Tuesday 10th of December 2019

on the potty .....

Speaking in Atlanta today, Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld was sharply questioned about his pre-war claims about
WMD in Iraq. An audience member confronted Rumsfeld with his 2003 claim about
WMD, “We know where they are.” Rumsfeld falsely claimed he never said it. 

The audience member then read Rumsfeld’s quote back to him, leaving the
defense secretary speechless. 

Rumsfeld Called
Out On Lies About WMD

Great Imagery

This is a fantastic cartoon, John!

Reminds me of one of my earlier more crude cartoons (not published on this site).
I drew our illustrious grocer playing with WMD turds plucked out of Baby Bush's potty...

But unlike my graphic representation drawn before the war in iraq even started, it's magic to see that Alfred Hitchcock titillating technique of not showing the event but alluding to the event is in full swing here... Anticipation being the essence of good movie writing... same with cartoon. I'm less refined on that front. Sorry.

If you see today's cartoon by Steve Bell at the Guardian, you'll know what I mean...

Let's be real

Remember that middle eastern Europe proverb "Long after the rose is dead, the thorns remain as sharp as ever..."? Yes who are we kidding? We think we are growing roses, in fact we are cultivating a garden of thorns...

The palestinian are having their supplies cut but the US and the Europeans... so... Are their brothers in the Arab world going to abandon them to accommodate our Jewished wishes? No... Even the Saudis who have the least of a democracy in the muslim world (they are may be the most despotic kingdom in the world, to which the US via the Bush "arse-istocracy" is licking the butt of: no choice the Saudi run the strings of petrodollars supplies)... Keep smiling... Even, did I say, the Saudis will not give up on the palestinians ... Why? because... has the muslim world to accept... that their only way to enjoying or participating in life on this planet is though "our" democrapcy system or by ruling people through a fist of iron and kindness? Democrapcy being a stupid way to go when 50 per cent moronic plus one moron have the power to rule over intelligent or fair minded people as we've seen in the US and here? Until the time we can boot them out... but their chief spruiker are so sneaky, like a cult-high-priest leading his flock to mass suicide, while he collects the money?

Yes, we get fed a lot of bull-dust in this country about spreading democracy when we do not realise the influence and the importance of secret manipulations, porky deals that our dishonest politicians dish out daily? With a complicit media?

And this dishonesty — not just on the war in iraq where the porkies flew at 50,000 feet above the ground — where the pigs are flying on more respectable altitudes like 5000 feet for medicare or 20,000 feet for PorkChoices and all that... ?

Now Basra, that Iraqi town that embraced the Pommy armies dishing out lollies is close to mass revolt. As a reporter for the BBC put it "Hearts and minds? question marks" Yes the Brits can no longer go to the toot in their "own" camps without taking their helmets and flak jackets... No surprises to see that when an English chopper is gunned down killing all its crew, most of the populace rejoices overtly... Let's be real: hearts and minds had been lost the day Bush and his neoconic cronies decided to blame Iraq for whatever including 9/11... In order to win hearts and mind in the present situation, our "constipation" forces need to have the support of at least 75 per cent of the population... They are barely managing 30 per cent and dropping daily... It's going to be a long war... unfortunately. More thorns ahead... less roses...

Leave it with you...

Frank on complicity

At Counterpunch: Robert Fisk: Through a Syrian Lens: Is the US Provoking Civil War in Iraq?

... The Americans, my interlocutor suspected, are trying to provoke an Iraqi civil war so that Sunni Muslim insurgents spend their energies killing their Shia co-religionists rather than soldiers of the Western occupation forces. "I swear to you that we have very good information," my source says, finger stabbing the air in front of him. "One young Iraqi man told us that he was trained by the Americans as a policeman in Baghdad and he spent 70 per cent of his time learning to drive and 30 per cent in weapons training. They said to him: 'Come back in a week.' When he went back, they gave him a mobile phone and told him to drive into a crowded area near a mosque and phone them. He waited in the car but couldn't get the right mobile signal. So he got out of the car to where he received a better signal. Then his car blew up." ...

From NY Times: May 7, 2006

Op-Ed Columnist

Too Soon? It's Too Late for 'United 93' By FRANK RICH

DON'T feel guilty if you, like most Americans, have not run or even walked to see "United 93." The movie that has been almost unanimously acclaimed as a rite of patriotism second only to singing the national anthem in English is clinical to the point of absurdity: it reduces the doomed and brave Americans on board to nameless stick figures with less personality than the passengers in "Airport." Rather than deepening our knowledge of them or their heroism, the movie caps an hour of air-controller nail-biting with a tasteful re-enactment of the grisly end. 

But it's not a total waste. The debate that preceded the film's arrival actually does tell us something about the war on terror. The two irrelevant questions that were asked over and over — Does "United 93" exploit the tragedy? Was it made too soon? — reveal just how adrift we are from reality as we head toward the fifth anniversary of the attacks.

The answer to the first question is yes, of course "United 93" exploits 9/11. It's a Hollywood entertainment marketed to make a profit, with a smoking World Trade Center on its poster as a gratuitous selling tool and a trailer cunningly deployed to drum up pre-premiere controversy (a k a publicity) by ambushing Manhattan audiences. The project's unappetizing commercialism is not mitigated by Universal Pictures' donation of 10 percent of the opening weekend's so-so proceeds to a memorial at the site of the crash in Shanksville, Pa. Roughly 50 times that sum is needed to build the memorial (and its cost is peanuts next to the planned $1 billion extravaganza in New York).

Still, a movie that exploits 9/11 is business as usual. This is America, for heaven's sake. "United 93" is merely the latest in a long line of such products and relatively restrained at that. This film doesn't use documentary images of shrouded remains being borne from ground zero, as the Bush-Cheney campaign ads did two years ago. And it isn't cheesy like the first fictional 9/11 movie, Showtime's "DC 9/11: Time of Crisis," in 2003. That dog, produced with White House cooperation and larded with twin-tower money shots, starred Timothy Bottoms as a derring-do President Bush given to pronouncements like "If some tinhorn terrorist wants me, tell him to come get me!" It's amazing that it hasn't found an honored place beside "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" as a campy midnight perennial.

As for the second question in the "United 93" debate, it's disturbing that it was asked at all. Is this movie too soon? Hardly: it's already been preceded by two TV movies about the same flight. The question we should be asking instead is if its message comes too late.

Whatever the movie's other failings, that message is clear and essential: the identity of the enemy. The film opens with the four hijackers praying to Allah and, in keeping with the cockpit voice recording played at the Zacarias Moussaoui trial, portrays them as prayerful right until they murder 40 innocent people. Such are the Islamic radicals who struck us on 9/11 and whose brethren have only multiplied since.

Yet how fleeting has been their fame. Thanks to the administration's deliberate post-9/11 decision to make the enemy who attacked us interchangeable with the secular fascists of Iraq who did not, the original war on terrorism has been diluted in its execution and robbed of its support from the American public. Brian Williams seemed to be hinting as much when, in effusively editorializing about "United 93" on NBC (a sister company of Universal), he suggested that "it just may be a badly needed reminder for some that we are a nation at war because of what happened in New York and Washington and in this case in a field in Pennsylvania." But he stopped short of specifying exactly what war he meant, and that's symptomatic of our confusion. When Americans think about war now, they don't think about the war prompted by what happened on 9/11 so much as the war in Iraq, and when they think about Iraq, they don't say, "Let's roll!," they say, "Let's leave!"

The administration's blurring of the distinction between Al Qaeda and Saddam threatens to throw out the baby that must survive, the war against Islamic terrorists, with the Iraqi quagmire. Last fall a Pew Research Center survey found that Iraq had driven isolationist sentiment in the United States to its post-Vietnam 1970's high. In a CBS News poll released last week, the percentage of Americans who name terrorism as the nation's "most important problem" fell to three. Every day we spend in Iraq erodes the war against those who attacked us on 9/11.

Just how much so was dramatized by an annual report on terrorism issued by the State Department on the same day that "United 93" opened nationwide. The number of terrorist attacks was up by a factor of nearly four in 2005. While Al Qaeda is scattered, it has been replaced by what Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism czar, describes as "a many-headed hydra that is just as deadly and far harder to slay." Osama bin Laden, no longer an operational leader, retains, in the State Department's language, "the capability to influence events, and inspire actual and potential terrorists."

We remain unprepared should they once again strike here. Like Hurricane Katrina before it, the Dubai Ports tsunami proved yet another indictment of our inept homeland security. While the country hyperventilated about the prospect of turning over our ports to a rare Arab ally, every expert on the subject, the former 9/11 commissioners included, was condemning our inability to check cargo at any point of entry, whether by sea or land, even if the Sopranos ran the show. Congress's Government Accountability Office reported that in a test conducted last year, undercover investigators smuggled enough radioactive material past our border inspectors to fuel two dirty bombs.

To add insult to this potential nuclear Armageddon, Afghanistan is falling back into the hands of religious fanatics; not even the country's American-backed president, Hamid Karzai, dared to publicly intervene in the trial of a man facing execution for converting from Islam to Christianity. "The Taliban and Al Qaeda are everywhere" is how a shopkeeper described the situation to the American commander in Afghanistan, The Times reported last week. These were the conditions that spawned the hijackers of "United 93" — all four of them trained in Qaeda camps in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. At this rate, we are in danger of marking the next anniversary of 9/11 with a reboot of the Afghanistan war we were supposed to have won more than four years ago.

Our level of denial about these setbacks is embedded not just in the White House, which blithely keeps telling us "we're winning" the war on terror, but also in the culture. The decision of most major networks and newspapers (including this one) to avoid showing the inflammatory Danish Muhammad cartoons attests less to our heightened religious sensitivities (we've all run reproductions of art Christians and Jews find blasphemous) than to our deep-seated fear of the terrorists' unimpeded power to strike back. The cheers that greet the long-awaited start of construction at ground zero are all the louder to drown out the unsettling truth that no major private tenant has bet on the Freedom Tower's security by signing a lease.

We also practice denial by manufacturing vicarious and symbolic victories at home to compensate for those we are not winning abroad. Two major liberties taken with the known facts in "United 93" — sequences suggesting that passengers thrashed and possibly killed two of the hijackers and succeeded in entering the cockpit — are highly cathartic but unsupported by the evidence. In its way, the Moussaoui prosecution conducted its own Hollywood rewrite by exaggerating the stature of the only person to go to trial for the crimes of 9/11. The larger this marginal creep loomed, the better the proxy he'd be for those we let get away (starting with bin Laden). Perhaps we might even be tempted to forget that F.B.I. incompetence had kept us from squeezing Moussaoui (or his computer) for information that might have saved lives during the weeks he languished in jail before 9/11.

Two of the F.B.I. bosses who repeatedly squelched Moussaoui search warrants in August 2001 remained at the F.B.I. as he went to trial. The genuinely significant 9/11 figures in American custody, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, cannot be prosecuted because their firsthand accounts of our "interrogation techniques" at Guantánamo and our "black sites" are bound to incite more terrorists. Meanwhile, the American leaders who devote every waking moment to defending their indefensible decisions in Iraq have squandered the energy, the armed forces and the international good will needed to fight the war that began on 9/11 and that, in our own State Department's words, is "still in the first phase."

That's the scenario before us now. Next to it, "United 93" may in time look as escapist as the Robin Williams vehicle that outgrossed it last weekend, "RV."

 Also, Editorial: The Intelligence Business:

... It is worth knowing why policy makers failed to anticipate the insurgency and other postwar nightmares, but the structure of this part of the investigation is flawed as well. The Senate investigation of Mr. Chalabi's involvement is limited to "intelligence products," which the C.I.A. produces. But it was not the C.I.A. that predicted rose petals in Baghdad and a virtually problem-free transition to democracy; it was Mr. Chalabi and his henchmen, creatures of Mr. Rumsfeld's team at the Pentagon. And it was the intelligence business that Mr. Rumsfeld now pretends not to run that used Mr. Chalabi's myths in an attempt to rebut the skeptical State Department and make dubious information seem more reliable. ...

Our Eddie on the myth-making job: Victims' misery a goldmine for chequebook TV

Sadly, Richard Carleton dies at mine

Prediction: after the rescue, and not long after a good few media-hyped beers, another single-vehicle multiple fatality on a north coast road, not far from Scottsdale.

In letters to The Age, May 7th: The minister, the mistress and the art of politics
Recent exposure of the affair between Britain's Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and his secretary, Tracey Temple, has no relevance to Australia. However, it must be a source of relief to all Australians that such a situation could never arise here.
Imagine for a moment that evidence emerged of a long-standing sexual liaison between a male, married member of the Howard ministry and his private secretary.
The Government would deal with it as follows:
1. The minister denies the affair. Photographs are published in the Murdoch press of his family, showing smiling faces of the minister himself, his wife, three beautiful children and a cuddly labrador.
2. Following an appearance by his lover on Sixty Minutes, in which she provides elaborate details of their sexual practices, the minister issues a statement saying he has no recollection of the affair.
3. When the Fairfax press publishes copies of motel receipts and several highly incriminating letters, the minister announces that he cannot recall having read this material and berates the public service for not bringing it to his attention.
4. The Prime Minister announces that there will be a full inquiry, chaired by a senior government senator. A month later, the inquiry reveals its findings, completely clearing the minister.
5. Mr Howard declares his total confidence in the minister, stating that he is a man of the utmost integrity and that he had always suspected the Opposition and the ABC were trying to hurt his government.
6. Attorney-General Philip Ruddock announces a security alert upgrading. Updated fridge magnets are issued.
7. In a subsequent ministerial reshuffle, the minister against whom the accusations were made is promoted.
FRANK SMITH, Kew

wings of justice .....

from buzzflash 

‘We are very pleased to doubly
honor 27-year CIA veteran Ray McGovern on BuzzFlash.com today - as this week's
BuzzFlash "Wings of Justice Award" Winner and with a lengthy,
fascinating BuzzFlash Interview. (See below). 

Ray made us think of a time when
America had statesmen and strategic leaders running the country, not mediocre,
arrogant hacks.  

It was the time of the Cuban
missile crisis, with the world on the brink of a nuclear war. Kennedy and
Khruschev were playing brinksmanship and had just about run out of options.  

Near the point of no return,
Khruschev sent two messages to JFK. One of them (the first) was conciliatory,
what today would be called an overture. The second, which came a bit later, was
bellicose and defiant. 

One of America's Dr. Strangelove
generals of the time, Curtis LeMay, was itching to start dropping the nukes on
Moscow. But a diplomat Kennedy relied upon advised a different strategy:
respond to the conciliatory overture and ignore the sabre rattling message.
Kennedy did just that. 

As a result, Khruschev responded
favorably and the Cuban missile crisis went on to be resolved.  

We are reminded of this
historical anecdote because it represents the exact opposite of how the Bush
administration, which seeks a nuclear confrontation with Iran for partisan
political purposes and dreams of empire, is dismissing as out of hand a
somewhat rambling and boastful overture from Iran. It is the first written
communication between an Iranian and American leader in 27 years, so Condi Rice
is being disingenuous - shall we say - when she doesn't call it an overture. 

In essence, the Iranian letter is
a combination of the two Russian cables to JFK. It is written both for Bush and
for domestic consumption (which was the purpose of Khruschev's second cable -
he needed to show his military that he could thumb his nose at the Americans).
Yes, the Iranian letter is full of defiance and lectures, but it is an
overture. A confrontation like this doesn't become a kiss and make up session
in ten seconds. You have to begin somewhere. 

If the president of Iran wrote
Bush a letter offering him a case of Persian caviar and a box of champagne,
Rice would read from a prepared script calling it "needlessly
provocative." As with Iraq, the Bush script for the coming Iran War is
already written out. The Bush Administration has its responses ready before it
even knows the questions. 

If anything, the hapless,
bumbling, ineffectual, losing Bush Administration is predictable. They aren't
inventive enough to vary from a game plan. They just keep using the same one
over and over again. 

Iran is just Iraq II, which
itself was Desert Storm II (without the withdrawal of U.S. forces).  

JFK was a thinker, a strategist,
an honored Veteran, a wise leader. 

Bush is just a mediocre failure,
who has the appearance of being an affable fool. 

God help us all.’ 

Ray McGovern To
Rumsfeld: Why Did You Lie?

teflon don .....

‘Nothing he says can be trusted.
In 6 years, he’s never uttered a completely reliable statement, just convoluted
pronouncements that have to be parsed by experts. That’s why it was so
satisfying to see him skewered by Ray McGovern’s questions. McGovern had
Rumsfeld backpedaling like he’d just been harpooned. Honesty has that kind of
effect on people like Rumsfeld; that’s why they surround themselves with goons
like a Mafia kingpin. They need a human-shield to protect them from the truth. 

The American people have been
ripped off big-time by Rummy. From the onset, it’s been one wretched excuse
after another. Nothing is ever his fault; not the occupation; not the lack of
soldiers; not the looting in Baghdad, not the faulty-armor, not the resistance,
nothing. Ever! 

Every errant bomb, every wayward
missile, every downed helicopter, every dead soldier, is someone else’s fault.’ 

Liar

What about opposing useless wars?

From the New York Times

Conservative Christians Warn Republicans Against Inaction

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Published: May 15, 2006
WASHINGTON, May 13 — Some of President Bush's most influential conservative Christian allies are becoming openly critical of the White House and Republicans in Congress, warning that they will withhold their support in the midterm elections unless Congress does more to oppose same-sex marriage, obscenity and abortion...
read more at the NYT

----------------------

Gus would like to point out that too many of these bloody neo-Christians only read the Old Testament with its plethora of wars, creationism, battles, deceptions and salt statues... and have not learned a thing about what they toot about...

the italian job .....

‘What did the Berlusconi
government get in return for providing the Bush administration with a
convenient "smoking gun" to attack Iraq? At the end of the yellowcake
trail may be the prestigious contract an Italian firm won to manufacture Marine
One -- the fleet of presidential helicopters. In January 2005, the U.S. Navy
awarded the contract for the construction of 23 new Marine One helicopters to
AgustaWestland. Marketing itself as an Anglo-Italian firm, AgustaWestland is
wholly owned by Finmeccanica, Italy's largest defense conglomerate. 

The choice of AgustaWestland for
Marine One surprised most industry observers because U.S.-based Sikorsky
Aircraft Corp. was the heavy favorite. Sikorsky patented the first helicopter
design in 1939 and built virtually every president's helicopter since 1957.
President Eisenhower regularly flew in a Sikorsky to his Gettysburg farm, and
the Sikorsky that Nixon boarded when he resigned from the White House is now
being restored for permanent display at the Nixon Library.’ 

Italian
Pay-off From Niger Forgery?

 

meanwhile, in another part
of gothic city …..

 

‘The debunking of the
"mobile biolabs" claim began in classified reports long before the
U.S. invasion, when German intelligence in 2001 and 2002 told U.S. officials
that the story's source, an Iraqi defector code-named "Curveball,"
was unreliable, official investigations later found. U.N. inspectors determined
in early 2003, before the war, that parts of Curveball's story were false…. 

Testing the equipment in early
May 2003, U.S. experts found no traces of biological agents, and later that
month the U.S. fact-finders filed their negative report from Baghdad. But on
May 29, Bush assured Polish television: "We found the weapons of mass
destruction. We found biological laboratories." Then national security
adviser Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell later made similar
statements. As late as January 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney called the
trailers "conclusive evidence" of Iraqi WMD, one of the reasons given
for invading Iraq. The experts' findings were classified, never to be released,
The Washington Post reported last month.’ 

Smoke
Alarm: Yet More Evidence Of War Crimes

donny strangelove .....

‘Former President George H.W. Bush waged a secret campaign
over several months early this year to remove Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld. 

The elder Bush went so far as to recruit Rumsfeld's potential
replacement, personally asking a retired four-star general if he would accept
the position, a reliable source close to the general told me.  

But the former president's effort failed, apparently rebuffed by the
current president. When seven retired generals who had been commanders in Iraq demanded
Rumsfeld's resignation
in April, the younger Bush leapt to his defense.
"I'm the decider and I decide what's best.  

And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain," he said. His
endorsement of Rumsfeld was a rebuke not only to the generals but also to his
father.’ 

George
Bush Sr. Asked Retired General To Replace Rumsfeld