Top 10 Myths about Iraq in 2005

If you somehow happened upon this blog, but have yet to read Juan Cole’s “Top 10 Myths about Iraq piece in 2005,” piece published today, here is the link. Professor Cole’s Informed Comment blog is an essential component of my RSS Newsfeed (opml file).

The myths:

    1. The guerrilla war is being waged only in four provinces.
    2. Iraqi Sunnis voting in the December 15 election is a sign that they are being drawn into the political process and might give up the armed insurgency.
    3. The guerrillas are winning the war against US forces.
    4. Iraqis are grateful for the US presence and want US forces there to help them build their country.
    5. Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, born in Iran in 1930, is close to the Iranian regime in Tehran.
    6. There is a silent majority of middle class, secular-minded Iraqis who reject religious fundamentalism.
    7. The new Iraqi constitution is a victory for Western, liberal values in the Middle East.
    8. Iraq is already in a civil war, so it does not matter if the US simply withdraws precipitately, since the situation is as bad as it can get.
    9. The US can buy off the Iraqis now supporting guerrilla action against US troops.
    10. The Bush administration wanted free elections in Iraq.

Padilla Update

I wrote last week of the Bush administration’s attempts to further manipulate and even quash the Jose Padilla case to ensure that he would not receive a fair trial by any historic definition of democratic justice.

From a realistic point of view this seemed to be a case of BushCo toying with the judiciary to emphasize its unhindered/unchecked command, most especially in cases of unlawful mistakes.

Michael Luttig, who was shortlisted as Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s replacement in the Supreme Court, heading a uninamous decision in 4th circuit appeals court, wrote a “scathing rebuke of the government’s manipulation of the court system suggesting that the administration might have unjustifiably held Padilla as an enemy combatant.” He previously awarded the president the authority to hold enemy combatants, as Padilla was originally held and suspected, without charge (whilst still under GW’s spell pre-Alito)?

The government’s careless and downright wrong handling of the Padilla case is a textbook example of the dictatorial tendencies of our lawless commandantes.

Seattle Times takes these words right out of my mouth:

Let’s not forget the whole thing. This question of whether any president can declare a citizen an unlawful combatant and imprison him on a military base will come up again. It will have to be decided. Let’s decide it now.

Dante Chinni is remarkably clear in his column in the Christian Science Monitor: “a lot of people in Congress and the courts aren’t exactly celebrating the White House’s prosecution of the “war on terror.”

The Trib’s Steve Chapman, who I often have trouble reading, is most eloquent in his analysis entitled:

Ed Brayton and stcynic take it from there.

Frist: Cut and Run to Iran

Either someone hacked into to propose World War 3, or the Doctor has fully lost it.

IRAN’S RULING mullahs have waged a 26-year campaign to suppress dissent, support terror and pursue a nuclear weapons program. In recent weeks, it has become clear that international efforts to stop Iran’s atomic program have failed to bear fruit. Unless we act quickly, the United States will have a nuclear crisis on its hands…. The U.S. needs to act before a regime that has denied the real Holocaust unleashes another.?

…. talk about enabling/manufacturing/encouraging the enemy….

I am sickened that our senate majority leader would be so undiplomatic as to state the last line above for publication.

tsunami: 26 Dec 2004

One year ago, a surprise tsunami crossed the Indian Ocean following a 9.2-richter Earthquake at day break.

An estimated 225,000 lost their lives.

The tragedy of the greatest natural disaster of my lifetime did change the world; or at least exposed how the world has shrunk.

The best is yet to come, no doubt — there will never be another 2005.

Stormtrack has an archive of the footage that changed our perception of the world and human vulnerability here.

The Malkin Cartel links to a Flickr gallery of the missing….

Appreciated in light of the disrespectful strategy of her hard-right-blogging comrades in trashing the UN for not saving the world according to this UPI release. All I can say is: ask John Bolton to name three catastrophic humanitarian disasters that have occurred in 2005.

Let us celebrate the end of another year…. and hold the faux glamorization.