Archive for July 14th, 2007

Prime Minister: Iraqis Can Keep Peace Without U.S.

by- Suzie-Q @ 5:00 PM MST

U.S. ground forces commander Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, left, talks with Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek, right, assistant commander for operations with the 25th Infantry Division in Baqouba, Iraq Friday, July 13, 2007. U.S. troops are trying to take control of Baqouba from Sunni extremists after Iraqi forces lost control of the city last year. (AP Photo/Robert H. Reid)

BAGHDAD (AP) – Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday that the Iraqi army and police are capable of keeping security in the country when American troops leave “any time they want,” though he acknowledged the forces need further weapons and training.

The embattled prime minister sought to show confidence at a time when pressure in the U.S. Congress is growing for a withdrawal and the Bush administration reported little progress had been made on the most vital of a series of political reforms it wants al-Maliki to carry out.

Moreover, the Pentagon on Friday conceded that the Iraqi army has become more reliant on the U.S. military. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, said the number of Iraqi battalions able to operate on their own without U.S. support has dropped in recent months from 10 to six, though he said the fall was in part due to attrition from stepped-up offensives.

In new violence in Baghdad on Saturday, a car bomb leveled a two-story apartment building, and a suicide bomber plowed his explosives-packed vehicle into a line of cars at a gas station in new attacks in Baghdad that killed at least eight people.

Raw Story

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Evening Jukebox… Need You Tonight/Mediate

by- Suzie-Q @ 4:16 PM MST

INXS – Need You Tonight/Mediate – Live at Wembley Stadium 1991

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by- Suzie-Q @ 2:25 PM MST

President Bush attempted to convince the nation that Saddam Hussein had WMD as justification for invading Iraq in 2003. In Oct. 2002, for example, he stated, “If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today — and we do — does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger and develops even more dangerous weapons?”

But today on the progressive radio program The Cappy McGarr Show, host Cappy McGarr reveals through a conversation with former Sen. Majority Leader Tom Daschle that in private, Bush’s real motivation was a personal vendetta:

Of all the reasons used to justify this awful war, the one that stunned me the most…and will shock you…was the one I heard from a close friend of mine former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. Senator Daschle was Majority Leader at the time.

The Senate and The House Leadership were meeting with President Bush for a weekly breakfast back then, and as our country was leading up to the Iraq war. … Bush got to talking about why we needed this war, and here’s what he said to Senator Daschle “We need to get Saddam Hussein…that Mother _______ tried to take out my Dad.”

Bush’s feelings for Saddam have long been intensely personal. In 2002, he said to CNN, “Oh, yes, I hate Saddam Hussein. I don’t hate a lot of people. I don’t hate easily.” Six days later at a fundraiser in Texas, Bush said, “There’s no doubt he [Saddam] can’t stand us. After all, this is the guy that tried to kill my dad at one time.” Bush was referring to an “alleged plot by Iraqi intelligence to assassinate Bush’s father.”

It’s troubling that Bush believed he could use U.S. troops as personal hitmen to avenge a grudge.

Think Progress

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Bush’s First Videoblog

by- Suzie-Q @ 2:11 PM MST

Bush’s First Videoblog

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by- Suzie-Q @ 1:55 PM MST

A hallmark of President Bush’s Iraq policy is “as the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down,” referring to the training of Iraqi security forces. But a progress report on Iraq earlier this week showed that “despite stepped-up training, the readiness of the Iraqi military to operate independently of U.S. forces has decreased” since the escalation began.

Nevertheless, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appeared on NBC’s Today Show yesterday and attempted to deny these reports, giving false portrayals of progress in training the Iraqi security forces:

[I]f you look at the way that they are fighting now, in a less sectarian fashion…I think they’re fighting on behalf of all Iraqis, where they showed up in the numbers that they are supposed to.

Watch the video/Think Progress

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Save Senator David Vitter’s Penis

by- Suzie-Q @ 9:47 AM MST

A commercial for a recently formed organization dedicated to preserving Sen. David Vitter’s genitalia. In 2000, Sen. Vitter’s wife stated that if she caught her husband cheating on her, she would “take away one thing” and referenced notorious castrator Lorena Bobbitt.

Paid for by the Committee to Preserve Sen. Vitter’s Penis. Copyright 2007.


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Russia Suspends Participation In Treaty

by- Suzie-Q @ 9:30 AM MST

MOSCOW — Russia on Saturday suspended its participation in a key European arms control treaty that governs deployment of troops on the continent, the Kremlin said, a move that threatened to further aggravate Moscow’s already tense relations with the West.

President Vladimir Putin signed a decree suspending Russia’s participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty due to “extraordinary circumstances … which affect the security of the Russian Federation and require immediate measures,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin has in the past threatened to freeze his country’s compliance with the treaty, accusing the United States and its NATO partners of undermining regional stability with U.S. plans for a missile defense system in former Soviet bloc countries in Eastern Europe.

Under the moratorium, Russia will halt inspections and verifications of its military sites by NATO countries and will no longer limit the number of its conventional weapons, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The White House reacted with disappointment to Russia’s decision.

“We’re disappointed Russia has suspended its participation for now, but we’ll continue to have discussions with them in the coming months on the best way to proceed in this area _ that is in the interest of all parties involved and provides for security in Europe,” Gordon Johndroe, a spokeman for the National Security Council, said in a statement.


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by- Suzie-Q @ 8:26 AM MST

Your guide to the ongoing dance between Bush, the Congress, and the Iraqi government; an update on the current status of the proposed oil laws; and some steps you can take to stop the hijacking of Iraq’s oil.

What does a war for oil look like? American troops going into battle with tanks waving “Exxon Mobil” and “Chevron” flags right behind? Are the flags then planted squarely in the ground and the oil beneath officially declared war bounty? Well, some members of the Bush administration and U.S. oil companies may have favored such an approach. But the device ultimately chosen to win this war for oil is only slightly more subtle: a law, to be passed by the Iraqis themselves, which would turn Iraq’s oil over to foreign oil companies.

The president’s benchmark

The U.S. State Department Iraq Study Group began laying the foundations for the new law prior to the invasion of Iraq. Its recommendations, released only after the invasion, were quickly enshrined in a draft oil law introduced to the interim Iraqi government by the U.S.-appointed interim prime minister of Iraq, Ayad Allawi (a former CIA operative).

The Bush administration has spent four years trying to force successive Iraqi governments to pass the law, referred to as either the “hydrocarbons” or “oil” law. While it has gone through several permutations, the basics have remained the same and have followed the original prescriptions set out by the State Department.

The law would change Iraq’s oil system from a nationalized model — all but closed to U.S. oil companies — to a privatized model open to foreign corporate control. At least two-thirds of Iraq’s oil would be open to foreign oil companies under terms that they usually only dream about, including 30-year-long contracts. (For details of the law, see my March 2007 New York Times Op-Ed, “Whose Oil Is It, Anyway?”)


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by Sudhan@11:15 CET

A Reform to Restore the People’s Power

By Paul Craig Roberts

The American political system has failed. The fabled checks and balances of American politics were no match for a neoconservative administration with a secret agenda. The American people were deceived and tricked into supporting two invasions that are war crimes under the Nuremberg standard.

US aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq and the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians have radicalized Muslims throughout the world and swelled the ranks of insurgents. Despite the “surge” and an additional 30,000 US troops in Baghdad, the US is unable to protect its own embassy. On July 10, the fortified Green Zone, which contains the US and British embassies and the puppet Iraqi government, came under intense mortar and rocket attack. Within the protected Green Zone, 18 people were wounded and 3 were killed.

The US military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus said that the US is a decade away from victory in Iraq. Gen. Petraeus could have added another truth and acknowledged that the US military lacks sufficient fresh troops to remain in the conflict. Last year Colin Powell said the US Army is “about broken.” The US military is exhausted by the insurgencies and will be driven out if not withdrawn.

Gen. Petraeus assumed command in January. Six months later, Petraeus says “the question is how can we gradually reduce our forces so we reduce the strain on the army.”

In the US Senate, Republican support for Bush’s wars is fading as senators face a hostile public that has had enough of Bush’s pointless and lost wars based on lies and deception. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq never had any valid reason. The US occupations of these countries have failed, and no purpose has been achieved except the enrichment of the military-security complex and the swelling of al-Qaeda’s ranks and credibility.

Full article

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