Another Look at The Speech
A new translation of Bush’s victory address–courtesy of Secretary of Shizzolatin’ Snoop Dogg.
The prez chillin’ with his boyzz Ozzy and Snoop
Here is the president’s speech from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, restored to its original gangsta-ese. I learned about Snoop’s Shizzolator from my colleague Brad Zellar, whose blog is not war news-related but damn fine all the same.
The Battle for Iraq’s Oil: Backstory
A primer on what’s putting the US, Russia, and France at odds.
A few days ago I said I’d be posting a links digest focusing on the roles and interests of the US and its two main Iraq war antagonists, Russia and France. Here it is, but a word of advice: Do your eyes a favor and print it. It’s more than you’ll want at one sitting anyway.
Bremer: General Jay’s New Boss
Score one for Powell and the State Department–and so what?
At week’s close the Bush administration appointed a new overseer to run the occupation of Iraq, L. Paul Bremer. Bremer is a real prize–the Reagan administration’s one-time ambassador for counter-terrorism, a long-time associate of Henry Kissinger, and a hawk who is very tight with the Wolfowitz neo-cons.
In 1999 he was appointed Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism by Republican House leader Dennis Hastert. The Commission’s mandate was to review America’s counter-terrorism policies.
In this capacity Bremer addressed the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in June 2000. He said “Iran is still the most egregious state-sponsor of terrorism, despite the election of a reformist president The Commission is concerned that recent American gestures toward Iran could be misinterpreted as a weakening of our resolve to counter Iranian terrorism.”
In this respect his views are identical to those of ultra-hawk Paul Wolfowitz who had classified Iran as the greatest threat to international proliferation in 1997.
Bremer’s antipathy toward Tehran is certainly not destined to mend fences with the religious Shiite majority in Iraq.
There’s your victory for “Powell moderates,” a class of folk who deserve harder scrutiny than they get. The Rumsfeld/Powell division within the Bush administration is not a struggle of light versus dark over the merit of foreign conquests–it’s a managerial-class squabble over how best to achieve those aims. The Wolfowitz/Rumsfeld faction wants to dispense with diplomacy and show the world that no one can hope to challenge the US militarily; the Powell faction wants to proceed more carefully and put the right political and legal gloss on things internationally.
Whatever Happened to Gorgeous George?
Not to mention all the other “secret” Iraqi documents found by the Telegraph.
Over the weekend I trolled around looking for more news about George Galloway, the anti-war British MP so sensationally accused of a business relationship with Saddam’s government in the UK press a couple of weeks ago. As you may recall (see BW’s 4/22 and 4/24), those allegations were based on Iraqi intelligence documents that seem to have floated from the skies of Baghdad only to be “found” by reporters from the Telegraph and a number of papers.
All those secret intelligence reports seem to have dried up as quickly as they appeared, however. Perhaps they were made to self-destruct after a certain length of time, as in Mission: Impossible. Or maybe the trouble is that they’re coming to nothing. The best discussion of the “evidence” I’ve seen is right here at Counterpunch, by Wayne Madsen, who writes: The problem with these documents is that they are being provided by the U.S. military to a few reporters working for a very suspect newspaper, London’s Daily Telegraph (affectionately known as the Daily Torygraph” by those who understand the paper’s right-wing slant).
The Guardian says British intelligence doubts the Galloway and Al-Qaeda “finds.”
There must be doubts about the documents’ authenticity. But even if they are genuine, intelligence services are notorious for hoarding tittle-tattle, exaggerating and distorting, not least to stress the importance of their own role in their bids for more funds. Heaven knows what we would find if the archives of MI5 and MI6–and the CIA and FBI–were plundered.
Yet, significantly, it is not ministers who are warning of the dangers of jumping to conclusions. It is the intelligence agencies themselves. “They do not take things further forward,” said an intelligence source about the Sunday Telegraph’s publication of Iraqi documents appearing to show that Baghdad was keen to meet an “al-Qaida envoy” in 1998.
And here is an interview with Galloway from the Jordanian news site Al-Bawaba.
Contracts: Friends Helping Friends Help Themselves
The lede paragraph in this AP story about changing USAID regulations for post-war rebuilding contracts says it all:
The agency awarding Iraq reconstruction contracts deleted its requirement for a security clearance after realizing it awarded a project to a company that lacked one, an internal report says.
UK Defense Chief: Let’s Wait on Next “Discretionary” War
Brit military needs post-coital cigarette and nap.
Sir Michael Boyce, who is about to retire as the UK’s top military commander, says that Tony Blair could not follow W into another war before the end of 2004 without “serious pain”:
Admiral Boyce said that the Armed Forces could not handle another “discretionary” war, a conflict waged “by choice”, if it were launched in 2004. Speaking to defence journalists as part of his farewell, Admiral Boyce said that if the United Kingdom were threatened, every man and woman in the Services would fight to defend the country. However, a war in the style of the Iraqi campaign was not something that could be repeated again and again.
Safqua: More About the “Secret Deal” for Baghdad
I’ve posted several items in the past couple of weeks about allegations that a secret arrangement between the US and elements of Saddam’s government led to the rapid fall of Baghdad, and now the world press is taking up the story in growing numbers. Back at the home page of Bush Wars I have an item from last week that links to several of those stories.
The Bush Wars site of the day.
The other day I asked for links to the best Bush flash animation and manipulated-sound files on the net, and reader Claude de Bogdan has sent along a gem–his own page of found-speech sound collages featuring Bush, Ashcroft, and others. Some of them are brilliant, and all are fun. Download ’em all!
They’re at happytime world.
This is a sampling from City Pages editor and Counterpunch contributor STEVE PERRY’s daily-updated Bush Wars blog. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org