November 17, 2004

and the money that you left me for

* Briefing paper on the United States' denial of water to Iraqi cities, in breach (once again) of international law. excerpt:

"Water supplies to Tall Afar, Samarra and Fallujah have been cut off during US attacks in the past two months, affecting up to 750,000 civilians. This appears to form part of a deliberate US policy of denying water to the residents of cities under attack. If so, it has been adopted without a public debate, and without consulting Coalition partners. It is a serious breach of international humanitarian law, and is deepening Iraqi opposition to the United States, other Coalition members, and the Iraqi interim government."
...
"Some military analysts have attempted to justify the denial of water on tactical or humanitarian grounds. Ian Kemp, editor of military journal 'Jane's Defense Weekly', argues that: 'The longer the city [Fallujah] is sealed off with the insurgents inside, the more difficult it is going to be for them. Eventually, their supplies of food and water are going to dwindle.'

"Barak Salmoni, assistant professor in National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, told the San Francisco Chronicle that civilians would probably be encouraged to leave Fallujah 'by cutting off water and other supplies.'

"These arguments are deeply flawed on legal, humanitarian and political grounds. The majority of the population of Fallujah fled before the American attack. Those who have not already fled Fallujah are forced to remain, since roads out of the city have been blocked, including by British troops. Not only are those remaining unable to leave, but they are likely to consist largely of those too old, weak, or ill to flee - precisely the groups which will be most severely affected by a shortage of water."

* NBA will not allow Vince Carter to listen to his iPod during warmups.

* Wolcott on Condi Rice:

"Rice's face is the game face of the Bushies, bony with Unwavering Resolve, eyes fanatical, mouth tensed. She has shown herself to be not a listener but a dictation machine on playback. 'The President believes...' 'The President has always said...' 'The President has very consistent in arguing that...' 'The President has said all along...' And now the dictation machine is in a position to dictate to other nations how they can fight terror and help make America a bigger, better empire. It'll be the President wants this, the President wants that, the President is firm in his belief that...

"But her incompetence precedes her, as does her presumptuous statement that for their failure to support the U.S. in Iraq, France should be punished, Germany ignored, and Russia forgiven. Punished, ignored, and forgiven for being right in the first place and refusing to take part in this debacle?--such nerve.

"As America gets more militarized and messianic under Bush, it's being economically and diplomatically outmaneuvered by the rest of the world. China is exploiting the US obsession with terrorism and Iraq to consolidate power and influence in Asia, and cutting lucrative oil deals with Iran. New Europe is bailing out of its troop commitments in Iraq. And the continuing humiliation of Tony Blair, who was twitted by Jacques Chirac for getting nothing in return for his steadfastness over Iraq ('I am not sure it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favors systematically'), probably hastens the day when Britain says enough and throws in its lot with Europe and the Euro rather than be dragged into another bloody folly.

"So farewell, Colin Powell, for whom no tears should be shed. (Roger Ailes is quite eloquent on the subject.) He's getting out before Iraq completely unwinds and will make millions off of whatever memoir he composes to pretty up his place in history.

"I can exclusively report what finally drove Powell over the brink. Yes, he was bummed by years of being backstabbed by the neocon hawks, most of whom spent Vietnam masturbating in their dorm rooms. But the last straw was seeing and hearing Thomas Friedman on Tim Russert's CNBC weekend show, channeling Bush's voice to advocate that Powell devote himself exclusively to negotiating a peace deal between the Palestinians and Israelis--that he be dispatched to the Middle East deal and not to be allowed to return home until he had one, even if it took a year."

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