The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

There are Shia in Iraq? Who knew??

Iraqi Democracy Watch

The big, successful elections in Iraq last month were earlier than the US wanted, but al-Sistani demanded them. Since the Sunnis in central Iraq for the large part did not participate, the Shia in southern Iraq dominated the election. This outcome was surprising to exactly no one. Yet, we are treated to this hilariously titled article, “Iraq Winners Allied With Iran Are the Opposite of U.S. Vision”. Here is a knee-slapping excerpt about this “surprising” result:

When the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq two years ago, it envisioned a quick handover to handpicked allies in a secular government that would be the antithesis of Iran's theocracy -- potentially even a foil to Tehran's regional ambitions.
But, in one of the greatest ironies of the U.S. intervention, Iraqis instead went to the polls and elected a government with a strong religious base -- and very close ties to the Islamic republic next door. It is the last thing the administration expected from its costly Iraq policy -- $300 billion and counting, U.S. and regional analysts say.

But don’t worry. This administration’s favorite hand-picked con man, Chalabi, is first in line for the top post. We are going get our puppet dictatorship yet!

Armageddon Watch

Slacktivist, an excellent, thought-provoking blog, provides some background on why certain scary elements of our society might welcome war in the Middle East, environmental disaster, and so forth. It’s because we can force Jesus to float down from the clouds by screwing up the planet enough. He ends his analysis, “Cursed are the peacemakers” with “And that is why many American Christians oppose any effort to bring peace to the Middle East. No, really, that's why. Because of Daniel 8:25.“ Go read the reasoning for yourself. It will make your skin crawl.

While we are on the subject of millennial nutcases and Slacktivist, may I again recommend his painstaking series which deconstructs the “Left Behind” series? He does an excellent job of showing just what kind of violent, egotistic, religious whackjobs the authors are.

Treason Watch

Thanks to Gary for this article, which describes how two reporters (one of them, Judith Miller, is responsible for getting almost all of Ahmed Chalabi’s pre-Iraq war lies published in the NYT) are being forced to comply with a subpoena to reveal the sources who outed Valerie Plame. This could get interesting.

Voting Problems Watch

Thank you to Paul who found this webpage on the tenuous state of voting in this country. The 20 amazing facts listed on this site are:

  1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.
  2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.
  3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.
  4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."
  5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.
  6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.
  7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.
  8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.
  9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.
  10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.
  11. Diebold is based in Ohio.
  12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as consultants and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.
  13. Jeff Dean was Senior Vice-President of General Election Systems when it was bought by Diebold. Even though he had been convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree, Jeff Dean was retained as a consultant by Diebold and was largely responsible for programming the optical scanning software now used in most of the United States.
  14. Diebold consultant Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.
  15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.
  16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it! (See the
  17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.
  18. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.
  19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother.
  20. Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.

The site has links for all of its assertions, some from very reputable sources and others less reputable. I’ve not followed them all to see how strongly those statements are made in the supporting articles, but they are consistent with other allegations I’ve read. Clearly, continuing to vote on these machines without investigating them further is just asking for vote counting fraud. Yet we continue to do it.

Also on that site is “A Tale of Two Brothers”, which tells the story of the ownership of these companies in story form.

Presstitute Watch

Slacktivist contributes a good review of the Gannon/Guckert situation. You can review a shortened list of the questions he asked at press conferences. And please do not miss this video, from David Brock, of his appearance with Catherine Crier to discuss the issue. Brock does a good job of sticking to the relevant issues and not being sidetracked by the sex, as the GOP and the media are so desperate to do.

Humor Watch

Finally today, this hilarious montage of photos (with two of Gannon/Guckert at the bottom), showing why he might have been Bush’s favorite “reporter”.


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