Sifting Through the Rubble

John B. Judis has an article ‘Sifting Through the Rubble’ in the October 1 American Prospect that presents a “balance sheet” of US “failures” in Iraq. According to Judis, (besides generally spreading chaos) the invasion has:

– Reversed Arab efforts to reform Saudi Arabia.
– Increased US political dependence on Saudi Arabia.
– Increased the power of Saudi-led OPEC.
– Raised the price of oil for US consumers.
– Boosted the Saudi economy (up 7% this year).

Still waiting for evidence of fanatical devotion to democracy.

The American Way of “Getting Rid of People”

I put this up as a comment on Gene Healy’s blog earlier, so I might as well post it here, too. Healy wrote about Bush’s recent interview with Brit Hume on Fox, and one of the funnier/scarier moments in the exchange when Bush said that he gets all of his info from Rice and Wolfowitz. Good, but my favorite part was this:

HUME: Now the Israelis have indicated that they might get rid of [Arafat] one way or another, exile, killing him. What would be our reaction to that? I mean, we keep hearing that he’s an enemy of peace, an obstacle to peace, and yet when the Israelis said, well, OK, let’s get rid of him, the answer up in the U.S. government is, whoa, not so fast. What about it?

BUSH: Well, the best way — in America, we believe in getting rid of people through a peaceful, orderly process, and the Palestinian people should make that decision by getting a government that represents their will. Because I believe most Palestinians believe in peace.

“Getting rid of people through a peaceful, orderly process”– this should be Ashcroft’s motto for the PATRIOT Act.

Human Shield to Be Prosecuted

Faith Fippinger, a 62-year-old retired teacher, faces jail for travelling to Iraq before the war. On what grounds?

For three months she travelled around Iraq, guarding oil refineries, teaching in schools and working in hospitals.

But when she returned home there was a letter waiting for her from the US Treasury Department.

The Treasury Department?

“It was a requirement to send information as to why I was in Iraq,” she says.

“It also said the penalties for being there could be as high as a million dollars and up to 12 years in jail.”

By going to Iraq Faith Fippinger had broken the US economic embargo on Iraq, which had been in place for many years.

The letter explained that by travelling to the country and spending money there, Miss Fippinger was now liable for prosecution.

The same government that uses the Treasury Dept. for such blatantly political prosecutions tells us not to worry about the as-yet unused provisions of the PATRIOT Act?

Calling Charles Krauthammer — Are You There, Charley?

During an April 22nd American Enterprise Institute briefing on the war in Iraq, Charles Krauthammer said: “Hans Blix had five months to find weapons. He found nothing. We’ve had five weeks. Come back to me in five months. If we haven’t found any, we will have a credibility problem.”

It’s been 5 months, Charley, care to comment?

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