31 January 2007

Report On Clusters

Well the news now is on the report by the US government about the posssibility that Israel misused cluster bombs that they got from the US. Ok, why is it out now? Back in November 2006 the UN issue the same report, it told that the last three days before the end of the Lebanon excusion by Israel, they carpet bombed S, Lebanon with clusters, making the area almost unliveable or unworkable. Most of you could hear about this report because the Lebanese minister got assassinated on the very day the report was issued; this of course, pushed this story to the backburner. The assassination was very opportune for the Israelis.

But now the US is making the very same accusations. Why? Why is NOW the time for this to be annouced? They say that timing is everything in politics. What is it about today that makes this story preferrable?

Could it be that the Olmert government is facing a vote of no comfidence and the US wants to add fuel to the fire, with the hopes of a new government they would be dealing with in the future?

Just as the assasination was a coincidence that happen the very day of the damning UN report, but unfortunately, I do not believe in coincidences, especially in politics. Again--timing is everything.


Anti-War Resolution

Resolutions Against The Troop Build-up In Iraq

By now, almost all Americans, except those under rocks, know about the 20,000+ troops to be sent to Iraq soon. And now the Dems have began their tour of duty in the Congress by passing a resolution against such build-up. Bravo for them right? Not hardly!

They are wasting time and money with their resolution. Why, you ask? It is non-binding. That means it is more worthless than used toilt paper. When why bother? A very good question, with no good answer. Only thing I can think of is that it makes the Dems look like they are actually geting stuff done. They promised much in the first hundred hours and they are scrambling to make it appear they are making good on their lame promises.

So are the Dems actually working? NO, IMO, they are travelling on my dime. they make trips to access the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the like. Pretty much a free trip aboard and a couple of good photo-ops and that is about it. What they uncover has been known for a long time and they will just make some half-hearted comment and will then go back to business as usual in Washington. The Dems are doing all they can to keep their message in front of the media, thus it stays in front of the people. Why? The Presidential election! It is imperative that they (Dems) win the White House in 2008. Everything they do is for that end, not what is best for the people they represent.

If Americans want real change, then they should demand it! Letting your vote do your talking for you, is naive and ignorant. Take back the country! Make it truly a country governed by the people.


29 January 2007

A Proposal

Recently I have been thinking alot about the wounded troops there are those stories where they are getting only limited services, that is why organizations like CNN raffle off a HumV to raise monies to help. This is not acceptable--again!

There is a program to get Iraq's oil industry up and running--I think that is a great idea. It will not go well for it will be open to numerous attacks, but a pretty good plan.

My proposal is once the industry starts pumping out oil, then Iraq gets 50% of the revenue and the other 50 goes to support the wounded troops trying to rebuild their lives. After all, thanks to Iraq they are having the problems they have, only fair that Iraq help pay for the services to rehab these victims of war.

Any thoughts?



A Study

Recently, I did a study about Cheney's visit to Saudi mand said that it was to get assurances from them to help with Iran. He got them! A recent report talks about the oil revenue, at present rate for Iran would decrease by 2015. I then said that the Saudi would most likely raise production and slash prices in an attempt to get Iran to adjust its program.

Merry Christmas, CHUQ--the Saudis have increased production and will hold the price of $50 a barrel. Now I wait for Iran to make my predicted bone-head move to justify an action agaionst them by the US.

The US is moving a 2nd carrier group into the Gulf. WHY? They too are waiting for the shoe to drop and will be armed to the teeth. With all the political movement, an edict to kill Iranians in Iraq and the harrassment of "diplomats" in Iraq and The US Sunni friends in the area; the wait may not be as long as most think.


27 January 2007

What Goes On Here?

What Is Going On?

We all know of the "surge" that the Bush boyz want. We know that it is suppose to be a Maliki plan to clean up Baghdad. Maliki has said that, in response to the growing rate of violence, no "outlaw" will be safe. I am guessing he is speaking of the insurgents and the militias. If so I would like someone to explain what is going on.

Sadr's guys returned recently to the government, who are the cornerstone of Maliki's power base, this leads to the conclusion that the plan as stated is acceptable to the leadership of Sadr's guys. If so, the Madhi Army could be considered an "outlaw". With that, is Sadr and his gang willing to sacrifice the Army on the alter of Iraqi democracy? If so, it would be similar to the sacrifice of the SA in 1934.

Another question pops to mind, is this plan winning support from Sadr's bloc? If so, I would be extremely leary of this plan and their intentions. Or, what was Sadr promised to get his parlimentary support?

Two hypothesis come to mind. 1) It is all a pile of fecal matter designed to confuse and misinform the US public, in an attempt to garner support for the Bush plan. 2) Maliki and Sadr have worked up a deal on the course of Iraq and the US is just there to impliment the plan.

No matter your stance on the war in Iraq, you need to ask yourself, What is going on? Me thinks it is not going to be advantageous for the US.


25 January 2007

An Observation For 25/01/07

An annoucement yesterday that Kerry would not seek the democratic nomination for pres. May I see a show of hands of those who did not see this coming.

Kerry is a political hack--IMO, he was never in the consideration for the nomination; his failed attempt last time showed the demos the way forward. He just does not have the support in the back rooms for a run at the nomination. Hopefully, you all realize that the process depends as much on backroom manuevering as in the primaries.

The Demos are looking for fresh leadership and will see how the picture looks after a few primaries. Let us not leave out the Repubs from the backroom manuevering. They also will be looking to put the best face forward, and I mean that literally and physically.

The entire process will be fun to watch and analyze--onward and upward!


23 January 2007

Negativity Begins Early

Just the other day a news release stated that Obama attended an Islamic fundamentalist school while living in Indonesia. It is said to be given out by some on the Clinton staff. Of course, it was enied and when checked out the school in mention was a public school open to all children. So the story was apparently untrue, but the thought has been put into the mix now and since the political season has started about a year early, so has the negativity of the US political institution.

How many more will come out? Is how negative will the upcoming political season be? Is this necessary? Well, no--but apparently acceptable. What a pathetic bunch of people and yet the American people see no problem or if they see it, does not matter, it is all part of the game played by the rich and we are just spectators, for the most part.


22 January 2007

A New Bitch

Is not the pres. election process long enough as it is now? But wait! There will be political debates in NH starting April of this year. Why? Is there nothing else worth carry on the news? By the time elections do get here, the people will be itching to vote and get it over with as soon as poseible.

Is this necessary? NO! Is it profitable? YES! Will it be a pain in the ass? YES!

Why? Because......

National Strategy For Victory


I would hope that my follow Americans would know what is in this statement seei ng how we are asking our young to fight and die for its implimentation. But then again, I have been disappointed before it what the American people actually know. To bring those unaware of what this document is, let me refresh memories. The National Strategy For Victpry In Iraq, is a document or plan , if you will, for the liberation of Iraq. It consists of 8 strategic pillars, which was some lame attempt to equate it with the pillars of the Islamic faith. These pillars are:

1) Defeat the terrorists and neutralize the insurgency.

2) Transition Iraq to security self-reliance

3) Help Iraqis forge a national compact for democratic government

4) Help Iraq build government capacity and provide essential services

5) Help Iraq strengthen its economy

6) Help Iraq strengthen the rule of law and promote civil rights

7) Increase international support for Iraq

8) Strengthen public understanding of coalition efforts and public isolation of the insurgents.

Now take a good look at the pillars of this plan. Do you see any of it at present that could be considered a success? IMO, pillar 5 is the only one that could be said to show some success. The US and the Iraqi government have been pulling all punches to get the international community to invest in Iraq and its future. This is a limited success, if one at all. Most of the international community see the situation in Iraq as too viotile for any serious investment. I am sure that there are those waiting in the wings for a more secure Iraq and then swoop in and begin the pillaging of the country. Pillar 7 could be viewed by some as a limited success, but not by me, so far. 5 and 7 are pretty much tied together.

Unfortunately, the other five pillars are , at best, a failure and have given more grief than optimism. The biggest problem I see is, none of the so-called proposals on the table now will do much to turn these failures into successes.

The real bad news is that the Iraqi people are in for more of the same security problems and possibly a much greater atmosphere of violence.


20 January 2007

The Situation In Lebanon

I apologize for the length of this article, but I could not pick a part to highlight so I wanted to post the entire thing. From a friend in Lebanon I have spoken with recently, this article is pretty accurate. It is not my article, but a very good dipiction of what is happening.


People's Revolt in Lebanon
Mohamad Bazzi, The Nation, 16 January 2007

Ever since Hezbollah and its allies began an open-ended protest against the US-backed government on December 1, Beirut's gilded downtown--built for wealthy Lebanese and foreign tourists--has become more authentically Lebanese. Where Persian Gulf sheiks once ate sushi, families now sit in abandoned parking lots, having impromptu picnics, the smell of kebabs cooked over coals wafting through the air. Young men lounge on plastic chairs, smoking apple-scented water pipes, and occasionally break out into debke, the Lebanese national dance.

Most protesters are too poor to afford $4 caffe lattes, but men hawking shots of strong Arabic coffee for 30 cents apiece are doing a brisk trade. Nearly all businesses are shuttered, but a few enterprising store owners have figured out how to cater to the crowd. One hair salon converted itself into a sandwich shop, selling cheese on bread with a cup of tea for $1. The smiling cashier works behind a counter filled with L'Oréal hair products.

"I never came to downtown before these protests. I can't afford to come here. If I ate a sandwich here, I'd be broke for a week," says Emad Matairek, a 35-year-old carpenter from the dahiyeh, the Shiite-dominated suburbs of Beirut. "It's well-known that this area was not built for us."

The protests are being portrayed in much of the Western media as a sectarian battle, or a coup attempt--engineered by Hezbollah's two main allies, Syria and Iran--against a US-backed Lebanese government. Those are indeed factors underlying the complex and dangerous political dance happening in Beirut. But the biggest motivator driving many of those camped out in downtown isn't Iran or Syria, or Sunni versus Shiite. It's the economic inequality that has haunted Lebanese Shiites for decades. It's a poor and working-class people's revolt.

In Riad Solh Square, amid dozens of white tents erected for Hezbollah supporters to sleep in, there is a stage with a huge TV screen and rows of loudspeakers mostly positioned toward the Grand Serail, the Ottoman-era palace where Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and his Cabinet are hunkered down. Between the tents and the palace, behind eight-foot-high coils of barbed wire, there are hundreds of Lebanese soldiers toting M-16s and sitting atop armored vehicles. Every night thousands of people gather in front of the stage, within earshot of the Serail, demanding that Siniora either resign or accept a national unity government that gives Hezbollah and its allies greater power.

A major theme highlighted by the protesters is that Siniora is backed by the Bush Administration--and that alliance did little to help Lebanon during last summer's thirty-four-day war between Israel and Hezbollah. A few days into the sit-in, Hezbollah hung a large banner from a building showing Siniora embracing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, over a collage of dead Lebanese children Photoshopped onto his back. It reads, "Condy--Thanks," a reference to Siniora's meeting with Rice during the war, when US officials refused to endorse a quick cease-fire. "Thank you for your patience Condy, for some of our children are still alive," it reads.

But in most conversations with people at the sit-in and protests, economic concerns quickly emerge: Siniora's government is corrupt, has failed to reduce Lebanon's crippling $41 billion public debt and has done little to improve people's lives. Shiites are especially forgotten in the country's economic planning. Many at the sit-in have been out of work for years, or lost their jobs after the recent war.

"Our country is getting poorer, and Siniora's government is not talking about it," says Hadi Mawla, a 22-year-old graphic design student who came from the dahiyeh on the protest's first day, which drew hundreds of thousands to downtown. "Our standard of living is falling, while other Arab countries are improving. We Lebanese used to make fun of other Arab countries. Now they have great big cities like Dubai. And we're going to end up like Egypt--with a very poor class, a very rich class and nothing in between."

The economic dimension to the protest can be seen everywhere. Around the square there are hand-drawn posters of Siniora sitting on a chair made of stacks of dollar bills. From the stage, a projector shines slogans highlighting economic demands onto a building that houses the ultra-chic Buddha Bar, with its two-story Buddha statue inside. The swirling projector makes its point: "No to the government of VAT" and "No to the government of seafront properties."

This class battle transcends sectarian boundaries. Hezbollah has formed an alliance with the Free Patriotic Movement, led by Maronite Christian politician and former army commander Michel Aoun. With this coalition Hezbollah is trying to prove that it's not a purely sectarian party, it's not seeking to impose an Islamic government and it's willing to ally not just with nationalist Sunnis but also with Christians. Because Aoun stresses honest government, accountability and economic equality, he and Hezbollah seemed like a natural fit. By playing up its alliance with Aoun--and downplaying its partnership with the notoriously corrupt Shiite Amal party--Hezbollah can reinforce the reputation for honesty shared by many Islamist movements in the Middle East.

This class battle transcends sectarian boundaries. Hezbollah has formed an alliance with the Free Patriotic Movement, led by Maronite Christian politician and former army commander Michel Aoun. With this coalition Hezbollah is trying to prove that it's not a purely sectarian party, it's not seeking to impose an Islamic government and it's willing to ally not just with nationalist Sunnis but also with Christians. Because Aoun stresses honest government, accountability and economic equality, he and Hezbollah seemed like a natural fit. By playing up its alliance with Aoun--and downplaying its partnership with the notoriously corrupt Shiite Amal party--Hezbollah can reinforce the reputation for honesty shared by many Islamist movements in the Middle East.

Hezbollah's charismatic leader, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah--ever skillful at tapping into the Shiite tradition of empowering the dispossessed--often highlights the class dimension of his group's campaign. "They will hear us in all the palaces of the ruling coalition," Nasrallah thundered on December 7, in a speech via video-link to the protesters downtown. He was calling for a huge turnout at a rally three days later, where crowd estimates ranged as high as 1 million. "From the homes of the poor, from the shantytowns, from the tents, from the demolished buildings, from the neighborhoods of those displaced by war, we will make sure that they hear our voices."

There's a long tradition of the Lebanese state leaving Shiites to fend for themselves and waiting for religious or charitable groups to fill the vacuum. This happened over decades, long before Hezbollah emerged in the early 1980s. Hezbollah's "state within a state" was possible only because successive governments willfully left a void in the Shiite-dominated areas of south Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley and the dahiyeh.

"The central government always liked outsourcing the problems of the south. First they gave it to the Palestinians, then they gave it to the Israelis, and they gave it to Hezbollah from 2000 to 2006," says Khalil Gebara, co-director of the Lebanese Transparency Association, an anti-corruption watchdog group. "Hezbollah does what every political party does: They went and created a dependency network."

In the 1960s and '70s, when Shiites were first making the migration from the rural south and Bekaa to Beirut and other cities, the central government left their fate to the clans and feudal landlords who held sway in the agricultural hinterlands. By 1970, when the Palestine Liberation Organization began creating bases in southern Lebanon, the Shiites were on the front line of a conflict between the PLO and Israel. A Shiite cleric named Musa al-Sadr created Amal, the first Shiite political party, which later turned into a militia. To an extent, Amal supplanted the feudal lords as protector of the Shiites.

After the Israeli invasion of 1982, Hezbollah emerged to fight the Israeli occupation. It was more disciplined and less corrupt than Amal, although Hezbollah was always dependent on Iranian funding and support. When Hezbollah's grinding guerrilla war forced Israel to end its occupation in May 2000, the militia was hailed throughout the Muslim world for achieving what no Arab army had done before: force Israel to relinquish land. With the Israeli withdrawal, Hezbollah moved into the vacuum in southern Lebanon, opening clinics and schools and providing small-business loans.

To many Shiites, Hezbollah's ascendance put them on the political map. There's a word Lebanese have used to put down a Shiite: mutawali, which roughly translates into "country bumpkin." It's a term freighted with meaning--of dispossession, prejudice, deprivation. But Shiites have appropriated it and now use it with pride. "During the civil war, we mutawalis were insulted and put down. Hezbollah gave us a new sense of dignity, and that's the most important right we can have," says Mawla, the graphic design student. "Hezbollah made it possible for us to stand, without fear, and shout from the rooftops that we are mutawalis."

In 1990, at the end of the fifteen-year civil war, Lebanon's political class chose to continue its sectarian system. The current crisis is rooted in that choice, which began with the 1989 Taif Accord, brokered by Saudi Arabia and Syria. The agreement called for all militias to disarm--with the exception of Hezbollah, whose militia was labeled a "national resistance" against the Israeli occupation. Leaving traditional warlords in place, Taif enshrined the political partition among the country's rival sects: Power must be shared between a Maronite Christian president, a Sunni prime minister and a Shiite speaker of Parliament. Each of the major players in the war seized a piece of the government and extended the sectarian system to the lowest rungs of the civil service. This arrangement was ripe for exploitation by outside powers, especially Syria, which dominated Lebanon from 1990 until last year.

One man had a chance to change the economic underpinnings of this system, and perhaps eventually cast aside its entire sectarian basis. He was Rafik Hariri, a billionaire construction tycoon who served as prime minister for most of the 1990s and until late 2004. But Hariri failed at building a healthy postwar economy. He rebuilt downtown Beirut at the expense of the hinterlands, and he focused on luxury sectors--banking and upscale tourism--instead of Lebanon's productive sectors, agriculture and small industry. Hariri was trying to return to the prewar economy, which was driven by Lebanon's role as a transit center for oil money from the Persian Gulf. But by the 1990s oil producers no longer needed the Lebanese banking system; they had Dubai.

"Everything that the government built around here means nothing to us," says Matairek, the carpenter at the downtown protests. "What they should have done was strengthen the Lebanese army. All the money they spent to fix this downtown--what's the use of it, if the Israeli warplanes were able to bomb us, and the Lebanese army wasn't able to stop it?"

The gleaming downtown became a symbol of Hariri's reign and his failed economic policies. By the time he left office Lebanon had a $36 billion public debt, or 170 percent of GDP--one of the highest debt-to-GDP ratios in the world (it's now 190 percent). For much of Hariri's term, he relied on Siniora, an old friend, as his finance minister.

Siniora's biggest triumph as finance minister was the 2002 Paris II Donors Conference, which netted Lebanon $4.4 billion in soft loan guarantees. In return Siniora promised a raft of neoliberal economic reforms: He would privatize state assets like cellphone contracts, reform the country's civil service sector and balance the budget by 2006. Nine months before the donors conference, Siniora imposed Lebanon's first value-added tax (VAT): a 10 percent surcharge on most goods except food and medicines. One of his main arguments for staying in office is to shepherd a Paris III conference scheduled for January, in which international donors are expected to contribute toward rebuilding the infrastructure devastated by last summer's Israeli offensive.

"Because of Siniora and his economic programs, we have a very flawed tax system, based on indirect taxes. Statistically, it has been shown that this system recycles money from the poor to the wealthy," says Fawwaz Traboulsi, a political science professor at the Lebanese American University. "We have a 10 percent flat income tax, but most state revenues come from indirect taxation: the VAT, fuel taxes, utility surcharges. Salaried people pay the bulk of these taxes."

Throughout his tenure, Hariri clashed with the Syrian-backed Lebanese president, Emile Lahoud. In February 2005 Hariri was assassinated in a massive bombing as his motorcade drove through Beirut's seaside corniche. Widely assumed to have been carried out by Syria or its agents, the killing shook Lebanon and cast a harsh light on Syrian hegemony over the political system. Under internal pressure and mass demonstrations, the Syrian-backed prime minister resigned and Damascus pulled its 14,000 troops out of Lebanon. After elections in June 2005, the new parliamentary majority--a coalition of Christian, Sunni and Druse parties--appointed Siniora as prime minister. For the first time, Hezbollah joined the Lebanese Cabinet, securing two seats in Siniora's administration.

Until last summer's Israel-Hezbollah war, Siniora continued with the economic policies he had begun under Hariri. Morality aside, there's one major problem with these soak-the-poor economics: They strengthen Hezbollah. In a country divided drastically between haves and have-nots, a large proportion of the have-nots happen to be Shiites, and they rely for social services not on the government but on Hezbollah. In their view, the government takes, while Hezbollah provides.

After the latest war, with Israeli bombs targeting Shiite-owned factories and businesses in the south and in the Beirut suburbs, the Shiite middle class was devastated. This has made Shiites even more dependent on Hezbollah, as evidenced by the group's handing out up to $12,000 in cash payments to everyone whose home was destroyed. The money--most likely provided by Iran--was intended to pay for a year's rent and new furniture while reconstruction begins.

Locked in a state of perpetual conflict, Lebanon today faces the same choice it had in 1990, when the civil war ended. It can replicate the political system that it had before--based on corrupt sectarian warlords dividing up the spoils of the war they perpetuated--or it can try to produce a stronger and more egalitarian system, one that isn't based on religious divisions and that won't consign its largest sect, the Shiites, to the care of an Iranian-funded religious party.

"How can we still accept this government that steals? This government that built this downtown and accumulated this huge debt?" asks Matairek, the Shiite carpenter. "Who's going to pay for it? I have to pay for it, and my son is going to pay for it after me."

This article originally appeared in the Nation. Mohamad Bazzi is a Lebanense-born journalist and Newsday's Middle East Bureau chief.

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Another Observation

Recently, a couple of kids were found that had been abducted, one of them for 4 yrs the other 4 days. The kids are reunited with their families and the perp is behind bars and being charged with multiple offense. The kids are safe, the perp is dodging guys in lock up and yet the srtory continues and continues....WHY? It has a somewhat happy ending and I am sure the kids would like to get on with their lives and stay away from the multitude of assholees with microphones and cameras.

A small suggestion--MOVE ON! Let the people return to a somewhat normal life, please, MOVE ON!


AN Update!!

Since I wrote the previous piece on the possible fate of al-Sadr, of course it is a personal opinion based on what facts I have from the region.

Anyway--recently one of Sadr's closest friends was arrested by US forces and the most influential Shi'a cleric, Sistani has come out in favor of the "surge" and on the side of Maliki. This is a superb tactic, if you are going to go after Sadr--that is chip away at the perimeter until you expose the center and then act. I foresee an "unfortunate" accident for Sadr.


What Of al-Sadr?

Will al-Sadr Become A Target?

Just as the Israel have their targeted assassinations, so should the US, seems to be gaining popularity. The thought is that he you silence him, then security could be established, at least in Shi'a areas. With hi9s death the shi'a resistence would have no leader and thusly a tranquility could be established.

IMO, I do not think so! The militias have their own leaders; al-Sadr is little more than their rallying point; their public face, if you will. His death would put a cramp in their style, for awhile, but not eliminate. If anything, the Shi'a are big on martyrs and he would become just that and then a rallying point for a more intense insurgency. Maybe not immediately, but eventually, he would become more influential in death than he has been in life.

The way all are talking in Washington, it seems to be a given, at least in my opinion, that he will be neutralized. it seems to sound like it will be a priority. Will it be an assassination? Depends on how you define the word. I am sure when it occurs there will be some reasonable explanation that has been already decided on by the Boyz in Washington. No One will call it an assassination--but dead is dead.

Since the media has painted him as such a bloodthirsty individual, his death will be widely accepted as a necessity for the Bush "way forward" to be realized.

Only time will tell if I am correct--I am not ruling out some political manuvering to stop this from happening, but since he is an "agent" for Iran--his death will be the best solution for those in the Administration.


19 January 2007


Just had to have a place for this reference.

16 January 2007

Another Rant

I have been playing the political exchange for a long time and for the most part, the exchanges have been very good, but on these forums I have noticed that the more "conservs", for lack of a better word, you have the more personal attacks you have. Most are unwarranted because it is usually an ideological difference and for some reason, they cannot have people disagreeing with them on anything. Personally, I do not care about a personal attack, because I refuse to let myself fall into the mindless dribble of those without respect. I disagree with a lot of people on the topics, but I will respect their opinion and debate them if I disagree. As far as the personal stuff, I will try to ignore it and keep my cool.

Of course, you also have those who do not attack personally but rather, goad you into poppin' off with the hope someone will whack the bad guys pee-pee. And one of favs are those who make a statement and when ask to provide a link or such, say, "you do not need a link, it is just so". Another, mindless way of saying "I am right, you are wrong".

In other words, these types to me are "trolls" and presnt nothing of substance. I understand forum admin would like to have varying points of view and that is an excellent way of looking at the whole discussion thing, but not everyone is there to discuss, but rather to attack. I have seen good posters leave forums because of mindless crap and that is sad because those posters usually were the ones with very good points and info.

Just my thoughts.

What Of The Surge?

Purge And Surge

I have been watching the Super Bowl of political tap dancing for over a month. The president is slowly and methodically replacing anyone who will not stay on message with his "new" program, A Way Forward.

He purged Rumsfeld and found the perfect yes man to takes his palce, Robt Gates then he moved Negroponte to the #2 spot; yet another yes man, who will play the Bush game to the fullest. So now, we have the deck stacked in Bush's favor.

How about the military? Good you ask, Gen. Casey will be replaced as senior co in Iraq and Gen Abizaid, will be replaced as Co of Central Command. Casey will be replaced by Gen. Petraeus, a supporter of the esc alation of troops for Iraq. Abizaid is to be replaced by Adm. Fallon, who is a good choice if a new Iran plan is to include the Naval forces. Now the military leadership is in the Bush camp and will rubber stamp all the president proposes for the military.

But wait there is more! Amb. Khalizad will be replaced and it seems to be because he was off message when he suggested the US have talks with Iran about the security probs in Iraq. Khalizad will be sent as the new Ambassador to the UN.

Purge is near completion. How about the surge, you ask? Good question!

It seems just a couple of months ago was the election--WAIT!--It was a couple of months ago. Please let me know if I missed something, but was not the last election billed as the repudiation of the war in Iraq? And did not a study group issue a report saying that recommendations for the easing of US involvement in Iraq? Did this happen or was I just dreaming? Apparedntly I was dreaming!

The president in his speech outline the deployment of 20,000+ additional troops for Iraq and there were some money mentions in there also. He has totally disgarded the Iraq Study Group report and just figured out a way to "stay the course".

If none of this tap dancing gets the job done, will BUsh be held accountable? Or will it be those damn democrats fault? What will the cost of the escalation? More violence and bloodshed will be the most obvious. Since this "new" plan will not be effective, I think al-Maliki will start looking for a new job. Why? Since Bush has said that most of his new plan is an Iraqi plan, all failures will fall on Maliki's shoulders and I do not think he can bear the weight.


13 January 2007

A Middle East Peace?

Not if the US has any say! Rice is making another trip to the area to kick start the peace process. Anyone believing this please let me sell you some land in Florida.

Regardless what the reason, the US refused to deal with an elected government, because they did not agree with the position of the leaders. I am sorry, but if the majority of the people want them to lead, who are you to say no?

Anyway back to the sub--The US is giving aid, monetary and ordinance, to the Fatah faction. It is trying to give them the high ground in the conflict. If peace is a priority, why not pressure Israel to come to the table? Instead the Us is giving weapons to the Fatah which whenn talks break down may be used against Israel, thus giving Israel another green light to destroy Palestinains.

The US DOES NOT want peace! If it was truly concerned it would "step up" and demand ALL factions talk or lose any and all aid. Money talks--Bullshit walks!

Something To Watch

For at least 2 months I have been watching the occurances between the US and Iran. Now it is not so much a news story because sanctions have been put into place and it is not worthy until they try the nuke thing again. Yeah--I really care about Beck coming to America, that alone should promote world peace.

Anyway back to the subject--On two separate occassions the US has detained Iranians, Iraqis say theu were diplomats, but the US says different. Now the military sources are saying there are Iranians fighting in Iraq. I cannot wait to see what new occurances will happen.

Do I believe any of these stories, well ask yourself has the US government ever lied to the American people to go to war? Have they ever misled Congress or the World?

My opinion? It is just setting the stage for whatever the Administration is planning. This will not happen overnight, but they seem to be painstakingly setting the stage for a reaction to something that Iran may do. The plans are there and are on hold, waiting for the proper timing.


12 January 2007

Yet Another Rant!

For months I had posted on a couple of discussion forums about the situation developing in Somalia; it was pretty much ignored, but I kept posting about the situation. Once someone fired a shot across the border then a new threead appeared and a lot of people had an opinion.

As I have said in the past, the American people have no opinion until the news media tells them they have an opinion. The thing is a lotof the opinions defended what had happened. That was ok, but not one of them had enough inclination to read up on what the developements were that lead to the attack; all they know is whaT CNN or FOX tells them. I refuse to be that flippin' lazy or that flippin' uninformed.


A Daily Rant


The link above is a story about how some fear that Bush has intentions to widening the war in Iraq to include Syria and Iran. As I have said, there seems to be a lot of pressure on Iran, especially, and it appears to be there with the hope that Iran will make an ill-advised move, which would give the US an opening and it can be justified.

onsider, if you will, all the occurances deaaling with Iran. IMO, the ducks are beginning to line up in a row and all that needs now, is that mistake by Iran.


11 January 2007

An Iranian War?

Recently in an entry in my Blog I told how I thought the war with Iran would begin. One of my points was that the US had cut a deal with the Saudis and that they would after the 1st, start by increase in oil production and then would slash prices; this in turn would force the Iranians to make adjustments in their production. Well today, the Saudis said they will be increasing production. One part of my prediction has come true.

Another form of pressure on Iran will be the harassment of diplomats, so far this year 2 separate occassions the US has raided and detained Iranians. Another nail in the coffin.



What Is Patriotism?

This very subject has haunted my for many many years. More so recently because of the conflicts against "terrorism". At first, after 9/11, patriotism was sold wholesale to the American people, we were told to fly flags, buy diamonds, go on vacation; if we did not thew terrorists would win. It always struck me as odd that the leadership of the country would be concerned with retail problems at such a crisis time. But, I guess in retrospect, that we must keep the econmy going at all times; would not want the profit takers to suffer any set back because of a little bombing. God knows that these people dictate what we are suppose to do and when.

As a participant in the turmoil of the 60's and 70's I was use to the whole patriotism thing. You know America--Love It ot Leave It, attitudes. I found them stupid and irritating at best and as a "long haired hippie" and opposed to the Vietnam War, I was constantly being called a wealth of names, none which accurately defined who I was. As a veteran of that war I felt that my opposition was very partiotic and necessary..

Now, let's take a look a patriotism. What is patriotism? To begin with it is a very subjective topic, it means many things to many people. The cult of patriotism is taught in school through such techniques as pledge alligance, singing of songs, civics and a wide array of indoctrination techniques. Now I will be sniped at because I use the word indoctrination, so be it, it means to educate. When an individual is in school it begins with your first Civics class and continues until graduation from high school. It becomes less prominent once the indivdual enters college.

Patriotism is nothing more than a way for the State apparatus to retain control over the people and what they think. IMO, patriotism is when a person works for the betterment of ALL citizens of the country; one who tries to bring about change for good, not one who blindly follows some slogan that has NO patriotic connection whatsoever. Blind patriotism is a chain that hampers the individual from making wise decisions based on fact not some figures that are thrown out to confuse and once cnfused will garner support. I am reminded of Geo. M. Cohen, the showman, when he said "Many a bum show has been saved by the flag".

Patriotism will ALWAYS be in the eyes of the beholder and no amount of my rantings will change the fact that; if you fly the flag, you must be patriotic. Somehow, only a flag waver can know what patriotism is and what makes one a patriot. IMO, it is all bovine fecal matter.


09 January 2007

No Exit From Iraq


According to Bush, you are fighting and dying in a war on terror. This statement is spread around like bad peanut butter to all the national media sources. But what does that really mean? Ever since 9/11 Bush has invaded two countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, all in the name of America’s security. Is America more secure because of these invasions? NO! Because of his actions the Middle East is about as unstable as it has ever been. Your participation in these actions is not for security; you are being used as disposable tools in a failed foreign policy--a policy that no one in authority will admit is failing and failing badly. Who pays for this? You and your family pay with pain and suffering.

Since my war, Vietnam, the US has spent billions on hi-tech weaponry and massive tactical sessions that will prevent the US from ever experiencing Vietnam again. A waste--for all that time and money and nothing was learned--Washington is making the same mistakes as it did in Vietnam. What are those mistakes? No amount of hi-tech will beat a dedicated guerilla force.

Back to the war on terror, the present strategy is not working and the longer we remain on Iraqi soil the stronger and more intense the insurgency will become. The hi-tech solution did not work in Vietnam and is not working in Iraq, it anything the hi-tech solution is less effective in Iraq. You are fighting an invisible enemy while you, on the other hand, are a high profile. Who do you think will win that confrontation? You can prevail and the price will be more deaths and injuries.

Bush and his posse, spend all their waking hours trying to convince the American people that the war he started is winnable and he is not dragging the US into a long, costly, in lives and money, war that cannot be won. The only effect it will have is to devastate American families with the loss of their loved ones.

At the writing of this, there is no exit strategy from Iraq--as with Vietnam deaths will rise--injuries will rise--and the American soldier will be tasked with trying to do an impossible feat--win the war on terror through the actions in Iraq.


07 January 2007



I have waited a reasonable length of time to allow all those that were excited about the death of Saddam to have their say. Please do not misunderstand me, I am not going to analyze the execution, that is for more intelligent minds to handle. I will talk about the trial and the sentence.

Saddam was put on trial for the murder of citizens of a small town in Iraq. He was tried and convicted by a system that was built by American lawyers. But what about the other deaths that cannot have closure? Would it not have been better to try him on all the incidences where he killed Iraqis? You kind of like in the US when a person kills in different cities or states they are tried for each one and then sentenced to whatever punishment the state sees fit.

IMO, Iraq tried Saddam on the one that had the best chnace of success, so that he could be put to death before other trials could take place. For the further the trials went I believe the more of an accomplice the US would have been in thiose deaths. Bush could not let that effect anyone. So, the Jubail trial was almost cut and dry and had the best percwentage of conviction, the Iraqi government went with that one. Once Saddam had been executed, then any involvement of the US in the deaths of other Iraqis would be silenced and the "good" name would be preserved.

Since the execution, no mention of other autrocities of Saddam has been mentioned. All say thay chapter is closed and I would say that a large sigh of relief has come from Washington. God only knows what would have come to light if the trials had continued.


03 January 2007

Arab Support For Democracy


The support for Iraqi democracy and democracy in general is coming from the nations of the Gulf region. They have voiced a genuine(?) support for those fighting the insurgents and fighting for a base for democracy, which until now, was unexpected. Your would think that the presence of non-Islamic troops on Arabic soil would be a point of contention. Right? And in fact, these states are proposing a plan for support. The points of this plan are:

1--Strengthen and support Iraqi security forces.

2--Support for the Iraqi government in its efforts to disarm militias.

3--Apply maximum pressure on the regions powers to stop undermining security in Iraq.

4--Help mobilize the people to oppose extremists.

5--Be collaborative with all US-Iraqi endeavors.

All the proposals above sound good and promising coming from other Arab states, right? DO NOT get too excited the support offered is self-serving. Why? They are afraid if the US pulls out of Iraq, then the sectarian violence will spill over into their countries. So in essence, they Want YOU to fight and possibly die in Iraq to protect them from any future danger. By them, I am referring to the authoritarian regimes, the sultanates and emirates in the Middle East. They want YOU to protect their life and power.

Many have said that the Iraqi war is about oil, that is true, maybe not Iraqi oil, but the flow of oil in the region. If this sectarian violence spills over into the other countries then corporations like Exxon, Shell, etc. will be in trouble. So it boils down to the simple fact that YOU are fighting and dying for, not the US, but rather, Exxon.

Just ask yourself why was Iraq so important for two Bushes to invade?


01 January 2007

Do Not Americans


I have watched the hostilities in the Middle East for years, most recently, the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, then Gaza and the to Lebanon. I was glued to my television for at least 12 hours a day looking for news and information, especially CNN, who I thought were the more reliable news media. I was wrong! I found all reporting by the American media to be unbalanced, at best, and always in Israel’s favor. CNN had very few Arab experts and virtual no Lebanese or Palestinian experts, but put forth a wealth of American Middle East experts and a bunch of Israeli. When they finally interviewed an Arabic expert they would be cut short if any criticism of Israel was offered. This upset me for CNN even has an Arab affairs editor, MS Nasr, who got very little air time. The only Arab expert given any in depth coverage was some ex-jihadist (CNN term not mine) hawking his new book on “radical Islamists”. I found the man boorish and just another agent of the Bush Administration.

Since I am very interested in the Middle East, I had to go to International sources to get the news and coupled that with the small amount of news available in the US, so that I could be better informed.

Unfortunately, most Americans depend on CNN, FOX, ABC, MSNBC and the like of the news and opinions. Because of this they are understandably ignorant on affairs relating to the Middle East. They these types of organizations to form their opinions for them, especially when it involves Arabs, Islam or the Middle East. I regret that my countrymen allow these self-serving outlets form their opinions and that they (Americans) are not ambitious enough to get all the news and form their own opinions.

For example, I do a lot of posting on political discussion forums and at the height of the war in Lebanon, everyone had an opinion about Hezbollah, the war, Israel, etc. But once the ceasefire went into effect and the area slid from the headlines, there are very few posts on the Middle East. So I say that without the American national media, most Americans have no opinion of their own; they prefer to let someone else do the thinking for them.

For these reason, I say to my Lebanese, Palestinian and Arab comrades, please do not hate the American people, for they live in a world of ignorance. If you must hate--Hate the American media for not giving the complete story and news.



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