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You are currently viewing archive for May 2004
Posted by: BLOWBACK
Abu Ghraib is the new Tet offensive. By lying about the Tet offensive during the Vietnam War, the media managed to persuade Americans we were losing the war, which demoralized the nation and caused us to lose the war. And people say reporters are lazy. The immediate consequence of the media's lies was a 25 percent drop in support for the war. The long-term consequence for America was 12 years in the desert until Ronald Reagan came in and saved the country. Now liberals are using their control of the media to persuade the public that we are losing the war in Iraq. Communist dictators may have been ruthless murderers bent on world domination, but they displayed a certain degree of rationality. America may not be able to wait out 12 years of Democrat pusillanimity now that we're dealing with Islamic lunatics who slaughter civilians in suicide missions while chanting "Allah Akbar!" And yet the constant drumbeat of failure, quagmire, Abu Ghraib, Bush-lied-kids-died has been so successful that merely to say the war in Iraq is going well provokes laughter. The distortions have become so pervasive that Michael Moore teeters on the brink of being considered a reliable source. If President Bush mentions our many successes in Iraq, it is evidence that he is being "unrealistically sunny and optimistic," as Michael O'Hanlon of the liberal Brookings Institution put it. O'Hanlon's searing indictment of the operation in Iraq is that we need to "make sure they have some budget resources that they themselves decide how to spend that are not already pre-allocated." So that's the crux of our challenge in Iraq: Make sure their "accounts receivable" columns all add up. Whenever great matters are at stake, you can always count on liberals to have some pointless, womanly complaint. We have liberated the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator who gassed his own people, had weapons of mass destruction, invaded his neighbors, harbored terrorists, funded terrorists and had reached out to Osama bin Laden. Liberals may see Saddam's mass graves in Iraq as half-full, but I prefer to see them as half-empty.So far, we have found chemical and biological weapons – brucella and Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever, ricin, sarin, aflatoxin – and long-range missiles in Iraq. The terrorist "stronghold" of Karbala was abandoned last week by Islamic crazies loyal to cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who slunk away when it became clear that no one supported them. Iraqis living in Karbala had recently distributed fliers asking the rebels to please leave, further underscoring one of the principal remaining problems in Iraq – the desperate need for more Kinko's outlets. Last weekend, our troops patrolled this rebel "stronghold" without a shot being fired.The entire Kurdish region – one-third of the country – is patrolled by about 300 American troops, which is fewer than it takes to patrol the Kennedy compound in Palm Beach on Easter weekends. But the media tell us this means we're losing. The goalpost of success keeps shifting as we stack up a string of victories. Before the war, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof warned that war with Iraq would be a nightmare: "[W]e won't kill Saddam, trigger a coup or wipe out his Republican Guard forces." (Unless, he weaseled his way out, "we're incredibly lucky.") We've done all that! How incredibly lucky. Kristof continued: "We'll have to hunt out Saddam on the ground – which may be just as hard as finding Osama in Afghanistan, and much bloodier." We've captured Saddam! And it wasn't bloody! Indeed, the most harrowing aspect of Saddam's capture was that he hadn't bathed or been de-liced for two months.Kristof also said: "Our last experience with street-to-street fighting was confronting untrained thugs in Mogadishu, Somalia. This time we're taking on an army with possible bio- and chemical weapons, 400,000 regular army troops and supposedly 7 million more in Al Quds militia." And yet, somehow, our boys defeated them in just six weeks! Incredibly lucky again! And just think: all of this accomplished without even having a "Plan." Now we're fighting directly with Islamic loonies crawling out of their rat holes from around the entire region – which liberals also said wouldn't happen. Remember how liberals said the Islamic loonies hated Saddam Hussein – hated him! – because he was a "secularist"? As geopolitical strategist Paul Begala put it, Saddam would never share his weapons with terrorists because "those Islamic terrorists would use them against Saddam Hussein because he's secular." Well, apparently, the crazies have put aside their scruples about Saddam's secularism to come out in the open where they can be shot by American troops rather than fighting on the streets of Manhattan (where the natives would immediately surrender). The beauty of being a liberal is that history always begins this morning. Every day liberals can create a new narrative that destroys the past as it occurred. We have always been at war with Eastasia. To be sure, Iraq is not a bed of roses. As the Brookings Institution scholar said, we have yet to give the Iraqis "budget resources" that "are not already pre-allocated." I take it back: It is a quagmire.
Posted by: BLOWBACK
GO RALPH GO!!!!!!FEC: Nader Campaign Qualifies for Funds Fri May 28, 4:36 PM ET WASHINGTON - Ralph Nader's independent bid for the White House has qualified to receive matching government funds, the Federal Election Commission announced Friday. Campaign officials said Nader has raised more than $850,000 to date from 7,800 separate contributions. To receive matching funds, a candidate must raise at least $5,000 in 20 states in donations of $250 or less. The average contribution to the Nader campaign is $100, with 89 percent being $100 or less, the campaign said. The FEC matches all contributions of $250 or less up to $18.7 million. "The Nader Campaign is not dialing for corporate dollars, unlike the corporate political duopoly we are challenging," Nader said in a statement. "We are seeking a broad base of support among the people." Ralph Nader: Send your money now
Posted by: BLOWBACK
Re-Posted:Does this help you franklin?Richard Clarke, who served as President Bush’s chief of counterterrorism, has claimed sole responsibility for approving flights of Saudi Arabian citizens, including members of Osama bin Laden’s family, from the United States immediately after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In an interview with The Hill yesterday, Clarke said, “I take responsibility for it. I don’t think it was a mistake, and I’d do it again.” Most of the 26 passengers aboard one flight, which departed from the United States on Sept. 20, 2001, were relatives of Osama bin Laden, whom intelligence officials blamed for the attacks almost immediately after they happened. Clarke’s claim of responsibility is likely to put an end to a brewing political controversy on Capitol Hill over who approved the controversial flights of members of the Saudi elite at a time when the administration was preparing to detain dozens of Muslim-Americans and people with Muslim s as material witnesses to the attacks.

05/28/04: Post by Franklin

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Donkey is a Fox News fan. Is Rush Limbaugh reporting the new "evidence" of a link between Hussein and 9/11? Must be. Oh, it's that liberal media (that supported the rush into war in Iraq) again hiding the facts (the same "liberal" media that didn't devote a tenth of the print to Bush's cocaine habit as it did to Clinton's pot smoking as a college student).Clinton lies about not keeping his hands to himself and he gets impeached. Bush lies and gets hundreds of Americans killed, and "Donkey" thinks Bush is a hero. And someone else, who seems to not know that Gore won the popular vote, thinks it was Gore that was trying to steal the election.Hey gang, i've got a great book for y'all: it's called 1984 by George Orwell. Look up "double-speak." You will be looking into a mirror.

05/28/04: Post by BIII

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Interesting, but shaky evidence at best. If these "facts" are solid why are they not more widely known? Probably because of passages like this one:"As Geostrategy-Direct reported, new evidence about a meeting in Prague between Sept. 11 plot leader Mohamed Atta and Iraqi intelligence officer Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani has been uncovered. If confirmed, the meeting would indicate a role by Saddam's intelligence service in some level of support for the 9-11 plot. "In other words NOT confirmed.The administration had no qualms about releasing shaky, and in some cases downright false, evidence about the WMDs maybe the sting from that exposure is what's keeping these "facts" from emerging.Also, if true, shouldn't we be bombing Riyadh as well? Seems like every Saddam-Qaida contact met through "Saudi Envoys".

05/28/04: Post by Donkey

Posted by: BLOWBACK
BIII,This may help you understand the bigger picture:Recently translated documents captured by U.S. forces provide new evidence of a direct link between Saddam Hussein's regime and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Rosters of officers in Saddam's Fedayeen list Lt. Col. Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, who was present at the January 2000 al-Qaida "summit" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at which the 9-11 attacks were planned, the Wall Street Journal reports.The Fedayeen was the elite paramilitary group run by Saddam's son Uday, which was deployed to do much of the regime's dirty work. The U.S. has never been sure Shakir was at the Kuala Lumpur meeting on behalf of Saddam's regime or whether he was an Iraqi Islamist on his own, the Journal notes. The paper cautions, however, it is possible the Shakir listed on the rosters is not the Iraqi of the same name with proven al-Qaida connections. But sources tell the Journal the authenticity of the three Fedayeen rosters is not in question. Coalition forces have found millions of documents that still are being sorted, translated and absorbed, the paper said. Reported accounts of the al-Qaida planning summit said Shakir had a job at the Kuala Lumpur airport he obtained through an Iraqi intelligence agent at the Iraqi embassy. Among the al-Qaida operatives in attendance were the two who flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon – Khalid al Midhar and Nawaz al Hamzi – and Ramzi bin al Shibh, the operational planner of the 9-11 attacks. Also in attendance was Tawfiz al Atash, a high-ranking Osama bin Laden lieutenant and mastermind of the USS Cole bombing. Shakir left Malaysia four days after the summit finished, Jan. 13, 2000, then turned up in Qatar, where he was arrested Sept. 17, 2001, four days after the attacks. A search uncovered phone numbers of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers' safe houses and contacts and information related to a 1995 al-Qaida plot to blow up a dozen commercial airliners over the Pacific. But Shakir, inexplicably, was released after a brief detention and flew to Amman, Jordan, where he was arrested again. The Jordanians released him, however, with the OK of the CIA, after pressure from the Iraqis and Amensty International. He was last seen returning to Baghdad. Noting the volume of evidence, the Journal said, "One of the mysteries of postwar Iraq is why the Bush Administration and our $40-billion-a-year intelligence services haven't devoted more resources to probing the links between Saddam's regime and al-Qaida." The current official U.S. intelligence conclusion is that Saddam's regime was not involved in supporting the Sept. 11 attacks. A new book by Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard, "The Connection," puts together the evidence of Saddam's ties to al-Qaida. "The Baathists killing U.S. soldiers are clearly working with al-Qaida now," the Journal says. "Saddam's files might show us how they linked up in the first place." As Geostrategy-Direct reported, new evidence about a meeting in Prague between Sept. 11 plot leader Mohamed Atta and Iraqi intelligence officer Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani has been uncovered. If confirmed, the meeting would indicate a role by Saddam's intelligence service in some level of support for the 9-11 plot. The information supports other journalists who have uncovered a connection between Iraq and al-Qaida, including Jayna Davis, author of "The Third Terrorist: The Middle Eastern Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing." In her book, Davis suggests the Sept. 11 attacks possibly could have been prevented if evidence of an Iraqi and al-Qaida link to the OKC bombing had been pursued. Davis writes that in November 1997, Hussain Hashem Al-Hussaini – a former Iraqi Republican Guardsman whom multiple eyewitnesses identified as McVeigh's elusive accomplice, John Doe 2 – confided to his psychiatrist that he was anxious about his airport job because "if something were to happen there, I (Al-Hussaini) would be a suspect." At the time, Al-Hussaini was employed at Boston Logan International Airport, where two of the four 9-11 suicide hijackings originated. She also reveals court records that suggest one of bombers Timothy McVeigh's and Terry Nichols's accused Middle Eastern handlers had foreknowledge of the 9-11 plot. In addition, Davis discusses information she first uncovered eight years ago – that Nichols learned the macabre genius of terrorist bomb making under the training of Philippines-based al-Qaida explosives expert Ramzi Yousef, the convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In February, columnist and author Jonathan Schanzer wrote in the Weekly Standard of his meeting in a Kurdish prison with Abdul Rahman al-Shamari, who claims he worked for a man who was Saddam's envoy to al-Qaida. In the interview, al-Shamari confirmed he was involved in assisting Ansar al Islam, an al-Qaida affiliate responsible for attacks against Kurdish and Western targets in northern Iraq. Weapons, "mostly mortar rounds," were supplied to the terrorists, the prisoner told Schanzer. Besides weapons, al-Shamari says, Saddam's secret police, the Mukhabarat, helped the terror group financially "every month or two months." In December, Geostrategy-Direct reported Iraqi officers interrogated by the United States and coalition officials said Saddam, through Saudi contacts, had invited al-Qaida insurgents to form suicide and other units to stop the U.S. military in March. Saddam's contacts with al-Qaida, the officers told interrogators, preceded the Sept. 11 attacks. They said Saudi envoys arranged for al-Qaida insurgents to enter Iraq and begin training in camps around Baghdad. The al-Qaida insurgents were trained at two camps – Nahrawan and Salman Pak – under the supervision of the Fedayeen Saddam. Officers said the Salman Pak training included ways to hijack airplanes. Training was conducted under the supervision of an unidentified Iraqi general who is currently a police commander. They said many of the al-Qaida insurgents left Iraq after their training stint. The London Telegraph reported in December the discovery of a secret memo to Saddam that gives details of a visit by Atta to Baghdad just weeks before the 9-11 attacks. Information obtained by Iraq's coalition goverment indicated Atta was trained in Baghdad by Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal. "We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam's involvement with al-Qaida," said Dr Ayad Allawi, a member of Iraq's ruling seven-man presidential committee, according to the London paper. "But this is the most compelling piece of evidence that we have found so far," he said. "It shows that not only did Saddam have contacts with al-Qaida, he had contact with those responsible for the September 11 attacks." In November, the Weekly Standard reported a 16-page top secret government memo to the Senate Intelligence Committee said bin Laden and Saddam had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, as well as financial and logistical support, and may have included the bombing of the USS Cole and the Sept. 11 attacks.

05/28/04: Post by BIII

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Donkey,As true as this may be, I'm curious to hear about your feelings on how the war with Iraq has aided in the hunt for Osama. We could just as easily say the Bush administration is a National Disgrace for diverting billions of our dollars (yes yours and mine) and, most regretfully, sacrificing American and innocent Iraqi lives to a war with no clear meaning, clear justification or clear end.It is well documented that Saddam + Al Qaida does not equal 9/11.

05/27/04: Post by Donkey

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Al Gore is a National Disgrace. Al Gore served as Vice President of this country for eight years. During that time, Osama Bin Laden declared war on the United States five times and terrorists killed US citizens on at least four different occasions including the first bombing of the World Trade Center, the attacks on Khobar Towers, our embassies in East Africa, and the USS Cole. Al Gore's attacks on the President yesterday demonstrate that he either does not understand the threat of global terror, or he has amnesia.
Posted by: BLOWBACK
Does this help you franklin?Richard Clarke, who served as President Bush’s chief of counterterrorism, has claimed sole responsibility for approving flights of Saudi Arabian citizens, including members of Osama bin Laden’s family, from the United States immediately after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In an interview with The Hill yesterday, Clarke said, “I take responsibility for it. I don’t think it was a mistake, and I’d do it again.” Most of the 26 passengers aboard one flight, which departed from the United States on Sept. 20, 2001, were relatives of Osama bin Laden, whom intelligence officials blamed for the attacks almost immediately after they happened. Clarke’s claim of responsibility is likely to put an end to a brewing political controversy on Capitol Hill over who approved the controversial flights of members of the Saudi elite at a time when the administration was preparing to detain dozens of Muslim-Americans and people with Muslim s as material witnesses to the attacks.
Posted by: BLOWBACK
Thank God this man was not successful in trying to steal the 2000 electionThank you for further empowering our enemies al gore. I hope you sleep well tonight you filthy bum.Remarks by Al GoreMay 26, 2004As Prepared George W. Bush promised us a foreign policy with humility. Instead, he has brought us humiliation in the eyes of the world. He promised to "restore honor and integrity to the White House." Instead, he has brought deep dishonor to our country and built a durable reputation as the most dishonest President since Richard Nixon. Honor? He decided not to honor the Geneva Convention. Just as he would not honor the United Nations, international treaties, the opinions of our allies, the role of Congress and the courts, or what Jefferson described as "a decent respect for the opinion of mankind." He did not honor the advice, experience and judgment of our military leaders in designing his invasion of Iraq. And now he will not honor our fallen dead by attending any funerals or even by permitting photos of their flag-draped coffins. How did we get from September 12th , 2001, when a leading French newspaper ran a giant headline with the words "We Are All Americans Now" and when we had the good will and empathy of all the world -- to the horror that we all felt in witnessing the pictures of torture in Abu Ghraib. To begin with, from its earliest days in power, this administration sought to radically destroy the foreign policy consensus that had guided America since the end of World War II. The long successful strategy of containment was abandoned in favor of the new strategy of "preemption." And what they meant by preemption was not the inherent right of any nation to act preemptively against an imminent threat to its national security, but rather an exotic new approach that asserted a unique and unilateral U.S. right to ignore international law wherever it wished to do so and take military action against any nation, even in circumstances where there was no imminent threat. All that is required, in the view of Bush's team is the mere assertion of a possible, future threat - and the assertion need be made by only one person, the President. More disturbing still was their frequent use of the word "dominance" to describe their strategic goal, because an American policy of dominance is as to the rest of the world as the ugly dominance of the helpless, naked Iraqi prisoners has been to the American people. Dominance is as dominance does. Dominance is not really a strategic policy or political philosophy at all. It is a seductive illusion that tempts the powerful to satiate their hunger for more power still by striking a Faustian bargain. And as always happens - sooner or later - to those who shake hands with the devil, they find out too late that what they have given up in the bargain is their soul. One of the clearest indications of the impending loss of intimacy with one's soul is the failure to recognize the existence of a soul in those over whom power is exercised, especially if the helpless come to be treated as animals, and degraded. We also know - and not just from De Sade and Freud - the psychological proximity between sexual depravity and other people's pain. It has been especially shocking and awful to see these paired evils perpetrated so crudely and cruelly in the name of America. Those pictures of torture and sexual abuse came to us embedded in a wave of news about escalating casualties and growing chaos enveloping our entire policy in Iraq. But in order understand the failure of our overall policy, it is important to focus specifically on what happened in the Abu Ghraib prison, and ask whether or not those actions were representative of who we are as Americans? Obviously the quick answer is no, but unfortunately it's more complicated than that. There is good and evil in every person. And what makes the United States special in the history of nations is our commitment to the rule of law and our carefully constructed system of checks and balances. Our natural distrust of concentrated power and our devotion to openness and democracy are what have lead us as a people to consistently choose good over evil in our collective aspirations more than the people any other nation. Our founders were insightful students of human nature. They feared the abuse of power because they understood that every human being has not only "better angels" in his nature, but also an innate vulnerability to temptation - especially the temptation to abuse power over others. Our founders understood full well that a system of checks and balances is needed in our constitution because every human being lives with an internal system of checks and balances that cannot be relied upon to produce virtue if they are allowed to attain an unhealthy degree of power over their fellow citizens. Listen then to the balance of internal impulses described by specialist Charles Graner when confronted by one of his colleagues, Specialist Joseph M. Darby, who later became a courageous whistleblower. When Darby asked him to explain his actions documented in the photos, Graner replied: "The Christian in me says it's wrong, but the Corrections Officer says, 'I love to make a groan man piss on himself." What happened at the prison, it is now clear, was not the result of random acts by "a few bad apples," it was the natural consequence of the Bush Administration policy that has dismantled those wise constraints and has made war on America's checks and balances. The abuse of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib flowed directly from the abuse of the truth that characterized the Administration's march to war and the abuse of the trust that had been placed in President Bush by the American people in the aftermath of September 11th. There was then, there is now and there would have been regardless of what Bush did, a threat of terrorism that we would have to deal with. But instead of making it better, he has made it infinitely worse. We are less safe because of his policies. He has created more anger and righteous indignation against us as Americans than any leader of our country in the 228 years of our existence as a nation -- because of his attitude of contempt for any person, institution or nation who disagrees with him. He has exposed Americans abroad and Americans in every U.S. town and city to a greater danger of attack by terrorists because of his arrogance, willfulness, and bungling at stirring up hornet's nests that pose no threat whatsoever to us. And by then insulting the religion and culture and tradition of people in other countries. And by pursuing policies that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent men, women and children, all of it done in our name. President Bush said in his speech Monday night that the war in Iraq is "the central front in the war on terror." It's not the central front in the war on terror, but it has unfortunately become the central recruiting office for terrorists. [ Cheney said, "This war may last the rest of our lives.] The unpleasant truth is that President Bush's utter incompetence has made the world a far more dangerous place and dramatically increased the threat of terrorism against the United States. Just yesterday, the International Institute of Strategic Studies reported that the Iraq conflict " has arguable focused the energies and resources of Al Qaeda and its followers while diluting those of the global counterterrorism coalition." The ISS said that in the wake of the war in Iraq Al Qaeda now has more than 18,000 potential terrorists scattered around the world and the war in Iraq is swelling its ranks. The war plan was incompetent in its rejection of the advice from military professionals and the analysis of the intelligence was incompetent in its conclusion that our soldiers would be welcomed with garlands of flowers and cheering crowds. Thus we would not need to respect the so-called Powell doctrine of overwhelming force. There was also in Rumsfeld's planning a failure to provide security for nuclear materials, and to prevent widespread lawlessness and looting. Luckily, there was a high level of competence on the part of our soldiers even though they were denied the tools and the numbers they needed for their mission. What a disgrace that their families have to hold bake sales to buy discarded Kevlar vests to stuff into the floorboards of the Humvees! Bake sales for body armor. And the worst still lies ahead. General Joseph Hoar, the former head of the Marine Corps, said "I believe we are absolutely on the brink of failure. We are looking into the abyss." When a senior, respected military leader like Joe Hoar uses the word "abyss", then the rest of us damn well better listen. Here is what he means: more American soldiers dying, Iraq slipping into worse chaos and violence, no end in sight, with our influence and moral authority seriously damaged. Retired Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni, who headed Central Command before becoming President Bush's personal emissary to the Middle East, said recently that our nation's current course is "headed over Niagara Falls." The Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, Army Major General Charles H. Swannack, Jr., asked by the Washington Post whether he believes the United States is losing the war in Iraq, replied, "I think strategically, we are." Army Colonel Paul Hughes, who directed strategic planning for the US occupation authority in Baghdad, compared what he sees in Iraq to the Vietnam War, in which he lost his brother: "I promised myself when I came on active duty that I would do everything in my power to prevent that ... from happening again. " Noting that Vietnam featured a pattern of winning battles while losing the war, Hughes added "unless we ensure that we have coherence in our policy, we will lose strategically." The White House spokesman, Dan Bartlett was asked on live television about these scathing condemnations by Generals involved in the highest levels of Pentagon planning and he replied, "Well they're retired, and we take our advice from active duty officers." But amazingly, even active duty military officers are speaking out against President Bush. For example, the Washington Post quoted an unnamed senior General at the Pentagon as saying, " the current OSD (Office of the Secretary of Defense) refused to listen or adhere to military advice." Rarely if ever in American history have uniformed commanders felt compelled to challenge their commander in chief in public. The Post also quoted an unnamed general as saying, "Like a lot of senior Army guys I'm quite angry" with Rumsfeld and the rest of the Bush Administration. He listed two reasons. "I think they are going to break the Army," he said, adding that what really incites him is "I don't think they care." In his upcoming book, Zinni blames the current catastrophe on the Bush team's incompetence early on. "In the lead-up to the Iraq war, and its later conduct," he writes, "I saw at a minimum, true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility, at worst, lying, incompetence and corruption." Zinni's book will join a growing library of volumes by former advisors to Bush -- including his principal advisor on terrorism, Richard Clarke; his principal economic policy advisor, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, who was honored by Bush's father for his service in Iraq, and his former Domestic Adviser on faith-based organizations, John Dilulio, who said, "There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you've got is everything, and I mean everything, run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis." Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki told Congress in February that the occupation could require "several hundred thousand troops." But because Rumsfeld and Bush did not want to hear disagreement with their view that Iraq could be invaded at a much lower cost, Shinseki was hushed and then forced out. And as a direct result of this incompetent plan and inadequate troop strength, young soldiers were put in an untenable position. For example, young reservists assigned to the Iraqi prisons were called up without training or adequate supervision, and were instructed by their superiors to "break down" prisoners in order to prepare them for interrogation. To make matters worse, they were placed in a confusing situation where the chain of command was criss-crossed between intelligence gathering and prison administration, and further confused by an unprecedented mixing of military and civilian contractor authority. The soldiers who are accused of committing these atrocities are, of course, responsible for their own actions and if found guilty, must be severely and appropriately punished. But they are not the ones primarily responsible for the disgrace that has been brought upon the United States of America. Private Lynndie England did not make the decision that the United States would not observe the Geneva Convention. Specialist Charles Graner was not the one who approved a policy of establishing an American Gulag of dark rooms with naked prisoners to be "stressed" and even - we must use the word - tortured - to force them to say things that legal procedures might not induce them to say. These policies were designed and insisted upon by the Bush White House. Indeed, the President's own legal counsel advised him specifically on the subject. His secretary of defense and his assistants pushed these cruel departures from historic American standards over the objections of the uniformed military, just as the Judge Advocates General within the Defense Department were so upset and opposed that they took the unprecedented step of seeking help from a private lawyer in this city who specializes in human rights and said to him, "There is a calculated effort to create an atmosphere of legal ambiguity" where the mistreatment of prisoners is concerned." Indeed, the secrecy of the program indicates an understanding that the regular military culture and mores would not support these activities and neither would the American public or the world community. Another implicit acknowledgement of violations of accepted standards of behavior is the process of farming out prisoners to countries less averse to torture and giving assignments to private contractors President Bush set the tone for our attitude for suspects in his State of the Union address. He noted that more than 3,000 "suspected terrorists" had been arrested in many countries and then he added, "and many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way: they are no longer a problem to the United States and our allies." George Bush promised to change the tone in Washington. And indeed he did. As many as 37 prisoners may have been murdered while in captivity, though the numbers are difficult to rely upon because in many cases involving violent death, there were no autopsies. How dare they blame their misdeeds on enlisted personnel from a Reserve unit in upstate New York. President Bush owes more than one apology. On the list of those he let down are the young soldiers who are themselves apparently culpable, but who were clearly put into a moral cesspool. The perpetrators as well as the victims were both placed in their relationship to one another by the policies of George W. Bush. How dare the incompetent and willful members of this Bush/Cheney Administration humiliate our nation and our people in the eyes of the world and in the conscience of our own people. How dare they subject us to such dishonor and disgrace. How dare they drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud of Saddam Hussein's torture prison. David Kay concluded his search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq with the famous verdict: "we were all wrong." And for many Americans, Kay's statement seemed to symbolize the awful collision between Reality and all of the false and fading impressions President Bush had ed in building support for his policy of going to war. Now the White House has informed the American people that they were also "all wrong" about their decision to place their faith in Ahmed Chalabi, even though they have paid him 340,000 dollars per month. 33 million dollars (CHECK) and placed him adjacent to Laura Bush at the State of the Union address. Chalabi had been convicted of fraud and embezzling 70 million dollars in public funds from a Jordanian bank, and escaped prison by fleeing the country. But in spite of that record, he had become one of key advisors to the Bush Administration on planning and promoting the War against Iraq. And they repeatedly cited him as an authority, perhaps even a future president of Iraq. Incredibly, they even ferried him and his private army into Baghdad in advance of anyone else, and allowed him to seize control over Saddam's secret papers. Now they are telling the American people that he is a spy for Iran who has been duping the President of the United States for all these years. One of the Generals in charge of this war policy went on a speaking tour in his spare time to declare before evangelical groups that the US is in a holy war as "Christian Nation battling Satan." This same General Boykin was the person who ordered the officer who was in charge of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay to extend his methods to Iraq detainees, prisoners. ... The testimony from the prisoners is that they were forced to curse their religion Bush used the word "crusade" early on in the war against Iraq, and then commentators pointed out that it was singularly inappropriate because of the history and sensitivity of the Muslim world and then a few weeks later he used it again. "We are now being viewed as the modern Crusaders, as the modern colonial power in this part of the world," Zinni said. What a terrible irony that our country, which was founded by refugees seeking religious freedom - coming to America to escape domineering leaders who tried to get them to renounce their religion - would now be responsible for this kind of abuse.. Ameen Saeed al-Sheikh told the Washington Post that he was tortured and ordered to denounce Islam and after his leg was broken one of his torturers started hitting it while ordering him to curse Islam and then, " they ordered me to thank Jesus that I'm alive." Others reported that they were forced to eat pork and drink alcohol. In my religious tradition, I have been taught that "ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit... Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." The President convinced a majority of the country that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on September 11th. But in truth he had nothing whatsoever to do with it. The President convinced the country with a mixture of forged documents and blatantly false assertions that Saddam was in league with Al Qaeda, and that he was "indistinguishable" from Osama bin Laden. He asked the nation , in his State of the Union address, to "imagine" how terrified we should be that Saddam was about to give nuclear weapons to terrorists and stated repeatedly that Iraq posed a grave and gathering threat to our nation. He planted the seeds of war, and harvested a whirlwind. And now, the "corrupt tree" of a war waged on false premises has brought us the "evil fruit" of Americans torturing and humiliating prisoners. In my opinion, John Kerry is dealing with this unfolding tragedy in an impressive and extremely responsible way. Our nation's best interest lies in having a new president who can turn a new page, sweep clean with a new broom, and take office on January 20th of next year with the ability to make a fresh assessment of exactly what our nation's strategic position is as of the time the reigns of power are finally wrested from the group of incompetents that created this catastrophe. Kerry should not tie his own hands by offering overly specific, detailed proposals concerning a situation that is rapidly changing and unfortunately, rapidly deteriorating, but should rather preserve his, and our country's, options, to retrieve our national honor as soon as this long national nightmare is over. Eisenhower did not propose a five-point plan for changing America's approach to the Korean War when he was running for president in 1952. When a business enterprise finds itself in deep trouble that is linked to the failed policies of the current CEO the board of directors and stockholders usually say to the failed CEO, "Thank you very much, but we're going to replace you now with a new CEO -- one less vested in a stubborn insistence on staying the course, even if that course is, in the words of General Zinni, "Headed over Niagara Falls." One of the strengths of democracy is the ability of the people to regularly demand changes in leadership and to fire a failing leader and hire a new one with the promise of hopeful change. That is the real solution to America's quagmire in Iraq. But, I am keenly aware that we have seven months and twenty five days remaining in this president's current term of office and that represents a time of dangerous vulnerability for our country because of the demonstrated incompetence and recklessness of the current administration. It is therefore essential that even as we focus on the fateful choice, the voters must make this November that we simultaneously search for ways to sharply reduce the extraordinary danger that we face with the current leadership team in place. It is for that reason that I am calling today for Republicans as well as Democrats to join me in asking for the immediate resignations of those immediately below George Bush and Cheney who are most responsible for creating the catastrophe that we are facing in Iraq. We desperately need a national security team with at least minimal competence because the current team is making things worse with each passing day. They are endangering the lives of our soldiers, and sharply increasing the danger faced by American citizens everywhere in the world, including here at home. They are enraging hundreds of millions of people and embittering an entire generation of anti-Americans whose rage is already near the boiling point. We simply cannot afford to further increase the risk to our country with more blunders by this team. Donald Rumsfeld, as the chief architect of the war plan, should resign today. His deputies Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and his intelligence chief Stephen Cambone should also resign. The nation is especially at risk every single day that Rumsfeld remains as Secretary of Defense. Condoleeza Rice, who has badly mishandled the coordination of national security policy, should also resign immediately. George Tenet should also resign. I want to offer a special word about George Tenet, because he is a personal friend and I know him to be a good and decent man. It is especially painful to call for his resignation, but I have regretfully concluded that it is extremely important that our country have new leadership at the CIA immediately. As a nation, our greatest export has always been hope: hope that through the rule of law people can be free to pursue their dreams, that democracy can supplant repression and that justice, not power, will be the guiding force in society. Our moral authority in the world derived from the hope anchored in the rule of law. With this blatant failure of the rule of law from the very agents of our government, we face a great challenge in restoring our moral authority in the world and demonstrating our commitment to bringing a better life to our global neighbors. During Ronald Reagan's Presidency, Secretary of Labor Ray Donovan was accused of corruption, but eventually, after a lot of publicity, the indictment was thrown out by the Judge. Donovan asked the question, "Where do I go to get my reputation back?" President Bush has now placed the United States of America in the same situation. Where do we go to get our good name back? The answer is, we go where we always go when a dramatic change is needed. We go to the ballot box, and we make it clear to the rest of the world that what's been happening in America for the last four years, and what America has been doing in Iraq for the last two years, really is not who we are. We, as a people, at least the overwhelming majority of us, do not endorse the decision to dishonor the Geneva Convention and the Bill of Rights.... Make no mistake, the damage done at Abu Ghraib is not only to America's reputation and America's strategic interests, but also to America's spirit. It is also crucial for our nation to recognize - and to recognize quickly - that the damage our nation has suffered in the world is far, far more serious than President Bush's belated and tepid response would lead people to believe. Remember how shocked each of us, individually, was when we first saw those hideous images. The natural tendency was to first recoil from the images, and then to assume that they represented a strange and rare aberration that resulted from a few twisted minds or, as the Pentagon assured us, "a few bad apples." But as today's shocking news reaffirms yet again, this was not rare. It was not an aberration. Today's New York Times reports that an Army survey of prisoner deaths and mistreatment in Iraq and Afghanisatan "show a widespread pattern of abuse involving more military units than previously known.' Nor did these abuses spring from a few twisted minds at the lowest ranks of our military enlisted personnel. No, it came from twisted values and atrocious policies at the highest levels of our government. This was done in our name, by our leaders. These horrors were the predictable consequence of policy choices that flowed directly from this administration's contempt for the rule of law. And the dominance they have been seeking is truly not simply unworthy of America - it is also an illusory goal in its own right. Our world is unconquerable because the human spirit is unconquerable, and any national strategy based on pursuing the goal of domination is doomed to fail because it generates its own opposition, and in the process, creates enemies for the would-be dominator. A policy based on domination of the rest of the world not only creates enemies for the United States and creates recruits for Al Qaeda, it also undermines the international cooperation that is essential to defeating the efforts of terrorists who wish harm and intimidate Americans. Unilateralism, as we have painfully seen in Iraq, is its own reward. Going it alone may satisfy a political instinct but it is dangerous to our military, even without their Commander in Chief taunting terrorists to "bring it on." Our troops are stretched thin and exhausted not only because Secretary Rumsfeld contemptuously dismissed the advice of military leaders on the size of the needed force - but also because President Bush's contempt for traditional allies and international opinion left us without a real coalition to share the military and financial burden of the war and the occupation. Our future is dependent upon increasing cooperation and interdependence in a world tied ever more closely together by technologies of communications and travel. The emergence of a truly global civilization has been accompanied by the recognition of truly global challenges that require global responses that, as often as not, can only be led by the United States - and only if the United States restores and maintains its moral authority to lead. Make no mistake, it is precisely our moral authority that is our greatest source of strength, and it is precisely our moral authority that has been recklessly put at risk by the cheap calculations and mean compromises of conscience wagered with history by this willful president. Listen to the way Israel's highest court dealt with a similar question when, in 1999, it was asked to balance due process rights against dire threats to the security of its people: "This is the destiny of democracy, as not all means are acceptable to it, and not all practices employed by its enemies are open before it. Although a democracy must often fight with one hand tied behind its back, it nonetheless has the upper hand. Preserving the Rule of Law and recognition of an individual's liberty constitutes an important component in its understanding of security. At the end of the day they (add to) its strength." The last and best description of America's meaning in the world is still the definitive formulation of Lincoln's annual message to Congress on December 1, 1862: "The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise - with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country. Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history...the fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation...We shall nobly save, or meanly lose the last best hope of earth...The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just - a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless." It is now clear that their obscene abuses of the truth and their unforgivable abuse of the trust placed in them after 9/11 by the American people led directly to the abuses of the prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison and, we are now learning, in many other similar facilities constructed as part of Bush's Gulag, in which, according to the Red Cross, 70 to 90 percent of the victims are totally innocent of any wrongdoing. The same dark spirit of domination has led them to - for the first time in American history - imprison American citizens with no charges, no right to see a lawyer, no right to notify their family, no right to know of what they are accused, and no right to gain access to any court to present an appeal of any sort. The Bush Admistration has even acquired the power to compel librarians to tell them what any American is reading, and to compel them to keep silent about the request - or else the librarians themselves can also be imprisoned. They have launched an unprecedented assault on civil liberties, on the right of the courts to review their actions, on the right of the Congress to have information to how they are spending the public's money and the right of the news media to have information about the policies they are pursuing. The same pattern characterizes virtually all of their policies. They resent any constraint as an insult to their will to dominate and exercise power. Their appetite for power is astonishing. It has led them to introduce a new level of viciousness in partisan politics. It is that viciousness that led them to attack as unpatriotic, Senator Max Cleland, who lost three limbs in combat during the Vietnam War. The president episodically poses as a healer and "uniter". If he president really has any desire to play that role, then I call upon him to condemn Rush Limbaugh - perhaps his strongest political supporter - who said that the torture in Abu Ghraib was a "brilliant maneuver" and that the photos were "good old American pornography," and that the actions portrayed were simply those of "people having a good time and needing to blow off steam." This new political viciousness by the President and his supporters is found not only o

05/26/04: Post by CNN

Posted by: BLOWBACK
From an article warning: Al Qaida Said Almost Ready to Attack U.S.:The ominous warning returns the nation's attention to terrorism, the issue that President Bush (news - web sites) has highlighted as a central theme of his re-election campaign, after intense focus on other subjects like prisoner abuses in Iraq (news - web sites). Bush has lost ground in the polls, falling in approval ratings to the lowest point of his presidency.

05/25/04: Post by BIII

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Speaking of Bin Laden:(wasn't he "surrounded" on the Afghan-Pakistani border recently)Qaeda Has 18,000 Militants for Raids - Think TankBy Paul Majendie LONDON (Reuters) - Al Qaeda has more than 18,000 militants ready to strike and the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq has accelerated recruitment to the ranks of Osama bin Laden's network, a leading London think-tank said on Tuesday. Al Qaeda's finances were in good order, its "middle managers" provided expertise to Islamic militants around the globe and bin Laden's drawing power was as strong as ever, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said. It warned in its annual Strategic Survey that al Qaeda would keep trying to develop plans for attacks in North America and Europe and that the network ideally wanted to use weapons of mass destruction. "Meanwhile, soft targets encompassing Americans, Europeans and Israelis, and aiding the insurgency in Iraq, will do," the institute said. "Galvanized by Iraq if compromised by Afghanistan, al Qaeda remains a viable and effective network of networks," it said. The IISS said al Qaeda lost its base after the toppling of the Taliban in Afghanistan in late 2001 but had since adapted to become more decentralized, "virtual" and invisible in more than 60 countries. "The Afghanistan intervention offensively hobbled but defensively benefited al Qaeda," it said. The institute said 2,000 al Qaeda members and more than half of the group's 30 leaders had been killed or captured. The IISS said the 1,000 al Qaeda militants estimated to be in Iraq were a minute fraction of its potential strength. "A rump leadership is still intact and over 18,000 potential terrorists are at large with recruitment accelerating on account of Iraq," the IISS said. It gave no source for the figure. Purported video and audio tapes by bin Laden have appeared from time to time despite a U.S.-led manhunt since the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington to capture him "dead or alive." "Bin Laden's charisma, presumed survival and elusiveness enhance (al Qaeda's) iconic drawing power," the IISS said. It said al Qaeda was reported to be exporting extremism on a global scale with "middle managers" providing planning, logistical advice, material and financing to smaller groups in Saudi Arabia and Morocco and probably Indonesia and Kenya. The IISS said the Madrid train bombings in March suggested al Qaeda had now fully reconstituted and had set its sights firmly on the United States and its closest allies in Europe.

05/24/04: Post by Franklin

Posted by: BLOWBACK
wow - i guess people can't stand the fact that the Bin Laden relatives were the only people allowed to travel out of the USA when all planes were grounded shortly after the attacks of 9/11.does anyone wonder why that was?and why is General Zinni saying, on record, that the Iraq policy is a total failure? or as he put it, we can stay the course right over the Niagara Falls.if you're wondering what you'll be doing at the end of the Summer, go to http://www.unitedforpeace.orghopefully, we'll see you there!

05/23/04: Post by Gaia Freak

Posted by: BLOWBACK
The Gaia Hypothesis

From Myth to 21st Century science . .

Today there is a growing hypothesis circling the globe:

"Our Planet - Mother Earth - is a Living Being
and all life forms are her offspring."

We stand naked in time and space,
Illuminated only by the light of our own self-knowledge.

Can we plug into and attune to an even greater universal knowledge?

Can we Humans come to a deeper understanding
of the source from which we spring?

When working together for the benefit of the ecosystem as a whole, we blend in, to co-create and become dynamically one at the heart and mind of Gaia and beyond - by intelligently and intuitively aligning with her and her virtuous fecundity.

Opening into the new century, our greatest challenge is to understand, appreciate and feel our intimate relationship with Our Planet, Her peoples, Her Flora and Fauna and to strive to resolve all conflicts, especially those of greed, war, hunger, disease and suffering.

We must set about to renew and re-energise our water, clean up our air supply, afforest ourbarren marginal land and deserts with greenery and colour, and eliminate all toxic andharmful residues.

For we big brained creatures are a vital part of the created and future evolutionary growthof Our Planet, Gaia.

The study of ourselves as a conscious assembly of Gaia's elements revealsour inner relationship to the whole of creation, where we may open up and reconnectwith our Cosmic inheritance.

As physical Beings of Conscious Essence,
We can embark on a Magnificent Quest,
Co-existing with Mother Earth...
Potentially Seeding our Solar System

- going Galactic -

and Beyond with Intelligence and Life..

Working in harmony with Nature, our growth and transformation can evolveus beyond Gaia, into the cosmic whole and possibly home.

This is the most wonderful challenge to befall us!

For we, each one of us, are an assemblage of the Big Bang and over time we've emerged fromMother Earth wearing bodies and are now making the connection with where we have come from.

We are the Universe finally discovering itself.

For the first time in Ages.

"Is it not written in your law?
I have said, 'You are Gods'"

John 10:34 The Bible

The Gaia hypothesis does not conflict with any of the major schools of religious thought:Christ, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Krishna, Quetzalcoatl, Moses, Zarathustra, Mohammed and Baha'u'llahmay have been among the first blossoming flowers of Gaia.

In reflecting on the work of Plato and Pythagoras, we find their themes"know thyself (microcosm) and you will know the Universe (macrocosm)"particularly relevant in the understanding of this hypothesis.


.. if Gaia has squeezed us out of her planetary body and we can havean 'out of the body' experience what does this make us?

Does this mean we are more than we think we are?

And where does the essence of a rose go?'


Gaia as the Ancient Greeks Saw Her

What Is Gaia?
Text by James Lovelock

Books by Lovelock:

Gaia A New Look at Planet Earth
(Oxford University Press)
The Ages of Gaia (Oxford University Press)
The Practical Science of Planetary Medicine (Allen and Unwin)

The Gaia Atlas of Planet Management
Edited by Norman Myers (Pan Books)

If you are practical, intelligent, have a good heart and wish to assist positive change, this superb book is for you. Solutions for a planetary society of tomorrow today.

Earthdance 432- page book
by Elisabet Sahtouris. ISBN: 0-595-13067-4 available at
CDRom 90 minutes. Crises as Opportunity: An Evolutionary Leap of Humanity

Gaia: A Way of Knowing

Edited by William Irwin Thompson
(Lindisfarne Press)

* Acupuncture Meridians / Ley Lines: [Back]

Stonehenge, Glastonbury, The Great Pyramids of Egypt and many Cathedrals of Europeare situated along these Universal Lines of Invisible Force.

Contents Spaceship Gaia Science Mysticism Immanence Dreamtime Meditation WWW Network Calendar Keywords Bibliography About.. Feedback

Pages maintained by www.light | Updated 31 July 1996

05/20/04: Post by Franklin

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Something else to smile about:why were the Bin Laden relatives allowed to fly out immediately after 9/11 even though ALL flights in and out of the USA were grounded? Bush is refusing to answer any questions on the matter posed to him by the 9/11 Commission? He must be too busy smiling and thinking of things of good cheer to do that.

05/20/04: Post by Kelly

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Thanks for playing Franklin. Try smiling next time and you may just fool someone.

05/19/04: Post by Franklin

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Thanks Kelly.I guess that's why Bob Dole didn't do so well going after Clinton. Why, according to your "spot the dem" acumen, they had a clear role reversal!Oh yes, those brave little lads in Iraq doing bestial things look cheerful - not dems. And Rush cheerfully cheering them on - not a dem doing that!Thanks for that.

05/19/04: Post by Kelly

Posted by: BLOWBACK
My husband and I play, "Spot the Dems." The game began during the 1992 Democrat National Convention when the cameras panned the convention delegates. We became anthropologists studying a tribe. In the dozen years since, we have perfected our data base and skills. We can turn down the volume on the TV talking heads shows and identify the Dems. We can see an audience on a C-SPAN lecture or panel and determine topic and bent. We bat a thousand on any given night using time-tested rules for Dem-spotting: Gray and braided hair, whether male, female, or transgender: Dem Bony magazine editor: Dem Hollywood type (sans Charlton Heston, Kurt Russell, and, possibly, Tom Selleck): Dem Defense lawyer: Dem David Letterman: DemA wealthy man in the Phoenix area, upon hearing of our prowess, opined to me, "Your game isn't difficult. Dems are uglier than Republicans." Nay! Republicans have only Bo Derek, and her legendary "10" status cannot counterbalance all of Hollywood's Dem dames. What gives Dems a different look is their countenance. They look miserable. Have we seen one picture of John Kerry from his 40 years in public life in which he didn't look to be in herniated disc pain? Does permanently imbedded shrapnel or medal-tossing elbow give him a face that looks less upbeat than stewed prunes? Indiscreet youth generally tolerates a smile or two, but Mr. Kerry has always had the facial joy of the Addams Family's Lurch. Buckingham Palace guards look as if they need Ritalin in comparison to Mr. Kerry. Even crossing his legs seems like an effort, perhaps from some union featherbedding rule in Massachusetts. The Washington, D.C. March for Women's Lives (translation: March for Abortion) offers a veritable training ground for "Spot the Dems" acumen. Head to the official abortion Website, , and study. Note the men dressed as women, or women dressed as men. Or perhaps they are women transitioning to men or vice versa. There are many angry souls with provocative placards, one in the shape of a nude woman's body upon which "No Trespassing" is engraved. Another sign features a drawing of a talking sperm with the cartoon cloud, "Not every sperm needs a name." The affable Howard Dean was there, invited for his barbaric yawp and proximity to snapping. Republicans don't scream. They raise money. Half-naked Goths opted not to carry signs, their bodies being already tattooed with messages. They also seem ready to snap. The "Menopausal Women Nostalgic For Choice" look pretty much as described. Infants in strollers who were dragged along seemed to be saying, "Why me?" How could the carriers of a 6-feet tall uterus emblazoned with "Proud to Own My Own Uterus" look joyful? The famous who led the cranky broads looked miserable. Susan Sarandon has never found a microphone into which she will not whine. Whoopi Goldberg brandished a coat hanger as she screeched. Gloria Allred, the nation's abortion group lawyer, seems perpetually irritated. Their cause is taking life. Not material that lifts the spirits or produces a smile. Therein lies the secret to Dem dismay. Angst is their calling card. Psychotherapy their badge of honor. Dems are the no-no party. They spend a great deal of time telling people to shut up: speech codes on campuses, religion banishment (except Muslim studies) from the classroom, and layers of PC rules that have the rest of us quaking in our boots, or pumps, in the case of Republicans and transgenders. Their activities are negative. They sue so that they can burn flags. They seek ousters for sexual harassment. They halt judicial appointments. They do not create. They are specialists in nay saying. Dems want to take your money away with higher taxes. Dems don't want vouchers and school choice. They don't want you to have your own doctor. They want state medical care. Happiness is the key to undecided voters and those who cross party lines. When Dems and Republicans cross party lines, it is for happy people. Reagan had Reagan Democrats because he was so positive about everything, from America to complete recovery from cancer and bullet wounds. Kennedy had Republican voters because he looked happy, although we have since learned it largely drug-induced. He was positive about landing on the moon and joked about playing second fiddle to his wife in France. Clinton won in 1992 because Bob Dole seemed like a perpetually grumpy neighbor yelling at us to get off his grass, or, "Get off Bob Dole's grass." Republicans, with the exception of Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania (and we're not entirely sure he is a Republican), and Bob Barr (former Ga. Rep.), look happy! Specter quite nearly lost the Senate primary in PA and Bob Barr no longer holds office. Sen. Zell Miller (D. Ga.) has lambasted his party in a book, is voting for Mr. Bush, and he looks and sounds happy. Happiness is not just the key to a long life, it is the consummate clue in "Spot the Dems," and it may well determine the next election. Mrs. Heinz Kerry said it herself in a 20/20 interview, "[Laura Bush] looks fun." Yes, most Republicans do. She should prescribe it for Mr. Kerry.

05/17/04: Post by Franklin

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Thanks so much for that "Cheech." I guess you were outraged that some out there are condoning torture or turning a blind eye to it. You must be really upset that the so-called liberation has turned into the same-old same-old for many Iraqis and that so many people are dying for lies and disinformation. I'm sure you're also outraged by the Administration's and the Right Wing's emphatic campaign to ignore the war dead and cover them up. So yeah, thanks for wasting our time and yours. Let me guess: you're a "Bush Cheney 2004" kind of gal, you watch Fox News and you're a proud Dittohead. Ain't that right, there Cheech, old buddy, old pal?

05/14/04: Post by Franklin

Posted by: BLOWBACK
I can't imagine that our various, differing, opposing political positions would ever lead us to condone torture.In attacking "monsters" we should not become "monsters" ourselves, or what would be the point of that? This is the most important lesson we should learn from the Cold War.The ends have never justified the means, like Lenin and Mao maintained. The ends must embody the means, like all great religions have maintained, and was put into practice by Gandhi and Martin Luther King, jr.
Posted by: BLOWBACK
DonaldRumsfeld is now claiming that the military, not the press, broke the prisonabuse story. Rumsfeld's thinking is particularly strange since he and histop military leaders werebusy stalling the media. Either way, it's looking like manyof the prisoners were innocent. Innocent or not, RushLimbaugh seems to think the whole thing ispretty groovy! Al Qaeda might be justas excited.Photos of the dead may indicate graverabuse, and there are more pictures and videos stillto come. Soldiers returning to the US tell of moreabuse and where theorders came from. Former weapons inspector David Kay says he repeatedlywarned of abuse. Several major newspapers call for the end of theRumsfeld Era, as Rummy shows his manyfaces.The road to AbuGhraib began at GuantanamoBay. The Red Cross saw widespreadabuse. Who knew of the abuses, andwhen did they know it? The failures came fromthe top.Lockheed Martin's plans to purchase Titan Corp. isput on hold.Moqtada al-Sadr capitalizeson the prison abuse story.Family and friends of one of the soldiers who appears in the photographs searchfor answers, and now the soldier hasbeen charged.America faces lastingdamage abroad.In Great Britain, the Daily Mirror continues to report on similar abuses atthe hands of Britishsoldiers.The Center for American Progress releases a Strategyfor Progress in Iraq.Searching for the truth on escalatingwar costs.Thirty years ago the French learneda good lesson. When will the first US paper call for withdrawal?Bush is putto the test, and , hey... sois Donald Rumsfeld! Bush puts on a kinder,gentler face for the Arab world, but it seems his damage control is coming abit late, and his image as a leader suffers.Few are happy in Dearborn,Michigan.How long will Colin Powell continue you to play theGood Soldier?Indian workers telltheir stories of working for the US Army in Iraq.Is God still onour side?The Iraqi general in charge of Falluja says Americamust get out.Threesoldiers dieOh, yes, once again, Goodbye,Rummy.9/11, AFGHANISTAN & THE "WAR ON TERROR":
The Federal Aviation Administration destroyed a tape recording made by six airtraffic controllers on September11th, 2001.A college kid files a FOIA request with his the University of Texas, andthe FBI shows up... and speaking of UT, George and Laura won'tbe attending their daughters' graduations.San Francisco libraries will now be putting microchipsin their books to keep track of them.Spain links an American to the Madridbombings.VOTING & DEMOCRACYFlorida explores ways to disenfranchiseup to 40,000 people (and, no, this isn't a flashback).Rolling Stone reports that college students are being blocked from voting by localelection board.Is Bush teetering onthe brink?SCIENCE, ENVIRONMENT & ENERGYTheOil CrunchECONOMYWhen company executives end up in court, it's often the shareholders who paythe costs.Greenspan warns of thedeficits effects on the economy.AND FINALLY
A few months ago, many of you sentyour ideas on how to deal with Cuba to the White House in anticipation of anew commission Bush was forming--well, Bush has just unveiled his plan for Cuba,so readabout it, and see if he used any of your ideas.Send news links here

05/04/04: Post by Franklin

Posted by: BLOWBACK
I never thought anyone would ever object to the airing of the war dead. When would be the right time to do this? According to some, "never." Hide 'em away, they seem to imply. Sad sad sad.

05/04/04: Post by BIII

Posted by: BLOWBACK
WOW!!! That typical hate filled attack response was almost too predictable to be true Mr. Weather, you really caught me by surprise.Your reasons for questioning ABC's timing on the show: "Nothing to do with ratings or sweeps..."You are, sarcastically, saying Koppel held this program to coincide with sweeps week and to get ratings. Correct??? Or at least that Koppel decided to run this program during sweeps or just to get ratings.Your opinion only sir. It's also your opinion that this particular show would be so popular as to gain greater ratings and possibly "win" during sweeps, something I'm sure free market owner Sinclair would have hated to see, espescially when it turned into the resulting profits. MY opinion. Sinclair censored the broadcast for political reasons only. Why else would a free market owner try and keep itself from broadcasting a ratings hit, ESPESCIALLY during sweeps, this is what they are in business to do!!! "or the anniversary of the carrier landing by our commander in chief...."Completely logical and dutiful for a news broadcast to highlight the number of dead soldiers one year after the Bush team's boneheaded descision to make this bold, untruthful, unnecessary statement (then of course deny they had anything to do with it). Every paper out there had a similar story this past week. "Time/Life magazine article from the Vietnam era? Who brought that up? "You're right they're similar, accuse Ted of plagiarism. So how many young Americans will remember that article, none of the 19 and 20 year-olds in Iraq I guarantee."Naw... It wasn't about anti-Vietnam er, uh.. I mean anti-Iraq war propaganda at all."This from a journalist who was famously embedded with the Marines and went along with Pentagon rules for reporting from the "front".Finally, I said: "Still I'd like to know exactly what you found so offensive about the broadcast."As you can see I never "accused" you of saying anything. I agree 100% you never claimed to think that the list was offensive. I was merely trying to get a clear response as to why you agreed with Sinclair's descision. I'll take "McCain is wrong here dude." as your response and leave it at that.
Posted by: BLOWBACK
To Idiot:As usual, you skimmed over and did not address any of my reasons for questioning ABC’s timing on the show. You then changed the argument to accuse me of saying “I claim the list to be offensive”, a claim I never made

05/04/04: Post by BIII

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Uber-Patriot Weather:How disloyal of you to disagree with a decorated Vietnam War veteran to suit your argument.You're right, you don't wear the blinders, you try and place them on others just like Sinclair tried to do. There are MANY links on the site that do NOT, as you mentioned, "properly" display faces or links to hometown news stories. You need to get your story straight.The site itself is equally as important as the "Nightline" broadcast. It does a very good job giving information on the troops killed, for the most part the same information "Nightline" gave. I wish there were a lot more sites out there like it.However, "Nightline" reaches millions of Americans every night. Airing the names of killed American soldiers, however short (the broadcast was actually extended beyond it's normal 30 min. length to air the names of all Americans killed, combat and non-combat) will do more to honor the dead, simply by reaching more people, than that website ever will.If you can't see the good in that, then I can’t help you. Still I'd like to know exactly what you found so offensive about the broadcast.
Posted by: BLOWBACK
Transparent partisan genius BIII:Oh….. How cute of you to quote an evil, nasty Republican when it suits your argument. McCain is wrong here dude. It’s called the free market. Sinclair can do what ever it wants. They own the transmitters.I don’t wear the blinders like you apparently do. My post was deliberately double spaced to enable reading between the lines. If you can’t see the propaganda aspects of ABC’s timing and similarities to the Time/Life piece from the Vietnam era, then I can’t help you. A two second blip on a TV screen during sweeps week is not honoring the dead soldiers. I posted a link to the “list” that properly displays names, faces, rank, links to hometown news stories, etc. (go back and read my post) ABC & Ted could have done so as well but chose not to.

05/02/04: Post by BIII

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Weather,How exactly was the "Nightline" piece anti-Iraq war? Are you one of those who thinks we should hide our eyes to the reality of war, dead American soldiers. How would you honor the soldiers that are dying in a war you obviously strongly support? By agreeing that censoring images of the dead returning home is good for morale or supportive of the troops. How does keeping silent about the death of our troops honor their service in any way? Also how would you explain this:In a letter to the president of [Sinclair] group (the people who censored the program, not for political reasons at all, Naw.....It was about "supporting the troops man"), Mr. McCain, who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam and is a leading congressional voice on military issues, called the decision to block the broadcast on the company's ABC affiliates "deeply offensive.""There is no valid reason for Sinclair to shirk its responsibility in what I assume is a very misguided attempt to prevent your viewers from completely appreciating the extraordinary sacrifices made on their behalf by Americans serving in Iraq," Mr. McCain wrote. "War is an awful, but sometimes necessary business. Your decision to deny your viewers an opportunity to be reminded of war's terrible costs, in all their heartbreaking detail, is a gross disservice to the public, and to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. It is, in short, sir, unpatriotic. I hope it meets with the public opprobrium it most certainly deserves."Obvious insincere anti-war propaganda/rhetoric from the Republican Senator from Arizona.Nothing more.
Posted by: BLOWBACK

The Wrap Up

Sunday, May 2, 2004

As we hit the one year anniversary of the Fly Boy "President" paradingaround an aircraft carrier announcing his mission to finish his daddy's jobaccomplished, everyone seems to be taking a look back at year past, and whatexactly Bush has accomplished.

The May 1, 2003, appearance of Mr. Bush, wearing a flight suit and standingon the deck of a carrier in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner, nowseems premature to even the White House itself--although White House PressSecretary Scott McClellan still insists there was no prematurecelebration. Rumor and reality continueto clash one year on. Is Iraq the worstblunder in American history?

Paul Krugman: InFront of Your Nose. Bob Herbert: FromDream to Nightmare. Terry Jones: TheWar of the Words. Don't forget about anotheranniversary we are celebrating.

On the eve of this year anniversary, ABC's Nightline will devote their entireshow to reading the names of all the American soldiers who have died in thiswar. Sinclair Broadcasting, which owns seven ABC affiliates, has made thedecision to not broadcast the show. John McCain calls the decision "agross disservice to the public, and to the men and women of the United StatesArmed Forces." Ted Koppel explains the show's purpose.In 2004, Sinclair executives have given 98percent of their political donations to the GOP. There's much more onSinclair and its dirty past here.If you'd like to share your thoughts on this matter with the good folks atSinclair, you can call them--410.568.1500, fax them--410-568-1533, or, best ofall, you can email the people who are in a prime position to buck theircorporate overlords and do the right thing--find email addresses for the sevenABC affiliates here.One person who could certainly use the information is Paul Wolfowitz, who seemsto have already forgotten 200American soldiers.

USAToday joins in on bucking the unwritten rule of this war, to ignore soldierdeaths. A father whose son was killed earlier this month in Iraq thanks theSeattle Times for running the coffinphoto.

Former Ambassador JosephWilson has a new book coming out, in which he discusses the WhiteHouse's smear tactics. He's also got some kind words for "journalist"Robert Novak.

Moqtada Sadr says that Americanshate the Iraqi people.

Arab television stations lead their Friday broadcasts with images of Iraqiprisoners beingabused--from a story that was first aired byCBS. There are pictures here.Amnesty International reports that this was notan isolated incident. What role did privatecontractors play? A look at the reaction in the Arabworld.

The woman in charge of promoting America's image quits and headsto Wall Street. More than 20 former US diplomats send a letter to Bushaccusing him of wrecking America's middleeast policy.

Iraqis see a bright future... withoutthe US.

Ten US soldiers are killedin Falluja. Can the US still win a battle for Iraqipublic opinion? Well, with 71%calling us occupiers, it doesn't look good.

American marines hand control of Falluja over toIraqi troops.

The Pentagon probes an Iraq phonecontract bid.

The British army resistscalls for more troops.

Iraqis change their flag... again.

A retired General says "staying the course" in Iraq isuntenable.

The 333rd Military Police Unit in Freeport, IL is notadequately supplied for battle. And now, a fireman who served with the 333rdhasdied in Iraq.

An Iranian court orders America to $600million for supplying chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein.


Bush and Cheney get together for some quality time with the 9/11Commission--knowing full well that their entire presidential campaign is basedon justone thing. Some are still troubled by the conditionsset by the White House for the testimony. Why does Bush needa minder? What were Dick and Bush afraidof? It's certainly not Osama--they've got 5times the number of people in the Treasury Department working on Castrorather than tracking bin Laden's money.

Monica Gabrielle--who lost her husband on 9/11--wants to know thewhole ugly truth.

The steadily degenerating other war inAfghanistan (In other great news... Afghanistan carries out its firstexecution since the fall of the Taliban.

John Ashcroft gets another public reprimand--this time from GeorgeW. Bush.

For some reason, the Saudi Royal family thinks it has animage problem in America.

When will your town or city get its own terroristattack warning siren?

Starting May 1st, you can watch PBS' TheJesus Factor, an examination of George W. Bush's personal religious journey.

What kind of a twilight zone have we entered that Bush and Cheney canchallenge anyone on theirmilitary record? Is Dick Cheney softon defense?

TheDeaf, Blind, & Mute in America

Bush's approval ratings hit anall-time low.

Is George W. Bush an environmentalretard? (When did the Presidency become anevent in the Special Olympics?)

Some counties in the United States have imprisoned30% of their residents.

Does Bush adviser Karen Hughes equate the March for Women's Lives withterrorists? On the same front, the administration has deletedinformation on women's issues from government websites.

Truckers in California protest high gas prices by blockinga freeway. OPEC considers raising oilprices.

The last Oldsmobile rollsoff the line.

Grocery store chain Winn-Dixie is selling 156 stores and cutting10,000 jobs.

Dow Chemical to cut 3,000jobs.

Gateway loses money and cutsjobs.

The budget is busted, yet Bush pours money in his WMDprogram.

A federal agent shoots himself during a gunsafety class at a youth center.

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Re: Nightline Propaganda PieceNaw... It wasn't about anti-Vietnam er, uh.. I mean anti-Iraq war propaganda at all. What? Time/Life magazine article from the Vietnam era? Who brought that up? Shhhh..... Ted himself? Nothing to do with ratings or sweeps or the anniversary of the carrier landing by our commander in chief....Naw..... It was about "bring it all down man"Nothing moreAnybody who is seriously interested or concerned with the “list” can go here and view it. 2-second blip on a TV screen is not sincere.

05/02/04: Post by BIII

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Just wondering what people's opinions are concerning the "Nightline" descision to air names and a potographic list of all 700+ U.S. servicemembers killed in Iraq.The show was pulled by the nation's largest owner of television stations, Sinclair Broadcast Group, because: "The action appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq" - Barry Faber, Sinclair vice president and general counsel