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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… [Samizdata.net]

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… [Antiwar.com 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.

MAKING THE CASE: BEWARE THE TRAP OF THE DOWNING STREET MEMO .
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 regime 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 regime 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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