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Posted: January 21-22, 2008, Draft edition

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1) The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.

Israel must bomb Iran for Bush: US Rep. advisor

Sunday, January 20, 2008 - ?2005


LONDON, January 20 (IranMania) - A senior Republican advisor says since it is 'politically impossible' for Bush to attack Iran, the job should be 'outsourced' to Israel, PressTV reported.

If Tehran does not halt its nuclear program, Israel will 'inevitably' wreak mayhem on Iran, wrote Norman Podhoretz in the February edition of Commentary.

Podhoretz, who is considered as one of the founders of neoconservatism, insists that Israel may even be forced to attack Iran's Arab neighbors to prevent them from assisting Tehran if the country acquires nuclear technology.

The neocon godfather is said to have a close relationship with President George W. Bush and is now serving as the foreign policy advisor to Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

Podhoretz stated a year ago that the current administration will strike Iran's nuclear facilities before the US president leaves office.

However, the US National Intelligence Estimate released in December concluded that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program.

Podhoretz claimed the NIE report made it 'politically impossible' for the Bush administration to wage war on Iran as the international community believes Iran's nuclear program is civilian.

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From the john birch society, 10-18-07;

 In August, (2007) Middle East expert Barnett Rubin claimed that Vice President Dick Cheney asked various neoconservative organs to call for the United States to attack Iran. Compliance quickly came from the American Enterprise Institute, Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, and others. Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton promptly told Britain’s Conservative Party leaders that the United States should deliver a preemptive strike against Iran and remove Ahmadinejad. Neocon stalwart Norman Podhoretz seconded the idea, even suggesting the use of our nuclear weapons to get the job done. Podhoretz is a senior adviser to Republican Party candidate Rudy Giuliani and is likely the stimulus for the former mayor of New York City calling for such an attack. Top GOP candidates McCain and Romney agree that using the nuclear option against Iran should be considered.

London’s Sunday Times for September 2 reported that the Pentagon has "drawn up plans for massive air strikes against 1,200 targets in Iran." The object is to completely destroy any military capability in the country. But Iran hasn't’t threatened the United States.

Mr. Bush claims to have agreement regarding his threats against Iran from Russian president Vladimir Putin. But Putin is on record stating that there’s no evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapons capability. And Iran’s leaders claim that they are interested only in generating electricity with nuclear power.

Last month, recently retired General John Abizaid, the former top U.S. military official in the Middle East, urged a completely different policy. He said that "there are ways to live with a nuclear Iran." President Bush and his closest advisers obviously disagree. But they are willing to live with a nuclear Pakistan, widely believed to be the nation harboring Osama bin Laden and the top leaders of al-Qaeda. Their willingness to start another war with an Islamic dominated nation, even while bogged down in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is extremely frightening.

One consequence of fours years of war against Iraq has been a sharp increase in Islamic extremism. The same result has occurred because of the United States’ continued action in Afghanistan. Imagine what a preemptive strike against Iran will produce.

note: for those of you who are unfamiliar with the ultraconservative, radically right wing birch society, see this wikipedia listing.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Iran Rising

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., October, 2007

These new Iran (threats and) sanctions are just the latest manifestation of Bush's unilateral International behavior. Iran has the right under international treaty to enrich uranium. Until Bush decided that international treaties mean nothing to the United States.

Shortly after taking office, Bush pulled out of the ABM treaty with Russia, ended negotiation with N. Korea, and attacked Iraq against international law. Intentional violations of the Geneva Conventions against torture shortly followed Bush's illegal invasion.

Bush has continued to arm and aid three nations who illegally developed and possess nuclear weapons, India, Pakistan, and Israel, while denying Iran their sovereign right to develop nuclear power.

Bush's unreasonable stance towards Iran has historical roots that go back to the Iranian deposition of our Dictator, the Shah of Iran, in 1979. The Shah, alongside Israel, were the twin pillars of American Might in the Middle-East, and all nations in the region lived in the shadow of their might. 1979 changed all that.

Since then, we have treated Iran in much the same pattern as we have treated Cuba: We do not recognize the power of nations controlled by American Dictators or American-backed Corporate Elites to determine the terms of their own legitimacy or sovereignty. This tends to piss people off.

Since then Iran has survived 22 years of American economic isolation, the brutal 7 year American sponsored war with our then-buddy, Saddam, and every kind of economic and political pressure we could conjure up. Despite, or possibly because of these obstructions, Iran has prospered.

The spirit of self-determination that fueled Iran's Revolution of Independence from America has now intensified, radicalized, and spread across the whole Middle-East. All of America's dictators in the Middle-East are now facing the same dangers the Shah faced prior to his deposition.

America has responded by distancing ourselves even further from our own values. We have hardened our support for our dictators, and turn a blind eye as they too kidnap, detain and torture their domestic political opponents. We sit by quietly as they threaten, imprison, and kill independent reporters.

Most disturbingly, we have created a legal black hole called "territories." This term trumps every law, Constitution, or international agreement that once held governments in check.

"Terror" declaring all who resist the American backed state violence used by the Saudi, Jordanian, Egyptian, and Israeli states to maintain their claims to legitimacy, to be "terrorists."

Bush's ill-conceived invasion of Iraq damaged the domestic political legitimacy of all of our Middle-Eastern allies from the very beginning of the war. Marching foreign troops into Iraq rekindled repugnant memories of British Colonial brutality, as well as the Crusades across the whole Middle-East.

Even more dangerously, Bush's failed invasions, and our impending defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan, have moved the body of middle-eastern opinion, not just to the point of sympathizing with the anti-American insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, but has fueled independence movements in Egypt and Saudi Arabia as well.

The real victim is not just the honor and credit of the US, but the corporate fascism of the United States has discredited the notion and practice of democracy itself.

The perpetual ugly ness of our Iraqi and Afghan occupations is fuel to the fire of every Middle-Eastern independence movement, and has greatly contributed to the rise of Iran, again, as the dominant power in the Middle-East, under its own government, rather than one of our dictators.

This is the great complication, and the driving force behind the increasing US pressure on Iran: as Bush's idiocy continues to drive our wars to failure and damage our Middle-Eastern allies and influence, our failures simultaneously feed the growth of Iran's power and influence.

Bush has stuck our arm into a bear trap. If he tries to pull it out, it will strip the flesh from our arm. If he pushes it in further, he will rip up fresh arm. Since Bush is incapable of thinking his way out of this crisis, we are fucked.

Bush's "solution" to the consequences of our Iraqi and Afghan disasters will be to spread the crisis to Iran. Bush is thinking that by bombing Iran into the Stone Age he will reduce Iran's ability to act on the regional opportunities our Iraq and Afghan disasters have thrown on their doorstep.

This too, like the Iraq and Afghan invasions, will fail. A regional war will follow any attack on Iran, and this regional war will end the era of American-backed dictators in the Middle-East.

Iran will still, ultimately, be the greatest beneficiary of the rapid Middle-Eastern de colonization that is occurring before our eyes.

Our bombs may kill people, but they feed the ideas that are driving our opponents to victory.

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Will Israel sneak attack Iran?

Israel threatens Iran with sneak attack, ap, 9-29-04

Is Israel Planning a Nuclear Strike on Iran? der spiegel, 1-8-07

Pentagon ready for spring attack on Iran, guardian, 2-10-07

Iran and Russia cooperating on mutual defense, BBC, Nov 13, 07

Israel ready to attack Iran, ap, 1-14-08

rogue nuke nation Israel fires ballistic missile, aljazeera, 1-17-08

US: Israel's Bitch, aljazerra, 1-17-08

Also See:

Corruption Updates 45, 3rd article on the page, Is a U.S.-Iran War Inevitable?

Corruption Updates 72, 2nd article on the page, "Lieberman: U.S. Should Weigh Iran Attack"

US generals ‘will quit’ if Bush orders Iran attack, Washington times on line, February 25, 2007

Uneasy allies in historic summit: Iran Secures Northern Border with Russia Anticipating hostilities from all other Quarters, BBC News, Oct 15, 2007

Iran and Russia cooperating on mutual defense, BBC, Nov 13, 07

Corruption Updates 127, 2nd article on the page, Iran Steps up Preparations for US War

US faking iran gunboat incident? Democracy Now, 1-11-08

All Iran Links

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2) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Analysis: Kayani is his own man

By        Kamran Rehmat in Islamabad


18:25 MECCA TIME, 15:25 GMT

In the aftermath of Benazir Bhutto's assassination, the debate over who will form the next Pakistani government after February's elections appears to have dissolved into semantics without dilating on the role of the army, the real arbiter of power.

Perhaps it is due to the general perception that Pervez Musharraf, the country's president and former army chief, has strengthened his position by appointing General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani as his successor-in-uniform. 

However, recent events — some quite symbolic — appear to suggest otherwise.

Despite publicly wanting to continue the "war on terror", Kayani is not straining to keep up appearances with Musharraf following the president's patronising suggestion last week that they "are two of a kind".

As Imran Khan, the opposition leader and cricket legend, recently said, "nobody is anyone's man once he becomes commander-in-chief with 700,000 soldiers under his command".

Trust deficit?

That change in attitude may have started on the very day Musharraf reluctantly passed the baton to Kayani, forced by circumstances different from October 6, 2001 when Musharraf extended his own term indefinitely.

Even before shedding the uniform, he returned to the presidency the powers he used as army chief to impose a state of emergency.

Upon taking charge last November, Kayani declared 2008 as "Year of the Soldier".

The immediate public response was one bordering on cynicism questioning the need for such a dedication against the backdrop of the army's deep involvement in politics and businesses.

However, by publicly supporting his lower cadres, the new army chief is implying that Musharraf is someone who does not.

Public image

Masood says Kayani is trying to repair the military's standing. "Kayani feels the army has suffered as a result of its political involvement and therefore, he is trying to pull it back."

Javed Ashraf Qazi, former chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and once Musharraf's senior in the army, concurs.

"There is a feeling within the army that it is too involved in politics. It wants to get out."

Kayani's second step was to instruct army commanders that they should restrict themselves to the constitutionally-ordained role (defending the country's borders) and not meet politicians or engage in politics.

It followed guarded and as yet unpublished reports that an army officer who went to meet Musharraf behind the back of his new chief was sacked.

Masood thinks the message has wider implications.

"I think he wanted to give a message to both the army and the international community that the army today is distancing itself from politics and will not be involved as it has been in the past and (that) Musharraf will be conducting himself (only) as a retired military officer … in a civilian capacity."

Hamid Gul, another outspoken former intelligence chief, blames the inherent sweeping powers vested in the army chief.

"Unfortunately, the army chief has too many powers. The leadership structure is such that the corps commanders do not really speak their minds and simply go along with what their chief says."

Paradigm shift

This probably explains why Kayani is confident of engineering a paradigm shift with the same handful of corps commanders who were until two months ago lining up behind Musharraf.

Masood concludes that it is an institutional imperative.

"In the military, institutional loyalty is more important. This impression that (there is any such thing as) dual loyalty is not true. (Ultimately), it's the institutional discipline, which stays."

How much further can Musharraf hold on to power? By his own admission, in his rather aptly titled memoirs In The Line of Fire, he has used up his quota of a cat's nine lives.

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What's Really Going on Here??

US Supports Tyrants and illegal Nuclear Programs in Pakistan and India:

This will not end well

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, June 2007

The situation with Pakistan is not going to end well for American interests. The main flaw in our relationship with Pakistan is we are supporting a nuclear armed military dictator. If he is toppled, the next government may deeply resent our interference in their internal affairs. This is complicated by our support for India's illegal nuclear weapons program.

The central flaw in our foreign policy is that it is guided by no principals, only self-interest. Our toleration and support of both nation's illegal weapons programs increases regional instability to achieve our short-term goals.

In India, we pander to their illegal nuclear program to gain economic benefits from India's expansion, while simultaneously using India as a strategic counter-balance against Chinese power in the region.

In Pakistan, we have made a dirty deal with the dictator Musharraf. We silenced our objections to both the dictatorship, and its nukes, and paid him billions of dollars, in exchange for his "official" support for our Terror War.

Supporting a military dictator to fight for "freedom and democracy" exposes the lie at the center of our foreign policy.

The problem is that the Pakistani people support neither Musharraf, nor our terror war against their tribal brothers in Afghanistan. When Musharraf is deposed, the guns and money we bribed Musharraf with, as well as control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, will fall under the control of unknown people. There is a good chance that Pakistan's next government will wholly reject American sponsored dictators, and resent us for supporting the dictator who ruled them.

India, on the other hand, may well end up becoming a better friend of China and Russia than the United States. Our economic and nuclear support for India may well backfire as China, Russia, and the Arabic nations reposition themselves, and their relationships with each other, as the world balance of power and control of middle eastern oil shifts away from American control.

Our best option was to maintain a firm rejection of both country's nuclear programs, with the goal being complete disarmament, and complete verification that both countries nuclear programs have no military component.

Combined with diplomatic efforts to defuse the situation in Kashmir, we could have lessened the tensions driving both countries to develop and evolve better nukes.

The Bush Administration's threats of unilateral military action, combined with repeated threats to use nukes in a first strike, has hardened the resolve of nations around the world to obtain a nuclear deterrent to the American Nuclear Menace.

In our dealings with both Pakistan and India, we have committed ourselves to a policy of supporting the illegal nuclear programs in both countries, ignoring Kashmir and the underlying conflict, to achieve short-term tactical advantages.

Our strategy of unconditionally supporting Musharraf's dictatorship ensures that violent domestic resistance will increase. Domestic resistance Musharraf's dictatorship has been enhanced and hardened by our support. Our support for Musharraf has hastened his rejection by his own people.

The ultimate result of our short-sighted Pakistani policy will be the emergence of an independent Pakistani government, armed with nuclear weapons, enraged by America's support for Mursharraf's dictatorship.

India, on the other hand, will take all of our military and economic support, and do whatever the hell they see as best for their country, not ours.

The full weight and power of our nation has been focused to achieve our regional goals through bribes and threats. Using bribes and threats as the basis of our relationships with India and Pakistan assures that we will have little influence when changes in political fortunes bring administrations that will not respond to bribes and threats.

Our participation in Pakistan has enraged their people, while protecting their nuclear program from outside scrutiny and international pressure. Our diplomacy with India has effectively recognized and accepted their illegal nuke program, receiving nothing in return.

Overall, our relationships with both countries have increased the ability of each to nuke the other, and has laid the groundwork for further regional, and global, instability.

Until we develop a set of basic principals to guide our foreign policy, our diplomacy of bribes and threats will continue to assure that international relations are based on greed and violence.

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Also See:

Short list of paki links

List of bhutto death links

Full list of paki links

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3) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Musharraf hoping to win over West

 Mon January 21, 2008

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has pleaded to be given time to achieve higher standards of human rights and civil liberties as he responded to what he called the West's "obsession" with democracy on Monday.

Musharraf also pledged that his country's February 18 elections -- delayed following the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto -- would be "fair, transparent and peaceful."

He will try to assure European leaders that his country is a reliable and indispensable ally in the fight against terrorism but, he said Monday, his country also suffers from "misperceptions, misunderstandings and distortions" in Western capitals.

"Therefore in accordance with our environment we have to adapt democracy, human rights and civil liberties," he said. Pakistan is "on the right course, but our environment and your environment are very, very different."

Musharraf was to meet with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer later Monday to discuss Afghanistan. He will also meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

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What's Really Going on Here??

have you seen the grim news out of afghanistan?

The bbc article below soft-sells the situation, but the la time's article presents a clearer picture of the grim situation:

close to a failed state, lat, 1-31-08

risk of state failure,bbc, 1-31-08

canada is pulling out, javno, 1-30-08

uk in a afghanistan for decades, bbc, 6-20-07

Judging by the reports by retired generals and objective observers, iraq is also a failed state.

Unknown to most americans, we have also instigated social breakdown in somalia, and kenya, as well as iraq and afghanistan. The next place we should look for state failure is pakistan, where our support for the dictator musharraff is driving our next foreign policy failure forward.


Musharraf Fears his own people more than US or Taliban

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January 12, 2008

edited 1-24-08

When musharraf was more secure with the army, the isi, and his grip on civil society was firm, musharraf was our boy in pakistan, "fighting terror."

Or was he? Are we only now seeing the real musharraf, the musharraf that supported the taliban, the musharraf who maintained peace with the mountain folk, the musharraf who gained power by crushing civil democracy in lowland pakistan?

The simple answer is yes. Bush's desire to project power blinded him to the grim and delicate realities of power in pakistan, Afghanistan, and iraq. Those failures alone should drive us to examine our distorted world-view and values to find the causes of our foreign and domestic breakdowns. Let's start with Bush and Musharraf. Bush knowingly embraced musharraf exactly because musharraf is a dictator, and bush expected his purchase of the dictator would assure compliance with american directives.

Unfortunately for bush's plans, he failed to realize that that the army and isi had long ago made deals with the taliban and mountain folk: they are partners. That's why musharraf is unwilling as well as unable to do our bidding in the mountains. That's why musharraf is finally revealing his hand, and calling for talks with his allies, the people who still run Afghanistan: the taliban.

Consider that all of our relationships with the arabic middle east are based on our support of various systems of tyranny, starting with the arabian kings, princes, and emirs, and ending with military dictators like Mubarak and Musharraf.

In the meantime, musharraf has seized complete power in the lowland cities where the adherents of western democracy live. The real threat to musharraf's power is secular civil society, the adherents of democracy. Unlike the mountain tribes, who have until recently just wanted to be left alone, the city folk want to take back the government Musharraf has stolen from them. Musharraf has dealt with them with mass arrests, by clubbing and shooting them in the streets, by closing the supreme court and re-opening it with his tools on the bench, as well as shutting down the free press.

Oh, and killing benizar bhutto, who was our hand-picked representative of secular corruption and american influence. Bhutto did not represent democracy by any stretch of imagination. No great loss there. It is clear that pakistanis all suspect Musharraf with being indirectly, if not directly, responsible for her death. It is apparent from the first assassination attempt on bhutto that the government provided light security, and may have withdrawn security before the bombing.

Beneath all of this american-inspired disarray in Pakistan is the not-so-hidden fact that we have already lost the war in Afghanistan. No great loss there, as our vision for Afghanistan could never be made to fit the "facts on the ground," as bush likes to say, in either our country or theirs.

The net result of all this is that a new balance of power is rising in the middle-east and south asia on the ashes of our failed dictatorships and kings, and it will no longer place american interests at its center. Bush has accelerated this inevitable process by exposing the contradiction between our stated values, our real goals, and our methods. Our hypocrisy has been openly exposed, and has deeply discredited our nation. This discredit engulfs all of our regional allies by making enemies of average muslims across the middle-east, and good people around the world.

The american strategic situation in the middle-east and Pakistan is melting down in the streets, in arabic capitals, and most importantly, in the hearts and minds of muslims across the region and around the world. The deterioration of our military, political and cultural superiority is accelerating.

The immediate affect of our cupidity, blunders, and violence is that Iran has assumed predominate influence in Baghdad, south, and west iraq. That's the only reason we are staying in iraq. When we leave iraq, a Shiite government will quickly emerge who's #1 ally is Iran.

Afghanistan is lost. The taliban controls every area where we do not have military supremacy. Where we have no guns, we have no authority.

Pakistan does not have a stable basis of leadership, either in the "democracy" movement, nor the military. Pakistan is heading to a showdown between musharraf, the people, the mountain people, and the army.

If Pakistanis are left to their own devices, it is likely the mountains will remain semi-autonomous, Afghanistan will be ruled by the Taliban and allied with pakistan, and the army will move behind a thin democratic veneer, as in turkey. That does not suit our plans.

The us is pushing for military action in the mountains. If the army responds, and does go to war, they will not be able to contain their civil war to the mountains, and it will spread across pakistan. It is likely that the army would find itself confronted in the cities by civil society while being bogged down in the mountains. It is highly unlikely that the side that "wins" will be able or willing to remain our bitch.

We have already seen how our liberal use of naked violence has worked out in iraq and Afghanistan. Elements in american society and government are now calling for attacks on iran as well as on the Pakistani mountain folk. Our war failures, and the subsequent waves of destabilization that have ensued are shifting regional alliances across the middle east.

Our interventions have turned up the heat on Saudi arabia's a bubbling domestic revolution, who's aim is to remove the heads of leaders who serve the west. In response, the saudis have significantly altered the trajectory of their foreign policy.

Mubarak will die as dictator of egypt, and when he does the next regime will withdraw from their american alliance, repeal their recognition of israel, and accelerate the rise of an independent middle-east.

The new, independent middle-east is going to be very hostile to american interests. The new middle-east is going to consider american intervention in their domestic affairs as an act of war. The new middle-east is going to use their oil as a global check against american influence.

Expect russia, china, and india to be very helpful and supportative of the new regimes that rise from the ashes of our "globalization" empire.

In short, we are observing the chaotic bloody birth of a brand-new post-colonial (post-globalized also works) middle-east that is going to take its rightful place in their region and the world.

We have fought this for decades with invasions, assassinations, and dictators, but now the whole region has reached the breaking point, and the era of western control of the middle-east is over, except for another couple of bloody wars, and maybe a revolution, possibly a civil war or two.

Expect the saudis to move the crown to an independent, anti-american prince when the king dies, or face even more serious threats from their "subjects." Expect egypt to form an islamic democracy after they reject mubarak's son, gamial.

Bush knows now that his vain attempt to reassert american dominance over middle-eastern oil, and the nations that sit on top of it, has failed. The failure of bush's iraqi and afghani adventures has destabilized all of our regional allies, while enhancing the influence and power of Iran.

I still put the chances at 30% that bush will provoke a war with iran. If this occurs, I put the chances at 50-50 that bush will attempt to "postponed" the '08 election.

Besides inflaming the middle-east, american foreign policy has destabilized the global balance of power.

A new era of a global struggle for empire is emerging out of the failed lies of our "globalization" fraud.

Apparently americans will not recognize that what we call "globalization" is no more than a modern version of the old british empire. Our great difference was that our terms of victory were primarily economic, and we generally avoided direct intervention, instead relying on dictators, kings, or elites. Now our imperial corporate state is directly dictating the terms of our victories over weaker states from the decks of our own tanks.

We will maintain the lie of globalism to cover our empire, until we actually lose control of our empire, and another nation, maybe china or russia, seizes the dominant position and employs the term "globalism" to simultaneously justify their aggressions, while hiding the reality of their thieving empire.

So don't act surprised when the world does the same thing to us that we have done to them for the last 50 years: steal our resources, our labor, our rights, and our right to form our own government, and calls it "globalism."

To do this they will first have to engage and defeat our armies, then our dictators and kings, and finally our global corporations that are stealing their resources, labor, rights, and money, not to mention their governments. Looks like it's already happening.

Should be a great fight, if you like fights.

If you don't like fights, you failed a long time ago.


Also See:

Failed war, Failed State: Iraq, committee, 6-13-07

Short list of paki links

List of bhutto death links

Full list of paki links

Recent Iraq News:

NPR; deal allows us troops in iraq for decades, 1-24-08

Minister Sees Need for U.S. Help in Iraq Until 2018, nyt, January 15, 2008

quakers: why are we building permanent bases in iraq, 12-05-07

global security: iraq facilities, no date

Democrats Say Leaving Iraq May Take Years, nyt, 8-12-07

US had No Post-War Plan for Iraq, BBC, Oct 27, 2007


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4) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Prop. 93 on Feb. 5 ballot has two faces

Tom Chorneau, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

(01-22) 04:00 PST Sacramento --

California voters launched a national movement nearly 20 years ago when they approved a ballot measure to limit state legislators' time in office to 14 years, split between the state Senate and Assembly.

The Legislature's current leadership, spearheaded by Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, D-Los Angeles, is asking voters to mark their ballots for the Feb. 5 primary in favor of another term limits measure, Proposition 93, which would trim lawmakers' terms by two years but allow all of that time to be spent in the same chamber.

Proponents of the measure, including Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, say it strikes a reasonable balance between the need to elect new people with fresh ideas and the need to keep experienced lawmakers on the job.

But opponents, led by Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, say the measure is a trick and a power grab. They point out that Prop. 93 provides a transition period that would give current office holders a windfall term extension of up to 12 years in their current legislative house.

While the two sides battle, voter surveys show that most Californians are happy with the 1990 term-limit measure that restricted legislators to six years in the Assembly (three two-year terms) and eight years in the Senate (two four-year terms).

And voters have shown little interest in changing things.

"Consistently for the past decade, the number of voters who say term limits is a good thing is much higher than those who say it's a bad thing," said Mark Baldassare, a pollster and president of the Public Policy Institute of California.

"When we ask if the Legislature would be more effective if they stay in office longer, most voters say 'No,' " he said. "When we tell them how long legislators are currently allowed to stay in office, most voters say that's a good amount of time."

But some labor groups, business organizations and legislators say term limits need adjusting.

If the measure passes, Perata, who is in his second full term, would be able to run for one more four-year term in the Senate; Núñez, who is in his third term, would be eligible for three more two-year Assembly terms.

"There's no question that Proposition 93 was written in a clever way in order to lead voters to conclude that it would shorten terms - that's totally false," said Poizner. "It will lengthen them."

Poizner argued that the average career in the Legislature today is six or seven years. Passage of Prop. 93, he said, would ensure that most lawmakers would serve the full 12 years.

"I don't think it's a good idea to lengthen terms; it's bad for California," he said. "Voters passed term limits with the idea of limiting career politicians in the Legislature for good reason."

So far, voters have not focused much on Prop. 93, although media campaigns began this month. Supporters of the measure have received contributions from the teachers union and other unions, and businesses including Chevron and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. That campaign spent about $5.7 million through the end of December but is expected to more than double that amount by election day.

The opposition campaign, with support from Poizner and a Virginia nonprofit that seeks to limit career politicians, U.S. Term Limits Inc., has spent about $2 million but has about $4 million more in the bank, according to reports filed last month.

A Field Poll conducted in December found just 25 percent of voters had heard or seen anything about the proposal. When voters were read a summary of the measure, 50 percent said they would support it.

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Dan Walters: Term limit bugaboo rises anew

By Dan Walters - Bee Columnist
Published 12:00 am PDTFriday, July 20, 2007

They'll never admit it -- and in fact, go to great lengths to deny it -- but everything of importance that Democratic legislative leaders are doing this year is colored by their hope that voters will loosen up term limits next year.

That's especially true of Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, a young, ambitious politician who yearns to remain in his high-visibility position until something better, such as the mayoralty of Los Angeles, beckons, but would be forced out of the Legislature next year by term limits. The ballot measure he supports would cut total legislative service from 14 to 12 years, but allow someone to spend all 12 in one house, thus extending Núñez's career and those of other termed-out lawmakers.

It's more or less conventional wisdom in the Capitol, for instance, that one factor in the Assembly's 180-degree turnaround on ratification of new gambling compacts with Southern California Indian tribes was a fear that the tribes, which have demonstrated a willingness to spend lavishly on political causes, would commit millions of dollars to opposing the term limit measure headed for the Feb. 5 ballot.

Núñez denies that vociferously, insisting that he turned the compacts loose after a nine-month blockage because the state needs money from expanded gambling to close its chronic budget gap, even though ratification was considered a betrayal by his long-time labor union allies.

More evidence of how matters are skewed by the pending term limit measure is found in what happened to a bill that would have allowed public access to police disciplinary proceedings. The measure, Senate Bill 1019, cleared the Senate but was buried in the Assembly Public Safety Committee after the head of the Professional Peace Officers Association sent messages to legislators that were it to proceed, rank-and-file police groups would oppose easing term limits. "Ensure that it be understood that this will only be the beginning," John R. Stites told legislators.

What's Really Going on Here??

Threats Against Term Limits Imitative Used by Special Interests to Compel their Political Slaves into Obedience

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., September 2, 2007

Nunez Using Fraudulent Reform to Protect Party and his Political Ambitions

The article below was written for CU 56_9 on May 17, 2007

We need redistricting to restore any semblance of democracy in California.

We need to maintain term limits to maintain any semblance of democracy in California.

Term limits work. Without term limits the products of monopolized electoral districts are virtually impossible to remove.

Before term limits, California politicians either died in office, or got thrown in prison. Those were about the only ways to remove them.

Here's the Nunez angle: Pass the term limits on the flood of special interest bribes he's collecting as I write, and kill the redistricting initiative. It would be a "win-win" situation for Nunez.

Under the Perata Plan, there is no possibility of a "win-win," where Term limits are loosened, and redistricting is defeated. Under Perata's Plan either both pass or both lose. But Perata's plan avoids the possibility of a "Lose-Lose" situation that Nunez's plan risks.

The "lose-lose" scenario is defeating Nunez's bid to loosen Term limits, while passing the initiative to take redistricting out of the Legislature's dirty hands. Ironically, Nunez's "lose-lose" scenario is the preferred outcome for the health of our democracy, but not for Nunez or the Democrats.

Nunez's plan could blow up in his face under the "lose-lose" scenario, so why is he risking it?

Nunez wants to split the issues of Term Limits and Redistricting to please Pelosi, and the Democrat Congressional Mafia. They would prefer that redistricting not be on the ballot at all. But Nunez is sharp, maybe too sharp. By unwrapping Redistricting from Term Limits, Nunez can get it all, without trading Term Limit extensions for Redistricting, which is the heart of the Perata Plan.

Congressional Dems prefer that nothing be done to alter the Democrat's monopoly on California's Congressional delegation, which is assured under the current districting set up.

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Nunez sucks up bribes

Nunez links

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Anger as UN debates Gaza blockade

bbc, 1-23-08

Israeli and Palestinian envoys have clashed at the United Nations Security Council during a debate on Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian UN observer accused Israel of fuelling violence, while the Israeli envoy said his country had to protect its people from rocket attacks.

The council was considering a call for Israel to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza freely.

Earlier, Israel eased its four-day Gaza lockdown by allowing fuel deliveries.

Talks adjourned

Tuesday's day-long council debate had been requested by Arab and Islamic states amid a growing international outcry at what the European Union termed the "collective punishment" of Gaza's 1.5m residents.

Palestinian UN observer Riyad Mansour said the council "must demand that Israel, the occupying power, immediately cease its collective punishment of the Palestinian people".

Libya, the council chair this month, had drafted a text that would call on Israel to end its blockade of Gaza and ensure "unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people".

Council split

But American and French representatives to the UN said the current draft was unacceptable as it did not refer to militant rocket attacks on Israel from within the Gaza Strip.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Yet Another Unilateral Act of War by Israel

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., October 13, 2007

The US and Israel continue to act as if they were above the law. We have convinced ourselves and each other that we are justified in committing crimes against humanity and international law whenever we feel like it.

Thus the Jews feel justified in keeping the Arabs in a vast Warsaw Ghetto, starving, bombing, and arbitrarily killing the residents of the Gaza Ghetto at will.

We Americans have complimented this fascism by propping up a ring of western bitch dictators around Israel's borders.

Our Middle-Eastern foreign policy is doomed to violently fail, along with Israel.

What's Really Going on Here, II

Bush "Democracy" Requires People Vote for Bush's Side, or our Dictators will Brand you as a "Terrorist" and Kill you.

America only respects elections that have a preordained Outcome: our dictator wins.

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., June, 2007

The governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt are American supported dictatorships who have no democratic or Islamic legitimacy. Their Kingdoms are propped up by American political, military and economic support.

The opponents of these regimes have been labeled "terrorists," as have the opponents of Israel Occupation.

50 years of denying the democratic rights of colonized Arabs, especially the Palestinians, has caused Arabs to look towards religion, rather than secular Western "democracy," for political justice.

Our denial of democratic justice to the Middle-East has radicalized resistance by forcing insurgents to depart "democracy," and find justification for their resistance to Western Imperialism in religion. Our "democracy" has delivered nothing but dictators, invasions, occupations, and injustice by any standard.

Thus our military and political victories, as complete as they seem to us, have laid the groundwork for our ultimate failure. Our victory has repudiated our legitimacy, and empowered radical Islam to provide justice and legitimacy to replace our secular democratic injustices.

The ethical and moral void created when the West and its dictators denied political legitimacy, democracy, and self-determination to Arabs is now filled with radical Islam.

50 years of military domination and occupation has not forced the Palestinians to accept defeat. Instead, they brazenly deny Israeli victory, and willingly give up their lives in asymmetrical warfare against the overwhelming superiority of Israeli and American weapons.

An American Patriot once said he was sorry he had only one life to give, in pursuit of his country's freedom.

The Palestinians are, at their most destructive, no threat to Israel. The real threat the Palestinians pose to to the Israeli-American domination of the Middle-East is their refusal, at the cost of lives, liberties, and property, to accept Israel's "victory," over them, let alone accept the terms of victory the Israelis are dictating.

This bare rejection of Israeli legitimacy is a shining example of the triumph of the spirit of freedom and justice even when crushed under the treads of an American supplied Israeli tank.

Our response to this temerity is to declare the defeated, occupied residents of Palestine who refuse to accept Israeli victory, occupation, and domination "Terrorists."

This designation, according to Bush, puts the Palestinians beyond the pale of humanity, and the protections of international law. They may be kidnapped, tortured, and killed with extra-legal impunity.

The Ironic counterpoint to our "war on terror," is that to maintain the pretense of Israeli legitimacy in the Middle-East we fund and arm the Saudi, Jordanian and Egyptian Dictatorships. These governments recognize no civil rights. They arbitrarily detain, torture, and kill their opponents.

Our state sponsored terror has stimulated individual "terror," which has triggered a flood tide of American state terror. Now we have a self-sustaining cycle of terror that is going to alter the political geography of the Middle-East.

Our Middle-Eastern Dictatorships repay our support by recognizing the legitimacy of Israel. They can only recognize Israel by holding their people in check at gunpoint.

Calling Islamic resistance to foreign dictators and foreign occupation "terrorism" is a thin effort win the war of words, and define away legitimate domestic political resistance to American backed dictators.

But as I pointed out above, Arabs are retreating from Western political and diplomatic forms, which have completely failed them, and are now basing the legitimacy of their insurgencies on Islam.

Winning the war of words is irrelevant when you have lost the war for the hearts and minds of the Middle-East.

The change in the terms of legitimacy in the Middle-East, from secular to Islamic, was spawned by our long term abuses of Palestine and our long term support of despotic regimes.

Iraq has merely released long pent up forces, instantly, and has accelerated the de colonization that was already changing the political landscape of the Middle-East.

Bush's definition of terrorism, combined with his attacks on Islamic nations, when coupled with our long term support of Arabic dictatorships, has created the conditions for a perfect storm of Islamic legitimacy to blow down our corrupted Middle-Eastern Empire.

This reversion to Islamic legitimacy has made American support for our dictatorships there as much a threat to their continuation in power, as our support is necessary for these dictators to continue in power.

These governments will instantly crumble in open elections, or if our military and economic support was withdrawn. They are presently under serious domestic pressure for accepting our support.

American supported dictatorships in the Middle-East have only one viable solution to this contradiction: radicalizing their positions to reflect their peoples' hatred of America. Only by putting themselves at the head of rising popular sentiment against American interference can our dictators hope to retain power.

Our dictators must do this to maintain what little moral authority they still have over their people, to postpone the day when they either pay for their disloyalty with their heads, go radically "native," or flee to the protection of the United States.

Bush has accelerated the process of Middle-Eastern de colonization by highlighting and inflaming Arabic rage against their American supported dictators by de legitimizing the Palestinians as "terrorists," and attempting to steal Iraq.

Our grasping for empire has hastened the inevitable fall, or radicalization of the Saudi, Jordanian, and Egyptian dictatorships. This will end the Arab peoples' forced recognition of Israel, and leave Israel in a considerably degraded negotiating position.

Israel's legitimacy cannot be honestly recognized in the Middle-East until the Arab peoples have rid themselves of their American dictatorships, and form legitimate governments that represent their beliefs, positions, and interests.

Only then will there be legitimate negotiating partners that represents the Arab's true perspective on Israel.

This has already happened in Iran and Syria. And it should come as no surprise that they hate and mistrust both Israel and the US.

Until we stop imposing dictators and policies on the Middle-East who serves our interests above local self-determination and self-rule, we will continue to be attacked by people who will go to great lengths to give up their lives to kill us.

We can strengthen and expand this hatred, by crushing the Arabs as they revolt against American dictatorships. This will fail, and when the Arabs finally defeat their American-Backed Dictators, and gain true independence and freedom from our empire, there will be hell to pay for both Israel and the US.

Or we can diminish the hatred. We have a choice with the parts of the Middle East we still control, Let's tell our Arab dictators that our reign of terror is over, and so is theirs.

We can demand free and fair elections under threat of taking away the military and political umbrella of protections that we shield our Egyptian, Saudi, Jordanian, and Pakistani dictators with.

It is obvious that rather than justice, we have chosen the path of greed and power. We have chosen to strengthen tyranny and increase violence to pursue wealth and power. This will fail, and it will fail in a bloodbath.

When failure occurs, the survivors, the rich Saudi Princes, and the minions of the Egyptian dictator, will move here, their true “homeland,” with billions of stolen dollars, just as the Cubans and Iranians have.

We can still avoid the bloody birth of an independent Middle-Eastern Enemy. Before us lays a critical choice. We can continue down the present path of supporting dictatorships and occupations which are accelerating the breakdown of our moral authority and legitimacy.

Our legitimacy, and the legitimacy of our various dictatorships, no longer extends beyond the range of our weapons.

Our other option is to radically shift direction by empowering Hamas as a legitimately elected representative of the Palestinians, and begin peace negotiations that respect their position. Our only requirement should be that they come to the negotiation table.

This would have to be accompanied by an refusal to fund or arm Israel unless they agreed to put the legitimacy of Israel up for negotiation with Hamas. We would also have to de fund, disarm, and demand that our Middle-Eastern Dictatorships immediately democratize. Our first demand must be that the region's armies have no role in domestic politics or security.

The price Israeli would pay for legitimacy in negotiations with Hamas would be substantial. But giving up East Jerusalem, Golan, the right of return, and linking the West Bank with Gaza would not just buy peace for Israel, but would de fang Islamic fundamentalism around the world.

If Israel fairly negotiates for its legitimacy with the Palestinians, rather than imposing itself through violence, the United States will no longer need to fund and support regional dictators to protect Israel. A deal between Hamas and Israel would defuse the vast majority of Islamic hatred for the Jews.

But even more importantly, an honestly negotiated settlement between Israel and Palestine would re legitimize the validity of western secular democracy and be more effective at deflating the expansion of radical Islam than any dictator or war on "terror" we ever could throw at them.

We've thrown vinegar on the Arabs for long enough. Let's try sugar.

Unfortunately, the state of American Politics makes it virtually impossible to rip our foreign policy out of the grip of Big Oil and the Israeli Lobby. The only way to stop our government from supporting tyranny around the world is to take it back from the corporate fascists who have captured our parties, elections, and the government itself. A tall order indeed.

The problem is deeper than party or political belief. Our democratic system itself has been hijacked by wealth and power. Our government fights for wealth and power around the world because these forces have captured our democracy here.

The fact is that we are no longer a democracy, independent of which party controls which branch of government. Both parties are tools of wealth and power, and use our foreign policy as a weapon of empire to expand the profit and power of their corporate masters.

Look for the US to attempt to bomb Iran into the Stone Age, triggering a massive regional war, if not an eventual global conflict.

At the very least our policies of violence and greed will midwife the bloody emergence of an independent, post-colonial Middle-East, and will formalize a new world balance of power that will feature China, Russia and India rising to fill the power vacuum our moral and military blunders are creating. American control of the world oil markets is ending.

For the Middle-East this will involve changing the definition of "terrorism" from applying it to those who oppose tyranny, to those who impose tyranny.

That's us.

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Also See:

Gaza: the new warsaw ghetto, middle east online, 1-21-08

starving the palestinians in the gaza ghetto, aljazeera, 1-19-08

Rice backs Israeli naming Gaza “Hostile Entity:”a War Crime, bbc, 9-20-07

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6) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Ex-officers urge Musharraf to step down

Retirees, fearing the military's reputation is at stake, distance themselves from the president. His administration shrugs off criticisms.

By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

January 24, 2008,0,5762870.story?coll=la-home-world

KARACHI, PAKISTAN -- President Pervez Musharraf should immediately step down as a way to promote democracy, combat religious militancy and restore the reputation of Pakistan's military, according to an influential group of retired officers.

The Pakistan Ex-Servicemen's Society made its demands late Tuesday, two days after Musharraf left on an eight-day European swing to assure world leaders that Pakistan -- and its nuclear arsenal -- is in safe hands.

"This is in the supreme national interest and it makes it incumbent on him to step down," said a statement released after a meeting in Rawalpindi of the retired officers, including two dozen army generals, three air marshals and eight admirals.

Western diplomats also reacted Wednesday, noting that the meeting of the retired military group was one of the largest assembled to speak out against Musharraf.

"I can't say it's significant but it's certainly unusual," said one diplomat who requested anonymity. "It certainly shows the great concern the military in Pakistan has over its reputation."

The letter released by the ex-military members was the Pakistani leader's latest embarrassment. Though the group does not officially speak for serving officers, several of those who attended the recent meeting said many current officers privately support them.

"The message is that Musharraf is the problem," said Talat Masood, a prominent political analyst and retired general who attended the gathering. "The sooner he realizes it, the better it will be for the country and the armed forces.

"The army is getting a bad name because of his performance and the way he has involved the military in politics. He's doing irreparable damage."

Gen. Ashfaq Kiani, who replaced Musharraf as chief of the military, has disengaged the army from politics but remains loyal to the president, analysts say. Recently, Kiani has banned officers from maintaining contacts with politicians, ordering that officers serving in civil posts and government-run enterprises return to their military duties.

Musharraf met Wednesday with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Meanwhile, he has said Western powers should not hold Pakistan to unrealistic standards regarding issues such as human rights.

Masood, the analyst, said the ex-military men had called for the meeting after watching unfolding events with great concern.

"We are with the rest of the nation in its opposition to President Musharraf," he said. "We are no way a party to what he is doing."

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January, 2008

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Also See:

Can Pakistan's new military chief reign in the army? Does he want to? aljazeera, JANUARY 19, 2008

Zardari rejects musharraf deal, Daily times, -17-08

Sharif rejects musharraf, Dawn, 1-17-08

Rand reports to congress on american crimes in pakistan, the nation, 1-18-08

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7) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

U.S. Commander Orders Plans on Pakistan


8:10 PM PST, January 23, 2008,0,3594452.story?coll=la-ap-topnews-headlines

WASHINGTON -- The commander of U.S. forces in Central Asia has launched planning for more extensive use of U.S. troops to train Pakistani armed forces, a senior defense official said Wednesday.

Adm. William J. Fallon, commander of U.S. Central Command, issued a planning order, an internal instruction to lower-level commanders, to propose ideas for a long-term approach to helping Pakistan combat what has become an expanding, homegrown insurgency that threatens the stability of the government.

Fallon's intent is to develop new approaches to help Pakistan, with a time horizon stretching to 2015, the official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the order has not been made public.

"They see they've got real problems internally," Fallon said. "My sense is there is an increased willingness to address these problems, and we're going to try to help them." He said U.S. assistance would be "more robust," but he offered few details. "There is more willingness to do that now" on Pakistan's part, he said.

At the Pentagon, one of Fallon's subordinate commanders, Army Maj. Gen. David Rodriguez, said the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan is unlikely to stage a spring offensive in the volatile eastern region bordering Pakistan.

Rodriguez, who commands U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan, told a Pentagon news conference that Taliban and al-Qaida fighters operating from havens in the largely ungoverned tribal areas of western Pakistan appear to have shifted their focus toward targets inside Pakistan rather than across the border in Afghanistan.

"I don't think there'll be a big spring offensive this year," Rodriguez said.

On Capitol Hill, the House Armed Services Committee heard testimony from retired Army Lt. Gen. David Barno, a former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The committee chairman, Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., opened the session with an expression of concern about trends in Afghanistan.

"I believe that we currently risk a strategic failure in Afghanistan and that we must do what it takes to avoid this disastrous outcome," Skelton said in a prepared statement. "We must re-prioritize and shift needed resources from Iraq to Afghanistan. We must once again make Afghanistan the central focus in the war against terrorism -- our national security and Afghanistan's future are at stake."

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January, 2008

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Also See:

Musharraf: US incursion will be regarded as invasion, billery sucks, DailyTimes, pk, 1-12-08

Can Pakistan's new military chief reign in the army? Does he want to? aljazeera, JANUARY 19, 2008

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8) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Obama supporter faces trial on graft charges

Mike Robinson, Associated Press

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

(01-23) 04:00 PST Chicago - --

Real estate developer and fast-food magnate Antoin "Tony" Rezko spent years pouring thousands of dollars in campaign contributions into Sen. Barack Obama's climb from the Illinois Legislature to Capitol Hill - and helped him raise tens of thousands more.

But these days Rezko is snared in a nasty political scandal and facing a federal corruption trial that begins next month. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York invoked his name and his "slum landlord business" in a debate with Obama on Monday. A plainly embarrassed Obama has been sending the campaign money to charity in an effort to distance himself from the Chicago businessman, including $41,000 over the weekend.

The Democratic presidential hopeful also has been forced to explain how Rezko got tangled in the purchase of the Obama family home and other ties to Rezko - some of them going back more than 15 years. If federal prosecutors are right, his ties to Rezko may even mean Obama's campaign unwittingly accepted money generated by illegal activities.

"The senator exhibited some bad judgment in continuing the relationship once it became clear that Tony Rezko had such serious clouds overhead," says Cindi Canary, director of the nonpartisan Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.

The facts of the relationship between the two men have been public record for more than a year and so far haven't hurt Obama with voters. He is considered a favorite, along with Clinton, in the fight for their party's nomination.

Rezko faces a Feb. 25 trial, almost three weeks after the Super Tuesday primaries that could go a long way in settling the nomination. He is charged with fraud, attempted extortion and money laundering for allegedly plotting to get campaign money and payoffs from firms seeking to do business before two state boards.

Once that trial is behind him, the 53-year-old Rezko faces a separate federal charge of swindling the General Electric Capital Corp. out of $10 million in connection with the sale of pizza restaurants.

Obama's name has not come up in connection with any of the corruption charges swirling around Rezko. In fact, prosecutors indicate that the source of Rezko's clout was somewhere within Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration.

Obama, meanwhile, has done what he could to dissociate himself from Rezko.

On Oct. 11, 2006, the day federal prosecutors unsealed the major corruption charges against Rezko, Obama immediately sent $11,500 in contributions to charities ranging from Habitat for Humanity to the Boys and Girls Clubs.

Obama aides say that is all the money that Rezko has contributed to Obama's campaigns since he first ran for the Illinois Senate in 1996.

They say there's no telling for sure how much additional money Rezko has raised for the senator over 15 years by putting the arm on friends and business associates. Obama's aides estimate the amount at about $60,000, though the Chicago Sun-Times reported last year that Obama has received at least $168,000 from Rezko and his associates over the years.

Federal prosecutors say a Rezko associate used ill-gotten money to give $10,000 to an unidentified candidate in 2004. The associate was businessman Joseph Aramanda, according to a source familiar with the investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is continuing. Election records confirm a $10,000 contribution from Aramanda, which Obama's campaign has since given to charity.

Aramanda, whose son worked as an intern in Obama's Washington office in 2005, has been accused of no wrongdoing.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January, 2008

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Also See:

An Obama Patron and Friend Until an Indictment, NY Times, 6-14-07

Public Financing:OBAMA-MCCAIN PLAY LIARS GAME, lat, March 2, 2007

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E.P.A. Ignored Own Advice, Senator Says


Published: January 24, 2008

The Environmental Protection Agency ignored the advice of its employees in rejecting California’s request to set rules on automotive carbon dioxide emissions, a senator says. “It’s clear that E.P.A.’s own experts told Administrator Stephen Johnson that California’s case for the waiver is solid,” Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat who is chairwoman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, said Monday. Her committee has scheduled a hearing on Thursday on the agency’s decision last month denying California’s request to set emissions rules tougher than federal standards. Mr. Johnson said an energy bill signed by President Bush would achieve reductions in greenhouse gases through fuel-efficiency standards.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January, 2008

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Also See:

Fed judge upholds ca auto emissions rules, NYT, December 13, 2007

And Bush bats them down: EPA rejects ca waiver. (Big Oil vs. democracy. We Lose, again.) Union of Concerned Scientists Clean Vehicles Program, December 19, 2007

Ca sues EPA for emissions waiver, lat, January 2, 2008

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Justice Nomination Seen as Snub to Democrats


nyt, January 24, 2008


WASHINGTON — The Justice Department lawyer who wrote a series of classified legal opinions in 2005 authorizing harsh C.I.A. interrogation techniques was renominated by the White House on Wednesday to a senior department post, a move that was seen as a snub to Senate Democrats who have long opposed his appointment.

The lawyer, Steven G. Bradbury, who has run the department’s Office of Legal Counsel without Senate confirmation for more than two years, has been repeatedly nominated to the job of assistant attorney general for legal counsel.

But the earlier nominations stalled in the Senate because of a dispute with the Justice Department over its failure to provide Congress with copies of legal opinions on a variety of terrorism issues. Under Senate rules that place a time limit on nominations, Mr. Bradbury’s earlier nominations expired.

Late last year, Democrats urged the White House to withdraw Mr. Bradbury’s name once and for all and find a new candidate for the post after it was disclosed in news reports in October that he was the author of classified memorandums that gave approval to harsh interrogation techniques, including head slapping, exposure to cold and simulated drowning, even when used in combination.

Mr. Bradbury’s memorandums were described by Democrats as an effort by the Bush administration to circumvent laws prohibiting torture and to undermine a public legal opinion issued by the Justice Department in 2004 that declared torture to be “abhorrent.”

The department and the White House have insisted that there are no contradictions between Mr. Bradbury’s legal opinions, which are still secret, and laws and rules governing interrogation techniques.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January, 2008

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Today's Headlines


1] Necons promoting war with iran

1b] Birchers freaking out about neocon push for iranian war

2] Can Pakistan's new military chief reign in the army? Does he want to?

3] Musharraf the dictator begging for support in europe

4] Prop 93: SF Chron View

5] Israeli crimes protected by us at un

Jan 24

6] Retired paki officers call for musharraf to step out of politics

7] US planning action in paki mountain regions

8] Obama supporter rezko faces trials

9] EPA ignored science to deny california auto smog rules

10] Bush re nominates bradbury, author of torture memos, for office of legal counsel