Friday, February 02, 2007

Libby Heard It From Cheney; Bush Is Warmongering; Global Warming Is Man-Made; Rush Is a Peacenik; Mahdi Army Says, "Thank you, Dubya!"

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An FBI agent testified at the Libby perjury trial yesterday that Libby told the FBI on October 14, 2003, that Valerie Plame's CIA identity was first revealed to him by Dick Cheney in June of that year.

Al Gore and Rush Limbaugh have both been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Gore was nominated by two members of the Norwegian Parliament: one from Norway's Conservative Party and the other from its Socialist Left Party. Gore was nominated for his "wide-reaching efforts to draw the world's attention to the dangers of global warming."

Limbaugh was nominated by the Landmark Legal Foundation:

Limbaugh, whose daily radio show is heard by more than 20 million people on more than 600 radio stations in the United States and around the world, was nominated for the prestigious award for his "nearly two decades of tireless efforts to promote liberty, equality and opportunity for all humankind, regardless of race, creed, economic stratum or national origin. These are the only real cornerstones of just and lasting peace throughout the world," said Landmark President Mark R. Levin.
[...]
"Rush Limbaugh is the foremost advocate for freedom and democracy in the world today," explained Levin. "Everyday he gives voice to the values of democratic governance, individual opportunity and the just, equal application of the rule of law -- and it is fitting that the Nobel Committee recognize the power of these ideals to build a truly peaceful world for future generations."

Founded in 1976, Landmark Legal Foundation is the leading conservative public interest law firm in the United States. Rush Limbaugh serves as an unpaid member of Landmark's Board of Advisors.

Global warming is definitely connected to human activities; it's here to stay no matter what we do about it; but inaction will make its effects much worse. Those are the conclusions of a report prepared by 113 scientists and released today in Paris.

The American Enterprise Institute is offering climate scientists $10,000, plus travel expenses and "additional payments," to dispute the results of the above-mentioned report. The AEI is funded by ExxonMobil.

Legislation raising the minimum wage to $7.25 (a $2.10 increase) over the next two years has passed the Senate -- by the overwhelming vote of 94 to 3.

Tom Lasseter at McClatchy (Knight-Ridder) has an essential-to-read article that tells us the major beneficiary of Bush's "new" policy to secure Baghdad is the Mahdi Army:

The U.S. military drive to train and equip Iraq's security forces has unwittingly strengthened anti-American Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia, which has been battling to take over much of the capital city as American forces are trying to secure it.

U.S. Army commanders and enlisted men who are patrolling east Baghdad, which is home to more than half the city's population and the front line of al-Sadr's campaign to drive rival Sunni Muslims from their homes and neighborhoods, said al-Sadr's militias had heavily infiltrated the Iraqi police and army units that they've trained and armed.

"Half of them are JAM. They'll wave at us during the day and shoot at us during the night," said 1st Lt. Dan Quinn, a platoon leader in the Army's 1st Infantry Division, using the initials of the militia's Arabic name, Jaish al Mahdi. "People (in America) think it's bad, but that we control the city. That's not the way it is. They control it, and they let us drive around. It's hostile territory."

The Bush administration's plan to secure Baghdad rests on a "surge" of some 17,000 more U.S. troops to the city, many of whom will operate from small bases throughout Baghdad. Those soldiers will work to improve Iraqi security units so that American forces can hand over control of the area and withdraw to the outskirts of the city.

The problem, many soldiers said, is that the approach has been tried before and resulted only in strengthening al-Sadr and his militia.

Amid recurring reports that al-Sadr is telling his militia leaders to stash their arms and, in some cases, leave their neighborhoods during the American push, U.S. soldiers worry that the latest plan could end up handing over those areas to units that are close to al-Sadr's militant Shiite group.

"All the Shiites have to do is tell everyone to lay low, wait for the Americans to leave, then when they leave you have a target list and within a day they'll kill every Sunni leader in the country. It'll be called the `Day of Death' or something like that," said 1st Lt. Alain Etienne, 34, of Brooklyn, N.Y. "They say, `Wait, and we will be victorious.' That's what they preach. And it will be their victory."

Long story short: The Iraqi army is lousy with Muqtada al-Sadr's Shiite loyalists, and Bush's troop surge is helping to train them.

Pres. Bush's response to an unholy mess has always been to make the mess worse; so naturally he is continuing his efforts to provoke Iran into giving the U.S. a casus belli:

We have come to understand that George W. Bush neither listens to reason nor learns from experience. Still, it is difficult to understand what purpose the president’s bullying of Iran serves other than to appeal to the withered prune formerly known as his political base.

I want to be clear: Iranian President Ahmadinejad and his Awful Ayatollahs are meddling in Iraq and their actions are a threat to regional stability. There is no question that their intentions are malevolent. But the actions of the Bush administration are a much greater threat and there is a palpable feeling aboard in the land that the president is willing to risk starting another war to score political points.

What other reason can there be? Even the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, presented to the president yesterday, doesn’t focus on Iran or the insurgency that it backs, instead noting that things are likely to get much worse because of Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence. (Click here for more on that.)

Remember that ghastly story a couple of weeks ago about five American soldiers being killed defending a government compound in Karbala against insurgents dressed like U.S. soldiers? And that Iran was to blame?

It turned out that the story was a fabrication. Four of the five troopers had been abducted and shot execution style. Meanwhile, Fox News now reports that our good friends the Iraqis were behind the attack and two senior Iraqi commanders, one of them an intelligence officer, were involved in planning it.

Not to worry, the White House will reach into its frayed neocon kit bag and find some other pretext to ratchet up the blame game against Iran. The administration just doesn’t want us to know what it claims to know. This explains why it has again postponed offering details of its charges of Iranian meddling inside Iraq. Don’t hold your breath [waiting] for this one.

1 comment:

Chief said...

As far as I am concerned, Mr. Limbaugh promotes hate.