Sunday, July 20, 2008

Time capsules

Study cites seeds of terror in Iraq
War radicalized most, probes find
By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | July 17, 2005
WASHINGTON -- New investigations by the Saudi Arabian government and an Israeli think tank -- both of which painstakingly analyzed the backgrounds and motivations of hundreds of foreigners entering Iraq to fight the United States -- have found that the vast majority of these foreign fighters are not former terrorists and became radicalized by the war itself.

The studies, which together constitute the most detailed picture available of foreign fighters, cast serious doubt on President Bush's claim that those responsible for some of the worst violence are terrorists who seized on the opportunity to make Iraq the ''central front" in a battle against the United States.

--Grand Moff Texan's diary at Daily Kos

Funny how some folks act as though it's news that information was manipulated to lie us into war with Iraq. Another tidbit from 2005:
From May 2002 until February 2003, I observed firsthand the formation of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans and watched the latter stages of the neoconservative capture of the policy-intelligence nexus in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. This seizure of the reins of U.S. Middle East policy was directly visible to many of us working in the Near East South Asia policy office, and yet there seemed to be little any of us could do about it.
I saw a narrow and deeply flawed policy favored by some executive appointees in the Pentagon used to manipulate and pressurize the traditional relationship between policymakers in the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies.
I witnessed neoconservative agenda bearers within OSP usurp measured and carefully considered assessments, and through suppression and distortion of intelligence analysis promulgate what were in fact falsehoods to both Congress and the executive office of the president.
--Karen Kwiatkowski's article "The New Pentagon Papers" in Salon (the link now attributes this to Steve Benen but I clipped the original).

The big topics of the moment were Karl Rove and the outing of Valerie Wilson as a CIA agent and the nomination of John Roberts for SCOTUS.

How about revisiting the Blessed Molly, patron saint of political reporting you love to read:
Molly Ivins - Creators Syndicate
07.20.06 - AUSTIN, Texas -- Never let it never be said our president does not provide laughs, even as we wobble on the rim of war in the Middle East.
Look what a good time Vladimir Putin had with him. Bush, responding to questions from the international press corps on his conversation with Putin the previous evening, said, "I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world like Iraq, where there is a free press and free religion, and I told him that a lot of people in our country, you know, would hope that Russia would do the same thing."

Putin, with a fairly straight face, replied, "We certainly would not like to have the same of kind of democracy they have in Iraq, I'll tell you that quite honestly." Don't you hate it when the international press corps laughs at what a stoop Bush is? Bush, who fancies himself something of a fast-reply artist, said, "Just wait." Heh, heh.
I think the problem is the rest of the world doesn't understand Dekes (Delta Kappa Epsilon). We need a Deke short-course in embassies around the globe.

Another citizen looking a bit nonplussed at the G8 Summit was Tony Blair, listening as Bush, noisily chewing with his mouth open, said, "See, the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit, and it's over. I feel like telling Kofi to get on the phone with Assad and make something happen."

Could he possibly believe that? You could probably suggest unleashing Israel on Syria, except the Israelis don't seem interested in the program. One, they don't know who would replace President Assad. And two, it could get them stuck there for years -- kind of like, oh, you know, that great democracy "what'sitsname."

Meanwhile, the nation needs to take a break from FOX and get a grip -- the 24/7 drumbeat for war is silly.

Also providing comic relief these days is Holy Joe Lieberman, senator from Connecticut, Al Gore's 2000 running mate, and the most annoyingly sanctimonious person in politics. Lieberman has more than miffed Connecticut Democrats by backing the war in Iraq and other Bush policies, setting off a big primary fight. Lieberman now threatens to run as an independent if he loses the primary, thus opening the seat to a Republican and further alienating Democrats.

Brother Ralph Reed, alas, tanked in Georgia. Do you think he knows Baptists don't approve of gambling? Meanwhile, in Texas, we're all excited about the possibility of having Tom DeLay back on the ballot in his old district. You must admit the Republicans have lost their moral compass since DeLay quit. Now, if we could just have a free press and free religion like Iraq!
(c) 2006 Creators Syndicate

This article shared for informational and historical purposes.
The link I had no longer works.



Much about the approaching elections, how Dems need to articulate and stay focused on message, and what an asshat Joe Lieberman is.

We are still, unfortunately, a nation with relaxed safety standards and ever-diminishing regulations thanks to those of the robber-baron mentality who don't believe regulation can ever be a good thing. So competition decreases, monopolies develop, and public health and safety (physical, economic, and every other way) are increasingly at risk.'

I still eat tomatoes, wild and crazy guy that I am.
--the BB

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