Saturday, April 08, 2006

Urgently Required Readin

Update: I have added a link to a PDF from the American Federation of Scientists which discusses the effects of a "small" nuclear device as a "bubker buster." Note that this is the type of weapon explicitly mentioned in Hersh's article and can by no means be described as "small."

I'm reposting my links to the Oxford Research paper on the consequence of an attack on iran below :

Please also read this:

Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?
Issue of 2006-04-17
Posted 2006-04-10

Required reading from the Oxford Research Group:

Link to Online Version.

Link to PDF

Link to online shop

I particularly urge my American readers to spread this document as widely as possible. The ORG have been consistently right.



Earth Penetrating Nuclear Warheads against Deep Targets:
Concepts, Countermeasures, and Consequences.
American Federation of Scientists (PDF)

Marines under attack, crying for their lives

Don't even think of complaining to me that the clip below upsets you.

The link below is to a video of Marines under attack and trying to take cover.

""Oh God ...

Anyone hurt? ...

Oh God ... "

As I keep on pointing out soldiers are human too. I've been in this situation and it's terrifying. And yet you somehow have to remain calm. So to my American readers a question:

You're sitting at home in comfort reading this - why aren't you absolutely furious? Why aren't you doing something about it? Why aren't you being fucking unreasonable and hounding your politicians demanding that these people, yes that's right, people, soldiers are people, not the one dimensional cardboard cutouts that civilians think of them as, are being brought back home now?. They're in a country where they have no business being. Get angry, stay angry and get them home.

Direct link:

crying for their lives


Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Significane of the Car bombing in Najaf

Today's bombing in Najaf is a very omninous development. It occurred about 300 yards from the Imam Ali shrine. Ali ibn Abi Talib (Imam Ali), whom the Shi'a consider to be their founder and the first Imam. As well as being a major theological center Najaf is a great center of pilgrimage from throughout the Islamic world. How great a center can be judged from the fact that only Mecca and Medina receive more pilgrims.

Attacks such as this are rare in Najaf, the city in which Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani lives and teaches , is heavily policed. The fact that the casualty figure from this bombing was relatively low by Iraqi standards shouldn't allow you to dismiss its significance. Any attack within Najaf is seen by Shiites as a severe provocation because of the city's status. Moreover tension is already high in Najaf apart from jostling for position between the various factions Najaf has recently seen an influx of Shiite refuges fleeing occupation fomented sectarian strife. They're not being looked after very well and resentment is growing. Couple this attack with incidents such as the recent blowing up of a Shiite mosque in Baquba, and what appears to have been an unusually heavy-handed raid by US troops in Kerbala [Arabic language link - mfi] against followers of the nationist politician Muqdata al-Sadr whom the US has repeatedly tried to kill and you have a recipe for a massive escalation in violence.

The United States and the UK are trying to stop an anti-American coalition led by al-Sadr and current Prime Minister brahim al-Jaafari from taking power in Baghdad. Readers will recall that that US forces and what appear to be one of their Kurdish militias recently raided a Shiite Mosque and Husaniyah in Baghdad to send a "little reality jab" and then tried to claim that the resulting pictures of unarmed corpses had been "staged."

While all of this is going on the US army continues to hand out beany dolls to show how nice they are. So that's all right best beloved do you see?


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Go and end the tyranny in Iraq

They gave "Freedom" to the Iraqi's but Rice and Straw are unable to walk the streets of Baghdad, and have to hide in the Green Zone. Why aren't the liberated brown people throwing roses at them? But of course we know what "freedom" means to Rice and to Straw. It means freedom for their troops to kill and maim, it means freedom for their troops to destroy Mosques and Husaniyah's. It It means freedom for their troops to anally rape prisoners. It means freedom for their troops to kill children in front of their parents, and parents in front of their children. It means freedom to use chemical weapons. It means freedom to repeatedly stab their allies in the back.

Of course it also means the freedom to try to overturn the election it means freedom for them to steal Iraq's money for "rebuilding" give that money to their thieving friends and then walk away saying that it is all the Iraqis fault.

It means freedom of religion too.

"'I am driven with a mission from God'. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."

Mr Bush went on: "And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, 'Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East'. And, by God, I'm gonna do it."

Mr Bush, who became a born-again Christian at 40, is one of the most overtly religious leaders to occupy the White House, a fact which brings him much support in middle America."

So now you know "freedom" to the US the UK and their allies in Iraq means all of these things - and worse. Next time you hear any American politician talk about "freedom" and "liberation" and "democracy" for people in the "third" world start praying for which ever set of non-whites they're discusssing. Because what that politician is really saying is:

"You're next."


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Cause and Effect

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this -- this [she chuckles slightly] is working very well for them."

Barbara Bush

Well when you get invaded by a country that permits one sixth of its own children to live below the poverty line what can you expect? These Iraqi children looking for something to eat in a garbage dump should be grateful that they're being treated just like Americans.

"The government has slashed subsidised food, despite rising poverty.

By Daud Salman in Baghdad (ICR No. 170, 29-Mar-06)
A government decision to cut food rations has hurt poor Iraqis who cannot afford high prices on the open market, say economists and Baghdad residents.

Despite rising poverty, the government has decided to cut the food ration budget from four to three billion US dollars in 2006, as the country shifts from a socialist to a free market economy.

The Iraqi government has provided subsidies on basic food items such as flour and sugar for decades. The United Nations expanded the programme when the country was under crippling economic sanctions.

However, subsidies have now been cut on staples including salt, soap and beans. Trade ministry spokesman Faraj Daud said the government will continuing to supply Iraqis with free rice, sugar, flour and cooking oil.

The ministry claims that items that were once scarce during sanctions are now widely available on the open market and therefore do not need to be distributed by the government.

Approximately 96 per cent of Iraq's 28 million people receive food rations managed by 543 centres. The UN World Food Programme estimated in a 2004 report that one-quarter of the population is highly dependent on the rations, warning that without them "many lower-income households, particularly women and children, would not be able to meet their food requirements".

Daud, however, insists that the ministry has studied the impact of cancelling the subsidies and found it would not hurt families economically.

For Qadiryia Mohammed, a mother of eight with a disabled husband who cannot work, the cuts are devastating.

"We have no income and totally depend on the rations," said Mohammed, 48, from Baghdad's al-Karkh neighbourhood. "The cut on some items and problems with food distribution might force us to beg.”

The ministry of labour and social affairs reported in January that more than two million Iraqi families are living below the poverty line and that poverty had risen by 30 per cent since the US-led invasion in April 2003.

Government figures show food prices jumped 26 per cent from December 2005 to January 2006, due in part to a general rise in inflation and high demand for meat and vegetables because of the bird flu outbreak.

Inflation has skyrocketed since 2003, and according to the IMF is expected to rise 15 per cent this year. The economy is expected to grow by 10 per cent.

Baghdad-based economist Munthir Hadi predicted that the food ration cuts, combined with a spike in inflation, "will increase number of poor families”.

"The Iraqi citizen still totally depends on the state," he said. "It's not easy to apply globalisation theories. This requires more time."

The Iraqi government, backed by the United States and the IMF, is shifting to a free market economy after decades of Baathist socialist rule.

The country received a 685 million dollar IMF loan in December 2005 and in return promised economic reforms, including raising the price of subsidised fuel - a decision that led to protests - and scrapping the food rations programme, according to the Iraqi newspaper Azzaman.

The government and IMF did not make public details of the reforms.

Iraq's food rations have been problematic since last year. Their distribution by the ministry of trade - which was recently charged with having the highest level of corruption of any ministry - has been poor. Last December, its inspector-general was fired.

The government has since allocated 490 million dollars to compensate five million families for the shortfall. But payments are based on August 2005 prices and for some families that isn’t enough.

"I can't afford 25,000 Iraqi dinars (14 dollars) for a canister of gas," said Mohammed. "The economic situation is hard and food ration is insufficient.”

Daud Salman is an IWPR trainee journalist in Baghdad."


Yup the Bush Administration's mission to treat Iraq's children with the same level of casual contempt with which it treats American children well on its way to being accomplished well done.

Y'awl have a nice day now.


That, commonly, Fortresses do much more Harm than Good

"I say that when princes or republics are afraid of their subjects and in fear lest they rebel, this must proceed from knowing that their subjects hate them, which hatred in its turn results from their own ill conduct, and that again from their thinking themselves able to rule their subjects by mere force, or from their governing with little prudence. Now one of the causes which lead them to suppose that they can rule by mere force, is this very circumstance of their people having these fortresses on their backs So that the conduct which breeds hatred is itself mainly occasioned by these princes or republics being possessed of fortresses, which, if this be true, are really far more hurtful than useful First, because, as has been said already, they render a ruler bolder and more violent in his bearing towards his subjects, and, next, because they do not in reality afford him that security which he believes them to give For all those methods of violence and coercion which may be used to keep a people under, resolve themselves into two; since either like the Romans you must always have it in your power to bring a strong army into the field, or else you must dissipate, destroy, and disunite the subject people, and so divide and scatter them that they can never again combine to injure you For should you merely strip them of their wealth, _spoliatis arma supersunt_, arms still remain to them, or if you deprive them of their weapons, _furor arma ministrat_, rage will supply them, if you put their chiefs to death and continue to maltreat the rest, heads will renew themselves like those Hydra; while, if you build fortresses, these may serve in time of peace to make you bolder in outraging your subjects, but in time of war they will prove wholly useless, since they will be attacked at once by foes both foreign and domestic, whom together it will be impossible for you to resist."

Map showing US camps/bases in Iraq

The title and the quote are both from Chapter XXIV of "The Prince" by NiccolÒ Machiavelli. Of course he was the real article not some cheapjack "Mayberry" Machiavelli.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Iran: Consequences of a War

Required reading from the Oxford Research Group:

Link to Online Version.

Link to PDF

Link to online shop

I particularly urge my American readers to spread this document as widely as possible. The ORG have been consistently right.


Sunday, April 02, 2006


I saw this photo last Thursday and somehow didn't get around to publishing it. This posting on Fayrouz's blog; "This Iraqi Woman ROCKS" jolted my memory. As Fayrouz says:
"I can tell she works at the hospital from her uniform and hand gloves. She's the champion."

I'll just add that throughout the Middle East to throw your shoe at someone is a gesture of extreme contempt. You may recall that in December last year the US' favoured candidate for puppet Iraqi prime ministerIyad Allawi ran away when he was pelted with shoes a stone or two and tomatoes in Najaf. Try reading and contrasting these two reports of that incident.

The first is from the Shia news network:

The second is from CNN.

My reaction at the time to the CNN story was bwaaaahahahahahaha!

Not enough that the US government spend millions of dollars trying to get one of the most hated men in Iraq elected but CNN get in on the act by highlighting his selfserving account of the episode. From Allawi's point of view an assasination attempt would have been preferable to what actually happened. The news spread like wildfire

I have a fantasy where Condisleazy meets a crowd of shoe throwing New Orleans residents, it would be appropriately Biblical but I digress .......

List of US bases and camps in Iraq

List of US bases and camps in Iraq