Saturday, April 24, 2004

Mike's Message

Check out Michael Moore's Message:

"I have never seen a head so far up a Presidential ass (pardon my Falluja) than the one I saw last night at the 'news conference' given by George W. Bush. He's still talking about finding 'weapons of mass destruction' -- this time on Saddam's 'turkey farm.' Turkey indeed. "

Great stuff, guaranteed.

Corruption and mendacity won't rescue Iraq's occupiers

As the occupation forces sink deeper into the Iraq imbroglio and the deadline for the bogus "transfer of sovereignty" on June 30 draws nearer, those responsible are lashing out in all directions.Guardian Unlimited

Poor little misrable failure...

He's facing a tough decision in Fallujah, and this time daddy can't bail him out. Even his Father's not on his side. What do bet he screws this up, as he's screwed up everything he's ever done in his life.

Problem is, as with all his failures, his life isn't on the line. But maybe, just maybe, his future is. And a certain Sunni cleric isn't making his choice any easier.

What say we make it so.

Support the Troops

OK, I’ve officially had it with the civilian rhetoric, just as much as with the political/military doublespeak we’ve become inured to. I was just listening to comments about the death of Pat Tillman at the NFL draft. What he did was an amazing act of patriotism. He's set a fine example of a selfless American. And it is a tragedy and our military people are all in a sense heroic. But then someone said something about them giving their lives for all of us. The other day, I was driving down the San Joaquin and on the radio a minister was speaking at the funeral of a fallen soldier. He said this young man died to protect our liberty. I found myself yelling at the radio.

I'm grateful for our volunteer armed forces. I'm proud of them. I'm sad they’re dying, I wish them God’s mercy and protection and I grieve with their families when they die. But they are not dying in Iraq or Afghanistan for our liberty. They are not giving their lives for us. The United States was never in any danger of attack by Iraq; our liberty was in no jeopardy. Afghanistan bred terrorists under the Taliban, but it’s a quagmire, a fire that was never completely out, and our troops there are in greater danger because resources have been siphoned off to Iraq.

George Bush’s miserable military atrocities are founded on nothing but lies and megalomania. He’s getting our bravest young people killed for nothing but an absurdity, with no clear mission but to own a land and civilization that Bush doesn’t even comprehend, cannot hope to govern.

Support the Troops – Bring them Home. Someday, our Liberty will be in danger, and we’ll need these protectors. We do them no honor by cloaking their losses of life and limb in misbegotten patriotism.

Say they have all the heart to love a country with fine dreams and flawed character.
Say they deserve an education, and shouldn't have to buy it with their limbs, their minds or their lives.
Say they are serving and dying well, with honor, following orders as they must, not being civilians like me, with the luxury and duty to question the ulterior motives and base cravings of Power.
Call them heroes if you must, though I don't know if they will agree.
But don't say they're fighting and dying for a great and noble cause, because our nation is engaged in no such thing.

We have marched forth and fallen in a quick sand of reactionary self-defense and a literal tar pit of self-interest. And we can't glorify needless sacrifice with a crass pawing of words.


Tick, tick, tick...

The siege of Fallujah, the standoff with cleric al-Sadr, the rage of Chalabi at not being picked for the interim triumvirate, the rising temperature as summer approaches, the approaching date for the "sovereignty" handoff, the escalating number of deaths of US troops and Iraqis, the withdrawal of "coalition partners," Bush's slumping poll numbers on his handling of Iraq. How do you spell cataclysm?

Friday, April 23, 2004

Bremer on Bush's terrorism efforts

Two months into Bush's regime, now-Tribune Bremer talked about Bush's inadequate preparation for a terrorist attack. I'd love to cross-examine him. Will the 9/11 commission call him as a witness? Don't count on it.

Shades of stupid

Critical mass. Cognitive dissonance. Stubborness. Stupidity. Insanity. These are terms I've heard applied to the phenomenon (or lack of same) by which at long last that hard-core 46% of American adults comes to realize that Bush/Cheney are evil, crazed men, bent on leading America on a nightmarish quest of empire, funded by the masses of US workers who pay payroll taxes and who, idiots as they are, continue to support them.

There's time--seven months--for the scales to fall from their eyes, the critical mass to be reached, their stupidity to become obvious. But it won't happen overnight. It will take every day of those seven months to bring about the mass of the masses.

Democracy, Army style

From the same people who suppress photographs of dead soldiers' coffins, comes this idea of free speech: Forcefully taking down posters of al-Sadr in Baghdad because of his opposition to the coalition.

Who comes up with these things?

Okay, it wasn't a great leap from "Coaltion of the Willing" to "Coalition of the Killing" and later, because of the US payment for their involvement, to "Coalition of the Billing." But the latest version, you gotta love: Coaltion of the Dwindling.

Well whaddya know?

This Lahkdar Brahimi guy--you know, the UN dude who's trying to put together an "interim government" for Iraq, effective July 1--may not be so bad after all. Recall, Bush has already signed onto Brahimi's efforts, has already stroked him at a press conference. (Of course Bush's ass is in such a crack over Iraq that he'd sign onto any "plan" for Iraq, so long as he could find a favorable spin for it.)

So now it turns out that Brahimi's no patsy for the US, not at all. He's chiding the US for its bullying ways in the region, and castigating Israel for its unilateralism (and Bush's agreement to it) in dealings with the Palestinians. Kofi Annan's not pleased with Brahimi, it looks like. But I am.

Cut and run, or sink or swim?

Here's a case for an early exit, within a year or so, from Iraq. Although it's not a bad case, I think it's too mildly put. I think the costs of our continued presence in Iraq are much greater than Abramowitz sets out. I think five years from now we'll be immersed in a fourth world war, this time over oil as well as hegemony. And I think the benefits of departure now are much stronger than he says. We'll admit the US policy to collapse other nations' leadership by force is wrong--we've always held to that fiction, right?--and we'll gain the favor of the civilized nations of the world by turning to the UN as the vehicle for international progress.

Too much to hope for? No, not when one considers the alternative.

Why am I not surprised

that Bush's highly-touted "turnover of sovereignty to Iraq" on June 30 will in truth only "be limited"? Naomi Klein, cited in two of my previous posts, has been predicting precisely that for months, based on her reading of the various laws that the CPA has already put into place. Now, finally, the Congress has wheedled such a concession/confession out of the Bush administration, resulting, predictably, in skepticism in both our national legislative body and in the international community.

The Bush administration intends that the US will keep its forces in place, its power in place and its laws in place. Sovereignty? Who's kidding whom?

Thursday, April 22, 2004

I'm happy to see that somebody's enjoying the war

Body armor manufacturer's profits are soaring as demand exceeds production.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Today in 1965

Most people, when they think of 1965, they think first year of the Ford Mustang, right? Right. Not me. I was almost four on April 21 65, and at least tangentially concerned for the presence of North Vietnamese regulars in the South. It was clear to me that LBJ would have to act fast to stabilize the situation. Otherwise, it was just a short boat trip and the reds would be slinking up the supports of the Golden Gate Bridge in their PJs. Just like now with Iraq. Gotta throw some bodies and bucks at the problem, to save our liberty.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

A missing piece

in the recent hubbub about Bush's prewar determination to go to war against Iraq is provided by the following question, that someone needs to focus on: Why was the administration (including Colin Powell) so slow in providing the UN weapons inspectors their intelligence about WMD? And when, on the eve of Powell's long-winded, false presentation to the Security Council, the US finally did tell the inspectors about some sites (which turned out to be "garbage on garbage," according to the UN inspectors), why was the report delivered verbally rather than in writing?

It's clear that the US didn't want the UN inspectors to find any WMD because it would show that the inspection process was working and this might delay the predetermined US assault plans.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Jews and Cubans

I'm watching Meet the Press, John Kerry is guest. So far he's doing just fine, except with the issues of Palestine and Cuba. He supports continuation of the embargo of Castro's regime (although he supports some ameliorative measures) and he's fully in line with Bush on his new Sharon-surrender on the issues of settlements, right of return and the boundary wall in Palestine.
He's making it tough to support him, damned tough. But what choice do I have?