Monday, April 16, 2007

Shia Group Quits Iraqi Government

It is bad enough that Bush will continue to put US troops in the dangerous position of propping up a failed regime in Iraq. It is enough to die for one's country. It is enough to defend one's country against aggressive war against it. But no one, least of all an illegitimate "President", a self appointed "decider", can expect of Americans that they die to protect him from the consequences of his own lies.

Here's the development that pulls the rug from beneath Bush. The Shi'ite bloc has quit the Iraqi government.

Sadr bloc quits Iraqi government

Firebrand Shiite cleric’s bloc pullout will herald a new power-struggle within Iraq's Shiite majority.

BAGHDAD - The political bloc of firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Monday formally declared its withdrawal from Iraq's beleaguered ruling coalition, at a Baghdad news conference.

The hardline Shiite preacher -- who has not been seen in public for months -- was angered last week when protests failed to persuade Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to set a date for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

Sadr's six ministers and 32 lawmakers form the biggest single bloc in Maliki's fragmenting coalition, but the prime minister would be able to cling to power if he keeps the support of smaller Shiite and Kurdish groups.
How many of us woke up as cockroaches this morning? If you did, you may be forgiven. We live a Kafakesque world of absurd news, inmates in charge, certifiable loons making laws and policy. I am referring to the illegitimate regime of GWB. We are strangers -not in a strange land - but in our own.

What right now has Bush to expect US troops to lay down their lives in defense of an illegitimate regime? For the clueless: the answer is found in the history of Viet Nam, where, for more than a quarter of a century, the US wasted some 58,000 American lives in defense of illegitimate regimes, tin-horn dictators and ambitious wannabes.

Here's the story as it appeared in the LA Times this morning even before the defection became fact:
A key Shi'ite Muslim bloc in Iraq's government vowed yesterday to quit over Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's refusal to set a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops, a move that would further weaken the country's leadership at a time of soaring sectarian violence.

The threat was made on the heels of another bloody day in the capital, where at least 37 people died in bombings that underscored the challenges of a US-Iraqi security plan now in its third month. The victims included 17 Iraqis killed in a market in a Shi'ite-dominated neighborhood, where two car bombs exploded nearly simultaneously. As people fled the chaos, mortar rounds rained down. Fifty people were wounded.

-Los Angeles Times

The Bush administration speaks another language. Their terms "insurgency" and "war on terror" are intended, designed to deceive.

Benn to criticise 'war on terror'

Hilary Benn is running in Labour's deputy leadership contest
President George W Bush's concept of a "war on terror" has given strength to terrorists by making them feel part of something bigger, Hilary Benn will say.

The international development secretary will tell a meeting in New York the phrase gives a shared identity to small groups with widely differing aims.

And Mr Benn, a candidate for Labour's deputy leadership, will confirm that UK officials will stop using the term.

The White House coined the phrase after the attacks of 11 September 2001. Mr Benn will say: "In the UK, we do not use the phrase 'war on terror' because we can't win by military means alone.
I have called it Bushspeak, sometimes gopspeak. Bush claims to "support the troops" but that lie was revealed when Bush announced that US troops will serve an additional three months active duty in a war zone -Iraq. This desperate measure indicates that the volunteer rate is down. Who will risk his/her life to perpetrate war crimes for George W. Bush? People vote by staying home -an "election" that GWB cannot steal.

Bush will one day ask himself how he will prosecute a war that no one will fight. Boycott the war. Don't volunteer. Let Bush just try to re-instate the draft. Bring it on!

Others have already said no to Bush. Having fired all his generals "on the ground", Bush now wants to create a "war czar" to oversee Iraq and Afghanistan, perhaps others that may be in the works. Three four star generals have already said thanks, but no thanks to the new position.


War czar? Isn't that Robert Gates? What about "Commander-in-Chief"? Will Bush step down to accommodate a Czar? What additional wars will need a czar? Iran? Venezuela? Syria? Massachusetts? Texas is safe. It's already occupied by Republicans.

Let's take this another logical step. Perhaps Bush will want to create the position of "Decider" and, perhaps, a Decisions Department? What decisions can only be made by a bona fide decider? Will no one else be allowed to decide anything?

The American political landscape has become intellectually arid. There is no breath to be taken. It was learned that John McCain had no plan "B" before he had no plan "A".
I have no Plan B. If I saw that doomsday scenario evolving, then I would try to come up with one. But I cannot give you a good alternative because if I had a good alternative, maybe we could consider it now.

- Doggerel from John McCain

Yesterday was too late. Now is too late. Later will have been too late.

Then there is Paul Wolfowitz, the NEOCON, who apologized for paying off his "girl friend" with a much higher paying job, a raise twice as large as allowed by bank rules.
I believe in the mission of this organization, and I believe I can carry it out. This is important work, and I intend to continue it.
He likes the work and, obviously, the money. Send him your resumes with pix. Emphasize your specialties.

Despite the unflinching support of NEOCONS back home in the Bush admin, Wolfowitz is in trouble. As in another unfolding scandal, the real story will be told with emails. From them an interesting tale will be pieced together. The pressure will mount. This weekend, Hilary Benn, Britain's Secretary of State for International Development, said that "... the scandal had damaged the (world) bank".

Wolfowitz is, meanwhile, lobbying the world bank's chief beneficiaries in Africa. The gentle reminders of "...progress in debt cancellation" might seem innocent enough. But are they? Is there not the implication that debts will not be cancelled should Wolfowitz lose his job. Is this not a Nazi tactic?

Here's an interesting paragraph that I found while scanning the news this AM:
There comes a moment in the life of every dictator when the mask of respectability slips and he reveals the ugly face of tyranny.

-Kasparov's Arrest Spells Trouble
Yes, I thought it was describing Bush. But it wasn't Bush this time. Rather, the paragraph described Vladimir Putin who had been, until now, careful to "preserve a semblance of legality" even as his soul buddy Bush never bothered.

But it is troublesome that the paragraph might have been about Bush. It could just as well describe the many moments --most since Katrina --when the "mask of respectability" slipped away to reveal Bush's smirking chimp face for what it is: a venal dictatorship.

Too late to make my article about the passing of Kurt Vonnegut, I found this review of Vonnegut's last book:
He is at his angriest and most satirical when looking around at George W Bush's America. A sleazy "keystone-cops style coup" by failed Yale students, an addiction to oil, the "progress" of war, a nation that has moved beyond all humanness and reason led by three men named "Bush, Dick and Colon". All these things have left him feeling a stranger in a land he once fought for, a man now asking, "who the hell's country is this anyway?"

-A Man Without a Country", Kurt Vonnegut







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