A couple of days ago I passed by the blog of Juan Cole and found this post, in which he has seletced passages from the translated secret Bush-Aznar Memo regarding Iraq in the run up to the war. Juan has selected parts of the transcript and spun them in a way to meet his agenda, which is dishonest and disgusting. Having the entire Memo translated by PJM's Jose Guardia, it's easy to see how much of a spin mesiter Juan Cole is, and we are awarded a glimpse of what went down in the run-up to the war in Bush's head, which I suspect is not what many people suspect at all. For example:
Bush: Saddam won’t change and will keep playing
games. The moment of getting rid of him has arrived. That’s it. As for
me, from now on, I’ll try to use the most subtle rhetoric I can, while
we look for the resolution to be approved. If some country vetoes [the
resolution] we’ll go in. Saddam is not disarming. We must catch him
right now. We have shown an incredible amount of patience until now. We
have two weeks. In two weeks, our military will be ready. I think we’ll
achieve a second resolution. In the Security Council, we have three
African countries [Cameroon, Angola, Guinea], the Chileans, the
Mexicans. I’ll talk with all of them, also with Putin, naturally. We’ll
be in Baghdad at the end of March. There’s a 15% chance that Saddam
will be dead by then or will have flown. But these possibilities won’t
be there until we have shown our resolution. The Egyptians are talking
with Saddam Hussein. It seems he has hinted he’d be willing to leave if
he’s allowed to take 1 billion dollars and all the information on WMDs.
Ghadaffi told Berlusconi that Saddam wants to leave. Mubarak tells us
that in these circumstances there is a big chance that he’ll get killed.
We would like to act with the mandate of the UN. If we act
militarily, we’ll do it with great precision and focus on our targets
to as high a degree as possible. We’ll decimate the loyal troops, and
the regular army will quickly know what it’s all about. We sent a very
clear message to Saddam Hussein’s generals: we will treat them as war
criminals. We know they have stocked big amounts of dynamite to blow up
the bridges and other infrastructure, and the oil wells. We are
planning to take control of those wells very soon. Also, the Saudis
will help us by putting as much oil as necessary on the market. We are
developing a very strong aid package. We can win without destruction.
We are already working on the post-Saddam Iraq, and I think there’s a
basis for a better future. Iraq has a good bureaucracy and a relatively
strong civil society. It could be organized as a federation. Meanwhile
we’re doing all we can to fulfill the political needs of our friends
Aznar: It’s very important to have that second
resolution. It will be very different to act with or without it. It
will be very advisable to have a sufficient majority in the Security
Council backing that resolution. In fact, having that majority is more
important than whether some country vetoes. We think that the
resolution should, among other things, clearly state that Saddam
Hussein has squandered his opportunity.
Bush: Yes, of course. That would be better to mention than “the necessary means.”
Aznar: Saddam Hussein hasn’t cooperated, hasn’t
disarmed – we should summarize all his non-compliance and make a more
elaborate message. That, for example, would allow Mexico to change [its
Bush: The resolution will be made in a way that can help you. I don’t care much about the actual content.
Aznar: We’ll send you some text.
Bush: We don’t have any text. We only have one
goal: that Saddam must disarm. We can’t allow Saddam to drag his heels
until the summer. After all, he has had four months in this last stage,
and that’s more than enough time to disarm.
Hmmm… It gets better. Check out what they said about Chirac.
Aznar: I’m meeting Chirac next Wednesday [February 16]. The resolution will be circulating by now.
Bush: I think this is a great idea. Chirac knows
the situation perfectly. His intelligence services have explained it
all to him. The Arabs are sending Chirac a very clear message: Saddam
Hussein must go. The problem is that Chirac thinks he is “Mister Arab,”
and the truth is that he’s making their lives impossible. But I don’t
want any rivalry with Chirac. We certainly have different points of
view, but I’d like that to be all. Give him my best regards. True! The
less rivalry he feels there is between us, the better it’ll be for us
So Bush didn't want rivalry with Chirac. Ok! That doesn;t sound like the Bush we know from the Media. But surely he is very pro-war, right?
Aznar: Is it true that there’s a chance that Saddam will go into exile?
Bush: Yes, there is. There’s even a chance that he’ll be assassinated.
Aznar: An exile with some kind of guarantees?
Bush: No guarantees. He’s a thief, a terrorist, a
war criminal. Compared to Saddam, Milosevic would be a Mother Teresa.
When we go in, we are going to discover many more crimes, and we’ll
take him to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. Saddam
Hussein believes he has escaped. He thinks that France and Germany have
stopped the process of his prosecution. He also thinks that last week’s
anti-war demonstrations [Saturday, February 15] protect him. And he
believes I’m weakened. But people around him know that things are
totally different. They know their future is in exile or in a coffin.
This is why it’s so important to keep the pressure up. Ghaddafi is
indirectly telling us that this is the only thing that can finish him.
Saddam’s only strategy is delay, delay, delay.
Aznar: Actually, the best success would be to win the game without firing a single shot when entering Baghdad.
Bush: To me, it would be the best outcome. I don’t
want war. I know what war is like. I know the death and destruction
they bring. I am the one who has to comfort the mothers and wives of
the dead. Of course, for us [a diplomatic solution] would be the best
one. Also, it would save 50 billion dollars.
Bush didn't want war?? WHAT???
Aznar: What we are doing is a very profound change
for Spain and the Spanish citizens. We are changing the last 200 years
of the country’s politics.
Bush: I’m guided by a historical sense of
responsibility, as you are. When history judges us in a few years, I
don’t want people wondering why Bush, Aznar, or Blair didn’t confront
their responsibilities. At the end of the day, what people want is to
enjoy freedom. A short time ago, in Romania, I was reminded of
Ceaucescu’s example: it only took a woman to call him a liar for the
whole regime to come crumbling down. It’s the irrepressible power of
freedom. I’m convinced I’ll achieve the resolution.
Aznar: That’s better than good.
Bush: I made the decision of going to the Security
Council. In spite of some internal disagreements within my
administration, I told my people that we needed to work with our
friends. It will be great to have a second resolution.
Aznar: The only thing that worries me about you is your optimism.
Bush: I’m optimistic because I believe I’m doing
the right thing. I am at peace with myself. We have the responsibility
of facing a serious threat to peace. It irks me tremendously to
contemplate the insensitivity of Europeans toward the suffering that
Saddam inflicts on the Iraqis. Maybe because he’s dark-skinned,
distant, and Muslim, many Europeans think that all this doesn’t matter.
I will never forget what Solana [European High Representative of the
Common Foreign and Security Policy] asked me once: why do Americans
think that Europeans are anti-Semitic and unable to confront their
responsibilities? That defensive attitude is terrible.
Ok, so let's recap. Bush wanted to work with and through the UN, he didn't want to fight with Chirac, who knew that Saddam had the weapons and had the encouragment from the arab states to support the war, but didn't because he thought he knew better? And not only that, Bush didn't even want to go to war, but wouldn't allow Saddam to loot the country and get away with his crimes, which he believed should be tried for in the International Court of Justice?
Ok, well, all of that sounds great and reasonable. One question though: How did we get here from there?
This War will give Historians headaches for decades to come I fear!
Remember the "Breast feeding Fatwa "? Yeah, me too. It drove me crazy not to write about it. Well, it seems that even thought the idiot who issued it got fired from Al Azhar , there are some people who still take it seriously. Like This Algerian dude, who is threatehning his wife with divorce if she doesn;t breastfeed his visiting friend, since he will be staying with them throughout Ramadan. When the story came out, Shams El Deen Borby, one of Algeria's biggest Fatwa issuers, issues a warning against "Imported Fatwas". Cause, you know, Islamic Fatwas are regional and not universal.
Borby gets to put in a luagh though, with his proclamation that this isn't the first time such a case is presented to him. Apprently an Elderly Merchant once called him and told him that he has a young lucious girl working in his store. He also informed him that he had heard of the Breastfeeding Fatwa and really liked it, and wanted to "implement it" with the said employee.
Gotta love the Middle East!
I am super confused. Even after reading this detailed account of what went on. Can anyone explain to me what the fuck went down there? The story makes no sense!
And Iraq and Afghanistan and their tragedies; and the
reeling of many of you under the burden of interest-related debts,
insane taxes and real estate mortgages; global warming and its woes;
and the abject poverty and tragic hunger in Africa; all of this is but
one side of the grim face of this global system.
Dennis Kucinich? Naomi "No Logo" Klein? Daniel "Dany the Red"
Cohn-Bendit? If you guessed "none of the above," you are either an
astute observer of the anti-globalization movement, or you have already
read a transcript of
Osama Bin Laden's latest video production. If so, you will also know
that Bin Laden, after denouncing the "capitalist system," which "seeks
to turn the entire world into a fiefdom of the major corporations,"
calls for Americans to convert to Islam because, among other things,
taxes are lower in Islamic states. It's a genuinely bizarre, almost
ridiculous document—and before it is forgotten in the coming debate on
Gen. David Petraeus' Iraq report, it's worth spending a few minutes, on
the sixth anniversary of Sept. 11, trying to understand what it might
Real or fake, the message might still hint at the direction in which
al-Qaida propaganda, or at least al-Qaida propaganda designed for the
Western market, is now heading. In a recent Slate piece, Reza Aslan eloquently described how the organization's list of alleged "grievances"—which
now include global warming, corporate capitalism, and African poverty,
as well as the American bases in Saudi Arabia—weave "local and global
resentments into a single anti-American narrative, the overarching aim
of which is to form a collective identity across borders and
Using the left's argument's and grievances to court and win sympathy and support. Not the newest trick for islamists, but a very effective one historically, starting with the Iranian revolution and passing by the support of Kefaya to the Muslim Brotherhood and ending with the current direction of the collaboration of the left and the islamists to counter the great american empire. The sad thing is, the islamists always screw over the leftists eventually, and the leftists never learn.
Well, the Intelligence community is looking for the answer. And no, no, it's not the question of where he is hiding. We all know he is hiding in wazirstan, and that he is alive and well, so well he married last year Hala el shobohsky from the saudi shobokshy family, so that question is no longer valid. The real question of the hour in the intelligence community, it seems, is that concerning OBL's new black beard.
Questions over the elusive Saudi extremist's beard cropped up at a
Congressional hearing Monday featuring top US security experts,
including Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell.
"First, is this his beard?" Republican Senator Norm Coleman asked the spy chief. "Do we expect that — is it a signal?"
McConnell swiftly rejected any possibility that the hair in his chin was intended to send any signal to his Al-Qaeda members.
"So far, we do not think there's been a signal. He's done this
periodically, as has (Ayman al-) Zawahiri (the group's
second-in-command), and there has not been a correlation necessarily
between one of these tapes or a public statement and a particular
event," McConnell said.
But he wondered whether Bin Laden's beard was genuine.
"The big question in the community this morning, 'Is that beard real,'
because as you know, just a few years ago, the last time he appeared,
it was very different," he said.
"So we don't know if it's dyed and trimmed or real, but that's one of the things we're looking at. But no specific message."
I really can't improve on that with a joke. No comment is the best policy here.
One of the key
witnesses and defendants in the trial of Egyptian opposition leader
Ayman Nour was found hanged in his prison cell in central Cairo
yesterday morning, security sources said.
Ayman Esmail Hassan,
who during Nour's trial retracted his testimony against the politician,
hanged himself with a sheet in the prison where he was serving a
five-year sentence on a charge of forging documents, they added.
Hassan said he had made up his testimony under pressure from state security police, who had threatened members of his family.
"I confessed to
forgery under pressure from officers from state security," Hassan told
reporters on June 30, 2005, after his lawyer told the court he had
changed his plea to not guilty.
The court disregarded his retraction and went on to sentence both Ayman Nour and Ayman Hassan to five years in prison.
Amir Salem, the lawyer
who defended Nour in the trial and who has been trying to secure his
release on health grounds, said: "He [Hassan] was the only person taken
alone and put in the Appeals prison [in central Cairo], and according
to his family he complained constantly of ill treatment."
"He was the only
person in the Ayman Nour case who insisted on retracting his statements
against Ayman Nour, and he admitted twice in front of court that all
his statements were contrived," Salem said. "[The judge] refused to pay
You kind of get the feeling that the Egyptian government isn't even trying to pretend or save face anymore.
The Egyptian government wants to create a new ID card- called the "Contact-less card" -for its citizens- that's you and me, Bub- to complement the other 6 forms of ID we have (Personal ID, driver's license, Voting Card, Passport, Military service ID card and Family ID card- the last one to keep track of your wives and children. Nope, not kidding!), because u know, 6 is not enough. The new card is going to have the citizen's full financial information and bank dealings, criminal record, health record, and all dealings with the government. The new ID is suppsoed to provide a "leap in civic service".
Ok, all togetehr now in 3. 1,2, 3: FUCK THAT SHIT! Not doing it. Not gonna happen. The government has no business knowing my bank dealings, my health or what I go to the different governmental agencies for. Isn;t it bad enough they list you marital status, job and religion on your ID card?
Nope. Not Playing. Let them arrest me, but I ain't doing it!
A married Emerati Prince sees a cute young russian girl, 11 years his junior, working as a waitress in a resturant in the hotel he was staying in. It took a week to "woo her" and now they are married. While such news would usually prompt "russian whore" jokes (The Guy is a UAE prince, the country is rolling in them, talk about buying the cow..), I would like to bring your attention to a very important detail: The girl is Muslim. Her last name is even…wait for it…Muslimorova. Oh Baby!
The story has captivated Belarus's tabloids. Natasha is from
Azerbaijan and a Muslim. She told the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda
that she had married her new husband for love.
The sheikh, 30,
already has a wife and five children, the paper reported. "I can't say
anything without my husband's permission… But for me life has become
a fairytale," Natasha told the tabloid: "I really love this man."
Can't say anything without her husband's permission, ehh? Well-trained already I see. Good for
Yep, that one is a winner!
1) All the detainees were released today, who then decided to go join the Press syndicate protest/sit in, which the police surrounded and refused to let people out since the morning. This basically meant that they left police custody in order to go to a place where the police would stop them from getting out from. Hmmm…. anyway, the police, after houres and houres, finally released them and they are ok. I had 3 american friends who couldn;t get out, and who called the US embassy, which hung up in their faces. It was a canadian girl who managed to get them out by calling the canadian embassy, which sent a car and got them out. I repeat, the Canadian embassy helped them out and the american embassy acted the way the egyptian embassy acts towards egyptians in trouble abroad- just like punk-ass bitches. Fantastic!
2) For a milli-second yesterday, I was so depressed and angry I actually flirted with the idea of joining the NDP and becoming one of its people because egyptians needed to be punished. But then I realized that I was being retarded and snapped out of it. I would like to thank Alia, Inanities, Forsooth and M. for helping me with that. You guys rock!
3) My Phone got fixed today. YAY!
5) Tomorrow is the start of the civil lawsuit filed against the 21 websites and blogs . It will be at Magles el dawlah @9. If you are a blogger, please show up.
6) It seems that even the press is on to the sham that was this referendum, which is sweet. However, it seems like Pope Shinoda is continuing his role as the regimes whore (no offense intended towards either copts or whores by the way) by full-heartedly supporting the ammendments and demanding the participation of the egyptian coptic population to go and vote yes. Coptic christians of Egypt, I think it's time you told this man to fuck off. That's my opinion, but that's your business, so you figure it out.
7) I am never, ever, ever, going on World Have your Say again. I am sick and tired of its retarded format. So, BBC guys, next time don't call me, or do and I will give you numebrs of people you can call instead. I just won;t be on your show anymore, ok?
The two women who are going to get this horrific punishment are from the Darfur area, didn;t speak arabic, had no Lawyer and their male partners naturally escaped punishment! Drima has it all coverd!
Upperclass egyptians and faux intellectiuals at parties always like to bring up the topic of the "revolution of the hungry egyptian masses". They always detail the ways it's inevtiable, all alongside anecdotes and stories they've heard from their maids and drivers about the lives and hardships of "za boor beoble", and spend time in speculation on when it will actually happen, while agreeing on one thing: It will be very soon!
I, on the other hand, know exactly when it will happen. December 12, 2008! Mark your calenders, people!
Cause if this shit doesn't make them revolt, I just don't know what will!
This is going to be a tough year for a lot of people.
I have no confirmation of this yet, but I was informed by Amr Gharbeia that the blogging Judge is suing the government to get them to block 21 websites, some of which include the blogs of Gharbeia and Bent Masreya and the websites of HRInfo and Kefaya. The official reason behind his lawsuit is that those websites defame Egypt, but the real reason might be a bit different. Amr had discoverd that the man had plagarized almost 1/3 of his book's content from his website and others, which, surprise surprise, include Bent Masreya and HR Info. Here is HR Info's campaign against the man for plagarizing. The man seems to be taregting websites that exposed his plagarism. There is nothing so far about this alleged law suit. However, the moment I get confirmation I will let you know.
Update: Confirmation was obtained from the head of HR Info. The story goes something like this: Judge Mourad didn't like the websites exposing his plagarism, so in order to sielnec or bargain with them, he filed a lawsuit accusing them of extorting him by spreading false claims about his plagarism. He did that thinking that the websites and blogs would budge, but they didn't, so now , as a back up plan, he is filing a lawsuit demanding that the government shuts them down because they "defame Egypt". This is why he added a bunch of websites like Kefaya and Yehia Megahed's blog to the list. I have no idea who the other 16 websites are and neither does anyone else at the moment. But once we get them, it will be clear who else he is targeting. I don't think this blog is on that list, but I am still waiting for confirmation!
Over 23 arrested. Egyptians and Palestinians. Amongst which a palestinian who got arrested wearing an explosive belt. The idea seems to be attacking israeli tourists in Egypt, possibly killing egyptians in the process. Doesn't matter, right? All in the name of the cause, right? What's a little terrorism between brother countries, right?
I hate this region!
This story is all kinds of messed up. A sunni woman comes out and accuses 3 members of the iraqi secuirty forces of raping her, so the sunnis get outraged of course and demand an investigation. "US backed" Prime Minister Al Malki reaction: Fire the Sunni official who demanded the investigation, issue an arrest warrant for the woman and plans to reward the men. Even if the woman lied about the rape, which is Malki's excuse for his actions, something just ain't right here!
The Egyptian Mufti- yes, that guy – just issued a fantastic new Fatwa: He said that it is Halal (permissible in Islam) for any female who lost her hymen for any reason to do the operation to have their hymen re-instated. His reasoning? Well, that the Islamic religion calls for Shielding yourself from Scandal (El Satr), and if a re-hymenization operation will do that, then Islam allows it. However, and I am quoting him here, "If a girl does this, she should not tell her Fiance of her operation, and the same applies to the married woman committing adultery, for she shouldn't tell her husbend that commited such an act." He states that this is not wrong or deceptive in anyway, since it aims at "maintaining family unity"- yes he used that excuse again- and "helping fornicating girls to have a second chance in life and be able to get married". That, apparently, makes it OK!
I love this stupid stupid man. He makes me laugh!