Will Ceasar Dubya leave Tony Blair even a fig leaf? Even Brit Conservatives are warning that Iraqis don't want a MacDonalds culture ... and bear in mind that after his Camp David meeting Blair had moved from calling for a "UN lead" administration to one that was "UN approved". With old Republican troglodytes ready to take their posts as governors of the three new provinces in Iraq ... Google Search: cluster:news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2910511.stm
State, Pentagon Struggle Over Post-War Iraq [washingtonpost.com] - " ... "The kind of people needed after the wreckage of (Saddam's) Baathist dictatorship must be committed anti-Baathists, committed to democracy and able to bridge differences between Iraq's ethnic and confessional groups. Chalabi fits that well," said Randy Scheunemann of the Committee to Liberate Iraq. The war is "transformational" for Iraq and the region and so post-war administrators must pursue far-reaching changes, not the usual cautious State Department approach, he said.
But Judith Yaphe, an Iraq expert at the National Defense University, said Washington will "cripple itself" if it does not appoint American administrators who know Iraq and how to manage its transition. She has a lot of respect for Garner, who "understands ... he needs to be able to draw on the best."
Yaphe voiced concern, however, that the administration might announce "pre-approved" Iraqi candidates for top leadership positions before the war ends and there is a chance to see what Iraqis inside the country might emerge. "There are few indications thus far that the exiles would be welcomed as participants in government in Iraq," she said, adding: "Iraqis... don't tend to look kindly on exiles who have been out of the country for 20 years or more."
US rush over post-war Iraq [bbc.co.uk] - "The US is to take the first step in establishing a new civil administration for Iraq in the next few days. ... For the moment the priorities are likely to be humanitarian aid and rebuilding damaged infrastructure. But General Garner's task is also to prepare the ground for what's being called the IIA - the Iraqi Interim Authority.
In other words, he will help groom Iraqis who can eventually take over the government of the country, after what is supposed to be a three-month period of US military rule. Few believe the Americans will hand over the reins so soon. "
Waiting in the wings: Wolfowitz of Arabia [theage.com.au] - "American officials are gathered in the Gulf refining their plans for when the time comes to move in and remake Iraq. ... This is the nucleus of the Bush Administration's new Iraqi government. One of the faraway masters is known fondly, or not so fondly - depending on one's political orientation - as Wolfowitz of Arabia.
The overall boss of this Iraqi government-in-waiting, an operation endowed with the Washington-speak title "Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance", is retired Army Lieutenant-General Jay Garner. When he gets to Baghdad, he will be in charge of everything the US military is not: feeding the country, fixing the infrastructure and creating what the Bush Administration has said will be a democratic government."
Preparing for Post-Hussein and for Potential Dangers [nytimes.com] - " ... European and American leaders may still be arguing over whether the United Nations plays a role in postwar Iraq, and, if it does, how large that part should be. But those disputes are considered largely irrelevant by the team here, whose members argue that they are better off unfettered by the United Nations.
When President Bush meets Prime Minister Tony Blair in Northern Ireland on Monday, the discussion about the United Nations' role — which Mr. Blair favors, in part because of pressure at home and in the rest of Europe — will doubtless resume. Here, it seems settled."
US begins the process of 'regime change' [observer.co.uk] - " ... America's readiness to establish the first stages of a civil administration to run post-war Iraq comes at lightning speed and constitutes a rebuff to European ambitions to stall on the process until some kind of role for the United Nations is agreed.
It was reported yesterday that the National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has also ruled out any key role for the UN.
The decision to proceed with an embryonic government comes in response to memoranda written by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld last week, urging that the US begin to entrench its authority in areas under its control before the war is over.
Pentagon officials told The Observer that the administration is determined to impose the Rumsfeld plan and sees no use for a UN role, describing the international body as 'irrelevant'."
Garner to invite Israel's former defence minister [gulf-news.com] - "One of many overseas friends whom the retired American General Jay Garner plans to invite to post-war Iraq is the former Israeli defence minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer.
Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, known also by his Arabic name Fuad before he immigrated from Iraq to Israel late in 1940s, and the General have known each other for many years as a result of Garner's close defence and political links with Israel."
Washington factions struggle for control [independent.co.uk] - " The shape of a post-war Iraq, set to dominate tomorrow's US-British summit in Northern Ireland, is also the subject of fierce wrangling in Washington, with disagreements between Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department on everything from the make-up of an interim Iraqi authority to the control of humanitarian aid funds.
The chief disagreement, as ever, is between the neo-conservative hawks who run the Pentagon and the more moderate, more internationalist outlook espoused by Colin Powell, the Secretary of State. What makes this turf war a little different from previous spats is that it concerns a set of supposedly firm decisions made during the months of planning for the Iraq war, which now turn out not to be firm decisions at all."
Winning the Peace [washingtonpost.com] by Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.-D) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.-R) of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
(The piece, which I think is quite sensible, ends with an odd sort of thud ... "Without the United Nations, it would be difficult for governments and international organizations to buck strong public opposition and join the effort to stabilize and rebuild Iraq." ... what does that mean? Who is resisting moves to stabilize and rebuild Iraq? The single and unique source of friction is Uncle Sam's ham-fisted monopolistic and hegemonic practices!! Methinks the legislators are seeking some wiggle room.)
I'ts been interesting, watching the petty pretexts by which people have over the decades rationalized frittering away their autonomy, their independence, their liberty, and their dignity ... a profound teaching on how material comfort is a disease.
Anti-war Canadians are cowards, press release hints[globeandmail.com] ... "A news release issued in the name of Ontario Premier Ernie Eves yesterday suggested those who oppose sending Canadian soldiers to Iraq are cowards.
"I want history to remember Canada for its courage and loyalty, not its cowardice," Mr. Eves was quoted as saying in the release handed out to reporters as he spoke to a rally sponsored by Friends of America."
BTW, did I mention that congress was presented with faked documents last fall? Oh ya ... I did ... one more titillating detail for you.
Iraq and the Failures of Democracy [wagingpeace.org] [...] "Congress has so far failed in its constitutional responsibilities. ... The open-ended resolution of Congress authorizing the president to resort to force only accentuates its failure to uphold these responsibilities. It would seem that the patriotic mood that followed the terrorist attacks, along with shortsighted anxieties about challenging a popular president, has dulled the critical faculties of Congress as a whole despite the willingness of a small number of senators and congressmen to raise their voices in opposition. As a republic, the US Government cannot function properly if Congress fails to exercise its constitutional responsibilities in relation to the ultimate issues of war and peace, and simply gives spineless deference to the president."
With sadness I mark the passing of Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll ... experienced, sane, balanced, humane, learned ... a veritable "sage commander", Carroll was Deputy Director of the Center for Defense Information (Obituaries NYTimes; Washington Post.)
The U.S. needs friendly advice on security. Eugene Carroll, 20 December 2000 [ploughshares.ca] [...] "Now is the time for our friends in Canada to tell a new president that the U.S. appears intoxicated with its role as the world's only superpower and it is time for a sober reassessment of critical policies that directly affect the security and well-being of Canadians."
Caring About National Missile Defense [pepeace.org] [...] "In the political effort to justify deployment of defenses against a highly unlikely threat, the United States can undo significant arms control measures and end up facing much greater real nuclear dangers. This is why all Americans should care deeply about the decision to deploy a National Missile Defense system. By such an action we will signal to the world that we are willing to pursue illusory defenses against non-existent threats even though we subject all nations to continued nuclear competition and increased risks of a future nuclear war."
Companies Secretly Bid to Rebuild Iraq [abcnews.go.com] "The secret bidding is legal, but controversial.
"If you don't have an open process, the odds are you may not get the best price, you may not get the best contractor, you may not have the best quality control, which may impact your mission success," Schooner said.
British troops are serving alongside U.S. troops in Iraq. But the closed process blocked British companies, as well as any foreign firm, from bidding.
"We have a very keen diplomatic interest in ensuring that others not only are involved, not only will be involved, but feel as though they are part of this post-conflict exercise," said Eric Schwartz of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington think tank.
Also left out were international development groups, which historically have been essential to nation rebuilding because they emphasize the involvement of local people.
"They must have ownership over this full development process," said Mary McClymont, chief executive officer of InterAction, an alliance of dozens of U.S.-based nongovernmental relief organizations. "Otherwise, it's a recipe for failure."
USAID denies politics are involved in any of this."
Support for Uncle Sam continues to magnetize the servile and larcenous: to the list of Reform/Alliance leaders Harper and Day, Brian Mulroney (arguably the most despised and loathed Prime Minister in Canadian history), and Alberta's Ralph "I'll throw cash in these bums' faces, that'll show them I'm superior" Kline, we now have Ontario's Mike Harris (arguably the most despised and loathed premier in Canadian history.)
One of the self-loathing Bay Street suits who demonstrated today explained his foundations very simply, with an interesting variation on the usual "you had better be my friend or else" with this bit of sophistry: "I love Americans ... they're very generous ... but you'd better not abuse their friendship."
So let's paper the Iraqi desert with the appropriate pamphlets: any opinion, stance, or view that is at variance with those dictated by Dubya, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz will be taken as proof of godless ingratitude.
American materialistic individualism is a disease ... a mental disorder ... and the positive symptom is this fascistic absolutism: you're with us, or you're against us. Damned bloody-minded troglodytes!
House and Senate Approve Bush's Wartime Spending Request [nytimes.com] [...] The $1 billion in assistance to Turkey was approved after intervention by the Bush administration, but late in the evening, the House voted to punish France, Germany, Russian and Syria for their opposition to the war by cutting them out of any federal contracts to rebuild Iraq.
[...] The State Department opposed the amendment, arguing that it would undermine its effort to build an international coalition to reconstruct Iraq, but proponents said the government should not reward countries that actively worked against American interests.
"This amendment sends a signal to our allies that we appreciate those who support us in our time of need and remember those that have sought to thwart coalition efforts to defeat Saddam Hussein's regime," said Representative George R. Nethercutt Jr., Republican of Washington."
Iraqi Man Risked All to Help Free American Soldier (washingtonpost.com) [...] Mohammed has given up the life he knew to help a woman he met only briefly. He and his family came to this Marine base with nothing but the clothes they were wearing and a blanket. But Mohammed smiled broadly and happily talked about his role. He expressed no doubts about his decision. "She would not have lived," he said simply. "It was very important."
An unrelated story on looting and mafia-like elements arising in the power vacuum of the newly liberated areas included an interview with a Central Command spokesperson. The captain remarked on how some truckers hired to distribute free water were instead selling it, joking, "Isn't it fabulous to see the people starting to act like capitalists?!"
Just in: Dubye'a cabal tried to slip the Pentagon US$2.5Bn of reconstruction funding; even the Republican controlled committee balked at this, sending that enveloped towards State and other departments.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, Blair is bleating very loudly that "Iraq must not be administered by the US, and it must not be administered by the UK" ... I wish I could say this was a brilliant grasp of the obvious, I really do. And, remembering Dubya's protestation that the adminstration of Iraq would be "selected and approved" by the Iraqis, it's obvious again that the villainous bastards are having their strings pulled by the captains of industry, the filthy blood-drenched pirates who are bound to drag us back into the dark ages: psychopathic fundamentalists (and I mean psychopathic ... just because DSM-IV has santized this by confounding it with "sociopath" doesn't mean we should go mad; Like Honest Abe said, even though we agreed among ourselves to call the dog's tail is a fifth leg, that wouldn't change the way the critter walks.).
The threat posed by US terrorism to the security of nations and individuals was outlined in prophetic detail in a document written more than two years ago and disclosed only recently. What was needed for America to dominate much of humanity and the world's resources, it said, was "some catastrophic and catalysing event - like a new Pearl Harbor". The attacks of 11 September 2001 provided the "new Pearl Harbor", described as "the opportunity of ages". The extremists who have since exploited 11 September come from the era of Ronald Reagan, when far-right groups and "think-tanks" were established to avenge the American "defeat" in Vietnam. In the 1990s, there was an added agenda: to justify the denial of a "peace dividend" following the cold war. The Project for the New American Century was formed, along with the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute and others that have since merged the ambitions of the Reagan administration with those of the current Bush regime."
The Test for Rumsfeld: Will Strategy Work? MILITARY ANALYSIS [nytimes.com] - [...] "In the final analysis, the war is not just a battle to unseat a dictator. It is a giant experiment to determine what forces might be most useful in the future."
Yaa, right. Great! Like dropping the 2nd atomic bomb on Japan, just to see if it worked?!
Innapropriate behaviour at peace rallies are given headline treament; at pro-war demonstrations ... well, that's what makes realpolitik what it is.
* Campaign for UN Reform - The vision of the Campaign for United Nations Reform is an effective, democratic, and accountable United Nations system able to fulfill the goals set forth in the preamble of its Charter. The mission of the Campaign for United Nations Reform is to build political will within the United States to promote a more democratic, accountable, and transparent U.N. system; and to increase the resources and authority needed by the U.N. system to achieve the goals set forth in its Charter.
CUNR's Iraq page carries working pages such as "Iraq Briefing Book" (This is a website resource put together for members of Congress and the public by a diverse group of national and international religious, humanitarian, public interest and advocacy organizations, including CUNR, who are working to promote effective policies on Iraq.). and documents such as "What Now for International Law?" (March 19, 2003) and "Marching to Whose Drum? A Security Council Called into Question".
* Win Without War - A mainstream voice advocating alternatives to preemtive war.
* Fourth Freedom Forum: Exploring Options for the Nonviolent Resolution of International Conflict - The Bush administration is pursuing a war that never should have happened. Iraq was being disarmed through peaceful diplomatic means when the United States attacked. Unprovoked war against another country without the approval of the Security Council violates the UN Charter and is illegal under U.S. and international law.
* The Council for a Livable World, the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation and PeacePAC focus on halting the spread of weapons of mass destruction, opposing a national missile defense system, cutting Pentagon waste and reducing excessive arms exports. The Council and PeacePAC are also political lobbies which endorse political candidates.
The American Eagle has been blinded? By what, I wonder ... its own greed? or the psychopaths who claim to be honoring it? Central Command claimed to be looking into just what exploded in the Baghdad market area ... Enron research? Nixon intentions?
If US pride is on the line, perhaps honest practitioners of the martial art should step up, because the war-mongers' dishonesty is making the Marines look like pimps and thugs: a quick google search identified those responsible for the device: American Defense Supply Center in Columbus, Ohio. In Baghdad, blood and bandages for the innocent [rober-fisk.com / argument.independent.co.uk]
The game of cat and mouse [timesonline.co.uk]
Iraqi opposition slams plan for military governor [observer.co.uk] - Kanan Makiya, a leading figure and adviser to Iraq's main opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress, rounded on American plans to install a US military governor in Baghdad to rule post-war Iraq, describing the plans as an 'unmitigated disaster', 'deeply stupid' and a 'mess'. The infrastructure of Saddam's ruling Baath party would remain largely intact, with the top two officials in each Iraqi ministry replaced by US military officers. 'The plan is bizarre. It is Baathism with an American face,' said Makiya, an Iraqi author and professor at Brandeis University in Massachusetts.
America Selects Colonial Governor for Iraq [warblogging.com] -
The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that the United States has selected Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi to "lead a transitional coalition government in Iraq once Saddam has been deposed."
Mr. Chalabi is described as a "progressive liberal" who is "far from universally popular among Iraqi exiles" by the SMH. The BBC has described Chalabi as a "controversial opposition maverick".
The thing is that the 58-year-old Chalabi left Iraq at the age of eleven. Since he has spent almost all of his time in Britain and the United States, with the exception of a stay in Jordan just long enough to garner him a sentence of 22 years hard labor for the crime of bank fraud.
One thing that's being used against this journalist is that the interview he gave was not pre-authorized! Apparently anything but propaganda is "nauseating" to Republicans ... like vampires in sunlight!
Google Search: "peter arnett"
"Peter Arnett, the CNN reporting star of the 1991 Gulf war, has been accused of "kowtowing to the enemy" by a US Republican politician who has branded an interview by the reporter on Iraqi television as "nauseating".
"NBC said in a statement that "Peter Arnett and his crew have risked their lives to bring the American people up-to-date, straight-forward information on what is happening in and around Baghdad." The network said Arnett's "impromptu interview with Iraqi TV was done as a professional courtesy and was similar to other interviews he has done with media outlets from around the world. His remarks were analytical in nature and were not intended to be anything more."
"Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen told Fox News Channel she found the interview "nauseating." She added, "It's incredible he would be kowtowing to what clearly is the enemy in this way."
NBC Fires Peter Arnett Over Iraqi TV Interview [washingtonpost.com] - NBC said on Monday it had severed its relations with veteran reporter Peter Arnett after he told Iraqi television that the U.S. war plan against Saddam Hussein had failed.
"I said in that interview essentially what we all know about the war, that there have been delays in implementing policy, there have been surprises," Arnett told NBC's "Today" show.
Hawks, and doves. Oh yes, and Prime Minister Blair.
"Recently, those who have criticised the actions of the US government (myself included) have been called "anti-American". Anti-Americanism is in the process of being consecrated into an ideology. The term is usually used by the American establishment to discredit and, not falsely - but shall we say inaccurately - define its critics. Once someone is branded anti-American, the chances are that he or she will be judged before they're heard and the argument will be lost in the welter of bruised national pride. [...] To call someone anti-American, indeed, to be anti-American, is not just racist, it's a failure of the imagination. An inability to see the world in terms other than those that the establishment has set out for you: If you don't love us, you hate us. If you're not good, you're evil. If you're not with us, you're with the terrorists.
Last year, like many others, I too made the mistake of scoffing at this post-September 11 rhetoric, dismissing it as foolish and arrogant. I've realised that it's not. It's actually a canny recruitment drive for a misconceived, dangerous war.
[...] To fuel yet another war - this time against Iraq - by manipulating people's grief, by packaging it for TV specials sponsored by corporations selling detergent or running shoes, is to cheapen and devalue grief, to drain it of meaning. We are seeing a pillaging of even the most private human feelings for political purpose. It is a terrible, violent thing for a state to do to its people.
Two collections of articles and commentaries at guardian.co.uk:
If not war then what? In recent weeks, it has become the hawks' favourite riposte to mounting anti-war sentiment. But should critics of military action have to answer it? And, if so, can they offer any real alternative? We asked 48 high-profile opponents of the war to tackle the question.
Voices on Iraq - Guardian Unlimited's exclusive collection of 30 interviews giving an insight into Iraq's past, present and future.
John Gray, Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics - [...] What was unanticipated is that the period of globalisation would be a period of weak States in large parts of the world and collapsed States in some parts of the world. What was still less anticipated was that new types of conflict would emerge in which organisations sometimes strategically or tactically for periods of time, based in collapsed States or regions where States had collapsed, would use the technologies and liberties which go with globalisation in order to wage a new kind of war.
Joan Smith, author and columnist - Pinochet seems to be an exemplary husband and father, and a devout Catholic, but he is also a mass murderer. My reason for taking this as my starting point is that I want to challenge the notion that religion has any monopoly at all on morality. I'm not, and never have been a Christian, just as many, if not most of my Arab friends are entirely secular. Religion is only one strand in the way human beings construct their identity, and frequently a very divisive one. It actively encourages exclusivity, encouraging people to think in terms of their difference from the rest of humanity, rather than what we all have in common. It's because of that divisive tendency in religions that I think the most urgent task facing us is to ensure that that framework is based on secular values. What I advocate is a shift away from the kind of collective and coercive moral structure associated with religion, to one that combines modern individualism with a human rights framework.
Mary Kaldor, Professor of Political Science - [N]ew wars are fought not by States, but by networks. These networks (and here I would disagree with John) are not non-State actors. They're a combination of States and non-State actors. If you ask, for example, who undertook the massacres of Rwanda, indeed it was militias, but militias armed by the State. And what you find in many of these killings is that curious division of labour between regular forces and irregular forces in which irregular forces kill at a distance so that they can still act with impunity.
[...] A second characteristic of these new wars which is very important is the fact that instead of being wars in which you mobilise people to achieve military objectives like capturing territory, the point of the violence is political mobilisation. The point of the violence is to create the kind of fear and hatred which rallies people to the ideology or the narrative. [...] The third characteristic is the link with the criminal economy. What I want to make clear is that the implications of these characteristics is that these are wars that are profoundly difficult to end, because the power of the networks depends both on sustaining fear and hate, their ideology depends on sustaining fear and hate, and also their economic sources.
Dr Robert Cooper, formerly a senior member of the British Diplomatic Service, from the United Kingdom Foreign Office - The story that I want to tell is the story of liberty, equality and fraternity, which seemed to me to be the governing virtues of the order today. I think of globalisation as being about the triumph of the market, it's up to you whether you like it or not. On the whole I prefer the market to the military which is the other alternative form of organisation. I don't think that there's as much in between. And for all that one may dislike some of the manifestations of the market and the global market, it does bring with it certain values, notably it brings with it the values of liberty and equality. ... [T]he market evaluates people purely on the basis of how useful they are, which is not very uplifting but it is the governing set of values that we have today.
Iran won't back US regime in post-war Iraq [abc.net.au] - Iran "will not support" an Iraqi government installed by the United States - only one chosen democratically by the Iraqi people, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said.
"We will not support a government installed by the Americans in Iraq," Mr Kharazi told a press conference in Iraq. "Such a government is an imposed government.
"We can only respect a government if it is established under the supervision of the United Nations and has been chosen by the vote of the Iraqis themselves."
National interest, terrorism and the war in Iraq [abc.net.au] - "According to terrorism expert Dr David Wright-Neville the Prime Minister John Howard is wrong when he says that Australia's role in Iraq is in the national interest. Dr Wright-Neville says while increasing the danger faced by Australians from terrorist attacks, the war will achieve next to nothing in terms of safety from terrorist attack, our trade-based prosperity or our intelligence based national security."
As I related earlier, Oz is deeply engaged in swinging a bilateral trade agreement with Uncle Sam ... this has to be factored in when wondering at it's membership in the coalition of the
badgered, brow-beaten, blackmailed willing. see Trade negotiators begin writing 'piece of history' - "The United States and Australia have completed the first round of talks on a bilateral free trade treaty. Negotiators from both sides say a week of talks in Canberra made a solid start on the outline of a comprehensive agreement. Australia says the ambitious but achievable aim is to finalise a free trade treaty with America in the first half of next year"
Not unrelated is this little gem: Defence review raises issue of missile defence - "Australia's long awaited defence strategic review which has been released would commit Australia to America's missile defence system."
It turns out that Canada wasn't the only country to have been scolded by it's US ambassador: Opposition leader and US ambassador resolve differences - "The relationship broke down when in an interview in the Bulletin Magazine, [the US ambassador, Tom Schieffer], accused [Leader of the Official Opposition Simon] Crean of fostering ''rank appeal to anti-Americanism, to anti-George Bush feeling''".
"It is enough that a lie is believed for three days -
it has then served its purpose."
Marie de Medici, 1573-1642, queen consort and queen regent of France