Saturday, June 03, 2006
The newly-elected prime minister of Iraq, Nuri al-Maliki, vowing to investigate the deaths of Iraqi civilians in what might be a vengeance killing by American troops in Haditha, is none too happy about the presence of US troops in Iraq, and is reported to have set a timetable for complete control of internal security by Iraqi forces within eighteen months.
As to the tactics of the occupying American ground forces and the seeming increase of 'collateral damages,' he told the Times of India, "I am not saying that they are intentional. But it is worrying for us ... We are worried about the increase of 'mistakes'."
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Despite the administration's glowing reports about how this economy is doing just great and is "strong" (whatever that means), the bidding sheets on the trading room floors spell a different story.
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks ended higher Wednesday, wrapping up a weak month on a positive note, with the S&P 500 Index putting in its worst May showing in 22 years, after concern over inflation, slowing economic growth as well as uncertainty over the outlook for interest rates plagued the market for much of the month.
It would be difficult to overstate just how dangerously supine the Congress has been in its abandonment of its oversight duties in regards this President's usurpations of Congressional authority.
It seems like forever that I have been arguing in these pages for Congress to take back its war-making powers, to reclaim its oversight functions of the various clandestine operations of the executive (NSA, the Defense Department's TALON project, etc.) and more realistically demand concrete results of our adventures on foreign soil, as well as reigning in unconstitutional Executive claims to perogatives.
Congress, as much as the President, is responsible for a looming Constitutional crisis; Gary Hart, a former presidential candidate, lays out our predicament in a few brisk paragraphs at the Huffington Post.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
The man on the podium in front of the kastle looked a lot like a smirking chimpanzee and was certainly screaming like one, "Now is the day of our national humiliation ... ! First there was the Big K ... then there was the Big V ... and today we are engaged in our own personal National Quagmire ...the Big I!!"
The crowd roared it's approval.
"And yes! we have reached the Turning Point, we can see the Light At the End of the Tunnel which is Mission Accomplished: stalemate and utter frustration is in hand and, and ... we are well and truly fucked!"
More roaring. I felt faint. It seemed to me that I had heard these words before, somewhere in a rotting jungle hard by the China sea warping the fetid ether as they croaked from the speaker of a bullet-riddled swift boat. The crowd was pressing closely around me and I was sweating like a Mexican field hand; I had to get out of there but my way was blocked by a business-suited, Gucci-eyed Secret Service man, thinly disguised as an RNC thug, his label button gleaming malevolently at me, his ear wired to the Great Spook in the Sky. Even as I stood there undecided as to which way to go, the words of the Fumbling Warrior washed over me:
"Democracy is on the march, and even though it's hard work, we can work it, as hard as we can, and it's hard!" The crowd nearly went berserk. "Freedom!" the chimp screamed. "It's hard ... it's ... it's hard work!"
It's hard getting out of this crowd, I thought to myself. How did I ever get in here? and why?
"We can measure progress ... the body count, I don't care about the body count, but we can measure that ... the bodies are exploding, they don't count ... women and children and the screaming ... it doesn't count, it's the democracy that counts, 'cause we caught their Number Three Man again and HE counts!"
Jesus, I asked myself, how many frigging Number Three men do they have? This is a nightmare, all right, and I really gotta get out of this crowd. The bats were due at any moment and danger was near. I could feel it: my embedded ID microchip was starting to throb.
"Our puppets are in place, the troops' morale has never been higher, and the oil is flowing! Surely the God that speaks to me is pleased with our Crusade!" Women began fainting. "God has granted our Marching Democracy great progress, progress that cannot be measured, even though we could measure it, progress that will march around the world, progress progressing as it marches aside the gutless French in their fancy French berets as our Green Berets stride the world for patriotism and uh marching for democracy, making the world safe for terrorisum!"
An aide tugged frantically at the Great Chimp's sleeve and bent to whisper in his ear. The radar-like ears of the smiling simian slowly swung back in the direction of the crowd, rotated, sweeping back and forth over the strict-constructionalists massed before him. They passed over me once, then twice, then they stopped: the chimp's ears were focused on me; I had been spotted. My microchip was positively humming now and the RNC doppelganger was turning my way, too.
"We have found the Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the Weapons are US!" I couldn't agree more, I mused as I edged my way to the rim of the crowd, the RNC stooge close behind me. "If you're not with us, you're against us!" The suit was joined by another and they began stalking me, grimacing as, no doubt, the Great Spook in the Sky screamed orders in their ears. The bats should be here any second, I thought. Suddenly my Raspberry went off and I pulled it from my pocket, scowling at the image on the screen, an all-seeing eye hovering over a pyramid. Perhaps help was on the way. I plugged in my earpiece and literally got an earful.
"The way is blocked," a female voice chirpped. "But we have assistance ready and the way will be opened for you. We never fail to come to the assistance of a Brother in need." Thank Ghod that Gore invented the Internet, I thought. "Look to your left." I did and I saw another suit shove his way through the crowd.
"Thousands have been detained and there will be thousands more! Just as no children have been left behind, no terrorist will be left behind, or even here, even if we have to invent them!" Well, the crowd went bonkers over that, our Great Simian was making no sense, but nobody cared, the smell of fear and loathing was in the air and I could use all the cover I could get. Around me the frenzied crowd began producing Korans and waving them wildly in the air, some ripping pages out of their copies and throwing them to the wind. Under the cover of the Koranic confetti I decided to make my move. Suddenly, a giant cockroach loomed up before me, it's mandibles clicking furiously. I was baffled at first, then realized it was talking in code ... C++. "Follow me," it was clicking. It jerked around and the crowd fell away before it as I rushed after, the suits close on our heels and ... appendages.
We cleared the crowd and an open field opened in front of us and in the near distance I spotted a black limo, a great Snark HTML Compiler, it's rear door open and the motor running. We scrambled for it. The RNC stooges had drawn their weapons and began firing pot shots at us as we dove for the safety of the dark interior of the Snark. With a slam of the door, we sped off.
It was cramped in the backseat, what with the roach being eight feet tall and all those ... appendages, but I didn't care, I was safe at last. Then the privacy divider lowered and I got a look at the driver as he turned to reassure us that we had made good our escape.
Good grief, it was Joe Lieberman!
"Not to worry, bubbala," he chortled, "as a double agent, I can get us through any roadblock."
Fearful and trembling unto death, I could only curse that Dean had been unavailable and pray that this clown knew how to drive.
This homage originally appeared here.