Monday, October 31, 2005

Fitzgerald Champ Or Chump

Is Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald playing games with the Bush Administration or with the American people? His indictment of I. Lewis Libby on Friday gives us no clue. What will come next? If there are no more indictments, or Libby is allowed to plea bargain we can pretty much say that the fix is in and Libby was chosen as the sacrificial lamb. Mr. Fitzgerald has said he will not be issuing a report, but that is only partially true.

Under the old Special Prosecutor’s Law a formal report was required to be sent to Congress for each investigation. But both democrats and republicans had had enough of that and they allowed the law to expire in 1999. A provision for a Special Counsel was set up in Title 28 Section 600 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) when the law expired and a requirement for a report to Congress was included. However this mistake was soon realized and the code was amended in 2000. Now any Special Counsel is required by law (1) to issue a confidential report to the Attorney General. “At the conclusion of the Special Counsel's work, he or she shall provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel. “ I think it is safe to say that is problematical whether Alberto Gonzales will release it to the public.

(1) Title 28 Section 600 CFR
Gonzales Champ or Chump

The Bush Credo - No Sacrifice Is Too Great For Others To Make.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Roots Of This War
The Creation of Bush World

Some of the deception and lies of the Bush Administration are finally beginning to come to light with the indictment of Scooter Libby. How far and how deep the light will reach remains to be seen. We can certainly hope that the true nature and reasons for the Bush Iraqi war will finally come into public view.

For over four years the Bush gang has tried to sell the American people a bill of false goods. They say we are in Iraq because of the attack on 9/11 and to fight terrorism. Neither of which is true. In rare moments of candor or more likely just momentary slips of the tongue Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld have all admitted that were no weapons of mass destruction. Claims of pre-war Iraqi ties to al Qaeda were at best nothing more than the delusions of an administration already predisposed to invade Iraq. But again most likely, they were deliberate lies used to foster the Bush and neocon agenda of world dominance.

Just hours after the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was calling for an attack on Saddam Hussein. The next day (9/12/01) President Bush told his intelligence groups to find an Iraq connection to the attacks. Paul Wolfowitz reiterated this message three days later at Camp David. Obviously the administration did not want the facts to stand in the way of a good hidden agenda.

This agenda is perhaps best defined by Richard Barnet in his book, Roots Of War. In it he says the Holy Grail of American defense and security managers is this, “The world will be rescued through American power and technique. Those who know how to use power and are not afraid to use it will save themselves and all humanity.” Welcome to Bush World.

We can trace the origins of this line of thinking back to 1950 with the top secret NSC-68(1) paper that dealt with the containment and defeat of Communism. But by 1992 Communism had collapsed and new enemies had to be found to sustain the vast ‘military-industrial complex’ that President Eisenhower had warned us about in his Farewell Address to the nation on January 17, 1961. Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz were just the men to find them, and so they did.

In 1991 then Defense Secretary Richard Cheney had his under secretary for policy, Paul Wolfowitz, draft a plan for the American military in the post cold war era. Completed in 1992 the forty-six page document was titled, “Defense Planning Guidance," (2) . The original document listed seven scenarios for potential problems, with Iraq being one of the main two. One solution called for a unilateral and preemptive strike by the United States. The election of Bill Clinton forced further official development of these plans to be put on hold.

However, being out of power did not stop the neocon extremists from continuing to work for the overthrow of Hussein. In 1996 they prepared a report calling for his overthrow. In 1997 they formed the Project for the New American Century (3). Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, I. Lewis Libby, and Elliott Abrams were all charter members of the group. In January 1998 they sent a letter(4) to President Clinton calling for military action and the removal of Saddam.

On December 12, 2000 when the Supreme Court effectively appointed(5) George W. Bush President of the United States the neocons were assured of being able to implement their plans. All they needed was some way to finagle a plan that would justify it. On September 11th Osama bin Laden provided the excuse.

1 NSC-68
4 Clinton Letter
5 Bush v Gore

The Bush Credo - No Sacrifice Is Too Great For Others To Make.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The End Is Nigh

I have incontrovertible proof. There are those who say that the recent spate of wars, pestilence, floods, and earthquakes give proof that the world is nearing its end. But they are wrong. As terrible as those things have been human catastrophes have occurred for as long as there have been people. No, the proof I have is far more undeniable. The Red Sox and the White Sox have won back to back World Series.

The odds of that happening are far greater than the possibility of the sun rising in the west tomorrow or that Bill Frist really didn’t know that HCA stock was going to take a dive. No, we’re doomed. None of us are going to get out of here alive. So I suggest if there are things in your life that you need to set right now is the time, for there is no time like the present.

There is perhaps one argument, slight though it may be, for a different explanation. It is possible that some cosmic foot fetish is engulfing the universe. And as comforting as that might be to some there are those who would consider that to be a fate far worse than the end of the world.

If by some miracle we do survive and the Cubs win the World Series next year, all bets are off.

The Bush Credo - No Sacrifice Is Too Great For Others To Make.

Harriet Takes One for the Team
Is there joy in Mudville?

That noise you hear is a giant sigh of relief coming from the Oval Office. President Bush has convinced Harriet Miers to withdraw her name from consideration for appointment to the Supreme Court. A bad as it is for Mr. Bush that he took another body blow to his Presidency, it could and would have been much worse. MS Miers did not stand the snowball’s proverbial chance had the President insisted on a vote. She was going to drag Mr. Bush down. The only question was, how far?

That question will remain for some time. The President is wallowing in mud and it is only going to get deeper with the coming indictments against several senior members of the White House staff. It is not inconceivable that we will have to start referring to Vice-President Cheney as Spiro II. Mr. Bush probably already wishes his problems revolved around a zipper that could not stay up rather than the quagmire of deceit and corruption his Administration continues to sink into.

How will the President react with his next selection to the Court? Will he circle the wagons and let his shrinking base, now mainly consisting of the reactionary-right, dictate a candidate somewhat to the extreme right of Attila the Hun? If he does, he seriously risks alienating the vast moderate majority of the nation. Or will he choose a more centrist nominee, and thus risk losing the backing of the extreme right that has been the life’s blood of his entire political career? Happy hunting Mr. President.

The Bush Credo - No Sacrifice Is Too Great For Others To Make.

Try Try Again

Hats off to Congress, the House of Representatives has conceived an idea that is worthy of kudos. To be more precise revived is a better word. It isn’t a new idea; in fact it is quite old. It is that of second chances.

While their concept is indeed praiseworthy, the House’s application leaves much to be desired. In fact it is probably unconstitutional and definitely immoral. Secretly attached to the House version of the bill that updates the Patriot Act is a little codicil that allows the government extra chances to implement the death penalty. If after a guilty verdict in a trial that allows the death penalty the jury is not unanimous in prohibiting it, the new law would allow the government to convene another sentencing jury to try again. So even if the vote was 11-1 in favor of life in prison the prosecution could still try for the death penalty by empanelling a new jury in the sentencing aspect of the case.

Despite the fact that this particular way of implementing the idea is cruel and inhuman the concept of second chances should not be discarded. Off hand I can immediately think of one instance where it would be of great benefit to the nation. Congress should vote to put it in use for all Federal and Congressional elections. The way to do this would be to add the category (candidate) ‘None of the above’ for every Federal and Congressional office being contested. If ‘none of the above’ received more votes than any candidate then a new election with all new candidates would have to be held. If this law were already in place just think how much better off we would be today.

Now there are those who say that this would not guarantee a better set of candidates. I agree, but does anyone think that they could possibly be any worse.

The Bush Credo - No Sacrifice Is Too Great For Others To Make.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Why I Am Not A Democrat

First, almost to a man and woman the Democratic leadership is dumber than rocks, no offence to rocks. I use the term leadership loosely here and certainly not literally for there is no one out front of the Democrats. I don’t know if anyone aspiring to leadership in the party can spell it (leadership). I do know that no one can correctly define it. Some pundits liken the Democrats to a rudderless ship. But this is a poor analogy for it implies that there is solid cohesive body that only lacks direction. A much better one is to compare the ‘leadership’ to a gaseous cloud that has no solid substance or form and shifts with the prevailing winds.

This begs the question, why? How to put this delicately? There is a lack of intestinal fortitude amongst the ‘leadership’. In fact if you took them in toto you could not come up with one complete set of intestines. Not a single one would take a stand on whether the sun rose in the East without checking the latest poll or focus group. Give up on having one talk seriously about God, creation, and life. They might offend someone or worse appear to be intellectually weak, strange thinking for a party that claims devotion to freedom of speech and tolerance.

As to being intellectually weak I freely admit there is no scientific proof of God, despite the efforts of Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, et al. But there is also no scientific proof that there isn’t God. Coincidently Godel, Bell, and the quantum theorists show that even if you stand on the bedrock of the certainty of math and science you have one foot in quicksand. Science and religion hold many things in common, not the least of which is the idea of, seek and you shall find, be it through faith and prayer or theory and experiment.

To lead you must have and take positions on various matters. Here are some words of wisdom paraphrased from a great leader, “You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not please all of the people all of the time.”

Why I Am Not A Republican

The Bush Credo - No Sacrifice Is Too Great For Others To Make.

Why I Am Not A Republican

First, almost to a man the GOP leadership is meaner than a junkyard dog. Unless you are willing to give them large caches of money, stand on their Bible, and wave their flag their only consideration is to rip you to shreds. This in itself seems to be counter productive for a party whose trickle down philosophy is based on unlimited consumption. I mean after all how can we keep consuming after they have chewed us up; spit us out; and left us lying by the side of the road. They continue on their ‘road to the good life’, but if they follow it to its natural conclusion it becomes the ‘highway to nowhere’.

Actually I’m all for standing on Bibles and waving flags. I have done that most of my life. But there is a problem. We read the same Bible so it must be a matter of interpretation. For my part I fail to see how loving God and my neighbor, or helping the poor and the weak, is exemplified by cutting education and health care. Is it Christian love to cut the wages of the poor while increasing tax breaks to the rich? The argument is that the rich will take this largesse and create more jobs and better wages for the rest of us. But who are they kidding, any jobs created are being shipped overseas and wages/benefits are being driven down if the jobs are allowed to remain. If a society wants to be moral and just then it must be judged on how it treats its weakest members.

I also believe in America and waving the flag. But there is a problem of definition. My America is a land of opportunity for all, a land of justice and fair play. It is a land of loving, giving, and sacrifice. The GOP and the Bush Administration pay lip service to all those things, but in deed they spawn a polarized nation based on winning at any and all cost. Bush world is a world of hate and taking. It does believe in sacrifice, in fact the Bush credo is,” No sacrifice is too great for others to make.”

Why I Am Not A Democrat

The Bush Credo - No Sacrifice Is Too Great For Others To Make.

Tough Times For A Christian

Prelude: A definition of terms
Christian, anyone who believes in the life and teachings of Jesus and does their best to live their life in accordance with his two commandments of Matthew chapter 20, verses 37-40. For those of you unfamiliar with them this is the gist; love God with your total being and love your neighbor as yourself.
Neighbor: mankind in general, all individuals in particular.
God: Unfortunately I find myself at a loss for words. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in my philosophy.

A non-definition of terms
Religious right is not synonymous with Christian. For some of the religious right any correlation between their lives and the above definition is coincidental and purely unintentional.

For anyone upset by any or all of the above, fear not, for I am not your judge. I do not know what is in your heart. However, each of us bears responsibility for judging actions, so I do.

My faith and belief is being sorely tested by the implosion of the current Bush Administration. I find it increasingly difficult not to feel absolutely giddy over America finally awakening from its slumber of the past 25 years. Of course there is nothing wrong with that. In fact it would be totally unchristian not to be ecstatic about a nation finally realizing that its values since the Reagan years have been co-opted by greed, gluttony, and avarice. No, the problem is that I find myself not only being unable to feel sorrow and pain for those individuals who are seeing their world collapse, but in some instances I am feeling pleasure and happiness in their situation. There is no degree of rationalization that could ever excuse that. Hate the sin not the sinner. I pray I do better.

But God has told us all along that we are human and not perfect. And he loves us anyway. There sure is a lesson in that.

The Bush Credo - No Sacrifice Is Too Great For Others To Make.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Karl, Don’t Let the Door Hit You On The Way Out

As the nation prepares to bid adieu to Karl Rove now would be a perfect time to reflect upon the condition of the democracy and electoral process, he has so ruthlessly attacked for the past thirty-five years. The picture is most distressing. Our nation is the most polarized it has been since the 1860’s. Dark clouds hover on the horizon where once there were clear skies. Feelings of anxiety and hopelessness pervade our society’s psyche. Feelings continually fed by the machinations of Rove and a cadre of fear mongers.

From the outset of his political career Rove has functioned with a ruthless single mindedness defined by hardness of heart. His modus operandi, Lying and Cheating, has been as effective in its results as it has been debilitating to our collective soul. So intimidating has he been that friend and foe alike have often mistaken the intensity of his meanness of spirit along with his breadth of trivia knowledge for the depth of intellect. The closest political analogy we could make to him would be Joe McCarthy.

Karl began his political career in earnest in 1970 while like so many other GOP ‘chickenhawks’, he was dodging the draft. He was enrolled at the University of Utah but spent most his time doing jobs for the College Republicans national organization. He was primarily involved in the 1970 Illinois state elections. It was there that he began to develop and hone the ‘dirty tricks’ that have come to define his work and life. He shortly thereafter expanded his education by working on the scandal laden 1972 Nixon presidential campaign. To Rove disrupting and stealing elections became as American as cherry pie.

Most of his life Karl has preferred to play Rasputin to someone else’s Nicholas/Alexandria. How ironic if his fall leads to the demise of the reactionary right-wing much as Rasputin’s helped fuel the demise of the Romanovs. The one exception was in 1973 when he ran for national president of the College Republicans. In that race he found an equally unscrupulous soul mate, Lee Atwater, who helped him steal the election. It was a lesson well learned by the unholy alliance. Atwater went on to become chairman of the Republican National Committee. Rove went on to become the conscience or the lack thereof for the 43rd President of the United States.

Karl failed to graduate from college but he did graduate ‘King of the Mountain’ for sleazy slime ball politics. There he has ruled with impunity until now. His arrogance finally overcame him. He thought he was above ethics and the law; he certainly is not the first. So we DO come to bury Caesar not to praise him. Karl, a bruised and battered America has but one thing to say to you, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

The Bush Credo - No Sacrifice Is Too Great For Others To Make.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

We make presidents crazy??

“We make presidents crazy.” So says Peggy Noonan in a Opinion Journal article today (10/20/05), titled “How Bush Can Save Bush.” In it she calls for the President to reach inside himself and save his presidency much as he did in 1986 when he overcame his addiction to alcohol. I join her in admiration of Mr. Bush for overcoming such a problem. However, I do not consider Mr. Bush or any other President to be or to have been crazy in the conventional sense of the word. Dumb, senile, incapacitated, ill-informed, paranoid, arrogant, uncaring, or mean-spirited in some combination could apply to most if not all Presidents but not crazy.

She also says, “he's made mistakes,” of judgment and philosophy and that it would not be hard to make a list. The lord knows that’s the truth. But to imply that some ‘we’ had something to do with it is just not right. To say we make anyone anything is to relieve that person of responsibility for his own life, something that both Mr. Bush and Ms Noonan claim to be sacrosanct. It would be an abdication of the core of their philosophy. And certainly not something a patrician like President Bush would find useful in combating Jim Hightower’s infamous declaration that he, Mr. Bush, was born on third base but believed he had hit a triple.

My biggest concern though is her implication that one incident in Mr. Bush’s life is more indicative of his courage and character than the rest of his life’s history. Other than her one example the whole of his life is a tale of being bailed out by some general, government official, millionaire family friend, Saudi prince, corrupt Congressman, or Machiavellian spinmeister. Even a blind pig can find an acorn once in a while.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Continuing Frist Saga

Like a bad penny that keeps turning up, HCA/Columbia and its ongoing scandals keeps rearing its ugly head and intruding into the affairs of Senator Bill Frist. The Congressional Quarterly and Washington Post reported that Senator Frist sold his stock in his family started and controlled HCA(Hospital Corporation of America) before a disappointing earnings report was released to the public. Sometime between June 13 and July I, Frist sold his stock in HCA which was being held in a blind trust. His wife’s and children’s stock was sold before July 8. On July 13 HCA announced that its quarterly earnings would not reach expected levels. The price of the stock fell to $49.90 after the announcement. It had reached a high of $58.22 on June 22.

The question immediately arises as to why Frist would make such a move that could deal a serious blow to his 2008 presidential ambitions. In light of the continual revelations of corporate scandals and insider trading, from Enron, World Com, Tyco, et al to Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky for the past 25 years it would seem to be quite an act of hubris.

Perhaps he thought he was only taking a page out President Bush’s playbook. After all Mr. Bush suffered no political problems after he did the exact same thing in 1990 when he sold Harken Oil stock before a bad earnings report was made public. Of course that was for mere pocket change, ‘only’ $850,000. The Frist sale is said to be worth many millions.

More likely is the fact that he has yet to suffer any consequences from the HCA/Columbia Medicare scandal. For those of you memory issues that is the biggest Medicare scandal in history. The company had to pay $1.7 billion in fines and reimbursements. That is billions with nine zeros. But then again no one had to serve any jail time. Good thing they were not in New Orleans, there’s a place that takes theft and looting seriously. Just ask Merlene Maten, the seventy-three old grandmother who was arrested and imprisoned over 2 weeks for allegedly stealing a sausage from a New Orleans deli after Hurricane Katrina.

Or maybe, the Senator is just counting on the voters’ history of short term memory and an even shorter attention span. If indeed this is the case, I believe he is in for a rude awakening. After 25 years of corporate domination, greed, and corruption I think the American people are ready to say enough. I know I am.

“Hang ‘Em High” Jerry
Is Jerry Kilgore a Christian Conservative or just another right wing reactionary?

For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Kilgore he is the GOP nominee for Governor of Virginia this year and like me he professes to be a Christian. However some recent pronouncements by him make me believe there is a contradiction in our individual understanding of Christian. He has come out as strong proponent of the death penalty. And try as I may I can find nothing in the life or words of Christ to justify such an opinion. It takes a convoluted deconstruction of the Gospels to even imagine such a thing much less say it.

Unfortunately this is not the only conflict Mr. Kilgore has with the teachings of Christ. He also is a strong supporter of President Bush’s social agenda which is not just indifferent to life outside the womb, but openly hostile to it unless of course you find yourself among the economic elite of America. Mr. Bush and Mr. Kilgore openly push welfare for the wealthy at the expense of medical care, education, and the overall standard of living for most Americans. They are both firm believers in and defenders of Social Darwinism and its credo of ‘survival of the fittest’.

While this is undeniably antithetical to Christian beliefs it is totally consistent with the Bush motto of life ‘No sacrifice is too great for others to make.’ Perhaps the best example of this is Mr. Bush’s and Mr. Kilgore’s passionate defense of war while avoiding placing themselves in harms way to defend their convictions and all the while calling for sacrifice. ‘Do as I say not as I do,’ or “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” we each not only get to, but have to, make that call ourselves.

Treasongate Part 4
Iraq: 1968-1988

1968 Ba’ath Party regains control of Iraq. Saddam Hussein named Vice-President. He immediately begins consolidating power.

Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) formed. It immediately becomes the main decision making organ of Iraq.

1970 Iraqi Settlement with Kurds, their rebellion ends

1971 President Nixon takes the U.S. Dollar off the ‘gold standard’ beginning the free-floating currency exchange system.

Iran occupies Iraqi islands in the Persian Gulf

1972 Iraq begins nationalization of its oil industry

Iraq and Soviet Union sign friendship pact

1973 Iraqi troops occupy As Samitah, a border post in the northeast corner of Kuwait. The Arab League backs Kuwait and the Iraqis withdraw.

The fourth Arab-Israeli War, Yom Kippur, takes place

OPEC announces oil embargo against all nations that supported Israel. The price of oil quadruples.

1974 Kurds, with backing from Iran, start a new rebellion.

1975 Algiers Accord signed by Saddam and Shah of Iran It temporarily ends border disputes and brings the Kurdish rebellion to an end.

King Faisal of Saudi Arabia assassinated

Vietnam War ends, Saigon falls to North Vietnamese

1977 Anwar Sadat becomes first Arab leader to visit Israel

1978 Camp David Accords signed by Egypt and Israel

Shah of Iran faces increased internal opposition

1979 Shah overthrown in Iran, Islamic republic formed.

Militants occupy U.S. Embassy and take hostages

Saddam Hussein becomes Chairman of RCC and President of Iraq

Soviet Union invades Afghanistan

1980 Iraq-Iran War begins

U.S. begins funding Afghan Mujahedeen

Ronald Reagan elected President

1981 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat assassinated

Ronald Reagan signs Top-Secret National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17) authorizing U.S. support for Contra rebels in Nicaragua

1982 Congress bans further assistance to the Contras

U.S. Forces sent to Lebanon for second time

1983 U.S. Embassy bombed in Beirut, killing 63 people

October 23 Suicide bomber destroys marine barracks in Beirut, 241 marines are killed.

October 25 Geographically challenged Reagan orders invasion of Caribbean Island
nation of Grenada.

Donald Rumsfeld, Special Envoy to Reagan, goes to Iraq and meets with Saddam

1984 Marines pull out of Lebanon

Iran accuses Iraq of using chemical weapons in the war

Rumsfeld returns to Baghdad

Ronald Reagan issues Top secret National Security Decision Directive 139 stating U.S. determination "to avert an Iraqi collapse."

1985 In one of history’s biggest ‘flip-flops’ the Reagan Administration begins negotiations for arms sales to Iran

Reagan signs the secret “Arms for Hostages” finding

1986 Reagan Administration secretly uses money from arms sales to Iran to illegally fund Nicaraguan Contras

Arm sale story breaks in Lebanese Press

Attorney General Edwin Meese admitts that profits from weapons sales to Iran were illegally made available to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

1987 An Iraqi jet fighter attacks the Navy ship USS Stark while it is patrolling the Persian Gulf, 37 sailors are killed and 21 others are injured

The U.S. Congress issued its final report on 18 November 1987, which stated that the President bore "ultimate responsibility" for wrongdoing by his aides and his administration exhibited "secrecy, deception, and disdain for the law."

1988 Soviet Union withdraws from Afghanistan

Iran-Iraq war ends

George H.W. Bush elected President

Treasongate Part 1

Treasongate Part 3
Iraq history 1945 to 1968

1945 Iraq is a founding member of the Arab League and joins the United Nations

Arab Ba'ath Party founded

1946 Britain announces its plan to end its Palestine mandate and to withdraw by May 1948

1948 British mandate ends May 14, State of Israel proclaimed.

May 15 First Arab Israeli War starts.

1949 Mao Zedong founds the Peoples Republic Of China

Soviet Union tests its first atomic bomb

1951 Iranian Parliament votes to take power away from the Shah (Mohammed Reza Pahlavi) and votes Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh Prime Minister.

1953 Fearing Mossadegh’s reforms and national oil policy, the CIA and British engineer a coup that drives him from power. Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi reassumes power.

1955 To counter Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s growing influence in the Arab world Iraq joins the Baghdad Pact along with the Britain, Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan. The U.S. while actively invoved in the work of the pact, does not officially join.

1956 Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal

The Second Arab-Israeli War ensues

1957 President Eisenhower issues the Eisenhower Doctrine which said the U.S. would employ American forces to protect the independence and integrity of any nation in the Middle East

1958 Egypt and Syria come together to form the United Arab Republic (UAR)

July 14 General Abdul Karim Kassem and Iraqi military over throw King Faisal II. He and the crown prince are executed. Iraq is declared a Republic with Islam the state religion.

July 15 United States sends 70 ships including 2 aircraft carriers, 5800 marines, and 8500 Army troops to Lebanon to help ‘stablize’ the region

July 19 New Iraqi Republic signs a defence pact with the UAR

United States officially joins Baghdad Pact and begins to strengthen ties to Iraq

1959 Iraq withdraws from Baghdad Pact

Saddam Hussein begins work for the CIA. Assassination attempt on Karim Kassem fails

1960 Karim Kassem helps found OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries)

CIA begins funding Kurdish rebels

1961 Kuwait gains independence. Once again Iraq plans to invade but they back down when Britain threatens to attack.

Kurds begin armed conflict with Iraqi government

1963 Karim Kassem assassinated by Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath Party. The party takes power for nine months then is kicked out by the military. Colonel Abdul Salam Arif takes power.

1964 Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) founded

1966 Abdul Salam Arif killed in a helicopter crash

1967 Third Arab-Israeli War takes place, The Six Day War

1968 Yassir Arafat is elected chairman of PLO

The Ba’ath Party retakes power in Iraq, Saddam Hussein named Vice-President

Treasongate Part 4

Treasongate Part 1

Treasongate: Part 2
20th Century Iraq – to Post WW II

1908 Oil discovered at Masjid-i Suleiman in western Persia (Iran)

1911 Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC) founded to look for oil in Mesopotamia (Iraq)

1914 World War I begins

Britain captures Basra from Ottoman Empire

1916 Secret Sykes-Picot agreement signed by Britain, France, and Russia. It details the division of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) after the war. Northern Mesopotamia (Mosul) to go to France and southern Mesopotamia to Britain.

1917 Britain captures Baghdad

Britain issues the Balfour Declaration that calls for a national home for Jews in Palestine.

1918 WW I ends

Britain captures Mosul 2 weeks after Mudros Armistice signed by Turkey and Britain.

1919 Paris Peace Conference meets to dictate terms of peace and begins the awesome task of divvying up the spoils of war

Britain realizing the importance of oil and that possession is nine-tenths of the law reneges on the Sykes-Picot agreement and decides to keep all of
Mesopotamia.They offer France larger concessions in Syria. By virtue of their revolution, the Russians cut themselves out of the deal.

1920 New Trust Territory of Iraq formed as a British mandate. Boundaries are drawn for political-economic reasons rather than societal and cultural

Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds all riot for months. There are thousands of casualties.

1921 Britain set up Emir Faisel as King of Iraq with an Arab government under British mandate

1925 First Iraqi constitution implemented. It called for a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary government, and a bicameral legislature.

1927 Oil discovered in Iraq

1928 United States, having been left out of the Mid-Eastern oil spoils demands new rules. The Red Line Agreement is drawn up. This gives American oil companies 23.75 percent interest in the TPC, which is renamed the Iraq Petroleum Company(IPC) in 1929.

Muslim Brotherhood started in Egypt

1929 Britain says its Iraq mandate will cease in 1932

1932 Iraq given Independence, but Britain establishes the precedent of maintaining military bases in Iraq.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia established with Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud king

1937 Saddām Hussein born

1938 Oil discovered in Saudi Arabia

1939 Iraq plans to invade British Kuwait but plan is cancelled when King Ghazi is killed in an automobile accident

WW II begins

1941 Japan attacks Pearl Harbor

1943 President Roosevelt declares Saudi Arabia and the Middle-East to be of vital importance to U.S. interests

First American military base in Saudi Arabia built at Dhahran. Coincidently Dhahran was the site of the largest oil field in the world.

Treasongate Part 1

Treasongate Part 3

Treasongate: Part 1
A Brief (Western) History of Early Iraq

15 billion years ago, give or take a few billion, all the energy and matter in our known universe came into existence via the 'big bang'. Eons of violence and turbulence ensued.

4.5 billion years ago, give or take a few hundred million, the earth was formed. More eons of violence and upheaval followed.

3.8 billion years ago, give or take a hundred million or so, life appeared on earth. Billions of years of unending violence and change continue.

100,000 years ago, give or take a few tens of thousands, man came into being. Violence continues self consciousness and death became permanent fixtures of earth.

3500 BC give or take a century or so, man invents the plow most likely in Mesopotamia.

4 BC, give or take a couple of years, Jesus Christ is born.

570 AD Mohammed born

638 AD Muslims capture Jerusalem

1095 AD Pope Urban calls for first crusade

1452 AD Johannes Gutenberg reinvents movable type in the West

1453 AD Ottomans Defeat Byzantine Empire

1492 AD Moors defeated at Granada, Muslims kicked out of Western Europe

1535 AD Ottomans capture Baghdad

1650 AD Archbishop James Ussher calculates the creation of the universe to have been the evening before October 23, 4004 BC. For some unknown reason he could not be more precise.

1702 AD Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab founder of Wahhabism born

1859 AD Edwin Drake drills the first producing oil well, in Titusville, PA.

Treasongate Part 2

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