Sunday, November 28, 2010

"In the hands of God and Iran"

The Saudi monarch's views about the Iraqi situation and Iranian influence in the region from a conversation in a "secret" US diplomatic cable dated March 22, 2009:

IRAQ

13. (S) IN THE HANDS OF GOD AND IRAN: Brennan expressed the importance the U.S. attaches to achieving peace and stability in Iraq. The King replied that this was "in the hands of God," though he agreed that Iraq was vitally important to both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. The King also pointed out that "some say the U.S. invasion handed Iraq to Iran on a silver platter; this after we fought Saddam Hussein."

14. (S) NO HOPE FOR MALIKI: The King said he had "no confidence whatsoever in (Iraqi PM) Maliki, and the Ambassador (Fraker) is well aware of my views." The King affirmed that he had refused former President Bush's entreaties that he meet with Maliki. The King said he had met Maliki early in Maliki's term of office, and the Iraqi had given him a written list of commitments for reconciliation in Iraq, but had failed to follow through on any of them. For this reason, the King said, Maliki had no credibility. "I don,t trust this man," the King stated, "He's an Iranian agent." The King said he had told both Bush and former Vice president Cheney "how can I meet with someone I don,t trust?" Maliki has "opened the door for Iranian influence in Iraq" since taking power, the King said, and he was "not hopeful at all" for Maliki, "or I would have met with him."


Also, the US embassy in Baghdad's assessment of Iranian influence in Iraq

1. (S/NF) Summary: Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - Quds Force (IRGC-QF) officers are active in Iraq, conducting traditional espionage and supporting violent extremists as well as supporting both legitimate and malign Iranian economic and cultural outreach.

And this:
3. (C) [Name removed] asserted that Iraqis throughout the country were growing increasingly frustrated with foreign interference, notably from Iraq's neighbors. He singled out Saudi Arabia and Iran as the biggest culprits, but noted that a "mental revolution" was underway among Iraqi youth against foreign agendas seeking to undermine the country's stability, pointing to such trends in Anbar against the Saudis, Najaf against the Iranians, and Mosul against the Turks.

163 comments:

Hamsters no more! said...

Hamsters are a threat to national security.

Freddie Starr said...

Hamsters no more! ate my hamster

Mister Ghost said...

The hamster is currently hiding out in Sweden and had no comment...

Mister Ghost said...

But seriously, can the Arabs be any bigger pansies or hypocrites?

Oh please US, take out those mean Iranians for us. Then afterward, we'll condemn your actions.

And how about the Turks? Smuggling weapons into Iraq.

And the Saudis? Biggest financial backers of al Qaeda. You think that would warrant at least a Congressional resolution.

Anonymous said...

Re: Mister Ghost, 5:51 PM.

But seriously, can the Americans be any bigger pansies or hypocrites?

Here we have Mister Ghost, the foul rat from Schuster's sewer, who for the past couple of years has been whining and whinging because them eeeevil Eyewanians have taken over Eyewack.

Something that any being having half a brain (and ANY superficial notion about the history of the area), including George Bush Senior, knew would happen if the US invaded Iraq.

But, before his subhuman whining and whinging, the same idiot had been fanatically supporting at all Iraqi blogs the demented American invasion of Iraq (and the even more demented occupation), saying that it was going to bring the Iraqis 'fweedom'n'democwacy', LOL !!!!!!!

Bruno said...

Eihla! ;)

Bruno said...

It is certainly true that the invasion removed any obstacle to Iranian power in the region. Hilarious to see the warmongers bitching about it.

On the other hand, THIS extract that Zeyad posted is good news:

"a "mental revolution" was underway among Iraqi youth against foreign agendas seeking to undermine the country's stability"

RhusLancia said...

The Öbama's crack diplomatic team needs to broker a super top secret meeting with the power playerz there to smartly reset relations and make nice.

Then post it on Twitter.

Really not too surprised about the Iwanian Revelations though. I don't think Iraq is delivered into their hands as much as some people say. Partially they are, sure, but also partially it's code for "Shia = Iran". Not that they're in the clear either, of course. It's just that Brüno's idea that Saddam was the only obstacle to Iwanian power seems overblown.


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

Bruno said...

Oh, sure, now the "obstacles" are the Americans hanging around forever or the Saudis growing a pair and doing it themselves.

But I'd like to imagine that an accommodation, instead of confrontation, could be reached with Iran instead.

Bruno said...

Wikileaks:

"In late 2009 the Obama Administration, it was revealed today, privately warned the Turkish government not to criticize unsubstantiated allegations against Iran’s civilian nuclear program, in particular warning that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments made Turkey “vulnerable to international community criticism.
Turkish PM Erdogan The documents, revealed today as part of the WikiLeaks Cablegate release, centered around Prime Minister Erdogan’s criticism of Obama’s allegations as “gossip,” and advised top Erdogan aides and Turkish President Gul to “rein in” the prime minister."

http://news.antiwar.com/2010/11/28/us-warned-turkey-not-to-publicly-question-allegations-on-iran/

Bruno said...

Well now, that was nice:

"Hillary Clinton ordered American officials to spy on high ranking UN diplomats, including British representatives.

Top secret cables revealed that Mrs Clinton, the Secretary of State, even ordered diplomats to obtain DNA data – including iris scans and fingerprints - as well as credit card and frequent flier numbers.

All permanent members of the security council – including Russia, China, France and the UK – were targeted by the secret spying mission, as well as the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon. "

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1333879/WikiLeaks-Prince-Andrew-caught-scandal-US-contempt-world-revealed.html

RhusLancia said...

You didn't consider "Saddam" an "obstacle" to "accommodation"?


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

Um Ayad said...

US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomatic crisis

The United States was catapulted into a worldwide diplomatic crisis today, with the leaking to the Guardian and other international media of more than 250,000 classified cables from its embassies, many sent as recently as February this year.

At the start of a series of daily extracts from the US embassy cables – many designated "secret" – the Guardian can disclose that Arab leaders are privately urging an air strike on Iran and that US officials have been instructed to spy on the UN leadership.

These two revelations alone would be likely to reverberate around the world. But the secret dispatches, which were obtained by WikiLeaks, the whistleblowers' website, also reveal Washington's evaluation of many other highly sensitive international issues....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/28/us-embassy-cable-leak-diplomacy-crisis?intcmp=239

Um Ayad said...

Zeyad,

So glad your family didn't return. No Iraqis I know want to return. The Iraq they loved and knew is finished. However, that does not stop them feeling homesick. I hope peace and stability will return one day but that will take a long time.

The Saddest Song I've Got
Annie Lennox

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bJCyqcQCfQ

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Brennan expressed the importance the U.S. attaches to achieving peace and stability in Iraq.

What?! What was that? Did I read right? What happened to that divide and conquer thingy? You know, the one where we were supposed to be all about creating sectarian divisions to gain control of Iraq?

*whispers softly*

Good god, could Bruno have been wrong all this time?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

WikiLeaks was a little late with the Saudi(and others) opinion on Iran thing. Lee Smith scooped them on that in The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Hmmm...yes, after just taking a quick peak, it does appear that Iran is not at all popular with her neighbors. Ouch! That's gotta sting.

*hangs head sadly*

Yes, that's right, I admit it. I am not above reading the gossip columns at times.

Bridget said...

Speaking of Iran. The stuxnet virus story grows more interesting by the day.

It's really too bad we couldn't figure out a way to do a stuxnet on Saddam.

Bruno said...

[rhus] You didn't consider "Saddam" an "obstacle" to "accommodation"?

Accommodation with whom? America? No.

[lynnette] Brennan expressed the importance the U.S. attaches to achieving peace and stability in Iraq. [...] Good god, could Bruno have been wrong all this time?"

Lynnette still imagines that American diplomats use the same English as the rest of us. In fact, "stability" is an American weasel-word meaning "American sphere of influence". Lest we forget, Saddam was also an enemy of "stability in the Middle East" ... and we all know how his removal 'contributed' to 'stability'. The ordinary 'stability', that is.

Lest we forget, the US senate voted for partitioning Iraq.

I assume that the American senate is part of the same country Brennan hails from, yes?

Bruno said...

I wonder if Bridget's enthusiasm for introducing computer viruses into nuclear reactors would be as ardent were somebody to do it to an American reactor.

I'm thinking ... not.

Bruno said...

Here's a little something to cheer the warmongers up:

"The Russians and Chinese said that they had taken this step in order to insulate their economies from the risks that have undermined their confidence in the US dollar as world reserve currency. This is big news, especially for the news-dead Thanksgiving holiday period, but I did not see it reported on Bloomberg, CNN, New York Times or anywhere in the US print or TV media. The ostrich’s head remains in the sand."

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts11292010.html

Bruno said...

Afghan police shows their loyalties:

"A long-serving member of Afghanistan’s border police force turned his gun on NATO trainers this morning, killing six of them. The incident took place in Nangahar Province, along the border with Pakistan."

http://news.antiwar.com/2010/11/29/afghan-police-officer-kills-six-nato-troops/

Bruno said...

Wikileaks kicks ass:

""We don't want to see any disturbance to China-US relations," Hong added, after leaks showed that China turned a blind eye to North Korean missile parts exports and that the top Chinese leadership was behind cyber attacks on Google. The leaked cables have left diplomats worldwide red-faced ... "

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gBdo9v_sLA_tXL-tySuxJ64HpV8A?docId=CNG.e3e0fba392991b957a4ae216fa0fcb88.351

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Bruno] In fact, "stability" is an American weasel-word meaning "American sphere of influence".

lol! No, that sounds like Bruno's "Alice in Wonderland" vocabulary to me. ;)

[Bruno] Lest we forget, Saddam was also an enemy of "stability in the Middle East" ... and we all know how his removal 'contributed' to 'stability'. The ordinary 'stability', that is.

I don't think attacking one's neighbors contributes to making the neighborhood all that stable.

And while the aftermath of Saddam's removal has definitely been chaotic to say the least, it doesn't mean that improvement is impossible.

[Bruno] Lest we forget, the US senate voted for partitioning Iraq.

A nonbinding resolution is just that, nonbinding. Or, in other words, just a suggestion. They were wrong. Just like the House of Representatives were wrong when they passed a nonbinding resolution that said: "Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on January 10, 2007 to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq."

John said...

Shameous, on the occasion of Ireland joining the ranks of the 'Third World' (positioned somewhere between Somalia and Sierra Leone):

Oh we´re off to Dublin'
In the red, in the red
Where the helmets
Are rusting in the sun

Oh, I'm forced to leave
My old gray home
They took away my plough
They auctioned off
My old gray mare
For no more I´ll see them now

And I leave behind my Mary
Prostitution lures her more
And I wonder what will
She think of me when
I'm lining up at her door.

Oh, Shameous fights for silver
And Jaded Gruber fights for gold
But courageous Dubliners are fighting for
The land the capitalists stole

And when this war is over
And dear old Ireland's free
I will take back my home and plough
A farmer I will be.....

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Speaking of computer problems, I hear WikiLeaks is having some difficulty in that area. :D :D :D

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Oops, forgot something. I should have added to my comment at 12:31 regarding that House resolution, h/t to George W.

Petes said...

[Seán Ceanadach]:
    "But courageous Dubliners are fighting for
    The land the capitalists stole"


Ah, go raibh sé sin fíor, a Sheáin Cheanadach. If only it were true, Canuck John. The people who socialised the banks' debts were not capitalists. They were thieves. And there are no "courageous Dubliners" doing anything about it, unless you count some tens of thousands who went on a futile trade union organised march last Saturday. The time for organising was over two years ago. Now there is an EU gun to our heads -- pay up or we'll blow your economic brains out!

Petes said...

[Iohannes Canadensis]: "...Ireland joining the ranks of the 'Third World' (positioned somewhere between Somalia and Sierra Leone)"

On the other hand, you might want to save news of our complete demise until average household income drops to closer to the US average... it's currently still way above, although I have no doubt it will be whittled away over the next five years. A real problem, though, is income inequality, which high unemployment can only exacerbate.

Um Ayad said...

Iraq was no longer a "major issue" in the United States.

Really!! Well it is a "major issue" for Iraqis.

Breakig News....UK 'Promised To Protect US In Iraq Inquiry'

The British government promised to hide any information from the Iraq Inquiry that would be damaging to the US, a leaked document has revealed.

The cable, released on the Wikileaks website, says the then foreign secretary David Miliband was present at a meeting with US officials, during which the head of security policy at the Ministry of Defence said the UK would protect American interests.
Dated September 22 2009, the cable refers to meetings in London between Ellen O'Kane, the US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, Mr Miliband, Jon Day, then MoD Director General for Security Policy and Foreign and Cabinet Office officials.
It states: "Day also promised that the UK had "put measures in place to protect your interests" during the UK inquiry into the causes of the Iraq war."
Mr Day told the Americans that while Iraq was no longer a "major issue" in the United States, it would become a "feeding frenzy" in the UK "when the inquiry takes off".

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Politics/Wikileaks-UK-Government-Promised-To-Protect-US-Interests-In-The-Iraq-Inquiry/Article/201011415843230?lpos=Politics_Carousel_Region_0&lid=ARTICLE_15843230_Wikileaks%3A_UK_Government_Promised_To_Protect_US_Interests_In_The_Iraq_Inquiry

Bridget said...

"I wonder if Bridget's enthusiasm for introducing computer viruses into nuclear reactors would be as ardent were somebody to do it to an American reactor."

Not reactors, centrifuges on enrichment facilities. And it beats the hell out of war.

Besides, as far as Saddam is concerned, I was thinking more in terms of biological viruses targeted specifically at his DNA. So that nobody who contracted the virus except Saddam and maybe Tweedledum and Tweeldledee (Usay and Qusay or whatever the hell their names were) would get sick. Sort of like none of the computers infected by stuxnet have been adversely affected except the facilities at which it was specifically targeted.

Bruno said...

[Bruno] In fact, "stability" is an American weasel-word meaning "American sphere of influence".
[lynnette] lol! No, that sounds like"

... keeping dictators in power for decades for the sake of "stability"?

"But the Egyptian government is paralyzed by the aging Mubarak's refusal to look beyond his own rule. And the Obama administration, in pursuit of an illusory stability, stands mute and passive as the predictable train wreck draws nearer. This administration prides itself on its progressive approach to this post-Cold War world, but it is repeating the mistake that Cold War-era administrations made when they supported right-wing dictatorships "

http://www.foreignpolicyi.org/node/18560

... and that is because:

"Mubarak's regime is responding to anti-war sentiment in Egypt with more than repressive security measures and large-scale detentions. As the March 28 demonstration showed, the regime recognizes the need to provide a state-sanctioned outlet for the growing rage over the US-led assault upon Iraq. Crowd control and specially printed placards were supplied by the Muslim Brotherhood, the officially outlawed party that is widely regarded as the strongest organized opposition to the nominally secular government."

http://www.mediamonitors.net/paulschemm1.html

There are more examples of this. "Stability" means US-aligned in US-speak.

Bruno said...

[Bruno] Lest we forget, Saddam was also an enemy of "stability in the Middle East" ... and we all know how his removal 'contributed' to 'stability'. The ordinary 'stability', that is.
[lynnette] "I don't think attacking one's neighbors contributes to making the neighborhood all that stable."

1: The war was wrapped up in 1991, in case you didn't notice
2: Does AMERICA ATTACKING RANDOM COUNTRIES contribute to "stability"?
3: Does AMERICA ATTACKING IRAN contribute to "stability"?

I can't help but notice the latest mound of hypocrisy headed our way, whereby America attacking Iran over a ficticious nuclear weapons program is OK, but Iraq attacking Iran because Iran was trying to overthrow the Iraqi government isn't.

This is a typical example of American Exceptionalist claptrap.

Bruno said...

[Bruno] Lest we forget, the US senate voted for partitioning Iraq.
[lynnette] A nonbinding resolution is just that, nonbinding.

1: An expression of US foreign policy sentiment by the US Senate nevertheless
2: Sentiment which ties in to Neocon plans for partition along the lines of the "Clean Break" document drafted by US heavyweights Perle, Feith, and Wurmser
3: Sentiment reflected when Bush called for a federal Iraq
4: Sentiment supported ON THE GROUND IN IRAQ by American support of the forces that would divide Iraq into ethnic enclaves, such as SCIRI for example
5: Sentiment reflected by the US decision to set up racist ethnically-based governing councils from the start.

HERE is excellent analysis on the subject from 2006 by Badger:

"But imperceptibly, the nationalist position has been drowned out, and the alternative to Kurdish and Shiite federalism is a new one. It is the AlQueda position: Fighting the Kurds with their Jewish support in the north, and the "rejectionists" with their Safavid support in the south. The US position has been that legitimate nationalism doesn't exist, and that those calling for a withdrawal timetable were the terrorists and their supporters. Now the US policy-makers have significant support from AlQaeda, which also agrees that legitimate nationalism doesn't exist.

The lesson is that if you succeed, as the Bush administration has succeeded in doing on so many fronts, in squeezing out and demonizing the rational argument on the other side, the result will eventually be that your own position loses any connection to common sense (the Bush administration has already gotten that far), and eventually you could find yourself in a symbiotic relationship with groups that are just as crazy and just as atavistic as you are (this is the situation that is dawning in Iraq)."

http://arablinks.blogspot.com/2006/10/my-view-us-opposition-to-iraqi.html

Bruno said...

[bruno] "I wonder if Bridget's enthusiasm for introducing computer viruses into nuclear reactors would be as ardent were somebody to do it to an American reactor."

[bridget] "Not reactors, centrifuges on enrichment facilities. And it beats the hell out of war."

Yet another person who imagines the US would be justified in attacking Iran over essentially an imaginary weapons program.

RhusLancia said...

Brüno: "Accommodation with whom? America? No."

Accommodation between Iran and, well, anyone really. You seem to take a Kissingerian approach ("too bad they both can't lose") in implying that Saddam was a check on Iranian power. But, surely you must agree that true peace between Iran and Iraq was unlikely with Saddam in power?

Iran has many obstacles to peace that remain (right, Wikileaks?), but Saddam is no longer one.


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

RhusLancia said...

Brüno: "... keeping dictators in power for decades for the sake of "stability"? "

Isn't this exactly what you're saying we should have done with Saddam??


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

RhusLancia said...

Come to think of it, Brüno has expressed a similar view in the battle of the Civilized World v. AQ & the Talibunnies: "too bad they both can't lose." Get a job, hippy!


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

Bruno said...

[rhus] "You seem to take a Kissingerian approach ("too bad they both can't lose") in implying that Saddam was a check on Iranian power."

Just stating the facts.

[rhus] But, surely you must agree that true peace between Iran and Iraq was unlikely with Saddam in power?

I would have agreed with you a while back. But the truth is, Saddam tried to negotiate and placate even Khomenei before the Gulf War. Khomenei would not listen. I'm not saying that Saddam was an easy neighbour to live with by any means, but he's not nearly the shoot-first-ask-questions later leader that the merkins make him out to be.

[rhus] "Iran has many obstacles to peace that remain"

What are you talking about? Iran IS at peace. Well, unless somebody (Israel, America) attacks it. Then, it would be at war. It seems to me that the obstacles to peace right now are America and Israel.

[bruno] "... keeping dictators in power for decades for the sake of "stability"? "
[rhus] Isn't this exactly what you're saying we should have done with Saddam??

No, what I'm saying is that "stability" in US-speak means US-aligned, regardless of the actual form of government.

With regards to your attempted side-swipe, I would say that "you" should have "done" nothing about Saddam, including supporting his rise to power in the first place. The majority of the troubles in the Middle East are the result of American and British interventionsim. Maybe, if you minded your own business, none of this shit would have happened in the first place.

Bruno said...

[rhus] "the Civilized World v. AQ & the Talibunnies: "too bad they both can't lose."

You mean: the "ad hoc alliance put together by America" vs "the terrorists that used to be 'our' freedom fighters".

Blowback's a bitch, eh?

[rhus] "Get a job, hippy!"

Good point. I shall now rise from my desk where I have been bantering for far too long with y'all rednecks, and take a stroll through the workshop, to make sure all my slaves are working as hard as they should be. I can see one goofing off right now, as a matter of fact.

Bruno said...

Hmm. Let me correct myself. NATO is not quite an "ad hoc alliance". But blowback is still a bitch.

Bruno said...

PeteS will like this article on the looming energy crisis:

http://www.minorheresies.com/essays/2010/11/15/a-unit-of-perspective.html

John said...

Shameous: "you might want to save news of our complete demise until average household income drops to closer to the US average... it's currently still way above".

No worries there Shameous, my guess is that not only will salaries be dramatically reduced but pensions as well. It's time to prepare yourself for the real depression and give up on your fantasies about 'people' socialising the banks debt!

Speaking of blowing Irelands economic brains out, I'd say the bailout 'program' really solves nothing at all. Given my limited knowledge of economics, it would appear that this sort of bandaid approach is more about deferral than any type of meaningful solution.

Ireland's public debt exceeds GDP by around 130% and it hasn't been reduced in any significant way.

Irelands interest payments are set at 5.8% of the international loan. The naive expectation that in a couple of years, not just interest but also principal is supposed to begin to be repaid reminds me of the dillusional perceptions of a cronic LSD user.

What it really amounts to is Ireland transferring nearly 10 per cent of its national income by way of reparations, year after year with, similar to the demise of an alcoholics liver, no end in sight.

This is not economically or politically sustainable. It really is similar in many ways to Germany's forced reparations after World War I. You can't keep tossing your bucket in a well that has long since dried up and expect to come back with even a mouthfull of water.

Eventually the Irish population will rise up and take back their country from the pathologically greedy capitalists that have infested your political and economic thrones.

Even after Ireland carries on with the inevitable forced salary reductions and slashing of worker benefits the situation will remain economically unsustainable.

Ironically, any processes to internally curb expenditures, regardless of how successful they are, will only lead to an inflation of the existing debt load.

So much for not having your own currency.

The cycle will continue; reduced public spending, the elimination of social benefits such as free education, increased taxes, all for naught.

The only solution is to walk away and redefine your priorities within a socialist ideology.

Marcus said...

^
John hoping for a "cultural revolution" or something. Not gonna happen.

Bridget: "Not reactors, centrifuges on enrichment facilities. And it beats the hell out of war."

I seem to remember it did in fact target Bushehr, which is precisely a nuclear reactor facility.

Petes said...

Canadian John, we are -- bizarrely -- almost in agreement. Ireland will not be able to repay its debt. Some economist, whose name escapes me, had the pithy quote: "debts that can't be repaid won't be repaid". The euro-weenies should have insisted on a bank default, because now we are going to have a sovereign default, with a great deal of pain all round. Of course, we will kick the can down the road for as long as possible, but that will just make things worse in the long run.

The only thing I take umbrage with is the fanciful suggestion that this has been done by "capitalists". Last time I looked, capitalists were supposed to take risks with capital in the hope of a return. If things failed to work out, they took a hit. That's capitalism.

Contrast that with the way our banks have been handled. One bunch of reckless bandits lent a lot of money to another bunch of reckless criminals. When things didn't work out, and the money had been squandered, they turned on taxpayers. So far, by my quick reckoning, they have taken upward of 50,000 USD off me personally, and the rate of thievery is about to accelerate dramatically. Am I wrong to suggest they are thieves rather than capitalists?

Petes said...

[bruno]: "PeteS will like this article on the looming energy crisis:
http://www.minorheresies.com/essays/2010/11/15/a-unit-of-perspective.html"


Sorry. Didn't like it. Rubbishy straw man argument in fact. Of course biofuels aren't going to replace all energy usage. Anyone who suggests they will is an eejit.

Here, on the other hand, is an idea which I reported before and I think has genuine and serious potential. It has moved on to the next phase of testing, and I'd be hopeful of seeing versions of this generating hundreds of megawatts each inside 10 years.

http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/7014

John said...

Shameous: "Am I wrong to suggest they are thieves rather than capitalists?"

Perhaps not, but I generally regard the two characterizations as virtually synonymous.

The enticement of multinationals based on 'attractive' corporate tax rates(the lowest in Europe) surely was one strategy that contributed to Ireland spiralling down the path to economic ruin.

Weren't 90% of your exports derived from these same foreign owned corporations?

Petes said...

Iohannes Canadensis (with the emphasis on "dense") ... the enticement of multinationals with our attractive tax rates is widely credited with creating Ireland's real boom, the one that was eventually derailed by the fake property boom. Yes, a great deal of exports do not result in value to the exchequer -- in fact they don't even get the 12.5% since the Google's and Microsofts of the worlds route profits to Bermuda as tax-free royalty payments, often via the Netherlands: the so-called "double Irish" or "Dutch sandwich".

Nevertheless, you will find that the one thing that will get Irish people out on the streets is the merest suggestion that our corporate tax rate would be touched. Indeed, this was one of the promises that had to be elicited from the Eurocrats as part of our bribe for re-running the Lisbon treaty referendum which we had previously shot down.

Bridget said...

"I seem to remember it did in fact target Bushehr, which is precisely a nuclear reactor facility."

Bruno didn't say nuclear reactor facility, he said nuclear reactor, insinuating that I was expressing approval of the sabotaging of the nuclear core where chain reactions take place. Stuxnet targets the centrifuges used to enrich uranium, not the nuclear reactor, and certainly not the core.

Bruno said...

NEWS:

Sadrists press for political power:

The Shiite Sadrist movement was the key bloc that assured Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's re-election, and now the fiercely anti-U.S. fundamentalist group wants its cut in return: A bigger role in Iraq's new government. Already, it has gotten bolder on the ground. [...] The Sadrist movement is pressing for a bigger presence in the police and military apparatus and could pick up key service ministries like Health, Education or Electricity, which would give them significant patronage powers for their supporters and wide influence over all Iraqis' lives. American officials say they would reconsider aiding Iraqi forces that are under control of the Sadrists, whose militia repeatedly battled with American forces since 2003 and was involved in brutal sectarian violence. Sadrists consider American forces occupiers, so their presence in the government could also make it impossible for Iraq and the U.S. to negotiate an agreement allowing U.S. troops to stay longer.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j45LWFGR3iLIZS7dzBSjHEc6IW9Q?docId=1b80e0abcd4c47b2877e6ce605570be3

There have been fresh Arson attacks targeting electricity installations in Iraq. The Electricity Ministry’s Information Officer, Musaab al-Mudaris, said major power supply lines have been disrupted following the destruction of three pylons. “The attack caused disruption of power lines feeding electricity to major plants in Akashat and al-Qaim,” Mudaris said. He said three high-voltage pylons between Haditha and Anbar were also destroyed.

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2010-11-30\kurd.htm

Bruno said...

Wikileaks:

U.S. embassy cables from September 2009 disclose that a top British Defense Ministry official, John Day, had "promised that the UK had put measures in place to protect" American interests during the inquiry. The Chilcot inquiry was launched in July of 2009 by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to look into how decisions were made in the run-up to the conflict in Iraq.

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/WikiLeaks-Britain-Pledged-to-Protect-US-in-Iraq-Inquiry-111118299.html

America's finest:

A U.S. Army medic was sentenced to nine months in prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to shooting at unarmed Afghan farmers and agreeing to testify against other soldiers accused of terrorizing civilians. Five of the 12 soldiers are accused of premeditated murder in the most serious prosecution of alleged atrocities by U.S. military personnel since the war began in late 2001. Several are alleged to have collected severed fingers and other human remains as war trophies in Afghanistan.

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/12/01/world/international-uk-soldiers-crimes.html?_r=1&ref=world

Justice, American-style:

"One of the biggest objectives at the US Embassy in Madrid over the past seven years has been trying to get the criminal case dropped against three US soldiers accused of the killing of a Spanish television cameraman. According to a batch of secret cablegrams obtained by EL PAÍS through Wikileaks, US diplomats held a host of meetings about the case with then-Deputy Prime Minister María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, the then-ministers of justice and foreign affairs, Juan Fernando López Aguilar and Miguel Ángel Moratinos, as well as Attorney General Cándido Conde-Pumpido and High Court prosecutor Javier Zaragoza."

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/english/How/US/worked/to/get/three/soldiers/off/the/hook/for/cameraman/elpepueng/20101201elpeng_14/Ten

Bruno said...

Long live Wikileaks:

"The strength of Wikileaks is that it faces no similar choice. It’s not a state, nor do its principals evince any intention of making it one. Truth is its entire portfolio, and this drives the Hillary Clintons of the world insane. It threatens their aspirations to unquestioned power. It forces them to explain themselves to the rest of us: To the serfs who, as the politicians see things, exist for the sole purpose of footing the bill — in money and in blood — for those aspirations."

http://original.antiwar.com/thomas-knapp/2010/12/01/if-this-be-treason-2/

Anonymous said...

Bruno, up to now, apart from the general loss of face (or of snout) and from the single and only damning revelation (that the US are spying on the UN), the Wikileaks documents have only confirmed what everybody knew, without any serious damage to the world position of the US.
To be able to read these documents is an opportunity to be welcomed, of course; but one has to wonder about what precisely Wikileaks is.
The suspicion that it is instead Zionleaks looms large...
...if I were in the higher-ups (such as the Suntanned One and the Cuckolded Bitch) of the four-pawed American beasts posting here, I would negotiate pronto with the Zionists the immediate release of Jonathan Pollard, in exchange for a stop to this blackmail.
Because there are grounds to believe that this is what it is: a poooor, defenceless, victim State is just telling the US that they can release ALL their secret correspondence, and as a sample they release 2.4 millions of its documents... possibly, on top of the liberation of Pollard, they want US support for their next adventure (the attack on Lebanon and maybe at the same time on Gaza as well), and that later on the US lend their simian cannon fodder after an Israeli attack on Iran.
The Coon, the Bitch and Co. would be VERY good negotiators if they managed to pay Israel as the only ransom the liberation of Pollard. But if they don't negotiate, I'm afraid the US will be wikileaked more and more, lol!
The tail which wags the dog, lol? No, the tail not just wagging the 'gweatest dawg on earth', but holding it by the balls!

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
      "…the single and only damning revelation
      (that the US are spying on the UN)…
"

It comes as a revelation to you that U.S. diplomats keep an eye on their foreign counterparts, including the ones at the U.N?  Not right bright are ya?
Here's another piece of news for ya then:  They eyeball our people right back.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

1: The war was wrapped up in 1991, in case you didn't notice

From Saddam's behavior you could have fooled me.

2: Does AMERICA ATTACKING RANDOM COUNTRIES contribute to "stability"?

Random? I hardly think so.

3: Does AMERICA ATTACKING IRAN contribute to "stability"?

As your friend at WikiLeaks showed, we are apparently the only ones who are reluctant to attack Iran.

And, just as a little aside, it was not us that eliminated a certain facility in Syria, either.

1: An expression of US foreign policy sentiment by the US Senate nevertheless

It takes more than a nonbinding resolution to create policy.

2: Sentiment which ties in to Neocon plans for partition along the lines of the "Clean Break" document drafted by US heavyweights Perle, Feith, and Wurmser

There was never any policy to partition Iraq. Nor was there any deep dark conspiracy by the so-called Neocons. That is only in the minds of the hysterical propogandists on the Internet and in the anti-war movement.

3: Sentiment reflected when Bush called for a federal Iraq

The point of encouraging democracy in Iraq was to give the Iraqis the opportunity to decide their future. Whatever President Bush may or may not have said, in the end it has to be the Iraqis who decide. The President knew that.

4: Sentiment supported ON THE GROUND IN IRAQ by American support of the forces that would divide Iraq into ethnic enclaves, such as SCIRI for example

We have always tried to support the government of Iraq chosen by the people of Iraq, which included SCIRI. If the people of Iraq want something different then they must elect something different.

5: Sentiment reflected by the US decision to set up racist ethnically-based governing councils from the start.

Nonsense. We tried to give everyone a voice. There was no racist motivation to our actions.

"Stability" means US-aligned in US-speak.

We have many alliances, Bruno. Some are out of sincere friendship and others are of convenience. That is true of every country on earth. And alliances are not a bad thing. I might remind you that unilateralism was a dirty word not too long ago.

As to what "stability" means to us. It means a country that is not on the brink of imploding. That is all.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Bruno] The majority of the troubles in the Middle East are the result of American and British interventionsim. Maybe, if you minded your own business, none of this shit would have happened in the first place.

While I believe that colonialism was wrong, I question your belief that the majority of problems in the Middle East derive from "great power" intervention. The region seems far more complex than that. I note you didn't include Russia on your list, btw.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Europe's Crisis Widens

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
      "I note you didn't include Russia on your
      list, btw.
"

You should also have noticed that he has presupposed the denizens of the region would all be better off today if they'd just been left to the tender mercies of the Soviet Union.  He accepts that as an unquestioned given.  Me; I got some reservations ‘bout theory, myself.

Um Ayad said...

WikiLeaks is holding US global power to account
The WikiLeaks avalanche has exposed floundering imperial rule to scrutiny – and its reliance on dictatorship and deceit

WikiLeaks' release of 250,000 United States embassy cables – shared with the Guardian and other international newspapers – was an act of terrorism, congressman Peter King declared. Sarah Palin called for its founder Julian Assange to be hunted down as an "anti-American operative with blood on his hands", while former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has demanded that whoever leaked the files should be executed for treason.

Not much truck with freedom of information, then, in the land of the free. In reality, most of the leaked material is fairly low-level diplomatic gossip, which naturally reflects the US government's view of the world, and crucially doesn't include reports with the highest security classification.

When it comes to actual criminality and blood, nothing quite matches WikiLeaks' earlier revelations about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with their chilling records of US collusion with industrial-scale torture and death squads, and killings of Afghan civilians by rampaging Nato troops.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-embassy-cables-us-global-power

Petes said...

[Lee C]: "Me; I got some reservations ‘bout theory, myself."

You and said denizens both. Perhaps in Russia itself you will find some people who look back to the communist days with nostalgia; that is perhaps understandable given the kleptocracy that Russia has become. But in its former satellite states of eastern Europe, you will find a lot less of that in spite of recent travails. In fact you will find that they are a darn sight more pro-American than many of their western European brethren, precisely because they remember the tender mercies of the USSR.

Petes said...

I see Russia just got the 2018 World Cup. If you thought a few random muggings of soccer tourists in South Africa was bad, wait 'til the skinheads and the white nationalists welcome them to the streets of Moscow.

Marcus said...

South Africa, then Brazil, then Russia? Is FIFA trying to make being a football fan some kind of extreme avdenture sport?

Bruno said...

[Bruno] Lest we forget, Saddam was also an enemy of "stability in the Middle East" ... and we all know how his removal 'contributed' to 'stability'. The ordinary 'stability', that is.
[lynnette] "I don't think attacking one's neighbors contributes to making the neighborhood all that stable."
[bruno] 1: The war was wrapped up in 1991, in case you didn't notice
[lynnette] From Saddam's behavior you could have fooled me.

Examples, dear.

[bruno] Does AMERICA ATTACKING RANDOM COUNTRIES contribute to "stability"?
[lynnette] Random? I hardly think so.

So you admit to calculated American aggression? Excellent.

[bruno] Does AMERICA ATTACKING IRAN contribute to "stability"?
[lynnette] As your friend at WikiLeaks showed, we are apparently the only ones who are reluctant to attack Iran.

Nonsense. We are reminded every day about how "the military option is on the table".

[lynnette] "it was not us that eliminated a certain facility in Syria, either."

So you condemn Israel?

Bruno said...

[bruno] 1: An expression of US foreign policy sentiment by the US Senate nevertheless
[lynnette] It takes more than a nonbinding resolution to create policy.

An expression of US foreign policy sentiment by the US Senate nevertheless

[bruno] 2: Sentiment which ties in to Neocon plans for partition along the lines of the "Clean Break" document drafted by US heavyweights Perle, Feith, and Wurmser

[lynnette] Nor was there any deep dark conspiracy by the so-called Neocons. That is only in the minds of"

"Indeed, the crumbling of the Iraqi state was the fulfillment of a prophecy fellow neocon David Wurmser -- Perle's protégé and ally at the American Enterprise Institute, the neoconservative think tank that named its conference room after Wohlstetter -- had made in 1997: that if Saddam Hussein were driven from power, Iraq would be "ripped apart by the politics of warlords, tribes, clans, sects, and key families," and out of the "coming chaos in Iraq and most probably in Syria," the United States and her principal allies, namely Israel and Jordan, could redraw the region's map."

http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_apprentice

You're right: it's not a "deep dark" conspiracy. It's right in the open.

Furthermore:

"A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm (commonly known as the "Clean Break" report) is a policy document that was prepared in 1996 by a study group led by Richard Perle for Benjamin Netanyahu, the then Prime Minister of Israel. [...] Former United States Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle was the "Study Group Leader", but the final report included ideas from James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Robert Loewenberg, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser.[2]
[...]
the introduction specifically proposes three new policies: 1. Rather than pursuing a "comprehensive peace" with the entire Arab world, Israel should work jointly with Jordan and Turkey to "contain, destabilize, and roll-back" those entities that are threats to all three."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clean_Break:_A_New_Strategy_for_Securing_the_Realm#Contents

Bruno said...

[bruno] 3: Sentiment reflected when Bush called for a federal Iraq
[lynnette] Whatever President Bush may or may not have said

Q.E.D.

[lynnette] The President knew that.

Wow, so you've been GW Bush's official spokesperson all along, and you never said anything? Or maybe you possess them "psychic powers" allowing the reading of minds?

[bruno] 4: Sentiment supported ON THE GROUND IN IRAQ by American support of the forces that would divide Iraq into ethnic enclaves, such as SCIRI for example
[lynnette] We have always tried to support the government of Iraq chosen by the people of Iraq, which included SCIRI.

Lies. SCIRI was supported by the USA before the invasion. It was specifically singled out as an ally during the occupation. Furthermore, I note your non-existent support of Sadr, who was also "chosen by the people of Iraq".

[lynnette] If the people of Iraq want something different then they must elect something different.

Good thing y'all banned the parties that might "want something different". Ain't democracy great?

Bruno said...

[bruno] 5: Sentiment reflected by the US decision to set up racist ethnically-based governing councils from the start.
[lynnette] "Nonsense. We tried to give everyone a voice."

"With the accession to power of Dr Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd in 1958, the policy of "separate development" came into being, with the homeland structure as one of its cornerstones. Verwoerd came to believe in the granting of independence to these homelands. The government justified its plans on the basis that "(the) government's policy is, therefore, not a policy of discrimination on the grounds of race or colour, but a policy of differentiation on the ground of nationhood, of different nations, granting to each self-determination within the borders of their homelands – hence this policy of separate development""

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa_under_apartheid

DON'T try to come and bullshit me on this. I've LIVED what America planned in Iraq.

[bruno] "Stability" means US-aligned in US-speak.
[lynnette] As to what "stability" means to us. It means a country that is not on the brink of imploding. That is all.

In other words, Iraq was stable before the invasion and you guys came and stuffed it up. Thanks for clearing that up.

Bruno said...

As a further observation, I notice that any sort of excess is permissible if Communism is invoked as a bugbear. Well, at least according to our respective resident political philosophers, that is.

Bruno said...

[marcus] "South Africa, then Brazil, then Russia? Is FIFA trying to make being a football fan some kind of extreme avdenture sport?"

I have to note Marcus, that the WC over here went remarkably smoothly and well. Better than I had thought it would go by a long mile. It's cause for local optimism, I may add.

Bruno said...

Re. Jonathan Pollard, I have heard nothing of this angle on Wikileaks. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, definitely worth a look.

Bruno said...

Great Success:

"Hamid Karzai has promised to launch a probe into Monday’s overnight killing of a Helmand Province district governor, Haji Ebrahim, by NATO troops who raided his home. Ebrahim had been the governor of the Gireshk District since 2001, and NATO conceded raiding his home that night, and killing one “militant.” They declined to identify that “militant” but it is increasingly apparently that it was Governor Ebrahim."

http://news.antiwar.com/2010/12/02/karzai-orders-inquiry-into-nato-killing-of-district-governor/

Bruno said...

On a lighter note:

"The Iranian government is reportedly furious after Google Maps satellite images revealed a Star of David painted on the roof of the Iran Air headquarters. The building was constructed by Israeli engineers
[...]
The blog Search Engine Land reports that in 2007 the US Navy had to redesign a swastika-shaped building in California after people discovered it on Google Maps.

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/iran-furious-at-star-of-david-discovery-on-google-maps-20101203-18iue.html

Petes said...

[bruno]: "On a lighter note:

"The Iranian government is reportedly furious after Google Maps satellite images revealed a Star of David painted on the roof of the Iran Air headquarters. The building was constructed by Israeli engineers
[...]
The blog Search Engine Land reports that in 2007 the US Navy had to redesign a swastika-shaped building in California after people discovered it on Google Maps."


How long can it be before they spot yer giant tinfoil hat near Johannesburg?

RhusLancia said...

Lynnette: "I note you didn't include Russia on your list, btw."

...or the Ottoman Empire. Brüno seems to think all was well when the Turks were in charge. Then those meddling Brits came along...


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

RhusLancia said...

Brüno: "In other words, Iraq was stable before the invasion and you guys came and stuffed it up. Thanks for clearing that up."

In other words, we should have supported the naughty dictator to maintain stability... even though it's very naughty of us to support naughty dictators in the name of stability.

Yep, Brüno's tinfoil hat has been upgraded from analog to high-def digital!


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

RhusLancia said...

Anonimo has a point about Wikileaks above. Despite Asange being Brüno's soulmate the leaks have been only slightly embarrassing and not as damaging as the chaosmongers desire. In fact they really only shed more light on the situation between NK and Iran vis a vis their cooperation and threat.

Sidetracked RhusLancia prediction: Iran gets the bomb by buying it from impoverished, threatened & starving NK.


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

ttv said...

What's the role of Hamster?

Conspiracy Theorists R Us said...

What's the role of Hamster?

It is yet to be determined, but I strongly suspect that even as we speak they are creating giant mutant hamsters to invade Iran. They will subsequently gobble up all of those nuclear bombs being bought from NK. ;)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[bruno] 1: The war was wrapped up in 1991, in case you didn't notice
[lynnette] From Saddam's behavior you could have fooled me.
[Bruno] Examples, dear.

The continual shooting at American and British planes enforcing the no-fly zones.

[Bruno] So you admit to calculated American aggression? Excellent.

I think there is no doubt that we, along with others, invaded Iraq. Random it was not, and aggressive it most certainly was.

[bruno] Does AMERICA ATTACKING IRAN contribute to "stability"?
[lynnette] As your friend at WikiLeaks showed, we are apparently the only ones who are reluctant to attack Iran.
[Bruno] Nonsense. We are reminded every day about how "the military option is on the table".

There are all sorts of things on that table, Bruno. So far I have yet to see us attack Iran.

[lynnette] "it was not us that eliminated a certain facility in Syria, either."
[Bruno] So you condemn Israel?

Don't be silly, Israel did the whole neighborhood a favor.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[bruno] 1: An expression of US foreign policy sentiment by the US Senate nevertheless
[lynnette] It takes more than a nonbinding resolution to create policy.
[Bruno] An expression of US foreign policy sentiment by the US Senate nevertheless

But not of the House or the President.

Those in the Sentate that voted for that resolution were willing to give up too soon. Just like Harry Reid was when he said the surge wasn't working.

... if Saddam Hussein were driven from power, Iraq would be "ripped apart by the politics of warlords, tribes, clans, sects, and key families," and out of the "coming chaos in Iraq and most probably in Syria," the United States and her principal allies, namely Israel and Jordan, could redraw the region's map."

Well, he was right about the chaos that followed the invasion, but wrong about the United States, Israel and Jordan redrawing a map, or any chaos arising in Syria. But that's the way of prophecies. They are really only guesses.

Since you have brought up Israel, I must assume you are feeling on shaky ground with your argument (whatever it was again...). The subject of Israel is always good for encourageing animosity in the Middle East. A handy manipulation tool.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Lynnette] Whatever President Bush may or may not have said, in the end it has to be the Iraqis who decide. The President knew that.
[Bruno]Wow, so you've been GW Bush's official spokesperson all along, and you never said anything? Or maybe you possess them "psychic powers" allowing the reading of minds?

"I felt strongly that the Iraqis' first leader should be someone they selected." George W. Bush "Decision Points"

Feel free to purchase the book, Bruno. :) It does go into the President's thinking on various issues. No need to use my psychic powers.

Lies. SCIRI was supported by the USA before the invasion. It was specifically singled out as an ally during the occupation.

Not any more than any other Iraqi exile group. And I might add, the quote I listed above was a direct response by George Bush to placing any of the exile groups as some sort of interim leadership.

Furthermore, I note your non-existent support of Sadr, who was also "chosen by the people of Iraq".

There was at one point a warrant for Al-Sadr's arrest. Do you think he was someone we should have been supporting?

Good thing y'all banned the parties that might "want something different". Ain't democracy great?

You mean parties that were responsible for the oppression of innocent Iraqis?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

bruno] 5: Sentiment reflected by the US decision to set up racist ethnically-based governing councils from the start.
[lynnette] "Nonsense. We tried to give everyone a voice."
[Bruno] DON'T try to come and bullshit me on this. I've LIVED what America planned in Iraq.

No, Bruno, you haven't. Because our "plans" never included apartheid. Trying to give everyone the opportunity to express their opinions through representation in government does not make an intent to create apartheid.

In other words, Iraq was stable before the invasion and you guys came and stuffed it up. Thanks for clearing that up.

Iraq was as stable as any prison. It was her threat to others outside of her borders that was the catalyst for our actions.

Petes said...

The BBC News 24 channel just carried a long interview with Christopher Hitchens. I hadn't realised that he has oesophageal cancer (which has metastasised to his lymph nodes and lungs, so the prognosis is obviously pretty bleak, although not a great surprise given his decades long forty-a-day habit). It was good to see that it hasn't put him out of sorts -- he is still his grumpy old self (or maybe "gruff" would be a better description).

Hitchens was asked (by interviewer Jeremy Paxman) about his views on the Iraq war, on torture, on religion. As you might expect from someone of his conviction, nothing has changed -- he's still in favour of the former, and against the latter two.

On Iraq, he commented on the idea that the misery of the last seven years was "unleashed" by the 2003 invasion. He called this "an outrage to the idea of moral responsibility". He believes that there was "a terrible misery and implosion coming to iraq as long as it was left under the control of Saddam" and under the effects of UN sanctions. He said he "couldn't support any policy that involved Saddam staying in power". He said that "internationalist principles are utterly incompatible with the existence of people like Saddam" and that "human nature is incompatible with dictatorship and slavery".

He deplored waterboarding (which, of course, is nothing new). I find this especially interesting in a person who -- despite the plummy English accent is a great admirer of the USA which is his adoptive home, and gives a passable impression of being a conservative (even though he still claims to be a Marxist). He said he still loved "the relative openness of the US" where one "didn't seem to have to pass as many approval tests as in London".

He still thinks "mockery of religion is one of the most important things, in order to demystify [it]". When asked about Pascal's Wager, he said it could only work on a "a very cynical God, and a very stupid one... a contemptible one". I liked that answer, and can see his point. Pascal's Wager might suit fence-sitting agnostics, but not atheists of Hitchens' convictions. He said he wasn't "going to try anything servile". He said that if to his surprise he found himself in front of a posthumous tribunal, his argument with God would be along the lines of: "I hope you noticed that i didn't try to curry favour; that I was honestly unable to believe in the claims made by your human spokespersons... now do i get any understanding?"

I find I have less sympathy for his comparison of the argument between Islam and the West with "the old conflict which is between totalitarianism and free thought, in other words between theocracy and the enlightenment". But then, it wouldn't be Hitchens if he wasn't that paradoxical mix of Pope-like conservatism and militantly evangelistic atheism.

He was frank about dying. He was not afraid of death, but perhaps of dying. He was "afraid of a sordid death", and that he might "die in an ugly or squalid way".

Partly (but only partly) for the pure irony of it, I find myself praying that he doesn't.

Petes said...

More irony - Hitchens makes light of his personal health in the article linked from this humorous blog post of last year:

http://neilism.com/blog/improving-christopher-hitchens/

Petes said...

How very strange. That last post followed a previous one about a BBC interview with Hitchens, which showed up as posted on Blogger but is now gone.

Petes said...

Ok, so maybe I only previewed it :-)
Let's try again...

The BBC News 24 channel just carried a long interview with Christopher Hitchens. I hadn't realised that he has oesophageal cancer (which has metastasised to his lymph nodes and lungs, so the prognosis is obviously pretty bleak, although not a great surprise given his decades long forty-a-day habit). It was good to see that it hasn't put him out of sorts -- he is still his grumpy old self (or maybe "gruff" would be a better description).

Hitchens was asked (by interviewer Jeremy Paxman) about his views on the Iraq war, on torture, on religion. As you might expect from someone of his conviction, nothing has changed -- he's still in favour of the former, and against the latter two.

On Iraq, he commented on the idea that the misery of the last seven years was "unleashed" by the 2003 invasion. He called this "an outrage to the idea of moral responsibility". He believes that there was "a terrible misery and implosion coming to iraq as long as it was left under the control of Saddam" and under the effects of UN sanctions. He said he "couldn't support any policy that involved Saddam staying in power". He said that "internationalist principles are utterly incompatible with the existence of people like Saddam" and that "human nature is incompatible with dictatorship and slavery".

He deplored waterboarding (which, of course, is nothing new). I find this especially interesting in a person who -- despite the plummy English accent is a great admirer of the USA which is his adoptive home, and gives a passable impression of being a conservative (even though he still claims to be a Marxist). He said he still loved "the relative openness of the US" where one "didn't seem to have to pass as many approval tests as in London".

He still thinks "mockery of religion is one of the most important things, in order to demystify [it]". When asked about Pascal's Wager, he said it could only work on a "a very cynical God, and a very stupid one... a contemptible one". I liked that answer, and can see his point. Pascal's Wager might suit fence-sitting agnostics, but not atheists of Hitchens' convictions. He said he wasn't "going to try anything servile". He said that if to his surprise he found himself in front of a posthumous tribunal, his argument with God would be along the lines of: "I hope you noticed that i didn't try to curry favour; that I was honestly unable to believe in the claims made by your human spokespersons... now do i get any understanding?"

I find I have less sympathy for his comparison of the argument between Islam and the West with "the old conflict which is between totalitarianism and free thought, in other words between theocracy and the enlightenment". But then, it wouldn't be Hitchens if he wasn't that paradoxical mix of Pope-like conservatism and militantly evangelistic atheism.

He was frank about dying. He was not afraid of death, but perhaps of dying. He was "afraid of a sordid death", and that he might "die in an ugly or squalid way".

Not least for the pure irony of it, I find myself praying that he doesn't.

Petes said...

What the hell is South Africa doing with its Oirish embassy on Shrewsbury Road? Hope it wasn't bought in the boom! :-)

Petes said...

Testing

Petes said...

Hmmm. I posted the same comment four times and it disappeared each time. And I know it was posted because here's a screenshot of it appearing BEFORE that 11:25 PM "Testing" comment... I'm wondering if someone finds it objectionable?

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

    
      "How very strange. That last post …etc."
      "Hmmm. I posted the same comment four
       times and it disappeared each time.
etc."

I don't think it's content.  I experienced the same phenomena some time back.  I eventually concluded that Blogger was just ‘losing‘ the post, and I concluded that it was something to do with the html codes I was inserting that was causing Blogger to lose it.  I never did run down exactly what the incompatibility might have been, but it didn't seem to be content (substantive, political content) that was the problem.  Try re-writing the post that kept fading away Re-write from scratch, don't just copy and paste the original vanishing version; make any minor change anywhere, and see if it doesn't ‘set’ this time.  I don't think there's an active intelligence behind the phenomena.

Petes said...

Strange thing was ... I had two italicised words and one anchor tag. Hardly heavyweight formatting. But will try again without any of that.

Petes said...

Nope. Still not taking. Will have to just stick with the screenshot.

Mister Ghost said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this the Saddam-fellating Italian or some other anonymous creepazoid?

Re: Mister Ghost, 5:51 PM.

But seriously, can the Americans be any bigger pansies or hypocrites?


The US has certainly been hypocritical at times and has its flaws, but the anti-Americanism is laughable coming from either a European, Russian, Chinese or Arab. Their sins are far worse than the United States has ever promulgated.

By the way, the Arabs have not beaten the Iranians in a war in 400 years. )))

Here we have Mister Ghost, the foul rat from Schuster's sewer,


This must be the deranged Italian or Layla Anwar... and all those nice things I said about you, Layla.



who for the past couple of years has been whining and whinging because them eeeevil Eyewanians have taken over Eyewack.


Sadly, this outcome has been a great disappointment and a learning experience. One who wanted to see a secular, functioning Sharia-less democracy cringes at what's occurred.


Something that any being having half a brain (and ANY superficial notion about the history of the area), including George Bush Senior, knew would happen if the US invaded Iraq.



Well, this may shock you, but the Iranians taking over was a possibility, not a probability. Chinese or Russian style communism did not take over Japan - other outcomes in other venues did not adopt their neighbors forms of government and societies - the Dominican Republic did not become Haiti; South Korea is radically different than North Korea.

Sadly, the post invasion period in Iraq was so mismanaged and the pull of Islam was so great, that
the worst possible outcome occurred.

But, before his subhuman whining and whinging, the same idiot had been fanatically supporting at all Iraqi blogs the demented American invasion of Iraq (and the even more demented occupation), saying that it was going to bring the Iraqis 'fweedom'n'democwacy', LOL !!!!!!!



It is a great sadness what Iraq became as opposed to what could have occurred. So many mistakes and errors.

Democracy works as stand alone system - combining democracy with Sharia Law and Islamic fundamentalist is a no go. The fact that the fundamentalists are in charge as is Sharia, is the fault of the Bush administration and Iraqi people, who consistently (yes, the Iraqi themselves rather than the Iranians) have voted for the Shia Theocratic parties.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
      "Nope. Still not taking."

You tried to cut and paste anyway, didn't you? 
Thought you'd just delete the formatting and it'd work this time.  Told you re-write from scratch; don't try to cut and paste.

Um Ayad said...

John Pilger's new film: The war you don't see

Why do so many journalists beat the drums of war and peddle propaganda? asks John Pilger in his new film, The War You Don't See, which is in UK cinemas from Sunday 12 December 2010 and on ITV two days later.

Interview with John Pilger

http://www.newint.org/features/2010/12/01/john-pilger-interview/

Petes said...

    "Told you re-write from scratch; don't try to cut and paste."

All 520 words? It wasn't that important.

Bridget said...

"Maybe, if you minded your own business, none of this shit would have happened in the first place."

Yeah. Maybe the Middle East could look like the twin paradises of Myanmar and North Korea.

RhusLancia said...

PeteS, that was a good comment about Hitchens.

Sorry to add to the triangulation of your issue, but possibly there is a character limit in Blogger that you're hitting, after which the Randomizer is engaged?


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

Bruno said...

[rhuslanCIA] "Brüno seems to think all was well when the Turks were in charge."

I noticed that you never condemned Hitler this morning. Ergo, you must be a goddamn Nazi!

[rhus] "In other words, we should have supported the naughty dictator"

I would say that "you" should have "done" nothing about Saddam, including supporting his rise to power in the first place.

Bruno said...

[bruno] 1: The war was wrapped up in 1991, in case you didn't notice
[lynnette] From Saddam's behavior you could have fooled me.
[Bruno] Examples, dear.
[lynnette] The continual shooting at American and British planes enforcing the no-fly zones.

Excellent. NOW Lynnette will post the pertinent text issued by the UN ordering the formation of the said "no fly zones". (You know, to differentiate US/UK military action from common banditry such as that which they accused Saddam of) THEN I will concede the point.

[bruno] Does AMERICA ATTACKING IRAN contribute to "stability"?
[lynnette] As your friend at WikiLeaks showed, we are apparently the only ones who are reluctant to attack Iran.
[Bruno] Nonsense. We are reminded every day about how "the military option is on the table".
[lynnette] There are all sorts of things on that table, Bruno. So far I have yet to see us attack Iran.

(To be quite accurate, America has already engaged in supporting subversive elements in Iran which are inclined to violence. Something which would be classed as "terrorism" if another nation did that to the US.)

However, not to digress: the fact is, America is currently taking a stance which accepts that attacking Iran is a perfecly moral thing to do, and an obvious, legal solution to the "problems" it has with Iran. De facto, this demonstrates that "stability" is not nearly as important as compliance to the US.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "it was not us that eliminated a certain facility in Syria, either."
[Bruno] So you condemn Israel?
[lynnette] Don't be silly, Israel did the whole neighborhood a favor.

Yet more information to the effect that this particular American considers unilateral unsanctioned military violence to be a GOOD thing. Carry on.

[bruno] 1: An expression of US foreign policy sentiment by the US Senate nevertheless
[lynnette] It takes more than a nonbinding resolution to create policy.
[Bruno] An expression of US foreign policy sentiment by the US Senate nevertheless
[lynnette] But not of the House or the President.

Q.E.D.

[lynnette] "he was right about the chaos that followed the invasion, but wrong about the United States, Israel and Jordan redrawing a map"

Segregating political power according to ethnicity and sect is not "redrawing the map"?

[lynnette] "Since you have brought up Israel, I must assume you are feeling on shaky ground "

Indeed, I have noticed that American warmongers start quaking whenever the link between US foreign policy and Israeli interests is pointed out. Carry on.

(Good thing you dropped the Neocon angle, eh?)

Bruno said...

[Lynnette] Whatever President Bush may or may not have said, in the end it has to be the Iraqis who decide. The President knew that.
[Bruno]Wow, so you've been GW Bush's official spokesperson all along"
[lynnette] "I felt strongly that the Iraqis' first leader should be someone they selected." George W. Bush"

Oh, absolutely ... as long as they select the right one, that is. And if they don't, they needed to find somebody else, that Bush approved of:

"It is the first time the Americans have directly expressed a preference in the furious debate over the country's top job, the politicians said, and it is inflaming tensions between the Americans and some Shiite leaders. The ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, told the head of the main Shiite political bloc at a meeting on Saturday to pass on a "personal message from President Bush" to the interim prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, said Redha Jowad Taki, a Shiite member of Parliament who was at the meeting. Mr. Khalilzad said Mr. Bush "doesn't want, doesn't support, doesn't accept" Mr. Jaafari as the next prime minister"

http://articles.cnn.com/2006-03-29/politics/sr.weds_1_national-security-democrats-offer-democratic-gains/4?_s=PM:POLITICS

But this is a digression. As interesting as an analysis of the rotten state of Iraqi "democracy" might be, whether Iraqis 'select' (using the term loosely) their own leaders or not has little bearing on whether Bush wanted a federal Iraqi state or not.

And he did:

"Bush confidently said that the surge was for a "unified, democratic federa Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself, and sustain itself, and is an ally in the War on Terror,"

http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/iraqelection2010/2010/03/201035195518278382.html

Furthermore, I note that he specified in this extract that American troops were ALSO in Iraq to ensure that Iraq remained compliant to American interests ... which is what I've been saying all along.

Bruno said...

[bruno] SCIRI was supported by the USA before the invasion. It was specifically singled out as an ally during the occupation.
[lynnette] Not any more than any other Iraqi exile group

I don't recall Bremer asking anybody else to form the core of the new Iraqi army from their paramilitary wings. Maybe my memory is faulty, but I recall him specifically promising that the first battalion formed would be Shia, in order to induce Hakim to turn his murderers over for training.

[lynnette] We have always tried to support the government of Iraq chosen by the people of Iraq, which included SCIRI.
[bruno] Furthermore, I note your non-existent support of Sadr, who was also "chosen by the people of Iraq".
[lynnette] There was at one point a warrant for Al-Sadr's arrest. Do you think he was someone we should have been supporting?

In other words:

"We have NOT always tried to support the government of Iraq chosen by the people of Iraq"

Thanks.

The "warrant" for Sadr's arrest is mere fluffery. It means nothing in this context, particularly when one considers that DAWA, SCIRI's more 'moderate' ally, was viewed as a terrorist organisation for many years by the US, particularly since it was widely believed to have blown up the US embassy in Kuwait. Yet, Dawa has had full US support since the invasion.

Again, American support hinges on expediency for American aims, and NOT on lesser considerations such as morality, democracy, decency etc.

[lynnette] If the people of Iraq want something different then they must elect something different.
[bruno] Good thing y'all banned the parties that might "want something different". Ain't democracy great?
[lynnette] You mean parties that were responsible for the oppression of innocent Iraqis?

In other words, you concede that the US placed limitations on Iraqi democracy, which precluded them from "electing something different" if they had so wanted. Excellent. (I notice furthermore, American revulsion at the Baath didn't extend to the Baathi Mukhabarat, which was actively recruited by the US. That expediency thing again, huh?)

Bruno said...

[bruno] 5: Sentiment reflected by the US decision to set up racist ethnically-based governing councils from the start.
[lynnette] "Nonsense. We tried to give everyone a voice."
[Bruno] DON'T try to come and bullshit me on this. I've LIVED what America planned in Iraq.
[lynnette] No, Bruno, you haven't. Because our "plans" never included apartheid. Trying to give everyone the opportunity to express their opinions through representation in government does not make an intent to create apartheid.

"The Tricameral Parliament was the name given to the South African parliament and its structure from 1984 to 1994. While still entrenching the political power of the White section of the South African population (or, more specifically, that of the National Party) (NP), it did give a limited political voice to the country's Coloured and Indian population groups."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tricameral_Parliament

DO carry on Lynnette.

It's fascinating to hear you in action.

This is greatly amusing me.

Marcus said...

Interesting news:

"On the morning of November 29, two Iranian scientists involved in Iran's nuclear development program were attacked. One was killed, and the other was injured.[...]

Official reports indicate that Shahriari was killed when assailants on motorcycles attached a "sticky bomb" to his vehicle and detonated it seconds later. However, the Time magazine report says that an explosive device concealed inside the car detonated and killed him."

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LL04Ak01.html

Petes said...

[Rhus]: "PeteS, that was a good comment about Hitchens."

Ta. WELCOME BACK! by the way. I know you said hello a couple of threads back, but I was a bit snowed under. Btw, in your absence I rechriStened myself from PeteS to Petes :-)

"Sorry to add to the triangulation of your issue, but possibly there is a character limit in Blogger that you're hitting, after which the Randomizer is engaged?"

Bizarre that it seems to work, even allowing further posts, and then disappears after a random amount of time. I don't think even I have ever designed a bug that evil into anything!

Petes said...

[Bruno the disingenuous]: "Excellent. NOW Lynnette will post the pertinent text issued by the UN ordering the formation of the said "no fly zones". (You know, to differentiate US/UK military action from common banditry such as that which they accused Saddam of) THEN I will concede the point."

Sorry for diving in, but ... that's frankly ridiculous. No one in the international community was ever in any doubt that the north and south NFZs were to protect the Kurds and Shi'ites respectively, both of whom Saddam had demonstrated murderous intent toward. I still don't know if you were a kiddie in the early nineties, but media reportage on the NFZs was broadly very positive. Quite the opposite of Yugoslavia, for instance, where the Yanks were heavily criticised for not bringing air power to bear on Serbia much earlier in the Balkans conflict -- one in which they could have very easily argued it was Europe's problem. Same goes for Rwanda ... avoidance of the G (for genocide) word in the UN was rightly linked to the disastrous inaction. Can't believe that you are stooping this low on this one, even given that it is YOU.

Bruno said...

Events have moved on since then, Marcus. Apparently Iran has made noises to the effect that it will be really, really angry if more of its nuclear scientists meet more, uh, "accidents" ... although quite what it can or would do is open to question.

Marcus said...

The article speculates that some domestic group backed by a foreign intelligence service is behind it. It would be interesting to know precisely who that would be.

As for what Iran could do there's a lot to choose from. But what it would do, over this, is not easy to say. They have probably started with beefed up security for important players in their nuclear programs.

Bruno said...

VERY interesting article:

"Viewed historically, the question is not whether the United States will lose its unchallenged global power, but just how precipitous and wrenching the decline will be. In place of Washington’s wishful thinking, let’s use the National Intelligence Council’s own futuristic methodology to suggest four realistic scenarios for how, whether with a bang or a whimper, U.S. global power could reach its end in the 2020s "

http://original.antiwar.com/engelhardt/2010/12/05/taking-down-america/

Petes said...

1) Hmmm. Two more comments from earlier gone missing. Little or no formatting either. Might as well confine my self to one or two sentences, from here on in. Maybe an Oytalian finally got his wish and it's a banning :-)

Petes said...

2) Hi Rhus. Lengthier hello from earlier is gone.

Petes said...

3) Bruno. The NFZs were a more or less unqualified good thing. Lengthier justification from earlier is gone, I'm afraid.

John said...

Lyingette: "Iraq was as stable as any prison. It was her threat to others outside of her borders that was the catalyst for our actions/i.e. mass murder of Iraqis."

Now given the likelihood that everyone has fallen into a predictable habit of relegating these comments (oozing from the putrid orifice of the Minnesotan she-bitch) to a 'reductio ad nausea' folder similar to the 'trash mail folder' you assign notifications of wonder drugs for penis enlargements and your latest inheritance good fortune....one is often left shaking one's head in wonderment as to why our beloved Bruno chooses to engage her in such an asinine/insipidly stupid way??

It almost seems that he's willing to attribute some degree of worthiness to her comments...at least to the extent that he meticulously and painfully rewrites every one and adds something insightful of his own which ultimately tends to conclude that Lyingette's blowjob wasn't worth $5, let alone $20.

But, what is the point??

It's not as though this level of self-indulgence will ever transform them into something other than what they already are, a steaming pile of fecal matter.

It reminds me of a song:

What's the ugliest
Part of Lyingette's body?
Some say her nose
Some say her toes
I think it's her mind.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
      "Little or no formatting either."

Little or no formatting’ probably means a little formatting but not much and an irresistable urge to overstate the case on account of not re-writing from scratch earlier.  If it were truly no formatting then I'd say you should clean out your Blogger cookies (all of them) and clean your History files, rebooting if necessary to get it all, depending on your OS and browser and whatever utilities you might be using.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

[bruno] 1: The war was wrapped up in 1991, in case you didn't notice
[lynnette] From Saddam's behavior you could have fooled me.
[Bruno] Examples, dear.
[lynnette] The continual shooting at American and British planes enforcing the no-fly zones.
[Bruno] Excellent. NOW Lynnette will post the pertinent text issued by the UN ordering the formation of the said "no fly zones". (You know, to differentiate US/UK military action from common banditry such as that which they accused Saddam of) THEN I will concede the point.

Resolution 688. I refer you to paragraphs 5 and 6. Yes, I know, you will call up Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s opinion that the no-fly zones were illegal. However, that resolution was passed and it did allow all resources to be used to provide for humanitarian relief of the Iraqi people.

[Bruno] Nonsense. We are reminded every day about how "the military option is on the table".
[lynnette] There are all sorts of things on that table, Bruno. So far I have yet to see us attack Iran.

Just to clarify, when you said “military option” I assumed you meant the United States military operating in the country of Iran, not any possible proxy that you think we may be supporting or any other location.

[bruno]…the fact is, America is currently taking a stance which accepts that attacking Iran is a perfecly moral thing to do, and an obvious, legal solution to the "problems" it has with Iran. De facto, this demonstrates that "stability" is not nearly as important as compliance to the US.

I would suppose it to be legal if it was in self-defense. For instance, if Iran had supported the attack on our barracks in Lebanon, I would consider a military response to be legal. If Iran were to support attacks on our forces in Iraq, I would consider a military response (ours or through a proxy) to be legal. Whether or not direct US military action against the country of Iran is appropriate should be tailored to the situation. I don’t think legality is the question. It is, would it have the desired effect or not. As for stability, Iran has not done much to contribute to the stability of the region.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[lynnette] "it was not us that eliminated a certain facility in Syria, either."
[Bruno] So you condemn Israel?
[lynnette] Don't be silly, Israel did the whole neighborhood a favor.
[Bruno] Yet more information to the effect that this particular American considers unilateral unsanctioned military violence to be a GOOD thing. Carry on.

I believe that removal of a facility that could have endangered the entire region was not a bad thing.

[bruno] 1: An expression of US foreign policy sentiment by the US Senate nevertheless
[lynnette] It takes more than a nonbinding resolution to create policy.
[Bruno] An expression of US foreign policy sentiment by the US Senate nevertheless
[lynnette] But not of the House or the President.
[Bruno] Q.E.D.

My point being that the Senate alone does not make policy.

[lynnette] "he was right about the chaos that followed the invasion, but wrong about the United States, Israel and Jordan redrawing a map"
[Bruno] Segregating political power according to ethnicity and sect is not "redrawing the map"?

There was no intent on our part to re-draw any map by ethnicity or sect. It was always an attempt to give the have-nots in Iraq a chance to speak for themselves. That the result may have looked like re-drawing a map was because there were obvious groups that had been marginalized by Saddam. There was a reason for Resolution 688 and the no-fly zones.

Indeed, I have noticed that American warmongers start quaking whenever the link between US foreign policy and Israeli interests is pointed out. Carry on.

Lol! Israel is an ally, just like any other. That our interests may coincide at times is not surprising. What may be more interesting is that the interests of Israel might coincide with those who are not her allies.

[Lynnette] Whatever President Bush may or may not have said, in the end it has to be the Iraqis who decide. The President knew that.
[Bruno] Wow, so you've been GW Bush's official spokesperson all along"
[lynnette] "I felt strongly that the Iraqis' first leader should be someone they selected." George W. Bush"
[Bruno] Oh, absolutely ... as long as they select the right one, that is. And if they don't, they needed to find somebody else, that Bush approved of:

Context dear.

But this is a digression. As interesting as an analysis of the rotten state of Iraqi "democracy" might be, whether Iraqis 'select' (using the term loosely) their own leaders or not has little bearing on whether Bush wanted a federal Iraqi state or not.

And he did:

"Bush confidently said that the surge was for a "unified, democratic federa Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself, and sustain itself, and is an ally in the War on Terror,"


And what is wrong with that statement? That certainly doesn’t sound like he supported a partition of Iraq.

Furthermore, I note that he specified in this extract that American troops were ALSO in Iraq to ensure that Iraq remained compliant to American interests ... which is what I've been saying all along.

Lol! Because we would like them to be an active partner in the War on Terror? That is something that would benefit them as well.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Hmmm...it's playing fast and loose with my comments as well, Pete. It lost my first comment, but kept the second. I just deleted my temporary files and cookies. So try again...

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Well, it's there now. I don't know for how long though.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[bruno] SCIRI was supported by the USA before the invasion. It was specifically singled out as an ally during the occupation.
[lynnette] Not any more than any other Iraqi exile group
[Bruno] I don't recall Bremer asking anybody else to form the core of the new Iraqi army from their paramilitary wings. Maybe my memory is faulty, but I recall him specifically promising that the first battalion formed would be Shia, in order to induce Hakim to turn his murderers over for training.

I don’t recall that, but it may have been so. I believe what Bremer was trying to do was to disband the various militias and integrate them into the Iraqi security forces. Along with Badr there were the Kurds up north with their Peshmerga. To get these forces to work together was the goal.

[lynnette] We have always tried to support the government of Iraq chosen by the people of Iraq, which included SCIRI.
[bruno] Furthermore, I note your non-existent support of Sadr, who was also "chosen by the people of Iraq".
[lynnette] There was at one point a warrant for Al-Sadr's arrest. Do you think he was someone we should have been supporting?
[Bruno] In other words:
"We have NOT always tried to support the government of Iraq chosen by the people of Iraq"


If you will recall, Al-Sadr was not willing to work within the government of Iraq in the beginning. He preferred to set up some kind of nationalist movement to fight the United States.

The "warrant" for Sadr's arrest is mere fluffery.

Somehow I don’t think the relatives of al-Khoi would agree.

It means nothing in this context, particularly when one considers that DAWA, SCIRI's more 'moderate' ally, was viewed as a terrorist organisation for many years by the US, particularly since it was widely believed to have blown up the US embassy in Kuwait. Yet, Dawa has had full US support since the invasion.

Hmmm…yes, I see your point. What you are saying is that there are no good allies in Iraq, their hands are all covered in blood. And since Islamic Jihad and Dawa reportedly had the support of Iran in that case, it would seem to me just another reason to be wary of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. Thank you for pointing it out.

Again, American support hinges on expediency for American aims, and NOT on lesser considerations such as morality, democracy, decency etc.

My guess is that in the case of Dawa in Iraq it hinged more on not wanting to fight everyone all at once.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Gone! Slippery little devil. *sigh*

Okay, maybe I'll give up and try tomorrow to finish. Or start over, if eats all of my comments.

hint: Resolution 688, paragraphs 5 and 6.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Okay, just one more:

[lynnette] If the people of Iraq want something different then they must elect something different.
[bruno] Good thing y'all banned the parties that might "want something different". Ain't democracy great?
[lynnette] You mean parties that were responsible for the oppression of innocent Iraqis?
[Bruno] In other words, you concede that the US placed limitations on Iraqi democracy, which precluded them from "electing something different" if they had so wanted.

No, Iraqis always had a choice of whether or not to ban the Ba’ath party. And even they were conflicted about it. As this thread shows. These are issues they had to work through themselves.

[bruno] 5: Sentiment reflected by the US decision to set up racist ethnically-based governing councils from the start.

Getting back to your original argument. This statement was referring to your contention that our intent was to partition Iraq. Yet, as you quoted George W. Bush as saying: “… the surge was for a "unified, democratic federa Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself, and sustain itself, and is an ally in the War on Terror," That does not at all sound like our goal was to partition Iraq. A desire for a strong central government (federal) composed of various entities(states or provinces) does not a partition make. That there were areas of Iraq made up of a majority of ethnic or sectarian groups was not of our making. They were already there in Saddam’s Iraq.

DO carry on Lynnette.

It's fascinating to hear you in action.

This is greatly amusing me.


If you insist. I am sure there are others out there who would prefer to watch paint dry. :)

Petes said...

"‘Little or no formatting’ probably means a little formatting but not much..."

Not much danger of being wrong with that insight, I'll grant you.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "it was not us that eliminated a certain facility in Syria, either."
[Bruno] So you condemn Israel?
[lynnette] Don't be silly, Israel did the whole neighborhood a favor.
[Bruno] Yet more information to the effect that this particular American considers unilateral unsanctioned military violence to be a GOOD thing. Carry on.
[lynnette] "I believe that removal of a facility that could have endangered the entire region was not a bad thing."

Q.E.D.

[lynnette] "My point being that the Senate alone does not make policy."

My point being that this is one point amongst many points supporting my argument.

[lynnette] "he was right about the chaos that followed the invasion, but wrong about the United States, Israel and Jordan redrawing a map"
[Bruno] Segregating political power according to ethnicity and sect is not "redrawing the map"?
[lynnette] It was always an attempt to give the have-nots in Iraq a chance to speak for themselves.

Like the tricameral system? I see.

[lynnette] Lol! Israel is an ally, just like any other.

LOL

Bruno said...

[Lynnette] Whatever President Bush may or may not have said, in the end it has to be the Iraqis who decide. The President knew that.
[Bruno] Wow, so you've been GW Bush's official spokesperson all along"
[lynnette] "I felt strongly that the Iraqis' first leader should be someone they selected." George W. Bush"
[Bruno] Oh, absolutely ... as long as they select the right one, that is. And if they don't, they needed to find somebody else, that Bush approved of:
[lynnette] Context dear.

Q.E.D.

[bruno] "Bush confidently said that the surge was for a "unified, democratic federal Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself, and sustain itself, and is an ally in the War on Terror,"
[lynnette] And what is wrong with that statement? That certainly doesn’t sound like he supported a partition of Iraq."

Federalism in the Iraqi context is the first step to create a partitioned Iraq, as advocated by US policymakers, the US senate, the US neoconservatives and the Israelis. As you well know, the majority of Iraqis are opposed to a federal Iraq. Here Bush is taking the decision for the Iraqis and de facto supporting a model that would lead to Iraq fragmenting.

[bruno] Furthermore, I note that he specified in this extract that American troops were ALSO in Iraq to ensure that Iraq remained compliant to American interests ... which is what I've been saying all along.
[lynnette] Because we would like them to be an active partner in the War on Terror?

Being an "active partner in the "War of Terror" is precisely being a junior partner of the United States. Since the whole "war on Terror" concept is wholly of American origin, and since it was defined by Americans, this is so. Bush is de facto making a statement to the effect that American troops are in Iraq to ensure Iraqi compliance.

[lynnette] That is something that would benefit them as well.

That being your opinion. I somewhat doubt that Iraqis think America inviting Al Qaeda to Iraq to "fight them there" is advantageous.

Bruno said...

[bruno] SCIRI was supported by the USA before the invasion. It was specifically singled out as an ally during the occupation.
[lynnette] Not any more than any other Iraqi exile group
[Bruno] I don't recall Bremer asking anybody else to form the core of the new Iraqi army from their paramilitary wings. Maybe my memory is faulty, but I recall him specifically promising that the first battalion formed would be Shia, in order to induce Hakim to turn his murderers over for training.
[lynnette] I don’t recall that, but it may have been so.

Q.E.D.

[lynnette] "Along with Badr there were the Kurds up north with their Peshmerga. To get these forces to work together was the goal."

"The Waffen-SS was a multi-ethnic and multi-national military force of the Third Reich [...] In August 1940, Gottlob Berger approached Himmler with a plan to recruit volunteers in the conquered territories from the ethnic German and Germanic populations. Hitler at first had his doubts about recruiting foreigners but was persuaded by Himmler and Berger. He gave approval for a new division to be formed"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waffen-SS

Bruno said...

[lynnette] We have always tried to support the government of Iraq chosen by the people of Iraq, which included SCIRI.
[bruno] Furthermore, I note your non-existent support of Sadr, who was also "chosen by the people of Iraq".
[lynnette] There was at one point a warrant for Al-Sadr's arrest. Do you think he was someone we should have been supporting?
[Bruno] In other words:"We have NOT always tried to support the government of Iraq chosen by the people of Iraq"
[lynnette] If you will recall, Al-Sadr was not willing to work within the government of Iraq in the beginning."

But, he did in the end. And that is what is important.

HERE is the latest example of US "support" for the "government of Iraq chosen by the people of Iraq":

"The US is warning that it could cut substantial funding to Iraq’s Health, Education, and Transport ministries if the anti-American Sadr bloc is given those cabinet posts in a new government being formed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki."

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/1206/US-warns-of-aid-cuts-if-Sadr-bloc-takes-certain-Iraqi-ministries

Your rhetoric is nothing more than an effusion of lies and smoke, Lynnette. Surrender to the facts.

[bruno] The "warrant" for Sadr's arrest is mere fluffery.
[lynnette] Somehow I don’t think the relatives of al-Khoi would agree.

You are taking a moral position in order to invalidate support for a particular person. My point is simply that the US supported worse people from a moral point of view, which makes your excuse somewhat flimsy. Oh, and you spelled Al Khoei wrong.

[bruno] Again, American support hinges on expediency for American aims, and NOT on lesser considerations such as morality, democracy, decency etc.
[lynnette] My guess is that in the case of Dawa in Iraq it hinged more on not wanting to fight everyone all at once.

A tacit admission that even your so-called allies despise you. Not to mention that I'm right.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] If the people of Iraq want something different then they must elect something different.
[bruno] Good thing y'all banned the parties that might "want something different". Ain't democracy great?
[lynnette] You mean parties that were responsible for the oppression of innocent Iraqis?
[Bruno] In other words, you concede that the US placed limitations on Iraqi democracy, which precluded them from "electing something different" if they had so wanted.
[lynnette] No, Iraqis always had a choice of whether or not to ban the Ba’ath party.

We are talking about the Americans, remember?

We're talking about whether or not Iraqis had the right to "elect something different"

We're talking about this:

"What were the original debaathification orders?

L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator of Iraq, issued two sweeping orders in May 2003: one outlawed the Baath Party and dismissed all senior members from their government posts; the other dissolved Iraq's 500,000-member military and intelligence services. In November 2003, Bremer established a Supreme National Debaathification Commission to root out senior Baathists from Iraqi ministries and hear appeals from Baathists who were in the lowest ranks of the party's senior leadership. The party's foremost leaders--some 5,000 to 10,000 individuals--were not permitted to appeal their dismissals."

http://www.cfr.org/publication/7853/iraq.html?id=7853

Bruno said...

[bruno] 5: Sentiment reflected by the US decision to set up racist ethnically-based governing councils from the start.
[lynnette] "A desire for a strong central government (federal) composed of various entities(states or provinces) does not a partition make."

Sort of like a "paedophiles for children's rights" organisation? Indeed.

It is old news that some Shiites and the Kurds viewed a federal Iraq as the first step towards de jure independence. Iraqis do not want federalism. Here is a little more background for your enlightenment:

"Federalism as incorporated in the Iraqi constitution is not based on any known model; it can tear Iraq into pieces. Iraqis lived under a centralised system for nearly 35 years. Why exactly should they adopt, and so suddenly, a divisive form of government? In a recent public opinion poll, over 76 per cent of Iraqis said they favoured the current system. Only five per cent said they wanted provinces to be grouped on a regional basis and 12 per cent expressed support for a geographical classification of provinces. If anything, this is an indication that Iraqis prefer to live in a united country."

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2006/793/re82.htm

[bruno] This is greatly amusing me.
[lynnette] If you insist. I am sure there are others out there who would prefer to watch paint dry.

Speaking of which:

[john] It almost seems that he's willing to attribute some degree of worthiness to her comments"

Lynnette's comments are very close to the sort of nonsense that the official establishment spews forth. It is excellent practice to take on those arguments and systematically dismantle them one by one. There are in fact people who might buy into those arguments because they conduct only a superficial (or no) analysis of them. My point is to dig deep into the swollen official position with a scalpel, and see what spurts out.

Bruno said...

Talk about serendipity - here's a concrete example that American aims in Iraq are about control and not even so much about an "ally in the war on terror":

"US officials are condemning a major arrest operation by Iraq’s Interior Ministry which netted a number of top officials with al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), saying that the Iraqi security forces failed to clear the operation with US commanders beforehand. “These were unilateral Iraqi operations,” noted Brigadier General Jeffrey Buchanan, adding that there was “concern” that the US hadn’t been consulted ahead of time."

http://news.antiwar.com/2010/12/05/us-concerned-as-iraq-arrests-al-qaeda-suspects-without-us-permission/

GOSH, so you have to clear it with America before arresting Al Qaeda suspects? LOL

RhusLancia said...

Brüno: "I noticed that you never condemned Hitler this morning. Ergo, you must be a goddamn Nazi!"

I just noticed the timeline for your condemnation does not begin until the Brits arrive. Before that, all was well. Or, at least it was of no interest to Brüno.

Brüno: "I would say that "you" should have "done" nothing about Saddam, including supporting his rise to power in the first place."

Well if he's supposed to get a free pass for his repression and invasions, at what point is it ok to do something? And if you think we should steer clear of Iraq no matter what, why don't you practice what you preach, hippy?


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Okay, I'm going to try something a little different with that first comment Blogger kept deleting. Here goes...

[bruno] 1: The war was wrapped up in 1991, in case you didn't notice
[lynnette] From Saddam's behavior you could have fooled me.
[Bruno] Examples, dear.
[lynnette] The continual shooting at American and British planes enforcing the no-fly zones.
[Bruno] Excellent. NOW Lynnette will post the pertinent text issued by the UN ordering the formation of the said "no fly zones". (You know, to differentiate US/UK military action from common banditry such as that which they accused Saddam of) THEN I will concede the point.

Resolution 688. I refer you to paragraphs 5 and 6. Yes, I know, you will call up Boutros Boutros-Ghali's opinion that the no-fly zones were illegal. However, that resolution was passed and it did allow all resources to be used to provide for humanitarian relief of the Iraqi people.

[Bruno] Nonsense. We are reminded every day about how "the military option is on the table".
[lynnette] There are all sorts of things on that table, Bruno. So far I have yet to see us attack Iran.

Just to clarify, when you said "military option" I assumed you meant the United States military operating in the country of Iran, not any possible proxy that you think we may be supporting or any other location.

[Bruno] ...the fact is, America is currently taking a stance which accepts that attacking Iran is a perfecly moral thing to do, and an obvious, legal solution to the "problems" it has with Iran. De facto, this demonstrates that "stability" is not nearly as important as compliance to the US.

I would suppose it to be legal if it was in self-defense. For instance, if Iran had supported the attack on our barracks in Lebanon, I would consider a military response to be legal. If Iran were to support attacks on our forces in Iraq, I would consider a military response(ours or through a proxy) to be legal. Whether or not direct US military action against the country of Iran is appropriate should be tailored to the situation. I don't think legality is the question. It is, would it have the desired effect or not. As for stability, Iran has not done much to contribute to the stability of the region.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

Lynnette's comments are very close to the sort of nonsense that the official establishment spews forth.

Possibly because I do read their analysis of a situation and the reasons for the actions they subsequently took.

It is excellent practice to take on those arguments and systematically dismantle them one by one.

Using the behavior of others to support your analysis of our actions. Or using past actions on our part to come up with something to support your theory. You do not take into account the history of the United States or her motivations for past actions, leading to a superficial analysis of our current actions. And you twist the facts out of context to come up with your version of events.

There are in fact people who might buy into those arguments because they conduct only a superficial (or no) analysis of them. My point is to dig deep into the swollen official position with a scalpel, and see what spurts out.

Using biased sources such as anti-war.com.

If anyone truly cares to know our motivations they need to understand us. So far I have seen very few who really do. Even PeteS mentioned something about not understanding the strong feelings in other parts of the country to what happened in New York on 9/11.

If you want to understand George W. Bush's actions you need to understand what it is like to be President of the United States. Go read some biographys of earlier Presidents.

There appear to be 3 things that happened in 2001 that seemed to affect the calculations of the threat that Iraq posed to the US. I could be wrong, of course, and I will keep reading various accounts. Unlike you, Bruno, I don't just read one version of events.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Drat! It's gone again! What on earth doesn't Blogger like about that comment? Well, I'm not going to try it again. I'll do a brief overview.

Bruno wanted to know the Resolution that authorized the no-fly zones. Our position was that Resolution 688 did. And reading paragraphs 5 and 6, I agree.

A possible attack on Iran(by us or a proxy) could be considered self-defense when looking at Iran's behavior towards us in Lebanon, Kuwait(thank you, Bruno) and Iraq.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Bruno] Federalism in the Iraqi context is the first step to create a partitioned Iraq, as advocated by US policymakers, the US senate, the US neoconservatives and the Israelis. As you well know, the majority of Iraqis are opposed to a federal Iraq. Here Bush is taking the decision for the Iraqis and de facto supporting a model that would lead to Iraq fragmenting.

If George Bush was advocating federalism, he was doing so in the context of the United States. It has given us a strong center to support our country against outside interference, yet has allowed various regions(in our case states) to function with enough autonomy to encourage them to stay a part of the union.

And the Iraqis can choose however they want to structure their government. I note that we have a seperation of religion and state, whereas Iraq does not. If we were forcing them to adopt our ideas, that would not be the case.

[Bruno] Being an "active partner in the "War of Terror" is precisely being a junior partner of the United States. Since the whole "war on Terror" concept is wholly of American origin, and since it was defined by Americans, this is so.

I can understand people's fears about standing up for themselves against those who use methods such as those of Al-Qaida. But if you don't the situation just gets worse. They found that out in Afghanistan and Anbar. And a junior partner is better than an adversary.

As for Al-Qaida in Iraq, that was not us who invited them. Keep doing research.

[lynnette] My guess is that in the case of Dawa in Iraq it hinged more on not wanting to fight everyone all at once.
[Bruno] A tacit admission that even your so-called allies despise you. Not to mention that I'm right.

Only their "secret" cables know for sure. I'm waiting for your friend at WikiLeaks to let us know.

I'm keeping this short just in case my comments start to disappear again...

Petes said...

This is getting a bit pointless ... comments just keep vanishing into the ether :-(

Just lost my China bubble links.

On the Iraq oil front ... Kurds want Shahristani out; he may get a new job as prime minister's energy deputy.

http://currencynewshound.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/wall-street-journal-iraq-oil-minister-to-step-down/

Petes said...

Blogger support forum has hundreds, if not thousands, of complaints about comments disappearing, going back to at least mid last year.

Petes said...

Let's test the conspiracy theory ... and see if this photo of Bruno sticks. :)

Um Ayad said...

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange refused bail

The founder of whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, Julian Assange, has been refused bail by a court in London but vowed to fight extradition to Sweden.

Five people, including journalist John Pilger, film director Ken Loach and Jemima Khan, the sister of Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, offered to put up sureties.

Um Ayad said...

Forgot to put the link.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11937110

Um Ayad said...

Everything we knew about the mass killing, torture and corruption in Iraq and Afghanistan has been confirmed. The world's leaders can no longer hide the truth by simply lying to the public. The lies themselves have been exposed.

The Wikileaks revelations show that politicians and military leaders waging war in Afghanistan admit in secret the war cannot be won. Yet they continue to send young men and women to fight and die there -- 101 British soldiers having been killed this year.

Just as the majority of people around the world -- including 72 per cent in Britain -- oppose the war in Afghanistan, so is support for Wikileaks pouring in worldwide.

Paypal, Mastercard and Visa may stop donations, but thousands of people are finding other ways to donate. Amazon may cut off the Wikileaks website, but hundreds of 'mirror' servers have been set up by individuals as alternatives.

President Obama -- singing the praises of an "unrestricted internet" -- said recently, "I believe the more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes, because then citizens of countries around the world, can hold their own governments accountable, they can begin to think for themselves."

US secretary of state Hilary Clinton agrees with Obama. On 21 January 2010 she said: "Information has never been so free. Even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable."

Except, of course, when it is the US and its allies, including Britain, who have invaded other people's countries without justification. Then the information is to be suppressed and the messenger is to be destroyed.

http://stopwar.org.uk/content/view/2185/27/

How to support Wikileaks...

http://wikileaks.ch/support.html

Bruno said...

[bruno] "I noticed that you never condemned Hitler this morning. Ergo, you must be a goddamn Nazi!"
[rhus] I just noticed the timeline for your condemnation does not begin until the Brits arrive. Before that, all was well. Or, at least it was of no interest to Brüno."

RhuslanCIA, feel free to open up a discussion on the state of Iraq dating all the way back to the Assyrians and Sumerians if you so wish. I suspect you will be rather surprised at what depths my "interest" goes. That, however, is irrelevant to the current discussion.

[[bruno] "I would say that "you" should have "done" nothing about Saddam, including supporting his rise to power in the first place."
[rhus] Well if he's supposed to get a free pass

From a previous thread:

"[rhus] how many freebie wars does Saddam get to start before you begin counting against him??
[bruno] I guess Rhusty missed the 1991 war. Been comatose for the last few decades?
[rhus] I guess Brüno forgot who started the 1991 war?

*facepalm*

Rhusty, have a coffee. Then come back and re-read what you wrote. In context. If you're still having problems, get back to me."

I can post this again, if you wish. 'tis no problem at all.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] You do not take into account the history of the United States or her motivations for past actions, leading to a superficial analysis of our current actions.

Au contraire, I have tried to leave out past US actions and American history because I don't feel that it is entirely fair to hang that albatross around your neck in addition to American misdeeds in Iraq. I could, I suppose, point out the similarity on current US actions to previous US actions elsewhere, and demonstrate yet again that any "mistakes" America has committed in Iraq are in fact not mistakes at all but deliberate policy, since those "mistakes" have been repeated many many times before.

[lynnette] you twist the facts out of context to come up with your version of events.

You have the same internet at your disposal as I do, Lynnette. It is not my fault if your 'version of events' does not match reality.

[lynnette] "Using biased sources such as anti-war.com."

I invite you to conduct a factual analysis of any Antiwar.com articles I have posted in this argument and debunk them. I await with interest to see how you get on.

[lynnette] "If anyone truly cares to know our motivations they need to understand us."

Gee, you know, Lynnette, I think I'm doing pretty well on that front.

[lynnette] "There appear to be 3 things that happened in 2001 that seemed to affect the calculations of the threat that Iraq posed to the US."

No. No mistakes in the "calculations of the threat" that Iraq "posed". The only thing that changed was the willingness of the US public to believe the lies fed to them by the Neocons and their lackeys. The intention to attack Iraq predated 2001. 911 was the event the Neocons were praying for all along, so as to facilitate the drumming up of public opinion for the war. Very simple.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "Bruno wanted to know the Resolution that authorized the no-fly zones. Our position was that Resolution 688 did. And reading paragraphs 5 and 6, I agree."

Allow me:

Resolution 688 par 5, 6:

"5. Requests further the Secretary-General to use all the resources at his disposal, including those of the relevant United Nations agencies, to address urgently the critical needs of the refugees and displaced Iraqi population;

6. Appeals to all Member States and to all humanitarian organizations to contribute to these humanitarian relief efforts; "

http://www.fas.org/news/un/iraq/sres/sres0688.htm

Unfortunately for Lynnette, I see nothing at all mandating the creation of a "no fly zone", nor do I see anything defining the scope of such a no fly zone, its duration or anything else.

Only an American warmonger could manage to twist a call for "humanitarian relief efforts" into a call for war against another sovereign UN member!

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "As for Al-Qaida in Iraq, that was not us who invited them. Keep doing research. "

I refer:

GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States:

"Al-Qaida's going to fight us wherever we are. See, that's their strategy. Their strategy is to drive us out of the Middle East. And the fundamental question is, will we fight them? I've made the decision to do so. I believe that the best way to protect us in this war on terror is to fight them.
[...]
That's my job as the president, is to tell people the threats we face and what we're doing about it. They're dangerous, and I can't put it any more plainly to the American people, and to them, we will stay on the offense. It's better to fight them there than here.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/white_house/jan-june07/terrorism_05-24.html

GW Bush

"There are some who feel like the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring 'em on."

http://articles.cnn.com/2003-07-02/politics/sprj.nitop.bush_1_shoot-from-the-hip-one-liners-postwar-plan-macho-rhetoric?_s=PM:ALLPOLITICS

General Ricardo Sanchez

This is what I would call a terrorist magnet, where America, being present here in Iraq, creates a target of opportunity... But this is exactly where we want to fight them. ... This will prevent the American people from having to go through their attacks back in the United States.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flypaper_theory_%28strategy%29

Bruno said...

[Bruno] Federalism in the Iraqi context is the first step to create a partitioned Iraq, as advocated by US policymakers, the US senate, the US neoconservatives and the Israelis. As you well know, the majority of Iraqis are opposed to a federal Iraq. Here Bush is taking the decision for the Iraqis and de facto supporting a model that would lead to Iraq fragmenting.
[lynnette] If George Bush was advocating federalism, he was doing so in the context of the United States.

.... because Iraqis are really just Americans that look funny. Deep down, they want the exact same things the average American wants. You just have to make them realise it, right?

[lynnette] I note that we have a seperation of religion and state, whereas Iraq does not. If we were forcing them to adopt our ideas, that would not be the case."

The point isn't forcing them to "adopt your ideas" (although an argument could be made for that, see above) but to break Iraq up and to keep it weak and needy. America works with plenty of fundamentalists all over the place, and the problem isn't how religious they are but how much they support the USA.

[Bruno] Being an "active partner in the "War of Terror" is precisely being a junior partner of the United States. Since the whole "war on Terror" concept is wholly of American origin, and since it was defined by Americans, this is so.
[lynnette] And a junior partner is better than an adversary.

Q.E.D.

(As a side note Lynnette seemed to have missed the fact that Saddam kept AQ out just fine on his own, and that the current Iraqi regime managed to arrest dozens of AQ suspects on its own. But this absolutist "you're with us or against us" attitude is typical of your average murkin warmonger.)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Bruno] Au contraire, I have tried to leave out past US actions and American history...

Could have fooled me. I kept tripping over all sorts of things that you dug up from the past in previous threads.

... because I don't feel that it is entirely fair to hang that albatross around your neck in addition to American misdeeds in Iraq.

lol! Since when have you ever been fair in your analysis of American actions?

I could, I suppose, point out the similarity on current US actions to previous US actions elsewhere,

And how did we behave when we were acting against an entity we felt was a threat to us?

It is not my fault if your 'version of events' does not match reality.

Tin-foil hat getting a little warmish, is it? Kind of making the brain a little sluggish? Maybe you should take it off and allow a little air flow. ;)

[lynnette] "Using biased sources such as anti-war.com."
[Bruno] I invite you to conduct a factual analysis of any Antiwar.com articles I have posted in this argument and debunk them.

Oh come dear, don't be dense. You know very well what I mean.

You browse a site with a heading for their article like this:

US ‘Concerned’ as Iraq Arrests al-Qaeda Suspects Without US Permission

And come here and repeat that kind of garbage without even looking into the backstory.

Which was this:

He said although the operations showed Iraqi special forces were tapping intelligence sources and conducting raids without US help, the lack of coordination could be detrimental and potentially dangerous to security forces unaware their counterparts were running parallel operations against the same suspects.

So if we had ended up shooting those same Iraqi security forces because we were running a similiar operation, we would have caught all sorts of flak for a friendly fire incident.

[lynnette] "If anyone truly cares to know our motivations they need to understand us."
[Bruno] Gee, you know, Lynnette, I think I'm doing pretty well on that front.

You aren't even in the ballpark.

[lynnette] "There appear to be 3 things that happened in 2001 that seemed to affect the calculations of the threat that Iraq posed to the US."
[Bruno] The intention to attack Iraq predated 2001.

No. The desire to remove Saddam predated 2001. The decision to attack Iraq was a result of the events of 2001.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Resolution 688 par 5, 6:

"5. Requests further the Secretary-General to use all the resources at his disposal, including those of the relevant United Nations agencies, to address urgently the critical needs of the refugees and displaced Iraqi population;

6. Appeals to all Member States and to all humanitarian organizations to contribute to these humanitarian relief efforts; "


[Bruno] Unfortunately for Lynnette, I see nothing at all mandating the creation of a "no fly zone", nor do I see anything defining the scope of such a no fly zone, its duration or anything else.

How does someone stop someone else from shooting at someone? Just so you know, asking nicely doesn't work.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[lynnette] "As for Al-Qaida in Iraq, that was not us who invited them. Keep doing research. "

You may list any number of after the fact quotes you like, but I say again, it was not us who invited Al-Qaida to Iraq. Those who invited and worked with AQ were Iraqi.

[lynnette] If George Bush was advocating federalism, he was doing so in the context of the United States.
[Bruno] .... because Iraqis are really just Americans that look funny. Deep down, they want the exact same things the average American wants. You just have to make them realise it, right?

No, because Iraqis have the same issues of differing views and ideas as we do. Do you think we didn't have the same problems with pieces of our country wanting to go their own way? We understood that to survive as an independent country we needed to work together. If the Iraqis do not come to a similiar feeling then they are the ones who will cause a partition. Not us.

America works with plenty of fundamentalists all over the place, and the problem isn't how religious they are but how much they support the USA.

It is not for us to say how "religious" a person should be. It should be for the people of that country to decide how "religious" they want their government to be.

As a side note Lynnette seemed to have missed the fact that Saddam kept AQ out just fine on his own,

I missed it, because I don't believe it.

...and that the current Iraqi regime managed to arrest dozens of AQ suspects on its own.

And they can arrest dozens more. I won't quibble.

Bruno said...

[Bruno] Au contraire, I have tried to leave out past US actions and American history...
[lynnette] Could have fooled me. I kept tripping over all sorts of things that you dug up from the past in previous threads."

If it is relevant, then I'll post it. There's a difference between that and posting every atrocity the US has committed as a matter of course.

[bruno] I could, I suppose, point out the similarity on current US actions to previous US actions elsewhere,
[lynnette] And how did we behave when we were acting against an entity we felt was a threat to us?

Bomb, subvert, destroy, intimidate.


[lynnette] "Using biased sources such as anti-war.com."
[Bruno] I invite you to conduct a factual analysis of any Antiwar.com articles I have posted in this argument and debunk them.
[lynnette] You browse a site with a heading for their article like this: "US ‘Concerned’ as Iraq Arrests al-Qaeda Suspects Without US Permission" And come here and repeat that kind of garbage without even looking into the backstory.

Which was this:

"He said although the operations showed Iraqi special forces were tapping intelligence sources and conducting raids without US help, the lack of coordination could be detrimental and potentially dangerous to security forces unaware their counterparts were running parallel operations against the same suspects.""

Excellent. I reiterate:

[Bruno] Being an "active partner in the "War of Terror" is precisely being a junior partner of the United States"

Just goes to prove my point, thanks, Lynnette. I wonder if America has to clear operations against AQ in America with Iraq? I think not. I think that the Iraqis have demonstrated that US forces in Iraq are redundant, and America is hating that.

Bruno said...

[Bruno] Unfortunately for Lynnette, I see nothing at all mandating the creation of a "no fly zone", nor do I see anything defining the scope of such a no fly zone, its duration or anything else.
[lynnette] How does someone stop someone else from shooting at someone? Just so you know, asking nicely doesn't work.

Sadly, I still don't see any call for creating a "No Fly Zone", despite your spin.

Spin which is absurd, I hope you realise.

If we take an even-handed approach to your interpretation, then, for example, military force would be "authorised" by the UN against Israel every time it calls for aid for the Palestinians or against the US for the mining of Nicaraguan harbours. Because, you know, just asking nicely won't work.

Clearly your extremely elastic interpretation is an invitation to open anarchy. Maybe that is what you want.


[lynnette] If George Bush was advocating federalism, he was doing so in the context of the United States.
[Bruno] .... because Iraqis are really just Americans that look funny. Deep down, they want the exact same things the average American wants. You just have to make them realise it, right?
[lynnette] No, because Iraqis have the same issues of differing views and ideas as we do.

Lynnette will now supply us with a list of equivalent American seperatist parties and a list of pro-rata Americans killed by American sectarian and racist organisations. So that we can have some context to her claims. :|

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "Do you think we didn't have the same problems with pieces of our country wanting to go their own way? We understood that to survive as an independent country we needed to work together."

Lies:

"The American Civil War (1861–1865), also known as the War Between the States (among other names), was a civil war in the United States of America. Eleven Southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America, also known as "the Confederacy.""

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War

America survived as an entity because Americans killed Americans en masse to make it so. The same as Saddam did. No 'understanding we needed to work together'. Just killing.

[bruno] As a side note Lynnette seemed to have missed the fact that Saddam kept AQ out just fine on his own,
[lynnette] I missed it, because I don't believe it.

... the facts notwithstanding, as ever. How's your tinfoil hat doing?

[bruno] ...and that the current Iraqi regime managed to arrest dozens of AQ suspects on its own.
[lynnette] And they can arrest dozens more. I won't quibble.

Neither will I. But the American government is pissed because independence of action is objectionable.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[lynnette] Could have fooled me. I kept tripping over all sorts of things that you dug up from the past in previous threads."
[Bruno] If it is relevant, then I'll post it.

No, if your spin on past events will support your current argument, then you will post it. Anything showing the US in a positive light you will avoid or manage to twist into something that has a darker purpose. For instance you will dig up our actions during what was a "cold war" with the Soviet Union without taking them in context. An excellent propaganda ploy to use on those who are unfamiliar with the actions of the opposing side.

[lynnette] And how did we behave when we were acting against an entity we felt was a threat to us?
[Bruno] Bomb, subvert, destroy, intimidate.

In other words, we would fight. Keep going and you might come up with the correct reason we would fight. Hint: To keep an existing "empire" is not it.

...backstory.

[Bruno] Which was this:

"He said although the operations showed Iraqi special forces were tapping intelligence sources and conducting raids without US help, the lack of coordination could be detrimental and potentially dangerous to security forces unaware their counterparts were running parallel operations against the same suspects.""

Excellent. I reiterate:

[Bruno] Being an "active partner in the "War of Terror" is precisely being a junior partner of the United States"


Oh dear, if that is your reasoning ability, you're not going to get the reason we would fight right. *sigh*

Being concerned for a partner's or your own safety is not the sign of looking at someone as "junior".

[Brunp] Just goes to prove my point, thanks, Lynnette.

Nope. That just goes to prove you will spin anything to paint us in a bad light.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Bruno Sadly, I still don't see any call for creating a "No Fly Zone", despite your spin.

Of course, that is your choice. When looking at the situation of Saddam attacking his own people others saw the choice as being more obvious.

[Bruno] If we take an even-handed approach to your interpretation, then, for example, military force would be "authorised" by the UN against Israel every time it calls for aid for the Palestinians or against the US for the mining of Nicaraguan harbours. Because, you know, just asking nicely won't work.

On the contrary, Bruno, asking nicely works with Israel. US Aid to the Palestinians.

Another resurrection of a past action by us. Indeed, you do make a good point that we would take actions that are less than stellar when we feel threatened. Nicaragua chose to take its complaint to court rather than use military force against us.

I didn't say that a case by case evaluation of a situation wasn't in order.

[Bruno] Lynnette will now supply us with a list of equivalent American seperatist parties and a list of pro-rata Americans killed by American sectarian and racist organisations.

Nope. It's not my job to do your research for you. And I gotta run, I have a dentist appointment. I'll finish later.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Hmmm...I see it ate that last comment of mine. I'm not going to re-type all that tonight. If I can even remember what I wrote. *sigh*

Bruno said...

[lynnette] Could have fooled me. I kept tripping over all sorts of things that you dug up from the past in previous threads."
[Bruno] If it is relevant, then I'll post it.
[Lynnette] No, if your spin on past events will support your current argument, then you will post it.

Gee, Lynnette, somehow *I* have been the one posting quotes and factual excerpts, and *you* have been the one denying that the people who said those things meant what they said. In other words, you're the one spinning tales, not I.

[lynnette] "For instance you will dig up our actions during what was a "cold war" with the Soviet Union without taking them in context."

Gosh, I notice that any "context" with regards to Iraqi actions vs Iran and vs Kuwait was conveniently ignored by the murkin warmongers while tarring Iraq and Saddam black.

But sure, you may proceed to provide a "context" any time you wish, and explain how it was necessary to (for example) arm and support folks who threw acid into women's faces and killed schoolchildren because they were going to visit the USSR. This when other options were available.

[lynnette] And how did we behave when we were acting against an entity we felt was a threat to us?
[Bruno] Bomb, subvert, destroy, intimidate.
[lynnette] In other words, we would fight.

Of course. The default reaction to any "threat" from your typical murkin is violence. I refer to the calls by leading Americans for the assassination of Julian Assange, for example.

[lynnette] "Being concerned for a partner's or your own safety is not the sign of looking at someone as "junior"."

I note yet again that America has been calling for years for Iraq to "stand up so we can stand down", yet when they do it they get bashed for it. Hint: if America were not IN IRAQ, there would be NO need to be "concerned for your safety". Of course, that is inconceivable, right?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Since my comments keep disappearing in this thread, I'm only going to respond to the thing I think of most importance for Iraqis, if they were reading this.

America survived as an entity because Americans killed Americans en masse to make it so. The same as Saddam did. No 'understanding we needed to work together'. Just killing.

Indeed, we fought one of the bloodiest civil wars in history. But those people who felt the United States needed to remain united to survive prevailed. And despite the bloodshed, we have worked through, and continue to work through, our differences. Nobody ever said the union is perfect. It never will be. But it remains to this day.

As for the fighting being like Saddam's era, I beg to differ. Saddam was a brutal dictator who cared little for the people's rights as individuals. Part of the reason for our civil war was the disagreement over slavery.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] Indeed, we fought one of the bloodiest civil wars in history. But those people who felt the United States needed to remain united to survive prevailed.

Exactly what I said. Might makes right, it seems, eh?

[lynnette] "As for the fighting being like Saddam's era, I beg to differ."

Wait, let me guess: the Americans that "died" in the Civil War were ressurrected after its conclusion and lived on happily thereafter? Unlike Iraqis?

[lynnette] "Saddam was a brutal dictator who cared little for the people's rights as individuals."

Actually, I could cite examples to the contrary. (Why Saddam took an interest in individuals is another matter, however.) The actual argument you are making is that the ends justify the means. Need we really go into that?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

The actual argument you are making is that the ends justify the means. Need we really go into that?

No, the argument I am making is that there are some things worth fighting for. And, no, we don't have to go into that.

Why Saddam took an interest in individuals is another matter, however.

You can say that again.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "the argument I am making is that there are some things worth fighting for."

Like, defending yourself against a foreign aggressor.

That, everybody agrees on.

Well, except the murkins.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Like, defending yourself against a foreign aggressor.

I could have sworn that's what we are doing...oh, you were talking about someone else. Hey, I have no problem with anyone else taking on Al-Qaida. :)

Bruno said...

[bruno] Like, defending yourself against a foreign aggressor.
[lynnette] I could have sworn that's what we are doing...

I quote:

[zeyad] "Iraq's youngest photographer was born in the same year his country was invaded by the United States. "

"his country was invaded by the United States."

Nice try at being clever, Lynnette.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

*looks at Bruno innocently*

Who, me?

Really though, you jump around so much that it's hard to keep up with you. Not too long ago you were implying that we didn't like it that Iraqis were taking on more of the responsibility of fighting Al-Qaida.

"his country was invaded by the United States."

I can see where certain elements in Iraq felt they had to fight us, certainly. However, I always felt that for most of Iraqis it would have been better to work with us. We were never the imperialists that people like you tried to imply. Our motivation for invading Iraq was never empire building. Or oil stealing.

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