Saturday, May 17, 2008


There are many insiders who tell me the Bush administration plan is to launch an air strike on Iran right after Labor Day. The idea is this will help John McCain get elected because the old "saw" of not changing a horse in mid-stream will then be used during the run up to the election.

Bush signaled as much when he was in Israel earlier this week His speech to the Israeli government was more important for what he didn't say than what he did say.

Bush was signaling that the United States is making preparations to go to war against Iran.

The media got it all wrong, as usual, and focused on what they assumed was Bush taking a swipe at Barack Obama. The mainstream press corps was once again duped by the Bush administration.

Bush visit to Israel revives talk of a strike on Iran

By Dion Nissenbaum McClatchy Newspapers

JERUSALEM — President Bush's historic speech to the Israeli parliament was as telling for what it didn't say as for what it did.

In 22 minutes, Bush offered one of the strongest demonstrations of support for Israel ever made by an American president. And he reawakened lingering hopes among hawks in Israel or the United States for a U.S. military strike to thwart Iran's nuclear program.

Israel's Army Radio reported Friday that the possibility of an American strike on Iran was raised in private discussions during Bush's visit.

And Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said that the Israeli prime minister and American president were "on the same page" on the issue of Iran.

"Both Israel and the United States agree that tangible steps have to be taken, that we cannot sit idly by and see Iran develop a nuclear weapon and that the international community has an obligation to take tangible steps to prevent that from happening," said Regev.

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U.S. soldier uses Quran for target practice; military apologizes

Story Highlights
U.S. soldier aims at Quran at police shooting range at Iraqi village
Soldier relieved of duty, sent to United States for reassignment
Officer apologizes in special ceremony at village
Residents protest with banners and by chanting slogans

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. military on Saturday formally apologized to an Iraqi village after a soldier admitted using the Quran -- Islam's holy book -- for target practice.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, apologized to the Radhwaniya tribe for the staff sergeant, who was a sniper section leader assigned to the headquarters of the 64th Armored Regiment. He also read a letter of apology by the shooter.

"I come before you here seeking your forgiveness," Hammand said to tribal leaders and others at the apology ceremony. "In the most humble manner I look in your eyes today and I say please forgive me and my soldiers."

Another military official kissed a Quran and presented it as "a humble gift" to the tribal leaders.
The shooter, whose name was not released, shot at a Quran on May 9, villagers said. The Quran used in the incident was discovered two days later, according to the military.

A tribal leader said "the criminal act by U.S. forces" took place at a shooting range at the Radhwaniya police station. After the shooters left, an Iraqi policeman found a target marked in the middle of the bullet-riddled Quran.

Copies of the pictures of the Quran obtained by CNN show multiple bullet holes and an expletive scrawled on one of its pages.

A military investigation found the shooter guilty and relieved him of duty; he will be redeployed to the United States for reassignment away from the 1st Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, Hammond said.

"The actions of one soldier were nothing more than criminal behavior," he said in the apology. "I've come to this land to protect you, to support you -- not to harm you -- and the behavior of this soldier was nothing short of wrong and unacceptable."

Tribal leaders, dignitaries and local security officials attended the ceremony, while residents carried banners and chanted slogans, including "Yes, yes to the Quran" and "America out, out."


Veterans all across the United States and around the world are furious because President Bush told Politico that he felt the only right thing to do was to give up golf during wartime.

What Bush didn't tell Politco is he had pulled a muscle in his leg and gave up running too.

But even after Bush said he gave up golf as his contribution to the troops in Iraq, he was seen playing golf three months later.

Bush's golf claim angers veterans
May 15, 2008

George Bush has angered US war veterans by declaring that out of solidarity with those who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq he decided to make his own sacrifice: giving up golf.

In an interview with the Politico website, the president said he took the decision because of the war. "I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."

Brandon Friedman, a veteran US infantry officer who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, told the Press Association: "Thousands of Americans have given up a lot more than golf for this war. For President Bush to imply that he somehow stands in solidarity with families of American soldiers by giving up golf is disgraceful. It's an insult to all Americans and a slap in the face to our troops' families."

Friedman, who is vice chairman of the US veterans' organisation VoteVets, added: "It shows how disconnected he is from everyday Americans, especially those who are serving in Iraq."

Bush said he laid down his clubs after the August 2003 bombing of United Nations offices in Baghdad that killed the UN's top official in the country, Sergio Vieira de Mello. "I remember when de Mello got killed as a result of these murderers taking this good man's life. I was playing golf - I think in central Texas - and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, 'It's just not worth it any more'."