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rumsfeld appears cleared by report - but what is the balance of good?

“ The chairman of the independent panel stressed, "there was no official policy of abuse; quite the contrary. Senior officials repeatedly said that in Iraq, Geneva regulations would apply."

“Schlesinger said the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, "would be a boon to all of America's enemies." He then went on to praise Rumsfeld for sanctioning an, "independent and objective analysis." of the problem.”

however, sloppy organisation is also cited:

“He then faulted commanders up to the brigade level directly for the lack of supervision and complained of "indirect responsibility at higher levels" because, "the weaknesses at Abu Ghraib were well known and that corrective action could have been taken and should have been taken. We believe there is institutional and personal responsibility right up the chain of command as far as Washington is concerned." ”

But the fossil press has different objectives:

A report released last week places a share of the responsibility for the mistreatment of inmates at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison on the shoulders of U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Though the report didn't single him out by name or call for his resignation, it concludes that a combination of too many prisoners and too few guards - as well as a confusing chain of command - generated a climate ripe for trouble that the Pentagon's leadership should have anticipated. In the report, Rumsfeld's own specially appointed panel, headed by former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger, blames Rumsfeld's lean and haphazard deployment orders for overtaxing troops in Iraq. It points out that when the commander in charge of Abu Ghraib, Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, said she needed more forces, she was told to "'wear her stars' and reallocate personnel among her over-stretched units." ”

And ....

“ Two reports emanating from the Defense Department last week constitute a powerful indictment of the failure by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his top aides to prevent the abuses that occurred at Abu Ghraib and other military prisons in Iraq and elsewhere. In fact, both reports assert that a failure of leadership helped to create the conditions that led to this scandal.

“ It is not enough that the atrocities should be documented, blame fixed, apologies offered and corrective action taken; those responsible for what happened at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere need to be held accountable for their actions or their failure to act, no matter their rank. Otherwise, the damage inflicted by this affair - on its victims and on this country's reputation and moral standing around the world - will not be fully healed.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0408.php#rumsfeld


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weapons of minimal destruction?

an over-egged argument but worth hearing.....

“He found something surprising - such weapons do not cause mass destruction. Indeed, whether used by states, terror groups or dispersed in industrial accidents, they tend to be far less destructive than conventional weapons. 'If we stopped speculating about things that might happen in the future and looked instead at what has happened in the past, we'd see that our fears about WMD are misplaced', he says."

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0408.php#wmd

more corporate corruption - fossil media false circulation accounting

“ All four newspapers admit having intentionally inflated their circulation numbers. Newsday exaggerated its weekday circulation by 40,000 copies (7 percent) and Sunday circulation by 60,000 copies (10 percent) over the past year. Hoy overstated its circulation by 19 percent. The Sun-Times admitted to cooking its numbers over the past couple of years, reportedly inventing 78,000 daily copies, or 25 percent of total circulation. The Morning News overstated 5 percent on Sunday and 1.5 percent on weekdays for a 6-month period in 2003.”

“ ....The agency that's supposed to keep the newspapers honest is the Audit Bureau of Circulations, a nonprofit outfit that validates circulation for nearly every newspaper and magazine of note in the United States, and many abroad. But the ABC is captive of the very industry it monitors.....”

“ Newspaper circulation has declined for decades as consumers have found new places to cull news and information. Edward Wasserman of Washington and Lee University writes that newspapers have lost 8 percent of their circulation in the last decade and that 12 of the 25 largest newspapers lost circulation last year. That lost circulation has steered billions of dollars in advertising away from newspapers to TV, radio, cable, direct-mail operations, classifieds weeklies, and the Internet. At newspapers across the country, publishers push their circulation directors to reverse the tide, promising them bonuses if they succeed or dismissing them if they don't.”

related material
Corporate corruption, politics and the ‘law’

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0408.php#newspapers

sadr being taken down – so suddenly that m.e. ‘governments’ want action to stop

Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition forces in Najaf have captured weapons and about 1,200 militiamen as they battle with insurgents loyal to Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al- Sadr for an eighth day, Iraqi defense and interior ministers said in a televised press conference in Baghdad.”

Arab states and Iran called for a halt to fighting in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf on Thursday, as thousands of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers launched a major push to defeat Shiite militia holed up in the city's Imam Ali shrine and cemetery.

“Egypt urged Iraqi and U.S. forces to use dialogue instead of force in Najaf. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said the world should intervene quickly to "prevent the massacre of defenseless Iraqi people."

“Lebanon's most senior Muslim Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, criticized the Iraqi government for allowing the American offensive in a city revered across the Shiite world.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0408.php#sadr

kerry: the dedicated ditherer

kerry moves hesitantly towards us energy independence

“With crude oil prices at a record high, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry last week offered a 10-year, $30 billion proposal to move the nation toward energy independence.”

This is, in fact, suggested over 16 years.

My estimates are that and realistic energy independence for the USA will require at least $100 billion a year investment for the foreseeable future. A very large portion of that will probably have to go towards nuclear energy. This neither presidential candidate dares mention. Another large portion of future investment will have to be spent on conservation.

As usual the United State’s politicians are acting in a cowardly and dishonest fashion, pretending that much can be done by ‘alternative’ energy.

While the incentives for cleaning up coal and improving fleet efficiencies are welcome, the small scale of Kerry’s inadequate grandstanding ‘plan’ continues to leave the real questions unaddressed.

To understand the realistic scale of effort and investment required start with Replacing fossil fuels: the scale of the problem.

If you take a very cynical view of Bush, he is at least offering a realistic policy, wheras Kerry is offering mere placebos.

marker at abelard.org

kerry is on everybody’s side - even when they oppose each other

“Kerry has clearly indicated he was always against the war, but that was after his vote in favor of the war, but not for war funding, which should not be understood as support, and in any case he would have done it much differently. His concern is now a lack of any real coalition and U.N. support, but when the United States had the backing of the United Nations and a real international presence in Desert Storm after Iraq invaded Kuwait, Kerry voted against that intervention. That information should clear it up for all those undecided voters who really wanted to know.

“On abortion, he's about the same: He's voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion, but he has recently declared his belief that life begins at conception.Thatpronouncementshouldgeteveryoneonbothsides of the issue to vote for him. At least we all know he's a man of his convictions, and not just poll driven, like those other big-haired, arrogant-looking politicians. Bush once characterized Kerry's popularity by saying, in effect, of course he's popular, adding, "He's been on every side of every issue." Kerry has no cohesive message.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0408.php#kerry_ditherer

plucky little belgium?
registration required.

“ The truth about King Albert’s policy during the war of 1914-1918 is hardly known in Britain. Many still believe the myth that the Belgian King was one of the greatest Allied heroes. During the first world war, however, the Belgians were already what Winston Churchill called them during the second: "the most contemptible of all the neutrals" and their King "a feeble specimen, thoroughly representative of the Belgian nation which vainly hoped to keep out of this war, no matter what they owed to those who saved them in the last war".

“British publishers I approach with a manuscript about Belgium’s history and its frequent betrayal of Britain - the country Belgium owes its existence to - turn it down [...].”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0408.php#belgium

what is the ‘proliferation security initiative’? you should know

Strongly recommended reading - short.

“It is playing a key role in curbing and caging North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il. It played a key role in disarming Libya, discovering and rolling up the Pakistani A.Q. Khan nuclear smuggling network, and has become a framework for international military and police exercises organized by the United States. Its membership includes most of the world's largest economic powers, most of the world's largest military powers, and most of the most influential states on earth. The United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Russia, the Netherlands, France, Australia and Germany are among its 15 member states, and it is one of the pillars of the Bush administration's strategy to both win the war on terrorism and halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. As an organization set up to perform a mission that the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency have jointly failed, halting the spread of nuclear weapons, it has the potential of becoming an alternative to the UN itself in coming decades. Notably, all of its members to date are democracies.

“But thanks to the media and Democrats who insist on portraying the Bush administration as "unilateral," you have probably never heard of it.”

Link from the auroran sunset.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0408.php#proliferation_security_initiative

us democrat convention - iraq? where’s that?

“ But Suarez was not a speaker at the convention. He was at a peace rally on Boston Common a mile and a half away. Inside the hall itself and at countless convention meetings very few strayed off the simple message: don't mention the war. That was an astonishing achievement. Polls show that 93 per cent of delegates in Boston were against the war, far more than most Americans. Iraq has been the most dominant and divisive issue in American politics for a generation. It is the reason behind much of theDemocrat hatred for Bush. It is the main reason why Democrats are so energised to win.

“But both Kerry and Edwards voted for the war. Speaking out strongly now would seem hypocritical and it would also open them up to Republican attacks on their patriotism. A spat over Iraq could shatter the carefully built up picture of strength on national security. Democrats at all levels have made the decision to back Kerry in the belief that he can win. Speeches were vetted and dissent was not tolerated.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0408.php#where_is_iraq

bush can’t swim

Wolfowitz on the objectivity of the left-wing press and the Middle East.

Wolfowitz is one of the sharpest, most straight-forward, experienced and powerful international affairs wonks in the American administration.

This scruffily written interview article is worth a read, if you don't mind a bit of work.

These quotes are taken from the interview:

“ [...], the President and the Pope are on a boat, and the Pope's hat blows off. The President says, no, I'll get it for you and walks across the top of the waves, picks up the hat and walks back across the top of the waves, hands the hat to the Pope and the next day the headlines are, "President Bush can't swim." ”

marker at abelard.org

“I understand what they're [ left-wingers] thinking about. I'm not blind to the uncertainties of this situation [ in the Middle East] , but they just seem to be blind to the instability that son of a bitch was causing. It's as though the fact that he was paying $25,000 per terrorist family and issuing regular threats to most friendly governments in the region and the long list of things was of no account and the only thing to think about was that there might be some inter-communal violence if he were removed.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0408.php#wolfowitz


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