|jazzoLOG: Who Are You Supporting In The Iraqi Election Tomorrow?|
5 comments15 Dec 2005 @ 20:19 by vaxen : Shia pets:
Oh, sorry, that should be 'Chia pets,' yes? The whole thing is farcicle except for the butchered collaterals. And the Bush blames it all on ''faulty intelligence.'' And the Neo Cons are all --- can you say: ''Jewish?''
"Old mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her poor daughter a dress...
"Because television time is prohibitively expensive, only the campaigns with significant financial resources will ever become known to the Iraqi people."
Duh, as is also the case here in Fascist Amerika. Of course anyone who knows the real meaning of ''Democracy'' will know just why this is always the 'case.'
It came upon a midnight clear...
Out of Beit Lechem it roared...
It comes this way, now...
Happy Holly days, jazzo...
to you and yours.
21 Dec 2005 @ 21:45 by Quinty @188.8.131.52 : Toward a theocracy?
Today's Robert Scheer column: December 21, 2005
IRAN'S VICTORY REVEALED IN IRAQ ELECTION
December 21, 2005 -- For the Bush White House, the good news from Iraq just
never stops. But the joy that President Bush has expressed over the country's
latest election, though more restrained than his infamous "Mission
Accomplished" speech, will similarly come back to haunt him.
Soon after Bush spoke of the Iraqi election as "a landmark day in the history
of liberty," early returns representing 90 percent of the ballots cast in the
Iraq election established that the clear winners were Shiite and Sunni
religious parties not the least bit interested in Western-style democracy or
individual freedom -- including such extremists as Muqtada al-Sadr, whose
fanatical followers have fought pitched battles with U.S. troops.
The silver lining, of course, is that the election did see broad participation,
if not particularly clean execution. And because all of the leading parties say
they want the United States to leave on a clear and public time line, this
should provide adequate cover for a staged but complete withdrawal from a
sovereign country that we had no right to invade in the first place.
What we will leave behind, after hundreds of billions of dollars and tens of
thousands of lost lives, will be a long ways from the neoconservative fantasy
of creating a compliant democracy in the heart of the Middle East. It is absurd
for Bush to assert that the election "means that America has an ally of growing
strength in the fight against terror," ignoring how he has "lost" Iraq to the
influence and model of "Axis of Evil" Iran.
Tehran's rogue regime, which has bedeviled every U.S. president since Jimmy
Carter, now looms larger than ever over the region and most definitely over its
oil. "Iran wins big in Iraq's election," reads an Asia Times headline, speaking
a truth that American policy makers and much of the media is bent on ignoring:
"The Shiite religious coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), not only held
together, but also can be expected to dominate the new 275-member National
Assembly for the next four years," the paper predicts based on the returns to
date. "Former premier Ayad Allawi's prospects of leading the new government
seem virtually nil. And Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Accord suffered a
Allawi and Chalabi are the Iraqi exiles and U.S. intelligence "assets" who
played such a huge role in getting the United States into this war. Chalabi, in
particular, will go down in history as one of the great con artists of all
time, managing to feed phony intelligence to the White House, the New York
Times and countless other power players who found his lies convenient for one
reason or another. Now, despite -- or, more likely, because of -- their long
stints on the U.S. payroll, both of these wannabe George Washingtons have been
overwhelmingly rejected by their countrymen.
Chalabi, long the darling of the Pentagon, seems headed to obtaining less than
1 percent of the vote nationwide and will fail to win his own seat. Allawi's
slate, favored more by the CIA, will end up in the low teens.
As much as one should despise the role played by those two men in getting us
into this mess, their abject failure is not a good thing for they carried the
banner of a more modern and secular Iraq, which is essential to peace and human
rights progress. But the Iraqi people will have to come to that truth on their
own and not as a result of foreign intervention that only fuels the most
irrational political and religious forces.
Unfortunately, it is hardly an advertisement for our democratic way of life
that the American people were so easily deceived as to the reasons for this
war. Or that our president resists the condemnation of torture, renders
captured prisoners to be interrogated in the savage prisons of Uzbekistan and
Syria, and claims an unrestrained right to spy on U.S. citizens.
Nor does it help that this president is so publicly bent on intruding
government-imposed religious values into American civil life, while urging
secular tolerance upon the Islamic world. Or that he remains so blind to the
reality of life in that world that he still does not grasp that Saddam Hussein
and Osama bin Laden were on opposite sides of the enormous struggle over the
primacy of religion in the Arab world.
Iraq, for all of its massive deficiencies, was not a center of religious
fanaticism before the U.S. invasion, and the Islamic fanatics that are the
president's sworn enemy in the so-called "war on terror" did not have a
foothold in the country. Now, primitive religious fundamentalism forms the
dominant political culture in Iraq and the best outcome for U.S. policy is the
hope that Shiite and Sunni fanatics can check each other long enough for the
United States to beat a credible retreat and call it a victory, albeit a
E-mail Robert Scheer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2005 Robert Scheer
1 Jan 2006 @ 12:14 by jazzolog : Auld Lang Syne—Eng: “old long since”
or something like that. Hello Scotland!
Anyway, lest we forget...let's think back to a year ago, and the journey of 2005. O come on, it's not really going to be a Year in Review---just sort of~~~
Heckuva job, Bushie
--Or, A Year Ago...
Paul Krugman, The New York Times, December 30, 2005
A year ago, everyone expected President Bush to get his way on Social Security. Pundits warned Democrats that they were making a big political mistake by opposing plans to divert payroll taxes into private accounts.
A year ago, everyone thought Congress would make Mr. Bush's tax cuts permanent, in spite of projections showing that doing so would lead to budget deficits as far as the eye can see. But Congress hasn't acted, and most of the cuts are still scheduled to expire by the end of 2010.
A year ago, Mr. Bush made many Americans feel safe, because they believed that he would be decisive and effective in an emergency. But Mr. Bush was apparently oblivious to the first major domestic emergency since 9/11. According to Newsweek, aides to Mr. Bush finally decided, days after Hurricane Katrina struck, that they had to show him a DVD of TV newscasts to get him to appreciate the seriousness of the situation.
A year ago, before "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" became a national punch line, the rising tide of cronyism in government agencies and the rapid replacement of competent professionals with unqualified political appointees attracted hardly any national attention.
A year ago, hardly anyone outside Washington had heard of Jack Abramoff, and Tom DeLay's position as House majority leader seemed unassailable.
A year ago, Dick Cheney, who repeatedly cited discredited evidence linking Saddam to 9/11, and promised that invading Americans would be welcomed as liberators - although he hadn't yet declared that the Iraq insurgency was in its "last throes" - was widely admired for his "gravitas."
A year ago, Howard Dean - who was among the very few prominent figures to question Colin Powell's prewar presentation to the United Nations, and who warned, while hawks were still celebrating the fall of Baghdad, that the occupation of Iraq would be much more difficult than the initial invasion - was considered flaky and unsound.
A year ago, it was clear that before the Iraq war, the administration suppressed information suggesting that Iraq was not, in fact, trying to build nuclear weapons. Yet few people in Washington or in the news media were willing to say that the nation was deliberately misled into war until polls showed that most Americans already believed it.
A year ago, the Washington establishment treated Ayad Allawi as if he were Nelson Mandela. Mr. Allawi's triumphant tour of Washington, back in September 2004, provided a crucial boost to the Bush-Cheney campaign. So did his claim that the insurgents were "desperate." But Mr. Allawi turned out to be another Ahmad Chalabi, a hero of Washington conference rooms and cocktail parties who had few supporters where it mattered, in Iraq.
A year ago, when everyone respectable agreed that we must "stay the course," only a handful of war critics suggested that the U.S. presence in Iraq might be making the violence worse, not better. It would have been hard to imagine the top U.S. commander in Iraq saying, as Gen. George Casey recently did, that a smaller foreign force is better "because it doesn't feed the notion of occupation."
A year ago, Mr. Bush hadn't yet openly reneged on Scott McClellan's 2003 pledge that "if anyone in this administration was involved" in the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity, that person "would no longer be in this administration." Of course, some suspect that Mr. Bush has always known who was involved.
A year ago, we didn't know that Mr. Bush was lying, or at least being deceptive, when he said at an April 2004 event promoting the Patriot Act that "a wiretap requires a court order. ...When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution."
A year ago, most Americans thought Mr. Bush was honest.
A year ago, we didn't know for sure that almost all the politicians and pundits who thundered, during the Lewinsky affair, that even the president isn't above the law have changed their minds. But now we know when it comes to presidents who break the law, it's O.K. if you're a Republican.
1 Jan 2006 @ 23:40 by quinty : A few "hopeful" 2006 predictions
What do we have to look forward to next year?
Well, let me bring out my crystal ball....
George W. Bush will be found guilty of various felonies - the most serious having been an indiscriminate and moronic mouthpiece for his cabal of felons: all manipulative felons on the grand scale - and, along with his tightly knit group of coconspirators, will spend the next twenty years in a federal jail.
The American voter, in all his grand majesty, will vote out all the scoundrels, hustlers, and ruthlessly ambitious demagogues in Congress. A clean slate of progressive, honest, and pro-American, Constitution abiding, peace loving representatives will take their place. They will not, mirabile dictu, be spurred on by greed or personal advancement. Nor will they be consumed in their hearts and minds by a religious mania. And they will remember the principles of the Constitution.
A magic solution for global warming will be found. First of all, our central government will recognize that it exists. Second, and even more miraculous, they will put the welfare of the globe above profit. And third, they will come forward in an honest and straightforward manner to repair as much damage as they can. Thus, once again, as Thorton Wilder once so nicely put it, by "the skin of our teeth" we will avert an enormous global disaster.
The national news media will discover that such a thing as news exists out there. They, too, like our national leaders, will realize that some things are more important than profit. Or ratings. Or even ambition. And that covering the news is actually a part of their calling, professions, and jobs. That is, if they can ignore advancing their own careers long enough to be distracted in such a manner. Which is highly unlikely. But: if the first prediction comes true, then even they will see it is to their own advantage that they actually cover the news. For the downfall of this worst political cabal in American history will certainly be news. And even the media will not be able to ignore it.
The “fairness doctrine” will return. That way, O’Reily will have to share time with Katrina Vanden Heuvel. Miracles exist!
Happy news, er, new year on this first day of the year.... Dare we venture boldly forward into it?
25 Jan 2006 @ 23:45 by quinty : Hamas
So now Hamas has officially entered into mainstream Palestinian politics, and came close to beating the corrupt and fairly defunct Arafat political establishment. Will it make a real difference or provide cover for the Israeli right when they choose to increase their violence?
Here's a nice analysis of the current mess over there. It emerged about a week ago. Yes, we should perhaps try to remember Arabs are people too, just like us. Try, for example, imagining an Arabic occupation of the United States? With Arabs redrawing borders, establishing dictators, foisting coups, exploiting our resources, while simultaneously sneering at our religion, culture, values, and everything American?
We would be insulted, wouldn't we?
And the spiral of violence which could emerge from we, the homegrown, the locals, the American natives, could indeed take many forms. No? Or would we be mesmerized while all this is going on by watching TV? (Sorry for the bitter note. But for those of us who believe in the ideals this country was founded upon, the notion of an America which Lincoln refined, followed up by those progressive forces which often prevailed over the past century, making us somehow special, different, even superior and above the horrors taking place in Europe, and elsewhere, things are looking grim indeed. Did you, by the way, catch this wonderful piece by Gore Vidal? It's here, if you wish to see it:
On to the analysis of what's occuring in the Mideast. One which I at least find convincing...
Pity the Orphan: Avnery on Hamas
Monday, 23 January 2006, 10:45 am
Column: Uri Avnery
Pity the Orphan: Avnery on Hamas & Gush statement about Hebron settlers
By Uri Avnery
IT WAS a colorful day in Bil'in. Political flags of many colors were fluttering in the brisk breeze, the vivid election posters and the colorful graffiti on the walls adding their bit. It was the biggest demonstration in the beleaguered village for a long time. This week, the protest against the Fence was interwoven with Palestinian electioneering.
I was happily marching along in the wintry sunshine, holding high the Gush Shalom emblem of the flags of Israel and Palestine side by side. We were approaching the line of armed soldiers that was waiting for us, when I suddenly realized that I was surrounded by the green flags of Hamas.
Ordinary Israelis would have been flabbergasted. What, the murderous terrorists marching in line with Israeli peace activists? Israelis marching, talking and joking with the potential suicide bombers? Impossible!
But it was quite natural. All the Palestinian parties took part in the demonstration, together with the Israeli and international activists. Together they ran away from the clouds of tear gas, broke together through the lines of soldiers, were beaten up together. The green flags of Hamas, the yellow of Fatah, the red of the Democratic Front and the blue-and-white of the Israeli flag on our emblems harmonized, as did the people who carried them.
In the end, many of us improvised a kind of protest concert. Standing along the iron security railing, Israelis and Palestinians together, we beat on it rhythmically with stones, producing something like an African tom-tom that could be heard for miles around. The Orthodox settlers in nearby Modiin-Illit must have wondered what it meant.
THE PARTICIPATION of all Palestinian parties was in itself an important phenomenon. It was no doubt encouraged by the Palestinian elections, due to take place this coming Wednesday. It was curious to see the same faces on the posters along our route and right next to us in the crowd.
But it also showed the importance the Fence has assumed in Palestinian eyes.
Years ago, when the construction of the Wall-cum-Fence was just beginning, I went to see Yasser Arafat to suggest a joint struggle against it. I got the impression that the idea that the Wall was a serious danger was quite new to him - the Palestinian establishment had not yet grasped the significance of it. Now it is near the top of the national agenda.
This week, on the eve of the elections in which Hamas is expected to gain a significant share of the vote, the picture of Hamas activists marching side by side with Israeli peace activists, was important. Because soon Hamas will enter the Palestinian Parliament and, perhaps, the government, too.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE sharply criticized the elections because of the participation of "terrorists", echoing the statement of her new Israeli colleague, Tsipi Livni, who declared that they are not "democratic elections" because of Hamas.
What is emerging now is a new pretext for our government to avoid negotiating with the elected Palestinian leadership. The pretext changes frequently, but the purpose remains the same.
First there was the assertion that Israel would not negotiate until the new Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, dismantles the "terrorist infrastructure". That was, indeed, an obligation under the Road Map - but so was the obligation, completely ignored by Ariel Sharon, simultaneously to remove the hundred settlements or so that were set up after his coming to power.
Then came the claim that the Palestinian Authority was in a state of anarchy. How can one negotiate with anarchy?
Now there comes the contention that Israel cannot possibly be expected to negotiate with a Palestinian leadership that includes Hamas, an organization that has carried out many suicide bombings and, at least officially, does not accept the existence of Israel..
The pretexts are manifold, and more can be produced if necessary. (Reminding me of my late friend, Natan Yellin-Mor, former leader of the "Stern Gang" terrorist underground and later peace activist, who said: "I wish God would put in my way as many temptations as I have pretexts for succumbing.")
Hamas' presence in the next Palestinian government is not a reason to reject peace negotiations. On the contrary, it is a compelling reason for starting them at long last. It would mean that we negotiate with the entire Palestinian spectrum (excluding only the small Islamic Jihad organization). If Hamas joins the government on the basis of Mahmoud Abbas' peace policy, it is manifestly ripe for negotiations, with or without arms, based on a hudnah (truce).
Thirty years ago, when I started secret contacts with the PLO leadership, I was almost the only person in Israel in favor of negotiating with the organization that was at the time officially designated as "terrorist". It took almost 20 years for the Israeli government to come round to my point of view. Now we are starting again from the same point.
Why do the Palestinian organizations refuse to give up their arms? Let's not deceive ourselves: for most Palestinians, these arms are a kind of strategic reserve. If negotiations with Israel lead nowhere, the armed struggle will probably be resumed. That by itself is not unheard of. (See: Ireland.)
EVEN IF Mahmoud Abbas wanted to disarm Hamas, he would be unable to. His weak position, combined with the weakness of his Fatah movement makes such a measure impossible.
This weakness, which also finds its expression in the Fawda ("anarchy"), derives mainly from one source: the sly efforts of Sharon to undermine his position.
I have pointed this out more than once: for Sharon, the rise of Abbas constituted a serious danger. Being favored by President Bush as an example of his success in bringing democracy and peace to the Middle East, he threatened the exclusive relationship between the US and Israel, perhaps even opening the way for American pressure on Israel.
To prevent this, Sharon denied Abbas even the slightest political concession, such as releasing prisoners (Marwan Barghouti springs to mind), changing the path of the Wall, freezing settlement, coordinating the withdrawal from Gaza with Abbas, etc. This campaign was successful. The authority of Abbas has been significantly weakened.
Now Sharon's successors are using this very weakness as a pretext to reject serious negotiations with him and the next Palestinian government, calling to mind the story of the boy who, having killed both his parents, threw himself upon the mercy of the court: "Have pity on a poor orphan!"
Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom.
He is one of the writers featured in The Other Israel: Voices of
Dissent and Refusal. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch's
hot new book The Politics of Anti-Semitism. He can be reached at:
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