Monday, October 10, 2005


World shorts

Another Slamdunk Saddam Hussein may never come to trial, Iraq's former Special Tribunal director said this week. Salem Hussein, the nephew of Ahmed Chalabi, Iraqi's powerful vice prime minister for Iraq who is in charge of oil and energy issues, told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank Wednesday, that Saddam's trial may never come to fruition. Promises, promises (Krugman, via Truthout) How sure are we that large-scale federal aid for post-Katrina reconstruction will really materialize? ...Mr. Bush already has a record of trying to renege on pledges to a stricken city. ... It's not clear how much federal help the city [NYC] has actually received....[L]ast week Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, denied that Mr. Rove - who has become a lot less visible lately, as speculation swirls about possible indictments in the Plame case - was ever running reconstruction. So who is in charge? "The president," said Mr. McClellan. All strings attached(John Hill in the Shreveport Times via Truthout) Congress granted New York City money it needed to pay employees, but Louisiana governments will have to demonstrate how they can pay money back to the federal government....In Washington, Democrats in Congress objected that the money was a loan program, but Vitter said the House Republican leadership, wary of Katrina's costs, insisted the $750 million be a loan rather than a grant program. An army is only as good as its commander(Michael Hirsh and Kevin Peraino in Newsweek via ICH) Moustapha says Syria could do much more if intelligence was shared as it once was. Some U.S. intel officials agree. They say that valuable cooperation is being sacrificed at a critical moment when Iraqis are to vote on a new government and insurgents seek to undermine that effort. "We won't take yes for an answer from Damascus," says one intel official who declined to be identified because his work is classified. In the last few years before contacts were cut off, he says, Syrian intelligence helped avert two major attacks on U.S. targets, including a Navy base in Bahrain. U.S. pressure, he adds, may be "radicalizing the country." The mind gets Raptured first (The Australian via ICH) PROMINENT US TV evangelist Pat Robertson has accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of giving Osama bin Laden $US1.2 million after the September 11 attacks and of trying to obtain nuclear material from Iran...."The truth is, this man is setting up a Marxist-type dictatorship in Venezuela, he's trying to spread Marxism throughout South America, he's negotiating with the Iranians to get nuclear material and he also sent $US1.2 million in cash to Osama bin Laden right after 9/11," Mr Robertson day we will be staring nuclear weapons and it won't be (Hurricane) Katrina facing New Orleans, it's going to be a Venezuelan nuke," Mr Robertson said.
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