‘Despite mountains of evidence that the Bush Administration’s misguided and mismanaged operations in Iraq are contributing to the spread of Islamist extremism in that country and around the world, the president and some like-minded conservatives still argue that any change in strategy is tantamount to a victory for the terrorists.
In fact, the only real winners in the Bush administration’s stay the course strategy in Iraq are America’s top public enemies: terrorist chieftain Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenant, Ayman al-Zarwahiri, who are apparently both still alive and well more than five years after 9/11.
Talk about whistleblowing! In order to save his own skin (or parts thereof) the former AWB chairman has exposed our Prime and Foreign Ministers as liars of the worst kind. This is not a matter of "core or non-core" promises but of a national leader being deceitful regarding his decision to engage his country in a war.
Our leader told us that Australia had not considered invading Iraq until the UN debates that occurred not long before Coalition forces jumped the border (after the Australian SAS's head start.). Now we learn that Australia's ambassador to the UN was laying groundwork for the military action a year before the event.
Contrary to official claims that the land is state-owned and that private property is only seized temporarily for security reasons, the leak shows that privately owned Palestinian land has been repeatedly used to build and expand settlements.
The Prime Minister flew into Helmand province in the south, where 3,500 British troops are engaged in a "stability mission" that has seen them facing daily clashes with Taleban fighters - combat of an intensity commanders say the British Army has not experienced since the Second World War.
This speech was reported by the Australian Jewish News this week. For some reason it's not on Downer's website.
Well, Rabbis, ladies and gentlemen I just want to say what a great honour it is and an unusual honour for me to come along here this afternoon and spend some time with you and participate in the opening of this synagogue.
I feel it is a great honour for a lot of reasons - some of them are very modern, some of them are not so modern.
from the Centre for American Progress …..
‘"Make no mistake, President Bush will need to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities before leaving office," writes Joshua Muravchik, a neoconservative scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. "The global thunder against Bush when he pulls the trigger will be deafening, and it will have many echoes at home." So neoconservatives, Muravchik argued, "need to pave the way intellectually now and be prepared to defend the action when it comes." In that vein, Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, said last August, "We could be in a military confrontation with Iran much sooner than people expect." In a startling new article in the New Yorker, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh writes that, despite the recent bluster over Iran's attempts to build a nuclear bomb, a highly classified draft assessment by the CIA found "no conclusive evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear-weapons program." According to Hersh, the White House has reacted with hostility to the CIA's report and, as it did with Iraq, is bypassing the agency by collecting and compiling its own intelligence for a possible military strike. On CNN yesterday, Hersh said there is an "internecine fight" going on between the CIA and the White House over the intelligence process, "the same fight, by the way, that we had before Iraq."
Tired of KBR getting all the engineering jobs? Looking for a career in building Weapons Of Mass Destruction? Adelaide Uni can help. They're now training engineers for more advanced construction work, at least up to the technology level that Raytheon allows us local savages to access.
It's odd for the university to now announce that it has been been running the specialised maritime engineering program for a year already, instead of at the program's initial implementation. Given that the start of the academic year was just before the South Australian elections I wonder if the story might have been considered politically inappropriate at the time. To me it seemed that the whole concept of the Defence State, complete with number plates and BAE bus shelter ads, seemed to have been shelved in the last pre-election four weeks. In such a context I can understand a reticence for publicity.
‘As we approach the beginning of the end in Iraq there will be much throat clearing and breast-beating before reality replaces denial. For the moment, denial still rules.
In America last week I was shocked at how unaware even anti-war Americans are (like many Britons) of the depth of the predicament in Iraq. They compare it with Vietnam or the Balkans - but it is not the same. It is total anarchy. All sentences beginning, "What we should now do in Iraq ... " are devoid of meaning. We are in no position to do anything. We have no potency; that is the definition of anarchy.’
New Copyright Laws Risk Criminalising Everyday Australians
The Internet Industry Association today warned that changes to Australia’s copyright laws being rushed through Parliament risked making criminals out of everyday Australians.
The IIA which represents a broad range of internet businesses in Australia, in conjunction with the QUT Law Faculty Intellectual Property Research Program, has identified a number of scenarios which could trip up Australians in their everyday use of copyrighted materials.
Said IIA chief executive, Peter Coroneos: “We can’t be sure if this is the government's intent, or whether there has been a terrible oversight in the drafting of this Bill. Either way, the consequences for the average Australian family could be devastating.”
“As an example,” said Mr Coroneos, “a family who holds a birthday picnic in a place of public entertainment (for example, the grounds of a zoo) and sings ‘Happy Birthday’ in a manner that can be heard by others, risks an infringement notice carrying a fine of up to $1320. If they make a video recording of the event, they risk a further fine for the possession of a device for the purpose of making an infringing copy of a song. And if they go home and upload the clip to the internet where it can be accessed by others, they risk a further fine of up to $1320 for illegal distribution. All in all, possible fines of up to $3960 for this series of acts – and the new offences do not require knowledge or improper intent. Just the doing of the acts is enough to ground a legal liability under the new ‘strict liability’ offences.”
As many of you would have noticed YourDemocracy was unavailable for a couple of days. This was due to our domain name expiring. The name was under the control of a member of the IT team who is no longer active in the project, and no-one noticed that the domain was about to expire.
This has now been rectified, with the domain once again the under control of the core IT team. We also took this opportunity to move servers to deal with space and bandwidth issues. Every month we have grown in disk space and numbers of visitors. The new hosting basically has unlimited of each of these.
Please attach any issues as comments to this post.
‘When I saw the Newsweek cover featuring Big Daddy Bush muscling toward the front with a diminished little Dubya skulking in the background, my first thought was: How is Junior going to react to this? Bush II's resentment toward his father is well-known – a resentment no doubt compounded by his lifelong, abject dependence on Daddy's financial and political pull – and I knew that Little Bush would not simply accept this media humiliation and move on.
Because for all his vaunted (and totally mendacious) "unconcern" with opinion polls and popularity ("Ah just do whut muh gut tells me is right"), Little Bush is actually one of the most vain and insecure men ever to sit in the White House; only Nixon can match him in this regard. Why else would he need to have his authority bolstered in such ludicrous ways – such as all those little "Commander-in-Chief" and "President of the United States" tags embossed onto his fancy quasi-military jackets and his running gear and belt-buckles and boots – and probably his toilet paper as well?
‘They say the fountain in London's Trafalgar Square turned the color of blood on Armistice Day last weekend, as Britons in the hundreds of thousands trudged out in the November gloom to commemorate the end of the First World War, and lament the dead in all the wars thereafter.
But the turning of the water was no miracle, no divine judgment on the leader whose fateful partnership with George W. Bush is producing - week after week, month after month, year after year - fresh cause for future mourning. The color came from the thousands of fake poppies tossed into the fountain in what The Observer called "a spontaneous act of remembrance": an offering of the ubiquitous charity emblems worn by most of the population in the week leading up to the memorials.