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1//Asia Times Online, Hong Kong-- US TROOPS IN IRAQ ARE TEHRAN’S ‘HOSTAGES’ (For many months, the administration of US George W Bush has been complaining that Iranian meddling in Iraq is a threat to the country's stability and to US troops. The irony of this publicity campaign over Tehran's alleged bid to undermine the occupation is that Iran may well be the main factor holding up a showdown between militant Shi'ites and US forces. The underlying reality in Iraq, which the Bush administration does not appear to grasp fully, is that the United States is now dependent on the sufferance of Iran and its Iraqi Shi'ite political-military allies to continue the occupation. ... But the main threat to the occupation comes not from the Sunni insurgents but from the militant Iraqi Shi'ite forces aligned with Iran, led by Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army. The armed Shi'ite militias are now powerful enough to make it impossible for the US occupation to continue. Gone are the days when the US military could be so cavalier about Muqtada's forces that it deliberately provoked a major confrontation with him in Najaf in April 2004. That was when he was believed to have 10,000 poorly trained troops. Since then, US officials have avoided giving any estimate of the Mehdi Army's strength. But according to a report published last month by London's Chatham House, which undoubtedly reflected the views of British intelligence in Iraq, the Mehdi Army may now be "several hundred thousand strong". Even if that estimate vastly overstates his troop strength, it reflects the sense that Muqtada has the strongest political-military force in the country - because of the loyalty that so many Shi'ites have to him. ... Last week, a "senior coalition official" admitted to the Washington Post that "there's not a military solution" to the Mehdi Army. But the Bush administration and the military in Iraq still appear to believe that there is some way to contain Muqtada's power. They have not yet accepted that Muqtada has both the intention and the capability to bring down the US occupation. Yet Muqtada has made no secret of his intentions.)


The rate of violent crime in America increased last year for the first time since 1991, according to a new FBI report. The increase coincides with dramatic cuts to state and local law enforcement funding by Republicans each year since President Bush took office. The $2.3 billion recently approved by the House amounts to nearly half of the $4.5 billion appropriated in 2001.


Why Sen. Allen Denied Being Jewish

by Tony Peyser

Anti-Semitism among Southerners
Some might call inveterate
So, it doesn't matter if George's
Favorite flag is Confederate.

by Brent Budowsky

This note will end with a call to action to Democratic and progressive billionaires and millionaires to step up to the plate at a critical hour of crisis for democracy in America. Readers can assume I am in the process of contacting some who fall into both categories, for support for the cause, and am open to suggestions from those who have, or know others who have, the means and commitment to make a difference.

by Danny Schechter, Mediachannel.org

New York, New York: Think of it this way. You are a former cold warrior who spent your youth studying every aspect of the old Soviet Union. Even though you hated their policies publicly, you began privately, first grudgingly and then, with time, enthusiastically, admire the way they operated.

Thursday, 21 September 2006 04:51

Frameshop: Mothering 'Macaca'

Written by

Using One's Own Mother For Political Cover

Following the Virginia Senate debate between the Democratic challenger for Senate, Jim Webb, and George Allen, we have all been led to believe that the subject of Allen's mother was something that was foisted upon him in a question about his Jewishness.


Sen. Allen Angrily Denies Jewish Heritage

by Tony Peyser

George insists that he's just a
Goy hick
Now we know he's a good ol'


Bush and the Repuglicans are doing all they can to try and reframe the definition of torture. From "clarity" to "this is a different time" they are doing their best. But torture is torture, abuse is abuse, no matter how you say it, and folks it is not moral to change the values this country was founded on. One just has to wonder what Bush and the Repuglicans would call it if someone attached electrodes to their oversized testicles and fired away? Perhaps then clarity might be significant!

by Brent Budowsky

Independent audits have shown that up to 19% of active duty troops are paid so poorly, and face such financial hardship, that they are forced by necesssity to seek emergency loans from predatory lenders at horrendous interest rates.

Thursday, 21 September 2006 03:47

BuzzFlash Mailbag for September 21, 2006


Subject: 2008 Election

How responsible for the sickness faced by NYPD and NYFD people is Rudolph Giuliani? Start writing about this, aside from his own distorted personal life.

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