Saturday, August 14, 2004


Ledeen’s Iraq

For those who weren't sufficiently "intrigued" by my last post quoting Mr. Michael Ledeen (the present neocon program architect) to read his writings, I offer some illustrations from an article by Mr. Ledeen, "Panic as Policy?" published on Thursday, April 29, 2004 at National Review Online that relates to Iraq. I recommend reading the full article so that you can see the quotes below in their true context. It is more frighteningly revealing. An example:

"Like many others, I would have preferred our armed forces to pursue the murderers of the four security men, and to arrest or destroy them and their henchmen in Fallujah… "

After the death of more than 700 people including some 200 women and children (not to mention the injured) to avenge the ugly murder of four security men by a few villains through 21 days of bombing and mass punishment… the man wants more blood!

This is ugly! However, the article does contain a few amusing gems that demonstrate his "esteem" for democracy.


"We should have prepared the political battleground before the fighting ever started, by creating a democratic Iraqi government-in-exile…"

Creating a democratic Iraqi government-in-exile? I would like to know how one could do that!

"But internal divisions within the Bush administration proved intractable, and future historians will no doubt marvel at the fact that more passion and more man hours were spent fighting Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress than combating the likes of Moqtada and the remnants of Saddam's security forces. Indeed, the internal battle consumed countless hours in recent weeks, as is demonstrated by the cascade of anti-Chalabi leaks from his many mortal enemies at the Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency."

But these people were crying that the man was a crook! Well, Mr. Ledeen wanted to "construct" a democracy headed by this man who happens to be his friend (his own words) and he did not want anyone, including the State Department and the CIA to argue!

It is truly comic that the gentleman in question is now publicly supporting Moqtada.

"The depth of Iraqi revulsion at these two intemperate decisions can be probed by looking at the better Iraqi blogs (like Iraq the Model, or Hammorabi, or Iraq & Iraqis)."

Three blogs to gauge the "depth" of Iraqi public reaction! Please count this humble blog next time. A 75% majority against 25% looks better than one of 100% consensus!

"It would seem intuitively obvious that the rule of law is the bedrock of democracy, and that we should have devoted energy and passion to getting the process under way. Which brings us back to another failure: An Iraqi judge issued an arrest warrant for Moqtada six months ago, yet he was never arrested."

"An Iraqi judge" appointed by Mr. Paul Bremer cannot constitute "the rule of law"!! Incidentally, the very same judge has now issued a warrant for the arrest of his choice for the "democratic" leadership of Iraq: Mr. Chalabi.

He ends the article with a dictum from his mentor:

"Remember one of the early dicta of Machiavelli: If you are victorious, everyone will judge your methods to have been appropriate. If you lose, you're a bum."

Translation: Winning is everything…Might is right!
This is worse than "The end justifies the means".

Well, most of us know that he has already lost but he does not know it yet… unless you call causing so much damage to the US winning!

I f this is the caliber of the present administration's strategist, no wonder why the whole campaign has been such a mess.


AK, I'm fixing to read it. I hope Iraqis know, we're not all that, I can't even give a name to the behavior. Never mind, fascist comes close nuff to the bush cartel and his neocons.

I feel really bad what we're doing to you guys. I've been keeping up with the murdering and torture my cowardly commander and cheif is liberating you brave souls with. The media here is a joke, so I get Al-jeerzera the web. It's all over the internet so people are going to know just what these sick bible thumping thugs are trying to hide. See why they like to shut down free speech! How shocked they will be to see people everwhere standing up and ready to fight.

The emperor truly is naked. Time for another regime change here. Shall we let bush bunk up with saddam? I think that would be something to gloat about.

Stay safe
and Stand tall

I'm afraid that Mr.Ledeen's views are representative of such a large segment of US opinion that the problem of the US in the world is just not going to go away. The message is clear to all; arm to the teeth and prepare to defend yourself.

Congratulations on a superb blog.
Henrietta, UK

These cowards are just disgusting. The four security men are hired mercaneries, cold blood killers! These anamails use as excuse for their twisted pleasure to
arrest or destroy? Sick bastards. Jeffry Dalhmar if you know what I mean. These deminted devils should be in straight jackets.

they are the cowards. Hide behind army and wmd with kids doing their dirty work! I feel like throwing up.
Always thought bush was anti chirst. you can see they got no soul. Just darkness. It's in the eyes.

AK, here's a link with excellent detail of events that got us in this bloody mess in the first place. We were just tools for their madness. This comes from the 911 Family's who were the only ones brave enough to hold the necons accountable. This would have been classified and forgotten if not for their determination.
Enjoy, it made the big bad war president squirm and stutter, which was a treat to me :-)

What is the source for the civilian casualties in Fallujah? As I recall, the hospital official in the initial reports who stated "mostly women and children were killed" recanted his story in subsequent days and said that he felt he had to say those things or else the terrorists would get made at him.

"After the death of more than 700 people including some 200 women and children (not to mention the injured) to avenge the ugly murder of four security men by a few villains through 21 days of bombing and mass punishment… the man wants more blood!"

First of all, this is not true. The death of those people (whatever the true figures are) was to assert Iraqi Law over the area. Those who oppose that, got shot. It had nothing to do with revenge. Asserting control there means that the terrorists would not have a safe place to hide. Because control was not asserted there, terrorists went there, and then made car bombs. Then you turn around and complain about the car bombs. And instead of directing your complaints to the terrorists, or those who asked for the US troops to leave Fallujah, you direct it instead at the US! This is just whacko logic.

I'm not going to defend Leeden's "alternate plan" because I think what Bush actually did (ie the real plan) is the best (ie least worst) available. I don't think Bush has done a single thing wrong. So I'll defend Bush, not Leeden, on that one.

You had another complaint about the Iraqi judge not representing Iraqi law. That is not true either. Like it or not, the plan was to set up a normal country where freedom of speech existed and human rights were respected. This was done. Anyone who opposes protection of human rights etc loses any such rights themselves, and is subsequently shot/arrested. All the institutions are in place and are behaving as expected. You may not like it, but it's a done deal. If you want to reverse this, you need to overthrow the government. It is not technically possible to overthrow the government, because there is a massive disparity in firepower.

The only way you can dislodge this government is by voting it out of power. You will get an opportunity to do so.

Out of curiosity, can you tell me which Iraqi law you think is so bad that you would wish to see a different government in power so that you can change the law? The Iraqi laws look virtually identical to Australian laws to me, and I wouldn't want to change any significant Australian laws. They already give me most of what I want, e.g. freedom of speech, freedom of religion, opportunity to start a business, or go and work for whoever I want to create a good life for my family, etc etc.

AK: Iraq is lookimg a lot like the siege in WACO, on much larger scale however. As the US lied about Viet Nam before. The US is the terrorist, not the Iraqi citizens who dare stand up against the lies and the bombs. God grant you peace and freedom from the terrorist nation of liars and thiefs.

"Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrowss."
Martin Luther King


In a manner which is typical for him, but extraordinarily unusual for most others, Jacob Hornberger pulls several elements together and forcefully hits a very large nail directly on the head:

It would be difficult to find a better example of the moral bankruptcy and hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy — and why it has stirred so much anger, hatred, and terrorism against the United States — than the relationship of U.S. officials with Saddam Hussein, Ahmad Chalabi, and Iyad Allawi.

Despite all the highfalutin rhetoric about the U.S. government’s commitment to “freedom, democracy, and liberation,” nothing could be further from the truth. Ever since the U.S. government abandoned its role as a limited-government republic to become an imperial world interloper, the quest has been to support those dictators in the world who would do the bidding of U.S. officials, no matter how unsavory, corrupt, and brutal those dictators were. That’s in fact why the U.S. government, even while still clinging to its claim that it invaded Iraq to establish “democracy and freedom,” continues to proudly align itself with the brutal military dictator in Pakistan, who took power in a military coup.

That’s also why the U.S. government was an ardent supporter of Saddam Hussein and even delivered to him the weapons of mass destruction that were ultimately used as the excuse to invade Iraq, an action that has killed or maimed thousands upon thousands of innocent people, including both Iraqi civilians and military personnel — innocent in the sense that they had nothing to do with 9/11 and were guilty of nothing more than resisting an illegal invasion and occupation of their country by the most powerful nation in history or being at the wrong place at the wrong time when a missile, cluster bomb, or 500-pound bomb was fired or dropped in their direction.

When Saddam went independent, U.S. foreign policy dictated that he had to be replaced, and that was what the invasion of Iraq was all about — a regime change to substitute a regime that would do the bidding of U.S. officials for one that refused to do so. That the WMDs were used as the cover for the real purpose of the invasion is now repeatedly confirmed by President Bush, who says he would have still ordered the invasion even knowing that Saddam Hussein had destroyed the WMDs that the United States and other Western countries had delivered to him during the Reagan-Bush administration. Of course Bush would have invaded anyway, given that regime change was the goal the entire time, while the pretext for the invasion was the imminent threat of a WMD attack by Saddam Hussein that was used to terrify American adults into supporting the invasion.

Initially, the designated replacement for Saddam was Ahmad Chalabi, an unsavory character if there ever was one — a Pentagon darling who U.S. officials knew had been convicted of bank fraud in Jordan. Such character flaws have never concerned the U.S. government, however, any more than Saddam’s character flaws concerned them when they were supporting him. All that matters in U.S. foreign policy is whether the dictator will do the bidding of U.S. officials.


The Hand-Over That Wasn't: Illegal Orders give the US a Lock on Iraq's Economy

little noticed orders enacted by Bremer, the now-departed head of the now-defunct Coalition Provisional Authority, go to the heart of Bush administration plans in Iraq. They lock in sweeping advantages to American firms, ensuring long-term U.S. economic advantage while guaranteeing few, if any, benefits to the Iraqi people.

The Bremer orders control every aspect of Iraqi life - from the use of car horns to the privatization of state-owned enterprises. Order No. 39 alone does no less than "transition [Iraq ] from a … centrally planned economy to a market economy" virtually overnight and by U.S. fiat.

Although many thought that the "end" of the occupation would also mean the end of the orders, on his last day in Iraq Bremer simply transferred authority for the orders to Prime Minister Iyad Allawi - a 30-year exile with close ties to the CIA and British intelligence.

Further, the interim constitution of Iraq, written by the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, solidifies the orders by making them virtually impossible to overturn.

A sampling of the most important orders demonstrates the economic imprint left by the Bush administration: Order No. 39 allows for: (1) privatization of Iraq's 200 state-owned enterprises; (2) 100% foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses; (3) "national treatment" - which means no preferences for local over foreign businesses; (4) unrestricted, tax-free remittance of all profits and other funds; and (5) 40-year ownership licenses.

Thus, it forbids Iraqis from receiving preference in the reconstruction while allowing foreign corporations - Halliburton and Bechtel, for example - to buy up Iraqi businesses, do all of the work and send all of their money home. They cannot be required to hire Iraqis or to reinvest their money in the Iraqi economy. They can take out their investments at any time and in any amount.

Orders No. 57 and No. 77 ensure the implementation of the orders by placing U.S.-appointed auditors and inspector generals in every government ministry, with five-year terms and with sweeping authority over contracts, programs, employees and regulations.

Order No. 17 grants foreign contractors, including private security firms, full immunity from Iraq's laws. Even if they, say, kill someone or cause an environmental disaster, the injured party cannot turn to the Iraqi legal system. Rather, the charges must be brought to U.S. courts.

Order No. 40 allows foreign banks to purchase up to 50% of Iraqi banks.

Order No. 49 drops the tax rate on corporations from a high of 40% to a flat 15%. The income tax rate is also capped at 15%.

Order No. 12 (renewed on Feb. 24) suspends "all tariffs, customs duties, import taxes, licensing fees and similar surcharges for goods entering or leaving Iraq." This led to an immediate and dramatic inflow of cheap foreign consumer products - devastating local producers and sellers who were thoroughly unprepared to meet the challenge of their mammoth global competitors.

Clearly, the Bremer orders fundamentally altered Iraq's existing laws. For this reason, they are also illegal. Transformation of an occupied country's laws violates the Hague regulations of 1907 (ratified by the United States) and the U.S. Army's Law of Land Warfare. Indeed, in a leaked memo, the British attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, warned Prime Minister Tony Blair that "major structural economic reforms would not be authorized by international law."

With few reconstruction projects underway and with Bremer's rules favoring U.S. corporations, there has been little opportunity for Iraqis to go back to work, leaving nearly 2 million unemployed 1 1/2 years after the invasion and, many believe, greatly fueling the resistance.

The Bremer orders are immoral and illegal and must be repealed to allow Iraqis to govern their own economic and political future.


Lesser of two evils? Looks like a tie! I prefer NO EVIL, as it appears most of the Iraqi's themselves do!

So much for "democracy" American style.
China has same democracy as bush regime. Lucky Iraqi's. How can they be sooooooooooo ungrateful! Indeed!!!!!

Bush Cartel Prepares to Mask Civilian Massacre as Reporters are Banned from Najaf

BAGHDAD, Iraq As fighting resumes between U-S forces and Shiite militants, Iraqi police have ordered all journalists to leave the holy city of Najaf.
The order doesn't specify consequences of violating the request. But journalists say the police told them any reporters remaining would be arrested.

Police also told them cameras and cell phones would be confiscated -- and that all cars coming into the city will be searched.

Under the same order, all protesters have been told to leave the city.

The ban would mean the only news coverage of the ongoing fighting in Najaf would come from reporters embedded with the U-S military.

U-S military officials aren't commenting.


bush's DEMOCRACY:l01

Nick Coleman: Hearing Bush took some doing

T he president was visiting Mankato and Tim Walz wanted to see him. A teacher who has 23 years of service in the National Guard and who recently returned home from overseas, Walz wanted to hear his commander-in-chief.

He did.

But only after being threatened with arrest and subjected to a political interrogation. Welcome home, good and faithful soldier. You may see the president.

But keep your mouth shut.

(Intolerance is nonpartisan, so I make a standing offer to President Bush backers: If you are quashed by Democrats, I will report it.)

Walz, 40, supports John Kerry. But you don't need to know what Walz believes, and neither did the Bush campaign workers who interrogated him when he went to see the president speak in a Mankato quarry on Aug. 4.

The Bush visit was a huge event in Mankato, which had not hosted a president since Harry Truman. Walz got a ticket without trouble, but others were refused because they didn't seem rah-rah enough, including two teens rejected because they were baby Democrats.

One of the kids had his mom get tickets for the boys, in their names. The mom asked Walz to chaperone the boys. But the kids would not get to see the president.

Only supporters got into the quarry where Bush spoke to a sanitized crowd of 7,000. Not one person carried a sign in protest. But one -- one -- listened without applauding. It was Walz, and his thoughts were his own, unless someone was scanning his brain.

"It was uncomfortable," says Walz, who joined the Guard at 17 and teaches geography at Mankato West High School. "Where else in America will you find 7,000 people who agree on anything?"

Walz is a first sergeant in the 125th Field Artillery Battalion in New Ulm. He returned in April from duty providing security at a U.S. base in Italy. He has too much respect for the office of president to heckle one. But he almost got busted for escorting those baby Democrats.

After riding a Bush bus to the quarry, Walz and the kids got off to go through the metal detectors and have their IDs checked. Bush officials took the kids aside and thoroughly inspected them. When one was discovered to have a Kerry sticker on his wallet, they were ordered back onto the bus.

Walz objected, and he was asked to leave, too. "You're not welcome," a Bush guy said. "Get back on the bus."

Walz said he had a right to see the president.

So you support the president? a Bush guy asked. I didn't say that, said Walz. Then you're an opponent? I didn't say that, either, said Walz, thinking it was nobody's business.

"If you don't get on that bus," the guy said, "you'll be detained by the Secret Service for interfering with a presidential event."

"I don't want to get arrested," Walz said. "My wife will get mad because I'm supposed to pick up our daughter [Hope, 3] and make dinner. Do you really want to arrest someone who just got back from overseas, because he wants to see the president?"

The Bush guys backed down. They said they'd do him a favor if he behaved himself. He ignored the insult. They said the Secret Service was watching him. They let him in.

A week later, Walz is appalled by the freedom-loving citizens who say he shouldn't have gone to see the president.

"The attitude is that if you're not a supporter, why would you go? It's really disappointing. What happened to being able to listen to the other side?"

Walz listened. And made up his mind. On Wednesday, he was named Blue Earth County manager of the Kerry campaign. In case you have forgotten how America works, that does not make him disloyal. And no one can say he is not informed.

Unlike many people, Tim Walz has gotten to see the president.

Movers P.S.

My column about the movers who were prevented from making charity deliveries of furniture drew 200 e-mails. Many asked if the movers could charge a nominal fee, such as $1, to evade the law.

No. Moving companies must list their rates in their license. State law does not permit them to discount those established rates. But stay tuned: Officials are looking into the law and there soon may be more to report about this absurd situation.


Those they can't co-opt, they destroy

Najaf proves that the US will never allow democracy to flourish in Iraq

The US military offensive against Najaf is a dangerous and ill-judged escalation, revealing the violent reality of an occupation that has undergone only cosmetic change since the supposed handover of power to an interim Iraqi administration in June.

For more than a week, an aggressive foreign power has addressed an essentially domestic political question by means of tanks, helicopter gunships and F16s.

There had been a ceasefire in place between the US forces and their main opponents around Najaf, and mediation efforts had been effective in containing tension.

The current violence in the vicinity of one of Islam's most sacred sites appears to be a result of the failure of this mediation to co-opt Moqtada al-Sadr and his movement into a national conference, which the US had hoped would bestow a stamp of approval on the interim government.

The offensive is not - as claimed by the US-appointed interim government and by the US military - an action against outlaws, nor is it an attempt to establish security and the rule of law.

There is a great deal of random violence in occupied Iraq. Some of this violence is of a purely criminal character and some is of a terrorist nature with more or less vague political objectives - many of the perpetrators are so shadowy as to invite a widespread belief that outside powers are directly involved in fomenting chaos.

In the absence of a genuine accounting for past suffering and political crimes and of a process of reconciliation, there is also violence associated with score-settling by political groups.
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Not least, of course, is the military violence of the 200,000 foreign forces and armed mercenaries, and of the diverse groups resisting their presence in the country.

All these forms of violence are escalating, leading to a chaotic and catastrophic outcome.

The way to deal with this situation is not to pour petrol on the fire, but to look for an imaginative and honest political way out.

Having been appointed by the occupation authority under a corrupted UN oversight process, Ayad Allawi's interim government lacks any legitimacy whatsoever.

Its success could only be measured through its ability to address the needs of the Iraqi people, foremost among which is security.

The offensive against Najaf is the most crude and inept action possible, and it follows a long line of such actions by the occupation forces and their political leadership.

Some Iraqis hoped that the so-called transfer of power would permit a lessening of tension and a quick withdrawal of foreign forces from the cities, to be followed by greater cooperation between police and the population in tackling random violence.

It had been hoped that the police would become more effective in protecting doctors and other professionals from targeted kidnap and murder, and that homes, places of worship and other public places would become less insecure, and that efforts would be redoubled to address the abysmal failure to rebuild the infrastructure.

Instead, there is now a greater effort at involving the police and other new Iraqi armed forces in waging the United States' war-by-proxy against the political opponents of the occupation.

The collapse of law and order has little to do with Sadr. His is one of a number of forces with armed militia operating in the country.

Its control of poor slum areas and inner cities resulted from the chaos that was brought about by the occupation; it was not itself the cause of the chaos.

The physical destruction of state power, the interference in civil society institutions, and the violence and lack of legitimacy of the occupation were responsible for the emergence of new centres of power and authority that must now be integrated into the political process.

In particular, the Sadr movement has a wide appeal among young, poor, marginalised and traditionally edu cated sections of the urban population, and it is irresponsible to ignore or antagonise such a wide section of Iraqi society.

These are people who should be allowed to enter the political process through their chosen vehicle. They have a legitimate critique of the present flawed process, which is designed to serve the political objectives of the US administration and its few Iraqi allies.

But instead, the US occupation is trying to destroy or marginalise those movements, while also reinforcing existing inequities through media censorship and by heightening tension with neighbouring Iran.

After Najaf, where are US troops going? Are they going to encircle Thawra (Sadr City), the Baghdad suburb? Are they going to attack every poor suburb of every city from Kirkuk to Basra? And bomb every town where there have been large demonstrations in opposition to the attack on Najaf?

This offensive has already dealt a severe blow to the interim government. It has shown that it is unable to rein in the US presence, and can only fall in line with America's military imperatives.

It has shown that the US has no intention of permitting a genuine Iraqi political dialogue or the development of an inclusive democratic process.

The action in Najaf is also deeply symbolic. This is not only a Shia issue. Najaf is a holy site for all Muslims everywhere and has particular historical significance for Iraqis.


mpeachw, will you stop cutting and pasting from articles? If you want to know the answers to entire articles, they can be found at You may not understand the answers though, with your Communist/Islamofascist blinkers on.

If you have specific points of your own that you would like answered, ask them, and I'll explain. You may find a more conducive enviornment over at:

and you may find the answers already here:

No I won't. Weekly Standard! Spare me!

If you would like something from the Weekly Standard explained to you, feel free to post a message in:
and I'll do my best to explain it to you. Although it is all predicated on you being able to understand reality instead of knowing nothing except how to shout slogans. Here's a slogan for you - "Communism only killed 100 million people - let's give it another chance".

The "war on Iraq" is over. bush lost.


What are you using as a measure of success? The Iraqi holocaust is over. Iraqis now have freedom of speech instead of having their tongues cut out. Oil revenue is no longer being used to fund nefarious activities. It's one of those win/win situations. In another maybe 6 months there will be sufficient ING such that the Iraqis can take care of themselves. What more did you want? Overnight Utopia? Japan and Germany took 7 years and 5 years respectively. Iraq has been compressed to a bit over 2 years. An amazing feat. Not sure if that means that the Iraqis are smart or the Japanese and Germans are dumb, but regardless, it's a miracle. Thanks America!

Quoting M. Ladeen:
Remember one of the early dicta of Machiavelli: If you are victorious, everyone will judge your methods to have been appropriate. If you lose, you're a bum.

K Attaturk was victorious in Turkey--he made Turkey a Moslem nation, while suppressing much of devout Islam. For decades later (perhaps even until today?) it was/(is?) illegal for followers of Mevlana Rumi to openly practice their dance (at least in Konya). Up until the last few years, conservative Islam was suppressed, and had little or no effect on the Turkish government.

Now--let's see who approves of Attaturk's policies--shall we inquire of the devout Moslems? What about the surviving Pontic Greeks (or their descendants)? Maybe the Assyrians? Or perhaps the Armenians?
One gains such unanimity of approbation by eliminating ALL of the opposition, which Attaturk did not do.

Students of Central Asian history note the high culture which Tamerlane's descendants developed. However I know of no one who approves of Tamerlane's methods (perhaps they merely disapprove of his goals).

I will be very disappointed in the responder if I also am referred to as an Islamo-Communist.

Be Well,
Bob Grifin
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