Tuesday, November 22, 2005

3 and a Half Years of Confinement, For THIS?

So after holding Jose Padilla as an "enemy combatant" against the US for more than three years, the US Government finally charged him with something: training to attack foreign citizens. Padilla will now have his day in court. But there is much that is very disturbing about this case. What happened to the "dirty bomb" he supposedly was plotting to use against an American city? You mean there's not enough evidence to indict him on that? You mean the government has been holding this man with no access to a lawyer, his family, or anything or anybody else for three years without the evidence to justify his alleged threat to the US? What the hell???!!!

Who Is and Isn't Looking Out For You?

U.S. Senators wrote a letter to nine big oil companies asking them to use their reord profits to give us break on the skyrocketing heating oil costs this winter. Only one responded: Citgo, which is owned by Venezuela's national oil company.

The chief executive of Citgo wrote to the senators that the company is "studying potential plans for ongoing, sustained assistance programs in the United States with the goal of lifting our neighbors in need to an improved quality of life." Citgo is planning to announce today that it will provide discounted heating oil this winter to many low-income residents of Massachusetts, Venezuelan officials said, adding that the plan was in the works before the senators sought help. The company also plans to offer similar aid in New York.

Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, is treated by the Bush government like a communist leader circa 1950, but where are their superior capitalist friends from the oil industry when the northern half the US prepares to go into the deep freeze? Perhaps burning some of those multi-billion dollar profits to keep themselves warm.

Pot Calls Kettle "Black"

So Torture King and Monkey Boy's latest gambit is to accuse those who accuse them of lying about Iraq's alleged WMD threat to launch the war of "revisionism of the most corrupt and shameless variety."

Really, now? Let's just see who's been doing the revising, Liar Brothers. All the following statements were made after it became clear that there were no WMD to be found in Iraq.

"The larger point is and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region." -- George W. Bush; July 14, 2003

We gave Saddam Hussein plenty of time to heed the demands of the world, and he chose defiance. He did. He said, 'Forget it. I don't care what the United Nations has said over a decade. I don't care about all the resolutions passed.' He chose defiance; we acted." -- George W. Bush; December 15, 2003

"And then we went to the United Nations, of course, and got an overwhelming resolution -- 1441 -- unanimous resolution, that said to Saddam, 'You must disclose and destroy your weapons programs,' which obviously meant the world felt he had such programs. He chose defiance. It was his choice to make, and he did not let us in." -- George W. Bush; January 27, 2004

"The United States and the world still hoped for a peaceful solution -- and Saddam Hussein faced a choice: to show that he was meeting his international obligations to disarm, or to continue his defiance. He chose unwisely. ..."We may never know why Saddam Hussein chose the destruction of his regime over peaceful disarmament. But we know this: it was his choice. And if he had chosen differently -- if the Iraqi regime had taken the steps Libya is now taking -- there would have been no war." -- Donald H. Rumsfeld; February 7, 2004

"In 2002, the United Nations Security Council yet again demanded a full accounting of Saddam Hussein's weapons programs. As he had for over a decade, Saddam Hussein refused to comply. So we had a choice to make: either take the word of a madman, or take action to defend America and the world. Faced with that choice, I will defend America every time." -- George W. Bush; February 24, 2004

The president of the United States, in a very public way, reached out to people across the world, went to the United Nations and tried to resolve this in a diplomatic manner. Saddam Hussein was the one, in the end, who chose continued defiance. And only then was the decision made, as a last resort, to go into Iraq." -- Scott McClellan; May 17, 2005

"And the fact is, we decided to go to the United Nations and went through that process, which resulted in the November 2002 United Nations resolution to give a final chance to Saddam Hussein to comply with international law. He didn't do so. And that was the reason why we had to take military action." -- Tony Blair; June 7, 2005

Note for those who slept through December, 2002, January, 2003, and February, 2003: Rather than choose "defiance," Saddam did let the United Nations weapons inspectors in before the war. They found nothing.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Don't Let the Door Hit Ya'

In the ongoing debate over whether and when the US should withdraw its troops from Iraq, one group has been widely ignored: the Iraqis.

Well, they have spoken. And their message is "Get out. Now."

11/21/05 "AFP" -- CAIRO - Iraqi leaders reached a tentative agreement Monday to demand a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops from their war-torn country during talks ahead of a reconciliation conference to be held next year. Dozens of leaders representing most of Iraq's factions have been holding tough talks in Cairo since Saturday in a bid to reach a common agenda. In a draft final statement, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, they demanded "a timetable for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops".

The key split now is between the government of Iraq, who wants the US to stay and protect them -- not just from the insurgents but also from average Iraqis who are severely unsatisfied with their new government -- and the people of Iraq, who are tired of having their familes shot up, their houses blown up, and friends detained and tortured by foreigners.