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    01 April 2005

    Bush still using 911

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    Yesterday in his comments WRT Terri, he totally twisted them into a 911 statement...
    "BUSH: Thank you all. Please be seated.

    Today, millions of Americans are saddened by the death of Terri Schiavo.

    Laura and I extend our condolences to Terri Schiavo's families.

    I appreciate the example of grace and dignity they have displayed at a difficult time. I urge all those who honor Terri Schiavo to continue to work to build a culture of life where all Americans are welcomed and valued and protected, especially those who live at the mercy of others.

    The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak.

    In cases where there are serious doubts and questions, the presumption should be in the favor of life.

    The most solemn duty of the American president -- come on up, guys -- is to protect the American people.

    Since September 11th, 2001, we've taken bold and vigorous steps to prevent further attacks and overcome emerging threats.

    We face a new and different kind of enemy. The threats today are unprecedented. The lives of our citizens are at stake. To protect them, we need the best intelligence possible, and we must stay ahead of constantly changing intelligence challenges. "


    29 March 2005


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    A presidential commission assigned to look into the intelligence failures leading up to the Iraq war will recommend a series of changes intended to encourage more dissent within the nation's spy agencies and better organize the government's multi-tentacled fight against terrorism, officials said yesterday.

    Mr. president wont like that one bit!


    Bush appointed the panel, officially known as the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, in February 2004 after initially resisting any further examination of the assessments that preceded his decision to invade Iraq.

    Like other studies, the commission report offers a scathing review of the CIA for concluding that Saddam Hussein had secret weapons that ultimately were never found, while also taking aim at the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and other agencies, according to officials. In addition, it examines the performance of intelligence agencies in Iran, North Korea, Libya and Pakistan, but the Iran and North Korea sections remain classified.

    The White House, while refusing to disclose the contents of the report, embraced it yesterday as the authoritative account of what went wrong in Iraq. Bush was briefed on the report yesterday by aides who have reviewed it. The president will meet with the panel's co-chairmen, Senior U.S. Appeals Court Judge Laurence H. Silberman and former senator Charles S. Robb (D-Va.), at the White House tomorrow and then join the two at a briefing for reporters.

    White House press secretary Scott McClellan praised the report as "a very thorough job" and suggested that Bush would adopt many, though not necessarily all, of its ideas. "We will carefully consider the recommendations and act quickly on the recommendations, as well," he told reporters at his daily briefing. "They build upon the steps we've already taken to improve our intelligence-sharing and -gathering."

    But McClellan offered no second thoughts about the Iraq war despite the intelligence failures documented in the commission report. "Saddam Hussein's regime was creating instability in the region, and we are better off with his regime out of power," he said.

    Just admit you are wrong! Powell did...

    Nope they suppress further damage...

    gorilla's diary
    Pat Roberts, the Senate intelligence committee chairman, told everyone not to bother. "It's basically on the back burner," Roberts said after a speech on intelligence reform at the Woodrow Wilson Center. "The bottom line is that [the administration] believed the intelligence, and the intelligence was wrong." Some might dispute that characterization, as former CIA Director George Tenet did last year when he told the Senate Armed Services Committee--on which Roberts also serves--that "when I believed that somebody was misconstruing intelligence, I said something about it."

    Besides, Roberts added, the "WMD Commission in March will lay it all out." That would be the commission President Bush appointed last February to deflect political heat on the Iraq intelligence debacle--and which doesn't look at policymakers' role in either intelligence production or public representation. As Vice President Cheney recently told Fox News, the WMD Commission's mandate has expanded recently to provide guidance on how to implement the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which Roberts emphasized--and not without good reason--will be his oversight priority during the next congress. Iraq--already only one aspect of the commission's focus from the start--has been decreasing in priority for the secretive commission. When I asked spokesman Larry McQuillan recently whether the WMD Commission whether would provide closure on the Iraq intelligence failures, his answer wasn't encouraging: "We're going contribute to the understanding of what happened in Iraq. It's for others to decide whether that's closure." But since Roberts' decision to essentially scotch the second phase of the Senate inquiry makes the WMD Commission's forthcoming report the last official review of prewar intelligence--and with that report, McQuillan adds, "most of what is found is not going to be released to the public"--we may not have much choice in the matter.

    Why would you not want to investigate something that was so wrong?

    Rice Remark Alarms Arabs???

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    Dr. Rice's remarks alarm Arab reformers???
    CAIRO (Reuters) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has alarmed many reformist Arabs with comments suggesting a new U.S. approach that promotes rapid political change without regard for internal stability.

    Rice said in an interview with the Washington Post last week the Middle East status quo was not stable and she doubted it would be stable soon. Washington would speak out for "freedom" without offering a model or knowing what the outcome would be.

    "This a very dangerous scheme. Anarchy will be out of control," said Hassan Nafaa, a professor of political science at Cairo University and an advocate of gradual change.

    A liberal Arab diplomat, who asked not to be named, said: "They seem to be supporting chaos and instability as a pretext for bringing democracy. But people would rather live under undemocratic rule than in the chaotic atmosphere of Iraq, for example, which the Americans tout as a model."

    Well no $hit!!

    Our polices in the Middle East are based on the Ends Justifies the Means principle. There is no thought what so ever as to what may happen in the meantime.
    Freedom is on the march, ooops! Excuse me young man, your in our way...

    U.S. policy in the Middle East has traditionally given priority to the stability of cooperative governments such as those in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, while turning a blind eye to the way those governments treat their peoples.

    Mohamed el-Sayed Said, a liberal who has challenged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to his face over authoritarian government, said Arab societies were too fragile for the kind of rapid and unchecked change that Rice appears to welcome.
    Apart from the danger of extremists coming to power, the Arab world would face the threat that societies and states could collapse completely, he told Reuters.

    "We can hardly take the great risks that Dr Rice suggests. We are determined to keep domestic peace as well as external peace as far as we can, but not to the point of stifling change," added Said, who is deputy director of the al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo.

    I agree, how can a stable state form in the midst of anarchy. Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel Peace Prize recipient agrees. The fruits in Iraq have been rotten so far. Even the Lebanese show fear at rushing a revolution:
    Lebanon's most prominent anti-Syrian opposition leader has said that Hezbollah should keep its weapons until Israel withdraws from a disputed area.

    The Rice column continues...
    Hala Mustafa, editor of the Egyptian quarterly publication Democracy Review, said reformers must have a clear agenda for where they want to go and that instant change would favor the Islamists, who dominate the political culture.

    "If we start without any agenda, it will end in confusion ... We are talking about comprehensive reform that would lead to the change we need, not to turmoil or chaos," she added.


    Abdel Raouf El Reedy, a former Egyptian ambassador to the United States and chairman of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Relations, said the United States was overlooking its own responsibility to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    "If the United States wants to be credible, it has to be serious about ending the military occupation (of Palestinian territories) because this is generating resentment and anger and in this way helping the radical forces in the region," he said.

    We are rushing these revolutions but still building bases around the Middle East, its clear we care not for democracy, but only for access to resources.

    So I say of course you should be alarmed, war is at your door.

    28 March 2005

    Permanent Bases in Afghanistan

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    AS an anti-war citizen I don't want immediate pull out of troops from Iraq or Afghanistan, but I strongly oppose the Permanent presence in these nations or anywhere we are not wanted or we are present for an ulterior motive. This article is disturbing to people like me... Via AP:


    The United States is spending $83 million to upgrade its two main air bases in Afghanistan, an Air Force general said Monday, the latest indication that American forces will remain in the country for years.

    Brig. Gen. Jim Hunt said the money was being spent on construction projects already underway at Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, and Kandahar Air Field in the south. A new runway is being built at Bagram, the biggest Afghan airfield used by the U.S. military.

    "We are continuously improving runways, taxiways, navigation aids, airfield lighting, billeting and other facilities to support our demanding mission," Hunt said at a news conference in the capital.

    27 March 2005

    Lebanon: An Interesting Development

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    Chicago Tribune (via M)

    The nightclubs and restaurants that symbolized Lebanon's recovery have all but emptied amid fears of more attacks.

    On the black market, the price of a Kalashnikov has risen sharply, another indicator of the tensions that are building as the political crisis precipitated by the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri enters its seventh week.

    "Everybody is buying guns, because they are afraid, on both sides," said Ali Saleh, 37, a Shiite store owner who decided he should buy one, as a precaution, and was disconcerted to find he would have to pay $450, more than four times the pre-crisis price. "The country is preparing," he said.

    It then continues with this

    By no means is everybody expecting the worst. Opposition leaders accuse Syria and its Lebanese allies in the security forces of waging the bombing campaign in order to sow sectarian discord, and they insist they won't be provoked.

    Which seems to go against the recent claim that the anti-Syria opposition leader is publicly saying that Hezbollah should keep its weapons until Israel withdraws from a disputed area. It continues stating that Correspondents say it could signal better relations between the opposition and Hezbollah.


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