...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



On the other hand, Mormons:

Some critics have suggested that influential Jewish advisers and groups pushed the Bush administration to go to war with Iraq in order to help Israel. The Bush administration and leaders of the Jewish community have strongly rejected those suggestions. These data show that the average American Jew - even those who are Republicans and may support the Bush administration on other matters - opposes the war.
The widespread Jewish opposition to the war in Iraq is not a recent development as the majority of all Americans have come to oppose the war in the past two years.
Gallup 23.Feb.07
"...have strongly rejected those suggestions..."
The Bush Administration is a pack of lying dogs, so that doesn't count. The leaders of the Jewish community are no doubt beginning to be mighty worried about the awakening realization in the American public that they've been had, lied to and manipulated, and as that awareness comes up the obvious next question is who did it and why. Oil and Israel seem to have the most weight as motive. Though what passses for the long haul in the oil business wouldn't have carried those opportunists this far on a high-stakes bet.
Most Americans don't know why revenge against Babylon would figure high on a get-even for Jews/Israelis, most Americans don't even know that Iraq is Babylon. The looting and desecration of the treasures of Nimrod, back there at the start of the festivities, has a special significance that went right by most of the few people who consciously read about it. And as long as Walt/Mearsheimer's still off the table, all the graphs in the world aren't going to do much good. Iraq was sold to the people through George Bush and FOXNews and CNN and the other big media outlets. The ownership of all of them but Bush is easily traced.


Her true nightmare:

Her bizarre weekend head-shaving — her latest act of rebellion — could lead to something worse, and she needs to get help, fast, says famed Beverly Hills psychiatrist Dr. Carole Leiberman, who hasn't treated the pop star.
Jupiter psychologist Dr. Nancy Vrechek says Spears' actions may be due to postpartum depression.
"Obviously, she's under some kind of extreme distress and people are speculating," says Vrechek
Adds Palm Beach Gardens psychologist Dr. Florence Kaslow - "It's hard to comment without knowing her... it seems an act of impulse and desperation, another way of keeping the attention focused on her that she says she doesn't want. It seems to reflect a great deal of ambivalence about who she is and what she does want
"Britney's former secretary said she wanted the public to know that Britney's family is doing all they can," said Leiberman. "If they were, they would drive her into an emergency room."
Carolyn Susman/Palm Beach Post 20.Feb.07


My computer either died or entered a profound vegetative state from which it will not respond to normal encouragement. So this is on the fly at the local 'net cafe.
US To Blame For Muslim Antagonism, Says Supporter of Suicide Bombings:


we've become accustomed to having records broken
We will launch a nationwide public relations blitz that will be conducted on the pages of the New York Times, as well as in Catholic newspapers and periodicals. It will be on-going, breaking like a wave, starting next week and continuing...

followed by the killings of an estimated 800,000 people:

In a report to French prosecutors late last year, Magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere accused the Tutsi leader who is now president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, of ordering the assassination.

The investigation includes allegations that U.S. and U.N. officials helped quash earlier inquiries to protect Kagame, an ally of the United States.

The French judge's report, which was obtained by The Times, has caused an uproar in Africa and Europe, and led Kagame's government to break off relations with France.
LATimes 17.Feb.07

eternal life is just around the corner:

'The potential scientific gains outweigh the objections,' said one source closely involved in the decision.
The authority will argue that allowing women to donate eggs more generally for scientific use may help stem cell researchers to find cures for heart problems, infertility, diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
Observer 18.Feb.07


When Ghosts of Abu Ghraib is broadcast across the country next week...
"E' vero che siamo tutti musulmani e tutti figli dello stesso paese ma loro devono prima prendere le distanze dai saddamisti, dai gruppi radicali, dagli uomini di Bin Laden oltre a ribadire il loro 'no' agli americani."
' Wanted Iraqi Shi'i militant leader Muqtada al-Sadr has said immediate US withdrawal is the only solution to Iraq's security problems. He said his militants were facing action against them by "at least four armies", including "a 'shadow' army that no one ever talks about, trained by US military intelligence in the Jordanian desert in the utmost secrecy". He said the Sunnis must "mark their distance from the Saddam-ites, from the radical groups, and from Bin-Ladin's men, as well as reiterating their 'no' to the United States" for action against them to cease.
Repubblica -/- Cole


Nigh :

...the absurdity of nearly everything Bush, Cheney, Feith, Kristol, Wolfowitz, Bolton, et al. represent is now apparent to almost everyone besides themselves.
As a result of the Iraq war, we should thank the Bush administration for demonstrating the futility and cruelty of war as the Pentagon and its contractors have designed it.
The natural plan B of modern war is more modern war--more death, more injuries, more devastation. But we were supposed to be the Iraqis' friends, and so...
The geniuses at the Pentagon who thought of "outsourcing" military operations for fun and profit didn't reckon with how the subject population would experience whole different sets of Americans doing lots of different and contradictory things, creating chaos and sowing more and more fear.
What is the good news? It is that non-white and/or non-privileged men and women are rising to power here and there
But we all know that white men do not give up power easily, and in this case they just might decide to blow everything up rather than change their way of looking at things. Is attacking Iran the beginning of the end?
If so, and if Bush and Cheney order the attack, then history will say that those of us who didn't stop them deserved what we got.
Jane Smiley/Huffington 13.Feb.07
Kansas: Anti-Evolution Guidelines Are Repealed
Kansas: Irony
Evolution being the selection, and de-selection, of organisms by their environment, the current rejection of de-selection in all its forms except for some reason in the mass-death of children in automobiles would appear to be firmly, if not exactly consciously, anti-evolutionary.
We believe in evolution, but we don't believe in experiencing it anymore, except by our express permission, or by accident.
Minor quake jolts southeastern Iran
Iran Bomb Targets Revolutionary Guards; 11 Die
The radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is said to have fled Iraq and sought shelter in Iran ahead of a US crackdown aimed at ending the violence in the country.
Mr Sadr and his senior Mahdi army commanders left Baghdad two weeks ago after the prime minister, Nouri al Maliki, said he could not guarantee their safety, a senior Iraqi official said.
Washington believes the Mahdi army is the biggest threat to Iraq's security and has urged Mr Maliki to disarm it, although Mr Sadr is one of the prime minister's closest political allies.
Howard-McAskill/GuardianUK 14.Feb.07
GuardianUK 15.Apr.04:
An Iranian diplomat was today assassinated in Baghdad in a gun attack on his car near the Iranian embassy.
It was not clear whether the murder was connected to a visit to Iraq today by a senior Iranian envoy who is trying to mediate an end to the US standoff with radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
The only way the Bush Administration has demonstrated Smiley's "the futility and cruelty of war" is on its own terms. Men who have proven themselves publicly to be dishonest, to be outright liars if the need arises. Smiley says "we were supposed to be the Iraqis' friends" and this is meant to point up the absurd failure of the Bush campaign in Iraq. Smiley says "different sets of Americans doing lots of different and contradictory things, creating chaos and sowing more and more fear", and this is meant to point up the incompetence and lack of "genius" of the Pentagon and their campaign in Iraq, which is assumed to be part of the Bush campaign there. She places Feith and Wolfowitz inside a phrase of accusation that's bookended by Bush and Bolton, itself a kind of progress in that it took over three years to get to the point where those two men - erstwhile Rosencrantz and Guildenstern - could even be mentioned as central to the matter.
But Smiley's whole premise is the proffered one, the official one, the story, the frame of intention that was put up from the beginning.
Go to Iraq, remove Saddam Hussein, and create democracy.
This has failed.
But the failure is to the stated goals of men who are proven liars - corrupt and dishonest men who have shown themselves willing to embrace absurdity and contradiction to get what they're after. Why continue to debate it on their terms?
Because it's easier, and far less dangerous than debating the possibility that this was intended, every step of it, from the fragmenting of Iraq to the demonizing of al-Sadr, who must always be described as a "radical" cleric and a "firebrand".
The absurdity of near-unanimous condemnation of the Iraq invasion co-existing with the passive acceptance of the persecution of Al-Sadr by the same criminal gangs that designed and prosecuted the invasion is greater than the absurdity of Cheney and Bush in their entirety as failed human beings.
If the invasion was wrong then resistance to the invasion can't be wrong as well.
Yet these ideas exist in many people's minds side by side.
Yuppies across the US, or whatever nickname the comfortable non-conservatives wear now, are united in their knowing cynical disdain for the absurdities of all this grotesque nonsense, until that knowing threatens to put them at actual risk. Then it's time to wait and see.
Placing the urge to action in a frame that only allows an attack on Bush and Cheney is a childishly easy stance to take. Mixing up the bag, the way it was planned we do, so that each player is relatively equal and they all represent some vaporous conspiracy with Bush and Cheney at its heart, is weak. And it paves the way with good intention for someone like Hillary Clinton to pick up Bush's dropped torch as if it were her own, and carry on.
Clinton was in New Hampshire last week responding to a challenge on her disgusting hypocrisy about the Iraq invasion, during which she did a little bantam strut and boasted about "capping" the numbers of troops in Iraq. At a time when the military's upped its waivers of criminal disqualifications in new recruits by 65%.
This will keep things just as they are in Iraq.
Smiley's whole premise breaks down under the obvious weight of this - this now, these conditions, the numbers of the war dead, that, how it is in Iraq right now, the chaos, the terror, the murk and ruin and helplessness - under the weight of it being what was desired all along.
Then it isn't failure, then it isn't absurd, then it's success. Evil gloating and triumphant, instead of evil stumbling in confusion.
But it means you have to ask who did it, who really did it, and you have to answer that, then you have to go on, knowing the answer - and then what?
Much easier to use Bush for the purpose he was presented as - sock puppet, scapegoat, sin-eater.

It isn't absurd if this is what they wanted.
And it is what they wanted.
But who are they?
Not only white men - no one gives up power easily, unless it's to get more.
Ask Wolfowitz and Feith.

four large cups of water a day, about 12 ounces each


The Mecca agreement:

The Europeans seem relatively positive, while the Americans have chosen not to take an official position yet, in itself more constructive than a negative response.
-Ghassan Khatib
bitterlemons 12.Feb.07


a growing body of evidence:

"But by the end of the week - after Bush, addressing US troops in Qatar, had vowed to 'reveal the truth' about WMD - the director of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency, Vice-Admiral Lowell Jacoby, was reduced to insisting that, despite the astonishing leak of a September paper by his agency stating that it had no 'reliable evidence' of Iraqi weapons facilities or even whether it could produce chemical or biological weapons, he still had no doubt that Iraq had WMD."
New intelligence indicates that Iran is supplying Iraqi insurgents with some of their deadliest weapons
BBC July 2004:
The claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction was central to the dossier the [UK] government published in the autumn of 2002 prior to the vote in Parliament which authorised the prime minister to send British troops to invade Iraq.
That dossier was, as the prime minister insisted, "in large part the work of the intelligence services". Supervising its drafting was John Scarlett, then chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), and a former senior officer in M16.
His document may well have been crucial in persuading many members of Parliament to vote for the war. Yet its central claim was wrong.
The error of thinking that Saddam had a WMD arsenal is described on BBC Panorama by Michael Herman, a former Secretary to the JIC as "the biggest failure of intelligence since the failure to predict the German offensive in the Ardennes at the end of 1944".
U.S. military officials on Sunday accused the highest levels of the Iranian leadership of arming Shiite militants in Iraq with sophisticated armor-piercing roadside bombs
Tony Blair September 2002:
"In recent months, I have been increasingly alarmed by the evidence from inside Iraq that despite sanctions, despite the damage done to his capability in the past, despite the UN security council resolutions expressly outlawing it, and despite his denials, Saddam Hussein is continuing to develop WMD, and with them the ability to inflict real damage upon the region, and the stability of the world."
We assess that these activities are coming from the senior levels of the Iranian government," one American official said.
CIA October 2002:
Among the study's key judgments is the statement that "Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in defiance of UN resolutions and restrictions
- The New York Times, citing unnamed US intelligence officials, reported Saturday that the deadliest roadside bombs used against US troops in Iraq are supplied to Shia militias by Iran...
Chicago Tribune 2003:
The Pentagon announced Wednesday [May, 2003]that it had found what it described as a mobile Iraqi laboratory designed for the manufacture of illegal biological weapons
'Proof' of Iranian arms in Iraq
FOX News May 2003:
About 2,000 more experts are being sent to Iraq to help look for banned weapons as well as regime leaders, terrorists and more.
The team is more than triple the size of the force now searching for weapons and larger than was previously described. It will be headed by a two-star general in defense intelligence, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
The Defense Department also confirmed it is investigating what officials said may be the most promising discovery so far - a trailer truck they say could turn out to be the first mobile biological lab recovered since the start of the war to disarm the government of Saddam Hussein


These women have assembled to make a plea for a well.
Mia Farrow in Darfur

We have physical control of the house:

Later, a baby could be heard crying inside the house...
On Friday, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, the husband of actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, announced that he had a decade-long affair with Smith and may be the father.
AP/YahooNews 10.Feb.07

It's not that Blogger's been taken over by fascists - they just talk like fascists, is all.

You will sign in to New Blogger


scientists and nature enthusiasts:

an important day for the people of Greenpoint, Brooklyn
The suspect's corruption is believed to have funnelled millions of US dollars into rogue JAM
$12 billion in cold, hard American cash, and no one, especially Bremer, seems to know where it went
Medical therapy for restless legs syndrome may trigger compulsive gambling
The euro's share rose to 0.45 percent from 0.4 percent, the Russian central bank said. The dollar's share was cut to 0.55 from 0.6, it said.
Captured Iraqi insurgents know they can remain silent and that most likely they will never be convicted because witnesses and judges can be bought or intimidated.
...the Pentagon has cleared five service-members recently accused of abusing prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. But critics are pointing to one problem: investigators didn’t speak to any of the alleged victims.
Any lasting solutions will have to be extremely simple, and - because of the cost implicit in reducing the use and emissions of fossil fuels - will also have to benefit those countries that impose them in other ways.
Changes in the global climate that some attribute to human activity are expected to have a big impact on animals and ecosystems, according to a panel of scientists and nature enthusiasts...
Item 6 from the delightful Max Boot posits a cunning Iraqi "insurgent" biding his time safe in the belly of the Iraqi judicial system, coddled and protected by all those perp-friendly liberal-sponsored laws they have over there. Max Boot is Jewish, and a prominent voice in American journalism.
Item 3, the magical-realist tale of the disappearing "363 tons of newly printed, shrink-wrapped $100 bills", concerns the centrality or no of Mr. L. Paul Bremer in that prankish business of importing billions of cash into a war zone. Mr. Bremer is also Jewish.
Mr. Bremer was as well the first important American-installed boss in Iraq post-invasion, succeeding Mr. Jay Garner's hastily truncated two-month era, in May 2003. Bremer's title was officially "Director of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance", a brilliant example of the Bush Administration's p.r. team's profound grasp of the use of irony and passive-aggression as military weaponry.
They were calling him a proconsul for a while, a term that goes back to the Roman Empire and Pontius Pilate, but that term was never on his paycheck, and won't be found on his c.v.
The fact that Bremer's a Jew would seem to give a little credence to the "US invades Iraq for Israel by proxy" crowd, or at least betray an insensitivity to and/or disregard of the issue of anti-Semitism in the Arab world - given that installing a Jew as head of "reconstruction" in an Arab country you've just invaded, without provocation as it turns out, would appear to have an "in-your-face" quality to it; but it's forbidden to discuss whether or not someone's Jewish - and whether that might influence their views and actions on various conflicts in the Middle East - at all, for any reason. Though everyone knows that an Arab will be automatically prejudiced against the Israeli government in the Palestinian situation, and against the US in the Iraq situation
That the "corruption of Hakim al-Zamili, the [Iraq] health ministy's deputy secretary" is exposed exactly as Bremer's exponentially greater complicity reaches what passes for the light of day now seems a little fortuitous all in all.
P.R. wars.
Item 2 is part of a thread that's really hard to parse, where you have this "firebrand" "radical" cleric and his "army" who are being blamed for pretty much everything that's wrong right now in Iraq, without ever being specifically targeted in exactly that way by anybody willing to take responsibility for having said it. This is how it works: the media create a cloud of confusion around an issue, then deposit little signs, as though by natural progression, that lead toward a conclusion that the bewildered reader then seems to find on his or her own.
So that out of the confusion and questioning - why? who? what? in Iraq - there's this demonic photo of Al-Sadr, looking like the devil himself in black robes and a turban on the cover of Newsweek, that exemplar of truth and journalistic integrity second only to Time itself. Both of them owned by corporations owned by Jews. Not that that figures in anything.
Al-Sadr did say a couple weeks ago that the killing would really begin to intensify during the Shi'ite holy period we're now in, and it has. He also said there were a lot of false-flag units and agents operating against him, strategies that the US and Israel are both infamous for employing. False-flag operations being where you put on the uniform or the mannerisms of someone you want to take down, and then go do things that make them look belligerent and dumb, or destructive and heartless, or whatever. Another strategy that began to get ridiculously overt during the slime-rising Reagan years and's been used consistently since, is to accuse the other side of doing what you're about to be accused of doing first. So that the noise has your name on it. Branding the accusation.
Reading stories about "corruption" in the Iraqi "government" that finger Al-Sadr's side of the conflict as responsible for the nightmare has an Orwellian tang that's hard to displace. Though that figure, of 363 sum-bitchin tons of "newly printed, shrink-wrapped $100 bills" does redirect the attention somewhat.
Americans, who are still financing all that carnage in Iraq with their money and the reputation of their country and the lives and limbs of their sons and daughters, are being led toward the obvious conclusion that it's Al-Sadr's fault the war drags on.
Al-Sadr's not Jewish, as far as I know.


hundred dollar bills Paul Bremer
whether Shell is guilty of sabotage
Not talking about problems is also a poor way to prepare the ground for fixing them later.
US intelligence estimate released last Friday concluded that Iranian meddling is "not likely" a major cause of violence in Iraq
unfortunately, they weren't able to join us
Moreover, it does not include munitions used by the armed helicopters of the many private security contractors flying their own missions in Iraq.

Harry Reid's on CSPAN saying in the most sanctimonious tones that the American people demand that the Congress vote on whether or not to support the escalation of the war in Iraq. Or something like that.
All the trauma and damage of the war is brought out to justify, not leaving, not withdrawing, not hearings and impeachment for lying to the public, but a debate.
And the Republicans are engaging him on whether or not he "supports" the troops.
He insists he does and insists that the war not be escalated, he's making a stand. Arguing gravely for a debate about whether to escalate the war or not. He and his brave cohort have to fight the opposition for the right to debate whether or not to escalate the American troop presence in Iraq. If they win, the debate will take place. If they win that debate, Bush's plan, or "Bush's" plan, or "Bush's" "plan" to throw another 25,000 or so bodies at whatever that is over there, will be rejected.
And things will remain just like they are, just like they were before the election in November, going on four months ago. Bad and getting worse every day.
Reid sounds so damnably sincere I could smack him.
He's talking about diversionary tactics. He sounds like a not-particularly professional junior mortician practicing his solemn shtick on some family with no connections and not enough money to hire a better one.
Something about additional troops, something about adding to the problem.
He probably looks like a valiant principled fellow, while he advocates for keeping the Iraq war right where it is.
Americans want the war over and done, regardless, they want the troops out and the fighting stopped. And the public relations masters who've run this show all along have created a sit-com where the steady denial of the public's expressed will is transformed into the actions of their champions.
It's true that they don't want Bush's "surge", but it's a lie that that's all they want.
Even the not-so-sharp among us can see that maintaining whatever's happening in Iraq may have a naturally-occurring end-point, that whatever it is the scammers and jammers have had in mind may be accomplished. Say Iran, or Syria, like the way the public's attention was jerked from Osama bin Laden to Saddam Hussein so seamlessly.

Flags are coming down all over the place - where I used to see them in yards all around town, now they're rare again, stores that had them in the window don't - and the big flags are gone from the walls inside, like the one that used to be pinned above the safe in Long's downtown.


things do not always go as planned:

The death of a high-level Iranian nuclear scientist, Ardeshir Hassanpour, was announced by Radio Farda and Iranian state television Jan. 25 -- a week after his death occurred. The Radio Farda report implicitly related the cause for Hassanpour's death to exposure to radioactive rays, though the details were murky.
Stratfor sources close to Israeli intelligence have revealed, however, that Hassanpour was in fact a Mossad target.
Mossad's latest covert assassination campaign falls in line with Israel's psychological warfare strategy to undermine Iran's confidence in pursuing its nuclear agenda.
The longer the Iranians are forced to second-guess Israel's intent to launch a pre-emptive strike, the more pliable Iran becomes in negotiating with the United States toward a political agreement on Iraq.
Stratfor 02.Feb.07
wikipedia > google

Smearsheimer-Walt Dizzy:

"I find it dismaying that a volume produced by a serious author and a leading publisher would be treated by a book reviewer as somehow lacking rationality."

-Stephen Schwartz/Haaretz 05.Feb.07

Regarding evidence, it is, for me, simple and obvious:

1. After September 11, 2001, outrageous and scurrilous garbage was put forward in America claiming Israeli foreknowledge of the attacks and a deliberate refusal by Israelis to warn the American authorities. This dreadful claim should have been met exceedingly forcefully. Most Jewish leaders preferred to ignore it.

2. The Iraq war produced a new and vicious form of Jew-baiting in America. Where in the past it was alleged by a minority within the mainstream that a Jewish interest along with others (e.g. the British in the second world war) influenced U.S. foreign policy, an unchallenged argument emerged in mainstream American media that a Zionist "cabal" - an illegitimate, Jew-baiting term in itself - had seized control of the Defense Department and invaded Iraq to support Israel. This represented a new and deeply shocking development. The established Jewish leadership made no effort whatever to counter these claims, mainly because said leadership were and are mainly Democrats, and the neoconservative victims of this smear were Republicans. This represented an extraordinary abdication by the Jewish leadership.

3. I have already mentioned the AIPAC proceeding.

4. The Smearsheimer-Walt Dizzy pamphlet, reminiscent of German academic "anti-Semitismus" of the 19th century, is scheduled for publication by a mainstream New York house with a "Jewish history" - Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. This is appalling to an extreme.

5. The unspeakable book by Jimmy Carter (Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid [sic]) in which Israel, by the very title of the screed, is equated by a former U.S. president with the former South African regime, should be a major cause for concern by Jewish leaders. Carter's swill was also retailed by a publisher with a Jewish history - Simon and Schuster. That a man like Carter ever occupied the White House now looks shocking, to say the least.

Others have commented on the new willingness of Jewish lumpen intellectuals like Tony Judt to enable the Jew-baiting crusade.

And here is empirical evidence: Last week an American tourist I encountered in Europe, knowing nothing about me at all, and seeming to be a normal, "good American," told me that Wolfowitz had started the Iraq war to help Israel and that with the Carter tome, "the cat is out of the bag" about Israel and American politics.

All of which is, to me, evidence enough that Jew-hatred in America has reached a new and critical level. The failure of the American Jewish leadership to respond appropriately to these issues also seems to me self-evident.

Stephen Schwartz/ibid.

on a scale never seen:

A U.S.-Iraqi campaign to stabilize Baghdad will begin soon and the offensive against militants will be on a scale never seen during four years of war, American officers said on Sunday.
[A3]The Qur'an forbids killing in the month of Muharram [21 January through 18 February 2007]. So they'll do all the killing then. There is no better time for a true believer to die...
"The end of the summer is when we should see some concrete results and be able to say is this working or not," Heckman said. That would be around September.
[Q4] Some claim that the army and police have been extensively infiltrated by your men and that the Marines by themselves will never manage to disarm you.
[A4] It's really exactly the other way around: it is our militia which is swarming with spies. It doesn't take much doing to infiltrate an army of the people. It is precisely those people who by soiling themselves with unworthy actions have discredited the Mahdi.
One problem that bedeviled last summer's offensive was the reluctance of Iraqi soldiers in the regionally recruited army to be deployed in the capital, far from their homes and families.
This time soldiers will get pay bonuses to come to Baghdad and will be given a finite tour of duty
It seems evident that the whole series of episodes that surrounded the execution of Saddam (and his half brother) at year's end did a lot to catalyze and/or exacerbate this tsunami of anti-Shiite feeling among many Sunnis... But that is certainly not all that has been afoot. Other very relevant factors include the fact that after three-years-plus of increasingly sectarian carnage in Iraq, the nerves and sensibilities of nearly everyone in the Arab world are very raw. At this level, it doesn't even "help" the argument much to note that the greatest number by far of casualties from sectarian violence there have been Shiites-- those thousands of Iraqi Shiites who have been killed over the past three-plus years by acts of anti-civilian violence of almost mind-numbing callousness... Bombs in markets, bombs in mosques, bombs at religious festivals, etc etc.
Reuters/Yahoo -*- Just World News
So on the one hand a campaign against "militants", on the other hand far and away the greatest number of victims of the "sectarian violence" have been Shi'ite. On the one hand the "Mahdi" Army, named for the expected Messiah, the Islamic version of Jesus, on the other the "Mehdi" Army, same thing only spelled differently so that the casual reader will be subliminally confused and more likely to give up trying to figure out what's being said, because all those Arab words look alike it's impossible to tell them apart. Which creates a reliance on the official sources, which are in turn pretty clearly in the hands of not-exactly-disinterested third parties.
On the one hand Al-Sadr predicts, clearly and plainly that "they'll do all the killing then" meaning now, and that's exactly what's happening -
"a day after a suicide truck bomb killed 135 people in a mainly Shi'ite area of Baghdad, the single biggest bombing since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003"
- and what's this? "They" have created a "'shadow' about which nobody ever talks, trained in great secrecy in the deserts of Jordan by the American armed forces."
So Al-Sadr's replaced bin Laden, remember him? 9/11? And Saddam. As target, bug-bear, demon, boogie-man. Americans know they were lied to at the beginning of this nightmare, in order to begin it, and during it in order to continue it, and now...? Still?
And now at the same time Al-Sadr's people are taking the biggest hits in Iraq, especially in Baghdad, and the wonderfully efficient "contractor" led-and-protected forces for good in Iraq are going to be mounting a surged-up campaign against him.
The American people's declaration of outrage about this whole thing has been redirected into a namby-pamby debate about whether or not to provide Bush - as if Bush is doing anything other than reading his lines now - with a fait accompli "surge" of troops.
The tension here is between the desperate ignorance of Americans - who have no history and no literacy, but still have most of the money and manpower that's being deployed against this horribly great threat to the peace and safety of that special nation that can't be named the Middle East - and the helpless knowing of the Arab/Muslim world, many of whom can see directly into the madness as it rolls toward them, but have no voice, no power, and no resort now but prayer.
Sadistic pleasure is the vice of the hour, and it builds exponentially, its agents are running loose in Iraq, given free rein by a Congress of cowards and cynical hypocrites.
It's getting easier and easier to believe in an ultimate evil.

Scream 'al-Qaeda!' and run for cover


Travel expenses and additional payments were also offered.:

At least 19 people died, many others were injured, hundreds lost homes and thousands remained traumatized this morning after a vicious swarm of thunderstorms and predawn tornadoes ripped through Central and Northeast Florida early Friday.
CNS/MiamiHerald 02.Feb.07
Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.
Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Guardian/CommonDreams 02.Feb.07
Since 1886, Phil has seen his shadow 96 times, hasn't seen it 15 times and there are no records for nine years, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. The last time Phil failed to see his shadow was in 1999.
"It's just kind of fun seeing people go so crazy about a groundhog," Richard Gainor said.
AP/SunHerald 02.Feb.07
James Lovelock is attracting attention again with his provocative ideas. The former hero of the environmental movement has called for an end to "green romanticism." The only way to delay climate catastrophe, says the environmental guru, is through the massive expansion of nuclear energy.
DerSpiegel 02.Feb.07
The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which released its report at a Friday morning press conference Webcast around the world, also said global warming could not be reversed.
The rising sea levels and higher temperatures that accompany global warming "would continue for centuries ... even if greenhouse gas concentrations were to be stabilized," the panel's report said.
Friday "will perhaps one day be remembered as the day when the question mark was removed from the question of whether human activity has anything to do with climate change on this planet," said Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environmental Program, the Chicago Tribune reported. "Those who have doubts can no longer now ignore the evidence."
ScienceDaily 02.Feb.07
In its strongest language to date, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Environmental Climate Change is predicting melting glaciers, rising temperatures and higher sea levels.
And, from over there in the corner:
Scientific evidence for human-induced global warming will receive a significant boost Friday when the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases the summary of a key report, according to environmental activists and top Democrats in Congress.

But wait...

primarily the work of political appointees, not of scientists

"These people are openly declaring that they are going to commit scientific misconduct that will be paid for by the United Nations," Harvard University physicist Lubos Motl wrote on his website last week.
"If they find an error in the summary, they won't fix it," Motl said. "Instead, they will 'adjust' the technical report so that it looks consistent."

In a statement Inhofe slammed what he termed the "systematic and documented abuse" of the scientific process by the IPCC and called for changes that would mitigate against relevant scientific evidence from being excluded from its reports.

"far outside current scientific understandings."

Bonner Cohen, author of "The Green Wave: Environmentalism and Its Consequences," said in an interview he had similar concerns with what he views as an overly narrow perspective on the science of global warming.
He described geology as the "dog that is barking but being crowded out."
Cohen also said the political summary available on Friday, which precedes the release of the actual scientific data by three months, will overshadow the most important findings in the full report.
"It is safe to assume the summary will have the usual buzzwords, it is going to talk about 'dire consequences' and this is going to be for the media," he said.
But the actual report - when it comes out later this year - will be read by less than one percent of the world's journalists and will be treated accordingly in the media, Cohen predicted.
CNSNews 02.Feb.07
There's more than one inviolable taboo operating in American public affairs. Aside from the unmentionable "Lobby" and its tentacles and grasp, there's the secondary logical connect that comes right after the "We're running out of resources" and the "Mankind is causing global warming which is going to doom us all".
That logic's about at the 10-12 year-old level.
Too many people, not enough water, energy etc. - running out of stuff.
Too many people burning too much fuel etc. - global warming.
The inevitable outfall from the next part is how to get rid of a bunch of people without destabilizing the socio-economic architecture. Public discussion of this won't further, so it's not happening. But every redneck in his pickup, every retired working guy, every halfway intelligent high school kid, even the middle-class middle-aged stay-at-home moms of America have got it at least that far.
And that's when the herd instincts start to take over - get into the center and hold still, don't run too fast unless you're out at the margins, things like that.
What's most irritating about it all is its obviousness, the disgusting manipulation, the touchie-feelie candy-ass duplicity that serves so readily as a mask for something that's as treacherous and inhuman as anything's ever been.
People are being convinced of their failure, unwitting but selfish and wrong, the wrongness of having caused global warming, of having blindly driven over the edge of some unseen cliff, and will thus be vulnerable to further accusation and attack, more vulnerable to, more accepting of massive cutbacks in the population.
Someone whose self-esteem has been lowered will be much less likely to fight back with everything they have when threatened.
Whereas someone who feels violated, innocent, especially someone who feels violated and innocent and at the same time sees their children threatened, will fight back hard.
People are being convinced of their wrongness, and thereby prepared for their removal.
Lovelock's "only way to delay climate catastrophe" is premised on all other variables remaining relatively constant - population, energy demand, lifestyles based on available energy etc. In that particular frame nuclear power makes sense. There are many other scenarios. Obviously the immediate extinction of the human race would "delay climate catastrophe".
Just as obviously an immediate return to feudal agrarianism worldwide, total reliance on local technologies etc would "delay climate catastrophe".
You could say that a combination of bizarrely selfish economic practices combined with bizarrely selfish technologies and bizarrely selfish religious dogma and bizarrely selfish political doctrine have created this "climate catastrophe". Bizarre selfishness being the unifying feature.
More of the same is being suggested as the cure, which seems a little...incomplete, somehow.
There are undoubtedly miracles available, if we only knew where to look for them.
Meanwhile the lacuna's the tectonic plates, the way the shift of polar ice into the world's seas will alter the bearing stress and the earth's rotation, and what that will cause.


shame on somebody:

Mankind is to blame for global warming, the world's top climate scientists said on Friday, sending governments a "crystal clear" warning they must take urgent action to avert damage that could last centuries
The predictable series of moves and countermoves, persiflage and redirection.
"Mankind" is not responsible for anything. A particular segment of mankind has done this to all of us, and to the world.
The scam will be to get the duped to take the blame, and the fall.
The same tactic was used to achieve the Iraq invasion and occupation.
Or for that matter the election of GWBush.
First brainwash them, then blame them for what you tricked them into doing - or better still get them to blame themselves, because they can't even see you.


Mud-wrestling at the Apocalypse:

"The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," the world-famous movie actor continued, before asking his arresting officer:
"Are you a Jew?"

-Heidi Beirich/SPLC

"It now appears that there may have been substantial preparation by Saddam's regime for an insurgency of this kind," Feith said, "and yet the intelligence community didn't find it.
"None of the things the intel community produced before the war talked about the ability of the Baathists to recruit and finance and command an insurgency once Saddam was overthrown," he added.
During the 90-minute interview, Feith said that it was "difficult, but not impossible" to achieve a "reasonable degree of success" in Iraq. He defined success as reducing the magnitude of violence and related problems in Iraq while increasing the capacity of Iraqis to handle their own problems.
The goal, he said, is having those two tasks reach a "crossing point" before the United States "pulls the plug."

-Steve Goldstein/PhiladelphiaInquirer 29.Jan.07
"pulls the plug"?

The moment when U.S. troops realized they had badly underestimated the resistance they would encounter from Iraqi guerrilla fighters can be pinpointed to the minute.

An examination of prewar intelligence on the possibility of postwar violence and of the administration's response shows: Military and civilian intelligence agencies repeatedly warned prior to the invasion that Iraqi insurgent forces were preparing to fight and that their ranks would grow as other Iraqis came to resent the U.S. occupation and organize guerrilla attacks.
A classified National Intelligence Estimate prepared for President Bush in late July[2004] spells out a dark assessment of prospects for Iraq, government officials said yesterday.
The estimate outlines three possibilities for Iraq through the end of 2005, and the worst case is developments that could lead to civil war, the officials said...
Back to Heidi B at the SPLC:
What is known is that Gibson is reported to have blamed Jews for forcing him to cut a scene, in which Jews and their descendants are held responsible for the murder of Christ, from his 2004 film, "The Passion of the Christ." Sounding a bit like he did that July night in Malibu, Gibson told The New Yorker: "If I included that in there, they'd be coming after me at my house. They'd come to kill me."
Few Americans defended Mel Gibson's drunken rant about the evils of the Jews. But radical traditionalist Catholics did.
The church has worked extraordinarily hard in recent decades to distance itself from anti-Semitic teachings and the idea of forcing its view of the world on unbelievers. And, by most accounts, it has been successful, with many Jewish and organizations from other faiths praising its efforts. Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, signaled his gratitude after the 2005 death of Pope John Paul II, who, he said, "revolutionized Catholic-Jewish relations" by denouncing anti-Semitism as a "sin against God and humanity." More recently, Pope Benedict XVI's repeated clarifications of statements he made about the Islamic faith in September reflected a commitment to interfaith dialogue.
Foxman? Interfaith dialogue?
Abe Foxman?

At a time when Israel is once again under siege - physically from terrorists and Iran's nuclear threat, and psychologically from Islamic extremists and other anti-Israel forces around the world - the pro-Israel perspective of Evangelical Christians is much appreciated. The theological reasons for why they stand with Israel, as a precursor to the Second Coming and Armageddon, take a backseat to current realities. The support comes voluntarily, and we welcome it, as long as it comes without a quid pro quo.

"Today we face a better financed, more sophisticated, coordinated, unified, energized and organized coalition of groups in opposition to our policy positions on church-state separation than ever before. Their goal is to implement their Christian worldview. To Christianize America. To save us!"
Foxman went on to explain that the ominous agenda of the Christianizers includes working to confirm conservative judicial nominees, restricting abortion and stopping gay marriage.
"They intend to Christianize all aspects of American life, from the halls of government to the libraries, to the movies, to recording studios, to the playing fields and locker rooms of professional, collegiate and amateur sports; from the military to SpongeBob SquarePants," the ADL chief warned.
Personally, me, I'm disagreeing with drunken Mel on the "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" thing.
I don't think Jews have much to do with North Korea as presently configured. But then I guess there isn't really a war there right now either. Not exactly anyway. Not yet.
And then again, when you think about it, this Moon guy? Reverend Moon?
Is he Jewish? Connected? No?
Okay then.

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