06/10/2010

Afghanistan is longest war in US, beating Vietnam



Party in the White House... Yes, we can!

12/20/2008

God created government


That's GOLD, Jerry! From the knuckleheads, too eager to fight fascism with fascism. Can I get a "morons" up in this motherf$%er?

11/18/2008

Worst precedent from the worst President

The president and his aides seem to be above the law after all, you don't say.

09/11/2008

9/11TM

Keith Olbermann with a special comment on the branding of 9/11TM by the GOP: a tribute to terror.

07/11/2008

If this is winning, what would losing look like ?



Rachel Maddow with a brilliant piece on civil liberties and the Bushed logic on winning the war on terrorism.

06/10/2008

War, funded by debt

Dianne Feinstein with the wisdom of the week. No taxes but war. No socialism but war. No economy but war. Damned be everyone that stands by.

05/27/2008

Bloody war through the eyes of a soldier

05/16/2008

Shut... the hell... up



Keith Olbermann's special comment on the latest bushlit. Shame on McSame and anyone who still pushes the lie that republicans have an edge on national security.

How evil can one be while keeping a straight face? Pretty damn evil, as Bush proved.

Playing golf during a war sends the wrong signal. Mucking with a guitar during a national disaster and doing nothing while the country is under attack are still A-OK. War crimes are nothing. Try crimes against humanity.

04/09/2008

Tell-lie-vision rules the nation

Phil Donahue hits Hannity where it hurts: terrorism.

Hannity brought up plenty of nonsense as usual: "...totalitarian communism was evil...". Hate to break it to you, Sean, but there's no such thing as totalitarian communism. Certainly the West has never seen much communism in any true meaning of the word. Socialism might have been inspired by it and improved things a great deal, but it's a sorry substitute for the basic underpinnings of communist thought.

02/06/2008

Scarborough C'untry: I'm more concerned about my national security



Joe Scarborough is the moron of the week. He's clearly not ready to tackle the biggest issue of mankind in his age and decides to cry like a little school girl for his national security. Do your job, Scar. At least learn to do it! To hell with national security, we need fresh air and clean water, you moron!

01/24/2008

Lies for war



Keith Olbermann explaining the lies of the house of scandal. Outrageous I tell ya!

11/30/2007

Bush presses congress for more Defense money, again

Bush's war funds warning
Bush's war funds warning


Bush warns congress to give him the additional money already, or else the military cannot function! (Imagine that.) Bush praises Gates for his prudence but his war in Iraq is anything but prudent. There's already estimates of 2 trillion dollars flying around for the entire cost of the war to American taxpayers but somehow, these prudent men seem to always need more. If only there was a possiblity for a military victory, which there isn't.

09/25/2006

Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat

By MARK MAZZETTISeptember 24, 2006WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 — A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.

The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.

The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by United States intelligence agencies since the Iraq war began, and represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States,’’ it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe.

An opening section of the report, “Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement,” cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology. The report “says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,” said one American intelligence official.

More than a dozen United States government officials and outside experts were interviewed for this article, and all spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a classified intelligence document. The officials included employees of several government agencies, and both supporters and critics of the Bush administration. All of those interviewed had either seen the final version of the document or participated in the creation of earlier drafts. These officials discussed some of the document’s general conclusions but not details, which remain highly classified.

Officials with knowledge of the intelligence estimate said it avoided specific judgments about the likelihood that terrorists would once again strike on United States soil. The relationship between the Iraq war and terrorism, and the question of whether the United States is safer, have been subjects of persistent debate since the war began in 2003.

Previous drafts described actions by the United States government that were determined to have stoked the jihad movement, like the indefinite detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, and some policy makers argued that the intelligence estimate should be more focused on specific steps to mitigate the terror threat. It is unclear whether the final draft of the intelligence estimate criticizes individual policies of the United States, but intelligence officials involved in preparing the document said its conclusions were not softened or massaged for political purposes.

Frederick Jones, a White House spokesman, said the White House “played no role in drafting or reviewing the judgments expressed in the National Intelligence Estimate on terrorism.” The estimate’s judgments confirm some predictions of a National Intelligence Council report completed in January 2003, two months before the Iraq invasion. That report stated that the approaching war had the potential to increase support for political Islam worldwide and could increase support for some terrorist objectives.

Documents released by the White House timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks emphasized the successes that the United States had made in dismantling the top tier of Al Qaeda. “Since the Sept. 11 attacks, America and its allies are safer, but we are not yet safe,” concludes one, a report titled “9/11 Five Years Later: Success and Challenges.” “We have done much to degrade Al Qaeda and its affiliates and to undercut the perceived legitimacy of terrorism.”

That document makes only passing mention of the impact the Iraq war has had on the global jihad movement. “The ongoing fight for freedom in Iraq has been twisted by terrorist propaganda as a rallying cry,” it states. The report mentions the possibility that Islamic militants who fought in Iraq could return to their home countries, “exacerbating domestic conflicts or fomenting radical ideologies.” ....

09/20/2006

King of Pain

By Paul Krugman
The New York Times
Monday 18 September 2006

We know that the world would see this action as a U.S. repudiation of the rules that bind civilized nations. We also know that an extraordinary lineup of former military and intelligence leaders, including Colin Powell, have spoken out against the Bush plan, warning that it would further damage America's faltering moral standing, and end up endangering U.S. troops.

But I haven't seen much discussion of the underlying question: why is Mr. Bush so determined to engage in torture?

Let's be clear what we're talking about here. According to an ABC News report from last fall, procedures used by C.I.A. interrogators have included forcing prisoners to "stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours"; the "cold cell," in which prisoners are forced "to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees," while being doused with cold water; and, of course, water boarding, in which "the prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet," then "cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him," inducing "a terrifying fear of drowning."

And bear in mind that the "few bad apples" excuse doesn't apply; these were officially approved tactics - and Mr. Bush wants at least some of these tactics to remain in use.

I'm ashamed that my government does this sort of thing. I'd be ashamed even if I were sure that only genuine terrorists were being tortured - and I'm not. Remember that the Bush administration has imprisoned a number of innocent men at Guantánamo, and in some cases continues to imprison them even though it knows they are innocent.

Is torture a necessary evil in a post-9/11 world? No. People with actual knowledge of intelligence work tell us that reality isn't like TV dramas, in which the good guys have to torture the bad guy to find out where he planted the ticking time bomb.

What torture produces in practice is misinformation, as its victims, desperate to end the pain, tell interrogators whatever they want to hear. Thus Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi - who ABC News says was subjected to both the cold cell and water boarding - told his questioners that Saddam Hussein's regime had trained members of Al Qaeda in the use of biochemical weapons. This "confession" became a key part of the Bush administration's case for invading Iraq - but it was pure invention.

So why is the Bush administration so determined to torture people?

To show that it can.


The central drive of the Bush administration - more fundamental than any particular policy - has been the effort to eliminate all limits on the president's power. Torture, I believe, appeals to the president and the vice president precisely because it's a violation of both law and tradition. By making an illegal and immoral practice a key element of U.S. policy, they're asserting their right to do whatever they claim is necessary

.And many of our politicians are willing to go along. The Republican majority in the House of Representatives is poised to vote in favor of the administration's plan to, in effect, declare torture legal. Most Republican senators are equally willing to go along, although a few, to their credit, have stood with the Democrats in opposing the administration.

Mr. Bush would have us believe that the difference between him and those opposing him on this issue is that he's willing to do what's necessary to protect America, and they aren't. But the record says otherwise.

The fact is that for all his talk of being a "war president," Mr. Bush has been conspicuously unwilling to ask Americans to make sacrifices on behalf of the cause - even when, in the days after 9/11, the nation longed to be called to a higher purpose. His admirers looked at him and thought they saw Winston Churchill. But instead of offering us blood, toil, tears and sweat, he told us to go shopping and promised tax cuts.

Only now, five years after 9/11, has Mr. Bush finally found some things he wants us to sacrifice. And those things turn out to be our principles and our self-respect.

 

09/13/2006

Errors of the war on terror

By George Soros

Israel's failure to subdue Hezbollah demonstrates the many weaknesses of the war-on-terror concept. One weakness is that even if the targets are terrorists, the victims are often innocent civilians, and their suffering reinforces the terrorist cause.

In response to Hezbollah's attacks, Israel was justified in wanting to destroy the movement and to protect itself against the threat of missiles on its border. However, Israel should have taken greater care to minimize collateral damage. The civilian casualties and material damage inflicted on Lebanon inflamed Muslims and world opinion against Israel, and converted Hezbollah from aggressors to heroes of resistance. Weakening Lebanon has also made it more difficult to rein in Hezbollah.

Another weakness of the war-on-terror concept is that it relies on military action and rules out political approaches. Israel withdrew from Lebanon and then from Gaza unilaterally, rather than negotiating political settlements with the Lebanese government and the Palestinian Authority. The strengthening of Hezbollah and Hamas was a direct consequence of that approach. The war-on-terror concept stands in the way of recognizing this fact because it separates "us" from "them," and denies the fact that our actions may shape their behavior.

A third weakness is that the war-on-terror concept lumps together different political movements that use terrorist tactics. It fails to distinguish between Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaida or the Sunni insurrection and the Mahdi militia in Iraq. Yet all these terrorist manifestations are different and require different responses. Neither Hamas nor Hezbollah can be treated merely as targets in the war on terror because they have deep roots in their societies, yet profound differences exist between them.

Looking back it is easy to see where Israeli policy went wrong. When Mahmoud Abbas was elected chairman of the PA, Israel should have gone out of its way to strengthen him and his reformist team.

When Israel withdrew from Gaza, the former head of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, negotiated a six-point plan for the Middle East on behalf of the Quartet (Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations). It included opening crossings between Gaza and the West Bank, an airport and seaport in Gaza, opening the border with Egypt, and transferring the greenhouses abandoned by Israeli settlers into Arab hands. None of the six points was implemented.

This contributed to Hamas' electoral victory. The Bush administration, having pushed Israel to hold elections, then backed Israel's refusal to deal with a Hamas government. The effect has been to impose further hardship on the Palestinians.

Nevertheless, Abbas was able to forge an agreement with the political arm of Hamas for the formation of a unity government. It was to foil this agreement that the military branch of Hamas, run from Damascus, engaged in the provocation that brought a heavy-handed response from Israel - which in turn incited Hezbollah to further provocation, opening a second front. That is how extremists play off against each other to destroy any chance of political progress.

Israel has been a participant in this game and President Bush bought into this flawed policy, uncritically supporting Israel. Events have shown that this policy leads to an escalation of violence. The process has advanced to the point where Israel's unquestioned military superiority is no longer sufficient to overcome the negative consequences of its policy. Israel is now more endangered existentially than it was at the time of the Oslo Accord. Similarly, the United States has become less safe since President Bush declared war on terror.

The time has come to realize that today's policies are counterproductive. There will be no end to the vicious circle of escalating violence without a political settlement of the Palestine question. In fact, the prospects for engaging in negotiations are better now than they were a few months ago. Israelis must realize that a military deterrent is not sufficient on its own. And Arabs, having redeemed themselves on the battlefield, may be more willing to entertain a compromise.

Strong voices argue that Israel must never negotiate from a position of weakness. They are wrong. Israel's position is liable to become weaker the longer it persists on its present course. Similarly, Hezbollah, having tasted the sense but not the reality of victory (and egged on by Syria and Iran), may prove recalcitrant.

But that is where the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas comes into play. The people of Palestine yearn for peace and relief from suffering. The political - as distinct from the military - wing of Hamas must be responsive to their desires. It is not too late for Israel to encourage and to deal with an Abbas-led Palestinian unity government as the first step toward a better balanced approach. What is missing is a U.S. government that is not blinded by the war-on-terror concept.

----

Financier and philanthropist George Soros is author of "The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of the War on Terror" (Public Affairs, 2006?).Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2006. www.project-syndicate.org

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