Tuesday 28th of May 2024

Arrakis and Iraq- From Dune To The Dunes

Regime Change on the planet Arrakis... ring any bells?  When the news
about the President Bush's failure to control Iraq after the occupation
came about, any reader of Frank Herbert's novel Dune would not be
suprised.  Herbert explained the ethical nobility implied in the
Islamic approach to battle.  His freedom fighters, the Feydakin,
believed that sacrificing one life to ensure the deaths of many of the
enemy was an extremely sensible and honourable way to fight a war.  The
higher the number of enemy deaths taken in an attack, the greater was
the revererance bestowed on the self-sacrificing soldier

Solomon Islands In Iraq ?

It's of interest that while companies from countries such as China,
Germany and Canada were not allowed to tender for Iraq reconstruction
contracts, our little troubled neighbour, the Solomon Islands was given
permission to bid.

Sweden, Ireland, Austria, and Finland, all neutral countries, were also cut off from the spoils. According to Bloomberg, of the 15 European Union states, only six are approved.
They are the U.K., Italy, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, and
Denmark. All have sent soldiers or police forces to Iraq.

memorial day .....

buzzflash “memorial day” editorial ….. 

Alas, the massacre at Haditha -
in which women, children and men - were executed by U.S. Marines will be the My
Lai for Iraq. 

That means war hawks will argue
that the Marines were under intense pressure - which they were - and these
"sort of things" are to be expected in war. They will excuse the
horrific actions as an inevitable outgrowth of a war without rules. 

move over saddam .....

‘People tell me that Saddam Hussein is a very bad man.
Probably he is. Ok, really he is. He is egregiously immoral and ghastly. Should
he be put on trial? Can such a trial be fair? This is where it gets

If all heads of state who commit
violent acts were to be tried as criminals, we would live in a very different
world. It would be a world without governments as we know them. Let's say that
you like that idea. You might argue that lopping off Saddam's head is as good a
place to start as any.’ 

peacekeeping .....

Is the Howard government
cynically supporting a change in government in East Timor to further avoid
Australia’s obligations to the fledgling democracy? 

The little rodent has no right
to be calling for a “more compliant leader / government” in East Timor. 

Like it or not, Prime Minister
Alkatiri was democratically elected, with the Fretilin Party winning more than
80% of the popular vote at late last year. 

the humble twins .....

‘US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister
Tony Blair, whose public support is waning due to the Iraqi War, admitted in a
Washington meeting that they had made some crucial mistakes during the war but
maintained they “did the right thing” in overthrowing Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Bush said his biggest mistake was
the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, and added that he himself learned some
lessons on “tough talk.” 

pm dope scare .....

‘"At a joint White House press conference May 16 with
Australian Prime Minister John Howard, as the two men stood side by side, Bush
slipped in a couple of zingers about Howard’s bald head and supposed
homeliness," recalls Parry by way of illustration. 

"Bush joshed: 'Somebody said
"You and John Howard appear to be so close, don’t you have any
differences?" And I said, "yes, he doesn’t have any hair."'
Getting a round of laughs from reporters, Bush moved on to his next joke: 'That’s
what I like about John Howard,' Bush said. 'He may not be the prettiest person
on the block, but when he tells you something you can take it to the bank.' 

spruiking bushit .....

‘Less than 18 months after U.S. President George W. Bush
declared in his 2005 Inaugural Address his unequivocal commitment to the
"ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world", tyrants, particularly
in the Islamic world, are taking heart. 

From North Africa to Central
Asia, top U.S. officials are busy embracing dictators - and their sons, where
appropriate - even as they continue to mouth the pro-democracy rhetoric that
became the hallmark of the administration's foreign policy pronouncements,
particularly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq failed to turn up evidence of
weapons of mass destruction or ties to al Qaeda. 

Reactor For Spaceport

Who's involved in an unexpected consortium proposal for a nuclear reactor at Woomera? 

Australian foundation member of the International Nuclear Energy Academy Professor Leslie Kememy has spearheaded a push for a reactor near South Australia's Spaceport, and a feasibility study for a three billion dollar reactor was being conducted.

Leslie, who told Adelaide's Advertiser that he had been hired by a consortium as a technical consultant, but declined to give their name

fear .....

‘Fear is a very powerful tool. Powerful enough to cause
human beings to hold a gun to their head and pull the trigger. Fear is powerful
enough, too, to cause an entire society to, figuratively speaking, hold a gun
to their liberty and pull the trigger. John Adams said, "Remember,
democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There
is never a democracy that did not commit suicide." 

fear can cause a democracy to commit suicide. Fear and a group of people so filled
with greed and their belief in their right to rule, that they forsake the
politics of hope and prey on the fears of the people.’ 

a moral void .....

‘Amnesty International says President George Bush's
tactics in his fight against terrorists have made the United States comparable
to Augusto Pinochet's Chile and Hafez Assad's Syria in its acceptance of
torture and disregard of legal restraints. 

In its annual report of human
rights conditions around the world, Amnesty included the US alongside China,
Russia, Columbia, Uzbekistan and others as states that claim anti-terrorism to
justify gross violations. 

Senior Democrat Senator Calls For US AWB Probe, AWB Says Bribes Tax Deductible

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top Democrat on the U.S. Senate
Agriculture Committee on Tuesday called for a probe into the Australian
Wheat Board's alleged violations of the United Nations oil for food
program, saying the Bush administration had not heeded the concerns of
America's wheat farmers.

Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa wrote to the
U.S. Agriculture Department Inspector General seeking an independent
review after letters to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and U.S.
Trade Representative Rob Portman earlier this year failed to produce
any action, a spokesman for Harkin's office said.

dangerous people .....

‘I would emphasize that it's not because Cheney, Rumsfeld,
and Wolfowitz are diabolical creatures intent on doing evil. 

They genuinely believe it's in
the interests of the United States, and the world, that unconstrained American
power should determine the shape of the international order. I think they
vastly overstate our capabilities. For all of their supposed worldliness and
sophistication, I don't think they understand the world. I am persuaded that
their efforts will only lead to greater mischief while undermining our
democracy. Yet I don't question that, at some gut level, they think they are
acting on your behalf and mine. 

tears of a somnolent majority .....

‘We have reached a deplorable state where an injured horse
elicits a stronger response than a dead or maimed fellow American. 

Recall for a moment the soldier cited in the film who lost
both legs and an arm. He won’t ever again ride a bike as he did as an energetic
young boy. He won’t be able to take leisurely evening strolls with his wife. He
won’t be able to practice tackling or jump shooting with his son. And he won’t
be able to walk his daughter down the aisle on the most important day of her
life as he "hands" her off to the man of her dreams. 

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