Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Allawi was responsible for 45-minute WMD claim

Allawi was responsible for 45-minute WMD claim

[LINK-Independent UK]

The Lying Game-Iraq A to Z

The lying game

An A-Z of the Iraq war and its aftermath, focusing on misrepresentation, manipulation, and mistakes

From Atta all the way to Zarqawi. (with Mobile biological labs and NucularNuclear programmes smack dab in the middle)

[LINK-Independent UK]

The Education of Alexandra Polier

The Education of Alexandra Polier
Falsely accused of having an affair with John Kerry, the “intern” sifts through the mud and the people who threw it.

Alexandra Polier (Photo credit: Robert Maxwell)

[LINK-New York Metro]

David Brock asks Rumsfeld to boot Rush Limbaugh

David Brock asks Rumsfeld to boot Rush Limbaugh

David Brock of Media Matters for America has sent a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld requesting that he consider removing Rush Limbaugh from American Forces Radio.

The liberal media watchdog group complains that Limbaugh, whose program is broadcast at taxpayer expense for an hour a day to U.S. troops overseas, has “spent the past four weeks condoning and trivializing the abuse, torture, rape and possible murder of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. guards at the Abu Ghraib prison.”


Howard Dean turns to the written word

Howard Dean turns to the written word


(Photo Credit: SitNews.com)

See Howard's first Cagle column:

Electronic Voting - Not Ready For Prime Time
By Howard Dean


Some politicians believe a solution to this problem can be found in electronic voting. Recently, the federal government passed legislation encouraging the use of "touch screen" voting machines even though they fail to provide a verifiable record that can be used in a recount. Furthermore, this equipment cannot even verify as to whether a voter did indeed cast a ballot for their intended candidate. Unfortunately, this November, as many as 28% of Americans - 50 million people - will cast ballots using machines that could produce such unreliable and unverifiable results.

Understanding the Howard Dean Internet Effect

Understanding the Howard Dean Internet Effect
And Why It Matters to Marketers
From: AdAge.com

Hitchens sinks to ad hominem attack on Moore

Hitchens sinks to ad hominem attack on Moore

I thought I'd tune in to CSPAN this morning to watch Christopher Hitchens. I watched to the point where he said (about Michael Moore):

"Europeans think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own, as their representative American... someone who actually embodies all of those qualities."

He lacked grace. For the first time, he totally lost me. I turned him off at that point.

Early on, he was asked if he knew anything about the new Iraqi interim President. He admitted knew nothing about him. I wonder, if in a few months, he'll claim to be an expert on the man he claimed to know nothing about today.

Bush vs. Kerry- Respective advantages in presidential race

Bush vs. Kerry- Respective advantages in presidential race

ABC News' Political Note lays out what they see as respective political advantages in the Bush/Kerry race:


1. The war on terror serving as a potential trump issue, a la the communist threat during the Cold War.

2. Incumbency in a time of national crisis will seem safe(r) to a lot of voters.

3. The sustaining value of the "Bush brand" (highlighted again this month with 41@80).

4. The likeability and accessibility stops haven't even been pulled out yet.

5. Laura Bush.

6. An improving economy and seemingly successful POTUS projection of "if even one American is looking for work, that's too many" caring.

7. The rise of the Republican 527s.

8. Candidate confidence and rapid response confidence.

9. The political press' general belief the Kerry probably won't win, and inclination to scrutinize the Kerry "record" more than the Bush "record."

10. Most imaginable October Surprises favor the President.

11. The skew of the Electoral College.


1. An energized base which (we are now ready to say) viscerally dislikes President Bush as much as the right disliked Clinton. (Although no accusations of domestic murders yet..)

2. Stew of wrong track, events in Iraq, gas prices, and other only semi-controllable factors.

3. Famous capacity to close strong.

4. Potential week or more of positive coverage if he picks a good running mate.

5. Don't forget health care.

6. The regularity of the circularity of history (one-term Bush presidencies featuring a war victory in Iraq, stratospheric poll ratings, and, then, decline...).

7. The head start of the Democrat 527s.

8. Unchallenged in key Blue States such as California, Illinois, and New York.

9. Daughters, stepsons, vets unveiled big time in Boston.

10. In what would be a Bush irony (and The Note tries exceedingly hard not to misuse the term), the President's team's apparent* belief that Kerry is a phony, liberal, hypocritical Francophile might just blind them so much to his appeal to voters that they (mis)underestimate him all the way through November, and never take him seriously enough to stop him.

11. The political press' general preference for (a) underdogs; (b) challengers; (c) change; (d) Democrats; (e) good stories.


Today's Developments with Iraqi Interim Government

Today's Developments with Iraqi Interim Government

This from Yahoo News / AP:

The U.S. and Saudi-educated head of Iraq's Governing Council was named president of the interim Iraqi government Tuesday, after the Americans' preferred candidate turned down the post. Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer will have the largely ceremonial position. The Governing Council then decided to dissolve immediately rather than remain in office until the transfer of sovereignty to the new government.

...new Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said that Iraq needs help from U.S. and other multinational forces to help defeat "the enemies of Iraq." The statement was seen as a prelude to the new government negotiating an agreement that would allow troops of the U.S.-led coalition to continue operating in the country.

...the council dissolved to allow the new government to begin taking over responsibilities immediately. Still, the U.S.-led occupation authority will continue to run Iraq until June 30.

...Allawi, whose appointment was announced Friday, was chosen because he was considered the best candidate to cope with the deteriorating security situation.

...Council members had angrily accused the American governor of Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, of trying to install Adnan Pachachi, a former foreign minister, over their opposition.

...Al-Yawer, who routinely wears traditional Arab robes and head gear, was sharply critical of the American occupation in a recent television interview, blaming U.S. ineptness for the deterioration in law and order. Al-Yawer also has denounced violence against American and other coalition forces.

...Most of the 22-member Governing Council backed al-Yawer, the current Governing Council president. A graduate of the Petroleum and Minerals University in Saudi Arabia and of Georgetown University, he is a prominent member of the Shammar tribe, one of the largest in the Gulf region that includes Shiite clans. He enjoys the support of Shiite and Kurdish council members.

Ineffective Management of Iraq Failures-TPM

Ineffective Management of Iraq Failures- TPM

At TPM, Josh Marshall compares Bush's recent ideas about Iraq to correcting miserably botched medical surgery (in light of collapse and near-total abandonment of policy).


It has now become close to a commonplace that John Kerry's policies differ little from President Bush's. Where is the difference, we hear, since both candidates are for an openness to greater troop deployment, a fuller role for the United Nations and the country's traditional allies, and dropping support for the exilic hucksters who helped scam the country in the first place.

This is a weak argument on several grounds. But the most glaring is that what we see now isn't the president's policy. It's the president's triage -- his team's ad hoc reaction to the collapse of his policy, the rapid, near-total, but still incomplete and uncoordinated abandonment of his policy.

The president's actions, if not his words, concede that Iraq has become the geopolitical equivalent of a botched surgery -- botched through some mix of the misdiagnosis of the original malady and the incompetence of the surgeon. Achieving the original goal of the surgery is now close to an afterthought. The effort is confined to closing up as quickly as possible and preventing the patient from dying on the table. And now the 'doctor', pressed for time and desperate for insight, stands over the patient with a scalpel in one hand and the other hurriedly leafing through a first year anatomy text book.

Foreign fighters gain Fallujah foothold

Foreign fighters gain Fallujah foothold

A well-armed group infiltrated the city before fighting erupted in March and is continuing to mount operations against the coalition and Westerners in the area - in defiance of leaders of Fallujah's mosques, the army and the police force.

The group, led by Abu Abdullah, a young Saudi, is linked to kidnappings of Westerners, particularly journalists. Its members include Wahhabi Muslims, the ultra-fundamentalist sect that spawned Osama bin Laden.

Fallujah's leaders, who follow different Islamic fundamentalist teachings, fear that the Saudis belong to an al-Qaeda cell seeking a final showdown between Islam and America in the Middle East.

A senior sheikh in Fallujah said the group was "out of control".

....The Saudis were at first welcomed among the hundreds of foreign combatants who came to help Iraqis fighting the coalition. They fought in the southern section of Fallujah, where US marines met the stiffest resistance.

In all, about a quarter of those fighting the Americans were foreigners: Syrian, Saudi, Palestinian and Tunisian. They helped the Iraqi mujahideen - the collection of armed Islamic groups fighting the coalition - become better-organised and equipped,
aided by funds brought by the Saudi fighters. The Syrians were trained in tactics used against the Israelis in Lebanon.
[LINK-The Age]

Chalabi Duped Pentagon; Played U.S. vs. Iran for himself

Chalabi Duped Pentagon; Played U.S. vs. Iran for himself

I highly recommend you read a Stratfor.com analysis before it's removed from the site. In the analysis titled "Overdoing Chalabi", we are shown how the U.S. and Iran each used Ahmed Chalabi for its own purposes. At this point, it is honestly impossible to tell who got the better of whom.

The analysis doesn't discuss Chalabi's direct motive. They simply call him a "used-up-spook". The Iranians used him to screen information from the Americans more than to give false information. The Americans used him to try to convince the Iranians that they had a sufficient degree of control over the situation and that it was in their interests to maintain stability in the Shiite regions.

No one can say Chalabi didn't play one off the other for his own furtherance and his own hope for Iraq. Did he wind up the big loser? Time will tell.

I blame our leadership for being sucked into this quagmire. There is no one else to blame. No matter how the Bush administration tries to slice and dice Chalabi, it was always THEIR responsibility for going in without a realistic outloook or 'post-war' plans. Our Congress also failed in their serious duty to raise questions before giving the Bush administration free reign when they voted for the Iraq resolution in October, 2002.


The implication was that the United States would have chosen a different course, except for Chalabi's disinformation campaign. We doubt that very much.

Iran wanted the United States to invade Iraq...The destruction of the Iraqi regime and army was at the heart of Iranian national interest...If the western frontier could be secured, Iran would achieve a level of national security it had not known in centuries...Iran knew it could not invade Iraq and win by itself. Another power had to do it.

Chalabi's job was to give the Americans a reason to invade, which he did with stories of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). But he had another job, which was to shield two critical pieces of information from the Americans: First, he was to shield the extent to which the Iranians had organized the Shiite south of Iraq. Second, he was to shield any information about Hussein's plans for a guerrilla campaign after the fall of Baghdad. These were the critical things -- taken together, they would create the dependency the Iranians badly wanted.

The United States did not want to invade Saudi Arabia....It wanted to change the Saudi strategy...The United States was interested not only in frightening Saudi Arabia, but also in increasing its dependence on the United States...The United States would take an indirect route...The solution: an invasion of Iraq.

Chalabi's claims about Iraqi WMD did not instigate the invasion, because the United States did not invade Iraq to get rid of WMD.

Al Qaeda was a Sunni movement. Following U.S. grand strategy, logic held that the solution to the problem was entering into an alliance of sorts with the Shia. The key to the Shia was the major Shiite power--Iran.

What is important to see here is how the Iranians were using the Americans, and how the Americans were using the Iranians.

Nothing he [Chalabi] said triggered the invasion [of Iraq]. It was what he did not say that is significant. Chalabi had to know that the Iranians controlled the Iraqi Shia. It is possible that he even told the Pentagon that...there is one thing that Chalabi should have known that he certainly didn't tell the Americans: that Hussein was going to wage a guerrilla war. On that point, there is no question but that the Pentagon was surprised, and it mattered a lot.

Chalabi did not share intelligence that the Iranians almost certainly had because the Iranians wanted the Americans to get bogged down in a guerrilla war. That would increase U.S. dependence on the Shia and Iran, and would hasten the American departure.

We suspect that the Pentagon intelligence offices and the CIA both knew all about Chalabi's relation to Iranian intelligence...Chalabi was a minor player in a dance between Iran and the United States that began on Sept. 11 and is still under way.