February 9th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Scott Ritter: "Iraq's Tragic Future"

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck

Trasmitted below is an informed view of what the near future is likely to hold for Iraq, by Scott Ritter, who knows Iraq well.


http://www.truthdig.com:80/report/item/20080205_iraqs_tragic_future/

Iraq's Tragic Future

By Scott Ritter

Truthdig.com

Tuesday 5 February 2008

Any analysis of the current state of the ongoing U.S. occupation of Iraq that relied solely on the U.S. government, the major candidates for president or the major media outlets in the United States for information would be hard pressed to find any bad news. In a State of the Union address which had everything except a "Mission Accomplished" banner flying in the background, President Bush all but declared victory over the insurgency in Iraq. His recertification of the success of the so-called surge has prompted the Republican candidates to assume a cocky swagger when discussing Iraq. They embrace the occupation and speak, without shame or apparent fear of retribution, of an ongoing presence in that war-torn nation. Their Democratic counterparts have been less than enthusiastic in their criticism of the escalation. And the media, for the most part, continue their macabre role as cheerleaders of death, hiding the reality of Iraq deep inside stories that build upon approving headlines derived from nothing more than political rhetoric. The war in Iraq, we're told, is virtually over. We only need "stay the course" for 10 more years.

This situation is troublesome in the extreme. The collective refusal of any constituent in this complicated mix of political players to confront Bush on Iraq virtually guarantees that it will be the Bush administration, and not its successor, that will dictate the first year (or more) of policy in Iraq for the next president. It also ensures that the debacle that is the Bush administration's overarching Middle East policy of regional transformation and regime change in not only Iraq but Iran and Syria will continue to go unchallenged. If the president is free to pursue his policies, it could lead to direct military intervention in Iran by the United States prior to President Bush's departure from office or, failing that, place his successor on the path toward military confrontation. At a time when every data point available certifies (and recertifies) the administration's actions in Iraq, Iran and elsewhere (including Afghanistan) as an abject failure, America collectively has fallen into a hypnotic trance, distracted by domestic economic problems and incapable, due to our collective ignorance of the world we live in, of deciphering the reality on the ground in the Middle East.

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Chris Keeley

The Dead Girl (2006)

http://www.firstlookmedia.com/deadgirl/

http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/thedeadgirl/trailer/

A gripping psychological drama about seemingly unrelated people, “The Dead Girl” converges around the murder of Krista (Brittany Murphy). As each story plays out, pieces come together to form a fuller picture of the life of the “dead girl” and the chain of events that led to her fate.

http://www.firstlookmedia.com/deadgirl/