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Showing posts from February, 2007

And all the King’s Men: laying down the law on Bush and his cronies

In March 2002, more than a year before the invasion of Iraq, President George W. Bush interrupted a meeting between National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and three U.S. Senators, who were in her office discussing how to deal with Iraq through the United Nations.
“Fuck Saddam, we’re taking him out,” he said.
According to one of the participants, the senators laughed uncomfortably at the President’s comment while Rice merely smiled. Bush then left the room, as he wasn’t part of the work being done there.
Later in the year, Vice President Dick Cheney told Sen. Patrick Leahy to “...go fuck yourself...” as he walked away from their argument on the floor of the Senate about Cheney’s ties to Halliburton.
While this kind of language could be seen as inappropriate, even embarrassing, coming from the two highest elected officials in the land, it isn’t a legal problem.
The Constitution allows anyone to speak freely whenever they choose. Even grandiose dreams of an American military empire aren’…

"Enduring Camps" in Iraq portend a long stay

As a New Year full of uncertainties begins, there's one thing you can be certain of – many thousands of US soldiers will still be in Iraq on New Year's Day of 2008. That sad fact will be true every year in the foreseeable future, based on activities at the four largest military bases in Iraq where construction continues at a high pace.

It doesn't matter what the President or anyone else says about those bases, what matters is the reality of concrete and steel growing into buildings on the sand. Once labeled "enduring camps" but now called "contingency operating bases", the large facilities – primarily air bases with hardened runways – are still under construction in every province in Iraq.

The Iraqi people have seen little or no reconstruction projects at work in their shattered cities, but more than one hundred billion dollars have been spent on military housing and infrastructure to serve a permanent contingent of American troops. Camp Victory North, ne…

The Long War Moves to Iran

On Jan. 10, one day before his televised speech outlining a "new way forward" in Iraq, President Bush spoke to representatives of several network news organizations on the condition that he not be quoted. His purpose was to provide those individuals with more background and context than he would offer in the speech itself, and rely on them to deliver his full message to the American people.

A lot of folks who listened to the President's speech got that message quite clearly, without any help. The first clue came just 193 words into the script, when Bush read the following words from his teleprompter – "Radical Shia elements, some supported by Iran, formed death squads."

We've heard this kind of diversion before, where a partial truth is inflated into an active threat and given a false priority. Introducing Iran into a speech about Iraq is the same tactic as introducing Iraq into speeches about Al-Qaida, a diversion that Vice President Cheney still uses today.