Friday, June 23, 2006

Bush says "stay the course" —but there is no course to stay.

The war is lost already. The "new" Shiite government in Iraq has already formed a de facto alliance with Iran.

Bush will eventually withdraw from Iraq; there is no other choice. Predictably, Bush will call an ignominious retreat a victory. Reminded that his policy was not merely wrong but wrong-headed, Bush will resort to the Thom Friedman defense: What does being right have to do with anything?

Days before he offed himself, history's other great liar —Adolph Hitler —was positioning non-existent divisions which he hoped would defeat the Russians. The Russians, by that time, were just a few blocks away from the bunker. But —What does being right have to do with anything? A question that only the dead wrong would ask.

The US position is untenable. US troops are confined to small areas inside Baghdad. In the year 2003, CNN would report:
More importantly, the U.S. control over Baghdad is going to tighten very considerably in the next 24 hours.

CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL, U.S. Military Continues to Move About in Baghdad Suburbs, Aired April 9, 2003 - 01:00 ET

Things have changed. The US is no longer free to roam about the city. Frustrated US forces are reduced to killing, murdering civilians. This is stark reality compared to the pie in the sky promises of "Democracy" served up just prior to the invasion. By the time Paul Bremer would arrive, he was already faced with what was called a "security problem". He was, in fact, already in the midst of a guerrilla war against an illegal occupation.

The coalition of the willing' —bribed or coerced to begin with—has all but melted away. Japan —never a combatant —has washed its hands of Bush's dirty, evil little war. My remaining surprise is that Blair has managed to hang on so long. What's left of that coalition —if coalition it is —now has sole possession of what one Middle Eastern writer has called an 'opened Iraqi grenade '. It is in danger of blowing up in Bush's face.

When everyone else has gotten out, who remains but another war criminal, Tony Blair, to aid an increasingly despised US? Will even Blair so risk his government? Even if we were prepared to wage a guerrilla war, such a war is already lost.

Che Guevarra wrote a near definitive treatise on "Guerrilla Warfare". The US has already broken rule number one: win the hearts and minds of the people. Let's review how Bush and the US have gone about trying to win "hearts and minds". Clearly —John Bolton's charge was not to represent the US position to the UN; rather, he was tasked with subverting the UN from within. Moreover, the Iraqi people hate Bush and he has no friends among the some 300,000 who make up the military force of the "new" Iraqi government.

On another front: what has become of the US relationship with Europe when Bush and his criminal junta have repeatedly insulted and humiliated Europeans? Spain, Australia, and the UK have suffered humiliating backlash and deadly attacks on their own soil. What now could possibly motivate Europe to stick its neck out for Bush? And what of the Iraqi people? They are largely without running water, utlities, police protection. There is little or no security.

If Bush should attack Iran, the "new" Iraqi government, allied with Iran, would turn those 300,000 troops against the U.S. in a heartbeat. Bush is already losing a war of attrition and not even Bush can get away with increasing troop strength sufficient to deal with a guerrilla war of that magnitude.

Bush will withdraw and perhaps sooner than we think. It'll make the US withdrawal from Viet Nam —a mad scramble for helicopters atop an embattled US embassy —look like Dunkirk. Look at the map. How will Bush withdraw from Iraq if it makes of Iran an enemy? Iran guards the Straits of Hormuz —the only way in, the only way out. It will be a humiliating, world-changing experience in which a spoiled frat boy will fall and the the US will forever lose its pre-eminence on the world stage.

But we have the GOP leadership to thank for installing an illegitimate "President" and we have the GOP rank and file to thank for supporting the coup d'etat! We have FOX to thank for having written the musical score —a "whoosh" designed to match the slick animation of tanks and explosions. Gee! Wasn't war cool? And thanks, of course, to the FOX scriptwriters for this year's best work of trashy fiction.

Bush cast himself in the role of tragic hero; but Bush is no hero and the results are only tragic. Greek drama, moreover, requires a "hero" better than ourselves. Clearly, Bush is miscast. The true tragic "hero" makes of suffering a catharsis in which misery is made positive and suffering redeems our worst flaws. Bush, however, is the embodiment of hubris and it has lead him to a reckless disregard of human life and nature itself. The die is cast and Bush will fall victim to a dialectic that he himself has set into motion.

The third act has already begun.

State of emergency declared in Baghdad

The Iraqi government declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew today after insurgent gunmen set up roadblocks in central Baghdad and opened fire on US and Iraqi troops just north of the heavily fortified Green Zone.

With just two hours notice, Prime Minister Nouri Maliki ordered everyone off the streets of the capital. US and Iraqi forces also were engaged in firefights with insurgents in the dangerous Dora neighbourhood in south Baghdad.

The fighting along Haifa Street near the Green Zone, the site of the US and British embassies as well as the Iraqi government, was unusual in its scope and intensity.

There have, however, routinely been clashes along the thoroughfare, making it so dangerous that a sign at one Green Zone exit checkpoint warns drivers against using the street.

As the state of emergency was announced in the capital, a car bomb ripped through a market and nearby petrol station in the increasingly volatile southern city of Basra today, killing at least five people and wounding 18, including two policemen, police said.

A bomb also struck a Sunni mosque in the town of Hibhib northeast of Baghdad, killing 10 worshippers and wounding 15 in the same town where Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed earlier this month, police said.

At least 19 other deaths were reported in Baghdad. ...

Mahathir: Bush, Blair must be punished for war crimes


By Pauline Jasudason KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, AP

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, a frequent critic of the war in Iraq, on Thursday called U.S. President George W. Bush and his Australian and British allies "war criminals," saying they must be punished for crimes against humanity.

He also said Bush had "demonized Islam." In a speech accompanied by photos of alleged torture and war crimes in Iraq and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mahathir exhorted global leaders to "summon the political will" to try Bush, his advisers and allies in an international court.

Mahathir, who led Malaysia for 22 years until stepping down in 2003, has frequently criticized Washington's Middle East policies.

During his speech, a slideshow titled "The War Criminals" showed pictures of Bush, his advisers, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Australian leader John Howard and others.

"Bush and Blair and any leader, present or future who wage wars must not and should not be addressed by any honorific," Mahathir told a crowd of some 1,000 at a public forum organized by the private Perdana Global Peace Organization, which he heads. ...
Yep! If you've paid taxes, you've helped enable Bushto murder tens of thousands of people —innocent people —known by Bush and his criminal junta to have had nothing whatsoever to do with 911:

The cost of Bush's aggression, both in money and lives, has turned America into a nation of war criminals

Faced with mounting civilian carnage, both from war crimes committed by demoralized and broken US troops and from the raging civil war unleashed by Bush's ill-fated illegal invasion of Iraq, the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee has decided to waste another $50 billion to continue the lost war for five more months. Our elected "representatives" are so in thrall to the powerful military-industrial complex that no amount of American shame, pariah status and military defeat can shut off the flow of taxpayers' funds to the merchants of death.

Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing hard-pressed US taxpayers $300,000,000 per day! These wars are lost. Yet, imbecilic members of Congress are in the process of funding the war for another year. Multiply $300 million by 365 days and you get $109,500,000,000. These are not the full costs. The huge figure does not include the destroyed equipment, destroyed lives, and long-term care of the maimed and disabled. ...

The Existentialist Cowboy

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Deflating Big Brother by Debunking Right Wing Lies, Myths, and Propaganda

I've never understood how the Religious Right manages it. How can followers of the "Prince of Peace" support the cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians in a war of naked aggression? Did Christ not say "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God"? Did Christ not say "...turn the other cheek"? And of the merciful, did he not say that they, in turn, obtain mercy? Is the Bible not true? If not, then why do these people insist upon being seen going to church? What is gained by maintaining frauds and pretenses?

How can "Christians" insist upon believing lies when their Savior was said to have told Pontius Pilate: "I am the truth"? With his statement to Pilate, Christ implied that truth itself was the source of all that is good and absent in all that is bad. You don't have to be a Christian to believe that. Jacob Bronowski whose critique of the "logical positivist" position in his Science and Human Values pointed out an underlying, unproved social injunction implied in A. J. Ayer's analytical methods. That implied imperative is:
"We OUGHT to behave in such a way that what IS true can be verified to be so."

Ironically, Bronouski's critique may have saved logical positivism from its own inflexible consistency, placing its edifice not upon an unassailable axiom but rather upon an affirmation of values which will not admit of proof. What true and lasting ethic could not be based upon the pure pursuit of truth?

I would like to create a database of the various, multitudinous right wing/GOP myths, propaganda, claptrap and urban legends cooked up by the right wing, disseminated by a dutiful mainstream media, swallowed eagerly by a flock of faithful who never question it. But, that's more work than I am willing to spend with an entire class of deluded losers. But —the denial of global climate change is among the more pernicious and immediately harmful right wing lies.

Hawking: Global warming to make Earth like Venus


Stephen Hawking provoked a group of Chinese students on Wednesday saying he was "very worried about global warming." He said he was afraid that Earth "might end up like Venus, at 250 degrees centigrade and raining sulfuric acid."

The comment is a pointed one for China, which is the second largest emitter of the greenhouse gases that are blamed for global warming, after the United States. ...

George Orwell's 1984 predicted a totalitarian society in which lies were truth and war was peace:

When “Lies are Truth” “War is Peace”

When the right wing is confronted by truth, it tries to shut up the source of it. Lately, Thom Friedman has taken a different tack. He discounts the very concept of "truth" itself. What does being right have to do with anything? he asked recently.

Well, for one thing: being right has survival value. Those who disagree will not refute that proposition; they will merely label it: Darwinism!

Even so, we will never know what claptrap might have been believed by Cro Magnons. They're all dead. The right wing only recognizes "survival value" in the exercise of raw power just as the US has tried to silence its critics abroad:

Ron Suskind: US deliberately bombed Al-Jazeera

Ron Suskind appeared on "The Situation Room" today to talk about his new book "One Percent Solution," and said that the US took out Al-Jazeera office in Kabul purposefully.

Ron talked about Cheney's almost "Presidential-Vice Presidency" and claimed that the CIA determined the Bin Laden tape released the weekend before the '04 election helped Bush and that Osama wanted him re-elected. ...

Video-WMP Video-QT
Listen up, MSM: There was NO "Bush Bounce".

Eric Boehlert: The Press Plays Dumb About the Bush Bounce

Eric Boehlert Tue Jun 20, 12:24 PM ET

The mainstream media's incessant, excited chatter about a looming Bush Bounce represented just the latest embarrassment in an endless parade of journalism missteps during the Bush years. The depressing puppet show--senior White House aides announce things are great, conservative 'news' outlets echo the spin and then MSM journalists gamely play along--has become annoying, tiresome and transparent. Yet the MSM won't stop embarrassing themselves....

But Thom Friedman asks: "What does being right have to do with it?" Clearly —a question that only a loser would ask. [Haloscan]

Friedman is a Dodo to wit:

"The next six months in Iraq—which will determine the prospects for democracy-building there—are the most important six months in U.S. foreign policy in a long, long time."

—(New York Times, 11/30/03)

"What we're gonna find out, Bob, in the next six to nine months is whether we have liberated a country or uncorked a civil war."

—(CBS's Face the Nation, 10/3/04)

"I think we're in the end game now…. I think we're in a six-month window here where it's going to become very clear and this is all going to pre-empt I think the next congressional election—that's my own feeling— let alone the presidential one."

—(NBC's Meet the Press, 9/25/05)

"The only thing I am certain of is that in the wake of this election, Iraq will be what Iraqis make of it—and the next six months will tell us a lot. I remain guardedly hopeful."

—(New York Times, 12/21/05)

"I think we're in the end game there, in the next three to six months, Bob. We've got for the first time an Iraqi government elected on the basis of an Iraqi constitution."

—(CBS, 1/31/06)

"I think we are in the end game. The next six to nine months are going to tell whether we can produce a decent outcome in Iraq."

—(NBC's Today, 3/2/06)

"Well, I think that we're going to find out, Chris, in the next year to six months—probably sooner—whether a decent outcome is possible there, and I think we're going to have to just let this play out."

—(MSNBC's Hardball, 5/11/06)

Friedman is not only often wrong, he's repetitive. Perhaps, he thinks that if he repeats a spin often enough, then one day it will be true. Keep on doing whatever it is that's making you sick. Search for your lost keys under the street lamp; light is better there. Beat your head against a wall; one day, when you're dead, the headache will stop.

Additional resources:

The Existentialist Cowboy

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Democrats took the bait, stuck with Bush's tar baby

The so-called congressional debate about Iraq was a Karl Rove dream come true. It was not a debate. It was, rather, a GOP stunt designed to make the GOP look united in defense of evil while Democrats looked divided in defense of what's right. At the end of the day, the Democrats were just as stuck to the Bush tar baby as Bush. When will the Democrats learn? Spreading guilt around is what goppers do best.

United evil always beats equivocation! It's what evil feeds on. A quote that is often incorrectly attributed to Edmund Burke is nevertheless correct: all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Burke might not have said that; but he should have.

Good men have done nothing. For all the good they've done, the Democrats might as well bend over —or go home.

Democrats must unite in opposition to the war —else they become a part of the quagmire itself. The question is: will the Democrats be a part of the solution or will they continue to "enable" the very worst, most evil and incompetent "president" in American history? Democrats had better answer that question —and quick! They've blown a chance. When Bush was on the ropes, they let him off. But because Bush is hostage to his own failed strategy, Democrats may get a second chance but only if they storm the moral high ground and hold it.

Bush can lose on every other issue, but if he is seen to be winning the war —however immoral it may be —the GOP will retain control of both houses of Congress and thus enable the Bush power grab and dictatorship. Iraq will bring down Bush's Presidency but only if the Democrats are seen to be a viable alternative on this issue. As Buzzflash put it in their recent editorial:

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid just released a Democratic Party agenda for America. Most of its social and economic goals were commendable.

But they won't win either branch of Congess on these issues.

Bush is stuck with Iraq but he will lose on Iraq only if the Democrats get unstuck. If the war is seen to be either unwinnable or lost, Bush is finished —but only if the Democrats are seen to be an alternative. Clearly, the Democrats have not done this.


The GOP can win by not losing. Democrats don't have that luxury. Bush succeeded in spreading the guilt around, sticking Democrats with the Iraq tar baby. Hillary Clinton, for example, is stuck. If she fails to get her party's nomination — or if she fails to win after getting it —it will be because her position seems to be Bushco-lite.

Despite all the GOP tricks (and they are now reaching down into the bottom of their dirty tricks bag), the overriding facts are these:

  • The war itself is wrong, immoral, and has already bankrupted the US
  • "Saying the course" is just another way of saying: "If we can just kill a few more then we can stop killing —eventually!" ...or "Let's keep on doing whatever it is that's making us sick!"

Rep. John Murtha gave it a shot [See: Crooks and Liars: "Murtha to Rove: He's sitting in his air-conditioned office on his big- fat backside- saying stay the course!"] —but Democrats must be as ruthless in defense of what's right as GOPPERS are ruthless in the perpetration of evil. Iraq will take Bush down but Democrats will not benefit unless they position themselves in opposition to a failed and morally bankrupt administration.

I am posting the following article —excerpted in blockquotes —with my refutations:

Half a President With Half a Vision

Written by Robert Klein Engler, Sunday, June 18, 2006

President Bush's recent trip to Baghdad established that the Iraq war will be the defining foreign policy decision of his administration.

In the vernacular, Bush, having lost every other big issue, is rolling the dice with Iraq. What are the odds he will win? Bush can't win straight up; he's betting the Democrats will shoot themselves in the foot.
As a result of that war, a new constitution and a new government is in place in Iraq.
Was it worth the American Constitution? I don't think so. Polls of Iraqis clearly want us out! Now! What are we doing in Iraq if not securing the oil fields for Halliburton?
The Iraqi people are now able to take charge of their own country.
Then we can withdraw our troops immediately, right? See: Mayhem in Baghdad puts lie to Bush's claims of increasing Iraqi security
The United States still must have a presence in Iraq, but no one, except for some disenchanted Democrats yearning for political power, will say that the removal of Saddam Hussein was a bad thing.
The Iraqi people are worse off under Bush than Saddam. Bush had boasted that under the US occupation...
"Iraq is free of rape rooms and torture chambers."

President Bush, remarks to 2003 Republican National Committee Presidential Gala, Oct. 8, 2003"
That turned out to have been another lie. Saddam tortured his political enemies at Abu Ghraib and so did Bush. If I were an Iraqi, what difference does it make to me if I am tortured by Saddam or by Bush? Lately, the US military is revealed to have been involved in mass murder. If I were an Iraqi, what difference does it make to me whether I am murdered by Saddam or by Bush?

Just for good measure, here is another absurd lie told by a Bushy:

"The Iraqi people are now free. And they do not have to worry about the secret police coming after them in the middle of the night, and they don't have to worry about their husbands and brothers being taken off and shot, or their wives being taken to rape rooms. Those days are over."

Paul Bremer, Administrator, [Iraq] Coalition Provisional Authority, Sept. 2, 2003
Bremer was lying. There's proof: Salon published an extensive archive of photos of US perpetrated torture at Abu Ghraib on March 14, 2006. That archive is available here.

There is, therefore, no moral difference between Saddam and Bush. Bush's body count approaches or may have surpassed Saddam's by now and America has probably tortured and/or murdered as many civilians has did Saddam.

The idea that the Iraqi people are better off because the United States bombed them, killed tens of thousands of civilians, and later, attacked and invaded them is just patently absurd and intellectually dishonest. The average Iraqi is clearly worse off under Bush.
If the president's plan continues to work in Iraq, then historians will no doubt record this as a major foreign policy achievement.
The "President's" plan has never worked in Iraq. More accurately, it is doubtful that Bush ever had a plan beyond bomb and invade and hope that everything works out. That plan —if plan it is —has already failed. History will judge Bush as it has judged every other aggressor despot.
Having a successful foreign policy is a boost for the president, but it is only half of his responsibility to protect the American people. The president's vision for Iraq and victory in the so-called war on terror is only half a vision. The other half is to have a successful domestic policy and vision as well.
When has Bush ever had a successful foreign policy? A foreign policy based upon an ongoing war crime is not a recipe for restoring America's lost moral authority. Subverting democracy and the rule of law at law is not a method by which those principles are credibly extolled to the world. By what perverted standard is anything done by Bush called "successful"? An even better standard by which to measure Bush foreign policy is the timeline of attrition in the so-called "coalition of the willing". The people of the United States, however, are, because of Bush's incompetence in this area, left holding the bag and the bill.
Many believe that the most dangerous threat at the moment to the United States abroad is Al-Qaeda. We seem to be doing well in defeating that threat.
Al Qaeda was a creation of the CIA operating in Afghanistan during the Soviet Union's equally illegal, equally disastrous invasion of that country in the 1970's. I would like to know at what point in time Al Qaeda stopped acting on behalf of the CIA. Moreover, no one —not even the Bush administration —has said that Al Qaeda operated openly inside Iraq under Saddam's regime. If Al Qaeda is operating in Iraq now, it is Bush's failure —not Saddam's! At last —if Bush had been interested in attacking Al Qaeda, he would have not have attacked Iraq where Al Qaeada most certainly wasn't. Al Qaeda is smoke and mirrors, a distraction which masks Bush's real agenda, his real motive.

In short, Engler's article misses the point, misstates facts, ignores others, and, in general, paraphrases a tired and failed strategy: stay the course! Staying the course is the GOP way: keep on doing whatever it is that's making you sick; beat your head against the wall until it stops hurting; keep on killing until you don't have to kill anymore. Sadly, that day never comes.

At last someone in the MSM gets it. Andy Rooney dares to ask the question that spooks many Democrats and the corporate MSM and that question is best phrased in the title of a song from the early '70's: War! What is it good for?

Ike Was Right About War Machine

October 5, 2005

Andy Rooney / Sixty Minutes, CBS

Commentary: The US is spending $5.6 billion a month fighting this war in Iraq that we never should have gotten into. Dwight D. Eisenhower warned: "We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

CBS News

NEW YORK (October 2, 2005) — I'm not really clear how much a billion dollars is but the United States — our United States — is spending $5.6 billion a month fighting this war in Iraq that we never should have gotten into.

We still have 139,000 soldiers in Iraq today.

Almost 2,000 Americans have died there. For what?

Now we have the hurricanes to pay for. One way our government pays for a lot of things is by borrowing from countries like China.

Another way the government is planning to pay for the war and the hurricane damage is by cutting spending for things like Medicare prescriptions, highway construction, farm payments, AMTRAK, National Public Radio and loans to graduate students.

Do these sound like the things you'd like to cut back on to pay for Iraq?

I'll tell you where we ought to start saving: on our bloated military establishment.

We're paying for weapons we'll never use.

No other Country spends the kind of money we spend on our military. Last year Japan spent $42 billion. Italy spent $28 billion, Russia spent only $19 billion. The United States spent $455 billion.

We have 8,000 tanks for example. One Abrams tank costs 150 times as much as a Ford station wagon.

We have more than 10,000 nuclear weapons — enough to destroy all of mankind.

We're spending $200 million a year on bullets alone. That's a lot of target practice.

We have 1,155,000 enlisted men and women and 225,000 officers. One officer to tell every five enlisted soldier what to do.

We have 40,000 colonels alone and 870 generals.

We had a great commander in WWII, Dwight Eisenhower. He became President and on leaving the White House in 1961, he said this:

"We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. …"

Well, Ike was right. That's just what's happened.

More graphic support for Andy Rooney's thesis:

U.S. Federal Funds Budget

Income tax money goes only into the Federal Funds part of the budget.

The percentages are federal funds, which do not include trust funds such as Social Security that are raised and spent separately from income taxes. What you pay (or don’t pay) with your income tax return by April 15 goes only to the federal funds portion of the budget. “Current military” spending ($643 billion for FY 2006 including estimates for the Iraq/Afghanistan supplemental spending that was not included in the President’s budget request) adds together money allocated for the Dept. of Defense plus the military portion from other parts of the budget (e.g., Dept. of Energy maintains nuclear weapons). “Past military” ($384 billion for FY 2006) represents veterans’ benefits plus much of the interest on the debt (largely created by past wars and enormous military budgets).

This chart shows the amount of your tax dollar actually devoted to the military:

(For the latest budget breakdowns, see “Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes”)

And Rob Kall gets it:

Trusting in Blind Stupidity

by Rob KallThat's the Rove/Republican game plan. They trust that the remaining members of their base will automatically, stupidly, continue to produce the knee jerk reactions to phrases like hold the course, cut and run, and suggestions that to fail to go the distance with the war is an act of cowardice.

And there are millions of "stupid white men" as Michael Moore so aptly described them in his book, who will embrace these right wing echo chamber spins. These are the men who use talk of war and talk of superiority over anti war democrats as a kind of Viagra that makes them feel more manly, tougher.

I call them the dumbest, dupes in the world. Since this is a kind of sexual thing, with the war talk as Viagra, that sort of makes them cuckolds-- men who are made fools of by other men.

The fact is, the Republicans are trying to justify staying in a war that should never nave been started. They're trying to legitimize keeping on engaging in what amounts to a horrible crime. Bush lied to get us into this war. He knowingly used false information. His fraudulent claims were used to justify starting a war. It's hard to think of a worse crime. He and his cronies deserve to go to jail. And what do you call some one who aids and abets criminals? I call them accomplices. That's what the Republicans in congress are. They are attempting to keep the like going. This is a war that should be stopped dead in its tracks. ...
An essential resource:

Rape Rooms: A Chronology

In the meantime, Bush will serve up delusions because spin won't make reality go away. From David Usborne in New York:

Mayhem in Baghdad puts lie to Bush's claims of increasing Iraqi security

Baghdad blasts mock US claims of Iraqi progress
    Following death of Zarqawi and visit by Bush, leaders fail to bring end to cycle of violence
A series of explosions ripped through Baghdad yesterday, killing at least 23 people and dealing a shattering blow to the new Iraqi government's attempts to impose a security blanket on the capital.

The seven separate blasts at locations across the city are likely similarly to frustrate the efforts of the White House to demonstrate a degree of progress in Iraq since the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi earlier this month, and the surprise visit to Baghdad last Monday by President George Bush.

In the meantime, a new Pentagon investigation revealed details of abusive treatment of detainees in Iraq early in 2004 by members of US special forces. The report said the soldiers were continuing to use interrogation techniques that had been ruled unacceptable several months earlier by the Pentagon because they were too harsh, including feeding one inmate on bread and water only for 17 days. ...

Iraq dead overwhelm US tombmakers

[links to a page with a built-in video player]

The Existentialist Cowboy