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Mandate Of Heaven

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By Orville Schell

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Tag: Iraq

What McCain and Obama Just Don’t Get About Central Asia

There are only two real issues left in the foreign policy debate between John McCain and Barack Obama. Yet neither the Iraq nor the Afghanistan issue is within the power of any American president to resolve.

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE


Weapons of Mass Distraction

John McCain and Sarah Palin are going to try their best to make us talk about anything but the big issues facing our country, because most Americans think Barack Obama’s solutions are better.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE


Pelosi Happy, With Pen
The New York Times / Doug Mills

The Bailout: Take Two

On Friday the House approved, after initially rejecting, the $700-billion bailout package for the financial industry in what is likely to be the most expensive government intervention in the nation’s history. This, of course, only slightly surpasses another notable “government intervention”—the nearly $600 billion spent in the war in Iraq.

Posted on Oct 3, 2008 READ MORE


With Palin, McCain Is Gambling With the Country

The key to understanding how John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate was provided by The New York Times last weekend when it described an episode in which he “tossed $100 chips around a hot craps table.”

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Will the Pentagon Be the Next U.S. Institution to Crash?

Less apparent to most people than the economic crisis, but just as real, are the signs of an impending crash of an American military system in which, since the end of the Cold War, Pentagon dysfunction has metastasized so uncontrollably as to scandalize the men who have overseen it.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Invasion of the Sea-Smurfs

If the economy does collapse, if people can’t go down to the bank to withdraw their savings, or get cash from an ATM, there may be serious “civil unrest,” and the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team may be called upon sooner than we imagine to assist with “crowd control.”

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


Bush Favors Bankers Over Soldiers

By grotesque mischance, $700 billion—the cost of George Bush’s Wall Street rescue plan—is about the same figure the president has squandered on his preposterous war in Iraq, the war we have now apparently “won” thanks to the “surge.”

Posted on Sep 29, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Debate Implosion Bodes Ill for His Campaign

September began as John McCain’s month and ended as Barack Obama’s. McCain’s high-risk wagers aimed at shaking up the campaign turned into very bad investments. And Friday’s debate eliminated McCain’s best chance to deliver a knockout blow.

Posted on Sep 29, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and McCain debate in Mississippi

Obama and McCain Face Off in First Presidential Debate

Thankfully, Jim Lehrer wasn’t left at the moderator’s podium on Friday, as both Barack Obama and John McCain showed up for their scheduled presidential debate at the University of Mississippi to field questions about the economy and foreign policy.

Posted on Sep 28, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Chip Somodevilla, pool

A Calm Obama Weathers a Storm of Sarcasm

Was he too calm? Did he pull his punches in an effort to look presidential? Not really. The viewers got a clear choice: a reasoned and reasonable Obama versus an old-fashioned Cold Warrior who would keep us in Iraq endlessly and extend the boundaries we must defend to Georgia and Ukraine.

Posted on Sep 26, 2008 READ MORE


BBT
finfacts.ie

Hustling Toward a Bailout Compromise

Following days of hype-work by the Bush administration to scare taxpayers into paying for Wall Street’s failures, support for the $700-billion bailout seems to be gaining steam. Analysts believe the final bailout plan, expected in a day or two, may look eerily similar to Bush’s initial proposal, with some slight changes.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE


Stewart and Blair

Blair Shows His Charmingly Imperialist Side

Tony Blair went to “The Daily Show” to talk about politics but found himself defending the Iraq war much more than he might have liked. The former politician, who still seems desperate to sell the nobility of invading and occupying Iraq, also managed to include some of the tired 9/11 rhetoric from Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign.

Posted on Sep 19, 2008 READ MORE


Paulson Congress
AP photo / Lauren Victoria Burke

Paulson Bailout Plan Could Reach $1 Trillion

If you thought the Iraq war was expensive, the Bush administration is also throwing an estimated $1-trillion bailout of major finance firms to prevent a meltdown of the U.S. economy. President Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson outlined such a “bold approach” Friday morning, yet detailed plans still remain forthcoming.

Posted on Sep 19, 2008 READ MORE


Maliki Bush
whitehouse.gov

Immunity Issue Snags U.S.-Iraq Agreement

We tearfully regret to inform you that an agreement that would legally extend the U.S. imperial occupation of Iraq is at risk of falling apart, as Iraqi officials continue to make the audacious demand that U.S. soldiers and mercenaries be subject to Iraqi law for crimes committed outside the scope of military operations.

Posted on Sep 19, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Dusan Vranic

Farewell, General—but Did You Bring Iraq Hope?

Gen. Petraeus’ oft-declared uncertainty about the future stability of Iraq is genuine. It is the Shiites and their Iranian backers, not the Americans, who are the true victors in the Iraqi war.

Posted on Sep 17, 2008 READ MORE


Dick Cheney
White House / David Bohrer

Book: Cheney Deceived GOP Leader on Iraq

How far was Dick Cheney (above) willing to go to get his war in Iraq? Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, quoted in Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman’s new book, says the vice president hoodwinked him during a one-on-one meeting in the Capitol.

Posted on Sep 17, 2008 READ MORE


Odierno
http://www.mnci.centcom.mil/leaders/index.htm

Odierno Takes Petraeus’ Place in Iraq

On Tuesday, Gen. David Petraeus handed over the duties of commander of multinational forces in Iraq to his second-in-command, Gen. Raymond Odierno, who worked with Petraeus on implementing the U.S. troop surge over recent months. To mark the occasion, Petraeus, other American officials and Iraqi brass joined Odierno for a ceremony in a Baghdad-area palace formerly owned by Saddam Hussein.

Posted on Sep 16, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Al Grillo

For Palin, It’s a (Christian) Man’s World

Sarah Palin may be a governor and a vice presidential candidate, but in the hyper-masculine world of the Christian right, she is subservient to a male hierarchy that claims to speak for God.

Posted on Sep 14, 2008 READ MORE


A Campaign Without Ideas

There was a time when Republicans campaigned on their ideas, programs and values. This year—lacking ideas, programs or values—John McCain and Sarah Palin are running for the White House on an elaborate fictional narrative of victimhood.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE


Remembering 9/11 and Moving Forward

America must move from the errant, retributive justice of 9/11 to a healing, restorative process of truth and reconciliation.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE


Inside the Surge

This short documentary by the Guardian’s Sean Smith shows an altogether different side of the surge than the one presented by George Bush, John McCain and the mainstream media.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE



DoD / R.D. Ward

Petraeus Won’t Declare Victory in Iraq

John McCain has repeatedly promised “victory” in Iraq, but his personal hero and the outgoing commander of that war says he’ll probably never use the word. In a conversation with the BBC, a relatively upbeat Gen. David Petraeus foretells of a “long struggle.”

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Obama on Death and Taxes

Keith Olbermann began the second part of his interview with Barack Obama with a tale of two conservatives: “One guy who makes about $40,000 a year said, ‘Ask him why he’s going to raise my taxes.’  Another guy makes about a million dollars a year, said, ‘Ask him why he’s going to raise my taxes.’ ”

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE


Is There a Doctor in the House or Senate?

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Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE    


KC-45/30
Northrop Grumman

$40 Billion Tanker Contract Grounded

Unnecessary and extraordinarily expensive, the once-green-lit controversial KC-X midair refueling tanker program has stalled, according to the Pentagon. Any movement on the $40 billion contract to purchase new Air Force tankers will have to wait for the next U.S. administration, a clear sign that military-industrial complex spending is an institutional, rather than administrative, problem.

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Alex Brandon

Obama: Bush ‘Kicking the Can Down the Road’ to Next President

Barack Obama on Tuesday stepped up his criticism of the outgoing president and the Republican who hopes to succeed him, slamming President Bush for focusing too heavily on Iraq and missing the “central front in the war on terror”—Pakistan and Afghanistan. John McCain, Obama said, would follow Bush’s lead, to America’s detriment.

Posted on Sep 9, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

Bush: Under Him, Most Troops Will Stay in Iraq

Here’s one way to tell the difference between a war and an occupation: In response to the “success” of the surge and the undefined “victory” that lies just around the corner in Iraq, the president on Tuesday will pledge to maybe reduce troop levels by about 5 percent six months from now after he’s left office. How can John McCain win this argument with Barack Obama?

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE


Ayman al-Zawahri
msnbc.msn.com

Al-Qaida’s No. 2 Blasts Iran

Just before the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, al-Qaida has released a lengthy videotape featuring the group’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri, providing updates about how the holy war is faring around the globe and laying into Iran for “cooperating with the Americans” and with the American-approved governments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE


MISERY Index
thespeeddemon.com

Bush Oversees Unemployment and Misery

George W. Bush and his father share more than a last name. Reports show that August’s unemployment rate increased past the level initially forecast, rising to 6.1 percent. But even more disturbing is the fact that the misery index—unemployment aggregated with inflation—also soared to its highest level since 1991, when George H.W. Bush was in office.

Posted on Sep 5, 2008 READ MORE


Obama on O'Reilly

Obama and O’Reilly Square Off

The first installment of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s interview with Bill O’Reilly aired Thursday, during which the Fox News host drove a hard line about Iran’s nuclear program and the success of the “surge” in Iraq. “Why can’t you just say, ‘I was right in the beginning and I was wrong about the surge?’ ” asked O’Reilly.

Posted on Sep 5, 2008 READ MORE


Memoir Politics

Talk about role reversal. The Republican Party, which scoffs at the nonsense of “identity politics,” has staked everything on the compelling life stories of its presidential and vice presidential candidates.

Posted on Sep 4, 2008 READ MORE



gawker.com

More Nuggets From the Palin Gold Mine

While the webloids are busy looking into the drinking habits of young Bristol Palin, The Huffington Post has a disturbing report on Ma Palin’s right-wing church: “Pastor Kalnins has also preached that critics of President Bush will be banished to hell ... and said that Jesus ‘operated from that position of war mode.’ ”

Posted on Sep 2, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Adil al-Khazali

Iraq From the Inside

Iraqi journalist Huda Ahmed, who has recently been granted asylum in the U.S., looks back on more than five years of war and occupation from an Iraqi perspective.

Posted on Sep 1, 2008 READ MORE



AP Photo / Adil al-Khazali

Iraq From the Inside

Iraqi journalist Huda Ahmed, who has recently been granted asylum in the U.S., looks back on more than five years of war and occupation from an Iraqi perspective.

Posted on Sep 1, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Ted S. Warren

Yes He Can

In a speech that rose beyond the occasion, Sen. Barack Obama changed the dynamics of the presidential campaign. With fire in his eyes and politeness thankfully forgotten, he finally put Sen. John McCain on the defensive, most notably mocking the Republican’s claim that he’s best suited to be commander in chief.

Posted on Aug 29, 2008 READ MORE


Cleaning Up After Bush

The Bush administration has lived by a strategy of tension, and will go out of office bequeathing the wars it has started and the ill will it has created to its successors, to compromise those who come after.

Posted on Aug 28, 2008 READ MORE


Questions for Hillary’s Zealots

As the Democrats convened in Denver to celebrate Hillary Clinton and nominate Barack Obama, a tiny minority of her supporters continued to behave petulantly. They whined, they blustered, they agitated themselves and each other. But what was it about Sen. Clinton’s repeated endorsements of her former opponent that they could not understand?

Posted on Aug 27, 2008 READ MORE


military service
AP photo / William B. Plowman

U.S. Military Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers’ ‘Suicides’?

Since I posted on April 28 the article “Is There an Army Cover Up of the Rape and Murder of Women Soldiers,” the deaths of two more U.S. Army women in Iraq and Afghanistan have been listed as suicides—the Sept. 28, 2007, death of 30-year-old Spc. Ciara Durkin and the Feb. 22, 2008, death of 25-year-old Spc. Keisha Morgan. Both “suicides” are disputed by the families of the women.

Posted on Aug 26, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / John Raoux

Running for War President at Any Cost

Just great! Nuclear-armed Pakistan is falling apart, Iran’s nuclear program is unchecked and congressional legislation on cooperation with the Russians on controlling nuclear proliferation is now dead in the water. Horrid news except for Sen. John McCain, who thrills to a repeat of the danger lines of the Cold War, and now stands a good chance of being our next president.

Posted on Aug 26, 2008 READ MORE


Timetable

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Posted on Aug 26, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Fraidoon Pooyaa

U.N. Sides With Afghans in Airstrike Controversy

Iraq isn’t the only U.S.-occupied nation looking for some sovereignty. Afghan officials are calling for more regulation of foreign troops amid an uproar over U.S. airstrikes. One recent U.S.-led attack, according a U.N. investigation, probably killed 90 civilians—mostly children.

Posted on Aug 26, 2008 READ MORE



DoD photo

Maliki Promises to Stand Firm on Sovereignty

Speaking to tribal leaders in Iraq’s capital, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki pledged not to sign a deal with the U.S. that didn’t include a withdrawal date. He also said he would not accept “absolute immunity for anybody, whether Iraqis or foreigners.” That’s a sticking point for the Bush administration, although a draft deal is said to include limited immunity for U.S. soldiers, along with a pullout date of 2011.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Rafiq Maqbool

Pouring Gas on the Afghanistan Bonfire

Mounting bombing raids and widespread detentions of Afghans are rapidly turning Afghanistan into the mirror image of Iraq. But these very real events, which will have devastating consequences over the next few months and years, are largely ignored by us.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE


The Private Contracting Games

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Posted on Aug 24, 2008 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

Georgia, Iraq and McCain’s Houses

This week the “Left, Right & Center” panel tackles pullouts both real and imagined in Iraq and Georgia, John McCain’s many residences and more.

Posted on Aug 22, 2008 READ MORE


What Obama Could Learn From Clinton

The Obama folks will hate hearing this, but in planning for the next 10 weeks, their campaign would do well to learn from what Bill Clinton achieved in 1992.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


U.S. Accused of Jailing Journalists Without a Just Cause

An Iraqi cameraman working for such distinguished news organizations as the BBC, Reuters and NPR was recently detained by the U.S. military for nearly a month. It was but the latest questionable detention in what critics view as a pattern of intimidation.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Speech

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Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE    


Cheney, Bush and Habbush

Even though Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind supplied explosive evidence to support the case that the Bush administration willfully deceived America and the rest of the world about the Iraq invasion, some key players in Congress still insist there aren’t sufficient grounds for impeachment, but the chance still stands to follow Suskind’s lead before the Bush camp decamps from the White House.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


Gorbachev
thewashingtonnote.com

Gorbachev: ‘Russia Did Not Want This Crisis’

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has weighed in again about the recent bloody battles between Russia and Georgia, this time insisting in a New York Times Op-Ed piece that Russia was “dragged into the fray by the recklessness of the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili” and “did not need a little victorious war.”

Posted on Aug 19, 2008 READ MORE


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