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totomoto
http://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=22383530

April 22, 2006

Bush Impeachment - The Illinois State Legislature is Preparing to Drop a Bombshell
Utilizing a little known rule of the US House to bring Impeachment charges
by Steven Leser


http://www.opednews.com


Steven Leser

The Illinois General Assembly is about to rock the nation. Members of state legislatures are normally not considered as having the ability to decide issues with a massive impact to the nation as a whole. Representative Karen A. Yarbrough of Illinois' 7th District is about to shatter that perception forever. Representative Yarbrough stumbled on a little known and never utlitized rule of the US House of Representatives, Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of the United States House of Representatives, which allows federal impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of a state legislature. From there, Illinois House Joint Resolution 125 (hereafter to be referred to as HJR0125) was born.

Detailing five specific charges against President Bush including one that is specified to be a felony, the complete text of HJR0125 is copied below at the end of this article. One of the interesting points is that one of the items, the one specified as a felony, that the NSA was directed by the President to spy on American citizens without warrant, is not in dispute. That fact should prove an interesting dilemma for a Republican controlled US House that clearly is not only loathe to initiate impeachment proceedings, but does not even want to thoroughly investigate any of the five items brought up by the Illinois Assembly as high crimes and/or misdemeanors. Should HJR0125 be passed by the Illinois General Assembly, the US House will be forced by House Rules to take up the issue of impeachment as a privileged bill, meaning it will take precedence over other House business.

The Illinois General Assembly joins a growing chorus of voices calling for censure or impeachment of President Bush including Democratic state committees in Vermont, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Nevada and North Carolina as well as the residents themselves of seven towns in Vermont, seventy Vermont state legislators and Congressman John Conyers. The call for impeachment is starting to grow well beyond what could be considered a fringe movement. An ABC News/Washington Post Poll Conducted April 6-9 showed that 33% of Americans currently support Impeaching President Bush, coincidentally, only a similar amount supported impeaching Nixon at the start of the Watergate investigation. If and when Illinois HJR0125 hits the capitol and the individual charges are publicly investigated, that number is likely to grow rapidly. Combined with the very real likelihood that Rove is about to be indicted in the LeakGate investigation, and Bush is in real trouble beyond his plummeting poll numbers. His cronies in the Republican dominated congress will probably save him from the embarassment of an impeachment conviction, for now, but his Presidency will be all but finished.








----------------------------------------------------------

HJ0125 LRB094 20306 RLC 58347 r



1 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION


2 WHEREAS, Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of
3 the United States House of Representatives allows federal
4 impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of
5 a state legislature; and

6 WHEREAS, President Bush has publicly admitted to ordering
7 the National Security Agency to violate provisions of the 1978
8 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a felony, specifically
9 authorizing the Agency to spy on American citizens without
10 warrant; and

11 WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that President Bush authorized
12 violation of the Torture Convention of the Geneva Conventions,
13 a treaty regarded a supreme law by the United States
14 Constitution; and

15 WHEREAS, The Bush Administration has held American
16 citizens and citizens of other nations as prisoners of war
17 without charge or trial; and

18 WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that the Bush Administration
19 has manipulated intelligence for the purpose of initiating a
20 war against the sovereign nation of Iraq, resulting in the
21 deaths of large numbers of Iraqi civilians and causing the
22 United States to incur loss of life, diminished security and
23 billions of dollars in unnecessary expenses; and

24 WHEREAS, The Bush Administration leaked classified
25 national secrets to further a political agenda, exposing an
26 unknown number of covert U. S. intelligence agents to potential
27 harm and retribution while simultaneously refusing to
28 investigate the matter; and

29 WHEREAS, The Republican-controlled Congress has declined




HJ0125 - 2 - LRB094 20306 RLC 58347 r



1 to fully investigate these charges to date; therefore, be it

2 RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
3 NINETY-FOURTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, THE
4 SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that the General Assembly of the
5 State of Illinois has good cause to submit charges to the U. S.
6 House of Representatives under Section 603 that the President
7 of the United States has willfully violated his Oath of Office
8 to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United
9 States; and be it further

10 RESOLVED, That George W. Bush, if found guilty of the
11 charges contained herein, should be removed from office and
12 disqualified to hold any other office in the United States.



Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Support the Impeachment of President Bush

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

Steven Leser is a freelance journalist specializing in Politics, Science & Health, and Entertainment topics. He has held positions within the Democratic Party including District Chair and Public Relations Chair within county organizations. His coverage of the Ohio Presidential Recount in 2004 was distinguished by actual interviews with Carlo Loparo, spokesperson for the Ohio Secretary of State, along with Supervisors of Elections of several Ohio counties. Similar efforts on other topics to get first hand information from sources separate Mr. Leser from many of his contemporaries.
totomoto
http://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=22383530

April 22, 2006

Bush Impeachment - The Illinois State Legislature is Preparing to Drop a Bombshell
Utilizing a little known rule of the US House to bring Impeachment charges
by Steven Leser


http://www.opednews.com


Steven Leser

The Illinois General Assembly is about to rock the nation. Members of state legislatures are normally not considered as having the ability to decide issues with a massive impact to the nation as a whole. Representative Karen A. Yarbrough of Illinois' 7th District is about to shatter that perception forever. Representative Yarbrough stumbled on a little known and never utlitized rule of the US House of Representatives, Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of the United States House of Representatives, which allows federal impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of a state legislature. From there, Illinois House Joint Resolution 125 (hereafter to be referred to as HJR0125) was born.

Detailing five specific charges against President Bush including one that is specified to be a felony, the complete text of HJR0125 is copied below at the end of this article. One of the interesting points is that one of the items, the one specified as a felony, that the NSA was directed by the President to spy on American citizens without warrant, is not in dispute. That fact should prove an interesting dilemma for a Republican controlled US House that clearly is not only loathe to initiate impeachment proceedings, but does not even want to thoroughly investigate any of the five items brought up by the Illinois Assembly as high crimes and/or misdemeanors. Should HJR0125 be passed by the Illinois General Assembly, the US House will be forced by House Rules to take up the issue of impeachment as a privileged bill, meaning it will take precedence over other House business.

The Illinois General Assembly joins a growing chorus of voices calling for censure or impeachment of President Bush including Democratic state committees in Vermont, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Nevada and North Carolina as well as the residents themselves of seven towns in Vermont, seventy Vermont state legislators and Congressman John Conyers. The call for impeachment is starting to grow well beyond what could be considered a fringe movement. An ABC News/Washington Post Poll Conducted April 6-9 showed that 33% of Americans currently support Impeaching President Bush, coincidentally, only a similar amount supported impeaching Nixon at the start of the Watergate investigation. If and when Illinois HJR0125 hits the capitol and the individual charges are publicly investigated, that number is likely to grow rapidly. Combined with the very real likelihood that Rove is about to be indicted in the LeakGate investigation, and Bush is in real trouble beyond his plummeting poll numbers. His cronies in the Republican dominated congress will probably save him from the embarassment of an impeachment conviction, for now, but his Presidency will be all but finished.








----------------------------------------------------------

HJ0125 LRB094 20306 RLC 58347 r



1 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION


2 WHEREAS, Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of
3 the United States House of Representatives allows federal
4 impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of
5 a state legislature; and

6 WHEREAS, President Bush has publicly admitted to ordering
7 the National Security Agency to violate provisions of the 1978
8 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a felony, specifically
9 authorizing the Agency to spy on American citizens without
10 warrant; and

11 WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that President Bush authorized
12 violation of the Torture Convention of the Geneva Conventions,
13 a treaty regarded a supreme law by the United States
14 Constitution; and

15 WHEREAS, The Bush Administration has held American
16 citizens and citizens of other nations as prisoners of war
17 without charge or trial; and

18 WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that the Bush Administration
19 has manipulated intelligence for the purpose of initiating a
20 war against the sovereign nation of Iraq, resulting in the
21 deaths of large numbers of Iraqi civilians and causing the
22 United States to incur loss of life, diminished security and
23 billions of dollars in unnecessary expenses; and

24 WHEREAS, The Bush Administration leaked classified
25 national secrets to further a political agenda, exposing an
26 unknown number of covert U. S. intelligence agents to potential
27 harm and retribution while simultaneously refusing to
28 investigate the matter; and

29 WHEREAS, The Republican-controlled Congress has declined




HJ0125 - 2 - LRB094 20306 RLC 58347 r



1 to fully investigate these charges to date; therefore, be it

2 RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
3 NINETY-FOURTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, THE
4 SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that the General Assembly of the
5 State of Illinois has good cause to submit charges to the U. S.
6 House of Representatives under Section 603 that the President
7 of the United States has willfully violated his Oath of Office
8 to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United
9 States; and be it further

10 RESOLVED, That George W. Bush, if found guilty of the
11 charges contained herein, should be removed from office and
12 disqualified to hold any other office in the United States.



Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Support the Impeachment of President Bush

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

Steven Leser is a freelance journalist specializing in Politics, Science & Health, and Entertainment topics. He has held positions within the Democratic Party including District Chair and Public Relations Chair within county organizations. His coverage of the Ohio Presidential Recount in 2004 was distinguished by actual interviews with Carlo Loparo, spokesperson for the Ohio Secretary of State, along with Supervisors of Elections of several Ohio counties. Similar efforts on other topics to get first hand information from sources separate Mr. Leser from many of his contemporaries.
totomoto
http://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=22383530

April 22, 2006

Bush Impeachment - The Illinois State Legislature is Preparing to Drop a Bombshell
Utilizing a little known rule of the US House to bring Impeachment charges
by Steven Leser


http://www.opednews.com


Steven Leser

The Illinois General Assembly is about to rock the nation. Members of state legislatures are normally not considered as having the ability to decide issues with a massive impact to the nation as a whole. Representative Karen A. Yarbrough of Illinois' 7th District is about to shatter that perception forever. Representative Yarbrough stumbled on a little known and never utlitized rule of the US House of Representatives, Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of the United States House of Representatives, which allows federal impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of a state legislature. From there, Illinois House Joint Resolution 125 (hereafter to be referred to as HJR0125) was born.

Detailing five specific charges against President Bush including one that is specified to be a felony, the complete text of HJR0125 is copied below at the end of this article. One of the interesting points is that one of the items, the one specified as a felony, that the NSA was directed by the President to spy on American citizens without warrant, is not in dispute. That fact should prove an interesting dilemma for a Republican controlled US House that clearly is not only loathe to initiate impeachment proceedings, but does not even want to thoroughly investigate any of the five items brought up by the Illinois Assembly as high crimes and/or misdemeanors. Should HJR0125 be passed by the Illinois General Assembly, the US House will be forced by House Rules to take up the issue of impeachment as a privileged bill, meaning it will take precedence over other House business.

The Illinois General Assembly joins a growing chorus of voices calling for censure or impeachment of President Bush including Democratic state committees in Vermont, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Nevada and North Carolina as well as the residents themselves of seven towns in Vermont, seventy Vermont state legislators and Congressman John Conyers. The call for impeachment is starting to grow well beyond what could be considered a fringe movement. An ABC News/Washington Post Poll Conducted April 6-9 showed that 33% of Americans currently support Impeaching President Bush, coincidentally, only a similar amount supported impeaching Nixon at the start of the Watergate investigation. If and when Illinois HJR0125 hits the capitol and the individual charges are publicly investigated, that number is likely to grow rapidly. Combined with the very real likelihood that Rove is about to be indicted in the LeakGate investigation, and Bush is in real trouble beyond his plummeting poll numbers. His cronies in the Republican dominated congress will probably save him from the embarassment of an impeachment conviction, for now, but his Presidency will be all but finished.








----------------------------------------------------------

HJ0125 LRB094 20306 RLC 58347 r



1 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION


2 WHEREAS, Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of
3 the United States House of Representatives allows federal
4 impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of
5 a state legislature; and

6 WHEREAS, President Bush has publicly admitted to ordering
7 the National Security Agency to violate provisions of the 1978
8 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a felony, specifically
9 authorizing the Agency to spy on American citizens without
10 warrant; and

11 WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that President Bush authorized
12 violation of the Torture Convention of the Geneva Conventions,
13 a treaty regarded a supreme law by the United States
14 Constitution; and

15 WHEREAS, The Bush Administration has held American
16 citizens and citizens of other nations as prisoners of war
17 without charge or trial; and

18 WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that the Bush Administration
19 has manipulated intelligence for the purpose of initiating a
20 war against the sovereign nation of Iraq, resulting in the
21 deaths of large numbers of Iraqi civilians and causing the
22 United States to incur loss of life, diminished security and
23 billions of dollars in unnecessary expenses; and

24 WHEREAS, The Bush Administration leaked classified
25 national secrets to further a political agenda, exposing an
26 unknown number of covert U. S. intelligence agents to potential
27 harm and retribution while simultaneously refusing to
28 investigate the matter; and

29 WHEREAS, The Republican-controlled Congress has declined




HJ0125 - 2 - LRB094 20306 RLC 58347 r



1 to fully investigate these charges to date; therefore, be it

2 RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
3 NINETY-FOURTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, THE
4 SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that the General Assembly of the
5 State of Illinois has good cause to submit charges to the U. S.
6 House of Representatives under Section 603 that the President
7 of the United States has willfully violated his Oath of Office
8 to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United
9 States; and be it further

10 RESOLVED, That George W. Bush, if found guilty of the
11 charges contained herein, should be removed from office and
12 disqualified to hold any other office in the United States.



Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Support the Impeachment of President Bush

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

Steven Leser is a freelance journalist specializing in Politics, Science & Health, and Entertainment topics. He has held positions within the Democratic Party including District Chair and Public Relations Chair within county organizations. His coverage of the Ohio Presidential Recount in 2004 was distinguished by actual interviews with Carlo Loparo, spokesperson for the Ohio Secretary of State, along with Supervisors of Elections of several Ohio counties. Similar efforts on other topics to get first hand information from sources separate Mr. Leser from many of his contemporaries.
anarch
your "Dangers of Alternative Energy Sources" made me nearly choke on my dinner I was laughing so hard. Passing it on to my non-anal-retentive friends. Thanks!

also, this Bush Screen Saver is hugely therapeutic.

"This is apparently one of the most popular screensaver in the U.S. If he
gets stuck, use your mouse to get him going again."
smurfin
I'm sure I shouldn't find that as mesmerising as I did. I posted it for my fellow medschool students to find - they didn't particularly like it. Well, maybe because Bush isn't of that much importance here in Europe.
anarch
I thought quite a few Europeans start frothing at the mouth when confronted with Bush. Maybe it doesn't translate into being entertained by the spectacle of his body smashing slowly into things, though. I have to admit I felt a bit guilty about enjoying it as much as I did, especially when my husband used his mouse to fling him from side to side.
venetia
He's so... spineless. It's visually mesmerising, but I don't find it at all therapeutic. What I would find therapeutic would be if that man wasn't in office.
totomoto
http://www.fincher.org/Misc/Pennies/

Pennies
octobersky
I don't know who all had seen this, but I'm going to cross post with WAT in Media Whores

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/04/29.html#a8104

May I just say Steven Colbert is brilliant! Stewart/Colbert 2008!!!!
totomoto
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0605090094may09,1,2047448.story?col l=chi-news-hed

Doctors raised the stakes in the nation's ongoing battle over emergency contraception Monday with a new campaign that encourages women to get an advance prescription for the "morning-after pill," so it will be readily available if they have unprotected sex.

The "Ask Me" campaign is organized medicine's most aggressive effort yet to ensure women have access to emergency contraception when they think they need it. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which represents nearly 50,000 physicians, is the sponsor.
totomoto
Country Minister

As a young minister, I was asked by a funeral director to hold a grave-side service for a homeless man, with no family or friends. The funeral was to be held at a cemetery way back in the country, and this man would be the first to be laid to rest there. As I was not familiar with the backwoods area, I became lost, and being a typical man did not stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late. I saw the backhoe and the crew, who was eating lunch, but the hearse was nowhere in sight.

I apologized to the workers for my tardiness, and stepped to the side of the open grave, where I saw the vault lid already in place. I assured the workers I would not hold them up for long, but this was the proper thing to do. The workers gathered around, still eating their lunch. I poured out my heart and soul.

As I preached the workers began to say "Amen," "Praise the Lord," and
"Glory," I preached, and I preached, like I'd never preached before: from Genesis all the way to Revelations. I closed the lengthy service with a prayer and walked to my car.

As I was opening the door and taking off my coat, I overheard one of the
workers saying to another, "I ain't never seen anything like that before and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."
totomoto
1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.

4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.>

5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country --if they could find the time -- and if they didn't have to leave Southern California to do it.

6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a far superior job of it, thank you very much.

7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.

8. The New York Post is read by people who don't care who is running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

9. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.

10. The Chicago Tribune is read by people who do not care who runs any part of the Country east of Gary or west of Evanston. They also do not have access to the weather channel and want to know if
there will be a weather excuse for another baseball loss by the Cubies.

11. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure there is a country or that anyone is running it, but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped minority feminist atheist dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy provided, of course, that they are not Republicans.

12. The Oregonian is read by people who do not think that they should even be part of this country but should have their own and who recycle the paper as soon as they have read the restaurant reviews.

13. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.

14. None of these are read by the guy who is running the country into the ground.


voodoo_princess
Just putting things back where they should be....
totomoto
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20050530/pollitt

<snip>
HPV is not only an incredibly widespread sexually transmitted infection but is responsible for at least 70 percent of cases of cervical cancer, which is diagnosed in 10,000 American women a year and kills 4,000. Wonderful, you are probably thinking, all we need to do is vaccinate girls (and boys too for good measure) before they become sexually active, around puberty, and HPV--and, in thirty or forty years, seven in ten cases of cervical cancer--goes poof. Not so fast: We're living in God's country now. The Christian right doesn't like the sound of this vaccine at all. "Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful," Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council told the British magazine New Scientist, "because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex." Raise your hand if you think that what is keeping girls virgins now is the threat of getting cervical cancer when they are 60 from a disease they've probably never heard of.
</snip>


About 3,000 dead women every year. Every year. But they don't matter to the religious extremists do they? Because at some point they probably had sex, the brazen hussies.


<snip>
It's honor killing on the installment plan.
</snip>
totomoto
(nice story and according to Snopes, true)

If you read the front page story of the SF Chronicle,

you would have read about a female humpback whale

who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps

and lines.

She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused

her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of

line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line

tugging in her mouth.


A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farralone Islands

(outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help.


Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was

so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her

a very dangerous proposition.

One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.


They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.


When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles.

She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed gently around-she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.



The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was

following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

anarch
Middle Age
-A middle-aged woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital.
While on the operating table she had a near death experience. Upon seeing God, she asked, "Is my time up?"
God said, "No, you have another 43 years, 2 months and 8 days to live."
Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a face-lift, liposuction, and a tummy tuck. She even had someone come in and change her hair colour. Since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it. After her last operation, she was released from the hospital.
While crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance.
Arriving in front of God, she demanded, "I thought you said I had another 40 years! Why didn't you pull me from out of the path of the ambulance?"



God replied, "I didn't recognize you..."

(great story about the whale, toto. thanks)
totomoto
http://www.greatervancouverparks.com/HARRISONSandCastles01.html

Enjoy Anarch!
doodlebug
Oh. My. God?

True story - it's on Reuters, from yesterday.



Lioness in zoo kills man who invoked God
Mon Jun 5, 2006 8:31am ET13

KIEV (Reuters) - A man shouting that God would keep him safe was mauled to death by a lioness in Kiev zoo after he crept into the animal's enclosure, a zoo official said on Monday.

"The man shouted 'God will save me, if he exists', lowered himself by a rope into the enclosure, took his shoes off and went up to the lions," the official said.

"A lioness went straight for him, knocked him down and severed his carotid artery."

The incident, Sunday evening when the zoo was packed with visitors, was the first of its kind at the attraction. Lions and tigers are kept in an "animal island" protected by thick concrete blocks.



*ahem*

I hate to be the one to say it...

...but I guess that answers that question.
doodlebug
Ooh! I've been to Harrison! Several times! I've walked on that beach! Hell, I've smoked dope on that beach. Never been there for the sand sculptures, though.
efilorp4
HOLY BIBLE Matthew 5:44-46
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
venetia
That's such a gorgeous story about the whale!!!

It's true, I have been on whale rescues before, they definately do watch you and they try not to bite you if you put your arm into their mouth to clear away sand, etc.
anarch
Fisting and God's Will: "In the Song of Solomon, the Bible describes the act of fisting and the profound erotic bliss it induces: 'It is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, "Open for me, my sister, my love, My dove, my perfect one”…My love thrust his hand through the opening, and my feelings were stirred for him.' (Song of Solomon 5:2-4) Here we see the lover gently coaxing his companion to open up to him . . ."

Don't miss the Readers' Questions page: "You f*****g idiots. . . . Christ's "living water" was not referring to semen, you f*****g a**holes. He was referring to spiritual enlightenment."

I haven't laughed so hard in ages.
totomoto
Before claiming that there is too much "anti-Christian bias" in America, maybe Christians should consider for a moment what it would be like if there were as much bias against them as there is against Atheists in the US. I wonder if they could imagine living in this kind of country:

Both major political parties are overwhelmingly dominated by Atheists, as are all government positions, from local to state to federal, judges included.

On Sunday mornings, radio and television stations across the country broadcast pro-atheist shows, while it is impossible to find religious programming. Atheists have several cable networks exclusively devoted to anti-religious programming, while there are no religious networks.

During the 1988 election campaign, George Bush said that Christians should not be considered patriots, or real American citizens.

Bill Clinton steadfastly refused to give any speeches at any churches.

Many major newspapers run a special weekly section devoted to atheism. There are no equivalent sections for religious news.

Atheist meeting centers are located every few blocks in every corner of the country. Meanwhile, churches are very rare.

Jurors are asked to swear an oath on a copy of the Skeptical Inquirer before they can serve. In addition, the President of the United states swears to Atheist beliefs when he takes office.

There has never been a religious President, and polling indicates that Americans vehemently oppose any Christian holding this office.

All of our money has the Atheist slogan "We trust in man, not God" on it.

In school, our children are asked to pledge to "one nation, anti-God, indivisible".

Every hotel room you have ever been in, provides you with a copy of Nietzsche's "The Anti-Christ". None have bibles.

If you or your children believe in God, you are not allowed to join the Boy Scouts.

Atheist organizations are not taxed, but you are.

Popular culture considers you to be an immoral person, and many even consider you to be "evil", just because you believe in God.

Atheists often proudly declare their disbelief of God in public, especially Athletes and award winners. Politicians consider it essential for winning elections. This is considered to be a positive thing. If any Christian declares their belief in God, it is considered argumenative, negative, aggressive, and spiteful.

Atheists constantly cite, out of context, books of philosophy by noted Atheists to prove that Christians live irrational lives, devoid of morality.

Atheist charities often force the needy who come to them for help to listen to Atheist propaganda before they recieve help.

U.S. Atheist organizations send missionaries to underdeveloped countries to convince people to renounce long-held local religious beliefs and become Atheists.

All prisons have a resident atheist philosopher, and inmates are encouraged to participate in weekly philophical dicussions on Bible Contradictions. This is often reported to parole board, who consider it a good indication of contritenes on the prisoner's part.

Atheists stand in the parking lot of your grocery store and try getting you to accept their anti-God propaganda leaflets.

Even though you ignore them, they come to your house and leave it on your porch.

You might try to ignore it, but then they come by periodically and knock on your door just to tell you your belief in God is wrong, and that Atheism is the only true way for you to live.

Thanks anarch and everyone! The stock market got me attention for a while
solitary_fey
What the fuck is wrong with people?

"Christ said, ”If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-38) Of course, Jesus is talking metaphorically about living water in this case; if a man literally drank the living water of Christ, that would make him gay."

Christ, some people...
efilorp4
HOLY BIBLE Romans 1:25-27
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

anarch
solitary fey, I thought that site was satirical so they were making fun of religious "reasons" for being anti-gay, but yeah, people who talk seriously like that are several cards short of a full deck.
solitary_fey
God I hope their being satirical.
bustygirl
This will not make you laugh. It should make you mad:


Loose Change

Terror Storm


girlygirlgag
I think this is where I should post this.

Burn baby Burn!

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/06/27/flag.burning/index.html
totomoto
The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada
has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols
to stop the illegal immigration.

The actions of President Bush are prompting the exodus among
left-leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray,
and agree with Bill O'Reilly.

Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology
professors, animal-rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields
at night.

"I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood
producer huddled in the barn," said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield,
whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold, exhausted
and hungry. "He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range
chicken. When I said I didn't have any, he left.

In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher
fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing speakers
that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields.

"Not real effective," he said. "The liberals still got through, and Rush
annoyed the cows so much they wouldn't give milk."

Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals
near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, drive
them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves.

"A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions," an
Ontario border patrolman said. "I found one carload without a drop of
drinking water. "They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet,
though."

When liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border, often
wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives.

Rumors have been circulating about the Bush administration establishing
re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to drink domestic
beer and watch NASCAR races.

In recent days, liberals have turned to sometimes-ingenious ways of
crossing the border. Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus
trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a
half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration
authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed
senior-citizen passengers on Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney hits to
prove they were alive in the '50s.

"If they can't identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show,
we get suspicious about their age," an official said.

Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are
creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good Susan
Sarandon movies.

"I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can't
support them," an Ottawa resident said. "How many art-history majors
does one country need?"

In an effort to ease tensions between the United States and Canada, Vice
President Dick Cheney met with the Canadian ambassador and pledged that
the administration would take steps to reassure liberals, a source close
to Cheney said. We're going to have some Peter, Paul & Mary concerts.
And we might put some endangered species on postage stamps. The
President is determined to reach out," he said.
totomoto
retireearlyboi writes: "Don't Believe the Hype"

First, your subject line -- "MIT Confirms: Al Gore Is Wrong" -- is a lie. MIT confirms no such thing, unless you believe an op-ed piece by a single professor represents the official view of MIT.

Second, it's interesting that in 2001 Lindzen was on a panel of scientists that wrote the paper Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions that concluded "Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise."

http://darwin.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10139&page=1

So in a scientific paper he agrees with other scientists that greenhouse gases occur because of human activity but in an op-ed piece he denies it.

Next, Lindzen notes: More recently, a study in the journal Science by the social scientist Nancy Oreskes claimed that a search of the ISI Web of Knowledge Database...

Um, her name is Naomi Oreskes. Glad to see Lindzen carefully checks his facts. And here's what Ms. Oreskes had to say about GW in an article she published in the Washington Post, titled Undeniable Global Warming:

Many people have the impression that there is significant scientific disagreement about global climate change. It's time to lay that misapprehension to rest. There is a scientific consensus on the fact that Earth's climate is heating up and human activities are part of the reason. We need to stop repeating nonsense about the uncertainty of global warming and start talking seriously about the right approach to address it.

The scientific consensus is clearly expressed in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environmental Program, the IPCC is charged with evaluating the state of climate science as a basis for informed policy action. In its most recent assessment, the IPCC states unequivocally that the consensus of scientific opinion is that Earth's climate is being affected by human activities: "Human activities . . . are modifying the concentration of atmospheric constituents . . . that absorb or scatter radiant energy. . . . [M]ost of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations."

Benny Peiser was mentioned in the op-ed in relation to the Oreskes study, but...

1. Peizer misunderstands the point of Oreskes study. The point was not that every article about climate change explicitly endorsed the IPCC conclusions. The point is that if there was real uncertainty there would be “substantive disagreement in the scientific community” that would be reflected in peer reviewed literature. There wasn't.

2. Peiser didn't find any peer reviewed studies that oppose the scientific consensus. Peiser claimed that 34 papers “reject or doubt” the consensus view. Tim Lambert got Peiser to send him the abstracts of those 34 papers. The vast majority of these papers express no doubt whatsoever about the consensus view. Only one paper, by the Association of Petroleum Geologists, cited by Peiser actually rejects the consensus view and it “does not appear to have been peer reviewed outside that Association.”

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/06/26/wsj-gore/

In short, Peiser's analysis was in error and he has since admitted that his work included errors.

Peiser's opinions have been debunked and refuted in the scientific community as well...

We therefore conclude that none of these issues raised by Benny Peiser have much, if any, implication for the consensus on the principal climate debate issue: the impact of anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/xml/xhtml/articles/2510.html

I could go on but to what end? Lindzen has written an op-ed piece that is long on opinion and short on fact.
tesao
toto!! que bom te ver!!!!

i just have to tell you how much i loved the whale story.

i'm very happy to return and find you here, querido.

do you know i'm living in africa now????
totomoto
QUOTE(tesao @ Jul 17 2006, 07:36 PM) *

toto!! que bom te ver!!!!

i just have to tell you how much i loved the whale story.

i'm very happy to return and find you here, querido.

do you know i'm living in africa now????



You are in Africa!! Fantastic!! It is so good to hear from you. It took
me a while to figure out how to get back on the board.


biggrin.gif And in your honor:


AN OPEN LETTER TO JAMES RANDI REGARDING HIS "ONE MILLION DOLLAR
PARANORMAL CHALLENGE."

BY JENNIFER DZIURA
- - - -

Dear James Randi,

I am writing to you in regard to your offer of $1 million to anyone who can demonstrate, under proper conditions of scientific trial, paranormal abilities. I deeply admire your policy of holding those who claim to possess supernatural powers to the rigorous standards of scientific inquiry and rational thought by working with these claimants to develop a preliminary, and then a formal, test of those abilities.

The warning, posted so ominously (and, dare I say, smugly) on your website, that "no one has ever passed the preliminary tests" only deepens my conviction to be the first.

Delightfully, I have not only a love for the scientific method but also a demonstrable paranormal skill! I have the ability to control men's minds with my vagina.

To test the claim that I can control men's minds with my vagina, I propose the following experiment:

A statistically significant even number of volunteers will be recruited to participate in the test. Volunteers should be male, heterosexual, and unknown to me, and should have at least $5 on their person. Each volunteer will be assigned to a group: "vagina" or "no vagina."

In every trial, the volunteer will be seated within a short walking distance of a hamburger stand. Volunteers in the "vagina" group will also be seated within a short walking distance of my vagina. Volunteers in the "no vagina" group will have a leaden wall placed between them and my vagina. To ensure that the "no vagina" group is not motivated by even the suggestion of my vagina, I will not be seen by them, and my voice will be conveyed only through a voice-altering device that masks my gender.

For each trial, I will ask the volunteer if he will buy me a hamburger.

I predict that volunteers in visual proximity of my vagina will be at least 50 percent more likely to comply than those separated from my vagina by a leaden barrier.

I think you will agree that mind control of any kind is certainly a paranormal phenomenon, and that this proposal represents a fair test of my ability to control men's minds with my vagina.

As anecdotal evidence—which I am aware is not sufficient for your challenge but seems apropos in an introductory note such as this—I have previously obtained a number of hamburgers in this manner.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Dziura

P.S. With fries!

- - - -
tesao
muito bom, toto. i'm sure that i, too, can control men's minds with my vagina. and other things. rolleyes.gif

i must confess that i do not understand the moon cartoon, however.

it is just nice to know that you are still around. drop me an email sometime! beijos!
anarch
Joke I picked up while I was on vacation:

Two nuns are riding down a cobblestone street in Rome.

One nun says to the other nun, "I've never come this way before!"

Second nun says, "Hmmm..."









"Maybe it's the cobblestones." biggrin.gif
totomoto

Anarch!! biggrin.gif And I will email you Tes!

And here is a humble offereing:


Everyone who knows anything about the World Cup incident involving Zinedine Zidane should find this funny. The rest of you can interpret this as a rough guide about how the media from different countries cover the same event. Well, it's funny to me anyway.....

German view :
http://img2.imagepile.net/img2/76103german.gif

French view :
http://img2.imagepile.net/img2/63777french.gif

Italian view :
http://img2.imagepile.net/img2/69461italian.gif

USA view :
http://img2.imagepile.net/img2/88533usa.gif

Hollywood view :
http://img2.imagepile.net/img2/1612holliwood.gif

Cheers, PB

tesao
muito thank you toto!

that was hilarious!

especially the french version!!! hahahahahah! laugh.gif
totomoto
Subject: Bumper Stickers - redoux Date: 8/5/06 9:42 AM

Recommendations: 19

BLIND FAITH IN BAD LEADERSHIP IS NOT PATRIOTISM


IF YOU'RE NOT OUTRAGED, YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION


IF YOU SUPPORTED BUSH, A YELLOW RIBBON WON'T MAKE UP FOR IT


POVERTY, HEALTH CARE & HOMELESSNESS ARE MORAL ISSUES


OF COURSE IT HURTS. YOU'RE GETTING SCREWED BY AN ELEPHANT


BUSH LIED, AND YOU KNOW IT


RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM: A THREAT ABROAD, A THREAT AT HOMe



BUSH SPENT YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY ON HIS WAR


PRO AMERICA, ANTI BUSH


WHO WOULD JESUS BOMB?


IF YOU SUPPORT BUSH'S WAR, WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE? SHUT UP AND SHIP OUT


FEEL SAFER NOW?


I'D RATHER HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO SCREWED HIS INTERN THAN ONE WHO SCREWED
HIS COUNTRY


JESUS WAS A SOCIAL ACTIVIST - THAT IS A LIBERAL


MY VALUES? FREE SPEECH. EQUALITY. LIBERTY. EDUCATION. TOLERANCE


IS IT 2008 YET?


DISSENT IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF PATRIOTISM -- Thomas Jefferson


DON'T BLAME ME. I VOTED AGAINST BUSH -- TWICE!


ANNOY A CONSERVATIVE; THINK FOR YOURSELF


VISUALIZE IMPEACHMENT


HEY BUSH! WHERE'S BIN LADEN?


CORPORATE MEDIA = MASS MIND CONTROL


STOP MAD COWBOY DISEASE


GEORGE W. BUSH: MAKING TERRORISTS FASTER THAN HE CAN KILL THEM


KEEP YOUR THEOCRACY OFF MY DEMOCRACY


DEMOCRATS ARE SEXY. WHOEVER HEARD OF A GOOD PIECE OF ELEPHANT?


ASPIRING CANADIAN


CORPORATE MEDIA: WEAPONS OF MASS DECEPTION


DON'T CONFUSE DYING FOR OIL WITH FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM


STEM CELL RESEARCH IS PRO LIFE


HATE, GREED, IGNORANCE: WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION


HONOR OUR TROOPS; DEMAND THE TRUTH


REBUILD IRAQ? WHY NOT SPEND 87 BILLION ON AMERICA?


FACT: BUSH OIL
1999 - $19 BARREL
2006 - $70 BARREL


THE LAST TIME RELIGION CONTROLLED POLITICS, PEOPLE GOT BURNED AT THE
STAKE


I'LL GIVE UP MY CHOICE WHEN JOHN ROBERTS GETS PREGNANT


SUPPORT OUR TROOPS; IMPEACH BUSH
=


ginger_kitty
Those are great!!!
totomoto
The Los Angeles Times issued a special report yesterday on recently declassified US Army investigations into atrocities by US servicemen during the Vietnam War.

The long and damning article, by Nick Turse and Deborah Nelson, can be found at this URL:

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/a...6,0,92368.story

To summarize briefly, the US Army undertook many more investigations than were ever made public. Now they have decided to declassify these investigations. Brig. Gen. John H. Johns (ret), a Vietnam veteran who served on the task force, told the LA Times that he had once supported keeping the records secret, but he now believes that they deserve wide attention in light of alleged attacks on civilians and abuse of prisoners in Iraq.

He is quoted as saying, "We can't change current practices unless we acknowledge the past."

From the report:

Among the substantiated cases in the archive:

-- Seven massacres from 1967 through 1971 in which at least 137 civilians died.

-- Seventy-eight other attacks on noncombatants in which at least 57 were killed, 56 wounded and 15 sexually assaulted.

-- One hundred forty-one instances in which U.S. soldiers tortured civilian detainees or prisoners of war with fists, sticks, bats, water or electric shock.

As we have seen over and over again in interactions here on Political Asylum, in the absence of solid public investigations there are always some individuals who refuse to believe that our soldiers are ever guilty of committing atrocities. Worse, they accuse those who claim that atrocities do happen of treasonous behavior.

The LA Times quotes Lt. Gen. Robert G. Gard (ret), who during the 1970s oversaw the investigatory task force while a brigadier general in the Pentagon, as saying, "We could have court-martialed them but didn't. The whole thing is very disturbing."

Very disturbing?

IMHO, this is much worse than merely disturbing. It proves that vital information on the conduct of US soldiers under extreme stress was withheld from the American voters. As a consequence, I believe, our political process has been significantly distorted for forty years. Those who argue that the nation must not become embroiled in counter-insurgency operations were deprived of crucial information that could have been used in multiple decisions on whether to go to war.

Let us never forget who is sovereign in this country: it is the voting citizens, not the government. When anyone deprives the sovereign of critical information necessary to decide between war and peace, very bad decisions are the result.

Loren


My friend Loren cobb ia a Quaker and an atheist. cool.gif

Totomoto

Thanks ginger!
totomoto
Three contractors are bidding to fix the White House fence.

One from Florida, another from Kentucky, and the third from DC. They go with a White House official to examine the fence.

The Florida contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring,then works some figures with a pencil.

"Well," he says. "I figure the job will run about $9,000.: $4,000. for materials, $4,000. for my crew and $1,000. profit for me."

The Kentucky contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do this job for $7,000.: $3,000. for materials, $3,000. for my crew and $1,000. profit for me."

The DC contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers: "$27,000."

The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?"

"Easy," the guy from DC explains, "$10,000. for you, $10,000. for me and we hire the guy from Kentucky."
totomoto

Contact John Mauldin
Print Version

Volume 2 - Special Edition
August 10, 2006



Breakpoint in Iraq:
What went Wrong
By George Friedman


Today I am sending out a Special Edition of Outside the Box. My good friend George Friedman at Stratfor.com has posted a very powerful essay on the new situation in Iraq. I must warn you, it is disturbing for those who, like myself, want a positive and peaceful outcome in Iraq. But since our thinking and investing should reflect reality and not wishful thinking, I suggest you take the time to read this piece.

As I have said in the past, Stratfor is my main and favorite source for geo-political news and analysis. They have often been referred to in the mainstream press as a 'private CIA,' but I would say in Stratfor's defense that they seem to be more right than their government counterpart.

Again, if you are in the business of managing money where an eye to what is happening in the world is critical, or you are a student of geo-politics, or both, I strongly suggest you get your own subscription to Stratfor. George tells me that the renewal rates are close to 90%, which demonstrates how valuable their readers regard the information that they receive on a daily basis. While this essay is on Iraq, they also cover the rest of the world, and you can get information on whatever part of the world you are interested in on their website.

Once again I talked George into dropping his subscription price to half. Click here to find out more and to signup. And I would say I hope you enjoy the essay, but what George suggests is that reality is not actually fun reading. Iraq may be on its way to becoming a real problem with no good answers from a US perspective.

John Mauldin, Editor





Breakpoint: What went Wrong
By George Friedman


On May 23, we published a Geopolitical Intelligence Report titled "Break Point." In that article, we wrote: "It is now nearly Memorial Day. The violence in Iraq will surge, but by July 4 there either will be clear signs that the Sunnis are controlling the insurgency -- or there won't. If they are controlling the insurgency, the United States will begin withdrawing troops in earnest. If they are not controlling the insurgency, the United States will begin withdrawing troops in earnest. Regardless of whether the [political settlement] holds, the U.S. war in Iraq is going to end: U.S. troops either will not be needed, or will not be useful. Thus, we are at a break point -- at least for the Americans."

In our view, the fundamental question was whether the Sunnis would buy into the political process in Iraq. We expected a sign, and we got it in June, when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed -- in our view, through intelligence provided by the Sunni leadership. The same night al-Zarqawi was killed, the Iraqis announced the completion of the Cabinet: As part of a deal that finalized the three security positions (defense, interior and national security), the defense ministry went to a Sunni. The United States followed that move by announcing a drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq, starting with two brigades. All that was needed was a similar signal of buy-in from the Shia -- meaning they would place controls on the Shiite militias that were attacking Sunnis. The break point seemed very much to favor a political resolution in Iraq.

It never happened. The Shia, instead of reciprocating the Sunni and American gestures, went into a deep internal crisis. Shiite groups in Basra battled over oil fields. They fought in Baghdad. We expected that the mainstream militias under the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) would gain control of the dissidents and then turn to political deal-making. Instead, the internal Shiite struggle resolved itself in a way we did not expect: Rather than reciprocating with a meaningful political gesture, the Shia intensified their attacks on the Sunnis. The Sunnis, clearly expecting this phase to end, held back -- and then cut loose with their own retaliations. The result was, rather than a political settlement, civil war. The break point had broken away from a resolution.

Part of the explanation is undoubtedly to be found in Iraq itself. The prospect of a centralized government, even if dominated by the majority Shia, does not seem to have been as attractive to Iraqi Shia as absolute regional control, which would guarantee them all of the revenues from the southern oil fields, rather than just most. That is why SCIRI leader Abdel Aziz al-Hakim has been pushing for the creation of a federal zone in the south, similar to that established for the Kurdistan region in the north. The growing closeness between the United States and some Sunnis undoubtedly left the Shia feeling uneasy. The Sunnis may have made a down payment by delivering up al-Zarqawi, but it was far from clear that they would be in a position to make further payments. The Shia reciprocated partially by offering an amnesty for militants, but they also linked the dissolution of sectarian militias to the future role of Baathists in the government, which they seek to prevent. Clearly, there were factions within the Shiite community that were pulling in different directions.

But there was also another factor that appears to have been more decisive: Iran. It is apparent that Iran not only made a decision not to support a political settlement in Iraq, but a broader decision to support Hezbollah in its war with Israel. In a larger sense, Iran decided to simultaneously confront the United States and its ally Israel on multiple fronts -- and to use that as a means of challenging Sunnis and, particularly, Sunni Arab states.

The Iranian Logic

This is actually a significant shift in Iran's national strategy. Iran had been relatively cooperative with the United States between 2001 and 2004 -- supporting the United States in Afghanistan in a variety of ways and encouraging Washington to depose Saddam Hussein. This relationship was not without tensions during those years, but it was far from confrontational. Similarly, Iran had always had tensions with the Sunni world, but until last year or so, as we can see in Iraq, these had not been venomous.

Two key things have to be borne in mind to begin to understand this shift. First, until the emergence of al Qaeda, the Islamic Republic of Iran had seen itself -- and had been seen by others -- as being the vanguard of the Islamist renaissance. It was Iran that had confronted the United States, and it was Iran's creation, Hezbollah, that had pioneered suicide bombings, hostage-takings and the like in Lebanon and around the world. But on Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda -- a Sunni group -- had surged ahead of Iran as the embodiment of radical Islam. Indeed, it had left Iran in the role of appearing to be a collaborator with the United States. Iran had no use for al Qaeda but did not want to surrender its position to the Sunni entity.

The second factor that must be considered is Iran's goal in Iraq. The Iranians, who hated Hussein as a result of the eight-year war and dearly wanted him destroyed, had supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq. And they had helped the United States with intelligence prior to the war. Indeed, it could be argued that Iran had provided exactly the intelligence that would provoke the U.S. attack in a way most advantageous to Iran -- by indicating that the occupation of Iraq would not be as difficult as might be imagined, particularly if the United States destroyed the Baath Party and all of its institutions. U.S. leaders were hearing what they wanted to hear anyway, but Iran made certain they heard this much more clearly.

Iran had a simple goal: to dominate a post-war Iraq. Iran's Shiite allies in Iraq comprised the majority, the Shia had not resisted the American invasion and the Iranians had provided appropriate support. Therefore, they expected that they would inherit Iraq -- at least in the sense that it would fall into Tehran's sphere of influence. For their part, the Americans thought they could impose a regime in Iraq regardless of Iran's wishes, and they had no desire to create an Iranian surrogate in Baghdad. Therefore, though they may have encouraged Iranian beliefs, the goal of the Americans was to create a coalition government that would include all factions. The Shia could be the dominant group, but they would not hold absolute power -- and, indeed, the United States manipulated Iraqi Shia to split them further.

We had believed that the Iranians would, in the end, accept a neutral Iraq with a coalition government that guaranteed Iran's interests. There is a chance that this might be true in the end, but the Iranians clearly decided to force a final confrontation with the United States. Tehran used its influence among some Iraqi groups to reject the Sunni overture symbolized in al-Zarqawi's death and to instead press forward with attacks against the Sunni community. It goes beyond this, inasmuch as Iran also has been forging closer ties with some Sunni groups, who are responding to Iranian money and a sense of the inevitability of Iran's ascent in the region.

Iran could have had two thoughts on its mind in pressing the sectarian offensive. The first was that the United States, lacking forces to contain a civil war, would be forced to withdraw, or at least to reduce its presence in populated areas, if a civil war broke out. This would leave the majority Shia in a position to impose their own government -- and, in fact, place pro-Iranian Shia, who had led the battle, in a dominant position among the Shiite community.

The second thought could have been that even if U.S. forces did not withdraw, Iran would be better off with a partitioned Iraq -- in which the various regions were at war with each other, or at least focused on each other, and incapable of posing a strategic threat to Iran. Moreover, if partition meant that Iran dominated the southern part of Iraq, then the strategic route to the western littoral of the Persian Gulf would be wide open, with no Arab army in a position to resist the Iranians. Their dream of dominating the Persian Gulf would still be in reach, while the security of their western border would be guaranteed. So, if U.S. forces did not withdraw from Iraq, Iran would still be able not only to impose a penalty on the Americans but also to pursue its own strategic interests.

This line of thinking also extends to pressures that Iran now is exerting against Saudi Arabia, which has again become a key ally of the United States. For example, a member of the Iranian Majlis recently called for Muslim states to enact political and economic sanctions against Saudi Arabia -- which has condemned Hezbollah's actions in the war against Israel. In the larger scheme, it was apparent to the Iranians that they could not achieve their goals in Iraq without directly challenging Saudi interests -- and that meant mounting a general challenge to Sunnis. A partial challenge would make no sense: It would create hostility and conflict without a conclusive outcome. Thus, the Iranians decided to broaden their challenge.

The Significance of Hezbollah

Hezbollah is a Shiite movement that was created by Iran out of its own needs for a Tehran-controlled, anti-Israel force. Hezbollah was extremely active through the 1980s and had exercised economic and political power in Lebanon in the 1990s, as a representative of Shiite interests. In this, Hezbollah had collaborated with Syria -- a predominantly Sunni country run by a minority Shiite sect, the Alawites -- as well as Iran. Iran and Syria are enormously different countries, with many different interests. Syria's interest was the domination and economic exploitation of Lebanon. But when the United States forced the Syrians out of Lebanon -- following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in February 2005 -- any interest Syria had in restraining Hezbollah disappeared. Meanwhile, as Iran shifted its strategy, its interest in reactivating Hezbollah -- which had been somewhat dormant in relation to Israel -- increased.

Hezbollah's interest in being reactivated in this way was less clear. Hezbollah's leaders had aged well: Violent and radical in the 1980s, they had become Lebanese businessmen in the 1990s. They became part of the establishment. But they still were who they were, and the younger generation of Hezbollah members was even more radical. Hezbollah militants had been operating in southern Lebanon for years and, however relatively restrained they might have been, they clearly had prepared for conventional war against the Israelis.

With the current conflict, Hezbollah now has achieved an important milestone: It has fought better and longer than any other Arab army against Israel. The Egyptians and Syrians launched brilliant attacks in 1973, but their forces were shattered before the war ended. Hezbollah has fought and clearly has not been shattered. Whether, in the end, it wins or loses, Hezbollah will have achieved a massive improvement of its standing in the Muslim world by slugging it out with Israel in a conventional war. If, at the end of this war, Hezbollah remains intact as a fighting force -- regardless of the outcome of the campaign in southern Lebanon -- its prestige will be enormous.

Within the region, this outcome would shift focus way from the Sunni Hamas or secular Fatah to the Shiite Hezbollah. If this happens simultaneously with the United States losing complete control of the situation in Iraq, the entire balance of power in the region would be perceived to have shifted away from the U.S.-Israeli coalition (the appearance is different from reality, but it is still far from trivial) -- and the leadership of the Islamist renaissance would have shifted away from the Sunnis to the Shia, at least in the Middle East.

Outcomes

It is not clear that the Iranians expected all of this to have gone quite as well as it has. In the early days of the war, when the Saudis and other Arabs were condemning Hezbollah and it appeared that Israel was going to launch one of its classic lightning campaigns in Lebanon, Tehran seemed to back away -- calling for a cease-fire and indicating it was prepared to negotiate on issues like uranium enrichment. Then international criticism shifted to Israel, and Israeli forces seemed bogged down. Iran's rhetoric shifted. Now the Saudis are back to condemning Hezbollah, and the Iranians appear more confident than ever. From their point of view, they have achieved substantial psychological success based on real military achievements. They have the United States on the defensive in Iraq, and the Israelis are having to fight hard to make any headway in Lebanon.

The Israelis have few options. They can continue to fight until they break Hezbollah -- a process that will be long and costly, but can be achieved. But they then risk Hezbollah shifting to guerrilla war unless their forces immediately withdraw from Lebanon. Alternatively, they can negotiate a cease-fire that inevitably would leave at least part of Hezbollah's forces intact, its prestige and power in Lebanon enhanced and Iran elevated as a power within the region and the Muslim world. Because the Israelis are not going anywhere, they have to choose from a limited menu.

The United States, on the other hand, is facing a situation in Iraq that has broken decisively against it. However hopeful the situation might have been the night al-Zarqawi died, the decision by Iran's allies in Iraq to pursue civil war rather than a coalition government has put the United States into a militarily untenable position. It does not have sufficient forces to prevent a civil war. It can undertake the defense of the Sunnis, but only at the cost of further polarization with the Shia. The United States' military options are severely limited, and therefore, withdrawal becomes even more difficult. The only possibility is a negotiated settlement -- and at this point, Iran doesn't need to negotiate. Unless Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the top Shiite cleric in Iraq, firmly demands a truce, the sectarian fighting will continue -- and at the moment, it is not even clear that al-Sistani could get a truce if he wanted one.

While the United States was focused on the chimera of an Iranian nuclear bomb -- a possibility that, assuming everything we have heard is true, remains years away from becoming reality -- Iran has moved to redefine the region. At the very least, civil war in Lebanon (where Christians and Sunnis might resist Hezbollah) could match civil war in Iraq, with the Israelis and Americans trapped in undesirable roles.

The break point has come and gone. The United States now must make an enormously difficult decision. If it simply withdraws forces from Iraq, it leaves the Arabian Peninsula open to Iran and loses all psychological advantage it gained with the invasion of Iraq. If American forces stay in Iraq, it will be as a purely symbolic gesture, without any hope for imposing a solution. If this were 2004, the United States might have the stomach for a massive infusion of forces -- an attempt to force a favorable resolution. But this is 2006, and the moment for that has passed. The United States now has no good choices; its best bet was blown up by Iran. Going to war with Iran is not an option. In Lebanon, we have just seen the value of air campaigns pursued in isolation, and the United States does not have a force capable of occupying and pacifying Iran.

As sometimes happens, obvious conclusions must be drawn.





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venetia
I didn't understand that, but I don't want this thread to die!
totomoto
QUOTE(venetia @ Sep 2 2006, 07:53 AM) *

I didn't understand that, but I don't want this thread to die!


Stratfor reports that it appears the US was played by Iran. Iran provided false intelligence which helped cause the invasion of Iraq. (Remember Chilabi?) Now the gambit to unify Iraq appears to have failed, with the Shia rejection of an overture put together by the US and the Sunni, and increase in Civil War.

Iran supports Hizbela, and has great influence on the Shia in Iraq. We are in a position where Iran can cause any attempt to unify Iraq to fail, and apparently has already done so.


Good to hear form you Venetia. biggrin.gif cool.gif
venetia
Awww, the US was played by the US. As my late Grandmother would say, "if Iran told you to jump off a cliff would you do it."

Good to see you too Toto. How's life?
totomoto
QUOTE(venetia @ Sep 8 2006, 03:11 AM) *

Awww, the US was played by the US. As my late Grandmother would say, "if Iran told you to jump off a cliff would you do it."
---------------------------------
It would be nice to get an adult response.
----------------------------------------

Good to see you too Toto. How's life?




Contact John Mauldin
Print Version

Volume 2 - Special Edition
September 7, 2006



Iraq: The Policy Dilemma
By George Friedman


Today I am sending out a Special Edition of Outside the Box. My good friend George Friedman, the President of Stratfor.com, has posted a very insightful essay on the dilemma facing the U.S. on the situation in Iraq. Contrary to many of the conflicting assessments by politically motivated pundits, each with their own agendas, that are put forth as "analysis," Stratfor provides reality based in-depth and logical analysis. Again, if you are in the business of managing money (someone else's or your own) where an eye to what is happening in the world is critical, or you are a student of geo-politics, or both, I strongly suggest that you stay up-to-date on the geopolitical landscape as it can have broad implications for both investment and political decision making.

As I have said in the past, Stratfor is my main and favorite source for geo-political news and analysis. They have often been referred to in the mainstream press as a 'private CIA,' but I would say in Stratfor's defense that they seem to be more right than their government counterpart.

A subscription to Stratfor is well worth the money as George tells me that the renewal rates are close to 90%, which demonstrates how valuable their readers regard the information that they receive on a daily basis. While this essay is on Iraq, they also cover the rest of the world, and you can get information on whatever part of the world you are interested in on their website.

Once again I talked George into dropping his subscription price to half. Click here to find out more and to signup. And I would say I hope you enjoy the essay, but what George suggests the new reality of Iraq to be is not actually fun reading. Iraq may be on its way to becoming a real problem with no easy answers from a US perspective.

John Mauldin, Editor





Iraq: The Policy Dilemma
By George Friedman


U.S. President George W. Bush now has made it clear what his policy on Iraq will be for the immediate future, certainly until Election Day: He does not intend to change U.S. policy in any fundamental way. U.S. troops will continue to be deployed in Iraq, they will continue to carry out counterinsurgency operations, and they will continue to train Iraqi troops to eventually take over the operations. It is difficult to imagine that Bush believes there will be any military solution to the situation in Iraq; therefore, we must try to understand his reasoning in maintaining this position. Certainly, it is not simply a political decision. Opinion in the United States has turned against the war, and drawing down U.S. forces and abandoning combat operations would appear to be the politically expedient move. Thus, if it is not politics driving him -- and assuming that the more lurid theories on the Internet concerning Bush's motivations are as silly as they appear -- then we have to figure out what he is doing.

Let's consider the military situation first. Bush has said that there is no civil war in Iraq. This is in large measure a semantic debate. In our view, it would be inaccurate to call what is going on a "civil war" simply because that term implies a degree of coherence that simply does not exist. Calling it a free-for-all would be more accurate. It is not simply a conflict of Shi'i versus Sunni. The Sunnis and Shia are fighting each other, and all of them are fighting American forces. It is not altogether clear what the Americans are supposed to be doing.

Counterinsurgency is unlike other warfare. In other warfare, the goal is to defeat an enemy army, and civilian casualties as a result of military operations are expected and acceptable. With counterinsurgency operations in populated areas, however, the goal is to distinguish the insurgents from civilians and destroy them, with minimal civilian casualties. Counterinsurgency in populated areas is more akin to police operations than to military operations; U.S. troops are simultaneously engaging an enemy force while trying to protect the population from both that force and U.S. operations. Add to this the fact that the population is frequently friendly to the insurgents and hostile to the Americans, and the difficulty of the undertaking becomes clear.

Consider the following numbers. The New York Police Department (excluding transit and park police) counts one policeman for every 216 residents. In Iraq, there is one U.S. soldier (not counting other coalition troops) per about 185 people. Thus, numerically speaking, U.S. forces are in a mildly better position than New York City cops -- but then, except for occasional Saturday nights, New York cops are not facing anything like the U.S. military is facing in Iraq. Given that the United States is facing not one enemy but a series of enemy organizations -- many fighting each other as well as the Americans -- and that the American goal is to defeat these while defending the populace, it is obvious even from these very simplistic numbers that the U.S. force simply isn't there to impose a settlement.

Expectations and a Deal Unwound

A military solution to the U.S. dilemma has not been in the cards for several years. The purpose of military operations was to set the stage for political negotiations. But the Americans had entered Iraq with certain expectations. For one thing, they had believed they would simply be embraced by Iraq's Shiite population. They also had expected the Sunnis to submit to what appeared to be overwhelming political force. What happened was very different. First, the Shia welcomed the fall of Saddam Hussein, but they hardly embraced the Americans -- they sought instead to translate the U.S. victory over Hussein into a Shiite government. Second, the Sunnis, in view of the U.S.-Shiite coalition and the dismemberment of the Sunni-dominated Iraqi Army, saw that they were about to be squeezed out of the political system and potentially crushed by the Shia. They saw an insurgency -- which had been planned by Hussein -- as their only hope of forcing a redefinition of Iraqi politics. The Americans realized that their expectations had not been realistic.

Thus, the Americans went through a series of political cycles. First, they sided with the Shia as they sought to find their balance militarily facing the Sunnis. When they felt they had traction against the Sunnis, following the capture of Hussein -- and fearing Shiite hegemony -- they shifted toward a position between Sunnis and Shia. As military operations were waged in the background, complex repositioning occurred on all sides, with the Americans trying to hold the swing position between Sunnis and Shia.

The process of creating a government for Iraq was encapsulated in this multi-sided maneuvering. By spring 2006, the Sunnis appeared to have committed themselves to the political process. And in June, with the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the announcement that the United States would reduce its force in Iraq by two brigades, the stage seemed to be set for a political resolution that would create a Shiite-dominated coalition that included Sunnis and Kurds. It appeared to be a done deal -- and then the deal completely collapsed.

The first sign of the collapse was a sudden outbreak of fighting among Shia in the Basra region. We assumed that this was political positioning among Shiite factions as they prepared for a political settlement. Then Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, the head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), traveled to Tehran, and Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army commenced an offensive. Shiite death squads struck out at Sunni populations, and Sunni insurgents struck back. From nearly having a political accommodation, the situation in Iraq fell completely apart.

The key was Iran. The Iranians had always wanted an Iraqi satellite state, as protection against another Iraq-Iran war. That was a basic national security concept for them. In order to have this, the Iranians needed an overwhelmingly Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad, and to have overwhelming control of the Shia. It seemed to us that there could be a Shiite-dominated government but not an overwhelmingly Shiite government. In other words, Iraq could be neutral toward, but not a satellite of, Iran. In our view, Iraq's leading Shia -- fearing a civil war and also being wary of domination by Iran -- would accept this settlement.

We may have been correct on the sentiment of leading Shia, but we were wrong about Iran's intentions. Tehran did not see a neutral Iraq as being either in Iran's interests or necessary. Clearly, the Iranians did not trust a neutral Iraq still under American occupation to remain neutral. Second -- and this is the most important -- they saw the Americans as militarily weak and incapable of either containing a civil war in Iraq or of taking significant military action against Iran. In other words, the Iranians didn't like the deal they had been offered, they felt that they could do better, and they felt that the time had come to strike.

A Two-Pronged Offensive

When we look back through Iranian eyes, we can now see what they saw: a golden opportunity to deal the United States a blow, redefine the geopolitics of the Persian Gulf and reposition the Shia in the Muslim world. Iran had, for example, been revivifying Hezbollah in Lebanon for several months. We had seen this as a routine response to the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. It is now apparent, however, that it was part of a two-pronged offensive.

First, in Iraq, the Iranians encouraged a variety of factions to both resist the newly formed government and to strike out against the Sunnis. This created an uncontainable cycle of violence that rendered the Iraqi government impotent and the Americans irrelevant. The tempo of operations was now in the hands of those Shiite groups among which the Iranians had extensive influence -- and this included some of the leading Shiite parties, such as SCIRI.

Second, in Lebanon, Iran encouraged Hezbollah to launch an offensive. There is debate over whether the Israelis or Hezbollah ignited the conflict in Lebanon. Part of this is ideological gibberish, but part of it concerns intention. It is clear that Hezbollah was fully deployed for combat. Its positions were manned in the south, and its rockets were ready. The capture of two Israeli soldiers was intended to trigger Israeli airstrikes, which were as predictable as sunrise, and Hezbollah was ready to fire on Haifa. Once Haifa was hit, Israel floundered in trying to deploy troops (the Golani and Givati brigades were in the south, near Gaza). This would not have been the case if the Israelis had planned for war with Hezbollah. Now, this discussion has nothing to do with who to blame for what. It has everything to do with the fact that Hezbollah was ready to fight, triggered the fight, and came out ahead because it wasn't defeated.

The end result is that, suddenly, the Iranians held the whip hand in Iraq, had dealt Israel a psychological blow, had repositioned themselves in the Muslim world and had generally redefined the dynamics of the region. Moreover, they had moved to the threshold of redefining the geopolitics to the Persian Gulf.

This was by far their most important achievement.

A New Look at the Region

At this point, except for the United States, Iran has by far the most powerful military force in the Persian Gulf. This has nothing to do with its nuclear capability, which is still years away from realization. Its ground forces are simply more numerous and more capable than all the forces of the Arabian Peninsula combined. There is another aspect to this: The countries of the Arabian Peninsula are governed by Sunnis, but many are home to substantial Shiite populations as well. Between the Iranian military and the possibility of unrest among Shia in the region, the situation in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Peninsula is uneasy, to say the least. The rise of Hezbollah well might psychologically empower the generally quiescent Shia to become more assertive. This is one of the reasons that the Saudis were so angry at Hezbollah, and why they now are so anxious over events in Iraq.

If Iraq were to break into three regions, the southern region would be Shiite -- and the Iranians clearly believe that they could dominate southern Iraq. This not only would give them control of the Basra oil fields, but also would theoretically open the road to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. From a strictly military point of view, and not including the Shiite insurgencies at all, Iran could move far down the western littoral of the Persian Gulf if American forces were absent. Put another way, there would be a possibility that the Iranians could seize control of the bulk of the region's oil reserves. They could do the same thing if Iraq were to be united as an Iranian satellite, but that would be far more difficult to achieve and would require active U.S. cooperation in withdrawing.

We can now see why Bush cannot begin withdrawing forces. If he did that, the entire region would destabilize. The countries of the Arabian Peninsula, seeing the withdrawal, would realize that the Iranians were now the dominant power. Shia in the Gulf region might act, or they might simply wait until the Americans had withdrawn and the Iranians arrived. Israel, shaken to the core by its fight with Hezbollah, would have neither the force nor the inclination to act. Therefore, the United States has little choice, from Bush's perspective, but to remain in Iraq.

The Iranians undoubtedly anticipated this response. They have planned carefully. They are therefore shifting their rhetoric somewhat to be more accommodating. They understand that to get the United States out of Iraq -- and out of Kuwait --they will have to engage in a complex set of negotiations. They will promise anything -- but in the end, they will be the largest military force in the region, and nothing else matters. Ultimately, they are counting on the Americans to be sufficiently exhausted by their experience of Iraq to rationalize their withdrawal -- leaving, as in Vietnam, a graceful interval for what follows.

Options

Iran will do everything it can, of course, to assure that the Americans are as exhausted as possible. The Iranians have no incentive to allow the chaos to wind down, until at least a political settlement with the United States is achieved. The United States cannot permit Iranian hegemony over the Persian Gulf, nor can it sustain its forces in Iraq indefinitely under these circumstances.

The United States has four choices, apart from the status quo:

1. Reach a political accommodation that cedes the status of regional hegemon to Iran, and withdraw from Iraq.

2. Withdraw forces from Iraq and maintain a presence in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia -- something the Saudis would hate but would have little choice about -- while remembering that an American military presence is highly offensive to many Muslims and was a significant factor in the rise of al Qaeda.

3. Halt counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and redeploy its forces in the south (west of Kuwait), to block any Iranian moves in the region.

4. Assume that Iran relies solely on its psychological pre-eminence to force a regional realignment and, thus, use Sunni proxies such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in attempts to outmaneuver Tehran.

None of these are attractive choices. Each cedes much of Iraq to Shiite and Iranian power and represents some degree of a psychological defeat for the United States, or else rests on a risky assumption. While No. 3 might be the most attractive, it would leave U.S. forces in highly exposed, dangerous and difficult-to-sustain postures.

Iran has set a clever trap, and the United States has walked into it. Rather than a functioning government in Iraq, it has chaos and a triumphant Shiite community. The Americans cannot contain the chaos, and they cannot simply withdraw. Therefore, we can understand why Bush insists on holding his position indefinitely. He has been maneuvered in such a manner that he -- or a successor -- has no real alternatives.

There is one counter to this: a massive American buildup, including a major buildup of ground forces that requires a large expansion of the Army, geared for the invasion of Iran and destruction of its military force. The idea that this could readily be done through air power has evaporated, we would think, with the Israeli air force's failure in Lebanon. An invasion of Iran would be enormously expensive, take a very long time and create a problem of occupation that would dwarf the problem faced in Iraq. But it is the other option. It would stabilize the geopolitics of the Arabian Peninsula and drain American military power for a generation.

Sometimes there are no good choices. For the United States, the options are to negotiate a settlement that is acceptable to Iran and live with the consequences, raise a massive army and invade Iran, or live in the current twilight world between Iranian hegemony and war with Iran. Bush appears to be choosing an indecisive twilight. Given the options, it is understandable why.





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Your not liking this picture analyst,


John F. Mauldin
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Communications from InvestorsInsight are intended solely for informational purposes. Statements made by various authors, advertisers, sponsors and other contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of InvestorsInsight, and should not be construed as an endorsement by InvestorsInsight, either expressed or implied. InvestorsInsight is not responsible for typographic errors or other inaccuracies in the content. We believe the information contained herein to be accurate and reliable. However, errors may occasionally occur. Therefore, all information and materials are provided "AS IS" without any warranty of any kind. Past results are not indicative of future results.

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venetia

Meanwhile here's what's happening in my part of the world lately:

Eccentric bachelor to rule Tonga
12 September 2006
By MICHAEL FIELD

Tonga's Crown Prince Tupouto'a, the poverty stricken nation's new king, is an eccentric bachelor who collects toy soldiers, studied at an exclusive British military academy and has a penchant for wearing self-awarded medals.
The new king, 58, was sworn in yesterday in the capital, Nuku'alofa, by Wellington lawyer Anthony Ford, who himself had been sworn in as Tonga's chief justice only hours earlier.
The ascension follows the death of the 88-year-old King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, whose 41-year reign ended with his death at an Auckland hospital late on Sunday night, surrounded by members of the royal family.
The New Zealand air force will fly his body home to Tonga tomorrow ahead of a state funeral, followed by a month of mourning.
Meanwhile, the new king, whose coronation is expected to be held next year, assumes the monarch's powers immediately.
Prime Minister Helen Clark said the Government had extended its condolences.
"His death will be a cause of great sorrow in Tonga."
Clark said she would pay her respects at the royal residence in Auckland today.

King Tupouto'a has a colourful past and a love-hate relationship with his new subjects.
He has previously said Tongans are squatters who "left to their own devices they would urinate in the elevators. As it is, they see nothing wrong with allowing their pigs to run all over their townships leaving pig droppings everywhere."
He was educated at Sydney's Newington College and at Britain's exclusive Sandhurst Royal Military Academy.

FULL TEXT


Crocodile Hunter gets private funeral

10 September 2006

SYDNEY: A private funeral service was held for Steve Irwin on Saturday and he will be buried at his family's zoo in the northern state of Queensland, local media reported.
Irwin's father, Bob Irwin, had declined a government offer for a state funeral for his son.
Irwin, known as the Crocodile Hunter after his popular TV documentaries which aired around the world, was killed six days ago by a stingray barb to the chest while diving on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

FULL TEXT

Clark admits wanting to Taser Mallard
12 September 2006

Labour hardman Trevor Mallard could be in for a rude shock if he steps out of line in Parliament this week, with Prime Minister Helen Clark admitting she would like to Taser him.
Last week, Mr Mallard, on the attack after months of bitter debate over the Taito Phillip Field and election spending affairs, threatened to dish the dirt on National MPs' personal lives.
National's deputy leader Gerry Brownlee said his MPs would retaliate in kind, a policy akin to the cold war threat of mutual self-destruction.

FULL TEXT
totomoto
Oh, we nuked them till they glowed,
and turned their countries into glass,
and looked in everybody's home for
every Islamofascists ass,
turned every island and atoll,
into little Gitmos,
and then said God, Freedom and
Democracy had won.

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