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Prior  Weblog

General Note to Visitors: 

In May of 2003 difficult circumstances in my personal life interrupted my daily work on this weblog.  In March of 2004 I recovered the ability to post to it, at least intermittently. 

Despite being unable to post after July 17, 2003, web surfing and some writing continued.  Material originated during that 'quiet' period will be included separately in the indexes to this weblog, even though it was not posted at the time created.   Much of the material originated as email sent to my personal mail list, but some was in the form of notes made for my own record.  This material will be indexed as opportunity permits and fortune provides, so the 'corpus' of the overall weblog will grow by backfilling, as well as at the tips of it's various branches.  

Recommended Sites:  http://gadflyer.com/   -   http://www.yuricareport.com/index.html  -  http://rightweb.irc-online.org/

Contents of this weblog file: 
This index is chronological (earliest is first), while the the postings are in reverse chronology (most recent is  first). 
Contents of Prior Weblog File (Archived)

Weblog, 2004-03-24, Wodin's Day
Bob Kerrey for Vice President!
Environmental Racism?
In memoriam: Archbishop Oscar Romero
Weblog, 2004-03-25, Thor's Day
NeoMedieval  Dominion (cont'd.)
     "Basic Instincts," Not the Truth: Iraq war a product of neocon philosophy of intelligence
Weblog, 2004-03-27, Saturn's Day
Controlling Iraq’s Skies: The Secret Sell-off of Iraq’s Air Industry
Weblog, 2004-03-28, Sun Day
The Liberal Philosophy of Personal Responsibility
Chris Mooney on Misreporting Stem Cell Research
Glen Martin on The Cloaking of Evil - Jesus vs. the Beast of the Apocalypse
Weblog, 2004-03-29, Moon Day
Tom Maertens on Richard Clarke's account of pre 9-11 inaction by Bush
Cytochrome P450 pages updated
Weblog, 2004-04-02, Freya's Day
Private Military Contractors from Blackwater Security killed in Fallujah
Weblog, 2004-04-08, Thor's Day
The Iraq War - Situation and Prospects
Lauren Verruni's Sojo.net note
Weblog, 2004-04-10, Saturn Day
The Iraq War - Situation and Prospects = No improvement
Weblog, 2004-04-12, Moon Day
Iraq - Faluja and Najaf, etc.
Map of Iraq
Weblog, 2004-04-14, Wodin's Day
Iraq - Faluja and Najaf
Generals Abizaid & Sanchez
George Tenet
The bin Laden Unit
Weblog, 2004-04-16, Freya's Day
The Man Who Knew - John O'Neill and bin Laden's Al Qaeda
Iraq - Pentagon Second Guessing - Abizaid and Sanchez
PNAC NeoCon Status - The "Project for the New American Century", "American Exceptionalism", the Bush Imperium, and "benign hegemony"

Weblog, 2004-04-16, Freya's Day

The Man Who Knew -
Last night, PBS's "Frontline" rebroadcast its November 19, 2002 program on the FBI's top expert on Al Qaeda prior to 9-11, John O'Neill.   Well, not quite to 9-11.   O'Neill, having been isolated and shut out of the information flow within the IRS, and subjected to an orchestrated attack on his integrity, left the FBI in August of 2001, to become the Chief of Security at the World Trade Center, where he died in the attack.    The problems that O'Neill had with the FBI's disfunctional command structure and leadership assume a new character and meaning when viewed in the light of the last two weeks 9-11 Commision hearings, and the program is worth a careful review now.   The full 83 minute program may be viewed online or purchased in VHS format. 

Such people, I believe, were our best chance of preventing the 9-11 tragedy.  But institutional pressures against listening to people with opinions both strong and ahead of the prevailing consensus are very strong, and in environments with low tolerance for "outchannel" communications these points of view are often suppressed.  

Some have gone beyond the implications of the Frontline program to assert that those responsible for short circuiting John O'neill's investigations into Al Qaeda and taking him out of the FBI information loop are the individuals most directly (though still indirectly) responsible for the 9-11 tragedy.  Additional WWW information about the program and people who cut O'Neill out of the information loop, etc. is available in reviews at the purchase (Amazon) link, and at
http://skimble.blogspot.com/2002_09_29_skimble_archive.html  (Bodine, Pickard)
http://skimble.blogspot.com/2003_03_09_skimble_archive.html#90536121 (Pickard, Bodine)
http://www.livejournal.com/users/jmhm/297588.html?mode=reply (Bodine & additional Bidine links)
http://democrats.com/view.cfm?id=7479 (Bodine, Pickard, others, plus a timeline of Taliban - Bin Laden events)
http://www.failureisimpossible.com/JONBallad.mp3  (Ballad of John O'Neill, download and lyrics links at "Home")
(Barbara Bodine, though originally rumored to be considered as a possible second level administrator of the occupation in Iraq, was excluded when the Department of State was frozen out of the "reconstruction" process by Rummy and Wolfie at DOD.)
Iraq - My relief at seeing Generals Abizaid and Sanchez exhibition of good sense and credible statements (log for the 14th) may have been over optimistic.  The Generals may not have the support of the Pentagon, as an unnamed source there was quoted as saying it could not understand the reason for General Sanchez having put a hold on offensive operations in Faluja.   If true, this is another case where competance in the field being rewarded with criticism from HQ.  The question is, was the comment a leak from on high intended to subvert General Sanchez, or a passing remark by a low level Pentagon apparatchik?  

There is a lot of second guessing of the decision to hold offensive action by the Crusader segment of the cable TV warhawks.  They seem to think that Hue is a good model for pacification of recalcitrant populations.   They are also expressing skepticism about waiting at the gates of the Holy City in Najaf while the Shia work out a way to deal with Sadr.    I'd not be so concerned about these radical Crusader types in our media, except that the Bushies are fearful nebbishes who are easily panicked at the prospect of a few words of criticism from the extreme right of the cable media punditry.   That will lead to precipitous aggressive tactical action, with destabilizing and strategically disastrous blowback from the Iraqi's and others.  

Why is it that these NeoCon Crusaders are so unwilling to take the tactical risks for the dake of strategic advantage?   Because rightists are congenitally driven to self expression through agression, in a mental context of a  short term view of reality incorporating  simple minded models of cause and effect relationships.   That is why they are rightists.   And why they are so preoccupied with theeir shadow, which they project onto those who they dislike:  consequence free action.   Nun hilft nur begen!  

PNAC - The Black Commentator has a good critique, a comprehensive review, of the current state of the "Project for the New American Century", "American Exceptionalism", the Bush Imperium, and the idea of a "benign hegemony" of US power - though they may use other words for the malignancy these terms have come to represent in the hands of the NeoCons. 
More than a defeat for the Bush cabal, the Iraqi fiasco has exposed America’s glaring unfitness to play a leading role in a modernizing world. Its armed forces, in particular, drawn from a population that has been reared in a continental bubble of ignorance and white supremacist delusion, are incapable of treating non-whites as people.

The blooming of Iraqi national solidarity is in part a result of American racism and, at times, barbarism. Among the soldiers are men who revel in ripping Korans, who used sniper rifles to murder women and children in Fallujah, and whose commanders have refused from the beginning of the occupation to even record the deaths of the Iraqi civilians whom they purport to protect.

Even the British, who former UN Ambassador Andrew Young once said “invented racism,” are appalled and alarmed at American behavior in Iraq – conduct that threatens the lives of British soldiers in charge of the southern part of the country. The UK Telegraph reported the comments of a “senior Army officer.”

Speaking from his base in southern Iraq, the officer said: "My view and the view of the British chain of command is that the Americans' use of violence is not proportionate and is over-responsive to the threat they are facing. They don't see the Iraqi people the way we see them. They view them as untermenschen [German for “sub-human”]. They are not concerned about the Iraqi loss of life in the way the British are. Their attitude towards the Iraqis is tragic, it's awful.

"The US troops view things in very simplistic terms. It seems hard for them to reconcile subtleties between who supports what and who doesn't in Iraq. It's easier for their soldiers to group all Iraqis as the bad guys. As far as they are concerned Iraq is bandit country and everybody is out to kill them."
It is not a pretty picture, and I believe it is untrue.  But the shallow recitations and protestations of concern for the liberty and security of the Iraqi people we get from Bush are not enough to communicate any other vision.    The actions required to repair the damage and send the new message that must be sent are clear.   Thse changes in tone, strategy, and tactics are described in my postings of the last few days, and through the last half of 2002 much of 2003 as well.  They require a clear rejection of the language and ambition of the NeoCon ambition, and a renewed commitment to the values of liberal democracy that characterized the US response to the therat of Fascism in WW II.  

And in Iraq, as a result of the NeoCon errors up to this point, they require supreme restraint and a degree of risk taking at the tactical level that, for good reason, runs counter to normal military instincts and practices.  But if we are to succeed in Iraq without either resorting to utter savagery in dealing with a largely resentful populace or abandoning the country to whatever its own internal wars produce, then we are forced to take those risks.   Investiture of Faluja, not its invasion and destruction, and acceptance of the "Red Line" defined by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani for the Holy City in Najaf are only the first of what may be many such risk laden compromises.   If we are committed to liberation for Iraq, the correct way to attempt it, and show our resolve in striving for it, is through such restraint.

Willfulness in action, so violent and heedless of humanity as to successfully suppress all resistance and reaction, however appealing to the conservative mind, will ultimately harm and not help us to attain success or security in Iraq or anywhere else on this fair Earth.

Weblog, 2004-04-14, Wodin's Day

- More than dicey, by my book.   The occupation's hold on offensive operations at Faluja is hanging by a thread, due to continuing and fatal fire on Marines from within the city.   Of course the hardliner there know full well the strategic and political consequences of a Hue like offensive against Faluja, and are hoping to draw the occupation into just that reaction - where the battle would be won quickly with lots of TV footage of the Marine victory for US audiences, and the rest of the world witnessing (or imagining) a very loss of civilian life and the near total destruction of the "City of Mosques".   That aspect of Faluja, in particular, has eerie resonance with Hue.   Resultant:  Continue the investiture.  If the ICG agrees that it is impossible to establish civil authority there which can bring the resistance under control, there will be no choice but to move into the city block by block.   In the interim, total control of flows of people and arms into and from the city should be established and applied.   There is no point in gaining control of the city, if the foreign and al Qaeda fighters there are permitted to escape it.

The occupation has moved 2500 troops to the outskirts of Najaf - for reasons which, I hope, are unclear.   The US has had a year of grace in Iraq by virtue of its discretion in Najaf a year ago.  Direct military action in the Holy City would be screamingly stupid, and I hope the troops are there to help to cause, facilitate, support, and perpetuate the removal of Sadr's "army" from control of the city, not to be directly involved in it.  If Sadr is not dealt with, he may well become a nightmare incarnation of Saadam like violence and Taliban like jihadist fundamentalism - both of those compounded by mutually reinforcing alliance with the worst elements of the Iranian radicalism that Sistani rejects.    But Sadr is not the only individual with such potential, and US complicity in war within the Holy City would have a Hydra effect in bringing others to power ("bringing forth10 devils, each more evil than the one destroyed") .   However great the risk, the Shia must be  responsible for dealing with the Sadr problem in Najaf, and the US must live with the consequences of that.  

The Regency was forced to put the Resident before the Press yesterday.   An extraordinary display it was, too.   The speech used a falsely "homey" language almost a parody of conversational US speech.   Concrete words and simple sentences are appropriate to Bush.  And they are reassuring and comfortable for members of his "base" of support.   The speech was studied and practiced psycholinguistic sleight of han.  It transfomed Bush's inability to think and speak of any complexity into a political strength through an appearance of siplicity and directless - watching it is scary.  I did not detect the strained effort of memory required for his interjection of the phrase "Gut wrenching" after the sentence on the unpleasantness of seeing "dead bodies on television" the first time, but the second time around it was obvious.  

Good Guys:

Every cloud has a silver lining:  I have been down with a sore throat for 5 days now - thought is was strep at first, but it has not gotten bad enough to be that, so I count on its being viral.   As a result, I've been resorting to TV several hours a day - my concentration lags on reading and writing tasks.   As a result I was privileged to hear George Tenet before the 9-11 Commission, and to see a press conference by Generals Abizaid and Sanchez.    I was impressed.

I first saw the Abizaid and Sanchez press conference  Monday evening, well after the noon note referring to "the braggart Generals".    That characterization would be absolutely inappropriate applied to John Abizaid and Richard Sanchez, who exemplified clarity and straightforward communication in this instance at least.   The contrast to the usual BS at at briefings by military authorities was so strong it was almost disorienting, and led me to speculate that it might reflect broader and deeper changes in US policy than those directly addressed at the briefing.   But that is likely only wishful thinking.

At any rate, I am glad to have these two Generals in the mix, and wish there were more like them in evidence.

I did not realize at first that it was Tenet speaking, and was struck by his clarity of expression, and the acuity of his thought before I realized it.   I was not at all so impressed with his speech at Georgetown University a few weeks ago, in which he sought to explain the CIA's place in the failures of intelligence and the use of intelligence information beofre the invasion of Iraq.   His presentation today was as if by a different person.   One thing he showed was willingness to engage in reflective thinking about himself and his role, in a way that seemed to me to reflect realistic self evaluation and real personal confidence.  

His perception that he may have been too evolutionary, rather than revolutionary in working to reform government wide intelligence practices seems accurate.   He may also have under reacted to needs for dramatic action in other ways too, such as when presented with and presenting the famed Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" on August 6, 2001.   The analyst preparing that brief, within the limits of her role, provided cues and clues that could - many will say should - have elicited a strong and immediate response from the decisionmakers who recieved the briefing.   No such response occurred.   The National Secuity Advisor did not even attend the briefing.  And it was not distributed to many of the parties who needed to see it.  It became a virtual dead letter - as the red flag incidents reported within the FBI which were not passed up the line.  

If I can, I will post a note about a closely related case where analyst prescience was far ahead of the CIA institutional response - that is the need to address the problem of the Taliban and bin Laden in Afghanistan, where a group of CIA involved women became so concerned about the problem and aggressive in pursuing it that they developed a reputation as fanatics on the topic.   Here is a link to one article on that topic -  http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A59775-2004Feb21?language=printer .
Such people, I believe, were our best chance of preventing the 9-11 tragedy.  But institutional pressures against listening to people with opinions both strong and ahead of the prevailing consensus are very strong, and in environments with low tolerance for "outchannel" communications these points of view are often suppressed.

At the same time, George Tenet has apparently both preserved and built the capabilities of the intelligence community through effective personal relationships and careful consideration of the effects of changes and the need for planning and institutional support in making those changes.   A more reactive and revolutionary personality would probably have been much less effective in those achievements.   His steady clarity and reasonable approach is valuable, and obviously has been reassuring to both Clinton and Bush.  

Weblog, 2004-04-12, Moon Day

looks far better today than I feared it might. The Arba'in observances drew only (according to the occupation Generals) 1.5 million pilgrims into Karbala and significant civil disorder was not a problem.   Kut - which had been in the hands of Sadr's "shoot and scoot" Mahdi's Army was finally pretty much retaken and pacified by Monday morning.   I am not led to confidence in the pronouncements of the Generals that the 1000 US troops and their associated heavy equipment which were deployed - so very rapidly according to the braggart generals - to Kut on Wednesday took 5 days to "pacify" the city, which now must be rebuilt, if I interpret General Kimmel's comments and the accompanying pictures correctly.   Quite a record, against a ragtag, shoot and scoot, militia.   The Generals appear to be talking to Bush supporters in their briefings.  They surely do not believe the rest of the world is so careless and asleep as to overlook the truth behind their words.

Now that Arba'in is past the occupation force is free to move in the Shia cities to the South of Baghdad.   They should not do so in Najaf, and not in Karbala, as I note below, in favor of working through Iraqi groups to supplant and eliminate Sadre controlled militias there.   Nasiriyeh and Kufa may be less delicate in their political-religious implications, and if Sadr's militia cannot be dislodged there by moderate Shia, permitting the effective restoration of control by the Iraqi security forces and the occupation, then direct action may be appropriate.  But that is only true so long as such action strengthens and does not detract from efforts to dislodge the Mahdi's Army from control of Najaf and Karbala.

In the North, to the West of Baghdad, the occupation's offensive against Faluja has been on hold since Saturday, to allow the evacuation of the wounded, the entrance of humanitarian relief, and an attempt at negotiations between the ICG and unidentified parties in the city.   Of course the Marines facing the task of pacifying the city have questions about about this operation and the hold, including why the city had not been brought under effective control after a year of occupation, and the extent to which their task would be made more difficult by the reinforcement of the resistance during the hold.

Unfortunately, the Bush Regency has boxed in the Marines strategically, leaving them to take tactical hit on the ground.   Faluja was not dealt with earlier, because we did not have the force structure to tackle the job, and were avoiding the inevitably difficult task to avoid hoping it would go away as things improved elsewhere - not recognizing the risk of contamination of 'elsewhere' by the open wound at Faluja.    That strategic error was then compounded by the fact that when action did begin, it was initiated as a haptic-convulsive respose (of the kind so typical of ideological conservatives)  to the killing of four members of a mercenary army operating from US territory and thought to be American's, though possibly Chileans from Pinochet's disbanded Commando force.   

The proper course would have been the investiture of Faluja as a well thought out response to serious and continuing problems of civil disorder there.   The knee jerk rightist disciplinary action the occupation took leaves it guilty of at least the appearance of administering collective punishment against the city's population, which is forbidden by international law.  That has damaged the occupation's political credibility in Iraq and world wide.  The proper course would have avoided the charge of collective punishment and the damage that has been done to the US's reputation by the impulsive, macho man attack which has now been put on hold. 

The credibility of the Bush Regency's protestations of seeking self government, autonomy, freedom and democracy for Iraq is further damaged by its unwillingness to forgo symbols and tools of NeoCon ambitions for global hegemony in Iraq in favor of accomplishing those pretended goals.    The NeoCons are currently building the largest US embassy in the world in Baghdad, to serve as a center fo espionoge, coordination, and control for its planned imperial operations throughout the Arab world, the Caucusas, Caspian basin, and Central Asia.  US centers of influence in Baku, Azerbaijan, and Tibilisi, Georgia supplement this.   At the same time, the largest military complex in the region, combining naval, air, and ground force facilities,  is being built hard on the Persian Gulf South of Al Basrah (Basra).  

The stubborn addiction of the Bushies to the trappings of empire and their refusal to sacrifice them for the sake of success in liberating and establishing freedom and autonomy for the Iraqi peoplse - while continually lying about the true nature of their goals and priorities - may yet doom the occupation to to the fate of Texas' Lyndon Johnson's Viet Nam misadventure.   That sacrifice would not guarantee success in establishing a free and stable Iraq with real potential to serve as a model for the rest of the Arab Mid East, nothing can, at this point.  But it would help, and it should be done - clearly, emphatically and with utmost dispatch.

BTW: here is a map.
A map of Iraq

Of course NeoCon imperial ambitions are not the only, or most significant threats to Iraq or its peoples.   Their ambitions are both less apt to succeed, in the long term, and less damaging to freedom and autonomy in the near term that are the groups with in Iraq who are attempting to prepare the way for a return to authoritarian and minority rule.   The destruction of the ability of these groups ability to intimidate the rest of theIraqi population must be accomplished.   If Sadr, or other extremist fundamentalists are left unchecked, and their militias not destroyed or effectively neutralized, it will be impossible for the US to leave Iraq withoug facing the near certainty of an Islamic fundamentalist state imposed through violence and the murder and displacement of Iraq's substantial educated middle class.    The same is true of radical anti-Shia Sunni elements, and those who would reestablish a version of Saadam's dictatorship.

The problem in Iraq, where things are today and disregarding the foolishness that got us to this point, is to ensure that a stable, federalist, pluralist, and in so far as possible democratic state can develop there.   This requires the abandonment of NeoCon imperial ambitions there, and also of the suppression of the forces of violence and ignorance which would work to prevent accomplishment of those goals.

Weblog, 2004-04-10, Saturn Day

The Iraq War - Situation and Prospects = No improvement

The last two days have not been good ones, at least in the eyes of the US media, which has been vacillating between pessimism about and justification of the situation in Iraq.  I call this "seeking" behavior,  where choices made are randomized by uncertainty and lack of direction - that "lost in the woods, don't know which way to turn" to and fro exhibited by leaderless groups attempting to make last minute restaurant choices.   It may be that this Newsweek special on the MSNBC website represents a tipping point in that seesaw - it does not paint a pretty picture.  

For a (mandatory) non EuroAm take on the situation, read "The Passion of Blair and Bush" from The Times of India, which concludes:
. . . we may have a whole new blockbuster, The Passion of Blair and Bush, with dramatic, twin, trans-Atlantic political crucifixions. Like the Mel Gibson film, it could be passed off as a soul-saving sacrifice, a message of love drowned by blood. Somehow, one can't see the box office buying it.
The Sadr rabble "Mahdi's army" control of Shia cities South of Baghdad received increasing attention:  according to some reports police stations and government buildings in Kufa and Kut are or were controlled by Sadr's militia.  Sadr's rabble militia has been executing street vendors with impunity in Basra, and has siezed police stations in Baghdad.  Nasiriyah's streets are patrolled by the militia, which is ignored by the official Iraqi police in nominal there, while the Italian occupation forces have withdrawn to the other side of the river - a year and a week or so after a bloody battle to cross those bridges and gain control of the city.

Despite the significance of tactical facts in these actions, the war is still primarily a propaganda war, with unsupportable and unverifiable assertions being made and widely reported by both sides.   The reported claims and counterclaims just don't add up. 

No action has been taken by the occupation in Kufa, perhaps because of its proximity to Najaf, where operations are on hold until after Arba'in.   Perhaps because the military resources are simply ot available, and the Generals think that action in Kut will divert attention from Kufa, etc.

Kut was reinforced by 1000 US troops on Wednesday, and US Generals made a major deal of how "rapidly' that deployment had occurred.  It is uncertain whether the occupation has restored it's control of government buildings in Kut, after an expected attempt to do so Saturday.   The occupation Generals' description of the Sadr militia as a "shoot and scoot" force unable to hold territory is factually contradicted by an Iraqi police commander's descripton of a long and intense fight in the city, and the fact that the occupation assault on the Mahdi army there  is in its fifth day today.  

More significantly, the factual truth of the assertion may be strategically irrelevant.   All this outfit has to do to damage the occupation's long term vialibity is create the impression in the minds of Iraqi's that the US does not have effective control, and even a shoot and scoot tactic may be able to support that strategy.  Especially if they are able to keep it up - and every day they keep it up reinforces their ability to recruit shooters to do it again the next day, and the next. 

The "perception" problem facing the occupation is compounded by incidents such as Friday's attack on a fuel convoy with the loss of US military and civilian lives and prisoners and capture of yet another town, Abu Gharib, this time by Sunni fighters.  Both incidents were on the route between Faluja and Baghdad - which brings into question the effectiveness of US control of the entire route West from Baghdad to the Syrian border.  Add to these the fact that the 50+ US combat deaths in the past week represent 11% of the total since the war began. 

The key problem today is in Najaf, the Holy City of Shia Islam, and in Karbala, where up to 5 million Shi'ite pilgrims are converging for the Arba'in (Arbayeen) Sunday.  (This note from Salon, last year, describes the ceremonal day and lends solemnity to consideration of where things stand today.  More.)  After having established an unauthorized court system in Najaf some time ago, which went unchallenged by Iraqi or occupation forces, the Sadr militia has now moved to take control of Najaf except for occupation outposts which are being reinforced by helicopter.  

A battle for control of Karbala has been underway for several days, with the Polish and Bulgarian occupiers still present, but not in control of any but government buildings at last report.   Rumors of Polish snipers shooting anything that moves within sight of the government center, including weomen and children, are running wild in the streets of a city filled with Shia pilgrims from as far as Afghanistan. That leaves control of the city, come Monday, in some doubt.   The streets are patrolled by the Mahdi's army, the Iraqi police are not present, the occupation is holed up in the government buildings shooting at anything in the vicinity that moves.   Sadr's representative has said the occupation will not be attacked until the end of Arbaeen tomorrow.

On top of that, General Sanchez reminds us of the hatred Al Qaeda leaders have for Shia Islam.   ""Terrorists like the Zarqawi network have declared their intent to kill Shi'a, and we would expect that they would attempt to use the recent violence and the Arba'in pilgrimage as an opportunity to strike at the Iraqi people again.  We caution all pilgrims that the holy cities are potentially dangerous places during this period. We will be prepared to assist in the event of any violence."  

Fortunately, news reports indicate that Najaf and Karbala are both being given wide berth by coalition forces in deference to the holiday and at the request of Iraqi religious figures.   That course of appropriate inaction itself is likely to have unforseeable consequences, possibly violent and ugly.   And the occupying forces should have been preparing for the consequences to the millions of pilgrima of outbreaks of violence and civil strife by pre-positioning food, shelter, and field hospitals. 

One contribution the occupation could make would be providing of intelligence (assuming they have any) about Sadr's intentions and tactical situation to the other Shia leaders he is attempting to suborn and displace - this cooperation not excluding the Badr Brigade which is loyal to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.  This option is more desirable considering increasing evidence that Sadr is being used by the Sunni resistance in Faluja, which is now sending people to Baghdad and training the "Mahdi's Army" in street fighting and bomb making.  

As for Sadr and his element, the Shia themselves must understand that they are responsible for bringing him to justice, or not.   They do not want, and will likely not accept US intervention in these matters.   Nothing the occupation forces can do will alter those events in a favorable manner, every course of action available to the occupiers in Najaf and Karbala will have consequences worse than those of inaction.   US interest in and threats against Sadr are immensly counter productive, as they inhibit possible action against him within the Shia community. 

The first order of business, then, should have been to tell the Shia of Iraq that they are responsible for the governance and control of the Holy City of Najaf and of Karbala, and that the full weight of that responsibility is on their shoulders and no one elses.  If they can constitute effective and disciplined civil covernment for the cities, then the resources of the occupation can be made available to assist in meeting their needs.   No military incursion by the occupation into either city should occur, and the possibility of one should be utterly disavowed by Bremer and the Generals.  The occupation cannot afford another, Shia, version of the mess it has created for itself in Faluja.

Of course, it is Faluja (Fallujah) which is getting attention in our media qua "news" outlets today - just as Condi got the attention when the action was in Faluja, Najaf, and Karbala last Thursday.   The Bush regency, by deciding to ignore the consequences for Iraqi and world public opinion of taking military action there so disproportionate to the original incident that it is perceived as violating international law against the punishment of entire communities for the offenses of individuals and groups residing in them, and instead considering only US reaction to the incident, has once again demonstrated its incompetance in the conduct of war.   Two members if the IGC have suspended their membership and the current President has outright condemned the US actions there.   

At this point it may be too late to declare victory in Faluja and focus the four divisions of troops there on regaining control of the Baghdad-Syria corridor outside that city.  But if the occupation cannot extircate itself in that way, it had better wrap things up very quickly, because every hour the conflict continues significantly damages the prospect for any outcome in Iraq other than evacuation of occupation troops.

Weblog, 2004-04-08, Thor's Day

The Iraq War - Situation and Prospects

There is a lot of very much belated uproar in the press these days, centered on what is happening with the Shrubbyists' adventure in Iraq, and the motivations for it, and the lies that were told in getting the US into it.   Well, any idiot with their eyes half open knew all of this was happening and going to happen, at least 20 months ago in the case of this particular idiot.   Though I confess that I had permitted myself to hope that an already unacceptably messy transition to a semi pluralistic and democratic form of government in Iraq might be achieved, and somewhat redeem US in history.   That result is in great doubt now.

Ooops!  Now we are in a two front war!  How did that happen?   The feeling is as if driving with a teenage boy, who each time you say should slow down a bit, romps on the accelerator to show he is in control.  When, utterly predictably, he goes into a slide with a 1000 foot drop on one side and a string of oncoming traffic on the other side, he looks at you and says, "OK, smartass, what do you think we should do?"  (While his Nanny in the back seat says "Leave the boy alone, he's our Driver In a Time of War.")  What I'd do, if I did not attemp to dump him from the vehicle mid traffic, would be to make sure that worthless fake license the guys down at the Supreme DMV gave him was permanently revoked.  Not much else can be done with his type.

At this point, we have no choice, in my eyes, but to proceed from the point at which we regretably find ourselves.  Shrub and his handlers have put us here - but here we are, and we will have to accept responsibility for being here, despite the improbability that there is any way out that will have favorable consequences for us or the Iraqi people.  

The unpleasant strategic realities which this group of liars and fools has put us in has resulted in a terrible tactical situation.   Very few strategic options are available to improve tactical options, but those which are must be used.  We must discipline our desires for compliance with the NeoCons' agenda by Iraqi's, and make that discipline and its consequences very clear as rapidly as possible.  Drop all components of the NeoCon agenda and preserve only goals for the invasion and occupation which are compatible with historical values of the US and the needs and social circumstances of Iraq.   At a minimum this requires acceptance of a pluralist, federal, system of governance under law which protects the rights of existing minority groups, and does not let Iraq slide into a "winner take all" system typical of nations in the region.  That's it.  All the other plans, especially NeoCon ambitions for restructuring of the economy and society and establishment of a  strategic US military presence in Iraq must be sacrificed or left in control of Iraq and the Iraqi's.   Simple.  Understandable.  And acceptable to all but the most extreme elements of each of the Iraqi power centers. 

Even in the presence of a rational and coherent strategic plan, re establishment of a viable tactical situation requires the use of significant military force, expansion of the level of combat operations, increases in troop levels, and the carefully tempered (what a concept!) suppression of Sadr's "army" as well as the remaining centers of Saddam's army in Faluja and other parts of the Sunni triangle.   Taking these actions at this point, under these circumstances, will itself create resistance and violent reaction in large parts of the population, with all the long term risks these responses imply.  But the alternative is to cut our losses and bail out immediately, the adverse effects of which are just as severe and more certain.

In conjunction with this effort, let me say with utmost clarity, as I have before:  We must lose the NeoCon distaste for working, in a respectful and civil manner, with Grand 
Ayatollah Ali Sistani and with the (supposedly Iran influenced) Badr Brigade.   Bremer barely escaped making enemies of this strongest and most disciplined Shia anti Saddam resistance group when he was at the height of his arrogance and apparent success (at the same time he was putting the entire complement of the Iraqi army onto the street, unemployed with no means to care for themselves and their families).  At this point I am grateful that Badr Brigade leaders are showing the discipline to stand aside in the current crisis.  Bremer should find out if they remain willing to cooperate, even nominally, with US occupation forces, and make it clear that the US will welcome and reward, subject to our revised strategic goals, their cooperation. 

We must also do as Ayatollah Sistani has suggested, and exercise restraint in our reactions to incidents such as the four para-miltaries lost in Faluja.  Those were Blackstone's responsibility, not the US military's.  They were where they should not have been, possibly lost, possibly in violation of orders and instructions.   The might have been Chilean Commandos from Pinochet's regime hired by Blackstone for "security" duty in Iraq, as has been reported in the press - but that may not be the case.   At any rate, our overall strategy in Iraq should not have been made captive to that Cowboy booted faker's need to show his imitation version of resolve by an ill conceived, hasty, and excessively violent response in Faluja. 

If Faluja was that gd'd important, why was it not dealt with earlier?   We have had a token garrison there, unable to establish control, for a year.  That is inexcusable, in and of itself, and surely results from Rummy's insistence on under staffing the military force in Iraq from the beginning.   These people have shown themselves to be rank, smelly amatures at every turn from the very beginning.   On the very day that a new, expanded force was belatedly beginning action to establish control on the ourskirts of Faluja, four mercenaries decide to drive into town in two vehicles - and when the predictable happens, Bush and his bunch lose it, abandon all restraint and semblance of reasoned plan, and precipitate a military crisis there. 

Of course, in the actions at Sunni Faluja there was no coordination with or recognition of the predictable series of events precipitated by Bremer in Iraq's Shia communities, when he decided to shut done Sadr's paper.   Sadr is a problem, has been for some time.  Month's ago the strategy was established by Bremer and the US military of dealing with by this group by discounting and ridiculing Sadr.  Too radical and too young to be influential in Shia society, I watched them say.  At this time he had been implicated in the assassination of a major Shia cleric, a competitor for influence, who had recently arrived from exile in London!  Our boys in Baghdad did nothing.   No, they wait until now, and when they do take action they send troops to shut down a newspaper!   American democracy at work?  I don't think so.

If we had Democrats in charge, people who dislike, but know how to do war, we would not be in this pickle.  We would have entered the war, if had become necessary, with a real coalition, real plans for dealing with the consequences of our inevitable military success, and a real commitment to democracy and self determination for the Iraqi peoples.   Republicans, especially Platonist NeoCon Republicans just don't know how to do war.  They think it is some kind of game, a means of puer self expression at the nation state level.   Casualties and other consequences exist for other people, in another universe - another reality, in Platonist think.    But we don't have Democrats in charge, and the Generals are intoxicated by the scent of battle or have subjected themselves to the political operatives installed at the Pentagon.  Our best hope is that the situation in Iraq does not become irredeemable between now and the time competant authority can be reestablished in the US. 

bagtag.gif From the "Democratic Wings" Yahoo email group. Note the last 3 lines;-)

www.sojo.net has this from a reader:

Lauren Verruni, 15 going on 16, writes from Mt. Pleasant Mills, Pennsylvania: Funny newsletter today - I thought the fake boomerang emails were hilarious. I would like to comment on the fake peep action alert though. I no longer eat peeps because they are made with gelatin, which comes from boiled animal parts, like skin and bones. No joke! If you or your readers would like to know how real peeps are treated (the non-marshmallow kind that is), go to this site: http://www.factoryfarming.com . As you can see, in intensive farming operations, God's creatures are treated like nothing more than egg, meat, and milk producing machines.... Animals are being abused and killed every day because people aren't aware of of how much their everyday activites affect them. Check out these sites for more information on how to live a more compassionate lifestyle: http://www.All-Creatures.org and http://www.JesusVeg.com . Please, do every thing you can in your daily lives to apply the Golden Rule to voiceless animals - Jesus would have wanted it that way. Besides, Easter isn't just about marshmallow peeps.

Lauren is 15 going on what? Nice going Ms. Verruni. Maybe I'll be able to write like you someday. (Lauren should have a web log; I think Arianna would agree.)

Weblog, 2004-04-02, Freya's Day

Blackwater Security
of Moycock, North Carolina, has been in the news of late.   This is the company employing the Pinochet trained commandos from Chile for security work in Iraq.  Though founded by two former Navy SEALs only 8 years ago (1996) the company has a 6,000 acre complex near the Hampton Roads, VA center for US military operations, at which it has trained over 50,000 US military and law enforcement personnel.  The fact that one of the founders, Eric Prince had a Michigan-based family fortune to fund the Blackwater startup, coupled with the founders' contacts in the Navy, seems to have worked wonders.  Bet it has not hurt the family fortune, either.  Our neo-medieval Knights Templar in the making here, methinks.

Weblog, 2004-03-29, Moon Day

Tom Maertens worked with Richard Clarke for 15 months in the White House, under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and then moved to the U.S. State Department as deputy coordinator for counterterrorism, where he continued to work with him and his staff before and after 9/11.  He has also served as a Naval officer during the Vietnam era and a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa.  In an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, he writes:

"My experience confirms what Clarke relates in his book. The Bush administration did ignore the threat of terrorism. It was focused on tax cuts, building a ballistic missile system, withdrawing from the ABM Treaty and rejecting the Kyoto Protocol.

"Administration officials seemed to believe that the terrorist attacks on the United States in East Africa, and on the USS Cole, were due to Clinton's moral failings. Since they didn't share those weaknesses, and because President Bush had the blessing of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Justice Antonin Scalia, we would be spared any serious attack. Moral superiority would triumph.

"I personally believe that Clarke was one of the most effective government officials I have ever worked with -- most effective, but not the most loved. He has been described as a bureaucratic steamroller, and he no doubt ruffled some feathers, but who better to put in charge of counterterrorism? Unfortunately, he suffered the fate of Cassandra: He was able to foresee the future but not convince his leaders of the threat."

. . .

"Clarke's gutsy insider recounting of events related to 9/11 is an important public service. From my perspective, the Bush administration has practiced the most cynical, opportunistic form of politics I witnessed in my 28 years in government: hijacking legitimate American outrage and patriotism over 9/11 to conduct a pre-ordained war against Saddam Hussein.

"That invasion was then misleadingly packaged as a war on terrorism and used to sell more tax cuts, the USA Patriot Act, oil drilling in ANWR, exemptions to environmental laws and other controversial programs. Those who have opposed the misguided invasion have been labeled appeasers and unpatriotic for failing to support "the troops" -- meaning the president's policies.

"As Clarke has observed, the real war is against Al-Qaida. Instead, the Bush administration has involved us in a breath takingly cynical, unprovoked war against Iraq, under false pretenses, which it now uses to justify the reelection of a president who has violated the public trust.

I have updated
Steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle atrophy, Cytochrome P450, DHEA, etc.
Pharmacogenetics, Single Nucleotide Polymorphism,Adverse Drug Reactions, and the Cytochrome P450 Family

Weblog, 2004-03-28, Sun Day

The Liberal Philosophy of Personal Responsibility

There has been a long term, and unfortunately pretty successful, effort by the rightists to portray liberals as unwilling to hold individuals responsible for the consequences of their behavior.  That is pure fascist propaganda in my eyes. 

But dealing with that propaganda is made more difficult by the fact that there really are people who have a problem with holding other people responsible for the consequences of their behavior, and who would excuse them or protect them from the ill effects of their own willful ignorance, carelessness, self indulgences, and lack of impulse control.   And many of these people call themselves liberals, and get on the street to support genuinely liberal causes.

If we, as liberals, are to reestablish liberalism as the leading and originating political philosophy of individual responsibility, then I think we are going to have to take a position of considerable "tough love" (a phrase I hate) with respect to these 'mush mind liberals'.  I think that doing so is necessary not only to reestablish the proper heritage of liberal thought, but to protect liberal political movements from those who are in fact only nominal adherents, without real understanding of or commitment to its philosophy and principles.  

I have seen too many cases where these, for want of a better phrase, "sentimental" liberals are eager to embrace authoritarian ideas - including the unPatriot Act - for reasons of expediency.  And the way that immigration policy has become a source of controversy and scandal in the current elections to the Sierra Club's board of directors is another example, or at least seems so to me.

I would propose that we, as liberals, more overtly accept, reiterate, and advertise our commitment to the ideas expressed by Thomas Schmidheiny on the occasion of the awarding of the Max Schmidheiny Foundation's Freedom Prize in 1982: 

Whoever wishes to preserve freedom in the years and decades to come must teach young people how to shoulder personal responsibilty.  The success or failure of this educational task will determine if, and to what extent, we will be able to master the changes and the transformations of the social, economic and political fabric which will confront future generations.  A social order granting its citizens freedom without coupling rights and duties must end in either anarchy or dictatorship.  Every additional right in the shaping of society presupposes, on the other hand, the additional willingness to shoulder responsibilities"

Harley Sorenson has it right: Heads-Up To Ashcroft Proves Threat Was Known Before 9/11
In a June 3, 2002 special to SF Gate, Sorenson puts the 9-11 "who knew what, and when did they know" nearly exactly as I have seen it:

Don't let them fool you, folks: They knew.

They might have been surprised by the ferocity of the attacks, but the highest-ranking members of the George W. Bush administration knew before Sept. 11 that something terrible was going to happen soon.

Bush knew something was going to happen involving airplanes. He just didn't know what or exactly when. His attorney general, John Ashcroft, knew. His national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, knew. They all knew.

And, in spite of its apparent ineptness, the FBI knew, too.

Not only did they all know, but they told us. Obliquely. And we didn't pay attention. Why would we? Then, as now, terrorist threats were a dime a dozen.

Is this my opinion? No, it's published fact.

See http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2002/06/03/hsorensen.DTL for the full article

Heavy Hitter:
Chris Mooney,
in a column Think Again: Misreporting Stem Cell Research at the "Center for American Progress" site takes on the casual, sporadic, and ill informed coverage of stem cell research, including its confusion with cloning, by US media producers of "news reporting".   The non and pseudo reporting of science and science policy issues by the press has gotten a free ride for way too long, and Chris Mooney is, so far as I know, the only writer who is willing to get into the ring with the perps and demand they straighten out their act.  Chris' article, crucially, notes the extent to which this sloppy thinking and reportage gives cover to the Bush administration's astonishingly bad science policy. 

Glen Martin is a professor of philosophy and religious studies at Radford University in Radford, Virginia.  The following paragraphs are from his January 3 / 4 Counterpunch article:

The Cloaking of Evil 
Jesus vs. the Beast of the Apocalypse

One wonders where the followers of Jesus are today. St. Paul tells us that the early Christian communities were persecuted by the respectable established system of their day (the Roman Empire), for they refused to serve in the military and refused to recognize the established religious orthodoxy and social morality of their society. The early Christian communities were not about to send their children into the military to destroy the lives and countries of Samaritans and others who were their neighbors on this precious Earth.

Who are the Samaritans of today that we should love as ourselves? I'll bet they are the good people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cuba and North Korea. I'll bet they are people of the Muslim faith, or people of no faith at all. Who are the followers of Jesus today that are persecuted in his name by the dominant system of evil that cloaks itself in the appearance of goodness and respectability?

. . .

We don't have far to look. They are from all sects and churches within Christianity, but they have one thing in common: They are nonviolently resisting the system of respectability and evil. If one has any doubts about who is who, just read the gospels. Read the teachings of Jesus about how his followers are to lead their lives.

If we want to discern the great beast hiding under the cloak of social morality and respectability, look to a country that spends nearly $400 billion a year on weapons, bombs and mechanisms of destruction. If we want to discern the evil built into business as usual, look at the U.S. corporations exploiting the labor of starving people in horrible sweatshops to produce the clothing that you and I purchase as "Christmas gifts" in our local superstores. Look at the corporations firing millions from their jobs in the United States so they can move overseas to increase their profit margins.

If we want to see the apocalypse in action, look at the invasion and destruction of the Iraqi people, or the nightmare of chaos and suffering our government has forced upon the good people of Afghanistan. Evil is a system, not a person. As the Christians of Latin America say, it is a "system of sin." It is a system of people wearing suits and ties, driving fine cars and giving the appearance of the highest respectability.

In reality, it is a global system of economic and military domination and exploitation, just like the Roman Empire. Evil is a system designed to prevent us from loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves. Our neighbors include every person on this Earth. The purpose of evil is to prevent the realization of the kingdom of God on Earth. For the simple command of Jesus was to "love one another as I have loved you" and to live together in peace and harmony on our common home.

Weblog, 2004-03-27, Saturn's Day

(Still) Controlling Iraq’s Skies: The Secret Sell-off of Iraq’s Air Industry (OSI) A publication of George Soros's "Iraq Revenue Watch" discloses the apparent looting of Iraq's air industry in favor of one family - paralleling the creation of the Russian oligarchy during the Yeltsin aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
"In this report, part of a series on the restructuring of Iraq’s economy, Iraq Revenue Watch looks at the national air transport sector, presently under foreign authority1. The report examines how Iraqis can regain control of this sector and its revenues. The official story is that American consultants are working to launch a modernized national carrier while the industry remains mired in Saddam-era litigation. IRW has discovered, however, that behind closed doors a contract has already been signed, selling off 75 percent of Iraq’s air transport sector to a single family without competitive bidding or public notice. This report serves as a cautionary case study for other state-owned enterprises whose fates are being determined in the chaotic aftermath of war. http://www.soros.org/initiatives/cep/articles_publications/publications/iraq_airlines_20040409/020604_iraq.pdf

The IRW argues that the secret deal is one among a number of suspect agreements that have occurred under the radar in a chaotic post-war Iraq. The report's authors caution that Iraq risks following a similar path as Russia, where a class of oligarchs emerged after the fall of communism by buying up state assets at below market prices.

"Controlling Iraq’s Skies" recommends that this contract be frozen and an investigation be launched by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board, as well as by the CPA Inspector General. The report also calls on the CPA to compensate Iraqi Airways for damage to its facilities committed by occupying forces, and fees for the use of its facilities. http://www.soros.org/initiatives/cep/articles_publications/publications/iraq_airlines_20040409

Weblog, 2004-03-25, Thor's Day

IRC Right Web Program
The neocons are attempting (and may likely succeed) to have the U.S. intelligence apparatus overhauled—not so that it provides more fact-based intelligence but to decentralize and politicize intelligence gathering.
Right Web Analysis: "Basic Instincts," Not the Truth: Iraq War Product of Neocon Philosophy of Intelligence by Tom Barry
[From http://www.irc-online.org/index.php]

Weblog, 2004-03-24, Wodin's Day

"The absolute desire of 'having more' encourages the selfishness that destroys communal bonds among the children of God. It does so because the idolatry of riches prevents the majority from sharing the goods that the Creator has made for all, and in the all-possessing minority it produces an exaggerated pleasure in these goods."

Archbishop Oscar Romero, "The Church's Mission Amid the National Crisis," August 6, 1979. Twenty-four years ago today, Monsenor Romero was assassinated as he celebrated Mass in San Salvador.  (Sojourners)

Environmental Racism?
The Los Angeles Times has a piece on the fight for control of the Sierra Club's Board of Directors. I liked this:
"The environmental movement didn't invent racism, but it's not immune from racism," Pope said. He has called on the group's membership to "rise above" the immigration debate, which already has attracted interest from anti-immigrant and even white supremacist groups. Otherwise, he said, "If we are saying the human footprint is just too large, they will suspect that we are saying the human footprint is just too dark."
I have posted a separate note on this fight for the heart and soul of the Sierra Club at

Bob Kerrey for Vice President!
ABC's daily political activity report is smartass and biased, but I read it regularily.  After reading their paen to former Nebraska Senator Kerrey, I agree that he is a strong candidate for Vice President.   Well, of course.  He agrees with me!   Even his December comment about Iraq works for me to some extent, since it was apparent long before the war that Saddam had to go - the problem was with how, and the political uses the Bush administration was making of the drive to war, as I wrote in the summer of 2002. 1),2)3),4),5),6),7)  

The following advertisement for a Kerry choice of Kerrey as Vice President has my endorsement, and is taken from ABC's "The Note" for today.   (Fair use. URL's and emphasis have been added.)

Veepstakes: assessing Bob Kerrey:

With all eyes on the 9/11 Commission yesterday, veep prospect Bob Kerrey certainly got a lot of air time.

On display during Tuesday's hearings was Kerrey's distance from both the Bush AND Clinton records of fighting al Qaeda before 9/11.

Typically, when Democrats criticize the Bush Administration for failing to head off the al Qaeda threat before 9/11, Republicans hit back by saying that the Clinton Administration sat on its hands following the 1998 bombing of the US embassies in Africa and the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole.

One asset Kerrey would bring to the table is that he called for a declaration of war on al Qaeda long before 9/11.

As former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said to Kerrey during her testimony: " . . . you, Senator, I know, were the only person -- that I know of -- who suggested declaring war. You were probably -- in retrospect, you were probably right."

Kerrey, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient (sporting an excellent haircut), reminded everyone on Tuesday that he is as adept at turning a phrase as he is at handling a weapon. He told former Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen: "We had a round in our chamber. We didn't use it. That's how I see it."

And he told Albright, in response to both Democratic and Republican footdragging: "I keep hearing the excuse: 'We didn't have actionable intelligence.' What the hell does that say to al Qaeda?"

It was precisely the kind of moment that White House officials would have envisioned when they called Kerrey a "nonpartisan statesman." Of all the hopefuls out there, it's no accident that his name comes up again and again -- let us refer you back to the Feb. 12 Note (LINK) for our first crack at the case for Kerrey.

Now, don't get us wrong. There are definite downsides (from Kerry's standpoint) to putting Kerrey on the ticket.

Take Iraq. He's made some statements that are sure to leave Shrummy asking Tad to pass the Prilosec.

As the RNC's Ed Gillespie pointed out at Catholic University last week during his alma mater debate with The Macker, Kerrey told the New York Sun on Dec. 29, 2003: "It breaks my heart whenever anybody dies, but we liberated 25 million people who were living under a dictator. It puts us on the side of democracy in the Arab world. Twenty years from now, we'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who says it wasn't worth the effort."

And, typically, the New York Daily News says that "during a break, panel member and New School President Bob Kerrey described the explanations for not attacking Bin Laden as "bulls---." LINK

Copyright © 2004 ABCNEWS Internet Ventures.

Who is Gringo? I cannot say, I've never met the fellow. But he has a well thought out piece on the Bushies adventurism in Iraq, and he thinks that:
in 20 to 30 years only then will the US realize that it could've been avoided intelligently while using the right institutions that encouraged true international support (and not so-called coalitions of nations - which even in some cases consisted of one soldier representing a whole country thus they were alligned with the "coalition"). It may well also be visible by the fact of a permanent US troop presence there.
Which is probably a more realistic assessment than Senator Kerrey's "we'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who says it wasn't worth the effort."

Contents of prior weblog file:  (archived)
This index is chronological (earliest is first), while the the postings are in reverse chronology (most recent is  first). 
Contents of Prior Weblog File (Archived)

Weblog, 2004-03-13, Saturn Day
Love and Sleep, Swinburne
Weblog, 2004-03-15, Moon Day  (The Ides of March)
Across a Great Divide - There are fundamental(ist) differences between Europe and the US.
Richard Mellon Scaife and the Death of Steve Kangas
Apparent productivity changes during recessions and recoveries are largely statistical aberrations
Why a supposed link between levels of taxation and employment is not there
Sloppy thinking and language about deficits, taxes, and spending
    Inflation statistics - core inflation rate excludes energy and food
    Income statistics - aggregate hides decreases for all but highest income individuals and families
    Comparison of Change in Income Share and Mean (Average)  between 1976 and 2001
Weblog, 2004-03-16, Tiw's Day 
The development of mobile robots and the future of artificial intelligence
Weblog, 2004-03-18, Thor's Day
NeoMedieval  Dominion
    Leo Strauss and his spawn
    The neocons and Bush/Cheney
    The "religious" right
    The corporate media
Weblog, 2004-03-19, Freya's Day
The DARPA "Robot Race" is in fact an artificial intelligence problem
NeoMedieval  Dominion (cont'd.)
    Bush's Black Friday
    Creationism Redux
Weblog, 2004-03-20, Saturn's Day
The ultimate neocon lie
Weblog, 2004-03-21, Sun Day
Doing something concrete in Afghanistan?
Weblog, 2004-03-22, Moon Day
Federal Regulatory Policy and the "Schumpeterian Hypothesis"
Stephan Schmidheiny and sustainable development
Honor to Malalai Joya
Weblog, 2004-03-23, Tiw's Day
NeoMedieval  Dominion (cont'd.)
    Dominion & domination: voiding the Enlightenment
    Dominionism and the Constitution Restoration Act of 2004
    Annotations and Sources

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