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Everything posted by scrambler

  1. Earth's oil gauge on low? Rising demand puts pressure on proven reserves, which have not seen a significant boost in 30 years. With oil prices hovering near record highs and OPEC saying it's out of their control, the question of whether the planet is nearing the end of its oil supply has again arisen.
  2. How 'bout Fischer-Tropsch synthesis?
  3. Other considerations... Iraq sarin shell is not part of a secret cache--csmonitor.com
  4. The 'tinhat' title was purely a joke. I just wanted to point out the disconnect between our military leadership and the current administration, despite the assertions of some on this site who characterize this administration as strictly pro-military. I also see (and have seen) a disconnect between the State Department led by Colin Powell and that of the rest of the Bush administration with regard to the Iraqi situation. The State Department's War with the White House--Newsmax.com Powell Distances Himself from President--Newsmax.com Powell says Bush was 'informed' of Red Cross concerns--Baltimoresun.com key excerpts: With President Bush’s approval rating hitting record lows and worries about the U.S. occupation of Iraq growing, Secretary of State Colin Powell has been carefully distancing himself from the administration. The decision by Powell to make comments that cast the administration in a poor light could not come at a worse time for the president. Lost in the hubbub over the abrupt camera change during his appearance on "Meet the Press" Sunday was Secretary Powell’s striking statement about the WMD controversy in the run-up to the Iraq war. Powell told Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" that he had cited intelligence that was provided to the CIA and which he now believes had been “deliberately” falsified in an effort to win public approval for the war. Referring to his Feb. 5, 2003 appearance before the U.N.’s Security Council, when he argued that Iraq had or was close to developing WMD, including biological weapons, Powell told Russert the information he offered was not only wrong, but that in some cases the intelligence cited by the administration had been purposefully misleading. "It turned out that the sourcing was inaccurate and wrong and, in some cases, deliberately misleading," Powell said. "And for that, I am disappointed and I regret it." The statement marks a major turning point for the administration, which has admitted intelligence was inaccurate, but never that it had “deliberately” offered false intelligence or that such intelligence may have been willfully manipulated. On Monday, the New York Times’ lead story on Powell’s comments began, “Secretary of State Colin Powell has said for the first time that he now believes that the Central Intelligence Agency was deliberately misled about evidence that Saddam Hussein was developing unconventional weapons.” Source behind WMD claims failed lie test--SunHerald.com Powell Admits False WMD Claim--The Nation.com CIA Wrong on Iraq 'Mobile Labs,' Powell Says--Reuters.com Also, this just in: Pentagon's Feith Again at Centre of Disaster--Inter Press Service News Agency website Although it will take weeks, if not months, to sort out precisely who was responsible for what increasingly appears to have been the systemic abuse by U.S. soldiers of Iraqi detainees, it should be no surprise if Undersecretary of Defence for Policy Douglas Feith is found to have played an important role. Feith, who, according to Bob Woodward's new book, 'Plan of Attack', was described by the military commander who led last year's invasion, Gen Tommie Franks, as ''the f---ing stupidest guy on the face of the earth'', has been at the centre of virtually everything else that has gone wrong in Iraq, so there is no reason to think he was very far from this one. --snip-- But the announcement Tuesday by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner that he is seeking testimony in the coming weeks from Feith may have unwittingly cast new light on the reasons why Secretary of State Colin Powell is alleged by Woodward to have referred to Feith's operation as the ''Gestapo Office''. Evidence of Feith's involvement in the prisoner abuse scandal rests primarily on reports that have appeared in 'Newsweek', the 'New York Times', and the 'Los Angeles Times'. They have reported that, even before the Iraq War, top officials in the Pentagon, acting on the advice of civilian lawyers, authorised a reinterpretation of the Geneva Conventions to permit tougher methods of interrogation of prisoners of war (POWs). This effort was strongly resisted by Powell, a retired army general, when it came to his attention, and by the Judge Advocates Generals (JAG) Corps, the formal name given to the military's lawyers. They argued, among other things, that the introduction of ''stress and duress'' techniques, sleep deprivation and other methods that violate the Conventions would not only result in dubious intelligence, but could also be cited as a precedent for use against U.S. soldiers who fell into enemy hands. --snip-- Even after the new orders came down, senior JAG officers did not give up. According to a number of accounts, a delegation of officers contacted Scott Horton, a former high-ranking JAG officer and chairman of the Committee on International Human Rights of the New York City Bar Association, to see if he and like-minded attorneys would intervene. ''They were extremely upset'', Horton told the 'Los Angeles Times'. ''They said they were being shut out of the process, and that the civilian political lawyers, not the military lawyers, were writing these new rules of engagement.'' According to Horton, the JAG officers identified the main forces behind loosening the rules as Feith and the Pentagon's general counsel, William Haynes, another political appointee. ''If we -- 'we' being the uniformed lawyers -- had been listened to, and what we said put into practice, then these abuses would not have occurred'', Rear Adm Don Guter, the Navy JAG from 2000 to 2002, told ABCNews. Oh, BTW, I thought I'd throw this in, too: "If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom (the location of the State Department's headquarters), I think that's the answer," former Republican Party presidential hopeful Pat Robertson said last week on his television program, The 700 Club. "We've got to blow that thing up."
  5. Ok, one more... WHY THE TROOPS DON'T TRUST RUMMY --New York Post Online excerpts: "Should Rumsfeld resign over the prisoner abuse by rogue MPs? No. He should resign for the good of our military and our country. Those twisted photos are only one symptom of how badly the Rumsfeld era has derailed our military. " "Rumsfeld has maintained a positive image with much of America because he controls information fanatically and tolerates no deviation from the party line. Differing opinions are punished in today's Pentagon - and every field general who has spoken plainly of the deficiencies of either the non-plan for the occupation of Iraq, the lack of sufficient troops (in Iraq or overall) or any aspect of Rumsfeld's "transformation" plan has seen his career ended." "It isn't treason to tell the truth in wartime. But it verges on treason to lie. And Rumsfeld lies." "Our military needs vigorous, continual internal debate. Contrary to popular myth, our officer corps has a long tradition of dissenting opinions. And the grave new world in which we find ourselves is not susceptible to party-line solutions."
  6. And yeah, while we're on this theme... Gen. Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret.) Remarks at CDI Board of Directors Dinner, May 12, 2004--Center for Defense Information website choice excerpts from source cited above: "And what I thought I would do tonight is go through the ten crucial mistakes to this point that we've made. Because I think it helps frame what, in fact, has happened over time ... and is going to be the first part of that history. And I will conclude with maybe some thoughts on the way ahead, at least from my point of view." "I think the first mistake that was made was misjudging the success of containment. I heard the president say, not too long ago, I believe it was with the interview with Tim Russert that ... I'm not sure ... but at some point I heard him say that "containment did not work." That's not true." --snip-- "So to say containment didn't work, I think is not only wrong from the experiences we had then, but the proof is in the pudding, in what kind of military our troops faced when we went in there. It disintegrated in front of us. It didn't have the capabilities, that were pumped up, that were supposedly possessed by this military. And I think that will be the first mistake that will be recorded in history, the belief that containment as a policy doesn't work. It certainly worked against the Soviet Union, has worked with North Korea and others. It's not a pleasant thing to have to administer, it requires troops full-time, there are moments when there ... there are periods of violence, but containment is a lot cheaper than the alternative, as we're finding out now. So I think that will be mistake number one: discounting the effectiveness of the containment." --snip-- "The third mistake, I think was one we repeated from Vietnam, we had to create a false rationale for going in to get public support. The books were cooked, in my mind. The intelligence was not there. I testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee one month before the war, and Senator Lugar asked me: "General Zinni, do you feel the threat from Saddam Hussein is imminent?" I said: "No, not at all. It was not an imminent threat. Not even close. Not grave, gathering, imminent, serious, severe, mildly upsetting, none of those." I predicted that the fighting would be over, the organized resistance in three weeks. To Tommy Franks' credit, he did it in 19 days. He beat my prediction. He did a magnificent job, as did our troops. But the rationale that we faced an imminent threat, or a serious threat, was ridiculous. Now, wherever history lays that, whether the intelligence was flawed or it was exaggerated, remains to be seen. I have my own opinions." As if that weren't enough: Army, CIA want torture truths exposed--United Press International website
  7. Well it does seem like the media has picked it up now. There is lag between what we know and what you know. Get my drift there? Still awaiting conclusive tests... Rumsfeld says it wasn't necessarily sarin--WHBF-TV Quad Cities, Eyewitness News 4
  8. American Military Coup of 2012--from IrishEyes excerpt: SALON -- There is a remarkable sentiment coursing through the American military today.¹ Support our Troops. Impeach Rumsfeld. In 1992, General Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, awarded the prize for the "best strategy essay" at the National Defense University to Lt Col Charles Dunlap for " The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012 ." His cautionary tale imagined an incapable civilian governent creating a vacuum that drew a competent military into a coup disastrous for democracy. The military, of course, is bound to uphold the constitution. But Dunlap wrote, "The catastrophe that occurred on our watch took place because we failed to speak out against policies we knew were wrong. It's too late for me to do any more. But it's not for you." The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012 is today circulating among top US military strategists. ------------------------------------------------------------ ¹The Army Times editorialises about failures at the top of military leadership. Sidney Blumenthal -- "America's military coup" in The Guardian Commentary & Analysis, May 24, 2004 Charles Dunlap -- "The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012" x_ref264 The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012--http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/1992/dunlap.htm
  9. Hmmm....Saddam's WMD Have Been Found But some leads questionable... U.S. Force at Iraq Blast Site Said to Be WMD Experts Other circumstantial evidence points to weak case in lead up to war... Journalists charged for publishing secret Iraq WMD reports Swiss tests show no nerve gas on Iraqi missile fragments, sources say So might evidence of WMDs be planted to bolster the case for war...? Bush Stashes WMD in Iraq And will we have to go after Syria and Iran, too? And perhaps put a muzzle on Pakistan? What about Israel's WMD? Is the imbalance in power provoking their enemies to develop WMDs? Israel Said Still Making Nuclear Weapons Israel reported to be a formidable nuclear power Israel deploys nuclear arms in submarines Is the war in Iraq more for Israel's benefit? I also find it ironic that we are eliciting the support of former Baathist Party members to act as officials in the new Iraqi governing structure. Saddam could rule Iraq with an iron hand. Is that what's required of us to do?
  10. World oil crisis looms--article in Jane's
  11. Kerry wins some points in my book for actually going to Vietnam whereas Bush was unaccounted for in Alabama while working on some Congressman's reelection campaign. Let the generals run the war ( Pentagon assures military will have free hand after Iraq soveriegnty ) but I don't see how our military people can have full confidence in George "All hat and no cattle" Bush's record. On the other hand, Kerry's anti-Vietnam 'war' stance has to raise some shackles among hardcore military folks. I personally don't see much changing in our political landscape. Kerry will be Bush lite. Reminds me of the Who's song, 'Won't Get Fooled Again' --re: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Hmm...I wonder if Kerry's eliteness will come across, not like Bush's 'Holier than thou' attitude, but rather as a secular intellectual elitist? I think we're fucked in Iraq regardless of who wins. It's gonna be a long haul. Gotta wonder though if Bush will be seen by Iraqis as 'King George'.
  12. On Religion "All praise is to Allah, I'll fight any man, any animal, if Jesus were here I'd fight him too."
  13. On the Media “I want to throw down your kid and stomp on his testicles, and then you will know what it is like to experience waking up everyday as me. And only then will you feel my pain.” Miscellaneous Quotes "I can sell out Madison Square Garden masturbating." "I have some pain I'm gonna have for the rest of my life. So every now and then I kick your f**king ass." On His Mental Health "I'm on the Zoloft [an antidepressant] to keep from killing y'all." On Himself "I'm not Mother Teresa. But I'm also not Charles Manson!" On Boxing "My power is discombobulatingly devastating I could feel is muscle tissues collapse under my force. It's ludicrous these mortals even attempt to enter my realm." On Fans "When you see me smash somebody's skull, you enjoy it." On His Childhood "One morning I woke up and found my favorite pigeon, Julius, had died I was devastated and was gonna use his crate as my stickball bat to honor him. I left the crate on my stoop and went in to get something and I returned to see the sanitation man put the crate into the crusher. I rushed him and caught him flush on the temple with a titanic right hand he was out cold, convulsing on the floor like a infantile retard." On His Wife "I paid a worker at New York's zoo to re-open it just for me and Robin. When we got to the gorilla cage there was 1 big silverback gorilla there just bullying all the other gorillas. They were so powerful but their eyes were like an innocent infant. I offered the attendant $10,000 to open the cage and let smash that silverback's snotbox! He declined." On Tyrell Biggs "He was screaming like my wife." On Lennox Lewis "My main objective is to be professional but to kill him." On Razor Ruddock "You're sweet. I'm going to make sure you kiss me good with those big lips. I'm gonna make you my girlfriend." http://kjkolb.tripod.com/homepage/miketysonquotes.html
  14. An attack by hundreds of Iraqi militia members on the U.S. government's headquarters in Najaf on Sunday was repulsed not by the U.S. military, but by eight commandos from a private security firm, according to sources familiar with the incident. Before U.S. reinforcements could arrive, the firm, Blackwater Security Consulting, sent in its own helicopters amid an intense firefight to resupply its commandos with ammunition and to ferry out a wounded Marine, the sources said. The role of Blackwater's commandos in Sunday's fighting in Najaf illuminates the gray zone between their formal role as bodyguards and the realities of operating in an active war zone. Thousands of armed private security contractors are operating in Iraq in a wide variety of missions and exchanging fire with Iraqis every day, according to informal after-action reports from several companies. During the defense of the authority headquarters, thousands of rounds were fired and hundreds of 40mm grenades shot. Sources who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of Blackwater's work in Iraq reported an unspecified number of casualties among Iraqis. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54125-2004Apr6.html
  15. All of us will die sometime. If I was facing off with someone, I'd rather you (or whomever the enemy is) die first. Sometimes it's not so much the gun, as the bullets used, that provide the lethal power. Seems this blended metal technology is simple but very ingenious--will penetrate armor intact but will heat up in soft materials and literally explode. Did you see the video of the Lacroix 76mm high-impulse weapon in action?
  16. excerpts from article--Private firms take on more military tasks "It's a way to dodge political costs," says Mr. Singer. "For example, US troops can't get involved in civil war or with groups that have human rights problems ... so this is a way to go around that," he says. Moreover, he adds, "it's a way to avoid the public costs when things go wrong," citing the little-publicized example of ex-US military workers being held captive today in Colombia. "You can imagine the outcry if three American soldiers were being held captive," he says. http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0402/p03s01-usmi.html
  17. 1-shot killer excerpt: Ben Thomas and three colleagues were driving north out of Baghdad in an SUV on a clear mid-September morning, headed down a dirt road into a rural village, when gunmen in several surrounding buildings opened fire on them. In a brief but intense firefight, Thomas hit one of the attackers with a single shot from his M4 carbine at a distance he estimates was 100 to 110 yards. He hit the man in the buttocks, a wound that typically is not fatal. But this round appeared to kill the assailant instantly. “It entered his butt and completely destroyed everything in the lower left section of his stomach ... everything was torn apart,” Thomas said. Thomas, a security consultant with a private company contracted by the government, recorded the first known enemy kill using a new — and controversial — bullet. The bullet is so controversial that if Thomas, a former SEAL, had been on active duty, he would have been court-martialed for using it. The ammunition is “nonstandard” and hasn’t passed the military’s approval process. “The way I explain what happened to people who weren’t there is … this stuff was like hitting somebody with a miniature explosive round,” he said, even though the ammo does not have an explosive tip. “Nobody believed that this guy died from a butt shot.” The bullet Thomas fired was an armor-piercing, limited-penetration round manufactured by RBCD of San Antonio. (See above link for full article.) video discussing blended-metal bullet technology http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/bullets/ Lacroix's 76mm High-Impulse Weapon System. Oh yeah, more videos... Shootout at Blackwater: How the latest firearms stack up
  18. scrambler


    I believe both sides have an Old Testament worldview--an eye for an eye. Viewed in that context, the Ten Commandments appear as tribal laws. Thou shalt not kill someone in one's own tribe; it's ok to kill those outside the social group. Thou shalt not steal but it's ok to steal from those outside your group, etc. Seems if you viewed things in this light then there is no conflict in his earlier profession and the role he currently holds. Neither side has that New Testament outlook rather they're stuck in fossilized ideologies. A contemporary solution would require religious reform because that's where I believe the extremism arises on both sides. Reform may be very difficult. The way I see it, hardliners on both sides are in league with each other, one justifies the presence of the other.
  19. Machiavelli was a good republican.
  20. The major point of the article involves a look at various benchmarks necessary to assess the progress of reconstruction and hopefully the eventual normalization of the country. Progress has been measured in some indicators but much work remains to be done. The excerpt I quoted was taken directly from the article (2nd paragraph). Maybe it's a typo or perhaps the 70% relates to the graph shown at the bottom of the article. One of these graphs shows that nearly 70% of Iraqis polled expect the situation to be better one year from now. In any event, whether the number is 56% or 70%, the overall favorable sentiment of the Iraqis is probably a reflection of the successes of the CPA and as such, the CPA deserves recognition for a difficult job as it seeks to improve the indicators. The problem, as I see it, is that there are forces that are seeking to create chaos out of the stability the CPA is intent on fostering. Only time will tell. You're talking about a lot of things here, a lot of issues. If you focus on the reconstruction effort and the CPA's role in that effort, then things seem clearer with respect to the direction this thread has drifted. I think you only want to harp on the negative aspects of the situation, whether any of it is true or not, because you seem to have a political vendetta. Let me just tell you that there is a cold calculus of human life, the same calculus we used to justify the first use of nuclear weapons in order to save an untold number of American lives. That's realpolitik. The projection of American military power is necessary at times, and I'm not talking about individual lives here, I'm talking about this entity called America, this historical force. I don't believe in the indiscriminate use of military power but its wise use is a tremendous force in shaping the world as it will be. Maybe I have a false impression of you but your attitude is one that would consign America to the dustbin of history. Far from it. We are shaping the world in historic events. ----- "Fortune favors the brave. ...Being a woman, she favors young men, because they are less circumspect and more ardent, and because they command her with greater audacity." --N. Machiavelli This ability--call it vigor, prowness, bravery, pride, courage, strength--was what Machiavelli called virtu (from the Latin, virtus, itself from vir, man). In other words, virtu describes the qualities desirable in a man which includes a certain ruthlessness. In his opinion, not only individuals but nations could possess virtu. Having it did not guarantee success; but without it failure was certain, since the only alternative involves depending purely on Fortune. "Therefore the only sound, sure and enduring methods of defence are those based on your own virtu." "Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  21. Yes, I generally agree, though my main contention is with the 'rush to war'. Perhaps if there hadn't been a rush to war then a war would not actually have resulted. That doesn't h/e preclude the toppling of Saddam by other means. Though it seems that a military occupation is probably the better of the options to maintain control in his absence. --correction--replace Saddam with Baathist Party
  22. Progress in some areas, improvement required in others: Better and worse: a progress report on Iraq excerpts-- Phone services, basic sewage, electricity, and oil production have all improved to near prewar conditions. A nationwide poll found that 70 percent of Iraqis say their lives are going well since the US invasion. If the US were issued a report card on its efforts in Iraq, it would get high marks in basic reconstruction (my emphasis). But in other critical subjects - security, religious and ethnic stability, employment, and building local democratic institutions - it would take home failing grades. -- I gotta say in terms of reconstruction, the CPA deserves kudos though it still looks like there's a lot of work required to be done. As far as protests against American occupation, under the regime of Saddam Hussein, demonstrations were suppressed and now the Iraqis have been given the freedom to complain (kind of like Glasnost was for the former Soviet Union). It seems a painful transition but one that could lead to very positive results for the Iraqis although the real possibility of civil war exists. I disagreed with the 'rush to war' but not against the toppling of Saddam Hussein. Though one could argue that his presence provided some stability, that stability was achieved at a high cost to his people. A successful transition to a legitimate Iraqi government that is not founded on fear but rather on humanitarian ideals would be the best situation. I somewhat doubt this, instead I suspect the government will be strongly influenced by religious concerns. How will the Iraqis handle all this newfound freedom? Will they become degenerate as seen in the eyes of the religious leaders and will the religious community seek to impose control? I think the sticking point is that the success of this 'venture' is so closely tied with Bush's success that we discuss this issue with regard to the political views we hold of the current administration. So, basically our political views contaminate an objective assessment. Now, I'm primarily parroting the media line with what I know about the situation but I doubt that someone's presence alone in that country will allow him to have the only valid grasp of the current state and future course of that country. An entity would have to have access to multiple points of observation as it evolves to grasp an objective generalized view of the country. I would think that a person in one area of the country (with the exception of Paul Bremer) would have a very subjective view of conditions.
  23. To the people who push their limits: "The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over" - Hunter S. Thompson
  24. scrambler

    More Bush lies

    Does this man's face sort of resemble Pat Robertson?
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