Thursday, April 05, 2007

Random News & Views Roundup

- Revisiting Mississippi Burning. Jonathan Steele makes the trip back to Neshoba county.

- CNN and Pelosi's "big wet kiss" for Syria's president Assad. The Washington Post gets in on the Pelosi-bashing as well. The left-wing blogosphere is not impressed, obviously.

- Following the release of the British captives by the Iranian government, a very short, grateful honeymoon ensued. That came to an abrupt end on Thursday with Tony Blair now blaming Iran for the deaths of four British soldiers in Basra although he has no firm evidence of Iranian involvement. Then there's this menacing news:

Kuwait City, April 4 (Xinhua) The US is planning to attack Iran's nuclear reactors and other nuclear facilities by the end of this month, the Kuwait-based Arab Times newspaper reported Wednesday.

Citing anonymous sources in Washington, it said that various White House departments had started preparing the political speech to be delivered by the US president later this month, announcing the military attack on Iran.

The speech will provide the 'evidence' and the 'justification' for the US to resort to the military option after failing to persuade Tehran to give up its nuclear ambitions, said the report.

According to the Times, one of the justifications expected in the speech is Iran's alleged role in the killing of American soldiers in Iraq by supporting various militias with money and arms.

These rumours are common, of course, but never misunderestimate Bush and Cheney. One of these days...well...

- Just how much bigger is this escalation in Iraq going to get? 12,000 more Guard troops may be going to Iraq. That's on top of the 21,000 troops originally stated by Bush. There's no end in site to this:

Surge timetable could be extended
Gates indicated Thursday that defense planners expected the U.S. military commitment to last well beyond the timetable of early next year that was put forth in the Pentagon’s arguments to send more than 20,000 regular Army troops to help quiet sectarian violence.

- Speaking of Iraq, check out Tom Hayden's 'Stop Funding the Dirty War'.

The time has come to understand the new de facto US policy in Iraq: to support, fund, arm and train a sectarian Shi’a-Kurdish state, one engaged in ethnic cleansing, mass detention and murder of Sunni Arabs.

If this description seems harsh, it is only because our minds are crowded with false or outdated paradigms. First was the dream of Baghdad as an exemplary democratic domino. Then the kumbaya notion of a unitary neo-liberal state with proportional representation and revenue-sharing among Shi’a, Kurds and Sunnis. All along, the US has described itself as a neutral arbiter among warring factions, a promoter of the rule of law and human rights in the Iraqi jungle.


- Looks like the infamous Hatfield v McCoy feud may have been more than just a matter of long held grudges. Interesting. I wonder if Cheney's related to them.

- Speaking of Cheney:

Captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides "all confirmed" that Hussein's regime was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a declassified Defense Department report released yesterday.

The declassified version of the report, by acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble, also contains new details about the intelligence community's prewar consensus that the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda figures had only limited contacts, and about its judgments that reports of deeper links were based on dubious or unconfirmed information. The report had been released in summary form in February.

The report's release came on the same day that Vice President Cheney, appearing on Rush Limbaugh's radio program, repeated his allegation that al-Qaeda was operating inside Iraq "before we ever launched" the war, under the direction of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist killed last June.

Obviously, he lives in McCain's Neverland too. But we already knew that... The Vice Denier-in-Chief.

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