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    19 December 2005

    A crime, a speech, and a stroke... Good morning World

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    - On Meet the Press Sunday Condi was quick to absolve Bush of any crime, b u t . . .

    She was unable to explain why.

    This must have snuck up on the Republicans. How dare a newspaper cover their crimes without consulting them first?

    - Bush spoke Sunday evening (full text from the WaPo) in a fashion that is alien for him or most Republicans for that matter. The gist of it was: "I tricked you all, and now we're there and there is nothing you can do about it. Cha-Ching!" He, however, shelved the 'Iraq is going great' BS but stood firm on the 'stay the course' rhetoric. This will be the case until after we have pulled out because we aren't going to stay there if it affects domestic politics. That's where we're weak.

    During his entire speech a 15 year old Arab boy bent over backward as Bush's chair. After the speech they proceeded to pull out the finger and toe-nails of the Arab boy. During the torture session Bush paused and expressed regret that Cheney wasn't there for the fun, but quickly remembered that they have a country full of Arab boys to play with. Numerous times Bush's handlers had to tell bush not to put the nails into the mouth, apparently Bush was cleaning them off. Bush used the nails to make a Holiday card for Barb.

    - Speaking of Cheney, he had a round table discussion with a number of troops in Iraq. The group of troops appears to have been real (I mean not picked to be biased towards Cheney) and not some staged event, as we've seen.
    "From our perspective, we don't see much as far as gains," said Marine Cpl. Bradley Warren, the first to question Cheney in a round-table discussion with about 30 military members. "We're looking at small-picture stuff, not many gains. I was wondering what it looks like from the big side of the mountain - how Iraq's looking."

    Cheney replied that remarkable progress has been made in the last year and a half.

    "I think when we look back from 10 years hence, we'll see that the year '05 was in fact a watershed year here in Iraq," the vice president said. "We're getting the job done. It's hard to tell that from watching the news. But I guess we don't pay that much attention to the news."

    But the best part
    Shouts of "hooah!" from the audience interrupted Cheney a few times, but mostly the service members listened intently. When he delivered the applause line, "We're in this fight to win. These colors don't run," the only sound was a lone whistle.

    Troops are mad, as they should be. This isn't the fault of the anti-war crowd, it is a result of a failed policy and its dishonest, corrupt, scumbag supporters.

    - Walter Pincus fills us in on the growth of the Pentagon's surveillance.

    - The Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, suffered a minor stroke and is said to be lucid. Since he is in the news, I'll talk a little bit about him. I'll start by stating that I don't like him. Not for what he has done recently, but for his conduct in the Sinai Campaign (1956). Furthermore, I don't like his party, Likud. They stem from right-wing terrorist groups who terrorized the Arabs, British, and at times the Hagana during the British Mandate of Palestine. That said, I truly hope that he recovers fully, a shock like the loss of your leader wouldn't be good for Israel and, I doubt, for the region; in one way or another.

    - The citizens of Congo got their first vote in several decades Sunday.

    - Evo Morales won Bolivia's presidential election with a strong showing. This man is a leftist and, as he says, a "nightmare" for Washington. We can soon expect the return of Washington backed death squads to emerge in Central and South America. It's the American way; spread democracy only when it benefits us. Otherwise kill it.

    I welcome this outcome and any leader that has the will of the people; left or right. Washington be damned.

    - Juan Cole is great this morning, as usual
    I hate al-Qaeda. Its "values" are the diametric opposite of virtually everything I stand for. I would like to see al-Qaeda and all the little al-Qaeda wannabes planning out the killing of innocent civilians broken up, their members arrested and put away for a very long time.
    ...
    But you can't get at al-Qaeda by having an auto-da-fe for the US Constitution, and even if you could, it would be a hollow victory, because it is the values of the Bill of Rights that al-Qaeda would like to see subverted.

    There is a vicious playfulness in Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri in this regard. They consider the US to have been a bulwark of heavy-handed authoritarian regimes in the Muslim world that have summarily arrested Muslim activists, tossed them in jail without proper trials (or via courts-martial), tortured them, and executed them with no due process. They knew very well that an event like September 11 would provoke the US government to close off civil liberties for Americans, because they had seen similar things happen in the Middle Eastern countries they had tried to subvert. Bin Laden said after 9/11, "We have caused them to taste a little bit of the calamities that have been befalling the Muslims for the past 80 years" or words to that effect. Part of what he was referring to was the authoritarian states, like those of Attaturk and Abdul Nasser, that were founded after the abolition of the Islamic Caliphate in 1924.
    ...
    ...it may well be that Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri, whom Bush doesn't seem very interested in capturing, have had the last laugh. Their monstrous "theatrical" terrorism on a large scale has paralyzed the US political and judicial elite in the face of Cheney's and Bush's New American Empire, an Empire in which the US Constitution has been turned into a dead letter.

    Always good. Go read it here.

    - More alleged violations of human rights by Americans.

    - John, over at a lie a day, has a scoop on the education debate in SC. Looks like we might join the ranks of backward states that hate science and think a carpenter and a fictional book will get the children through life.

    Posted by Geoff

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