Saturday, September 22, 2007
"I first met the tribal militias that make up the Anbar Awakening during the U.S. invasion of Iraq, when a family I knew smuggled me out to a small village between Ramadi and Falluja. Saddam’s army had virtually disappeared from the countryside, and these militias, trusted by Saddam’s regime and at the time still loyal to it, controlled the roads and villages of Anbar just as they do today. I spent a lot of 2003 and 2004 around Falluja and Ramadi, getting to know a group of insurgents fighting the U.S. occupation. I’m fairly certain that if the tribal militias had been intelligently treated—i.e. paid US$10 each per day the way they are now—and the U.S. Army hadn’t driven around Ramadi and Falluja shooting wildly in the spring of 2003, many would have been American allies from the beginning. Instead, a lot of them became insurgents, hooked up with their cousins from Saddam’s former security services, and eventually allied themselves with the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda. That relationship was symbiotic at first, but al-Qaeda soon became destructive parasites, jihadi body snatchers who killed anybody opposed to their control and strict Islamic codes.
When Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the multinational force in Iraq, appeared before Congress with Ambassador Crocker to testify about the results of President Bush’s “surge” strategy, he talked a lot about these tribal militias and the success of Anbar. It is the only progress the U.S. has made in Iraq for years. It’s unclear whether the additional 30,000 troops that make up the surge have had much effect on the Anbar Awakening. But watching Gen. Petraeus, I was struck by how familiar his words sounded. The general talked like every Sunni I’ve ever met in Iraq—hell, he sounded a bit like Saddam. The old tyrant would have had one of his characteristic chest-heaving guffaws watching Petraeus as he intoned the old Baathist mantra about the dangers to Iraq: Iran, Iran, Iran. Bush took up Gen. Petraeus’s views a few days later in a nationally televised speech about Iraq, in which he talked about the threat Tehran posed. It seems that Petraeus and Bush have come to the same conclusion as Saddam: the main enemy is Iran, and you can’t govern Iraq without the Sunni Arab tribes, even as you encourage anti-Iranian nationalism among the Shia. This is what Saddam did during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, and what Washington is trying to do now. One of the main problems with this strategy is that both the Sunni tribes and Shia nationalists are profoundly anti-American and don’t trust each other—a potential recipe for further disaster."
THE BLOOD ON BUSH'S HANDS!
A British polling organization now pegs Iraqi civilian deaths at 1.2 million people. The ORB poll surveyed Iraqi adults and determined nearly one in two households in Baghdad had lost at least one family member to war-related violence, and nationwide 22 percent of the households had suffered at least one death.
"...There are many, many more strange unexplained facts concerning the events of 9/11. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to be puzzled and want an explanation, or to be sceptical concerning the official version of events.
Six years on from those terrible events, the survivors, and the friends and families of those who died, deserve to know the truth. Is honesty and transparency concerning 9/11 too much to ask of the president and Congress?
What is needed is a new and truly independent commission of inquiry to sort coincidence and conjecture from fact, and to provide answers to the unsolved anomalies in the evidence available concerning the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Unlike the often-stymied first investigation, this new commission should be granted wide-ranging subpoena powers and unfettered access to government files and officials. George Bush should be called to testify, without his minders at hand to brief and prompt him. America - and the world - has a right to know the truth."UPDATE: 9/25/07
The resilient myth that Saddam Hussain plotted 9/11 is proof that Mark Twain was right when he said, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Even today, long after this 9/11 myth has been officially and repeatedly discredited, roughly 40% of Americans still insist that Saddam conspired with Al Qaeda to bring down the Twin Towers. And it’s a fair bet that this myth will remain in mass circulation as long as proponents of the Iraq war persist in believing that it is savvy politics to prey on people’s ignorance.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Yesterday, an amazing thing happened. After the Senate's shameful vote, and after President Bush called MoveOn "disgusting," their email started to fill up with messages like this one:
"I'm currently in Iraq. I do not agree with this war, and if I did support this war, it would not matter. You have the RIGHT to speak the truth. We KNOW that you support us. Thank you for speaking out for being our voice. We do not have a voice. We are overshooted by those who say that we soldiers do not support organizations like MoveOn. WE DO.
YOU ARE OUR voice."
And then came the donations. By midnight, over 12,000 people had donated $500,000—more than they've raised any day this year—for a new ad calling out the Republicans who blocked adequate rest for troops headed back to Iraq.
The message from MoveOn members was loud and clear: Don't back down. Take the fight back to the issues that matter.
Thanks again, President (and Senator) Dipshit!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
• Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
• In the United States, cigarette smoking is responsible for about one in five deaths annually, or about 438,000 deaths per year.
• An estimated 38,000 of these deaths are the result of secondhand smoke exposure.
• Deaths on American soil from terrorist attacks in since 9/11: ZERO.
Where's the perspective? Where's the outrage? Where's the common sense?
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
But wait! There's more...