barack obama, buck naked politics, bush, bush administration, bush's legacy, cnn, cnn poll, costs of iraq war, damozel, ed henry, hillary clinton, house budget committee, iraq, iraq war, John mccain, larry lindsey, recession, the economy, troop drawdown, troop withdrawals
D. Cupples | The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee is about to release a "detailed critique" of the Bush Administrations claims during the lead up to the Iraq war. The Los Angeles Times reports:
"The long-delayed document catalogs dozens of prewar assertionsby President Bush
and other administration officials that proved to be wildly inaccurateabout Iraq's alleged stockpiles of banned weapons and pursuit of
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Posted by Damozel | Watch Paxman say. "So you're saying that lack of experience is an advantage?...Are you actuallyconvinced he's up to the job?" He pointed out that the last president we elected with no foreign policy experience wasn't really up to the job. Heh.
What we really need, of course, is a foreign policy expert who doesn't have the common sense (on or off the record) not to call the opposition---whom, of course, she really respects--- a 'monster.'
Make 'em all go through the Paxmo wringer. You too, Hillary. Better yet, Bill. Let Paxman ask about those tax records.
"A carefully orchestrated suicide bombing Thursday in a crowded shopping
district killed at least 68 Iraqi civilians and security officials and
injured 120 people.
"The death toll was expected to rise overnight as hospitals in the
capital struggled to contend with shrapnel and burn victims, many of
them women and children enjoying an evening out at the start of the
"The bombing followed by three days an attack that killed 26 people in
Baghdad's Bab al Muadam district and by a month suicide attacks against
Shiite Muslim pilgrims that killed nearly 100 people.
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Posted by D. Cupples | Reuters reports today about the warm welcome that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's received when visiting Iraq this weekend:
"Pomp and ceremony greeted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his arrival in Iraq on Sunday, the fanfare a stark contrast to the rushed and secretive visits of his bitter rival U.S. President George W. Bush.
"Ahmadinejad held hands with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani as they walked down a red carpet to the tune of their countries' national anthems, his visit the first by an Iranian president since the two neighbours fought a ruinous war in the 1980s...."
by Damozel | Elsewhere in the world, journalists, even journalists in London's quite energetic
tabloid press, had known of the deployment for weeks and kept quiet.
They did so because they did not wish to place Harry in much greater
danger than he was already facing in his deployment, not to mention his fellow soldiers. After all, the man
who is third in line to the British throne certainly might be seen by
the enemy as a rather more valuable hostage than your average Clive,
Trevor, or Nigel.
The decision to send Prince Harry, 23, to Afghanistan under a cloak of secrecy
came after the furore that followed the revelation of his proposed
deployment to Iraq. Much to the Prince's frustration, General Dannatt
announced in May last year that it would be too risky, fearing the Prince and his comrades in the Household Cavalry would become top priority targets
for insurgents. (The Independent)
You'd have thought this might have occurred to Drudge. But either it didn't occur to him or he didn't care.
afghanistan, american media, british media, british troops, cornet wales, evening standard, matt drudge, ministry of defence, muslim extremists, muslims, new york times, news blackout, prince harry, richard dannatt, tabloid press, terrorism, the independent, uk, uk media, uk news
by D. Cupples| Sen. Hillary Clinton sponsored a bill that would require federal government personnel (instead of private contractors) to provide security services for diplomats in Iraq. Clinton commented, in part:
"...This administration has permitted thousands
of heavily-armed military contractors to march through Iraq without any
law or court to rein them in or hold them accountable. These private
security contractors have been reckless and have compromised our
mission in Iraq.... We need to stop filling the coffers of contractors in Iraq,
and make sure that armed personnel in Iraq are fully accountable to the
U.S. government..." (U.S. Senate)
"Turkey pulled its troops out of northern Iraq on
Friday, ending a major offensive against Kurdish PKK rebels that
Washington had feared might destabilize the wider region....
"Turkey, which has NATO's second biggest army, sent thousands of
soldiers into mountainous northern Iraq on February 21 to crush rebels
of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who use the region as a base for
attacks on Turkish territory.
Turkish forces killed 240 rebels and lost 27 soldiers.
The following images, published today at Wired.com, have been compiled so viewers can see them in their entirety without having to reload pages. Wired obtained them from an expert defense witness in the Abu Ghraib case, psychologist Philip Zimbardo. Zimbardo speaks tomorrow at a conference, delivering a talk that
reflects on his book, "The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good
People Turn Evil." Read about it here.
In their publication, the magazine wrote, "Many of the images are
explicit and gruesome, depicting nudity, degradation, simulated sex
acts and guards posing with decaying corpses. Viewer discretion is
by D. Cupples | It's not hard to imagine that a post-adolescent who's already seen death and destruction in Iraq might prefer spilling his own blood under controlled circumstances, over facing the risk that his blood might be spilled overseas (and in a far worse way). The Los Angeles Times reports:
"The soldier staggered, wounded and bloody, into an Apple Valley mini-mart last weekend claiming to be a victim, shot and robbed while on leave from Iraq.
"Now investigators say it was all a ploy: They believe that Army Pfc. Matthew Myers, 20, of Apple Valley arranged for a friend to shoot him so he could avoid returning to Iraq." (Read the rest here.)
by D. Cupples | Apparently, it's not enough that our troops risk their lives at war and give up legal rights in some situations, but now they're also being prohibited from reading some blogs. Yes, you read that correctly. Via Memeorandum, Noah Schactman at Wired reports
"The Air Force is tightening restrictions on which blogs its troops can
read, cutting off access to just about any independent site with the
word 'blog' in its web address. It's the latest move in a larger
struggle within the military over the value -- and hazards -- of the
sites. At least one senior Air Force official calls the squeeze so 'utterly stupid, it makes me want to scream....'"
Stupid, perhaps. Disrespectful and ungrateful, definitely. As a taxpayer, I'd like to know the reasons for this censorship.
Posted by Damozel | Meanwhile, Bush is still president and the war is still going on. According to this report, a survey of military officers reveals that officers believe that the US military is now stretched 'dangerously thin.' (CNN)
Of those surveyed, 88 percent believe the demands of the Iraq war have "stretched the U.S. military dangerously thin." On the other hand, 56 percent of the officers disagree that the war has "broken" the military. Eighty percent of officers believe it is unreasonable to expect the
U.S. military to wage another major war successfully at present.(CNN)
Sixty percent say that the military is weaker than it was five years ago.(CNN)
"A suicide car bomber killed 38 Afghans at a crowded market Monday,
pushing the death toll from two days of militant bombings to about 140. The
marketplace blast, which targeted a Canadian army convoy, came a day
after the country's deadliest insurgent attack since a U.S. invasion
defeated the Taliban regime in late 2001. The toll from that bombing in a crowd watching a dog fight rose to more than 100.
back-to-back blasts in the southern province of Kandahar could be a
sign insurgents are now willing to risk high civilian casualties while
attacking security forces. ...Militants in Afghanistan have generally sought to avoid
targeting civilians, unlike insurgents in Iraq's war...."
by Damozel | BBC journalist Matt Frei interviewed George W. Bush, who defends US
policy in Darfur and his own "seminal decision" (sic) not to commit
troops to Darfur (BBC transcript). I can't upload the 15 minute video here, but you can see it here or read a summary here.
But that didnât last. Grim as most of the subjects the two of them
canvassed were, and are, several of the things he said evoked mocking laughter or incredulous giggling. But other parts just made me shake my head in disbelief. Still others made me feel vaguely ill. Others evoked the usual helpless rage. The worst part is that I can still see, in a way, why people the people who liked him liked him, and why some might like him still. It was kind of an emotional roller coaster.
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Posted by Damozel | Here's a development that has genuinely saddened me. I must not be as cynical as I claim. Today, John McCain voted against a bill that did exactly what he himself has advocated doing in the past: adopted the Army Field Manual interrogation standards for the US government. Anti-torture advocates, such as the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, supported this crucial billl.
In a Republican presidential debate on Nov. 28, McCain said that the
Army Field Manual should be the gold standard for interrogations:
By D. Cupples | When Congress banned permanent bases in Iraq in its 2008 Defense Authorization bill, President Bush made yet another signing statement that signified his aversion to executing the law, which is one of his constitutional duties (See Article II). Congress isn't pleased. The Hill reports:
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by D. Cupples | Apparently, President Bush has been wrong about yet another thing when claiming that U.S. troops support the Iraq war. It's worse than that: even a poll by Military Times indicates that a majority of soliders disapprove of the war and Bush's handling of it. Think Progress reported:
By D. Cupples | Today, two bombs went off within 10 minutes of each other and killed more than 50 people at pet markets in Baghdad. (New York Times) According to CNN, two women who reportedly suffered from Downs Syndrome were used as the suicide bombers.
Death statistics indicated that 2007 was the deadliest year in Iraq. In December, Bush Administration officials continued insisting that the "surge" strategy had worked (i.e., that violence in Iraq declined).
A week before that, Administration officials acknowledged that insurgents driven out of Baghdad simply moved to other areas (like Mosul, where violence -- naturally -- increased). For other bloggers' reactions, see Memeorandum.