Monday 25th of May 2020

american folly .....

american folly .....


from the Centre for American Progress …..

Stay the Course v.2.0.  

The blue-ribbon Iraq Study Group (ISG) headed by James Baker and Lee Hamilton will meet today in Washington to discuss the first draft of its review of Iraq policy. According to the New York Times, the current draft does not include a proposal for the phased withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. It is the latest sign that U.S. policy in Iraq is unlikely to undergo a significant shift despite the midterm election results, which were viewed as a decisive national rebuke of the Iraq war. NBC News correspondent Norah O'Donnell noted yesterday that the Pentagon is "already developing an alternative" review of Iraq policy "to give the President an out if he doesn't like the recommendations" of the ISG. According to media reports, that review is likely to recommend a "stay-the-course-plus" strategy, combining a temporary increase of 20,000-30,000 troops with a long-term effort to train and advise Iraqi forces. Also, the White House this weekend repeated its "insistence that Iraq was not in a civil war," days after one of the worst spasms of sectarian violence since the war began, intensifying the bloodshed that scholars say "already puts Iraq in the top ranks of the civil wars of the last half-century." Just before the recent elections, Vice President Dick Cheney announced that the White House would go "full speed ahead" with its current Iraq policy regardless of the election results. "We've got the basic strategy right," Cheney said. He was not bluffing.

AWB In Question Time

Treasurer Peter Costello confirmed in Parliament today that bribes paid by the Australian Wheat board to Saddam Hussein were not tax deductible.

Mr Costello said that such claims would be in breach of the Income Tax Assessment Act. His statement contradicts that of AW's Chief Finance officer Paul Ingleby, who said in May this year that "all our advice is that these payments are deductible." The Australian Tax Office declined to comment to The Age at that time.

solitary .....

solitary .....


from the Sydney morning herald …..

‘This is the cell where David Hicks lives - where the lights are never off and the window, a slit of frosted glass, never opens.

The other photo shows the barren, bookless room at Guantanamo Bay that the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, calls a library.

"Like Breaker Morant All Over Again" AWB and Kovco

One of the most telling lines in the AWB story is quoted by The Age today. The unnamed wheat exec goes on to say that if he is charged he will call Minister Downer as a witness, at which point "My QC will rip him to shreds.

On the same day as Commissioner Cole handed down his findings, another muddy inquiry became clearer, as the Australian ran a leak that the verdict into the death of Private Jake Kovco would be that the soldier had killed himself with his own firearm... just like the minister and the MP's said.

AWB- Sham, Scam, Shame.

Australian government officials have bribed and lied and found themselves to be as untainted as newborns.

Our Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Trade Minister are innocent. It wasn't their fault that a government agency was paying bloody money to a dictactor that Australia was about to go to war with. Anyway, if they didn't read all the cables from everybody trying to tell them what was going on, how could they possibly know.

The first Cole Inquiry stories are bouncing around the world pretty quickly... I picked up the AP version from the Houston Chronicle. You'll find that a lot of US Farmers are going to be interested in this result. The US Democrats certainly, are. They weren't running the inquiry when the Australian ambassador asked for it to be ignored in support of Howard's re-election. They are most certainly in charge now.

a fairy tell ending .....

fractured fairytales .....

Government cleared in AWB probe

The Cole inquiry report has cleared the Federal Government but recommends a joint task force of legal authorities investigate whether charges should be laid against 11 people associated with wheat exporter AWB for breaching United Nations sanctions against Iraq.

reality check .....

reality check .....

‘It is now commonplace for people like me, who supported the war, to say that we "did the right thing" but that it had mysteriously "turned out wrong". This is intellectually vacuous. It is like saying British strategy for July 1, 1916 was perfect, but let down by faulty execution. The thing was a disaster from the moment we invaded, and it wasn't poor old Rumsfeld's fault for failing to send in enough troops, or failing to do more "planning" for the post-war. No quantity of troops could have prevented this catastrophe; and the dreadful thing is that I think Saddam knew it.

junk terror .....

junk terror .....


‘Some of Britain's biggest food brands, including McDonald's, Nestlé and Kellogg's, are using "underhand tactics" on the internet to directly target children with their unhealthy products, according to a report.

Stung by moves to restrict traditional methods of selling junk food to children, such as TV advertising, the consumer group Which says companies are often turning to the less heavily policed internet.

the great turkey .....

‘On the day before Thanksgiving, President George W. Bush officially pardoned two turkeys, guaranteeing that they would be allowed to live out their days in safety and security, unharmed even by FBI, CIA or the Department of Homeland Security. In America today, turkeys have more rights than U.S. citizens do.

I wonder how many Americans thought of alleged terrorist Jose Padilla this Thanksgiving Day. Padilla, arrested at O’Hare Airport in Chicago in May of 2002, still has not been tried in late November, 2006. Speedy trial? Oh, that is so-o-o-o 20th Century, so pre-9/11!

criminal optimism .....

‘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.

Bringing In The Sheaves

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.

a mafia state .....

‘Almost 40 per cent of land used by Israel for its settlements in the occupied West Bank is the private property of Palestinians, the Israeli organisation Peace Now said yesterday on the basis of leaked official maps and other data.

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.

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

‘The global battle against Islamic terrorism will be decided in the harsh desert of southern Afghanistan, Tony Blair yesterday told British troops as he made a flying visit to the country.

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.

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