Strangers in the night

 Posted by at 17:00  Politics
May 272007
 

Cheney delivers call to arms at West Point

Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday urged the 978 new graduates of the U.S. Military Academy to provide leadership to troops fighting terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan…

“We’re fighting a war over there because the enemy attacked us first,” Cheney said. “These are men who glorify murder and suicide. Terrorists are defined entirely by their hatreds.”

The terrorism fight now centers on Iraq, the vice president said, because that is where the enemy has massed. “The security of this nation depends on the outcome,” Cheney said.

He promised that the Army would have all the manpower, equipment and support it needs and referred to President Bush’s signature Friday on a spending bill for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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D’oh!

 Posted by at 22:52  Iraq, Politics
May 252007
 

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Report Says Iraq Problems Were Expected

WASHINGTON (AP) – Intelligence analysts predicted, in secret papers circulated within the government before the Iraq invasion, that al-Qaida would see U.S. military action as an opportunity to increase its operations and that Iran would try to shape a post-Saddam Iraq.

The top analysts in government also said that establishing a stable democracy in Iraq would be a “long, difficult and probably turbulent process.”

Democrats said the newly declassified documents, part of a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation released Friday, make clear that the Bush administration was warned about the very challenges it now faces as it tries to stabilize Iraq…

Among other conclusions, the analysts found:

– Establishing a stable democracy in Iraq would be a long, steep and probably turbulent challenge. They said that contributions could be made by 4 million Iraqi exiles and Iraq’s impoverished, underemployed middle class. But they noted that opposition parties would need sustained economic, political and military support.

– Al-Qaida would see the invasion as a chance to accelerate its attacks, and the lines between al-Qaida and other terrorist groups “could become blurred.” In a weak spot in the analysis, one paper said that the risk of terror attacks would spike after the invasion and slow over the next three to five years. However, the State Department recently found that attacks last year alone rose sharply.

– Groups in Iraq’s deeply divided society would become violent, unless stopped by the occupying force. “Score settling would occur throughout Iraq between those associated with Saddam’s regime and those who have suffered most under it,” one report stated.

– Iraq’s neighbors would jockey for influence and Iranian leaders would try to shape the post-Saddam era to demonstrate Tehran’s importance in the region. The less Tehran felt threatened by U.S. actions, the analysts said, “the better the chance that they could cooperate in the postwar period.”

– Postwar Iraq would face significant economic challenges, having few resources beyond oil. Analysts predicted that Iraq’s large petroleum resources would make economic reconstruction easier, but they didn’t anticipate that continued fighting and sabotage would drag down oil production.

– Military action to eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction would not cause other governments in the region to give up such programs.

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They knew

 Posted by at 10:14  Iraq, Politics
May 252007
 

None of this comes as a surprise to those of us who have been paying attention, but there are some (Republicans) who may find it interesting…

CIA warned of risks of war in the Mideast

In a move sure to raise even more questions about the decision to go to war with Iraq, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will on Friday release selected portions of pre-war intelligence in which the CIA warned the administration of the risk and consequences of a conflict in the Middle East.

Among other things, the 40-page Senate report reveals that two intelligence assessments before the war accurately predicted that toppling Saddam could lead to a dangerous period of internal violence and provide a boost to terrorists. But those warnings were seemingly ignored.

In January 2003, two months before the invasion, the intelligence community’s think tank — the National Intelligence Council — issued an assessment warning that after Saddam was toppled, there was “a significant chance that domestic groups would engage in violent conflict with each other and that rogue Saddam loyalists would wage guerilla warfare either by themselves or in alliance with terrorists.”

It also warned that “many angry young recruits” would fuel the rank of Islamic extremists and “Iraqi political culture is so embued with mores (opposed) to the democratic experience … that it may resist the most rigorous and prolonged democratic tutorials.”

None of those warnings were reflected in the administration’s predictions about the war.

In fact, Vice President Cheney stated the day before the war, “Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.”

Are you ready yet to admit that your heroes are indeed criminals?

Good bird

 Posted by at 22:20  Humor, Politics
May 242007
 

ABC’s Ann Compton reports:

An outdoor news conference in perfect spring weather, with birds chirping loudly in the magnolia trees, is not without its hazards.

As President Bush took a question Thursday in the White House Rose Garden about scandals involving his Attorney General, he remarked, “I’ve got confidence in Al Gonzales doin’ the job.”

Simultaneously, a sparrow flew overhead and left a splash on the President’s sleeve, which Bush tried several times to wipe off.

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To watch the video, CLICK HERE.

(Could not someone have handed the man a tissue?)

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Dems cave

 Posted by at 20:26  Politics
May 242007
 

A new New York Times/CBS poll shows that…

Six in 10 Americans surveyed say the United States should have stayed out of Iraq, and more than three in four say that things are going badly there — including nearly half who say things are going very badly…

President Bush’s approval ratings remain near the lowest point of his more than six years in office. Thirty percent of poll respondents approve of the job he’s doing overall, while 63 percent disapprove. Majorities of those polled disapprove of Mr. Bush’s handling of the situation in Iraq, of foreign policy, of immigration, of the economy and of the campaign against terrorism.

Yet the Democrats continue to cave to Mr. Bush’s every whim…

Congress OKs Billions for the Iraq War

WASHINGTON (AP) – Bowing to President Bush, the Democratic-controlled Congress grudgingly approved fresh billions for the Iraq war Thursday night, minus the troop withdrawal timeline that drew his earlier veto…

The Senate vote to send the legislation to the president was 80-14. Less than two hours earlier, the House had cleared the measure, 280-142, with Republicans supplying the bulk of the support.

The Associated Press write tried to put a positive spin on the story…

Five months in power on Capitol Hill, Democrats in both houses coupled their concession to the president with pledges to challenge his policies anew.

However, that is just not going to happen. For some reason, the Democrats in Washington, D.C. fear George W. Bush. They cringe at the thought that this president with a 30% approval rating might say something nasty about them. Truly a bunch of gutless wonders.

I do not know what country the politicians in D.C. are living in, but I do know it is not the United States of America.

Update: The 14 Senators who voted correctly were…

Boxer (D-CA)
Burr (R-NC)
*Clinton (D-NY)
Coburn (R-OK)
*Dodd (D-CT)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feingold (D-WI)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Leahy (D-VT)
*Obama (D-IL)
Sanders (I-VT)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

(* = presidential candidate)

The roll call vote from the House of Representatives may be viewed here. Note that 86 Democrats joined with 194 Republicans in giving the Bushies the blank check they demanded.

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Where are the parents?

 Posted by at 18:17  Lifestyle, Politics
May 232007
 

Samuel David Cheney was born this morning. However, the news out of Washington is not that Mary Cheney and her lesbian lover Heather Poe welcomed their new son today. The news out of Washington is that Dick and Lynne Cheney have a new grandson.

Cheney welcomes sixth grandchild

WASHINGTON – Vice President Dick Cheney is a grandfather for the sixth time.

According to the vice president’s office, Cheney’s daughter, Mary Cheney, 37, and her longtime partner, Heather Poe, welcomed 8 lbs., 6 oz. Samuel David Cheney into the world at 9:46 this morning at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C.

The White House released this photograph:

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Isn’t it customary to release a photo of the proud new parents with the baby? At the very least, have the parents in the photograph with the grandparents. You’d almost be tempted to believe that the Cheneys and their Republican overlords are ashamed of or even embarrassed by the baby’s parents.

Tell me it isn’t so.

Just for the record, here are little Samuel’s parents…

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Still preaching hatred

 Posted by at 18:57  Politics
May 222007
 

Even in death, Jerry Falwell is still preaching the gospel of hatred…

Bomb Plot Thwarted at Falwell’s Funeral

Even in death, the Rev. Jerry Falwell rouses the most volatile of emotions.

A small group of protesters gathered near the funeral services to criticize the man who mobilized Christian evangelicals and made them a major force in American politics — often by playing on social prejudices.

A group of students from Falwell’s Liberty University staged a counterprotest.

And Campbell County authorities arrested a Liberty University student for having several homemade bombs in his car.

The student, 19-year-old Mark D. Uhl of Amissville, Va., reportedly told authorities that he was making the bombs to stop protesters from disrupting the funeral service.

The right wing of the Republican party was very demonstrative in their appreciation for all that Mr. Falwell did for them…

No national Republicans attended Tuesday’s funeral, including none of the GOP presidential candidates. All said they were too busy.

Too busy indeed. Too embarrassed more likely. Assholes.

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