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Showing posts from February 4, 2008

Market bombings: Baghdad locals want security, not Iraqi police

Market bombings: Baghdad locals want security, not Iraqi police: "'We are an independent state; no police or army is allowed to come in,' proclaims Khalid Jamal al-Qaisi, deputy leader of the US military-backed and predominantly Sunni Arab militia in charge of security in the old Baghdad neighborhood of Al-Fadhil.

The Monitor accompanied Mr. Qaisi, a mid-level member of the former Baath Party, on a walk down the area's main thoroughfare, Kifah Street, on Saturday, one day after a female suicide bomber struck the Ghazil pet market about a mile away on Jumhouriya Street, killing 62 people, according to Iraqi security officials.

Another female bomber killed 37 people in a market in Baghdad Jadida. The combined toll is the worst since July 26, when a truck bomb devastated a full block in the Karrada district, killing almost 100.

Qaisi says his men could have prevented Friday's bombings. He says the attacks only bolster his conviction that Iraq's security forces, both…

AEI - Short Publications

AEI - Short PublicationsThe Bush Doctrine makes an alliance with Iraqi Kurdistan seem natural. Transformative diplomacy and democratization have been at the forefront, at least rhetorically, of White House policy. Here, Iraqi Kurdistan might seem a model. Two years before Saddam's fall, Carole O'Leary, a scholar in residence at the American University Center for Global Peace, described Iraqi Kurdistan as a "crucible for democracy and a model for post-Saddam Iraq."[9] Sverker Oredsson and Olle Schmidt, respectively a Lund University historian and a Swedish politician, called the Iraqi Kurdistan region "a Democratic beacon in the Middle East."[10] In 2006, the KRG-run Kurdistan Development Corporation aired television advertisements in the United States describing Iraqi Kurdistan as a "practicing democracy for over a decade."[11] While an exaggeration--neither the KDP nor the PUK allow any serious electoral challenge--relative to Saddam's rule i…

The Associated Press: Wartime Use of Contractors

The Associated Press: Wartime Use of Contractors: "CONTRACTORS OUTNUMBER TROOPS: There are 196,000 contract employees working for the Defense Department in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are 182,000 U.S. forces in both countries. Most of those are Army troops.

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CONTRACT FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS GROW: Federal agents are handling more than 100 criminal investigations related to war contract fraud, bribery, false billing, kickbacks and theft.

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ACTIONS BY THE ARMY: Service officials are creating a command to be led by a two-star general that will oversee defense contracting. The Army also is hiring 1,400 additional acquisition personnel.

PAY FOR PERFORMANCE: Military officials say they are shifting to contracts that pay companies for how well they perform and away from arrangements that give contractors little incentive to control costs."

Hillary Clinton Again Lies about Iraq

Hillary Clinton Again Lies about Iraq: In Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton lied again about Iraq.

At the forum in Los Angeles, Hillary Clinton declared, “We bombed them for days in 1998 because Saddam Hussein threw out inspectors.”

That statement was totally false. The bombing campaign had been planned for months and the inspectors were not thrown out. They were ordered out by President Bill Clinton in anticipation of the four-day U.S.-led bombing campaign.

The chronology, which is on the public record, is as follows:

In early 1998, the Clinton Administration began to raise concerns about Iraq’s refusal to allow inspectors of the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) to visit so-called “presidential sites,” a liberally-defined series of buildings and grounds across the country that Iraq claimed were used by government officials. Even though subsequent evidence has revealed that the Iraqis had nothing to hide, since all proscribed weapons and we…

Democracy Is a Beautiful Thing

Why was the primary vote for former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich so small when anti-Iraq war sentiment in the United States is supposedly so high, and Kucinich was easily the leading anti-war candidate in the Democratic race, indeed the only genuine one after former Senator Mike Gravel withdrew? Even allowing for his being cut out of several debates, Kucinich's showing was remarkably poor. In Michigan, on January 15, it was only Kucinich and Clinton running. Clinton got 56% of the vote, the "uncommitted" vote (for candidates who had withdrawn but whose names were still on the ballot) was 39%, and Kucinich received but 4%. And Clinton, remember, has been the leading pro-war hawk of all the Democratic candidates.

I think much of the answer lies in the fact that the majority of the American people -- like the majority of people all over the world -- aren't very sophisticated politically, and many of them aren't against the war for very cerebral reasons. The…

War in Iraq

War in Iraq: "“Many in this chamber understand that America must not fail in Iraq, because you understand that the consequences of failure would be grievous and far-reaching . .”

There it is again, that choking lie, so smoothly administered — with just enough fear to help America gag down all that righteousness.

President Bush told it again in his final State of the Union address the other night, of course. What choice did he have? The truth, coming from him at this point, would be . . . too weird, too offensive, impossible to comprehend.

But the truth is that we’ve already failed in Iraq, and throughout the Middle East and Central Asia — failed with consequences beyond reckoning. God knows someone will have to take a swig of political courage and acknowledge it one of these days, simply to stop the lie — the lies, a governmental cluster bomb of them — from doing further harm."

ei: The loneliness of the One-Issue Voter

ei: The loneliness of the One-Issue Voter: "Although I am now officially middle-aged, only once have I felt the excitement of waking up to the joyous news that my candidate won the US presidential elections. That was way back in 1992 when Bill Clinton was first elected.

I was living in Nazareth, conducting my dissertation research. When I found out Clinton had been elected, I let out a whoop of joy and believed that a new era of sanity, justice and decency had dawned.

Several months later, I began to wonder. While at a conference in Jerusalem I picked up a copy of New York Times. The lead story in the magazine, entitled 'St. Hillary,' featured a cover photo of Hillary Clinton dressed completely in white and looking quite self-righteous. In the course of reading the article, I learned that while in Law School at Yale, Hillary had decided, during a classroom debate about Palestine/Israel, that some people were 'simply evil,' and thus had no rights because they underto…

Free Press : Microsoft Bids $44.6 Billion to Buy Yahoo

Free Press : Microsoft Bids $44.6 Billion to Buy YahooIn a bid to halt Google’s growing dominance online, Microsoft has offered to buy struggling Internet giant Yahoo for $44.6 billion, an acquisition that would unite the world’s most influential software company with the Web’s most-trafficked site.

If approved by Yahoo’s shareholders and by regulators, Microsoft’s unsolicited offer would set up a titanic corporate struggle between Microsoft and Google for the patronage of millions of Internet users around the world.

Microsoft sells the operating systems and Web browser used on the vast majority of the world’s computers. It was once feared as a near-monopoly with unbounded power over personal computing. But the proposed deal tacitly acknowledges that the software giant has failed to reinvent itself as computing shifts more online; instead, it is trying to buy its way into a stronger position. The proposed acquisition would give Microsoft access to Yahoo’s 137 million monthly visitors an…