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One of the things that the mainstream press is trying to convey is that the aftermath in Iraq is totally disorganized, and we have no idea what we're doing, we're not prepared for it, we're losing soldiers, and all that, which is horrible, and Bush is totally lost, blah blah blah blah blah....

I myself as a student of history have been left a little perplexed by all this, since I recall what it took in Japan, in the aftermath of World War II, what it took in Germany after World War II and the fact that we're still there, still have troops in both places.

So, a little historical perspective and comparison is in order:

In Germany, we did the same thing that we are doing in Iraq. We went in and we took over the country for the purposes of establishing a free and open country, and it took us a while to do it.

How long did it take to set up an independent central bank? This is one of the requirements when establishing functioning priorities of a new country. It took three years to establish an independent central bank in Germany. In Iraq, it has taken two months.

In Germany it took 14 months to establish a functioning police department. In Iraq, this has been done in two months.

In Germany, it took three years to concoct and implement a new currency. That has been done already in Iraq.

It took 14 months to establish a cabinet in Germany. It's been done in four months in Iraq, with the Iraqi governing council.

Already, the above things are up and running in just 4 months.

The unknowns:

War trials, there are none in Iraq so far. Took six months to get those going in Germany.

It took four years for elections to take place in Germany. We still don't know how long it's going to take in Iraq.

How long was it before there was full sovereignty for Germany after World War II? It was ten years.

And what are the demands now being made on Iraq? Why, we ought to be out of there by now, right? Well, obviously thats a little unrealistic once you appreciate the historical perspective.

Now, in my view, this is important because the historical perspective has been lost totally. The Marshall Plan took years. Iraq could take a year or two. Whats so bad about that?

As most of us know, its easy to be negative, to believe the doom and gloom, to believe everything is going to fall apart, the sky is falling, etc. The media makes a living off such news. It takes a lot of work to be positive. Iraq is a major undertaking, and will take some time. Everything worthwhile does.

Next time you hear the doom and gloom crowd chanting the sky is falling, just sit back and take a breath, and review your newfound historical perspective on the issue. By educating ourselves, we can see that Iraq is small potatoes compared to what the US went through and achieved in the past, and theres no reason whatsoever to be paniced or scared or overly blustered about the first 4 months in Iraq.

Fact is, its going awfully well by all accounts. 25 million people liberated without a massive refugee exodus or even civil war. You know as well as I do that if 25 million Iraqis wanted the US out of Iraq, they'd be out. But 95% of the Iraqi population wants us to stay, a figure not heard enough on the 'evening news'.
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Your friend Bill O'Reilly would correctly label that post as "spin". The fact is that the Bush administration created the expectations around this war in their effort to "sell" it to the American people. The criticism that Bush gets now is in direct response to the expectations that he created.

Aside from the apparent "mis-statements" that we were fed (WMDs, Iraq's link to 9/11, imminence of threat, etc.), it seems pretty obvious that Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld were also extraordinary off-base in thinking that we would be warmly embraced by the Iraqi people, that rebuilding Iraq would be a quick and painless affair, and that oil revenues would fund the rebuilding effort. All of those assumptions are patently false.

Sergeant, you may have a point in your post. Too bad the Bush administration aren't as astute in their understanding of history as you. Either that, or one must believe that they purposefully misled us.

There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
Originally posted by MBM:

Sergeant, you may have a point in your post. Too bad the Bush administration aren't as astute in their understanding of history as you. Either that, or one must believe that they purposefully misled us.

Hmmmmm...I wonder which it is...


I can't decide... giveup

Maybe both?

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Sorpresas te da la vida...,
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I think the fact that in the case of WWII, the fact that there was never even the slightest thought that it would be a "quick" war with a "quick" resolution kind of negates this whole post. Also, add in to that that although "We went in and we took over the country for the purposes of establishing a free and open country," we "went in" against an Army of, what, 10's or 100's of thousands, against a madman set on the annihilation of an entire people, and with the aid of how many other countries and armies?

In short, we fought a real war for a real purpose against a real enemy with a real coalition backing us up!!! Eek What we have done in Iraq is none of that. Nada. Zip. Zero. So to make a comparison between WWII and Iraq has got to be just a tad bit ..... well, ridiculous. Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

Free your mind, and the rest will follow.
An Occupied Country

It has become clear, very quickly, that Iraq is not a liberated country, but an occupied country. We became familiar with the term "occupied country" during World War II. We talked of German-occupied France, German-occupied Europe. And after the war we spoke of Soviet-occupied Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Eastern Europe. It was the Nazis, the Soviets, who occupied other countries.

Now we are the occupiers. True, we liberated Iraq from Saddam Hussein, but not from us. Just as in 1898 we liberated Cuba from Spain, but not from us. Spanish tyranny was overthrown, but the United States established a military base in Cuba, as we are doing in Iraq. U.S. corporations moved in to Cuba, just as Bechtel and Halliburton and the oil corporations are moving into Iraq. The United States was deciding what kind of constitution Cuba would have, just as our government is now forming a constitution for Iraq. Not a liberation, an occupation.

And it is an ugly occupation. On August 7, The New York Times reported that U.S. General Ricardo Sanchez in Baghdad was worried about Iraqi reaction to the occupation. Iraqi leaders who were pro-American were giving him a message, as he put it: "When you take a father in front of his family and put a bag over his head and put him on the ground you have had a significant adverse effect on his dignity and respect in the eyes of his family." (That's very perceptive.)

CBS News reported on July 19 that Amnesty International is looking into a number of cases of suspected torture in Iraq by American authorities. One such case involves Khraisan al-Aballi, CBS said. "When American soldiers raided the al-Aballi house, they came in shooting. . . . They shot and wounded his brother Dureid." U.S. soldiers took Khraisan, his 80-year-old father, and his brother away. "Khraisan says his interrogators stripped him naked and kept him awake for more than a week, either standing or on his knees, bound hand and foot, with a bag over his head," CBS reported. Khraisan told CBS he informed his captors, "I don't know what you want. I don't know what you want. I have nothing." At one point, "I asked them to kill me," Khraisan said. After eight days, they let him and his father go. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator of Iraq, responded, "We are, in fact, carrying out our international obligations."

On June 17, two reporters for the Knight Ridder chain wrote about the Falluja area: "In dozens of interviews during the past five days, most residents across the area said there was no Ba'athist or Sunni conspiracy against U.S. soldiers, there were only people ready to fight because their relatives had been hurt or killed, or they themselves had been humiliated by home searches and road stops." One woman said, after her husband was taken from their home because of empty wooden crates, which they had bought for firewood, that the United States is guilty of terrorism. "If I find any American soldiers, I will cut their heads off," she said. According to the reporters, "Residents in At Agilia--a village north of Baghdad--said two of their farmers and five others from another village were killed when U.S. soldiers shot them while they were watering their fields of sunflowers, tomatoes, and cucumbers."

Soldiers who are set down in a country where they were told they would be welcomed as liberators only to find they are surrounded by a hostile population become fearful, trigger-happy, and unhappy. We've been reading the reports of GIs angry at their being kept in Iraq. In mid-July, an ABC News reporter in Iraq told of being pulled aside by a sergeant who said to him: "I've got my own 'Most Wanted List.' " He was referring to the deck of cards the U.S. government published, featuring Saddam Hussein, his sons, and other wanted members of the former Iraqi regime. "The aces in my deck are Paul Bremer, Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush, and Paul Wolfowitz," the sergeant said.

Such sentiments are becoming known to the American public. In May, a Gallup Poll reported that only 13 percent of the American public thought the war was going badly. By July 4, the figure was 42 percent. By late August, it was 49 percent.

Then there is the occupation of the United States. I wake up in the morning, read the newspaper, and feel that we are an occupied country, that some alien group has taken over. Those Mexican workers trying to cross the border--dying in the attempt to evade immigration officials (ironically, trying to cross into land taken from Mexico by the United States in 1848)--those Mexican workers are not alien to me. Those millions of people in this country who are not citizens and therefore, by the Patriot Act, are subject to being pulled out of their homes and held indefinitely by the FBI, with no constitutional rights--those people are not alien to me. But this small group of men who have taken power in Washington, they are alien to me.

I wake up thinking this country is in the grip of a President who was not elected, who has surrounded himself with thugs in suits who care nothing about human life abroad or here, who care nothing about freedom abroad or here, who care nothing about what happens to the earth, the water, the air. And I wonder what kind of world our children and grandchildren will inherit. More Americans are beginning to feel, like the soldiers in Iraq, that something is terribly wrong, that this is not what we want our country to be.

More and more every day, the lies are being exposed. And then there is the largest lie: that everything the United States does is to be pardoned because we are engaged in a "war on terrorism." This ignores the fact that war is itself terrorism, that the barging into people's homes and taking away family members and subjecting them to torture, that is terrorism, that invading and bombing other countries does not give us more security but less security.

You get some sense of what this government means by the "war on terrorism" when you examine what Rumsfeld said a year ago when he was addressing the NATO ministers in Brussels. "There are things that we know," he said. "And then there are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know that we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know. . . . That is, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. . . . Simply because you do not have evidence that something exists does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn't exist."

Well, Rumsfeld has clarified things for us.

That explains why this government, not knowing exactly where to find the criminals of September 11, will just go ahead and invade and bomb Afghanistan, killing thousands of people, driving hundreds of thousands from their homes, and still not know where the criminals are.

That explains why the government, not really knowing what weapons Saddam Hussein is hiding, will invade and bomb Iraq, to the horror of most of the world, killing thousands of civilians and soldiers and terrorizing the population.

That explains why the government, not knowing who are terrorists and who are not, will put hundreds of people in confinement at Guantanamo under such conditions that twenty have tried to commit suicide.

That explains why, not knowing which noncitizens are terrorists, the Attorney General will take away the constitutional rights of twenty million of them.

The so-called war on terrorism is not only a war on innocent people in other countries, but it is also a war on the people of the United States: a war on our liberties, a war on our standard of living. The wealth of the country is being stolen from the people and handed over to the super-rich. The lives of our young are being stolen. And the thieves are in the White House.

It's interesting to me that polls taken among African Americans have shown consistently 60 percent opposition to the war in Iraq. Shortly after Colin Powell made his report to the United Nations on "Weapons of Mass Destruction," I did a phone interview with an African American radio station in Washington, D.C., a program called "GW on the Hill." After I talked with the host there were eight call-ins. I took notes on what the callers said:

John: "What Powell said was political garbage."

Another caller: "Powell was just playing the game. That's what happens when people get into high office."

Robert: "If we go to war, innocent people will die for no good reason."

Kareen: "What Powell said was hogwash. War will not be good for this country."

Susan: "What is so good about being a powerful country?"

Terry: "It's all about oil."

Another caller: "The U.S. is in search of an empire and it will fall as the Romans did. Remember when Ali fought Foreman. He seemed asleep but when he woke up he was ferocious. So will the people wake up."

It is often said that this Administration can get away with war because unlike Vietnam, the casualties are few. True, only a few hundred battle casualties, unlike Vietnam. But battle casualties are not all. When wars end, the casualties keep mounting up--sickness, trauma. After the Vietnam War, veterans reported birth defects in their families due to the Agent Orange spraying in Vietnam. In the first Gulf War there were only a few hundred battle casualties, but the Veterans Administration reported recently that in the ten years following the Gulf War, 8,000 veterans died. About 200,000 of the 600,000 veterans of the Gulf War filed complaints about illnesses incurred from the weapons our government used in the war. In the current war, how many young men and women sent by Bush to liberate Iraq will come home with related illnesses?

What is our job? To point all this out.

Human beings do not naturally support violence and terror. They do so only when they believe their lives or country are at stake. These were not at stake in the Iraq War. Bush lied to the American people about Saddam and his weapons. And when people learn the truth--as happened in the course of the Vietnam War--they will turn against the government. We who are for peace have the support of the rest of the world. The United States cannot indefinitely ignore the ten million people who protested around the world on February 15. The power of government--whatever weapons it possesses, whatever money it has at its disposal--is fragile. When it loses its legitimacy in the eyes of its people, its days are numbered.

We need to engage in whatever nonviolent actions appeal to us. There is no act too small, no act too bold. The history of social change is the history of millions of actions, small and large, coming together at critical points to create a power that governments cannot suppress. We find ourselves today at one of those critical points.

Howard Zinn, the author of "A People's History of the United States," is a columnist for The Progressive.

There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
All right Sarge, I believe ya. This occupation of ours is going to be long and drawn out.

But the only problem is that the American people were not expecting to be involved in Iraq for more than six months, or spend untold billions of dollars. This was a McWar that is NOT comparable to the one we waged against Germany. Germany declared war on US, so we had no choice, and our economy and our manpower were intrinsically tied to the war effort. That was made true by the fact that we had a conscription and a declaration of war by Congress itself.

Now we have a volunteer army which our superiors feel they can move around like chesspieces without political ramifications, and there has been very little discussion of how much resources it will take to stabilize Iraq. We so few military personnels in that country BECAUSE we lowballed the estimates. So go ahead, make the weak relationships between WWII and this war. Obviously, the public is not buying it.
MBM, I agree with the amount of disagreement within our community. As an avid viewr of C-Span, the few black people that get through are against the war, against Bush and mostly against anything this adminstration is for. A few days ago I heard the Chairman of the Republican party bragging about how many black folks are now registered as "Independent" and how that opens up the means for them to gain additional votes. I just shook my head, and thought what black person in their natural black mind is going to vote for Bush again. Did he actually think that he was going to win the majority of our votes for the Republican party? Or they could do what they did in Florida and nullify the votes, they don't seem to be above that. Roll Eyes
But back to discussing the topic about watching the evening news in relation to Iraq. I watch every once in a while. But the news is mostly the same thing rehashed daily so, once a day to recap the news for me is fine.
But the following is strictly 'conjecture':

"Human beings do not naturally support violence and terror. They do so only when they believe their lives or country are at stake. These were not at stake in the Iraq War. Bush lied to the American people about Saddam and his weapons"

And if Bush lied, then Clinton lied, Albright lied, Powell lied, and just about every world leader on the planet within the UN lied since they ALL said saddam was a threat to world security and needed to be dealt with, for almost a decade now. Clinton went as far as to say he "KNOWS" Saddam will obtain and eventually "use" nuclear and wmd's one day", he said this as far back as Dec. 1998. Thats a quote.

So clinton believed saddam was putting this country at 'stake', as did Bush and 75% of americans. Did everyone who ever said the word 'Iraq' lie, or is this just the opinion of a minority? I tend to believe the latter.

You had up to 75% of all americans saying they believed that getting saddam was the right thing to do. The UN itself passed unanimous resolutions demanding saddam disarm. They saw the same exact news reports and heard the same exact speeches that you and I did. I seriously doubt they'd demand unanimously that a certain nation must disarm, if they believed theres no weapons there. Are you saying you are more informed or smarter than most of the world?

So, your view that saddam had no weapons is to the point of sounding ridiculous. Sorry, but theres no way that your minority of opinion is somehow superiorly informed about saddam. That just doesn't fly.

Even today that figure of about 70% who say the war was the right thing still stands, so are you actually claiming that 3/4 of all americans believe only lies? That would sound awfully arrogant of you if you did of course, unless you can disclose here and now your 'secret' sources of information.

Naturally your views are 'opinion', not fact as you suggest.

But feel free to explain how thousands upon thousands of people, and world leaders, can lie publicly, with no fact verification coming from the immensity of the worlds media apparently, including people on both sides of the political spectrum in this country, AND the UN itself who demanded saddam disclose and disarm himself. Please explain how or why the UN was lying about saddam that way.

Remember, there was no disagreement about saddams arsenal, the vote was unanimous, the only disagreement was over the term 'serious consequences' and what that meant in the UN resolution.

So, you'd have to believe at least half the world 'lied' for you to believe Bush lied, would you not? So, is that what you believe? You got secret unknown sources for your claims? Do tell.

[This message was edited by Mountain on September 25, 2003 at 09:09 AM.]

[This message was edited by Mountain on September 25, 2003 at 09:14 AM.]
Originally posted by Mountain:

And if Bush lied, then Clinton lied, Albright lied, Powell lied, and just about every world leader on the planet within the UN lied since they ALL said saddam was a threat to world security and needed to be dealt with, for almost a decade now. Clinton went as far as to say he "KNOWS" Saddam will obtain and eventually "use" nuclear and wmd's one day", he said this as far back as Dec. 1998. Thats a quote.

The concept of "threat" is a dynamic one. I think part of the problem is that Bush seems to apply standards selectively - which naturally creates questions about motivation and truthfulness.

In Iraq - where it appears that whatever threat that existed was being "managed" via inspections, no fly zones, economic sanctions, etc. - we invade a country/topple a government/sacrifice American lives, etc., etc. Yet in North Korea where the threat would appear to be significantly greater, and more certain, we initiate multi-lateral negotiations. So, Bush asserts that America can pre-emptively wage war to avert threat (i.e. the Bush Doctrine) - and invades and occupies a country based upon that principle, yet chooses to ignore his own policy in a situation where the level of threat is significantly greater and more certain than in Iraq. Doesn't that raise questions about what really is the motivation behind our actions? And when you add on top the fact that nothing that the President said to support our entering the war seems to have been true (imminence, WMDs, tie to 9/11) then how can you not wonder what's up?

And oh, BTW, lets add the fact that Bush's cronies at Halliburton and Bechtel get handed billions of dollars associated with the war, as well as the reality that we know that the American oil industry (of which Bush et al are squarely in the middle) will be rebuilding the Iraqi oil business raises significant questions about our actions and their motivation. When you read that the only building in Baghdad to be protected from looters was the Oil Ministry, etc., etc., etc. - how can one not be perplexed by our actions.

ANd then there is the question about Cheney's top secret oil policy meetings with industry execs. What is Cheney hiding and why? It's interesting to note that what we do know of those meetings is that the topic of Iraq and its oil was absolutely ON the agenda!

You had up to 75% of all americans saying they believed that getting saddam was the right thing to do.

Please! All based upon lies from Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld! Do you think 75% of Americans would now agree with the war with the information that we now know to be true about the country and the threat? Why do most Americans oppose the war now? Why do you think Bush's poll numbers are tanking?

So, your view that saddam had no weapons is to the point of sounding ridiculous.

Do you believe the CIA?

Draft Report Said to Cite No Success in Iraq Arms Hunt

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 "” An early draft of an interim report by the American leading the hunt for banned weapons in Iraq says his team has not found any of the unconventional weapons cited by the Bush administration as a principal reason for going to war, federal officials with knowledge of the findings said today.

The long-awaited report by David Kay, the former United Nations weapons inspector who has been leading the American search for illicit weapons, will be the first public assessment of progress in that search since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1.

Mr. Kay's team has spent nearly four months searching suspected sites and interviewing Iraqi scientists believed to have knowledge about the country's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Mr. Kay and his team had not found illicit weapons.


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela

[This message was edited by MBM on September 25, 2003 at 10:25 AM.]
So, according to you saddam was no more than a mere nuisance in the middle east, and should have been viewed no differently after 9/11 than before. You are aware of the terrorist camps in Iraq, the past use of chem weapons, the unbelievable inhumanity of saddam's regime, the knowledge that he sought and built nuclear facilities once already, the payoffs and encouragement of suicide bombers, yet in an age of terrorism and the obvious threat that wmd's in the hands of terrorists pose to all nations, you would choose not to act in the name of yours and everyone's children's futures. Well, thats a view, albeit not a popular one.

Glad you aren't running for any important office or position of authority however.

Who are Bushe's cronies at Halliburton and Bechtel? Are the people you work with also 'cronies' of yours, and will they be even after you have no associations with them? Everyone knows that both those companies receive lots of contracts from the government, always have, Clinton handed them loads of contracts, as did Bush Sr and Reagan. Are you saying that all presidents have 'cronies' in these two particular companies??? What on earth?

Why is Bush 'squarely' in the middle of the oil industry? Just because they are very knowledgeable and experienced in those areas? Thats a 'bad' thing in your view? Why? You mean to tell us that everyone remotely associated with the oil industry is automatically disqualified from being president or political office or dealing with energy policy??? Doesn't that sounds a little assbackwards to you?

When you have a leakey toilet, who do you call, an electrician? Doesn't even make sense. Bring us PROOF of some tangible 'something', whatever it is you are insinuating, else you are just making up weird theories that go absolutely nowhere.

If Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world, and the Iraqis are wholly dependent on that revenue, you think it strange that the oil fields were protected from sabotage? Why? So you think it would have been better to let saddam just destroy the countries only national resource and means of income? That don't sound very smart frankly.

And I think your statement about the oil ministry being the only building 'protected' is ludicrous, unless your secret sources are telling you that all other buildings in Iraq were left unprotected. Well, they certainly were not. But I don't think they were being protected from 'looters' at all, since the stuff taken belonged to the Iraqi people anyway.

I believe its fairly obvious why you meet with oil exec experts and leaders of the energy industry when you are formulating energy policy. Why is that strange to you? In your view, who is it better to meet with than those actively participating in the industry you are examining?

You ask what is Cheney hiding? I don't know, I wasn't aware he was hiding anything. What are you claiming he is hiding? From what I've read, theres a dispute between government officials being able to meet with industry leaders confidentially, so as to not have these people worrying about having their names spattered all over the front pages the next day like they are in a soap opera. Makes lots of sense to me. How you gonna get private citizens willingly to participate if they are going to become front page stories?

Why does it matter who one met with prior to formulating policy anyway? Noone has ever been able to explain that yet. Isn't it the policy itself that matters??? Should Cheney have provided the names of all his college professors as well, since they taught him much of what he knows?

Was Clinton asked to provide the names of his Chinese connections? Didn't he arrange to have high technology weapons systems provided to China through a huge defense contractor? You know, the people who illegally provided all that highly technological weapons equipment to China, the name escapes me right now, starts with a 'B' I think, and they were even later indicted and fined for doing so as I recall. Yet noone asked clinton the names of anyone in his meetings. So what is this really all about?

I dont' recall any president ever being asked about who he sought advice from or who attended what meeting, or who he met with along the way. Have you?
Its not only unprecendented, but thoroughly useless information anyway.

But I certainly understand the hesitation to have to provide the names of private citizens and those you sought advise and council from provided to government bureacrats. What we living in, Orwells 1984? Screw that. I mean those folks may not want to become superstars or the grist of political controversy and shennanigans overnight. What is the real purpose in doing that? Trying to scare industry leaders and experts away from participation in national policy??? Not wise to say the least.

Maybe you'd have preferred they met with people from the 'entertainment' business to give 'their' views on energy policy? Again, you aren't making much sense here. Why is meeting with those in the oil industry wrong when oil is the main source of energy driving the world? Is it their 'expertise' in that field that bothers you? You think only 'novices' should be permitted to create energy policy? Sounds strange to me.

BTW, there is only one other firm in the world that matches Halliburton's size, resources, and expertise when it comes to oil related issues. Can you name that firm? (unless of course you really haven't a clue about any of this)

You are intent on believing innuendo, unproven rumour mongering, and creating disparate associations that in some instances sound absurd frankly. Sorry, but I'm not getting your agenda here at all.

North Korea??? What does North Korea have to do with Iraq? That would appear to be China's problem based on recent stories anyways, not the US. Has your head been with you all day today?

Do I believe the CIA? Guess so. I know you've said that you don't. The reports I've seen say David Kay has till now found no evidence that wmd's were sent to Syria or Iran. That likely means they are still in Iraq. But it might be better to see his actual report, don't you think? What does David Kay have to do with UN resolutions? You think he's finished after just 4 months? I doubt that also. saddam had a decade to hide his weapons, can't imagine why anyone is surprised they are hard to find now.

Sorry, but you aren't making much sense about most this stuff, is this a joke or something? Is this 'candid website' or something?

[This message was edited by Mountain on September 25, 2003 at 02:23 PM.]

[This message was edited by Mountain on September 25, 2003 at 02:24 PM.]

[This message was edited by Mountain on September 25, 2003 at 02:32 PM.]
Please calm down with MBM. You are new so you don't seem to understand MBM simply likes to ask seaching questions to help us look deeper into our debates and bring up better arguments. That is is all there is to his probing, is is not personal, please lighten up.

Is it just talk or are you for solutions? If you are GENUINELY interested in solving black problems? Then join us at
Oh yeah,

Closed door energy policy meetings with no disclosure, WMD's that never surfaced, Haliburton getting contracts with no bids (real good in terms of job creation), no Osama, no connection between Sadaam and Al-Qeida....Ken lay of Enron in bed with W......and to think there was more of a stink over Clinton getting a blow-job. Americans are a gullible, flag waving, bible-thumping bunch.......amazing
I remember my first "vacation" to the Middle East and after the liberation of Kuwait it was rumoured the king wanted to pay each member 10k to show his gratitude. The gov't turned it down saying we were not mercenaries. If you look at the defination of mercenary that is exactly what we were doing.
Fast forward to my second vacation and one would be hard pressed to call this anything other than an occupation. There is hardly a meeting that a member of the "liberation" force is not present. We have influenced everything from the uniforms they wear to how much electricity they get. Comparasions can be made for both liberation or occupier so it all depends on where you sit.


"Americans are a gullible bunch.......amazing"

Yes, you are living proof of that apparently kevin.

It is both liberation and occupation. I don't recall anyone saying otherwise ever. Do you? Are you arguing with your own selves about this?

Germany and Japan rose to the top of the economic heap after the American occupation. Didn't seem to do them any harm. So?

Yet another example of how Bush and Co. are profiting from the War in Iraq. Folks, they're just pimping the American people!


September 30, 2003
Washington Insiders' New Firm Consults on Contracts in Iraq

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 "” A group of businessmen linked by their close ties to President Bush, his family and his administration have set up a consulting firm to advise companies that want to do business in Iraq, including those seeking pieces of taxpayer-financed reconstruction projects.

The firm, New Bridge Strategies, is headed by Joe M. Allbaugh, Mr. Bush's campaign manager in 2000 and the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency until March. Other directors include Edward M. Rogers Jr., vice chairman, and Lanny Griffith, lobbyists who were assistants to the first President George Bush and now have close ties to the White House.

At a time when the administration seeks Congressional approval for $20.3 billion to rebuild Iraq, part of an $87 billion package for military and other spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, the company's Web site,, says, "The opportunities evolving in Iraq today are of such an unprecedented nature and scope that no other existing firm has the necessary skills and experience to be effective both in Washington, D.C., and on the ground in Iraq."

The site calls attention to the links between the company's directors and the two Bush administrations by noting, for example, that Mr. Allbaugh, the chairman, was "chief of staff to then-Gov. Bush of Texas and was the national campaign manager for the Bush-Cheney 2000 presidential campaign."

The president of the company, John Howland, said in a telephone interview that it did not intend to seek any United States government contracts itself, but might be a middleman to advise other companies that seek taxpayer-financed business. The main focus, Mr. Howland said, would be to advise companies that seek opportunities in the private sector in Iraq, including licenses to market products there. The existence of the company was first reported in The Hill, a Congressional newspaper.

Mr. Howland said the company was not trying to promote its political connections. He said that although Mr. Allbaugh, for example, had spent most of his career "in the political arena, there's a lot of cross-pollination between that world and the one that exists in Iraq today."

As part of the administration's postwar work in Iraq, the government has awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to American businesses. Those contracts, some without competitive bidding, have included more than $500 million to support troops and extinguish oil field fires for Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, which Vice President Dick Cheney led from 1995 until 2000.

Of the $3.9 billion a month that the administration is spending on military operations in Iraq, up to one-third may go to contractors who provide food, housing and other services, some military budget experts said. A spokesman for the Pentagon said today that the military could not provide an estimate of the breakdown.

Administration officials, including L. Paul Bremer III, the top American official in Iraq, have said all future contracts will be issued only as a result of competitive bidding. Already, the Web site for the Coalition Provisional Authority,, lists 36 recent solicitations, including those for contractors who might sell new AK-47 assault rifles, nine-millimeter ammunition and other goods for new army and security forces.

New Bridge Strategies was established in May and recently began full-fledged operations, including opening an office in Iraq, its officials said. They added that a decision by the Governing Council of Iraq to allow foreign companies to establish 100 percent ownership of businesses in Iraq, an unusual arrangement in the Mideast, had added to the attractiveness of the market.

Mr. Howland is a principal of Crest Investment in Houston and was president of American Rice, once a major exporter to Iraq. Richard Burt, ambassador to Germany in the Reagan administration and a former assistant secretary of state, and Lord Powell, a member of the British House of Lords and an important military and foreign-policy adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, are among the 10 principals.

Mr. Allbaugh, the chairman, spent most of his career in Texas politics before Mr. Bush appointed him to head the federal disaster agency. Mr. Allbaugh, who now heads his own consulting firm here, did not return calls to his office today.

Mr. Rogers, the vice chairman who was a deputy assistant to the first President Bush and an executive assistant to the White House chief of staff, is also vice chairman of Barbour Griffith & Rogers, one of the best-connected Republican lobbying firms in the capital. Mr. Rogers founded it in 1991 with Haley Barbour, who became chairman of the Republican National Committee and is now running for governor of Mississippi.

Shortly after leaving the White House, Mr. Rogers was publicly rebuked by the first President Bush after he signed a $600,000 contract to represent a Saudi, Sheik Kamal Adham, who was a main figure under scrutiny in a case that involved the Bank of Commerce and Credit International. Mr. Rogers canceled his contract to represent the sheik, former head of Saudi intelligence.

Mr. Griffith, a director of the new company, is chief operating officer of Barbour Griffith & Rogers, which he joined in 1993. He was special assistant for intergovernmental affairs to the first President Bush and later worked under him as an assistant secretary of education.

Until November, Mr. Rogers's wife, Edwina, was associate director of the National Economic Council at the White House. Reached by telephone today, Mr. Rogers said he did not want to speak for the record and referred a reporter to Mr. Howland.

The company Web site says the company was "created specifically with the aim of assisting clients to evaluate and take advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East following the conclusion of the U.S.-led war in Iraq."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company |

There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela

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