New Civilization News: This Is Worse Than Viet Nam    
 This Is Worse Than Viet Nam28 comments
picture17 Sep 2007 @ 09:57, by Richard Carlson

People in the West are always getting ready to live.

---Chinese proverb

If you're afraid of being grabbed by God, don't look at a wall. Definitely don't sit still.

---Jiyu Kennett

When the mind is not aroused, this is discipline.
When the mind is unmoved, this is concentration.
When the mind is not obscured, this is insight.

---Hseuh-Yen

Frank Rich is a columnist for The New York Times who focuses on American politics and cultural trends. His column yesterday~~~

Will the Democrats Betray Us?
By Frank Rich
The New York Times
Sunday 16 September 2007

"Sir, I don't know, actually": The fact that America's surrogate commander in chief, David Petraeus, could not say whether the war in Iraq is making America safer was all you needed to take away from last week's festivities in Washington. Everything else was a verbal quagmire, as administration spin and senatorial preening fought to a numbing standoff.

Not that many Americans were watching. The country knew going in that the White House would win its latest campaign to stay its course of indefinitely shoveling our troops and treasure into the bottomless pit of Iraq. The only troops coming home alive or with their limbs intact in President Bush's troop "reduction" are those who were scheduled to be withdrawn by April anyway. Otherwise the president would have had to extend combat tours yet again, mobilize more reserves or bring back the draft.

On the sixth anniversary of the day that did not change everything, General Petraeus couldn't say we are safer because he knows we are not. Last Sunday, Michael Scheuer, the former chief of the C.I.A.'s Osama bin Laden unit, explained why. He wrote in The Daily News that Al Qaeda, under the de facto protection of Pervez Musharraf, is "on balance" more threatening today that it was on 9/11. [link] And as goes Pakistan, so goes Afghanistan. On Tuesday, just as the Senate hearings began, Lisa Myers of NBC News reported on a Taliban camp near Kabul in an area nominally controlled by the Afghan government we installed. It is training bomb makers to attack America. [link]

Little of this registered in or beyond the Beltway. New bin Laden tapes and the latest 9/11 memorial rites notwithstanding, we're back in a 9/10 mind-set. Bin Laden, said Frances Townsend, the top White House homeland security official, "is virtually impotent." Karen Hughes, the Bush crony in charge of America's P.R. in the jihadists' world, recently held a press conference anointing Cal Ripken Jr. our international "special sports envoy." We are once more sleepwalking through history, fiddling while the Qaeda not in Iraq prepares to burn.

This is why the parallels between Vietnam and Iraq, including those more accurate than Mr. Bush's recent false analogies, can take us only so far. Our situation is graver than it was during Vietnam.


Certainly there were some eerie symmetries between General Petraeus's sales pitch last week and its often-noted historical antecedent: Gen. William Westmoreland's similar mission for L.B.J. before Congress on April 28, 1967. Westmoreland, too, refused to acknowledge that our troops were caught in a civil war. He spoke as well of the "repeated successes" of the American-trained South Vietnamese military and ticked off its growing number of combat-ready battalions. "The strategy we're following at this time is the proper one," the general assured America, and "is producing results."

Those fabulous results delayed our final departure from Vietnam for another eight years - just short of the nine to 10 years General Petraeus has said may be needed for a counterinsurgency in Iraq. But there's a crucial difference between the Westmoreland show of 1967 and the 2007 revival by General Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Westmoreland played to a full and largely enthusiastic house. Most Americans still supported the war in Vietnam and trusted him; so did all but a few members of Congress, regardless of party. All three networks pre-empted their midday programming for Westmoreland's Congressional appearance.

Our Iraq commander, by contrast, appeared before a divided and stalemated Congress just as an ABC News-Washington Post poll found that most Americans believed he would overhype progress in Iraq. No network interrupted a soap opera for his testimony. On cable the hearings fought for coverage with Britney Spears's latest self-immolation and the fate of Madeleine McCann, our latest JonBenet Ramsey stand-in.

General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker could grab an hour of prime television time only by slinking into the safe foxhole of Fox News, where Brit Hume chaperoned them on a gloomy, bunkerlike set before an audience of merely 1.5 million true believers. Their "Briefing for America," as Fox titled it, was all too fittingly interrupted early on for a commercial promising pharmaceutical relief from erectile dysfunction.

Even if military "victory" were achievable in Iraq, America could not win a war abandoned by its own citizens. The evaporation of that support was ratified by voters last November. For that, they were rewarded with the "surge." Now their mood has turned darker. Americans have not merely abandoned the war; they don't want to hear anything that might remind them of it, or of war in general. Katie Couric's much-promoted weeklong visit to the front produced ratings matching the CBS newscast's all-time low. Angelina Jolie's movie about Daniel Pearl sank without a trace. Even Clint Eastwood's wildly acclaimed movies about World War II went begging. Over its latest season, "24" lost a third of its viewers, just as Mr. Bush did between January's prime-time address and last week's.

You can't blame the public for changing the channel. People realize that the president's real "plan for victory" is to let his successor clean up the mess. They don't want to see American troops dying for that cause, but what can be done? Americans voted the G.O.P. out of power in Congress; a clear majority consistently tell pollsters they want out of Iraq. And still every day is Groundhog Day. Our America, unlike Vietnam-era America, is more often resigned than angry. Though the latest New York Times-CBS News poll finds that only 5 percent trust the president to wrap up the war, the figure for the (barely) Democratic-controlled Congress, 21 percent, is an almost-as-resounding vote of no confidence. [link]

Last week Democrats often earned that rating, especially those running for president. It is true that they do not have the votes to overcome a Bush veto of any war legislation. But that doesn't mean the Democrats have to go on holiday. Few used their time to cross-examine General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker on their disingenuous talking points, choosing instead to regurgitate stump sentiments or ask uncoordinated, redundant questions. It's telling that the one question that drew blood - are we safer? - was asked by a Republican, John Warner, who is retiring from the Senate.

Americans are looking for leadership, somewhere, anywhere. At least one of the Democratic presidential contenders might have shown the guts to soundly slap the "General Betray-Us" headline on the ad placed by MoveOn.org in The Times, if only to deflate a counterproductive distraction. [link] This left-wing brand of juvenile name-calling is as witless as the "Defeatocrats" and "cut and run" McCarthyism from the right; it at once undermined the serious charges against the data in the Petraeus progress report (including those charges in the same MoveOn ad) and allowed the war's cheerleaders to hyperventilate about a sideshow. "General Betray-Us" gave Republicans a furlough to avoid ownership of an Iraq policy that now has us supporting both sides of the Shiite-vs.-Sunni blood bath while simultaneously shutting America's doors on the millions of Iraqi refugees the blood bath has so far created. [link]

It's also past time for the Democratic presidential candidates to stop getting bogged down in bickering about who has the faster timeline for withdrawal or the more enforceable deadline. Every one of these plans is academic anyway as long as Mr. Bush has a veto pen. The security of America is more important - dare one say it? - than trying to outpander one another in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The Democratic presidential candidates in the Senate need all the unity and focus they can muster to move this story forward, and that starts with the two marquee draws, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It's essential to turn up the heat full time in Washington for any and every legislative roadblock to administration policy that they and their peers can induce principled or frightened Republicans to endorse.

They should summon the new chief of central command (and General Petraeus's boss), Adm. William Fallon, for tough questioning; he is reportedly concerned about our lapsed military readiness should trouble strike beyond Iraq. And why not grill the Joint Chiefs and those half-dozen or so generals who turned down the White House post of "war czar" last fall? The war should be front and center in Congress every day.

Mr. Bush, confident that he got away with repackaging the same bankrupt policies with a nonsensical new slogan ("Return on Success") Thursday night, is counting on the public's continued apathy as he kicks the can down the road and bides his time until Jan. 20, 2009; he, after all, has nothing more to lose. The job for real leaders is to wake up America to the urgent reality. We can't afford to punt until Inauguration Day in a war that each day drains America of resources and will. Our national security can't be held hostage indefinitely to a president's narcissistic need to compound his errors rather than admit them.

The enemy votes, too. Cataclysmic events on the ground in Iraq, including Thursday's murder of the Sunni tribal leader Mr. Bush embraced two weeks ago as a symbol of hope, have never arrived according to this administration's optimistic timetable. Nor have major Qaeda attacks in the West. It's national suicide to entertain the daydream that they will start doing so now.

[link]



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28 comments

17 Sep 2007 @ 12:34 by jerryvest : Thanks, Richard....this is
perhaps the best overview of our situation and quagmire in Iraq that I have seen to date. I hope our politicians and voters will read this and awaken to the facts that are presented here. Frank Rich is one of my heroes and I don't have many. As Mr. Rich notes: "The security of America is more important - dare one say it? - than trying to outpander one another in Iowa and New Hampshire."  


17 Sep 2007 @ 15:54 by a-d : Here is a
powerful web-site for anyone who is looking to do something better than follow the Piper... [ http://carolynbaker.net/site/content/view/129/ ]  


17 Sep 2007 @ 18:25 by vaxen : But...
the Opium prod., is up 70%. It isn't about winning one picayunish little war. The sights are on Eurasia - in specific - Central Asia. Or what did you think Bushitsky meant by, in the initial phases of the overall rebuttal: "50 years of war?"

You talk about our troops? Our situation? Stop paying taxes you don't owe. Find out who you really are. The right hand drives while the left hand wanks. Hillary and Obama? Ha!

Best overview? Where is the overview? What quagmire? A surge is a surge, then it's back to normal. Take a look at the pharmaceutical profits coming out of the increased Opium flow.

It's business as usual, just like Vietnam (The golden tri-angle!?!).

It's the same old Trading Company/s who was/were also responsible for the Opium Wars in China awhile back! Wake up!

If you really cared you'd be out in the streets of Washington getting rid of the parliamentary puppets and their puppeteer masters 'over there.'

It's easy to play you...

---

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's Interior Ministry has revoked the license of Blackwater USA, an American security firm whose contractors are blamed for a Sunday gunbattle in Baghdad that left eight civilians dead. The U.S. State Department said it plans to investigate what it calls a "terrible incident."

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/09/17/iraq.main/

Blackwaters site:

http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2007/WORLD/meast/09/17/iraq.main/tzmos.blackwater.sign.file.ap.jpg

http://www.blackwaterusa.com/about/default.asp

---

Notice anything weird about Blackwaters' site? Oh, and you think it's only Blackwater Security in Iraq? What about Halliburton, Kellog, Brown & Root, Abraxas, Greystone etc., ad infinitum?

Now you might ask what does Iraq have to do with Opium? Remember Salah Uddin? (Salah U Din) Remember the crusades? The Templars? The etceteras? The Dutch East India Company? The British East India Company? The UNION Jack?

Can you see the links between the now and the then? Take a real good look at Eurasia and Iran and Iraq and us...

Central Asia...what a prize! Eurasia? A real Gem!

In April you'll be back to 130,000 men, again. WooPee! That's not a lot. The name of the game, and it is a game, is 'containment.' What, and who, is being 'contained?' A hint: profits! Who, what, when, where, why, and how!?!

Stop paying taxes if you don't like it. After all, they are voluntary! Choose a new form of 'Government' if you don't like Corporate Fascism and Oligarchy. Read the Declaration of Independence and make one of your own, if you don't like it.

Hire some assassins (Hashishin) to do your dirty work. Get involved in the political process, even though it is corrupt and bent and...well, you know.

Then there is always the 'Town Hall.' ;) Yeah, right...sure there is. The great National Forests also might offer refuge if they hadn't been stolen from you...but wait a minute!

Didn't you steal this land from someone else? Oh, you bought it? It was a grant? Ha! What the hell do you expect governments and predatory capitalists to do?

The above article doesn't do much, now, does it? And if that's the best you've read, jerry, I pity you...

How are you therapizing the wounded coming home? Home? What home? Who owns the mineral rights underneith all that 'earth?' Kellog, Brown & Root? Or the `bloody' Queen of England?

Tyrannos Pneumatikos

THEOREM XII

The very ancient wise men and Magi have transmitted to us five hieroglyphical signs of the planets, all of which are composed out of the signs used for the Moon and the Sun, together with the sign of the Elements and the hieroglyphical sign of Aries, the Ram, which will become apparent to those who examine these figures:

Each one of these signs will not be difficult to explain according to the hieroglyphical manner in view of our fundamental principles, already posited. To begin with, we will speak in paraphrases of those which possess the characteristics of the Moon: following that, of those which possess a solar character. When our lunar nature, by the science of the Elements, had accomplished the first revolution round our Earth, then it was called, mystically, Saturn.

THEOREM XIII

Now regard the mystical character of Mars! Is it not formed from the hieroglyphs of the Sun and Aries, the magistery of the Elements partly intervening? And that of Venus -- I wish to know is it not produced from that of the Sun and the Elements according to the best exponents? Therefore, the planets look towards the solar periphery and the work of revivification.

Revive thyself Humano:

Drink plenty of tropical drinks.

Authentic Hawaiian Mai Tai.

1 oz. Royal Hawaiian Light Rum, or any light rum.
1 oz. Demerara Rum (Lemon Hart 86)
1 oz. Orange Curacao (Bols)
Dash French Orgeat Syrup
Dash Rock Candy Syrup
Juice of half a Lime
1/4 oz. Lemon Juice
Orange Juice

Fill large (14 ounce) glass with ingredients, then add crushed ice and orange juice.
Garnish with mint leaves and perhaps fruit on a skewer. (Fruit on a skewer? Not in San Franciso you don't!)

http://www.esotericarchives.com/dee/monad.htm  



18 Sep 2007 @ 20:58 by quinty : September 13 speech
So why haven’t the pundits commented on how he promised to negotiate a treaty with the government of Iraq to insure our permanent presence there? So that we can maintain stability and whatever other good things the president mentioned that evening?

For isn’t this what the administration ALWAYS wanted IN THE FIRST PLACE? And with this treaty pledging our unending support Bush will leave the White House having accomplished what he and the Neocons originally wanted? A permanent hegemonic presence in Iraq?

I would say Bush didn’t let his backers down if that’s the way he goes. And he has also established a political framework for this unending farce. That is quite an accomplishment on his part. And it has slipped by the pundits?

“People realize that the president's real "plan for victory" is to let his successor clean up the mess. “ Frank Rich tells us. Or is Bush still hoping and working for his original goals? American dominance in the Mideast? That may have been the actual meaning of his upbeat wording regarding the war.

Meanwhile, here on the homefront, the apologists for the war still claim Saddam had WMD, ties to Osama and the terrorists, wanted a nuclear bomb, the works.

And the sad thing is that there are still fifty or a hundred million Americans who believe this crap.

Of course, only in Bushland would a desire for the bomb equate actually possessing one. But if you are among that one third still backing Bush and the war that distinction becomes irrelevant.

These must be the same people who would put duck tape on their windows and over their doors to keep the terrorists’ poison fumes out. Forgetting that they might suffocate themselves inside.

Yes, President Bush has himself claimed there was no link between Saddam and 9/11. Before going on ahead in his purple rhetoric to imply there was. Just so long as the listener out there gets the point: that he should be scared of the "evil" out there.

For fear has been the guiding principle behind this administration’s propaganda drive to bolster support for this war.

Common sense and sanity appear to become pale and weak confronting the rhetorical power of the presidency. For it appears there are those who will believe anything the president says. If the president says it. For, after all, he is the president. Would he ever lie?

Asking the Congress to end the war is like asking a surgeon to perform delicate surgery with a meat ax. Only the president can lead the way out. And Bush, hoping to achieve his original goals - hegemony? as suggested above - refuses to establish the necessary groundwork for leaving. Which, yes, requires talking to all the concerned parties in and around Iraq. The Congress can do none of that but by cutting the funds only hope Bush does the right thing. Would you ever trust him to? I don’t know if I would have the stomach for that kind of colossal game of chicken.

Politically, militarily, and within the realm of international politics such a gamble would be enormous. Perhaps Bush (or at least his advisers) are fully aware of all that? And for these reasons have been able to lay the political environment for a permanent American presence in Iraq. If so, they are really quite clever. For Bush’s war will only have failed militarily, not in their strategic intent.

Only time is on our side. (Unless there’s a miracle.) For with time the American people and the Republicans will become more sick of this war. Of the waste and needless loss of American lives. Of the squalor it brings our country.

I think Bush will lose eventually. But the wounds he has created will need to fester awhile. We are not there yet. Perhaps at least another year or two are required. The Democrats, and Republicans, if they are at all intelligent, should be aware of all this. Once again, it appears that only expediency will bring us out of this mess. While Bush hopes, in the meantime, to maintain our grip on Iraq. And his lies continue.

No, I don’t believe the American people are apathetic, as Rich claims. We suffer from a certain cultural sluggishness, glued, as many of us are, to our televisions: the only public commons many of us know. And there are those who will be more interested in the O. J. case than in the mounting Iraq dead. But I think a certain sense of unease is widespread. And that the majority sick of this war will somehow express their displeasure. Unless watching television makes us all comatose. In that case, we are through. At least for now.

Do you believe in karma? We have much arrogance and pride and foolish innocence to live down. Perhaps we are suffering for our national failings and mistakes?

What a mess, what a mess.  



18 Sep 2007 @ 22:01 by b : Let us not overlook
in the overview that thee are 45 Muslim countries that have a totalitarian government made of of people who think that unbelievers of Islam should be converted or killed. That the infidels present an uncoveed life syle that must be censored by Muslim men. THat is why US went into Afghanistan to smother the rightious Muslims who dragged that country back to Mohammeds 800 ace of no electricity, no books but the Koran, no lipstick for woman. Polygamy, male domination over women and constant religious observances and worship through out every day starting with 6am prayers for everybody. No one in a muslim country gets a ham and egg sandwich on wheat toast. No one!  


18 Sep 2007 @ 23:02 by quinty : Ham and eggs on wheat

Now that is a problem!

But have we declared war on the 45 Muslim nations? It appears so. What we should do, as they charge over our borders, is wave smoked Virginia hams in their faces - like wolfsbein - to make them stop. And slink back to their barbarous homelands. Since, after all, we have chosen to be the world's cop and savior. (For the oil of course, according last night to Alan Greenspan.)

Problem is, at least in Iraq, that a great majority of these benighted inhabitants don't truly want us there. Frankly, I don't know how they do it, the pollsters, that is, considering the chaos there, but according to their surveys a large majority of Iraqis (A) don't care if they see us - our soldiers, Americans - killed, and (B) want us to leave. For they have the gall to believe we actually invaded their country.

Even if they are Muslims this should perhaps tell us something? That maybe we don't belong there? Unless, of course, we have the right to bomb whoever we wish. Which appears to be a potent argument among many Americans.

Oh, but there are 45 Muslim dictatorships (really?) which want to destroy us. That sounds pretty formidable. Can we deal with all that? Well, just get your own hams, hang them like garlic throughout the house, and terrorists will never dare creep under your bed. That’s what we’ll do when it comes time to fight the Muslim hordes here.

Now that makes sense, doesn't it?  



19 Sep 2007 @ 03:25 by a-d : It is amazing, b, how
Judaism & Islam are the same; word for word, order for order! So, if one is wrong ... then both must be wrong -and whom so ever follows them, obeying those orders 'to the letter', eh?  


19 Sep 2007 @ 03:41 by vaxen : We paid...
the Taliban $40,000,000.00 to stop mucking with the Opium! Or have you forgotten, b, that wonderful little export from that area of the world?

The Taliban took the $40,000,000.00 like good little thieves. They continued to muck with the Opium! Well, Opium production is now flowing nicely...up %70.00!

It is all about "Commerce!" Usury is forbidden by both the Bible and the Quoran yet...bribe a Sheich or a Cohen with enough funny money and they'll turn every time. Witness the latest phoney Sheichs' demise in Anbar province (Uncle Sam gave him millions to pretend to be what he never was and the real 'capi' took him out!). A puppet, like the Republics' government, of hand-picked stooges, in Iraq now.

Hegemony? The real prize, as I never tire of telling people, has nothing to do with Iraq and everything to do with Iraq. The largest Embassy ever built in the history of the world (American 'tax-dollars' at work) doesn't mean that this is a fly by night show!
Having chased Arab terrorists I do know something about what I am saying.

Central Asia is the real prize - and full spectrum dominance over Eurasia - the worlds real breadbasket. It's truly us or them. And if you are in love with the Mandilla, Patriarchy absolute, and having a bevy of wives...go Islam!

But if you are of a more liberal bent, and many in Arab speaking nations are, then you'll opt for a more liberal interpretation of life other than the narrow minded bigotry of the Islamic Sheichs and Mullahs and Judaeo Christianic poppinjays.

If you don't think that Islam wants to conquer the world in the name of Allah and force upon every one of us a fanatical interpretation of life itself then do a little cursory examination of history (Of course Judaeism and Christianity wish to do the same thing!).

Global GPM? Indeed so. Choose your sides very wisely. Walk softly and...

Learn how to read between the lines. Culture clash anyone? How could there not be? But we shall inherit the earth? Right...
And the truth shall what?

Hey, here are a few links from 'the other side.' So if you've a mind to see what the milbloggers - in support of the war - are saying it might be that you come up with a new drift.

The first one is an oft recurring theme of my own, of course...but the other two are milblogger 'stuff.' Right or wrong.

A History Of US Secret Human Experimentation
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3511.htm

Milblogs
http://www.milblogging.com/

DefenseTech
http://www.defensetech.org/  



19 Sep 2007 @ 09:53 by jazzolog : What's Iraq Without Iran?
A couple years ago I was much more in the mood to fear escalation of the Global War into Iran, because Bush/Cheney had the Congress and popular support. But does such expansion seem possible now? Some think so, and here's a compilation of rightwing opinion to prove it by Thomas B. Edsall, who's the political editor of the Huffington Post. He is also Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. From 1981 to 2006, he was a political reporter at the Washington Post. He is the author of Chain Reaction and Building Red America.

Drumbeat For Attack On Iran Grows Louder
September 17, 2007 12:36 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The drumbeat for a military assault on Iran is getting louder at some conservative think tanks, in the offices of hawks on the Bush and Cheney staffs, and among ground forces in Iraq dealing with weapons and explosives constructed in Iran.

Administration calls for aggressive action to destroy Iran's nuclear program, and to cut off its funneling of arms and training to terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East, have featured increasingly tough rhetoric.

In his September 13 televised speech, President Bush pointedly warned of the threat from Iran:

"If we were to be driven out of Iraq,...Iran would benefit from the chaos and would be encouraged in its efforts to gain nuclear weapons and dominate the region. Extremists could control a key part of the global energy supply."

There is unanimous agreement on both sides of the ideological aisle that talk of a strike against Tehran and other sites in Iran has escalated sharply in recent weeks.

Much of the public discussion of military action is designed to serve as a trial balloon to test reaction to such proposals among Congressional leaders and other key players. The subject has, however, also become a publicly discussed issue in the Republican primary contest.

At the September 5 GOP debate in Durham, N.H., Rudy Giuliani declared:

"America has to have a clear position. The position should be that Iran is not going to be allowed to go nuclear. Senator McCain put it very well a few months ago. He said it would be very, very dangerous to take military action against Iran, but it would be even more dangerous if Iran were a nuclear power. And I think a president has to make that very clear."

Evidence of heightened discussion of the initiation of military action against Iran is available in many places:

*In a September 3 blog post, The Weekly Standard's William Kristol, wrote:

"Why are terror training camps in Iran, camps that are directly training terrorists to attack U.S. troops, off limits? After all, if Khameini (to whom the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps reports) has already established the principle of cross-border attacks against accelerators of violence, who are we to disagree with the wisdom of the Supreme Leader?" http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/061vrvwi.asp

*On the same day, American Enterprise Institute fellow Reuel Marc Gerecht wrote in Newsweek that Iran is "a radical revolutionary force determined to sow chaos beyond its borders. Assuming that normal negotiations can bring it around is, therefore, a grave mistake. The mullahs don't want peace in Iraq--just the opposite. War may come, but not because negotiations break down. The likely trigger is an Iranian provocation. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20429233/site/newsweek/

*On September 12, FOX News reported in a story based largely on pro-war sources in the administration and allied think tanks that there is a "consensus" among administration officials that attempts to peacefully persuade Iran to abandon development of its nuclear facilities have "come up empty... Consequently, according to a well-placed Bush administration source, 'everyone in town' is now participating in a broad discussion about the costs and benefits of military action against Iran, with the likely time frame for any such course of action being over the next eight to 10 months, after the presidential primaries have probably been decided, but well before the November 2008 elections." {link:http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296450,00.html}

*The Heritage Foundation, in turn, maintains a web site titled "Iran: The Rising Threat" where the non-profit declares that it supports "a policy of aggressive diplomacy and the strongest possible economic sanctions, combined with the willingness to use force if necessary, to stave off Iran's becoming a nuclear power." http://www.heritage.org/Research/Middleeast/iranbriefingroom.cfm

*During Senate Iraq hearings last week, Senator Joseph Lieberman asked Gen. David H. Petraeus if he had "all the authorities you need from a military point of view to deter, disrupt and respond to the Iranian attacks on our troops in Iran's efforts to destabilize Iraq?" Petraeus replied that he does have the authority he needs, while he claims that he does not have plans to go into Iran.

Lieberman, who himself does not preclude action against Iran, contended that "we have evidence that Iran is taking Iraqi extremists to three training camps outside of Tehran, training them in the use of explosives, sophisticated weapons, sending them back into Iraq, where they are responsible for the murder of American soldiers."

With the retirement of Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, Lieberman may well find that he has a new ally in the Democratic Senate caucus after the 2008 elections: Former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey who is considered likely to seek regain the seat.

Kerrey is no dove on Iran. In a May 22 op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, he wrote:

"We must not allow terrorist sanctuaries to develop any place on earth. Whether these fighters are finding refuge in Syria, Iran, Pakistan or elsewhere, we cannot afford diplomatic or political excuses to prevent us from using military force to eliminate them." http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010107

The Democratic presidential candidate who has most explicitly addressed the question of military action against Iran is Barack Obama. In a September 12 speech in Clinton, Iowa, he said:

"Iran poses a grave challenge. It builds a nuclear program, supports terrorism, and threatens Israel with destruction. But we hear eerie echoes of the run-up to the war in Iraq in the way that the President and Vice President talk about Iran.

"They conflate Iran and al Qaeda, ignoring the violent schism that exists between Shiite and Sunni militants. They issue veiled threats. They suggest that the time for diplomacy and pressure is running out when we haven't even tried direct diplomacy. Well George Bush and Dick Cheney must hear - loud and clear - from the American people and the Congress: you don't have our support, and you don't have our authorization for another war."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/09/17/drumbeat-for-attack-on-ir_n_64717.html  



19 Sep 2007 @ 14:36 by a-d : That's right, Vax,
ONLY the truth and nothing but the WHOLE truth -from all sides and Everybody's, is the ONLY thing that will ever set us all free! ; ). To try to continue to create "Religiophobias", of one creed in one direction or the or the other, is OLD as you well know.Humanity has had enough of that -and too little balance in the process -as in fairness towards ALL the rest, at any given time in History.)Sooo, let's not trump that old tattered card any longer.
All are flesh & blood humans, has always been that way!... and each and every single one from the Past, in between and from the Future (to whomever is dumb enough not to understand the seriousness of this Cosmic -coming- REALITY SHOW) will see. EVERYONE will have to answer Up Close & Personal for THEIR PART in the STAGED DRAMA we call our Civilization, born in The Land Between The Rivers, and whose ALL TRACES of that birth process- is now destroyed -by NOT the one's who provided the Birthroom, mind you, but by the "Eternal Victims" -flesh & blood humans nevertheless!...  



19 Sep 2007 @ 22:39 by vaxen : Summing it up...
The UNITED STATES, a private CORPORATION, is bankrupt. The fraud perpetrated against Americans (Flesh and Blood Men and Women not Citizen/Slaves of the Corporate State) is horrendous and will lead to the absolute distruction of the STATE which is a lie, a color of law legal fiction. Fraud is being perpetrated against every one of you 24/7 by real enemy combatants...those you call your 'leaders.' They aren't your leaders but rather your Enslavers.

Read on if you dare, if you really want the truth but, I warn you, it will require study: http://www.barefootsworld.net/usfraud.html

You may wish to start here http://www.eoffshore.com/ first in order to excellerate the process of your getting to know the truth and why Iraq and why Iran and why Bush seems to be able to do what he does.

Remember the elder Bush when he said "If they (The Americans) knew what we had done they'd run us out into the streets and hang us."

Remember that? Read the above links and you'll know what they've done and how you have been classified into either a debtor or a creditor. Don't you think it high time you found out who you are?

===

In TRIBAL TIMES, there were the medicine-men. In the Middle Ages, there were the priests. Today there are the lawyers. For every age, a group of bright boys, learned in their trade and jealous of their learning, who blend technical competence with plain and fancy hocus-pocus to make themselves masters of their fellow men. For every age, a pseudo-intellectual autocracy, guarding the tricks of its trade from the uninitiated, and running, after its own pattern, the civilization of its day.
http://www.constitution.org/lrev/rodell/woe_unto_you_lawyers.htm  



20 Sep 2007 @ 02:19 by a-d : This might be a little
off course (of your article) but it has Info that might interest you: [ http://www.beyonddelay.org/node/373 ]  


20 Sep 2007 @ 15:27 by jazzolog : First, The Good News
and that is The New York Times has done away with its TimesSelect program, by which online readers had to pay to read OpEd columns. I sympathized, as I do with all journals for sale made from paper...and dependent on distribution, but still didn't cough up the cash. Instead I sought out bloggers who did pay and then posted the stuff online for free for the rest of us. Relieved the guilt is gone, I was doubly happy to see Maureen Dowd's confident face smiling at me this morning in her latest blast~~~

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/04/02/opinion/dowd-ts-190.jpg

September 19, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
Alan (Not Atlas) Shrugged
By MAUREEN DOWD
WASHINGTON

It’s a lost art, slinking away.

Now the fashion is slinking back.

Nobody wants to simply admit they made a mistake and disappear for awhile. Nobody even wants to use the weasel words: “Mistakes were made.” No, far better to pop right back up and get in the face of those who were savoring your absence.

We should think of a name for this appalling modern phenomenon. Kissingering, perhaps.

In Las Vegas, there’s the loathsome O.J., a proper candidate for shunning and stun-gunning, barging back into the picture.

And on Capitol Hill, Larry Craig shocked mortified Republicans by bounding into their weekly lunch. You’d think the conservative 62-year-old Idaho senator would have some shame, going from fervently opposing gay rights to provocatively tapping his toe in a Minneapolis airport toilet. (The toilet stall, now known as the Larry Craig bathroom, has become a hot local tourist attraction.)

But no.

As though Republicans don’t have enough problems, Mr. Craig said he is ready to go back to work while the legal hotshots he hired appeal his case. He even cast a couple votes, one against D.C. voting rights. (This creep gets to decide about my representation?)

Even if President Bush is “the cockiest guy” around, as the former Mexican President Vicente Fox writes in a new memoir critical of W.’s “grade-school-level” Spanish and his grade-school-level Iraq policy, he can’t be feeling good about the barbs being hurled his way by former supporters and enablers.

Rummy’s back in the news, giving interviews about a planned memoir and foundation designed to encourage “reasoned and civil debate” about global challenges and to spur more young people to go into government.

It’s rich. Maybe more young people would go into government if they didn’t have to work for devious bullies like Rummy who make huge life-and-death mistakes and then don’t apologize.

In The Washington Post, he blamed the press and Congress for creating an inhospitable atmosphere that drives good people away from public service. Maybe that’s why he and his evil twin, Dick Cheney, did their best to undermine the constitutional system of checks and balances so they could get more fine young people to serve.

Does the man blamed for creating civil disorder in Iraq even know what the word “civil” means? Wasn’t he the prickly Pentagon chief who got furious with anyone who didn’t agree with him on “global challenges”?

He shoved Gen. Eric Shinseki into retirement — and failed to show up at his retirement party — after the good general correctly told Congress that it would take several hundred thousand troops to invade and control Iraq. And he snubbed the German defense minister when Germany joined the Coalition of the Unwilling.

Interviewed by GQ’s Lisa DePaulo on his ranch in Taos, N.M., with another mule named Gus nearby, the “75-year-old package of waning testosterone,” as the writer called him, was asked if he misses W. Offering a wry smile, he replied, “Um, no.”

He now treats the son with the same contempt he treated the father with, which is why it’s so odd that the son hired his dad’s nemesis in the first place.

He actually had the gall to imply to Ms. DePaulo that he was out of the loop on Iraq and dragged out a copy of a memo he had written outlining all the things that could go wrong.

In fact, he was the one, right after 9/11, who began pushing to go after Saddam. He and Cheney were orchestrating the invasion from the start, guiding the dauphin with warnings about how weak he would seem if he let Saddam mock him.

The ultimate bureaucratic infighter wrote the memo as part of his Socratic strategy, asking a lot of questions when he was already pushing to go into Iraq. He never did any contingency planning in case those things went wrong; the memo was there simply so that someday he could pull it out for a reporter.

In the same issue of GQ, Colin Powell tried to build up the objections he made to the president, too, in an interview with Walter Isaacson. But nobody’s buying.

Even though he rubber-stamped W.’s tax cuts, Alan Greenspan is now upbraiding the president and vice president for profligate spending and putting politics ahead of sound economics.

He also says in his new memoir that “the Iraq war is largely about oil,” telling Bob Woodward that he had privately told W. and Cheney that ousting Saddam was “essential” to keeping world oil supplies safe.

Irrational exuberance, indeed.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/opinion/19dowd.html?n=Top/Opinion/Editorials%20and%20Op-Ed/Op-Ed/Columnists/Maureen%20Dowd

William Grieder at The Nation---obviously we are slipping into the Bad News---went after Greenspan as well...but where were these guys when he ruled the Fed?

BLOG | Posted 09/17/2007 @ 11:13am
The Lies of Alan Greenspan
William Greider

Alan Greenspan has come back from the tomb of history to correct the record. He did not make any mistakes in his eighteen-year tenure as Federal Reserve chairman. He did not endorse the regressive Bush tax cuts of 2001 that pumped up the federal deficits and aggravated inequalities. He did not cause the housing bubble that is now in collapse. He did not ignore the stock market bubble that subsequently melted away and cost investors $6 trillion. He did not say the Iraq War is "largely about oil."

Check the record. These are all lies.

Greenspan's testimony endorsing the Bush tax cuts was extremely influential but now he wants to run away from it.

In the instance of Iraq, Greenspan is actually correcting his own memoir, The Age of Turbulence, which just came out. This weekend, newspapers reported provocative snippets from the book, including this: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what every everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

Wow, talk about your "inconvenient truth." Greenspan was blithely acknowledging what official Washington has always denied and the news media faithfully ignored. "Blood for oil." No, no, no, that's not what he meant, Greenspan corrected in a follow-up interview. [Bob Woodward in Monday's Washington Post] He was only saying that "taking out Saddam was essential" for "oil security" and the global economy.

Are you confused? Welcome to the world of slippery truth Greenspan has always lived in. He was the Maestro, as Bob Woodward's loving portrait dubbed him. Wall Street loved the Chairman best because the traders and bankers knew he was always on their side and would come to their rescue. The major news media treated him like an Old Testament prophet. Whatever the chairman said was carved on stone tablets, even when it didn't make any sense, as it often didn't.

Some of us who followed his tracks more closely, were not so kind. Harry Reid, now the Democratic Senate leader, said Greenspan was "one of the biggest political hacks in Washington." Amen. I called him "the one-eyed chairman" who could always spot reasons to stomp on the real economy of work and production, but was utterly blind to the destructive chaos in the financial system. No matter. The adoration of him was nearly universal.

Until now. The economic consequences of his rule are accumulating and even the dullest financial reporters are stumbling on crumbs of truth about Greenspan's legendary reign. It sowed profound and dangerous imbalances in the US economy. That's what happens when government power tips the balance in favor of capital over labor, favoring super-rich over middle class and poor, then holds it there for nearly a generation.

Things get out of whack and now the country is paying big time. A pity reporters and politicians didn't have the nerve to ask these questions when Greenspan was in power.

He retired only a year ago, but is already trying to revise the history. To explain away blunders that are now a financial crisis facing his successor. To rearrange the facts in exculpatory ways. To deny his right-wing ideological bias and his raw partisanship in behalf of the Bush Republicans.

The man is shrewd. He can see the conservative era he celebrated and helped to impose upon the American economy is in utter ruin. He is trying to get some distance from it before the blood splashes all over his reputation. Of course, he also came back to cash in--an $8 million advance for a book that is sure to be a huge bestseller. I don't want to be unkind, but Greenspan could have avoided all the embarrassing questions if his book was posthumous.

I haven't the read it yet. I have a hunch I am not going to like it.
http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion?pid=233482

Barbara Ehrenreich is worried, similarly at The Nation, about the various gestures you have to make in public restrooms to make the water faucet work and the paper towel to come down. She thinks some sting agent may take her moves as invitations to homosexual activity---so during this week in the States to honor HandWashing, she's giving it up!
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071001/ehrenreich

And then there's William Rivers Pitt at TruthOut who fears he truly has lost his grip. And he's doing it on purpose. Yes folks, if White House reality is what we all have to believe in, count him out. http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/091907R.shtml

As Elwood Dowd, our hero in the old play Harvey---about the giant invisible rabbit---used to say, "I've fought against reality all my life...and I've finally won out." Good slogan, but will it win elections?  



20 Sep 2007 @ 18:02 by vaxen : Ah yes...
more smoke and mirrors. Something `good edu-krators' are good at.  


21 Sep 2007 @ 10:02 by jazzolog : Where There's Smoke...
I take Vaxen's comment as an insult, a slap in the face the old mercenary brainwasher likes to deliver occasionally just to be sure the victim still is alive. I should have thought the answers I have given him over the years at least would deserve a slight loosening of the knots...but no. Public education remains a waste of taxpayer money to the Libertarian, along with mental health and all those other social programs. Hey, if you live by a river you get flooded out. Quit whining.

My career of 45 years in some form of teaching or another always has been focused, as best I can, on life-and-death learning: discovery of what's smoke and what's fire, what's mirror and what's window. Catcher In The Rye is my textbook. But never mind...every killer sometimes must have his whiskey before noon.

I'm interested these days to see this Blackwater story isn't going away. When they were whizzing around the floodwaters of New Orleans in fastboats, also shooting at random, the media photographed the floating bodies and let the murder boys have their fun. But now, largely pushed by Iraq's Maliki himself, reporters are staying on it...and Bush has to dance their bullets.

Robert Scheer is at his best, at TruthDig which he edits, hitting this horrendous policy where it hurts~~~

"Were there even the faintest trace of Iraqi independence rising from the ashes of this failed American imperialist venture, Blackwater would have to fold its tents and go, if only in the interest of keeping up appearances. After all, the Iraqi Interior Ministry claimed that the Blackwater thugs guarding a U.S. State Department convoy through the streets of Baghdad fired 'randomly at citizens' in a crowded square on Sunday, killing 11 people and wounding 13 others. So the Iraqi government has ordered Blackwater to leave the country after what a government spokesman called a 'flagrant assault ... on Iraqi citizens.'

"But who told those Iraqi officials that they have the power to control anything regarding the 182,000 privately contracted personnel working for the U.S. in Iraq? Don’t they know about Order 17, which former American proconsul Paul Bremer put in place to grant contractors, including his own Blackwater bodyguards, immunity from Iraqi prosecution? Nothing has changed since the supposed transfer of power from the Coalition Provisional Authority, which Bremer once headed, to the Iraqi government holed up in the Green Zone and guarded by Blackwater and other 'private' soldiers."
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20070918_checkbook_imperialism_the_blackwater_fiasco/

McClatchy is only one of the news services reporting Maliki complains this is just the latest of Blackwater's terrorist acts against the Iraqi people~~~

Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2007
BAGHDAD — Blackwater security guards who protect top U.S. diplomats in Iraq have been involved in at least seven serious incidents, some of which resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki said Wednesday...

Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammed al Askari told McClatchy Newspapers that one of the incidents was former Iraqi Electricity Minister Ahyam al Samarrai's escape from a Green Zone jail in December. Samarrai had been awaiting sentencing on charges that he had embezzled $2.5 billion that was intended to rebuild Iraq's decrepit electricity grid.

Another incident, Askari said, was the shooting death last month of a Baghdad taxi driver when Blackwater guards led a convoy the wrong way down a street. When the taxi driver failed to stop quickly enough as the convoy approached, the Blackwater guards opened fire, Askari said.
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/19838.html

Unfortunately, David Corn points out at The Nation the Iraqi government has tossed the guy out who was supposed to be investigating the ghastly corruption rumored to be at the center of that prize democracy we built over there~~~

Up until Maliki and his allies removed Radhi, State Department advisers were working with Radhi and his anticorruption commission. It was the U.S. government that brought him and his investigators to Washington for training sessions conducted by the Justice Department and the Defense Department. But now the State Department, according to Radhi associates and U.S. government officials, is not aiding the former judge. "No U.S. government agency has provided him any help to date," says a Radhi associate. On Monday morning, I asked Nicole Thompson, a State Department spokesperson, if this is true. She promised a quick answer. No reply came quickly. When I called again, she told me she had to check with Bureau of Near East Affairs and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. On Wednesday afternoon, Thompson called with an official response:

State Department officials have met with Judge Radhi and are aware of his situation. As a standard practice, we do not comment on private conversations.
http://www.thenation.com/blogs/capitalgames?pid=234797  



21 Sep 2007 @ 17:22 by quinty : Regarding slinking
in and out of the scene....

What do incompetent administrators do when they retire from public service?

Become consultants!

I'm sure you've seen this too. In Libraryland it is a tradition.

Libraries are not places people go to, as a rule, for adventure. But believe me, they are a microcosm of the world at large. If there were vast fortunes and great power at stake staff rivalries in a public library could reach Shakespearian proportions. Believe me, I've known a few Lady Macbeths. And even had a Richard III or two.

It’s all there in the microcosm. You can not escape human nature. Vax, that comment of September 20 really wasn’t necessary.

But as Maureen Dowd said, the Bush administration has offered many slinkers. More than previous administrations. For the lies have been much bolder and more outrageous.

I await Condoleezza Rice’s memoirs. Remember, she threatened to write them once. When accused by someone else in his memoirs of intentionally fudging the facts she retaliated by promising to write her own memoirs. That’s a threat we should take seriously. I can easily imagine all the mental fire at work when she sets her imagination onto such a project. Especially one to make herself look good. Very, very good.

As we all know it is not the crime, so much, which arouses remorse, but getting caught, appearing bad. So these authors have large stakes in their memoirs. Rummie’s and Bush’s (probably ghosted) may imaginatively outdo J. K. Rawling's latest fiction. Only grown up children will believe anything they say, though. Once writing “the final word” they may feel at peace with history. Let all the scalding scholars worry over their words and “facts.” They made their final say, and that’s that. Just like Nixon constantly reinventing himself. When he went out he may have actually believed he would be remembered for his foreign policy successes.

Condee is working on peace in the Middle East, between Israel and Palestine. There hasn’t been much in the press about this. I hate to admit this, but if she pulls this off, actually does it, I may go into a deep funk. For by actually bringing something good to the world, truly wonderful and worthy of glory, she may yet rescue her reputation. And after more than six years of crime I would hate to see that happen. Yeah, I know, that’ s petty. But look at her career. The ambition and selfishness: yeah, in many ways just like the library.

About the restroom slink, sting, and political slime, my first reaction was that another hypocrite had merely been found out and exposed. And that the squalor of Senator Craig’s outing was merited by all the sanctimonious anti gay positions he has taken over the years. Another “family values” hypocrite publicly revealed.

Apparently, this restroom in Minneapolis’s airport is some kind of notorious hot spot for illicit activities, having provoked the authorities’ attention. And Craig was caught up with many others in the broad net of the sting. Which, upon consideration, strikes me as having been pretty nasty and probably unnecessary. For if gay come-ons, voyeurism, trysts, flings and sex took place there, creating a public nuisance, couldn’t the cops have merely put up a sign in the restroom warning all the revelers that undercover policemen would be checking out the place? And that the party was over? That would have solved the problem without resorting to dragging a lot of poor souls into jail. Undoubtedly ruining some lives. Though had they shown a little compassion they would never have caught the big fish: Senator Craig. Who, yes, was a victim of entrapment.

A friend of mine and her family are seriously planning on leaving the United States. They actually think things have gotten that bad. I can remember a time when I would have complacently considered this was excessive. Complacency doesn’t come to my aid this time. Could she actually be right?  



21 Sep 2007 @ 17:53 by jerryvest : Which had the first fall, the Bathroom
incident or the Bridge collapse in Minneapolis? or, The Republican Party? You know, the chicken and the egg question? Who designed this bridge? (I'll bet it was a "R.")Who designed the bathroom? Anyway, seems that this log is getting lots of inspiring comments so thought I would add another to the folly.  


21 Sep 2007 @ 20:21 by vaxen : Who is...
whining? It would appear that there are lots of whiners who can't abide the stink of their own 'Democracy.' ;)

"Americans are looking for leadership, somewhere, anywhere."

Maybe they should start looking within? Oh, the 'process' of education (State based) prevents that, doesn't it? "You be the scientist." ~ Ray Kurzweil

The word `scientist,' in the above, could be replaced with `leader,' or `boss,' or `snob,' or...whatever. Why is it that ` Americans (Bankrupted by their 'leaders' oh so long ago) are always thought to be looking for leaders?

Real Americans, of course, are...to hang the bloody bastards! I know, I know...that comment wasn't necessary, either, and probably comes as a kick in the ass but...yata hei! Do corn doggies dance?

Only when the last tree is cut down
Only when the last river is poisoned
Only when the last fish has been caught
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

Cree Indian Prophecy

"If success or failure of the planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do ...
How would I be? What would I do?" — R. Buckminster Fuller

The Buckminster Fuller Institute has announced a call for entries to THE BUCKMINSTER FULLER CHALLENGE, an international design science competition which seeks to confer a prize of $100,000 to a single winning solution.

Prize monies will be awarded in June, 2008 to support the development and implementation of a solution that has significant potential to solve humanity's most pressing problems in the shortest possible time while enhancing the Earth's ecological integrity.

The official Entry Form is now available at the Challenge website. http://challenge.bfi.org/

WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO PARTICIPATE!
http://www.bfi.org/

===

•Skilled welders from India who paid $2,200 to a labor recruiter to get a highly paid overseas job. The workers were paid around $3 per hour while they "trained" indefinitely at an American company in Tulsa and were allegedly threatened with physical retaliation if they tried to leave the property.

•Migrant fruit pickers who are murdered near America's orange orchards in Florida, as a warning to their peers about the risks of trying to escape servitude.

•Women working double shifts at factories in Saipan, while selling sex on the side, in a place where the clothes they make are labeled "Made in America," but the rights, wages and living conditions fall below the American legal standard.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/books/2007-09-16-nobodies_N.htm

===

The chair and vice chair of the 9/11 Commission, respectively Thomas Kean
and Lee Hamilton, assert in their book, Without Precedent, that they were
"set up to fail" and were starved of funds to do a proper investigation.
They also confirm that they were denied access to the truth and misled by
senior officials in the Pentagon and the federal aviation authority; and
that this obstruction and deception led them to contemplate slapping
officials with criminal charges.
http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/peter_tatchell/2007/09/911_the_big_coverup.html

===

Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper "I love you"
Birds singin' in the sycamore tree
Dream a little dream of me

Say nighty-night and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me
While I'm alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me

Stars fading but I linger on dear
Still craving your kiss
I'm longing to linger till dawn dear
Just saying this

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me

Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper "I love you"
Birds singin' in the sycamore tree
Dream a little dream of me

Say nighty-night and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me
While I'm alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me

Stars fading but I linger on dear
Still craving your kiss
I'm longing to linger till dawn dear
Just saying this

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me

---

A Mercenary Force for Darfur

by Max Boot

Mercenaries used to dominate warfare. The “Hessians” who served Britain in our War for Independence (many were actually from other German states) became notorious among the colonists, but foreigners formed a major part of every army in the world until the French Revolution. Their outlook was pithily expressed by a 17th-century soldier who said: “We serve our master honestly, it is no matter what master we serve.”

And they did provide good service. It was thanks largely to “free lances” (the origin of that now common term) that absolute monarchs managed to consolidate their power in Europe and carve out vast overseas empires. Private entities like the Dutch and English East India Companies even marshaled their own armies and navies to defend their domains…

http://www.blackwaterusa.com/press/newsdefault.asp  



22 Sep 2007 @ 00:20 by bushman : Hmm,
mostly it cost the gov, 500 times more to do anything, also known as the 20,000 buck toilet seat or 10,000 buck hammer, syndrome. It just costs them way more to do the oversight of any projects exaple known as red tape. Hence comes privatization to lower costs. But the as usual private corps take advantage. Americans just dont know better, construction of roads for instance, there is a bid at a certine time, but then say an enviornmentalist group gets in the way , stalling said project for 20 years, so by the time the project has to be done, the cost becomes astronomical. This is why most of USA moved its manufacturing overseas, which does sever damage to the economy and basicly increasing the jobsless rates. Which in turn leads to higher welfare costs, so on so on.

As for the middle east situation, I dont see any solutions, as long as there are old folks running the show, and young guys all high strung for thier gods for what ever reasons. Our kids fighting for our god or our guys fighting for our way of life, when what they should be fighting for or putting thier energy into , is a better cleaner world. Americans have lost sight of that, got lazy for TV dinners and TV sex.  



22 Sep 2007 @ 01:49 by bushman : Hmm,
Apperently this thing is not editing my posts right, lol. So let me add what it left out.

Now dont get me wrong, sometimes its a good thing to wait on some projects, as to attaining better cleaner tech, or more efficiancy in the process, but costs overall rarly go down over time.  



22 Sep 2007 @ 16:56 by a-d : Jazzo, apropå's your article:
"This Is Worse Than Vietnam": "WHAT IS THE PRICE FOR YOUR CHILD'S LIFE? " by Michael Rivero:

"No, seriously, how much would you charge me to let me kill your kid? I'll make up a whole batch of comfortable lies about it so you can assuage your guilt when your kid comes home in a cheap box with a cheaper flag draped over it, but, c'mon, let's talk money here. How much?

No?

Ummm, okay, how much will you charge me to let someone else's kids get killed? Better deal, huh? You don't have to know them, and I'll try to make sure you don't have to see them.

...

I know the above sounds absurd, but this deal has indeed been made. In exchange for money, a certain group of people have agreed to let your kids be killed. That group is the United States Congress. And for the last several years, many of them have been accepting money from AIPAC, a supposed lobbying group that stands exposed as a spy operation for a foreign government, in order to promote that foreign government's agenda, which includes war in the Mideast, waged against that foreign government's enemies.

This selling of America's children to a foreign government to be that government's mercenaries has to rank as the greatest single betrayal of a people by their government in all of history. So, let is take it one step at a time.

First off, let us follow the money. There is no question that US Congressmen have been accepting money from pro-Israel lobbyists, AIPAC chief among them. This is beyond doubt, as even the Congressional financial disclosure records record the amounts given and accepted.

There is no doubt that AIPAC exerts control over the US Government. Indeed back in 1992, the then-head of AIPAC, David Steiner, boasted that he had influence over who would be the next Secretary of State, and had already "cut a deal" with Baker for more aid to Israel. When the scandal became public, Steiner was forced to resign.

Despite this scandal, and despite the fact that the current AIPAC spy investigation has been going on for more than two years, US Representatives and Senators continued to accept money from an organization they knew was under investigation for espionage against the United States.

How does that money influence the US Government?

Let us look at what Israel wants."
READ THE REST HERE: http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/priceofyourchild.html


annn... here's more, Jazzo : "THE BLOOD ON GEORGE BUSH'S HANDS:
By Bill Gallagher

DETROIT -- It was certainly one of President George W. Bush's worst performances, and that's saying a lot. Well past his bedtime, he spoke to the nation last Thursday, looking and sounding like a sedated automaton, reading the lines for his latest justification for staying the course in Iraq and telling the American people to consider the preposterous request to have patience and trust his judgment.

Using Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker for convenient cover, Bush assured us that "conditions in Iraq are improving," that "we are seizing the initiative from the enemy" and that "the troop surge is working."

The purpose of the surge was to provide "breathing time" to nurture political stability and national reconciliation in Iraq. It is a self-evident absurdity to suggest that is happening or that the continued presence of U.S. troops will transform and pacify the society the invasion and occupation so thoroughly shattered.

The endless blather and ridiculous measurements the administration toadies use to claim the surge is working dodge the compelling, salient fact that Bush has no strategy to end his failed and futile war, nor does he have any strategy whatsoever for quelling the violence his war of choice unleashed.

Just last month, Crocker admitted Iraq remains politically torn, telling McClatchy Newspapers,

"The progress on the national level has been extremely disappointing and frustrating to all concerned -- to us, to the Iraqi leadership itself."

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, returned from Iraq in August after assessing the stated surge purpose of giving the Iraqi leadership time to reach a political settlement. Levin's conclusions were bleak: "They have failed to do that. They have totally and utterly failed."

The Iraqi people, however, should not be blamed for this failure. It is the direct consequence of violence begetting violence, destroyed infrastructure, disease, deprivation and the chaos the American invasion brought to the suffering nation. The sheer incompetence of the occupation then fed the insurgency and fostered political and sectarian strife.

In his speech, Bush mentioned that "too many citizens are being killed by terrorists and death squads." But he failed to attribute any casualties to U.S. military action and he didn't quantify the extent of the slaughter.

Only upbeat narratives and numbers fit into Bush's claims of success. He said, "Our troops in Iraq are performing brilliantly" and that "they have captured or killed more than 1,500 enemy fighters since January."

Who are these "enemy fighters"? Bush, of course, now uses the al-Qaeda label incessantly in his unrelenting lie, conflating the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia didn't exist on Sept. 11, yet we now are told defeating this group -- spawned by the U.S. invasion -- is why we must remain in Iraq.

Bush and his supporters always ignore or play down the bloody cost of this brutal war for the Iraqi people. Their suffering is an afterthought. "We don't do body counts," Gen. Tommy "The Jerk" Franks famously said after he conquered Baghdad and went home to smoke cigars and play golf.

But others are counting, and the numbers are staggering. A British polling organization now pegs Iraqi civilian deaths in more than four years of war at 1.2 million people. The ORB poll surveyed Iraqi adults and determined nearly one in two households in Baghdad had lost at least one family member to war-related violence, and nationwide 22 percent of the households had suffered at least one death. Do we really expect "political stability" when people are enduring such promiscuous violence?

Last year, when the British medical journal "Lancet" put the number of Iraqi deaths at 654,965, Iraqi officials called the count "ridiculous" and Bush dismissed the number as "not credible" without challenging the methodology of the scientists who prepared the survey for the reputable publication.

In his speech, Bush made no mention of the more than 2.5 million Iraqi refugees who have fled their homes. That number continues to grow, especially among professionals and the more educated. Bush never mentions his war has virtually eradicated the Christian population in Iraq, a faith community rooted there two thousand years ago.

Vice President Dick Cheney followed his dauphin Bush's performance, chiming in for an unending U.S. military presence in Iraq. Speaking in Grand Rapids, Mich., last Friday, Cheney claimed, "Beyond question, the troop surge has achieved some solid results." He went on to claim bloodshed would follow the withdrawal of U.S troops on any timetable other than what he and Bush have divined and that we must remain for the long haul to thwart terrorism.

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE: http://www.niagarafallsreporter.com/gallagher332.html

Jazzo, isn't it always "Worse"??? EVERY TIME!?!?!?.... I think so. ...and STILL, we humans think that avoiding to respond to our own God-given abilities to go WITH LIFE rather than against our own Life, will somehow make us NOT ACCOUNTABLE for "ANYTHING, anything at all!"... This is the Big Secret REASON behind Humanity allowing itself-still to this very day- to continue to give RULERSHIP TO PSYCHOPATHS/CRIMINALS!

ONLY WHEN ENOUGH "We The People" REALLY SHOW they mean business when saying NO to all this shit and literally start to go after the CROOKS with CLUBS in their hands, smashing the heads of the crooks and then leave them to their own demise, will there be a change.... PROVIDED Humanity is WILLING to take on its yoke of abilities to respond to Life! Until that day; each time in each war it be "WORSE than..." and certainly for that person who was (Chosen to be/come) the Collateral Damage! .
There's Chosen and then CHOSEN ONES in this World. That's for sure!... and the rest just digs for a few more buggers from their nose while -with a glaze of Nothingness in their eyes- saying : "Idunno".  



22 Sep 2007 @ 19:49 by a-d : Great, vax, but one Q
".... to protect our freedom both from (outside) enemies....and from our fellow-citizens." ....and then WHAT??? WHO -or what would remain???? isn't his own Parents and Siblings "A FELLOW CITIZEN" -in other words: everybody outside of his own physical body must be -according to sheer Common Sense/Logic a Fellow Citizen to him (/her: whomever the person , making the statement) ????? Where did Milton have his head???? up his ----!? or in the rabbit hole?!????

and now, let's destroy DAMASCUS in Syria ( that ONE City, on Earth, MORE than 5000 years old!... and ALL those years remained a functioning City!) ...to guarantee that NO ancient EVIDENCE of the REAL Scam will ever surface! u know whadddI'mtalking about!...dontcha?
IF Assyria and Nineveh wasn't destroyed already, they would be BURNING today!.... and why???.... Vax, you know the secret and so do I(-some of it). TELL US the TRUTH! THAT is the only thing that will start putting an end to this sh-- -together with going after ALL the CROOKS. NO hiding behind this or that any longer!!!...  



23 Sep 2007 @ 12:58 by jazzolog : Billionaire Pockets
I guess Vax' comment didn't necessarily refer to me as a smoke-and-mirrors educator, so I probably shouldn't have taken a swing at him. Most old hands at Internet communication know how easy it is to misread something; but it also is true for both teachers and commentators that reading assignments should be handed out with gentleness and respect. "Here! Read this...so maybe your stupidity will be eased enough to stay in the same room with me!" just doesn't get you those thank you notes at the end of the year---or in years to come.

Yes, Quinty's comments just keep getting better and tougher. Many of us are just so tired of saying it over and over about our terrible government, but Paul takes a couple days off and then comes back like a hurricane! Keep it up, dear friend: it keeps us running. Oh by the way, he and I have been passing this hilarious emailboxbuster around this weekend~~~

http://www.stupidvideos.us/video.aspx/IDp~1572/George%20W.%20Bush%20imitation/Funny%20videos/

Yes, I too have been running across some caustic reviews of Naomi Klein's book...like this one from Canada's National Post http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=edf7de8a-cbad-46e0-8c13-8af723195da9 . It's a sort of kill-the-messenger reaction, when we just don't want to hear this shit about ourselves. But what's the big deal? You want a stop sign at a dangerous intersection? First you have to get a little kid run over...and then we cough up the bucks.

But this is different. Here we have the Pentagon wondering whether 95 billion dollars in contracts to Yankee capitalists have been wasted because of criminal intent or just peculiar irregularities. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/21/washington/21contract.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1190471916-EMcZ4equCrxCYZUVzm2+RA Obviously there is rampant, drooling greed at the center of this Terror War. It's costing us all half a million dollars a minute! Here's what we could be buying with such money, according to the American Friends Service Committee http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/21/AR2007092102074.html?hpid=topnews

And meanwhile America's billionaires are richer than ever. Here's Forbes' latest list~~~

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5ipjuaB0ioyQ4buSTDj3vy7UNwE-Q

Now, Mr. Gates, after you finish showing off your new reception area,

http://www.hot-screensaver.com/wp-myimages/bill-gates-room.jpg

how about fixing Windows Vista?


 



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