Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bush Cornered --Cannot Stay, Cannot Pull Out of Iraq

The headline I had written was straight news stuff: House Dems Approve Iraq Pullout. The second headline was closer to reality: GOP Plan to Shuck the Iraq Tar Baby Before Elections is Pure Politics. Neither tell the whole story: Bush cannot stay in Iraq, nor can he pull out.

If Bush goes to Congress citing success on the ground, he will no longer have a pretext to stay. The pull out will follow immediately. Meanwhile the ongoing chaos is, for most folk, the best argument for leaving. Bush is not most folk. Most folk didn't invade Iraq for the oil. Bush did. Pulling out under these conditions means the US gives up the permanent bases that the NEOCONS had planned. It cannot be forgot: this war was all about the price of oil --not the liberation of Iraq.

While the public and most media were focused on the Senate's Iraq debate, House Democrats passed a measure to pull US troops out of Iraq on a purely partisan vote of 223-201. An obvious conclusion is that House GOPs still don't get it. Politics is a greasy pole. Iraq is the grease!

Legislation to pull troops out of Iraq passes 223-201.

Like lightning striking, House Democratic leaders wasted no time in bringing legislation to pull US troops out of Iraq to the floor and passing it on a party-line vote Thursday evening, just hours after President Bush released a July report that gave very mixed reviews on the success of US military efforts in Baghdad.

In her speech for the bill Thursday afternoon, Pelosi linked it to the Bush administration's July assessment report on Iraq, which had been released earlier in the day. Pelosi argued the report showed there has been little progress in reducing the sectarian violence in Iraq or establishing a stable government.

"In the fifth year of the war, the president's strategy has failed to meet those key benchmarks," Pelosi said in her floor speech for the bill. "President Bush continues to urge patience, but what is needed and what the American people are demanding is a new direction."
In the Senate, it's GOP politics as usual. GOP Senators Richard Lugar of Indiana and John Warner of Virginia will urge Bush to draft plans for a US troop withdrawal by the end of the year but leave it up to Bush to actually order the pullout. Like that's going to happen. Obviously, Lugar and Warner have at least read the polls. Equally clear, they want to have it both ways. They still don't have the guts to break with a failed "President".

Their efforts will be seen for what they are: pure politics, a half-hearted attempt to break with Bush short of pissing him off. It's a dangerous strategy. When Bush fails utterly --as he already has --the GOP hangers-on will pay a terrible political price for having been partisan cowards.

Reuters spins somewhat differently.
While it has received a tepid response from Senate Democrats and the White House, the measure underscores the growing bipartisan opposition in the US Congress to the increasingly unpopular war.

--Republican senators seek Iraq withdrawal plan

I also have a message for cowardly Democrats: how would you guys like to be remembered? Are you content to get re-elected simply because you are somewhat less loathsome than your GOP opponent? Is there left in this country no honor? No one of courage? No one of principle? Are Democrats consigned to winning seats because they are the lesser of two evils?

Lugar and Warner, two of the most prominent Republicans in the Senate on foreign affairs and military matters, have become increasingly critical of the war. Reuters claims that their position now leaves Bush in a difficult position with regard to continuing the war. Does it? Where are Lugar and Warner to go when Bush just slams the door on them? On this issue there are no "moderate" Republicans. It was Bush who drew the line in the sand. "You are either with us or you or for the terrorists", he infamously said. It's hard to imagine Lugar and Warner joining forces with Democrats whose own proposals for ending the Iraq debacle are only less tepid.

Democrats are only slightly less uninspiring. "They (Warner and Lugar) clearly recognize there is no purely military solution in Iraq," said a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spokesman. "But they put a lot of faith in the president - that he will voluntarily change course."

Well, that's the GOP for you! Faith over reason! Pipe dreams over truth! Ideology over facts! Still --I am not hearing from Washington the message that I should be hearing. Too many have bought into a favorite Bush tactic: blame the Iraqi people for the disaster that has befallen their country. Of two factors screwing up the Iraq debate, that is one of them. It's the fault of Iraqis that Bush destroyed their country. It's their fault --we are expected to believe --that Bush coveted Iraqi oil and resented Saddam Hussein's ability to lower oil prices with the spigot. It's the Iraqis fault, we're told, that Bush has the blood of some one million Iraqi citizens on his hands.

The other factor is a pernicious idea championed by the GOP. I call it the "bad apple" syndrome. The US military, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary, is always held blameless for war crimes, misdeeds, incompetence, stupidity or simple criminality. All of this --from Abu Ghraib to Haditha --is the work of just a few "bad apples"! Uh huh! Rainwater is beer.
Bathed in television lights in a hallway just off of the Senate chamber, five leading Republican senators Tuesday underlined their support for President Bush's so-called surge plan in Iraq. "There is a complete commitment from the president and from the White House that General (David) Petraeus has the time and resources he needs to do the job through September and report back to us," South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters.

--Can Bush Save the Surge?

The surge ought not to be saved! We should have pulled out instead. Better --we should never have begun this war of naked aggression, this war crime, this on-going crime against the people of Iraq. Secondly, it is said that Petraeus has the time and resources to do the job. What he hell is the job? More civilian dead? Already some one million Iraqi civilians are dead because George W. Bush ordered what has become a crime of mass murder. This crime, Bush's crime, is unlawful under US Codes and it is punishable by death.

Out of Iraq now!

Some background: Bush had always intended to steal Iraqi oil.

Australia Admits Oil Was Reason for War of Aggression against Iraq

Sydney, July 6 (RHC).- The Australian government has admitted that securing oil supplies is a factor in that country's continued military involvement in occupied Iraq. Australian Defense Minister Brendan Nelson said that oil was key in Australia's contribution to the unpopular war, as "energy security" and stability in the Middle East would be crucial to the nation's future.

Speaking with reporters from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the defense minister said it was important to support what he called "the prestige" of the United States and the UK in the on-going war of aggression against the occupied Arab country. He said: "The defense update we're releasing sets out many priorities for Australia's defense and security, and resource security is one of them." ...

Elsewhere, Democratic Senator Dennis Kucinich says "Privatizing Iraq's Oil is Theft!"

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bush Claims Power to Wage War on US Citizens

Bush proves himself a "state absolutist", arrogating unto himself the power to wage war on the American people.
The President is now claiming, and is aggressively exercising, the right to use any and all war powers against American citizens even within the United States, and he insists that neither Congress nor the courts can do anything to stop him or even restrict him.

Glenn Greenwald: The NSA Fight Begins - Strategies for Moving Forward

So when Bush says that the "Constitution is just a Goddamned piece of paper", he aligns himself with Hitler, Mussolini, Mao -- "state absolutists", fascists, and radical communists. Simply, he has declared war on the American people, our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Democracy and freedom.

The so called "intolerable acts" attributed to King George III pale by comparison.

It's not about whether the "President" will break the law. He's already done that repeatedly. It's about the rule of law itself. It is about how Bush will abuse the power he claims against the rights and the very lives of the people of the United States. He assumes for himself the power to wage war on US citizens.

This is not about whether Bush has the right to murder US citizens. We know he does not. What should alarm every citizen is the fact that Bush thinks himself the law itself, or, perhaps more accurately a law unto himself.

One who thinks he has such power will try to exercise it. The consequences have already been disastrous at home and in Iraq. Already, Michael Chertoff says he has a 'Gut Feeling' that the US will be hit soon with a major terrorist event. What does he know? When did he know it? More importantly --how does he know it? Did Bush tell him it had been planned?

That Bush dares to claim the power to declare war on the American people makes one wonder --has he already done so? Like Hitler before him, has Bush called an act of high treason an act of terrorism, citing it to justify a war of naked aggression in pursuit of oil? Is this "President", who presided over the highest execution rate in Texas history, capable of murdering US citizens on a grand scale, a 911 scale? An Iraq scale? If that is the question, then the public record damns Bush. How many must die to satisfy this cretin's perverted blood lust? [See: George W. Bush Breaks Kill Record With Hat Trick!!!]

Bush is anti-American, an "Hegelian", a "state-absolutist" opposed to truly American democratic traditions. Hegel believed the state "has [the] supreme right against the individual" Notice the use of the word "against". Hegel believed that an individual's only duty was to be a mere "a member of the state", a vassal! [See also: The Hegel Society of America] This pernicious notion is 180 degrees out of phase with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. It is entirely consistent with the ideas of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
The Bill of Rights, 1689

Whereas the said late King James II having abdicated the government, and the throne being thereby vacant, his Highness the prince of Orange (whom it hath pleased Almighty God to make the glorious instrument of delivering this kingdom from popery and arbitrary power) did (by the advice of the lords spiritual and temporal, and diverse principal persons of the Commons) cause letters to be written to the lords spiritual and temporal, being Protestants, and other letters to the several counties, cities, universities, boroughs, and Cinque Ports, for the choosing of such persons to represent them, as were of right to be sent to parliament, to meet and sit at Westminster upon the two and twentieth day of January, in this year 1689, in order to such an establishment as that their religion, laws, and liberties might not again be in danger of being subverted; upon which letters elections have been accordingly made.

And thereupon the said lords spiritual and temporal and Commons, pursuant to their respective letters and elections, being new assembled in a full and free representation of this nation, taking into their most serious consideration the best means for attaining the ends aforesaid, do in the first place (as their ancestors in like case have usually done), for the vindication and assertion of their ancient rights and liberties, declare:
  • 1. That the pretended power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, without consent of parliament is illegal.
  • 2. That the pretended power of dispensing with the laws, or the execution of law by regal authority, as it hath been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal.
  • 3. That the commission for erecting the late court of commissioners for ecclesiastical causes, and all other commissions and courts of like nature, are illegal and pernicious.
  • 4. That levying money for or to the use of the crown by pretense of prerogative, without grant of parliament, for longer time or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal.
  • 5. That it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal.
  • 6. That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of parliament, is against law.
  • 7. That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defense suitable to their conditions, and as allowed by law.
  • 8. That election of members of parliament ought to be free.
  • 9. That the freedom of speech, and debates or proceedings in parliament, ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of parliament.
  • 10. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
  • 11. That jurors ought to be duly impaneled and returned, and jurors which pass upon men in trials for high treason ought to be freeholders.
  • 12. That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void.
  • 13. And that for redress of all grievances, and for the amending, strengthening, and preserving of the laws, parliament ought to be held frequently.
And they do claim, demand, and insist upon all and singular the premises, as their undoubted rights and liberties....

Having therefore an entire confidence that his said Highness the prince of Orange will perfect the deliverance so far advanced by him, and will still preserve them from the violation of their rights, which they have here asserted, and from all other attempt upon their religion, rights, and liberties:

The said lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, assembled at Westminster, do resolve that William and Mary, prince and princess of Orange, be, and be declared, king and queen of England, France, and Ireland....

Upon which their said Majesties did accept the crown and royal dignity of the kingdoms of England, France, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, according to the resolution and desire of the said lords and commons contained in the said declaration.

The Statutes: Revised Edition (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1871), Vol. 2, pp. 10-12.
These are traditional concepts. They are, in fact, our heritage. A true "conservative" would work to "conserve" them. On the contrary, Bush and his natural constituency of militarists and fascists are at odds with the interests of the people. They have it backward. Government may not grant rights. We have them already. They are inherent. Government, if it is to claim legitimacy, must recognize and uphold them. That is, in fact, government's only legitimate role.

Two significant events establishing those principles come to mind: the signing of the Magna Carta and the English Civil War. Indeed, in 1649, in an historic assertion of the rights of Parliament, King Charles I of England was executed. According to John Stuart Mill, government itself ceased to be the seat of sovereign power. More accurately, I would say that it never had been. But it retrospect it is easy to conclude that such an event may have been necessary before people could realize that they had, in fact, always been the sovereign. "Governors" ceased to be independent powers; magistrates of the State became delegates of the sovereign i.e. the people themselves.

Bush assumes powers that even the most powerful English monarchs would never have gotten away with. If Bush can spy on you, in secret, without a court order, he can, likewise arrest you in secret, imprison you without charges. He can and will deny you "due process of law". He can have you executed in secret. In such a "Leviathan" state, you have no rights. You are are insignificant. Ah, but that only happens to terrorists, you say! But a terrorist is whomever Bush says is a terrorist.

If we are lucky, Bush is on the wrong side of history and will fail. If we are not lucky, Bush will wage war upon the American people themselves and America will be forever lost if it is not lost already!

Bush is best described as anti-American or fascist by virtue of his partnership with "big oil" and other corporate interests. For Bush sovereignty resides with the state; the people are mere vassals. He represents a tradition more at home in the Teutoburg Forest or the grandiloquent halls of Hitler's Chancellery.

If Bush believed that the people have rights at all, he would believe that they are bestowed by government. In our tradition, government does not have the authority to "grant" rights. The people are sovereign. Rights cannot be granted by government because the people have them already. It is, rather, the people who provisionally grant to government a right to govern but only for so long as it is done responsibly or competently. It was all summed up well by Thomas Jefferson in our own Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government ...

--Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence, 1776

Those ideas were did not originate with Jefferson. They were found earlier in the writings of John Locke and other "enlightenment" authors including Rousseau, Montesquieu, Voltaire and earlier still in Ancient Greece. The government's only job is to secure and defend the rights that we already have. It is not the job of government to wage war on us, endanger us by waging aggressive wars against out wishes. It is not the job of government to spy on us. It is, rather, our right, indeed, our duty to make ourselves aware of every government plot and every device that government might use against us. Indeed, any government that dares wage war on its own people is itself treasonous. As Thomas Jefferson pointed out, it is the right of "the people" to abolish such a government. Bush presides over such a government, a government that has broken its covenant with the people.

By asserting a right to wage war on the people themselves, Bush demonstrated the illegitimacy of his regime, his "government". He has, thus, earned a place in history beside a list of descriptive labels: despot, failure, incompetent, war monger, tyrant, liar, mass murderer. In one important sense, Bush has already waged war against the American people, most notably by way of the Patriot Act, an unconstitutional abomination on its face!

Bush is a dangerous radical more akin to Hitler or Mussolini than to our founders George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and, indeed, Patrick Henry who famously said: "Give me liberty, or give me death!" By contrast, Bush has said "This would be a whole lot easier if this was a dictatorship...heh heh heh long as I'm the dictator! The Constitution is, after all, the antithesis of the Skull and Bones belief in the superiority of the State over the individual.

Significantly, totalitarian states have their philosophical roots in Hegelianism, a straight road to both Nazism and Stalinism. There is, by contrast, another road that runs straight from Magna Carta to our own Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.
If the Magna Carta is not the birth certificate of Democracy, it is the death certificate of despotism. It spells out for the first time the fundamental principle that the law is not simply the whim of the king. The law is an independent power unto itself. And the King could be brought to book for violating it!"

—Simon Schama, History of Britain

The Constitution itself is explicit when it establishes the sovereignty of the people. But, if that were not enough to dispel notions of the "state as absolute", a Bill of Rights was insisted upon and ratified by the people. In the 1960's Justice William O. Douglas believed that the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights are absolute —beyond the power of Congress or the executive to modify or infringe in any way.

Also in the 60s, the high court expanded the protections given individuals who found themselves accused of crimes; the decisions especially affected the issue of search and seizures (Mapp v. Ohio), confessions (Miranda v. Arizona), and the right to an attorney (Gideon v. Wainwright). Later, Roe v. Wade would uphold a woman's right to privacy. Clearly, then, Bush by advocating doctrines associated with Nazism and Stalinism has found himself an enemy of basic individual rights, most prominently privacy and, by implication, that most basic of American rights: the right of the people to be secure in their homes and in their possessions.

What are the implications of the concept: "state" as "absolute"? Simply, it flies in the face of the Magna Carta, the English Petition of Right, the Mayflower Compact, The Virginia Declaration of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights, The Nuremberg Principles, and every Supreme Court decision that has upheld the right of persons to be secure in their homes.

Totalitarian states have their philosophical roots in Hegelianism, a straight road to both Nazism and Stalinism. The word "Leviathan" is most often remembered in connection with "Leviathan" by Thomas Hobbes, of course, but also Moby Dick by Herman Melville. There are the lesser known connotations from Standard Hebrew, specifically, a coiled, monster referenced in Psalm, Job, and Isaiah. Hobbes used the term to describe a new being --not human, not animal. Rather, a functioning gestalt of state creation. An all powerful "state" analogous to Hobbes' "Leviathan" is often used to describe the "protectorate" of Oliver Cromwell. The picture that emerges is one of the state as a souless uber-machine, a Moloch, an image repeated much later in the famous film of Fritz Lang --Metropolis. Bush would have you subservient to Moloch.

Like Leonardo da Vinci, Hobbes could not resist the analogy of man and machine. In his Introduction to Leviathan, of 1651, his first paragraph seems almost to recall images of drawings from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci.

NATURE (the art whereby God hath made and governs the world) is by the art of man, as in many other things, so in this also imitated, that it can make an artificial animal. For seeing life is but a motion of limbs, the beginning whereof is in some principal part within, why may we not say that all automata (engines that move themselves by springs and wheels as doth a watch) have an artificial life? For what is the heart, but a spring; and the nerves, but so many strings; and the joints, but so many wheels, giving motion to the whole body, such as was intended by the Artificer?

--Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes

Chris Hedges: "American Fascists" The Christian Right vs USA

George Bush Sr. Talking about
the creation of a "New World Order"

America approached this stage in the evolution of Bush's uber state by insidious degrees since 1980, a year notable for the ascension of Ronald Reagan. If you lived in Texas and didn't like Reagan, you were a "traitor". The Reagan administration lived down to expectations. In conservative Houston, ordinary conversation became strained, if it had not been already. The GOP became more militant than usual. It became a dysfunctional, psychotic "cult" of the "in" vs everyone else. The GOP would become a crime syndicate and a neurotic one at that.

Bill Clinton was not President long enough to have made a real difference against at least 14 years of contiguous GOP misrule. Clinton's economic gains are all undone under Bush. The GOP is back on track: the poor get poorer and the corporations position themselves to dominate every aspect of the individual's life.

Big Brother is the alliance of the GOP, the Military/Industrial Complex, and the Corporate lobbies. This "unholy alliance" will ironically exploit the "Christian Right". Even Hitler found it necessary to appeal to the mystical impulse and found it from various sources even as he cracked down on traditional religion.

At some point, Bush's absolute state, this "Leviathan", will accrue so much power that it may dispense with the US government altogether --or, at least, the Congress. The "Leviathan" may decide to keep the "Presidency" around for photo-ops and ceremonies! The Supreme Court will be reduced to a single office with lots of rubber stamps.

Additional ResourcesDiscoveriesSuggested films

Why Conservatives Hate America

Spread the word:

yahoo icerocket pubsub newsvine

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bush War Crimes Death Toll Up to One Million

When he is removed from office, Bush should stand trial for war crimes, violations of the Nuremberg Principles, the Geneva Conventions, and our own US criminal Codes, Title 18, Section 2441 which makes death from war crimes a capital offense. Despite efforts by Bush to rewrite the laws --but only after having flouted them --the US is bound by treaty to basic international principles, many of which were first championed by the US.

Think of it: Bush, as President of the United States, knowingly ordered such violations and as a result some one million civilians are dead [See: Estimated Iraqi death due to US invasion nears one million] One million Iraqi civilians fall victim to state sponsored mass murder. Can we now put to rest a pernicious, evil GOP lie? That is, that Iraqis have been liberated!

Aggravating this crime against humanity is the fact that Bush defrauded the American people to do it. By any definition, that amounts to a betrayal of the sovereign --high treason! Of course, Bush is to be held responsible for these heinous crimes against the US, Iraq and humanity. That Bush invaded a sovereign nation in order to control the price of oil aggravates his crime.

I hold the GOP equally responsible. The GOP leadership must surely have known what fate awaited the innocent civilians of Iraq. I accuse the GOP of conspiring with the Bush gang of war criminals to invade a sovereign nation so that the robber barons of big oil might be enriched with higher prices for oil. [See: Grand Theft Country: How George W. Bush Looted Iraq]

It was George W. Bush who established the "liberation of Iraq" as the standard by which victory in Iraq may be judged. By that standard, Bush lost. It's also clear that by the definition found in the British Terrorism Act of 2000, the United States has waged a campaign of state-sponsored "terrorism" against the people of Iraq. Bush is, therefore, the world's number one terrorist and, as the French might say: Les Etats-Unis sont le plus grand terroriste au monde! At the same time, GOP policies make terrorism worse. When I dared to publicize FBI stats indicating that terrorism is always worse under GOP regimes, I was pounced on by the "new right" Heritage Foundation. I was right. Heritage was wrong! [ See The Heritage Foundation Picks a Fight with the Cowboy ]

On the other hand, if Bush should succeed, however by chance, in actually bringing "democracy" to any nation thus far bombed and invaded, then we should consider emigrating there. Democracy is all but dead in America! Hypocrisy is the GOP modus operandi.

In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld on June 29, 2006, SCOTUS ruled that the Bush administration's policy of unilaterally abrogating our legal commitment to the Geneva Conventions was illegal. Georgetown law professor Neal Katyal argued the case and prevailed. The ruling resoundingly affirms the common sense interpretation of Geneva: the use of military tribunals for Guantanamo detainees is a violation of US and international laws. So called "detainees" are entitled to protections guaranteed them in the Geneva Conventions. I am appalled that the issue even came up. But for Bush's psychotic and psycho-religious visions of conquest for God and big oil, it was a settled issue. No one but Bush, neocons, and the robber barons of big oil had a problem with it.

Bush partisans responded, asking Congress to pass legislation denying prisoners' the right to sue for protections recognized under Geneva, our own treaty obligations, and US Codes. Congress drafted legislation allowing the consideration of intelligence-gathering needs during interrogations, in place of an absolute human rights standard. This all appears to have been a sop to a ruthless, radical administration.

At stake is not just a principle but principle itself in these unprincipled times. If we buy into Bush's every rationale, the source of our rights is denied by government. This has a Gonzales/Ashcroft stench to it. It is typical of ideological thinking to work backward from outcomes to whatever premise will support them. It is my conviction that our "rights", even as US citizens, are ours not because they were given us by an otherwise benign or "Jeffersonian" government but because those rights belong to all of humanity. They are our rights individually and collectively because no individual, no government, no corporation may deny them. Individuals --not collective abstractions --are sovereign.

The Congress responded by formatting amendments to the War Crimes Act --amendments spelling out serious crimes and omitting others altogether. Typically, US officials would describe those as "less serious". Two acts -- rape and sexual abuse --were however, considered to be prosecutable. I am still wondering where that leaves Bush with regard to Abu Ghraib and the pattern of widespread tortures and other outrages to humanity that most certainly were endemic throughout the US gulag archipelago from Guantanamo to Eastern Europe. That I am even writing about these Soviet/Nazi style crimes against humanity in connection with the policies of the "President" of the United States is beyond mere indignation. It is beyond appalling, beyond outrage!

The old 911 magic may be gone forever. It was in those days, as you may recall, that Bush boasted: "Lucky me! I just won the trifecta". 911 propelled Bush to the heights of public approval amid promises that he would smoke out Bin Laden and bring him to justice. He would treat the nations who nurture terrorism as terrorists themselves. In fact, he's done none of those things. Given the fraudulent nature of his war against Iraq, it's a good thing that he has failed. A Bush success is too terrible to contemplate. [See: the FBI has recently stated that there was never hard evidence that Bin Laden had anything to do with the events of 911 anyway; Google search: NO HARD EVIDENCE] We should also add that there is also no hard evidence whatsoever in support of Bush's official conspiracy theories of 911.

That Bush has failed miserably in Iraq is now recognized by almost everyone, including most notably former National Security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and Iraq's former interim Prime Minister Allawi.

Events have shattered Bush's every ex post facto rationalization for war, most tragically, the liberation of Iraq.
"Our quarrel was not with you, the people of Iraq, but rather with your leadership, and especially with Saddam Hussein."

—George W. Bush
Hollow words from a failed, would be despot who waged war against a civilian population.
It would take a US commitment of half a million troops to make a significant difference in fighting the Iraqi insurgency. But we are not in a position to do this ...

—Zbigniew Brzezinski
And what would be the nature of that "difference"? At this point, there is no victory by any yardstick. When an entire population, an entire region is enraged, does the despot-in-chief envision murdering everyone who dares resist an illegitimate occupation? Empty rhetoric about winning is, at this point, cruel, hollow, stupid.

That we have failed to liberate Iraq means absolutely nothing to Bush for whom words mean nothing. "Liberate", for Bush, is just a word used to make his speeches sound less threatening. "Liberation" means nothing when we have imposed upon a civilian population shock and awe, the horrors of Abu Ghraib and even more recent atrocities.

The long suffering Iraqis traded one tyrant for a worse one. The ordinary Iraqi is worse off. He could not be blamed if "he" were nostalgic for Saddam. The Iraqi on the street is justified in asking what difference does it make to me whether I am tortured by Saddam or by Bush?
‘Terrorism is the use, or threat, of action which is violent, damaging or disrupting, and is intended to influence the government or intimidate the public and is for purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause,’

Britain Terrorism Act 2000.

By that definition, George W. Bush is the world's number one terrorist. He has made of the US a nation that harbors and nurtures terrorists, that is, anyone who has materially supported him. Bush continues to wage a terrorist campaign against the people of Iraq and we are not safer for his having done so.

We have only Bush's assertions that al Qaeda now operates out of Iraq. Bush should choose his lies carefully. If this is true, it means that he has failed the very raison d'etre for waging war. Certainly, al Qaeda had no "base of operation" in Iraq prior to the US attack and invasion. The public record is contrary to every Bush assertion to wit: there is no evidence that Saddam and Bin Laden were ever friendly. They were most certainly awowed enemies. Bin Laden (if what is said about him is true) represents radical, theocratic Islam. Saddam, on the other hand, was head of a "secular" state. There is credible evidence that Saddam had been supported by the CIA. He was "our" man in the Middle East. As the transcript of Ambassador April Glaspie's Saddam interview indicates, the US fell out of love with Saddam when he insisted on lowering the price of oil.

Why do we continue to make the same mistakes? You would call a doctor an idiot if he told you to keep on doing whatever it is that's making you sick. Yet that is the GOP modus operandi. The American people have at least this much in common with the hard pressed people of Baghdad, that is, they are sick and tired of Bush, his every stupid statement, his tragic criminal war, his utter nonsense about fighting "terrorism".
It's beginning to look like the American people may finally have had a bellyful of elected officials who do little more than shill for lobbyists, ignore the interests of America's citizens and perpetuate rather than solve the problems facing this nation.

Lou Dobbs, Lame ducks in a row

Bring it on! The elections that is. Dobbs points out that there are some 469 lame ducks in Congress. If the people have truly had a "belly full", they will put the corporate shills out on the streets where they belong. Pollwise and morally, Bush is lower than a snake's belly. But beneath the scales, there may be a silver lining, an opportunity. Should an enraged populace defy the pundits, the shockwaves could rock the establishment, send a shiver through corporate boardrooms, and set the hounds upon the Fox!

Some food for thought:

“Shall the City of Santa Barbara adopt an ordinance mandating that the Santa Barbara Police give marijuana laws the lowest law enforcement priority possible?”

A California judge upholding this citizen-supported and voter approved initiative wrote:

“Santa Barbara is free to decline to enforce federal criminal statutes. It is up to the federal government to enforce its laws. Indeed, the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from impressing ‘into its service — and at no cost to itself — the police officers of the 50 States.’”

What if the various "blue" municipalities and states, unite, to refuse to enforce ALL federal criminal statutes?


Gonzales Caught Lying to Congress About Patriot Act Abuses of Power

Will Menaker: Gonzales denied seeing reports of widespread FBI abuse that he actually totally did see and chose to ignore.

Today's Washington Post reports that Attorney general Alberto Gonzales was given a report detailing FBI abuses of power six days before testifying to Congress where he sought to renew the Patriot Act. In front of the Senate Intelligence Committee he claimed he knew of no wrongdoing or abuse of power, and that the Patriot Act was free of problems, despite the reports of numerous violations of the law and FBI protocol.

The report detailed acts of unauthorized surveillance, improper searches, and other procedural and legal breaches of civil rights and privacy laws. Gonzales was also briefed on the abuse of the anti-terror tool known as the national security letter as early as 2005, well before the Justice Department's inspector general made these violations public.

Nonetheless, when the stinging IG report was issued, Gonzales reacted with surprise in public saying, "I was upset when I learned this, as was Director Mueller. To say that I am concerned about what has been revealed in this report would be an enormous understatement."

Officials and the Justice department claim that Gonzales' statements in public and before Congress were "in the context" of the reports issued by the inspector general.

Leahy: Bush is "Contemptuous of the Congress"

Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, ripped into George W. Bush on Monday after receiving a letter from White House Counsel Fred Fielding stating that Senate subpoenas for documents and staff testimony in the Justice Department political firings would be met with silence and a specious claim of executive privilege.

Directly accusing the Bush administration of having something to hide, Leahy took to the Senate floor and said that his committee's efforts at Congressional oversight have been met with "Nixonian stonewalling that reveals this White House’s disdain for our system of checks and balances."

"This is more stonewalling from a White House that believes it can unilaterally control the other co-equal branches of government," said Leahy. "It raises the question: What is the White House trying to hide by refusing to turn over evidence?"

The Judiciary Committee chairman also pointed out that previous statements made by the White House indicated that the firing of U.S. attorneys was handled solely by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the Justice Department and that answers for Congress on the issue had to come from Gonzales and his staff -- only to now claim that the investigation should be stymied because of presidential privilege.


And now for something completely different:

Linda Ronstadt - Cancion Mixteca

Additional resources: Discoveries:

Why Conservatives Hate America

Spread the word:

yahoo icerocket pubsub newsvine

Monday, July 09, 2007

Texas: Where Every Fascist Worth his Swastika Owns Himself a Politician Like Bush

Texas barely resembles the state it once was. Under Bush, it became a sleazy auction where would-be Bushes sell out the rule of law and the people. Columnist Joseph Galloway asks: "Why is it that the Bush administration, in its dying throes, looks remarkably more like an organized crime ring than one of the arms of the American government?" I have a simple explanation. The GOP looks and acts like a criminal conspiracy because it is one. It looks like a crime syndicate because it's cheaper to buy a politician than it is to obey the law. They proved it all in Texas.

Surely, there is probable cause in the public record to justify a Federal Grand Jury investigation of Bush's inner circle. Galloway goes on to ask:
What happened to him? Where did that George Bush go? When did he go over to The Dark Side? What enticements did Vice President Darth Cheney offer him? Was it the vision of unlimited, unchecked power over the world?
Joe, listen up! I am fourth generation, native Texan. I can tell you --Bush was always a crook. He didn't "go over to The Dark Side"! He never left it! He did leave Texas in ruins --dead last in education, polluted, divided. Bush is not a horseman in the Texas sense of the word. He is, rather, one of four horsemen of a GOP apocalypse. The others are Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice.
Remember the George Bush who declared that anyone who violated the law and participated in the leaking of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame would be fired on the spot?

What about Karl Rove who works beside President Bush and is his Mr. Fixit and Mr. Fix Them? Was it just my imagination or did I not hear sworn testimony and see documents indicating that he was up to his pudgy little neck in the whole deal?

Can we not suppose that Mr. Rove was, in fact, at the root of the 51 White House employees whose e-mails miraculously vanished from all those e-mail accounts that executive-branch employees maintained through a cut-out: the Republican National Committee? How many laws governing the preservation of White House records, passed by Congress after the sorry spectacle of Richard Nixon and the vanishing 18.5 minutes of taped chit-chat in the Oval Office, have Mr. Rove and his hench-people broken? What ARE they hiding?

What about the lies and lame excuses put forward to hide their actions in the case of the missing federal prosecutors by the chief law enforcement officer of our country, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and his sophomoric young assistant attorneys general with their degrees from universities where only one book is on the reading list?

Does anyone doubt that Karl Rove personally drew up the list of those prosecutors who were to be executed because they did not enthusiastically go after people who were likely to vote for the Democrats in any election?

--Joseph Galloway, What happened to the George Bush who insisted on honest government?

Bush is not Texan. He's a carpetbagger born in Connecticut who left the state of Texas much worse than he found it. Already the state of the state had not been good thanks to Texas' recent flirtation with Republicanism, corporatism, fascism. I am a Native Texan. I recall another Texas. A better Texas. A Texas not yet sold out to privilege with the Oil Depletion Allowance. While I still lived there, government at all levels outsourced almost everything to "private enterprise", most notoriously the prisons. Convicts are a source of cheap if not slave labor. It is an Orwellian nightmare of no accountability, waste, graft, and fascism.

Suicide Exposes Squalor in Texas Prison

Suicide Shows Squalid Conditions in Privately-Run Texas Prison; Company Operates in 15 States


After months alone in his cell, Scot Noble Payne finished 20 pages of letters, describing to loved ones the decrepit conditions of the prison where he was serving time for molesting a child. Then Payne used a razor blade to slice two 3-inch gashes in his throat. Guards found his body in the cell's shower, with the water still running.

"Try to comfort my mum too and try to get her to see that I am truly happy again," he wrote his uncle. "I tell you, it sure beats having water on the floor 24/7, a smelly pillow case, sheets with blood stains on them and a stinky towel that hasn't been changed since they caught me."

Payne's suicide on March 4 came seven months after he was sent to the squalid privately run Texas prison by Idaho authorities trying to ease inmate overcrowding in their own state. His death exposed what had been Idaho's standard practice for dealing with inmates sent to out-of-state prisons: Out of sight, out of mind.

It also raised questions about a company hired to operate prisons in 15 states, despite reports of abusive guards and terrible sanitation.

Hundreds of pages of documents obtained by The Associated Press through an open-records request show Idaho did little monitoring of out-of-state inmates, despite repeated complaints from prisoners, their families and a prison inspector.


While Governor, Bush presided over significant declines in Texas' education standards. Most notorious was the so-called "Houston Miracle", the brain child of then Governor Bush’s secretary of education, Rod Paige. Briefly, it was all a fraud.
When nominated to serve in Bush’s cabinet, many marveled at Paige’s triumphs as Houston’s superintendent of public schools in Houston from 1994 to 2000. Usually near the top of Paige’s list of accomplishments was his success in dramatically bringing down dropout rates in one of the nation’s largest school districts.

There was one funny thing about those dramatically curtailed dropout rates, though. They weren’t true.

In Paige’s last year as Houston’s superintendent, the school district reported an incredibly low dropout rate of 1.5%. That was better than any comparably-sized school district in America. The problem, however, is that the district, which was under Paige’s supervision, cooked the books and failed to count thousands of students who dropped out and didn’t return.

--Rod Paige’s Houston ‘Miracle’, The Carpetbagger Report

Texas still ranks dead last in education. But it was not only in education that Bush failed Texas. Bush left behind an environmental waste land. Under George W. Bush's "leadership", Texas went from dead last in education to "number one polluter" in many categories.
  • 1 in the Emission of Ozone Causing Air Pollution Chemicals
  • 1 in Toxic Chemical releases into the Air
  • 1 in use of Deep Well Injectors as method of Waste Disposal
  • 1 in counties listed in top 20 of Emitting Cancer Causing Chemicals
  • 1 in Total Number of Hazardous Waste Incinerators
  • 1 in Environmental Justice Title 6 complaints
  • 1 in production of Cancer causing Benzene & Vinyl Chloride
  • 1 Largest Sludge Dump in Country
  • [See: Toxic Texas referenced below]
Bush "outsourced", in other words, "corporatized" the protection of the Texas environment. He insisted upon the state handling the protection of endangered species even as he promoted further, corporate activities, primarily unchecked development, that would endanger those very species. There is, as far as I know, no moves to halt this practice. The Bush legacy in Texas remains a threat to endangered species, a threat to the global environment. Bush's legacy includes his misguided policies with regard to air pollution, wastewater discharges, pesticides, and even nuclear wastes. Bush's misrule was as disastrous to Texas as his occupancy in Washington has been to the rest of the world including Iraq. It was Bush occupied Texas!

It is no coincidence that the state's biggest polluters are also Bush's biggest contributors. The following list is what the word "fascism" is all about.

Apache Corporation $1,000

ARCO $13,250

Assn. of Electric Companies of TX $1,500

BP Amoco $5,000

Central and Southwest Corp/ American Electric Power Co $18,500

Champion International Corp $5,250

Coastal Corp $37,250

Crown Central Petroleum Corp $6,000

Dow Chemical Company $26,000

Duke Capital Corp $23,000

Eastman Chemical Company $7,200

El Paso Energy Corporation $6,000

Enron Corp $30,000

Entergy Gulf States $9,500

Exxon $24,200

Fulbright & Jaworski $67,000

International Paper $5,000

Hired Gun Lobbyists for Grandfathered Firms $150,500

Koch Industries $4,500

Lockheed $17,400

Lyondell Petrochemical GP Inc. $3,500

MND Energy Corporation $2,250

Mobil Oil $250

New Century Energies $2,000

Oryx Energy Company $3,000

PG & E $5,000

Phillips/GPM $11,998

Rohm & Haas $2,000

Southwestern Electric Service Co. $6,250

Tenneco, Inc. $1,000

Texaco Inc $20,000

Texas Utilities $64,800

Torch Energy Marketing $2,400

TX Assn. of Business & Commerce PAC $20,000

TX Cattle Feeders Assn./BEEF PAC $20,000

TX Cotton Ginners Assn. PAC $500

TX Mid-Continent Oil & Gas $18,000

Ultramar Diamond Shamrock $5,000

Union Carbide $3,500

Union Pacific Resources $11,000

Valero Refining $30,000

TOTAL $692,498

Why do corporate polluters buy politicians like Bush? It's cheaper to pony up for crooks than it is to respect the law and the environment. I've often wondered how big corporations could make a credible moral distinction between paying off the mob and paying off the GOP, a Bush, a Harding, a DeLay!

In Texas, it is all systemized. It's the way things are done. Election laws in the "Lone Star" state allow unlimited personal or political action committee contributions to elected officials. It's a licence to buy yourself a politician. Every fascist fat cat has one or several. As braggin' rights, it beats a four car garage, a membership at the River Oaks Country Club, or the Enclave. Best of all, it's a hedge against having to act responsibly. It's license to act like an asshole.

Corporations get away with it because they claim the right of free speech. It's called "corporate personhood" i.e., corporations have the same rights as do individuals. Clearly, however, corporations do not have the same responsibilities. I submit to this forum that if corporations have the same rights as people, then, when corporations break the laws, then the President, the Chairman of the board, the entire board of directors and every large stockholder should be rounded up and brought to trial. They are, after all, "persons" in the eyes of the law. Do the crime. Do the time!

Goebbels Would be Proud.

How did it get like this? How does it continue? Yes, corporations are running the show and that guarantees fascism; that’s how fascism happens. Yes, the leaders are all in hock to the money men. You can’t get elected if you don’t have the money. Yes, the people aren’t as bright as they once were and that isn’t saying much. Yes, the glitter of bright shiny plastic and the star power veneer of bimbo and bozo celebrity as well as the gangsta soundtrack make what should embarrass a borderline intellect look hot, but, what’s the real problem? ...
Deny personhood to "legal abstractions"! The idea that corporations, mere legal abstractions, are to be treated in the eyes of the law as persons possessing First Amendment rights including free speech is absurd. Begin a citizen's movement now to support a Constitutional Amendment spelling out clearly that corporations are not people and are, therefore, subject to any law that "we the people" care to legislate in order to keep out environments clean, our governments free of crooks and liars, our schools excellent, our neighborhoods free of poisons, our lives free of war crimes and the megalomaniacal ambitions of fascist admirers of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot.

Source: Public Research Works.

The Sleeping Giant Awakes

The People have spoken END THE WAR! NOW!

The People have Spoken. SAVE THE PLANET! NOW!

The People have spoken. STOP TORTURE! NOW!


The People have spoken. REIN IN THE CORPORATIONS! NOW!



The People have spoken. FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION! NOW!

The People have spoken. FIX NEW ORLEANS! NOW!



The People have spoken. STOP THE DRUG WAR! NOW!


The People have spoken. CEASE AND DESIST THE POLICE STATE!!! NOW!!!!

The People have spoken. ELECTION CAMPAIGN REFORM! NOW!

The People have Spoken. END POVERTY! NOW!

The People have spoken. IMPEACH BUSH AND CHENEY! NOW!

"Old mother Texas, what did she give to me? Not a goddamn thing" --Jett Rink, Giant

The character Jett Rink, portrayed by James Dean, was patterned after Houston oil tycoon Glenn Herbert McCarthy who died in 1988. Novelist Edna Ferber met McCarthy at the landmark Shamrock Hotel in Houston. The fictional Emperador Hotel was inspired by the Shamrock Hotel which is no longer standing, a victim of "progress" and even worse architecture. It stood just across the street from the famous Texas Medical Center.

Additional Resources

Why Conservatives Hate America

Spread the word:

yahoo icerocket pubsub newsvine