Monday, May 31, 2004
Why Chimp_junta will HANG BY THE NECK UNTIL DEAD
Washinton Post Confirms BUSH IS THE MOST GRANDIOSE LIAR IN THE HISTORY OF POLITICS!
Mon May 31, 2:49 AM ET
By Dana Milbank and Jim VandeHei, Washington Post Staff Writers
It was a typical week in the life of the Bush reelection machine.
Last Monday in Little Rock, Vice President Cheney said Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry "has questioned whether the war on terror is really a war at all" and said the senator from Massachusetts "promised to repeal most of the Bush tax cuts within his first 100 days in office."
On Tuesday, President Bush (news - web sites)'s campaign began airing an ad saying Kerry would scrap wiretaps that are needed to hunt terrorists.
The same day, the Bush campaign charged in a memo sent to reporters and through surrogates that Kerry wants to raise the gasoline tax by 50 cents.
On Wednesday and Thursday, as Kerry campaigned in Seattle, he was greeted by another Bush ad alleging that Kerry now opposes education changes that he supported in 2001.
The charges were all tough, serious -- and wrong, or at least highly misleading. Kerry did not question the war on terrorism, has proposed repealing tax cuts only for those earning more than $200,000, supports wiretaps, has not endorsed a 50-cent gasoline tax increase in 10 years, and continues to support the education changes, albeit with modifications.
Scholars and political strategists say the ferocious Bush assault on Kerry this spring has been extraordinary, both for the volume of attacks and for the liberties the president and his campaign have taken with the facts. Though stretching the truth is hardly new in a political campaign, they say the volume of negative charges is unprecedented -- both in speeches and in advertising.
Three-quarters of the ads aired by Bush's campaign have been attacks on Kerry. Bush so far has aired 49,050 negative ads in the top 100 markets, or 75 percent of his advertising. Kerry has run 13,336 negative ads -- or 27 percent of his total. The figures were compiled by The Washington Post using data from the Campaign Media Analysis Group of the top 100 U.S. markets. Both campaigns said the figures are accurate.
The assault on Kerry is multi-tiered: It involves television ads, news releases, Web sites and e-mail, and statements by Bush spokesmen and surrogates -- all coordinated to drive home the message that Kerry has equivocated and "flip-flopped" on Iraq (news - web sites), support for the military, taxes, education and other matters.
"There is more attack now on the Bush side against Kerry than you've historically had in the general-election period against either candidate," said University of Pennsylvania professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson, an authority on political communication. "This is a very high level of attack, particularly for an incumbent."
Brown University professor Darrell West, author of a book on political advertising, said Bush's level of negative advertising is already higher than the levels reached in the 2000, 1996 and 1992 campaigns. And because campaigns typically become more negative as the election nears, "I'm anticipating it's going to be the most negative campaign ever," eclipsing 1988, West said. "If you compare the early stage of campaigns, virtually none of the early ads were negative, even in '88."
In terms of the magnitude of the distortions, those who study political discourse say Bush's are no worse than those that have been done since, as Stanford University professor Shanto Iyengar put it, "the beginning of time."
Kerry, too, has made his own misleading statements and exaggerations. For example, he said in a speech last week about Iraq: "They have gone it alone when they should have assembled a whole team." That is not true. There are about 25,000 allied troops from several nations, particularly Britain, in Iraq. Likewise, Kerry said several times last week that Bush has spent $80 million on negative and misleading ads -- a significant overstatement. Kerry also suggested several times last week that Bush opposed increasing spending on several homeland defense programs; in fact, Bush has proposed big increases in homeland security but opposed some Democratic attempts to increase spending even more in some areas. Kerry's rhetoric at rallies is also often much harsher and more personal than Bush's.
But Bush has outdone Kerry in the number of untruths, in part because Bush has leveled so many specific charges (and Kerry has such a lengthy voting record), but also because Kerry has learned from the troubles caused by Al Gore (news - web sites)'s misstatements in 2000. "The balance of misleading claims tips to Bush," Jamieson said, "in part because the Kerry team has been more careful."
Attacks Get Early Start
The attacks have started unusually early -- even considering the accelerated primary calendar -- in part because Bush was responding to a slew of attacks on his record during the Democratic primaries, in which the rivals criticized him more than one another. And because the Bush campaign has spent an unprecedented sum on advertising at this early stage of the campaign, "the average voter is getting a much more negative impression," said Ken Goldstein, who tracks political advertising at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
From the president and Cheney down to media aides stationed in every battleground state and volunteers who dress up like Flipper the flip-flopping dolphin at rallies, the Bush campaign relentlessly portrays Kerry as elitist, untrustworthy, liberal and a flip-flopper on major issues. This campaign is persistent and methodical, and it often revs up on Monday mornings with the strategically timed release of ads or damaging attacks on Kerry, including questioning medical and service records in Vietnam and his involvement in the peace movement afterward. Often, they knock Kerry off message and force him to deflect personal questions.
Sometimes the charges ring true. Last week, Kerry told NBC: "I'm for the Patriot Act, but I'm not for the Patriot Act the way they abuse the Constitution." That brought to mind Kerry's much-mocked contention in March on Iraq spending: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
But often they distort Kerry's record and words to undermine the candidate or reinforce negative perceptions of him.
One constant theme of the Bush campaign is that Kerry is "playing politics" with Iraq, terrorism and national security. Earlier this month, Bush-Cheney Chairman Marc Racicot told reporters in a conference call that Kerry suggested in a speech that 150,000 U.S. troops are "universally responsible" for the misdeeds of a few soldiers at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison -- a statement the candidate never made. In that one call, Racicot made at least three variations of this claim and the campaign cut off a reporter who challenged him on it.
In early March, Bush charged that Kerry had proposed a $1.5 billion cut in the intelligence budget that would "gut the intelligence services." Kerry did propose such a cut in 1995, but it amounted to about 1 percent of the overall intelligence budget and was smaller than the $3.8 billion cut the Republican-led Congress approved for the same program Kerry was targeting.
The campaign ads, which are most scrutinized, have produced a torrent of misstatements. On March 11, the Bush team released a spot saying that in his first 100 days in office Kerry would "raise taxes by at least $900 billion." Kerry has said no such thing; the number was developed by the Bush campaign's calculations of Kerry's proposals.
On March 30, the Bush team released an ad noting that Kerry "supported a 50-cent-a-gallon gas tax" and saying, "If Kerry's tax increase were law, the average family would pay $657 more a year." But Kerry opposes an increase in the gasoline tax. The ad is based on a 10-year-old newspaper quotation of Kerry but implies that the proposal is current.
Other Bush claims, though misleading, are rooted in facts. For example, Cheney's claim in almost every speech that Kerry "has voted some 350 times for higher taxes" includes any vote in which Kerry voted to leave taxes unchanged or supported a smaller tax cut than some favored.
Stretching the Truth
Incumbent presidents often prefer to run on their records in office, juxtaposing upbeat messages with negative shots at their opponents, as Bill Clinton (news - web sites) did in 1996.
Scott Reed, who ran Robert J. Dole's presidential campaign that year, said the Bush campaign has little choice but to deliver a constant stream of such negative charges. With low poll numbers and a volatile situation in Iraq, Bush has more hope of tarnishing Kerry's image than promoting his own.
"The Bush campaign is faced with the hard, true fact that they have to keep their boot on his neck and define him on their terms," Reed said. That might risk alienating some moderate voters or depressing turnout, "but they don't have a choice," he said.
The strategy was in full operation last week, beginning Monday in Arkansas. "Senator Kerry," Cheney said, "has questioned whether the war on terror is really a war at all. He said, quote, 'I don't want to use that terminology.' In his view, opposing terrorism is far less of a military operation and more of a law enforcement operation."
But Kerry did not say what Cheney attributes to him. The quote Cheney used came from a March interview with the New York Times, in which Kerry used the phrase "war on terror." When he said "I don't want to use that terminology," he was discussing the "economic transformation" of the Middle East -- not the war on terrorism.
On Tuesday, the Bush campaign held a conference call to discuss its new ad, which charged that Kerry was "pressured by fellow liberals" to oppose wiretaps, subpoena powers and surveillance in the USA Patriot Act. "Kerry would now repeal the Patriot Act's use of these tools against terrorists," the ad said.
Kerry has proposed modifying those provisions by mandating tougher judicial controls over wiretaps and subpoenas, but not repealing them. In the conference call, Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman was prodded to offer evidence that Kerry was pressured by liberals or that Kerry opposed wiretaps. He offered no direct evidence, saying only that Kerry objected to the Patriot Act after liberals did, and that "a common-sense reading indicates he intends to repeal those important tools."
Meanwhile, Kerry was greeted in Oregon and Washington state with television ads paid for by the Bush campaign that underscore what ad analysts call the negativity and misleading nature of many of the Bush TV spots. One titled "Doublespeak" pulls quotes from several major newspapers to argue that Kerry has waffled on major issues and has often said one thing and done another. The quotes, however, are often from editorials, sometimes from opinion pages hostile toward Kerry, such as that of the Wall Street Journal.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, as Kerry talked about rising gasoline prices, the Bush campaign recycled its charge that Kerry supports raising the gasoline tax by 50 cents per gallon. This was done in a memo to reporters and through Bush surrogates such as Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R-Wash.). The Bush-Cheney Web site also features a "Kerry Gas Tax Calculator," allowing users to learn "How much more would he cost you?"
In Thursday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Tracey Schmitt, regional spokeswoman for Bush-Cheney '04, echoed the point: "John Kerry (news - web sites) helped block the bill in the Senate and is now inserting himself into the debate in a blatant display of political opportunism. Senator Kerry supported higher gas taxes at least 11 times, including a 50-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax," Schmitt said.
On Thursday, after Kerry delivered a major foreign policy address, the Bush campaign dispatched Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to make this statement to the Green Bay Press-Gazette in his home state: "John Kerry has a history of making proposals and casting votes that would decrease America's safety." Kerry was campaigning in Green Bay on Thursday and Friday.
It is true Kerry has voted numerous times to eliminate weapons systems and opposed the 1991 Iraq war. But Cheney voted against many of those same weapons systems, and Kerry has voted for several defense increases, especially in recent years.
At Bush campaign headquarters on Thursday, Mehlman held a conference call with Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and George Allen (R-Va.) to level similar charges. "For John Kerry, the war in Iraq and the overall war on terror are a political game of Twister," Mehlman said.
Mehlman also drew reporters' attention to a new feature on the Bush Web site, allowing visitors to "Track Kerry's Shifting Positions on Iraq." That feature joined a Web log that points out negative coverage of Kerry, a feature called "John Kerry: The Raw Deal," "The Kerry Line," "Kerry Flip Flop of the Day," and "Journeys with John," a Kerry itinerary allowing people to see why "John Kerry is wrong for your state."
On Wednesday, a Bush memo charged that Kerry "led the fight against creating the Department of Homeland Security." While Kerry did vote against the Bush version multiple times, it is not true that he led the fight, but rather was one of several Democrats who held out for different labor agreements as part of its creation. Left unsaid is that, in the final vote, Kerry supported the department -- which Bush initially opposed.
Staff writer Howard Kurtz contributed to this report.
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Controversial New Book Promises Expose of Bush Crime Family Empire
WP Op Ed Demands Bush Resignations--or A New President
By William A. Whitlow
Sunday, May 30, 2004; Page B07
As the war in Iraq drags on, conservative citizens, mostly Republican, face a growing dilemma in the November election.
In the face of growing evidence that the president was deceived and misguided about the cause and urgency for waging war on Saddam Hussein, it is time for those responsible to stand forth and accept accountability. True, the president is ultimately responsible for the actions of his vice president, his Cabinet and the executive departments. But it has become clear that the counsel the president received from the vice president, secretary of defense, deputy secretary of defense and senior uniformed leadership was severely flawed and uncorroborated. Whether the president was intentionally misled by neoconservatives or whether their advice was a result of pure incompetence remains to be seen. The fact is that he was misled sufficiently to require him to take bold action to restore his diminished credibility.
The supposedly urgent need to attack Iraq was based partly on inflated, creative intelligence information, some of which originated with Ahmed Chalabi, an associate of the vice president and deputy secretary of defense. The information from Chalabi led the vice president and defense secretary to believe that war with Iraq would be a "cakewalk" and U.S. forces would be received with open arms. This belief resulted in a fatal flaw in developing a complete war strategy. A principal tenet of forming a strategy -- have a "war termination" phase -- was neglected. Although the tactical and operational phases of the war were conducted flawlessly by superior field commanders, the absence of a complete strategy has needlessly cost lives.
Our service members are the ultimate victims of this incomplete strategy, misguided policy and false intelligence. It is inconceivable and derelict not to have a viable war termination strategy for an operation as complex as a major theater war. America's citizens and our service members deserve far better for their sacrifices. This combination of things -- misleading the president with false intelligence and omitting a principal element from our war strategy -- is reason enough to seek change in the vice presidency and senior defense leadership, civilian and military.
It is our patriotic duty to speak out when egregiously flawed policies and strategies needlessly cost American lives. It is time for the president to ask those responsible for the flawed Iraqi policy -- civilian and military -- to resign from public service. Absent such a change in the current administration, many of us will be forced to choose a presidential candidate whose domestic policies we may not like but who understands firsthand the effects of flawed policies and incompetent military strategies and who fully comprehends the price.
The writer is a retired major general in the Marine Corps. He served as director of the expeditionary warfare division in the office of the deputy chief of naval operations.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: To Tell the Truth
But now those people hear about a president who won't tell a straight story about why he took us to war in Iraq or how that war is going, who can't admit to and learn from mistakes, and who won't hold himself or anyone else accountable. What happened?
Saturday, May 29, 2004
AssKrak: Liar Bastard SonofaBitch Fraud And a 'Mark' for Con Artists
Some Weekend Reading For the Strong at Heart
PATRIOT ACT II - WHAT MAKES BUSH REGIME VERY DANGEROUS TO ALL AMERICANS!
BUSH REGIME SECRET ATTACK ON SOCIAL SECURITY http://slate.msn.com/id/2096337
BUSH REGIME ATTACKS DEMOCRACY http://www.counterpunch.org/floyd03102004.html
TERRORIST BUSH REGIME SANCTIONS YASSIN MURDERhttp://www.counterpunch.org/cook03272004.html
THE MASTERS OF TERRORhttp://www.mastersofterror.net
AMERICA BETRAYED BY THE MASTERS OF TERROR
PENTAGON PLAN TO PROVOKE TERRORISTS ATTACKS
LYING MURDERING TERRORIST BUSH REGIME RAPISTS
LYING MURDERING PENTAGON TERRORISTS DROVE U.S. TO NEEDLESS WAR! THESE PEOPLE ARE TRAITORS!
U.S. GOVERNMENT TERRORISTS ATTACKING AMERICANS
THE BUSH CRIME FAMILY http://www.prisonplanet.com/analysis_lavello_041403_bush.html
TERRORIST ALLIANCE - BUSH FAMILY AND BIN LADIN http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/conspiracytheories/saudi.html
GHW BUSH IN BUSINESS WITH BIN LADEN FAMILY http://judicialwatch.org/press_release.asp?pr_id=1624
AL-QAEDA ARE THE Bush's GREATEST ALLY http://www.prisonplanet.com/112103greatestally.html
TOTAL POLICE STATE TAKEOVER!
Secret Patriot Act II Destroys What Is Left of American Liberty! http://www.infowars.com/print_patriotact2_analysis.htm
Thursday, May 27, 2004
TomPaine.com - Bush Needs a Twelve-Step Program
"The central issue at hand is the president's credibility. After two years of spin, dissembling and outright lies about Iraq's great and gathering arsenal of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and Saddam Hussein's ties to Al Qaeda, the Bush crowd abruptly changed their rationale for going to war there. No longer had we risked lives and treasure to displace an imminent threat to national security. Instead, it ends up, we had cast Saddam Hussein into the dustbin of history in service of a breathtaking mission to spread democracy in the Middle East and beyond. This was supposed to have collateral security benefits, as the flowering of democracy eventually undermined support for Al Qaeda and other global terror groups, at some indeterminate date in the future."
From the Editors: The Times and Iraq --An Amazing Vindication of Anti-War Sentiment in America
(Please take a minute to clik that link and read this mea culpa from The New York Times)
Ted Rall: BUSH YOUTH?
(In which the author muses over the mystery of vanishing younger voters...perhaps spirited away by unidentified flying objects? Or, boredom with the Dem's apparent choice?)
Al Gore's Speech: The Text
"It is therefore essential that even as we focus on the fateful choice, the voters must make this November that we simultaneously search for ways to sharply reduce the extraordinary danger that we face with the current leadership team in place. It is for that reason that I am calling today for Republicans as well as Democrats to join me in asking for the immediate resignations of those immediately below George Bush and Dick Cheney who are most responsible for creating the catastrophe that we are facing in Iraq.
We desperately need a national security team with at least minimal competence because the current team is making things worse with each passing day. They are endangering the lives of our soldiers, and sharply increasing the danger faced by American citizens everywhere in the world, including here at home. They are enraging hundreds of millions of people and embittering an entire generation of anti-Americans whose rage is already near the boiling point.
We simply cannot afford to further increase the risk to our country with more blunders by this team. Donald Rumsfeld, as the chief architect of the war plan, should resign today. His deputies Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and his intelligence chief Stephen Cambone should also resign. The nation is especially at risk every single day that Rumsfeld remains as Secretary of Defense.
Condoleeza Rice, who has badly mishandled the coordination of national security policy, should also resign immediately."
~!John Kerry, Wait Until You Are Inaugurated To Articulate Iraq Policy!~
"In his emphasis on national security and foreign policy issues over the next several days, Kerry is not expected to engage in detailed policy disputes over Iraq with Bush. Instead, he and Democratic allies seem more inclined to argue that only a new president could change the international atmosphere enough to generate significant help from other nations in Iraq.
For Democrats, that approach has the advantage of focusing the Iraq debate on Bush's performance rather than Kerry's proposals. Former Vice President Al Gore, in a New York City speech Wednesday, praised Kerry for resisting pressure to tie himself down on Iraq.
"Kerry should not tie his own hands by offering overly specific, detailed proposals concerning a situation that is rapidly changing … but rather should preserve his, and our country's, options," Gore said."
Guerrilla News Network: Ritter's War (MUST READ!!)
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
C-SPAN--AL GORE CALLS FOR BUSH RESIGNATIONS
"he has created more anger and righteous indignation against us as Americans than anyone else in the entire 224 years of our existance as a nation...because of his attitude of contempt for anyone or any nation who disagrees with him."
The Honorable Al Gore describing the despicable W. Bush.
Chimp_junta Foreign Policy Blunder #999999
By Anne Penketh and Justin Huggler in Baghdad
27 May 2004
The Bush administration was accused yesterday of undermining the work of the UN envoy attempting to put together an interim Iraqi government, by suggesting that a respected nuclear scientist was tipped to be prime minister.
The spokesman for Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN envoy in Baghdad, reacted with fury after US officials were quoted as saying that Hussain Shahristani had emerged as the leading candidate. Mr Shahristani, a Shia, spent almost a decade in prison under Saddam Hussein after refusing to build a nuclear weapon, but he escaped into exile in 1991.
"There is no final list yet, we are still working on it," said the spokesman, Ahmad Fawzi, who denied that Mr Shahristani was the leading contender for the post. "Now his life could be in danger," he added, now that Mr Shahristani's name had been leaked. "This is a dangerous city." In New York, a UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said the report in yesterday's Washington Post was "pure speculation which is not helpful to the process".
Mr Brahimi is working against the clock to announce a government of 30 people by next Monday, with the delicate task of striking a viable balance among all the Iraqi factions. "He is getting into the endgame of this, but a number of names are still in play for the top jobs," said an official. While the lower level positions have been agreed, Mr Brahimi's private consultations have intensified as he attempts to nail down Iraqi approval for the positions of president, prime minister, and two vice-presidents.
UN and British officials dismissed suggestions that the Americans had a sinister motive in putting out Mr Shahristani's name, and said that the information was simply out of date. Asked whether the Americans might have been trying to "bounce" Mr Shahristani into the post, a senior British official replied that "it was just a leak".
Mr Shahristani, who had the support of the British Government as he had worked as a visiting professor in Britain, was apparently in the frame for the position of prime minister. But his candidacy ran into difficulties when Mr Brahimi held further consultations with a range of Iraqis, including the influential Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini Sistani. The formation of the Iraqi government is a crucial step towards the adoption of a UN resolution which is to officially end the occupation of Iraq, transfer political sovereignty to the Iraqis and map out the future towards an elected government.
The Anglo-American resolution was presented to the UN Security Council on Monday, but ran into immediate difficulties from France, Germany and Russia which are insisting on "real sovereignty" for the Iraqi interim government which is to take power on 1 July.
Among other contenders for the top posts is Adnan Pachachi, a Sunni who served as foreign minister in the 1960s and who is being touted as a possible president. Ibrahim Jaaferi, a potential vice-president, and Mr Pachachi are two of the only members of the current US-appointed Governing Council to command the respect of ordinary Iraqis.
Dr Jaaferi is one of the leaders of the Dawa party, a Shia faction that was opposed to Baathist rule and banned under the Saddam regime. Unusually, the Shia Dr Jaaferi is respected by Sunnis. Some Sunnis even said yesterday that if there were an election, they would vote for him.
By contrast, the name suggested to fill the other of the two vice-presidencies, Jalal Talabani, is one that will not please Iraq's Arabs, both Sunni and Shia. Mr Talabani's past, leading a Kurdish rebellion against Arab rule, and the fact that he was seen as close to Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, would make him a particularly unpopular choice. He is one of the two Kurdish leaders who control the Kurdish north of Iraq.
Spain Had Doubts Before U.S. Held Lawyer in Madrid Blasts
Nauseating Lying Pigboy Limbaugh Continues to Call Abu Ghraib Torture a Frat Prank
Lying, Sadistic General, The Butcher Of Falluja--KIMMITT--Strikes Again
(Everytime there is vicious torture or slaughter of innocents, expect to see the name of the Butcher of Falluja, ***Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq.***
"Miller never had a conversation with Colonel Pappas regarding the use of military dogs for interrogation purposes in Iraq. Further, military dogs were never used in interrogations at Guantanamo," Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq, told the Post."
This sadistic motherfrke is the point man for any bloody carnage in Iraq or Gitmo. He likes it. He gets a woody everytime a baby screams. He uses dried women's parts as change purses.
The only good to come of all this is when this bastard stretches a rope.
Chimp_junta: Big Brother Rears His Ugly, Facist Head--and it is ASSCRAK & Patriot Act
"Since new security laws were introduced following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, information-gathering has crept into the most basic transactions of American life. Mortgage brokers want applicants' home addresses — for the last 10 years. American Airlines recently became the third airline, after Northwest and JetBlue, to acknowledge giving the personal records of millions of passengers to the government.
But other unprecedented information demands are unrelated to the national security drive. Earlier this year, for example, the Justice Department unsuccessfully attempted to subpoena abortion records from hospitals and Planned Parenthood offices, ostensibly to scrutinize enforcement of late-term abortion laws, saying consumers no longer had a "reasonable expectation" of medical record confidentiality."
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Mr. President, What Planet Are You On?, by Ivan Eland
"Yet instead of taking advantage of the Iraqi prisoner scandal to show the door to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld—the incompetent architect of the administration’s Iraq policy—the president went out of his way to show support for his embattled security chieftain. The only strategy that the administration seems to have is to churn out more propaganda about how well things are going. Just last week, the president continued to indulge in the fantasy of a democratic Iraq leading to a democratic Middle East: “An Iraqi democracy is emerging… In time, Iraq will be a free and democratic nation at the heart of the Middle East. This will send a message—a powerful message—from Damascus to Tehran: that democracy can bring hope to lives in every culture.” Unfortunately, the message sent to Syria, Iran, and other “rogue” states by the failed U.S. occupation of Iraq, is that they could be successful fighting a guerilla war against the United States.
The president is somehow deluded that a fake turnover of power to a puppet interim government—to replace the widely discredited U.S.-picked Governing Council—will take the fire out of the guerrilla insurgency. Bush retains that vain hope despite his administration’s attempt to low-ball expectations by having senior officials warn that violence could spike after the turn over of “sovereignty” on June 30.
The violence is likely to get worse despite the administration’s pretense of turning over Iraq to the Iraqis, and throwing more U.S. forces into a quagmire already unpopular at home would be a sure election loser. What’s an administration to do?"
An Eye On Power
"Freedom and freedom of the press were birth twins of the revolution. They grew up together, and neither has fared well without the other. At times, journalism has risen to great occasions and even made other freedoms possible. From editors who went defiantly to prison after being charged under the sedition act for circulating opinions that questioned the motives of Congress, or 'criminating' (whatever that meant) the president, to the willingness of Arthur Sulzberger and Katherine Graham to risk criminal prosecution under espionage laws if they printed the Pentagon Papers; from Lincoln Steffens and Ida Tarbell and Upton Sinclair taking on the shame of the cities, the crimes of the trusts, and the treason of the senate, to Walter Cronkite devoting an entire broadcast to Watergate; from Seymour Hersh reporting on torture to 60 Minutes II broadcasting the horror of Abu Ghraib, the greatest moments in journalism have come not when journalists made common cause with power, but when they stood fearlessly independent of it."
Chimp_junta: How They Supported the RAPE of America and Paid American Treasure to a Spy
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
George W. Bush is running for a second term on the basis of his performance in the defense of our national security. Vice President Cheney has flatly stated that if Bush loses in 2004, the terrorists win. In truth, however, the national security of the United States of America has been raped by these people. 'Rape' is a strong word, but in truth, is not strong enough to describe what has taken place. This disaster can be summed up in one name: Ahmad Chalabi.
Chalabi was the head of the Iraqi National Congress, a dissident group organized for the purpose of overthrowing the regime of Saddam Hussein. Chalabi was a beloved ally of Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney before they came to power with this administration; Chalabi and his group were the impetus behind the passage of the Iraqi Liberation Act in 1998, legislation advocated loudly by Rumsfeld, Cheney and the neo-conservatives who now occupy this government.
Rumsfeld personally groomed Chalabi to take control of Iraq once Hussein was removed. This, despite the fact that Chalabi was convicted of 32 counts of bank fraud in Jordan and sentenced in absentia to 22 years in prison, despite the fact that Chalabi had not set foot in Iraq since he was a teenager, despite the fact that he had no power base and no credibility in the Middle East. Because the neo-cons loved him, however, Chalabi saw his opening. More than anything, he lusted after the oil revenues available from an Iraq he controlled.
Flash forward to January 2001. George W. Bush and his crew took office, and within a week of the inauguration, began planning for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. These plans were kicked into high gear after the attacks of September 11. Bush, grudgingly, agreed to attack Afghanistan and dismantle that Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold. Iraq, however, was large in the minds of Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz and the other architects of our current condition. By September of 2002, Afghanistan was left aside - another failed 'Mission Accomplished' - and Iraq was the new focus.
The attacks of September 11 made Ahmad Chalabi. The Bush administration had already decided to attack Iraq, and then began casting about for evidence to support the decision which had already been made. Don Rumsfeld organized a secretive group within the Defense Department called the Office of Special Plans, the purpose of which was to cherry-pick intelligence reports that made Iraq appear to be an imminent threat. Representatives of the OSP - including Vice President Cheney, Cheney deputy Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and former Speaker Newt Gingrich - visited CIA headquarters on several occasions to browbeat the analysts into "toughening up" their analyses of the Iraqi threat.
More than any single person, Ahmad Chalabi was the source for the 'intelligence' on the Iraqi threat that was offered to the American people. Chalabi was the man who claimed Iraq was in possession of vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. He was able to broadband this lie by becoming the trusted source for New York Times journalist Judith Miller. Miller wrote article after article about the WMD threat posed by Iraq, based on the false data provided by Chalabi. The rest of the news media piggy-backed on the reputation of the Times and re-reported Miller's WMD information across the news spectrum, turning Chalabi's false data into axiomatic truth in the eyes of the American public. It was a masterful stroke.
Chalabi was the man who claimed Hussein enjoyed deep operational connections with Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda terror network. This allegation, along with the claims of weapons of mass destruction, created the 'imminent threat' aura which greased the skids towards invasion. Like the WMD claims, no proof of the al Qaeda allegations could be established.
Finally, Chalabi was the man who told Rumsfeld and the rest of the crew that an invasion and occupation of Iraq would be a cakewalk, that the people of Iraq would welcome us with flowers and joy. 802 dead American soldiers later, thousands of wounded American soldiers later, at least ten thousand dead Iraqis later, uncounted billions of dollars later, we have come to see exactly how wrong this claim was. Bush, Rumsfeld and the rest believed him implicitly in every aspect, because he was telling them what they wanted to hear.
Rumsfeld, the OSP and the neo-cons in general did not have much use throughout all this for the American intelligence community. The CIA, for one, refused to deliver the clear-cut evidence of an Iraqi threat needed to justify the already-made decision to invade. Because Rumsfeld and the rest had Chalabi in hand, they happily cut the CIA and the rest of the American intelligence community completely out of the loop. This actually became funny last summer, when the Bush administration went out of its way to blame the CIA for the fact that no weapons of mass destruction or al Qaeda connections could be found in Iraq.
Now, we come to discover that Chalabi, beloved by the Bush administration, was in fact serving the national security interests of Iran. For the record, Iran does have operational relationships with international terrorism, and does have a robust program for the development of weapons of mass destruction.
The CIA is in possession today of "rock-solid" evidence that Ahmad Chalabi is an agent of the Iranian government, that he used his position with the Bush administration to push false data upon the gullible hawks in Washington. According to a report by Julian Borger in the UK Guardian, "The CIA has hard evidence that Mr. Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib, passed US secrets to Tehran, and that Mr Habib has been a paid Iranian agent for several years, involved in passing intelligence in both directions."
"The implications," writes Borger, "are far-reaching. Mr. Chalabi and Mr. Habib were the channels for much of the intelligence on Iraqi weapons on which Washington built its case for war. 'It's pretty clear that Iranians had us for breakfast, lunch and dinner,' said an intelligence source in Washington yesterday. 'Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the US for several years through Chalabi.' Larry Johnson, a former senior counter-terrorist official at the state department, said: 'When the story ultimately comes out we'll see that Iran has run one of the most masterful intelligence operations in history. They persuaded the US and Britain to dispose of its greatest enemy.'"
Iran's motives are crystal clear. Iraq has been a mortal enemy of Iran for decades. The process engineered by Chalabi has destroyed that enemy, and opened the way to a Shia-controlled Iraq that would be a natural ally of Shia-controlled Iran. In the process, Iran has come into possession of national security secrets so important that only a select few American officials were cleared for them. As a side benefit, Iran has watched the United States flail like a beached whale in Iraq, squandering billions of dollars and thousands of lives while shattering its reputation around the world.
George W. Bush and his people delivered this boon to Iran on a silver platter.
Let us recap:
The Bush administration, enamored of Chalabi, threw the American intelligence services under the bus, leaving us blind, deaf and dumb;
The Bush administration barnstormed us into a catastrophic war in Iraq on the word of Chalabi, giving Osama bin Laden the kind of rallying point he had previously only fantasized about;
Because the Bush administration trusted Chalabi so completely, he was able to give our national security secrets to Iran, while simultaneously feeding Bush's people disinformation about Iraq, which they were all too ready to hear and act upon;
Because Chalabi was working for Iran, and because he has coughed up the deep national security secrets he gained via access provided by the Bush administration, there are more than 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq whose lives are in far greater danger than anyone previously imagined;
The Bush administration paid Chalabi $340,000 a month to do this, over and above whatever he earned from Iranian intelligence for selling us down the river.
The damage all this has done is incalculable.
The hawks will try to put all the blame for this on Ahmad Chalabi alone, and will claim they were "duped." The truth, however, is that Bush's people have been courting Chalabi for years, long before they became a part of this administration. He is their creature. The truth is that Bush's people wanted this Iraq war, and were willing to do whatever was necessary to get it. Chalabi was their vehicle, and in using him, they have betrayed us all.
The truth is that George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the neo-conservatives are personally responsible for the delivery of our most precious national security secrets into the hands of Iran, a nation that has believed itself to be at war with us since the Carter administration. The method of that delivery, this Iraq invasion and occupation, has made the entire world a more dangerous place by orders of magnitude. Thousands are dead, and more will certainly die, because of this.
There is no repackaged 'Five-Point Plan' this administration can offer, no series of campaign speeches, which can salvage this situation. Bush and his people have lost the 'war,' they have lost the 'peace,' they have disgraced us throughout the world, and they have dim-witted their way through all of this for the benefit of Iran. This is the most damaging breach of national security in generations.
'Rape' is a strong word, but is all too appropriate for what has taken place here.
Chimp_junta Complains Bush War Overshadows Bush Job (less) successes--But It's All Bush-World Malarky
Monday, May 24, 2004
Ted Rall: FIRE THE WAR PIMPS
Our Troops Say:
Special Message to elChimpo for his "speech" Tonight!
Posted by Hello
Are You Scared Yet? Really Scared?
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Britain: Father of Nick Berg supports march against Iraq occupation
Iraqis May Win Karbala, But Our Great Generals Have Leveled it To Stone Age And Killed Everyone!! Victory For Democracy!
By James Conachy
24 May 2004
After three weeks of destructive fighting, the US military claims to have re-taken control of the city of Karbala from the Iraqi resistance fighters being led by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. American tanks and armoured vehicles rolled through the centre of the city on Friday and Saturday nights, close to the holy Shiite shrines of Iman Hussein and Iman Abbas, without coming under attack. US-controlled Iraqi police are reported to be once again carrying out patrols.
The conduct of the American military in Karbala has received virtually no attention in the international media. The US assault has left entire streets of the old city around the shrines in ruin. Agence France Presse (AFP) reported on Saturday: “Buildings are gutted, walls blown off and businesses reduced to towering piles of rubble, with twisted wires sticking out of the wreckage... destroyed and burnt-out vehicles littered the ground, as upset residents stumbled across fallen electricity cables.” Much of the Mukhaiyam mosque has been damaged. Bullets and shrapnel have scarred hundreds of houses.
Karbala has effectively been held to ransom by the US military—with the implicit threat that unless Sadr’s militia ceased their resistance the Shiite shrines inevitably would be damaged by the shells and machine-gun fire being unleashed all around them. On Friday morning, a school and other buildings directly behind the Hussein shrine, where Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia allegedly had their headquarters, were shelled by tanks and strafed by an AC-130 gunship. Al Jazeera reported that at least nine civilians were killed. An American officer described the area to the south of the shrine as “complete, total destruction”.
There are new accusations from Karbala that US troops are deliberately trying to kill journalists and cameramen documenting their actions. Rashid Hamid Wali, a 44-year-old Al Jazeera camera crew member, was shot dead on Friday morning on the fourth floor of a hotel as American tanks rumbled past. The network is demanding an investigation. On May 14, American tanks shelled the roof of the Thulfiqar Hotel, where a number of journalists were working.
US forces launched an offensive to retake Karbala at the beginning of May. Iraqi fighters, armed only with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades, have been pitted against armoured vehicles, helicopter and fixed-wing gunships and US infantry with full body armour and state-of-the-art night vision equipment. The US military claims to have killed at least 120 of Sadr’s militiamen, at the cost of four American dead and 52 wounded. There is no reliable estimate for the number of civilians who have been killed or injured. Thousands of people are known to have fled the city.
US troops entering Karbala on the weekend found no signs of the hundreds of Iraqi militiamen who held the city from early April until last week. According to a New York Times correspondent, members of the Mahdi Army could been seen on Thursday and Friday packing their weapons into bags and leaving defensive positions they had been holding around the shrines. The Times reported that residents of the city told US troops on Sunday morning that “busloads of fighters from Fallujah” had also left Karbala on Friday, concluding that they did not have the necessary weapons to fight against American tanks.
The field commander of the US troops in the area, Colonel Peter Mansoor, told journalists: “It looks like they just packed up and went home.”
The circumstances leading to the withdrawal by the Iraqi resistance are not entirely clear. The leading Shiite cleric, Ali al-Sistani, has made repeated appeals for Sadr’s militiamen to leave Karbala and Najaf in order to ensure the Shia shrines are not damaged.
A spokesman for al-Sadr, however, claimed that the pullout was the outcome of negotiations with the US military, which had agreed to withdraw from the city centre if the militiamen did the same. The American command denied that any truce or deal existed. But on Friday morning US troops were ordered to retreat to the outskirts of Karbala from the central positions they had taken around the Mukhaiyam mosque. The pause in combat provided the opportunity for the Iraqi fighters to leave.
Whether the result of negotiations or not, the ability of hundreds of Iraqi insurgents to simply melt into the population to fight another day underscores the tremendous military difficulties confronting the US occupation forces. They are fighting an uprising that is able to draw upon the support of most Iraqis and sustain an indefinite guerilla war. While American spokesmen have declared that the fighters in Karbala did not have the sympathy of the city’s population, there have been no reports of residents assisting the US military to identify either Shiite militiamen or the Sunni fighters who joined the defence of the city.
The focus of US military operations is now shifting to Najaf and the nearby city of Kufa—the last areas under the control of Sadr’s uprising. Many of the Iraqi fighters from Karbala are expected to make their way to Najaf to reinforce al-Sadr and the thousands of militiamen who are entrenched around the Shrine of Iman Ali—the most revered Shiite religious site.
On Friday, US troops captured Mohammed Tabtabai, a leading aide of al-Sadr while he was traveling between Najaf and the nearby city of Kufa. It appears likely the US believed the vehicles were carrying al-Sadr himself. He had spoken just hours earlier to a defiant audience of 1,500 militiamen at the main Kufa mosque, telling them “don’t let my killing or arrest be an excuse to end what you’re doing, supporting the truth and standing up to the wrong”.
On Sunday, US troops and an Iraqi unit stormed the Sahla mosque in Kufa. A tank was used to smash down the gates to the mosque. While the US military claimed to have killed 20 militiamen in the operation, the main hospital in Najaf told Reuters it had received 14 bodies and 37 wounded, who were mainly non-combatants.
Other fighting raged on Sunday in the massive Shiite cemetery on the edge of Najaf, which militiamen have been using to launch mortar strikes on American positions. US forces are now closing in on the centre of the city.
The prospect of a US assault on Najaf is unleashing tremendous passions across Iraq and the Middle East. The working class Shiite suburbs of Baghdad, Sadr’s main base of support, are in a state of high tension and could erupt again at any time.
A Shiite demonstration was held on Friday in Bahrain—a US client-state and the main American naval base in the Persian Gulf. More than 20 people were injured in clashes when police attempted to disperse the rally. Highlighting the explosive situation, the king of Bahrain sacked his interior minister for ordering the police attack and issued a statement declaring he shared “the anger of our people over the oppression and aggression taking place in Palestine and in the holy shrines”.
In Lebanon, up to 300,000 people took part in a demonstration on Friday in Beirut called by the Shiite Hizbollah movement “in defence of the religious holy Shiite shrines in Karbala and Najaf against the US-led occupying forces in Iraq”. Tens of thousands of Lebanese Shiites wore white funeral shrouds and carried portraits of al-Sadr. Thousands of Palestinians also marched, denouncing the Israeli military atrocities in Gaza.
Hezbollah secretary-general Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah told the mass rally: “The Iraqis can decide when, how and where to fight for the liberation of their country. However, when it comes to Najaf and Karbala, we consider ourselves directly involved. In wearing our death shrouds, we show the enemies our readiness to fight and die in defence of the holy shrines and sites.”
Saudi Envoy brings us the news: Chimp_Junta's Iraq War Was About OIL!!! OMG!! NOOOOOOOO
Sunday, May 23, 2004
World Class War Criminals, Chimp_Junta, Think They Should Be Exempt From War Crimes Tribunals!
Fallujah alone would kill every one of them.)
If They Made Rumsfeld Rub Shit In His Own Mouth, Would It Be Abuse or "Torture?"-- Regarding the Torture of Others
The Bush administration and its defenders have chiefly sought to limit a public-relations disaster -- the dissemination of the photographs -- rather than deal with the complex crimes of leadership and of policy revealed by the pictures. There was, first of all, the displacement of the reality onto the photographs themselves. The administration's initial response was to say that the president was shocked and disgusted by the photographs -- as if the fault or horror lay in the images, not in what they depict. There was also the avoidance of the word ''torture.'' The prisoners had possibly been the objects of ''abuse,'' eventually of ''humiliation'' -- that was the most to be admitted. ''My impression is that what has been charged thus far is abuse, which I believe technically is different from torture,'' Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said at a press conference. ''And therefore I'm not going to address the 'torture' word.''
(Rumsfeld, you fucking war criminal. We can only hope you HANG for your crimes. But is HANGING a torture? Probably not. It only lasts a half hour or so.)
Americans Watching Their Fragile Democracy's Death-Throes, Wake Up--To Topple Chimp_junta?
General Zinni Charges Entire Neo-Con Nut Case Gang with Fucking Up Iraq--and America
The New York Times >Mo Dowd:: Bay of Goats
"And now we're shocked, shocked and awed to discover that a crook is a crook and we have nobody to turn over Iraq to, and the Jordanian embezzler-turned-American puppet-turned-accused Iranian spy is trying to foment even more anger against us and the U.N. officials we've crawled back to for help, anger that may lead to civil war."
Saturday, May 22, 2004
Chimp_junta Sticks Its Oily Dick In Many Iraqi Women. Literally.
Most of the coverage of abuse at Abu Ghraib has focused on male detainees. But what of the five women held in the jail, and the scores elsewhere in Iraq? Luke Harding reports
Chimp_junta's Dogs of War Turned Loose On Abu Ghraib Whistle Blower
A witness who told ABCNEWS he believed the military was covering up the extent of abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison was today stripped of his security clearance and told he may face prosecution because his comments were "not in the national interest."
Sgt. Samuel Provance said in addition to his revoked security clearance, he was transferred to a different platoon, and his record was officially "flagged," meaning he cannot be promoted or given any awards or honors.
Provance said he was told he will face administrative action for failing to report what he knew at the time and for failing to take steps to stop the abuse.
"I see it as an effort to intimidate Sgt. Provance and any other soldier whose conscience is bothering him, and who wants to come forward and tell what really happened at Abu Ghraib," said his attorney Scott Horton.
Provance Alleges Cover-Up
A key witness in the military investigation into prisoner mistreatment at Abu Ghraib, Provance told ABCNEWS earlier this week that dozens of soldiers, in addition to the seven military police reservists who have been charged, were involved in the abuse at the prison, and he said there is an effort under way in the Army to hide it.
"There's definitely a cover-up," Provance said. "People are either telling themselves or being told to be quiet."
Provance, 30, was part of the 302nd Military Intelligence Battalion stationed at Abu Ghraib last September. He spoke to ABCNEWS despite orders from his commanders not to.
"What I was surprised at was the silence," said Provance. "The collective silence by so many people that had to be involved, that had to have seen something or heard something."
Provance, now stationed in Germany, ran the top-secret computer network used by military intelligence at the prison.
He said that while he did not see the actual abuse take place, the interrogators with whom he worked freely admitted they directed the MPs' rough treatment of prisoners.
"Anything [the MPs] were to do legally or otherwise, they were to take those commands from the interrogators," he said.
Top military officials have claimed the abuse seen in the photos at Abu Ghraib was limited to a few MPs, but Provance says the sexual humiliation of prisoners began as a technique ordered by the interrogators from military intelligence.
"One interrogator told me about how commonly the detainees were stripped naked, and in some occasions, wearing women's underwear," Provance said. "If it's your job to strip people naked, yell at them, scream at them, humiliate them, it's not going to be too hard to move from that to another level."
According to Provance, some of the physical abuse that took place at Abu Ghraib included U.S. soldiers "striking [prisoners] on the neck area somewhere and the person being knocked out. Then [the soldier] would go to the next detainee, who would be very fearful and voicing their fear, and the MP would calm him down and say, 'We're not going to do that. It's OK. Everything's fine,' and then do the exact same thing to him."
Provance also described an incident when two drunken interrogators took a female Iraqi prisoner from her cell in the middle of the night and stripped her naked to the waist. The men were later restrained by another MP.
Pentagon Sanctions Investigation
Maj. Gen. George Fay, the Army's deputy chief of staff for intelligence, was assigned by the Pentagon to investigate the role of military intelligence in the abuse at the Iraq prison.
Fay started his probe on April 23, but Provance said when Fay interviewed him, the general seemed interested only in the military police, not the interrogators, and seemed to discourage him from testifying.
Provance said Fay threatened to take action against him for failing to report what he saw sooner, and the sergeant said he feared he would be ostracized for speaking out.
"I feel like I'm being punished for being honest," Provance told ABCNEWS on Tuesday. "You know, it was almost as if I actually felt if all my statements were shredded and I said, like most everybody else, 'I didn't hear anything, I didn't see anything. I don't know what you're talking about,' then my life would be just fine right now."
In response, Army officials said it is "routine procedure to advise military personnel under investigative review" not to comment. The officials said, however, that Fay and the military were committed to an honest, in-depth investigation of what happened at the prison.
But Provance believes many involved may not be as forthcoming with information.
"I would say many people are probably hiding and wishing to God that this storm passes without them having to be investigated [or] personally looked at," he said.
Friday, May 21, 2004
Al Jazeera Suffers Another Murder In Iraq: "Unhelpful in a fundamental way" (War Criminal Donald Rumsfeld Describing Al Jazeera)
Chimp_junta Denies Entrance to Hear the Chimp Talk to a Veteran of FW
(I don't understand why anyone would go to a chimp talk. I vomit when I hear him on TV. But these people had tickets and were abruptly sized up as not being big enough fans of the moron-prince! Read it and weep, America)
Murderous Chimp_junta Props Up Lies In Iraqi Marriage Massacre--And BG Mark Kimmitts is The Butcher Once Again. What Is it With This Bastard???
Survivors describe wedding massacre as generals refuse to apologise
Rory McCarthy in Ramadi
Friday May 21, 2004
The wedding feast was finished and the women had just led the young bride and groom away to their marriage tent for the night when Haleema Shihab heard the first sounds of the fighter jets screeching through the sky above.
It was 10.30pm in the remote village of Mukaradeeb by the Syrian border and the guests hurried back to their homes as the party ended. As sister-in-law of the groom, Mrs Shihab, 30, was to sleep with her husband and children in the house of the wedding party, the Rakat family villa. She was one of the few in the house who survived the night.
"The bombing started at 3am," she said yesterday from her bed in the emergency ward at Ramadi general hospital, 60 miles west of Baghdad. "We went out of the house and the American soldiers started to shoot us. They were shooting low on the ground and targeting us one by one," she said. She ran with her youngest child in her arms and her two young boys, Ali and Hamza, close behind. As she crossed the fields a shell exploded close to her, fracturing her legs and knocking her to the ground.
She lay there and a second round hit her on the right arm. By then her two boys lay dead. "I left them because they were dead," she said. One, she saw, had been decapitated by a shell.
"I fell into the mud and an American soldier came and kicked me. I pretended to be dead so he wouldn't kill me. My youngest child was alive next to me."
Mrs Shibab's description, backed by other witnesses, of an attack on a sleeping village is at odds with the American claim that they came under fire while targeting a suspected foreign fighter safe house.
She described how in the hours before dawn she watched as American troops destroyed the Rakat villa and the house next door, reducing the buildings to rubble.
Another relative carried Mrs Shihab and her surviving child to hospital. There she was told her husband Mohammed, the eldest of the Rakat sons, had also died.
As Mrs Shihab spoke she gestured with hands still daubed red-brown with the henna the women had used to decorate themselves for the wedding. Alongside her in the ward yesterday were three badly injured girls from the Rakat family: Khalood Mohammed, aged just a year and struggling for breath, Moaza Rakat, 12, and Iqbal Rakat, 15, whose right foot doctors had already amputated.
By the time the sun rose on Wednesday over the Rakat family house, the raid had claimed 42 lives, according to Hamdi Noor al-Alusi, manager of the al-Qaim general hospital, the nearest to the village.
Among the dead were 27 members of the extended Rakat family, their wedding guests and even the band of musicians hired to play at the ceremony, among them Hussein al-Ali from Ramadi, one of the most popular singers in western Iraq.
Dr Alusi said 11 of the dead were women and 14 were children. "I want to know why the Americans targeted this small village," he said by telephone. "These people are my patients. I know each one of them. What has caused this disaster?"
Despite the compelling testimony of Mrs Shihab, Dr Alusi and other wedding guests, the US military, faced with appar ent evidence of yet another scandal in Iraq, offered an inexplicably different account of the operation.
The military admitted there had been a raid on the village at 3am on Wednesday but said it had targeted a "suspected foreign fighter safe house".
"During the operation, coalition forces came under hostile fire and close air support was provided," it said in a statement. Soldiers at the scene then recovered weapons, Iraqi dinar and Syrian pounds (worth approximately £800), foreign passports and a "Satcom radio", presumably a satellite telephone.
"We took ground fire and we returned fire," said Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, (also despised as the fucking BUTCHER OF FALLUJAH) deputy director of operations for the US military in Iraq. "We estimate that around 40 were killed. But we operated within our rules of engagement."
Major General James Mattis, commander of the 1st Marine Division, was scathing of those who suggested a wedding party had been hit. "How many people go to the middle of the desert ... to hold a wedding 80 miles (130km) from the nearest civilisation? These were more than two dozen military-age males. Let's not be naive."
When reporters asked him about footage on Arabic television of a child's body being lowered into a grave, he replied: "I have not seen the pictures but bad things happen in wars. I don't have to apologise for the conduct of my men."
The celebration at Mukaradeeb was to be one of the biggest events of the year for a small village of just 25 houses. Haji Rakat, the father, had finally arranged a long-negotiated tribal union that would bring together two halves of one large extended family, the Rakats and the Sabahs.
Haji Rakat's second son, Ashad, would marry Rutba, a cousin from the Sabahs. In a second ceremony one of Ashad's female cousins, Sharifa, would marry a young Sabah boy, Munawar.
A large canvas awning had been set up in the garden of the Rakat villa to host the party. A band of musicians was called in, led by Hamid Abdullah, who runs the Music of Arts recording studio in Ramadi, the nearest major town.
He brought his friend Hussein al-Ali, a popular Iraqi singer who performs on Ramadi's own television channel. A handful of other musicians including the singer's brother Mohaned, played the drums and the keyboards.
The ceremonies began on Tuesday morning and stretched through until the late evening. "We were happy because of the wedding. People were dancing and making speeches," said Ma'athi Nawaf, 55, one of the neighbours.
Late in the evening the guests heard the sound of jets overhead. Then in the distance they saw the headlights of what appeared to be a military convoy heading their way across the desert.
The party ended at around 10.30pm and the neighbours left for their homes. At 3am the bombing began. "The first thing they bombed was the tent for the ceremony," said Mr Nawaf. "We saw the family running out of the house. The bombs were falling, destroying the whole area."
Armoured military vehicles then drove into the village, firing machine guns and supported by attack helicopters. "They started to shoot at the house and the people outside the house," he said.
Before dawn two large Chinook helicopters descended and offloaded dozens of troops. They appeared to set explosives in the Rakat house and the building next door and minutes later, just after the Chinooks left again, they exploded into rubble.
"I saw something that nobody ever saw in this world," said Mr Nawaf. "There were children's bodies cut into pieces, women cut into pieces, men cut into pieces."
Among the dead was his daughter Fatima Ma'athi, 25, and her two young boys, Raad, four, and Raed, six. "I found Raad dead in her arms. The other boy was lying beside her. I found only his head," he said. His sister Simoya, the wife of Haji Rakat, was also killed with her two daughters. "The Americans call these people foreign fighters. It is a lie. I just want one piece of evidence of what they are saying."
Remarkably among the survivors were the two married couples, who had been staying in tents away from the main house, and Haji Rakat himself, an elderly man who had gone to bed early in a nearby house.
From the mosques of Ramadi volunteers had been called to dig at the graveyard of the tribe, on the southern outskirts of the city.
There lay 27 graves: mounds of dirt each marked with a single square of crudely cut marble, a name scribbled in black paint. Some gave more than one name, and one, belonging to a woman Hamda Suleman, the briefest of explanations: "The American bombing."
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Yet more photos of US brutality published
Chimp_mafia Roughs Up Chalabi in a Gangland Style Hit over Territory
By James Conachy
21 May 2004
Tuesday’s memorial ceremony for Izzedin Salim, the assassinated president of the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council (ICG), was symbolic of the state of affairs in Iraq. The representatives of the occupation—whether American, coalition, UN or Iraqi—are viewed with such hostility and are so fearful of the Iraqi people that the ceremony could only take place before a carefully vetted audience inside the heavily fortified Green Zone compound in the centre of Baghdad.
There has been little public mourning for Salim. His willingness to work with the US and serve on the ICG made him a traitor in most Iraqi eyes.
Nevertheless, Salim’s death is a further blow to the Bush administration’s plans to install an unelected interim government in Baghdad on June 30, and portray it, in Iraq, the US and internationally, as the restoration of sovereignty to a legitimate Iraqi government. The assassination at the front gate of the Green Zone—just weeks before UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is scheduled to nominate the government’s composition—has reinforced the sense that the US occupation is confronting disaster.
The White House’s propaganda effort last year sought to ennoble its predatory seizure of an oil-rich and strategic country by calling it “Operation Iraqi Freedom”. The predictable reality has been determined opposition within Iraq to a colonial invader, and increasingly murderous efforts by the US military to crush the resistance. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed or maimed; cities and holy sites have been bombarded; and young men have been seized off the streets and tortured.
The repression has both broadened and hardened the resistance, leading to the eruption last month of a popular uprising behind Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, and the defiant Iraqi defence of the city of Fallujah. Any Iraqis who choose to provide political support to the US do so in the knowledge that they are placing themselves at odds with the mass of the population, over 80 percent of whom report in opinion polls that they want the American and allied troops out.
Former ICG human rights minister Adb al-Bassit Turki, who resigned his post in protest over the Abu Ghraib torture revelations, articulated the feelings that now exist toward the occupation, even among those who were initially prepared to work with it. Speaking to the German newspaper Der Speigel, Turki declared: “I also resigned because the Americans have indiscriminately attacked Iraqi cities with helicopters and aircraft, because they have behaved inhumanely during house searches, because they have stolen and taken away the dignity of human beings. It became clear to me that the Americans were not interested in resolving problems peacefully. Instead, they were truly obsessed with using military force to deal with all kinds of difficulties.”
US troops, Turki warned, “can only remain if asked to by the Iraqi people. Otherwise they should definitely leave”.
An expression of broader sentiment is to be found in the May 7 entry into the “Baghdad Burning” web blog (http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/). The author, a 24-year-old woman living in Baghdad, wrote: “I sometimes get emails asking me to propose solutions or make suggestions. Fine. Today’s lesson: don’t rape, don’t torture, don’t kill and get out while you can—while it still looks like you have a choice... Chaos? Civil war? Bloodshed? We’ll take our chances—just take your puppets, your tanks, your smart weapons, your dumb politicians, your lies, your empty promises, your rapists, your sadistic torturers and go.”
In an article commenting on the perception the US is failing in Iraq, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday: “Iraqis close to the negotiations by UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi are now warning that credible politicians or technocrats may not be willing to accept jobs in the interim Iraqi government. ‘Anyone in his right mind would say what you’re giving me is an impossible task and a no-win situation,’ said an Iraqi adviser to a member of the Iraqi Governing Council.”
Ignoring the mounting opposition, the Bush administration has used Salim’s death to announce it is pushing ahead with its agenda regardless. Bush told journalists on Wednesday: “I anticipate in the next couple of weeks, decisions will be made toward who will be the president and the vice president, as well as the prime minister and other ministers.” According to Bush, the US intends to put a resolution before the UN Security Council that “will embrace the interim government”—i.e. give it a figleaf of international legitimacy—and recognise “the need to provide security”—i.e. sanction the protracted presence of US troops in Iraq.
A powerless government
Thirteen months after an invasion carried out in the name of bringing “liberation” and “democracy,” the Bush administration has dropped the pretence of forming an Iraqi government that reflects, in even the most limited way, the will of the Iraqi people. US officials will hold direct authority over all the key institutions—state finances, the armed forces and media and communications.
The interim government’s character was spelt out in an article in the May 13 Wall Street Journal. Headlined “Behind the scenes, US tightens grip on Iraq’s future,” the piece outlined the steps taken to ensure that the Iraqi government “will have little control over its armed forces, lack the ability to make or change laws and be unable to make major decisions within specific ministries without tacit US approval”.
In March, Paul Bremer, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), issued a law that placed “operational control” of the Iraqi military under the US command in Iraq. Iraqi troops are under the orders, not of an Iraqi government, but the Pentagon.
A media and telecommunications commission appointed by Bremer will have immense powers over the media, including the power to “shut down news agencies”. In a sign of the contempt with which the Bush administration views the Iraqis who are working for it, the ICG minister of communications, Haider al-Abadi, was not informed that a body had been created to remove most of his ministry’s authority. “No-one from the US even found time to call,” he told the Journal.
A Board of Supreme Audit—also appointed by Bremer—will have representatives in every Iraqi ministry, with powers to monitor all contracts and expenditure. The US-installed members of the board will have a five-year term of office and cannot be removed except by a two-thirds vote in an elected Iraqi parliament—when one exists. US “advisors” will remain in every ministry, reporting to a virtual parallel government operating out of the American embassy in Baghdad, which, with over 3,000 staff, will be the largest in the world.
In a transparent statement of who really rules—“sovereign” Iraqi government or not—the US had decided to locate its embassy in the former palace of Saddam Hussein, the most prominent official building in Baghdad and widely viewed among Iraqis as the seat of state authority.
Six weeks before an interim government is to be formed, no-one in Iraq even knows who is likely to sit in it. Its composition is being decided in secretive negotiations between US officials and the UN’s Brahimi. This is the “freedom” that tens of thousands lives have been lost or ruined for—naked American imperialist domination over a long oppressed, but oil-rich, country in the Middle East.
Self-delusion and reality
The evolution of the Bush administration’s plans for an Iraqi puppet state shows how the reality of mass opposition has continually disrupted the self-delusion within the American establishment that the Iraqi people would submit to colonial rule.
The initial calculation was that the Iraqi population, after decades of dictatorship and more than 20 years of war and economic deprivation, would accept whatever Washington dictated. The post of Iraqi president was intended for one of the pro-US Iraqi exiles, such as Ahmad Chalabi. Defence department officials confidently predicted 60,000 troops would be sufficient to control Iraq within a matter of months.
After the “shock and awe” invasion, the UN resolution of May 22, 2003, gave indefinite control over every aspect of Iraqi society, including its oil and energy revenues, to the US-controlled CPA—with the only stipulation being a review in 12 months.
By the beginning of June 2003, the euphoria in Washington had evaporated. It was apparent that a guerilla war was well-entrenched against the occupation and that the Iraqi exiles, particularly Chalabi, had little or no social base in the country. Instead of the US military reducing its troop numbers, it was extending demoralised soldiers’ tours-of-duty and carrying out major raids on rebellious cities in the predominantly Sunni Muslim areas of central Iraq.
The escalating fighting led directly to the unexpected formation of the ICG in mid-July. The original proposal to give the occupation an “Iraqi face” involved convening a national congress of Iraqi dignitaries to elect its representatives. Under conditions where the US could not be completely certain who would be chosen, the congress plan was scrapped, and Bremer simply hand-picked the ICG’s 25 members. The ICG would act as a “consultative body” to the CPA until mid-2004, when the possibility of holding elections would be considered.
The formation of the ICG did nothing to bring any substantial layer of the Iraqi population behind the occupation. The Council was universally viewed as little more than a collection of American puppets.
By November 2003, one year out from the US presidential elections, the debacle in Iraq had plunged the Bush administration into a major crisis. The guerilla resistance was killing or wounding more and more American and allied soldiers. Fuelled by resentment over unemployment, social conditions and the martial law conditions of the US occupation, the first signs of a Shiite uprising were evident in clashes between occupation forces and al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia in the working class suburbs of Baghdad. Within the US, recriminations against the White House were increasing. The head of the Iraq Survey Group, David Kay, had bluntly reported to the US congress in October that no weapons of mass destruction had been found.
Bremer was recalled for emergency talks in Washington and a new plan was unveiled. The CPA would convene “caucuses” in Iraq’s 18 provinces, attended by representatives vetted by the US military, and they would elect an “interim government” to take office on June 30, 2004. The ICG would draft an interim constitution. In the months leading up to the US elections, Bush could portray the constitution and government as the realisation of “democracy” in Iraq.
Accompanying the new political plan was another massive escalation in the military violence against the Iraqi people, aimed at breaking the back of the resistance in the Sunni regions of the country. Cities such as Fallujah, Samarra, Baqubah, Thuluya and Balad were raided repeatedly, with thousands of men dragged off to detention camps.
Once again, however, the US attempts to present as “democratic” a government formed through brutal repression without any participation by the Iraqi people only provoked greater opposition. In January, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shiites took part in demonstrations called by the leading Shia cleric Ali al-Sistani to demand elections. Sadr threatened that the Mahdi Army would join the armed resistance if the US plans were not changed.
Confronted with the prospect of a Shiite rebellion, the decision was made, as the New York Times put it in November 2003, to “throw the hot potato” of forming an Iraqi government into the UN’s lap. The caucus plan was quietly abandoned and the Bush administration requested that Brahimi investigate other means of selecting an interim regime.
During February, Brahimi toured Iraq to try to convince Sistani and other sections of the Shiite elite that elections were not possible and that a “sovereign” government would have to be subordinate to the US military. The UN proposed that, instead of caucuses, the ICG—regarded by most Iraqis as nothing more than a US front—be enlarged from 25 members to 200.
The cynical and anti-democratic political maneuvers with the UN began to collapse immediately. Most Iraqis rejected as illegitimate the interim constitution adopted by the Governing Council on March 8, which was largely drawn up by Bremer, and enshrined US control over Iraq. The Shia religious establishment, adapting to the popular sentiment, began preparing mass demonstrations to demand its revision.
The US again answered the growing opposition with an escalation in repression. Plans were drawn up for a crackdown on al-Sadr and a murderous assault on Fallujah, to make it an example of what would happen to any other centre of resistance. These were put into motion at the end of March, with the banning of Sadr’s newspaper and incursions by marines into Fallujah.
The recklessness of the American calculations is demonstrated by the outcome of the latest US military offensive. More than 150 Americans were killed and 1,100 were wounded in April alone, as Baghdad and the Shiite south of Iraq erupted to defend al-Sadr, and the people of Fallujah fought marines to a standstill in the city’s outer suburbs. The bulk of the US-recruited Iraqi army, civil defense troops and police either deserted to join the uprising or refused to fight.
Two leading figures in the ICG, including the leader of the Marsh Arabs, resigned in protest over the mass US killing of civilians. Sistani and other “moderate” Shiites have been compelled to distance themselves from the US and UN plans for an interim government. The US actions produced recriminations even from Ahmad Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress (INC), the closest stooges of the US occupation—no doubt the underlying reason for the raid on his home and the INC headquarters yesterday.
Ultimately, the mass dimensions of the resistance forced the US marines to make a humiliating backdown in Fallujah, leaving the city under the control of the resistance fighters. Sadr is now the most popular figure among Iraqi Shiites and continues to defy the occupation from the holy Shia shrines in the city of Najaf.
Amid the debacle, Bush has announced he will outline the details of an interim government during a speech in Pennsylvania on Monday. Brahimi has been in Iraq since May 13 to line up the individuals who will serve in it. Exactly to whom he is talking is unclear. Every justification for the American colonial project in Iraq has been utterly discredited and every Iraqi political figure with a meaningful base of support is opposed to a regime handpicked by the US and UN. Only the most venal and corrupt elements of the Iraqi elite would agree to take part.
No government of this kind, predicated on an ongoing American military presence in Iraq and US control over Iraq’s economy, will ever be accepted by the Iraqi people. Far from undermining support for the armed resistance sweeping Iraq, the US military now expects the installation of the US puppet state to fuel it. The commanding US general in the country, John Abizaid, told a congressional hearing on Wednesday that the “situation will become more violent” after the June 30 handover “because it will remain unclear what’s going to happen”. “It’s possible that we might need more forces,” he said.
The invasion of Iraq is a shameful chapter in American history. It can be ended only by a movement of the American and international working class fighting for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of US and allied forces, reparations to the Iraqi people and the prosecution of the Bush administration for its war crimes.
(Let's play 'connect the dots,' shall we? Chalabi wanted to be crowned the Prince of Iraq. After all, he was the pick of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the mininons of the war crimes brigade in the American White House, right?
But the war criminals wanted Izzedin Salim to be the Prince, so did Chalabi blow his rival up at the gates of the palace? After which the war criminals roughed up Chalabi's little $300,000 a month (rent paid by US!) villa?
All we know is they are thugs and war criminals and Bush-mafioso fighting for territory.
Al Capone rolls over in his grave. And hopes Chimp_junta dies of syphillis as he did.)
Everytime You Look The Other Way The US Military Commits Another Condoned Atrocity
By Peter Symonds
21 May 2004
In another example of callous indifference for Iraqi lives, the US military strafed the small village of Mukaradeeb in the early hours of Wednesday morning, killing at least 40 men, women and children who were part of a local wedding party. Official US denials, which eyewitnesses and local officials have rejected as fabrications, have further fuelled anti-American anger in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.
The US attack, which involved Special Forces troops backed by helicopter gunships and warplanes, took place at around 2.45am. The hamlet is a collection of less than a dozen houses in a remote area of western Iraq just 10 kilometres from the Syrian border. Iraqi eyewitnesses confirm the fact that a wedding had been underway, with a band hired from Baghdad providing the music.
An article in the Scotsman reported: “People who said they were guests said the wedding party was in full swing—with dinner just finished and the band playing tribal Arab music—when US fighters roared overhead and US vehicles started shining their highbeams. Worried, the hosts ended the party, men stayed in the wedding tent and women and children went into the house nearby, the witnesses said. About five hours later, the first shell hit the tent. Panicked, women and children ran out of the house, they said.”
The village was devastated. In television footage shown on the Al Arabiya channel, one eyewitness described the scene: “We were in Mukaradeeb. At 3am they rained the air with bombs. One after another the bombs were falling. Three houses with the guests were hit. They fired as if there were an armoured brigade inside, not a wedding party.”
One of the guests, Madhi Nawaf, a shepherd, explained in the Scotsman article that his daughter and her children were among the dead. “Mothers died with their children in their arms. One of them was my daughter. I found her a few steps from the house, her two-year-old son Raad in her arm. Her one-year-old son, Ra’ed, was lying nearby, his head missing. Where were the foreign fighters they claim were hiding there? Everything they said is a lie.”
Among the dead were members of the band, including a popular singer, Hussein Ali. Basim Shehab, an organ player, was at the funeral for the band members in Baghdad yesterday. He said he had been sleeping in one of the tents when the bombing began. The attack “was like Hell,” he said. “Everything was on fire.”
US military spokesmen have insisted that there were no children among the casualties. However, Lieutenant Colonel Ziyad al-Jbouri, deputy police chief for Ramadi, told Associated Press (AP) that the dead numbered between 42 and 45, and included 15 children and 10 women. Dr Salah al-Ani, who works at the hospital in Ramadi, put the death toll at 45.
An AP report explained: “Associated Press Television News footage from the area near the Syrian border showed a truck containing bloodied bodies, many wrapped in blankets, piled one atop the other. Several were children, one of whom was decapitated. The body of a girl who appeared to be less than five years of age lay in a white sheet, her legs riddled with wounds and her dress soaked in blood.”
Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, US military spokesmen continue to deny that US forces hit a wedding party. Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt (The Butcher of Fallujah)claimed that the target had been “a suspected foreign fighter safe house” and that US troops were fired upon first. The only evidence offered by the Pentagon is that troops found a quantity of small arms, Iraqi and Syrian money, foreign passports and a satcom radio.
Even taken on face value, the American version of events confirms a reckless lack of concern for Iraqi civilians in launching an indiscriminate air assault in the middle of the night on what was “suspected” to be a safe house. It is far more likely, however, that the US statements amount to nothing more than another crude concoction of lies. US ground forces have not produced the bodies of any “foreign fighters”. None of the objects seized in the village prove the dead were fighters. At most, they indicate that villagers may have been involved in petty smuggling—a practice that is rife in the border area.
There are conflicting press reports over whether the wedding party engaged in the common custom of shooting off weapons in celebration. In an article in the British-based Independent, Sheikh Nasrallah Miklif, head of the Bani Fahd tribe, of which most of the dead were members, vigorously denied that there had been any firing. While he was not in the village at the time, he had spoken extensively to the survivors. He said the air strikes had begun without warning and were followed up by US troops who arrived in armoured vehicles.
“If they killed foreign fighters, why don’t they show us the bodies? If they suspected foreign fighters were here, why didn’t they come to arrest them, instead of using this huge force?” Sheikh Mikfil asked angrily.
The arrogance and contempt of the US military toward ordinary Iraqis was summed up in the remarks of Major General James Mattis, commander of the US 1st Marine Division, whose troops were involved in the attack. “Ten miles from the Syrian border and 80 miles from [the] nearest city and a wedding party? Don’t be naïve. Plus they had 30 males of military age with them,” he said.
The comments unwittingly reveal more than Mattis perhaps intended: that any gathering of Iraqis, particularly if it involves men of military age, is considered suspect and thus a legitimate target for the overwhelming use of force. He provided no explanation of the TV footage of dead women and children, declaring dismissively: “I have not seen the pictures but bad things happen in wars. I don’t have to apologise for the conduct of my men.”
The US military claims that it was seeking to prevent the infiltration of arms and “foreign fighters” into Iraq. All the evidence, however, points to the fact that the vast majority of fighters joining the armed resistance against the US occupation are young Iraqis who have widespread local support. Apart from terrorising the Iraqi population, the purpose of such military operations may be connected to current US efforts to pressurise and menace the Syrian government. Just last week, Washington imposed a battery of new punitive measures on Syria.
In the wake of an outpouring of anger in Iraq and the Middle East over the latest atrocity, General Klimmitt announced an inquiry. “Because of the interest shown by the media, we’re going to have an investigation. Some of the allegations that have been made would cause us to go back and look at this,” he said. In other words, the real concern of the US military is the publicity, not the deaths of the Iraqi men, women and children. If there had been no reaction, the Pentagon simply would have buried the matter.
The worthlessness of such an inquiry is highlighted by a similar incident in Afghanistan in July 2002 when US gunships strafed a wedding party in the Afghan village of Kakarak, leaving 48 people dead, mainly women and children, and more than 100 injured. After a two-month investigation, the US Central Command issued an “unclassified executive summary” that ignored all the Afghan eyewitness accounts, answered none of the obvious questions, provided no evidence for its assertions and completely exonerated the US military.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
HalliBacon -- a Fat Pig Dining On US Troop's Blood and Guts -- Gets Fried In Houston Shareholder's Meet
Pictures That will Sicken and Disgust--Warning, Not for the squeamish
John--GO BIG JOHN!!!-- Please Join the campaign to ask John Kerry To GO BIG!
As George Bush's poll numbers drop quickly, John Kerry is facing an important choice -- perhaps the most important choice he'll make in his campaign. He has to decide whether, as some consultants will urge, he should be cautious and run toward the center, or whether he should present a bold agenda for change and rally Americans around a vision for our future.
Through his history, Kerry has made a practice of standing up for bold initiatives to provide health care, protect the environment, and safeguard the right to reproductive choice. Together, we need to let him know that we want him to be his best, boldest self – to go big, ask more of us, and power his campaign on the politics of hope.
Please join me in calling on John Kerry to "go big" <---CLICK HERE