Archive for October, 2006

Rumsfeld ‘is inspired by God’ (Which one? The one that eats his children?)

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Miami – The top US general on Thursday defended the leadership of defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God.

“He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country,” said marine General Peter Pace, chair of the joint chiefs of staff.

Rumsfeld is “a man whose patriotism focus, energy, drive, is exceeded by no one else I know … quite simply, he works harder than anybody else in our building”, Pace said at a ceremony in Miami.

Rumsfeld has faced a storm of criticism and calls for his resignation, largely over his handling of the Iraq war.

But he got a strong show of support from the military establishment at Thursday’s ceremony, where navy Admiral James Stavridis took over Southcom’s command from General Bantz Craddock.

“He comes to work every day with a single-minded focus to make this country safe,” said Stavridis, who was a senior aide to Rumsfeld before taking on the Southcom job.


Poet Robert Bly and Michael Ventura on Iraq, fathers who eat their children, and other areas of vital interest.

The Science of Counting the Dead

Friday, October 20th, 2006

A recent study published in the Lancet claims that over 650,000 “excess” deaths have occurred in Iraq since the invasion in March, 2003. STATS look at how scientists figure these numbers out, how their methods compare to other counts, and whether criticism of the numbers is justified. A companion article examines the media coverage.

…In a careful study published in the Lancet, a prestigious British journal for medicine, professors from Johns Hopkins University and the School of Medicine at Al Mustansirlya Univesity in Baghdad found through a random sampling of Iraqi households that over 650,000 deaths have occurred in Iraq since the invasion in 2003, that would not have occurred had there not been war.

While the Lancet numbers are shocking, the study’s methodology is not. The scientific community is in agreement over the statistical methods used to collect the data and the validity of the conclusions drawn by the researchers conducting the study.  When the prequel to this study appeared two years ago by the same authors (at that time, 100,000 excess deaths were reported), the Chronicle of Higher Education published a long article explaining the support within the scientific community for the methods used.
President Bush, however, says he does “not consider it a credible report” and the media refer to the study as “controversial.” And even as the Associated Press reported mixed reviews, all the scientists quoted in its piece on the “controversy” were solidly behind the methods used. Indeed, the Washington Post points out that this and the earlier study are the “only ones to estimate mortality in Iraq using scientific methods.”

Poll: Forty percent of American voters believe the Israel Lobby has been a key factor in going to war in Iraq and now confronting Iran

Friday, October 20th, 2006 

BBC poll: World against torture, Israel in favor

Who’s zoomin’ who? Like the good ole USA avec or sans ‘the Jews’ condemns torture and stands blameless in Iraq. Jewish people should look at ominous ’polls’ like this and see how they have been used since time immemorial by the European elites as the fall guys and stop their reflexive support for Israeli/US murderous stupidity in Palestine.

We’ve lost the battle for Baghdad, U.S. admits

Friday, October 20th, 2006

A day after George Bush conceded for the first time that America may have reached the equivalent of a Tet offensive in Iraq, the Pentagon yesterday admitted defeat in its strategy of securing Baghdad. The admission from President Bush that the US may have arrived at a turning point in this war – the Tet offensive led to a massive loss of confidence in the American presence in Vietnam – comes during one of the deadliest months for US forces since the invasion.

Yesterday the number of US troops killed since October 1 rose to 73, deepening the sense that America is trapped in an unwinnable situation and further damaging Republican chances in midterm elections that are less than three weeks away.

In Baghdad a surge in sectarian killings has forced the Pentagon to review its entire security plan for the capital, Major General William Caldwell, a US military spokesman, said yesterday.

“The violence is, indeed, disheartening,” he told reporters. The US has poured 12,000 additional US and Iraqi troops into Baghdad since August only to see a 22% increase in attacks since the beginning of Ramadan.

al-Sadr militia takes control of Amarah

Friday, October 20th, 2006

 The Shiite militia run by the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr seized control of a southern Iraqi city on Friday in one of the boldest acts of defiance yet by the country’s powerful, unofficial armies, witnesses and police said.Mahdi Army fighters stormed three main police stations Friday morning, residents said, planting explosives that flattened the buildings in Amarah, a city just 30 miles from the Iranian border that was under British command until August, when it was returned to Iraqi government control.

Gunmen in Iraq’s Ramadi announce Sunni emirate

Friday, October 20th, 2006

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Dozens of al Qaeda-linked gunmen took to the streets of Ramadi on Wednesday in a show of force to announce the city was joining an Islamic state comprising Iraq’s mostly Sunni Arab provinces, Islamists and witnesses said.

Witnesses in Ramadi, the capital of western Anbar province, said gunmen dressed in white marched through the city as mosque loudspeakers broadcast the statement by the Mujahideen Shura Council, a Sunni militant group led by al Qaeda in Iraq.

“We are from Mujahideen Shura Council and our Amir (Prince) is Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. God willing we will set the law of Sharia here and we will fight the Americans,” said a man who identified himself as Abu Harith, a Mujahideen field leader.

“We have announced the Islamic state. Ramadi is part of it. Our state will comprise all the Sunni provinces of Iraq,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

We’re lovin’ it: the US carries on consuming

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Their house prices are wobbling and debt is soaring. But Americans are eating hamburgers, purchasing plane tickets and buying iPods in greater numbers than ever.Strong corporate earnings in the US this week have eased fears of a “hard landing” for the economy as the public shows little evidence of pain from slowing growth.

McDonald’s reported a 15% rise in third-quarter profits yesterday to $843m (£449m), fuelled by better coffee, chicken snack wraps, its “I’m lovin’ it” marketing campaign and an effort to encourage more off-peak snack sales.

U.S. Turns Space Into Its Colony

Friday, October 20th, 2006

President George W Bush signed an executive order creating a new National Space Policy on Wednesday. The most crucial feature of this policy is that it “rejects future arms-control agreements that might limit US flexibility in space and asserts a right to deny access to space to anyone ‘hostile to US interests’.” It adds: “The United States will preserve its rights, capabilities and freedom of action in space … and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to US national interests.”


Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

Due to some computer issues, I haven’t been posting here much. The up-side for me is I have been able to do a whole lot of book-reading for a change. I will be posting some thoughts here in a bit.