Tuesday, January 23, 2007

BBC: The World Rejects Bush's Policies

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

For a brief time following the events of 911 the United States enjoyed widespread support throughout the world. It took a George W. Bush to squander all that goodwill. It is not surprising that along with a Congressional majority and over 90 percent approval rating, the policies of George W. Bush are now almost universally reviled. A new world wide poll by the BBC suggests that US policies are almost universally rejected, denounced by majorities as high as two-thirds or more on most issues and much higher on still others.

Bush may have enjoyed a longer honeymoon with the rest of the world had he not insisted upon waging a war of aggression against Iraq, a nation having nothing whatsoever to do with 911, a nation about which Bush lied repeatedly in order to wage his war. Bush's numbers have gone down as the war rages on and on without end and, increasingly without hope. The numbers prove that the world now views the US, under Bush, as a rogue nation.

Getting reviews as bad as those for the Iraq war is the the issue of global warming. On this issue, often denied and derided be the GOP, Bush is proven as wrong, armed, and dangerous as he was on Iraq. Bush is now escalating his failed war on Iraq but failure on global warming carries with it even more catastrophic results.

Everyone can be wrong once in a while. And almost everyone is wrong from time to time with regard to issues less critical to the very survival of the planet. It takes a particularly evil genius to be so consistently wrong about almost everything and with such dire consequences.

Ironically and tragically, it is the magnitude of Bush's crimes that afford him a measure of invincibility. Those who are merely and routinely wrong about mundane issues are promptly sacked. Those, like Bush, who are monumentally wrong, are often promoted by a small and still powerful cabal who fear drowning in the wake of a sinking Titanic. Clinging tenaciously to power, this class of conscienceless courtiers will prop Bush up until all are swept away in the inevitable political Tsunami.

Such a political apocalypse was described by the great British screenwriter Sir Robert Bolt, whose script for A Man for All Seasons portrayed a frightened nobility in danger of being swamped in Wolsey's wake. As the execution of Sir Thomas More proved: there is rarely a convenient escape for fence-sitters. As in a play by Ibsen, Shakespeare, or, indeed, Bolt himself, Bush set into motion a tragic dialectic with the words: "You are either with us or you are for the terrorists".

On every issue, however, the world has rejected Bush and his divisive policies. Is Bush so stupid that he would suggest that some two thirds of the world's population are terrorists?

It is most certainly a mistake to divide up the world into black and white, good and evil. Yet that is what Bush has done. Though he would not compromise when pressed against the wall, Bolt's portrayal of Thomas More is that of a man who would have avoided the "either/or", a man who would have preferred the life of the common man to that of the existential hero.

More: God made the angels to show Him splendor, as He made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity. But Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind. If He suffers us to come to such a case that there is no escaping, then we may stand to our tackle as best we can, and, yes, Meg, then we can clamor like champions, if we have the spittle for it. But it's God's part, not our own, to bring ourselves to such a pass. Our natural business lies in escaping.

-A Man for All Seasons, Screenplay by Robert Bolt


118 comments:

SadButTrue said...

The results of this survey show a differential of roughly 20 percentage point in approval of Bush's actions, comparing measurements within the US to those outside your borders. Some of this is undoubtedly because people in the US really do cling to the belief that what is good for corporate America is good for the people of America. Some may even believe that what is good for America is somehow ultimately good for the world. I think though that much if not most of this difference is due to the knowledge gap that has been deliberately created by the US media. Owned by the corporations and serving their agenda slavishly, the likes of Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and to a lesser extent Wolf Blitzer and Darryn Kagan have skewed US opinion far to the right.

Fuzzflash said...

Len, Agree that W. is about as subtle as a cut snake and Bolt's Tommy More he'll never be. Tommy believed that post chop, hey presto, he'd be chowing down on the very best pie in the sky. A real existential hero for me is one who is prepared to go to his/her death for a principle, believing that what follows one's last breath is as Arthur Koestler decribes in the last sentences of "Darkness at Noon":
"A second, smashing blow hit him on the ear. Then all became quiet. There was the sea again with its sounds. A wave slowly lifted him up. It came from afar and travelled sedately on, a shrug of eternity."
Et apres, zippo, nada, bubkes. Amen.

Yes, Sad, Democracy's on a slow drip in ER and Drs. MSM, MIC and GOP don't want people like you anywhere near the patient. Without hopes and dreams these patients are far easier to control. Dr. DEM is about to relieve on death-watch and, short of shock treatment from Docs Populi, there's very little that can be done.

Meanwhile, the courtside blogging(DoJ v Libby) of CH Smith and the other WIB(Woman In Black)from Next Hurrah, as seen on firedoglake(side link on EC homepage) is inspirational. Christy is like a cerebrally enhanced Cathy Bates and the other lady is so totally French(Sorbonne '68) it's uncanny. They are one of best hip-shooting, zeitgeist-zapping double acts I've seen. Smart, lethal,funny,fast.

Already Scooter's mouthpieces have shelved Karl Baby, and Cheney should be in the stand next week. Been hangin' out for this for a long time. This stuff is nectar for Pol junkies, No. 4 Hong Kong.

Speaking of reformed schmeckers, in Sydney, Oz, last night, Lou Reed performed Berlin to critical and audience acclaim. During the post show ovation Lou got weepy. No one had ever dug it like that before. Better late than never for Lou. Maybe next year he'll perform his masterwork, New York. "Xmas in February" is my favourite anti-war song. Like his painter friend Donald said: "Hold the fork folks, Lou ain't done yet."

Len Hart said...

Fuzzflash wrote:

"A real existential hero for me is one who is prepared to go to his/her death for a principle, believing that what follows one's last breath is as Arthur Koestler decribes in the last sentences of "Darkness at Noon":"

Indeed! Bush, however, saw himself as such a hero but it was just one of many delusions. Rather -by pressing the issues, Bush made of his opposition true heroes at a time when it was not fashionable to bash Bush.
Sadbuttrue wrote:

"Some may even believe that what is good for America is somehow ultimately good for the world."

Shades of what is good for GM was good for America. That, of course, was never true and, for a long time, America has been at odds with the rest of the world. GOP crookery and denial is largely to blame. As I've said so many times: the GOP is not a political party, it was, under Bush, a criminal conspiracy. With a few notable exceptions, it remains a crime syndicate.

"This stuff is nectar for Pol junkies"

And for believers in cosmic Karma. So many times the crooks get away with it. Maybe not this time. Global warming deniers, for example, will cook in the same pot with everyone else. And Iraq has deteriorated so dramatically, Bush resorts to threats of leaving.

"Lou Reed performed Berlin to critical and audience acclaim. During the post show ovation Lou got weepy. No one had ever dug it like that before. Better late than never for Lou. Maybe next year he'll perform his masterwork, New York. "Xmas in February" is my favourite anti-war song."

Thanks for the update. It is a time to drag out the entire anti war library and shout them.

Fuzzflash said...

Today in the Land of Oz we have the The Australia Day Holiday. Many of the original custodians of this land refer to today as Invasion Day. There has never been a treaty or official acknowledgement by any government apart from the occasional forked tongue tokenism. Having once worked at the coal face with Aboriginals of this great southern land, I have much empathy with their plight. The land and most of the peolpe I love, but remain overwhelmed by my own sense of exile and alienation to the extent that I don't feel right being buried in the soil, having been born and lived here most of my life. My family know the rock ledge from where to empty the urn into the sea when one carks it in the ultimate fullness of time. Today is a day on which Aussie's like me ponder some of the big questions. Below is a paragraph from a recent review in NYROB by Canadian author Margaret Atwood about Richard Powers's nineth novel. It sure strikes a chord with me on this day of hollow celebration down under.

"But The Echo Maker may be read on yet another level: What is wrong with the "self" of America? Has the true America been taken away, has a fake America replaced it? Are the characters—and by extension the reader— situated in a sort of Stepford America? Are we "living in the age of mass hypnotism," as Weber's wife says of corporate America and its Enron-like smoke-and-mirrors economic shams? Is "America" now a phantom limb, like the ones discussed by Weber— long gone, but still hurting? What are the essential ingredients that give a place or a country its identity, and that make a person a true version of him- or herself?"

So,Len, are you feeling grounded in Europe, does your spirit feel easy in your newly adopted continent?

Len Hart said...

Having once worked at the coal face with Aboriginals of this great southern land, I have much empathy with their plight. The land and most of the peolpe I love, but remain overwhelmed by my own sense of exile and alienation to the extent that I don't feel right being buried in the soil, having been born and lived here most of my life.

Fuzzflash, we have much in common. Aside from the fact that there are parts of West Texas that would pass for the outback, both lands have the indigenous peoples whose survival lies at the heart of the human conscience -assuming we all still have one. I can relate entirely to your sense of exile. In my case, it is complicated by the fact that my heritage is mixed. My father was the product of 19th century pioneer cowboys and homesteaders. My mom was full blood "native American".

Has the true America been taken away, has a fake America replaced it?

As a child watching cowboy and "Indian" movies, I did not know who to root for. At last, however, despite some acquired European tastes, I will always be an American, somewhat proud of what the nation might have been -but because of Bush might never become.

...are you feeling grounded in Europe, does your spirit feel easy in your newly adopted continent?

The America I left is not the America I grew up in. That America was already lost to me. Anyone who has ever read Thomas Wolfe, however, will understand that in Europe I have found anew the America that I will always love.

Fuzzflash said...

Len, definately no "Bonfire of the Vanities" about this Thomas Wolfe. "Look Homeward,Angel" is now on my list. Speaking of which, some time back Damien gave Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago Parts 1 and 11 a big rap. Recently at the Salamanca Markets in Hobart, Tasmania, I drifted past a second hand shop called Deja Vu Books. Bibliophilic compulsion kicked in like nitrous oxide into a dragsters fuel mix. Without conscious volition, one was injected indoors to be met by the stern gaze of Alexander S., framed in Abe Lincoln beard, no doubt peeved that parts I and II of his tome were up for emancipation for the meagre sum of six dollars.

I set him free. He is currently resting on my bedside shelf, but actually lives in my heart.

damien said...

Len, you're the best of America and your last comment shows up only too well your humanity and intellect. Let's hope for better times for the US and for all of us.

Fuzzflash, you'll be pleased to know I'm still kicking ass in the Australian media (as kenj). How much blogspace can I steal before they ban me? I'm doing what I can to change the public mindset about Iran, but it will be too little too late I'm afraid.(link) Sounds like you've been having a good time recently. Everybody's on holidays except me, dammit! I'll just have to drink more.

SadButTrue said...

"The America I left is not the America I grew up in. That America was already lost to me."

America as an ideal may have passed away with the bizarre 1886 Supreme Court interpretation of the 14th amendment, one that declared a corporation to be a person under law. Wiki: Corporate Personhood "In their decision, the justices gave no explanation of how an amendment about the rights of former slaves should also apply to corporations." One supposes it was the triumph of pragmatism over common sense. One suspects bribery.

Since then the idealism of America's foundation has been tarnished by one 'pragmatic' step after another, until the original theory is lost like a cherished wedding band accidentally tossed into a vast garbage tip. Now 'We the People' has been incrementally interpreted to mean, 'We the persons' (as interpreted under the precedent set by Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company - see subsection 5, paragraph 15) - at a tragic cost to the flesh and blood persons that the founders had in mind.

As I have gotten older I have moved away from the ideal to the pragmatic, but for me that has always meant an attitude of compromise. It's like in engineering; a design proceeds in two stages, specification and implementation. The specification describes how the design should perform ideally. The implementation defines what 'we can live with' - under the constraints of time, cost, and the limitations of the materials at hand. A parallel to the definition of politics as the art of the possible.

What has happened to America is something else entirely, taking the other meaning of the word compromise. As in, 'the ship's hull has sprung a plank, and the watertight integrity is compromised.' As always, the rats that chewed through the structural ribs will be the first to abandon ship.

As some wag once said, "In theory, theory and practice are the same thing. In practice, they are very different." This bit of doggerel may well end up as America's epitaph. The theory of America was fatally compromised by this legal fiction decided on over a century ago, which gave the practice of capitalism precedence over the practice of democracy.

Len Hart said...

Fuzzflash, I also recommend a great essay by Wolfe having to do with his creative process. It's entitled "The Story of a Novel". It's the timeless story of the American expatriate in Europe, finding in Europe -America. He found it in his memories of things left behind, memories triggered by smells, sights, sounds. It is entirely appropriate that from this poignant, seamless blend of near tragic homesickness and adventure, Wolfe wrestled into existence Of Time and the River".

In "The Story of a Novel", he wrote "I had been to Europe five times now. Each time I had come with delight, with a maddening eagerness to return, and each time how, where, and in what way I did not know, I had felt the bitter ache of homelessness, a desperate longing for America, an overwhelming desire to return."

You can find Wofle's very personal, revelatory essay in "The Creative Process" edited by Brewster Ghiselin. Also try Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again".

I am sure Mark Twain, Hemmingway et al, had similar experiences.
damien wrote:

Len, you're the best of America and your last comment shows up only too well your humanity and intellect. Let's hope for better times for the US and for all of us.

I hope I can live up to that high standard. I still hold out hope that this dark curtain will be drawn one day to reveal a new dawn. We might be reborn if we can but stop Bush. If I may be so bold as to quote you from the comment you referred to in your reply to Fuzzflash:

It's right to call it Howard's 'war cabinet', but you've got the wrong war. There will likely be an (unjustified) attack against Iran by the US and Israel in the first half of this year which will not be contained and may even generate WW3 (it's that bad!). This has been in the planning for some time now. People have no idea of the policy commitment at the highest levels of the US government for this attack to take place. It will be a huge attack, likely involving ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons.

Sadbuttrue, you wrote:

America as an ideal may have passed away with the bizarre 1886 Supreme Court interpretation of the 14th amendment, one that declared a corporation to be a person under law.

Indeed, treating a legal abstraction as if it were a real person is not merely absurd, it is the source of almost everthing that has gone wrong with what is disgenuously called *free enterprise".

SadButTrue said...

..what is disgenuously called *free enterprise" would more accurately be known as corporate feudalism.

BenMerc said...

Well, you know SADBT because we are allowed to set up our apple carts we are supposed to believe we live in a free-market free-enterprise economy.
I think you hit the nail on the head, simple but accurate: Corporate Feudalism. Is that your linguistic rendering?
And I have a feeling "they" really don't have a problem with it being described as such.

Fuzzflash said...

Thanks for the recommendations, Len. Off to Brisbane next week “to see a man about a dog” so while there I’ll pop into Brian Laver’s anarchist bookshop in the West End. He’s always stocks the good stuff. You may recall from your youth a Grand Slam tennis Titan called Rod “Rocket” Laver, the Roger Federer of his day. Brian is his brother. Amazing how two bros who shared the same nest followed such contrasting passions. Funny old world.

OK, Mr."Linguistically Rendered" Benmerc, SadButTrue and yes, you too Damien/kenj…..have I got a great read for you!

With all this discussion about “free-enterprise”, “corporate feudalism” and “Free-market free enterprise economies” this essay couldn’t be more timely. It’s posted on Jan 28 on trueblueliberal(cf link on Len’s homepage) and is worth it for the sheer reading pleasure let alone the VICIOUS wit and broad spectrum erudition of the author, Geoff Mullen. It’s posted alongside a logo of Mongomery Burns and is titled “Are Businessmen Evil”. Suggest a print down and leisurely read as there are 60 footnotes best referenced as one proceeds.

It is as well written as any review in NYROB, but essentially more impish, especially if you like lots of LOLs.

Dante Lee, your link don’t work no more and you’ve been awful quiet this week. Que pasa, hombre?

Len Hart said...

Fuzzflash, indeed, I remember Rod Laver and your analogy with Federer is on the money.

Amazing how two bros who shared the same nest followed such contrasting passions.

Indeed! Have been watching some interesting Tennis of late. Also --some really, really spectacular SNOOKER recently at the Master's tournament at Wembley. Snooker, of course, is rare in America, if at all. It was most certainly all but unkown in Houston where Eight Ball is common. I followed the tournament and predicted early that the final showdown would pit Ronnie O'Sullivan against Ding Junhui. O'Sullivan's eventual win was nothing short of spectacular. The Telegraph describes it: "Former world champion John Parrott, in his capacity as a BBCtv analyst and a tournament winner in nine different countries, also said: Ronnie gave Ding a beating and a beating of maximum proportions.

Modern "corporatism" is, indeed, corporate feudalism. On the other hand, real feudalism is preferable to mordern fascism or "corporatism" by any name. I have not liked corporations, in general, since having to work for some in order to make a living. The corporate footprint on the media is epecially pernicious. I cite Fox and Clear Channel in evidence. On a more McLouchnesque note

Sebastien Parmentier said...

All right, all right.. I'm back!

I just arrived in New York with my Penske truck... from Los Angeles.
What an amazing trip: not a drop of rain... not much traffic... just a walk in a park for the whole 2500 miles, done in 3 days only. Just amazing.
By the way, you guys won't probably believe me but I swear this story is true: when crossing northern Texas, a few miles after Armadillo, the country started to stink insanely. See, i had my share of living not far from some chemical industries, and you all know what it's like to smell that "horse shit" smell for a few miles on a highway somewhere... Well, this town I'm about to tell you the name smelled insanely bad, and I am not making this up in order to make it funnier. This was human manure. There was no place for mistake. it just smelled like you've just finished doing it, and you would just stay there, in the restroom, without flushing it. Just plain horrible... for at least 15 good miles. Then my wife and I read which town we were crossing: Bushland. I am not making this up...

Oh, I wanted to share this I read in the news that made me laugh quite a bit:

"When we -- as the president did, for example, recently -- deploy another aircraft carrier task force to the Gulf, that sends a very strong signal to everybody in the region that the United States is here to stay, that we clearly have significant capabilities, and that we are working with friends and allies as well as the international organizations to deal with the Iranian threat," Cheney said.

"We" is for Dick Cheney. What a slip! Now I know the code...

And for Fuzz, my link has changed. I asked len to change it but I guess he forgot... :(

it's:
http://boucheabush.blogspot.com/

Enjoy.

And Len, we need to talk!

Vierotchka said...

Dante Lee, I've posted a link to your site, I hope you don't mind. Just click on my name to check it out. :)

Sebastien Parmentier said...

thank you for the honor! Now, if Len could update that link...

;)

damien said...

Just following up on the Aussie press and it's treatment of Iran issues. I had been posting extensively in one blog at The Age (a Melbourne daily) debunking the myriad of lies about Iran. It must have done some good. The following day they published a sensible, balanced editorial which repeated a number of my arguments. There had been no other discussion or recent articles about Iran so I can only assume that some of my ideas had been getting through to the editors.

Not so with our national daily, The Australian, which unequivocally shills for war against Iran. They also published this article (in its entirety) by Yossi Klein Halevi & Michael B. Oren arguing the case for attacking Iran. Mostly it was a discussion of alleged military threats from a nuclear-armed Iran against Israel. While I would dispute certain details of alleged fact, it was always open to these writers to argue their case that there might arise a military threat from Iran at some future date.

What was offensive - and indicative of the editorial stance of The Australian - were two points arising in the final paragraphs:

"There is no debate among Israelis, however, about the wisdom of negotiations between the West and Iran. That, defense officials agree, would be the worst of all options. Negotiations that took place now would be happening at a time when Iran feels ascendant: The time to have negotiated with Iran, some say, was immediately after the initial U.S. triumph in Iraq, not now, when the United States is losing the war. Under these circumstances, negotiations would only buy the regime time to continue its nuclear program. Talks would create baseless hope, undermining the urgency of sanctions. And resuming negotiations with the Iranian regime — despite its repeated bad faith in previous talks over its nuclear program — would send the wrong message to the Iranian people: that the regime has international legitimacy and that resisting it is futile."

What is this? - an in principle denial of the right of Iranians to their own national sovereignty? Calls for the overthrow of a democratically elected government? Bombs are ok, but negotiations and a peaceful resolution are not?

The authors raise the issue of Holocaust denial- always an over-rated political item:

Holocaust denial is also aimed at the West, which many Muslims believe supports Israel only because of Holocaust guilt. Strip away that guilt, and Israel is defenseless. "The resolution of the Holocaust issue will end in the destruction of Israel," commented Mohammad Ali Ramin, head of a new Iranian government institute devoted to Holocaust denial.

Leaving aside Israel's 'defenselessness' with its 100 (200?) nuclear weapons, the argument of Holocaust denial by a few noisy Iranian religious leaders is not a good legal or moral basis for bombing any country. "Strip away that guilt, and Israel is defenseless." Ridiculous and dangerous reasoning. Holocaust denial is objectionable. But there is no reason to believe that 70 million Iranians hold those views, or that they have a genocidal commitment against Israel. One need only recall the 2003 fax sent to the US from Iran (via the Swiss) offering open-ended discussions, withdrawal of military support for Hamas, recognition of the state of Israel and open inspections of Iran's civil nuclear program. But no, the only safe course of action is to bomb them.

And this, our leading Aussie newspaper, uncritically endorses. The Murdoch press. Shameful.

Phillybits said...

Len,

Looking at some of those charts on global opinion of the US on issues such as Iraq, Global warming, and Foreign policy, it appears that countries with sustained, high economic stability (Great Britain, Australia, China, etc) showed the greatest voiced disapproval with the US whereas countries that (and I haven't done the research yet; just running on a hunch) voiced with little disapproval appeared to be countries that may not be as economically better off than China or the UK; The Phillipines, Lebanon, Nigeria, etc.

I was wondering your thoughts on that and if you felt, or knew, if some of the later mentioned countries receive US foreign aid and if it's plausible to think that the continuance of that aid is co-dependent on a "buddy-buddy" type relationship with one country caught by the balls and unable to speak out.

Fuzzflash said...

Good on yer Damien, Here's some support from our little mate EnCom, which was published at the end of The Age blog which you(kenj) were the first comment.

"I'm with you, Judge Dread. After taking the time to follow the links in kenj's comments I think he makes a lot of sense.
Since WWII, no major Australian Govt. Foreign Policy decisions have been undertaken without the imprimatur of the Pentagon. Richard Armitage laid it down for Johnny when he visited Oz just prior to the pre-emptive invasion and occupation of Iraq. Korea, Vietnam ,("All The Way With LBJ"), we coundn't even send troops to East Timor in 1999, without the presence of a large US warship lurking near Dili. (The 1975 Indonesian invasion of East Timor was OK'd by Kissinger and Gerald Ford). So Johnny will roll over and do what he's told or there'll be no more sleepovers at Crawford Ranch.


Meanwhile, Bush is behaving like a gambling addict who's just mortgaged America's future on a wrong bet in Iraq. The prospect of a Gulf of Tonkin incident/beat-up/casus belli being manufactured in the Persian Gulf is high indeed, if you take a good look at the bellicose behavior of BushCo over the last 5 years, and the desperation that Bush is displaying in trying to salvage his miserable legacy. Besides, BushCo's perception managers, The Rendon Group, are perfectly positioned to handle something as big as this. Familiarity with the personel and philosophies of PNAC, Project for a New American Century, will prove most enlightening on kenj's main points.

Yes, I believe kenj has made a creditable case for US Forces whacking Iran at the prompting of Johnny's bestest pal, the Decider-In-Chief, sometime later this year.

Rule of law and David Xavier, you need to research more before reflexly defending a flawed and fading leader like J. Winston Howard.

Posted by: Enemy Combatant at January 27, 2007 4:02 PM "

Damien, there have been some blistering exchanges going on over at Larvatus Prodeo under the header: "Rule of Law a Casualty in Howard's Culture War". I urge you to read Sir Henry Casingbroke's last comments. Inspirational stuff.

Dante Lee, am smypatico with your reaction to the insult to your sense of olfaction while traversing Texas near Bushland. It's not so long till doucheabush, mon ami. Only then will America start to smell better.

Fuzzflash said...

Oops, damien that should read "Henderson's Culture Wars". Sometimes it's easy to confuse the individual participants in a daisy chain of generic malfeasants.

damien said...

..."Rule of law" is a ranting right winger who's main claim is that David Hicks' detention is all legal. David Xavier is a ranting "bomb Iran,bless Israel" fanatic. Both are fact free so they are easy pickings, but their passion carries weight with less informed readers. They're a nuisance.

Sebastien Parmentier said...

For those who have already dismissed a possible future Russia Vs Usa as some old cold war story, perhaps Condi and her Russian studies can soon be of some help as things seem to heat up between all this muscle flexing:

Putin pledges effective response to U.S. anti-missile plan

Sebastien Parmentier said...

Oh... that's interesting. Picked up from the article I linked in my previous post, this curious last words:
[...] The U.S. has proposed stationing a radar station in the Czech Republic and a battery of rockets in Poland to detect and shoot down hostile missiles, which the Pentagon says could be fired from Iran in the future.

Wow. It makes fucking sense now: Attacking and invading Iran was part of our missile shield program all along!

SadButTrue said...

I didn't use the term Corporate Feudalism, but I did expound the theory and compared the feudal caste system that incited the American Revolution with its modern day counterpart last June at Friendly Neighbour. Brave New World A couple of points I should have made then, but omitted.

- Like their eighteenth century counterparts, the modern 'nobility' has nothing but disdain for their underlings whose work, after all sustains their wealth. Remember that perjorative words like churl and villain were once mere neutral descriptions of lowly class status.

- Like their predecessors, the corporatists make great displays of their patriotic fervour locally, but their foreign interests expose the fact that their loyalty is skin deep. Under the feudal system one could inveigle one's bloodline into the peerage by service (usually military) and oaths of fealty to the crown, but to sustain one's dynasty over generations it was always necessary to intermarry with the nobility from neighbouring countries. This accounts for the crown heads of Great Britain historically coming from Danish, French and German (the current House of Windsor) antecedents. Recall also that the monarchs of World War I - King Edward V of England, The Tsar Nicholas, and the Kaiser Wilhelm were all related. While their armies engaged in the mutual meat grinder of trench warfare, they continued to exchange cordial correspondence.

If you decide to go to Friendly and read the article you should click on the link 'Cheneys Betting on Bad News.' It's a real eye-opener (from P.O.A.C)

Sebastien Parmentier said...

My god this president sucks:

More and more Medicare beneficiaries would have to pay higher premiums for coverage of prescription drugs and doctors’ services under President Bush’s 2008 budget, to be unveiled on Monday.[...]

[...]In addition, the president will ask Congress to “eliminate annual indexing of income thresholds,” so that more people would eventually have to pay the higher premiums.

In the past, Mr. Bush has proposed trimming Medicare payments to health care providers for a few years, but now he proposes to make the cutbacks permanent, so that hospitals and nursing homes would never receive a full update for inflation.


The pentagon wants $650 billion including $145 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan. Money does not grow on trees: the poor, the sick and... the seniors will pay for that war.

Geez, that something that will sure please the GOP base...

Len Hart said...

Shimon Peres was recently grillled by the BBC`s John Sebastien as well as an audience of young folk from the Middle East. Peres was largely on the defensive and often sounded unconvincing. Many Israeli positions are hypocritical and indefensible. Peres did, however, make an interesting point with regard to divisions among those representing Palestinians and, likewise, what Peres called the government within a government in Lebanon. He promised peace would be virtually guaranteed if Israel had but one entity in each case with which to negotiate.

Sebastien Parmentier said...

Bush wants 247 billions for wars:
http://boucheabush.blogspot.com/

Len Hart said...

Thanks for the link, Dante. I have written some four or five articles off line which I hope to upload soon. Still in the works is a piece about Bush's budget -the staggering price of the Iraq war specifically. Coupled with his refusal to rescind the corporate give-aways is a recipe for disaster.

damien said...

This is what we want to hear across all our media!

Sebastien Parmentier said...

great link damien.

Sebastien Parmentier said...

yes, yes. Now you know. Sebastien parmentier is my real name. "Dante Lee" is my cartoon pseudo. I had to clear up things for the sake of my sanity and my blog...

You guys can still call me what you want -except "frenchy", I hate that one - is sebastien is too long to type.

You guys are like family now. So I decided to come out... well , about my name of course...

it's just that, since i signed up with Google as the engine for my blogger, signing up with"dante lee" was a real mess, involving many steps before I can comment...

Fuzzflash said...

Len, great to hear you'll soon be back with some fresh posts. You're the sparkman, we're the kindling, time for a nice big campfire to gather 'round and chew the fat again.

Damien, wonderful link to Tony Swindle's essay. He's a superb writer. The My Lai massacre in 'Nam perpetrated by Major"Mad Dog" Medina and Lt.William Calley is etched deeply into my psyche. As was the attempted cover up at the time by Col. Colin Powell( 7th Americal Divn., Da Nang). More than 400 Vietnamese women and children were herded and slaughtered before, as Tony Swindle documents:

"Hugh was a helicopter pilot who aimed his guns at American soldiers--members of my brigade -- to keep them from slaughtering civilians in the Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai 4. Spotting massacred civilians around My Lai, Thompson and his two-man crew landed beside wounded civilians to give medical help as the infantry company commander and others present kept shooting the wounded. Thompson ordered his crew to open fire if the slaughter continued. No more civilians were shot."

Shortly after the My Lai story broke in Oz MSM , I was involved in a motor cycle accident on Bondi Road , just around the corner from where John Pilger grew up. Lost consciousness after multiple fractures. As the ambos tried to revive me , my pillion, an old mate, was stunned by the vehemence of my reaction to them .

“Don’t shoot, DON’T SHOOT ME !, I screamed, I’m a civilian, I’M JUST A CIVILIAN.

Et Monsieur Parmentier, pen in claw you’re armed and dangerous and all linked up again. Formidable! As long as you don’t mind if I call you Dante de temps en temps.
Any other outstanding memories for us from your East Coast trip?

Hey Sad, Madame Flash has got me watching a show called Corner Gas on the telly. Took me a couple of episodes to get the speed, but now, wouldn’t miss it for quids. The characters are my kind of weird. Are you a fan?

Sebastien Parmentier said...

Sorry Buz, I live happily without the telly. I haven’t got one since 9/11 as a matter of fact. What else can beat the action, the drama, the politics, the Hollywood factor, and the commercial value of that infamous day (I even saw collector coins about 9/11 from which the nickel and copper is mixed with some molten scrap metal from ground zero… in the Reader’s Digest!!!) .

Sorry to sound snob, but the telly is an insult to my and the American public intelligence.
As a matter of fact, if you go to my blog for a minute, I invite you to check this video taken by a talented seventeen years old school girl, Kiri Davis, with her devastating take on the influence of TV on children (she doesn’t mention about TV itself, but it is obvious that the biases that these poor children learn are learned from the evil screen).

Anyway, not having a TV is good for my studies and my marriage alike. More time to read and talk. I also spend more time cooking elaborate things and play basketball outside to dump the extra calories.

As for trip story, I don’t have much. I covered the United States from Los Angeles to New York in a mere three days under a perfect sun all the way. Not a drop of rain. Unbelievable. No traffic either. Not even a minute a parking lot time in the middle of the freeway. It felt as easy as crossing just a couple of state. My wife and I are still all bewildered about it. The funny thing was, as we read the newspapers, we saw rain and gusts falling on the area behind us. Perhaps this ugly weather tried to chase us as Orion is chasing the Pleiades in vain…

One story I do remember, though:
In the front door of a “Cracker Barrel” restaurant in Virginia, the owners of the joint felt plastering a whole 11x8 letter, explaining how great this restaurant was for their amazing color skin blindness. “Here, we proudly serve everyone, whatever race they are!!”. I paraphrase, but that was just along those lines… I can’t believe they had to justify themselves this way. My wife and I were stunned.

Well, what else can you expect from Virginia, the first state that opted out from the Union, the place where “the birth of a Nation was shot”…

Sebastien Parmentier said...

Bush is thinking of someone to talk to the UN about proofs of WMDs in Iran:

http://boucheabush.blogspot.com/

damien said...

I've been following the mistrial of Lt Watada (1 2 3).

I came across these comments from Drgrishka1:

War's legality is not up to Lt. Watada or the jury. War's legality has been conclusively and irrebuttably established by Congressional action. Consequently, any "evidence" to the contrary is completely irrelevant since as a matter of law, it cannot change the fact that the issue of legality is settled.

and

Under our system of law, if Congress and the President authorize the war, it is legal. End of story. That determination is placed SOLELY within their authority and is unchallengeable in ANY court. That is our Constitutional structure.

I don't know what to make of this, but I would have thought that US juries were not just 'tryers of fact' but had it within their power to reject directions about the law in relation to the handling of those facts, if they believed such a law to be unconstitutional. For example, I can't see why a jury should accept a denial of habeas corpus argument simply because the Military Commissions Act 2006 denies the jurisdiction of any courts at all. Such a jury could, in my view, say "we believe the MCA2006 to be in conflict with the Constitution on this point."

Similarly, I would be surprised if there weren't some aspects of US legislation (War Crimes Act, Geneva etc) or Nuremberg principles etc that could be appealed to by any US citizen seeking to deny the legality of any US war - whether deemed so by Congress and the President or otherwise.

I mean, if Marjorie Cohn was trying to give evidence on the legality of the Iraq war at the Watada trial then I would imagine that there must have been at least a legal basis for providing such evidence.

Any views all? Len?

Asass said...

Hey Len, glad you are ok, emails have been bouncing. please write me tell me how you are doing/
Amy Sasser

Fuzzflash said...

Damien,
"But for now, he (Lt. Watada) continues to be an active-duty soldier, reporting for work every day at Fort Lewis". What a courageous man Watada is. He'll need to have someone watch his back. Real heroes like he can help change history.

I don't know what Cheney's schedule is when he condescends down under in 2 weeks to publicly pat his grovelling South Pacific poodle. Gee I hope enough people take to the streets to give the bastard a bit of what for. No doubt you saw The Imbecile's wannabe proctologist, Johnny "The Rodent" Howard, go off his brain at the "officially nominated" Obama when Barack said he's out to have all the troops home next year. As usual Howard dished up the same old Manichean mindlessness that he did in the lead up to Iraq 2003. The little prick is rattled. His shoulder twitch and darting eyes are back.

Len,
Something is happening in Europe compadre, I can sense it. Hope things resolve OK soon. If not and you need a spell, there are at least four dyed-in-the-wool long time regulars here, who can't write as well as you, but whose committment is from the Dept. Of The Bleedin' Obvious, and we would be honoured to keep things rolling along with fresh posts, say, once or twice a week, till you are ready go for it again. Can't speak for the likely lads, but I'd be surprised if they didn't say aye.

You're call, Cowboy. Please tell me to desist if I’m outta line, but whether you meant to or not, you have made some friends on this trail. If you need a sabbatical, just holler, capische!?

Len Hart said...

Dante, Virginia may have been the first state to opt out of the Union, but arguably it might have been the first state to opt in to begin with. Of course, Boston was the hot bed of revolutionar fervor but it was Virginia that gave us James Madison, the Father of the Constitution. Madison wrote the first draft of the Constitution as well as the first ten amendments called the Bill of Rights.

Fuzzflash, things are indeed happening in Europe and I have been quite busy. I have at last a computer and will be back on line soon. In the meantime, I have drafts of several articles that should be appearing reasonably soon. A team blog is still in the offing but, from this computer, I am having problem accessing my admin page yet again. All that will be changing, I promise. When I am able to set it all up, I will be honored to "the lads" post here as authors.

I am honored to have made friends on this trail...and by no means are you "outta" line. The conversations you guys have left here have made this blog what it is. I look forward to getting back on line with my old computer in order to make it all happen.

SadButTrue said...

Fuzzflash, I don't watch much TV, but I've heard good things about Corner Gas. Canada has a somewhat sassier product than our southern neighbours, due to less censorship concern for sex, and more for violence. Another show I would like to see, but just never seem to be able to make the time, is a new sitcom called 'Little Mosque on the Prairie.' Just what it sounds like, it has a young Imam going to Saskatchewan to preside over a tiny congregation of new immigrants to Canada. The trailer has a scene where the young girl of the family comes into a room where her Islamic fundy grandfather catches her on her way to school.
Grandfather - "Are you going out like that? I can see your belly-button. You look like a Protestant."
Young girl - "Don't you mean prostitute?"
GF - "No, I meant Protestant."

Damien, the government threw the case in Ehren Watada's trial. Took a dive, hit the canvas, whatever. Lt. Col. John Head (whose first and last names, BTW, are synonyms for 'toilet') announced day one of the trial that the overall legality of the war was not in question, and excluded all Watada's witnesses that might address this central issue of the charge. Since no legal procedure whatsoever accompanied that ruling, it was a given that Watada would have had grounds for an appeal where the legality of the war would have been at issue. Long story short - it had as high a probability of landing Bush/Cheney in jail as Watada.

My opinion - I'm not a lawyer, but this seems so obvious...

damien said...

You gotta be careful what you offer, Len. I'm thinking of a couple of in depth posts on David Icke and 'the hermeneutics of lizards'. Thanks, SadBT. Fuzzflash, one lives in hope for some decent Tasmanian hunting accidents.

Sebastien Parmentier said...

I was just reading somewhere that “the Vice President has perfected the art of selective belief”. What hubris.

Political ideas are so twentieth century; alongside lust for power. Believing that the Bushistes actually do stand somewhere on issues is inimical for our democracy: it is playing the same game as our daily media that have already fell for the fiction that this administration is indeed composed of real politicians rather than corporate puppets.

Dick does not believe in anything except making tons of money for him and his richest friends. Greed is his only ethos; the same is true as well for Dick’s “mini-me” – George W. Bush.

But this greed, in order to succeed, must be veiled under a political semblance, under a ideological program, in order to make us believe than this administration indeed has political beliefs. And what better tactic for making us believe that bushists do believe in political axioms and rhetoric than uttering outrageous ones – such as Dick Cheney's “we’re making magnificent progress in Iraq”, during his now infamous interview on CNN.

Please folks, don’t get fooled. The task is to oust, to try and to serve those oil and corporate Mafiosi their comeuppance; those gangsters who have successfully transformed the White House into a corporate emporium while painting it as the spearhead in the fight for democracy in the world. And, in order to do so successfully, our frame of mind must be to staunchly disbelieve anything these crooks might say, but also to understand that especially they, too, are not believing a bit what they are saying.

..................

Yes Len, you are right about Virginia. But I do remember also that it was from a Virgina port that Theodore Roosevelt launched his "white fleet" to tour the world, in order to parade the newly created Empire - some may say only inside the United States minds, but the Philippines were soon to realize the truth of this new status.

damien said...

WeazelsRevenge always has some interesting articles and this one is about a Feb 11 report in the Murdoch owned Aussie press that talks about Iran having 'suicide drones' - planes without pilots - that are supposedly available to attack US naval craft in the Gulf region. The article does not seem to have been taken up by the US media which is interesting in itself. But the source for the 'news' item was an Iranian agency called Mehr which is a California based group of Iranian expatriates seeking to overturn the current government. Da Weez cites some articles from their website: "Why is the Islamic Regime still alive?, The Role of Smart Sanction in Fight against the Islamic Regime, "Third Option”, Regime Change by Iranians, Islamic Regime of Iran must not be supported and welcomed to the world community, Petition to urge the World Bank not to Recognize the Islamic Regime as the Representative of Iranian People and stop awarding it with Loans, Do not Recognize the Islamic Regime as the Representative of Iranian People."

Ok, so it's propaganda. But it could provide useful 'evidence' should any US naval craft come to grief in the Gulf. Remember the Maine?

Len Hart said...

Dante, I am sure that the issue of slavery had much to do with changing attitudes in what became the US. It is no accident that the southern red states were also, for the most part, the Southern confederacy. It was fashionable just a few years ago to trash Thomas Jefferson because he did not free his own slaves and, secondly, did not expressly condemn the institution of slavery in official language. I cannot and will not make excuses for Thomas Jefferson.

However, I am convinced that he himself loathed the practice and might have freed his own slaves had there been any future for them at all. Keep in mind, that even white "indentured servants" fared little better than slaves. The institution became increasingly racist, however, as the southern economy become increasingly dependent upon it. And, yes, some southern slave holders were unbearably cruel and sadistic à la "Uncle Tom's Cabin". Others were paternal, if never kind. Nothing said about it, however, ameliorates this pernicious institution and, most certainly, it took a horrific war to end the practice.

Back to Jefferson, his words "...all men are created equal" was not just an empty phrase. I would like to think that Jefferson hoped to establish a principle -if not a precedent -that might be built upon when the time came to rid the US of slavery. Seen in yet a larger context, I refer the reader to the texts of Martin Luther King's address during the civil rights march on Washington. It was pure Jeffersonian ideals. Sadly, sometimes, one is redeemed only posthumously. Still, unlike many another who like to trash Jefferson, I judge him by his intentions, his lasting ideas and ideals.

Sebastien Parmentier said...

Indeed Len, Jefferson was for the United States what perhaps Karl Marx for the proletarians – if I stretch it. Ok, I'm stretching it. But you did say. "Jefferson hoped to establish a principle"... I totally understand what you mean. This ethos flourished for a while. But 70 years of Supreme Court rulings worked to erase that work as you know it.

Alright, friends, we have good news today. First this smack on one Bush’s cheek about how relentless diplomatic work can do miracle:

North Korea to Close Reactor in Exchange for Raft of Aid
Second, a bitch smack on Bush’s second cheek:

Skeptics Doubt U.S. Evidence on Iran Action in Iraq
Ouch. Bush and Cheney are going to start to look for a replacement to Colin Powell’s good smile, credibility, and, as Colin were, skilled as well with the slide show format to justify an attack on Iran at the UN. Perhaps Dick Cheney is thinking of Al Gore…

Fuzzflash said...

Yeah, Dante, a whole heap of oxygen just got sucked out of the Axis Of Evil. Kim played Junior for the little league schmendrick that he so patently is. SurgeMan. Pump him up. Pin him down. Schtupp him stupid. Wash. Hang out to dry. Over to you America.


Anyone seen "Babel" yet? Absolutely bloody brilliant. The editing, soundtrack, and acting are first class. Blanchett and Pitt are excellent as are the rest of the cast. Pretty Boy can actually act, which came as a welcome surprise.

Loved 21 grams, also by Babel diector, Alehandro Gonzales Inarritu, but this is better.

Fuzzflash said...

Congratulations Sad, this is a snippet from ABC news (Oz)

"Canada approves legislation enforcing Kyoto
By Richard Reynolds

The Canadian Parliament has passed a remarkable private member's bill that will force the minority Government to see through its commitments under the Kyoto environmental protocol.
Unlike Australia, Canada did sign the Kyoto protocol, but has made virtually no progress toward meeting its substantial commitments."

Unfortunately, Damien and I and other southern biospherics have to wait till PM Johnny "The Rodent" Howard, Barack Obama's new bestest pal, gets the arse in our Federal Election later this year. There is a very good chance that our Green Party will hold the balance of power in our Senate(Upper House)after this election. Then Australia will sign Kyoto.

Malheureusement, the world will have to wait for demise of The Imbecile ( Go Gore,GO) till the Land of the Free(tee-hee)comes to the party. Hope that big white bear on your avatar, and all the other critters not yet extinct can hold on till then. That clock on "24" clicks not for terrorists, it clicks for TERRA, our one and only precious orb. Pity the fucken morons who make "24" can't get their grasping claws and peanut brains around that.

Sebastien Parmentier said...

Seen Babel for a while now. Brilliant indeed. Made me think deep all the way back home. I'm glad I saw it alone.

Never liked 21 Grams, though.

damien said...

On this greenhouse thing, I have no reason to doubt the large number of scientists who say that, "yes, the earth is warming up". It's the second part, "it's all due to human activity", that I'm not sure about. Just to be clear, I am prepared to believe this is completely true unless science shows otherwise (since I've never really studied the issue in any depth). But I did come across a couple of items claiming that it's all due to increased sunspot activity. I pass these on by way of general interest: 1 2 3

Sebastien Parmentier said...

Come on, Damien, you know better! The trebling in number of asthma cases in children in the last five years has nothing to do with any increased activity from the sun!
Furthermore, what the articles you posted conveniently – and incredibly! - omitted, it’s that the insane level of Co2 in the Earth atmosphere rose alongside the Earth’s surface temperature. If you look at a graph –I’ll find one later for you – they follow each other alongside…

Fuzzflash said...

Damien,I enjoy the way you “pass these on by way of general interest”, like lobbing a threepenny bunger into some hapless old lady’s letter box. Not that for one moment do I think that you’re coming the raw prawn here, so I went to “The Google” for a geeze. Found this in Media Matters For America.

"Fri, Sep 23, 2005 4:11pm EST
Selectively quoting from Telegraph article, Limbaugh again misled on global warming
On the September 21 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh selectively read from a year-old article to falsely suggest that a 2004 study by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research found that an increase in solar brightness is the sole cause of global warming. In fact, the article, which appeared in the London Telegraph on July 18, 2004, specifically noted that the study's lead author did not believe increased solar brightness was responsible for the dramatic rise in global temperatures over the past 20 years; according to the parent organization of the group that conducted the study, solar brighteness "plays only a minor role in the current global warming." As Media Matters for America has noted, Limbaugh has a history of promoting the idea that humans are not the cause of global warming.
After falsely claiming that the Telegraph article was published "today [September 21]," Limbaugh quoted only from the year-old article's misleading opening paragraphs.
From the September 21 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: A story from the UK Telegraph today:
"The Truth About Global Warming. Global warming has finally been explained: the earth is getting hotter because the sun is burning more brightly than at any time during the past 1,000 years, according to new research.
"A study by Swiss and German scientists suggests that increasing radiation from the sun is responsible for recent global climate changes.
"Dr. Sami Solanki, Director of the renowned Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, who led the research, said, 'The sun has been at its strongest over the past 60 years and may now be affecting global temperatures.' "
Has to be the case, because there's global warming on Mars.
But Limbaugh did not read several portions of the article that contradict its misleading first few paragraphs, which suggest that only the sun is to blame for global warming. For example, Limbaugh did not inform readers that according to the Telegraph, "Dr Solanki said that the brighter Sun and higher levels of 'greenhouse gases,' such as carbon dioxide, both contributed to the change in the Earth's temperature but it was impossible to say which had the greater impact."

Worse still mate, is that my rigorous “university controlled” search found zippo evidence of Dr. Sami “Solar” Solanki ever contradicting the motor-mouthed shock jock.
May be time to get with the peer reviewed science of Dr Tim Flannery, Al Gore and Bob Brown’s team.
Just sayin….

Len Hart said...

George Galloway was on the BBC's "Doha Debates" with Tim Sebastien recently. The topic was whether or not it will take another dictatorship to pull Iraq out of chaos and quaqmire in an "apres Bush" world. Galloway was among two panelists opposing two others who supported the idea. Not surprisingly, it was a former CIA agent who supported the idea of another dictatorship for Iraq. Galloway countered that dictatorship was responsible for the present situation, adding that he does not consider the US to be the model of democracy that might be desirable for Iraq.

It is absurd to think another dictatorship will morph into Democracracy at some point. It must be pointed out that when the WMD cover story collapsed, "bringing Democracy to Iraq" was among a string of ex post facto rationales for war. None were true. All were resorted to ex post facto. None have subsequently proven true -if only by accident. Galloway challenged the audience: "Think what could be achieved if Arabs were free!" My version would specifiy freedom from western oil imperialism, freedom from radicalism, freedom from theology of all sorts.

damien said...

There was no tongue in cheek in my remarks which state exactly what I mean: "I am prepared to believe this [increased warming is due to human activity] is completely true unless science shows otherwise." That's a strong affirmation by me of the currently popular scientific view that global warming is largely driven by CO2 emissions from human activity.

I then referred to the articles because they claimed that sunspot activity was an influence on global warming to a greater or lesser extent by decreasing the sun's magnetic rays, increasing the amount of cosmic particles entering the atmosphere and reducing cloud formation. Since I have no particular scientific expertise on these matters I simply drew it to people's attention that such claims existed and were scientifically interesting in themselves.

I am fully aware that human generated CO2 emissions have been increasing and have been closely correlated with increased global warming. Undoubtedly there is a causal relation between the two. The only question that sprang to my mind was whether other activities that also correlate to increased global warming, such as sunspots activity, had a causal connection to such warming, and if they did, what was the extent of the influence of such activity.

These seem pretty reasonable sorts of questions to me. I can only repeat my earlier statement: "I am prepared to believe this [increased warming is due to human activity] is completely true unless science shows otherwise."

In the face of prima facie links between global warming and human generated CO2 emissions I see great value in dramatically cutting back on those emissions whatever the influence of sunspots. Rush Limbaugh can find his own way home.

Fuzzflash said...

Damien, you wrote:
"These seem pretty reasonable sorts of questions to me."
Yes, they are. If sunspot activity is contributing to global warming there is little we can do to directly alter that influence. My point is that Mr. Limbaugh selectively quoted Dr. Solanki's theory, inferring that it was OK for his listeners to continue to guzzle gas in their hummers and pick-ups without worrying about "compromising" their lifestyles, eg, demanding hybrid or solar-powered vehicles, or even smaller, versions of their current wagons. Let alone considering the need for renewable energy sources. In a culture that subconsciously equates schlong size with vehicle size, Rush is playing to the inadequacies of millions of his simian listeners on behalf of Big Carbon.

Several years back when the US refused to sign the Kyoto protocol on global warming, The Imbecile stated that the "American way of life will not be compromised". Mr. Limbaugh’s selective use of Dr. Solanski’s work reinforces the Bush/Big Oil manifesto. It seems strange to me (unable to find any evidence that Dr. Solanski challenged Mr. Limbaugh on his nationally broadcast blatherings) that the good Doctor did not do what other scientists do when their theories are selectively quoted in primetime.
I retract any inference that you were being disingenuous. We all share the same biosphere, Damien, and leaving as small an ecological footprint as possible is difficult enough without worrying about treading on eggshells in our neck of blogosphere. Especially with such an esteemed colleague as yourself.

Len, George Galloway is one of the finest orators of our generation. His public slapdown of Christopher Hitchens over C.H’s. shilling of the Iraq war was magnificent, as was Galloway’s facedown of the lawmaker lynchmob on Capitol Hill last year.
Says George: "Think what could be achieved if Arabs were free!"
T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia) promised them the same thing just after WW1 when he led that band of true believers against Ottoman invaders, before Big Oil interests nixed Lawrence's promise to the Arabs. France got Syria and Lebanon, The Brits got Iraq. The House of Saud cuddled up to Uncle Sammy. Westerners have been shafting Arabs over oil for nigh on a century now(let alone the lion-heartedness of Richard or Alexander's torching of Persepolis and other assorted niceities). Iran is next, unfortunately. Again. It was Kermit Roosevelt, FDR's nephew who master-minded the first US coup with the help of the CIA's Dulles boys back in 1953 when the despotic Shah of Iran was installed to puppet the leadership role before Ayatollah Khomeni and his zealots took back their country in 1979. From '53 to '79 the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company(now BP) milked Persia to the max.

“My version would specifiy freedom from western oil imperialism, freedom from radicalism, freedom from theology of all sorts.”

Seems like an impossible dream, Len, but History shows us that larger empires and more radical theocracies have fallen when people of courage refuse to rescind their hopes and dreams.
Johnny Appleseed demonstrated that there was nothing more powerful than a tree whose time to grow and fruit had come. Johnny's apple trees had the means to sustain any who journeyed by. Pete Seeger borrows his memory as a label logo in his lifelong work of defying oppressors and their functionaries, wherever they may lurk in their efforts to lord it over perceived lesser human beings.

Rurikid-Vierotchka said...

Fuzzflash, wasn't it Cheney who said that "The American way of life is not negotiable."?

Anyhoo, here is a wee bit of news - I've finally begun posting on my old/new blog (click on my name) - just like the other one, it is entertainment interspeced with politics, all in videos plus the occasional written comment. I hope y'all will like it!

Len and I are getting organized - it is no mean feat - and he should fairly soon have his computer up and running and connected to the web; we need to install WiFi cards or something in both his and my computer, I have changed the parameters of my subscription to my provider, have ordered the new modem so that we can both sail on the waves of the internet at the same time and at high speed. But all this is not as simple as it sounds, we need to traipse with our computers (heavy machines...) to a computer shop where there are technicians who can install said cards which we need to purchase, and money is fairly tight each month, so this is partly why it is taking so much time.

We are doing well, in spite of my little female cat who is going through her heat cycles, and is singing loudly all day and all night long, and is occasionally taking laviscious inviting and seductive poses like a cat on heat - which is exactly what she is! :)

Fuzzflash said...

Great to see you back and fiesty, Vera, and that you and Len will be sockin' it to 'em in cyberspace real soon.

Cheney may well have trumpeted the phrase too, but this is what "the google" tossed up.

"bopuc/weblog: There are two kinds of republicans,Cheap energy props up the 'American way of life' which will 'not be compromised' as Bush said. Funny how in a WWII people put aside their primal Need To ...
bopuc.levendis.com/weblog/archives/"

Sebastien Parmentier said...

US contingency plans for air strikes on Iran extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country's military infrastructure, the BBC has learned.

Sebastien Parmentier said...

America gardening new enemies. Meanwhile Bush is losing it:

http://boucheabush.blogspot.com/

damien said...

Some days I just feel really proud of what we're doing in Iraq. Let's hope there's a hell big enough for the people who brought us this.

SadButTrue said...

Looks like someone else likes the term corporate feudalism.

http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/2007/02/paging-jenna-notjenna-and-neo-con-spawn.html

Len Hart said...

Fuzzflash, indeed, Galloway is feisty, eloquent, intelligent. Galloway recognizes no box. He's an original.

Among the culprits you have named, western imperialism has produced the most pernicious blowback, a trend that traces back to Richard the Lion Heart. Oil has driven western ambitions since whale blubber heated chilly northern homes. Pennsylvania crude changed the world but the fields soon ran dry. As an oil producing state, PA was replaced by Texas when Spindletop gushered in a new oil age.

But oil is an unbridaled, unchecked genie -a force for good or evil and, lately, evil. An Iranian diplomat told me recently that oil was a curse. Readers of "1001 Arabian Nights" will know the truth of that. Ambitious nations will do anything to get oil. Hitler, for example, cited various pre-texts to invade Poland but all were lies except his malignant thirst for energy at any price. Poland did not have oil. It did have coal from which synthetic fuels could be derived. Hitler needed that fuel for his Panzers and Messerschmitts.

Kegan tells us that Hitler's biggest blunder may have been his failure to supply Rommel who was poised to strike from across North Africa into the rich oil fields of the Middle East. (see: John Keegan, "How Hitler Could Have Won the War: The Drive for the Middle East, 1941") Hitler's biggest blunder still haunts the modern world. But is the Middle East better off for having escaped enslavement by the Third Reich?

It's easy to imagine Bush and his neocon, radical cabal vowing in private never to repeat Hitler's mistake. There is no cause for concern on their part. They have promptly made their own mistakes and worse. If I were an average citizen in the Middle East, what difference would it make to me whether I am enslaved by Hitler or by Bush and the American corporate apparatus?

It's easy to make the case that Bush has made terrorism worse by continuing to enslave this region for the oil profits. There's a lot of blame to go around. The term "Bush" must include his Saudi partners and others throughout the region who have literally lined up for bribes and booty. I cannot look at the absurd architecture that is now Dubai without thinking of the human price that paid for it all.

But what if Arabs were truly free? The likes of Saudi royals -among the first to line up for the booty -might be out of a cushy job. The Saudis might find it more difficult to partner with Bush ilk whenever it suits them. On the flip side, radical Islam might find it more diffult to exploit western stupidity in order to sell middle eastern stupidity.

Fat chance. Both sides (or many) are enthrall to an evil genie which opens the oil spigot upon an imperial command: open sesame!

New lamps for old, anyone?

Len Hart said...

Reported to have have been an avid Risk player, Bush has been playing the wrong game in Iraq. He's not been playing risk. He's been playing chess and he's lost. As in Risk and Poker, Bush has tried recently to raise the stakes with a renewed attack on the old "Axis of Evil", Iran specifically. Wrong game! Checkmated players don't have the option of raising the stakes. The game is lost and Bush doesn't even know it.

The "surge" raises the stakes, alright, but on the wrong hand -a hand Bush doesn't have. In real terms, the US position with regard to Iran weakened over time and Iran rushed into fill the vacuum. Inspired by Bush's bone-headed campaign of villification, Iran is now positioned to form an alliance with Iraq's Shi'ite majority -if it has not done so already.

This move may have already alienated the Sunnis -Bushco's tradition allies and oil partners elsewhere in the Middle East. Indeed, the Iraq civil war has been underway for some time now. If Sunnis were complicit in US exploitation prior to the US invasion of Iraq, they must surely be re-thinking their position vis a vis Bush and Co.

On another topic...Paul Revere rode through Massachusetts yelling "The British are comming!" Who rides through Iraq to inform: "The British are leaving"? It's the timing of the exit that is interesting, comming as it does during Bush's surge. Of course, Bush tried to put a smiley face on it -and so did Blair.

Personally, I think Blair is thinking of his legacy. Blair had been widely praised as Britain's most brilliant politician since Maggie Thatcher, perhaps since Churchill, Disraeli, Gladstone. Perhaps. But as Blair's pre-911 glory days are obscured by recent less glorious events, a label has stuck on Blair: Bush's Poodle.

On a brighter side, however, there is little downside risk to Blair's decision to pull troops out of Iraq. Brits have soured on the war as have Americans. Getting out is a no brainer for anyone but Bush. Of course, there may be cynical motivations. This is politics. There are always cynical motives and that is my cynical opinion. A savvy politician will, of course, get out before things get worse.

But will it salvage Blair's legacy? Will it do so in time?

No. Nothing can do that.

Blair has no choice but to accept responsibility for helping Bush create the training ground for real terrorism. His pull out of troops from Basra won't re-write history, nor is there any indication that terrorism will ever return to norms that civilization might tolerate, survive, or moderate.

It all has a tragic Shakespearean quality to it. There is no joy in Blair's fall. There is only sorrow at the loss of promise. Unlike Bush, Blair had redeeming qualities that might have changed Britain and the world for better. Alas and sigh!

Len Hart said...

Thanks all for the links, all. Sebastien, always great toons! Indeed, Damien, when criminals rule, the rule itself is criminal. That is as true in Washington as in Baghdad.

Thanks also to Sadbuttrue for the update on "corporate feudalism". Upon reflection, I am inclined to prefer medieval feudalism. I have in mind the standard picture of the local "Lord" who resides in the castle and, in return for services rendered, rules and protects the serfs who live inside the walls or who toil the fields outside. The earth has produced worse systems than feudalism; modern "corporatism" will prove to be among them. Especially, if corporate mendacity destroys the earth through global warming. Finally, modern "corporate serfs" do not enjoy the protections afforded Medieval serfs. The modern American corporation has eschewed any responsibility in the area of what is referred to as "welfare" and left it to the government which, under GOP rule, has, likewise, passed the buck by attacking Social Security, opposing rational minimum wages, and, in other ways treated corporations (mere legal abstractions) as if they were individual people.

In the meantime, would someone please stop Bush before he drops a nuke. Several credible reports say that Bush has already decided to nuke Iran before he leaves office. It appears that he cannot be stopped though is support is now down to a population segment described by Carl Jung. It consists of morons and psyhos and amounts to about 30 percent of a given population. Has this exposed a fatal flaw in the American system, heretofore touted for its sophisticated system of checks and balances? Has it all broken down forever?

A way must be found to stop Bush from blowing up the world. The 25th amendment is often citied but in desparation. In any case, it is inadequate to deal with the double threat of Bush and Cheney. Simple impeachment takes too long and might not work. Too many in the GOP -Jung's 30 percent -are still hanging tough with Bush and sharing his psychotic delusions. As long as this absurdity continues, no one is safe despite Democratic gains. Vladimir Putin summed it all up very well: "No one feels safe anymore". Putin may have signaled a new cold war, saying that Bush policies have made terrorism worse (stats prove him correct) while ushering in a new era of nuclear proliferation.

All that is left is the possibility of a military coup. But who can trust Bush's newly appointed generals? There may be more behind the sudden "massacre" of top brass than has been reported. Certainly, the new brass back their boss and owe him their jobs.

Except for that shrinking minority of die hards, the American people are sick to death of Bush - his stupidity, his unprincipled duplicity, his venal bloodlust, his psychotic obsession with death and destruction.

Len Hart said...

Fuzzflash wrote "...but History shows us that larger empires and more radical theocracies have fallen when people of courage refuse to rescind their hopes and dreams."

I think and hope that you are correct. I wonder how many brave people it will take to gum up Bush's inhuman machine. Spread the word.

damien said...

Len, I think the attack against Iran is going ahead sooner rather than later. In fact, in months. You don't keep three carrier groups hanging around in the ME for two years, it's just too expensive. Blair is going to be out at the end of March so any other UK Labor leader is likely to speak out against it. Cheney's just finished visiting Australia on a 'fishing trip'. It was all very social, but I refuse to accept that Cheney goes half way around the world to go fishing. There was likely a briefing on Iran scenarios in the near future. Various reports have come out suggesting that a number of senior US military leaders will resign if Bush attacks Iran. And Gen.Peter Pace also did an unmilitary thing lately by disputing Bush's claims that the Iran leadership was arming the Iraqi insurgents. That's a shot across the bows for Bush. The US military leaders know that an attack on Iran is militarily and politically disastrous. Bush - why do I even bother saying 'Bush'? - Cheney must know that popular sentiment for an attack on Iran can only get worse in the next two years. To have any control over events the Cheney regime has to attack earlier rather than later.

Seymour Hersh has some good stuff out here, here and here.

There's also been a nonsense story (in my view) about 2000 terrorists in the UK. Given the dodgy nature of the 'al Qaeda' terrorists who planned to blow up planes between the US and the UK - but who didn't have passports, tickets or bombs - this account should be received with considerable cynicism.

Len Hart said...

Damien wrote: "I think the attack against Iran is going ahead sooner rather than later. I refuse to accept that Cheney goes half way around the world to go fishing."

Indeed, something is up. Given Putin's recent remarks, it will be a miracle if World War III is not begun upon Bush nuking Iran. Putin' remark are highly significant, indicating a change in US-Russia relations, Russian's role throughout the world, and Russia's relationship to the US, now changed forever.

From one of your links: "Sy Hersh tells us that the echos of Iran Contra weighed heavily in Negroponte's decision to resign his post and is claiming that Bush is funneling money without authorization or oversight that has ended up in the hands of Sunni jihadist groups." And from The New Yorker: "...the new strategy, has brought the United States closer to an open confrontation with Iran and, in parts of the region, propelled it into a widening sectarian conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims."

Indeed, many observers now believe that war with Iran is inevitable.

I long for impeachment, trial in the Senate followed by criminal trials, war crimes trials and, at last, the carrying out of the legally prescribed sentences. See U.S. Codes, 2441. War crimes

"Cheney must know that popular sentiment for an attack on Iran can only get worse in the next two years. To have any control over events the Cheney regime has to attack earlier rather than later."

The Democratic victory and other events on the ground have had the effect of ratcheting up the timetable. If Bush were secure in the belief that his power base is secure, that his dictatorship consolidated, Bushco would not be concerned about making big changes quickly. They would simply stick with to the schedule. A panicked White House is a dangerous White House. Bush is panicked by a growing Democratic challenge, the British pullout, and the continuing vehemence of his world wide opposition.

One school of thought has it that WWIII has already begun. Indeed, there is no end in sight and things just keep getting worse in Iraq. If WWIII this is, then the US has already lost. When troops are withdrawn with the fall of Bush, an accounting will be made and even the GOP will have to face up to the fact that Bush and this bloody party of GOPPERS not only destroyed America, they undermined its moral fabric. It is the worst imaginable defeat.

BTW ...congrats to Al Gore for winning the Oscar for Best Documentary. One hopes that when the time is right, Al Gore will step forward and get the Democratic nomination. Hilary's showdown with Obama is unseemly and counterproductive. The GOP is loving it.

Len Hart said...

Sebastien sent me the following link....

Israel seeks all clear for Iran air strike<

An excerpt: "A senior Israeli defence official said negotiations were now underway between the two countries for the US-led coalition in Iraq to provide an "air corridor" in the event of the Israeli government deciding on unilateral military action to prevent Teheran developing nuclear weapons."

damien said...

Justin Raimondo has an excellent account of how the US, with the Saudis, are supporting Sunni groups in the ME, some of whom are al Qaeda related, for questionable ends. And there is his other piece on US support for the Jundallah militant group in Iran - again, with alleged al Qaeda links. How's that 'war on terror' going?

Fuzzflash said...

Len, you mention, "Hilary's showdown with Obama is unseemly and counterproductive. The GOP is loving it."
So is Al Gore, Mark II. The Primaries are stand up, knock down, winner take all by nature. If Hillary rolls over Obama (he's still a pup at this game as a 45 year old) then I think Gore will run. Hillary is up to her armpits in the Beltway trough and hasn't embarrassed the MIC on global warming to my knowledge. She refuses to admit that her support for the Iraq invasion and occupation was a major blunder. The time and tide would be perfect for Gore on a populist ticket because of his willingness to confront and curb Big Carbon and because of Gore's consistent anti-war stance. History may well leave Hillary in its wake.

I've a hunch that should Obama roll HRC for the nomination, Al will drop out of the main race yet stump furiously for an Obama/Edwards ticket. His Price? A shot at reversing a certain inconvenient truth, an idea whose time has finally come. ie. President Obama, if he can dodge the fate of MLK,JFK,RFK, Malcom-X et al, would, with a majority of Capital Hill lawmakers in acquiescence, give Gore a genuine shot at saving the planet from the catastrophe that man-made carbon emissions are causing. Chairman of the Global Warming Task Force. Something like that.

Meanwhile back in Oz, Prime Minister, Johnny "The Rodent" Howard is having his electoral seat of Bennelong tomb raided by a Lara Croft type in shiny black leather who is making King Rat look awfully drab in his shabby track-suit as he takes his daily dawn saunters along well-vetted highways and byways of this stolen land. The Dauphine pretender to the Rat Throne (the PM's seat of Bennelong), is a high profile journalist from our national broadcaster the ABC, Maxine McKew, who is an all seasoned performer and more than capable of clawing back the 4% margin of the incumbent, John Winston Howard. In Oz one has to hold a seat in parliament to be eligible for the top job.

The announcement yesterday that Maxine had thrown down her black leather gauntlet had political junkies and pervert kinkos nationwide hankerin' for a little taste. Their motherload will be delivered before the year's out.

The challenge is sure to keep the diminutive RatMan wrong-footed in a year when a federal election must be announced. He'll be fightitng an election on two fronts, and this time the loyal opposition are no easy-beats, despite his advantage of incumbency and the poison quills of Citizen Rupet's shillmeistres and assorted MIC-greased shock-jocks.

It's going to be a corker of a contest. Rollerball rules and don't ask! Everybody's ready to rumble.

Orright, just one.......The kid in the kung-fu suit over back there....

"How long can a House of Cards stand on a foundation of sand, Grasshopper?"

SadButTrue said...

Reflecting on what's been written here and the perhaps even grimmer sad truths that haven't been written almost makes me want to arrange a prescription for anti-depressants and watch it all happen from behind a drug-induced haze of unreality. Alas, retreat from reality is not in my nature.

Len, your observations about corporate feudalism cause me to consider some points that I hadn't in my original essay. What so frightens me about it is its global nature, rendering it immune to even the highly unlikely popular uprising that the United States seems to need right now more than anything else. Like the Hydra, lopping off one head locally will only result in two more growing back somewhere else -perhaps in Canada, Australia, or maybe China, South Korea. The problem is, no-one knows. Global capital has arranged the rules to allow frictionless movement of global capital without regards to nations or border. And yes, it shows all of the privileged noblesse with none of the oblige of self-interested stewardship.

Your mention, Len, of the "fatal flaw in the American system, heretofore touted for its sophisticated system of checks and balances" is right on the money. Like Stalin did when he questioned how many divisions the Pope had, Bush surveys the Constitution, "that goddamn piece of paper" and cynically asks himself what physical means are provided to enforce its provisions. In the fairly recent past, Nixon and then Reagan demonstrated that the CIA, the FBI, the armed forces and any other gun-toting manifestations of American government not only fail to live up to their oaths to defend the Constitution 'against all enemies foreign and domestic', but they are quite willing to get in on the very illegal actions that erode the constitution's authority. During Bush's own regime the Congress, Senate and Supreme Court have piled on, along with the news media, long considered the last bastion of freedom in this now benighted land. "We have seen the enemy, and he is us" indeed. The Democratic party, feeding from the same corporate campaign funding trough as their Republican counterparts, can hardly be expected to come to the rescue, as they seem to enjoy rolling in the same muck of corruption as well.

As to the purge of all military leaders who show any sign of wandering away from the Bu$hCo™ flock - now more of those resigning are reporting that the military is broken. Not broken is the growing private army of mercenary contractors like Blackwater and Halliburton. The structure of such commercial military entities has no definition of honor or duty, just the raw and naked violence for hire ethos of an organized crime syndicate. What could be more frightening than a private army in the hands of a known psychopath?

Meanwhile the purge of military leaders is being paralleled by a purge of federal court justices, enabled by a clause inserted into the renewal of the USA PATRIOT act in the middle of the night. A clause inserted into the Pentagon's most recent budget in the middle of the night gives Bush the authority to ignore Posse Comitatus provisions, and use the Army and/or National Guard to quell domestic unrest. There must be an underlying reason behind these overt efforts to increase executive authority. Sadly, it smells to me like preparations for a police state. An open democratic government does not operate in the middle of the night.

If anyone has a theory that matches the facts any better, I would be relieved and thrilled to hear it. Frankly I haven't been able to come up with anything on my own that passed the laugh test.

And BTW, if any of you still haven't seen Robert Newman - History of Oil this is just another reminder to do so.

damien said...

SadButTrue, the Posse Comitatus stuff ought to concern people. Related to this is Operation Falcon".

Len, your observations about corporate feudalism cause me to consider some points that I hadn't in my original essay. What so frightens me about it is its global nature, rendering it immune to even the highly unlikely popular uprising that the United States seems to need right now more than anything else. Like the Hydra, lopping off one head locally will only result in two more growing back somewhere else -perhaps in Canada, Australia, or maybe China, South Korea. The problem is, no-one knows. Global capital has arranged the rules to allow frictionless movement of global capital without regards to nations or border. And yes, it shows all of the privileged noblesse with none of the oblige of self-interested stewardship.

Good point SBT. The corporate forces at work since Reagan are not going to give up without a fight (in fact, they are on a roll):

"The income gap is growing faster in the United States than in any other developed nation. Between 1990 and 2000 in the U.S. worker pay and inflation remained approximately equal, while corporate profits rose 93% and CEO pay rose 571%. Meanwhile, the portion of federal revenue derived from corporate income tax has decreased from 33% in the 1950s to 11.9% in 2005, reaching a low of 7.4% in 2003. Hundreds of companies have avoided taxes by relocating to tax havens such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Eighty-two of our largest corporations paid no tax in at least one of the first three years of the Bush administration." (link).

But as But as Mike Whitney points out (1 2 3 4 ) an economic tsunami is upon us. The corporate sector has stolen the life boats and have decamped for the Caymans. The Dow dropped 400 pts last night, China's stock market fell and the regulators had to buy the US dollar big time. Start learning to grow your own vegetables because there is ten years of depression in store for us. That's everybody. Global markets are exactly that.

Len Hart said...

I am writing in the wake of the world wide markets crash. How surreal it all seemed, especially its choreographed appearance. In the wake of this rolling crash, I recommend Damien's links above which I am still browsing. Here's an excerpt from Mike Whitney`s The Great Dollar Crash of '07:

"The so-called ‘global economic system’ has nothing to do with competition, free markets or private enterprise; that’s just public relations gobbledygook. In practice, it is the world’s biggest extortion racket, wherein, the “Godfather”-- Uncle Sam-- holds a gun to the heads of his subjects and forces them to use our fiat-paper to purchase the oil that lubricates their economies."

Sadbuttre, you are correct. If corporate feudalism this be, it is global to be sure. The provincial nature of Medieval Feudalism was, of course, one of its defining features. I am of two minds about global communication. While it is lovely to lose oneself from time to time in the Cotswolds or small Jura villages, no one is so cosmopolitan that he can ignore the news from "home". (See Thomas Wolfe`s "The Story of a Novel" among numerous essays in Brewster Ghiselin's "The Creative Process") My memories of West Texas, for example, have never been so vivid. As for "feudalism", the global corporation seems not merely global but detached, rootless, without allegiance, without need for a regional or provincial base. From the Social Darwinism point of view, this is its strength. In the larger context, however, it has already proven to have provided the "souless" corporation the vehicle it sought to obviate local norms, culture, and even morality. That is hardly a postive development. Or as Sadbuttre asks: "What could be more frightening than a private army in the hands of a known psychopath?" I believe that there are current more "mercenaries" in Iraq than US regulars and all of them make much more money.

On a more optimistic note, Wal-Mart seems to have pushed the amorality of international corporatism to its limit. We can only hope.

I refuse to believe, meanwhile, that Western Civilization will succomb to the new barbarian within, namely Bush and his fascist, global corporate sponsors. That Bush pays only lip service to the Constitution belies his true allegiance: the idea of the global corporation. It is the corporation which has allied itself with older cultures that are distinctly anti-Western in tone and spirit.

Bertrand Russell stated that Western Civilization was essentially Greek civilization, writing "There is no civilization but the Greek in which a philosophic movement goes hand in hand with a scientific tradition. It is this that gives the Greek enterprise its peculiar scope; it is this dual tradition that has shaped the civilization of the West." Fast fowarding through my own rather lengthy take on this, I come to one of my conclusions that there is a certain solipsism shot-through the Western tradition. Clearly there is no such self-consciousness in either Christianity or Islam. Significantly, the origin of both religions are both geographically and philosophically outside the "Western" tradition and civilization of which Russell speaks. The fly in the ointment is the global corporation playing both sides against an amoral middle.

The Greece of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Phidias, Solon, Aristophanes, Sophocles was secular. From time to time in Western society, the fault lines will appear. When Salman Rushdie published his "Satanic Verses", he became the object of a fatwa. Later, when a cartoonist lampooned the "Prophet", the millions who supported the Greek ideal found themselves ill-equipped to defend it against an entire civilization which is outside their own tradition, a tradition so well described by Thomas Jefferson who wrote: "We hold these truths to be self-evident..." I leave it to a detail oriented scholar to trace Jefferson back to Locke, indeed, back to Greece. Nor can we conclude that because Socrates lost his battle with the *religious right" that Greece was just another state. The point, rather, is that it was the Greek ideal of free inquiry that survived to shape the west -not the authoritarian, "Eastern" tradition that persecuted Socrates as surely as the Church in Rome would later execute Giordano Bruno.

Bush does not understand the field of battle nor the nature of the conflict. Bush does not understand that he is, in fact, just another ideological terrorist but a more dangerous one. The militant Ayatollahs, Bin Laden, and numerous anonymous bombers are not so different from Bush, nor he, them. On all sides, the "combatants" eschew doubt, when it fact, it should be cultivated. Without doubt, free inquiry is impossible.

Certitude is the first refuge of idiots. They are the first to cite it to justify tyranny, atrocity, aggression and repression. All characterize the current world war, the so-called "Clash of Civilizations".

I also appreciate and recommend the link to Robert Newman's "History of Oil".

TSUMBRA said...

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Rurikid-Vierotchka said...

Damien, you said:

Start learning to grow your own vegetables because there is ten years of depression in store for us. That's everybody.

I've been advising people to do so for quite a while already, and it is surprisingly easy to do so. :)

damien said...

Sorry if it looks like blog hogging, but I couldn't go past this one. Apparently the BBC has lost ALL of its video records from Sept 11 2001. Isn't that great? Convenient? Negligent? The most important historical event of our time and a major media outlet loses all their video records. (link)

This is almost certainly connected to a recent discovery of video footage from 9/11 of a BBC reporter detailing the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7. She described details of the collapse. The only problem was that her account was provided 25 minutes BEFORE the building actually collapsed and WTC 7 was ludicrously still standing behind her while she was reporting on the manner in which it had fallen! (link)

FEMA and NIST both claimed that the collapse of WTC 7 was spontaneous and unexpected. LOL.

Len Hart said...

I couldn't get the Square foot gardening link to work...so here is another about the same thing: Square Foot Gardening

Great links and, Damien, don't worry about blog hogging. Your comments and links are welcome and at home here.

I cannot believe in these kinds of coincidences. Even if innocent, the loss of the visual record of that day -cock-up or conspiracy -is absolutely tragic. In my opinion, being able to verify propositions is a moral issue. It would appear that the architects of 911 have forever made verification of even a simple timeline impossible. Tragic!

And, of course, we know now that Building 7 was deliberately pulled. Here's a link to just one of several videos: Building 7 Was Pulled . Now -keep in mind that a controlled demotion -of the kind ordered by Silverstein -requires careful planning. Weeks, months? In any case, it would have been impossible for Silverstein to order such a demolition and witness its execution some thirty minutes to an hour later. If it was pulled, it was planned in advance. WHY? And why has the media feared to ask questions of such glaring descrepancies in the public record. Who would have benefited from the controlled demolition of Building 7? Why would they want it pulled? Clearly, building 7 posed no threat to surrounding building and the dinky little fires that had broken out could most certainly have been controlled. Why hasn't the media asked about huge insurance payoff received be Silverstein for the DELIBERATE destruction of his building. Mind you, if I set fire to my own house, I doubt seriously that the insurance company would be eager to pay me off.

I also said numerous times that there is NO credible evidence to support the absurd assertions that an airliner crashed into the Pentagon. I challenge the Bush criminals to produce just ONE verifiable photo of an airliner crashed into the Pentagon. Moreover, it is absolutely absurd to believe that an airliner of any size dissapeared into the tiny ditch in PA. Again -no airliner, no wreckage. In every other case, airliners crashing at any speed leave wreckage. NTSB normally reconstructs them. Not this time.

At lockerbie, wreckage was strewn over several miles as I recall. The space shuttle Columbia broke up in the Stratosphere at about Mach 22.8. Yet -unlike the airliner that was said to have crashed the Pentagon and the airliner that is SAID to have dissapeared into a narrow little ditch -enormous amounts of identifiable debris and human body parts where recovered. The Shuttle did not vanish into thin air nor did it pop into another a dimension via a wormshole. But we are expected to believe Flight 77 just vanished.

Nothing in the official 911 conspiracy theory has turned out to have been true. Like the run up to war in Iraq, it was all a pack of malicious lies by the goddamned mass murderers who make up the Bush administration in particular, and, quite possibly, the GOP leadership.

Earlier, Sadbuttrue wrote: "Like Stalin did when he questioned how many divisions the Pope had, Bush surveys the Constitution, "that goddamn piece of paper" and cynically asks himself what physical means are provided to enforce its provisions."

I think you are correct. Bush has literally dared anyone -especially Congress -to challenge him. I worry about the precedents he has set. Another would be dictator will simply rule by decree. Bush has very nearly done that but for Congressional control of the budget. Certainly, his "signing statements" have re-written law. Unfortunately, Congress can only pass laws. The means of enforcing law resides with the Executive. An executive which writes his/her own laws is a dictator.

It is remarkable that our founders were able to foresee many obstacles. But working as they did in a pre-high tech era, an era still characterized to some extent by the concept of honor, they could never have foreseen someone like Bush -a liar who when exposed lying just doesn't give a damn.

TSUMBRA said...

"SECRETs SPOKEn, Secrets Broken"
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Sebastien Parmentier said...

fuzzflash:

"If Hillary rolls over Obama (he's still a pup at this game as a 45 year old) then I think Gore will run."

He's going to have to. I openly wish him to run. He cannot lose. he won the first time, remember?

Now, with the discontentment toward Repugs and Al Gore looking like having finally teared away his former reputation of a bore, the fruit reaches so low from the tree a baby can pick it up.

damien said...

Without getting sidetracked into a lengthy 9/11 discussion, Len, the whole story can be boiled down to one simple principle: governments are accountable to the people, not the other way around. There are NO reasons for not making available all scientific and intelligence evidence in relation to the events of 9/11 for independent scrutiny. None.

Just as an aside, on the matter of the Pentagon, I don't care how many alleged witnesses they say 'saw' a 757 hit the Pentagon (only a few claim to have seen the actual impact which occurred at high speed and may have been another type of aircraft). One thing is clear. A 757 did NOT disappear within the building. The wings and tail are such a huge surface area that there had to be large portions of it outside the building. Even if the plane 'shredded' as some have claimed then 80 tons of plane is still 80 tons of debris.(link)

And I don't even care if I am right or wrong on this. The fundamental legal and moral principle is clear: governments are accountable to the people, not the other way around. US citizens can tell THEIR government when THEY are satisfied that the explanations of 9/11 meet THEIR standards of public accountability. There's also a second principle: criminals with a proven track record for telling lies never have their evidence accepted just because they say so. In the case of this administration, if their lips are moving they're lying.

It is remarkable that our founders were able to foresee many obstacles. But working as they did in a pre-high tech era, an era still characterized to some extent by the concept of honor, they could never have foreseen someone like Bush -a liar who when exposed lying just doesn't give a damn. -- Exactly.

Fuzzflash said...

Granted, there are many unanswered questions relating to the events prior to, and on 9/11. Agree, that the way building 7 fell smells like week-old dead fish. But comrades, we all have claims, some more so perhaps than others, to have some sort of grasp of reality.

Taking what happened on 9/11 in totality, cui bono? BushCo & Allied of course. No objections so far? Wonderful. OK, so for BushCo to pull a stroke this large a LOT OF PEOPLE needed to have had a priori knowledge of "The Conspiracy of the Century".

America is a confessional culture through induction on the one hand (Roman Catholic, Jewish, Skull and Bones etc) , and having plenty to feel guilty about, on the other. Now unless the mega stroke pullers( ie the alleged 9/11 conspiacy brainstrust) managed to recruit only psychopaths and teetotallers to do the deeds then shut the fuck up about them, someone or other is going to feel the need to unburden themselves some time soon. How long did it take Lady Macbeth jump the haddock? Billy Bard has heaps more examples; cross cultural literary annals groan with them. Back-pressured guilt is SOME boiler waiting to burst, n’est-ce pas, Monsieur Creosotte? Many booze hounds are so confessional, that they are banned from even the lowliest of establishments because they are recidivist confessors who bother the regulars mercilessly. They have to be dealt with. ( eg the Howard Littell character from James Ellroy’s, “American Tabloid”, Tall Tales and True from The American Frontier, 1958 -1963).
Been almost five and a half years now since 9/11 and no one 's spilled their guts about Big Daddy Conspiracy on the Gerry Springer Show or anywhere else. Not a peep, although we should remain cognizant of the fact that the seal of holy mother church’s confessional is about as reliable as the O-ring on a space shuttle. So where have all the 9/11 confessors gone, long time passing, have they all been whacked on the sly? Systematically and methodically dispatched and made to disappear like cheap illusions in a travelling carnival roadside attraction? If so, none of the “conspirators” have left evidence(insurance) of the alleged 9/11 mega-conspiracy in a bank vault or somewhere in cyberspace for the world to be wised up, a posteriori. Five and a half years is a long time for the common or garden variety deep throat to remain constricted.
Btw, Damien, did you plant any rhubarb this year?

So let’s get an inquiry going with broad ranging subpoena powers, by all means, but until a mess of credible whistle blowers step up to the stand screaming, “j’accuse”, I lean strongly to the view that although BushCo rode the “Opportunity” of 9/11 for all it was worth, they didn’t have a “war-room” conference about it beforehand which led to their active aiding and abetting of this monstrous crime against humanity.

Sad, the Robert Newman- History of Oil is bloody brilliant. The perfect companion video to accompany Big Al’s Inconvenient Truth.
Sebastian, until he categorically says “I WILL NOT RUN”, Al’s still a chance. Especially if The Imbecile decides to shoot the works and whack Iran. I don’t buy the Condi “make nice” ploy to Syria and Iran as anything significant. I can see her now doing a Colin Powell at the UN: “Well, after all we’ve done to talk with The Iranians, they were just axis-of-evil merchants all along, take a good look at these irrefutable satellite slide show shots. Weapons grade uranium is being stored in these aluminium cylinders. It’s slam dunk all over again, Mr. Secretary General. They also torture their own people by feeding them feet first into human shredding machines. The United States exhorts all members of the Free World to join us and disarm these godless evil doers before they destroy the very foundations of our civilization”.

Len Hart said...

Damien wrote: "...80 tons of plane is still 80 tons of debris"

Certainly -80 tons of debris was NEVER recovered from the Pentagon. I will not posit a theory about what really happened but will put forward a hypothetical about one aspect of 911. Anyone wishing to pull off a latter day Reichstag fire and having access to the nation's defense network as Dick Cheney, in fact, had that day might decide to send a nuclear sub up the Chesapeake Bay. From there, the Pentagon is just a few minutes by way of cruise missile. As I recall, several cruise missles in the US arsenal are designed to be fired from submerged subs. Dick Cheney was in charge of defense exercises that day. He was in charge, calling the shots....and if any one person is responsible for NOT scrambling jets until the smoke had cleared, it was the otherwise trigger happy Dick. Cheney is a traitor, a liar and one of the most evil people to ever walk terra firma. Much later, at the dedication of the Clinton Library located on a river bank in Little Rock, Bush elbowed his way past Clinton but not before he gave the game away in a little reported aside. Hurummmph, he snorted: "...'A submarine could take this place out!" (See: At Bill library, Bush sounds sub-versive)

A private citizen making that remark would have been arrested, thrown in jail, perhaps Guantanamo. Bush walks.

"US citizens can tell THEIR government when THEY are satisfied that the explanations of 9/11 meet THEIR standards of public accountability."

Indeed! As I recall, several polls have indicated that a majority of Americans are clearly unhappy with the official cover stories and official conspiracy theories.

Fuzzflash wrote: "...until a mess of credible whistle blowers step up to the stand screaming, “j’accuse”, I lean strongly to the view that although BushCo rode the “Opportunity” of 9/11 for all it was worth, they didn’t have a “war-room” conference about it beforehand which led to their active aiding and abetting of this monstrous crime against humanity."

Bushco could depend upon the media to break down. As far as I know, PBS was the only big network to reveal that Silverstein ordered Building 7 pulled. Even there it is buried --not headlined as it should have been. One has to seek it out. Given the fact that the bits and pieces of information of are buried here and here it is not surprising that no one has stepped forward with the complete gestalt. Bushco counted on this. They believed that they could get away with mass murder and it would appear that they were right.

Since 911 no one has felt safe anymore. Putin said precisely that recently. It's a case of mass Fight or Flight Syndrome. Faced with a threat, the organism must fight or flee and both actions require a shot of adrenalin. Vague and undefined fears trigger the same adrenalin rush though they are not resolved by either running or fighting. I think the evil geniuses behind Bushco knew this and exploited it. An entire nation was prepared to go to war because blowing something up -by proxy -was perhaps the only resolution to the high level of anxiety that was produced be the televised repetition of airliners crashing the towers.

The level of such vague anxiety was so great in the 1950's that the era was often called the "age of anxiety". The Cold War nuclear threat had as much to do with it as the more common fears about career, marriage, or sudden job loss. The Cold War, moreover, may have been as bogus as is Bush's war on terrorism. Wars, cold or hot, can always be counted on to raise the level of anxiety. The GOP can always be counted on to exploit the fears.

In the meantime, various polls worldwide indicate that George W. Bush is the world's most hated world leader. His image alone is enough to provoke strong adrenalin rushes. Certainly -yelling at the TV doesn't do any good. Throwing bricks at the TV is very costly. Sadly, it is not only Bush's moronic, grinning visage that inspires unrequited rage, it is the abiding climate of High Anxiety that simply will not go away.

What we really need is a new regime. The precarious balance of our bodily fluids demand it.

Fuzzflash said...

Thing is Len, in a State of High Anxiety, it’s still possible for the business of Mammon to proceed.(Verse six)


"Horror Movie", from the album, Living In The Seventies, words by Skyhooks, 1974.

"Watch a horror movie right there on my TV
Horror movie right there on my TV
Horror movie right there on my TV
Shockin' me right outa my brain

It's bound to get ya in
Get right under your skin
Hit you right on the chin - oh yeah
It's bound to be a thriller
It's bound to be a chiller
It's bound to be a killer - oh yeah

The planes are a-crashin
The cars are a-smashin
The cops are a-bashin - oh yeah
The kids are a-fightin
The fires are a-lightin
The dogs are a-bitin - oh yeah

You think it's just a movie on silver screen
And they're all actors and fake old scenes
Maybe you don't care who's gonna lose or win
Listen to this and I'll tell you somethin'

It's a horror movie right there on my TV
Horror movie right there on my TV
Horror movie and it's blown a fuse
Horror movie, it's the six-thirty news

The public's waitin
For the killin and the hatin
Switch on the station - oh yeah
They do a lotta sellin
Between the firin and the yellin
And you believe in what they're tellin - oh yeah"


Not quite Mel Brooks, but definitely on the money.

Len Hart said...

The following information about Silverstein can be found at:A 9/11 Gov’t Conspiracy?

"​​​​Larry Silverstein and Frank Lowy (both Jewish) took over the WTC lease and $3 to $7 billion insurance policies - and made damned sure
the policies covered acts of terrorism - a mere six weeks prior to 9/11. Silverstein had close ties to Ariel Sharon, Ehud Barak, and Benjamin Netanyahu (all Israeli Prime Ministers). Netanyahu used to call Silverstein every Sunday afternoon, New York time, without fail. Lewis Eisenberg (Jewish), chairman of the Port Authority, oversaw negotiations which handed the lease to Silverstein and Lowy. Both Eisenberg and Silverstein held leadership positions with the United Jewish Appeal, a billion-dollar Zionist "charity" organization. Larry Silverstein conveniently had a "dermatologist's appointment" on the morning of 9/11 rather than taking his customary breakfast at the Windows on the World restaurant at the top of the North Tower, thereby avoiding the fate of nearly three thousand WTC occupants. His children were also spared. Netanyahu is linked to both 9/11 and the London 7/7 bombings. Israeli and Jewish supremacists and fascists have a long history of terrorism and false flag attacks such as the King David hotel (1946), the Lavon Affair (1954), the USS Liberty (1967), Operation Trojan in Tripoli (1986), Oklahoma City (1995), etc. Rabbi Dov Zakheim (Jewish) "lost" - i.e. embezzled - over $2 trillion during his tenure as Comptroller of the Pentagon in the months leading up to 9/11. From 1997 to 2001 he was CEO of a company that made transceivers for the simultaneous remote control of up to eight aircraft, or the remote takeover of planes already in flight.

The first arrests within hours of the 9/11 attacks were the five "dancing Israelis", Mossad agentsdressed as Arabs who were found with box cutters, $4,700 cash hidden in
a sock, foreign passports, a van which tested positive for traces of explosives, and were seen filming and celebrating the attacks with "high fives" and shouts of joy and mockery. These agents were eventually released by Michael Chertoff (Jewish). The Zim American-Israeli Shipping company (Israeli-owned) inexplicably broke its lease to move out of WTC 1 just days before 9/11, having to pay a $50,000 fine as a result. Within a few months of 9/11, it moved back to New York from Pennsylvania. Odigo (Israeli company) and Goldman Sachs Israeli company) received advance warnings of the 9/11 attacks. Some of
the alleged hijackers, who were said to be devout Muslims, were seen on gambling boats belonging to Jack Abramoff (Jewish).

Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu has a directing role in the "war on terror", and is a principal orchestrator of false-flag terror attacks. Bibi's father Ben-Zion (Milikowsky) was secretary to Ze'ev "Vladimir" Jabotinsky, who founded the Zionist terrorist movement that played an important part in the creation of Israel. Bibi Netanyahu was a unit team leader in Sayeret Matkal, an elite special forces unit of the Israel Defense Forces. Bibi, a close friend of Larry Silverstein, was in New York City in the morning of 9/11 and in London on the morning of the 7/7 bombings where he exhibited foreknowledge of the attacks. Netanyahu's job is to supply
"new Pearl Harbors".

Israel took the cream of the 9/11 profits, and its client states were left with the crumbs. Dov Zakheim may not have netted the full $2+ trillion from the Pentagon, but even a sizeable proportion is much more than the $8.8 billion of oil wealth looted from Iraq's Oil-for-Food fund. Once you go down to the likes of Tony Blair in the hierarchy, the payout is only in the millions of pounds. The Blairs have just added another £800,000 house in Connaught Square to their property ortfolio; this adjoins the £3.65 million town house they bought in 2004. And Israel got a number of "coalition" states to pay for a war worth
hundreds of billions of dollars, and to pay the blood price of thousands of lives needlessly sacrificed. The purpose was to install a puppet satellite regime, as a consequence of the existing leader's refusal to pay tribute and obey the orders of the Zionist Mafia for the past 13 years or so.

Netanyahu's elder brother Jonathan was said to have been killed in the largely hyped-up and partially fictitious "raid on Entebbe", which was to brainwash people into perceiving Israelis as "commandos" rather than terrorists and the civilians that they attack as 'terrorists'"
....

It`s rich in interesting links and good information. I put it here for what it is worth. It would appear that aside from "terrorism", the whole thing turns out to have been an old fashioned heist. Qui bono? It's a long list.

A final shot...the label "conspiracy theorist" that is put on administration critics is stupid. It was the Bush administration, Colin Powell specifically and most prominently, which labeled 911 a "conspiracy". They even had a word for it.

Al Qaeda!

Now what is Al Qaeda if not a conspiracy? The only difference is that one is an official conspiracy and the others, because they are outside the mainstream, are not official. Moreover, there is no evidence that I know of to support the main "theories" put forward for the "official" theory. Most administration critics are simply labeled "theorists" though they have put forward no "theory" of their own. They simply point out the HUGE holes and glaring inconsistencies in the official theories. Those holes, outright falsehoods, and inconsistencies are legion.

At last, Bush is a proven liar and so are the members of his clueless, crooked, endemically corrupt administration. Nothing said be these assholes can be believed. At this point, getting at the truth of 911 consists of eliminating all the lies and nonsense put forward by Bush abd the NEOCON criminal organization.

"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"

-Sherlock Holmes, fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Len Hart said...

On the money, indeed, Fuzzflash. Very timely.

My apologies for often typing "be" instead of "by". I learned to type on an ASCII keyboard. This confounded European machine has all the right keys in all the wrong places. : )

Len Hart said...

From Damien's link:

"Wings that should have been sheared off by the impact are entirely absent. There is also substantial evidence of debris from a much smaller jet-powered aircraft inside the building. We conclude with a high degree of certainty that no Boeing 757 struck the building. We also conclude with a substantial degree of certainty that a smaller, single-engined aircraft, roughly the size and shape of an F-16, did, in fact, strike the building."

Johnny Cochran summed it up. "If it does not fit, you must aquit!" If there is no wreckage, the Bush cover story utter falls apart. What is true is that Bush is a liar. When all other contingencies -the official theories and cover stories -fail to hold up under scrutiny, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

Rurikid-Vierotchka said...

Sidney Blumenthal, who has seldom been wrong, and who has top-level contacts in the administration, in the intelligence community and in the Pentagon, has just come out with this excellent article:

How Cheney bombed in Afghanistan

The vice president slinks home from a disastrous trip where a failed assassination attempt was only the loudest proof that his war policies have emboldened al-Qaida and the Taliban.

By Sidney Blumenthal

Mar. 01, 2007 | Was the suicide bomber attack at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on Tuesday an attempted assassination of Vice President Dick Cheney or a horse's head in his bed?

The day before, Cheney had delivered a stinging message to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf -- U.S. aid would be withheld unless Pakistan supported strikes against Taliban and al-Qaida forces that have nestled in Pakistan as a sanctuary, where they have gathered strength in anticipation of a spring offensive against the Afghan government. Musharraf's official response via a spokesman was immediate: "Pakistan does not accept dictation from any side or any source." Then came the bombing. Was it another form of reply? The Taliban claimed credit. But was only the Taliban involved?

The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency was present at the creation of the Taliban, which it has deployed to give it strategic depth in its long war with India. The ISI has lent clandestine support to other terrorist groups against India. And ISI agents have also been deeply involved with al-Qaida. ISI operatives continue to aid and advise the Taliban and al-Qaida resurgence in Afghanistan.

Musharraf, a former army chief of staff who took power in a military coup in 1999, has been a rival of ISI influence and has never succeeded in securing control over it. The circumstances surrounding the two assassination attempts against him, using suicide bombers within 11 days in 2003, remain unsolved, though experts believe they are linked to his tough policy toward the Taliban and al-Qaida. Soon after Sept. 11, 2001, encouraged and aided by the U.S., Musharraf waged an unsuccessful military campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaida in the remote tribal province of Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan. Last spring, Musharraf withdrew Pakistani troops from south Waziristan, ceding it to the Taliban and its allies. Last September, Musharraf surrendered north Waziristan, agreeing to a formal truce with Taliban representatives and even returning seized weapons. Taliban and al-Qaida flags fly side by side throughout the region. From 2001 to the present, the Pakistanis reportedly have not arrested a single Taliban leader. The Taliban operate their headquarters unimpeded out of Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's Baluchistan province, the gateway to Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.

Musharraf's retreat was an acceptance of political reality and an act of self-protection. He believed that U.S. backing for his appeasement policy was critical to maintenance of his power, which he must assume is the larger mutual goal. Cheney's recent ultimatum, however, puts him in a precarious spot, especially with parliamentary elections scheduled this year and the popularity of Bush at its nadir among Pakistanis. The questions pressing upon Musharraf are the degree of control he has over his own government and country and his survival at the sufferance of the ISI and its clients.

The questions raised by the would-be assassination of Cheney highlight the counterproductive incoherence and impotence of administration policy. Before the bombing, Cheney was gleefully using his foreign travels as a platform for partisan strafing. After he declared that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's criticism of the administration's Iraq policy aided and abetted al-Qaida, she called President Bush to register her objection to having her patriotism smeared. Cheney's remark, she said, was "beneath the dignity of his office." On Feb. 26, a reporter from ABC News asked Cheney if he stood by his statement. Cheney was only too happy to repeat it. "If we adopt the Pelosi policy, then we will validate the strategy of al-Qaida. I said it and I meant it," he said. The pool reporter noted that Cheney "looks pretty chipper, near the end of a weeklong odyssey." But after the bombing, Cheney fell uncharacteristically silent.

Since Sept. 11, Bush and Cheney have proclaimed a Manichaean struggle in which, as Bush said, "you're either with us or with the terrorists." This formula has been applied at home and abroad. It is a distillation of Bush's foreign policy and his domestic politics. In his "war on terror," he is leading the forces of "freedom" against "evil" because it is "part of God's plan," and that "God is not neutral." Then Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath told the BBC in 2005 that Bush had confided in him and Mahmoud Abbas, former prime minister and now Palestinian president: "I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.' And I did, and then God would tell me, 'George go and end the tyranny in Iraq,' and I did."

At Cheney's direction, intelligence was skewed to suggest links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida. Over the past year, as that intelligence was exposed as false and, worse, as disinformation, Cheney has defended the conflation of threats through a contrivance of illogic, also routinely repeated by Bush: "We were not in Iraq on September 11th, 2001, and the terrorists hit us anyway."

Cheney's implication that the U.S. presence in Iraq cannot possibly be an inspiration for terrorism is simply not shared at the highest levels of the senior military, including commanders on the ground in Iraq. I have learned that they are privately reading, circulating, and in agreement with a new article written by terrorism experts Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank, senior fellows at the New York University Center on Law and Security. (Bergen is also a fellow at the New America Foundation. For purposes of full disclosure, I am also a senior fellow at the NYU Center.) Their article, "The Iraq Effect: War Has Increased Terrorism Sevenfold Worldwide," published in Mother Jones, provides empirical evidence for careful conclusions:

"Our study yields one resounding finding: The rate of terrorist attacks around the world by jihadist groups and the rate of fatalities in those attacks increased dramatically after the invasion of Iraq. Globally there was a 607 percent rise in the average yearly incidence of attacks (28.3 attacks per year before and 199.8 after) and a 237 percent rise in the average fatality rate (from 501 to 1,689 deaths per year). A large part of this rise occurred in Iraq, which accounts for fully half of the global total of jihadist terrorist attacks in the post-Iraq War period. But even excluding Iraq, the average yearly number of jihadist terrorist attacks and resulting fatalities still rose sharply around the world by 265 percent and 58 percent respectively."

Draining military and economic resources from Afghanistan in the run-up to invading Iraq contributed to Afghanistan's current crisis. While money and materiel were siphoned to Iraq, Afghanistan was starved. "Aid per capita to Afghans in the first two years after the fall of the Taliban was around a tenth of that given to Bosnians following the end of the Balkan civil war in the mid-1990s," Bergen noted in testimony on Feb. 15 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan James Dobbins has said, "Afghanistan was the least resourced of any major American-led nation building operation since the end of World War II." But the Iraq policy has had other ricochet effects, according to Bergen and Cruickshank:

"Since the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan has suffered 219 jihadist terrorist attacks that can be attributed to a particular group, resulting in the deaths of 802 civilians. The fact that the Taliban only conducted its first terrorist attacks in September 2003, a few months after the invasion of Iraq, is significant. International forces had already been stationed in the country for two years before the Taliban began to specifically target the U.S.-backed Karzai government and civilians sympathetic to it. This points to a link between events in Iraq and the initiation of the Taliban's terrorist campaign in Afghanistan. True, local dynamics form part of the explanation for the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan. But the use of terrorism, particularly suicide attacks, by the Taliban is an innovation drawn from the Iraqi theater."

The bombing at Bagram silenced Cheney's bombast, at least for the moment. His mission to Musharraf and the subsequent assassination attempt, if it was that, also exploded his simplistic ideological sloganeering. Rather than waging a grand battle of good vs. evil, he and Bush are dependent upon an ambiguous Pakistani leader with a tenuous grasp on power, whose untrustworthy intelligence service is crucial in directing the Taliban.

Rather than approaching a climactic struggle against free-floating sects of "Islamofascism," the administration has been a party since Sept. 11 to concrete regional conflicts in which not only were economic, social and diplomatic instruments ignored but international military help was also rejected. Belatedly, in Afghanistan, circumstances of the administration's own making have forced it to concede the necessity of getting assistance from allies. Yet the movement of 1,400 British troops there is a direct reflection of the disintegration of the "coalition of the willing" in Iraq. Those very troops are being redeployed from southern Iraq, the British sector now being ceded to control of Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, which Bush's "surge" is supposedly intended to suppress.

Rather than returning home a conquering hero, Cheney slinks back from his trip having revealed how the failure of administration policy has validated the strategy of the Taliban and al-Qaida. That harsh conclusion, moreover, is not mere punditry. It is the considered view of senior military commanders.

-- By Sidney Blumenthal

Rurikid-Vierotchka said...

Len - My apologies for often typing "be" instead of "by". I learned to type on an ASCII keyboard. This confounded European machine has all the right keys in all the wrong places.

That's not fair! My keyboard is a qwertz keyboard, your'e accustomed to the qwerty keyboard, so the "e" is in the same place on both boards. Don't blame my keyboard for your typos! ;)

damien said...

Don't forget those loyalty oaths. Captain Black would be proud.

Fuzzflash said...

Yeah, what is it with you straight-shootin', crooked typin' people from Texas, Len? Was a time when y'all were suitable candidates for instruction. Must be them darn European stumbleweeds,eh,Cowboy? Gonna have to lift yer game again sometime soon, son. Otherwise you'll be just another High Matterhorn Drifter. You bet.

Len Hart said...

Yep...some habits die hard. QWERTY is one of them. LOL Somehow my entire hand gets mis-aligned getting to the oddly placed characters on QWERTZ.

Len Hart said...

Growing up in West Texas, as I prepared for school, I used to listen every morning to a guy on the radio named Earl Nightengale. I did not realize at the time that Nightengale would prove to be my first exposure to Existentialism:

"We can let circumstances rule us, or we can take charge and rule our lives from within."

-Earl Nightengale


Somewhat earlier, in Existentialism and Human Emotions, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote: "Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself!"

Nightengale passed on back in 1989. He must not be mistaken for the run of the mill "success merchant" or snake oil salesman. He was the real deal and his syndicated, radio programs from the end of WWII to his death, reveal his curiosity about almost everthing. If you want to know more about him, just google his name. He had not been forgotten.

Len Hart said...

Another interesting link:

The Iraq Effect: War Has Increased Terrorism Sevenfold Worldwide

Why, then, are Democrats still afraid to take on Bush on the "support the troops"? The best way to support the troops is to take them out of harm's way and, in the process, end those policies that have literally created the monsters Bush fights. As a man thinketh, etc etc etc. Monsters from the id are very real. Just as it is true that for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction, Bush cannot escape the consequences of his ill-conceived policies. Nor can we.

Democrats must seize the moral high ground by cutting off funding for additional troops and additional campaigns. Tacking "social spending" onto the latest funding bill is all fine and good. But more must be done. Democrats -it has been suggested -can tax our way out of the with a "Victory Over Terror" tax levied on incomes of $5 million a year or more. Levied on all income, it would include stock options, jet plane rides, company-paid-for health and life insurance, retirement programs, golden parachutes, the use of apartments in Paris, cars and drivers.

In the meantime, we all continue to pay a high price for the Bush/Blair follies. Terrorists, we are still told, just hate freedom and, should they win, will rob us of those freedoms. But the fact is we are losing those freedoms anyway. Consider the following from George Galloway's web site:

The BBC have banned the hit single 'War', which features a Tony Blair lookalike in the accompanying video, over fears that its pro-peace message will offend the government .

It is bad enough to lose freedom of speech during a real war! But a PHONY ONE?? I remember when Britain was free. If you doubt the extent to which Blair has subverted Britain's proud heritage, consider yet another item from the Galloway site:

Cable TV Screens go blank as Murdoch and Branson battle for pay-TV market

An excerpt:

While insisting there is "mutual respect" between him and Rupert Murdoch, Sir Richard has made clear his views about the media mogul's role in British public life. Pointing out Mr Murdoch's ownership of four national newspapers and controlling stake in Sky, Sir Richard Branson said: "If you tag on ITV to that as well, basically you've got rid of democracy in this country and we might as well just let Murdoch decide who is going to be our prime minister."

damien said...

Fuzzflash, I have a different take on the 9/11 conspirators than you do. It needs a lengthy discussion but my short version is as follows: Rumsfeld and Cheney were completely behind 9/11 and know everything about it. I suspect that Bush was only marginally aware of the terrorist threat. He may have been told there was an al Qaeda threat looming but that one of several situations was in play: Pakistan's ISI was handling it from there end; it was perhaps sold to him only as an al Qaeda hijacking effort which would provide reasons for going into Afghanistan and Iraq; or he knew an attack was coming but not the details or the scope. I could give a lot of reasons and I need to put them down properly at some stage. I don't think Rice or Powell had any involvement. I think Iran Contra players, organized drug and crime players were likely involved together with elements of the Defense Dept and the CIA who have been operating outside established channels in support of criminal elements (largely) within the Republican Party. Also at least some elements of Israeli intelligence.

What also impresses me is the lack of moral outrage from Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush. I don't care how criminal they are by nature, how many dodgy deals they've done, when terrorists attack US citizens as happened on 9/11, I'd expect that even venal characters like Cheney and Rumsfeld would pull out all stops. Certainly there would be signs of real outrage. But this was missing from these people. There was just too little passion in their words or their efforts. I'm not buying it. If these guys can't show some real emotional outrage over 9/11 then they were either in on it, or so lacking in decency that they shouldn't be in office anyway. These guys did it, imo.

As to the question of conspirators and confessors I think 9/11 could have been run with a very small number of people - people with an established track record of criminality. I vaguely recall one statistic, that at it's height Iran Contra was allegedly using 3,000 people and that was a secret program for all purposes. There are probably many Intel/Defense projects that are illegal, the participants know that, but the programs never see the light of day.

In terms of 9/11 itself, there were too many security failures to be adequately accounted for by chance afaiks. And the planted evidence (passports, korans, wills etc) is also suggestive of an inside job.

Remember too, that the FBI was involved in the WTC 1993 bombing (and now, it appears in OKC). Peter Lance has spelled out the long standing FBI-jihadist connections in the 1990s (here and here) and Peter Dale Scott does a good job of spelling out the drugs/oil/corporate nexus that appears to be running the US leadership and of the use of al Qaeda operatives in Kosovo and people like Ali Mohammed. Of course, Hopsicker fits in there as well with the drug trafficking connections along with the whole Sibel Edmonds story.

It certainly needs a lot more arguments than I am presenting here, but that's the gist of my take on things Fuzzflash. Basically, Rumsfeld and Cheney were fully in on it using small numbers of people from well established criminal and intelligence cliques within the US system. None of which is a proof. It needs a lot of fleshing out. I'll work on it.

...just an add-on... there's two great accounts out about terrorist financier Yasin al Qadi here and here. Mind boggling stuff.

Len Hart said...

Damien wrote:

"Certainly there would be signs of real outrage. But this was missing from these people. There was just too little passion in their words or their efforts. I'm not buying it. If these guys can't show some real emotional outrage over 9/11 then they were either in on it, or so lacking in decency that they shouldn't be in office anyway. These guys did it, imo."

Indeed, it was all scripted. As you point out, Cheney and Rumsfeld "...were completely behind 9/11" and, indeed, both most probably knew everthing about it. Cheney was "conducting exercises" on that day. Who else could have issued the stand down order responsible for fighters arriving some 15 minutes after everthing was all over? However, Condi may have been in on the decision making or had advance warning. She is responsibly and credibly reported to have warned San Francisco mayor Willie Brown not to fly over a period of some days. That indicates that she didn't have the detailed agenda. But she may have known just enough to make her culpable for capital crimes.

As to the question of conspirators and confessors I think 9/11 could have been run with a very small number of people - people with an established track record of criminality. I vaguely recall one statistic, that at it's height Iran Contra was allegedly using 3,000 people and that was a secret program for all purposes. There are probably many Intel/Defense projects that are illegal, the participants know that, but the programs never see the light of day.

Indeed, the old Iran/Contra gang seemed to have crawled out of the wood work, emboldened by the the slap on the wrist that Reagan got. The roots of this criminality go back to the Nixon era. The most prominent Nixon relics are, of course, Dick Cheney, executive branch assistant for both Nixon and Ford, and Don Rumsfeld . Rumsfeld held variouis positions in the Nixon admin where he had found in Nixon a mentor. It is tempting to conclude that it was during Watergate that the leadership of the GOP became permanently corrupted. In fact, it goes back even further to the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. George Bush, Sr was photographed hanging around the Dallas School Book Depository on the day that JFK was murdered. See also: FBI memo, photo link Bush Sr to JFK Dallas murder scene

In terms of 9/11 itself, there were too many security failures to be adequately accounted for by chance afaiks.

I would like to see the actual numbers. The odds most probably approach the odds that so many "witnessess" to the Kennedy assassination would wind up dead under very suspicious circumstances -circumstances as probable as having a grand piano fall on you. The key to pulling off a perfect murder is to make it so great, so earth-shaking that skeptics and critics are effectively discredited and dismissed by merely calling them "conspiracy theorists".

Len Hart said...

From one of Damien's links above...

...the FBI always says about itself that it doesn’t do much intelligence in the field of terrorism; its specialty is criminal investigation afterwards. They had the names of hijackers at 9:59; at 9:59 am Flight 93 had not yet crashed. And even more astonishingly, if we believe the 9/11 Report (which of course on this point I do not believe), NORAD, which was searching for the hijacked planes, wasn’t aware that Flight 93 had been hijacked until 10:08, which is nine minutes later.

That's incredible police work. And I do mean INcredible. As in "not".

Damien wrote:

"Certainly there would be signs of real outrage. But this was missing from these people. There was just too little passion in their words or their efforts. I'm not buying it. If these guys can't show some real emotional outrage over 9/11 then they were either in on it, or so lacking in decency that they shouldn't be in office anyway. These guys did it, imo."

Indeed, it was all scripted. As you point out, Cheney and Rumsfeld "...were completely behind 9/11" and, indeed, both most probably knew everthing about it. Cheney was "conducting exercises" on that day. Who else could have issued the stand down order responsible for fighters arriving some 15
minutes after everthing was all over? However, Condi may have been in on the decision making or had advance warning. She is responsibly and credibly reported to have warned San Francisco mayor Willie Brown not to fly over a period of some days. That indicates that she didn't have the detailed agenda. But she may
have known just enough to make her culpable for capital crimes.

As to the question of conspirators and confessors I think 9/11 could have been run with a very small number of people - people with an established track record of criminality. I vaguely recall one statistic, that at it's height Iran Contra was allegedly using 3,000 people and that was a secret program for all purposes. There are probably many Intel/Defense projects that are illegal, the participants know that, but the programs never see the light of day.

Indeed, the old Iran/Contra gang seemed to have crawled out of the wood work, emboldened by the the slap on the wrist that Reagan got. The roots of this criminality go back to the Nixon era. The most prominent Nixon relics are, of course, Dick Cheney, executive branch assistant for both Nixon and Ford, and Don Rumsfeld . Rumsfeld held variouis positions in the Nixon admin where he had found in Nixon a mentor. It is tempting to conclude that it was during Watergate that the leadership of the GOP became permanently corrupted. In fact, it goes back even further to the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. George Bush, Sr was photographed hanging around the Dallas School Book Depository on the day that JFK was murdered. See also: FBI memo, photo link Bush Sr to JFK Dallas murder scene

In terms of 9/11 itself, there were too many security failures to be adequately accounted for by chance afaiks.

I would like to see the actual numbers. The odds most probably approach the odds that so many "witnessess" to the Kennedy assassination would wind up dead under very suspicious circumstances -circumstances as probable as having a grand piano fall on you. The key to pulling off a perfect murder is to make it so great, so earth-shaking that skeptics and critics are effectively discredited and dismissed by merely calling them "conspiracy theorists".

Len Hart said...

Coincidences, coincidences, coincidences. The Bush crowd would have you believe that though conspiracies do not exist, the most absurd coincidences do. They are, in fact, coincidence theorists. Consider the following: Crossing the Rubicon Simplifying the case against Dick Cheney

An excerpt:

January 18, 2005 (FTW) - In an argument of over 600 pages and 1,000 footnotes, Crossing the Rubicon makes the case for official complicity within the U.S. government and names Dick Cheney as the prime suspect in the crimes of 9/11. Since the publication of this book (to which I had the privilege of contributing a chapter), many people have asked to hear the case against Cheney argued "short & sweet."

There are 3 major points made within this book that are crucial to proving Cheney's guilt. I shall first list them and then go on to prove each point as laid out in Crossing the Rubicon.

Dick Cheney and the Secret Service: Dick Cheney was running a completely separate chain of Command & Control via the Secret Service, assuring the paralysis of Air Force response on 9/11. The Secret Service has the technology to see the same radar screens the FAA sees in real time. They also have the legal authority and technological capability to take supreme command in cases of national emergency. Dick Cheney was the acting Commander in Chief on 9/11.

Motive - Peak Oil:

At some point between 2000 and 2007, world oil production reaches its peak; from that point on, every barrel of oil is going to be harder to find, more expensive to recover, and more valuable to those who recover and control it. Dick Cheney was well aware of the coming Peak Oil crisis at least as early as 1999, and 9/11 provided the pretext for the series of energy wars that Cheney stated, "will not end in our lifetime."

9/11 War Games:

The Air Force was running multiple war games on the morning of 9/11 simulating hijackings over the continental United States that included (at least) one "live-fly" exercise as well as simulations that placed "false blips" on FAA radar screens. These war games eerily mirrored the real events of 9/11 to the point of the Air Force running drills involving hijacked aircraft as the 9/11 plot actually unfolded. The war games & terror drills played a critical role in ensuring no Air Force fighter jocks - who had trained their entire lives for this moment - would be able to prevent the attacks from succeeding. These exercises were under Dick Cheney's management.

The Bush case for staying in Iraq must now be taken into context. Lindsay Graham recently made the most aburd such case. Pulling out now would create a more dangerous Middle East which, he says, will destablize and descend into chaos. A couple of points must be made in response.

1) It was and remains Bush's war of naked aggression against Iraq that has, in fact, ALREADY destablized the Middle East and pulling out now will cause no more problems than have already been created. It is hard to see how pulling out now could possibly make things any worse than they are or will get if we stay.

2) Staying in Iraq carries with the additional danger to US troops who are ill-trained and equipped. The administration claim that we are killing terrorists in Iraq is nonsense. "Terrorists" are killing US! Besides --no one has made a credible case that Al Qaeda was present in Iraq before the invasion. There is a much better case that the continued American presence in Iraq has made of Al Qaeda a world wide movement when --before the invasion --it was "on the ropes". Bush did Bin Laden a BIG favor and continues to do so with each additional day that America remains tied down in the Bush quagmire.

FACE IT BUSH! YOU LOST THE WAR! YOU ARE NOW GAMBLING WITH AMERICA'S FUTURE AND YOU CONTINUE TO PUT AMERICAN LIVES ON THE LINE IN ORDER TO DO IT.

I submit to this board that this loser "President", illegitimate from the get go, is not merely incompetent, he has committed high treason by endangering American national security. Furthermore, he has ordered the commission of atrocities abroad and boasted about them in a State of the Union address.

Organize to bring George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, et al to trial for the capital crimes that any first year law student could prosecute.

Len Hart said...

As I have said many times, the Democrats must UNDO the harm that Bush has done. The New York Times has finally gotten it. Here is a great OP ED in which the paper tries to make up for its previous sins:

New York Times: The Must-Do List

An excerpt:

The Bush administration’s assault on some of the founding principles of American democracy marches onward despite the Democratic victory in the 2006 elections. The new Democratic majorities in Congress can block the sort of noxious measures that the Republican majority rubber-stamped. But preventing new assaults on civil liberties is not nearly enough.

Five years of presidential overreaching and Congressional collaboration continue to exact a high toll in human lives, America’s global reputation and the architecture of democracy. Brutality toward prisoners, and the denial of their human rights, have been institutionalized; unlawful spying on Americans continues; and the courts are being closed to legal challenges of these practices.

It will require forceful steps by this Congress to undo the damage. A few lawmakers are offering bills intended to do just that, but they are only a start. Taking on this task is a moral imperative that will show the world the United States can be tough on terrorism without sacrificing its humanity and the rule of law.


In the meantime, Foreign Policy magazine has dared to ask who really won Bush's oil war against the people of Iraq: Here's their list...I am sure you have your own:

1) Iran
2) Al-Sadr
3) Al Qaeda
4) Samuel Huntington
5) China
6) Assorted Arab Dictators
7) The Price of Oil
8) The United Nations
9) Old Europe
10)Israel

None of the outcomes, it must be pointed out, are good for US interests. In some cases, that is good for the world. In other case it is not. Consider the case of China. A win for China is a win for a real and militant dictatorship. As "Foreign Polcy" was hitting the European newsstands, it was announced that China, perhaps emboldened by Bush's utter incompetence and revealed impotence, has increased its own military budget by some 17 percent. This is a nation with global, imperial ambitions.

damien said...

Very well said on 911, Len. We've had no explanation for Cheney's chain of command. In fact the 911 Commission has Cheney arriving at the PEOC at 9.52am. However, Mineta's testimony to the Commission was detailed and specific. He arrived at 9.20-9.22am and Cheney was there already. It's discussed here and here in detail.

I'm glad the NYT has finally 'got it' but they don't go far enough. You can't fake political accountability in a democracy or you end up with something else.

And your remarks about the political outcomes of the war in Iraq are also spot on. Iran, China and terrorists (the few genuine al Qaeda that actually exist, together with many sectarian and regional insurgents tagged with that term)all get a winners badge. Even North Korea. And the big loser is anyone seeking global stability and a reduction in WMDs. The world is an infinitely more dangerous place because of the Bush-Cheney cabal.

For those people who wonder why it is I keep insisting that the US is actively working to bring down Iran for reasons entirely unrelated to Iraq, the following story might change your thinking. It's from Gen. Wesley Clark who was recently interviewed by Amy Goodman:

"... I had been through the Pentagon right after 9/11. About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, "Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second." I said, "Well, you’re too busy." He said, "No, no." He says, "We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq." This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, "We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?" He said, "I don’t know." He said, "I guess they don’t know what else to do." So I said, "Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?" He said, "No, no." He says, "There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq." He said, "I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments." And he said, "I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail."

So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, "Are we still going to war with Iraq?" And he said, "Oh, it’s worse than that." He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, "I just got this down from upstairs" -- meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office -- "today." And he said, "This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran." I said, "Is it classified?" He said, "Yes, sir." I said, "Well, don’t show it to me." And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, "You remember that?" He said, "Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!"
(link)

Damning, isn't it? On the admission of Wesley Clark, with a believable anecdotal account apparently supported by documentation, the US had informed the military from 20 Sep 2001 that an attack against Iraq was to go ahead. Proof positive that the diplomatic efforts to 'disarm' Saddam's WMDs were all lies. We are also told that by mid Oct 2001 it was a clear policy statement from the administration that seven countries were to be taken down. Total wars of aggression! Damning!

We now have that same administration reserving to itself the right to carry out a pre-emptive strike against Iran using nuclear weapons should it so desire against a nation that poses no military threat and is in complete fulfillment of its legal obligations under the NPT. There are no words that can reduce the essential criminality of this enterprise.

The recently announced US talks with Iran and Syria are being staged to counter criticism of the Bush administration that it is not serious about engaging with them over Iraq. In fact, the much touted talks will almost certainly not be going ahead.

"U.S. officials won’t hold direct talks with Iran or Syria at a Baghdad conference next month despite the Bush administration’s complaints that those countries are allowing weapons into Iraq, White House spokesman Tony Snow said Wednesday," CNN explains. "Direct talks would happen only if those countries made changes to their own policies. Iran would have to halt its uranium enrichment work and Syria would have to stop supporting groups Washington considers terrorist organizations, Snow said." (link).

Rice herself will not be attending initial talks on March 10, only less senior US officials. If they return with favorable reports that Iran will agree to completely stop its nuclear enrichment program (unlikely given the program is entirely legal under the NPT) only then will further talks take place. So Rice is not serious about these talks. And the US will get to bluster about Iranian intransigence on it's nuclear program as some kind of obstacle to peace in Iraq. Spin, basically. We'll have to see how these criminals intend to play this out. I think the public are being fooled by the lull. I think any attacks will go ahead this year rather than next, sooner rather than later. These guys are not going quietly, I don't care what anybody says.

Len Hart said...

Damien, thanks for the links.

Also, Clark's recollections are entirely credible. His source, I think, hit the nail on the head i.e., "...they (Bush admin) don’t know what else to do". None of this would have been believed when the US was still considered to have been victorious in Afghanistan. Your statement -There are no words that can reduce the essential criminality of this enterprise -sums up the Bush administration very well. Try as I have, I still cannot put into words the depths of this administration's criminality, its culpability, or the magnitude of its crimes against humanity. It boggles the mind.

These guys are not going quietly, I don't care what anybody says.

You are correct and I wish you were not. Bush seems eager to nuke someone. Anyone. Putin said it well: "No one feels safe anymore."

The latest issue of Foreign Policy magazine has stated that Iran is the big winner of Bush's war of aggression against Iraq. That assumes, of course, that Iran doesn't get nuked. Indeed, the fact that Iran has benefited at Bush's expense only makes Iran's situation more precarious than it already was.

An excerpt:

There is little stability or democracy in Iraq to impress Iranians. Conjuring more fear than hope, the war did nothing to loosen the grip of clerical rule over the country. Iranians rejoiced in the fall of Saddam, who fought an eight-year war against their country that killed hundreds of thousands of people, many by chemical weapons. For Iran, the war in Iraq turned out to be a strategic windfall, uprooting Baathism and pacifying a nemesis that had been a thorn in its side for much of the 20th century. Iraq’s new Shiite—and in good measure, Kurdish—masters enjoy friendly ties with Iran. It was no coincidence that Iran was the first of Iraq’s neighbors to recognize its new government and to encourage Iraqis to participate in the political process introduced by the United States.

Iran's "victory" is so markedly greater than Bush's failure and quagmire that it makes of Iran another Bush target. The psychopathic Bush most certainly cannot tolerate Iran enjoying success while Bush himself knows only failure, defeat, quagmire and ridicule. Bush, now under seige at home, has never been more dangerous.

Len Hart said...

Back to Foreign Policy magazine:

Four years into the American occupation of Iraq, tens of thousands of people are dead and a nation is imploding. And Moqtada al-Sadr, the young, rabble-rousing cleric few people had even heard of when the invasion began, can now plausibly claim to be the most powerful man in the country. Sadr’s power covers the whole spectrum of political possibility: He commands as many allies in the Iraqi Parliament as any single party; and his armed followers permeate Iraq’s security forces, control the streets throughout eastern Baghdad and the Shiite south, and fill the ranks of many of the death squads that terrorize the country’s Sunni minority. The Americans would like to see Moqtada off the scene; many moderate Shiite leaders would like to see him dead. Yet Sadr, still in his 30s, appears unassailable. Indeed, he seems the person most likely to benefit should Iraq sink further into chaos.

As many of us said at the time of Bush's run to war --Bush didn't have a clue. Even so, the final outcome has turned out to be be even worse that Bush's most vociferous critics could have imagined. Al-Sadr has regional influence. Not just Iraq, but the entire Middle East is changed. What will happen when the US can no longer get Middle East Oil?

Fuzzflash said...

Damien, yes we do have a different take on 9/11. I believe as you do that Jerkshot and Rummy humped 9/11 for all it was worth after the event. They may have had a sniff of what was about to happen on 9/11, but I’m not convinced that they knew ALL the nitty-gritty beforehand. I’d like to see the video tapes subpoena-ed of the Pentagon when the “flying object” struck it. A full and proper enquiry controlled by non GOPers. Maybe some insiders will spill their guts when BushCo have their claws pried from the ring of power in 2008, if not before, via impeachment, although the Dems are still tame on it for now. Most of the country are paddling faster to stay afloat at the present, Christ knows what the upsurgeing economic tsunami is gonna do. But the punters would rather consume and agonise over the quotidian futility of the days of the lives of Britney and Paris than grapple with the big picture. Loose shoes, tight pussy and a warm place to shit are where it’s at for the majority. Widespread panic in response to a heavy economic fallout would play right into the hands of the fascists. Whack Iran, declare martial law at home, and issue a signing statement postponing all elections till GWOT is won, which we professionals know would be never. It’s all rather depressing on some days, so lately I’ve been taking a ride in one of Mr.Pynchon’s beautiful balloons in his new tome “Against The Day”. Airborne gallows humour is a fine fillip for coping with the seemingly indelible stain and ongoing putrescence of BushWorld.

Re the lack of moral outrage from Cheney/Rummy/The Imbecile. These people are functioning corporate psychopaths. Their highway to Dead City is strewn with close clustered road-kill. It is impossible for them to relate to perceived lesser humans with anything remotely resembling empathy. Like Adolph Eichmann, evil is ultimately as banal as a humourless railway clerk. The required cerebral circuitry became short circuited or self lobotomised back in Rosebud days. They are incapable of being reasoned with. Making nice is possible only in 15 second grabs or less. Hence the absence of the sort compassion of which we “lesser” mortals are capable of in our day to day lives. If all the clerks in Germany went on “strike” in 1939, Hitler would have been stymied. Such defiance was ,of course, impossible because of the all pervading fear. By 1939 it was far too late. We’re almost there again. The Dems havn’t shirt fronted Bush yet and I’m not sure that they’ve got the bottle to do so. I am in the invidious position of possibly having to withday my post election 2006 comment “The Imbecile is fucked and he knows it”. But hope springs eteternal in a middle aged man’s breast as he dreams of a better life ahead, for his kinden, kith and kin. The NYT volte face is better late than never. I’ll believe their change of heart when they get closer to Fox levels of relentlessness.

Btw, what’s imo mean? Wiki wasn’t any help as I bob along in this suggestive sea of “co-incidence theorists”. Hey! Who packed the life raft around here? I’m being sucked down a maelstrom of high powered innuendo in an ocean of alphabet soup. Life has become a never ending crossword puzzle, my bic’s run out of ink and not a Kinko’s Aqua in sight.

Len, I’ll second, or more correctly, third your motion.
“I submit to this board that this loser "President", illegitimate from the get go, is not merely incompetent, he has committed high treason by endangering American national security. Furthermore, he has ordered the commission of atrocities abroad and boasted about them in a State of the Union address.”

damien said...

imo = in my opinion
imho = in my humble opinion
afaics = as far as I can see
jfyF = just for you, Fuzzflash.

Len and Fuzzflash, I need to read both your comments a bit more closely, so thanks for now. I've just been following Lukery's work on Sibel Edmonds. He has a great interview with Scott Horton here (recommended) and transcript here. The latest news: "FBI Special Agent Gilbert Graham alleges that an FBI task force on which he was serving used counterintelligence wiretaps in order to primarily spy on US government officials." (1 2 3 4). If I've got it correct, they were using FISA on US officials. It's a pretty amazing story. The possibilities for control of political opponents, blackmail etc would be very real.

damien said...

And now we know why Bush agreed to talks with Iran and Syria: -- Iraqi officials had been pushing for such a meeting for several months, but Bush administration officials refused until the Iraqi government reached agreement on pressing domestic matters, including guidelines for nationwide distribution of oil revenue and foreign investment in the country’s immense oil industry, administration officials said. (1 2) -- always the oil.

Len Hart said...

Fuzzflash wrote:

The Dems havn’t shirt fronted Bush yet and I’m not sure that they’ve got the bottle to do so.

They are still afraid to make a frontal attack. Democrats used not to be afraid to run in the sunshine i.e. openly on the issues that motivate the Democratic base. Something about Ronald Reagan must have spooked them. I am sick to death of "triangulating a center" that is in truth right, if not far right of center. Secondly, I wish some new chrarismatic leader could not merely shift the paradigm but demolish it entirely. I despise dividing up the world into left v right.

So...Libby may be facing jail time. Damien, thanks for the links. Those are good reasons for not pardoning Libby. Bets are he will serve two years of the possible thirty. But Bush, with nothing else to lose, will pardon Libby and stick to the American people yet again. It is frightening to think about the damage that can be done by a psychopath with nothing to lose.

Even the European media seems to have lost the significance of the Libby conviction -consistently botching in French and English, the background events that lead to the specific charges against Libby. In a word, Libby wound up lying because someone --Cheney, Bush or both in concert --wanted to put the screws to Joe Wilson for daring to challenge the official lies about WMD, specifically the "yellow cake" story. I will not go into detail here because visitors to this board know the score. Sadly, the media still just doesn't seem to get it. The "leaker" --or the person who ordered the leak --is still in office. That person could only be Dick Cheney, George W. Bush or both. We are not just talking about mere perjury or obstruction of justice. We are talking about high treason.

Len Hart said...

Lord Kenneth Clark (Civilization) said: "All great civilizations, in their early stages, are based on success in war". Then what is to be said of Post World War II America which clearly lost at least two major conflicts --Viet Nam and, now, Iraq?

Of the two, the loss of Iraq may prove to be most costly. The Middle East, because it is literally in the "middle" and because it dominates the world production of oil, is highly strategic. Bush must certainly fear a China/Iran alliance or, given Putin's recent statements, a Russia/Iran alliance. Bush's failure in Iraq is three fold:

1) It has exposed the surprising and numerous weaknesses of the U.S. military machine.
2) With its brtality, it has united disparate nations against U.S. interests.
3) It has forever destroyed the good will the US might have leveraged as an "honest broker".

America may no longer pressure authoritarian leaders to moderation. The Bully Pullpit will be ignored, The cause of Democracy will wane. And all because of hubris, incompetence, bloodlust, and idiocy.

Vierotchka said...

IMNSHO = In my not so humble opinion. :)

Len Hart said...

I found the following among the papers of Gen. Telford Taylor:

There is confusion about the meaning and relation of 'Crimes Against Humanity' and 'Outlawing War'. As to the outlawing of war, the Nuremberg concept most directly related was 'Crimes Against the Peace', embodying a criminal prohibition against the planning, preparing, or waging an 'Aggressive War'. In legal terms, this was the most adventurous of the Nuremberg concepts and has also been most criticized on the basis that making war had not previously been considered a crime and that therefore punishing people on this ground would violate the principle against ex post facto trials. Whereas 'Crime Against Humanity' was the phrase that was used to indicate crimes such as racial extermination and other mass atrocities against racial or national groups.

--Telford Taylor Papers, Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Columbia University Law School, New York, N.Y. : TTP-CLS: 9-3-3-64 [TMs] (December 20, 1957).

Taylor was commenting on the planned Playhouse 90 episode to be entitled "Judgement at Nuremberg".

Several issues are raised. With regard to the "ex post facto" issue, it must be pointed out that war itself is a violation of "common law". Otherwise, it war would never be opposed and those perpetrating it would never have to answer for their crimes even in the court of what Hermann Goering called "Victor's Justice". It is also true that the Nazis broke almost every relevant written law in the book and thez did so with every land grab and every invasion. Nuremberg was, perhaps, the first attempt to codify, in a single set of principles, the basic concepts that are now associated with the Nuremberg war crimes trials. Those principles now clearly form the basis for the international tribunal at the Hague.

If these principles are to have teeth, if Goering is to be effectively repudiated, then Bush and his gang must not be allowed to walk. The Nuremberg precedents must not only be allowed to stand, they must be actively, resoundingly affirmed. Justice cannot make arbitrary exceptions for American presidents.

I urge everyone reading this blog to support in any way possible a growing movement to bring the Iraq war criminals to international justice.

Fuzzflash said...

Editorial: New York Times
"The Failed Attorney General"
Published: March 11, 2007

The editors who urged America into Iraq, have finally seen a shaft of light.

Rove(judicial interference in New Mexico) and Cheney(Libby Verdict)are taking heat of their own.
The Imbecile is stumbling around with his thumb in his bum and his mind in neutral, which is pretty much SOP, and as such, not newsworthy. It's just that the truth for him will certainly be like Revelation when that special "hello" moment eventuates. Makes one wonder just what he chats to his "higher father" about on that "daily basis" of which he boasted some time yonder.
Too much Camus can be confusing, I suppose.

At long last there is some momentum gathering to bring these criminals to account. I like the idea of pressure being brought to bear on the Imbecile-In-Chief's core enablers. This strategy acts as kryptonite on the GOP who are heavily stained by association, and can only put forward damaged-goods candidates like Maverick Johnny McSurge and Rudi "Hey, did you guys check me out at 9/11?" Giuliani, as firm early favorites.

The Wilson civil suit against those "core enablers" will be as Gabriel's trumpet to Jericho's walls. When the dust settles there will be demands for a full judicial enquiry into 9/11. Demands that may even have a chance of being answered.
For those who have been following the market, Obama has firmed steadily over the last 3 months from 7/1 to 7/2. That's pretty fucking impressive, and it's why a certain Senator from New York looks as if she has perineal formication.

Certainly, The Times have just grown a whole lot more interesting, in a best of worst of kinda way.

Btw, I trust all you sensitive new age cowpersons have been to see the film "Bobby". Those of you who cannot suppress a sob during the "actual footage" of protesters Vs police street-scenes from 1968, with plaintive, soul-curdling soundtrack harmonies from S&G, will remain brothers and sisters long after the silence is broken.

"And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence"

In the beginning there was always the word.
Now is the time for action.

(imvho)

Len Hart said...

Fuzzflash: The Imbecile is stumbling around with his thumb in his bum

There's room in there for both his thumb AND his head????

At long last there is some momentum gathering to bring these criminals to account.

I would love to take some credit but, realistically, I cannot. I will say this much --I was screaming bloody murder and war crimes as Tom DeLay (remember that lousy crook?) was working assiduously to exempt US troops and officials from prosecution at the Hague. Early in the Bush administration, it was fair to conclude that it had been in the GOP works even before the stolen election. There is, of course, more evidence to support the conclusion that all was planned well before Bush announced his intention to steal...uh...run for the office of President.

Giuliani, as firm early favorites.

Giuliani is a co-conspirator...and there is concincing evidence that Giuliani knew, in advance, that Buildling 7 would be "pulled". What else did he know? And why?

The Wilson civil suit against those "core enablers" will be as Gabriel's trumpet to Jericho's walls. When the dust settles there will be demands for a full judicial enquiry into 9/11. Demands that may even have a chance of being answered.

It would be nice to have a real investigation for a change. But --dont't hold your breath. The GOP has enough money to buy a lot of souls and hell is big enough to hold them all.

In the beginning there was always the word.

Fundamentalists cite this as well as the phrase "...the word was with God" as evidence that the Son existed in the very beginning. I see in this the "genesis" (if you will) of the "information theory" of the universe. What is a word if not pure information? We know, for example, that at some point in the organizational hierarchy, certain atoms will only combine predictably with certain other atoms. Rules? The "genesis" of information theory?

Carbon, for example, has four electrons in its outershell, the valence shell as it is known to scientists. This energy shell holds eight electrons. As it interacts, each carbon atom shares electrons with up to four different atoms. Moreover, Carbon combines readily with other elements and with itself as well. Thus Carbon may form many different compounds of varying size and shape. This is nothing less than grammar or, seen another way, a "formal system" of pure logic.

Seen in terms of pure information theory, there are, it would appear, rules governing how atoms combine with one another to form increasingly complex compounds. Presumably, there are similar rules "governing" how sub-atomic particles intereact with one another to form atoms. At one point do sub-atomic particles behave randomly? At what point does order break down and chaos reigns?

But, as Bill Shakespeare would say: here's the rub: did the rules exist PRIOR to matter itself popping into existence or do the rules, pure information, exist PRIOR to the existence of matter? Who wrote the rules or do the rules write themselves? Are they, in fact, rules? Or --are they merely discriptions of what is observed and not really rules at all. Perhaps, we only think them rules because they appear to be consistent. In the incredibly tiny slivers of space-time preceding the big bang, it is entirely possible that pure chaos reigned.

It is, indeed, tempting to conclude that pre-existing rules govern particle behavior at this level. But --perhaps, there were, are NO rules. Perhaps, there were no electrons, neutrons, protons, or any of the myriad of strange quarks and other quirky particles that have been discovered since Neils Bohr drew up the first model of the atom as a mini-solar system. It is safer to say that the rules do not govern the creation of carbon; rather, it is the existential act of carbon creation that creates the "rule". Giraffes do not have long necks SO THAT they can eat leaves from high trees, for example. They eat leaves from high trees because they have long necks. Clearly, short necked giraffes have not survived.

If the new Large Hadron Collider in Geneva succeeds in re-creating the conditions that existed in the nano-seconds before the Big Bang, we may be able to discover more "rules" about how sub atomic particles intereact with one another.

What Jean-Paul Sartre said of man may be equally true of sub atomic particles at every level of creation.

Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself. --Jean-Paul Sartre

Fuzzflash said...

What a superb rave, Len. From the moment before time began to the ultimate destiny of Man. That's an awful lot of territory. Hints of String Theory: "At one point do sub-atomic particles behave randomly? At what point does order break down and chaos reigns?".
A brush with atomic genesis:"it is the existential act of carbon creation that creates the "rule".",
and a few circuits of the Haldron Collider: "...succeeds in re-creating the conditions that existed in the nano-seconds before the Big Bang..."
Your breadth and stellar brilliance has left my paltry cerebral circuitry devoid of neurotransmitter reserves. But I'd take the trip again anyday.

Granted, I garnished my prose with a couple of Old Testament references, but let me state plainly that these were lazy literary references , rather than expressions of belief in a fundamentalist fairy tale.
When logic goes down, Satre makes the authors of the text "Genesis" look like a bunch of journeyman scribes.
JPS, he da man!

SadButTrue said...

Hey there, folk! I've been playing around with putting what little I know about HTML, CSS, and Photoshop to work over the last couple of days in preparation for the inauguration of Len's group blogging project. I have a playpen blog at My Sandbox where you can see the results. I would really appreciate it if you could drop by there and take a look, leave comments on the top thread as to what you think and if you have any suggestions I will do my best to implement them. If everybody likes the name, I can copy/paste my customized template over to The Existentialist Corral which I thought it would be prudent to reserve as a domain name. If anyone else has a better name, that's OK with me too. Len Hart's Front Porch also crossed my mind.

I am assuming that this is acceptable to all parties, of course. Sebastien, I particularly anticipate your input, because visual arts are not my forté. I have learned most of what I know about Photoshop just in the last 48 hours. Anyone else with the slightest skillz in any of the internet/page design areas, I would really appreciate your help.

Len Hart said...

Sadbuttrue, I am flattered by the billing...my humble thanks. On this end, I hope to have a working computer up and running this week. We certainly have a foundation upon with to build. My compliments on your great work. Will reply in more detail to your email.

Fuzzflash, as usual, your post raises great issues and provides a springboard for much exploration. Your quote --"In the beginning was the word..." --is, of course, from John I, New Testament. It is the first verse which is as follows:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Later, John would presage the fantastic developments since Watson & Crick made us all aware of the structure of DNA: The Word became flesh

The genetic code, consisting as it does of only four molecular "letters" --(A (adenosine), T (thymidine), C (cytidine), and G (guanosine) --is "word". The several "creation" pronouncements in the book of John make perfect sense. This is "Universal Genetic Code" and from just four molecules, the entire grammar of life itself is generated. The "existential" question is whether or not the rules by which the various elements combine somehow pre-exist the act of creation itself. From the standpoint of both the logical positivist as well as the existentialist, the question is meaningless. The rules --laws, if you will --by which carbon conjoins with hydrogen, for example, are only descriptions of what, in fact, happens. They are not rules that must be followed. Life is not generated by rules, a priori, but described by laws and descriptions ex post facto. Or, more precisely, if "rules" somehow pre-exist creation, we cannot know them.

Now --another issue. It would appear that Watson & Crick get too much credit. It was a woman -Rosalind Franklin- who is responsible for the crucial X-ray photo. She was the first to proclaim the DNA molecule to be a double helix. The question was simply -where do the bases -adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine --go? Watson and Crick had put them on the outside in a "model" that Franklin casually dismissed. It was Franklin who proposed that those four "bases" they go inside like rungs of a ladders.

Sadly, Crick`s book --The Double Helix --may have underplayed or even mis-stated Franklin's role.

Len Hart said...

Some references:

Gödel, Escher, Bach, Douglas R. Hofstadter

Infinity and the Mind, Rudy Rucker

Rudy Rucker's Homepage

Science and Human Values

The Thought of Jacob Bronowski in his Essays and in the Ascent of Man

Language, Truth and Logic, A.J. Ayer

Quantum Mechanics and the Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead

The Problems of Philosophy , Bertrand Russell

One Two Three . . . Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science, George Gamow

Existentialism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Len Hart said...

The U.S. situation in Iraq is comparable, as I have said, to the British position in colonial America. Britain was in a "war" that it could not, and did not, win. I posted this excerpt from a speech in Parliament by William Pitt:

You may swell every expense and every effort still more extravagantly; pile and accumulate every assistance you can buy or borrow; traffic and barter with every little pitiful German prince that sells and sends his subjects to the shambles of a foreign prince; your efforts are for ever vain and impotent...

If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms—never—never—never.

William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, Delivered in the House of Lords, May 30, 1777


In 1963, Elizabeth Taylor, in an ABC-TV "special" did an admirable reading of Pitt's speech to Parliament. You can hear a frustratingly small excerpt at this link.

Len Hart said...

BTW, the music for the audio file linked to above was composed by John Barry, the man who composed much of the music that is identified with James Bond. He also penned scores for scores of other films including "The Midnight Cowboy", "The Persuaders" (TV), "The Lion in Winter", "Out of Africa" , and "Dances with Wolves".

Len Hart said...

Following is a letter from Ramsey Clark:

Consider the consequences for the people of the planet, particularly the poor, and for “We the People of the United States” and our Constitution, if our people fail to compel the House of Representatives to do its duty and prosecute impeachment proceedings against President Bush, Vice President Cheney and the principal civil officers of our government responsible for high crimes and misdemeanors most grievous. It is clear that the last best hope for the security, for equal dignity, precious rights and well being of every child, woman and man on earth will be devastated..

“This America is only you and me,” as Walt Whitman wrote in "By Blue Ontario’s Shore." We must act.


Let us count the consequences within the immediate future of a failure to act now.

1. As President, George W. Bush will escalate U.S. militarism and aggression. The current war in Iraq (and elsewhere) will become embedded and spread to Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan or other nations Bush may attack. The “Surge” to “win” in Iraq is a palpable fraud intended to provide the opening for further and permanent U.S. military occupation intended to reach Iran and Syria and establish U.S. domination of the region. The new “surge” General, David Petraeus, acknowledged in his first press conference on returning to Iraq in February 2007, that, “Any student of history recognizes that there is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq” while acknowledging that with the U.S. “Surge”, the Iraqi “insurgents” where stepping up their attacks. The U.S. are the real insurgents. Now we see hundreds of Pilgrims killed on their way to Holy Karbala, families destroyed in Sadr City, more blood everywhere. We must hold the Bush Administration accountable now for its crimes, or we will endure with their consequences for years.

A great American, Robert Drinan, once Dean of Boston College Law School and later a Member of the House of Representatives, who died in February, introduced a Bill of Impeachment against Richard Nixon for ordering the bombing of Cambodia in 1973. Cambodia was a neutral nation. This was a murderous crime. Had the Congress acted on that bill, rather than the comparatively minor offense of the Watergate break-in, Presidents after Nixon would have been more cautious about authorizing armed aggression against other nations and George W. Bush might not have dared attack Iraq which posed no threat to the U.S.

2. As President, George W. Bush will escalate U.S. military spending and military force. The radical increase in U.S. military spending by President Bush, which already exceeded that of all other nations combined, following his Shock and Awe assault on Iraq beginning on March 19, 2003 will escalate steadily supporting his further threats, confrontations and war with other nations. The single greatest step toward peace is the reduction of U.S. military expenditures to the level necessary to defend our country. This should be at least a 50% reduction during the next several years with further major reduction thereafter, as international developments permit.

3. As President, George W. Bush will increase U.S. nuclear armaments and missile defense leading to nuclear proliferation, a nuclear arms race, and cold war. Even while Bush threatens Iran and North Korea and warns others that they must not take any action to obtain nuclear weapons, or the ability to make them, President Bush is upgrading U.S. nuclear weapons systems and developing a new generation of nuclear weapons primarily for tactical uses in war or to destroy selected targets in foreign countries. This is a direct violation of U.S. obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which the U.S. ratified more than a third of a century ago. In addition, the U.S. is developing and installing a Star Wars nuclear missile shield. It is planning to install missiles as a part of this shield in Poland, the Czech Republic and eastern Turkey, all close to the Russian Federation, and is already creating new tension between the U.S. and the Russian Federation tending toward a new cold war. The need is to eliminate all nuclear weapons on earth as intended in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

4. As President, George W. Bush will continue to propagandize his War on Terror, increase the indiscriminate death and destruction it brings further alienating nations and people, creating fear and international tensions that will enable him to violate international laws including the Geneva Conventions and the Constitution of the United States. He will maintain the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and ignore clear international and U.S. Constitutional rights of prisoners there and in secret prisons in other countries. He will continue to authorize torture of prisoners; motivate and cover up violations of the rights of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals using the Patriot Act to obtain confidential information on people illegally, and other vehicles to cause the CIA, F.B.I., military intelligence, U.S. contractors, and surrogate government agencies of other nations to wage war on human rights.

5. As President, George W. Bush will continue to frustrate and prevent the two state solution he claims he seeks in the Middle East Peace process by such acts as punishing Palestine through life threatening economic sanctions for the election of Hamas by the people of Palestine in a fair democratic contest, by further isolating the U.S., paralyzing its ability to function effectively among Arab states and subjecting U.S. citizens to physical danger.

6. As President, George W. Bush will continue to cause, or tolerate serious violations of U.S. law as in the I. Louis Libby case, to cover-up the falsity of U.S. propaganda that Iraq sought to purchase raw materials for Niger to manufacture weapons of mass destruction by having high officials in his office lie under oath even if their acts endanger a covert CIA employee and the projects she has worked on. He will cause and condone the removal of United States Attorneys from office, if they fail to protect political friends of his Administration in violation of law. The U.S. Attorney is the chief prosecutor in his federal judicial district of crimes against the laws of the United States and the lawyer for the U.S. in civil litigation. At least eight U.S. Attorneys have been wrongfully dismissed for political reasons. It is not known how many of the other 84 U.S. Attorneys retained their offices by illegally submitting to political pressure to protect interests of friends of the Bush Administration corrupting the rule of law.

7. As President, George W. Bush will continue to damage the United States by failing to provide competent government services including medical care for the 20,000-30,000 seriously wounded veterans of his Iraq war even at the flagship Walter Reed Hospital, FEMA services in Louisiana and other Gulf States after hurricane Katrina, and through his own travels in Europe, South America, and elsewhere, to nations where the people do not welcome him, where he is met with angry crowds and requires unprecedented protection for his own safety further alienating the U.S. from friendship essential to friendly relations and peace.

The authors of the Constitution were serious about impeachment and intended that the carefully prescribed procedures and principles for impeachment written into the text be faithfully executed. Provisions for impeachment appear in Article I creating the Legislative Branch, Article II creating the Executive Branch and Article III creating the Judicial Branch. No other issue is treated with such detail and care in the Constitution.

Article II, Section 4 mandates:

“The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office or impeachment for and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”.

The authors of the Constitution were steeped in English history. It was largely their history. They knew the power of impeachment had liberated England from the tyranny of the King. That history described impeachment as “The chief instrument for the preservation of government” and “the most powerful weapon in the political armory, short of civil war.”

At the very time the Constitution was drafted, impeachment proceedings in England against Warren Hastings, Governor General of India for corruption and abuses against the Indian people were at a critical stage. That trial resonated strongly with their own experience leading to the U.S. war for independence.

We must make the Members of the House of Representatives become as serious and courageous about the power of impeachment as the Founding Fathers were.

I urge you to join the March on the Pentagon on March 17, if at all possible. It can be the turning point to impeachment. I’ve believed for forty years that the October 1967 March on the Pentagon was the turning point to the withdrawal from Vietnam. I felt the power of the desire for peace within the marchers from inside the Pentagon that time. It was palpable and inspiring. The New York Times, reviewing Norman Mailer’s book on the March in 1968, wrote "The Armies of the Night is witness to a victory..." So can this March be. We need you.

The impeachment struggle is expensive. We cannot let impeachment fail for lack of funds. We must organize in many key congressional districts, lobby hard on Capitol Hill, lease buses, run newspapers ads, go house to house across the country to the House of Representatives to spread the word IMPEACH by clicking this link: IMPEACH BUSH

http://www.impeachbush.org

Len Hart said...

Bush has repeatedly compared what he calls his war against "Islamic extremists" to previous struggles against Nazism and Communism.

NONSENSE.

The GOP -it would appear -has never forgiven FDR for having prevailed in World War II. Recently, the GOP would conspire with conversative media conglomerates to perpetuate a counter-myth: it was Ronald Reagan who prevailed in a cold war against "communism".

More nonsense.

This simplistic, jingoistic view ignores a remarkable leader by the name of Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev who waged quiet revolutions at home and abroad. At Rekjavik, it was Gorbachev -not Reagan -who proposed "...a total elimination of Soviet and American intermediate-range missiles in Europe, and strict compliance with (and non-withdrawal from) the ABM Treaty for not less than ten years." (See: The Eighties Club) It was a nuclear showdown but not the type that we had prepared for since the 50's.

We had been threatened with peace --and were frightened by the prospect.

At the end of the Rekjavik sessions, it was a "...a tight-lipped Reagan" who escorted Gorbachev to the limousine. Gorbachev is reported to have said "I don't know what more I could have done."

"You could have said yes," Reagan replied, having rejected the Soviet leaders proposals. It was Reagan -fearing the loss of his arch conservative base -who blinked. It was Reagan who left Rekjavik bearing the responsibility for having left a long and dangerous cold war intact.

It is true that the Soviet Union possessed considerable nuclear capabilities. In the event of a missile exchange, it might have destroyed the U.S. in the course of an hour. But, as we have said, it was Gorbachev who put that very capability on the table. It was Gorbachev who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. It was a Republican, Ronald Reagan, who blinked.

Consider the many Bush lies and exaggerations. Bush, like his GOP forebears, would like to compare his quagmire in Iraq to the war Roosevelt waged against the Axis powers. The truth of the matter is the Nazis had launched a world war with an awesome military machine -the most powerful military force that the world had yet seen. Nazis slaughtered millions of civilians in support of Hitler's quest for world domination and Russian oil. To liken Bush's many follies to WWII, to the world wide effort to crush the the very real threat of Nazism, is just absurd. Rather, Bush, by exploiting the extremist acts of of tiny minority, has empowered and legitimized their struggle. Bush has not only made terrorism worse, he has given it a megaphone.

Now we find ourselves bogged down in what may prove to be this nation's worst catastrophe. In the Middle East, Bush wages a brutal war crime against a civilian population and he does so upon a pack of malicious lies and transparent pretexts. Opposition to US aims in the Middle East cannot be compared to either WWII or the Cold War. If there are analogies to be made, they are Bush to Hitler, US troops to stormtroopers.

There is hope that the many throughout the Middle East who sincerely seek a positive change will find a voice. Only a united regional effort can expel the "crusader". If Bush is concerned about his legacy, he should keep this in mind: he will be remembered as the western crusader who re-united the disparate peoples who make up the region. He will have united "enemies" against us. He will have given them common cause to wage Jihad. Like Reagan who blinked at Rekjavik, Bush will have made the world a very, very, dangerous place, indeed'

Fuzzflash said...

Yes, Len. Rosalind Franklin was professionally shafted by the Boys Club in her brilliant work on the structure of DNA. Crick was a metaphorical prick to her. RF was a scientific suffragette, a wonderful role model for her sisters who came after. Great woman.

Particularly liked the Sanford history of existentialism. You know the board of govs at SU have just sold their brand to Exxon. Talk about depressing. It's the pits. And B.P.(formerly Anglo Iranian Oil Company till the Shah was installed in 1953) are after Berkeley. No wonder Al Gore couldn't get 50,000 free copies of his Oscar winning "Inconvenient Truth" into American schools. They are already stitched up by Big Carbon's PR heavies.

Rudy Rukker is a remarkable man. His journals of a soul, with pictures, document journeys most fascinating.

Len Hart said...

Fuzz, the commercialization of academia is depressing. Much of it has been around for awhile but, given the more recent corporatization of government, war, and life itself, the current trends are especially worrisome. The pursuit of truth for the sake of truth itself is a thing of the past. Sad.