Links of the Day

In my links of the day I try to find the links under the wire, articles all the top blogs miss. I'm not afraid to go to Al Jazeera, Kurd Media or to the Pakistan student movement page to bring the real daily news to you.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Links of the Day WE ARE ALL SOCIALIST NOW - but only if your already rich

WE ARE ALL SOCIALISTS NOW! But you only get a piece of the pie if your already rich!

What a crock! Bush and McShame are so full of it their eyes are brown! First McCain hasn’t been back to D.C. since April, missing over 150 votes. Now he wants to slink back to D.C. to convince House republicans to ram through a $700,000,000,000 bail out for Wall Street that as usual has no over site on how they spend it, sounds a lot like the bottomless pit called Iraq to me. Bush and his idiot in charge Paulson want us to give them a blank check. Ha Haaaaa.

McShame wants to “bail out” of tomorrow’s debate and hold it next week on the day ol Sarah is to go head to head with Joe Biden. I imagine after that great Speech Joe gave yesterday on the economic crises the McShame camp is trembling in their boots because shaking hands with world leaders only gives you a sore arm. What did he think she could get foreign policy experience through osmosis? Hee Hee.

I suggest Obama take the famous words spoken by John McCain F U ! But I know he can’t just wishful thinking on my part.

Obama, McCain called to White House for financial crisis talks
Republican presidential candidate wants to postpone debate

Statement on Obama Meeting with President Bush

A few moments ago, President Bush called Senator Obama and asked him to attend a meeting in Washington tomorrow, which he agreed to do. Senator Obama has been working all week with leaders in Congress, Secretary Paulson, and Chairman Bernanke to improve this proposal, and he has said that he will continue to work in a bipartisan spirit and do whatever is necessary to come up with a final solution. He strongly believes the debate should go forward on Friday so that the American people can hear from their next President about how he will lead America forward at this defining moment for our country.

Obama: Debate is 'More Important Than Ever'

Earlier today, Barack made a brief statement to the press and took questions regarding the ongoing economic crisis, his decision to reach out to John McCain this morning to suggest issuing a joint statement urging Congress and the White House to act in a bipartisan manner, and John McCain's suggestion that Friday night's debate be postponed: Please take a minute to share this video with your friends . . .

In just 24 hours 100,000 Americans have signed the no bail out petition. I think we can make it 1 million if we pass this button on to our blog and to friends and family in a email.

A country held hostage - Resistance Grows to Banker's Coup D'etat
More than 100,000 letters sent through to Congress
New Free Web Button Available for VoteNoBailout


Get your button here

We can keep the pressure on by call Congress too. Now the DC switchboard is flooded so keep trying, eventually someone will answer the phone 1-877-851-6437 FREE CALL then ask for your Rep and both your Senators.

By now I hope you know who they are but if not here’s the links to find your critter.

U.S. Senate

U.S. House

These people are giving socialism to the rich for their bad investments but whoa to the rest of us working slobs if we want Universal Health care!

Bush can’t find money to give health insurance to little kids but he sure found a chunk of change for his base, didn’t he?

Public Citizen has a petition too and I say you can’t sign enough of these to stop them from robbing us blind!

Tell Congress to Put YOUR Interests First in a Financial Bailout

Today, Congress and lobbyists are listening to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke tell them that they must devise a $700 billion bailout plan immediately. Two kinds of people are represented in that room: Wall Street speculators whose greed-driven schemes have jeopardized the economic stability of our nation, and public officials who should have done something to prevent this economic situation. Americans will be on the outside.

Public Citizen says enough! We're launching a campaign, along with Consumer Watchdog, to put consumers first in any financial bailout plan. We're mobilizing millions of Americans, and we need your support to make our voices heard in the halls of power!

Please sign our petition, and encourage your friends and colleagues to join the fight!

The Backbone Campaign has a petition too with DEMANDS!

SIGN THE PETITION petition for the Backbone Campaign demands

Like I said the more petitions we sign the more we flood congress with the message that we do NOT want to fund the richest corporations in America.

Even George Soros says it’s a bad idea to give them a blank check. Letter received in a email.

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

I thought you might be interested in this opinion piece by George Soros which appears in the September 25 edition of the Financial Times and which is online now here.

Paulson Cannot be Allowed to Have a Blank Check

By George Soros
Hank Paulson's $700bn rescue package has run into difficulty on Capitol Hill. Rightly so: it was ill-conceived. Congress would be abdicating its responsibility if it gave the Treasury secretary a blank cheque. The bill submitted to Congress even had language in it that would exempt the secretary's decisions from review by any court or administrative agency - the ultimate fulfillment of the Bush administration's dream of a unitary executive.

Mr Paulson's record does not inspire the confidence necessary to give him discretion over $700bn. His actions last week brought on the crisis that makes rescue necessary. On Monday he allowed Lehman Brothers to fail and refused to make government funds available to save AIG. By Tuesday he had to reverse himself and provide an $85bn loan to AIG on punitive terms.

The demise of Lehman disrupted the commercial paper market. A large money market fund "broke the buck" and investment banks that relied on the commercial paper market had difficulty financing their operations. By Thursday a run on money market funds was in full swing and we came as close to a meltdown as at any time since the 1930s. Mr Paulson reversed again and proposed a systemic rescue.

Mr Paulson had got a blank cheque from Congress once before. That was to deal with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. His solution landed the housing market in the worst of all worlds: their managements knew that if the blank cheques were filled out they would lose their jobs, so they retrenched and made mortgages more expensive and less available. Within a few weeks the market forced Mr Paulson's hand and he had to take them over.

Mr Paulson's proposal to purchase distressed mortgage-related securities poses a classic problem of asymmetric information. The securities are hard to value but the sellers know more about them than the buyer: in any auction process the Treasury would end up with the dregs. The proposal is also rife with latent conflict of interest issues. Unless the Treasury overpays for the securities, the scheme would not bring relief. But if the scheme is used to bail out insolvent banks, what will the taxpayers get in return?

Barack Obama has outlined four conditions that ought to be imposed: an upside for the taxpayers as well as a downside; a bipartisan board to oversee the process; help for the homeowners as well as the holders of the mortgages; and some limits on the compensation of those who benefit from taxpayers' money. These are the right principles. They could be applied more effectively by capitalising the institutions that are burdened by distressed securities directly rather than by relieving them of the distressed securities.

The injection of government funds would be much less problematic if it were applied to the equity rather than the balance sheet. $700bn in preferred stock with warrants may be sufficient to make up the hole created by the bursting of the housing bubble. By contrast, the addition of $700bn on the demand side of an $11,000 market may not be sufficient to arrest the decline of housing prices.
Something also needs to be done on the supply side. To prevent housing prices from overshooting on the downside, the number of foreclosures has to be kept to a minimum. The terms of mortgages need to be adjusted to the homeowners' ability to pay.

The rescue package leaves this task undone. Making the necessary modifications is a delicate task rendered more difficult by the fact that many mortgages have been sliced up and repackaged in the form of collateralised debt obligations. The holders of the various slices have conflicting interests. It would take too long to work out the conflicts to include a mortgage modification scheme in the rescue package. The package can, however, prepare the ground by modifying bankruptcy law as it relates to principal residences.

Now that the crisis has been unleashed a large-scale rescue package is probably indispensable to bring it under control. Rebuilding the depleted balance sheets of the banking system is the right way to go. Not every bank deserves to be saved, but the experts at the Federal Reserve, with proper supervision, can be counted on to make the right judgments. Managements that are reluctant to accept the consequences of past mistakes could be penalised by depriving them of the Fed's credit facilities. Making government funds available should also encourage the private sector to participate in recapitalising the banking sector and bringing the financial crisis to a close.

George Soros

OK Lastly there’s Emergency Rallies being held all over the country to stop the bail out.

From United For Peace And Justice

Billions for War & Billions for Wall Street?

The Bush administration strong-armed Congress into supporting the war. The administration has spent more than $800 billion for wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world. Now they demand a $700 billion blank check for Wall Street using fear and threats with no public debate!

Bail Out the Troops and Main Street, Not Wall Street!


Thursday, September 25, 5 PM

Pick a spot, and mobilize! The most important thing is to pick a spot where you will be seen and start inviting other people RIGHT NOW!

Click here to post your action and get the word out!

We are joining True Majority, US Action and scores of others to take the debate into the streets.

Click here to set up events in your area.

Click here to find events in your area.


Some on Capital Hill are having second thoughts about going along with the administration's plan.

Call your Senator NOW and say, "Oppose the Bush bailout. Stand up for Main Street. And bring the troops home!"

Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Click here to report back to UFPJ how your call to your Senator went.


Although the crisis is complicated, whatever action is taken must be done based on what we need in our communities. Tremendous work is being done to uncover not only the roots, but also guidelines for making the solution to this crisis one that benefits working families and our communities!

Click here for an interview with Columbia University Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winner in Economics and author of the 'The Three Trillion Dollar War'.

Click here for William Greider from The Nation Magazine's article on the Wall Street bailout.

Click here for updates on the bailout situation from a number of respectable economic analysts at the Dollars & Sense blog.

The Congressional Research Service's July 2008 report on the costs of the war(s) can be found here.

This is a great web site that talks to us in term we can understand. I like because then I can tell off republicans I know where their hard earned tax money goes.

National Priorities Project analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent.

Lets flood into Obama/Biden Events


Sep 25
"Change We Need" Community Gathering with Joe Biden
in Greensburg, PA

Sep 25
"Change We Need" Community Gathering with Joe Biden
in Wilkes-Barre, PA

Sep 27
Voter Registration Rally with Michelle Obama and Jill Biden
in Tallahassee, FL

Sep 27
"Change We Need" Rally with Barack Obama and Joe Biden
in Greensboro, NC

Here’s a bit of GREAT NEWS!

US won't send monitors to polls

September 24, 2008

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department said yesterday it will not station criminal prosecutors at the polls on Election Day after civil rights groups said minority voters who are expected to turn out in unprecedented numbers because of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama could be intimidated by them.

The move reverses a decades-long practice that put prosecutors on the lookout for voter fraud, ballot access violations, and other polling problems.

"This decision was made as a precaution and is not the result of any instance of intimidation or complaint regarding any specific incident," acting Assistant Attorney General Grace Chung Becker said in a statement.

Becker and Attorney General Michael Mukasey met two weeks ago with about 40 representatives from voter access watchdogs, hoping to assure them that having a smooth Nov. 4 election is a top Justice Department priority. Some civil rights groups, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said the monitors themselves could be part of the problem.

Stupid Bush and his NeoCons. Pakistan has the bomb and they attack Iraq for freaking oil! While I hated Mushariff he like Saddam at least kept the religious zealots in check. Lets hope if they get their hands on the bomb they use it on each other.

Pakistani Civil War Feared

The violence and political unrest in nuclear-armed Pakistan continues to grow worse.

An Afghan diplomat was kidnapped near Peshawar; a Marriott hotel in Islamabad was hit with a suicide bomb killing at least 53 people; and the killing of Pakistani villagers by a U.S. missile has strained relations between Islamabad and Washington.


TaTa for now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Links of the Day is Back (for now) Bush is kissing China’s butt

"Links of the Day is back for now. I know back in April I said I'd be gone a week and it ended up being 5 months. After posting everyday for a year I needed a long break from all the crap I was reading. My physical and personal life was suffering and I needed to step back.

Well Obama is doing great and I'm counting on all the young people to get out and vote. The pollsters don't count them because their not allowed to call cell phones.

Our Government sucks! I know this is a week old but our media never tells us anything when another country calls us War Mongers, but it goes along with the article posted after it.

UN General Assembly Opens With a Denunciation of US Policies
By Walter Wisniewski
New York 17 September 2008

A new session of the United Nations General Assembly has opened in New York, with a sharp attack on the United States by the assembly's president, former Nicaraguan foreign minister Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann. VOA's Walter Wisniewski reports from our New York newscenter.

The past year's General Assembly of the United Nations has come to a close, and the new, 63rd session of the General Assembly is now formally open. World leaders will address the annual U.N. meeting next week, but the Assembly's incoming president caught diplomats' attention Tuesday with his opening remarks, a scathing attack on U.S. policies.

he General Assembly president, former Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, mentioned the United States by name only a few times, but made it clear who his target was.

D'Escoto says it is "undeniable" that some members of the Security Council have "an addiction to war," and he says they are threatening international peace and security. In a scarcely veiled reference to President George W. Bush's administration, d'Escoto also said no nation has the right "to decide on its own which states are sponsors of terrorism, and which are not."

"By now, over 1.2 million people have died as a direct consequence of that aggression and occupation," d'Escoto said about the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

The 75-year-old diplomat, who is a Roman Catholic priest, told reporters later he intends to try to reform the U.N. to give the 192-member General Assembly a stronger role, compared to the Security Council, whose permanent members - the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain - have veto power over U.N. decisions.

D'Escoto says the world has changed since 1945, when the United Nations was founded, but the U.N. has not kept pace. He predicts "soul-searching" and frank debate at the General Assembly in the weeks and months to come.

"This will be an interesting year, and I will be making an appeal from the very depth of my heart and my experience," he said.

D'Escoto used spiritual terms in his opening speech, which he addressed to "my dear brothers and sisters" from all over the world. Asked about the significance of his dual role as General Assembly president and also a priest, he tried to deflect the comment with a joke.

"I'm also the oldest and the most decrepit [laughter], healthwise, and I know that. But will I, therefore, because I am a priest, pay particular attention to interfaith dialogue?" he asked. "That's already on the agenda. This is something that I have spoken about quite a bit with the secretary-general, and he is asking me to join him in this effort."

He was asked about his scheduled appearance at a forum next week together with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel's destruction several times. D'Escoto says he does not feel it is inappropriate for him to take part.

"Obviously, if I am here talking about brotherhood and sisterhood, I don't want anyone to be wiped off the map - not even any individual, much less a state," he said.

He also pretended not to hear when another reporter asked whether he would condemn Russia's military action against Georgia last month constituted an act of aggression. D'Escoto, who has embraced leftist policies for decades, said he did feel that any act of aggression in the Caucasus region was committed by Georgia, against South Ossetia.

Heads of state and government will be streaming into New York over the next few days, before the General Assembly's traditional round of speeches by each leader begins next Tuesday.


....Bush and Dick like causing Chaos because war is very profitable.

September 22, 2008

US Hands Over Suitcase Nukes To Al Qaida In Pakistan

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers (Traducción al Español abajo)

Russian Military Analysts are reporting in the Kremlin today that the massive blast that caused 53 deaths at the Islamabad Marriott hotel in Pakistan was an operation conducted by India's foreign intelligence agency The Research and Analysis Wing [RAW] in an attempt to 'decapitate' Pakistan's entire leadership, including their President, Prime Minister and Military Chiefs all of whom, at 'the last minute,' changed the location of their planned meeting with the United States Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, who had arrived in their country unannounced.

These reports continue by stating that India had become 'alarmed' by the United States Defence Intelligence Organization [DIA] and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence [ISI] plan to provide Al Qaida and Taliban terrorist forces with 37 suitcase nuclear weapons to be used against Western Nations in the coming month.

Not being understood by the American people is that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agents were the 'creators and controllers' of these terrorist organizations and are still active in their operations and attacks, and as we can read:

"Pakistan's intelligence agency is helping the Taliban to pursue an insurgency in Afghanistan that has seen a 50 percent hike in attacks in some areas this year, the NATO commander here told AFP.

The number of foreign fighters, including Europeans, is also increasing here while NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) still lacks the soldiers it needs, US General David D. McKiernan said in a weekend interview.

"There certainly is a level of ISI complicity in the militant areas in Pakistan and organisations such as the Taliban," the four-star general said, echoing allegations by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and others.

"I can't say to what level of leadership that goes to but there are indications of complicity on the part of ISI... to the extent that they are facilitating these militant groups that come out of the tribal areas in Pakistan."

To the exact transferring to Al Qaida and Taliban of these suitcase nuclear weapons we can read as reported by Pakistan's International News Service:

"Witnessed by many, including a PPP MNA and his friends, a US embassy truckload of steel boxes was unloaded and shifted inside the Marriott Hotel on the same night when Admiral Mike Mullen met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and others in Islamabad.

Both the main gates (the entrance and the exit) of the hotel were closed while no one except the US Marines were either allowed to go near the truck or get the steel boxes unloaded or shift them inside the hotel. These steel boxes were not passed through the scanners installed at the entrance of the hotel lobby and were reportedly shifted to the fourth and fifth floors of the Marriott.

Besides several others, PPP MNA Mumtaz Alam Gilani and his two friends, Sajjad Chaudhry, a PPP leader, and one Bashir Nadeem, witnessed this mysterious activity to which no one other than the PPP MNA objected and protested.

A source present there told The News that after entertaining them with refreshments at the Nadia restaurant at midnight when Mumtaz Alam, along with his friends, was to leave the hotel, he found a white US embassy truck standing right in front of the hotel's main entrance.

Both the In-gate and the Out-gate of the hotel were closed while almost a dozen well-built US Marines in their usual fatigues were unloading the steel boxes from the truck. No one, including the hotel security men, was either allowed to go near the truck or touch the steel boxes, which were being shifted inside the hotel but without passing through the scanners.

Upon inquiry, one of the three PPP friends who was waiting for the main gates of the hotel to open to get his car in, was informed that the suspicious boxes were shifted to the fourth and fifth floors of the hotel. Mumtaz Alam was furious both at the US Marines and the hotel security not only for the delay caused to them but also for the security lapse he was witnessing."

The International News Service further reports that two of the US Marines involved in the transferring of these nuclear weapons were also killed:

"The US Department of Defence at Pentagon has confirmed the death of its two marines in Hotel Marriott blast in Islamabad. According to GEO News, the Pentagon said on Sunday its two marines succumbed to injuries in the blast. The soldiers were deployed in the US embassy in Islamabad, it said. Pentagon said the names of the US marines could not be revealed prior to informing families of the victims."

India's anger against both the United States and Pakistan was further raised by Pakistan's deadly bombing of the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan, and as we can read:

"According to U.S. intelligence sources, Pakistan's intelligence service provided support to pro-Taliban insurgents responsible for the July 7 bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul, which killed more than 40 people. Shocking though Pakistani involvement may seem to some, it is thoroughly predictable, given the worldview and interests of Pakistan's Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Unless we address what's angering the ISI, we won't be able to stabilize Afghanistan or capture al-Qaeda leaders inside its borders."

Most disturbing about these reports is their stating that 'an unknown number' of these suitcase nuclear weapons survived the explosion and are now to be 'presumed to be in the hands of their intended recipients'.

These reports also state the nuclear materials contained in these suitcase bombs were obtained during what is termed in the United States as a 'Bent Spear' incident which occurred in 2007, and as we can read:

"The 2007 United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident occurred at Minot Air Force Base and Barksdale Air Force Base on August 29–30, 2007. Six AGM-129 ACM cruise missiles, each loaded with a W80-1 variable yield nuclear warhead, were mistakenly loaded on a United States Air Force (USAF) B-52H heavy bomber at Minot and transported to Barksdale.

The nuclear warheads in the missiles were supposed to have been removed before taking the missiles from their storage bunker. The missiles with the nuclear warheads were not reported missing and remained mounted to the aircraft at both Minot and Barksdale for a period of 36 hours. During this period, the warheads were not protected by the various mandatory security precautions required for nuclear weapons."

Also, and as we had reported on in our September 16th report US To Declare October 'Economic Emergency', Suspend Elections, the use of these suitcase nuclear weapons do, indeed, appear to be designed to deal the final death of the Western Nations political and economic structures in their continued efforts to shock their citizens senseless and allow them to institute the final set of laws needed to totally enslave these peoples forever.

OKAY NOW I AM WORRIED! This article is from Sept 8th and I do not recall the media telling us about this shit. Will we get to vote on November 4th or will Bush/GOP/Neo Cons declare martial law on us and install McCain as the new dictator of the United States?

If so will we the American people stand up on November 5th (like in V for Vendetta) and fight for our Freedom and our countries Constitution or will we go quietly along because we are afraid to fight and die? I hope for bravery but I think we Americans have gone soft and like a cur dog will tuck our tails and crawl back under the porch. It's not our fault we've been shocked and awed so much in the last 8 years that we will be frozen by fear.

We will either fight for freedom or die slaves.

Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1

3rd Infantry's 1st BCT trains for a new dwell-time mission. Helping 'people at home' may become a permanent part of the active Army By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Sep 8, 2008 6:15:06 EDT

The 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they're training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.
Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

It is not the first time an active-duty unit has been tapped to help at home. In August 2005, for example, when Hurricane Katrina unleashed hell in Mississippi and Louisiana, several active-duty units were pulled from various posts and mobilized to those areas.

But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one.
"Right now, the response force requirement will be an enduring mission. How the [Defense Department] chooses to source that and whether or not they continue to assign them to NorthCom, that could change in the future," said Army Col. Louis Vogler, chief of NorthCom future operations. "Now, the plan is to assign a force every year."

The command is at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., but the soldiers with 1st BCT, who returned in April after 15 months in Iraq, will operate out of their home post at Fort Stewart, Ga., where they'll be able to go to school, spend time with their families and train for their new homeland mission as well as the counterinsurgency mission in the war zones.

Stop-loss will not be in effect, so soldiers will be able to leave the Army or move to new assignments during the mission, and the operational tempo will be variable.
Don't look for any extra time off, though. The at-home mission does not take the place of scheduled combat-zone deployments and will take place during the so-called dwell time a unit gets to reset and regenerate after a deployment.

The 1st of the 3rd is still scheduled to deploy to either Iraq or Afghanistan in early 2010, which means the soldiers will have been home a minimum of 20 months by the time they ship out.

In the meantime, they'll learn new skills, use some of the ones they acquired in the war zone and more than likely will not be shot at while doing any of it.

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

Training for homeland scenarios has already begun at Fort Stewart and includes specialty tasks such as knowing how to use the "jaws of life" to extract a person from a mangled vehicle; extra medical training for a CBRNE incident; and working with U.S. Forestry Service experts on how to go in with chainsaws and cut and clear trees to clear a road or area.

The 1st BCT's soldiers also will learn how to use "the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded," 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

"It's a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they're fielding. They've been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we're undertaking we were the first to get it."

The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.

"I was the first guy in the brigade to get Tasered," said Cloutier, describing the experience as "your worst muscle cramp ever — times 10 throughout your whole body.

"I'm not a small guy, I weigh 230 pounds ... it put me on my knees in seconds."
The brigade will not change its name, but the force will be known for the next year as a CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF (pronounced "sea-smurf").

"I can't think of a more noble mission than this," said Cloutier, who took command in July. "We've been all over the world during this time of conflict, but now our mission is to take care of citizens at home ... and depending on where an event occurred, you're going home to take care of your home town, your loved ones."

While soldiers' combat training is applicable, he said, some nuances don't apply.
"If we go in, we're going in to help American citizens on American soil, to save lives, provide critical life support, help clear debris, restore normalcy and support whatever local agencies need us to do, so it's kind of a different role," said Cloutier, who, as the division operations officer on the last rotation, learned of the homeland mission a few months ago while they were still in Iraq.

Some brigade elements will be on call around the clock, during which time they'll do their regular marksmanship, gunnery and other deployment training. That's because the unit will continue to train and reset for the next deployment, even as it serves in its CCMRF mission.

Should personnel be needed at an earthquake in California, for example, all or part of the brigade could be scrambled there, depending on the extent of the need and the specialties involved.

Other branches included

The active Army's new dwell-time mission is part of a NorthCom and DOD response package.

Active-duty soldiers will be part of a force that includes elements from other military branches and dedicated National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Teams.

A final mission rehearsal exercise is scheduled for mid-September at Fort Stewart and will be run by Joint Task Force Civil Support, a unit based out of Fort Monroe, Va., that will coordinate and evaluate the interservice event.

In addition to 1st BCT, other Army units will take part in the two-week training exercise, including elements of the 1st Medical Brigade out of Fort Hood, Texas, and the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Bragg, N.C.

There also will be Air Force engineer and medical units, the Marine Corps Chemical, Biological Initial Reaction Force, a Navy weather team and members of the Defense Logistics Agency and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

One of the things Vogler said they'll be looking at is communications capabilities between the services.

"It is a concern, and we're trying to check that and one of the ways we do that is by having these sorts of exercises. Leading up to this, we are going to rehearse and set up some of the communications systems to make sure we have interoperability," he said.

"I don't know what America's overall plan is — I just know that 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there are soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that are standing by to come and help if they're called," Cloutier said. "It makes me feel good as an American to know that my country has dedicated a force to come in and help the people at home."

Well I'm sure there is alot more news out there today like the U.S. melt down of our economy but I warned you about that over a year ago.

But maybe you should know Bush is meeting with our lender China to talk about our Economy. Who would ever have imagined a U.S. president having to talk to China about our economy, but China has become our master since Bush has borrow billions from them to make the oil corps rich by invading Iraq to steal their oil.

before you read the next article go sign the petition to stop the give away of our tax money for Wall Street who has embezzled BILLIONS over the last 71/2 years.


China's Hu, Bush talk on financial crisis

BEIJING, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President George W. Bush spoke by telephone on Monday about the financial crisis engulfing Wall Street, China News Service reported.

The state-run news agency said the two leaders spoke at Bush's request.
"We have noticed that the United States has taken some important measures to stabilise the domestic financial market, and we hope these measures can achieve quick results so that economic and financial conditions in the United States will gradually improve and turn better," the news agency paraphrased Hu as saying.
The two spoke at the end of a weekend of intensive talks in Washington between Bush's administration and Congress to hammer out details of an unprecedented $700 billion bank bailout to forestall further financial market turmoil that risks plunging the economy into a deep recession.

Hu said the U.S. plan was in the interests of both the United States and China.
"It is also conducive to maintaining international financial market stability in order to promote the stable and healthy development of the world economy," China News Service paraphrased Hu as saying.

Seven Chinese banks have reported exposure of more than $700 million to failed investment bank Lehman Brothers. Lehman also guaranteed $500 million in structured notes held by a Chinese overseas investment fund.

But China's capital controls and the overwhelmingly domestic focus of its banks and insurers have largely insulated the country from the immediate fallout of the turmoil on Wall Street.


However, China has a huge stake in the health of the U.S. financial system, not least because an estimated two-thirds of its $2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves is invested in dollar bonds.

Beijing is a big holder of U.S. treasuries and of debt issued by the two mortgage agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that the U.S. Treasury effectively nationalised this month.

So a ballooning of U.S. government debt that drove down bond prices or the value of the dollar would spell big losses for China.

Looked at in another way, the United States could remain heavily reliant on Beijing to buy the extra U.S. debt needed to fund the bailout.

The China News Service story did not say whether Hu and Bush discussed possible investments by Chinese institutions in U.S. financial firms desperate to replenish capital depleted by writedowns on mortgage loans and securities.
China Investment Corp, the country's $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, is in talks to increase its 9.9 percent stake in Morgan Stanley .

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke hatched the unprecedented rescue plan amid concerns that other major banks could collapse and that credit markets were close to freezing, threatening the U.S. and global economy.

Under his plan, foreign banks with operations in the United States could also be eligible to sell illiquid residential and commercial mortgage-related assets to the Treasury.

Some U.S. lawmakers are demanding in return that foreign governments set up similar bailout programmes.

"We have a global financial system and we are talking very aggressively with other countries around the world, and encouraging them to do similar things, and I believe a number of them will," Paulson said on ABC television on Sunday. (Reporting by Zhou Xin; Writing by Alan Wheatley; Editing by Ken Wills)

See you tomorrow for more happy news brought to you by our Fascist Government.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Links of the Day 4/25/2008 Rush Limbaugh calls for Riots in Denver during the DNC Convention! Homegrown Terrorism!

Rush in Limbo


Limbaugh calls for riots in Denver during the DNC Convention.

Just when I think I’ve heard the worst from Limbaugh now he’s dreaming of riots in Denver.

Go here to listen to his terrorist threats

And the people of Denver think his remarks are ok. They’ll think ok when riots break out in Denver, homes and cars are burned, people are injured or murdered won’t they!

Go look how the people of Denver are voting!

Go read what they are saying in the Denver Post!

Limbaugh "dreams" of - doesn't advocate - Denver riot

They are actually playing it down! He can advocate riots in Denver to millions of his listeners and that’s ok but let Reverend Wright talk to his congregation and they go nuts!

SURVEY Do you think Rush Limbaugh crossed the line when he hoped for riots during Denver's DNC convention?

61% say NO!

Can you imagine Randi Rhodes or Thom Hartmann or Jeff Farias or Stephanie Miller on NovaM calling for riots in Denver?

Limbaugh clearly is asking some of his wacko listeners to go to Denver and cause a riot.

Here’s what we need to do.

1) Call both your senators and demand Limbaugh be censured then call your House rep and demand the they censure him too. If they can censure for playing with a name surely they can censure these terrorist remarks.

Contact both senators from Colorado too!

Salazar, Ken- (D - CO)Class III 702 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510 (202) 224-5852 Web Form:

Allard, Wayne- (R - CO)Class II 521 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510 (202) 224-5941 Web Form:

I believe he’s up for re-election this year.

2) File a complaint with the FCC

3) Contact Homeland Security and ask they investigate Limbaugh for terrorist threats for calling for a riot in Denver.

Contact Us

Citizen Line

Operator Number: 202-282-8000

Comment Line: 202-282-8495

Send a message using our online form about FOIA, Jobs, Security Threats, Website Issues or DHS Press. Direct link

4) Contact Limbaughs sponsors and tell them this is the last straw. If they advocate terrorist threats and condone calling for riots you will never buy their products ever again >.<

Sponsor list.


This kind of crap by Limbaugh must stop!!!

Mike Malloy is right and I agree this Recreate68 is a black ops or CIA web site that too is calling for riots in Denver.

Contact the MSM if you want but as of today the media is still talking about the Reverend Wright while Limbaughs call for a riot in Denver are ignored!

Today I am starting a week vacation. I’m not planning on going anywhere just puttering in the garden.

I had been thinking about taking some time off for awhile and Limbaugh’s remarks have told me I really really need some time off.

Later All

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Links of the Day 4/24/2008 Edwards Backers Team Up With Obama and Penis theft panic hits city..

April 23, 2008, 2:32 pm

Edwards Backers Team Up With Obama

By Julie Bosman

No, John Edwards has not yet endorsed a candidate.

But nearly 50 of his most prominent backers lined up behind Senator Barack Obama today, in a gesture designed to give Mr. Obama a heavy boost of support less than two weeks before the North Carolina primary on May 6.

The group includes Ed Turlington, Mr. Edwards’s former national general campaign chairman; three North Carolina members of Congress; and 46 local activists, philanthropists and business leaders, among others. (Not surprisingly, given Mr. Edwards’s background, the list holds the names of 20 lawyers.)

Mr. Turlington, speaking from his law office in Raleigh, said that he had not expected to endorse a candidate after Mr. Edwards dropped out of the race on Jan. 30.

“I thought I was going to be on the sidelines,” Mr. Turlington said, adding that he made the decision about 10 days ago, after speaking to Mr. Obama. “I think his candidacy is doing a lot of important things that are similar to themes that John Edwards ran on.”

Among those things, he said, were Mr. Obama’s pledges to change the culture of Washington and fight for issues that are important to working people.

Throughout his second bid for the Democratic nomination, Mr. Edwards clashed repeatedly with Mrs. Clinton, particularly in debates. He criticized Mrs. Clinton for accepting campaign contributions from Washington lobbyists, a practice that he fiercely opposed.

And much of his campaign pitch centered on the notion that establishment Washington politicians have become corrupted by the influence of lobbyists for drug companies, oil companies and other corporate interests.

“You can’t just trade corporate Republicans for corporate Democrats,” he told audiences frequently, an attack aimed at Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Edwards’s campaign sounded similar themes to Mr. Obama’s – both candidates positioned themselves as change agents who would clean house in Washington.

But despite heavy courting from both candidates, Mr. Edwards has still not made an endorsement. And the former Edwards supporters cautioned today that their announcement should not be viewed as a sign that Mr. Edwards’s endorsement was right behind. Two former campaign aides of Mr. Edwards said today that he has signaled recently that he may not endorse a candidate at all.

Mr. Turlington said he has “no idea” if Mr. Edwards agrees that Mr. Obama is the better choice. “He’ll make up his own mind,” he said.

Direct link

Daniel Shays is an American hero it was his actions that brought about our Constitution and The Bill of Rights.

Shays’s Rebellion and the attack on Springfield Arsenal, January 25th, 1787

The Last Battle ofthe AmericanRevolution

In the Fall of 1786, General George Washington feared that the American Revolution might destroy the nation he and his countrymen had fought so hard to create. To his fellow Virginian and war comrade, Henry Lee, that October 31st, he wrote:

"I am mortified beyond expression when I view the clouds that have spread over the brightest morn that ever dawned in any country... What a triumph for the advocates of despotism, to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves and that systems founded on the basis of equal liberty are merely ideal and fallacious."

Samuel Adams, President of the Massachusetts Senate, expressed his sentiment, when he later weighed in on the issue of pardons for Shays's rebels the following Spring, that:

“Rebellion against a king may be pardoned, or lightly punished, but the man who dares to rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death."

Thomas Jefferson, writing to James Madison from Paris, France, however, felt safe and assured when he wrote on January 30th, 1787, that:

"A little rebellion now and then is a good thing. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government. God forbid that we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion."

Or here

Before Bush leaves office millions will lose their homes and because of the new bankruptcy laws they will be sentenced to decades of debt without relief.

Americans have been taken to the laundry by the mortgage lenders and their government. Our lawmakers set up the American people by deregulation. While they banks ripped us off they were setting themselves up for a downfall too.

Now Bush is bailing out the criminals while innocent Americans lose it all.

The rising defaults on subprime mortgages in the US have triggered a global crisis for the money markets. Hedge funds and banks across the world have found themselves exposed

It’s time for a new rebellion!

Subprime crisis provokes wave of lawsuits

By Joanna Chung in New York

Published: April 23 2008 22:20 | Last updated: April 23 2008 22:20

Plaintiffs have filed approximately two private lawsuits a day related to subprime mortgages in the US this year, setting case volumes on course to exceed levels not seen since the aftermath of the savings-and-loan ­crisis, a study has found.

During the first quarter of this year, 170 new civil cases were filed in federal courts, approaching the 181 filings made during the final six months of 2007, according to a review by Navigant Consulting, published on Wednesday. They were overwhelmingly dominated by class-action lawsuits, which accounted for 76 per cent of new cases.

“Like the credit crunch itself, the litigation is unrelenting,” said Jeff Nielsen, managing director at Navigant Consulting. “What we saw in 2007 was a mild breaking wave compared to the tsunami we’re witnessing now.”

He said the pace of subprime mortgage and related filings – now totalling 448 cases over 15 months to the end of March – suggests levels could soon surpass the 559 savings-and-loan cases of the early 1990s, which is seen by some as a historically high watermark in terms of a litigation fallout from a financial crisis.

The civil lawsuits will take many years to resolve, not least because of the complex nature of many cases. “Like the S&L cases, this is a process that will likely take years to play out,” said Mr Nielsen.

More than three-quarters of the civil cases filed last year are still active. But only 10 of the total 191 class actions filed in 2007 have been class certified, according to the report. Only 15 per cent of the cases have received a ruling on a motion to dismiss. The new cases from this quarter are “greener still”, the report says.

But the latest data, which exclude lawsuits filed at the state level, reflects the widespread nature of the credit crisis, which has spread far beyond the subprime mortgage sector. Eight of the most recent class-action securities lawsuits involved claims related to auction-rate securities, which are the subject of regulatory probes.

Many of the new suits, half of which were filed in courts in California and New York, alleged inadequate disclosure in connection with the loan origination process or claimed securities fraud. Some municipalities, including Baltimore and Cleveland, have filed suits against firms involved in the origination, servicing and securitisation of subprime mortgages.

The report notes that the number of suits targeting lenders over mortgage origination practices is likely to diminish, given the reduction in subprime mortgage activity. But other types of filings will continue to be sensitive to the state of the credit markets, and events, such as the collapse of Bear Stearns last month. “Intra-industry disputes appear likely to expand as financial institutions shun traditional mores and pursue remedies from one another through litigation,” it said.

Concerns spread beyond mortgages

By Daniel Pimlott, Krishna Guha and Joanna Chung

Published: April 22 2008 23:52 | Last updated: April 22 2008 23:52

Risky loans made to borrowers with poor credit at the height of a housing boom may have helped to kick off the credit crisis, but residential mortgages were not the only type of lending where standards fell.

While residential property experienced the most dramatic deterioration in the quality of loans issued, contributing to a sharp rise in defaults rates on mortgage repayments, attention is increasingly turning to other kinds of loans as the economic slowdown puts borrowers under greater stress.

“We definitely saw a loosening of underwriting in a broad category of instruments over time which we are watching and monitoring,” said John Dugan, who as Comptroller of the Currency oversees national US banks, including most of the largest banks such as Citibank and Bank of America. “We’re seeing declining credit in a broad range of asset classes.”

Defaults on other forms of consumer loans such as home equity loans, credit cards, auto loans and commercial real estate are now beginning to shift higher, albeit from historically low levels, he said.

The rise in default rates threatens to spur yet further losses at major banks and could cause rising numbers of bank failures.

Bank of America earlier this week raised its loan loss provisions by nearly $5bn because of rising losses on home equity and small business loans as well as loans to homebuilders. Wachovia, Citigroup and Washington Mutual have also upped loan loss provisions to prepare for deteriorating credit.

So far the 20 largest banks that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency regulates have raised in excess of $80bn in capital since October to help deal with mounting losses and larger volumes of lending parked on their balance sheets. However, writedowns across the financial system from subprime related assets exceed $200bn, and are set to rise.

The rising losses at banks, including those from other forms of deteriorating credit, are likely to force banks to raise yet more capital, said Mr Dugan.

The capital raising has been encouraged by the Federal Reserve and its chairman Ben Bernanke, as well as the US Treasury Department, who as well as wanting to help protect US banks see the money as necessary in order to maintain lending levels and avoid a broader credit “crunch” across the economy. However, while the OCC has also been pushing capital raising, its priority is the “safety and soundness” of the US banking system, rather than the overall economy, Mr Dugan said.

“This is a place where I think you might get a little different answer from the Fed or Treasury,” he said. “I won’t say we are indifferent to the two [options of raising capital or selling off assets and cutting back on lending] because we think capital raising is a good thing. But we think that banks where they need to be prudent they should be.”

Outside of the major US banks, one of the greatest emerging risks is in commercial real estate, particularly to developers and homebuilders investing in residential property, according to the OCC. The Comptroller has been warning for several years over the problems posed by growing concentrations of commercial property lending, and last week called on bank managers to move quickly to recognise losses.

The proportion of nonperforming commercial real estate doubled in the year to the end of third quarter last year to nearly 2 per cent, according to the OCC. The Office of Thrift Supervision, which oversees savings and loans institutions, said that nonperforming commercial real estate loans had risen more than fivefold from 0.91 per cent of loans to 4.6 per cent in the year up to December 2007.,dwp_uuid=d355f29c-d238-11db-a7c0-000b5df10621.html

From The Times April 24, 2008

Inflation: vengeful return of the dragon that we thought had died

Gary Duncan: Analysis

During most of the past decade the idea of inflation as a menace to global prosperity faded. A problem that for most of the postwar era was an economic pestilence ceased to register as a big issue.

A tidal wave of cheap goods from Asia allowed Western shoppers to become used to ever-lower price tags. Central banks like the Bank of England, charged with keeping inflation in check, had never had it so easy. Inflation sank to historic lows as year-on-year rises in the cost of living dropped to low single figures, and interest rates plunged.

It marked a double dividend for living standards. Economists talked of “the death of inflation”. The economic dragon of the Seventies had finally, it seemed, been slain. Abruptly, however, inflation is back with a vengeance. The inflationary dragon was far from dead, merely dormant.

As in the Seventies, a driving force behind the inflation threat is soaring oil prices. But just as four decades ago, a drastic surge in energy costs is coupled with huge increases in prices for an even more basic necessity: food.

The fallout has been as startling as the upward spike in the prices of oil and foodstuffs. Across the world, a popular backlash has erupted.

In the developing world, the poorest struggling to eke out existences are being forced to cut back on meat to afford a meagre diet of rice and vegetables. The middle classes of poor nations, and the poor of middle-income nations, face a brutal blow to living standards. Food riots have erupted in countries as diverse as the Philippines and Egypt. In the West, the toll may be less vicious but the consequences are still far-reaching. As sharply rising living costs leave consumers feeling a severe squeeze on their pockets, governments are coming under fire.

The intensity of the danger from inflation is hampering the efforts to fend off the threat that a global credit crunch, as well as housing market downturn in the US and Britain, will trigger economic setbacks, if not recessions. Trying to keep a lid on inflation, central banks have been forced to limit interest rate cuts they might have made to bolster growth.

At the heart of the problem lies the reemergence of China as an economic power, along with the rise of other mainly Asian emerging market nations. These trends have unleashed massive extra demand for commodities and energy.

At the same time, the rising incomes of millions of Asia’s poor who are migrating to its cities has triggered a shift to Western-style diets. Since feeding animals means even greater consumption of cereals, crop prices have also charged upwards.

Western efforts to promote biofuels have meant tracts of land once used for food being given over to crops for this purpose. Droughts in Australia and other disruptions have exacerbated food shortages. Worldwide stocks of wheat and rice have dropped from about 30 per cent of annual consumption in 2000 to only 15 per cent.

Oil prices are, meantime, kept at record levels by a combination of scant spare capacity for extracting and refining crude, strong global demand and Middle Eastern unrest, as well as speculation.

A growing number of economists believe that the fundamental forces now at work will keep food and fuel prices high for years to come.

Credit Suisse bank loses billions

UK Teachers' Pay Strike Closes Thousands of Schools

Britain hit with massive work stoppages

Go Jimmy Carter! Condi Rice like her boss has been a complete failure in her current job!

Carter says Secretary Rice "not telling truth"

Matthew Bigg
Reuters US Online Report Top News

Apr 23, 2008 13:37 EST

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday accused Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of not telling the truth about warnings she said her department gave Carter not to speak to Hamas before a Middle East trip.

The State Department has said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Welch, the top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, issued the warning before Carter, a veteran of Middle East diplomacy, went on his trip last week.

Rice said in Kuwait on Tuesday: "We counseled President Carter against going to the region and particularly against having contact with Hamas."

"President Carter has the greatest respect for ... Rice and believes her to be a truthful person. However, perhaps inadvertently, she is continuing to make a statement that is not true," a statement issued by the Carter center in Atlanta said on Wednesday.

"No one in the State Department or any other department of the U.S. government ever asked him (Carter) to refrain from his recent visit to the Middle East or even suggested that he not meet with Syrian President (Bashar) Assad or leaders of Hamas," it said.

It said Carter attempted to call Rice before making the trip and a deputy returned his call since Rice was in Europe.

"They had a very pleasant discussion for about 15 minutes, during which he never made any of the negative or cautionary comments described above. He never talked to anyone else," the statement said.

Carter had already on Monday, in an interview with National Public Radio, described as "absolutely false" any suggestion he had been warned not to meet Hamas.


"The United States is not going to deal with Hamas and we certainly told President Carter that we did not think that meeting with Hamas was going to help the Palestinians," Rice said Tuesday while attending a conference in Kuwait.

The White House backed Rice and said events after Carter's meeting showed Hamas' true character.

Carter "is a private citizen and he made a decision to not comply with what the State Department asked him to do," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters on Wednesday.

Perino made an apparent reference to an attack on Saturday in which a Palestinian suicide bomber and two other gunmen were killed when they attacked a border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel, wounding 13 Israeli soldiers.

"Actions speak louder than words," said Perino of Hamas.

Hamas, which controls Gaza, is viewed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel.

Carter, who met Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Syria over the weekend, is trying to draw the Islamist group into peace talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

But Rice and other senior U.S. officials are concerned that Carter's meeting could confuse U.S.-brokered peace talks already moving at a slow pace between Abbas and Olmert.

Hamas won a 2006 election and briefly formed a unity government with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It seized control of Gaza from Abbas' secular Fatah faction in fighting in June.

(Editing by Tom Brown)

Jimmy Carter doing the job Condi Rice cannot do as Secretary of State!

Hamas to hand truce proposals with Israel Thursday

Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:04am EDT

CAIRO (Reuters) - The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas will give Egypt detailed proposals on a truce with Israel on Thursday, a Hamas spokesman said.

A Hamas delegation led by former Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud el-Zahar arrived in Cairo on Wednesday night and has a meeting with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman on Thursday afternoon, added spokesman Taher al-Nono.

Nono declined to give details of the proposals in advance but a Palestinian official familiar with the truce talks said the Islamist movement had backed away from its earlier demand that a truce should include a ban on Israeli attacks on Hamas members in both Gaza and the West Bank.

Hamas, which controls Gaza but has prominent members resident in the West Bank, has previously insisted that a truce should begin and apply at the same time to both areas.

The new offer suggests a truce could begin in Gaza first and then move after an agreed period of time to the West Bank, said the Palestinian official, who asked not to be named.

Under the truce proposal Palestinian factions will stop rocket attacks from Gaza and Israel will refrain from raids and targeted killings and will open up crossing points out of Gaza, especially the Rafah crossing with Egypt, he added.

Israel has said it is not negotiating a truce with Hamas but would have no reason to launch attacks on the Gaza Strip if rocket fire from the territory ceased. But it says it reserves the right to take military action to protect its citizens.

The Egyptian intelligence chief, who is in regular contact with the Israelis, has been trying to negotiate a truce between Israel and Hamas, especially since Palestinians broke through the border with Egypt in January to escape a long Israeli siege.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, on a Middle East tour which ended this week, tried to persuade Hamas to declare a unilateral ceasefire with Israel. Hamas declined on the grounds that Israel had not responded to similar gestures in the past.

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza in the past 10 days. Three Israeli soldiers were killed on the border with Gaza on April 16.

(Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Jonathan Wright; Editing by Charles Dick)

Israelis Claim Secret Agreement With US To Build On Captured Palestinian Land

Concerns mount ahead of US briefing on Israeli strike in Syria

Lebanese anti-aircraft positions fire on attacking Israeli aircraft

Karl Rove escaped the hand of justice during Watergate because the prosecutor said he had bigger fish to fry. Well Karl you’re the big fish now and justice is a dish best served cold and your days are numbered.

MUST READ ARTICLE! Great video too

Siegelman: Rove 'hijacked' the Dept. of Justice to win elections

Muriel Kane
Published: Wednesday April 23, 2008

In an extensive interview with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, who was released from prison on bond last month pending an appeal of his conviction on corruption charges, laid the blame for his prosecution squarely on Karl Rove's "hijacking" of the federal Department of Justice.

"This is not about me, it's not about my case," Siegelman emphasized in his appearance on Air America's Ring of Fire, a show hosted by Kennedy and Mike Papantonio available online at "This is about America, and about a quest now that must be pursued to find out who was responsible for hijacking the Department of Justice and using it as a political tool to win elections. I believe that person that Congress will ultimately hold responsible is Karl Rove."

Siegelman noted that even before Republican whistleblower Dana Jill Simpson implicated Rove directly, "I suspected from the circumstantial evidence that Karl Rove was deeply involved in my prosecution. I mean, it was just so obvious that it was easy for me to put two and two together and connect those dots."

"I grew up with your father being the Attorney General," Siegelman told Kennedy, "and the heroic deeds that he did, and you know, you always thought that the Department of Justice was the last place that you could look to for justice and for fair play. But I think Karl Rove learned two things out of Watergate. ... He learned that you didn't have to create a secret plumbers unit within the White House when you had the Department of Justice. If you just appointed the right U.S. Attorneys, you could accomplish the same thing and more. And the second thing I think Rove learned was, you don't leave evidence behind like Nixon did with his tapes. You destroy e-mails."

Siegelman made clear his belief that, even though the corruption investigation launched against him by a Republican state attorney general just a few weeks after he was sworn in as governor in 1999 may have begun as a matter of local politics, once the Bush administration took office it became something far larger. By then, Siegelman was a rising star among Democratic governors, and after losing his bid for re-election in 2002 he became an increasingly visible critic of the administration. That in itself was reason enough for Rove to want to bring him down.

In support of his argument that he was targeted at the highest levels of the Department of Justice, Siegelman cited the involvement of several highly-placed figures. One was Noel Hillman, formerly the head of the Public Integrity Section at the department, whom Kennedy described as "a crooked federal judge from Camden, New Jersey, who is one of the other people who has completely corrupted the democratic process in our country and taken the Justice Department ... and turned it into a political outlet for muzzling and jailing political opponents."

According to Siegelman, Hillman "actually came to Alabama several times to speak up for the prosecution, even at a time when there were questions whether or not they were going to move forward with the case. He called the U.S. Attorneys to Washington and told them to go back and take a top-to-bottom review of the Siegelman case once they had lost their first run at me in 2004."

Another was Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who visited U.S. Attorney Leura Canary in Alabama after the first case against Siegelman was thrown out by the judge and, far from criticizing her failure, offered his strong support. "Shortly after the case was lost by the U.S. Attorney in Birmingham, who is a close social friend of Karl Rove's, Alberto Gonzales comes to Alabama to give her an applause and to pat her on the back and to shore her up and to tell everybody what a great U.S. Attorney she was."

Siegelman also noted that when the government witness who was preparing to testify against Siegelman told a room full of Department of Justice representatives that he had also given cash and blank checks to two prominent Republicans -- former Attorney General William Pryor and Senator Jeff Sessions -- "not one word was said and nothing was done."

"Every single one of those people had a conflict and should have stepped out of that room at that time," Siegelman explained. "It cries about selective prosecution, but it also cries out, who is holding this umbrella of protection over these people so that they felt comfortable operating in that environment where they were possibly, certainly violating the cannons of ethics, but possibly violating laws and certainly subverting my right to a fair trial?"

Siegelman added that "the Department of Justice, still to this day, is withholding over 500 documents that would shed some light on the origins of this case."

Karl Rove has denied having ever met Dana Jill Simpson, the Republican whistleblower who linked him directly to the prosecution of Governor Siegelman, and has rejected her allegations. He told GQ in an interview following Simpson's appearance on 60 Minutes, "She's a complete lunatic. I've never met this woman. This woman was not involved in any campaign in which I was involved. I have yet to find anybody who knows her. ... CBS is a shoddy operation. They said, 'Hey, if we can say "Karl Rove," "Siegelman," that'll be good for ratings. Let's hype it. We'll put out a news release on Thursday and then promo the hell out of it on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.'"

Video and audio of the interview follow.

CIA Acknowledges It Has More Than 7000 Documents Relating to Secret Detention Program, Rendition, and Torture


Human Right Groups Charge Documents Reveal CIA Stonewalled Congressional Oversight Committees; CIA Says Many Documents too Sensitive to Release

NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, April 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) must stop stonewalling congressional oversight committees and release vital documents related to the program of secret detentions, renditions, and torture, three prominent human rights groups said today. Amnesty International USA (AIUSA), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the International Human Rights Clinic at NYU School of Law (NYU IHRC) reiterated their call for information, following the CIA's filing of a summary judgment motion this week to end a lawsuit and avoid turning over more than 7000 documents related to its secret "ghost" detention and extraordinary rendition program. This motion is in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed in federal court last June by these groups. The organizations will file their response brief next month.

Among other assertions, the CIA claimed that it did not have to release

the documents because many consist of correspondence with the White House or top Bush administration officials, or because they are between parties seeking legal advice on the programs, including guidance on the legality of certain interrogation procedures. The CIA confirmed that it requested -- and received -- legal advice from attorneys at the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel concerning these procedures.

"For the first time, the CIA has acknowledged that extensive records

exist relating to its use of enforced disappearances and secret prisons,"

said Curt Goering, AIUSA senior deputy executive director. "Given what we already know about documents written by Bush administration officials

trying to justify torture and other human rights crimes, one does not need

a fertile imagination to conclude that the real reason for refusing to

disclose these documents has more to do with avoiding disclosure of

criminal activity than national security."

The CIA's admission that it possesses at least 7000 documents relating

to rendition, secret detention and torture generated renewed calls by the

human rights groups for transparency and accountability from the


"The Freedom of Information Act is one of the major checks on

government criminality in this country," said CCR Executive Director

Vincent Warren. "The CIA has acknowledged that it has well over 7000

documents that relate to the torture and disappearance of men. These

include some of our clients, like Majid Khan, who were known to be in the program. The public needs to know what crimes were committed in our name and how they were justified. This has been the most secretive, least transparent administration in history, and it is well past time for


AIUSA, CCR, and NYU IHRC have filed FOIA requests with several U.S. government agencies, including the CIA. These FOIA requests sought information about individuals who are -- or have been -- held by the U.S. government or detained with U.S. involvement, and about whom there is no public record. The requests also sought information about the government's legal justifications for its secret detention and extraordinary rendition program. Comprehensive information about the identities and locations of prisoners in CIA custody -- as well as the conditions of their detention and the specific interrogation methods used against them -- has never been publicly revealed. This lack of transparency continues to prevent scrutiny by the public or the courts and leaves detainees vulnerable to abuse and torture.

Although the CIA did release a paltry number of documents in response

to the FOIA request, most were already in the public domain, such as

newspaper articles and a single copy of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which governs the treatment of civilians in times of war. The limited relevant documents that were released were documents pertaining to briefings demanded by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees regarding various aspects of the overseas detention and interrogation program.

Documents released to plaintiffs by the CIA demonstrate that many

within the government itself have been unable to obtain accurate

information from the CIA. These documents, which include letters from

Members of Congress to the CIA, demonstrate a pattern of withholding

information from Congress. In a pointed bipartisan letter on October 16,

2003, then-Chair and Ranking Member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence requested that CIA Director George Tenet provide senior level briefings on the treatment of, and information obtained by, three men known to be held in secret CIA detention, admonishing the CIA by stating that the committee was "frustrated with the quality of the information" provided in past briefings.

The CIA appears to have avoided answering detailed requests for

specific information, responding instead with form letters and references

to briefings. These practices led to a forceful letter from Senator Carl

Levin, Current Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, (then the Ranking Member) who was attempting to investigate CIA involvement in detainee deaths. In a letter dated Oct. 24, 2005, Senator Levin noted that "[t]he lack of CIA cooperation with the investigations to date has left significant omissions in the record." The CIA's failure to cooperate with members of Congress demonstrates the need for public scrutiny of the secret detention and extraordinary rendition program under FOIA.

"The CIA has employed illegal techniques such as torture, enforced

disappearances, and extraordinary rendition," said Meg Satterthwaite,

Director of the NYU IHRC. "It cannot use FOIA exemptions as a shield to hide its violations of U.S. and international law."

In its legal filings, the CIA acknowledged that this program "will

continue." Some prisoners have been transferred to prisons in other

countries for proxy detention where they face the risk of torture and where they continue to be held secretly, without charge or trial. Human rights reports indicate that the fate and whereabouts of at least 30 people

believed to have been held in secret U.S. custody remain unknown.

In September 2006, President Bush publicly acknowledged the existence

of CIA-operated secret prisons. At the same time, 14 detainees from these facilities were transferred to Guantanamo and several more have arrived since. The administration has admitted to using so-called "alternative interrogation procedures" on those held in the CIA program, including waterboarding. The international community and the United States, in other contexts, have unequivocally deemed these techniques torture.

For more information or copies of the CIA's legal filings and released

documents, please contact or

For more information about the organizations involved, please see their

websites: or To see the most recent documents from this CIA filing, go to


WTF article of the year! The Congo has many problems but I’m sure penis theft is not one of them.

Penis theft panic hits city..

Wed Apr 23, 2008

By Joe Bavier

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.

Reports of so-called penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa, where belief in traditional religions and witchcraft remains widespread, and where ritual killings to obtain blood or body parts still occur.

Rumors of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.

Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure.

"You just have to be accused of that, and people come after you. We've had a number of attempted lynchings. ... You see them covered in marks after being beaten," Kinshasa's police chief, Jean-Dieudonne Oleko, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Police arrested the accused sorcerers and their victims in an effort to avoid the sort of bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 suspected penis snatchers were beaten to death by angry mobs. The 27 men have since been released.

"I'm tempted to say it's one huge joke," Oleko said.

"But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent. To that I tell them, 'How do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it'," he said.

Some Kinshasa residents accuse a separatist sect from nearby Bas-Congo province of being behind the witchcraft in revenge for a recent government crackdown on its members.

"It's real. Just yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny," said 29-year-old Alain Kalala, who sells phone credits near a Kinshasa police station

(Editing by Nick Tattersall and Mary Gabriel)

Republicans continue their economic assault on women including their own Mother’s, wives and daughters!

We women are still seen as second class citizens to the republicans. Women like foreign workers are nothing more than cheap labor for business in America.

McCain fails to vote on defeated equal pay for women Senate bill


NEW ORLEANS — Republican Sen. John McCain, campaigning through poverty-stricken cities and towns, said Wednesday he opposed a Senate bill that sought equal pay for women because it would lead to more lawsuits.

The bill was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 56-42.

The Senate had scheduled a late Wednesday vote on the measure, which would have made it easier for women to sue their employers for pay discrimination. Both Democratic presidential candidates, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, left the campaign trail and returned to Washington to vote for the bill.

McCain skipped the vote to campaign in New Orleans.

"I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what's being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems," the expected GOP presidential nominee told reporters. "This is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system."

The bill would have overturned a Supreme Court decision limiting how long workers can wait before suing for pay discrimination.

It was named for Lilly Ledbetter, a supervisor at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s plant in Gadsden, Ala., who sued for pay discrimination just before retiring after a 19-year career there. By the time she retired, Ledbetter made $6,500 less than the lowest-paid male supervisor and claimed earlier decisions by supervisors kept her from making more.

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 last May 29 to throw out her complaint, saying she had waited too long to sue.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a statement blasting Senate Republicans following the defeat of the bill. "By obstructing a vote on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Senate Republicans have thwarted efforts to restore balance in the law and allow victims of wage discrimination to seek justice in the courts. In so doing, they have again stopped necessary progress for all Americans," read the statement, in part.

Democrats criticized McCain for opposing the bill.

"At a time when American families are struggling to keep their homes and jobs while paying more for everything from gasoline to groceries, how on Earth would anyone who thinks they can lead our country also think it's acceptable to oppose equal pay for America's mothers, wives and daughters?" Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Karen Finney said.

McCain stated his opposition to the bill as he campaigned in rural eastern Kentucky, where poverty is worse among women than men. The Arizona senator said he was familiar with the disparity but that there are better ways to help women find better paying jobs.

"They need the education and training, particularly since more and more women are heads of their households, as much or more than anybody else," McCain said. "And it's hard for them to leave their families when they don't have somebody to take care of them.

"It's a vicious cycle that's affecting women, particularly in a part of the country like this, where mining is the mainstay; traditionally, women have not gone into that line of work, to say the least," McCain said.

McCain chose to visit the tiny hamlet of Inez, Ky., because it is where President Lyndon B. Johnson declared war on poverty. But McCain, contradicting President Bush by acknowledging the U.S. is presently in a recession, said Johnson's poverty programs had failed.

"I wouldn't be back here today if government had fulfilled the promise that Lyndon Johnson made 44 years ago," he said.

In recent weeks, McCain has proposed a series of tax breaks for corporations, government-backed refinancing for struggling homeowners and a summer holiday from gas taxes. He proposed another new program Wednesday: a tax write-off for companies that provide high-speed Internet access for underserved, low-income communities.

Hundreds riot at LA detention center for illegal immigrants

The Associated Press

Wed, Apr 23, 2008 (7:42 p.m.)

Hundreds of illegal immigrants awaiting deportation rioted at a county-run detention center and had to be subdued with tear gas, authorities said Wednesday.

The riot Tuesday started as a fight between detainees from rival gangs and spread to the detention center's outdoor yard, said Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Nearby sheriff's stations sent additional deputies to separate the detainees. The brawl was diffused "within minutes" after tear gas was used, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.

Fights among incarcerated gang members periodically break out at state jails, prisons and immigrant detention facilities, sometimes sparking riots.

The federal Department of Homeland Security contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to staff and manage the Mira Loma Detention Center in Lancaster, which holds about 900 detainees who are in the process of being deported or awaiting resolution of their cases in immigration courts.

Ten detainees were treated for injuries, including two who suffered serious head injuries.

Sheriff's officials will evaluate how Mira Loma guards separate detainees based on gang affiliation, Whitmore said. About 45 detainees involved in the riot have been identified as suspected gang members and moved to other federal facilities.


04/24/08 AP: Reconstruction of Samarra shrine unites factions in Iraq It was the bombing of a revered Shiite shrine here that pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war, bloodshed that has left tens of thousands dead and this ancient city in ruins.

04/24/08 AP: British foreign secretary visits Iraq amid further clashes Britain's foreign secretary held talks Thursday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as at least 13 people were reported killed in the ongoing fighting between Shiite militiamen and Iraqi and U.S.-led forces.

04/23/08 AP: US auditor says Iraqi oil windfall growing even bigger than expected New data on Iraq oil revenues suggests that country's government will reap an even larger than expected windfall this year — as much as $70 billion (€43.9 billion) — according to the special U.S. auditor for Iraq.

04/23/08 AFP: Petraeus to head US Middle East forces General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq, has been named to head US forces in the Middle East, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.

04/23/08 Reuters: Bangladesh evacuates stranded workers from Iraq Bangladesh has begun evacuating thousands of stranded workers who were trafficked into war-ravaged Iraq by illegal manpower traders, officials said on Wednesday. An Emirates Airlines flight carrying 42 Bangladeshis arrived in Dhaka...

04/23/08 khaleejtimes: Filipinos warned against defying Iraq travel ban The Philippine Consulate-General on April 23 repeated its caution to all Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates against violating the travel ban and risking their lives by travelling to Iraq for employment.

04/23/08 AFP: Death toll rises as Baghdad clashes spread Another 19 people were killed in fighting between militiamen and security forces in Shiite areas of Baghdad, officials said, as the death toll from weeks of street battles passed 360.


04/24/08 AFP: Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to a 'new beginning' in relations Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to a "new beginning" to bilateral relations based on complete mutual trust and understanding, an joint statement said. The announcement came as Afghan foreign minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta concluded...

04/24/08 CNN: First-ever oil paintings found in Afghanistan Scientists have found what they described this week as the earliest oil paintings ever discovered. Murals found on cave walls in Afghanistan prove that painting with oil had been going on in Asia for centuries before artists...


Turkish army says it strikes PKK group in N. Iraq

Thu Apr 24, 2008

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish warplanes fired on a group of Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq on Wednesday as they tried to cross into Turkey, the army said on Thursday.

The army statement came a day after a military source said at least four Turkish military jets bombed Kurdish separatist targets inside northern Iraq.

"A group of armed PKK/KONGRA-GEL terror organization members, who were trying to cross into Turkey from northern Iraq's Hakurk region, were spotted and neutralized by fire from aircraft of the Air Forces," the statement said.

It gave no further details, but "neutralized" generally means killed.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrilla group said Turkish planes bombed a remote part of northern Iraq but no one was hurt.

A PKK spokesman denied the Turkish army statement and said the Turkish bombing had caused no casualties among the rebels.

"The Turkish news is false. There was a fierce battle between Turkish forces and the PKK in the area of Sirnak (in southeastern Turkey) yesterday. It lasted for hours," Ahmed Danees, PKK spokesman in northern Iraq, said.

"There were killed and wounded on the Turkish side," he said.

The Turkish military staged an eight-day incursion in northern Iraq in February against the PKK, which uses northern Iraq as a base to launch attacks on targets inside Turkey.

Ankara blames the separatist group for the deaths of 40,000 since 1984, when the group took up arms to carve out an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey.

The United States and the European Union, along with Turkey, consider the PKK a terrorist organization.

(Writing by Selcuk Gokoluk; Editing by Giles Elgood)

The Kurds like the Armenians are being murdered by the Turks as Bush sits by an allows Iraq to be attacked!

Could the following article be one of the reasons for this new attack by Turkey?

: Staffan de Mistura takes Kirkuk issue to Brussels :

Since the 1980s and 1990s, thousands of Kurds, who were forcibly removed from their homes and farms by Saddam Hussein and replaced by Arab settlers, have been patiently waiting for their rights to be reinstated. Many Kurds from Kirkuk and its environs rushed back to the city following the downfall of Saddam Hussein, hoping that they will be able to return to homes and farms they lost. However, the U.S. military stopped the Kurds in their tracks and they were told that they should wait until an elected Iraqi government had emerged to address their grievances through legal channels. Large numbers of the internally displaced Kurds, who are still languishing in Kirkuk’s sport stadium and in ramshackle former government buildings, have been waiting for the government to restore their rights by implementing article 140 of the Iraqi constitution. However, foot-dragging by the government, supported by Washington and Turkey, has erected obstacle after obstacle to prevent implementation of that very article, which was approved by Iraq’s political factions and supported by American constitutional experts.

Article 140 was made redundant by the surprise visit of the U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, to Kirkuk and her meetings with Kurdish, Arab and Turkman political factions on December 18, 2007. Kirkuk’s Arab and Turkman politicians, influenced by Arab nationalists and Turkey, opposed Kurdish demands during their meeting with Rice. It was after Rice’s visits to Kirkuk that the chairman of the Higher Committee for implementing article 140 resigned, stating that the legal time limit of December 31, 2007 had elapsed and that there was no more reason for the continuation of his committee. It was then that the issue of Kirkuk and other Arabized Kurdish territories was referred to the U.N. envoy, Staffan de Mistura in Baghdad. The referral of the issue to the U.N. practically froze all major steps taken since 2004 to address the issue of Arabized Kurdish territories.

Instead of expediting implementation of article 140 through mediations between Iraq’s political factions, de Mistura traveled to Brussels to seek advice from NATO and EU officials about the issue. On April 22, 2008, de Mistura, told a Reuters reporter, “The status of the northern Iraqi Kurdish city of Kirkuk must be solved through a political formula and not a hastily organized referendum that would trigger violence.” [1] It was part of de Mistura’s job was to help organize a well-grounded and not hastily prepared referendum. Instead of trying to bridge the gap between Iraqi politicians, de Mistura traveled to Brussels to seek remedies for the Kirkuk issue from the EU and NATO members, including the U.S. and Turkey, who have been responsible for blocking implementation of the article in question. De Mistura is doing disservice to Iraq and the Kurds by internationalizing the issue in favor of Turkey and the U.S., who are interested mainly in the oil and gas resources of Kirkuk. The resolution of the problem requires not only political consensus but also practical technical measures to readjust the administrative boundaries of the old Kirkuk province.

It is puzzling to see NATO and EU officials discourage de Mistura from organizing a simple referendum in Kirkuk, while they were instrumental in dismembering the former Yugoslavia and replace it by Slovenia, Croatia, Kosovo, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. The double standard exercised by the west just to appease one of their members, Turkey, is outrageous. The Kurds are merely trying to reclaim what has been taken away from them by force through legal channels and are not seeking independence as Turkey claims. It is the Turkish paranoia about the Kurds and not Kirkuk, which is dragging the whole region down a slippery slope. Turning their back on the civil and human rights of some 30 million strong Kurds is a recipe for regional instability.

While de Mistura calls Kirkuk a Kurdish city, yet he fails to pursue implementation of article 140 of the Iraqi constitution, which prescribes remedies to the problem. De Mistura merely regurgitates the position of a Turkish parliamentarian, who visited Kikuk during fall 2006 and arrogantly told Kurdish officials that there will be no referendum on Kirkuk and that the future of the city should be settled through consensus. De Mistura says that the issue of “Kirkuk needs to be solved through a political formula in which everybody, majorities and minorities feel comfortable,” yet he offers no comfort to the Kurdish majority of Kirkuk. He told Reuters, “he would propose options so Iraq could decide under which authority to put four disputed locations,” near Kirkuk, but excluding Kirkuk. He assumes that the resolution of the administrative responsibility for those selected areas would help in deciding the future status of Kirkuk. This means an indefinite delay in addressing the grievances of more than 200,000 internally displaced Kurds, while Sunni Arab insurgents are consolidating their grip on Arabized Kurdish territories in Mosul, Salahadin, Kirkuk and Diyala. It is disappointing to learn that a U.N. representative like de Mistura say, “Nobody doubts that Kirkuk is a crucial area for Iraq and for the region,” while ignoring the rights of the province’s indigenous people. Is this what the United Nations stands for?

Since de Mistura is on a U.N. assignment in Iraq, he has no right to publicize his half-baked report, which should be submitted for the consideration of the Iraqi government. It is for the government to decide whether it should publicize the contents of such a sensitive report. De Mistura seems to be unaware of the fact that ethnic cleansing and sectarian violence has been rampant in Arabized Kurdish areas during the past five years in an effort to complete the job started by Saddam Hussein’s government. Agreements between Iraq’s political faction for holding a referendum on Arabized Kurdish territories should help stabilize the situation rather than not inflame it. The longer he waits, the more difficult it becomes to address the issue to the satisfaction of all parties, especially the Kurds. In a campaign of scare tactics, the U.S., Turkish and Iraqi Arab officials, helped by media, have often referred to Kirkuk as a powder keg, which could turn into a regional war. Now, de Mistura has coined a new phrase by describing the issue as the “mother of all issues.” One wonders whether de Mistura is trying to help solve the Kirkuk problem or he is merely trying to inflame the situation further.

Bush' Way of Bringing the Troops Home

Bush' Way of Bringing the Troops Home
If Not Now When?