Saturday, March 25, 2006

Miscellaneous Saturday thoughts

Very light blogging today. I'm busy having fun--a novel idea, I know!

So, see you tomorrow. But I just wanted to mention a couple of things, and I'll be uncharacteristically brief.

The first is that after yesterday's discussion of kitcsh, I've had one of those phenomena the Germans call an "earworm," in which a phrase goes round repetitively (and often annoyingly) in one's head. This time, the phrase people say to babies, "kitchy-kitchy-coo," was transformed into "kitschy-kitschy-coo." And it turns out I'm not the only one who's ever had the thought.

On a far more serious note, I want to recommend this post by Dr. Sanity about some of the new documents indicating connections between Saddam's regime and Al Qaeda, and the mechanisms of denial that seems to be operating in those who have staked many of their arguments on the nonexistence of any such connection.


At 8:01 PM, March 25, 2006, Blogger Jerub-Baal said...

Great, now it's stuck in my head too...

...ever had the trouble of becoming aware of your tongue?

At 8:43 PM, March 25, 2006, Blogger Dr. Sanity said...

Thanks for the link, but it doesn't work! :)

At 10:25 PM, March 25, 2006, Blogger Bezuhov said...

Is it too late to talk about Magritte in relation to the previous threads? Almost forgot my favorite artist!

At 11:01 PM, March 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Below is the text of dr. sanity's posting on the Saddam/al Qaeda link. Note that the writer of this piece confused the spelling of Senator John Kerry (MA) with former Senator (and 9/11 Commission member) Bob Kerrey (NE). BTW, I came across a wonderful (and typical) John Kerry quote. When asked whether he would have invaded Iraq if he had been President, he said, "You bet I might have."
The new documents suggest that the 9/11 commission's final conclusion in 2004, that there were no "operational" ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda, may need to be reexamined in light of the recently captured documents.
While the commission detailed some contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda in the 1990s, in Sudan and Afghanistan, the newly declassified Iraqi documents provide more detail than the commission disclosed in its final conclusions. For example, the fact that Saddam broadcast the sermons of al-Ouda at bin Laden's request was previously unknown, as was a conversation about possible collaboration on attacks against Saudi Arabia.

"This is a very significant set of facts," former 9/11 commissioner, Mr. Kerry said yesterday. "I personally and strongly believe you don't have to prove that Iraq was collaborating against [ACM note – I suspect he misspoke and meant “collaborating with”] Osama bin Laden on the September 11 attacks to prove he was an enemy and that he would collaborate with people who would do our country harm. This presents facts should not be used to tie Saddam to attacks on September 11. It does tie him into a circle that meant to damage the United States."

Mr. Kerry also answered affirmatively when asked whether or not the release of more of the documents captured in Iraq could possibly shed further light on Iraq's relationship with al Qaeda. The former senator was one of the staunchest supporters of the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, which made the policy of regime change U.S. law.

At 11:30 PM, March 25, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Fixed the link.

This is part of the problem I've been having with Blogger and links. Everything's fine when I write it, but when I publish the post, the links get changed to something else. Very very strange. Sorry!

At 3:43 AM, March 26, 2006, Blogger camojack said...

Although documented evidence of a connection between Iraq and events of 9-11-01 should serve to quiet the won't.

At 9:28 AM, March 26, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

How do you write the links though?

At 9:48 AM, March 26, 2006, Blogger goesh said...

Kitchy-kitchy-coo - I really laughed when I read that. I sometimes annoy my wife by tickling her under her chin with my finger saying "kitchy-kitchy-coo"

At 11:43 AM, March 26, 2006, Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Always short on facts, the cheaply Neoconish New York Sun just published yet another article purporting to “prove” the existence of secret links between the Iraqi Baath party and Al Qaeda- see link below:
Saddam, Al Qaeda Did Collaborate, Documents Show

However, reading the article in question only “reveals” that:
“The document has no official stamps or markers”
“The question of future cooperation [between Saddam and Bin Laden] is left an open question”
“New documents […] did not prove Saddam Hussein played a role in any way in plotting the attacks of September 11, 2001”

Funny how after their Iraq debacle, the Neocons haven’t stopped peddling the tall tale of Saddam’s alleged “connections” with OBL: the Leninist thugs of Washington are decidedly obsessed with Saddam and the Baath party…even after they’ve been rendered inoffensive- assuming they ever posed a threat to America any other country.

Bush, Cheney & Co. have always lied about the nature of the Iraqi regime, repeatedly accusing Saddam Hussein of being an Islamic fundamentalist in cahoots with Osama Bin Laden and the Taleban: unfortunately, after having been bombarded with fabricated infomercials produced by Israeli “Middle-East experts”, the American public eventually came to believe exactly what the Neocon wanted: that Saddam was kind of a later days bloodthirsty Saracen, on the verge of conquering the Infidel pastures of Wyoming and Oklahoma!

Yet, as we now know, the truth is otherwise: there never were any “links” between the Baath party and Al Qaeda, no spooky “secret meetings” in Vienna or Prague or “somewhere in Eastern Europe” between “Saddam’s diplomatic envoy and Bin Laden’s righthand man” as Vice-President Dick Cheney had alleged on numerous occasions

In Fact, Saddam Hussein was a staunchly secular Arab nationalist, a disciple of professor Mitchell Aflaq, the French-educated Orthodox Christian philosopher. And, if anything, Christian minorities and women were generally overrepresented in Saddam’s government: Vice-President Tareq Hanna Aziz was actually Catholic and so were Saddam’s Chief of Staff and many of the senior civil servants working at the presidential palace.

And check out this article for a fascinating firsthand description of Saddam’s Tickrit “spider hole” hideout:
“Pinned to the outside wall of the hut was a cardboard box depicting biblical scenes such as the Last Supper and the Madonna and child with the English inscription "God bless our home." Inside the bedroom was a 2003 calendar in Arabic with a colorful depiction of Noah's Ark. Soldiers were surprised at the Christian decorations”

Yes these US soldiers were “surprised” after having been brainwashed about Saddam’s penchant for Islamic fundamentalism…which turned out to be just another lie churned out by Washington’s Neo-Conmintern propaganda factory.

Like him or not, Saddam Hussein was a truly modernist, Westernized Arab head of state who protected women’s rights and enforced affirmative action programs in favor of Iraq’s tiny Christian minority. “Old Europe’s” foreign policy establishment viewed the Iraqi Baath party essentially as a strong bulwark against both Persian-Khomeinist fundamentalism and Wahhabi-Afghan terrorism.

The Israelis and Washington’s Neocons thought otherwise: now we have to deal with the strictures of Sharia Law, the rise of Hamas and the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) which they have deliberately brought to power…

At 1:52 PM, March 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With de la Vega we witness the extreme end of the Saddam-Was-Harmless continuum: Saddam as a model leader, protecting rights & enforcing affirmative action programs. Someone needs to tell the Kurds.

I guess the “Doctor” is a bit more shrill than usual because of the recently released tapes & documents which even at this early stage of translation does damage to some cherished anti-war memes. Anti-warriors are getting nervous.

I read the article de la Vega links to & here’s a quote from Cheney:

Now, is there a connection between the Iraqi government and the original World Trade Center bombing in '93? We know, as I say, that one of the perpetrators of that act did, in fact, receive support from the Iraqi government after the fact.

Here Cheney refers to Abdul Rahman Yasin, one of the conspirators in the first WTC bombing, to whom, nice guy that he is, Saddam gave safe haven. Cheney then goes on to say:

With respect to 9-11, of course, we've had the story that's been public out there. The Czechs alleged that Mohamed Atta, the lead attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five months before the attack, but we've never been able to develop anymore of that yet either in terms of confirming it or discrediting it. We just don't know.

Here Cheney refers to a book by Stephen Hayes that used a leaked memo to link Saddam with the 9/11 terrorists & the subsequent spate of magazine & newspaper articles engendered by the book. Notice that Cheney does not put much faith in the allegations, saying only that "we've never been able to develop anymore of that yet either in terms of confirming it or discrediting it. We just don't know.”

As for the box & the calendar with biblical scenes, they weren’t found in the “spider hole,” they were actually discovered in a nearby hut, another inaccuracy by the good “doctor.” Imaginary conversation: Hey Abdul, what if they find the hut? If they find this hut, conspicuous for being in the middle of an orange grove, they may look around & find the trap door. Gee Aazim, I don’t know … Hey, I got it! We’ll put some religious stuff on the walls & the stupid American devils will think it’s the hut of a Christian & look no further!

With de la Vega we see some of the most cherished of anti-warrior themes: Saddam was harmless, Bush, Cheney & the Neocons are all lying devils & by fighting terrorists the US causes terrorism.

Anyone who thinks that Bush & Cheney are good at propaganda doesn’t have much of a hold on reality.

At 4:11 PM, March 26, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

In Fact, Saddam Hussein was a staunchly secular Arab nationalist, a disciple of professor Mitchell Aflaq,

This must be why Saddam keeps reading the Koran now a days.

At 9:46 PM, March 26, 2006, Blogger Harry Mallory said...

Truthfull, Yarmar. I think Hussein taking to the Koran is probably more new-found faith and an effort to be seen in the rest of the Muslim world as one of them.

Not that Ive ever been led to believe Hussein was a religious extremist in the first place, as De la Vega likes to imagine.

I dont understand the relevancy of Husseins religious devotion anyway.

So what?

At 2:09 PM, March 27, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Well, if you understand logic and use it, then you would understand that Saddam as a secular force is mutually exclusive with Saddam's adherence to and respect for the Koran.


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