Saturday, April 05, 2003

Shit! Fuck! Fuckshit, shitfuck and all their possible combinations!*

* (apologies to Joe Schultz in heaven)

Friday, April 04, 2003

More hate (and illogic) on the right.

At least Kerry served. And was decorated. The Freepers' Fuhrer hid in the Air Guard, and quite possibly deserted from it.
Hate on the left. Hate on the right. I’m sick of both.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

On this score we're with Richard Ackland who wrote the following in Friday's SMH: "You can forget any semblance of journalism from Mr Murdoch's Fox News because it is so far embedded that its performance is positively unhygenic".


They have some frigging gorgeous anchors, though. (Homoerotic note: even the male anchors wear LOTS of makeup. For my gay, drag-leaning readers.) While channel-surfing last night, I discovered that the little-used Donna Fiducia has AWESOME legs. Of course, cheesecake is part of Ailes/Rupert's thing, isn't it?

Kiran Chetry is the cutest, though. She's, like, real cute. Not in the league of the PGOAT, of course, but then ... who is?
Pfc. Jessica Lynch, rescued Tuesday from an Iraqi hospital, fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers after Iraqi forces ambushed the Army's 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company, firing her weapon until she ran out of ammunition, U.S. officials said yesterday.

I like this kid. By all accounts, a classy little spitfire. And her family was impressive, I thought. She'll be fine.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Of those that were confirmed, 59 percent suffered neglect, 18 percent were physically abused, 10 percent were sexually abused and 7 percent were psychologically maltreated.

Consistent with previous years, 81 percent of perpetrators were parents.

20 years. Minimum. Mandatory.
This bitch states, and I quote: I still hate Al Gore

Then proceeds to go off on a long rant about being pissed off about Gore defending the Dixie Chicks. Now, all Natalie Maines said was that she was ashamed that the first Shrub is from Texas. (which he's not, I would argue) So what set her off was that Gore is defending one of a group of performers for basically saying she hates Shrub. Yet she hates Gore and that's OK. Hmmm ...

Via InstaCracker, TV star, of course.
Freeper Madness: I'm OK on the 6, but the rest of this speaks volumes about the wingnut right. Read what they say. Read the wargasms over body parts. Speaks for itself ...
THE Al-Jazeera satellite TV service is suspending the work of its journalists in Iraq after authorities banned one correspondent from working and asked another to leave.

Hmmmmmmmm ...
Everyone's favorite nutcase, Ann Coulter, apparently thinks that retired four-star general Wesley K. Clark isn't qualified to speak to the state of the war in Iraq. She writes (probably the wrong choice of verb, as this reads like it was written by Coulter's intern):

Ann Coulter is un-American and a terrorist. She publicly stated she wanted to blow up the New York Times. Why isn't she in jail?
Each "prostitute" starts the game penniless with a "slavery contract" forcing them to pay up to 90% of their earnings to their pimps.
If the dice roll their way, they land a week's earnings in one go, win a trip to work in Amsterdam or are rescued by a client.

Its inventor, Daniela Mannu, said: "Everything in the game is true. The idea is to give people an idea of what prostitutes are up against in this country."

Poor babies ...
Saying that more than condoms and a vaccine are needed to prevent Aids, the Gates Foundation has pledged US$60 million ($110.17 million) to help spur the development of a cream women could use to protect themselves from the virus.

How about some personal responsibility and self-control? Just a thought ...

“The bottom line is I don't trust this president and his advisors.” -- California Democrat Rep. Pete Stark

Update: Veeeeeeerrrrrry illuminating article in today's USA Today McNewspaper: Rather, the president's passion is motivated by his loathing for Saddam's brutality, aides say. He talks often about his revulsion for Saddam's use of torture, rape and executions. He is convinced that the Iraqi leader is literally insane and would gladly give terrorists weapons to use to launch another attack on the United States.
The thought of another assault on the United States horrifies Bush. Aides say he believes history and heaven will judge him by his ability to prevent one.

Update Redux: And this from the Boston Globe: Yet George W. Bush just floats above it all, popularity ratings surprisingly intact. How does he do it?

Redux Redux: Now, as more and more Americans are rapidly coming to realize, the don't-mess-with-Texas swagger was only half of Bush's personality; the other half was the lip-biting, scared little kid who covers up his insecurities with macho, chest-beating bravado. He is the prototypical paradox: an egomaniac with an inferiority complex. None of this would really matter if Bush, aka The Duh, were where he's supposed to be -- luxuriating as a private citizen, perhaps writing a book on his failed bid to become president -- but through some tragically twisted circumstance, he's found himself in a position where he is able to alter the destiny of the entire planet. Yet infinitely worse, every decision he makes -- in that it is coming from that place of ego-driven insecurity -- is the exact opposite of the reasoned, compassionate, measured, rational response the world desperately needs. And confounding the problem even further, he has neither the knowledge, expertise, nor the abstract reasoning ability -- irrespective of his flawed personality profile -- to make the correct decision. Never in my lifetime have I witnessed a president, time after time, make the exact wrong call on every single issue. Lately I'm afraid to pick up the morning paper for fear of yet another foolhardy decision from the blundering Baron of Brinksmanship. --
Posted by frank at April 2, 2003 06:53 AM

Hey, I didn't say it. Frank said it.
President Bush's aides did not forcefully present him with dissenting views from CIA and State and Defense Department officials who warned that U.S.-led forces could face stiff resistance in Iraq, according to three senior administration officials.
Instead, Bush embraced predictions of top administration hawks, beginning with Vice President Dick Cheney, who predicted Iraqis would joyously greet coalition troops as liberators and that the entire conflict might be over in a matter of weeks, the officials said.
Dissenting views "were not fully or energetically communicated to the president," said one top official, who, like the others, requested anonymity. "As a result, almost every assumption the plan's based on looks to be wrong."
As witness after witness addressed the commission, several gnawing questions were either articulated or implied: Who, if anyone, would ever be held responsible for failing to stop the attacks? Did the commission have the authority to truly make changes? And would a world focused on the latest war have the stomach, or the attention span, to listen again to the facts surrounding Sept. 11?

The Shrub administration's blatant failure will be whitewashed. Don't get me started ... So he got a briefing on possible "traditional" hijackings by Al Qaeda and did nothing. So he never said, "this happened on my watch". On and on and on. This administration had warnings and blew it. Will they pay? Hell no.
It's not even an American occupation; it's an AEI occupation. Every made-man in the gang gets his own ministry apparently. Maybe they'll set up an Iraqi Defense Policy Board that Richard Perle can run in Baghdad. I hear he's on the market again. Ken Adelman, Ministry of Pastries?

Now we know where all those discredited cakewalk Iraq-hawks are headed. They're going to Baghdad to run the occuption.

I have to agree, and to phrase it into the form of a "news tip," I advise you treat any factual report by Fox News as coming directly from the word processor of the White House Press Office or Republican National Committee until independently confirmed. Even actual incidents will be framed and edited to appear unambiguous where ambiguity undercuts the Administration, and clouded where clarity would undercut the Administraion. The Iraq source will probably turn out to be a Pakistani telecommunications engineer who works at the Verizon building down the street from the New York Fox.

Remember the Texas sodomy case that was argued before the Supreme Court last week? Here are the basic facts of the case:

A panicky neighbour had just called to say that a man with a gun was “going crazy” in John Lawrence's apartment. But when police burst in they found, not a crazed gunman, but Mr Lawrence and his friend Tyron Garner having sex. Relieved and no doubt red-faced, the cops might have slipped away. Instead, they arrested the two men under Texas's rarely-enforced Homosexual Conduct Law and held them overnight in jail.
Several conservative groups filed amicus briefs supporting the law. The one by the Family Research Council sums up the major arguments in favor: "(1) The law has historically respected and protected the marital union and has distinguished it from acts outside that union, such as fornication, adultery and sodomy. To extend to homosexual sodomy the same protections given to the marital union would undermine the definition of marriage and could lead to homosexual marriage; (2) In order to recognize a non-textual constitutional right to sodomy, the Court must find sodomy to be deeply rooted in the nation's history and tradition. In fact, laws banning sodomy are deeply rooted in our nation's history and tradition; (3) Protecting marriage, upholding morality and seeking to ensure public health is more than enough for Texas to prove it has a `rational basis' behind its law . . ."
I'm really tired of this kind of smug yapping from conservative columnists. The reason Burk harps on Augusta National is because no one pays attention to her when she's talking about substantive issues. Make a speech about, say, the difficulty that single working women have finding decent childcare — and the media yawns. And National Review ignores it. Start a campaign to get women admitted to their precious golf club, though, and you get attention that most organizations can only dream of. So if Mowbray really wants to cut down on the frivolity, maybe he should pay a little more attention to feminist substance.
This should be a major scandal:

So with a $75 billion (and counting) war under way and a multibillion-dollar reconstruction plan on the drawing board, hawks on advisory panels are well-positioned. Perle, with fellow Defense Advisory Board members Henry A. Kissinger and Gerald P. Hillman, already has set up a venture-capital firm, Trireme Partners, to invest in defense and homeland-security companies. "It looks like hell," says Charles Lewis, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity. "We're waging war, and a number of the people serving on these bodies stand to make money from it."

But, for some reason, it is not. Apparently, Republicans and the press only care about sex, not war profiteers. There is simply no excuse for allowing these kinds of conflicts of interest. Any government that was interested in the best advice for the country would be aggressively weeding these people out - in fact, it would not have allowed them to take these positions to begin with.
Here is another fact that the civics texts won't play up: If not for pervasive and systematic race-based discrimination, black and Hispanic students would be few and far between in many of the country's top universities and professional schools. Some of those schools might look almost as if they were clubs for whites and Asians. If an elite university today wants blacks or Hispanics in anything like the proportions that its graduates will encounter in the real world, it must discriminate based on race, or else it must use other stratagems to similar effect. Or else—tough.
Relations will be further rent by a second poll, in Le Monde, showing that only a third of the French felt that they were on the same side as the Americans and British, and that another third desired outright Iraqi victory over “les anglo-saxons”.
Meanwhile, Iraq's government-in-waiting, which the US is setting up under great secrecy in Kuwait, is beset by political turmoil. Pentagon hardliners appear to be mounting a coup d'etat even before the government has any territory to control.

Apart from the attempt by Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defence secretary, to install Ahmed Chalabi, the failed Iraqi banker, and his cronies in advisory positions (since all the ministerial posts will be filled by Americans), the Pentagon has also ousted eight senior officials nominated by the US state department.

The Pentagon is seeking to replace the state department people, who include several ambassadors, with a bunch of neo-conservative hawks - most notably James Woolsey, a former CIA director.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

I've heard this criticism a number of times. But I'm not quite sure what to make of it. The idea seems to be that there is something brazen or illegitimate about being serious-minded about national security and comfortable with the use of military force in foreign affairs and yet still not willing to sign on to the party line of the Weekly Standard. What does this mean exactly? I can't for the life of me see the problem with being a "hawk" on some issues and yet still resisting very point of enthusiasm or ridiculousness that this or that "neo-con" signs on to.

All I can figure with Sullivan, in this case, is that he wants to create a false dualism in which everybody is either a neo-con, a fellow traveler of neo-cons, or else some hopelessly soft-headed peacenik who secretly longs for Saddam's affection. I can see where this would make the debate easier. But I don't think it's a realistic view of the situation.

It's very important that the American people know that people in this administration acted recklessly and unwisely since that's the best way to prevent it from happening again.
Just an opportunistic thug.
On Fox, asking obvious questions about the war is “totally inappropriate” (Brit Hume), “close to disgraceful” (William Kristol), and “idiotic,” “stupid” and moronic” (Tony Snow). Meanwhile, “American liberalism and the Democratic Party” are riddled with people who comprise an “anti-American left,” who “take a certain relish in the fact when something goes badly in the war” and who “hate the Bush administration more than they love America.” Here’s a taste of the rancid discussion on yesterday’s Fox News Sunday:

Sorry hypocritical bastards. I hate these guys.
Freepers may be onto something here:

To: ewing
With a strength in excess of 47,000 Marines and Sailors, II MEF is representative of the largest and most powerful Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). II MEF is comprised of four basic components: (1) II MEF Command Element containing personnel and equipment necessary for effective planning and execution of operations; (2) a ground combat element - the 2d Marine Division; (3) aviation combat element - the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing; and (4) a combat service support element - the 2d Force Service Support Group.
I remember hearing that Jordan had closed off a large part of their country. Without looking at a map, wouldn't this allow us to offload II MEF in Isreal and drive through Isreal, Jordan and on to Bugdead ? I know that we had USMC MPS ships parked in the Med, and they could have flown the Marines over to grab their gear and go.
Globalsecurity is a very reliable source, I hope their are right about this. Two thirds of the USMC...Those rock chuckers are about to learn the hard way that our God IS God !
12 posted on 03/26/2003 4:21 PM PST by SENTINEL (Active participant in the animating contest of freedom !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]
To: ewing
How reliable is this source? Doesn't surprise me if it is a genuine report, because having re-watched the Schwartzkopf "Gulf War Briefing," he was positively gloating that the idiot media bought the entire deception---and in fact, counted on deceiving the media as a way to deceive the Iraqis. I'd be surprised if that isn't the case here, too.
16 posted on 03/26/2003 4:24 PM PST by LS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]
From the above post (3/21/03):
"It may come as quite a shock, but thunderous silence does not mean that all's quiet on the Iraqi western front. "The surprise is not the attack on Baghdad or the advance from Kuwait. The surprise will come from Jordan," a top Jordanian source who requested anonymity told Asia Times Online."
20 posted on 03/26/2003 4:27 PM PST by EarlyBird (The wheel is turning -- it's time for them to go.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies ],3To: An.American.Expatriate
Is there a sucker punch coming from the North?
Fact one: The coalition captured the H2 and H3 airfields in western Iraq on the first day of the war. And they took care to bomb the refueling station that is halfway between Baghdad and the Jordanian border--a target seemingly of no immediate military significance.
Fact two: Since that time, there has been virtually no reporting out of that area. There are also virtually no refugees leaving Iraq for Jordan, although thousands were expected, and the Jordanians built a campt to house them (which remains virtually empty).
Fact three: There are at least elements of a Second Marine Expeditionary force in the middle east. But there has been no reporting regarding the same. For a rare exception, see,3
Fact four: The coalition is now engaging in a series of what are described as probing attacks, which appear to be designed to lure the Republican Guard units north of Baghdad into moving south to reinforce those units south of Baghdad. Recent reports confirm that the Iraqis have in fact been sending these units south.
Speculation: The coalition has assembled a force in western Iraq, north of the H2/H3 airfields. As soon as Centcomm determines that the RG divisions have in fact been drawn south, they will launch an attack from the "spearhead" sufficient to hold their attention/keep them in place. And then the force assembled in western Iraq will pivot round the lakes to the west of Baghdad, and walk in--essentially unopposed--from the north, hitting the Republican Guards in the rear.
This would amount to holding the Republican Guards by the nose, while kicking them in the ass. (George S. Patton). It could lead to the destruction of the Iraqi army as a fighting force in a fairly short period of time, the fall of Baghdad without house to house fighting--everything that the US government could ask for.
Is this possible? Or is it just a figment of my fevered imagination?
I posted this earlier today, but thought it worth reposting in this most excellent thread, for what it is worth.
50 posted on 03/31/2003 9:11 PM PST by TheConservator (Veni, vidi, vici!--G. W. "Julius" Bush.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]
The II Marine Expeditionary Force is now believed to be located in Jordan. This analysis is based on news reports coming out of North Carolina indicating that some 11,000 Marines in addition to the 2nd MEB have departed Camp Lejeune. Props to Craig Crofoot for calling this some weeks ago.
"We're absolutely sick and tired of putting things out and finding they're not true. The misinformation in this war is far and away worse than any conflict I've covered, including the first Gulf war and Kosovo," said a senior BBC news source.
The reason: No one wanted to miss out on the chance to be the first to rebuild Iraq. As the corporate giants well know, the $600 million is merely the initial installment of what promises to be a much bigger sum.

Make money tearing it down, make money building it back up. The world is one giant business deal.
"There's clearly a view that the conduct of foreign policy in a multilateral context, led by the United States, has been de-emphasized, and that this isn't a good way to go about doing things," said one person familiar with the argument made by the former GOP officials. "There are fissures in the administration on the bigger point of what kind of diplomacy are we going to be conducting and how does our military force need to be shaped to respond to that foreign policy."
So what makes Karimov so freedom loving that he gets to hang out in Bush's club of willing "free" nations?
One word: oil.

Damn ugly Americans.
The war against Iraq could exact a "very high price" in American lives, a high-ranking military official told CBS News Monday.

The United States is "prepared to pay a very high price. If that means a lot of casualties, there will be a lot of casualties," said the official, who spoke only on background.

"There's going to come a time when things may be much more shocking," the official said.
Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Lieberman said Monday that he will push a Senate bill that would extend benefits to partners of gay federal employees.

Good for Lieberman! But dig the Freepers' responses ...
In the months preceding the war, President Bush was largely silent on the subject of the conflict's cost, duration and dangers, while key administration officials and advisers presented upbeat forecasts. Vice President Cheney, for example, predicted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's troops would "step aside" and that the conflict would be "weeks rather than months," a phrase repeated by other top officials. Others in advisory roles in the administration predicted Iraqi soldiers would "throw in the towel" and Hussein would collapse like "a house of cards" -- phrases senior administration officials often echoed in private.
The next morning, Shane asked, "How do you think Americans would respond to Iraqi civilians accidentally stranded in their community three days after Iraqi aircraft had destroyed their town?"

Fucking morons.

I hope those stitches hurt Cliff Kindy like hell.

"Cease fire!" Johnson yelled over the radio. Then, as he peered into his binoculars from the intersection on Highway 9, he roared at the platoon leader, "You just [expletive] killed a family because you didn't fire a warning shot soon enough!"
Fifteen Iraqi civilians were packed inside the Toyota, officers said, along with as many of their possessions as the jammed vehicle could hold. Ten of them, including five children who appeared to be under 5 years old, were killed on the spot when the high-explosive rounds slammed into their target, Johnson's company reported. Of the five others, one man was so severely injured that medics said he was not expected to live.

KING: Thank you, Nic. Nic Robertson at the Jordanian-Iraqi border.

Let's go to Mike Boettcher, the CNN correspondent embedded with U.S. Special Operations Forces in southeastern Iraq. What do we hear from your vantage point, Mike?

MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, tonight relatively quiet. Volleys to the north, south, east and west on Basra and I am on the outskirts of Basra.

But even when it's quiet, there's a lot going on out there. I am with Special Operations Forces on the outskirts of Basra. And we were invited along to see their psychological operations. Quite interesting, Larry.

They use one Humvee with a speaker combined with one British tank and four armored vehicles and then they turn that speaker on which has the soundtrack of many minitanks rolling through the desert and it sounds like an entire division of tanks. Now, this is designed to make the Iraqis think that the attack on Basra has begun.

In addition to this, they fire flares in the air and then the tank, that singular tank, will open up with a volley of fire occasionally. Occasionally they take fire back from mortars or artillery or machine guns from the Iraqi side. But, according to the Special Operations Forces, it keeps the Iraqis on edge. They don't know when an attack is going to come. They think it's coming. It make them move when they don't want to move and see things that actually are not there, Larry.

KING: Mike, why would the special forces allow you to show this?

BOETTCHER: Well, because it is a matter of deception, they say.

If the Iraqis see this, and they will, this particular story, and have, I would assume, they might just let their guard down the next time. And the next time it could be a recording again, and the next time it could be real and it will be real some day, according to coalition sources here.

KING: For you, Mike, what is being with Special Forces entail?

BOETTCHER: Well, it's -- you know, Larry, it's very unique because this has never been done before to this extent in history. This is usually a force that calls itself the quiet force. They -- they are a bunch of guys and women, in some respects, but not at this particular base, who conduct missions that are done entirely in secret. So as a reporter, walking in here, it was a unique experience for me and for them.

But they are and have been terrific. I think that they conduct so many different kinds of operations that no one has ever heard about and we hope to tell you about in the coming days that they have -- I have kind of warmed to the idea of people actually seeing what they do out here. Not everything, of course. We won't be able to show everything. But it is an amazing group of people to work with.

KING: They are, I would gather, unusual people.

BOETTCHER: You know, Larry, they're unusual.

The movies portray these guys as kicking in doors, you know, and firing weapons, the Steven Segal sort of thing. But frankly a lot of them are brainiacs. I mean, they're very smart. They look for free thinkers, people who think on the move. And it's not so much their skills with weapons that they look for, it's their skill with their mind. And these guys are very, very smart.

Monday, March 31, 2003

And ... It's OPENING DAY!* Finally. Baseball heals a lot of wounds.

* (The Rangers don't count; I'm an Astros fan.)
The University of Texas men's basketball team became the final Final Four team on Sunday, dodging Michigan State to claim the NCAA South Regional in front of 30,169 at the Alamodome. The No. 1 seed Longhorns snatched the lead with 11 minutes left in the first half, kept it for good and — as the UT trumpets and trombones blew "When The Saints Go Marching In" — snipped apart the net, piece by piece, holding in their hands a little strand of Texas history.
"I've never felt this good before," said sophomore center Jason Klotz, a member of the first Texas men's basketball team to go this far in the NCAA tournament.
The Longhorns' 85-76 victory over the seventh-seeded Spartans sends them to New Orleans to play Syracuse on Saturday in the national semifinal.

Texas Fight, Texas Fight,
And it's goodbye to A&M.
Texas Fight, Texas Fight,
And we'll put over one more win.
Texas Fight, Texas Fight,
For it's Texas that we love best.
Give ‘em Hell, Give ‘em Hell, Go Horns Go,
And it's good-bye to all the rest!
Yea Orange! Yea White!
Yea Longhorns! Fight! Fight! Fight!
Texas Fight! Texas Fight,
Yea Texas Fight!
Texas Fight! Texas Fight,
Yea Texas Fight!
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
All the livelong day.
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
You cannot get away.
Texas Fight, Texas Fight,
For it's Texas that we love best.
Give ‘em Hell, Give ‘em Hell, Go Horns Go,
And it good-bye to all the rest!

The intention is to swiftly enter Baghdad, sending a signal of allied success to the Iraqi people and cutting off the nerve centre coordinating resistance in the south. That is the plan President George Bush insisted on in a teleconference from Camp David on Saturday with Mr Rumsfeld; his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice; the CIA director, George Tenet, and others.

CBS pentagon correspondent David Martin -- a good one -- said on "60 Minutes" tonight that the push to Baghdad won't come for perhaps "another day". As in one. Hmmmm ...
For months, there has been a widespread assumption in Washington that, once the war with Iraq is successfully completed, Republicans will use the patriotic afterglow to push through the most controversial elements of Bush's domestic agenda. What virtually no one imagined was that they would begin doing so as soon as the war began. The GOP strategy was set out by a Republican leadership aide speaking anonymously to Roll Call this week. "As one evaluates the next three weeks," the aide said, "you have got to say, 'Okay, let's assume in a war context the public doesn't have an appetite for bickering and the president's approval is additional leverage."

I said it. Right here. Several weeks ago.
The US is 33% left, 33% right and 33% who is going to win American Idol 2?
John Wojtowicz

Well, sorta … Good line, though.

What the U.S. is doing in Afghanistan is "internationalizing" the nation-building process there, because we found we simply could not pull it off alone. Eventually, we will have to do the same in Iraq. That is what Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain came over to tell President Bush this past week. The Bush team keeps arguing that this silly alliance it cobbled together to fight the war in Iraq is multilateral and therefore the moral equivalent of the U.N. Nonsense. Other than Britain, we bought this alliance. Almost every government in it is operating without the support of its people. Fighting this war without international legitimacy is hard enough, but trying to do nation-building without it could be even harder.
Paul Wolfowitz, Rummy's deputy, conceded that the war planners may have underestimated the hardiness of the heartless Iraqi fighters.
This admission is galling. You can't pound the drums for war by saying Saddam is Hitler and then act surprised when he proves ruthless on the battlefield.
"In the councils of government, we must guard against
the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or
unsought, by the military- industrial complex."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower Farewell Address
January 17, 1961
In all, at least nine of the board's 30 members are linked to companies that won more than $76 billion in contracts with the Defense Department over the past two years, raising concerns that they might be using their public office for private gain, according to a report released yesterday by the Center for Public Integrity.
"It's not a pretty picture," said Charles Lewis, the nonprofit group's executive director. "It is a picture of what has long been suspected of the incestuousness between the defense industry and the Pentagon."

French bashing has cropped up even in Louisiana, the bastion of Cajun and Creole culture that for weeks resisted the anti-French feelings that surfaced when French President Jacques Chirac refused to support the war in Iraq.
Some 30 Arab and European TV channels, monitored in Jordan, are a collage of bleeding Iraqi civilians, dead toddlers discovered in a Baghdad morgue by their desperate parents, gory shots of body parts and wounded in blood-soaked bandages moaning their pain from dirty hospital cots -- all broadcast every hour, around the clock.
This article should not be entitled:
Pentagon Adviser Is Stepping Down
It should be entitled "Bush Administration official allowed to remain on Pentagon Advisory Board Despite Conflict of Interest" That is the real story.

The threat to allied forces by fighters—even single fighters—loyal to Saddam was illustrated last Saturday morning when an Iraqi suicide bomber killed four G.I.s at a checkpoint north of the central Iraqi city of Najaf. A senior intelligence official told TIME that the U.S. believes its forces are also under threat from Mujahidin-e Khalq, a militant Iranian group that operates in southern Iraq opposed to the government in Tehran. "That will be an important thing to watch," says the official. "They've been generously supplied and supported by the [Iraqi] regime."


"The war ultimately will boil down to how many of our soldiers we are willing to sacrifice to keep dead Iraqi civilians off al-Jazeera," says a Navy officer at the Pentagon. Defense officials say that as the battle for Baghdad is joined in coming weeks, the U.S.'s unusually tight restrictions on target selection may be relaxed. Notes a Pentagon official: "We won't announce it." In the chaos of the battlefield, the old rules of engagement have already been tossed out. Lieut. Colonel Wes Gillman, commander of Task Force 130 of the 3rd Infantry Division, told his men, "If you see an Iraqi in civilian clothes coming toward you—even with a stick—shoot it."


If the U.S. cannot be made to halt the war through shame, Saddam hopes to try pain. U.S. military-intelligence officials believe the Iraqi command circulated copies of the movie Black Hawk Down before the war, as a manual for defeating the Americans. The film tells the story of the 18 U.S. Army Rangers who were killed by Somalis while attempting to rescue comrades from two helicopters downed in Mogadishu in 1993. The casualties prompted the U.S. to wind up its military operation in Somalia. The Iraqis may hope that similar scenes of Americans being bloodied in the streets of Baghdad would bring the same result.,9171,1101030407-438861,00.html
For months, there has been a widespread assumption in Washington that, once the war with Iraq is successfully completed, Republicans will use the patriotic afterglow to push through the most controversial elements of Bush's domestic agenda. What virtually no one imagined was that they would begin doing so as soon as the war began. The GOP strategy was set out by a Republican leadership aide speaking anonymously to Roll Call this week. "As one evaluates the next three weeks," the aide said, "you have got to say, 'Okay, let's assume in a war context the public doesn't have an appetite for bickering and the president's approval is additional leverage."


The White House is trying to stamp out this disturbing outbreak of public-mindedness by making a fairly novel argument: It would be unpatriotic not to cut taxes. Wartime, according to this administration, demands that we put aside our partisan differences and unite behind the president so he can complete the crucial job of starving the government of the funds it needs to prosecute the war.
Monday's reads "Pray that the President and his advisers will be strong and courageous to do what is right regardless of critics".

"Mr. Bush has lost us. We are gone. Enough. That's the end," said Diaa Rashwan, head of the comparative politics unit at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo. "If America starts winning tomorrow, there will be suicide bombing that will start in America the next day. It is a whole new level now."
Small stuff, but another indication that the government's official spokesmen -- military and civilian -- are too often putting out political spin instead of information.

I believe we had no choice but to disarm Saddam, but rallying public support with all that spin about how easy it would be, worried me from the start.

That's why it bothered me when the Army's top ground commander in Iraq said the enemy wasn't reacting the way we expected and official spokesmen dismissed his comments as if he were a campaign operative who had gotten off message.

One official spokesman even suggested the general didn't have the big picture. Excuse me -- the top ground commander didn't have the big picture?

If the administration wants to be believed, and that will be necessary to hold public support, the message it needs to stay on is to forget the spin, acknowledge mistakes, stick to the truth and get on with winning the war.
KENT: Yes, I think there comes a point where putting a brave face on things becomes a shameful charade. Look, Larry, remember a year ago Afghanistan. There was a lesson, undermanned, not enough men on the ground, two-thirds of the al Qaeda leadership gets away. They're still at large. Up to 10,000 al Qaeda fighters slipped through the net after all that bombing that we saw that looked so impressive on the air.

The fact of the matter is that we've heard from some very distinguished figures, both serving and retired, that not enough troops were sent out here. Look, here's one thing I can tell you because I was with General Schwarzkopf's force reserve in the 1991 Gulf War.

Tommy Franks has no force reserve. He does not have that extra divisional knock out punch in his back pocket, and he has as we saw with the redeployment order this week, only half the troops that would have been necessary to make this the kind of quick, decisive, and merciful in the view of the Iraqi civilians campaign that of course we were promised it was going to be at the outset.

KING: We know on this program Colonel Hackworth has been a critic and we'll bring him in in a minute. But, Colonel Lang, what do you make of all this back and forth disparaging reporting?

COL. PATRICK LANG, U.S. ARMY (RET.), FMR. SPEC. FORCES OFC.: Well, I think and have thought right along that this plan was built on a hope around Washington, a political hope that was enforced with a kind of theological certitude and rammed down the throat of everybody around including all the ground force, senior ground force officers.

And that was the hope in fact, the belief that the Iraqis would welcome us with open arms and everything would be just great and that drove the decision in spite of commitments to the contrary, the decision to send only about half the force that should have been sent.

So, as a result we're now deep in Iraq with too small a force and I don't buy at all Colonel Bright's assertion that the Iraqis don't have a cohesive plan. It seems to me they have a very cohesive plan.

Their plan is to draw us into battle around their capital and fight a war of attrition against us while they do their best to chop our lines of supply to bits all the way down behind us with units of the regular army who didn't surrender and all these militias and all this stuff, you know. That's what I think about it. KING: Colonel Hackworth, have you been proven right based on your criticism the last two nights because the reports are contradictory?

COL. DAVID HACKWORTH, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Well, my sources are there and they're not the spinners that belong to the liar's club, and I check with them and they tell me what's going on and it's not like being on the battlefield but my sources are young officers who really know what's going on and they're only interested in one thing is keeping their troops alive.

The bottom line is Saddam is saying, said years ago publicly he was going to fight this war differently. He told his people to arm themselves and prepare for guerilla warfare and that's exactly what he's doing. Our own CIA presented this intelligence to Secretary Rumsfeld at the Pentagon and it was just totally ignored.

KING: But, Hack, a week ago you thought this was going to be a slam dunk.

HACKWORTH: If we had the combat force that we were supposed to have. The president of the United States authorized eight divisions. Of those eight divisions, less than half of them are there. Rumsfeld thought he could go on the war on the cheap.

The end of result of that, Larry, is that we don't have sufficient forces to do the job. And so, it is right now, we're between a rock and a hard place. We don't have the forces to keep our supply lines open and we don't have the forces to give our troops a rest.

You can't take combat troops, infantry and tankers, and work them night and day and that's what's happening. They've got to have a rest.


AL-AZZAWI: Commenting about what Mr. Hackworth said, and that is the liar's club, this operation, this plan was in one way or another as it unfolds is flawed because it was based on an assumption and that is the Iraqis are not going to fight.

Perhaps this idea was embedded in the heads of senior planners or senior American officials by a gentleman called Ahmed Chelobi (ph). He's Iraqi. He's the head of Iraqi coalition Congress. He's a very shady character. He was indicted in Jordan for embezzlement of $200 million. To his last dying days, King Hussein when he was asked please forgive him and let him go he said no. Short of bringing the money I'm not going to.

The reason why I bring up Mr. Chelobi is because he was the darling of the Pentagon. He convinced many, many senior officials and perhaps Mr. Rumsfeld that he has contacts with Iraqi generals, with senior Iraqi planners.

They are the (unintelligible). They are the people surrounding Saddam Hussein and he knows them very well and he can assure the U.S. that as soon as you come in there is going to be a revolt. There is going to be a coup de tas and there is no need for a lot of soldiers.

The CIA very, very -- a short while ago they cut him loose. They understood that he was a liar and from this perspective this plan perhaps went awry and not enough American and British soldiers were inserted into the region because of this.

KING: David Ignatius in all fairness do you have any quotes from George Bush or Tony Blair or Don Rumsfeld that this would be quick and swift and that the Iraqis would be giving up and surrendering and turning against their leader?


KING: Do we ever have them definitely saying that, David?

IGNATIUS: Well, I don't have them in front of me, Larry, but you know I know that Dick Cheney said on the talk shows that this would be a matter of weeks and not months. And, you know, there was a view that this thing was going to fall, the phrase was like a house of cards.


KING: Colonel Lang, the obvious then, what does the coalition do now?

LANG: Well, there are two aspects of that. One is what they ought to do and the other is what they're probably going to do. In the area of what they ought to do in my opinion is we ought to forget about all this ridiculous nonsense that might have come from Ahmed (unintelligible). It was certainly believed wholeheartedly in Washington that everybody was going to throw down their arms and welcome us.

And we ought to get ready seriously to fight, not the siege of Baghdad because the United States is not going to encircle a city of five million people and starve them out. We're not going to do that.

In the end what we're going to have to do is we're going to have to fight out way through the Republican Guards into the city in order to remove the regime. To do that you'd have to bring up enough force. If that means waiting a month or two months until those reserves, which were denied us by the Pentagon after they had promised to send them out, that's what they should do.

But what are they going to do? It was quite obvious from the briefings today, which are very boring but you can learn something from listening to them, what we're going to do is we're going to wait a few days and then as General McChrystal said we're going to start attacking the Republican Guard, little piece here, little piece there, massive air power, destroy them a bit at a time, start chewing them up. That's what we're going to do and we're not going to wait for all these big Army formations to show up and this is going to cost a lot of men.

KING: We're going to take a break in a moment and then go to phone calls. But, Colonel Hackworth, does that then re-change your former predictions?

HACKWORTH: No, no. I think that the military must be absolutely misreading the tea leaves, Larry, because you know they don't understand that Colonel Bright said that he wasn't going to change his tactics when he got the car bomb.

By the way car bombs have been exploding in Israel for the last two decades. You've got to adjust with the tactic. We must understand that we're fighting a guerilla opponent. His main line units, his Republican Guard units, are not deployed in the force on force engagement exercise. They are broken down at company size units in villages. We're going to have to destroy the village so we're back to Vietnam. To save the village we have to destroy it.


KING: David Ignatius, do you see any drawing comparison here to Vietnam? I mean the colonel was there.

IGNATIUS: You know, I do, I see certainly in the way in which we got into this war, you know, a king of, you know, almost romanticism about the use of violence and what it was going to do. Every time I look at Donald Rumsfeld now I think Robert McNamara, you know the rimless glasses, the confidence, sometimes the arrogance.

You know my hope is that this is a different kind of entity. I still stick to this believe that the ordinary Iraqi detests this regime and you're going to hit a tipping point where enough Iraqis believe it's going to be over and they are, in fact, going to want to help end Saddam's rule over their lives. That's different from Vietnam.


HACKWORTH: The French conquered all of Indo China and they lost the war. WE had all of South Vietnam and we lost the war. It's a matter of having a sufficient balanced force to do the job. We need the divisions that the president authorized to bring to the war that Rumsfeld has decided he could do the war on the cheap and hasn't brought over.

Now the panic button is being pushed and we need those divisions but you don't move a division the size of the 1st Cav Division in a few days. It will probably be late April or May before they're on the battlefield. But believe me, we need far more troops, double what we have there on the ground.

Our presence there doesn't say that we're running the thing. If we were controlling the thing you wouldn't have a taxi drive up to the 1st Brigade of the 3rd Division and kill four soldiers today.


KENT: No but I think it's important. This idea about having an American viceroy in Baghdad, as Janine says, right out the window. Forget that one. It was always a laughable suggestion but after the setbacks and the carnage thus far and this protracted prospect of battle for weeks and months, forget that.

What should be happening, Larry, and the important for the American public is now to realize this is the importance of multi- lateralism of the United States exercising its traditional skill in being part of large alliances and holding those alliances together.

Instead, the Bush administration has had the Midas touch in reverse. Every old partnership and part of an alliance they touch turns to lead. You know, America's two closest neighbors, Mexico and Canada, sitting out this war, traditional allies like Norway, France sitting it out, and here, you know, in Spain, Italy, Australia, 70, 80 percent of the public standing against their political leaders who are part of this so-called coalition of the willing.

The fact of the matter is that the Bush administration had better get on the phone very quickly and reassemble its ties with those United Nations countries and try to lend some legitimacy to whatever administration can be cobbled together after the end of this outrage.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Addressing his Flemish Liberal-Democratic Party in Antwerpen, Belgian Prime
Minister Guy Verhofstadt said that the United States is a heavily wounded power, that has become very dangerous because of it and that believes it must take on the whole Arab world.

Yeah. So?
The Texas Longhorns are returning to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1990 after defeating Connecticut 82-78 Friday night.

To the delight of a "Texas Fight" chanting Alamodome crowd clad almost totally in orange, the Longhorns (25-6) earned the right to play Sunday for a chance to advance to the Final Four, a first in modern Longhorn men's basketball history.

Yeeeeeaaahhhhhh. My Horns came through, although they blew a 16-point lead. Beat Michigan State Sunday and it's on to New Orleans for the Final Four.

I was hoping Maryland would beat Michigan State because I wanted to play Maryland. I hate them for some reason. Terrapins. Sounds like some PGOAT school.