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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Friday, January 06, 2006

News bytes

- John Pilger examines the curtailing of democracy in Western nations across the world.

- A fascinating Vanity Fair feature on the troubles inside the New York Times, pre, during and post Judith Miller.

- In his explosive new book, James Risen reveals the incompetence of the CIA and its startling failures towards Iran:

"...Just as President Bush and his aides were making the case in 2004 and 2005 that Iran was moving rapidly to develop nuclear weapons, the American intelligence community found itself unable to provide the evidence to back up the administration's public arguments. On the heels of the CIA's failure to provide accurate pre-war intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, the agency was once again clueless in the Middle East."

- NSW Young Labor wants to implement compulsory national service. I've long argued that conscription is the most effective way to end rising militarism within Australia. Support for imperial wars would virtually disappear. I therefore support the move.

- The 2005 Small Arms Survey reveals, once again, that small and light weapons contribute the greatest amount of trauma in times of war.


Blogger Iqbal Khaldun said...

Interesting idea re conscription. Haven't really thought about it before...

Friday, January 06, 2006 1:03:00 pm  
Blogger Pete said...

National service - it shows how out of touch budding Laborites are. They may not have heard of "work for the dole".

The military is getting rapidly more complex (including the infantry). The last thing they want are short term under-trained recruits who don't want to be there. Its a little known fact that the Army didn't want national service during the Vietnaam era - it was the politicians (eg Fraser) who pushed it as a "Good Thing".

CIA shenanigan's - so much money and "talent" (Prame) but so much amateurism. Iran better be digging its nuclear bunkers real deep cos Dubya's looking for a Iraq withdrawal distraction.

Friday, January 06, 2006 2:26:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

National service - I think there's a lot to be said for it. To complement the professionals, art of being a citizen, and part of growing up in a community - why not? In addition, the politician's will have another consideration before embarking on their adventures.

Friday, January 06, 2006 7:18:00 pm  
Blogger anthony said...

[Conscription is] a form of public enslavement imposed mostly for the purposes of "public service" or waging war. Aside from the known waste and inefficiency of these programs, no government can be trusted with such a power, which is inherently contrary to individual rights.

(von Mises institute.)

[Mises]points out that this "blood tax" is favored by militarists and socialists:

As always, the Mises institute is worth a read.

Friday, January 06, 2006 10:51:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Beter still, they should have the draft. Imagine the political backlash leaders woudl get if some politicos nephew get;s sent of to Iraq against his wishes.

Mayeb that way our leaders would develop a real appreciation for what war involves, as opposed to the one they obseve from their plush offices and oppulent surroundings.

Damn fine idea.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 12:20:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Yes, let us have politicians who can only think about how the decisions they make affect them, only.

So if we elect nothing but rich bachelors who have nothing but their own hedonistic pleasure to worry about, we will only have to complain about tax dollars going to pay for sex kittens.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 12:55:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

"Yes, let us have politicians who can only think about how the decisions they make affect them, only."

Which is exactly what is taking place right now. Don't you see the paradox? We have polititicians who are free to make descisions knowing that they will not be affected by the conseuquences.

It's so easy to be brave and make tough descisions when you have someone else to do the fighting for you.

Take Dybya for example. You want a rich bachelor? Here we have the ultimate frat boy, who failed in every business venture he ever netered into and who was described by as someone who was born on third base and still belives he got there hitting a home run. He went AWOL, became an alcoholic, snorted coke at Camp David, and yet still get's to parade around in a flight suit, give speeches at military academies and call himself the commander in chief.

And as for sex kittens, nothign has stopped him having his favourite stud Geoff "Military" Gannon stay for sleepopvers at the White House on no fewer than 13 occasions.

As Bill Maher observed, now we know what Bush meant after the November 20054 elections, when he said he had a mandate.

You make my arguments so effortless Ibraham.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 2:25:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

We have the belief of a small minded misfit who thinks all politicians think with their dick.

And then there is the rest of us, wallowing through the addamo of day to day life, thinking about the big picture.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 2:37:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

So far the US has a record of at least three presidents in a row that think with their dicks and you are suggesting this is all a ignment of my imagination.

You are most definitely not a big picture man Ibraham.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 3:13:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Little addamo, little picture. That's all you see. You miss the forest because you fixate on the tree moss, not even seeing the tree.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 5:19:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

You call it moss, I call it mould, which like most fungi, is usually thrives in dark, damp and dirty environments.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 6:14:00 am  
Blogger orang said... two guys.......

Saturday, January 07, 2006 6:20:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

What you call it has nothing to do with reality. That is the reason for your poor choice in words.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 6:34:00 am  

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