Only 15 percent?

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This account of U.S. Agency for International Development's pre-solicitation of U.S. companies (including, of course, Cheney's former company Halliburton) for contracting work in rebuilding Iraq has the interesting detail that they are being asked to expect to have to rebuild 15 percent of the soon-to-be-defeated nation's electric grid. Seems like the Bush administration has got this thing very well planned out.

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  1. Looks like those human shields from the US an Europe had nothing to worry about. Some were so nervous about being placed near powerplants by the Iraqis, they up and left. Bet they’re feeling pretty foolish now.

  2. You got it right, Brian Doherty! But it is the tip of the iceberg. Go deeper.

    Brian, I am impressed you have the courage to see what this administration is really all about.
    You have the courage to put the pieces together. We should not criticize you, however, for getting a few of those pieces wrong. Before I offer a humble “adjustment” to your theory, let me provide those new faces on this list a sense of my qualifications. I am a former Special Ops trainer at Fort Knox and have a degree in Muslim Relations from Tehran University. In addition, I spent three years in the Carter Administration as an oil consultant.

    Brian, you successfully zero in on Dick Cheney as a man of corruption. But your mistake is that this is not an accident of greed. Consider: there are almost eleven letters in our vice president’s name, and when he was nine years old, he went missing in a Wyoming cave for over 24 hours. Eleven-Nine. Or, if you reverse them, 9-11. Next, if you plot an arc of space exactly 91.1 degrees from Alpha Centauri, you will find Omega 9.11xew, a star cluster that contains what us Special Ops types like Brian and me know to be Omegans, the very same extragalactic race covered up by the CIA, SEC and Interpol around the time of their visits to Earth at Tunguska and Roswell. In addition, they visited Wyoming at the same time that a nine-year-old Dick Cheney was missing.

    These Omegans, who take the form of Jews here on Earth, removed 1/3 of Cheney’s brain in the region above the temporal hemispheric pole. In most people, the posterior ramus of the lateral sulcus is a long cleft that runs backwards with an upwards inclination, and enters the inferior parietal lobule where it may terminate in a T-shaped manner. Not with Cheney! The long cleft has been truncated to exactly – are you ready? – 91.1″

    The result is the greedy man we call our Vice President, who is doing the bidding of the interests you clearly identify. One other area requires modification in your theory, Brian: the Florida election. There the real deception took place, engineered by Cheney and the Omegans! Contrary to popular conception, there was no effort to disenfranchise the Florida voters, because there are no Florida voters! Have you been to Florida? Has anyone on this list? I rest my case! For those who have tried, the Gulf of Mexico stretches out from the our southern coast – GEORGIA. Florida is a media/government creation designed to control every presidential election. In 1911 (notice there is a 911 in there!), army engineers sank Florida at the orders of HUD. HUD is commonly believed to be stand for Housing and Urban Development, but it is an elite field attack unit of Omegan-Jews.

    Otherwise, Brian, you have it nailed. I am proud to call you a partner. Please read the encrypted message for your eyes only, Brian, and contact me as instructed. What are all these friggin’ purple bugs?

    (#)BRIAN@_)oi30, 0#IS,,=q390 A js03- FOOL-102

  3. Very well-done rant, Dan. But the implication seems to be that anyone who questions the State’s self-congratulatory rationalizations for its policies, or suspects that its real motivations are more venal, is a paranoid crank. But are you willing to apply your own principles across the board–to take every state’s avowed motives at face value, or even to take those of ALL U.S. administrations at face value?

  4. Kevin:

    Of course not. But, as a political junkie, I would venture the opinion (that I am sure will send some people into apoplectic fits) that Dick Cheney is one of the most ethical men in to ever serve in government. After years of sewage in the Oval Office – from both sides of the aisle (Nixon, Clinton) – the Fourth Estate cannot accept that there exist decent men who place service to their country above personal gain. When flimsy crap like this from Mr. Doherty is put out for public conspiracy consumption, I know that the end is near. Particularly on the heels of perhaps the most corrupt administration in the history of our country. When you see this crap, you put on your foil hat and join the nonsense all to make a point.

  5. Oops, Brian. I meant to start my last comment with “Of course” not “Of course not.”

  6. It isn’t so cut and dry Kevin. I fully accept that the elimination of the Iraqi regime will possibly make Cheney a cool mil, get Shrub re-elected, politicaly destroy the UN and Left — and also benefit the Iraqi people, who won’t have to live under the boot of a thug.

    But regardless the Admin’s Iraq policy is still reasonable, logical and correct –if you step out of your moral shoes and view this from an amoral perspective (as I agrue one must when dealing with thugs).

  7. People of moderate intelligence love conspiracy theories. It’s easier to be certain you are right if you ignore reality.

  8. Another Dan (may I call you ‘Nother?) – Splendid! I am not worthy – this time.

  9. Laz:

    Of course you are correct! It is amazing to me the angst people have over the potential for Iraqi casualties when, in reality, they endure substantial casualties right now. I am not suggesting perfectly pure motives – the US seeks long-term destabilization of regimes that sponsor or may sponsor terror, the spread of democracy, and we seek oil-field and regional security, but, when at the same time, you can improve the lives of millions, what’s not to like?

  10. Lefty:

    Thanks! We can all argue about the wisdom of Iraqi military action, but trotting out that the war is to line Cheney’s pockets was weak.

    Hey, your pre-flight Vietnam thing was pretty damn good.

  11. Joe, that’s actually a pretty lame definition of freedom.

    Jim, I am not “ignoring the role the state plays in preventing violence and coersion amongst individuals”. In reality, the state cannot prevent violence. People prevent violence by choosing not to be violent or by fearing the retribution. The state merely remedies violence once it’s happened. Maybe that’s one form of retribution, but why should the state have a monopoly on that?

    I’m not buying the concept that says “Look how many more rapes and murders and child molestations there would be if we didn’t have a government.” Is the Iraqi state reducing violence? Or is it just that “our” state knows how to do it right and most of the rest don’t?

    I would argue that the state causes more violence than would otherwise occur. Many “violent” criminals are casualties of the drug war, it’s not like 2 drug dealers can take their disputes to court, since the state has made the trade “illegal”.

    I am not an anarchist, but I don’t see the connection between anarchy and violence. I do see a connection between coercion and violence, but there is no proof that the level of coercion goes down as the power of the state goes up.

    I support the state in its role in establishing “the framework for free market prosperity that it creates through the recognition of property rights and the enforcement of voluntary contracts” but this in itself suggests a rather limited, small government (at both the national and local levels).

    In short, why should I trust “the state” any more than I should trust any random human being?

  12. Well, Russ, my definition probably wouldn’t impress theorists at an fringe party convention, but it seems to be a pretty good working definition to me. (Have more choices, not live in fear.) And since most people are just living their lives, and not trying to prove a philosophy, then a working definition is good enough for me.

  13. Another Dan:

    “Conspiracy theory” is just a debate killer that labels arguments instead of answering them (as you DID attempt, legitimately, in defending Cheney’s character). There is a plausible case for a lot of conspiracy theories–the Stinnet “Day of Deceit” thesis regarding Pearl Harbor, for instance, or the government’s complicity in the Reichstag Fire.

    And personally, my skin crawls when I hear the term “public service.” I want the kind of service where I only pay for what I willingly use, and where I can threaten to take my business elsewhere if my “servant” performs incompetently: in other words, the kinds of service that are provided by free exchange, rather than coercion. The State’s “services” don’t exactly fit this model.

    Given that the State’s function is coercion, and that this coercion is used by privileged classes to live off others’ labor, I don’t think a jaded view of so-called “public service” is out of place. There may in fact be some pols who are motivated by misplaced idealism; but what they do, in practical terms, is robbery.

    But in any case Brian’s statement in the blog does not necessarily presuppose any kind of “Snidely Whiplash” parody of a self-consciously conspiracy. It is perfectly consistent with a much more cynical model of human nature, that people’s views of “public welfare” tend to accomodate themselves to their material interests when they are in a position to pursue policies affecting their interests. You know, “What’s good for General Motors,” and all that.

  14. Russ,

    I didn’t elaborate on that theme mostly to save space. Certainly I don’t believe that the state is capable of preventing violence in total; that line of reasoning is one of the quickest ways to totalitarianism. Nor do I think the state should have the monopoly on violence prevention.

    I also agree that state power has probably been the single biggest killer in human history. However that said I think it is reasonable to believe that within the context of a limited government with clearly defined and inviolable human rights, letting the state prosecute crimes (which by definition would be violations of some individual’s rights by another) is a desirable role for a government based on protecting said rights. I also think it does have the effect of reducing crime. It stands to reason that people respond to incentives, and punishment for crimes commited is one of those incentives, even if it is not always enough of an incentive to be a deterent 100% of the time.

    Now, in instances where the government has overstepped its bounds of simply defending individual rights and is actually in the business of violating them (i.e. the drug war) you can expect such perversions to occur that lead to greater violence.

    I made the statement above that the state shouldn’t have the sole power to prevent crimes – as it stands we all have the right to self defense (at least in the US – the UK seems to be forgetting about that right), but I do think a reasonable argument can be made that strict retrobution for a crime should be left to the government. When someone is emotionally charged because of the death of a loved one, I don’t expect they can be trusted to respect the right of the accused to a fair, impartial trial by jury with the burden of proof on the accuser. I’m not saying the system is perfect (it’s largely been ruined by lawyers) but it’s probably safer than the alternative.

  15. Well Joe, we’d all have more choices if the government didn’t get involved. Personally, the only thing I fear is a gun, and the US, state, and local governments have more than anyone else.

    And everyone tries to prove and exercise their philosophy every instant of their lives. Especially people posting on web logs.

  16. Russ, I DO fear head on collisions. And feeling reasonably confident that one will not occur allows me to do things that I otherwise could not, that is, makes me more free.

    If I can’t walk the three blocks to my church because I’m afraid of getting my throat cut, do I really have freedom of religion?

  17. Robert, LOL funny, man!

  18. Jim, I was reacting to your statement “the alternative is anarchism”. Sounds a little extreme, I think you’re a little more pragmatic than that.

    Joe, it depends on who’s cutting your throat.

    Also, let’s not forget that around the time cars were invented, most roads were one-lane roads. As traffic increased and head-on collisions were more likely, two lane roads came into vogue. Is this a product of “state sanctioned safety” or common sense among private citizens? Most people follow the lane markings because it’s a good idea, not because the government tells them too.

  19. Mo:

    Iraq is not more important than North Korea, the Middle East is more important – far, far, far, far more important – than North Korea. The current conflict, as I have suggested in other posts, is about a vision (some would argue an immoral, hegemonic vision) to transform the world’s hotbed of anti-American terrorism (fundamental Islamic states) into a region of burgeoning democracies. The real targets are Iran, Saudi Arabia and perhaps Syria. The mechanism is to foment change, appealing to the insatiable desire of humanity to be free (i.e., Iran), with Afghanistan and Iraq as examples. Iran will fall this year. The Saudis are already talking about elections. Flash forward to the summer of 2004 and we could very well be looking at a pro-Western, democratic region stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Himalayas.

    Iraq is a gift. An abusive, insane government that was so kind as to forfeit its sovereignty with the invasion of Kuwait. A stepping stone.

    North Korea is at the mercy of China. They will bluster, but China will eliminate the problem should it escalate. I am concerned about our troops in South Korea. That’s about it.

  20. Russ,

    Because of the yellow line painted down the middle of the street with tax dollars, the law forbidding people from driving on the left side of that line, and the police patrolling to keep people from breaking that law, I am able to drive confidently across the state at 50 mph, rather than creeping cautiously at 20 in order to make sure I’m not going to be killed in an anarchic free for all. I’m able to go more places and do more things, and not live my life in fear. Pretty good definition of freedom, ain’t it.

  21. ‘Nother,
    I agree that the ‘War for Oil’ is a ridiculous premise for the primary motivation for attack. But, what makes Iraq more important than N. Korea? Hell, we found a Korean missile in Alaska. I can guarantee you that if that were an Iraqi missile the troops would be on the ground right now (and rightfully so). Yet, all N. Korea gets is the brushoff. Meanwhile we’re concerned about Iraq, whose longest range missiles can’t even go 100 miles (and who recieved an ass-whomping only 12 years ago). Why is Saddam more threatening than Kim Jong? The latter is going to get nukes first and relies solely on weapon sales for export income, at least Saddam has a legitimate alternate source of income. And NK’s human rights record is downright Stalinist, all the way to the gulags.

    Saddam has to go, but he shouldn’t be our #1 priority. There are other threats that are more worthy of our attention. To answer the question from above, it looks like Iraq is equally/less unsettling when it comes to WMD (the important one is nukes), human rights and as a threat to the US and her allies. So the only difference is in fact oil. So, while it is dishonest to say this war is about oil, you cannot ignore the fact that oil is a big reason why Iraq is special and worthy of our attention right now.

  22. Mo:
    Saddam has been painted as supporting terrorism and holding WMD. Is it TRUE? The answer is that it doesn’t matter, because the message is aimed at those regimes that really do.

    Iraq is targeted because it is weak and will be easily crushed. The aim of this campign is to create FEAR among OTHER regimes. Saddam will be the decapitated horse-head that we throw into the beds of our “allies” — the Paks and Saudis (a la “The Godfather”). His dead carcus will serve notice to the North Koreans.

    Destroying Saddam MAY allow us to avoid replacing the regimes of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and North Korea. There is a VERY GOOD chance that these regimes will be frightened into submission.

    If it doesn’t then these regimes will also have to be replaced. Radical Islamic terrorism MUST be crushed or we will have a nuclear genocide on our hands (which will not bode well for our liberty).

    All the UN/inspections ho-hah is either misdirection or the Administration using the opportunity to politically destroy the UN and Left.

    Bush is using classic Machiavellian strategy here and I can’t say that I disagree with it. And I have yet to hear any viable alternatives from the anti-war peanut gallery (other than doing nothing — which really is not an alternative).

  23. Lots of good posts here. I have a couple of comments…

    I suspect that the reason we are going so gung ho after Iraq is simply because we can. Folks that have nuclear capability may unsettle us more (N. Korea for example) but the simple fact that they have them (or may have them soon) means we have to negotiate with them on a different level. One of the benefits of invading Iraq is that we have the opportunity to prevent them from becoming another unpleasant nuclear state that we have to be nice to, like China.

    Also, I agree that this war is not about oil per se, as those that have it ususally are desirous to sell it. However I can’t help thinking that on some level is matters because the middle east is pretty much a useless region to the rest of the world sans oil. They’ve got no agriculture or industry to speak of that makes a dent in the world economy. If there was no oil there, I doubt we’d care any more about the petty regional/ethnic/religious squables of this region than any other poor, economically insignificant region that has the same troubles. I also doubt in this scenario they’d have much motivation to sponsor terrorist attacks on the west, since we would have very little actual involvement in their affairs.

  24. North Korea may be list of countries with which we have to deal . But Iraq definitely has a higher priority. We don’t really see religious fanatics getting worked up about US troops in South Korea. By ending the current situation with our troops in the Arabian Pennisula we can alliviate the irritation we cause in the Middle East. The next step, after dealing with Iraq, is to bring some closure to the Palestinian situation and to steer Afghanistan towards a less fundamentalist government.

  25. XMas, are you saying that the people who hate us for having troops in Saudi Arabia will say “okey doke” if we move them to the former capital of the Muslim empire, Baghdad?

  26. As an anarchist, I solemnly swear, if I ever go into the business of building roads: to not paint lines in the middle of them, to not make rules regarding which side of them one must drive on, and to not hire anyone to patrol them and make sure that the rules are being followed.

    I wouldn’t want to barge in on the government’s sole ability to do those things. That would just be rude.

    “The alternative is anarchism.”

    I’m reporting Disney World to the authorities as we type. Turns out that monorail isn’t affiliated with Amtrak. Who knew?

  27. I am surprised you can read. You certainly do not comprehend.

    You are either paranoid, thinking that limits are big brother’s invasion into your world, or you have some 15-year old’s view of freedom as a world without walls.

    Just remember to thank me for promoting freedom when I slap you, take your wallet and your car.

  28. EMAIL: pamela_woodlake@yahoo.com
    IP: 62.213.67.122
    URL: http://linux-shell-account.1st-host.org
    DATE: 01/19/2004 11:35:37
    The world is a beautiful book for those who can read it.

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