Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Iran Fallout, About The Fallout (In Three To Eight Years)

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency has said that Iran is three to eight years from developing a nuclear device, if it so chose to do so.

Mr Mohamed ElBaradei said there was no evidence that Iran was attempting to turn nuclear material into a 'weaponised' version.
It's especially telling that as the international community (when that phrase is used, it tends just to mean the US & the UK) is urging Iran not to seek a nuclear weapons programme, the UK is debating whether to push ahead with sanctioning new nuclear power stations for electricity generation.

In the UK, the majority of the public have been against the building of a new generation of nuclear power stations, with many members of parliament expressing their opposition to the plans. Its been suggested that the government have made up their minds to give these plans the greenlight, even though the proposals are at the consultation stage as the UK tries to reduce it's dependency on fossil fuels for power generation.

Tell The Truthiness ; The UK is asking Iran to not have nuclear weapons, when it decides to build a replacement nuclear defence system and push the case for an unpopular nuclear power generation programme. Double standards anyone?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Iraq Reality ; In Shades Of Black, White, Grey & Brown?

With Iraq being spoken of by George Bush as some kind of moral, even religious Crusade, the discussion about pulling out has moved on in the UK, by the man due to take the place of Tony Blair in a month's time.

The current Chancellor, Gordon Brown, due to take the PM's seat in No.10 at the end of next month has been forewarned by Labour party members that the policy of the UK in Iraq could cast a shadow over the party and country.

Mr Brown himself has said that mistakes were made and Iraq has been a divisive issue for the country as a whole.

When questioned on whether the UK would support military action against Iran, he answered by saying that the country wants a peaceful solution to the issues being discussed.

So in all but name, Britain has said it wouldn't go into Iran. OK, it did come from the man who isn't YET in charge, so maybe his outlook on that might change when he takes the big job in June.

Tell The Truthiness ; We all know that heading into office can change opinions, remember George saying '' I don't think the United States has to go around the World telling people 'this is how it's got to be ' ''. Don't burn those 'Can't we all just get along?' , peace banners just yet.

Monday, May 28, 2007

War On Reality Part 14 ; Bush keeps Iraq In Fiction Section Of Library

An interesting look at a self-made billionaire, Donald Trump and his view on Bush and his administration.

After our last post comparing US atitude to Iran, one moment supportive of diplomacy, then on the other threatening them with an overwhelming use of force, President Bush has shown us once again how his reality is different to that which the rest of the World inhabits.

Despite the midterms in November, the President still thinks that the American people actually want a differing direction of forces in Iraq.

The reckons that people want to know ''when are we going to win?''

Tell The Truthiness ; The assumption of Mission Accomplished in 2003 was rather like thinking the ball was across the line in a snowstorm, whooping and cheering until it's shown to still be some way short of the goal. Allied forces have lost in Iraq and now need to leave otherwise Vietnam will be known in years to come as a mere rehearsal for the Bush Doctorine in the Middle East in the early 21st century.

War On Reality Part 13 ; Iran, Friend & Foe, Take Your Pick

You could be forgiven for assuming from today's high-level, once in a generation, while stocks last Dick Cheney on the deck of the USS Stennis meeting between Iran and the US, that relations have thawed somewhat.

If you take the positive news from the first meeting of it's type in thirty years, then it could be said US/Iranian attitudes were closer than they'd been for several decades. Mr Ryan Crocker, the US envoy, said the talks had proceeded "positively" and there had been broad agreement for a "secure, stable, democratic, federal Iraq in control of its own security, at peace with its neighbours".


On the other hand...

But, if you look at Dick Cheney on the deck of the USS Stennis and the saber-rattling that went with his speech with the huge military hardwear being bulit up in the Gulf, then you could think you were a scud-missile short of a full scale air and land attack.

Tell The Truthiness ; What would the US make of the Iranians if they began to do the same two-faced type of diplomacy? Probably condemn President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and move those warships further up the coast. Cheney, make sure you know which hymn sheet you're singing from.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

US Iraq Policy Spin Floods Onto National TV, At Last

Past the obvious onair spate between Rosie and Elisabeth on ABC's The View, which came to the fore this week, there's an underlying factor to this.

The discussion was about Iraq and whether we paint a whole group of people we just don't like as 'evil' and lump them as 'terrorists'. So actually, this discussion was vital to national debate, since it seems to be clearly missing from the main national networks and is only found shunted to late night comedy shows like The Daily Show and Real Time.

Tell The Truthiness ; However much you may side with Rosie or Elisabeth on the personal spate, this discussion needs to break into the mainstream media and become a daily occurence for the sake of raising the level of debate and holding government to account on the failed and deceitful Iraq invasion.

Friday, May 25, 2007

War On Reality Part 12 ; Anyone Left Standing On This Thing?

The Democrats rolled over, though there is a faint hint that they could regroup to challenge Bush in the near future, but right now what's left to try?

Maybe we should lobby the MPs in the Iraqi Parliament and get them to shout at the White House and Downing Street for the 'coalition of the willing' (perhaps we should replace 'willing' with 'failing') to get the hell out of their country.

Tell The Truthiness ; When the populations of two countries, the UK and US, both say get the troops out now and their governments refuse, what's left to do? March on London and Washington and demand in person? Maybe its the only thing left to do.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ron Paul, 9/11 & Media Smears & Jeers

With Fox News smearing Ron Paul as nuts to suggest that 9/11 needs to be properly investigated (despite the fact more money was spent investigating the Columbia Shuttle Disaster and that evidence given by senior Bush officials, including the President was carried out in secret) and CNN taking the discussion to the 'adults talking' stage by asking how US Foreign policy may have fuelled the cause of 9/11 it seems the media has once again become polarised, with no happy medium. Not forgetting that gem of fair and balanced opinion, Elisabeth Hasselbeck on ABC's The View.

Fox News needs to be aware it is smearing and misreporting the possible future blueprint for Republican reinvention after the 'it's my way or no way' attitude of Bush and the last seven years of nightmares. CNN and other networks need to take on tough questions, like asking how foreign policy by the US can lead to blowback, be that 9/11 or something smaller.

History tells us everything is connected, no matter how big or small.

If, as some have said, 'there is no reasoning with terrorists, they're just nuts', extends worldwide then they must have been deaf and blind to the restarting of self-government by Northern Ireland a few weeks ago.

Maybe that ideology doesn't extend to the pre-9/11 definition of terrorist? Since 9/11, according to some, these people are out to get us no matter what we do, we have to take them out and it's that simple.

Perhaps if Fox was to get Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley in on this discussion the answers might be very telling.

Tell The Truthiness ; Discussion about foreign policy and security doesn't have to descend to a 'with us or with the terrorists' level, via a heavy bout of smears to keep people watching. Give people proper news and they just might tune in more.

War On Reality Part 11 ; Dems Pencil In Benchmarks ; Bush Gets Eraser

Did we all fall asleep and wake up in some sort of parallel universe? The Democrats have given the Republicans the war funding bill, which is due to go through by Friday.

They've done it without a pull-out date.

Without a set of compulsory benchmarks that the President must maintain and achieve.

But we do have benchmarks, which Mr Bush is able to just waive and ignore if he sees fit.

This looks like giving a highschool student a self-assessment report card and told to 'fill it in yourself'.

Tell The Truthiness ; Democrats, what happened? Anyone got an explanation?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ron Paul Goes Out On His Own ; Any Other Republican's Want To Join?

After the GOP Presidential debate, one person seems to have come out ahead, a Republican who doesn't seem on the surface, to be a Republican.

Ron Paul has become quickly branded as the Libertarian Republican, who seems to be telling people what they want to hear.

That is, a Republican who appears smooth around the edges, dare we say a 'Compassionate Conservative'?

Maybe we're wrong and he is just what he appears to be up front, someone different.

Tell The Truthiness ; A candidate who appears to know what they think, without a page of just-handed-to-him talking points. The rest of the debates will inform us more.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Little Jimmy Goes For All The Mini-He's ; Blair & Bush

In a rare example of former Presidents restraining their opinions and views post-office, Jimmy Carter has fired a double broadside at Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George Bush over Iraq.

While on a book tour, promoting a publication about Palestine, President Carter said that UK support, by Tony Blair, for the US led campaign in Iraq had worsen the US in World opinion and standing.

He also was critical of President Bush for having 'zero peace talks' in Israel.

Tell The Truthiness ; Any other former Presidents or World leaders want to stand against US/UK policy in Iraq, then the coalition will be out totally on its own, oh but there's always someone like, Sweden, in the 'Coalition Of The Willing'? Correction needed.

If you can write in and tell us who the other countries in coalition with the US and UK, you get a mention!

The Prince & The Platoon

After all the debate, threats (we've been told) and lots of pictures of royalty in army formal dress it's been decided that Prince Harry will not go to Iraq.

Harry, third in line to the UK throne, had said he would leave the Army if he wasn't allowed to go to Iraq. But it was deemed too dangerous to send him as several threats included killing or kidnapping which if occurring, would have led to an unraveling of UK policy in that country.

Argument had tired over the past few weeks that either he isn't sent as he's a successor to the monarch or that there's no reason to spare Iraq from his military record and should go out there.

One aspect of the whole discussion that was not touched on by the mainstream media was that if he was sent, additional troops would 'double-up' in a sense, to provide protection for the Prince. Parents of troops, one of whom was spoken to by the Truthiness Team expressed despair as to the justification for sending their son as a shield for Harry, its not as if being in a war zone isn't dangerous enough without that extra duty to deal with.

To Tell The Truthiness ; If there were 'unacceptable risks' in sending him, then surely sending any troops to Iraq (no matter who their father or grandmother is) has 'unacceptable risks' and needs urge revaluation.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Wolf Is At The Door ; Someone Kicks Him Through It

With the amount of suspicion and murkiness that surrounds many current and former Bush cohorts, it's oddly satisfying that one of them at least has had, to a degree, justice served on them.

That's right, after a lot of hand-wringing, Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank is to resign from his position and leave the post by the 30th June. The World Bank has been dragged down over the last few months as regular rolling news channel fodder as his conflict of interest with his girlfriend was discussed at length.

There was criticism that Mr Wolfowitz had got his girlfriend a promotion and substantial pay rise during his tenure at the WB.

Tell The Truthiness ; Once the White House expresses it's 'full support' for you, you know you'd better pack your pot plants and hand in your parking pass.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Wolfie Paul Broke Rules - What Happens Now? Does He lose His Cheap Rate Mortgage?

With the saga of Paul Wolfowitz, who awarded his girlfriend a job promotion and pay rise, continuing, it has emerged he broke rules. World Bank executives deemed his actions a 'conflict of interest' and said he'd broken the Bank's code of conduct and the conditions of his own contract.

Mr Wolfowitz is next to appear before a 24 member panel in Washington who will determine his fate.

They can sack him, or to a lesser extent deem they have a lack of confidence in his leadership.

As expected, he has received the full backing of many senior figures in Washington, including Dick Cheney, US Vice President.

To Tell The Truthiness ; When senior Bush staff give you their 'full support' or 'confidence' that usually means you're about to fall from a great high, brace yourself, the Wolf's at the door.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Blair Goes & Takes The Bad News With Him

With the UK getting use to Tony Blair moving into the background in the next few weeks, accusations have been levelled at the timing of a release of Home Office news on the same day.

The details about another cost increase of the UK ID cards scheme, jumping by £400million to a total scheme cost of £5.31billion was released on the same day as the PM's departure date became public.

Claims have been made this was deliberately timed to be 'buried' by the Blair news which received wall-to-wall coverage in the UK when it broke at around midday on Thursday.

The identity card scheme has been deemed wasteful, costing billions and not doing anything to reduce the risk of terrorism.

Tell The Truthiness ; This scheme gets more expensive each time its mentioned and pushed back as the roll out date is reviewed. When will the UK government realised that no-one wants this at all? Do you really imagine terrorists are cancelling plans because they've heard about the cards and are thinking '' oh, we can't get passed these cards, look they're laminated, we've got no chance of success.'', it's not very likely.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mission Accomplished 2 ; MA2 ; The Sequel

With the first film in the Iraq 'Grindhouse' series having done terribly badly on DVD (despite the inclusion of many extras, including a making of featurette), the studios backing the director have been stupid enough to give a sequel a shot.

Filming of Mission Accomplished 2 has just begun in the Persian Gulf. The VP made a speech about Iran on the flight deck of the USS Stennis, in which he said the US was prepared to strike.

Tell The Truthiness ; This time, keep the running time of the movie down to 90 minutes and just tell us you want to invade to expand the US empire and cut out the fat about WMDs and regime change. It could be enough to turn it into a moneyspinner.

Iraq Terror Threat Level Raised To Severe/Cheney

Visits by Dick Cheney to Baghdad seem to be as frequent as senior weekend coach trips to Vegas.

The only difference is that each time the Vice-President pops into the green zone something nearby seems to explode pretty loudly. The President meanwhile, was saying how we shouldn't expect zero violence to be what defines victory in Baghdad.

Here, Senator McCain asks the question we all have been wondering, is Cheney a little Cuckoo?

To Tell The Truthiness ; If Cheney suspended visits and stuck to meglomania tours of the homeland then violence would be certain to be reduced.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Blair's Resignation Speech

Courtesy of YouTube, Here's Tony Blair's resignation speech.

Telling The Truthiness ; Thank god for YouTube!

Telling The Truth 2! Bush Follows Blair! Wow!


This just in, Bush tells it like it is!

Telling The Truthiness ; Its the detergents in Iraq that are the cause of all the problems!

Tony Blair Tells The Truth (No Truthiness Here!)

As he announced his seven-weeks-to-go before leaving his premiership at end of June, Mr Blair said something people were surprised at.

In his speech at his local Labour party club, where for him his government involvement started in 1983, he commented on what had been achieved by his governing Labour party, then he did something unexpected and stunning.

He said sorry.

Yes, that's right, we'll type that again, so people can take it in.

He said sorry.

''I ask you to accept one thing. Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right. I may have been wrong. That's your call.''

He didn't say what that was specifically referring to but everyone knows what it was tipped toward, the Iraq invasion, WMDs and the civil war in that country.

To Tell The Truthiness ; Hindsight is a great thing and as many people may not believe in what he did, he did what he thought, at the time, was right.

Now if only some other World leaders could recognise that and say the same thing.

Send us your suggestions for which leaders you want to apologise and what for.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bush Insults Queen, Tomorrow Plans To Kick Kittens

With the royal tour to the US grinding on, the Bushes have hosted a right royal dinner for the Queen and Duke Of Edinburgh.

Happily there were a few hitches. The best being when President Bush slipped up in a speech to suggest the Queen was around in 1776 (everyone knows HRH was born in 1897). He quickly corrected himself with Her Majesty quietly saying to him on the podium ''oh dear''. Mr Bush corrected himself and came back with a joke.

The Truthiness Blog Says ; It's a bit like having your inlaws to visit. He's uncomfortable having them there but can't insult them while they say how much everything's changed from when they last visted.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Losing Respect Fast ; Wolfowitz Aide Leaves WB

As Paul Wolfowitz remains, clinging it seems, to his job at the World Bank, an aide to Bank President has left because of the scandal swirling around his boss.

Kevin Kellems left the World Bank making it crystal clear his reasons for not being able to continue in his position. He said it was difficult to push the aims of the World Bank, essentially becoming ineffective while the furore about Mr Wolfowitz's girlfriend carried on.

To Tell The Truthiness ; Its good to know that when conflicts of interest occur and are recognised, some people realise that to carry on would be unprofessional. Mr Bush and friends are you listening? That includes you Mr Wolfowitz.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Florida 2000 In Scotland ; Anyone Want A Whiskey?

In marked contrast to Florida's palm trees and balmy temperatures, Scotland has more in common with it's American state neighbour than you might think.

Following the Scottish Parliament elections last week, controversy surrounds the results amid 81,000 spoilt ballot papers. The layout used on certain papers may have meant people only voted once when they should have selected two candidates. This is due to the ballot paper containing local government elections and national parliament voting options.

The Scottish National Party, who gained mass ground in the results, have begun to sound oddly like Florida Republicans in the days after the 2000 US elections in which 'hanging chads' and 'swinging chads' had to be individually checked by hand to determine the intention of the voters. '' I am not sure that anybody in Scotland now wants to see a protracted legal challenge'' , commented the SNP's deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon.

In the Cunninghame North ward that's disputed, the Labour party lost to the SNP by 48 votes, with some votes being brought over from a nearby island by boat, which then broke down, there have been reports of some of those ballot papers being wet after the journey. In the same electoral ward, 1000 ballot papers were deemed 'spoiled'. Smell fishy?

The Truthiness Blog Says ; With 81,000 spoiled papers the equivalent to the turnout of three entire constituencies and the deputy of the leading party saying its hurting democracy to challenge what happened you get the strong whiff of Florida 2000. From there it's a short hop, skip and jump to getting a leader who wasn't elected and invading countries for sport. Otherwise before you know it Donald Rumsfeld will be in charge telling you that carpet bombing London is the best thing to do.

Wake up Scotland!

Maybe the French should recount, you just never know these days.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

War On Reality Part 10 ; Bushbeaten? Is President Bush Single-Handedly Destroying His Own Party? (And Country?)

A Newsweek poll has shown that President Bush's approval rating has fallen to a new low of 28 percent.

This is not just a new low for Mr Bush but also the lowest that this specific poll has ever recorded in a generation and the lowest for a Republican President since Jimmy Carter scored 28 percent in 1979.

The Bush effect has influences on the 2008 election candidates too, with all Republicans planning to stand having lower approval ratings than their Democratic equivalents. It was telling at the Republican debate in California that the President was hardly mentioned at all.

The Truthiness Blog Says ; When 2008 does roll round will the years 2001-2008 simply be written off in Presidential terms as a black hole for politics, democracy and the US? Or as he's so fond of saying, will history prove his critics wrong?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Oil Is Thicker Than Blood In Iraq ; And Nothing's Going To Stop It

With all the hellish day-to-day experiences that anyone living in Iraq, particularly Baghdad, has to deal with, imagining what the job of the country's parliament is like is pretty difficult.

Dealing with the job of government (where they are allowed to by the coalition forces) collides with the ongoing lawlessness and attacks on civilians and government staff, property and processes makes it a terrifying time to try to forge a new governing body amidst all this.

However there is one piece of legislation which is close to being signed off by the parliament before the end of May. A bill agreeing how to divide up the country's oil and gas reserves to each region as fairly as possible is in it's final stages.

Much criticism has been levelled at the decades long concessions that will allow foreign oil companies to invest in Iraq's oil and gas fields.

It's true that publicly before the invasion and afterwards the US and allied forces didn't mention oil at all, but there have been detailed internal US defence plans to gain control of Persian Gulf oil for at least a decade as a way of gaining a significant foothold in global oil stocks. This would allow the US the chance to weaken OPEC's position on World oil supply and prices.

The US has been in favour of this bill being pushed through as quickly as possible as they think it will reduce violence. How noble a thought.

The Truthiness Blog Says ; Is the reality that it's hoped gas prices at the pumps will tumble down and we can be addicted to big, home owned, but foreign extracted oil for more decades as we boil under climate change?

Someone made a great comment, if the Iraq oil reserves belong to the Iraqi people (as Tony Blair said at the beginning of the invasion), then who do the Amercian oil reserves belong to?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Politician Doesn't Make Heavily Reported Speech

A heavily tipped speech to be made by the Under-Secretary Of Administrative Affairs didn't happen today, despite heavy pre-speech reportage by news outlets.

'' We'd been tipped when the speech at the press conference was due to take place, what the content was to be, even the length of the statement we knew, all we were waiting for was for the speech to be made. Then at the last moment, he cancelled.'' That comment from Chuck Fleming, Channel 12 Action News.

Sources close to the Under-Secretary have told us that he got rather narked off at all the pre-speech coverage and thought their was no point in him actually delivering the statement since all the details had already been reported by all the morning news programmes and on all the rolling news channels.

The White House was asked whether this may lead to a trend in government public statements being cancelled in favour of pre-emptive reporting, they refused to comment until tomorrow morning. And until then you can catch constant speculation and recycling of that none story on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and any other rolling news channel you can shake a stick at.

The Truthiness Blog Says ; How many angles can there be on a story about bear hunting quotas?

Bush Promises To Keep Iraq Policy On Mars With It's Fingers In Its Ears

Today President Bush is expected to veto the war funding bill when it is presented to him by Congress.

He has however assured us that he DOES want to work with both Republicans and Democrats to come up with something that we all agree on in a 'positive' way.

There's been little positive coming out of Iraq recently, with even the news that eight out of seven reconstruction projects have failed. Many have been done to a substandard, with clinical waste possibly contaminating local water supplies in one case.

Where infrastructure projects are attacked, the number of these attacks has gone down. However those attacks which still take place cause more damage and are more disruptive. So it's almost six of one and half a dozen of the other.

Winning or losing in Iraq is no longer relevant or helpful, it comes, whether its today or yet further ahead in the future, down to giving power to deal with their own affairs to Iraq. We can put it off for as long as President Bush likes, but the current policy just isn't working.

The Truthiness Blog Says ; There may be intelligent life on Mars , there's probably less chance of it existing in the White House.
Cost of the War in Iraq
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