Monday, June 05, 2006

Iraq, Gay Marriage, Estate Tax, Global Warming, Idiots Get Together and Real Morning News.



What are we going to do about Iraq? Before President Bush lied us into an ill-advised invasion, Iraq was a relatively stable, secular country. Albeit, led by a somewhat mad dictator.

Now more than three years after Bush's war to destroy imaginary WMDs/liberate Iraqis/bring regime change/democratize the Mid-East or any of the 27 reasons the Administration has given, Iraq is crumbling in on it self.

50 people have been abducted from a bus stop, 11 students and nine others, all Shiite, were taken from vehicles and murdered on the side of the road, anyone who thinks that we have some kind of control in Iraq is just not paying attention.

Some of the violence that took place this last Sunday:

-Gunmen in a car opened fire on a minibus carrying telecommunications workers to
an area near the Shiite slum of Sadr City, killing four and wounding two.
-Police found 16 bullet-riddled bodies in Baghdad and four in the city of
Tikrit, north of the capital.
-Gunmen in Tikrit killed three police officers
and wounded two others at a checkpoint.
-Gunmen broke into the home of an
Iraqi army soldier, killing him, his two brothers and father and wounding his
mother.
-Two gunmen on a motorcycle killed Muntaha Ali and her husband Helmi
Yaseen in Basra, believed to be employees of a U.S. government agency.

T.E. Lawrence, "Lawrence of Arabia", said of British involvement in Iraq in 1920, "in a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honour". Lawrence also said, and it's still applicable today,

"To make war upon rebellion was messy and slow," in Lawrence's memorable phrase,
"like eating soup with a knife." His own estimate after the war was that the
Turks would have needed 600,000 men to pacify the Hejaz. Today in Iraq, a
similar-sized area, there are fewer than 200,000 coalition troops. Soon there
will be even fewer. It seems Lawrence's central message, that guerrillas are
almost impossible to defeat, is finally beginning to sink in

.

Like My Lai, Haditha and Ishaqi are becoming household names. The latest is accusations that Marines executed a 52 year old, disabled man in Hamdaniyah.

According to accounts given by Hashim's neighbors and members of his family, and
apparently supported by photographs, the Marines went to Hashim's home, took the
52-year-old disabled Iraqi outside and shot him four times in the face. The
assault rifle and shovel next to his body had been planted by the Marines, who
had borrowed them from a villager, family members and other residents said.

Now we have a wife of one of the Haditha Marines that says that they were falling apart after Falluja. If what she says is true, it means that we pushed these men well beyond their limit.

The marine unit involved in the killing of Iraqi civilians in Haditha last
November had suffered a "total breakdown" in discipline and had drug and alcohol
problems, according to the wife of one of the battalion's staff sergeants.

The new Iraqi government is pissed with American conduct in Iraq and even the Brits are letting us know, in the nicest possible way, to get a grip.

Adnan al-Kazimi, an aide to prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, said the government
would also demand an apology from the United States and compensation for the
victims in several cases, including the alleged massacre in the town of Haditha
last year.

The escalation in tensions comes as sources at the Foreign Office confirmed
that the British Government is also urging the Americans to co-operate fully
with comprehensive investigations into the deaths at both Ishaqi and Haditha.

"Stay the course" and White House propaganda won't solve the problems that Iraq is now facing. Gutless Democrats keeping their mouths shut won't help either.

Meanwhile the President is busy protecting the American people from what he perceives as bigger threats than Iraq, gay marriage and an estate tax on the top quarter of the top one per cent of the wealthiest people in the country.

"Ages of experience have taught us that the commitment of a husband and wife
to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the
stability of society," Bush said in his weekly radio address. "Government, by
recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all."

It used to be that a majority of Americans approved abolition of the estate
tax. Perhaps they feared they or their business friends would be hit by the
federal tax should their parents die. But this year, estates of $2 million for a
single person ($4 million for a couple) can be passed along tax-free. Only 0.27
percent of estates - those of megamillionaires and billionaires - will face the estate
tax
.

Bush is also working hard to convince us that global warming is just a liberal pipe dream.

Some of America's leading climate scientists claim to Panorama that they have
been censored and gagged by the administration.

One of them believes the publication of his report, which catalogues the
unprecedented rate of ice melt in the Arctic, was delayed as Americans prepared
to vote in 2004.

The scientists claim that when Bush came to power in 2000 his administration
selected advice which argued that global warming was not a result of human
activities and that the phenomenon could be natural.

The truly ignorant assed had a convention in Dallas. You can replace ignorant assed with Republicans, if you'd prefer.

It would appear that they really, really want to do away with our Constitution and replace it with some nut preacher with a Bible.

A peek inside this meeting of America haters, also known as the Republican Convention.


SAN ANTONIO, Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell offered a greeting to delegates to the
Republican convention. "It's great to be back in the holy land," the Fort Worth
native said to the cheers of the party faithful.For the 4,500 delegates at last
week's biennial gathering, it was both an expression of conservative philosophy
and religious faith, a melding of church and state.

At Saturday morning's prayer meeting, party leader Tina Benkiser assured
them that God was watching over the two-day confab.

"He is the chairman of this party," she said against a backdrop of flags and
a GOP seal with its red, white and blue logo.

The party platform, adopted Saturday, declares "America is a Christian
nation" and affirms that "God is undeniable in our history and is vital to our freedom."

"We pledge to exert our influence toward a return to the original intent of
the First Amendment and dispel the myth of the separation of church and state,"
it says.

Myth? My shiny red baboon ass.

And finally some good news. Real news in the morning, brought to you by the BBC.

Instead of the usual fluff that's become the bread and butter of such U.S.
network programs as The Today Show
and Good Morning America as well as Fox and Friends, World News Today will
deliver news of serious global import by drawing on the network's vast
resources, including three times the number of reporters stationed around the
world as
CNN.

"We really feel there's actually a huge vacuum for us to fill in terms
of global, responsible, impartial reporting," Jeremy Hillman, a BBC World editor
and its outgoing New York bureau chief, told Reuters. "I don't think we expected
to be up there beating Fox and, you know, the main networks, but what we want is
a good, sizable loyal
audience."
The newscast will air on the BBC World News channel as well as the net's
flagship entertainment channel, BBC America.

Right On! BBC

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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)