Thursday, July 27, 2006

A New Final Solution

"Collateral damage" in Lebanon

Israeli troops enjoying a jaunt into Lebanon

Rice appreciating the gravity of the situation
as she arrives in Beirut

Having learned all the wrong lessons from the Nazis, the statesmen of Israel are on a self-declared, long-term mission: the wholesale extermination of Arabs and Persians. Photos by Reuters, Associated Press and Agence France Presse show abundant, appalling proof that Israel is indiscriminately cooking Lebanese civilians with phosphorous and other chemical weapons. The photos are further corroborated by French and Belgian doctors in Beirut.

According to the BBC, Israel's air force has admitted to conducting 3000 bombing sorties since the offensive began, displacing nearly a quarter of Lebanon's total population of 3.8 million and utterly destroying the country's civilian infrastructure with nearly completely civilian targets.

Moreover, Lebanon is defenseless. It does not possess an air defense system and the Israelis know it. The number of declared targets is staggering....

The civilian infrastructure has been destroyed: water, telecommunications, bridges, airports, gas stations, power plants, dairy factories, etc. Confirmed by the British press, in towns and villages across Lebanon, schools and hospitals have been targetted with meticulous accuracy. in an utterly twised logic, the Israeli government has casually blamed Hizbollah for using the schools and hospitals as hideouts or launchpads to wage their terrorist activities. (ABC Australia, interview with Israeli Ambassador to Australia, Nati Tamir, 21 July 2006).
"This is not a war, this is a crisis"
To call Israel's response to the kidnapping of two of its soldiers (as bargaining chips for the estimated 9000 Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners it has been holding for years, many of them children) "disproportionate" is an astonishingly ignorant understatement -- at least if the Israeli press are to be believed.

Brutal, shocking videos only begin to convey the scale of the tragedy that has been escalating over the years:

Israeli tanks firing on a reporter interviewing Palestinians gathered for a funeral.

Israeli helicopters strafed two ambulances carrying a Lebanese father and his 12-year-old son. The ambulances had spotlights trained on their red cross markings and were flashing their blue lights.

They have been extensively targeting civilians with indiscriminately deadly cluster and phosphorous bombs (with results like those in the pictures above). Even worse, sources also say Israeli military forces have spent nearly a decade perfecting the most monstrous of weapons: gene-specific bioweapons designed to eradicate Arabs.

Further evidence of Israel's complete moral atrophy came when IDF forces obliterated a U.N. observer post in southern Lebanon with a bomb after shelling it for six hours on Tuesday, killing four international observers from Austria, Canada, China and Finland, in what U.N. chief Kofi Annan called a "deliberate attack":

UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon contacted Israeli troops 10 times before an Israeli bomb killed four of them, an initial UN report says.... The post was hit by a precision-guided missile after six hours of shelling, diplomats familiar with the probe say. The UN report says each time the UN contacted Israeli forces, they were assured the firing would stop. A senior Irish soldier working for the UN forces had warned the Israelis six times that their bombardment was endangering the lives of UN staff, Ireland's foreign ministry said....

Had Israel responded to the requests, "rather than deliberately ignoring them", the observers would still be alive, a diplomat familiar with the report said.

Annan said the post had been in existence "for a long time... was marked clearly, and was hit despite assurances from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that U.N. positions would not be attacked."

The precision-guided bomb made a direct hit on the observer post, said Milos Struger, a UN peacekeeping spokesman in Lebanon. As rescue workers tried to clear the rubble, Israeli troops continued firing "...even during the rescue operation," he added.

But according to the head of Israel's northern command, Major General Udi Adam, Israel's just getting warmed up.

Too bad the Bush "Administration" (sic) doesn't give a damn. At least not in any humanitarian sense: Condoleezza Rice personally ran interference on behalf of the PNAC wing of the State Department at the emergency international meeting in Rome.

So what ARE we doing about the situation? Well, worsening it. As Lebanese war refugee Esam Haider (one of 2,000 sheltered in an underground car park after their homes were destroyed by Israeli bombs) expressed it:

"Why does President Bush send billions of dollars of weapons to Israel and hands the Lebanese a few boxes of food and blankets? Is he just trying to fatten us up before he gives Israel bigger bombs to kill us?"

There is, however, a madness to the method; it's once again all in the name of moving some new product, to paraphrase the glib Mr. Card.

Not that Bush will lack support from the "followers of Jesus" among America's religious lunatic fringe; the Machivellian genius of turning Biblical prophecy into a propaganda tool was a Rovian masterstoke that -- prematurely supposing humanity survives -- historians may one day rank alongside the work of Goebbels.

So while purported "progressives" at Daily Kos and elsewhere are waxing knowledgable in taking up the cause of "poor, beset-upon Israel", contentiously siding with the unpopular view to appear possessed of some great, rare insight, promoting a "cause" destined to kill more innocent civilians in the name of conquest is the farthest thing from "progressive". The truth is, whatever insults and injuries Israel has borne after claiming its homeland through years of bloody conquest, it has extracted more than its kiloton of flesh with a disproportionate, ruthless, merciless brutality as morally repugnant as the historically unprecedented savagery of the Assyrians.

From destroying power stations and cutting off water supplies for refugee tent settlements, rolling tanks into the streets and strafing unarmed citizens with Apache helicopters, then rounding up newly-elected government leaders the state of Israel is on a genocidal rampage aimed at once-and-for-all "solving" the "refugee problem" and abetting the US in its myopic quest for political dominance in the Middle East.

Maybe their actions can be partly understood as a pathological nostaligia for the days of the Warsaw ghetto:

GAZANS OFTEN call the Gaza Strip their "giant prison." The name reflects the crowded, tense quarters where 1.1 million people live on some 360 kilometers square. The Israeli army surrounds the Strip, preventing Palestinians from leaving the area without special permits that are granted only in emergency situations.

Even within Gaza's borders, its people are confined. Israel has divided the strip into three zones of Palestinian towns and refugees that are surrounded by Israeli military hardware. Travel between the areas is allowed only at certain times, and at the whims of the Israeli troops manning the checkpoints - very much like prison guards.

If the Gaza Strip is a prison, its solitary confinement area is the agricultural part of Al Mawasi, just west of Khan Younis. Al Mawasi is effectively controlled by settlers and surrounded by the settlement of Gush Katif from the east and the sea from the south. The people of Al Mawasi can neither leave their area nor distribute their agricultural produce except by special permission from the Israeli authorities.

Abu Ibrahim says all this is unbearable and humiliating. "The settler who stole my land enjoys his freedom. But I, the owner of the land, cannot even leave my house without a permit. It is the age of wonders!"
But the complex of walls, fences, trenches and electronic surveillance devices Israel has erected around (and conveniently into agriculturally valuable areas of) the West Bank is nothing more than a simple land grab and forced evacuation of indigenous Palestinians, according to the UN.

The bottom line is still, as ever, the same: we need to get the Hell out of the colonialism business, particularly in the Middle East, where Israel's "solution" is no solution at all.

Quote of the Day:

"I don't believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war. Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There is an urge and rage in people to destroy, to kill, to murder, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again."

-- 15-year-old Anne Frank, before being taken to her death in the Nazi concentration camps

Will the American Bar Association Step up to the Plate for the Bigger Threat to America?

Good to see that even the conservative ABA is starting to recognize the outrageousness and evils of the Bush "Administration's" (sic) power grabs, but there's an urgent need for them to do more. Please add your voice to the call:

American Bar Association
321 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60610

American Bar Association
Service Center
321 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60610

American Bar Association
740 15th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20005-1019

Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division

The text of my letter (feel free to use it, or write your own):


Thank you for initiating action to counter George Bush's misuse of signing statements to circumvent Constitutional law. It's no exaggeration to say your actions are heroic.

However, our republic is in far, far greater peril. Expert after expert, from statisticians to engineers to Congressional leaders to the world's computing pioneers have shouted repeatedly, with growing urgency, that paperless DREs and vote scanners are grossly error-prone, hackable and completely insecure. Even if one dismisses the overwhelming preponderence of evidence that these weaknesses have been exploited to subvert federal elections, the fact that these machines destroy voter confidence in the legitimacy of the electoral system is reason enough to stop their disastrous spread.

I beg you to take up the cause of your country again, to research the subject, and to fight to restore confidence in the right of the people to elect their representatives. There is no more urgent cause today, nor will there ever be a greater need for your help for your fellow citizens and country.


Dr. David Dill, Stanford University Professor of Computer Science:

Video: Congressional testimony of Clint Curtis, allegedly paid to write a vote-rigging program:
(Affadavit and polygraph results also available online)

Finnish security expert Harri Hursti and "The Hursti Hack", "the mother of all security holes":

The Diebold memos (including the 16,000 "disappeared" Al Gore votes):

The story of an astonishing landslide:

There is a wealth of additional material available online at "BradBlog", "Black Box Voting" and "".

If we falter, and allow things to continue to run their course, the consequences will be disastrous and irrevocable.

Please help.

Your country needs you.

Eric A. Smith

Friday, July 21, 2006

Lamont Pulls Ahead; Courant Massages the Numbers in Headline

Interesting that the Courant would use the margin of statistical error to claim that Lamont was "in a dead heat" with Lieberman, when, in fact, the poll they cite shows he's ahead by four percent. Hmmmm....

Quote of the Day:

`I quite agree with you,' said the Duchess; `and the moral of that is--Be what you would seem to be--or if you'd like it put more simply--Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.'

`I think I should understand that better,' Alice said very politely, `if I had it written down: but I can't quite follow it as you say it.'

`That's nothing to what I could say if I chose,' the Duchess replied, in a pleased tone.

-- Lewis Carroll, "Alice in Wonderland"

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Now THAT'S What You Call a PIG!

Bush is once again the world's buffoon, perfectly epitomizing the crass, loutish hick the majority of the planet unfortunately believes Americans to be. This just proves once more that Bush is the poster boy of sociopathology -- incapable of empathizing with pain or of feeling guilt, gleefully enjoying the suffering he inflicts, lying and cheating without a touch of remorse. Newsday weighs in:

"As Israeli warplanes were preparing an attack on Lebanon Thursday afternoon, and a Lebanese militia was aiming a rocket at the ancient Israeli city of Safed, President George W. Bush was bantering with reporters in Germany about a pig.

"Bush kept bringing up the roast wild boar he was about to dine on at a banquet that night, even when asked about the swelling crisis in the Middle East, where pig meat is forbidden to religious Jews and Muslims.

"Does it concern you that the Beirut airport has been bombed?" a reporter asked. "And do you see a risk of triggering a wider war?"

"I thought you were going to ask me about the pig," Bush replied blithely. Then he brought the pig up again -- for the fifth time -- before giving a long answer that ended with his saying Israel needed to protect itself.
Crooks and Liars has the video. Watch Merkel wince as he delivers the yuck yuck.

In an earnest attempt to continue to bury himself and America's international reputation in a single trip, he decided to top the visit off with a little sexual harrassment. Laura must've enjoyed THAT one.

Finally, perhaps courtesy of Chinese President Hu, the world is shown exactly what sort of a repellent brute George Bush really is. Here's the full transcript, as it's a little hard to hear:

Washington Post

The Next Hurrah also offers an excellent analysis.

Although he's in the company of the world's most influential leaders, and in a position to put an end to so much pain and misery, Bush doesn't even deign to offer eye contact, talking with his mouth full. So much for diplomacy.

And so we're shown quite clearly that for Bush, as innocents die burning, what's of paramount importance is stuffing his face.

A feast of roasted flesh awaits. Bon appetit.

Quote of the Day:

Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are
You well heeled big wheel, ha ha, charade you are
And when your hand is on your heart
You're nearly a good laugh
Almost a joker
With your head down in the pig bin
Saying "keep on digging"
Pig stain on your fat chin
What do you hope to find?
When you're down in the pig mine
You're nearly a laugh
You're nearly a laugh
But you're really a cry.

--"Pigs", Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Rick Wright, David Gilmour

Monday, July 17, 2006

Are We Heading for the Exit in Iraq?

Joseph L. Galloway -- Sunday, July 16, 2006 Miami Herald

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was in Iraq last week, and he heard some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that the number of American soldiers who have been killed in Iraq in recent weeks has fallen from two or three a day to an average of only one a day.

The bad news is that the reason for the good news is that Iraqis are, for the time being, more interested in killing one another than they are in killing Americans.

And the real news in Iraq is that the number of American troops who are fighting and dying in that place has fallen to 127,000 from a high of more than 160,000 late in 2005.

Despite the Bush administration's ''stay the course'' rhetoric and Rumsfeld's refusal to discuss any withdrawal timetable during his trip, the truth is that the administration is rushing to disentangle itself from Iraq as fast as possible.

Hundreds of Iraqi lives

Last December, high-ranking officers at U.S. Central Command told me that the number of U.S. troops in Iraq would fall to about 100,000 by late 2006.

That's where we're headed, even though the latest carnage suggests that Iraqi forces aren't exactly standing up as the Americans stand down. (Some of them, in fact, are almost certainly contributing to the carnage.) So even if the civil war that's now claiming hundreds of Iraqi lives each week begins to claim thousands or scores of thousands of lives each week, the American drawdown may only accelerate.

The administration's promises about Iraq have collided with partisan politics, and guess who won? With a congressional midterm election approaching, the 2008 presidential election just around the corner and Bush's approval ratings languishing in the 30s, the people who embraced this tar-baby now want to drop it as swiftly as possible.

The politicians are cutting and running from their war even as they doggedly deny that the thought has ever crossed their minds. They're now as feverish to get out of Iraq as once they were feverish to get in.

I'm reminded of an old Bengali proverb that foreign invaders found to be true during a thousand years of history: There are a thousand roads into Bengal, but there is no road out.

The ownership of a war that's being abandoned by the politicians who launched it and fouled it up beyond repair now falls to the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps, who never had orders to put enough boots on the ground to get the job done. Now they'll be called upon to do even more with even less.

2,600 Americans have died

It's really all over but the dying and the suffering, and it's the benighted Iraqis and the American and a few remaining allied troops who are being left to do that.

Nearly 2,600 Americans have died in Iraq so far, and 18,000 more have been wounded. How many more will die before the last of them board trucks and helicopters and depart this detour in the war on global terrorism? More than 800,000 American troops have rotated through Iraq in three and a half years of a war that the cheerleaders said would be a ''slam-dunk'' and ``a cake-walk.''

The direct costs of that war have drained almost $400 billion from the U.S. Treasury, and the long-term hidden and opportunity costs of a war that the Bush people said would be paid for largely by Iraqi oil earnings eventually may top a trillion dollars.

Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Pentagon boss Rumsfeld will leave Washington in late January 2009 with Iraq hanging around their necks like a stinking, long-dead albatross.

Just as the Vietnam War haunted Lyndon B. Johnson to his dying day, so, too, will Iraq. The failures America suffered there will haunt and define the Bush triumvirate.

This trio, none of whom ever heard a shot fired in anger, took us to war for all the wrong reasons; took us to war without enough troops to win the peace; took us to war in the wrong place, at the wrong time against the wrong enemy.

Forgotten lessons of Vietnam

There will be blame enough to tar a Congress that refused to do its constitutional duty to ask the tough questions and conduct meaningful oversight while the war dragged on year after year.

Blame enough, too, for top American military commanders who forgot, or never learned, the lessons of Vietnam or the ways of counter-insurgency warfare. Having trained and equipped their forces to fight heavy armored war against other nations, they didn't even recognize the war that Sunni insurgents were waging against them until it was too late.

History will not be kind or forgiving of any of them. Nor should it be.

Joseph L. Galloway is former senior military correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers.


Friday, July 14, 2006

We Have Unleashed Hell in Iraq.....

Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, born 1992;
At age 14, forced to watch her mother, father and six-year-old sister slaughtered before being gang-raped, butchered and barbecued by occupying American soldiers, 2006.

The irony of millions of fat Americans munching popcorn, fantasizing with slack-faced adoration that Superman epitomizes America, while in reality the gang rape of children and butchery and roasting of six-year-old babies is being conducted in their name and paid for by their taxes is maddening and heartwrenching. The truth is, to the vast majority of the world, the "American hero" has come to much more closely resemble Charles Manson.

And Bush, the latter-day caesar, has become Lord Death, leaving a great swath of blood and rotting corpses in his wake. This "champion of freedom" has singlehandedly re-raised the Berlin Wall by his mere vile, insufferable presence.

From Riverbend:

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


It promises to be a long summer. We're almost at the mid-way point, but it feels like the days are just crawling by. It's a combination of the heat, the flies, the hours upon hours of no electricity and the corpses which keep appearing everywhere.

The day before yesterday was catastrophic. The day began with news of the killings in Jihad Quarter. According to people who live there, black-clad militiamen drove in mid-morning and opened fire on people in the streets and even in houses. They began pulling people off the street and checking their ID cards to see if they had Sunni names or Shia names and then the Sunnis were driven away and killed. Some were executed right there in the area. The media is playing it down and claiming 37 dead but the people in the area say the number is nearer 60.

The horrific thing about the killings is that the area had been cut off for nearly two weeks by Ministry of Interior security forces and Americans. Last week, a car bomb was set off in front of a 'Sunni' mosque people in the area visit. The night before the massacre, a car bomb exploded in front of a Shia husseiniya in the same area. The next day was full of screaming and shooting and death for the people in the area. No one is quite sure why the Americans and the Ministry of Interior didn't respond immediately. They just sat by, on the outskirts of the area, and let the massacre happen.

At nearly 2 pm, we received some terrible news. We lost a good friend in the killings. T. was a 26-year-old civil engineer who worked with a group of friends in a consultancy bureau in Jadriya. The last time I saw him was a week ago. He had stopped by the house to tell us his sister was engaged and he'd brought along with him pictures of latest project he was working on- a half-collapsed school building outside of Baghdad.

He usually left the house at 7 am to avoid the morning traffic jams and the heat. Yesterday, he decided to stay at home because he'd promised his mother he would bring Abu Kamal by the house to fix the generator which had suddenly died on them the night before. His parents say that T. was making his way out of the area on foot when the attack occurred and he got two bullets to the head. His brother could only identify him by the blood-stained t-shirt he was wearing.

People are staying in their homes in the area and no one dares enter it so the wakes for the people who were massacred haven't begun yet. I haven't seen his family yet and I'm not sure I have the courage or the energy to give condolences. I feel like I've given the traditional words of condolences a thousand times these last few months, "Baqiya ib hayatkum… Akhir il ahzan..." or "May this be the last of your sorrows." Except they are empty words because even as we say them, we know that in today's Iraq any sorrow--no matter how great--will not be the last.

There was also an attack yesterday on Ghazaliya though we haven't heard what the casualties are. People are saying it's Sadr's militia, the Mahdi army, behind the killings. The news the world hears about Iraq and the situation in the country itself are wholly different. People are being driven out of their homes and areas by force and killed in the streets, and the Americans, Iranians and the Puppets talk of national conferences and progress.

It's like Baghdad is no longer one city, it's a dozen different smaller cities each infected with its own form of violence. It's gotten so that I dread sleeping because the morning always brings so much bad news. The television shows the images and the radio stations broadcast it. The newspapers show images of corpses and angry words jump out at you from their pages, "civil war... death... killing... bombing... rape..."

Rape. The latest of American atrocities. Though it's not really the latest- it's just the one that's being publicized the most. The poor girl Abeer was neither the first to be raped by American troops, nor will she be the last. The only reason this rape was brought to light and publicized is that her whole immediate family were killed along with her. Rape is a taboo subject in Iraq. Families don't report rapes here, they avenge them. We've been hearing whisperings about rapes in American-controlled prisons and during sieges of towns like Haditha and Samarra for the last three years. The naivete of Americans who can't believe their 'heroes' are committing such atrocities is ridiculous. Who ever heard of an occupying army committing rape??? You raped the country, why not the people?

In the news they're estimating her age to be around 24, but Iraqis from the area say she was only 14. Fourteen. Imagine your 14-year-old sister or your 14-year-old daughter. Imagine her being gang-raped by a group of psychopaths and then the girl was killed and her body burned to cover up the rape. Finally, her parents and her five-year-old sister were also killed. Hail the American heroes... Raise your heads high supporters of the 'liberation' - your troops have made you proud today. I don't believe the troops should be tried in American courts. I believe they should be handed over to the people in the area and only then will justice be properly served. And our ass of a PM, Nouri Al-Maliki, is requesting an 'independent investigation', ensconced safely in his American guarded compound because it wasn't his daughter or sister who was raped, probably tortured and killed. His family is abroad safe from the hands of furious Iraqis and psychotic American troops.

It fills me with rage to hear about it and read about it. The pity I once had for foreign troops in Iraq is gone. It's been eradicated by the atrocities in Abu Ghraib, the deaths in Haditha and the latest news of rapes and killings. I look at them in their armored vehicles and to be honest- I can't bring myself to care whether they are 19 or 39. I can't bring myself to care if they make it back home alive. I can't bring myself to care anymore about the wife or parents or children they left behind. I can't bring myself to care because it's difficult to see beyond the horrors. I look at them and wonder just how many innocents they killed and how many more they'll kill before they go home. How many more young Iraqi girls will they rape?

Why don't the Americans just go home? They've done enough damage and we hear talk of how things will fall apart in Iraq if they 'cut and run', but the fact is that they aren't doing anything right now. How much worse can it get? People are being killed in the streets and in their own homes- what's being done about it? Nothing. It's convenient for them- Iraqis can kill each other and they can sit by and watch the bloodshed- unless they want to join in with murder and rape.

Buses, planes and taxis leaving the country for Syria and Jordan are booked solid until the end of the summer. People are picking up and leaving en masse and most of them are planning to remain outside of the country. Life here has become unbearable because it's no longer a 'life' like people live abroad. It's simply a matter of survival, making it from one day to the next in one piece and coping with the loss of loved ones and friends- friends like T.

It's difficult to believe T. is really gone... I was checking my email today and I saw three unopened emails from him in my inbox. For one wild, heart-stopping moment I thought he was alive. T. was alive and it was all some horrific mistake! I let myself ride the wave of giddy disbelief for a few precious seconds before I came crashing down as my eyes caught the date on the emails- he had sent them the night before he was killed. One email was a collection of jokes, the other was an assortment of cat pictures, and the third was a poem in Arabic about Iraq under American occupation. He had highlighted a few lines describing the beauty of Baghdad in spite of the war... And while I always thought Baghdad was one of the more marvelous cities in the world, I'm finding it very difficult this moment to see any beauty in a city stained with the blood of T. and so many other innocents...

These are dark, dark days, friends. I hang my head in deep shame and remorse at our crimes against humanity.

In your twilight years -- assuming humanity survives until then, of course -- as you look back on this period, and talk about it with your grandchildren, will you be able to look them in the eyes and say, "I stood up for what was right?"

From the distant future, your grandchildren are looking up at you now, the question in their eyes.

Quote of the Day:

"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

-- J. Robert Oppenheimer, quoting the Baghivad Gita

Monday, July 10, 2006

Making a Killing

As Iraq continues its bloody transformation into an open-air abattoir, more and more war crimes are being exposed to the public spotlight. And it just keeps getting uglier and uglier.

The most recent revelations:

An investigation is also underway into allegations that US Marines killed 24 civilians, including 10 women and children, in the Euphrates valley town of Haditha last year.

Two US soldiers were charged with voluntary manslaughter last week over the killing of an unarmed Iraqi civilian outside his home three months ago.

And this month, seven Marines and a sailor were charged with premeditated murder, kidnapping and other offences over the killing of a handicapped Iraqi man in the town of Hamdania near Baghdad in April.
What makes these war crimes all the more sickening and shocking is that abundant evidence exists that at least some of these murders are being conducted in a horrifically insane sense of joyful "sport", as can be seen in the videos of unidentified UK contractors gleefully machine-gunning random cars on the Baghdad airport road, edited with an Elvis Presley soundtrack, or the video of the Apache helicopter cannon attack on farmers riding a tractor, or the video of the random street massacre in Fallujah (scroll down).

And just when you thought things couldn't get any more evil, last week news of an even more vile crime surfaced:

Steven Green, 21, is accused of carrying out the rape and murders in Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad, in March, along with other soldiers. A military inquiry into the incident is the latest in a series into alleged abuses by US troops in Iraq. Mr Green was arrested by FBI agents on Friday in North Carolina. He faces a possible death penalty if convicted.

Shots heard
A statement from the US attorney in Kentucky says Mr Green is charged with going to a house near Mahmoudiya with three other people to rape a woman living in the house.

I just killed them. All are dead
He allegedly shot and killed a man, a woman and a five-year-old girl and after raping another woman, he is alleged to have shot and killed her, the statement said.

According to an affidavit based on interviews with soldiers from his unit, Mr Green took the family into a bedroom, from where shots were heard.
Now both Reuters and the Associated Press say they have proof of a coverup, which we can only surmise was to mitigate public backlash against the mind-numbing evil of the atrocity:

Five U.S. soldiers charged in Iraq rape-murder case

By Alastair Macdonald

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Five U.S. soldiers were charged in a rape and multiple murder case that has outraged Iraqis, as documents obtained by Reuters on Sunday showed the rape victim was aged 14, and not over 20 as U.S. officials have said.

Days after former private Steven Green was charged as a civilian in a U.S. court with rape and four murders, four serving soldiers were charged with the same offences, the U.S. military said in statement. It did not name the troops.

Another soldier, apparently a sixth member of Green's former unit in the 502nd Infantry Regiment, was charged on Saturday with dereliction of duty for not reporting the crime in March.

All five were charged with conspiring with Green, accused by U.S. prosecutors of going with three others to a house near the checkpoint they were manning outside Mahmudiya, near Baghdad, and of killing a couple and their two daughters. The five could face the death penalty.

...(US) court documents described the raped daughter as an "adult female" and estimated her age as 25. U.S. military officials in Iraq say their documents have her as 20. Local officials and relatives had said she was 15 or 16.

Her identity card and a copy of her death certificate obtained by Reuters, however, show she was 14.

Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi was born on August 19, 1991 in Baghdad, according to the identity card, provided to Reuters by a relative. Issued in 1993, it features a photograph of her at 18 months, wide-eyed and with a lick of dark hair over her brow.

A copy of her death certificate, dated March 13, gives the same birth date. She was found at home by a relative on March 12 and had died from "gunshot wounds to the head, with burns", said the document, signed by doctor Wael Habib and a registrar

...The killers tried to burn the bodies and house to cover their tracks, relatives and local officials have said. Scorch marks and bloodstains can still be seen in the one-storey home.

...In all, 16 soldiers have been charged with murder in the past month or so -- as many as in the previous three years of fighting.

...Abeer's 34-year-old father Qasim Hamza Rasheed al-Janabi, whose five-year-old ID card photograph shows a slim, dark man with a moustache, was a labourer who died of a "smashing of the head due to gunshot wounds", his death certificate said.

His wife, Fakhriya Taha Muheisin al-Janabi, was 43 when she died of "several wounds". All four certificates gave the time of death as 2 p.m. on March 12, possibly referring to when the bodies were found by Mehdi Obeid Salih, Fakhriya's cousin.
That yet another war crimes story was stage-managed should come as no surprise, says Army Reserve Brigadier General David R. Irvine (ret.), who alleges old hands have been "taking care of" events like this for decades:

U.S. reaps what the Army sows

David R. Irvine

Tiger Force is a documented account of 120 U.S. soldiers who, between May and November of 1967, rotated through an Army special operations platoon. This platoon, Tiger Force, wreaked its vengeance in the vicinity of Duc Pho and Chu Lai in South Vietnam.

Operating largely on their own and only passingly accountable to a chain of command that rarely ventured into the jungles and paddies, these soldiers ruthlessly murdered hundreds of unarmed men, women and children. One soldier cut off a baby's head with a knife. Victims' ears were regularly sliced off, collected and fashioned into necklaces which some soldiers proudly wore. Other victims were scalped. Some were tortured. Teeth were kicked out to retrieve the gold from fillings. Virtually all of the civilian deaths were reported as "Viet Cong," even though, oddly, no weapons were ever found and none were ever reported. No officer in command ever questioned this glaring disparity.

That part of Tiger Force is grim enough. What the Army then did with the evidence is shocking, and what was covered up in 1974-75 may have sowed the headlines we are reaping in 2006. One of the most thorough Criminal Investigation Division (CID, the Army's internal FBI) investigations ever conducted, meticulously gathered the facts surrounding the war crimes committed by Tiger Force. The evidence was voluminous, certain and had been obtained at the risk of a few investigators' lives.

In 1974-75, Richard Cheney was a special assistant to President Ford. Ford's chief of staff was Donald Rumsfeld. The secretary of defense from 1973-75 was James Schlesinger. The case was made to disappear by these men who served presidents Nixon and Ford - probably out of considerations of politics. There were never any charges filed against the soldiers or the officers who ordered and participated in the routine killing of civilians.

The only reason the case file ever became public was that the CID officer who directed the investigation, and who later commanded the Criminal Investigation Division, kept a copy of the investigation file, and prior to his death in 2002 made provision for the file to be delivered to a reporter with the Toledo Blade.

Thirty years later, Mr. Rumsfeld refuses to discuss the Tiger Force case. Mr. Cheney declines to discuss much of anything. Mr. Schlesinger conducted one of the see-no-evil investigations at Abu Ghraib. The senior leadership of the Army and the nation prefers to characterize war crimes as the work of a few "bad apples." My Lai was pinned to Lt. William Calley, who suited the bad apple role.

But suppose in 1975 that Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Cheney had made a different decision. Suppose the CID Tiger Force investigation had been permitted to charge the perpetrators and their superior officers with war crimes. Suppose a court-martial inquiry had asked why no battalion commanders bothered to check out the reports of Tiger Force ear collections? What if a colonel or two had been found guilty of failing to adequately control the troops under their command? For starters, those cases and leadership lessons would have been part of today's core curriculum in ROTC and at West Point.

Retired Army Reserve brigadier general David R. Irvine is a lawyer in Salt Lake City and taught POW interrogation and military law for the Sixth Army Intelligence School for 18 years.
Are Americans going to continue letting them get away with murder?

Quote of the Day:

Terror rains drenchin',
quenchin' the thirst of the power dons
That five-sided fist-a-gon
The rotten sore on the face of Mother Earth gets
The triggers cold empty your purse
They rally round the family
With pockets full of shells
Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes
Not need, just feed the war cannibal animal
I walk the corner to the rubble that used to be a
Line up to the mind cemetery
What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and
They don't gotta burn tha books they just remove 'em
While arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells

--Rage Against the Machine, "Bulls on Parade", from the album "Evil Empire"

Sunday, July 09, 2006

US Spent $21 TRILLION on War Since 1939 - Top Navy Intelligence Officer

From Information Clearing House:

Slaying Goliath: Give David A Stone

By Bo Filter

America's behemoth, the military-industrial complex (MIC), has raked-in from taxpayers since WWII a cool $21 trillion.* If we consider the MIC to be Goliath, then the logical counterpart as David would be a peace-industrial complex (PIC). According to myth, David can bring down Goliath with a single stone. We can envision the stone to be some sort of taxpayer funding. To keep David from finding a stone, from obtaining federal funding, the MIC imperative needs to maintain zero funding for PIC. They say follow the money. Well then, the score so far since WWII is David $0 - Goliath $21,000,000.000,000

Well, this is stupid, one might say. Everyone knows there is no such thing as a peace-industrial complex. If a PIC doesn't exist, it naturally has no federal funding, which brings me precisely to point. The time has come to directly counter-poise the military juggernaut at minimum, but better still reverse the current reality of spending. Many people lend endless hours to peace work but with no taxpayer support whatsoever.

Let's start with a little arithmetic. If we divide the $21 trillion of U.S. spending alone by the 60 years since WWII, the result is $350 billion per year. Now let's compare the cost of war per year just for the US against the estimated cost per year of providing adequate food, water, education, health and housing for everyone in the world. The Campaign Against Arms Trade based in London puts this number at $17 billion.

Now we can figure out how many times more expensive war is than peace. By dividing $350 billion by $17 billion, we get 20.5. So war costs twenty times more than caring for the world's population, just using US military spending. Moreover, we cannot imagine the accumulative dollar value of life lost, the collective mental degradation of humanity and the cost to the earth's eco-system caused by war.

The MIC needs our continued allegiance to fear and "defense," what the U.S. allegedly does in nearly every other country of the world. Remarkably, let any other country land 100,000 troops directly on American soil and see how fast they would be called aggressors, as opposed to defenders of "democracy." Warmonger denial of their double standards is part of the mental illness of war. Denial desensitizes people to the damage they generate.

Part of the problem is that we don't have a solid vision for peace, a plan for peace. What we envision today, we can move on tomorrow. Let's begin. Imagine what PIC could have done with the full $21 trillion, or just half, or just one twentieth, the amount needed to feed and cloth the world.

Imagine thousands of people demanding that money be pulled away from the military to fund a PIC. Imagine across the street or next door to every recruiting office is an equally funded peace office extolling the virtues of exporting bread instead of bombs. Imagine peace generals dispersing caretakers to every family where children are raising children, as so common among AIDS victims. Imagine a day in the near future, where the world's people go to the gates of the nearest military base and declare them "out of business."

Remember, a PIC would usher into line the true aspirations of a consistently polled 80% of the world's population that seek genuine peace and the end of war profiteering. What is missing is the unification of that 80%, and strong images from the past can help us find our common strength. Let's imagine creating a PIC equipped with tax dollars. Let's give David a stone.

* Extrapolated from FIGURE 1: U.S. MILITARY SPENDING, FISCAL YEARS 1945-2008: Center for Defense Information, Washington, D.C. ISSN: 0195-6450, Volume XXXII, Number 5, November/December 2003 [downloadable as a pdf]

US Navy veteran Douglas (Bo) Bruce Filter was a personnel trainer and maintenance supervisor of the U.S. Navy's San Juan Communication Center, after having received Cosmic Top Secret Cryptographic Clearance, America's highest level of national security. With undergraduate degrees in Electronic Engineering and Philosophy, and a Master's in Psychology, Bo Filter is the author of "The Cause of Wars & Aggression".

Quotes of the Day:

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."
-- President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Every bomb that is dropped is a Day Care Center losing their funding, every bomb that is dropped is an Afterschool Program that is cut, every bomb that is dropped is a senior not getting their prescrption drugs.... The US will drop 3,000 bombs the first day . . .just think about it."
-- modern paraphrasing

Friday, July 07, 2006

Lt. Watada Charged With Contempt Toward President -- Facing 7 Years

Today, a particularly presumptuous bullet-bag, who had the temerity to assume an American subject might have any say in how his blood and tax dollars are spent on raping, torturing, randomly shooting, irradiating, napalming and clusterbombing civilians for his royal heinous (rhymes with "anus"), met with swift justice:

by Kevin Zeese

Show Your Support Hold a Vigil
Today, Lt. Ehren Watada was formally charged with three articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice: missing movement (Article 87), two counts of contempt towards officials (Article 88) - specifically President G. W. Bush, and three counts of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman (Article 133). If convicted of all six charges by a general court-martial, Lt. Watada could be sentenced to over seven years in a military prison.

Lt. Watada's lawyer, Eric Seitz, said this morning: "We expected the missing movement charge, but we are somewhat astounded by the contempt and conduct unbecoming charges. These additional charges open up the substance of Lt. Watada's statements for review and raise important First Amendment issues. We are delighted that the Army has given us the opportunity to litigate these questions." Most previous prosecutions of Article 88 took place during the Civil War and World War I, and the last known prosecution was in 1965 (Howe vs. U.S.). Lt. Howe was protesting the Vietnam War.

Even before Lt. Watada refused to ship out to Iraq on June 22, the Army was focusing their investigation on his speech. The formal charges confirm that the Army's primary objective is silencing Lt. Watada's dissent.

Friends and Family of Lt. Watada is encouraging supporters that have the ability to hold a vigil, or other support activity in their community tomorrow to do so.

Supporters in Washington State's Puget Sound area will gather tomorrow, July 6, at 5pm over Interstate 5 on the Exit 119 overpass (adjacent to the entrance to Ft. Lewis).

Quotes of the Day:

"Unfortunately for him, it was the royal view that disputes over liberties and over injuries done to liberties were in the king's jurisdiction. Accordingly, he was called before the king's council to answer for his action "in contempt of the king and to the hurt of the king's royal dignity and contrary to his oath made to the king and to his crown." The king claimed 10,000 marks damages for himself and lesser amounts for the other injured parties."

--Fulminations and Contempts, James Kalb, Yale Law School

"Meet the new boss;
Same as the old boss."

--Roger Daltry. "We Don't Get Fooled Again"

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ken Lay - Bush's #1 Donor - Dead of a Heart Attack

Who says TANJ?

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

In celebration, I think I'll have a special gourmet bag of chocolate-dipped pork rinds (>Urk*!<) delivered to Cheney.

What Matters Most to Lieberman

Lest you harbored any doubts as to where Lieberman's loyalty lies, a cursory examination of his word usage during his latest CNN interview should lay them to rest:

"I," "me," "my": 122 mentions
"Voters": five mentions

1) subverting the primaries for his own self-interest;

2) having no compunction against siphoning off votes as an independent and potentially jeopardizing the Democratic Party's rightfully chosen candidate;

3) ignoring his constituents by backing an invasion and occupation they overwhelmingly oppose.

Just who DOES Joseph Lieberman represent?

24 Stunning Facts About the 2000 and 2004 American Elections

A scandal - no matter how unbelievable - can no longer be considered a "conspiracy" if it's demonstrably true. The following is the story of how George Bush, widely ridiculed for his intellectual inadequacies, came to become the 43rd President of the United States, against all odds.

1. Katherine Harris, the Florida Secretary of State, WAS IN CHARGE OF FLORIDA VOTING SYSTEMS, and was also GEORGE BUSH'S ELECTION CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIRMAN
CBS News
Katherine Harris bio

2. The Washington Post says "A Single Person Could Swing (illegally switch) an Election"
Washington Post report

Princeton University expert computer scientists demonstrate easily changing vote results and hiding the theft:
Princeton University

3. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies, OWNED BY TWO REPUBLICAN BROTHERS: Diebold and ES&S.

4. A Diebold electronic voting machine subtracted 16,022 votes from Al Gore's total - Bush "took" the Presidential election by 537 votes
History of the 2000 US Presidential Election

How do we know 16,022 votes went missing? We have the company's own employee emails! (Diebold tried to sue to hide the emails, but the emails were reposted across the internet by thousands of activists). These emails are reprinted under "Quotes of the Day" on my blog post here:
Al Gore's Disappearing Votes
The Original Diebold Secret Company Emails

5. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.

6. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.

7. The chairman and CEO of Diebold was a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president."

8. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by his own company's machines.

9. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.

10. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.

11. ES&S - owned by a Republican major Bush donator - is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.

12. Diebold's touch screen voting machines have no paper receipts for any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was put in by voters.

13. The foregoing is strange, because Diebold's main business is making ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and provide paper receipts.

14. The Diebold voting machines have a "backdoor" program access, allowing the votes to be easily changed by anyone who wishes to quite easily. An illustrated demonstration of how the votes are easily chenged is published here:

15. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as consultants and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.

16. Jeff Dean was Senior Vice-President of Global Election Systems when it was bought by Diebold. Even though he had been convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree, Jeff Dean was retained as a consultant by Diebold and was largely responsible for programming the optical scanning software now used in most of the United States.

17. Diebold consultant Jeff Dean was convicted of planting "backdoors" in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.

18. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.

19. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it!

20. Over 1 MILLION black voters were thrown out of the voting process under orders of Katherine Harris - George Bush's 2000 election campaign co-chairman. We have all the documents recorded and presented here:

Republicans Caught Illegally Erasing Votes in the 2000 Election

Video showing the above:
video explaining the above story

One Million Black American Votes Go Uncounted

Calculating after the Erasure: Gore Won Florida by 77,000 Votes

21. During the recount of the PAPER votes, in Florida, George Bush's campaign paid to fly a group of Republicans to the state of Florida to start a riot in the main office where the votes were being recounted by hand (those payments are all on file with the IRS). The paid Republican rioters tore up ballots and stopped the counting. After Bush "took the Presidency, all of these rioters were given very high-paying government jobs. We have them on videotape and all of their names.
From the Washington Post

22. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.

23. Serious voting anomalies in Florida and Ohio -- again ALWAYS and ONLY favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.

24. During the 2004 Presidential election, George Bush's campaign manager was Kenneth Blackwell - who was the Chief Elections Officer in charge of Ohio's elections process. - in 2004, Ohio was the most critical state in the election.

Unsurprisingly, there were a number of outrageous breaches of election law and suspicious, underhanded circumstances - all of which tipped the election in Bush's favor:
The Washington Post - Ohio Vote Machines Dropped Votes

Presidential Candidate John Kerry takes Bush and Blackwell to Court

Various other misgivings

For further reference, please see the following online videos:
CNN: 6-minute interview about stolen votes
Unprecedented: How George W. Bush Stole the 2000 Presidential Election
The Trail: Gore Won Florida

"It's not who votes that matters, but who does the counting of the votes"
Joseph Stalin (paraphrased)

Monday, July 03, 2006

The word from Sy: Nuke Strike off the Table, Red House Iran Policy in Chaos

It appears as though nuclear Armageddon has been postponed, for the time being. Says Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker:

In late April, the military leadership, headed by General Pace, achieved a major victory when the White House dropped its insistence that the plan for a bombing campaign include the possible use of a nuclear device to destroy Iran's uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz, nearly two hundred miles south of Tehran. The huge complex includes large underground facilities built into seventy-five-foot-deep holes in the ground and designed to hold as many as fifty thousand centrifuges. "Bush and Cheney were dead serious about the nuclear planning," the former senior intelligence official told me. "And Pace stood up to them. Then the word came back: 'O.K., the nuclear option is politically unacceptable.'" At the time, a number of retired officers, including two Army major generals who served in Iraq, Paul Eaton and Charles Swannack, Jr., had begun speaking out against the Administration's handling of the Iraq war. This period is known to many in the Pentagon as "the April Revolution."

"An event like this doesn't get papered over very quickly," the former official added. "The bad feelings over the nuclear option are still felt. The civilian hierarchy feels extraordinarily betrayed by the brass, and the brass feel they were tricked into it"-the nuclear planning-"by being asked to provide all options in the planning papers."

Sam Gardiner, a military analyst who taught at the National War College before retiring from the Air Force as a colonel, said that Rumsfeld's second-guessing and micromanagement were a fundamental problem. "Plans are more and more being directed and run by civilians from the Office of the Secretary of Defense," Gardiner said. "It causes a lot of tensions. I'm hearing that the military is increasingly upset about not being taken seriously by Rumsfeld and his staff."

Gardiner went on, "The consequence is that, for Iran and other missions, Rumsfeld will be pushed more and more in the direction of special operations, where he has direct authority and does not have to put up with the objections of the Chiefs." Since taking office in 2001, Rumsfeld has been engaged in a running dispute with many senior commanders over his plans to transform the military, and his belief that future wars will be fought, and won, with airpower and Special Forces. That combination worked, at first, in Afghanistan, but the growing stalemate there, and in Iraq, has created a rift, especially inside the Army. The senior military official said, "The policymakers are in love with Special Ops-the guys on camels."

The discord over Iran can, in part, be ascribed to Rumsfeld's testy relationship with the generals. They see him as high-handed and unwilling to accept responsibility for what has gone wrong in Iraq. A former Bush Administration official described a recent meeting between Rumsfeld and four-star generals and admirals at a military commanders' conference, on a base outside Washington, that, he was told, went badly. The commanders later told General Pace that "they didn't come here to be lectured by the Defense Secretary. They wanted to tell Rumsfeld what their concerns were." A few of the officers attended a subsequent meeting between Pace and Rumsfeld, and were unhappy, the former official said, when "Pace did not repeat any of their complaints. There was disappointment about Pace." The retired four-star general also described the commanders' conference as "very fractious." He added, "We've got twenty-five hundred dead, people running all over the world doing stupid things, and officers outside the Beltway asking, 'What the hell is going on?'"

And, well, it's not just the brass that are fed up with their yellow-toothed, ill-tempered, myopic, treacherous and mildly retarded "boss"; the ground troops have some legitimate beefs to air as well. Too bad "Ol' Rummy" just doesn't give a shit.

Video: Joan Jett Gets Freaky w/Carmen Electra & Calls Bush a Lying SOB....

Click to view

... more or less.

Joan Jett's jumping back into headlines with a bit of calculated (though nonetheless quite enjoyable) hype crafted by some savvy publicist:

A month before the release of Jett's new album "Sinner", Baywatch beauty Carmen Electra announced to the salivating press she "grew up harbouring a secret lesbian crush" on the 70s pop star. As "luck" would have it, this got her featured as Jett's girlfriend in "AC/DC", a slick cover of the (amazing 70's glam-anger rock band) the Sweet's brash anthem about a bisexual girlfriend.

Also noteworthy on the album is "Riddles" (featuring the ever-befuddled voice of George Bush), which takes the boy-king's "Administration" (sic) to task for the Iraq war and its use of propaganda to mislead Americans into supporting policies counter to their own self-interests.

While Jett's music isn't terribly complex or original, she's always represented a bold, gutsy defiance that has been inspiring. And, though I personally have to beat back the compulsion to hurl speakers out of the nearest window when I'm subjected to "I Love Rock and Roll", her cover of "Crimson and Clover" is quite beautiful in its own right.

So here's hoping she meets with some of her former success, as she's certainly earned it, through sheer persistence, if nothing else.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

From the Mouths of Chimps....

What a Dick....

Vice-madman-in-chief Dick spreads joy and sunshine to all around him as he trots out the props and does his best impression of a human being at NASA and various sporting events. Rumor has it he showed uncharacteristic restraint in not ordering a single bystander killed, tortured, robbed, spied upon or interrogated. Progress? You be the judge.