August 12, 2006

 The War Bush Isn't Fighting    
 By Eugene Robinson   

    When unsmiling agents at the airport take away your contact lens solution, your toothpaste, and your cologne or after-shave, remember Osama bin Laden. Remember the real war on terrorism that the Bush administration and its allies decided not to fight, preferring cowboy-style military adventures.     

The revelation yesterday of the elaborate plot to blow up airliners over the Atlantic Ocean with liquid explosives reminds us of the real threats we face - as opposed to the phantom threats that George W. Bush and Tony Blair have conjured to justify their disastrous war in Iraq.    

 The airliner conspiracy seems to have all the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda extravaganza: careful and sophisticated planning, the intent to shock the world with simultaneous detonations, cold-blooded determination to murder innocents by the hundreds, and a timeline that comes suspiciously close to the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Sending a cascade of Boeings and Airbuses into the frigid ocean would have had the kind of theatrical impact that al-Qaeda always seeks.  more...

August 11, 2006

U.K. Terror Plot Foiled Just a Day after Lieberman's Defeat. Coincidence?


The pattern continues. A terrorist plot is uncovered just as the masses start to question national security strategy. The day after Senate Democrats brought a vote to pull out of Iraq, we catch a few idiots in Miami who were supposedly trying to blow up the Sears Tower, despite the fact that they lacked the means and ability to do so. Then there were the guys busted for supposedly plotting to blow up a New York subway exactly a year after the London bus bombings. And don't forget the release of new Osama bin Laden tapes just before the 2004 election as well as the very day after the Supreme Court decision striking down the Guantanamo Bay military tribunals. And now today, a few men in England were arrested for a plan to blow up planes flying to America, just a day after Connecticut voters flatly rejected Joe Lieberman and the war in Iraq.

We certainly can't deny that there may have indeed been plans to commit these acts. But the timings of the arrest announcements are awfully suspicious. All three were still in the works and had been monitored for several months by very capable intelligence agencies. While the exact nature of today's arrests is still unclear, none of the plans seemed to have been immediate or imminent threats. The decision of when to intervene has been arbitrary, making the coincidental timings pretty convenient. more...

August 10, 2006

Lamont's Victory and Lieberman's Insult to Democracy
By David Sirota

Ned Lamont's crushing defeat of Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Senate primary shows that voters are hungry for change -- but Lieberman still fights for politics as usual.

At the end of every gut-wrenching horror movie, when the hero seems finally to have vanquished the enemy, there is always that last moment where the enemy, lying lifeless on the floor, finds a last gasp to fire off one final round, usually dealing a fatal blow to one of the good guys.

In the incredible story that concluded Tuesday night in Connecticut, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Ned Lamont was the successful hero, representing the hopes and dreams of ordinary citizens by mounting a truly grassroots campaign against Joe Lieberman's massive war chest of corporate cash and universal support from Washington, D.C.'s cabal of lobbyists, pundits and insiders. Yet, in his last coughing gasps, Lieberman is now saying he will, in fact, fire off that last spiteful round -- right into the gut of the Democratic Party.

That's right -- Lieberman is announcing he will move forward with plans to abuse loopholes in Connecticut's election laws, ignore Democratic Party voters who voted in our democratic process for change, and mount a Lieberman for Lieberman Independent bid. This, from the guy who went on television after the 2004 presidential race (which was closer than the Connecticut primary) to declare that "there's no prizes for second place in American politics." more...

August 9, 2006

Times Call for New Pentagon Papers
by Daniel Ellsberg  

According to recent opinion polls, most Iraqis don't believe that we're making things better or safer in their country. What does that say about the legitimacy of prolonged occupation, much less permanent American bases in Iraq? What does it mean for continued American patrols such as the one last November in Haditha, which, we now learn, led to the deaths of a Marine and 24 unarmed civilians?

Questions very much like these nagged at my conscience at the height of the Vietnam War, and led, eventually, to the publication of the Pentagon Papers in the summer of 1971, 35 years ago.

As a former Marine commander and defense analyst in 1970, I had exclusive access to highly classified defense documents for research purposes. They constituted a 47-volume, top-secret Defense Department history of American involvement in Vietnam titled U.S. Decision-making in Vietnam, 1945-68. The Pentagon Papers made it very clear that I, like the rest of the American public, had been misled about the origins and purposes of the war I had participated in. Today's troops in Iraq have also been misled, as 85 percent of them believed, according to a Zogby poll from March, that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11 and that he was allied with al-Qaeda. That period had several other similarities to this one. more...

August 8, 2006

Barbara and I saw An Inconvenient Truth yesterday. It's a great movie, though it does make me wonder where this Gore was during the 2000 election.

"Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb. If the vast majority of the world's scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced."


Has the De-Liebermanization of the Democratic Party Begun?
by John Zogby  

Connecticut Democrats will go to the polls on Tuesday and the choice will be a defining moment for both the Democratic Party and the nation. While I will stop short of a precise prediction, let me suggest that polling evidence shows that Senator Joseph Lieberman will lose the Senate primary to businessman Ned Lamont by a substantial margin.

Enough of a margin, in fact, to convince his Senate colleagues and friends that he should forego a promised independent run and bow out gracefully. We already see good friends like New Jersey's Frank Lautenberg suggesting that Lieberman will have to drop out and the pressure will build.

At the same time, we have seen Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton begin the process of pulling away from her aggressive pro-war stance in last week's compelling confrontation with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Referring to the Bush administration's policy in Iraq as a "failure" was a big change for Hillary who has been booed in recent months by fellow Democrats for her support for the President. more...

August 7, 2006

In Case We All Forgot, Americans Are Still Dying in Iraq
by Jimmy Breslin  

By the way, there are many American soldiers fighting in the Middle East.

In case you haven't noticed, they get killed. A lot of them get killed.

We cannot list the entire number of dead in Iraq, for 2,583 Americans have been lost so far. And counting every day.

There also have been 19,270 wounded, with such injuries as legs blown off, young men with shattered backs being placed in wheelchairs for the rest of their lives, genitals lost, brains numbed by flying ball bearings, faces left in half by flames.

The television and newspaper coverage of this has been weak, lazy, fearful. What there is of it, you watch and read with clenched teeth.

Once, on HBO, they showed a young soldier on the table and the whine of a saw sounded as it went through the bone of his leg being amputated. This should be on day and night.

The obligation of reporting is to tell and tell and tell of the deaths and great injuries of young Americans sent to die by old draft dodgers in Washington. more...

August 6, 2006

A Terrible Thought Occurs To Me - That There Will Be Another 9/11
By Robert Fisk

The room shook. Not since the 1983 earthquake has my apartment rocked from side to side. That was the force of the Israeli explosions in the southern suburbs of Beirut - three miles from my home - and the air pressure changed in the house yesterday morning and outside in the street the palm trees moved.

Is it to be like this every day? How many civilians can you make homeless before you start a revolution? And what is next? Are the Israelis to bomb the centre of Beirut? The Corniche? Is this why all the foreign warships came and took their citizens away, to make Beirut safe to destroy? more...


Baghdad Burning
... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...  
Summer of Goodbyes... Residents of Baghdad are systematically being pushed out of the city. Some families are waking up to find a Klashnikov bullet and a letter in an envelope with the words „Leave your area or else.š The culprits behind these attacks and threats are Sadr‚s followers- Mahdi Army. It‚s general knowledge, although no one dares say it out loud. In the last month we‚ve had two different families staying with us in our house, after having to leave their neighborhoods due to death threats and attacks. It‚s not just Sunnis- it‚s Shia, Arabs, Kurds- most of the middle-class areas are being targeted by militias.

Other areas are being overrun by armed Islamists. The Americans have absolutely no control in these areas. Or maybe they simply don‚t want to control the areas because when there‚s a clash between Sadr‚s militia and another militia in a residential neighborhood, they surround the area and watch things happen.

Since the beginning of July, the men in our area have been patrolling the streets. Some of them patrol the rooftops and others sit quietly by the homemade road blocks we have on the major roads leading into the area. You cannot in any way rely on Americans or the government. You can only hope your family and friends will remain alive- not safe, not secure- just alive. That‚s good enough. more...

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