Russian intelligence sees U.S. military buildup on Iran border
MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russian military intelligence services are reporting a flurry of activity by U.S. Armed Forces near Iran’s borders, a high-ranking security source said Tuesday.
“The latest military intelligence data point to heightened U.S. military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran,” the official said, adding that the Pentagon has probably not yet made a final decision as to when an attack will be launched.
He said the Pentagon is looking for a way to deliver a strike against Iran “that would enable the Americans to bring the country to its knees at minimal cost.”
He also said the U.S. Naval presence in the Persian Gulf has for the first time in the past four years reached the level that existed shortly before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
Col.-Gen. Leonid Ivashov, vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Sciences, said last week that the Pentagon is planning to deliver a massive air strike on Iran’s military infrastructure in the near future.
A new U.S. carrier battle group has been dispatched to the Gulf.
The USS John C. Stennis, with a crew of 3,200 and around 80 fixed-wing aircraft, including F/A-18 Hornet and Superhornet fighter-bombers, eight support ships and four nuclear submarines are heading for the Gulf, where a similar group led by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has been deployed since December 2006.
The U.S. is also sending Patriot anti-missile systems to the region.
Does anyone have a good idea why we would be amassing troops on Iraq’s western border?
My suggestion is not that we will invade Iran with troops, but that we are about to embark on a massive bombing campaign and we are situating our troops to stop Iran from invading Iraq with intentions of killing our Army in Iraq.
Does anyone in our government consider how these actions may UNITE ALL of the ME against us? Does anyone consider that people who are afraid will ban together to fight off an aggressor, especially when religion appears to be the main rationale (in their minds)? Can anyone imagine that our invasion or even bombing of Iran may not cost us our entire Army in Iraq? How far do you think the Iraqi forces, primarily Shia, will support attacks against their own religion?
We continuously believe that our forces are unbeatable (and in most cases, they are unbeatable), but what about a mass of ME countries that have had enough of us? What if they decide that Al Qaeda is correct, that our presence is seen as an empire building program and to hell with their feelings about terrorism?
Of course we can always nuke them into submission, at the same time killing even more of our own troops and innocent citizens.
Some people think that this is beyond the capabilities or even desires of the rogue administration running this country. To those people I say, “You haven’t been paying ANY attention to them, have you?” and “Wake up, you redneck.”
LATE BREAKING Richard Noggin Addition:
As of 10PM last night, this prick took over as Dickhead of the week.
The Political “Scribe” has been “scribbled” off the Redstate Revolt Honor Roll and added to the lying, Yankee Asshole Roll.
Hey, Schumer and Feinstein: Are you happy you have endorsed and enabled Mr Gonzales’ Clone of Lying Scumbaggery? When I saw Mr Mukasey make these remarks, tear up and quiver his lip, I didn’t feel his “pain”… I felt outrage. I felt outrage because I know that what he is saying is a downright lie meant to mislead Americans and play on our Patriotic sympathies.
Michael Mukasey has conclusively proven himself to be an exact replica of Alberto Gonazles — slavishly loyal to every presidential whim and unbound by even the most minimal constraints of truth while serving those whims. Speaking in San Fransisco this week, Mukasey demanded that the President be given new warrantless eavesdropping powers and that lawbreaking telecom be granted amnesty. To make his case, Mukasey teared up while exploiting the 3,000 Americans who died on 9/11 and said this:
Officials “shouldn’t need a warrant when somebody with a phone in Iraq picks up a phone and calls somebody in the United States because that’s the call that we may really want to know about. And before 9/11, that’s the call that we didn’t know about. We knew that there has been a call from someplace that was known to be a safe house in Afghanistan and we knew that it came to the United States. We didn’t know precisely where it went.“
At that point in his answer, Mr. Mukasey grimaced, swallowed hard, and seemed to tear up as he reflected on the weaknesses in America’s anti-terrorism strategy prior to the 2001 attacks. “We got three thousand. . . . We’ve got three thousand people who went to work that day and didn’t come home to show for that,” he said, struggling to maintain his composure.
At the time of the attacks, Mr. Mukasey was the chief judge at the federal courthouse a few blocks away from the World Trade Center.These are multiple falsehoods here, and independently, this whole claim makes no sense. There is also a pretty startling new revelation here about the Bush administration’s pre-9/11 failure that requires a good amount of attention.
Even under the “old” FISA, no warrants are requiredwhere the targeted person is outside the U.S. (Afghanistan) and calls into the U.S. Thus, if it’s really true, as Mukasey now claims, that the Bush administration knew about a Terrorist in an Afghan safe house making Terrorist-planning calls into the U.S., then they could have — and should have — eavesdropped on that call and didn’t need a warrant to do so. So why didn’t they? Mukasey’s new claim that FISA’s warrant requirements prevented discovery of the 9/11 attacks and caused the deaths of 3,000 Americans is disgusting and reckless, because it’s all based on the lie that FISA required a warrant for targeting the “Afghan safe house.” It just didn’t. Nor does the House FISA bill require individual warrants when targeting a non-U.S. person outside the U.S.
They perpetually lie about issues that are key fear factor points for Americans. Then, this nasty little man, who obviously misled congress during hearings, plays on emotions of people with clear lying intent. Make no mistake that he knows exactly what is legal and what is not.
But he didn’t stop there, he is insisting that the Telecom Companies being protected:
Mukasey was even more dishonest in demanding amnesty for lawbreaking telecoms. According to today’s admiring Wall St. Journal Editorial, this is what Mukasey said on that subject:
The AG also addressed why immunity from lawsuits is vital for the telecom companies that cooperated with the surveillance after 9/11. “Forget the liability” the phone companies face, Mr. Mukasey said. “We face the prospect of disclosure in open court of what they did, which is to say the means and the methods by which we collect foreign intelligence against foreign targets.” Al Qaeda would love that.
Mike Mukasey was a long-time federal judge and so I feel perfectly comfortable calling that what it is: a brazen lie. Federal courts hear classified information with great regularity and it is not heard in “open court.” There are numerous options available to any federal judge to hear classified information — closed courtrooms, in camera review (in chambers only), ex partecommunications (communications between one party and the judge only). No federal judge — and certainly not Vaughn Walker, the Bush 41 appointee presiding over the telecom cases — is going to allow “disclosure in open court of . . . . the means and the methods by which we collect foreign intelligence.” And Mukasey knows that.
Worse, FISA itself (50 USC 1806(f)) explicitly provides that telecoms are permitted to present any evidence in support of their defenses in secret (both in camera and ex parte) to the judge and let the judge decide the case based on it. Just go read 50 USC 1806(f)of FISA; it’s as clear as day. In fact, it doesn’t merely permit, but explicitly requires, the federal judge to review evidence in secret whenever the Attorney General requests that (“the United States district court in the same district . . . shall, notwithstanding any other law, if the Attorney General files an affidavit under oath that disclosure or an adversary hearing would harm the national security of the United States, review in camera and ex parte the application the application, order, and such other materials relating to the surveillance.”).
But Mukasey also lies about what Americans want, and especially what New Yorkers want:
Michael Mukasey can cry all he wants about the 9/11 attacks. But neither he nor the rest of the Bush administration are the proprieters of those attacks. There were millions of New Yorkers in Manhattan on 9/11 other than Michael Mukasey, who lived and worked there for a long time. Neither Mike Mukasey nor his tearful pleas for unchecked government surveillance power and the erosion of the rule of law are representative of them.
To the contrary, the substantial majority of New Yorkers — and huge majorities of Manhattanites– vehemently reject the Bush/Cheney agenda of dismantling our constitutional framework and basic safeguards in the name of these sorts of fear-mongering and manipulative appeals. Unlike Mukasey and other Bush followers, most New Yorkers have ceased quivering in fear long ago — if they ever did — and have had their resolve to defend our basic constitutional liberties strengthened, not obliterated, as a result of the 9/11 attack and the subsequent, self-serving exploitation of it by Mukasey’s White House bosses. And under no circumstances do Mukasey’s tears provide license for this tidal wave of lies in defense of presidential lawlessness, from our nation’s highest “law enforcement officer.”
The Boehner Crybaby routine is old and tired, Mike. It may play with the assembled crowds within the 31% that worships your King, but the rest are wise to the foolishness.
Family and Friends:
I find it difficult to imagine that any citizen of our United States of America would even think seriously about electing a pseudo-islamic christian, an oxymoron, to the office of President. I truly am concerned about our future as a democracy.
Obama speaks of being lead to Christianity, I was lead to Jesus Christ. There is an enormous difference.
——-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~My fellow Identity-Americans:As your future President I want to thank my supporters, for their … well, support.Your mindless support of me, despite my complete lack of any legislative achievement, my pastor’s relations with Louis Farrakhan and Libyan dictator Moamar Quadafi, or my blatantly leftist voting record while I present myself as some sort of bi-partisan agent of change.I also like how my supporters claim my youthful drug use and criminal behavior somehow qualifies me for the Presidency after 8 years of claiming Bush’s youthful drinking disqualifies him. Your hypocrisy is a beacon of hope shining over a sea of political posing.I would also like to thank the Kennedy’s for coming out in support of me. There’s a lot of glamour behind the Kennedy name, even though JFK started the Vietnam War, his brother Robert illegally wiretapped Martin Luther King, Jr. and Teddy killed a female employee he was having an extra marital affair with who was pregnant with his child. And I’m not going anywhere near the cousins, both literally and figuratively.And I’d like to thank Oprah Winfrey for her support. Her love of meaningless empty platitudes will be the force that propels me to the White House.Americans should vote for me, not because of my lack of experience or achievement, but because I make people feel good. Voting for me causes some white folk to feel relieved of their imagined, racist guilt.I say things that sound meaningful, but don’t really mean anything because Americans are tired of things having meaning. If things have meaning, then that means you have to think about them.Americans are tired of thinking.It’s time to shut down the brain, and open up the heart.So when you go to vote in the primaries, remember don’t think, just do.And do it for me.“THANK YOU”Sincerely,Obama
The person who sent this is an older man (70ish), big, ex-Marine, and a Baptist Preacher. He is normally very loud and obtuse and obsessive about being the center of attention. He won’t let you eat a meal without spectacle prayer, loud and phylactery direct. He is embarrassing in front of customers, but I have always treated him with respect.
Today, even though I respect him, I had to reply (I have disregarded so very many of these already and this just rubbed me the wrong way):
Hi Xxxx,I hope that you and the family are well.As for your message, I will be to the point. I have no party affiliation and actually despise the 2 party system, so this isn’t any Democratic Party defense, by any means. Nor am I a fan of Mr Obama’s, Mrs Clinton’s, or John McCain’s. I am not enamored by “hope” speeches or more “tax cuts for the rich” speeches. However, I find this type of rhetoric in your message unproductive and downright misleading (I study politics in great detail). This is not something I would have expected of you and it reeks of political unawareness or complicity in trying to mislead people. Since I am of the opinion that you would not intentionally be misleading others on this subject, I must assume you are simply ignorant to facts about these people.Unfortunately, I hear enough of this rhetoric from Rush, Bill, Sean and the rest of the right-wing pundits. I understand their motive (they are paid), however, for the life of me, I cannot understand yours.As for Christ, Christianity and the perceived difference you elude to, I am convinced from my “relationship with Jesus Christ” that He would never endorse the murderous rampage this country has gone on (in His name, I might add) and He spoke against such things countless times. When I hear Mr McCain speak, all I hear is Satan speaking… calling for more death and destruction. Isn’t it Satan that goes to and fro looking to kill and destroy? I see no difference between the two, yet I keep hearing Christians insist that He would. Sounds like crazy talk to me and is not the Jesus I understand.At least Mr Obama is “humane” enough to act more “Christ-like” than Mr McCain does (I won’t burden myself with judging who is most “Christian”, just who appears to mimic the red letters best). But Mr Obama is not much more “Christ-like”. He, too, threatens to bomb people illegally. Mrs Clinton, as well. They are all basically the same. Just differing shades of evil, in my opinion.We have known each other a long time and for what it may be worth to you, I respect your view on many things, but in this case, I couldn’t disagree more.Take care,BuelahMan
The Political Scribe and I discuss the Bush Administration often and sometimes disagree about what is next. At this point, I truly believe that nothing is beyond their evil capabilities and that, if it is at all possible, the Bush administration will ensure the neocon agenda and would do anything, even try to keep Bush/Cheney in power after 2007.
I am doubtful that our system of checks and balances is working at this time and with the past 7 years as a judge of things that ‘could” happen… anything goes. Bush signs “Signing Statements”, purposefully thumbing his nose at America when he breaks the very laws he is signing. The only time he bothers with a veto is on politically significant issues. Otherwise he simply “signs” them away, as if a king and does whatever he pleases… knowing full well that nothing will be done.
He doesn’t gain this power due to Dem weakness, as is portrayed by many. But by downright complicit actions… cavorting with the Crime Boss, as it were.
So, I would not doubt that something “BIG” is on the horizon. Something devastating enough to be able to call for Martial Law and to try and shut down democracy in this country.
Am I a conspiracy nut? Maybe. But please tell me what they have done thus far that I should trust any action they commit? Why should I NOT be concerned and distrustful of them, since everything they have done thus far is dubious and evil?
I have generally thought that another 9/11 style attack might mysteriously happen just before the elections, but with all the blatant lying rhetoric the administration is touting continuously about Iran and the “mis-speaking”, linking Iran with terrorists and insurgents, is beginning to seem purposeful and leading up to something.
Of course, since McInsane is even more radical than Bush, he will be a good replacement for the neocon war mongers’ Bush 3, but that may be the Plan B. So, whether or not the Bushies want to keep control (or the neocon handlers will be satisfied with McInsane), there is a very good potential for a war. besides, Saudi Arabis is preparing for something in the aftermath of Cheney’s recent visit.
Rednecks, do not be surprised should we invade or attack Iran with bombs, perhaps even nuclear. These people in charge cannot be trusted to do what is right in the world and should be suspect in every action until they are gone, IF they are gone.
Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran
by Margarett Kimberly
It is happening. The plans for the Bush administration to begin mass murder of the Iranian people have been put in motion. The plot was stalled temporarily by the National Intelligence Estimate report released last fall, a report which said that Iran did not have a nuclear weapons program. Bush and Cheney were thrown off their game, but not by much and not for long. They were inconvenienced but ultimately took the small set back in stride because they both knew they had nothing to worry about.
They know that the press will report what they say without criticism or analysis. They know that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have said that all options are on the table with Iran. They know that European nations like France have publicly stated their allegiance to Bush vis a vis Iran. British Prime Minister Gordon Brownalso bowed to Bushian bullying and declared that Iran must not be allowed to become a nuclear power. Now Germany has joined the hall of shame. German Chancellor Angela Merkel groveled before the Israeli Knesset and essentially promised not to protest when Israel assists America in creating an Iranian holocaust. Apparently German sins of genocide against the Jews can only be expiated by complicity with an Israeli genocide.
When historians write about the catastrophes that struck the world in 2008, events that have taken place in March of 2008 will surely loom large. The worldwide economic meltdown finally became impossible to deny, with the Federal Reserve using the workers’ dime to bail out a major investment banking firm, Bear Stearns. Dick Cheney traveled to Iraq, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, making sure his nefarious plans went off without a hitch. John McCain claimed that Iran was the home of al Qaeda, the bogeyman that sends already trigger happy Americans on blood thirsty rampages. Democrats who had the power to stop Bush in his tracks, once again pledged to do nothing.
In 2007 both the Senate and House passed resolutions that backed war with Iran. Impeachment, the one weapon Congress could use to stop further war making, is ignored and forgotten by John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary committee.
In recent days Conyers said he would begin impeachment hearings, but only if Bush attacksIran. Apparently not enough human beings have been killed by Bush and the body count needs to grow exponentially before Conyers will lift a finger. On the other hand, the two-faced Congressman says he fears impeachment because it will hurt the Democrats in the upcoming November election. So it seems he will do nothing, no matter how many people die because of the crimes committed under the Bush regime.
The attack on Iran is an open secret, but Americans, like a wronged spouse, are the last to know. Dick Cheney must have told the Saudi princes of his intended evil doing because Saudi Arabia is planning for “the probabilities of leaking nuclear and radiation hazards in case of any unexpected nuclear attacks in Iran. . . ” Saudis know the deal, while John and Jane Q. Public are still in the dark.
What will the Democrats do when Iranians are nuked? When Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni recently visited the United States, Obama gave her a phone calland told her she shouldn’t worry about an Obama administration. He said all the right things, that Israel has a right to defend itself (kill Palestinians whenever it wants) and agreed that Iran was an evil nation that shouldn’t have the nuclear weapons that Israel has had for decades. So much for change.
The saber rattling and furtive Dick Cheney meetings are just the tip of the iceberg. The worldwide economic crisis is pushing the war agenda more than any other factor. Black Agenda Report said as much nearly one year ago.
“Ultimately, the parasitic class can only maintain its rule by force. Manufacturing nothing, creating no value except on paper, they must finally call upon the Armed Forces to impose their unearned advantage on the planet. Such was the logic of March, 2003. The Great Offensive failed, but the contradictions that compelled the captains of finance capital to order their political servants to wage war, remain – and are in fact more acute than four years ago. They must wage war, again, to fight their way out of the box.”
Every bail out of an investment bank is an omen of an oncoming worldwide financial calamity, but it is also an omen of more American aggression. The Obama/Clinton fight for the nomination is a sorry side show spectacle. In any case, the new war will help John McCain more than it will help the Democratic nominee. Even if the Democrat should win, both Obama and Clinton have stated that they too believe in maintaining America’s empire. Bush’s wars won’t end with a Democratic administration.
In the space of just five years, our nation will be waging another war of aggression and we will all be accessories after the fact. Our country may have also entered into a depression, so we will be poor criminals too. To use an expression coined by Poppy Bush, we will be in deep doo doo. Cheer up though. We won’t be in as much trouble as Iranians. Many of them will soon be dead.
Some justice is finally served. Breaking news…
ATLANTA, Ga. — The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted former Gov. Don Siegelman’s request to be released from prison pending the outcome of his appeal.
Siegelman is currently serving a 7-year sentence in the Oakdale Federal Correctional Complex in Louisiana following his 2006 public corruption conviction.
Acting U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin confirms the 11th Circuit granted Siegelman’s release in a fou- page order which states Siegelman had raised a “significant question” about his conviction.
Siegelman was convicted of accepting $500,000 in campaign contributions from HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy in exchange for giving Scrushy a seat on a state hospital board.
Scrushy is serving a similar sentence at a federal prison in Texas.
McInsane is either a freaking lunatic or unabashedly pro-business and anti-American worker.He is a fool in any event, and should not even be considered presidential material. Jeezus!
McCain eyes U.S. free trade deal with EU
Wednesday, March 26, 2008; 4:23 PM
Clinton also has vowed a “time-out” from new free trade agreements if elected president.
But McCain was enthusiastic about potentially uniting United States in a huge free trade zone with Britain, Germany, France, Italy and other members of the EU which has expanded into Eastern Europe and parts of the former Soviet Union.
“They are one of the largest economic blocs in the world, if not the largest … I think to head a free trade agreement with the European Union would be a great thing to happen,” McCain told reporters on board a plane bound for his next campaign event in Monterey, California.
“I notice that some of their environmental standards and labor standards are higher than ours, not lower. So it would be very interesting to see how … the opponents of free trade agreements in general would react to that,” the Arizona senator said.
The Unites States and the EU already have low tariffs on most of the manufactured goods that cross the Atlantic, and recently began an initiative aimed at eliminating regulatory barriers that impede commerce.
However, both sides have preferred to deal with the contentious agricultural issues within the context of world trade talks, rather than negotiate a bilateral free trade deal to completely phase out tariffs on each other’s farm goods.
At the same time, some members of Congress have called for a services free trade agreement that would reduce or eliminate barriers to trade and investment in areas such as banking, insurance and telecommunications.
(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; writing by Doug Palmer; editing by Mohammad Zargham)
A married American man, who was born a woman, has shocked people around the world by announcing that he is pregnant, British press reported Wednesday.
Thomas Beatie, 34, previously known as the lesbian Tracy Lagondino, had a sex change operation, but kept his female reproductive organs. He also had an operation to change his outward appearance to look like a man, the Sun Tabloid reported.
Beatie wrote about his experience in the U.S. gay magazine ‘The Advocate,’ saying it felt “incredible” to be a pregnant man.
Beatie said he was fertilized using donor sperm because his wife Nancy, 45, cannot have children due a hysterectomy 20 years ago.
Beatie said he was due to give birth to a girl on July 3 and told the Advocate that he will be his daughter’s father and Nancy will be her mother.
Beatie admitted that his friends and relatives were shocked and said his brother called his unborn child a “monster.”
When asked, one of his neighbors called the pregnancy a “hoax,” saying “I saw him a few days ago, he didn’t look pregnant,” U.S. TV station ABC News reported.
The beginning of the end of the “Surge Victory”.
Hail Democracy in action!
UPDATE from McClatchy:
Iraq fighting is worst in months; Maliki issues ultimatum
BAGHDAD — Amid heavy clashes between government forces and Shiite Muslim militants in Baghdad and the southern port city of Basra, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki issued an ultimatum Wednesday demanding that the militias surrender their weapons within 72 hours. Radical cleric Muqtada al Sadr, whose Mahdi Army militia is a prime target of the government offensive, responded by demanding that Maliki leave Basra.
U.S. forces joined Iraqi troops in Baghdad to fight Mahdi Army militants, and police said that at least 20 people had been killed in the Sadr City neighborhood, a stronghold for Sadr’s backers.
The city’s fortified Green Zone sustained a third round of intense mortar fire beginning at 5:30 a.m. that seriously injured three U.S. government employees, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy. A mortar round struck near Maliki’s office.
With barely functioning hospitals and people holed up in their homes it was unclear how many people had died in Basra. According to health ministry officials in Basra, at least 33 people had been killed and 150 had been wounded in the fighting.
Maliki stipulated in his ultimatum that the militants would be spared if they surrendered their weapons within 72 hours. As he spoke, Sadr called for calm, asking Maliki to leave the Mahdi Army-dominated oil hub of Basra and send a parliamentary delegation to solve the crisis through dialogue, Sadr spokesman Hassan al Zargani said from Tehran, Iran.
In Baghdad, Mahdi Army-dominated neighborhoods remained sealed off, angering residents who couldn’t open their businesses, get to hospitals or send their children to school.
In the south the fighting spread to Kut as Maliki sent more forces from Karbala to supplement the 15,000 troops he already had. U.S. air support attacked targets on major roadways and the homes of suspected weapons smugglers, said Abdel Kareem Khalaf, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.
There is but one key reason that the “Surge” has been touted as successful and that reason (The Mahdi Army’s participation in a “truce” along with other factions) is coming unhinged. They will not and CANNOT give up their arms. That would be suicide. This is akin to King George asking the citizens of the New World to give up their weapons. This is akin to destroying their “right to bear arms”, as our Constitution calls.
Democracy in action should not look so much like our colonial rule did to us a few hundred years ago.
Democracy? Yeah, right. The Bush Administration is doing everything it can to demolish democracy everywhere in the world.
Would anyone be surprised if a nuke hit us, even one of our own? You shouldn’t be.
The clowns running the American Show have made countless errors in protocol and even in sales to other countries that I am not surprised there hasn’t been some devastating accident, or worse.
The US asked Taiwanese officials to dispose of missile parts it had mistakenly shipped to the island’s armed forces and only asked for them back when they realised they were highly-sensitive nuclear warhead fuses, a senior Taiwanese defence official has said.
The revelation is likely to add to the already considerable US embarassment over the parts blunder.
Four of the cone-shaped fuses were sent to Taiwan in late 2006 instead of helicopter batteries that had been ordered.
The error was only discovered last week.
The 55cm-long fuses, which reportedly bear no similarity to helicopter batteries, have since been returned to the US.
Robert Gates, the defence secretary, has ordered an urgent investigation into the error and a through review of policies and procedures related to the country’s nuclear weapons, a senior Pentagon official told reporters on Tuesday.
“Those who are responsible will be held accountable,” said Ryan Henry, principal deputy undersecretary of defence for policy. “The secretary is quite forceful on this.”
China, which strongly opposes US arms sales to Taiwan was also informed of the error, he said.
Well, excuse me if I don’t believe you, in light of all the fuck-ups the administration has conducted with EVERY action it carries out. Worthless and incompetent.
We are being transparent. We have corrected the situation,” he said, admitting that the error was “disconcerting”.
Speaking to reporters, Henry said that in an organisation the size of the US military, mistakes would be made, but that such errors could not be tolerated when they fall in the area of nuclear-related weapons systems.
He said the nose cone and fuse systems were classified but the technology they use dates from the 1960s.
However, Hans Kristensen, an expert at the Federation of American Scientists, told the AFP news agency that the fuses, even if dated, were “hugely important” nuclear weapons components.
For a country like China, that is trying to develop more capable systems, that would be very important material to get. And (for) any country that is even lower on the nuclear threshold scale, having not quite gotten there, would be potentially even more important.”
So, not only is it dubious and dangerous to mistakenly send these parts that look nothing alike (I am sure the storage shelves of nuclear components and batteries are stored side by side) to an ally who has 70 missiles aimed at them, ready to be annihilated, but they also don’t want China to get their mitts on these parts to reverse engineer them. Safety, safety, safety.
The incident was the second major nuclear security breach in less than a year.
Last October it emerged that six nuclear-armed cruise missiles had been flown across the US attached to the wing of a B-52 bomber. The crew were not aware they had been carrying nuclear weapons.
An investigation concluded that the mistaken transfer had resulted from “a series of procedural breakdowns and human errors,” Pentagon officials later admitted.
So with the privatization of our forces, what is the chance that a contractor is to blame? Would we ever hear about it? Do all you rednecks feel secure with knowing these nitwits are making all these devastating mistakes?
In the Taiwan case officials said they did not know as yet how it took so long for the error to have come to light.
The fuses are supposed to be subject to quarterly inventory inspections.
But instead the mistake was only revealed last week following months of discussion with Taiwanese authorities over the missing helicopter batteries they had ordered.
The fuses involved do not themselves contain nuclear material but are housed in the nose cones fitted to nuclear warheads on Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles.
They are used to ignite the trigger which then detonates the warhead.
Cool! Nuclear triggers went missing for 1.5 years and no one noticed, but “by God, where are our batteries?”
Let me wager a guess that it would take less than 1.5 years to reverse engineer that technology.
We are led by a group of idiots, rednecks!
Leaving Iran the Gift of Iraq
by Jon Faulkner at Smirking Chimp
It’s astonishing that so many Americans failed to see George Bush as the disreputable fraud he is. A stacked Supreme Court foisted him off on Americans and the nation has paid dearly ever since. After eight years of incalculable damage the shiftless, irresponsible Bush, will ride off into the sunset to retire to Crawford. He’ll leave a ruined economy and an endless war behind. Iran will embrace Iraq in its effort against the Great Satin while Putin sails into the Gulf offering his services as a peace negotiator and major trading partner. Putin will get a very real chance to supplant the U.S. and claim Russia the world’s only superpower. Such is the incalculable damage Junior has visited on the U.S. “Boy, I bet this is the kind of stuff that would keep a president up at night,” said the president. You don’t worry? Loose sleep? “Nope, everything’s fine here!”Thus spoketh George.
When the U.S. backed Iraq in its war with Iran it was to maintain the balance of power in the Middle East. When Iraq invaded Kuwait the first Bush chased Saddam back to Baghdad but stopped short of forcing him from power. The balance was maintained. Enter the moron. After destabilizing Iraq enough to augment a civil war and fracture the nation into regional sections, the U.S. now wants to withdraw. When it does, and there’s not much choice in the matter, the vacuum left behind will be filled by Iran. Iran will welcome Iraq’s Shia majority as brothers who have been lost to one another. If Iraqi’s are ever going to restore their fractured nation it will almost certainly be Iran that leads them there. The majority, Shia Islamic fundamentalists, with Iranian backing, will steadily rebuild and bring together a shattered nation. To keep Iran at bay, and to try and postpone the inevitable, Bush would like to bomb Iran and destroy their military. But Bush is finished with his disastrous forays into places and events he has no understanding of. He, and the U.S. are net losers of this war.
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin will sail into the Gulf as a broker for peace thereby contrasting nicely with the self proclaimed “War President.” Putin will get a very real chance of supplanting the U.S. as the world’s only superpower as he negotiates new trade agreements with Iran and its close friend, Iraq. Russia’s oil wealth, combined with the net production of Iranian and Iraqi oil, will represent a huge portion of the world’s oil reserves. Approaching $4 a gallon today, the price will rise until American economic security is severely diminished.
Republicans, when they deregulated business to clear the way for faster and easier profit, predetermined the nations decent into financial hardship. Bush with his enormous tax cuts and war on borrowed money has kicked loose the already shaky underpinning of the U.S. economy. Putin will bargain with advanced weaponry and consolidate Russian, Iranian and Iraqi oil to bring a new dynamic to the world’s oil market and, as is always the case, there will be winners and losers when the dust settles. The U.S, unfortunately, is hardly in a winning position.
This is the dilemma faced by would be, U.S. presidents. A new consortium of oil wealth will suddenly begin dictating who gets how much and at what cost when the U.S. pulls out of Iraq and Iran fills the vacuum the U.S. left behind. Bombing Iran is out of the question. The first thing Iran would do is sink a few tankers in the straits so marine traffic could neither come or go. World depression anyone?
Bush will get someone to write his memoirs. The book will be a best seller. George will explain how he tried to save the world but was foiled by liberal, bleeding hearts. The next insult will be the Bush Library. “Everyone else got one so I want one too.” After it’s built Bush can pretend to scholarship. The vast ignorance that Americans have of the U.S. Constitution and their Bill of Rights is the rot that threatens their nation and way of life. It guaranteed that someone of Bush’s abbreviated intellect and low character would eventually rise to the nation’s highest office.
The most important thing that Bush has done is illustrating the fragility of democracy – how easily it can come undone. Any reasonable person may ask why there was no one to stop Bush from making his catastrophic decisions. Congress went along with the Bush program and Congress was the only elected body with the power to oppose him. A few Congressional members tried to introduce sanity but were shouted down, and by inference, threatened with treason. Dick Cheney, gone to fat and resembling nothing so much as a slug, is other living proof of how easily the corporate entity can usurp government and threaten democracy.
Snake oil salesmen, modern versions of carpetbaggers, hucksters and scam artists of all stripes, found themselves in like company in Bush’s White House. Oil companies became champions of the environment, and global warming was dismissed as liberal hysteria. Corporate scandal and greed, of formerly unknown proportion, fed at the public trough while Bush excused corporate tax obligations. No bid contracts were awarded to corporations that drooled at the prospect of war. It made no difference that some of those corporations, such as Cheney’s Kellogg, Brown & Root, operated behind shell companies with foreign addresses and charged American taxpayers $45 for a can of soda. Hey! It’s only bidness. Profit is the motivation that allows business to believe there’s something worthy in jacking up the price of a cancer drug because someone who is very sick must have it, or die. The perfect customer.
Americans bought into this insanity not once, but twice, and in November are very likely to sustain the national train wreck with John McCain. If there’s one thing that republicans have learned it’s that millions of Americans ain’t too bright. They’ll buy anything if it’s wrapped up colorfully enough, and tied with a pretty bow. Here’s a quote from a typical Bush supporter.
“More people voted for George Bush than voted for any president in U.S. history. More people in America believe that he’s doing the right thing. And the fact that he won the majority of the vote suggests that the majority of America believes that we, as a nation, are on the right path.”
Right wingers, in league with the bidness community, have kicked the legs out from under the nation’s economy. Grover Norquist, that quintessential, right wing moron, saw his vision come to fruition – that government be shrunk “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” Grover, like many right wingers, lets fantasy get in the way of fact. Foreign lenders, tired of hearing right wing ideology from republican troglodytes, wonder how Americans can be so stupid. Don’t they see their nation is being sold out from under them? Americans borrow money like there’s no tomorrow while a contrived war and the suspension of corporate taxes suck the life from the American economy. How, lenders ask, will the U.S. pay for its wars and tax giveaways? How will it repay us? Here’s another quote from a Bush voter. “Mr. Bush is right when he claims that his re-election vindicates his policies. That’s exactly what elections are about. The people of the USA have chosen to continue his policies. Whatever the rest of the world thinks is immaterial.”
As the nation prepares to elect a new president, democratic delegates are debating among themselves whether or not they should bend to the will of American voters and nominate Barrack Obama. They say, according to news sources, that their interests lie in nominating the candidate most likely to win. The same news sources say that Limbaugh’s Ditto Heads, and many other republicans, are crossing party lines to vote for Hillary in the primaries. Republicans understand that Hillary will be much easier to defeat than Obama in the general election so their artificially inflating Hillary’s support in an attempt to get her nominated. The DNC and other national power brokers will, as usual, shoot themselves in the foot and bend every effort to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Hillary has many new friends. One of her newest is Rupert Murdoch, owner of a media empire that includes Fox News and promotes right wing ideology, or, more accurately, the obsessive compulsive need to suck the life from anything that may be remotely construed as having the potential for profit. This is a form of mental illness, and should be recognized as such. Murdock wants to see Hillary win the nomination too.
In 2000, Republican thugs interrupted the vote counting in Florida. They shouted, pounded on the door of the precinct house, and finally managed to intimidate the vote counters disrupting the democratic process of electing a president. Instead of being arrested and frog marched to the nearest jail, they were cheered by millions of Americans who apparently saw nothing wrong with their behavior. Another example of the ease with which democracy can be compromised. Of course, it requires the rest of the nation to look away and pretend there’s nothing wrong. Many Americans, happily suffering Junior, have watched as their Constitutionally guaranteed rights have been whittled away. They’ve watched as the U.S. has embraced torture as an interrogation tool. They’ve watched like dumb, blind animals, as their nation changed from a beacon of hope to an inspiration of fear and hate among the world community. “While you may disagree with some of his tactics, he is a man of conviction that does not shape his beliefs around public opinion. Bush represents a great number of Americans in his fundamental beliefs. Is there anyone in the world who has demonstrated more support for human rights and freedom?” – Bush voter
Christians, corporations and rich folk, many in the south, the corn-belt, and much of the west will turn out for McCain. It will be a close contest and if previous elections are any indication, with their highly suspect vote counts, the prize will go to McCain. It’s going to be very difficult for republicans to give up power and let liberal democrats, once again, destroy the nation with their damned socialized health care, their whining about the children who need quality daycare. The damned liberals are already crying over the poor high school kids who can’t go to college ‘cause their broke. And of course they’ll moan and groan over the damned war, as if a few towel heads ever made any difference in the general scheme of things. “Is this our fault?” Republicans ask. Maybe all those downtrodden no accounts should have been born like George Bush, who never had to do a thing in his miserable, unproductive and failed life, but still got elected president. If Junior could, then anyone can!
B’Man: I find it virtually impossible to believe that our leadership was so stupid or misled by “faulty intelligence” to have conducted this stupendous blunder in Iraq. I cannot simply consider all the facts and actions to be coincidental. Can anyone, with a straight face and honor, believe that we have such nincompoops running things (I don’t mean that rhetorically, either)?
How can it be that they can win elections, rape America, steal our liberties, and force most of us into poverty by stupidity?
It MUST be intentional. If so, rednecks, then, DAMMIT, wake up and help me take America back. If you love it like I do, wake the hell up!
One of the sad things about this entire “War on Terror” is that the Bush Fools have played along with everything that Osama Bin Laden baited them into. We keep hearing from the very loud MSM that “they hate us for our freedom”, etc, but Bin Laden, himself, was very clear about what Al Qaeda was doing.
This ran on CNN and CNN.comon Monday, Nov 1, 2004 and quotes this man as he explains EXACTLY the intent of Al Qaeda. Like a shark attracted to chum, the US fell for it and this means that we have fallen to the tactics of a cave-dwelling maniac, by doing EXACTLY what he wanted us to do.
Could our leader, George W Bush have been any more gullible and stupid to have done EXACTLY what Bin Laden wanted? Or could he be complicit? Bin Laden is not dead for a reason, and the reason is NOT that he couldn’t be found and killed (imo).
A blast from the past to show rednecks how stupid our “Redneck-in-Chief” truly is:
(CNN) — The Arabic-language network Al-Jazeera released a full transcript Monday of the most recent videotape from Osama bin Laden in which the head of al Qaeda said his group’s goal is to force America into bankruptcy.
Al-Jazeera aired portions of the videotape Friday but released the full transcript of the entire tape on its Web site Monday.
“We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah,” bin Laden said in the transcript.
He said the mujahedeen fighters did the same thing to the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s, “using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers.”
“We, alongside the mujahedeen, bled Russia for 10 years until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat,” bin Laden said.
He also said al Qaeda has found it “easy for us to provoke and bait this administration.”
“All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations,” bin Laden said.
Amazing how such a small group of radical religious group could bring this great country to its knees. But, I contend that it could not have been done without the full participation of the neocon driven, Bushilicious Fool Team. We MUST rid ourselves of these idiots and I wish BEFORE the election in November.
B’Man: If there were ever a sound reason to go to a single payer, not-for-profit healthcare, this is it.
Published on Sunday, March 23, 2008 by The New York Times
WASHINGTON – New government research has found “large and growing” disparities in life expectancy for richer and poorer Americans, paralleling the growth of income inequality in the last two decades.
Life expectancy for the nation as a whole has increased, the researchers said, but affluent people have experienced greater gains, and this, in turn, has caused a widening gap. One of the researchers, Gopal K. Singh, a demographer at the Department of Health and Human Services, said “the growing inequalities in life expectancy” mirrored trends in infant mortality and in death from heart disease and certain cancers.
The gaps have been increasing despite efforts by the federal government to reduce them. One of the top goals of “Healthy People 2010,” an official statement of national health objectives issued in 2000, is to “eliminate health disparities among different segments of the population,” including higher- and lower-income groups and people of different racial and ethnic background.
Dr. Singh said last week that federal officials had found “widening socioeconomic inequalities in life expectancy” at birth and at every age level.
He and another researcher, Mohammad Siahpush, a professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, developed an index to measure social and economic conditions in every county, using census data on education, income, poverty, housing and other factors. Counties were then classified into 10 groups of equal population size.
In 1980-82, Dr. Singh said, people in the most affluent group could expect to live 2.8 years longer than people in the most deprived group (75.8 versus 73 years). By 1998-2000, the difference in life expectancy had increased to 4.5 years (79.2 versus 74.7 years), and it continues to grow, he said.
After 20 years, the lowest socioeconomic group lagged further behind the most affluent, Dr. Singh said, noting that “life expectancy was higher for the most affluent in 1980 than for the most deprived group in 2000.”
“If you look at the extremes in 2000,” Dr. Singh said, “men in the most deprived counties had 10 years’ shorter life expectancy than women in the most affluent counties (71.5 years versus 81.3 years).” The difference between poor black men and affluent white women was more than 14 years (66.9 years vs. 81.1 years).
B’Man: If you are poor and a black man, you can figure that that little old Right Wing crazy Bushie lady is going to live 14 years longer than you. Equality, you ask?
The Democratic candidates for president, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, have championed legislation to reduce such disparities, as have some Republicans, like Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi.
Peter R. Orszag, director of the Congressional Budget Office, said: “We have heard a lot about growing income inequality. There has been much less attention paid to growing inequality in life expectancy, which is really quite dramatic.”
Life expectancy is the average number of years of life remaining for people who have attained a given age.
While researchers do not agree on an explanation for the widening gap, they have suggested many reasons, including these:
¶Doctors can detect and treat many forms of cancer and heart disease because of advances in medical science and technology. People who are affluent and better educated are more likely to take advantage of these discoveries.
¶Smoking has declined more rapidly among people with greater education and income.
¶Lower-income people are more likely to live in unsafe neighborhoods, to engage in risky or unhealthy behavior and to eat unhealthy food.
¶Lower-income people are less likely to have health insurance, so they are less likely to receive checkups, screenings, diagnostic tests, prescription drugs and other types of care.
B’Man: Highlighted for effect. I believe that the lack of healthcare is the biggest factor, but there is one factor that is not mentioned: lower class workers tend to work far more hours and get little time to visit a doctor, with no sick leave or compsensation for when they miss, they cannot “afford” to get healed.
Even among people who have insurance, many studies have documented racial disparities.
In a recent report, the Department of Veterans Affairs found that black patients “tend to receive less aggressive medical care than whites” at its hospitals and clinics, in part because doctors provide them with less information and see them as “less appropriate candidates” for some types of surgery.
Some health economists contend that the disparities between rich and poor inevitably widen as doctors make gains in treating the major causes of death.
Nancy Krieger, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, rejected that idea. Professor Krieger investigated changes in the rate of premature mortality (dying before the age of 65) and infant death from 1960 to 2002. She found that inequities shrank from 1966 to 1980, but then widened.
“The recent trend of growing disparities in health status is not inevitable,” she said. “From 1966 to 1980, socioeconomic disparities declined in tandem with a decline in mortality rates.”
The creation of Medicaid and Medicare, community health centers, the “war on poverty” and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 all probably contributed to the earlier narrowing of health disparities, Professor Krieger said.
Robert E. Moffit, director of the Center for Health Policy Studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said one reason for the growing disparities might be “a very significant gap in health literacy” – what people know about diet, exercise and healthy lifestyles. Middle-class and upper-income people have greater access to the huge amounts of health information on the Internet, Mr. Moffit said.
Thomas P. Miller, a health economist at the American Enterprise Institute, agreed.
“People with more education tend to have a longer time horizon,” Mr. Miller said. “They are more likely to look at the long-term consequences of their health behavior. They are more assertive in seeking out treatments and more likely to adhere to treatment advice from physicians.”
A recent study by Ellen R. Meara, a health economist at Harvard Medical School, found that in the 1980s and 1990s, “virtually all gains in life expectancy occurred among highly educated groups.”
Trends in smoking explain a large part of the widening gap, she said in an article this month in the journal Health Affairs.
Under federal law, officials must publish an annual report tracking health disparities. In the fifth annual report, issued this month, the Bush administration said, “Over all, disparities in quality and access for minority groups and poor populations have not been reduced” since the first report, in 2003.
The rate of new AIDS cases is still 10 times as high among blacks as among whites, it said, and the proportion of black children hospitalized for asthma is almost four times the rate for white children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last month that heart attack survivors with higher levels of education and income were much more likely to receive cardiac rehabilitation care, which lowers the risk of future heart problems. Likewise, it said, the odds of receiving tests for colon cancer increase with a person’s education and income.
© 2008 The New York Times
The Mail-Tribune (Medford, OR), March 23, 2008:
“Q: A couple of other issues of interest to Oregonians involve initiatives passed by the voters that have come into conflict with the federal government: physician-assisted suicide and medical marijuana. Do you support those two concepts?
“A: I am in favor of palliative medicine in circumstances where someone is terminally ill. … I’m mindful of the legitimate interests of states to prevent a slide from palliative treatments into euthanasia. On the other hand, I think that the people of Oregon did a service for the country in recognizing that as the population gets older we’ve got to think about issues of end-of-life care. …
“As for medical marijuana … I’m not familiar with all the details of the initiative that was passed, but I think the basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors, I think that’s entirely appropriate. …
“I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue.”
What, the Anti-Bush? ummhmm… we’ll see.
“We are living through another Hiroshima,” Iraqi doctor says
The U.S., Great Britain and Israel are turning portions of the Middle East into a slice of radioactive hell. They are achieving this by firing what they call “depleted uranium” (DU) ammunition but which is, in fact, radioactive ammunition and it is perhaps the deadliest kind of tactical ammo ever devised in the warped mind of man.
There’s a ton of data about this on the Internet for the skeptics: from sources such as the 1999 report of the International Atomic Energy Commission to oncologist members of England’s Royal Society of Physicians to U.S. Veterans Administration hospital nuclear medicine doctors to officials at the Basra maternity and pediatric hospital to reporter Scott Peterson of the Christian Science Monitor. Peterson used a Geiger counter in August, 2003 to find radiation readings between 1,000 and 1,900 times normal where bunker buster bombs and munitions had exploded near Baghdad. After all, a typical bunker bomb is said to contain more than a ton of depleted uranium.
For a concise overview on radioactive warfare, read “DU And The Liberation of Iraq” by Christian Scherrer, a researcher at the Hiroshima Peace Institute, published on Znet on April 13, 2003. Scherrer states: “Based on the report of the 48th meeting issued by the UN Committee dealing with effects of Atomic radiation on 20th April 1999, noting the rapid increase in mortality caused by DU between 1991 and 1997, the IAEA document predicted the death of half a million Iraqis, noting that…’some 700-800 tons of depleted uranium was used in bombing the military zones south of Iraq. Such a quantity has a radiation effect, sufficient to cause 500,000 cases which may lead to death.”
Scherrer writes, “In 1991 the DU ammunition was mainly used against Iraqi tanks in the desert near Basra, while in the present war DU is being used all over Iraq, even in densely populated areas including the heart of Baghdad, Mosul, Tikrit and other cities.” He adds that, based on IAEA estimates and his previous research, “the death toll may surpass a million deaths over the next few years, with more to follow!”
Scherrer notes, incidentally, the UN’s Human Rights Commission back in 1996 declared DU a weapon of mass destruction(WMD) and that those who use it are guilty of a crime against humanity. Among its users: the first President Bush, President Bill Clinton, who irradiated the Balkans, and the current occupant of the White House.
Now let’s hear it from Iraqi doctors: Oncologist Dr. Jawad Al-Ali of Basra Hospital and Professor Husam al-Jarmokly of Baghdad University “showed a rapidly increasing death toll in Iraq since 1991 due to cancer and leukemia caused by U.S. radiological warfare,” Scherrer writes, based on their presentation of December 1, 2002 at the Peace Memorial Hall in Hiroshima. Al-Ali, who is also a member of England’s Royal Society of Physicians, is quoted in Feb. 5, 2001, “CounterPunch” as stating, “The desert dust carries death. Our studies indicate that more than 40% of the population around Basra will get cancer. We are living through another Hiroshima.” (Basra is a city of 1.7 million. Does that mean 680,000 people will be stricken? That toll alone would be more than Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s casualties.)
The same article also reported since 1990, the incident rate of leukemia in Iraq has grown by more than 600 percent and, similarly, “The leukemia rate in Sarajevo, pummeled by American bombs in 1996, has tripled in the last five years” and “NATO and UN peacekeepers in the region are also coming down with cancer.”
Dr. Zenad Mohammed, employed in the maternity department of the Basra teaching hospital, said in the three-months beginning in August, 1998, 10 babies were born with no heads, eight with abnormally large heads and six with deformed limbs, according to a report on World Socialist Web Site of September 8, 1999. And the British Guardian newspaper reported Basra maternity reported cancer cases shot up from 80 in 1990 to 380 in 1997.
Reporter Phil Gardner quotes Dr. Basma Al Asam, a gynecologist, at Al Manoon hospital, Baghdad, stating: “I’ve been watching this for seven years now and it’s increasing. We’re not just seeing babies born with congenital abnormalities, but very late spontaneous abortions because of congenital defects. In the past we used to see, maybe, one a month. Now it is two or three cases per day.” (Two to three cases a day, h-m-m-m, does that equal about 1,000 a year at this one hospital?)
And from American doctors: Colonel Asaf Durakovic, formerly chief of nuclear medicine at the VA hospital in Wilmington, Del., said he found uranium isotopes in the bodies of Persian Gulf War veterans. The New York Times reported on January 29, 2001, Dr. Durakovic said he found “depleted uranium, including uranium 236, in 62 percent of the sick gulf war veterans he examined. He believes that particles lodged in their bodies and may be the cause of their illness.” Once inhaled, Dr. Durakovic noted, “uranium can get into the bloodstream, be carried to bone, lymph nodes, lungs or kidneys, lodge there, and cause damage when it emits low-level radiation over a long period,” the Times reported. The Times article also called attention to the cancer deaths of 24 European soldiers that served as peacekeepers in the Balkans “and the illnesses reported by many others.”
And from a U.S. researcher: Roberto Gwiazda, of the environmental toxicology department at the University of California Santa Cruz, was the lead researcher examining returned Gulf War veterans that had radioactive shrapnel wounds. The university’s “City On A Hill Press” newspaper quotes him as saying, “Of those with radioactive shrapnel wounds, all had significant levels of uranium in their urine seven to nine years after the explosion. Of those who only inhaled the incendiary uranium, a statistically significant number also had high uranium levels.”
And from U.S. veterans: Tom Cassidy, of the 1st Cavalry Division who saw service in Iraq in 2003-05: “After the first gulf war, the level of radiation was 300 times what is considered normal. In this invasion we used even more DU bullets. The effects there are horrible,” he told the UCSC paper. Added Dennis Kyne, from the U.S. Army’s 18th Airborne division and Desert Storm veteran and who suffers from an “undiagnosed illness”: “The scientists call it cell disruption, and they don’t know why it’s happening to veterans, but it’s really radiation sickness, and it’s because the DU is all over.”
GOD DAMN AMERICA – ESPECIALLY PENNSYLVANIA
By Greg Palast
[Sunday, March 23, 2008, Forest City, PA ]
The kids were snoozing so I drove along the back roads skirting the Lackawanna River on a dawn hunt for black coffee and a newspaper.
I think even Norman Rockwell would have found this place too sticky sweet, too postcard: the weathered barns, the fallow fields perfectly snow-frosted; red, white and blue flags already up on the clapboard farmhouses and the white-washed church in the valley already full for Easter prayers.
At a gas station, I scored the paper and coffee, spilled some on the front page – the closest thing I’ve got to a religious ritual – then parked in front of a row of insanely pretty salt-box houses shining like mad teeth on the river bank.
One was missing a pick-up in the driveway; its screen door was left half-open, and there was a letter taped to the window. The Sheriff’s Notice of eviction. Another foreclosure.
God damn America.
I know that’s what Obama’s spiritual guide would say.
But why? It seems likes He’s already done a pretty good job of damning these United States.
And He seems to have really taken it out on this corner of Pennsylvania.
The gargantuan Bethlehem steel works have dwindled to a few robot-operated mills controlled from Mumbai, India. The only remainders of nearby Carbondale’s mining industry are in display cases at the ageing Coal Inn. But you could still get out by selling your home to ski tourists from New York – until this year when mortgage markets turned cancerous.
That leaves Forest City’s one industry, lumbering – which we can kiss goodbye since a recent ruling by the NAFTA board which allows the import of cheap Canadian wood.
Some local kid has made the paper having been thrown, helmet first, into the volcano called Iraq. The Scranton Times-Tribune, two pages after the photo of a priest blessing a bowl of who knows what, noted that three soldiers killed in yesterday’s bombing are, “pushing the death toll in the five-year conflict to nearly 4,000” – which is true if you don’t count Iraqi dead. But Someone must be counting them. (From way up in heaven, I wonder if we look like a nation of Christians – or an empire of Romans.)
Phil Ochs, before he killed himself, wrote,
“This is a land full of power and glory,
Beauty that words cannot recall.
But her power shall rest on the strength of her freedom.
Her glory shall rest on us all.”
Whatever. It’s a difficult place to be an atheist, in this America, surfeited as it is on every vista with signs of His overwhelming grace and His exasperated wrath. It’s as if the Lord Himself is just as confused and frustrated and disappointed as the rest of us by blessings so abused.
There’s one consolation. He has apparently granted Pennsylvanians the privilege, come April 22, of choosing which Democrat will lose in November.
Which may not mean much to Sandy Ryder on whom the spirit of Easter has landed like a ton of bricks. Sandy, says the flyer tacked up at the Bingham diner, was, “Recently diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer.” She’s a, “Single mother of two – Tony and Brandon – and Grandmother of one – Jason.”
And there they were in a photocopied portrait, the earnest elder son and little Jason to her right, the young slacker (Tony? Brandon?) slouched to her left. The town’s hawking a benefit for Sandy, $10 at the door, “including Food and Beverage” and a “Chinese auction.”
(I’ll bet Al Qaeda could pick up some recruits here – if Osama would offer health insurance.)
Whatever. This is, after all, Holy Week, which marks the anniversary of the grounding of the Exxon Valdez, the day the giant oil corporation soaked 1,200 miles of Alaska’s coast with crude sludge. March 24 marks 19 years since the grounding and 19 years since Exxon’s promise to compensate the ruined fishermen. You should watch the 19-year-old video-tape of Exxon’s man in Alaska. I especially like the part where he tells the fishermen, “You have had some good luck – and you don’t realize it.”
I know some of the fishermen on the TV footage, like the Anderson family, Eyak Natives. I can tell you, the Eyak don’t feel so lucky, still waiting for the Supreme Court to act on Exxon’s latest stall on payment. They’ve seen plenty of Sheriff’s Notices these past 19 years.
So Happy Easter.
George Bush tells us he’s, “feeling just fine.” And we should be glad for him, I suppose.
Bush ends his most belligerent speeches by saying, “God bless America.”
So, why hasn’t He?
Maybe you can tell us, Mr. President: Why hasn’t He?