Monday 26th of February 2024

comedy festival .....


From the New York Times …..

Rumsfeld Faces Growing Revolt by Retired Generals 

Published: April 13, 2006
WASHINGTON, April 13 —

An expanding group of influential
former military officers is calling for Defense Secretary Donald
H. Rumsfeld's resignation in a public rebellion that has become
a significant challenge to the Pentagon's civilian leadership. 

The uproar is significant because
for the first time the criticism of Mr. Rumsfeld is coming from some
recently retired generals who were involved in planning or execution of
Iraq policy. 

Though their critiques differ in
some respects, a common thread is that Mr. Rumsfeld's assertive style has
angered many in the uniformed services as he has sought to establish more
clear-cut civilian control over the Pentagon and at times involved himself
in the details of war-planning more than his predecessors. 

The outcry against Mr. Rumsfeld
also appears to be part of a coalescing of concerns among military
officers that, three years into the Iraq war, the effort is taking a
mounting toll on the armed forces, with little sign that the American
troops will be able to withdraw in large numbers anytime soon. 

Today, Maj. Gen. Charles H.
Swannack Jr., who led troops on the ground in Iraq as recently as 2004 as
the commander of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, became the fifth
retired senior general in recent days to issue a public call for Mr.
Rumsfeld's ouster. 

"We need to continue to
fight the global war on terror and keep it off our shores," General
Swannack said in an interview. "But I do not believe Secretary
Rumsfeld is the right person to fight that war based on his absolute
failures in managing the war against Saddam in Iraq." 

Read more at the New York
Times …..

Pleasuring the president

From the ABC

Rumsfeld exactly what we need: Bush
US President George W Bush has declared his "full support" for Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, moving to quell calls for his resignation by growing numbers of retired generals.

"Secretary Rumsfeld's energetic and steady leadership is exactly what is needed at this critical period," President Bush said.

"He has my full support and deepest appreciation."

Mr Bush has stepped in after six retired generals came forward one after another to press for Mr Rumsfeld's ouster, exposing a deep vein of discontent with his leadership within the military.

The generals, several of whom held key combat commands and staff positions, accuse Mr Rumsfeld of an arrogant disregard for military advice and for providing too few troops to pacify Iraq.

But Mr Bush has praised Mr Rumsfeld's leadership, noting he has been tasked with the difficult challenges of fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while undergoing an institutional transformation of the military.

"I have seen first-hand how Don relies upon our military commanders in the field and at the Pentagon to make decisions about how best to complete these missions," Mr Bush said.

Rumsfeld rejects criticism
Mr Rumsfeld himself has rejected the calls for his ouster in an interview with Dubai-based Al Arabiya television that aired on Friday but was conducted on Thursday.

"I intend to serve the President at his pleasure," he said.

Read more at the ABC

off with his head .....

from buzzflash …. 

‘It is unprecedented for former
military brass to rise up and denounce the Secretary of Defense in such
scathing terms and call for his resignation. 

It is a sign of how deeply flawed
and failed the Bush Administration Iraq war policy and anti-terrorism efforts
have been that it has come down to this: Americans and their elected officials
must choose between the military analysis and advice of the military leadership
with wartime experience or the arrogant stubborn failure of two draft evaders,
Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. Add to that, Donald Rumsfeld who served in the
military but never had combat experience. 

In whose hands do you think America
is safer in terms of wars: the generals or the bumblers at Bush Inc? 

The Republicans stay silent or
condemn the generals. Bush, with all the brain wattage of a snail, stands
behind a man (Rumsfeld) who surpasses even George's standard of failure, and
the Democrats think that they look tough by failing to give groundcover to the
nation's former top commanders. (The current top brass must openly support
their "Commander-in-Chief," but Congressman John Murtha is tacitly
speaking out on their behalf.) 

It's not that Rumsfeld's
resignation would alone begin to turn this nation back from being run by the
crew of the Titanic, but it would restore hope that there is some
accountability for the disastrous failure in performance by our one-party
Republican government.

Donald Rumsfeld would be the first one to walk the plank, but hopefully just
the beginning of the day of reckoning. 

The former top brass calling for
Rumsfeld to depart join a long list of former Bush Administration officials who
have come out to reveal the true Machiavellian, mendacious, and incompetent
operation of the White House. This includes Richard Clarke, Paul O'Neill, and
Colin Powell's former Chief of Staff. 

Then there is the crusty Marine
hero, John Murtha, a Democratic Congressman who hasn't backed down from his
assessment that the Iraq War is an utter failure. 

Unfortunately, the Democratic
leadership in the Congress is not backing up these patriots, not even their own
John Murtha, even if they give him a whisper of support. 

BuzzFlash heard a story (which we
will officially call a rumor) that a congressional leader in running the
Democratic campaign to retake the House told a Dem running for an open seat not
to bring up the resignation of Rumsfeld? "Why?" the Dem aspirant --
who will likely win -- asked. Because, it didn't poll well, he was allegedly

Whether the story is true in its specifics, it is true in the approach that the
Democratic leadership in Congress is taking toward the mid-term elections. The
national Dem Congressional platform appears to be simply this: "Vote for
us. We're less corrupt than they are, and we are much more sane." 

We'd agree with that statement
wholeheartedly, but it's hardly a ringing battle cry when others, like the
former generals and your own Congressman Murtha are taking the Iraq issue right
to the front line -- at personal risk to their reputations and their good
fortune, due to the proven vindictive nature of the White House. (Just ask Joe

Message to the timid Democratic Congressional leadership: Democrats appear weak
when they don't stand up for the truth and they leave former generals and burly
ex-Marine congressman to speak out for how we can attempt to achieve true
national security.

For the Democratic Congressional leadership to let the generals sound the alarm
without rallying to their side; for the Democratic Congressional leadership to
allow Murtha to steadfastly state the case against Bush without resoundingly
backing him up; for the Democratic Congressional leadership to let former Bush
Administration officials, without protecting their flanks, argue the case for
how Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld lied us into war -- this is not supporting our
military and our soldiers. 

This is to abandon them.’  

Generals Clamor
For Rumsfeld's Ouster Over Iraq War

Cheerful bloodthirsty firestorm

From the Moscow Times
Global Eye
Dead Cities

By Chris Floyd
Published: April 14, 2006


What these influential warmongers openly call for is the "pacification" of Baghdad: a brutal firestorm by U.S. forces, ravaging both Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias in a "horrific" operation that will inevitably lead to "skyrocketing body counts," as warhawk Reuel Marc Gerecht cheerfully wrote last week in the ever-bloodthirsty editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal. Gerecht's war whoop quickly ricocheted around the right-wing media echo chamber and gave public voice to the private counsels emanating from a group whose members now comprise the leadership of the U.S. government: The Project for the New American Century.

As oft noted here, PNAC was founded by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, Zalmay Khalilzad and the now-indicted Lewis Libby, among others. In September 2000, they publicly called for sending U.S. forces into Iraq -- even if Saddam Hussein was already gone -- as well as planting new bases in Central Asia, putting weapons in space, building new nukes and funding a vast militarization of American society. Being such savvy inside players and all, they recognized that this lunatic program would not be accepted by the American people -- unless, of course, the nation was struck by a "catalyzing event" like "a new Pearl Harbor." Who says dreams don't come true?


Read more at the Moscow Times

Ignorance breeds war

From the Seattle Times

Making war academic
By Ben Johnson
Special to The Times
Today, the battle for minds

I disagree with the need for military recruitment altogether. If society deems that military action is the right decision, the society must commit to that vision and force conscription and draft people from all walks of life, not just target those who are poor and want to go to college.

But if government cannot commit this country to really go to war, then there should be no wars.

The government and the economy have created a situation for millions where the only way to get an opportunity for college is to join the service, or continue without higher education. While the GI Bill sounds like a good policy for people without resources, it's an indicator of the focus of our society that signing up for military service is one of the only ways millions of people are able to access the basic opportunity of higher education. This puts the commitment to war above the commitment to education.

Ignorance breeds war; the only cure is education. Yet we continue to perpetuate this situation by never providing all people with the education needed to avoid wars altogether.
Read more at the Seattle Times

Fool Support

Rumsfeld resignation row simmers

Another two US generals have weighed into the row over whether Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should quit.
Ex-Nato commander Gen Wesley Clark, who ran for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2004, backed calls for Mr Rumsfeld to resign.
But ex-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Richard Myers, said the calls were inappropriate.
Six retired generals have recently spoken out against Mr Rumsfeld's handling of the war in Iraq.
But President George W Bush has assured Mr Rumsfeld of his "full support" and rejected calls for him to step down.

Frequent critic

Gen Clark said in a television interview: "I believe secretary Rumsfeld hasn't done an adequate job. He should go."

Gen Clark said he believed Mr Rumsfeld, along with Vice-President Dick Cheney, had helped push the Iraq invasion when there was "no connection with the war on terror".

read more at the BBC

8000, but are they any good?

From the New York Times

WASHINGTON, April 15 — The Defense Department has issued a memorandum to a group of former military commanders and civilian analysts that offers a direct challenge to the criticisms made by retired generals about Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

The one-page memorandum was sent by e-mail on Friday to the group, which includes several retired generals who appear regularly on television, and came as the Bush administration stepped up its own defense of Mr. Rumsfeld. On the political front, Republican strategists voiced rising anxiety on Saturday that without a major change in the course of the Iraq war, Republican candidates would suffer dearly in the November elections.

The memorandum begins by stating, "U.S. senior military leaders are involved to an unprecedented degree in every decision-making process in the Department of Defense." It says Mr. Rumsfeld has had 139 meetings with the Joint Chiefs of Staff since the start of 2005 and 208 meetings with the senior field commanders.

Seeking to put the criticism of the relatively small number of retired generals into context, the e-mail message also notes that there are more than 8,000 active-duty and retired general officers alive today.

Read more at the new York Times.....


Gus is impressed: more than 8000 Generals for so little results, apart from a big mess in Iraq... I think the rebel generals, although in a tiny-weeny monirity, express the proper view. We know that the majority may have the numbers but that does not mean the majority is right. A thousand sheep can be led by one astute dog.

That's the plan, not the need

From the Washington Post editorial
The Generals' Revolt
There are many reasons for Donald Rumsfeld to leave. Finger-pointing by retired officers shouldn't be one.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006; Page A18

PRESIDENT BUSH'S stubborn support for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has compounded U.S. troubles in Iraq, prevented a remedy for the criminal mistreatment of foreign detainees and worsened relations with a host of allies. Now it is deepening the domestic political hole in which the president is mired. Half a dozen senior retired generals have publicly criticized Mr. Rumsfeld, touching off another damaging and distracting controversy at a critical moment in the war. Thanks in part to his previous misjudgments, Mr. Bush has no easy way out.

Mr. Bush would have been wise to accept Mr. Rumsfeld's resignation when he offered it nearly two years ago. At that time it was clear that the defense secretary was directly responsible for the policy of abuse toward detainees that resulted in the shocking Abu Ghraib photographs, as well as far worse offenses against detainees. By then, too, Mr. Rumsfeld's contributions to growing trouble in Iraq were evident: his self-defeating insistence on minimizing the number of troops; his resistance to recognizing and responding to emerging threats, such as the postwar looting and the Sunni insurgency; his rejection of nation-building, which fatally slowed the creation of a new political order.


Gus' discourse:

Of course, Gus thinks that Ducky Rummy should have gone a long time ago, but there are many reasons why he did not. There is a non-genuine underlay to the official line of the war in Iraq — an official line that we are carefully fed by the general propaganda, via all media and press conferences... Including using envoys which work their butts out to solve problems and if they do the Administration secretly makes sure that new ones, bigger challenges, occur.

The illusion of bringing "freedom" once the lies about the Weapons of Mass Destruction, and of the flimsy "proofs" of those were exposed, the purpose of these illusions has been to hide the real agenda. On one hand, the administration appears to do every thing it can to "pacify" the Middle East, on the other hand The US administration could not do any thing worse that "the thousands of mistakes" acknowledged by Condi in a "candid" way, to demonstrate it is doing the opposite, deliberately. Why deliberately? Because everyone, including Bonsai the Lesser knew that going in Iraq boots and all would create havoc, but an opportunistic havoc... Even his father knew that Iraq without Saddam would be a problem that would lead to the fundamentalisation of the area. The sanctions, the bribes, the kickbacks and the constant humiliation of Saddam by the West did not help the situation... The weapons inspectors were not allowed to their job — not so much by Saddam but by the US... Listen carefully to Hans Blix.

Going back the 1990s, the Arab world was slowly emerging with opportunities for itself, and although many people can argue, the Arab world was becoming moderate... Not just the few Emirs who were selling the petrol but there was a sense of building towards the 21st century, ever so slowly... with the merging of its culture with modern ideals.

This of course was not universal and there were people like Osama, the Taliban and others who were prepared to fight to maintain a dark age status. Why? The history of the Afghanistan war against the Russian is a sorry one. In the evolution of societies towards equality for people, men and women, sometimes a certain form of revolution is necessary rather than an "evolution" from a flawed stock, that carries over some sadistic and restrictive values at the core of social sanctioned interaction... The revolution towards a more equal society in Afghanistan via socialism was defeated by archaic religious values and US money.

The communist Afghanis in government asked for help from the Russians to fight the "Taliban" and other fundamentalist groups... The Russian reluctantly agreed... The Taliban thus started fighting the Russians and they soon got the help, financial and strategic, of the US to repel the Russians and won after a long war that lasted nearly 20 years... The Russians gave up and let Afghanistan stay in the dark ages that had been equipped by the US with 20th century armament... The Russian did not want to conquer Afghanistan... The Taliban was armed to its teeth by the US... The US is now fighting the Taliban...

Time and time again, we can see the US supporting crook regimes and social systems that are cruel to their people, time and time we've seen military intervention by the US, under the guise of spreading freedom, in order to control the assets of a country via an elite, often corrupt, system, rather that let its people be who they want to be, via democratic elections... Nicaragua, Cuba, Chile, etc... Now most of latin America is waking up to the trick... But as in many circumstances, democracy walks on the magic half plus one as has been recently discovered by Berlusconi in Italy... Hamas in palestine... the situation is made worse by hardening positions which hardens positions on both sides and solutions become more elusive that ever... Is that what we want? No... Is that what the US Administration want? Yes...

Thus the present troubles in Iraq were well accounted for by the US administration, before it ever engaged in a war with Saddam. Despite all the noise made by the White House that it did not think it would go this way... it knew it would. The situation is on track for this mixed society not to find its feet, despite the official pronouncements at the White House that it would like stability in Iraq... The White House does not want stability in Iraq and this is why Rumsfeld is doing such a fine job... A balancing act that appears to try anything to solve the problem but in fact is designed to maintain the festering sore... Had the US placed more troops and followed recommendations of the generals to do certain things, Iraq would have been closer to a solution of Freedom and of independence by now... That would have been contrary to the secret desires of the Administration. Thus the influence of the US would have had to be terminated by lack of need. Maintaining the sore through Rumsfeld's fine tactic is the name of game with no end. It's going to be a long war... Sure: that's the plan, not the need.

It's going to be a long long war

From the New York Times
Rumsfeld Defends His Record Against Critics
Published: April 18, 2006

Donald H. Rumsfeld responded today to recent calls for his resignation by vigorously defending his performance as defense secretary, saying he had made a number of tough decisions over the years that had drawn criticism at first but that eventually worked out well.

.......Mr. Rumsfeld said today that the six generals were just a handful of the nation's 6,000 to 7,000 retired general and admirals, who could not be expected to express unanimity for any decision.

He said that over the years during the war on terror, and conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, he made decisions for which there were differences of views but ultimately worked out for the better.

These included making decisions on changes in logistics systems, canceling some weapons systems and standardizing weapons on battle tanks, "Eventually the tank did well," he said. He said other challenges were making reforms in NATO, getting the Marines into the special forces and increasing the flexibility of army forces.

"I look back on those decisions and I am proud of them," he said. "They caused a lot of ruffles, let there be no doubt."

Several of the six retired generals who called for his resignation were involved in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, such as Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., who led troops on the ground in Iraq as the commander of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, and Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who led the First Infantry Division.

Their criticism comes during an election year and at a time when polls show that support for the war is waning.

His critics have said that he has been dismissive and contemptuous of advice and that he made bad strategic decisions in the Iraq war. Asked whether he saw any validity in their arguments. Mr. Rumsfeld said he would prefer to "let a little time walk over it."


message for the "master of the universe" .....

a buzzflash editorial rejoinder Gus …..

‘Perhaps the saddest, most mournful -- but drollest --
headline we saw yesterday was this one: "Rumsfeld Says of Lastest Flap,
'This Too Will Pass.'" 

Message to Mr. Master of the
Universe: We are not talking about a bowel movement here. We are talking about
thousands upon thousands of lives lost, thousands more wounded, billions of
dollars of our money spent wastefully, and a military that thinks you don't
know what the Hell you are doing -- along with the blessed ignorance of Bush
and Cheney. 

No, Donald, this too will NOT
pass. It's called incompetence, arrogance and abysmal, utter failure.  

Our second favorite headline of
recent days was, "Pentagon Fights Back." Excuse us, but who is the
enemy? Us?  

And any current members of the
military brass HAVE to speak out in support of the civilian chain of command,
otherwise they will be dismissed from command or demoted. But why is Rumsfeld
fighting back against Iraq combat-experienced generals? Shouldn't he be
fighting whoever the enemy is in Iraq, which is just about everyone there now
except the Chalabi clan.  

Our third favorite headline of
recent days was winner of the understatement of the decade award:
"Rumsfeld May be Permanently Tainted by Iraq War." The people who
have been killed in Rumsfeld's folly don't have the luxury of being tainted;
they are too dead for that. We think instead of Rumsfeld being
"permanently tainted," he should be tried, convicted, and sentenced
for war crimes and crimes against the nation.  

Maybe we could have a
split-screen trial with Saddam's courtroom drama on one side and Rummy's on the
other, since Saddam and Rummy used to be such good buddies when Rummy was
helping to arm Saddam to fight Iran.  

Oh, it all gets just SO
confusing. We mean who are our friends and who are our enemies? You need a
score card to keep it straight. 

But, as for Rummy, he should
reserve his "fighting back" statements and press conference bowel
movements for the front lines, where he should spend a few months of rotation
with our men and women doing the dying. And he should take Bush and Cheney with
him, since they've never fought in a war either. 

Then the issue is not one of
being "tainted"; it's one of just staying alive.

just a very sick puppy …..

‘A leading international human
rights group is calling for the Bush administration to appoint a special
prosecutor to investigate the alleged involvement of Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld and other senior Pentagon officials in the torture of a prisoner at
Guanatanamo Bay some three years ago. 

Rumsfeld could be criminally
liable under federal or military law for the abuse and torture of detainee
Mohammad al-Qahtani in late 2002 and early 2003, the New York-based Human
Rights Watch said this week as some Democratic lawmakers demanded that Rumsfeld
step down as Pentagon chief. 

The rights group's demand comes
in light of findings by a major Internet publication that indicate Rumsfeld
might have been fully aware of the abuses inflicted on al-Qahtani, a prisoner
held at Guantanamo Bay on terrorism charges. 

Last week, a military report
obtained by included a statement by Lt. Gen. Randall Schmidt that
raises serious questions about the conduct of the Pentagon chief and other officials
concerning al-Qahtani's interrogation. In the report, Gen. Schmidt says
Rumsfeld was "talking weekly" with Gen. Geoffrey Miller, a senior
commander at Guantanamo in early 2003, about the al-Qahtani interrogation, and
that he was "personally involved in the interrogation of (this) one

Rumsfeld Linked To
Guantanamo Torture

Since we don't feel the pain...

Since we don't feel the pain... we don't feel it exists...

Despite "media" reports and other evidences of "our" high "moral" ground being shattered by the reality of torture, it happens "somewhere else to somebody else", so we don't feel the pain...

Hey! it's a fantastic sunny day out here. And our entertainment rations makes sure we are subtly cotton-wooled as a society so we performed (often forced) what we are programmed for: work, sleep and fart around. These obligations and distractions stop us from feeling the real pain of people tortured in prison...

And when we go through the daily routine of "gawking about the world", the "media" places everything on the same display shelves (something that passes as "nuz"). That is to say "newses" the reality of torture... followed by a bloke playing with a wide stick of wood against a round red ball, running between more bits of wood planted in the ground — the latter with more importance "because he's one of us".

The greater general response to the "nuz" on torture is that
— "i don't care, nothing to do with me..." (I do not feel the pain).
The second largest responses are
— It's not us, it's them (when we are accomplices)....
— Australian could never possibly do that (our "morality" excludes us from sadism, bribes, wrongdoings, etc, like paying bribes to Saddam, must have been unknowingly, wink-wink)
— It's only a few rotten apples in the sytem (when the chief of the pentagon ordered it systematically)
— it's for the best protection against terror (when it's proven that torture rarely if ever gives any intelligence of value and that most torturees are ordinary innocent people)...
— I did not vote for the bastards (we did vote for Pauline but don't want to admit to it)...
— there is nothing I can do (when we know we could but can't be bothered)..."

Thus we turn around on our beach towel and sun-bake the front of our future melanoma-ed body once our back has been singed... shhhhh... Aaaaaaah... feels good.

Thus spoke the majority...

We are a sad lot, aren't we?

The Not-at-War "long war"

From the Seatle Times

Rumsfeld OKs wider anti-terror role for military
By Ann Scott Tyson
The Washington Post

Details are secret, but the documents in general envision a significantly expanded role for the military — and in particular a growing force of elite Special Operations troops — in continuous operations to combat terrorism outside of war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Developed over about three years by the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in Tampa, Fla., they reflect a beefing up of the Pentagon's involvement in domains traditionally handled by the CIA and State Department.

For example, SOCOM has dispatched small teams of Army Green Berets and other Special Operations troops to U.S. embassies in more than a dozen countries in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, where they do operational planning and intelligence gathering to enhance the ability to conduct military operations where the United States is not at war.

And in a subtle but important shift contained in a classified order last year, the Pentagon gained the leeway to inform — rather than gain the approval of — the U.S. ambassador before conducting military operations in a foreign country, according to several administration officials. "We do not need ambassador-level approval," said one defense official familiar with the order.

Overall, the plans underscore Rumsfeld's conviction since the Sept. 11 attacks that the U.S. military must expand its mission beyond 20th-century conventional warfare by infantry, tanks, ships and fighter jets to fighting shadowy and fleeting nonstate groups that are, above all, difficult to find.

The plans each run more than 100 pages and cover a wide range of overt and clandestine military activities — from man-hunting and intelligence gathering on terrorist networks, to attacks on terrorist training camps and recruiting efforts, to partnering with foreign militaries to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries. Together, they amount to a road map that assigns responsibilities to different military commands to conduct what the Pentagon now envisions as a "long war" against terrorism.

read more at the Seattle Times...
Gus suggests these guys in AmeriKa believe Peace is a permanent state of war.

Permanent war

ordinary people .....

‘Savvy players in the military-industrial racket know that
the "War on Terror" is just short-end money: fat and sweet, sure, but
it doesn't really have legs. 

"Islamofacism" is too

empty a
concept to sustain the kind of decades-long looting of the public treasury that
the dear old Cold War used to provide – the overwhelming majority of Muslims in
the world just aren't interested in dressing up in Nazi drag and playing their
assigned roles in the Pentagon-Neocon-Theocon war game. 

I mean, Jesus Herbert Walker
Christ, you can even walk your army right into the heartland of Islam and kill
hundreds of thousands of innocent people, and they still won't take the bait.
Not a single Muslim nation has gone jihad over Iraq; they haven't all turned
into a nice, big monolithic evil empire set on the utter destruction of

It's like they're all just
ordinary people or something, good, bad and indifferent, largely occupied with
their own concerns – personal, economic, social, religious, national.’ 

Really Real "Long War"

Yo-yo market

From wherever (could be the ABC...)

Falling oil price hits energy stocks

US stocks have ended slightly lower in overnight trade, as sinking crude oil prices dragged energy companies' shares lower.

But the 2.5 per cent pullback in the price of oil trimmed losses overall as cheaper energy costs should have a positive impact on corporate profits.

Crude prices moved above $US75 a barrel in weekend trade.

OPEC decided to keep output quotas unchanged, blaming the spiralling prices on political tension and lack of refining capacity, rather than a shortage of crude supplies.

The spot price of West Texas crude dropped back to $US70.19 in New York overnight - down $3.54 on its previous close.

On the New York Stock Exchange, the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 11 points to end the session at 11,336.

The high-tech Nasdaq composite index finished 9.5 points lower at 2,333.

The British share market also fell back with London's FT-100 index closing 34 points lower at 6,099.

Yesterday, the mining sector pushed the Australian share market higher.

The All Ordinaries index gained 19 points to 5,218.

BHP Billiton shares rose 91 cents to $31.01, while Rio Tinto added $1.75 to $82.55.


Gus looks at all this as if it was a giant yo-yo and were all pulling on the string or fighting over it... I can see the globe all tangled up on the rope and the yo-yo dangling, exhausted, spent... We've run out of petrol... Maybe there is a cartoon in that...

the back-end of the scam …..

‘It is generally agreed that worldwide petroleum supply
will eventually reach its productive limit, peak, and begin a long term
decline. What should the United States do to prepare for this event? An
objective look at the alternatives points to the Nation's untapped oil shale as
a strategically located, long-term source of reliable, affordable, and secure

The vast extent of U.S. oil shale
resources, amounting to more than 2 trillion barrels, has been known for a
century. In 1912, the President, by Executive Order, established the Naval
Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves. This office has overseen the U.S. strategic
interests in oil shale since that time. The huge resource base has stimulated
several prior commercial attempts to produce oil from oil shale, but these
attempts have failed primarily because of the historically modest cost of
petroleum with which it competed. With the expected future decline in petroleum
production, historic market forces are poised to change and this change will
improve the economic viability of oil shale. 

It has been nearly two decades
since meaningful federal oil shale policy initiatives were undertaken. In that
time technology has advanced, global economic, political, and market conditions
have changed, and the regulatory landscape has matured. As America considers
its homeland security posture, including its desired access to diverse, secure
and abundant sources of liquid fuels, it is both necessary and prudent to
reconsider the potential of oil shale in the nation's energy and natural
resource portfolio.’ 

Peak Oil

taking a break from the trough .....

all porkied-out Gus ......



From the New York Times

Rebuilding of Iraqi Pipeline as Disaster Waiting to Happen

Published: April 25, 2006
When Robert Sanders was sent by the Army to inspect the construction work an American company was doing on the banks of the Tigris River, 130 miles north of Baghdad, he expected to see workers drilling holes beneath the riverbed to restore a crucial set of large oil pipelines, which had been bombed during the invasion of Iraq.

What he found instead that day in July 2004 looked like some gargantuan heart-bypass operation gone nightmarishly bad. A crew had bulldozed a 300-foot-long trench along a giant drill bit in their desperate attempt to yank it loose from the riverbed. A supervisor later told him that the project's crews knew that drilling the holes was not possible, but that they had been instructed by the company in charge of the project to continue anyway.

A few weeks later, after the project had burned up all of the $75.7 million allocated to it, the work came to a halt.

The project, called the Fatah pipeline crossing, had been a critical element of a $2.4 billion no-bid reconstruction contract that a Halliburton subsidiary had won from the Army in 2003. The spot where about 15 pipelines crossed the Tigris had been the main link between Iraq's rich northern oil fields and the export terminals and refineries that could generate much-needed gasoline, heating fuel and revenue for Iraqis.

For all those reasons, the project's demise would seriously damage the American-led effort to restore Iraq's oil system and enable the country to pay for its own reconstruction. Exactly what portion of Iraq's lost oil revenue can be attributed to one failed project, no matter how critical, is impossible to calculate. But the pipeline at Al Fatah has a wider significance as a metaphor for the entire $45 billion rebuilding effort in Iraq. Although the failures of that effort are routinely attributed to insurgent attacks, an examination of this project shows that troubled decision-making and execution have played equally important roles.

The Fatah project went ahead despite warnings from experts that it could not succeed because the underground terrain was shattered and unstable.

It continued chewing up astonishing amounts of cash when the predicted problems bogged the work down, with a contract that allowed crews to charge as much as $100,000 a day as they waited on standby.

The company in charge engaged in what some American officials saw as a self-serving attempt to limit communications with the government until all the money was gone...

read more at the New York Times
Gus: too sad and outraged to comment further...

Bananas for El Rumsfeldo

From Al Jazeera

US military needs regime change

By Sandy Shanks

Wednesday 26 April 2006, 15:47 Makka Time, 12:47 GMT
Les Roberts, the lead author of The Lancet medical journal, differs and reported on February 8, 2006, that there may be as many as 300,000 Iraqi civilian deaths. Roberts is one of the world's leading epidemiologists and lectures at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has also worked for the World Health Organisation and the International Rescue Committee. If true, and Roberts’s methodology is unquestioned, this human tragedy must end and soon.

Whether or not one completely accepts the dire reporting of The Lancet, it appears that the tragedy in Iraq is far more extensive than we in America have been led to believe, and what we have been led to believe is more than dismal in the first place. Iraq is a disaster crying for a solution, and, to be frank, little is getting done.

read more at Al Jazeera

the Bush helped Ducky duck the chooks

From the New York Times

Army Charges Former Abu Ghraib Officer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Army on Friday charged the former head of the interrogation center at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq with cruelty and maltreatment, dereliction of duty and other criminal offenses for his alleged involvement in the abuse of detainees at the notorious prison in 2003.

Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, was charged with 12 counts under the Uniform Code of Military Justice covering seven separate offenses.

He is the highest-ranking officer at Abu Ghraib to face criminal charges.

A preliminary hearing, often referred to as the military equivalent of a grand jury investigation, will be held when Jordan's defense counsel is ready but no date has been set, according to an announcement by the Military District of Washington.

Officers above Jordan's rank have been reprimanded and relieved of command, including Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who was in charge of the U.S.-run prison system that included the Abu Ghraib compound. But none of those faced criminal charges.

The much-investigated abuses at Abu Ghraib included sexual humiliation and physical abuse of Iraqi detainees. Disclosure two years ago triggered international protests and calls for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to resign. He offered his resignation twice but President Bush refused.

Read more at the NYT