Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March 28th, 2007

Now there’s a headline you don’t read every day

Posted by Charles II on March 28, 2007

Declan Walsh in The Guardian:  

Brothel raid by female Islamists heaps pressure on Musharraf

Female Islamist students wearing burkas raided a brothel and were holding the alleged owner inside their fundamentalist madrasa last night in the latest assault by extremists on President Pervez Musharraf’s bruised authority.Women with bamboo staves stood guard on the roof of Jamia Hafsa madrasa, Islamabad, where they were holding alleged brothel madam “Auntie Shamim”, two other women and a six-month-old girl.

It would be funny except that Pakistan is nuclear-armed and Musharraf is losing control of it.

Posted in WTF? | Comments Off on Now there’s a headline you don’t read every day

So Much For The GOP Base’s Love Affair With Rudy

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 28, 2007


The second a non-Italian non-Catholic non-blatant horndog* white actor with a touch of charisma shows up, Giuliani’s support drops thirteen points.

No wonder why Dobson’s going after him: Dobson apparently prefers blatant horndogs like Newt Gingrich.

*As shown here, Thompson’s horndogginess is kept with acceptable, even tasteful, bounds. By Republican standards. [03/30/07 UPDATE: Ah, I forgot about his torrid affair with CNN’s Margaret Carlson. Well, he’s still a model of restraint by GOP standards.]

Posted in 2008, Fred Thompson, hypocrites, New Orleans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, Rudy Giuliani | Comments Off on So Much For The GOP Base’s Love Affair With Rudy

Iraqi Bloggers

Posted by MEC on March 28, 2007

In unusual step, Bush cites Iraqi bloggers

In an unusual step, President George W. Bush cited a pair of Iraqi bloggers on Wednesday to try to bolster his case that his troop buildup in Iraq is making progress.

“‘Displaced families are returning home, marketplaces are seeing more activity, stores that were long shuttered are now reopening,”‘ Bush quoted the bloggers as writing.

In a speech, Bush did not identify them, but the White House said he was referring to an opinion article published March 5 in the Wall Street Journal by the two bloggers, Omar and Mohammed Fadhil.

Isn’t it strange that when Bush was talking about “Iraqi bloggers” he didn’t mention Riverbend.

 AFTERTHOUGHT: Now that Bush has publicly associated Omar and Mohammed Fadhil with himself, should we estimate their remaining lifespan in days or hours?

Posted in anti-truth, Iraq war, madness of King George | 3 Comments »

Only in Tony Blair’s imagination

Posted by Charles II on March 28, 2007

Via the incomparable Avedon, we are reminded of the blog of Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan who blew the whistle on their boil-you-in-oil regime and US/British collaboration with it.

Now he tells us that the only maritime boundary between Iraq and Iran exists in Tony Blair’s imagination. The sailors could be there a while.

So, sorry, fellas. Hope you like Khoresht Ghormeh Sabzi .

Our hopes and prayers are with you. 

Posted in Iran | Comments Off on Only in Tony Blair’s imagination

Delisting America

Posted by Charles II on March 28, 2007

One occasionally wonders how the US could manage to further isolate itself. Dow Jones, doubtless acting with the encouragement of the White House, came up with a very creative way: it removed Venezuelan companies from index funds it runs on the claim that country risk is too high.

This from the US, which brought the world Enron, Worldcom, and subprime mortgage loans.  

“Among the six companies is Venezuela’s largest telecom carrier Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela, or CANTV, (VNT) . Chavez has signed an agreement to buy a 28.5% stake in CANTV held by Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) . The other five companies to be removed from the indexes are banks Mercantil Servicios Financieros, Banesco Banco Universal and Banco Provincial; cement and concrete supplier Cemex Venezuela; and steel producer Siderurgica Venezolana Sivensa.”  —Polya Lesova

Now, this is not likely to bother Hugo Chavez very much. The country is awash in money.  If this causes a crash in the Venezuelan market, it will certainly inconvenience his enemies among the very rich. It will give him an avenue to win even them over by offering to save them from destitution. And it will boost his standing in the rest of Latin America to that of a minor divinity.

One really wonders if the people who run the United States understand exactly how stupid and arrogant they look abroad.

Posted in big money, Venezuela | Comments Off on Delisting America

Let the troops decide

Posted by Charles II on March 28, 2007

The Congress and the President are at an impasse. The Congress has passed a timetable for troop withdrawal attached to a spending supplemental (aka, “admission that the former Congress lied about how much Iraq was costing”). The President has, in characteristic blind arrogance, blamed the Congress for cutting off funding to the troops, even though, um, actually he will be the one vetoing the additional spending.

The situation in the Middle East is extremely dangerous, with an ever-more violent civil war in Iraq, and threats of intervention by Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The corrupt Egyptian government hangs on by dint of harsh repression, and we have committed acts of war against Iran… which they may now be willing to reciprocate. All of the reasons we are given for the necessity of striking at Iran are hypocritical lies.

  1. They are not obligated to follow the IEAE guidelines, which are voluntary.
  2. They would not become the only nuclear-armed country in the Middle East and have reason to fear Israel, Russia, and even Pakistan.
  3. They have a valid reason to wish to develop  energy sources other than petroleum.
  4. The border dividing Iraq and Iran is artificial, with families living on either side.
  5. Turkey is also upset about our arming and training of Kurdish troops, since the Kurds are violently hostile to all three nations that occupy their traditional territory.

What makes all this exceptionally dangerous is that the American army is at the breaking point. No, it is not going to mutiny. But an increasing number of troops in the field are incapable of handling sustained combat, either because of age, physical disability, lack of training or materiel, or latent PTSD. Public will is at a low ebb, yet declining. Funding will get harder and harder to come by, no matter what the Congress does now.

Should a crisis arise, either in the Middle East or elsewhere, it’s increasingly likely that the United States would be unable to prevail and might be unable to even gain enough public support to try. There are so many places in the world where the lid is held down by US support that a sudden decline in military capability that one can hardly imagine the consequences.

And, finally, many of the men serving in Iraq are doing so either under a kind of conscription or at the fringes of international law, i.e., as mercenaries. Neither condition should be acceptable. Nor is it fair for men to feel that they have to stay because of their buddies. They should stay or leave because they believe in the mission and feel that they are materially, physically and emotionally equipped for it. 

Therefore, I propose that every serving member of the military who has completed his/her initial active duty and three tours in Iraq should be offered the option of immediately retiring with full benefits. It should be made clear to them that they have done everything expected of any American, and that they have no responsibility for the failures of an incompetent Administration. They need to be clear that the larger “war” (to maintain a peaceful and democratic world, free from fear) cannot be compromised just so that they can win a battle. Furthermore, I propose that all mercenaries should be offered the alternative of enlisting in the US military and coming under military discipline or leaving Iraq immediately.

The Congress has the power to enact these things and the President would only be able to veto such a bill under intense public opprobrium.

Let the troops decide.

Posted in Iran, Iraq war, madness of King George, military | Comments Off on Let the troops decide

How Is Patrick Fitzgerald Like KRS-One?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 28, 2007

Answer:  If you’re lame or wack, both men will end your career.  As Conrad Black is finding out.

Posted in Conrad Black, Fitzgerald, GOP/Media Complex, media, Media machine | 1 Comment »

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