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Archive for July 1st, 2007

Pope Benidictus XVI Call Jews ‘Perfidious’, Will pope reintroduce anti-Semitic mass?

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 1, 2007

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Will pope reintroduce anti-Semitic mass?


Published: 06.30.07, 11:15 / Israel News

Turmoil in Catholic Church: Pope Benedict XVI plans to publish new version of 400-year-old prayer which calls Jews ‘perfidious’. Church officials fear reintroduction of prayer could harm church’s relations with Jews, Muslims
pope benidictus xvi
Pope Benedict XVI’s intention to reintroduce a controversial Latin Mass with anti-Semitic references has launched turmoil in the Catholic church, according to a report in the Independent.

The 16th-century Tridentine Mass, which refers to Jews as “perfidious”, was replaced in 1969. In the words of the original, penned in 1570, Jews live in “blindness” and “darkness”; it pleads that “the Lord our God may take the veil from their hearts and that they also may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ”.

High-ranking bishops and cardinals in the Catholic Church have expressed severe opposition to the reintroduction of the prayer, out of concern that it will harm the church’s relations with Jews and Muslims.

Leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, sent the pope a letter to voice his opposition to the changes to the mass.

However, Pope Benedict announced Thursday that he intended to publish next week an amended version of the prayer.

A spokesman for the Church in Britain said Friday, “It is standard practice to follow Rome, but we don’t know yet what the (statement) will say. When we have the document, bishops and cardinals will consider it.”

The mass was translated and edited in the 60s from Latin to local languages to make it more accessible to the layman. Celebration of the original Latin Mass now requires permission from the local bishop and the Roman Catholic Church in Britain. The changes were approved by the Second Vatican Council, which sat between 1962 and 1965.

The pope’s move to reintroduce the controversial mass is seen by many as an attempt to reach out to the Society of St Pius X, an ultra- traditionalist group, to bring it back into the Vatican fold.



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The Bush/Cheney Holocaust in Iraq

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 1, 2007

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

The Bush/Cheney Holocaust in Iraq

Criminality, Immorality, Incompetence and Desperation

By Walter C. Uhler

Part One: Criminality and Immorality

I. Criminality

06/30/07 “Huffington Post” — — According to Article VI of our U.S. Constitution, treaties entered into by the United States become the “Supreme Law of the Land.” At the urging of President Harry Truman, on July 28, 1945, the U.S. Senate ratified the United Nations Charter by a vote of 89 to 2, with 5 abstentions. Thus the UN Charter became the supreme law of the land. And, thus, the United States was legally prohibited from waging war unless attacked, unless an attack was imminent, or unless the United Nations approved such a war.

Not for the first time, but most egregiously, did a President of the United States violate both his oath to uphold the Constitution and international law when President Bush ordered the unprovoked invasion of Iraq. Unbeknownst to the American public at the time, criminal plans for removing Saddam Hussein not only dominated the early 2001 meetings of Bush’s National Security Council, they also crowded out time and attention that would have been better spent attempting to thwart the impending terrorist attacks by al Qaeda terrorists — about which the Bush/Cheney regime had been frequently warned.

Why the obsession with Iraq? Credit the decade-old drumbeat for war by America’s neoconservatives. Then, like cockroaches, they literally infested the newly installed Bush/Cheney regime. Thus, it became an article of faith — explicitly expressed during the NSC meetings in early 2001 — that regime change in Iraq would reshape the Middle East and, thus, enhance Israel’s security and strengthen America’s ability to leverage the region’s oil.

Unfortunately the very success of al-Qaida’s criminal plans for 9/11 provoked the very anger and fear within the U.S. that enabled the Bush/Cheney regime to implement its criminal plans. By successfully (although falsely) linking Iraq to al-Qaida’s 9/11 attacks, the Bush/Cheney regime was able to portray its long-planned war as unavoidable self-defense. After all the UN Charter permits its members to engage in wars of self-defense while explicitly prohibiting “the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”

Thus, members of the Bush/Cheney regime soon were giving speeches that falsely and maliciously conflated 9/11 and Iraq. Subsequently, they also began to warn about the grave and growing threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ties to al-Qaida. Although nobody but the dumbest of ignorant Americans should have been persuaded by hints of Iraq’s complicity in the 9/11 attacks, in fact, a majority of Americans were persuaded. Imagine, then, how easily persuaded they were by false assertions about Iraq’s WMD and ties to al-Qaida.

Only after the invasion would Americans learn conclusively that Iraq possessed no WMD, that Iraq had no significant ties to al-Qaida. Then the questions cascaded: Were the false assertions by the Bush/Cheney regime mere mistakes or were they evil lies?

The Bush/Cheney regime responded by blaming the failure to find WMD on the poor intelligence provided by America’s intelligence community — adding that the intelligence services of other countries also mistakenly believed that Iraq possessed WMD. Although such scapegoating contained a large nugget of truth, it was designed to obscure two important facts: (1) the intelligence reports often contained qualifiers, expressions of doubts about Iraq’s WMD that were not publicized by the Bush/Cheney regime before the invasion and (2) senior officials in the Bush/Cheney regime embellished the faulty intelligence, lied about it, and fabricated contrary intelligence to render the evidence more ominous than it actually was (see “Immorality”).

Moreover, when it became certain that the UN would not approve a second resolution, one that authorized the use of force against Iraq, the U.S. (acting jointly with Britain and Spain) withdrew its draft of the second resolution from the UN Security Council. Why? Because Britain’s Lord Goldsmith warned, “if the sponsors of the U.S.-UK draft resolution sought a vote at the council and failed to get it, serious doubts would be cast on the legality of military action against Iraq.”

After withdrawing the second resolution, the Bush/Cheney regime made the following argument: because resolution 1441 “decided that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of all relevant resolutions,” the U.S. already possessed the authority to use force. This argument was blatantly false, especially because it is up to the UN Security Council, not individual members, “to decide whether and how to enforce its resolutions.” [John Burroughs and Nicole Deller, “The United Nations Charter and the Invasion of Iraq,” Neo-Conned Again pp. 368-69]

Such slimy behavior fooled almost nobody in the world except a large number of Americans, including Americans in the news media. Which explained why the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, called the Bush/Cheney regime’s subsequent invasion of Iraq “illegal.” In fact, as the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal put it (in the wake of Nazi Germany’s defeat), “To initiate a war of aggression” is “the supreme international crime.”

Lesser war crimes by the Bush/Cheney regime already had been committed. As the Guardian reported, “Evidence of prisoner abuse and possible war crimes at Guantanamo Bay reached the highest level of the Bush administration as early as autumn 2002, but Donald Rumsfeld, the defense secretary, chose to do nothing about it.” [“Bush team ‘knew of abuse’ at Guantanamo,” Sept. 13, 2004] The paper also reported, “The secret ‘special access program’ facilitating much of the mistreatment, widely held to have contravened the Geneva convention, was established following a direct order from the president.” [Ibid]

The criminal rot from Guantanamo was “eventually transferred wholesale” to Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, where subsequent revelations of prisoner torture there by U.S. soldiers irreparably dishonored the United States in the eyes of the world. Writing in the 27 June 2007 issue of the New Yorker, Seymour Hersh notes a May 2004 meeting, during which Army Major General Antonio M. Taguba informed Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and others about the torture of prisoners occurring at Abu Ghraib. Taguba “described a naked detainee lying on the wet floor, handcuffed, with an interrogator shoving things up his rectum, and said, ‘That’s not abuse. That’s torture.'”

According to Hersh, General Craddock and Vice-Admiral Timothy Keating, the director of the Joint Staff of the J.C.S., were e-mailed a summary of the Abu Ghraib abuses in January 2004. Thus, Rumsfeld appears to have lied when, “in his appearances before the Senate and the House Armed Services Committees on May 7th, [he] claimed to have had no idea of the extensive abuse.” [Hersh, New Yorker 27 June 2007] Only when the scandal became public, did the regime’s cover-up fall apart.

Yet, the crimes continue. According to Human Rights Watch, “In the past five years the administration has authorized torture and other abusive interrogation techniques, “disappeared” dozens of suspected terrorists into secret prisons, twisted domestic law to permit indefinite detention without charge of persons suspected of links to terrorism, and confined hundreds at Guantanamo Bay without charge while denying them information about the basis for their detention and meaningful opportunity to contest it. The administration has sought to exempt its actions from court oversight.” [Human Rights Watch, “United States,” World Report 2007]

II. Immorality

In order to support their BIG LIE about the grave and growing threat to the U.S. posed by Iraq, the Bush/Cheney regime not only pressured the intelligence community to produce conclusions that supported its own preconceptions about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaida, it also embellished and lied about that intelligence. Moreover, it fabricated damning intelligence where the intelligence community found none.

Thus, to say “the intelligence community got it wrong” or “intelligence agencies in other countries also concluded that Iraq possessed WMD” still doesn’t explain Cheney’s deceptive half-truth, asserted at the Veterans of Foreign Wars 103rd National Convention on August 26, 2002. Cheney told his audience, “The Iraq regime has in fact been very busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents.” Worse, he claimed, “We now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.”

To support that claim, Cheney cited evidence provided by Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law, Hussein Kamel Hassan, who claimed that Iraq possessed WMD. What Cheney failed to mention, however, was that Kamel also said: “All chemical weapons were destroyed. I ordered the destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons-biological, chemical, missile, nuclear-were destroyed.” Only after the illegal, immoral invasion would we learn that Kamel had told the truth — and that Cheney had deceived us.

Neither do the glib assertions, “the intelligence community got it wrong” and “intelligence agencies in other countries also concluded that Iraq possessed WMD” explain why the then National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, would assert that the high-strength aluminum tubes that Iraq was allegedly attempting to purchase could “only” be used in a nuclear weapons program. In fact, when she told her lie, Ms. Rice already knew that disagreement existed within the intelligence community about how such tubes might be used.

Building upon that lie, Ms. Rice then fear mongered by asserting: “The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he [Saddam] can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

When, in September 2002, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said, “American intelligence had “bulletproof” evidence of links between al-Qaida and the government of President Saddam Hussein of Iraq,” he deceived Americans about the nature of that intelligence. First, America’s intelligence community already had dismissed such “links” as insignificant. Second, because the intelligence community already had discounted such “links”, a rogue intelligence unit headed by neocon ideologue Douglas Feith was set up inside the Pentagon and specifically tasked with finding such links.

Feith’s “Gestapo Office” proceeded to fabricate “intelligence” from shards of evidence already dismissed by the intelligence community. Such shards were then passed to neocon Paul Wolfowitz, then Rumsfeld and Cheney for public dissemination. Former Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet, has commented on such intelligence in his recent book, At the Center of the Storm. [W]e weren’t too impressed with their work especially their willingness to blindly accept information that confirmed preconceived notions.” [p. 348] Calling such work, “Feith-based analysis,” [Ibid] Tenet adds, “The best source of information was our January 2003 paper, which said that there was no Iraqi authority, direction, or control over al-Qa’ida.” [Ibid, p. 358]

President Bush, not only conflated Iraq and 9/11 and reiterated the canards about Iraq’s WMD and ties to al-Qaida, he also repeated Ms. Rice’s scare mongering about a mushroom cloud and added a few unique lies of his own. For example, while speaking to reporters in mid-July 2003, our immoral President answered a question about Iraq by asserting: “The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in.”

In fact, Saddam had permitted the UN weapons inspectors to return. But our lying President preempted their work, lest they prove that Iraq had no WMD. As USA Today reported on March 17, 2003: “In the clearest sign yet that war with Iraq is imminent, the United States has advised U.N. weapons inspectors to begin pulling out of Baghdad.” Although such lies failed to persuade most of the world, they did persuade the dumbest or most frightened of Americans. And, armed with their support, the Bush/Cheney regime was able to exert political pressure on incumbents in Congress during the months before mid-term Congressional elections of November 2002, by questioning the patriotism of any congressman (congresswoman)), who didn’t support the regime’s rush to war.

To get a better idea of the effectiveness of such immoral political hardball, simply compare the votes in favor of authorizing the Bush/Cheney regime’s war of choice with the actual number of congressmen who actually read the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate — the document that supposedly proved (while actually raising doubts about) the existence of Iraq’s threatening WMD, and thus justified war.

On the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002,” the House of Representatives adopted the resolution on October 10, 2002, by a vote of 296-133 and the Senate adopted the resolution on October 11, 2002, by a vote of 77-23. Yet, “no more than six senators and a handful of House members who did not serve on the house and senate Intelligence Committess read beyond the five-page National Intelligence Estimate executive summary.” [Tenet, quoting from the Washington Post , p. 337] Such gross negligence on the part of our congressional representatives constitutes a distinct type of immorality.

But nothing captures the immorality of the Bush/Cheney regime as the contrast separating the President’s very gestures on the eve of initiating his war of choice and the devastating impact it made — and continues to make — in Iraq. Recall that during the moments before Bush “gave his national address announcing that the war had begun, a camera cought Bush pumping his fist as though instead of initiating a war he had kicked a winning field goal or hit a home run. ‘Feels good,’ he said.” [Paul Waldman, Fraud, p. 8]

Some two weeks later, at eleven A.M on March 30, fourteen-year-old Arkan Daif was killed by an explosion that lacerated his body with white-hot shrapnel. One piece tore off the back of his skull. You see, Arkan and two cousins were digging a trench in front of his house; a feeble attempt to protect it from the bombs that Bush unleashed two weeks earlier with such inhuman insouciance. [Anthony Shadid, Night Draws Near, pp. 73-74]

To date, Bush’s immoral insouciance has claimed the lives of more than 3,500 American soldiers, wounded another 29,000 plus — many having their brains shattered or becoming double or triple amputees — killed or wounded hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and caused some five million Iraqis to flee their homes for other parts of Iraq or for safety outside the country.

Part Two: Incompetence

By Walter C. Uhler

Last month — more than four years after the Bush/Cheney regime’s criminal and immoral invasion — oil rich Iraq was able to produce only 2 million barrels of oil per day, some 500,000 barrels per day less than it produced on the eve of the U.S. invasion. It also produced but an average of 3,700 megawatts of electricity, or some 300 megawatts less than it produced on the eve of the U.S. invasion. [Jason Campbell, Michael O’Hanlon and Amy Unikewicz, “The State of Iraq: An Update,” New York Times, June 10, 2007]

Such sobering facts highlight the incompetence of the ideologue who most fervently argued in favor of undertaking the regime’s criminal invasion, Paul Wolfowitz. Speaking to Congress about Iraq’s oil just one week after the invasion began, Wolfowitz asserted: “We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.”

In fact, as the General Accountability Office (GAO) reported just last month, “From fiscal years 2003 through 2006, the United States spent about $5.1 billion to rebuild the oil and electricity sectors. The United States also spent an additional $3.8 billion in Iraqi funds on these sectors. However, Iraq will need billions of additional dollars to rebuild these sectors.” [GAO Report No. 07-677, “Rebuilding Iraq: Integrated Strategic Plan Needed to Help Restore Iraq’s Oil and Electricity Sectors,” May 2007]

Moreover, as the Chicago Tribune reported four days ago, “Across the country, most provinces get electricity 10 to 12 hours a day. Baghdad usually had been getting about two hours, and when sabotage attacks destroyed all but one transmission line to the city in late May, many city residents got just one hour.” [James Janega, “After 4 Years, Electricity Still Luxury,” Chicago Tribune, June 25, 2007]

The GAO report blamed “poor security conditions” for slowing reconstruction and rising costs. By “poor security conditions,” the report means looting, sabotage, insurgency and civil war. Yet, all these ills are direct and predictable consequences of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s failure to dispatch a military force to Iraq that was large enough to secure the peace.

Notably, it was Rumsfeld’s deputy, Wolfowitz, who ridiculed General Shinseki’s (strikingly prescient) prewar estimate that peacekeeping in Iraq would require “something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers.” Calling it, “widely off the mark,” Wolfowitz added: “It’s hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam’s security forces and his army. Hard to imagine.” [George Packer, The Assassins’ Gate, pp. 114-15]

Lacking such imagination, the ideologues running the Pentagon failed to plan for an insurgency. But, worse, they adamantly refused to do any planning at all for post-invasion Iraq, lest they be required to inform Congress about the potential problems that might arise. As one Defense official told George Packer, “The senior leadership in the Pentagon was very worried about the realities of the postconflict phase being known, because if you are [Douglas] Feith or if you are Wolfowitz, your primary concern is to achieve the war.” [Ibid, p. 114]

Two erroneous assumptions permitted Rumsfeld and the neoconservatives in the Pentagon to justify their politically inspired negligence: (1) the war would be a “cakewalk,” because Iraqis would greet American troops as liberators and (2) the technological superiority of America’s forces, thanks to the “revolution in military affairs,” was a force multiplier that rendered a huge invading force and post-invasion plans unnecessary.

Eager for war, the Bush/Cheney regime spent much of 2002 planning for the invasion – Phase I (the buildup of troops), Phase II (covert operations) and Phase III (air and ground assaults). In fact, by early 2002 military resources had been diverted from Afghanistan to support the invasion of Iraq. On February 19, 2002 General Tommy Franks admitted as much when he confidentially told Florida’s Senator, Bob Graham: “Senator, we are not engaged in a war in Afghanistan” because “military and intelligence personnel are being redeployed to prepare for an action in Iraq.” [Graham, Intelligence Matters p. 125]

(According to Graham, “[O]nce America turned to Iraq, al Qaeda was able to regroup, refocus, and begin carrying out attacks again. From September 2002 until the train bombings in Spain in 2004, al Qaeda carried out twelve attacks that took, in all, more than 600 lives.” [Graham, p. 218])

Eager for war, the Bush/Cheney regime also ignored two Intelligence Community Assessments issued in January 2003 that warned about the numerous potential problems that might result from an invasion of Iraq. These reports warned about the difficulty of establishing democracy in Iraq, about the opportunities that the invasion would provide for al Qaeda, about the possibility of unleashing violent conflict in a divided society (e.g., civil war), about fueling a heightened terrorist threat, a surge in political Islam and increased funding of terrorist groups, and about how Iran might profit from the whole ordeal. [“Report on Prewar Intelligence Assessments About Postwar Iraq,” Select Committee on Intelligence, United States Senate, May 25, 2007, pp. 6-12]

(Note the total abuse of intelligence: First, the Bush/Cheney regime pressured the intelligence community (IC) to produce conclusions that supported its own preconceptions about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and ties to al Qaeda. Then, it embellished or lied about the IC’s WMD intelligence while fabricating damning intelligence about Saddam’s ties to al Qaeda, when the IC found none. Finally, it ignored the IC’s quite accurate assessments about potential problems resulting from an invasion.)

Consequently, “by March 2003, the planning for Phase IV [postwar operations] was barely under way.” [Packer, p. 119] Moreover, when General Franks — the man responsible for Phases 1 through 3 – was asked about Phase IV, he replied: “Mr. Wolfowitz is taking care of that.” [Packer, p. 120]

Wolfowitz assigned responsibility for postwar planning to his subordinate, Douglas Feith. In mid-January 2003, Feith asked retired lieutenant general Jay Garner to take the job. Garner eventually accepted and commenced work. But when he asked Feith for copies of planning documents, “Feith told him nothing useful existed.” [Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City, p. 31]

And, thus, the Bush/Cheney regime started a war without having a plan to win the peace. Not only did it field too few troops, it gave them no orders about how to handle the looters who ravaged Iraq after the invasion. According to Noah Feldman, an adviser in Iraq, “The key to it all was the looting. That was when it was clear that there was no order. There’s an Arab proverb: Better forty years of dictatorship than one day of anarchy.” The looting “told them that they could fight against us and we were not a serious force.” [Packer, p.138]

Or, as former Reagan administration official, Fred Ikle, characterized the American response to the looting: “America lost most of its prestige and respect in that episode. To pacify a conquered country, the victor’s prestige and dignity is absolutely critical.” [Thomas E. Ricks, Fiasco, p. 136]

The invasion also answered the prayers of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorists. For, as bin Laden’s number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, asserted in late 2003: “We thank God for appeasing us with the dilemma in Iraq after Afghanistan If they [the Americans] withdraw they will lose everything and if they stay, they will continue to bleed to death.” [Michael Scheuer, Imperial Hubris, p. xxi]

By its failure to plan to prevent looting, which “caused far more damage to Iraq’s infrastructure than the bombing campaign” [Chandrasekaran, p. 46] and reached into the depths of Iraq’s (and the world’s) cultural treasures, the Bush/Cheney regime not only proved that it was riddled with barbarians, it also violated international law. As noted in a very significant June 2007 report, “War and Occupation in Iraq,” issued by the Global Policy Forum, the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Properties in the Event of Armed Conflict “specifies that an occupying power must take necessary measures to safeguard and preserve the cultural property of the occupied country and must prevent or put a stop to ‘any form of theft, pillage or misappropriation of, and any acts of vandalism directed against cultural property.” [‘War and Occupation in Iraq,” p. 20]

Yet, when, on April 11, 2003, Rumsfeld was asked about the looting in Iraq, he responded, “Stuff happens!” Perhaps he simply was unaware that even the Nazis felt compelled to protect the Louvre.

The insurgency born of the looting picked up steam in mid-May 2003 with the arrival of L. Paul Bremmer in Baghdad to replace Garner and to head the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). On May 16 Bremmer issued his “De-Baathification” order, which threw some 85,000 members of Saddam’s Baath Party out of work. Doctors, professors and other professionals – the kind of people “‘that you can’t do without’ in running a society” [Ricks, p. 161] – were out of work.

On May 23, 2003, Bremmer issued the order, which dissolved the Iraqi armed services, the staff of the Ministry of Interior and the presidential security units. As one expert observed: “Abruptly terminating the livelihoods of these [720,000] men created a vast pool of humiliated, antagonized and politicized men.” [Ricks, p. 162] And, as Army Colonel John Agoglia subsequently observed: That was the day “that we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and created an insurgency.” [Ibid, p. 163]

But the incompetence didn’t end there. As Rajiv Chandrasekaran detailed in his book, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone the CPA was teeming with incompetents. “One 24-year old official with no background in finance was given the job of resurrecting the Baghdad stock exchange. Another aide, tasked with devising new traffic regulations, down-loaded those of Maryland from the internet. A 21-year old charged with helping to rehabilitate the interior ministry boasted that his most meaningful job to date had been as an ice cream truck driver.” [Chandrasekaran, “Lords of misrule still in charge at the Baghdad bubble,” TIMESONLINE, June 24, 2007]

Ignorant of what he had wrought, as well as the implications of Bremmer’s incompetent acts, a complacent Wolfowitz told Congress, in June 2003, that the insurgency was the “remnants of the old regime I think these people are the last remnants of a dying cause.” [Ricks, p. 170] Rumsfeld called the insurgents “dead-enders,” not knowing that he would be politically dead long before the insurgency. Predictably, Bush uttered the dumbest statement of them all. On July 2, 2003, from the safety of the White House, our brave president observed: “There are some who feel that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is: Bring ’em on.” [Ricks, p. 172]

And “Bring ’em on” they did! When Bush opened his big mouth in July 2003, insurgent attacks already averaged 16 per day. Moreover, while Bush attempted to bamboozle Americans with one bogus “turning point” after another, the insurgents increasingly brought ’em on.

Thus, when Saddam Hussein was captured in December 2003, the insurgents were averaging 19 attacks per day. When L. Paul Bremmer signed the hand-over of sovereignty in June 2004, it was 45. When Iraq held its elections for a transitional government in January 2005, it was 61. Notwithstanding these mounting daily attacks, Cheney seized a moment in June to make yet another asinine assertion: the insurgency is “in the last throes.”

Yet, in December 2005, six months into its “last throes” when Iraqis voted for a permanent government, the daily attack rate had reached 75. And when terrorist mastermind Abu Musab al Zarqawi was killed in June 2006, it was up to 90. [See Tom Lasseter, Miami Herald, Aug. 16, 2006] Worse, in October 2006 attacks surged to a record high of 176 per day.

Even in the teeth of Bush’s so-called “surge,” attacks averaged 164 per day in February 2007, 157 in March and 163 in April. Thus, enemy attacks for the entire month of April totaled approximately 4,900. “Bring ’em on,” indeed!

In addition to nurturing an ever-growing insurgency and civil war, the Bush/Cheney regime’s criminal, immoral and incompetent invasion and occupation of Iraq “has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism” that “has metastasized and spread across the globe.”

That’s the conclusion reached in the April 2006 National Intelligence Estimate titled: “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States.” Moreover, thanks to the regime’s incompetence, “the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.” [Mark Mazzetti, “Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat,” New York Times , 24 Sept. 2006]

And while the attacks increase in Iraq and the terrorist threat grows around the world, the U.S. Army, to quote retired General Colin Powell, is “about broken.” As retired Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich has observed: “President Bush has nickeled and dimed the nation’s fighting forces to the verge of collapse. Even today he remains oblivious to the basic problem that his administration has confronted for the past four years – too much war and too few soldiers.” [Bacevich, “Bushed Army,” The American Conservative June 4, 2007]

Finally, one cannot complete an examination of the gross incompetence of the Bush/Cheney regime without noting the perverse results of its objective to reshape the Middle East. Not only did it fail to increase Israel’s security and leverage the region’s oil, it inadvertently fostered Iran’s emergence as a regional force to be reckoned with.



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Racist and Dictatorship : US intelligence czar wants power to snoop on all non-Americans

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 1, 2007

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

US intelligence czar wants power to snoop on all non-Americans

Submitted by Canada IFP on Fri, 2007-06-29 16:42.Americas | United States | News

US intelligence czar wants congress to pass a bill that would allow American spies to snoop electronically on non-Americans anywhere in the world by forcing telecommunication carriers to comply in exchange for immunity from prosecution by affected individuals.

“The law needs to be updated so that we can target foreigners, regardless of where [communications are] intercepted in the world, and at the same time, if a U.S. person is ever a subject of surveillance for any reason, it would require a warrant,” Admiral Michael McConnell, the US director of national intelligence said in an interview with Council of Foreign Relation’s Eben Kaplan. “The threat has increased, the intent is stated, and the way the wording in the current law is captured inhibits or prevents us from being successful.”

He also wants Congress to grant immunity against legal action to telephone companies and ISPs who collaborate and cooperate with the United States.

The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 would update the definition of electronic surveillance to cover all forms of telecommunications.

It authority both to force providers to cooperate with authorized intelligence activities, and protect those carriers when they do comply with requests under FISA.

The new bill also redefines the term “agent of a foreign power” to include any non-U.S. persons whom the US Government believes possess significant intelligence information, even if there’s no evidence to substantiate that belief.

If the bill becomes law, the US spies would be able to eavesdrop on foreigners who use US servers for communications, including those who use popular email services such as Google’s Gmail and Yahoo! mail, Internet chatrooms and VOIP services.

Civil rights groups have the FISA “modernisation” bill an attempt by Bush administration to retroactively legitamise President’s illegal wiretapping.

“Congress enacted FISA with the intention of protecting Americans from the very sort of domestic wiretapping the administration has engaged in,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “Amending FISA after the fact would only serve to legitimize and reward the president’s illegal actions. There is no legitimate need to expand FISA and the argument that this law cannot keep up with technology is flatly false. ”

The US house of representatives last month passed the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 bill and the bill has been referred to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

But the Committee is unable to proceed as the White House has repeatedly refused to hand over documents related to Administration’s illegal wiretapping.



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Dictatorship : New York Moves To Ban Public Filming And Photography, But Surveillance Camera were Installed Everywhere

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 1, 2007

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

New York Moves To Ban Public Filming And Photography

Broad rules do not exempt amateur photographers, independent reporters and filmmakers

Steve Watson

Friday, June 29, 2007


With vague reasoning and little explanation, moves are afoot in the city of New York to stamp out all forms of filming in public, be it by professional television crews, protestors or simply by tourists on sightseeing trips.

Some tourists, amateur photographers, even would-be filmmakers hoping to make it big on YouTube could soon be forced to obtain a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance before taking pictures or filming on city property, including sidewalks, reports the New York Times.

Though the Mayor’s Office of Film has said that the new rules are not aimed at families on vacation or amateur filmmakers or photographers, the enforcement would require any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in public for more than a half hour to get a city permit and insurance. The same ruling would also apply to any group of five or more people who plan to use a tripod in a public location for more than 10 minutes, including the time it takes to set up the equipment.

Even people simply holding cameras could be subject to the rules, the ACLU says.

The ACLU has pointed out that there is no distinction in the wording of the rules that excludes non professionals and it would be down to the discretion of the police as to whom to enforce the rules upon.

Given that camera crews are routinely threatened with arrest for filming peaceful demonstrations and the fact that cops have been caught stealing protestor’s cameras in the past, the new ruling does not bode well for photographers and independent reporters.

Filming in public is a right every American citizen has under the first and fourth amendments, which is why the cops in the cases above had to steal the camera and the footage, because there was no legal basis to seize it.

We have even seen police seize cameras and film from innocent people under bogus charges of “wiretapping”. Earlier this month a man was charged in Carlisle, Pennsylvania with filming police officers during a routine traffic stop and faces up to seven years in prison. Last year a North Middleton Twp. man was charged in a street racing case that involved a wiretapping charge. Police claimed the man ordered associates to tape police breaking up an illegal race after officers told him to turn off their cameras. Furthermore, last month a 48-year-old man from Dover, New Hampshire was arrested for “wiretapping” for allegedly recording police while they were investigating him for driving while intoxicated.

The charge is invalid because it flouts privacy laws. Under the fourth amendment the expectation of privacy is not reasonable at such public places as automobile thoroughfares.

In other words filming on a public highway cannot be classed as an invasion of privacy.

Furthermore, the expectation of privacy is not reasonable if there exists a vantage point from which anyone, not just a police officer, can see or hear what is going on.

With the greater availability of camera technology there have been numerous incidents in recent years where the heavy handed police actions have importantly been caught on camera. Just yesterday we covered a story out of Hot Springs where a cop was caught on film choking out kids merely for skateboarding down the street. Without such evidence the cop might not have been placed on leave and an investigation may not have taken place.


While the Department of Homeland security is throwing money at cities and towns to put cameras everywhere to film the public, and police routinely film public gatherings, the right of citizens to film and photograph in the streets is under direct attack.

In addition, the Mayor of New York is Michael Bloomberg, who owns one of the biggest media outlets in the country. This move also therefore represents a direct conflict of interest on behalf of the mayor’s office.

It seems that filming and photographing is now deemed to be a threat per se. Pick from any number of stories archived at for example.

  • In Seattle, police banned a photography student from a public park. He was taking photographs of a bridge for a homework assignment. The officers who ban him from the park do so without the knowledge of park officials and have no authority to do so.
  • In Texas a man was first threatened by neighbors and then reportedly accosted and sprayed with pepper spray by police. He was walking around his neighborhood, filming with his new video camera.
  • In New York, National Press Photographers Association members staged a protest in the New York subway system to bring attention to a proposed law to ban photography in the subway system.
  • In Philadelphia a magazine photographer was detained and questioned after a parade for taking architectural shots while waiting for a subway train.
  • In Harrisburg, PA a man was swarmed by 8 Police and accused of being a member of Al-Qaeda after shooting pictures of his new car under a bridge.

Such moves represent an attack on freedom of the press, liberty in general and the flow of information. They set a precedent for a national ruling to crack down on documentation of important events and incidents and give police the power to selectively enforce unconstitutional measures to restrict freedom.



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People of al-Fallujah bury 78 people killed by American, Iraqi puppet forces in one month of US lockdown

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 1, 2007

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Al-Anbar Province.


People of al-Fallujah bury 78 people killed by American, Iraqi puppet forces in one month of US lockdown.

In a dispatch posted at 2:23pm Makkah time Friday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the US-imposed blockade on the city of al-Fallujah marked the end of one month during which motor traffic has been prohibited and no one has been allowed in or out of the city.

The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported local sources in al-Fallujah as saying that nine children, four women, and five elderly men had all died as a result of the lockdown on the city, while another 78 people have been killed by US and puppet army forces in the city – all of them civilians.

Shaykh ‘Abdallah al-‘Isawi, a member of the al-Fallujah religious scholars’ council, told a press conference on the end of one month under lockdown that there are now 1,345 local people who have been locked up by the occupation and its Iraqi allies, as the general suffering of the population grows worse and worse. Merchants and shopkeepers have been raising the prices of stored foodstuffs as they run out and there is a shortage of cooking fuel.

US-backed “Shock Troops” massacre, kidnap civilians, burn down houses in sectarian “cleansing” operation in ad-Durah Friday morning.

In a dispatch posted at 10:55pm Baghdad time Friday night, the Association of Muslim Scholars of Iraq (AMSI) reported that puppet “Iraqi Interior Ministry Shock Troops (Maghawir)” – most of whose members concurrently belong to Shi‘i sectarian militias – drove their government vehicles into the southern Baghdad suburb of ad-Durah on Friday morning and killed a number of local residents.

The AMSI reported local eyewitnesses in ad-Durah as saying that the puppet “Shock Troops” drove government cars into the suburb at about 7am local time Friday morning and attacked the area around 60 Street. The American-backed Shi‘i sectarian troops checked people’s identity documents to establish who was Sunni and who was Shi‘i and proceeded to expel the Sunnis from their homes. The US-backed “Shock Troops” also burned three of the houses in the area and killed 10 local residents, including women and children and then burned their bodies. The American-backed gunmen then kidnapped seven more local residents – some of them women – and took them to an unknown destination.

AMSI noted that this latest sectarian massacre was one of many such atrocities being committed by the American-backed regime troops and Shi‘i sectarian militias in broad daylight at a time when US forces are heavily deployed in the occupied Iraqi capital to provide backup for these murderous militias and puppet troops.

The US-backed forces and the Shi‘i sectarian militias have been accelerating efforts to purge southern and central Iraq of Sunnis in preparation for the eventual partition of the country in keeping with Zionist and American strategic plans.

Efforts to split Iraq along religious and ethnic lines are part of the plans that US and Zionist politicians have long been cultivating with a view to fragmenting the Arab region.

The idea of “the dissolution of Iraq into a Shi‘ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part” was voiced by veteran Zionist military correspondent Ze’ev Schiff in Ha’aretz on 2 June 1982 and was a part of the divide-and-rule strategy laid out by Zionist writer Oded Yinon in his “Strategy for Israel in the 1980s,” published in Kivunim (Directions), A Journal for Judaism and Zionism, published by the World Zionist Organization in occupied Jerusalem in February 1982. (It was translated by the late anti-Zionist writer and activist Israel Shahak and is widely available.)

The idea of splitting the Shi‘ah in Iraq from the rest of the country was a cornerstone of the neo-Conservative strategy laid out in “A Clean Break” a paper drawn up by American Zionist government officials Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, and Paul Wolfowitz in 1996 for the then Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Then in 2000 the neo-Conservative Project for a New American Century wrote Rebuilding America’s Defenses on the basis of the “Clean Break.”

The American version of the strategy for a partition of Iraq appeared in the article “The Three-State Solution” published in The New York Times on 25 November 2003 by Leslie Gelb (President Emeritus of the US Council on Foreign Relations). The same idea was reiterated, this time with “bi-partisan support” in the article by Gelb and US Democratic Senator Joseph Biden in “Unity through Autonomy in Iraq,” in The New York Times on 1 May 2006.

Then on 8 October 2006 the London Sunday Times reported that the partition of Iraq along religious and ethnic lines was one of the suggestions that the Baker-Hamilton commission was advancing.



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