If you don't speak up you accept what is happening. This site was born out of the mainstream media's inability to cover the news. I am just an American cititzen trying to spread the word in the era of FCC consolidation, post 9/11 Patriot Act hysteria, hackable voting machines and war without end. I rant and post news items I perceive to be relevant to our current situation.
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
- Thomas Jefferson
Social Security is not broken and therefore does not need to be fixed
So Called Social Security Crisis (SCSSC)
Comments, questions, corrections, rebuttals are always welcome.
Tonight is the debate and I have a recommendation for watching it. I have done this now with a couple of press conferences and speeches. Do not watch the pre-debate debate. Turn on the TV at about 8:00 pm (Central Time) and watch it on C-Span. Take notes during the debate. When the debate is over turn off the TV. Look over your notes and reflect on what you saw. Form an opinion of what you saw and believe it to be true. Don't watch or read anything political and sleep on it. That's what I am going to do. It's always entertaining what you see the next day. If you don't like this idea, which I completely understand, this DNC Alert shows you how to get in the middle of the action when the debate is over.
Media Matters has your pre-debate roundup, Avoiding media recidivism.
A Wall Street Journal correspondent tells us what is really going on from...
Being a foreign correspondent in Baghdad these days is like being under virtual house arrest. Forget about the reasons that lured me to this job: a chance to see the world, explore the exotic, meet new people in far away lands, discover their ways and tell stories that could make a difference.
When we lost Iraq
Freedom?s Just Another Word
I can tell you the week the United States lost the war in Iraq. It was 18 months ago. Baghdad had fallen with almost no resistance. The dictator Saddam Hussein had fled. A U.S. Marine draped an American flag over the tyrant?s statue and then Symbolic Saddam was dragged to the ground, proclaiming Iraq?s freedom with a photo op.
Is AsshKKKroft stalling?
Is Justice Being Delayed by Bush Administration Politics?
Several high-profile FBI investigations, in which substantial progress have been made, may well have been put on hold by the Bush administration for political reasons. That is, it has been alleged to me that the White House may have leaned on the FBI-- not to drop the investigations but to postpone some key arrests until after the November elections.
Bush Supporters Misread Many of His Foreign Policy Positions
That is the finding of a new Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) poll. As I looked over the poll and it's findings it is amazing! Majorities of Bush supporters and many uncommitted voters do not know what Bush's positions are on key foreign policy issues.
Majorities of Bush supporters incorrectly assumed that Bush favors including labor and environmental standards in trade agreements (84%), and the US being part of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (69%), the International Criminal Court (66%), the treaty banning land mines (72%), and the Kyoto Treaty on global warming (51%). They were divided between those who knew that Bush favors building a new missile defense system now (44%) and those who incorrectly believe he wishes to do more research until its capabilities are proven (41%). However, majorities were correct that Bush favors increased defense spending (57%) and wants the US, not the UN, to take the stronger role in developing Iraq?s new government (70%).Which leads to a couple of questions. First, why do they not know what his positions are? Is it that they are not well informed and lazy? Is it that they believe that most sane and rational people would believe the way they do and think that surely the President, who is sane and rational, would believe that way as well? Or is it that they are just not informed or misinformed by the media -- or maybe a better way to put it is by their media, meaning the media they use -- on what the President's positions are? The other interesting part of this is that:
Many of the uncommitted (those who say they are not very sure which candidate they will vote for) also misread Bush?s position on most issues, though in most cases this was a plurality, not a majority. The uncommitted incorrectly believed that Bush favors including labor and environmental standards in trade agreements (69%), the US being part of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (51%), the International Criminal Court (47% to 31%), the land mines treaty (50%), and the Kyoto treaty on global warming (45% to 37%). Only 35% knew that Bush favors building a new missile defense system now, while 36% incorrectly believed he wishes to do more research until its capabilities are proven, and 22% did not give an answer. Only 41% knew that Bush favors increased defense spending, while 49% incorrectly assumed he wants to keep it the same (29%) or cut it (20%). A plurality of 46% was correct that Bush wants the US, rather than the UN, to take the stronger role in developing Iraq?s new government (37% assumed the UN).
Kerry supporters were much more accurate in assessing their candidate?s positions on all these issues. Majorities knew that Kerry favors including labor and environmental standards in trade agreements (90%); the US being part of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (77%); the International Criminal Court (59%); the land mines treaty (79%); and the Kyoto Treaty on climate change (74%). They also knew that he favors continuing research on missile defense without deploying a system now (68%), and wants the UN, not the US, to take the stronger role in developing Iraq?s new government (80%). A plurality of 43% was correct that Kerry favors keeping defense spending the same, with 35% assuming he wants to cut it and 18% to expand it.Hmm, so what does that tell us? I think the main thing it tells us is that those who support Kerry know what his positions on foreign policy are and those who support the President do not know what his positions are. Is that too simple of an explanation? But if you look at the poll results you will notice that even the uncommitted voters know better what Kerry's positions are than they do the President's. To me that means that where the Bush supporters and the uncommitted voters are getting their information they are getting wrong information and conversely where the Kerry supporters are getting their information they are getting correct information. Once again, is that too simple?
The Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) is being called up. And some Call-ups balk at reporting. Here is how the article defines what the IRR is for:
The Individual Ready Reserve is made up of 111,000 people who have completed their voluntary Army service commitments and have returned to civilian life but remain eligible to be mobilized in a national emergency.Where is the national emergency? Can you blame these guys for not showing up?
Or how about this one. Depleted uranium (DU) is some nasty stuff, The war's littlest victim, He was exposed to depleted uranium. His daughter may be paying the price. DU is to this war what agent orange was to Vietnam.
Look what the Republicans tried in Ohio, Blackwell ends paper chase. They were going to throw out voter registrations because they weren't on the right paper!?
The Gallup Poll has lost its objectivity, Play the "How can Gallup..." game.
Al Gore has some advice for Kerry on How to Debate George Bush
The biggest single difference between the debates this year and four years ago is that President Bush cannot simply make promises. He has a record. And I hope that voters will recall the last time Mr. Bush stood on stage for a presidential debate. If elected, he said, he would support allowing Americans to buy prescription drugs from Canada. He promised that his tax cuts would create millions of new jobs. He vowed to end partisan bickering in Washington. Above all, he pledged that if he put American troops into combat: "The force must be strong enough so that the mission can be accomplished. And the exit strategy needs to be well defined."
Comparing these grandiose promises to his failed record, it's enough to make anyone want to, well, sigh.
Have you seen this one yet?
Kerry Will Restore American Dignity
2004 Iconoclast Presidential Endorsement
Few Americans would have voted for George W. Bush four years ago if he had promised that, as President, he would:
• Empty the Social Security trust fund by $507 billion to help offset fiscal irresponsibility and at the same time slash Social Security benefits.
• Cut Medicare by 17 percent and reduce veterans’ benefits and military pay.
• Eliminate overtime pay for millions of Americans and raise oil prices by 50 percent.
• Give tax cuts to businesses that sent American jobs overseas, and, in fact, by policy encourage their departure.
• Give away billions of tax dollars in government contracts without competitive bids.
• Involve this country in a deadly and highly questionable war, and
• Take a budget surplus and turn it into the worst deficit in the history of the United States, creating a debt in just four years that will take generations to repay.
Bush-Cheney flip-flops cost America in blood
In case the "mainstream" media are interested, or Fox News wants to balance its reporting to furnish a few moments of fairness, here are a few Bush flip-flops that might be put before the voters:
Growing Pessimism on Iraq
A growing number of career professionals within national security agencies believe that the situation in Iraq is much worse, and the path to success much more tenuous, than is being expressed in public by top Bush administration officials, according to former and current government officials and assessments over the past year by intelligence officials at the CIA and the departments of State and Defense.
Iraq Study Sees Rebels' Attacks as Widespread
Over the past 30 days, more than 2,300 attacks by insurgents have been directed against civilians and military targets in Iraq, in a pattern that sprawls over nearly every major population center outside the Kurdish north, according to comprehensive data compiled by a private security company with access to military intelligence reports and its own network of Iraqi informants.
The state of the Republican Party
Ike's son, a registered Republican for 50 years and now and Independent, tells us...
Why I will vote for John Kerry for President
As son of a Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, it is automatically expected by many that I am a Republican. For 50 years, through the election of 2000, I was. With the current administration?s decision to invade Iraq unilaterally, however, I changed my voter registration to independent, and barring some utterly unforeseen development, I intend to vote for the Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry.
Falwell is President
Falwell says evangelicals control GOP, Bush's fate
"The Republican Party does not have the head count to elect a president without the support of religious conservatives," Falwell said at an election training conference of the Christian Coalition.
Falwell said evangelical Christians are now "by far the largest constituency" within the Republican Party, their route to dominance beginning in 1979 with his founding of the Moral Majority, a precursor to the Christian Coalition.
What's the media been up to lately?
Brokaw Broadcasts "Bible Ban" BS
On the September 24 NBC Nightly News, Tom Brokaw gave this brief report:
"The Republican National Committee now has acknowledged sending mass mailings to two states that say liberals want to ban the Bible. Republican Party officials say the mailings in Arkansas and West Virginia are aimed at mobilizing Christian voters for President Bush. Some Christian commentators say liberal support for same-sex marriage could lead to laws that punish sermons denouncing homosexuality as sinful."Notice the use of Some Christian commentators. Brokaw is using this gerality and not naming who said this which is the same as lying. Who are they Tom? Probably some fundamentalist freaks that would not make the "Christian commentators" look very sane. LH
60 Minutes: Shelving a Story to Boost Bush?
CBS puts Niger expose on hold as boss endorses Republicans
In an outrageous politicization of journalism, CBS announced it would not air a report on forged documents that the Bush administration used to sell the Iraq war until after the November 2 election (New York Times, 9/25/04). A network spokesperson issued a statement declaring, "We now believe it would be inappropriate to air the report so close to the presidential election."
Since when is the truth inappropriate?! - LH
The Long Hard Slog
Not terrorists and "dead enders"? Why does the U.S. military hate America?
Insurgents Are Mostly Iraqis, U.S. Military Says
The insistence by interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and many U.S. officials that foreign fighters are streaming into Iraq to battle American troops runs counter to the U.S. military's own assessment that the Iraqi insurgency remains primarily a home-grown problem.
We weren't guessing in January 2003, asshole, I mean Mr. President
Prewar Assessment on Iraq Saw Chance of Strong Divisions
The same intelligence unit that produced a gloomy report in July about the prospect of growing instability in Iraq warned the Bush administration about the potential costly consequences of an American-led invasion two months before the war began, government officials said Monday.
Daniel Ellsberg is calling you
Truths Worth Telling
"Rumsfeld was making this point this morning,'' Haldeman says. "To the ordinary guy, all this is a bunch of gobbledygook. But out of the gobbledygook comes a very clear thing: you can't trust the government; you can't believe what they say, and you can't rely on their judgment. And the implicit infallibility of presidents, which has been an accepted thing in America, is badly hurt by this, because it shows that people do things the president wants to do even though it's wrong, and the president can be wrong."
The CIA would fix an election? Isn't democracy crazy?
Pelosi Derails CIA Plan to Buy Iraq Elections
Time Magazine reports that the Bush administration had had a plan to use the Central Intelligence Agency to funnel money to candidates it favored in the forthcoming Iraqi elections. The rationale given was that Iran was bankrolling its own candidates.
Oh yeah, also linked in the article is the Guardian expose that came out over the weekend. It's about How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power. - LH
Debate Prep, for you the viewer.
Swagger vs. Substance
Let's face it: whatever happens in Thursday's debate, cable news will proclaim President Bush the winner. This will reflect the political bias so evident during the party conventions. It will also reflect the undoubted fact that Mr. Bush does a pretty good Clint Eastwood imitation.
Look for Substance, Not Sizzle
With President Bush and John Kerry set to debate on Thursday, American political journalism is proclaiming that the occasion is a crucial "test" for Mr. Kerry, and perhaps for Mr. Bush
My recommendation for the debates is that while you watch them take notes and then turn off the TV as soon as it's over and don't listen to any of the "talking heads". Go over your notes and make you own analysis of what happened. What you saw and believe is real and don't let anyone say otherwise. Now watch the "talking heads" and just be amazed.
Remember this? March 13, 2002
Q Mr. President, in your speeches now you rarely talk or mention Osama bin Laden. Why is that? Also, can you tell the American people if you have any more information, if you know if he is dead or alive? Final part -- deep in your heart, don't you truly believe that until you find out if he is dead or alive, you won't really eliminate the threat of --Barely six months after September 11th and the President doesn't spend much time on the guy he blames for the terrorist attack. Hmm.
THE PRESIDENT: Deep in my heart I know the man is on the run, if he's alive at all. Who knows if he's hiding in some cave or not; we haven't heard from him in a long time. And the idea of focusing on one person is -- really indicates to me people don't understand the scope of the mission.
Terror is bigger than one person. And he's just -- he's a person who's now been marginalized. His network, his host government has been destroyed. He's the ultimate parasite who found weakness, exploited it, and met his match. He is -- as I mentioned in my speech, I do mention the fact that this is a fellow who is willing to commit youngsters to their death and he, himself, tries to hide -- if, in fact, he's hiding at all.
So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you. I'm more worried about making sure that our soldiers are well-supplied; that the strategy is clear; that the coalition is strong; that when we find enemy bunched up like we did in Shahikot Mountains, that the military has all the support it needs to go in and do the job, which they did.
And there will be other battles in Afghanistan. There's going to be other struggles like Shahikot, and I'm just as confident about the outcome of those future battles as I was about Shahikot, where our soldiers are performing brilliantly. We're tough, we're strong, they're well-equipped. We have a good strategy. We are showing the world we know how to fight a guerrilla war with conventional means.
The So Called Liberal Media (SCLM)
CBS explodes liberal media bias myth N.Y. Times case was more serious but favored Bush, got less play in media
The critical difference between the two stories is that the Times' mistake was actually the far more serious of the two. The suspect stories touched on a more substantive topic -- the reasons for sending American soldiers to fight and die rather than the service record of a single lieutenant three decades ago -- and the journalistic failures were more prolonged and repeated, involving multiple stories over a period of months rather than a single story on a single day.
More reality from Iraq
Key Bush Assertions About Iraq in Dispute
Many of President Bush's assertions about progress in Iraq -- from police training and reconstruction to preparations for January elections -- are in dispute, according to internal Pentagon documents, lawmakers and key congressional aides on Sunday.
Great read from Harper's by Naomi Klein Baghdad Year Zero. Tells how Iraq turned out the way it did.
Good stuff from the Freewayblogger.
As I look over the news this morning I notice that your President said he would do the "Mission Accomplished" photo op all over again. Of course, as expected, Kerry Rips Bush on 'Mission Accomplished' Remark but it leads me to believe that your President believes the mission was accomplished. So then what was the mission? Chaos to steal Iraq's resources? Chaos to justify building fourteen military bases? Chaos to insure our being there for many years to come? Well chaos was definitely part of the plan. Remember the flypaper theory? Which means that what is happening in Iraq is exactly what they planned. So remember this, U.S. Arrests Senior Commander of Iraqi National Guard this, Iraq Now World's Most Hostile Environment-Analyst and this, Iraqi civilian casualties mounting are all just part of accomplishing the mission.
Not much posting today. Took the day off to have fun with the family. It is Friday so check these two out. Krugman and Floyd:
Let's Get Real
Never mind the inevitable claims that John Kerry is soft on terrorism. What he must address is the question of how his policy in Iraq would differ from President Bush's. And his answer should be that unlike Mr. Bush, whose decisions have been dictated at every stage by grandiose visions and wishful thinking, he will get real - focusing on what is really possible in Iraq, and what needs to be done to protect American security.
The oh-so-Christian Coalition
How many times must the truth be told before it conquers the lies? Again and again, the brutal realities behind the rape of Iraq -- that it was planned years ago, that the aggressors knew full well that their justifications for war were false and that their invasion would lead to chaos, ruin and unbridled terror -- have been exposed by the very words and documents of the invaders themselves. Yet the reign of the lie goes on, rolling toward its final entrenchment in November.
Remember, if you fail to plan you are planning to fail.
Two bills pending in Congress would launch a new draft for all young Americans ages 18 to 26, both male and female, with no college exemption. Also, a new border agreement with Canada is designed to prevent young Americans from fleeing northward to elude the draft.
Another grieving mother speaks
It’s John Kerry, Damn It!
It’s John Kerry, G-d damn it. Write to him. Be on his side and tell him what you want. Tell him you’re enraged at Bush and Cheney and Rice and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. Tell him what we say around the quiet tables of our perceived final America feasts—that we are filled with hate and rage and it hurts and we want it to stop. We want this war over. We want terrorism to stop. We want more nuanced ways of stopping it—with some real force directed at the real culprits, and some mediation with the rest of world, some giving policies, some kindness. Tell him that at the quiet of our dinner tables, with enough wine to say it outloud, tell him we sometimes say, though we really don’t mean it, we wish Bush dead because we fear he will kill literally our own children and spiritually the rest of our world.
Tell him, G-d damn it! Or it’s going to drive our own good people to self destruction. Something we really don’t want.
Because enough towers have fallen.
Retired Air Force colonel Sam Gardiner last year showed us how the Pentagon misinformed us about the Iraq was when he wrote Truth from These Podia. He showed us how the Pentagon used Psychological Operations (psyops), which are usually meant for the enemy, on the media and therefore the American people. Yesterday he wrote an article showing how the Pentagon is still doing this and shows us that The enemy is us. Now all of this is well and good if you know your being manipulated, right? But I would assume that most of the sheeple have not idea this is going on.
Tom Engelhardt tells us that more aerial bombardment from the skies in Iraq is another sign that we are losing in Iraq, Incident on Haifa Street:
But until the incident on Haifa Street, recent reporting had focused on the loss of Falluja or Ramadi or Samarra or Baquba or the way the "Sunni Triangle" was blinking off the American map of Iraq. What was remarkable about the incident on Haifa Street was that a part of Iraq only hundreds of yards from one of our most fortified strongpoints was blinking off as well -- so much so that when our commanders decided to take out a disabled vehicle or offer payback, they chose to do so from the air.He also tells us how reporters cannot even report on what is happening there:
If anything, parts of Iraq began blinking off the map of American reportage long before they disappeared from the military map of the country. Now our reporters, unless embedded with American forces, are largely trapped in restricted parts of Baghdad, waiting for the war to come to the Green Zone. Most of the major papers have hired Iraqi reporters to help them out, but don't imagine for a second that what you're reading is simply the news from Iraq. Note, for instance, that when the helicopters struck in Haifa Street, only several hundred yards from the Green Zone, Arab television was there but, as far as I could see, not CNN or the networks. The reasons for all this are quite understandable. Iraq is now a desperately perilous place for unarmed, or even armed, westerners. I won't be surprised when the first American news organizations, like the last of the relief organizations, simply decide to pull out. What's far less understandable is that the conditions for reporting in Iraq, for our "news" on Iraq, go largely unreported.So you see things are not going well there. But don't worry, your President, aka Bubble Boy, thinks everything is just fine:
Bush's campaign depends on the containment of any contrary perception of reality. He must evade, deny and suppress it. His true opponent is not his Democratic foe - called unpatriotic and the candidate of al-Qaida by the vice-president - but events. Bush's latest vision is his shield against them. He invokes the power of positive thinking, as taught by Emile Coue, guru of autosuggestion in the giddy 1920s, who urged mental improvement through constant repetition: "Every day in every way I am getting better and better."Nothing to worry about says Dear Leader, just go to sleep and everything will be OK. And don't forget if you vote for Kerry you will die.
George Bush's latest flip-flop
Q Do you have any questions about the prewar intelligence? Were you ill-served by the intelligence community?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, first of all, I've got great confidence in our intelligence community. These are unbelievably hardworking, dedicated people who are doing a great job for America. - January 27, 2004
Q Right here, Mr. President, thank you. Why do you think the CIA's assessment of conditions in Iraq are so much at odds with the optimism that you and Prime Minister Allawi are expressing at the moment?
PRESIDENT BUSH: The CIA laid out a -- several scenarios that said, life could be lousy, like could be okay, life could be better. And they were just guessing as to what the conditions might be like. - September 21, 2004
Deja-Vu? When it's us it's different, though.
RESIGNATIONS, THEN AND NOW.
So now a variety of bloggers, political operatives, talk-show hosts, and right-wing pundit-types want to know when Dan Rather will resign over the Killian memos.
I assume that these same worthies will be calling for President Bush to resign any day now, right?
The parallels are obvious when you think about it, and on many levels. I mean, surely, if Rather should resign because 60 Minutes II got snowed by a source and ran a story on documents that turned out to be fraudulent, than Bush should resign after he and his administration made false claims about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs based on documents that turned out to be fraudulent. Right? Especially since those claims helped get us into a war in which over 1,000 Americans have died. (Rather's mistake was considerably less costly.)
I'll await the calls for Bush's head, but without much suspense.
Have you seen John Kerry's plan forWinning The Peace In Iraq?
John Kerry and John Edwards will make the creation of a stable and secure environment in Iraq our immediate priority in order to lay the foundations for sustainable democracy. That is the right way to get the job done and bring our troops home. John Kerry and John Edwards believe the following principles should guide American policy in Iraq right now and that if these steps are not taken, options in the future will become more limited. This needs to be an urgent agenda to:So don't believe them when they say he doesn't have one.
* Internationalize, because others must share the burden;
* Train Iraqis, because they must be responsible for their own security;
* Move forward with reconstruction because that's an important way to stop the spread of terror; and
* Help Iraqis achieve a viable government, because it is up to them to run their own country.
Compare that to the plan Rumsfeld laid out last week:
At some point the Iraqis will get tired of getting killed and we?ll have enough of the Iraqi security forces that they can take over responsibility for governing that country and we?ll be able to pare down the coalition security forces in the country.How many Iraqis have to die to make sure we have enough security forces in Iraq to secure the country? Well, t least they have a plan too.
- Secretary Rumsfeld Media Availability at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Do you own a house and deduct mortgage insurance from your taxes? Well kiss it goodbye if Bush is reelected!
Edwards Outlines the Kerry-Edwards Plan for Ohio's Economic Recovery; Delivers Strong Critique of Bush's Dangerous Tax Agenda
"The President's new 'tax reform' is the ultimate expression of his values," said Edwards. "We don't know all of the details, but we know that people who inherit hundreds of millions will pay nothing; firemen and waitresses and working people will pay everything. And we know his plan will take away the most important incentive for the single most important form of ownership: it will eliminate entirely the tax deduction for home mortgage interest."
Here is the Dailykos diary link, Edwards: Bush to eliminate tax deduction for mortgage
I listen to the words that are used much, much more than I ever have. If you've been reading this blog you know that. One that has been bothering me for a while is describing those fighting against the "coalition of the willing" in Iraq as an insurgency. Look below at the Webster's definition of the words resistance and insurgency, the highlighted parts are those pertinent to the situation in Iraq. Which one do you think applies? I know it's semantics but words matter, big time.
1 a : an act or instance of resisting : OPPOSITION b : a means of resisting
2 : the ability to resist; especially : the inherent capacity of a living being to resist untoward circumstances (as disease, malnutrition, or toxic agents)
3 : an opposing or retarding force
4 a : the opposition offered by a body or substance to the passage through it of a steady electric current b : a source of resistance
5 often capitalized: an underground organization of a conquered or nearly conquered country engaging in sabotage and secret operations against occupation forces and collaborators
Inflected Form(s): plural -cies
1 : the quality or state of being insurgent; specifically : a condition of revolt against a government that is less than an organized revolution and that is not recognized as belligerency
2 : INSURGENCE
I say resistance is what those fighting us should be called and that is the way I will refer to them here from now on. If you're still not sure if it's a resistance or an insurgency read these two articles they may shed some light on it: 'The liberation of Baghdad is not far away' and Allawi barking up the wrong tree.
When all of Dan Rather's problems started a few weeks ago after someone brought up the fact that it was an interview between him and Daddy Bush that took the "wimp" label off Daddy. So it seems interesting that Rather again would be the reporter that helps a Bush out with a tricky issue. Why would the most "liberal" anchorman play along with his own personal destruction? That's one question about this situation. The other thing that came to mind was a quote from a BBC interview that Rather did in May 2002:
HOLT:So what we see from this is the fact that newsrooms in this country were and are being censored. I think Dan Rather got fed up with this story not being covered and went out on a limb, a very rickety limb and I think he knew it was. Greg Palast is on the case, The lynching of Dan Rather, and he does a better job than I can:
And Rather told us with the nation so stirred, it's become almost impossible to hold the Government to account.
(Anchor, CBS Evening News)
It's an obscene comparison but there was a time in South Africa when people would put flaming tyres around people's necks if they dissented. In some ways, the fear is that you will be neck-laced here, you will have a flaming tyre of lack of patriotism put around your neck. It's that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions and to continue to bore-in on the tough questions so often. Again, I'm humbled to say I do not except myself from this criticism.
This is not a story about Dan Rather. The white millionaire celebrity can defend himself without my help. This is really a story about fear, the fear that stops other reporters in the US from following the evidence about this administration to where it leads. American news guys and news gals, practicing their smiles, adjusting their hairspray levels, bleaching their teeth and performing all the other activities that are at the heart of US TV journalism, will look to the treatment of Dan Rather and say, "Not me, babe." No questions will be asked, as Dan predicted, lest they risk necklacing and their careers as news actors burnt to death.Remember no one has attacked the content of these memos. Now to get a better sense of the frustration Dan Rather may have been feeling, Your Media is Killing You, this goes to the heart of the matter:
The first part is the degree to which these nationally broadcast news stations have become compromised by the corporations that own them. The ownership of the media is key to understanding the process. Take the example of General Electric, owners of NBC, MSNBC and CNBC. This company is one of the largest defense contractors in America; they get paid every time we go to war, and yet we somehow believe they will tell us the truth of war, even though it affects their profit margin. Such thinking is folly.And Maureen Farrell brings it all back around to where we are headed, When Fascism Comes to America,
Which brings us back to Sinclair Lewis. "Where in all history has there ever been a people so ripe for a dictatorship as ours!," he wrote in It Can't Happen Here.It's quite a bit to take in and Maureen Farrell, as usual, has many great links in her article. But as I read through these articles I was left with an unmistakable truth. The mainstream media, which is corporate owned, is in collusion with the state to make what our government does seem OK. They are also both complicit in crushing any dissent from their party line, which benefits them. There is an name for that and the name is Fascism.
Many of us remember watching the Vietnam War in our living rooms. We can tell you exactly where we were when John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy were shot. We recall what we were doing (driving our father's Ford LTD without his permission) when we first heard that Nixon resigned. We remember Watergate and the Iranian hostage crisis and Iran/Contra, too. And while some things, like the My Lai massacre and "four dead in Ohio" left an indelible mark, we always felt that the country, regardless how troubled and torn, would be fine.
But something is different now.
Bush gets Clintonian, again
What Is Bush Hiding?
But a guy who is supposed to be so frank and direct turns remarkably Clintonian where the National Guard issue is concerned. "I met my requirements and was honorably discharged" is Bush's stock answer, which does old Bill proud. And am I the only person exasperated by a double standard that treated everything Bill Clinton ever did in his life ("I didn't inhale") as fair game but now insists that we shouldn't sully ourselves with any inconvenient questions about Bush's past? Clinton and "W" I think have always admired each others political aptitude, shall we say.
Today I'm going to start with Iraq, and remember when you look at this stuff, we came to liberate this country from Saddam Hussein. Isn't he in jail now?
Juan Cole on McCain
McCain vs. Iraqi Public
The rather bloodthirsty demand launched by Arizona Senator John McCain that the US military conquer Fallujah and other Sunni Arab cities of al-Anbar Province will not in fact enhance the possibility of free elections in January.
What does McCain think the election would look like, with Ramadi, Fallujah and other Sunni cities reduced to rubble? Does he think the sullen Sunni Arabs will actually just jump on a US bandwagon in the wake of such brutality? Does he have any idea of the sheer number of feuds that will have been incurred with the Sunni tribes?
Juan Cole also rips "Fat" Denny Hastert a new one for his comments this weekend
Bin Laden Doesn't Care Who Wins
But Hastert is just wrong. Al-Qaeda does not care who wins the elections. If the US withdraws from Iraq (which could happen willy-nilly under Bush as easily as under Kerry), that would be seen as a victory by al-Qaeda. If the US remains in Iraq for years, bleeding at the hands of an ongoing guerrilla insurgency, then that is also a victory for al-Qaeda from their point of view. They therefore just don't care which candidate wins.
What does Kerry say about all this? Here his speech today. A few excerpts:
By one count, the President offered 23 different rationales for this war. If his purpose was to confuse and mislead the American people, he succeeded.That's enough, go read it!
His two main rationales ? weapons of mass destruction and the Al Qaeda/September 11 connection ? have been proved false? by the President?s own weapons inspectors? and by the 9/11 Commission. Just last week, Secretary of State Powell acknowledged the facts. Only Vice President Cheney still insists that the earth is flat.
The President now admits to ?miscalculations? in Iraq.
That is one of the greatest understatements in recent American history. His were not the equivalent of accounting errors. They were colossal failures of judgment ? and judgment is what we look for in a president.
The administration told us we?d be greeted as liberators. They were wrong.
They told us not to worry about looting or the sorry state of Iraq?s infrastructure. They were wrong.
They told us we had enough troops to provide security and stability, defeat the insurgents, guard the borders and secure the arms depots. They were wrong.
They told us we could rely on exiles like Ahmed Chalabi to build political legitimacy. They were wrong.
They told us we would quickly restore an Iraqi civil service to run the country and a police force and army to secure it. They were wrong.
In fact, the only officials who lost their jobs over Iraq were the ones who told the truth.
General Shinseki said it would take several hundred thousand troops to secure Iraq. He was retired. Economic adviser Larry Lindsey said that Iraq would cost as much as $200 billion. He was fired. After the successful entry into Baghdad, George Bush was offered help from the UN -- and he rejected it. He even prohibited any nation from participating in reconstruction efforts that wasn?t part of the original coalition ? pushing reluctant countries even farther away. As we continue to fight this war almost alone, it is hard to estimate how costly that arrogant decision was. Can anyone seriously say this President has handled Iraq in a way that makes us stronger in the war on terrorism?
The President?s policy in Iraq precipitated the very problem he said he was trying to prevent. Secretary of State Powell admits that Iraq was not a magnet for international terrorists before the war. Now it is, and they are operating against our troops. Iraq is becoming a sanctuary for a new generation of terrorists who someday could hit the United States.
Let me put it plainly: The President?s policy in Iraq has not strengthened our national security. It has weakened it.
Bush tells the National Guard...
Do As I Say
Those brave, loyal, hoodwinked Guardsmen. They think Bush is one of them. They don't understand that the only presidential candidate who's done the job they're doing now—risking life and shedding blood—is the guy on the other side.
Is this considered a flip-flop?
The Greed Factor
Why is this record important in the current presidential debate? Because as Cheney barnstorms around the country touting the Bush administration’s record, his years at Halliburton indicate he is willing to put other priorities before America’s national security. Even as Iran built ties to terrorists and worked to develop a nuclear weapon, Cheney insisted corporations must do “business in countries that may have policies that the U.S. does not like.” His reasoning? “The good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratic regimes friendly to the United States.”
This Is Bush's Vietnam
George W. Bush is now trapped as tightly in Iraq as Johnson was in Vietnam. The war is going badly. The president's own intelligence estimates are pessimistic. There is no plan to actually win the war in Iraq, and no willingness to concede defeat.
Britain starts setting up their withdrawl from Iraq
Iraq withdrawal may have to speed up, says Kennedy
Britain may have to accelerate the withdrawal of forces from Iraq if elections in January are derailed by terrorist attacks, Charles Kennedy warned yesterday.
Chris Floyd writes some beautiful articles
Thus this witless assemblage of bagmen and bootlickers (including, as usual, the vast majority of Democratic jellyfish) officially affirmed Bush's blood libel, his Hitlerian Big Lie: the supposed connection between Saddam and 9/11. "You can't distinguish between al Qaida and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror," Bush said in September 2002, when rolling out what his staff called the "product" -- i.e. a calculated campaign of fear and deception to drive the nation into war. "We've eliminated an ally of al Qaida," he declared in May 2003, while prancing about in military drag during his infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech. Bush and his minions have pounded this mendacious war drum so often, in so many ways, that even now, up to 50 percent of Americans still believe that Saddam was involved directly or indirectly in the 9/11 attacks -- although this canard was debunked yet again last week, this time by Colin Powell, The Washington Post reports.
There is no connection between Saddam Hussein and 911.
There is no connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
There is no connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
Are these statements true or false? Do you even know? Read on and you'll find out.
Earlier in the week I linked and article on "framing": a communication tool that creates a "frame" for a message that defines the terms of the debate. As long as this administration and the Republicans are allowed to get away with framing the two true statements listed above as false people will continue to believe it. Last night I saw one way they do it. When Bush/Cheney campaign manager Ken Mehlman was asked about how Kerry can criticize Bush on the war in Iraq and not get attacked as unpatriotic Mehlman had a long rambling answer but the main point was something to the effect of, and once again Charlie has no free transcripts, If John Kerry is going to attact Bush for attacking the terrorists he going to lose. It's subtle but he shifted from a question about Iraq and turned it into terrorism, therefore linking Iraq to the WoT. Which we know the war in Iraq and the WoT are not the same. But don't expect Charlie to make that distinction for you.
Knowing this it becomes clear why 42 percent of Americans still think this:
Do you think Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq was DIRECTLY involvedHow do the American People wind up this stupid you ask? Well Frank Rich tells us here, Bush vs. Kerry: TV's nonreality show
in planning, financing, or carrying out the terrorist attacks of
September 11th, 2001, or not?
BASED ON REGISTERED VOTERS
Yes No DK
Current Total 42 44 14 =100
Republicans 55 32 13 =100
Democrats 32 54 14 =100
Independents 37 48 15 =100
(1/29-30/04) 49 39 12 =100
(9/18-19/03) 47 37 16 =100
What much of the other news media have offered as an alternative (to FOX) has not been an alternative at all. At some point after 9/$ 11, the news business started relaying unchallenged administration propaganda - though with less zeal and showbiz pizazz than Fox. The notorious March 2003 presidential news conference at which not a single probing question was asked by the entire White House press corps heralded the broader Foxification to come. As Michael Massing, a frequent critic of The New York Times and others, put it on PBS's "NewsHour," the failure of the American news media to apply proper skepticism to the administration's stated rationale for war in Iraq is "one of the most serious institutional failures of the press" since our slide into Vietnam. Massing attributes some of this to the fear of challenging a president then at the height of his popularity. Whatever the explanation, the net effect was that the entire press came off as Fox Lite. The motive to parrot the administration line may not have been ideological, as it was at Fox, but since the misinformation was the same, news consumers can't be blamed for finding that a distinction without a difference.Whether it's WMD, SBLfB (Swift Boat Liars for Bush), or Bush/TANG (aka his guard service), the issue is used to keep everyone (the media) from talking about the issues that really matter. Like before the war when everyone is focused on "the deadliest weapons ever created", no one cares the administration has no plan for Iraq after the war or that the plan is for chaos so Halliburton, Bechtel, et al., can steal taxpayer reconstruction money and Iraqi oil.
Now it's SBLfB and Bush/TANG and we are all caught up in Vietnam again. Iraq is a disaster, so is Afghanistan, we are going into Iran and places beyond in a second Bush term, poverty is up, those without healthcare is rising, the jobless rate is up. But instead let's focus on what happened 35 years ago. In other words you've been "framed" again, just like you were about WMD.
The people saying this are not left wing/liberal "wackos"
Far graver than Vietnam
"'Bring them on!" President Bush challenged the early Iraqi insurgency in July of last year. Since then, 812 American soldiers have been killed and 6,290 wounded, according to the Pentagon. Almost every day, in campaign speeches, Bush speaks with bravado about how he is "winning" in Iraq. "Our strategy is succeeding," he boasted to the National Guard convention on Tuesday.
Don't forget your President last year invited the resistance in Iraq to attack our soldiers. - LH
And the CIA is trying not to get fried again
U.S. Intelligence Shows Pessimism on Iraq's Future
A classified National Intelligence Estimate prepared for President Bush in late July spells out a dark assessment of prospects for Iraq, government officials said Wednesday.
Laura Bush and her "Let them eat cake" moment
Woman interrupts Bush speech
A WOMAN wearing a T-shirt with the words "President Bush You Killed My Son" and a picture of a soldier killed in Iraq was detained today after she interrupted a campaign speech by first lady Laura Bush.
Police escorted Sue Niederer of Hopewell, New Jersey, from a rally at a firehouse after she demanded to know why her son, Army 1st Lieutenant Seth Dvorin, 24, was killed in Iraq. Dvorin died in February while trying to disarm a bomb.
Wouldn't a compassionate conservative engaged this women, asked about her son maybe? Remeber Iraq and Saddam Hussein had NOTHING to do with 9/11. - LH
Watch out what you put on your car, depending on where you work
Bumper Sticker Insubordination
The same is true of Lynne Gobbell of Moulton, Ala., who on Sept. 9 was fired from her job at Enviromate, a company that makes housing insulation, for driving to work with a Kerry-Edwards bumper sticker in the rear windshield of her Chevy Lumina. The person who did the firing was Phil Geddes, who owns the company and is an enthusiastic Bush supporter. (Although Gobbell hasn't done any proselytizing for Kerry at Enviromate, Geddes distributed a flyer to all Enviromate employees explaining why they should vote for Bush.) Here is how Gobbell related her story to Clyde Stancil of the Decatur Daily News:
Those in the know, know
Quiet Calls for Change
Scott Lewis, an Army Reserve sergeant home after 15 months in Iraq, spoke just a few words. "We need some new ideas in Iraq," he said. "People criticize John Kerry for changing his mind about Iraq, but I think that's actually a strength. And I'm a Republican."
Check this story out, Press Reports on U.S. Casualties: About 17,000 Short, UPI Says. It's a tale about how the military is not reporting accurate casualty numbers. Here is how the story says the Pentagon defines a casualty:
"Any person who is lost to the organization by having been declared dead, duty status/whereabouts unknown, missing, ill, or injured."That was the definition at least until this war started. Here is the what the Pentagon now says about what a casualty is:
In a statement Wednesday, the Pentagon gave a different definition that included casualty descriptions by severity and type and said most medical evacuations did not count. "The great majority of service members medically evacuated from Operation Iraqi Freedom are not casualties, by either Department of Defense definitions or the common understanding of the average newspaper reader."Isn't that a beautiful phrase, "the common understanding of the average newspaper reader."? What exactly is that and how do they know what that is? Now lets get back to why this is happening. What type of injuries are we talking about? These types:
It cited such ailments as "muscle strain, back pain, kidney stones, diarrhea and persistent fever" as non-casualty evacuations. "Casualty reports released to the public are generally confined to fatalities and those wounded in action," the statement said.So why does the military not want these types of things listed as casualties? Well I think there are a few. The obvious of course is that it keeps the casualty numbers down. It also helps them hide some of the realities of war like this:
Among veterans from Iraq seeking help from the VA, 5,375 have been diagnosed with a mental problem, making it the third-leading diagnosis after bone problems and digestive problems. Among the mental problems were 800 soldiers who became psychotic.Most people just want to think war is very patriotic and honorable and that when someone comes home from war they just go right back to the way they are before they left. But unfortunately they do not. So we have all of these people coming home from war with major mental problems and we are probably not giving them the treatment for this they need. Now I'm no expert on this but I'm sure you could Google iraq, post traumatic stress disorder and find some interesting things. And then right after that Google the words "depleted uranium" (DU). What is DU you ask, well it's similar to what you probably remember from Vietnam as Agent Orange, it's radiation posioning. It causes all kinds of mental and physical problems that I'm sure the military/MIC does not want anything about DU becoming well known. So we have 17,000 thousand more casualties than previously known, mostly mentally ill. They are coming home and not getting treatment because they are not recognized as being casualties or sick. So remember if Bush is reelected he is coming after your family and friends to send them to Iran or some other hell hole to experience this type of reality.
Kerry continues to punch back
"You own it" -- Kerry starting to use the line! [update with news coverage]
Democrat Kerry Slams Bush's 'Excuse Presidency'
Democratic candidate John Kerry unleashed a stinging indictment of President Bush's economic stewardship on Wednesday and urged his Republican rival to take responsibility instead of playing the victim.
"This president has created more excuses than jobs," Kerry said in a speech to the Detroit Economic Club.
Trailing in national polls seven weeks before the Nov. 2 election and heeding advisers who have urged him to be more forceful, Kerry said he was "taking the gloves off" in his presidential campaign battle with Bush.
"The president wants you to believe that this record is the record of the victim of circumstances, the result of bad luck, not bad decisions," Kerry said in his speech. "Well, Mr. President, when it comes to your record, we agree -- you own it."
"His is the excuse presidency -- never wrong, never responsible, never to blame ... no, it's not our fault; no, there's nothing wrong; no, we can't do better; no, we haven't made a single mistake," Kerry said.
Read Kerry's full speech and see the economic plan here.
Last night I actually saw a couple of interesting interviews. One was Seymour Hersh on Hardball, (transcript [here] - scroll down about half way, first segment they talk about abuse, second segment they talk about Iraq). The other one was Zbigniew Brzezinski on Charlie Rose. Hersh has a new book out Chain of Command (Guardian excerpt) and Brzezinski was just on the show for his expertise, telling his side of the story. These two guys, along with many others, are now of the opinion -- that I came to several months ago -- that Iraq is lost.
Hersh goes through how the torture scandal goes all the way to the top and that the White House -- meaning Rice and those that deal with national security -- knew about this in the Fall of 2002. Of course Rummy and Wolfie and Cambone were heading up the whole show. When they started talking about Iraq I thought this exchange was telling:
MATTHEWS: The new prime minister of the interim government.
HERSH: Who has no support. He couldn‘t walk on a street in Baghdad.
MATTHEWS: Well, why do these conservative writers, neoconservative writers I read in the paper and everybody watching reads in the papers, say, give him time; Allawi will put together a government over there? What are they talking about?
HERSH: I would like to smoke what they‘re smoking, because it isn‘t going to happen.
Look, we promised democracy. You have got a country where the Shiites are the majority. You‘re not giving the Shiites what we promised. We‘re not giving them democracy.
Brzezinski basically said the same thing but there was one point when Charlie asked him what to expect in a 2nd Bush term, it's from memory Charlie doesn't post transcripts. He said that well the preemption doctrine will be fulfilled, in other words war without end, Amen.
Which brings us back to the article I posted yesterday, Bush's Lost Year. It's the story of how by going into Iraq we screwed up both Iraq and Afghanistan. It made me remember how people on both sides and myself included said that what we doin Afghanistan will show everyone how we will treat the world throughout the WoT. To put it another way, Afghanistan will be a template for Iraq and the WoT, which seems to be the case. Both places are now cesspools and the 'Gates of Hell' are Open in Iraq.
There was another thing that Brzezinski said and it went something like this, "Not only is America hated more now then ever around the world, we are also the most hated country in the world." Wow, that is powerful stuff! That is what you have to thank this President for. He is also of the opinion, as are many others, that the Iraq occupation has been beneficial to Al Qaeda (swelling it ranks) and has made us less safe. These are the realities about what this President has transformed The United States of America into. Are you OK with that?
More analysis on Iraq
Surge in violence threatens Iraq elections, U.S. exit strategy
The U.S. strategy to create a stable, democratic Iraq is in danger of failing, current and former U.S. officials say, and the anti-American insurgency is growing larger, more sophisticated and more violent.
Iraq: a descent into civil war?
Lying amid the debris strewn near Al-Karkh police station was the photo of a young man in a blue T-shirt. The passport snap had been part of his application to join Iraq's police force.
Yesterday, however, he and dozens of other recruits queueing outside the station in central Baghdad were blown to pieces by a car bomb. Near the photo, someone had heaped the shoes of the dead and injured into a neat pile.
The destruction from the suspected suicide blast which killed 47 people and injured 114 was everywhere: bits of metal, glass, a broken billiard table, a dead bird and pools of blood.
If these ladies can't convince you...
Widows Back Kerry After Bush Rebuffs 9/11 Probe
The quintet, who were joined by a survivor of the attack on the Pentagon, said they had been rebuffed by President George W. Bush in every attempt to have a proper investigation into their husbands' deaths and said it sullied the memory of their loved ones to have the war in Iraq linked to the attacks.
Are you familiar with the concept of framing? Here is an intro to the concept
Framing the Debate: It's All GOP
How do Republicans continually frustrate Democrats, keeping them on the defensive? It's not just their media control (Fox News, Clear Channel, etc.), it's not just the $2 billion they've put into think tanks over the past 30 years, and it's not just lies and dirty tricks. It's their skill at "framing." Basically the concept is whoever sets the terms runs the debate. Simple, right? - LH
Experts ask for Congress to actually debate the findings of the 911 whitewash commission
National Security Experts Demand to Be Heard
To the Congress of the United States:
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States ended its report [.pdf] stating, "We look forward to a national debate on the merits of what we have recommended, and we will participate vigorously in that debate." In this spirit, we the undersigned wish to bring to the attention of the Congress and the people of the United States what we believe are serious shortcomings in the report and its recommendations. We thus call upon Congress to refrain from narrow political considerations and to apply brakes to the race to implement the Commission's recommendations. It is not too late for Congress to break with the practice of limiting testimony to that from politicians and top-layer career bureaucrats – many with personal reputations to defend and institutional equities to protect. Instead, use this unique opportunity to introduce salutary reform, an opportunity that must not be squandered by politically driven haste.
What an asshole
Robert Novak Believes in Revealing Confidential Sources, After All
Syndicated columnist Robert Novak apparently believes that the principle of not revealing confidential sources is rather flexible.
I love it when they're blunt
Bush's Lost Year
"Let me tell you my gut feeling," a senior figure at one of America's military-sponsored think tanks told me recently, after we had talked for twenty minutes about details of the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. "If I can be blunt, the Administration is full of shit. In my view we are much, much worse off now than when we went into Iraq. That is not a partisan position. I voted for these guys. But I think they are incompetent, and I have had a very close perspective on what is happening. Certainly in the long run we have harmed ourselves. We are playing to the enemy's political advantage. Whatever tactical victories we may gain along the way, this will prove to be a strategic blunder."
Is the Senate Memogate About to Explode?
It sounds to me like Manuel Miranda has been told by his lawyer that he's going to jail for this, and he's threatening to finger Frist and Hatch.
Oh yes it can, and is
Can It Happen Here?
In 1935, Sinclair Lewis penned the cautionary tale, It Can’t Happen Here, chronicling the fictional rise of Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip, who becomes President against the protests of Franklin D. Roosevelt and America’s saner citizens.
A charismatic Senator who claims to champion the common man, Windrip is in the pocket of big business (i.e. Corpos), is favored by religious extremists, and though he talks of freedom and prosperity for all, he eventually becomes the ultimate crony capitalist. Boosted by Hearst newspapers (the FOX News of its day), he neuters both Congress and the Supreme Court, before stripping people of their liberties and installing a fascist dictatorship.
Kerry hits Bush hard twice today:
Kerry challenges Bush on Iraq-9/11 connection
Kerry made his charge in a statement released after Secretary of State Colin Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he has seen nothing to link Saddam Hussein's regime with the 9/11 attacks.
"We know that there had been connections and there had been exchanges between al Qaeda and the Saddam Hussein regime. And those have been pursued and looked at," Powell said on the program.
"But I have seen nothing that makes a direct connection between Saddam Hussein and that awful regime, and what happened on 9/11."
Kerry said Powell "came clean with the American people about the lack of a connection between Iraq, Saddam Hussein and the September 11 attacks."
In his statement Sunday, Kerry complained that Cheney "continues to intentionally mislead the American public by drawing a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11 in an attempt to make the invasion of Iraq part of the global war on terror.
"The president needs to answer the question: Who do you think is right? Vice President Cheney or Secretary Powell? And if it's Secretary Powell, will you direct your vice president to stop misleading the American people?"
The Kerry statement continued: "On an issue of such importance, where U.S. troops are bearing nearly 90 percent of the burden, and American taxpayers are paying $200 billion and counting, the administration has an especially solemn obligation to conduct itself in an honest and straightforward way.
"Unfortunately, in its desperate attempts to reinvent a rationale for the Iraq war, this White House has repeatedly chosen to mislead the American people."
Kerry blasts loss of weapons ban
"George Bush made a choice today," the president's Democratic challenger said in remarks prepared for a Washington audience Monday. "He chose his powerful friends in the gun lobby over the police officers and the families he promised to protect."
In case you didn't notice Yesterday was a very bloody day in Iraq. You probably didn't unless you were specifically looking. As Josh Marshall points out it's because Iraq War has become a non-issue as far as the Presidential campaign is concerned. He mentions a few reasons this is the case but he mentions one of the problems with the war that isn't mentioned much:
Back more than a year ago, when it first began to dawn on many that stabilizing, let alone democratizing, Iraq would be a great struggle, the challenge was often framed around the unacceptability of allowing Iraq to 'become another Lebanon' or descend into civil war.The level of violence there is no longer shocking or maybe a better way of putting it is that it is taken for granted. The other psychological aspect of this, that many Americans find hard to believe, is that we again are losing a war like this. As we see what was visited on the Baby Boomers by their parents play out with the "Swift Boar Liars for Bush" (SBLfB) and Bush's own war time service "issues" it always makes me wonder. It makes me wonder how the generation that came of age during Vietnam could do the same thing to a subsequent generation.
Let's be honest with ourselves. That's already happened. That's the clearest reason why yesterday's violence garnered so little attention. It's not surprising any more. A year ago, when a bomber blew up the Jordanian Embassy, it sent a shock through the United States. The same was more or less the case in the bombings that followed through the rest of 2003 and into early 2004.
Iraq has quite simply become a disaster for the United States. And while people disagree over why this has happened, no thinking person can now fail to see that it has happened.
As Atrios shows us Bush Flip Flops again on the war.
Remember the NY Times is a part of the So Called Liberal Media (SCLM)
Distortion, The Times Crosses the Line
Since we had never heard Kerry or any of his surrogates say that if he had his way, Hussein would still be in power, and since no evidence has yet to surface that in the months leading up to the war Hussein was either a "threat to the security of America" or that of the world, our ears perked up. We read on, looking for two things: a Times paragraph pointing out that discrepancy, and a response to Bush's attack from the Kerry camp.
And on ... and on ... and on ... over to the continuation of the story on page A12 ... down column one ... down column two ... down column three ... and down column four, right to the end of the story, 28 paragraphs in all.
The Times' fact-check of Bush's startling assertion never came. And the Times' report on the Kerry campaign's response didn't come until paragraphs 27 and 28.g
As the days fall away in the run up to the election on November 2nd our country is not being treated to a debate on the future of our country. Instead we are debating the inane, non-issues that effect our lives very little. We are not debating the fact that our President got us into a war for fun and profit of his campaign contributors and the Vice President. That we are in debt up to our eyeballs if not higher. That quality jobs are few and far between. That health care costs are skyrocketing. That poverty is rising. That our environment is being sold to the highest bidder/campaign contributor. Our schools are in disarray. But what really matters is that John Kerry came back and protested our biggest foreign policy disaster of his and George Bush's generation. He said there were war crimes in Vietnam by US troops. Do you believe that was incorrect? Think about My Lai and Abu Ghraib. Yes Americans just like any other country involved in a war do bad things. Speaking truth to power is always risky. Not wanting to believe the truth is even riskier. Your country, right now as I write this, is committing more atrocities. Bombings in Fallujah and innocent civilians (collateral damage) die. I'm not sure what will effect you more in the future the issues that are not being addressed in this campaign or whether or not John Kerry was a war hero. I'm going with the issues.
The Bush campaign Strategy
Vote for Bush or Die
Crawford's comments were the latest iteration of a political strategy--hatched in the days after 9/11--that has spiraled out of control. What started as an effort to leverage early support for the President on national security issues has expanded into the politicization of our country's safety and security infrastructure. That process has damaged the credibility of the federal government and made all Americans less secure.
A Mother speaks
Donna Marsh O'Connor: 'To Cheney, on the anniversary of my daughter's murder'
Thank you for warning me about my vote for John Kerry. In this version of America, the one you all have crafted, clarity is very difficult to come by. Let me make myself perfectly clear: my daughter was murdered on 9/11/2001, on an absolutely clear, late summer morning. She was four months pregnant and, that morning, five minutes after the first of two planes hit the World Trade Center, she was told she was "safe." She was told to "stay at her desk." She was found whole and intact ten feet from an alley between Towers IV and V. I cannot tell you how I would have appreciated such a clear warning before September 11th, or even on September 11th. Before that day, there were warnings, clear warnings, but they only reached the desk of George W. Bush. And I note he did nothing to stop the events of 9/11.
Night and fog: Disturbing resonances between regime and reich'
George Bush's United States is clearly in a proto-fascist condition. Of course, there's no such thing as direct equivalence between historical events. The same dangers never come around again -- not in the same form nor with precisely identical content. At every point in time, a new set of elements and circumstances coalesce to create the unique reality of that particular historical moment.
Bush, Lies? You don't say.
The Dishonesty Thing
It's the same pattern of dishonesty, this time involving personal matters that the public can easily understand, that some of us have long seen on policy issues, from global warming to the war in Iraq. On budget matters, which is where I came in, serious analysts now take administration dishonesty for granted.
Will Rivers Pitt points out the issues better that me.
Dumbest. Election. Ever.
Not to make this too personal, but I blame the Boomers. The fact that the Baby Boomer generation is the most important demographic in the country right now - both economically and politically - is really the only way to explain this. Think about it. The first generation raised by television is slogging, along with the rest of us, through a campaign where the only issues discussed have to do with television advertisements. Let's not forget, as well, the fact that the two main candidates spring from that particular demographic, as well. Baby Boomers, "The Worthless Generation"! - LH
Are you aware that Iraqis are dying in Iraq? (Sarcasm, of course)
Despair in Iraq over the forgotten victims of US invasion
"When I heard on television that the Americans had lost 1,000 military killed in Iraq, I asked myself, what about our side? What is the number of Iraqis who have died?" said Dr Amer al-Khuzaie, an Iraqi deputy health minister.
Just read this stuff:
Iraq: The Bungled Transition
Alfred McCoy on the CIA's road to Abu Ghraib
Pravda on the Potomac
A Secure America in a Secure World
The debate debate has started, Bush Likely to Bow Out of 1 Debate. Don't forget the Bush debate strategy. He did this last time. Last time the Bush campaign did not want to have three debates. The "speculation" was they didn't want to because Gore was such a great debater. The talking heads had built Gore up so high that there was no way he could win. More importantly they had made Bush into such a weak debater that as long as he showed up he would be a success. So this is all part of the plan to create very low expectations in the debates for the President. So don't be surprised if the "war" President agrees to all three debates.
I watched Nightline one day last week and John Stewart was on. John Stewart was working Ted Koppel and the media over for reporting the false accusations of the SBVfB. Ted told him that even if the accusations are false that have an obligation to report it. Let's see what Ted does with this, "Bush did coke at Camp David when his father was President, and not just once either,".
"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States," Cheney told about 350 supporters at a town-hall meeting in this Iowa city.- Dick Cheney, in a moment of honesty, tells the truth about what will happen if George Bush is reelected.
What's wrong with your media
Cowardice in the newsrooms
The performance of this country's finest news organizations in the run-up to the Iraq invasion of March 2003 will be remembered as a disgrace. To be sure, it was an angry, fearful time, and independent-minded reporting might not have been heard above the drumbeats of patriotism and war. But it's hard to read the hand-wringing confessionals from news organizations that now realize that they got the prewar story wrong without concluding that the real problem was they were afraid to tell the truth.
Your Vice President and Iraq
Cheney, Halliburton and Iraq: The Purloined Letter
Why was Dick Cheney so eager to invade Iraq? Why did he repeatedly link Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda after September 11, and why did he maintain that not only did Iraq have weapons of mass destruction but that he, Cheney, knew exactly where they were?
Your government and Israel are taking a hard line on Iran, the EU takes a little different line
Colin Powel Impatient With Islamic Republic’s “Delay Tactics” Regarding Nuclear Program
European diplomats told some news agencies on Tuesday that the chief Iranian negotiator, Hassan Rohani expressed willingness to stop uranium enrichment plans. Rohani was in Holland on Monday, holding talks with EU officials. However, observers believe that there is no time left for the IAEA inspectors to verify if Iran has stopped the controversial activities, before the board of the nuclear watchdog agency meets next
As I listened to NPR this morning they did a piece on Famous First Words, on the opening line in a novel. So I'm going to do that here, only a litte different. I'm going to link articles here by a line from the article, not necessarily the first line though. Beware, one has come colorful language in it.
''It appears that no one wanted to hold him accountable," said retired Major General Paul A. Weaver Jr., who retired in 2002 as the Pentagon's director of the Air National Guard. That will be written on George W. Bush's tombstone. - LH
You got to pay if you wanna play, Democrats. Ante up your souls, motherfuckers, 'cause the Republicans have already tossed theirs in the pot.
"The pool of people who really hate us is so much greater than it was on 9/11 because of this needless and counterproductive war in Iraq,"...
"Whenever the people are well-informed," Thomas Jefferson noted in a letter to Dr. Price in 1789, "they can be trusted with their own government. Whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights."
There are now 1,001 American reasons why Bush’s invasion of Iraq was a mistake, but Don Rumsfeld is talking about Iran. And Bill Luti, the former Gingrich aide who runs the Near East and South Asia (NESA) office at the Pentagon and who is reportedly a key cog in the machine now targeted by the FBI’s counterintelligence unit, has five or six other countries in mind. Re-elect Bush, anyone? If you are on the fence about who to vote for read this and then picture your children, nephews, nieces, friends children, fighting in these future wars. Is there any doubt that these people don't mean what they say? - LH
The best thing I've read in months
The unwinnable war
We know it was the truth because of the way it embarrassed him, because of the way his handlers immediately required him to repudiate it ("I probably need to be more articulate"), and because the mass of Republicans were deaf to it. Just as Bush had inadvertently spoken the exact truth about the war on terrorism at its onset ("This crusade, this war on terrorism"), he had inadvertently done so again.
And McCain called Michael Moore disingenuous!?
Sen. Graham Book Bombshell: Proof of 9/11 Cover-Up
Two of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers had a support network in the United States that included agents of the Saudi government, and the Bush administration and FBI blocked a congressional investigation into that relationship, Sen. Bob Graham wrote in a book to be released Tuesday.
The discovery of the financial backing of the two hijackers ''would draw a direct line between the terrorists and the government of Saudi Arabia, and trigger an attempted coverup by the Bush administration,'' the Florida Democrat wrote.
Now it's time to look at Dubya's military record
George W. Bush: AWOL in Alabama
The ad features Robert Mintz, one of many who served in Alabama's 187th Air National Guard -- when Bush claims to have been there -- who have no memory of Bush on the base. In other words, Bush failed to fulfill his military duty while others were dying in Vietnam.
We're over 1,000!
The latest on Israeli Spying
Serving Two Flags
Since 9-11, a small group of "neo-conservatives" in the Administration have effectively gutted--they would say reformed--traditional American foreign and security policy. Notable features of the new Bush doctrine include the pre-emptive use of unilateral force, and the undermining of the United Nations and the principle instruments and institutions of international law....all in the cause of fighting terrorism and promoting homeland security.
THE MOTHER OF ALL SCANDALS
Once again, Israel has been caught with spies at the highest levels of the US Government.
Once again Israel denies wrongdoing, or faced with incontrovertible evidence (in this case one of the spies has reportedly cooperated with the FBI) dismisses the spying with the claim that such spying is harmless, because Israel and the United States are such good friends.
AIPAC Spy Case Involves Intelligence on Iranian WMD
James Gordon Meek reports that both FBI investigations of leaks from the Pentagon concern in part secret US intelligence on Iranian weapons of mass destruction programs. The FBI suspects that this intelligence was leaked to AIPAC and the Israelis on the one hand, and to Ahmad Chalabi on the other. Chalabi in turn is suspected of passing the information on to Tehran, playing the role of double agent. Although the FBI seems to be keeping the two inquiries separate, there is strong circumstantial evidence that there was a behind-the-scenes connection between Chalabi and the Israelis. That is, the information circuit may have been ingrown among the Neoconservatives, the Israelis and Chalabi's people.
Here is the final word on this
I spent Friday through Sunday in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was a very nice place and the people were very nice as well. I went there for a friends wedding. I didn't see near as many bumper stickers there as I see in Austin. Just one or two for each side. It wasn't until late into the reception on Saturday night, after everyone had a few, that it happened. A woman from north of Chicago, after finding out I was from Texas said, "Is it true that everyone from Texas supports George Bush?" I admit I thought someone had put her up to it. I even checked to see if Allen Funt was around. But I gave her my polite answer, "I've never voted for a Bush and I see no reason to start now". Turns our she does not care for the man and his administration.
We talked for a few minutes. She did not care for Kerry necessarily either and said she usually doesn't vote. I told her that she needs to vote, even if she doesn't vote for President there are all the other races down the ballot that she needs to vote for. Earlier she had told me that her husband is a Republican. And she dragged him into the conversation by mentioning the fact that I was from Texas and don't care for the current President. Over the course of the next 45 minutes to an hour I had a very civil conversation with her husband. We did not agree much but it was a nice discussion and I threw out quite a bit of my argument to him -- PNAC, Neocons, Iraq as a base for further conquests, etc.. He at one point said he probably leans more Libertarian, which means there is some hope for him. He was very rigid about the WoT and when backed into a corner in the argument resorted to saying we should just nuke 'em if nothing else works. He also wouldn't answer the question if the WoT was worth one of his children's lives. He chose to answer that by saying that he had told his son that if the US military comes calling you have to go. I will leave that to you if it is the same thing as being willing to sacrifice your child's life.
But later in the night I had a run in with an older man who must have left his pointy hat in his vehicle. He thinks Zel Miller is the greatest political speaker since Joe McCarthy. In his opinion he told us that, "the Democratic Party is made up of, and I'm not going to be politically correct anymore, Ni@#$rs, homosexuals, no Godders, women and stupid white boys". He then pointed to me and my friend and said, "Which one are you". At that point things began to fall apart for him and as he told us that the terrorists want John Kerry to win his wife came in and started asking me about where I was from and how I was enjoying my visit. I gathered that the wife had done this before and didn't want her husband ruining another social engagement of theirs.
In talking politics with all of these people I kept are very even tone and always listened to them fully before ripping their arguments to shreds, in a nice way. I tried to leave all of them with something to think about and the thought of don't trust me go and find out for yourself. A few times an attempt was made to dismiss me as a conspiracy theorist. All I told them was I'm not a conspiracy theorist I just have some questions I want answered. I asked them to answer them, and they couldn't. Maybe they will try and find the answers and start themselves on a journey. But that's just me along with being a conspiracy theorist I'm an optimist and an idealist.
Text of a letter to the editor, Smears of Kerry have an Orwellian cast:
All the smears and lies and misrepresentations emanating from the Republicans cannot erase the simple fact that George W. Bush risks and ruins the lives of men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan but would not risk his own in Vietnam.
He used his family's power and privilege to gain entry into the Air National Guard, evade combat and go absent from duty while other people died in a war that he and his family promoted.
Clearly, we have not escaped the hallucinatory legacy of the 1960s, the enduring rage over the defeat in Vietnam that distorts memory and history.
A swaggering and irresponsible coward (what else is Bush but that?) insinuates (through his underlings) that his opponent, whose war record is beyond reproach, was not as brave or patriotic as he claims to be. And the press lends credibility to these right-wing, whacko smears? This is the sort of world that George Orwell feared and that Joseph Goebbels tried to create.
For shame. No American who believes in democracy or decency should tolerate that.
The writer is with the American Studies Department of Union College, Schenectady.