. "Don Rumsfeld is fond of historical analogies when pontificating about Iraq; he particularly favors comparisons to the Nazi era and the Allied occupation of Germany after World War II. Unfortunately, any historian will tell you that Rummy's parallels are invariably false, even ludicrous. So we thought we'd give the beleaguered Pentagon warlord a more accurate and telling analogy to chew on.
Try this one, Don. Imagine that British occupation troops in, say, Hanover, had been forced to abandon a major base, under fire, and retreat into guerrilla operations in the Black Forest - in 1948, three years after the fall of the Nazi regime. And that as soon as the Brits made their undignified bug-out, the base had been devoured by looters while the local, Allies-backed authorities simply melted away and an extremist, virulently anti-Western militia moved into the power vacuum.
What would they have called that, Don? "Measurable progress on the road to democracy?" "Another achieved metricof our highly successful post-war plan?" Or would they have said, back in those more plain-spoken, Harry Truman days, that it was "a major defeat, a humiliating strategic reversal, foreshadowing a far greater disaster?" You'd have to wait a long time - perhaps to the end of the "Long War" - to get a straight answer from Rumsfeld on that one, but this precise scenario, transposed from Lower Saxony to Maysan province, unfolded in Iraq last week, when British forces abandoned their base at Abu Naji and disappeared into the desert wastes and marshes along the Iranian border. The move was largely ignored by the American media, but the implications are enormous. The UK contingent of the invading coalition has always been the proverbial canary in the mine shaft: if they can't make a go of things in what we've long been told is the "secure south," where friendly Shiites hold absolute sway, then the entire misbegotten Bush-Blair enterprise is well and truly FUBAR (Translation: Fucked Up Beyond Any repair).
The Queen's Royal Hussars, 1,200-strong, abruptly decamped from the three-year-old base last Thursday after taking constant mortar and missile fire for months from those same friendly Shiites. The move was touted as part of a long-planned, eventual turnover of security in the region to the Coalition-backed Iraqi central government, but there was just one problem: the Brits forgot to tell the Iraqis they were checking out early - and in a hurry.
[ . . . ] Just a few months ago, the UK's Ministry of Defence was churning out "good news" PR stories about life at Abu Naji - such as the whimsical tale of the troop's pet goat, Ben, a lovable rogue always getting into scrapes with the regiment's crusty sergeant major, even though the soldiers "knew he had a soft spot for Ben." The goat, we were told, had enjoyed visits from such distinguished guests as the Iraqi prime minister and the Duke of Kent. Now this supposed oasis of British power has been destroyed, with the Coalition-trained Iraqi troops meant to secure it either fading into the shadows or actively joining in with the rampaging crowds and extremist militias. Meanwhile, the Hussars are reducing to roaming the countryside on vague, pointless, impossible missions, killing time, killing people - and being killed - until the inevitable collapse of the whole shebang.
The goat is gone. The canary is dying. The surrender and sack of Abu Naji is a preview of what's to come, on a much larger scale of death and chaos, as the bloodsoaked folly of Bush and Blair's war howls toward its miserable end. Goats and Hussars: A British Harbinger of American Defeat (Chris Floyd; August 31, 2006)
The true Iraq appeasers: IN HIS MOST recent justification of his Pentagon stewardship, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld reached back to the 1930s, comparing the Bush administration's critics to those who, like US Ambassador to Britain Joseph P. Kennedy, favored appeasing Adolf Hitler. Rumsfeld avoided a more recent comparison: the appeasement of Saddam Hussein by the Reagan and first Bush administrations. The reasons for selectivity are obvious, since so many of Hussein's appeasers in the 1980s were principals in the 2003 Iraq war, including Rumsfeld.
In all over 100 men, women, and children were systematically murdered. Fifty-three orphaned children were literally dumped along the wall of the Old City, where they were found by Miss Hind Husseini and brought behind the American Colony Hotel to her home, which was to become the Dar El-Tifl El-Arabi orphanage.
Bush’s Shift of Tone on Iraq: The Grim Cost of Losing: No one has been more willing to set out the new domino theory than the administration’s chief hawk, Mr. Cheney. ... For Mr. Cheney, this is a major rhetorical reversal. In the prelude to the war, he argued that ousting Saddam Hussein would usher in a new era of stability in the Middle East.
Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The Truth about the "Terror Plot".... and the new "pseudo-terrorism": Whatever happened on 10/8, it is not the majestic “success story” painted by the British and American governments. It is symptomatic of something far worse, the mechanics of which will never be truly understood in the absence of a full-scale independent public inquiry focusing on the 7th July bombings, but including associated British and western “security” policies which see Pseudo-Terrorism as a legitimate tool of statecraft.
Extract - Bush 'palace' shielded from Iraqi storm: THE plans are a state secret, so just where the Starbucks and Krispy Kreme stores will be is a mystery. But as the concrete hulks of a huge 21-building complex rise from the ashes of Saddam's Baghdad, Washington is sending a clear message to Iraqis: "We're here to stay."
An army of more than 3500 diplomatic and support staff will have their own sports centre, beauty parlour and swimming pool. Each of the six residential blocks will contain more than 600 apartments.
The prime 25-hectare site was a steal — it was a gift from the Iraqi Government. And if the five-metre-thick perimeter walls don't keep the locals at bay, then the built-in surface-to-air missile station should.
After almost four years, the Americans still can't turn on the lights for the Iraqis, but that won't be a problem for the embassy staffers. The same with the toilets — they will always flush on command. All services for the biggest embassy in the world will operate independently from the rattletrap utilities of the Iraqi capital.
Distrust of Washington in all of the Iraqi factions has robbed the US of what it believed was an easily won regional trump card: control of Baghdad. Iraq is a democracy in name only. The elected Parliament doesn't function and, even though they mouth support for the niceties of the democratic process, it is hard not to conclude that Iraqi leaders have more faith in achieving their goals by letting the violence run than by taking part in any US-managed national dialogue.
It's remarkable that George Bush has reportedly waited until now to vent his frustration at the failure of the Iraqis "to appreciate the sacrifice the US has made in Iraq". Ironically, about the same time as the August 14 White House meeting at which the President wondered aloud about the ability of yet another Iraqi government to turn the tide of violence, a Baghdad factory owner was mimicking the American leader for the benefit of The Age: "We give them Pepsi, the internet and mobile phones and they're still not happy. What more do they want?"
The US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants estimates that close to 900,000 Iraqis have fled since 2003. Iraqi Airways has more than doubled flights to Damascus, bus services on the treacherous desert route to Jordan have gone from two to 50 a day, and taxi fares to Amman have increased from $US200 to $US750.
As statistics cry failure on so many fronts, Washington's stated plan for US forces in Iraq to "stand down as the new Iraqi forces stand up" is being shredded daily, along with the lives of innocent civilians. Much of the terror on the streets of Baghdad is organised by private militias that have infiltrated the Iraqi security forces.
These militias are operated by the key parties in Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's administration — his government would fall without the political support of one of the worst offenders, the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army.
... A senior figure in Sadr's Mahdi Army told The Age: "We can get anything we need. We are a professional force … and after the victory for Hezbollah in Lebanon we feel stronger and more powerful because we have seen what a Shiite force can achieve.
"We will fight the Sunni till they have a clean heart towards Shiites. But we have to fight the American too, because they are with the Sunni against us."
Charles Sullivan, Why I am a Terrorist: According to the twisted logic recently espoused by Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, the failure to support illegal, immoral and unnecessary wars defines one as a terrorist. Let me be clear about where I stand: I know who the real terrorists are, and can name each one of them — Rumsfeld among the rest.
So if the failure to support a government’s wrongful policies makes me a terrorist—so be it. If speaking truth to power makes one a terrorist—sign me up; move me to top of the NSA and FBI lists of suspects. Send forth the assassins with their rifles. If exposing the lies and corruption that attends power makes me a terrorist—I will proudly wear the crown and bear the cost. I will cheerfully take my place alongside other terrorists with names like Thoreau, Debs, King, Gandhi, Einstein, Zinn, and Christ.
Mike Whitney, Going to War with the Leaders you have: “As you know, you go to war with the army you have. They’re not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
Haaretz.com, Gaza's darkness: Gaza has been reoccupied. The world must know this and Israelis must know it, too. It is in its worst condition, ever. Since the abduction of Gilad Shalit, and more so since the outbreak of the Lebanon war, the Israel Defense Forces has been rampaging through Gaza - there's no other word to describe it - killing and demolishing, bombing and shelling, indiscriminately.
Families have been killed in their sleep, while riding on donkeys or working in fields. Frightened children, traumatized by what they have seen, huddle in their homes with a horror in their eyes that is difficult to describe in words. A journalist from Spain who spent time in Gaza recently, a veteran of war and disaster zones around the world, said he had never been exposed to scenes as horrific as the ones he saw and documented over the last two months. (emphasis added)
Video (59 min), The Iron Wall: In 1923 Vladimir Jabotinsky, leading intellectual of the Zionist movement and father of the right wing of that movement, wrote: "Zionist colonization must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population - behind an The Iron Wall, which the native population cannot breach." First published in Russian under the title O Zheleznoi Stene in Rassvyet, 4 November 1923.
From that day these words became the official and unspoken policy of the Zionist movement and later the state of Israel. Settlements were used from the beginning to create a Zionist foothold in Palestine.
Bob Chapman, Train Wreck of the Week (September 2 2006): The Bush neocons have been accused by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias of funding, via millions of dollars, anonymous groups to undermine the government. The money is funneled, as it has always been, via AID, the US Agency for International Development. The Office of Transition Initiatives, which also works in “priority countries” such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Bolivia and Haiti, has overseen more than $26 million in grants to groups in Venezuela since 2002. A great deal of money is being spent to undermine the present government, which essentially is an act of war. The US is trying to implement regime change. In the past when that hasn’t worked they have the government overthrown or assassinate the duly elected leader. ... There is no democracy to be strengthened in Venezuela. Mr. Chavez was reelected by 57% of the vote. ...
We believe the elitists have a plan to take oil prices down to $60 a barrel, which could take gasoline down to $2.40 a gallon by the November elections. If that is correct then there will be no Bush action on Iran until after the election. OPEC is working in conjunction with the elitists to keep prices under control. ...