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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

January 8, 2009


Number One Observatory Circle
(or is that Cheney's Bunker of Secrecy and Death?)

There's a new "Heaven and Earth" statement coming out of the Bush administration. You remember "Heaven and Earth", don't you?

"Had we thought that there was an attack coming in Washington or New York, we would have moved heaven and earth to try and stop it,"
-Condoleezza Rice to the 9-11 Commission (and many, many others)

The newest "Heaven and Earth" comes from Dick Cheney. You remember Dick Cheney, don't you? He's the guy who put "Go F--- Yourself" into the Senate record (among other things and other places).

"I don't think anybody saw it coming,"
-Cheney, referring to the collapse of the US, and World's Financial systems

But would you and President Bush have moved both Heaven AND Earth to prevent it? After all, you're doing okay, right?

With all of this talk about legacies and such, what will President Bush's legacy be? What will Dick Cheney's be? Better yet, what will Dick Cheney say his legacy will be?

Now that's a scary question.

Cheney is credited (of that's the right word) with creating our nation's energy policy. That policy made old ladies decide whether they want to have dinner or heat during the cold evenings of Winter. It's the policy that was created in the DC back rooms by big shots smoking fat cigars while drinking expensive scotch and laughing at the profits they'll make and the heartache it will cause us regular people.

And it was Cheney who was among the first to practice the art of misinformation known as the lead up to war in Iraq. It was Cheney who told us all that the people of Iraq will greet us with thrown flowers at our feet and that we would be greeted as liberators.

And it was Cheney who "earned" over a million dollars in his first year in office in "residual" payments from his former company Halliburton. You remember Halliburton (and its child company KBR -formerly Kellogg Brown & Root), don't you? They're the company which "earned" all of those big, no-bid contracts in that same Iraq war Cheney pushed harder than anybody for.

And then there was the hunting-trip-turned shoot-your-best-friend-in-the-face trip. While that one didn't cost us much in dollars, it did cost Cheney's friend Harry Whittington, a trip to the hospital to remove buckshot from his face and chest. Whittington, an attorney and huge contributor to all things GOP, not only had to suffer the physical wounds, but he also had to suffer through apologizing to his "friend", Cheney, for getting in his way:

"My family and I are deeply sorry for all that Vice President Cheney and his family have had to go through this past week,"
-Whittington, just outside his Corpus Christi, Texas hospital

Cheney, a man prone to DWI arrests in his own right, told investigators that he had just one beer at the time of the shooting, but refused to make himself available to those investigators until the next day when any alcohol would have been out of his system.

At about the same time Cheney was pleading his DWI arrests (and convictions), he was able to avoid the draft by obtaining five - count 'em, five - deferments against being drafted during the Viet Nam war era. His reasoning was that he had "better things to do."

Hmm... Maybe Cheney's legacy will be the "good example" he set.

Certainly, we have to include the Valerie Plame affair. Most of you will surely remember that it was Plame, a CIA operative (and wife of former Ambassador Joe Wilson) specializing in Weapons of Mass Destruction who was outed by those in Cheney's office. The reason? As retribution and revenge against Wilson for his NY Times editorial "What I didn't Find in Africa." Although the only person to go to jail for anything related to the incident (Scooter Libby was convicted of lying to federal investigators), the silence of the Vice President's office became legendary during Cheney's tenure.

And, finally, there was the one thing that Cheney can still be tried for: his involvement in setting torture as our nation's policy. Certainly that "shining light at the top of the hill" has been dulled by the acts and policies set in motion by Dick Cheney

The cable news talking heads speak about the power of the Vice President's office when they speak of Cheney. Surely Cheney, they must believe, will be remembered for that power which he instilled in that position. And, just as surely, Cheney himself will revel in that assessment. But the rest of us will remember that mean, secretive man who took control over our nation as no Vice President, and few president ever have.

It was to our detriment and it was our fault.

-Noah Greenberg

In response to, "“It’s only about oil!,' was the big Lib battle cry along with 'No weapons of mass destruction'” when Bush (no buddy of mine) embarked on his Iraq venture. What’s the matter? Getting expensive to keep your back sides warm in Al Gore’s untimely Winter of Global Warming? All you accomplished was to contribute to our problems in Iraq and Afghanistan, stiffen the Muslim’s resolve, embolden Bush to 'spend his political capital' on furthering the Republican dream of destroying Social Security, and divide the nation while the money sharks looted our national treasury and destroyed our economy with debt.

Reich-wingers get worked up over the craziest things...

It WAS about the oil. There were NO Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq--sorry to the families of the 4200 and climbing who have died there ensuring a sad little man his place in history.

The reason it got expensive to warm our back sides has to do with putting two Texas oilmen in the White House, and the allowing of the Oil industry to price gouge the population for 5 years.

As for the resolve of the people in Iraq... you would be better off putting the blame for that on the people responsible for the invasion of a nation that was NO THREAT to us, and the fact that despite all the propaganda about LIBERATION, the people of Iraq know clearly that they are an Occupied nation. Their "resolve" is the of a people fighting against their Invaders and Occupiers.

In response to, "A very Complicated mess," David McReynolds writes:

In fact, since you raised the question about bombing in WW II, there are some lessons which Israel might learn. Until the allies finished the invasion and overthrow of the regime, the German people grew closer to Hitler, not farther away, as their homes and cities were destroyed.

The bombing of London and other parts of Britain was minor compared to the destruction of Germany. In some cases (Dresden) the bombings were clearly criminal, were not military targets and were, like the speeding up by the Nazis of the murder of the Jews, part of the madness of war itself.

In 1951 I went to Europe for the first time, to a student pacifist conference in Denmark. In those days, going by a Greek liner was a lot cheaper than air, so I took the ship. On board was a young German (what he was doing in Montreal, from which the ship departed, I do not remember). He had been in military service on the Eastern front, and as I recall, had also seen service in North Africa - a very young guy, so he had gone into the military at some very early age - 15, something like that. We got into very heated discussion as I tried to get him to admit that the murder of the Jews was indefensible. Finally, the discussion ended when he virtually screamed at me "How dare you talk about the killing of the Jews when you murdered millions of Germans in the bombing".

From that discussion I realized that one result of the killing - of Israelis by Palestinians, of Palestinians by Israelis - persuades no one. It simply increases the sum total of hatred. And for Israel to survive it must find something other than bombs - there are an endless supply of Muslims surrounding Israel.

And Madman responds:

How dare us? I certainly would like to have a word with that former German soldier... and so would everyone of my parents' Eastern European ancestors who were murdered in by hitler and his nazis. Her very large family became very small in just a few, short years.

And Lew Warden writes:

You ask, “How do you engage peace-hating jihadist murderous thugs in any kind of meaningful dialogue?” Think of the famous last words of the disillusioned Liberal in “Heart of Darkness” - “Exterminate the brutes.”

And in response to, "What is an appropriate response from a nation - any nation - whose borders are regularly being broken by crude, yet effective bombs hurled at them?" Dorothy Schwartz writes:

Here's one suggestion - stop the blockade that led to the rockets.

And Madman responds:

I don't believe that would stop the rockets, but I'm not against stopping the blockade, especially if it would lead to stopping the rockets.

By the way, what's Egypt's excuse?

In response to George H. W. Bush's suggestion that son Jeb should run for President, Sheila Burleson writes:

Another Bush in the White House would not be a dynasty - it would be a DIE-NASTY.

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-Noah Greenberg