Friday, November 9, 2007


Poetic Justice

He who controls the present controls the past,
and he who controls the past controls the future.
George Orwell, 1984

Orwellian Overture

By any rational reckoning, we have lost the war in Iraq, unless there is some plan to escalate it to World War Three, mobilizing the US economy and returning to the draft. How could we be at such a low point without there having been a vigorous national debate about our deeply flawed war goals, war plans and war results?

In April of 2003, we saw Saddam Hussein's statue fall in Baghdad. On Mayday, 2003 we read "Mission Accomplished" as Bush praised his Shock-and-Awe war from the USS Abraham Lincoln. By the summer of 2003, though, we heard the word insurgency for the first time, and within a year we were hearing words like Sunni Triangle, militias and civil war -- and we've been hearing them ever since.

In 1984, Orwell pointed out that Big Brother, through its Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), never admitted failure in reporting war, and neither have those who were supposed to be reporting our Iraq fiasco. We haven't had any Congressional oversight, media scrutiny or military correction for the worst war results in American history. In Orwellian terms, the Bush League is a Big Brother imitation, and our current corporate-run US media is a rental Minitrue.

If journalistic ethics -- or regard for truth -- could influence them, the media wouldn't continue to tell us, through pages, cameras and microphones, that there is any kind of success -- or prospect of success -- in the disastrous Quicksand War. They swore to be an embedded asset for the Bush League, though, and they've kept their devil's pact by finding new ways to shade, hedge and omit the facts. They have told us every lie necessary to bring us to the Middle East in the first place, and now telling us every lie necessary to keep us there.

O! Put this war away! Put it away!
Stash it in the annals of Vietnam,
Put the hideous, blood-spattered mongrel down!
Plant it beneath the loudly muted ground!

Lay our best and worst under, wrapped in flags,
Let the encircling earth hold it there, unspoken.
How many lives must we waste in shock and awe;
Scores of murder and rape to slither past?

Put this war away! O! God, end it if we will not!
Our hearts have wings for more than this!
Our souls more light than darkness here!
Lift light our spirit in freedom! Crush our tyranny!

Innocents shall not be raped for sport in awkward rage!
Bullets to head in terror’s Goddamned surrender!
Children slaughtered for oil! Families shattered of days!
A country devoured in empire’s repulsive teeth!

O! Put this war away! Put it away!
Snuff its proud lion beneath the plummeting shells
And send it prowling downward…
Let it lie, sprawled with the phosphorous bones.

Put this war away! Put it away!
We’ve had enough of blood; its use drained...
Bring our murder home. Ravage its molten metal frame
`til it cries out in its own reluctant wretched death!

If it is to be, let it come crashing!

There's more: "COME CRASHING!" >>

Thursday, November 8, 2007

John McCain should know better on the Iraq War and “honor”

McCain’s latest claim as to why we must stay in Iraq is that U.S. honor would suffer if we pull out now.


When was the last time we heard talk of “peace with honor”?

Wasn’t it from, oh, 1969-1973, as mouthed by Tricky Dick and Henry K?

Didn’t “peace with honor” get us the same peace terms as North Vietnam was seeking in 1968?

In other words, he spent an extra five years in captivity, ignoring his rejecting an out-of-sequence repatriation, for the sake of honor that got us no better peace terms than five years earlier.

There's more: "John McCain should know better on the Iraq War and “honor”" >>

Why Do Debacles Like Iraq Happen?

Zeitgeist: What do Christianity, 911 and The Federal Reserve have in common?

The more you begin to investigate what we think we understand, where we came from, what we think we're doing, the more you begin to see we've been lied to, we've been lied to by every institution...
"Zeitgeist is originally a German expression that means 'the mind of the age', literally translated as 'time (Zeit) mind (Geist)'. It denotes the intellectual and cultural climate of an era." --wikipedia

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Address to the American Newspaper Publishers, 27 April 1961
The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence -- on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific, and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.
Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed -- and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment -- the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution -- not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply "give the public what it wants" -- but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate, and sometimes even anger public opinion.
Zeitgeist 2007: 1 hr 56 min. Or watch the film in parts on the flip.
  • Part 1: 26 min: Greatest story ever told

  • Part 2: 33 min: All The World's A Stage

  • Part 3: 47 min: Don't mind the men behind the curtain

What do Christianity, 911 and The Federal Reserve have in common?

This is the full Zeitgeist production.

"They must find it difficult...
Those who have taken authority as the truth,
rather than truth as the authority."
--Gerald Massey, Egyptologist (1828–1907)

Part 1: 26 min: Greatest story ever told:
This section explores the little known foundations of the Cult of Equinoctial Christolatry (Christianity) which, unannounced to most, rests in the astrotheological belief systems of the ancient world.

Part 2: 33 min: All The World's A Stage:
9/11/2001 was the production of the century. "and the Emmy goes to..."

Part 3: 47 min: Don't mind the men behind the curtain:
The Revolution is Now.

The men behind the curtain?
In order to regain its status as the respected leader of the world's nations, America must eradicate the neoconservative movement from its body politic, and the only '08 presidential candidates committed to that goal appear to be Democrat Dennis Kucinich and Republican Ron Paul. If you think the neoconservatives packed up shop subsequent to their Mesopotamia mistake, think again. The neocons not only didn't learn anything from Iraq, they're betting large that nobody else did either--and that's a bet they stand a good chance of winning.
The top tier candidates from both parties talk of new approaches to the Iraq problem, but none of them--with the possible exception of Barack Obama--offer anything realistic that's substantively different from "stay the course." And though Kucinich and Paul touch on the essential task that lies ahead in setting the course of U.S. foreign policy, the mainstream information gatekeepers continue to treat them like pipsqueaks.

Is it possible that, under the surface, all of America's national profile politicians have crawled into the neocons' pockets?
With the exception of significantly increasing America's defense spending, the neocons' dreams of U.S. global dominance have dashed themselves against the shoals of reality. Today, though we spend more than the rest of the world combined on defense, friends and enemies alike shun us. We have to kiss up to countries like Turkey and Pakistan while the greatest threats to our national security are backwater outfits like Iran and North Korea, all states whose economies and defense budgets are less than five percent of ours and none of whom would amount to a pimple on our posterior if we hadn't let the neocons persuade us to stick said posterior into the crack its in now. Moreover, our security, prosperity and principles are more in peril than they have been since the beginning of World War II, and as recent events in Pakistan illustrate, our efforts to promote political freedom abroad have been dismal failures.
If America were still a true republic, the neocons would have been ridden out of town two years ago at the latest; they don't have enough tar, feathers or rails in Washington D.C. to give those characters the kind of send off they deserve. But they're still around and reeking havoc. Dick Cheney still lurks in undisclosed locations in between appearances at GOP fundraising and warmongering functions. Cheney side buoys like David Addington continue to infest the White House. Backyard variety chicken hawks such as John Bolton, Fred Kagan, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Newt Gingrich hang out in the Scholars and Fellows lounge of the influential neoconservative think tank American Enterprise Institute.

There's more: "Why Do Debacles Like Iraq Happen?" >>

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

2007 Weblog Awards - Last Hurrah

Today is the last day the polls are open for the 2007 Weblog Awards - Best Military blog.
My blog was nominated against pro war sites like Black Five and Michael Yon, and I'm slowly closing in on first, but I need your help!

Please vote for Army of Dude! Voting closes 5PM Eastern, 2PM Pacific. So get those votes in and send this out far and wide! Thank you

There's more: "2007 Weblog Awards - Last Hurrah" >>

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Calm Before The Storm?

Via Jeb Koogler at The Moderate Voice this from Abu Aardvark:
Maliki: enough about reconciliation

Last week Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki mocked Iraqis calling for national reconciliation and dismissing them as self-interested conspirators. On Friday, he elaborated on his views of the current Iraqi political scene in a very intriguing, and frankly troubling, interview with al-Arabiya.

…[In the interview, Maliki argued] that Iraqi national reconciliation has not only already been achieved, it is “strong and stable and not fragile”. There is no civil war in Iraq, or even any real sectarian conflict anymore - the sectarian hatreds incited by “some” in the past have been overcome. He made clear that he does not equate national reconciliation with political progress at the national level: “I think that national reconciliation will come about not as some understand it, as a reconciliation with this political party governed by an ideology or a specific mentality.” Real national reconciliation, to Maliki, takes place at the local level, when “you can go into the street and meet with a Sunni in Shia areas or with a Shia in Sunni areas, where they live together once again.” That, he suggests, has happened.

The various Sunni awakenings demonstrate reconciliation at the local level, and their support for his national government. He claims that people who fled mixed Sunni-Shia areas are now returning (or are welcome to do so), and that the people now reject sectarianism in favor of national unity and his government. True, some politicians are still demanding reconciliation, but he dismisses them as “minor political parties” whose tiresome complaints now fall on deaf ears with the people.

…this amounts to a public declaration by Maliki that there will be no further efforts to achieve political reconciliation. Don’t expect any more national reconciliation in the form of “legislation” or “benchmarks”, Maliki is signaling.
What Maliki said was that reconciliation is complete in the Shiites won. Of course the Sunnis probably don't see it that way and knowing now that they are not going to get anything more from the Shia controlled government I wonder how much longer before they start using those shiny new weapons that Petraeus just gave them. If the current reduction in violence is actually real this is probably just the eye of the hurricane not the end of it.

Cross Posted at Middle Earth Journal

There's more: "The Calm Before The Storm?" >>

Pakistan: Close To The Edge

Benazir Bhutto speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
London, UK, July 20th, 2007
(Click the "Open Tools" button for program chapters within the video)

Alok Bansal, Research Fellow at New Delhi's Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis.
Musharraf's last gamble
The decision by Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf to declare emergency is the desperate attempt of an autocrat to cling to power. In the process he has irreparably damaged the foundations of constitutionalism in Pakistan, which were never strong to begin with. His actions will not only erode Pakistani state's authority but may sound the death knell for the Islamic Republic.
Also from Bansal,
60 Years of Pakistan
As Pakistan completes 60 years of existence, it is passing through a critical phase. The state's writ does not run over almost half its territory. Most people consider themselves as Sindhis, Baloch, Pakhtoons, Mohajirs and Punjabis first rather than as Pakistanis. Pakistan as a nation is kept together artificially by the only institution that functions - the army.

Despite belated attempts by the judiciary to assert its independence, the fact is that for most part of Pakistan's existence the courts have been dysfunctional and came out with the bizarre 'Doctrine of Necessity' to justify military coups. Pakistan's greatest tragedy has been that barring the armed forces or army to be specific, no other credible institution has emerged. The judiciary, legislature and bureaucracy-all have crumbled during Pakistan's six decades' journey.
Sub-nationalism emerged as a serious threat to the Pakistani state. Islamic fundamentalists challenge the writ of the government across the length and breadth of Pakistan. Islamabad's frequent flip-flops on the foreign policy front and frequent incursions by American armed forces within Pakistani territory have compromised its sovereignty in the eyes of its citizens.
Given that history it is not too far a stretch to assume that all of Rice and Bush's protestations are nothing but smoke, mirrors, and bullshit to feed the American public, and that they helped orchestrate Musharraf's martial law, to anger Islamic fundamentalists within the country and destabilize Pakistan as much as possible.

It would not surprise me to find that at least some in the administration, particularly in Cheney's camp, would like nothing better than an Islamic fundamentalist coup or takeover of nuclear armed Pakistan to give them the perfect excuse for cranking up the WOT rhetoric again, nuking Pakistan, and Iran next door. The rapturists on Bush's side of the aisle would love it as well.

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired),
yesterday at-Largely:
Musharraf has not said how long the emergency will be in effect. This is not to be confused with the state of emergency Mr. Bush declared in his country on September 14, 2001 that is still in effect and will be for the indefinite future. These two states of emergency are completely different, of course. Mr. Bush declared an emergency after terrorists attacked two major cities in his country. Mr. Musharraf declared an emergency as terrorists threatened to take control of his country.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has accused Musharraf of using the specter of terror to maintain his hold on power. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore has accused Bush of using the threat of terror to commit "a gross and excessive power grab."
America is the first true global hegemon in the history of humanity. Pakistan is not and never will be. America has the largest economy of the world's nations, posting an estimate gross domestic product of over $13 trillion in 2006. Pakistan's 2006 economy, at just under $438 billion, was 26th among the world's countries, and less than four percent the size of America's.

And yet, amazingly, Pakistan can get whatever it wants from America while America can't get anything it wants from Pakistan (see, I told you the two countries were different!). Condi Rice is reviewing whether or not we should try to make Musharraf behave by cutting off his allowance, but as Senator Joe Biden (R-Delaware) has astutely noted, our "hands are tied" from cutting Pakistan's foreign aid because, despite Condi's assertions to the contrary, the Bush administration has in fact put "all its chips" on Musharraf.

That brings up a couple more differences between America and Pakistan. If Musharraf falls from power, Pakistan's nuclear weapons might fall under the control of known lunatics, while America's nuclear weapons are already under the control of known lunatics.
And who do we have to handle this situation? Condoleezza Rice and her department full of career diplomats who don't want to deploy to Iraq, the invasion of which created the foreign policy pickle barrel we now find ourselves in.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, bless this bed that we lie on…

And you thought I was was MAD?

There's more: "Pakistan: Close To The Edge" >>

Monday, November 5, 2007

Waterboard the candidates, let's get the truth, start with Rudy

The next time Michael Mukasey is called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee I suggest that he be strapped to a stretcher, a rag placed in his mouth and water poured in the rag until he begins to answer completely and truthfully the questions put to him by the committee.

Now that waterboarding has become an accepted form of interrogation in these United States, I recommend that it be utilized not only with Mukasey, but with all future witnesses before committees of the congress. I think that there are subpoenas kicking around out there for Condi Rice and other executive department figures who have been less than forthcoming in past appearances, so perhaps as our favorite republican tough guy Rudy Giuliani says, we should question them aggressively.

It might be a good idea if the voting public were able to use the same technique in questioning the presidential candidates on their positions. For the rest of the debates all candidates should be wheeled in strapped to stretchers and aggressively questioned using this simulated drowning method.

Using these methods we may begin to get the truth from our "public servants" and declared wannabes.

This will not work in Atlanta however, they don't have enough water at the moment to achieve any kind of satisfactory results.

Bob Higgins
Worldwide Sawdust

There's more: "Waterboard the candidates, let's get the truth, start with Rudy" >>

Dems to roll over, play dead, on Iraq with blank check

Raw Story reports that Congressional Dems are poised to pass an Iraq funding blank check:

"Democratic leaders continue to fear GOP attacks that cutting off or slowing funds would hurt the troops, despite anger among the Democratic base over the party’s failure to use Congress’ power of the purse to end the war," reports Roll Call’s Steven T. Dennis.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-WI) have said they won't consider a supplemental funding bill that doesn't include timelines for troop withdrawals. But, Dennis reports, "Democrats are quietly preparing to give the president enough spending flexibility to keep the war going anyway," for as long as six more months.

Is it any wonder that more and more true progressives are getting frustrated with the Democrats? I would mention third-party voting, but, of course, that would mean I have blood on my hands. (Sarcasm alert.)

There's more: "Dems to roll over, play dead, on Iraq with blank check" >>