9.12.06

here is your iraq study group, and i did it for free...

the answer is ‘there is no answer’. why can’t people just be happy with the fact that not every situation can be fixed by the americans???? you go into a country, occupy it, torture it, kill it, burn it, and then sit there on your asses and say, ‘gee, how do we fix it now???’

the way americans fix iraq is to leave immediately, promise to never do it again, pay billions of dollars in reparations, imprison the bush administration, and hope and pray that the rest of the world does not treat you as badly as you treat them.

the iraqis will take care of it. they are big boys. the american sympathizers and traitors will be hung like the dogs they are, and life will go on. as they choose, not as america chooses.

now, you can stay and continue to get killed, if you wish, but, it makes more sense to just leave, no?

Iran offers to help U.S. withdraw from Iraq

Iran offers to help U.S. withdraw from Iraq - Africa & Middle East - International Herald Tribune:
Iran's foreign minister delivered a blunt challenge to the United States on Saturday, saying Tehran is willing to help U.S. troops withdraw from neighboring Iraq but only if Washington makes some tough policy changes.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki claimed U.S. troops were responsible for at least half the violence tearing apart Iraq and that their departure would pay security dividends for the entire region.

'If the United States changes its attitude the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to help with the withdrawal from Iraq,' Mottaki told the International Institute of Strategic Studies conference here. 'Fifty percent of the problem of insecurity in Iraq is the presence of foreign troops.'

Mottaki echoed calls made last week by Iran's top national security official, Ali Larijani, for Gulf Arab countries to eject American bases in their countries and establish a regional security pact with Iran. Mottaki went further and offered deeper cooperation with the six Gulf Arab states on energy, tourism, business and counter-narcotics.

8.12.06

GOP senator says war may be 'criminal'

AP Wire | 12/08/2006 | GOP senator says war may be 'criminal':

Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith, a Republican who voted in favor of the Iraq war in 2002 and has supported it ever since, now says the current U.S. war effort is 'absurd' and 'may even be criminal.'

In an emotional speech on the Senate floor Thursday night, Smith called for changes in U.S. policy that could include rapid pullouts of U.S. troops from Iraq. He said he never would have voted for the conflict if he had known the intelligence that President Bush gave the American people was inaccurate.

'I for one am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day,' Smith said. 'That is absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that anymore. ... So either we clear and hold and build, or let's go home.'

...

Smith said he is 'tired of paying the price of 10 or more of our troops dying a day. So let's cut and run or cut and walk, but let us fight the war on terror more intelligently than we have because we have fought this war in a very lamentable way.'

War-Criminal retires


Today, you spoke of your reading list. Of reading about wars and death. May you have the rest of your life to read, as you sit in 4 x 6 prison cell in the basement of the Hague… may your nights be filled with the screams and the blood of those you have killed. May you live a long life and have each day be a painful reminder of how awful, how blood-thirsty, how murderous your days have been.

Bush Crime Family weakens national security to appease India

Irritant words diluted, not gone- The Economic Times:

The final version of the US-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act still contains the clauses that India had found unacceptable—but in a more diluted form. New Delhi feels that the draft legislation contains ``certain extraneous and prescriptive provisions.’’

Words like certifications and determinations, which had legal ramifications, have now been changed to a milder ``description’’ and ``assessment’’ of steps. The language of the clauses is more conciliatory and positive. For example, the president’s annual certification on India’s non-proliferation record has now been changed to an assessment.

The Iran clause, the one major political irritant, still finds a place in the act—not once but twice— but again in a more conciliatory tone. The wording has been reworked from the Congress’ seeking a presidential determination, to the Senate version seeking a ``description and assessment of the specific measures that India has taken to fully and actively participate in US and international efforts to dissuade, isolate and, if necessary, sanction and contain Iran for its efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction,”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in her letter to the legislators before the reconciliation process started, had said that in the senate version, the Iran reference would be viewed by India as an imposition of conditions. New Delhi had wanted the clause to be dropped altogether, and taken the stand that no foreign country can take away a nation’s sovereign right to conduct foreign policy.

Bush assures India that the Congress and its lawmaking does not matter!

We will be bound only by 123 nuclear agreement: India (3rd Roundup) - India:

'The government welcomes the outcome of the conference in the US Congress that has reconciled the Waiver Bills earlier passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively which would enable resumption of civilian nuclear energy cooperation between India and the USA,' the statement added.

'The US administration has assured us that once passed, this legislation would enable it to fulfil all its commitments and obligations under the 18 July Joint Statement and the Separation Plan,' it stressed.

'The enactment of the waiver has wider implications for India's access to international cooperation in civilian nuclear energy and is, therefore, of historic significance,' the ministry said.

'Our obligations and commitments will be those that we undertake in the bilateral 123 Agreement. We expect that to adhere to the July 18 Joint Statement and the Separation Plan,' the ministry underlined, making a crucial distinction between a law of the US and the bilateral agreement which will be the sole binding document relating to civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries.

'We look forward to working with the US administration for an early conclusion of a satisfactory agreement,' the ministry said.

Will Lebanon again become a casualty of American expediency?

The Daily Star - Editorial - Will Lebanon again become a casualty of American expediency?:

The report by Washington's Iraq Study Group is a sweeping document that may lead to profound change in the Middle East - or to nothing at all. Whatever the case, governments in this part of the world would do well to recognize that the report is not about Iraq: It is about how to protect America's interests as it gets out of Iraq. Only by appreciating this distinction can indigenous players hope to safeguard their own interests as the executive and legislative branches of the US government decide what, if anything, to do about the report's recommendations.

This will mean different things to different state and non-state actors. For many, Washington's desire to keep Iraq from falling apart, and so to improve stability across the region, will mesh perfectly with their own goals. For others, the particular mechanisms by which the Americans seek to accomplish these tasks might constitute a threat that is nothing less than existential. One of these potential casualties is Lebanon, whose chronic instability makes it a prime candidate for a 'solution' that looks expedient from the US perspective but condemns the Lebanese people to yet another era of foreign domination. Both the government headed by Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and the opposition led by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah need not just to be aware of this peril but also to guard against it, and actively so.

Another War-Crime: US raid killed civilians, Iraqi officials claim

US raid killed civilians, Iraqi officials claim | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited:
Iraqi officials today contradicted US claims that 20 al-Qaida militants had died in a coordinated US air and ground assault, saying instead that 17 civilians had been killed.

...

[P]olice and officials in the town of Ishaqi said the bodies of 17 civilians, including six women and five children, were found in the rubble of two homes.

"The Americans have done this before, but they always deny it," Amer Alwan, the mayor of Ishaqi, was quoted as saying by Reuters. "I want the world to know what's happening here."

TV news footage showed more than a dozen charred and bloodied bodies laid out in rows, covered in blankets.

Suit by Iraqis and Afghans claims Rumsfeld ordered torture

Suit by Iraqis and Afghans claims Rumsfeld ordered torture | csmonitor.com:
'The secretary of Defense personally issued orders and authorized illegal interrogation techniques and caused torture,' says ACLU lawyer Lucas Guttentag. '[Rumsfeld] was directly and personally involved.'

Mr. Guttentag says that Rumsfeld also 'failed to take the required actions to stop abuse in the face of overwhelming uncontroverted evidence that he received and was aware of.'

The Defense secretary had been notified of the abuses via Red Cross reports, human rights organization reports, military internal reports, and FBI reports, according to documents obtained by the ACLU under the Freedom of Information Act, Guttentag says.

In addition to Rumsfeld, the suit names Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of coalition forces in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, Col. Janis Karpinski, commander of the military unit that ran detention facilities in Iraq, and Col. Thomas Pappas, commander of the military unit that gathered intelligence in Iraq.

The civil suit was filed by lawyers with the ACLU and Human Rights First. It says Rumsfeld and the officers violated constitutional protections, international law, and the Geneva Conventions. The suit seeks compensatory damages and a judicial declaration that the legal rights of the detainees were violated under the Constitution, the Geneva accords, and other international law.

7.12.06

Do they REALLY hate us for our Freedom?? | The Few, the Proud: Another marine to face murder trial

BBC NEWS | Americas | Iraq marine to face murder trial:

The hearing at Camp Pendleton Marine base in southern California ordered Sgt Hutchins to stand trial on 23 April next year on charges of murder, conspiracy and kidnapping.

He could face life in prison if convicted.

Sgt Hutchins is alleged to have masterminded a plan to kill Hashim Ibrahim Awad, a disabled Iraqi grandfather and former policeman.

...

When they failed to find him, the men became frustrated and dragged a disabled grandfather, Hashim Ibrahim Awad, from his home, bound and beat him and then shot dead.

Bush is the root of effort to topple Lebanese government

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 12/07/2006 | Analysts: U.S. at root of effort to topple Lebanese government:
American political leaders watched with alarm during the past week as the Hezbollah militia laid siege to the U.S.-backed Lebanese government, but few would acknowledge publicly what most analysts and politicians here say is obvious: American policy may bear much of the blame.




Many in Beirut say that U.S. failure to stop Israel's onslaught against Hezbollah last summer crippled the Lebanese government - a U.S. ally - while strengthening Hezbollah - a U.S. enemy. That created an environment in which the Shiite Muslim militia could call for overthrowing Sunni Muslim Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and his Cabinet.

This summer was a catastrophe on many levels. This summer was bad news,' said a Western diplomat in Beirut, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. 'In general, Lebanon is in a much, much weaker position now than it was in June. There's no question at all levels - politically, economically, in terms of unity - everything is much worse now than it was in June.'

How did the U.S. response contribute to that?

'It was painful to be here this summer, you know. I'll just leave it at that,' the diplomat said.

Hezbollah officials have harped on the Lebanese government's reliance on U.S. help at a time when American policy makers weren't putting pressure on Israel to stop its aerial bombardment.

'It's no coincidence that all those who supported Israel in the war are today supporting what remains of this falling government,' Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Thursday night via video feed to a cheering crowd of thousands.

'Does any Lebanese accept ... supporting a government that George Bush and (Israeli Prime Minister) Ehud Olmert support?' he asked.

The sea of men, women and children booed and screamed for the government's downfall.

A damning indictment of a President and his policy


Independent Online Edition > Leading Articles:

A more devastating indictment of the strategy of a sitting American president could not be imagined. The cross-party Iraq Study Group's recommendations on future US policy in that blighted country were made public yesterday. Gone are the illusions of 'progress' and 'victory' peddled by George Bush - and, until recently, Tony Blair. Instead, it paints an unvarnished picture of the 'dire' reality in Iraq. It breaks new ground not in the proposals it makes, but in the bluntness with which it speaks truth to power.

...


Most important, however, is the reaction of this most obstinate of presidents. Mr Bush says he will take the report "very seriously". But he has hitherto shown little inclination to engage Iran and Syria, and none whatsoever to put pressure on Israel. He still talks of "seeing the job through", and says the ISG report is just one of several sets of proposals he is considering.

But none will be as authoritative. Can he now, for once, take the advice of people whose views are not his own? It is most certainly his best chance, and probably his last one, of salvaging something from one of the greatest foreign disasters in American history.

6.12.06

Bush Crime Family: You are Next! | U.S. torture statute put to the test

U.S. torture statute put to the test - Newsday.com:

For 12 years the U.S. federal Torture Statute lay unused. Wednesday, federal prosecutors finally unleashed it.

The target of the first indictment under the 1994 anti-torture law was the 29-year-old son of the notorious former Liberian President Charles Taylor, Charles McArthur Emmanuel -- more commonly known as Charles "Chuckie" Taylor.

...

'This is a huge precedent,' said a source close to the investigation. 'If the U.S. is willing to prosecute its own citizens for this , then certainly we'll be willing to prosecute foreigners who have been involved in torture or who are trying to hide in the U.S. It just illustrates the U.S. isn't messing around.'

...

'This is very significant in terms of the U.S. indicating that torture is not acceptable,' said Elise Keppler, counsel with Human Rights Watch's International Justice Program. 'And we'll be looking to the U.S. government to take this law further and apply it in other cases.'

The Few, The Proud: US Marines prepare charges in Haditha Iraqi civilian massacre

JURIST - Paper Chase: US Marines prepare charges in Haditha Iraqi civilian killings:

The US military is close to charging at least five US Marines in connection with the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha last November, a military spokesperson said late Tuesday. Though specific details have not yet been disclosed, some Marines may be charged with murder and others with the lesser charge of negligent homicide. The 24 deaths prompted two separate military investigations: one conducted by the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, aimed at determining whether to prosecute the soldiers involved, and an investigation into decisions made by Marine leadership led by US Army Major General Eldon Bargewell. An anonymous US official familiar with the NCIS investigation, speaking in May, suggested the Marines murdered in cold blood, and the probe concluded in August that evidence exists to support murder allegations. Bargewell's report has not yet been released, but officials briefed on the investigation said that there was evidence that soldiers concealed and destroyed evidence relating to the incident and were reluctant to hand over evidence.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani, the US Marine commander in charge of the Third Battalion, First Marine Regiment implicated in the Haditha incident, told the Washington Post in August that he did not order an immediate investigation into the deaths because he did not suspect any wrongdoing. Lt. Gen. James Mattis, the officer responsible for determining whether to charge the Marines involved, attracted press attention in 2005 when he told a panel discussion that 'It's fun to shoot people'

IMPEACH THESE FUCKING ANIMALS


Bush's Pentagon Wrongfully Withholding Images of Detainee Abuse, ACLU Tells Court

American Civil Liberties Union : Pentagon Wrongfully Withholding Images of Detainee Abuse, ACLU Tells Court:
Amrit Singh, the ACLU attorney who argued the case before the court today, said the government is attempting to radically expand the exemptions allowed under the Freedom of Information Act for withholding records.

“Under the government’s logic, records that uncover the most egregious government misconduct would be afforded the greatest protection from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. That cannot be,” said Singh. “These images shed light not only on the scope of prisoner abuse by U.S. forces, but also on command responsibility for that abuse. The public has a right to examine these images for itself.”

The government agrees that the final ruling on appeal with respect to the 21 images will also apply to other images of prisoner abuse that it is withholding on the same grounds. So far, the government has identified approximately 23 such images of prisoner abuse.

Bush 'Privacy Board' Another Lie

Wired News: Bush 'Privacy Board' Just a Gag:

The first public meeting of a Bush administration 'civil liberties protection panel' had a surreal quality to it, as the five-member board refused to answer any questions from the press, and stonewalled privacy advocates and academics on key questions about domestic spying.

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which met Tuesday, was created by Congress in 2004 on the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, but is part of the White House, which handpicked all the members. Though mandated by law in late 2004, the board was not sworn in until March 2006, due to inaction on the part of the White House and Congress.

The three-hour meeting, held at Georgetown University, quickly established that the panel would be something less than a fierce watchdog of civil liberties. Instead, members all but said they view their job as helping Americans learn to relax and love warrantless surveillance.

'The question is, how much can the board share with the public about the protections incorporated in both the development and implementation of those policies?' said Alan Raul, a Washington D.C. lawyer who serves as vice chairman. 'On the public side, I believe the board can help advance national security and the rights of American by helping explain how the government safeguards U.S. personal information.'

Board members were briefed on the government's NSA-run warrantless wiretapping program last week, and said they were impressed by how the program handled information collected from American citizens' private phone calls and e-mail.

But the ACLU's Caroline Fredrickson was quick to ridicule the board's response to the administration's anti-terrorism policies, charging that the panel's private meetings to date largely consisted of phone calls with government insiders and agencies.

'When our government is torturing innocent people and spying on Americans without a warrant, the PCLOB should act -- indeed, should have acted long ago,' Fredrickson said. 'Clearly you've been fiddling while Rome burns. This board needs to bring a little sunshine. So far America is kept in the dark -- and this is the first public meeting you have had.'

FISA? Bush's FBI taps cell phone mic as eavesdropping tool

FBI taps cell phone mic as eavesdropping tool | CNET News.com:

The FBI appears to have begun using a novel form of electronic surveillance in criminal investigations: remotely activating a mobile phone's microphone and using it to eavesdrop on nearby conversations.

The technique is called a 'roving bug,' and was approved by top U.S. Department of Justice officials for use against members of a New York organized crime family who were wary of conventional surveillance techniques such as tailing a suspect or wiretapping him.

Nextel cell phones owned by two alleged mobsters, John Ardito and his attorney Peter Peluso, were used by the FBI to listen in on nearby conversations. The FBI views Ardito as one of the most powerful men in the Genovese family, a major part of the national Mafia.

The surveillance technique came to light in an opinion published this week by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. He ruled that the 'roving bug' was legal because federal wiretapping law is broad enough to permit eavesdropping even of conversations that take place near a suspect's cell phone.

5.12.06

Ethnic Cleansing and Israel’s Racist Discourse

Palestine Chronicle - Ramzy Baroud: Ethnic Cleansing and Israel’s Racist Discourse:

“The term ethnic cleansing refers to various policies of forcibly removing people of another ethnic group. At one end of the spectrum, it is virtually indistinguishable from forced emigration and population transfer, while at the other it merges with deportation and genocide.”

According to this definition, and others including those emerging in the 1990s, following the ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, Palestinians have been and remain victims of a determined and unwavering ethnic cleansing policy that began in 1947-48 and continues until today.

However, it is important that when we examine the subject of ethnic cleansing in Palestine, we take into account its various dimensions, one of which is the accompanying racist discourse, which has become part and parcel of Israel’s ethnic cleansing policies.

Any act of collective punishment — whether ethnic cleansing or genocide or any other — is often preceded and or adjoined by a racist discourse that dehumanizes the victim and justifies the crime on baseless grounds, a concoction of lies and fibs that may appeal to national or religious psyches, but fails the test of law, morality or basic human norms and expectations.

Without such discourse, which depicted the original inhabitants of Palestine as cancerous, subhuman and a nuisance in the face of civilization and progress — as defined by the founders of the Zionist movement — it would not have been possible to carry out a systematic campaign of murder and ethnic cleansing in 1947-48, which saw the killing of an estimated 13,000 Palestinians, the forcible eviction of 850,000 and the depopulation and subsequent destruction of nearly 500 villages and localities. Without such a racist discourse it would have been difficult, to say the least, to carry out scores of preempted massacres, including Deir Yassin, Tantoura, Abbasiyya, Beit Daras, Bir Al-Saba’, Haifa and so forth.

Rights groups: Israel tortures Palestinian detainees | Bush Crime Family looks on and takes notes

Rights groups: ISA tortures detainees | Jerusalem Post:

'The truth is that these complaints are not examined,' said Abram. 'This is the cover-up that the government uses to convince well-meaning people that there is no torture in Israel.' Other speakers maintained that although the Shin Bet did not systematically use the torture techniques that were outlawed by the High Court or similar, pain-causing methods, it continued to employ them in some instances and had found new ones to humiliate and dehumanize the detainees.

PCATI attorney Samah Elkhatib-Ayoub said that since the beginning of the second intifada, her organization had received complaints from detainees on a daily basis of 'new, original and more sophisticated interrogation methods than in the past.' These included hanging detainees upside down by their feet and hands, tearing out beards, choking, applying the banana bend (in which the detainee's hips and chest are pulled back), and the half banana bend, applying the frog squat and violent shaking.

Elkhatib-Ayoub said that in addition to these methods, detainees were also beaten by soldiers between their arrest and transfer to the interrogation facility, barred from seeing a lawyer, and held in substandard detention conditions.

Italy to probe CIA rendition

Al Jazeera English - Europe:

Suspects include 26 Americans, most believed to be CIA agents, as well as six Italians, including Nicolo Pollari, the former head of Italy's SISMI military intelligence agency.

Prosecutors believe the CIA agents, with help from SISMI, grabbed Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr off a Milan street, bundled him into a van and flew him out of Italy from a US airbase. Nasr, an Egyptian also known as Abu Omar, says he was tortured by Egyptian agents under questioning there with electric shocks, beatings, rape threats and genital abuse.

Nasr also said in an 11-page handwritten account that he was offered freedom if he collaborated with authorities, but he refused. A high-ranking SISMI suspect says the CIA wanted the agency to help it abduct the imam but that he declined.

4.12.06

Do they really hate us for our freedom???


Marine convicted of rape in Philippines | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle:
A young U.S. Marine faces 40 years in jail after being convicted Monday of rape in a landmark case that has become a symbol for women's rights and national sovereignty in the Philippines.

Makati Regional Trial Court Judge Benjamin Pozon rejected Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith's claim that the woman was a willing partner, saying she was too drunk to have consented to having sex.

Three other Marines were acquitted of complicity for allegedly cheering on Smith in the back of a moving van.

Chavez hails landslide election victory as defeat of 'devil' Bush

Independent Online Edition > Americas:

Emboldened by a landslide election victory, the Venezuelan leader, Hugo Chavez is poised to forge ahead with his 'Bolivarian revolution' - but analysts warned that the US may continue to try to undermine him.

Mr Chavez secured about 61 per cent of Sunday's vote and immediately told supporters that his third term would see an 'expansion of the revolution' that has seen the establishment of social programmes for the poor using the country's oil wealth.

'Long live the revolution. Venezuela is demonstrating that a new and better world is possible and we are building it,' Mr Chavez said from the balcony of the presidential palace on Sunday evening. Repeating an attack on the US President, George Bush, he said: 'It's another defeat for the devil, who tries to dominate the world. Down with imperialism.'

Muslim Political Analyst Says The 21st American Century Is About To End

Jihad Unspun - A Clear View On The US War On "Terrorism":

Throughout the Muslim world America's credibility has plummeted to an all-time low. The ferocity of the resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan has broken the back of the US army and forced President Bush to abandon his plans to advance democracy. Bush unable to extricate America from Iraq and Afghanistan has had to revert to the 'Truman Doctrine' and seek the help of secular autocracies like Syria, Iran and Pakistan. Instead of reshaping the Muslim world in America's image, the nefarious policies of the Bush administration has Islamized the region, politicized the Muslim masses to awaken from their spiritual slumber and galvanized the Muslim intelligentsia into a powerful force for political Islam- to sum up the last six years- it is suffice to say that America is precipitating the birth of the Caliphate.

After two decades of dominating world affairs, America finds itself at the mercy of her friends and enemies. Graham Fuller former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council described America's predicament correctly when he wrote in the latest issue of the National Interest, 'diverse countries have deployed a multiplicity of strategies and tactics designed to weaken, divert, alter, complicate, limit delay or block the Bush agenda through death by a thousand cuts.'

So what happens after America has fallen from its perch as the world's sole super power? Europe is too divided to take up the mantle of the leading state. Russia has yet to translate her economic strength into political capital to position its self as the pre-eminent power. Both China and India lack the political will and the experience to affect world politics. For the foreseeable future, both countries will be confined to their respective spheres of influence.

The country that wishes to supplant America must possess a huge population, abundant resources, a universal ideology and the political will to succeed. The most obvious candidate is the Muslim world under the Caliphate, which Bush has often spoken about.

3.12.06

Does the Bush Crime Family Care? Is it really part of their plan? Is it more treasonous war-profiteering? Or, are they simply incompetent?

U.S. Report Finds Fault in Training of Afghan Police - New York Times:

Five years after the fall of the Taliban, a joint report by the Pentagon and the State Department has found that the American-trained police force in Afghanistan is largely incapable of carrying out routine law enforcement work, and that managers of the $1.1 billion training program cannot say how many officers are actually on duty or where thousands of trucks and other equipment issued to police units have gone.

In fact, most police units had less than 50 percent of their authorized equipment on hand as of June, says the report, which was issued two weeks ago but is only now circulating among members of relevant Congressional committees.

In its most significant finding, the report said that no effective field training program had been established in Afghanistan, at least in part because of a slow, ineffectual start and understaffing.

...

The training experts say the United States made some of the same mistakes in training police forces in Afghanistan that it made in Iraq, including offering far too little field training, tracking equipment poorly and relying on private contractors for the actual training. At the same time, these experts say, the failure to create viable police forces to keep order and enforce the law on a local level has played a pivotal role in undermining the American efforts to stabilize both countries.

In Afghanistan, the failure has contributed to the explosion in opium production, government corruption and the resurgence of the Taliban.

In Iraq, the challenge is even larger: Sectarian death squads have infiltrated the police force and helped push the country to what many are now calling a civil war.

Saddam's national address to the people of Iraq, 24 March 2003 | 'The enemy is trapped in the sacred land of Iraq''

'The enemy is trapped in the sacred land of Iraq' | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited:
Therefore, after underestimating you ... the enemy is trapped in the sacred land of Iraq which is being defended by its great people and army.

O brave fighters, hit your enemy with all your strength. O Iraqis, fight with the strength of the spirit of jihad which you carry in you and push them to the point where they cannot go on.

You (fighters) will reap stability and dignity with victory. For our martyrs the prize of heaven and for you the prize of honour which satisfies God and which will be recorded by history. The lesson you teach the enemy will make them think twice, and even be incapable, of attacking you, your nation and humanity again.

Hit them so that good and its people may reign and evil evicted back to its place. Mothers, daughters, fathers and sons, together with all the faithful and good, will sleep in comfort after being terrified by aggression. Your struggle will dishearten the aggressor. Oh Arabs, oh faithful of the world, oh those who support justice and oppose evil, we herald the victory that God has promised us in the conflict against the lowlifes and enemies of humanity.'

Kofi Annan: Life is worse now under the American Occupation than it was under Saddam

Al Jazeera English - Middle East:
Annan said he agreed with Iraqis who say that life is worse now than it was under Saddam.

'I think they are right in the sense of the average Iraqi's life,' he said.

'If I were an average Iraqi obviously I would make the same comparison - that they had a dictator who was brutal but they had their streets, they could go out, their kids could go to school and come back home without a mother or father worrying, 'Am I going to see my child again?' Annan said.

'When we had the strife in Lebanon and other places, we called that a civil war - this is much worse [...]And the Iraqi government has not been able to bring the violence under control.'

Since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, which was not approved by the UN Security Council and Annan subsequently called 'illegal', divisions among UN members have sharpened. 'I really believed that we could have stopped the war and that if we had worked a bit harder, given the inspectors a bit more time, we could have,' Annan said.

On Tape: An 'Enemy' Interrogation | Will it show the American animals torturing him?

On Tape: An 'Enemy' Interrogation - Newsweek Periscope - MSNBC.com:

Padilla's lawyers recently moved to have the entire case dropped because of government conduct that allegedly included subjecting him to sleep deprivation, extreme cold, injecting noxious fumes into his cell and giving him mind-altering drugs. Justice lawyers said there was not a 'shred of record evidence' to support claims of 'torture,' but have declined to address specific interrogation techniques. Defense lawyers then submitted an affidavit from psychiatrist Dr. Angela Hegarty, who asserted Padilla was so 'traumatized' by his treatment that he cannot bear to watch tapes of his interrogation, and when 'approached by his lawyers, he begs them, 'Please, please, please' not to have to discuss his case.' Hegarty says Padilla is suffering from post-traumatic-stress disorder and cannot assist in his defense—a claim that could be a basis to put off his trial. Another new affidavit says Padilla suffers from 'facial tics' and bodily 'contortions,' and fears that his lawyers are government agents. Human-rights lawyer Scott Horton said he expects lawyers for other Qaeda detainees at Gitmo to make similar claims, and also to press for access to tapes of clients' interrogations. 'This is going to wind up being an enormous issue,' he said.

Are George W. Bush lovers certifiable?

NEW HAVEN ADVOCATE - NEW HAVEN ADVOCATE:

The thesis draws on a survey of 69 psychiatric outpatients in three Connecticut locations during the 2004 presidential election. Lohse’s study, backed by SCSU Psychology professor Jaak Rakfeldt and statistician Misty Ginacola, found a correlation between the severity of a person’s psychosis and their preferences for president: The more psychotic the voter, the more likely they were to vote for Bush.

But before you go thinking all your conservative friends are psychotic, listen to Lohse’s explanation.

“Our study shows that psychotic patients prefer an authoritative leader,” Lohse says. “If your world is very mixed up, there’s something very comforting about someone telling you, ‘This is how it’s going to be.’”

...

Lohse says the trend isn’t unique to Bush: A 1977 study by Frumkin & Ibrahim found psychiatric patients preferred Nixon over McGovern in the 1972 election.