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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Checking in

While Iraqi Riverbend discusses the constitutional elections, veteran Middle East reporter David Hirst injects some reality into the region:

"Arabs have long warned of the "Lebanonisation" of Iraq, automatically mindful of the fact that virtually every western-created state in the eastern Arab world contains the latent ethnic or sectarian tensions that produced that archetype of Arab civil war. But whereas, in concert with the US, the Arabs finally managed to put out the Lebanese fire before it spread, their prospects of achieving the same amid the violence in Iraq are slight indeed. The inter-Arab state system - and its chief institution, the Arab League - has long been incapable of concerted action against what, like Iraq, are perceived as threats to the Arab "nation". Now the system itself is threatened by the growth of non-state activities, the cross-border traffic in extreme Islamist ideology - along with the jihadists and suicide bombers who act on it - or ethnic and sectarian solidarities of the kind that threaten to tear Iraq apart."

Australia's contribution to the war effort remains small, though we will all be paying the price for such folly in generations to come. When men understand history and politics with little more than ideology on their side, rest assured "freedom and democracy" will never follow.


Blogger Pete's Blog said...

Is "Lebanonisation" in. I was justy gunna use Balkanisation.

Oh well.

Yes AL the premium Australia is paying (on the ANZUS Treaty insurance policy) is way too high. America does not always need our flag.

One big bang in Melbourne or Sydney will be too high a price - however much Howard pleads "It wasn't because we're in Iraq"

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 11:59:00 pm  
Blogger Human said...

Just checking in. This one
is just too funny not to pass along.

BTW - A discussion with a friend delved into the need for a "John Dean" to flip on the Bush administration. Well Raw Story has a raw story on it -
Peace ypur fellow Human

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 2:37:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Yes that telecoference is mind boggling. It actualyl get's worse. The woman in the from row, who Bush claimed to recognise, was actually a military PR spokesperson, so even that part was scripted out of whole cloth.

What's most disturbing about this was the way Bush just mandred and mumbled and striggled ot get out anything that was discernable.

It's really distrubing that this midless idiot is supposed to be runing the US.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 4:44:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Addamo, as you "mandred and mumbled and striggled ot", how can you fault Bush for the same?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 7:24:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Good point ibrahamv,

My typing skills suck at the best of times, especially on this laptop.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:44:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Hello all,

I just thought I'd share this pearl for some light entertainment. It had me in stitches when I read it.

If there were any lingering doubts about just how dumb George W. Bush really is, let's revisit what he had to say in a White House speech given on July 2nd and broadcast live on C-Span. In this speech he mainly just talked with his supporters, instead of reading his lines from cue cards.

"It's good to have a wallet. Wallets is good. If you have a house you can put your wallet in your house. If you have a job you can come home from your job to your house. Americans love houses. Americans love freedom and they will not stand for terrorists stealing their wallets. The America I know will not let al-Qaeda in their houses. Americans will not stand for yellow cake from Niger in their wallets. Today Americans can be proud that Saddam does not have a job and does not have a wallet. God Bless America."
–George W. Bush

Not sure if the guy speaking was George Bush or Forrest Gump.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 11:59:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

I'm proud to call that man our best ally.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 12:09:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

*cough* *splutter*

Okay - before I make any statements on what I've just read, I'm assuming you can provide a link to that footage, Andre, and not just a transcript.

Friday, October 21, 2005 4:40:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...


Not everything on C-Span is available on the web, but I will do my best to track it down. I have listened to Bush speaking off script before and it only strikes you how absurd his comments are after the fact.

Take a look at the clip under the title of "DO OVER" at and tell me if it's that big a stretch to imagine whether Bush is capable of rambling on incoherently to this extent.

I’m sure you’re seen the footage of him making the following comment:

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." —Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004 (

This is a man who said "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties" when discussing the Iraq war with Pat Robertson. He is on the record as asking Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso "Do you have blacks, too?"

In May 2001, he in on the record as saying "For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three non-fatal shootings. And, folks, this is unacceptable in America. It's just unacceptable. And we're going to do something about it."

"I'm the master of low expectations." —aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003

"I'm also not very analytical. You know I don't spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I do things." —aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." —Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2000

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." —Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2000

Anyway, you get my point?

I am curious though, why it is you feel the need to defend this inarguably mentally challenged guy. It's pretty obvious he is just a walking rubber stamp and that the cogs of government continue to rotate entirely without his involvement.

Monday, October 24, 2005 3:38:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

One more for you James:

"We need to counter the shockwave of the evildoer by having individual rate cuts accelerated and by thinking about tax rebates." —Washington, D.C. Oct. 4, 2001

Monday, October 24, 2005 3:43:00 am  

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