Saturday, May 15, 2004

A few quick notes 

This article highlights a number of new developments of the latest round of fighting which really seems to have gotten lost in the ever-blooming prison scandal. One thing I was taken by was this:

U.S. jet fighters bombarded the outskirts of Sadr City overnight, forcing militiamen to flee positions, the witnesses said. On Saturday, U.S. soldiers drove through the neighborhood with loudspeakers, urging people to hand in their weapons within a week in exchange for money.

Does anyone else find it odd that as jet fighters bomb their neighborhoods, tanks roll through their streets offering money in exchange for weapons? I just hear John Stewart all over this one.

Meanwhile Hersh, it seems, has broken a whole new angle here that could truly spell disaster for Dear Leader and America. As you may or may not know, Rumsfeld gave the thumbs up to the interrogation methods. Here's the lede:

"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the expansion of a secret program that encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners to obtain intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq (news - web sites), The New Yorker reported Saturday."

Now this piece of info comes after Dear Leader wholeheartedly endorsed him as the "best Sec. of Defense we've ever had" -- that's in the entire history of the US. This is after Rumsfeld lied under oath:

So here's one problem -- how to save any shred of reputation for endorsing Herr Rumsfeld. But it gets worse, "The program got approval from President Bush's (emphasis mine) national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites), and Bush was informed of its existence (emphasis mine), the officials told New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh."

So Dear Leader lied as well? On TV? Again?

Arabs and regional papers already felt as though the "apologies" from Bush and Rumsfeld were insincere and merely for American audiences, so this will only confirm their suspicions. Further, now that we have shagged the sheep so utterly and so completely, there's nothing left; there is no amount of propaganda that can help change Arab opinion that we are not there for selfish goals or to help their populations.

This reverberation may have long lasting affects on US policy long after this debacle. Our standing in the middle east is now kneeling and I fear other populations throughout the world will see a major decline. These new revelations don't just effect Dear Leader -- they may in fact give fodder to extreme groups throughout the world with fringe politicians with anti American rhetoric springing up worldwide and gaining grassroots support. I'm not certain how I see this helping our troops.

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