New Angus-Reid Poll Shows Very Low Support for Bushie Policy on Iraq

Despite the fact that the Bushies have been bragging about Bush's rise in the polls, the latest Angus-Reid poll results just aren't very encouraging for anyone. Here:

- Fewer adults in the United States believe their government’s handling of the coalition effort has been adequate, according to a poll by Harris Interactive. Only 20 per cent of respondents are confident that U.S. policies in Iraq will be successful, down nine points in two years.

The coalition effort against Saddam Hussein’s regime was launched in March 2003. At least 2,708 American soldiers have died during the military operation, and more than 20,400 troops have been wounded in action.

In December 2005, Iraqi voters renewed their National Assembly. In May, Shiite United Iraqi Alliance member Nouri al-Maliki officially took over as prime minister.

On Sept. 25, Democratic New York senator Hillary Rodham Clinton discussed the situation in Iraq, saying, "The Bush-Cheney administration has stretched our military to the brink, stretched the facts to fit their ideology and stretched the patience of the American people with rhetoric instead of results." 53 per cent of respondents think Iraq will have a civil war in the next six months.

This Man's Army?

So why did a Louisville paper receive a disk containing not one, not ten but 232 (!) photographs of naked Army National Guard female soldiers?

Is Rumsfeld cutting the military budget so severely (while getting more money than all OTHER budget items combined) that these women can't afford uniforms?

FDA Says Spinach Is Safe to Eat

When the big spinach scare (apparently perpetrated by an Al Qaeda chapter of the Future Farmers of America or FFA for short) was on, I suggested you folks go right ahead and eat spinach, so long as you know where it came from.

Tonight, the FoolsFood and Slugs Drugs Administration tells you that spinach is safe so you can return to consuming Popeye's favorite delicacy. But considering how the FDA operates (always far more worried about food and drug corporations than the health of the American consumer), I now recommend you DON'T eat spinach.. at least not until the FDA tells you to avoid it again.

Cynical? Me? Never.

Corrupt Super-Lobbyist Jack Abramoff's Close - Oh So Close - Ties to Head of GOP

You've heard many disclosures this week but one which hasn't gotten as much airplay is the fact that Ken Mehlman, head of the Republican National Committee (who happens to have the notable title as the biggest gay hating gay Republican in the homosexual closet). has had close - oh so very, very close - ties to convicted uber Lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

If Baghdad and Iraq Are Going So Well, Why Is the Capitol City Shut Down til Sunday?

Keith Olbermann announced this on "Countdown" a short while ago; here's the MSNBC story about the U.S.-forced Baghdad curfew which amounts to a shutdown of just about the entire city of Baghdad through Sunday morning.

What the hell is going on?

Your Dollars Spent at Wal-Mart Come Back to Bite You As Wal-Mart Uses Them to Buy Politicians to Kill Consumer Friendliness

Well, it's not just Pennsylvania Senator Rick ("Man on Dog on Wal-Mart Smily Face") Santorum using Wal-Mart corporate jets like his personal "family vehicle". Wal-Mart is doing terrible things with the money that Americans flock to spend there; the five cents you save on toilet paper there can turn into $5 in hidden costs Wal-Mart gets your politicians to tack onto your tax bill.

Say Hello to...

Ole Blue the Heretic

With Anna Nicole Smith, Death of Her Son is a Powerful Aphrodesiac?

Anna Nicole Smith - fresh from shaving about 10 years off her age (she's now listed as 38 when we once were about the same age) and giving birth to a baby just before her 20-year-old son died under mysterious circumstances which she "forgot" because of the trauma - has now married her lawyer. This after selling pictures of her son's last moments alive at $625K a piece.

She is a one-woman three-ring circus freak show. Her three-week old daughter simply must have more brain than Anna Nicole does. I suspect the baby also was a ploy to make mommy money.

New to the Recommended Reading List

I've added three new books to the Recommended Reading List near the top right of the sidebar, with links to purchase these directly from Powell's Books, a great union book store and where I buy all books I don't get from my local bookshop.

These three include:

Buy Amy Goodman's

"Static: Gov't Liars...And The People Who Fight Back"

Buy Frank Rich's

"The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of the Truth from 9/11 to Katrina"

Buy Bob Woodward's

"State of Denial"

Bob Woodward's New Book: State of Denial

Boy, the extreme right certainly has its tail feathers in a pincher, don't they?

For example:

  • They're busy trying to denounce anyone who believes in the two NIE reports that show how out of reality the Bushies have functioned in Iraq.
  • They they had to side with the Pope (and mind you, most of the rabid religious right will insist that Catholics are NOT Christians) because the Pope did their work by calling Muslims a dirty, crazy, blood-thirsty, Satanic group.
  • Then they got pissed that former president Bill Clinton wouldn't just roll over and take their tendency to blame The CLENUS for everything from Dubya's tooth decay to global warming (the extreme right doesn't actually believe in global warming but, if it's true, then they're sure it's Clinton who did it!).

And now they're in a froth over Bob Woodward's new book, "State of Denial" because Woodward dares not to call Bush the great God-anointed hero they expect everyone to believe.

From Dan Froomkin at the Washington Post (read the whole thing):

Woodward's new book comes awfully close to calling the president a liar, a far move from the flattering depictions evident in his first two books

Then we have Howard Kurtz (Howie the Putz to anyone with a brain) waying in, with this:

"The warning is described in 'State of Denial,' scheduled for publication on Monday by Simon & Schuster. The book says President Bush's top advisers were often at odds among themselves, and sometimes were barely on speaking terms, but shared a tendency to dismiss as too pessimistic assessments from American commanders and others about the situation in Iraq.

"As late as November 2003, Mr. Bush is quoted as saying of the situation in Iraq: 'I don't want anyone in the cabinet to say it is an insurgency. I don't think we are there yet.'

"Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld is described as disengaged from the nuts-and-bolts of occupying and reconstructing Iraq -- a task that was initially supposed to be under the direction of the Pentagon -- and so hostile toward Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, that President Bush had to tell him to return her phone calls. The American commander for the Middle East, Gen. John P. Abizaid, is reported to have told visitors to his headquarters in Qatar in the fall of 2005 that 'Rumsfeld doesn't have any credibility anymore' to make a public case for the American strategy for victory in Iraq."

And here's a juicy tidbit: Bush and Cheney would not be interviewed.

"60 Minutes" also provides some tantalizing hints in a news release:

"According to Woodward, insurgent attacks against coalition troops occur, on average, every 15 minutes, a shocking fact the administration has kept secret. 'It's getting to the point now where there are eight, 900 attacks a week. That's more than a hundred a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces,' says Woodward.

"The situation is getting much worse, says Woodward, despite what the White House and the Pentagon are saying in public. 'The truth is that the assessment by intelligence experts is that next year, 2007, is going to get worse and, in public, you have the president and you have the Pentagon [saying], 'Oh, no, things are going to get better,' ' he tells Wallace. 'Now there's public, and then there's private. But what did they do with the private? They stamp it secret. No one is supposed to know,' says Woodward."

Could the book put to rest the argument by some critics that Woodward has become too cozy with those in power? Does he feel some obligation to scrutinize the administration more skeptically after having expressed regret for not more aggressively challenging the official line on Saddam's WMDs?

I wouldn't be surprised if both sides find ammunition in the book. Woodward's 2004 best-seller, "Plan of Attack," provided plenty of fodder for John Kerry's campaign with its details of how Bush was pushing ahead with Iraq war planning while claiming to be committed to U.N. diplomacy, and suggestions of a secret deal with Saudi Arabia. And yet the president's team liked the book so much that the Bush campaign recommended "Plan of Attack" on its Web site.

Blogging Talk

For Vermont residents who read this blog (of which there are several, thank you) and who may be interested:

I've been asked to speak at the Woodbury Community Library on Wednesday, October 12th on the subject of blogging. I think the program begins at 6 PM (might be 7 - I'll post the exact time closer to the event) and is free and open to the public.

The library is located next to the elementary school off Route 14.


Bob Woodward: Never Revealed Deep Throat's Identity But Looks Like He's Outing Deep Dipshit, Bush

From CBS News "Bush Misleads Iraq" (for more about Henry Kissinger's frequent trips to the Bush White House, go here):

Veteran Washington reporter Bob Woodward tells Mike Wallace that the Bush administration has not told the truth regarding the level of violence, especially against U.S. troops, in Iraq. He also reveals key intelligence that predicts the insurgency will grow worse next year. In Wallace’s interview with Woodward, to be broadcast on 60 Minutes this Sunday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. ET/PT, the reporter also claims that Henry Kissinger is among those advising Mr. Bush.

According to Woodward, insurgent attacks against coalition troops occur, on average, every 15 minutes, a shocking fact the administration has kept secret. "It’s getting to the point now where there are eight-, nine-hundred attacks a week. That's more than 100 a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces," says Woodward.

The situation is getting much worse, says Woodward, despite what the White House and the Pentagon are saying in public. "The truth is that the assessment by intelligence experts is that next year, 2007, is going to get worse and, in public, you have the president and you have the Pentagon [saying], 'Oh, no, things are going to get better,'" he tells Wallace. "Now there’s public, and then there’s private. But what did they do with the private? They stamp it secret. No one is supposed to know," says Woodward.

"The insurgents know what they are doing. They know the level of violence and how effective they are. Who doesn't know? The American public," Woodward tells Wallace. Woodward also reports that the president and vice president often meet with Henry Kissinger, who was President Richard Nixon’s secretary of state, as an adviser.

Says Woodward, "Now what’s Kissinger’s advice?

In Iraq, he declared very simply, ‘Victory is the only meaningful exit strategy.'" Woodward adds. "This is so fascinating. Kissinger’s fighting the Vietnam War again because, in his view, the problem in Vietnam was we lost our will."

President Bush is absolutely certain that he has the U.S. and Iraq on the right course, says Woodward. So certain is the president on this matter, Woodward says, that when Mr. Bush had key Republicans to the White House to discuss Iraq, he told them, "I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me." Woodward reported for two years and interviewed more than 200 people, including top officials in the Bush administration, to learn these and other revelations that he makes in his latest book, State of Denial, published by Simon & Schuster, part of the CBS Corp.

Kissinger Spends Lots of Time At The White House

Henry Kissinger, my former "neighbor" back in Connecticut, has been many things. Among them, he's been identified as a War Criminal; there are places he cannot go because to do so would risk his arrest on charges he has eluded trial on for decades.

Now, drawn from Bob Woodward (of Watergate infamy), we learn that Kissinger is spending quite significant blocks of time at the White House. If he's there to counsel on how to lose a war big time (since Kissinger definitely played a large role in losing the Vietnam war), I would think the Bushies are doing a fine job of that on their own.

Kissinger is also a huge believer in secrecy and that the president should have unlimited powers in doing whatever nastiness and dirty tricks he wants. Again, the Bushies would not seem to need help in treating the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights like toilet paper.

The War the Bushies Said Would Pay For Itself Costs Americans $2 Billion and Change Each and Every Week

Wow... so Iraq the war is costing us at least $2 billion each week? That's almost like.. y'know... real money. We could have more than the start at affordable universal health care in just a half a month of this... you know, the health care the Bushies say we just can't afford.

How Your House Rep(s) Voted on Torture As Well

Previously, I showed you where to find how your senators voted; here you can see how your House of Reprehensibles voted.

Everyone in Washington should either be sent home or fired OR tried for crimes against humanity. Period.

Dan Froomkin On Today's Washington Mess and Bush's Bully (Really, Bully) Pulpit

Update: Damn it all to hell; the Senate just passed the detainee prosecution bill. Here's how and who the Senate voted on torture.

From Froomkin at the Washington Post:

Today's Senate vote on President Bush's detainee legislation, after House approval yesterday, marks a defining moment for this nation.

How far from our historic and Constitutional values are we willing to stray? How mercilessly are we willing to treat those we suspect to be our enemies? How much raw, unchecked power are we willing to hand over to the executive?

The legislation before the Senate today would ban torture, but let Bush define it; would allow the president to imprison indefinitely anyone he decides falls under a wide-ranging new definition of unlawful combatant; would suspend the Great Writ of habeas corpus; would immunize retroactively those who may have engaged in torture. And that's just for starters.

It's a red-letter day for the country. It's also a telling day for our political system.

The people have lost confidence in their president. Despite that small recent uptick in the polls, Bush remains deeply unpopular with the American public, mistrusted by a majority, widely considered out of touch with the nation's real priorities.

But he's still got Congress wrapped around his little finger.

Today's vote will show more clearly than ever before that, when push comes to shove, the Republicans who control Congress are in lock step behind the president, and the Democrats -- who could block him, if they chose to do so -- are too afraid to put up a real fight.

The kind of emotionless, he-said-she-said news coverage, lacking analysis and obsessed with incremental developments and political posturing -- in short, much of modern political journalism -- just doesn't do this story justice.
Bush shouldn't be bullying anyone; he belongs in detention himself not just for war crimes and for treason because NO ONE has ever committed the atrocities or laid this country open to attack like he has.

Majoring of Israelis Want Talks with Palestinian Authority/Hamas People

Ha'aretz reports that in a poll of Israeli's citizens, more than 67% feel - unlike their government and unlike ours under Bush - they want to open a dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

I think this is very smart; unfortunately, Israel's leader is about as smart as Bush.

And Speaking of Washington at Its Worst

Bush is still fighting to have the political edge over everything done in Washington. If Bush wants to run the whole show (those two or so days a week he's not on vacation or napping), why are we paying hundreds of House Reps and Senators?

Senate Refuses to Amend Detainee Bill to Allow Detainees to Challenge Their Detention

I'm really quite mortified with all that is going on in Washington, and even more upset to see that a simple change in the wording of the "detainee torture" bill to allow a detainee to question why (s)he is being held could not even see the light of day.

What Washington is doing now will have effects for decades, if not centuries, to come. We have more than just opened the door slightly for any other country to do whatever it wants not just to our service men and women but also to anyone else who finds themselves at the wrong end of the law in a foreign country. And remember, MOST of the detainees we've held have NEVER had charges filed against them while those that have have usually ended up walking because we cannot prove the case (which, considering how we stack the deck against them... wow).

Blog Frustration

I don't know if others using Blogger are experiencing problems, but for the last few weeks - and growing worse each day - it can take me the better part of an hour to login successfully and usually far longer to actually get a post published.



Threatening Letter With White Powder Sent to Keith Olbermann

The white powder, made to look like anthrax (as in the October 2001 envelopes mailed around to the likes of Tom Brokaw and others), arrived with a note that apparently specifically mentions Olbermann's recent, powerful "Special Comments" section.

Yet more notably is that the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post "broke" the story after the FBI asked all media to hold back on reporting. So while Olbermann did not report this... yeah, The Post remains pond scum.

So what else is new?

Another Big Shakeup At MSNBC?

Buzzflash points us to this story which could have Keith Olbermann's Countdown and Hardball's Chris Matthews moving to CNBC (from which Countdown originally came).

Notably, however, the Bloggerman blog has disappeared from Olbermann's MSNBC Web space.

While I'm tempted to say MSNBC would never cut the show from which it get its best ratings, I can't because Phil Donahue had the best audience in early 2003 when MSNBC pulled him just before the Bushies launched the attack on Iraq.

Olbermann is getting a LOT of attention recently with his "special comments" pieces. If MSNBC pulls him, we'll know why.

Musharraf: Entire World Less Safe Because of the Horror in Iraq

Apparently the White House did not give the head of Pakistan, Mr. Musharraf, huge enough quantities of Koolaid since Musharraf has gone on the record as stating that the mishandling of Iraq not only endangers Iraq and neighboring countries, it places the entire rest of the world at risk for the kind of terrible scenarios that come out of instability.

So Now The White House SpokesVermin Will Campaign for The Republicans?

Former Fox Network GOP altar boy Tony Snow has actually done a worse job as WH spokesperson than his predecessors Scott McClellan and Ari Fleischer and now he's going to hit the campaign trail for the Bush preferred candidates.

This may not be illegal, but it sure tastes, smells and looks bad.

Scary Times As Iran Prepares for the U.S. to Strike

Blah3 brings us this which is well worth noting:

via Global Research
    Iran is bracing itself for an expected American-led air campaign. The latter is in the advanced stages of military planning.

    If there were to be war between the United States and Iran, the aerial campaign would unleash fierce combat. It would be fully interactive on multiple fronts. It would be a difficult battle involving active movement in the air from both sides.

    If war were to occur, the estimates of casualties envisaged by American and British war planners would be high.

    The expected wave of aerial attacks would resemble the tactics of the Israeli air-war against Lebanon and would follow the same template, but on a larger scale of execution.

    The U.S. government and the Pentagon had an active role in graphing, both militarily and politically, the template of confrontation in Lebanon. The Israeli siege against Lebanon is in many regards a dress rehearsal for a planned attack on Iran.1

    A war against Iran is one that could also include military operations against Syria. Multiple theatres would engulf many of the neighbors of Iran and Syria, including Iraq and Israel/Palestine.

    It must also be noted that an attack on Iran would be of a scale which would dwarf the events in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Levant. A full blown war on Iran would not only swallow up and incorporate these other conflicts. It would engulf the entire Middle East and Central Asian region into an extensive confrontation.
So... How did that Israeli offensive work out in Lebanon?

With WHAT, and WHO'S Army are we expected to fight this multi-front war? George, do you REALLY believe you'll have a host of allies in this misbegotten folly from hell? WHERE are America's traditional Allies, George? They are avoiding you... Yeah... They want nothing to do with your bullshit, and you won't have Poodle Blair to Blackmail into helping you, either.
Does this administration really think that they'll be able to control the front lines once they start such an offensive? T

his won't be a limited regional confrontation, it'll be MASSIVE, the counter-attacks will spring up randomly, like mushrooms, globally...

Senate Likely to Pass Bill To Permit Torture While Eavesdropping Bill Questionable

So we're going to legalize torture. These people should be ashamed of themselves.

Here's the latest on the White House's "must-pass" terrorism bills: The Bush-backed legislation to authorize warrantless NSA wiretapping is just about dead -- unless it gets last-minute CPR, say NYTimes, AP.

The detainee treatment bill, a.k.a. the torture "compromise," looks likely to move, however. The Senate has allotted 10 hours of debate for the measure -- seven hours to discuss five separate amendments, and three hours to debate the bill itself. Observers say a vote on the measure is likely to come tomorrow, but you never know: once the sun goes down on Capitol Hilll, anything can happen.
If anyone reading this is certain that torture is needed to obtain information, please let me know. I have a bridge in Brooklyn and swamp land in Jersey I'd love to sell you.

ESPN Denies Efforts to "Hide" Audience Boos At Former President Bush

What? Are people deciding that Poppy Bush might be somewhat responsible for the petulant, won't-play-fair chip off the block in the White House?

I never watch ESPN so I can't tell you what happened.

Yet it would not surprise me if ESPN did edit out the boos toward Poppy Bush at a football game. When Chavez called George W. Bush the devil on the floor of the U.N. General Assembly, I noticed that many networks and news feeds managed to edit out the laughs that followed. It was three days or so before I heard the rather loud laughing.

How Low, How Low Can The Bushies Go

As it turns out, they can get lower than a snake wriggling around in dirt.

Remember the other day when the Venezuelan foreign minister claimed he got roughed up by airport security trying to leave the U.S. after the conclusion of the opening of the U.N. General Assembly? Both security - a federal program now - and the White House insisted this was untrue.

Yet we've since learned - although with not nearly so much fanfare as when they claimed this was a fairy tale made up by the Venezuelan delegation - that indeed, we really did give them a hard time. Not only that, they forced the foreign minister into a situation where he could not leave until they performed a very thorough strip search (think fingers up the chocolate chute.

Now, considering we don't usually employ anywhere near the security check on someone leaving the U.S. that we do on those coming in, and considering the fact that this foreign minister would normally not be searched period, this seems pretty damn odd. The only possible explanation for it was the Bushies got on the phone and made sure we would make their departure as nasty as possibe. This also happens just hours before NY governor Pataki and other Bush folks rushed before a camera telling Chavez and company to "get the hell out" of America.

Also, 7-11 chain has suddenly decided to drop the purchase of gas from Citgo, which gets its gas supply from Venezuela.


Female Human Rights Campaigner Gives Her Life For Freedom of Aghan Women

It's way past ironic that as much as Mr. Bush lies to talk about all his hard work and the great sacrifices he makes to bring freedom and democracy to Afghanistan, that this one woman, with relatively few resources and up against the deadliest of all odds, did far more for Afghanistan - and the rights of both men and women - than Bush even claimed to have achieved.

About the only time Dubya risked his sorry ass was when he flew fighter jets we paid for while he was drunk and buzzed far out of his brain on cocaine.

Also in Afghanistan, a Taliban suicide bomber (those people Bush keeps saying he annihilated five years ago) has killed 18 civilians.

Bush: His Wars Don't Increase Terrorism

But Bush is wrong. He's wrong about both Iraq and Afghanistan. Dead wrong (actually, he's wrong and millions upon millions of innocent civilians are dead or affected by the deaths of loved ones, the destruction of their homes and businesses).

And it's hardly the first time he has lied to us.

Bush: His Wars Don't Increase Terrorism

But Bush is wrong. He's wrong about both Iraq and Afghanistan. Dead wrong (actually, he's wrong and millions upon millions of innocent civilians are dead or affected by the deaths of loved ones, the destruction of their homes and businesses).

And it's hardly the first time he has lied to us.

Bush Insists Woes in Iraq Does Not Worsen Terrorism Around the World

But Bush is wrong. He's wrong about both Iraq and Afghanistan. Dead wrong (actually, he's wrong and millions upon millions of innocent civilians are dead or affected by the deaths of loved ones, the destruction of their homes and businesses).

Say Hello to...

Halliburton Watch

I may have called them out before, but I cannot find where I did.


No Crisis? Just a Comma?

Steve at The Carpetbagger Report sums up some of Bush's self-serving bullshit with less fury than I:

I'll have the transcript up as soon as CNN posts it, but George W. Bush appeared on "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" this afternoon and made one of those stunning remarks that could — or rather, should — become a political problem for the White House.

Blitzer asked the president to respond to the nightmare that Iraq has become, but Bush wouldn't hear of it. He dismissed the ongoing crisis as "just a comma."

Update: Here's the transcript:
    BLITZER: Let's move on and talk a little bit about Iraq. Because this is a huge, huge issue, as you know, for the American public, a lot of concern that perhaps they are on the verge of a civil war, if not already a civil war…. We see these horrible bodies showing up, tortured, mutilation. The Shia and the Sunni, the Iranians apparently having a negative role. Of course, al Qaeda in Iraq is still operating.
    BUSH: Yes, you see — you see it on TV, and that's the power of an enemy that is willing to kill innocent people. But there's also an unbelievable will and resiliency by the Iraqi people…. Admittedly, it seems like a decade ago. I like to tell people when the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma because there is — my point is, there's a strong will for democracy. (emphasis added)
Even by Bush's already-low standards, it was a stunning comment. We're talking about a war that has claimed 2,700 American lives and seriously injured 20,000 more. It's a crisis that has, by any reasonable measure, made the threat of terrorism against Americans considerably worse. It's a misadventure that has cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, to fight a war sold under false pretenses, and mismanaged with almost child-like incompetence.

Asked to explain himself, the president is unconcerned. Everything we're seeing is "just a comma." I'm sure that will bring comfort to the families of those who have sacrificed so much for Bush's mistakes.

Attorneys, Human Rights Advocates and Elsewhere, Intelligence Experts Say New Torture Rules Won't Help

Did you ever think we as a country would reach the point where we try to poo-poo waterboarding as harmless schoolyard fun and have people insist that what "the hopeless lefties" call torture is nothing more than most third graders perpetrate against one another.

Color me naive or idealistic, but I never, ever thought we would reach a time like this. Or that we would allow it to happen, which we have.

Time Magazine: "Does God Want You To Be Rich?"

Story here, although I don't think it quite measures up to the "God is dead" cover quoting from Nietsze.

Also still reminds me of all those megamillionaire evangelists who justify their fabulous wealth by saying God doesn't want them to have to struggle.

A Particularly Nasty Game of Dominoes - Nuclear Dominoes, In Fact

By Joe Cirincione posting at Think Progress:

Last week in an op-ed for the Boston Globe, I warned about Iran’s nuclear program and asked the following question: “The real danger is what happens next [in the region]. What do Iran’s rivals — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey — do if it declares itself a nuclear power?

A partial answer to the question didn’t take long. The very next day, Gamal Mubarak, the son of Egypt’s president, announced in a public address that Egypt should begin its own nuclear power program:
    The carefully crafted political speech raised the prospect of two potentially embarrassing developments for the White House at a time when the region is awash in crisis: a nuclear program in Egypt, recipient of about $2 billion a year in military and development aid from the United States, and Mr. Mubarak succeeding his father, Hosni Mubarak, as president without substantial political challenge.

    Simply raising the topic of Egypt’s nuclear ambitions at a time of heightened tensions over Iran’s nuclear activity was received as a calculated effort to raise the younger Mr. Mubarak’s profile and to build public support through a show of defiance toward Washington, political analysts and foreign affairs experts said.
Egypt abandoned a nuclear weapons program in the 1970s and joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But with the Bush administration’s weak support for the treaty, its recent sweetheart deal rewarding India for building nuclear weapons outside the treaty’s limits, and its failure to contain the Iranian program, Egypt seems to be recalculating its own nuclear options.

How long until others follow suit? And how bad will it get before the administration admits that its radical strategy for stopping the spread of nuclear weapons has instead accelerated their proliferation?

Taking a Page from Ronald Reagan's Iran Playbook

British soldiers had quite a nice plan to smuggle weapons out of Iraq for cocaine.

The Butchering of Women and Children in Iraq

Is this what Mr. Bush's "torture's a great idea" policy will bring us? More slaughtered women and children in Iraq?

Torture: Does It Work?

IMHO - and more importantly, the opinions of those who specialize in this field - torture is by no means a useful means of obtaining information from detainees and other types of prisoners, whether the intelligence sought is part of an active war or not. So let's read what WaPo has to say on the subject:

MIAMI Afew years ago, as I worked on a documentary film about torture survivors in exile from my native Haiti, I met a young woman who under questioning by a military officer was slapped until she became deaf in one ear, was forced to chew and swallow a campaign poster, and was kicked so hard in the stomach by booted feet that she kept slipping in and out of consciousness in a pool of her own urine and blood. Another woman had an arm chopped off and her tongue sliced in two before she was dumped in a mass grave, miles from her home.

When I met these women, some time had passed since their ordeals. But they could still feel the hammering of the blows and hear the menacing voices, threatening to drown them, dismember them and set them on fire. The younger woman, Marie Carmel, remembers thinking about her mother. Manman will surely die if I'm killed, she thought. I have to stay alive for her. Alerte, whose arm and tongue were severed, kept thinking about her children as she climbed out of the corpse-filled pit and crawled to the side of the road where she found help. Both had no idea how much pain they could endure until then. They wanted to live, they remembered, to defy their torturers, to tell their stories.

"There is no need for torture," wrote Jean-Paul Sartre. "Hell is the other." Those women saw hell and came back. However, neither one told their torturers what they wanted to know. Marie Carmel did not reveal the names of her fellow pro-democracy activists. Alerte did not divulge the whereabouts of her husband, who was the real object of her captors' search.

For many who remember -- just as these women do, and my own parents do -- what it means to live under a dictatorial regime, a regime in which citizens must leave work or school to witness public executions, torture is not just an individual affliction but a communal one. And now, when political leaders in the United States are asking us as a society to consider not only the legal and moral ramifications of torture but its effectiveness, we are brought closer to these regimes than we may think. If we are part of all that has touched us, as Alfred Tennyson wrote, then we are all endorsers of torture when it is done in our name.

Torture aims for a single goal -- obtaining information -- but it achieves a slew of others. For one thing, it martyrizes the tortured. Think of the old Christlike images of Che Guevara's corpse in Bolivia -- or even of Christ himself.

While working on the documentary and researching the novel it eventually inspired, I interviewed torturers as well as their victims. I realized that torture diminishes us all by numbing us to human distress; the level of callousness in the society rises, with once unimaginable acts suddenly charted and rationalized.

"This is why we have this proverb," one repentant torturer told me, " bay kou bliye pote mak sonje ." The one who strikes the blow might easily forget, but the one who wears the scars must remember.

When seemingly noble ideals -- after all, what can be nobler than wanting to save lives? -- lead us to torture, the path to the torture chamber can find its way to our front door, just as it did for Marie Carmel, Alerte and countless others before them.
Catch the rest here.

Is John McCain Delusional That No Torture Will Be Performed?

Sen. John McCain, one of the three GOP holdouts over a White House-pushed bill to allow torture and other hardly good things, now says the compromise means the U.S. will NOT torture prisoners.

Now, from what I've read on this subject, I can only conclude that one of two things is happening with McCain since it looks like torture will very much be on the terror boot camp menu offerings:

1) McCain is lying flat out
2) McCain is deluded

If a pacifist from Vermont who has not been in a prison camp as McCain was can tell the Bushies very much plan to continue using torture to "break" people, I'm afraid I have to assume that the answer is #1: McCain is lying and he knows he is. See my previous post on how McCain appeared when he came out to tell the press "the integrity of the Geneva Conventions" would remain intact. His expression not only indicated he was lying, it also rang out loudly that he had anesthetized himself to this outcome.

At The U.N. This Last Week, Anger At The U.S. Has Gone Way Past Simply Palpable

As the Washington Post reports, the anger level directed toward the U.S. for its various American-only policies at the U.N. this past week is more than just obvious. It may come back to bite us in a way that Hugo Chavez calling Bush a drunk and the devil cannot.

What The Experts Say: Iraq and Global War on Terror Has Increased Terrorism, Not Defeated It

Intelligence analysts now state just what many bloggers (myself included) have stated for a very long time: Bush's Wars are contributing to and increasing the terrorism level throughout the world rather than "defeating" terrorism.

The Times also weighs in on this matter,

“A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.”
I'll add that I do truly believe that much of what the Bush Administration has done has not just increased global terrorism; the Bushies have made it into a "proud sport" any nation can and should play.