Gray Flannel Dwarf


And Thus, the Woodwork Begins to Utter its Revelations

So what are we seeing, this day after the 2006 elections?

First there’s Rumsfeld’s resignation — which honestly shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone… when you have people calling from within the military for it, that stings more than any partisan attack.

But what do we see next? Oh-ho! Have we, dare I say, forgotten Poland? Lest we have, the newest news from our most-referenced ally of the 2004 election is that they’re saying they were misled into joining the war?

Warsaw decided to take part in the war with Iraq on grounds of untrue information which it received from the US administration – former President of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski has told a German daily.

The resistance, those hiding, those biting their tongues for so long are now coming out of the woodwork. That Kwasniewski’s statement comes so soon on the tail end of the US elections I don’t think is a coincidence, and I think we’ll see a lot more, both from within the confines of American walls and outside.

Mr President, your arrogance in national and international affairs has been supported by deception, unsurpassed unitarianism and outright hot air. But this most recent news is just another whiff of the stagnant stench this administration has been trying to bottle up for six years now. I don’t think it will be the last, however… and perhaps your biggest problem is that you’ll no longer be able to sell it.

If anyone can find an English-translated copy of the German article above, that would be great.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 3:29 pm


Out on a limb: Baker findings the GOP’s October Surprise?

So what do we have so far:

  • So that snotrag Newsmax tells us that Rove has assured Republicans of an “October Surprise

In the past week, Karl Rove has been promising Republican insiders an “October surprise” to help win the November congressional elections.

President Bush’s political strategist is also saying that the final two weeks before the elections will see a blitz of advertising, and the Republican National Committee is deploying an army of volunteers to key locations to help the grass-roots effort and monitor the elections.

The RNC is offering to fly in volunteers and cover their expenses.

Rove is not saying what the October surprise will be.

  • Then, we have James Baker, of all people, who heads up the Iraq Panel and is all over the news.
  • Next, we have conventional wisdom out there is that Bush will approve, at least in the release of its findings, whatever conclusion the committee comes to.

That’s not to say Bush is going to flip-flop on his belief that Iraq is central to the war on terror. It’s just that the political divisions at home, coupled with the mayhem in Iraq, have made changes necessary. Bet your last dollar that Baker will have Bush’s approval for his recommendations even before he makes them public.

  • And finally, today we find out the the Baker commission has pretty much ruled out any “victory” in the short term.

Instead, the commission is headed toward presenting President Bush with two clear policy choices that contradict his rhetoric of establishing democracy in Iraq. The more palatable of the two choices for the White House, “Stability First,” argues that the military should focus on stabilizing Baghdad while the American Embassy should work toward political accommodation with insurgents. The goal of nurturing a democracy in Iraq is dropped.

Anyone else see where I’m going with this? With Bush saying, as recently as this week, that we will keep troops in Iraq, “as long as I’m President”, this gives him an out. A change in course is can still be interpreted as “staying the course”, without any “cut and run”. To much cheers, applause, etc. Standing resolutely, then showing a bit of willingness to change — that’s a change of heart, right? Go soccer moms! It’s humility, right? Go evangelicals! At least, that’s what I’m thinking they’re hoping to convince American voters.

The Baker article above says that the committee won’t release its findings until after the November 7 elections. But leaks occur, inferences can be made, and postures can be construed.

Like I said — out on a limb. But we’ll see what comes of it.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 2:24 pm


Henry Rollins now ‘person of interest’ in Australia.

Well, if there’s one person I wouldn’t suspect of terrorism in the US, it’s Henry Rollins. Outspoken? Yes. Loud? Yes. Angry? …probably. Hater of western civilization? Not at all. However, it seems he’s caught the ire of the Australian authorities for reading a copy of Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia on the airplane. This raised the supicions of the passenger sitting next to him… and by all accounts, the end result raised Rollins’ hackles, too. In typical Rollins fashion, he sums up the event in a succinct and candid manner. From this bit on…

“The guy phoned me in to their, like, anti-terrorist board, and they found me – they looked me up,” he said. “They looked up the flight and found out who was sitting in seat 10A and they got to me. And they said, ‘OK, you’re now a person of interest. The man next to you does not agree with your politics and he didn’t like the book you were reading.’ This kind of provocation, I don’t respond very well to. I was furious. And so I wrote back, ‘You can tell everyone at your office, including your boss, to go f— themselves. This book has been read by a ton of people – I am not a threat to your state or any state or any republic.’ ” In the actual text of his online response, Rollins added: “Baghdad’s safer than my hometown, and your PM is a sissy.”

A capsule of this event was apparently reported as far back as February 16th in Australia’s Furthermore, Hank himself recalls the account to some degree in his Dispatches. Rollins, who opposes both the war and the current administration, nonetheless supports the troops insofar as he feels they do their duty in serving their country and that they’ve gotten screwed over by their government; he has done several USO tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, and even Honduras. In that light, it’s a shame to see that Australian officials have consumed enough of the White House kool-aid to unquestioningly paint someone with the same broad brush. Hank won’t take it sitting down, however…

“He didn’t even leave his name and address [when he called], and that, to me, is pretty cowardly,” Rollins said. “The next time I get out to Australia — that is, if they let me in — I am going to talk about that guy in every interview I do. And it will get to him. It’s a small country, in that there aren’t a lot of people there and most of the country’s just sand and flies. So it will get to him.”

… and really, I think he could teach us all a lesson with this one. For far too long, those opposed to this war have allowed itself to be stereotyped as unpatriotic… and sans a bit of whining, navel-gazing, and weak, “but, but”-laden denials regarding such accusations, no one has stood up and made a bold statement against such claims. Will anyone have the cojones to tell these warmongers to step down next time the accusation is hoisted? Will you? When will we hear something like:

I don’t support the war or this President, but that doesn’t make me patriotic. And I would recommend that you think twice before questioning me again.

Or -

Opposing the war is not ‘treason’, and to say otherwise puts your own well-being at risk.

I’m sure some of you can come up with better slogans.

If the attacks on those who oppose the war continue to succeed, it will be due to the continued passivity, as opposed to pacificism, of the anti-war crowd. One can oppose the war without being afraid to stand up for one’s self, in a defensive posture if necessary, amidst personal attacks. In closing, I’ll quote Rollins one more time, from his account of this event, as to how he feels about rabid accusations:

I really don’t take kindly to that kind of shit. I like it though. Love it. Confrontation. Tension. Adversarial relationships. More please. It’s the only time it gets real.

Tags: , , , , , — cswiii @ 10:59 am


Trying not to don my tin-foil hat here…

…but does anyone else have problems viewing these videos on google video search?

Both appear, according to their descriptions, appear to be the destruction of munition caches found in Iraq. However, if I try to view the message, I get:

This video is not playable in your country.

Maybe it’s the proxy here… but whiskey tango foxtrot… I don’t have problems with any other google video results…

Tags: , — cswiii @ 3:29 pm


Surprise…! What surprise…?

Washington Times: Rumsfeld makes surprise visit to Iraq

Has anyone else asked the question, “how can these things be surprises anymore?” I’ve been wondering this for weeks, now…it seems not a week goes by and if it’s not Dubya, it’s Condi or it’s Rumsfeld, someone is always on their way over there to make a “surprise visit”.

How many “surprise” visits does it take before they turn “mundane”? How come these haven’t been called “routine” visits to Iraq? They occur often enough.

I want to know the real purpose… andI don’t mean that in a particularly conspiratorial sense. Let’s look at the options.

If it’s to pep-talk the troops, then they’re bound to have already run into the law of diminishing returns. If this administration is dropping the phrase “war on terror” due to the notion that most Americans, now war-weary, think the war was a mistake, I can only imagine that a quick BJ from BushCo. wouldn’t have that much of an effect for those on the front lines.

On the other hand, in the first article linked, it’s mentioned that Rumsfeld met with the Iraqi Prime Minister. For a meeting like that, one would think you’d call ahead for tea time, you know? You don’t just “drop in” to hang out with the local officials.

In my mind, it’s pretty evident the WH is fairly upset at the prospect that, after everything has been said and done, Iraq is looking more and more like it’s going to be another Islamic theocracy. Rumsfeld is over there to have a friendly little “WTF” talk with the PM. Smile, wave to the camera! Surprise! Look who daddy brought home!

Listen here, buddy, we expected a little more from you all than this.

Not that I think it will do much good… the war is going worse than everyone thought it would, and the task of “nation building” is going worse than everyone expected too. In fact, the only thing over there in a better state than initially expected is the status of WMDs. Sure aren’t any of those, buster!

Oh, wait. The WH knew that well in advance, too.

Tags: , , , , , — cswiii @ 10:37 am


Blowing off Steam

I keep focusing on these quotes from today’s address.

“Some may disagree with my decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, but all of us can agree that the world’s terrorists have now made Iraq a central front in the war on terror,” he said.

No, Mr. President,

You made Iraq a central front on the ‘war on terror’.
You implied the links between Hussein, WMD and terror networks.
You falsified information and went against many well-respected people in Washington who told you it was a bad idea.
You took out the leader of an authoritarian-yet-sovereign nation, allowing the predicted power vaccuum to come to life.
You fulfilled, in their eyes, the prophecies of an American imperialism in the Middle East.
You threw the rocks at the proverbial hornets nest and got the swarm’s temper enflamed.

…and now the world’s terrorists are the ones who turned Iraq into a hotbed for terrorism.

Oh, well. yeah – maybe you’re right.

“This mission isn’t easy, and it will not be accomplished overnight.”

Does that mean you’ll be giving back the flightsuit, then?

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 1:30 am


Cop Killer Wha?

Good to see that in addition to his lyrics being as poignant now as they were then, that they’re no less controversial…

ABC News: School Talent Show Draws Secret Service.

The students told ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver they are performing Bob Dylan’s song “Masters of War” during the Boulder High School Talent Exposé because they are Dylan fans. They said they want to express their views and show off their musical abilities.

But some students and adults who heard the band rehearse called a radio talk show Thursday morning, saying the song the band sang ended with a call for President Bush to die.

Threatening the president is a federal crime, so the Secret Service was called to the school to investigate.

Students in the band said they’re just singing the lyrics and not inciting anyone to do anything.

The 1963 song ends with the lyrics: “You might say that I’m young. You might say I’m unlearned, but there’s one thing I know, though I’m younger than you, even Jesus would never forgive what you do … And I hope that you die and your death’ll come soon. I will follow your casket in the pale afternoon. And I’ll watch while you’re lowered down to your deathbed. And I’ll stand o’er your grave ’til I’m sure that you’re dead.

Maybe they should’ve just stuck with making cracks about ladies’ undergarments.

But seriously, think this country is not divided? I love this choice quote from the article:

“These kids are being used to promote an extreme leftist point of view on the taxpayers’ dime,” Boulder resident James Lemons told KMGH.

One would think that with the GOP firmly entrenched, at least for the next few years, that you’d not see this sort of paranoia. Then again, the GOP is good at that – and I guess when you get down to it, paranoia is a pretty Machiavellian political concept, anway.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 4:58 pm


Over 1000 gone in Iraq.

Peace be unto their families.

But we’re making progress, right?


Installing Democracy

Jess, a.k.a. “Mr. Political Science”, would you be able to shed any light on this article? Specifically, the following quote:

We should remember that since World War II, in 35 U.S. attempts to promote democracy around the world none have succeeded.

I am trying to do a quantitative and qualitative analysis of this statement. As it stands, I know I can’t name thirty-five US interventions, mostly because I don’t remember enough history concerning American foreign policy; I’d like to know what criteria Rep. Paul used to come to this conclusion.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 4:49 pm


Talkin’ Fallujah Blues

Everything old is new again: Hardline Islamic leaders assert power in Fallujah

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 9:04 am


Quagmire Accomplished

(Title stolen from a funny image on Fark)

LA Times: Far From Ready for More War

“We have never had the need for a huge Army to stay engaged like we are now,” said Col. Michael Linnington, who commands the 3,400 soldiers of the 101st Airborne’s 3rd Brigade. “Today if you’re an active-duty unit, either you’re going be in Iraq, or you’re going be preparing to go back to Iraq. That’s the way it’s going to be.”

I’m sure that’s just what the slew of enlisted soldiers want to hear. Yeah, now granted, it’s easy to say that “if they didn’t want to go over there in the first place, they wouldn’t have enlisted”. However, to say that is to forget that a lot of people join the military as something of a gamble: the pay is okay — well, at least better than Burger King — and the chances of actually being deployed anywhere are relatively small. Not anymore, though. This quote kind of puts things in perspective. “That’s the way it’s going to be” — for the next fifty years.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 11:37 am


Fired Shots, Fired Photographers

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

–Bob Dylan, “Masters of War”

MSNBC: Woman fired for photo of flag-draped coffins

I can’t say I expected this, but it doesn’t surprise me, either, anymore. Information has been stifled for the past four years regarding Iraqi intentions and outcomes, why stop now?

From the article:

John Molino, the deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy, denied that the no-photos policy was intended to prevent the public from seeing the human toll of combat, saying it instead “reflects what we believe the families desire.”

What’s this? From all I’ve heard, families of those soldiers killed have found the pictures to be both respectful and honourable. I guess they just don’t help re-election efforts.

It’s okay, I’m sure this woman will find plenty of good work, elsewhere. Karma has its place in life.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 11:59 am


A Question of Intent

Initially, the administration said an invasion was necessary to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction that Iraq possessed and was prepared to use. With none uncovered, the White House now says the war, in which more than 500 U.S. troops and thousands of Iraqis have died, was justified by Saddam’s alleged intent to build and use such weaponry.

“We are looking for weapons, we’re looking for production equipment, we’re looking for the decisions by the regime to sustain a capability … but we have not found existing stocks of weapons as some had expected,” Duelfer said.

Duelfer, appointed by the CIA in January, guides the on-the-ground hunt by the Defense Department’s Iraq Survey Group of about 1,300 personnel. He said they regularly receive reports of hidden weapons which are then checked out, “but we haven’t found any at this point in time.”

It’s been said from the beginning that the US was making Saddam prove a negative, prove that there were no WMDs… and now they’ve all but admitted there are none, so they’re now backpedalling and using the term ‘intent’.

Ergo, the criteria for initiating war was not met, and did not exist.
Ergo, Bush’s war cannot be considered bellum justum

This war was never a “zero-sum game”. It came at the expense of the Iraqi people and lives of American soldiers, and will have repercussions for decades.

Tags: , , , , , — cswiii @ 11:21 am


A View from the Inside

“While this commandeering of a narrow segment of both intelligence production and American foreign policy matched closely with the well-published desires of the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party, many of us in the Pentagon, conservatives and liberals alike, felt that this agenda, whatever its flaws or merits, had never been openly presented to the American people. Instead, the public story line was a fear-peddling and confusing set of messages, designed to take Congress and the country into a war of executive choice, a war based on false pretenses, and a war one year later Americans do not really understand. That is why I have gone public with my account.”

Tags: , , , , , , — cswiii @ 5:46 pm


Mo’ money, mo’ prollems.

Hey Dubya -

This war is your baby. So maybe it should come out of your pocket, at this point.

I’d almost recommend taking it out of your re-election campaign funds, except I’m still keeping up hope thinking there are some Republicans out there who don’t support the Iraq invasion. In that case, it wouldn’t be so polite to spend their money, either.


Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 11:50 am


ha-ha </nelson>

And everyone said it was gonna be so fast…

Gooooooood morning Vietnaaaaaam!

Article below…

Tags: , — cswiii @ 1:45 am


More rumours…

Just the facts, ma’am — well, as factual as the press reports them, anyway.

Have things started? The Standard reports firefights in Basra. The Evening Standard (UK)

Article below…

Tags: , — cswiii @ 1:16 pm

Rumours of Tariq Aziz’s defection and/or death

Defection reports:
Report 1Sky News (UK)
Report 2The Sentinel (UK)

Defection Rumour (since proven untrue) below:

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 10:16 am


Another publication, The Washington Post,

Another publication, The Washington Post, has published an article similar to the previously mentioned New Republic editorial.

Article saved below…

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 11:16 am


From The New Republic: Why

From The New Republic:

Why does so much of the world think the Bush administration has hidden, nefarious motives for its war in Iraq…The responsibility for these misguided, toxic analyses lies mostly with other societies and other governments. But there’s a third reason for the world’s radical distrust of America’s war effort, and, for this, the Bush administration has only itself to blame: It keeps saying things about Iraq that turn out not to be true.

Of course, quoting and linking this article will cause some parties to immediately cast The New Republic aside as a liberal rag, when, in fact, it’s pretty centrist. In fact, it might be argued that, historically, it has been fairly conservative with regards to foreign policy. Regardless – for people who make such rash assumptions, I need not trifle with trying to change minds.

Article below…

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 1:12 pm
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