Meh Culpa

Splish Splash: Skimming

I finally got around to reading ProPublica, well into the depths of an article about Wikileaks and the Congressional Research  Service, an org that  pumps information only for members of Congress.   I am so not interested in CRS reports, but, now that’s another bag of tomatoes. is to spreading secrets as Madge was to dishwashing liquid.  Today I discovered a NATO report dated January 14, 2009, Metrics Brief 2007-2008 (.pdf file), that records a 45% increase in Afghan civilian deaths in the last year, while kidnappings are up 50%.   IED attacks, which have risen 27%,  are deemed the “single largest cause of casualties.”  Many of them would seem to be against the Afghan government, as attacks  against that entity have skyrocketed to almost 120%.  The document’s all graphs, slides, and stats,  so it’s a fairly easy read.

Another  link that caught my eye has to do with a white supremacist shot to death by his wife two months ago in a domestic violence homicide.   I suppose we should be a grateful public.  By gunning down her husband, the independently wealthy James G. Cummings, Amber Cummings of Belfast, Maine has potentially saved us from a “dirty bomb,” the makings of which were in her home.   No one,  from the coppers to Senator Collins, has any comment.  Natch.

In other news,  there’s the article “McCain Solicits Russian U.N. Ambassador” originally published at the conservative  WaPo last year.  At first I thought it was a sex story because that’s what sells,  but it’s about campaign donations.  Still, very droll.  The Russians despised McCain’s positions–and might wish they had a few missiles aimed at Sarah’s house–so they  wouldn’t have given his campaign any money even if they were allowed.   The article does show how far wrong McCain’s campaign could go, which makes it amusing and a tad pitiful.

A 2007 document alleges that the United States has violated chemical weapons conventions in Iraq.  I thought that was common knowledge.  I guess I was wrong.

There’s about 237 pages worth of SOP for Camp Delta (.pdf file) in Guantanamo signed by the nefarious Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller,  who was later sent to Abu Ghraib to make that facility more  Gitmo-esque.  The article preceding the .pdf file claims evidence of psychological torture, which I assume is about cavity searches and intimidation by military dogs.  There could be more evidence I’m not getting because it’s written in dull militarese and I’m short on time.

When I do get some time–after my next two exams and the paper about ovarian cancer–I’m going to look into the Counterinsurgency link, which boasts military doctrine for unconventional warfare used by US  Special Forces;  UK insurgency doctrine from 2007, or doing-to-the-Taliban-and-Al-Qaeda-what-they’ve-done-to-us;  there’s ” McCain’s real Petraeus doctrine,” about US trained death squads and a number of other slimy details the Pentagon doesn’t want you to know.  We’ve got all sorts of goodies here at Wikileaks, boys and girls.   I counted forty-three links, although some,  such as those under “Catalyzed analysis and reportage,”  may redirect and talk about related doctrine, reports, and projections.

Be good and learn a lot.  😉

February 19, 2009 Posted by | Afghan War, Afghanistan, Defense, Foreign policy, Guantanamo, Pentagon, Russia, torture, UK | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smuggled in: Scene After IDF Attack In Gaza on Christmas 2008

I found this video link on Global Research this morning after I saw photos of the victims of the war on Gaza (Trigger: viewer discretion strongly advised). The original video went to Google, but the quality wasn’t very good.  It was all huge pixels.  This video is the same one, as far as I can tell, but doesn’t contain the opening:

“Do I hate Jews?

I most certainly do not.

But let there be no doubt in anyones (sic) mind

Israel is a Terrorist State!”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(more about “Scene After IDF Attack In Gaza on Chr…“, posted with vodpod)

I do have opinions about Israel’s war on Gaza.  I think the United States and Iran are using Israel and the Palestinians–whether in Lebanon or in Gaza–as surrogates because they can’t fight each other.  Not really.  You think it’s bad now? The entire region would really blow up.  And just today Israel National News reported that:

The Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Sunday that Hamas was victorious over Israel in Gaza. He said that Israel’s announcement of a unilateral cease fire shows “the failure of the Zionist government to reach a victory over a courageous rebellion.”

They always say they’re victorious.  But still, surrogates.

And on our side, there’s always talk about how Israel’s actions are vindicated or how they have the right to defend themselves. And that may very well be.  Personally, I would say, “And how’s that workin’ for you?”   Have any of Israel’s tactics created peace in the Middle East?  I don’t believe so.

I also think Israel should have given the women and children and the elderly of Gaza an opportunity to leave.  (So many babies dead, so many)  When American media outlets talk about “casualties,” the number sounds bad–over a thousand last I heard.  But they don’t talk about the number of wounded, which have reached 1.5 million.  That’s a phenomenal number of injuries in such a short time.

I’m distressed by the reports that Israel has used chemical weapons. As recently as 2001 Israel used a  gas that caused convulsions in its Gazan victims.  During this war on Gaza–or incursion, whatever you want to call it–Israel used white phosphorous as bombs, which according to Editor & Publisher is “an illuminating device  only …  okayed by international law but such use is extremely risky and dangerous to civilians. The fires it sets cannot be put out with the usual water or fire extinguishers.”  Contact with particles of white phosphorous will result in burns that don’t stop, melting tissue down to the bone.  Inhalation can cause damage to internal organs and bones as well as suffocation, with tender pink lung tissue burning from the inside out.  From what I understand, white phosphorous is much like napalm.   You don’t want to see pictures.

What’s most devastating: aside from the nukes, which they’ve developed themselves, we’ve armed Israel.  I’ve got to say, though, even if Dubya hopped-to when Olmert called, he refused to let Israeli planes fly through Iraqi air space so they could bomb  Iran’s nuclear facilities.  I’ve got to give him that.  But otherwise, we have done little to restrain them.   We need to start now, so we can rein in that Middle Eastern arms race.  I hope it’s not too late. *

* I was born during the Cold War. We used to crouch under our desks during air raid drills. It was very clear to me the desks were no protection whatsoever.

January 18, 2009 Posted by | Bush administration, Israel, war crimes | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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