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2003-05-21 - 10:35 p.m.

Ravynemyst Reviews - 21 May 2003

Now We Know Why

When I read the guest list at Bush's State Dinner the other night, I couldn't understand why there were so many guests from the Philippines there. Well, now I know why: Bush Affirms U.S. Is Ready to Send Troops to the Philippines. According to this article, Bush will send troops to the Philippines to help them battle some Muslim militants. One small irony though, under the Philippine's constitution, it doesn't allow foreign troops for combat operations.

It will be interesting to see what kind of role our troops will be allowed to participate in and if that role will be acceptable to Bush. Also, Bush has include the Philippines in his non-NATO support group, along with Israel and Australia. I am also interested in how the Arab nations will respond to this. Will they view this as just another step in the US's "war on terrorism" or is this looking more and more like a holy war against Islam? We shall see.

Another Member of Bush's Team Resigns

First it was Bush's White House spokesman, Ari Fleisher, and now it is his EPA chief, Christie Witman who is resigning. The "official" story is that Witman wants to spend time with her family (basically the same excuse used by Ari). However, as CBS reports, Witman has often been at odds with Bush on enviromental issues. This report also notes that members of Bush's team have been encouraged to leave if they have no plans of sticking it out during Bush's 2004 presidency bid.

A Ghost Story for America

Do you remember the first Gulf War in 1991? Do you remember how the Shi'ites were encouraged by then-President GHW Bush to rise up against Saddam and fight with the Americans? Well, even if you have forgotten, the Shiia community has not and especially now that mass graves have been found from when Saddam murdered some 15,000 Shi'ites who dared to help the Americans. This may turn out to be a ghost story turned nightmare for the American-led government planning in Iraq. The entire report is very chilling. The Iraqis are not as easy to forget as Americans tend to be:

    "Our betrayal by the United States will never be forgotten," says an Iraqi physicist jailed and tortured by Saddam. "People remember how they were urged to rise up against Saddam, and how the Americans then turned their backs. They even helped Saddam massacre the Shiia."

Just What Is the Real Agenda?

Bush's proposal to the UN (number three) to release the sanctions on Iraq is being touted as a means to allow the export of oil from Iraq to help rebuild the Iraqi economy as well as the possibility of inspectors returning to Iraq. However, according to a Reuters' report:

    Troubling to international law experts is the rewriting of the 1949 Geneva Conventions on the duties of occupying powers, such as the United States and Britain. They are not supposed to create a new permanent government or commit Iraq to long-term contracts, such as oil exploration, under the Geneva treaties.
    "The United States is asking the Security Council to authorise it to do a series of things that would otherwise violate international law under the guise of ending sanctions," said Morton Halperin, a former State Department official and director of the Open Society Institute in Washington.
    "The purpose of this resolution is to relieve the United States of both its obligations and the limits of what it can do as an occupying power under international law by having the Security Council supersede the requirements of the Geneva Convention," he said in an interview.

If these doubts begin to plague the decision-makers of the veto-powers in the UN Council, Bush's proposal could get shot down, although experts are saying this is unlikely. One has to wonder though if Bush would once again forego UN approval if his proposal does get vetoed.

An Unusual Target

A bomb exploded at Yale Law School today. According to the CNN report, the facts of the case "do not indicate or bear the marks of an international terrorist incident." This seems to be an unusual target for a domestic attack though. One has to wonder why Yale was singled out for an attack. Bush was in Connecticut today; however, he was at a commencement ceremony at the US Coast Guard Academy some 50 miles away. Was this a warning to the Yaley Bush?

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~Did You Miss These?~

Just a Reminder - Tuesday, Nov. 04, 2003
Ravyne Is Moving - Friday, Oct. 17, 2003
The Mission - Sunday, Oct. 12, 2003
Siege Heil - Thursday, Oct. 09, 2003
Litany Of Lies - Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2003

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