More on the assassination of al-Hakim from Riverbend and
Aug 31st, 2003 by Ken Hagler

More on the assassination of al-Hakim from Riverbend and Salam Pax.

From stanleyscoop : “We should not march into Baghdad .
Aug 31st, 2003 by Ken Hagler

From stanleyscoop:
“We should not march into Baghdad . . . . To occupy Iraq would
instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against
us, and make a broken tyrant into a latter-day Arab hero
. . . assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a securely
entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight in what would be an
unwinnable urban guerrilla war. It could only plunge that part of the
world into even greater instability.” — Former President, George
Bush, in his 1998 book A World Transformed, co-authored with
Brent Scowcroft, Random House.
[End the War on Freedom]

Obviously the older Bush had a better grasp on reality than his son.

Gold is up to over $370/ounce now!
Aug 28th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Gold is up to over $370/ounce now!

America’s double standard infuriates rest of the world .
Aug 27th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

America’s double standard infuriates rest of the world. But the shooting down of civilian aircraft is a violation of international aviation rules no matter who is on board. The differences in the cases do not make the glaring inconsistency in the U.S. position any less evident — or any less familiar. It’s another instance — though not as dramatic as Iraq or global warming — in which our government resorts to international organizations and laws when it agrees with the position and ignores them when it doesn’t.

It is this double standard that infuriates so many people in the world: insisting others play by the rules, while we bend them at will because we can. (link)

I suppose we think people don’t notice this. [Al-Muhajabah’s Islamic Blogs]

There’s another glaring example of this double standard right in the article, although the author missed it:

bq. On Thursday, the U.S. government indicted for murder two Cuban fighter pilots and the former head of the country’s air force for shooting down two unarmed Brothers to the Rescue civilian aircraft in international waters near Cuban air space, resulting in four deaths.

The US doesn’t acknowledge the “authority” of the International Criminal Court, a position I totally approve of. However, the US has been “indicting” foreign citizens who have never so much as set foot in the US of violating US laws for years–this is probably where the Tranzis got the idea in the first place. The Feds need to stop acting like US laws somehow apply outside the US.

10-Year Newton Anniversary .
Aug 27th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

10-Year Newton Anniversary. The Newton officially turns 10. []

In Sader City incident, media misconceptions inflamed passions .
Aug 26th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

In Sader City incident, media misconceptions inflamed passions. The sense of outrage in the crowd was palpable as they marched through the streets of Sader city last week, hoping to show their support for Al Hawza and Ahl-el Beyt last week. But at least some of that anger may have been unwarranted. One week after the Sader City banner incident, leaders at al-Sader Martyr’s office have admitted that in fact no one was killed either during the incident or in the clashes that followed. Media misconceptions, and unchecked facts helped feed a whirlwind that brought half of Sader City out on the streets last Friday and left many chanting “We Want No American Soldier in Our City.”


That fact, however, hasn’t eased relations between either side. A full apology for the incident was issued a day later, but a group Sader City community leaders who met the Americans has refused to accept the apology and made even further demands. [<Iraq Today]

I suspect the Iraqis don’t understand how big a deal that apology is. It’s practically unheard of for the government to apologize to its victims–it’s much more common for the government to kill someone and then insist that he deserved it. At best they’ll make some statement about “mistakes were made.” I don’t know whose idea it was to apologize, but whoever it was was going way beyond what American citizens could expect in order to keep the Iraqis happy.

Bomb Targets Key Iraqi Shiite Cleric [ AP World News ] Also Sunday, Iraqi sources said U.S.
Aug 24th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Bomb Targets Key Iraqi Shiite Cleric [AP World News]

bq. Also Sunday, Iraqi sources said U.S. authorities were recruiting key ex-members of Saddam Hussein’s feared security service, working to expand intelligence gathering and root out the resistance that has peppered U.S. forces with guerrilla attacks and now resorted to terror bombings.

The Iraqis, closely linked to the Mukhabarat service, spoke only on condition of anonymity. They said the U.S. recruitment of about 100 former intelligence higher-ups had been in progress for more than two weeks.

Another example of what the Feds mean by “liberation.”

Al Qaeda Claims Responsibility For Power Blackout In U.S.! .
Aug 21st, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Al Qaeda Claims Responsibility For Power Blackout In U.S.!. A communiqu

Another Asinine Acronym .
Aug 21st, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Another Asinine Acronym. Wired News reports on draft legislation of the “Vital Interdiction of Criminal Terrorist Organizations Act of 2003, or Victory Act.”

Authored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the Victory isn’t just the latest asinine legislative acronym to come down the pike (the USA PATRIOT ACT, you’ll recall, stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act.) The bill, Wired News points out,

…includes significant portions of the so-called Patriot Act II, which faced broad opposition from conservatives and liberals alike and embarrassed the Justice Department when it was leaked to the press in February.

The Victory Act also seems to be an attempt to merge the war on terrorism and the war on drugs into a single campaign. It includes a raft of provisions increasing the government’s ability to investigate, wiretap, prosecute and incarcerate money launderers, fugitives, “narco-terrorists” and nonviolent drug dealers. The bill also outlaws hawalas, the informal and documentless money transferring systems widely used in the Middle East, India and parts of Asia.

Critics say the bill is an opportunistic attempt to link the fight against drugs to the fight against terrorism by creating a new crime called “narco-terrorism.” According to the draft, narco-terrorism is the crime of selling, distributing or manufacturing a controlled substance with the intent of helping a terrorist group.

Read the article here.

[Link via Free-Market.Net] [Hit & Run]

We can expect either a dramatic terrorist act, or a whole bunch of “warnings” about terrorism, as the Feds drum up support for this.

Nina Shapiro at Seattle Weekly via Alternet – Cops Against the Drug War – a story about Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, LEAP ,
Aug 21st, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Nina Shapiro at Seattle Weekly via Alternet –

Cops Against the Drug War
– a story about Law Enforcement Against

, lead by Jack Cole, formerly an undercover New Jersey
cop. [smith2004]
“Eighty-five percent of the crime associated with drugs is not
associated with people using drugs. It has to do with the
marketplace,” says Peter Christ, a former police officer in New York
state who originated the idea of LEAP. Turf wars, smuggling, violent
bill collection — all are typical drug-related crimes that are not
the result of being high. Moreover, LEAP argues, the illegality of
drugs has inflated their value to a point where addicts have to steal
to get their fix. “If we put 50-gallon drums out on every street
corner in America filled with drugs, we wouldn’t have the problems we
have today,” Christ says.

At the same time, LEAP argues that the prohibition has kept society
from regulating drugs in a way that keeps them out of the hands of
children, for whom it’s easier to buy cocaine than it is to buy beer.
As in the alcohol industry, LEAP says, legalization would also allow
the government to license and monitor businesses that sell drugs and
to set product standards that would prevent most overdoses. Says
Christ, “When you go to buy a bottle of Jack Daniels, you don’t have
to wonder if there’s a quart of antifreeze in it or rat poison.”
Legalization would further allow the government to tax this
billion-dollar industry and use the proceeds for drug treatment
[End the War on Freedom]

This is good news, since the only people I’ve met who actually support the drug war are cops and lawyers who personally benefit from it.

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