Sunday, March 19, 2006

The End.

This will likely be my last post to In Other News... (Although I may use the URL for something else in the future.)

I don't do a lot of analyzing or original writing here -- mostly posting links to items I think are overlooked and/or important -- but even so, it has become a chore. Pushing yourself to write is hard enough. It should never feel like a "job".

Also, continued evidence of the dark evil at the heart of the ruling party in the US, coupled with the noise about an inevitable attack on Iran (and the very real possiblity of another "terror attack" to re-rally the citizenry), has made me pretty depressed. It seems like that feeling has only increased since I left the US for Canada.

I urge you to bookmark some of the news links on the right. If you do, you'll probably find everything I would have posted here anyway. My picks for the best sites:
The Huffington Post
Left I On The News
Media Matters
Rigorous Intuition
Unclaimed Territory

and especially the Latest Breaking News forum at Democratic Underground (and don't forget Top 10 Conservative Idiots).
And (naturally) Joy of Sox for all your Boston Red Sox needs.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The American Fascist

US Vice President Henry Wallace, New York Times, April 9, 1944:
The really dangerous American fascist ... would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power. ...

They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.
The entire Op-Ed is fascinating reading. Thanks to uggabugga.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

"A Recent Surge Of Violence"

EarlG, one of the administrators at Democratic Underground, has compiled this list of media reporting "a recent surge of violence" in Iraq. Click here for links to each instance:
September 3, 2003: Meanwhile, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and French President Jacques Chirac were to meet in Germany on Thursday to discuss ways for the West to respond to the recent surge in violence in Iraq and the Middle East.

October 31, 2003: Ansar is believed to be channelling into Iraq the foreign fighters who are behind a recent surge in violence in the country, officials say.

November 3, 2003: Bush blamed loyalists to ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and foreign terrorists for the recent surge in violence in Iraq.

March 4, 2004: A wave of bomb attacks in Baghdad and Karbala killing at least 171 people earlier this week has highlighted the difficulties in rebuilding the country and restoring peace. But Mr Blair, speaking after a meeting in Rome with his Italian counterpart, Silvio Berlusconi, said the recent surge in violence in Iraq did not constitute civil war.

April 14, 2004: U.S. President George W. Bush held a major news conference at the White House on 13 April in the middle of the deadliest month for Americans in Iraq since Baghdad fell a year ago. He spoke of the recent surge in violence there, but urged his countrymen not to lose faith. He also said he would adhere to the 30 June deadline for handing over sovereignty to Iraqis.

April 15, 2004: Pace said the recent surge in violence in Iraq is being driven by "terrorists" who see the June 30 deadline for turnover of sovereignty approaching rapidly and are petrified by the promise of democracy.

April 26, 2004: Lt. Gen. David Barno, the top American commander in Afghanistan, said Monday that the military has seen a recent surge in violence, but that most attacks were directed against soft targets, such as civilians or isolated Afghan security outposts.

May 12, 2004: Despite the prison abuse scandal and the recent surge in violence in Iraq, a majority of the public (53%) continues to support keeping troops in Iraq until a stable government is established

May 25, 2004: In his speech to the Army War College here, Bush warned that "there are difficult days ahead and the way forward may sometimes appear chaotic." Yet he vowed the handover would take place on schedule and that the US-led coalition would not be defeated by insurgents blamed for the recent surge in violence.

June 24, 2004: Compelled by the recent surge in violence, US Central Command (CentCom) has informally asked Army planners for as many as 25,000 more troops in Iraq, the Baltimore Sun reports.

July 22, 2004: Despite a recent surge in violence, including kidnappings, car bombings and assassinations, senior U.S. and Iraqi officials gave a relatively optimistic assessment on Wednesday of the security situation in Iraq since the transfer of political authority from U.S. to Iraqi authorities June 28.

July/August, 2004: In the short term, ongoing help will be required with the maintenance of security within the country. The response to the recent surge in violence must emphasise political solutions and not be just a simple deployment of military power.

September 9, 2004: "The recent surge in violence has been especially surprising because in the weeks after the transfer of power there was a phase that, for Iraq, felt to some almost like a lull."

September 17, 2004: The assessments, made before the recent surge in violence in Iraq and the US military death toll there topping 1000, appear to conflict with Bush's upbeat description of the US-led effort to stabilise and democratise Iraq.

September 22, 2004: The Iraqi leader also said that despite a recent surge in violence in Iraq, it is "very important for the people of the world really to know that we are winning, we are making progress in Iraq, we are defeating terrorists."

December 18, 2004: Mosul has experienced a recent surge in violence. On Friday, a car carrying Turkish security guards was attacked in the city, in Iraq's far north near the Turkish border, and four people were killed, one of them decapitated.

January 4, 2005: The incident marks the most senior assassination since the death in May of Governing Council president Abd al-Zahra Uthman Muhammad and should be seen within the context of the recent surge in violence ahead of national and provincial elections slated for 30 January.

January 17, 2005: The area around Kut has seen a recent surge in violence. In a separate attack, two Iraqi provincial government auditors were shot to death late Sunday after armed gunmen stopped their car in Suwaira, about 25 miles southeast of Baghdad, an official at a Kut hospital said.

March 2, 2005: Most of the victims were Shiites, the targets of a recent surge in violence, most notably a series of suicide bombings and other attacks that killed nearly 100 people during the Shiite religious commemoration known as Ashoura.

April 27, 2005: But he added it was too early to say if a recent surge in violence amounted to a concerted campaign, and insisted that US-backed forces were "winning".

May 10, 2005: The most-recent poll, conducted by CNN, USA Today, and Gallup, interviewed 1,006 adults between April 29 and May 1, 2005, before the recent surge in violence.

May 16, 2005: The insurgents' choice of adversary is unusual. But the recent surge in violence, at least, follows a time-tested pattern.

May 19, 2005: A senior U.S. military official told reporters Wednesday that the recent surge in violence in Iraq followed a meeting in Syria last month of associates of the Jordanian insurgent leader Abu Musab Zarqawi.

May 20, 2005: It's unclear how much of the recent surge in violence stems from tribal leaders, but as Metz points out: "Local elites recognize that in a secular, modernized Iraq, their power would be challenged."

May 23, 2005: Even despite the recent surge in violence, in some areas -- downtown Mosul, for example -- Iraqi forces have begun limited independent operations.

June 17, 2005: It is also believed to be the main hideout of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian militant whose al Qaeda-linked group has carried out many of the deadliest attacks in Iraq and who U.S. forces believe is behind a recent surge in violence.

June 20, 2005: Mr. President, we were told that you planned to sharpen your focus on Iraq. Why did this become necessary? And given the recent surge in violence, do you agree with Vice President Dick Cheney's assessment that the insurgency is in its last throes?

August 4, 2005: His comments came as the 15-nation council unanimously adopted a U.S.-drafted resolution condemning a recent surge in violence in Iraq that has killed hundreds, ...

August 12, 2005: But a recent surge in violence and reports of growing public hostility to the Japanese presence are prompting many to question the prospects for continued humanitarian assistance there.

September 13, 2005: It's unclear how much of the recent surge in violence stems from tribal leaders, but as Metz points out: "Local elites recognize that in a secular, modernized Iraq, their power would be challenged."

September 17, 2005: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, has reportedly said the recent surge in violence is in retaliation for a coalition offensive against the group's stronghold in the northern city of Tal Afar.

October 31, 2005: The fresh U.S. effort to crack down on insurgents followed a recent surge in violence caused by the passing of the new Iraqi constitution in a referendum held earlier this month.

January 7, 2006: US officials have sought to downplay a recent surge in violence that on Thursday alone claimed the lives of more than 115 Iraqis and 11 US servicemen.

January 8, 2006: The recent surge in violence is "an anomaly" and Iraq is not on the verge of civil war, the top US commander there said yesterday, after one of the country's bloodiest days since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

February 1, 2006: Recently, five other members of Congress and I sat on a C-130 transport plane surrounded by soldiers going from Kuwait to Baghdad. The backdrop is a recent surge in violence.

February 4, 2006: Dozens of bodies have been discovered in various parts of Baghdad gagged, bound and shot repeatedly in the past week, amid recent surge in violence, which analysts have repeatedly described as initial stages of an open-ended civil war between Iraq’s ethnic groups.

March 1, 2006: AP reports that he was giving an unusually frank assessment of the stakes in the country's recent surge in violence.

March 4, 2006: The top U.S. commander in Iraq said yesterday that he hopes to make an assessment this spring about whether to reduce the number of American troops in Iraq. But Pentagon officials speaking anonymously said a recent surge in violence there has dampened hopes that force levels can be cut anytime soon.
I love that January 8 clip: "an anomaly"!

Yup, those "insurgents" -- those straggling dead-enders -- are in their last throes. And we're "turning a corner". Obviously.

Note: Here's a new one with some slight editing:
March 6, 2006: Pressure mounted Sunday on Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to give up his bid for a new term amid anger over a recent surge of sectarian killings that has complicated already snarled negotiations on a new Iraqi government.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

What A Moron

In a televised speech in New Delhi, George Dubai Bush referred to Pakistan as an Arab country.

A White House spokesman had to quickly explain (for the umpteenth time) that Shit-for-Brains simply "misspoke" -- like when he used the term "Pakis", called Greeks "Grecians", claimed that Africa was a country, referred to the "Great British" (which was actually cleaned up for WaPo readers), asked Brazilian president "Do you have blacks too?", etc., etc., etc.

He also called Pakistan -- whose president came to power through a military coup -- "a force for freedom" in the world. Which actually helps explain a few things about his characterization of the US.

In preparation for Bush's visit, the Pakistani government rounded up and imprisoned hundreds of people to prevent them from protesting. Freedom is on the march!