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    10 December 2005

    "Pact of Honor" - The Iraqi Dec. of Ind.

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    My, oh my! The western press missed this (See Juan Cole post by Gilbert Achcar) (more)

    [UPDATE] Boston Globe picks it up.

    This is the quick copy... A group of leading Iraqi names met and signed a pact in preperation for post election Iraq. Names on pact include Muqtada al-Sadr and Ahmad Chalabi (embezzler, fraudster, counterfeiter, double agent, etc.), and al-Jaafari's personal representative (al-Daawa). Groups: Iraqi Concord Front (the major Sunni electoral alliance), SCIRI, and the Sadrist.

    Choice text from Achcar via Cole:
    According to the reports, the "Pact of Honor" that was adopted consists of 14 points, among which the following demands and agreements are the most important (the sentences in quotation marks are translated from the document as quoted in the reports):
    • "withdrawal of the occupiers and setting of an objective timetable for their withdrawal from Iraq"; "elimination of all the consequences of their presence, including any bases for them in the country, while working seriously for the building of [Iraqi] security institutions and military forces within a defined schedule";

    • suppression of the legal immunity of occupation troops, a demand coming with the condemnation of their practices against civilians and their breach of human rights;

    • categorical rejection of the establishment of any relations with Israel;

    • "resistance is a legitimate right of all peoples, but terrorism does not represent legitimate resistance"; "we condemn terrorism and acts of violence, killing, abducting and expulsion aimed at innocent citizens for sectarian reasons";

    • "to activate the de-Ba'athification law and to consider that the Ba'ath party is a terrorist organization for all the tyranny it brought on the oppressed sons of Iraq, and to speed up the trial of overthrown president Saddam Hussein and the pillars of his regime";

    • "to postpone the implementation of the disputed principle of federalism and to respect the people's opinion about it."

    The conference established a committee that is responsible for following up the implementation of the resolutions and reporting on it after six months.

    More later (after Exam :( )

    Posted by Geoff

    08 December 2005

    The system did not work

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    This isn't something to focus on but what happened in Miami yesterday was horrible. IT was a failure, the system DID NOT work. An innocent human was killed for no reason, and that's before I find out that a lot of passengers heard nothing about a bomb. We'll see, of course, but this will be a big story.

    To me, it tells me one of two things:
    1) Our air marshals are a little two ambitious or not properly briefed on the flight they will be riding on (Apparently Mr. Alpizar was agitated before entering the airplane. This should be relayed to our security detail; the air marshals);

    2) our air marshals have some knowledge that all that the shit they put you through at the airport is not enough.

    Posted by Geoff

    07 December 2005

    Iraq's economy

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    Iraqi oil exports fell to their lowest level in two years in November 2005. Bad management of the reconstruction effort, widespread corruption among government figures, and sabotage by insurgents are the reasons for the decline. Experts say that the US strategy of military intervention in oil-rich regions can only diminish, rather than increase, the supply to world markets.

    Yesterday, the President came out with his second speech defending the War on Iraq, this time touting the economy. I don't claim to have any knowledge of how the economy works or even balancing my check book; but I do know that the Economy in Iraq is dominated by oil. So when the President points out items like...

    ...Iraq is making quiet, steady progress in repairing its shattered economy, though reconstruction "has not always gone as well as we had hoped" because of unrelenting violence.

    "Rebuilding a nation devastated by a dictator is a large undertaking," the president said. "It's even harder when terrorists are trying to blow up that which the Iraqis are trying to build."

    This makes me think: well we know that the oil system worked under Saddam. So now they must be fully operational, despite insurgent attacks, at least an organized bureaucracy. (heh.)

    But that's not the case. The oil aspect is in disarray, the output levels pre-war have been cut in half by American democracy; or is it being stolen? (of course it is, come on...)
    In the same month, the Oil Ministry's Director General for Drilling Mohammed al-Abudi said that "administrative corruption" was taking many forms. "The robberies and thefts are taking place on a daily basis on all levels [...] committed by low-level government employees and by high officials in leadership positions of the Iraqi state," he added

    So what economy is Bush touting? How can their be nothing better than the economy for Bush to play up? How can an oil based economy operating like this
    Two-and-a-half years after the US invasion of Iraq, the country's oil industry is still in disarray. An official of the Oil Ministry in Baghdad told ISN Security Watch, on condition of anonymity: "We do not know the exact quantity of oil we are exporting, we do not exactly know the prices we are selling it for, and we do not know where the oil revenue is going to."

    How can this pass for an improvement? And who's getting rich on Iraqi oil?

    Posted by Geoff

    Drinking Liberally - Charleston, SC

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    As always:
    Voodoo Lounge
    15 Magnolia Road
    West Ashley
    5:30 until 'round 8 or 9 or so
    Every Thursday Evening

    Posted by Geoff

    Nobel Prize winner Pinter speaks truth to power

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    Nobel Prize for Literature recipient and writer Harold Pinter attacks Bush and Blair.
    Most politicians "are interested not in truth but in power and the maintenance of that power"
    On Wednesday his lecture, entitled Art, Truth and Politics, studied the importance of truth in art before decrying its perceived absence in politics.

    He said politicians feel it is "essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives".

    Pinter said the US justification for invading Iraq - that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction - "was not true".

    "The truth is something entirely different," Pinter added. "The truth is to do with how the United States understands its role in the world and how it chooses to embody it."

    Pinter said that since World War II the US government "supported and in many cases engendered every right-wing military dictatorship in the world".

    "I refer to Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador and, of course, Chile."
    He added: "You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good."

    Referring to Blair's support for the US-led war on Iraq, Pinter described the "pathetic and supine" Great Britain as "a bleating little lamb tagging behind (the US) on a lead".


    So it's easy; educate the masses, teach them to accept truth, and we'll have far less Republicans (I mean the new kind, the Bush Repubs, Neocons, and wingnuts) and, of course, less instances of 'good actor, poor leader'.

    Posted by Geoff

    The Schiavo name reenters the news

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    I though that this was going to be a fundamentalist evangelical cuckoo charity, but it isn't. This isn't Terri's parents but rather her husband Michael.
    Michael Schiavo wants to make sure voters don't forget Terri Schiavo.

    The husband of the Pinellas County woman who became the focus of a national end-of-life controversy has started a political action committee to keep the heat on politicians who tried to intervene in the case and fight his efforts to remove her feeding tube.

    "The easiest thing would be to move on and let the headlines fade," Schiavo said in a statement. "But my experience with our political leaders has opened my eyes to just how easily the private wishes of normal Americans like me and Terri can be cast aside in the destructive game of political pandering. The best way to hold them accountable is to make sure voters know where the candidates stand when they come looking for votes next November."

    The site is up and running here: www.terripac.com.

    [UPDATE] (link)
    "This was the first time since we looked at both houses that we had to leave the Senate off," said Tom McClusky, the FRC's (Family Research Council, a right-wing religious organization) director of government affairs.

    "They didn't have anything that we saw as family votes," he added. "Sometimes it seems like we got more done during the Reagan administration when [Republicans] didn't have control [of Congress] or during the Clinton administration when we didn't have the administration on our side. There is a level of frustration especially among our grassroots."

    This goes well with the whole collapse of the religious aspect of the Hasert and Frist Congress. I mean the fact that they hold the legislative and executive branches of DC, but have been unable to keep up with their agenda is amazing (and very fortunate for America). This highlights, what I would call, group-think with in the religious right. They think they are a huge organization with major political power. When in reality most Americans (right/left, the average church member, or the agnostics) do not approve of the agenda of the right. This all started when the right injected itself into Schiavo family issues.
    Others believe Frist has become less receptive to socially conservative initiatives since being criticized for his role in the controversy over Terri Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman who died this year after a state court sided with her husband and ordered her feeding tube removed.

    "There are so many issues that could be acted on," said Paul Weyrich, a prominent conservative leader who heads the Free Congress Foundation. "There are issues that the House has acted on that could be taken up in the Senate. Nothing has been taken up in the Senate. It's evident nothing is going to get done in this session because we only have a couple of weeks to go."

    "For a good period of time he was very receptive to the [conservative] social agenda," said Weyrich of Frist. "It seems after the Schiavo case that he hasn't been as interested. I don't know whether a connection is there or not."

    Off course their is a connection, you went to far and it damaged the leaders in congress. It also doesn't help when you blindly support a person for so-called salient topics (which outside of the group are just trivial issues) and that blind support in turn leads to more neocon BS, or tax cuts for a handful of rich capitalist.

    Posted by Geoff

    06 December 2005

    Green Day on Fox Tuesday

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    After watching the Simpson/70s Show hour I caught the opening act of some music awards show, if was Green Day. They sang 'Holiday', you know this one
    I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
    This is the dawning of the rest of our lives

    Full lyrics here.

    But the best part was just before the "Say, hey!" he addressed the crowd, and the TV audience:
    This song isn't anti-American,
    it's anti-war!

    That's cool enough as it is but the rest of the act was, in my honest opinion, edited. It displayed cut away's that were out of sink with the sound track. I can't verify this, only the 'anti-war' remark. But it will be interesting if we could find out if I'm right or just mistaken.

    Posted by Geoff

    Mistakes in the 'War on(of?) Terror'

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    "We recognize any policy will sometimes result in errors, and when it happens, we will do everything we can to rectify it,"

    ohh! ohh! Me first!

    1) Iraq

    On the subject of mistakes, this brings up the question 'Why?':
    Ten U.S. Marines killed near the Iraqi city of Falluja last week had been at a promotion ceremony and were not on foot patrol as initially reported, the U.S. military said on Tuesday.

    The Marines were in a disused flour mill on the outskirts of the city to celebrate the promotion of three soldiers, a military statement said.

    Doesn't seem all that odd but that particular event has had a variety of different stories attached to it


    Either someone's lazy or someone is sensitive (covering something up). Barking up the wrong tree? Maybe. But tell me this: Why would the US military hold a promotional ceremony in an abandoned flour mill in fucking Falluja? More to come...

    Posted by Geoff

    Christian terrorism

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    [UPDATE]Welcome Telic-oholics! Feel free to look around. If you want to beat me up, you're going to have to find me (hint: I live in Charleston, SC)

    In a better World, the rest of us would acknowledge this as a legitimate form of terrorism.
    Douglas County sheriff's deputies are investigating the reported beating of a Kansas University professor who gained recent notoriety for his Internet tirades against Christian fundamentalists.

    He also planned to teach intelligent design as mythology in an upcoming course...
    Kansas University religious studies professor Paul Mirecki reported he was beaten by two men about 6:40 a.m. today on a roadside in rural Douglas County. In a series of interviews late this afternoon, Mirecki said the men who beat him were making references to the controversy that has propelled him into the headlines in recent weeks.

    Stupid bible-beaters. This is how it all starts.

    Posted by Geoff


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