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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

U.S. West Coast ports closed by worker protest

Thu May 1, 2008 4:25pm EDT

By Jill Serjeant and Bernard Woodall

LOS ANGELES, May 1 (Reuters) - Ports along the U.S. West Coast,
including the country's busiest port complex in Los Angeles, shut down on
Thursday as some 10,000 dock workers went on a one-day strike to
protest the war in Iraq, port and union officials said.

Twenty-nine ports from San Diego to Washington state that handle more
than half of U.S waterborne trade ground to a halt, but shipping experts
said the economic costs of the walk-out would be limited.

"We are hearing there is no activity taking place up and down the West
," said Steve Getzug, spokesman of the Pacific Maritime Association,
which represents all 29 ports. "There is no unloading or loading."

At the Los Angeles-area port of Long Beach, a hub for trade with Asia, a
Reuters reporter said the normally bustling area was unusually quiet and
there were no signs of protesters.

Long Beach Port terminal operators expect union workers to return for the
second shift beginning at 6:00 p.m. PDT (9:00 p.m. EDT/0100 GMT on

Paul Bingham, an economist with Global Insight, which tracks container
volume and congestion at U.S. ports, said labor officials had alerted
shippers and carriers.

"If this had come as a surprise it would have been a lot more serious in its
impact," said Bingham, also noting that it was not peak season for

"This isn't like the West Coast port lockout in 2002 when we shut down the
ports for 10 days," he added.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said some 10,000
workers joined the anti-war protest, spurred in part by its belief that big
shipping companies are profiting from the war.

"Longshore workers are standing down on the job and standing up for
America," said ILWU International President Bob McEllrath. "We're
supporting the troops and telling politicians in Washington that it's time
to end the war in Iraq."......


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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even as the OMG! Iran hype starts up again, the reality on the
ground is totally different from that found in mainstream/alternative
controlled US media-land. Fantasy-f**king-Land! lol

I'll put it in big letters, so you can't miss it. Wink

"It could be that Sadr spokesperson Saleh al-Obeidi has the overall
picture right. He said a couple of days ago that Iran appears to be
working hand in glove with the Americans
for a "division of influence"
in Iraq....."


That's the real situation in Iraq.

As this site had maintained for years now, Iran is an ally of the NWO.
Everybody on the f**king ground who has a brain knows this full well.

Amazing how it is the reverse in the Fake Media.
Big lie works best, I suppose Smile

If you want to know what has been happening in Iraq, here's a summary:

The Saudis (as NWO proxies) have financed a private anti-Sunni-resistance militia.
The Iranians (as NWO proxies) are helping to attack the Sadrist resistance.
(Best to describe the Sadrists as an effective local government.)

Anti-occupation politics is set to be the theme of a popular resurgence
in imminent fall Iraqi elections. The puppet regime is on the way out.

Thus the active involvement of the Iranians and Saudis.
All hands on deck.

And, of course, US casualties are set to rise. They want to get the worst
out of the way now, before the Dems have to carry the electoral can.

Much more non-fantasy-land stuff at:

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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once again, the talks by Thomas P.M. Barnett
especially I think the more detailed 8 part audio, clearly states that they want IRAN to run the Middle East. And this was a few years ago, on conservative radio, Townhall.com.
The Conservatives must not have been listening closely.

Groups in Iraq are not totally clear-cut, but EVERYONE agrees that Malaki + Hakim are Iranian puppets, AND one posted probably a famous photo of them sucking up to Amadinejad.
But this group don't seem to like Sadr either.

In the meantime, on Uruknet, Sadrists: The delegation is “too Iranian”.
This jibes with those who agree with Fintan (and the Iraqi speaker in Ohio) that Sadr is a Nationalist.

However, these folks decry the brutality of Sadr.

MY BLOG arabwomanblues.blogspot. HAS BEEN BLOCKED.

I have already proved to the Arab countries that I am not a sectarian, and I urged them to write off the debts. I think they are now convinced that these debts are all due to the previous tyrannical regime who fought wars against Iran and Kuwait and that the Iraqi people had no say in those wars. Iran and Turkey have diplomatic ties with Iraq, why can't the Arab countries do the same?

Maliki, of course, conveniently omitted to mention that Iraq is still paying IRAN reparations. And that the Arabs still consider his government as a tool for Iran.

I spoke to family members.

Radhee said “ They (the Shiites) are fighting each other, why are they pounding our neighborhood again? “ He lives in Adhamiya. He said “ We’re prisoners again. Not just inside this ghetto but inside our homes. Everyday there is an explosion here. Why do they need to attack us ? Baghdad is on fire again...This is never going to end...”

Hostages of violence, of greed, of brutality, of dual occupations. Hostages of poverty, disease, unemployment, closed borders and exile...Hostages of sectarianism, chauvinism, corruption...Hostages to embezzlers, gangs, robbers, murderers, sadists, rapists, perverts and killers...

All are guilty.

The charlatan anti-Christ-the Mahdi, the Shiite puppet government, the corrupt Sunni politicians, the Zionist Kurds, the psychopathic dirty Americans, the insane filthy Iranians, the lowly debased Brits, the sold-out sleeping Arabs, the Security firms, the Oil cartels, the West, the East, the International Community, the NGO’s, the Media, the left shits and their shit parties...All are guilty.

So who is going to have mercy on us, us Iraqis ?

Do you understand what I am saying ? Do you ? You Evil bastards - the whole lot of you.

Some disagreement whether Osama is alive or dead, whether he was a miquoted victim, or a tool of America, or both. Some suggestion that Osama WAS a tool of America, in certain areas, but when he died in Dec 2001, Al-Qaeda (the bad Al-Qaeda) was symbolically taken over by the USA.

In any case, I believe the Iraqis in particular and most Muslims in general have woken up to the fact that Al-Qaeda is a US pawn.

That being said, I do not believe Osama Bin Laden was ever a US/Saudi collaborator and, from reviewing his words and actions, I believe he was sincere (though misguided) - he has most prbably been dead since December 2001. However, I cannot say the same for Zawahri who clearly spews propaganda which almost always indirectly supports fake US statements and claims.


Last edited by dilbert_g on Fri May 02, 2008 4:31 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 4:19 am    Post subject: Saddam Hussein - The Trial you will never see Reply with quote

Saddam Hussein - The Trial you will never see
This is an excellent documentary showing how the western country was involved in his atrocities. Infact, this documentary was never showed in US because of known reasons...

(should work now, 142mb, let me know if not)

My email comments, if anyone wants to read:
Footage from this movie, especially Madeline Albright, has been shown everywhere in the world for everyone to see--- except in the Land of the Free. The Pentagon's solution to widespread hatred of the US is to give money to public relations firms to LIE about what people already know from this and from their experience. The missing-ness of this information is also a form of propaganda, equivalent to what Americans used to say about the Soviet and Nazi propaganda, except much more sophisticated and crafty.

What's most astonishing to me about this video, is I HAVE KNOWN this stuff since around 2002, read about it, tried to share it. Others knew about in the 80's or 90's when it started. Some don't know now, some will NEVER know. Some won't know ever AFTER they hear or watch it, because it's too painful to where they have their egos connected.

American movies about Iraq, especially those with interviews of top US officials, soldiers, intelligence, and diplomats, are normally strongly biased to be pro-USA, or about "mistakes". This film mostly breaks that rule about shielding the US from criticism. Instead, it just lays it out. You can hear one of the soldiers telling it like it was, and US officials lying and smiling about it.

This movie not only has the well-known footage of Rumsfeld meeting with Saddam, it has Rumsfeld's response to the footage of him meeting Saddam, and it has rare footage -- I never saw it before -- of April Glaspie meeting with Saddam to encourage him to invade Kuwait.

Reagan ordering US officials to start arming Iraq to fight Iran, providing satellite capabilities, while French and German companies provides jets, training, and components for chemical weapons.
It reminds about how when the US learned about chemical weapons being used on the Iranians and Kurds, it didn't want to know, and the President's father Bush Senior continued arming Saddam anyhow. I personally remember that.
Some of the "incorrigable anti-American liberal media" had the gall to criticize the US for arming Saddam, but the Bush admin went out of it's way to let Saddam know he should ignore the journalists, because Washington loved him.

Saddam's army was even trained in the USA.

It also reveals, not only radio messages but printed leaflets shown encouraging a resistance to overthrow Saddam. At one point, the resistance had 75% of Iraq's cities, and Saddam was all but defeated in 1991. What happened?

The US not only refused to help the resistance when they begged for food, medicine, and weapons to save their lives, our govt tacitly permitted Saddam to fly attack helicopters against the resistance, even blocked the resistance from attacking Saddam, and destroyed the weapons of the resistance to Saddam.

If the soldiers (1 interviewed) had not been ordered to refuse to help the Iraqis who were rebelling against Saddam, and he was greatly saddened by that, the current Iraq War might never have had to happen. No Americans would have had to die now. Millions of Iraqis killed by war and by the sanctions, would not have had to die. Iraq would have been FREE back in 1991.

But then it most likely would have been a democratic Iraq, run by a government supported by the People. (The US overthrew the original pre-Baath Republic back in 1963, with the British, over oil interests. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Karim_Qassim )
Instead, in 1991, the Bush admin chose to actively participate in putting Saddam back in power, then maintaining control of the oil via the Sanctions plan.
Think about that. Zero dead troops. No heroes. All we had to do was to let the Iraqis win, and provide a little final support.

The slaughter of the pro-America Kurds? Made in America.
One Iraqi response, I've read this too, from US officials: Every free thinking, reality-based, informed person is by now acquainted with the incontrovertible historical FACT that it was the IRANIANS who gassed Halabja, NOT the Iraqis, and the Western Intelligence agencies shuffled the cards afterwards as a part of the scientifically thought-out defamation campaign against the legitimate leadership of Iraq in preparation of Desert Storm.
The Mass Graves of pro-America Shi'ites in the South? Made in America.
"We are not there to intervene." - Bush
Obviously, they wanted to keep Saddam in power, just weakened, for a future war. Nothing else makes as much sense.

Watch the whole thing, but watch and Listen to Pickering at about 25 minutes or so. SOCIOPATH, smiling about the devastation of kids in Iraq.

terrorist statistical database
Terrorist statistics worldwide.
the largest showing with no equal was in Iraq, not before we invaded, but after the US occupied the country,
was there a hundred-fold increase in fatalities reported due to "terrorism".
strategy of the occupier is to turn one side against the other through staged events and controled media saturation

1. More fatalities occur "each day" from auto accidents then occur from terrorism for the "whole year".
(1.2 million deaths per year Worldwide)

2. More fatalities occur worldwide each year from animal attacks then occur from terrorism.
( Stats for US Only 1882 deaths - 79/90)

3. More fatalities occur each year from falling down stairs (falling down) then occur from terrorism.
( Just for the Netherlands 1700 deaths in 1999)

4. More fatalities occur "each day" from medical malpractice then occur from terrorism for the "whole year".
( US stats Only - 120,000 deaths worldwide 1.4 million)
The above four points brings me to ask one question of you:

Is it safer to?

1. Walk through the woods.
2. Take a drive on the highway.
3. Run down the stairs in a hurry.
4. Live life without fear of terrorism acts.
5. Visit the hospital for treatment.

More Iraqi fatalities have resulted from violence after the US's intervention through war in Iraq over the last four years then have been killed from terrorism Worldwide in the last twenty.
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 12:51 am    Post subject: What's BUSINESS doing in the M.E. Reply with quote

Iraqis want to revise constitution and U.S. warplanes bomb Baghdad
By Fatih Abdulsalam 28 April 2008 (Azzaman)
Bombing by warplanes, helicopter gun ships and rockets is going on unabated in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq while our politicians mull revising the ‘constitution’.

Ferocious fighting from street to street currently takes place in several parts of the country which makes ludicrous any talk about the constitution and its revision.

Iraqis now sarcastically remember the referendum on a constitution whose creators and sponsors themselves have not taken with a grain of salt.

We now read of at least one million Iraqis killed in the years since the U.S. invasion. The constitution should be the umbrella that brings the nation together. And where is the Iraqi nation?

The Americans are now so insecure and unstable to the extent they are being used as proxies to wage battles at the behest of certain groups against others. In other words they have become partners in the civil war.

Against this backdrop of human death and destruction, "What's it all about, Alfie?" Why? Who gains?
Again, the obvious nobody can seem to locate, just like Iran's militias in Iraq.

While the above is occuring, just a few more highlights from that which is right in front of everyone's noses. The following two articles BOTH happen to deal with Abraaj Capital (about which I've written so much previously, Crescent Oil, Dana Gas, etc.,) and the reknowned Carlyle Group in the Middle East, "Changing the Regional Financial Landscape," www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidZAWYA20080428031459/lok031400080428 and
"Private Equity Spoilt For Choice, (private article)" www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidZAWYA20080427125637/lok12560008046

(LOTS OF TALK ABOUT DUBAI and KUWAITI private equity (PE) firms) (I wonder if Halliburton has their fingers in these pies too, since it moved to Dubai.)

And, the Financial Times has JUST, today, added a new, Middle Eastern version of its own. The Kuwait Foreign Minister continues holding talks with his counterpart in Albania, and, as well, conferences in Poland, "Kuwait Ambassador Addresses Seminar in Warsaw..." www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidKUN0038080427124416/lok154400080427

Furthermore, you suckers, the "private capital" in the Middle East, represented above, will be recycled, reinvested into the now intentionally bankrupted and deeply depressed prices of industry and corporations in the US and Europe, thanks to the low US dollar, also.

I have no need to add to further idle speculation and hypotheses on this or that particular event or detail over which I have little, if no concrete, factual information, when ALL of the above is abundantly, openly and clearly fact.

Now, it seems, Russia and Putin appear to be somewhat perturbed by the recent turn of developments surrounding their dalliance with their Fascist client state, Ahmadimiget's Iran, his/their policies, their destabilizing, unwanted, undesirable, repercussions, www.en.rian.ru/world/20080428/106100057.html

Well, too bad. I said once before, collaborating and cooperating with Fascism is like being a little bit pregnant. If Putin/Russia is perturbed he/they can do something. He can say, STOP IT! He can say he does NOT recognize this so-called government in Iraq. He can call a spade a spade. He has leverage. But, of course, Lukoil is invited into Iraq. As well, Iran has dangled a gas contract offer to Gazprom. And, of course, Gazprom is caught in the encirclement game of the West.

Related to this subject matter, some current news and a reminder, reverting back to the initial reason why the US and NATO invaded and occupied Afghanistan in the first place, the TAP pipeline, events of 9/11, the fiction of why Bin Laden and Al-Queda were held responsible for 9/11, www.payvand.com/news/08/apr/1293.html
A few notes on the proceeding. The deal to which the preceeding article makes reference at the very bottom, bringing gas to Pakistan from the Arabian Sea, is, of course, tied in to the Gulf, UAE economies and Western investment circle, above, much discussed in previous blogs.

And, one further footnote, since Al-Queda, or, what is being labelled Al-Queda, has reemerged in the news, again. My HYPOTHESIS as to why Bin Laden, who, as everybody knew, was a CIA asset, needed to be eliminated, was his support for a rival, Argentian bidder, Bridas, regarding the then proposed TAP pipeline and the economic demands Bin Laden was making, exorbitant, from their point of view, for transit fees upwards to a billion dollars or more as well as further economic concessions, such as control of the pipeline, a national company, etc. Bridas agreed to much or most of his/their demands, I believe. And, Bridas was willing, apparently, to finance the pipeline themselves. Unocal and the other consortium, which included Saudis, as well as some others, did not. So, ownership, competition and the economic specifics over the TAP pipeline was at the nub of the dispute and the reason necessitating direct, military intervention to eliminate Bin Laden. 9/11 was a manufactured event and narrative for this purpose.

This article clarifies a bit more, just talking "business":
Energy: Turkmen, Iranian Presidents Moving Ahead With Rival Pipelines
By Bruce Pannier, RFE/RL
Pipeline politics took center stage as Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov and Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad went on the road to promote competing pipelines to export their natural gas.

Berdymukhammedov was in Kabul on April 28, making the case for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline (TAPI), while Ahmadinejad was in Islamabad on the same day, discussing details of the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline (IPI).

Both pipelines have several pros and cons, and the consumer countries -- Pakistan and India -- have signaled they want both TAPI and IPI to help sate their energy needs.

Berdymukhammedov spoke about TAPI with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the first-ever visit by a Turkmen president to Kabul in independent Turkmenistan's 17-year history. The two countries signed deals on energy, transport, and culture. The meeting came just days after representatives from their countries, along with Pakistan and India, signed an agreement to start construction of the pipeline in 2010, with operations slated to begin in 2015.

"We had a discussion with the Turkmen president on a series of issues that involve our two countries," Karzai said. "The main areas of our talks were on the exchange of energy between the two countries, developing transportation, communications, and on the gas pipeline that will export natural gas from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. We discussed a railway between our two countries -- and how to extend the railroad through Afghanistan to neighboring countries. Also, we spoke about the importation of electricity from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan. And we had a discussion on terrorism threats and regional problems."

'New Era' In Relations

The Turkmen president hailed the event as signaling a "new era" in relations between the two states.

"Today, our historic friendship has endured much, but we are entering a completely new era that brings broad possibilities for developing the mutual and useful relationship between our countries," Berdymukhammedov said.

According to plans, the 1,680-kilometer TAPI pipeline would start in the Turkmen city of Dauletabad and pass through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar before entering Pakistan at Quetta and proceeding to the Indian border town of Fazilka. Six compressor stations will be built along the route. Plans for the pipeline call for it to export some 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas from the field annually. Estimates of the cost for building the TAPI pipeline range from $6 billion to $7.5 billion.

Analysts point to two major drawbacks with TAPI. The first is the route through Afghanistan, where it will be difficult to ensure security for the pipeline, especially as it turns eastwards and approaches Kandahar, where fighting between militants and the Afghan government and foreign forces is still a daily occurrence. Turkmenistan and Pakistan have been trying for more than a decade to get the pipeline built, but security problems in Afghanistan have always held up the deal. If security could be guaranteed, Afghanistan stands to receive large and badly needed revenues from transit fees.

The second problem is the question of how much natural gas Turkmenistan actually has. The April 28 edition of the Russian daily "Kommersant" points out that Turkmenistan has a contract with Russia's Gazprom to export up to 50 bcm of gas annually to Russia for two more decades, a contract with China that starts in 2009 for 30 bcm annually, and a deal with Iran for 8 bcm annually. Berdymukhammedov also promised earlier this month to send 10 bcm to Europe Union countries, though the details of that agreement are still unclear. The acceptance of the TAPI deal would bring annual Turkmen natural-gas exports to well over 100 bcm annually -- a huge amount of natural gas to export when Turkmenistan's proven reserves of gas are not fully known.

No Iranian Participation

But TAPI enjoys two advantages that the IPI does not -- support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and no Iranian participation. The ADB's support gives the project a greater international profile and, since Iran is not involved, TAPI may also find other investors -- including U.S. companies that are forbidden by U.S. law to deal with Iran, and European investors who fear U.S. sanctions if they commit to IPI instead of TAPI.

Ahmadinejad's visit to Pakistan was similar in nature to Berdymukhammedov's in Afghanistan. Pakistani and Indian officials also met about IPI last week in Islamabad when Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora was there for talks. Iran, under intense pressure from many countries over its controversial nuclear program, would benefit greatly from signing such a major deal, which would also bring in much-needed revenue.

Reports from Islamabad on April 25 indicated that India and Pakistan were close to finalizing their part of the deal. Ahmadinejad is trying to push the potential partners to sign that deal. For its part, Iran has already started constructing the pipeline on its territory and could have its section to the Pakistani border completed by 2012.

The IPI pipeline would be some 2,600 kilometers long and would cost an estimated $7 billion. The IPI pipeline would initially carry some 30 bcm annually, but within three to four years after starting up that amount would increase to 70 bcm. Iran first proposed the pipeline in the 1990s, but tensions between Pakistan and India kept the project on hold until now. In their meetings last week, Pakistani and Indian officials stressed that cooperation between the two nuclear neighbors is better now.

Washington's Wrath

IPI's disadvantage is the U.S. objection to the pipeline -- but both Pakistan and India have indicated publicly that their countries' demand for energy is such that Islamabad and New Delhi are prepared to endure the possibility of complicating ties with Washington. The ABD has not come out in favor of IPI, and many potential international investors may be frightened of facing Washington's wrath for being part of IPI.

A distinct advantage for IPI is that there are two major companies that have expressed interest in joining the project -- Russia's Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corporation. Gazprom has supported the IPI project for several years but China's interest is relatively new and may have to do with a proposal from Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf earlier this month that his country could build a "Karakorum" pipeline to deliver gas or oil to China through mountain passes in the Himalayas. Such pipelines could bring not only Iranian natural gas but also gas and oil delivered to Pakistani port cities along the Arabian Sea.

Another meeting on TAPI -- at which the major parties will attempt to agree on transit prices -- is scheduled for May. Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad travels to Afghanistan on April 29.

The Kabul Bureau of RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan and RFE/RL Turkmen Service correspondent Guvanch Geraev contributed to this report

Copyright (c) 2008 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think it's only fair that the administration share whatever they're smokin' with the rest of us.


Cheney: Bagdad’s Disneyland-Style Amusement Park Is Evidence That Things Are Going ‘Swimmingly’ In Iraq
Think Progress

May 9, 2008

Today, Vice President Cheney appeared on The Paul Gallow Show in Mississippi. During the interview, he and the host lamented the media’s alleged bias in its Iraq coverage, suggesting that they should cover more good news — such as the Disneyland-style amusement park being developed for Baghdad:

GALLOW: You know, I look at this, and every once in a while, we’ll see a story, Mr. Vice President, things like an amusement park opens in Iraq or in Baghdad, which is totally counter to what we’re hearing over here, as far as the marketplaces being open, the schools, and things such as that. But I saw a story several weeks ago about an amusement center maybe over there, and I’m thinking this is not what you get in today’s media.

CHENEY: No, that’s true. It’s — what gets covered obviously is bad news. That’s — you know, if everything is going swimmingly, then that’s not news, so it doesn’t get the kind of attention.

Cheney and Gallow must be living in Never Never Land. This amusement park is not good news. The Pentagon is fast-tracking the development of the "Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience, a massive American-style amusement park that will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum." The firm designing the project also developed Disneyland. The financier, Llewellyn Werner, has admitted that he is doing the project not to help Iraq, but because he wants to make boatloads of money:

After explaining skate…boarding, Werner tells the assembled Iraqi business and government men, "I’m a businessman. I’m not here because I think you’re nice people. I think there’s money to be made here."

More significantly, the Pentagon is also now backing a $5 billion plan to create a "zone of influence" around the new $700 million U.S. embassy. The area will include luxury hotels, a shopping center, and condos in an effort to "transform" the Green Zone into a "centerpiece for Baghdad’s future."

In Iraq, however, many people are opposed to the plan. Some U.S. embassy officials have called the plan "unrealistic." One added that Iraqis, a majority of whom oppose the U.S. presence, are unlikely to want the U.S. to "turn this area into downtown Kansas City."

It’s hard to report that things are going swimmingly…when they’re not.

Birth is the first example of " thinking outside the box"
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No one will ever go to the park, because I'm sure the average Iraqi thinks 'skateboarding' is where they tie you down to a board and throw skates at you until you confess you're al-Qeada.
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had wondered about the role of Scott Ritter.

Did Ritter first condemn Saddam Hussein and Iraq, and then reverse positions, or not, and if so, why? Was he just being duplicitous?

Is this article a fair explanation?

He explains that he was neither 100% pro-Baghdad nor 100% anti-Baghdad, but a somewhat nuanced position of blaming BOTH sides, Baghdad for relatively minor discrepancies, but also blaming the US for blocking the inspectors and for making false, exaggerated claims based on minor issues. This in a time when "nuance" and "nitpicking" was unofficially defined as "treason" in official circles.

Exclusive: Scott Ritter in His Own Words
Saturday, Sep. 14, 2002 By MASSIMO CALABRESI

Scott Ritter was the UN's top weapons inspector in Iraq until 1998, when he resigned claiming President Clinton was too easy on Saddam. Now he says the dictator doesn't seem to have weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and that trying to oust Saddam is "extremely dangerous." TIME's Massimo Calabresi asked the voluble former marine about his recent private trip to Baghdad, Jane Fonda, and accusations he's a spy for Israel, Iraq or Russia.

Time: What were you doing in Baghdad?

Ritter: Waging peace. My goal in Baghdad was to facilitate a debate here in the United States on America's policy toward Iraq, a debate that's been sadly lacking. We're facing a critical moment in American history and I believe this is something that has to be more thoroughly looked at. Why go to Iraq? You're talking to me now because I went to Iraq. I've been saying the exact same thing for years and I didn't get the call from Time magazine.

Who paid for the trip? Were any of your expenses paid for by the Iraqis?

No. The only thing that could be construed as an Iraqi expense is that they provided a vehicle that drove me from the hotel to the meetings with the government officials. I did not reimburse them for the gas used or the time of the driver.

Some on the right call you the new Jane Fonda, and joke about what you'll call your exercise video.

(Long pause?) Those on the right who say that disgrace the 12 years of service I gave to my country as a Marine. I love my country. I'll put my record of service up against anyone, bar none. If they want to have an exercise video then why don't they come here and say it to my face and I'll give'm an exercise video, which will be called, "Scott Ritter Kicking Their Ass."

In 1998, you said Saddam had "not nearly disarmed." Now you say he doesn't have weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Why did you change your mind?

I have never given Iraq a clean bill of health! Never! Never! I've said that no one has backed up any allegations that Iraq has reconstituted WMD capability with anything that remotely resembles substantive fact. To say that Saddam's doing it is in total disregard to the fact that if he gets caught he's a dead man and he knows it. Deterrence has been adequate in the absence of inspectors but this is not a situation that can succeed in the long term. In the long term you have to get inspectors back in.

Iraq's borders are porous. Why couldn't Saddam have obtained the capacity to produce WMD since 1998 when the weapons inspectors left?

I am more aware than any UN official that Iraq has set up covert procurement funds to violate sanctions. This was true in 1997-1998, and I'm sure its true today. Of course Iraq can do this. The question is, has someone found that what Iraq has done goes beyond simple sanctions violations? We have tremendous capabilities to detect any effort by Iraq to obtain prohibited capability. The fact that no one has shown that he has acquired that capability doesn't necessarily translate into incompetence on the part of the intelligence community. It may mean that he hasn't done anything.

Are you being investigated for espionage?

I've been called a spy of Israel since 1996, and since I made my documentary film in 2000 the FBI has investigated me as an agent of Iraq. The FBI has also opened up an investigation into my wife calling her a KGB spy. So there is this form of harassment taking place.

Did you write a report, at the time you were doing inspections in Votkinsk in the Soviet Union in 1988 that said the group your wife worked for was full of spies?

No. I indicated that given past models of Soviet penetration techniques that these young girls, of which my wife was one, who were brought in by the Soviets to carry out translation services had been used in the past to attempt sexual compromise. I subsequently wrote a series of reports that said this did not appear to be the case in Votkinsk. In fact, because of the human intelligence work I did in the Soviet Union I was able to ascertain that the girls were actually dissatisfied with the Soviets. They showed a tendency to speak out against the KGB to the U.S. inspectors.

You've spoke about having seen the children's prisons in Iraq. Can you describe what you saw there?

The prison in question is at the General Security Services headquarters, which was inspected by my team in Jan. 1998. It appeared to be a prison for children — toddlers up to pre-adolescents — whose only crime was to be the offspring of those who have spoken out politically against the regime of Saddam Hussein. It was a horrific scene. Actually I'm not going to describe what I saw there because what I saw was so horrible that it can be used by those who would want to promote war with Iraq, and right now I'm waging peace.

You told the Iraqi parliament that Saddam had legitimate complaints about the prior inspection regime. What did you mean?

The U.S. had a track record of putting pressure on the weapons inspectors program during my entire seven years there. It's ironic that everyone has focused on the struggle of the inspectors vs. Iraq. Not too many people speak of the struggle between the weapons inspectors and the U.S. to beat back the forces of U.S. intelligence which were seeking to infiltrate the weapons inspectors program and use the unique access the inspectors enjoyed in Iraq for purposes other than disarmament. Iraq has a clear case that under this past inspection regime unfortunately it was misused for purposes other than set out by the Security Council resolution.

Did you get any spying done on your trip?

Haha. Did I spy on Iraq my most recent trip? I wasn't there to collect intelligence on Iraq. To be frank, I didn't see barricades in the streets or earthen berms being erected or fortifications underway. I did see a lot of troops in the streets and I saw that Iraq had beefed up their air defense in the capital. I saw that they were moving these air defense units frequently to avoid a strike. But I wasn't there to carry out a full canvas of Iraq's military capabilities.
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After the Blitz, Hizballah Runs Beirut


The outcome of the Lebanese political crisis may have been inevitable. On Friday Hizballah—the only force ever to defeat the Israeli army — defeated forces loyal to the American-backed Lebanese government. Still, few expected that the Iranian-backed militia would triumph so quickly and so easily.

(i.e., just like the Iraq govt)

"It was like a field trip for us," said one Hizballah fighter standing on the Corniche, the city's seaside promenade. "Some of them were begging us not to kill them. They were literally pissing in their pants."

The Lebanese political landscape has now been transformed. For all its supposed superpower support, the ruling coalition turned out to be built on sand. The Saudi-funded street gangs were amateurs. The pro-government Internal Security Forces, equipped and trained by the United States, stayed out of the fight. And the the Lebanese army stayed neutral rather than risk splitting apart. Though prime minister Fouad Siniora made a defiant speech Saturday saying that the government would not fall into the hands of an Iranian coup, he has little choice other than to resign.
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dilbert_g wrote:
He explains that he was neither 100% pro-Baghdad nor 100% anti-Baghdad, but a somewhat nuanced position of blaming BOTH sides, Baghdad for relatively minor discrepancies, but also blaming the US for blocking the inspectors and for making false, exaggerated claims based on minor issues.

Let's mention also the reports by Lebanese-American businessman Imad Hage that Saddam Hussein had offered to allow a couple thousand inspectors and FBI agents into Iraq to investigate any possible weapons programs:

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 5:10 am    Post subject: Debkafile Bush+ Saudi Deal w Tehran Reply with quote

I completely missed this one.

Bush Embarks on Saudi-Brokered Deal with Tehran

From DEBKA-Net-Weekly Exclusive Updated by DEBKAfile
January 28, 2008, 6:52 PM (GMT+02:00)

Saudi and Iranian buddies

DEBKA-Net-Weekly 328 first revealed on Dec. 7 that a Washington-Tehran understanding is in the making, brokered by Saudi Arabia. According to Washington and intelligence sources, the first steps of the dialogue were made possible by the US National Intelligence Estimate of Dec. 3 affirming that Iran’s nuclear weapons program had been put on hold in 2003. This public statement effectively took the US military option off the table, as stipulated by Riyadh and Tehran.

The Saudis have been offering to mediate the US-Iranian dispute since the beginning of 2007. In early November, DEBKA-Net-Weekly disclosed, the White House announced it was ready to deal. But first, Tehran must undertake to halt its arms smuggling into Iraq, guarantee non-interference in the election of the next Lebanese president later that month and tacitly approve Syrian participation in the Middle East conference at Annapolis on Nov. 27. Furthermore, Iran must guarantee not to torpedo the conference, to which the administration attached the highest importance, by unleashing its terrorist pawns against Israel.

Shortly after DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s exclusive disclosure, the well-connected Saudi journalist Jihad El-Khazen gave his version of the course of events in the Arab newspaper Al-Hayat :

"Here is what happened: The rate of violent acts dropped in Iraq; therefore the American intelligence services discovered that Iran had halted its military nuclear program in 2003. This means that the resumption of violence will make American intelligence services find out that there is a secret military program that is different from the peaceful and famous one.

The Saudi reporter went on to ask: "Is there a deal between the Bush administration and Iran? I cannot categorically assert that a deal was concluded between the two parties through direct negotiations; however, there is an understanding resulting in the 2007 national intelligence report.”

Saudi and American sources told DEBKAfile that President George W. Bush used the Annapolis conference as a piece of theater, which presented a sham moderate Arab front against Iran to disguise the intense work underway on a Saudi-mediated accommodation between Washington and Tehran.

The Bush administration appears to be in the midst of developing a new foreign strategy based on five key elements:

1. The halt of Iranian weapons and road bomb shipments into Iraq for use against US forces;

2. An Iranian instruction to Hizballah to open the way for the election of a Lebanese president, in return for which Washington will not interfere with the formation of a new government with a place of honor for the Iranian surrogate militia.

In other words, the Bush administration is not only engaged in a sellout of the Israeli government but also of the pro-Western Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora.

3. The cessation of Iranian arms and roadside bombs to Afghanistan.

4. The naming of Saudi Arabia as a channel for arbitrating American and Iranian differences.

5. A US pledge to backtrack on its charges that the Iran is engaged in developing nuclear weapons. This pledge was embodied in the dramatically revised US National Intelligence Estimate compared with its estimate of 2005, and effectively lifted not only the American military axe from over Iran’s strategic and economic infrastructure – and possibly regime - but also tied Israel’s hands.

The radical Washington about-face has in the last ten days touched off a chain of repercussions.

DEBKAfile's sources disclose that Iran’s extremist president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began purging the Iranian leadership of his opponents, emboldened by what he perceived as the victory of the intransigent nuclear policy he and the Revolutionary Guards had pursued.

Still in crowing mode, Iran’s oil minister Gholam Hossein Nozari announced Saturday, Dec. 8, the cessation of oil transactions in US dollars. He labeled the greenbacks an “unreliable” currency.

Less than 24 hours after the NIE was released, the Kremlin announced resumption of Russian work to finish Iran’s nuclear reactor at Bushehr and the consignment of nuclear fuel.

In Lebanon, the Hizballah opened the door for the election of chief of staff Gen. Michel Suleiman as president. To buy a stable Beirut government, Washington accepted a pro-Syrian Hizballah sympathizer as president.

The prospects of tough UN sanctions against Iran’s continued enrichment of uranium dimmed dramatically. The Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said there is no point in the light of the US intelligence reassessment. Saturday, the Iranian ambassador in Tokyo invited Japanese investors to put their money in Iranian oil production which he said could be expanded by 30 percent. Tehran has clearly lost its fear of international economic sanctions.

Yet Israeli leaders Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak are still touting sanctions for Iran. They hope to gloss over the serious upset in Jerusalem over the Bush administration’s willingness to deal with Iran and Saudi Arabia at the expense of Israeli concessions to the Palestinians.

Damascus-based Hamas and Jihad Islami leaders have begun marathon talks with Syrian and Saudi officials on terms for an informal truce to halt their missile bombardment of Israel from the Gaza Strip. They are anxious to ward off an Israel military operation. By tying Israel’s military hands in the Gaza Strip as well as Iran, the US-Saudi-Iranian understanding will serve to stabilize Hamas’ rule in Gaza.

Moscow has dispatched war fleets to the Mediterranean and the northeast Atlantic.

A flotilla of six Russian warships including a carrier will dock at Syria’s Tartous port for the first time.

Whether this ambitious package can be assembled and tied up is moot for all three parties, the Americans, the Iranians and the Saudis. Even if the talks are brought to conclusion, the package could leak at the seams at any time.

Tehran does not expect the US to withdraw its naval carriers and strike forces from Iranian Gulf shores yet, whereas Washington does not delude itself that Iranian arms shipments to Iraq and Afghanistan, or even Lebanon, will completely dry up overnight.

Both Washington and Tehran have not yet abandoned their fist-shaking stance.

Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that a new strategic bloc has taken its first steps and the first rumbles are already felt.

For Israel, the impact is more radical than a few rumbles. Its special relationship with the United States has collapsed amid its worst foreign policy debacle in decades. The Olmert government is paying the price for the military and diplomatic mismanagement of the war against Lebanon’s Hizballah of 2006.

Last edited by dilbert_g on Sat May 17, 2008 11:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree and I am really sick and tired of these two assholes.
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