No Evidence of Iranian Support for Militias

Bush-Iran Iraq said on Sunday it has no evidence that Iran was supplying militias engaged in fierce street fighting with security forces in Baghdad.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said there was no “hard evidence” of involvement by the neighbouring Shiite government of Iran in backing Shiite militiamen in the embattled country.

Asked about reports that weapons captured from Shiite fighters bore 2008 markings suggesting Iranian involvement, Dabbagh said: “We don’t have that kind of evidence… If there is hard evidence we will defend the country.”

Dabbagh said an Iraqi parliamentary delegation which visited Iran last week had useful discussions with authorities there and secured assurances of support and understanding of the crisis… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Yahoo News>

Bush, McBoomBoom and the GOP are fixing the intelligence around the policy, again.  They are trying to deceive the US public around the war.  Iran’s recent Nobel Laureate has a great take on this:

5Shirin Ebadi Shirin Ebadi wants Americans to do what they can to stop the Bush administration’s threats to bomb Iran as punishment for presumably making nuclear weapons.

“Nuclear weapons are not a daily concern of the people,” said Ebadi. “They want jobs; they want houses; they want health; they want more freedom.”

However, she predicted that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would whip up nationalistic support if Iran were forced into a face-off with the United States, just as it did when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran in 1980. The invasion resulted in an eight-year war between the two countries.

Iranians may criticize their government, but if there is a military attack on Iran, they will defend their own country,” she said. “A government that is in danger from the outside will take any chance to accelerate nationalism inside the country.”

The lawyer, writer, teacher and former judge, became the first Muslim woman and first Iranian to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts to promote democracy and human rights in Iran… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Common Dreams>

She makes an excellent point.  The more militant the US position on Iran, the less likelihood that more progressive Iranians can effect reforms within their country.  The McBoomBoom policy is McSame as the Bush policy: Bomb, bomb Iran.

Mission Accomplished

1bush-mission It was a picture-perfect moment, made for the TV cameras, in which a military leader stood before heroes and heroines to declare a victory which seemed to come easier than anyone dared hope, in a conflict which was opposed by many friends and foes alike.

May 1 marks the fifth anniversary of President George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech aboard the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln.

After being landed on the deck of the carrier in an S-3B Viking 30 miles off the coast San Diego (Ari Fleischer said the president “could have helicoptered,” but “he wanted to see a landing the way aviators see a landing”), Mr. Bush appeared in a flight suit to the cheers of the ship’s personnel and the glare of television lights.

Later, he stood at a podium against a backdrop of an enormous banner reading “Mission Accomplished.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <CBS>

It could not be more clear that the mission was NOT accomplished when Cowardly ChickenHawk made the announcement before a banner which the White House claimed was a tribute to him from the troops, but was really printed in the White House basement.  Five years later, it’s even more clear.

bush-missionaccomplished The killings of five U.S. soldiers in separate attacks in Baghdad pushed the American death toll for April up to 49, making it the deadliest month since September. One soldier died when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. The second died of wounds sustained when he was attacked by small-arms fire, the military said Wednesday. Both incidents occurred Tuesday in northwestern Baghdad.

A third soldier died after being struck by a bomb while on a foot patrol early Wednesday in a northern section of the capital, while another roadside bomb killed two American soldiers in southern Baghdad, the military said in separate statements.

The spike in U.S. troop deaths comes as intense combat has been raging in Sadr City and other neighborhoods between Shiite militants and U.S.-Iraqi troops for more than a month.

In all, at least 4,061 members of the U.S. military have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <AP>

The only mission Bush and the GOP have accomplished is No Millionaire Left Behind! McBoomBoom says 100 more years is fine with him.

Keith on Bushonomics

Yesterday morning Potomac Pinocchio gave a news conference in which he blamed all the nation’s ills on the Democrats in Congress.  Last night on Countdown, Keith Olbermann served fried ChickenHawk.

More Military Waivers for Felons

22army …Recruits were allowed to enlist after having been convicted of crimes including assault, burglary, drug possession and making terrorist threats.

The statistics were released by Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

He has given the Pentagon a month to hand over up-to-date details on the number of waivers granted, reports on how the recruits have performed and information about how the waivers are related to meeting recruitment goals.

Pentagon statistics show the Army granted 511 felony waivers in 2007, just over twice the 249 it granted the year before. The Army aims to recruit more than 80,000 new soldiers a year.

The Marines — which recruits fewer new service members each year than the Army — also reported a rise in waivers for felonies, with 350 granted in 2007, compared with 208 in 2006.

“There was a rapid rise in 2007 in the number of waivers the Army and Marine Corps granted to recruits convicted of serious felonies,” Waxman said in a letter Monday to David Chu, the under-secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

“I understand that there can be valid reasons for personnel waivers and recognize the importance of providing opportunities to individuals who have served their sentences and rehabilitated themselves.

“At the same time, concerns have been raised that the significant increase in the recruitment of persons with criminal records is a result of the strain put on the military by the Iraq war and may be undermining military readiness,” he charged… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <CNN>

Because I work with prisoners, you know that I’m all for giving people a second chance, but I doubt that a second chance has anything to do with this at all.  Instead, it reflects the desperation of Bush, McConJob and the GOP for cannon fodder to grind-up in their failed war for oil and conquest.  A war zone is NOT an place to put people with documented issues with coping skills.

Will Bush Lose His Nazi Hideaway?

21Paraguay2 Last year we learned the Crawford Caligula purchased a hideaway in Paraguay, whose right-wing government has a long history of shielding Nazi war criminals and other miscreants from prosecution. So it came as no surprise that Texas Torquemada had made similar arrangements for himself.

Our paranoid friends over at Bring It On have put together a story that hasn’t exactly made Washington Whispers. It’s real short and real simple:

  • The Cuban news service reports that George W. Bush has purchased 98,840 acres in Paraguay, near the Bolivian/Brazilian border.
  • Jenna Bush paid a secret diplomatic visit to Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte and U.S. Ambassador James Cason. There were no press conferences, no public sightings and no official confirmation of her 10-day trip which apparently ended this week.
  • The Paraguayan Senate voted last summer to “grant U.S. troops immunity from national and International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction.”
  • Immediately afterwards, 500 heavily armed U.S. troops arrived with various planes, choppers and land vehicles at Mariscal Estigarribia air base, which happens to be at the northern tip of Paraguay near the Bolivian/Brazilian border. More have reportedly arrived since then…

…As far as we can understand, all the paperwork and deeds and such are secret. But somehow the news leaked that a new “land trust” created for Bush had purchased nearly 100,000 acres near the town of Chaco.

And Jenna’s down there having secret meetings with the president and America’s ambassador to Paraguay, James Cason. Bush posted Cason in Havana in 2002, but last year moved him to Paraguay.

Cason apparently gets around. A former “political adviser” to the U.S. Atlantic Command and ATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, Cason has been stationed in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama … basically everywhere the U.S. has run secret and not-so-secret wars over the past 30 years.

Here’s a fun question for Tony Snow: Why might the president and his family need a 98.840-acre ranch in Paraguay protected by a semi-secret U.S. military base manned by American troops who have been exempted from war-crimes prosecution by the Paraguyan government?…

Inserted from <Wonkette>

I covered the story HERE.

But the people of Paraguay may have thrown a monkey wrench (pun intended) into Bush’s plan to protect himself from the international justice he so richly deserves:

21Paraguay Former Roman Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo has won Paraguay’s presidential election, ending more than six decades of rule by the Colorado Party.

With results declared in most polling stations, Mr Lugo has 41% of the vote.

His main rival, Blanca Ovelar of the Colorado Party, has 31% and former army chief Lino Oviedo 22%.

The BBC’s Gary Duffy in the capital, Asuncion, says many wanted a leadership change to help confront the poverty and unemployment rife in the country.

Mr Lugo brought together leftist unions, indigenous people and poor farmers into a coalition to form the centre-left Patriotic Alliance for Change.

Observers say that the man often described as the “bishop for the poor”, is a virtual political novice, best known for his advocacy of land reform and calls to renegotiate an energy treaty with neighbouring Brazil.

Speaking to his supporters at his campaign headquarters, Mr Lugo said the result showed that little people could also win and that this was the Paraguay he had dreamt about – a country for everyone.

“I invite Paraguayans of all political types, even the ones who don’t share our ideals, to help this country that was once great be great again,” he told the cheering crowd.

Our correspondent says that jubilant supporters of Mr Lugo packed the streets of the capital, waving banners and singing songs, as it became clear not only that he had won, but that the victory would be respected… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <BBC>

I certainly hope that Paraguay’s new leadership will make it known that their nation is now out of the business of harboring war criminals, especially Bush and his Neocon Nazi minions.

All articles cross-posted from Politics Plus

“Open War” Warns Sadr

20iraq-map Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Saturday threatened an “open war” against the Iraqi government unless it halted a crackdown by Iraqi and U.S. security forces on his followers.

The specter of a full-scale uprising by Sadr sharply raises the stakes in his confrontation with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who has threatened to ban the anti-American cleric’s movement from political life unless he disbands his militia.

A rebellion by Sadr’s Mehdi Army militia — which has tens of thousands of fighters — could abruptly end a period of lower violence at a time when U.S. forces are starting to leave Iraq.

I’m giving the last warning and the last word to the Iraqi government — either it comes to its senses and takes the path of peace … or it will be (seen as) the same as the previous government,” Sadr said, referring to Saddam Hussein’s fallen regime, without elaborating.

“If they don’t come to their senses and curb the infiltrated militias, then we will declare an open war until liberation.”

Sadr’s movement accuses other Shi’ite parties of getting their militias into the Iraqi security forces, especially in southern Shi’ite Iraq where various factions are competing for influence in a region home to most of Iraq’s oil output… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Reuters>

Sadr’s complaint is justified.  Were he to disband the Mahdi Army, he would be the only player in the country without a militia.  He enjoys enough support that his faction could become the leading Shiite in the nation after the provincial elections.  This is what Maliki and his neocon handlers fear.  In their attempt to unseat him before those elections, they are running a severe risk plunging that nation into all-out civil war with US troops and innocent civilians caught in the middle.  McBoomBoom will give us 100 years of this.

Meltdown of U.S. Dollar Underway as China Dumps the Currency

19dollar Comments by China that it intends to move away from its reliance on the dollar triggered a sharp drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and heightened worldwide fears about the U.S. currency’s stability. Chinese Central Bank Vice Director Xiu Jian said that his country is planning to shift much of its $1.4 trillion national currency reserve from dollars to more stable currencies, such as the euro or Canadian dollar. After these comments, the dollar fell to record lows relative to other currencies — the lowest ever against the euro, the lowest in a generation against the British pound, and the lowest in 57 years against the Canadian dollar.

“The big issue on any currency is if its rate of depreciation is so fast that it scares away all capital, and the announcement that we heard from China sort of feeds those fears,” said Larry Smith, chief investment officer at Third Wave Global Investors.

China is the world’s largest investor in U.S. Treasury bonds and securities, holding more U.S. debt than any country but Japan. Because China’s currency is linked to the dollar, the country also maintains a massive reserve of the currency.

But this policy had already begun to shift at the time of Xiu’s comments. China has divested approximately 5 percent of its $400 billion holdings in the U.S. Treasury and established a $200 billion fund to help diversify its investments in equities and stocks around the world… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Natural News>

It will not be long before other nations follow suit. The mismanagement of our economy for the last seven years has been so profound that our currency is now a riskier investment than most nations will want to take. McFool plans to make our deficit and foreign debt even larger through more tax cuts for the rich.

All articles cross-posted from Politics Plus