The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.
Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.
Mr. Rumsfeld's remarkable speech to the American Legion yesterday demands the deep analysis--and the sober contemplation--of every American.
For it did not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence -- indeed, the loyalty -- of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land. Worse, still, it credits those same transient occupants -- our employees -- with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administration's track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve.
Dissent and disagreement with government is the life's blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as "his" troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.
It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile it is right and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.
In a small irony, however, Mr. Rumsfeld's speechwriter was adroit in invoking th... (more)
UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland said some of the bombs fired by Israeli forces in the last days of the war were made in the United States and urged Washington to talk to the Jewish state to stem the flow of the deadly arms.
A key weapons hunter hired by the United States says the Australian Government did not want to face the fact that there no weapons of mass destruction and that no evidence of programs to build them were found in Iraq.
Dr John Gee worked with the Iraq Survey Group after the Coalition's invasion of Baghdad and he wrote to the Government... (more)
The New York Times said on Tuesday it had blocked British Internet readers from seeing a story detailing elements of the investigation into a suspected plot to blow up airliners between Britain and the United States.
The New York Times said Tuesday it had blocked British Internet readers from seeing a story detailing elements of the investigation into a suspected plot to blow up airliners between Britain and the United States.
In this important speech to the National Association of Black Journalists, the Hon. Ray Nagin warns the federal government is angling to strangle New Orleanians and take over the city -- and "shrink the footprint" of NOLa (in line with the United Na... (more)
Capt. Nicholas L. Gannon said Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III and Cpl. Trent Thomas admitted the slaying, one of two high-profile cases in which Marines allegedly killed Iraqi civilians without provocation.
Gannon said a third defendant, Lance Cpl. Robert Pennington, gave a statement th... (more)
“A man, his wife and two children were walking home in al-Huz neighborhood when a U.S. sniper shot them dead at 11:00 a.m. in al-Ma’ared Street,” a witness told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).
U.S. Marines have been stationed on the roof tops of high buildings in several neighborhoods of Ramadi for ... (more)
Rabbis: Israel Too Worried Over Civilian Deaths
posted 08/31/2006, 7:39 PM (Forward) [Category: Geopolitics] As international human rights organizations decry the high toll of civilian deaths suffered in the Lebanon war, America’s main organization of Modern Orthodox rabbis is calling on the Israeli military to be less concerned with avoiding civilian casualties on the opposing side when carrying out future operations.
Following a solidarity mission to Israel last week, leaders of the Rabbinical Council of America issued a statement prodding the Israeli military to review its policy of t... (more)
Huge Spy Scandal Goes Unreported
posted 08/31/2006, 7:39 PM (American Free Press) [Category: Commentary] The military continues to say very little about the apprehension of a sailor who has been accused of selling highly classified information from a U.S. nuclear attack submarine to unspecified countries. A Navy source in Norfolk, Va., where accused spy Petty Officer Third Class Ariel J. Weinmann is being held, told American Free Press that it is one of the worst cases of espionage in U.S. history.
While Russia has been mentioned as one of the countries involved in the ring, there ha... (more)
With that said, we now hyperspace in time to the ethical and scientific issues surrounding stem cell technology. The claim is that Christians are needlessly confining paralytics to wheelchairs and the blind t... (more)
While his party lacks the seats in Congress to block legislation, Lopez Obrador can mobilize millions to pressure his conservative rival to adopt the left's agenda — or to clamp down and risk a backlash.
Both scenarios are possibilities as the f... (more)
Defense sources familiar with discussions of senior military commanders say the five- to eight-year projection has been discussed inside the Pentagon, which is updating its war plan for Iran. The time frame... (more)
In 15 months, including back-to-back fundraisers Wednesday in Little Rock, Ark., and Nashville, Tenn., Bush has collected $166 million for the campaign accounts of 27 Republican candidates, the national GOP and its state counterparts across the country, according to the Repu... (more)
The Swedish organisers of the aid conference, held in Stockholm, said the commitments were almost double their initial target of $500m. "The conference has thus met its objective with a wide margin," said Swedish foreign minister, Jan Eliasson.
Adding previous pledges and commitments for longer-t... (more)
The Painful Lessons Of Hurricane Katrina
posted 08/31/2006, 7:35 PM (Prison Planet) [Category: Commentary]
One year after Hurricane Katrina and the lessons remain painfully clear - the event paved the way for the standard government response to a crisis - sabotage the rescue efforts, dominate and enslave the victims, then reap the windfall from the tragedy.
The contract calls for assembling a database of selected news stories and assessing their tone as part of a program to provide ``public relations products" that would improve coverage of the military command's performance, according to a... (more)
Another lie on Iraq
posted 08/31/2006, 7:34 PM (Toledo Blade) [Category: Commentary] WHEN President Bush declared last week that "nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered" the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a large segment of the American public must have been very surprised.
They would be the die-hard supporters of the war in Iraq, the one-quarter to one-third of Americans who, according to opinion polls, believe to this day that Saddam was somehow involved in 9/11.
No one likes to think that their President is lying, b... (more)
Since Czech playwright Karel Capek popularized the term ("robota" means "forced labor" in Czech) in 1921, we have imagined what robots could do. But reality fell short of our plans: Honda Motor trotted out its Asimo in 2000, but for now it's been relegated to temping as a receptionist ... (more)
The Five Morons Revisited
posted 08/31/2006, 7:34 PM (Paul Craig Roberts) [Category: Commentary] When the neocons launched the Bush administration’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and announced plans for invading Syria and Iran, I labeled Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Rice “the five Morons.” With the passage of time I see that I over-estimated their mental capabilities.
The “cakewalk” war has now lasted longer than World War II with Nazi Germany, and no end is in sight. It has cost the US taxpayers $310 billion in out-of-pocket costs with many additional hundreds ... (more)
Nothing is ever his fault. Not Guantanamo, not Abu Ghraib, not Falluja, not Haditha, not de-Baathification, not the insurgency; nothing. Ever.
Of course, ever since Saddam’s bronze torso hit the pavement in Fidros Square, the occupation has steadily unraveled and turned into a quagmire. But that’s not Rummy’s fault either. Like President Bush said, “He’s doin’ a ... (more)
The suspect: Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen who became a Muslim while living in Florida.
Ashcroft branded Padilla an "Al Qaeda operative," and he was held for more than three years without charges as one of a few U.S. citizens designated as so-calle... (more)
Florida: Homeless Speed Trap Is Back
posted 08/31/2006, 7:32 PM (TheNewspaper) [Category: Politics/Corruption]
Police in Ocala, Florida have brought back the practice of dressing up like the homeless in order to generate significant traffic ticket revenue. Sergeant Billy Woods, a white officer with a mustache, sat behind a cardboard sign in shabby clothes while wearing a Rastafarian cap and fake dreadlocks. The sign hid his radar gun and a radio used to summon a gaggle of chase officers hidden down the road at South Pine and Southeast 17th Street.
A sting on Tuesday at an intersection wher... (more)
The paper quotes "informed sources close to the mediations" as saying that the U.S. secretly negotiated with the group through leaders of "the Palestinian popular resistance committees."
Last week, the previously unknown group calling itself "The Holy Jihad Brigades" issued a st... (more)
Return Of People Power
posted 08/31/2006, 7:32 PM (John Pilger) [Category: Commentary] In researching a new film, I have been watching documentary archive from the 1980s, the era of Ronald Reagan and his "secret war" against Central America. What is striking is the relentless lying. A department of lying was set up under Reagan with the coy name, "office of public diplomacy". Its purpose was to dispense "white" and "black" propaganda - lies - and to smear journalists who told the truth. Almost everything Reagan himself said on the subject was false. Time and again, he warned Ameri... (more)
Soldiers Die, CEOs Prosper
posted 08/31/2006, 7:31 PM (Boston Globe) [Category: Commentary] More than 2,600 US soldiers have died in Iraq. July's toll for Iraqi civilians was 3,500, the deadliest month of the US occupation. Iraq's civil war is on pace to kill 25,000 to 30,000 civilians by year's end. If you add in the tens of thousands of deaths from the 2003 invasion (we do not know the exact number because the Pentagon won't comment), researchers will inevitably say that the body count has crossed 100,000.
All of this madness to stop a madman, Saddam Hussein. ... (more)
Against Total War? You’re an Appeaser of Fascism
posted 08/31/2006, 7:31 PM (Kurt Nimmo) [Category: Commentary] For months, I have railed against the absurd neocon averment that Islam constitutes the embodiment of a new fascism. I have insisted the phrase “Islamofascism” is nothing if not a trite neologism, a meaningless political epithet. In effect, the term is used in a simplistic way to crank up the fear quotient.
“Islamofascism is nothing but an empty propaganda term,” notes Joseph Sobran. “And wartime propaganda is usually, if not always, crafted to produce hysteria, the destruction o... (more)
Court OKs Wearing Anti-Bush Shirt at School
posted 08/31/2006, 7:31 PM (Reuters) [Category: General] A U.S. student who sued school officials after he was made to censor his T-shirt that labeled President Bush "Chicken-Hawk-In-Chief" and a former alcohol and cocaine abuser won an appeal Wednesday to wear the T-shirt to school.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Zachery Guiles, who through his parents claimed his free speech rights had been violated when school officials made him put duct tape over parts of his T-shirt that showed a Bush image surrounded by co... (more)
Childhood experts have slammed the latest range of Bratz Babyz, claiming they are tantamount to child pornography.
But the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it was powerless to strip the dolls from shelves.
"We have mandatory product safety standards . . . but there is no arbiter for bad taste," a spokeswoman said. ... (more)
I Am a Curious Yellowcake
posted 08/31/2006, 7:29 PM (Counterpunch.org) [Category: Commentary] Now that Dick Armitage has admitted to being the initial source of right-wing columnist Robert Novak's news story outing Valerie Plame as a covert CIA agent and wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson, it's important to remember what this story is really all about.
The mainstream media has focused on the scandal as a whodunit, all about White House leaks and journalists' unidentified sources, but the real issue has largely been left unaddressed, namely: Why did the White House go ... (more)
NYT to Freedom of the Press: "Drop Dead!"
posted 08/31/2006, 7:28 PM (Chris Floyd) [Category: Commentary] Readers in the UK perusing the New York Times yesterday ran across an intriguing headline about new facts coming out in the "bomb terror plot" that recently shook the island kingdom: "Details Emerge in British Terror Case." Hmm, what does America's "paper of record" have to say about this vital subject? Let's click the headline and see…er, let's click again and…Where's the story? What's this message?
A popular practice among sellers, resetting the phone, often means sensitive information appears to have been erased. But it can be resurrected using specialized yet inexpensive software found on the Internet.
The married man's girlfriend sent a text... (more)
In a further blow, the economically-ravaged country's once vibrant tobacco sector hit a new low on the last day of the auction season with sales expected to plummet 31 percent during the previous year.
The Zimbabwean parliament heard that the proposed Interception o... (more)