Jasper Johns - Flag - 1954-55

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"The United States was last night considering the implications of leading an attack on Iraq without the support of Russia, France and China, after all three rejected a US draft plan for dealing with President Saddam Hussein."
"A U.S. war against Iraq will create a host of opportunities and risks for the entire Middle East. There are many rivalries and competing factions in the region, with nearly every government -- from Saudi Arabia to Egypt -- facing a hostile opposition just waiting for a chance to turn the tables. As the United States ramps up for the war, key players in the region will begin to position themselves to take advantage of the coming instability."
If found alive, Giuliani is ready to kill him ...
The Bush Doctrine, gone worldwide.
"As he seeks to boost Republican candidates in the midterm elections, President Bush is increasing his emphasis on terrorism and national security, shedding his previous determination to demonstrate his concern about the flagging economy."
"An influential Republican lawmaker proposed Tuesday that a congressional resolution President Bush wants to authorize a war against Iraq be scaled back to assert the authority of Congress and the United Nations."
"Though it is too early to predict the exact economic effects of a war against Iraq, it is clear that the ramp-up to hostilities will send oil prices soaring. That, in and of itself, will have a dramatic effect on the global recession."
Saddam Hussein could launch chemical and biological weapons at 45 minutes notice!
"Pakistan is expected to press for the release of military hardware ordered from American suppliers and paid for, but blocked by the administration. This includes 72 F-16 jet fighters. America promised to refund their cost in kind - and supplied Pakistan with free soya beans."
"Three retired four-star American generals said today that attacking Iraq without a United Nations resolution supporting military action could limit aid from allies, energize recruiting for Al Qaeda and undermine America's long-term diplomatic and economic interests."
"A thousand combat Marines are going ashore in Kuwait today for a long-planned desert warfare exercise that has taken on added significance because of the standoff between the U.S. and Iraq."
"Assume the US has won its war: that's when the nightmare begins"
"Western diplomats yesterday dismissed as negligible the chances of killing the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, through air strikes or some other form of assassination."
'80s vintage "Get Your War On" comics, rocking like a hurricane.
"Forget Springsteen's posturing and the redneck mentality of Toby Keith; it's Steve Earle's response to September 11 that has been causing a stir in the States."
"THE Pentagon has presented President Bush with detailed plans for a war to oust Saddam Hussein that is designed to destroy the Iraqi President’s power base but spare the country’s rank-and-file troops.

Under the plan, which departs radically from the military strategy used in the 1991 Gulf War, a narrowly focused but “extremely intense” air bombardment will be aimed at Saddam's 'regime structure'. It will be backed by an almost simultaneous ground attack by a small, fast-moving force heavily reliant on Special Operations troops."
And a one, and a two ...
We've got him surrounded.
"Mobilizing for a possible attack on Iraq, American commanders have taken many steps to prepare and deploy their forces, Defense Department and military officials say."
"Osama bin Laden is not in Pakistan and his al-Qaeda movement in the country has been broken, a presidential spokesman said on Sunday."

jabba = cheney
Separated at birth? Criminal underlord Jabba the Hutt and criminal overlord Dick Cheney.
"Hekmatyar (warlord suspected of being behind the blast) was a key anti-communist rebel ally of the United States during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Heavily backed by Pakistan, Hekmatyar was considered one of the strongest of the anti-communist commanders during the 1980s war."
"A renegade Afghan commander with links to Iran called for a jihad, or holy war, against U.S. forces in Afghanistan and said international peacekeepers were failing to provide security in the country."
"Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said Wednesday it's too early for the U.S. military to consider scaling down military operations in Afghanistan."
"Apart from threatening to plunge the simultaneous translators into meltdown, such language feeds the image overseas of Mr Bush as a hopelessly inarticulate, trigger-happy cowboy, one that Tony Blair was at pains to say this week he regards as a parody."
"THE countdown to war against Iraq quickened last night as Tony Blair and President Bush prepared for a hastily arranged summit to map out a strategy to rally world support."
"Gerhard Schröder, the German chancellor, believes that the Bush administration is making a terrible mistake in planning a war against Iraq, and he is not afraid to say so."
"Implicitly, Mr. Bush has agreed to engage the country in a discussion over a fundamental change in America's national security strategy: his doctrine that perilous times have forced the United States to assert a right to launch pre-emptive strikes against any state that could put weapons of mass destruction into the hands of terrorists."
"Signs that preparations for a new Gulf War are well under way were highlighted yesterday when America stepped up the movement of heavy armour to the Gulf."
"Under intense pressure from both Washington and Moscow, the government of this destitute former Soviet republic has finally moved to reestablish control over the bandit hideout. The 1,000 troops dispatched a week ago seized the spine of the Pankisi along with its tiny villages and are preparing to scour the forested mountainsides. Yet so far, they have found virtually no outlaws, suggesting they have succeeded mainly in pushing the problem elsewhere and raising questions about whether it amounted to more than simply an extension of the long, brutal war in Chechnya."
pure evil
Our own rogue leader
"Ten months after the Taliban and their al-Qaida allies were ousted from Afghanistan's capital, a string of mysterious bombings in the city has raised concerns that they may be trying to hit back."
"Osama bin Laden and most of his top-ranking Arab associates were able to escape from Afghanistan last year because of a series of avoidable strategic blunders by US military commanders, well-placed sources in Kabul have told the Guardian. Of the 3,000-4,000 "foreign militants" trapped in Afghanistan last November after the collapse of the Taliban, most got away."
"US President George W. Bush wants Iraq to readmit UN arms inspectors even though they are not a 'foolproof' way to ensure Baghdad no longer has weapons of mass destruction, the White House said on Tuesday."
Trent Lott, changing his tune, calls on Bush to seek approval.
"Senators urged President Bush today to make a convincing case for taking military action against Iraq, and the White House announced that the president would meet with Congressional leaders on Wednesday to make his arguments for confronting Saddam Hussein."
"The White House's top diplomat says Bush's decision will settle differences."
"Oil-rich Gulf Arab states urged their U.S. ally on Tuesday to scale back its warlike rhetoric, saying only diplomacy could end Washington's standoff with Iraq."
"TONY BLAIR began preparing Britain for war against Iraq yesterday, promising to disclose within weeks a dossier of evidence on Saddam Hussein’s weapons stockpile."
"United during the military campaign to oust the Taliban last year, the factions that made up the Northern Alliance are now again engaged in a dangerous battle for influence in Afghanistan troubled north.

Low level clashes or exchanges of fire between the rival Uzbek, Tajik or Hazara factions take place almost on a daily basis and would probably worsen if it was not for the calming influence of U.S. forces and the threat of their B-52 bombers, analysts say."
"... the day's toll, with a rising incidence of explosions, bombings and other attacks in recent weeks, and reports that one troublesome warlord may be reassembling his troops, heightened apprehensions that Afghanistan may be entering a new phase of conflict."
"Commanders in the American military's most elite Special Operations unit are contending that their troops should be freed from the fruitless hunt in Afghanistan for Osama bin Laden, military and intelligence officials say."
"A surge in banditry, crime and random violence is threatening to plunge Afghanistan into anarchy as millions face starvation this winter."
"Deployment of more U.S. troops in Pakistan to hunt for members of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network would be unwise and was unnecessary, Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf said on Monday."
"The war on al-Qaeda and its affiliates will never be won until its root causes are resolved."
"We are really appalled by any country, whether a superpower or a small country, that goes outside the U.N. and attacks independent countries. No country should be allowed to take the law into their own hands."
"George Bush has moved to distance himself from his vice-president after it was revealed that a sabre-rattling speech on Iraq by Dick Cheney was made without clearing key points with the White House."
"Administration officials Monday denied any rift between Secretary of State Colin Powell and Vice President Cheney over diplomatic preparations for a possible U.S. attack on Iraq."
"RENEWED doubts about Colin Powell’s political future are threatening to hamper attempts by President Bush to clarify US intentions against Iraq. Mr Bush was under increasing pressure yesterday to spell out his Administration’s policy towards President Saddam Hussein after the Secretary of State contradicted Dick Cheney, the Vice-President."
"As Iraq's use of poison gases in war and in peace was public knowledge, the question arises: what did the United States administration do about it then? Absolutely nothing. Indeed, so powerful was the grip of the pro-Baghdad lobby on the administration of Republican President Ronald Reagan that it got the White House to foil the Senate's attempt to penalise Iraq for its violation of the Geneva Protocol on Chemical Weapons to which it was a signatory."