Military planners and White House budget analysts have been asked to provide President Bush with options for increasing American forces in Iraq by 20,000 or more. The request indicates that the option of a major "surge" in troop strength is gaining ground as part of a White House strategy review, senior administration officials said Friday.
[. . .]
Officials said that the options being considered included the deployment of upwards of 50,000 additional troops, but that the political, training and recruiting obstacles to an increase larger than 20,000 to 30,000 troops would be prohibitive.
At present, only about 17,000 American soldiers are actively involved in the effort to secure Baghdad, so even the low end of the proposals being considered by military and budget officials could more than double the size of that force.
The above is from Michael R. Gordon and David E. Sanger's "Options Sought for Surge in U.S. Troops to Stabilize Iraq" in this morning's New York Times and you can practically see the stains at the crotch of Gordo's pants. 'Political obstacles'? That would be the will of the people which is supposed to be the dominating force in a democracy (with built in controls to deal with 'mob hysteria') but it's an aside in the world of Gordo where officials are all that matters (he suffers from both war lust and 'official hysteria'). The people speak . . . and the administration and the New York Times ignore them.
The second article on Iraq can (and will be) dismissed just by noting the title, "In Farewell, Rumsfeld Warns Weakness is 'Provocative.'" What ever gets it up for the sadist apparently. (Thereby explaining Abu Ghraib.)
And guess what? That's it. Now there are many other stories to cover. The Financial Times of London matters to cover both Rumsfled's exit (Demetri Sevastopulo) and the conference being held today in Baghdad (Steve Negus). Like Gordo and Rumsfled, the paper of record can't get it up unless it's war porn.
They also can't cover the important development. Is Alan Cowell snoozing in public again?
What will his excuse be for ignoring the development the same way he did the Downing Street Memos (a tiny aside in one report)? Dumb, ugly and useless as Pru once hailed him. The excuse with the Downing Street Memo silence, for many, was that they were waiting for the AP to pick the story up.
As noted yesterday:
Well AP has covered it.
What are we talking about? Colin Brown and Andy McSmith's (Independent of London) report on the statements that Carne Ross made to the 2004 Butler Inquiry (unsealed by parliament) that, prior to the illegal war, Iraq was known to be a nonthreat for war:
A devastating attack on Mr Blair's justification for military action by Carne Ross, Britain's key negotiator at the UN, has been kept under wraps until now because he was threatened with being charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act.
In the testimony revealed today Mr Ross, 40, who helped negotiate several UN security resolutions on Iraq, makes it clear that Mr Blair must have known Saddam Hussein possessed no weapons of mass destruction. He said that during his posting to the UN, "at no time did HMG [Her Majesty's Government] assess that Iraq's WMD (or any other capability) posed a threat to the UK or its interests."
Mr Ross revealed it was a commonly held view among British officials dealing with Iraq that any threat by Saddam Hussein had been "effectively contained".
He also reveals that British officials warned US diplomats that bringing down the Iraqi dictator would lead to the chaos the world has since witnessed. "I remember on several occasions the UK team stating this view in terms during our discussions with the US (who agreed)," he said.
"At the same time, we would frequently argue when the US raised the subject, that 'regime change' was inadvisable, primarily on the grounds that Iraq would collapse into chaos."
Turning to the the topic of women (which will be a lengthy bit after this excerpt), Martha notes Nancy Trejos' "Women Lose Ground in the New Iraq: Once They Were Encouraged to Study and Work; Now Life Is 'Just Like Being in Jail'" (Washington Post):
Browsing the shelves of a cosmetics store in the Karrada shopping district, Zahra Khalid felt giddy at the sight of Alberto shampoo and Miss Rose eye shadow, blusher and powder.
Before leaving her house, she had covered her body in a billowing black abaya and wrapped a black head scarf around her thick brown hair. She had asked her brother to drive. She had done all the things that a woman living in Baghdad is supposed to do these days to avoid drawing attention to herself.
It was the first time she had left home in two months.
"For a woman, it's just like being in jail," she said. "I can't go anywhere."
And that's one of the many realities for Iraqi women but it didn't start with a February bombing and anyone's who followed the issue can you tell that.
Now usually we note a program. I enjoy the hosts, I generally enjoy the guests. This week? I love Tariq Ali, Gore Vidal and Walter Mosely. I like Chris Hedges. I don't like He Who Shall Not Be Named.
The Mark Foley of the anti-war set (don't call him "left," don't call him part of the "peace movement," he's neither). Why the left continues to prop up the man CNN reported was arrested NOT ONCE BUT TWICE for attempting to arrange sexual meet ups with WHAT HE THOUGHT WERE 14-YEAR-OLD GIRLS is beyond me. He refuses to address the issue of his arrests and hides behind the "recrods are sealed" which doesn't mean he can't talk about it and doesn't mean he can't unseal those records. The gutter he drags himself out of each day stinks up everyone who gives him a platform and all the psudeo shock over Mark Foley's e-mails to 16 and 16-plus year-old males flies out the window when this creep walks in the room. We're supposed to hail him as 'pure' and 'honest' because he was busted in NOT ONE BUT TWO FBI stings so somehow that means the fact that he was trolling for fourteen-year-old girls who reportedly would then accompany him to a motel room and watch him whack off doesn't matter.
If what CNN and others reported was wrong, he could clear it up by speaking about it. He doesn't and he won't. He can't hide behind "this is a personal issue" because it's not -- grown men seeking out fourteen-year-old girls for sex is against the law. There is no "personal" to hide behind there is only creepy, disgusting and criminal.
I love Flanders but I won't be listening today. I do NOT SUPPORT the EXPLOITATION and ABUSE of women and I do not SUPPORT sexual relationships with children. The creep is repeatedly granted a platform. How low in the gutter are people willing to go?
I want to end the war too. But I'm not willing to get in bed with sexual predators to do that.
Others can have at it but they'll do so without my support.
And the damage he does long term to any movement is something no one wants to consider just like most turned away and pretended not to notice when he attempted to trash Cindy Sheehan earlier this year. He doesn't like Cindy Sheehan. Big surprise, he probably doesn't like most mothers across America because most mothers would not tell their fourteen-year-old children, "Oh, he's against the war, go to the motel with him, he's just jerking off."
But that's what the independent media says when they repeatedly give him a platform.
If he's innocenct, he should have opened the records a long time ago. "Personal matter" applies to issues such as not wanting to discuss a divorce, to not wanting to discuss a family member's sucide, etc. Public arrests are not personal matters.
And just because someone's busted (TWICE) in an FBI sting doesn't mean we accept the "I don't want to talk about it" non-explanation as an explanation.
In the public record, he has allowed it to stand that he was TWICE arrested for seeking out what he thought were fourteen-year-old girls to go to a motel room and watch him, A GROWN MAN, jerk off. He sought them out online.
As the public record reads, he thought they were 14-year-old girls but they were really some mean, nasty FBI agents. Poor baby.
If the public record is wrong, he needs to clarify it (and that means unsealing court documents). Until he does, he disgraces everyone who books him as a guest or gives him a forum.
I don't take sexual abuse lightly, I don't take child abuse lightly. What he was busted TWICE for attempting was, according to the public record (and he still refuses to address it), is the sexual abuse of a minor. I certainly won't support it but I also won't look the other way on it.
The whole thing is too disgusting and there are too many women and too many children who are the victims of sexual abuse for me to act like, "Oh, he's just coming on to talk about Iran."
Pray, pray, that no child listens to him at one of those forums, pray she's not fourteen and pray she doesn't give him her e-mail address, her i.m. address or her phone number. And if there's a third time, if there's a third arrest and maybe this time it's not an adult posing as a child to catch a sexual predator, maybe it's an actual child, everyone giving him a forum, everyone allowing a criminal to cloak himself in respectability is responsible.
Media Matters and FAIR rightly send out alerts when known racists are booked by the networks. It's past time that some on the left took a look at their own actions and while they avoid doing that, they better pray that He Who Shall Not Be Named doesn't get busted again. If he does, they're all culpable. They won't be held accountable in a court of law but they've given him a platform, they've allowed him to attempt to escape the public shame that should stick to him.
I have no patience for it. I know many other feminists don't address it because they feel the seat at the left table is always conditional (feel that way for good reason) but I really don't care. The public record says he was twice arrested for attempting to have sexual encounters with what he thought were 14-year-old girls. If the record is wrong, he could correct it in an instant by unsealing his court records. He refuses to do that. For the left, that should be the end of the story with him; however, he continues to be given a forum.
Considering that he's announced we'd be at war with Iran in the summer of 2005, in the . . . and it still hasn't come to pass, you'd think people would get tired of his excuses on that. They don't and there appears to be no fallout for booking a sexual predator.
He's an abuser. Any who still had doubts only had to watch the zeal with which he went after Cindy Sheehan. Again, I'm sure all mothers threaten him. They're the barrier between him and his lust.
If you're for adult males having sexual encounters with fourteen-year-old girls, continue giving him a forum. But as a feminist, I won't stay silent and act like that's okay. I won't bite my tongue on it or try to see the "other side."
Silence equals death and I won't enable his future victizimizations. I don't care if there's something embarrassing in the court records on another subject. When you're accused of being a sexual predator you either respond to that or you accept that the public record now reflects that's what you are. He's had approximately four years to respond and hasn't. Others can look the other way if they want, but I won't.
It's honestly surprising that for all the timidity by certain self-appointed gate keepers of the left, he continues to be offered a platform but then there's always been a double standard and it hasn't gone away.
When rape was still (wrongly) seen as something women "asked for," it took feminists speaking up and speaking out to underscore that it wasn't sex, it was violence. The same thing with spousal abuse which went from your lot in life to abuse. If others want to stay silent and enable the man the public record states TWICE sought out 14-year-old girls online for sex and was TWICE arrested for it (not in the distant past, in 2002), they can make their own peace with themselves but I won't play that game here or in my own life.
Is it okay for adult males to plan sexual encounters with fourteen-year-old girls? Running his articles, making him guests on shows says that it is. If the choices are to remain silent or risk being called some sort of a sexual prude, I'll go with the latter. It's wrong and people should stop providing him with a forum and with a pass. Quick, someone tell Ike Turner that if he'll speak out against the war, his battering of Tina Turner will be forgotten and overlooked!
I would like to believe that anyone, regardless of their crimes, could be rehabiliated. I don't mistake media gloss for rehabiliation.
On the topic of things to listen to, Rachel notes that WBAI offers the following next week (tomorrow and Monday):
Sunday, December 17, 11am-noon
THE NEXT HOUR
Actor/author/raconteur/Green gubernatorial candidate Malachy McCourt holds forth.
Monday, December 18, 2-3pm
CAT RADIO CAFE
Editors Linda Gordon and Gary Y. Okihiro on "Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment"; Avid Williams of the National Opera Association on the premier of H. Leslie Adams' "The Blake Suite" at the Schomberg; and feminist artist Linda Stein on her filmic run-in with "Borat." Hosted by Janet Coleman and David Dozer.
And the following community sites have updated since yesterday morning:
Rebecca's Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Cedric's Cedric's Big Mix;
Kat's Kat's Korner;
Betty's Thomas Friedman is a Great Man;
Mike's Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine's Like Maria Said Paz
Wally's The Daily Jot:
and Trina's Trina's Kitchen
It's Saturday, we'll go out with an excerpt from Margaret Kimberley's "Jimmy Carter and Israel’s Apartheid" (Freedom Rider, Black Agenda Report):
"I've been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa." -- Desmond Tutu
"It is wrong to suggest that the Jewish people would support a government in Israel or anywhere else that institutionalizes ethnically based oppression, and Democrats reject that allegation vigorously." -- Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi fancies herself to be a mind reader. She claims to know the thoughts of every Jewish person on earth. She simultaneously claims to know the thoughts of every Democrat in the country. The new Speaker of the House has more gifts than anyone could possibly have imagined.
Her declaration of clairvoyant ability came about because of a troublesome book that cannot be ignored. The book is troublesome because it reveals the extent of the human rights violations perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinians. The book can't be ignored because the author is a former president of the United States, Jimmy Carter. His latest work, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, is making life hard for Pelosi, other politicians and the national media.
Carter's book tells just a little of the truth about the occupation of Palestine. The response to this truth that is freely discussed in every nation on earth -- every nation except this one -- has been ugly and savage. Carter has been called an anti-Semite, a "Jew hater." Those are the rote responses to any criticism of Israel, but rote responses are a bit problematic when the target is a former resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Kat has a review going up shortly and Ruth's latest goes up this morning as well. The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
the new york times
michael r. gordon
paul von zielbauer
the next hour
cat radio cafe
the washington post
like maria said paz
sex and politics and screeds and attitude
the daily jot
cedrics big mix
mikey likes it
thomas friedman is a great man