Saturday, October 13, 2007

All the "Conspiracy Theories" About George W. Bush have come true

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

In the wake of 911, you could count critics of George W. Bush on one hand. Three courageous exceptions to the climate of fear are notable: Gore Vidal (The Enemy Within), Rep. Cynthia McKinney and, somewhat later, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer who proclaimed August 15, 2005 that the 9/11 committee investigation was either a cover up or a cover story. Shaffer charged that his unit had warned the FBI about "terrorist cells" but was ignored.
"There is only one politically serious explanation of this now-indisputable fact: powerful forces within the US military/intelligence complex wanted a terrorist incident on US soil in order to create the needed shift in public opinion required to embark on a long-planned campaign of military intervention in Central Asia and the Middle East. Whether or not they knew the scale of the impending attacks and what the precise targets would be, they acted in such a way as to block the arrest of known terrorist operatives and allow them to carry out their plot."
--Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, Army intelligence officer
In August of 2005, the New York Times, at last, revealed that military intelligence had identified four of the alleged hijackers. They were said to have been Al Qaeda operatives "...working in the US a year before the 9/11 attacks." This should have set off alarm bells but didn't. After all, the CIA created al Qaeda. I would like to know: when did al Qaeda cease being anything other than the "dirty tricks" arm of the CIA? I also want to know why the Military's Special Operations Command prevented an intelligence unit from passing on that information to the FBI.

The best answer is that the new Bush administration, partner to the oil industry, wanted to build a pipeline through Afghanistan and needed a little war to "enhance" the negotiations. Just months before 911, US State Department officials had offered the Taliban a deal: " ...a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs"! Gore Vidal takes up the narrative, making the only case that makes sense.
On 9 September 2001, Bush was presented with a draft of a national security presidential directive outlining a global campaign of military, diplomatic and intelligence action targeting al-Qaeda, buttressed by the threat of war. According to NBC News: 'President Bush was expected to sign detailed plans for a worldwide war against al-Qaeda ... but did not have the chance before the terrorist attacks ... The directive, as described to NBC News, was essentially the same war plan as the one put into action after 11 September. The administration most likely was able to respond so quickly ... because it simply had to pull the plans "off the shelf".'

Finally, BBC News, 18 September 2001: `Niak Naik, a former Pakistan foreign secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October. It was Naik's view that Washington would not drop its war for Afghanistan even if bin Laden were to be surrendered immediately by the Taliban.'

Was Afghanistan then turned to rubble in order to avenge the 3,000 Americans slaughtered by Osama? Hardly. The administration is convinced that Americans are so simple-minded that they can deal with no scenario more complex than the venerable lone, crazed killer (this time with zombie helpers) who does evil just for the fun of it 'cause he hates us, 'cause we're rich'n free 'n he's not. Osama was chosen on aesthetic grounds to be the most frightening logo for our long contemplated invasion and conquest of Afghanistan, planning for which had been 'contingency' some years before 9/11 and, again, from 20 December, 2000, when Clinton's out-going team devised a plan to strike at al-Qaeda in retaliation for the assault on the warship Cole. Clinton's National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, personally briefed his successor on the plan but Rice, still very much in her role as director of Chevron-Texaco, with special duties regarding Pakistan and Uzbekistan, now denies any such briefing. A year and a half later (12 August, 2002), fearless Time magazine reported this odd memory lapse.

...Osama, if it was he and not a nation, simply provided the necessary shock to put in train a war of conquest. But conquest of what? What is there in dismal dry sandy Afghanistan worth conquering? Zbigniew Brzezinski tells us exactly what in a 1997 Council on Foreign Relations study called The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives.
But it was not only sand and strategy. It was oil. As Vidal points out, the "American Empire" has been at war since 1950. The historical precedents are legion. The Roman Empire, stretched to the limits of current technology, was hooked on conquest and booty as the US is hooked on oil. By the time the Praetorian Guard auctioned off the empire to Didius Julianus, Roman currency had already collapsed. [See: A Dream of Freedom ] Today --the US dollar has already embarked upon a steady decline to the detriment of working folk who are now increasingly dependent upon increasingly expensive imports. Bush is content to let the dollar slide, in effect, correcting the balance of trade deficit upon the backs of American workers.

Analogies to Rome are instructive. It's easier to be objective about evil empires of the past than about evil empires in which we live here and now. Writing history while living it is a tough, dirty job but somebody's gotta do it. Maureen Farrell has done an exceptional job of "fixing", summarizing what will one day be a multi-volume chronicle of how a slow witted albeit sadistic simpleton left the "intellectuals" of the loyal opposition non-plused and flatfooted. The rest of us are merely screwed! The final volume cannot be written now. It will prove to be the chronicle of one of the most heinous and criminal regimes in world history --that of George W. Bush and a gang of arrogant Neocons.

Following are excerpts [published in Buzzflash] from Top 10 'Conspiracy Theories' about George W. Bush, Part 1; Part II
In the aftermath of Sept. 11, a friend sent me an obscure book featuring predictions by a blind Native American shaman. It was a thoughtful, but annoying, gesture. For all I knew, this "seer" could merely be a James Frey-sized figment of the author's imagination and these so-called prophecies could be nothing more than a patchwork of hunches. A prediction that the Red Sox would win the World Series would have been impressive. But wars? Economic downturns? Environmental disasters? Yawn.

This was the age of forged Nostradamus quotes and apocalyptic visions, however, and, with debunking in mind, I plodded ahead. Some predictions, which were reportedly made in 1982, were decidedly silly. Others, however, don't exactly ring foolish. Among the more noteworthy:
  • Propaganda and terrorism will increase.
  • Religious zealots will use the courts to try to force their views upon the general public.
  • The Supreme Court will make unfortunate decisions that don't benefit the people.
  • Several undeclared wars will be waged simultaneously
  • There will be high-level secrecy and clandestine agreements between nations..
  • America will eventually become a police state.
  • The draft will be reinstated.
  • Americans will learn of government duplicity and cover-ups.
Whether or not this list is the result of guesswork, fabrications or something else, nearly a quarter of a century later, such musings have gone from the fringe to the forefront. Police state predictions? Check. Rumors of wars? Check. Clandestine agreements between nations? Check. Discoveries of government duplicity and cover-ups? Triple check.
The American right wing in cahoots with the big corporations have bent America over and screwed her silly. This pack of liars and crooks partnered with Ronald Reagan to outsource the very soul of this country. They waged war on all working Americans and small business. They conspired to create a corporate, fascist state. They conspired to destroy the labor movement. They divided the nation into haves and have nots.

They stole the American air waves and gave it to the likes of Clear Channel, FOX, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. With help from the right wing media, they divided the nation along religious lines, rewarding fundamentalism with your tax dollars.

They built up an empire and called it a "war on terrorism" but, in fact, they made terrorism worse [See: Of Schadenfreude, Götterdämmerung and Bush's gestalt of failure, war crimes, and treason!]. In fact, the "war on terrorism" is a bloody fraud, terrorism is worse and former friends and allies now despise us.

They outsourced your job! They devalued the dollar. They created an America propped up by a world which cannot afford not to prop up the US economy. They have proven that they care nothing about global warming, and, in fact, deny science, reason and free inquiry. They destroyed, perhaps forever, the integrity of the electoral process.

Maureen Farrell counts down from ten to one a list of Bush's outrages all of which are consistent with the fact that George W. Bush seized the White House at the end of a fraudulent election in order to do all of the things that he has done in fact. Primarily, he replaced the US Constitution with rule by decree. He has suspended habeas corpus, due process of law and the protections of the Bill of Rights. He has ended the right of privacy along with the Fourth Amendment right to be safe and secure in our own homes. Our private records are no longer ours --but the state's. We are surveilled outside our homes and our phone conversations are now public property. If we are but deemed a "terrorist", we can be imprisoned indefinitely and anonymously. You don't get a phone call. You don't get a lawyer. You don't get a presumption of innocence. Everything you saw on Perry Mason is by the boards.
Some theories, however, have Tina Turner-strength legs. For your consideration:

10. A Second Terror Attack Will Allow the Bush Administration to Complete the "Coup" that Began on Sept. 11, 2001 "September 11, 2001, played into neoconservative hands exactly as the 1933 Reichstag fire played into Hitler's hands. Fear, hysteria, and national emergency are proven tools of political power grabs. Now that the federal court are beginning to show some resistance to Bush's claims of power, will another terrorist attack allow the Bush administration to complete its coup?"

-- Former Reagan administration official and Wall Street Journal and National Review assistant editor Paul Craig Roberts, Jan. 2, 2006

"The 9-11 attacks provided the rationale for what amounts to a Bush family coup against the Constitution."
-- James Ridgeway, The Village Voice, Dec. 30, 2005

Six years ago, anyone suggesting that the Bush administration would use terror to achieve pre-packaged goals would have been laughed out of Dodge. The signs were there, however, going all the way back to Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld's stints in the Ford administration through their participation in Reagan-era Doomsday drills.
Initially, there were vague murmurings over foreign airways. "There is a hidden agenda at the very highest levels of our government," a mysterious American told the BBC in Nov. 2001, regarding allegations that the FBI was told to "back off" the bin Ladens. "Unnamed sources" eventually morphed into real people, however, and by the time Pentagon insider Karen Kwiatkowski came forward with revelations about what she called "a coup, a hijacking of the Pentagon," and respected journalist Seymour Hersh proclaimed that "cultists" had "taken the government over," this theory gained traction.

Despite attempts to discredit true believers as "full-mooners," revelations continued. And now that a former Bush administration official is saying that a "cabal" led by Rumsfeld and Cheney "hijacked US foreign policy" and a former Reagan administration official is saying that America is now an "incipient dictatorship," the ideology of Loon Land is capital T Truth to some very smart people.

Gen. Tommy Franks, you might recall, famously predicted that another terror attack will militarize our society and obliterate the Constitution, former White House counsel John Dean has warned of "constitutional dictatorship" and Paul Craig Roberts has openly wondered if another terror attack will lead to a total usurpation of constitutional government and "allow the Bush administration to complete its coup."

Roberts, who served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan, also believes that a "Jacobin coup" took place after Sept. 11 and that a "police state" is fast approaching. Joining the host of others raising concerns about questionable elections and a Supreme Court poised to give the executive branch unprecedented power, he sees "America's descent into dictatorship" as the "result of historical developments and of old political battles." But, he also contends that President Bush "is unlikely to be aware that the Constitution is experiencing its final rending on his watch." Others are not so certain.
--Maureen Farrell, Part II
There is sufficient probable cause to arrest and charge George W. Bush for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against the peace. I would suspect that there is now enough evidence, in the public record alone, to indict and convict George W. Bush of numerous counts to include violations of both the Geneva convention and US criminal codes. [See also: International Humanitarian Law - Treaties & Documents] In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the United States Supreme Court ruled that George W. Bush exceeded his authority. Neither the Congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), nor the so-called inherent powers give Bush a legal authority to set up military tribunals at Guantanamo.

Hamden v Rumsfeld addressed the question of whether the United States Congress may pass legislation preventing the Supreme Court from hearing the case of an accused combatant before his military commission takes place, whether the special military commissions that had been set up violated federal law (including the Uniform Code of Military Justice and treaty obligations), and whether courts can enforce the articles of the 1949 Geneva Convention.
"My friends, the government just didn't have prior knowledge of the September 11th al Qaeda attacks. They actually funded, trained, protected, coddled, and shepherded al Qaeda into this country. Trained many of the terrorists at Pensacola Naval Air Station, U.S.A., threatened F.B.I. and defense intelligence officers who tried to stop al Qaeda, threatened them with arrest. Bush signed now public document W199I two months before September 11, threatening them with arrest if they tried to stop al Qaeda."
--Alex Jones
If Bush's war on terrorism had been, in any way authentic, the FBI would not have been ordered to back off its investigations. The Saudi Royals would not have been given the royal and secret escort out of the country. Rather --they would have been investigated for their ties to Bin Laden. Likewise, WAMY --known to have funded "terrorist" cells --would have been investigated. Then, why are we surprised that Bushco has utterly failed to score a single "victory" in his war on terrorism?

We should not be at all surprised because the war on terrorism is a fraud, a hoax perpetrated by the most criminal regime since Adolf Hitler. The "War on Terrorism" is but a cover for Bush's dark agenda --world conquest and domination. The Reichstag Fire simplified things for Adolf Hitler, who, like Bush, aspired to dictatorship. The Reichstag Fire turned out to have been one of the most convenient coincidences in history. Without it, Hitler most certainly could not have consolidated his power, having already lost three votes in the Reichstag.
"Code named Operation Northwoods, the plan, which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war."

--James Bamford, Body Of Secrets, Doubleday, 2001, p.82.
Culprits are expected to benefit from their crimes --at least in the short term. But the attacks of 911 have been disastrous for Muslim communities everywhere. Every good prosecutor will ask "who benefits" from a crime. In this case, only The Project for the New American Century, Bush's "supportive" oil industry, and a hand full of cronies and thugs have benefited.

For too long, Bush thugs, brownshirts and bullies have tainted the atmosphere in the US, just as Hitler had done in Germany. For too long, Americans, often called the freest people in the world, feared to speak an honest opinion. They did not fear to be wrong. They feared the consequences of being right.

An update:

Terrorism “expert” says people who don’t get news from MSM become “extremist”

New South Wales Police counter-terrorism head Nick Kaldas says one reason some Middle Eastern Australians develop extremist views is that they do not get their news from local sources. Addressing a security forum in Sydney Australia today, Kaldas says police have found a section of Middle Eastern migrants watch news from overseas stations. ...
Oh well!!! That explains everything! And bald men have no hair! I would counter that anyone who would make that claim is, in fact and by definition, a fascist!

An update: "Stalinesque" Fear in Bushevik America. Life in the US has turned ugly under a "Stalinesque" regime which exploits fear and paranoia. But while people are sick of his ugly mug and whiny cornball phony Texas accent, the atmosphere of fear is real.
In Boulder, two days ago, a rosy-cheeked thirtysomething mother of two small children, in soft yoga velours, started to tear up when she said to me: “I want to take action but I am so scared. I look at my kids and I am scared. How do you deal with fear? Is it safer for them if I act or stay quiet? I don’t want to get on a list.” In D.C., before that, a beefy, handsome civil servant, a government department head — probably a Republican — confides in a lowered voice that he is scared to sign the new ID requirement for all government employees, that exposes all his most personal information to the State — but he is scared not to sign it: “If I don’t, I lose my job, my house. It’s like the German National ID card,” he said quietly. This morning in Denver I talked for almost an hour to a brave, much-decorated high-level military man who is not only on the watch list for his criticism of the administration — his family is now on the list. His elderly mother is on the list. His teenage son is on the list. He has flown many dangerous combat missions over the course of his military career, but his voice cracks when he talks about the possibility that he is exposing his children to harassment.
--Time To Do Whatever The Hell It Takes.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Emerging US World Police State

The US became the evil empire when it dropped two nuclear devices on two defenseless cities in Japan in 1945. It is claimed that "nuking" Japan saved some one million American lives still at war throughout the Pacific. In fact, Japan had already begun negotiating the terms of its surrender with the US. It was not the first time nor will it be the last time that the people of the US have been lied to by its own government. Nor is the first time the US had negotiated in bad faith. Every broken treaty with native Americans are evidence of that fact.

Bush, meanwhile, makes plans to nuke Iran and when he does so, it will be, like his war of aggression against Iraq, premised upon a pack of lies. He will claim that Iran has or is building nuclear weapons though every other credible source claims Iran is years away from weapons grade production. But for "patriotism" we are expected to believe Bush when, in every other instance about every other issue, Bush has lied his sorry ass off!

The US occupation of Iraq is simply the latest in a series of warning signs that American power, best symbolized by "the" bomb, has become the bane of humankind. The US loosed upon the world an evil genie when it became the first nation to use nukes against another. That act may ultimately prove to be the end of human civilization.
I had blundered into this desolate landscape as instantly as one might wake among the craters of the moon. The moment of recognition when I realized that I was already in Nagasaki is present to me as I write, as vividly as when I lived it. I see the warm night and the meaningless shapes; I can even remember the tune that was coming from the ship. It was a dance tune which had been popular in 1945, and it was called “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t Ma Baby…?”

The power of science for good and for evil has troubled other minds than ours…. Nothing happened in 1945 except that we changed the scale of our indifference to man; and conscience, in revenge, for an instant became immediate to us…civilization face to face with its own implications. The implications are both the industrial slum which Nagasaki was before it was bombed, and the ashy desolation which the bomb made of the slum. And civilization asks of both ruins, “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t Ma Baby?”

-Jacob Bronowski, Science and Human Values

Bertrand Russell wrote: "Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do." It is not only those who refuse to think who have died. It is also those who think and speak out against US imperialism who have died. I would be interested in seeing an accurate, scientific study of the many who have died suspiciously since the ascension of the CIA --JFK, RFK, Hunter Thompson, JFK Jr, Paul Wellstone, MO Gov. Mel Carnahan, Martin Luther King, Jr, et al. Of the one million plus murdered by the US in Iraq, only Saddam Hussein might have faced capital crimes charges. That Hussein died at the end of a dubious show trial by a kangaroo court underscores the illegitimacy of the US occupation. That is no defense of Saddam; but neither did Saddamn get one at his show trial. There is always the hope that statistics and computer technology will catch up with the GOP, a criminal conspiracy that has for too long hid behind the rubrics of unlikely, incredible coincidence assisted by false patriotism.
I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology.... Its importance has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called 'education.' Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; the press, the cinema, and the radio play an increasing part.

It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment.". Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for a generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen.

--Bertrand Russell, "The Impact of Science on Society", 1953

As he wrote, Russell pointed out that "scientific societies" were still in their infancies. Russell believed, however, that advances in science, primarily physiology and psychology, would make possible the kind of control over human beings that previous totalitarian regimes had only dreamed about.

Jacob Bronowski did not share Russell's apprehension with regard to science. Bronowski found in logical positivism not only the philosophical basis for science, but a moral injunction, that is, the implied imperative that we ought to act in such a way that what IS true can be verified to be so. Bronowski believed that genocide and atrocities are the result of ideology and dogma --not science. The most moving moment in the Ascent of Man occurred in an episode entitled: 'Knowledge or Certainty'. In that episode, Bronowski visited Auschwitz where many members of his family had died.

We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge.

Russell, however, would most certainly have agreed with Bronowski with regard to dogma, against which Russell maintained an unassailable record. Likewise, in the interest of fairness to both thinkers, Bronowski did not address the horrors to which technology may be applied by those who have no interest in the conduct of real science. Science may be hijacked and distorted. Russell wrote about the evil uses of technology; Bronowski seems almost to describe a preisthood, a "keepers of scientific inquiry". Certainly --those who would drop a nuke on a country that is in no way a threat to humankind have no interest in either science or morality but in conquest. This sort will utilize the very science it hates. It is not only ironic but tragic that an increasingly rabid, conservative GOP will deny "science" even as it embraces its destructive shadow for its own nefarious purposes. Indeed, those who used the Trebouchet to raze Castles to the ground were not interested in the physics of its construction.

To that end, the Bush administration has exploited the propaganda "ministry", a role assumed so eagerly and willingly by the Fox Network. Herr Gobbels could only have dreamt about a machine so incessant, so insidious as Fox which has very nearly achieved in a TV network what Fitche had hoped to achieve with schools, that is, an "educational" system aimed " destroying free will so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished." That, I submit, is a recipe for the death of the human spirit and intellect.

Because it is so difficult to imagine anyone truly desiring such an outcome, it is difficult to imagine the likes of George W. Bush, the GOP, the right wing in general. It is equally difficult to imagine any such outcome being, in any way, beneficial to society or even to the architects of such a heinous monstrosity. It is difficult to imagine any such outcome being any thing other than politico/socio masturbation designed to make an increasingly tiny elite feel good about being hideous, unfeeling monsters, sub-humans, mental cripples, psychopaths. The GOP has, in fact, become that. The desire to create totalitarian states is not a legitimate political position. It is a pathology!
One of the most interesting and harmful delusions to which men and nations can be subjected, is that of imagining themselves special instruments of the Divine Will.

—Bertrand Russell, Ideas that Have Harmed Mankind

Mike Wallace Interviews a Candid Shah of Iran

Bush intends to strike Iran. The question is when. Just recently, two credible articles --“Was That Nuclear-Armed B-52 Flight Destined for Iran?” by Dave Lindorff, and “Was a Covert Attempt to Bomb Iran with Nuclear Weapons foiled by a Military Leak?” by Dr. Michael Salla --suggested than a US attack on Iran had been thwarted by the US military itself.
On August 30, a B-52 bomber armed with five nuclear-tipped Advanced Cruise missiles traveled from Minot Air Force base, North Dakota, to Barksdale Air Force base, Louisiana. Each missile had an adjustable yield between five and 150 kilotons of TNT which is at the lower end of the destructive capacities of US nuclear weapons. For example, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima had a yield of 13 kilotons, while the Bravo Hydrogen bomb test of 1954 had a yield of 15,000 kilotons. The B-52 story was first covered in the Army Times on September 5 after the nuclear armed aircraft was discovered by Airmen (see: US Army Times ). What made this a very significant event was that it was a violation of US Air Force regulations concerning the transportation of nuclear weapons by air. Nuclear weapons are normally transported by air in specially constructed planes designed to prevent radioactive pollution in case of a crash. Such transport planes are not equipped to launch the nuclear weapons they routinely carry around the US and the world for servicing or positioning.

The discovery of the nuclear armed B-52 was, according to Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of American Scientists, the first time in 40 years that a nuclear armed plane had been allowed to fly in the US (see: Newswire ). Since 1968, after a SAC bomber crashed in Greenland, all nuclear armed aircraft have been grounded but were kept on a constant state of alert. After the end of the Cold War, President George H. Bush ordered in 1991 that nuclear weapons were to be removed from all aircraft and stored in nearby facilities.

--Michael Salla, Ph.D.

At a time when good news is scarce, you can at least enjoy watching Phil Donahue kick Billo Really in the ass.

Billo Loses his temper, his sanity & the debate --but still keeps his "job"

Billo's job is that of packaging Rupert Murdoch's vision, embellishing it with venom and lies. Billos job is making goppers and other extremists feel good about themselves. Billo's job is to distract decent folk with smoke and mirrors even as he winks & nods to the GOP. If he had been any good at his "job", he might have been a little less obvious. It's hard to believe that anyone --even Bush partisans --might have fallen for it.
The darker places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.

--Dante Alghieri

The United States faces its greatest crisis since the Civil War. Should Bush get away with nuking Iran, there is no guarantee that the US will survive its enemies within: the Bush regime, the GOP, and the corporatocracy that they have forged with the Military/Industrial Complex and their enforcers, the CIA.

An update:

Why are there no war crimes trials?

October 3, 2007

I've watched two episodes of Ken Burns' "The War." I don't think I'll watch any more. It was young men of my generation who fought those battles. The kids killed on Guadalcanal or storming Monte Cassino were only a couple years older than I was. Nor will I read the late David Halberstam's book The Coldest Winter about Korea. My friends died in that winter cold. War is inherently ugly, destructive, horrible. The lives of young men are cut short. Parents, spouses, friends, children are marked for life by the losses they suffered. It is astonishing that despite the four wars of the last half century, we Americans do not remember the horror. Instead we blunder into new wars, blithely confident that it will be easy, short and almost bloodless. We are always mistaken. Perhaps we don't want to remember.

The TV critic of the Wall Street Journal (a newspaper that never saw a war that it didn't like including a possible war with Iran) says that Burns is wrong. Americans know that "The War" was horrible, she said. They've seen all about it on the History Channel. Yeah, everyone watches the History Channel, don't they? If Americans remember how horrible the "good war" was, why do they continue to continue to support nutcase conflicts into which our leaders rush?

The only ones who remember how bad the "good war" was are those who fought in it or those who lived through it. It became real for me, a clueless 15-year-old, one night when I was praying in our local church. In semi-darkness, a young woman, maybe a half decade older than I, was kneeling in front of the gold star shrine, sobbing softly. Then she cried out in anguish, "Why didn't you take me instead of him!"

Dismayed, I got out of the church as quickly as I could, leaving behind a prayer to God, "You take care of her, I can't!" Since then I've often wondered what happened to that young woman -- and to the other young women who have lost the men they loved. Were those deaths necessary?

There is no question that the war that Burns so brilliantly brings back was necessary. However, even in necessary wars, stupid and evil things happen. Not all the killing is necessary, but it is in the nature of war that evil is often done in the name of good and the innocent suffer without reason. Inept and publicity-hungry commanders like Mark Clark and Douglas MacArthur make terrible mistakes. Civilians are killed randomly and recklessly as in the RAF night raids on German cities. Individual human life is cheap. Angry soldiers kill prisoners. Pilots kill parachutists. Americans drop atomic bombs. Killing other human beings becomes routine. ...
Note: Johnny Mercer wrote a 1943 version of Is You is or is You Ain't My Baby. I am inclined to believe that the recording Brounowski heard was by Louis Jordan, an American Rhythm and Blues pioneer who was born July 08, 1908 in Brinkley, Arkansas and died Feb 04, 1975 in Los Angeles. An entry lists a "Representative Song" as Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby

Why Conservatives Hate America

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Monday, October 08, 2007

How to avoid wasting your vote in a Bush dictatorship

I recently blamed "pundtry" for much of what is wong with this country. Everyone's a frickin' pundit and no one, it seems, is prepared to take a stand unless they've checked a poll first. Not wealth, but "punditry" and modern sophistry has trickled down. Instead of weighing the merits of various candidates, voters read the polls and columns and make calculations. Would John Edwards beat Guiliani? Can Hillary Clinton win the center? Can Obama keep the black vote while courting a "white" center?

When was the last time a "major" candidate said anything that had not first been vetted or parsed by a focus group, a consultant, or an entire PR firm? No one, its seems, does what's right because it's right! Mr. Smith never got to Washington. Except perhaps once in the person of Mike Gravel, remembered for his efforts to end the Viet Nam war, to end the draft, and for having put the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971.

For twenty years this nation has been at war in Indochina. Tens of thousands of Americans have been killed, half a million have been wounded, a million Asians have died, and millions more have been maimed or have become refugees in their own land. Meanwhile, the greatest representative democracy the world has even seen, the nation of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, has had its nose rubbed in the swamp by petty war lords, jealous generals, black marketeers, and grand-scale dope pushers.

And the war still goes on. People are still dying, arms and legs are being severed, metal is crashing through human bodies, as a direct result of policy deecisions conceived in secret and still kept from the American people.

H. G. Wells, the English novelist and historian, once wrote:

The true strength of rulers and empires lies not in armies or emotions, but in the belief of men that they are inflexibly open and truthful and legal. As soon as a government departs from that standard, it ceases to be anything more than “the gang in possession,” and its days are numbered.
This is nowhere more true than in the conduct of a representative democracy. Free and informed public debate is the source of our strength. Remove it and our democratic institutions become a sham. Perceiving this, our forefathers included with our Constitution a Bill of Rights guaranteeing the maximum competition in the marketplace of ideas, and insuring the widest opportunity for the active and full participation of an enlightened electorate.

--Sen Mike Gravel, History of US Decision Making on Viet Nam

Mike Gravel was absolutely correct about Viet Nam and he is just as correct now about Iraq. Every war fought by the US since WWII has been ruinous and immoral, wars fought --not for defense --but in order to enrich the Military/Industrial complex.

I have no illusions. Even before the GOP figured out how to use computers to steal elections, elections had become mere window dressing. The fix was in because the Military/Inustrial complex hedges its bets. As the GOP was fond of pointing out in numerous campaign manuals, the candidate spending the most money usually won the race. An "Axis of Evil" --the MIC, the GOP and the CIA --has manipulated every election outcome in recent memory.

The time has come to draw a line in the sand. Just as I never play carny games, I refuse to play the election game as its been designed by the major parties and the GOP in particular. I am not going to compromise my conscience voting for someone based upon a pundit's view of his chances in a general election.

I will support Gravel's candidacy because Gravel is right, one of only two candidates who still has integrity, who has a complete program based upon what is right for this country. I would support a Gravel/Kucinich ticket or even the other way 'round.

Many will object that I will have wasted my vote. When Diebold can change the outcome of an election with a few lines of code, my vote is wasted already. When the US Supreme Court can set aside an election by passing off transparent bullshit as "law", my vote is wasted. When Tom DeLay's gerrymadered districts are still "stealing" votes in Texas, my vote is wasted. As long as candidates are bought and paid for by corporations, my vote is wasted. If I try to game an evil system, my vote is wasted. But --not this time! Gravel for President.

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Why Conservatives Hate America

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