Are you familiar with Russell Mokhibar and his practice of asking Ari Fleisher substantive questions about the glaring inconsistencies he offers us in the name of the Bush administration? Here are a couple examples:
2/25/03: Ari, the Washington Post reported yesterday on its front page that "many people in the world increasingly think that President Bush is a greater threat to world peace than Iraqi President Saddam Hussein." Why do you think that millions of people around the world hold that view?...
2/19/03: Ari, you said last week that, "Every step will be taken to protect civilian and innocent life in Iraq." But Pentagon officials have said that under a battle plan called 'shock and awe,' "there will not be a safe place in Baghdad when we attack."...
Secretary of State Madeline Albright, when asked in a May 11, 1996 interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl whether the more-than-500,000 Iraqi children killed by the sanctions was worth it, Albright said, "It's a hard choice, but I think, we think, it's worth the price."
Civilian casualties did not occur accidentally as a side effect of sanction against Iraq; contrary to the Geneva Convention and moral decency civilian infrastructure such as electricity and water treatment was targeted. Please read that link and then this one, Australian Experts Warn Attack on Iraq Could End in International Court .
Here is an excerpt from an article on the "Shock and Awe" proposed conflagration of Baghdad:
Although missiles would likely focus on infrastructure including electricity and water supplies, an average of one missile striking a city of 5 million inhabitants every four minutes around the clock could kill and maim thousands of civilians.
"There will not be a safe place in Baghdad," according to an unnamed Pentagon official quoted by CBS. "The sheer size of this has never been seen before, never been contemplated before."
An excerpt from the International Court link above:
The group said even if the use of force against Iraq could be justified, the Geneva Convention significantly limits the means and method.
These include prohibitions on targeting civilian populations or civilian infrastructure and causing extensive destruction of property not justified by military objectives.
Intentionally launching an attack knowing it would cause "incidental" civilian casualties and which would be clearly excessive in relation to the expected military outcome "constitutes a war crime."
"The military objective of disarming Iraq could not justify widespread harm to the Iraqi population, over half of whom are under the age of 15."
Haven't the people of Iraq suffered enough? Saul Landau's article " five days in Iraq: Before the War".
It seems that Iraqi citizens would like to govern their own country, rather than have Tommy Franks administer it. Here we have Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a very respected leader given his perspective as leader of Iraq's largest opposition group. He has long been in opposition to Hussein. Looks like he has the bona fides to rule the nation. Entifad Qambar of the Iraqi National Congress also says installing an American military government in Iraq would be disastrous in the future; I'm guessing the INC, a group of western business friendly Iraqi expatriates would like to shoehorn their way into governance in the projected Saddam-less power 'Vacuum'
The high tech boondoggle "Missile Defense" has recieved a much needed reality check. This weapons system has done nothing succesfully other than enriching defense and high tech campaign contributors.
This Nicholas D. Kristof op-ed piece from the Times helps to put our current siuation in historical context . Really interesting, it touches on President Eisenhower's political confrontation with Gamel Nasser's Egypt. I do have to take issue with Mr Kristof's mention of Nicaragua (Cuba may have been a threat during the missile crisis, but otherwise? And Vietnam? Ho Chi Minh asked for US help in the mid 1940's...):
In the 1950's and 1960's, the hawks magnified the threat from Vietnam and Cuba. In the 1980's they obsessed about Nicaragua (only a one-week bus ride from Texas!). None of these threats were imagined, but they were exaggerated.
Any threat the tiny nation of Nicaragua had to the United States was not military. As a poor country that decided to put its peoples welfare above the profits of foreign corporations it was a threatening example of how Democracy should work. America cut their aid leaving them to look to the Soviet Union. As the present administration pushes to prosecute aggresion on Iraq it would do to remember the brutal Somoza dictatorship and the way our country installed it and kept it in power. Rumsfeld may have said something akin to this after delivering Reagans gift of gold spurs to Saddam Hussein.
" He [Somoza] may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch"
Franklin D. Roosevelt
The US administration buying cooperation with its military plans?
An excerpt from a larger article (with CNN video links) from those good folks at Buzzflash:
Then she (the reporter) started to press the issue by saying "they (the French) are quoting two US State Dept. Diplomats that Bush intends to give work permits to Colombia and Mexico."
WOW. WOW.... Ari just drew himself up with imperious indignation and said something like "you're implying that the President is buying the votes of other nations and that's just not a consideration" or words to that effect.
And guess what happened? The whole press corps, normally sheep, broke out in laughter... sweet, derisive laughter. They kept on laughing as Ari turned on his heels and strode out. Sheesh.