Friday, December 31, 2004
The AP dispatch isn't a news item, it's a Republican "talking points" memo.
I wish I shared the author's view--it's more of a hope, really--that humans can know peace, but while I acknowledge her perspective, I find little comfort in it. True, we now embrace wider notions of justice and include more humans within our concept of entitlement to decency. But as we've done so, we've also expanded our capacity to kill and exploit. Our race may indeed be more sensitive to suffering, but it is also more able to inflict it, creating, in my mind, a race much closer to the finish than ever before.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Yeah, Molly's got a point. You couldn't make any of those stories up.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Sunday, December 26, 2004
Saturday, December 25, 2004
Thursday, December 23, 2004
If I were holding dollars, I'd be bailing out. Wait! I'm holding dollars!
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
The Bush-repeated refrain is that the insurgency is stepping up in advance of the election. The Administration said the same thing in advance of the Interim Election. Of course that's bullshit. The insurgency is stepping up, and will continue to step up, so long as the US military is on Iraqi soil.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Thursday, December 16, 2004
To make these awards in the face of failure -- the mounting American death toll,
the awful suffering of the Iraqis, the looming possibility of civil war, the
nose-thumbing of the still-at-large Osama bin Laden and the madness of making
war for a nonexistent reason -- has the creepy feel of the old communist states,
where incompetents wore medals and harsh facts were denied.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Monday, December 13, 2004
Sunday, December 12, 2004
This time, I voted as if my vote counted, even though Kerry was a lock in California and I wasn't enamored of his candidacy much.
Now, if I were a Sunni Muslim in Iraq, what would I do? One Imam calls for a boycott, others believe participation is imperative. This article spells out their dilemna, and for them the stakes are as high, if not higher, than ours were in 2004.
Thom Hartmann synopsizes the film here.
For regular readers of this blog, this may not be news. It certainly isn't to its author. I long ago realized that both bin Laden (and now his formal and informal cohorts) have a stake in the ongoing "war on terror," without which they'd have no function, no purpose. The same is true of the Bush administration, commanded by the same forces that long ago made war (on the Soviets, now on terror) their reason for existence.
We who don't want war--the vast majority of human beings--are at their mercy. They've now gained control over the political and military power and with continued feints toward more attacks and uncertainty and fear will maintain it until they're at last found out. It will take a huge upheaval in the US to dislodge them. The media loves war--check out the rise in ratings of both escapist fare and newscasts during our several wars--and so the mainstream broadcasters can't be counted on to focus on the reality that our warmongering leaders are continuing war to continue in power.
Well then, Who will arise to bring us to our senses? You? Me? Us? I guess so.
Saturday, December 11, 2004
There was once a time, not too long ago, when world travel--seeing the pyramids, the Holy Land, Thailand--was a distant dream of mine. Now that I'm older, it's not so distant in time--but it's no longer a dream. It's become a nightmare.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
In fact, [the US] entire development aid spending in 2003 came to only ten percent of what it spent on the Iraq war that year.
Do you think that authoritative reports about how awful the situation really is, such as this one by the retiring CIA station chief in Badgdad will change Bush's mind, or his rhetoric? Probably not.
And meanwhile, the kids--ours and theirs--keep dying.
Monday, December 06, 2004
Here's why it's worse: Like Vietnam, we can't get out with "saving face." But unlike Vietnam, if we "lose" this war, we'll lose a lot more than a barricade against evil Communism; we'll actually lose something of value, and I'm not talking oil. I'm talking about global morality. Indeed, we've lost that whether or not we subjugate the arabs in Iraq. We've lost it, win or lose. The perfect quagmire.
Addendum: I didn't mention it above, and should have: The Boston Globe article had this scary sentence about our security procedures in Fallujah:
Back at their headquarters, the [Marines] debated the procedure for allowing civilians to return. Major Wade Weems warned that there should be a set number per day so that a backlog would not form behind the retina-scanning machine, fueling resentment.
A retina-scanning machine? What the fuck????
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Thursday, December 02, 2004
So what are we going to do about it?
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Okay, maybe I'm being too dramatic. Maybe tomorrow will bring only a further gradual decline in the dollar's value, but that decline will only be gradual for a little while. The arrogance of America's leadership, led by capitalists who believe they govern the world, has shown no desire to stop the decline of the dollar in the hope that a weak dollar will lead to more sales of their products abroad. But guess what: Maybe they don't rule the world anymore. Maybe the dollar will prove to be like any other commodity, susceptible to evaluation based on its inherent worth. If so, I'd be selling like crazy. Wouldn't you?
And besides the usual observations and protests of the Left (and to some extent the Far Right) in the US, and the disbelief of the rest of the world, nothing is being done to stanch the inexorable flow of events to disaster.
Perhaps the events themselves will bring the evil folly of the US administration to an end. The dollar may nosedive so deeply that we lose the ability to control the flow of oil, plunging us into depression. Foreign nations may gather enough gumption to stand up to our global reach. Even our citizens may rise up, once the charade of Bush's legitimacy is seen as the fraud it is.
But none of this seems likely this morning. So I'm going to shut up.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
The soldier was wounded in the battle for Fallujah, Iraq. He was riding in a Humvee when a sniper’s bullet hit him in the left temple and exited his right temple. He survived a two-hour ride in the Humvee from Fallujah to the Army hospital in Baghdad. He was in surgery for five hours.
Doctors told his parents he was the luckiest and healthiest, but everything is not rosy.
Doctors told them that where he got hit, would change his personality opposite to what it was.
His mother said that is good for he did get mad and was irritated easily.
He is now able to move both sides of his body. He has not walked yet, but doctors predict that he will.
He could possibly always need help and not be independent, but his mother does not believe that.
His mother is turning to her faith for him to have a complete recovery and asking all to pray for the same for her son.
Friday, November 26, 2004
Certainly, the agonies of Cambodia, then and now, are far deeper than ours. Pol Pot's rule, for example, was tryannical compared even to Saddam Hussein's; and the aftermath is still felt in that country, as is that of our massive bombing during the Vietnam war. I intended to use Cambodia as an example of tyranny unchecked, not as a direct factual comparison to the US presently.
Here's why I'm so sad about the US, both historically and now. The geography of the nation is the world's finest. Beautiful, isolated from foreign foes, rich beyond anywhere else in natural resources and farmland and climate. It was for centuries guarded by natives who were neither numerous nor rapacious enough to ruin it, and so when the Europeans "discovered" it they found almost no opposition to their conquest and exploitation.
The most courageous and vital of Europeans settled the nation, just at a time in western history when democratic ideals were flowering; and in response they drew up their liberating documents to reflect those ideals. At that moment in history, the nation had its finest hours (tainted of course by slavery and conquest of the natives.)
It's been all downhill from there. We've engaged in endless wars and conquests. In 1812, in the 1860's, in the 1890's, in 1917, in 1941, in 1950, in 1965, in 1991, in 2003. Some of the wars have been forced upon us, but these last two--and in particular the latest invasion of Iraq--was a straightforward war of agression, in violation of the UN Charter (a document we drafted) and of international law.
We are now an occupying force in Iraq, murdering its civilians, imposing our version of government on its citizens, imprisoning thousands, devastating its cities. We are wrecking the planet with our profligate waste of resources, tearing at the environment, depleting its resources, spreading our ruinous "pop culture" across the globe, leaving the peoples of the poor nations to starve while we carry away their few riches: oil, timber, minerals, to feed our frenzy of consumption. We are led by maniacal liars, cheats and frauds, whose sole purpose is to perpetuate their power, and we re-elect them in elections that are meaningless, based on fluffy ads disseminated by power-seeking corporations.
From a country flush with energy and ideals, blessed with limitless resources, we have become a cynical, power-mad nation, corrupt and dangerous to Earth. We are the evil empire. Maybe not like Cambodia, but certainly more frightening.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
CNN has no business spouting the Bush party line, that any Iraqi, or anybody, who fights the US occupation is a thug or terrorist. If a foreign nation invaded the US, I--and most of the Red State citizenry--would fight like crazy, using rocks, shotguns, anything. Would we therefore be thugs and terrorists? Maybe we would be so labeled by the occupiers, but to me we'd be heroes.
And then, as I was getting ready for a bike ride, a neighbor happened by. He was wearing a black T-shirt with a logo on the back. "Danger--Land Mines!" it said, beneath the image of a skull. I asked him about the shirt and he told me he'd bought it in Cambodia, where that sign was posted on every pathway through the jungle and where every third child he'd seen in the month that he visited Cambodia was missing a limb, usually a leg.
And so I give thanks. Compared to Cambodia, the United States, even with Bush in office, isn't so bad.
But it's close.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
There's this prospect in the long term, however. The arab nationalism that's for decades been at the root of unrest throughout the Middle East (even we support it, in theory, calling it "self-determination") will eventually call for the ouster of the American presence, at which time, Look out. The region will explode in violence, as factions battle for control of Iraq and, likely, other nations. And the strongest factions, and most highly motivated, will be those who resisted the occupation in the first place.
Monday, November 22, 2004
They were cowed and/or corrupt in 2004 and the reason I'm writing this post is this. They're at it again, now falling into line in their reporting of politics in the US and abroad. No analysis, no definitive evaluation of anything. Just headlines, mostly spouting military and administration talking-points, night after night. All media owned by huge corporations who either support Bush or benefit from his positions. And this isn't going to change between now and the next election. We're in for years of this barrage of managed information, and we may never be able to take back the truth except by revolution. I mean, REVOLUTION, in which the monster companies that dominate the sources of information that the American public receives are overtaken and are allowed to disseminate something other than the Republican party line.
Update: I'm not alone in my assessment of the cowed media, especially television reportage of the war in Iraq. Check out this authoritative piece.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Friday, November 19, 2004
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Monday, November 15, 2004
But maybe Bush won't name Condi, after all. Not because of his scruples or our protest, but because of the impact on the dollar. As Forex puts it,
Considering Rice’s staunch support for the war in Iraq, there is a sense that Rice’s unilateral tendencies [and] rhetoric may be too excessive for the habitually diplomatic State Department. Increased expectations of rising unilateralism in US foreign policy would tend to trigger dollar selling by an increasingly geopolitically sensitive currency market.
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Sound like the Nazis in France, the Soviets in Hungary, the Italian Fascists in Ethiopia? No, it's America in Iraq, the Good Guys of the world.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
I am disgusted with our media. They never learn. Or is it that they don't want to? Are they part of the problem? Absolutely.
While I agree with her analysis, I believe the list of reasons for Kerry's loss is much longer. I've laid them out in a previous blog--from media bias to weak-kneed politicking to baseline fear-mongering by Bush/Cheney to Rove genius--and have come to conclude that the Republicans' sway over national politics in America will obtain for a decade at least. I'm not alone in this assessment, but unlike those who don't like this prospect and argue for mere cosmetic or personnel changes in Democratic politics, I welcome this time, because it will take that long for the second party--perhaps the Democrats, perhaps another party--to define and deliver a truly democratic platform, one that embraces the populist principles that Democrats once proudly proclaimed and advanced.
Friday, November 12, 2004
What a stupid nation we are to continue to believe that democracy can be imposed on a nation by force of arms and still in rebellion against its occupiers. How sad that our young kids are dying for this monstrous lie. How evil are those who posit it for their own aggrandizement and financial gain. And how stupid are those who elect them.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Well, here we go again. We are told about injuries and deaths of our soldiers, percentages of boundaries seized, dates for success. But where's the reporting of the Why and Wherefore, where's the reporting of the impact of the assault on the people and on the overall policy? Where's the reporting on the policy, the evaluation of the right and wrong of it? Where, indeed, is the American press--other than the conduits of military promoters--the press that has already admitted it was misled and mistaken and mismanaged just 18 months ago?
I'll tell you where. Back in their cubicles, safely typing out spoon-fed administration dispatches.
As U.S. forces battle to suppress insurgents in the rebel city of Falluja, it appears many fighters may have fled to other cities where they are launching new attacks.
In the past three days, there has been a step up in guerrilla activity in Samarra, Baiji, Baquba, Tikrit, Ramadi, areas of Baghdad and in the holy city of Kerbala to the south.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Now we have laid seige to Fallujah, bombing it and shelling it and taking it by force with overwhelming numbers of troops. In that process, we have bombed hospitals and more than sixty mosques, killing civilians and destroying the electrical and water supplies in order to force the inhabitants to surrender.
Oh, I am told, this is different from "terrorism." In terrorism, the perpetrator singles out civilians and innocents for effect, as a weapon of fear and intimidation, as if the dead civilians care whether they die on purpose or as "collateral damage." To which I say, hogwash. We are the invader in Iraq. We have caused all the killing, that which is done on purpose as well as the accidental destruction. Indeed, we are worse than they are, absolutely so. How hypocritical it is to contend that, having invaded Iraq, we are allowed to complain that the insurgents' choice of weapons isn't as gentlemanly as ours, when we're killing more of them than they are of us and when we started the killing in the first place.
It hurts to recognize it, but we are the bad guys in Iraq, and are worse than terrorists. We are warmongering imperialists, the evil force on the planet, whose weapons are more powerful and have killed more innocents than theirs, by multiples. In law, if one knowingly sets in motion a chain of events that leads to a predictable result, one is liable for that result as fully as if he intended it. We are liable for all the deaths in Iraq, by whatever means they have come to pass, as fully as any terrorist, and with the same moral standing.
And if you don't believe me, believe Riverbend.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Monday, November 08, 2004
To counter the Republicans' surge to the right while holding the "values" center, the Democrats need to surge to the left, while holding the rational center. Otherwise, the left is in for "a long hard slog."
Saturday, November 06, 2004
Bush has created this nightmare, and now can't count on Kerry to bail him out. If it weren't for the deaths--of Iraqis and coalition forces--I'd really be pleased to see if for once Bush can solve a problem without intervention from his monied buddies. But while I'm hating all the dying, I'm enjoying watching Bush twist in the wind.
I guess the assembly never assembled.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
I add this dimension to the truth. The Right takeover has an additional facet, as frightening as its religiosity: its capitalist/corporate/imperialist/political merger. We are watching the evolution of a fascist state.
Who was it who said that history is written by the victors?
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
We now face a Congress, an Executive and a Judiciary that has set its face in a nasty, mean-spirited direction, to a frightening purpose. They'll be able to enact their agenda and enforce it through the courts for the foreseeable future. Unless there's a cataclysm of some kind, I don't see the Democratic Party finding a way to win back the Congress or the White House for twelve years (Bush's next term plus two more). I know that sounds pessimistic, but I've been listening to the post-election hand-wringing by progressive bloggers and major media pundits and it sounds like they're predicting that the Democrats will move more to the middle (to the right, that means), which not only will leave liberals wholly on the outs but that the best we can expect is watered-down privatization of virtually every function of government, the true ascendancy of the capitalist nation-state, governed by powers wedded to corporatism, driven by religiosity and greed, and, because of its ownership of the media, immunized from scrutiny.
Back to wound-licking, shortly after which--Revolution!!
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Monday, November 01, 2004
I wonder how the dead Lebanese and New Yorkers feel about the latest events? I wonder how Bush or Kerry will ever wind down our empire-building enough to listen to them?
Sunday, October 31, 2004
And Republicans? Are they incapable of voter fraud? No--we know this from last election. But of course they're so sophisticated and funded that their fraud is on a big scale. Wholesale tossing of ballots and of purging of rolls. They don't need to vote falsely one-by-one, they have the machinery in hand to undo the democracy by a quick, corrupt swipe.
Here's the deal. Part of me wants Kerry/Edwards elected by a landslide so huge that there's no dispute. Part of me wants a close and contested election that will lead to major overhaul of the Electoral College system, leading to the election of Kerry, so that now both parties will feel the pinch and will finally change the system. Part of me wants gridlock, absolute gridlock, so that the revolution--the peoples' revolution--can finally take place.
So--I'm poll-watching, and little else.
For months I've been blogging about developments. In Iraq, with the economy, with the Patriot Act, and so forth. All of this was to ascertain the impact of these developments on the election.
No longer. With 48 hours to go, I appreciate that nothing--almost nothing--can change the outcome. And so, I confess that I'm barely interested in the news lately. I confess to having been interested in the news only as it impacted whether Bush would be reelected or not.
So, for the next few days, I'll read the news allright, but with disinterest. Instead, my interest in solely in the news of the polls, which as I've indicated heretofore, are inconclusive.
Of course that's precisely what Osama had in mind.
It sure explains why Rummie doesn't want publicity of the returning coffins.
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Looks like Kerry has to keep hold of all states (including Florida) in which he's leading (by whatever small margin) plus hold onto New Jersey (which is likely) and win Ohio or Michigan.
This is gonna get ugly.
Friday, October 29, 2004
BTW--I'm not alone in my analysis. Billmon shares it.
For the viewpoint of someone who's lived under Bush's tyranny, and pleads with us to end it, check out Riverbend's letter to Americans about this election. It's a bitter, but heartrending plea from Iraq. I'm praying--actually on-my-knees praying-that we heed it.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Good to be back.
On another note: Back on October 12, I blogged about a Christian Science Monitor piece about missing explosives in Iraq, wondering when it would explode into a campaign issue. Now, almost two weeks later, NYT picked up the story and it has become a monster issue in Kerry's favor, with Bush on the defensive, bigtime.
Here's my question: What name should we apply to those spaces in time, from a day to a month, between when a fact "happens" and when it's first reported (on the Internet, ususally) and when it's reported by the major media. These are important spaces and deserve a catch-phrase.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
I had a really powerful, sweet dream last night, or maybe it was a waking fantasy. It was Wednesday morning, November 3, and the polls had authoritatively shown that Bush was voted out of office. I went out to the parking lot of the motel where I was staying, to start the drive back to California from Reno in my trusty Volvo, but before I left I re-painted the protest sign that I've been marching around with for 18 months. I erased the anti-Bush/Cheney slogans and painted on both sides, "Mission Accomplished."
Saturday, October 23, 2004
Friday, October 22, 2004
I vote for all three.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
What did I expect?
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
So, we're not rebuilding Iraqi's schools, and we've allowed the place to be looted of both desks and nuclear devices. What else is new?
Monday, October 18, 2004
The system, not the people, are running this campaign. If Kerry loses, its not because we didn't want him to be president, but because the corporate giants who control our television sets didn't.
Sunday, October 17, 2004
To live in a world where Americans are despised? Is that to be Bush's legacy, or can we defeat him now so that our nation is only temporarily tarnished and can once again take its place as the leader, not the enemy, of the world? That's what we get to decide on November 2, and nothing less.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
Friday, October 15, 2004
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Under Bush, the US has now become dependent on foreign goods in addition to foreign oil.
Which means, of course, that opponents of freedom and truth (that's the Bushies), must resort to vote suppression, distortion and denial, because they know that a high turnout favors Kerry. Republican groups around the country are busy. Intimidating blacks in Detroit, threatening students in Arizona, destroying Democrats' voter registration forms in Nevada.
There's no doubt these incidents only scratch the surface. In the three weeks until the election, I'm certain in the swing states there will be furious efforts by Republicans to find various means to limit the vote of minorities. Subtle efforts, but furious. It could backfire, however. Those who might not have been motivated to vote could react by turning out in revenge.
Let's hope so.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Most people form their opinions through other media, probably, but given the tightness of the race, these endorsements may matter, to capture those undecided voters who read the papers. (Hard to imagine such a critter, but oh well.)
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
It sure as hell is going to appear in Kerry's debate presentation tomorrow night. It sure as hell also be the lead item in tomorrow morning's newscasts. It will place in stark, bold relief how counterproductive was the invasion and occupation of Iraq in terms of furthering the "war on terror." It's Exhibit A to the proof that invading Iraq has made us less safe, not safer; and to the proof, if any more be needed, that Bush is a dangerous, deluded idiot. This item alone should bring him down.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Bush and Cheney are cynically using the trauma of September 11 as a pretext to fight a series of elective wars against weak governments that are inconvenient for hawkish goals and some US corporate interests. Iraq was a poster child of this policy. It had no weapons of mass destruction, was ramshackle, and had no significant ties to terrorism. It was invented as a dire threat to Peoria by Karl Rove and Rupert Murdoch, the latter-day Wizards of Oz.
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Saturday, October 09, 2004
Now, however, Sinclair Broadcasting, the conservative company that already has favored the Bush campaign by ordering its many affiliates not to air Ted Koppel's rollcall of dead GI's some months ago, has ordered those same stations to carry--preempting prime-time programming--a "documentary" of Kerry's antiwar activism, highly critical of Kerry of course, only a week before the election. Sinclair's stations flood the battleground states and include many of the stations that are affiliates of the major networks, so there's no doubt there will be heavy viewing of the program.
Any chance CBS will reconsider its decision? Any chance Sinclair will recant?
Of course, NO on both counts.
Are the opinions of the editorial boards of newspapers important anymore, with so much of our news coming through other sources? I would think they don't carry the weight they did two decades ago, but that if they're coupled with other endorsements, such as by bigtime newsmagazines like Time, Newsweek and so forth, a few of the undecideds may be swayed. It's possible too that some people vote, on a rote basis, in accordance with their daily's recommendations. Let's hope so.
Friday, October 08, 2004
Oil prices are going through the roof, terrorism is spreading across the globe, the war in Iraq is an ugly mess and has finally been definitively determined to have been baseless. Our national debt is piling up frighteningly, our trade deficit is horrendous, health insurance premiums are soaring while coverage is shrinking--and all the while Bush/Cheney remain favored to win the election next month.
Is it possible that regardless of the reality of the nightmare that Bush/Cheney have created in the US and in the world, they'll be re-elected? In other words, is there no objective development during the next three weeks that can change that prospect? Has the sustained brainwashing and spinning by the administration and the media been so complete that they've created in a majority of the uninformed American public a favorable belief about Bush/Cheney's qualities and accomplishments that can't be erased by facts, no matter what they are?
If that's so, guys and gals, Bush/Cheney will be re-elected unless one or both of them so egregiously screws up before the election that even they can't cover it. I'm thinking getting drunk at a fundraiser and falling off the podium, or admitting to having a black love-child who's living in squalor in Tuscaloosa, or something like that. Nothing less, it looks like, will move the Bush/Cheney devotees out of the darkness.
The other possibility: defections by John McCain and/or Colin Powell.
C'mon you two. This is your chance to change the course of the nation, the world. Please, for the sake of our kids, come forward.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
So how come the president of this "sovereign" Iraq is condemning the bombing as "collective punishment" of its citizens?
Second question: Why isn't this expression of outrage being carried by the mainstream media?
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Makes you almost feel sorry for the war president, doesn't it?
Sunday, October 03, 2004
Kerry, for all his faults, is worldly and is therefore able to see other nations' views as valuable, as worthy of consideration. That, to me, is necessary to prevent the end of our planet, brought about by haste and ignorance, the hallmarks of the Bush presidency so far, which would be unleashed in a second term.
Saturday, October 02, 2004
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Monday, September 27, 2004
Sunday, September 26, 2004
Saturday, September 25, 2004
What folly, what tragic folly, these madmen in the White House have begun.
Friday, September 24, 2004
Thursday, September 23, 2004
BTW, if you recall, Bush's tax-cut package in 2002 was dubbed, by Rove and his minions in Congress, the "jobs and recovery" bill.
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Monday, September 20, 2004
Only if, in the six weeks between now and the election, enough fence-sitters can be persuaded that the obvious is true--that Bush is bonkers, March-hare mad--can his poll numbers be dented significantly.
There are too many Bush-devotees out there--ignorant, small-minded churls--to get Bush's numbers below 45%. But those 5%, those who usually don't vote, or haven't made up their minds yet, they're the target, and somehow they've got to come to understand that which is apparent to all astute Bush-watchers: Bush is batty.
His "internationalization" idea's no good. Too fluffy, too amorphous, too much like Bush's approach and, most of all, impossible-sounding. He needs specifics, and here they are:
1. Announce that as president he would immediately rescind the reconstruction contract with Halliburton and all of its subsidiaries Other corporations, too, that have violated our trust so far, and those whose practices are outrageous, such as overcharging, hiring foreign workers and so forth.
2. Announce that all rebuilding efforts will be done by Iraqis, funded by our reconstruction money, only a small portion of which has yet been spent.
3. Give specific tasks to the military. Guarding, securing, but no more random patrols, no more general police duties. Iraqis can do that, or if they don't want to, they don't have to. If violence happens, it happens, but meanwhile the Iraqis are being well paid to rebuild their own nation and will be the source of manpower to keep the peace, since now they have a stake--a financial stake--in the outcome.
4. Release all prisoners who aren't charged with a specific offense.
In other words, turn Iraq over to the Iraqis now--and pull back our military so that its purpose is simply to preserve Iraq, not build it.
This gives Kerry a chance to take a huge swing at a huge vulnerability: the Cheney/KBR/Halliburton graft, the waste of American goodwill, lives and resources, with a viable alternative: allowing the skilled, unemployed Iraqis build their own nation. It'll be cheaper, more secure for our troops, and certainly couldn't be slower.
So--next time the question comes up--What will you do to get out of the mess in Iraq--Kerry will be able to answer that question with a grin and a "I'm glad you asked that" reply, rather than the weasel-worded response he's so far come up with.
It's no October surprise. It's a late-September one, and I can't wait to hear it.
Sunday, September 19, 2004
If I were in Iraq, I think right now I'd choose being a purveyor of baked goods in a small town in the farthest corner of the country. Or, come to think of it, an expatriot.
Saturday, September 18, 2004
Didja ever wonder why it's called terrorism when the bomb that kills civilians is strapped to a person's chest or stuffed in a car, but it's not called terrorism when it's dropped from an airplane?
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Which is it, Colin? Did you check out the sources for the information for "four days and nights" before the UN speech; or did you rely on the information from the CIA without checking it?
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
So--what's a body to do? Walk the streets, register voters, sign up noncommitteds in a silent, compelling way? Okay.
Except that the incumbent has CNN, Fox and all the networks on his side.
So it's Molotov cocktails, right?
Sunday, September 12, 2004
If you watched network or cable news, you'd learn it was a bad day in Iraq, but nothing like the detail. Enough to tear your heart out.
And, if it need be asked: To what end? Oh, please, tell me: To what end?
It's clear, therefore, that such random fire by our soldiers isn't meant to win the Iraqis "hearts and minds" in the traditional sense. No, it's the reverse. Once there's an insurgent attack, the US responds with such force, including killing innocents, so that the populace becomes so fearful of an insurgent uprising that they turn against the insurgents out of fear of reprisal by the US.
Is this so obvious that I'm wasting cyberspace here? Well, it wasn't obvious to me, just as it wasn't initially obvious to me that Bush/Cheney/Rummie love this ongoing violence in Iraq and elsewhere--they adore it, they sponsor it--because it attracts the idiot-faction of US voters to their cause. Just witness the recent polls, showing Bush's numbers increasing as the violence increases.
So, does Bush win the election if there's an increase in violence--and if there's a decrease? Well, if you're Karl Rove, that's precisely what you planned.
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Yeah, the attack and its aftermath were traumatic, but the answer isn't for us to continue to scratch the wound, but to reflect for just a moment, to try to reach for a balm to salve it.
Isn't there anybody in a position of leadership, in the U.S. or in the world, who sees that the wound is merely a symptom of a worldwide malady, the product of an historical virus that has caused an imbalance between the world of haves and have-nots?
Let me ask this, demanding an answer: Why haven't the whites, those who inhabit the portion of the planet north of bottom tip of Florida and Texas and Italy, chosen to share the benefits of inhabiting the majesty of this planet with those who live to the south? Why, at all events, are humans so little like the gods--and their messengers--whom we say we aspire to; and so much like the animals that we say are "less than human?" Why do we hoard our wealth, our resources and arms, within our national limits--and why do we allow our corporations to exploit the riches of poorer nations, without fair compensation?
This longstanding conduct by America and its supporters is why we're being attacked. It's not about freedom, not about violence. It's about planetary justice, human justice, spiritual fairness.
It's about global goodness--which surely isn't the message of Bush/Cheney.