American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, April 10, 2004

LittleGreenFootballs or Late German Fascists?

I was inspired to build this quiz when I noticed that comments on (a popular warblog) tended to be indistinguishable in tone and content from the writings of Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and the other architects of the "final solution."

Always indistinguishable? Well, maybe not - but close enough and often enough to be pretty disturbing. Yes, the quotes I've used here are all "cherry-picked" - from LGF and the Nazis both - but since the webmaster patrols LGF pretty thoroughly it's fair to say that his site is as defined by what he allows (e.g., calls to "sterilize" the "subhuman" Palestinians) as it is by what he doesn't (e.g., criticisms of Israel or George W). [more]

Then I found a blog for the site here.

Hey Jack--I didn't see your email addy anywhere but if you see this--you are welcome to free hosting by me. It's a noble cause, man. LGF is the number one Hate Site on the internet, and needs all the exposure it can get. I'd do it myself, but I'm taking a break from wading into sewers . . .

UPDATE: Metafilter has an interesting thread on this here.

UPDATE 2: It seems Matt of Metafilter has already deleted the thread. The last thing I remember on the thread, LGF defenders were asking him to delete it, and there you go. I remember Matt said once [pp], "I have no problem with the way LGF is run."

You mean you have no problem with a moderator (Charles) who deletes anything anti-Bush or anti-Israel's policy toward the Palestinians but keeps in comments like "If every subhuman piece of excrement in the . . . camp dies slowly and painfully of starvation, I'll have a great [holiday]!"?

There was a good discussion going on in that thread--why was it deleted? Oh hey, the link still works, and if Matt's given reason for why he deleted the post: "not another pissing match, sheesh" [OK, Beav] is the actual real reason why he deleted it, then I've got an architectural structure to sell you spanning a waterway. The next to last comment is telling: only after three other points defending LGF does it also recommend deleting the thread because it's a "pissing match"--utter horseshit.

There is no comparison between a site like Metafilter and LGF, or any other blog and LGF for that matter. LGF is a pro-ethnic-cleansing cesspool of racism and hatred, and a successful one at that. So truly then, we wonder, Matt: why was the thread deleted?

April 12th Update: here is a cached version of the LGF Quiz . . . the Quiz is also currently number three at Blogdex.
Friday, April 09, 2004
"A California-based Marine whose smiling, cigar-smoking image symbolized the fall of Baghdad a year ago suffered severe head wounds in fighting this week in Iraq.

"Gunnery Sgt. Nick Popaditch, 36, of Terre Haute, Ind., marked Friday's first anniversary of the fall at a U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. Surgeons removed a piece of shrapnel that lodged near his optic nerve when a rocket-propelled grenade slammed into his tank Tuesday in Fallujah, his wife said Friday.

"'He had to have his right eye removed. He's very concerned about that,' April Popaditch said from Twentynine Palms, Calif., where her husband is based."

What'd Camille Paglia say about omens and signs?

"Anyone who thinks symbolically had to be shocked by the explosion of the Columbia shuttle, disintegrating in the air and strewing its parts and human remains over Texas -- the president's home state! So many times in antiquity, the emperors of Persia or other proud empires went to the oracles to ask for advice about going to war. Roman generals summoned soothsayers to read the entrails before a battle. If there was ever a sign for a president and his administration to rethink what they're doing, this was it. I mean, no sooner had Bush announced that the war was "weeks, not months" away and gone off for a peaceful weekend at Camp David than this catastrophe occurred in the skies over Texas.

Including one small town where the debris fell called Palestine, Texas.

Yes, exactly! What weird irony with an Israeli astronaut onboard who had bombed Iraq 20 years ago... So I think that history will look back on this as a key moment. Kings throughout history have been shaken by signals like this from beyond: Think twice about what you're doing. If a Roman general tripped on the threshold before a battle, he'd call it off."

But Mr. Bush has a point to prove, a standard to bear... and a tradition of leadership to follow.
In what way does Bush
chiefly command?

Complete mosaic available at
American Leftist and Photo Matt
According to a report by Michael Martinez of the Associated Press: "Investors concerned about the deteriorating situation in Iraq looked past solid earnings from General Electric Co. and Yahoo Inc. on Thursday, sending stocks mostly lower and leaving Wall Street with a loss for the holiday-shortened week."
For the week, the Dow Jones was down 38.12, or 0.4 percent. In comparison, Japan's Nikkei stock average gained 0.6%, Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.5%, France's CAC-40 gained 0.2%, and Germany's DAX index rose 0.3%. While worldwide, stock indexes were rising, the US fell even more, despite at least average performances by major US companies. This is, and can only be, a direct result of our engagement in Iraq, which grows worse every day. To put it bluntly: if Bush hadn't lied to get us involved in Iraq, even with his harmful economic policies, we would most likely be seeing (at least marginal) gains in the stock market, a strong indicator of a recovering economy. Congratulations Mr. Bush, you are killing two birds with one stone (American soldiers' lives and our ever more fragile economy).
Why doesn't one reporter with balls get up and ask Bush if this is what he meant when he said "Bring it on"?

Where is the fucking anger at Bush for lying to the country and world into getting us into this? Not to mention getting us into this while his FAMILY AND FRIENDS MAKE BILLIONS?

This is a great letter I got yesterday from one of our Canadian readers:
just finished watching the nightly news coverage of the iraqi intifada on
cbc: chaos in the streets, steet fighting, us soldiers dead and bloody,
injured, knives up to hostage's throats, allah's armies cheering with
rocket launchers . . . cbc reporter there says it's chaos, the US not in
control, US soldiers scared and wanting to go home, the iraqi people
supporting the resistance movement . . .

moving stuff - nothing like that on fox or cnn (which we also get up
here) - or nothing like that on the net, even - im sure al jazeera is
more powerful - this (y)our vietnam

why do i feel like the US is living in some kind of the bubble? the rest
of the world is watching uncut footage of the occupation while the
citizens of the US get watered down defence department press releases
spun by right wing insta-hacks?

has anyone learned anything from 9/11?

The President is a brave man knowing he is protected by the Secret Service, right? "Bring it on!" he blusters!

America has never had a greater fool at it's helm. As long as Bush is in charge, this is a country of fools.
Thursday, April 08, 2004

"'The Democrats are playing mean, and I am not going to hold back,' Mr Marzolf says. He recounts a story about going into a Seattle store and getting into a discussion about politics. As soon as he revealed himself to be a Republican supporter, the clerk began musing about the desirability of a speedy presidential funeral.

'I complained to the manager afterwards,' he says. 'It's illegal to say things like that against the president.'

"He mentions that several moderate Democrat friends have simply stopped socialising with him. 'It's become increasingly vitriolic. They just hate Bush,' he says with a puzzled expression."

For the record: I don't hate George Bush (and I'm not a Democrat). I find his attitude and policies to be confounding, divisive and offensive... but I don't waste time and energy hating him. I just want to see him shown the door. Soon.
According to an Associated Press story by Jennifer Kerr, the Bush administration is urging an appeals court to overturn a ruling which awarded almost $1 billion in Iraqi money to 17 American soldiers held captive during the first Gulf War. The ruling is to be paid from assets of the Iraqi government frozen in the United States. The administration believes that "once the Iraqi government gets on more solid ground...reparations could be negotiated" (emphasis added). According to the article "The POW's filed suit under a 1996 law that allows victims to pursue blocked assets if they've won damage awards against foreign governments that sponsor terrorism.". These brave men and women fought for this country 13 years ago, were captured, tortured and starved. They are using an existing US law to seek reparations against the Iraqi government. Unfortunately for them, Bush seems more worried about the lives of Iraqis and the rebuilding of the country we tore down, than US soldiers. I'm still waiting to see the compassion in his conservative.
I was reminded of that quote -- last seen on a bumper sticker on my way down Aloha St. last summer -- as I began to read Robert Jensen's words on AlterNet:

" easy is cynicism and how difficult is sustained critique in this culture, which shouldn't surprise us. People with power are perfectly happy for the population to be cynical, because that tends to paralyze people and leads to passivity. Those same powerful people also do their best to derail critique -– the process of working to understand the nature of things around us and offering judgments about them –- because that tends to energize people and leads to resistance. Understanding the difference between critique and cynicism -– and the difference between hope and optimism -– is crucial to the future of any struggle against injustice."

It's also necessary to mention that any one of you are powerful people. The fact that someone has means and sheen and gleam (or guns) doesn't make them powerful. They use power. Using power to show one's power can be seen as a fundamental weakness.

In "Ritual," Malidoma Some asserts that "behind the mighty-looking corporations are a group of wealthy people whose personal lives are lived in marginality. To maintain the show of corporate power, they must give up something of themselves, their spirit. These people start to become invisible because they are are mere instruments of the power being displayed, the power being made visible. They take a back seat to the corporation's need to be powerful. They then begin to lose touch with their own souls, with the world of the invisible. This is why they are marginal. The greatest needs end up being expressed by these people and through these people.

"It is the action of those in power that produces the poor, the menial worker, the man and woman in debt and the homeless. Misused power triggers its exact opposite as if that opposite needed to be there to highlight the dysfunctionality of its creator. The menial worker, the man and woman in debt, the poor and the homeless exist, as if they must, to highlight the person in power. The person who displays this kind of power needs more help than those who are, more or less, the casualties of this power display."
"British troops took part in a gun battle on Tuesday with followers of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr after they took over the governor's office in Basra. The British, who had surrounded the building, pulled out and, after negotiations between them, the Islamic parties and the governing council, the occupation ended."

I can't say that this would be the solution in every situation (the British have been engaged in violent street battles of late)... but for this to have even been an option, I think that there must have been decent connections and channels established between the local Iraqi leadership and the British troops. Something other than "Do what we say and do it now."
Lie, lie, distortion, half-truth, pander, manipulation, pseudo-intellectual bombast. Dodge, dodge, feint, lie, dodge, avoid, subject change, lie, slander, pretentious generalization, character assassination, bald-faced lie.

Oversimplification, undersimplification, condescension, insult, insult, lie, avoidance of responsibility, avoidance of question about avoiding responsibility, cheap political point, utter, malicious lie.

Grimace, slither, dodge, lie, deliberate misinterpretation of history, nonpartisan character disparagement, narrative designed by public-relations experts to create maximum “connection” with American public. Appearance of professionalism, resoluteness, capableness, preparedness. Major omission of lie to create partial truth. Lie for political convenience. Lie for partisan gain. Lie to protect the economic interests of an incredibly small number of people. Reception of flattery. Dispersal of flattery. Abuse of good will afforbed by ten people who are trying to gather evidence without partisan bias. Backhanded dismissal of all criticsism. Denial of any responsibility in orchestrating what will almost certainly become the most tragic and bloody war of this generation.

Rinse and repeat. [more]

"Seven South Koreans, three Japanese and a Briton were reported on Thursday to have been seized in Iraq and militants threatened to burn the Japanese alive unless their country withdrew its troops."

Just past noon (Eastern), I read that the Koreans were released.

And, after midnight, I read that "at least 13 foreigners, including one Briton, were kidnapped in different incidents, the first time that western civilians have been held by insurgents in Iraq.

"A Briton, Gary Teeley, went missing in the southern city of Nassiriya earlier this week. Three Japanese civilians were being held by a Shia militia in the south and two Palestinians with Israeli identity cards were held by another group outside Baghdad. A Canadian humanitarian worker was also reported kidnapped last night, but seven other prisoners -- South Korean Christian missionaries -- were freed."

Saw the video from which the image above was captured during an Univision newscast. Terrifying. In whatever way you can, hope and pray for these people's release.
Two days old, but important, nonetheless . . . Maureen Farrell at BuzzFlash on 4/6, posted "Will the 2004 Election Be Called Off? Why Three Out of Four Experts Predict a Terrorist Attack by November". Coupla bites:

In an article entitled, "When the War Hits Home: U.S. Plans for Martial Law, Tele-Governance and the Suspension of Elections," Madsen and Stanton delved into the more frightening aspects of what might be in store. "One incident, one aircraft hijacked, a 'dirty nuke' set off in a small town, may well prompt the Bush regime, let's say during the election campaign of 2003-2004, to suspend national elections for a year while his government ensures stability," they wrote. "Many closed door meetings have been held on these subjects and the notices for these meetings have been closely monitored by the definitive"

To make matters worse, if martial law is imposed, Air Force General Ralph E. Eberhart will be able to blast through Posse Comitatus and deploy troops to America’s streets. Gen. Eberhart, you might recall, is the former Commander of NORAD, which was in charge of protecting America’s skies on Sept. 11. But instead of being scrutinized for NORAD’s massive failures, he was promoted and now heads the Pentagon's Northern Command. And, as military analyst William M. Arkin explained, "It is only in the case of 'extraordinary' domestic operations that would enable Gen. Eberhart to bring in "intelligence collectors, special operators and even full combat troops" to bear. What kind of situation would have to occur to grant Eberhart "the far-reaching authority that goes with 'extraordinary operations’"? Nothing. He already has that authority. [Los Angeles Times]

Which brings us to the inevitable (and most important) question. How primed is the American public to accept suspended elections, martial law, or whatever else the White House decides to "market"?
Not sure "primed" is the right word, but it sher is a gud kwestyun.

. . . . . . . . . . .
By the way, for anyone who cares, I'm gonna fire up ddjangoWIrE again soon. Gimme a cupla weeks, like, 'K? And thanks for the push, Bill.

Be at peace
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
From Benedict@Large:
The Perfect Alibi
I've been absent for a few days. This article is why. At about 5,000 words, these things take a few days to write.

Largely unreported or under-reported in the U.S. press, the Bush administration last Thursday partially declassified a document called "National Security Presidential Directive 9". With falling polls, this is a massive gamble on the administration's part, and the success of this gamble depends entirely on whether or not the U.S. press can "connect the dots". So far, they have not.

Allow me to do that for you.

I have a question.
Is this week's multi-front combat in Iraq the beginning of the end, the end of the beginning... or simply evidence of that "long, hard slog" that Rummy memo'd his crew about last year?

I've read that the occupation authority or the Pentagon (or both) are anxious to have the UN come in to help deal with the mess they've made... but I don't think they're going to abandon the SuperEmbassy or military bases (yet). They just want some new bodies to throw at the insurgent problem while they continue to patrol and privatise the resources.

So will the occupation really end (soon)? Will the UN be allowed (w/o US interference) to negotiate a meaningful and equitable power-sharing agreement among the Iraqis? Having been liberated from Hussein, will this country be able to liberate itself from American exploitation?

OK, so I had more than one question.
Paul Mulshine, Newhouse News Service, in "Bush repeats a Nixon mistake, without Nixon's skills" has some of the sharpest one-liners I've seen in awhile. Haw!:

If a Democrat had advocated spending $500 billion on a prescription drug plan or $200 billion on nation-building in Iraq, conservatives would have been screaming. But all he has to do is denounce cloning while waving the flag at a NASCAR race and they fall into line . . .

The Bush people could simply have admitted that Clarke had some good points and left it at that. Instead, they did everything but hire G. Gordon Liddy to break into his office at night. Meanwhile, they managed to do for Clarke's book what the Anti-Defamation League did for Mel Gibson's movie . . . [why does Gordo's name keep popping up so much these days? I'm keeping my throat covered!!]

If war can be compared to a chess game, Bush has gotten his queen stuck in a corner while trying to take a pawn.
Be at peace.
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
don't believe in werewolves
This little tidbit is inspired by a minor detail brought to light in one of Digby's posts. (Thanks to Anymouse, a commenter.) Wingers have been invoking the specter of 'werewolves,' German fighters who supposedly engaged in guerrilla warfare after the fall of Berlin to the Russians in WWII. Invoking the werewolves is supposed to have something to do with something going on in Iraq and how we just have to stay the course like our grandfathers did fighting those Nazis. Wingers have been pushing the werewolf meme because the administration has been pushing the werewolf meme.

Don Rumsfeld
Aug 25, 2003
One group of those dead-enders was known as 'werewolves.' They and other Nazi regime remnants targeted allied soldiers and they targeted Germans who cooperated with the allied forces. Mayors were assassinated including the American appointed Mayor of Achen, the first major German city to be liberated. Children as young as ten were used as snipers, radio broadcast and leaflets warned Germans not to collaborate with the Allies.
Condi Rice
Aug 2003
The Marshall Plan was actually a response to the failed efforts to rebuild Germany in late '45 and early '46. SS officers -- called 'werewolves' -- attacked coalition forces and engaged in sabotage, much like today's Baathist and Fedayeen remnants.

[Aside..."coalition forces"?]

The military has its own historians, and since history teaches strategic lessons, they better be god damn sure they get their history right, or their strategy is going to be fucked. In this case, the military and the intelligence community know the truth about the werewolves. The administration doesn't.

For instance:

Military Review
Nov-Dec 1997
"Swords Into Plowshares: Postconflict Arms Management"
Lieutenant Colonel James J. Carafano, US Army
Moreover, before the war's end, the Germans had begun training covert forces called 'Werewolves' to continue armed guerrilla action. While this German plan never came to fruition, US forces were inundated with rumors and reports of guerrilla forces operating in-theater for months after the surrender.
Studies in Intelligence
VOL. 46, NO. 1, 2002
"Strange Bedfellows: The OSS and the London 'Free Germans'"
Jonathan S. Gould
The Allied military command was also seeking intelligence on whether rumors about a so-called 'National Redoubt' were true. Many believed that Hitler was planning to retreat into an area of southern Germany that encompassed almost twenty thousand square miles of mountains and organize a last stand. A new type of commando unit, called Werewolves, was reportedly planning to engage in a guerilla war with Allied armies to force a negotiated peace with the German government. Allied intelligence in Switzerland was warning that a large supply of munitions and poison gas was being stockpiled in underground tunnels connecting strongpoints within this 'alpine fortress.' The reports transmitted by Struewe and Konhäuser, together with information from other OSS operatives in the area, confirmed that the 'National Redoubt' was a myth.
It would be nice to think that if the administration is going to use the post-Hitler occupation of Germany as a model for the post-Saddam occupation of Iraq (regardless of how far-fetched that analogy is on its face), then they know what happened in post-Hitler Germany. It would be nice to think that.
The Temperature's Heating Up, and So are the Tempers
If you look at contemporary psychological theories of aggression, it becomes clear in a hurry that numerous antecedent conditions can bring about an aggressive response. In Iraq, we may very well be witness to a confluence of conditions that are responsible for the current level of violence as well as predict an escalation in the coming months. Let's examine a couple of those factors:

1. Uncomfortable heat:

There is now ample evidence that uncomfortably hot temperatures are causally associated with increases in aggressive behavior. In laboratory studies, individuals who are placed in uncomfortably hot conditions tend to deliver higher levels of shock or noxious white noise to their presumed victim than do individuals placed in relatively comfortable room-temperature environments. Lab data also shows a causal link between uncomfortably hot temperatures and increases in level of anger. Research on archival data, such as police and FBI records, shows that violent crimes, such as homicides and aggravated assaults, tend to show an increase during the summer months, and also tend to spike late in the afternoon or into the evening following hot days.

Think about the time of year. Spring is an apparently short season in Iraq, and the summers are unbearably hot with high temperatures regularly exceeding 110 degrees Fahrenheit in many locations. There is also no plausible way for many Iraqis to escape the heat: electricity is still pretty undependable, and for the average Iraqi may be unaffordable. For that reason alone, I might expect to see an increase in unrest.

2. Frustration:

The earliest model of aggression was proposed by Dollard and several other colleagues at Yale University during the 1930s: that is, the frustration-aggression hypothesis. The main thrust of the hypothetical model is that frustration (i.e., blocking an individual from attaining a goal) can lead to an aggressive response. One early application of Dollard and colleagues' frustration-aggression hypothesis was aimed at examining the role of economic hard times on such behaviors as homicides and various other violent activities, which from their archival research there seemed to be some support for their hypothesis. Frustration is associated with increases in various physiological measures such as heart rate, as well as anger, as well as aggressive behavior; indeed there is tons of laboratory evidence to support the hypothesis, as well as quite a number of creatively executed field experiments.

Think of what the average Iraqi may be facing on a day-to-day basis. Efforts at finding meaningful work may be frustrated for any of a number of reasons, which means that efforts to provide for one's self and family are frustrated. The expectation of a regular flow of electricity during the summer months may also be frustrated. Efforts to move freely to conduct one's business may be frustrated to varying degrees as the occupation continues.

3. Provocation:

Sometimes frustration is described by aggression theorists and researchers as one form of a broader category: provocation. Whether frustration really fits there is certainly subject to debate. When I discuss provocation to my students, I define the term as an action intended to elicit a strong response from the target of the provoking behavior. Most provocations fall under two categories: physical assaults and verbal attacks. Again, there is a ton of laboratory evidence and field research that demonstrates conclusively that there is a causal link between provocation and aggression. One thing to mention is that sometimes behaviors are unwittingly provoking - perception then becomes an important part of the equation.

Again think about what's going on to the average Iraqi. The various news reports surely suggest behaviors by coalition troops as well as various mercenaries that would fit the definition of provocation. Other acts may end up seeming provoking simply because to provocateur failed to understand the cultural norms governing acceptable behavior among the natives. Again, perception is of critical importance.

It is likely that what we are now seeing is a particularly volatile combination of these three factors (and probably others). For those of us who are pessimistic about the near future of Iraq under occupation, basic social science research on aggressive and violent behavior is unlikely to give us any cause for changing our tune. For the optimists, perhaps they would do well to reconsider their optimism in light of available theory and data.

Cross-posted at American Samizdat and my Diary at Daily Kos.
From the Baltimore Sun:

Lam Nguyen's job is to sit for hours in a chilly, quiet room devoid of any color but gray and look at pornography. This job, which Nguyen does earnestly from 9 to 5, surrounded by a half-dozen other "computer forensic specialists" like him, has become the focal point of the Justice Department's operation to rid the world of porn.

In this field office in Washington, 32 prosecutors, investigators and a handful of FBI agents are spending millions of dollars to bring anti-obscenity cases to courthouses across the country for the first time in 10 years. Nothing is off limits, they warn, even soft-core cable programs such as HBO's long-running Real Sex or the adult movies widely offered in guestrooms of major hotel chains.

Department officials say they will send "ripples" through an industry that has proliferated on the Internet and grown into an estimated $10 billion-a-year colossus profiting Fortune 500 corporations such as Comcast, which offers hard-core movies on a pay-per-view channel.

The Justice Department recently hired Bruce Taylor, who was instrumental in a handful of convictions obtained over the past year and unsuccessfully represented the state in a 1981 case, Larry Flynt vs. Ohio.

Flynt, who recently opened a Hustler nightclub in Baltimore, says everyone in the business is wary, making sure their taxes are paid and the "talent" is over 18. He says he's ready for a rematch, especially with Taylor.

"Everyone's concerned," Flynt said in an interview. "We deal in plain old vanilla sex. Nothing really outrageous. But who knows, they may want a big target like myself."

I'm at a loss for words right now.
Daily Kos Song
If you've been following the Daily Kos controversy -- a great summary is here -- you might enjoy my song parody on the subject, the Daily Kos Song.
From The Guardian, April 2. Clips:

Britain has bungled its command of an international campaign to rid Afghanistan of opium poppy, and its failure has contributed to an unprecedented increase in heroin production, a senior US official said yesterday.

In an unusually critical report, the state department's senior narcotics official, Robert Charles, told a congressional committee hearing that British efforts had been painfully slow at a time when Afghanistan was poised for a bumper heroin season.

Mr Charles claimed this would be disastrous for Afghanistan. Without a crackdown on opium poppy, the country would rapidly slide into the grip of drug lords and become increasingly lawless.

Last year, there was a bumper crop of Afghan drugs, and this year promises an even better season . . .

According to US intelligence, more hectares of Afghan farmland were devoted to poppy production in 2003 than ever before. The United Nations drug enforcement agency has charted a similar rise . . .
Oh, well . . . at least we're keeping someone employed.

Monday, April 05, 2004
"The Observer has obtained a remarkable email sent to the press secretaries of all Republican congressmen advising them what to say when questioned on the environment in the run-up to November's election. The advice: tell them everything's rosy.

"It tells them how global warming has not been proved, air quality is 'getting better', the world's forests are 'spreading, not deadening', oil reserves are 'increasing, not decreasing', and the 'world's water is cleaner and reaching more people.'"

A PDF of these talking points of denial (presented by Ohio Rep. Deborah Pryce) is available here, via also not found in nature.
An investigation by the NY Daily News has found that four National Guard members from New York have come down with illnesses likely caused by exposure to depleted uranium during their service in Iraq this past year.
From Ewen MacAskill in the Guardian:

The French government offered a surprise compromise to the US president, George Bush, in the run-up to the war in Iraq, according to a detailed investigation published in Vanity Fair this week.

The report undermines the public perception of France standing resolutely against the US and Britain in the United Nations security council as the two countries tried to win a second resolution in support of war.


At a lunch in the White House on January 13 last year, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, an adviser to the president, Jacques Chirac, and Jean-David Levitte, the French ambassador in Washington, put the deal to Condoleezza Rice, the US national security adviser.

In an effort to avoid a bitter US-French row, the French officials suggested that if the US was intent on war, it should not seek the second resolution, according to highly placed US sources cited by Vanity Fair.

Instead, the two said that the first resolution on Iraq, 1441, passed the previous year, provided enough legal cover for war and that France would keep quiet if the US went to war on that basis.

The deal would suit the French by maintaining its "good cop" status in the Arab world and safeguarding Franco-US relations. [more]
So much for "noble France" standing up to the American war machine.

This piece also reiterates a previous Guardian report that Bush and Blair pretty much agreed to go to war with Iraq on September 20, 2001.
Sunday, April 04, 2004
Meanwhile, George Bush Sr. rallies to his son's defense, while making a literal killing via his holdings in the Carlyle Group. Chalabi makes a mint providing mercenaries to guard Iraq's (yea, right) oil and for his (cough) advisory capacity--when he is a known criminal and proven liar, with your American tax money. Dick Cheney's old company makes a mint. All the upper echelon Bushites and their friends are makings billions.

While American soldiers and civilians die. While Iraqi civilians die.

Perhaps this avenue of context is the biggest thing missing from the mainstream media's coverage of these events: just how rich this Iraq 'war' is making Bush and Co. On the backs of the American poor. And that sonofabitch can't even attend ONE AMERICAN SERVICEMAN'S FUNERAL. And he JOKES ABOUT NOT FINDING THE WMDs--THEIR WHOLE ARGUMENT FOR THE INVASION IN THE FIRST PLACE. "600 hundred dead but I got a good laugh from them press people, and of course made our family and friends stinkin' rich, pretty good tradeoff I reckon . . . "

There is nothing more indecent than that.

Meanwhile, that portion in America known as the Fundamentalist Asshole-Farm throws a Fit over a Tit . . .

American Samizdat: We Bring You Context

From The Telegraph/UK. Excerpt:

G Gordon Liddy, the former FBI agent who masterminded the Watergate burglary on behalf of Richard Nixon, once said that he would like to kill John Dean by shoving a pencil through his neck.

This week, as the cerebral Mr Dean publishes Worse than Watergate: the Secret Presidency of George W. Bush, the sentiment is likely to be shared by many in Mr Bush's White House.

Thirty-one years ago Mr Dean - Nixon's legal counsel - began co-operating with prosecutors into the Watergate burglary, revealing the inner workings of the most secretive and manipulative administration in American history.

Now, in the latest political blockbuster, Mr Dean "testifies" against President Bush and Vice-President Richard Cheney, accusing them of trumping his former boss when it comes to political sharp practice.
The bad news is . . . Gordo's still around, Mouseketeers!!

Be at peace.
Unconfirmed Report
Who says this administration can't do anything right?
There is an unconfirmed report that the administration is considering Paul Wolfowitz for the position of Ambassador to Iraq. I'd like to go on record as being fully in support of this.

First of all, giving Paul any job away from the Defense Department would be an improvement to our national security, and being over 5,000 miles away seems to be as much as one could hope for. The time zone difference might also help, but not nearly so much as it might appear. After all, Mr. Wolfowitz has never even left the 1970's, and yet he's still managed to mess up every decade since then.

More importantly however, I think the Iraqis themselves would like to have Paul back. After all, they tried to shoot down his helicopter and shot rockets at his hotel room when he visited earlier, and so I think that they would be thrilled were he to come for a more lengthy stay.

So good luck, Paul. Have a nice trip. And, oh yeah: You broke it? You fix it!

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