Tuesday, August 23, 2005

52 Card Pick-up

Juan Cole:

The new constitution, with blank passages, was presented to parliament just before midnight on August 22. But parliament did not vote on it, and a "three-day delay" was announced.


The rule of law is no longer operating in Iraq, and no pretence of constitutional procedure is being striven for. In essence, the prime minister and president have made a sort of coup, simply disregarding the interim constitution. Given the acquiescence of parliament and the absence of a supreme court (which should have been appointed by now but was not, also unconstitutionally), there is no check or balance that could question the writ of the executive.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Ah, sh*t, another brother hit

Roadside Bomb Kills 4 U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan:

Militant assaults elsewhere killed a senior pro-government Islamic leader and two Afghan policemen, as Taliban-led rebels step up a campaign to subvert key Sept. 18 legislative elections. Seven U.S. soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan over the past four days.

U.S. officials have warned that fighting could escalate ahead of the parliamentary and provincial assembly elections, seen as the next step in building Afghanistan's democracy after a quarter-century of civil strife and war.

Just a friendly game of baseball.

All out of glue

Consensus elusive on Iraq charter:

Iraq's constitution is seen as key to the country's political transition and possible early withdrawal of US-led troops.

It is due to go to a referendum in October ahead of new elections in December.

Sources close to the negotiations said US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who attended meetings until late on Saturday, has asked the Kurds to soften their stand on oil as well as their demand for self-determination.

"The US is pressuring the Kurds to give up these two demands," said one source.

Meanwhile, the God-botherers are keen as for Sharia law, or whatever you call it when Islam determines state law. Great. Fightin' over money and religion. Back to basics.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Election support

More troops for Afghanistan:

"The advice that the Government has received from Defence is that the special forces contingent will need to be approximately 190 personnel to provide appropriate mobility, force protection and adequate logistics support," Senator Hill said.

Up from 150.

Special forces. Most of their work will be 'behind enemy lines'. These 40 extra have probably been told to start growing their beards a long time ago, the decision having already been made.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A step behind

Dowd's back!

It took three articles before I noticed. Some fan-boy. I ain't sh*t.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Beautiful minds must die


If release of the Abu Ghraib snuff movies does trigger a violent reaction in Iraq or Afghanistan, if it does lengthen the lines at the Al Qaeda recruitment office, or if it does inspire insurgent bomb makers to invent even more lethal IEDs, the ones who'll pay the price will be the troops in the field -- the same poor bastards who are already spilling their blood for the Pentagon's failures.

Yeah, it's REAL hard work, Dubya, you stupid f*ck. Time for another holiday at your phoney ranch.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Step 1: Take aim. Step 2: Shoot foot.

Government: Release of Abu Ghraib prison photos could cause riots:

Gen. Richard B. Myers wrote in recently unsealed court papers filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan that it was "probable that al-Qaeda and other groups will seize upon these images and videos as grist for their propaganda mill."

Or, it may lead to a murderous event of an even greater magnitude than two tall buildings falling down.

Way to fight the war. Clowns.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Waiting to hear from you

August 9, 2005

Combined Forces Command - Afghanistan
Coalition Press Information Center (Public Affairs)

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – At least 16 enemy forces and one U.S. service member were killed Aug. 8 during a fire fight southwest of Deh Chopan.

The service member was killed when an Afghan and U.S. patrol conducting operations aimed at routing enemy forces from the Deh Chopan area came under an unprovoked attack by enemy forces with small-arms fire and rocket propelled grenades. U.S. and Coalition aircraft arrived at the scene and provided continuous close air support.

Battle damage assessment is currently ongoing. Initial estimates indicate at least 16 enemy forces were killed. Non-combatants were not involved in the attack.

“While we are bringing the fight to the enemy forces in the area and experiencing great successes against them it comes at a heavy cost,” Brig. Gen. James G. Champion, Combined Joint Task Force-76 Deputy Commanding General. “We are greatly saddened by the loss of one of our own but are able to take solace in the fact that we are ridding this area of an oppressive and violent enemy. Afghan and U.S. forces will continue this search and attack mission to ensure there are no enemy safe havens in this region.”

The name the U.S. service member is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Monday, August 08, 2005

From the comfort zone

From the Crikey daily email:

Hugo Kelly writes:

No doubt the PM's office will have acquired a transcript of Peter Cosgrove's pre-recorded appearance on Enough Rope tonight. Not least because there's a touch of the Lathams about the former defence force chief's prescription for our troops in Iraq – get them out by Christmas. Check it out here.

OK, Latham wanted the troops out last Christmas, while Cosgrove is projecting to 2006. But the rationale is eerily similar. Cosgrove believes training up the locals and then withdrawing our troops would remove one motivating factor for terrorist attacks: our military presence in Iraq.

Of course, when federal police chief Mick Keelty suggested such a link between the Iraq invasion and terror attacks a while back, he was swiftly slapped down by the prime minister and, er, the head of the defence forces, Peter Cosgrove, as Mungo MacCallum points out here.

But now he's left the military, Cosgrove feels no compunction to toe the party line. It's amazing how a new job outside government can loosen the tongue. Here it is, in black and white: "I think we've got to train the Iraqis as quickly as we can and to a point where we take one of the focal points of terrorist motivation away, and that is foreign troops."

And how quickly that should happen? "I figure that if we could get that done by the end of 2006 that would be really good." Who reckons Cosgrove would have publicly provided this kind of advice if he was still wearing the khaki?

Yeah, what would you know Cosgrove!?! Crazy armchair General.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Making listening noises

Govt cuts detention centre razor wire:

"Good faith will be required by those people in detention in this more open environment, as it will also be needed by people outside of detention centres who may be opposed to the policy."

F*ck you, Vanstone. You can blow your good faith out of your flabby, over-indulged, alcoholic arse.

The razor wire at Villawood will be donated to the Smorgon Steel Great Scrap Round-Up which is raising money for bushfire brigades.

Nice touch.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bring 'em hollow void

Another 14 families will need to be advised of a loved ones death.

Maybe George can cut his little catch-phrase down to an acronym, "BEO".

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Beautiful minds scattered

Al Jazeera:

Seven US marines have been killed in western Iraq, the US military says.

The soldiers were killed on Monday near Haditha, a town on the Euphrates river 200km (120 miles) northwest of Baghdad, said Lieutenant-Colonel Steve Boylan, a US military spokesman.

It was not immediately clear if they were killed in a single attack or if they died in separate clashes with fighters.

The deaths bring to just over 1800 the number of US soldiers who have died since the start of the war in Iraq in March 2003.

In the past month, nearly 60 have died, including five who were killed in roadside bomb attacks in Baghdad at the weekend.

While the families of those killed wait to be told of their loved one's deaths, we can ponder the lies which lead to this situation and the idiot's braggadoccio as retort - "Bring 'em on."

It ain't right.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Mercenary justice

Defence Force lawyer lashes Hicks court:

The Hicks family described the process as a scandal but the Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, said the commission had been restructured after the emails were written in March 2004. "We believe that the appropriate safeguards are in place to ensure that the trial is a fair trial," he told ABC radio.

Wait a sec.. haven't these lil'puppy dogs been defending the integrity of this trial process for the past 3 years?

Downer, you fat gormless dolt, give it up!