Our National Strategy for Victory in Iraq

Really, that’™s the title of the document Bush was showing off in his speech this morning. The strategery is here.

Now this is the Administration that declared ‘œMission Accomplished’ 31 months ago. It took them this long to figure out that the mission was indeed not accomplished. I’™m thinking it might [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Really, that’™s the title of the document Bush was showing off in his speech this morning. The strategery is here.

Now this is the Administration that declared ‘œMission Accomplished’ 31 months ago. It took them this long to figure out that the mission was indeed not accomplished. I’™m thinking it might take 30 years for them to figure out this strategery won’™t work, either.

(It’™ll take Bush that long to read the 35 pages. There are no pictures.)

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Iraq

Santorum Picks McCain Over Bush

Oh, this is political calculation we could have predicted nearly a month ago. Then we noted there that Little Ricky (Running From Bush) had signed an amendment offered by McCain that Bush wanted quashed. My comment then was that Santorum’™s moral compass was spinning. Since that time Ricky Santorum has skipped a [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Oh, this is political calculation we could have predicted nearly a month ago. Then we noted there that Little Ricky (Running From Bush) had signed an amendment offered by McCain that Bush wanted quashed. My comment then was that Santorum’™s moral compass was spinning. Since that time Ricky Santorum has skipped a joint appearance with Bush, and now he’™s going to use John McCain to raise campaign funds.

The events are Friday and are being held in private homes on the Main Line, the wealthier western suburbs of Philly. I hope someone gets a protester or two out there.

This is a case of two guys positioning themselves. Santorum wants to look moderate, and he’™s using McCain for that. Damn, I used to think McCain wouldn’™t stoop so low, but it appears he’™s using Santorum to boost his bona fides with the whack job Christians. In the meantime, this is just one more sign of Santorum’™s desperation and Bush’™s lack of popularity, that a guy like Santorum would choose to stand with John McCain over his own born again President.

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005 by Steven Reynolds |
Category: Politics - Pa.

A victim of his limbic system. How one guy got off.

 

Women’™s groups in Canada are evidently not buying it.

In an unusual case in a Scarborough, Ontario, courtroom, Jan Luedecke was acquitted of sexual assault after a judge ruled he was asleep during the attack “a disorder known as œsexsomnia”.

‘œThis is indeed a rare case’ His conduct was not voluntary,’ said Justice Russell [...]

Commentary By: Gloria

Women’™s groups in Canada are evidently not buying it.

In an unusual case in a Scarborough, Ontario, courtroom, Jan Luedecke was acquitted of sexual assault after a judge ruled he was asleep during the attack ‘” a disorder known as ‘œsexsomnia.’

‘œThis is indeed a rare case “His conduct was not voluntary,’ said Justice Russell Otter, as Luedecke’™s victim shook, sobbed and then left the courtroom”.

Luedecke claimed he fell asleep on the same couch (as his victim) and woke up when he was thrown to the floor.

He only suspected he had had sex after using the bathroom and discovering he was still wearing a condom, court heard. He confessed to police.

Sure enough, the Canadian Psychiatric Association has been looking into this predominantly male phenomenon, which they claim is an extension of parasomnia, events which occur intermittently during sleep. It is duly noted in their conclusion that many of these patients had histories of paraphilia.

This would place sexsomnia in the same group with other NREM parasomnias such as sleepwalking, sleep terrors, and confusional arousals, all of which have partial arousal as a main feature, resulting in an intermixed sleep-”wake state and complex behaviour”

Sexual intent (particularly subconscious) derived from the sexual drive is deeply rooted in the human psyche. This potent force in human behaviour can be recognized in various human activities, and for this reason, we believe that we cannot exclude the possibility of genuine parasomnia that features such under-lyng intent”

From the legal perspective “a sleep walker’s ability to control voluntarily even complex behaviour is severely limited or not available,” and it is considered as a cause of “non-insane automatism.”

Finally, when assessing a sexsomnia case, one should always be aware of possible malingering, the incidence of which may be higher than in other parasomnias.

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005 by Gloria |
Category: General

Going for a St. Crispin’s Day address, Bush channels Walter Mitty

George Bush struggled valiantly today to salvage some credibility for his vision of, and strategy for, a democratic Iraq. During his speech at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Bush unveiled his National Strategy for Victory in Iraq, stressed the need for additional time and patience, and attempted to quell mounting public and Democratic [...]

Commentary By: Gloria

George Bush struggled valiantly today to salvage some credibility for his vision of, and strategy for, a democratic Iraq. During his speech at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Bush unveiled his National Strategy for Victory in Iraq, stressed the need for additional time and patience, and attempted to quell mounting public and Democratic opposition.

Turning to criticism at home, Mr. Bush said, ‘œSome are calling for a deadline for withdrawal. The many advocating an artificial timetable for withdrawing are sincere. But I believe they’™re sincerely wrong.

‘Pulling our troops out before they achieve their purpose is not a plan for victory.

‘¦ To all who wear the uniform, I make you this pledge, America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your commander in chief,’ he declared.

Democratic leaders denounced his speech as long on rhetoric and short on solutions, while Think Progress issued a rapid response to the NSIV.

THE NATIONAL PAT ON THE BACK: The NSIV is less of a strategy and more

of a pat on the back. Much of the 35 pages is devoted to describing how well things are going. Oddly, the strategy declares on Page 5 that “Our Strategy Is Working.” On the economic front we are told, “Our restore, reform, build, strategy is achieving results.” On the political front: “Our Isolate, Engage, and Build strategy is working.” On the security front: “Our clear, hold, and build strategy is working.” With everything going so well, the NSVI reminds us that “change is coming to the region”From Kuwait to Morocco, Jordan, and Egypt, there are stirrings of political pluralism, often for the first time in generations.”

Senior military analysts who foresaw much of the current chaos presented their own report which casts significant doubt that the goals Bush has set, and still claims are achievable, can be met.

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005 by Gloria |
Category: Iraq,Permalink

“€œHomecoming”€ – A Review

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of previewing an upcoming episode of the Showtime series, ‘œMasters of Horror’. The episode, Homecoming, airs this Friday evening (which also happens to be the beginning of a Showtime free weekend). If you watch nothing else on TV this week, make sure you carve out [...]

Commentary By: Richard Blair

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of previewing an upcoming episode of the Showtime series, ‘œMasters of Horror’. The episode, Homecoming, airs this Friday evening (which also happens to be the beginning of a Showtime free weekend). If you watch nothing else on TV this week, make sure you carve out 50 minutes to see this show. Here’™s a synopsis from the Showtime site:

 

Terror and scandal grip the nation when the media discovers that the living dead have swayed the Presidential election. This adaptation of Dale Bailey’™s award-winning short story ‘œDeath & Suffrage’ blends zombie horror and contemporary political satire with chilling results.

Joe Dante (the director) and Sam Hamm (the screenwriter) have created a piece that is sure to cause a shitstorm of controversey in right wing circles. Why? The zombies are dead soldiers. And they express their views of war in a manner that the 101st Fighting Keyboarders brigade will certainly consider, well, unpatriotic.

Prior to my seeing the preview, Homecoming was described to me as ‘œagitprop comedy’. Well, yeah. But for someone like me who is so tuned into the current political landscape (and the players who litter the landscape), Homecoming resonated because it spoke not only for the current travesty in Iraq, but for the general futility of all war. The political statement that Dante makes is powerful, to say the least ‘” and especially in the current climate of intel investigation (think back to Harry Reid’™s recent calling the Senate into closed session). With the emerging questions about the selling of the war, even more so.

There were points during the show that I was laughing uncontrollably. (The caricature of of a certain female right wing pundit was PERFECT and priceless. A particular scene involving candle wax made me shudder.) But by the time the credits rolled at the end, I was somber in the extreme from the statement that Dante makes. And maybe that’™s the impact he really wanted.

Over the years, I’™ve seen quite a few made-for-Showtime movies and series, and for the most part, they’™re not great. The production values of Homecoming were excellent, and the acting was, for the most part, spot on and not overplayed. The bottom line is that Homecoming is an emotionally moving work on many levels – definitely not your typical zombie flick.

It’™s hard to say how it will play with people who don’™t pay much attention to politics, or for who the war in Iraq is just a distant inconvenience on a daily basis. But maybe it will open a few eyes. In an undead sort of way, of course.

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: General,Permalink

tr�s diplomatique

Reuters reported today on French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin’™s interview with CNN’™s Christine Amanpour in Paris. Judging by the inflammatory headline and the lede, you’™d never know that de Villepin’™s comments on Iraq, which contained no warning on Washington that I could discern, were quite conciliatory considering the French bashing of comic proportions [...]

Commentary By: Gloria

Reuters reported today on French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin’™s interview with CNN’™s Christine Amanpour in Paris. Judging by the inflammatory headline and the lede, you’™d never know that de Villepin’™s comments on Iraq, which contained no warning on Washington that I could discern, were quite conciliatory considering the French bashing of comic proportions here in the aftermath of France’™s opposition to the invasion.

France warns against hasty U.S. pullout from Iraq

29 Nov 2005 18:38:45 GMT

PARIS, Nov 29 (Reuters) – French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, one of the sharpest critics of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, warned Washington on Tuesday against pulling out troops without regard to regional security.

Villepin, interviewed in Paris by CNN, said a badly planned withdrawal could cause chaos in Iraq, ‘œwhich of course would be disastrous for the whole region.’

The full transcript, however, shows that the lion’™s share of the interview dealt with the recent riots in France. At the conclusion, de Villepan was responding to Amanpour’™s question as to whether he felt vindicated that many of his predictions had come to pass in Iraq. Eschewing the golden opportunity he had been given to gloat, his response is a study in true diplomacy and the antithesis of Bush’™s cowboy rhetoric.

No, I think it is of course a very difficult situation; we have gone a long way to begin to establish democracy in Iraq, but still there is a long way to go. And I think the effort should be important in terms of including all the political forces. After the referendum on the constitution, we are going to have general elections in Iraq on the 15th of December, and I think it is a very important moment in order to try to put together all the political and social forces of the country. We know that there are two risks in Iraq still today. One is the division of Iraq which is of course a nightmare for the region. And the second one is a growing role of terrorism. So I think it is very important for the international community to try to put all these forces together to solve the matter and I think we should support the initiative of the Arab League: try to support a better regroupement, coalition of the different political forces, and also make sure that all the countries of the region work together in order to go forward.

He also speaks at length about the lessons France could learn from the recent riots. He does not once blame the rioters or demonize any group, but assesses the government’™s responsibility and proposes social remedies. Compared to our government’™s response to Katrina, it’™s quite striking.
(more’¦)

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Media,Permalink

Voltaire was right

‘œGod is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.’

The Almighty seems to have developed a twisted sense of humor these days. I wonder if Bush will go nukular when he catches wind of this:

Iran: President Says Light Surrounded Him During UN Speech

Prague, 29 November 2005 (RFE/RL) ‘” According the report [...]

Commentary By: Gloria

‘œGod is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.’

The Almighty seems to have developed a twisted sense of humor these days. I wonder if Bush will go nukular when he catches wind of this:

Iran: President Says Light Surrounded Him During UN Speech

Prague, 29 November 2005 (RFE/RL) ‘” According the report by baztab.com, President Ahmadinejad made the comments in a meeting with one of Iran’™s leading clerics, Ayatollah Javadi Amoli.

Ahmadinejad said that someone present at the UN told him that a light surrounded him while he was delivering his speech to the General Assembly. The Iranian president added that he also sensed it.

‘œHe said when you began with the words ‘in the name of God,’™ I saw that you became surrounded by a light until the end [of the speech],’ Ahmadinejad appears to say in the video. ‘œI felt it myself, too. I felt that all of a sudden the atmosphere changed there, and for 27-28 minutes all the leaders did not blink.’

Ahmadinejad adds that he is not exaggerating.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Holy War

Show us your papers

From the people who gave us the Miami Model, we now have the new improved ‘œin-your-face’ model of a police state surveillance technique. I’™m very sure only ‘œterrorists’ will have a problem with this intimidation tactic.

MIAMI ‘” Miami police announced Monday they will stage random shows of force at hotels, banks and other public places [...]

Commentary By: Gloria

From the people who gave us the Miami Model, we now have the new improved ‘œin-your-face’ model of a police state surveillance technique. I’™m very sure only ‘œterrorists’ will have a problem with this intimidation tactic.

MIAMI ‘” Miami police announced Monday they will stage random shows of force at hotels, banks and other public places to keep terrorists guessing and remind people to be vigilant.

Deputy Police Chief Frank Fernandez said officers might, for example, surround a bank building, check the IDs of everyone going in and out and hand out leaflets about terror threats.

‘œThis is an in-your-face type of strategy. It’™s letting the terrorists know we are out there,’ Fernandez said.

In the meantime, a Colorado woman has been dubbed the Rosa Parks of the Patriot Act generation, for refusing to show her ID on a bus to work and her subsequent arrest. Feds have still not decided whether to press charges against Deborah Davis, 50. She has one son in Iraq and another retired military son.

They say it’™s purely for safety but here’™s what Davis says:

‘œIt’™s wrong,’ she said Monday. ‘œIt’™s not even security. It’™s just a lesson in compliance – the big guys pushing the little guys around.’

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Civil Liberties

SCOTUS Turns Down Sibel Edmonds’ Appeal

It’™s been awhile since we’™ve heard anything about Sibel Edmonds’™ case – after being totally shut out of court earlier this year, she appealed her gag order, and the job action against her, to the Supreme Court. Given that SCOTUS is fairly loaded up now with the support crew that the Bush regime needs, [...]

Commentary By: Richard Blair

It’™s been awhile since we’™ve heard anything about Sibel Edmonds’™ case – after being totally shut out of court earlier this year, she appealed her gag order, and the job action against her, to the Supreme Court. Given that SCOTUS is fairly loaded up now with the support crew that the Bush regime needs, it’™s no surprise that they declined to hear her appeal today:

A former FBI translator failed Monday to persuade the Supreme Court to revive her lawsuit alleging she was fired for reporting possible wrongdoing by other linguists involved in counterterrorism investigations.


The high court also rebuffed a request by Sibel Edmonds and media groups to rule on whether an appellate court improperly held arguments in the case in secret without being asked to do so by either side’¦

I contacted Sibel earlier today. She was clearly devastated by the outcome, but indicated that she’™d be discussing the ruling on her site in the next few days, as well as examining other legal avenues.

In her quest for personal justice, as well as a full airing of pre and post-911 failures (and glaring omissions) of the FBI, Sibel has had the support of congress, some great legal minds, and other post-9/11 government whistleblowers who’™ve also been retaliated against. She also testified before the 9/11 Commission, but her testimony remains classified.

All Sibel has been trying to do is clear her name and restore her personal (and professional) reputation. But to date, she hasn’™t been allowed to do so. With the circuit court’™s previous ruling, and today’™s SCOTUS ruling, a chilling message is being sent to every federal employee ‘” don’™t risk your job or reputation or family by being a snitch when you see wrongdoing.

Monday, November 28th, 2005 by Richard Blair |

GIs don’t get stunt doubles or second takes

Conservative actor Bruce Willis is mad as hell and he’™s not going to take it anymore. After recently rubbing elbow’™s with the military’™s elite Deuce Four and a former Green Beret embedded blogger, Willis says it’™s his duty to come out swinging for the troops. In a move that he sees as being both a [...]

Commentary By: Gloria

Conservative actor Bruce Willis is mad as hell and he’™s not going to take it anymore. After recently rubbing elbow’™s with the military’™s elite Deuce Four and a former Green Beret embedded blogger, Willis says it’™s his duty to come out swinging for the troops. In a move that he sees as being both a morale booster and an opportunity to bolster negative public opinion, Willis is going to put his money, and his mug, into a flag-waving, pro-Iraq war flick.

The 50-year-old actor said that he was in talks about a film of ï–¿–½these guys who do what they are asked to for very little money to defend and fight for what they consider to be freedomï–¿–½.

Unlike many Hollywood stars Willis supports the war and recently offered a $1m (about ï–¿–½583,000) bounty for the capture of any of Al-Qaedaï–¿–½s most wanted leaders such as Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri or Abu Musab al- Zarqawi, its commander in Iraq. Willis visited the war zone with his rock and blues band, the Accelerators, in 2003′¦

Willis said it would be wrong for Americans to give up on Iraq just as progress is being made.

I wonder who he will cast in the role of military ethicist, Col. Ted Westhusing. The 44-year-old father and West Point professor who volunteered to serve and whose suspicious suicide occurred after he reported corruption and human rights abuses by military contractors in Iraq, ones he claimed were overpaid.
(more’¦)

Monday, November 28th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Iraq,Permalink
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