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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