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And the wars go on… 14 April 2010

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, Afghanistan War, AFRICOM, Border Issues, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Mexico, Pakistan, Somalia, South America, Venezuela - Chavez, WAR!.

A bird perches on razor-wire at the US army’s Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi, Iraq     [Ben Curtis/AP]

I don’t see them ever ending.  Simply expanding, moving, shifting.

Why would they ever end?  They never have, in the past.  Vietnam seems an anomaly frankly.

Must really piss us off to be shut out of Iran.  Bolivia.  Venezuela…and so on…

Where there is a will there is a way…


Suffer the little children… 13 July 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Afghanistan War, AFRICOM, Border Issues, Chile - Bachelet, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Europe, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Italy, Mexico, NORCOM, Pakistan, Somalia, Venezuela - Chavez, Viva La Revolucion!, WAR!.

Islamist insurgents and Somali government forces engage in running battles in Mogadishu: More than 200,000 people have been displaced in the past two months, while hundreds of civilians are believed to have been killed and wounded [AFP/GETTY]

… and we do cause them to suffer, in our job as Gawd.

Let’s see… Centcom is happy as clams… they are focus war one, 27 countries under their command and hot beds a plenty. No end of mischief and murder, for decades. Mercy is on hold. WMD abound, Iran wants a bomb… ? Hell, I want one! Or, at the least, a gun.

Southern Command salivates to bring “restive” S and C America under control. Bill C to do bed checks in Haiti.

Africom bubbles along. “Somalia has not had a government in 18 years”.. oh surely we can help? That is what we do. Goodness and Kindness and Mercy. We follow people all of their days.

Did you know that Ob visited a slave embarcation point? (How could you miss it?) Yes he did. And a pregnancy clinic in Ghana. Yes he did. Took Michelle along. Optics.

Who can keep track of the wars? I cannot. Who can keep track of the Pretzel Global Tours? I cannot.

And then there is Norcom. That is us. And Canada and Mexico. Big plans there, you can feel it.

Stories all over the place… from Tora Bora, new ones.. to CIA looking odd… are they trying to say they are new at this? Why, I think they are! Hell, in that story, everybody is lying. Panetta and Nancy.. and everyone else. We are total fictions, that is what we are. Ghosts with guns and bombs and planes loaded down with bombs, pack mules of a sort, we send forth to kill and kill and kill again. Drones run out of Nellis Air Force Base, in Nevada.. It’s like video games, they say that as recruitment tactics.. and, it really is. Optics.

Nellis sits in a ”Federal Preserve”, of sorts, encompassing Area 51… and, over all, larger than Switzerland. Classifed.

Sasha wore not one but two – count them if you can – one two buckle your shoe – peace symbol t-shirts in Italy.  Here, have some peace, rub their noses in it.


For some reason this photo made me laugh… 23 May 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Cuba, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, South America, Venezuela - Chavez, Viva La Revolucion!, WAR!.

Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama wait before a town hall meeting at the B’Nai Tora Congregation in Boca Raton, Florida, May 22, 2008. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Just for context, a report on his appearance before the B’nai Tora, in the Palm Beach Post.

And… Obama’s remarks ”as prepared” for the Cubans, the Cuban American National Foundation… Renewing US Leadership in the Americas

Since the Bush Administration launched a misguided war in Iraq, its policy in the Americas has been negligent toward our friends, ineffective with our adversaries, disinterested in the challenges that matter in peoples’ lives, and incapable of advancing our interests in the region.

No wonder, then, that demagogues like Hugo Chavez have stepped into this vacuum. His predictable yet perilous mix of anti-American rhetoric, authoritarian government, and checkbook diplomacy offers the same false promise as the tried and failed ideologies of the past. But the United States is so alienated from the rest of the Americas that this stale vision has gone unchallenged, and has even made inroads from Bolivia to Nicaragua. And Chavez and his allies are not the only ones filling the vacuum. While the United States fails to address the changing realities in the Americas, others from Europe and Asia – notably China – have stepped up their own engagement. Iran has drawn closer to Venezuela, and just the other day Tehran and Caracas launched a joint bank with their windfall oil profits.

It’s still Norte as Daddy… I cannot wait to hear what Chavez has to say to President Obama OR McCain. At least I will be amused.

Catch this…

I will maintain the embargo. It provides us with the leverage to present the regime with a clear choice: if you take significant steps toward democracy, beginning with the freeing of all political prisoners, we will take steps to begin normalizing relations. That’s the way to bring about real change in Cuba – through strong, smart and principled diplomacy.

And this…

And we know that freedom across our hemisphere must go beyond elections. In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez is a democratically elected leader. But we also know that he does not govern democratically. He talks of the people, but his actions just serve his own power. Yet the Bush Administration’s blustery condemnations and clumsy attempts to undermine Chavez have only strengthened his hand.

He goes on and on… he gets to Haiti, to Colombia, Mexico, the Drug war, lards the speech with talk of the poor (always with us: we never free them, we make certain)… he even quotes Jose Marti Waging democracy abroad is nothing new. It’s just the way it is.

Jesus of the Americas. We are so blessed.

Jose Marti once wrote. “It is not enough to come to the defense of freedom with epic and intermittent efforts when it is threatened at moments that appear critical. Every moment is critical for the defense of freedom.”

Every moment is critical. And this must be our moment. Freedom. Opportunity. Dignity. These are not just the values of the United States – they are the values of the Americas. They were the cause of Washington’s infantry and Bolivar’s cavalry; of Marti’s pen and Hidalgo’s church bells.

That legacy is our inheritance. That must be our cause. And now must be the time that we turn the page to a new chapter in the story of the Americas.


IMPEACH! – they won’t – DE FUND THE WARS! – they won’t – Then: WITHHOLD THE VOTE! 16 July 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Afghanistan War, AFRICOM, Beirut, Bolivia - Evo Morales, Brazil - Lula, Chile - Bachelet, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Russ Feingold, South America, The Battle for New Orleans, Venezuela - Chavez, Viva La Revolucion!.

A partial repost from September 24, 2006, the week Morales, Chavez, Lula, Bachelet and Ahmadinejad spoke at the UN:

    Budapest protests this past week. Protestor stands against the
    water volleys from the police.
[AP photo via BBC]

Full text [English version] of the Evo Morales speech at the UNWe Need Partners, Not Bosses.  The last few grafs:

[F]inally president, the indigenous peoples, the poor come especially from a culture of life and not a culture of war, and this millennium will really have to be to defend live, to save humanity and if we want to save humanity we have the obligation to save the planet. The indigenous peoples live in harmony with mother earth, and not only in reciprocity, in solidarity, with human beings.

We feel greatly that the politics of hegemonist competitions are destroying the planet. I feel that all countries, social forces, international organisms are important, let us begin to debate truthfully, in order to save the planet, to save humanity.

This new millennium, the millennium that we find ourselves in needs to be a millennium of life, not of war, a millennium of people and not of empire, a millennium of justice and equality and that any economic policy needs to be orientated towards ending, of at least lessening these so-called asymmetric differences between one country and another country, those social inequalities.

We are not trying to implement policies that allow the economic humiliation or economic looting; when they cannot loot according to the norms, they use troops.

I want to ask with great respect, that it is important to withdraw troops from Iraq if we want to respect human rights, it is important to withdraw economic policies that allow the concentration of capital in only a few hands.

And for this, I feel president, that these events should be historical in order to change the world and to change economic models, interventionalist policies. Above all else we want them to be times that allow us to defend and save humanity


Danny Schechter at News Dissector has a bang up series of links and snips dated the 16th… he can be irritating (and people write to him and say so) he can be sloppy with links and sometimes not link, so a few excerpts to follow, it is jampacked…

Start with the worst:

BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AP) – The airplane is the size of a jet fighter, powered by a turboprop engine, able to fly at 300 mph and reach 50,000 feet. It’s outfitted with infrared, laser and radar targeting, and with a ton and a half of guided bombs and missiles.

The Reaper is loaded, but there’s no one on board. Its pilot, as it bombs targets in Iraq, will sit at a video console 7,000 miles away in Nevada.

The arrival of these outsized U.S. “hunter-killer” drones, in aviation history’s first robot attack squadron, will be a watershed moment even in an Iraq that has seen too many innovative ways to hunt and kill.

That moment, one the Air Force will likely low-key, is expected “soon,” says the regional U.S. air commander. How soon? “We’re still working that,” Lt. Gen. Gary North said in an interview.

The Reaper’s first combat deployment is expected in Afghanistan, and senior Air Force officers estimate it will land in Iraq sometime between this fall and next spring. They look forward to it.

“With more Reapers, I could send manned airplanes home,” North said.




Danny linked to and excerpted the from  DAHR JAMAIL’S LATEST DISPATCH:


When President George W. Bush announced the formation of a military command for Africa (AFRICOM) this past February, it came as no surprise to the Heritage Foundation. The powerful right-wing organization designed it.
The Heritage Foundation, founded in 1973 by ultra-conservatives Paul Weyrich and Joseph Coors and funded by such right-wing mainstays as the Scaife Foundation, has a strong presence in the Bush Administration. While not as influential as the older and richer American Enterprise Institute, it has a higher profile when it comes to Africa policy.

Back in October 2003, James Jay Carafano and Nile Gardner of the Heritage Foundation laid out a blueprint for how to use military power to dominate that vast continent.

”Creating an African Command,” write the two analysts in a Heritage Foundation study entitled U.S. Military Assistance for Africa: A Better Solution, “would go a long way toward turning the Bush Administration’s well aimed strategic priorities for Africa into a reality.”

While the Bush Administration says the purpose of AFRICOM will be humanitarian aid and “security cooperation,” not “war fighting,” says Ryan Henry, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy.

The Heritage analysts were a tad blunter about the application of military power:

“Pre-emptive strikes are justified on grounds of self-defenseAmerica must not be afraid to employ its forces decisively when vital national interests are threatened.”

Carafano and Gardner are also quite clear what those “vital interests” are: “The United States is likely to draw 25 percent of its oil from West Africa by 2015, surpassing the volume imported from the Persian Gulf.”

IMPEACH: The plan is to spin as much of the world to war as they can – what else does it look like?. ”THEY” is both parties.

WITHHOLD THE VOTE:  They won’t de-fund!




Last from Danny, is from Matthew Rothschild at The Progressive:


Bush’s Manual for Containing Protest

By Matt Rothschild in the Progressive:

After a myriad of stories about people being excluded from events where the President is speaking, now we know that the White House had a policy manual on just how to do so.

Called the “Presidential Advance Manual,” this 103-page document from the Office of Presidential Advance lays out the parameters for how to handle protesters at events.

”Always be prepared for demonstrators,” says the document, which is dated October 2002 and which the ACLU released as part of a new lawsuit. 

In a section entitled “Preventing Demonstrators,” the document says: “All Presidential events must be ticketed or accessed by a name list. This is the best method for preventing demonstrators. People who are obviously going to try to disrupt the event can be denied entrance at least to the VIP area between the stage and the main camera platform. … It is important to have your volunteers at a checkpoint before the Magnetometers in order to stop a demonstrator from getting into the event. Look for signs they may be carrying, and if need be, have volunteers check for folded cloth signs that demonstrators may be bringing.”

In another section, entitled “Preparing for Demonstrators,” the document makes clear that the intention is to deprive protesters of the right to be seen or heard by the President: “As always, work with the Secret Service and have them ask the local police department to designate a protest area where demonstrators can be placed, preferably not in view of the event site or motorcade route.”

The document also recommends drowning out protesters or blocking their signs by using what it calls “rally squads.” It states: “These squads should be instructed always to look for demonstrators. The rally squad’s task is to use their signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform.

If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive chants to drown out the protestors (USA!, USA!, USA!).

Think it will not be that way if Hillary goes in?, along WITH Obama – as Anna Quindlen is already calling on Hillary to do (and as Glen Ford at BAR has said since February, is the plan)


They won’t be listening to polite pleas…


Madman has a post up at LSF:

Remember all of those nasty winger judges the Vichy Donks couldn’t filibuster? Remember the civil liberties they couldn’t fight for, women’s issues and worker’s issues they ran away from? Remember the war they wouldn’t stop, wouldn’t slow down, still won’t de-fund? Remember the Gang of 14, the SEVEN Donklephants that cozied up to the ‘Thugs to prevent even the HINT of a filibuster?

The OLD Donklephants … the Dixiecrat version, used to filibuster all the time to preserve Jim Crow. Oh, and lest you think that there is much difference between the current Donklephant and the ole’ Dixiecrat, think hard about how much fight they’ve put into protecting the vote. Maybe they don’t say “colored” out loud where we can hear them, but they don’t care about black people any more, or poor people in general, than Bush does, let alone more than they did back before LBJ told them they should (as he was undermining it all sending men off to kill poor yellow people).

Anyway, that invertebrate known as the senior Senator from Illinois is upset because the theofascist authoritarian corporatist …. ummmm … rightward-half-of-our-one-political-party is actually practicing politics and using the rules of the Senate to fight for it’s base’s priorities! SHAME ON THEM!


DE FUND THE CONGRESSWithhold the Vote!

They will still be sitting on the US taxpayer paid for toilets as the years roll by: 



            They won’t do it:  WITHHOLD THE VOTE

Winter Solstice Open Thread… ;) 19 December 2006

Posted by marisacat in Big Box Blogs, Bolivia - Evo Morales, Brazil - Lula, DC Politics, Democrats, Europe, Germany, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, South America, Venezuela - Chavez, Viva La Revolucion!, WAR!.

Snowboarder on the Zugspitz, Germany's highest peak [spiegel.de]

From Spiegel.de

[A]ccording to a recent European climate study, winter sports lovers are suffering from the warmest Alpine temperatures in some 1,300 years. The unseasonable temperatures have forced ski resorts to offer hiking holidays and bears to seek out new, colder hideaways for their winter hibernation.

The Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera reported over the weekend that from Piemont to Venice, “only 50 percent of the slopes are skiable.” Some Italian ski slope and cable car operators have asked the government to declare a state of emergency and compensate them for their lost business. Evidently, not many ski bums were keen to trade in their snowboards for hiking boots.  [snip]


UPDATE, 11:30 am

As we seem to be in Europe… Who is IOZ builds off the  Anne Applebaum column in the Wapo:

[E]urope is rightfully skeptical of military solutions, and despite long talk of a unified European security force, there’s no European constituency pushing for an American-style interventionist military to bestride the globe enforcing some sort of social-democratic-values hegemony. This, of course, is what Applebaum means when she says no one “here” believes that Europe “is going to replace the United States anytime soon.”

In their failure to take over our failures are they damned.  […]

The West, in this formulation, is as fanciful a political entity as the rightwinger’s fearful caliphate (from Borneo to Bilbao and back again!). What possible “unified policy . . . and joint strategy” can emerge? What possible good would a war fought under the NATO banner–that seems to be what Applebaum is really advocating–do that a war fought under the American banner is not doing? What, precisely, is a “resurgent Iran.” The last time Iran surged, so to speak, the Safavids were running a pseudo-Sufi empire and the powers of Europe were busy giving smallpox to the native population of North America.  [snip]

Where do these sloppy columnists, opinion writers, editorialists come from?  And there are so many of them.  They spawn, rather spontaneously obviously…

In other non-noooz, Biden is on C-Span endlessly talking…  The relentless and endless Road to the White House series (gonna be a dull two years if no one breaks the scripts)…  Can no one pull the plug on the evident uselessness of public political conversation (or whatever it is) in America?


Too good not to repeat… 😉 

posted without further comment (none needed)…

[A]nyone who has ever spent any degree of time as a prominent blogger knows full well that there are a lengthy and strict series of accountability norms and mechanisms that political bloggers must obey, or else be ostracized and face irrelevance. Here are just a few of the ways in which bloggers are held accountable:  [snip]


UPDATE, 2:55 pm… 😉

Moving right along here… from Stop Me Before I Vote Again with a well placed kick from the left.. 🙂


There’s a wonderfully comic kaffeeklatsch of self-important thumbsucking over at TPM Cafe about this “concert of democracies” scheme that recently floated out of the Woodrow Wilson school of international affairs, at Princeton, midwifed by ten pages’ worth of professors, think-tankers, Pentagonians, and the odd journalist. They’re all such mighty thinkers, these folks, and the noise of little mental wheels spinning is enough to deafen you. 

The Princeton document weighs in at a hefty 96 pages, and it is written in a slightly more sprightly style than the average Foreign Affairs article — perhaps one of the odd journalists lent a hand on the wordsmithing. Still, it’s pretty soporific. Fortunately, the TPM Cafe popularizers have broken it down into digestible little amuse-bouche nibbles, suitable to the attention spans of the Netroots […]

In short, what we have here is a thoroughly Wilsonian project — wonderful, really, how institutions like Princeton University and the Democratic Party can maintain such a remarkable level of consistency in their patterns of thought and behavior across the chances and changes of almost a century. The 96-page doorstopper even manages a stylistic echo of Wilson’s own smarmy grandiloquence:  [snip]

A lovely ramble… the SMBIVA version that is…


hmmm Tony Snow used “contretemps” this morning at the WH presser…  Oh… surely he is effete?  He must be!  He used it to deny there is division in the WH between JCs and “WH advisors”….  as in “the president is not involved in a contretemps“…  

That would be over Iraq, the war in Iraq… btw.  IF the president can remember… so busy they are with Christmas and Hanukah parties… and how many red 8.5K Oscar de la Rentas can dance on the head of a WH doorknob.

I am not keeping up, I don’t know the latest on Barney…


UPDATE, 3:30 pm

 Oh oh.  En garde!  Defensive moves required to avoid being rained upon:  Open Umbrellas Immediately!.  Incoming front of heavy sleet and rain.. with slush underfoot to soon appear…

Major fall out to come from select Blahhgers:  Cheney is called to testify for defense in CIA leak case…

Whew… so far just ”called”.  That means much speculation for weeks – if not months – as to what that really means!

Washington – Vice President Dick Cheney will be called as a defense witness in the CIA leak case, an attorney for Cheney’s former chief of staff told a federal judge Tuesday.

    “We’re calling the vice president,” attorney Ted Wells said in court. Wells represents defendant I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who is charged with perjury and obstruction.

    Early last week, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said he did not expect the White House to resist if Cheney or other administration officials are called to testify in Libby’s trial, expected to begin in January. [snip]


UPDATE, 4:30 pm

Oooo Don’t miss Chomsky on Democracy NOW!, Amy excerpts from a recent talk he gave in Boston.  The early snips are on the ISG but the more interesting is the later snips on S America (from where Chomsky has just returned):

NOAM CHOMSKY: I’ll start with last weekend. Important city in South America, Cochabamba, with quite a history. There was a meeting last weekend in Cochabamba in Bolivia of all the South American leaders. It was a very important meeting. One index of its importance is that it was unreported, virtually unreported apart from the wire services. So every editor knew about it. Since I suspect you didn’t read that wire service report, I’ll read you a few things from it to indicate why it was so important.

In last Saturday, the South American leaders agreed to create a high-level commission to study the idea of forming a continent-wide community similar to the European Union. This is the presidents and envoys of all the nations, and there was the two-day summit of what’s called the South American Community of Nations, hosted by Evo Morales in Cochabamba, the president of Bolivia.

The leaders — reading just now –agreed to form a study group to look at the possibility of creating a continent-wide union and even a South American parliament. The result, according to the — I’m reading from the AP report — the result left fiery Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, long an agitator for the region, taking a greater role on the world stage, pleased, but impatient — normal stance. They went on. It goes on to say that the discussion over South American unity will continue later this month, when MERCOSUR, South American trading bloc, has its regular meeting that will include leaders from Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Paraguay and Uruguay. [snip]

NC enumerated a few of the high points from the meeting, then goes on:

[T]his is the first time since the Spanish conquests, 500 years, that there has been real moves towards integration in South America. The countries have been very separated from one another. And integration is going to be a prerequisite for authentic independence. I mean, there have been — I’m sure you know — attempts at independence, but they’ve been crushed, often very violently, partly because of lack of regional support, because there was very little regional cooperation, so you can pick them off one by one.

That’s what happened since the 1960s. The Kennedy administration orchestrated a coup in Brazil, the first of which happened right after the assassination was already planned. It was the first of a series of falling dominoes. Neo-Nazi-style national security states spread across the hemisphere. Chile was one of them, but only one finally ended up with reaching Central America, with Reagan’s terrorist wars in the 1980s, which devastated Central America, similar things happening in the Caribbean. But that was sort of a one-by-one operation of destroying one country after another. And it had the expected domino effect. [some dominoes are OK – Might as well laugh… – Mcat]

It’s the worst plague of repression in the history of Latin America since the original conquests, which were horrendous. It’s only beginning to be understood how horrendous they were. [snip]

He goes on to call South America the most exciting place on earth, just now, due to the changes bubbling up.  And then after referencing Haiti recent elections, comes this rather consummate comment on the US:

[I]n fact, in our elections, the issues are unknown. There’s careful efforts to make sure that the issues are unknown to the public, for good reasons. There’s a tremendous gap between public opinion and public policy. So you have to keep away from issues and concentrate on imagery and delusions and so on. The elections are run by the same industries that sell toothpaste on television. You don’t expect to get information from a television ad. You don’t expect to get information about a candidate from debates, advertisements and the other paraphernalia that goes along with what are called elections here.

There’s a lot of fuss on the left about election irregularities, like, you know, the voting machines were tampered with, they didn’t count the votes right, and so on. That’s all accurate and of some importance, but of far more importance is the fact that elections just don’t take place, not in any meaningful sense of the term “election.” And so, it doesn’t matter all that much, if there was some tampering. I suspect that’s why the population doesn’t get much exercised over it. The concern over stolen elections and vote tampering, and so on, is mostly an elite affair. Most of the country didn’t seem to care very much. “OK, so the election was stolen.” I mean, if you’re flipping a coin to select a king or something, it doesn’t matter much if the coin is biased. That seems to be the way most people feel about it. And there’s some justification. [snip]

It is long and there is more than the snips… 😉


UPDATE, 8:10 pm…

Blood soup, humans as croutons.

Analogies come to mind: the Bulge, Stalingrad, the Battle of Algiers. It will be total war with all the likelihood of excesses and mass casualties that come with total war.


UPDATE, 9:30 pm

Jonathan Cook in Electronic Intifada:

Do America and Israel want the Middle East engulfed in civil war?

[A]ll of these outcomes in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq could have been foreseen — and almost certainly were. More than that, it looks increasingly like the growing tensions and carnage were planned. Rather than an absence of Western intervention being the problem, the violence and fragmentation of these societies seems to be precisely the goal of the intervention.

Evidence has emerged in Britain that suggests such was the case in Iraq. Testimony given by a senior British official to the 2004 Butler inquiry investigating intelligence blunders in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq was belatedly published last week, after attempts by the Foreign Office to hush it up.

Carne Ross, a diplomat who helped to negotiate several UN security council resolutions on Iraq, told the inquiry that British and US officials knew very well that Saddam Hussein had no WMDs and that bringing him down would lead to chaos.  [snip]

There follows a rhetorical back and forth, a series of “whys”, “why chaos” as a plan, etc., drawing along anyone who thinks there are any rules left… Then some hard grit:

[L]ast week the Israeli website Ynet interviewed Meyrav Wurmser, an Israeli citizen and co-founder of MEMRI, a service translating Arab leaders’ speeches that is widely suspected of having ties with Israel’s security services. She is also the wife of David Wurmser, a senior neocon adviser to Vice-President Dick Cheney.

Meyrav Wurmser revealed that the American Administration had publicly dragged its feet during Israel’s assault on Lebanon because it was waiting for Israel to expand its attack to Syria.

“The anger [in the White House] is over the fact that Israel did not fight against the Syrians … The neocons are responsible for the fact that Israel got a lot of time and space … They believed that Israel should be allowed to win. A great part of it was the thought that Israel should fight against the real enemy, the one backing Hizbullah. It was obvious that it is impossible to fight directly against Iran, but the thought was that its [Iran’s] strategic and important ally [Syria] should be hit.”

Wurmser continued: “It is difficult for Iran to export its Shiite revolution without joining Syria, which is the last nationalistic Arab country. If Israel had hit Syria, it would have been such a harsh blow for Iran that it would have weakened it and [changed] the strategic map in the Middle East.” [snip]

Another who should move to Israel (fully) and sit shiva for America.  To be blunt.

[T]he reason is that a chaotic and feuding Middle East, although it would be a disaster in the view of most informed observers, appears to be greatly desired by Israel and its neocon allies. They believe that the whole Middle East can be run successfully the way Israel has run its Palestinian populations inside the occupied territories, where religious and secular divisions have been accentuated, and inside Israel itself, where for many decades Arab citizens were “de-Palestinianised” and turned into identity-starved and quiescent Muslims, Christians, Druze and Bedouin.

That conclusion may look foolhardy, but then again so does the White House’s view that it is engaged in a “clash of civilisations” which it can win with a “war on terror”.

All states are capable of acting in an irrational or self-destructive manner, but Israel and its supporters may be more vulnerable to this failing than most. That is because Israelis’ perception of their region and their future has been grossly distorted by the official state ideology, Zionism, with its belief in Israel’s inalienable right to preserve itself as an ethnic state; its confused messianic assumptions, strange for a secular ideology, about Jews returning to a land promised by God; and its contempt for, and refusal to understand, everything Arab or Muslim.

If we expect rational behaviour from Israel or its neocon allies, more fool us.

Yes… more fool us.


And why oh why do people who think themselves “liberal” reveal a yearning for Reagan?  In any form?  He was no unifying event in America. Certainly no healer.  We are still under his yoke (and that of his kitchen cabinet *, others of the same ilk), in my opinion.  Certainly many of his horrors simply rose up and joined with Bush…

* bit of a whiff off that link, but it came up quick and had the info I wanted.


UPDATE, 4:45 am Wednesday

Chris Hedges is up in Truth Dig, on Israel, apartheid, the Palestinians… and the US:

[]Israel, with no restraints from Washington, despite the Iraq Study Group report recommendations that the peace process be resurrected from the dead, has been given the moral license by the Bush administration to carry out what is euphemistically in Israel called “transfer” and what in other parts of the world is called ethnic cleansing. 

Faced with a demographic time bomb, knowing that by 2020 Jews will make up only 40 to 46 percent of the overall population of Israel, the architects of transfer, who once held the equivalent status in Israeli society of the Ku Klux Klan, have wormed their way into positions of power in the Israeli government. 

Washington and Israel, I suspect, know the cost of this repression.  But it is beginning to appear as though they accept it—as the price for ridding themselves of the Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has installed in his Cabinet a politician who openly calls for the expulsion of the some 1.3 million Israeli Arabs who live inside Israel. Avigdor Lieberman’s “Israel Is Our Home” Party, part of Olmert’s governing coalition, proposes involuntary transfer in a region populated mostly by Arab citizens of Israel, shifting those people to a future Palestinian state that would include Gaza, parts of the West Bank and a small slice of northern Israel. All Israeli Arabs who continued to reside in the territory of transfer would automatically lose their Israeli citizenship unless they took a loyalty oath to the state and its Jewish symbols.  The inclusion of Lieberman, the David Duke of Israel, into the Cabinet is an indication to most Palestinians that the worst is yet to come.  [snip]

For all who flipped out over the title of Jimmy’s book (amazing to me that Conyers called the title ”inappropriate” and told Jimmy it should be changed) Hedges entitles his, Worse than Apartheid.

It is a semi-rough thread, but there was this comment. 


Korb and Bergman are up in the American Prospect

[T]he neoconservative architects of the war claim that those who oppose increasing the number of troops do not understand the implications of failure in Iraq. But they have it backwards.

Those who opposed the war from the outset understood the difficulty and scope of the task at hand, while the war’s architects are the ones only now coming to grips with the catastrophic implications of a possible civil and regional war.

Kagan’s plan reflects the same intellectual failings and operates along the same assumptions (especially, putting too much faith in limitless efficacy of U.S. military power) that were responsible for the United States invading with too few troops and without a realistic plan in the first place.  [snip]

There is this as well.  But let’s not pussy foot around as so many political and military writers do … it is what the US wants:

[A]dditionally, this operation would severely undercut the Maliki government. Sending additional troops would be the equivalent of a no-confidence vote in that government and the Iraqi security forces, and could lead to the government’s collapse. Many of Maliki’s backers vehemently oppose any U.S. troop increase and would blame Maliki for failing to stop it. Opinion polls show that Iraqis want us out. Increasing our troop presence would only bolster the view that U.S. forces intend to remain as permanent occupiers. [snip]


UPDATE, 6:33 am Wednesday…

In 25 minutes or so Bush will have a presser and apparently take a few questions (AP man!, as he addressed the first reporter called on recenttly). 

I have to say this is a very good week for Bush to discuss the military, “growing” the fodder forces (Army and Marines) and what ever else his black heart decides to gift us with…  No, it is.  Stop for a minute and think of Miss Tara, blonde flower of the South (and working it to death, NYC spun her tiny head) dependent on the largesse of Mr Trump (what a pair!).  And three white guys who went up the mountain, apparently unprepared in what they carried with them for a deadly winter excursion on a very tough peak.  I hear not a single use of “responsibility” for any of the lot of them…

 Farley from TAPPED.  Where do these soft slides get started?

Unlike the post-Vietnam era, there is no Red Army for the U.S. Army to face down, and thus no clear rationale for large land forces. Of course, a similar argument could be made for large naval forces, but the Navy budget includes the Marine Corps and the USN can both project force ashore and protect sea lanes.

Exhaustion is like bile rising from the recesses.  Clue in, please, to all the talk of the ”Long War”… It is not just Max Boot, blithering for the Long War right now on C-Span…it is also the Democrats.


7:04 am:

Oh don’t look now, but George is speaking to us from the “Indian Treaty Room” in the Eisenhower Executive Bldg.  In case you missed the narrative for years, his comments are all Terra Terra Terra. 

7:07 am:

He just told us to go shopping.


UPDATE, 11:22 am Wednesday…

[I] would imply that there were people like this online, but then I would be engaging in the strawmen tactics I often decry. Even if I wasn’t doing that, and I named names among bloggers who were unfair to Reid because he made one unfortunate comment, then I would be abusing my podium to make less powerful members of the netroots and blogosphere look bad. And I suppose, if it were not for the outcry, Reid would not have made such a clear statement on his opposition to escalation in Iraq. Or, maybe there was a way to encourage him to do that without acting an an utterly hysterical manner that only fueled the MSM buzz on the subject.

Since I am not going to talk about any of that, my original statement on this entire episode stands: now that we are in the majority, we need to move past endless parsing of the words our leaders say, and focus instead on the policies they intend to pursue. [snip snap]

 Let me say:  pickup a towel and apply behind the ears.  It may help.

Other than that, I’d add the petty Dem party thugdom in BlahgSnot land is truly boring.  There is some significant push back in the thread (it is a genuinely stupid posting, to be blunt)… and some cute tension between Boyz.  More Towels!  To Aisle 10!  Ring for a Blog Maid!

Sure I am laughing… 🙂


Hola Chavez! :: Updates 21 September 2006

Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Venezuela - Chavez, Viva La Revolucion!.

Hey hey… he gave me some laughs on a day when I needed them.  And exposed a weak and moribund Democratic party.  No spine  – and legs of wet  noodle.

His words should simply roll off our strong backs.  And of course, we should find ways to be a friend to our hemisphere. 

I say it has been quite a few days between leaders finding ways to communicate thru the media.  Full text of the Chavez speech at the UN.

We are in such danger… but at least there is some fresh new theatre in town… 😉

From Angry Arab:

Bush today said that he asked his secretary of state to reactivate the “peace process.” O people of the Middle East: get to the bomb shelters, FAST.

posted by As’ad @ 12:10 PM link


Saul landau on the Letelier assassination September 21, 1976:

[B]ush, like previous U.S. presidents, has done nothing to seek the extradition of Pinochet, who perpetrated the terrorist act of September 21, 1976. So, when we remember victims of terrorism, like Letelier and Moffitt, we should also recall the duplicitous nature of Bush’s war on terrorism. He doesn’t really mean it. When he speaks the “t” word, he excludes those who covered their murders with anti-Castro or anti-left rhetoric.

We should also recall that Osama bin Laden and other terrorists of today received CIA backing when they used their murderous impulses against the Soviet Union.

On September 21, 2006, Chilean President Michele Bachelet inaugurated the Orlando Letelier Salon at Chile’s UN headquarters, a good way to preserve historical memory. A bust of Ronni Moffitt and Orlando on Sheridan Circle brings some passersby to ask about how a Chilean general whom the U.S. government had supported in a military coup ordered a terrorist act in Washington. /snip/


UPDATE, 5 am

Well I guess Musharraf is indicating he is switching columns.  VERY reluctant ally – or at least willing to go public with the ”standard issue US threats”…. Although he has shafted us… A Q Khan, likely some assistance to OBL on the Pakistan/tribal region side of the hill after Tora Bora… and so on.  And who knows who the ISI really support. 

But gotta laugh:

“The intelligence director told me that [Armitage] said, ‘Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age’,” President Musharraf said. “I think it was a very rude remark.” The claims come at the end of a week in which relations between the US and Pakistan have sharply deteriorated, and days ahead of the publication of President Musharraf’s memoir, In the Line of Fire, which will be serialised in The Times from Monday.

On Wednesday, President Bush, in an interview with CNN, said that he would not hesitate to authorise immediate American military action inside Pakistan if he had intelligence of Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts. Asked if he would give an order to kill the al-Qaeda leader, Mr Bush said “absolutely”.

President Musharraf was clearly angered by Mr Bush’s declaration that the US would act independently of his authority inside Pakistan.

“We wouldn’t like to allow that. We would like to do that ourselves,” he said. The President’s potentially incendiary claim of US threats comes at a particularly sensitive time between Washington and Islamabad, amid suspicion in Washington that Pakistan is not doing enough to curb a resurgent Taleban in Afghanistan, or in the hunt for bin Laden.



… and a bit of a silly, but still very political in my view, look back (for me) at Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo… what a hoot they are… and it reminds me of the old Cockettes here in San Francisco from the 60 and 70s as well as the ballet troupe and dances of Mark Morris

And I like the photo… too.  😉


UPDATE:  12:30 pm

Not to be missed. [thanks Madman]… you gotta wonder how long Charles will last.  A few posts on at TAPPED, someone in a FP posting (forget who) does call him ”shrill” (myself I do a high-styled, very shrill imitation of a crazed Siamese cat when the party fucks up royally – and yes my vocal chords are shredded…). 

But of course CP is right.  And, natch, Republicans are laughing.

THE SILENT PARTY. You worthless passel of cowards. They’re laughing at you. You know that, right?

The national Democratic Party is no longer worth the cement needed to sink it to the bottom of the sea. For an entire week, it allowed a debate on changing the soul of the country to be conducted intramurally between the Torture Porn and Useful Idiot wings of the Republican Party, the latter best exemplified by John McCain, who keeps fashioning his apparently fathomless ambition into a pair of clown shoes with which he can do the monkey dance across the national stage. They’re laughing at him, too.

And … you know, can be missed.  But for form I add it, the Kos FP anti SYFPH which he can do “cuz it is me”, predictable sloberation. 

The shorter version:   those damned Dems, they shoulda listened to me.  However the original article that Arianna draws on, at Roll Call, is blocked to non-subscribers.  It sounds like some states (Michigan – Stabenow) under harsh economic times will be arguing both points.

Not that it matters, because Charles Pierce is right.  And we’ve all known it.

But when media talked about CT, Lamont, Lieberman and “the war”… oh I do recall Kos suddenly talking about, almost frantically, and TPM backing him up (muck muck) it was all about Social Security.

Whatever.  When the day comes, if he does not produce, the party will write him off.  Never fails. 

Meanwhile, the party leadership is piggy backing Chavez, in a panic – and it ain’t pretty.


– I’ll call you –

Oh.  I had thought they were all so close.  Like a stack of tiddly winks…


WARNER: The Lamont Primary

Jane Hamsher at firedoglake looks at 9/21’a New York Times article reporting ex-VA Gov Mark Warner “has largely avoided Mr. Lamont, instead lending his name and fund-raising capabilities to races that are genuinely in play and have longer-term strategic value for the Democratic Party, like Representative Harold Ford Jr.‘s bid for the Senate in Tennessee.”

Hamsher comments: “For someone who clearly wants to woo the blogosphere, it seems awfully short-sighted. In case anyone hasn’t noticed, we care quite a bit about this race, pretty much across the board.

All I can say is – if you don’t want to show up now, that’s fine. Don’t come begging with your hat in your hand come 2008.”

Maybe Warner, just, like, you know, “wants his space”.  I am sure he’ll call his friends in Blogo-Rube-Land soon. 

 Y’ all were a good investment, surely?