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    31 December 2005

    Shameful Priorities

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    Let's look at the priorities of the White House, I think this following example will illustrate how they have played with politics at every available opportunity to benefit their interests; while not giving a damn about the citizens, the constitution, and the future.

    Yesterday the Justice Department announced that it would probe the leak re. the news of domestic espionage to the NYT. Just two weeks after the leak of a blatantly unconstitutional and tyrantic act of a President who wants to be a dictator is awfully fast in my and anyone's opinion.

    Think of the Plame Leak. Robert Novak revealed the status of Valerie Plame on 14 July 2003. The Justice Department waited until 28 September 2003 to announce the probe into that act of treason. Priorities.

    The only priorities that this White House, their lapdogs in Congress, and the bloggers who buy into their BS have is to gain power and to stifle patriotic dissent. In some countries this would be met with fire, in America we just shop, eat, and be ignorant.

    - Bush began a new, never ending, war this week: The War on the Underbrush. After a run of news worthy brush fires swept through OK and TX this week, Bush ordered it unconstitutional to travel in the US in and mobile unit that is not equipped with a lawnmower, wood chipper, or similar debrushing device. When the act was leaked to the press by an unknown whistle-blower he probed them, hit them with a shovel, and ran over them in his white fake-rancher mobile.

    - Off topic: This hurricane season has been amazing, and it looks like it might end in the next few days. When I say amazing, I mean amazing!

    Posted by Geoff

    30 December 2005

    Kurdish irredentism and the greater War on Terror(ism)

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    - Col. Lang takes a look at an interesting story that surfaced over the Holiday, the one about Kurdish Militias marching on Kirkurk. Last semester I took a course on geopolitical conflict and the discussion grazed the events in Iraq several times. One particular discussion that included Iraq was on irredentist groups, primarily the Kurds. Our Professor seemed confident that the Kurds in Northern Iraq would not claim an independent Kurdistan because they would get no international recognition and Turkey would go nuts. I always thought that was a little utopian. Now when I see an article that quotes members of the Peshmerga (literally, "those who face death") (oops!) the new Iraqi Army in strong irredentism rhetoric such as
    "It doesn't matter if we have to fight the Arabs in our own battalion," said Gabriel Mohammed, a Kurdish soldier in the Iraqi army who was escorting a Knight Ridder reporter through Kirkuk. "Kirkuk will be ours."
    "The Ministry of Defense recently sent me 150 Arab soldiers from the south," Naji said. "After two weeks of service, we sent them away. We did not accept them. We will not let them carry through with their plans to bring more Arab soldiers here."
    "Kirkuk is Kurdistan; it does not belong to the Arabs," Hamid Afandi, the minister of Peshmerga for the Kurdistan Democratic Party, one of the two major Kurdish groups, said in an interview at his office in the Kurdish city of Irbil. "If we can resolve this by talking, fine, but if not, then we will resolve it by fighting."
    "We will do our best diplomatically, and if that fails we will use force" to secure borders for an independent Kurdistan, Mustafir said. "The government in Baghdad will be too weak to use force against the will of the Kurdish people."
    "The Parliament must solve the issue of Kurdistan. If not, we know how to deal with this: We will send Kurdish forces to enforce Kurdistan's boundaries, and that will have to include the newly liberated areas such as the Kurdish sections of Mosul," 1st Lt. Herish Namiq said. "Every single one of us is Peshmerga. Our entire battalion is Peshmerga."
    "We cannot openly say they are Peshmerga," Ahmed said. "We will take you to see the Peshmerga, but they will be wearing Iraqi army uniforms."
    "There are thousands of us Peshmerga, and it is our duty to protect the borders of Kurdistan ... we will fight to hold Kirkuk at any price," Abdullah said. "We will fight that battalion (in Kirkuk) if they stand in our way."

    It makes me more nervous. In short this is all about oil which brings us to Col. Lang's thoughts. He senses a Turkey-Kurdish axis that would create a Kurdistan with Turkeys blessing. The reason??? Oil and the control over it is all the US is interested in as is every other developing nation in the world. If the Kurds contain their boarders with or without the international community or Turkey's blessing, only the loneliest geopolitical thinker will continue to use the logic above. The US will, at least privately, support the Kurds because, you guessed it, they have the oil. That is all this was ever about.

    In reaction (I’d imagine) to this, a story in the LA Times and in Reuters and in the WaPo, the US military will return to babysit the Iraqi Army... but this is WRT the South. What will we do in the North? Probably nothing until it is too late and the neocon dream crumbles even further as does the stability in the region. Should this take place in the near to mid-term future, the results will have devastating implications for our, all but failed, Middle East policy.

    - On Iraq, if you say it enough people believe it. Proof is that 1 in 5 Americans still believe that Saddam's Iraq was behind the attacks of 11 September 2001. 1 in 4 believes Saddam had WMD and that the hijackers were Iraqis.

    Who are these people and what are they smoking?

    This myth is being pushed by powerful apologist that simply make things up. From Move America Forward's new propaganda piece
    The television commercials are attention-grabbing: Newly found Iraqi documents show that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, including anthrax and mustard gas, and had "extensive ties" to al Qaeda. The discoveries are being covered up by those "willing to undermine support for the war on terrorism to selfishly advance their shameless political ambitions."

    No proof of any of this so let's run for it, Sounds like the Republicans I know and love. I call for one Republican in congress to stand by this logic. Heck, any blogger out there want to stand by this, with some solid proof?

    - The U.S. Embassy in Malaysia has been closed due to security concerns. No details given.

    - The situation in Palestine (more precisely, Gaza) has deteriorated yet again as
    100 policemen entered the Rafah compound and took up positions alongside border patrol officers at the customs section of the crossing, Palestinian security officials and witnesses said.
    The European observers -- responsible for monitoring the crossing and ensuring the terms of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement are upheld -- fled the area, officials said.

    - A Peruvian security guard that worked in Iraq has died from severe leukemia most likely caused by exposure to depleted Uranium used by US and coalition ammunition. Someday we may know how many Iraqis have died from this substance, beginning in the first Gulf War and elsewhere. But I doubt it.

    - Coleen Rowley pulverises AEI mouthpeices, Bill Kristol and Gary Schmitt, logic surrounding the use of domestic spying and how it could have stopped an attack of the US including 11 September. Via Think Progress, the neocons dreamed in the WaPo earlier this month
    Consider the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, the French Moroccan who came to the FBI’s attention before Sept. 11 because he had asked a Minnesota flight school for lessons on how to steer an airliner, but not on how to take off or land. Even with this report, and with information from French intelligence that Moussaoui had been associating with Chechen rebels, the Justice Department decided there was not sufficient evidence to get a FISA warrant to allow the inspection of his computer files. Had they opened his laptop, investigators might have begun to unwrap the Sept. 11 plot. But strange behavior and merely associating with dubious characters don’t rise to the level of probable cause under FISA.

    Rowley (former FBI agent) corrects them in the WaPo (full article here)
    [N]o evidence of Moussaoui’s suspicious flight training and ties with terrorism was presented to the Justice Department. The department was never contacted and so did not decide anything; therefore, no decision was ever made regarding the given evidence and its subsequent application to FISA standards.

    That means the FISA procedures were not the reason the FBI failed to inspect Moussaoui’s computer files. Rather, the FBI’s failure to share and analyze intelligence sufficiently is what enabled Moussaoui to escape further investigation.

    Can these neocon's get anything right? It's been a long streak of failure for these Jacobians.

    Posted by Geoff (good to be back, hope everyone had a good Xmas, et cetera!)


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