March 25 2008 show notes

  • Is it time for the democrats to begin using the 'D' word?
  • Violence is flaring up between al Sadr's forces and the government in Iraq.
  • Nuclear attack on Iran?
  • Guest: Congressman Mike Capuano (MA-08), co-chair of the Congressional Sudan Caucus.
  • Guest: Dahr Jamail, independent journalist reporting from the Middle East.

Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.

Tuesday 25 March '08 National show

  • Is it time for the democrats to begin using the 'D' word?
  • Article: Why the Democrats Should Use the "Defeat" Word.
  • McCain is preparing for a speech - about the economy?
  • Storm clouds. A lot of very troublesome news overnight.
  • Article: Is 'success' of U.S. surge in Iraq about to unravel?.
    "A cease-fire critical to the improved security situation in Iraq appeared to unravel Monday when a militia loyal to radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al Sadr began shutting down neighborhoods in west Baghdad and issuing demands of the central government.

    Simultaneously, in the strategic southern port city of Basra, where Sadr's Mahdi militia is in control, the Iraqi government launched a crackdown in the face of warnings by Sadr's followers that they'll fight government forces if any Sadrists are detained.

    " Sadr is said to be in Iran studying to be a Mullah.
  • Article: Sadr militia seizes parts of S.Iraq town: police.
    "Armed followers of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr seized control of five districts in the southern Iraqi town of Kut on Tuesday, police sources said.

    The sources said Sadr's Mehdi Army militia were in control of the Jihad, Shuhada, Zahara, Sharqiya and Hawi districts of the city, which has 18 districts in total...

    In Samawa, capital of southern Muthanna province, police imposed a curfew after Mehdi Army fighters appeared on the streets. Curfews were also imposed in Hilla and Kut, police said.

    A Reuters witness in the city said he could hear shooting and explosions. U.S. warplanes were circling overhead.

  • Article: Iraqi forces battle for control of oil city.
    "Iraqi security forces fought fierce gunbattles with powerful Shiite militias in Basra on Tuesday in a major operation aimed at bringing the southern oil city under government control...

    A Reuters witness in Basra reported seeing columns of black smoke and hearing explosions and machinegun fire. Television pictures showed Iraqi troops running through empty streets and helicopters flying overhead...

    The Mahdi Army, which has thousands of fighters, has kept a relatively low profile since Sadr called a cease-fire last August. But the militia has chafed at the truce and on Tuesday there were signs that the unrest was spreading.

    Gunmen and police clashed in the southern city of Kut, where last week Mahdi Army fighters battled police. A Reuters witness said he could hear sounds of gunfire. Streets were empty and shops closed. Police said a curfew had been imposed. In Sadr City, a sprawling slum of about 2 million people, residents said armed Mahdi Army fighters had appeared on the streets and ordered police and soldiers out of the district.

  • Article: Iraq Militias May Be Preparing To Step Up Attacks.
    "BAGHDAD -- Residents in two Shiite-controlled neighborhoods here said armed militias have taken over rooms in several schools and stocked them with rockets, in a sign they could be gearing up for more attacks against the U.S.-backed government...

    Clashes in the south appear to have put Sadr-aligned forces on alert in Baghdad. Armed militia members aligned with Mr. Sadr were walking around Sadr City, Shurta and other Shiite districts of Baghdad in what appeared to be a coordinated show of force Monday.

    Some residents were stocking up on food and water, worried that an upsurge in fighting might keep them from shopping in days to come.

    In areas under its control, the Mahdi Army ordered some shops to close on Monday, according to witnesses. The militia has said it would initiate what Sadr-aligned politicians have called a "civil disobedience" movement in Baghdad, to protest what it says is an unfair crackdown on Sadr followers by the government.

    "Mahdi Army members carrying pistols came by and told shop owners to close down," said one Shurta resident. "People were stocking up on frozen chicken and vegetables."...

    Mr. Sadr himself has been absent recently from Iraq, studying in Iran to become an ayatollah.

  • Dick Cheney was in the region over the weekend, on Friday he visited Saudi Arabia.
  • Article: Saudi Shura council to discuss plan for sudden radioactive hazards. The day after Dick Cheney leaves town.
    "The Saudi Shura council will secretly discuss national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom following experts' warnings of possible attacks on Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactors."
  • Bush has already given himself authority to use nuclear-tipped bunker buster bombs.
  • Article: Worried Yet? Saudis Prepare for "Sudden Nuclear Hazards" After Cheney Visit.
    "Twelve hours is the maximum time necessary for American bombers to gear up and launch an unprovoked sneak attack – a Pearl Harbor in reverse – against Iran, the Washington Post reports. The plan for this "global strike," which includes a very viable "nuclear option," was approved months ago, and is now in operation. The planes are already on continuous alert, making "nuclear delivery" practice runs along the Iranian border, as Sy Hersh reports in the New Yorker, and waiting only for the signal from President George W. Bush to drop their payloads of conventional and nuclear weapons on some 400 targets spread throughout the condemned land.

    And when this attack comes – either as a stand-alone "knock-out blow" or else as the precursor to a full-scale, regime-changing invasion, like the earlier aggression in Iraq – there will be no warning, no declaration of war, no hearings, no public debate. The already issued orders governing the operation put the decision solely in the hands of the president: he picks up the phone, he says, "Go" – and in twelve hours' time, up to a million Iranians could be dead.

    This potential death toll is not pacificist hyperbole; it comes from a National Academy of Sciences study sponsored by the Pentagon itself, as The Progressive reports. (Although Bush's military brass like to peddle the public lie that "we don't do body counts" of the enemy, in reality, like all good businessmen they keep precise accounts of their production outputs: i.e., corpses.) The Pentagon's NAS study calibrated the kill-rate from "bunker-busting" tactical nukes used to take out underground facilities – such as those which house much of Iran's nuclear power program.

    Another simulation by scientists, using Pentagon-devised software, was even more specific, measuring the aftermath of a "limited" nuclear attack on the main Iranian underground site in Esfahan, the magazine reports. This small expansion of the Pentagon franchise would result in stellar production figures: three million people killed by radiation in just two weeks, and 35 million people exposed to dangerous levels of cancer-causing radiation in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Bush has about 50 nuclear "earth-penetrating weapons" at his disposal, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

    Nor is the idea of a nuclear strike on Iran mere "liberal paranoia." Bush himself pointedly refused to take the nuclear option "off the table" this week. But what's more, Bush has made the use of nuclear weapons a centerpiece of his "National Security Strategy of the United States," issued last month, The Progressive notes. While reaffirming the criminal principle of "pre-emptive" attacks on perceived enemies which may or may not be threatening America with weapons they may or may not possess, Bush declared that "safe, credible and reliable nuclear forces continue to play a critical role" in the "offensive strike systems" that are now a key part of America's "deterrence."

  • Article: Not Just A Last Resort? A Global Strike Plan, With a Nuclear Option.
  • Article: The Iran Plans. Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?.
  • Article: Many Deaths Still Expected With Earth-Penetrating Nuclear Weapons.
  • Bumper Music: Democracy, Dan Fogelberg.
  • Summary: Iran is Shi'ite, Saudi Arabia is mostly Sunni. The Shi'ite forces of al Sadr are rising up in southern Iraq and fighting the Shia government. Dick Cheney is travelling around the region. Saudi Arabia is preparing for nuclear fallout from Iran.
  • Article: McCain corrects himself on which group Iran backs.
    ""Well, it's common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al Qaeda is going back into Iran and is receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran. That's well known and it's unfortunate," McCain said.

    Connecticut Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, traveling with McCain on a swing through the Middle East and Europe, whispered in his ear and McCain quickly corrected himself. "I'm sorry; the Iranians are training the extremists, not al Qaeda. Not al Qaeda. I'm sorry," McCain said.

  • Bumper Music: Learning to Fly, Tom Petty.
  • Bumper Music: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.
  • Article: Hillary Says She ‘Misspoke’ About Wrestling Bin Laden .
  • Clip:
    "Iraq sits on top of 10 percent of the world’s oil reserves, very significant reserves, second only to Saudi Arabia." Vice President Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, September 14, 2003.
  • Republican Iraq defeats:
    1. We were supposed to get oil
    2. It was supposed to pay for itself
    3. We're supposed to be greeted as liberators
    4. It was supposed to be over in a matter of a few months (he declared 'mission accomplished' May 1st after the invasion in March)
    5. Al Qaeda is now in Iraq where it wasn't before
    6. 4,000 American lives have been lost
    7. Baghdad has closer links to Iran
    8. They said they were going to create a western style Democracy in Iraq

    We need hearings into this and more, to prevent the same things happening in Iran.

  • Bumper Music: Give Me Some Truth, John Lennon.
  • Some truckers are considering striking.
  • In Ohio, when you register to vote and give a party, you have to certify that you support that party, under penalty of felony election fraud.
  • Clip:
    "Oh, folks, Operation Chaos is just full speed ahead. No, I'm not leaving Clinton's camp. The point is here, Bill Clinton can't save her. It's up to us, is the point. Clinton can't save her, Richardson's hale and hearty -- he's walking around, he's strutting around, still sporting the beard that he grew on vacation when he was down there somewhere in the Caribbean. It's been four days."
    Limbaugh on Richardson's endorsement: "The lesson for you superdelegates is that you can vote against Hillary Clinton, and for at least four days, you can survive".
  • Article: Let's have some fun in Michigan.
    "In 1972, Republican voters in Michigan decided to make a little mischief, crossing over to vote in the open Democratic primary and voting for segregationist Democrat George Wallace, seriously embarrassing the state's Democrats. In fact, a third of the voters (PDF) in the Democratic primary were Republican crossover votes. In 1988, Republican voters again crossed over, helping Jesse Jackson win the Democratic primary, helping rack up big margins for Jackson in Republican precincts. (Michigan Republicans can clearly be counted on to practice the worst of racial politics.) In 1998, Republicans helped Jack Kevorkian's lawyer -- quack Geoffrey Feiger -- win his Democratic primary, thus guaranteeing their hold on the governor's mansion that year." Jan 10, 2008.
  • Article: Abrams praises investigation of Limbaugh's Dem primary 'dirty tricks'.
    "In Ohio's Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, the Plain Dealer reported that a "staggering" 16,000 Republicans switched parties to vote in the March 4 Democratic primary. Some GOP voters openly acknowledged their intention to meddle with the opposing party, writing messages like "For one day only" on pledges voters are required to sign indicating they will support the party whose primary they are voting in.

    As staggering as the Cuyahoga County figure seemed, exit polls suggest crossover voters may have been even more prevalent elsewhere in the state. Nearly 325,000 voters cast a ballot for either Obama or Clinton in the Cleveland area, so Republicans accounted for about 5 percent of the Democratic turnout. Statewide, Republicans made up about 9 percent of the Democratic primary electorate, according to the exit polls...

    In Pennsylvania, Obama's campaign was working hard to get supporters to switch their registration from independent or Republican to Democratic. He even ran a radio ad reminding those voters that Monday was the last day they could register as Democrats to vote in the April 22 primary. Meanwhile, Limbaugh also has said he has "operatives" registering Republicans as Democrats to vote for Clinton.

    Between March 10 and 17, the most recent timeframe available, more than 14,000 new Democrats registered to vote in Pennsylvania and 29,000 voters switched their registration to the Democratic party, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

  • Article: Many voting for Clinton to boost GOP.
    "Spurred by conservative talk radio, GOP voters who say they would never back Clinton in a general election are voting for her now for strategic reasons: Some want to prolong her bitter nomination battle with Barack Obama, others believe she would be easier to beat than Obama in the fall, or they simply want to register objections to Obama.

    "It's as simple as, I don't think McCain can beat Obama if Obama is the Democratic choice," said Kyle Britt, 49, a Republican-leaning independent from Huntsville, Texas, who voted for Clinton in the March 4 primary. "I do believe Hillary can mobilize enough [anti-Clinton] people to keep her out of office."

    Britt, who works in financial services, said he is certain he will vote for McCain in November.

    About 1,100 miles north, in Granville, Ohio, Ben Rader, a 66-year-old retired entrepreneur, said he voted for Clinton in Ohio's primary to further confuse the Democratic race. "I'm pretty much tired of the Clintons, and to see her squirm for three or four months with Obama beating her up, it's great, it's wonderful," he said. "It broke my heart, but I had to."

    Local Republican activists say stories like these abound in Texas, Ohio, and Mississippi, the three states where the recent surge in Republicans voting for Clinton was evident.

  • Bumper Music: Radio, Hackensaw Boys (video).
  • Thom will be broadcasting the show live from KMPT Missoula on Friday 28 March. Guests on the show will include Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and Montana Senator Jon Tester. He will also be giving a free talk at the Holiday Inn Parkside at 200 S. Pattee St. in Missoula followed by a book signing.
  • Have the super delegates vote straight after the last primary rather than at the convention?
  • Article: The Long Defeat. Hillary Clinton.
  • Bumper Music: Last Man Standing Bon Jovi.
  • Dave called in and suggested that lawyers look at legal code title 42 section 1985 and title 18 sections 246 and 247. The 13th amendment is likely to disappear if the Republicans win. Outlawed slavery. Thom said the "except as punishment for a crime" loophole is being used for state slavery. Hillary lied about sniper fire.
  • Bumper Music: Belief, John Mayer.
  • Guest: Congressman Mike Capuano (MA-08), co-chair of the Congressional Sudan Caucus. Salva Kiir. Thom hopes to finish clips at the weekend. Only China has an effect on Khartoum, because of trade, oil. China vetoes in the UN. Olympics. Face is important in China, unlike Russia, so boycotts more effective. Violence spilling over borders. He's called for American troops to go there.
  • Are we approaching a perfect storm in Iraq? "Saudi Shura council to discuss plan for sudden radioactive hazards" article.
  • Guest: Dahr Jamail, independent journalist reporting from the Middle East. Author, "Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq". The events Thom reported earlier in the program. It's all interrelated. US been trying to go after the Sadr militia. Al Sadr is on Iran's side. Southern Iraq is largely out of control. It's partly a battle for control of Southern Iraq and the oil. It's volatile. An attack on Iran needs southern Iraq to be safe for supplies to pass through. The supply line would likely be cut, so the administration is talking to other leaders in the area. What's the rationale for an attack? It would be lunacy. We are close to war with as Sadr. The "awakening forces" are upset at not being paid. Reconciliation is further away than ever because they were formed. The Bush administration feels it must act before it loses power. Call or visit your representatives. There is already an executive order to allow this, so Congress will have to cut funding.
  • Bumper Music: Kryptonite, 3 Doors Down.
  • Bumper Music: Heroes and Friends, Randy Travis.
    "I ain't lived forever but I've lived enough and I've learned to be gentle and I've learned to be tough. I've found only two things that last to the end. One is your heroes and the other your friends."
  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. Thom.s hero and friend who went to Darfur with him. Congress is out of session. Social Security Medicare Trust fund report. It's produced by Republicans so it's the same as last year, saying insolvent. Social Security cap. Nuclear proximity fuses sent to Taiwan instead of batteries. Passenger rights law, New York State had a tough law for the stranded, the appeal court says only the feds can regulate air. DPA article. Only the Supreme Court and the President are in town, so she does not know if Congress are talking about it. She's going to be in Dubai a lot. The President met the King of Bahrain today, they discussed security, terrorism, energy. Halliburton moved to Dubai.

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