the 110th Congress, “impeachment is off the table.”

They’ve been doing more than that: they have been actively working to tamp down, and even to crush, impeachment campaigns in the states.

For example, in the state of Washington, an effort to get the state to pass a joint legislative resolution which would have compelled the Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings was derailed after the Democratic leadership dispatched two of the state’s leading federal elected officials, Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Jay Inslee, to press legislative leaders to block a floor vote. Similar pressure doomed efforts that might have passed in the legislatures of New Mexico and Vermont (The Vermont Senate did pass the resolution).

Meanwhile, down at the state and local level, Democratic Party committee after Democratic Party committee is voting out resolutions calling for impeachment.

The latest Democratic Party organization to call for impeachment of both Bush and Cheney is the Massachusetts Democratic Party, which at its state convention on Saturday, May 19, voted out a strong measure calling on the state’s elected representatives in Washington to investigate Bush and Cheney for misleading the nation into war, for authorizing torture, and for warrantless wiretapping. The message concludes: “If the investigation supports the charges, vote to impeach both Bush and Cheney as provided in the Constitution.”

Massachusetts Democrats thus join California’s huge Democratic Party, which passed a similar resolution less than a month ago at its annual convention, in what was widely perceived as a slap at Pelosi, who represents a district in San Francisco.

To date, 14 state Democratic Parties have now called for impeachment. [snip]

HA!  The part of San Francisco (CA 12, whereas I live in CA 8) that Nancy does NOT represent, a swathe out in “the Avenues”, is represented by Lantos.  Our very own West Coast Lieberman, in every sense (Swett in NH, whom they really want to shoe horn into the congress, somehow, is his daughter). Lately he has been down in Miami, railing agaisnt … … wait for it, it is SO vital to our nation… railing against Chavez.

Our dear little Internationalists in congress.  With the empty coffee tables.  And no regard at all for us.

BRAVO to the states, cities and committees voting on impeachment!

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NYT:  Air strikes over GAZA

  Israeli air strikes against Hamas
Left, Mahmud Hams/AFP-Getty Images; right, Adel Hana/Associated Press

Palestinians, left, ran as a missile fired by the Israeli Army came down on a Hamas post in the central Gaza strip. A Palestinian boy, right, reacted to the blast. The Israelis hit at least eight different locations.

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Via IraqSlogger, on the troop reduction story in the NYT:

White House advisors are discussing the possibility of drawing down US forces by as much as 50% in 2008, David Sanger and David Cloud write in the Times.

For their big scoop, the reporters anonymously cite high-level administration officials. A revised US role in 2008 would focus less on providing security to Baghdad and other areas and more on training Iraqi forces and battling al-Qa’ida in Iraq. The debate falls along familiar lines, they report, with a Rice-Gates faction supporting the drawdown and redeployment and a hawkish faction, possibly associated with the vice president, supporting larger troop numbers.

 “Still, there is no indication that Mr. Bush is preparing to call an early end to the current troop increase, and one reason officials are talking about their long-range strategy may be to blunt pressure from members of Congress, including some Republicans, who are pushing for a more rapid troop reduction,” they write.

Looming next year is the election campaign:

“Several administration officials said they hoped that if such a reduction were under way in the midst of the presidential campaign, it would shift the debate from whether American forces should be pulled out by a specific deadline — the current argument consuming Washington — to what kind of long-term presence the United States should have in Iraq.”

Officials cautioned that no firm plans had emerged from the discussions, which have apparently not yet solicited input from US commanders in Iraq or the Iraqi leadership.

As if anyone cares what the commanders think, as if they don’t regurgitate on cue…  

Oh can’t you hear the ringing eve of election (months long) debate now…   Hillary saying:  I will go to Iraq!  I will end the war!  I can be CinC!  I can salute!

And the Republican saying:   take a look, it’s ending.

Both lying thru their bleached and scraped teeth.

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Have a nice wallow…;) beats being a sell out! Any day of the week! 24 May 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2004 Election, 2006 Mid Terms, 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
137 comments

    

Off Ya Face Henry the Nose goes for a little stroll with his eyeballs – he has a funny scripted show communicated via radio microphone. The show includes a sneezing routine complete with hanky, bogeys and audience participation. This was a huge success at the Easter Show 2003 and Penrith Australia Day Regatta 2003.

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Editor and Publisher has a piece up on ways in which McClatchy – formerly Knight-Ridder – has been shut out for their critical coverage of the Iraq War… something the pork chops – those would be the electeds on the Hill – don’t want to have happen to them.  No Sireee!

“It is because our coverage of Iraq policy has been quite critical,” Walcott told E&P. He added, “I think the idea of public officials barring coverage by people they’ve decided they don’t like is at best unprofessional, at worst undemocratic and petty.”

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman called such assertions “absurd,” adding, “There is no basis of fact for that allegation. It is not true. There are always more people who would like to travel with the secretary than seats available.”

Jonathan Landay, a former Pentagon correspondent and one of the co-authors of McClatchy’s pre-war coverage, said he last traveled on the plane with then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in 2004 to Istanbul, Turkey, for a NATO economic summit. Since then, he says, none of McClatchy’s people have flown. “It is unusual because we get aboard about two out of three trips [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice makes,” Landay said. “They have a different policy at the Pentagon. We are definitely being discriminated against.”

Drew Brown, who covered the Pentagon on several occasions between 2002 and 2007 before leaving McClatchy for Stars and Stripes, claimed he was never allowed to travel with Rumsfeld or current Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who took over several months ago. “I asked a couple of times, and they gave me a non-committal answer,” Brown said. “The Department of Defense took the outlets they were able to influence, the wire [services] and the big newspapers. I don’t think they really care about anyone outside the Washington Beltway.”

Nancy Youssef, a former McClatchy Baghdad bureau chief who took over the Pentagon beat April 9, said Gates has been on four trips since she arrived and she has been denied access to all of them. “They just sort of brushed it off,” she said. “I bring it up every time, and every time it doesn’t happen.”

Too right, all about access.  8)

140 in the House and a handful… less than the fingers on both hands, in the Senate.

Yes!  Barney to the Senate!  By WH acclamation!  Why not.  He has a pulse. He’ll do.

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UPDATE,  2:07 AM

Arthur SIlber packs a wallop…  and scores a bulls eye:

[S]o to Kos, Joan Walsh (who believes that Michael Tomasky’s analysis — this analysis — is “smart”), and everyone else who mouths the same empty platitudes, the identical fundamentally false and thoroughly conventional phrases that spring from a perspective drenched in “American exceptionalism,” which views the United States as the highest possible point of human development and Americans as uniquely good and virtuous in the entire span of history, and which reduces all other peoples to fifth-rate bit players in an increasingly desperate global drama, I have this to say:

THIS IS NOT PRIMARILY, OR MOST IMPORTANTLY, OR IN ANY SIGNIFICANT WAY ABOUT THE MISERABLE, REPELLENT CALCULATIONS OF DOMESTIC POLITICS, OR ABOUT YOU OR ABOUT US, YOU NEUROTICALLY SELF-ABSORBED, IGNORANT DUMB FUCKS.

That was very rude. Extraordinarily rude. Yes, indeed it was.

On some occasions, there is just no other accurate way to address certain people.

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Nutsacks on the move! 24 May 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2004 Election, 2006 Mid Terms, 2008 Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
108 comments

      duke.edu   

Oh, this did make me laugh

 Loetran | loetran@km.ru | seemoco.info | IP: 201.80.128.46

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 May 24, 11:46 AM — [ View Post ]

^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I admit I have not clicked on any of the links…  8)

On a separate matter, now remember, you all comment at the site that puts the ‘polish on the mud wallow’.  It must be so, Meteor Blades said so.

 I did laugh over that one.

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The “mismanaged” war. 23 May 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2004 Election, 2008 Election, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War.
123 comments

Try unjust:

    Agence France Presse photo, via Spiegel.de
More of the world’s refugees now come from Iraq than from any other country in the world. It is a trend that promises to continue this year.

“Now we are beginning to really see the humanitarian consequences of the war in Iraq,” Stefan Telöken, Germany spokesman for the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, told SPIEGEL ONLINE.

“Nobody can now say they didn’t know. It is one of the biggest refugee problems in the world, right up there with Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia.”

  Reuters photo, via Spiegel.de
Palestinians who had taken refuge in Iraq have likewise had to leave. Here, a group of Palestinians have set up camp just on the Syrian side of the border with Iraq.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Lebanon:

  
People have been leaving the camp by any means they can: by foot, truck or windowless cars.  [AP via BBC]

The Guardian:

[C]ourting radical Sunni sentiment is a dangerous game. A major sign of trouble ahead had already emerged in February last year, when a protest against the cartoons belittling the prophet Muhammad turned violent and the Danish embassy was set ablaze in the fashionable Beirut district of Ashrafieh. Most of those protesting came from the impoverished areas of the north.

This picture becomes more complicated when the regional dimension is factored in. The invasion of Iraq has inflamed the Sunni-Shia divide and is changing the dynamics of the Middle East. Fear of Shia influence in Arab affairs has prompted many Sunni leaders to warn of a “Shia crescent” stretching from Iran, through Iraq, to south Lebanon. Several reports have highlighted efforts by Saudi officials to strengthen Sunni groups, including radical ones, to face the Shia renaissance across the region.

But building up radical Sunni groups to face the Shia challenge can easily backfire. While militant Islamist groups are sensitive to appeals to Sunni sentiment, they remain locked in their own agenda. Courted by regional players – Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia – and infiltrated by intelligence services, Islamist radical groups serve the needs of some without necessarily becoming servants to any.

Some perceive the fighting of recent days as a confrontation between regional forces – the US, Syria, Saudi Arabia – vying for control of the Lebanese political space. Others see it as a plan that went wrong, with Islamist groups escaping the control of the pro-government forces that nurtured them. And others perceive it as an attempt to draw the Lebanese army – regarded as the only genuinely national force in the country – into the fray of Lebanese politics.

The Siniora government is enfeebled. Claims that Syria is behind the current conflict have not so far been endorsed by the White House or other Arab leaders. The army, which has tried to remain neutral, is now muddied and its weaknesses made apparent to all.

The plight of thousands of Palestinian refugees trapped in the Nahr al-Bared camp echoes the Israeli bombing of Palestinian camps in occupied Palestine. Radical Islamist activists are moved by the atrocities in the north and attacks on their fellow militants. Palestinian factions are fractious, weakened, and infiltrated by foreign agents, further destabilising security within the refugee camps. The relations between Palestinian groups and Lebanese authorities are strained, and tensions can easily spill outside the refugee camps. The dangers of a conflagration that could spread across the country are serious. The US once nurtured the mujahideen in Afghanistan, only to pay the price much later. In the dangerous game of sectarian conflict, everyone stands to lose.

    AFP photo via BBC
People are fleeing either to Tripoli or to another nearby refugee camp. There are plans for schools to be set aside to shelter some of the refugees.

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Oil patch boys rub their chubby hands in glee:

BBC

‘Show of force’

A series of factors, including tensions in Iran and oil-rich Nigeria, pushed prices to a nine-month high above $70 earlier this month.

A United Nations report published on Wednesday concluded that Iran was still defying the ban on uranium enrichment.

The news coincided with nine US warships sailing through the Strait of Hormuz, off the coast of Iran, in a move interpreted by analysts as a show of strength.

Meanwhile, French president Nicolas Sarkozy warned Tehran it faced tougher sanctions if it did not co-operate with the international community over its proposed nuclear program.

Iran was not notified in advance of the US naval manoeuvres, involving 17,000 personnel.

“We are still of the opinion that this is a more symbolic show of force than anything else,” said Olivier Jakob, from oil analysts Petromatrix. [snip]

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Oh puh-uh-leeze:   The definition of a Democratic shit sandwich.  NOW they bravely vote NO.  Some of them. 

And Blahgers bravely, as they Save the Nation! for God!, Mother, Apple Pie and George Washington’s Childhood Cherry Tree…  yes they bravely count how many little piggies go to market.

This could truly illustrate my point (none / 0) (#4)

by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:07:12 PM EST

NOT funding after a date certain is howe we do this.We can;t enact bills over Bush’s veto, but if enough vote NO, this could be a great illustration of my point.At the least, it becomes a Republican bill. And we can isolate the Dems who will cave on it.[ Parent ]

If we get 171 and 29 no votes (none / 0) (#5)

by andgarden on Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:17:34 PM EST

it will be a start. In that case, we will probably be able to say that the Republicans funded the war, and Pelosi might just say “this is it; I’m not going to put my caucus and supporters through this anymore!”[ Parent ]

Zactly! (none / 0) (#6)

by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:18:36 PM EST

[ Parent ]

jesusfuckingchrist: as long as it is a Republican bill.  Dears, they ALL are.

Platter of sandwiches to Aisle 10 with Blog Maid clean up scheduled to follow the Democratic catering.

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