Korea 'may have lessons for US'

File this one under "Dreaming in Technicolor"

punditman says:
Good luck with that, George. To look to the Korean War's aftermath as a model for what to do in Iraq shows just how delusional the neo-cons have become. Off the top of Punditman's head, here are some obvious differences between the two situations:

1. The Korean War was part of the Cold War - Iraq is not.
2. In Korea, there were two huge conventional armies that fought to a standstill. In Iraq, there are many factions fighting each other in an unconventional war, and many fighting against their occupiers. There is no sign of anyone standing still.
3. Though technically still at war, South Korea has endured the permanence of US bases -- but after the fighting stopped. There is no indication that the majority of Iraqis will put up with permanent US bases in their country. So as I say, good luck with that!

I am sure I have just scratched the surface here.
Post Script: To further emphasize the absurdity of this and other ludicrous comparisons emanating from the Bushies, there's this from Slate:

Iraq Is Korea? Bush's latest appalling historical analogy
by Fred Kaplan


Bush to double troops in Iraq and then reduce them immediately!

punditman says:
Let me get this straight:
First we hear that the Bush administration is planning, ever so quietly to double the amount of combat forces in Iraq by the end of this year. This will occur by sending more combat brigades and extending tours of duty for troops already there.

Now, we hear that they are developing what officials call "concepts" for reducing American combat forces in Iraq significantly next year.

Can you say grasping at straws? Somehow I get the feeling that they have no idea what they are going to do. But that doesn't matter; what is important is how it all spins out for the 2008 election.


The story that should bring down the Republican Party

It is a simple story to tell, as ugly and complicated as it is to untangle. The republican party has used its power to undermine and suppress the votes of those most likely to vote Democratic in order to keep power. It should spell doom for the republican party for decades to come.

Is anyone brave enough to call a duck a duck, take this story and give it the exposure it deserves?

punditman says:
The emphasis in this headline is on should. This is all about election tampering that goes way beyond the garden-variety, to-be-expected shenanigans, that, if exposed to the light of day, threatens to destroy the Republican Party for decades.

However, if this story begins to really have wheels, expect accusations of partisanship to be levied by the well-oiled Republican spin machine nagainst anyone who begins a serious investigation. There needs to be a strategy in place to deflect this predictable onslaught. One can at least hope for the best.

The Iraq War: Going, Going...

Retired Marine Gen. John Sheehan explained to the Washington Post his reasons for rejecting the “war czar” job: “The very fundamental issue is, they don’t know where the hell they’re going. … So rather than go over there [to the White House], develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, ‘No, thanks.’”

If he can delay a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq until after a new President takes office in January 2009, Bush can insist that someone else was to blame for the defeat.

Bush will have built a moat around his political legacy with the blood of American soldiers and the Iraqi people.

punditan says:
It was apparent to anyone with a brain that the so-called "surge" wouldn't work. Now it should be obvious to even the dimmest bulb in the neo-con/redneck camp, that it isn't working, won't work, and quite possibly has nothing to do with succeeding at all and more to do with Bush remaining engaged in Iraq until the end of his term--an unconscionable waste of lives.


Exclusive: Secret US plot to kill Al-Sadr

The revelation of this extraordinary plot, which would probably have provoked an uprising by outraged Shia if it had succeeded, has left a legacy of bitter distrust in the mind of Mr Sadr for which the US and its allies in Iraq may still be paying.

Dr Rubai'e and other mediators started for the house. As they did so they saw the US Marines open up an intense bombardment of the house and US Special Forces also heading for it. But the attack was a few minutes premature. Mr Sadr was not yet in the house and managed to escape.
punditman says:
According to Iraqi National Security Adviser Dr Mowaffaq Rubai'e, the US tried to kill Al-Sadr while pretending to negotiate with him. There is a lesson to be learned here: when the Bush administration does negotiate, it is most often a ruse. They do not negotiate in good faith, not with their friends, not with Congress and certainly not with their adversaries. Muqtada al-Sadr, Iraq's hugely popular Shia cleric, did not have to be an enemy of the United States.

Realpolitik--politics based on practical and material factors rather than on theoretical, in advancement of the "national interest"--is not part of the neo-conservative lexicon. Instead, lying, deceiving and implementing an ideological agenda at all costs, based on narrow private interests is what they are all about. The world, especially the American people, need to wake up to this reality. Call a spade a spade and do the only honorable thing: Impeach!


More Shenanigans at the Canada-US Border

They Hassle Who At the Border Crossings?! Vegetarians, yes that's right!

punditman says:

Border guard:
"You are being denied entry to the United States and have been put on the tofu-terrorist watch list. You may use this form to re-apply when you start eating meat again. Please attach receipts from several fast food outlets."


More Bureaucracy, Less Security

by Rep. Ron Paul
Congress voted this past week to authorize nearly $40 billion for the Department of Homeland Security, but the result will likely continue to be more bureaucracy and less security for Americans.

punditman says:
Take note: Ron Paul is a republican who voted against the War in Iraq and opposes everything the Bush administration stands for (yes, such creatures exist!)

Afghanistan: The U.S. Is Losing The Wider War

File this one under: "Welcome News"

puditman says:

Last night, CNN's Anderson Cooper gave a warning to viewers before airing a piece that showed the bloody corpse of Mullah Dadullah, the one-legged Taliban leader killed last Saturday in Afghanistan's Helmand province by British and Afghan troops and U.S. Special Forces. He then added, "But you might find it welcome."

Rather than simply reporting the facts, the job of the modern reporter apparently includes the inference that it is all well and good to celebrate the killings of enemies, especially mass murderers like Dadullah (while you are at it, you may want to raise a further toast to the empire's latest conquest, Iraq, where we have a excess of desired killings to report).

The camera then shifted to the bloodied corpse, with an explanation of how another evil-doer was killed.

Dadullah, it is rumoured, was reportedly sent to South Waziristan by Taliban leader Mullah Omar, in the summer of 2006, to convince local Pashtun insurgents to agree to a truce with Pakistan.

Assadullah Khalid, the governor of Kandahar province, put the body of Dadullah on display at his official residence. CBC reports a Canadian Forces official as saying that Dadullah's death is "great news."

Each time another big wig terrorist is killed, the media pretend (if only for one 24- hour news cycle) like it's the death of Mussolini or Hitler (surely, victory and peace are right around the corner, no?).

Why is each such report "great news" when anyone with an attention span longer than last week knows that insurgent-leading replacements are lined up from (wherever) to Mecca?

Could it be that endless war equals endless "welcome" moments?
I am thinking too much...please pass the koolaid.


The Value of American Lives Versus All the Rest

"Sorry We Shot Your Kid, But Here's $500"

punditman says:
Consider the following US government payments:

-Families of innocent civilians slaughtered at Haditha, Iraq, by U.S. Marines received compensation of $2,500.

-Families of innocent civilians slaughtered by U.S. Marines near Jalalabad, Afghanistan received compensation of $2,000

-Families of innocent civilians slaughtered by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001, received $1.8 million

It is no surprise then, that, when when 3 US soldiers go missing in Iraq, we get wall-to-wall network coverage around the clock.

Welcome to the modern discourse.


Fighting Terror Selectively

Fighting Terror Selectively: Washington and Posada

punditman says:
Bush cries terror where there is none. I cry fraud! This article shows how the war on terror is completely politicized in terms of who is deemed a terrorist and who is not. In this case, with the notable exception of the LA Times, the media has played right along with the charade.


Winning Hearts and Minds?

Airstrike reportedly kills 21 Afghan civilians
Governor says Taliban hid in villagers’ homes; coalition soldier also killed

punditman says:
The same old story, and it goes something like this: "Of course we didn't mean to, and we promise we will pay for the funerals, but we had to kill your family members because the enemy was hiding in your homes."

This is becoming so common place in both Afghanistan and Iraq, that I believe people in the West have become desensitized to the carnage. And a numb populace is incapable of acting as a responsible citizenry. One begins to think that this is precisely the idea of an endless war against an illusive enemy.

Did Cheney Have Niger Documents “Farmed Out”?

War Is Hell!: Cheney Had Niger Documents “Farmed Out”

punditman says:
Watch the video here:
Former CIA officer Ray McGovern went on Tucker Carlson's show on Monday and directly accused Vice President Dick Cheney of being behind the Niger forgeries. Carlson pressed McGovern for evidence, but McGovern said he wouldn't share his evidence at present.
Clearly, the entire Niger Yellow cake episode is a case of policy driving intelligence, not the other way around (the way it is supposed to work). Two new books get into this is detail, here.


US attack 'kills Iraqi children'

US attack 'kills Iraqi children'

punditman says:
And what is the reason the US is in Iraq? To quote George Carlin from another era and another cruel and callous war of aggression, "Oh yeah, to free those people. It always comes to me..."



The True North, Strong and Free?

punditman says:
How macho are we Canadians?!...

Well OK, we can be pretty damn macho (the above image shows that we have inventive ways of periodically blowing off steam, and this form of truculence was about the extent of our collective blood lust for approximately 50 years). But having elected one government that quietly acquiesed to much of Washington's agenda and yet another that openly kowtows to all of Uncle Sam's imperial designs, we have become much meaner folk lately.

Hey people, here in Canada the fascist disease emanating from the Empire to the South is spreading faster than you can say "Eh?" Increasingly, our border guards are denying entry to Americans who dissent against their own government. No longer is it JUST brown people with funny names and weird religions who are being harassed, denied the basic freedom of movement, or even worse. I guess that's our way of getting back at Americans who deny entry to Canadians on the same grounds. Call it misplaced machismo. Two examples of border BS, one involving author Mike Palecek and one from folk singer David Rovics, indicate a frightening trend:

Canada: You Can Come Any Time You Want

Singer David Rovics Banned from Canada for One Year

But do take heart, gentle citizens of the land of the free, and of the true north, strong and free: You may travel back and forth to your shopping heart's desire. Just keep your mouth shut, never go to a protest, never write a "controversial" article, song, blog or book. Oh, and never sign a petition either (an old friend was turned back several years ago because he signed an anti-nuke petition back in his misspent youth). Such careless acts means you may be, or you may sympathize with...no, I won't type the word (hint: it starts with a "t"). Basically, as long as you are good little docile robots, our governments will wave you on through. Happy shopping, and enjoy the game!