Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Afghanistan, Iraq, Haditha, Enlisted Investigation, Hollywood Bush, Europe Says No, Abstinence vs. AIDS and Al Gore Speaks Truth.

When we went into Afghanistan to get Osama and remove the religious right from power, it was a laudable endeavor. But like everything else that Bush has touched it didn't work and then turned to crap.

In Afghanistan today the Taliban is making a comeback and the Afghans are ready to see the backs of the Americans. The traffic accident and the killing of civilians in the aftermath didn't help. Afghan officials want the Americans responsible turned over to them.

American troops are not venturing onto the streets for a while.

Speaking to reporters, Collins also said he had been informed by the Afghan
Ministry of Health that the toll from the unrest had risen to 20 dead, with more
than 160
A spokesman for the ministry, Abdullah Fahim, said the final toll was still
being counted. Hospital officials say most of the dead and wounded were shot

In Iraq, things are going from bad to worse. Despite U.S. claims that things are getting better, the violence is only growing more intense.

Statistics indicate that violence has been escalating steadily for months,
particularly since the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra north of Baghdad on
Feb. 22 kicked off a wave of sectarian killing. According to Brookings, there
were 21 multiple-fatality bombings in December, when national elections were
held for the new government. In January, there were 30; in February, 39; in
March, 37, and in April, 40.

The number of people killed in these bombings has gradually climbed, as
well, from 174 in December to 293 in April. This month's death toll is well over

It's gotten so bad that the Iraqi Ambassador told CNN that his cousin had been killed by Marines. The official investigation blew it off.

BLITZER: But even months before the incident in November, you lost a cousin at Haditha in a separate battle involving United States Marines.

SUMAIDAIE: Well, that was not a battle at all. Marines were doing house-to-house searches, and they went into the house of my cousin. He opened the door for them.

His mother, his siblings were there. He led them into the bedroom of his father. And there he was shot.

BLITZER: Who shot him?

SUMAIDAIE: A member of the Marines.

BLITZER: Why did they shoot him?

SUMAIDAIE: Well, they said that they shot him in self-defense. I find that hard to believe because, A, he is not at all a violent -- I mean, I know the boy. He was [in] a second-year engineering course in the university. Nothing to do with violence. All his life has been studies and intellectual work.

Totally unbelievable. And, in fact, they had no weapon in the house. They had one weapon which belonged to the school where his father was a headmaster. And it had no ammunition in it. And he led them into the room to show it to them.

BLITZER: So what you're suggesting, your cousin was killed in cold blood, is that what you're saying, by United States Marines?

SUMAIDAIE: I believe he was killed intentionally. I believe that he was killed unnecessarily. And unfortunately, the investigations that took place after that sort of took a different course and concluded that there was no unlawful killing.

In the Haditha slaughter, a 10 year old girl has come forward to tell what she saw that night.

On Saturday Iman Hassan, a 10-year-old Iraqi girl, told The Times how she
had watched US marines kill her mother, father, grandmother, grandfather,
four-year-old cousin and two uncles.

In Washington, Congressman John Murtha, a former Marine and a harsh critic
of the war, said that the episode might prove to be America’s darkest hour in

A Marine that was detailed to remove the bodies from Haditha, tells his story.

Lance Corp. Ryan Briones was among the Marines sent in to recover the
bodies, and he told the Los Angeles Times he is still haunted by what he saw,
including a young girl who was shot in the head.

"[The victims] ranged from little babies to adult males and females,"
Briones told the newspaper. "I can still smell the blood."

And this should come as no surprise, the Pentagon is only investigating enlisted men in the killings.

Not only should officers be involved in the investigation, but it should go right up the line to the people that made the policies that put those Marines in that situation.

Pentagon investigations into the shooting deaths of Iraqi civilians are focused
on about a dozen enlisted Marines and do not target their commanding officers,
the lawyer for one of the officers said Tuesday

Once again waving the bloody shirt of 9/11, Bush is showing just what a sick puppy he is, by inviting the survivors of the passengers and crew of United 93 to screen the movie of the same name with him and Laura at the White House.

Maybe he'll tell them that he would have ordered it shot down anyway. If he hadn't been so busy trying to find a hole to hide in.

Into this volitile, march-to-war atmosphere comes the Hollywood movie, "United 93," which has done more
than anything to keep Americans thinking about 9/11, those thoughts that the
government exploits to spy at home and drop bombs overseas. Now, the government didn't have anything to do with film -- and by all accounts, skilled director
Paul Greengrass is even-handed in his rendering of the heroism of the passengers
-- but that doesn't mean that they can't take
of some good timing:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush invited relatives of some of the 40 passengers
and crewmembers who are portrayed in United 93 to join him for a screening of
the film at the White House Tuesday night.

European court said that European airlines should no longer have provide U.S. law enforcement agencies with detailed information about passengers traveling to the United States.

The U.S. said, "Bring it on."

The United States has warned of long security checks at U.S. points of entry if
passenger information is not provided before arrival, and has threatened to fine
airlines $6,000 per passenger and revoke their landing rights for not turning
over data.

Another stupid Bush Adminstration idea that doesn't work is abstinence. But spending billions promoting it keeps the religo-crazies happy.

Crushing news out of Uganda last week. The Bush administration's $1 billion
experiment in using abstinence messages as the basis of HIV prevention has born
its first fruit: In a public speech on May
, Uganda's AIDS Commissioner Kihumuro Apuuli announced that HIV infections
have almost doubled in Uganda over the past two years.

And the good news, Al Gore calls George Bush a 'renegade rightwing extremist.' 'Bout damned time.

Al Gore has made his sharpest attack yet on the George Bush presidency,
describing the current US administration as "a renegade band of rightwing

In an interview with the Guardian today, the former vice-president
calls himself a "recovering politician", but launches into the political fray
more explicitly than he has previously done during his high-profile campaigning
on the threat of global warming.

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I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

John Stuart Mill (May 20 1806 – May 8 1873)