Monday, December 12, 2005

Our occasional News Roundup - everything you need to be goddam well-informed...

Here it is, ImpeachPAC supports Democratic candidates for Congress who support the immediate and simultaneous impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney.

On insurgent Democratic candidates, Bill Greider "The Rise of the Rebels" (The Nation.)

Tasini vs. Hillary Clinton in Democratic primary:

James Fallows' "Why Iraq has no army" (The Atlantic Monthly) rehashes the dangerous fallacy that seems to define the what-went-wrong debate these days, the idea that there was a "right" way to occupy a country the size of California where gun control means one AK-47 per household. And whatever that right way was, we didn't do it.

Forget that every argument says we should have used more troops even though we can barely muster the number we have there now, already making the whole war sound like an unfunny version of the joke about the guy on a desert island figuring out how to open a can of beans and saying, first, we've got to find a can opener.

Forget that keeping the Iraqi army together was not an option since the Shiites wouldn't tolerate it, and the insurgency would have poked its head up one way or the other. Fallows says "Marines I interviewed consistently emphasized how debilitating the language barrier was."

Like my kid would say, uh, YEAH. It's like, a foreign country, and that's what a foreign country is, someplace where you have no understanding of the culture, language or customs. Which is why it's such a bad idea to invade in the first place.

We are stuck in a sand pit where no matter what, we are training and equipping people who would rather not have us there, who can turn around and shoot at us instead of the "bad guys". More troops? More targets. Oh yes, according to the Fallows piece, every Iraqi knows you actually need TWO AK-47s per household, "one for the house and one for traveling."

Next: What if the terrorists gave an election and won? Here's Bush's problem: you talk every day about spreading democracy throughout the region, then when they decide they like that idea, they vote in Hamas. Which is the ideologiocal kin of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which just grabbed 20 percent of their Legislature despite clubbings and shootings by the police in Brotherhood strongholds to suppress the vote. Now what, George? Your little experiement just gave these guys a great idea: First, we win election! Then we say, no more election!

Insurgency in Iraq now numbers up to a hundred different groups, New York Times, 12/5/05 reprinted here at

"The Americans are coming; we won't come back. They are coming to us on their own feet." From Jordanian clan caught in battle of ideas with jihadis, by Michael Slackman, NY Times 11/28/05

"...many Arab and Muslim men, not just jihadists, see foreign occupation as a form of emasculation," from Newsweek, The Women of Al Qaeda.

Christian Parenti (The Nation) says American soldiers patronize Iraqi women-turned-prostitutes.

"US Has Killed 100,000 in Iraq -The Lancet" by Juan Cole. [Lancet report authors] Roberts and Burnham find that US aerial bombardments are killing far more Iraqi civilians than had previously been suspected.

"He signed a confession saying whatever they wanted to hear, which is that he worked with Jose Padilla to do the dirty bomb plot. He says that's absolute nonsense, and he doesn't know Jose Padilla." --Lawyer for alleged co-conspirator of Jose Padilla, the American citizen held over three years incommunicado by the Bush administration as an "enemy combatant," New York Times 11/24/05.

Join the noise-making at 9pm sharp,
just when Bush starts his State of the Union speech next month. Rally in DC the Saturday after. Bush must step down NOW!

Excuse me John Roberts? What do you mean by "our money?" Roberts said: "If you want our money, you have to let our recruiters on campus." The case involved the government trying to deny federals funds to schools that don't allow military recruiters. Now just a sec, didn't every penny of that money come from the taxpayers? Your money, John? Your money? New York Times, 12/9/05.

Win website contest! Kill Americans! This from the New York Times: "An insurgent group, the Victorious Army Group, has extended a deadline for a Web design contest, according to an Internet posting. The group has set a Jan. 15 deadline for submissions of a design "worthy of the group's reputation and the reputation of the jihad and the mujahedeen," according to a translation provided by the SITE Institute, which monitors jihadist messages. The winner is promised "God's blessings" and the opportunity to fire three long-range rockets at an American military base."

Raging grannies arrested in Times Square recruiting office, demanding to

Feingold to filibuster Patriot Act

Qaeda link said made up by detainee..."A prewar assertion by the Bush administration that Iraq was assisting Al Qaeda was based on statements made by a detainee in Egyptian custody who later said he had fabricated them to avoid harsh treatment..." Boston Globe 12/9/05.


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