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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:
bq.
“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. [tow.com]

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
Pro­hi­bi­tion,

LEAP
, lead by Jack Cole, for­mer­ly an under­cov­er New Jer­sey
cop. [smith2004]
bq.
“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
pro­grams.
[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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