Monday, October 31, 2005

Ideology over honesty

Juan Cole lists the Top Five Resignations the American People Should Demand
In the Wake of Libby's Indictment

The list is: Vice President Richard Bruce Cheney, Karl Rove, John Hannah, John Bolton, Elliot Abrams.

Considering the nature of the offence these guys were involved in, that it occured at a time of war (heard this argument before, warmongers?), we are still at war and the fact that all of these guys are part of the Bush Admin, it is especially important that they are removed from the levers of control.

This is has nothing to do with partisan politicking, but preserving the future of our children.

Resign fellas, do it for the kids.

Give 'em the boot, Bush, for our future.

If you support their retention, you are an enemy of the West. Ideally, you should be locked up for treason and hopefully, sent to Gitmo to determine the extent of your aidin', comfortin' and all round general support for the enemy.

Off you go, turn yourselves in, all of you. That'd be tops.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Follow the Money

More Iraq cash tracked to MP;

Days after a US Senate committee tracked a $US150,000 ($200,000) payment to the MP's now estranged Palestinian wife, the UN inquiry reported that Amina Naji Abu Zayyad had earlier received a series of transfers totalling $US120,000.

Watch the press go after Galloway. It should be a concerted effort from the usual shills. Fabulous.

Watch them go quiet when he successfully cleasr his name and proceeds to rip the Iraq invasion freaknoughts another hole. Spectacular action.

As usual, Kurt Nimmo puts the whole extravaganza into the appropriate context;

The so-called Oil for Food scandal obfuscates the real issue—the sanctions imposed against Iraq by a maidservant United Nations (and enforced by US and British warplanes) were responsible for killing more than a million people, half of them defenseless children. Denis Halliday, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad, resigned his post in 1997. “I don’t want to administer a programme that satisfies the definition of genocide,” said Halliday. Halliday’s successor, Hans von Sponeck, also resigned. “How much longer can democratically elected governments hope to get away with justifying policies that punish the Iraqi people for something they did not do, through economic sanctions that target them in the hope that those who survive will overthrow the regime? Is international law only applicable to the losers? Does the UN security council only serve the powerful?” von Sponeck and Halliday wrote for the Guardian in November, 2001.

Nasty Galloway and his self-serving charity must go down!

Fire in the Hole

One of the many victims of the corrupt and mendacious Bush Admin, Joseph Wilson - Husband of outed agent welcomes trial;

"Whatever the final outcome of the investigation and the prosecution, I continue to believe that revealing my wife Valerie's secret CIA identity was very wrong and harmful to our nation, and I feel that my family was attacked for my speaking the truth about the events that led our country to war," he said.

Mr Wilson has accused top Bush aides of naming her to discredit his criticism of intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq.

"Today is a sad day for America. When an indictment is delivered at the front door of the White House, the office of the president is defiled. No citizen can take pleasure from that," he said.

But.. Clintoon murdered hundreds to get laid and make money from Real Estate! He's way worse!

He's no Kevin Pieterson

British cagey on Hicks passport;

The bid by the Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks for a British passport - which would secure his release from the US military prison - appears doomed after the British Home Office said "public policy considerations" could prevent it granting him citizenship.

A bit of a bummer. I'd like to see Hicks get the f*ck out of Gitmo. If it did occur via this avenue, the double whammy would be the Howard Government's embarrassment.

Wishful thinking.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A fraction of Iraqi casualties

Billmon shows you what 2000 looks like. In case you're an unimaginative simpleton.

Bring 'em on, Dubya, you f*ck.

Corrupted messenger

US says it has new evidence British MP took bribes from Saddam;

Appearing before the sub-committee in May, Mr Galloway ridiculed Mr Coleman and rejected as "utterly preposterous" accusations he profited from the defunct oil-for-food program. A spokesman for Mr Galloway, Ron McKay, said the politician was willing to appear in a US court if charged with perjury. Earlier, Mr Galloway released a statement saying: "I have not made a penny out of oil deals with Iraq or indeed any other kind of deal."

This'll be good. I hope Galloway's comments regarding the US's drive to invade Iraq also get an airing. I was cheering, if only for the fact that no local pollie was prepared to stick the boot in.

Also, this has nice synergies with the Plame game.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Who, us!?! Surely, not!

Rumsfeld: Hasten body-burning probe

The defence secretary cited as an example the deadly riots in Afghanistan this year that some people linked to anger over alleged mishandling of the Quran by US military personnel at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention centre.

Nice example, Poet. Is this a suggestion that the media outlet responsible should respond to pressure from the US Gov't in much the same as Time did and announce that the video is a fabrication?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Dept. of shoot oneself in foot

Juan Cole;

One of the world's foremost fighters against terrorism, French judge Jean Louis Bruguiere, says that Iraq has become virtual manufacturing plant for Muslim terrorists in Europe. Young Muslims go off to fight there, and return with the skills to do damage in Europe itself. Seems like the flypaper has lost its stickum.

Yeah? What would you know you crazy, revisionist, reactionary, liberal-judge.

Hokes is no joke, folks

Bomb call backfires;

"The inquiry reveals that the stewardess had given the false alarm because she did not want to fly that day," the report said. The stewardess was sacked, it said.

Now, in these times of the ubiquitous and intangible fear of a terrorist strike, if you wanted to cause a major disruption to business trade and the economy, subsequently costing a heap of cash.. money, would you need to actually kill anybody?

Likely, not.


SBS shows troops burning Taliban bodies;

SBS has broadcast footage of what it says is United States soldiers burning two dead Taliban fighters as they faced Mecca and using the charred and smoking corpses in a propaganda campaign in southern Afghanistan.

The Dateline report, broadcast on Wednesday night, said US soldiers burnt the bodies for hygiene reasons but then a US psychological operations unit broadcast a propaganda message on loudspeakers to Taliban fighters, taunting them to retrieve their dead and fight.

The article details the names of the troops responsible. Wouldn't have thought that was a good idea.

Apologies for the post title. I react in an awful way to these sorts of things and will likely develop an eye twitch in later years.

Life is beautiful, ay?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Enter stage right


Barber: (flips through a few pages) OK, which one of you is “freckle faced Midwestern farm boy”?

(One of the dancers raises his hand.)

Barber Right. When the president says: “We are fighting for the freedom of all free people yearning to live freely in freedom,” you answer: “Mr. President, we would all gladly lay down our lives to make your bold vision of peace and democracy come true in Iraq.” And don’t forget to put the quiver in your voice at the end. But you can leave out the part where you swear your own personal loyalty to the Bush family. The lawyers decided that was a little over the top.

Dancer: Do I still kneel in prayer after I’m finished?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

No right to rights

Pulped IR documents reveal truth, says Beazley (they likely do, too);

"But I've watched him over nine-and-a-half years. He does not, Mr Speaker, have the ticker to articulate an alternative policy to the Australian people.

"All he ever does is oppose for opposition's sake."

This is the best response Howard could come up with, a personal shot at Beazley recalling the 'ticker' jibe and the fact that he has been in opposition while Howard has been on top of the shit heap.

On behalf of all normal and decent folk who've suffered this recent Prime Ministership: f*ck you, Howard.

We all lubed up and ready fo' a reamin'.

Bob Carr joins Macquarie Bank;

Greens upper house MP Sylvia Hale said Mr Carr's appointment could be a conflict of interest, with Macquarie Bank having been an instrumental player in a host of major infrastructure projects in NSW.

"They are involved in the M7, the Cross City Tunnel and the expansion of Sydney airport, to name a few."

Apparently, according to Crikey's Stephen Mayne, Carr is being paid $500k pa for the gig. Stephen also makes this comment:

Will ICAC investigate the Carr situation? Somehow I don't think that ICAC commissioner Irene Moss, the wife of Macquarie Bank CEO Allan Moss who was appointed to the position by Carr in 1999, will have an appetite for this one. Besides, she's fundamentally conflicted.

Smacks two of 'em. Dodgy, incestuous mob aren't they?


Australian troops under fire in Iraq;

Australian soldiers in Iraq have come under fire for the first time since their deployment to the Al Muthanna province.

Howard will take a beating if anything serious occurs. The debate over the Iraq war fizzed out before it was resolved. Who cares about thousands of dead Iraqis (yeah, but they're damned stoked there ain't no Saddam in power, no more!), not us, but a dead Aussie? We'll freak. Bali style.

Monday, October 10, 2005

News from the front

Deadly attacks target Iraqi soldiers;

A mortar round was lobbed into the heavily protected administrative Green Zone in Baghdad, the source added, but details on any casualties were not immediately available.

Not-so secure compound.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Loose cannon

That nasty ol'Latham answers reader's questions in today's Crikey email;

Niall Clugston: During the election campaign you famously refused to take a call from Lachlan Murdoch. How common are such approaches to political leaders and how influential do you think people such as the Murdoch family are in this way?

Mark Latham: Sorry Niall but you have the wrong date and wrong take on this matter (see page 387 of my book). In general, most politicians are compliant with the big media interests – just look at Howard's agenda to give Packer and Murdoch a bigger share of Australian media ownership. In fact, I can't think of an issue over the past nine years where the Howard Government has acted against the wishes of Murdoch or Packer. Even against all the evidence, Howard and Murdoch still have a unity ticket on the fiasco in Iraq. The last Prime Minister to stand up to one of the media barons was Keating, when he disagreed with Packer on the question of the pay TV cable (see page 103 of my book). For his sin in defending the public interest and sound competition policy, the Packers have been on Keating's hammer ever since. The latest instalment was John Lyons' extraordinary piece of hate mail against Keating in The Bulletin magazine. Sure, you can take them on in politics but understand this: they will exercise personal vendettas against you thereafter. It takes a gutsy guy like Keating to even try.


Patrick Hayden: Given Mr Latham's criticism of Kim Beazley, which is preferable for Australia – a Howard Government or a Beazley Government?

Mark Latham: Don't limit your options in life Patrick. My preference is for a Gillard Labor Government. But to answer your question directly: even Beazley is better than Howard. I would vote for anyone, even Julia Irwin or Mike Hatton, to get rid of the Rodent. With Bill Heffernan as his close mate and moral guardian, how low can any man go? I know my Diaries were hard on Beazley and the ALP machine men but really, what can you say about someone closely connected to Heffernan? What has happened to this country when a Senator can try to fit up a High Court judge as a kiddie-fiddler and then a few years later, the Senator is rehabilitated as the Prime Minister's confidant and political hitman? It's a sick, sick world down there in Canberra.


Andrew Probyn: How about asking him whether it's true that Tassie Governor Richard Butler inquired of Latham during his trip to the Apple Isle early 2004 whether he'd consider making him Governor-General.

Mark Latham: No Andrew, this was another canard invented by the media. I've got no idea where it came from, but I did not discuss the office of Governor General or any other position with Butler. As it turned out, Paul Lennon did not believe that Butler was fit to be Governor of Tasmania. He told me he was very unhappy with the Governor's behaviour at the Danish royal wedding. Poor Butler, he was sacked by Lennon for being like Lennon.


Don Dillon: Dear Mark, now that we know how you really felt (when you were elected party leader in 2004) about political life in general (you recently cautioned Melbourne University students to eschew it as a career) and your Labor Party in particular, why didn't you resign instead of leading it into the last federal election? Though the Australian people would presumably never have known it, had you won the election, would that not have made you (presumably) the most hypocritical (despising your own party and most of your colleagues) prime minister Australia has ever had?

Mark Latham: Turn it up Don, you need to read the Diaries plus check the public record. My criticism of Beazley and ALP machine politics was well known throughout 1998-2003. The surprising thing for me was that, after I became Labor leader in December 2003, the media never really asked about these internal party issues. They were more interested in my views on Bush, etc. My position was no different to the dozens of serving Labor MPs who dislike the influence Beazley and the machine men have had on the modern ALP.


Steve Gungadin: At last week's Latham lecture at Melbourne University, I was the 22-year-old ALP member who stood up and asked the big man whether he might be willing to write a second book with suggestions as to how to practically start and address the ALP's problems. Unfortunately – and as reported in The Age the next day – he didn't answer my question. So, again: "For those idealists who still believe the ALP is still worth fighting for but do not have the power or influence you had as leader, what practical measures can be taken to work towards party reform?" This might not cause enough of a reaction from Latham to be worth printing but there are actually quite a few of us out here who would like an answer.

Mark Latham: Well Steve, the first book (the Diaries) describes the problem as insoluble, meaning that a second book would be superfluous. This is the classic dilemma for social democratic parties, so well articulated by Robert Michels 50 years ago: the machine men who have control of the ALP through the unions and other factional methods will never relinquish that power. In fact, over time, it is becoming increasingly concentrated in their hands – the total corruption of the party organisation. Have a look at the situation in your home state of Victoria right now – the attempt to install a new generation of Yes men to Robert Ray and Beazley in the key seats. Is that the sort of party you want to be active in? Not all problems in life can be solved and unfortunately, the machine grip on the ALP is one of them. Intellectually, there is no shame in saying that a problem is insoluble. That's the point I was trying to make to you at Melbourne University. If you have a feasible solution, and with all the idealism and optimism of a 22-year-old, put it into place over the next decade or so, then you are a better man than me Gungadin. But my friend, the sad truth is, it is highly improbable. The sooner you realise this, the sooner you can stop wasting your time with organised politics and pursue more fruitful activities, like community activism, local welfare work and actually helping people in need. One of the reasons I produced the book is to let people like you reflect on my experiences and then chart your own course. Good luck.

I stole them, for your benefit.

Wipe on, wipe off

Middle East split over Iraq deepens;

Saud has also charged that Washington was effectively handing Iraq to Iran by pursuing a policy that deepened sectarian divisions. Tehran dismissed Riyadh's concerns.

Iran and the US in cahoots? Of course! Circular.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

He did what!?!

Juan Cole;

It is fruitless to speculate about who dissolved the Iraqi army in May of 2003, and why. (This move contributed to the rise of the Sunni Arab guerrilla movement). Bush did it!

Who ordered the Marines, against their better judgement, to launch a reprisal attack on Fallujah after four Western private security guards were killed and their bodies desecrated there? Bush did it!

Who authorized torture at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib? Bush did it!

Who appointed Michael Brown, a man with no experience in emergency management, head of FEMA? Bush did it!

Who let Bin Laden escape from Tora Bora? Bush did it!

Who completely destroyed the fiscal health of the US government and forced us into massive debt, squandering Clinton's surplus and endangering social security? Bush did it!

Bush is the president. He makes the decisions. If there has been a major bad decision, it has been his.

Who outed Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA operative? Bush did it!

He is a bold, decisive leader after all.

Grand theft slaughter

Cars stolen in US used in suicide attacks;

Investigators believed the cars were stolen by local car thieves in US cities, then smuggled to waiting ships at ports in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Houston, among other cities. Terrorism specialists said they believed Iraqi insurgents preferred American stolen cars because they tended to be larger, blended in more easily with US convoys, and were harder to identify as stolen.

Not sure we need to see this stuff reported. I'd prefer to read about crew being busted following a stealth investigation. Reporting it only serves as a warning to these guys that the authorities are on to them.

Oh well, at least we can now view car thieves as terrorists and call for tougher legislation.

Greater minds than mine

John Quiggin has the same idea as John Howard (which I disputed, below) - Solidarity with Indonesia;

The latest terror attacks, although directed at foreign tourists, are first and foremost an attack on Indonesia and the Indonesian people. It seems pretty clear that Bali is a favoured target in part because the local population is largely (though by no means entirely) non-Muslim and the killers regard any of their fellow-citizens who do not share their religious beliefs as worthy of death. Their aim, along with groups like the unlamented Laskar Jihad is to promote civil war and the overthrow of democracy in Indonesia, so that they can implement their idea of an Islamic caliphate.

If this is true and these guys persist in this manner, things will become real ugly in that part of the world. Which isn't too far from my part.

Power struggles, aren't they great?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Last gasp for JI

Phone calls may have triggered suicide bombs;

Some have speculated the attacks could have come from others seeking to destabilise the presidency of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono or upset with massive fuel price hikes his Government has just pushed through.

Though this particular act of terrorism seems to make little sense, I doubt it is either of the above.

No doubt, Bali will suffer. I'd suggest that this is the likely goal. The Balinese are (generally speaking) the most beautiful, kind-hearted people on this earth. I feel sick for them.

Meanwhile - Phone text bomb rumours spooking expats;

"I can't rationalise my decision but we're just not going home," said Ms Werleman.

"We're definitely going to have to lay low though."

Ms Werleman will be one of the few. If you had the choice and could re-locate easily enough and not lose too much money, you'd leave.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Karate moves

Kurt Nimmo - The Death of a Constitutional Republic;

In other words, Bush wants to erase yet another constitutional amendment—the Tenth, which states “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”—and he is using the misfortune of Katrina as an opportunistic wrecking ball. “Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour declined the president’s offer to federalize the state’s National Guard troops in the aftermath of Katrina. So Mr. Bush wants Congress to consider empowering the Pentagon with automatic control.” In other words, the misery and suffering of the people of Louisiana—deliberately exacerbated by FEMA and the Ministry of Homeland Security—will serve as a red carpet for Bush to systematically dismantle the cornerstone of the United States, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is, at minimum and as a start, a death knell for Posse Comitatus.

In much the same way as they've used the effect of 9/11, these guys are using the weight and momentum of this disaster to flip the Constitution on its back and knock it out.

It seems to be a trend amongst Western Democracies at the moment.

The greatest, as in LARGE.

Retired general: Iraq invasion was 'strategic disaster';

“The invasion of Iraq I believe will turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history,” said Odom, now a scholar with the Hudson Institute.

Via Juan Cole, who has this comment;

With the Hudson Institute? That is Neocon Central. Now they're supporting Odom to say this?

But his evaluation is correct. The greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history.

Thanks neo-cons! Y'all safe in that raft watching the ship sink? F*ckers.