Like the drummer in Spinal Tap

Via Sadly No

Seems that a certain someone's supply of deputies is pretty much unlimited

February 25, 2004:
He was confirming a report in the Baghdad daily newspaper that a Zarqawi deputy it named as Nidal Arabiyat Agha Hamza was killed in an operation conducted last Thursday north of Baghdad.

January 8, 2005:
U.S. occupation forces announced the arrest of a key leader in al-Zarqawi’s network in Iraq.

January 29, 2005:
Authorities in Iraq have arrested three close associates of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, officials said Friday, claiming to be close to capturing the Al Qaeda-linked terror mastermind himself[.] [...] Friday's announcement brings to six the number of purported al-Zarqawi lieutenants arrested recently — including a deputy[.]

June 4, 2005:
Six suspected terrorists, including a suspected deputy of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi linked to al-Quida, have been captured in Iraq, officials said Saturday.

June 27, 2005:
A senior member of Iraq’s Al Qaeda branch was killed recently in a US crackdown on insurgents in the Iraqi town of Qaim near the Syrian border, a Jordanian newspaper reported yesterday. [...] Abu Alghadiya, a Syrian dentist married to a Jordanian woman, was described by Arab media as the ‘number two’ in Iraq’s Al Qaeda network and tipped to succeed its leader Abu Musab Al Zarqawi.
September 27, 2005:
U.S. Special Forces killed Al Qaeda's No. 2 terror mastermind in Iraq, Defense Department officials said.

Lenin has more here

Joke of the Day

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the President his daily briefing. He concludes by
saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed."

"OH NO!" the President exclaims. "That's terrible!"

His staff sits stunned at this rare display of emotion, nervously watching as the President sits, head in hands.

Finally, the President looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?"

Bush Back on the Bottle?

Via The News Blog

Faced with the biggest crisis of his political life, President Bush has hit the bottle again, The National Enquirer can reveal.

Bush, who said he quit drinking the morning after his 40th birthday, has started boozing amid the Katrina catastrophe.

Family sources have told how the 59-year-old president was caught by First Lady Laura downing a shot of booze at their family ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he learned of the hurricane disaster.

His worried wife yelled at him: "Stop, George."

Following the shocking incident, disclosed here for the first time, Laura privately warned her husband against "falling off the wagon" and vowed to travel with him more often so that she can keep an eye on Dubya, the sources add.

"When the levees broke in New Orleans, it apparently made him reach for a shot," said one insider. "He poured himself a Texas-sized shot of straight whiskey and tossed it back. The First Lady was shocked and shouted: "Stop George!"

"Laura gave him an ultimatum before, 'It's Jim Beam or me.' She doesn't want to replay that nightmare รข€” especially now when it's such tough going for her husband."

Bush is under the worst pressure of his two terms in office and his popularity is near an all-time low. The handling of the Katrina crisis and troop losses in Iraq have fueled public discontent and pushed Bush back to drink.

A Washington source said: "The sad fact is that he has been sneaking drinks for weeks now. Laura may have only just caught him” but the word is his drinking has been going on for a while in the capital. He's been in a pressure cooker for months.


The result is he's taking drinks here and there, likely in private, to cope. "And now with the worst domestic crisis in his administration over Katrina, you pray his drinking doesn't go out of control."

Another source said: "I'm only surprised to hear that he hadn't taken a shot sooner. Before Katrina, he was at his wit's end. I've known him for years. He's been a good ol' Texas boy forever. George had a drinking problem for years that most professionals would say needed therapy. He doesn't believe in it [therapy], he never got it. He drank his way through his youth, through college and well into his thirties. Everyone's drinking around him."

Another source said: "A family member told me they fear George is 'falling apart.' The First Lady has been assigned the job of gatekeeper." Bush's history of drinking dates back to his youth. Speaking of his time as a young man in the National Guard, he has said: "One thing I remember, and I'm most proud of, is my drinking and partying. Those were the days my friends. Those were the good old days!"


Dr. Justin Frank, a Washington D.C. psychiatrist and author of Bush On The Couch: Inside The Mind Of The President, told The National Enquirer: "I do think that Bush is drinking again. Alcoholics who are not in any program, like the President, have a hard time when stress gets to be great.

"I think it's a concern that Bush disappears during times of stress. He spends so much time on his ranch. It's very frightening."

Basra Questions

The events in Basra have led to a whole raft of questions, and have turned into a boon for conspiracy theorists everywhere. For example

As usual we will have to wait a couple of days while everyone gets their stories straight, but if any reader can help me with the below that might help to clarify.

This is a screen capture of the kit taken by the Iraqi police from the British soldiers when they arrested them. Looking at it they have, a couple of rifles (undertandable ) Radios, large wire cutters (?) One bag of assorted cables (?) Large toolkit (could be for car) a single shot anti-tank missile (WTF is that for) Another toolkit and a mysterious box.

If any readers are more eagle eyed than me, or have inside knowledge of what is usually carried on ops of this kind please feel free to try and enlighten us all in the comments.

The Nature of the Iraqi resistance

Nature of the Iraqi Resistance
Interview with a Member of the Iraqi National Foundation Congress

by Imad Khadduri

September 11, 2005

The following is from an interview with Saad Naji Jawad who is a professor of political science at the University of Baghdad. He is a member of the Iraqi National Foundation Congress.

Iraqi National Resistance

Whenever there is occupation there is resistance. All nations have experienced this. Resistance to occupation is legal, legitimate and acceptable. On top of this are some people who hate the US and found Iraq a suitable place to fight their war. They came to the country after the occupation, and the Americans are now paying the price.

Al Qaida and Musab al-Zarqawi are separate from the rest of the resistance. There is no coordination between the resistance and these groups, whom we consider to be terrorists.

There are also groups dedicated to political and peaceful resistance, civilians who try to resist in a positive way. Demonstrations, writing, objecting and criticising are also part of the resistance.

Inside the armed resistance there are different groups and trends. You have Baathists, Islamists, Sunnis, Shias, sometimes you also have Kurds. The main characteristic is Arab nationalist.

Even from the beginning you had many people inside the resistance who were happy to see the end of Saddam Hussein because they felt he had driven the country to disaster. Some had some faith in US promises, and felt that the Americans were going to make Iraq an example of democracy in the region, but then became disillusioned.

The Iraqi National Foundation Congress was founded in May 2004. It was originally established by two different bodies—the Arab nationalists, who are a mix of Sunnis and Shias, and the al?Khalisi school, headed by Sheikh Jawad Khalisi from the Shia Khadamiya mosque in Baghdad.

Then other organisations joined, including the Association of Muslim Scholars, some personalities, smaller parties and groups. There are differences on certain issues—some are Islamists others are secular—but all agree on national liberation and the need for real democracy.

The Congress has support among a wide layer of people, but because we boycotted the elections we are unable to measure exactly the depth of this support. We called for a boycott of last January’s US sponsored elections, and more than half of Iraq joined the boycott. Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shia leader, also called for boycott. We said we would participate in the elections on the following conditions—an end to military attacks, all people must have a vote (the election body could strike your name from the register) and an international body must supervise the elections.Our demands were rejected, so we called for a boycott.


The Iraqi National Foundation Congress is similar to organisations such as the African National Congress and the PLO. It is an alliance of forces united around one main demand—national liberation.

In our opinion Iraq’s draft constitution does not solve any problems. The political situation is so complicated that the only way forward is through dialogue, a lot of forgiveness and openness.

The new constitution could lead to the division of the country.

We do not necessarily object to federalism, but what sort of federalism is on offer? If we listen to the main Kurdish parties we find they are talking about independence, not federalism. Similarly there are those who would like a federal state in the south, who claim the south suffered more than the rest of the country, that the south creates most of the wealth through oil.
We reject the draft because it deepens sectarianism and does not reflect the Arab nature of the Iraq. The Arabs are more than 80 percent of the population.

The US would rather have one state that they control, rather than a divided Iraq. But colonialism always keeps its options open. The Americans use the threat of federalism. They say, “If you do not support us and follow our policies, you could end up destroying your country”.

Iraq will have to spend many years repairing the damage done by the Americans. We have to clear out the corrupt exile politicians who have grown rich from the occupation. We have to build a national army—and above all we have to convince people that without unity we have no future."

The Bush family vacation

Religious crazies you will not see on Memri

Did God send Katrina as revenge over Gaza?

JERUSALEM – While most religious authorities seem to agree one cannot discern the intentions of God, there has been talk in some circles here and on the Internet the storm that turned parts of the Gulf Coast into a disaster zone, prompting hundreds of thousands to evacuate their homes and possibly causing upwards of 10,000 deaths, was thrust upon the U.S. for its support of the Gaza evacuation.

"Katrina is a consequence of the destruction of [Gaza's] Gush Katif [slate of Jewish communities] with America's urging and encouragement," Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Lewin, executive director of the Rabbinic Congress for Peace, told WND. "The U.S. should have discouraged Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon from implementing the Gaza evacuation rather than pushing for it and pressuring Israel into concessions."

Lewin is one of many rabbis in Israel and abroad who have been making similar statements both in private and in speeches to their congregations.

Rabbi Joseph Garlitzky, head of the international Chabad Lubavitch movement's Tel Aviv synagogue, recounted for WND a pulpit speech he gave this past Sabbath:

"We don't have prophets who can tell us exactly what are God's ways, but when we see something so enormous as Katrina, I would say [President] Bush and [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice need to make an accounting of their actions, because something was done wrong by America in a big way. And here there are many obvious connections between the storm and the Gaza evacuation, which came right on top of each other. No one has permission to take away one inch of the land of Israel from the Jewish people."

Now, Garlitzky and many others here and on the Internet are pointing to what they call eerie similarities between Katrina and the evacuation of Gush Katif, including parallels in events, names and numbers:

Close to 10,000 Jews were expelled from their homes in the Gaza Strip and parts of northern Samaria. Katrina's death toll is now expected to reach at least 10,000.

America's population ratio to Israel is about 50:1. Ten thousand Jews who lost their Gaza homes is the equivalent of about 500,000 Americans who are now reported to be displaced as result of Katrina.
Gaza's Jewish communities were located in Israel's southern coastal region; America's southern coastal region now lies in ruins.

The U.S. government called on Louisiana residents to evacuate their homes ahead of the storm. The Israeli government, backed by statements from U.S. officials, demanded Gaza residents evacuate their homes.

Katrina, written in Hebrew, has a numerical equivalent of 374, according to a biblical numbering system upheld by all traditional Jewish authorities. Two relevant passages in the Torah share the exact numerical equivalent: "They have done you evil" (Gen. 50:17) and "The sea upon land" (Exodus 14:15).

Bush, from Texas, and Rice, from Alabama, were the most vocal U.S.A. backers of the Gaza evacuation. Hurricane Katrina hit the states in between Texas and Alabama – Louisiana and Mississippi.

Similarity in scenes: Many residents of Jewish Gaza climbed to their rooftops to escape the threat of expulsion, while residents of the Gulf Coast climbed on their own rooftops to protect themselves from the rising waters. Jewish Gaza homes described as beautiful and charming were demolished this week by Israel's military. Once beautiful homes in New Orleans now lie in ruins.

The day Katrina hit, Israel began carrying out what was termed the most controversial aspect of the Gaza withdrawal – the uprooting of bodies from the area's Jewish cemetery. There have been media reports of corpses floating around in flooded New Orleans regions.

Citizens of Israel were barred from entering Gush Katif; people were only allowed to leave Jewish Gaza. As Katrina was making landfall U.S. authorities barred citizens from entering the affected areas. People were only allowed out.

Gush Katif was an important agricultural area for Israel, providing the Jewish state with 70 percent of its produce. A New Orleans port that exported much of the Midwest's agricultural production was destroyed by Katrina.
The connections have caused a firestorm of speculation on Internet blogs and in chat rooms.

In a Jerusalem Newswire op-ed discussing the similarities just before Katrina made landfall, writer Stan Goodenough commented, "Is this some sort of bizarre coincidence? Not for those who believe in the God of the Bible and the immutability of His Word. What America is about to experience is the lifting of God's hand of protection, the implementation of His judgment on the nation most responsible for endangering the land and people of Israel.

A blog on by Mideast pundits Paul Eidelberg and Israel Hanukoglu linking Katrina to the Gaza evacuation warned, "We urge the American people to remind their president that the evil the nations do to Israel always strikes them. Pharaoh, Haman, Hitler and all the leaders of nations that have opposed the will of God for His people have perished or ended on the ash heaps of history."

Billye Brim, a Christian prayer leader and founder of Billye Brim Ministries who had visited Gush Katif weeks before its evacuation, noted on her website: "Is there a connection between [Katrina and Gush Katif]? I believe so. Is this judgment? I believe so. And I must say it. Outright! Many wont like to hear it. Many wont agree. But I believe America is in danger and something has to be done. ... America needs to repent. From Bush, Rice and the State Department on down. America must repent for actively opposing God's plan for Israel as revealed in His Word."

WorldNetDaily the past week has received numerous letters from readers urging a Katrina-Gaza connection.

One letter stated, " I think you all are dancing around the real cause of the hurricane. Let me suggest to you that it is the wrath of God on our nation because President Bush pressured Sharon to take the homes from the Jews. ... I knew we would be punished on a large scale. I faxed letters and contacted Bush every way I could begging him not to go forward with that plan to evacuate Gaza but he did so anyway, and as a result we were hit in a week with a hurricane that will make history."

Perhaps the first to publicly connect Katrina to the Gaza evacuation was famed Israeli conspiracy theorist Barry Chamish, who sent a mass e-mail noting, "GUsh is like GUlf, and KATif is like KATrina. If you take 'KAT' from KATif and KATrina, you are left with 'IF' and 'RAIN.' If you support Gush Katif evacuation, it will rain."

Chamish told WND yesterday: "Simple human beings cannot fully understand what is going on, but the events certainly must be connected. It's statistically impossible to have two such great natural disastrous like the recent tsunami in Asia and Katrina right after each other. This is the hand of God. He is saying something."

Jerusalem Kabbalist Rabbi David Batzri drew the parallel: "Divine retribution is meted out according to the principle of 'measure for measure,' just as the Jews were forced out of their homes as a result of U.S. pressure on Israel, so too are Americans being forced out of their homes."

A survivors story

Long, but an important tale.

bribri's diary :: ::

Hurricane Katrina-Our Experiences

Larry Bradshaw, Lorrie Beth Slonsky

Two days after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the Walgreen's store at the corner of Royal and Iberville streets remained locked. The dairy display case was clearly visible through the widows. It was now 48 hours without electricity, running water, plumbing. The milk, yogurt, and cheeses were beginning to spoil in the 90-degree heat. The owners and managers had locked up the food, water, pampers, and prescriptions and fled the City. Outside Walgreen's windows, residents and tourists grew increasingly thirsty and hungry.

The much-promised federal, state and local aid never materialized and the windows at Walgreen's gave way to the looters. There was an alternative. The cops could have broken one small window and distributed the nuts, fruit juices, and bottle water in an organized and systematic manner. But they did not. Instead they spent hours playing cat and mouse, temporarily chasing away the looters.

We were finally airlifted out of New Orleans two days ago and arrived home yesterday (Saturday). We have yet to see any of the TV coverage or look at a newspaper. We are willing to guess that there were no video images or front-page pictures of European or affluent white tourists looting the Walgreen's in the French Quarter.

We also suspect the media will have been inundated with "hero" images of the National Guard, the troops and the police struggling to help the "victims" of the Hurricane. What you will not see, but what we witnessed,were the real heroes and sheroes of the hurricane relief effort: the working class of New Orleans. The maintenance workers who used a fork lift to carry the sick and disabled. The engineers, who rigged, nurtured and kept the generators running. The electricians who improvised thick extension cords stretching over blocks to share the little electricity we had in order to free cars stuck on rooftop parking lots. Nurses who took over for mechanical ventilators and spent many hours on end manually forcing air into the lungs of unconscious patients to keep them alive. Doormen who rescued folks stuck in elevators. Refinery workers who broke into boat yards, "stealing" boats to rescue their neighbors clinging to their roofs in flood waters. Mechanics who helped hot-wire any car that could be found to ferry people out of the City. And the food service workers who scoured the commercial kitchens improvising communal meals for hundreds of those stranded.

Most of these workers had lost their homes, and had not heard from members of their families, yet they stayed and provided the only infrastructure for the 20% of New Orleans that was not under water.

On Day 2, there were approximately 500 of us left in the hotels in the French Quarter. We were a mix of foreign tourists, conference attendees like ourselves, and locals who had checked into hotels for safety and shelter from Katrina. Some of us had cell phone contact with family and friends outside of New Orleans. We were repeatedly told that all sorts of resources including the National Guard and scores of buses were pouring in to the City. The buses and the other resources must have been invisible because none of us had seen them.

We decided we had to save ourselves. So we pooled our money and came up with $25,000 to have ten buses come and take us out of the City. Those who did not have the requisite $45.00 for a ticket were subsidized by those who did have extra money. We waited for 48 hours for the buses, spending the last 12 hours standing outside, sharing the limited water, food, and clothes we had. We created a priority boarding area for the sick, elderly and new born babies. We waited late into the night for the "imminent" arrival of the buses. The buses never arrived. We later learned that the minute the arrived to the City limits, they were commandeered by the military.

By day 4 our hotels had run out of fuel and water. Sanitation was dangerously abysmal. As the desperation and despair increased, street crime as well as water levels began to rise. The hotels turned us out and locked their doors, telling us that the "officials" told us to report to the convention center to wait for more buses. As we entered the center of the City, we finally encountered the National Guard. The Guards told us we would not be allowed into the Superdome as the City's primary shelter had descended into a humanitarian and health hellhole. The guards further told us that the City's only other shelter, the Convention Center, was also descending into chaos and squalor and that the police were not allowing anyone else in. Quite naturally, we asked, "If we can't go to the only 2 shelters in the City, what was our alternative?" The guards told us that that was our problem, and no they did not have extra water to give to us. This would be the start of our numerous encounters with callous and hostile "law enforcement".

We walked to the police command center at Harrah's on Canal Street and were told the same thing, that we were on our own, and no they did not have water to give us. We now numbered several hundred. We held a mass meeting to decide a course of action. We agreed to camp outside the police command post. We would be plainly visible to the media and would constitute a highly visible embarrassment to the City officials. The police told us that we could not stay. Regardless, we began to settle in and set up camp. In short order, the police commander came across the street to address our group. He told us he had a solution: we should walk to the Pontchartrain Expressway and cross the greater New Orleans Bridge where the police had buses lined up to take us out of the City. The crowed cheered and began to move. We called everyone back and explained to the commander that there had been lots of misinformation and wrong information and was he sure that there were buses waiting for us. The commander turned to the crowd and stated emphatically, "I swear to you that the buses are there."

We organized ourselves and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with great excitement and hope. As we marched pasted the convention center, many locals saw our determined and optimistic group and asked where we were headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately grabbed their few belongings and quickly our numbers doubled and then doubled again. Babies in strollers now joined us, people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and others people in wheelchairs. We marched the 2-3 miles to the freeway and up the steep incline to the Bridge. It now began to pour down rain, but it did not dampen our enthusiasm.

As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and of the commander's assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move.

We questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the 6-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their City. These were code words for if you are poor and black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River and you were not getting out of New Orleans.

Our small group retreated back down Highway 90 to seek shelter from the rain under an overpass. We debated our options and in the end decided to build an encampment in the middle of the Ponchartrain Expressway on the center divide, between the O'Keefe and Tchoupitoulas exits. We reasoned we would be visible to everyone, we would have some security being on an elevated freeway and we could wait and watch for the arrival of the yet to be seen buses.

All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned away. Some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others to be verbally berated and humiliated. Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the City on foot. Meanwhile, the only two City shelters sank further into squalor and disrepair. The only way across the bridge was by vehicle. We saw workers stealing trucks, buses, moving vans, semi-trucks and any car that could be hotwired. All were packed with people trying to escape the misery New Orleans had become.

Our little encampment began to blossom. Someone stole a water delivery truck and brought it up to us. Let's hear it for looting! A mile or so down the freeway, an army truck lost a couple of pallets of C-rations on a tight turn. We ferried the food back to our camp in shopping carts. Now secure with the two necessities, food and water; cooperation, community, and creativity flowered. We organized a clean up and hung garbage bags from the rebar poles. We made beds from wood pallets and cardboard. We designated a storm drain as the bathroom and the kids built an elaborate enclosure for privacy out of plastic, broken umbrellas, and other scraps. We even organized a food recycling system where individuals could swap out parts of C-rations (applesauce for babies and candies for kids!).

This was a process we saw repeatedly in the aftermath of Katrina. When individuals had to fight to find food or water, it meant looking out for yourself only. You had to do whatever it took to find water for your kids or food for your parents. When these basic needs were met, people began to look out for each other, working together and constructing a community.

If the relief organizations had saturated the City with food and water in the first 2 or 3 days, the desperation, the frustration and the ugliness would not have set in.

Flush with the necessities, we offered food and water to passing families and individuals. Many decided to stay and join us. Our encampment grew to 80 or 90 people.

From a woman with a battery powered radio we learned that the media was talking about us. Up in full view on the freeway, every relief and news organizations saw us on their way into the City. Officials were being asked what they were going to do about all those families living up on the freeway? The officials responded they were going to take care of us. Some of us got a sinking feeling. "Taking care of us" had an ominous tone to it.

Unfortunately, our sinking feeling (along with the sinking City) was correct. Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up, jumped out of his patrol vehicle, aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, "Get off the fucking freeway". A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck with our food and water.

Once again, at gunpoint, we were forced off the freeway. All the law enforcement agencies appeared threatened when we congregated or congealed into groups of 20 or more. In every congregation of "victims" they saw "mob" or "riot". We felt safety in numbers. Our "we must stay together" was impossible because the agencies would force us into small atomized groups.

In the pandemonium of having our camp raided and destroyed, we scattered once again. Reduced to a small group of 8 people, in the dark, we sought refuge in an abandoned school bus, under the freeway on Cilo Street. We were hiding from possible criminal elements but equally and definitely, we were hiding from the police and sheriffs with their martial law, curfew and shoot-to-kill policies.

The next days, our group of 8 walked most of the day, made contact with New Orleans Fire Department and were eventually airlifted out by an urban search and rescue team. We were dropped off near the airport and managed to catch a ride with the National Guard. The two young guardsmen apologized for the limited response of the Louisiana guards. They explained that a large section of their unit was in Iraq and that meant they were shorthanded and were unable to complete all the tasks they were assigned.

We arrived at the airport on the day a massive airlift had begun. The airport had become another Superdome. We 8 were caught in a press of humanity as flights were delayed for several hours while George Bush landed briefly at the airport for a photo op. After being evacuated on a coast guard cargo plane, we arrived in San Antonio, Texas.

There the humiliation and dehumanization of the official relief effort continued. We were placed on buses and driven to a large field where we were forced to sit for hours and hours. Some of the buses did not have air-conditioners. In the dark, hundreds if us were forced to share two filthy overflowing porta-potties. Those who managed to make it out with any possessions (often a few belongings in tattered plastic bags) we were subjected to two different dog-sniffing searches.

Most of us had not eaten all day because our C-rations had been confiscated at the airport because the rations set off the metal detectors. Yet, no food had been provided to the men, women, children, elderly, disabled as they sat for hours waiting to be "medically screened" to make sure we were not carrying any communicable diseases.

This official treatment was in sharp contrast to the warm, heart-felt reception given to us by the ordinary Texans. We saw one airline worker give her shoes to someone who was barefoot. Strangers on the street offered us money and toiletries with words of welcome. Throughout, the official relief effort was callous, inept, and racist. There was more suffering than need be. Lives were lost that did not need to be lost.

What if Katrina was a Terrorist

Seriously funny post via Billmon

If you think about it, it's probably just as well that Katrina wasn't a terrorist like Osama Bin Ladin. Because if she was, she'd probably still be hiding out in the North Atlantic, periodically smuggling out bombastic videotapes ("Death to puny mammals and their infidel cave hives!") and occasionally sending violent thunderstorms to blow down train stations and beach resorts outside the United States.

And then the Cheney administration would have to go find some other tropical storm -- somewhere in the Indian Ocean, probably -- to declare war on. And that would trigger a long, tedious debate about whether the Indian Ocean had anything to do with the flooding of New Orleans, or whether Cyclone Saddam (or whatever) was secretly storing up lighting bolts in the Bay of Bengal for a sneak attack that would electrocute millions of Americans in their sleep.

Then the neocons would have to cook up some phony intelligence reports showing that tornados spawned by Saddam and Katrina met secretly over the Prague Airport and plotted to blow away Biloxi. And Condi Rice would have to go before the UN Security Council and recite a CIA fantasy script about the Indian Ocean's secret thunderbolts of death, and the chemical weapons trailers hidden in the eye of Cyclone Saddam.

Then Dick Cheney would have to go on Meet the Press and promise Tim Russert that Operation Cyclone Liberation would be a piece of cake, because the waves in the Indian Ocean would greet us as liberators, allowing our troops to walk on water. And then we'd have to have another big argument about how many meterologists it would take to occupy a cyclone, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would say 500,000 and the neocons would say 5 -- until Bush fired the head of NOAA and give his job to an intern from the American Enterprise Institute.

Then the boys at the National Security Council would have to draft a whole new national security strategy, claiming an exclusive U.S. right to preemptively invade any ocean that might conceivably produce a Category 3 or above hurricane, and convert into a peaceful, ripple-free lake of democratic capitalism.

Then Joe Biden, Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton would have to line up and explain that they, too, are in favor of invading every ocean in the world -- but only if Bush agrees to quadruple the size of the U.S. Navy and equip every Marine with an armored aqualung. And Tom Friedman would write a column for the New York Times arguing that it is both possible and desirable to create peaceful, pro-Western cyclones that will accept Israel's right to exist, because the oceans are flat.

But worst of all, we'd have to listen to Shrub strut and shout about how he's going to "smoke Katrina out of her seahole," and "bring the evildoer to justice" -- only to turn around a few months later and explain that he isn't really concerned about hurricanes any more, now that the entire U.S. miitary is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. Then John Kerry would make a big stink about how the administration is ignoring the real weather war, and Bush would get all pissy and defensive the way he does, and deny he ever said any such a thing.

Then Kerry would get pissy and demand that Bush dump even more troops into the Indian Ocean, and Bush would get even more defensive, and babble some feeble lie about how he relies on his generals to tell him how many troops they need to dump into the Indian Ocean in order to make sure we fight the cyclones there instead of in New Orleans. And then media would bend itself over backwards pretending that Shrub actually has a freaking clue about what's going on outside his own head.

We've already been through all that insanity once, and I don't think anyone -- least of all Bush -- wants to go through it again. So I guess we should be relieved that Katrina was just a storm. Hurricanes we can deal with, sort of. But a Global War Against Hurricanes (or, alternatively, a Struggle Against Weather Extremism) could easily be our national undoing.

It's not all bad news

How to sell a lie

On July 21, 2003, the Post published a front-page gut-wrencher penned by Finn about an Iraqi woman, Jumana Hanna, detailing the tortures and rapes she endured at the hands of Saddam Hussein's evil security forces. The powerful 2,800 word feature, "A Lone Woman Testifies to Iraq's Order of Terror," detailed her ordeal with a mix of heavy pathos and steamy S&M. According to Finn's article, Hanna was arrested for marrying her outside-of-the-tribe lover without state permission, a supposedly serious violation in the evil world of Saddamite misogyny. One torture led to another, and soon, our damsel in distress, a Christian virgin no less, was presented as a gift to none other than Uday Hussein for a violent defloweringt.

This harlequin cliche should have raised doubts, but Finn seemed to relish it, Indeed Finn even describes Uday as "a psychopath and serial rapist" - just in case you didn't catch how neatly his story was coming togther. Uday raped Hanna; her husband eventually arrested, tortured and shot; and Hanna suffered an array of medieval tortures from a variety of instruments in a variety of orifices.

The point was obvious: America had liberated women from misogynist tyranny. As Finn wrote, "Hanna, who agreed to the use of her full name, is just one of hundreds and possibly thousands of women who were tortured and sexually assaulted by the agents of the last government." In response,, proclaimed it "justification alone for Bush's Operation Iraqi Freedom." Who the hell in their right mind ... conservative or liberal, man or woman ... could argue against the morality of the war now?

There was only one problem. Jumana Hanna made the whole thing up.

Read it all here

I cannot even bring myself to comment

Jefferson Parish President.

Sir, they were told like me. Every single day. The cavalry is coming. On the federal level. The cavalry is coming. The cavalry is coming. The cavalry is coming. I have just begun to hear the hooves of the cavalry. The cavalry is still not here yet, but I have begun to hear the hooves and were almost a week out.

Three quick examples. We had Wal-mart deliver three trucks of water. Trailer trucks of water. Fema turned them back, said we didn't need them. This was a week go. We had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a coast guard vessel docked in my parish. The coast guard said come get the fuel right way. When we got there with our trucks, they got a word, FEMA says don't give you the fuel. Yesterday, yesterday, fema comes in and cuts all our emergency communications lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in. he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards said no one is getting near these lines.

The guy who runs this building I'm in. Emergency management. He's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said. Are you coming. Son? Is somebody coming? And he said yeah. Mama. Somebody's coming to get you.. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday. And she drowned Friday night. And she drowned Friday night. Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us. The Secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For god's sakes, just shut up and send us somebody.

A note to our conservative friends by Steve Gilliard


Ever wonder why New Yorkers detest George Bush?

Because we experienced his incompetence up close and person. We knew this guy was full of shit, absolutely full of fucking shit, after they started to play games with the funding and gave Wyoming terrorism money. We knew he was an assclown then.

We thought DC 9/11 was a comedy, because the Bush we saw hid in AF One like the scared bitch that he is.

But did you listen?

Fuck no. Until last week, Ann Coulter was calling New Yorkers cowards for not endorsing Bush's folly in Iraq.

We have been screaming for two years that Bush and his team sucked. That they had no clue. They sent soldiers to be wounded in Iraq without armored anything. And you idiots cheered him on from the safety of your keyboards. We told you he was fucking up Iraq. But no, we supported Saddam, we were racist, we blamed America.

You say this isn't about politics? Fuck you, this IS politics, real time, real life politics, where the insanity of all your ideas are exposed to the world for the fraud that they are. Tax cuts kill. Ask the relatives of the dead of the Gulf Coast.

Well, motherfuckers, the alligators are feasting on the dead and there isn't an Iraqi in sight. And Bush is trying to gladhand his way through a mess which has stunned FOX reporters. I mean, Shepard Smith is calling Fox's talking heads liars ON THE AIR.

CNN rips Bush in print and online after nearly five years of sleep.

Instead of hearing what we had to say about Bush, you called John Kerry a coward, mocked Max Cleland, blamed everything but herpes on Bill Clinton. You enabled Bush into this mess and now you're shocked?

Now, Fox can be outraged, now, Wash Times and Union Leader call Bush weak? Well, his coward ass disappeared in 2001. But you rather blame Michael Moore for that.

He can't even explain the Iraq war to a grieving mother.

So what did you do?

Write the most vile things about her and her dead son. Attacked her patriotism and her honesty.

Well, motherfuckers, and that means you, fat ass Goldberg and your master, Rich Lowry, PNAC Bitch Beinart, the racist wannabe white Malkin and the little fucktards at LGF, Bareback Andy and "Diversity" Instacracker, all you backstabbing, fag hating uncle tom ministers, you can see Dear Leader in action. America's largest port is gone, maybe forever, gas is $5+ a gallon and FEMA is coming. Whores come faster with old men than FEMA is getting to NOLA.

How did your wartime President react? Like Chiang Kai-Shek when the Yellow River flooded in 1944, with corrupt indifference.

Bush, the man your fever dreams built into the next Winston Churchill when he is really the live action Chauncey Gardiner, has failed to everyone, in plain sight, without question. Rick Perry is trying to save his ass, but it ain't working. NOLA looks like ANGOLA and that ain't flying.

Say 9/11 changed everything now, motherfuckers. Ooops, 9/11, 9/11. 9/11. Doesn't work anymore? Gee, maybe the sea of alligator MRE's once known as the citizens of New Orleans has something to do with that. Now you can shut the fuck up about 9/11. Bush just proved what would happen with another 9/11. Dead Americans as far as the nose can smell.

Drunken Chris Hitchens muttered some nonsense about blacks having it so good here. The poor man needs to stay in his bottle or go to Betty Ford before someone beats his treasonous ass stupid. Islamofascism means what, now motherfucker? Shove Islamofascism up your well travelled ass. The most dangerous thing to average Americans is not some mullah in Iraq, not even Osama Bin Laden, but George Bush. If he doesn't get you killed in Iraq, he'll fuck up saving your city so it turns into Escape from New Orleans. Armed junkies roaming the streets, looking for a fix, robbing and looting like Serb paramilitaries and about as sober.

George Bush's ineptitude has killed far more Americans than Osama could have dreamed of.

Some of you still try to see the clothes on the Dauphin, but he's as naked as Peter North around Jenna Jameson. Bush fucked up so bad, FOX turned on him like a rabid dog.

You can't hide behind racism forever. Bush fucked up, Bush is a weak, callous leader and the world knows this like it knows few other things. And all the stolen TV's in the world cannot hide that.


Evelyn Turner cries alongside the body of her common-law husband, Xavier Bowie, after he died in New Orleans, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Bowie and Turner had decided to ride out Hurricane Katrina when they could not find a way to leave the city. Bowie, who had lung cancer, died when he ran out of oxygen Tuesday afternoon. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Two articles on the disaster unfolding in New Orleans.

Why the Levee Broke

"No One Can Say they Didn't See it Coming"

Also link for donations Red Cross


It appears that Canada, France, Russia have all offered immediate assistance, planes, food, water purification, medical teams. This could have been there today.


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