Saturday, January 14, 2006
Why can't the MSM, for once, draw back a bit from a moment-to-moment account of this ugly, immoral scenario? Is it too much to ask in our democracy that someone wise and informed sees what is obvious?: that Iraq will now, and for decades, continue to be a propped-up state, one that will collapse if we withdraw--and that its condition is precisely what the NeoCons always wanted. A place where our military forces could rest--dug in, implanted in the oil-rich desert and adjacent to Israel--an hour away from any hotspot that might threaten our oil supply or Israel's expansion. It's a corollary to Bush's need for constant fear of attack; Iraq's need for constant American presence.
The NeoCons have won by Iraq's loss of decent statehood. The US will be embedded there--to ensure "democracy"--just as the NeoCons yearned for all along.
Friday, January 13, 2006
Our little protest group, and my ubiquitous signage, have for months called for impeachment, to get the word out, make it familiar, part of the discourse. And when we chant, "Impeach Dick Cheney, Impeach George Bush, Toss 'em out, Toss 'em out, Kick 'em in the tush!" we get an increasing percentage of thumbs-up and smiles from onlookers. It too isn't much, I admit, but consider this: It took years to chase Nixon from office, starting with someone first uttering the "I" word, then others, then others. Same with Clinton. (I haven't researched Andrew Johnson, but I'll bet that effort needed lead-time, too.)
Now, we're not likely to get a semen-stain as proof against Bush (although wouldn't that be delightful?); nor conspiratorial tape recordings, as in Nixon's case. So there's probably no "smoking gun," no sudden explosion, that will bring Bush down. But that makes the drumbeat all the more important, first to become too loud to ignore, then to be loud enough to bring down the house. The White House.
But now Bush/Condi have another evildoer in their sights: Iran. True, Bush can't attack it with troops (maybe not missles, either), and must resort to rhetoric, but it will be interesting to see how his poll numbers react to this new "threat." My guess is, given the gullible/torpid American public, Bush will get a boost. Possibly, however, because he can only make noise, not war, the media won't give him as much air time and the public, which doesn't respond to anything on the tube that isn't "visual" won't pay much attention.
Does anybody realize how cruel this is? We attack Iraq, attract the "terrorist" outsiders, welcoming them to "bring it on" so that we "fight them there instead of here," and then point to the internecine carnage as a hopeful sign?
I'm ashamed of my country.
Hiazza, the provincial police commander, said he started investigating
immediately after police first entered the palaces. "I found everything was
looted, even the electrical switches," he said.
When Hiazza formally accused
Jabara and some members of the provincial council in connection with the alleged
looting, authorities abruptly transferred Hiazza north to Baiji, an insurgent
hotbed. "The reason they transferred me is definitely I will get killed there,"
Hiazza said. He resigned instead.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
For years, we’ve assumed that capitalism and democracy fit hand in glove. We took it as an article of faith that you can’t have one without the other. That’s why a key element of American policy toward China has been to encourage free trade, direct investment, and open markets. As China becomes more prosperous and integrated into the global market -- so American policy makers have thought -- China will also become more democratic.
Well, maybe we’ve been a bit naive. It’s true that democracy needs capitalism. Try to come up with the name of a single democracy in the world that doesn’t have a capitalist economy. For democracy to function there must be centers of power outside of government. Capitalism decentralizes economic power, and therebyprovides the private ground in which democracy can take root.
Oh, really? The nations of Scandinavia, Britain, India? To name a few. What's Reich talking about?
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Theirs: single-payer plans, funded by taxes. Ours: Private insurance coverage with gigantic profit-driven corporate bureaucracies between the doctor and the patient, and private, profit-driven companies making our drugs and running our hospitals? Has it ever occurred to anyone that capitalism, for all its good qualities in making cars and speedboats, ought to get the fuck out of health care?
First of all, there was plenty of evidence of the absence of WMDs, as Risen himself states in the portions of the book cited by above-linked article. In addition to the failure of the UN weapons inspectors to find any WMD despite open access to all sites in Iraq, there were repeated prewar statements by Scott Ritter and others--inside Iraq, inside the federal government and outside--that the decade-long surveillance and sanctions on Iraq made it unlikely that WMD's could have been developed. Second--and this pisses me off no end--the issue in the weeks before the invasion wasn't "does Saddam have WMD?", it was, "given that it's still not clear whether he does or not" what is the remedy, the proper course of action?
With UN inspection teams driving in their white vans all over the place (recall those images?), scurrying unannounced and unobstructed in their searches and time after time finding nothing, what should the US do? Invade and bomb, or continue with the inspections, as Blix and al Baradei and all but Britain in the Security Council urged? Saddam was surrounded by our massing forces, his every move was watched, his nation was being scoured for evidence. So--even if it was "wishful thinking" that led Bush to conclude Saddam had WMD, what should he have done as leader of the "free world": Made war--or made certain?
Monday, January 09, 2006
I suggest we raid the hospital and grab Cheney's medical records from this latest visit and check them out. They probably say, "Complains of shortness of breath. Patient, however, is asymptomatic, except for a terminal case of fascist prevarication, as diagnosed on previous visits."