Thursday 25th of April 2019

ol' snake eyes .....

ol' snake eyes .....

 

from the Centre for American Progress …..

Escalating Failure

‘Last night, President Bush disregarded the opposition of U.S. military commanders, lawmakers of both parties, the Iraq Study Group (ISG), and the American public and announced to the nation that he plans to increase America's presence in Iraq by approximately 21,500 troops, with no timetable for when troop levels would be drawn back down. The right wing tried to present this "surge" as the "last chance for success" in Iraq. But as the Associated Press noted, Bush's escalation announcement is simply the "latest repackaging of a program that's been wrapped and rewrapped many times." When Bush sent increased U.S. forces into Baghdad in June 2006, the security situation actually deteriorated further and violence increased. One Bush administration official admitted that the escalation plan is "more of a political decision than a military one" and military commanders have made clear to the President that U.S. forces are already overstretched. As Bush noted in June 28, 2005, sending more troops to Iraq will "undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead" and "suggest that we intend to stay forever." Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) has introduced legislation demanding accountability from the President, and the Center for American Progress has released a memo recommending "an amendment on the supplemental funding bill that states that if the administration wants to increase the number of troops in Iraq above 150,000, it must provide a plan for their purpose and require an up or down vote on exceeding that number." American Progress also has a strategic redeployment plan detailing "a responsible exit from Iraq as part of a balanced global strategy to make Americans safer."

the loser in chief .....

the loser in chief .....

 

‘As the President prepares to announce an increase of an additional 20,000 American troops for the civil war in Iraq, editorials in newspapers across the country are joining the wide-ranging criticism of the war's escalation. Calling it "a futile gesture" and noting that there "is nothing novel" about the President's latest tactic, editorials from Atlanta to Albuquerque, and Dallas to Milwaukee are calling for a "new strategy," for the President to put "far more pressure" on the Iraqis, and for a greater attempt at diplomacy, as the bipartisan Iraq Study Group recommended.’

Maximising Your Firepower

A convoluted trail is emerging that involves allegations of Russian-based international money laundering, direct government dealings with the administrators of Saddam's Australian wheat bribes, and a government representative taking up a position in a cloudy corner of the corporate world.

The Australian Trade Commission has published claims made by Firepower, a Perth based company that its technology provides reductions of environmentally harmful emissions of thirty to sixty percent,, Firepower claim they've been checked by "several world leading independent testing institutes" but don"t say who they are. Austrade refer to testing carried out in Russia... though the sources of the testing are not mentioned on the company's website.

clowner .....

the value of fishnets .....

 

from today’s Crikey …..

Alexander Downer is heading to the US – but to join the likes of Bindi Irwin and the Wiggles for the G’day USA promotion in LA, not to stand alongside the President as he speaks to the nation. Perhaps that’s the best place for him. Perhaps, if Australia wants to make a mark in Washington, we should be putting Bindi in the Beltway.

happy anniversary .....

happy anniversary .....

 

‘People should not be tortured, abused or held indefinitely without charge, whether perceived guilty or innocent. Holding anyone without charge, citizen or non-citizen, is a violation of the United States Constitution and international law.Torture is immoral, ineffective and absolutely illegal under domestic and international law.

the great strategist .....

the great strategist .....

 

from the Centre for American Progress …..

No Blank Check

As early as Wednesday, President Bush is expected to deliver a national address announcing an escalation of tens of thousands of U.S. forces in Iraq. A Pentagon official admitted to NBC News last week that the escalation is "more of a political decision than a military one," favored because Bush "has few other dramatic options available to signal U.S. determination in Iraq." U.S. troops should not be ordered into the deadliest hot spots of Iraq's civil war so that President Bush can send a "signal." New congressional leaders Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) agree, telling Bush in a letter on Friday that escalation "is a strategy that you have already tried and that has already failed. ... Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain." Congress must hold Bush accountable to ensure that U.S. forces are deployed for the right reasons. A recent Center for American Progress memo suggested that Congress "place an amendment on the supplemental funding bill that states that if the administration wants to increase the number of troops in Iraq above 150,000, it must provide a plan for their purpose and require an up or down vote on exceeding that number." Yesterday, Pelosi pledged that Congress not issue Bush a blank check. "If the president wants to add to this mission, he is going to have to justify it,” Pelosi said. 

dicky's miracle oils .....

 

oily miracles .....

‘Iraq's massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days.

The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalised in 1972.

"aussie tony" & the value of appearances .....

"aussie tony" & the value of appearances .....

 

‘Gordon Brown yesterday moved to announce himself as the pre-eminent figure in British politics, forcing Tony Blair to break his silence on the execution of Saddam Hussein and issuing what amounts to a scathing criticism of the Prime Minister's foreign policy.

from the cuckoo's nest .....

from the cuckoo's nest .....

 

‘Telephone logs recorded by the National Security Agency and obtained by Congress as part of an ongoing investigation suggest that the vice president may have used the Oval Office intercom system to address President Bush at crucial moments, giving categorical directives in a voice the president believed to be that of God.

the great justicerer .....

the great justicerer .....

 

‘Bush is still the Christian-crusader President, still lodged inside a bubble universe filled with neo-con advisors - and that means more troops in Iraq, even if the idea doesn't make a lick of sense.

Every now and then, you have to take a lesson or two from history. In the case of George Bush's Iraq, here's one: No matter what the President announces in his "new way forward" speech on Iraq next week - including belated calls for "sacrifice" from the man whose answer to 9/11 was to urge Americans to surge into Disney World - it won't work.

Is It Over Yet?

So, four years after the non-Islamic part of the world violated a nation's sovereign rights by beginning the process of invading, seizing its ruler and at the very least assisting in the creation of the outcome of his execution, is the War On Terror over?

Every Western civilation is five times as scared as it was before of bombs detonating in its city streets. Is the War On Terror over?

3,000 US soldiers are dead, and a couple of hundred thousand Iraqis, who-knows-how-many have been injured. London has been bombed. Al Qaeda has threatened Australia. You can't walk two blocks in Adelaide without your face being filmed twenty five times.

maxxed-out .....

maxxed-out .....

 

‘After six years of spending the American taxpayers' money like an overindulged, forever prepubescent Ivy League frat boy on spring break with his Daddy's credit card; George W. Bush has decided that he has a plan to "balance the budget by 2012."

Let's keep in mind that this is the guy who put together "the plan" - the "victory strategy" - for Iraq and, following Hurricane Katrina, the recovery plan for the Gulf Coast. In other words, if Bush decides to stick with his plan to balance the budget by 2012 and Democrats are goofy enough to go along with his foolishness - the deficit will double by 2008.

abuse a man unjustly & you will make friends for him .....

abuse a man unjustly .....

‘Not long before Christmas Day 2002, a young man was being held in a US facility known as the Bagram Collection Point, in Afghanistan. Like many other Afghan nationals, he had only one name: Dilawar.

He led a simple, quiet life. He had a wife, a young daughter, and one friend. He was 22 years old, and weighed only 122 pounds. He had become a cab driver because he couldn't feed his family as a farmer anymore.

ashes to ashes .....

ashes to ashes .....

 

from our ABC ..... 

PM promises $25m for SCG stand

The Federal Government will provide $25 million for a new grandstand at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Prime Minister John Howard says he expects the New South Wales Government to fully match the Commonwealth's contribution.

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