Saturday, November 05, 2005
"Both [the Islamists and Neoconservatives] were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. And both had a very similar explanation for what caused that failure. These two groups have changed the world, but not in the way that either intended. Together, they created today's nightmare vision of a secret, organized evil that threatens the world. A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. And those with the darkest fears became the most powerful. "
The Power of Nightmares, Baby It's Cold Outside.
Producer: Adam Curtis
Production Company: BBC
Audio/Visual: sound, color
Keywords: Adam Curtis
Friday, November 04, 2005
Albino Dolphin has the full interview.
Well it was going great until Thom stated the fact that Sandy Berger warned Rice about Osama Binladen. Hearing the name Sandy Berger, Morris decided it was high time to bring a very gentlemanly debate into the gutter by reaching into his dirty bag full of canards. The fact is Rice dismissed the importance of Osama BinLaden. Morris obviously knowing no ammount of lipstick is going to make that pig look good, he decided to reach for the "Low hanging fruit" by trying to turn Sandy Berger into the TOPIC of the interview. When asked (paraphrased) 'why didnt you write anything that was negative when it came to her failure. A failure that was compounded by not heeding warnings given to her by Sandy Berger?' Morris decided to attack am man instead of attacking the question.
HIGH FIVE, THOM! nothing wrong at all with your fair volly back. Morris is the one that decided to take the interview into the gutter. That Jack-Ass had no buisness trying to drag a 3rd party's name through the mud.
Related article below
Media Backtalk (washingtonpost.com): "Howard Kurtz: I have written six stories involving Jeff Gannon, including one before he resigned. Perhaps you neglected to do your homework.
On Morris, I basically covered the media coverage. Here's what I wrote on Aug. 30, 1996:
The subject was sordid: a cash-for-trash tale of sex and a political operative.
The timing was devastating: the day of President Clinton's acceptance speech at the Democratic convention.
The delivery route was familiar: from the Star supermarket tabloid to the front page of Rupert Murdoch's New York Post, the same scandalous path that launched the Gennifer Flowers saga into the mainstream media 4 1/2 years ago.
Yesterday's bombshell about presidential adviser Dick Morris's alleged relationship with a $ 200-an-hour prostitute, who dished her dirt in graphic detail to the Star, did more than force the resignation of Clinton's longtime political guru. It exploded into the headlines, leading the news last night on CBS, NBC and ABC just as the president was about to bask in the televised limelight of accepting his party's renomination.
The Star, whose 'White House Call Girl Scandal' edition officially hits the streets Monday, would not disclose how much it paid the prostitute, Sherry Rowlands, for the story, but Star reporter Richard Gooding told ABC's 'Nightline' last night it was less than $ 50,000. "
Kristof Re-Visits Key 2003 Column on Joe Wilson's Trip to Niger
By E&P Staff
Published: November 03, 2005 11:40 AM ET
NEW YORK After months of complaints from what he calls “bloggers on the right,” among others, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has posted at his paid TimesSelect page a clarification on his now-famous, but somewhat flawed, column that played a central role in the still-enveloping Plame/CIA leak case.
Kristof said the reasons for correcting the record now were that the Libby indictment had revived interest in the May, 6, 2003 column -- and he has been pressing for Vice President Cheney to “tell all” about the case so “here's my effort to do the same.”
It came just hours after Slate's Jack Shafer had penned his own column taking Kristof to task for not dealing with this matter. Kristof told Shafer yesterday that he was considering re-visiting the column, but noted that he couldn't think of an example where a Times column or article was corrected after six months.
In his TimesSelect piece Thursday, Kristof examines two key criticisms of the column.
First, he denies that he stated that the Vice President's office, not the CIA, sent Ambassador Wilson to Niger, only that Cheney wanted an investigation by somebody. But Kristof admits: “In fairness, though, it is true that Cheney apparently didn't know that Wilson had been dispatched. If I'd known that I would have said so.”
Then he turns to the matter of his column reporting that Wilson had actually seen (forged) documents on the uranium deal, when he didn't. Kristof explains: “Wilson has said that he misspoke when he made references to the documents to me and to two other journalists.”
He explains further: “There's also a suggestion from the right that Wilson was wildly spinning me and others and exaggerating how strongly he debunked the deal. The Senate Intelligence Committee Report is very harsh on Wilson, and there's a sense in spookdom that it came down too hard on him and was based on interviews with too few people.
“The C.I.A. seems to have thought that a Niger uranium deal was conceivable but not very likely, while at State the intelligence bureau (INR) was sure that it never happened. But it does seem to be true that Wilson claims to have debunked the Niger deal more firmly than some people remember him debunking it.”
But Kristof also offers this more positive overall assessment of Wilson: “I think that the attacks on Wilson are overdone. ... More generally, I find the attacks on a private citizen like Wilson rather distasteful. Sure, he injected himself into the public arena with his op-ed column and TV appearances, and so some scrutiny is fair. But I figure it's more important to examine and probe the credibility of, say, the vice president than a retired ambassador.”
DeLay's Staff Tried to Help Abramoff
Rep. Tom Delay's staff tried to help lobbyist Jack Abramoff win access to Interior Secretary Gale Norton, an effort that succeeded after Abramoff's Indian tribe clients began funneling a quarter-million dollars to an environmental group founded by Norton.
'Do you think you could call that friend and set up a meeting,' then-DeLay staffer Tony Rudy wrote to fellow House aide Thomas Pyle in a Dec. 29, 2000, e-mail titled 'Gale Norton-Interior Secretary.'...
...Rudy wrote Abramoff that same day promising he had 'good news' about securing a meeting with Norton, forwarding information about the environmental group Norton had founded, according to e-mails obtained by investigators and reviewed by The Associated Press. Rudy's message to Abramoff was sent from Congress' official e-mail system.
Within months, Abramoff clients donated heavily to the Norton-founded group and the lobbyist and one of the tribes he represented won face-to-face time with the secretary during a Sept. 24, 2001, dinner sponsored by the group she had founded.
Abramoff's clients were trying to stop a rival Indian tribe from winning Interior Department approval to build a casino.
E.U. Inquiry into CIA's 'secret European Torture Chambers
European countries alleged to have allowed the CIA to open secret prisons to interrogate al-Qa'eda suspects using methods outlawed in the United States were warned yesterday that they could face severe action by the European Union.
The European Commission said it was investigating unconfirmed reports that US officials had established several secret detention centres, known as ''black sites'', in one or more eastern European nations. The justice commissioner, Franco Frattini, made clear that potentially severe legal and political consequences awaited any EU country, or any country seeking EU membership, if it was confirmed that its government had co-operated with the CIA programme.
Human Rights Watch, a New York-based group, alleged this week that the bases might be in Poland, which joined the EU last year, and Romania, which is in line to join in 2007, pending last minute improvements of its human rights and legal systems. Official denials flooded in from Romania, Poland and the Baltic nations yesterday.
While the White House has neither confirmed nor denied the allegations, the Czech Republic, which joined the EU last year, said that it had recently refused a request from American officials to set up a detention centre.
Mr Frattini said that all member states ''are bound'' by international legal obligations, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Convention against Torture. In theory, nations can be suspended from the EU for grave breaches of such fundamental principles.
While a country of the size and standing of Poland is unlikely to be expelled, the dangers are acute for countries trying to join the EU.
European public opinion is already deeply hostile to President George W Bush and his war against terrorism, while the leaders of "Old Europe", such as Jacques Chirac of France, have not hesitated to rebuke eastern and central European nations for supporting US policies such as the invasion of Iraq.
Baroness Ludford MEP, a vocal human rights activist, predicted last night that the issue would not only be taken up by Euro-MPs concerned about rights abuses but also by "less principled colleagues" keen to delay the EU entry of countries such as Romania and Bulgaria.
Lady Ludford, a Liberal Democrat member for London, said she hoped there would be EU pressure to shut down any secret prisons but she blamed the United States more than co-operative European governments.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
FAUX Newz Paid for DeLay's Travel
FAUX Newz Paid for DeLay's Travel: "Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) 'filed a report with the Clerk of the House of Representatives indicating he received free travel valued at $13,998.55 from Fox News Sunday for 'officially connected travel' on October 1-2, 2005, from Sugarland, TX to Washington, D.C. and back to Sugarland, TX. Rep. DeLay appeared on Fox News Sunday on October 2, 2005, the weekend after his indictment on September 28, 2005.'"
Galloway eager to Visit America to set the record straight
Last night Ron McKay, a spokesman for the MP, said: “George welcomes this. He has demanded it and is glad to know something is happening.”
Yesterday Mr McKay said he had now checked his bank statements and was able to confirm he had received a payment from Mr Zureikat and $15,666 had been transferred into his personal account in August 2000.
He said the payment went into a personal account by mistake and that it was intended to be sent to a business account, into which it was later moved.
"I've had many business dealings with Fawaz Zureikat over the years. He was a director of a company that we were in together," he said.
"The payment was nothing to do with oil. I have not benefited from it. It was later channelled to where it should have gone."
And he said that his confirmation of the payment should not be seen as in any way corroborating the claims made against Mr Galloway.
"I'm not going to be used as a stick to beat George Galloway with," he said.
Morning Edition, November 1, 2005 · In California, the television airwaves are inundated with ads for and against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ballot initiatives in next Tuesday's vote. The campaigns are also using a relatively new medium to get their messages out: Internet animation. Tamara Keith of member station KPCC reports.
DOWNLOAD the PDF File Here Bahamonde sent an e-mail to Deborah Wing, a FEMA response specialist. He wrote: "Everyone is soaked. This is going to get ugly real fast."
Subsequent e-mails told of an increasingly desperate situation at the New Orleans Superdome, where tens of thousands of evacuees were staying. Bahamonde spent two nights there with the evacuees.
On Aug. 31, Bahamonde e-mailed Brown to tell him that thousands of evacuees were gathering in the streets with no food or water and that "estimates are many will die within hours."
"Sir, I know that you know the situation is past critical," Bahamonde wrote. "The sooner we can get the medical patients out, the sooner we can get them out."
A short time later, Brown press secretary Sharon Worthy wrote colleagues to complain that the FEMA director needed more time to eat dinner at a Baton Rouge restaurant that evening. "He needs much more that (sic) 20 or 30 minutes," wrote Brown aide Sharon Worthy.
"Restaurants are getting busy," she said. "We now have traffic to encounter to go to and from a location of his choise (sic), followed by wait service from the restaurant staff, eating, etc. Thank you."
In an Aug. 29 phone call to Brown informing him that the first levee had failed, Bahamonde said he asked for guidance but didn't get a response.
"He just said 'Thank you' and that he was going to call the White House," Bahamonde said.
Senators on the Homeland Security panel were dismayed.
"We will examine further why critical information provided by Mr. Bahamonde was either discounted, misunderstood, or simply not acted upon," said Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, decrying the "complete disconnect between senior officials and the reality of the situation."
Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the panel's senior Democrat, agreed. "His story is deeply troubling in fact, ultimately infuriating, and raises serious questions which our committee's investigation must answer," Lieberman said.
In e-mails, Bahamonde described to his bosses a chaotic situation at the Superdome. Bahamonde noted also that local officials were asking for toilet paper, a sign that supplies were lacking at the shelter.
"Issues developing at the Superdome. The medical staff at the dome says they will run out of oxygen in about two hours and are looking for alternative oxygen," Bahamonde wrote in an e-mail to regional director David Passey on Aug. 28.
Bahamonde said he was stunned that FEMA officials responded by continuing to send truckloads of evacuees to the Superdome for two more days even though they knew supplies were in short supply.
"I thought it amazing," he said. "I believed at the time and still do today, that I was confirming the worst-case scenario that everyone had always talked about regarding New Orleans."
Wednesday, November 2, 2005; 10:51 PM
Thousands rally across US against Bush policies
By Christine Kearney
Wednesday, November 2, 2005; 10:51 PM
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters staged rallies on Wednesday across the United States against the policies of President George W. Bush, including the war in Iraq and response to Hurricane Katrina.
The World Can't Wait organization, a coalition of groups formed recently to stage the rallies, used the anniversary of Bush's re-election to call for his resignation in protests that took place in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago.
In New York, students walked out of schools and colleges and joined other supporters as thousands rallied in Union Square before marching nearly 2 miles to Times Square along avenues lined with police on motorbikes.
"The Bush regime is out to remake the world with its policies," said organizer Sunsara Taylor. "From the war in Iraq to environmental policies to the remaking of the Supreme Court ... we are staring down the barrel of fascism in this country."
Demonstrators chanted and carried banners in a mainly peaceful protest. Police said three people were arrested.
Olivier Martineau, 16, walked out of his high school with 17 others to join the march. "I am strongly against the war in Iraq," he said. "We are always sticking our noses into other people's business when we don't even realize our battles at home."
Student Tuarian Wolfe, 19, carried a sign reading "No Iraqi ever left me on my rooftop to die," to protest the slow response to help poor people stranded in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.
Organizers said they planned to interrupt Bush's next State of the Union address in January.
In Chicago, organizers estimated more than 500 people attended a downtown rally amid police dressed in riot gear. A few masked protesters waved Iraq flags and vandalized American flags.
James Crimmins, 59, said he objected to "a war based on lies," while Gloria Rosenzweig, 60, said she protested Bush's record on the environment and believed young people were becoming more politicized.
"This war is now resonating with youth with the military recruiting in their high schools and they know they are not far away from danger," she said.
(Additional reporting by Michael Conlon in Chicago)
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
By Thomas Riggins
This looks like an important book not only because it explains how the Bushites retain power, but because it gives different reasons than those given by Thomas Frank (What's The Matter With Kansas) - i.e., it does not support Frank's thesis concerning 'false consciousness.' As Yglesias writes, 'class polarization in American voting patterns is increasing and has never been higher than in recent years.' Nevertheless people who should not be voting for Republicans are doing so. Why?
Before answering this question, we must note that not only have the Republicans become dominated by the far right, they have also created "the most, cohesive, disciplined congressional party in American history." Big money is behind all this. Yglesias says that policy is being set by "a hyper-empowered group of corporate managers and super- rich individuals." They not only set the policies, but also lie to the American people about what these policies really mean, and a supine press rarely questions them. Tax money is "being redirected away from the public good" and into the hands of the Republicans and their buddies. The laws going through Congress are worded deceptively so that normal people don't understand what is happening, and the public is actually told the laws will do the opposite of what they will really do. Never before has a major political party lied so much about its policy objectives. It has to lie, as polls show that the American people, when they are given correct information and a choice, are not at all conservative in the ultra-right Republican sense. Now, why do they "win" elections?
Libby - Author of Bestiality and Pedophillia Fiction
In 1996 Libby wrote The Apprentice: A Novel.
Lauren Collins of the New Yorker sums up its bizarre sexual content:
"The main female character, Yukiko, draws hair on the 'mound' of a little girl," Collins reports. "The brothers of a dead samurai have sex with his daughter....certain passages can better be described as reminiscent of Penthouse Forum...Other sex scenes are less conventional."
A direct quote from the novel: "At age 10 the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest."
British Literary Review editor Nancy Sladek, who oversees a Bad Sex fiction writing contest, tells Collins: "That's a bit depraved, isn't it, this kind of thing about bears and young girls?" Never mind the passage concerning sex with a deer."
Debate Is Growing Within Agency About Legality and Morality of Overseas System Set Up After 9/11
By Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 2, 2005; Page A01
The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.
The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents."
Democrats.org has a post called "Dean: 'Enough is Enough -- We're Ready to Lead'" that's worth checking out...
Governor Howard Dean emailed Democrats across the country asking them to support Sen. Reid's bold move on the Senate floor to demand answers on the manipulated intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
by John in DC - 11/01/2005 06:04:00 PM
Ok, this is one hell of a not-helpful interview Chris Matthews just had with Trent Lott. It's hardly the ringing endorsement the Republicans gave Rove only a few months ago.
UPDATE: Yikes, even GOP suck up Matt Drudge is now reporting on Lott questioning whether Karl needs to go.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: On that, I have to ask you the toughest question. Is Karl Rove the President's top political kick? Who is pretty rough when he got rid of John McCain down in South Carolina, and pretty rough when they helped get rid of John Kerry, all "Hardball," not illegal, is he good for American politics? Should he stay at the White House?
TRENT LOTT: Well, the question is, that you asked, is he good for American politics? Look, he has been very successful, very effective in the political arena. The question is should he be the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy under the current circumstances? I don't know all that's going on, so I can't make that final conclusion. But, you know, how many times has the top political person become also the top policy advisor? Maybe you can make that transition, but it's a real challenge, and I think they have to – I do think they need to look at bringing in some more people, you know, old gray beards that have been around this town for a while, help them out a little bit at the White House.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Do you think it's a little unseemly to have Svengali on the federal payroll? That sounds like that’s what you’re saying? I’m trying to reconsider what you said. Do you think he should go?
TRENT LOTT: Well, I didn't say that. I mean, I said, you know, is he in the right position? I mean, a lot of political advisors, in fact, most presidents in recent years have a political advisor in the White House. The question is, should they be making, you know, policy decisions. That's the question you've got to evaluate.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: He is. Anyway, thank you very much, Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi. When we return, why there was a closed session today. You're watching "hardball" on MSNBC.
FINALLY The Snapping Turtle Comes Out of his Shell
For way too long, the lies about 9-11 and the lies about our need to make democracy compulsory all over the rest of the world while stamping out every last iota of what democracy and LIBERTY really mean to Americans.
Maybe today the REICH-WING is about to be clipped? How long is it going to take, WE THE PEOPLE, to HIT THE STREETS and DEMAND the BU$H Cartel STOP TAKING LIBERTIES on the backs of rest of the world? What in the hell is GoatBoy's hurry to RAM confirmations through the Senate? He was ASKED to wait until AFTER THANKSGIVING to name his new brownshirt crony for his SCOTUS justice. Yet again Curious George just had to reach into his diaper and fling a load into the face of Lady Liberty.
Yes Harry, I will be thankful this Thanksgiving. Thank you for FINALLY LEADING the Democratic Party.
Continued Click Here: GLOBAL WARMING: THE SIGNS AND THE SCIENCE, a documentary that explores what is arguably the most significant environmental phenomenon of the last 10,000 years, airs on PBS Wednesday, November 2, 2005, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET. International recording artist Alanis Morissette hosts and narrates this cautionary look at the forces of climate change.
Monday, October 31, 2005
Trent Lott Stopped Just Short of Suggesting Ann Coulter Should Be Nominated for SCOTUS
most qualified man, woman, or minority."
Although gay and trans-gender people have been treated as second class citizens by the Reublican party, it is about time someone breaks away from that sort of "groupthink", as Trent Lott has. The only Problem I have with Ann Coulter is not the questionable gender.
I am troubled because (s)he has exressed in the past to be against gay marriage rights. This just does not seem to me to be a balanced opinion from someone that apparently has chosen a comfortable gender. (The Huge Man Hands and a BODACIOUS Adam's Apple are signs to me)
Even worse if a gender was assigned to Ann Coulter, she should be able to marry whatever gender (s)he feels comfortable with.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Filed under: Articles — John Chuckman at 05:33 PM on Oct 30, 2005
More Than Meets The Eye
By John Chuckman
The following quotes are from Bush's speech about the War on Terror, as given October 6, 2005, and largely repeated October 28. It was a speech especially dense with Bushspeak, a dialect which never means what it seems to say. Perspective and the occasional translation follow the quotes.
"All these separate images of destruction and suffering that we see on the news can seem like random and isolated acts of madness; innocent men and women and children have died simply because they boarded the wrong train, or worked in the wrong building, or checked into the wrong hotel. Yet while the killers choose their victims indiscriminately, their attacks serve a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs and goals that are evil, but not insane."
You might ask how is it possible to choose victims more indiscriminately than by bombing cities? The Pentagon doesn't even attempt to count Iraq's dead, civilian or military. Two serious efforts have been made to count the civilian toll of the barbarism called "Shock and Awe." One, an effort to count bodies all over the country in morgues, hospitals, and other likely places, came up with more than 25,000 killed. Another scientific study of Iraq's national mortality tables, published in the British medical journal Lancet, came up with about a 100,000.
What is Bush's understanding of this "clear and focused ideology"?
"Some call this evil Islamic radicalism; others, militant Jihadism; still others, Islamo-fascism."
Bush uses these coined-by-neocon advertising slogans to describe an ideology, but in fact all they do is attempt to re-package plain old religious extremists. I cannot help wondering how we would distinguish them from Franklin Graham preaching about using nuclear weapons following 9/11 or Pat Robertson speaking about assassinating a democratically-elected leader or the crazed preaching of heavily-armed American cults?
"We know the vision of the radicals because they've openly stated it -- in videos, and audiotapes, and letters, and declarations, and websites."
Do you believe the audiotapes and videos periodically broadcast any more than you believe the proved-fake documentation of Hussein buying uranium in Niger? Are any of these so-called sources any more believable than the ridiculous video CNN broadcast after the invasion of Afghanistan in which dogs were being killed in a secret mountain weapons laboratory run by men wearing sandals? How about spy satellite shots of mobile weapons labs that never existed, evidence solemnly presented by Colin Powell before the UN?
Do you even believe Osama bin Laden is alive? Bush has no reason ever to reveal Osama's death, an act which would convert Osama from leader in hiding to Martyr. Of course, if you are reading this piece, you likely are the wrong kind of person of whom to ask such questions. Bush's words are crafted for people who let CNN do their thinking for them.
"Now they've set their sights on Iraq. Bin Laden has stated: "The whole world is watching this war and the two adversaries. It's either victory and glory, or misery and humiliation." The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in their war against humanity. And we must recognize Iraq as the central front in our war on terror."
Bush follows a dubious quote from bin Laden with a preposterous conclusion. There were, before Bush's invasion, no terrorists in Iraq. Iraq's secret police hardly afforded a refuge to terrorists or any other potential conspirators. Moreover, Hussein, the secularist, and bin Laden, the religious fanatic, are known to have hated each other.
Post-invasion Iraq is crawling with resistance fighters from many places and of every possible description. In the words of the head of Canada's intelligence service, CSIS, Iraq has become a training ground for thousands who will threaten Western security for years to come. We all have Bush to thank for this development.
"The radicals exploit local conflicts to build a culture of victimization, in which someone else is always to blame and violence is always the solution."
I can't imagine words that better describe America's reaction to 9/11. About twenty people committed a terrible crime. Instead of going about the business of identifying and trying any others who were responsible, Bush launched two wars he promises to continue for years to come.
A culture of victimization? America is the world authority on that odd subject. Following 9/11 everything from the giant street signs at doughnut shops to blinking signs on gas pumps insisted that Americans must never forget. There were even sweatshirts being sold in supermarkets and gardening centers. It was all one huge, confused, and dangerous reaction spurred on by an incompetent man at the top muttering about "with us or against us."
"And they exploit modern technology to multiply their destructive power."
What modern technology? The men who died carrying out 9/11 possessed weapons like box cutters to take over the planes. The young men in the London Underground bombing carried backpacks with relatively crude bombs in them.
Bush deliberately confuses the resistance in Iraq with terrorists in other places. The resistance in Iraq now does have some improved technology for attacking American armored vehicles. But why should this surprise anyone? Many of these people have military experience and they have resources that were stored away by Hussein. Besides, everyone learns quickly during the deadly intensity of military conflict. During a few years of World War I, new technologies for killing emerged quickly, including tanks, machine guns, poison gas, and air bombardment.
"The hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq was an issue, and it will exist after Iraq is no longer an excuse. The government of Russia did not support Operation Iraqi Freedom, and yet the militants killed more than 180 Russian schoolchildren in Beslan. "
Bush's cynicism and dishonesty here are off the meter. The Russians have carried on for years a hideous war against Chechen independence. Journalists from Europe have reported almost indescribable horrors. The Chechens are desperate for vengeance against so powerful and ruthless an opponent. People who have experienced the treatment they have experienced are indeed capable of almost anything. Were Russia still the old Soviet Union, Bush would be sending weapons and encouragement to Chechnya.
"He (bin Laden) assures them that his -- that this is the road to paradise -- though he never offers to go along for the ride."
Coming from someone who avoided military service during a major war so
that he could carry on a carefree frat-life, someone whose National Guard records have been mutilated, presumably to hide failings, this is quite a statement. It is, moreover, quite wrong. Bin Laden, whatever we may think of him, fought bravely in Afghanistan against the Russians, gaining an almost legendary reputation. He is now, assuming he is alive, a man whose age and health would rule out military service.
"When 25 Iraqi children are killed in a bombing, or Iraqi teachers are executed at their school, or hospital workers are killed caring for the wounded, this is murder, pure and simple -- the total rejection of justice and honor and morality and religion. These militants are not just the enemies of America, or the enemies of Iraq, they are the enemies of Islam and the enemies of humanity. We have seen this kind of shameless cruelty before, in the heartless zealotry that led to the gulags, and the Cultural Revolution, and the killing fields."
Bush has killed and mutilated thousands of Iraqi children. It cannot be otherwise when you bomb heavily in a country where so large a fraction of the population is young.
"And Islamic radicalism, like the ideology of communism, contains inherent contradictions that doom it to failure."
Bush repeats the phrase "like the ideology of communism" a number of times, trying to establish a comparison that doesn't exist. Communism controlled a number of major nations in the world. The opposition of these governments to Western freedoms came directly out the fact that you cannot run a highly centralized state and permit freedom as we understand it. Islamic extremists control no states.
"Those who despise freedom and progress have condemned themselves to isolation, decline, and collapse."
Bush here applies an idea that does not fit from theories of economic development. This was always the case for communist governments whose abuse of basic economic principles doomed them to eventual decline. Nevertheless, for decades did America behave as though the analysis were true? No, America spent trillions, literally trillions, of dollars in a quasi-religious war against communism. In the end, communism did collapse of its own contradictions.
From the American point of view, the purpose of the Cold War, at least once the truly dangerous, paranoid Stalin was dead (early 1953), was to secure American hegemony through much of the world.
"?the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing, who was chief of al Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf?."
Mastermind? One suicide bomber in a small boat approached the Cole and blew a hole in her hull. How does that require a "mastermind"? The man in the small boat was determined, and the crew of the American ship was lax guarding it - end of story.
"Second, we're determined to deny weapons of mass destruction to outlaw regimes, and to their terrorist allies who would use them without hesitation. The United States, working with Great Britain, Pakistan, and other nations has exposed and disrupted a major black-market operation in nuclear technology led by A.Q. Khan."
Outlaw regimes with weapons of mass destruction? Doesn't that exactly describe Pakistan? And before 9/11, that was pretty much the official American view. General Musharraf is a coup-installed dictator, and his government developed atomic weapons in direct opposition to American policy. Yet today, magically, he is listed with democracies in the fight against terror.
Mr. Khan is Pakistani and is regarded as father of the country's atomic-weapons program. Despite assertions otherwise, it seems inconceivable his covert activities in spreading nuclear know-how were unknown to his government.
"The United States makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor them, because they're equally as guilty of murder."
Has Bush heard the name Luis Posada Carriles, a man who blew up an airliner full of people and is kept from facing trial in Venezuela? Of course he has, and that makes this statement ridiculous.
"The terrorist goal is to overthrow a rising democracy, claim a strategic country as a haven for terror, destabilize the Middle East, and strike America and other free nations with ever-increasing violence. Our goal is to defeat the terrorists and their allies at the heart of their power -- and so we will defeat the enemy in Iraq."
This is preposterous. Guerilla forces do not work this way. The hide, harass, and make life unpleasant for those they oppose. Taking control of a state only invites retaliation against a clearly-defined target. Look what Bush did to the city of Fallujah, thinking it was a hotbed of terrorists. Marines turned it into a ghost town, yet resistance still flourishes.
"With every random bombing and with every funeral of a child, it becomes more clear that the extremists are not patriots, or resistance fighters -- they are murderers at war with the Iraqi people, themselves."
No, what they mainly are is one side in a civil war precipitated by Bush's invasion, and civil wars are always the nastiest wars.
"Some observers question the durability of democracy in Iraq. They underestimate the power and appeal of freedom."
Democracy and freedom are not the same thing. Majorities often deny minorities their rights and freedoms. America has a long history of government with democratic trappings that has denied freedom to others. Ask the people of Hawaii. Ask Hispanics in Texas or California. Ask almost any black American.
Sunnis and others in Iraq feel Bush has stacked things against their interests with the new constitution, and they are right.
"We're standing with dissidents and exiles against oppressive regimes, because we know that the dissidents of today will be the democratic leaders of tomorrow."
But the people Bush calls terrorists often are the dissidents in their own lands. Bin Laden certainly could claim this description in his native Saudi Arabia.
"Iraqi soldiers are sacrificing to defeat al Qaeda in their own country."
Al Qaeda? Is that really Bush's enemy in Iraq? Surely, even he does not believe that. His enemies there include the normal resistance fighters against invasion we would find anywhere, native minority groups whose interests are threatened by the government he installed, and undoubtedly many angry young men from other lands who see grievous injustice in Bush's invasion.
The name War on Terror is itself perhaps the darkest example of Bushspeak. You cannot have a war on ideas, or a war on religious beliefs, or even a war on people's feelings of grievance and injustice. The War on Terror is code for belligerent interference in the Middle East. It is also code for the suppression of dissent in America, something dear to the kind of people with which Bush surrounds himself, people who lie, cheat, and profit from billions of dollars being squandered. And all this crashes over us as a result of what the intelligence community calls blowback from bad policies and neglect of years ago.
Harry Reid: Rove should be gone
Harry Reid was on This Week, and said:
Reid: Here is a man who the president said if he was involved, if anyone in the administration was involved, out they would go. Anybody who is involved in this, they're gone."
Vice President Dick Cheney is once again facing attacks from Congressman Charles Rangel in the wake of the indictment of Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
On the Road to City Hall Friday night, Rangel said Cheney needs to provide answers.
"When a White House senior aide is charged by the United States Department of justice, an investigation called by whom? The CIA. To find out who outed one of their people, and the chief of staff is indicted for perjury, lying, false statements, and obstruction of justice. You just ask the vice president, what do you think about it?" Rangel said.
Rangel also says Cheney should take a psychological test to prove he's fit for his job.
In the last two months, Rangel has questioned whether Cheney is healthy enough to stay in office, while Cheney has said Rangel is “losing it.”
Libby resigned after being indicted on charges of obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury in connection with the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's name. He's accused of lying to FBI investigators and a grand jury about how and when he learned about Plame's identity.
It is believed White House officials "outed" Plame in retaliation for her husband's outspoken criticism of the president's war plans. Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson has accused the administration of twisting pre-war intelligence to lead the nation into Iraq.
New York's Senior Senator Charles Schumer is also joining the chorus of criticism, saying the Plame leak never should have happened and that the president should have removed anyone involved the minute the news broke.
"These are very serious charges,” said Schumer. “Clearly the obstruction of justice charge suggests that Mr. Libby was actively trying to prevent the prosecutor from finding out the truth"
Schumer praised Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald who is investigating the leak, saying he has faith he will follow through to the end.
No charges have yet been filed in direct relation to the leak which prompted the investigation.
President Bush's senior aide Karl Rove was not indicted and will continue working at the White House. But Fitzgerald says the investigation isn't yet complete.
"It was known that a CIA officer’s identity was blown, it was known that there was a leak, and we needed to figure out how that happened, who did it, why, whether a crime was committed, whether we could prove it, whether we should prove it,” said Fitzgerald. “Given that national security was at stake, it was especially important that we find out the accurate facts."
After the charges against Libby were made public, he offered his resignation, which President George W. Bush accepted and then immediately downplayed.
"While we’re all saddened by today's news, we remain wholly focused on the many issues and opportunities facing this country,” said Bush. “I got a job to do and so do the people that work in the White House. We got a job to protect the American people and that's what we're going to continue to try to do."
I was delighted -- for two reasons. This was a chance to meet the "American hero" (per George H. W. Bush) who faced down Saddam Hussein, freeing hundreds of American and other hostages taken when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. More important, since Wilson had served as an ambassador in Africa, I thought he might be able to throw light on a question bedeviling me since May 6, when New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote an intriguing story about a mission to Niger by "a former U.S. ambassador to Africa.