Regime Change Begins at Home

Second Quarter of 2005

April 2005 ... May 2005 ... June 2005


April 2005



Democracy in Action...

There seems to be more to come a bit of an overview, who is next in Asia to be overthrown? (040205b)

Here is the latest from my favorite country, Pakistan. It seems they are learning the lessons in other parts of Asia, big marches overthrow governments. They've recently had quite a few, big ones too, millions in total. They don't seem to like the current government. Their leader has toppled previous governments. Need I remind anyone that Pakistan is a nuclear power? What kind of government would this man want? Would he be friendly to the US? Good questions. (040205a)

Here is an overview of several items, Iraq, Oil, Iran, Democracy in the US, Neo Cons, a time line from 9/11, US intelligence, all comments by Seymour Hersh. (040105c)

Democracy in the middle east has been in the news. Even Egypt is mentioned as taking steps, but what kind of government would Egypt elect if free elections are allowed? Indeed when communists are allowed to protest while the "Brotherhood" is not puts a question as to whether any reform of meaning is taking place in Egypt. (033105b) And here is a wider ranging article covering the region and the new chant "kifaya" which means "enough" (033105c)

Stories are out about how "democracy" is spreading through central Asia, well it is and it isn't, exactly, take Kyrgyzstan, please and the others as examples. The more likely aspect of change is a power play by "some other interested party, who shall not be named, hint ... hint... (032905d)

The mess in Iran:

What is the situation with Iran and Russia and nuclear fuel? Here is the skinny on that (032905b) And what's up with Ukraine selling missiles to them? (032905c)

The Mess in Afghanistan and Iraq:

I guess it's old hat to mention the intel used or rather abused in the "run up" to the Iraq war was an issue worthy of some Pulitzer seeking gumshoe but no one stepped forward. Now we have the report, a salient quote from which is: "In no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgment." However, it goes on, "That said, it is hard to deny the conclusion that intelligence agencies worked in an environment that did not encourage skepticism about the conventional wisdom." and then this lovely: "Some analysts were affected by this 'conventional wisdom' and the sense that challenges to it&emdash;or even refusals to find its confirmation&emdash;would not be welcome." This "climate" ... was shaped by a ... "gathering conviction among analysts that war with Iraq was inevitable." Nice huh? (040105d) One is want to ask, just how could we be so wrong? Perhaps it is because we were listening to a big fat liar known as "curveball" (040105e)

Do I bother forwarding a report of a complete procedural breakdown on the Iraqi government, a meeting of shouts and name calling? Where the press and media were excluded from what had to have been juicy footage. (032905f)

Remember: "How to succeed in business without really trying"? Well, I know how, the modern way, that is. Set up shop in Iraq. Even if you're found out, have whistle blowers balloon cheeked screeching to high heaven, it availeth them not. But then its maybe only, say, 50 million from what we know, small potatoes that. (032805g)

75% of marines who do enlist, muster out after just one tour. Combine that with the fact that the marines have recently missed a recruiting quota and we have the potential for that old saying to come true: "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" (032805e) Well, if adults aren't interested at least some 8 year olds are, here is the link to finding out all about "Young Marines" (032805f)

No troops, no wars. It seems so simple that a simpleton could understand it, even Bush might, and I mean that sincerely. The troubles we face militarily are mounting both at home and abroad. (032805d)


Here we have two stories, about salmon. The first shows that the wild stock is crashing as the farmed population booms. (032905h) Some say the two trends are related, and here is the article that provides a connection. (03290i) I place these stories in here because they demonstrate, simply, how we wreak havoc without apparently knowing it.  

It's the stupid media stupidly stuporous and stupefyingly dumb founded

Here is another story, reported on before, how we have our casualties arrive under cover of darkness, no one notices the vigil, no one reports on the story. Maybe it will go away, though Walter Reed Hospital certainly won't (040105b)

Here is another case the "Oil for food" scandal that has been boiling over of late. It seems Mr. Annan has been let off the hook, but further investigations would show that at least a couple of US presidents, their administrations, and congress all had a hand in violating the oil embargo with Iraq during the 90's. Will we hear about this? (033105a)

I just had to put this in here. If Clinton, Gore, or Kerry flip flopped LIKE THIS the papers and pundits would be all over it, like a fat fundamentalist on greasy grits. Delay flip flops on "pulling the plug." For his father it was OK, he knew his father wouldn't want to "live like that." But for Schiavo's case right to life prevails over everything, marriage, expressed wishes and so on. So, Tom gets to unplug his dad without a note from his dad, a will, or any of the things Tom says he'd want before he'd feel OK about pulling Schiavo's plug. Sounds fair. (032995j)

How boring, yet again, Bush et al and the administration have a plan, it is not well thought out, it has problems in that it does not take into account such things as, well, let's just call it reality. Scientists try to get them to understand the risks; they don't listen; the scientists go to the media to advise the public and they don't listen either. Enough said.(032805i)

The future of the US:

A new group of volunteers, called vigilantes by Bush and Fox, calling themselves "Minute Men" who say they are "Americans doing the jobs Congress won't do." are going to patrol a portion of the border, they are armed and dangerous and a famous gang, Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13, also armed and dangerous, say they'll teach them a lesson. But that's not all, we have civil rights persons, news hounds, the real law enforcement on both sides of the border and, well skin heads and the like. Watch for it unfolding in the news. (040105g)

Double digit deficit, that is what the March figures for the Army, Marines, and Army Reserve are showing. Army is off 32%, the Army Reserve is off by 46%, Marines are also at a loss. (040105f)

The energy policy, primarily a "Cheney thing" has some laughable points, to bad its not all that funny, for the most part. (040105a)

Perhaps by saying we've impacted two-thirds of the natural machinery that supports life on Earth because we've degraded it, is a simple enough statement for everyone to understand. (032905k)

Earlier reports of frogs, crabs and others is followed by a report of a population crash in Puget Sound's herring. Pollutants are mentioned in the article but what's to be done? (032905e) And then this story, close on its heels, Spokane River's fish have high levels of pollutants as well. (032905g)

Surrounding Iran, moving into central Asia, heading off our rivals of Russia, India and China, securing access to the region's natural resources, bases from which to project "real" power, and uh, oh yes, democracy, maybe. All this and more explains the permanent, no long term, no friendly, no ... wait ... let the administration get the phrasing right ... bases in Afghanistan at a time when AQ has evaporated, maybe, the Taliban want a slice of the pie, and opium warlords are joining forces with us. So what's to protect? Go back to the beginning of this paragraph. Or, better yet, read this article. (032905a)

This is not the country it used to be. Pharmacists refusing to sell "the pill" on moral grounds. I guess they can decide what to sell or not, after all it's their business, but is there a hue and cry? Not in the news there isn't. (031805h)

Difficulty recruiting in this time of war and terrorism takes its toll on those hired to "bring in the new fish" (032805c) Our allies slowly become more alienated to us. Australia, for example, this poll has them viewing our policies as dangerous as terrorist organizations. (032805b)

Who are we? What are we becoming? Science shut down? Shiavo a celebrity? We are changing by the day, by the hour it seems really and this article talks about what that means. (032805a)


Democracy in Action...

A brief look at what happens when democracy spreads is interesting. Several nations, recently, broke apart. The chance that the is might happen to Iraq? (040805b)

Who is to say that we are guilty of war crimes in the "terror war" or in the Iraq? We do, amazingly enough, court records from post World War Two Japan show US prosecution of Japanese combatants who mistreat their American captives in ways similar to how we "handle" our Guantanamo guests at camp X-ray. (040705a) Here is another take on that, it seems it does not take much to make an act a "war crime." Will we have to "watch what we are doing in X-Ray? (040705b)

The Mess in Afghanistan and Iraq:

The Iraqi resistance shows signs of fracturing, attacks are down as are US casualties, Iraqi citizens take down Al Qaida flags, etc... progress? (040905c)

June, Afghanistan, we may see a revival of the Taliban. The reasons are the same as they ever were, what will be different are the tactics employed. (040905b)

What do the Baghdad's people think? What is happening overall? Is a civil war possible? Here is the word on the street. (040805c)

More noise from the streets of Baghdad? This time it will be "peaceful protesters" It is planned for Saturday, 4.9.05. Will it be big, make a difference? (040805a)

We all know that that national government is having trouble getting started, but the local and province level situations are much, much worse. (040605e)

An example of how battle stories are being reported. It depends on who you read, whether or not anyone bothered to go to the scene. In this case world girdling headlines proclaimed an Iraqi army victory against insurgents. But the devil was/is in the details which seemed contradictory from time to time and place to place. (040605d)

According to this account, from someone who has been there checking for progress in Iraq, there seems to be the opposite, overall. The options available to us are those that would make matters even worse or those which would let people think things will get better, some choice. (040605a)

The future of the US:

Another report on the economics of oil, currency, and politics.(040905a) It works like this: our fiscal mess has spending more than we create, buying more than we sell, trade deficits, all bad. Oil prices are going up as the dollar is going down, again, all bad. But here is where it gets good: the world buys oil with dollars, so they're needed. China and others have mountains of dollars they've accumulated in the course of buying our debt, bonds and so forth. So, what happens now is this: China et al spend their accumulated dollars, of declining value, on oil which is rising in cost. Our mountain of debt, to these nations, is reduced and the pressure on the dollar reduces as well. The Middle East, glad to take on the flood of money because they use the flood of greenbacks to maintain their control over a region, support our policy, buy weapons and so forth and the money, a good chunk of it, comes back home, eventually.

Get ready the hints appear, war in space, by proxy in all probability, satellites versus satellites? Could be, could be. (050605c)

Curious as to what our standing is in terms of those nations known for executing its citizens. Hey, we're in the top six, along with friends and business partners. (040605b)

Trafficking in "dual use" devices, those that can be used in "ordinary or legitimate" industries and in the making of nuclear devices goes on, people get caught, as did the man in this story, but, since his connections ran, in part, back to Pakistan, well, uh, we, uh, had to, um, well, close the case sort of. (040305b)

This nice article, a collection of portions of others, an overview and some interesting facts talks about how US modeling of the Iraq war proved that low tech can trump high tech so in the practice game the opposition commander quit because, essentially, he had to take his moves back so that the high tech "invaders" wouldn't be mauled so badly. There is much more, the economics, the weapons that don't work, the multitude of problems which, at the heart, are due to, guess what, bad planning, hubris, and, oh let's see, idealist assumptions being allowed to run over hard facts, such a Bushite thing after all. (040305a)


The coming mess in Iran?

Here is an article within an article and it leads off with this: "As the United States gears up for an attack on Iran, one thing is certain: the Bush administration will never mention oil as a reason for going to war." Just like we didn't hear word one about oil in Iraq, we won't hear word one about oil in Iran either. (041105e)

Pakistan's coming mess?

Pakistan has its woes a'buildin' a battle line has been drawn and both sides are gearing up. The opposition stands at 2 for 0, while Mr. M's popular support has definitely waned, to be sure. (041505c)

The Mess in Afghanistan and Iraq:

A few weeks ago Fallujah was hailed as the "safest city in Iraq" (042505d) there were headlines to this effect however the recent visit shows just how safe it is. (041505e)

Koffi Annan says that the Oil smuggling/UN scandal has to include the role of the US and England. These two nations aided the process, in part because Turkey wanted the trade to continue. He says, "it happened on their watch" (041505b)

What is going on in Iraq? We cannot independently verify a drop in attacks or casualties and recent protests show our presence is, if anything, less popular than ever. (041505a)

Rummy dummy has talks with a wacky Iraqi, the upshot is that we want "our Bathists" in the security apparatus, the ones we declaimed as being repressors. We want what most of the Iraqi's don't: Bathists in the government and security, a continued occupation, and foreigners free to meddle in all areas of Iraqi society. (041305d)

Some argument for the insurgent's efforts losing steam. There are figures to support it, others to argue it, so it seems it is a debatable point. (041305a)

There apparently is progress in Mosul anyway, from the US military's point of view, less casualties, less attacks, more intelligence from the people, still it is a long slog. (041105a)

The recent insurgent attack on Abu Ghraib was dismissed, eye witnesses give a bit of a different story, but who is going to listen to them anyway? (041005c)

Thousands take to Baghdad's streets, the good news is that they can protest, the bad news is that they are protesting our being there. (041005b) A report that "hundreds of thousands" took to the streets in much of Iraq, protesting our presence, little did we hear. This is the only hint as to how widespread the protests were and an estimate on their overall numbers. (041105c) Even the origins of the "jubilant Iraqi support for the US operation" the toppling of Saddam's statue was a fraud. (041105d

Japan and China?

These two nations have disagreements, for instance on how Japan teaches their young about the invasion of China or who gets to harvest the natural gas fields in the sea separating the two. (041305g)

Ecology Anyone?

An aberration or the start of an uncomfortable trend? This article about a drought in France describes how serious it is, but does not mention global warming as a possible cause. Who is to say at this point, but maybe by this time next year, or certainly another year out, if there is a pattern we will be able to see it. (041305h)

This story mentioned before, a mega study done by a large number of scientists looking at an immense volume of data, studies, reports, satellite data and pictures conclude we've used up 60% of the "productive resources of the Earth" (041305f)

The future of the US:

An overview article concerning China's eclipsing Japan as a world trading partner, US military over stretch and a seeming decline in US influence, even as we focus ever more on the "terrorism war." (041405a)

The Long Emergency, the saga of oil production's decline. Some say that 2005 is the year we will begin to see the pattern of production decline begin, or for demand to steadily outstrip production, which is not quite the same thing but can be just as productive of chaos. (041305e)

Closing in on establishing a protection for religion and weakening the division between church and state, meet the "Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 (041305b) Here is a key phrase from the document:

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.'. and a convenient link to the selfsame document (041305c)

China and India put together a raft of agreements and start to talk a key part of China's recent diplomatic "offensive. (041105b) The EU leaning toward Russia? (041005a)


The War on Terror:

From Iran we hear news that a "shadowy" radical group is claiming that 400 volunteers, mostly women, are making their way to Iraq and Israel for suicide bombing missions. Is this an expansion of the war? (042005a) We don't need to know that terrorist activity is up, way up. Best figures since they began keeping record, nearly twenty years ago. Since the "war" news is bad it is easier to bury it. Shades of Vietnam. (041905a)

North Korea's mess:

North Korea, guess what: they want to make even more bombs? (041805g)


It seems that besides dealing with Iran and its nuclear program, and schmoozing with India, Russia is willing to assist Syria defend its airspace (042105a) and perhaps just a bit more (042105b) 

Global Warming?

The article says that 9 out of 10 glaciers in Antarctica are in retreat. However, that said, the article conclude that global warming may not be the culprit. However, I ask, so, would global warming make the glaciers get back on a growth path? (042105c)

Japan and China have differences, here is the viewpoint of some Japanese who have moved to China for a new life. (042005b)

The Mess in Afghanistan and Iraq:

A story that is raging across Iraq and the Arab world is being completely ignored in the US press. The ramifications of the incident where a US soldier assaults a member of the Iraqi government may be uncomfortably far reaching. (042205b)

Rummy Dummy said it all when he said, "We don't have an exit strategy..." Kurds want us to stay, hundreds of thousands of Shia's and Sunni's protest that they don't, Sadr's influence grows strong, again. The Iraqi government is not voicing the people's desire for us to LEAVE and thus that government is viewed with suspicion at the very least, all the more so when Saddam's men are back in control of the "security apparatus" and we are siphoning off all the oil we can to pay for an occupation that is not wanted by the people there. A recipe for disaster? You bet! Do we hear of it over here, no! Will we? No! Does the truth matter? No! Read this article, lots of coverage. (042995c)

Iraq has areas that are destroyed, for the vast most part, like Fallujah or Najaf, places that are simply chaotic and unsafe, like Baghdad and then places like Husaybah were violence is off the chart. (041905b) Here are the details of a recent battle part one (041905c) part two (041905d) part three (041905e)

The future of the US:

Peak Oil, here is a brief overview of the global situation. Essentially "any time now" meaning 1 to 15 years should see the onset of a slow decline in oil production and a correspondingly slow increase in prices, chaotic effects, and such like as this resource's ubiquitous uses are effected. (042205a)

Shades of the future, a report details the "gentle" appearance of the "Peak Oil" phenomenon. Long a "fringe" issue or topic, it now enters the mainstream as, well, oil production begins to peak at various fields around the world. With China and India beginning to slurp "black gold" big time the inevitable shortages and "issues of resource security" become more and more important, gee, what to do, oh yeah, we're already doing it, securing the productive oil fields. All of which begs the question of: Even if we grab all the oil we can, what happens when we run out anyway? What happens when the rest of the world runs out and we have our hands on the "honey pot"? Hmmm....I wonder what might happen...probably not pretty...(042005e)

China buying up vast amounts of US treasury bonds finances, or allows the financing of so much in the US, even the real estate market is effected by this. What happens if the US economy's "only game in town", the real estate boom, goes bust? Answer: don't even think about it. (042005d)

Who wants to join up with the National Guard? Numbers don't look good, grumbling in the ranks, and problems loom. (041905f)

They want to make even more bombs? (041805g) The two sets of radicals who applauded 9/11, fascist and Islamist have commonalties and links both in the past and present, part one (041905h) part two (041905i) part three (041905j) and part four (041005k)


The War on Terror:

If we don't count the terrorist acts, add up the data as it were, then we cannot say whether or not there is or is not an increase, or decrease for that matter. (042705a)

It seems that the violence in Iraq has another uptick, after the post election decline it seems that tactics have shifted, targets have changed,but what remains the same is that no end is in sight. (042405a) Perhaps here is one of the factors that allow this, the long, long time it is taking Iraqis's to organize their government, not that anyone would have predicted it would be an easy task, but the delay is not helping. (042405b)

More on the uptick, how it is playing out, a surge in the insurgency? Even our military says its so. (042605a)

Why do they hate us? Well, maybe this is a reason, or rather the "tip of the iceberg" of the reason. (042505b)

North Korea's mess:

Is June too soon for another crisis? Rumor has it that the US is just about fed up with Korea and its crazy man's nuclear antics. We hear rumors that the North Koreans can stuff a nuclear weapon onto a missile and they say they are after even more bombs. What is a half brained, idiot president to do but go ballistic? (042904f)

Iraq as a mess

 Hey, they finally have a government, almost, and have decided to put a big time embezzler in charge of the most valuable of government assets, the Oil Ministry. Chalabi has the choice seat now, let's see what he does with it. (052905e) And in case you want to know just how this government may break up or why, you can read the plethora of details here. (043905g)

Same -o, same -o in Iraq: car bombs, assassinations, US dead, Iraqi dead the uptick continues (042905b)

How to harm friends and help your enemies: Italy, a long time ally, disagrees with us over the matter of a heroic death of one of its citizens in Iraq. Already the Italians do not want to be in Iraq, this adds fuel to that fire. (042905c)

Rumsfeld says "So, therefore, winning or losing is not the issue..." So what, I wonder, is the issue? (042705c)

Guernica as Fallujah? Maybe we'll never know more than rumor and suspicion. There is little or no independent investigative reporting of the city. (042705b)

Iran as a mess

It seems that Iran still holds that they can enrich uranium as other nations signatory to the nonproliferation treaty do, for nuclear power, thus efforts to dissuade them seem doomed.(042905a) Just as, sooner or later, Bush might declare the Euro-efforts fruitless, that Iran has weapons of mass destruction, and that "action' is needed. Rumor has it that June or July might be the months to watch for, but I only hear indirect evidence for any kind of build up. It wouldn't be a land war anyway, under current circumstances.

Pakistan, the bomb and New Mexico:

It seems that our ally, as is known, proliferated to Iran, North Korea, and Libya. (Note the absence of Iraq in that list). But the point of this story is that the Dutch company that A.Q. Khan stole nuclear secrets from, "build the same type of uranium-enrichment plant in New Mexico that Iran wants, using a technology so dangerous that the U.N. has proposed a worldwide five-year ban on it Part one (042605d) Part two (042605e) Part three (042605f) Part four (042605g) Part five (042605e).

The future of the US:

Here is a portrait of leadership gone awry. Bush's hour long interview dissected and analyzed. It doesn't seem to matter that facts, truth, logic, reasoning, and reality don't - even to the press corps. (042905d)

The US, a nation managed by those who travel to the beat of their own drummer and don't bother listening to anyone else's. (042605c) I mean, why bother with "losers."


Here is a recap of recent stories and the projection of a trend, people mobilized for a cause can change policies and topple governments Latin America can teach the US a lesson, as could several republics in central Asia. (042905h)

 Back to the top 

May 2005



The War on Terror:

An ally in the war on terrorism can be forgiven many things, such as boiling people alive, or the garden variety of torture. Our man in Uzbekistan is willing to do all that and more. This is one country that we've been concerned about regarding its human rights abuses, but now that it's an ally well, we send prisoners to them for "interrogation. What's wrong with a little trust, right? (050502a) What happens when one asks: "Why do we send prisoners to other countries?" (050502b)

North Korea's mess:

Here we hear that a clearly nuclear North Korea is inevitable (050705a) This article says that the US has warned North Korea against testing a weapon. (050705b)

Do we have a military build up in region surrounding North Korea? (050605d) and a flurry of stories reporting North Korea's preparations for a nuclear test. (050605e) This would undo the current strategic standoff the North Koreans now enjoy, but maybe the situation is evolving and making that strategy obsolete. Here is what some experts think the "fallout will be" from a nuclear test in North Korea (050605f)

North Korea test fires a missile, the timing is suspect, especially as it follows on the heels of an announcement in the US that the north has figured out how to mount nuclear devices on missiles and may be preparing for a nuclear test. (050105a)

Lebanon's Christians attacked

We have news of another bomb attack in Lebanon, again targeting a Christian area targeting a Christian church and radio station, killing one.(050605c)

Iraq as a mess

You may have heard of the Italian journalist who after being released from her captors was being driven on her way to safety when her driver and she were fired upon. The driver was killed. The US and Pentagon had its story and stuck to it, until that story, a PDF file, posted by the US had its "black out" removed and the truth revealed that the US was lying about many many points of the story. (050505c)

Some time ago there was a report that hundreds of millions of dollars could not be "found". Well here is another story that talks of millions that are simply missing, spent without proper accountability, even hundreds of millions again. (050505a)

Do the math: there have been 500 attacks a month in Baghdad since last November. According to a uncensored version of a US report on Iraq. (050305f)

The possibility of a Sunni and Shiite rupture may be increased as Shiites become viewed as "the rulers" and Sunni's "the insurgents" (050502c)

A closer look at the forming government of Iraq. Seems like inclusiveness may be less and less part of the scheme of things, divisiveness may get enhanced and, well, it's not as if any of this is news. (050502a)

A bit of good news, maybe even the rarest of the rare: a win, win, win. Syria gets "diplomatic" with Iraq, it may be a good move for Iraq, Syria and the US. (050105b) Here is the scoop on CBN, the Christian Broadcast Network, which is a prime example of a new trend, faith based news, talk about stations of the cross. (050505f)

It's the stupid media getting even more stupid:

Does it matter that we hear Bush had decided to invade Iraq even while the administration from the president on down was saying that "there are no plans to attack Iraq on the president's desk." Does lying matter? Our news media isn't reporting what is all over England's papers. (050605g)

The future of the US:

Do we hear it and believe it? That persons belonging to a church were voted out of it because they were Democrats. Read that story here. (050605h)

Oil and gas prices, are they destined to go up? It may be true, certainly this article gives some vital statistics on the global condition, perhaps it is a matter of time. (050605a) Here is another story that backs up this one, essentially it is a "do the math" kind of article and simple enough to understand. (050605b)

Separation between church and state: All religions are not created equal it seems, well they are as long as they are "Judeo - Christian" according to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (050505e)

Here are a couple of articles that dovetail nicely. The first talks briefly about how we've over stretched our military, to the point where the strategic planning is effected. (050305d) Follow it up with this, comparing Russia's "near abroad" and how it has fallen away, is becoming democratic, and how we've "invested" the Russian state , with similar occurrences in our own "near abroad" Central and South America. These areas are also going through a democratizing movement. We've lost almost all military cooperation with the lands south of the Rio Grande, are loosing economic cooperation, political congruency as they develop their own perspective and pursue their own best interests.(050503e) Then too our "all volunteer" force is having a hard time finding volunteers. (050305g)

GOP Representative Dan Lungren writes " I feel quite strongly that as long as we have our military in the Middle East fighting so that we can continue to purchase oil from that region, we have an obligation to find alternatives to foreign oil. It is difficult to justify the death of even one soldier when we are not doing everything in our power to explore options for oil within our country." Is he saying we are fighting so we can buy oil from that region? (050505d)

Walter Conkite says the media not doing its job? How newsworthy is that? They don't give the American people the straight scoop on nuclear issue, events, or even the contents of the non-proliferation treaty itself, truly odd since that is what we are using to bash North Korea and Iraq. (050405a)


The War on Terror:

The nuclear row with Iran involves the Non Proliferation Treaty, apparently what we're asking Iran to do, cease certain activities, stands in violation of the treaty. And the US is also in violation of the treaty, as are other nuclear powers. So what holds it together? What makes it an issue? What is going on? Read here please (051305b)

This would be funny, but it's not: a man, an admitted terrorist, seeking asylum in the US through his lawyer, who has verified that the man IS in the US, simply cannot be found by the US government which has requests for his extradition to Venezuela to stand trial for terrorist acts against Cuba. Such things as hotel bombings, an airliner bomb and so forth. Oh, did I say that for some time, presumably before his "acts" he was employed by the US intel services? Well, no matter, we just can't seem to find the guy. (051305a)

The war on terror, in Afghanistan has taken some flack, not for anything that happened in that theater of operations, but for a report in US media that a Koran was mistreated. Protests spread the article goes on to say only making our task harder. (051205a)

North Korea's mess:

North Korea, making the apparent effort to increase its store of nuclear weapons, takes another step.(051205h)

Afghanistan: Narco State:

Rioting spreads through much of Afghanistan. Anti US protests turn bloody and US officials can't say what is causing it, though there is no shortage of possibilities. (051305d) Well, in this story someone has a clue...(051305e)

Afghanistan is a Narco State producing 90% of the world's opium and thus its heroin. The money and the drug permeate the society top to bottom. Is it no wonder that a nation we claim has 87.5 million acres of the poppy under cultivation has such a hard time eradicating it, if in one year they eradicated the 37,000 acres they said they did, it would, at that rate, take 2,400 years to get rid of the rest (051205j)

Iran's mess:

Iran looks at a threat from Europe, essentially they tell Iran put up or we'll back Mr. Bush's ideas regarding solutions. Anyone betting that this will make a difference? No, not me either. (051205i)

Iraq as a mess

In Iraq the war will go on, actually the wars will go on because no community has got what it wants and none has given up hope of getting it and I won't use the word quagmire either, no, I won't, not here, not ever. Quagmire is not the right term, after all, chaos might be. (051305c)

Some are saying that Iraq is about to have a civil war, others say its started (051205d) I wonder what our hired guns think, the second largest contingent in Iraq (051205e)

The Iraqi's sit on huge reserves of oil. But they cannot use it, really. They import refined petroleum products. The cause of the domestic woe: insurgent attacks on infrastructure, functioning facilities are obsolete and corruption, theft and so on. (051205c)

It's the little battles that make up the story and this one is not to happy a tale (051205a)

Insurgents are learning from the best. They are starting to wear body armor, get better training and, according to this report, are coming from near and far. (051005a) Meanwhile, in a related story our guys get vests that fail tests and a MARINE for god's sake, knowing the flaws passed them on to our boys. I hope there is more to this story than meets the eye...I really do. (051005b)

The future of the US:

So Cuba is talking with China, about trade and investment and tourism. Cuba also is on speaking terms with Venezuela, gone are the days when the US could prevent such occurrences. A Chinese hand so near the US? Wouldn't have happened 5 years ago, that is for sure. (051405a)

The recruitment mess, numbers are down and here is an interview with a dissatisfied mother and her son who believe they were seriously misled. (051205f) Here is more on that (051205g)

How will the future historians look back and describe our era? The era of Mendacity, Lies, the bigger the better it seems and folks, it ain't over 'till its over. and that's promise you can take to the bank (051005c)


We hear from the Middle East of a "Peace Canal" one that links the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. Generating power and providing water for Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians. Hope? Yes. Good? In this area, especially, and emphatically yes. (050805a)


Speaking of Religion(s):

Speaking of religious items Al Qaida is going legitimate. There is room for what it is or has become in the Koran according to some clerical experts. We, the US and its policy, have also given them legitimacy in the eyes of the Muslim world. This process only makes our tasks in Iraq harder, the war on terror bigger, harder fought and longer. Bush still things we are on track, one wonders which track that might be and where the rail head is. (052105a)

The religious right in the US makes mention of the "End Times" many believers in this theory or philosophy occupy prominent positions in our government lending credence to its tenets, not so well known is that this group has a counterpart now in the Muslim world. Because of the events of the last three or four years Al Qaida is seen in a positive light, many view them as being the vanguard of Islam functioning to protect against those attacking it. Clash of civilizations indeed, the counterparts of our radical right have their own version of the "Left Behind" movies, Armageddon, the "End Times" and so forth. (052002b)

The War on Terror:

How embarrassing, Cuba wants the US to give up a terrorist. A man who was widely sought even as his lawyer pleaded his case for asylum. Other media reports he was arrested after giving a press briefing, I guess that's what it takes to be found by our Homeland Security folks. (051705a) 

Our press is a mess:

The story: China and Palestinian leaders meet to plan for aid, support in the UN and more, wouldn't you want to know the details? (052005d)

As if we need to hear it, but here it is nonetheless: the story about Newsweek, the desecrated Koran and the riots. The media gets it wrong, promulgates misunderstanding and bolsters the Bush and neo con world view that the media is liberal, biased and dangerous to the US and its citizens. (051805d)

Another bit about that story, some facts, some additional bits that are interesting all by themselves. Can anyone spell L-I-A-R? (052005c)

Essentially Iraqi's have little positive to say about us. Our errors, policies and actions drive the resistance, encourage its supporters and that the essence of a survey of Iraqi public opinion recently conducted. (051705e)

The story about putting the Koran in the toilet was retracted after pressure, after the overseas reaction, despite many allegations that such acts have occurred not only in Guantanamo. Here we see a redux of the 60 minutes story exposing Bush's poor military record, in that case as well as this, the facts are facts and as such can only be investigated and debated yet our press simply rolls over and plays dead. Our interrogation methodology is what should be the issue and Newsweek was right to raise the concern, but instead it retracts and takes the lumps. To hell with the truth and the public's right to know. (051705b) More on the "Demonize, Disguise and Divert methodology of manhandling news. (051705c)

Iran's mess:

The row over nuclear development may have run the peaceable portion of its course. Soon enough some action will have to be taken, by someone. Despite Europe's independent approach which garnered the Paris Agreement, at best a first step, now Europe has joined with the US, trashing its previous efforts, opinions and agreements, ignoring the clear provisions of the NPT, and when the dust settles we'll have a showdown. (051705f)

Iraq as a mess

Why it is such a slow slog through the Iraq quagmire: we shoot up the people who call us for help, at least in this case we did. (052005a)

Word is that 8.8 billion, yes that's right, billion dollars is unaccounted for, missing, lost, whereabouts unknown and so forth. Many in our government, those who should know are unaware of this "error". But it's not a big story, I guess, not important enough...(051905c)

Another step toward civil war in Iraq? Maybe yes, maybe no, but its not good news that a war of words may have started it is? (051905b)

Did they say something like "years to come" when talking about how long it will take to succeed in Iraq? Yes some one did. Not heartening. (051905a)

We did not go to war as Bush has said, but instead were lied to. The "Downing Street Memo" proves that much. Here is a highlighted copy of it, it really isn't that long a thing to read, but damning nonetheless for all that. (051705d) On Feb. 19, 2002, CENTCOM'S Gen. Tommy Franks told Sen. Bob Graham of Florida "Senator, we are not engaged in a war in Afghanistan." and "Military and intelligence personnel are being redeployed to prepare for an action in Iraq." This was the first time he had been informed that the decision to go to war with Iraq had not only been made but was being implemented, to the substantial disadvantage of the war in Afghanistan. (051805c)

The future of the US:

Nuclear power proponents couldn't be happier, forecasts are rosy, one might even say they are radiant. Most of this activity is overseas but the enthusiasm is catching one, even here. (051805e)

When conservative and liberal number crunchers crunch numbers and see the same problem it does not matter that their solutions differ, what matters is that the problem exists, but no one seems to care. Both parties are more concerned with the immediate or near term. An economic "Argentina style crash a generation or so in the future" is, well, nothing to worry about. (051895b)

If, as Bush and neo-cons seem to act, that perception is everything, then we are in deep doo doo. This study of how the US is viewed in the Muslim world is sobering. Simply put: we are neither liked or trusted and "the street" has many misperceptions. (051805a)

Mr. Bush has touted the "spring of Democracy" as it spreads in the Middle East. This story shows the "progress" to be window dressing at best. The conundrum for Bush is how to get democracy in those countries but not let the people's will be manifest. What would happen if the Muslim Brotherhood captured power in Egypt, Hamas in the areas controlled by the PLO or the resistance in Pakistan? Such governments would not have their nations be our allies, that's what. (051605c)

The US dollar in trouble? Yes and no. Mostly no. The deal seems to be this: we get to have debt skyrocket, the Chinese, Japanese and others buy our debt so they have dollars to spend on whatever they like. With the dollars come economic and security issues, networks and so on, so the apple cart can be upset. Upshot: at this point everyone seems to like the status quo, long term, well, adjustments are coming" But who cares about the long term? (051605b)

One of the first casualties of war is the truth, someone said that. Here is the skinny on Bush's contention that we went to war as a "last resort." There is proof of the exact opposite, he'd planned the war well in advance, and was intent on pursuing that option despite what he'd said to congress, American citizens and the world, oh well, even when the truth is out it does not matter. (051605a)

Here we see how the proposed base closings by the pentagon favors the south. The long term effects of this realignment can be cultural, political, economic and more - a real mixed bag. (051505b)


Signs of a dictatorship fraying at the edge, nay even showing seams coming slowly apart? Uzbekistan's upheavals begin but not as their neighbor's have, blood has been shed, hundreds have died and many times that number have been wounded. We can hope for democracy being born here but the lingering question will remain is what this country's government will look like, considering its religious and ethnic base. (051505a) A follow up story, more blood, lies, and truth willing itself out...(051605d)


Egypt: Land of the Free?

If this is democracy in action, they have a long, long way to go: beatings, rigged election systems and a biased press all work in concert to keep one man in power. This is what Bush hailed as being part of the spread of Democracy in the middle east. (052605a)

Uzbekistan? not so free either:

And democracy elsewhere, Uzbekistan for instance. Bush had praise for democracy but gets mighty mum when it comes to slaughtering unarmed people (052605e)

Korea, the North:

Grabbing headlines is the specialty of North Korea and they've done it again, claiming preemptive strikes are their prerogative as well, how reassuring. (052405c)

The War on Terror:

The verbal barrage pounding Syria these days is tantamount to the saber rattling of old. Our press has it that they are "not helping" the US interests in the region, so what does it all mean? (052405b) The Syrians have this to say about that, the US is biased, wants subordination not coordination and so on...neo cons might well retort, "so what's the problem?" he he he ... (052405d)

We hope to win this "war" but the set backs we create for ourselves do not help us win friends and allies, abuse scandals continue to percolate out of our sealed bases and cost us blood, treasure, legitimacy and success. (052205c) A bit more detail on this story, the first page of an eight page article: (052205e) page two, 052205f), page three (052205g), page four (052205h), page five (052205i), page six (052205j), page seven (052205k), page eight (052205l) And another article, this is the first page of 4 which follows up on that previous article. (052205m)

Our press is a mess:

No one, practically speaking, covered a historic vote on the Iraq war. (052705b)

At first we did not do it, nope, not at all, no Koran flushing goin on here, then it becomes well, yes, stuff was done...(052605d)

One of the reasons the war "enjoys" the support it does is because no one has to see any of the dead and or dying. (052505e)

When our ally Israel spies on us, our officials "work with" their agents one should expect big questions in the news. One might be reminded that we deported over a hundred Israeli spies just before 9/11, that these spies were housed in close proximity to the perpetrators of 9/11. It all gets murky but we don't hear much about this this so hit the link and scroll down a bit for the story. (052505a)

We don't need to see battlefield casualties in the papers it seems. (052405e)

The abuse of the Koran resulted in "rules" regarding its treatment, years before this current hullabaloo, but that story is history, unmentioned nowadays, so here is a record for the record: (052305f)

This is a story that is underplayed, Tillman, a sports icon, hero if you will, who forsook the easy life and went to war for his country. When he died he was lauded, but the story became grim when it was found that he was killed by his own men and that the government lied about it. (052305e) "Maybe lying's not a big deal anymore ... " the father is quoted as saying.

Iran's mess:

Two stories, dovetailing nicely, the first shows hints of how Kurds in Iraq feel about "sharing the good news" with Kurds in Iran much to the dismay of the Kurdish and Iranian authorities(052205a). Then, in the upcoming Iranian elections, reform candidates have a long, long hard row to hoe and maybe they don't get a row to hoe (052205b)

Iraq as a mess

Rummy baby once derided the "dead enders" and casually dismissed them. However these days, during one of the bloodiest months on record, perhaps he'll reassess. We are not liked in Iraq, we have "fed the opposition" and we are not being told the truth by our government. Sound familiar? It is a form of Vietnamization, no? (052605c)

Hints of sectarian violence crop up in this article. This information dovetails with the next two stories to paint an uncomfortable picture. (052505d)

Are we ever so slowly retreating from parts of Iraq? This article speculates....(052505b) Even as a movement to segment Iraq gathers steam, so to speak, or really oil. (052505c)

Attacks up, car bombings up and US forces seem to be randomly arresting Iraqi's a process that antagonizes Iraqis and allows the resistance all the more flexibility and resources. Yet we claim these tactics work.(052405h)

Translators are targeted by the resistance in Iraq but what is truly interesting in this article is that we get some hint of the number of killed suffered by the non military personnel in Iraq. Probably only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, one wonders at the total cost in lives, one wonders if we'll ever have any idea (052405g)

What's this I hear? Another big pile of money missing, misspent, or whatever? But this time it's only 100 million, maybe they are tightening up the accounting systems. (052405f)

A recent surge in attacks are "a concern" however the article then softens the stats and ends up wishy washy. (052405a)

When the path, or the progress to victory becomes vague or unclear it seems "metrics" measures which allow the US to "see" good news comes more and more into use. Just as in Vietnam with its "casualty count" Iraq has its plethora of metrics, color coded graphics, icons, and data, this is a great article for the math of Iraq its all a mystery, but What is clear is that victory is not clear and that the war will go on. (052305d)

A Project on Defense Alternatives report that has gone mostly unnoticed, prompts the question: "Is the U.S. military more successful in recruiting for the resistance than it is for the U.S. Army? (052305b) Here is the salient points in a brief article (052305c)

Something refreshing, something that looks like a success: The Wolf Brigade, 100% Iraqi, run by the same, and they televise the confessions of those they capture, don't examine what they do too closely, but one thing seems clear the Iraqi's themselves give them a big thumbs up. (052205n)

The future of the US:

If we ARE the good guys, then why are we selling so much weaponry to those countries we list as being undemocratic, or, in other words, bad? (052705a)

Weaponization of near space? The Rods from God? Nuclear options abound and it's all very expensive. We withdrew from the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2001 so, legally speaking, we've opened a door to a whole new world. Lucky us! (052605b)

Desertion from the US military is a problem, this article calls it "huge" The facts it includes are indicative but not conclusive that there is a percentage of recruits who choose not to serve once inducted, or after having served part of their term of service (052305a)

Alternate history buffs would like this revisionist depiction of Noah's Ark. It includes dinosaurs. This is just one of the displays in the Museum of Earth History in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. which gets lots, and lots of visitors...(052205d)

Back to the top 

June 2005



Asia Simmers with potential conflicts

Just under the surface there are a number of potential hot spots. Not surprisingly many potential conflicts concern oil and or gas. Some are long time territorial conflicts some are not. Asia, overall, does not have multinational institutions that help it manage such conflicts and so they simmer, perhaps awaiting summer's heat? Whose to say. (053005a)

Iran's Liberators:

Hey if they are our terrorists they must be OK. The "People's Mujahideen" of Iran (MKO) once listed as a terrorist organization have now been transformed into "resistance fighters" destined in the wet dreams of neo cons and some bone headed brits as the force that will "free Iran" Oh, and by the way I have a bridge for sale ... in Brooklyn ... any takers? (060405c)

What a media mess:

Generals fired for telling the truth, others fired for "being professional." The military suffers recruitment loss, its sustainability is coming into question, but a politicized command simply follows the odd ball orders of a would be jackass, Rummy and his dork of a boss, Bush as the military enters the "Twilight Zone" (060405b)

More horrible photos and video from Abu Ghraib to be released? Makes one wonder if it was "just a few rouge soldiers" and be concerned how these images will effect the image of the US overseas. (060305d)

We have Amnesty International saying that Guantanamo is only the tip of the prisoner abuse iceberg (060205e)

The Downing Street Memo story won't go away, but the US media ignores it studiously, want to see a copy? Go to this link: (060205d)

Whose our ally anyway? What do China, Russia and Iran have in common, I mean, besides not trusting the US and waiting to stymie any US agenda in Asia, oh, wait a minute, that's enough right there. (060405a)

Iraq as a mess:

Indications are that Coalition attacks result in twice as many civilian casualties than does the attacks by insurgents. This means the cycle of vengeance is more prone to work against us than our opponents. We sow the seeds producing our enemies. (060305c)

Evidence that dangerous materials, apparently unguarded, are being looted from sites all over Iraq since the invasion up to and including the past few months. (060305b)

The bad planning of the war is still telling. The border areas with Syria are not really secure, resources are stretched thin and to little manpower exists to meet the missions goals. (060205f)

Suicide bombings become the weapon of choice, it's convenient, inexpensive, and so simple anyone can do it. (060205c)

Dovetailing nicely on the story below, it seems the perception is growing that there is sectarian violence and that it may become a serious problem. (053005b) and page two of the article (053005c)

Cobbling together an effective Iraqi force the military analysts believe the US military in Iraq will use the Kurd and Shi'ite militias to quell the resistance in central and northern Iraq, while in the south the former Ba'athists and old-guard Iraqi soldiers will be used against anti-US Shi'ite groups. Pitting groups against each other could be a problem as it was in Vietnam and Lebanon. Could it stoke sectarian violence? (052905a)

The future of the US:

Being out of step is something we must be getting used to. GMO crops are an issue with 110 other countries, isolating the US, Argentina and Canada. (060405f)

The US shows how to "dis" a treaty, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and render the recent meeting useless, all the while proliferation threats grow in number. (060405e)

A commencement address talks about what it means to be practical in the post 9/11 world, how America reacts to being attacked, how we no longer pursue, as a culture the errors of our leaders, the questions that need to be asked and how anything can be said, written, or talked about but that nothing will matter, except perhaps how the world ends. (060405d)

Just about 80 years after the Scopes trial and a "great victory for sense" the nation is still strongly convinced of beliefs which that victory supposedly put down. We are a nation of yahoo's still and it is like to continue that way for some time. God help us. (060305e)

Once the soldiers get in the armed forces, keeping them is also an issue there is a concern over a "drop out rate" (060305a)

Bases without soldiers? Recruitment woes continue (060205b) in fact we're running at about half empty

Bases bases everywhere and they take us to the brink! Domestic and worldwide the US military is realigning its bases, in Iraq the "no no" word is "permanent" in Afghanistan the catch phrase is "strategic partnership" and hey, we're even making moves in Africa, after all where there's a well (oil) there's a way! (060205a)

Do we hear the "I" word being discussed? Not quite yet...more bodies have to be brought home, more disasters abroad..."Impeachment, Yes an idea whose time has come." (053105a)

Support for Al Qaida in the US? It seems there is some. Proof is that we have sting operations which are successful in finding them, though of the ones mentioned in this article none have undertaken any action save talk, whether that be the discussion of plans or statements of intent. (053005d)

How the price of oil works to effect the economy on a grand scale, a regional scale, varies from industry to industry, causes prosperity and poverty at the same time as job growth and unemployment, profits and companies going belly up. It is a college course in a single article. (052905b)


If Bolivia can get rid of a government....?

How they do things in Bolivia: when the people do not like the government they shut down the country. They've deposed governments as recently as 2003, this time around they've done it again, but want real electoral reform and nationalization of vital resources. Shouldn't this be in the good news section? Well the struggle is not over yet, a new election is scheduled and the US has "interests" in the results. (061005a)

Al Qaida's Long Reach:

Al Qaida's long reach? Mauritania, a place in Africa which is not much in the news, makes it with a report of some 150 attackers assaulting a military base. The story mentions AQ's possible involvement. Well, if it's not then it's not, if it is, well, it's a portent. (060505a)


The Afghan National Army suffers from desertion rates of up to 50% in some units. The problem: mismanagement, at least in part because the paychecks soldiers earn can't be banked, there is no banking system. So families of soldiers get desperate. And then there is the enemy and other factors (060905d) Then too there is an uptick in enemy activity (060905f)


When a child looks tired and seems just a bit extra quiet an old fashioned mom would put her wrist to the child's forehead to detect a fever, well, Indonesia might not have a temperature, but a mom might now well say, "Well, it seems a bit warm" Indeed there is "warmth" and potential for more. Here is the overview (061105a)

What a media mess:

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is at risk. CPB Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson has been derided for his "sad witch hunt" and their are calls for the "sacking" of all board members who support it. (061005g)

Not that it is a surprise if Bush himself pulled something like this, but I guess it is a wider phenomenon. When the two first ladies of Egypt and the US visited a USAID school not only was the area around the school quickly tidied and planted with trees, but the school was painted and well, the kids were traded and the teacher's given the week off so that the visit would be "picture perfect." How wonderful. Potmepkin would be proud. (060805d)

They say the government says Global Warming is not happening. Could this be because government reports are edited after they're written to soften any evidence that the government finds of Global Warming? Seems like that's what happens when the fox is put in charge of the hen house. (060805a)

How to succeed in business if your airplanes aren't flying? Ask the Pentagon to take some of your airliners and refit them as military planes, it's OK it's a win win, except for the taxpayer. (060705d)

And now that the Downing Street memo, we have a report of the war that went on before the war. Bush's air attacks on Iraq prior to the war.(060705a)

Some say ecologists and others when talking about global warming are "crying wolf" meaning that they are raising alarms without cause, but those same people forget how that story ends, that is to say the wolf does show up and feasts on the poor fools sheep. Just so with global warming. Effects are being seen and though they may be most pronounced in the far away arctic and Antarctic their are immediate and local effects here and now, all we have to do is look at the evidence, but we aren't interested over much are we? (060605d)

Israel's choice?

Israel's 11-judge panel, headed by Chief Justice Aharon Barak, determined that "Judea and Samaria [West Bank] and the Gaza area are lands seized during warfare, and are not part of Israel." So the removal of citizens is legal. What does this decision say about the Palestinian cause? One wonders, but it is not the articles purview. (060905a)

Where are the copies of Nuke plans?

Have problems staying awake? Here's just what the doctor ordered. Wouldn't you like to know where the electronic copies of plans for an atomic weapons development program are? This set of blueprints has it all, mining, purifying, centrifuges, bomb design, you name it. And it came from the best Pakistan's own "Mr. Proliferation" the honorable Dr. Khan. (060805e)

Iraq as a mess:

The INA, Iraqi National Army is not quite ready, in one case only 3% of the battalions existing are capable of working on their own, the capabilities are quite limited here is an overview of the problems they face (061005c)

99% of those captured in Iraq are Iraqi's. Many Iraqi's believe that it's OK to attack coalition troops while also believing that it is not OK to harm fellow Iraqis. Most want democracy and most want the US out and now. (061005b)

An emerging national front in Iraq against the US and its allies? The nascent civil war in Kikurk, the insurgents have time on their side, money, man power, and tons of weapons, so it is going to be a long, long show. (060905i)

The changing strategy of Iraqi resistance's car bombers is a result of US changes. The net result of these both may be an increase in sectarianism. (060905h)

A bit of history, the Syrian role in the insurgency at least as it began and up until recently. (060905g)

Iraq's president backs a militia reputed to be sectarian, violent and active. Does that sound like "unity"? Then too with summer time the rivers run warm and all the sunken bodies rise to the top, hundreds of them (060905c)

In a way it makes some sense, you don't need Humvees for everything and they ARE gashogs, but to start using minivans as transports? In Iraq? Seems silly to me but then that might just be me. (060905b)

Hired guns and Marines in a shoot out? No, not really, but the hired guns were taken prisoner and say they were roughed up. Chalk it up to the "fog of war." (060805c)

The Iraqi army's massive move into Baghdad has not had immediate effect, unless you count that perhaps it inspired a mini spike in bombings. (060705b) The bottom line, Army Times, says Pentagon "happy talk' of leaving soon has vanished, they talk of 2009 now... as an if...(060705c)

So the Iraqi government wants to slash their budget by reducing staff in government organizations by 40 to 60%. Hmmm, might these newly unemployed persons be upset? Might they turn on the government? Might the government loose legitimacy as the unemployment already extremely high is forced higher? But it is all sound management according to International Monetary Fund. Yup, they know how to help a country when it's down. (060605e)

The future of the US:

Conyers and Ohio, the book that shows how the election there was stolen (061005e). There were probably other states or locations as well, but here is a summary of the book and its findings. (061005f) I have a copy of the report, don't drink and read it.

The Dems still havn't got a clue, it seems. They let another fox into another henhouse. This time a new proconsul for Iraq is given a pass despite his past: failing in Afghanistan and, actually Iraq, before now taking over in Iraq. The Dems did diddly and the boy took a pass. (061005d)

Bush has learned the lessons Nixon missed, and now we have the kind of government that would have obviated Watergate. (060905e)

The Peak Oil phenomenon's supporters get a booster from Exxon Mobil? Yes, true enough, even they are talking about "the end of oil" and how, in maybe less than five years we'll begin to see the "new world's economics work themselves out.(060805b)

The kind of military we have and are building up is not all that well suited for the conflicts we're facing now, 4th generation warfare, or like to in the near term. Waste and poor organization hinder effectiveness. (060705e)

What is the difference between brand new cat litter and a nuclear device? Well the US has spent millions developing shipping container scanning machines that can't make the distinction. Don't worry though the price tag for not knowing has only been in the hundreds of millions, not billions, and we believe Al Qaida doesn't yet have a bomb. So we're still good to go. (060605c)

Why Guantanamo should be closed? There are a few reasons given here, and good ones, but it will not happen and this will, of course, fuel the recruiting successes of those opposing the US while the US military is struggling in their own recruiting efforts. (060605a) Here is another reason, something call a "Bill of Attainder" which is one of the things the US revolution put an end to. (060605b)


Just wondering, you understand, if Iran can extend the deadline for voting in their national election, because of high voter turn out, a close race and so forth, why can't we? After all we ARE the REAL democratic nation aren't we? (061705a)

What a media mess:

One can hardly believe some of the things in papers, but this one takes a bit of the cake: a story reports on a non-peer reviewed and flawed study, concerning the effectiveness of virginity pledges. (061605d)

The preemptive war on Iraq was preceded by another series of aerial attacks that, essentially, was a prelude for the war that was to come. We had no legal or other basis for these attacks and little was said then, not much now, and I've mentioned them here before, but this article has some details missing from those accounts. (061605c)

So here is a nice timeline encompassing the years 98 through 03. Some of the best quotes are in it, and it gives a good overview of the process, hidden from view at the time, which took us to war. It is something of a disheartening read. Oh, yes and it has lots and lots of links to the original stories. (061505g)

So papers can't help but mention the fact that military recruiting is in a crisis. Their coverage concerns "solving" that problem, by taking on lower quality recruits, giving bigger sign up bonuses, talking about the job market "being so good" (where do these people live anyway?) and so forth. No one mentions, uh, stopping the war? Or, at the very least, treating our troops better with eliminating the "stop loss" policy, or, God forbid, talking to other countries, or even, dare I say it, the UN about getting serious help. Oh well... same o same o....(061505f)

So why no hue and cry about a lying liar who, by implication, is part of a group of liars supporting others who lie? Where is the news on this story: "Federal official doctors documents to hide global warming evidence, others approve" (061305f) But that story is just one part of a pattern, the government lies, someone catches them out, and then it's business as usual. (061305g)

Here is the stats on our media. If a baseball player has a perfect batting record we way they're batting 1,000. What is the opposite? Maybe batting -1,000? Well our media is close, the Downing St. memo, clearly implicating Bush as a liar and an aggressor in the war on Iraq, gets 2 for 940. Meaning reporters only asked about the memo twice in 940 chances. Seems like an activist, leftist, media to me, what about you? (061305c)


Proliferation of nuclear weapons is a bad thing. Inspections are a good thing. But if an important ally, say Saudi Arabia says, "Hey, we aren't interested in nuclear weapons that seems to be good enough for the US and or the IAEA (061605a)

How not to run a nation: Uzbekistan's attempts to suppress Islamic opposition are boosting it instead. Another US ally caught up in the balancing act between it's people's needs, the needs of a despotic leader, the world's conflicts and time. (061605b)


How nice, an uptick in violence for Afghanistan, and here is some info on who and how it's being done (061605e)

English Memos keep on coming:

So here is a nice set of pages. They all have to do with "Memogate" Page one (061805a) Page two (061805b) Page three (061805c)

There are more than just the "famous" Downing Street memo. Read a summary article of their contents. (061705b)

Iraq as a mess:

Doesn't this quote say it all: "At a grand strategic level, however, the Bush administration and the senior leadership of the US military made the far more serious mistake of wishing away virtually all of the real world problems in stability operations and nation-building, and making massive policy and military errors that created much of the climate of insurgency in Iraq." Read the rest of the brief article, it's worth it. (061605g)


The "Bright Shining Lie" gives a glimpse into the "morale" of the Iraqi troops. (0761605f)

Oil, Israel, Jordan, a pipeline, Kikurk, the Kurds, Turkey's interest what a nice mix for a story. A primer on "oil politics" (061505e)

Back to Kikurk, the Kurdish powers that be are removing citizens, non Kurds that is, as their power bid continues. How long it will remain peaceful there is a question no one is discussing to my knowledge. (061505d)

So this is a story that has multiple parts. What you read are the changing or shifting descriptions of an air strike in Iraq. Amazing thing is it is hard to catch the details which seeing the different versions make clear. Who was killed and why becomes the mystery. (061505c)

So what does our own military think of the war? What are they reading? Here is a disheartening overview of the Pentagon's "Early Bird" news. (061505b)

Here is some of the thinking which has it that a military solution won't work. (061305d) And part of the reason is the pace at which the INA, Iraqi National Army, is developing. (061305e)

The future of the US:

Why do the people who benefit the least, or not at all, from Bush's agenda support him none the less? The tale goes back to Nixon's breakthrough victory for the republicans, the psychology of projection as I might call it, and a need to feel valued. Amazing bit of a read this one is. (061705c)

Economics: a boring study most of the time, but here it fascinates. How did the dollar become "the currency" why is it kept that way? They save the best for last. (061605i)

This article makes it clear. It shows the proof that Bush lied a number of times to the American people, yet no one is driving that point home, no one in the media is harping on it tirelessly as they did not so many years ago with Whitewater, Monica, and all that crap. (061505h)

Why congress does not change? Incumbency rules! Read midway down to learn about the "Military Industrial Man" (061504a)

Mr. Bush says wonderful things about the Patriot Act and how we've brought charges against more than 400 suspects of terrorism. The ACLU gives the real statistics, many are ordinary criminals, most have been released having served no time and perhaps a dozen or fewer have been prosecuted. (050613a) And here is a breakdown that is more specific (050613b)

Team Bush seems to be losing support, even amid its core segment of the population. This is good news and bad news. Good in that there is some objective indication that Bush is losing support; bad in that Bush will have to "do something about it." I, for one, fear that that something will be. (061205a)


Resistance. What does it mean to resist when one cannot even see one's hopes and dreams? When there is no evidence that what you are doing has a chance of altering the events prompting you to resist? When there is nothing but darkness and not hint of light? Read on here, it's worth it. (061705d)


What a media mess:

Confidential sources, one of the cornerstones of the news media has been severely weakened. The supreme court made its ruling. (063005h)

A peek into the concentration of media ownership. (062905g) A peek into media mix up with corporations. (062905h)

Step one, conduct a poll, step two, report results. Oh, my bad, if the results of your poll aren't right, well just completely misrepresent them and go on. That is what the Washington Post did. Why it published the actual numbers so this could be discovered beats me. (062905d)

Way back in the 60's, during the cold war, Pravda was one of the premier Russian papers. It had a reputation for being a "mouthpiece" for propaganda despite the fact that "pravda" translates, or so I'm told, to the word "truth." Be all that as it may, could this article, the man in it, revive the issue of Korans being flushed at Guantanamo? (062805g)

Read this brief portion of press meeting with Press Secretary Scott McClellan. The conclusions can only be that A) We have made no progress in Iraq or that B) We have made no difference there either. (062705l)

What is at stake in Iraq? To answer that question you need to ask the questions found here, the ones no one is asking, the ones no one seems to think much about, in terms of what their being answered would give us, impeachment and discreditation of an entire administration, the party in power, the religious right and our dearly beloved neo-cons. (062705f)

Out of sight out of mind, keeping the media eyes off burials keeps American's eyes off of them too, which is why Bush "doesn't do burials". (062705e)

Downing Street Memos, the Pentagon Papers of our time? Not the way it seems to be going, despite the rich ground for "sticking it to the man" (062705a) And then ... "one of the most shameful episodes in the recent history of the American media, and presidency, yet is rarely mentioned today." (062705b)


China makes moves and we sit back and watch? What is "our plan"? (062905b)

China has its own viewpoint, its own agenda as it were, what the US is puzzling over is what they want to do with/about North Korea. Clearly they are not putting pressure on the Pyongyang as they could, so why is that? What is China up to? (062905a)

Iran, a mess to come:

We say that Iran is out of step, others say that we are. What is clear is that neither the US or Iran seems to think that compromise is possible or needed. Do you have to wonder what all this fractious friction will heat to? (062805f)

What has happened in Iran is more than an election, the results of which took Washington by surprise, it is an announcement, the poor will get poorer but keep their traditional ways, the US will not keep Iraq and Iran will get the credit for helping that happen, and the icing on the cake will be the development of the Iranian bomb, how do we do it? One wonders, why it almost seems as though we planned it...(062705m)

Iraq as a mess:

What do some veterans think? VFW Post 2500 in Hollywood has a word or two for Mr. Bush (063005f) Also a thrilling ride through yesteryear and today, comparing bushisms to LBJisms and Nixonisms as we compare and contrast Iraq and Vietnam. (063005g)

Who are we fighting in Iraq? Here is a brief interview with a suicide bomber who is trained and awaiting orders. (062805j)

George W. Bush, 4/9/99: "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." (062905i)

Drumming up support for the Iraqi war is hard, especially when that annoying thing called "the truth" gets in the way, fact's aside Bush made a so - so speech at best. (062905e)

The Rumster says it could be years, five, six, eight, 10, 12 of them, he says before we're done. (062805e)

The body count from Iraq varies from a low of 22,000 (062805a) The number of terrorist actions are up. (062805b) And our military begins to see signs of stress (062705c) Now do you want to HEAR why they say we went to war in Iraq? Go here and listen to what they all said....(062805c)

Epidemic corruption (062705h) 50% unemployment (062705i) and rebels make "progress" in bomb making. (062705j)

What they said long ago, compared to what they say now. How long will we be in Iraq? When Condi Girl was asked she used the words "generational commitment" hows that for succinct and clear? (062705c)

The future of the US:

Torture, a legal battle around this waged recently and, just for your information, these are the battle lines and a bit of a who's who in the issue (070105a)

This article compares and contrasts Iraq and Vietnam, specifically how we left one and might have to leave the other. Reading the article one understands how history might be repeating itself. It calls for hard choices, planning, and reality based policies. Which is why the war will go on for, perhaps, a few more years. (062905f)

Well, it seems we are in for making a "Hobbsian choice" the impending oil crisis will drive what was called the "clash of civilizations" as much as religiosity. The US, in principle, has much in common with the nations it now fights, and that is too bad. An era of relative peace may be, and quite sadly, drawing to a close. (062905c)

Commerce trumps science, not only in Washington DC with our "resident" but with agencies as well. Fisheries report fishy findings. (062805j)

So why do the poor, working class persons who benefit the least from Bush policies support him? Here is some info on that. Turns out we might like the "strict daddy" who keeps things in line. (062805i)

The "age of petroleum" drawing to a close? Maybe, this article outlines the contents, albeit too briefly, of a book: Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy. Essentially the growth in demand is expected to eclipse supply, and perhaps much sooner than we're being told, or that "officials" in Saudi Arabia or the US want to imagine even discussing. (062805h)

China searches greedily for oil, and finds that many of the nations that we have alienated are interested in doing business, another effect of our "wonderful Mr. Bush and his happy go lucky team of neo-cons. (062705k)

It used to be that the US was the premier destination for the brightest foreign students, other nations complained about the "brain drain" and we were smug about it, now that has changed at the very least, somewhat, perhaps greatly. It is a kind of damage that will take years or longer to repair (062705f)

The future:

What if an epidemic struck? Bird Flu is more a threat than bio-terror attacks involving anthrax or smallpox yet we have avoided any preparation the former while prepping for the latter two, oh well, read this and listen to the experts (063005i)

Oil politics: How it is it playing out in Asia? We are making the moves, leaving others in the dust (063005d) Counter balance that article with this one, geopolitics? To be sure! (063005e)

Our "lovely resident select" Bush claims Kyoto would "ruin our economy" despite what Blair says and the facts that the following two articles illuminate: (063005c)

We are currently in a period of "oil wars" a subset of the perennial resource wars that are a historical with we humans, another subset the "water wars" are in our future, here is a brief article introducing the reason why. (063005b)

One in six nations face "drought stress" if climate change proceeds. Reading the article you might see that, of the nations mentioned all are in the wider range of the "mid latitudes." Most therefore are what were once called "third world" (063005a)


If there is debate about the war in North Carolina, then there is debate everywhere, or should be. (062706d)

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