Posts Tagged ‘iraq war

26
May
09

Namby-Pamby ‘Bout Gitmo Detainees

It’s perfectly acceptable for the Senate to shoot down funding for the removal of the Gitmo POWs if there is no plan in place for the aforementioned approval. I’m down with that.

All this NIMBY shite, however, regarding the detainees is right-wing/media overblown hoopla. Remember the summer of shark attacks? And then there was the media storm about steroids in baseball. The Terry Schaivo saga. And on and on and on. The media fixates on an issue, turning it into a much bigger monster than it actually is.

And the right-wingers want to ride this one all the the way to the 2010 elections. “The liberals want to let the terrorists run loose on American soil! The liberals want to let the terrorists go so they can attack us again!” God, all the needles it would take to pop all those gasbags full of hot air.

First of all, it has been quite common for the United States to hold prisoners of war inside U.S. territory. Really, peeps, it’s no big whoop. I would willingly pit any of the Gitmo POWs against the vast majority of inmates incarcerated in the U.S. in some steel cage death match with all my money on the American criminal. Damn straight.

The U.S. penal system, as well as its legal system, is well-equipped to deal with these men – ALL of them, even the real bad ones.

I challenge the media to profile each of these detainees individually. You see, grouping them together is marketing trickery to conjure images of these men far worse than they actually are. Remember, children, the best decisions are made with an over-abundance of information. So, let’s find out who these men are and then we’ll see if you’re still so scared of these rag-tag boogeymen.

Do they want to harm Americans? Yes. Are they “evil”? Sure.

But this is the freaking United States of America and if you think we can’t handle a few religious extremists caught in combat who have no access to military technology even close to many third world countries, let alone the U.S. than there is a severe plague of underestimation of U.S. fortitude.

And the Right. For fuck’s sake, they are ridiculous. All their bravado, all their gun-waving, dick-jousting, big man rhetoric, evaporates at the mere thought of some weakened, slipper-wearing men with beards being held in a super-max in Colorado. It’s pathetic.

The Right doesn’t even think the U.S. legal system – that so many Americans have died for – is capable of dispersing justice to these criminals.

Well, they may hope to win elections with this load of crap. But I, for one, am taking a stand on the side of U.S. strength and might. We can handle these guys. And any notion that we can’t is assinine politicking – from the Democrats as well as the Republicans.

15
May
09

News You Should Know 05.15.09

This Friday afternoon, there were a number of news stories that caught my attention. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to write an entire, fleshed out blog on each of them.

  1. Pulitzer Prize winners. I know this is from last month, but I recently took a look at this year’s Pulitzer winners and found many quite worth the squiz:
    1. Alexandra Berzon of the Las Vegas Sun on higher death rates among construction workers on the Strip due to lax regulation enforcement.
    2. David Barstow of The NYT on the utilization of generals by the Pentagon to sell the Iraq War. (Pt. 1 and Pt. 2)
    3. Ryan Gabrielson and Paul Giblin of the East Valley Tribune reveal how a popular (and over-zealous) sheriff’s focus on illegal immigration resulted in the endangerment of investications of violent crimes and other areas of public safety. I still see that sheriff all over TV.
    4. St. Petersburg Times for Politifact (they completely deserve this one).
    5. Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post for his coverage of the 2008 election. This surprise me. Dont’ get me wrong, I love Eugene, but I’m not quite sure how his comentary was better than, say, E.J. Dionne’s. Eugene still rocks and congratulations to him.
    6. Steve Breen of the San Diego Union-Tribune for his editorial cartooning. Example:
    7. Damon Winter of The NYT for his photography of Obama’s presidential campaign. A great series and really worth the look.
  2. Texas and other states charging victims for rape kits. This is appalling – it reduces the number of women willing to pursue the arrest and conviction of their perpetrator. If a murder victim’s family had to pay for the evidence to be collected at the murder scene, the country would be in an uproar. Remember when I say there are areas where the U.S. needs improving? This is one of them.
  3. THIS IS BIG. The ACLU is suing to challenge a patent Myriad Genetics on two human genes linked to breast and ovarian cancers.“Knowledge about our own bodies and the ability to make decisions about our health care are some of our most personal and fundamental rights,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “The government should not be granting private entities control over something as personal and basic to who we are as our genes.”
  4. The Texas Senate passed a bill weakening eminenet domain laws and forcing the government to operate much more transparently when attempting to seize private property. Yee-Haw!! Now, get with it, House, and let’s get this signed into law! I hope eminent domain reform is progressing in other states as well.
14
May
09

Conventional Warfare – A Misnomer

This week, in their defense of Dick Cheney’s naked parade, his minions have defended the use of “enhanced interrogation methods” by saying they were a response to the unconventional warfare posed by Islamic terrorists. (well, they don’t say Islamic terrorists, because that is no longer PC – but that’s who they are referring to).

Our short-memoried society considers “conventional warfare” battles in which all sides wear uniforms designating their loyalty, avoid injuring civilians as much as possible, behave gentlemanly during negotiations, have clear delineations between good and evil, and are only fought because one baddie decided to invade one goodie.

I’m simplifying, I realize, but only in an effort to illustrate the naiveté of isolated Americans regarding warfare. Our idea of military combat is as far from the norm – bastardized by erroneous and fantastical historical tales, the refusal of the government to provide honest details of war to keep the public’s distaste to a minimum, and the perpetuation of the myth that the U.S. government always makes good decisions for the benefit of the American public. The blatant lack of honesty of everyone from storytellers and revisionist historians to the executive administrations past and present have whitewashed Americans’ view of war. To the detriment of all involved.

How Americans Think of War

What We Americans Consider Conventional Warfare

War is ugly and gruesome and what we consider unconventional is actually much more typical combat.

The vast majority of war over the last 40,000 years has included various levels of torture, rape, the killing of women and children, the enslavement of the losing side by the victors, and no uniforms of which to speak.

During the Vietnam War, U.S. soldiers found it quite difficult to tell which “gook” was with us and which was against. That we would find warfare any different in Afghanistan or Iraq is appallingly uninformed.

Most warfare has been fought by any means necessary, yet the utilization of suicide bombers or twin engine jets surprises Americans. These tactics are much more along the norms of warfare than our Disney notions of WWI and WWII. The claiming of the U.S. territory by whites from Native Americans included genocide, rape and arbitrary killing. In “conventional war,” crops, land, and homes are put to flame and waterways poisoned. Horses and livestock are slaughtered. And on, and on, and on.

The desire to increase power is the largest motivator of war. Throughout history, chiefs and leaders of state wanted to expand their territory, causing them to take what isn’t theirs. However, to be content with what is yours and nothing else is to lay in wait for the greedy eyes of an enemy.

Now that the statehood of most territory on Earth, save for Antarctica, has been decided, war is largely launched because of irrational actors and thirst for power and results in the subjugation of weak people or a brazen offensive against a perceived enemy. Al Qaeda wants a theocratic, Muslim world and how better to achieve this result than attacking the most powerful defender of the free world? George W. Bush saw what he perceived as his father’s failings at the end of the first Iraq War, as well as the opportunity to spread democracy in the Middle East, and launched an offensive he was not prepared for and did not fully understand. In Sierre Leone, during battles for the control of diamond minds, thousands upon thousands of women and children had their arms cut off at the elbow and boys high on cocaine killed their familes and raped women with the ends of their guns.

Realities of Conventional War

Realities of Conventional War

WWI and WWII were horrific in their own right, but were as unconventional as warfare gets. During WWI, occurrences of opposing sides playing soccer games between trenches  are well-documented. WWII had a clear, easily identifiable leader with atrocious strategies and ambitions. The fact that we consider these two events “normal” clearly reveals our lack of understanding of military history. Perhaps if we grow up and can realign our perceptions closer to reality, we can have a more substantial and successful discussion of what we consider acceptable behaviors in wartime.

If Americans understood the realities of war, if they could see into the future the results of the invasion of Iraq, they would never have permitted these men – Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz, men who have never been battle-tested (a few draft-dodgers in there), never known what it felt like to kill another person or see the enemy face-to-face – to launch us into this misquided and ill-considered war.

I understand the outcry against torture, and support much of it. But the fact that the American people can be so outraged over actions against a few and then remain silent while our bombardments in Af-Pak result in the deaths of scores of civilians – mothers, babies, schoolchildren – is media-driven and reprehensible.

13
May
09

Dick Cheney: Opinion Compilation

My opinion for Dick Cheney really needs no description. He is a vile, megalomaniacal, right-wing zealot with no capability of reasonable contemplation or consideration for any other strategy than full-throttle, “Either join me or get outta my way!” This country is infinitesimally better off now that the old man is sidelined.

That said, how wonderful it is that the black-pace-makered, sinister posterboy pokes his head above the muck and mire long enough to remind everyone why Obama won on Nov. 4 before returning to his panic room to watch Fox until he perceives yet another indignity that needs addressing.

The left is like a kid in a candy store when Dick’s thin lips part to reveal his jutted lower jaw and antediluvian, borderline-schizo views. We sit aglow in front of our television screens asking, Does it get any better than this? It could, I suppose, but it most likely will not. Only Bush on his knees in tears, arms stretched to the sky, crying, “Why, oh why, Baby Jesus, am I so hated when all I did is what you tole me to do?” That would be awesome.

Three commentators offered their opinions regarding the latest Dick Cheney tomfoolery and I couldn’t have put it any better than they did:

Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic:

I don’t know how else to interpret his obviously self-destructive grandstanding this weekend. But think of the long view for a moment. Here is a former vice-president, who enjoyed unprecedented power for eight long, long years. No veep ever wielded power like he did in the long history of American government. In the months after 9/11, he swept all Congressional resistance away, exerted total executive power, wielded a military and paramilitary apparatus far mightier than all its rivals combined and mightier than any power in history, tapped any phone he wanted, claimed the right to torture any suspect he wanted (and followed through with thousands, from Bagram to Abu Ghraib) and was able to print and borrow money with impunity to finance all of it without a worry in the world. But even after all that, he cannot tolerate a few months of someone else, duly elected, having a chance to govern the country with a decent interval of grace.

Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post:

This is the crux of Cheney’s “argument,” and I put the word in quotation marks because it isn’t really a valid argument at all. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Bush administration approved programs and methods that previously would have been considered illegal or unacceptable: arbitrary and indefinite detention of terrorism suspects, waterboarding and other abusive interrogation methods, secret CIA prisons, unprecedented electronic surveillance. Since 2001, there have been no new attacks on what the Bush administration creepily called the “homeland.” Therefore, everything that was done in the name of preventing new attacks was justified.

The fallacy lies in the fact that it is impossible for Cheney to prove that anti-terrorism methods within the bounds of U.S. law and tradition would have failed to prevent new attacks. Nor, for that matter, can Cheney demonstrate that torture and other abuses were particularly effective.

[…]

Given a choice between a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state who has given to his nation a lifetime of exemplary public service or an entertainer who brags about how much money he makes from bombast and bluster, Cheney would go with the gasbag. This is advice that’s supposed to help the Republican Party?

Maureen Dowd from The New York Times:

In 2002, when Bush Junior was ramping up to his war against Saddam, Al Gore made a speech trying to slow down that war resolution, pointing out that pivoting from Osama to Saddam for no reason, initiating “pre-emptive” war, and blowing off our allies would undermine the war on terror. Charles Krauthammer called Gore’s speech “a disgrace.” Michael Kelly, his fellow Washington Post columnist, called it “vile” and “contemptible.” Newt Gingrich said that the former vice president asserting that W. was making America less safe was “well outside the mark of an appropriate debate.”

[…]

The man who never talked is now the man who won’t shut up. The man who wouldn’t list his office in the federal jobs directory, who had the vice president’s residence blocked on Google Earth, who went to the Supreme Court to keep from revealing which energy executives helped him write the nation’s energy policy, is now endlessly yelping about how President Obama is holding back documents that should be made public.

Cheney, who had five deferments himself to get out of going to Vietnam, would rather follow a blowhard entertainer who has had three divorces and a drug problem (who also avoided Vietnam) than a four-star general who spent his life serving his country.

[…]

He has no coherent foreign policy viewpoint. He still doesn’t fathom that his brutish invasion of Iraq unbalanced that part of the world, empowered Iran and was a force multiplier for Muslims who hate America. He left our ports unsecured, our food supply unsafe, the Taliban rising and Osama on the loose. No matter if or when terrorists attack here — and they’re on their own timetable, not a partisan red/blue state timetable — Cheney will be deemed the primary one who made America more vulnerable.

W.’s dark surrogate father is trying to pull the G.O.P. into a black hole of zealotry, just as the sensible brother who lost his future to the scamp brother is trying to get his career back on track.

When Cheney was in the first Bush administration, he was odd man out. Poppy, James Baker, Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell corralled Cheney’s “Genghis Khan” side, as it was known, and his “rough streak.” Cheney didn’t care for Powell even then.

Keep it coming, Dick Cheney; this is gold, I tell ya, GOLD!!

15
Apr
09

Tea Baggers – Disingenuous, Ignoramus Boobs

The blogosphere is alight today with opinion pieces denouncing these rube-magnet “Tea Parties.” Here’s another one.

cause bush told the truth!

cause bush told the truth!

First of all, much like a circus, these Tea Parties put on display for the rest of us to see, the imbecilic nature of Right Wing nutjobs. The ones who vote for their big biz Republican politicians who enact policy that directly injures their very constituents. Who is dumb enough to believe the Dick Armeys, Newt Gingriches, Limbaughs, Coulters, Hannitys, Glenn Becks, Michael Steeles, Rick Perrys, Mark Sanfords, Sarah Palins, Michelle Bachmanns, David Vitters? Who is dumb enough to be whipped into a gun-buying, revolution-shouting frenzy of inanity by this honorless Republican leadership? Go to a Tea Party tonight and find out.

DEFICIT

Here’s why these people are disingenuous: they are protesting government spending that would drive up the deficit. Well, their precious Reagan drove up the deficit, George H. W. Bush and his highly successful son drove up the deficit and nary a Tea Party was had. Where was the outrage? I remember a bunch of Right Wingers getting their panties in a bunch over the fact that Bill Clinton was sucked off by an intern, but did they ever congratulate him over balancing the budget? No. They don’t care about the deficit. They’re group-think idiots of the highest order.

They keep saying they don’t want our kids to inherit a huge deficit. Yet, they don’t give a shit if our kids inherit an environment raped by big business because we were to ignorant to switch to renewable energy when we had the chance. They don’t care if our kids inherit a country with semi-automatic weapons carpeting the countryside. They don’t care if our kids have affordable health care and access to decent medical attention. Their claims of concern for our kids is false and hollow and nauseating.

TAXES

And they’re complaining about taxes. Well, let’s see. Obama is instituting the broadest tax cut in history. And he’s only raising taxes of the wealthy to less than they were under Reagan. In fact, the GOP’s proposed budget again lowers taxes for the wealthy, increasing them for the lower and middle classes, according to this PDF put together by Citizens for Tax Justice. They also discovered that the GOP plan would cost $225 billion more than the Democratic plan.

These Right Wingers are also people calling for the U.S. to attack Iran, North Korea and launch a military operation in Somalia and off its coast – yet they don’t want to PAY for it. Funny how their buttboy Bush didn’t want to pay for his war of choice either – refusing to fund the soldiers on the battlefield appropriately and refusing to fund their care when they return home. Yet, the Bush administration sent billions of dollars to defense contractors who struck it rich while unable to account for millions, if not billions of dollars they received.

HYPOCRITES

We’re seeing calls for Revolution – for people to arm themselves as if to somehow thwart the government. How ridiculously hypocritical these white, racist conservatives are being! What if members of the left made these anti-government slogans? How unamerican we would be labeled –  how unpatriotic.

This is a lunatic fringe minority of the American demographic and they want to control the fates of the rest of us. They would rather overthrow the legally-elected government representing the views of the majority of this country. The election was a blowout – the American people spoke and were absolutely demanding a change in leadership and these crazy teabag freakos would attempt to undermine the very democracy innumerable people have shed their lives to give us. They seek to weaken the country and cheapen the government system that makes them so proud only when it serves their selfish purposes.

LIBERTY

How deep does these people’s inability to process logic and thought go? Consider their calls for liberty. Bush used illegal warrantless wiretapping on the American people (and most relevant journalists). Right Wingers were silent. Bush banished Habeas Corpus from the Constitution. The Right Wingers were silent.  Bush turned the Justice Department into a partisan death squad. Right Wingers were silent. The illegality of gays to marry inhibits the liberties of a vast number of Americans. Marijuana as never caused the death of a person, yet the liberty to smoke pot legally is almost non-existent. Women’s liberty to choose to end a pregnancy would be taken away if these conservos had their way.

The only liberty they want is to take away the rights and decisions of those who disagree with them. They would oppress the rest of us for their own, ignorant, baseless, uninformed reasons.

DOUCHEBAGS

This shade of political activist allows the terrorism of the rest of the country by easing the release of assault weapons onto our streets and into the hands of criminal elements both

yeah, and Bush wasnt? Jeez....

yeah, and Bush wasn't? Jeez....

domestic and outside our boarders. Their answer is that we should all arm ourselves, encouraging the possibility of gun battles in our neighborhoods.

These Tea Baggers do not understand the realities of their theories and the results of their lunacy. While their opinions on deregulation and taxation and government spending, etc. sound quite wonderful, they have unintended consequences and materialize in ways that damage this country’s economy, civil liberties and safety – as was illustrated so clearly under Bush.

The Tea Baggers had their chance. They controlled the White House and Congress for six of the last eight years and their policies tore this country asunder, taking it to the brink of collapse. This subgroup of political outliers would dictate liberties not only to the rest of Americans – but hang the rest of the world out to dry, attacking many without justification and at the same time arousing indignation that we sacrifice our “sovereignty” by abiding by U.N. Resolutions.

These people are idiots – the lowest common denominator of the uninformed. They are being used by people and leadership whose policies affect these “protestors” negatively in a significant way. Yet, time and time again, Republican “tax and deficit” lies – and the use of god, guns and gays – gets these turkeys hot to trot in an attempt to inhibit progress and improvement of this great nation.

It’s real cute, the mock revolution and display of boobery by the ‘baggers. I’m glad the rest of us can sit back and chuckle at the baffoonery without real fear their opinions will gain any traction. In my opinion, the best way to overcome this circus of ‘tards is to stay informed. Read,read,read. And remember the last eight years.

In short, take a hike, tea baggers. You don’t know what you’re talking about and the rest of us (ahem, the majority) don’t need or want you.

And I don’t want to hear any shit about the Tea Parties being Libertarian before being hijacked by the Right Wing wackos. This blog is meant for those hijackers. The tea bags are being funded by the Right Wing death squads and that’s why I’m responding so vehemently.

UPDATE 4.16.09: After looking at all the pics of these rallies, it was clear there were no minorities amongst the Tea Bag douchers. A klan-esque political movement of old, white people that is tasteless to minorities, gay people, non-believers and progressive women will go nowhere and gain bupkis. And Rove thinks this “movement is significant.” Um…right. He also referred to Democrats’ “tax and spend tendencies.” Why don’t we talk about how great the “no tax, but sill spend a lot” policies of the Republicans are? I guess it’s true. Right Wingism does rot the brain.

19
Jan
09

With Less Than 24 Hours to Go, I Say NEVER AGAIN

With just one day to go all I can say is I never thought this day would come. This is my long accounting of George W. Bush and that which he wrought upon our nation. It’s not a full catharsis, but merely the start so that we may say Never Again.

2000 Election – My Confessional

I can remember exactly where I was the moment the news stations called the 2000 election for Bush. On a treadmill in Perth, Australia. Everyone in the gym looked in my direction to see what the lone American thought of her next president. Mind you, this was before the news stations realized they had committed the media blunder of the century and we’d have to wait for characters like Katherine Harris and hanging chads to become famous before the Supreme Court decided who our next president was.

Having recently graduated college and, thus, deciding to party like a rock star, I was too clueless to get my act together and send in an absentee ballot to participate in the election. It’s the only one I’ve missed and will carry the shame until dementia erodes my cognitive abilities. I would have voted for Bush, though. Gore was such a lame douchebag (not to mention Lieberman) and I had yet to fully shed the Republican shackles of my youth. Hell,as a University of Texas student, Bush had been my neighbor. No one knew the gravity of the election and most people I knew were eager to see our governor succeed.

During the campaign, Bush kept saying the U.S. had to stop being the world’s policeman and scale back our military entanglements around the globe. Having recently studied the Vietnam War, international diplomacy, nuclear weapons policy and the fall of the Soviet Union – his rhetoric hit home with me. How was I to know he’d do a 180 once he had his finger over the red button?

This was before the convenient days of Google and Wikipedia. And I was clinging to the bubble of youthful ignorance with full force, which meant I did not research W’s history. I did not discover that he was an utterly failed businessman who had skated through early adulthood like many rich kids on his daddy’s name without forging a worthy identity or principle. I did not know the man was a hollow shell with only a pre-determined ideology and a daddy complex to steer decisions that would determine the fate of millions.

2004 – Was Bush Sent to Make this Nation Atone for Sins of its Past?

By 2004, it was glaringly apparent that Bush was incapable of the necessary consideration and deliberation to benefit this country or any other. In the primaries, I voted for Wes Clark, thinking him to be the only Democrat candidate who could reasonably compete with Bush for votes while the Iraq War of choice was being waged. Instead, John Kerry walked away with the nomination and I knew Bush would be reelected. Kerry was a non-starter, running on an “I’m Not Bush” platform, echoing the dismal reality that the Democrats had no voice, no testicular fortitude, no message.

Our country was to be held hostage for another four years by the evangelical, anti-intellectual far right and their moronic leader. I truly believed (living in Oklahoma, at the time) that the majority of this country were actually uneducated hicks who cared more about their guns than community service and thought it more important to have a big dick than humility. It was as though the America I thought existed was being suffocated by the intolerant and selfish and stupid.

I immediately bought a “01.20.09” bumper sticker, proudly displaying my patriotic desire to alter the direction of our nation. I wasn’t alone. Every time I saw another car sporting the same sticker – more than you’d expect here in north Texas – my heart leapt for joy. The peeps were waking up.The tide was turning, biatch.

THE WORST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY

It has been a most painful four years. Gay marriage bans, attempts at abortion redefinitions, no repentance for sending thousands to die for a war of choice – a war based on lies and deceit and salesmanship, and almost every department under the Executive Branch in ill repute for either illegal activity or preventing progress.

Bush is so smug with pride over the fact that the U.S. has not been attacked since 9/11. “I’ve kept America safe,” he repeats. But another leader of higher caliber could have kept us safe without sacrificing our dignity, integrity and honor. A better leader would have questioned his decisions, would not started or outsourced a war designed to establish a legacy. A better leader would have known things are not so simple, not so black and white, and not easily designated “good” and “evil.”

How many Americans did Bush keep safe from Alzheimer’s and diabetes and paralysis by supporting the limitless possibilities of embryonic stem research? How many teenage girls turned to abortion because Bush decided federal funds would support abstinence-only programs proven time and time again to fail, aptly demonstrated by the 2008 Republican V.P. nominee herself? Bush’s legacy entails auctioning off national protected lands (why?) and hindering the listing of many species (including polar bears) from the endangered species list.

At every turn available, the Bush administration sold out this country and it’s citizens to the mega-corporations designed to bleed every penny we have and every penny we’re approved for from our shrinking wallets. He sold the war and soldiers’ safety to Blackwater, Halliburton and myriad of other war profiteers. He sold our energy policy to the energy companies, the EPA to business hell-bent on raping the environment. Even the FDA is a joke, a corporate gimp with a failed record for protecting the consumer.

Under Bush, our nation became a budding autocracy who spies on its citizens at home and abroad. The Justice Department was politicized, the State Department was a Yes Man, the Defense Department was the epitome of incompetence, Homeland Security is a theatrical presentation, FEMA is a mythological black hole, the CIA is a plaything of the Executive.  The FCC has multiplied its interference in our “freedom of speech” a thousand-fold.

There has been no shining light from this President. No progress. No national greatness achieved. He came to office promising to unite and instead tore our country asunder.

With less than 24 hours to go it almost doesn’t seem real. Probably because it will take a generation repair the endless damage that clouds the horizon.

Obviously, I do not believe history will smile on George W. Bush. Unlike others, I do not think that his legacy will mirror the future of Iraq. The Iraq War empowered Iran like nothing else could for centuries – and history knows. In this age of information, ALL the destruction by this administration is on record and serves as a reminder that it does matter who the President of the United States is. Their character and integrity and intellect matter. Their decision-making matter.

We must remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. We cannot let time sweeten the memory of the last eight years. We must record it and remember it for the sake of future generations. So that we may say with conviction: NEVER AGAIN.

Is it real? It doesn’t feel real.

15
Jan
09

As We Say Goodbye To Bush, No More Asinine Politicans – and that goes for you, too, Palin!

**gag, I’m watching Roland Burris being sworn in.

The recent media blitzes by outgoing #43 (thank christ) and national spokesperson for “keep your ass in school” Sarah Palin have confirmed that the Alaska governor is a spectacularly enhanced version of our ridiculous monkey of a president. Yes, yes, they share fallacious confidence, lack of introspection, intellectual impotence, devotion to ideology over reality and inability to comprehend and utilize 8th grade English language skills. In short, they are bone-heads. They just don’t “get it.”

And that’s something everyone can understand. It’s easy to spot. Bill Clinton “just didn’t get it” that you’re not supposed to stick cigars up interns’ no-no special places when you’re president.Larry Craig “just doesn’t get it” that we all know he’s a closet-gay who wanted some innocent, anonymous, illegal fudge-packing. We get it. They don’t.

That Bush and Palin just don’t get “it” is as obvious as the fact that Dick Cheney’s soul has already departed to the nether-regions of the after-life.

A few examples:

During the Jan. 13 interview with Larry King, our president – yes, it’s hard to believe he is – said, “And they say, well, why didn’t the Bush administration connect the dots? And then we started putting tools in place within the law to connect the dots. And then after we got far enough away from September the 11th, they said why are you connecting the dots, you know?”

What?? Are you a fucking idiot?! Oh, yes, that’s right. You are. It’s widely accepted as fact. You just don’t get it.

No one, not one pinky of any person ever questioned why Bush’s administration was “connecting the dots” after 9/11. No one. Perhaps they were wondering why Bush was lying about the dots. Or using the dots to justify a war of choice. Sure, many of us questioned his abandonment of the Geneva Conventions in areas such as torture and prisoners of war. But connecting the dots? Nope. Nuhuh.

The statement is one of the most asinine statements the man has uttered recently, and that’s saying a lot.

And then there’s Palin. Pah-fucking Palin. Who has been running her mouth far and wide while her constituents freeze and starve and need some damn birth control. This governor, who couldn’t make it through a Katie Couric interview, yet somehow thinks she’s capable of being president of the United States, complaining of her media treatment, said, “Even hard news sources, credible news sources — the comment about, you can see Russia from Alaska. You can! You can see Russia from Alaska. Something like that — a factual statement that was taken out of context and mocked — what you have to do is let that go.”

She doesn’t get it. No one was disputing the views from Alaska’s shores. The “credible news sources” were questioning Palin’s use of Russia’s vicinity to Alaska as foreign policy credentials. And her inability to consistently speak in complete sentences.

All I am saying, good people of America, is that as we say good-bye to one bastion of imbecility, let’s not let another one – a worse one – in the door. Even you ladies in Florida who were spotlighted on one of the news channels during your coffee and prayer group get-together saying that Palin would fit right in with you. I don’t want you as president or senator or in any elected office for that matter. You shouldn’t want you either.

Let’s let go of wanting politicians who are like us and demand politicians who are better than us. No more foolish, evolution-questioning cusses who would score lower than most of us on standardized tests. Please. Alaska, are you in?

Thank you,

An anonynmous, pathetic, bored blogger who is grateful as hell that there’s only 5 days to go before this nightmare is over.

and P.S. To Laura Bush who said to Larry King that she was upset some of the ridicule of her husbans was personal, I say, that the people who died in the Superdome after Katrina took it personally. And the soldiers who have died for your husbands war of choice have taken it personally. Your husband mistook this country for an autocracy and has wrought havoc that will last generations. You sit by him with your blind confidence in the righteousness of his leadership as I suppose you have to. But your penance is to listen to the heartache he as caused America and you will have to listen to it the rest of your days. I don’t pity you an ounce.

08
Nov
08

Obama Critics Need Back The Hell Up – For Now

With the election over, hapless McCain supporters are coming through the woodwork with their preconceived fears of an Obama administration. Already, they’re criticizing his future administrative decisions, claiming they’re “terrified” of the coming president.

I have four words for you imbeciles: Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

Let me spell it out as clearly as I can: your president has utterly ravaged this country during his tenure. Oh, you don’t think it’s all his fault? Let me give you a small reminder of his activities over the last eight years:

  • Convincing our country and neighbors to support the invasion of a sovereign country with lies and false intelligence. Severely mishandling the war for years, lying to the American people about the progress of the war and causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and handing more power to Iran than the country has enjoyed in centuries.
  • Appointing unqualified loyalists to positions that would result in the mishandling of Hurricane Katrina and subsequent deaths of a multitude of people.
  • After claiming to be called to spread democracy, attacking liberty and freedom in the U.S. by, among other things, erasing one of the foundations of democracy: habeas corpus.
  • Establishing a Justice Department that sought to subvert the law rather than uphold the Constitution, leading to the illegal politicization of the department and illegal warrantless surveillance of Americans at home and abroad.
  • Allowing the SEC to enact deregulations that would contribute to the destruction of the economy.
  • Giving tax cuts to the wealthy while the country was at war.
  • Compromising the war on terror by abandoning the military situation in Afghanistan.
  • Failing to enact necessary and obvious energy policies that would benefit future generations, refusing to abide by the Kyoto Protocol, and coddling energy companies that would discourage the development of alternative energy sources and tools, such as electric cars.
  • Supporting unConstitutional bans against gay marriage.
  • Operating with a lack of intellectual curiosity, a certitude and an isolationist arrogance that has grossly reduced U.S. credibility abroad.
  • Attempting to privatize social security – which would have decimated the program had it succeeded

George W. Bush has relentlessly damaged this country politically, economically and militarily year after year after year. He has been the most incompetent president the country has ever experienced. Ever.

And you Republicans feel you have any right to open your fat mouths and issue criticisms of a man who has yet to take the oath of office?! The gall, the stupidity, the ignorance!

I am absolutely unopposed to critiquing Obama’s efforts as president. We must certainly pay attention to the developments and decisions of our government. It is our responsibility and duty as American citizens to ensure our government operates with accountability and proficiency at all levels at all times. Feel free to raise your voices – when it is time.

But give Obama a chance to lead. Take a step back, take a breath, take responsibility for your vote for Bush and Cheney in 2004. Shut your mouths and study the actions of Obama before you unleash your predetermined accusations of a man who will undoubtedly make mistakes, but will undoubtedly perform better than the leader you delivered to us.

I don’t like to dispense with advice, but allow me – just this once, Republicans – to issue a few words you’d be well-served to heed: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

22
Oct
08

Why Won’t Defense Dept. Allow U.S. Soldiers to Testify in Aussie Soldier’s Death?

I suppose cover ups and evasion are the name of the game if an American executive administration lies its country into a war and then solicits international neighbors to lend their forces to the effort to shore up legitimacy for its catastrophic blunder.

What really stings, however, is when the U.S. Defense Department thumbs its nose at our international neighbors after their sons and daughters also give their lives for our president’s military ejaculation.

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting our Defense Department is refusing to allow two soldiers who witnessed the death of an Australian soldier, Flight Lieutenant Paul Pardoel, in Iraq in 2005 to testify before the Australian coronor’s inquest. The two American soldiers submitted written testimony that they had seen Pardoel’s RAF Hercules hit “a huge fireball fired from the ground and then explode in mid-air, shortly after it took off from Baghdad International Airport.”

Apparently, the two American soldiers and an Iraqi farmer are the only witnesses to Pardoel’s death. Coroner David Masters poses the relevant question, “I just wonder . . . what the attitude would have been if the boot had been on the other foot.” Me too, Mr. Masters, me too.

What a great way of increasing bilateral relations by giving one huge “fuck you” to a country when one of theirs dies because the leader of our country is a shitbrick who had something to prove to papa.

21
Oct
08

Simpletons Have Taken Over The Republican Party

Politics have always been selling the most simple ideas about the most complicated issues. Capitalism vs. Socialism. Legalization of abortion vs. Criminalization of abortion. Gay marriage vs. Marriage between a man and a woman. War vs. Peace. Welfare vs. Politics of Personal Responsibility. It seems so easy to decide which side of the coin to set up shop until you dig deeper into the issue – especially social ones.

Many of Americans, however, have no interest in understanding the nuances and complexities of the issues facing this country and its citizens. They exist in the shallow end of the pool, searching for answers that bolster their viewpoints rather than seeking information that may broaden their comprehension. They exist in all voter demographics, but it is the more ugly and intolerant of these simpletons that currently serve as the foundation for the Republican Party. It is on these people that Republicans have been betting elections on for years.

In recent weeks there has been loud murmuring of the “narrowing” of the Republican Party. Colin Powell’s endorsement of Obama reflected this development in Right Wing politics – the sacrifice of the intellectualist in favor of the zealot. Many Republicans once supportive of debate, discussion, consideration now find themselves the minority in their party – a stranger in their own home.

In 2004, the Republicans successfully added bans against homosexual marriage to ballots across the country, bringing out evangelicals in droves and delivering a solid victory to the Right. This tactic, largely attributed to Karl Rove, gave Republicans a taste of the power they could attain if only they would debase the election with a simple and divisive issue. Once the simple-minded were good and scared into believing their very way of life was threatened if they didn’t show up to the polls, the Republicans reaped the reward of scare-tactics and dividing a nation. George W. Bush had promised to be “The Great Uniter” but preferred power at any cost and thus ceded his lofty moral ambitions to the salacious intentions of Rove, who believed in a “Permanent Republican Majority”, the very antithesis of democracy.

It seemed for a while the lunatics had taken over the asylum and run away with our grand country, suffocating our national opitimism with their arrogance, isolationism and thirst for power. Americans watched as their government lied them into an unnecessary war, left thousands to die after a hurricane on our own soil, murdered a defining tenant of liberty: habeas corpus, used semantics to skirt Geneva Conventions regarding prisoners of war, committed the ultimate sovereign American hypocrisy of torture, illegally spied on its own citizens, outed one of its own CIA agents, neglected military efforts in Afghanistan, made our country sink lower and lower in developed-world health care standards, sent jobs overseas, established free trade agreements with countries who have no regard for the environment or the laborer or quality of product, redistributed the vast majority of the wealth in this country to the upper economic echelons and, little by little, brought our economy to the verge of collapse.

And Americans, left hopeless and dejected and crushed by years of detestable executive government are now standing up and saying, “No longer.” They are turning their hopes to a fallible, yet thoughtful man whom they will elect as president in two weeks. This turn of events, you can imagine, is causing tremors in the Republican Party, as they witness the death of their “Permanent Majority” aspirations.

In this moment of political crisis, the frenzied Right Wing fringes of have seized command of the ship, ignoring rational voices futilely trying to warn them off the path which leads to a destination of utter annihilation. A line has been drawn in the sand and many, including Colin Powell, Chuck Hagel, Michael Smerconish, want no part of this incensed and ugly Republicanism. Others  – Christopher Buckley, Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, Kathleen Parker and more – have appointed themselves lighthouses amidst the storm, only to be rebuked by the anger and dejection of the Republican Simpleton.

The thoughtless Simpletons have their captains: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coutler, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Tom Delay, Newt Gingrich, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, Karl Rove. And they’ve elected their hero, no not McCain – he’s almost a victim of  Stockholm Syndrome this maelstroom, giving way to the  tactics of fear: attack, lie, then attack some more. No, their new hero is Sarah Palin.

Palin is the new, perfect mascot of the Neo-Conservative, the epitome of this rash of intolerant, hateful and unthinking Simpleton Republicans. They see everything in black and white: Obama’s association with Bill Ayers, Palin’s “executive” experience, Powell’s endorsement of Obama, drilling = energy independence, taxes, foreign relations, the war on Iraq, the SURGE, anti-Americanism.

These are the simpletons that think our country perfect and in no need of improvement, these are the people who think our country is on a hill – above all others – who coined the term “freedom fries” and have no appreciation for our foreign brethren, their own pride and traditions and culture and opinion. These are the people who think any criticism of the US a blasphemy and equate the number of flags flown to the strength of character. These are the conservatives who believe a lie even more after the truth is told to them.

These are the conservatives who are one-issue voters and would criminalize abortion while supporting legislation that would increase poverty, leading to increased abortions. These are the Michelle Bachmanns who would dare judge another person’s anti-Americanism, whatever that means. These are the Republicans who would care if Obama were or Muslim or not and would yell “terrorist” and “kill  him”. These are the Fox News believers who would banish any other source of information that might challenge their way of thinking. These are the base that made it impossible for McCain to choose a more suitable running mate such as Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman.

These are simpletons who do not appreciate intellectual curiosity and education and information. They do not understand intricacy and nuance and complexity. They do not know of the depth of arguments and issues – federal taxation and necessary marriage of American capitalism with socialism. They do not want the government teaching their children evolution and sexual education but would have the government legislate the private lives of those that may live differently. These are the Jacks of “Lord of the Flies” and Samuel Parrisses in “The Crucible” and Joe McCarthy’s and witch hunters who would turn fascist if given any length of legitimacy and dominance. They do not seek truth nor justice nor reason, but struggle to create an ugly, one-sided caricature of their view of the United States of America.

These simpletons have the minds of children, which is why they gravitate so steadily toward a woman who speaks with the tone of a fifth-grade teacher, or school principal at best. They suckle on the lies of the Republicans, calling Obama a Marxist, that he would raise everyone’s taxes, they he palls around with terrorists, that he is the equivalent of Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, that he must answer for the words of Jeremiah Wright, that he is unamerican and different than you and me, that he has different values and shady intentions. This is mother’s milk for the simpletons, leading Fox News to shovel it by the ton.

So many legitimate, centrist Republicans tell me not to associate them with these simpletons. And I don’t. I appreciate my more understanding, learned, reasonable Republican friends.

But in an election such as this, a vote for the Republican Party at the presidential level is a vote for the Simpleton. For the ugly scourge that threatens liberty and discourse and progress. For the person who thinks to be an American is to be a white Christian. For the person who has no capacity of self-analysis, empathy for others, consideration for differing views.

The Republican Party is not what it once was. The Grand Old Party. It has narrowed into a shriveled shadow of its former days, a haven for hate and intolerance. And I am thankful and glad not to consider myself one of its members.

UPDATE 10.22.08: The New Republic echoed my sentiments today (though more diplomatically) in Alvaro Vargas Llosa’s “Cracked Up” – here are a few excerpts:

A rebellion is beginning to take place among American conservatives, many of them influential commentators who are denouncing the takeover of the Republican Party by a mixture of anti-intellectual populists and political extremists.

These fundamental deviations from conservatism crystallized in the Bush administration. The result was the biggest growth in government since the presidency of Lyndon Johnson, a loss of international prestige and, in purely political terms, the alienation of millions of people who could have been attracted to the Republican Party had its libertarian roots been preserved in dealing with social issues. Thus, the party that styles itself the champion of individual liberty has come to be seen by many in the United States and around the world as a special-interest group driven by factions and devoid of principle.

That many conservatives have finally decided to speak out is encouraging. That they are being vilified is even more encouraging–it means that they may just have a point. After the elections, conservatives will have to do some serious soul-searching and ask themselves a few simple questions: How was it that they let their movement and their party be hijacked by people who were hellbent on disfiguring the face of American conservatism? How was it that the self-styled party of individual liberty became, in the eyes of many, the party of big government, intolerance and jingoism?

14
Oct
08

Surge Truth on Morning Joe

This morning, Joe Scarborough hosted Peter Galbraith, author of “Unintended Consequences: How War in Iraq Strengthened America’s Enemies.” After Joe asserted he believed the troop surge was the cause of reduced violence in Iraq, Galbraith answered the reduction in violence was more the result of the Sunni change in attitude. He did not mention the payoffs to the Sunni militias and their leaders by the American Government, but asserted that after Sunnis had become displeased with Al Qaeda activities, they turned their loyalties away from the terrorist organization.

I would like Sunni payoffs to receive greater acknowledgment by the mainstream media and politicians as a significant factor in the reduction of violence in Iraq. Such an admission would reduce the politicization of the troops and the surge by politicians, namely McCain, Lieberman and Graham.

You can click here, to watch the interview.

Previous blogs regarding the truth about the surge:

Decreased Violence in Iraq – More to do with Money than the Surge

Lieberman Using Surge Resolution for Shady Politics

Finally, Honesty About the Surge

Lieberman Continues Playing Politics with Our Troops

Update On Decrease In Violence In Iraq

09
Oct
08

Questions for McCain, Palin and Cindy McCain

I’m working on a major energy blog I hope to post tomorrow, but have been pulled from those efforts by the continuing call by McCain and Palin for Obama to answer questions about his relationship with Ayers – which has been looked into ad nauseam.

McCain, Palin, and recently-enlisted attack dog Cindy McCain should put on their own honesty caps and enlighten us in a few gray areas regarding their past.

I took the privilege of posting a few questions I would like 100% honest, in-depth answers to by our beloved Republican hopefuls. If they’re calling for questions to be answered, perhaps they should pony up a few themselves and take the plank out of their eyes. I mean, if we’re really being honest…

Questions for McCain:

  1. Why did you inappropriately accept funds from Charles Keating?
  2. Why did you sign legislation impeding attempts to release records about POWs left behind in Vietnam?
  3. Why do you think you’d be a cool hand at the tiller when you are an infamous rage-a-holic who regularly pokes people in their chest when you are angry?
  4. Why have you courted the Religious Right after terming them “agents of intolerance” after the 2000 presidential primaries?
  5. What is your relationship with Gordon Liddy?
  6. Why did you serve on the board for the U.S. Council for World Freedom, which is tied to right-wing death squads who tried to overthrow the government in Nicaragua?
  7. Why did you not vote against a bill that would ban the CIA from using waterboarding?
  8. Do you believe Sarah Palin is more qualified to be president than Joe Lieberman, Tom Ridge, Mitt Romney, Lindsey Graham, Kay Bailey-Hutchison, Meg Whitman, Tim Pawlenty?
  9. Why did you obtain a marriage license to your second wife before the marriage with your first wife was over?
  10. Do you believe the surge of troops in Iraq was more affective at quelling the violence than Sunni payoffs and new strategic operations by the military?
  11. Knowing what you know now, would you approve the invasion of Iraq and the resulting deaths of over 4,000 American troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis?
  12. Why have you filled your campaign with former Bush cronies?

Questions for Palin:

  1. Why have you not been fully honest about your involvement in Troopergate?
  2. Does your husband love American as much as you do and, if so, why did he belong to an Alaskan secessionist movement?
  3. Why did you use personal emails for most of your online communication regarding your government operations?
  4. Why did you spend half your nights as governor of Alaska in your home in Wasilla, 600 miles away from the capital of Juneau and then charge the taxpayers for most of those home stays?
  5. Why did the government pay for the travel of your husband and children?
  6. Why have you appointed clearly unqualified people to your cabinet in Alaska?
  7. Do you believe abstinence-only education is effective?
  8. What is the capital of Venezuela?

Questions for Cindy McCain:

  1. Do you know that John McCain voted against funding the troops?
  2. Do you think that if Michelle Obama had a prescription drug addiction in the past, Obama would still be the Democratic nominee for president?
  3. Why have you not acknowledged your half-sisters in public?
  4. Why have you not given any of the millions of dollars in inheritance your father left you to you father’s other daughter, who only received around $10,000 after your father’s death?
  5. Why did your father have mob ties and serve time in prison?
  6. Do you actually believe Barack Obama’s campaign is dirtier than that of your husband?

I’m going to gag on the hypocrisy.

07
Oct
08

Go Negative, McCain! And Then Go Home!

With only 28 days left in the election, I’m hearing a lot of people saying they can’t wait until this is all over. Granted, these people are all anti-Obama. But, all politics all the time can be hard on people who are not political junkies. Unlike me.

I’m reveling in this constant political news stream. Even all the mud-slinging can’t rain on my parade. I suppose this is because the person I do not want to win will have to pull a rainbow with a pot of gold out of his ass to take home first place. After constant analysis of the men before us, I have to admit that I’m more ANTI-MCCAIN than PRO-OBAMA and really wish the left wouldn’t romanticize Obama because he’s going to have such a cesspool of crap leftover from Bush to be an extremely transcendent president – at least in his first term. Obama does have less experience than other viable Democratic candidates, his FISA vote pissed me off, he’s against gay marriage, he supports faith-based initiatives and has other “issues” which have garnered my disappointment. But as we say every four years about our respective candidates, “He’s a helluva lot better than the other guy.”

Also, this is the first time it looks like I’ll be on the winning side of a presidential election. I’ll admit it – I voted Dole in ’96, would have voted Bush in 2000 (was out of the country and didn’t get my shit together for an absentee ballot), and voted Kerry in ’04. After growing up in Texas, I was originally a Republican, but naturally moved to the left as I grew more informed – first as a social liberal/fiscal conservative, then even more to the left as I realized the lack of financial regulation results in the United Corporatocracy of America.

I’m not a straight-ticket voter by any means and support the multi-party system more than the Democratic Party, which is why I still may vote Nader in the general election as Texas is almost guaranteed to fall into McCain’s pocket despite the switch of Hispanic voters to the Democratic side. If Texas were a toss-up, I would by all means vote for Obama. Either way, I support a McCain loss above all.

Which is why I love his negative attacks. And Palin’s for that matter.

If they want to load their stump speeches with tales of domestic unrest during the turbulent 60’s – ahem, FORDEE years ago – while the U.S. is embroiled in two wars and the major financial crisis of our times, that is peachy with me. It only ensures a greater loss for them come November. There are legitimate economic policy disputes between McCain and Obama. McCain has every opportunity to present to voters a forward-looking, encouraging picture of where he wants to take the country.

Instead, he calls Obama a liar and dishonestly claims Obama wants to avoid answering questions about his record.

It’s not working. And it won’t work.

The ridiculous charade of McCain’s campaign has found their credibility on a downward slope that has paid little attention to the poll numbers. Instead of a plausible campaign on policies, McCain has given us infamous cannon fodder of stunts: the ads linking Obama to Paris and Britney, naming Palin his running mate, one dishonest ad after another – including an ad that claimed Obama wanted to teach comprehensive sex education to kindergartners, repeating the lie that the surge was responsible for the decrease in violence in Iraq, once again trying to win an election on his POW experience, the fake suspension of his campaign and attempt to take credit for a bailout legislation that failed to materialize according to McCain’s timetable, and – most recently – linking Obama to William Ayers’ activities decades ago. His campaign isn’t legitimate, it’s a joke.

The problem for McCain? The internet has provided voters quick and easy access to fact-based information, allowing people to call bullshit much earlier on lies for the sake of political expediency. Stunts are far more transparent than they were just four years ago. Would the Swiftboaters have succeeded under the current umbrella of the proliferation of information? I don’t want to give American voters too much credit, but I don’t think so.

McCain never gave his policies a chance to shine. He never gave his stance on the issues an opportunity to appeal to voters. He went Hillary on Obama way too early and the stubborn refusal of his campaign to see the error in this tactic is their death knell. Regardless of my disagreement with their policy proposals, they don’t deserve to win it. They tried generalities about his experience and his “maverick” record, but they forgot the specifics about what they are promising the American people. Basic chants about “cleaning up Washington” and “rooting out ineffeciencies” (though Palin forgot the “in” in “inefficiency” a bit too many times in interviews) and “Obama’s the most liberal Senator” don’t work. People want to know what you are GOING TO DO. Future tense, McFly.

From a politically scientific level, it’s been suicide again and again. From a leftie level, it’s been glorious.

Every time another speech by Palin or McCain is carried live on television and they are talking Ayers and calling Obama a liar, I giggle – then press the mute button. Each day they waste with these failed distractions is just another nail in the coffin of their campaign.

So, go negative, McCain! Go negative all the way! Because that road leads to second place. And when you’re looking for bozos to blame, don’t just hurl your spittle towards all the former Bushies you hired, remember that you sold your soul and with it any chance you had to win. I’m looking forward to see you do well, but not good enough, in tonight’s debate. We’ll finally get to see that Town Hall you’ve been clamoring for. Enjoy it. Maybe Bush will meet you afterward by your jet with a cake.

23
Sep
08

Update On Decrease In Violence In Iraq

In my efforts to combat the campaign of misinformation regarding the “success of the surge,” I have blogged about the efficacy of Sunni payoffs and the new strategic ops program Bob Woodward has brought to light.

I’m sure many of you saw the new report that came out yesterday indicating the ethnic cleansing in Iraqi neighborhoods has been the “primary factor” in reduced violence in Iraq, especially in Baghdad. Whether ethnic cleansing was THE primary factor or not, I cannot say, but am sure it was a very large component – much larger than Bush’s surge – in reducing violence.

Sunni payoffs are also a primary factor in their “Awakening”, placing into question the stability of the decreased violence should the U.S. decide to reduce payoffs to Sunni tribes as our forces are withdrawn. Furthermore, there are around a million Shia refugees that will be looking to return to Iraq as reconstruction, which has been an abysmal failure, continues. Violence in the Anbar province and Baghdad continues to be very fragile. Despite the existence of ethnically-cleansed neighborhoods, poverty breeds violence and the payoffs ensure tribesmen do not look singularly to killing to “get what’s theirs.”

Developments to transition the security burden to the Iraqi government, however, are in progress. As the Associated Press reported yesterday, “The Iraqi government will begin paying the salaries of about 54,000 of the mostly Sunni fighters in Baghdad Province who joined the fight against al-Qaida.” Unfortunately, the article does not state that the U.S. is currently paying those salaries and gives the impression that the Iraqi government is “all of the sudden” offering payments to Sunnis. Obviously, Iraq – who stands to make between $67 and $79 billion in oil sales this year – has the cash to offer these payments despite the ubiquitous corruption in the government’s ranks.

This increased role by the Iraqi government is certainly a sign that there is a possibility of violence remaining at a reduced state as the U.S. refocuses its military efforts where they should be: Afghanistan.

What is most irritating as the election enters its final stage is the reluctance by Democrat leaders, besides Biden, to point out the other variables that reduced violence in Iraq and suck the air out of Republicans’ continual misleading about the results of the surge. Just this Sunday on 60 Minutes, Obama again failed to give a comprehensive response to claims about the surge:

Kroft: Iraq. When we talked to you the first time, back in February of 2007, you had proposed, at that time, a piece of legislation that would have had all the troops out in 16 months. Which means they would have been out by today, if it would have been passed. We would have missed the surge. We would have missed the reduction in violence.

Obama: Oh, wait, wait, wait, Steve. I mean, now you’re just engaging in a huge hypothetical. We don’t know what would have happened if we had initiated the plan that I put forward at the beginning of 2007. And the fact of the matter is that, as successful as our troops have been in lowering the violence in Iraq, and they have performed brilliantly. But the truth of the matter is we still don’t have an oil agreement. We still don’t have provincial elections. The commanders on the ground themselves acknowledge that the political progress that’s needed has not been made. So we all welcome the reduction in violence, but the notion that somehow this was the only way for us to solve the problem, and that the problem has been solved, I completely disagree with.

He really needs to get with the program ahead of this Friday’s debate on national security. Cowtowing to uninformed notions that honesty regarding military situations – especially troop activities – is somehow unpatriotic is no way to lead. A presentation of the facts is the best and most effective way to pop McCain’s false surge balloon. Simply saying, “We don’t know what would have happened if we didn’t go ahead with the surge,” does not get the job done, and presents a weak and disingenuous message. And that goes for all Democrats – not just Obama.

12
Sep
08

Lieberman Continues Playing Politics with Our Troops

Alright, Liberals, time for that famous anger. And anyone who else who thinks that decisions regarding the military should be measured and reasoned.

bitt-buddies

butt-buddies

As I’ve written before, the “success” of the Surge actually has more to do with the U.S. government paying of the Sunnis and new secret ops strategies than manpower. The added troops helped undoubtedly. When discussing a war, however, it is of grave importance to acknowledge and understand the entire picture – which we have yet to see from McCain, Lieberman, or their third butt-buddy, Lindsey Graham.

I’ve almost beaten it into the ground, but I’ll provide the links here:

Decreased Violence in Iraq and Finally, Honesty About the Surge

I love it when you talk dirty

Furthermore, I have previously written that Joe Lieberman is playing politics with our troops with his proposed legislation ” which expresses the sense of the Senate recognizing the strategic success of the troop surge in Iraq.” Earlier, Lieberman had defended this amendment by quoting General Petraeus, “‘Iraq is still viewed as the central front for al-Qaida.’ Let me repeat that: ‘Iraq is still viewed as the central front for al-Qaida,’ which is to say by al-Qaida. Not Afghanistan, Iraq; not Pakistan, Iraq.”

According to Think Progress, Lieberman introduced the amendment Sept. 10, S. Amdt. 5368 to S. 3001, which states, among other things:

(18) In 2007, General Petraeus described Iraq as “the central front of al Qaeda’s global campaign”.

(19) In 2008, as a consequence of the success of the surge, al Qaeda has been dealt what Director of Central Intelligence Michael Hayden assesses as a “near strategic defeat” in Iraq.

(21) As a consequence of the success of the surge, sectarian violence in Iraq has fallen dramatically and has been almost entirely eliminated.

(22) As a consequence of the success of the surge, overall insurgent attacks have fallen by approximately 80 percent since June 2007 and are at their lowest level since March 2004.

(24) As a consequence of the success of the surge, the Government of Iraq has made significant strides in advancing sectarian reconciliation and achieving political progress, including the passage of key benchmark legislation.

Now, if the amendment said, “As a consequence of the success of government payoffs to Sunnis, new special operations strategies and the surge…yada, yada, yada,” this amendment would would be truthful.

The problem with the amendment stems from a basic principle of logic. Correlation does not prove cause between two variables. The surge is a variable and decreased violence in Iraq is a variable. That the surge happened at the beginning stages of the decrease in violence means the surge correlates to the surge, but it does not mean the surge caused it. More in-depth study of the decrease in violence in Iraq will outline Sunni payoffs (Sunni Awakening) and special operations programs more as causal factors. I learned this basic principle of logic as part of my education at an evil liberal university. Apparently, Lieberman didn’t.

Somebody's gotta chip on their shoulder....

I will repeat my opinion of this amendment. By introducing this piece of legislation at this time, Lieberman is politicizing the war and politicizing our military and politicizing our troops. He merely wants the Senate to agree to this 25 percent-true amendment so that McCain has ammunition to fire at Obama should Obama avoid the vote, vote no or vote yes. They want to pigeon-hole Obama into agreeing to a typical Republican slant on reality. It is shameful and reprehensible.

You can email Joe Lieberman at correspondence-email@lieberman.senate.gov to tell him your thoughts. I know I will. I haven’t decided if I’ll be incendiary or not… (NEVERMIND, I can’t get any of these email addresses to work… Still on the search for the right address!)

Furthermore, Lieberman is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. I know, it’s freaking crazy. If you’d like to sign the petition to have him removed, visit liebermanmustgo.com. I’m proud to say I’m one of 53,050 signers, but hope many more will join the effort. I can’t imagine they’d let him stay after this ridiculous behavior.

And, Connecticut, I know…I know… We’re saddled with him until 2012. Can I just suggest that you please, please remove him from office when you get the chance? I mean, for the love of pete! I know this comes from a Texas resident – but I swear, I SWEAR, I have not voted for Kay Bailey Hutchison or John Cornyn (at least after the age of 20 – kay bailey’s been around a looooooooonnnggggg time).

Update: I decided to go ahead and go with slightly incendiary language. Here’s the email I sent Lieberman’s office (at least, I tried to send him and will continue to do so until I find the correct email!)

Lieberman –

Your amendment to acknowledge the success of the surge without acknowledging Sunni payoffs or the new military strategic operations strategy is misleading and partially false.

You are only introducing this amendment with Senator Graham as a tool to attack Senator Obama should he vote “no,” “yes,” or avoid the vote altogether.

It is shameful and reprehensible that you would use our military for your own petty political games. It is easy to see through this charade and you know it.

I gladly anticipate your removal from your Senate chairmanship for you have lost your honor and integrity. I have signed the Lieberman Must Go petition with pleasure.

I’m sure the minions in your Senate office won’t let you read this, but at least they will know that there are plenty of us out there who see through your lies and bullshit. We’ll be watching.

Shame on you,

Meredith

08
Sep
08

Finally, Honesty About the Surge

Sunday was a good day for those of us wishing our politicians and media were a bit more candid about the success of the troop surge.

First off, Biden was on Meet The Press. Hopefully, when Palin is finished in political boot camp and learns where she stands on all the issues, she’ll go on there as well and we can see how well she regurgitates all her new policy stances. Like Biden said,

Well, in, in the sense I know Mitt Romney and know his positions, and I know Tom Ridge and I really respect them. And–but you know, I, I’ve debated an awful lot of tough, smart women. A woman who’s a judge here in our superior court was one of my toughest opponents ever for the Senate. And there’s a lot of very tough, smart women in the United States Senate I debate every day. So in that sense it’s not new. But what is new is I have no idea what her policies are. I assume they’re the same as John’s. I just don’t know.

The most important comments he made to Tom Brokaw, however, were in reference to the Iraq War, during this exchange:

MR. BROKAW: But it’s a process, and it’s beginning, and the surge made that possible, did it not?

SEN. BIDEN: No. The surge helped make that–what made is possible in Anbar province is they did what I’d suggested two and a half years ago: gave local control. They turned over and they said to the Sunnis in Anbar province, “We promise you, don’t worry, you’re not going to have any Shia in here. There’s going to be no national forces in here. We’re going to train your forces to help you fight al-Qaeda.” And that you–what you had was the awakening. The awakening was not an awakening by us, it was an awakening of the Sunnis in Anbar province willing to fight.

MR. BROKAW: Cooperating with the Shia.

SEN. BIDEN: Willing to fight. Cooperating with–no, they weren’t cooperating with Shiite. They didn’t cooperate with the Shiites.

MR. BROKAW: Once the awakening got under way.

SEN. BIDEN: No, no, no. No, they didn’t cooperate with the Shiites. It’s still–it’s a big problem, Tom. You got–we’re paying 300 bucks a month to each of those guys. Now the problem has been and the, and the promise was made by Maliki that they would be integrated into the overall military. That’s a process that is beginning in fits and starts now, but it’s far from over. Far from–look, the bottom line here is that it’s–let’s–the surge is over. Here’s the real point. Whether or not the surge worked is almost irrelevant now. We’re in a new deal. What is the administration doing? They’re doing what Barack Obama has suggested over 14 months ago, turn responsibility over and draw down our troops. We’re about to get a deal from the president of the United States and Maliki, the head of the Iraqi government, that’s going to land on my desk as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee saying we’re going to set a timeline to draw down our forces. The only guy in America out of step is John McCain. John McCain’s saying no timeline. They’ve signed on to Barack Obama’s proposal.

Finally, a politician mentions the payoffs we’re giving the Sunnis – and it’s more than just 300 bucks here and there. The continued payoffs and ability for the Shia government to modify their behavior toward the Sunni militias will have a big impact on the success, or lack thereof, of our troop withdrawal – which is why it is so important for our government and military leaders to publicly acknowledge this strategy. All the lefties demanding troop withdrawals need to understand the U.S. government’s pouring of cash into the region as well as the hundreds of thousands of refugees waiting to return. The Iraqi government must stand up and decide if they want peace and progress or simply cultural domination.

On to our next revelation of the Iraq War, this time brought to us by Bob Woodward on 60 Minutes regarding and the new information he has of the development of the surge as a strategy and its success.

Asked what the generals at the Pentagon thought when presented with the idea of a surge, Woodward told Pelley, “They think that it won’t work. And the president actually at one point goes and meets with them. And the Army chief of staff, General [Peter] Schoomaker, says ‘You can’t add five brigades, it will take many more,’ ‘What about another crisis?’ ‘We don’t have troops for this,’ ‘What about the damage your doing to the force, the young kids who see nothing but endless rotations?'”

“What does General Casey, sitting in Baghdad, think of having additional troops?” Pelley asked.

“He thinks that Baghdad is a troop sump-a place you can put endless numbers of troops in. And he does not want to add force,” Woodward said.

“The president, who has said in public, endless times, that he relies on his generals to tell him what they need, is actually going his own way here,” Pelley remarked.

“That’s right,” Woodward agreed. “The records of the joint chiefs show that the idea of five brigades came from the White House, not from anybody except the White House.”

(Later, Woodward says about General Casey) “Casey told one colleague privately that the president’s view is almost reflective of ‘Kill the bastards. Kill the bastards,’ and that way we’ll succeed.”

Alright, so what we have here is Bush wanting to add troops to Iraq and the generals disagreeing with him. I’m not sure if McCain, at this point, was supporting a surge – but if he was, he was also disagreeing with the top generals. Bush and Rumsfeld and Cheney have said repeatedly that they aren’t taking into account public opinion (polls) or political ramifications – they listen to the men on the ground, the generals, before making their decisions. Obviously, this is not the case. And none of those men fought in a war. Now, we are considering whether to appoint McCain Commander-in-chief. It seems, at least when it came to the surge, he was not listening to the men on the ground – the generals – either. If McCain didn’t listen then, he certainly won’t if he’s president. Dangerous decisions when you’re playing with the lives of thousands.

Bob Woodward also reveals a new strategy, comparing its influence to the addition of the aircraft or tank to warfare,

But beyond all of that, Woodward reports, for the first time, that there is a secret behind the success of the surge: a sophisticated and lethal special operations program.

“This is very sensitive and very top secret, but there are secret operational capabilities that have been developed by the military to locate, target, and kill leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq, insurgent leaders, renegade militia leaders. That is one of the true breakthroughs,” Woodward told Pelley.

“But what are we talking about here? It’s some kind of surveillance? Some kind of targeted way of taking out just the people that you’re looking for? The leadership of the enemy?” Pelley asked.

“I’d love to go through the details, but I’m not going to,” Woodward replied.

The details, Woodward says, would compromise the program.

“For a reporter, you don’t allow much,” Pelley remarked.

“Well no, it’s with reluctance. From what I know about it, it’s one of those things that go back to any war, World War I, World War II, the role of the tank, and the airplane. And it is the stuff of which military novels are written,” Woodward said.

“Do you mean to say that this special capability is such an advance in military technique and technology that it reminds you of the advent of the tank and the airplane?” Pelley asked.

“Yeah,” Woodward said. “If you were an al Qaeda leader or part of the insurgency in Iraq, or one of these renegade militias, and you knew about what they were able to do, you’d get your ass outta town.”

What an interesting revelation. It reminds me of a quotation I recently read in A History of Iran by Michael Axworthy,

Successful high command has little or nothing to do with masculine attributes like brute force, bravado, machismo, arrogance, or even courage, except insofar as it may be necessary to advertise these from time to time to inspire the troops. Rather, it has to do with what one might regard as more feminine characteristics — sensitivity, subtlety, intuition, timing, an indirect approach, an ability quietly to assess strength and weakness (based perhaps on an intuitive grasp for the opponent’s likely behavior as much as factual information) to avoid and baffle strength, to flow around it, to absorb its force and strike unexpectedly at the weak spot at precisely the right moment.

Basically, in President Bush, we have extremely unsuccessful high command. Only through the military’s development of ground-changing “feminine characteristics” of warfare was the surge able to succeed. Not through the simple addition of men on the ground. McCain continues to pressure Obama to acknowledge the success of the surge – so much so, that Senators Graham and Lieberman are trying to bring legislation to the Senate floor demanding a vote acknowledging the success of the surge – yet will McCain acknowledge that there where other, possibly bigger elements at play than the simple addition of brigades to Iraq? Especially at a time when our military is far over-extended, rotations have grown protracted and numerable, and the war in Afghanistan is faltering severely?

I hear over and over that Obama is not ready. But he will listen. He will listen to our military leaders and allow them to help him make the best decisions in his foreign policy. McCain is not ready, either – nor will he ever be. He did not listen to the generals on the ground when calling for the surge and does not recognize the entire complex situation when chanting about the success of the surge.

By the way, Bob Woodward will be on Larry King tonight and Meet the Press next weekend.

03
Sep
08

Reaction to Night 2 of the Repub Convention

It really wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. Obviously, it was a bit of a limpy sleeper – but you couldn’t expect much after Gustav threw all the RNC’s plans into chaos. I wouldn’t have expected much anyway – the audience of the Repub conventions look more like that of a nursing home than a fired-up electorate. The venue was smaller than the Dem’s and there where still empty seats, but that’s just minor details, right? The cameras did manage to find five black people to display for the cameras, reminding me of those “Where’s Waldo” books. But as far as galvanizing and rallying voters, I’d say they’d have a better shot if they held BINGO games before, after and inbetween the speakers.

Kerry Waghorn

Fred Thompson was a bit hard to get through. He plodded through McCain’s POW story – never get tired of that one (not) – and threw some shots at Obama. Can’t remember any specifically, but what I do remember his incessant clearing of the throat. Talk about torture! Even evil liberal Keith Olbermann noticed and said later he cleared his throat no less than 70 times. Hellooo, get that guy a lozenge!

Art Link Mutlimedia

Lieberman looked like he was going to fall asleep onstage; he was monotone, there was hardly any facial expression in his delivery and he leaned on the podium quite a bit. Of course, he’s lost all credibility with Democrats. Talk about bitter! He’s really getting those Dems back for abandoning him during his senate race by flipping on all the policies he’s ever valued to back McCain. Yeah, his entreaties to Independents and Democrats were really taken seriously. As if anyone with his record could actually support Sarah Palin for VP. His tone was so pervy, he’s like the creepy guy in the white van saying, “Come here, little girl…I’ve got some candy for you…” Ick.

One of them spoke of how Obama wanted to cut off funding for the troops! Can you imagine?! They didn’t mention the Repubs handing billions upon billions of dollars to military contractors instead of taking care of troops in the field and when they return. Must have slipped their mind. All that Alzheimers among all those old white men…

At least we were treated to another of Bush’s crappy speeches from the White House again. Won’t be too many more of those, thank baby jesus. He stuck to his usual MO using the politics of fear, claiming there will be another attack if McCain isn’t elected. What a Rovian douchebag. Like the country’s so much safer after he lied us into war with a country that wasn’t even a threat to us, compromising our military and strengthening Iran, when there were much larger security concerns on the horizon. I’m sure it made rational viewers collectively feel like hurling.

Than he claimed that those Vietnamese captors could not break John McCain’s resolve, so the “angry left” never will. Are you kidding me? First of all, after Bush – our right to privacy has been compromised by unConstitutional wiretaps, the economy is in the shitter with tax cuts going to big business and the rich, illegal activity and intimidation is rampant among departments headed by the Executive branch (EPA, CDC, Justice Dept., State Dept., Pentagon, CIA, etc.), illegal government sponsorship of christianity has increased, the US has used semantics to avoid Geneva Convention rules and torture prisoners of war, which they call “detainees,” and refuse them proper trials – I could go on forever.

cafepress.com

The point is, that after eight years of Bush, if you’re not angry, you’re either uninformed or not paying attention. The left is angry – and thank you for noticing, Mr. Worst President in Modern History. I am proud of my anger, wear it as a badge and will continue to funnel this emotion into productive activities aimed at increasing democracy in our land and fighting the Right who want to diminish it. It’s laughable that the Republicans are the party of limited government.

One thing is clear – and that’s the emergence of the Republican strategy to label their opponents “the angry left” so that Independents won’t want to be associated with them. This is a strategy easily turned around on the Right in a Reaganesque manner the way Obama did with the whole tire-guage thing, saying the Repubs were proud of being ignorant. Chuckle.

The second new strategy to emerge is to claim sexism everytime a question of Sarah Palin’s experience comes up. Tucker Whatshisface claimed Campbell Brown was “belittling” Palin when Brown was quizzing him on the VP pick’s executive decision-making. The McCain camp threw a major hissy over that one. Now any questioning of Palin by the media is a sexist attack! What an unclever, dirty little trick. If you guys are going to give us a pitiful VP pick, then grow a pair and have the courage to have the debate on her resume instead of running around like sissies with their heads cut off yelling “sexism!” Aren’t you guys supposed to hate political correctness? Stop playing the GENDER card.

The dirty old white men think parading a pro-life uterus onstage is historic. She would never have been picked had she been a man. They won’t even let her stand on her own two feet in an interview until she’s had a crash-course in dodging questions. It is so sexist and misogynistic of these men to think women are so dumb, they would fall for such a lame charade. We vote the most. We graduate college the most. We’re educated and knowledgeable and proud. And Palin agrees with every anti-women and anti-family stance McCain holds. Their ridiculousness knows no bounds.

Well, Giuliani and Palin will put on a good show tonight and I look forward to it. It’ll be fun to see the biggest cheers erupt during the pro-life chants (not by pro-choice Giuliani, of course). The Economy Sucks! We’re Fighting an Unnecessary War and Your Children are Dying In it! The Credit Industry is in Crisis and the American Dream is Now IMPOSSIBLE For You and Most Americans! But None of IT Matters as Long as No One Can Have an ABORTION and GAY PEOPLE Don’t Have Rights!! Yaaaayyyyy!!

Good job, Republicans. Way to do what’s best for the country. Jackasses.

04
Aug
08

National Geographic Explains Ahmadinejad and Iran’s Supreme Ambitions; and Why We Should Check the War Mongers

National Geographic featured a cover story this month on Iran, offering a brief, but in-depth look at the history and culture behind what the Bush administration so ignorantly termed one of the members of the “axis of evil.” While much of author Marguerite Del Giudice’s observations are significantly enlightening, I found a few passages poignantly relevant in today’s heated atmosphere.

When discussing how well-treated she was by the Iranians, Del Giudice expounds:

It’s a part of a complex system of ritual politeness — taarof — that governs the subtext of life here. Hospitality, courting, family affairs, political negotiations; taarof is the unwritten code for how people should treat each other. The word has an Arabic root, arafa, meaning to know or acquire knowledge of. But the idea of taroof — to abase oneself while exalting another person — is Persian in origin, said William O. Beeman, a linguistic anthropologist at the University of Minnesota…

Being smooth and seeming sincere while hiding your true feelings — artful pretending — is considered the height of taarof and an enormous social asset.

The explanation of cultural mindset and behavior has in many ways answered a question gnawing at me for some time. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s smiling, lying, side-stepping-of-issues manner with which he engages interviews has long confused me. I first noticed the way Ahmadinejad presented a perfectly docile and respectful personage during a 2006 60 Minutes session with Mike Wallace. Since the Wallace interview, I have watched CNN’s Christiane Amanpour engage Ahmadinejad and, most recently, NBC’s Brian Williams.

Why a person with such ugly words – the denial of the Holocaust, wiping Israel from the Earth – would smile so sweetly while avoiding answers and delivering untruths was frustrating. He has provoked international consternation and heightened multilateral tensions on various global fronts, and yet he sits demurely and humbly with each accusing question. We want to understand Ahmadinejad and his motivations, but our Western ways have clearly misinterpreted his behavior – as is represented when interviewers point out his smiling to him as if it is oxymoronic to his words. It is not. He is, to paraphrase Del Giudice says, being smooth and seeming sincere while hiding his true feelings. Viola! A light bulb has perpetually displayed above my head since reading this piece in NG.

But it goes even further to give context to Iran’s current activities. Of the historical Iranian empire:

‘We have nostalgia to be a superpower again,’ said Saeed Laylaz, an economic and political analyst in Tehran, ‘and the country’s nuclear ambitions are directly related to this desire.'[…]

The empire once encompassed today’s Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Jordan, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, and the Caucasus region. ‘The borders have moved in over the centuries, but this superpower nostalgia, so in contradiction to reality,’ he said, ‘is all because of the history.’

Whether right or wrong, our destruction of Iraq gave Iran the perfect opening to widen its regional influence and begin the steps to regain much of its historical glory. History has already sadly begun to acknowledge the volumes of considerations Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Wolfowitz, Feith, Luti, Hadley, Perle and the rest of the architects of the Iraq War failed to take into account when launching their unnecessary war. With dollar signs in their eyes and revenge in their hearts, the war-mongers ignorantly ignored the potential implications and results of such a conflict. Many of these eventualities could have easily been foreshadowed, and perhaps even prevented the war itself, if these people had only asked the right sources the appropriate questions and sought all relevant knowledge on the region rather than just knowledge on the invasion.

And many of our Right-wing, Neo-Conservates are committing the same egregious sins all over again with Iran. At issue is their short-sighted “Might Makes Right” contention that only the U.S. should be armed to the gills and unworthy nations must yield authority on many matters, but mostly nuclear weapon development. It is true that irrational actors are one of history’s leading causes of war. However, the U.S. is slowly losing its economic might as India and China emerge and massive reserves of hydrocarbons are found on foreign soils. As our hegemony wanes, so does our might. Instead of acting like the wise big brother deserving respect in these times of transition, uneducated and foolish men mostly on the Republican side of the aisle are pushing the U.S. to be the schoolyard bully – shouting orders and stomping feet and dropping bombs to coerce others to do our will. This is a dangerous policy that has already yielded death and destruction and would continue to do so to our detriment.

Despotic rulers are eventually overthrown and if the U.S. insists the world must listen and obey our voice – we will see more terrorist plots succeed. When men like Sean Hannity spout repeatedly that the United States is the “bestest” and greatest country god gave the earth, he is insulting the other 6.3 billion people on this earth his “god” gave us. This isolationist arrogance will only cause us to fall harder as other countries assert their dominance on the global stage. As Karl Rove’s “Permanent Conservative Majority” was an exercise in rejection of reality, so is the notion the United States will always reign supreme. Every empire has fallen – Egyptian, Iranian, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, British, etc. This is not an alternate universe and the United States cannot escape its eventual fate, whether in our lifetimes or beyond it. We must lay the foundation of respecting other nations and progressing together.

Neo-Cons believe the Iranian situation is on either/or footing. You either abide by our terms or we will bomb you into oblivion. The neo-cons forget we already have two wars in play, one of which we’re winning by buying off insurgents and the other we’re losing. They’re those boys who touched the stove even when they’re mothers told them not to and they knew it was hot. Only this time, their stubborn insistence to refuse common sense or acknowledge reality will burn us all.

The closed minds demanding bombs and war bring millions of us ever closer to a greater shame and more death than the Iraq War has. Their continued refusal to acknowledge or understand the entire situation will have dire consequences if we do not check the intentions of these relics and stifle their incorrect presumptions of the will of the American people. These men have already harmed the United States and the rest of the world with the Iraq War – a conflict they so pathetically did not understand would create a power vacuum and give birth to Iran’s new ambitions of greatness. These war mongers should not be permitted — under any circumstances — to lie their way into another deadly conflict and untold disasters that they will only leave to the next administration to rectify.

25
Jul
08

McCain ’08 Campaign Obituary

In 3 1/2 months, the 24-hour cable news channels, the major newspapers, the sea of blog-happy political junkies and basically every Republican voter will be speculating ceaselessly over “what went wrong” with the McCain Campaign. Remember the week of rehash after rehash of Rudy Giuliani’s failed primary strategy skipping Iowa and New Hampshire? Remember all the talk of Hillary hitting her stride too little, too late? That’s what we’ll be going through just as soon as the election returns present a modicum of decisiveness on that first Tuesday in November. This time, the focus of all the pity, all the shoulda-woulda-couldas, all the tsk-tsks will be McCain and the campaign managers he bet his lot on.

Presently, the McCain campaign is ridiculously painful to watch – he has become the Britney Spears of presidential nominee trainwrecks, complete with a tawdry adulterous past the press and leftie-527’s have graciously left outside of their coverage – if for no other reason than that they haven’t needed it. In much the same way Britney chomped on her gum and cried over her treatment by the paparazzi (despite having courted those very photographers while in search of Madonna-esque pop fame), McCain – through his surrogates – stomps his feet and shamelessly whines over a media lack of concern that is only seen by those who want to see it.

It is already clear this Grand Old Candidate and his crippled elephants will lay the blame at the feet of everyone but those with scarlet “M”s on their chests. The question, however, of the day seems to be “Is McCain even capable of presenting the political passion and potential even us lefties once worried would challenge our chosen candidate?” Well, that’s my question.

To be clear, despite his Mav reputation, his presidential hopes seemed DOA last year. And, yet, miraculously enough – he pulled off a primary victory; though it is still unclear whether he would be representing the Right had Giuliani not perpetrated one of the worst political fumbles in recent history.

In truth, I was hoping McCain would bring it home on that side of the aisle. Of all the Repub candidates, McCain – incorrectly or not – seemed to have a shred of character the other front runners lacked. My husband and I gave serious consideration to moving abroad if Romney or Huckabee clenched any shadow of success.

Perhaps I was being naive, but I truly thought he would give the Democratic nominee a run for their money. Sure, with this political atmosphere, almost ANY Democrat could beat a Republican – Hell, I’d put my 7 year-old Quaker nephew up against any of those pretend “limited government” schmoes – but this ain’t McCain’s first rodeo. And despite the fact that he’s separated from much of the team he worked with in the past, I thought the septuagenarian would be primed for this contest. But, it is unendingly surprising what a terrible candidate John McCain has turned out to be for the Republicans.

And, dammit, I’ll say it: Romney would have been an exponentially better candidate (speaking in a politically scientific manner). Even with all of Romney’s hollowness and cheap mix of flip-flopping and pandering, he would have been new, hopeful and, at the very least, coherent.

But here we are and, face it, Republicans, you have hit the motherload of crappy campaign candidates.

They would have lost in November anyway, but at least Republican hopes would still be alive at this point in the game. With McCan’t, all the Republicans in my vicinity (which is quite a bit, being in Fort Worth) reluctantly sigh that it looks like Obama’s gonna win. And they’re right.

The first sign that McCain wasn’t up to snuff was his failure to take advantage of the lengthy Democratic primary. Instead of presenting a litany of hopeful ideas, solutions and alternatives to the reality presented to the American people by Bush, he cozied up to our failed leader in a predictably bungled effort to curry favor with evangelists and Bush family donors.

Though it was difficult to compete with the press and voter obsession of the duke-out between Hillary and Obama, McCain didn’t even try to be a transcendent page-turner. With a plethora of problems assaulting the assumed American way of life – housing crisis, decreasing dollar, increasing gas prices, attack on civil liberties, growing concern for the environment, disapproval of the Iraq War – McCain’s answer was nada, nada, nada, nada AND nada. Without exaggeration, McCain had every opportunity in the world to own the forefront of the presidential race.

Instead, his focus was in the rear view mirror – the 2000 loss to Bush (sign Rove up even after all his evil shenanigans), the lack of command of the evangelical base (even with his pro-life stance) and his stubborn refusal to cede national security to the economy as the most important issue of the campaign.

This past week, more than any other before it, has brought to the surface McCain’s inefficacy and inability to present a galvanizing and motivating political force. The obvious geographical and historical gaffes need no explanation. Certain realities should be so inherent in a presidential nominee’s subconscious, one should NOT say “Iraq/Pakistan border.” Nor should they mistake the chronology of the single subject upon which they are basing their credentials.

And, worst of all, at a time when his opponent is out of the country and he has been served on a silver platter an unchallenged opening to present a unique, original and energizing plan to take this country beyond the reality before us and heal the deep wounds wrought by Bush and Cheney, he and his campaign resort to nitpicking at Obama’s heels and pettily chant “I was right. He was wrong.” about a topic Americans relegated to “who cares?” a long time ago.

At this point, surge, surge, surge is to McCain as 9/11, 9/11, 9/11 was to Giuliani. And none of us believe – including the least informed of Repubs – that he authored the surge; so his incessant claiming of credibility for the strategy is old, stale and distasteful. At least he’s off the teleprompters that just ruin any ability for the audience to perceive McCain as vibrant and presidential.

McCain is over. So over a VP announcement can’t save this clusterfuck. Even if it is Old Spice Romney. Ain’t nothin gonna help this political Titanic. The Convention in LarryCraigSexInABathroom Headquarters of Minnesota won’t even provide a blip on the electoral poll radar. And, let me let you in on a little secret. When polls routinely suggest that Obama is only 6 points ahead of McCain, they are not polling just REGISTERED VOTERS or those likely to vote. Merely polling Americans of voting age does not provide a proper sample upon which to base candidates’ likelihood of success. It’s easy to SAY you’d vote for McCain, but to actually do it is a different thing altogether. He’s done. I’d say stick a fork in him, but I don’t know that he’d survive it.

The bottom line is that, as a presidential nominee, you have to give Americans a reason to get off the couch, walk through the rain, wait in line and deal with the volunteers from the old folks’ home to practice a voting power they have long taken for granted. All told, this is not an easy feat. I would suggest $50 gift certificates to Wal-Mart, but I believe that may violate some obscure ethics laws.

My main concern now is the potential development of a new vocabulary of verbs, nicknames and childish titles referring to the McCain campaign failure. Political junkies well know “Willie Horton” and “Swiftboated” without any context whatsoever. Gaffe-gate? Gaffe-o-rama? Gaffe-a-rusky? The Night the Lights Went Out in Old Timersville? Smackdown of the Septuagenarian? Obama’s Octagon of Hurt on the Old Man?

I have no idea. We’ll probably have to leave it to the results of a top-secret meeting between the nude, bald leaders of cable news in an intensely foggy steam room of some exclusive health club in Manhattan. Apparently, their most recent meeting yielded an abdication of any mention of Sunni payoffs by the American government. Good times.

Perhaps this obituary is presumptuous. I don’t care. This is reality blogging, baby, and I’m through retching over “reputable” news agencies failing to acknowledge the current state of this election. It’s time we realize which direction our future is headed and start holding Obama’s feet to the fire of political righteousness. And let’s start with a rethink of the FISA vote. The clean-up of W. will call into question many Constitutional breaches and Obama needs to remember that we are through with unaccountable Executives.

UPDATE: 07.28.08 – Every sound bite the media plays of McCain is McCain criticizing Obama. He went to the gym instead of visiting troops (McCain campaign ad). Obama’s meeting today with economic leaders was just a photo op. Obama doesn’t want to drill. Obama this, Obama that.

Who are the yahoos in McCain’s campaign who think this is helpful? Any political neophyte would know that McCain is allowing Obama to determine the discussion because all McCain does is “respond” to Obama developments. McCain must try and LEAD the discussion. And, yet, every time he’s in front of a microphone, he’s yapping about Obama.

This is a LOSING strategy. He should know this. His surrogates should know this. And his campaign staff sure as hell should know this. Pathetic.

24
Jul
08

Live Blogging of Obama’s Speech in Berlin

Chris Matthews said yesterday that Obama’s trip had gone so well, he just skip Germany and just come home. This has to be one of Matthew’s larger brain farts. Can you imagine how pissed the Germans would be if Obama canceled on them last minute? Furthermore, the speeches given by JFK and Reagan in Germany will be remembered throughout history. For Obama to squander such an opportunity at such an exciting time would be a massive mistake. Minus 10 points, Chris!

Here we go,

  • Speaker is echoing. If this goes on the whole time…let’s just say, “Chinese Water Torture.”
  • Speaking not as a candidate, but as a citizen of U.S. and World.
  • He just laughed at a crazy yell from an audience member. So perfect that show of humor.
  • Talking about his father dreaming of a better life and someone in American answered his calls.
  • Recalling when U.S. & Germany histories became intertwined 60 years ago.
  • All that stood in the way of the Soviets marching across Europe and perhaps starting another world war was Berlin. The airlift began.
  • “People of the world, look at Berlin. Where Germans and Americans learned to work together and trust each other.” And make good beer!
  • NATO – the greatest alliance ever formed to defend our common security. Take that, isolationists!!
  • Good speech writing, Good delivery cadence.
  • The 21st Century has revealed a world more intertwined than at any other time in history. (paraphrasing) This new closeness also brings new dangers.
  • The terrorists of 9/11 plotted in Hamburg.
  • Climate problems.
  • The poppies in Afghanistan come to Berlin as heroin.
  • We cannot afford to be divided… No one nation can defeat these challenges alone.
  • Sometimes, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have drifted apart and forgotten our shared destiny.
  • In America, there are voices that deny Europe’s role in our security and our future.
  • Global citizenship.
  • “Greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from each other.”
  • We must tear down walls dividing rich/poor, races, religions.
  • I hope Americans are remembering that Germany is having massive race/religion issues. Their lax immigration laws have created tension with their growing population of Arabs and Muslims. In many ways, America has outpaced European in progress of race relations – I noticed while living over there.
  • Now is the time to join together across the globe.
  • “This is the moment we must defeat terror and dry up the well that supports it.”
  • The camera has closed up on his face – good staging.
  • NATO’s first mission beyond Europe’s borders, Afghanistan, must be accomplished.
  • He said tal-ee-ban again. One of his handlers needs to get on that.
  • “We must renew the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.” Ahmadinejad, can you hear me?
  • We need a strong European Union.
  • If I were a betting person, and I am, I’d say he’s obviously going to win the election if, for not other reason, than he’s the polar opposite of George W.
  • Passing responsibility to Iraqi govt. and finally bring this war to a close.
  • Crowd started chanting Obama! Obama! with a European accent. giggle.
  • Must reduce the carbon we send into our atmosphere.
  • “This is the moment to give our children back their future.”
  • The world will watch and remember what we do with this moment.
  • He’s addressing problems in more countries than George W. can probably name.
  • When we reject torture and stand for the rule of law.. (attn: Rummy, Cheney, McFlipFlop etc. etc.)
  • There are time when U.S. actions do not live up to our best intentions. — Is he saying W. and Cheney had good intentions? Objection!
  • All free people everywhere became citizens of Berlin. Jeez, that’s a good line!
  • Conclusion: I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope with an eye toward the future, with resolve in our heart. Let us remember this history and answer our destiny and remake the world once again. Thank you, Berlin!

Andrea Mitchell is reporting German officials say the crowd is more than 100,000 strong.

Compete with that, McCAN’T. Booyah.

McCain says he’d like to give a speech in Berlin as president (suggesting it’s inappropriate for Obama to give the speech as just a candidate). Won’t happen, John. Sucks to be you today.

UPDATE: Huffpo is reporting the Foreign Service barred it’s employees from attending the Obama rally. Is there any freedom left the Bush administration hasn’t tried to curtail?? There has never been an administration in the history of the United States that has so strongly attacked our freedoms, liberties and right to pursue happiness. How does that man Bush hold his head high every day as he marches our country toward an autocracy? I have never been more thankful for term limits than I am at this moment. Of course, I suppose it wouldn’t matter if Bush could run for reelection. The landslide would smother any hope he would have of continuing his disastrous political career.




Scarlet Letter of Atheism

a

Bloggers' Rights at EFF

Blog Stats

  • 96,977 hits
WordPress Political Blogger

Top Clicks

  • None