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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

October 4, 2007


The New Front, Not Fronted

There is a place in this world we live in where people are risking life and limb to become free. It's a place where protests for freedom are put down by the military and people become "missing" in the middle of the night. It's a place where Democracy is craved, but put down with an iron fist. It's a place called Myanmar (formerly - sort of - Burma).

Buddhist Monks began the protest and many lost their livers, along with some others who support Democracy, when soldiers fired into the crowd with live ammunition. More have dies since.

The United Nations has sent an envoy in an attempt to negotiate a peace in Myanmar, but it doesn't appear that this visit will end up with anything better than a photo-op.

One has to wonder if all of the talk about Democracy in the World presented by President Bush and his cronies, helped to shift the fight from the mind and into the streets. After all, President Bush has all but sworn to support those who wish to be free and Democratic, so it isn't much of a stretch to think that the impetus of this protest came from his words. If the leader of the free world comes out and states that he supports "freedom", one of his favorite words, but does little more than take advantage of a Photo-Op, yell at the UN General Assembly and take an opportunity to mention Cuba (talk about a stretch from "Point A" to "Point B"), then his words can do harm.

There can be no doubt that the people of Burma/ Myanmar (the US refuses to recognize the nation as Myanmar due to the Military Generals - -as if there are any other kinds of Generals - having changed the name) heard the words of President Bush and figured it was high time to make another stand. Surely the US would come to their aid in case the Military came calling on them with guns and kidnapping in the middle of the night. And surely President Bush would send help when soldiers fired bullets indiscriminately into the crowd, killing and injuring dozens.

It's just too bad that those "freedom seekers" didn't look back to Northern Iraq in 1991 to see how then-President George H.W. Bush, this President' father, "helped" the Kurds when they took on Saddam Hussein after the first Gulf War. For those of you who don't remember, Bush(41) allowed Hussein to fly helicopters into the area and slaughter those who challenged him.

And this President Bush, although telling the world to stand up and the US will stand with you, has done exactly the same thing his father had done.

And those who crave Democracy - supposedly what we are fighting for in Iraq and Afghanistan - are put on the back burner again.

-Noah Greenberg

Does Bush Get It? Heck No!

At the start of his first term, Bush met with clergy in Austin, Texas. In attendance was Jim Wallis from Sojourners. Bush asked Mr. Wallis the following question:

"Jim, I don't understand poor people. I've never lived with poor people or been around poor people much. I don't understand what they think and feel about a lot of things. I'm just a white Republican guy who doesn't get it.
How do I get it?"

Jim Wallis advised him to listen to poor people and those who work with them. Instead of following this advice, Mr. Bush spent the next seven years listening to his base - the haves and have mores. After vetoing the S-CHIP expansion, Bush sought out a meeting with the US Chamber of Commerce to assure them that business would not be hurt; once again playing to his sort of people.

Bush has learned nothing these past seven years. What's important to realize is that the GOP learned nothing as well. They stuck it out with Bush all the way; enabling his wretched policies of corporate welfare, tax cuts for the rich and warfare that benefits oil and gas companies. This betrayal of the public trust must be answered in 2008. To be sure, the Democrats have been somewhat disappointing but the GOP is lethal to our health of our nation. They have done everything in their power this past year to filibuster and derail the progressive agenda that the public voted for in 2006.

-Robert Scardapane

In response to those in the GOP who aren't supporting the S-CHIP, President Bush who has, and will never support our children and Dennis Kucinich, who wants to make a point, Robert Scardapane writes:

This is political suicide for the GOP. I say let them have it. I can't think of a better contrast in priorities than their unconditionally support for spending on the Iraq war/occupation for oil versus children's health care.

I have written Kucinich's web site. I understand why he made a "purist" objection to this bill but as you say this is not the time.

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-Noah Greenberg