Michael Bolton – US ambassador to U.N. – Bomb Iran – Iraq is model for change

October 1, 2007 at 10:21 pm | Posted in iran, iraq war, war | Leave a comment

The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday that former U.N. ambassador John Bolton advised Tory delegates in Britain this weekend that they should press for “pre-emptive strike on suspected nuclear facilities” in Iran.

“Because life is about choices, I think we have to consider the use of military force,” Bolton said. He added that any strike “should be followed by an attempt to remove” the “source of the problem,” Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

Fleshing out his hawkish dreams on British television, Bolton suggested that the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq was a model for the “policy of regime change” he would like to see done in Iran:

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/10/01/bolton-iraq-iran/

U.S. Diplomats told to look for excuses to go to war with Iran

September 30, 2007 at 10:26 pm | Posted in iran, war | Leave a comment

Members of the US secretariat in the United Nations were asked earlier this month to begin “searching for things that Iran has done wrong”, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.

Some US diplomats believe the exercise — reminiscent of attempts by vice-president Dick Cheney and the former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld to build the case against Saddam Hussein before the Iraq war — will boost calls for military action by neo-conservatives inside and outside the administration.

Concern is also growing in the CIA and the Pentagon that the White House exaggerated intelligence used to justify an Israeli air raid on a suspected nuclear facility in Syria earlier this month, which some neo-conservatives hope is a precursor to war with Iran.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/30/wiran230.xml

New Spin on Iran – Kill people rather than Nuclear Facilities

September 30, 2007 at 8:44 pm | Posted in Bush, iran, war | 1 Comment

“They’ve changed their rhetoric, really. The name of the game used to be nuclear threat,” Hersh said on CNN’s Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, adding a moment later, “They’ve come to the realization that it’s not selling, it isn’t working. The American people aren’t worried about Iran as a nuclear threat certainly as they were about Iraq. So they’ve switched, really.”The Bush Administration is all but set to authorize a campaign of limited, surgical airstrikes against Iranian targets, Hersh reports in the New Yorker’s latest edition. In his piece, Hersh writes, “During a secure videoconference that took place early this summer, the President told Ryan Crocker, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, that he was thinking of hitting Iranian targets across the border and that the British ‘were on board’… Bush ended by instructing Crocker to tell Iran to stop interfering in Iraq or it would face American retribution.”

The sites in Iran being targeted however, reflect the change in the White House selling of armed conflict with Iran.

“Instead of… hitting the various [nuclear] facilities we know that exist, instead they’re going to hit the Iranians as payback for hitting us [in Iraq],” Hersh told Blitzer in the CNN interview.

Such targets, Hersh says, would include Iran’s Revolutionary Guard headquarters and other sites of Iran’s alleged support for the insurgency in Iraq.

http://rawstory.com//news/2007/Seymour_Hersh_War_with_Iran_will_0930.html

Is somebody just itching for a fight or this all internet noise?

The Iraq war could have been avoided for $1 Billion

September 29, 2007 at 5:14 pm | Posted in Bush, iraq war, war | 1 Comment

How much money does Bush think a US soldier’s life is worth? How much money does Bush think the lives of our allies’ soldiers or innocent Iraqis are worth?As we’re finding out, not very much. On March 17, 2003 President Bush issued the warning: “Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choosing ,” yet now thanks to a transcript leaked to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, we learn that more than three weeks prior to that Bush had told former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar that “The Egyptians are speaking to Saddam Hussein. It seems he’s indicated he would be prepared to go into exile if he’s allowed to take $1 billion …” When confronted about the leaked transcript yesterday, Whitehouse spokeswoman Dana Perino did not dispute its accuracy.Just last week we learned from former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan that the real reason behind the war in Iraq was oil , and now we are finding out that the entire war could have been averted for letting him get away with $1 billion. That’s just than one tenth of 1% of what this insane invasion and occupation of Iraq, that continues claim the lives of our country’s bravest men and women, has now been forcast to cost. Think about that just for a second. Every single death, Iraqi and American coalition alike, could have been saved and Bush could have had Saddam’s oil, but apparently he didn’t even seriously consider it. Topping that, he then lied in public to the entire world about it just so he could have his war regardless. How’s that for compassionate conservatism?

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/09/28/saddam-wanted-out-bush-lied-about-it/

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Saddam Hussein accepted an 11th-hour offer to flee into exile weeks ahead of the U.S.-led 2003 invasion, but Arab League officials scuttled the proposal, officials in this Gulf state claimed.

The exile initiative was spearheaded by the late president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, at an emergency Arab summit held in Egypt in February 2003, Sheik Zayed’s son said in an interview aired by Al-Arabiya TV during a documentary. The U.S.-led coalition invaded on March 19 that year.

A top government official confirmed the offer on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Updated: 7:38 p.m. ET Oct 29, 2005
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9864433/

2008 Defense Spending – Where are the democrats?

September 23, 2007 at 11:51 pm | Posted in 2008 Budget, legislation, war | Leave a comment

Why don’t we fund 2 fewer F-35 stealth Joint Strike Fighters and take the $1 Billion dollars we save and fully fund 10,000 engineers through 4 years at top notch schools to see if they can figure out a way to make an airplane for less than $500 Million Dollars? Do we need to spend as much on our military than the rest of the world does combined? Knock off the destroyer and you could fund health insurance for 1.75 million kids for a year.

Are we really in a position that our national security is at risk if we fall from way the hell ahead of everybody else to first place in terms of aggression capability? Can we divide the military budget in categories:

  • Defense
  • Aggression
  • Feeding the Industrial Military Complex
  • Graft, corruption and waste

It has been well documented that certain members of congress had to earmark money so that the pentagon would buy specific items that would ensure the safety of our troops in Iraq. We are spending way too much and what we are spending is not going to best protect our troops. The safety of the United States citizenry at home or abroad is not dependent upon these $100 Million – $3.5 Billion dollar weapons of war.

The Senate is debating the defense bill now, and the central fact about the proceedings is that nobody’s talking about money.Certainly this is strange. The military budget in question—not including any money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—totals $500 billion. This is roughly equal to the military budgets of all the rest of the world’s nations combined…..legislators don’t want to seem “soft on defense” by proposing that the money for, say, one F-22 stealth fighter-bomber ($230 million) be reallocated to health care or a college-loan program….

This year’s military budget includes $102 billion for weapons procurement—up 10 percent from last year’s. Among the weapons being procured: $3.1 billion for a new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier; $3.5 billion for a DDG-1000 destroyer; $2.7 billion for another Virginia-class submarine; $6.1 billion for 12 F-35 stealth Joint Strike Fighters; and $4.6 billion for 20 more F-22s.

All these programs are legacies of the Cold War. None of them has any real connection to Iraq, Afghanistan, or the global war on terror.

http://www.slate.com/id/2174398/fr/flyout

Rolling Stone – The Great Iraq Swindle

September 23, 2007 at 11:51 pm | Posted in iraq war, Uncategorized, war | Leave a comment

How is it done? How do you screw the taxpayer for millions, get away with it and then ride off into the sunset with one middle finger extended, the other wrapped around a chilled martini?…You’ve done such a terrible job, in fact, that when auditors from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction visit the college in the summer of 2006, their report sounds like something out of one of the Saw movies: “We witnessed a light fixture so full of diluted urine and feces that it would not operate,” they write, adding that “the urine was so pervasive that it had permanently stained the ceiling tiles” and that “during our visit, a substance dripped from the ceiling onto an assessment team member’s shirt.” The final report helpfully includes a photo of a sloppy brown splotch on the outstretched arm of the unlucky auditor….get asked by an irritatingly eager Maryland congressman named Chris Van Hollen how you managed to spend $72 million on a pile of shit.

You blink. Fuck if you know. “I have some conjecture, but that’s all it would be” is your deadpan answer.

The room twitters in amazement. It’s hard not to applaud the balls of a man who walks into Congress short $72 million in taxpayer money and offers to guess where it all might have gone.

There isn’t a brazen, two-bit, purse-snatching money caper you can think of that didn’t happen at least 10,000 times with your tax dollars in Iraq.

According to the most reliable ­estimates, we have doled out more than $500 billion for the war, as well as $44 billion for the Iraqi reconstruction effort. And what did America’s contractors give us for that money? They built big steaming shit piles, set brand-new trucks on fire, drove back and forth across the desert for no reason at all and dumped bags of nails in ditches. For the most part, nobody at home cared, because war on some level is always a waste. But what happened in Iraq went beyond inefficiency, beyond fraud even. This was about the business of government being corrupted by the profit motive to such an extraordinary degree that now we all have to wonder how we will ever be able to depend on the state to do its job in the future. If catastrophic failure is worth billions, where’s the incentive to deliver success? There’s no profit in patriotism, no cost-plus angle on common decency. Sixty years after America liberated Europe, those are just words, and words don’t pay the bills.

RollingStone.com
The Great Iraq Swindle
How Bush Allowed an Army of For-Profit Contractors to Invade the U.S. Treasury
Posted Aug 23, 2007 8:51 AM

Vanity Fair – How the U.S. lost $9 Billion in cash in Iraq

September 23, 2007 at 11:50 pm | Posted in iraq war, war | Leave a comment

Between April 2003 and June 2004, $12 billion in U.S. currency—much of it belonging to the Iraqi people—was shipped from the Federal Reserve to Baghdad, where it was dispensed by the Coalition Provisional Authority. Some of the cash went to pay for projects and keep ministries afloat, but, incredibly, at least $9 billion has gone missing, unaccounted for, in a frenzy of mismanagement and greed. Following a trail that leads from a safe in one of Saddam’s palaces to a house near San Diego, to a P.O. box in the Bahamas, the authors discover just how little anyone cared about how the money was handled.


Vanity Fair
Billions over Baghdad
by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele October 2007

The Spin Zone – Building the case for war against Iran through distortion

September 23, 2007 at 9:01 pm | Posted in iran, war | Leave a comment

“Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to wipe Israel off the map because no such idiom exists in Persian,” remarked Juan Cole, a Middle East specialist at the University of Michigan and critic of American policy who has argued that the Iranian president was misquoted. “He did say he hoped its regime, i.e., a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse.” Since Iran has not “attacked another country aggressively for over a century,” he said in an e-mail exchange, “I smell the whiff of war propaganda.”Jonathan Steele, a columnist for the left-leaning Guardian newspaper in London, recently laid out the case this way: “The Iranian president was quoting an ancient statement by Iran’s first Islamist leader, the late Ayatollah Khomeini, that ‘this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time,’ just as the Shah’s regime in Iran had vanished. He was not making a military threat. He was calling for an end to the occupation of Jerusalem at some point in the future. The ‘page of time’ phrase suggests he did not expect it to happen soon.”

New York Times article

I hate Ahmadinejad for all the same reasons you do. For one thing, he
said he wants to “wipe Israel off the map.” Scholars tell us the correct
translation is more along the lines of wanting a change in Israel’s
government toward something more democratic, with less gerrymandering.
What an ass-muncher!


http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/2007/09/a-feeling-im-be.html

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