Thursday 24th of October 2019

from the cuckoo's nest .....

‘This is the news from Iraq according to Donald Rumsfeld
and the Bush administration.  

A week after the US Defence
Secretary criticised the media for " exaggerating" reports of
violence in Iraq, The Independent has obtained examples of newspaper reports
the Bush administration want Iraqis to read. 

They were prepared by specially
trained American "psy-ops" troops who paid thousands of dollars to
Iraqi newspaper editors to run these un-attributed reports in their
publications. In order to hide its involvement, the Pentagon hired the Lincoln
Group to act as a liaison between troops and journalists. 

The Lincoln Group was at the
centre of controversy last year when it was revealed the company was being paid
more than $100m (£58m) for various contracts, including the planting of such
stories. 

John Pike, the director of
GlobalSecurity.org, a Washington-based defence think-tank, who reviewed some of
the Lincoln Group stories, said he found them unconvincing.

"Anybody who knows about
propaganda knows the first rule of propaganda is that it should not look like
propaganda," he said. "It's embarrassing enough that [the US
military] got caught ... but then for their product to be so cheesy ... It's
just embarrassing."  

The US
Propaganda Machine: Oh What A Lovely War

Preserving some US values...

From the American Conservative...

the Editor
Scott McConnell founded The American Conservative with Pat Buchanan and Taki Theodoracopulos in 2002. A Ph.D.in history from Columbia University, he was formerly the editorial page editor of the New York Post and has been a columnist for Antiwar.com and New York Press.His work has been published in Commentary, Fortune, National Review, The New Republic, and many other publications.

Mission statement
(from inaugural issue, October 7, 2002)

Today the United States has no shortage of magazines that would call their orientation, and be described by others as, “conservative.” Add the conservative dominance of talk radio, the popularity of several talented right of-center television commentators, the current Republican majority in the House, and the Bush presidency, and one could argue that conservative ideas have as much resonance as they have ever had.

And yet there is a great, often unarticulated discomfort in the ranks of many who considered themselves conservative during the past few decades.A friend of ours recently told of an encounter with one of his colleagues.“You’re a conservative,” the colleague said—“so you must agree with Paul Wolfowitz that we should attack Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and all those places.”

Well, no. Not all conservatives do agree that the United States should engage—for reasons that hardly touch America’s own vital interests —in an open-ended war against much of the Arab and Muslim world.

A variant of that conversation might be had about immigration—an issue around which genuine debate erupted for a brief time in mid 1990’s—only to be extinguished by the regnant factions of the conservative Establishment. “So you’re a conservative” that conversation would run. “You must believe that ‘there shall be open borders’ as the Wall Street Journal editorial page habitually puts it.

Well, again, no. We believe that America has gained and still does from new immigrants.But we also, after two decades of intense immigration, believe that the nation needs a slowdown to assimilate those already here.

We are told—by some of the more powerful voices on the Right—that these debates are over. Neoconservatism, that influential and in many ways admirable tendency that emerged during the 1970s and flowered during the 1980s, has triumphed. It is now the dominant, nay, the only American conservatism worth talking about.

And if you look at the array of conservative media outlets, that would almost seem to be the case. The major conservative magazines now compete over which can bray loudest for the widest war, the most ambitious expansion of an American military imperium. More discretely, they vie to articulate their relief that the shock of 9-11 has not, as yet, translated into a decisive political push for serious immigration reform.

We will be different.

Many voices will appear in the pages of The American Conservative — often in disagreement with one another. We are of course in considerable part Buchananite—well disposed to the web of ideas that drew millions of voters during three Buchanan presidential bids. But our magazine’s mission is broader: to ignite the conversation that conservatives ought to have engaged in since the end of the Cold War, but didn’t.

We will question the benefits and point to the pitfalls of the global free trade economy; we will free the immigration debate from the prison to which it has been consigned. And we will discuss, frequently, America’s role in the world, turning a critical eye on those who want to cast aside every relevant American foreign policy tradition—from Robert Taft-style isolationism to prudent Dwight Eisenhower-style internationalism, in favor of go it alone militarism, where America threatens and bombs one nation after another, while the world looks on in increasing horror.

We believe conservatism to be the most natural political tendency, rooted in man’s taste for the familiar, for family, for faith in God. We believe that true conservatism has a predisposition for the institutions and mores that exist. So much of what passes for contemporary conservatism is wedded to a kind of radicalism—fantasies of global hegemony, the hubristic notion of America as a universal nation for all the world’s peoples, a hyperglobal economy. In combination with an increasingly unveiled contempt for America’s long-standing allies, this is more a recipe for disaster.

Against it, we take our stand.

–The Editors (The American Conservative)

_____________________________

"You can forget about a country called Iraq"

From the BBC

........
"A Yemeni fighter would tell me about his pregnant wife, his children and the young daughter that he loves very much. And then you see tears running down his eyes and then he would dismiss this, oh no, no, this is the devil trying to tempt me away from my Jihad by reminding me of my family."

Driving the insurgency

So would Iraq be better off if US and British troops withdrew?

It may remove one motivation for the insurgency.

"The resistance is a natural reaction to any occupation," says Abu Mohammed. "All occupations in history faced a resistance - this occupation is an insult to me and my people.

"Since I'm an officer, the responsibility falls on my shoulders. So I have to finish this occupation."

But above and beyond the motives of the nationalists, there is the "game plan" laid out by Zarqawi in a letter in early 2004.

One of the primary aims was to foment civil war between the Sunnis and Shias. Recent events in Iraq show this agenda is still being vigorously pursued.

An Iraqi officer we spoke to said that if the international coalition were to pull out of Iraq, "You can forget about a country called Iraq. There'd be massacres in the street - Sunnis will kill Shias and Shias will kill Sunnis".

"The Muslim will kill the Christian and the Christian will kill the Muslim. The Arab will kill the Kurd and the Kurd will kill the Arab. It is very, very important that the coalition forces stay in Iraq," the officer told us.

The Insurgency will be broadcast on BBC Two on Sunday, 2 April at 2100 BST
---------------------

Gus says: So that's the plan... Have coalition forces until things settle down but things can settle down until the coalition forces leave... Great strategic decision, Ms Rice... The US is in there for many years to come — as planned from the beginning... in order to control the petrol...

good germans .....

‘"And just as Good Germans were complicit in the
crimes of their government not that very long ago, so too are we American
citizens complicit in the crimes of our own government. Because we are
complicit, we must speak out against this monstrous war in every nonviolent way
possible if we want to absolve ourselves of that complicity."

"Your Honor, I cannot stand by and watch these crimes continue. I must add
my voice to the thousands of others crying out for an end to it until we awaken
America's conscience," I stated. Then I looked at him directly and invited
him to "help us wake our nation's conscience" by ruling that what I
did when I read the names of U.S. soldiers and Iraqis killed in this war was
not a disruption but a civic duty.

The courtroom fell quiet for a moment. Judge Milliken paused, asked the
prosecutors a couple more questions, asked Ed, me, and our attorney, Mark
Goldstone, if we had anything else to say, paused again, and said
"Sentenced to time served."’ 

Four Words that
Spoke Volumes

Oil on the track

A one-eyed view of global affairs isn't peculiar to the Bushites. Try to find a news page that brings together "Formula One Grand Prix" and "oil crisis". Talk about addiction to fossil fuels! Neither side of politics dares to utter a word against Ron Walker's golden goose, and that's about on a par with their addiction to gambling profits. 

No amount of imagination can contrive that motor sports alleviate the poverty of African children.

Anyone care to guess at the voting habits of the crowd at Car fans cruise into high gear, with petrol at $1.30 for the Easter holidays and the tax take at an all-time high? It must be about time for Alex Downer to declare war on Iran. If only he would, so we could watch Kim Beazley's reaction.

Dubya, you sux...

From the ABC

US policies leading to 'dark night': Gorbachev
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev says he believes the United States has become intoxicated by its power and should not impose its will on others.

Mr Gorbachev has told Time magazine US talk of pre-emptive strikes and of ignoring international legal obligations and the United Nations Security Council is leading towards what he terms a "dark night".

He also says he believes some people may be pushing President George W Bush in the wrong direction.

The 75-year-old former leader says the US wants to impose its will on the world but needs to get over that desire, as it has responsibilities as well as power.

He says he has made the comments as a good friend of America.

Right to bear automatic assault rifle

From the New York Times
Sectarian Strife Fuels Gun Sales in Baghdad
By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN
Published: April 3, 2006
BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 29 — With chipped, painted fingernails, Nahrawan al-Janabi picked up a cartridge and slid it into the chamber.

"Like this," she said, loading her new Glock pistol with a loud, satisfying click. "You see, like this."

Akram Abdulzahra now keeps his revolver handy at his job in an Internet cafe. Haidar Hussein, a Baghdad bookseller, just bought a fully automatic assault rifle and has been teaching his wife how to shoot.

Iraq has long been awash in guns. But after the bombing of a sacred Shiite shrine in Samarra in late February, sectarian tensions exploded, and more Iraqis than ever have been buying, carrying and stockpiling weapons, adding an unnerving level of firepower to Baghdad's streets.

The average price for a Russian-made Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle, which is perfectly legal here, has jumped to $290 from $112 in the past month, according to several gun dealers. Bullets have climbed to 33 cents each from 24 cents

Read more at the NY Times

Gus is impressed: Thank you uncle Dubya... What's next? Machine guns for Christmas? Ah, I forgot, they don't celebrate Christmas in Iraq... Not yet anyway...

if you can't win one war, start another .....

‘The Bush regime currently has wars underway in Afghanistan and in
Iraq and can bring neither to a conclusion. Undeterred by these failures, the
Bush regime gives every indication that it intends to start a war with Iran, a
country that is capable of responding to US aggression over a broader front
than the Sunni resistance has mounted in Iraq.  

The US lacks sufficient conventional capability to prevail
in such widespread conflict. The US also lacks the financial resources. Iraq
alone has already cost several hundred billion borrowed dollars, with experts'
estimates putting the ultimate cost in excess of one trillion dollars.  

Moreover, the Bush regime's belligerent foreign policy
extends to regions beyond the Middle East. The Bush regime has recently declared
election outcomes in former Soviet republics as "unacceptable." 

The "unacceptable" outcomes are those that do not
empower parties aligned with the US and NATO. Russians view the Bush regime's
"democracy programs" for Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus as an effort to
push Russia northward and deprive it of warm water ports.  

Russian leaders speak of the "messianism of American
foreign policy" leading to a new cold war.’
 

Belligerent Until
the Bitter End