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Good riddance to the Shrub

Bush is soon to go, and while I'm no believer in Obama ushering in Nirvana, I’ll be glad to see the back of that blithering idiot...

Here are some nuggets from the brain(?) of that sample of the worst America has to offer – ignorance, cultural imperialism, bigotism, and guns...
"As governor of Texas, I have set high standards for our public schools, and I have met those standards."
CNN, 30 August, 2000

"It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it."
Reuters, 5 May, 2000

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."
Saginaw, Michigan, 29 September, 2000

"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office."
Washington DC, 12 May, 2008 (“A look at some of George W Bush's best 'Bushisms'”)

But the one that struck me the most was
"You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror."
CBS News, Washington DC, 6 September, 2006 (ibid.)

Continue reading "Good riddance to the Shrub"

Double think

To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully-constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them; to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy; to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved using doublethink. (Orwell)

From the novel that summarises most of the 20th century practical political ideology, 1984 (read it online).

Now have a look at this:
Cheney said that progress toward peace and stability in the Middle East would depend on responsible conduct by countries in the region, including respect for neighbors' sovereignty and compliance with international agreements.

"If you apply all these measures it becomes immediately clear that the government Iran falls far short and is a growing obstacle to peace in the Middle East," Cheney told the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (Reuters)


Israel recently bombed facilities in Syria, assisted by America (here) - sounds like a certain lack of "respect for neighbors' sovereignty" to me; not to mention the attack on Lebanon last year, and the list off American interferences can go on and on (Chile, Nicaragua, Granada, Afghanistan, ...). America's invasion of Iraq was illegal according to the then Secretary-General of the UN (here); Israel has repeatedly refused to stop illegal settlements and return the occupied territories to the Palestinians (e.g. here) - which "international agreements" does Cheney consider relevant?

Tunnel vision

"There isn't a doubt, I think, that Iran constitutes the single most important, single-country challenge to... US interests in the Middle East and to the kind of Middle East that we want to see." US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice

Well that says it all, really. The USA continues on its unilateral path, and wonders why people still don’t like them…

What about the kind of Middle East those who live there want to see? And frankly, why should we give a s**t about US interests? All the reckless pursuit of their interests have led us to so far is continuing mayhem in Iraq, continuing recruitment of murderous jihadists, and – in fact – the increase of Iran’s influence in the Middle East.

They say you can tell a person by their friends, and so why not a government by its allies: who are they selling arms to (thus contributing to a heightening of tensions and playing right into the hands of bin Laden et al.)?

Israel: a country that has illegally occupied the Palestinian lands since 1967, already has nuclear weapons, and is responsible for a whole number of other reprehensible acts – for example papering over the killing of a 13-year old girl.

Saudi Arabia: recently accused by the US Ambassador to the United States of “pursuing destabilising policies” with regards to Iraq, and of course no stranger to torture, discrimination against women, etc. (Amnesty International Report).
Continue reading "Tunnel vision"

Middle East nightmare scenario #5682

--This is an old post that didn't travel over into this blog: originally posted 4 Dec. 2006--

A read of these two articles, one by a “senior security adviser” (Sherwell) to the Saudi government, and another from the Sunday Telegraph has suddenly given me a glimpse into a possible, hellish and bleak, future of the Middle East.

As Iran says, “The kind of service that the Americans, with all their hatred, have done us – no superpower has ever done anything similar” (Sherwell). The Americans got rid of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, and have placed the Iraqi Shiites on the throne of Iraq; now Iran is well placed to extend its influence all the way to Syria, which is an ally by convenience, and into Lebanon – where the Shiites are in the ascendance too.

It’s important to remember that Al-Qaeda and their ilk hate Shiites almost as much as the Americans, which is why they get on so well with the Sunni/ex-Baathist insurgents in Iraq. Also: let’s not forget that the Wahhabism of the Saudi state is also resolutely opposed to Shiism.

Ironically, if the neo-con plans laid out in the infamous PNAC are to be believed, Iran was actually one of the main targets of the whole exercise…

Now: we see that America is going to have to pull out sooner or later and leave the mess they made of Iraq behind them. They will try to find some face-saving device, but it will happen.

If the articles are correct in their analysis, they will find themselves choosing between Saudi Arabia and Iran. They will probably choose Saudi Arabia because: it is an ally, they buy lots of oil from it, and it is less belligerent towards Israel.

So, expect covert funding of Sunni groups, etc. etc. And further strengthening of Al-Qaeda/Wahhabi groups. There will have to be a ‘rebranding’ exercise of ‘terrorists’ to cast the shadow over Hezbollah etc., as ‘terrorists’ who attack Israel. I’m curious as to how long it will take before they manage to take the spotlight off Al-Qaeda somehow… OK I’m probably being too cynical there, but there will have to be some glossing over of the fundamental differences between these two strands of radical Islam; and the same ‘terrorist strongholds’ the Americans have been attempting to pound into submission will suddenly become victims of brutal aggression by Shiite ‘terror groups’…


Obaid, Nawaf. “Stepping Into Iraq”. Washington Post. 29 Nov. 2006. 4 Dec. 2006

PNAC. “Rebuilding America’s Defenses. Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century”. 2000. 14 June 2006

Sherwell, Philip. “Saudis and Iran prepare to do battle over corpse of Iraq”. Sunday Telegraph. 2 Dec. 2006. 4 Dec. 2006