You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Viacom’ category.

It is funny, … often the most profound statements are in an aside that the author slipped into the article…..

From the New York Times……

“He helped devise a strategy that called for his coalition to line up a strong array of legislative sponsors and supporters behind two similar laws — the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House, and the Protect I.P. Act in the Senate — and then to move them through the Congress quickly before possible opposition from tech companies could coalesce.”

Translated: how can we trick Congress into passing this law before the American People find out….

Wouldn’t it be nice if campaign contributions could ONLY come from individual donors who were actually human?

Advertisements

There are the two extremes.

One, a person who makes an invention, should be able to make money off his idea, and not have it stolen out from under him, by someone else…

Two, we have a right to our own thoughts and since all thoughts are incorporations of other people’s thoughts, for free speech to occur, we cannot hold everyone liable for everything borrowed they say….

Where do we draw the line?

“The Congress shall have power…To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;”

Limited time.

So if I was talking to Nancy, and said, hey did you hear the new Radiohead Song about Christine O’Donnell and she said no, and I sang it to her (rather well I might add), then I would have violated the Constitution by violating the exclusive right of Radiohead to be the first one to let Nancy in on that song….

But, if pursued, I would be safe under the Free Speech clause of the Constitution…

So if I was talking to Liberal Geek, and had these great Pink Floyd lyrics that just fit a current event and repeated them to him, I would be violating the Constitution by not allowing Pink Floyd the exclusive right to be the first to let him on that correlation.

But, if pursued, I would be safe under the Free Speech clause of the Constitution.

And so, if using the Internet, I were to take a YouTube clip of a campaigner, say sucking on a corndog, and say this is what campaigning has boiled down to, why aren’t we discussing issues anymore”.. I would be violating the Constitution by not allowing that person, whomever it might be, the right to be the first to make that correlation….

Bit if pursued. I would be protected under my first amendment rights…. My right to free speech…

Now, lets say, I did post a corndog picture. or one of Obama smoking a cigarette, or one of Obama with a hole in his head… and got arrested….

I would say I was protected under the Freedom of Speech clause of the Constitution. Right?

No, not if the SOPA bill currently supported by Chris Coons, John Carney, or Tom Carper, gets voted on and passed…

Also, 99% of YouTubes videos will be yanked, if this bill becomes law.

Also, 99% of Googles information, will be pulled, or hidden, if this bill becomes law.

Also 99% of Yahoo’s and the other search engines, will have to scrub a majority of their files… if this bill becomes law…

This is a dumb law.. Really, really, really dumb…

Just like the last dumb law pushed by the entertainment lobby. To make VCR’s illegal.

“We are going to bleed and bleed and hemorrhage, unless this Congress at least protects one industry that is able to retrieve a surplus balance of trade and whose total future depends on its protection from the savagery and the ravages of this machine. … I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.”
Jack Valenti before Congress April 12 1982.

The VCR business made millions for the entertainment industry.

I just used that without their permission.

I could be shut down, and so, could Wikipedia…

Without which, what’s the point of having internet?

Correct me if I’m wrong. But today, I speak more on the internet than I do with real people. How about you? True or False?

We the people have the right, based on precedence and common sense, to have our own thoughts without having to worry about them being monitored, stored, and used against us at a later date.

It needs to be clear. The Internet is free. Copying a song and sending it, is the exact same thing as humming a tune to another person. Under no circumstances is if allowable for a government to shut down a site, that is involved with the dissemination of information. Information is not open for discussion. It is everything on the internet.

This bill is too loose and like the Patriot Act, too invasive. The entertainment industry already makes billions. None of that, or only a tiny fraction, goes to the personnel who created the object.

The fact that we should all never again speak freely, should always temper what we say, so they can make another $10,000… is absolutely obscene…

You need to let them know.

I disagree with some of those who put down Petraeus as a liar, simply because they fail to agree with his assessment. It may come across to some as funny that I have thought, if not said, some to the same things against which I am now taking issue, and if so, so be it……

What changed?

What happened was this. I became more familiar with what was going on within Iraq. Of course, being of skeptic I tended to look at things hard. Very hard. To my surprise, I found out that I was seeing real signs of hope. This hope was not in the eyes of the politicos; it was the eyes of Iraqis. Since desperate souls grasp any rope tossed to them, I have waited quietly to make sure that these Iraqis were not suffering any type of delusion. I listened to all three reports expecting to see something in them dash my half submerged optimism, upon the reality of Iraqi shores.

I think my conversion may have come about when I was studying the conversion of Al Anbar province. Those Sunnis chose to back us because they like us. Of course it wasn’t much of a contest, considering who their alternative was…..But it may have also come while studying the criticism leveled at us by the British, as they packed up and split. They criticized our arrogance , heavy handedness, and unwillingness to trust: all valid complaints Each of these were addressed under the Petraeus doctrine. After reading the Petraeus Book on the suppression of Insurrections, I realized his tactics were not part of the problem. They were in direct opposition to the problem. I understood what he was trying to accomplish.

What happened under Petraeus, happened not because of the amount of troops we had at our disposal, but because of the way we used them, that made a difference.

The surge may have helped. For before the surge, we, due to our insufficient numbers, acted like Soviets, if I may be blunt. We were there to suppress and pacify. We, with our own patriotic roots, should have been more aware that by taking that stance, we directly increased our own opposition.

Once we added just a few more troops on the ground, we were able to interact with the local population, while still having enough force surrounding us to protect us. Prior to the surge, the problem was that whenever a few shots were fired, we would have to shut down our clinic, and head out across the desert. However with additional troops able to chase the insurgents, the military medical corp could continue to cure the local citizen’s ills. That was the difference. We could finish what we started.

Of course the original problem was created by republicans, Rumsfeld in particular. Had we ramped up enough ground forces from day 1, we never would have needed the surge in the first place. Yes, we know their insurrection began because they believed we wanted their oil. (That republican Cheney messed everything up). But if I understand correctly, we dropped that privatized oil plank as a “no go” and are now supporting the nationalization of oil assets. We are pursuing more of a Biden local strategy, tribal leader by tribal leader, and doing so because of the surge. Paul Bremmer’s national unification strategy was not working.

What I found, in essence, was that everything I said eight months ago that we needed to do in Iraq to win, we were now doing.

Can this late development be twisted to mean I justify this war that was fought on false pretenses? Hell no. It will always stand as a stupid war, instigated by stupid ass republicans. Nothing can ever change that. We could have achieved much better results at far less cost, had we chosen to use other means.

But we didn’t. We went in against all common dignity, history and sense. So since we did, does the resulting mess lie at our doorstep? Does we broke it, mean we own it?

Perhaps. But instead of a “oops, I broke it” moment, it is more of an “Honey, I’m pregnant” moment. Whatever happened way back then, has now changed things permanently.

Of course we can put up our hands and say, “Whoa, that’s your problem bitch…” and walk out the door. Many people do and feel no remorse about doing so. But that is not how I want my America to be perceived. I want My America to be responsible. I want My America to do the right thing. My America will be no punk. My America will be a Dad……….

So emotionally, that is how I have come around about to see how we could win in that barren land. It is nothing new. Biden has pushed it for years.

To win, these things must happen. They are in our control.

Congress must finally stand up to the President. If Iraq can finally realize that America does not equal Bush, that we too think he’s a moron, that we too can admit and correct our mistakes, our relations will improve. If the American Congress ever gets some backbone, and forces upon the president a withdrawal timetable, the Iraqis too will get some backbone and begin controlling their own affairs.

Congress must stand up to the president, and eliminate the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy 2%, and invest that money into Iraq’s infrastructure, hiring Iraqis to build their own sewers, roads, and buried electrical conduits. If Congress could do that, then the Iraqis might get some back bone and start controlling their own affairs.

Congress must stand up to the President, and force impeachment if he fails to comply with Congress’s orders. Only then will Iraq realize that America is not over there to conquer, but sincerely is over there to help. If we are decisive over here, they will be decisive over there,……. instead killing time and each other until our next inauguration day.

The long awaited Petraeus report is due today. Since the White House has admitted it will be responsible for content, one can assume that it will represent the Republican take of the war in Iraq.

However, timed to break just before the Petraeus report, were two other reports of which we have heard already. One, by David Walker of the GAO, could be said to represent the Democratic view of the crises at hand. The other, sponsored by Senator Warner, featuring General Jones (Retired: who looks like he stepped out of the move “White Christmas”) could be said to provide a centrist, or otherwise unbiased, review.

Oh boy….here we go again……surprisingly, all say the same thing………WHAT?…….. All say some progress has been made militarily, but the true solution needs to be political.

So when asked if the surge worked, the answers are all the same. There are gains in stability in some regions as a result of the surge. But politically, we are in the same spot or worse, as we were in January 07.

At each of these hearings, each time this same conclusion is uttered, the Dems posture and say the surge didn’t work….and the Republicans hunker down and say some progress shows momentum…..you can’t quit while you are moving forward.

Oh No! Parallels to Vietnam: In Vietnam, the US Military won every engagement it fought against the enemy. However our State Department was unable to matriculate a political solution. So it is in Iraq. I heard Lindsey Graham, (R-SC) make a speech that would have fit quite nicely in an anthology of “Hawk’s” statements from the early ’70’s.

America: we are smarter than this….We should not make the same mistake twice……

All three reports comment on the marvelous success we fell upon in Al Anbar province. However it was not our military that forced the issue. Rather it was the local population that became fed up with Al Qaeda’s brutality so much that they did something about it. It was fortuitous that the troops were there, to capitalize on the decision made by the Sunni sector.

Had we not had the surge and enough troops in the field, we could have still been holed up in the Green Zone, and the opportunity that presented itself, could have slipped through our fingers. Supposedly the tipping point for the Sunnis came when Al Qaeda made a point of punishing a tribe by killing 6 or 7 of its young boys. The chieftain asked for protection. The astute Lt Col. said “I’ll have a tank parked here in two hours”…… The domino effect rolled throughout the region based on the momentum off that one incident.

But one incident doth not a war make…. As we succeed in Al Anbar, we are unraveling in the South; insurgents are moving back in as the Brits pull out. This should surprise no one……going back 67 years ago:

hostile forces will withdraw into the more remote parts of the country, or will be dispersed into numerous small groups which continue to oppose the occupation. Even though the recognized leaders may capitulate, the subordinate commanders often refuse to abide by the terms of the occupation. Escaping to the hinterland, they assemble heterogeneous armed groups of patriotic soldiers, malcontents, notorious outlaws,…… and by means of guerrilla warfare, continue to harass and oppose the intervening force in its attempt to restore peace and good order throughout the country as a whole.

Anyone out there recognize that? That was taken directly from the declassified version of the Marines’ Small Wars Manual, first published in 1940. It suggests that to countervail such forces, similar to what we anticipate today, we need numerous presence patrols organized with the help of local, native militias, and outposts that are erected dispersed over a wide area in order “to afford the maximum protection to the peaceful inhabitants of that country.”

This blanket approach of embedding Marines into local tribes, and assisting them in regaining some type of stability in their lives vis a vis their experience with the chaos caused by terrorists, means we often wind up doing the work, and leaving local militias with the credit. This has worked well in the southern Philippines, and has for many years worked well in Afghanistan. We did not employ these type of winning tactics in Iraq, until Petraeus took over, and because of bureaucratic squeamishness over causalities, we have let up on our winning strategy inside Afghanistan.

Americans are good…..and as long as we fight on the “side of good”, we continue to win the hearts and minds of local populations. On this direct level no one can compete with us. No one! Our administration lost sight of that. Intent on imposing a government made to help the image of the republican party, American forces found themselves, instead of fighting for the good in the local populations eyes, fighting for oil rights and Cheney/Bush’s tough machismo.

I call this post Mosquito Wars, because as I sat through each of these hearing, listening to all everyone had to say, the war became less of a military adventure, and more of a politically psychological one. After all, that is how the Soviet’s broken regime crumbled…..not by nuclear strikes or preemptive invasions. They just imploded.

The Soviet analogy sets this up well. During the peak of Cold War, we were beset by Soviet spies. They were relative easy to find, hard to kill, and harder still for their agency to replace. Today against the terror threat, the parameters have changed. The terrorists are very hard to find. easy to kill, and easy for their agency to replace.

The way you fight terrorism is with intelligence. If you know what terrorists are going to do, you can prevent it. But finding out is hard, especially when they mimic regular citizens. But as long as the root causes of terrorism are still out there, as long as there are breeding grounds to replace the ones killed or captured, terrorism itself will be never conquered.

Which brings us to mosquitoes. You can live with them, by walking around with mosquito netting over your head whenever you choose to go out, or you can spend 100 % of your outdoor time, watching your bare arms, and swatting whenever one lands. But if you really want to kill mosquitoes, you change the environment to one where they cannot survive. We did so as we built the Panama Canal. We suffocated their breeding grounds with oil; we sprayed standing water. We succeeded.

Terrorists are not lions, tigers or bears…oh my. They are mosquitoes. Totally harmless entities until they land on you. So lets fight them the same way we fight mosquitoes.

Fix the abject poverty in the area where they breed. For a mere 12 billion, it is estimated, we could permanently end poverty in the world…….Drill some wells, teach crop techniques, vaccinate their livestock, provide lifesaving medical attention, and do so with some M16’s standing by in case a lone mosquito slips in and needs a good swat…

It’s America…..it’s how we win…….and it is not to late to win in Iraq. Announce the timetable, work hard to build an Iraq ready for withdrawal, and leave whenever we are done, not a moment before. But announcing the timetable is the key to developing political will among all factions in Iraq.

Remember how the moment Reagan was sworn in, the Iranian hostages were released after 444 days of captivity? They were not going to budge an inch as long as Carter was still president.

Let us move things fast forward too, by changing our leadership on this side of the Atlantic, doing so on our fast forward timetable (67 votes), thereby giving Iraq some hope too………

It’s something to think about; the next time you swat a mosquito……

Beauty in the Beast
While our focus has been on impeachment, the US is gearing up for what may be the beginning of the final war of Armageddon. Despite sounding like a generous dish of hyperbole, there are some reported points of view that this administration is hell bent on maintaining control over its Evangelical base by orchestrating a WWIII that originates in the Middle East. Not only will it originate in the Middle East, mind you, but in the very location of the Garden of Eden itself. That should provide a convenient full circle…………

We should be concerned because no one talks about it, for just in its concept, it is way too bizarre of a belief to be taken seriously. Historically it can be compared to the outlandish inner sanctum whispers in and around the Third Reich during the late 30’s, “psst…..there are rumors that he plans to exterminate every one of them that is alive today in Europe.”

For if the above ridiculous assertion were to be proven true, then perhaps we could then have at least some motive as to why the middle administration officials are stymied and blocked from making real progress, while the captains of the Titanic, retire to their quarters after ordering a “full steam ahead.”

The Titanic actually provides a very good metaphor for this administration. Everyone on deck can see a collision is eminent. Meanwhile those unconcerned drink and dance in the staterooms below. Those in charge, the senior officials under the sway of the republican mantra, prance around completely unworried about real events even as their administration unravels around them?

So how does the end of the world pan out? It starts with our support for Turkey’s elimination of the PKK, the Kurdish terrorist organization that has been responsible for 35,000 Turkish deaths since its beginning in 1984.

Common knowledge says that Green Berets, CIA, or both have already been inserted into the Kurdistan region and are now actively pursuing “intel” on the 3500 of the estimated PKK guerrillas living near the Turkish-Iranian border region.

The first question to pop up is this: why would we invest more time and money to suppress the Kurds who were the most supportive of our Iraqi adventure, and who controlled the most stable of those three regions of Iraq? Why?

First, for the Cheney opponents, the regional Kurdish government has NOT been supportive of the Bush/Cheney Oil grab. They have independently made two oil deals themselves(with Norway and Turkey even) that have NOT been sanctioned by the US provisional government’s Iraqi parliament. Kurdistan will stand to make a much larger percentage off of the profits from each well, then would any of other provinces if the Iraqi HydroCarbons Act, the Oil bill, ever gets passed.

By bringing hostilities into an area previously tame by comparison to say, the Sunni province, we are effectively using the military to put a hold on any oil deal previously made, even if we were ineffective in stopping it politically. As long as there are hostilities occurring in that region, no oil company can capitalize on its contract,and rush in and invest, no matter how lucrative the oil revenues might be………

Armageddon in the Garden of Eden

Another difficulty for the US position, is that the Kurds tend to provide the most reliable units in the reformed Iraqi national army. The Kurdish section of the local police bureau has taken part in recent counter-terrorism operations in Baghdad and other parts of the country that are dominated by Sunni or Shiite political factions. To have the US either sponsor or carry out attacks on Kurds within the Kurd’s homeland, could alienate our staunchest domestic ally, right there in Iraq.

Another interesting development is the new alignment occurring as we speak within the Middle East that is occurring as a direct result of US military involvement in Iraq. Turkey as alway been considered as one of our staunchest allies ever since the advent of the cold war……Iran has been considered one of our most vilified enemies ever since the fall of the Shah. But currently Turkey and Iran are working together to eliminate the PKK in the US controlled northern Iraq.

What? Screech. Halt. Bang. Crash………

Turkey and Iran have quietly worked out a reciprocal security arrangement, whereby Iran’s military will engage Kurdish separatists whenever encountered, in exchange for Turkey’s cooperation against the Iranian Mujahideen-e-Khalq movement (MEK), a well-armed and cult-like opposition group that previously found refuge in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

Both Iranian officials and Turkey’s prime minister have alluded to “mechanisms” (likely to involve intelligence-sharing) already in place to deal with security issues of mutual interest. Neither Turkey nor Iran has any desire to see an independent Kurdish state established in northern Iraq. For the moment, Turkey’s cooperation with Iran is achieving better results than its frustrating inability to persuade the United States to help eliminate a designated terrorist group in northern Iraq.

Stock footage of a future war zone?

In a recent interview, Erdogan vowed that Turkey would not allow attacks on its neighbors from its territory, adding, in an obvious allusion to Iran, that all countries had a right to pursue the development of a peaceful nuclear energy program (Milliyet, March 12).

One can remember the reports that Israel and the U.S. Department of Defense were providing clandestine support to Kurdish PJAK “terrorists,” operating in the northwestern Iranian border region, questioning the usefulness of such a policy in countering Iran’s nuclear ambitions or destabilizing the country in advance of a military strike. Since then, there have been further allegations that the CIA is using its classified budget to support terrorist operations by disaffected members of Iran’s ethnic minorities, including Azeris, Baloch, Kurds and Arabs (Sunday Telegraph, February 25).

Iran may be expected to continue aggressive military operations against Kurdish militants to keep its border region secure in a politically volatile period, while continuing to demonstrate to Turkey its usefulness as a security partner in contrast to U.S. reluctance to undertake anti-Kurdish military activities. U.S. intervention in northern Iraq’s Kurdistan region could create a new wave of destabilization in Iraq, as well as diverting U.S. resources from a confrontation with Iran (a result no doubt desired by Tehran).

A Turkish incursion will likely have limited scope and objectives, although it will likely include at least two divisions (20,000 men each) with support units. The last major cross-border operation 10 years ago involved 40,000 Turkish troops. With the greater distance to PKK bases at Mount Qandil from the Turkish border, a first wave of helicopter-borne assault troops might follow strikes by the Turkish Air Force. An assault on Mount Qandil will prove difficult even without opposition from Iraqi Kurdish forces. More ambitious plans are likely to have been drawn up by Turkish staff planners for a major multi-division offensive as far south as Kirkuk if such an operation is deemed necessary.

A Turkish newspaper has reported that General Ralston has already negotiated a deal with the KRG to permit a Turkish attack on Mount Qandil in April (Zaman, March 25).

Conclusion

While tensions peak on the border, the time has in many ways never been better for a resolution to the Turkish-Kurdish conflict. From captivity, Abdullah Ocalan appears ready to concede Turkey’s territorial unity in exchange for stronger local governments. He recently stated, “The problems of Turkey’s Kurds can only be solved under a unitary structure. This is why Turkey’s Kurds should look to Ankara and nowhere else for a solution” (Zaman, March 26). Turkish investment in northern Iraq is far preferable to having Turkish tanks and artillery massed menacingly along the border. If the KRG was intending to keep the PKK as a card to use in coercing Turkish support for Kurdish autonomy, it may be time to play it. PKK morale is low and prolonged inactivity under the aging leadership will ultimately send many fighters back to their villages. The movement is hardly in a position to mount an effective offensive. Without state sponsorship, the PKK is poorly armed and supplied. The KRG’s limited hospitality is hardly a replacement for Syrian patronage. Massoud Barzani has urged face-to-face talks on the PKK problem with Turkish leaders, who have also recently indicated openness to discussion (NTV, February 26). Turkey’s continuing conflict with the Kurds in turn,jeopardizes its candidacy for European Union membership. With the possibility of full-scale Turkish military operations beginning in northern Iraq in the coming weeks, both U.S. and Turkish strategists must realize that any clash between the Turkish military and U.S.-supported Iraqi Kurds who back their PKK brethren, is a political disaster in waiting.

Whereas common sense says to stand down, and wait for possible provocation, the Cheney arm of the Bush administration has pushed for a full steam ahead affront on the Kurdish guerrillas. The Turkish troops are there, at least in Cheney’s eyes, to intimidate the Kurds to support the Hydrocarbon Oil deal.

“Look you Kurds. If you don’t stand behind my oil bill you won’t have an semiautonomous region to call your home. You will be under Turkish control! Got it?”

Why the flames are being fanned, and why the administration stands by with cans of gasoline, they are not saying. However to most rational people, this oil piece of the puzzle offers some sincere motive behind the otherwise insane mechanizations of this administration.

To others; those whose defections most worry this administration, these actions double as proving that the Armageddon’s scenario is taking shape.

Recently in Delaware, a well know auto parts company did a comparative study and decided that Delaware was ripe for expansion. The acquisition costs were low, taxes low, and competition was archaic and outdated. They received the required financing and moved in.

They built a new store every 120 days. Gradually they had received all but the most loyal of its competitor’s regulars. They began to set the standards of how business could be run. Were one to write a textbook on how to succeed in acquiring a new market, they would have been the most quoted source. Comparatively their service times per transaction were faster, their customer satisfaction results the highest, and their return to the bottom line was better than those same company’s stores in other states.

Every opportunity was met with success. Investors as well as customers were happy they had moved in.

Then, almost inexplicably, the upper management decided to buy a local strip club that was up for sale. They tackled the purchase with meticulous detail. They wined and dined, then cold shouldered the prospective seller, until he, desperate to unload the property, gave it up for a song. No one is certain as to why this company would go into a venture half-cocked. Some thought it was for reasons, deep, secret personal reasons, that guided the chief executives decision. But for a song, the place was acquired and a great party was thrown to celebrate the new diversion. It was even whispered by some, that all entertainment costs charged to the auto parts conglomerate, would be at cost, if even charged at all. Those few who fearlessly stood up to the executive and challenged him to explain his weird choice of action, were chastised publicly and told not to worry, it would pay for itself ten times over……

But no one knew how to run it……Apparently upper management was so concerned with the acquisition and the possibility of future profits, that in their rush, they had failed to plan for its management.

“Don’t worry. We will do it” they said. They chose a bright young parts manager and put him in charge. Since the facility was intact, they placed want ads for employees and prepared to open their doors. But being new to the porn arena, caused many of the local entertainers to become a little leery of signing up. “Let’s wait and see” was their approach.

Desperate, because of upper management pressure to get something done immediately, the young part’s manager asked some of the company’s most loyal employees to moonlight for him in their off hours………Opening day was a flop.

Jeers, hoots, holla’s were shouted at the dancers. The locals treated them with contempt. Who pays to see a middle aged pot bellied male clerk, dance around in a thong? Not only did the employees get shouted off of stage, but they failed to receive tips as well. Desperate, the young parts manger made deals from his car’s window with hookers off of Route 13. He asked them to come in and fill his roster. The hookers would do so only if he stipulated that they could ply their other trade within the club’s walls. He felt he had no choice but to agree.

Costs were running 200% more than anticipated. They had underestimate the clientèle. Southern businessmen, these locals were not. Heroin was sold openly.

They had bitten off more than they could chew. Those who had supported the diversionary financial venture, began to come under fire by stockholders. Over and over the CEO reassured them that all would work out.

Close it down to stop the financial bleeding he was told. No he insisted. That would be a failure. He would not do that. Instead we will staff it with all our employees. Every employee will work half a day at one of the stores, and the other half would be at night, inside the strip club.

As the staff levels increased, operations stabilized. However the client base hemorrhaged. Most nights were devoid of customers. Occasionally a group would arrive from out of town. The strip club soon sucked up more profits than the auto part’s stores could afford. For the first time, the company dipped into the red. It never recovered…………

Then came the vice squad. Arrests were made and prostitutes and management were incarcerated. Fines were levied against the holding company. There was no money left to pay them. Under court order, the doors were closed.

For whatever the reason, whether it was due to loyalty, or trust in his past brilliance, or personal fear, no one stood up to the CEO. All who came to advise him, left with head hung, hat in hand……No one pushed back…at least not hard enough…….and as the result,…..the entire enterprise was eventually auctioned off to pay the creditors no more than 18 cents per dollar invested……….

Moral of the story: Extravagant adventures sometimes end where you least want to go……Planning make perfect……

Relevance of the story: I’m sure you are smart enough to have figured it out by now.

I came across this item buried in the LA Times while trying to find some information on Turkey.

Biden was asked about the Armenian Genocide Bill. Here is some of his reply.

I support it. And the reason is simple: I have found in my experience that you cannot have a solid relationship with a country based on fiction. It occurred. It occurred. And to continue with this fiction that it never occurred — let’s shove it down their throats, that it never occurred — means that you never get to the place where you have a relationship based on a factual set of norms. And they’ve got to get over it.

Biden then continues:

I have very serious staff. My staff says, “You sure you want to do this, Senator? Because look at the circumstance right now, with Gul being denied the presidency […] and a real nervousness out there that the Army may very well take over. […]

My view is, it’s the same way I think we oughtta be dealing with Russia and every other country: If you want to be a member of the international community in good standing, it’s got to be based upon historical fact. You can’t pretend. And we’ve allowed Putin lately to pretend, and we’re gonna pay a hell of a price for it. We have not in the last six years made clear that we want you part of Europe, we want you part of us, but there are certain basic ground rules.

How does this view stack up against those of the current administration?

According to O’Neil, it was on day 10 of the first term of the Bush administration, that the topic of the first Security Council was the invasion of Iraq. “How can we go in.” “What excuse can we use to invade.”

Could someone in the inner, inner circle have said, let’s allow the terrorists to strike, sow fear upon the public, and blame Saddam? Of course not. We just sat on knowledge that “Bin Laden Determined to Attack Targets In US“. August 6th video: Crawford, Texas.

After 9/11 happens, Terrorist czar Richard Clarke gets hauled into the Oval Office. According to Mr. Clarke, he gets told by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, to find a connection to Iraq. Clarke explains that he has gone over it repeatedly. There is no connection between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. “Wrong answer” he is told. ” You are not looking hard enough. Find a connection between the two.” Ironically in the days immediately after 9/11, while the rest of us were reeling from the shock, our nation’s number one counter-terrorist was occupied searching for something that did not exist. After the invasion, we discovered………there was no connection between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.

Anthrax is released simultaneously with the air attack. Iraq is first blamed. But then later, when the anthrax is analyzed, we find out that it derived from an American strain only harbored in a secret US military facility.

Karl Rove reports to the inner circle that his marketing has determined that Americans will only support an invasion into Iraq, if they believe Saddam has WMD’s and perceive him to be a threat.

The drums of war start pounding. WMD’s become the tool. CIA analysts who do not subscribe to Iraq having WMD’s are demoted or fired. Tenet becomes politicized, and clear judgement is lost. Cheney is given his own reading room in Langley Field to personally go over satellite intelligence to find evidence of WMD’s in Iraq. (When did he become America’s number one satellite expert?) Yellow cake and aluminum tubes are inserted in the State of the Union address. When an ex-ambassador writes an op-ed piece titled “What I didn’t find in Africa,” his wife is outed, to silence her (by law you are imprisoned if you speak within five years after leaving the agency, effectively silencing her.)

Powell is told intelligence is solid, ( he was apprehensive and skeptical) and he goes before the world, and with Tenet sitting behind him, shows photos of two trailers that were used to make hydrogen for weather balloons, and declares it is proof that WMD’s exist in Iraq.

Days later Congress votes to authorize Bush to use force in Iraq.

Now no longer a secret, the buildup of military surrounding Iraq, continues in the open.

What were the facts?

The best of our intelligence agencies could find NO evidence of WMD’s. The UN task force that was scurrying all over Iraq, could find no evidence of WMD’s. The best intelligence organizations in the world, told us that there was no way Saddam had any WMD’s. The British, French, Russian, Israeli, Chinese, as well as other Mid Eastern countries, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Djibouti, Kuwait all answered NO to Saddam having WMD’s.

Americans are told to expect mushroom clouds at any time, first by Cheney and then by Rice, and finally Bush..

After troops are in place, we decide after a brief meeting on the Canary Islands, to invade on Humanitarian reasons…..because, Saddam is a torturer…..No one should be allowed to remain in power for what they were doing to Iraqi citizens at Abu Ghraib.

We get a hot tip on where Saddam is; we bomb his ass anyway, despite our fake ultimatum’s clock still running, not yet having expired.

In other words, just as soon as the Supreme Court made it clear that there would be no recount in Florida,…… “We’re going to Iraq, Baby! This time, we are gonn’a get that guy………”

Oh did anyone consider what we do after we capture a country of 20 million people who hate each other? “Don’t worry about it Mr. President, its all under control. They got oil.”

Hat’s off to Cheney. He is the only one who had a plan after we invaded. 30 billion barrels of oil have disappeared without a trace.

This is all old news. But stringing it together and looking backwards over seven years to the beginning, one notices how the appearance of deception is prevalent. Even if one takes the laughable position that each of these mis-steps were misguided, and that those who were making them were just incompetent and wrong, the dark allusion remains, looking back over time, that impropriety occurred or had the potential to occur. As Scooter Libbey is now finding out, the direct hands-on influencing of events, gives one little place to hide when such activities are brought forth into the bright light of our justice system.

At the best, even if no high crimes or misdemeanors come to light, the United States of America was pushed along our current path of destruction, not by facts, but by fiction.

We were force fed a diet that (like most diets I’ve been on), was purely bogus. America listened to the sales pitch, America got suckered, America bit, and now we are paying the price.

We are paying the price all over. In our economy, in our deficit, in the quality of our education, in the quality of our environment, in the quality of our future political campaigns, in each of the categories, mis-truths, fake truths, and just plain lies are fed daily through our television sets by a media incapable of questioning what they are fed………..

As a nation, it is just a phase. It is not the end of the world, for we have weathered this same slop before. If memory serves correctly, we underwent the same collusion and silence on the part of the media, during the Hayes/Garfield/ McKinley, and the Harding/Coolidge/Hoover administrations. After each of these episodes, America attempted to correct itself with a Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and a Harry Truman.

These men were not bound by ideology, and yet today all are called up on as great leaders by both major political parties . Two of men had the presidency thrust upon them, having been sidelined as Vice Presidents until destiny transpired to bring them to the forefront. But they were bold, aggressive, and were willing to try anything if facts supported it. They also were advised to go forward with what could have been great misadventures: such as building a canal across Nicaragua, or nuking the Soviet Union in a preemptive strike, or declaring Taiwan to be a state of the US as Mao took over the mainland. But they, to our credit, wisely chose not to: the facts didn’t support it………………………

America needs to look a little harder at those candidates who are running this time. Having just been burned on a candidate who ran on an ‘agenda’, we as a nation need to be a little more circumspect. Those candidates who utter the “I” word, as in “I will”, or “I shall”, or “I am the best”, whose debates are a string or “I”, “I”, “I”, “I,” should probably be dealt with suspiciously. Those who deal with facts: “Iraq is like this now, this is how to fix it” are better served to deal with the myriad of problems they will inherit, the minute they finish taking the oath of office………

Just the facts, maam.”

George W's  Imperial Palace:  Baghdad

As the Bush administration struggles to weave together any positive pieces out of Iraq, into a quilt large enough to hide themselves and his administration behind, more servicemen die each day. More money goes bye-bye. More bad news filters back.

With everything going on I missed the anniversary of a deceit fostered on Congress by this administration. Just a little over a year ago today, Bush spoke before a large Chicago convention and said, ” We have now reached a turning point in the struggle between freedom and terror”, he said, pouring on the optimism. “Iraqis have demonstrated that democracy is the hope of the Middle East, and the destiny of all mankind. …….Years from now, people will look back on the formation of a unity government in Iraq, as a decisive moment in the liberty, a moment when freedom gained a firm foothold in the Middle East and the forces of terror began their long retreat.

Two days later an intelligence assessment (pg 471), classified as SECRET, was circulated among White House staff members that showed the forces of terror were not on retreat. It was a stunning refutation of the president’s forecasts most recently made in Chicago, just two days earlier.

In large print it stated: “ATTACKS IN MAY WILL LIKELY SURPASS APRIL LEVELS WHICH WERE THE HIGHEST EVER RECORDED. THE SUNNI ARAB INSURGENCY IS GAINING STRENGTH AND INCREASING CAPACITY DESPITE POLITICAL PROGRESS AND IRAQI SECURITY FORCES DEVELOPMENT.

This was next to a chart showing average attacks per day climbing consistently from January 06 at 72, up each subsequent month: 87, 95, 110, 113 in May 06. A ten point average daily climb would result in an increase of 30o each month. It is the trend that is noticeable, not the number of attacks. As we Americans back home were propelled towards a midterm election, we were being force fed on our progress in Iraq, not that we were steadily losing the battle of security.

This SECRET report continues: INSURGENTS AND TERRORISTS RETAIN THE RESOURCES AND CAPABILITIES TO SUSTAIN AND EVEN INCREASE CURRENT LEVEL OF VIOLENCE THROUGH THE NEXT YEAR. The picture could have not been darker.

The US had about 130,000 troops, about 80% of the height of 160,000, and the Iraqis had steadily added security forces and now had some 269,000 military and police. Many of these Iraqis had taken the lead, running security operations within Iraq, although even they had US military advisers embedded with them. We were doing all the right things……….why was it not getting better?

The SECRET transcript says more. ASSESSMENT: CONTINUING SECURITY AND SABOTAGE DIVERT RECONSTRUCTION FUNDS TO TRIAGE REPAIRS AND FUEL IMPORTS. PRODUCTION UNLIKELY TO MEET 2006 MINISTRY OF OIL TARGETS WITHOUT INFRASTRUCTURE REHABILITATION, ENHANCED SECURITY AND EXPANDED FOREIGN INVESTMENT.

The political front was preoccupied with the fight for control between the ministries of Sunnis and those of the Shiites. MINISTERS WILL BE POLITICALLY LOYAL TO THEIR RESPECTIVE PARTIES AND SOME MINISTRIES ARE LIKELY TO BECOME HAVENS FOR THE POLITICAL PARTIES WHO CONTROL THEM.

THREATS OF SHIA ASCENDANCY COULD HARDEN AND EXPAND SHIA MILITANT OPPOSITION AND INCREASE CALLS FOR COALITION WITHDRAWAL.”

SHIA MILITIA INTEGRATION MAY ALIENATE SUNNI ARABS, MANY OF WHOM VIEW SHIA GROUPS AS COMPLICIT IN EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS.

Other intelligence added to the bleak picture. It was at this time that advanced IED’s called explosively formed penetrators (EFP’s) were tearing apart our Humvee’s, Bradley’s, and even penetrating our Abrams. They were not that high tech, but required sufficient sophistication that they could not have been handmade. The high quality of machining and the higher quality of triggering devices had been traced to Iran. Some were triggered by passive infrared devices that could overcome US countermeasures.

It is obvious why this was not made public. If it had leaked it would have cause a fire that could have cost the election. First to fall would be the administration’s credibility. “Hey republicans, are you sure it’s not another WMD?” Second, if it were true, it meant that Iran was killing American soldiers, an act of war. Opponents of the original war had proposed that it would lead to war with Iran…..and here it was proving true. Third, the EFP’s were being fed to a few Shia groups in the south. Suppose the Iranians were to give the technology and knowhow to the militant Sunni’s, the group responsible for 95% of the attacks on US forces? Polls showed that 50% of Sunni’s had positive feelings towards the insurgency. Since Sunnis were 20% of the population of Iraq, that means that at least 10% of the entire population of 20 million, or at least 2 million, looked favorably upon the insurgency. It is now too late. There is no way to turn them around. To win, as republicans want us to do, we will have to kill 2 million people, one third of Hitler’s Holocaust totals.

Here is what we heard, the next day, if you dare remember. This is General Pace, Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff: ” Sure the attacks are up. Folks want this place to be ungovernable so that when it is ungovernable, we will walk away and they can take over. So you can expect the attacks to stay up because every day that Maliki and parliament meet it is a bad day for those who are creating the attacks.” The reporter asks: “so are they on the ropes?” He answered, ” they are on the ropes …………if this parliament continues to function, and this prime minister continues to function.”

” You are going to sound like Cheney…” commented the reporter. “You want to retract that?” “I do,” he replied. “I would like to retract that. Thank you. I appreciate that. I appreciate the courtesy.”

The reporter then asked about victory and how it might be achieved? He acknowledged that there would have to be self government and physical reconstruction of the country for that to happen. “Is this going to happen in your lifetime?” he was asked and he replied in true military fashion: “Yes it is. Well, I hope, yeah. I don’t know, “ he said. “I should retract that line. It can happen in my lifetime…….”

Here is the kicker. On May 26, two days after the intelligence assessment, and one day after Pace’s acknowledgment that we at least had very difficult times ahead, the Pentagon released a mandated public report to Congress entitled “Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq.” Although there was a report embedded in the middle of the 65 page document, that showed the attacks per week were over 600, the document put its most positive spin on stability and security.

Some of the happy talk: “Anti Iraqi forces, extremists and terrorists continue to fail in their campaign to derail the political process. and to foment civil war.” the report said, omitting any mention of the dark estimates lifted from the recent intelligence assessment. ” “More than 80 percent of attacks were concentrated in just four of Iraq’s 18 provinces”, it said as if violence had actually gone down. It failed to mention that those four provinces, included Baghdad, and contained 47% of the population. The report predicts that Iraqi rejectionists will maintain strength levels through 2006. But the report went on and completely fabricated this line: ” that the appeal and motivation for continued violent action will begin to wane in early 2007″. The Pentagon report to Congress flatly contradicted its own secret assessment two days earlier that said that terrorists and insurgents retained the resources and capabilities to ” sustain and even increase current levels of violence through the next year.”

Isn’t lying before Congress a crime?

So who’s to blame. You can’t blame the military. They are being forced to put their best face forward and spin positive the impossible task to which they have been given.

You can’t blame the soldiers. They truly are America’s best and are doing an amazing job. They have but one order: to do their duty. And they do it so well. When asked to serve, they stepped up, and anywhere they go, they make a large impact. If anyone is to receive the blame for this shame, it belongs, not so much to those who are responsible for putting our troops into this mess, but to those who abdicated their responsibility to pull them out on time, thereby abandoning them and leaving them stuck in Iraq.

The President is in denial. His administration can pursue only one option. We had this before, when the Nixon administration hunkered down, defending its cover up of the Watergate affair. We can yell at him all we want, but he can’t hear us…………

If America is to pull back from the precipice, and acknowledge that we can’t butcher the 2 million Sunnis required to win, and recognize that we need to pursue other options besides the military one, ir America is to change its destiny, the push that will tip the balance, needs to come from Congress. Not the Democrats mind you, for they do not have the 67 votes needed to overcome the certain veto. It will require the defection of Senate Republicans, one by one, away from the failed policies of Cheney-Bush who commenced a policy so flawed, that even our generals estimate that it will take the Holocaust of 2 million Sunni’s to win the war. It is strictly on the shoulders of these 18 republican (or independent) Senators, that all hope lies. If you have a Republican senator, they need to hear from enough of you, their constituents, to know that their jobs are in jeopardy should they fail. They also need to know they will be forgiven, if they change their votes right now. It is not the brave, but the fence sitters who now hold America’s future in their hands. The destiny of those who will not come back, lies in their decision. Those eighteen are in need of our prayers and our support. They need to know you care. Each voter who has a Republican Senator should take on as their personal responsibility, to call them and ask how long the are willing to prolong a dying cause. Tell them you know it will take the slaughter of 2 million Sunni’s for us to win? Tell them that is unacceptable for Americans. For without your pressure, calls, and letters, those eighteen would continue to plod along through a vacuum devoid of facts, spun by this administration deep in denial, and unknowingly throw this country’s reputation away for some cheap assurances of political loyalty.

Remember the movie Matewan? When courageous West Virginian miners stood up to the union busting coal companies, and risked everything to win their right to live as Americans should? Today, American unions aren’t the same. Perhaps spoiled by their success during the twenty’s, today they rarely show that much muscle and instead pat themselves on each others backs whenever they finagle an agreement that often capitulates to corporate owners, but, in turn, increases their own personal net worth as wealthy individuals.

Fortunately that is not the case in Iraq. In a little known story, the unions of oil workers, located in the southern area of Iraq near Basra, organized and stood up to first Bremer’s coalition government, then Halliburton’s storm troopers, and now the puppet government of Maliki. As we now are coming to realize, the current military buildup or Surge as it is called, which we all knew had little chance of overall success, is simply a political move to apply pressure and force Iraqi passage of the Hydrocarbon’s Act, which as mentioned elsewhere, guarantees a whopping 70% instead of a normal 10% of Iraqi oil profits to American oil companies. The surge is there not just to protect a few American supporters, but is intended to intimidate and to suppress any Iraqi opposition that would naturally be expected to occur whenever one nation is forced to give up its national treasure to another. But as is often the case, when one pushes too hard to exert a pressure, a counter-resistance grows beneath their thumb.

So it is with the Iraqi unions. Their broken country is saturated by corruption, fed by the US interests, Exxon-Mobil, Phillips-Conoco, and Chevron, all of which exert a strong influence upon those “oil ministers” who were groomed on these shores months before this war began. In this environment, it is only the labor unions who have found the moral courage, as did Americans of old, to stand up against impossible odds, and proclaim “no, this just isn’t right.”

What bravery those unions are showing against impossible odds, is even more admirable when compared to the ethics of those at home, right here in our “land of the brave”.

Unfortunately, the moral courage, once possessed by our reporters and newsman on which many of us were weaned during the Nixon-Watergate years, now seems to have ebbed somewhat. Today if one wants truth, only the blogs are speaking it.

Just recently Kucinich’s magnificent 50 min speech which only got to the floor by a rare parliamentary move, outlines for the first time on the hallowed floors of Congress, exactly the horrific terms we are forcing upon the Iraqi’s with this Hydrocarbon Bill. Any mention of this historical event was buried deep on the back pages of America’s mainstream media, or worse, met with silence.

But bloggers jumped all over it. One must shake his head in shame. How can one honestly explain why newspapers, which of course, are primarily funded through advertising revenues, could possibly be loathe to print, and want to bury, a news story that now rivals the Watergate cover-up as the prime example of our government going over the edge? Does not this Hydrocarbon Bill, developed here inside the Beltway’s oil-funded think-tanks, and now being forced through the Bush administration’s approved and appointed Iraqi ministers, when read fully, prove without a doubt that we went to war for oil? Can any reasonable person assume a different outcome? Can anyone also explain why none of 2008’s front runners, also funded primarily through large corporate donors, have dared to mention this outrage in any of their campaign whistle stops?
Afraid of something they must be.

Are PSA’s really that bad? Here is what the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (page 87) had to say about them.

“PSAs are the oil industry’s equivalent of sharecropping contracts. As with the latter, economic theory suggests that PSAs are inefficient contract forms because the FOC
does not receive its marginal product. Thus, the question arises how and why this inefficient form of an oil contract flourishes. Principal-agent theory helps to explain
how risks and rewards have to be balanced in order to nonetheless let this type of arrangement prosper. The fact that PSAs are one of the dominant exploration and
development agreements points towards their efficiency as an institutional arrangement for risk sharing even if they are inefficient in terms of economic theory. In that sense it can be argued that a PSA is a political rather than an economic contract.”

What this says in “Oxford”ese, is that PSA’s are simply one sided agreements, like slavery, that cannot occur in free markets where both parties are willing. They can however, occur in forced arrangements.

We have taken the Matrix pill. And now it is clear. This is why we went to war. This is why we are spending a Trillion Dollars. This is why Rumsfeld hamstrung the Pentagon so success on the ground could not happen. This is why Cheney was so adamant not to release the Energy Task Force’s documents to the GAO. This is why the Vice President went to such great lengths, resulting in his imprisoned chief of staff, to discredit the notion that Iraq did not have nuclear weapons. This is why, against US law, records of who visited the Vice President, were erased. This is why Wolfowitz was put in charge of the IMF. This is why, when the officers on the ground, who we were repeatedly told were the ones being listened to, said emphatically that the surge was a waste of men and money, many names were passed over until a military commander was found who would say, even if only indirectly, that he could support it.

But enough about cowardly squeamishness. I came to praise the Iraqi Oil Unions….

Just last week they received concessions from the Maliki government, and a strike was averted. This threatened strike would have, if it had occurred, shut down all oil flowing onto tankers out of southern Iraq. Those of you who understand Moslems, know that they place great symbolism upon certain numbers. Very important to them is the number 14. Article 14 in their demands states as follows:

14- Submit the draft of the new oil law for our union to study; we have reservations and questions concerning it.

If one continues reading one soon finds this clause in their list of initial demands.- Make a determination on oil companies’ profits margins on the basis of the amendments to which you agreed and to determine those margins according to the certification/attestation from the south region financial/tax jurisdictions, not according to the formula adopted by the Minister that has been deemed detrimental to our membership.

In American prose, that means “Don’t go with the American plan.” Perhaps I alone am guilty of showing my personal ignorance in my assuming that the barbarity of Saddam’s regime flowed through all Iraqis, and that the cruel bombings of civilians showed a lack of polish on their entire culture. I was somewhat take back by the civilized beauty of this statement.

It was our hope, after the fall of that statue, to witness the dawn of a new era marked by the recognition of the legitimate rights of our members in the oil sector. This sector that for so long has suffered injustice and been denied equity. Since the advent of this new era, we focused our efforts into effectively thwarting all attempts to exploit this sector and tamper with our resources. You have been informed of how we stalled foreign companies in their attempts to control our oil fields and refineries, and how we forced them to leave. In addition, we worked hand in hand with the ministries and agencies to accelerate the pace of oil production, and to safeguard the means of production, and raise awareness amongst workers of investing to boost the chances of success for the new era. Unfortunately, our demands for entitlements were ignored, despite four years of continued promises by ministry and government officials. In fact, we took our demands to the highest levels of the government.
We kept the prime minister apprized of our demands, but were disappointed when we came to realize that our demands fell on deaf ears. Throughout this period we worked to defuse anger and resentment and address criticism leveled by our members who mistakenly thought of us as the ones failing to put forth their legitimate demands.

In a joint statement, the Iraqi Labor Unions demand that the new oil laws be renegotiated. Knowing more than anyone else, what was at stake, this group has tried everything possible to convince rational human beings that these laws are not fair to the average Iraqi citizen.

In some commentary spoken in London, Hassan Juma’a, President of the General Union of Oil Employees in Basra, gave some illuminating testimony.

Particularly he provide some insight how Iraqi’s feel towards us when it comes to our actions with their oil. One can see the heavy hand of Bremer was instrumental in many of the problems we face today.


Paul Bremer’s decrees banned the formation of trade unions and associations in order to protect US interests. [They said that the 1987 decree remained in force]. We expected that the living standards of the workers would increase, but a table of wages was issued by Paul Bremer with eleven steps, where the oil workers’ wage was set at the equivalent of $35. That was strange for a country which has the second largest oil reserves in the world.

Meanwhile, workers brought from Asia by KBR [a subsidiary of the US corporation Hallliburton, granted contracts by the occupation authorities for reconstruction] were getting twenty times as much.

Then, in subtle understatement he describes the struggle, that must have mirrored the struggle at Matewan.

In the oil union we objected to the wages decision. The US administration refused to listen to us, so we staged a strike on 10 August 2003. We stopped oil exports for three days. It forced the Americans, the Oil Ministry, and the Finance Ministry to scrap the two lowest scales in the wages table.

We think it’s important KBR gets out, because we believe that US strategy is that military occupation should be followed by economic occupation.

So why has it taken so long for oil revenues to pay the cost of rebuilding Iraq. The finger again points to Cheney. According to the Union:

The Federation has announced it “will endeavor to to prevent exploitation by foreign companies and their flagrant interference in production and exports,” blaming the companies for “exploiting the current political vacuum and chaos in the country.” They claim that the Iraqi oil industry, far from needing external investment, is in fact being deliberately starved of funds to the tune of $4.5 billion this year, simply to worsen the country’s negotiating position as infrastructure slowly collapses. In fact the unions have been active in voluntarily maintaining infrastructure to fend off the need for external investment. They are also working on publicizing these secretive deals and building resistance.


As evidence accumulates one story at a time, the trend becomes very disheartening to any American familiar with the story of our founding Fathers. It will be hard to explain to our children, our complicity in letting Cheney do to Iraq, what we rebelled against Great Britain for doing to us.

Cheney took us in to rape Iraq. That is the only conclusion one can reasonably assume when presented with all of the unadulterated evidence.

It is truly ironic that American values are much more prevalent in a labor union halfway across the globe, than they are here within our hallowed halls of government.

al Basra Oil Terminal

Thanks to Chatterjee and CorpWatch for this reporting. This is one more grain of evidence that this war was fought not for the benefit of America, but for the benefit of Cheney’s stock futures which expire in 2009, well after his current term has ended. Harsh as that statement may sound on its surface, if one uses this frame of reference as a polarizer, then the “idiotic decisions” that have led this country to its current situation inside of Iraq, actually make financial and rational sense.

 

What idiotic decisions? Those very decisions that seem to prolong the war, instead of resolving it.

 

The trail starts with a map found in Cheney’s drawer showing Iraq carved up into parcels of real estate. It runs through the Energy Task Force, through his private “Iraqi reading room” in Langley Field; it continues through deliberately misleading America in the case to invade Iraq, through micromanaging the personnel decisions within Garner’s team at the onset of the Iraqi reconstruction, through the shifting of funding from successful Iraqi programs to unsuccessful ones, through his insistence of “no-bid” contracts, and now through these new revelations.

 

What was revealed six days ago was that the meters measuring the Iraqi crude now being pumped into tankers at the mouth of the Euphrates, do not work. And have not worked since the invasion in 03. The responsible party is none other than Halliburton. This supposedly quick fix, is still pending. Basically no one, no one, can monitor how much crude is leaving Iraq.

 

According to this contributor at the Stars and Stripes, a back of the envelope calculation, that every centimeter lowering of a tanker equals 6000 barrels of crude, is how business is done. A miscalculation by a couple of inches, can mean the difference of 30,000 barrels or oil or at today’s price of 75 dollars a barrel, 2 ¼ million unreported dollars.

 

If you don’t already have stock in Halliburton, you need to invest today. In fact, being a betting person, I would say the odds are good that Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Mike Castle, and every other congressperson who votes in line with Cheney on this issue, has some Halliburton hidden somewhere in their portfolio. For they are certainly not voting for the American people.

 

For if truth is to be known, as long as there is chaos in Iraq, Halliburton will continue to reap enormous profits. Ironically, it is only when we actually do succeed, and the Iraqi’s can proclaim their own self rule, will the bonanza end for all of those holding stock options in Halliburton. Ending the war early, will no doubt cost Republicans dearly, literally.