Saturday, December 10, 2005



now cooking at the The Church Potluck: BRAN MUFFINS

22 November 2005
Madness of war memo
By Kevin Maguire And Andy Lines

PRESIDENT Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals.
But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash.

A source said: "There's no doubt what Bush wanted, and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it." Al-Jazeera is accused by the US of fueling the Iraqi insurgency. {read the entire story HERE}

I don't get it. I listen to NPR all day. I get the BBC , NPR, Detroit News, and South Bend Tribune headlines delivered to my desktop daily. I pride myself in being a "news junkie". So how did I manage to miss this? It apparently has been the hot news item in the UK for over two weeks now. The UK's Attorney General is prosecuting two men for leaking this top secret memo! So how is it that it apparently is getting next to no coverage here? I am not usually one to be a conspiracy theorist. But how could the msm POSSIBLY be missing this one? It appears more like deliberate avoidance to me. Since the Bush Administration came to power, there have been a number of sensitive issues ignored by the media until the coverage on the net got so intense they were virtually forced to pay attention. I am beginning to become convinced that this is more than just incompetence or laziness on the part of journalists. It certainly appears journalists are being "discouraged" (a nice way of saying intimidated) from reporting on these topics.

This story is the second one I've read today that is leaving me with the sickening feeling that Dubya is more than just a likable, incompetent dolt. I believe he's become mentally unbalanced, and worse, so have key members of his advisory staff. How could any one in his/her right mind possibly believe that anything positive could come of bombing a respected news organization's headquarters. Especially on the soil of one of the few real allies we have in the middle east, Qatar. Not to mention that Al Jazeera was founded by the young, London educated ruler of Qatar in order to establish an independent, western style news outlet for the Arab world. This has to be a huge affront to a very important ally! What the fuck could these people possibly have been thinking? This story certainly casts doubt that the bombing of the Al Jazeera news outlet in Iraq, in which a respected journalist was killed was "accidental".

And how much worse off would the whole situation in the middle east be without Tony Blair? This isn't the first time we have seen evidence that Blair has dissuaded Bush from doing something completely rash and stupid!

The other story that leads me to doubt the sanity of Bush and certain of his "team" comes from NEW YORK magazine via Josh Marshall at TALKING POINTS MEMO. According to the magazine:
Bush-administration officials privately threatened organizers of the U.N. Climate Change Conference, telling them that any chance there might’ve been for the United States to sign on to the Kyoto global-warming protocol would be scuttled if they allowed Bill Clinton to speak at the gathering today in Montreal, according to a source involved with the negotiations who spoke to New York Magazine on condition of anonymity.

Bush officials informed organizers of their intention to pull out of the new Kyoto deal late Thursday afternoon, soon after news leaked that Clinton was scheduled to speak, the source said.

The threat set in motion a flurry of frantic back-channel negotiations between conference organizers and aides to Bush and Clinton that lasted into the night on Thursday, and at one point Clinton flatly told his advisers that he was going to pull out and not deliver the speech, the source said. (read rest of story)

This amounts to little more than an administration "temper tantrum". Does any one else detect a distinct lack of stability here?

I came across this from our friend Glenn in New Orleans. It breaks my heart.

Malaise and Despair

Malaise, despair, and suicide are becoming common now. And no one not here living day to day in this dark swamp comprehends or cares what is happening to us.

Each morning brings greater clarity to the vacuum of leadership at the local, state, and federal levels. We begin to see the decades of neglect and criminal disregard that gambled that a devastating storm would not happen. People whose job it was to envision the reality of late August did not do so, preferring to believe there was time enough to think about that tomorrow. And tomorrow was, of course, another day.

Unfortunately, tomorrow is yesterday now, and we are suffering. Does anyone hear? It doesn’t seem so. I begin to wonder if New Orleans wasn’t truly a unique American city – more unlike any other city in this country than any of us ever realized.

I don’t mean the picture-postcard aspects of New Orleans. Any place can be photographed in forms and shades of beauty. It’s the nature of pictorial representation to aspire to a degree of beauty even when its subject matter is the monstrous or the catastrophic. No, no one who has not lived here and submitted to the seductions of New Orleans can understand our grief.

She is a city of rhythms and keening voices, a sensuous city, tactile in her wet heat. She is a city of generations. People here lived in homes their great-grandparents had built. Elsewhere in the nation, people reside in cities where they have jobs. They stay in houses where they eat and sleep and wake to leave to drive to work again. Here, for more than two centuries, we have lived in homes in neighborhoods where we celebrated together the sacred rites of birth and life and passing and birth and life again and yet again, seemingly never to end until the end of time.

Can anyone not here understand what we risk losing? Is there anyone left to care?

I'd heard about the Al Jazeera story a couple of weeks ago on Air America and on Charles Goyette, a guy that is on in the morning on our local Air America affiliate. You get the feeling that some of the residue of Tomlinson at PBS is the reluctance of them to break potentially hot news stories. In their haste to be "balanced", they are leaving some stuff on the table.

I hadn't heard about the Josh Marshall stuff. I knew that Clinton's speaking was not looked upon favorably by the Bush Administration, obviously, but I didn't know how much jockeying had actually went on to keep him from speaking.
And nary a word about either in the MSM.
I don't get the whole Clinton deal. The Bushies have been cozying up to him over the past year so what's with their sudden 'temper tantrum' over his speaking at the summit?
Apparently blackballing Clinton was not enough to pacify them, since they still refused ("nearly every industrialized nation [notable exception being US] agreed") to join in any significant agreements.
When will these people realize, no matter how much THEY [fear] hate Clinton, the people of the world love and respect him. Poor Dubya just can't understand why them foreigners hate him so much but love that hillbilly Clinton.
dbdad - we don't have an Air America outlet here, unfortunately! And I believe you are probably right about the situation at NPR.

Because of time constraints, I hav gotten away from reading Marshall's TALKING POINTS MEMO, and Steve Clemmon's WASHINGTON NOTE. but I have to start to find time, they are really the best inside politics blogs around.

wanda - think this sudden fit of rage might have anything to do wth the Esquire cover declaring Clinton the most influential man in the world?
Since Bush doesn't compromise, he's grasping at straws to get out of Kyoto.
I honestly don't know how New Orleans' economy will EVER recover. EVERY level of gov't dropped the ball on this one. The citizens of Louisiana need to take back their power and see that things get done RIGHT for a change!
GWB said: "Since the Bush Administration came to power, there have been a number of sensitive issues ignored by the media until the coverage on the net got so intense they were virtually forced to pay attention."

Then I guess we should swarm like billions of bees and start reporting on this memo. It must be very intimidating to have powerful people threatening your job if you report. Maybe all the media needs is the massive support of billions of bloggers rising up to complain and riling up the masses. I'll link to this article with credit to you for finding it. C'mon, we've got work to do. :-) Who knows, maybe a hundred years from now students will be studying the bloggers and saying how we took back our country and created a new and better democracy. :-)
I heard that story too. The reason American's don't care? It's just the raghead tv station that airs hostage videos and Bin Laden's calls to arms. They don't provide any REAL news, DUH!
I think you nailed it Laura!
Yeah, and thats what Bush wants everyone to believe, even thought most journalism schools give al-Jazeera better marks for accuracy in reporting than any of the 4 major US networks.

I think VV is right.. we really need to be flooding teh netwith these stories.
Can't hurt! It's a great place to start.
Did you happen to read Seymour Hersh's article in The New Yorker a week or two back? He was on CNN, NBC, NPR etc. talking about it. The gist of it is that Bush believes that God chose him to be president at this time and everything he's doing is God's will. Cheney and Rove are truly running the country and letting Bush keep his head in the "heavens". Although this was not a surprise to me, it still hurt to read it.
Geez I thought that Canada was the only place that had politics instead of government. Both relieved and sorry to find out that this isn't the case.

Government would be nice. Abe Lincoln (government of, by and for the people) would be FLIPPIN FANTASTIC.

Where did all those guys go?
There are a whole bunch of people in my ex's family who truly believe that Bush was chosen by God to lead the nation.

My kids have been spending tons of time reading up on politics before every family gathering so they can do battle with there uncle Ton and aunt Teresa.
This is extremely disturbing. I wonder if Al Jazeera is taking any extra precautions.
OMG, things continue to amaze me that I think won't amaze me at how horrid the bushit empire is. And how he gets by w/ it. Seems the general public is so apathetic. If he would just get a blow job from someone we could impeach him!!

The piece on new orleans is so sad, made me remember how fortunate I am and how I had forgotten too quickly about the tragedies of that area. it's so easy when you aren't the one in need.
So what's the difference between God telling Bush to blow stuff up and God telling Osama to do the same?

Syriana is playing by our apartment, and I want to go see it before our Xmas vacation.
even a blow job wouldn't do the trick.. his supporters would think it was God's will he gat the bj!

since my son thinks that Chronicles of Narnia is to scary for my grandduaghter, Syriana has moved up to first place on my holiday movie list.
Ann said: "Did you happen to read Seymour Hersh's article...?" I didn't read his article, but I just caught him on CSPAN2 when I ran home at lunchtime. He was discussing the Patriot Act and "black" organizations and how there's so much more going on than we are aware of. It was a panel discussion and I only caught a couple minutes of it before I had to come back to work. I just checked CSPAN's website, you can watch it now. I'm going to keep watching and see if I can figure out who everyone is and what the point of the discussion is supposed to be.
Seymore Hersh is discussing bombing al-Jazeera. 12/09 1:26 EST)
Wow. Amazing what a tizzy Bill Clinton can STILL cause among neo-cons. All you have to do is mention his name and neo-cons start to foam at the mouth and rant.

And a dangerous religious fanatic is a dangerous religious fanatic, whether he's got on a turban and carries the Koran or if he's in a slick designer suit and carries a bible. All religious fanatics scare the holy livin' fuck outta me, 'specially the ones right here at home.
I didn't realise you hadn't had full coverage of this story in the US. The UK media banged on about far longer than necessary (since we were all appalled, but not surprised), because it was an attack against the media & the concept of a free press & they don't like that at all!

a number of European Leaders requested official confirmation/denial of the leak. When none was forthcoming, it was pretty obvious it was true.

It's old news here now. We're onto the results of the Iraqi opinion poll that says 71% are happy with their lives. I can't find a demographic spread of that poll anywhere!
Nice to see someone taking the alternative line on our Tone for a change. Almost everyone here seems to think he's a Bush puppet but I must live on a different planet and have to agree with you that without him and the British Army's ultra pro soft-shoe approach, there wouldn't be much of the middle east left.

We like Clinton over here a) because like Reagan, he was a comedy script writing itself for a while and b) quite frankly, he liked us while not many others did.
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