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What happened in the village of Isahaqi, north of Baghdad, on Ides of March? The murk of war – the natural blur of unbuckled event, and its artificial augmentation by professional massagers – shrouds the details of the actual operation. But here is what we know.

We know that U.S. forces conducted a raid on a house in the village on March 15. We know that the Pentagon said the American troops were "targeting an individual suspected of supporting foreign fighters for the al-Qaeda in Iraq terror network," when their team came under fire, and that the troops "returned fire. utilizing both air and ground assets." We know that the Pentagon said that "only" one man, two women and one child were killed in the raid, which destroyed a house in the village.
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It turns out that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presaged the recent comments by former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor about the growing threat of right-wing violence against the judiciary – and the concominant threat to American democracy. (What's left of it.) Both women emphasize the point that this "fringe" threat is being fed and exacerbated by the bellicose and undemocratic rhetoric of so-called mainstream Republicans, like felonious Tom DeLay, odious Bush bootlicker Tom Feeney of Florida, and Imamess Anne Coulter, with her fatwa calling for the death of Justice John Paul Stevens.
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Hardened cynics often accuse President George W. Bush of ruthlessly exploiting the tragedy of 9/11 to advance his pre-set agenda of killing a whole heap of foreigners. This is, of course, a calumnious slander against the Dear Leader's noble ambitions. For as he clearly demonstrated last week, Bush is also exploiting the tragedy of 9/11 to advance his pre-set agenda to kill a whole heap of Americans as well.

In yet another of those momentous degradations of public morality that go unremarked by the ever-vigilant watchdogs of the national media, Bush slipped a measure into the revamped "Patriot (sic) Act" he signed last week that will allow him to expedite the death penalty process across the land, the Austin American-Statesman reports.
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Here's an important story that for some strange reason is not on the network news or splashed across the front pages of America's leading newspapers:

SAS soldier quits Army in disgust at 'illegal' American tactics in Iraq.

...from the Daily Telegraph: An SAS soldier has refused to fight in Iraq and has left the Army over the "illegal" tactics of United States troops and the policies of coalition forces. After three months in Baghdad, Ben Griffin told his commander that he was no longer prepared to fight alongside American forces.

He said he had witnessed "dozens of illegal acts" by US troops, claiming they viewed all Iraqis as "untermenschen" - the Nazi term for races regarded as sub-human. The decision marks the first time an SAS soldier has refused to go into combat and quit the Army on moral grounds. It immediately brought to an end Mr Griffin's exemplary, eight-year career in which he also served with the Parachute Regiment, taking part in operations in Northern Ireland, Macedonia and Afghanistan.

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It was, by all reports, the most heinous terrorist act in history. A ruthless gang of religious extremists, driven by an insatiable hatred for Western civilization, killed multitudes of innocent people in a surprise attack that struck without warning, without mercy. The perpetrators – who posed as ordinary citizens, members of a law-abiding ethnic minority going about their daily business – took advantage of the burgeoning global economy to move easily across borders as they brought their vast conspiracy to its poisonous fruition.

But Western leaders, though they did sleep, finally roused themselves to action. One by one, terrorist operatives fell into their hands. In the face of such an unprecedented threat, the "gloves came off": captives were subjected to strenuous interrogation as officials worked feverishly to forestall any further attacks. Soon the hard evidence of guilt emerged: the words of the conspirators themselves, set down in black and white, confessing all, in copious detail, irrefutable.

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While much has been made of the recent poll showing that a majority of U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq think we should get out – heartening news for all those who oppose Bush's bloodsoaked war crime – the poll contained another revelation that should disturb anyone – anti-war or pro-war – who still believes in American democracy: the fact that some 85 percent of US forces in Iraq believe they are fighting to avenge Saddam Hussein's role in the September 11 attacks. (Alex Sabbeth at Consortiumnews.com has more on this, and on Bush's broader propaganda war, in America Anesthetized
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I am going to plug Chris's work - because that's what I do. It's a volunteer thing. I am not American but I care deeply for your country.
Chris Floyd is. And I hear his voice.

It's all about pollination.

Two up for Best Post and one for Best New Blog at the Koufax Awards 2005.

The Perfect Storm

by Chris Floyd

"The river rose all day,
The river rose all night.
Some people got lost in the flood,
Some people got away all right.
The river have busted through clear down to Plaquemine:
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline.

"Louisiana, Louisiana,
They're trying to wash us away,
They're trying to wash us away…."


-- Randy Newman, Louisiana 1927

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Crossposted at Empire Burlesque

This week, the Washington Post offered a grim overview of Iraq's epidemic of mental disorders, produced by years of war, upheaval and neglect "Iraq's Crisis of Scarred Psyches," (March 6). Of course, much of this psychological damage is the fault of Saddam Hussein and the brutal regime he installed: militarism, tyranny and the gross deceit required to maintain them and wreak serious havoc on the human mind, as Americans are coming to know too well. But there is a deeper history behind the unfolding nightmare in Iraq – a method to the induced madness – that is inextricably linked to the political and personal fortunes of two sinister twerps named George Bush.

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Crossposted at Empire Burlesque

This article originally appeared in the March 3 edition of The Moscow Times and is reprinted with full permission from the author and the publication in question. (EDIT)

Two weeks ago, an obscure, unelected, Republican-appointed official in California decided the future of the world. That future – at least for the next several years – will be an accelerating nightmare of war, corruption, repression, breakdown, atrocity and terror. That's because the loyal apparatchik has, with the stroke of a pen, guaranteed the perpetuation of the militarist Bush Faction in power in 2008 and beyond.

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Crossposted at Empire Burlesque

It is a well-known fact – except among the American media, the American government, and about 98.7 percent of the American people – that Iran is not a monolithic state where sheep-like masses bray with a single voice in chorus with their demented leaders, but is, on the contrary, a complex society where many conflicting opinions on matters political, religious, social, historical, etc., contend with each other in open debate. True, it does have a government dominated by repressive clerics, who exercise the kind of veto power over secular law that George W. Bush's vaunted "base" dreams of seeing established in the United States; but Iran is far more open than, say, Saudi Arabia or China, just to name two countries where the Bush Family and friends have long engorged their bellies through insider connections with the ruling cliques.

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The White House on Monday rejected a call by more than a dozen House Democrats for a special counsel to investigate the Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping program. President Bush's spokesman, Scott McClellan, said those Democrats should instead spend their time investigating the source of the unauthorized disclosure of the classified program, which "has given the enemy some of our playbook."
"I really don't think there's any basis for a special counsel," McClellan said.
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Sat Feb 25, 2006 at 03:14 AM PST

Pit Boss: Blair's Dark Kingdom

by caribmon

Britain's New Statesman magazine has put together a powerful package of stories detailing how the government of George W. Bush's beloved disciple, Tony Blair, is "persecuting innocent people, tearing up our freedoms and undermining the judiciary." The basis of the stories is a new, blistering report from Amnesty International on the degraded state of civil liberties in the UK today.

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