Washington DC turning away protest buses

Some information you may need to know before taking your bus to Washington:
Robert just called home and asked me to post a warning on he site for any of you coming into Washington for the demonstrations this weekend. Has Washington closed it's doors to the public? Well at least the ones on buses. You're not welcome, that is, unless they know you're coming.

Washingon D.C. has passed an ordinance that took effect on the first of August that requires buses to have a permit to enter the district. All buses that are coming into the district for the demonstrations are either being turned away or fined $500. There is afee of $50 for a 6 day permit to enter the city with a charter bus. Robert asked my to pass along the information for anyone who may be coming inot the city wither this weekend or next.

I phoned the Washing D.C. tourism bureau and they were kind enough to direct me to the District Department of Motor Vehicles website.
Apparently if you took one of the Answer coalition buses (there were 3 leaving from Connecticut last I checked) you should be OK as they were aware of the fee, but some buses have been turned away or fined.

If you are planning on taking a bus for DC activities later on this week take note:
Ordering a Trip Permit

A trip permit may be obtained from any of the three sources below
  • Online Trip Permit Processing (Credit Card Only)
  • Print & Fax or Email Processing - Please print, complete and fax/email the Trip Permit Application* with a $50 check or money order, made payable to “DC Treasurer” to the DMV address on the application.
  • TRANSMIT AMERICA - Please visit their website for more information. (Trip permits are available for Trucks only)
Processing Time: All requests will be processed within 24 to 48 hours upon the receipt of payment and application.

This is a sad statement on the loss of freedoms in this country, and just how far bush wing-nuts will go to quell dissent.


Retire Already You Crackpot Republican!

Promises, promises... Ones you never seem to keep:
Chris Shays was quoted by the Hartford Courant as saying that he will not run again in 2008 if he is not promised the top post in the Government Oversight and Reform Committee.

More on this over there...

Chris Shays' latest behavior is as bizarre as his continually flip-flopping positions on Iraq that vary from sentence to sentence.

Poster Boy for National Guard Enlistment?

Not so much anymore...

But he certainly is the poster boy for having the right to voice your own opinions without being used as a presidential prop. Keep your head down soldier... The shit from farrr right wing-nuts will be flying fast and furious in your direction now.

Ass Kisser Petraeus for President?

Rose is a Rose puts up the news on Admiral Fallon's mighty colorful description of General Petraeus. It is pretty clear the General's boss does not think very highly of him.

Your first few promotions in the military (on the officer side of things) are all pretty much mandatory - related to time in service and time in rank - But once you get up to Major and above it is with each following promotion, and to a larger and larger degree , all politics. As a Captain once said to me: "Anyone with a heartbeat can make Captain." I bit back on my tongue while thinking to myself that he was a prime example of that. He was a good guy and incredibly book smart, but when it came to basic Infantry skills (little things like reading a map) he had no sense whatsoever.

Anyways... After Captain you start to get into the politics of the military. Promotion boards weigh in more on your promotion with each higher grade, and much of it comes down to your abilities to get noticed by the right people in the military and the civilians that provide some oversight to those promotions. Pure politics.

Those that make it past Colonel have all exhibited, to varying degrees, excellent political suckuptitude skills. But when other officers call you out on it you really must be among the worst case scenarios.

"Ass-kissing little chickenshit."

Too funny!

Rose is a Rose wonders if this is a knock on Petraeus' credibility.

Hell yeah! It goes directly to his credibility. Comments like that from your superiors can be career killers in the military.

If Fallon said this he has, very likely, sent General chickenshit a clear signal that there will be no more "stars upon thars"... No wonder the ass-kisser is thinking about a future career in politics. His career in the military is finished, IMHO.

Petraeus for President?
It’s unlikely that Petraeus would be as warmly received by the American public. In anticipation of this week’s congressional testimony, 53 percent of the public believed Petraeus would “try to make the situation in Iraq look better than it really is.” According to a Rasmussen poll of major political figures, Petraeus has an approval rating of only 24 percent — a number lower than even Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.
What a fucking joke! Is one of the many other "heckuva job, Brownie!" types going to run as his Vice Presidential running mate? Yeah! There is a real winning ticket. Right up there with "Joe Lieberman for President!"


Which Presidential candidates do the military support?

You might be very surprised at the answers that Greg Sargent puts up at TPM Election Central:

This is interesting: A new study finds that contributions to Democrats from members of the U.S. military have shot up dramatically since the start of the Iraq war in 20003.

The study, by Capital Eye, which is a newsletter for the Center for Responsive Politics, finds that this year, 40% of military money has gone to the Democratic Party or Dem Presidential candidates, compared to only 23% in 2002, before the war started.

Even more interesting, it finds that of all the Presidential candidates, the one receiving the most military money right now is Barack Obama, who opposed the war from the beginning ...

The leading military money candidate from the GOP? The very Anti-Iraq occupation candidate Ron Paul...
Griggs, who voted for George H.W. Bush but not his son the current president, contributed to Obama 's presidential campaign this year, she said. Among the military forces, she's not alone in her support for the Democratic senator from Illinois, who has spoken out against the war since its start. Obama, who has never served in the military, has brought in more contributions from uniformed service members—about $27,000—than any other presidential hopeful, Democrat or Republican. "I feel that he's the most progressive candidate and he stands for change," Griggs said. "I believe he is that breath of fresh air that we need to get this country back on course."

Among GOP candidates, Ron Paul, the only Republican who opposes the war, has brought in the biggest haul from the military since the start of the 2008 election cycle in January—at least $19,250.
Clearly, it does not pay to support the occupation of Iraq. Not if you want the political donations, and not if you want the support of the voters.

Is Racism On the Rise in the USA?

I am sadly leaning towards a "yes" considering the reports of things that are going on locally in Connecticut and, via Man Eegee, around the rest of the country:
I'm sure race has nothing to with the recent surge of nooses in the news since we are soooo over bigotry in the U.S.
Police are looking for whoever dangled a 3-foot rope with a small loop at its end from a tree outside a campus cultural center that is home to several black organizations. The incident is being treated as a possible hate crime.

"This is bigger than a noose," Black Student Union President Altmann Pannell told his fellow students, many of whom were wearing "Terps as one" buttons."

"This is bigger than a noose because we as a community know that something else is going on in this country," Pannell said to murmurs of agreement.
That "something else" is not missed by minority communties, especially when the disparities in justice are blatantly tied to the color of one's skin.

For a year, Jena (pronounced JEEN-uh), a poor mining community of 3,000 people, has been embroiled in racial tensions pitting the black community against white school officials and a white prosecutor. It began last August when a black student asked at an assembly if black students could sit under a tree where white students usually sat. The next day, two nooses hung from the tree.

Black parents were outraged by the symbolism, recalling the mob lynchings of black men. They complained to school officials. District superintendent Roy Breithaupt and the school board gave three-day suspensions to the white students who hung the nooses, overruling the recommendation of then-principal Scott Windham that the students be expelled.


The case of the Jena Six has been covered extensively by fellow bloggers, such as Hello, Negro with information on how to donate to the defense fund; also My Right Mind! who offers a slew of tips to assist these young teens.

Nooses are more than just complex slip knots in a rope - they are both symbolic and directly representative of torture, murder and racist mob rule.

Man Eegee has some more bad news on this sad reality check...

But before you go there, I want you to think about this:
Lynching is sometimes justified by its supporters as the administration of justice (in a social-moral sense, not in law) without the delays and inefficiencies inherent to the legal system; in this way it echoes the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution, which was justified by the claim:

"Terror is nothing other than
prompt, severe, inflexible justice."

What are some of the possible reasons why racism seems to be on the rise in the Good Ol' USA? Hey! It's not like anyone in our government would ever encourage this kind of terrorizing behavior with its own actions and ideologies...

The "traditional" conservative Claes G. Ryn has argued that neoconservatives are "a variety of neo-Jacobins." Ryn maintains that true conservatives deny the existence of a universal political and economic philosophy and model that is suitable for all societies and cultures, and believe that a society's institutions should be adjusted to suit its culture, while Neo-Jacobins

are attached in the end to ahistorical, supranational principles that they believe should supplant the traditions of particular societies. The new Jacobins see themselves as on the side of right and fighting evil and are not prone to respecting or looking for common ground with countries that do not share their democratic preferences. (Ryn 2003: 387)

Further examining the relationship between Neoconservatism and moral rhetoric, Ryn argues that

Neo-Jacobinism regards America as founded on universal principles and assigns to the United States the role of supervising the remaking of the world. Its adherents have the intense dogmatic commitment of true believers and are highly prone to moralistic rhetoric. They demand, among other things, "moral clarity" in dealing with regimes that stand in the way of America's universal purpose. They see themselves as champions of "virtue." (p. 384).

Thus, according to Ryn, neoconservatism is analogous to Bolshevism: in the same way that the Bolsheviks wanted to destroy established ways of life throughout the world to replace them with communism, the neoconservatives want to do the same, only imposing free-market capitalism and American-style liberal democracy instead of socialism.

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, had the following to say in a December, 2005 interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel:

"They are not new conservatives. They're Jacobins. Their predecessor is French Revolution leader Maximilien Robespierre."

Sheeple see... Sheeple do...
Or some terrorizing thought like that?


The Propaganda War

"Cenk is Tired of it all, the right wing propaganda, the weak democrats, the iraq war, all of it. Watch the entire Young Turks at www.theyoungturks.com."

And so it continues. The semi epsilon moron minus class of the DC elitist punditry hall of shame - David Brooks, William Kristol, David Brodeur, etc. - continue to get the megaphone in order to cheer on more failure... And those of us that have been right every step of the way continue to watch this country go to hell.


Is Republican Jim Walsh Flipping on Iraq?

So sayeth the Democrat & Chronicle:
Just received an email from our Washington reporter, Erin Kelly, who just got off the phone with Rep. Jim Walsh. She's writing a story for tomorrow's paper that reports the moderate Republican is switching gears and is now calling for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Not only that but Walsh, who visited Iraq during the weekend, says he will no longer support funding the war.

Going from supporting the Iraq occupation to being willing to cut off the funding in order to end the disaster all in one recent visit?

Jim Walsh is obviously turning into nothing more than another dirty-hippy-peacenik republican that wants to embolden the enemy. The freakin' defeatist communist!

Either that or he might have actually have put down the right-wing crack pipe long enough to have taken the time to talk to the some of the soldiers on the ground.
Via the NY Times, more soldiers are calling out all those BS artists in DC again:
VIEWED from Iraq at the tail end of a 15-month deployment, the political debate in Washington is indeed surreal. Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. (Obviously, these are our personal views and should not be seen as official within our chain of command.)

The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework. Yes, we are militarily superior, but our successes are offset by failures elsewhere. What soldiers call the “battle space” remains the same, with changes only at the margins. It is crowded with actors who do not fit neatly into boxes: Sunni extremists, Al Qaeda terrorists, Shiite militiamen, criminals and armed tribes. This situation is made more complex by the questionable loyalties and Janus-faced role of the Iraqi police and Iraqi Army, which have been trained and armed at United States taxpayers’ expense.

A few nights ago, for example, we witnessed the death of one American soldier and the critical wounding of two others when a lethal armor-piercing explosive was detonated between an Iraqi Army checkpoint and a police one. Local Iraqis readily testified to American investigators that Iraqi police and Army officers escorted the triggermen and helped plant the bomb. These civilians highlighted their own predicament: had they informed the Americans of the bomb before the incident, the Iraqi Army, the police or the local Shiite militia would have killed their families.
The letter was written by these active duty, serving in Iraq soldiers:
Buddhika Jayamaha is an Army specialist. Wesley D. Smith is a sergeant. Jeremy Roebuck is a sergeant. Omar Mora is a sergeant. Edward Sandmeier is a sergeant. Yance T. Gray is a staff sergeant. Jeremy A. Murphy is a staff sergeant.

I encourage you to read the entire letter if you still don't get the point... Oh yeah, and our allies, the Brits, have had enough too:
The UK Indpendent reports that the British military command wants to get out of Iraq as soon as possible.

Senior military commanders have told the Government that Britain can achieve "nothing more" in south-east Iraq, and that the 5,500 British troops still deployed there should move towards withdrawal without further delay.

Last month Gordon Brown said after meeting George Bush at Camp David that the decision to hand over security in Basra province – the last of the four held by the British – "will be made on the military advice of our commanders on the ground". He added: "Whatever happens, we will make a full statement to Parliament when it returns [in October]."

Two generals told The Independent on Sunday last week that the military advice given to the Prime Minister was, "We've done what we can in the south [of Iraq]". Commanders want to hand over Basra Palace – where 500 British troops are subjected to up to 60 rocket and mortar strikes a day, and resupply convoys have been described as "nightly suicide missions" – by the end of August.

I have a bad feeling that the Brit's experience in the south of Iraq is a precursor for an even more dangerous and humiliating scenario for the American troops to their north.

The soldiers are telling you the truth, and meanwhile political hacks in Washington just don't get it, or refuse to accept the truth:
A soldier puts up a challenge to Congress and the pResident:
Spc. Vassell, 2nd Platoon Apache Company Strykers:

I challenge anybody in Congress to do my rotation. They don't have to do anything, just come hang out with me and go home at the times I go home. And come stay here fifteen months with me.

Veteran activist jimstaro at ePluribus Media Youtubed an ABC report covering this story I blogged about on Saturday:

Spc. Vassell, 2nd Platoon Apache Company Strykers:

We're supposed to be on the way home right now. We were supposed to be flying home in six days. Six days. But because we have people up there in Congress with the brain of a two-year old who don't know what they're doing. They don't experience it. I, I challenge the President or whoever has us here for fifteen months to ride along, alongside me. I'll do another fifteen months if he comes out here and rides along with me every day for fifteen months. I'll do fifteen more months. They don't even have to pay me extra. I just want him to come out here and ride with me another fifteen months.
The politicians all sit there in their cushy offices or their comfy little places on the floor of the House, The Senate, and in the White House. They do not have a fucking clue what they are doing to the soldiers. They do not have a fucking clue how stressed out the military is. How the policies they are all pushing for are breaking the military.

YOU all say YOU support the troops. What a fucking load of crap. If YOU aren't there in Iraq along side them in this endless war that YOU support...

Don't ever fucking tell me YOU support the troops.

That goes for all of you war cheerleaders, Republican and Democratic party alike, that continue to fund this endless disaster. The same thing goes for all of you keyboard and armchair warriors that cheer on the occupation of Iraq but are too hypocritical to spill your own blood in Iraq's desert sands.

Via the NY Times:
More soldiers and their families are speaking up against the Iraq occupation.

sptmck at 1%More Conscious has 100% more well chosen words concerning the soldiers that are mad about the longer deployments and the others that no longer believe in the mission in Iraq.

And this ABC video aired later in response to the original report:

There were other soldiers telling you the truth at the same time as Vassell, last month:
It is pretty plain and simple. You either support the troops by bringing them home... Or you don't support the troops at all. Cut and dry. There are no shades of gray in this.

When soldiers come right out and tell you shit like this it is a serious matter. They must have absolutely no confidence in their leadership or the mission they are being given if they are willing to risk the penalties of speaking out against their orders.

Beth Pyritz, an Army wife in Virginia,
has joined an antiwar group.

“I backed this war from the beginning, but I don’t think I can look my kids in the eyes anymore, if my husband comes home in a wooden box, and tell them he died for a good reason.”

Military Families Speak Out, one such group, which was started in the fall of 2002, now has about 3,500 member families. About 500 of them have joined since January.

Nancy Lessin, a founder of the group, said it was noteworthy that about a hundred military wives living on bases had joined in the last three months. Wives living on bases, she said, are more reluctant than parents of soldiers to speak out.

For Beth Pyritz, 27, who recently joined the group, the turning point came last month when her husband, an Army specialist, left for Iraq for his third deployment.

So it seems that it is going to be up to Congress to actually support the troops by ending the bushies' authorization to wage endless wars. bush won't do it. He never has supported the troops. It remains to be seen if Congress can finally do the right thing here.

Congress is on vacation now, and has yet to do the right thing when it comes to Iraq...

If you are in the minority party of warmongers and are about to try and spin the Iraq occupation with a fake Petraeus report in September, written by the White House, STOP... STOP THE FUCKING BULLSHIT NOW! We The Majority of The American People already don't fucking believe a word you say anymore. And neither do the soldiers. And if you are in the majority party in Congress, STOP PLAYING POLITICS AND START ENDING THE OCCUPATION NOW!

If you haven't got the leadership skills needed to end the occupation now, while you control both the Senate and the House in Congress, than why the hell would we ever give any of you the keys to the White House?

Walsh must be just as evil as all of those dirty-hippy-peaceniks in the military that think the occupation of Iraq is anything less than the path to bush martyrdom.

Look out DC... They're baack!

Even though the Washington DC establishment has been giving them a hard time lately - if that is how you want to describe using the police to stifle Constitutionally protected rights to free speech and the freedom to assemble - according to one of Connecticut's very own Bloggers and seasoned activists the Answer coalition is still moving ahead with its planned events in conjunction with a bunch of other worthy organizations:

Starting this Saturday, there will be a week of antiwar protests and actions in DC with events being organized by multiple coalitions and groups.

There are over 100 transportation centers mobilizing for the September 15 antiwar march in D.C. Buses will be rolling from dozens of cities. You still have time to sign up for a seat. (Here in Connecticut, buses will be leaving Hartford, New Haven, and New London. Full details at AnswerCT.org.)

The ANSWER Coalition, who called the protests, is facing $30,000 in fines for putting up antiwar posters in D.C. in what is obvious politically motivated selective prosecution. The fines may well go much higher. ANSWER has filed a lawsuit claiming freedom of speech. Three antiwar organizers were arrested at a completely legal press conference last week for putting up one poster.

Let's all make it to D.C. to protest these outrageous, heavy-handed attempts to stifle legitimate protest. The Petraeus report will be released on Sept. 15, and there will be a full week of action in D.C. organized by multiple groups to protest the war.

Schedule for Sat Sept. 15 - 21

Sat. Sept. 15 - March on Washington and Die-in. The march will be led by Iraq War veterans. The Die-in will be civil disobedience. Lead organizer for march: ANSWER Coalition. Lead organizer for Die-in: Veterans for Peace.

Sun. Sept. 16. National Training Session for the other Days of Action.

Mon. Sept. 17. People's March inside Congress. Lead organizer: Code Pink.

Tue. Sept. 18. Congressional Occupation Day. Lead organizer: Grassroots America.

Wed. Sept. 19. Direct action. Details coming.

Thu. Sept. 20. Veterans lobbying day. Lead organizer: Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Fri. Sept. 21. National Moratorium Day. Actions will take place around the country. Information: IraqMoratorium.org.

This will be an historic week of protest in D.C. Be there.

A YouTube of the press conference where the police harrassed and arrested Answer coalition members:

This is pitiful abuse of power by the bush Washington DC elites against Constitutionally protected rights of American citizens.

Iraq by the numbers and lying to Congress

Connecticut's very own JR. Senator, Joe neocon Lieberman, bloviates in another WSJ propaganda hit piece claiming that "advocates of withdrawal risk making the exact same mistake" (Which mistake Joe? Of being completely and totally correct and making you and your warmongering republican brethren look like total failures and lunatics AGAIN?) and, meanwhile, support for the continued occupation of Iraq is slipping even further both in Iraq and the USA to the dismay of Republican operatives currently hitting the airwaves to share their rosy propaganda pictures.

Iraqis currently overwhelmingly oppose the presence of coalition forces to the point where the support of violence against the occupying coalition forces is rising.
Seventy-nine percent of Iraqis oppose the presence of coalition forces in the country, essentially unchanged from last winter – including more than eight in 10 Shiites and nearly all Sunni Arabs. (Seven in 10 Kurds, by contrast, still support the presence of these forces.)

Similarly, 80 percent of Iraqis disapprove of the way U.S. and other coalition forces have performed in Iraq; the only change has been an increase in negative ratings of the U.S. performance among Kurds. And 86 percent of Iraqis express little or no confidence in U.S. and U.K. forces, similar to last winter and again up among Kurds.

Accusations of mistreatment continue: Forty-one percent of Iraqis in this poll (vs. 44 percent in March) report unnecessary violence against Iraqi citizens by U.S. or coalition forces. That peaks at 63 percent among Sunni Arabs, and 66 percent in Sunni-dominated Anbar.

This disapproval rises to an endorsement of violence: Fifty-seven percent of Iraqis now call attacks on coalition forces “acceptable,” up six points from last winter and more than three times its level (17 percent) in February 2004. Since March, acceptability of such attacks has risen by 15 points among Shiites (from 35 percent to 50 percent), while remaining near-unanimous among Sunnis (93 percent).

Kurds, by contrast – protected by the United States when Saddam remained in power –
continue almost unanimously to call these attacks unacceptable.

Acceptability of attacks on U.S. forces also varies by locale, peaking at 100 percent in Anbar, 69 percent in Kirkuk city and 60 percent in Baghdad, compared with 38 percent in Basra and just three percent in the northern Kurdish provinces.

Remember that one of those things that the lying Surge ESCALATION supporters are touting are the successes in Anbar. Anbar, where there is a 100% acceptability among locals of killing American and other coalition force occupiers.

Remember that speech just last week from the preznit about the successes in Anbar?
Bush said he was encouraged by the update he received today from Petraeus and Crocker and touted recent progress especially in the Anbar province.

“I was pleased with what I heard,” the president said. “The strategy we put in place earlier this year was designed to help the Iraqis improve their security so that political and economic progress could follow. And that is exactly the effect it is having in places like Anbar.

Bush said continuing this progress is vital to meeting the strategic interests of our nation.

“We can’t take this progress for granted. Here in Anbar and across Iraq, al Qaeda and other enemies of freedom will continue to try to kill the innocent in order to impose their dark ideology,” Bush said.

“I am going to reassure them that America does not abandon our friends. And America will not abandon the Iraqi people. That’s the message all three of us bring,” Bush said.
If Anbar is the success story, then it is obvious that bush is looking to replicate this 100% support for killing coalition forces across Iraq as a "key to a secure, stable Iraq." As you watch "All three" of them - Bush, Petraeus and Crocker - feed their propaganda and lies to Congress in the next week, remember these successes they had previously been touting in Anbar.

And take note of the fact that the warmongering set have refused to back up any of their supposed successes with real numbers, nor do they appear to have a credible way to support the validation of any numbers they might claim.
In fact, as near as we can tell, a lot of the numbers, the key metrics about what's actually happening on the ground remain classified.

And not just the numbers themselves.

A few days ago we flagged Karen DeYoung's piece in the Washington Post about critics questioning the alleged decline in violence in Iraq. And one key point she focused in on is the methodology that the folks in Baghdad are using to derive their numbers. Is it really true that it matters how a person is shot (in the front of the head or the back) for whether or not they get counted? Is it true that we're not counting Sunni-on-Sunni or Shia-on-Shia deaths? Or even killings by the folks we're now allied with in al Anbar province?

The best we can tell the methodology Petraeus's staff is using to tabulate the numbers also remains classified.

In other words, it's not just a matter of getting the numbers from Petraeus and his staff and deciding whether you believe them or not. They won't even tell us what the numbers are -- let alone how they came up with them.

There is little wonder why more and more Iraqis are asking us to leave as time goes on. The death count numbers are bleak even if they may be skewered by bush fuzzy math:
The AP reveals that a “briefing chart prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency says what Gen. David Petraeus won’t. Insurgent attacks against Iraqi civilians, their security forces and U.S. troops remain high.” Most of the insurgent attacks in Iraq continue to be focused on U.S. forces, as the chart shows:

Attacks are up, or have remained pretty much the same, even when you take into account the manipulation of data by the liars that are spewing them out as their idea of success. The only decline? Iraqis have figured out how to avoid killing Iraqis and shifted their focus, and sharpened their aim, on to coalition forces. The Iraqi puppet regime has figured out that the real numbers of casualties are hurting the failed bush administrations' quest for eternal war, so the neoconservative hands up the Iraqi governments asses are are playing the "hide the truth" game from the UN by denying the UN access to Iraq Health Ministry stats:

One of the most credible Iraq-casualties tabulations, crunched by the United Nations, was lost this year after the Iraqi government, embarrassed by the high reported death toll, refused the U.N. access to Health Ministry statistics.

And it's not hard to see why: here are the 2006 numbers from the U.N., month by month, versus an AP-reported month-to-month breakdown of figures compiled from the Iraqi ministries of defense, health and interior.

Jan 06: 1700 UN -- 549 Iraqi ministries

Feb 06: 2100 UN -- 545 Iraqi ministries

Mar 06: 2250 UN -- 769 Iraqi ministries

Apr 06: 2200 UN -- 686 Iraqi ministries

May 06: 2669 UN -- 932 Iraqi ministries

Jun 06: 3149 UN -- 885 Iraqi ministries

Jul 06: 3590 UN -- 1062 Iraqi ministries

Aug 06: 3009 UN -- 769 Iraqi ministries

Sep 06: 3250 UN -- 1099 Iraqi ministries

Oct 06: 3600 UN* -- 1288 Iraqi ministries

Nov 06: 3400 UN -- 1846 Iraqi ministries

Dec 06: 2800 UN -- 1927 Iraqi ministries

If I've made any mistakes in compiling this, I'll adjust as necessary. But here you can see the discrepancy in determining how many Iraqis died each month in 2006 alone.

Is there any doubt that the bush numbers for 2007 are even more dubious? The Iraqis that manage to survive this colossal failure can see the death count around them on a daily basis. There is little doubt why they want us to leave Iraq. But...

How badly do Iraqis want us to leave Iraq?

So much so that less and less Iraqis care about the incompetent and corrupt Iraq security forces and the failed puppet regime government being propped up and aided by coalition occupiers:
"How long do you think US and other Coalition forces should remain in Iraq?"

The autumn 2007 poll reflects growing disillusionment with the occupying forces' presence in Iraq. There is a growing consensus among respondents that coalition troops should leave the country immediately.

Some 47% of respondents now back an immediate withdrawal, compared with 35% in February.

The poll also shows dwindling support for troops remaining in the country, even in support of the Iraqi government and security forces. Only 10% of those surveyed favour coalition forces remaining for that purpose.

Iraqis want us out... So much so they overwhelmingly support killing us in order to get that message across and they really don't care about the disaster that bush and the neocons failures will leave behind. In other words: Don't let the IED hit you on the ass on your way out!

But how do Americans feel about all of this?

Check out this key number buried in today's New York Times/CBS poll:

As you may know, a report about the situation in Iraq by General David Petraeus, the Commander of U.S. forces, and others is scheduled to be released next week. If the report says that the situation in Iraq is IMPROVING, what should the U.S. do next: should the U.S. increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, keep the same number of U.S. troops in Iraq as there are now, decrease the number of troops in Iraq, or remove all its troops from Iraq?

Increase 6%
Keep the same 32%
Decrease 39%
Remove all troops 17%

So, even if Petraeus says that the surge is improving things, a solid majority -- 56% -- will still favor removing some or all of the troops. Of course, this number could be related to the fact that in two polls now -- by The Washington Post, and by Gallup -- solid majorities say they don't expect Petraeus to honestly assess the success of his own performance. So no wonder majorities are saying his testimony won't affect what they want for Iraq.

Hey! Americans are starting to get used to the fact that anyone associated with the bush administration will lie to anyone that will listen to them when it comes to keep their endless war alive.

Today General David Petraeus will, reportedly, get up in front of Congress and ask for more time to continue this complete and total disaster:
General Petraeus will go before Congress this afternoon to argue that the surge is working -- that sectarian killings and attacks against Iraqi and U.S. forces are substantially down. The military's secret numbers will serve as support for those conclusions, even as numbers from within the government (e.g. those collected by the Defense Intelligence Agency) dispute them.
If Petraeus does this and continues to cite the kind of success that has been previously reported he will be lying to Congress, and doing so at the behest of the bush administration given the fact that we know they were to write what was purported to be his report. Apparently, now, they are afraid to put these lies on paper and will not actually file a report. We only have their "good word" to go on now. This will be just another in a long line of impeachable offenses to add to the bush resume if he carries through on this, also, leaving Petraeus open to legal problems of his own.

General Petraeus, lying to Congress is a crime.

Let's just repeat that fact over and over. Because that's what Petraeus is planning on doing on Monday, as Karen DeYoung (in an article buried on page A16) explains clearly. Go read the whole article, closely, for a description of the many methods of the Administration's hocus pocus. But I'd like to focus on one particular tactic.

Which brings us back to Joe neocon Lieberman:
MoveOn has a hot new ad in today's NYT pointing out that Petraeus' statements differ from all the known metrics out there. And boy has it made Sanctimonious Joe pissed. Not surprisingly, Joe is trying to call in those chits he got for agreeing to caucus with the Democrats in January.

The personal attack on Gen. David Petraeus launched today by Moveon.org is an outrageous and despicable act of slander that every member of the Congress -- Democrat and Republican -- has a solemn responsibility to condemn.

General Petraeus has served his country honorably and selflessly for over thirty-five years. He has risked his life in combat and accepted lengthy deployments away from his family to defend our nation and its citizens from its enemies. For this, he deserves the respect, admiration, and gratitude of every American -- not the disgraceful slander of Moveon.org.

It has been widely reported that Moveon.org has worked closely over the past months with many members of the Democratic Party in coordinating their efforts to derail the strategy that General Petraeus has been leading in Iraq.


As a member of the Senate Democratic caucus, I therefore call on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to denounce Moveon.org in no uncertain terms for its vile attack on Gen. Petraeus. General Petraeus deserves no less.

Mind you, Joe doesn't address the central allegation that MoveOn makes--that Petraeus is lying to Congress. Which he'd have to do to prove his own accusations about slander. Rather, Sanctimonious Joe says we've got to honor Generals, even if they lie to us.

Many of the recent words out of bush, Petraeus, Crocker, and neocon warmongering set mouths have already been refuted many times over. The GAO has already established the complete and total failure on achieving the benchmarks. And previous statements have already betrayed General Petraeus' willingness to spread propaganda for the bush administration:

But the difference this time is that he will knowingly be getting up in front of Congress to tell these lies, and we, the vast majority of Americans, all know it well ahead of time.

Although he has already betrayed the USA by spreading bush propaganda, much like the mistake Joe Lieberman has continually made, we will all be watching to see if Petraeus goes the distance in a typical bush fashion and perjures himself in his testimony to Congress over the next little while.

[update] ctblogger has more on the MoveOn addy and Joe's typical republicanism...
Ahh, the ol' 9/11 Iraq Al Qaeda card being used again by Lieberman and the war-mongers.

[update deux] Just a reminder of what the Surge ESCALATION was really about all along... "STAYING THE COURSE!"

Just how much of this is dressed-up "Stay the Course!" BS? Take a look at this graph showing troop levels past, present and future (If the incompetent bush gets his way):

WHOA! Is this a familiar pattern? And someone out there representing CT supports this rinse and repeat policy? Sure enough, Bush can always count on Joe Neocon Lieberman:
And lo and behold... We are right back to "STAYING THE COURSE" so that bush can try to punt his failure off on to the next administration. Bush got what he wanted with the last re-escalation, and I guarantee you that as soon as the few soldiers that come back after this most recent surge have finished their minimum time in the USA they will get another flight back to Iraq to RE-ESCALATE this Iraq hole even deeper than it has already been dug.

Rinse... Repeat... Rinse... Repeat... Rinse... Repeat... etc. ad infinitum

The Liberal Journal notes some other oddities in recent news:
Oh, just so you know the real end game if you haven't figured it out already: today's Wall Street Journal is revealing that the U.S. is planning to build a military base on the Iran-Iraq border.

Perfect timing--you probably won't hear that on tonight's nightly news.
Yeah... Perfect timing for the warmongering set.

[update trois] Chris Murphy responds to General Petraeus' testimony:
Dear Friends,

Today, General Petraeus attempted to put a positive spin on a failed policy. While the General highlighted some notable military successes, other credible reports underscore the lack of real progress we have made in Iraq. The Government Accountability Office’s report released last week shows the Iraqis have failed to achieve fifteen of eighteen benchmarks. General Jones’ report states that the Iraqis are far from being able to take over for their own security. And the daily news reports out of Iraq paint a grim picture. Our Armed Forces, stretched and deployed nearly to the breaking point, have done their duty bravely and courageously, but the ends to which they have been directed – the political stability of Iraq - are increasingly beyond their control.

This surge isn’t working and General Petreaus effectively admitted this today. This summer has been the bloodiest yet so far for U.S. troops in Iraq, with 264 soldiers killed. There is indisputable proof that this strategy has not accomplished the basic goal laid out by the President in January – giving the Iraqis breathing room to achieve political consensus. To grant this Administration an extension of this failed policy would not only put our soldiers at greater risk, it would put this country as a whole in a more perilous position.

I hope that today marks a new era in our national debate on Iraq. The President must face the facts - achieving military success will not lead to Iraqi political success.

Every best wish,
Christopher S. Murphy

Ain't nobody holding their breath on a reasonable response like Murphy's coming from the Lieberman warmongers' camp for lying republican children...