Saturday, June 05, 2004

I have two reactions to Rummie's speech yesterday

the report of which is headlined in the Seattle Times as follows: "Rumsfeld Fears Losing War on Terrorism." Rummie was in Bangladesh seeking support for the war in Iraq, fretting that the terrorists are churning out recruits faster than we can kill them.

My first reaction is, Wow! What an admission. Wouldn't you think that might make the mass media?

My second reaction is: Duh. And so you want more bombing and killing?

Friday, June 04, 2004

What the hell...

Call me a gossip, a scandal monger, whatever. Long ago I blogged on the prospect of designating Bush crazy, somehow scaring the undecideds to his opponent. Well, I'll spread this report, just doing my part.

Drip, drip, drip

Tenet resigns (plus a deputy operative in the CIA) on the eve of a stinging report about the intelligence before 9/11. Drip. That report will be issued in a couple of weeks. Drip. It will be followed by a report on the intelligence that was used by the Bush administration to justify the invasion of Iraq. Drip. Bush hires a lawyer to deal with the Valerie Plame disclosure. Drip. Indictments in that matter are likely imminent. Drip. Afghanistan is seething before its national election in September. Drip. The turnover in Baghdad is problematical and may lead to further violence, possibly with tension between the "coalition" and the interim government. Drip. The prisoner-abuse trials and investigations are just getting started, with subpoenas being issued for higher-ups, including Rummie and Wolfowitz. Drip. And I haven't enumerated the bribery scandal over the passage of the Medicare drug bill, the investigation of which is still pending, nor the numerous investigations of Halliburton, B&R and others for larceny in the reconstruction of Iraq, nor the numerous other scandals among Bush-supporting businesses, including Enron and its boss, "Kenny-boy".
When the ground becomes saturated, the dripping will turn into a flood and will carry Bush out of office. Right?

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Finally, a super reaction by John Kerry

I've read that Kerry's team has decided to stay out of the day-to-day decline of Bush's administration of foreign policy, to stay on a positive message, to hover above the fray. This has drawn the ire of activists, including me.
But Kerry has leapt in at just the right time, on the right issue: the "backdoor draft" by Bush of enlisted personnel by extending their tours of duty by means of a "stop loss" order. Kerry should hit hard on this issue throughout the summer as these soldiers swelter and die in orderthat Bush, for political reasons, can maintain that he's not increasing the deployment of forces in Iraq.

Now what we want is coverage of Kerry's outrage, so that the military's outrage will follow.

Okay, I'm now a believer

that the New York Times has become untenable dogshit. Not just because of the recurring scandals about its misreporting, its acknowledged screwups in plumping for war in Iraq, its complete lack of truly investigative reporting in the last decade or so. These are symptomatic, merely, of being so wedded to the capitalistic system that it can't see history, can't see beyond the present-day morass, can't address anything larger than last week's stale headline.

(I just watched columnist Tom Friedman on CNN defend foreign outsourcing as good for our workers "in the long run," even though it costs American jobs in the short run; and waffle, totally, on the question of sovereignty in Iraq. This guy gets a salary?)

What have we become?

The results of this Gallup poll are more disturbing to me than even the state of public sentiment about George Bush and his wars: In answer to the question whether in the US the death penalty was imposed "too often," "the right amount" or "not enough," the percentages were 23%, 25% and 48%, respectively. Almost half of us feel we don't execute each other often enough? More than two-thirds think we're executing each other at about the right rate?

Is this the United States? If so, maybe those America-haters are right.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan

The poppy harvest is proceeding apace. Amazing incompetence. Almost makes you wonder if Rummie is one of the warlords who's taking a cut.

Elephant in the living room

Not talked about by the mainstream media is a principal reason Bush decided to invade Iraq: the establishment of US military bases in Iraq in order to gain leverage in the Middle East. With already-existing bases in Afghanistan and elsewhere, Iran and Syria would be surrounded by American forces.

I'll bet Rummie and Halliburton and the gang have already constructed huge installations in Iraq, probably using "reconstruction" money, and that we'll learn about this sometime this summer when the interim leadership of Iraq decides to question it.

Maybe not--but why isn't it a burning question when we are told that Iraq will gain full sovereignty?

Timid liberals

As this essay points out, all but a few democrats are strikingly mute in this election season, giving Bush a free pass about this nightmare he's created in the Middle East. Al Gore and Ted Kennedy have spoken out of late, as has Senator Robert Byrd (who's been doing so for more than a year), but others? Daschle, Feinstein, Boxer, Harkin--where are they? Why aren't we hearing from them daily, railing, as they should, against the militarism, incompetence, evil of Bush/Cheney?

Is it "timidity" as the author of the essay says? If so, who are they afraid of? The media, their constituents, the Republican attack dogs? All of these?

The effect of the lack of liberal-based critics is that those who do speak out may be isolated by the Republicans and assailed as "demented," as Gore was after his fiery speech last week.

C'mon, you liberal chickenshits. Join the democracy!

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Memorial Day

I attended the evening ceremony at East Beach yesterday at a display of white crosses that the Veterans for Peace lay out every weekend. Each of the 810 crosses (one for each soldier that has died in Iraq) was underlit by a red votive candle, just after sunset, while "Taps" was played.

I got weepy, actually teary-eyed, during the ceremony. I was surprised, because, frankly, I haven't been proud of much of my nation's actions over the last several years. Fact is, I suppose I do "love America" in some deep recess--cultural conditioning, no doubt--and I was moved by the fact that so many of those assembled did so too. Many of them, like me, continue to care very much for the ideals which our founding documents set forth and in the sometimes fulfillment of them by our elected leaders.

Enough. Time to get back to work to defeat Bush/Cheney's election.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Pat Buchanan and me

I never thought I'd agree with this guy--old wounds take time to heal--but on the antiwar issue he's right on. He and "true conservatives" (as opposed to neocons) think this Iraq thing is nuts. Now, he believes Bush has got the message, and is merely posturing until he can find a graceful way out, a la Nixon and Vietnam.
Well, as I foretold a year ago, here's whazzup. After the "turnover," regardless of the state of security and so forth, Bush will announce major withdrawals of US forces just before the election, declaring a "victory" in time to help with his re-election.

(If he's re-electioned--God forbid--he'll "redeploy" troops into Iraq in a heartbeat, you bet your ass, because his dream for a US-dominated Middle East will still be extant, and now he'll have four full years to effect it.)

Sooo--stay tuned.