Did America begin its war with Iraq in the summer of 2002?

Over the last month, the justifications for war offered by the Bush administration have been examined and found wanting. It turns out that the evidence for the military threat posed by Saddam Hussein to the United States was quite weak. But last week there was a revelation made by US Air Force Lieutenant General T. Michael Moseley to the effect that the Air Force began bombing Iraq in June, 2002 under the guise of patrolling the “no fly” zone in the south of Iraq. Some 391 targets were bombed in the period leading up to the invasion of Iraq in March of 2003. Any proposed mission likely to kill more than 30 civilians had to be personally approved by Don Rumsfeld. The Air Force submitted some 50 requests and the Secretary of Defense approved each one. Furthermore, according to Moseley, the White House had given orders to the Air Force in late 2001 to draw up plans for a war on Iraq.
The existence of these operations exposes the acts of the Bush administration in the fall of 2002 as one sustained con game played upon the American people. Even when Little Bush was strutting before the United Nations that fall, the war against Iraq was under way. The intellectual bodyguard of the Bush administration has spent the last month repeating its mantra about Bush being a man of his word and a courageous leader. This revelation reveals the entire administration as a group of dedicated and ingenious liars. Just as the true facts regarding this war have taken some time to be absorbed by the American medica, so to will this latest bombshell come to be accepted by the American public and its media.

Maybe the Liberventionists Were Right

About spreading freedom at gunpoint. Drug prohibition seems to be out the window in liberated Afghanistan– which is why we’ll soon be invading them again.
From the Christian Science Monitor:
Bumper year for Afghan poppies

BATIKOT, AFGHANISTAN – Gul Hazrat Bacha has turned his attention from his fields to building a new house for his family – a dream fulfilled by his recent opium poppy crop.

Only two years ago, Mr. Bacha and his four brothers grew wheat – and fell deeper into debt each year. Now, they make 12 times their former income, have paid back lenders, and see a future for the family. “Honestly speaking, whatever I have is because of poppy,” says Bacha with a smile. “Money, happiness, and the house … everything.”

Afghan farmers are producing a bumper crop of poppies this year, despite a ban imposed by President Hamid Karzai’s government, and just three years after the Taliban clamped down on cultivation.

Plunderers in Serbia

According to the Financial Times, Ms Kori Udovicki, “a Yale-educated economist and former expert on Yugoslavia for the International Monetary Fund” is the new head of the Serbian central bank.
The choice should not be surprising. Udovicki is a Statist economist to boot, and a successful plunderer. Former head of the Energy Ministry, she was behind the price hikes that impoverished vast numbers of Serbians (electricity is a government-monopolized utility over there), and filled up the state coffers quite nicely. Expect her banking policies to be inflationary, deficitary and aimed squarely against any form of entrepreneurial capitalism that hasn’t paid tribute to the State.
See Financial Times article here:

Celebration in Baghdad?

On one of the nightly news programs this evening, news of Uday’s and Qusay’s deaths was said to have been greeted by Iraqis with celebratory gunfire. The video showed sporadic green flares across the Baghdad sky to support this claim. Struck me as odd that Iraqis–who aren’t supposed to own guns, remember–would be out shooting at the clouds for kicks. Then I read this version by an American soldier on the scene:

Fireworks are lighting up my sky…not happy to be alive…forth of july fire works…but rather m-249 tracer rounds and parachuting flares…red rounds arcing up in sweeps…distancing themselves from each other…losing their luster the farther they fly…

When I get up on top of my truck I can pick out from where they are being fired…from the individual guard points…and compounds…I think we do it just to let the Iraqis know that we know they’re up to something…I wonder what the Iraqis think…”stupid americans”…

I think it’s all a scare tactic… I hope it’s working…
we’re just letting the Iraqis know we are out there and we are paying attention…”bring your best shot”…”we’re watching you…watch us…so back the hell off”…

Limbaugh is right: the mainstream press is biased as all hell.

Update (7/23): The aforementioned blogger now seems to concur with press reports about the shooting–after having read the reports on the internet. My earlier questions still stand, and his earlier commentary is still illuminating.

RE Merle Haggard

I made reference to Haggard in my 4th of July piece for his musical merits, but Merle’s politics are pretty solidly libertarian, too. This profile on Salon (from November 2000) is a good place to start:

[O]ver the years it has become apparent that at the heart of his conservatism lies an idealization of the American past and a sincere, though occasionally paranoid, concern about the loss of privacy and individual freedom.

“Look at the past 25 years — we went downhill, and if people don’t realize it, they don’t have their f—-ng eyes on,” says Haggard. “In 1960, when I came out of prison as an ex-convict, I had more freedom under parolee supervision than there’s available to an average citizen in America right now. I mean, there was nobody going to throw you down on the side of the road spread-eagled, and look up your butt for a f—-ng marijuana cigarette. God almighty, what have we done to each other?”

Though Haggard campaigned for Ronald Reagan, who pardoned him while serving as California’s governor, he bristles at both candidates in the 2000 presidential election. “Let me say this,” he remarks. “I’m friends with George Bush Sr. He calls to wish me happy birthday. But I’ve got lots of friends that call to wish me happy birthday who I wouldn’t want to see become president.”

Haggard has also reportedly shared his, er, enthusiasm for John Ashcroft with audiences (scroll down on this link.)