The-Iraqi-defector-codena-007Remember how the Bush era had pivotal, history-altering characters with names like “Brownie” and “Curveball”? The latter comes clean and has no regrets, via the Independent:

A man who helped to make the case for invading Iraq – starting a nine-year war costing more than 100,000 lives and hundreds of billions of pounds – will come clean in his first British television interview tomorrow. “Curveball”, the Iraqi defector who fabricated claims about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, smiles as he confirms how he made the whole thing up.

When it is put to him, “We went to war in Iraq on a lie. And that lie was your lie”, Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi simply replies: “Yes.”

His lies were presented as “facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence” by Colin Powell when making the case for war at the UN Security Council in February 2003, after US officials “sexed up” Mr Janabi’s drawings of mobile biological weapons labs, admits General Powell’s former chief of staff.

Mr. Janabi tries to defend his actions: “My main purpose was to topple the tyrant in Iraq.”

Certainly whatever I do is good because I’m the one doing it. The Daily Show‘s John Oliver “reports” on the Obama administration’s decision to defund UNESCO:

Part 1:

In honour of the recent “world’s largest” gathering of atheists in Washington D.C, a reminder of their place in the great scheme of things — there are less than 150 million of them at last global count:


Still beats the Wiccans, Bahai’i and Yazidis combined. On the other hand, secularism (separation of church and state) counts as 1.1 billion.

Reference: ‘Graphic: A demographic breakdown of the world of religion‘, National Post, 23 March 2012

Via Warscapes, Dinaw Mengestu explains that the viral video’s appeal is that “the real star of Kony 2012 isn’t Joseph Kony, it’s us”: Kony 2012 is the most successful example of the…

For all the cynicism of this photo-comic, I thought it was hilarious (click image to view or here): _______________________

Matador Network on the “worst attempts at helping others since colonialism”. There’s the inexplicable — entrepreneur Jason Sadler’s 1 Million T-Shirts campaign, which involved producing and shipping a million t-shirts for donation…

Interesting point of view from Jeff Klein on Counterpunch: It’s hard to miss the higher cost of gas every time we fill up our cars these days, but the News Media doesn’t…

240px-Frederick_Douglass_portraitFrom Military Resistance: “At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke.” —Frederick Douglass, 1852

Oil prices are rocketing. Iranian warships are moving into the Mediterranean to shadow the US warships already there. Propaganda news is growing with rumors of Al Qaeda links with Iran, and, then, less speculative news about real links between the terror groups and the armed opposition in Syria.

As Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi puts it, the smell of war is in the air and on the air,

“You can just feel it: many of the same newspapers and TV stations we saw leading the charge in the Bush years have gone back to the attic and are dusting off their war pom-poms.”

Via the Telegraph:

Scores of black-clad female “ninja” fighters whose ages range from 5 to 56 are just a handful of 3,000 women in Iran who are being trained as lethal warriors at a school in Tehran. “We train women to have strength and ability. We have to do everything in our power to protect our homeland,” said Akbar Faraji, who runs the school. One of the fighters who has been training for over 13 years said, “Our aim is for Iranian women to be strengthened and if a problem arises, we will definitely declare our readiness to defend our Islamic homeland.”

Via Naked Capitalism, researcher Erica Chenoweth attempted to qualify which style of insurgency is more effective — she claims nonviolent action has a better yield: Occupy’s public discussions on “diversity of tactics”…