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This Is What Democracy Looks Like
Today's Note From a Madman
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I'll be going away next week, so Note From a Madman will miss a night or two (or three). Just in case, have a good Labor Day weekend everybody!
A Follow-Up to Bush's Viet Nam Remarks
As an after thought to my article of last night, let me add the following:
President Bush is still doing what he's best at - dividing the American people. No one likes to feel that what they fought for wasn't important. However, Mr. Bush's comparison of the Viet Nam war to present day Iraq wasn't, in retrospect, just his being mis-informed or even stupid. It was a calculated message which his handlers wanted to use as a Weapon of Mass Division.
Throughout his presidency, GW and the Bushies have used words to divide the American people. At no point in my recent memory has any administration used class warfare, human rights, religion, etc as a tool to separate groups of good people with different views who were previously able to live together.
Today we live in an atmosphere where trust has been diminished among groups, and that comes from the top.
President Bush is doing it again, and this time, he's attempting to use those who fought in our nation's foreign wars as his cannon fodder. President Bush and his handlers think that they can prey on the Real Patriotism of those who served our country and those who truly back them.
By insisting that "time" was the only missing link to victory of Viet Nam, President Bush is attempting to get a lifetime pass for our troops into Iraq-Land. Hopefully, no one is buying this nonsense.
And, hopefully, January 21, 2009 will get here real soon.
Nice job, Noah, on your point by point responses to Bush speaking to the VFW.
Two things occur to me while reading your piece: first, in my view, the only real similarity between Iraq and Vietnam is that both were "justified" by LIES. Remember: it has long since been established beyond all doubt that the Gulf of Tonkin incident never happened.
Second, I belong to a small but growing group who think it would be helpful to stop talking, as the administration does constantly, about the "war" in Iraq. In realistic terms, the war ended when Bush said, on the deck of the aircraft carrier, that it did, and the banner proclaimed "Mission Accomplished". What is going on now is an occupation.
-Carroll S. Rankin
Another MSNBC Schmuck
"It just goes to show you, in Iraq, it's all about nationalism,"
-Joe Scarborough on MSNBC's Morning Joe
Scarborough was reporting on the al-Qaeda attacks which are being fought back by the people of Iraq. What the host of Scarborough Country and the Imus replacement show, Morning Joe was trying to do was simply throw President Bush, his "Surge" and the failing occupation of Iraq a bone. While former one-term GOP Florida Congressman Joe's MSNBC evening show is more even-handed (but still slanted to the Right), the new morning show leans much, much more to that side.
It was just yesterday that Scarborough berated All the President's Men co-author Carl Bernstein for calling President Bush on the carpet for lying and the "ineptitude" of his policies, most notably the Iraq policy.
While Scarborough referred to the al-Qaeda attacks of this morning, he would never admit to the obvious. They simply don't need us to fight al-Qaeda. The Sunnis, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Iraq's former allies (not to be confused with Osama bin-Laden's al-Qaeda, which is what the Bushies prefer), have been fighting back against their anti-American and anti-Shiite partners because they don't want Iraq to become the kind of Islamist state dreamt by the fundamentalists. And the Shiites aren't purchasing the al-Qaeda brand of Islam either.
In attacks on the Sunni village of Baqouba and the Shiite village Timim, Sunnis and Shiites, respectively, fought attacks reported as being perpetrated by al-Qaeda members. In the latter attack, ten invaders were killed during the fighting.
I guess it's better than fighting amongst themselves, as is the case in Southern Iraq where Shiites are killing Shiites in a power struggle.
What is revealing about these attacks is that it does appear that the Iraqi people, when faced with outsiders attempting to control their lives and territories, will fight back, and they'll do so not as an organized force put together by the US Armed forces, but as concerned community members who won't allow those same outsiders to make their decisions for them.
So when Scarborough attributes the fighting back to a groundswell of "nationalism", he's merely trying to give President Bush a gold star, rather than note that it's "tribalism" and the necessity of keeping their homes and lives their own which is really giving them the will to fight. Just imagine what you and your neighbors would do if a group of invaders attempted to change your lives and used killing and terror to accomplish that goal.
The first thing you have to do is remove a major portion of your brain.... Okay - I'll wait.
Now that that's done, let's review the CIA Inspector General's up-til-now classified rebuking of the CIA prior to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
President Bush has just allowed the 2005 report on the faults of the CIA to be released for public consumption and scrutiny. The report's thesis, as the Bushies will no doubt have their talking heads this Sunday announce, will be "It isn't President bush's fault!" Who didn't see that one coming?
"The agency and its officers did not discharge their responsibilities in a satisfactory manner. They did not always work effectively and cooperatively,"
-The Inspector General's report
We all know that the CIA acted "poorly" prior to 9/11. And the report makes an attempt at placing total blame on the Clinton administration and George Tenet.
"The CIA's analysis of al-Qaeda before Sept. 2001 was lacking. No comprehensive report focusing on bin Laden was written after 1993, and no comprehensive report laying out the threats of 2001 was assembled. 'A number of important issues were covered insufficiently or not at all,' the report found,"
-The Associated Press
And yet, we all know that Richard Clarke, the anti-terrorism Czar, had his hair on fire warning everyone who would listen that al-Qaeda was about to attack. Clark, who had worked for, and been listened to by both Clinton and George H.W. Bush before him was shut out, and finally, shut down by the Bush (43) administration.
Al Qaeda "is not some narrow, little terrorist issue that needs to be included in broader regional policy. Rather, several of our regional policies need to address centrally the transnational challenge to the U.S. and our interests" of the al Qaeda network.
They are "active, organized major force that is using a distorted view of Islam to achieve two goals: to drive the U.S. out of the Muslim world… (and) to replace moderate, modern Western regime in Muslim countries with theocracies modeled along the lines of the Taliban.
"We would make a major error if we underestimated the challenge al Qaeda poses."
-Clarke from his memo just days before the terrorist attacks of 9/11
Sounds like a warning to me. How about you?
In fact, Temet himself did warn Congress of the dangers of terrorism against the US prior to 2001. In a 1998 memo, the former Director of National Intelligence and Bush-awarded Medal of Honor winner stated emphatically "We are at war." The report pointed to his, and the CIA's failure to not follow up on that sentiment as part of the problem.
The report did make note of the 50 or 60 people who read the memo regarding two of the hijackers taking flying (but not landing) lessons, and it did note "That so many individuals failed to act in this case reflects a systemic breakdown.... Basically, there was no coherent, functioning watch-listing program," but, somehow, it failed to mention that it took place AFTER George Bush took office in 2001.
The report also stated that the sources used by Tenet's CIA "proved insufficient to mount a credible operation against bin Laden." I wonder what some still secret reports say about the sources used in the decision to invade Iraq might have said. We may never know.
CIA Director General Michael Hayden, and before him former Rep. Porter Goss. both had decided that making the report public would serve no purpose. As they say in the NFL, "Upon further review, the call has been reversed." I guess the Bushies found a purpose after all.
Unwittingly, the report does throw Clinton a bone. The Inspector General disagreed with Congress' finding that the CIA was "reluctant" to assassinate Osama bin-Laden when they had the chance. Instead he blamed their lack of resources to perform the job.
Must have been a slow-bomb producing month or something.
In the end, the report appears to be designed to take any and all blame off the Bushies for anything 9/11 related. In spite of all of the proof to the contrary. The report, which focuses solely on the CIA, appears to have forgotten about, or refused to admit to, the conversation that Tenet and a deputy had with then-NSA director Condoleezza Rice. It has been termed that Tenet's "hair was on fire" as he spoke to the loyal Bushie. Additionally, the report doesn't appear to mention the CIA memo titled "Bin-Laden Determined to Attack in US", which also noted the want of the terrorists to use airplanes as bombs.
Maybe that's still "Top Secret".
In the end, this report is nothing more than a means for Bush to Spin. An spin he will.
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