Saturday, January 31, 2004

How about how safe the world is now that Saddam is gone... 

Just in case the media has successfully distracted you to Dean's enthusiasm, the Stupid Bowl, or the (jobless) Recovery, the Iraq casualties continue....[my emphasis]

Despite the capture of Saddam Hussein, there has been no let-up in U.S. casualties. As of mid-January, 500 U.S. soldiers have been killed--more than died in the first three years of the Vietnam War. Up to 22,000 more have been evacuated from Iraq for medical reasons. Twenty-one have committed suicide.

These three emphases:
(1) Think Vietnam can't happen again? Say hi to the other ostriches for me.
(2) 22,000 evacuated -- due to depleted uranium perhaps? Agent Orange, anyone?
(3) This is truly sad. Bush couldn't give a rip about the soldiers.

In fact:

A bipartisan poll published by Business Week in December showed approval for the president at a mere 36 percent among soldiers, their families and veterans.

That must be about the percent who are safely stationed in Qatar or (less safely) Saudi Arabia.

And, even the casualty rates we are getting are fictional....

Another important factor influencing the tally are the mercenaries. The number of mercenaries has increased markedly. If one travels to the Baghdad airport one finds many Gurkhas in guard posts. There are 300 Fijian mercenaries in Iraq hired by a private contractor, and there are other private security personnel working elsewhere in Iraq. When these folks are killed, many of them also American citizens, then their numbers don't inflate the casualty toll.

It gets worse. I blogged earlier that the casualty rate going down was a statistical inaccuracy, and the past month has born this out. Here is why the casualty rate supposedly went down...

Overall, the capture of Saddam Hussein seems to have made little difference to the level of resistance. This is not immediately obvious, because the number of attacks on US forces is down to about 17 a day now, compared with twice that two months ago. But this is in large part because, eager to cut their casualties, US commanders cut the number of patrols they carry out by two thirds from 1,500 a day in November to 500 a day in December.

So, if the exposure to potential threats has diminished, and the casualty rate is up, then this only means one thing: the resistance is growing fiercer. The overall average rate of fatalities stands at 1.5 per day for the May 1 through Jan. 27, 2004 period. The rate in the last month stands at 1.8, and the forecast for the fatality rate in May 2004 is 2.1/day. The rate of fatalities is increasing. Whereas during the first four months of the occupation the reported "hostile" causes of fatalities stood at 50%, now this has risen to 66% for the period May 1st thru Jan. 27, 2004.

And this doesn't even count the rising casualty rate in Afghanistan...

Washington's disinterest in the country's deep-seating social problems, along with the impact of US military operations, is continuing to fuel opposition. At present, this finds its most obvious expression in support for right-wing Islamist forces and ongoing armed attacks on the US military and its allies. For all of the Bush administration's efforts to paint a rosy picture in Afghanistan, nothing can hide the fact that the US is engaged in the neo-colonial occupation of the country in pursuit of its own strategic and economic aims.

Oh, well, pass me a beer and some chips. Why bother Barbara Bush's beautiful mind with all this?


Friday, January 30, 2004

Trying to get it out of the way while the country is distracted... 

While everyone is busy watching what happens between New England and the Carolinas (Dem Primary and the Super Bowl), time to get this out of the way...and hope they can kill the issue so that the election is over something more important like gay marriage...there were flaws in intelligence!

President Bush's national security adviser acknowledged on Thursday there may have been flaws in prewar intelligence about Iraq but brushed aside calls for an independent investigation into the matter.

I can see her point. After all, an independent investigation may not blame the troops...

In a series of television interviews, Rice defended Bush's decision and said the United States may never learn the whole truth about Iraq's arms capabilities because of looting, which U.S. forces failed to stop immediately after the invasion.

Who sent these forces? Who is spending $5000 for every Iraqi citizen on the second feature of Bush's twin wars but forgot to send in enough troops to prevent looting? Damn, it's because all those Iraqis are looting weapons of mass destruction in hopes of bringing home some anthrax for the kiddies?

Then it gets more preposterous...

But after the top U.S. weapons hunter concluded Iraq had no stockpiles of biological or chemical weapons, the White House said on Monday it would review prewar intelligence. On Tuesday, Bush tempered his prewar insistence that Iraq had an arsenal of banned weapons.

Yep, pretty soon "W" will be saying he never said anything about WMD's at all. Remember Winston, the "hero" of Orwell's 1984...who can forget...

The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live - did live, from habit that became instinct - in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and except in darkness, every movement scrutinised.

But I'm not going there tonight. The Big Brother Patriot Act schtick is too easy. Remember what Winston's job was? Why, he "corrected" errors made by Big Brother:

But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, which in any case must soon be annihilated. And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -if all records told the same tale -- then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'

Remember the tenets of the "Ministry of Truth":


How about this double-speak?

She blamed gaps in data on looters who sacked government offices after the invasion and on ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who she said was so secretive that "he allowed the world to continue to wonder" what weapons he still had.

What? Gaps in intelligence we had BEFORE the war are gone because of looting after it? Records about WMDs that don't exist were destroyed after the war by looters. It's dizzying.

But don't lose faith, they're still thinking...

Gen. John Abizaid, head of the U.S. military's Central Command, stressed the importance of pressing on with the weapons search.

"If we did get the WMD wrong, OK, I understand that. But I can tell you that there are certain things that we got extremely right which allowed us to conduct a campaign that was pretty quick and, you know, pretty decisive in a very short period of time," he told reporters.

Rice said the administration would not change its position that Saddam had to go. "The judgment is going to be the same: This is a dangerous man in a dangerous part of the world and it was time to do something about this threat," she said.

What threat? What 'certain things'? If they're so certain, why are you so vague? Stay tuned...


Thursday, January 29, 2004

New Hampshire Primary Review 

Well I was dead on with my predictions for the New Hampshire primary, sort of. I predicted that Kerry would take it with an ample lead, that Clark and Edwards would duke it out neck and neck, and that Dean would start his short walk toward obscurity. Only I thought Dean would be 4th in the race. Apparently the media has decided that a second place finish for Dean means the end but Edwards is right on by coming in 4th.

I think the media is enamored by Edwards because of his young looks and because Kerry is old hat. Kerry is Abraham Lincoln and we already know about him, but Edwards is young and fresh. How could they have missed that Dennis Quaid smile for so long? The media knows that Bush will be on one side of the picture but why does Kerry have to be on the other side when they can have Edwards? Ratings baby, ratings. Could Bill Clinton with all his charisma have beaten Bush in this election? That can't happen so the media is going for the next best thing, a candidate with the same Clinton mystique but sans the blowjobs.

This is where the fine line between reality shows and politics will merge. Watch for the media to keep pushing for Edwards even if he blows (not in the Clintonian sense of the word) South Carolina. Why settle for the race for the Democratic party ticket when they can host The Candidate. It's like a spin-off of Average Joe -- a group of ugly guys vie for the attention of a beautiful woman and then they throw in the hunk at the end to prove how shallow we all are when we pick the hunk with the nice smile. I'd like to think that the American public is smarter than to fall for this media spin/spin-off but there are millions of people out there who snicker everytime they see can of Chicken of the Sea tuna. You know what I'm talking about, don't you.

Bush Brings Down Comedian 

For some strange reason, Dennis Miller really likes George Bush.

Tonight, on CNBC, as I eagerly anticipated the encore airing of the Apprentice (which didn't come on) I watched the last painful minutes of the Dennis Miller show. There were 16 minutes left in the show and Dennis Miller, Martin Short, Naomi Wolfe, and some other fellow, were sitting around trying to figure out what to talk about because all the guests could think about was how Dennis Miller likes George Bush.

At the end of the show, Miller had on a chimpanzee which either unconsciously represented the "monkey on his back" and the scar on his career from liking an elected official or it literally represented his fondness for the simian-like president.


The Role of the Police State 

As Goldhagen (sometimes too) repetitively noted in "Hitler's Willing Executioners", the role of a police state is to make it "natural" for people to buy into the State-sponsored anti-humanism. By making Jews, Arabs, French, whoever..., seem "not quite human" it becomes "not quite criminal" to kill them. Most Germans willingly participated in or supported Jew killing by 1942. It was not the terrible manipulation of the many by the evil few, it was complicity on a mass scale.

When Lupus notes that more and more people are drawing the analogies between Nazi Germany and Bush America, he is not citing an idle argument. So look at the transformation time. Right now we are Germany 1936, worried about Jesse Owens outdoing our Aryan masters at the summer Olympics and re-militarizing the Rhineland. The Anschluss (Canada?) and invasion of the Sudetenland (Middle East? Pakistan? Who knows?) are less than 2 years away. Unless Bush is stopped, there will cease to be the U.S. as we know it by 2007. Who will be roasted in ovens this time? Well, the ovens are a lot hotter and more deadly now than they were 60 years ago.

The next election is not about Dean, or Kerry, or Clark, or Edwards. It is about survival of the U.S. as we know it. If Bush is re-elected, he will place the same burden on the world that Hitler did--the onus of having to dismantle the world's superpower to allow the world to survive.

Is Bush *as evil* a man as Hitler? Unlikely. Hitler was ostensibly far more psychotic, perhaps schizoid, certainly paranoid. Hitler also was not apparently a recovering/recurring alcoholic, nor was God telling him to invade countries. Keep in mind Bush has already had "Bush's Willing Texecutioners" send his selection of baddies to death, and his support is broad and unthinking. They are not able to see through lies and oxymorons such as the "jobless recovery", the "oil-based economy" and the "violent enforcement of world peace." I really don't like the looks of the U.S. in a Bush 2005.

Consolidate against Bush. Whoever wins the Dem primary needs to get the vote of every thinking person out there. Nader the Hater was wrong. Four years of Bush is not "worth it" to learn a lesson. The only lesson a Bush-initiated World War III will teach us is that we were cowards in 2004.


Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Vulf is not the only one . . . 

to be scared by his observation that Bush is the de facto head of the religious right-wing.

There is another piece that deserves mentioning here, the "cult of personality." Bush is the defacto head of the so-called American Christian church, supplanting faded stars like Robertson and Falwell. the wire service photos of Bush with halos are only one small example of how the media has willingly contributed to the phenom. then take into account the use of "code speak" like lines of hymns and bible verses, and the dress-up stunts (IIRC Hitler liked costumes and uniforms too) and one can see where this is going.

From comments on "Venn Ze Fuehrer Sayss 'Ve Ist Der Master Race' ...

Wilk, what do the Polish and other Europeans think?


Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Darnit, make up your mind! High-carb diet leads to weight loss. 

I just bought all the necessary Atkins diet food and was looking forward to gorging myself with bacon, sausage and hamburger as part of my path to a healthier way of life and along comes this report.

In the midst of the low-carb craze, a new study suggests that by eating lots of carbohydrates and little fat, it is possible to lose weight without actually cutting calories -- and without exercising, either.

Atkins promised me health with little pain attached. Now it seems the more carbs the better. Come on experts I am relying on you. Of course, if I just ate a moderate amount of diverse foods and exercised all this would be moot. But that would be no fun.

BTW: The Chicago schools could have killed and cooked the rats and promoted them as Atkins friendly. They sure can't be any worse than those Mad cows.


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