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nightbird

Reese et al

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Blood Angel

I know. A disembarkment would practically be suicide... but I was talking from the strategic point of view of a disembarkment. But still, if the US could get off the beach, it would still mean that they managed to over power the Chinese which had the superior numbers...

Looking at modern US Generals today, i wouldn't bank on it. Sorry but as far as history has represented itself since WW2, your generals could have done alot better.

US pilots arent that poor though.

Neither are chinas, as sun tzu states never under-estimate your enemy.

I wasnt bringing Taiwan and Afghans military power up, I brang them up because the US would be able to deploy from there, and attack on multiple fronts because of it. Allies like NKorea basically dont mean much since its not a strategic position for China... its only what? a few dozen km away from mainland? It wouldnt make much difference if China deployed from NKorea or somewhere else inside of it.

But china does have the political advantage in southern asia. It could pull enough strings to bring them into the fight, giving them more toys to play with.

China would have a chance though with its superior numbers. Some planes could break through the missile barriers, but in the end, I'm putting my money on the USAF.

I would like to bet on a stalemate there.

The US would obliterate China in a nuclear war. The US has so much more nukes... doesnt the US have the most warheads on the planet?

And so would china obilterate USA. Its a no-win situation with unconventional weapons. And no the US doesn't have the most nuclear warheads, russia still holds that title with over 22,000 warheads, and many more that haven't been declared (no matter what their government states).

Generals is ok. Zero Hour is amazing. Now I dled the Blitzkrieg mod which will be AMAZING. A completely new money system that'll make multiplayer much more interesting

Heh, i much preferred the later tiltes with exception of tiberium sun. RA2 i consider the best, with tib dawn close second because it was the first (and a absolute classic).

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Stellar

There are no stalemates in a battle to the death.

And so would china obilterate USA. Its a no-win situation with unconventional weapons. And no the US doesn't have the most nuclear warheads, russia still holds that title with over 22,000 warheads, and many more that haven't been declared (no matter what their government states).

I took the numbers of nukes that China has from some site, and if that truely is how much nukes China has, the US has enough to kill a much much higher percentage of Chinas population than China can to the US.

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Blood Angel

I took the numbers of nukes that China has from some site, and if that truely is how much nukes China has, the US has enough to kill a much much higher percentage of Chinas population than China can to the US.

The fact still remains, that both sides would destroy each other, regardless of who has more population. China has enough to level the USA, and vice versa.

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nightbird

Reese

either you didnt read the news ont he links I provided, or you are simply calling them 'hearsay" with a prejudiced mind.

lets put the ball in your court. you show me, where there is proof that the things which are being reported on many of the worlds news stations, in MANY countries, from MANY people are wrong, without resorting to any news provided by CNN or FOx. who we all knw are under censorship NOT to cite any news media which might go against Bush or force people to question him and his administration.

I am not surprised by your analysis, though I am somewhat disappointed as I always thought you were an intelligent person!

there is only one thing I am going to comment on from Stellar's post......he was wrong when he said that Kay said there was a nuclear weapons program in Iraq. In fact, what Kay said, straight from his mouth in tv interviews, was that the "weapons program" in place in Iraq was at best laughable, and that the "program" had not changed or moved forward any from the 80's when America was helping Iraq!

but I guess that is just....what did you call it?.....subjective comments on my part, flimsy at best......thing is, I havent said this...KAY said it......I havent said anything, reporters, journalists, eye witnesses, historians, politicians, and the world public has formed opinions from these accounts.

so now...I am asking you........give me some PROOF that what these people are reporting is false.

bet you cant do it

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nightbird

An Excuse-Spouting Bush Is Busted by 9/11 Report

By Robert Scheer

The Los Angeles Times

Tuesday 27 July 2004

Busted! Like a teenager whose beer bash is interrupted by his parents' early return home, President Bush's nearly three years of bragging about his "war on terror" credentials has been exposed by the bipartisan 9/11 commission as nothing more than empty posturing.

Without dissent, five prominent Republicans joined an equal number of their Democratic Party peers in stating unequivocally that the Bush administration got it wrong, both in its lethargic response to an unprecedented level of warnings during what the commission calls the "Summer of Threat," as well as in its inclusion of Iraq in the war on terror.

Although the language of the commission's report was carefully couched to obtain a bipartisan consensus, the indictment of this administration surfaces on almost every page.

Bush was not the first U.S. president to play footsie with Muslim extremists in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, nor was the Clinton administration without fault in its fitful and ineffective response to the Al Qaeda threat. But there was simply no excuse for the near-total indifference of the new president and his top Cabinet officials to strenuous warnings from the outgoing Clinton administration and the government's counter-terrorism experts that something terrible was coming, fast and hard, from Al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden's gang, they said repeatedly, was planning "near-term attacks," which Al Qaeda operatives expected "to have dramatic consequences of catastrophic proportions."

As early as May 2001, the FBI was receiving tips that Bin Laden supporters were planning attacks in the U.S., possibly including the hijacking of planes. On May 29, White House counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke wrote national security advisor Condoleezza Rice that "when these attacks [on Israeli or U.S. facilities] occur, as they likely will, we will wonder what more we could have done to stop them." At the end of June, the commission wrote, "the intelligence reporting consistently described the upcoming attacks as occurring on a calamitous level." In early July, Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft was told "that preparations for multiple attacks [by Al Qaeda] were in late stages or already complete and that little additional warning could be expected." By month's end, "the system was blinking red" and could not "get any worse," then-CIA Director George Tenet told the 9/11 commission.

It was at this point, of course, that George W. Bush began the longest presidential vacation in 32 years. On the very first day of his visit to his Texas ranch, Aug. 6, Bush received the now-infamous two-page intelligence alert titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in the United States." Yet instead of returning to the capital to mobilize an energetic defensive posture, he spent an additional 27 days away as the government languished in summer mode, in deep denial.

"In sum," said the 9/11 commission report, "the domestic agencies never mobilized in response to the threat. They did not have the direction, and did not have a plan to institute. The borders were not hardened. Transportation systems were not fortified. Electronic surveillance was not targeted against a domestic threat. State and local law enforcement were not marshaled to augment the FBI's efforts. The public was not warned."

In her public testimony to the commission, Rice argued that the Aug. 6 briefing concerned vague "historical information based on old reporting," adding that "there was no new threat information." When the commission forced the White House to release the document, however, this was exposed as a lie: The document included explicit FBI warnings of "suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York." Furthermore, this briefing was only one of 40 on the threat of Bin Laden that the president received between Jan. 20 and Sept. 11, 2001.

Bush, the commission report also makes clear, compounded U.S. vulnerability by totally misleading Americans about the need to invade Iraq as a part of the "war on terror."

For those, like Vice President Dick Cheney, who continue to insist that the jury is still out on whether Al Qaeda and Iraq were collaborators, the commission's report should be the final word, finding after an exhaustive review that there is no evidence that any of the alleged contacts between Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein "ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with Al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States."

So, before 9/11, incompetence and sloth. And after? Much worse: a war without end on the wrong battlefield.

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nightbird

Scrutinizing the Saudi Connection

By Gerald Posner

The New York Times

Tuesday 27 July 2004

In establishing how the government failed to prevent the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the 9/11 Commission Report is excellent. Its grasp of some details, however, is less than reassuring - particularly details about Saudi Arabia, which it calls, in a gross understatement, "a problematic ally in combating Islamic extremism."

Perhaps even more startling is the report's conclusion that the panel has "found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually" helped to finance Al Qaeda. It does say that unnamed wealthy Saudi sympathizers, and leading Saudi charities, sent money to the terror group. But the report fails to mine any of the widely available reporting and research that establishes the degree to which many of the suspect charities cited by the United States are controlled directly by the Saudi government or some of its ministers.

The report makes no mention, for example, of an October 2002 study by the Council of Foreign Relations that draws opposite conclusions about the role of Saudi charities and how "Saudi officials have turned a blind eye to this problem." The 9/11 panel also misses an opportunity to more fully explore an intelligence coup in 2002, when American agents in Bosnia retrieved computer files of the so-called Golden Chain, a group of Mr. bin Laden's early financial supporters.

Reported to be among the 20 names on this list were a former government minister in Saudi Arabia, three billionaire banking tycoons and several top industrialists. Yet the report neither confirms nor denies this. Nor does it address what, if anything, the Saudis did with the information, or whether the men were ever arrested by Saudi authorities.

These failures are ones of omission, but the questions are of vital significance. Less important, perhaps, but more well known is the story of how many prominent Saudis, including members of the bin Laden family, were able to fly out of the United States within days of 9/11.

On Sept. 13, 2001, a private jet flew from Tampa, Fla., to Lexington, Ky., before leaving the country later that same day. On board were top Saudi businessmen and members of the royal family. The assertion is that they were afforded extraordinary treatment since they flew out after the most cursory F.B.I. checks and at a time when American airspace was still closed to private aviation.

For a long time, the White House, the Federal Aviation Administration and the F.B.I. denied that any such flights had taken place on the 13th, and the first day of travel was the 14th. Now the report of the 9/11 Commission finally admits the flight was on the 13th - but it fails to quell the controversy. Rather, the report says the flight only took off "after national airspace was open" and quotes the pilot saying there was "nothing unusual whatsoever" about that flight.

The report fails, however, to note that when the flights occurred, airspace was open only to a limited number of commercial - not private - planes. And it attributes incorrect positions maintained for months by the federal government, particularly the F.B.I., to a "misunderstanding" between federal and local law enforcement.

Moreover, the report makes no effort to determine whether the question of the special repatriation of high-ranking Saudis from the United States was discussed on the same day as the first flight in a private meeting - no aides permitted - between President Bush and the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan. The ambassador has denied that the subject was discussed in his conversation with the president. But did the commission ask the president about it when it had the opportunity to question him? If so, there is no indication in the report.

The report makes no mention that one of the Saudis on the flight that left Kentucky for Saudi Arabia was Prince Ahmed bin Salman. Nephew to King Fahd, Prince Ahmed was later mentioned to American interrogators in March 2002 by none other than Abu Zubaydah, a top Qaeda official captured that same month. The connection, if any, between a top operative of Al Qaeda and a leading member of the royal family has remained unresolved despite Saudi denials. Prince Ahmed cannot be asked: he died in 2002, at the age of 43, from complications from stomach surgery in a Riyadh hospital.

Not only does the 9/11 report fail to resolve the matter of whether Mr. Zubaydah - who featured prominently in the now infamous Presidential Daily Briefing of Aug. 6, 2001 - was telling the truth when he named Prince Ahmed and several other princes as his contacts, but they do not even mention the prince in the entire report. The report does have seven references to Mr. Zubaydah's interrogations, yet not a single one is from March, the month of his capture, and the time he made his startling and still unproven accusations about high-ranking Saudi royals.

Of course, none of these matters undermine the report's central conclusions about what went wrong inside the United States leading up to 9/11. And satisfying answers to questions about the relationship between the Saudis and Al Qaeda might not be available yet. But the commission could have at least asked them. By failing to address adequately how Saudi leaders helped Al Qaeda flourish, the commission has risked damaging its otherwise good work.

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nightbird

Give Up 'Delusional Hope' of Iraq WMD, Kay Says

July 28, 2004 — By Tabassum Zakaria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. officials should give up the "delusional hope" that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction so they can move forward with reform, David Kay, who once led the U.S. hunt for banned weapons, said on Wednesday.

"I think it's most important that the president of the United States recognizes that in fact the weapons are not there," Kay told reporters after speaking at The Government Security Expo and Conference.

"It's because until you do that you will not take this fundamental reorganization of the intel community on board," he said. Officials such as acting CIA Director John McLaughlin "hold out the delusional hope that eventually you'll find weapons," Kay said.

Kay stepped down from the CIA-appointed position of chief U.S. weapons hunter in January, and said he did not believe Iraq had banned weapons when the United States invaded.

The United States justified the invasion by saying Baghdad posed a threat because it had biological and chemical weapons and was reviving its nuclear weapons program. No stockpiles of banned weapons have been found.

Leaders of U.S. intelligence agencies must recognize, "Duh, we've failed, therefore we have to change," Kay said. He said he was optimistic that change could occur.

The Sept. 11 Commission's final report recommended overhauling U.S. intelligence, including creating a national director to oversee the 15 spy agencies.

A new top post was insufficient, and the agencies need new capabilities, including better technologies for "close-in" spying rather than relying on spy satellites, which scoop up vast amounts of electronic communications, Kay said.

A new national director post also must be independent, not located in the executive office of the president, Kay said.

"If you're on such friendly terms with the president that you can answer a concern the president may have about the quality about your intelligence with a trite sports cliche 'It's a slam dunk' and the president or the national security adviser don't come down your throat, you're way too close to power," he said.

It was a reference to former CIA Director George Tenet's reported reply to President Bush when asked before the war how sure he was that Iraq had banned weapons.

"It needs to be someone who does not mind being up to their kneecaps in blood. They're not concerned with winning the popularity contest, they're not really concerned about leaks to the press about them," Kay said.

Kay said "one of the greatest misnomers" was referring to the spy agencies as an intelligence community. "It has none of the characteristics of a community. It's a group of feuding empires that don't like direction," he said.

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nightbird

The real reasons Bush went to war

WMD was the rationale for invading Iraq. But what was really driving the US were fears over oil and the future of the dollar

John Chapman

Wednesday July 28, 2004 "The Guardian" -- There were only two credible reasons for invading Iraq: control over oil and preservation of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. Yet the government has kept silent on these factors, instead treating us to the intriguing distractions of the Hutton and Butler reports. Butler's overall finding of a "group think" failure was pure charity. Absurdities like the 45-minute claim were adopted by high-level officials and ministers because those concerned recognised the substantial reason for war - oil. WMD provided only the bureaucratic argument: the real reason was that Iraq was swimming in oil.

Some may still believe the eve-of-war contention by Donald Rumsfeld that "We won't take forces and go around the world and try to take other people's oil ... That's not how democracies operate." Maybe others will go along with Blair's post-war contention: "There is no way whatsoever, if oil were the issue, that it would not have been infinitely easier to cut a deal with Saddam."

But senior civil servants are not so naive. On the eve of the Butler report, I attended the 40th anniversary of the Mandarins cricket club. I was taken aside by a knighted civil servant to discuss my contention in a Guardian article earlier this year that Sir Humphrey was no longer independent. I had then attacked the deceits in the WMD report, and this impressive official and I discussed the geopolitical issues of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and US unwillingness to build nuclear power stations and curb petrol consumption, rather than go to war.

Saddam controlled a country at the centre of the Gulf, a region with a quarter of world oil production in 2003, and containing more than 60% of the world's known reserves. With 115bn barrels of oil reserves, and perhaps as much again in the 90% of the country not yet explored, Iraq has capacity second only to Saudi Arabia. The US, in contrast, is the world's largest net importer of oil. Last year the US Department of Energy forecast that imports will cover 70% of domestic demand by 2025.

By invading Iraq, Bush has taken over the Iraqi oil fields, and persuaded the UN to lift production limits imposed after the Kuwait war. Production may rise to 3m barrels a day by year end, about double 2002 levels. More oil should bring down Opec-led prices, and if Iraqi oil production rose to 6m barrels a day, Bush could even attack the Opec oil-pricing cartel.

Control over Iraqi oil should improve security of supplies to the US, and possibly the UK, with the development and exploration contracts between Saddam and China, France, India, Indonesia and Russia being set aside in favour of US and possibly British companies. And a US military presence in Iraq is an insurance policy against any extremists in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Overseeing Iraqi oil supplies, and maybe soon supplies from other Gulf countries, would enable the US to use oil as power. In 1990, the then oil man, Dick Cheney, wrote that: "Whoever controls the flow of Persian Gulf oil has a stranglehold not only on our economy but also on the other countries of the world as well."

In the 70s, the US agreed with Saudi Arabia that Opec oil should be traded in dollars. American governments have since been able to print dollars to cover huge trading deficits, with the further benefit of those dollars being placed in the US money markets. In return, the US allowed the Opec countries to operate a production and pricing cartel.

Over the past 15 years, the overall US deficit with the rest of the world has risen to $2,700bn - an abuse of its privileged currency position. Although about 80% of foreign exchange and half of world trade is in dollars, the euro provides a realistic alternative. Euro countries also have a bigger share of world trade, and of trade with Opec countries, than the US.

In 1999, Iran mooted pricing its oil in euros, and in late 2000 Saddam made the switch for Iraqi oil. In early 2002 Bush placed Iran and Iraq in the axis of evil. If the other Opec countries had followed Saddam's move to euros, the consequences for Bush could have been huge. Worldwide switches out of the dollar, on top of the already huge deficit, would have led to a plummeting dollar, a runaway from US markets and dramatic upheavals in the US.

Bush had many reasons to invade Iraq, but why did Blair join him? He might have squared his conscience by looking at UK oil prospects. In 1968, when North Sea oil was in its infancy, as private secretary to the minister of power I wrote a report on oil policy, advocating changes like the setting up of a British national oil company (as was done). My proposals found little favour with the BP/Shell-supporting officials, but Richard Marsh, the then minister, pressed them and the petroleum division was expanded into an operations division and a planning division.

Sadly, when I was promoted out of private office the free-trading petroleum officials conspired to block my posting to the planning division, where I would surely have advocated a prudent exploitation of North Sea resources to reduce our dependence on the likes of Iraq. UK North Sea oil output peaked in 1999, and has since fallen by one-sixth. Exports now barely cover imports, and we shall shortly be a net oil importer. Supporting Bush might have been justified on geo-strategic grounds.

Oil and the dollar were the real reasons for the attack on Iraq, with WMD as the public reason now exposed as woefully inadequate. Should we now look at Bush and Blair as brilliant strategists whose actions will improve the security of our oil supplies, or as international conmen? Should we support them if they sweep into Iran and perhaps Saudi Arabia, or should there be a regime change in the UK and US instead?

If the latter, we should follow that up by adopting the pious aims of UN oversight of world oil exploitation within a world energy plan, and the replacement of the dollar with a new reserve currency based on a basket of national currencies.

John Chapman is a former assistant secretary in the civil service, in which he served from 1963-96 johnharoldchapman@hotmail.com

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nightbird

Who is a Terrorist?

By Ghali Hassan

07/28/04 "ICH" -- Under the cover of “war on terror”, the US and its “coalition” of lackeys are conducting a war of injustice, abuse of human rights and atrocities of enormous magnitude against defenceless people, and in violation of international laws and norms of civilized nations. The war on terror is not really a war on terrorism per se, because you cannot wage war on few criminals. To bring criminals to justice, you use the law and due process. The American “war on terror” is a convenient ploy to deflect attention from the US imperial aim to dominate the world.

Let’s define terrorism from Western perspectives. According to the Oxford Dictionary, “terrorism is the use of violent action in order to achieve political aims or to force a government to act”. According to a US Army manual “terrorism is the calculated use of violence or threat of violence to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature. This is done through intimidation, coercion, or instilling fear”(1). The British government defined terrorism as “the use, or threat, of action which is violent, damaging or disrupting, and is intended to influence the government or intimidate the public and is for purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause”(2). However, it is important to remember that these definitions of terrorism are only used by the West, when discussing the terrorism of the “others”. For example, these definitions of terrorism are not considered appropriate when discussing the daily acts of terrorism practiced by Israel against the Palestinian people and by the US against the Iraqi people.

As Noam Chomsky has written, “the official definition of terrorism [in the West] is ‘counter terrorism’ or ‘counterinsurgency’”. This is what the US calls the resistance in Iraq, “insurgency”. It was the official policy of the Nazis during the occupation of Europe. The Nazis called the French resistance “terrorists”, and Hitler’s army was ‘fighting a counterinsurgency to protect the population and the Vichy regime from the terrorists’. A carbon copy is available in Iraq today.

The “war on terror” is not the result of 9/11; it is an old cliché. The Reagan Administration christened the “war on terror” in 1981, and the Bush Administration is a relic of the Reagan Administration. In the 1980s, the US sponsored several states such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, South Africa, Canada and others to finance and implement its terrorist operations abroad. The US also continues to finance and support countless undemocratic and dictatorial regimes worldwide.

The proxy war against Nicaragua directed by the CIA to attack civilian targets inside Nicaragua is one of few good examples. Thousands of innocent Latin American civilians were killed by the proxy army of the CIA, the Contras that waged its war from bases inside Honduras against Nicaragua. The US-backed atrocities and terror were condemned by the International Court of Justice in The Hague as “unlawful use of force”. The pretext was that “Nicaragua is preparing to invade the US”. Nicaragua has not attacked or threatened to attack the US at any time. Ambassador Negroponte, who is currently the US proconsul in Iraq, oversaw the expansion of US training camp and military base on Honduran territory, where US-trained Contras terrorists, and where the military secretly detained, tortured and executed Honduran suspected dissidents.

In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon and occupied large parts of Lebanon for the next 22 years. Lebanon, a small country that has never made war with Israel during the whole period of the Arab-Israeli conflict or threatened Israel. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed by Israel’s terror machine. The UN Security Council condemned Israel terror atrocities in Southern Lebanon against defenseless villagers. The current Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's crucial role in the killings of refugees at Sabre and Shatila, Qibya, and elsewhere gives him a civilian death toll that exceeds that of 9/11 death tolls by many folds. The Kahan Commission found Ariel Sharon, among other Israelis, had responsibility for the massacre at Sabre and Shatila camps. As a reward for his five decades-long career in crimes against humanity, Mr. Sharon is called “a man of peace” by his mate and admirer, President G. W. Bush.

In 1985, Israel bombed Tunisia on “no credible pretext” and killed 75 people. The US praised Israel atrocities, which was condemned by the Security Council of the UN as an “act of armed aggression”. Again in 1987 the Security Council of the UN adopted a resolution condemning terrorism in the strongest terms and called on all nations to combat terrorism. Only the US and Israel voted against the resolution.

Since 1948, Zionist from Eastern Europe have embarked on a policy of “ethnic cleansing” and land confiscation in Palestine in order to create the “Jewish state” of Israel. Israel’s terror and brutal military occupation of Palestine today were in violation of all international laws and norms. The Palestinian people have been living under the most brutal and criminal form of occupation by foreign power for four decades. The policy is unconditionally supported by the US. Israel deliberate policy of demolition of Palestinian houses and public property, and mass expropriation of Palestinian land on behalf of the settlers designed to create intolerable conditions of life and force the Palestinians to leave. The deliberate killings of Palestinians, including women and children, must qualify Israel for the status of a terrorist state.

In 1998, the Clinton Administration bombed Al-Shifa Pharmaceutical plant in Sudan destroying the country’s major pharmaceutical and veterinary medicine. The bombing led to the death of “several thousands” of people, and many more thousands condemned to death for lack of medicine. Sudan has not attacked or threatened to attack the US at any time.

On October 7, 2001, the US attacked Afghanistan on the pretext that the Taliban regime did not want to surrender Osama bin Laden to the US. The US refused to provide the Taliban regime with any evidence against bin Laden for his alleged participation in the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon attacks. U.S. bombs have killed more than 3,500 civilians in the first few months of the war, according to a study released on December 10 by Professor Marc W. Herold, of the University of New Hampshire. Afghanistan has not attacked or threatened to attack the US at any time.

In 1990, the US attacked Iraq on the pretext to “liberate Kuwait” from Iraqi forces. The orchestrated war on Iraq led to the destruction of Iraq infrastructure and civilian installations considered vital for the lives of the population of Iraq. The war and the 13 years of economic sanctions have resulted in a massive humanitarian crisis in Iraq. This followed in 2003 by full-scale invasion and occupation of Iraq by US forces. The US wars on Iraq have completely destroyed the Iraqi nation and the fabric of Iraq’s civil society. Furthermore, from 1991 until the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the US-UK waged “low intensity war” on Iraq, masquerading as the “no-fly” zones enforcement in Western media, and rightly described by Noam Chomsky as “a euphemism for state-directed international terrorism” against the people of Iraq and the nation of Iraq.

Dr. Gideon Polya, a senior Australian Biochemist, calculated the “excess mortality”, which is “the difference between the accrual deaths observed in a country and the mortality expected for a properly run, peaceful society with the same demographics”(3). Dr. Polya found that “the total access mortality in Iraq using the United Nations data, is 1.5 million for the period 1991-2004”. Furthermore, Dr Polya wrote, “[m]y estimates of ‘access mortality’ for Iraq are consistent with the under-5 infant mortality in Iraq, estimated from UNICEF data to be 1.2 million in the period 1991-2004”. This is consistent with other reports. Professor Joy Gordon of Fairfield University in the USA, who wrote: “Since the program [economic sanctions] began, an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five have died as a result of the sanctions  almost three times as many as the number of Japanese killed during the U.S. atomic bomb attacks” (4). Furthermore, Professor Thomas Nagy of George Washington University noted: “For more than ten years, the United States has deliberately pursued a policy of destroying the water treatment system of Iraq, knowing full well the cost in Iraqi lives. The [uN] has estimated that more than 500,000 Iraqi children have died as a result of sanctions, and that 5,000 Iraqi children continue to die every month for this reason”(5).

In an imperialist policy designed to force the Iraqi people to submit to the US brutal rule, thousands of Iraqis have been killed by the US military in cities like Baghdad, Fallujah, Najef and Karbala, thousands more have been detained without charges, and prisoners have been murdered and tortured by American guards at Abu Ghraib prison and other facilities.

The last few weeks have witnessed the US forces bombing civilian houses in Fallujah on six occasions, killing dozens of innocent civilians, including women and children, each time. The excuse for this barbarity is that the US intended to kill a “terrorist” by the name of al-Zarqawi. According to the people of Fallujah, “al-Zarqawi does not exist. He is a made-up figure”. The US occupation forces in Iraq have been claiming that al-Zarqawi and his Arab and non-Iraqi Muslim fighters are hiding out in Fallujah. Dr Muhammad al-Hamadani, a Fallujah resident told Aljazeera News that he had no knowledge about any non-Iraqi fighters in the town. ”As a Fallujah citizen, and head of the Fallujah Scientific Forum, I can tell you that I have never seen or heard anything about non-Iraqi fighters in Fallujah”. “We hear about al-Zarqawi in the media, but have never seen or felt his presence or any of his followers in Fallujah”, he said. Al-Zarqawi proves to be a good bogeyman for the time being. The underlying objective of this is that the US is misleading the public and using the rhetoric of antiterrorism as a cover for terrorism. It is part of Western propaganda to instil fear and hatred into the Western mind against Muslims.

Iraq has not attacked or threatened to attack the US at any time. This was all done on the rationale of to “ disarm Iraq from ‘weapons of mass destruction’”. Of course that proved to be completely untrue, and Iraq’s so-called WMD has been destroyed in the summer of 1991 in a genuine attempt to allow for the lifting of the genocidal economic sanctions. The Iraqi people will unlikely forget or forgive the Americans for the crimes committed in their names.

The American media analyst Edward Herman wrote, “it is the West and Western interests that have pushed terrorism to the forefront, not the ‘terrorists’. The West has done this because they want to use terrorism as an ideological instrument of propaganda and control”. The only truth about this “war on terror” is that it has no end in sight, and it will absorb resources vital to the well being of societies. It is a war on the poor and powerless.

Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia. Email: G.Hassan@exchange.curtin.edu.au.

(1) US Army Operational Concept for Terrorism Counteraction (TRADOC Pamphlet No. 525-37, 1984).

(2) Mark Curtis, Web of Deceit p.93. London: Vintage (2003).

(3) Gideon Polya, Iraqi death tool amounts to a Holocaust, Australasian Science, June 2004. http://www.control.com.au/bi2004/255conScience.pdf

(4) Joy Gordon, Cool war, Harper’s Magazine, November 2002.

(5) Thomas J. Nagy, The Secret Behind the Sanctions: How the U.S. Intentionally Destroyed Iraq's Water Supply, The Progressive, September 2001.

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Novo

hey dont be so hard on joc! bush almost got a purple heart for the large purple hemroid on his Buttox

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reese2

Why is it that every person here seems to take these discussions to a derrogatory level?? I have noticed, usually, it comes from the people here who hate Bush.. So, what is that all about? Why can't you all just make your points in a civil way? All of you that resort to the belittling remarks, are nothing short of a huge let down, and I am sure, an embarressment to your cause.

Reese

Edited by reese2

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Fluffybunny
All of you that resort to the belittling remarks, are nothing short of a huge let down, and I am sure, an embarressment to your cause.

Here Here!

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Very well put Reese. I agree.

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Phantom
hey dont be so hard on joc! bush almost got a purple heart for the large purple hemroid on his Buttox

S&A - keep that sort of comments out of serious threads, please.

Thank you.

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nightbird

im sorry, I wasnt aware that posting reports was belittling, and neither was using the words which had been thrown at me first.

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Stellar

nightbird, we have never said that what you posted was not true. We meerly said it doesnt *prove* anything.

there is only one thing I am going to comment on from Stellar's post......he was wrong when he said that Kay said there was a nuclear weapons program in Iraq. In fact, what Kay said, straight from his mouth in tv interviews, was that the "weapons program" in place in Iraq was at best laughable, and that the "program" had not changed or moved forward any from the 80's when America was helping Iraq!

You must have misread my post then, cuz I didnt say that Kay said there was a nuclear weapons program in Iraq. I said that Iraq tried to obtain uranium from Nigeria, which it did. And even if the weapons programs in Iraq were laughable, they did change a bit from the 80s and infact, they were still active, and heard that some of them actually were inactive for a long time but then re activated.

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reese2
im sorry, I wasnt aware that posting reports was belittling, and neither was using the words which had been thrown at me first.

Nightbird-

I shouldn't have to tell you that I was not referring to you or any comment you made. You are in the clear. I was talking about Student & Alive. (And others' in the past)

It is funny though, how you can tear through mounds of written word to piece together an extravagant web of conspiracy, yet you cannot comprehend when you are being (or in this case when you are not) reprimanded...

Just a bit of irony that I swallow this evening... tongue.gif Post away Nightbird, I am still reading everything you post.

Reese

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bathory

i heard the US didn't land on the moon sad.gif

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Stellar

I heard that those arguments have been debunked thousands of times, and the debunking just takes a while to sink in.

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reese2

Stellar- I could be wrong, but I think bathory was just being sarcastic.. He does seem way more intelligent than just throwing random thoughts out there, especially where they don't belong... (Who knows though, I have been wrong before) tongue.gif

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nightbird

reese

glad to hear it!

here is some more info for you. While not directly about BUsh or the Government, it does concern the censorship placed upon the US media by the government....and these are the kind of things I believe every american should be knowing.

Unreported War:

U.S. Document Reveals Scale of Conflict

By Robert Fisk

The Independent U.K.

Thursday 29 July 2004

Iraq, we are told by Mr. Blair, is safer. It is not. US military reports clearly show much of the violence in Iraq is not revealed to journalists, and thus goes largely unreported. This account of the insurgency across Iraq over three days last week provides astonishing proof that Iraq under its new, American-appointed Prime Minister, has grown more dangerous and violent.

But even this is only a partial record of events. US casualties and dozens of Iraqi civilian deaths each day are not included in the reports. But here are the events, as recorded by the United States military on 20, 22 and 23 July. Few were publicly disclosed.

20 July Baghdad

A US aircraft was attacked by a surface-to-air missile over Baghdad airport. An improvised explosive device detonated under a bridge near al-Bayieh fire station. A second bomb exploded when the "Facility Protection Service" arrived. In other areas, there were four bombings, three RPG assaults and six gun attacks, almost all on US forces.

North of Baghdad

A civilian supply convoy was attacked at Samarra. A bomb exploded on a bus in Baquba, killing six. A mine went off in Balad. A US convoy was attacked with RPGs and gunfire at Salman Pak. There were roadside bombings of US forces at Mandali, Samarra, Baquba, Duluiya and Muqdadiyeh, and three grenade attacks (at Tikrit, Samarra and Kirkuk, with shootings at Muqdadiyeh, Balad, Hawija, Samarra, Tikrit and Khalis.

West of Baghdad

An American foot patrol set off a landmine at Khalidiya. A civilian tractor hit a mine at Hit. There was an RPG attack on a school in Karmah. Roadside and other bombs also detonated in Fallujah, Hit, Ramadi and Qaim. There were also attacks on US troops at Hit, Karmah, Saqlawiyeh and Ramadi.

South of Baghdad

International troops discovered two 107mm rockets aimed at the house of the governor of Diwakineh, and a roadside bomb detonated near Iskanderiyeh. In Basra, the city council co-ordinator and his three bodyguards were killed near a police checkpoint by three men in police uniform.

22 July Baghdad

Two roadside bombs exploded next to a van and a Mercedes in separate areas of Baghdad, killing four civilians. A gunman in a Toyota opened fire on a police checkpoint and escaped. Police wounded three gunmen at a checkpoint and arrested four men suspected of attempted murder. Seven more roadside bombs exploded in Baghdad and gunmen twice attacked US troops.

North of Baghdad

Police dismantled a car bomb in Mosul and gunmen attacked the Western driver of a gravel truck at Tell Afar). There were three roadside bombings and a rocket attack on US troops in Mosul and another gun attack on US forces near Tell Afar. At Taji, a civilian vehicle collided with a US military vehicle, killing six civilians and injuring seven others. At Bayji, a US vehicle hit a landmine. The Americans said gunmen murdered a dentist in at the Ad Dwar hospital. There were 17 roadside bomb explosions against US forces in Taji, Baquba, Baqua, Jalula, Tikrit, Paliwoda, Balad, Samarra and Duluiyeh, with attacks by gunmen on US troops in Tikrit and Balad. A headless body in an orange jump-suit was found in the Tigris; believed to be Bulgarian hostage, Ivalyo Kepov. Kirkuk air base, used by US forces, attacked.

West of Baghdad

Five roadside bombs on US forces in Rutbah, Kalso and Ramadi. Gunmen attacked Americans in Fallujah and Ramadi.

South of Baghdad

The police chief of Najaf was abducted. Two civilian contractors were attacked by gunmen at Haswah. A roadside bomb exploded near Kerbala and Hillah. International forces were attacked by gunmen at Al Qurnah.

23 July Baghdad

A US military convoy was mortared and a grenade thrown. There were seven roadside bomb attacks and five gun attacks on US forces.

North of Baghdad

A man threw a grenade at a US convoy at Tell Afar. Two gunmen killed an officer in the new Iraqi Army in Mosul. American troops also came under RPG fire in Mosul. Gunmen attacked a convoy of western mercenaries south of Samarra, a civilian convoy was attacked at Baquba. A former Iraqi army officer, former Major-General Salim Blaish died in a drive-by shooting in Mosul. Americans detained two men who had fired a rocket from a truck in Balad. There were three roadside bomb attacks on Americans in Baquba, Balad and an RPG attack at Kirkuk.

West of Baghdad

A roadside bomb against US forces at Rutbah. Gunmen also attacked the Americans in Khalidiyeh and Fallujah.

South of Baghdad

The Mussayib power station was mortared and roadside bombs exploded at Iskanderiyeh and Mussayib.

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nightbird

The Case Against George W. Bush

The son of the fortieth president of the United States takes a hard look at the son of the forty-first and does not like what he sees

By Ron Reagan

07/29/04 "Esquire" -- It may have been the guy in the hood teetering on the stool, electrodes clamped to his genitals. Or smirking Lynndie England and her leash. Maybe it was the smarmy memos tapped out by soft-fingered lawyers itching to justify such barbarism. The grudging, lunatic retreat of the neocons from their long-standing assertion that Saddam was in cahoots with Osama didn't hurt. Even the Enron audiotapes and their celebration of craven sociopathy likely played a part. As a result of all these displays and countless smaller ones, you could feel, a couple of months back, as summer spread across the country, the ground shifting beneath your feet. Not unlike that scene in The Day After Tomorrow, then in theaters, in which the giant ice shelf splits asunder, this was more a paradigm shift than anything strictly tectonic. No cataclysmic ice age, admittedly, yet something was in the air, and people were inhaling deeply. I began to get calls from friends whose parents had always voted Republican, "but not this time." There was the staid Zbigniew Brzezinski on the staid NewsHour with Jim Lehrer sneering at the "Orwellian language" flowing out of the Pentagon. Word spread through the usual channels that old hands from the days of Bush the Elder were quietly (but not too quietly) appalled by his son's misadventure in Iraq. Suddenly, everywhere you went, a surprising number of folks seemed to have had just about enough of what the Bush administration was dishing out. A fresh age appeared on the horizon, accompanied by the sound of scales falling from people's eyes. It felt something like a demonstration of that highest of American prerogatives and the most deeply cherished American freedom: dissent.

Oddly, even my father's funeral contributed. Throughout that long, stately, overtelevised week in early June, items would appear in the newspaper discussing the Republicans' eagerness to capitalize (subtly, tastefully) on the outpouring of affection for my father and turn it to Bush's advantage for the fall election. The familiar "Heir to Reagan" puffballs were reinflated and loosed over the proceedings like (subtle, tasteful) Mylar balloons. Predictably, this backfired. People were treated to a side-by-side comparison—Ronald W. Reagan versus George W. Bush—and it's no surprise who suffered for it. Misty-eyed with nostalgia, people set aside old political gripes for a few days and remembered what friend and foe always conceded to Ronald Reagan: He was damned impressive in the role of leader of the free world. A sign in the crowd, spotted during the slow roll to the Capitol rotunda, seemed to sum up the mood—a portrait of my father and the words NOW THERE WAS A PRESIDENT.

The comparison underscored something important. And the guy on the stool, Lynndie, and her grinning cohorts, they brought the word: The Bush administration can't be trusted. The parade of Bush officials before various commissions and committees—Paul Wolfowitz, who couldn't quite remember how many young Americans had been sacrificed on the altar of his ideology; John Ashcroft, lip quivering as, for a delicious, fleeting moment, it looked as if Senator Joe Biden might just come over the table at him—these were a continuing reminder. The Enron creeps, too—a reminder of how certain environments and particular habits of mind can erode common decency. People noticed. A tipping point had been reached. The issue of credibility was back on the table. The L-word was in circulation. Not the tired old bromide liberal. That's so 1988. No, this time something much more potent: liar.

Politicians will stretch the truth. They'll exaggerate their accomplishments, paper over their gaffes. Spin has long been the lingua franca of the political realm. But George W. Bush and his administration have taken "normal" mendacity to a startling new level far beyond lies of convenience. On top of the usual massaging of public perception, they traffic in big lies, indulge in any number of symptomatic small lies, and, ultimately, have come to embody dishonesty itself. They are a lie. And people, finally, have started catching on.

None of this, needless to say, guarantees Bush a one-term presidency. The far-right wing of the country—nearly one third of us by some estimates—continues to regard all who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid (liberals, rationalists, Europeans, et cetera) as agents of Satan. Bush could show up on video canoodling with Paris Hilton and still bank their vote. Right-wing talking heads continue painting anyone who fails to genuflect deeply enough as a "hater," and therefore a nut job, probably a crypto-Islamist car bomber. But these protestations have taken on a hysterical, almost comically desperate tone. It's one thing to get trashed by Michael Moore. But when Nobel laureates, a vast majority of the scientific community, and a host of current and former diplomats, intelligence operatives, and military officials line up against you, it becomes increasingly difficult to characterize the opposition as fringe wackos.

Does anyone really favor an administration that so shamelessly lies? One that so tenaciously clings to secrecy, not to protect the American people, but to protect itself? That so willfully misrepresents its true aims and so knowingly misleads the people from whom it derives its power? I simply cannot think so. And to come to the same conclusion does not make you guilty of swallowing some liberal critique of the Bush presidency, because that's not what this is. This is the critique of a person who thinks that lying at the top levels of his government is abhorrent. Call it the honest guy's critique of George W. Bush.

THE MOST EGREGIOUS EXAMPLES OF distortion and misdirection—which the administration even now cannot bring itself to repudiate—involve our putative "War on Terror" and our subsequent foray into Iraq.

During his campaign for the presidency, Mr. Bush pledged a more "humble" foreign policy. "I would take the use of force very seriously," he said. "I would be guarded in my approach." Other countries would resent us "if we're an arrogant nation." He sniffed at the notion of "nation building." "Our military is meant to fight and win wars. . . . And when it gets overextended, morale drops." International cooperation and consensus building would be the cornerstone of a Bush administration's approach to the larger world. Given candidate Bush's remarks, it was hard to imagine him, as president, flipping a stiff middle finger at the world and charging off adventuring in the Middle East.

But didn't 9/11 reshuffle the deck, changing everything? Didn't Mr. Bush, on September 12, 2001, awaken to the fresh realization that bad guys in charge of Islamic nations constitute an entirely new and grave threat to us and have to be ruthlessly confronted lest they threaten the American homeland again? Wasn't Saddam Hussein rushed to the front of the line because he was complicit with the hijackers and in some measure responsible for the atrocities in Washington, D. C., and at the tip of Manhattan?

Well, no.

As Bush's former Treasury secretary, Paul O'Neill, and his onetime "terror czar," Richard A. Clarke, have made clear, the president, with the enthusiastic encouragement of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, was contemplating action against Iraq from day one. "From the start, we were building the case against Hussein and looking at how we could take him out," O'Neill said. All they needed was an excuse. Clarke got the same impression from within the White House. Afghanistan had to be dealt with first; that's where the actual perpetrators were, after all. But the Taliban was a mere appetizer; Saddam was the entrée. (Or who knows? The soup course?) It was simply a matter of convincing the American public (and our representatives) that war was justified.

The real—but elusive—prime mover behind the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden, was quickly relegated to a back burner (a staff member at Fox News—the cable-TV outlet of the Bush White House—told me a year ago that mere mention of bin Laden's name was forbidden within the company, lest we be reminded that the actual bad guy remained at large) while Saddam's Iraq became International Enemy Number One. Just like that, a country whose economy had been reduced to shambles by international sanctions, whose military was less than half the size it had been when the U. S. Army rolled over it during the first Gulf war, that had extensive no-flight zones imposed on it in the north and south as well as constant aerial and satellite surveillance, and whose lethal weapons and capacity to produce such weapons had been destroyed or seriously degraded by UN inspection teams became, in Mr. Bush's words, "a threat of unique urgency" to the most powerful nation on earth.

Fanciful but terrifying scenarios were introduced: Unmanned aircraft, drones, had been built for missions targeting the U. S., Bush told the nation. "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud," National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice deadpanned to CNN. And, Bush maintained, "Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists." We "know" Iraq possesses such weapons, Rumsfeld and Vice-President Cheney assured us. We even "know" where they are hidden. After several months of this mumbo jumbo, 70 percent of Americans had embraced the fantasy that Saddam destroyed the World Trade Center.

ALL THESE ASSERTIONS have proved to be baseless and, we've since discovered, were regarded with skepticism by experts at the time they were made. But contrary opinions were derided, ignored, or covered up in the rush to war. Even as of this writing, Dick Cheney clings to his mad assertion that Saddam was somehow at the nexus of a worldwide terror network.

And then there was Abu Ghraib. Our "war president" may have been justified in his assumption that Americans are a warrior people. He pushed the envelope in thinking we'd be content as an occupying power, but he was sadly mistaken if he thought that ordinary Americans would tolerate an image of themselves as torturers. To be fair, the torture was meant to be secret. So were the memos justifying such treatment that had floated around the White House, Pentagon, and Justice Department for more than a year before the first photos came to light. The neocons no doubt appreciate that few of us have the stones to practice the New Warfare. Could you slip a pair of women's panties over the head of a naked, cowering stranger while forcing him to m********e? What would you say while sodomizing him with a toilet plunger? Is keeping someone awake till he hallucinates inhumane treatment or merely "sleep management"?

Most of us know the answers to these questions, so it was incumbent upon the administration to pretend that Abu Ghraib was an aberration, not policy. Investigations, we were assured, were already under way; relevant bureaucracies would offer unstinting cooperation; the handful of miscreants would be sternly disciplined. After all, they didn't "represent the best of what America's all about." As anyone who'd watched the proceedings of the 9/11 Commission could have predicted, what followed was the usual administration strategy of stonewalling, obstruction, and obfuscation. The appointment of investigators was stalled; documents were withheld, including the full report by Major General Antonio Taguba, who headed the Army's primary investigation into the abuses at Abu Ghraib. A favorite moment for many featured John McCain growing apoplectic as Donald Rumsfeld and an entire tableful of army brass proved unable to answer the simple question Who was in charge at Abu Ghraib?

The Bush administration no doubt had its real reasons for invading and occupying Iraq. They've simply chosen not to share them with the American public. They sought justification for ignoring the Geneva Convention and other statutes prohibiting torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners but were loath to acknowledge as much. They may have ideas worth discussing, but they don't welcome the rest of us in the conversation. They don't trust us because they don't dare expose their true agendas to the light of day. There is a surreal quality to all this: Occupation is liberation; Iraq is sovereign, but we're in control; Saddam is in Iraqi custody, but we've got him; we'll get out as soon as an elected Iraqi government asks us, but we'll be there for years to come. Which is what we counted on in the first place, only with rose petals and easy coochie.

This Möbius reality finds its domestic analogue in the perversely cynical "Clear Skies" and "Healthy Forests" sloganeering at Bush's EPA and in the administration's irresponsible tax cutting and other fiscal shenanigans. But the Bush administration has always worn strangely tinted shades, and you wonder to what extent Mr. Bush himself lives in a world of his own imagining.

And chances are your America and George W. Bush's America are not the same place. If you are dead center on the earning scale in real-world twenty-first-century America, you make a bit less than $32,000 a year, and $32,000 is not a sum that Mr. Bush has ever associated with getting by in his world. Bush, who has always managed to fail upwards in his various careers, has never had a job the way you have a job—where not showing up one morning gets you fired, costing you your health benefits. He may find it difficult to relate personally to any of the nearly two million citizens who've lost their jobs under his administration, the first administration since Herbert Hoover's to post a net loss of jobs. Mr. Bush has never had to worry that he couldn't afford the best available health care for his children. For him, forty-three million people without health insurance may be no more than a politically inconvenient abstraction. When Mr. Bush talks about the economy, he is not talking about your economy. His economy is filled with pals called Kenny-boy who fly around in their own airplanes. In Bush's economy, his world, friends relocate offshore to avoid paying taxes. Taxes are for chumps like you. You are not a friend. You're the help. When the party Mr. Bush is hosting in his world ends, you'll be left picking shrimp toast out of the carpet.

ALL ADMINISTRATIONS WILL DISSEMBLE, distort, or outright lie when their backs are against the wall, when honesty begins to look like political suicide. But this administration seems to lie reflexively, as if it were simply the easiest option for busy folks with a lot on their minds. While the big lies are more damning and of immeasurably greater import to the nation, it is the small, unnecessary prevarications that may be diagnostic. Who lies when they don't have to? When the simple truth, though perhaps embarrassing in the short run, is nevertheless in one's long-term self-interest? Why would a president whose calling card is his alleged rock-solid integrity waste his chief asset for penny-ante stakes? Habit, perhaps. Or an inability to admit even small mistakes.

Mr. Bush's tendency to meander beyond the bounds of truth was evident during the 2000 campaign but was largely ignored by the mainstream media. His untruths simply didn't fit the agreed-upon narrative. While generally acknowledged to be lacking in experience, depth, and other qualifications typically considered useful in a leader of the free world, Bush was portrayed as a decent fellow nonetheless, one whose straightforwardness was a given. None of that "what the meaning of is is" business for him. And, God knows, no furtive, taxpayer-funded fellatio sessions with the interns. Al Gore, on the other hand, was depicted as a dubious self-reinventor, stained like a certain blue dress by Bill Clinton's prurient transgressions. He would spend valuable weeks explaining away statements—"I invented the Internet"—that he never made in the first place. All this left the coast pretty clear for Bush.

Scenario typical of the 2000 campaign: While debating Al Gore, Bush tells two obvious—if not exactly earth-shattering—lies and is not challenged. First, he claims to have supported a patient's bill of rights while governor of Texas. This is untrue. He, in fact, vigorously resisted such a measure, only reluctantly bowing to political reality and allowing it to become law without his signature. Second, he announces that Gore has outspent him during the campaign. The opposite is true: Bush has outspent Gore. These misstatements are briefly acknowledged in major press outlets, which then quickly return to the more germane issues of Gore's pancake makeup and whether a certain feminist author has counseled him to be more of an "alpha male."

Having gotten away with such witless falsities, perhaps Mr. Bush and his team felt somehow above day-to-day truth. In any case, once ensconced in the White House, they picked up where they left off.

IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH and confusion of 9/11, Bush, who on that day was in Sarasota, Florida, conducting an emergency reading of "The Pet Goat," was whisked off to Nebraska aboard Air Force One. While this may have been entirely sensible under the chaotic circumstances—for all anyone knew at the time, Washington might still have been under attack—the appearance was, shall we say, less than gallant. So a story was concocted: There had been a threat to Air Force One that necessitated the evasive maneuver. Bush's chief political advisor, Karl Rove, cited "specific" and "credible" evidence to that effect. The story quickly unraveled. In truth, there was no such threat.

Then there was Bush's now infamous photo-op landing aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln and his subsequent speech in front of a large banner emblazoned MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. The banner, which loomed in the background as Bush addressed the crew, became problematic as it grew clear that the mission in Iraq—whatever that may have been—was far from accomplished. "Major combat operations," as Bush put it, may have technically ended, but young Americans were still dying almost daily. So the White House dealt with the questionable banner in a manner befitting a president pledged to "responsibility and accountability": It blamed the sailors. No surprise, a bit of digging by journalists revealed the banner and its premature triumphalism to be the work of the White House communications office.

More serious by an order of magnitude was the administration's dishonesty concerning pre-9/11 terror warnings. As questions first arose about the country's lack of preparedness in the face of terrorist assault, Condoleezza Rice was dispatched to the pundit arenas to assure the nation that "no one could have imagined terrorists using aircraft as weapons." In fact, terrorism experts had warned repeatedly of just such a calamity. In June 2001, CIA director George Tenet sent Rice an intelligence report warning that "it is highly likely that a significant Al Qaeda attack is in the near future, within several weeks." Two intelligence briefings given to Bush in the summer of 2001 specifically connected Al Qaeda to the imminent danger of hijacked planes being used as weapons. According to The New York Times, after the second of these briefings, titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside United States," was delivered to the president at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, in August, Bush "broke off from work early and spent most of the day fishing." This was the briefing Dr. Rice dismissed as "historical" in her testimony before the 9/11 Commission.

What's odd is that none of these lies were worth the breath expended in the telling. If only for self-serving political reasons, honesty was the way to go. The flight of Air Force One could easily have been explained in terms of security precautions taken in the confusion of momentous events. As for the carrier landing, someone should have fallen on his or her sword at the first hint of trouble: We told the president he needed to do it; he likes that stuff and was gung-ho; we figured, What the hell?; it was a mistake. The banner? We thought the sailors would appreciate it. In retrospect, also a mistake. Yup, we sure feel dumb now. Owning up to the 9/11 warnings would have entailed more than simple embarrassment. But done forthrightly and immediately, an honest reckoning would have earned the Bush team some respect once the dust settled. Instead, by needlessly tap-dancing, Bush's White House squandered vital credibility, turning even relatively minor gaffes into telling examples of its tendency to distort and evade the truth.

But image is everything in this White House, and the image of George Bush as a noble and infallible warrior in the service of his nation must be fanatically maintained, because behind the image lies . . . nothing? As Jonathan Alter of Newsweek has pointed out, Bush has "never fully inhabited" the presidency. Bush apologists can smilingly excuse his malopropisms and vagueness as the plainspokenness of a man of action, but watching Bush flounder when attempting to communicate extemporaneously, one is left with the impression that he is ineloquent not because he can't speak but because he doesn't bother to think.

GEORGE W. BUSH PROMISED to "change the tone in Washington" and ran for office as a moderate, a "compassionate conservative," in the focus-group-tested sloganeering of his campaign. Yet he has governed from the right wing of his already conservative party, assiduously tending a "base" that includes, along with the expected Fortune 500 fat cats, fiscal evangelicals who talk openly of doing away with Social Security and Medicare, of shrinking government to the size where they can, in tax radical Grover Norquist's phrase, "drown it in the bathtub." That base also encompasses a healthy share of anti-choice zealots, homophobic bigots, and assorted purveyors of junk science. Bush has tossed bones to all of them—"partial birth" abortion legislation, the promise of a constitutional amendment banning marriage between homosexuals, federal roadblocks to embryonic-stem-cell research, even comments suggesting presidential doubts about Darwinian evolution. It's not that Mr. Bush necessarily shares their worldview; indeed, it's unclear whether he embraces any coherent philosophy. But this president, who vowed to eschew politics in favor of sound policy, panders nonetheless in the interest of political gain. As John DiIulio, Bush's former head of the Office of Community and Faith-Based Initiatives, once told this magazine, "What you've got is everything—and I mean everything—being run by the political arm."

This was not what the American electorate opted for when, in 2000, by a slim but decisive margin of more than half a million votes, they chose . . . the other guy. Bush has never had a mandate. Surveys indicate broad public dissatisfaction with his domestic priorities. How many people would have voted for Mr. Bush in the first place had they understood his eagerness to pass on crushing debt to our children or seen his true colors regarding global warming and the environment? Even after 9/11, were people really looking to be dragged into an optional war under false pretenses?

If ever there was a time for uniting and not dividing, this is it. Instead, Mr. Bush governs as if by divine right, seeming to actually believe that a wise God wants him in the White House and that by constantly evoking the horrible memory of September 11, 2001, he can keep public anxiety stirred up enough to carry him to another term.

UNDERSTANDABLY, SOME SUPPORTERS of Mr. Bush's will believe I harbor a personal vendetta against the man, some seething resentment. One conservative commentator, based on earlier remarks I've made, has already discerned "jealousy" on my part; after all, Bush, the son of a former president, now occupies that office himself, while I, most assuredly, will not. Truth be told, I have no personal feelings for Bush at all. I hardly know him, having met him only twice, briefly and uneventfully—once during my father's presidency and once during my father's funeral. I'll acknowledge occasional annoyance at the pretense that he's somehow a clone of my father, but far from threatening, I see this more as silly and pathetic. My father, acting roles excepted, never pretended to be anyone but himself. His Republican party, furthermore, seems a far cry from the current model, with its cringing obeisance to the religious Right and its kill-anything-that-moves attack instincts. Believe it or not, I don't look in the mirror every morning and see my father looming over my shoulder. I write and speak as nothing more or less than an American citizen, one who is plenty angry about the direction our country is being dragged by the current administration. We have reached a critical juncture in our nation's history, one ripe with both danger and possibility. We need leadership with the wisdom to prudently confront those dangers and the imagination to boldly grasp the possibilities. Beyond issues of fiscal irresponsibility and ill-advised militarism, there is a question of trust. George W. Bush and his allies don't trust you and me. Why on earth, then, should we trust them?

Fortunately, we still live in a democratic republic. The Bush team cannot expect a cabal of right-wing justices to once again deliver the White House. Come November 2, we will have a choice: We can embrace a lie, or we can restore a measure of integrity to our government. We can choose, as a bumper sticker I spotted in Seattle put it, SOMEONE ELSE FOR PRESIDENT.

Copyright © 2004 by the Hearst Corporation

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nightbird

Patriot Game, Media Shame

At the Democratic convention this week and the coming Republican fest, rest assured of one thing: No one will mention a crux issue -- how patriotism supplanted journalism in America.

by Lawrence Martin

07/29/04 "Globe and Mail" -- For its coverage of Iraq, The New York Times has publicly expressed its regret for being a conduit of White House propaganda. Dan Rather of CBS has lamented how "patriotism run amok" sabotaged his country's media freedoms. Some others have honorably done the same.

The current edition of Foreign Affairs has an article that raises a hot question: whether the war that was waged to disarm a dictator who was already disarmed would have happened if the media had done their job. The analysis by George Lopez and David Cartwright charts how Western sanctions and inspections throughout the 1990s had turned Iraq into a sickly wimp about as daunting as Denmark.

Its collapse into obsolescence, the sheering of its defense budget from $15-billion to $1-billion, were all on the public record. But the American media, jingoized by 9/11, largely ignored it. They went, instead, with the "gathering threat" tales the Bush White House fed them, a diet of disinformation that gave the President the needed support for a war that led to the slaughter of thousands of civilians. Had the media dug, had they consistently countered the Bush hyperbole with known fact, that support probably would have been lacking.

Perspective is a ghost in American journalism. History is forgotten as soon as it happens. You would think that given the presidential record of duplicity -- Bill Clinton on Monica, Ronald Reagan on Iran contra, Richard Nixon on Watergate, Lyndon Johnson on the Gulf of Tonkin, John Kennedy on the missile gap -- the journalists might catch on one day. Not in America.

In his speech at the Democratic convention, Jimmy Carter noted how the Bush administration had willfully generated public panic over terrorism. Statistics show that, last year, acts of terrorism killed 300 to 400 people, ranking it so far down the list of dangers to livelihood that it is barely visible. The threat of terrorism certainly shouldn't be minimized; but it also shouldn't be exaggerated by a cowed media to fit the White House agenda. For anyone who looks at some of history's worst threats -- the German military machine that killed tens of millions, the Soviet Union with a nuclear arsenal that could have turned this continent into rubble -- the terrorism of today, though George Bush has seeded so much more of it in Iraq, isn't anywhere close.

But how often does the media carry this context? The toll from weapons of mass destruction, which played no part in 9/11, has been trifling over the past decade, but the White House, playing the media as puppets, has made WMD a momentous issue of our times.

If it weren't so politically useful to Mr. Bush -- check the midterm elections -- and media buttons weren't so easy to push, it's safe a bet that the terrorism threat wouldn't get half the air time.

As journalists have been duped so often, admittedly duped, how can anyone say the media system in America is working? In times of foreign crises, the press doesn't report. It is politically exploited. It is supposed to reflect truth and reality but, by treating politically motivated White House words with face-value reverence, it is distorting that truth and reality and succumbing to patriot games.

It was encouraging to see The New York Times, which, despite all, still ranks high in the journalistic firmament, as well as other media admit to their folly on Iraq. But will it change anything?

When the Bush administration faced a bad news week with the announcement of John Edwards as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, it issued another one of its regular terrorist alerts. None of these alerts have amounted to anything, but each, like this one, seemed conveniently timed to divert the news cycle.

How did American journalists respond? Rather than view this announcement with cynicism, they ran the story right up there on the top of Page 1. Like it was the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help them God.

© Copyright 2004 Bell Globemedia Publishing Inc

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nightbird

Fact of the Matter Is That Facts Didn't Matter

By Robert Scheer, AlterNet. Posted July 13, 2004.

Well, the CIA managed, barely, to get one thing right on Iraq: There never was a case for linking Saddam Hussein with Osama bin Laden or the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a key rationale for President Bush's invasion of Iraq.

In an otherwise scathing report on how American intelligence agencies fell for misinformation that touted Iraq as an imminent threat to the United States, the Senate Intelligence Committee went out of its way to endorse the CIA finding that "the intelligence community has no credible information that Baghdad had foreknowledge of the 11 September attacks or any other Al Qaeda strike." This was also the preliminary conclusion of the bipartisan 9/11 commission appointed by the president.

Yet, Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney still insist that the war against Bin Laden somehow naturally extended to Iraq. As recently as a June 17 interview with CNBC, Cheney asserted, without providing evidence, that "there clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming." Nor would he rule out that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 plot. He even suggested that he had access to information that the 9/11 commission had not seen, an assertion that was later refuted by the commission's Republican chairman. Apparently, Cheney can now add the CIA and the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee to the list of those to be condemned for not embracing his lies.

Of course, this outrageous stubbornness in the face of overwhelming evidence shouldn't be surprising. With no weapons of mass destruction found in occupied Iraq, almost 900 American soldiers dead and U.S. taxpayers having already coughed up more than $100 billion, the quagmire must be justified as being "the central front in the war on terror" if Bush is to win reelection in November.

That Bin Laden and Hussein were the unlikeliest of allies was long known by the CIA, as noted in the Senate report, and no facts unearthed have effectively challenged that. CIA analysts concluded, according to the Senate committee report, that Hussein "generally viewed Islamic extremism, including the [saudi-based] school of Islam known as Wahhabism, as a threat to his regime, noting that he had executed extremists from both the Sunni and Shiite sects to disrupt their organizations" and "sought to prevent Iraqi youth from joining Al Qaeda."

Meanwhile, Bush has consistently ignored the fact that Al Qaeda had been largely funded and supported by powerful extremists in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, two "allies" his administration coddled both before and after 9/11. Pakistan was even exporting nuclear weapons technology to "axis of evil" countries Iran and North Korea, as well as Libya – but not to Iraq.

Does any of this make sense? Where are the common-sense consistency, the respect for truth and the logical hierarchy of priorities in our foreign policy? Why can't the president explain – without lying – why we are in Iraq? Why are Americans dying in a country that had no weapons of mass destruction, had no role in 9/11 and posed no immediate threat to the U.S.?

The 511-page Senate Intelligence Committee report makes it clear that despite the haughty posturing of national security heavyweights, we do not have adults watching the store. The report's epic series of embarrassing conclusions about how the intelligence on Iraq became distorted is a testament to how political ideology and ambitions consistently trumped logic and integrity. The Senate report is a thoroughly damning indictment of the Bush administration's doctrine of "preemptive" war based on intelligence. In the case of Iraq, the intelligence that was false was adopted by the administration, while the intelligence that was true was ignored as inconvenient. And it is telling that the CIA, try as it did to accommodate the White House, couldn't find any evidence that Al Qaeda and Iraq were collaborators.

Not that the CIA didn't try, though. "This intelligence assessment responds to senior policymaker interest in a comprehensive assessment of Iraqi regime links to Al Qaeda. Our approach is purposefully aggressive in seeking to draw connections," said one report. "I was asking the people who were writing [the report on Iraq-Al Qaeda links] to lean far forward and do a speculative piece. If you were going to stretch to the maximum the evidence you had, what could you come up with?" the deputy director for intelligence at the CIA told the Senate committee.

With this approach, we might as well base our foreign policy on reruns of "The X-Files." Maybe this is why the president wants us to go to Mars: It's a preemptive strike.

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nightbird

I really hope by reading this information, you are forming some questions in your mind.

You asked me for proof. Well, I can not provide proof, I do not work from a secret service and am not privy to the inner workings of governments. However, all I can offer, and all I am try to offer, is more information taken from all over the world about Iraq, the Bush Administration, Saudi Arabia, WMD's, and secret intelligence.

there are definately two sides to every story, but I take my information from credible sources with a history of supporting facts, and truths. Some of these new stories have come from what is regard as the worlds mor impartial and accurate news source..BBC.

I hope that by reading...researching...and reading again, you, and others like you will see a pattern and a similarity to these accounts. When you have different journos, different media, different parts of the world reporting much the same things, I believe it is definately time to stand up and ask a few questions and demand answers.

there are many questions which can and have been raised about the Bush Adminstration. there are many answer the Bush Admin has tried to lie about and hide....yet information got out which was discovered to be true....Abu Ghraib, Guantanmo Bay, the number of deaths from civilians and sercive people in Iraq, the deceit of Bush's reasons for the war, the lack of WMD's.

I am aware that some will still insist , and be lead by blindness, refusing to see what others are seeing, refusing to listen to the voices of so many.....yet it is my hope, that even if one more mind is given cause to question, and in turn seeks out the answer, this "conspiracy" to undermine the principles of the american people, as well as the world population will begin to unravel, and that in the end, whethe it be a year from now, or a hundred years from now..truth will prevail.

Edited by nightbird

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