War without end
This was the year the "war on terror" - an obnoxious expression which we all parroted after 11 September 2001 - appeared to be almost as endless as George Bush once claimed it would be. And unsuccessful. For, after all the bombing of Afghanistan, the overthrow of the Taliban, the invasion of Iraq and its appallingly tragic aftermath, can anyone claim today that they feel safer than they did a year ago?
We have gone on smashing away at the human rights we trumpeted at the Russians - and the Arabs - during the Cold War. We have perhaps fatally weakened all those provisions that were written into our treaties and conventions in the aftermath of the Second World War to make the world a safer place. And we claim we are winning.
Where, for example, is the terror? In the streets of Baghdad, to be sure. And perhaps again in our glorious West if we go on wih this folly. But terror is also in the prisons and torture chambers of the Middle East. It is in the very jails to which we have been merrily sending out trussed-up prisoners these past three years. For Jack Straw to claim that men are not being sent on their way to torture is surely one of the most extraordinary - perhaps absurd is closer to the mark - statements to have been made in the "war on terror". If they are not going to be tortured - like the luckless Canadian shipped off to Damascus from New York - then what is the purpose of sending them anywhere?
And how are we supposed to "win" this war by ignoring all the injustices we are inflicting on that part of the world from which the hijackers of September 11 originally came? How many times have Messrs Bush and Blair talked about "democracy"? How few times have they talked about "justice", the righting of historic wrongs, the ending of torture? Our principal victims of the "war on terror", of course, have been in Iraq (where we have done quite a bit of torturing ourselves).
But, strange to say, we are silent about the horrors the people of Iraq are now enduring. We do not even know - are not allowed to know - how many of them have died. We know that 1,100 Iraqis died by violence in Baghdad in July alone. That's terror.
But how many died in the other cities of Iraq, in Mosul and Kirkuk and Irbil, and in Amara and Fallujah and Ramadi and Najaf and Kerbala and Basra? Three thousand in July? Or four thousand? And if those projections are accurate, we are talking about 36,000 or 48,000 over the year - which makes that projected post-April 2003 figure of 100,000 dead, which Blair ridiculed, rather conservative, doesn't it?
It's not so long ago, I recall, that Bush explained to us that all the Arabs would one day wish to have the freedoms of Iraq. I cannot think of an Arab today who would wish to contemplate such ill fortune, not least because of the increasingly sectarian nature of the authorities, elected though they are.
The year did allow Ariel Sharon to achieve his aim of turning his colonial war into part of the "war on terror". It also allowed al-Qa'ida's violence to embrace more Arab countries. Jordan was added to Egypt. Woe betide those of us who are now locked into the huge military machine that embraces the Middle East. Why, Iraqis sometimes ask me, are American forces - aerial or land - in Uzbekistan? And Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, in Turkey and Jordan (and Iraq) and in Kuwait and Qatar and Bahrain and Oman and Yemen and Egypt and Algeria (there is a US special forces unit based near Tamanrasset, co-operating with the same Algerian army that was involved in the massacre of civilians the 1990s)?
In fact, just look at the map and you can see the Americans in Greenland and Iceland and Britain and Germany and ex-Yugoslavia and Greece - where we join up with Turkey. How did this iron curtain from the ice cap to the borders of Sudan emerge? What is its purpose? These are the key questions that should engage anyone trying to understand the "war on terror".
And what of the bombers? Where are they coming from, these armies of suiciders? Still we are obsessed with Osama bin Laden. Is he alive? Yes. But does he matter? Quite possibly not. For he has created al-Qa'ida. The monster has been born. To squander our millions searching for people like Bin Laden is about as useless as arresting nuclear scientists after the invention of the atom bomb. It is with us.
Alas, as long as we are not attending to the real problems of the Middle East, of its record of suffering and injustice, it - al-Qa'ida - will still be with us. My year began with a massive explosion in Beirut, just 400 metres from me, as a bomb killed the ex-prime minister Rafiq Hariri. It continued on 7 July when a bomb blew up two trains back from me on the Piccadilly line. Oh, the dangerous world we live in now. I suppose we all have to make our personal choices these days. Mine is that I am not going to allow 11 September 2001 to change my world. Bush may believe that 19 Arab murderers changed his world. But I'm not going to let them change mine. Source Robert Fisk Independent
thats cute... really. I am just enthralled with stuff like this, especially with its ability to whine, complain, fein "outrage" and sorrow, yet still have nothing near decisive or conclusive as to alternatives and/or solutions. Anyone can complain, leaders solve.
LOL very amsuing G , leaders solve , journalists report
Now you want journalists to supply solutions LOL ?
This article just prints a journalists take on events , thats his job , he gets paid to report
You want solutions go shout at the man that put you in this mess , thats his job , he gets paid to solve problems
Dont ask journalists to solve the disasters your leaders create , that just silly
That has to be the ultimate in buck passing , instead of blaming the people who actually made the stupid mess , you blame a British journalist for failing to provide the American Neocons with a solution
Never ask journalists to do the work of politicians G , for when you do you lose one of the balances that enable us all to be free
Instead you should look at your leaders to fill the void in solutions that is so badly needed in US foreing policy .
To me G , your falling into the trap so many from the right also fall into ...
You shoot the messenger and ignore the message
"But, strange to say, we are silent about the horrors the people of Iraq are now enduring. We do not even know - are not allowed to know - how many of them have died. We know that 1,100 Iraqis died by violence in Baghdad in July alone. That's terror."
In response to "G," there is a really big problem with asking the non-politicians to come up with solutions. Firstly, the average person doesn't seem to have a clue as the the true mission of this war, nor does he/she know why there would even be a terroist problem in Iraq.
Is this a war on Terrorism? Iraqi Freedom? When will it end? What are the milestones? What do the Terrorsts want to say? --Now that's a question that should be asked liberally in the press. If we even had an inkling, perhaps we all could find some less deadly solutions. After all, how many people died at the hand of terrorism in comparison to the innocent people who have lost their lives because of the war?
The war may or may not be honorable in intent, but considering the cost, I don't think it is too much to ask for some better solutions.
In America, anyway, the people are the final check in our government. We ought to have the right to raise concerns, and not doing so, I think, is less patriotic than blindly following a cause--not that everyone who supports it is doing so blindly.
Ah well, that's my two cents. I'm tired. :)
A "figurative measure" again, g?
No, not at all. For example, if you were to ask me for a solution aside from just complaint to a given situation, I would be happy to provide you with one. Feasible or not, I would still provide it. I guess thats just the old "Jar Head" in me, but if you cant fix it, either find someone who can or shut the hell up.
The world is full of whiners and complainers, but unfortuneatly we have very few problem solvers. I'm not even asking for THE solution, just A solution. Hell, once you provide some alternatives at least we can starte a dialogue.
Right now, we just have a bunch of people that are complaining, rueing the days of yore when things were peachy (convienently forgetting that "before" is what got us into this), complain about anyone and anything that trys to ACT versus REACT. Again, if you dont like Bush's idea of how to deal with international Islamic terror, please feel free to give us the new and improved idea(s) that will keep us from having to go that route.
But I'm really tired of the "it just breeds more terror" arguement, I mean hell, we'd already bred enough terrorist before this war started, I dont think we are in any deeper now. That is just a cop out.
well the people in Iraq will certainly claim you have bred more terror G
but i still dont think you should be asking a journalist for answers , that itself is a cop out
journalists report events from their perspective , now your asking them to define policy
hey , why not let the new york times or the guardian run the country if you going to throw that at them
I personally have plenty of solutions to offer but they would all require the US government eating an awful lot of humble pie and thats not going to happen is it ?
btw why didnt you ask the press for solutuions during katrina ? sounds silly doesnt it
The world has plenty of solutions G , but none of them can happen whilst GWB and the neocons are in power
right now i would consider it a success if we could just convince the government to drop any idea of making an equally absurd attack on Iraq
The number one priorty for someone like me at this moment in time is damage limitation , not alot can be done to repair the damage whilst the damage is still being done
"if you cant fix it, either find someone who can or shut the hell up."
That's one thing you can be sure that I will not do. Sorry, I don't consider discussing a problem to be out of bounds unless one gives prescriptions.
"The world is full of whiners and complainers"
You certainly have a history of whinging about this site...
"Right now, we just have a bunch of people that are complaining, rueing the days of yore when things were peachy (convienently forgetting that "before" is what got us into this)"
Funny that we are talking about a piece by a journalist who regularly delves into the hisotry of the problems that he writes about.
"Again, if you dont like Bush's idea of how to deal with international Islamic terror, please feel free to give us the new and improved idea(s) that will keep us from having to go that route."
There certainly have been plenty of ignored attempts to do just that. Every time I suggest them to someone from the Right, the only response I elicit is a string of straw man fallacies. That said, read Robert A. Pape's book Dying to Win.
"I mean hell, we'd already bred enough terrorist before this war started, I dont think we are in any deeper now. That is just a cop out."
Cop out? It is a statement of statistical reality.
statistical to whom? The terrorist structure was in place, and before this war, the terrorist were there. Not all were mobilized, but maybe that's it for you. The cancer is ok, as long as it isnt attacking, we can just wait for it.
Now, again H, give me a problem, I'll give you a solution. This "journalist" isnt reporting, he's complaining and spilling out personal opinion based loosly on facts. Reporting means either you are bringing some new news, or exposing something new about old news... a "reporter" doesnt re-hash old arguments in the hopes of winning people over to the "Bush is the Devil" crowd.
Like I said, complaining has been done, we are way, way, way past that. It is time to put up or shut up.
DJEB, again, you're amazing... Did you pay H to tell me how formidable you'd be? I'll read your book if you'll walk outside into the real world for a bit. In the real world, you can't just have ideals. Things actually have to pan out and work. The best of intentions is still a failure if it doesnt work.
well if its tim to get this problem solved G then i am sure you will join me in fixing things from the top
you seem to accept its a big mess , so the most stupid thing we could do is try to fix things whilst the creators of this mess are still in place
help us to get them out , then we can fix things without more damage being done behind our backs
welcome on board (sarcastic grin)
"statistical to whom?"
It's exceedingly simple. The terrorism that the U.S. concerned itself with has increased in direct correlation the The War Against Terrorism (AKA TWAT). I know the State Deptartment tried to claim the opposite in a report on terrorism. After a collective "yeah, right," they reissued the same report conceeding that terrorism had, in fact, increased after the TWAT.
"The terrorist structure was in place, and before this war, the terrorist were there."
Yes, only they used to be called the mujahedin and were called "the moral equivalent of our founding fathers" by the Great Communicator. Recruitment and campaigns have, however, increased since the TWAT.
"the "Bush is the Devil" crowd."
As I said elsewhere, YEE HAW! Straw men arguments are fun and easy!
"I'll read your book if you'll walk outside into the real world for a bit. In the real world, you can't just have ideals. Things actually have to pan out and work. The best of intentions is still a failure if it doesnt work."
The real world according to you is... that which you say it is. As for the book, again, you have not read it, so your comment on what it has to say (intentions and things panning out) is meaningless. If you do read it, you will find that its approach is very statistical and draws not only on credible studies of terrorism, but also looks at the statements of different terrorist organisations and examines the patterns of their actions. Furthermore, it is the only study ever to have looked at all modern insidences of suicide terrorism. If you don't find the issue of terrorism to be that important, then, by all means, don't read the book.
"Did you pay H to tell me how formidable you'd be?"
Nice. You insult _H_ to get to me. I see form the official Marine website that being a Marine is part of "a noble tradition" of "warriors of the finest kind... tempered with compassion, respect, and maturity." [emphasise mine; see the "Parental guide" on the official Marine website] Since when is it noble, compassionate, respectful or mature to go around insulting people? (Remember on your last round on this site you insulted me along the developmentally challenged by calling me a "retard.") If it is not noble, compassionate, respectful or mature to do this, then I say Marine, remember who you are supposed to be representing.
G, I said since when is it noble, compassionate, respectful or mature to go around insulting people? I know you've been back to the site, so you should have seen this.
NEW : Documents leak prove UK knowingly received information obtained under torture
It's not the al-Jazeera Memo, but these are some more documents that the UK Government are trying to suppress with the threat of prosecution under the Official Secrets Act. They detail our use of intelligence extracted by torture, and legal advice the Foreign Office received on the subject.
Craig Murray was the United Kingdom's Ambassador to Uzbekistan, until removed from his post on October 14, 2004. While in this office he publicly criticised the human rights situation in Uzbekistan, against the wishes of the British government, an action that he alleges was the reason for his removal. He also privately criticised the UK government for committing torture by proxy, that is, sending terrorist suspects to Uzbekistan for their security services to extract intelligence of dubious value; in the phrase he is best known for, he accused his government of "selling our souls for dross".
He is now a prominent critic of Western policy in the region and the following information was compiled from his web site and other sources...Constituent: "This question is for Mr Straw; Have you ever read any documents where the intelligence has been procured through torturous means?"
Jack Straw: "Not to the best of my knowledge... let me make this clear... the British government does not support torture in any circumstances. Full stop. We do not support the obtaining of intelligence by torture, or its use."
- Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, election hustings, Blackburn, April 2005
I was summoned to the UK for a meeting on 8 March 2003. Michael Wood gave his legal opinion that it was not illegal to obtain and to use intelligence acquired by torture... On behalf of the intelligence services, Matthew Kydd said that they found some of the material very useful indeed with a direct bearing on the war on terror. Linda Duffield said that she had been asked to assure me that my qualms of conscience were respected and understood.
- Ambassador Craig Murray, memo to the Foreign Office, July 2004With Tony Blair and Jack Straw cornered on extraordinary rendition, the UK government is particularly anxious to suppress all evidence of our complicity in obtaining intelligence extracted by foreign torturers.
The British Foreign Office is now seeking to block publication of Craig Murray's forthcoming book, which documents his time as Ambassador to Uzbekistan. The Foreign Office has demanded that Craig Murray remove all references to two especially damning British government documents, indicating that our government was knowingly receiving information extracted by the Uzbeks through torture, and return every copy that he has in his possession.
Craig Murray is refusing to do this. Instead, the documents are today being published simultaneously on blogs all around the world.
The first document contains the text of several telegrams that Craig Murray sent back to London from 2002 to 2004, warning that the information being passed on by the Uzbek security services was torture-tainted, and challenging MI6 claims that the information was nonetheless "useful".
The second document is the text of a legal opinion from the Foreign Office's Michael Wood, arguing that the use by intelligence services of information extracted through torture does not constitute a violation of the UN Convention Against Torture.In March 2003 I was summoned back to London from Tashkent specifically for a meeting at which I was told to stop protesting. I was told specifically that it was perfectly legal for us to obtain and to use intelligence from the Uzbek torture chambers.After this meeting Sir Michael Wood, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's legal adviser, wrote to confirm this position. This minute from Michael Wood is perhaps the most important document that has become public about extraordinary rendition. It is irrefutable evidence of the government's use of torture material, and that I was attempting to stop it. It is no wonder that the government is trying to suppress this.
If you wish to read the documents then you will find them Here
Read more at craigmurray.co.ukPlease note(1) NONE of the documents are held on this site , the link takes you to another web site that i am not responsible for.(2)I have no idea if these are genuine documents or not i am just repeating the claims being made by Mr Murray .(3)Mr Murray himself has released these documents into the public domain they have not been stolen or acquired in any suspect way (4) The above link in no way should be seen as me encouraging you to look at the documents , the link is merely there , clicking on it is your own choice
Nexvs6 I have deleted your comment , please dont advertise your blog here , even if you do it in spanish :-)
I often wonder just how good/effective/accurate information gathered via torture methods is.
I mean, Senator McCain was a POW and when his captors demanded names of his squadron, he gave them the offensive line of the Greenbay Packers, just to make the pain go away.
However, I suppose some of it is effective and useful, otherwise, why bother? I was just wondering.
It doesnt work CB , it works in TV shows like '24' and it looks good
There is not a single case i can think of in recent history where torture has given us ANY information
no lives have been saved of that i am sure
try it yourself (lol) torture someone ... what you end up with is someone who will tell what they think you want to hear to make the torture stop
Infact there is the flip side of the argument , that is you get false information .. you get told that the New York subway or the Brooklyn bridge is going to be attacked but never do you get real information that you can act on
so you may wonder why so many countries do it , the Russians did it , the Chinese do it , most of the Arab states do it
well in my view there are lots of psychological benefits to torture , it certainly puts the wind up your enemy ...
back in the old days of communism many people would rather kill themselves then be captured by the KGB and many did
It a psychological form of terrorism , along with forcing you to wear orange robes etc
but in regard to any intelligence being gained from such barbaric acts
i doubt you will find any ....
Here is an Interesting read
btw there is ONE example i can think of where torture is claimed to have worked , but you have to go back to Guy Fawkes and the attempt to destroy the british parliament
but lets not forget that version of history was not told to us by mr fawkes himself :-)
PS you will have to right click and open the link in a new window , i forgot to set it to open in a window :-)
Oh no, we're torturing guys who want to kill you, your friends, your family, and your way of life. Boo-freakin-hoo.
Shit are we torturing the Neocons then ?
I thought we were just torturing mainly innocent muslims and failing to charge them with any crime or allowing them access to the geneva convention (many of them CHILDREN some as young as 13 years old)
It can't be them though , for every single time we get one of them released back to their own country (like the UK) the police have NO interest in them whatsever
why ? well they hadnt commited any crime of any kind so they are walking the streets as good decent and legal citizens
they had been tortured though and they had been locked up for three years without charge or access to a lawyer
so there for you must mean we are on to the real criminals (Bush , Cheney , Rove Rumsfeld etc) then i am all for it
thanks for your visit anonymous
I guess it's sort of a self fulfilling prophecy: you torture someone, they spill their guts about how the Golden Gate Bridge will be attacked in some way shape or form. So you put out a warning to the general public, telling them to be wary, and raising the terror warning level to magenta or whatever, and then nothing happens for two weeks, you lower the rating. OBVIOUSLY this worked, because nothing happened. You therefore successfully prevented a terror attack. Good guys one, bad guys nill. Sounds about as legit as figure skating results.
Great stuff CB , you have just defined american right wing thinking on torture
as they say "obviously it works" look how many attacks we have prevented ....
still it does continue to give you the benefit of a population that constantly feel under threat , at war and ready and willing to accept draconian policies from the government
dont forget "if your not with them , your with the terrorists"
Up your shaft, anonymous coward. Tell that one to my countryman Maher Arar.
what about the US forces commander that was court marshalled for holding the gun to the insurgent's head, but then the insurgent gave him the information on an ambush that was to take place on his troops in the very near future? I tried to find a link out there in web land, but no luck.
I can't remember all the specifics about it though.
H, you and I are on agreement to an extent about torture, with the exception that a weak, non-dedicated person will give up information that may comprimise the life of someone else when they fear for their own life. As far as it being completely ineffective.... I think we are all forgetting that torture has been around as a tried and true method of extracting information from people for about 5000 years. It isn't like this is suddenly novel to GWB and the WOT.
Ok, what about it?
As for torture's efficacy, it is rejected by intelligence professionals for obvious reasons. The torturee will say what the the torturer wants to hear to end the torture. The length of time something has been around is no evidence of efficacy. Were the people who confessed under torture to being witches therefore witches because torture is effective because it's been around for a long time? I'm afraid not.
When conservatives decry Hollywood, they are half right - For the most part, Hollywood reflects attitudes, but for some it teaches. So some who learn of the efficacy of torture on TV shows, may think that is real knowldege. On the other hand, Bush's team may have a different definition of what constitutes a good confession than other mortals.
For example, the material that Powell used, was obtained, in part, under extreme duress and was not accurate. But some cynical souls may have wanted information that was useful, not accurate. Useful for them, if not America.
Whoopsmas : A christmas song (Animation)
Another clasic from Mark FioreWatch it here
If you liked that one then why not try out his previous cartoon Agent W
CIA lived like kings during kidnapping spree through Italy
MILAN, Italy -- When the CIA decides to "render" a terrorism suspect living abroad for interrogation in Egypt or another friendly Middle East nation, it spares no expense.
Italian prosecutors wrote in court papers that the CIA spent "enormous amounts of money" during the six weeks it took the agency to figure out how to grab a 39-year-old Muslim preacher called Abu Omar off the streets of Milan, throw him into a van and drive him to the airport.
First to arrive in Milan was the surveillance team, and the hotels they chose were among the best Europe has to offer. Especially popular was the gilt-and-crystal Principe di Savoia, with acres of burnished wood paneling and plush carpets, where a single room costs $588 a night, a club sandwich goes for $28.75 and a Diet Coke adds another $9.35.
According to hotel records obtained by the Milan police investigating Abu Omar's disappearance, two CIA operatives managed to ring up more than $9,000 in room charges alone. The CIA's bill at the Principe for seven operatives came to $39,995, not counting meals, parking and other hotel services.
Another group of seven operatives spent $40,098 on room charges at the Westin Palace, a five-star hotel across the Piazza della Repubblica from the Principe, where a club sandwich is only $20.
A former CIA officer who has worked undercover abroad said those prices were "way over" the CIA's allowed rates for foreign travel. "But you can get away with it if you claim you needed the hotel `to maintain your cover,'" he said. "They would have had to pose as highflying businessmen."
Judging from the photographs on the passports they displayed when checking into their hotels and the international driver's licenses they used to rent cars, not many of the Milan operatives could have passed as "highflying businessmen."
In all, records show, the CIA paid 10 Milan hotels at least $158,000 in room charges.
Although the Milan police obtained the hotel bills of 22 alleged CIA operatives, they say at least 59 cell phones were used in the weeks leading up to the abduction. Even allowing for the possibility that some operatives used more than one phone, prosecutors believe that a significant number of operatives remain unidentified.
A senior U.S. official said the agency's deployment in Milan was "about usual for that kind of operation." But in December 2001, when the CIA arrived in Stockholm to transport two suspected Islamic militants to Cairo, it sent eight rendition experts to do the job, according to a Swedish TV documentary.
When a rendition team showed up in Macedonia in January 2004 to collect a Kuwait-born German citizen, Khalid el-Masri, and fly him to Afghanistan, there were only 11 operatives on the plane, according to a Spanish police report.
At the beginning of February 2003, with the abduction still three weeks away, 10 of the operatives, who presumably had been spending their days charting Abu Omar's movements in Milan, left the city to spend the weekend in a hotel overlooking the harbor at La Spezia, on Italy's Mediterranean coast.
Some male and female operatives shared the same hotel rooms, records show. Before heading back to Milan, five members of the group detoured to Florence, where they checked into the renowned Grand Hotel Baglioni.
Once Abu Omar was safely behind bars in Cairo, some of the operatives who had helped put him there split up into twos and threes and headed for luxury resort hotels in the Italian Alps, Tuscany and Venice.
Asked if there had been some operational or other official reason for the ultra-expensive hotels and side trips, the senior U.S. official shrugged. "They work hard," he said.
One expense the CIA did spare the U.S. taxpayers was the dozen traffic tickets generated when the agency's rented cars were photographed by police cameras driving illegally in the city's bus and taxi lanes. Because the cars had been rented using false names and addresses, the $500 in fines was paid by the car rental agencies.
Source : Here
as they say just 'follow the money'
Number of CIA operatives tracked: 20
Length of stay: From 5 to 42 days
Total room charges: $158,096.56
WHERE POLICE SAY CIA OPERATIVES STAYED
From Jan. 8-Feb. 19, 2003; amount spent at each for room charges*
Westin Palace $40,098.81 Principe di Savoia $39,995.36 Milan Hilton $21,266.67 Milan Marriott $17,089.29 Star Hotel Rosa $15,280.95 Excelsior Hotel Gallia $5,595.24 ATA Hotel Executive $4,951.19 Four Points Sheraton $4,928.57 Others $8,890.48
* Not including food and other services
Source: Hotel records obtained by Milan police; ESRI; TeleAtlas
Kidnapping and torturing people is, to paraphrase what our President said about running our government, hard work.
After a day of terrrorizing and torturing, a fellow needs a nice meal, a drink and a place to relax, even if these things are a little pricy.
Ambrose Bierce said that war is the way Americans learn geography. Nowadays, blogs are the way the world learns geography.
have you read the mblog?
you might find some of the stuff he writes interesting.
Seems you have a problem catching the bad guys...
I will check it out , thanks
Thought and humour
funny , you may have noticed I am ENGLISH , so i have had no problems what so ever trying to catch anyone . Maybe you should find the first Italian American you can and tell them ...
PS , dont laugh to early , Many a criminal has been captured years after the crime , just think of dear old Saddam
these are real charges and there will be real consequences to a lack of US assistance
I see it as a bargin. In other circumstances we might have used a cruise missle ($500,000) or a few hellfire missles ($60,000 each).
that has to be a sense of humour , nobody would be that niave to Consequences .This is not Afghanistan or Iraq this is ITALY , part of the EUROPEAN UNION
Not even GWB would be so stupid as to comit an act of war against Europe , do you want to just keep going until the entire world is at war with you !
the correct way to go about this is to work WITH the italians , for its their country LOL some people think the whole world is some kind of legit battle ground
Hilter thought the same when he attacked poland i doubt he spotted the consequences or at the least he didnt care about them
attacking Europe would put you under threat of attack from china and russia and lets not forget the two nuclear powers france and the UK
hopefully you mean by "other circumstances" not italian soveriegn soil
you see it as a bargain , i see it as a serious crime that will not be going away
"...a weekend in a hotel overlooking the harbor at La Spezia..."
Cool! I was in La Spezia in 2003 also! Of course, I never got to be in a fancy hotel; more like a dingy hostel. Maybe I should get into the spy game. Sounds so glamorous... you get to be like James Bond. But instead of bagging gorgeous women, you get to bag foreign nationals. Awesome.
LOL sounds like a great life doesnt it
though to be fair Mr Bond's women seem far more appealing than the foreign nationals ..
this is story thats going to grow and grow it seems
I've told you before, something just sounds way to fishy about this... I mean, was this the Key-Stone Cops, or the CIA?
G , you seem to have little regard for the italian Police and judges ,
do you think the nation of italy is making this all up ?
they even have the hotel bills , they have the names of the cia agents , they have evidence that the CIA kidnapped Abu Omar from Italy
and the CIA admit they have Abu Omar in a cell
what more do you need ?
if it was key-stone cops then that something the CIA should ask of themselves , but denying it was the CIA ? i think not
It could be one of his "impressionistic theories."
I dont think the Italian cops did anything less than superb... I am talking about the supposed "covert agents" living up a lavish vacation on a "black op". Just doesnt add up. EIther they were the worst trained agents of all time.... or something's fishy.
Maybe a smoke-n-mirror for something else that was going on? "Here look at this hand waving around... never mind the one you CAN'T see.
Djeb... excellent debate, again, you amaze me. Whats next, you going to spell check me?
G: well its hard to imagine what could be worse then entering a european country and kidnapping people ...
any ideas what could be so big it would be worth getting in this kind of mess for ?
I gave you a one-liner to a one-liner. I would have thought that you would have recognised my pattern of giving an intelligent response to intelligent comments by now...
H, I'd look more to some other subversive stuff, maybe with actual Italian citizens or potential government officials and/or property. Making a circus out of abducting someone that Italians were already after just seems really amature.
DJEB, what's tomarows excuse?
Hello? Did you give anything more than a one-liner here? No, you did not.
Fear destroys what bin Laden could not
If, back in 2001, anyone had told me that four years after bin Laden's attack our president would admit that he broke U.S. law against domestic spying and ignored the Constitution -- and then expect the American people to congratulate him for it -- I would have presumed the girders of our very Republic had crumbled.
Had anyone said our president would invade a country and kill 30,000 of its people claiming a threat that never, in fact, existed, then admit he would have invaded even if he had known there was no threat -- and expect America to be pleased by this -- I would have thought our nation's sensibilities and honor had been eviscerated.
If I had been informed that our nation's leaders would embrace torture as a legitimate tool of warfare, hold prisoners for years without charges and operate secret prisons overseas -- and call such procedures necessary for the nation's security -- I would have laughed at the folly of protecting human rights by destroying them.
If someone had predicted the president's staff would out a CIA agent as revenge against a critic, defy a law against domestic propaganda by bankrolling supposedly independent journalists and commentators, and ridicule a 37-year Marie Corps veteran for questioning U.S. military policy -- and that the populace would be more interested in whether Angelina is about to make Brad a daddy -- I would have called the prediction an absurd fantasy.
That's no America I know, I would have argued. We're too strong, and we've been through too much, to be led down such a twisted path.
What is there to say now?
All of these things have happened. And yet a large portion of this country appears more concerned that saying ''Happy Holidays'' could be a disguised attack on Christianity.
I evidently have a lot poorer insight regarding America's character than I once believed, because I would have expected such actions to provoke -- speaking metaphorically now -- mobs with pitchforks and torches at the White House gate. I would have expected proud defiance of anyone who would suggest that a mere terrorist threat could send this country into spasms of despair and fright so profound that we'd follow a leader who considers the law a nuisance and perfidy a privilege.
Never would I have expected this nation -- which emerged stronger from a civil war and a civil rights movement, won two world wars, endured the Depression, recovered from a disastrous campaign in Southeast Asia and still managed to lead the world in the principles of liberty -- would cower behind anyone just for promising to ``protect us.''
President Bush recently confirmed that he has authorized wiretaps against U.S. citizens on at least 30 occasions and said he'll continue doing it. His justification? He, as president -- or is that king? -- has a right to disregard any law, constitutional tenet or congressional mandate to protect the American people.
Is that America's highest goal -- preventing another terrorist attack? Are there no principles of law and liberty more important than this? Who would have remembered Patrick Henry had he written, ``What's wrong with giving up a little liberty if it protects me from death?''
Bush would have us excuse his administration's excesses in deference to the ''war on terror'' -- a war, it should be pointed out, that can never end. Terrorism is a tactic, an eventuality, not an opposition army or rogue nation. If we caught every person guilty of a terrorist act, we still wouldn't know where tomorrow's first-time terrorist will strike. Fighting terrorism is a bit like fighting infection -- even when it's beaten, you must continue the fight or it will strike again.
Are we agreeing, then, to give the king unfettered privilege to defy the law forever? It's time for every member of Congress to weigh in: Do they believe the president is above the law, or bound by it?
Bush stokes our fears, implying that the only alternative to doing things his extralegal way is to sit by fitfully waiting for terrorists to harm us. We are neither weak nor helpless. A proud, confident republic can hunt down its enemies without trampling legitimate human and constitutional rights.
Ultimately, our best defense against attack -- any attack, of any sort -- is holding fast and fearlessly to the ideals upon which this nation was built.
Bush clearly doesn't understand or respect that. Do we?By Robert Steinback Miami Herald
What do you think about the Russian school that was over taken by Radical Islamics where as children were fleeing into the arms of their terrified parents, the terrorists shot those children in the backs? Do you think any of those parents would have objected to their government wire tapping Islamic terrorists in that country in an effort to prevent this massacre? If I knew that my own grandmother was simpathetic to a terrorist cause, I would not mind if she was wired tapped if it meant protecting my children. Would you?
If all of what is outlined in your article was based on truth, maybe I would be among your metaphorical "mobs with pitchforks and torches at the White House gate".
But instead I choose to dig deeply to understand for myself the true facts underlying each of the issues you have so loyally rehashed using mischaracterizing rhetoric spawned by this country's self-proclaimed loyal opposition.
The only difference between you and I is that I choose to keep an open mind and decide on my own about events, not based on an intrinsic hatred of all things Bush nor blind allegiance, but simply by discarding the spin and rhetoric to find the facts.
And should you choose to follow my fact-hunting safari - and they are available if you look hard enough - I believe you will at least begin to view every distorted statement made above in a somewhat different light.
Perhaps a look into what the debate on terrorist wiretaps and the details of that story, about which there remains much to learn, would be a good place to start. Researching the facts of this story with an open mind just might surprise you in finding these surveillance procedures have not violated a single citizen's rights but may have helped avert serious post-9/11 terrorist attacks.
On the other hand, find me a single verifiable story about these surveillances targeting politicians or left-wing organizations to attempt to gain some political advantage, I'll be happy to join your crusade against the practice. Problem is, there is no such evidence, and although you may be fervently hoping for some smoking gun along these lines, there is no evidence that anything like that has even been considered.
Good luck, and I sincerely hope you can overcome your hatred and paranoia. Because going through life with such unnecessary angst only leads to misery.
Wow, your both sheeple.
Of course i would not mind , your talking about a live event , court orders would be obtained in less then 30 mins , why on earth would you assume that all those bugged in the US were guilty of any crime ?
If they were , dont you think you would be seing them on your TV now , not only arrested but convicted of their crimes
what if your grandmother was NOT a terrorist and she had been bugged for the last 3 years ? she was never told , no judge had ever authorised any bugging , and she had no rights what so ever ?
the US acts like anyone that kneels towards mecca to pray is a terrorist ! they watch every dark skinned muslim and miss the next Timothy McVeigh sitting in his room planning an attack
You do not defeat terrorism by acting like the terrorists , if you do then you become them
There is NO acceptable reason to bypass requesting the legal authority from a judge to bug someone
we in the UK did so during the Iranian embassy seige when the lives of hostages were at stake
Today its the arabs , tomorrow the anti war crowd , then those that vote left and when the left is power suddenly the new enemy is the right
so where do you draw the line ?
A demcoracy is not just turning up to vote , many countries have elections but are far from free ,a demcoracy has checks and balances to stop abuse of power
A free press and the american constitution is two such examples of the safe guards of freedom
The current US administration uses the fear of terrorism against its own people
Remember the words of Benjamin Franklin when he said
They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security
LOL thanks for you visit , in your superior opinion do you think you are able to supply any facts ? or is it all rhetoric and unskilled physcoanalysis
Please feel free to reply , but it helps if you actually bring something to the debate other than a long winded "you are wrong"
thats just a waste of skin cells on your keyboard , but if it made you feel better i am sure you thought it was worth it
LOL , there are plenty of them around ...... as i know you know
PS Phisy , sheeple is a very apt observation
for those that dont know ......
Sheeple are people that follow blindly and never question their leaders.
Their simple Motto is:
"Follow the Asshole in front of you"
"Follow the Asshole in front of you"
nope, that's their mantra.
I Imagine Dan does his "fact-hunting safari" whilst sitting in his easy chair watching fox
Your response to the sheeple was excellent..and really well said...and I like that expression about sheeple....they don't really think they just regurgitate what they have been absorbing over on FAUX news...you are welcome to stop by http://watergatesummer.blogspot.com/ , you might appreciate it....
Do you think any of those parents would have objected to their government wire tapping Islamic terrorists in that country in an effort to prevent this massacre?
Number one, the U.S. Code covers this situation and mentions that the only time such actions may be taken in under the FISA act. Number two, the NSA has been tracking more than just "Islamic terrorists." If you live in the U.S., they are monitoring your communications as well. That said, I can only guess you disagree with Patrick Henry's words.
If I knew that my own grandmother was simpathetic to a terrorist cause, I would not mind if she was wired tapped if it meant protecting my children.
I'm having trouble figuring out why grandma suddenly came into the picture, but she is irrelevant. You are being monitored, not just people with suspected ties. Surely you could not have missed all the news of the past few weeks.
Dan S., first, _H_ didn't write this, Robert Steinback did. Second, I can assure you that _H_ has been following the facts very, very closely for a long time now. If you have a specific charge to make, then make it. A broad 'this ain't true' doesn't go very far with people who base their opinions on fact. And the claim that the wire taps don't violate any citizen rights is false. First there is the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America (corporations use it to prevent the EPA from discovering their dirty deeds); then there is the U.S. Code and the FISA act as I have mentioned. White House claims to legality are not proof of legality.
And the evidence of spying against Left groups? Here and here to give one of many such examples. Now, I fully expect the retort to be that it is in some way not "verifiable." Since there is video evidence in this case, I say that if you are about to make such a claim, please don't waste our time.
Never has an administration used fear so effectively. They are able to do whatever they want, because the American people are not holding them accountable. The facts, the proof, is there.
I can understand being afraid, getting your buttons pushed and being led to give up certain liberties, but this is ridiculous. This is not Hitler they're fighting. Western civilization will survive Al-Qaeda. there is no pan-Islamism that's going to swallow the world. Most Muslims, like everyone else, just want to live their lives and make a decent living.
The problem is, will it survive Al-Qaeda with all its liberties and beliefs in tact? In the case of the United States, maybe not.
The War on Terror, as stated in the article, is a war that is never ending. The best way to fight it is to fight the causes for terror, or why people turn to terror, and one such way is to address the divide between the rich and the poor, as well as taking a serious, hard look at what the occupation of other nations and the constant medling in another sovereign nation's affairs is doing. That's just a start.
You cannot fight terror by suspending your liberties and compromising your beliefs. The United States may find itself not only losing the war on terror, but also losing its own identity, the very thing that made it a bastion for freedom.
Honestly though, can I say that in Canada things would be different if we were in the same situation? I'm not so sure that I can. I'd like to though. But then again, we've had lots of corruption here, and most people would rather see who wins Survivor. It's not a surprise really. It's just people.
Safty from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct.Even the ardent love of liberty will,after a time give way to it dicates.
Liberties and rights have been removed through out our two hundred and fifty year history.Durning the civil war Liconln suspened the Habeas Corpus laws.Durning WW11 150,000 Japinease were rounded up and placed in camps,and so on and so on.As comender and Chief durning war time he does have the power to do exactly what he is doing.
As comender and Chief durning war time he does have the power to do exactly what he is doing.
So what do you actually have to do to be at war then ? it seems to me your comparing the just and moral wars of the last century to this pathatic attempt by GWB to take on the islamofascists ( a word created by people suffering from Islamophobia) . A man who can justify killing 30,000 innocent muslims (minimum) so that he doesnt 'have to fight them over here'
Safty from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct.
true , but of course , convincing your people this 'external danger' is around every corner and about to get you is a great way to ensure complience , for those that dissent can be accused of not being patriotic .
hey , if they are not with you then they must be terrorists right ? .
false stories of national danger are not new . the burning of the Reichstag by the nazis and then blaming it on the evil foreigners comes to mind .
Is the removal of Liberties and rights' to facilitate 'war'
or is the 'war' facilitating the removal of 'Liberties and rights'
Sorry Libs around the world
& Senate Democrats but
American President George
Bush is trying to protect you
also from terrorist! It's not
a game, politics or being
politically correct with
terrorist. They would
just as soon see you libs
dead as any!!! They'd love
to have any liberal senator,
head also on their chopping
The honorable Senate Democrats
in the United States are doing an
honorable investigation to find out
exactly what happened to cause
me to lose my country, and until
these honorable Senate Democrats
in the United States get every one
of their questions answered about
the manipulation and the distortion
of the intelligence -- and of course
all of the lies about my having weapons
of mass destruction; all this before
my country was invaded -- I can't
get a fair trial, until all these questions
are answered by the Senate Democrats.
And after these Senate Democrats get
the answers that we all know are out
there, I, Saddam Hussein, would argue
that I never had any weapons of mass
destruction, and whatever bad intelligence
was generated by a cowboy, fratboy
president and his indicted staff, who
have poisoned world opinion about
me and my government, and as such,
I can't get a fair trial anywhere -- and
I want my country back. I'm going to
make this trial about George W. Bush,
and I'm going to be calling as witnesses
people like Dick Durbin and Ted Kennedy.
I'm going to call Chuck Schumer.
I would call Senator Jay Rockefeller
as a witness, if I were Saddam Hussein.
I'm serious, folks -- and I wouldn't be
surprised if his defense lawyers pick up
on this at some point. If I were Saddam
Hussein I would never, ever get off the
line of attack of Senate Democrats. I
would "want answers." I would accuse
the lying President Bush of manufacturing
evidence and spreading propaganda to
a bunch of gullible reporters like Judith
Miller of the New York Times and who
knows who all at NBC, and say that there
exists a massive conspiracy just like Hillary
Clinton said; a massive right-wing conspiracy
to prop up a failed presidency, and to distract
the world from the damage the Bush White
House has done to the world's environment,
the world's workers, the world's unions, the
world's teachers -- and most of all the world's
children. If I were Saddam Hussein, I would
be making this case, and I would say, "I'm
following the lead of these great honorable
Senate Democrats of the United States Senate
who have the guts and the courage to have
the temerity to get to the bottom of all of this."
I would follow them down the path they're on.
I, Saddam Hussein, would say that the Senate
Democrats are on the way to proving that
President Bush has led a false war,
permanently screwed up children all over
the world as to how you solve problems.
My country is Muslim. We are very
different from western countries, and
that scares stupid, evangelical cowboys
like George Bush.Why, Prince Charles
even had to go tell Bush, "You misunder -
stood Islam," the other day. I'd call Prince
Charles as a witness! So what does this
cowboy Bush do when his oil baron buddies
can't have my oil for themselves? Well, they
start a war on false pretenses because every -
body knows that this war was about nothing
but oil and that's why all the intelligence was
trumped up, and that's why all of the lies
were told and that's why everybody was told
and agreed that I had weapons of mass
destruction, is because the world wants my
oil led by the cowboy Bush, and I thank God --
I thank Allah daily -- for the Senate Democrats,
the Democrats of the United States Senate
who are leading this courageous effort to
prove what a liar and a disaster on the world
stage George W. Bush has been. I can't get
a fair trial, and until I get a fair trial -- which
is not possible -- I demand my country back.
All of this that has happened has been based
on lies. The world can't sleep at night.
If the world can do this to me, a man with
nothing but benevolence and love in his heart
for his people, what will they do next? Who
will they do it to next?
The cowboy Bush -- Cheney, Libby, Rove --
they must be stopped, and it's the Senate
Democrats in that great institution, the
United States Senate, who are leading the way.
If I were Saddam Hussein, I would say,
"I have no hope for a fair trial."
What I'm saying is being said by
elected members of the United States
Senate. As I listen to the elected
senators, Democrats of the United
States Senate, as they pursue this
honorable investigation of George W.
Bush, I say to myself, "This is what
I said to the UN.
This is what I said to the weapons
inspectors." This is what I said to
the world when I was confronted
with what everybody now knows
(thanks to the Senate Democrats)
are bogus, fake and trumped -
Bush is a liar! He lied about the
reasons for and the need to invade
my country, and I want it back.
He hires liars. It is George Bush
who should be impeached and
convicted in his own country and
then tried at The Hague in my place.
Not me. I had nothing to do with
9/11. Yet I'm the one paying the
price. You may not like me; I am
You may not agree with the ways
of Muslim leaders in the Middle
East, but does that give you the right
to invade my country? No! The
United States Senate Democrats
obviously agree with me. They
are honorable people. The world
should align behind the Democrats
of the United States Senate who
are trying to wrong one of the most
terrible injustices in the history of the
world. It is George W. Bush who
must be brought to justice by the
brave and honorable members of the
Democratic Party in the United States
Senate. Because leaders of the world
and people of the world, I, Saddam
Hussein, say to you that it is the
senators, the Democrat senators
in the United States Senate are all
that stand between peace and
bloodthirsty imperialism by the
United States. May Allah bless
the good and decent truth -
tellers in the Senate who will
not let George Bush continue
his lies to his country and to
the world! George Bush hides
behind his faith, but he's a liar
just like these Senate Democrats
I, Saddam Hussein, from the
bottom of my sizable heart,
thank the Democrat senators
in the United States and all
of the websites that support
them, and all of the Hollywood
Democrats who are asking
the Senate Democrats to
continue this investigation.
I thank all of the American
media, because I think the
American media is one of
the last bastions of honesty
and trustworthiness second
only to the Democrats of the
United States Senate. So I
want to thank the mainstream
media of the United States.
I want to further point out
that if my trial is not post -
poned -- if I can't get a
postponement and if I
can't get a dismissal of
the charges, and if I don't
get my country back --
if there is a trial, I demand
that I be brought to the
US for trial, in a United
States civilian court. I
can't get a fair trial in Iraq
because it's Bush cronies.
I can only get a fair trial in
the United States where
liberal Democrats run the
court system. They're
the ones doing the great
work, the work of Allah,
in order to maintain the
lies of Bush and the
distortions of the war.
I want my country back.
The United States does
not recognize, the US
court system doesn't
recognize the Geneva
Conventions; they don't
recognize the due-process
rights of illegal combatants
like me or those held at
Guantanamo Bay. John
McCain and the Democrats
wanted them tried under
our justice system, and if
illegal combatants are to
be afforded with such
treatment -- if you're
going to give real
terrorists the opportunity
to be tried in your court
system -- I, Saddam
Hussein, demand to be
tried in your court system
because I am covered
under the Geneva
Conventions, and I
should receive better
treatment. And, by
the way, I wish to
point out -- and I
know many people
in the American
ACLU will agree
with me on this --
I, Saddam Hussein,
was not Mirandized
by the soldiers who
captured me. I was
denied a speedy trial
as compelled by the
Bill of Rights in the
The charges ought
to be dismissed. They
did nothing but point
weapons to me in that
foxhole. They didn't tell
me my rights! They didn't
tell me I had to shut up;
they didn't tell me anything
I said could be used against
me. I was lied to not only
by Bush but the by the whole
US military, by Rumsfeld.
I was lied to by Condoleezza
Rice. I can't even count on
Colin Powell anymore because
he was part of the original
cowboy cabal that kicked
me out of my country.
If I get my trial in the United
States of America as I so
rightly deserve, I, Saddam
Hussein, would like to call
Dick Durbin as a witness
because he would be able
to testify that US troops are
like Nazi storm troopers. He
would be able to testify that
US troops are no different
than the murdering thugs of
Pol Pot and the gulags of Stalin.
I would next call Senator Kennedy
who would be able to testify
that US troops are no better
than Hussein's thugs -- my thugs.
I would call Michael Isikoff of
Newsweek magazine. He would
be able to testify how US troops
mistreat prisoners by flushing their
Korans down the toilet at G'itmo.
I would do my best to get rid of
Rush Limbaugh for turning Club
G'itmo into Club G'itmo. It's not
a joke what's happening there,
and it's not a joke what's
happening to me. I would
also call Ambassador Joe
Wilson, of course. He would
be my star witness, because
Joe Wilson would testify that
I was not a bad guy; I was
not somebody that posed a
danger. I never once sought
uranium from anywhere,
because I didn't have any
weapons of mass destruction,
and Joe Wilson knows it and
his wife, Valerie Plame, knows
it. And so, my friends, I,
Saddam Hussein, throw in
with the Democrats in the
United States Senate. They
are my allies, and until they
finish their great and glorious
work for Allah in uncovering
the truth about the lies and the
distortions of the cowboy
Bush, I demand these trials
of me be postponed and the
charges dismissed -- and I
get my country back.
LMAO , thanks i needed some white space using up :-)
well if all those things are true then it seems Saddam is a wise man who understands world law and has morals and standards , he (in your world) respects the geneva convention and you paint him as a very decent and Compassionate human being , I am sure he will be pleased with your assesment of him
how the hell did that brain dead terrorist and war criminal Bush manage to catch him LOL
thanks for your visit , if you return i would appreciate a genuine comment and not a cut and paste that you did earlier
Sorry, rj. As mentioned above, Bush broke the law. Citing past stains on America's history does not change that.
What the Bush administration is doing is still not within the law. All he had to do, was get a court order to be able to do the wiretaps. That's all. He would have easily gotten it. Instead, he chose not to.
In Canada, during the FLQ crisis, Prime Minister Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act. People complained that this was overkill, and maybe it was, but the point is, the laws in Canada allowed for him to do that. The laws in the United States don't allow for Bush to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He has to get permission. Last I heard, the United States was a republic, and not a dictatorship.
Holy crap. Why are "outsiders" like me defending the principles of the United States against... Americans? That's f***'d up.
CB , thanks for your wisdom
It really is scary but i do think the 'outsiders' are doing more to protect America's princibles than those inside
most of them are too close to the scene to notice how they are being manipulated.
dont give up , the message is getting home and the consequences for all of us from inaction can easily be seen by looking at history
thanks for your comments
I sure am thankful for our great President...
ah Thought and humour , welcome back and thanks for writing a comment this time ....
I am pleased your thankfull for your president , I dont care for him to much as i am sure you have noticed
but please dont think i support the democrats in the US , i do not , i couldnt care less who runs your country , whether it be the left or the right
I (like 90 % of the planet and 50 % of your country) consider your leader a terrorist and a war criminal and on the base alone i will continue to attack him for his crimes
once the US people reach the point that they wish to remove th neocons from power you will find me and many like me ready and willing to correctly address the problems of extreme islamic terrorism ,
but no success can ever be achieved aslong as he is in power
hey its your vote , and you should (and will) use it as you see fit . but i will continue my little effort here towards a day when the worlds worst terrorist is no longer in charge of the worlds most powerfull weapons
have a nice new year , and be wary of watching to much fox , its rots the brain ...
Well, never let it be said that the "dull computer consultant" is good to his word.
Just one more thing, false-promise maker, you say "there is no evidence that anything like that has even been considered." Ahem, Church Commission. The reason the FISA Act was put in effect in the first place.
Eleven days so far dans, and we are still waiting for you to live up to your word.
IRAQ : Kurds have plan to invade South as talk of 'civil war' persist
KIRKUK, Iraq — Kurdish leaders have inserted more than 10,000 of their militia members into Iraqi army divisions in northern Iraq to lay the groundwork to swarm south, seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and possibly half of Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, and secure the borders of an independent Kurdistan.
Five days of interviews with Kurdish leaders and troops in the region suggest that U.S. plans to bring unity to Iraq before withdrawing American troops by training and equipping a national army aren't gaining traction. Instead, some troops that are formally under U.S. and Iraqi national command are preparing to protect territory and ethnic and religious interests in the event of Iraq's fragmentation, which many of them think is inevitable. The soldiers said that while they wore Iraqi army uniforms they still considered themselves members of the Peshmerga — the Kurdish militia
— and were awaiting orders
from Kurdish leaders to break ranks. Many said they wouldn't hesitate to kill their Iraqi army comrades, especially Arabs, if a fight for an independent Kurdistan erupted
."It doesn't matter if we have to fight the Arabs in our own battalion,"
said Gabriel Mohammed, a Kurdish soldier in the Iraqi army who was escorting a Knight Ridder reporter through Kirkuk. "Kirkuk will be ours."
Continue reading at the source Here
Russia to honor Iran arms deal despite US objection
Russia will fully comply with a deal with Iran to supply it with the Tor-M1 air defense systems despite US objections, a senior Defense Ministry official said.
"The Russian side, despite objections from the United States, will honor its contract with Iran for the supply of the upgraded version of the Tor system," the official was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying.
The official said delivery of the 30 Tor-M1 systems will begin in January and be completed by the end of next year. The deal is believed to be worth 1.4 billion US dollars and is the biggest ever arms deal between Russia and Iran. The Tor-M1 system is capable of identifying up to 48 targets and tracing and firing at two targets simultaneously at a height of up to 6,100 meters. US officials have called the deal a source of concern and said the United States strongly opposed the missile sale.
Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov earlier confirmed and defended the deal saying Russia did not violate any international obligations in signing the deal because Iran is subject to any international sanction.
"That was an absolutely legal deal, like it or not," he said.
The deal likely falls under the Iranian-Soviet Treaty of Guarantee and Neutrality signed on October 1st, 1927. From Dilip Hiro's The Essential Middle East: A Comprehensive Guide:
"On 1 October 1927 the Soviet Union signed a Treaty of Guarantee and Neutrality with Iran. The signatories agreed to refrain from aggression against each other and to remain neutral in the event of aggression by a third country. 'Each of the contracting parties agrees to take no part... in political alliances or agreements directed against the safety of the territory or territorial waters of the contracting party or against the integrity, independence or sovereignty,' stated Article 3. The same applied to economic boycotts or blockades organised by third parties."
It seems the Russians are legally bound to deliver.
Furthermore, this explodes the myth that even though Saddam Hussein was known to be a monster, the U.S. had to support him because Iran was a tentacle of the Soviets (not that that would be an acceptable reason). It was never such. It was merely a signatory to a treaty of guarantee and neutrality.
Thanks for the research Djeb , much appreciated
It seems the russians are just standing by their word then , if only others did that ...... lol
Saudi Arabia: Court Orders Eye to Be Gouged Out
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia should take urgent steps to ensure that a court sentence to gouge out a migrant worker's eye is not carried out, Human Rights Watch said today.
The Greater Shari`a Court of Dammam sentenced Puthan Veettil `Abd ul-Latif Noushad, an Indian citizen, to be punished by having his right eye gouged out in retribution for his role in a brawl in April 2003 in which a Saudi citizen was injured. A court of appeal in Riyadh has reportedly merely asked whether the Saudi man would accept monetary compensation instead.
"This literal eye-for-an-eye sentence is torture masquerading as justice," said Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East division. "King Abdullah must prevent the imposition of corporal punishment in violation of the country's obligations under international law."
Saudi Arabia acceded to the Convention against Torture in 1997. However, Noushad’s case is the third known instance over the past year in which a Saudi court has issued a sentence of eye-gouging, Human Rights Watch said. Saudi law allows for maiming, including the severing of limbs and severe flogging, as judicial punishments.
The injured Saudi man, Nayif al-`Utaibi, has so far insisted that the sentence be carried out, refusing to pardon Noushad or accept monetary compensation. Noushad's Saudi employer, Abu Muhammad al-`Umri, has reportedly offered to pay over $25,000 in compensation. He told Human Rights Watch that he had no faith that the appeals court would overturn the verdict, and that only a pardon could save Noushad's eye unless the plaintiff decides to accept compensation.
Noushad worked at a shop near a gas station outside Dammam. One witness to the altercation between the two men told Human Rights Watch that on the morning of April 1, 2003, Noushad told `Utaibi that he would not be able to obtain a refund once he used the jumper cable he had just purchased. When `Utaibi demanded a refund after using the cable, Noushad advised him to speak to the shop owner, who was not there at the time. The witness said `Utaibi replied heatedly that he could not wait that long and lunged at Noushad. In the course of the ensuing struggle, Noushad struck `Utaibi on the head with the cable, hitting his eye. Bystanders called the police, who arrested Noushad on `Utaibi's testimony, and called an ambulance for `Utaibi.
During the trial, Noushad claimed that he was acting in self-defense and did not intend to injure `Utaibi, according to acquaintances of Noushad who are familiar with the proceedings. The witness, also a worker from India, told Human Rights Watch that the court refused to admit his testimony backing up Noushad's account.
The judge reportedly said that non-Saudis were barred from testifying in cases involving Saudis. Noushad’s Saudi employer confirmed that the judge did not fully take into account the circumstances of the brawl. Noushad did not have a lawyer during trial, but his Saudi sponsor retained legal representation for the appeals phase.
"The court's verdict virtually allows Saudi citizens to assault migrant workers with impunity," Stork said.
News of the verdict has caused a political uproar in India. On December 6, the day after the verdict was made public, the chief minister of Kerala state, Oommen Chandy, promised to raise the case with Saudi authorities. The Indian embassy in Riyadh has announced it will appeal to King Abdullah for clemency.
On September 16, 2004, the Saudi newspaper Okaz reported that a court in Tabuk ordered the right eye of Muhammad `Ayid Sulaiman al-Fadili al-Balawi to be gouged out, but gave him the option of paying compensation within one year. In 2001, Balawi had intervened when he saw youths pelting his brother with stones. In response, he also threw stones, hitting one youth in the eye and causing him to lose vision in one eye. Balawi helped carry the youth to the hospital. Two months before the sentence was to be carried out, he had managed to collect only 550,000 Saudi riyals (US$147,000) of the 1.4 million riyals (US$373,000) demanded by the victim. Human Rights Watch was unable to verify whether the sentence had been carried out.
Another Saudi newspaper, ArabNews, reported on December 6 that a court had recently sentenced an Egyptian man in Saudi Arabia to having his eye gouged out after he allegedly threw acid in the face of another man, who subsequently lost his eyesight.
Saudi Arabia and Iran are the only known countries that consider eye-gouging a legitimate judicial punishment. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, has stated that "any form of corporal punishment is contrary to the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
So, when are we going to bring the good Saudi people some democracy?
Sounds like a page right out of Husseins torture book.
Yeah, eye gouging isn't too inhumane (lol).
I bet if the Bushies weren't in bed with the Sauds, we would be in there backyard right now bringing them some good ole' fashioned democracy.
These double standards are almost comical!
Oh, by the way, Hope you and your family had an excellent holiday.
No one has brought them the Democracy you're speaking of... exactly what does this have to do with Bush? Raegan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr.......
All of them have played with the Saudis... but suddenly you think Bush should have attacked them if anyone? I'm curious to know which way you'd have it. Either Bush is doing the right thing and making a start... or he did the wrong thing, and this is just another story about another country, and has nothing to do with Bush and Iraq.
The U.S> government should pressure Saudi Arabia on domestic human rights issues as much as it pressures the country for military cooperation.
" but suddenly you think Bush should have attacked them if anyone?"
I don't think bush should have attacked anyone. bush's major reason(keeps changing: WMD's, Al Qeada connection, Terrorism etc.) for "attacking" Iraq is too bring these people "democracy".
So why not start with your friends? The Suads happen to be Major players in that region. Couldn't they leed by example? Why can't they be that "beacon of freedom"? Why are they allowed to continue to do what we are "saving the Iraqis from"?
G: fifteen of the 9-11 hijakers, were from Saudi Arabia , doesnt that on its own tell you that we missed the target with Iraq
not that i would support attacking saudi , but if you were going to attack anyone then ....
The Saudi's have to much pull over the US there is no way the US would risk the flow of black gold but they certainly can be argued as being more of a danger to the world ( read 'west' ) then saddam was
Phishy , sound analysis as usual , to be honest I would go even futher and say the saudi's ARE the major player in the region and should have been the country (if any) that was put under the most pressure
and yea , i had a great christmas thanks bud , hope you and yours did too
Messages from the Holy Spirit on The Holy Inheritance blog and the Christian Prophet blog are convincing me that Muslims have turned away from spiritual solutions and have turned to the cult of death and destruction to a degree that will not be tolerated. Our first step is prayer, but we must be willing to listen inside and follow the Holy Spirit's instructions when it comes to implimenting solutions.
and you dont think we have become the same ?
is not a stealth bomber part of the "cult of death and destruction" ?
How many recent wars (last 100 years) been started by muslims ?
How many civilians killed by muslim terrorists compared to innocent civilians killed by collatoral damage by us ?
why do you think you are any better ?
is the massacre of innocents at falluja a lesser crime then the evil act of 9/11 ?
and Gary , yes , excellent point , I can't see it though can you ?
I wonder what Bandar Bush's spin on this would be...
"exactly what does this have to do with Bush? Raegan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr.......
It has to do with continued U.S. support for the regime in Saudi Arabia.
LOL , he probably wouldnt shave until Bush Invaded Sheffield for making the steel that was used in the eye gouger , they are to blame . it couldnt be the repressive regime of the saudi's surely :-)
Dear false prophit, please, please read this and seek help.
as usual, everything is Bush's fault, and one way or another, he's just wrong. Phishy, I put it towards you that your analysis is either one, or the other, but you cant blame Bush for not acting on Saudi, and then also blame him for acting on Iraq.
By the way, I'm a Christian, and the "prophet" dude spooks me a bit, anyone else?
he is a freak G , he is currently claiming that the one minor who survived was saved by god
serious mental sickness
have you checked out his site ?
" as usual, everything is Bush's fault, and one way or another, he's just wrong."
Yee haw! Straw man fallacies are fun and easy, aren't they!
Merry Christmas, _H_.
and to you Djeb , thanks for you support