Bush Discreetly Doubling Troops In Iraq?

Holy Fucking shit! The conniving bastards, check it out-

The Bush administration is quietly on track to nearly double the number of combat troops in Iraq this year, an analysis of Pentagon deployment orders showed Monday. The little-noticed second surge, designed to reinforce U.S. troops in Iraq, is being executed by sending more combat brigades and extending tours of duty for troops already there.
The actions could boost the number of combat soldiers from 52,500 in early January to as many as 98,000 by the end of this year if the Pentagon overlaps arriving and departing combat brigades.
Separately, when additional support troops are included in this second troop increase, the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq could increase from 162,000 now to more than 200,000 — a record-high number — by the end of the year.
The numbers were arrived at by an analysis of deployment orders by Hearst Newspapers.
“It doesn’t surprise me that they’re not talking about it,” said retired Army Maj. Gen. William Nash, a former U.S. commander of NATO troops in Bosnia, referring to the Bush administration. “I think they would be very happy not to have any more attention paid to this.”
The first surge was prominently announced by President Bush in a nationally televised address on Jan. 10, when he ordered five more combat brigades to join 15 brigades already in Iraq.
The buildup was designed to give commanders the 20 combat brigades Pentagon planners said were needed to provide security in Baghdad and western Anbar province.
Since then, the Pentagon has extended combat tours for units in Iraq from 12 months to 15 months and announced the deployment of additional brigades.
Taken together, the steps could put elements of as many as 28 combat brigades in Iraq by Christmas, according the deployment orders examined by Hearst Newspapers.
Army spokesman Lt. Col. Carl S. Ey said there was no effort by the Army to carry out “a secret surge” beyond the 20 combat brigades ordered by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
“There isn’t a second surge going on; we’ve got what we’ve got,” Ey said. “The idea that there are ever going to be more combat brigades in theater in the future than the secretary of defense has authorized is pure speculation.”
Ey attributed the increase in troops to “temporary increases that typically occur during the crossover period” as arriving combat brigades move into position to replace departing combat brigades.
He said that only elements of the eight additional combat brigades beyond the 20 already authorized would actually be in Iraq in December.
The U.S. Joint Forces Command, based in Norfolk, Va., that tracks combat forces heading to and returning from Iraq, declined to discuss unit-by-unit deployments.
“Due to operational security, we cannot confirm or discuss military unit movements or schedules,” Navy Lt. Jereal Dorsey said in an e-mail.
The Pentagon has repeatedly extended unit tours in Iraq during the past four years to achieve temporary increases in combat power. For example, three combat brigades were extended up to three months in November 2004 to boost the number of U.S. troops from 138,000 to 150,000 before, during and after the Jan. 30, 2005, Iraqi national elections.
Lawrence Korb, an assistant defense secretary for manpower during the Reagan administration, said the Pentagon deployment schedule enables the Bush administration to achieve quick increases in combat forces in the future by delaying units’ scheduled departures from Iraq and overlapping them with arriving replacement forces.

I’ll go one step further, this might be showing their plan to attack Iran and increasing forces to handle the shitstorm of blowback that will cause in Iraq.

Iran Blogapalooza: Bad Hijab Victimisation

As well as Western sabre rattling the people of Iran have to put up with their authoritarian govt. Jadi at inside Iran has some pictures, here’s one-

hijab_iran.jpg

He explains-

Our government is brutally attacking Bad-Hijab women. There are special forces all over the city and they arrest girls and women who do not hide all of their hairs or do not conduct in an “islamic manner”. REMEBER: THESE ARE NORMAL PEOPLE WHO WHERE WALKING PEACEFULLY IN THE STREET 5 MINS AGO. There are beatings all over the city. My heart beats mad writing this. I feel very angry and I am not able to do anything…

I feel hopeless. At the morning I’ve got the news of the arrest of one of my close friends (Maziyar Samiei) was arrested because of his leftist ideas and now he is in prison; nobody know where. And now, these photos. Today I was thinking of leaving this country. Not for studing, not for work. Just for not being here.

Esther at View From Iran is also feeling the pressure-

“People are really nervous,” a friend told us. “They are calling each other every few hours to make sure that one of them has not been arrested.”

We know. We were busy calling one of our friends regularly to make sure that she was still sleeping in her own bed.

So what do people in Iran do when they are worried about being arrested? Here’s the drill:
1. Sell all the alcohol.
2. Backup everything on the computer and then reformat the hard drives.
3. Call people with connections to find out if they can verify any rumors.
4. Carry an extra toothbrush everywhere.
5. Don’t answer the door for unexpected visitors.
6. Wait.

I wish there was honest help being offered by our govts. and that when this bully regime is reported on it wasn’t used by warmongers to stoke their pyre. I wish I didn’t have to write that and we could simply pressure the regime to stop this bullying without it being a tool of a hidden agenda. If our governments insist on being stuck in pre 20th century games of conquest I guess we will have to work without them to help others with similarly idiotic leaders. So sod our suits write to theirs (but in somewhat more polite terms):

Ambassador Rasoul Movahedian,
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
16 Prince´s Gate
London SW7 1PT

email: info@iran-embassy.org.uk

It Doesn’t Matter Who You Vote For…

Politician’s Always Get In 

U.S. President George W. Bush won a battle over funding the Iraq war as congressional Democrats on Tuesday abandoned troop withdrawal efforts for now but pledged to fight with new legislation in July. Senior congressional aides said a $100 billion war funding bill the U.S. Congress is trying to finish this week will not contain timetables for withdrawing most of the 147,000 U.S. troops from Iraq, as anti-war Democrats had hoped.
On May 1, Bush vetoed Congress’ first version of this year’s emergency war funds bill because it set an Oct. 1 deadline for starting to pull out soldiers. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said that finishing touches on a new bill were still being worked on with the White House.
But acknowledging the political realities of the Democrats’ narrow control of Congress and a White House occupied by a Republican, Hoyer told reporters, “The president has made it very clear he’s not going to sign timelines (for withdrawing troops). We can’t pass timelines over his veto.”
That will be a disappointment for many Democrats who think they won control of Congress in last November’s elections largely because voters wanted to see an end to the four-year-old war in Iraq.

Which leaves it in our hands and here’s encouraging news-

Two anti-war campaigners who broke into an airbase to sabotage US bombers at the outbreak of the Iraq war have been cleared of all charges.
Protesters Toby Olditch, 38, and Philip Pritchard, 36, used bolt cutters to enter RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. They had intended to clog the planes’ engines with nuts and bolts when they were arrested by Ministry of Defence police.

The men pleaded not guilty at Bristol crown court to conspiring to cause criminal damage, claiming the B52s would have been used to commit war crimes in Iraq.

It is the second time the pair had been tried for the offences. A jury had failed to reach a verdict after days of deliberation at the previous trial last year. 

But this time they realised their power as a jury to choose right from wrong and fuck the law, shame David Keogh and Leo O’Connor couldn’t get such a jury.

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Petition Against Iraq Oil Theft

BearingPoint, a Virginia based contractor is being paid $240m for its work in Iraq, winning an initial contract from the US Agency for International Development (USAid) within weeks of the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. A BearingPoint employee, based in the US embassy in Baghdad, was hired to advise the Iraqi Ministry of Oil on drawing up a new hydrocarbon law.BearingPoint employees gave $117,000 to the 2000 and 2004 Bush election campaigns, more than any other Iraq contractor

July 06 – Draft shown to US government and major oil companies
Sept 06 – Draft shown to the International Monetary Fund
Feb   07 – Draft shown to Iraqi Parliament

Two months before the war began, USAID began drafting a work order, to be handed out to a private company, to oversee Iraq’s “transition to a sustainable market-driven economic system.” The document states that the winning company (which turned out to be the KPMG offshoot Bearing Point) will take “appropriate advantage of the unique opportunity for rapid progress in this area presented by the current configuration of political circumstances.”

USAID’s contract with Bearing Point to remake Iraq’s economy: in 108 pages, “privatization” was mentioned no fewer than fifty-one times.

Ain’t freedom and democracy grand? The Mask has this too as Avaaz emailed us all on its lists today-

Amidst rising bloodshed, President Bush has told the Iraqi Parliament they have till the 31st of May to pass a flawed oil law that could give multinational companies unprecedented control of Iraq’s oil fields. But some Iraqi leaders are daring to resist – and they need our help.

Two weeks from now, members of the Iraqi Parliament — including Sunni, Kurdish and Shia leaders — are planning to read Avaaz’s petition of solidarity from the floor of Parliament. They say this statement of global support for Iraqi sovereignty will strengthen the resolve of their colleagues to face down Bush and big oil companies by opposing this law. So sign the petition today–let’s make 100,000 voices heard in Iraq’s Parliament before they vote:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/iraq_oil_law

Our simple message: we support Iraq’s sovereign right to its own oil. Revenue from oil should be distributed fairly to the Iraqi people. And the Iraqi national parliament should decide this without foreign influence.

Oil accounts for 70% of Iraq’s national income. The proposed oil law would give multinational companies broad control of those revenues for three decades — a deal more generous than any in the Middle East. In most countries, oil corporations perform services under contracts with governments. In Iraq, foreign companies would sit on the national council that gives out the contracts.

Here’s how the head of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Hassan Jum’a Awwad, put it:

“Iraq is passing through the most difficult of times, because all and sundry are hounding it and covet a share of its riches. Everyone knows that the oil law does not serve the Iraqi people, and that it serves Bush, his supporters and the foreign companies at their expense.”

It’s a rare sign of hope to see Iraqis coming together on anything, but this law is bad enough to unite almost everyone. Iraqis are asking for our help. Let’s tell them the world supports their right to set their own future. Sign on and help us reach 100,000 voices before they present the petition to the Parliament.

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It’s Deja-Vu All Over Again, War Pimping Guardian Style

Blah blah blah, I simply refer you to my previous post NATO *Hearts* Fake Cowboy Bush.

In the run up to the Iraq invasion even the satire of Terry Jones was not published in the Grauniad as it went pro war over the top with loyalty to Blair. That they are geisha-ing some more war pimping is disappointing but not exactly a big surprise. Do not forget Abram Shulsky is heading up the Office of Special Plans for Iran. Plus all methods will be used to maintain the occupation.

I hate having to repeat myself.

Correction: Thanks to a comment I have to say The Observer stopped printing Jones, but it effectively meant an anti war voice disappeared at a crucial time from the Guardian media group until he reappeared in the Guardian some time later. Timing is everything…