Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam Hussein Executed

I do believe the title says it all.

Read about it here

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Terrorist tactics

Al Jazeera
Pakistan on Tuesday said it would plant landmines and build a fence on parts of its 2,430km frontier with Afghanistan.

The measure is seen as a bid by Islamabad to fend off criticism it does too little to stop infiltration by Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Food for Thought

OK, so I was reading this editorial over at The Huffington Post, and I felt like I'd been dope slapped. Not that I don't always know this stuff, just that sometimes I tend to let it fade to the back, and RJ Eskow made me bring it forward again. It is actually a very political message, really. So I thought it was worth sharing. It starts off with a revolutionary statement:

"It's 2000 years later and they still haven't been able to kill the revolutionary message of Christmas. God knows they've tried. The Powers That Be will never be comfortable with The Power That Is. That Power - whether you call it God, or Consciousness, or Scientific Principle - is universal and freely available to all.

That makes it subversive to centralized authority. "

It's a good piece, and in my opinion well worth reading for all of us. It applies to everybody, regardless of your religious or non-religious background, regardless of your association with Judaism, Islam, Christianity or what have you. It's a strong message and and a good use of your time - especially since if you're reading Terrorism News you have some political leanings.

And, of course, may your Christmas be merry, (whether its a holy day for you or not) and your life blessed with happiness, peace, prosperity and love.

Merry Christmas

The Terrorism News team wishes you all a Merry Christmas...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Is Peace Dawning?

After several very dark years, I'm finally motivated to hope for peace in the world after reading this BBC story. Funny, but I haven't seen this announced in the states. I even watched Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night and it wasn't mentioned.

The story suggests that the Neo-Con neo-fascist movement is dying and as good as dead. In fact, they are going to shut down their website, the Project for the New American Century. It is a multi-page site with separate pages for various regions of the world, and 'policy documents' posted in each. LOTS of them. All just what you would expect from the likes of Cheney, Kristol and Wolfowitz. There is also a list of members or staffers. But if these guys are so disgraced now that they are shutting down the website, there may be hope for a future in which we only go to war to actually defend ourselves, not for profits, and in which citizens can feel free from being spied upon and from being 'dissappeared' by their own governement. It's like a smell of fresh air in a sewer right now.

Further hope comes from this Wednesday Yahoo story, in which Jeb Bush reputedly has thrown in the towel on any possible political future. Seems the name "Bush" is guaranteed bad news for any political candidate these days. I'll bet the Bush family Christmas will be full of fireworks this year....

So I have hope - just not too much. I'm old enough to remember Nixon coming back from the political grave several times, once to be president, and even after resigning in disgrace to beat a guaranteed impeachment, the bastard was given an ambassador's position. Seems the puppetmasters (whomever they really are) can resurrect the dead if the dead can still be useful to them.

So I'd say we're not really done with the Bushes when George is kicked out. Look for Jeb to be back like a zombie movie at some point in the future. And as for the PNAC, I'm busy copying everything on their site so that I'll recognize these living dead when they return. They may be dead as a recoginizable organization, but like Nixon, until they are "not only really dead, but really most sincerely dead", they will be back, dressed up as political ingenues like a bunch of ancient whores still trying to turn a trick.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Why Now?

This morning's news carries a story about the retirement announcement of Army Gen. John Abizaid, our top military man in Iraq. Now, having recently predicted retirements of military brass over the disagreement with Bush about his 'surge' brain-fart, I'm not even going to claim this particular retirement to be part of that prediction. Why? Because he filed the paperwork a month ago, according to Reuters, the agency carrying the story.

But, it was about a month ago that we started hearing the 'military surge' theory - right after the elections as I recall. It was also about that time the DC gossip writers said that Cheney would have us in Iran before the year was out - and we still have 11 days to go on that one though it looks as if that may have been a bad guess.

And it was only a day ago that we were told the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff was opposed to the military surge. Not only that, but a few minutes ago Bush told the nation that he wants to expand the military for a 'long term' war on terror. (I guess the option of just not taking the bait has not occurred to him....) So I'm curious about the timing of this announcement. I think it means more than just 'a month to process the paperwork'.

Folks say that "Timing is everything", Sun Tzu says timing is a very important strategic consideration that will reveal much. I'm wondering if Gen. John was just worn out, or if his retirement was REQUESTED a month ago because he opposed the surge concept.

Anybody have any deeper insight than this?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Anybody feel a Draft?

Well, I'd say the 'all volunteer' army of recent years is about done in now. You can only put volunteers in harm's way for your own ego related warmongering and mismanagement for so long before they stop being volunteers. There are two things in the news tonight that make me think the US will have a military draft again early next year.

First, there's this story, which came out as I drove home from work tonight. I probably don't need to state that I only a few minutes ago predicted that he would ignore the military brass about sending yet more troops to Iraq - here it is. As Carlos Mencia says - "DE-de-de". But then there is also this other story here on AOL about a Naval buildup in the Persian Gulf because of Iran.

Now, given the comments yesterday from Colin Powell (Retired US Army General and retired US Secretary of State) who should know what he's talking about, we may have nearly broken the ability of our military to continue to perform in Iraq or any similar venue - but he was talking mostly Army, Marine Corps, and perhaps Air Force. Apparently the Navy is all we have left with enough depth to be able to increase the presence. Or maybe they don't have the ability either without relocating ships from some other fleet - those vessels are very expensive equipment and I don't believe they have a lot of extras sitting around.

But what I think concerns me more is that a) I don't think it will impress Iran much, b) if we were to make war on Iran, we could launch a lot of Cruise missiles from those ships, and c) it sounds like escalation to me.

So, given Mr. Powell's comments about the nearly broken down military capabilities, and the possibility of escalation of what is not yet a war (but which the Bushies have said repeatedly they are willing to make into a war), and the federal military testing that is given to all our high school students under No Child Left Behind (see the second and third paragraphs here) and the database they keep on those kids tested, I think you're looking at a military draft for every kid who has graduated since Bush took office. That database may well be the real meaning of 'no child left behind' - no child missed as a source of cannon fodder.

The sad part? These kids won't be volunteers, they won't have more than about 12 weeks of training (what we got before Viet Nam), they won't have as much experience as the guys who'll be allowed to go home and won't have those older guys around to help them survive, and we'll see them getting killed a lot faster than what we see now. And it's a good possibility for 2007. Bush and Cheney will do all the damage they can before he's out of office - count on it.

Chiefs Opposed to Surge

A story in today's Washington Post indicates that the Joint Chiefs are opposed to Bush's idea of a 'surge' in Iraq, and it provides some pretty negative reasons against the idea - which of course our Viet Nam defector pResident will ignore.

"At regular interagency meetings and in briefing President Bush last week, the Pentagon has warned that any short-term mission may only set up the United States for bigger problems when it ends. The service chiefs have warned that a short-term mission could give an enormous edge to virtually all the armed factions in Iraq -- including al-Qaeda's foreign fighters, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias -- without giving an enduring boost to the U.S military mission or to the Iraqi army, the officials said.

The Pentagon has cautioned that a modest surge could lead to more attacks by al-Qaeda, provide more targets for Sunni insurgents and fuel the jihadist appeal for more foreign fighters to flock to Iraq to attack U.S. troops, the officials said.

The informal but well-armed Shiite militias, the Joint Chiefs have also warned, may simply melt back into society during a U.S. surge and wait until the troops are withdrawn -- then reemerge and retake the streets of Baghdad and other cities."

Bush didn't listen to the advice of the military professionals when he wanted to start this war, he hasn't listened to them since, and I don't expect him to pay attention now. Let's see what happens - Nostradamnthem is predicting a few unanticipated 'resignations' (firings for those who need me to be more specific).

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Are they mad...

or do they just think we're all stupid? Just because nobody comes running when they cry 'terrorist' any more, the Bush administration is now trying to sell you on being afraid of satellites falling on your head - or something like that. Yahoo is carrying the story.

"We reserve the right to defend ourselves against hostile attacks and interference with our space assets," Joseph said in prepared remarks to the George C. Marshall Institute.

Joseph, the senior arms control official at the State Department, said nations cannot all be counted on to use space purely for peaceful purposes.

"A number of countries are exploring and acquiring capabilities to counter, attack, and defeat U.S. space systems," Joseph said

He also said terrorists "understand our vulnerabilities and have targeted our economy in the past, as they did on 9/11." He said terrorists and enemy states might view the U.S. space program as "a highly lucrative target," while sophisticated technologies could improve their ability to interfere with U.S. space systems and services.

Joseph did not identify terror groups or nations that might have such motives. An aide to Joseph, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter, said that information was classified."

So, nobody is afraid enough of Jihadi's any more, and as a result the Bushies now add 'anti-space' folks to the list of terrorists, which was expanded back in 2002 to include such heinous enemies as animal rights activists and ecology activists (no kidding). PETA, e.g. is now a terrorist organization, and if they chose to use the Patriot Act in that way, could make you disappear for sending them money. I'm not sure of the status of Greenpeace, but probably them too. And now, they've added unnamed nations who might object to US orbital spying on them to the list of terrorists.

And while Mr. Joseph says we can't count on all nations to use space peacefully, he conveniently forgets the old Nixon era concept of dropping nukes from orbit, and the newer Reagan age idea (which Bush pushes) of orbital laser weapons. Making us the premier nation that can't be counted on to use space peacefully.

But, I think they've finally gotten it right. I suspect my neighbors of being PETA supporters, and I know of at least one and maybe three Martian sleeper cells in my town who are definitely anti-spy satellite. They don't want to get caught doing those cow mutilations, you know?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Iraq Study Group Report

I don't know if any of you get tired of hearing TV talking heads analyze government reports or legislation without providing any detail to us, but I sure get fed up with it. So, as a minor public service of sorts, I'm providing you with a link to the Iraq Study Group Report, courtesy of the United States Institute of Peace. The full download is available as a .pdf file, and is only 84 pages long. Don't get fooled by the spin-doctors - read it for yourself. I will.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Homework assignment, anyone?

OK, so I'm sitting here in my flat, and I'm reading an art book. Supposedly an art book. It is titled Mark Lombardi Global Networks. Mark Lombardi was an artist who specialized in researching and diagramming the financial connections of politicans, crime figures and corporations behind the big financial scandals here in the states. He was found hanged in his apartment, apparently a suicide.

Anyway, the connections amount to a lot of 'under the table' dealing and money laundering, and they involve not only US presidents, but heads of state in other countries as well. And on page 30 there is the following discussion of Money Laundering (I'm copying, not pasting, in case you find errors):

"The term "money laundering" was probably first developed in the heyday of Al Capone's crime syndicate, when coin-operated laundries were used to hide illegal gambling profits. Over time, money laundering developed into an international business involving offshore financial institutions, including shell banks, which were estimated in 2002 to house deposits of $5 trillion worldwide, whereeas in 1983 they held only $200 million. Their advantages lie in the secrecy, freedom from taxes, and ready access to cross-border currency that they offer. Offshore accounts can be opened in a few hours, and offshore businesses can be registered overnight. First used during the 1930s by individuals intending to hide funds from the Nazis and by French people wishing to avoid income taxes, then later by mobster Meyer Lansky during the 1950s, these accounts have in recent decades also become tax havens for international corporations and wealthy individuals throughout the world. "
"Joining this figure in impressiveness is the yearly sum of revenues amassed in the Western world through white-collar crime: $818 Billion, according to U.N. figures."

Mark Lombardi's art took the form of a large chart showing businesses and investors, with lines connecting them, so that you could see for example the business connections of George W. Bush with various Saudi and other Arab personnel and ventures. And the Harken Energy company he invested in was one of Mark's art projects.

So then I remembered that the Taliban had been negotiating a pipeline deal with the White House (Cheney specifically) and bailed out on the deal, just about 2 months before the US decided to invade that country to get Osama. (Strangely, we never found bin Laden, but we put the Taliban out of office in short order.) Then I started thinking - just what might be the connection between the amount of money that was at stake, money laundering on a global scale, and our boys at home starting 2 wars in the Middle East in one year? Given the historical method in that part of the world (I forgot what it's called but there is a name for it) of handling money transfers in cash outside the 'regular' banking system, could our boys have gotten ripped off and gone to war to settle the score?

I don't know the answer. And it would be really hard to prove, but the kind of diagrams Lombardi made would certainly show the connections. I just wish I had the time to research it all and find out. Anybody got time on their hands? You could take it as homework... and you might start with either Harken Energy, or with the Carlyle Group.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Do you look good naked?

Well, if not you'd better be working on shaving those extra pounds if you're flying to or in the US. The TSA is going to be taking x-ray photos of you if they think you might be hiding anything. (See the snap?) You can clearly see some things - like the apparent full sized pistol on her left hip, her security 'cargo' belt that hides the profiles of her other equipment, the small knife or pistol like accessory on the right hip, and in larger versions of the photo you can make out various details of the woman's body that I'm sure she doesn't want discussed here.

Here's the story on Yahoo News. The photo comes from the AP story on AOL (sorry, I couldn't find it on AP's site for direct linking), which has somewhat more detail. It also states that the details are on the Federal Register site, but of course there is so much there that I couldn't find the details they referred to either. Anyway, if you have time on your hands and want to search for the ATS (Automated Targeting System) info, the Federal Register is here.

OK, so I have a few questions....

1) Do any of us want those TSA employees seeing us naked? Forgive me for answering my own question, but I don't think so.

2) Just who is dumb enough to think the TSA won't be keeping copies of these films? I fully expect them to do it, and to route the 'hot looking' women thru the screening process just for a chance to see them naked. Or maybe the hot looking men, depending on who's at the machine. Is that sexual harassment? Do you really want your naked photos being checked out by Dick Cheney just because you're buff?

3) What is to prevent these films from being leaked? Bush couldn't stop leaks out of his own office, who can say the TSA employees won't be putting you on the web? Remember the Disney Splash Mountain films that got leaked and called 'Flash Mountain' because the security cameras were catching girls lifting up their shirts before the ride cart hit the water? The whole country was voting on who had the best tits, and the girls never new they were on the web. So how long before these show up?

4) By the way, do they know that X-rays have been proven to destroy mitochondrial DNA? The result is that your cells either won't reproduce themselves, or they might reproduce abnormally, creating cancers and tumors and such. The price of cooperation.

5) How long will it be before someone is arrested for refusing to participate? Supposedly if selected for this, you have the option of a few other choices - one of which is a personal groping by a TSA employee. But don't try to refuse either if they insist - it's a felony to "interfere" with a federal security employee in the conduct of their job, and people have already been arrested for simply complaining too loud in public.

On the whole, I'd say this is a very bad idea. I guess I'll just have to travel by car, train or boat. But then, I quit flying long ago over the entire security procedures thing anyway. I value my privacy too much to tolerate these intrusions.