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Today's Note From a Madman
Monday, October 16, 2006
Bush's Reasons For Iraq
Tom Raum of the Associate Press has got it right, and he put it down on paper. President Bush and his "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party have used plenty of excuses for going into, and staying in Iraq, but the reasons change almost as soon as those excuses are disproved.
"President Bush keeps revising his explanation for why the U.S. is in Iraq, moving from narrow military objectives at first to history-of-civilization stakes now."
-Raum's AP story
Reasons number one and one-"A":
"Saddam Hussein is harboring terrorists and the instruments of terror, the instruments of mass death and destruction. And he cannot be trusted. The risk is simply too great that he will use them, or provide them to a terror network."
-President Bush from his now infamous Cincinnati speech, October, 2002
Bush's stated reason was that he didn't want Saddam to use WMD's against us. The "A" reason was that he didn't want Saddam to sell them to al-Qaeda. As we now know, WMD's were never found in Iraq, as related to the Bush time-line. No matter how many cartoons of "mobile labs" that then-Secretary of State Colin Powell showed to the UN or us, it still will never be the truth. We all now that, at one time, Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction because he had used them against both Iran and his own people, the latter with the "look-the-other-way" blessings of GW's dad, former President George H.W. Bush, who let Saddam fly in the "no-fly zone" to kill his own people. Oops!
As far as selling them to al-Qaeda, it is true that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq until he was killed by a US bomb, was in Iraq during the latter days of Hussein's rule. However, to say there was a tie between the terrorist organization and the dictator is a lie. Osama bin-Laden called for the ouster of Hussein well before we thought is "fashionable" (as private citizen Donald Rumsfeld shook Hussein's hand after a "sale", bin-Laden was calling for his head). al-Zarqawi was hiding in Iraq in territories where Hussein couldn't get him - deep in the heart of the northern Kurdish territory. And, funny ting, when Bush had the chance to get al-Zarqawi early in the Iraqi campaign, he refused. Who's on who's side here anyway?
"It's a struggle between good and evil,"
"We're in the ideological struggle of the 21st century,"
-Bush, too many times to mention
There's a whole lot of evil in this world, and there was worse evil than what Saddam Hussein was doing to his citizens, believe it or not. All one has to do is look at Darfur, a nation in the process of killing off their black population systematically. We are not there to stop that evil, are we?
Bush, by defining the situation in Iraq as a conflict between "good and evil" is simply attempting to shore up his Religious Right base. It's another use of American and Iraqi lives for his, and his party's, own, selfish ends.
"We can't tolerate a new terrorist state in the heart of the Middle East, with large oil reserves that could be used to fund its radical ambitions, or used to inflict economic damage on the West,"
Funny thing about that Iraqi terrorist threat... it doesn't exist past the borders of Iraq! Terrorists became an issue in Iraq after the war ended and the occupation began. With the loss of jobs, electricity and sewage, among other things, the people of Iraq are revolting in waves of secular terrorism, and our troops are caught in the middle.
And here is the proof: Name me one Iraqi terrorist that was in a US prison prior to the US invasion. Betcha can't do it.
"liberating Iraqis from a brutal ruler..."
And bringing them back to a feudalistic society filled with hate, crime and theocratic terrorism.... Nice job, GW.
"so we do not have to face them here at home,"
"making America safer,"
Do we feel safer yet? I bring you back to the time before the 2004 election, when we were all told how afraid to be at any given moment: A time when the use of the Department of Homeland Security's color code was used as a distraction in an election that most of us believe was stolen by the GOP. When were we ever afraid that the Iraqis were coming here? Did they have an invisible navy which could sneak up on us at a minute's notice? Maybe they could materialize and dematerialize at will. Be afraid... "e very afraid", they warned us... and enough of us were.
Reason Six - Cheney's Stuff:
"The hopes of the civilized world ride with us,"
Ask the rest of the world how "civilized" they think we are. We are the hope of a civilized world, but first we need rid ourselves of people like you, Mr. Cheney.
The problem is that no amount of rhetoric and no spin will change the realities of what is happening on the ground in Iraq. At the best, due to the short-sightedness of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld and all that support them, we are at a stalemate in that a new status quo has been reached. At its worst, we are beginning to lose what little we have gained in Iraq because of the unwillingness by the Bush administration to change, or even merely shift a bad course.
There is a civil war in Iraq and saying things like it's "a little civil war" or "it could turn into a civil war" doesn't help things. Much like an alcoholic, admitting there is a problem is the first step.
"I don't have any big problems with any of (the Bush reasons for going to war), analytically. The problem is they can't change the realities on the ground in Iraq, which is that we're in the process of beginning to lose. It is taking us a long time to realize that, but the war is not headed the way it should be."
"As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down,"
Yet there is no incentive for the Iraqis to stand up with us there. Saying that "if we leave, there will be a civil war," as some on the Red side of the aisle have stated, is wrong... There IS a civil war and maybe,... just maybe... if we leave it will force the Iraqis into taking care of it themselves. There is nothing to say that we can't create a base of operations in the Kurdish territory. They are our friends and would welcome us. If thins got out of hand in lower Iraq (the Sunni and Shi'ite areas), there could be a quick reaction from just a few hundred miles away. Our staying in Iraq makes us nothing but facilitators in their sectarian civil war.
And one wonders how much the military, war-profiteers have to do with the Bush policy in Iraq. I believe it means everything. If you take out the troops, you take out the mercenaries (contractors). If you allow the Iraqis to take control over their oil fields again, you remove Halliburton from the picture. We all know that, since the end of the Iraq war, that the beginning of the occupation has been a windfall for the likes of Halliburton and Blackwater. The war that was going to pay for itself now costs us, the US middle class, about $6 billion per month! Surely we could find some better use for that kind of money here at home.
"I think the administration has oversold the case that Iraq could become a Jihadist state. If the U.S. were to leave Iraq tomorrow, the result would be a bloodbath in which Sunnis and Shiites fight it out. But the Jihadists would not be able to seek power."
-Dan Benjamin of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and formerly on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton
Exactly my point! We can observe and enter at will, if the need arises... and we can hope it won't.
Bush has recently claimed that history will show the Iraq war as a "comma."
When the history of Iraq is finally written, the recent surge in sectarian violence is "going to be a comma,"
So far this "comma" has cost more American lives than 9/11. Was that a comma, too? Could anyone of us imagine Abraham Lincoln calling our own Civil War a "comma" in his Gettysburg address? Would FDR have called World War II a "comma"?
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. "Now we are engaged in a great" COMMA...
-The beginning of President Abraham
Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Bush-ified
I would have liked the presidency of George W. Bush to have gone down in history as a "comma". Too bad his will be an exclamation point of the worst kind.
The Guy With the German Accent
"Victory over the insurgency is the only meaningful exit strategy,"
Setting aside the obvious, that Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State under President Nixon and present day "secret" advisor to President Bush, is still fighting the Viet Nam War, Secretary Kissinger might have been sort of right. However, what he should have said was this:
"Finding a productive way to end the insurgency in Iraq is the only exit strategy." He then should have come up with one. "Advising" President Bush to require "victory" when we should be seeking a peaceful solution is like telling a child with a brand new hunting rifle that the only way to stop the neighbor's dog from peeing on your front lawn is to shoot it dead.
If we were to really include all factions of the Iraqi people in their new government, it might go a long way toward stopping the sectarian violence. If not, as my brother Perry said, maybe the only way to curb the violence is to create three separate nations out of what used to be called Iraq: Kurdistan, Sunnistan; Shi'ite-stan (or whatever names they wish to come up with).
To create a democracy in Iraq, one first needs to realize that it is, and for the foreseeable future, will have to be a democratic theocracy and the government will be made up of a Shi'ite majority for a long time. That being said, the minority Sunnis and Kurds have to have a real voice with something of a filibuster-veto power. The Iraqi constitution must realize that the majority shouldn't have such an overwhelming control over the minorities and must have built-in protections. Once a stable, representative and inclusionary government is in place in Iraq, the insurgency will be left damaged, then minimalized, and finally nearly obliterated.
Kissinger seems to want to do this with American might and a never-ending presence in Iraq. He is wrong.
When Kissinger looks at Iraq, he doesn't see the Iraqi people. He sees the Vietnamese people. We aren't fighting a political ideology here, we are fighting those who used to be in power and still want to be in power... the Sunnis. There has to be a way to negotiate with them versus obliterating them, which, apparently is the Kissinger plan.
Those who fight past wars in their zeal to win new wars are ignoring the uniqueness of the new war and the peculiarities which they present. The people of Viet Nam are different than the people of Iraq. Their goals are different; their lands are different; and theories and cultures are different.
When it comes to combatants, one size does not fit all.
"I'm Tom Kean, and I approved this message,"
-Kean Junior, from all of his malicious attack ads against Senator Bob Menendez (DEMOCRAT-NJ)
That's the true reason that Tom Kean "Junior" (boy... have I had enough of political "Juniors") sent a fax to the League of Women Voters stating that he wouldn't be showing up for his scheduled debate, just hours before it was to be televised. His stated reason was that he wanted an additional debate, to be held on NBC's Meet the Press with Tim Russert and that he wouldn't show up for this debate unless that one was agreed upon.
Now, it isn't unusual for politicians, and their campaigns to make demands, then agree to compromise when negotiating debates. For example, a shorter candidate might want both parties to be seated. That didn't happen here.
What did happen here was a candidate (Kean "Junior") who has seen his poll numbers slipping begged off because his attack ads, which were initially working, have gone over the top. Lies, such as indictments which don't exist and accusations of criminal activity, made by a criminal, with an ax to grind, in a federal prison, via secret phone calls or mailings to Kean's people would have to be answered for by the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party candidate himself.
In other words, Kean, "Junior" chickened out, and for good reason: LIARS NEED GOOD MEMORIES.
No wonder why Kean "Junior" tries to
emulate another "Junior", GW.
That's What He Said
George W. Bush gave a press conference this past Wednesday in an attempt to snatch back the conversation from North Korea's nukes and Mark Foley's instant messages. A reporter from CNN asked him about the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health report that puts the civilian death toll in Iraq at 655,000. "I am, you know, amazed that this is a society which so wants to be free that they're willing to - you know, that there's a level of violence that they tolerate," he responded.
Yes. That's what he said.
This is, to a degree, not terribly surprising. Mr. Bush has a penchant for casually saying the most abominable things imaginable without blinking. Recall, if you will, the days following the attacks of September 11th. A pall of poison smoke still hung low over New York City. Americans were suddenly living in fear of blue skies and airplanes. The as-yet-unsolved anthrax attacks on Congress and the media had us all collecting our mail with oven mitts while holding our breath.
On October 4th, 2001, less than a month after the attacks, Mr. Bush said, "We need to counter the shock wave of the evildoer by having individual rate cuts accelerated and by thinking about tax rebates."
Yes. That's what he said.
These two statements serve as bookends for the wretched years we have endured. The worst attack in American history is used to pimp a plan for tax cuts, and the unimaginable slaughter of Iraqi civilians is a platform for praising the survivors of the carnage because the are so darned good at tolerating it.
- Forwarded by Robert Scardapane, from The Wretched Years, by William Rivers Pitt, from Truthout - Perspective
Every time I see that picture of President Bush standing atop of a pile of rubbish which used to be a part of the World Trade Center, with his arm around a tired and retired fireman, I often wondered what Abraham Lincoln would have done a few days after the 9/11 attacks. When the battle at Gettysburg was finished, Lincoln rode the rail, agonizing over what he hoped would be an appropriate speech. President Lincoln came up with the Gettysburg Address.
George W. Bush came up with tax cuts for his rich "base" of "haves and have mores." -Noah Greenberg
We've known for a while that the House leadership leaned on Mark Foley to run for one more term in Congress before cashing in and becoming a lobbyist -- even if that meant keeping the House pages on their toes for two more years avoiding the F-man's constant advances. But apparently they weren't the only one. It now seems that Karl Rove also got into the act and threatened Foley's future lobbying career if he didn't stick it out in Congress for two more years.
The Republican Party: covering their own behinds to protect their seats. Whenever there is something truly despicable, Karl Rove's prints are on it.
-submitted, with comments, by Victoria Brownworth with thanks to talkingpointsmemo.com
Mike Ferguson's Votes Show Anti-Senior Bias
A Group called the Retired Seniors Coalition recently checked the voting record of congressmen and U.S. senators. They picked out 10 ills that directly affect seniors. They classified them as "pro-retiree," "anti-retiree" and "did not vote." The bills were voted on during the period that former N.J. Sen. Jon Corzine became Gov. Corzine, so that his record only covered four of the bills. The results of the votes cast by Rep. Mike Ferguson, R-7th District, and U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., show: Ferguson — zero votes pro-retiree, 10 anti-retiree; Lautenberg — 10 votes pro-retiree, zero anti-retiree; Corzine — four votes pro-retiree, zero anti-retiree.
-Forwarded by Robert Scardapane
In response to, "I think those who are targeted by the gay community for their looks, who do not choose, but are manipulated or quilted into the homosexual lifestyle," Billie M. Spaight writes:
People do not become gay because of molestations or gay advances. There is no scientific truth to that. People are gay because it is in their genes to be gay. Human beings evidently have this capacity and the genes express themselves in people sometimes.
Most molesters are heterosexual males.
Let's use the good brains G-d gave us and drop all this craziness. If homosexuals were accepted there would be far fewer problems. It has been observed, for example, that when rats are placed in crowded cages, more of these rats will engage in homosexual behavior. It is possible that when population pressures rise, the homosexual gene gets expressed more to keep the population down. So, homosexual people are doing the heterosexuals a favor because they aren't adding to the world's overpopulation and are still providing love in the world.
And Victoria Brownworth responds: Much as I excoriate Mark Foley in particular and the Republican leadership collectively for the Foleygate scandal, I think Rhian is once again airing her immense prejudice and does what all good homophobes do, which to conflate pedophilia and homosexuality, which couldn't be more different from each other. One is a normal sexuality, the other a sickness and aberration.
First, it would be unlikely that any of the boys who engaged in mutual masturbation online with Mark Foley would have caught diseases from their experiences since they were wholly virtual. As has been clarified again and again, Foley never actually touched or had "real" as opposed to "virtual" sex with any of the pages. All the sexual experiences--which were consistently mutual as the emails and instant messages make clear--were masturbation by the boys and Foley online.
Second, homosexuality is not a choice, it is genetic, as has been proven pretty consistently through medical and other scientific data, just like global warming and evolution. But right wingers can't deal with science, as we know. But no one is "finally giving in" to a homosexual "lifestyle." What they are doing is recognizing they are gay, not straight. No one can be "forced" to be gay anymore than they can be forced to be straight. Sexuality is innate, it isn't a decision we make. Unfortunately that also applies to aberrant sexuality like rape and pedophilia.
As for the discredited religious cult group Exodus, about which I have written about extensively and with whom I have appeared on numerous TV programs in the past, to even mention them and their hideous tactics for forcing gay and lesbian kids and adults to try and "cure" themselves is actually what leads to the kind of behavior Mark Foley exhibited. Repressing and denying normal sexuality tends to lead to aberrant sexuality, as was clearly the case with Foley.
No one is "targeted" by the gay community. In reality adult men are interested in teenagers sexually. That's a fact as one can see from all the "little girl" porn sites on the web. Girls are targeted by straight men every day of their lives--three out of every four girls will be a victim of a forced sexual experience before she is 21. Unfortunately, that's somehow overlooked by homophobes like Rhian who would prefer to pretend that the majority of sexual abuse in this country is caused by gay men and lesbians, which it clearly is not. I would love to know where all these non-stop sexual advances to teen boys are happening and why no one reported them if they were in fact true as opposed to apocryphal. Or perhaps like the parents of the page at the center of the Foley scandal, they were more concerned about themselves than their children.
The majority of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by straight men against girls. it's a harsh reality. Deal with it. No one is suggesting that all straight men be put on an ice flow and set out to sea, even though a majority of straight men acknowledge looking at teen porn online and accosting teen aged girls. The majority of girls who have children out of wedlock before they are 21 are involved with men over 21. Pretty alarming stats. Just ask evangelical country singer Sara Evans who just filed for divorce from her husband because he was addicted looking at teenaged girls on porn sites online.
Recognize that the Foley scandal is not the norm but the exception and what is most terrible about it is that all the so-called moral majority straight Republicans just turned a blind eye to what Foley was doing. Foley was truly sick--he had a sexual compulsion. He needs/needed psychiatric help. No one in his party---a majority of whom knew what was going on--did anything, either to help Foley or the kids he was involved with.
While it is true that these boys were involved with Foley voluntarily, it's also true that most of them felt pressured. Separating those who did feel pressure from those who were obviously enjoying the experience is important in terms of counseling.
But choosing to target the gay community--the second largest minority group in the U.S. after Latinos, is just bigotry, pure and simple. If you were paying any real attention to this scandal, you would know that the only person who blew the whistle on Foley was himself a gay man, Kirk Fordham. What did he get for telling the truth? Asked to resign. That's how Republicans close ranks.
Foleygate is emblematic of how the Republicans in this country operate--they preach one thing and act another. The thrice-married, prostitute-buying, porn-purveying "moral majority" is anything but.
Try placing the blame where it belongs: on the sleazy Republican leadership--all avowed heterosexuals--who didn't care about these kids. They cared about their own behinds.
Prejudice damages our society. It's hard to imagine you have time to do anything other than practice all your many hatreds that you express here regularly. But once again, as with all the other ones, you have the facts and the reality wrong, wrong, wrong. Try viewing news outside Fox and reading something other than the Aryan Nation website. You'll find it instructive.
A Review and a Recommendation
Run run run to see "Iraq for Sale". Mind-blowing war profiteering in Iraq (by the U.S.) Tho you're aware of it, you ain't seen NOTHIN' yet. See this film - beyond imaginable!
The New York Times "A horrifying catalogue of greed, corruption, and incompetence..."
San Francisco Chronicle "A blast of fury..."
Village Voice "A knock out . . harrowing!"
Los Angeles Daily News "Conservatives seeing "Iraq for Sale" can seethe at the atrocious waste of taxpayer dollars. Liberals can decry the unprecedented depth and breadth of privatization in Iraq.
BuzzFlash "A knock out punch to the gut..."
Huffington Post "Searing...Truly patriotic..."
Here is link to see trailer and dates of screenings throughout the country:
PS Saw it today -- people were levitating off their chairs. It will make your blood boil!
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