President Mbeki’s brother: only the private sector will make Africa rich .
Jun 14th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Pres­i­dent Mbeki’s broth­er: only the pri­vate sec­tor will make Africa rich. Moelet­si Mbeki, the broth­er of South Africa’s Pres­i­dent, says that the pri­vate sec­tor is key to mod­ern eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment in Africa. But, he says, African lead­ers and West­ern donors are hold­ing it back. On the web­site of his orga­ni­za­tion, the South African Insti­tute of Inter­na­tion­al Affairs, he argues that: for­eign donors could play a more con­struc­tive role than they are doing at present through their cur­rent efforts to sus­tain the polit­i­cal elites and African states… []

Sounds like the wrong broth­er is Pres­i­dent.

Bush Pronouncements Boost Hezbollah Vote .
Jun 13th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Bush Pro­nounce­ments Boost Hezbol­lah Vote. The White House calls for democ­ra­cy in Lebanon have not pro­duced the results they were hop­ing for. In yesterday’s third round of vot­ing, neo­con poster boy Walid Jum­blatt was trounced by a Syrian-alligned coal­tion led by for­mer gen­er­al Michel Aoun.

Even more of a sur­prise was the sweep by Hezbol­lah in the east­ern Bekaa Val­ley where the group labeled by Bush as “ter­ror­ists” won all 10 seats. Hezbol­lah has so far won 33 seats out of the 128-seat par­lia­ment, the largest of any… [ Blog]

I real­ize that it’s pop­u­lar with oppo­nents of Bush to claim that he’s an idiot, but it’s just not true. The man is sim­ply a genius at find­ing new ways to sup­port ter­ror­ists.

Jun 12th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

MAKING THE CASE: BEWARE THE TRAP OF THE DOWNING STREET MEMO. Those who would make the case that the Bush admin­is­tra­tion lied about its inten­tions to invade and occu­py Iraq are in the process of com­mit­ting what could be a fatal mis­take. As almost every­one knows (whether they believe the case or not), the essence of the argu­ment is that Bush had decid­ed short­ly after […] [The Light Of Rea­son]

Arthus Sil­bur makes a good point:

bq. It was the accu­mu­la­tion of the­se devel­op­ments that made the fall and win­ter of 2002 and 2003 as sur­re­al as they were: while Bush, Pow­ell and oth­ers did their dance with the Unit­ed Nations, while every­one kept insist­ing that war was “a last resort,” it was per­fect­ly clear that events had begun on a scale that made war inevitable. It was impos­si­ble to believe that at the last moment, Bush would declare that the prob­lem had been solved and all the mil­i­tary per­son­nel and equip­ment would there­fore be moved out of the region. No one seri­ous­ly thought that, not for one sec­ond.

But they kept say­ing they didn’t want war. It was as if some­one had kid­napped you, tied you up, kept telling you he wouldn’t hurt you, pulled out a gun, care­ful­ly load­ed it in front of you, pressed the gun to your tem­ple, began to squeeze the trigger–and still kept say­ing he wasn’t going to hurt you. And then he blew your brains out–and in the sec­ond before you died, you thought: “But you said you wouldn’t hurt me.” If you believed it, you had no one but your­self to blame.

Ministers were told of need for Iraq war ‘excuse’ .
Jun 12th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Min­is­ters were told of need for Iraq war ‘excuse’. Min­is­ters were warned in July 2002 that Britain was com­mit­ted to tak­ing part in an American-led inva­sion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of mak­ing it legal. 

The warn­ing, in a leaked Cab­i­net Office brief­ing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back mil­i­tary action to get rid of Sad­dam Hus­sein at a sum­mit at the Tex­as ranch of Pres­i­dent George W Bush three months ear­lier.

The brief­ing paper, for par­tic­i­pants at a meet­ing of Blair’s inner cir­cle on July 23, 2002, said that since régime change was ille­gal it was “nec­es­sary to cre­ate the con­di­tions” which would make it legal. 

This was required because, even if min­is­ters decid­ed Britain should not take part in an inva­sion, the Amer­i­can mil­i­tary would be using British bases. This would auto­mat­i­cal­ly make Britain com­plic­it in any ille­gal US action. 

US plans assume, as a min­i­mum, the use of British bases in Cyprus and Diego Gar­cia,” the brief­ing paper warned. This meant that issues of legal­i­ty “would arise vir­tu­al­ly what­ev­er option min­is­ters choose with regard to UK par­tic­i­pa­tion”.

The paper was cir­cu­lat­ed to those present at the meet­ing, among whom were Blair, Geoff Hoon, then defence sec­re­tary, Jack Straw, the for­eign sec­re­tary, and Sir Richard Dearlove, then chief of MI6. The full min­utes of the meet­ing were pub­lished last mon­th in The Sun­day Times. 

The doc­u­ment said the only way the allies could jus­ti­fy mil­i­tary action was to place Sad­dam Hus­sein in a posi­tion where he ignored or reject­ed a Unit­ed Nations ulti­ma­tum order­ing him to co-operate with the weapons inspec­tors. But it warned this would be dif­fi­cult.

It is just pos­si­ble that an ulti­ma­tum could be cast in terms which Sad­dam would reject,” the doc­u­ment says. But if he accept­ed it and did not attack the allies, they would be “most unlike­ly” to obtain the legal jus­ti­fi­ca­tion they need­ed.

The sug­ges­tions that the allies use the UN to jus­ti­fy war con­tra­dicts claims by Blair and Bush, repeat­ed dur­ing their Wash­ing­ton sum­mit last week, that they turned to the UN in order to avoid hav­ing to go to war. The attack on Iraq final­ly began in March 2003. 

The brief­ing paper is cer­tain to add to the pres­sure, par­tic­u­lar­ly on the Amer­i­can pres­i­dent, because of the dam­ag­ing rev­e­la­tion that Bush and Blair agreed on régime change in April 2002 and then looked for a way to jus­ti­fy it. (link)

The brief­ing paper is here and mir­rored on my blog here. [Al-Muhajabah’s Islam­ic Blogs]

I doubt this will real­ly have any effect on Bush. His sup­port­ers don’t care, and if the Sen­ate won’t con­vict a Pres­i­dent of the felony that he’s con­fessed to on nation­al tele­vi­sion, there’s no rea­son to believe they would ever con­vict.

Memo: U.S.
Jun 12th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Memo: U.S. Lacked Full Iraq Plan. A brief­ing paper pre­pared for British Prime Min­is­ter Tony Blair and his top advis­ers eight months before the U.S.-led inva­sion of Iraq con­clud­ed that the U.S. mil­i­tary was not prepar­ing ade­quate­ly for what the British memo pre­dict­ed would be a “pro­tract­ed and cost­ly” post­war occu­pa­tion of that coun­try.

The eight-page memo, writ­ten in advance of a July 23, 2002, Down­ing Street meet­ing on Iraq, pro­vides new insights into how senior British offi­cials saw a Bush admin­is­tra­tion deci­sion to go to war as inevitable, and real­ized more clear­ly than their Amer­i­can coun­ter­parts the poten­tial for the post-invasion insta­bil­i­ty that con­tin­ues to plague Iraq.

In its intro­duc­tion, the memo “Iraq: Con­di­tions for Mil­i­tary Action” notes that U.S. “mil­i­tary plan­ning for action again­st Iraq is pro­ceed­ing apace,” but adds that “lit­tle thought” has been given to, among oth­er things, “the after­math and how to shape it.”

The July 21 memo was pro­duced by Blair’s staff in prepa­ra­tion for a meet­ing with his nation­al secu­ri­ty team two days lat­er that has become con­tro­ver­sial on both sides of the Atlantic since last month’s dis­clo­sure of offi­cial notes sum­ma­riz­ing the ses­sion. (link)

This time, the Wash­ing­ton Post is on the sto­ry right away, it seems. [Al-Muhajabah’s Islam­ic Blogs]

Some­what inter­est­ing, but I’ve nev­er heard any of the Cru­saders claim there was post-conquest plan­ning.

More MD5 Collisions .
Jun 11th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

More MD5 Col­li­sions. Two researchers from the Insti­tute for Cryp­tol­ogy and IT-Security have gen­er­at­ed Post­Script files with iden­ti­cal MD5-sums but entire­ly dif­fer­ent (but mean­ing­ful!) con­tent. (Oth­er MD5 attacks are sum­ma­rized here.) [Schneier on Secu­ri­ty]

MARK BRADY: Topic for Debate .
Jun 10th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

MARK BRADY: Top­ic for Debate. Mr Kim told ABC News Pyongyang had “enough nuclear bombs to defend again­st a US attack.” For the full sto­ry go here.

If true, is this a good or bad thing? And would the world now be a bet­ter or worse place if Iraq had had enough nuclear bombs to defend again­st a US attack in March 2003? [Lib­er­ty & Pow­er: Group Blog]

I don’t think it real­ly makes that much dif­fer­ence in North Korea’s case. If Iraq had nuclear weapons, the Feds wouldn’t have attacked them, but the Feds can’t real­ly attack North Korea regardless–South Korea and Japan wouldn’t go along with it.

My TiBook has finally recovered from a major hard drive directory problem that took me around two weeks to fix–including running DiskWarrior on it around the clock for almost eleven days! If something like that happened again I think it would be simpler
Jun 5th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

My TiBook has final­ly recov­ered from a major hard dri­ve direc­to­ry prob­lem that took me around two weeks to fix–including run­ning DiskWar­rior on it around the clock for almost eleven days! If some­thing like that hap­pened again I think it would be sim­pler to just refor­mat the dri­ve and restore every­thing from one of my oth­er Macs.

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