Friday, December 29, 2006

The Rise and Fall of Saddam

The US government built him up and then tore him down. What now? We can only hope the violence doesn't spike as a result of this hasty decision to execute Saddam today. Saddam Hussein was a despicable, criminal, sadist. But to kill him now could be another tragic mistake by the blood-thirsty BushCo and almost certainly threatens the future of Iraq and its current security. This may fuel Sunni/Shiite tensions to the breaking point. Saddam was always afraid of his enemies so he "neutralized" them, a lesson learned well by his Baath Party followers and Sunnis who now see Saddam as just another Sunni "eliminated" by Americans. Its always a bad idea to corner someone, as you never know how they will react. The fat's on the fire now.

Al Jazeera reports:

6:27 MECCA TIME, 3:27 GMT

Saddam reported hanged
Saddam maintained during his trial that he was still Iraq’s rightful president [EPA]

Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president, has been hanged, according to a television station in the region.

Reports on Al Hurra, a US-backed station, said that Saddam was executed shortly before 6am (03:00 GMT) on Saturday.

The former Iraqi president, who was ousted in April 2003 by a US-led invasion, was convicted last month of crimes against humanity over the killings of 148 Shia villagers from Dujail after a failed assassination attempt in 1982.

An appeals court upheld the death penalty on Tuesday and the Iraqi government rushed through the procedures to hang him by the end of the year and before the Eid al-Adha holiday that starts on Saturday.

The government had kept details of its plans shrouded in secrecy amid concerns that it may provoke a violent backlash from his former supporters with Iraq on the brink of civil war. (more)

I'm adding to this a reprise of last night's post from Riverbend, the Iraqi woman who writes with such passion and depth. Riverbend Post, December 29. 2006 Read this. The perspective is invaluable.

And finally courtesy of Nate at Get in their Face we have the Saddam Retrospective.

Things That Make You Go "Aaahh!"

Media Matters in their year-end edition give us a review of the best of over 2,700 errors or misrepresentations they caught in the past year. Also presented are "Most Outrageous Comments of 2006", they find the American Broadcast System to be the "Misinformer of the Year" and much, much more. Media Matters are tireless watchdogs that deserve our support and a look at their hard work.

Extra added bonus: Riverbend has a new post up. She hasn't posted since before the election, living in Bagdad makes it difficult one would guess. Every post she writes is a jewel full of clarity and painful truth. If you've never read her, do it before the year is out.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The "Accidental" President

Gerald Ford and Alexander Haig took a walk in the Rosegarden of the White House in the summer of 1974. Haig told Ford that Nixon would be "willing to resign" if there was a full pardon for him on the other side. All this nonsense about "sparing the country" from the turmoil of an American President on trial for "high crimes and misdemeanors" and "ending the long national nightmare" is bullshit. This was yet another deal forged by the GOP to continue to decieve the American people and continue the Nixonian imperial power-grab for the executive branch.

After his 'installation' as president, Gerald Ford went on to not only pardon Nixon and keep the People from knowing the depth and breadth of crimes committed by the Administration, but he also covertly okayed the invasion of East Timor by the Suharto regime who then murdered up to a million Timorese. Ninety percent of the weapons and armaments used were provided by the US government. This information was supressed by the Ford administration and ignored by the mainstream media. This arming of the overtly authoritarian Suharto regime was also expressly against US law at the time. Weapons sold to others could not be used for aggressive purposes, which the hostile invasion of East Timor was and could be considered an "impeachable offense". It's also no accident that the warmongers of today's administration are the same smarmy bastards of Ford's day--Cheney and Rumsfeld.

If I have to listen to anothor white-wash of how "decent and full of integrity" Gerald Ford was, I'm gonna puke. He was just another tool in the long line of power-mad dictators-in-waiting and idiots who are undermining our Democracy. Jon Swift says this of Ford,"...what some see as Ford's decency may actually have been evidence of moral laxity."

How much of this did you know? I guessing not much because until 2002 the information was supressed under "national security" which has just become another way to say "cover your ass". I guess the people want to 'stay out of politics' because it is too painful to know the truth that our government is not a force for good but a tool for destruction and evil when in the hands of what is in most cases, the GOP. Nobody wants to know that the USA is not any different from the rest of the world and its history of tyrants. The truth hurts.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Polar Hope

Possibily nope. The Polar Bear has just been put on the endangered species list. Someone inform Dubya that global warming is real. NPR did a story on this today as did the NYT. I'm too heartbroken to post the links. Please God, let us wake up before we destroy everything beautiful.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The War Rages On

It hasn't been a "Merry Christmas" for everyone. I was just in contact with a friend who is TDY (temporary duty) deployed to Landstuhl, Germany. He is a ICU doc doing the same painful duty my husband was doing this past July/August, working to save the blown-up soldiers coming from Iraq and Afghanistan. Every rotation there has a sameness; the horrific carnage of young men with debilitating injuries trying to hold on to life with only the individual difference being ultimate outcome.

Our friend, Doc D., has been at the largest military hospital in Europe for 12 days. Landstuhl is the first stop for critical care patients. Doctor D's first days were somewhat "quiet", he had few patients and none on the way from the battle zone. A few days ago the action began to pick-up. The previous lull in patient traffic on its face seems a good thing but when viewed in the context of what have been called "ingenious tactics", "changing conditions on the ground which foment sectarian violence" by the military talking heads and the administration, then add to that the increase of ferocity and frequency of attacks on virtually everybody in Iraq, and the paucity of injured coming to Landstuhl really means one thing--they didn't make it to Germany, they died in Iraq. Every day that goes by fewer are making it out alive.

The incoming our friend sees bare all the same injuries that this illegal war has been churning out from day one: multiple amputations, severe internal injuries, massive head trauma, paralysis, and a multitude of other injuries no young person should ever have inflicted upon them. What changed for Doc D. on Christmas day
was his next three patients. He lost a young soldier with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, a double leg amputee and a young man with most of his internal organs turned into hash. Suicide rates among active duty military are up 200%* and are not included as part of the 'official' casualty count. How many more have to die before people stand up and say "Enough!"?

So while we enjoyed our big dinners, present-opening, wine and song, Our friend was unsuccessfully battling to save wasted young lives, while 140,000 other American soldiers and virtually all Iraqis continue to be at risk. A risk that according to reports, increases daily. Meanwhile, according to the commander-in-chief, we should all go shopping. It makes me wonder what the fuck has to happen in order for the American people to demand action and end the war in Iraq.

Even more heartbreaking, our soldiers no longer want to be in Iraq 'defending' who know which side in a civil war for their 3rd, 4th and 5th deployments under increasingly dangerous conditions. And that doesn't include the proposed "surge" for which there are no new troops , only re-re-re-deployments. To read the perspective of a soldier-on-the-ground, check out former CIA agent Larry Johnson's blog "No Quarter". He has a post up from a someone constantly in harm's way.

A young soldier prepares for his third tour in Iraq

* According to the Department of Defense MSMR (Medical Surviellence Monthly Report) October, 2006

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Around the World

Yahoo has som great pics form Christmas around the world. Have a look. And to all a goodnight...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays

Image courtesy of Siver Parrot studio
And goodwill toward all the world's peoples.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Image coutesy of Peace.Org

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
-Luke 2:14

"Keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and whatever good you send before for yourselves, you shall find it with Allah; surely Allah sees what you do.
-The Holy Qur'an, Al-Baqara 2.110

"If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner."
-Nelson Mandela

"Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin."
-Dwight David Eisenhower

Friday, December 22, 2006

Jingle Hands

Christmas holiday cheer for those us with hands...

H/T to Op for watching all the YouTube Jingle Bells videos so I didn't have to...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fire In The Hole

Amy Goodman is on fire this week. I don't generally (ever?) link to any single site 3 times in one week but the level of discussion, discernment and insightful truth being spoken through Democracy Now! has been exemplary. This is the best synopsis of the dynamics-created-for-war discussion I have heard.

Today Amy Goodman hosts the discussion between Scott Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector, and Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist for The New Yorker magazine. They spoke before an audience at the New York Society for Ethical Culture on the topic of "White House Plans for Regime Change in the Middle East". Compelling. If you have wanted a consise, easy to understand, spin-free lesson on neo-con political ideology but were afraid to ask, this is your chance. A+

In addition for context, Marc Lord's "Adored by Hordes" has a brilliantly consise history of Iran.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Real War

Image "To Be A Light" Courtesy of Sabin Corneliu Baraga

Late at night, most nights, I listen to podcasts of the news that mainstream media does not cover. We in the western world have come to expect to hear news of bad behavior like Mel Gibson's anti-semetic outburst or Michael Richards racial slurring instead of the real news about what is really going on in the world. Several months ago, before I started to blog, I got my news and information from what I thought was the most unbiased sources available: NPR, CBC, NYT. In fact, these media outlets are only ever-so slightly less full of bullshit than NBC,CNN and the rest of the mainstream media, print, television and radio alike. There is a pervassive sickness in the western world. A contagion so powerful it has put the whole of our population into a malaise that threatens to put us in a permanent coma. How possibly can anything that happens to Britany Spears be more important than 650,000 Iraqis dead, nearly 3000 Americans dead and the entire Middle East about to launch us into an never-ending world war? When we aren't being scared to death by our own government and the tools of deception and obfuscation of the media, we are being ginned up to fight the "global war on terror" and to hate. Hate everyone brown, hate other Americans, especially if they are brown, and never, never, get true information. Just "spin" and "fluff", oh and don't forget to shop.

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! is one of the few journalists that tries against the odds to bring the truth. Unfiltered through white house 'talking points'. Today's show features Chief correspondent for the Middle East at London's The Independent, Robert Fisk addresses the Iraq Study Report and it's "experts". Please listen to his brilliant talk and notice how it affects you to hear the truth instead of the bullshit that inundates us each and everyday from the mainstream media.

The truth shall set you free.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Minimum Rage

The new Democrats have told us that increasing the minimum wage has become their formost item to deal with in the upcoming 110th congress. I support this move with the caveat that since there is supposed to be a new "5 day work week", more than the minimum wage can be addressed. My personal druthers are that the debate needs to happen in regards to cutting the funding for the upcoming 130 billion dollar supplemental to fund this illegal, immoral "war on terror". I urge you all to make the commitment to contact your Congressperson (Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121) and Senators once a week to get this issue back on the table.

Back to the issue of minimum wage and in the spirit of cooperation, I give you a 30 second video produced by the United Way of Central Maryland. It so clearly illustrates why we need to increase the minimum wage and how truly dire the situation is for the people that continue to struggle on the measly $5.15 an hour as it now stands. Please watch the video entitled "Basic Needs".

Monday, December 18, 2006

War and Peace

Legendary historian and peace activist Howard Zinn gives an address at University of Wisconsin, Madison detailing the need for war to be viewed through the lens of history in order to understand it's horrors contextually. Moving commentary, Amy Goodman has it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Letter from a Marine

Broadway Carl has a link to the young Marine's letter that was read on Mike Malloy's show a few nights back, posted at his place. So very worth your time.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

On Commitment

I have posted this before but tonight it seemed like time to do it again.

On Commitment

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always
ineffectivness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one
elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too. All
sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. The
whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner
of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material his way. I have learned a deep
respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: ‘Whatever you can do or dream you can,
begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.’”

-from W.H. Murray, “The Scottish Himalayan Expedition”

Give 'Em a Rope

Chimpy says his lack of action on Iraq is because he's,"doing it for the soldiers". Froomkin writes it up.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How Many More?

One of the reasons I spend a fair portion of my time blogging, gathering news, writing letters to politicians and doing what I can to voice my protest to this illegal, immoral occupation/war in Iraq is because I'm married to an active duty serviceperson. My husband has a job that absolutley puts him in harm's way. In about 6 months he is nearly certain to be deployed-again. Lt. John Kerry said it succintly: "How can you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

I like most Americans, am sick to death of the death. Minstrel Boy is the member of one of the most affected groups of Americans that want this war to end, a Gold Star Family member. He has a poignant post up about a 19 year old soldier that threw himself onto a live grenade in order to save his fellow soldiers. Read it and then email or call you Senator and Congressperson. Demand that they cut the funding for this horrific action that simply puts more and more Americans in danger. Make a commitment to send an email and call once a week. For every letter or call recieved statistics say that each one represents 10,000 people that feel the same way but didn't write or call. You can be the power of one multipied by 10,000. do it and quit making excuses like "My voice won't matter". It can and it will. Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121
If you are not adequately motivated to commit to a letter writing/calling campaign in order to stop this illegal war, think about this: A post from Joseph A. Palermo at the Huffington Post. He quotes from the book by William Goodman, Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, entitled: “Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush,” (Hoboken, New Jersey: Melville House Publishing, 2006). This post, Articles of Impeachment against George W. Bush is compelling, please read it.
Joseph Palermo’s bio from HuffPo: Assistant Professor, History, CSUS. Bachelor’s degrees in sociology and anthropology from UC Santa Cruz, master’s degree in history from San Jose State University, master’s degree and doctorate in American history from Cornell University. Expertise includes political history, presidential politics, presidential war powers, social movements of the 20th century, movements of the 1960s, civil rights, and foreign policy history.

I've added 2 new 'faces' to my blogroll. Check out "Beggars Can Be Choosers" and "Island Philosophy"

H/T to Anne for the huffpo linky.

Cut it Off!

Some might think I speak of chimpy's organ and while the "Lorena Bobbit" approach has a certain appeal, what I really mean is funding for the war.

Nancy Pelosi (my congressperson, BTW) has said "cutting off the funding for Iraq is off the table." Apparently, impeachment is off the table as well. So, do tell Nancy, what is on the table? Did you not get the memo? The American people want our troops OUT NOW. We already know that chimpy doesn't care what the people want, what about you Nancy? Do you care what the people want?

Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) says the Democrats have only one way to end the war: vote against the $130 billion Iraq war supplemental spending bill that will be on the House floor in the spring. I couldn't agree more. There is reserve that will fund the troops for the next six months and that is enough time to get them out.

Know how much a 130 billion is? Just for some perspective, here's a bit of trivia:

“What is a billion??? The next time you hear a politician use the word “billion” in a casual manner, think about whether you want the “politicians” spending your tax money. A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

Now mutipy that by 130 and tell me how you feel. The comments are open.

H/T to Meta for the trivial pursuit.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Weblog Awards

The "Bloggies" are here and I'm voting. You can vote early and often, well once daily, in each catagory until December 15th. There are 45 catagories this year I have recommedations for 7 of them. The Weblog Awards page is easy to navigate and if nothing else this is a great opportunity to check out blogs you've never read before. Here is my list:

Best Blog: Huffington Post
Best New Blog: Konagod
Best Humor Blog: Jon Swift
Best of the Top 250: Feministe
Best Liberal Blog: Pandagon
Best Media Blog: Raw Story
Best Video Blog: Crooks and Liars

Monday, December 11, 2006

Double Reverse

I think Uncle Jim Baker must have played football in college. The ISG (Iraqi Study Group) report is a good example of the 1 fake 15 weak double reverse football play. Not wanting to bore my readers with football strategy, this play is exactly what it sounds like, fake left and then double back to make the pass. Not to mention all the irony of the double entendre.

Not many in the MSM or blogosphere seems all that up in arms about the "recommendations" for Iraq oil policy as contained in the ISGR, but I am. I wrote on this topic Thursday., While upset but somewhat gratifyed that buried in the report(page 83), are the recommendations, that in a nutshell, Iraqi oil should be privatized and that an Americans should be the facilitators of the policy. The study was supposed to be about how to get us out of Iraq. The suggested exit timeline is first quarter of 2008, basically just enough time to ensure the "oil policy" is enacted. Talk Left has a good conversation about it in an open thread, give it a peek.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Little Boy Bush

Oliphant's take on the bastard son:Add this to Barbara's bubble:"So many of the people in Iraq were under-free anyway. This is working out quite well for them."

Hat Tip to Lotus for the link

The Truth Comes Out

The Iraq Study Group report has finally said something useful--the truth.

Not the 79 recommodations for how deal with the situation on the ground, most of which are what Democrats have been saying for the past year and more ( Barbara Lee (D-CA) has made some of these suggestions from day one). And not what common sense dictates. Buried in the this head-fake CYA, with almost no media reportage or scrutiny is the real reason we went to Iraq--The Oil.

I hadn’t heard this part of the head fake recommendations: Iraq’s national oil supply should be privatized as a commercial enterprise, turning it over to private, foreign, oil companies, all revenues should be centralized through the national government with an American advisor “to ensure a new oil policy is written and passed into Iraqi law”.


I’ve been wondering when the truth would come out. WE WENT THERE FOR THE OIL.

Anyone hear this yet?? Amy Goodman has the story.

Read it for yourself, "The Oil Sector" begins on page 83 of this piece of shit report. Iraq Study Group Report

Guts and Glory-Not

With the "head fake study group" report now out, I look to another entry by guest poster Anne. I love her voice.

So, what we have here is a president who does not have a clue - not one fucking clue - about what to do, because “stay the course” isn’t working. He can’t just let things ride and wait for the victory, because victory isn’t going to happen. He thought all he needed was a goal - a democratic Iraq - and a military force, and we could all just sit back, stroll the malls spending money, and wait for the magic (we’ll forget for the moment that democracy had little to do with why we went to Iraq, but gosh, people just hate being reminded that there were no WMD).

He’s got this Head Fake Group, a bunch of oldies but moldies from his dad’s tenure in the White House, but they’re not being much help - they aren’t actually going to tell him what to do, they are just going to present him with ideas. Ideas are useless because they require him to make a move in one direction or another, and he’s paralyzed with fear.

He can’t bring himself to do anything that anyone with (D) after his or her name has suggested, because after years of likening us Democrats to terrorists, or terrorist-lovers, or people who only know how to cut and run, or who only know how to lose, how can he actually espouse a Democratic idea? Well, he could just take the idea and claim it was his own - they’ve done it before, but too many people know that all Bush has is a sack full of bumper stickers and they will know this time that he’s full of carp.

My guess is that he doesn’t really want to do anything, he’s tired of Iraq, it’s no fun anymore and someone is going to play on his boredom and we may end up sending missiles into Iran if we aren’t careful. Hey, look - over there - missiles in Iran!

Honestly, if the man had any balls, he and Dr. Evil and the rest of the cabal would resign en masse, and turn this over to people who might actually set themselves to the task of moving forward to get us the hell out of this quagmire. They could take all the rubber-stampers with them.

No balls, no guts, no glory.


A little extra added audio here from the Randi Rhodes Show. This is her interview with Dr. Justin Frank who wrote the book, "Bush on the Couch". He analyzes Chimpy's dysfunction and discusses why Poppy Bush broke down on the floor of the Florida House on Wednesday. A whole show is a good listen but the interview starts at 55:45.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Penny For Your Thoughts

I love the "person-on-the-street" interviews. They have a spontaeneous quality that allows comparison of ideas with others outside your personal sphere of influence. These interviews are from the SF Gate. They asked people if they had any new ideas about what to do in Iraq. If nothing else their answers are creative and thoughtful. Read it here. And please toss your .02 cents into the comment section.
[Hat Tip to Meta for the link]

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Deep End

The president has been "off the deep end" for quite a while. When calling him by his diminutives like "Jr." and "little shrub" or my personal favorite "Chimpy", they are merely euphemisms for what I'd really like to call him: that bat-shit crazy- bastard-that-thinks-he-is-king and 2nd most dangerous person in the world.

Truth is whether you like George Bush or not he has a serious problem with reality.

NYT's Frank Rich has great article up about 'how very' this madman is:
"When news organizations, politicians and bloggers had their own civil war about the proper usage of that designation last week, it was highly instructive — but about America, not Iraq. The intensity of the squabble showed the corrosive effect the president’s subversion of language has had on our larger culture. Iraq arguably passed beyond civil war months ago into what might more accurately be termed ethnic cleansing or chaos. That we were fighting over “civil war” at this late date was a reminder that wittingly or not, we have all taken to following Mr. Bush’s lead in retreating from English as we once knew it.

It’s been a familiar pattern for the news media, politicians and the public alike in the Bush era. It took us far too long to acknowledge that the “abuses” at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere might be more accurately called torture. And that the “manipulation” of prewar intelligence might be more accurately called lying. Next up is “pullback,” the Iraq Study Group’s reported euphemism to stave off the word “retreat” (if not retreat itself)."
Read the entire post here. [h/t to RF for the link]

Friday, December 01, 2006

Failed States

Think things are going well for us in the good 'ole US of A? The Fund for Peace has a new study out. The United States is now considered by a number of measurable standards to be a "failed state". Interesting. Helluva a job Chimpy. Editor and Publisher writes about this pressing issue. And of course you have papa bear sticking up for his boy-tyrant.

More on Failed States, so to speak: There was quite a brouhaha over at firedoglake the last couple of days. In many ways it was hugely disappointing to see the 'management' over there get so defensive in so many ways. The good thing is I have found a number of good, new (to me) sites at which to read. I've put them on my blogroll and I recommend giving them a looky-see. If you're interested in the dust-up at fdl (which I no longer link to), I'm linking to some sites to start your reading. Disclaimer:There are in excess of 900 comments between the various sites, it was a 'discussion' I found valuable, but I did have a headache by the time I was finished. Here is a good place to start, "Feministe". Now appearing on my blogroll. Also a trip to Tom Watson's place where the debate began is a must-read. For the "former commenters" of FDL, Eli over at Multi-Medium has a downright Homecoming for all fdl neer-do-wells. Donna from The Silence of Our Friends has done a killer round-up of all the dirt and links-to-dirt blogosphere-wide regarding the swamped lake. Brevity being the soul of lingerie and all, commenter King of Pants over at Tom's summed up the brouhaha best: "The lameness of the joke is directly proportional to the amount of effort one needs to defend it."And I cannot close without including Neddie's Proclamation:

You wanna know how to be a fucking revolutionary, Pachacutec?
How about this: The most revolutionary act you can perform in this fell, death-infected year 2006 is to act like a goddamned adult.