Friday, June 18, 2004



Just why was this a just war?
Editorial/Seattle Post-Intelligencer

What is now left of the Bush administration's case against Saddam Hussein?

Bush has misled Americans on Iraq
Editorial/Financial Times

Why are we in Iraq?
Editorial/St. Petersburg Times believing what he wanted to hear and ignoring the advice of friendly governments while shutting out informed officials within his government, Bush launched his country upon an adventure that has seriously damaged his war against international terror. Editorial/Arab News

Whatever the reality now, it is hardly logical to cite the terror backlash provoked by the war to justify having launched it.
Guardian/Blind to the truth

New David Corn Weblog

New David Corn Weblog

For those of you who may not yet be aware, David Corn is blogging at

Paul Johnson has been beheaded

Paul Johnson Jr. has been beheaded

"Delivering on our promise, the mujahedeen from the Fallujah Squad slaughtered the American prisoner Paul Marshall Johnson after the ultimatum set by the mujahedeen to the tyrants of the Saudi government expired."

-from a statement posted on an Islamist website and signed by "Al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula."


"...the United States will soon withdraw about 7,000 U.S. military personnel from Saudi Arabia and terminate a significant military presence there that lasted more than a decade..."The Persian Gulf", Donald Rumsfeld said, "is now a safer region because of the change in Iraq.".....

--April, 2003


Donald Rumsfeld's words (above) have proven out to be totally wrong.
It's time for our President and the Pentagon to stop playing Friendly-footsie with the Saudi Arabian government. It's turning awfully sour in the Persian Gulf region these days. (See my comments from earlier this week). This has gone too damned far. If the Saudis are not willingly harboring terrorists (and I have to say I am actually skeptical these days, considering Bush's definition of a nation who harbors terrorists), they are surely not in control of their own national security. If they can't do it, it's time we least if Bush is going to be consistent with his own foreign policy. Perhaps it's time for Prince Bandar to head for a spider hole.

I heard the Saudis killed a guy they claim was the al-Qaeda ringleader in the country.

Here he's the proof the Saudis were good soldiers. When will the Saudis start taking serious pre-emptive action to get these murderers before they lop American heads off?

So--(ding dong)the wicked ringleader's dead. I guess that means they've solved the problem..right? Bush is appeased, perhaps they suppose? We can expect to see no more heads lopped off? (Why did I hear more warnings of future heads to roll on CNN this morning?)

It's important, I believe, to share with my readers the reason I seem so unconvinced that Saudi Arabia has been doing all they possibly can to stop their citizens from attacking Westerners and that I believe it's time to get tough as nails toward them. Many more of their typical citizens (so many more than we've been told) are cheering the Jihad on:

....residents of three Islamic fundamentalist districts in Riyadh, interviewed before news broke of Johnson's killing, suggested that the kidnappers enjoyed popular support, partly because of U.S. policy in Iraq and its perceived backing for Israel.

"How can we inform on our brothers when we see all these pictures coming from Abu Ghraib and Rafah," Muklas Nawaf told The Associated Press as he ate meat grilled on a spit at a restaurant called Jihad, or holy war in Arabic.

He was referring to the pictures of Iraqis abused by U.S. soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad and Israeli military incursions and killings in the Gaza refugee camp of Rafah.

"This is not a little skirmish. It is a war," Nawaf said.


I am not alone in my mistrust of Saudi Arabia. Look at the views of this conservative American at Tomfoolery of the Highest Order.

This isn't going to have a happy ending for our relations with Saudi Arabia. If we think it does, we are DREAMING.

I heard Bush say he will not allow "these kinds of extremist thugs" to intimidate America. So what is Bush going to do? Send troops into Saudi Arabia? Somehow I don't think so.

The saddest joke of all?

While Bush has our troops bogged down amidst an unnecessary bloody civil war in Iraq, al-Qaeda has moved to a new address and has hung out their sign for the new "central front for the war on terror."
It's called Saudi Arabia.


--Link to site for VIDEO-CNN

--Colin Powell Hopes Americans Stay in Saudi Arabia So They Can Get Their Heads Cut Off, Too Despite Risks

--From the "No sh*t, Dick Tracy" headlines: "Saudi US embassy says hostage killing "inhumane"

--See Joe Gandelman's June 15th op-ed on Paul Johnson

--See Joe Gandelman at Dean's World today

Grand Forks Herald Suggests Zinni or Powell for Kerry VP

Grand Forks Herald Suggests Zinni or Powell for Kerry VP


The question of "Who will it be?" is looming heavily.

We scan the horizon..we ponder..we check Google every 30 minutes....


Jesuit tells Kerry: Ignore Right-wIng Bishops; Move Ahead with Grace

Jesuit tells Kerry: Ignore Right-wing Bishops; Move Ahead with Grace

Being wise enough to understand the Communion debate "is a nonissue" in the Kerry campaign and simply a tool of the Republican Party, Jesuit priest Robert Drinan has advised John Kerry to clamp down on religious rhetoric and "keep cool on the Communion thing". He believes it would be far more graceful to let the Communion issue go during this campaign season. [See LINK]

I think Rev. Drinan understands that if you place the scalpel too close to the collective heart composed of the individuals who make up today's American Catholic church, that heart would have to be split in half. There are far too many divisive issues. The heart, of course, would soon stop beating after the chambers were separated.

Respectfully, though, John Kerry will not benefit by ignoring the subject of religion altogether. Kerry recently said "Catholicism is not defined by one issue," and I think he's absolutely right to continue to remind people of that fact.

What the political right-wing aims to do is to separate the chambers of Catholicism's heart from one another. The scalpel is in their hands. Certainly not in possession of the wisdom of Solomon, they'd rather see the baby cut in two.

Recent scandals involving priest-pedophelia nearly bled the heart of the church, but it did not kill it. If there is ANY issue that should be at the forefront today in the Catholic chrusch, I think it's the pedophelia issue. We know it has not been resolved to the satisfaction of most Catholics. It was smoothed over.

To see a priest deny Communion to a man like John Kerry (knowing many of those priests protected pedophiles..or perhaps had been pedophiles themselves) is nothing short of a sad and unbelievable joke.

I do hope John Kerry takes Rev Drinan's good advice, but also understand that he needs to be unafraid and unashamed to talk about the importance of religion in his own life. Americans want to hear about it. They relate to it.

Right wing ignorant evildoers should be ignored. (Anyone who would aim to split the baby in two is definitely ignorant and inherently evil).

Meanwhile, Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, didn't like the fact that a Kerry aide (Mara Vanderslice) attended (and allegedly helped to organize) an IMF protest where some violence erupted. That got me wondering: What does Bill Donohue think, as a Catholic, of the war in Iraq? I did a bit of research. I saw that Donohue has defended the Catholic position for war, saying that "the pope’s position on the war was that it could be resorted to only ‘as the very last option,’ thus allowing room for a legitimate debate on whether that time had arrived."

Now, if the IMF protest sparked violence, what the hell do you call the war in Iraq?

Do you you smell Bill Donohue's hypocrisy?

We can go and kill untold thousands of innocent civilians over a "religious debate of legitimacy", but a Democrat cannot legitimately speak out against injustice in our world?

Holy bullcrap!

It seems a moral shame to see Kerry's campaign allow people like Mara Vanderslice to be marginalized over such ignorant attacks.

If all that being Catholic means these days is being an automaton without the fire of Christ's mission in our hearts, then I suppose Catholic people like Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, and the Berrigan brothers are evil to men like Bill Donohue.

When it becomes "evil" to make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves in a free and peaceful environment as God intended them to do, I might side with Bill Donohue..but right now I have to say I think his soul is dulled and corroded by politics.

Catholicism isn't defined simply by two issues..homosexuality and abortion.

The right-wing (many not even Catholic themselves) are pushing the issues of homosexuality and abortion with the goal of trying to do damage to the Democratic party. I would hope, when American Catholics see how their spiritual lives are being used and abused by those only interested in politics, that they will be spiritually strong enough not to lose their faith altogether. I hope they will stand together and say: "Get politics the hell OUT of our churches."

Michael Moore film was only film that may have saved Disney summer

Michael Moore film was only film that may have saved Disney summer

Or: How being intimidated by Government is bad for Business

Or: The Free Market is Laughing at Michael Eisner

...the one hit film Disney could have had this summer, Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," is set for a blockbuster opening a week from today from Lions Gate and IFC Films.


Putin: American Intel was told what Russian Intel Knew--And..?!

Putin speaks:
American Intel knew what Russian Intel Knew--

Any shock-value intended in this news article is incredibly underwhelming. [see LINK]

Russia's president Vladmir Putin says Russia warned the U.S. of Saddam's desire to attack us on our own soil. This, of course, means nothing. Why do I say that? Because it's old news. Older than our pre-emptive war on Iraq. Russian intelligence informed American intelligence at the very time the information was relevant.

America knew everything Russia knew. And.....?!

There is no "rest of the story", you see. What Russia knew didn't change Russia's mind when they opposed regime change in Iraq.

It all comes back to American intelligence and all the failures that have come back to haunt them...and the mis-leaders who knowingly used the highly questionable intelligence. There is still no proof of ties to al- Qaeda terror wrapped up in Putin's so-called "new revelation".

All I can say is that I can clearly see the Bushites are desperate. They've been forced to defend their weak charge that there had been links between Saddam and al Qaeda to justify the invasion of Iraq. Now they rely on Putin to bolster their lies to the American public.

Russia...the same country right-wingers have berated for their ulterior motives in the U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal..the same country whose companies the Pentagon barred from bidding on Iraq reconstruction contracts because they'd totally opposed the regime change in Iraq.

I repeat--totally opposed the regime change in Iraq.

UPDATE: June 20, 2004: Zev Chafets writes about the Putin statement (and its odd timing):
Bush argues that no responsible post-9/11 President would shrug off such warnings..The GOP will ask: What would President Kerry have done with the Russian warning? One answer is that there was no warning, that Putin is lying to curry favor with Bush.

Looking Forward to Tomorrow

Looking Forward to Tomorrow

One sunny day in 2005 an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he'd been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the U.S. Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."

The Marine looked at the man and said, "Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer President and no longer resides here."

The old man said, "Okay" and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."

The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer President and no longer resides here."

The man thanked him and, again, just walked away.

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same U.S. Marine saying, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."

The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I've told you already that Mr. Bush is no longer the President and no longer resides here. Don't you understand?"

The old man looked at the Marine and said, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it."

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "I look forward to seeing you tomorrow, Sir!"

Childish Cheney Lashes Out at N.Y. Times for Headline Truth

Childish Cheney Lashes Out at NY Times for Headline Truth
FOX News fan Dick Cheney lashed out at the N.Y. Times yesterday for reporting the news that the 9-11 Commission found absolutely no link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 terrorists. He called the NY Times reporting headlines "outrageous" and commenced spreading the same tired garbage about Saddam's "general" connections to "terror" all over again in an interview with Gloria Borger on CNBC's Capitol Report.
And you'll never guess who Cheney wanted to expound upon to try and make his case: The one---the ONLY---Abu Masab al-Zarqawi. (The Bogeyman! What did I tell you just hours ago? al-Zarqawi's the only hook these misleaders have to hang their liar's hats on these days.)

In today's N.Y.Times, Maureen Dowd has a delicious description of Cheney's unbelieveably stubborn insistence that his war was justified by the connections that were never there....

Mr. Cheney did it again on Monday in Florida speaking at — where else? — a conservative think tank; he said Saddam "had long-established ties with Al Qaeda." This claim, used by the White House to justify its gallop to war, was once more flatly contradicted by the 9/11 panel's report yesterday: "Two senior bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between Al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and Al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States."

The report says Osama did seek help from Saddam in the 90's, "despite his opposition to Hussein's secular regime." But aside from sending an official to meet with Osama in Sudan, Saddam stiffed his request for weapons and training-camp space.

Mr. Cheney isn't programmed to process evidence that shows he was wrong; he simply keeps repeating the same nonsensical claims as if he has a microchip malfunction.

Unfortunately, there's no spouse to give him a knock on the head, as the Stepford husbands do when their Farrah fem-bots go haywire and keep repeating things like, "I'll just die if I don't get that recipe. . . . I'll just die if I-I-I [bop!] don't get that recipe. . . ."

Cheney-bot just keeps going and going: "He had long-established ties with Al Qaeda. . . . He had long-established ties with Al Qaeda-a-a. . . . He-he-e-e—— brzzzrrrp!"



--See Center For American Progress for discussion of this topic

--See David Corn's take on the subject

Dubya Unchained!

Dubya Unchained!
At The Hill, Bill Press says we can't afford another four years of G.W. ("My Way or the Highway") Bush. Give him four more years and he'll bring you more war, more extremist judges (including as many as three on the Supreme Court), bigger and bigger deficits, more environmental destruction, more anti-Americanism around the world, and less freedom at home.


How Reagan Armed Saddam with Chemical Weapons

How Reagan Armed Saddam with Chemical Weapons

According to Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, in a December 15, 1986 article, the CIA began to secretly supply Iraq with intelligence in 1984 that was used to "calibrate" mustard gas attacks on Iranian troops. Beginning in early 1985, the CIA provided Iraq with "data from sensitive US satellite reconnaissance photography ... to assist Iraqi bombing raids".

Iraqi chemical attacks on Iranian troops--and US assistance to Iraq--continued throughout the Iran-Iraq war. In a parallel program, the US defence department also provided intelligence and battle-planning assistance to Iraq....


....On March 16, 1988, Iraqi forces launched a poison gas attack on the Iraqi Kurdish village of Halabja, killing 5000 people. While that attack is today being touted by senior US officials as one of the main reasons why Hussein must now be "taken out", at the time Washington's response to the atrocity was much more relaxed.

Just four months later, Washington stood by as the US giant Bechtel corporation won the contract to build a huge petrochemical plant that would give the Hussein regime the capacity to generate chemical weapons.

On September 8, 1988, the US Senate passed the Prevention of Genocide Act, which would have imposed sanctions on the Hussein regime. Immediately, the Reagan administration announced its opposition to the bill, calling it "premature". The White House used its influence to stall the bill in the House of Representatives. When Congress did eventually pass the bill, the White House did not implement it.


Christian Version of American Idol Set to Debut

Christian Version of American Idol Set to Debut

I hear William Hung will be coming back to perform "She Hangs".